Big Picture: Decline of sister-cities strengthens circle of wizards.
See the Log for the sequence of events.
|Players||Will, Dave, Mary, Tom|
|Focus||The original members of the Congress of Cults|
|Will||The Greater Partzufim|
|Tom||The texts found in the lost library by Septimus Slope|
|No||Teleportation. Even wizards need transport.|
|No||Wands. Other magical devices are fine.|
|Yes||Technology. World supports both magic and conventional tech.|
|Yes||Diverse religions, theologies, philosophies.|
|1||WD||Start||Tom Mingus opens tailor's shop|
|2||DT||CoC||Rule by the Congress of Cults|
|3||MD||CoC||Founding of the Congress of Cults|
|4||TM||Start||Septimus Slope Discovers Library|
|5||WD||CoC||Farland Wizard's Guild is Founded|
|6||WD||CoC||Why did Samuel Mingus call the meeting at Cheeryble's Coffee House?|
|7||DT||CoC||Samuel Mingus is Born|
|8||MD||CoC||Exhumation of Samuel Minguss|
|9||TM||CoC||Slope's Document Cache is Rediscovered|
|10||WD||WW||The Wizard War|
|11||WD||WW||Slaughter of Guild Members in Gognor|
|12||TM||WW||Destruction of the Tome|
|13||DT||Start||Septimus Slope Receives Tenure|
|14||DT||Start||How was the Greater Partzufim found?|
|15||MD||IC||Rise of the Imperial College|
|16||TM||WW||How did the war end?|
|17||WD||Start||Closing of the Library of Dalchuzim|
|18||DT||Start||What was the first alarming report from Dalchuzim?|
|19||WD||Start||Why was the Greater Partzufim never copied?|
|20||MD||CoC||First meeting of Congress of Cults|
Founding of the Kingdom of the Twin Cities of Farland and Gognor.
(1,WD) Tom Mingus, ancestor of Mingus the Great (aka Mingus Magnus the Magus, founder of the Farland Wizard's Guild), opens a tailor's shop in Farland and is quite successful because all of his garments fit perfectly.
(4,TM) After being denied tenure for the third time, failed religious scholar Septimus Slope wanders into the desert to die, only to stumble upon the remains of a vast library buried in the sand and filled with esoteric tomes by a forgotten sect of renegade monotheistic wizards.
(13,DT) Septimus Slope is awarded a tenure position, and a large grant to excavate his discoveries in the vast desert wastes south of Gognor.
(14,DT) Late afternoon Gognor Desert; the sun is slanting into the entry of a white canvas tent as Septimus Slope is hunched over several loose sheets of aged parchment spread on the wooden camping table before him. A journal lies open in his lap. The last entry reads: "Have sufficiently deciphered the codex fragments from grid 4 to know that they are a part of what was called the Lesser Partzium, a book of common wisdom. It seems to constantly refer to a greater work of some importance by 'Durma the Elder'..."
"Professor Slope! Professor Slope!" calls a very red-faced out-of-breath young man as he is seen running toward the tent entrance. The lad stops at the tent door and hunches over, resting his hands on his knees as he manages to pant out, "Penelopy says she has found what appears to be the Grand Hall. She was wrapping up the quarter section in grid 21, when her foot broke right through the balk, we almost lost her. We lowered a lantern, the room is huge with what appears to be an iron cage surrounding a large codex in the center. Come see!"
(18,DT) Dusty rays of sunlight beam down from a hole in a high vaulted ceiling. The top of a tall ladder vanishes upward through the bright opening, its feet resting on well-worn tile flooring. The Grand Hall of Dalchuzim is cavernous and still. Dim corners out of reach of the pool of bright light at the foot of the ladder flicker with an odd assortment of lamps and candles. Boxes of tools and equipment are scattered over the floor. In the center of the room sits a large cage of iron. Several bars of the cage have been freshly sawn through to allow passage. On an iron stand in the middle of the cage rests a large tome. Before it stands a man in a white straw hat. The book, now open, but once bound with ropes and wax seals, looks far older than even the room itself. The man, eyes glazed and tears streaming down his face stares transfixed at its pages. Suddenly. he snaps his head up and shouts "Durma Ebah Exta Theroon!".
"You okay down there Prof?" calls Penelope Wendle. Leaning over and peering down into a hole in the desert floor. After a brief but worrisome delay, she hears from below, "What? ah, just fine, coming back up". As Penelope looks up, an old woman stands before her. The woman nods at Penelope and then becomes like wind-blown sand and vanishes. "I saw that too" whispers Michael from behind her.
(19,WD) In a locked scriptorium at the University of Gognor, Sebastopol Omnitz places the Greater Partzufim on a reading stand. The room is large, with many writing desks, but he is alone. Sweat runs down his brow; he curses and wipes it with a rag. He positions a leaf of parchment on the writing desk, and sharpens his quill. At last, he opens the massive tome to the first page...and begins to read. The quill falls from his hand as he turns the page. Emotions cross his face: wonder, horror, elation.
