- Magical Nuns
A magus Trianoma who travels the tribunal to keep tabs on magical traditions outside the order contacts the covenant. He has noticed a new hedge tradition arising, something as interesting as a form of holy magic. Something said to not be hampered by the Dominion, or even may utilize the aura here. The snag is that the hedge magi are based in a nunnery because they are all nuns! The Trianomite comes to the player magi because one of said nuns is one of their former covenfolk. So apart from the obvious difficulties of using magic in the Dominion, the fact that the nunnery is a somewhat closed community, and the troubles with men visiting, the player magi also have to find those elusive hedge magi as well as approach them diplomatically if they want to forge good relations. But several of the hedge magi nuns know of the more aggressive 'join or die' clause from the early days, so they have preconcieved antipathy for the order. And several of their practices seem dodgy, which may warrant an closer inspection. Which they will resist! In the end this may escalate or even open up for infernal corruption - which would the the ultimate insult for the nuns.
Just wanted to generally give you positive feedback Cool story ideas - hope you keep having fun writing them, because I have fun reading them!
Much appreciated. Yeah is was fun, both the challenge bit by pushing one self to coming up with idead every day (or cheating slightly with several ideas on one day, but that was mostly for catching up) and by actually trying to turn the aspects of Mythic Europe around so I could cover many bases previously untouched. And who knows, maybe I one day need to whip up a story at gunpoint, in which case I hope I have an internet connection so I can look up all this...
- Envy and Sloth
Two demons have made a competition of seeing how many peasants they can corrupt and drive to sin over the course of a the spring. The demon of Sloth has chosen a small farming village close to the covenant, their lord of the manor is a knight known to and fairly well liked by the covenant. By possessing an individual peasant he urges the others to try and relax, since things are going too well to worry about. The demon of Envy chose some farmland worked by lay brothers of a nearby monastery which is a major thorn in the side of the magi, since the abbott is a busybody and thinks magic is the work of the devil. He creates fortunate eents and windfalls for a few of the brothers, and posseses one of them to speak ill of this to fuel feelings of envy and jealousy. Both projects go quite well, but much depends on what kind of investigation and intervention the magi think of. By switching victims of the possession often the demons keep the in the dark of who the bad apple is. This may also lead to him eventually winning them all over because the original possession victim is left to his own free will while another possessed farmer whispers corrupting words in his ear. The Envy demon suddenly changes tactics and starts to create windfall for the peasants in the village plagued by the Sloth demon.A lot of it! This is not contrary to their rules of staying out of each other's villages, he conjures up his boons outside it. So it is suddenly easier for the lazy peasants to do nothing, but the other farmers get even more envious. It's a bit of a gamble but the Envy demon thinks he will win. By now the knight and abbot are both involved in solving the problems, and eyes turn to the magi. How will they proceed?
- Guild Negotiations, part 1
A chance visit to a major city lets some of the magi see the remarkable quality and quantity of various craftsmen which their locale is short of. This will most likely primarily be glass blowers and smiths working finely detailed tools for the lab. But it may also be almost any other kind of craftsman useful forcreating magical devices, be it weaponsmiths, jewelers, or even artists like sculptors. The craftsmen are ready and willing to make good deals, ut they are bound by rules and prices dictated by their guilds. If the magi try to corner the market by buying every item of a certain kind the giild will step in. Magi may easily get the bright idea to recruit craftsmen and bring them home, but this is something that will really tick the guilds off! By promising a good workshop and better raw materials than otherwise (magic can do a lot of this easy). So the magi either need to conform tothe restrictive rules or try and bend them. They might find craftemsn who were kicked out of the guild for various reasons and get away with them. But they left the guild for a reason, and these problems continue. They might pick up brilliant apprentices nearing the end of their training, or journeymen who lack the funds ans connections to set up shop of their own. Or they may get ahold of the daughters of craftsmen who are well trained but cannot be accepted in the guilds (note that women could work their trade in the name of their fathers or husbands).
