[Mage: The Suppressed Transmission] Ash and Water

Mage: The Suppressed Transmission is a Mage: The Ascension campaign I ran from the summer to winter of 2005 at Quarterstaff Games. I think of it as my first “real” campaign and present my session reports, mostly written just after the action, exactly as they are, excepting the occasional corrected typo.


This tale, as seen through the eyes of Evan Stafford, follows the as-yet unpublished Trial by Fire.

Ash and Water

My hands were fuzzy — I don’t remember them being so fuzzy — and then, I walked into the floor.

Meanwhile the rest of the cabal, including Khan Li, were awake, and trying to figure out what had been happening involving the giant creature. Kay had gotten its eyeball stuck on his sword, and was practicing intricate maneuvers, to rid his sword of it. Khan Li was in the process of aiding three surviving police officers to safety. Henry, he helped me.

As I said I had just walked into the floor, it was very strange, and I was confused as to how I’d done it, Khan Li shouted something, probably important, but he was very far off. Then I got thrown against a wall along with Henry. It must have been at a very steep pitch, because next thing I knew, I was heading for the floor, at a very quick descent. Hitting those jagged rocks probably hurt the rest of the cabal, but as far as I was concerned my shoulders just got pinched a little, I had already lost sensation in them, so feeling pain from them must have meant that something very bad had just happened.

Slowly, one by one we all scrambled to our feet, and located one another. Khan Li healed my wounds to near perfection, I hadn’t felt this good since I had joined the cabal. The first thing I awoke to was a strange room, almost like a geode, except with a crack on the top, and fiery debris raining continuously down at us, if not violently. Three officers were alive down here; one of them seemed to be of higher rank, Sergeant Frank Murtaugh. He easily ordered the other two to do a perimeter search around the cavern.

But the edges of the cavern wasn’t what was interesting, it was the tower. A huge tower dominated the cavern, carved out of a single piece of bedrock. There wasn’t even a seam visible in it, but it was covered in the angelic script Dr. Dee is famed for inventing. There was an obvious entrance, and Sgt. Murtaugh headed straight for it. No fireballs, no invisible walls, no physical wards prevented us from following when the other two officers came and entered the tower.

We entered very cautiously, waiting while Kay took some rubbings of the symbols on the tower. Once he had finished, we proceeded to the second floor where we saw three officers lying unconscious on the ground. It was a library, its shelves filled with priceless books. As we inspected the walls, Rosen and Stern stepped out from behind a curtain.

As we attempted to peaceably recover my and Kay’s blood, Stern recognized Khan Li, saying that he had killed Khan Li in a previous life. Rosen demanded Kay’s sword, because of the eye stuck on the end of it. The scene quickly degraded into violence involving a number of priceless antiquities being destroyed, a fair deal of Kay using his sword (with the eye stuck on the end) as a bludgeoning weapon, Henry shattering a pot in Stern’s face, Khan Li deftly dodging Stern’s attempts to seriously maim him, and a few fire spirits Rosen called up, as well as a wind spirit and strong water spirit of my own summoning.

During the course of the battle, Kay attempted to summon up a wall of water to combat the fire spirits, but in doing so he invoked God’s wrath — one of the many reasons not to rely on God — and seemingly in response, bleeding wounds opened in the center of his wrists. They don’t look like they’ll heal anytime soon, either.

By the end of it, Rosen and Stern had run down the stairs, escaping Khan Li’s attempt to stop them. Then there were four magi in a library with three unconscious, potentially badly injured, cops. Naturally, we began finding every volume of apparent value and collecting them. Once we were decently sated with tomes, we began looking for an exit. However, we found the top of the tower sealed, and my attempt to shoot it open failed.

So we inspected the outside of the tower, finding a number of strange amulets, like that which Rosen used to summon his fiery servants, to take with us. After activating one of the portals in the base of the woer, and finding it would take us to a place even more strange than where we were, we followed Khan Li’s advice and returned to Porthos in Doissetep. In the chantry’s hall of healing, we received full treatment of our wounds. The life magi wondered at Kay’s stigmata and asked to study it. Seeing as it would leave Kay without an arm for a while, he refused the request.

After sending word to House Quaesitor’s San Francisco consilium that I might be late for the convocation due to begin shortly, we talked with Porthos, who revealed we had been involved in the conflict with Dr. Dee for many lifetimes. He was reluctant to say more. He was taken aback by our looting the mage’s library, though noted several titles with a gleam in him eye. In particular, he suggested we take especial care of what he called a mappamondi and a curious pair of spectacles seemingly made of odds and ends Khan Li had chanced upon.

After finishing our tea, Porthos returned us to the Winchester Mystery House, promising to send along the books we had pillaged from Dee’s henchmen. On our arrival, Mulhouse the librarian was overjoyed to see our temporary donation to the chantry library, including the mappamondi, which appeared to be for navigating the otherworlds, which he called the Tabula Perfecta Quattuor Regnorum. Meanwhile, Khan Li had gone to consult with his teacher, Lu Tze, on the significance that he had lived previous lives and how he might learn to recall them.

I was less happy to receive a summons by the city tribunal to an inquisition into improper drug testing on Sunny. We were rushing to make sure my stash of faerie moss was still there when the chantry’s warning bell began to ring madly…

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