It is the year 1183.
Deborah has been a maga for 4 or 5 years, depending on how you look at it. In a practical sense, it has been five years, which is how Deborah sees it, being a practical sort. The Order of Hermes sees it as closer to 4 years, starting at the end of summer, 1178. Those nine months spelled the difference between life and death for Deborah. As a maga, Deborah could have been held accountable for the Criamon magus she killed in anger, over placing her child in harm's way as part of a test. As an apprentice, she was held blameless. They still might have killed her but granted her the title of maga instead. Criamon do stuff like that.
As a maga, she has returned home and has pledged herself to her covenant. She has spent the last five years laying the groundwork for her life as a maga. She and her bff have built themselves the most beautiful home in the world! They have made their emotional ties real, that any who have the eyes for it can see. They have put forth the necessary work for them to have a long life together, and have paid the necessary price, of Deborah's fertility.
Deborah is no longer a journeyman, but is not a master yet.
1183-1187: The Years of Coming Forth
Winter, 1183: Deborah makes an aging roll at -21. She reads Magical Properties of Silkworms in Animal and corresponds Creo. Deborah has her first grandchild that she knows of. More grandchildren will be born over the coming seasons and years.
10xp Animal-->15xp; 122xp
Spring, 1183: Deborah invents her first spell, using CrAn. Her lab total is 3+7+18+18+18+9+23+7 = 103. She can invent this at lvl 50, but chooses not to.
CrAn lvl 45 Unleash the Verminous Swarm
R: Sight, D: Sun, T: Group
This spell produces a swarm of vermin of the maga's choice, within range. They will act naturally for the duration of the spell, though many kinds will act aggressively by reflex, and some, like oysters, cannot act at all. These vermin can be controlled or enlisted through other means, as usual. As with rain from created clouds and manure from created horses, the products of these vermin are completely real, and persist after the spell ends.
(base 5, +3 Sight, +2 Sun, +2 Group, +1 flexibility)
Exposure and Correspondence:
1xp Finesse; 18xp
1xp Parma-->2xp; 74xp
1xp Nature Lore; 93xp
Summer, 1183: Deborah invents more vermin CrAn spells!
CrAn lvl45 The Weaver's Website of Woe
This works much like the Weaver's Trap of Webs, but is much nastier. There are a lot more webs here covering the same area, but they are thicker and they are stronger and they are stickier. Breaking free from inside these webs requires a Strength roll of 18, skilled use of an edged weapon can cut through these sturdy, sticky webs, to free someone in 5 rounds, but each round requires a weapon skill stress roll of 9+. A failure means that the weapon got stuck to the webs. A botch means that the wielder either entangled himself or struck the person he is trying to free! Regardless, the webs are so thick and tight that anyone trapped therein will start to suffocate in a Diameter.
(base 5, +3 Sight, +2 Sun, +2 Group, +1 size)
Exposure and Correspondence:
1xp Finesse; 19xp
1xp Parma-->2xp; 76xp
1xp Nature Lore; 94xp
Autumn, 1183: Deborah Walks the Way
Deborah seeks the understanding of Flexible Formulaic Magic and the powers of the natural world come to her aid.
The gatekeeper of the quest is her own ally spirit, who says that she must guard great secrets carefully if she is to be entrusted with them, just as it does. Seeing the wisdom in this, she becomes it, and acquires the Secretive flaw. Her ally is pleased with her and she can feel the trust between them grow.
She then travels to a regio she knows of in Brittany, for she senses through various supernatural beings that she can win a way through to another regio beyond that, and then to a distant land. That place is both more magical and more savage than Mythic Europe, for it is a place in the real world, not the Magic Realm, and the increase in magic is balanced by a decrease in food and water. The creatures there fight desperately amongst each other, yet because the place can support so little life, Deborah immediately sees that nothing is wasted, neither food nor magic. Anything destroyed becomes something new, perhaps a new creature, perhaps part of a nest. She sees more clearly something she already knows, that the spontaneous generation of vermin slowly increases both life and magic. Yet she also sees some wizards, and they behave differently. They destroy, and simply watch what they destroy. They grow wiser yet their wisdom sustains nothing real. Deborah knows that her task is to choose sides. Enraged and determined, she raises the creatures and wipes out the wizards. She can do this in honor, for they are not of the Order. These are Hedge Wizards foolish enough to blight their own hedge. In choosing the flexibility of life and death in action over imagination for its own sake, she acquires the Unimaginative Learner Flaw. There is vis here and there are books. She knows that she must leave the wizards' vis, because it really belongs to her allies. The books, however, are hers.