- Guild Negotiations, part 2
All these problemsfrom 'Guild Negotiations, part 1' aside, this finagling among the craftsmen causes some disruption in the work a Verditius magus has commishioned. Or perhaps an aprpentice is taken home who he had his eye on as forge companion. In any case he will try to raise hell about this. Unfortunately he is very well connected among older and powerful magi, and these connection often buy his works. So there will at the very least be an investigation of Depriving of Magic because his work is disrupted. At least one client is angry his commishion is late and instead of blaming the Verditius he blames the player magi. Because he wants to stay friends woith the enchanter of course, to buy items and get good deals later on. This one is known for being a fighter and may even threaten with Wizard's War. And if the player magi caused trouble in the city and with the guilds there could even be talk of Endangering the Order. Of course these cases are nonsense if viewed by legal minds, but unfortunately sich matters are often ruled by way of what the most powerful magi think. The player magi won't get Marched, but there is certainly the threat of it to rge them to settle and pay the Verditius restitution. Because the only thing he really wants is vis.
- Rivals, Enemies, or Allies?
This seed would work best if one or more of the player magi are Trianomae or Pralicians, or have worked in close cooperation with such magi before. Alternatively the story can take place in an area either of special interest to the player covenant (because of valuable resources or even delicate political matters) or a place requiring special skills to safely traverse (treacherous terrain, hostile beasts or spirits, a regio which needs to be avoided along the way). In either case the story kicks off with the presence of a group of exotic mystics becoming known. Again, it would be best if the player magi will take the bait by themselves because of general interest, rather that the increasingly stale 'threat to magical resources'. The presence of these hedgies could also be known first by important local noble or clerical figures, or even caused by a preemptive investigation launched by a Quaesitor reacting to incidents with low born mundanes needing looking into before the authorities smell trouble and raise all hell.
The hedgies are a small group of Gruagachan (or a local variant relevant to the setting) chose to live reclusively for a reason: The Gift which a few of them have bothers the mundanes and caused tem to be shunned. Naturally they defended themselves and unfortunately a few peasants were cursed. So the Gruagac are ware of anybody approaching them in their hiding place. Especially since they have done a good job of hiding in the first place. The Gift of the magi will also put them off.
So now the player magi need to make a choice: Do they want to investigate in detail (and can they even do this themselves, or will they need external experts?) or simply drive them off? One of the Gruagac have crossed paths by the Order before and do not like the Join or Die philosophy at all. But can they reach some sort of agreement with the magi to find a place to live without bothering the mundanes, the authorities or encroaching on the player magi's land or resources? Or can the magi even learn some useful things from these hedge magi?
Bah! Having started new work is stressfull. Even if I'm not productive yet and as such not busy that way. But there are lots of new things to grasp. Also I'm beginning to forget what I started out writing, so I hope I don't write the same seeds more than once.
- Expanding churchlands
This story seed underlines the importance of a covenant to have good connections or agents, or even better active social companions, in various segments of mundane society - namely the church. Because such a character will get clues about an enterprising monk in a nearby abbey and his plans fo expanding the farm land worked by them. The monk - Brother Theo - has studied engineering and farming and has convoinced his abbott to approve of his plans. The area in question are wild lands whicn are presumed interesting to the magi but as yet untapped. Theo needs to scout first, then make specific plans about the engineering projects. This will be something like building a bridge across a river or gulley to get access to the potential farmland. Or it could be the building a road across steep hills, or even draining wetlands. Afterwards the forest will be felled for lumber to build a village and the shrubland burnt to fertilize the soil. The project need not be about farmland it could be as exotic as a mining operation or gaining access to a natural harbour at the coast where the approach from land is difficult.
With the information learned this early the player magi have cances of working against the plans or perhaps ently nudging them away from parts vital to the covenant or individual magi. This becomes especially intrigueing if thew player magi have different oppinions of what is to be done, e.g the old Wilderist vs. Harmonist theme.
If the magi are less socialble and more reclusive they will not learn about the plans before the scouting mission is well under way, assuming they have wilderness magi or other personel prowling the untamed lands.
