In the Covenant Discussion topic, Jonathan asked about major arcs for our characters.
So I've taken some time to organiza my thoughts and wrote something out regarding Petronius, based on where I'd like the character to go. Here's the result, submitted to the troupe for comments and constructive criticism:
Basically, Petronius will be involved in 3 seperate story arcs. These arcs will be, for the most, idependant from each other. Although many stories that are told will relate to one of those arcs, there will be occasional stories that will have nothing to do with any of them, and some stories where the arcs will interact.
The first arc is about the political situation of the Rhine tribunal, and of the Order of Hermes, and how the machinations of Octavius influences then. Petronius is simply a tool in those machinations.
Octavius' motivations are wrapped around many layers of personal misdirection, but at their core they are relatively simple. Octavious wants power. He wants to be seen as a great magus, despite the fact that he is unimaginative and not a great researcher. This means that he doesn't like imaginative people, and as a result he defends the status quo. Deep inside, he knows this -- he simply won't admit it to himself.
While he was training Petronius, he realized that this apprentice had the potential to become a great researcher. He tried to force his own way of doing things unto Petronius, wrapping it into the pretense of the great magical traditions of our House. He mostly failed, because Petronius' raw talent was too powerful. Now that Petronius is a full magus, Octavius tries to control and direct Petronius' energies and talent towards things that further Octavius' power. If this eventually means breaking the tool that is Petronius, once as much usefulness has been squeezed out of it, so much the better. Ultimately Octavius will fail, but these machinations will have a cost on Petronius.
This story arc will manifests itself in the following ways:
- At first, Petronius will simply be used without his knowing about it, and will be subtly deflected from his goals of doing original research on portals. One of the reasons why Octavius pushed Petronius into forming a new covenant was that it would waste some of his filius' time and deflect him from his project. It also forces him to develop spells that will be useful to Octavius in his machinations. He also convinced Petronius that basing his research on existing material was to way to go.
- As Petronius becomes more experienced and wiser, Octavius will convince him of the value of traditionalism and the importance of preserving the ways and traditions of the Order and of House Bonisagus. As a restul, Petronius will participate in the goals and politics of the Oak Gild.
- Eventually, Petronius will realize that these goals are, at their heart, selfish. And that they prevent the Order from being the great organization that it pretends to be. This will be a period of disillusion for him. It will also coincide with a look at his roots (mundane family), which will cause him a shock.
- Finally, this arc will complete itself with a deep rift forming between Petronius and Octavius. Octavius will attempt to destroy Petronius politically. This may end up with Petronius leaving House Bonisagus and the Rhine Tribunal. Or in Wizard's War. Only time will tell.
The second arc is about Petronius' research into portal magic. This will drive many of his actions throughout the saga, as he investigate magic relevant to portals and develop new understandings.
This story arc will impact the saga in the following ways:
- At first, Petronius will be focused on improving his capabilities to investigate existing magic. This is a less-than-optimal way of working towards a breakthrough, but he has been convinced by his pater that this was the better way to proceed. So he will waste much time perusing old lab notes and travelling to various locations to investigate portal-like effects. Many of these will be false leads, but with just enough positive results to provide tangible progress.
- As his abilities and knowledge progresses, Petronius will spend more time in the lab developping original effects related to portals. He will use them in field testing and analyse the results for further experimentation.
- When his progress becomes more obvious, he will notice that other parties are becoming interested in his research. This will interact with the Political Machinations arc above, in that Petronius will start to realize how his research could be used as a political tool. Instead of allowing his research to be used for such purposes, he will clamp down on his results and stop sharing them.
- Ultimately, he will complete his breakthrough, but this will probably happen outside of the scope of this saga.
The third arc is about the oracular vision of a maga from Novgorod, in which Petronius features prominently. That maga of House Criamon is the one who trained Caprasia of Ciramon, a member of the covenant of Irminsul where Petronius was apprenticed under Octavius.
This arc is very murky and will provide some strange episodes, where secrets and hints of the future will be released to Petronius. It will be the least prominent arc at first, but might ultimately tie together the other two arcs at the end of the saga.
This story arc will impact the saga in the following ways:
- Caprasia's initial and continued interest in Petronius are because she was instructed to do so by her mater. She is to provide a counterpoint to the harsh politics of Octavius, and keep Oetronius in touch with the positive energies of life and hope. A kind of spiritual guide.
- At some point, the maga from Novgorod will visit Laurus Argenti to establish contact with Petronius. She will provide strange words about the future, but nothing clear. Most of her predictions will come true, so that her credibility will be established.
- That maga will also send others to Laurus Argenti in order to meet Petronius, although they won't always come seeking contact with him.
- Eventually, this will provide a way out for Petronius when Octavius' anger come to fruition.