Eyes Open

Story 1 - Eyes Open: Epilogue

Da Vinci doesn’t rememeber much, a car ride and suddenly he’s strapped into a chair – in a very dark room. There are several figures in the room, and more behind him he senses.

Bouda’s clear voice cuts through his grogginess, “There’s nothing to fear – we need to check who you are. This will be… unnerving – but we need to prove your innocence”

Bouda’s on side it seems.

“Of course,” continues a firm voice (Antonius’s?), “If you aren’t – you’ll never see the light of day again.”

At this not-so-subtle threat, a figure behind Da Vinci stirs, plate armour rubbing on plate.

“It won’t come to tha-”, starts Galeas.

“Commence. Now.” Whispers a shadow in the corner of the room.

“Yes Epopt”, says Bouda, distast blatant in her tone. " Sophia, please".

A figure in white, clearly white even in the shadows of this room, moves over to Da Vinci and powerful magicks are cast upon Da Vinci, with no permission asked- As well as strange happens that don’t seem to be magic, but definately aren’t natural. “He’s clean on my regard – Of course I’m sure, Epopt”, Sophia says – sounding stung by a barely audible question from the shadow.

“Now… His memories…” It whispers.

“I’m sorry, after this you will be placed somewhere safe. But now we have to check you are… you,” apologises Bouda and starts to cast something on Da Vinci.

Red hot pain lances into his mind as Bouda seems to put her fingers into his head and he blacks out.

Story 1 - Eyes Open: Session 4

Session 4

Welcome back! This is the fourth (and last) session in the first story of Eyes Open. Here, after having the story plodding along we solve the murder of Holly Marsh. It’s quite slow to begin with, but then the plot bomb is released and something I had not planned for occurs. More details later…

As a note, one of the reasons Dace is absent from the story in the beginning was the player was late, so we quickly write him into the background and continue! Back to the action…

Whilst Da Vinci starts working immediately on the ritual, and the other leave him. In the morning, Dace’s plan of contacting the Mysterium is foiled by a phone call. He disappears off, saying he just needs to pick someone up from the East Midlands Airport. Pinion, as curious as he is about the Orb really needs to show Sextant around and pay Quark back – so drives over to the Irregulars’ Sanctum. The Sanctum is a renovated factory/workhouse from the 1800’s that Nottingham has scattered about; the inside is a clear, white, glas and concrete ‘pad’ – Venkman fits in inside, Quark most decidely does not. Pinion walks past a surly newcomer outside and inside greetsVenkman, who is playing some sort of video game.

Behind the massive living space is the kitchen (some more open planning) is Quark making coffee and Sextant. A third mug appears and the two old men gesture for Pinion to sit down and join them for some morning coffee. The conversation meanders to a discussion of mentor and students, as well as some questions about Sextants Legacy, which Pinion is somewhat curious about. Quark suggests handing over Teaching responsibility to Sextant for a while as a taster for Pinion. Agreeing to this, Sextant asks to be taken to Tollaton – the Mysterium’s Sanctum and the location for the Athanaeum. The two get in the car, and drive off from the Sanctum.

Meanwhile Gwydion drives over, early, to Project Indigo’s room in the basement of the Police Department in Nottingham City Centre. In this meeting with the gruff, no nonsense head of the Project stating that cases like these, wierd ones, prop up all the time and are dumped into Project Indigo. As of now, the findings of this case are given to him, with Gwydion answering to him. As Gwydion nods, he is also informed the jounralist, Jenny, might want to interview him, being a new successful detective on the scene. With this, Gwydion leaves to Kirk’s office eager to actually doing some detecting.

On the drive to Tollaton, Sextant explains that to Pinion the mysterium cabal, the Read Tome have their Sanctum in Tollaton Hall (Sophia is quite rich, he ellaborates), with the underground tunnels (built in in the 16th century) actually house the Athaneum. “So, no magic above ground – it’s a National Heritage sight above ground apart from the private rooms”, he adds as they get out of the car. Once inside the stately home Sextant hurries to a room off the main galleries casts something onto the wall and with that the nearby cabinet moves to the left, showing a well lit staircase leading down. “After you”, he adds grinning.

As Pinion descends, Gwydion get the estate on campus to let him into Kirks office. After using some casting to get through the locked door he finds himself in a tip of an office, with papaers scattered everywhere, as well in towering piles precariously balanced on desks and chairs. There is one corner however with some order, a wall with various papers and notes stuck onto it and other symbols drawn onto the mystical collage. Gwydion, not making any sense of the order, activates a Mage Sight to get a better look at the thing, and is immediately hit by the… beauty of it, the sublime simplicity of it’s truth. The truth is that the Orb is a brilliant shard of Supernal truth, with it, he could… do anythingin his hearts desire. Mind aflame, he routes around the room, coming up with a small note with an address in Lenton. Filled with purpose he hurries out.

Oh dear, it seems Gwydion has contract some kind of madness from the scribblings. Stare into the Abyss an all… Mechanically he has a tempory derangement – a fixation on finding the Orb. From now on the party have to deal with Gwydion genuinely a bit… unhinged.