She makes her way back through the regio, but somehow ends up inside of William's pipe dream. Literally.
“It's never good when I see spiders,” he says.
She knows that his real self is doing the same thing as his pipe dream self, inhaling the smoke of exotic herbs and powders. Her own time sense dilates to match his. She joins him, as she has done before. She senses her ally through the familiar link, and she feels calm. She feels strong. She feels that she is multitudes.
“I like the spiders,” she says, accepting the pipe from her parens. The carpet they are sitting on has been cunningly woven with intricate patterns, but it begins to generate moths and caterpillars from her being there. She sponts a Rego Animal to protect it, and they sit together and let time ooze like honey.
“You must be the last gatekeeper,” she says at last, when the herbs have run low.
He smokes herbs that are not there.
As he smokes, the pipe fills with herbs. Now he burns gently, Criamon stigmata appearing on his body, and he dwindles into nothingness. Between her own knowledge of Enigmatic Wisdom and the insights of her Hermes Cord, she can read the stigmata clearly. William was never here. The stigmata speak of her. “You judged the hedge wizards,” they whisper to her. “You saw their faults written upon them. You wrote their faults upon them. You have achieved The Station of Magisterial Authority through the Avenue of Non-Acceptance.”
“No,” she says. “No. I don't want this. I'm through with this Criamon shit. I don't want this!”
But she has it: Stigmatic Catalyst.
She returns home with her new flaws and virtue, and discovers that she does not yet have those Flaws, though they may be a portent of things to come. Instead, she has become a Waster of Vis, returning a portion of its power to nature when she uses it, though her Ally Spirit is not bound in this way. She also has a bunch of books. <What would you like them to be?> She will donate these to the covenant if they are accepted as a service, and if they will remain in the unrestricted library.
5xp Parma-->8xp; 84xp
5xp Nature Lore; 99xp
1xp Finesse; 20xp
Vis Stores: 6An + 10Vi
Winter, 1184: Deborah makes an aging roll at -21. She buries 5 pawns of Animal vis in the ground for the earthworms to disperse, and is granted Unaging by her Ally using Grant Virtue, to affect the roll. She returns to the Cave of Twisting Shadows to exchange a few pointed words with the dead Primi, and it takes a season.
15xp Enigmatic Wisdom; 40xp
1xp Finesse; 21xp
Spring, 1184: Deborah gives more thought to the Tribunal. She want to improve Arts, for Certamen, and decides that she will eventually need to compete, perhaps not in this Tribunal, but eventually. She sees a careful balance between revealing her capabilities and commanding respect. Her ally suggests that they breed a giant Dragonfly that can serve as either a steed or guardian. (This uses the spirit's Grant Virtue power). Thinking of the potential for the joust event, Deborah agrees. Together, they infuse one of the giant honeycomb cells with 5 pawns of Animal vis, a vast amount of ambrosia and millions of vermin to service it. By the end of the season, the Dragonfly will emerge fully formed, specifically bred to its purpose, like an Uruk-Hai from Saruman's breeding slime. Using a lab total of 3+7+18+6+6+9+22+7=80, Deborah invents the following:
MuAn 30 Ride the Verminous Steed
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind+1
Like Grant Puissance (RoP:M 38), this grants an animal general prowess while riding a vermin, providing a +5 bonus to all rolls related to riding (Ride, mounted combat, soak, etc, but not casting spells). Deborah usually casts this on herself.
(base 2, Touch +1, Sun +2, size +1, +4 extra effect (+4 extra bonus))
MuAn 5 Eyes of the Nighttime Moth
R: Touch D: Sun, T: Ind
Like Eyes of the Cat, only grants vermin vision instead!
MuAn 5 Keen Eyes of the Dragonfly
R: Touch D: Sun, T: Ind
Grants the keen sight of these airborne predators: +3 to vision.
(base 2, Touch +1, Sun +2)
1xp Parma-->2xp; 86xp
1xp Nature Lore; 100xp
1xp Cr; 18xp
Summer, 1184: Deborah now has a new steed and wants to try him out! She catches up on her correspondence, gets a bit ahead, and then they fly into the most beautiful and magical regiones, on the verge of the Magic Realm, and Deborah practices Nature Lore. Deborah notices that her Ally has imbued the Dragonfly with the ability to navigate the Magic Realm, slighting its combat and sensory ability. This displeases her, at first, but the spirit insists that there's no point to a steed that cannot take her where she cannot easily go herself.
