Category Archives: White Wolf
Shortly before the second session of the campaign I was tossed a curve ball. Two people I had never met before signed up for my game, and I would be seeing their character sheets for the first time at the game table. Mage is a complicated game, to put it mildly, and as a still newbie GM (having only GMed once before – the first campaign session) I can’t pretend I wasn’t a bit unnerved. One of my promised regular players who had been unable to attend the first session was going to make it this time. This gave me the following cast of characters for the session:
Argus: Guardian of the Veil – Obrimos
Neils: Free Council – Obrimos
Marissa: Apostate – Acanthus
Nokoni: Adamantine Arrow – Thyrsus
Rex: Free Council – Moros
The session opens with Argus and Neils called into Narsil’s office to figure out what to do with the child they rescued during the first session. Narsil is a quietly menacing kind of Guardian who helps to herd the freshly Awakened and try make sure they don’t unleash massive Paradoxes or put on grand displays of Magery for the average Sleeper on the street. The first image that came into my mind when I needed an NPC to send the players on missions was the scenes of Aragorn at the Prancing Pony telling Frodo he needs to not do things like put The Ring on in the middle of a crowded bar. As a result the character absolutely has that Viggo Mortensen “Fellowship of the Ring” kind of thing going on with the long dark hair, blue eyes, and you really hope he’s on your side because he means business for whichever side he is on.
Anyway, Narsil has figured out that it is safe to wake the child up, and he’s whittled things down to a simple dispellation to do it. Since the younger Mages found her, and since it’s a good learning opportunity, and let’s face it – since they are the player characters, Argus and Neils get invited to Narsil’s office to be there when he wakes the girl up. Argus arrives at Narsil’s office first, mostly because Neils’ player was a little late that day.
When the girl wakes up she is disoriented to say the least. Everything is strange to her, and she doesn’t know where her parents are. The last thing she remembers is being lost at an amusement pier for days and days and days… she’s very confused, and speaks of a “magic man” who likes to play spell games with her. She tells the others that her name is Marissa, and it just so happens that Marissa is a very young Acanthus Mage.
Or is she?
Meanwhile, an altercation is taking place in the main area of the Mysterium Library. Someone has given Meijis, the head librarian and steward of the library, some very upsetting news. The normally mild mannered librarian is looking about ready to give a serious ass kicking to a French Mage who has entered the room through a portal direct from a Mysterium library in France.
(GM Note: The Portal in question is a pretty complicated affair. It is actually two Portals that meet somewhere deep under the ocean, one leading directly into the other.The two Mages had to coordinate to open them simultaneously while on different continents. It is constructed this way for two reasons: on the one hand it prevents anyone from reopening the Portal later on without winding up taking a swim, and on the other hand this manner of construction means that neither side had to breach the other side’s protective wards with a spell. It’s the kind of detail that I didn’t have reason to go into at the game table – but that’s what blogs are for!)
Nokoni and Rex, my two unexpected additions to the group, happen to be in the library for reasons of their own when things get ugly. Neils is running into the library and into Narsil’s office just as the French Man is stepping through the Portal with an obvious lack of a certain package under his arm. Neils reaches Narsil’s office and opens the door when the screaming starts. (See how cleverly I work in the fact that my player was late to the table? Yeah, I’m awesome like that.)
Naturally, Narsil runs outside to see what in hell is going on to get Meijis (think Winifred Burkle when she first joined the team on “Angel“) angry enough to yell like that. He asks Argus to mind the child as he dashes past, who naturally passes the buck to Neils, who (being an absent minded professor) tells the child not to cause any trouble and leaves her alone in Narsil’s office. Her player promptly informs me that she has wheeled Narsil’s chair over to a book case and has used it like a step stool to pull his books off of the highest shelves she can reach and use them like blocks on the floor. She alternates this with spinning in his chair until she is dizzy. (As you might imagine, he is not amused when he gets back to his office later.) As she tires of this she wanders out to join the others – because when do children ever do what they are told?
In the main room the players are discovering that the French Mysterium Librarian was supposed to be bringing a very special book with him. The Loquacious Grimoire (See: White Wolf’s “Grimoire of Grimoires“) has chosen its next reader, and it has chosen Meijis. She has been hoping for a chance to be a reader for some years, and is more than a little upset to hear this story about the book having been allegedly stolen from the French Reliquary. People have tried to hold on to the book after it has chosen a reader before, and she has some concerns that this may be another of those times.
Who will be stupid… err cowardly… I mean selfless and honorable enough to step through the Portal to France to find out what really happened?
I’ll give you five guesses.
It was either go to France or still be in New York when Narsil sees the mess in his office.
They chose… wisely.