As a restrospective note, they seemed to enjoy it – with it being a nice roleplay and learning curve. How this escaltes, I’ll let that keep for a while

Pinion finds himself in a smart, marbled lobby with a reception desk. One smarty dress staff member walks over greets Sextant and asks for them to, “wait for the Curator” as well as to deactivate any spells they have on. At Pinion’s look, Sextant mutters something about exciting the exibits.

After a moment an old, balding man in tweed walks in, peering down his hawk nose through hornrimmed glasses. He wouldn’t look out of place in a University School, ignoring the billowing grey robes with High Runes in them of course. Sextant explains their business, and Pinion adds that he would be grateful if he could look into something of his own while he waited.

A much surprised Seneca mentions there’s no harm as he directs Sextant to where Carter is. Pinion explains the working description of the Orb and Seneca shows him to an area of interest, piled away in the small rooms of shelves and cabinets of.. other things behind the frosted glass. He finds not a lot, much of the same confirmation as before, it is probably is an Artefact of some kind – the rough rune sketches that Da Vinci did seem to be quasi-Atlantean style runes. Fustrated, with not much Pinion moves over to Sextant’s area, passing through a study area with Lilith reading one massive Tome – uncharacteristically she seems utterly engrossed.

Pinion eventually finds the small room Seneca, Sextant and Carter is in, which is a small room with a large table, projector in the back and a black board on one wall. On the large desk is a collection of maps of various magnifications around the Persian area. Sat in the corner talking to the Silver Ladder and Curator is a battered middle aged man in good health with unkempt stubble – he put in mind of a certain pulp action hero. Suddenly getting an idea, Pinion asks Carter whether he recognised any of the symbols on his sketch Orb, but sadly the sketch isn’t great with the symbols guessed at by Da Vinci. Disappointed, Pinion offers to drive back Sextant when he’s free to which Sextant good naturedly says there’ll be no need, he’ll teleport once finished. Sighing, Pinion leaves with the distinct feeling teachers quite like having students to inconvient.

As a note, this arose not because I want Sextant to be a dick, but more that I forgot he could teleport as per his Attainments, which was clever. So hence a characterful sequence arising from incompetance xD

On the way back Pinion gets a hurried call from Gwyidion blabbering on about a lead and an address, Pinion attempts to calm the manic Arrow down, with a margin of success – Gwydion won’t enter the address without the others. On the way to the Sanctum, bemused by Gwydion’s erractic behaviour, gets a text from Dace saying he’ll meet the Cabal at the Sanctum, he’s now got an ‘associate’ to introduce.

At the Sanctum, Da Vinci get’s grabbed by Pinion and they drive to the address. The house is a, by the looks of it, empty house in the castle end of Nottingham. Outside is a visibly impatient Gwydion, and as the trio work out what to do (and wait for a redirected Dace) – Gwydion finally loses patience and starts toward the house to check it out. It’s at this point that Dace starts to arise, with a well dressed, built companion with a kit bag, as well as Gwydions’s phone starts to ring…

And now for the cringing moment I had planned since I received Da Vinci’s backstory…

It’s Bouda, she tells them that a highly ranked Seer, an Undersecretary, has been spotted in the Nottingham area. She gives them a quick description, telling them to stay the fuck away from this ‘guy’. As she details the danger of the Undersecretary, with a sinking feeling Da Vinci realises why the description is so familiar. It matches his father – speaking as much.

There is a very, awkward pause.

Seriously, OOC as well – I didn’t actually expect Da Vinci’s player to actually get him to admit him. Guess I’m too used to secrets and lies…

There’s a sigh on the other end, then Bouda officially declares Da Vinci under ‘interest of the office of the Warden’ and calls for Da Vinci to await arrest and then hangs up. As the Cabal try to patch over the sudden change in events, Gwydion starts to go inside, moving inside the house.

The fornt door opens to a corridor with a door to the right, the corridor leading to what looks like a dining/kitchen area and some stairs in the corridor leading upwards. The place looks dusty, and not very lived in – with peeling wallpaper and bare floor boards.
As he starts towards the door on the right the remains of a ceramic mug flies down the corridor and bounces off Gwydions Forces Armour. As he watchs the mug shatter the walls begin to bleed viscous red, spelling out the message:


Almost blinded by this metaphysical hunger for the Orb, Gwydion pushes open the right-wards door and finds a bare living room (presumably), which has in the middle a strange salt circle, with three foci, two of which are occupied by dead bodies of a man and woman. They don’t look impovished, and have had their throats cut – they have (by the smell) been dead for some time.

As Gwydion steps up from the body (there’s no Orb in sight) there is an onimous wailing from upstairs…

Outside, the sound of something hitting the door of the property snaps the four outside (including the hhulking man, who’s called Rudy) out of their panicking about Da Vinci, who seems quite calm about the whole thing, then they get to the front door – only to find the thing won’t budge. Trying to force it open, Rudy moves forward and kicks the door down pulling something out of his kit bag.

