Category Archives: Mage – Legacy

Legacy, Session #4

Our heroes and Nikolai make there way to a sewer entrance and enter the labyrinthine network of tunnels running under Chicago. They hope to find the technocrat that has been hounding Nikolai and rescue the rat – Keta – whom they have learned is in actuality a wererat. It takes some coaxing and some lucky guesses, but the gun that Kenny has befriended manages to continuously point them in the right direction to find the technocratic lair. Gia, however, notes with increasing worry that the swarms of rats inhabiting these lightless tunnels seem to be following them. It’s disconcerting enough that both Lily and Gia capture rats and reach into their minds to see if something is afoot.

Something is afoot…and it’s madness! A frantic, churning beat pulses through the minds of the rats, linking the entire swarm together. Lily and Gia are drawn in, unable to pull themselves away from the chaotic rhythm. And through this unnatural connection, Gia senses something else – something more clever and full of malice than these rats. And they’re getting closer.

Finally able to free her consciousness from the hive mind (mostly), Gia peers through stone barriers with her Ethergoggles and spots not fewer than seven powerfully built humans closing in on the group from all angles.  Gia searches for an exit, but they’ve been cornered – too far from any manhole to reach the safety of the surface. As the assailants approach, they are preceded by music – a distinct chorus of baseball bats and tire irons clinking against walls and ceilings in unnerving harmony. Even as worried as they are, the group has the wherewithal to notice that the melody seems incomplete – missing beats from time to time. Perhaps Keta is the missing member?

But there’s no time to fully consider the situation. Hulking wererats round corners and the group has no escape. They’ve identified the weakest one, but even if they can force their way through, the other rats will be on them in seconds.

“Go,” says Nikolai, gravely. “They will not hurt me. Rescue Keta, put her somewhere safe, and then come find me. Go, now!”

With few other options presenting themselves, the group of mages turns on the smallest wererat – wearing a ragged tanktop and wielding an aluminum baseball bat threateningly. Silver – it occurs to Kenny – is supposed to be deadly to werewolves. Would the same be true of their rodent cousins? Kenny commands the bullets in his gun to become silver and then fires. Somewhat to her surprise, the wererat does indeed recoil violently. Beating a hasty retreat it shifts back into a rat and disappears among the thronging mass around their feet. They run – their escape following by a terrible roaring behind them.

Eventually they find their way to an old steel door and move through it. Flicking on the lights, they find a hallways that hasn’t been maintained in decades, but seems to have been used recently. Moving further in, the find a broken down security station with records tracking the coming and going of personnel and supplies. The last entry appears to have been from the 1940’s. They then move into a lobby with three doors leading to Storage, Operations, and Personnel. At the gun’s suggestion, Kenny calls out for Agent Mitchell. His call is answered by thudding footsteps approaching from Storage – footsteps accompanied by the unmistakable sounds of an automaton. The gun tells them not to worry – that’s just MurderBot, coming to make sure they aren’t deviant mages of some kind. Kenny thinks that’s fine. Gia points out that the group is in fact made up of deviant mages and so things will likely not be fine. To buy time, Kenny asks the hallway leading to Storage to please become sealed and it does so.

The group goes to Operations for answers. What they discover is that this abandoned installation used to be a supply station for a space station referred to as the Playpen, somewhere out beyond Neptune. Whether it still exists or not is unclear – once again records haven’t been logged in decades. Kenny awakens one of the computer terminals and the other two helpfully provide more power, for which the computer is extremely grateful. It informs them that the installation currently has two very defective and dangerous robots in it – referred to by station staff as MurderBot and LoveBot. LoveBot is psychotic – an unsympathetic killer. MurderBot on the other hand was put in storage when it failed to killed deviant mages – apparently taking pity when it learned that one of the mage’s had a small child.

The group returns to confront MurderBot – with Lily taking point and mustering as much teenage adorableness as possible. MurderBot lived up to his reputation, becoming immediately protective of her and the group. It let them pass, bringing its considerable armaments to bear on the entrance in case wererats came through. It also offered Lily a lolly pop that it produced from inside its cracked chassis.

The group then moved down to Storage – finding themselves on a catwalk overlooking a massive chamber with rows upon rows of shelves. Gia’s goggles were able to make out the faint readings of both Keta and Ruth – the Tradition gunslinger from the police station – but no sign of Agent Mitchell or LoveBot. The group moved into the chamber cautiously…

Legacy, Session #3

As Gia does what she can to help the injured policemen and Lily keeps an eye on the police captain, Kenny takes Shanna up to the roof to look for the Man in Black and Shanna’s companion, Ruth. Unfortunately, neither of them are there and from the roof they can see an encroaching army of news media, including a couple helicopters. Kenny and Shanna duck back inside.

