“Based on your demonstrated skill and talent, you have been invited to become an Angel, an initiate of the Circle of the Magi. Your first mission will be given to you in Absalom, at the following location, ### Avenue, Eastgate on the #th day of <month>, at sundown. This message will self-destruct.”
And so the summons went to a handful of carefully selected Magi, all of whom decided to accept the invite. This select group was composed of:
TURRIS (code name: “Higgins”) the male Elven Spire Defender Magus. (Eric)
FARRAHS FRESCA (code name: “The Sunblade”) the male Elven Mindblade Magus who likes to feel people up. (Bill)
ARCHIMONDE “Archie” DUFF (code name: “The Puppetmaster”) the male Tiefling Puppetmaster Magus and his puppet, Gregory. Short and pale – can’t put your finger on why, but you just don’t like looking at him. Looks human, beside a prehensile tail, to which he has tied a puppet made out of an old sack and some twine.(Alana)
??? (code name: “Nevaeh”) the female Aasimer Skirnir Magus. (Glen)
DESTINY (code name: “Suli”) the female Suli Spellblade Magus. (Lyndon)
DAMIEN (code name: “Black”) the male Tiefling Bladebound Magus. (Ray)
When the characters arrive to the sparcely furnished home in the East Gate district, they are greeted by a gentleman that introduces himself as “Q.” Q welcomes the team, pulls out a large gem that he places on the table, and introduces the person who has summoned everyone here, code named “Charlie.” The voice from the Gem sounds male, but it could easily be a woman or some non-humanoid entity who is using magic to disguise their voice. Charlie begins his address with “Good Morning Angels” to which the group responds in unison “Good Morning Charlie.” He then goes on to give some background on the Angels of the Magi, a group that has appeared throughout history off and on, and in it’s current incarnation is a newly formed rogue shadow agency that was tacitly approved by one or several high level Guild members that want new blood, an escape from the Guild’s tarnished reputation, and is basically a beta version special ops team. The adventurers were told that should anything happen to them, the Guild is not involved and will deny any involvement. These adventurers did not get a guild badge, and will operate with anonymity and discretion, assuming new identities as needed.
Charlie also explains that the first mission is merely a test, for which he is not personally invested, but agreed to in order to win the services of a healer, a deaf female Oracle code named “Apollo” (which Damien recognizes as Dawn from the Guild). Archie seemed upset that his healing abilities were being upstaged by a professional healer. Q then stepped in to interpret a signed language that he and Apollo had developed. Apollo has had some prophetic visions surrounding the kidnapping of a disgraced guild lieutenant, Courage (aka “The Baby Killer”). According to Apollo’s dreams, he is being held under duress in the Precipice District. Her dreams have allowed her the knowledge to guide the team to the location where he is being held, but she is not clear who has captured him. What has been revealed is that Courage, who has always been known for being a bit paranoid, is being haunted by malevolent spirits (Shadows?), who together with his captor, are seeking to turn him evil. She emphasizes that her dreams indicate that he must be saved, else his own mixed feelings about slaying a child combined with torture and the psychological duress of the taunting spirits will cause him to become an Oracle in his own right, an evil Oracle of Bones who will bring much pain, destruction, and havoc to the world!
Charlie thanks Apollo for her presentation and tells the new initiates that if they accept this mission, they will receive powerful runes specially chosen for each of their strengths. He also tells them that they will be allowed to stay in this house for the night, sparcely furnished as it is being sold and only rented to them temporarily through a new start-up business in Absalom called Starstone BnB. Charlie reminds them that Dawn’s abilities should be reserved primarily for healing, and wishes them well and signs off. The Puppet Master and Higgins were unimpressed with the lack of indoor toiletry systems.