Inside the house, they see that Gwydion is being attacked by manisfested ghosts, who are screeching something terrible. As Da Vinci, Pinion, Dace and Rudy fight off the ghosts (Rudy using a ‘small’ shotgun) Gwydion continues to try to ransack the house. He is having a tough time of it, with the Cabal additionally having to slow him down with magic before he destroys something in his frenzied search. As Pinion races downstairs for the salt in the circle the final ghost is decorporated. The bodies of the ghost (for they are) are burnt to remove the anchor, but Da Vinci (with some Death magic) is certain that they have another anchor somewhere to the north.

With the ghosts removed, and the evidence of the ritual being scoured, the Cabal move to the master bedroom where an excited Gwydion is barely stopped from almost tornado-ing his way into a desk covered in papers and a corkboard above it similarly adorned with documents. A quick search reveals that the two bodies were Sleeper associates of Kirk’s research – discarded as soon as Kirk was able to work the Orb. In one of the drawers, which Rudy helpfully ‘opens’ are deeds to a small building/brick warehouse off Canning Circus to the north. With the next step in sight the group try to calm down Gwydion. Dace tries to use Mage Sight to see if anything is affecting Gwydion’s mind – and touchs something, recoiling. But not fast enough, as a new ‘understanding’ seetles onto his mind – Dace realises that the Orb could be used for… Anything.

Oh yes, it spreads!

Walking out with two of the Cabal giving each other suspicious sideways glances, they are met by an additional car outside. Bouda, both Sentinels (a smugSilence and an impassive Galeas) as well as, ominously, Mare – the Intefector. With a, slightly strained, nod – Da Vinci is escorted into the Car and driven off into the night.

He is given a blindfold and told to remain silent.

The way this session turned out, Da Vinci’s player only played for about a third of it – annoyingly. In the game the following sequence was interspersed with bits of Da Vinci. However for the sake of an interesting narration (I hope) I will ommit them and add them as an intermission between Story One (Eyes Open) and Story Two (How To Be Dead).

After watching the car disappear around a corner the remaining tetrad quickly get into Pinion’s car and to Canning Circus they drive. They arrive at a dilapidated building, with a chain and sign proclaiming a “Dangerous Structure”. However neither sign nor chain provide much trouble for three angry mages and a Rudy.

The inside of the warehouse is a long retangle area, with a side office to the far right of the street entrance. In the middle, on a table is the Orb – gleaning in the moonlight from a gap in the corrogated iron roof. At this point both Gwydion and Dace disregard any subtlety and peg it for the Orb with Gwydion just getting there before Dace and triumphantly he holds it aloft!

But in the moonlight suddenly both of them ‘sober up’, wondering what the fuck possessed them to just sprint into dangerous, unknown territory. Also, in the light this ‘Orb’ clearly isn’t – being made of plastic. In fact the real Orb was hidden behind a pile of debris, gleaming gold in the rock. It’s this point where Kirk opens the far door to the warehouse, crackling with entropic power.

As Kirk stares at Gwydion and Dace holding the Fake!Orb, then at the Real!Orb – Pinion quietly congratulates himself on some quick thinking.

_In reality, Pinion cast some spells that makes the real Orb look fake (the Fake!Orb) and a discarded stone look like the real orb (Real!Orb). Everyone fails their resisitnace rolls and everyone but Pinion falls for it hook line and sinker… Effectively nerfing this fight to ‘just’ capturing Kirk – which the group intends.

Kirk starts to scream about the “Architects of History”, who he plainly beleieves the Cabal are, and their “conspiracy” and tries to cast a powerful Death practice. However, it fails and lets the group get there bearings and start retreating and coming up with a plan. Seeing an ‘opening’ Kirk rushes to the Real!Orb and starts to throw Death Unravelling Practises at the group – which are Dispelled by a lucid Gwydion, trying to contain Kirk as much as possible.

It’s getting harder, thanks to just over half a dozen ghosts manifesting around the Orb attacking, with not much luck, the rest of the Cabal – even Rudy, who procedes to start shooting these new threats. Eager to experiment, Pinion starts chucking salt at the larger of the ghosts, which proceeds to really rip through their corpi. Against the larger and more.. Chthonic ghosts, he quickly builds a warding circle of salt.

Meanwhile, Kirk is hit by a sympathic spell, and a powerful one at that and it rips through his pattern, as well as dispelling his entopic armour; enraged he charges Dace in fury. Dace tries to defend himself but in horrendous irony, Kirk falls onto Dace’s knife – and kills him stone dead. Shaking, (he hasn’t exactly killed a lot) Dace tells himself he didn’t mean it to happen.

With Kriks death, the ghost dematerialise and Pinion ends the illusionary spell he cast. Standing over the body, Pinion takes charge and phones the highest ranking person on his phone – the Councillor for the Seat of Pandemonium – Quark.

Quark quickly portals to the location and stares at the Orb, the body and to the group (minus a Da Vinci – who he seems to have heard about, and is clearly annoyed with) – and simply asks for an explanation. Gwydion starts, and starts to lay out the bare bones – but is quickly told to “shut up” by Pinion. Pinion tell Gwydion he has been acting under the influence of ‘something’ all day, has been reckless and is time to be quiet and do nothing. Turning from a shouted down Gwydion, Pinion quickly fills Quark in on the details, as well as the Orb.

