“In the oldest legends of the Art it is written that once every few centuries the dragons -if that is even how such beings may be described- speak to sorcerers of great power, the mightiest arch-magi of their respected ages. In dark dreams these entities are said to whisper the deepest secrets of the arcane to their chosen heralds. What may be said in these communions is unknown but legends speak of the mages who hear them being inspired, or perhaps compelled, to use the eldritch lore they dream to forge unique spells of untold might; the so called Draconic Deowemers. Only a handful of these invocations are known to exists and most are lost in the mists of legend but they do exist. I myself have gazed upon one; baffling in its complexity, riven with a logic that defies the mortal mind…the voice of the dragon given form.”
-Extract from Toregon's Grand Thaumaturgical Thesis Vol. IX
In recent days the The College of Stars has been making it known that it wishes to hire several skilled adventurous sorts for a well funded research project. Further enquires to the college have been met with silence and various mutterings of legally binding non-disclosure agreements. Interested parties are asked to report to the college's Department of Esoteric Arcana three days hence.
At the behest of the College of Star's Prof. Openheim Black, and funded by 'security interests', the party are sent out to hunt down the five great Draconic Doewemers.
They recover the ‘18th Rune of Atrivium’ from an ancient tome within the college of stars library with little difficulty. The next of the great spells, ‘Dammerung's Requiem of the Flesh’, is harder to recover. Following Prof. Black's lead the party venture to the ancient arena outside the city which was recently discovered to have been constructed over Dammerung the Undying's ancient palace. At the archeological dig site, excavating the palace the party find the dig team acting rather strangely, they seem to know little of history or indeed Acryn and insist the party leave. When the party question them probingly the ruse is revealed and their leader breaks a chain; causing the illusion concealing them to fall away revealing a Crimson robed mage accompanied by some heavily armoured mercenaries. They try to take the Mage alive but as she falls the six pointed symbol upon her brow blazes with light and her body crumbles into shards of nothingness. Venturing on the party encounter the undead champion of Dammerung within the sunken palace and are able to wrest Dammerung's crown from it, upon which is engraved the spell they seek.
The party press on, now on the trail of ‘Vulstragorn's Crimson Key’, the spell made, and made famous, by the legendary noble-adventurer-wizard Vulstragorn. Following another tenuous lead the party track down Tourmal Darrish, a collector of Vulstragorn memorabilia. He has in his possession Vulstragorn's puzzle box. Gidner solves the puzzle and the party are transported elsewhere, both within the cube and seemingly beyond the bounds of normal reality. It seems Vulstragorn, growing tired of fame, retreated into research, eventually creating and becoming the jade cube. Within the realm of the cube he seems to possess essentially limitless power but is terribly terribly bored and is rather pleased to finally have someone to talk to. Unfortunately he's a bit sensitive about his eponymous spell and would rather be remembered for his academic research. After some trials of wit and daring-do he gives the party access to the spell, but only if they promise to ensure he gets some company. They agree to take him to the College of Stars where no doubt they will be keen to have a legendary (all be it cubic) arch-mage on staff.
Next the party are sent to track down perhaps the most feared of all the rituals of legend; ‘The Killing Sphere of Oooberous’, renowned for destroying the ancient city of Cheb, and slaying virtually every sorcerer who has ever summoned it. It seems the mage Arthur Dent rediscovered the spell recently before being killed by it and is likely buried with a copy of it. Time for some grave robbing. The party descend on the garden of the Tender, while Eric goes to the temple of the tender to smooth over the inevitable diplomatic fall-out. To their surprise the party find the spell gone. Revolutionaries having tunnelled up from the sewers and stolen it. The party find the anarchists in the middle of trying to summon the deadliest of all spheres into an emergency session of the Council. Disaster is only averted when the sphere turns upon its summoner and the party are able to banish it…but not before its eldritch blades tear into Gidner's very soul; wounding him in a way that should not be. His attempts to aid the party with a dream vision unfortunately reveal his fractured soul to them; causing much horror.
With four of the Draconic Doewemers recovered the party rest. During the night Harlon uses his own magic to copy the spells from the Dragonskin Grimoire, burning them into his own mind. The wards on the Grimoire do not approve of this and the resulting firestorm destroys much of the People's College's administration department.
