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[Let's Play]Choice of Magics -Second run

HK-50

Protocol and Translation
Validated User
Glamor is safe and good for you.

"Let the Church fume about the sanctity of sainthood," you say. "The fate of your nation comes first, and you need to inspire them."

"And the rot?" the queen says.

"It should not be a problem in moderation," you assure her.

Blessed Advisor Sam frowns. "You have earned my respect in the past, but here, you don't know what you're doing," he warns. (Decreased Sam Relationship.) "The Church will not canonize the queen. It will rapidly become obvious that she is using forbidden magic. Far from inspiring the people, it will turn them against her."

"If the Church can have its illusions, then so can I," the queen declares. "Teach me the ways of glamor, mage."

"Yes, Your Majesty," you say.

Over the next few months, as the days get colder and the first snow begins to fall, you furiously work in private on new spells powerful enough to change the fate of a kingdom. With your newfound experience in magic, the advanced book you took from the sunken library,Megali Mageia, or "Great Magic," now seems at least somewhat intelligible to you, and you concentrate on the parts that deal with negation magic.

In a laboratory beneath the palace supplied to you by the queen, you conduct magical experiments designed to draw immense power from the dark sun. (Gained Negation.) You use this power to make gears spin, axles turn, and levers lift in increasingly large models of factory machines. (Gained Automation.) In these models, tiny wands of negation blast off pieces of raw material from iron bars, crafting more cogs for ever larger machines.

Something else you realize, as you study the Megali Mageia more and more, is that the ancients knew tricks to make magic safer that are lost to you. The book makes passing reference to the precautions every wizard takes: apparently, wizards are supposed to draw runes and magic circles before casting big spells that reduce the negative side effects of the magic. But you have no idea what these runes and circles should look like or how they work.

If you're not careful, you may prove as dangerous to the world as a whole civilization of mages.

Meanwhile, the queen takes lessons in glamor magic from you. She is a quick study, and like you, she begins to be able to cast glamors almost immediately, leaving only the fine points to future lessons. With her glamors, she begins to impress all the major noble families of the kingdom, and the kingdom's coffers suddenly burgeon with back taxes finally being paid in full. The queen is pleased enough with you to offer a bonus out of this windfall. (Gained 300 Gold.)

The queen also uses her newfound popularity to speak glowingly of you, paving the way for your gradual unveiling to the general public as court wizard. (Increased Adoration.)

However, as the days go by, she seems slightly more pallid than she once did, no doubt due to rot. You wonder whether she slightly resents you for her ill health. (Decreased Thecla Relationship.)

The Church does not go so far as to decry her use of magic, however; they remain silent on the issue. Perhaps they think it ill advised to attack the queen while her popularity is ascendant. (Gained Kingdom Power.)

Determining who the factions are at court is a fascinating logic puzzle. If noble X insults noble Y, then you carefully watch noble Z: does the noble join in the criticism, or come to Y's support? In this way, you build a mental map of the nobles at court and their alliances. Most importantly, you figure out which alliances you're implicitly in.

It's perhaps no surprise that some of the oldest and most powerful guilds don't like you. You represent a threat to their monopolies and influence; magic is an axis on which they can't fight. The oldest dames and dukes also lean conservative, and therefore your implicit heresy does not sit well with them either.

On the other hand, many of the younger nobles and smaller guilds welcome your threat to the established order. They hope you'll use magic to upend monopolies, bust trusts, and essentially bring the destabilization that the old guard fears, so that they can have a shot.

You could play their games—it might bring you a bit more security at court to reduce the power of the old guard.

