[After the Fall] Support and Saga Discussion

Ok, Saga is up to date until this Friday's game - the end of the prelude, and the beginning of the Saga proper.

All the apprentices will get a good reputation for their overwhelmingly good performance in the Archmage's Challenge.

Reylar will get a bad reputation for his outrageously failed Gauntlet.
Reylar will also be getting a Warping point for his travails and presence next to his Mistress as she entered Final Twilight.

I can see two possible designs. PeMe "Reduce all of a person's mental capabilities", a milder version of Black Whisper or CrMe "Put a thought or emotion into another's mind.", a variation on "Pains of the Perpetual Worry".

As for R/D/T, you can either base it on Black Whisper, or use Bjornaer Sensory Magic to affect everyone that hears the riddle (unlikely for Astarte).

In ArM4, "Catching Laughter of the Fay" (WGRE Faerie Magic) had provisions to have the spell effects propagate, but I don't think that's feasible in ArM5.

The Mind-Boggling Riddle:
PeMe 25: Base 10, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +1 no gestures.
CrMe 15: Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +1 no gestures.

I think the PeMe version is more likely though.

I don't think that's really warranted: they only had other apprentices to defeat, after all. Their covenant as a whole should get some prestige from the Intellego tome, though.

Definitely. "Illegitimate" (like the Illegitimate Lineage flaw in HoH:TL) sounds good. Astarte's past apprentices might also not be very happy that he thus soiled her memory. Or, disturbed as she was, she might have left an adulteration or two behind her. :wink:

THe good reputation I was thinking of what something along the lines of "New Mages to watch" or "Young up-and-comers" - I mean, they did win each contest, and it wasn't really due to the story favoring them, though lucky dice did help here and there.

I figure if an something is going to get even a little of the Order's attention on you, it'll be a big event at Durenmar.

Basically, I see other mages for the next Tribunal remembering them as 'Ah, yes - that group of young mages who won every contest, earned the tome, and might be worth watching."

But hey, YMMV.
Thanks for your comments as always.

Phoo... so this next game the covenant falls apart. The Masters die. The Brass Head crashes to earth as the top of the tower explodes, and Korva/Minae Magnus make off with it, the apprentices powerless to stop her (?)... and thus does the true Saga begin.

So, if they're good wizards, and not crippled due to attacking Minae Magnus, they'll probably see what can be salvaged of the library. Then, I'm assuming they'll take off for their new covenant, with whatever grogs survived. I believe the Pfalzburg is the site that they liked from its description. We'll see. They'll have little in the way of funds to get there...

Any ideas for good 'struggling on the road' storylines? Anything they might need to take into account? Anything about ground travel of the time that might be interesting?


Remember that exerting yourself while wounded is bad for your health. How familiar are the mages with day-to-day logistics? Tolls, legitimate or not, are always fun. Not to mention the social effects of the Gift: you've taken away their sheltered life.

If you've read the end of Chapter 8, you see their life is indeed no longer sheltered, and they're in a bad way. Their intention is to try and travel to the Rhine Gorge and then send to Durenmar for the promised assistance, but this will be less than they expect, though Caecilius' library will arrive.

However, Lorenzo's wound may necessitate a season spent letting him heal, which will push their journey to early Fall. This will be a point of some debate, I imagine.

Additionally, they have so far dismissed any attempts to find salvage in the ruined tower, but it may be that if they are stuck there for a few months, they may venture forth. The library will be mostly ruined, but some useful things may be found. They are definitely missing the healing beds now buried and burned in the tower.

Also, I need to decide what the "Red Eye of War" - Victor's final bequeathment to Magnus does... let me see... Ruber Oculus Bellum... or something cool in Latin...

Any thoughts, feedback, or other concerns, post away, anyone...


Whoa, that's rough. There's going to be an investigation for sure.

:laughing: At least your players seem to have taken well to spontaneous magic.

