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1001 Mage Story Hooks

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  • 1001 Mage Story Hooks

    Reposting my old 1001 Mage Story Hooks thread here, because that sort of thread tends to be useful.

    Please be aware that the numbers won't be consecutive - I created this thread on three separate fora.

    1) Something terrible happened, and the soul of the PC's husband is in danger of simply fading away. Perhaps some mage highly knowledgeable on the topic of souls might help? Like, say, a Tremere or any other Reaper?

    2) Through some clever acts of terrorism (taking the loved ones of a couple powerful mages hostage, etc.), and with the tacit support of the Free Council, one of the Nameless Orders manages to take over an entire city.

    Now the Lex Magica is a thing of the past, and mages get to do anything - anything - they want with and to whomever they want.

    3) A powerful Adamantine Arrow has recently gone Vidantus - she left the order, claiming that she couldn't bear the violence and bloodshed of the Adamantine Way any more.

    Terrible timing, with the consilium under attack by vicious packs of werewolves and their spirit allies.

    The Adamantine Arrow needs her back, by any means possible.

    4) One of the most skilled Acanthus prophets has seen the PC's imminent death in her dreams.

    5) The PCs get to see what they believe to be real, unmistakable proof of the Exarch's existence and their power and influence.

    How does this influence their religious and political views?

    6) By some bizarre twist of fate, one of the PC's Sleeper friends gets to know the real names of all members of a particularly paranoid Panopticon pylon.

    After the Sleeper has survived one attempt on his life, committed by some servants of the pylon - under the influence of a powerful Profane Urim - , he approaches the PCs, asking for help.

    7) During an occult investigation, the PCs meet a woman whose mind and soul show strange signs of influence and tampering, most likely by Mind magic. Very little of the young woman's original personality is left.

    Who edited her mind, and for what purpose? Can her original personality be regained?

    8) The cabal somehow comes into the possession of a unique and powerful artifact. After a little bit of research they learn that it might be The Key which could free a now fallen supernal entity imprisoned somewhere in the Fallen World. There are conflicting accounts as to the nature of the entity. By some accounts it is a benevolent being that would be inclined to grant great boons to those who free it, while other tales claim that it was a mad and wrathful tyrant that once freed would vent its rage by inflicting an untold level of devastation upon the world as it lashes out against the Exarchs' servants.

    The PC's have to determine whether they wish to free the fallen god or not while guarding against attempts by the Seers and rival cabals who will attempt to take The Key from them to either free the entity for his boons or to keep it locked up indefinitely.

    EDIT: And of course if the PC's do decide to free the entity they'll have to first discover the location of its prison and then make the surely perilous quest to get there while all the while fending off seers and other adversaries.

    9) One of the larger cabals have been tying their symbols more and more to Esoteric Nazism, and their ranks have been swelling with new Mages in unprecedented numbers. Their leader claims they can help Sleepers on the path to Awakening, and all evidence points to the claim being possibly true...

    10) A small Free Council/Mysterium cabal have been opened up a new fast food restaurant to see what happens when you mix Prime magic with food and give it to Sleepers...

    11) The local Heirarch has just committed Suicide by Banisher. Power vacuum ensues.

    12) The local Hierarch wants the PCs to figure out what made a hotel room disappear. When the room is observed, it looks at though they're looking out a window--the space that the room should occupy simply doesn't exist.

    13) A new convergence of ley lines appears over a specific building in the PCs town. Whether these were naturally occurring, but hidden until now, or have been "moved" by another force is unclear... but [i]everyone/i] wants control over them now.

    14) Last year the consillium was under constant threat from a large cabal of Tremere. After some hefty fighting, the Tremere that weren't killed in battle were publicly tried and executed for their crimes. Now that things are settleing down, Consillium politics resume. But you've been getting short glimpses in public places of executed mages seemingly acting alive and well. For some reason, Councilors and leaders of Order caucuses are ignoring your warnings, or even accusing you of trying to rile up 'troubles'. How do you act?

    15) After having returned from a trip into the Astral, a Moros PC finds that he is dead. Well, not really, but he has been declared dead by the law. And his relatives and friends are grieving. And there has also been a burial. And there's also a corpse, which appears to be that of the player character, even when looking at it with the most powerful Death Sight spell.

    16) For the last day and a half, no one could order pizza from anywhere in the city, and there is no frozen pizza on the shelves of supermarkets. Any attempts to make pizza seem to go bad--out of ingredients, faulty ovens, and other unintended mishaps. What is it that needs to remove pizza from existence?

    17) One of the Free Companies has wound up in the region overseen by your PC's Consilium. The issue is that the Company seems to be interested in going 'legit', as far as the magical community goes. The cabal has very powerful members, a great deal of occult information and their long-standing mercenary attitude is gaining them allies of convenience. The leader of the Company has even shown interest in taking over a Councilor's seat recently vacated by a retiring mage.

    But can the proponents of amoral warfare be trusted? And why haven't the mainstream Arrow made a move against the noted heretics?

    18) It's the Book of the Ladder. One of the most obscure yet important grimoires on the topic of the Supernal and its manifestations. And it's right there on the shelf of a Sleeper bibliophile, who, most certainly, doesn't have the faintest idea of what it's about.

    .. and there's some evidence of Seer magic in and around the house. Something needs to be done.

    19) Enough is enough. The Guardians of the Veil collectively declare the Free Council in town to be Nefandi and Left-Handed for their refusal to distance themselves from questionable magical practices. The two factions are in a state of open war.

    20) It's done. The Mysterium has dug up one of the Athaenaea Prima, one of the three lore houses constructed prior to the Fall by fugitives from Atlantis itself; places containing the highest of all mysteries.

    ... and what the Athaenaeum Prima contains are countless books on summoning greater demons, creating gates into the Abyss and religious treatises extolling the virtues of the Abyss.

