Keeping a buried magus alive

I'm working on a story idea, and want to see if I have any holes in my logic.

Scenario: Below ground, a Summoner magus messes around with a spirit beyond his power to control. The spirit breaks out of the summoning circle, and pulls the walls down around him as he leaves, burying the magus. The magus is severely wounded, and passes out. Upon wakening, he discovers he's pinned beneath tons of rock. He casts a bit of spontaneous magic to destroy the stone, but more of it then shifts into it's place, and the effort and pain causes him to go unconscious again.... ad infinitum. He can sponaneously heal himself, but doesn't have the vis to do it permanently, and he's not powerful enough to teleport spontaneously.

The forces of the infernal sieze this advantage, and agree to keep the magus alive in return for, well, his soul. Servants of the demon feed him to give him back his strength. But they feed him the meat of innocents from the surrounding villages. Once he's healthy enough not to pass out every time he loses a fatigue level, he'll be able to get himself out. But the mage will emerge permanently scarred with a taste for human flesh, a kind of vampire.....

But the PC's will find him before the demons have dug him out. He's still buried, but the infernal trade has already been made. He wil emerge broken, a cripple, with a scar on his soul, and indebted to the charactes. This will be the lead in to a series of stories.

I'm wondering if I'm missing anything in terms of the buried magus. Are there any obvious ways out of the jam that the magus would think of, instead of trading away his soul?

Thanks in advance,

Well.. firstly.. given the fact he can apparently stay alive down there without being crushed (the demons just need to feed him and nurse him back to health etc) .. he could just wait for his fatigue levels to recover a little before trying some casting..

But then it's more just a case of how good his PeTe total is.. remember, if a perdo spell is cast with a duration of longer than momentary, the area cannot be filled in with more stone or dirt until the duration has lapsed.. depending on whether he could manage a higher level spell, he could certainly slowly carve his way out if his casting total was good enough

Also depends just how far underground he is really

Also, MuTe might be handy, for turning the stone into something else, such as making it moldable like rock of viscid clay (tho probably level 10, making it concentration instead)

But yeah, if he's not got a very good Terram score.. .. I can imagine that he'd be fairly trapped by that, if his formulaic spells are of no help

He's also got 3- 4 wound levels of damage (legs, and maybe an arm, are severely broken), so he's in a lot of pain. The demons basically let him lie down there in the dark and go mad with fear and claustrophobia. Once he's starved enough, they tempt him with food. He'd slowly heal enough to be able to start tunneling himself out, but has gone a bit loony in the process.


Sounds good to me; I can't think of anything obvious you've overlooked. If he's a Summoner magus, he's probably really good at Rego and Vim, which is no help at all when buried under a ton of rock. I look forward to hearing how this goes, if you'll share the story with us afterward.

Give him difficult spontaneus magic and frail (SP, is that the one that doubles your fatigue loss?) caused by the crash and he would have a hard time casting many sponts anyway.

As to the Food & Drink , have you defined magically created food and water to be nourishing for as long as it lasts?
This is not clear by the RAW , and low-level sponts could help.

If he still has the use of Parma , and he has a reasonable Vim score ,
he can just taint the rocks with magic (page 157) , which will then be unable to crush him.
No iffy use of the Pink Dot Defense in this instance.

If he's badly wounded, he'll be mostly unable to cast any spells until the wounds heal (at least unless he has an incredible concentration abililty).
Remember that you need to get twice the wound penalty on the concentration roll).

A rego mage can probably prevent the rocks from smashing him, but not much more as ulf pointed out. The wound penalties will handicap him a lot there. It could be done, but it ios way cooler if he just can't and the deal comes to completion. Remember that as SG you have SG fiat, so you can handwave those issues away.

What I am more concerned with is the fact that he has his legs crushed but he can move himself out of the cave. Did the demons heal him? If so and if he is aware that he sold his soul he is likely to be already derranged. I would not sell my soul so lightly: a soul is precious to a demon, so he could demand a perfect body, be teleported out and a few more stuff (a score of 40 in each art, for example). So, either the dfemons making the deal are weak and he hopes to regain his soul somehow, or he is a stupid mage :stuck_out_tongue: The later is highly unlikely, so having him plotting to trick thye demons seems more viable. And also shows the usual mortal sin of Pride that magi tend to have. I would go for that. He can be quite ambivalent towards hell as a consequence. Makes him a cool ally-nemesis combination. Hope that helps.