9xp Nature Lore; 109xp
1xp Finesse; 22xp
Autumn, 1184: The supernatural animal powers whisper to Deborah of a great magical library beyond regio. When these rumors are corroborated by a magical Bookworm exiled from the place, they cross over to quest for the Great Library of Ixion and its centaur librarians. There are ancient scrolls all along the way with clues and puzzles and minor side quests. At last, when the leaves began to turn brown, she reaches the library! It is beautiful. But the centaurs are repelled by the mess of hopping, buzzing, slithering vermin all around her, and do not let her in, though their animal nature compels them to treat her with respect. Their magical protections are too strong, and she turns back. When she talks once again to the bookworm, it is shocked. “You didn't really expect to find books in the Great Library, did you? The true library stores knowledge, of which books are an imperfect but delicious reflection.” And that's how Deborah learned the nature of the Magic Realm firsthand, where power is gained directly rather than experience. She returns home, determined to catch up on her correspondence and reconnect with her Ally.
10xp in the Magic Realm: Book Learner
1xp Finesse; 23xp
Vis Stores: 2An + 13Vi
Winter, 1185: Deborah makes an aging roll at -21. She exchanges 1 pawn of Vim for three of Animal. She and her Ally fill the hive with smoke from the vis and manipulate it magically, letting it settle and imbuing Deborah with Puissant Finesse. Deborah also hits the books! She reads On Divination and corresponds Finesse.
1xp Finesse; 24xp
15xp Intellego-->18xp; 18xp
Spring, 1185: Deborah reads Minerals and Stones and corresponds Finesse. She loves the way books seem to have so much more to say now.
1xp Finesse; 25xp
19xp Terram-->22xp; 22xp
Summer, 1185: Deborah Reads Foundation of Destruction and corresponds Finesse.
1xp Finesse; 26xp
15xp Perdo-->15xp; 15xp
Autumn, 1185: Deborah reads Magical Control and corresponds Finesse.
1xp Finesse; 27xp
17xp Rego-->20xp; 38xp
Vis Stores: 6An + 14Vi
Winter, 1186: Deborah makes an aging roll at -21. This is the year of the Tribunal. She trades two pawns of Vim for 6 Animal. Her Ally is worried about how she will fare at the Tribunal, and uses Grant Virtue to imbue her with the relentlessness and increased stamina of the ant, using 10 pawns of Animal. (Improved Characteristics plus Tough.) Reads Second Flames and corresponds Finesse.
1xp Finesse; 28xp
16xp Ignem-->19xp; 19xp
Spring, 1186: Deborah reads The Magical Use of Plants and corresponds Finesse. She thinks she's ready for the Tribunal....
1xp Finesse; 29xp
13xp Herbam-->16xp; 16xp
Summer, 1186: ...but she is only partially right. She makes a splashy and terrifying entrance on her Nazgul, er Dragonfly. Her power is obvious and no magus acts discourteously, especially the ones with familiars. But the grogs scatter amidst mutinous mumblings, her vermin pose a great nuisance to senior magi, and the Primus at last ejects her from Tribunal. Courteously, yes, and as respectfully as such a thing can be done, but definitely. She is still permitted to compete in the Tournament. That doesn't go as well as she might like either. She contends in the Certamen event and discovers the downside of a huge reputation: Everyone knows not to allow her Animal! She does incredibly well in the joust. Her Path of Strife and Cord of Hermes combine for fighting exactly as she had hoped, and Acus' awesome flyby grapple and drop technique get around some of the nastier tricks. But she does less well than she might have, because she doesn't know those nastier tricks as well as the more seasoned and more social magi, who put effort into knowing everyone else's reputation, which she has not. Then Carnacis enters Acus' as one of their three grogs or companions in the Melee! He has superb grappling abilities, is incredibly fast and maneuverable, flies and cannot be surprised from behind. The inevitable complaints about Acus' being magical are quashed by the conservatives who want to see this event cancelled, and what better way to do it than to demonstrate the insignificance of mundane companions and grogs? Carnacis wins this contest with ease. Meanwhile, there are repurcussions from her vis deal with the Bjornaer and Tytalus; both the friendship and enmity waste her time. One of the companions defeated in the Melee was very fay. Deborah and a Merinita associated with the companion talk about various things related to the fantastic and inhuman. The Merinita magus has interesting ideas about bloodlines. The Host's Choice event is about using magic to make great art, obviously the brainchild of one of the Tribunal's few Jerbiton. Deborah's art is centuries ahead of its time, and not appreciated here. If the Tytalus deal went through, the legacy is confirmed, with our covenant getting 50%.
