Saddest moments your sagas?

For me, one time I met an animal with a hefty Might and even heftier Size who was destined to die at the end of the season if he wasn't somebody's Familiar. My character was the only one willing, as all other Magi at the covenant already had a Familiar except for one person who simply didn't mesh well with the being and didn't really care if it died. Naturally, its Size and Might meant its Lab Total needed to be pretty high to be bonded to me, and since time was of the essence I went all-out on Experimentation, with the +3 Risk Modifier and everything, hoping to reach the highest levels I could and accepting that we'd deal with resulting problems as they came.

A 5 and a 0 on the Extraordinary Results chart, with the +3 modification to the first roll, later, well... I guess the prophecy was fulfilled.

What are some sad moments you or your troupe have gone through in the course of a saga?

Any time the SG lets the story be dictated (and destroyed) purely by the roll of the dice.

After all, a 1% chance to catastrophically fail shows up... oh, about 1 in 100 tries, more or less. :unamused:

The troup of my Provence-Saga had a moment when one of the Magi wanted to win an apprentice. It was a little girl and her mother was a folk witch. The mother wasn´t willing to let her daughter go and the argument about the girl got quite aggressive.

One of the attendant grogs was an alcoholic. The Magus as leader of the troupe made sure that the man was sober on this trip. That led to the situation, that the grog had permanent stress. While the argument with the folk witch got heated, the grog on turkey saw red and killed the folk witch with one heavy blow of his battle axe. The daughter had to watch the murder of her mother and began her apprenticeship with a traumatic shock.

After the killing it was complete silence at the gaming table. It was a situation when we all thought: Is it still a game?


My last 4th edition saga was set in Nogorod, and centered on the Baltic crusades. The characters' was a spring (and eventually summer) covenant that wanted to:
a) study the local Volkov (a little like the Thousand Caves saga from the Dragon and the Bear) and
b) protect their magic rich lands from encroachment by the christian teutonic knights (in 4th edition the difference between faerie and magic was not so clear cut as in 5th).

As the story progressed, new enemies emerged, with escalating power, culminating in the dangerous combination of the mongols and the forces of Hell that had corrupted the crusade and threatened to bring an armageddon/ragnarokkr to the region. In a last, desperate, and very heroic effort, the characters formed an alliance of sorts with the few remaining knights who had true faith, and managed to win the day and save the region both from Hell and from the mongols in a vast struggle that
a) restored the teutonic knights to their Faith but
b) put the region solidly under teutonic knight control, politically, and under the influence of the Divine, spiritually (in particular, the covenant got completely covered by the Divine Aura resulting from the miracle that saved the day).

So, in some sense, it was a great victory averting a terrible doom, but to secure that victory the Old Ways had to give way to the new, and the characters had to give up all that they had started the saga fighting for. The Old gods passed away from that part of the world, and with their passing, the (now senior) magi PC declared the covenant dissolved, and packing their books, servants, vis etc. they parted - each leaving to join (or found) other covenants somewhere else where magic still lingered. The SG managed to underscore the theme in lots of small ways (such as the dying of the old Volkov, and his deathbed reconciliation with his daughter who had True Faith in the new God; or a church bell ringing for the first time where the covenant had been, in the very last scene) that lent to that final moment a deep, deep sadness - far deeper than any betrayal or death or other loss we had faced during the saga.

It was at the same time the saddest and most fulfilling ending of an Ars Magica saga I ever played in. I loved it so much that I tried a follow-up years later with 5th edition, but (as many of you know) it blew up after the first session with a young Volkov turning the entire Order to vermin :slight_smile:

For me, one of the saddest moments, was in my current TT game set in the Theban tribunal.

I was running the intro story, of how the magi came into possession of their covenant. At the climax of the story, a magus who had first enlisted the players to help him solve a mysterious disaster at his covenant and then appeared to die half way through, reveals that not only is he alive but he was the one who created the entire disaster to start with and had the ultimate goal of releasing all of the Titans from Tartarus.

There was a ritual involving a boy of around nine, who had be captured and chained for most of his life by these Titan freeing magi. The boy, who was a descendant of Poseidon, was to be sacrificed to free the giant Polybotes from under Nisyros. Once freed the giant would rip open the gates of the Titan's prison.

The characters managed to thwart the ritual and the plans of their traitorous magus, saving the life of this poor innocent child. They comforted him and unbound him and told the boy his life would be much better and they would see to it he would have a glorious life.

Then Polybotes began to awaken. The giant, who sleeps beneath the island, started to stir and grow agitated. It seems the ritual brought him to close to consciousness for him simply to return to slumber. The players attempted what they could to stop the giant, but this primordial magical being was beyond their powers.

It came down finally to a sacrifice. The boy whom they had just saved was the only blood powerful enough to be given to return the giant to his sleep. It was a long sad scene, where each magi came to terms with their choice. If they did not make a sufficient sacrifice, the giant would awaken, and while he could not free himself of Poseidon's chains, he could however rattle and thunder causing the entire island to erupt in a massive volcanic blast that would kill the thousands of people living on the island, and possibly kill many others along distant coasts, as the earthquakes and eruption would cause a tidal wave to crush the surrounding islands, including Rhodes, Crete, and possible the mainlands.

However killing the boy to satisfy Polybotes ended up being their choice. Some of them refused to speak with the boy, others try to make amends, and even others tried to rationalize or make the boy believe his sacrifice was heroic. In the end however, the boy kept saying, "I've been a slave of your people, treated like a animal, and now murdered. Whatever lies you try to tell me, I will still die. I will still die."

I am a often times morbid or depressing storyguide, but for some reason this story really choked me up... and the damn thing was my idea. My doing.

For me, it still rings as one of the toughest scenes I have dealt with. The salvation of the boy, just to moments later have to kill him anyway. Some bloody business that one was.