Mage Knight: Machination

Questionable Circumstances
Death of an Icon, Birth of a god

Two hundred years prior to the start of our adventure, Magus Nikholan Tezla dies, leaving behind no body, no magical trace of his passing, and a fractured continent. Many are blamed and many are killed in the succession that follows. Some suspect outsiders of some sort or another carried out the assassination, while others believe Tezla may only be in hiding, waiting for the right time to reappear and reunite the fractured empires left in the wake of his disappearance. This is the time of Atlantis rising.

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Glitchy Oracles
Kerr's Fortune

The Oracles at Delphana are well-known for their fortunes. While visiting the Oracles’ home island, Kerr enters into a business contract with Noah and the two of them pay their respects to the prophets. After having a run-in with some of Kerr’s—ahem—old friends, as well as an angry mob, the duo escape the island on Noah’s “chartered” boat and make waves for Atlantis.

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Dwarves Are Assholes
Adric, Kerr, and Noah have fun with pike wounds!

In the City of Caero, everyone’s a liar. Noah and Kerr see Adric’s boss, the shifty-but-jovial Kasran, about a job. After agreeing, they have a run-in with some revolting dwarves, who are really awesome at hitting things but not so awesome at recovering from good jokes. Kasran takes one of the dwarves hostage, while the three party members exit the city as fast as they can and head to Khamsin to meet with Councillor Nujarek.

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Shadowy Meetings
Telorin graduates and gets tanked

Shadowy characters seem to approach Telorin from every direction. One invites him to meet another one at a bar, and a third turns out to be a REAL undead shadow. Kasran, the second shadowy character, kicks its butt after soaking up some damage. Telorin helps. He agrees to help out the already contracted members of the party in talking with Jeet.

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Meeting with Nujarek
Accepting a job

The party visits Councillor-General Jeet Nujarek’s statehouse in Khamsin. They accept his proposal after negotiating:

  • Striking from the record Mahl’s desertion
  • Promising the funds for a ship to Kerr
  • A conversation between Nujarek and Magus Karrudan to try to equate lower-income students’ opportunities with those of nobles

The party have been deputized as “Wartime Tribunes” who are to arrest Councillor-General Raydan Marz and bring him in, alive. Though he is apparently located near Ashon Rye, Nujarek has requested that the party first take care of a hostage situation in Enos Joppa. The hostage is an Atlantean who will be able to help the party in its mission.

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Let the Mission Commence
Sandstorms everywhere

Picking up where they left off, the party are greeted by the grim sight of Jeet Nujarek’s old steward’s pulpy remains as they’re exiting the floating estate. The new steward, Theodore “Teddy” Maleficius, requests one more favor of the party on behalf of Councillor Nujarek: investigate the glitchy golems before they leave for Enos Joppa.

On doing so, Adric finds a curious pendant, a steel rose-stem brooch, in the golems’ remains. The party splits up; Mahl, Kerr, and Adric do some wenching and scouting for the journey, while Telorin and Noah visit the Khamsin Archives to do some research on the brooch’s previous owners, the Blackthorns. Evidence of the family is scarce, but our two researchers find just enough to believe that two local noble estates may hold some clues.

Meanwhile, the other half of the party learns a bit about the little-understood current Orc hierarchy and its leader, Kzar Nabar. Seems as though Enos Joppa is a tindertwig ready to ignite. Nujarek’s head-Altem shows up and escorts the party on their way, explaining that the Blackthorn estate will be a good lead to follow up on—but only after the apparent traitor, Raydan Marz, is in custody.

Next, the party runs into sandstorms. A lot of sandstorms. Adric gets them lost a few times, with Telorin’s makeshift compass getting them back on track. They overcome a cute monstrous scorpion and finally are approaching their first destination. That’s when they notice the pink sky in the direction of Enos Joppa, as well as the Orc conversation going on over the next ridge.

Adric scouts, Mahl is spotted, and Noah bravely but futilely attempts to soothe Orc tempers without knowing the Orc language. Exhausted and not moving quickly enough, the party is run down by Orc riders joyously calling out the name of “Khan Scavenge” while knocking our intrepid adventurers unconscious, save—apparently—Mahl, who, as last we saw, was running much faster than everyone else.

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Hostage Crisis!
Khurga vs. Scavenge

The party, absent one of its members, manages to escape the prison with the hostage, Brigadier-Altem Khurga, in tow. Learning that the town has been taken over by a half-orc named “Scavenge”, the party splits up in order to complete several tasks.

Noah disguises himself as an orc and manages to fascinate nearly the entire encampment of orcs with his performance. Leading them like the pied piper, he is halted by Scavenge himself just north of the village square. Scavenge impresses upon Noah the importance of the decision he has to make: join his commander, Krang, as he promised to do; or betray Krang, as he is a particularly poor tactician, and join the newly made—and more powerful—Kzar Nabar.

