Friday, February 1, 2019

Frostgrave RPG Campaign: The Bursar's Tale

We started a new campaign for our Frostgrave RPG, picking up where we left off at the end of The Summoner's Tale.   In addition to using the rules from Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago, I incorporated much from Rangers of Shadow Deep, a new set of non-Osprey rules by Frostgrave author Joseph McCullough that uses the same Frostgrave mechanics and designed for solo/cooperative play.  It's a great addition for role-playing the Frostgrave universe.

As noted previously, the campaign is set in the world of Minaria, from the old TSR game Divine Right.

The party of PCs is moving out of the frozen city in the far north to more temperate climes, the magical principality of Lered, home to the Invisible School of Thaumaturgy.

The party's magic users are, from the left, Redmane the Magnificent, Illusionist, Atlantia Wraith-Slayer, renown heroine of the battles against the Lich Lord and former apprentice to Anvarr Rhellig, Summoner. (Redmane and Anvarr both attended the Invisible School.  Redmane graduated while Anvarr was expelled for delving into forbidden matters.  Atlantia, not having the aristocratic connections of the other two, had never been admitted, relying instead on tutoring from Anvarr.  She was recognized as a full wizard after single-handedly destroying two wraith knights in one encounter.)

The party's "muscle" consists of Bozidar Stemada, a mercenary Ponese Captain on loan from the service of the Emperor of Meutar, Ril a reclusive Elf assassin, Sir Emerick the Relentless, and Dame Roswith Widow-maker, both impoverished knight-errants.

The party includes a number of NPCs such as Urkmaas, a former Tracker now serving as Atlantia's apprentice, Thisby, apprentice to Redmane, and Garamond, a Treasure Hunter.

Rounding out the party are the more hirsute members, Braanx, a Rangifer warrior, and Greg the Bear. 

So without further ado, here is:

The Bursar's Tale
Chapter I
A Courteous Solicitation to the Alumni

After the defeat of the Lich Lord, the Wraith-Slayer's party is famous throughout northern Minaria.  They are summoned by the Grand Council of the Invisible School of Thaumaturgy, Magic, Necromancy, and Demonology, the most celebrated institution of magical learning in the world.  The Council has even sent the Airboat of Armera, a relic of the lost Lloroi civilization, to fetch them.

They arrive at the sprawling campus of the Invisible School.

The Airboat docks at the Sky Tower, high atop the School's Acropolis.

They are guided through the bustling Quadrangle of the Moon Tower.

The tower of the School's great bell, Old Solm.  It chimes the hours with no sound but rather a spell of silence.

The party is taken to the Administratium to meet with the Grand Council.

The council room is well guarded by Proctors, large unpleasant men recruited from criminals to keep order on campus.

As with all School activities, everything is being recorded by the Scribes.

Mirror are ubiquitous throughout the entire campus.

After a wait of only a half-hour, the height of efficiency at the School, the Grand Council begins the meeting. There are seven seats on the Grand Council but only five Councilors are present.

The Council is chaired by Vistrum Rhedel, an Elementalist, who is Archchancellor of the School as well as Chancellor of the Pentangle. He is a verbose and often confused man.

Second in seniority is Parvia Dinoras, a Sigilist, Chancellor of the Inner Circle.  She tends to be unpleasant and officious.

Chigrim Fester, a Necromancer, is Headmaster of Students, charged with looking after the welfare of the School's scholars.  His personal habits and appearance are less than appealing.

Grelog Broadchest, Enchanter, Subchancellor of Theoreticals.  The only Dwarf on the Council, his contributions often go quite literally unseen.

Neulien Ules, an Ercii (half-Elf) Illusionist, is Subchancellor of Practical Studies.  She is adept at the various Beauty spells.  She had her own line of magical cosmetics.

Missing is Tornas Thikalis, the Bursar, charged with all the fiscal and administrative functions of the School. 

The meeting begins with a long, digressive recitation by the Archchancellor.  There are of course two magical curriculum: the Inner Circle that consists of the ten schools of favored magic, and the Pentangle, the five schools of disfavored magic.  He describes the situation of thirty years ago, at the height of the Elven King Beowan's Great War against the other races.  In the midst of these chaotic struggles, the Spiritualist Chancellor of the Pentangle, Malcor, led an uprising at the School to subordinate the Inner Circle to his authority.  The uprising was put down with great bloodshed, a fact that Parvia and Vistum recall with inordinate glee.  The Pentangle was suppressed, its study limited to the theoretical and the Chancellor's seat being combined with that of the Chancellor to insure proper supervision.  

Recently, however, there have been "manifestations" about the School that suggest that somehow Malcor's spirit and those of his followers have returned.  Several student and non-magical staff have been killed.  Effort to exorcism these manifestations by the School's magical staff have failed.  Given the party's success against the Lich Lord, they are tasked with ridding the School of this new undead Mage.

In the end, the Councilors seemed far more interested in the faculty wine and cheese reception which is scheduled to begin after the meeting. As a result, the meeting is abruptly ended.

The Archchancellor meets privately with the party.  He believes that one or more of the members of the Grand Council is out to kill him and is at the heart of Malcor's return.  He tells the party that if they can uncover the Councilor responsible, it will go far to ending the troubles with Malcor.

The unassuming Office of the Bursar

While the Redmane and Atlantia attend the wine and cheese party, Bozidar seeks the Scribes' records of the manifestations.  He soon discovers that the entire School is under observation by the Scribes, who utilize magic mirror to monitor everything.  The Scribes all work for the mysterious Bursar.  Bozidar attempts to see the Bursar but is rebuffed.  No one has ever seen the Bursar in generations.  

While the Scribes assist Bozidar in his searches regarding the rest of the School, each inquiry about the Bursar is met with polite refusal and subtle threat.  Bozidar leaves with a feeling of paranoia.

The Library, like all building of the School, it is much bigger inside than out.

In the meantime, Anvarr has gone to the Library to seek information about the Pentangle, particularly with the type of spells that the Spiritualist school may utilize.

Ril and Greg are there to protect him.

While reading about the Spiritualist spell that can transform the terrestrial into the ethereal, Anvarr realizes that the desk at which he is working has been insubstantial.  His hand passes through the desktop and he begins hearing a high-pitched roar coming from behind him ...(To be continued).


Stephen Gilbert said...

Excellent.. truly excellent.

The Dale Wardens said...

It has been quite some time since I last played Divine Right and seen the map of Minaria!

Looking forward to more.

David S.