Whilst this is occuring, Dace searches the rest of the the building, and moves into the small office to side and finds a body (not corpse, thanks to a Knowing Life spell) ‘shackled’ to the wall, shackled by a molded wall – beaten and tortured. Dace calls the other over, trying to check up on the male – a middle aged and arabic looking mage. Quark starts slightly seeing the mans face.

“That’s… That’s ”/campaigns/eyes-open/characters/john-dee" class=“wiki-content-link”>Dee.

And that’s Story One done, phew. Next time; another torture scene, but this is with Da Vici, so it’s fine, someone dies – as well as a Duel Arcane as Gwydion continues to put his foot in it!

Extra 1

This was an idea I whilst writing up the session notes. Seeing as the game is somewhat focussed on the Cabal, and I can’t have NPC’s talking all the time, here is some narrative away from the PC’s spotlight. Hopefull this will begin to forshadow some very nasty plot progression coming their way.

+ Excerpt of Inter-Guardian Messaging Dated Two Day’s Ago

C: To give you the head’s up, we’ve got some heavy Seer activity from London.

NH: What kind, do you require Caucus Assistance.

C: Negative. They aren’t Active. Only mobilising, as if for a contigent to move.

NH: Keep me posted C, I’ll get JD to ask around.

Dated One Day Ago

C: They moved. Certain. Location found: Nottingham. Repeat Nottingham. Code Indigo. VIP sighted.

NH: Details C dammit, JD’s gone offline.

C: VIP is an Under-Secretary. Repeat Under-Secretary.

NH: ****

C: Tell me about it, apparently U-S is moving to solve the “Gated Issue”, couldn’t find more.

NH: But it is coming here?

C: Yeah, I have no idea about JD but U-S is coming. Expect Change of Tide.

NH: Acknowldged.

+ Excerpt Ends

And if it works, we may have more throughout the game. Personally, I think they’re quite useful if used sparingly, so not to fall into the “Amateur Writer DM” pitfall.

Story 1 - Eyes Open: Session 3

Session 3

This session introduces the fourth cabal member, Genseric Dace or Dace for short. It was also a really short game, with me trying to introduce a character and then doing the Pit scene. Annyoingly Gwydions doesn’t get much active screen time – which was my failure. Anyways, I get to use Project Indigo, and introducing the concept of Legacy induction. Oh wells, back to the story

We find ourselves in a safehouse in Cambridge, a house utterly empty of furniture and other. Just empty boards, and the back room being used to create a portal to a location in Nottingham. In the background Dace is being told by a Guardian superior to see the Epopt of Nottingham for further instructions. Among the group going, other than Dace, is a high ranking Silver Ladder called Sextant, a Free Councillor rebel called Keates and a couple of others, incudling a newly Awakened Mysterium girl.

After his order Dace steps though and is met by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Blackstone. Blackstone shows Dace to the Epopt, Quiet whilst the rest are shown to a taxi. In the meeting Quiet, in his raspy, slow voice explains that Dace is to intergrate with three newly Awakened mages just forming a Cabal. To be a good Cabalmate, have the duties of the Order second – too long have the Guardians been the boogymen of Nottingham. Nottingham will not be like Cambridge or London he explains.

Dace is given an address of a flat and told to go there, it in the address of one of the cabal mates, an Obrimos Police Inspector.

Meanwhile in the Pit and Pendulum…

There’s a silnce, ended with Pinion asking, “what?”. The two Libertines explain there’s a bloody vampire out there (how cool is that?). Whilst Pinion goes out with Incognito Presence and checks a deserted bar, with a bestial hunchback thing with glowing red eyes. It’s snarling, and patrolling the bar, sniffing. In the toilets Da Vinci, comes up with a plan and starts to jury rig a hand dryer into a projectile weapon. The other two collect toilet roll holders as spike ammunition.

Once this is done, the group collectively gather their wits, with Venkman making an improvised pipe weapon using Matter and Fraser giving herself beast claws and honing her strength. In the other room Pinion tries to amp the electicity of the lights up to lure the vampire into the bar, then set fire to the alcohol there. He succedes in baiting it there, but when he goes to set fire to the bar he feels the spell go off and metaphysically invert. Catching it before it did harm he absorbs the paradox, but the catch in his chanting makes the vampire notice. Slowly it rises from the bar, claws extending into wicked talons.

As a note, for the duration of the fight I was pulling the punches, well aware that the vampire could rip them in two. Instead I decided to up-play the animal side of the Beast – making it stalk and pounce rather than wailing on the group. It might not have been exoectected, but the group realised it was trouble, and I didn’t kill them, yet.

At this point the three from the toilets burst into the room, and start beating on the vampire, with Da Vinci firing his makeshift gun at the vampire. Whilst seeing Venkman being beaten back by the vampire, she goes mental and whales onto the vampire with her claws and tears large chunks out of it, whilst it gets skewered by Da Vinci’s ‘invention’. The creature tries to fight back and catches Fraser with it’s claws, and cuts her flank open with those terrible claws. As she retreats clutching her side Pinion releases another electical attack which fries the vampire, and it collapses in a horribly mangled pile, just staring at the ceiling. However in the strength of the attack, the electric arches to the bar, setting it alight.