1.Use glamors to build bridges between the old guard and new.
2.Sow the seeds of discord among the old guard. (Requires calculation.)
3.Cast tricky divinations that reveal the old guard's secrets to each other.
4.I don't need to get involved in this.
Achievement Unlocked:Glamor Queen:Convinced the Queen to use glamor magic. (5 points)

Spoiler: Show

Saint Zig

Appearance-

A stylish person wearing dark robes that seem to harbor latent malevolence

Magic-

Negation:13
Automation:8
Glamor:0
Divination:5
Vivomancy:4

Skills-

Ancient History: 5 (Good)
Fighting: 5 (Good)
Subtlety: 5 (Good)
Charisma: 4 (Good)


Personality-

Optimism:44%/Caution:56%
Humor:50%/Solemnity:50%
Empathy:44%/Calculation:56%

Relationships-

Tal: 45 (Bad)
Cos: 50 (Fine)
Sam: 45 (Bad)
Thecla: 52 (Fine)
Church: 40 (Bad)
Undiscovered relationships: 1

Kingdom-

Kingdom Power: 3 (Decent)

Adoration:55%/Vilification:45%

Inventory-

Gold: 693 gold
Sword
Alchemy Set
Torc of Life and Death
Blue Luxgladius
Maximus Nought the Golem
Golem Manual

Students-

Seer Marie

Pets-

None

The Dead-

The Academy Inquisitor

Plot Points-

Chapter 1:

You and Tal stumbled on an ancient magic academy.
You discovered a book of vivomancy, and an inquisitor chased you.
You found an ancient dueling ground.
You killed the inquisitor.
The inquisitor fled your luxgladius, but you chased him down and murdered him.
You explored the academy library.
A divination revealed a potential ally in the form of a golem, so you took a manual on the operation of golems from the library.
You gained control of the golem.
You made your way through an ancient harpyball arena.
You went around the back way into the auditorium.
You went around the back way into the laboratory.
You obtained a dragon egg from the crow's nest of an ancient airship.
The flame from the dragon's breath threatened to consume the whole sunken academy.
You escaped the magic academy and headed for your hometown of Akriton.

Chapter 2

You flew up the coast of the Negative Sea back to Akriton.
You told your parents that you now wield great power.
You met a hat seller but bought nothing from her.
You taught Seer Marie real magic.
Seer Marie told your fortune with kalot cards.
You allowed a thief to steal from Fruitseller Fran.
You parted and destroyed the death cloud threatening Akriton.
In jail, you heard you have visitors from the capital.

Chapter 3

Your visitors introduced themselves as the inquisitors Blessed Sam and Blessed Jacob, and they asked you some questions.
Blessed Sam asked you to heal his pet dragon, Thomas.
Sam left you bound, and you remained captured and set to be brought to the capital.

Chapter 4

You found yourself captured in the basement of the Cathedral.
You waited in the dungeon of the Cathedral, hoping for rescue.
The hierophant came to make an offer of sainthood to you.
You became a saint.

Chapter 5

You briefly returned to Akriton to prepare for sainthood.
You refused to turn over your magical items, and the offer to become a saint was rescinded.
You visited an artifact seller in the market who sold a variety of rare items, including something called a fateshaper.
Seer Marie told a fortune in which time is running out, things would come back from the past to haunt you, and you needed to pick something to concentrate in.
She said further you would have your choice between power and chaos, ingenuity and a desperate plan, a shattering crown, a monster with an all-seeing eye, and a tree hiding an enemy, and that you should embrace the magics of the sun when you walk in the shadow of death.
The queen offered you a position as an advisor, which you accepted.

Chapter 6

You returned to the capital, summoned by the queen for an interview.
You became an unofficial magical advisor to the queen.
You moved into the royal palace.
Spymaster Dol reported sightings of the Neighbors' airships near the Negative Sea.
The queen asked you to determine in what ways the kingdom should adopt magic to stay competitive with the Magisterians.
Blessed Sam became Blessed Advisor Sam when you arrived at court.
You recommended using negative energy as the main way to power the kingdom's industry and military.
You suggested the queen use glamor magic when interacting with the people.
 

Harlander

Almost determinedly non-useful
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Discord is the most fitting option for our new malevolent style.
 

HK-50

Protocol and Translation
Validated User
Discord.