    This should have been impossible, because at the time when the Athaenaeum Prima was allegedly constructed, the Abyss didn't yet exist.

    .) For the last few weeks, several spirit allies have been bringing warning that a relatively powerful cabal of sorcerers is planning to move into the city. Divinition through fate and time has confirmed this, thought strangely enough, their alliegiances are not revealed. It appears that each of the members of this cabal are protected by occultation and well designed fate spells. When the cabal arrives in town they immediately announce their intent to join the consilium by sending missives through spirit allies and various mundane means.

    When these mages present themselves before the hierarch. They come bringing gifts of tass and even artifacts. It is evident they are wealthy and well connected. Spirits interact with them with respect. Their knowledge of the mysteries is furthermore evident. However, when their auras are put under mage sight, they are off. Vibrant but certainly not mages. The cabal are thaumaturges (from Second Sight) who's belief system is the Atlantian system as taught by the Silver Ladder and Mysterium.

    Who are these sorcerers, and what is the consilium to do with them?

    13) You come across a young Awakened child. They are immensely gifted (Gnosis 6+) with an apparently instinctual Mastery of the Prime arcanum but little other knowledge. They have no appreciation for the dangers or limits of magic in the Fallen World. And, of course, the child is pursued. Where did this child come from? Who or what is pursuing them? How do the mages protect this child long-term? And do they want to?

    14) A psychotic killer escaped custody, the authorities can't explain how - it seems awakened magic was used. Soon there are murders that fit his style. The targets are sleepwalker retainers or lone mages.

    How did he escape and why are his victims sleepwalkers and mages? Had he help from a pylon and used as a distraction? Did he awaken as a banisher or one of the mad?

    21) A Sleeper mystery cult has accidentally stumbled upon Supernal truths resonant with the Supernal Realm of Pandaemonium. It is entirely possible that its key figures will Awaken in the near future.

    Both the Guardians of the Veil and the Silver Ladder have become aware of the mystery cult. The Guardians, having judged the cult unworthy of greater mysteries, intend to infiltrate the cult and prevent Awakenings from taking place, preferably without doing any lasting damage. Agents of the Silver Ladder desire to swell their ranks with new recruits.

    22) Someone claiming to be the Hieromagus shows up. He's obviously a pretender. Pretty much everyone wants him dead (other than a couple heretics, but then, who asked them?), and the PCs have been selected for the task. They are to infiltrate and destroy the heresy.

    While attempting to do so, the PCs are exposed to evidence that this might really, actually be the messiah of the Guardians of the Veil, come to redeem the order and lead the Awakened into a new age.

    17) A Free Council cabal of doctors and scientists have been implanting unknowing mortals with a particular form of imbued item in the hopes of creating a new line of Proximi.

    23) No mage can use Time magic to predict the future further than the 29th of September, 2013. The most powerful Acanthi utterly fail in seeing any future past that date.

    19) A prison made with normal ( PC usable, non-plot device) magic by a cabal of Masters has been broken. All manner of previously summoned, then captured gulmoth are out in the world wreaking havoc or lying in wait. The cabal that created the prison has disappeared, its members fleeing from vengeful mages and gulmoth (or something else...).

    24) One of the basic cable channels starts broadcasting an infomercial advertising a series of videos which seem to reveal a number of Supernal truths, or at least brush up against them. As if that weren't bad enough, the infomercial features all of the PCs as spokespeople or experts. None of them have any recollection of being involved in this dangerous nonsense, but it may be more than a little difficult to convince the Guardians of the Veil of that....

    25) A notorious convicted criminal is sentenced to die by electric chair, but his execution is interrupted when he Awakens in the middle of it and uses his new powers to save himself. While the witnesses are unclear on the details (since all of them were Sleepers) the reaction has been sensational--some more excitable types have indicated it's a sign of divine (or Satanic) favor, and even if it weren't, it would be good for weeks of breathless coverage on CNN for being such a strange fluke. Now he's been scheduled to be executed again, and various mages in the community are wondering if he should be rescued rather than left to die. What if he's actually innocent of the charges? And what if he isn't?

    20) A local Moros who frequently uses ghosts and has some bound to them (this could even be a PC) has their sanctum attacked by a group of Sin-Eaters who free the ghosts bound to it. The PCs have the job of hunting down this mysterious menace, with the opportunity to perhaps reconsider the standard view of ghosts as a resource.

    21) You find yourself being temporally scried upon from the future... a lot. Your immediate future and destiny are clouded, tangled and otherwise murky. What's about to happen and what can you do about it? And how do you feel about future historians watching your life play out? And is their future history locking down your choices in some fashion?

    22) An Archmage's Ochema appears in your sanctum and with a smirk says, "Bob fucked up. You get to play." He tosses you an artifact that positively screams with Supernal resonance. "Try not to get killed too soon, huh?" And without another word, he's gone. Welcome to the Pax Arcanum.

    22)For years, the city has been celebrating times of prosperity and growth. Awakenings have been steady in rate, new spells and lore have even been discovered and the cabals of the city are at peace. Every mage seems satisfied with the Hierarch's leadership. The one day, all the representatives are gone without a trace. What now?

    26) Local spirits start acting more and more unusual. They appear to be hungrier than before.

    If that wasn't enough, they also have formed some sort of truce between their own kind. They have stopped hunting their own kind as food.

    Very soon their hunger will become unbearable.

    27) A migration of deer of no known species and no sense of fear is causing havok through the city, especially given that an influential and powerful mage claims they are of supernal origin and must be protected. Everyone would agree this is incredibly unlikely, except that life spells seem to be causing much less paradox in their vicinity.

    28) Some recent sleeper drilling work in the central city seems to have unearthed something deep underground, and spines of metal are starting to push up through parks and floors of buildings.

    29) A previously trusted guardian mage claims he has found a plot within the concilium and that some of it's members are secretly seer aligned, but has broken off all his normal contacts and started recruiting allies in order to fight them, but won't publicly denounce them for some reason. The players are asked to approach him and find out what is going on.