Meanwhile, Adric sneaks over to the Hoste’s compound and manages to get inside, meeting the town’s Apprentice magus, Charis, who also happens to be a Hoste member. They gather some useful items, including Khurga’s magical equipment, and hustle over to the town square.

Telorin, Khurga, and a rather quiet Kerr break off and encounter a few orcs. Quickly dealing with them, they head to an abandoned building and spy on the goings-on in the square. Soon enough, Scavenge spots the glare from Telorin’s spyglass and “invites” them to come down.

Scavenge, having decided to join Krang, tells Khurga that the Altem has no further use. Indeed, the only reason he had been kept alive was to stall both Krang and Nabar from moving. Now is a different story; Khurga sees his choices are limited and does the only thing that the rash young man believes he can do—challenge the half-orc to combat to the death. Scavenge accepts, and wins. The town’s magus hints that Councillor Nujarek may be accepting of this outcome, but the party has yet to meet with the Councillor’s agent and hopefully find out for certain.

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Regrouping
....regrouping

The party gets back together and relaxes a bit. Kerr and Adric head to the inn for some grog while Telorin talks to magus Farud and his apprentice, and Noah tries to winkle some more information out of now-Khan Scavenge.

Noah learns that Kzar Nabar and Councillor Nujarek have already been involved in negotiations, though how well those negotiations went is up for debate. Krang, not to be outdone, wishes for negotiations, and is expected to arrive within the day to have a friendly chat with Nujarek’s friend, Kasran Dunning.

Telorin speaks to Farud and is the first to break silence on the mission. It’s unclear whether Farud already knew of the party’s assignment, but now—tasked with investigating General Marz’ transgressions—he has warned that Marz may learn of his arrest warrant sooner rather than later.

Kerr and Adric settle in for a few drinks, when Kerr notices a shady trio occupying a nearby booth. Thinking to make some new friends, he slides in next to one of the sketchy characters and says hi. Adric stays at the bar; meanwhile, Mahl shows up out of nowhere and joins Kerr at the booth. The suspicious trio are suspicious and ask for the party to leave them alone. Not having success with their request, they attack Kerr instead.

Long story short, with a little help from a flamboyantly colored orc named Patchwork, Adric saves Kerr and Mahl after they get dropped by an undead and its friends. Noah heals the bunch, and Kerr makes a new friend/shipmate (Patchwork)! The party settles back in to wait for Kasran and more directions.

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Meeting of Great Minds
...and Krang

The party sits down with Kasran, Scavenge, the two magi, and the newly-arrived Krang. Kasran shows off some of the evidence against Raydan Marz—evidence that appears as though it may not hold up under close scrutiny.

However, there isn’t a chance for such scrutiny, as Kasran has a new task for the party. He explains that the Crusaders the party ran afoul of were likely sent by a vampire faction hellbent on securing Marz for their own devices. At least one of the Deathspeakers—the most powerful Necropolis vampires—has been hunting for a new champion, and Marz would fit the bill. The Atlanteans still want Marz arrested, but they don’t, under any circumstances, want his military knowledge under the control of another nation.

Adding to the likelihood of this scenario, a line of Crusader encampments stretches along the Roa Kaiten from just south of the White Spray all the way to the village of Fairhaven, cutting off any way for the party to cross and head straight for Marz’ troops. Kasran gives the party new marching orders: travel underneath the mountains, through the Kuttar Depths, and exit at the White Spray. A dangerous route, but it will allow the party to get around the Crusader forces.

But Kasran adds that the party must find a way to break the Crusader line. Should Marz resist, the party must have a way to call for reinforcements, but said reinforcements will only be able to reach the party IF the Crusaders are scattered.

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Spelunking
In the Kuttar Depths

As the party enters the system of mines known as the Kuttar Depths, they are accosted by all manner of beasts and magical fire traps. Surviving, if sometimes by the skin of their teeth, they hear screaming and choose to follow the sound to its source.

They find a grisly scene: a humanoid-seeming woman who has a Drakona sorceress chained, helplessly, to a cavern wall. Symbols of power surround the pair, while a trio of shadows seem to be under the woman’s control.

Noah attempts to intercede on the party’s behalf, asking the woman, who says her name is “Sara”, if she would be so kind as to point the way out. Politely refusing, she threatens the party with bodily harm if they don’t quietly stand down. Telorin doesn’t like this. Summoning a golem, he picks a fight with the shadows, which do considerable damage to Noah but otherwise don’t last particularly long.

Sara, meanwhile, disappears from sight. Yggdrazyl, the Drakona sorceress, thanks the party for their help, and bestows a magical reward on Adric, the party’s “tank.” She begins to explain her situation…

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