One of the reasons I wanted the two Libertines here was to start giving them reasons to grow up. They were introduced as happy go lucky new Mages with amusing fixtures and foibles. This was to, originally, convince Da Vinci’s player that the Free Councillors aren’t just ‘hippies’. Now this achieved they need some character growth, with this incident the first real ‘conflict’ the two have got involved in. Expect the two to be equally changed by this. They’re still the fun duo, but will start to grow up a bit, and take their place as the PC’s equals

Meanwhile Dace is outside an apartment door, which is answered by a haggard Gywdion. To check on his identity (and now learning his lesson from the day) Gwydion checks his identity with Bouda, both his Master and Warden of the Consilium – with Dace still standing outside. After getting his name, Gwydion realises the situation and brings him around the Sanctum; and they have tea, which is nice.

A little note, Gwydion’s player keeps making him making social gaffe’s to the extent of it’s now becoming a running joke. First of all when phoning his Master Bouda, he doesn’t even ask Dace’s name first. Then when they actually get down to tea, as soon as it’s boiled they are interrupted and the tea is no more. I can’t actually remember the reason; so until I can remember the two have a tea party.

On the other side of the city, in the silence of the crackling bar the mages quickly move, quenching the fire and healing wounds – when raised voices are heard. Galeas is stepping down the stair with his sword drawn, followed by a well dress man, who resembles a vulture, and four thugs with guns.

A short tense trade off happen, with Galeas all but growling out returns to the smooth intelligent, oily sentences of the new vampire. The Magi are let go out with them ignoring the vampires taunts; who seems to be surprised that they aren’t representing a Mage called “Marduq”.

After leaving, Galeas tells the two about the Vampires, warning them not to interact with them, or else they’ll get burnt. With that, he, Fraser and Venkman leave the two to return to the Sanctum.

There, they meet up with Dace and Gwydion and the group hit up on the idea, somewhat drunkedly (in the main form of Da Vinci) that the main sofa needs improvement. And so the comfiest sofa is formed from his Matter Magic. Over this the Cabal recruit and bring Dace up to scratch; and each comes up with the next step:

  • Gwydion moves to meet Murdoch at the station
  • Pinion moves out to escort and show Sextant around the Consilium.
  • Dace figures to look up some old Mysterium contacts and goes to the Mysterium Cabal, the Read Tome to see about this Orb.
  • Da Vinci then sits down to ritual cast Postcognition to see what missing pages from the journal/notes of Holly said. It takes him almost until late afternoon the next day until he gets something. He finds that the journal spoke of the Orb, that the team of researchers were working on. Holly became as obsessed with it until she stole it. And thats the last mention. As well, she also notes the office and house they used to do the research at, away from the department at university.

And that’s it folks, Da Vinci’s a bit ahead of everyone and is most likely going to be verry tired tomorrow. :)

I’m also up to date, so celebration in that regard!

Story 1 - Eyes Open: Session 2


Welcome back! Back to the second session and the first time players can stretch their magical muscles, with the guiding eye of Watson of course. This is the longest session to date as well as the turning point for me with regards to having a ‘feel’ of the dynamics of the setting I’ve created. We haven’t seen much, but kudos to the players who seem to interact awesomely well – with special mention to Gwydion’s, for… well I’ll let you see that when it comes up. ;)

Anyways, back to the murrrder scene!

Back in the crime scene tent, where Pinion has a sound dampening Veiling Force Practise around the tent so that some High Speech chanting can occur. Watson offers to let the new mages see what they can find out – considering his Legacy he has a pretty good idea about the facts. After some improvised spell casting the group found that the girl was asphyxiated, most likely strangled – with Watson congratulating them with a twinkle.

This was the point that I realised I was going to enjoy the game. Mage is awesome because of the Magic system it uses; which is freeform. Howevever, this system only becomes truley stellar when you read and understand the Practises. If you don’t know, I really recommend the source book, the Tome of Mysteries for this. It really helps the toolbox style of producing magic – something that I encouraged from the start.

If you want to know more, I recommend taking a look at the page Mage the Awakening Primer.
Reminds me of the beautiful way Ars Magica 5th Ed describes their paradigm of magic and how it works. Stellar work.

Gwydion removes himself at this point, not seeing much point just watching and start to ‘detect’. He searchs the bag, finding the identity, a student called Holly Marsh. He works out that the crime was a scuffle, where the bag was discarded and Holly attacked and killed. Working out whether he can investigate the bag magically Gwydion moves back in the tent.

Da Vinci is an Apprentice of Time, so Postcog’s the bag. He finds the bag, once on the ground, was rumaged through and a Golden Orb was taken from it. Perplexed they run out of things to do, and Watson suggests that they reconvene later tomorrow, sometime in the afternoon, to give him enough time to properly do an examination. With that the group leave for their respective homes to catch some shut eye for the morning.