    30) An artefact has been delivered to the concilium for safe keeping, except that it seems to be attracting large amounts of anger spirits to the area.

    25) A reclusive but highly respected apostate who is a master in several of the Arcana arrives at the latest Consilium meeting and announces he will be taking on a single apprentice, To this end he will be observing and testing several prospective candidates over the coming weeks. The Pcs knows this Apostate is vehemently apolitical but he has many enemies in the consilium and becoming his apprentice will likely entail inheriting these enemies of his. Are the rewards worth the risks?

    31) The Hierarch's factotum contacts one of the PCs (a low-status Guardian would be best). An Arrow sent on a mission to a disputed nearby metropolis made contact with a Mammon Seer who claims to know the identity of a Panopticon mole in the upper echelons of the Guardian hierarchy. Bring in the Arrow and investigate the story - and if true, identify the mole. If you really want to, you could give the senior Guardians some sort of code name, maybe based on occupation or something.

    26) Several people around the city are kidnapped, held for a few days while being painfully tortured, then released completely unharmed save for their experience. In each case they report that their kidnapper was apologetic and said the experience was necessary to "prepare" them, and they do seem to be more resilient (higher Resolve, Composure and Willpower) for it. Their accounts also make clear that their captor was a mage using a demesne.

    32) The local Free Council have elected a proximus as their chairman/representative, the silver ladder (and a few in the mysterium) are up in arms.

    33) A local cabal has been in dire needs of funds, so they've started cooking meth...

    34) The cabal needs to consult a Mysterium mage in the nearest big city, but when they arrive at his sanctum he's missing and nobody has seen him in days. Following the thread of his research they discover a maze of tunnels beneath the city, an entire hidden world that goes deeper and deeper into the earth...

    35) The cabal gets word that the newly-built high rise skyscraper in town has some connection to the Seers of the Throne and they're tasked to investigate. They were right. It does have a connection. It's a trap. It's an ingenious living prison designed to hold them and recondition them to love the Exarchs.

    36) The Free Council has been monitoring a local professor who is showing signs of awakening, but now she needs extracting because a dangerous sleeper cult is threatening her. The PCs arrive just in time to save her and she awakens in the middle of the a banisher.

    37) A Mysterium Egregori has devoted his life to following a certain spirit that radiates peace and light. He tracks down its manifestations in different places, converses with it, records its teachings. The spirit has just manifested on the cabal's turf, and appears to be a force for good...but across town the dead body of another awakened has just been discovered...

    38) The Guardians of the Veil move to shut down a Free Council UFO cult...but somebody else got there first. All its members appear to be missing. There's video of the leader in front of a crowd of people, disappearing in a flash of light...

    39) The Consilium library has been burglarized. Some priceless volumes are missing. The cabal tracks the thieves far out into the sticks where a crowd is gathered around an enormous bonfire. They're burning books.

    40) After the publication of a few highly popular occult novels, a fascination with occultism and mysticism in general has become mainstream. Societies such as the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons are more popular than ever; and Labyrinths, Cryptopoli and Seer cults have received a vast influx of new members. Consequently, the number of Awakenings per year has increased significantly.

    The Silver Ladder sees this as their great opportunity to move to the next step of their plan to break the Lie and defeat the pretender gods. The Seers of the Throne, on the other hand, are frothing with rage, behaving highly irrational and not at all far away from taking drastic action that might endanger all the Awakened.

    41) When a little girl from the mainland goes missing, clues lead the authorities to a tiny island off the coast inhabited by a proximi cult of the Silver Ladder. The proximi swear they know nothing, the police are demanding answers, and both sides are being very uncooperative.

    28) During a contentious and controversial trial in the Consilium, an ally of the cabal's unleashes a powerful attack spell that injures several mages and gives the accused an opportunity to escape. Your cabal's ally swears that it wasn't his intention, that an outside force triggered one of his prepared spells against his will. He is well-known for carrying such prepared spells and there is some Prime resonance that could support his story but it's not enough to make a convincing case for innocence by itself. He needs your help to prove his innocence while a divided Consilium debates how to respond both to his actions and the fugitive's escape. Obviously, whoever planned this escape will not want the cabal digging into it.

    29) For three months, a string of increasing, yet mundane annoyances has been plaguing the city's Awakened population. Parking tickets, loss of electricity and phone service, backed up plumbing, the works! And not only are the Pentacle and Seers affected, but several powerful Scelesti entrenched in city government have been hit as well. At first they just killed the repo men come to collect their belongings, but when a week later the same repo men came to visit (with no apparent consequences from or memories of the previous encounter), it was clear that something was seriously wrong.

    42) The Hegemonic Ministry, in a desperate attempt to reclaim its leadership position of the Seers of the Throne, has begun a vast terraform project in the Astral Realm. Symbols of control and submittance are weaved into every Temenos realm the Hegemons get their hands on. Already, Sleepers in any given location start acting with a little less free will day after day.

    43)The Seers have, as one, gone insane. They've been attacking one another openly, using hideously conspicuous vulgar magic with wild abandon. They stole the Smithsonian Institute! The whole building! For a day and a half, they went insane.

    Then, at two minutes to midnight Zulu, at points scattered across the globe, there were detonations, ranging from incendiary to nuclear to whatever that was off the coast of Singapore.

    And then it stopped. Then it started getting strange. Junior Seers and bold Pentacle mages searching abandoned strongholds and burned-out palaces find that every senior member of every Ministry and every even vaguely movable asset, along with every member of their inner circles not identified as dead or captured in the intervene fighting, is gone.

    "Iteration fail confirmed. Evacuation of assets by Omega Zeta Three is in effect. Confirm denial of assets before departures. Pickup is at Midnight Zulu. Repeat, Iteration fail confirmed."

