I'm running a new saga where the players have just come together to form a spring covenant and their first task is to explore Calebais. It has been suggested that since they don't have a covenant of thier own, perhaps they could make Calebais liveable once again. Has anyone ever done this with any version of Curse? Any suggestions?
My other question that the 5th edition supplement does not seem to answer is, who exactly when the covenant was maintained, how did the mages keep the tower from flooding? There doesn't appear to be a drainage system and no magic is mentioned that has failed, causing the lowest levels to flood.
Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated!
I haven't, but I know Furion Transsanus (a Master Poster) is currently doing that, and I've seen reference to at least 2 others on the boards doing it. Hang tight, I'm sure some info will be comming your way soon.
I did Storyguide a group that went through Calebais to much fun and pain, we did take some of the Hrools back to our Covenant.
I come to serve!!
I was somewhere else tending to other matters when I felt a sudden surge of energy pulling me...
Well, Anacrondis - welcome to Calebais. An interesting place indeed. and certainly a worthy place to form a new covenant. Quite a project too.
Your second question first. I never thought of any drainage system, though I guess the place might have needed one in any instance, but the reason for the flooding isn't a failure of such - magic or otherwise - rather being a consequence of Crenvalus' last mad raged attack on Pitsdim. He summoned up a big earthquake that didn't only undo Pitsdim but chrashed levels and killed the remaining survivors in the flood. You can read about this in the intro (page 8 - 2. paragraph). This is the reason for the flood - though probably not Crenvalus' intention - rather than any drainage failure. In terms of making the bottom half of inhabitable this makes it somewhat more complicated, since it implies that there is extensive damage to repair to be made before getting rid of the water inside.
Concerning your first question; we are really not - currently - planning to move into the ruins. So in this matter I have no experience. I can however just give you some feedback how I've tackled Calebais so far.
First of I've placed the covenant in a crucial place in larger plot. I have related the fall of the covenant with the time in hermetic history as the skirmishes leading to the Schism War where the Guernici threw the Diedne from the Order and declared an unified Wizard's March on the entire House. The final straw - according to established hermetic traditional in my saga - was the Diedne's ambush and destruction of Calebais, formely the light of the tribunal (which I renamed Lumen to underscore the theme). As the characters delved into the ruins it has become more and more clear to them that the place litteraly self-destructed. A destruction brought on by the hybris and complete power and seclusion of its magi. This theme is very much in tune with the reality of the Schism War and was the reason for my use of Calebais - besides wanting a plot-vehicle to move forward me Schism War-metaplot. Thus I've really run Calebais with much attention to this theme.
We have used incredible number of sessions in that place - divided into two stories - and we are actually still there at the moment. The first time around one of the fallens grogs had in his possesion a magical sword that fell into the paws of the hrools. It wasn't very powerfull in martial terms but it granted the wielder bravery, calmness and the tectical genius of a roman general. Needles to say, when the magi returned a few years later the society of the hrools had evolved tremendiously. One "tribe" had dominated the others. The hrools had been forged into a cohesive people and their lives structured and a strong leadership. Thus even though the magi had grown stronger and had brought a larger expedition party they still had trouble overcoming the hrools. Being many and having a decent enough Might to make many spells difficult to use against them. In the end the magi killed them all in a mighty ceremonial spontaneous casting using cold to destroy (almost )all life within the ruins. Using the ceremonial casting I drew them all into the ceremony - even if not the casting magus - as participants, thus giving them all a sense of responsibility in the death of the hrools and the literal destruction of a budding civilization.. Even the 13-year old apprentice was ordered to taking her part with the 3 full-fledged magi.. Poor girl. And all in all just another hybris enfolds.
Finally I have made layouts for the flooded floors and that'll be our next session together with a more thorough search of the place - now that the hrools will no longer harass or block their doings.
One consideration though - if you haven't started out yet. Be adviced that there is a lot of opposition in Calebais if you use it as stands - so your troupe might be overchallenged if you are not prepared to strenghten their ressources or lighten the opposition there.
Good luck and wind at your backs!
See! We cast Invoke the Pact of Furion Transsanus, a nobel Daimon indeed.
I thought it should be Ars Goetia.
That would be the Devil of minor nuissances and neverending posts!!
On a similar note, of late I have been quite amazed and no less amused to find that I meet certain co-denzidens of my hellish realms rather often here then down below...
Abe - unlike me - seems to have mastered the Ars Autoevocatus... A powerfull thing for any devil to be able to do. And it might be the reason his inferenal labwork has kept his faculties in other matters somewhat diminished.
I hope they set up a second colony somewhere (maybe in a Regio).
If that many critters with Magical Might were killed in one go ,
just think what kind of vengeful Spirit might appear later.