The next day the party set off for the monastery of the Builder where the Arch-Mage Mulverain is said to have retired, perhaps there they can locate the final Doewemer; ‘Mulverain's Perfect Word’. They find the temple a smoking ruin. Out of the flames strides a Crimson robed figure. It demands the party hand over the grimoire or suffer the wrath of 'The Magisterium'. When the party refuse he attempts to burn them to ash before being cut down and shattering like the other.
Despite the carnage it seems the party see a greater threat in Gidner, having glimpsed his soul and so Eric, Reginald and Jarred subdue him to be taken to the temple of the Tender. Harlon and Carl meanwhile see a chance for phenomenal cosmic power and race into the temple to find the final Doewemer…Reginald close on their heels.
Within an ancient vault Harlon and Carl find iron men and women, seemingly alive but somehow wrong. They also find the Arch-Mage Mulverain, sealed in with her creations. She tells them she has secluded herself here to look after her creations, implying they exist through the action of the spell they seek. She says she will open the way to the spell if they slay her creations, even as she asks this she falls into dust as the ravages of age catch up with her.
As Reginald catches up with them Carl and Harlon find the final spell bound within a golden tuning fork. However, it is guarded by a creature that asks for it's mother; it is a dragon of living iron. The three of them only narrowly defeat the monstrous abomination.
Outside the monastery once more, Harlon gives into his curiosity and burns the final spell into his mind. Now a Draconic Doewemer from each of the dragons sits within his consciousness and for a single moment he feels five minds, reaching out from distances unimaginable , each utterly alien and with wills as vast as reality and as ancient as time itself. They touch his own mind for only a fleeting instant, but as they do so, for a single wonderful moment, he understands the very nature of magic. As they withdraw the understanding fades, but he has grasped a deeper mastery of the arcane, one that few mortal mages have every grasped.
Meanwhile, Eric and Jarred escort Gidner back to Acryn and to the temple of the Tender. On the road they are again assailed by one of the crimson wizards, again demanding the grimoire and spells it contains. They fight the mage off and he is forced to flee. They return to Acryn and take Gidner to the temple of the Tender. The priests are not clear what has happened but imply that Gidner has been deeply wounded in some fundamental way, but he’s not a monster. They suggest that the College might be a more appropriate place to seek aid and urge Gidner to turn from his heathen God to the mercy of the Tender if he wishes to save his soul, which is clearly imperiled.
All of the party arrive back at the college, the grimoire now filled with the five legendary spells. They hand it over to Prof. Black and watch as he seals the tome in a warded vault deep beneath the College’s library. Finally they can relax with some drinks in the staff room as they regale the academics with tales of what they have encountered.
Suddenly the college quakes as an explosion rips through the room. In the air a fissure seems to form in reality and opens into a portal to a wyrd cityscape; great stone heads above a stormy sea a thousand lights flickering over their faces. Beyond the portal stands a man bearing a ruby staff adorned in lustrous crimson robes, the same six pointed sign on his brow. He is flanked by a contingent of black armoured figures.
Sneering, he informs the party that their pitiful attempts to protect the grimoire have been in vain, despite the death of his agents. Now he has come personally retrieve it and they cannot hope to contend with him; The Magister of the Tower of Sigils. He informs them that he goes to take the tome, to interfere would be to abandon the college members to their death. The black armoured figures pour through the portal and begin to cut the college staff down as the portal winks closed.
The party split, with some trying to protect the academics while the others race to the vault far below. There they find the sorcerer attempting to break the bindings on the Grimoire. They attack. The mage displays considerable arcane prowess but in the end he falls while trying to flee back through a portal to the strange city. He fails and as he falls the portal winks closed, bisecting him.
The college is in turmoil. Several students and members of staff are dead, only Gidner’s extraordinary efforts preventing a greater loss of life. The Grimoire is safe however and Prof. Black is alive. He thanks the party and immediately beings rallying the staff to raise wards around the college. He agrees that working with the People’s College, while distasteful, will be necessary to extend the wards to protect the city as a whole from any more incursions from the mysterious Magisterium.