    45) A respected member of the Consilium has apparently gone insane. He claims he has been contacted by an Angel of fire and eyes, and that he must purge the Consilium. He needs to be stopped.

    46) The CDC is int own, looking at a recent epidemic that has struck the poorer parts of town. And they've been asking too many questions about Pentacle interests.

    47) Three persons have now been apparently attacked by a Pteranodon. The last one was actually killed. Authorities want the creature killed, but the Mysterium wants it captured so they can study it.

    48) A new forest has appeared near the town. It is hungry.

    .) Walk past the alleys of Siem Reap's Night Market. Open your third eye to the Arcanum of crude matter, and perhaps, if the Exarchs permit, you'll find a doorway that isn't there. It might take you to the temple of a true god.

    It is possibly the only temple of the Exarch known as the Chancellor that welcomes all mages, even those of the Pentacle. His High Priest, a Seer of the Throne who calls himself the Merchant, has never been known to refuse Pentacle mages entry.

    Violence is impossible in the Chancellor's temple - it is a place of worship to the Chancellor.

    Pentacle Mages dare enter the Exarch's sanctum because they desire what conventional means cannot provide. Here they find a Merchant willing to fulfill their needs, provided that the price is right.

    Everything is for sale in the Chancellor's temple. Guns, rotes, artifacts, Awakened souls, Sleepers without souls (empty shells, hollowed out) - everything. The price is always more than the Pentacle mages are willing to pay, and it always involves some sort of ritual offering to the Chancellor.

    32) Seemingly at random, the consciousness of people around the city are exchanging bodies. Whatever is causing it is not Unravelling and not wearing off. The Consilium and the local Seer pylons have a tacit agreement to suppress awareness of the situation until it can be resolved; this does not always end well for the victims. However, the more people it happens to, the harder it becomes to cover up.

    33) People around the city begin uncontrollably expressing extremes of emotion: wracking sobs, hysterical laughter, mindless rage, transports of joy and so on. It persists even when they sleep and is utterly debilitating in terms of their ability to lead their lives or even care for themselves. It's also upsetting the balance of the local spirit-realms.

    50) Over some months of game time, hint at some turf war in the shadows. Free Council statistical analysts have noted that there have been an unlikely number of gas main explosions in the city, that more cars are burning after accidents than is usual outside Hollywood, that there are a surprising number of incidents of spontaneous human combustion in the early morning, that animal attacks are on the rise, that sort of thing.

    Finally, the PCs' cabal are approached by a vampire and a werewolf - can they provide neutral ground for the Prince and the Alpha to negotiate an end to the war between their two factions?

    On the night in question, of course, someone will have the bright idea of wiping out both high commands when they are outside of their home turf, plus there will be the usual divertissements -

    one aide is possessed by a Seer looking to cause trouble.
    there's a Furry-Romeo-and-Undead-Juliet subplot. Help, hinder, or point-and-laugh as you see fit.
    someone else is trying to sell out their boss (a lieutenant of one of the leaders) and use the other side to ensure their own promotion by assassination
    one of the delegates is someone who has a blood feud with a PC but is protected by the cabal's promise of safe conduct
    another cabal wants to harm a leader and thereby cause the PCs to lose face,
    the PCs inadvertently pick a location for the talks that has a previously-unnoticed Thing In The Cellar
    one leader cannot just stop the fighting - s/he is under pressure from a faction of their own splat to ensure that there is not peace in our time, and needs the PCs help to get away with an armistice.
    the local Athenaum has a really cool ritual that just needs 20cc of vampire blood to run - could a PC get some?
    a senior Arrow is an enthusiastic hunter and would really like to put a nice wolf pelt in the trophy room. Can the PCs arrange for a suitable victim to be available for pursuit?
    a senior officer in the Consilium (and/or a PCs mentor) has a fetish for being bitten. Maybe the PCs could ensure things don't get out of hand while they scratch that particular itch
    one werewolf has taken rather a lot of initiative and opened talks with an out-of-town bunch of rogue Awakened terrorists who have developed a biological weapon that affects vampires, and hopes to acquire and deploy it at the talks. Who knows what effects it really has, both on the intended targets, and on anyone else who comes into contact with the Infected.

    Go wild, really.

    51) A reality TV contestent seems to be on the verge of awakening, he's been talking about how the world they're in seems so unreal, using supernal symbolism to describe "the audience", and experienced cultors think he's close. Your guardian PC is asked to get him out of there subtly before he causes some vulgar magic on live TV.

    52. The cabal discovers a small town where every single citizen is a puppet of one very powerful Seer. He can take control of any of them at any time, and he can exert less-fine control over entire mobs of them. The solution is simple: take out the Seer. But there are hundreds of townsfolk between the Seer and the cabal. And what is this town protecting or hiding?

    51. A chunk of the Supernal realm of Stygia fell (slid? warped?) to earth outside Toledo, Ohio yesterday. The mountains are moving. The dead are walking. And the manifestation is sucking the mana dry from every hallow in a 50 mile radius.

    Your boss is being an asshole. There are a million ways to making him suffer a little using magic.

    You need money. Lots of it, and now. In the absence of a job - you lost your old job while Awakening - the only thing to do is to steal it.

    You begin to suspect that your girlfriend is cheating on you. Will you be using magic to spy on her? Will you tamper with her mind to make sure she still loves you?

    Your brother has somehow pissed off a bunch of very scary people - the kind that carries automatic weapons. He needs help, now.

    54) The village of Cootseby in Cambridgeshire is at first glance the perfect English village. A genial retired major organizes games of cricket on the green. The wife of the local vicar runs a painfully earnest Metaphysical Society for discussions of Swedenborg and Madame Blavatsky, and the church hall hosts fetes and amateur theatricals and musical variety evenings (“Our next guest, the very talented Mr. Tobias Simes, will perform a medley drawn from the oeuvre of Messrs Gilbert & Sullivan…”). Everything is pleasant, normal and picturesque.