With a clever word placed here and there, you turn the old guard against one another. Understanding the map of connections among the nobles makes it easy to shatter it; all you need to do to convince Z to turn on X is to trick X and Y into participating in the same conversation.

With no need of magic, you ensure all potential alliances against you are in tatters. (Gained Subtlety.) (Increased Adoration.) Few notice your schemes—but Thecla does, and she approves. (Increased Thecla Relationship.)

You see Blessed Advisor Sam around the palace occasionally, but he seems to always recall a reason to head in a different direction, and you never talk to him outside the queen's secret meeting place.

You soon receive a letter from Mayor Cos detailing what has happened in Akriton since you left.

Akriton is apparently the same mildly boring place it ever was, and the local gossip doesn't interest you as much as it once might have. But you appreciate that Cos took the time to write.

With scouts reporting sightings of larger and larger airships near the Negative Sea, the queen tells you that it's time to deploy your magical experiments in the kingdom.

Over the course of a month, you supervise construction of the first factory since the time of the ancients to be powered by the dark sun. Giant pipes leading below the surface of the earth funnel negative energy directly from the dark sun to the cogs and gears above. These turning gears will move the assembly lines, which will guide weapons such as crossbows, swords, and even wands of negation from raw parts to finished products. If these should prove successful, you plan to scale up to whole negation-powered airships of the kind the Magisterians have.

The queen is there with you for the initial activation, along with a few skeptical guildmasters who will take control of production in these factories. The windows of the large warehouse-like building are currently papered over so that the public doesn't find out about the project prematurely; even so, you built the factory in the countryside instead of the capital, in case anything should go wrong.

Everyone is bundled up—it's still rather cold. The queen wears a hooded, white fur cloak that fairly obscures her face.

"Is there some kind of switch to throw?" the queen asks.

"The kill switch is over there," you say, pointing to a wooden lever in the wall. "But the factory needs a spell to start everything. May I?"

The queen hesitates, clenching and unclenching her hands. "Yes. Make it so."

You point a hand toward the ceiling and spread the fingers of your other hand. "Nihilaenergeia, metakiniste cet ergostasio!"

Dark energy swirls around your body and forms a conduit to the pipes leading beneath the earth, priming the pumps for the energy to be leeched from the dark sun.

The conveyor belts lurch to life, and the gears and cogs begin to spin. Tiny crossbows are assembled by delicate golem hands, one piece at a time down the pipeline. Elsewhere, loud hammering begins, as another golem begins to fashion a blade from iron.

"It's working!" you tell the queen, who smiles with relief. (Increased Thecla Relationship.) (Gained Kingdom Power.)

"Then we've begun to save the kingdom," she says.

You finally decide that it's time to take a break from your magical research and treat yourself to spending some of your stipend.

Some shops are no longer very relevant to your new life in the capital, but some of the newer shops are quite interesting. Where would you like to spend your money? (You have 693 gold. This is your last chance to spend money before the climax chapter.)

The clothing store.

What sort of outfit were you looking for? You can have any of these for 300 gold. (You have 693 gold.)

1.A dashing outfit that still allows freedom of movement for fighting.
2.The fanciest outfit I can buy, period.

The bookstore.

When you go to the bookstore, you find that there's been a large change in their stock. Their books for laypeople on magic, the Neighbors, and related subjects have sold out, as people try to understand the new world you're creating. However, advanced books on magic are no longer banned, and as a result, they've come across a few technical books that are indecipherable to the general public, but possibly perfect for you.

Would you like to purchase any of these books?

1.Dracus Monopati ("The Draconian Life Cycle"; 500 gold).
2.Gnomai et Antignomai ("Divination and Antidivination"; 500 gold).
3.Kafsi et Kleos Venenum ("Negation Burn and Rot"; 500 gold).
4.Sustenieri Automat ("Sustainable Automation"; 500 gold).
5.Athanasia Experimenta ("The Immortality Experiment"; 1000 gold).

The pet store.