5xp Parma Magica-->8xp; 94xp
1xp Area Lore: Normandy Tribunal; 1xp (because sometimes, Nature Lore doesn't cut it!)
1xp Finesse; 30xp
3xp Nature Lore; 112xp
Autumn 1186: Deborah spends a little time tracking down grandchildren. Some of them receive gifts, anonymously. She wants a better way to manage her brood. A spell to recognize one of her descendants? To recognize the Gift in a descendant? She reads Magical Control and corresponds Faerie Lore.
1xp Faerie Lore; 1xp
17xp Rego-->20xp; 58xp
Vis Stores: 8An + 15Vi
Winter 1187: Deborah makes an aging roll at -21. She merges with her Ally and 5 pawns of Animal vis, to learn to see as it does, thereby gaining Second Sight. She has an idea! Learning Ancient Greek seems a waste of time, but learning a spell to summon the spirit of a book and have it read to her, is not. Second Sight allows her to understand the spirit, who will read its book! A book is mostly Animal, so she can readily do this! She puts a ribbon around this idea and sets it aside for now, since her Rego is not good enough for her to invent the spell in one season. She reads Minerals and Stones and corresponds Penetration. It's not her favorite thing, but maybe there's more to it than meets the eye! Also, she remembers being humbled at Certamen, and does not want that to happen again.
19xp Terram-->22xp; 44xp
1xp Penetration; 1xp
Spring 1187: Deborah spends some of her time on the side dealing with children's issues, and grandchildren. She reads Minerals and Stones and corresponds Penetration.
19xp Terram-->22xp; 66xp
1xp Penetration; 2xp
Summer 1187: Deborah invents some vermin spells.
CrAn 25 The Pearl of Wisdom
R: Voice, D: Diam, T: Ind+1
A giant two-ton pearl forms where the caster wants it. A magus who resists a pearl that forms around him still needs a way out, and has limited movement and virtually no air. If he fails to resist, he has no movement and no air. A Finesse roll allows tricky things, like creating a giant pearl in mid-air and letting it fall, or creating it on a hillside where it will plow through an army.... the pearl is still a magical medium and must be resisted.
(base 5, +2 Voice, +1 Diam, +1 size)
CrAn 25 Jet of Formic Acid
R: Voice, D: Diam, T: Ind+1
A huge jet of concentrated formic acid engulfs a target, doing +5 damage every round. Protection helps, but it also takes full damage every round. (Learning this at +1 size is only useful because she can raise it to Group or Room, or lower it to Ind. She'll never cast it this way unless she wants to change the duration.)
(base 5, +2 Voice, +1 Diam, +1 size)
1xp Parma-->2xp; 96xp
1xp Nature Lore; 113xp
1xp Penetration; 3xp
Autumn 1187: There's trouble at the vis site! Deborah had planned to read about Herbam, but no! Between Tytalus intrigue and Bjornaer holding a grudge, Deborah loses her season to setting things right. She has nothing to show for it either. Since she has already lost the season, she flits about, looking up her children, exploring the untamed places of France and Iberia, where magic still reigns. One of her children, she discovers to her great displeasure, had been corrupted. Deborah easily solves the problem in scorched earth fashion, except using bugs instead of fire. She returns to the covenant angry. It was too easy. She was the target as much as the children, being put in a place where she can either let her child live to work evil, let someone else clean up her problem or do it herself. Now she is going to have to find who is behind it. Could it be the demons she rousted so many years ago?
5xp Parma-->8xp; 104xp
5xp Nature Lore; 118xp
1xp Penetration; 4xp
Vis Stores: 9An +17Vi
Warping Points: 14
Deborah is now 10 years past Gauntlet. She has become powerful, yet her social disabilities have limited her even among magi. She is aware that the Tribunal had an entire dimension to which she did not have access, like a warrior bee who knows nothing of the intrigue at the center of the hive.
Her sanctum has changed slightly over the years. It is still a mound 100 paces in diameter, and still surmounted by a disturbing structure, but the mound has been rising slowly, now ten paces tall at the center.
Acus patrols the covenant grounds and further afield, usually downsized to normal dragonfly size rather than his usual +4 size. His character sheet is coming.
Upcoming interactions with PCs: She will want to consult her peers about the Infernal and about managing her growing brood.