He is found in the morning, a desiccated husk, one hand still resting on page twenty-three. Some will read more; some will read less. And the few who read to the last page and survive have other concerns.
(17,WD) Alarmed by reports coming from the excavations at Dalchuzim in the desert, High Wishop Telluriand of Gognor and Elder Primus Sandoval the Bastard, High Priest of the Temple of Cheva, puts pressure on the King of Gognor to close down the excavations. Septimus Slope hides a number of tomes, including the Lesser Partzium, in the crypts under the University of Gognor, and flees to Farland with his wife and child.
(2,DT) All factions from both cities come together to rule the Twin Cities resulting in a time of peace and freedom.
(3,MD) The Wizards Fabien of Gognor and Gideon of Farland join their two factions together to create the Congress of Cults. Their factions are of very differing philosophies but in this time understand that there is power and security in numbers.
(20,MD) The Congress was small when it first began, though its size grew with its importance. This meeting takes place in a private room at an inn that is halfway between the two cities.
(7,DT) Samuel Mingus is born in a small shack on top of Mount Wendle, the first born of Anatolia Mingus. Thus fulfilling the Third Prophecy of Durma The Elder: "The ravens of Wendle shall first hear his cry when he comes forth from the Rising Sun." Anatolia is his mother.
(9,TM) Severus Slope finds a cache of documents hidden by his ancestor Septimus Slope alluding to an ancient magical and belief system which had been erased from history and actively suppressed by the Congress. He believes its suppression may have been the entire purpose of the Congress. He brings them to his friend Samuel Mingus.
(5,WD) Unlicensed Wizards Samuel Mingus and Severus Slope meet at Cheeryble's Coffee House in Farland and form a pact resulting in the establishment of the Farland Wizard's Guild.
(6,WD) It is late; the air in the tenement room is chill. Mingus sits at a small table, barely large enough for a page and a bottle of ink. "Severus," he writes, shivering, "The pressure on unlicensed wizards is becoming intolerable. You know as well as I do why we can't get licenses—Congress of Cults, bah! We must band together! Meet me...."
(8,MD) Research and study done on the corpse of Mingus Magnus the Magus long after his death indicated assassination through poison rather than death by food poisoning as previously thought. The culprit remains unknown.
(10,WD) The realm of the Twin Cities falls into an extended period of warfare during which the forces of the Congress of Cults attempts to root out and destroy all members of the Unlicensed Wizard's Guild founded by Samuel Mingus and Severus Slope. At the end of the period the survivors of the Guild are in hiding, the economy of the realm has been devastated, large tracts of land are uninhabitable, and the authority of the Congress is in tatters.
(11,WD) Following the slaughter of the guild members in the city of Gognor, the remaining leadership of the Unlicensed Wizard's Guild, assembled in secret in a cellar in Farland, pledge to oppose the Congress of Cults and all its works and all its empty promises, declaring as the Guild's patron their dimly remembered founder Samuel Mingus, whom they now christen Mingus Magnus the Magus, Martyr to the Congress of Cults. Word goes out to the Guild's cells in the cities and towns of the realm: "Never Again!"
(12,TM) One of the key documents is a book called the Greater Partzufim. Discovered in the lost library, it contains knowledge both sides wish to control for their own reasons. At the end of the Wizard War, in a bittersweet victory for the Congress of Cults, they successfully destroy the tome and its contents are lost.
(16,TM) Trench 777, a useless defensive position in an unimportant place, is finally overrun by the forces of the Congress of Cults, becoming the last battle of the the Wizard War. The High Wishop Verria Etpax arrives in caravan, and is greeted by a diminutive subaltern. He is led through the smoking residue of magical fire, past the melting remains of the dead and dying and into an underground command center. Tunnels snake in all directions and the wounded line the walls, but his attention is fixed on the nondescript box at the center of the room.
He steps forward then checks himself. "Take it to the middle of the battlefield, pile it with biridian sulfair, and flame it."
"Should we inspect it first?" his aid asks.
"I dare not. I fought a war, tortured innocents, hunted friends to their deaths, and did countless other terrible things to make sure what is in this tome is never known to the world, and now all I feel is an overwhelming desire to lose myself in its pages. It calls to me even as I say these words."
"Flame it!" the aide shouts. "Let the fires of Nantox purify our realm!"
"Flame and purify!" the men shout in response. "Hail Nantox! Hail the purifying flame!"
(15,MD) After the destruction caused by the war, the Congress of Cults decided to create an Imperial College to run the cities and to teach magic. This resulted in a unity among magic users because they were all connected to the school. The college was founded above an ancient library that only the highest ranking wizards are given access to.
Utter collapse of civilization following the decay of the Imperial College of Wizards. ("Imperial College" as in "The College has Imperial power".)