Q mentions that since the team is supposed to be the best of the best, that they should huddle and coordinate an adventure strategy. In the course of their adventures, they learn a few signs to use with Apollo that translate to “Channel (Heal),” “Channel (Blast Undead),” “Look <direction>,” “Stay back,” and “Trap <direction>.” They also determine that should Dawn find herself in a predicament where she can’t see, she should scream or ring a bell (“Shame… Shame….”). Lastly, everybody learned a short sign for their code name and the code names of their team members.
A few team members stepped out for supplies, and some shared their knowledge of spells, learning some new ones in process, before heading to bed.
The team was awoken by a scream from Apollo’s room. With Q interpreting, Apollo indicates that Courage is being held by an evil Orc. And so the adventurers begin their day. With the flashing of some fancy papers (and Higgin’s generous prestidigitation), the team passes by the gate guards, as security along the Precipice border has been amped up due to recent guild missions that were, ahem, less than successful.
Apollo was able to quickly lead the team, after only a few blocks, to the basement where Courage was being held. Unfortunately, lurking about was a ghoul (identified by the puppet Gregory), gnawing the flesh of cadaver in a half-fallen down shack. The ghoul came at the team but Black made short work of him. Once the ghoul was taken care of, the team realized that the cadaver was a zombie! Again, the talented Angel’s made short work of the enemy.
After checking for traps, the team opens the basement doors. The Sunblade is the first to go down, identifying a Sentry Skull, but getting sealed in by a sliding trap door in the process. While in there, the Sunblade miraculously survives three shadows attacking with only a minor dent in charisma, using the Vanish spell to aid him. Meanwhile, outdoors a 200+lb (with gear) Black falls through the rotted stairs, trapping himself and Higgins into a small space. They realize they are dealing with shadows and Dawn casts Hide from Undead to protect them. Higgins gets the door open, and one of the team members (Neveah) gets the door propped open. The team entered to take on Charisma and Con draining shadows, using Disrupt Undead and Burning Hands, with Higgins and the Sunblade dancing among the most fearsome foes and hacking them to pieces with their beautiful elven curve blades charged with elemental energy, Suli using her force athame, and Black with his intelligent Blackblade.
Upon entry to the main room, the heroes found a large dark room (luckily most all team members had dark vision), with a large circle of silver powder, and large orc warpriest that Puppetmaster identified as a follower of Zon-Kuthon wielding a spiked chain in the center of the room. Although Puppetmaster’s Charm spell was fail, he made a valient effort, and Nevaeh’s Reduce Person turned the tide of the battle right at the beginning. The evil warpriest used several negative energy channels, but the team bested him with little effort, with the Sunblade dealing the final blow, burning blood spurting all over Higgins! Apollo was on hand to heal. Meanwhile, some of the team members had spotted Courage in a chair at the back of the room, arms held down by metal cuffs, and his bloody hands straining to hold an anvil over an infant tiefling. Black propped the anvil against his back, and grabbed the baby, Courage was able to release the rope and the anvil fell off of Black’s back to the floor, injuring no one. Black even freed Courage, the Half-Orc Guild Fighter who had tried to kill him as an infant!
Getting out, with broken stairs, proved to be challenging, more so because five zombies had converged upon the hole where the stairs were. However, the team capitalized on the Zombie’s lack of brain power, allowing them to fall into the hole, falling onto each other, and picking them off one at a time with Disrupt Undead, Burning Hands, and weapons. After which, the team clambered out with Courage and the baby Tiefling. Courage explained that the Warpriest was from an Orc tribe that he ran with years ago and that the guy never liked Courage.
Upon returning to the Starstone BnB in Eastgate, the team received the following runes, which also tie them to a lifetime as Magi (no more multi-classing!).
Higgins – Rune of Contingency
Sunblade – Rune of the Inscrutable One
Puppetmaster – Rune of the Mistress
Neveah – Rune of Resistance
Suli – Rune of the Lord’s Palanquin
Black – Rune of Razing
The team members may also learn Common Sign Language when they level up next, and are now embedded as undercover agents in the Guild, and will take on Guild missions as necessary to stay undercover.
XP 1,215 per player