Eric, Reginald and Jarred report to the council about the events. Its Chiara Walker who deals with them, when they reveal what they know about ‘The Magisterium’ she is concerned but not surprised, implying there has been evidence that some arcane organisation has been interfering in many of the nations around Acryn. Details are unclear but she theorizes that they may hail from the far south. Reginald rebuilds the sub-basements of the council building…secretly including a key structural weakness.
Over the coming weeks everyone in the city will see glowing blue obelisks being erected around the walls of Acryn. Fracturing mages will sense that a powerful ward has been placed over the city.
Now knows the five Draconic Doewemers and may cast any of them from a rite he knows. These are spells of worldshaking power whose exact effects are unknown until the moment of casting. They always cost 5 mana to cast. (I’ll let the LARPO’s know what they do).
Has the spells engraved into his mind…and perhaps deeper. Having been touched by the wills of the dragons he has plumbed the deepest mysteries of the Arcane and may now take skills from the Arch-Mage Epic tree (pending larpo clearance). However such forbidden knowledge has altered him, his skin is now covered in iridescent scales and strange diagrams and arcane symbology crawl constantly over his flesh. (OC note: to prevent silliness and rampant duplication of the spells; as copies Harlon’s copies can not in turn be copied by any method, however cunning. To do so would simply duplicate nonsense. The only way for others to obtain them is to consult the Dragonskin Grimoire.)
Having repeatedly triggered the protective wards on the Dragonskin Grimoire he is now subject to an ‘Arcane Curse’ burning out will result in a brilliant flash of light, transforming him into a book until freed by magical means.
Having twice having his very soul torn by the terrible power of the Killing Sphere; Gidner’s spirit is now cracking apart. This process gives him a deeper understanding of the spiritual and he can take skills from the ‘Burning Soul’ epic tree (with the aesthetics modified to spectral cracks rather than fire). Unfortunately, his soul is breaking apart. This effect will increase each adventure for five adventures. If at the end of the fifth adventure he has not solved the problem his soul will shatter. To help mitigate the problem is currently bound up in bonds of parchment.
Has a Rune of Command branded upon his cheek. It is the rune of ‘Left’. At GM discretion the rune can be triggered once per adventure for consequences (ie only being able to turn left for an encounter).
A necromantic scar. It is deathly cold to the touch.
You have learned the deeper secrets of the arcane and in so doing mastered the art to a level that few mortal magi ever have.
You have transcended the limits of most mortal magic users, your understanding of the fundamental nature of the arcane allows you to draw upon the powers of magic to a greater extent than lesser mages. You can cast one additional spell per encounter using proto-mana before suffering a scouring.
Such is your skill that you may weave a simple protective magic appropriate to your rite at a moments notice, negating magic unleashed against you. By expending a protomana you may call a RESIST against spells targeted at yourself. Spells that effect multiple targets will still effect the remaining targets.
Create Draconic Doewemer
Once and once only you may consume a powdered mana crystal and enter a dreamless meditation; opening your mind to the Dragon(s) associated with your rite(s). As the dragon touches your mind you will have a flash of inspiration; a work of magic shaped by the will of a dragon itself. When you awake you will be able to forge a Draconic Doewemer (in negotiation with the LARPO), a magical ritual of truly titanic power, capable of achieving utterly unique effects. Whatever the spell, it will inevitably become a thing of magical legend, your name inextricably associated with it.
Using this ability is likely to affect your sanity.
Cast Forth the Dragon's Roar
Once per adventure you may attune yourself to the flows and ebbs of mana through the world, doubling the protomana you may use during that encounter as your eyes are filled with blue fire. The effort is physically and mentally exhausting and for the next encounter you are WEAKENED and cannot cast any spell without suffering a scouring.
Alternatively, having reached the limits of the magical mastery of mortals you may; at the pinnacle of your career and at a time of great need; with 30 seconds of meditation; open your mind fully to the power of the dragon that rules your rite. As you do so you will be wreathed in a maelstrom of pure boiling mana.
Your spells no longer require components and require no more than a moment to cast. You also have a limitless supply of protomana to draw upon, while any magic cast against you is boiled away harmlessly (you may call RESIST against any magical effect).
After 1 minute passes you are utterly consumed by the arcane forces you have unleashed in a final explosion that deals a MASS TRIPLE STRIKEDOWN.