I WILL BE BACK! :slight_smile:

So now, both the Quaesitores and the Church are aware that Three Silver Rings had dealings with the Infernal? Smart move. There are obvious possibilities there. Though with Maximus' Diabolic Past, it was certainly in the cards.

There's an opportunity to saddle them with a chaplain. Not only their bodies are at risk, but after a brush with the Infernal, so are their souls. No friar worth his salt would leave them without guidance:

Were they to send him away, it would only prove that the taint of the Infernal is upon them.

Uh. Casting spells when wounded is a bad idea, seeing as how it can cause your wounds to worsen.

And the Church was historically wary of minstrels. Can you see a theme developing there? :slight_smile:

Honestly, it's for the good of their souls.

Plus with her Venus Blessing, she might have to start fending off (possibly noble) suitors. The line between line between Venus Blessing and Curse of Venus is sometime fine indeed.

Right in time to meet a joint ecclesiastic/quaesitorial investigation team and their eager hoplites. Alternatively, since their current whereabouts are known (they haven't precisely kept a low profile), the investigators could find them first.

Dragging Caliana back into the infernal aura could be amusing, what with her susceptibility to infernal powers.

Well, that's the seed for a Mystery, certainly. 8)

So, how do they feel about combat now?

This is a most excellent reason for him to stick around. Potential companion material.

I'm waiting for the inhabitants of Basel to run them out of the barn. After all, they're untrustworthy (gifted) types living in dubious accomodations. Who owns that farm anyway? I doubt the land would be left untended: someone would be more than eager to claim it.


The big question is who would they sell them to?

Is it too early to expect hoplites? :smiling_imp: Who do the salvage rights befall to anyway?

Could it be that the episode with the dancing bear be an attempt for Hell to put hooks into Caliana by having her succomb to the good old sin of pride? Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and all that, you know. And killing people is so counterproductive when you can make a bid for their souls instead. Plus it avoids direct confrontation, drawing attention, having to breach Aegises and Parmae... the kind of things that tend to cramp your style. And gentle-gifted Caliana is the most readily accessible.

I don't know if that's what you had planned, but it's a good post-facto explanation. Your saga seems to already be infernally tainted from day one. :unamused:

To elaborate a bit on my previous suggestion, Victor's eye could be linked to a Mystery. Possibly related to Odin's sacrifice of an eye for knowledge. Or you can relate "Victor" it to Caesar's famous "Veni, vidi, vici", meaning that there would be at least two other mages involved in that mystery. That would explain why Magnus must now be Victor. Could it be linked to the conquest of barbarians by Rome? To the Holy Roman Empire (and the upcoming Mongol invasion)? To the preponderance of Houses with Roman traditions in the Order of Hermes? All in a day's work for a Tytalus magus.

Now, if you want the players to sweat a bit more than they already are, you could have one of the few grogs they have left mention to another that he's received an offer of employment among the count's men. Did any accompany Caliana there when she went to entertain? Have they been paid out of the sum gathered from the sale of the gear? (yes, I was leafing through Covenants this evening, can you tell?)

The dancing bear episode is more or less a place holder for a plot. It could be infernal, indeed. The bear might not be a bear. I could spin a number of plots out of it, but have not yet decided on one. Non-hermetic shapechanger? Twilight Bjornaer? The Pride Lure you mention... we'll revisit it, for sure.

I'm also not sure which way I want to go with Infernal issues. I don't want the Saga to feel like Tribunal Book: Iberia, so I'm trying to figure out how much Devil is too much Devil. I still need to showcase the Divine somehow.

I like your ideas for Victor's Eye. The Odin connection I had mused on slightly, but the Roman angle is also very cool. I'll need to give this some thought.

The grogs have not been paid AT ALL except in having their daily needs taken care of - which is to say poor food and lodging. Caliana did give Hansa some money to take back to the Barn after her sales - I probably should have mentioned that some went missing.