Considering Watson’s Legacy, the Eleventh Question, I found this to be a challenge in handling NPC’s. How do you get an NPC to let the players to ‘do’ the plot, and make it believable? I tried to solve this by making Watson a teacher sort of character, as well as making sure he never gets all the information, so his Attainment (he’s not that far in the Legacy, but getting there) can’t solve the plot. This ofrces the players to do something. Thankfully they don’t all know the setting inside out, so they don’t exactly rely on him. Anyways, ramble over – I was happy at least.

The day after they all meet up in the morning (Pinion gets a Phd student to do his lecture, and Da Vinci pays someone to do the coursework – and Gwydion? He’s kinda on the job..) outside the Sanctum. It is a three story building in the middle of student Lenton, with a concrete roof garden on the top seemingly. The walls of the terrace house have a rune on high speech working into graffiti denoting it Consilium property.

Right on time, at ten Scribe shows up, with Silence driving for her, who stays in the car as Scribe smiles wearily in a greeting. She holds a pack of paper that looks offical, and gives them each a set of keys for the house. She the shows them around, the house having a libray on the ground floor (with a basement ritual space downstairs) and a kitchen/living room on the first floor and two bedrooms scattered about and a roof garden. This has the Hallow, a copper bowl of water that doesn’t drain, standing on a pile of bricks. Scribe explains the tass of the Hallow manifests as bricks – and the Cabal can do what they like to the Hallow, as long as it doesn’t degrade the Hallow.

She also explains, going down to the living room for the paperwork, that the main duty of the Cabal is to defend the Sanctum (which is Consilium property) and the surrounding area of Lenton from supernatural threats. The conversation moves to Scibe inquiring about the murder that occurred, reasoning that they were involved probably. At this point Gwydion snaps back at her, uncharacteristically, citing it is a police matter and she should stop enquiring.

There is an awkward silence.

Scribe cooly comments that she can do this another time, seeing as the trio are obviously busy with important duties and storms out, with the papers. Da Vinci hurries after, trying to repair the damage, and catches her at the car – apologising for his Cabalmate’s behaviour. Scribe coldly asks him to put his Obrimos on a leash in the future, hands him the papers and drives off with Silence.

This is an important scene, and totally random, with Gwydion’s players admiting he didn’t know where it came from (quite possibly with the firey personality he’s creating, for the Tamers of Fire. Needless to say, for the next couple of sessions Gwydion is hurriedly trying to find a way to repair the damage; seeing as Scribe has many friends, and is a key player in her own right.

With the other two facepalming they decide that it time the Sanctum has some magical defenses. Gwydion and Da Vinci reinforce and put some force field defenses on the windows and main door whilst Pinion asks Quark for some help. Quark builds a basic Space Ward on the house for them, for which Pinion owes him some help once some Mages from Cambridge move up.

Some research also occurs afterwards, with Da Vinci finding some plans for traps in the house and ordering the parts and Pinion researching into this ‘Golden Orb’. He finds that there are, unsurprisingly, a lot of Orbs within Awakened/Magical Culture – but amongst Awakened they tend to be Soul Stones or Artefacts, classically.

Meanwhile Gwydion finds out that Holly Marsh was a first year archaeology student, a really progidy who was working for extra credit for a Doctor Kirk, and artefact expert. However he is not in, a member of staff explaining that his been reclusive lately.

With this dead end Gwydion decides to go to her Hall of Residence, Ancaster – in order to search her room. He gets Pinion to help, as he is now free up and surprisingly better at talking to students than a grumpy detective. As he gets in, after talking to the porter and with Pinion blanketing the students, Pinion senses a spell activate. He can’t recognise the spell, though thinks it’s a space practise. Shrugging, Gwydion searches the room and goes over the papers on her desk and find her diary, but does find a small iron coin wedged behind a poster on the wall, it has a High Speech Rune that Gwydion doesn’t recognise. Meanwhile Pinion is having little luck with the students, a doctor does not make good fresher company.

Pinion returns after ordering some materials online and senses the same magic when walking into the room that Gwydion experienced. Although this time something, definately a scrying portal opens then quickly closes. Weirded out they leave, with Gwydion pocketing the student’s notes (which mentions a ‘project’ under Kirk’s supervision).

Whilst Gwydion moves downstairs to ask the porter questions Pinion and Da Vinci have a little experiment. Whilst Pinion waits on Da Vinci, listening to his phone in case something dodgy happens, Da Vici climbs into the room via the window – which doesn’t set off that spell interestingly.

This occuring outside, inside Gwydion is talking to the porter, who mentions that he’s surprised the police are here again, considering that Dante fellow came around. Now definately feeling paranoid Gwydion looks around, spying some Karni students lazying about about in the common room. It’s at that point the window opens again, but closes quickly enough that Gwydion can’t cast down it. But then, he doesn’t need to worry about that though, because one of the students suddenly has a spell settle in his pattern, and stares right back at Gwydion, smiling.

As Gwydion moves to talk to this guy, the student – in a voice that screams NOT STUDENT – politely offers to “continue this outside”; which Gwydion politely accepts. The student says to Gwydion, we know you, “Darran Williams” – and then blinks with the spell gone.

