Story seeds for child to adolescent characters

If you were running a story for characters in the age bands given in Apprentices, what type of stories would you run?

Stories about children and adolescents have tended towards more light hearted play in my group. We use them as a change of pace when things have gotten to heavy.

  • A task for the Master, which gets somehow messed up. Can you fix the issue/recover the item and avoid getting in trouble? Things like this can be run as a scavenger hunt or a mission impossible heist.

  • Apprentice gets a free day, going out and about in the Covenant. Does he have one friend to hang out with or is he trying to make a friend? Is there a girl he likes? Maybe the only person who really likes him is a little girl who overlooks how "creepy" he is because she can see his true heart and enjoys the 'magic' tricks he can do. Fist fights are also a possibility here, which can introduce players to the combat rules.

  • Mandatory Combat Training. Depending on their House, some Magi will require that their apprentices spend time training with the turb and learning at least basic combat skills. While a seasonal activity, this opens up all kinds of game play possibilities and provides a chance for an apprentice to make a friend or two.

  • Taking care of the Master's Familiar or Covenant magical animals has all sorts of possibilities. Our Covenant has a bunch of Hermetic Cats and a group of Crows of Virtue. You ever try herding cats? Now imagine if those cats had human level intelligence and magical powers. Flip things around even, with the cats trying to save and protect the Apprentice who has gotten themself into trouble somehow. My group has run this type of game with the apprentice run by the SQ and all of us playing the cats. A normal cat with "Puffed Up & Hissing" and "Claws of the Razor" can be surprisingly scary in combat, especially from ambush. Had one kill an adult warrior grog in a single ambush claw attack. Basically an intelligent lynx with steel claws jumping on their back and slitting their throat.

  • Any time the Master travels, it opens up all kinds of possibilities. While his Master is busy doing what he traveled for, his apprentice might hang out with other apprentices and/or explore the new location.

  • If there are Faeries around the Covenant, any number of story options are opened up. A variant would be a Magical Beast or Hedge Tradition near but not part of the Covenant. Most likely you want to avoid combat or kidnapping, since the first might be outside of the apprentices abilities and the second would kick the game up to adults rescuing them.

  • The "Oh Shiny!" game. The shiny can be anything from something mundane, a a hermetically enchanted device, an other enchanted/magic item, to something forbidden. It can even be Infernal, though that is getting a little dark and runs the chance of ruining the character. The item doesn't have to actually be valuable, as long as the characters think it is.

If you can't tell by some of the bullets, my group tends to mix apprentice games with familiar/magic animal games. Things like having two of the magic cats make their homes in the Library, with one specifically (Iris) hanging out in the classrooms, means that they are already familiar to each other. Iris has been known to apply claw to butt of more than one student she felt was not paying proper attention during a lesson.

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Sneaking out - maybe there's a fair in the nearby village, or the covenfolk are off to celebrate a religious holiday, and it's time for the children to try and dodge their duties and get to have some fun.

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Back in 2017 (per my notes) I started a game for a daughter of Alfonso VII and Eleanor of England. E of E recognized the signs of the gift and wrote to her mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. She per her in touch with "Uncle" Claris, the former playmate of William IX of Aquitaine. Claris kept in touch with the family and duty ensured he had to train the child.

  • This caused issues as Claris had sworn to not take another apprentice, and had no interest in explaining to his former apprentices who lived with him at his Bjornaer covenant in the county of Rodez. All 3 resented her at the start, so that was overhanging things for a while.

  • A female servant was sent with her, so she started as a nurse and turned into a mother figure for Blanche at the all Bjornaer covenant.

  • A family of magic mice were living in the kitchen, near the cooking fire. Blanche ensured that the cook did not get rid of them.

  • She also helped a baby crow to return to it's nest. Appropriate as Blanche had a carrion crow heartbeast to be reveled.

  • Did the 12 Year gathering. Blanche also wanted 2 initiations, so she became Cora Twice-Born.