As it is the five remaining grogs are the 'lifers' - those raised in the Covenant, with no idea of how to live outside of it. This had been noted in-game, and the fact they were getting uppity and given to talking back was noted with some worry by the mages. The grogs probably need to angrily demand back-pay when the covenant is actually settled. With so much other stuff going on in the game, I decided not to complicate the young mages' alreasy complicated affairs...

Thanks as always for your insight!

What do you mean by "showcase"? I'm just curious, though I might be able to help you come up with ideas. If you've already got a strong Infernal component to the saga, the Divine will probably get involved too, whether because the magi seek out its aid or because they simply cross paths. What sort of role do you want the Divine to play?

Heh, there's no need to decide on what it is until absolutely necessary, so long as you can fit it all in a neat little package. And even then, regardless of what they really are, it doesn't preclude the occasional Infernal "nudge" try to cause others to sin. More out of opportunity than advance planning.

You are right, you don't want it to turn into a one-dimensional game. Iberia isn't that bad; it's when it start to looks like Rome that you need to be worried. An opportunistic Hell waiting for them to misstep might be sufficient.

Given their current situation, the most obvious way to introduce the Divine is as a source of respite, giving them back hope that all will be right in the end, so long as they keep faith.

If you keep putting pressure on and harrying the characters, it would make a nice, if clichéd, constrast. Just having a couple things go right for a change might be sufficient, especially after you've made things go wrong during the salvage operation in the Infernal aura that surrounds the covenant's ruin.

If they were travelling by land, I'd suggest you drop them in a regio of the kind of the one featured in More Mythic Places (with a man who has been sitting under a signpost and been helping lost travelers to find their way for the past few centuries).

Speaking of which, are they actually leaving Lorenzo and Friar Andreas behind in Basel?

Thank you. :slight_smile:

There's an opportunity there for your players to all play grogs, either demanding their back pay, or heading out to seek alternative employment, only to find out that a lot of what they took for granted ("what, you don't have magic devices for instantly heating water?") is completely unavailable. And thus they come back into the fold. :slight_smile:

Awwwww. :cry:

Always happy to play backseat GM. :smiley:

Hm, I'd wanted to have some glimpse of the Divine Realm by now. Thus far it's been pretty abstract - "The holy aura of Basel is bad".

I'd wanted to have some sort of interaction. They've dealt with faeries, magical beasts, and the Infernal, it seemed like the time was ripe to glimpse the Divine. I'd considered the 'visit a monastery, fail to rise for Matins, awake to find infernal aura and manifest sins, only to be saved by monks' but it seemed a little wonky.

One vague skeletal idea was to have the Divine and the mages come into conflict over how to resolve a situation, and the Divine turns out to be right. Renaldo's softhearted nature might make this easy.

Thanks for reading along!


Yeah, and it's not very Divine, either. :slight_smile: Though it sounds like a trip to an abbey is in order, or somewhere with a powerful Divine aura.

Perhaps there is something evil about the salvage that the characters took from the Infernal aura? It might be interesting if the stuff they sold came back to haunt them. Maybe it was sold to someone associated with the Church, who recognizes that it is cursed and takes it upon himself to track down the (presumed) diabolists who sold it to the merchant?

Thanks for writing it up. It's really fun to read the game in action like this.

Oh, this smells a bit like Friday the 13th, the TV series, and I love the way it creates continuity and repercussions. I will almost certainly do this!

Thank you! I've just finished the 9th game. Next is the most recent night, Chapter 10. I hope you enjoy it.


Here's Reylar Valerian, Robert's character. He recently died and was resurrected by Astarte's Final Twilight. He may be an adulteration, who knows :wink:

He took this event as a chance to change the character to a different flavor, one he'd have an easier time playing - so a few things have changed in the virtue and flaw department.

He's very interested in finding out who his father is now, and he assumes it's a faery king. I idly keep thinking maybe his father is the King of France, and his mother is some wood nymph met on a hunt. Ah, faerie bastard princes....

