The legend of the Phoenix: Ideas are appreaciated

In an ongoing saga in constantinople, a PC maga is interested in the Phenix and the immortality (or rebirth abilities) it posseses.

The player in question is in agreement with the two Alpha SGs (I'm one of them), that this is a highly mythical creature, and even findign it - let alone discovering the secrets - could be game-breaking. Or an anti-climax. So this has become an ongoing, never-ending driving goal, which the player's meta-knowledge says is impossible. But the character still thinks she can.

Whjat I want to, it to let her delve into the myths and stories about the Phoenix, and related creatures and myths. This is material for a great many stories and fantastic journeys, much interaction with peoplemas well as beasts of myth, or even faerie gods.
Along the way, this open up avenues for discovering ancient secrets, and ways of integrating the knwledge gained into working better Longevity rituals.

Simply by searching Wikipedia, I get an easy handful og related myths, easily made into expedition-stories. Quite possible these are taken from medieval beastiaries.

But where I primarily seed inspiration, ideas, tips and advice, is concerning the knowledge gained and how to work it into lab projects - finding some balance between it being a challenge and it being useful. It's bound to be projects which won't get any benefit during the first decade. I own Ancient Magic, and I am familar with the mechanics for integrating and such, but not completely fluent. I'll have to read up on that.

I'm thinking she'll have to learn various old/local languages where many of these myths claim the Phoenix or soem related creature lives, in order to understand texts found. Plus I'll be sure to use the age-old gag, where the Fantastic Discovery of Valuable Secrets is in fact carved into huge stone slabs, or some other inconvenient medium.

Please don't hold yourselves back, any input is appreaciated.

Get the player into a dilemma situation,

  • she can become immortal, but she won't become immortal in order to save the world/ her child/her lover (bonus xp, or another gift by the phoenix like the virtue unaging)
  • she finds a tear of a phoenix (nice for tracking the phoenix itself), but it is stolen. When she finally gets to the thieves, the tear has been swapped for a fake (but there is other compensation, like phoenix lore): This is how she discovers that avillain is at work trying to reach the Phoenix before her. What does the character do: stop the villain or hunt the phoenix herself? Team up with the bad guy?

A first "hint" of finding it could be letting the character find a phoenix feather, nice little glow-in-the-dark thing. That alone should be enough for quite some labtime, and might give a better chance to find the birdy itself.
And maybe ashes from where it has reborn.

Maybe the improved longevity ritual requires a phoenix feather or other part from it as ingredient?
Or maybe it literally requires some sort of rebirth to work properly, rebirth either figuratively or literally as preferred...

You wanted it! :stuck_out_tongue:

As the phoenix is the symbolic representation of sacrifice and rebirth, the story should be inmensed in these elements. This mystic search is best reflected not by Hermetic breakthrough, but a series of Mysteries. As with Forest Lore (you should read "Guardians of the Forest", excellent inspiration) the character should gain Phoenix Lore every time he can study it from a source (be it a feather, its nest, ashes, or even listening / learning legends). As Guardians of the Forest, that ability acts like a modifier to (auto)initiation in their Mysteries, for a series of Quests. Some ideas for them could be: Travelling to North Africa (where legends say it could reside), finding its faerie representation (perhaps searching for the one and true, averting the "fake" ones and learning from them the true location), even going against the phoenix´s guardians (be them dragons, faeries, hedge mages, etc).

Along the travel, he/she should sacrifice many things (for example, physical Flaws, part of his Gift (Hermetic Flaws) etc, to gain the wisdom of the phoenix (Virtues that, for example, could break the hermetic limits, perhaps tomorrow i can think of several ones).

Even for better story potential, there could be competition (for example, a group of Seekers) against him/her, and if they try to use its power for Evil, better :stuck_out_tongue:. More to spice it up, they could kill or maim loved ones to turn the fight much more personal.

And at last, my idea of the great finale: In a cave where the Phoenix stands, the Evil ones kill it utterly in front of the character. But, before they receive its power, the character could sacrifice himself using one of the Phoenix´s Mysteries, destroying the threat for Mythic Europe. If the player then agrees, the cave implode and they are destroyed. And in his/her sacrifice, at last he learns the ultimate Phoenix Mystery: he will be Immortal, and is reborn as a child every time he dies...

Hope it helps!