The physical acts of foiling the plans can be done in a myriad of ways, and should not be too doffocult for the magi. Especially because the entire project takes years so they have time in the labs to develop countermeasures. The real challenge lies in not attracting unwanted attention and somehow getting the plans discontinued or moved to another location. Many kinds of twists can be added later for increased challenge. The monk or even the abbott can be diabolists wanting to create a haven for sin. The Quaesitors can be called in to investigate Meddling with the Mundanes or Endangering the Order if the magi setp out of bounds. Or rivals to the player magi can push this along just for spite. The area can turn out to contain something extremely valuable or dangerous.
Or alternatively the magi can cut their losses to avoid dealing with the church. They can harvest what vis they can, perhaps some of the sources can be moved (if they are animals or plants), or they can be completely razed for a final yield much higher than the amount which can normally be removed for sustainable and continued use.
- The ghost in the tomb
The player characters stumble across a tomb built for heroic warriors some hundred years ago. They may be following up on a lead from the locals while travelling or something they found mentioned in a text (like a Redcap's notes). The tomb is haunted is the essence here. The tomb was built by a magus long gone to honor his brave grogs. Inside the tomb a large subterranean complex is found, and every effort is made to make it look like it is trapped. Only it's not! And the place is filled with tricks and deceptions like dead ends, fake sarcopagi, dummy vaults etc. The ghost in the tomb is a faerie playing the part of a ghost of one of the heroic warriors. The area gets very cold just as this invisible ghost approaches and it gives quick glimpses of itself, as a transparent warior in full gear. It attacks by using Mentem powers to strike fear in the hearts of intruders and use it death cold touch to fatigue. It gains Vitality from the precautions and countermeasures taken against it and will act as if effects like Lay to Rest the Haunting Spirit works. Only it doesn't because even if the faerie is affiliated with Mentem said spell is magic based. The solution of defating the ghost will be by piecing together the text and pictures carved into the tombstones and trying to get the ghost do deal with th death of it's body and resolve any unfinished business. But the three dead grogs should appear to have conflicting lives which could be unfinished. One was a family man, his unfinished business could be about him knowing his family is safe. Another enjoyed good wine and song so he needs a final offering and performance. The third one was betrayed by a servant and wants revenge over his descendants.
- Faux pas
On a journey to foreign parts the group stops for a few days in a peaceful town or city and give the servants and guards some time off. But the very next day they recieve word that one of the younger grogs has been arrested for a grave offense. After looking a bit into it it turns out he has made amorous liaisons with a young women of good birth just as she was on the verge of entering the religious life. In general things should be blown completely out of proportions: Envision corrupt officials, nobles prone to emotional outbreaks, clerics using every opportunity to preach moral behaviour, and bureaucracy of almost kafkaesque nature. Eventually smart player characters will get to the core of the problem and realize the affair was very innocent and nothing more than sneaking into a garden to meet in secret and hold hands. The aggrieved father can even be convinced he overreacted by reminding him that he was once a passionate youth and ask him how we in fact went about meeting his future wife back then. But by this time the odds are that the investigation and intrigueing to solve the case has offended someone else, and new problems arise with even more important citizens. Crimes may even have been committed in trying to crack the initial case.
Whoa, I'm really starting to run out of ideas. If ever I could be accused of ripping off something else now is the time...
23.Impressing the King
In conjunction with travelling to a far away land the player characters need to impress the local leader to get permission to pursue their project. It could be access to a library or other building, permission to scout the surrounding lands, to trade, to establish a chapter house, merchant house or workshop, or almost anything. The SG needs to decide how to best get in the leader's good books. He might appreciate fine arts and sophisticated poetry, it might be good food and wine, humorous entertainment, gladiatorial fighting, dancing girls, or hunting. Whatever is the case the information about his tastes it quite sparse since he lives so far away. Thorough investigation - like finding traders who have been there, and researching the history and culture of the lands - should give good pointers. The player characters going on the journey need to prepare and bring along the apporpriate people and props. This would be most fun if the entertainers or whatever are PCs as well rather than just hirelings. Being a rich man simply gifting him valuables will not work, he will simply give them a valuable gift back, thus resulting in a status quo. But rare and exotic gifts might work well. They also have to decide whether is is apporpriat to use magic and if so how overt. Clever use of illusions or manipulation of physical elements could be ideas. The journey in itself could be a challenging story, more so if the player magi have to defend artists who are completely incompetent in taking care of themselves on a long voyage, or if they have to transport delicate or inconveniately sized objects. When they arrive the main event here is making the performance or handling the delivery of a gift well. The process of gaining audience at the leader in itself could be quite an endeavour. For further drama there could be rivals there as well. Known in advance or completely unknown ones. Rivals going for the same favour or perhaps seeking something that inadverdently will foil the PCs plans. And finally the rivals may be fair and moral individuals or they may use every underhand way possible to sabotage the PCs.