Another thought is that his father was the undivided Hycernian Forest spirit. Might be an interesting direction to take things.

Anyhow, he's put in for a Latent Magical Ability. Any ideas?

Reylar Valerian filius Astarte

Covenant: None

Saga: After the Fall

Characteristics: Int +3 (Witty), Per +1 (Sharp), Pre +1 (Attractive), Com 0, Str -1 (Small-Frame), Sta 0, Dex 0, Qik +1 (Fleet-footed)

Size: 0
Age: 26 (19), Height: 5'9'', Weight: 140 lbs, Gender: Male
Decrepitude: 0
Warping Score: 0 (4)
Confidence: 1 (3)

Virtues and Flaws: The Gift, Deft Form (Form: Imaginem), Hermetic Magus, Latent Magic Ability, Strong Sidhe Blood, Second Sight, Faerie Magic, Puissant Imaginem, Fast Caster (Initiative: +3 to cast spells in combat), Personal Vis Source (Muto), Journeyman, Magical Memory, Weird Magic (Botches on Stressed Casting: Extra botch die), Deleterious Circumstances (While touching iron), Faerie Upbringing, Proud, Visions, Careless Sorcerer (Spellcasting: Roll two more botch dice), Curse of Venus

Personality Traits: Quiet +3, Introverted +3, Calm +3
Reputations: Bad Luck Merinita 1, Winner of Caecilius's Challenge 1
Dodge: Init: +1, Attack --, Defense +3, Damage --
Fist: Init: +1, Attack +2, Defense +3, Damage -1
Kick: Init: +0, Attack +2, Defense +2, Damage +2
Soak: 0
Fatigue levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious

Wound Penalties: -1 (1-5), -3 (6-10), -5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20)

Abilities: Occitan 5 (poetry), Organization Lore 3 (18), Brawl 2 (Dodging), Second Sight 3 (regiones) (6), Guile 2 (elaborate lies), Charm 2 (Witty Jokes), Finesse 2 (Imaginem), High German 2 (poetry), Parma Magica 1 (Terram), Penetration 1 (Herbam), Magic Theory 3 (enchanting items), Latin 4 (academic usage), Artes Liberales 1 (rhetoric), Code of Hermes 1 (political intrigue), Legerdemain 1 (picking pockets), Faerie Lore 2 (specific types of faeries) (2), Folk Ken 1 (magi), Woodworking 1 (Decorative Carving), Bargain 1 (hard sell), Intrigue 1 (rumormongering), Awareness 1 (alertness), Music 1 (Harp), Carouse 1 (games of chance)

Arts: Cr 4, In 0, Mu 4, Pe 0, Re 4, An 4, Aq 3, Au 5, Co 4, He 4, Ig 0, Im 8+3, Me 4, Te 0, Vi 4

Encumbrance: 0 (0)

Spells Known:
Aura of Ennobled Presence (MuIm 10) +15
Notes of a Delightful Sound (MuIm 10) +15
Wizard's Sidestep (ReIm 10) +15
Taste of the Spices and Herbs (MuIm 5) +15
Bind Wound (CrCo 10) +8
Curse of the Unruly Tongue (ReCo 5) +8
Piercing Shaft of Wood (Mu(Re)He 10) +8
Doublet of Impenetrable Silk (MuAn 15) +8
Wizard's Communion (MuVi 12) +8
Ward Against the Beasts of Legend (ReAn 14) +8
Restore the Moved Image (ReIm 9) +15
Intuition of the Forest (InHe 10) +4

Oh, one more thing: Robert plans on having the new Reylar learn Auram and be storm-oriented.


By luck, manipulation and doing their best, the mages have managed to get a ridiculous deal on their covenant site.

In short:

  1. They are leased the Pfalzgrafenstein location. They tried for forever, but ended up with the length of their lives. Options to renew may be possible.

  2. The Baron has agreed to restore the castle, but not man it.

  3. Some talk off possibly taking part of the fee for toll collecting was also mentioned. It may well be that they HAVE to, to pay for the tower's rebuilding and the wall restoration.

