Our Bonisagus Creo specialist has recently been hired to make a longevity ritual for a Tremere archmage. While there are better ritual makers out there, the archmage is old enough that it's getting difficult to find someone with a sufficient magic theory score. This PC fits that bill, he's close, and he's considered extremely reliable by the local Tremere.
Now, it seems to me that there ought to be a great adventure somewhere in this scenario, but I'm having real trouble finding it. Obviously, this archmage ought to be up to something, but prior campaign history means he can't really afford to alienate the PC too much. The Tremere have a political majority in the Tribunal, but it's narrow and somewhat tense; even a small revolt could lead to its collapse.
So... Can anyone think up a good scheme? Thanks for your help.
Many SG's treat Longevity Ritual as just another Lab Total - Creo + Corpus, some vis of the same... NEXT!
But if you treat it as a "formula", then every formula is different, and may require rare or odd ingredients. So, toward the end of the Season, when spare time is tight, an ingredient is needed that is missing.
That's a very simple adventure.
If you want a story hook, something more complex and far reaching, then introduce the person of the Tremere into the mix. At some point (fairly clearly?), the two have to meet in a lab - the Boni's, the Trem's, a neutral location, something. And that carries with it all kinds of significance and openings for plotlines.
Maybe something the Trem carried with him disappears - his voting sigil, for instance? Ouch. Or an apprentice's sigil? Not as bad, but still socially awkward.
Maybe the magi find same after he leaves - was it left behind? Did someone try to steal it? Is it a test from the Tremere? Does he know yet? It's an AC to the mage... What, exactly, to do with it?
If he's an arch magus, now could be the time that a magus (or more than one) decide to drop in and challenge him. The Archmagus needs to be in the lab to get this finished, distractions can prevent this.
Maybe the potential opponents actually want to keep the PC from performing the work. Or they want the PC to tell what he knows of him after studying him to make the potion...or else.
The PC could arrive just in time for a Wizard's War to be declared on the Archmagus, suddenly his lab and sanctum are not so safe.
let's thing more in terms of politics.
The tremere chose the PC so that the PC's assistance can later be used to show PC is allied and help shore up some wavering supports. Perhaps this brings about the emnity of someone of greater influence and fame that could have been chose to have that person working to undermine the PC's political influene. Pit enemies against each other so tremere can come out on top as mediator or take advantage of their distraction with each other.
Perhaps the longevity is excuse to spend time at the PC covenant to learn of personalities, inner quarrels, see what books they have, and otherwise spy on the covenant just by being there legally which prohibition against scrying would block otherwise.
Thanks for the ideas. In the end, I think I might have a potential challenger steal the lab text to try to discover the archmage's weaknesses.
Why steal it, make a large offer to the pc for copy of the text and that keeping it quiet is condition of the offer. Make the PC have a moral dilemna about it. Stealing could potentially be lethal breaking into a secured lab.
(then again the tremere gets to see the defenses by being in the lab for spell creation).
That will probably be a prelude before breaking into the lab, but I rather doubt our PCs will bite. Such an action would be rather unprincipled and the risks attending discovery are great. Were such a breach of trust to be discovered, it would likely result in a wizards' war with an archmage, and (even if it didn't) it would end the PC's career as a maker of longevity rituals.
Sadly, the lab-rat has yet to expend much effort fortifying his laboratory. It's underground, and the secret to activating the entryway is, well, secret. There are a few servants who know the ritual, however, and they haven't been warded against Intellego magic... So, I think a determined adversary who wouldn't scruple a high crime or two (Tytalus, I'm guessing) could probably make it into the lab.
Considering if they are caught, it is a high crime and with powerful and influential PC and Tremere Archmage, almost guaranteed MARCH for it with most of the tribunal going along since no wizard wants scrying to learn their magical secrets.
Scrying servants and then stealing lab text basically breaks two components of the main code: 1) scrying, 2) depriving wizard of their magic.
Bribe the servants, get them drunk, don't scry on them to learn way in. Lure the mage out of the covenant for something nad sneak into the lab and copy the text over the season while he is out on some quest, adventure or other activity. This way, you haven't scried and as wizard has original lab text, you aren't depriving him of magical resource.
If you scry the servants outside of the magus sanctum, it ain't scrying You're just scrying on a mundane, after all
If you discover secrets of the magus by doing so , it is still a high crime. It would be like saying that peering into the magus sanctum when he is not there is not scrying. You would be quite fortunate to scape being marched using this reasoning.
Nope, his sanctum is protected IIRC, that's why I said "scry them outside of the sanctum.
I may be wrong here, but IIRC, the oath forbids scrying on his sodales, not on their servants.
And when does it ends? You scry on some guy in a town, he happens to be a servant of some magus => high crime?
Of course, it also becomes a tribunal matter.
The Sanctum is not protect specifically - but it's covered.
[i]I will not use magic to scry upon members of the Order of Hermes, nor shall I use it to peer into their affairs."
Just broad enough to be dangerous.
If a mage is not in their sanctum, then scrying on their sanctum is still, pretty clearly, "peering into their affairs". And where does their property end? Using magic to wheedle information out of a grog, or out of any mundane witness to "their affairs" sounds like it could be grounds for a complaint. (Tribunal action is entirely another discussion.)