As a side-note...

It would be interesting if his wounds were healed, not by permanent magic, but by Forsaken duration effects.

Thus, they stay healed... unless he tries to atone. Then all the wounds are ripped open again.

After all, RoP:tI suggests that demons can't actually take your soul even after an agreement like that, if you truly repent, so some... motivation, to not repent and atone might be good.

You could throw in a Cursed duration effect on top of the Forsaken ones, to give him even further reasons to be careful.

...Infernal R/D/Ts are just good at this.

Xavi and Ejidoth, these are great suggestions. The mage will be that much more deviant, and desperate. Good stuff. Thanks.

I don't see how a rego specialist would end up in the problem.

Creature escapes and starts ripping down a wall, mage jumps in circle, casts ReTe "Ward against mundane stone."

ReTe "Rock that moves" to move rock clears the path afterwards.

ReTe "Rock that will not move" for holding the rock from falling in the first place is equally trivial.

Though you can always say he botched the casting and that would explain the situation.

Probably the spirit/elemental can boost the penetration of the falling stones if he is powerful enough. Besides, it makes for a great story hook (or even story arc) so I find that it is a cool situation :slight_smile: My character is a combat weirdo, and he is challenged in such a situation more than one. It makes for magi to try to best things that are barely in their ability to do so. Maybe he is a slow caster that cannot react fast enough to the elemental droping a few tons of rock on him? I wouldn't find that unlikely....



Deficient Terram.


Of course , he might have been set-up.
The failure that buried him was deliberately engineered , possibly by demons.
Regardless , they can seek to take advantage of the circumstances.

Did this guy have a Talisman or a Familiar?
If he was a Summoner , any effects were probably related to that.

Or simply declare that he botched... Maybe even went into twilight, and returned to find himself trapped in stone...

A botch on the actual summoning would explain it all. He goes into twilight, the spirit escapes, angry, and pulls the walls down around him.

Ravenscroft's engineered diabolic plot would work too.

Alternatively, if the spirit escaped the summoning circle to begin with, perhaps he buffetted the magus around a bit, knocking him unconscious. Then, when it pulls the walls down, the magus isn't awake to ward against the falling stone.

Thanks for all of the suggestions!


A month later... any update on this epic?

Sad to say.... this is something that will be on the backburner for a while.

In one of the two sagas I'm running (the one without Belladonna), the two players are playing two magi that are wandering around Iberia, sans covenant. It is proving a bit taxing on me, because it's constantly new new new stuff, because they don't stick around long enough to really get involved with the locals for longer storylines.

I've laid a couple of hints to get them to the locale of the "buried Magus", where they will find a winter ruins covenant that they might want to resurrect, but so far they are not biting. I"m holding out on playing the mission card: "you are instructed by the tribunal elders to go investigate the strange, possibly infernal happenings at such-and-such covenant." I'd like it to be more organic. But if they don't pick up a hint soon, then the characters will run into a redcap on his way to the covenant, and they might join up with him for the journey....

Long Story Short.... no news yet. Haven't even begun the storyline....

thanks for asking,

Well, unless there's a plot-critical reason for the covenant to be in one specific place, just put it in front of them. Not like they'll know the diff, and the end-result story will be just as good.

Alternately, figure out what clue would get their attention, and tie that in to the covenant in question. Even a false rumour will get them there, and that should(?) be enough.

Good luck with that.

The grand saga arc is actually location specific, so no luck with the first. And as to the second, I thought I had dropped hints that would turn on the players, but my players surprised me by playing much more in-character than I thought. Kudos to them!

I think I have it figured out though. The healer mage has just finished learning Arabic at the Toledo School of Translators and is returning to a leper colony outside of Cordoba, where he wants to do some more work. There he will pick up some rumors about a mysterious sickness that has infected a village in the mountains. It should be enough to get him up there.... and then the fun begins.