    But any visitor who ventures out at night discovers a very different Cootesby –a dark, horrifying place haunted by sinister, masked figures, a Satanic, bestial orgy of lust, intrigue, witchcraft and violence. The village is filled with whispered secrets, rumours of potential escape and awful mysteries -investigation of any of them will drag the mage through the village' heaving, dark underbelly, filled with repulsive, psychotic characters; twisted versions of the village's daytime inhabitants, and dark, incomprehensible schemes. And in the morning, all is back to prim, wholesome reality.

    Cootesby is the creation of the Banisher known as Caligari. He drugs and kidnaps mages and transports them here. The village is a prison camp intended to condition the mages brought there by causing them to associate dreams, magic, curiosity and fantasies with nightmarish suffering and revulsion and to force them to embrace the dull, prosaic safety represented by the daytime Cootesby. Once a mage has given into Cootesby, participates fully in the ‘life of the village’ and has stopped wandering around at night and trying to investigate any of its mysteries, they are whisked back to their previous life, stripped all of their passion, their pride and their power.

    55) There isn't, nor has there ever been, a Sixth order of the Pentacle. Anyone claiming otherwise is clearly an abyssal mage trying to tear us apart, and must be dealt with immediately.

    56) There isn't an evil you in an alternate reality similar to our own. There's 4 different yous, one for each tower, the realities intertwined like a pentacle. And one of them just fell into our reality after a paradox backlash.

    57) An old Moros has recently died, and has left his personal library to any kingdom who can survive a week in his old creepy mansion up the hill.

    58) A strange man has appeared in the local poor neighborhood, apparently selling magical powers to anyone who meets his prize. And it seems like it really works. He must be stopped.

    59) A renowned sleeper archaeologist currently staying at a local university has apparently discovered ancient artifacts from Atlantis. And is about to make his findings public.

    60) A very potent celestial alignment si supposed to occur soon that will cause the city's ley lines to become charged with supernal power. And everyone's trying to get ready for it.

    36) There's a new superhero in town! Vague reports keep coming in and videos showing up on the Internet of a costumed vigilante apparently using superpowers to fight locathe city have twisted into a knot and the energy is going somewhere. Resonance near the knot is extremely volatile and changes all the time. If the mages figure out a way to trace where the energy is going it turns out to be under the ice in Antarctica.

    64. Mages throughout the city have had experiences seeing an entity in their mirrors that stare them in the eyes and psychically project a demand to know if they are [insert name of NPC here]. Recollections by the victims are hazy. The longer this goes on the more intrusive the questioning becomes, and the victims start to get headaches and bleed from the nostrils. No spirit magic can detect a trace of anything actually being there.

    65) A local factory sacks all their workers but keeps going on as if nothing has happened. No one from the old factory is brave enough to contest it for some reason.
    (I particularly imagine this as an abyssal manifestation)

    66) A mage from the concilium is fading out of people's memories, starting most quickly with those that have known him longest, he asks for your assistance in working out the origin of the effect, and acting as his intermediaries in the meantime.

    67) Everything is fine and nothing is going wrong. At all.
    68) You have received a letter from the IRS informing you that you are a few years behind on your magic taxes.
    69) A ancient grimoire has found itself in the hands of a not particularly bright street gang. And somehow they're using it to cast spells to strengthen their turf.

    70) Somewhere in southern Thailand, Sleepers have dug up dinosaur bones that look unlike all others. Except that there are a couple things that are really different from "ordinary" dinosaur bones. For one, they're much older.

    Very soon, people start dying near the bones, their bodies displaying gigantic claw marks.

    71) A long time ago, in a reality far, far far away, it was a time of civil war.
    Free Council mages, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the SEERS OF THE THRONE. During the battle, Council spies managed to steal the plans to the Exarchs' ultimate weapon, the ManaStar, an armored battle station with enough firepower to destroy an entire city. Pursued by the Seers' sinister agents, Maga Leia races home aboard her airship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the Fallen World.

    The PCs get hints of an Atlantean object that was used in the Nameless War. Additional research liberates a mage's skull found with glyphs that imply "MacGuffin here" and cleverly determine that a really good way to find it would be to use the crystal skull as a link to the mage's oneiros... where they find themselves in a 1930s pulp all-action spectacular. You might as well just run A New Hope straight but shorn of its science-fantasy/space opera stylings, with a giant double-enveloped airship that mounts a directed-mana weapon that is more Independence Day than Doc Savage.

    The catch is, of course, that the ManaStar directed-mana weapon plans will actually work if built in the real world, and are for an artifact that can actually level a city if deployed appropriately (like, from an aircraft some miles away).

    Are there morality consequences for jacking out as soon as you have the plans, knowing that the Hierarch will destroy the Nameless Base on the outskirts of Yavinton?

    72) Earthdawn
    An Atlantean mage family could see the writing on the wall, and built for their children/apprentices a doomsday bunker to survive the Fall. Unfortunately the Fall seems to have had an effect on the bunker's enchantments, because when the PCs find it (more by accident than by design, unless they retrieve other Atlantean records from the adults that identify how to find it), it is still in time suspension. So it's a treasure trove of Atlantean goodies, but probably quite prosaic ones, because it is as much a nursery as it is a caern. Do the PCs want to wake the children out of time and see what secrets they may know? Is it worth the risk? Were the builders pro- or anti-Exarch?

    73). A Day Of Wonder
    The Oracles (or somebody) has managed to achieve a minor cosmological victory in the Ascension War, banishing the influence of the Abyss on the Phenomenal World for a whole day. During that day there will be no paradox, all abyssal entities become dormant and powers derived from the Abyss won't function, and everyone would basically be a Sleepwalker for that day, able to remember magic they witness clearly.
    How do different mage factions take advantage of this metaphysical circumstance? What sort of tactics do the Seers use to counter Pentacle operations to take advantage of the day? What sort of troubles ensue in the world?