You go to the capital pet store, a noisy store full of brass cages containing all kinds of small, strange monsters, many of which you have trouble imagining as someone's favorite companion. The shop has a huge variety of tiny pets for sale, the result of ancient vivomancy student projects running loose and breeding in the wild.

What kind of pet did you want? (You have 693 gold.)

1.Ask the store to hatch my dragon egg for me. (Requires 300 gold, plus dragon egg.)
2.I want a unique magical hybrid creature. (100 gold.)
3.I want a baby dragon. (600 gold.)

The new magical-jewelry store.

You go to the new jewelry store hoping for a nice selection of magical curiosities. Unfortunately, the demand for magical items appears to have exceeded the supply here in the capital, and the store is full of only one kind of item: silver pendants in various shapes. There must be nearly a hundred of them in the display cases, and not a trace of any other kind of magical item.

"Do you have something that is…not these?" you ask the shopkeeper.

"Sometimes," he says. "Not often. Not now."

You suppose this is how stores selling used goods usually work. If the goods were great, people wouldn't sell them off to begin with.

"You going to buy one?" the shopkeeper says. "They're supposed to be good luck of various kinds. Unless you wear more than one. Then they just make you feel sick. So don't do that."

Running your hand over the different pendants in the display case, you get a sense for what kind of "luck" they might give: the fox head with a citrine eye is attuned to vivomancy, the eight-pointed star with a sapphire in the center is attuned to divination, and the dove inlaid with alabaster is attuned to glamor magic.

The other schools of magic are not represented; perhaps users of negation and automation met more unfortunate ends over the years.

You can choose one pendant to wear for 100 gold.

1.The fox-head pendant, attuned to vivomancy.
2.The star pendant, attuned to divination.
3.The dove pendant, attuned to glamor.

The weapons-and-armor store.

You visit the old weapons-and-armor store.

You notice that the swords and armor are selling at a discount now; apparently, people don't think that melee weapons and physical armor are going to be all that useful in an age of magic.

They're probably right, come to think of it. You focus on the items that might be useful against the Magisterians and their negation blasts. (693 gold.)

1.Purchase a shield, which should absorb a single negation blast, for 200 gold.
2.Ask to purchase a negation wand, if they have any, for 1000 gold.
3.Order leather armor with obsidian nodes built in, to stop all magical attacks. (2500 gold; requires automation and negation.)
I went ahead and visited every store to show everything we could buy. Like the game said, this is our last chance to spend money.

Spoiler: Show

Saint Zig

Appearance-

A stylish person wearing dark robes that seem to harbor latent malevolence

Magic-

Negation:13
Automation:8
Glamor:0
Divination:5
Vivomancy:4

Skills-

Ancient History: 5 (Good)
Fighting: 5 (Good)
Subtlety: 6 (Excellent)
Charisma: 4 (Good)


Personality-

Optimism:44%/Caution:56%
Humor:50%/Solemnity:50%
Empathy:44%/Calculation:56%

Relationships-

Tal: 45 (Bad)
Cos: 50 (Fine)
Sam: 45 (Bad)
Thecla: 61 (Very Good)
Church: 40 (Bad)
Undiscovered relationships: 1

Kingdom-

Kingdom Power: 6 (Good)

Adoration:57%/Vilification:43%

Inventory-

Gold: 693 gold
Sword
Alchemy Set
Torc of Life and Death
Blue Luxgladius
Maximus Nought the Golem
Golem Manual

Students-

Seer Marie

Pets-

None

The Dead-

The Academy Inquisitor

Plot Points-

Chapter 1:

You and Tal stumbled on an ancient magic academy.
You discovered a book of vivomancy, and an inquisitor chased you.
You found an ancient dueling ground.
You killed the inquisitor.
The inquisitor fled your luxgladius, but you chased him down and murdered him.
You explored the academy library.
A divination revealed a potential ally in the form of a golem, so you took a manual on the operation of golems from the library.
You gained control of the golem.
You made your way through an ancient harpyball arena.
You went around the back way into the auditorium.
You went around the back way into the laboratory.
You obtained a dragon egg from the crow's nest of an ancient airship.
The flame from the dragon's breath threatened to consume the whole sunken academy.
You escaped the magic academy and headed for your hometown of Akriton.

