I had a perfectly good game session planned for last weekend, and once again my players ruined everything. Also once again, it was that damned Acanthus Mage who ruined everything the most.
They kept telling me that their plan for this session was to be a direct assault on the Seers of the Throne. I was prepared for this. In fact, I’d been prepared for them to come to this decision (or at least stumble into it blindly) about 6 months ago. It was, admittedly, a very bad plan. Also admittedly, this is what made me like it all the more. Their good plans always leave my poor Seers at a loss. Their bad plans make me giggle. I was giggling a lot last week.
The Acanthus Mage had to decide to cast Divination to decide whether or not ‘storming the castle’ (so to speak) was a good idea. Then, just to add insult to pain in my ass, she had to cast Interconnections to see if she had any Fate ties to the location in question that might indicate that her allegedly kidnapped sister was there. When she discovered that she had no connections to the “Seers HQ” (alleged), and after her divination brought to mind Gimli’s thoughts on storming the gates of Mordor, she convinced the rest of her Cabal to call off the assault.
So what do they do instead? They decide to call a meeting with a woman they strongly suspect to be a Seer of the Throne, who they know as Hannah (AKA: Damien’s ex-wife (See Here: Hook, Line, and Sinker )). She accepts their meeting. After all, she isn’t unreasonable. She just wants to serve her Exarch and get on with her life just like the rest of us. She has nothing in particular against the Cabal… well except maybe her douchebag former husband who cheated on her multiple times with whoever didn’t say no. Even under the circumstances she was willing to be the better person and have a rational conversation with him. She lets him choose the place. She lets him choose the time. She asks up front if this will be a private meeting, and when he says to bring one other person she does. She gave him everything he wanted. She gave him the best years of her life! What does she get in return?
She gets pushed into a waiting portal so that his Cabal Mates can beat on her as soon as she materializes, that’s what!
Poor Hannah botched her WITS+EMPATHY roll to sense his cruel and underhanded motives. She trusted him again, and again he betrayed her sacred trust. So she materializes in a place fortified by Damien’s Cabal, and immediately everyone starts beating on her. They magically punch her in the brain, they root her to the space she’s standing in, they try to counterspell her magic shields. She has done NOTHING to them! All she tries to do is leave. That’s it… just leave. Hannah is no joke of a Mage, and so she weaves a Time spell to shunt herself backwards in time a bit. She isn’t looking for anything huge, just enough time to teleport herself elsewhere (the Space anchors wouldn’t be in place yet) and then jump herself back to her normal time frame in a place where this Cabal of jerks is not laying in wait to beat her face in for no apparent reason. Is that really so much to ask?
Meanwhile, back at the meeting place, her agreed upon companion realizes that she has disappeared. Her agreed upon companion also realizes that the new skank her ex-husband is hanging around with is still there. As such, her companion (being no fool) decides to turn the air around the skank’s head into chloroform. Why? It will do no lasting harm, and this purple-haired tramp might give leverage if needed. Also, by casting on the air around this lady she gets no defense bonuses or resistances to the spell. The plan is simple and effective. Or so it would seem.
The purple-haired tramp twists Fate to get out of the affected area of the gas before passing out completely, and then jumps through the bloody portal! Discovering that she has just missed Damien’s ex, who cast some kind of spell to get outta Dodge, Aenaiyah (AKA: The Purple Haired Slut) scrutinizes the area. Aenaiyah realizes that this is the work of Time magic (she is an Acanthus Mage after all), and decides to ritually cast a spell to throw herself backwards in Time after poor abused Hannah. She can’t make it back as far as Hannah did, but does make it back far enough to leave herself a message (in the past) to use Time magic to prevent other Time spells from being cast in this area for a while when they are fortifying everything. She is smart enough to not give the messenger a specific reason why (because if this works that reason would now not exist and my brain would explode), beyond that it is a good idea to do it – and that afterward she should maybe pop back and tell herself it would be a good idea to use Time magic to prevent other Time spells from being cast in this area because otherwise she might forget to do it.
Honestly, can’t you just stick to Post-Cognition?
I hate Time Mages.
Do Guardians of the Veil dream of Supernal Sheep? On a good night… perhaps.
What of the bad nights? What fills his nights with terror ’till he awakes screaming in his sweat-soaked bed? Is it demonic manifestations of the abyss, dragged into the Fallen World by the paradox of raving Banishers?
Meh. These things happen.
Is it the Seers of the Throne? They spend their days on bent knee before their Exarchs plotting the demise of the Atlantean Pentacle and all those who seek its wisdom, but even they can not shake a Guardian to the foundations of his very soul.
Oh no, it takes much more than these to fill the Guardian’s heart with dread.
What does it take?
It takes one Acanthus Mage.
A Mysterium Acanthus Mage. A young woman with spikey purple hair, a smarmy British accent, and an overachieving sense of urgency. The worst part about this Mage is not that her Tarot Card is “The Fool”, nor is it the fact that she has at her command the power to warp both Time and Fate to her will.
The truly terrifying thing is the cabal in which she is the voice of sanity and reason.