    74) A small child seems to be having the obsessive assistance of a mage, with significant evidence of mind magic on all their surrounding acquaintances to remove anything that might threaten them. The resonance doesn't match any mage known to the concilium, and there is something very odd about it. The cabal is charged with identifying this mage and bringing them into the open, so as to identify if they form some kind of threat.

    75) A free council mage has been working on an advanced technomagic ritual for a few months, and has been trying to use computers to automate sections of it. Unfortunately, one of the computers he was on has been hacked, throwing something off, and he now doesn't have a clue what it's actually doing. He brings you in for a second opinion. His theories of magic seem to be pushing the edge of atlantian metaphysics and not really make much sense, but he's obviously managed to get the computers doing something.

    76) There are signs of a reaper attack in the local area, and during the investigation your are approached by a young mage, he says that the evidence will point to him, but he is being framed by his master, who he will lead you to.

    77) A series of mundane coincidences are hampering organisation in the concilium, and they start to become ridiculous. Some blame the exarchs, other archmaster fate magic, but what could be happening that they'd put in this much effort?

    78) Your future self is constantly going back in time, trying to manipulate you, get you to do certain things. Its actions are getting more and more desperate, and it simply refuses to explain them.

    79) A spirits start following you around. It appears to be friendly - it's obvious that it wants you to take it as a familiar. What are its motives?

    80) An educational foundation has come to the concilium's attention, because of the extreme spooky uniformity of the people involved. As far as can be told the seers are not involved, and given how interested they'd be, it cannot be around for them to find.

    81) An arrow mage has been fomenting rivalry between two local football teams, in the hope that the competition will lead to awakenings. It's getting a little of out hand, but he's said he'll do it until someone awakens.

    82) Someone has been stealing from the Athenaeum, and your cabal have been tasked with forming an extra line of defence while higher status others try to get their stuff back. (Yes, guard duty isn't a great hook, but good for building a sense of place you can use in the future)

    83) An old city alderman has been recently recognised as a powerful independent mage from before the formation of the free council, and people are going back through old history in order to work out what he left behind.

    84) A powerful mage contacts you for information about your mentor, although rather than manoeuvring, they actually seem to be in love with them and asking for advice, they're very incompatible however, and this could easily result in a feud.

    85) A plane has just landed at the airport without any of it's passengers or flight attendants, the pilots seem completely unaware that anything had happened.

    .) The local river spirit demands yearly sacrifices - in human bodies, obviously. It is way too powerful to be strongarmed into ceasing to demand its sacrifices.

    It's that time of the year again and the orders need its sacrifices, or else the river might express its anger by causing some catastrophe. Someone needs to do something.

    42) In the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archeology & Anthropology, in the Chinese exhibit area, stand two stone Qilin (lion-dragons) facing the center of the room, appearing to recoil in horror from what stands there. In the center of the room in a glass case, atop a silver wave, is a flawless crystal ball. What images does its surface show, and is it a coincidence that the two qilin, statues who in the past would guard from spirits, seem to be rearing back from it?

    (Actually how it is at that museum, was there for the first time in around a decade, wonderful place, so many WoD plots can be made from it. This one alone can go well in any venue)

    87) You wake up to find that you have lost your link to the Watchtower and reverted to being a Sleeper. The same has happened to every single member of your cabal. The entire Consilium of the city seems to have disappeared and no one even remembers you being anything more than you are. But your enemies remain and they want to use this opportunity to finally get rid of you. What is going on? How can you reAwaken? Is is even possible? What happened to rest of the Orders? You have to figure out what to do while trying not be killed by gods.

    88) An ally of the cabal suddenly gains power in leaps and bounds until he ascends to the Supernal World as an Archmaster. Ever since then, you have been having strange dreams and seeing omens everywhere. Is he trying to tell you something? How did he Ascend so quickly anyhow?

    89) Your cabal is approached by a man claiming to be immortal, having been alive for millenia. He wishes to die. Death or Life Arcana magic reveals nothing special about him, but when he blows his brains out with a gun in front of you and then wakes again moments later, you are forced to believe him. How is this possible? Do you even want to help him, given the treasure trove of knowledge that must be his head? And what is he so frightened of, given he can't die?

    90) There is a new fast food chain in town. It appeared out of nowhere and within weeks won over hundreds of customers with its catchy jingles, colourful mascots and tasty food. Then a mage you all know dies and investigation reveals that the last place he visited was one of the fast food outlets. The food in his stomach has curdled into foul-smelling black ash. What is going on here?

    .) The PCs are struggling with a Hierarch and a Consilium of a particularly reactionary orientation. The Hierarch is a tyrant; things that the PCs have on their todo-list have been outlawed by the Consilium.

    This is when the PCs are contacted by members of a Nameless order with an invitation to participate in a conspiracy to overthrow the Pentacle orders in town.

    92) Someone was publically assasinated with a mind effect spell, the mage who's resonance applies to it is dead, and besides that, there's now an investigation that needs redirecting (I'm thinking imbued item weapon used by sleepers)

    93) People in the local area are dreaming that all the trees and lamposts outside their houses are strung with televisions, blasting static. They can't sleep.

    94) A member of one of the PCs' family seems to be on the road to awakening, but keeping shadow identities seperate is particularly important in this city.

    44) The mutilated corpse of a well known Sleepwalker retainer of a counciler is found in the characters Sanctum. The wounds suggest the retainer was ritually sacrificed to reap mana. The characters have bearly time to notice the body, when the Sentinels, tasked from the counciler with finding the retainer, arrive.

    95) After a random act of kindness done by a PC, the recipient turns out to be an archmaster in disguise. He intends to reward the PC - he'll Awaken any one Sleeper of the PC's choosing.

    The PC is to decide within 24 hours.

