Antagonists - Queen of Gold and Glass -- Start ideas needed

Hi all,

I'm interested in starting the "Queen of Gold and Glass" story arc from "Antagonists" in my saga, but am having trouble coming up with a suitable starting story, and I wonder if you have any thoughts. None of the intros in the "Queen" text really fit. Basically, one of the queen's faerie minions needs to capture a "symbolic connection" to the maga (something important to her, or if nothing else, an arcane connection), and there needs to be a thematic element of a mirror in the story.

The setting is as follows: It's a solo player saga, who has set herself up as a Guardian of a magical tree in the Harz Mountains in the Rhine. She has rescued the survivors of a village hamlet that had been raided by a clan of wolf shapechangers, and turned them into a mini-covenant. 5 women and about 20 children of various ages, plus an old folk witch who communes with a very old faerie, and isn't around very often. The nearest large town is about a 2 day hike down the mountains, whose main source of income is logging and mining. There are is a large, wealthy monestary about 2 days in a different direction. The surrounding forests are mostly faerie.

I'd like to hear your ideas, but here's one that I'm tinkering with:
The next session is going to have the following side-story. It's been a couple of years since the raid, and some of the widows are starting to get lonely. When a reclusive woodsman moves near the covenant who has Curse of Venus, some of the women start fighting over him. It's possible this woodsman could actually be one of the Queen's minions, and there could be a faerie mirror or pool that the women start using to primp themselves with before visiting him? But what would be the symbolic connection taken from the Maga?

I have not read that one yet, but I if you need a mirror, take a natural one: a pond. If the village is important to her, take the local pond and make it dark and non reflective. Remove the light and shine out of the water, not necessarily the water herself. Just its spendor and leave it dark and sad. A sad pond (perdo vis source?) sounds as a suitable trade off for an important pond. maybe everybody in the covenant gets a sad +1 or quiet +1 personality trait.

Thanks Xavi.
Sorry if I wasn't clear. The Faerie minion needs to capture something of significance from the maga, which she is going to use to craft into an arcane connection against the Maga. I don't think I can use the mirror itself to take the thing, because that will be to obvious, and the maga will just go after it, and then the story will be over.

Several of the examples given in the book were voluntary bargains, where the player gives something insignificant to a faerie, thinking nothing of it at the time.

Hmmm... In my woodsman example, the maga seeks out the source of all the jealous catfighting and asks the woodsman to leave. He says he will, in return for.... what? The maga is pretty attuned to the fey, so she might recognize him as a faerie, and so would probably agree to a bargain for something insignificant. hmmm.... The maga has a rose garden, filled with roses that grow in her magical green-house all year round. Would the gift of one of her roses work? (anyone who's read the chapter.... does this fit the bill?)

How about this idea? Make the woodsman a vampire! He would try to seduce the widows of the forest. If the player wants combat, you could make him to try to attack the maga, and every hit from his claws (he would have natural claws :stuck_out_tongue:) would draw her blood, an excellent arcane connection. If not, then he would agree to go away and leave the widows alone, in exchange for a volunarily given "blood kiss" from her... just to remember her beauty. I also usually give the player an opportunity to "win", not getting the blood, and the idea of the pond could be incorporated if it were an anathema for him... seeing his reflection and all that :stuck_out_tongue:. I would make the details of how to get this information as i storytell, after all, she┬┤s a maga...

I had thought about making the woodsman some sort of succubus-like creature who drains youthful vitality. So as the women start fighting over him, the need for the mirror becomes more important to the story. At first it's about primping, but then it becomes a source of horror, as the women slowly turn into hags.

In fact, the mirror pond itself could be the faerie, whereas the woodsman is it's minion!

The mirror pond has some sort of addictive entrancement power to it, that the viewer needs to look in it before going to see the woodsman. At first, the reflection's beauty is amplified (and the faerie feeds off the excitement). After a few days, the women start to get jealous of each other visiting the woodsman, vying for his attention. At this point the faerie in the mirror starts appearing to the viewer in secret, offering a special salve that claims to restore youth, but which actually steals the it. The more it's used, the more the woman's facial features disappear, turning into horrible butter-like blandness (perhaps this is the origin of the "smoothface" faeries noted in the "Queen" chapter). Now the Faerie feeds off the horror.

Yes, the end result could be combat (with an aquam faerie?), or a bargain. In this case what would the faerie agree to accept? A tear? Intercourse with the woodsman? Hmmm... Breath. If it's an aquam faerie, she can't breath outside of water. So If the maga will give her one breath, she will be able to emerge from her pool and walk amongst the living.

Sounds good. Quite an horror story there.

Thanks for being part of my brainstorming. :slight_smile:

Now I have to figure out the important "beats" in the buildup of the women's jealousy and horror, since there is only one player. I don't want to be in the session with "this happens, and then this happens, and then 2 days later you notice this behavior." I want to keep it subtle, and give the player a chance to interract with the sequence of events, without spoiling the outcome too soon.

(I hate running solo saga's for this reason. It's really tough to play EVERYONE but the single PC, and not have it turn into a list of events. I need multiple players, so there's a chance for them to bounce ideas off each other, and play different roles. But the player specifically asked for a solo saga, as repayment for running an incredible ongoing saga for the last 10 years. It's the least I can do....)