Chapter 2

You flew up the coast of the Negative Sea back to Akriton.
You told your parents that you now wield great power.
You met a hat seller but bought nothing from her.
You taught Seer Marie real magic.
Seer Marie told your fortune with kalot cards.
You allowed a thief to steal from Fruitseller Fran.
You parted and destroyed the death cloud threatening Akriton.
In jail, you heard you have visitors from the capital.

Chapter 3

Your visitors introduced themselves as the inquisitors Blessed Sam and Blessed Jacob, and they asked you some questions.
Blessed Sam asked you to heal his pet dragon, Thomas.
Sam left you bound, and you remained captured and set to be brought to the capital.

Chapter 4

You found yourself captured in the basement of the Cathedral.
You waited in the dungeon of the Cathedral, hoping for rescue.
The hierophant came to make an offer of sainthood to you.
You became a saint.

Chapter 5

You briefly returned to Akriton to prepare for sainthood.
You refused to turn over your magical items, and the offer to become a saint was rescinded.
You visited an artifact seller in the market who sold a variety of rare items, including something called a fateshaper.
Seer Marie told a fortune in which time is running out, things would come back from the past to haunt you, and you needed to pick something to concentrate in.
She said further you would have your choice between power and chaos, ingenuity and a desperate plan, a shattering crown, a monster with an all-seeing eye, and a tree hiding an enemy, and that you should embrace the magics of the sun when you walk in the shadow of death.
The queen offered you a position as an advisor, which you accepted.

Chapter 6

You returned to the capital, summoned by the queen for an interview.
You became an unofficial magical advisor to the queen.
You moved into the royal palace.
Spymaster Dol reported sightings of the Neighbors' airships near the Negative Sea.
The queen asked you to determine in what ways the kingdom should adopt magic to stay competitive with the Magisterians.
Blessed Sam became Blessed Advisor Sam when you arrived at court.
You recommended using negative energy as the main way to power the kingdom's industry and military.
You suggested the queen use glamor magic when interacting with the people.
Your power plants and factories came online without a problem.
 

Nate_MI

Formerly 'Raveled'
Validated User
I'd like the immortality book but I say buy book 3 and salt the rest.
 
Last edited:

HK-50

Protocol and Translation
Validated User
If you buy only Book 3 , you'll have 100 gold left. I don't want to unduly influence the vote, but there's no point in saving money past this scene and you could afford either a pet or a magic pedant for 100 gold.

It's fine if you didn't want either, just thought I'd bring it up.
 

HK-50

Protocol and Translation
Validated User
We buy "Negation Burn and Rot" first.

Kafsi et Kleos Venenum ("Negation Burn and Rot"; 500 gold).

You buy Kafsi et Kleos Venenum hoping to learn something about the two magical dangers of negative energy: burn and rot. (Lost 500 Gold.)

Astonishingly, the author suggests that one is a counter for the other, and the two health risks cancel each other out. The particles in negative-energy clouds serve as a kind of reality check on a body rebelling under the effects of rot, killing the most aberrant tissue first while leaving healthy tissue intact. The opposite is true as well: a body exposed to too much negative energy can be "tricked" into living by glamors that convince the tissue that it can fight on. Both only work to a certain extent, however; enough glamor or enough negative energy will always kill.

Your understanding of glamor magic and negation increases a great deal as a result of this revelation. (Gained Glamor.) (Gained Negation.)

Not knowing exactly which malady affects you more, though, you decide to leave things be. Would you like to try to inhale negative-energy particles to bring your body into balance?

1.Sure, I'll do a lot of that.
2.I'll try doing a little of that.
3.I don't know what I'm doing. I'll leave things be.
I feel like Foo would have really liked to read this book.