  • Cora explored an ancient cave system, finding two ancient fertility fetishes for future study or vis extraction

*Left a gift for Black-Faced Hermes. She found an acorn as a return gift, magical of course

  • A traveling bard came by and stayed for a few days. Cora made a friend, and he gave her a ring (worn by the Blessed Virgin!)

  • The turb leader used Cora in training his son to be his replacement (as her maga to protect). It didn't go well, and Cora didn't react well to the public beating the boy got.

  • Cora found a tinker, who was busy talking with his mule, to the local village, while wandering in the woods.

  • Cora met her first redcap, who was delivering a book to the Covenant, that Claris had ordered for her. Knowing a redcap is mighty handy, if you make a good impression.

  • One of the other mages had a serious illness due to an aging crisis (trying to explain the issue with longevity rituals, etc)

  • Basically, I had her meet Rip Van Winkle, a poor guy who comes out of a fae regio 100 years later. She helped him try to restart his life. he ends up going to live with a water nymph.

  • Introduced a failed apprentice, to show it was possible, and to be a scribe (and possible love interest)

  • Another mages started plans to grow vegetable to send to Normandy for the famine. Wanted to do that to get her exposed to the Peripheral Code.

  • Visited Mistridge, for her to see what another covenant was like. She took an interest in the young glassmaker at Foix and watched a dispute between Cathers and Catholinus (my writing is terrible) and she wished a plague on both of their houses.

  • Cora, a very precocious young girl, makes friends with Vulcris and wants to "fix" her transformation and also thinks that Vulcris should be Bjornaer. Did I mention precocious? Vulcris "gives" her a falcon to go with her.

  • I may have gone a bit overboard with Mistridge, as Cora now doesn't want to leave her covenant as "everyone at Mistridge hates each other".

  • The tinker returns, sharing a story about a revolt by the poor in London.

  • A quaestor visits. Seems like a good change to get apprentices exposure to that part of the order. It went well.

  • Claris talks a Bonisagus and Bjornnaer to travel to Mistridge to study Vulcris. Cora was persistent.

  • The local redcap (not the first redcap) shows up for a visit, to introduce the idea of a local redcap.

  • The third mage (Cethigus) disappears, Mistridge declares wizard war on Windgraven (again bad hand writing) and destroys it. Cethigus reappears. Odd that.

  • The local redcap returns. He asks for covert justice for a cousin. Claris crushes the man against a tree (Bull heartbeast) but leaves him to die. They leave, but hear the sound of wolves in the distance as Cethigus (wolf heartbeast) stays behind. Cora sends for the abused cousin so she can start a new life at the covenant.

  • Claris takes Cora to Milleu (again bad handwriting) where he orders ceramic goods for her future covenant (as he has no plans for her to stay at the all-Bjornaer one).

  • Cora gets sent to a Jewish school at Montpellier to pay off a bet for Claris. Claris had been playing chess by mail with a scholar/mystic and lost their 22 year game. Cora delivers a book, makes new friends and get an introduction to the Hebrew language.

  • The city is attacked by Saracen raiders at the same time. The son of the turb leader was sent with her, and convinces Cora to fly off. She convinces the local knights to get off their confused duffs and heads to the city to help. To her horror, she becomes known as the miracle Raven of Montpellier. Carrion crow, thank you.

  • One of her grogs is killed, and this death weighs on Cora. She swears that she will take care of his wife and children forever as she saw him as her responsibility.

  • The local magic tree moves for the first time in 200 years. Cora woke it up accidentally, and not to her knowledge. Wanted to show further the magic in the world.

  • The turn leader sends his son off to kill a magic boar that is stalking the locals, and killed two grogs. Cora of course goes. Unfortunately, it's an Internal boar. Fortunately, they are able to kill it.