With the group reconvened, and sort of shakened, they decide to meet with Watson – and in the car the srying opens again, which the cast fail again to interact with.

I loved this bit, and finally introduced the paranoia part of the game. Poor Gwydion, making rookie mistake after mistake with Space magic today. Was very amusing – and point making. Being Mage, the careless ones don’t survive long.

And yes, the Seers are in town ;)

They drive to Watson’s, which is the Mortuary under the QMC. Outside they are let in by an intern and Watson reveals what he suspected. Holly was ‘corpse masked’, with the true cause of death hidden by magic. She was actually stabbed by a knife, which Da Vinci tries to postcog the knife with a Death/Time spell. The knife is a ceremonial looking knife, with no obvious supernal imagery on it – and he draws a rough sketch of the thing. Watson suggests that she may have been killed over that Orb, when he is interrupted by Silence. She walks in and asks for a report on the dead body, noting that the Sentinels are interested. Among the frosty exchange the players excuse themselves and go home.

Gwydion goes back to the Police Department and mentions this ‘Dante’ to his Chief Inspector. The Inspector, clearly afraid under Mind Sight, tells him to drop it, as well as to report to a Murdoch this evening. With directions in hand, and putting the coin in evidence (but keeping the notes) he meets with this Murdoch – in the basement in “Project Indigo”. Upon entering, someone points to a gruff Inspector in the corner of the room (which is covered in suspect boards) who is talking to a red-headed woman in a crisp suit. She is introduced as ‘Jenny’, a reporter. Murdoch says goodbye to her, and explains that the murder is under his jurisdiction now, and Gwydion is to handover the case and debrief at 9 on Monday (it being a Friday night). We leave Gwydiin this session going over Holly’s Notes in his apartment.

This is the introduction of Project Indigo, a police investigation that the Seers totally haven’t been keeping an eye on. They case all the paranormal stuff that occurs away and try to solve it. Think Gene Hunt meets Karrin Murphy of Dresden File fame.
Jenny is a Sleepwalker. Hopefully she’ll arrive at some point again, when Gwydion becomes an established Mage. This is a plot hook for Gwydion, if his player wants to be the ‘defender of Sleepers’ schtick.

On the other hand Pinion is reading in the Sanctum, where he is interrupted by Fraser, Galeas and Venkman – who drag him out onto the town, citing the new guys should socialise! (and Galeas as well).

Meanwhile, Da Vinci tries to call Holly’s ghost at the murder scene (which is opened again) – but fails after several attempts. Pissed off, his phone suddenly rings. Weirdly it’s his mother, calling to inform him that his parents are coming up soon, and would love to meet him, to see how his course is going. Agreeing (he has little choice) Da Vinci walks to the student bar, Mooch, and becomes Charles Templeworth to meet up with Sam.

When drinking with his mates, he notices Sam keeps mentioning the caging of man – citing the only way the world can keep going is for the dull to be given their own cage. Suspicious now Da Vinci casts some investigative magic and realises that Sam is a Mage. It’s then the group go to a bar in the city, Pit and Pendulum.

There he meets up with Pinion, and they go to the toilets, for Da Vinci finally being able to tell someone that his best friend is a Mage, and an unknown Mage. It is at this point there is a scream from outside, and Fraser and Venkman burst into the bogs, with excited faces and one word, “Vampire!”

And that’s it! A pretty fun session that flew past, and I finally got into my momentum, which was then lost the next session. Ho hum, but the game definately got three-dimensional for me at least ;). The session included NPC politics, with the Scribe debacle (which is still important at time of writing) and Ritual magic for the space ward being included. Which was an… education. But we’re finally getting the mechancis.

So see you later, with Vampires!

Story 1 - Eyes Open: Session 1

Story 1 – Eyes Open: Session 1

(Italics denote OO’C’ DM musings)
This was the first session, so needless to say the first chunk was taken up by character creation as well as the basics of Magic (which I totally know off by heart…) and explaining the very basics of the setting (more of a recap mostly) to Gwydeon’s and Da Vinci’s players. Pinion’s knows WOD very well, which as a DM is a God Send really as I have someone on the other side of the screen who has enough confidence in the setting to encourage the others.

There will be a fourth player, but he has turned up up – because he wasn’t in the game until the third session.

Anyways, to the action and let the players correct this if I get it wrong!

The characters; Pinion, Gwydion/Darran Williams and Da Vinci are picked up in this story after their Awakenings and trying to get on with their lives, or figuring out how the hell they affecting stuff with their minds.

Now I need to get the details of this out of them…

Pinion is indroduced to Quark who explains that he is, “a wizard” after one of Pinion’s lectures (Pinion and Quark teach at the Uni in the physics department) and offers to explain this new life to Pinion, who agrees. Gwydion is a detective in the Nottinghamshire Police Department, and after that night is somewhat confused. A police officer walks into his office and explains this turn of events and inroduces himself as Lestrade. Da Vinci on the otherhand is a trustfund baby, currently a fresher arts student and slightly weirded out. After one class he finds a hulking rough looking chap outside who gruffly asks him if he is who is his – stating that he’s had some weird dream involving a Tower. Da Vinci, slightly intimidated confirms this and is led to a bar, where Ivaldi explains what he is – quite gruffly and too the point.

