Mage: Episode 1 (Part 3)

Posted by Peter Gates


The second session of the campaign began immediately following the first, with each of the characters moving outside the Liberty nightclub and bar at the direction of the authorities.

Episode 1: Beginnings (Part 3)

Game Session 2
Shortly after moving around from the back alley where they exited the building, Aidan and William spotting Hawk, who had once assisted Aidan as a wilderness guide on one of Aidan’s jobs. The trio discussed what had happened and raised the question why they, of all people, were the only people to remember the events that had unfolded earlier than evening. Shortly thereafter they were approached by Michael H and Joseph, and finally Michael W, who had all overheard their discussion about the heist. At that point the group decided to meet at Ashfield Estate – William’s residence – to discuss the events in a more private environment. Unfortunately Joseph had to decline, insisting he had to return to check on his store and run inventory before the next day.

Once the rest of the group arrived at Ashfield Estate William offered them a drink from his former grandfather’s rather extensive supply of alcohol before showing everyone the book that he had shown Aidan earlier.

It seemed that the book explain, somewhat cryptically, the process of awakening as a mage’s soul transcends this reality and travelled to a place known as the Beyond, after which the mage could then draw upon the energies of the Beyond to manipulate the fabric of reality around him. It also mentioned the dangerous of pulling too much power or attempting anything too dramatic, which would cause a backlash and potentially draw the attention of entities from the Beyond.

During the discussions as to what to do next Salem, William’s pet black cat, wandered into the room and sat on the nearby rug, watching the group. When Hawk and Michael glanced up at it their heads were suddenly wracked by incredibly painful headaches as visions, like a scratchy film, of the very same cat eating pizza and talking to them in a small apartment (these were in fact scenes from the original mage campaign) flooded their minds. This prompted strange looks of concern from the others, although the group decided it may have been an after effect of the earlier visions.

Leaving the others to look over the book – at which point Michael W started taking pictures of the book’s pages – William lead Aidan down to the cellar to show him where he had found the book. Once down there, the pair sense a faint hum of energy in the air, getting stronger as they approached the wall in which the book was found, which William swore wasn't there when he first found it. Aidan suggested they get a hammer and crowbar to take the wall down, but William offered his own solution, using his magic to cause the wall to shift and fold as to allow passage to what lay beyond.

What they found wasn't what they were expecting.

A series of stairs lead down into a series of rooms, with filing cabinets and bookshelves lining the walls, stacked with an assortment of strange and unusual items. What was more trouble however was the pin board of images on the nearest wall, which had pictures of Aidan, William, each of the men upstairs, and the Asian man from before, plus others. Some were circled (all of the group’s photos), others crossed out, and some left unmarked. Alongside their names were strange phrases that meant little to either Aidan or William: “Are these the ones?” “Temporal Fractures” “The Gears” “Paradox?”

Both agreeing the others had to see this William went upstairs and brought the others down.
Once the others had had a chance to look at the photos there was a mix of concern and fascination as to how and why William’s grandfather was tracking them, and how had he worked out that they were connected somehow.

Just then Aidan received a phone call from Jack Wright, his former martial arts teacher, who asked him with some help with the daughter of an old friend of his who was being stalked by someone. Aidan agreed to come down and see him in the morning, inviting Hawk along when Jack recognised his voice as another of his students.

Shortly thereafter Michael W’s phone informed him that he was late for the dinner meeting he had planned with his sister, excusing himself as he started to leave. Before he left William, who had gone back to reading through the old book, read out a passage about the power of True Names, and the strong recommendation by the author to adopt Shadow Names in order to protect themselves from others who could use their True Name against them.

With this in mind William showed everyone out, suggestion that they should meet up again the following evening to discuss what had happened further. In the meanwhile he would continue to read over the book and discover as much as he could about their new abilities and what it meant for them.

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Some thirty minutes later Michael Williams arrived at his sister’s residence, briefly posting one of the images he had taken of the book to his social networking sites (that totally won’t come back to haunt him…) to see if anyone knew what it was, before heading up and ringing the doorbell.

Sarah answered, a little confused and asking her brother if he had gotten her message before sighing and just inviting him inside. Once inside she explained her friend Anna was being stalked by some guy, and that she was here for support. At that point Anna made an appearance and Michael experienced another painful flash, this time of Anna staring at him with a mix of disgust, anger and fear as she shouted, "Malphas? What the hell are you doing here? Get away from me!"

Steadying himself as he recovered from the vision his sister, being the doctor in the family, asked him if he was OK, but Michael brushed her off, trying to keep a straight face and hide his worry as to what he had just seen.

Michael then invited Anna to sit down and go over with him what had happened to see if he could help. Agreeing, she explained that she had seen this man following her the last two days when she went home from work, and she was concerned he was going to try something.

Using his magic to calm her emotions and instil a sense of trust of him into her, Michael was able to influence her such that she asked him to drive her home after they had eaten. She also told Sarah that her brother was really nice and comforting, which Sarah raised an eyebrow at.

After they had eaten Michael took Anna home and watched as she went inside, noticing a man matching Anna’s description watching her from nearby. Michael used his magic to probe his mind and picked up something about a ‘pound of flesh for the beast’ before he was spotted and the man summoned a golem-like creature formed of the earth to attack him, telling the golem that he could partake of Michael’s flesh instead.

Realising that, while the golem had a mind of sorts, he couldn't understand it enough to affect it, he opted instead to influence the stalker into believing that Michael wasn't to be trifled with, and to do so would be a very bad idea. This thought stuck in the young man’s head, and he called back the golem and fled the scene.

Shortly thereafter Anna came back out of the house and asked Michael what had happened, his only reply being that the stalker would no longer bother her again.