- Heavy Weather
A fairly powerful Daimon who is the embodiment of a terrilbe storm has sent forth an aspect and the resulting weather is switching between ravaging the countryside and simply drawing attention by freakish events. To begin with the path of the storm is through relatively unimportant and remote areas, and this is where the player magi notice it. The further path can be predicted with some accuracy, but it may veer off course once in a while. By use of magic the effects of the storm can be mitigated and damages repaired but this is not something the magi can keep up. The Daimon can be negotiated with but not readily persuaded to stop since the only thing it really wants is to cause raging storms. But the path can be altered depending on their persuasive skills, so major settlements and important sites can be avoided. Clever magi can utilize this to bother their rivals or enemies though this may have legal repercussions. Since the weather phenomena are quite powerful, and the effects cause some vis to manifest, the Daimon must spend might to keep this up so natural pauses will need to come up while it regenerates. Apart from seeking the vis left behind the storms themselves can be used as Significatos for study (see Covenants). If an agreement can be reached where the Daimon only causes storms in limited areas chosen by the magi this can becone a great boon for them.
- A Bloodline for Breeding
An old nobleman, kind and sympathetic of sorts to the Order, is at the end of his days. Childless for many years it was not until his third wife he was blessed with a child. The wife although young died in childbirth, and she was somewhat of a special case, of interest because of certain special abilities. The child was a girl and once if became plausible to the magi that she may very well possess the Gentle Gift she is a bit on the old side to start Hermtic apprenticeship. As the nobleman's only child she will need to find some suitable nobleman to marry. The nobleman has a sof spot for her and does not want to force her to marry against her will, so he encourages her to join a nunnery. But since the Gift is most likely string in her bloodline the magi might want to urge her to mate with a suitably Gifted man. To make matters worse a Jerbiton who mantained ties to his mundane, noble family enters the scene to try and foist her off to one of his own family. But is he in it for the landa and political power? Or is he trying to breed for the Gift?
- The Demure Maid and the Wicked Witch
By one of their noble relations (or clerical or well-off merchants) the player characters are asked along to visit a nobleman of some significance - like a Baron - to help him with the problem of his extremely depressed daughter. If she is ever to be advantageously wed (let alone live a good life) she needs to be cured of her disposition. Of course the Baron has already had priests and doctors try but without luck. And the girl really is stand-offish, quiet, speak the absolute minimum, hardly eats or drinks anything, and in general takes no interest or even notice of anything. Visiting at the same time as the player characters are entertainers from all walks of life, doctors, mystics and what have you. Dpeending on the bravery of the player characters they might risk using magic. If they do a little digging aroudn they will eventually realize that the Baron might be a little aloof about such things, he still shows a lot of respect for highly skilled individuals no matter how bizarre (as long as it is not blatantly dark magic or blasphemy). His wife enjoys such displays very much. But even fantastic magic fails to get through to the daughter, although very skilled people persons detect a faint glimmer of interest one night only to have her be returned to her near catatonic state the next day. Investigative magic reveals no mystical effects upon her, no mind alterations, but can detect strange bruises and scars both old and new hidden below her prudent clothing. If she can be covertly kept tabs on at night she undergoes a dramatic transformation at the dead of night. Her pale, buttoned down demeanor changes abruptly to a wild, sensual and unhibited style. She smears herself with a flying salve and flies out her window to join a witches sabbath in the forest where she performs pagan rituals with her fellow witches and feasts with men with the heads and hindquaters of goats. This whole deal reeks of diabolism but the dark arts she is learning are merely tainted by this, they are in fact faerie in nature. These faeries have resurrected some of the old ways and are leading young, innocent girls astray. They derive vitality from both the interaction with their victims and the witchcraft they perform as well as the countermeasure taken against them, which is most likely the next stage since they know they will be found out eventually. By searching the surrounding vilages and manors several others girls in the same situation can be found. Their powers of witchcraft was granted to them as long as they took no joy in life during the day. They have strong resistance aginst such actions because they really want their witches powers, but this is the easiest way to rid them of this curse.