Da Vinci player was amazingly scared at this point with Ivaldi – he’s a big teddy bear usually, honest..

Then we skip a few months, the trio have been training under their various orders, Pinion is studying hard under a group calling themselves Free Councillors, who are eccentric at best. They, of course, the Baker Irregulars. Meanwhile Da Vinci and Gwydion are being inducted into the Arrow (much to Da Vinci’s surprise) and whilst Gwydion is finding it hard, Da Vinci is finding for the first time that he can’t pay his way out of doing something and get’s trounced by Yomiko in a spar, much to the the Adamant Brotherhood’s amusement.

We had a montage scene, I was pleased.

After a week in hell, for some, the characters are initiated into their orders, with the Arrow’s being a sombre ceremony culminating the giving of a small signet ring with a pair of four arrows crisscrossing motif on it, and the ‘knighting’ of Gywdion and Da Vinci.

The intiation ceremony for the Bakers is less formal, with Pinion sitting in a oub with the Cabal listening, with a polite smile, to the Cabal raising their drinks with Quark happily explaining the Supernal significance of a simple pub scene – proving in so many ways the philosophy of the Libertines is right.

Gwydion, Da vinci and Pinion are told, after their ceremonies, that they will now be taken to a ‘Consilium Meeting’ and introduced to one/two other new mages with the intention of forming a new Cabal by their Masters; (Bouda, Ivaldi and Quark respectively.

They are told to meet at Wollaton Hall, which they arrive at individually. They are met on the door by seemingly a Knight In Shining Armour, Galeas, and tall, thin hooded figure with an executioner’s sword and a strange mask with only eyes and mouth slits in the blank metal mask. They are checked then let in by Galeas where they make their way to the function room where about 30 odd men and women are arrnage in about 5 groups, talking and wearing the most ecclectic groups of clothing.

They are met by their respective orders, and Pinion meets for the first time the illusive Shaw. The evening progresses where the trio are finally introduced to each other with an awkward start of conversations, which is thankfully interrupted by the Herald, Charon calling for order.

This is basically the first game of proper Mage I have ever run, so coupled with nerves and inexperience I didn’t particularly like how the Consilium came across, I wasn’t exactly subtle. Ho hum, I feel (the time of writing is after session three) that I’ve got better, and I haven’t forgotten who the Herald is. Hopefully now the next Consilium meeting will be far more fun and interesting.

The group is introduced to the concept of ‘Reports’, a hangover from the Wizard’s War that the Heirarch, Antonius, hasn’t got rid of. Each Cabal gives a report on their activites within Nottingham, with more sensitive information only eluded to. One member, traditionally the yongest, gives the report – though the trio are spared this embarassment. The highlight (for the players) is the Irregualars’ report, given by Fraser with a clipboard is a long, winding, exhaustive list of activities (mundane and important) that lasts for half an hour before the Heirarch cuts her off, clearly annoyed at something that apparently happens regularly. In this the trio hear muffled laughter behind them, coming from a shabbily dressed, short old man in a tweed suit – who kindly smiles back at them without a word.

The Heirarch gives a curt speech on the professionalism needed in Mage-kind, whilst almost staring down a grinning Fraser; behind Antonius are the councillors, with various expressions of disapproval or amusement (provided by Quark). After this closing speech the trio reconvene with at least something to talk about, with only an interruption by Shaw, who stares at Gwydion and mentions “interesting” with a Mage Sight on. They are then introduced to Scribe, the ‘Scribe’ of the Consilium. She asks that they meet her at their new Sanctum at 10 AM tomorrow, to go over the paperwork of their new Cabal and the Sanctum details, and bids them good night.

With this, weird, happening they decide to call it a night and retire to their home, or to work in the case of Gwydion. When Da Vinci arrives he is met by nervous excitement back at the Hall of Residence, with his mate Sam excitedly explaining that a girl has been murdered by the lake. His significence sense (non-supernal) tingling, Da Vinci goes down to see what’s up, calling Pinion. Gwydion arrives back at work, and is imediately sent to a murder scene by his Chief Inspector.

Oh yeah, instead of meeting at a pub, I’ve got the party to join over a student murder. Welcome to the World of Darkness

They party join at the scene, which Gwydion waves the two through citing they’re outside experts. The scene has several point markers over the gravel expanse that looks over the lake to the Trent Building, with the Campus Gate behind them. As well as a discarding satchel, a trail of disturbed gravel leads to a white tent; covering, presumably, the body. As the three enter, the Medical Examiner turns around to reveal has the laughing old man in the Consilium meeting. He is pleasantly surprised and introduces himself as Watson.

Right that’s it, the session actually went on for an extra half and hour, but it cuts better, narratively, this way. Be back soon ;)

I’m musing, now I’m actually writing the session notes whether to get the players make their own character specific session notes to make this easier… Hmm, what do you guys think?


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.