I had a vivid dream the other night, that seemed to be an Ars Magic scenario, or maybe the start of a campaign, that I thought I would share with you.
Party of magi are contacted by a Familiar (I think it is a weasel or a cat) that is looking for help because its master hasn't moved for several seasons/years.
The familiar leads them to a river, and in the middle of the river is a small island with a Magic Aura, that leads to a Regio with a larger island in a larger river. On the somewhat barren island in the Regio is a Mystic Tower in the form of a giant mushroom, but before that is the bones of what may be the covenant turb, who appear to have starved to death after their limbs were broken. There is the wreckage of what may be a wharf and boat, as well as tumbled down shacks. I think the familiar claims it locked the door to the tower when it heard the screaming, so enemies couldn't get to its mage.
When the familiar lets them into the tower, then the mage's sanctum, they find that the mage was in the middle of a magic circle when Twilight hit, though no matter where you go in the sanctum the mage's image seems to be painted on the wall directly opposite the magic circle, and it is always the same profile.
Outside the tower one of the grogs/companions has found a staff embedded in a wooden wall and pulls it out. The staff is a spiral ivory horn (narwhal tusk?) with a fist sized baltic ("baltic" was mentioned in the dream) amber with an unusual gem cut, containing something (a bee or other insect I think).
When the grog/companion shows this to others, he taps the point of the staff with his finger to indicated where it was stuck in the wall and suddenly a greenish-blue flame appears over the limb of everyone in the group, and they cry out as their limb breaks (not the magi). Then the staff leaps from the hand of the grog/companion and flies off downstream with a blue green rocket flame.
A short while later it is obvious something is racing up the river just below the surface, then a giant red octopus levitates out of the water, somewhat larger than man-sized, with the staff held in a tentacle.
For some reason in my dream I am quite definite that the octopus mage's sigil is an aquamarine coloured candle flame.
The levitating octopus is about to attack (throw the staff like a spear?) when it sees that one of the magi has a quite obvious badge with the symbol of the Order of Hermes. The octopus pauses, pales somewhat so you can see it is spotted, and that the spots are in the shape of the symbol of the Order of Hermes. The octopus begins to speak.
At this point I woke up. The problem is the dream has not continued, and I am curious as to what happens next. I don't think that any of this is in any book or forum post.
I know there are no fresh water octopuses, something about their kidneys not handling the lack of salinity.
What a fascinating story! Thanks for sharing it. I would also love to know what happens next!
Maybe this particular octopus was a magic one? :mrgreen:
Anyway, I wish I had this kind of fantastic dream
I almost never remember my dreams, which makes this one seem all the more important.
As is the nature if dreams, some details stood out in stark detail (the octopus mage's casting sigil), other details were terribly fuzzy (nature of the familiar that led the magi).
I was kind of assuming the octopus lives in the sea beyond the river mouth. Which now kind of makes me ask how big the magic regio is? In the dream it looked like there was a circle of fog surrounding the island in the regio, so you could only see maybe a hundred metres I think, and all of it was river.
I was also kind of assuming the staff had enchantments that let the octopus live in fresh water, and in air. Though I guess it is possible an epitome octopus doesn't care about salinity.
I don't think it is too difficult to add an enchantment to a Talisman so that if the tip hits human flesh then a Corpus equivalent of Cripple the Howling Wolf is cast with Target: Group, then link it to trigger an effect that cause the staff to fly back to the owner via the arcane link. I think that is how it worked.
I think medieval scholars didn't know about octopus kidneys and salinity, then from a magus point of view, it would be perfectly ok to have an octopus in a river: Magic would do the rest. In addition, think about the kraken in the lake before Moria's gates in LotR, I guess that Tolkien didn't check about kidneys
Anyway, +1 with DavdCastle: please tell us what's next in the story!
Thanks for sharing.
The dream has not continued, but I am now an SG for a new group of Magi, and I am using this as part of the intro as they scout the ruins of a collapsed Covenant they are settling. The Covenant will have the Hook - Monster.
I changed the description a bit. It is now a Size +4 long and narrow squid, the body/head is on par with our Giant Blooded member, while the legs stretch at least 20', and the two arms are significantly longer.
It is the Great Beast form of a Bjornaer magus named Callum (from Scotland, just for the heck of it clan McCracken), and he wanted access to his old Sanctum, treating it as the beast's lair.
Just about every power it has used originates in the talisman staff - Levitation, Air breathing, flying staff, and a linked enchantment I am calling "bane of armies".
"bane of armies" is triggered when the very pointy end of the staff strikes human flesh. As well as any spear damage, 3 linked magical enchantments are triggered 1) a Corpus equivalent of Cripple the Howling Wolf is cast with Target: Group, 2) Wreathes of Foul Smoke CrAu10 poisons the injured, and finally 3) then link it to trigger an effect that cause the staff to fly back to the owner via the arcane link.
Wreathes of Foul Smoke is normally only annoying as most people can make the Stamina roll enough times to leave the cloud safely. Unless of course you are suffering a medium wound from a snapped limb bone. And if Callum keeps throwing the staff at the army, the cumulative penalty from multiple snapped bones should make Wreathes of Foul Smoke rather deadly.
I have also ruled that a Great Beast retains parts of the original mage's essential nature. In Callum-beast's case this the the terrible Fury he feels when he is disrespected - including what he thinks is due to him (possession, dignity, etc) threatened or being kept from him. Exactly what the Great Beast interprets as a trigger for his Fury is unclear, so far it has attacked "threats" to its Sanctum/lair, and been really pissed about not being able to reach its Talisman staff.
Though it sort of calmed down when it recognised Hermetic Magi - apparantly in order to receive respect it has to give respect. Or something.
When the troupe first met it, I asked the 6 of them to roll a simple D10, and I added up the numbers and said its Magic Might was 34. The look on some of their faces was oddly gratifying.
This is my favorite thread necromancy every.