    It's all, ultimately, a test of the PC's wisdom. Sleepers who aren't ready to Awaken naturally do so as Banishers. The PC wins by refusing to select a Sleeper.

    96) A young woman recently Awoke - and pretty much all Acanthi in the city felt it. It doesn't take much training in the Fate Arcanum to perceive the incredibly strong strands of destiny suffusing her pattern. The auguries are clear - she will be very beneficial to the goals of her order.

    Except that she hasn't yet joined any of the orders. And the auguries kinda don't say which order she'll end up in.

    They all want her. Even the Seers of the Throne. The PCs have been selected to make the sales pitch for their respective orders.

    97) A crime spree affects the PCs' cabal. Their locale is seeing a rise in burglary and armed robbery rates - they or their Sleeper associates are affected. Have a slow buildup here mostly as asides in other storylines' sessions.

    They need gas but the gas station nearby is closed as the cops are investigating a holdup and shooting.
    They can't get served because the store or restaurant is understaffed because some of them have been arrested for stealing from the cash register.
    A PC's apartment is ransacked - anything magical is ignored, but the TV, stereo, jewelry, cash, computers, and DVDs or music are taken - as may be other Sleeper associates if they have mundane day jobs. This may cause complications if the hard drives or USB memory sticks also have something magical on them.
    The girl bagging their groceries has a black eye - a colleague passing by asks what happened and she tells of a home invasion by armed robbers.
    They are stopped at traffic lights and witness a carjacking of the vehicle in front of them.
    A night-time meeting at a club finishes without incident, but as they are driving away, a van passes them to do a drive-by on the line of waiting clubgoers (which accidentally wings one of the people they were meeting with), as another gang wants to take over the distribution business.

    Further investigation reveals that this appears to be a mundane and random issue - the offenders were solely motivated by a desire for money, as they have serious narcotics addiction problems (this may be street dealers selling to the underclass; if a nice group of doctors prescribing under-the-counter Vicodin or Percoset, then the crime is more likely something white-collar and stupid, like someone slamming on the brakes to make a whiplash and inflated bodywork damage claim.)

    Even further investigation reveals that the dealers of the narcotics in question are part of the revenue stream of a Pentacle mage or cabal - one in good standing in the Consilium, who have determined that this is an acceptable revenue stream under the leges magicarum that apply locally (it is not the dealer cabal, nor their direct agents, who are harming the PCs' area - it is their agents' customers, and there is a precedent in a previous Consilium ruling that this is a great enough degree of separation for responsibility to not fall upon the dealer mages), and are not inclined to cease operations. The dealers' may be using Matter or Forces to create their product - they are not, however, using Mind or Fate to increase its addiction.

    How do the PCs respond?

    98) An apprentice of the PC's mentor has gone Left-Handed. The PC must now contend with a mage whose abilities, strategies and way of thinking are functionally very similar to his own.

    99) The Malamauda are a New Guinean people who have had next to no contact with modern civilization. They are also entirely unaffected by the Sleeping Curse. More than a third of the (less than 1000) Malamauda are Proximi; all of them are Sleepwalkers. There is something in their ancestry that keeps away the Quiescence.

    100. Everyone in the Guardians of the Veils Labyrinth in the cabals city suddenly Awakens and most of the Guardians vanish. A few of the Guardians are found dead later.

    101) Seer activity has skyrocketed in the last couple days. Captured Seers admit, under torture, that they entire order is collectively looking for something called a "Key", as per the orders of the Exarch known as the Father. Noone really knows what a "Key" is, including the Seers.

    Twist: it's one of the PCs.

    50) Something odd is going on. All Sleepwalkers in the city get sick and from this moment on, everyone who would awaken dies in the process through various causes (an awakening man might step into traffic during a mystery play, a woman goes into visions as she awakens but simply doesn't wake up any more).
    Is this permanent? Is it caused by the Exarchs and their pawns or is it the Abyss creeping in? Is the characters city the only one or are there other instances?
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-01-2020, 06:41 PM.

  • #2
    102) The pope is about to issue a new bill. Individual mage factions, among them the Silver Ladder and the Paternoster, do what they can to use their influence in the Holy See. The Paternoster want an internally divided church that, at the same time, keeps Sleepers complacent and busy with worshipping lies. The Silver Ladder does what it can to counter the Paternoster's influence.
    There is a secret war going on between various mage factions, and the PCs are right in the midst of it.


    • #3
      103) Whenever an Apprentice Acanthus casts a Fate spell, the result is achieved as a result of someone's death. She finds someone to talk to because they came here to mourn the death of a loved one. She gets to work on time because the street lights malfunction, letting her get through on a green light, but leaving fatal traffic accidents in her wake. She curses an annoying person to leave her alone, and he winds up in the obituary the next day.

      She's extremely worried and is afraid to use her magic. Is this "coincidence"? A curse? Is someone intentionally orchestrating these events? Has Fate been lazy on karmic destiny, using her magic as an opportunity to catch up and balance its books?
      Last edited by Strill; 01-31-2014, 03:37 PM.


      • #4
        104) Someone's killing people. Not just any people - bad people. The worst of all criminals; sex offenders, pedophiles, that sort of thing. In gruesome ways.

        At the same time, your dreams tell you that the Knife Man is drawing closer to the Phenomenal World, with every sacrifice in his name.


        • #5
          105) Something has the PC's on edge. They've been hearing about a string of attacks on neighboring cities that target entire cabals of Mages. The movements of the attacks seem to be forming some kind of pattern on the map, as if preparing for a ritual of tremendous scale. When the attacks begin in the PC's city, they discover two things. First, the attacks are the work of a Lich. Second, the Lich brought friends! Not only must the PC's struggle to put down an enemy cabal, but they also have the figure out what kind of ritual they are trying to perform, and hopefully stop it before it's completion. Their city is the last visit needed to complete the pattern and unleash their dark plan upon the country.