I agree, poor Hrools. In my last campaign, the Hrools became friends of the Magi, and allies against the ghosts on the upper levels. As the Storyguide, I thought it was great fun roleplaying the Hrools and describing their society. Also, one of the Magi, a Merinita who also was half Satyr, learned the hard way how defensive they could be. Also, since I have two ferrets myself, I have the best player "handout" ever. Just put the ferret on the table and lift him up so he stands on his hind legs. Excellent for describing the Hrools.
As for moving into Calabeis, we've thought about it, but the the ghosts should all be removed first, and that takes a while. The Hrools would make interesting covenfolk. So befriend them, don't kill them. Love, not war, and so on!
It took our Magi roughly 10 years to inhabit Calebois in a functional way. The Hrools were a low interest point to our players and slowly dissappeared.
Eh, btr, isn't that a contradiction of terms?...
not in 5th Ed. (And 5th Ed is now the "default" for discussions...)
3rd/4th vs. 5th ed differ in the way you can try to boost a Spont by spending more time and working hard:
4th ed - "spend Extra Time" (2 mins/mag) and add Concentration
5th ed - use "Ceremonial Casting" (15 mins/mag) and add Artes Liberales & Philosophiae
Spontaneous Magic is not confined to previously learnt formulae, but you can still conduct a formal ceremony to invoke the magic... just devise your own to make the magic work well in the circumstances (which is what the AL + Phil addition represents).
Oops! right you aree- my bad!
Well - If I were to invoke Serf's Parma these days I'd have to rename it Slave's Parma (25hrs of work in the last 2 days alone and counting). So thanks to Caribat for clearing me on the "contradiction-charge"
I used ceremonial casting to involve and give the players "ownership"/responsibility in the act of slaying all the hrools even though someone else did the actual magic - having them stand in a circle around the entrance to the covenant each bearing symbols of the elements and such. I splendid possibility due to 5th ed. inginuity - I love it when the rule mechanics can inspire new ideas.
I surely saw potential in the little fellas - and wouldn't have disfavored their survival, but events led in another direction and that door was in the end slammed shut. At times this is as efficient a thing to do to make an impression as to nurture continued threads from stories. The hrools had taken a center stage - especially their nature and their evolvement. In a prior trip to the ruins one of the young magi got seriously wounded and was actually saved and, for a whole year, nurtured back to life by the hrools. It gave him profound insight into their world - and I told him the hrools' story, and Ieremyra's, by a cave painting in the cave where he recovered. The magus had the gentle gift and this in connection with his show of magic power had led them to believe that he was someone somewhat like their creator. Unluckily, when the magi returned to Calebais later they sent a rabid raving flambeau with the blatant Gift to negotiate with the local hrools. The state of his gift alone led them to attack the characters almost on sight and instanteniously ruined any opportunity for coexistance.
But..... after many toils, the key to the destruction of the hrools was, and is, the key to their creation. By stealth the PC made it to the bowls of the ruins to steal from Ieremyra's lab. I deemed the lab notes of her creation of the hrools as arcane connection to them all and by that they were able to craft the magic that smashed through their might and killed them all. Nevertheless these documents are still in the PC's keeping so I'm not entirely sure that they might not some day put these to use... Which might then lead to new breed of hrools. Untill then...
And oh - Ferretz - how awesomely cool. I'm jealous on your pet handout - although I wouldnt plan on keeping ferrets myself.
What a cool story, thanks so much for sharing it. I love hearing about different groups' experiences in Calebais, and this made my day.
I have a pretty good ferret puppet that I've used on occasion. I think it looks particularly cool holding a hatchet.
I've had to made do with scanned and enlargen pictures from the calebais book. Then the captivating scene with the cave paintings, but in the end a dice roll might have made the biggest impression - a hrool achieved an attack advantage on a grog in high 80'ies... killing him in a very grim fashion... (and leaving his before mentioned important sword in the hands of hrool champion Hukla) and really put the hrools into perspective as serious business.
Cheers Erik! Makes me very gratefull to hear that - as wasted as work is making me these days (hence the Slave's Parma ) - spreading a bit of joy on the forum is nice. Especially from someone I owe great kudos for bringing us back Calebais, or Lumen as I've dared to rename her, even if I've abused her a tiny bit.
Well - I'm back in the threadmill in precious few hours so I'll be off again to catch some shut eye. See you all later.
Thanks for the comments all! I appreciate everyone's insight.
Does anyone have scans of the handouts they might be able to post, otherwise I'll need to hit a kinkos...
PM me your e-mail and I'll send them.
Just a thought on one of the original questions of this post:
I would think that a Perdo Aquam/Aurum spell could create a shield over the Calebais Pit to protect it from inclement weather.
Perhaps there's a lab text below that has this spell within it's pages. Or there's a magical device that needs to be investigated and reactivated.
Given the rather fantastic nature of the "inverted tower" of Calebais, I'd think that the original magi would have developed a spell to protect the covenant, rather than a drainage system. It's just more impresssive.
As a sidenote the weather might also be influenced by the aura there?