- The Ghost Ship
The covenant knows a ship captain they use for a lot of travel and who procures a lot of their supplies. At some point they ask him to take them on what seems like a routine journey to a place where no major events are expected. And he tries his best to get out of the deal! He tries everything from trying to talk them out of it, arranging better alternative transports for them, or even outright lying and attempted faked sabotage of his own ship. Something here simply does not add up. Eventually he falls in line. Nearing the destination thick gof hampers the approach and suddenly a ghostly pirate ship chases them down and boards them! There will be fighting before any kind of diplomacy is possible but cldever charactrers realize the ghistly mariners want the captain. It turns out they were once a military ship tasked with hunting down pirates but sadly they died on the job. The captain has some explanation to do as to why the ghosts target him. The ghosts are ready to take everybody below the waves for an undersea trial, and no they will not provide any means of breathing! A settlement can perhaps be reached if the magi promise that the captain will stand trial, but justice must be dealt to everyone in connection with this. But since they have been the recipients of many of his stolen wares they might now face other problems.
28.The Secret Tribunal
Prior to this story there have been some major political issues and changes in power going on over the last few years. Some new powers are arising in the form of covenants maturing, the skills and influence of their magi have come to full potential, their vaults and libraries are burtsting with resources. The player covenant may be one of these. At the same time the old powers are stagnating and on the way down. Changes are coming, welcome by some and dreaded by the rest. There are some ongoing political issues which don't warrant an immediate March but must be dealt with at the next Tribunal some years off, or a settlement reached within this time.
The story starts out with some minor disruptions in the delivery of letters by the Redcaps, they are late and arrive slightly confused altough they maintain that nothing has happened. To tip the scales one of the player magi are missing a delivery by the Redcap, who upon investigation remembers nothing about this item (book, lab text, vis etc.) but the person sending it swears it was sent. The Redcap's memory appears to have been tampered with just slightly, and this has in fact happened for several other covenants. If the matter is taken up all covenants suddenly recall odd things, although the old powers only tell of this upon question while the new powers participate active in the investigation of this. If questioned further some of the Redcaps tellt hat one of their major routes was suddenly changed by their leaders, it seems a particular area is avoided. This matter is brushed off by the chief Redcap who says it is a precaution because of some road faeries who cause travelers to lose their way, forget their business and so on. Come to think of it this problem is most likely more widespread than anticipated given the irregularities with the mail. He thanks for the information and asks that the player magi don't take the matetr further themselves, better to be handled through official channels and as such every magus and his dog shouldn't go in the way. If the player magi don't take the bait right away on this one or more of the major political magi from the new, arising coveants will ask them to work together on an investigation.
The real scope is that some bad apples among the magi have called for an emergency tribunal. They have sent invitations with due warning to all magi but have made sure the letters only reach the ones they want to come, who support their views and the changes they want to make. Remember that if 10 magi show up, 4 covenants are represented, and there is a quaesitor the Tribunal is legal!
In this version it is the Praeco, grand Quaesitor and chief Redcap - all old and stagnating powers - who are in cahoots. This kind of crome most likely warrants Marching them once this plot is discovered so if the SG is not ready to sacrifice these it should simply be orchestrated by other magi, but including a Quaesitor and at least one Redcap of significant influence. They are doing this for the good of the Order - their order of things that is! The plot could even be switched around so it is the new, arising powers who are struggling and are too ambitious.
Ideally the player magi realize this and muster enough magi from their political side and show up just in time to have someone demand a vote as to whether the whole Tribunal should be held all over again with the next-oldest magus as acting Praeco (which incidentally is one from the player magi's side). This may be a good idea because the issues raised at this secret tribunal made changes which keep the new powers in line, and there are also several cases against magi from the player magi's side who stand trial for various offenses (which may or may not be set-ups), but as they failed to show up sentence was passed against them in their absence. Naturally all these rulings are overturned on the new tribunal, the culprits of the plot stand trial and are easily sentenced. The new powers arise much faster now, the old powers stagnate even further as their leaders are Marched, severely fined or sent in exile and their covenants lose their clout.
