** spoiler alert for players of my Palma Saga **
My players have now begun to establish themselves as a spring covenant in the city of Palma, on the island of Mallorca. They don't have a copy of Aegis (and for some reason haven't thought of it yet), so I will be playing some mischief upon them until they figure it out....
Anyway, the next phase of the plot will involve some sailing adventures around the Mediterranean. There is rampant piracy around the Balearic Islands, and some fun should be had. The idea here is to have a long series of adventures where the characters slowly piece together that a magic-aided band of pirates is led by an rogue hermetic mage (henceforth referred to as RM), who has been marched, but never discovered and terminated. The characters eventually defeat him, and gain much-needed magical supplies for their new covenant (vis sources, summae, etc.)
One twist to this fairly standard plotline is that RM himself is going to visit the new covenant very soon. He has traded with the former owner of the site for vis, and will be surprised to find the new owners are hermetic mages. He'll shift gears quickly, pretending to be a mage from Greece, and be very friendly, etc. He'll have a look around, ply the characters for personal information, and see what kind of defenses they have. I hope the players will think they've met an ally, but he'll end up being the Big Bad several adventures later....
Anyway, I haven't yet begun the outline for this chapter, and am opening this up to a general discussion of what could be fun.
A few specific questions:
(feel free to use the bolded question headings below when you answer....)
The characters have recently gained the loot of an infernal alchemist.
alc1) there are lab notes include communication between the alchemist and RM. What might this be? notes on vis traded (and the location of a vis source)? A place they normally trade? I'd like for there to be a clue in here somewhere.
alc2) RM created a simple amulet for the alchemist that protected him from bad vapors. Unknown to the alchemist, RM also used the amulet as a scrying tool. And now the players have it.... I'm wondering your thoughts: What are the advantages / disadvantages to the amulet being a simple arcane connection with which RM uses to scry, or an item that actually has a scrying spell within it?
cov1) There was a spring covenant on Minorca that was destroyed 30-50 years ago. RM was involved in it's destruction, either directly or indirectly. The official story is that it was overrun by Muslim fundamentalists. Was this destruction the reason he's been marched? I’m not sure. Regardless, RM has been very good about keeping hermetic mages away from the Balerics, using rumors, Muslim authorities, etc. … So if he's so good, how do the characters pierce his veil?
lab1) Is it obvious/cheesy for RM to have a lab in a regio underwater? What other interesting locations could there be for the final showdown?
I think that a lot of the outline will fall into place once I create the RM himself and decide WHY he went rogue in the first place. (Is he using the pirates for anything beyond cash resources?) Right now he's a blank canvas. The big arc of the game involves ancient wards that trapped the Titans beneath the earth during the Titanomachy. I'd like this pirate chapter to lead into that arc.
mage1) Perhaps RM was involved in research that led to the discovery of these wards. Does the Order have an interest in keeping this research silent? Was he framed? Since I need the characters to gain much needed supplies from the destruction of the mage, I want him to be dark and hateful, and the characters NEED to destroy him, or at least cause him to flee. What do the characters find in his lab that will lead to this bigger story arc? I don't want to give too much away, but I don't want it to be too obtuse either.
mage2) Maybe this ward research is just a side project of the RM, and his reasons for hating the Order stem from something else entirely. I have some thoughts, but am curious as to any ideas from your collective genius.
Have a great day!