SO... this begs the question: How much and how long should this sort of work take? Should the Baron be really put out doing this. Thus far I've played him as a reasonable man, and fairly good natured, though slightly suspicious.

Might he raises taxes to pay for this project? Might this earn the mages the resentment of the locals?

NEXT GAME: Some time will have passed - a few weeks, almost a month? Lord Robert has mysteriously vacated the castle, knowing the mages are coming with his premonitions. Lorenzo's player will be taking a companion character until Lorenzo heals and arrives - though the church may make a move upon him.

I want them to finally, after all these months of play, get down to designing their Spring Covenant. That'll take up a bit of time.

I need to deal with the fall of Silver Rings. The monks and the Church know something bad went down there.
I am also going to introduce the "The items sold from the Covenant are cursed" idea, and have the sold items eventually get tracked to the players - most likely by the Church.

Durenmar has also been told the Covenant has fallen to Infernal forces, and an infernalist Tytalus in particular.

Renaldo has TECHNICALLY agreed to a bargain with an infernal force (question for a question? agreed?), though he could perhaps say he did not know what the Brass Head was.

Two of the three books recovered from the covenant's library are written by Minae Magnus.

Lord Robert may have left the books that taught him to deal with demons behind in the new covenant site.

HERE's my question... knowing what little they know, how would the Order proceed, as personified by the Tribunal of Durenmar?

Under suspicion of Infernalism, what steps might be taken? Is there any established procedure? What might I use for story ideas?

As yet, their library is small. Caecilius agreed to deliver their new library (The Intellego Tome and the primers in the arts) when word came of their arrival at a their new covenant. Might he come to warn them? Or arrive after an inquiry has begun?

If you've read this far, you may have thoughts, ideas, and other things I have not considered. Please feel free to aid me in my preparations for the next game of After the Fall!



How this gets investigated probably depends upon the Quaesitor. That is, I imagine someone will probably start sniffing around the former covenant, possibly several magical folks, and what sort of characters they are will probably determine what happens next. At least one of these investigators will almost certainly visit the characters to get a sense of them and see whether they're engaging in any obvious diabolism.

Why, Realms of Power: The Infernal, of course!

Okay, I admit that's not very helpful, because it's not available yet. I do have an idea for you, though. Just as the Church has presumably been put on the characters' trail by the cursed artifacts, how about if a demon or two has found them, too? Suppose those books were cursed as well, inhabited by demons. I imagine they can only affect things that are touching the books while they are within them, but think of all the trouble they could cause, especially when someone starts studying them. By "possessing" the books, it might also make the demons immune to the Aegis of the Hearth.

Yeah, that's a major expense we're talking about here. I can see him having second thoughts about the deal later. He probably shouldn't have accepted, no matter how convincing they were.

If he's going to pay for the restoration, he'll probably drag it out as much as he can. Maybe not raising taxes, but requiring people to work on the castle's restoration.

You cheated yourself out of a story here. :frowning:

If he raised the taxes, yes, that would definitely piss off the locals.

Now, he might argue that he's providing access to the unskilled workforce, but that the mages still need to provide the raw materials, an architect...

Did the players decide what kind of companions they wanted yet?

Well, you can negociate the actual terms of the deal with the Baron with the players when they pick their Boons and Hooks. Let the players decide how soon and to what extent they want their castle to be fixed, and have them pay for it. :slight_smile:

If they sold cursed weapons, an obvious consequence would be increased acts of violence in the region...

Do not tell the players, and have them 'miraculously' appear in the library. Or in Lorenzo's quarters. Either somewhere where they can do harm, or where they could corrupt somebody. Treat them as an NPC. :smiling_imp:

They first need to tell somebody, like the Redcaps, where their covenant is being established.

I'll think some more and try to come up with something. I still have to catch up with what happened in the game (work, you know...)