  • A local owl tells Cora about the sleeper who appears irregularly. I basically do a Sleeping Beauty kind of idea and she finds him in a clearing, lying on a marble bier with the light of the moon shining on him. He has an arrow buried in his chest, near his heart, and it is smeared with mistletoe. Cora awakens him with a kiss, after treating the wound magically. He is a Visigoth, grievously wounded by the Franks in 507 AD. He becomes Cora's personal guard, and future husband (Ulfric).

  • Cora goes to see how Rip is doing with the water nymph. All is fine there, but they are attacked by giants, ancient enemies of Ulfric's tribe (and thrilled to find one of them to start the fighting up again).

  • Vulcris is successfully treated, and she leaves Mistridge to go live in a magic forest, far away from people.

  • One of the mages goes on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Cora convincesf him that women should be able to go as well, and she goes along with Nurse. The magi owl told her it would be a good idea. Claris had contacts with the Templars who act as guars at Acre. Unsurprisingly, Cora annoys the younger knight, but gets to like the older Templar.

  • In Jerusalem, Cora does some book shopping, as well as implements her plans to transplant some spice plants as well as dates.

  • Cora is disgusted by a brawl between Eastern Orthodox and Catholic monks in the Church of the Holy Sepulchere.

  • She is also disgusted when the pilgrims only help a French noblewoman who is being sold into slavery. Cora busy the entire lot and threatens violence. Precocious, remember, and Bjornaers seem to have tempers. Cora has made friends with two locals, a Christian guide and a Muslim merchant. She frees the slaves that the merchant think can make their own life with help, and gives money to the merchant to take care of those who can, and to start a trading company. Her share of the profits is to be used to free slaves and get them jobs. The intended end of this tradiing company will be Montpelier, with the help of the Jewish scholar.

  • Nurse discovers how "close" Cora and Ulfric are, and quickly suggests a wedding. The senior Templar is happy to oblige.

  • Cora has donated to the local beggars. A leper among them warns Cora that she has offended some powerful interest in Jerusalem, and she should make her stay short. he also invites her to meet the head of the lepers, Kothar. Kothar sells her some books, as well as the sword of Raymond of Poiters, taken when the prince of Antioch was killed in battle.

  • Kothar also warns them of suspected Infernal sacrifices in the labyrinth beneath Jerusalem. Uflic and Cora investigate and interupt a ritual. 3 cultists are killed and a minor demon defeated. A mute local boy and a blind Templar are rescued.

  • on the way back from Jerusalem, the party is attacked by desert giants. Who just happen to be cousins of Ulfric's enemies. Curses!

  • Cora follows her gut and threatens the sailors to leave the Muslims with her alone. Back home, many changes happen with the new Muslim members of the covenant, especially a young woman named Samaiiya.

  • The magic owl comes to visit Cora, as a tree started speaking and burned the owl. This was not normal tree behavior. Cora investigated and finds that one of the tree's roots had threaded into a buried magic ring. Cora gently removes the ring and the tree returns to normal.

  • Cora finds an osprey that has had it's eggs stolen. Cora tracks the thief down and challenges her to Certamen. Cora fails, but the Bellanquin Flambeau is impressed by how close a "hedge wizard" got, and sells her the eggs back for half the vis value.

  • After that the main thing was getting ready for the politics needed to get her new covenant agreed to. Samiaya has a difficult birth, with three children, but everyone comes together to perform a healing ritual.

  • Then a lot of politicking at the next 12 year gathering at Crintera

  • Then pages of stuff about the new covenant and Tribunal, which really is then past the apprentice level. Hope you find something of interest among this, :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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As one of my long term personal fun projects is to sum up in an adventure sense the years of my character's apprenticeship I might have to yoink some of them for my personal solo game. hehe

I own apprentices and while the book is generally very interesting and useful the one thing it does lack is apprentice era story seeds - well it has a few but not enough to actually run an apprentice saga that goes for over a decade of in universe play. So yeah these ideas are quite helpful and useful and cool!

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This list is fantastic.

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