- A Perfect Secondary Location
The player magi discover an magical area previously unknown and not claimed by anyone else. At first some challenges must be dealth with since the area is protected by both difficutl terrain and some kind of monster. But this isn't the scope of the story though, the decisions needing to be made by the magi about this place is the important event. The place is protcted by terrain as well as some creature which once dealt with could provide protection for the place, provided the magi use diplomacy and reach an agreement allowing them access rather than merely slay the beast. Inside this place there is a weak magical aura and healthy environment but also a magical regio with a much higher aura. There are sources of vis, interesting flora and fauna (or spirits) to investigate or utilize, possibilities of Significatos and in general everything a covenant might want. But it is by no means located close enough for the player covenant to claim the vis sources. On the plus side it isn't placed too close to other covenants for the sources to naturally belong to them, but it is close enough for the resources to become contested in time. The player magi could claim the area as a chapter house if the Tribunal this happens in supports this establishment. Otherwise they could form a completely new covenant - if in Normandy this could become a Vassal to them. But either way they would need to work hard and spread their rime and resources thin. Alternatively they could move if this new location seems better than the old one. But what about the old location then? Should it become a chapter house? For a variation of this the new location could instead be a faerie area to spark interest among any Merinita magi in the covenant, who might want to relocate their labs to this place. The challenge/protector should be a powerful faerie or group of faeries. This story not only gives ample possibility for inter-magus play it can also spin off various political issues with both the Order and any mundanes in the area.
Aaaaaaan the grand finale, last day of November unless I'm much mistaken
- Between the Shadow and the Darkness
On the way to a story based in a city, castle, or among people the group get caught on a mountain road by bad weather. They find a cave to seek shelter in and stay the night. There appears to be a passage to further caves but it is blocked by a cave-in, flooded or something. The adventure they have set off on is åressed for time so the cave must wait. During the night evil shadow spirits seep forth from crevices in the rock and steal the shadows of the player characters. This isn't immediately noticed in the morning and msot of the day there is dim light and cloud cover to hide the fact that noby casts a shadow anymore. There is also the side effect of negative behaviour which may tip the PCs off that somethign is amiss. The missing shadow means people revert to one or more f the following personalities: surly, pessimistic, depressed, sarcastic, give up in advance, feel the entire world is aginst them etc. resulting in a -3 modifier for social interaction and most mental endeavours. Also nobody can spend Confidence! They had better try hard to prevent other people noticing their lack of shadow.
After the story in the city, which will be much harder due to the effects of the missing shadow, the cave can be sought again. Oncethe cave-in of flooded tunnels are braved they enter a large, old, and abandoned mine complex. The shadows live here and freak the player characters out by using illusions of falling rocks, evil gnomes, eerie sounds, foul stenches and so on. Eventually the shadows are found in a large cave. In darkness they are weak but virtually impossible to sense and can move freely at great speed. As the amount of light increases - provided to is from only one or few sources - their outlines will become more well defined, they grow stronger but must move bound by human limitations. Their powers are of illusionary nature but also a few mental effects to create fear, mistrust or e.g. making a grog think one of the magi is a shadow. They are spirits of the magic realm associated with Imaginem, and so may be affected by Vim or Imaginem. If they are completely surrounded by light from all sides they will be destroyed. At this point the player character will get their shadows back, can immediately spend Confidende again and the mental effects wear off within a handful of hours. Should the shadows be engaged in conversation and negotiation they will act as if they are responsive but will only be lying. They might promise return of the shadows if the player character take on some dangenous quest but will not uphold their end of the bargain. It may be something involving going into an Infernal regio and destroying a demon, which is made harder by the effects of missing the shadow.
Well done Christian, well done!
Thank you. But I may very well not try this crazy stunt again! I think November next year I'll just grow a god damn mustache like everybodu else (no matter how daft it may look!)
But if anybody can use these I'll be happy to hear about it.
Also if they have inherent flaws which can be remedied for future use.