          (Full Metal Alchemist inspired. :P )


          • #6
            106) While depositing an item in the Atheneum (sp?) after a day of study, an Acanthus Mystagogue notices a faint *ping* at the barest edge of his senses. Following the sensation leads him into the more secured section. Investigating further brings him to a mechanical device stored in a block of frozen Time. It seems to have adapted to its confinement, and is calling for help.
            Last edited by Paddon; 06-01-2014, 06:29 PM.

            Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Infrastructure.

            Rule #2: Never let the game-mechanics get in the way of a good story.


            • #7
              107.) The barista at the local cafe has been having problems containing her anger lately. She's not normally this angry--her history indicates no sign of abuse or other causes for repressed rage (though she is noted to have been adopted). A Thyrsus might note her pattern fluctuating as the month progresses, or nuisance spirits surrounding her. Everything comes to a head when, during a chance encounter with the PCs, she First Changes. Whoops!

              Currently playing at Fabula Rasa in the Cold Equations venue; planning an Obrimos for Fallen London.
              I can also be found at


              • #8
                108) Last night, something happened to the mages of the city. Their mana was jacked up so high, their wealth of magic appears to be limitless. Most people don't understand the reason behind it, but for those with the power to see the unseen, the reason becomes clear. Every inch of the city is flooded in magical energy that grants all mages within it a nearly limitless supply of mana. Casting a spell requires little more effort than merely scooping a handful of the energy surrounding them like it was a bubble bath!. The source of all this magic is up in the sky, a gigantic portal covering the city. The mana is cascading over the city like a waterfall. On the other side of the portal is an enormous tower, but none of the 5 Mages recognizes it's design from their previous Awakenings. Rumors explode that this portal shows the Unknown Tower, and that the portal leads to the supernal realms!

                But now those who can see it notice that the portal is shrinking a little more everyday. It's closing, and when it does the infinite Mana supply will dry up. So the question is: Do the PC's attempt to find a way to cross through the portal to a realm of limitless power, or will try to speed up the process for fear of the power falling into the wrong hands?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                  But now those who can see it notice that the portal is shrinking a little more everyday. It's closing, and when it does the infinite Mana supply will dry up. So the question is: Do the PC's attempt to find a way to cross through the portal to a realm of limitless power, or will try to speed up the process for fear of the power falling into the wrong hands?
                  Or will they try to make a grab for power while the infinite mana is available?

                  And since I posted:

                  109) [MAGE/DEMON] One of the players' mortal friends/Retainers whom they've helped protect in the past has suddenly had a change of personality. They've become emotionally flat, secretive, and paranoid. They've started poking their nose into the Mages' other friends, their business fronts, and their connections. What's happened is their friend/Retainer once made a Soul Pact with one of the Unchained for security and powerful friends, and the Demon tied them to the players. How do the PCs react to their friend suddenly and irrevocably being obliterated from existence? How do they react when they realize they were unwittingly the playthings in the machinations of another Supernatural? Do they recruit their newfound ally, do they take vengence, do they get involved in the intrigue?

                  Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Infrastructure.

                  Rule #2: Never let the game-mechanics get in the way of a good story.


                  • #10
                    110) The Exarchs are bastards, yes? They're icons of human evil, the epitome of selfishness and hubris.

                    It is speculated by some mystagogues that not all of the mages who would eventually become Exarchs feel the same way about humanity. There could, conceivably, be an Exarch who doesn't feel the same desire to control the world of men that his peers experience.

                    If such an Exarch were to exist, he'd probably hide his (its?) personal beliefs very well - other Exarchs would consider them to be heresy. He would probably operate with at least as much caution as the Gate - subtly influencing the Seers, pushing them towards a more human approach in their methods, using the tools of control for the greater benefit of the human race.

                    The mystagogues feel the need to point out that this is all idle speculation - it is widely known that the Exarchs and their servants cannot be trusted. It is far too likely that a Seer of the Throne who claims to have goals similar to the Pentacle is a liar.


                    • #11
                      111) Strange people in dark grey nondescript suits have been spotted around town, claiming to be from the Department of Undisclosed Sciences. They're not making any real trouble,t heir credentials flag responses from the right databases and they don't seem supernatural, but they're taking strange 'readings' from parts of town, and always stare at any mage who walks by...


                      • #12
                        112) Last night, for approximately 3 minutes, every normal human in the city became Awakened, before returning to Sleepers and forgetting the incident. The humans may not realize what happened, but the resident Mages are demanding answers!


                        • #13
                          113) There's a new hallucinogen on the streets. That's no surprise, you're city's been the place for drug runners for decades. What is surprising is that long time abusers of this drug have a tendency to Awaken while on their drug trips! Is this a completely accidental side effect, or is somebody intentionally trying to create more Mages. If it's the former, then fine, just get rid of the drug before things get too out of hand. If it's the later, then who is behind it... and why?


                          • #14
                            114) A sanctum of a famous 19th century alchemist has recently been discovered. Within were stored various rare grimoires, some enchanted items and a true gem - The Philosophers Stone. Yep. It apparently allows for Paradox free Matter transmutation ! The "potion of immortality" bit hasn't yet been tested yet but lost of people want it. Some want to study it, some want to use it, some think about replicating it. But is it really paradox-free ? And if so why did it's creator ,after discovering such a wondrous thing, keep it hidden instead of showing his briliance to the world ?


                            • #15
                              (Hee, that's simple: The Alchemist used his profound understanding of internal alchemy to Ascend, and the stone is part of his Sarira...)

                              115) Reports of fiery rain and rivers of flame abounded in the distant past, a local Mysterium archivist claims. Apparently, these strange events followed tales of hollow people, easily controlled, and some with missing souls, entirely. The archivist brought this to light because the hollow people have begun to crop up again, and some have claimed to have encountered a few soulless. The Scelestii culprits from before were thought to be completely eradicated, and their tomes destroyed or censored.

                              Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.