Spoiler: Show

Saint Zig

Appearance-

A stylish person wearing dark robes that seem to harbor latent malevolence

Magic-

Negation:15
Automation:8
Glamor:2
Divination:5
Vivomancy:4

Skills-

Ancient History: 5 (Good)
Fighting: 5 (Good)
Subtlety: 6 (Excellent)
Charisma: 4 (Good)


Personality-

Optimism:44%/Caution:56%
Humor:50%/Solemnity:50%
Empathy:44%/Calculation:56%

Relationships-

Tal: 45 (Bad)
Cos: 50 (Fine)
Sam: 45 (Bad)
Thecla: 61 (Very Good)
Church: 40 (Bad)
Undiscovered relationships: 1

Kingdom-

Kingdom Power: 6 (Good)

Adoration:57%/Vilification:43%

Inventory-

Gold: 193 gold
Sword
Alchemy Set
Torc of Life and Death
Blue Luxgladius
Maximus Nought the Golem
Golem Manual

Students-

Seer Marie

Pets-

None

The Dead-

The Academy Inquisitor

Plot Points-

Chapter 1:

You and Tal stumbled on an ancient magic academy.
You discovered a book of vivomancy, and an inquisitor chased you.
You found an ancient dueling ground.
You killed the inquisitor.
The inquisitor fled your luxgladius, but you chased him down and murdered him.
You explored the academy library.
A divination revealed a potential ally in the form of a golem, so you took a manual on the operation of golems from the library.
You gained control of the golem.
You made your way through an ancient harpyball arena.
You went around the back way into the auditorium.
You went around the back way into the laboratory.
You obtained a dragon egg from the crow's nest of an ancient airship.
The flame from the dragon's breath threatened to consume the whole sunken academy.
You escaped the magic academy and headed for your hometown of Akriton.

Chapter 2

You flew up the coast of the Negative Sea back to Akriton.
You told your parents that you now wield great power.
You met a hat seller but bought nothing from her.
You taught Seer Marie real magic.
Seer Marie told your fortune with kalot cards.
You allowed a thief to steal from Fruitseller Fran.
You parted and destroyed the death cloud threatening Akriton.
In jail, you heard you have visitors from the capital.

Chapter 3

Your visitors introduced themselves as the inquisitors Blessed Sam and Blessed Jacob, and they asked you some questions.
Blessed Sam asked you to heal his pet dragon, Thomas.
Sam left you bound, and you remained captured and set to be brought to the capital.

Chapter 4

You found yourself captured in the basement of the Cathedral.
You waited in the dungeon of the Cathedral, hoping for rescue.
The hierophant came to make an offer of sainthood to you.
You became a saint.

Chapter 5

You briefly returned to Akriton to prepare for sainthood.
You refused to turn over your magical items, and the offer to become a saint was rescinded.
You visited an artifact seller in the market who sold a variety of rare items, including something called a fateshaper.
Seer Marie told a fortune in which time is running out, things would come back from the past to haunt you, and you needed to pick something to concentrate in.
She said further you would have your choice between power and chaos, ingenuity and a desperate plan, a shattering crown, a monster with an all-seeing eye, and a tree hiding an enemy, and that you should embrace the magics of the sun when you walk in the shadow of death.
The queen offered you a position as an advisor, which you accepted.

Chapter 6

You returned to the capital, summoned by the queen for an interview.
You became an unofficial magical advisor to the queen.
You moved into the royal palace.
Spymaster Dol reported sightings of the Neighbors' airships near the Negative Sea.
The queen asked you to determine in what ways the kingdom should adopt magic to stay competitive with the Magisterians.
Blessed Sam became Blessed Advisor Sam when you arrived at court.
You recommended using negative energy as the main way to power the kingdom's industry and military.
You suggested the queen use glamor magic when interacting with the people.
Your power plants and factories came online without a problem.
You learned from a book that negative burn and rot cancel each other out.
 
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