The four mages head downstairs and slip out the back entrance and make for Emma’s apartment. On the way, they talk to Shanna. She and Ruth are Celestial Chorus and were sent here by the Council to retrieve Emma’s body. Shanna tells the group that long ago, Emma was a fairly big deal in the Traditions, but things happened and she went her own way. The Council respected her wish for privacy, but was also aware that her work had filled her body with dangerous energy and that when she eventually died, that would need to be dealt with. Shanna and Ruth were to bring her back to their Chantry in Iowa for a proper burial. But things are not going to plan.

With Ruth missing, Shanna is rather embarrassingly helpless. She has a bag containing an assortment of religious paraphernalia. She does not have a wallet, phone, etc. This was supposed to be a quick operation and Ruth is the one who normally takes care of ‘practical things.’ Lily is disgusted by the thought of a 20 year-old without a phone.

At this point, they get a message from Max, who was helping track down the ‘N’ from the police captain’s phone:

Nikolai Potenski

3140 S Canal St

Owns the Red Steak restaurant

N and the captain are in touch about twice a month.


The four of them spend the night at Emma’s – its built in protective enchantments outweighing the morbidity of the blood stains on the walls. The next morning they all have breakfast and ask Shanna a bit more about the Council’s involvement. Kenny also awakens the two guns (Ruth’s and the MiB’s) and finds out a little about them. After that, they set off to the lawyer’s to find out more about what Emma’s actual wishes are. Shanna stays behind to try to contact Ruth. On the way they text Max to ask him what the will said before he modified it, but he strangely doesn’t get back to them super-fast.

To find out more from Arron Johnson, Gia uses her powers of mental manipulation to change her own brain into that of Jane Smith, fictional professional security expert. She’s there to look into any breach’s in Mr. Johnson’s security and he’s happy for the help. While investigating his vault, Gia also taps into his mind to better retrieve his fading memories.

Emma had the will drawn up many years ago, shortly after Kenny went his own way. Since then, she had it changed only twice, to include Gia and then Lily. The original didn’t have the part about her grandson Max (surprisingly). It instead said, “If you’re reading this then I will already have made arrangements to have had by body cremated. There are reasons it is important that my remains are undisturbed and I trust that you three will make sure they are protected. Thank you for being my friends and for giving me hope that I am leaving the world a better place than when I got here.”

They text Max to let him know that they know and conveniently at that moment get just those words from Max, along with his regrets that that message didn’t send an hour ago, when he told it to (uh huh…). Kenny has his phone break into Max’s computer and overwrites old-lady faces onto everyone’s head in Max’s porn collection.

The three of them decide to check out the Red Steak and discover it to be a fairly good steak house with a soup kitchen for the homeless in the back. Both are run by Nikolai, who is a massive Russian man in an ill-fitting t-shirt and a faded Cubs cap. While they’re eating, Lily sneaks off to investigate the place. She unlocks the upstairs to find Nikolai’s living space, a cozy loft filled with occult books and objects, mostly Russian. Overall it has a fairly positive energy. Lily swipes an ushenka that makes the wearer feel pointedly upbeat, even in the most inclement of weather. She then unlocks the basement and finds a fairly terrifying space, with cots along the wall and a medical table in the center, featuring very serious looking restraints. There’s also a small bathroom and a number of locked cabinets. Lily gets the hell out of there.

After their meal, the three of them talk to Nikolai under the pretext of wanting to volunteer for the soup kitchen. Gia does a small amount of discrete brain-probing during that to establish that Nikolai does know Susie and has a very protective sense towards her. Gia also learns that Nikolai has a very stubborn mind that is hard to probe.

They wait until the shop closes for the afternoon and then confront Nikolai about Susie directly. Nikolai tells them a lot and the four of them come to a deal:

A couple months ago, Nikolai became the target of what sounds like the Men in Black. They apparently came for him in force and he somehow drove them away. Since then, the one in charge has been harassing Nikolai and trying to draw him out. As a part of that, two of Nikolai’s friends have been killed and he’s pretty pissed about that. Now they’re after Susie, but unable to get to her directly, they’ve kidnapped Susie’s pet rat, who it turns out is a wererat. Susie is a troubled young woman and is basically inconsolable without that rat. Nikolai could lead the group to Susie to ask about the whole corpse-stealing thing, but he’s pretty sure they won’t get anything out of her without the rat. So, if the mages can get the rat back, Nikolai will show them to Susie. No problem, right?

To find them, Kenny starts talking to the technocrat’s gun again and because he’s some sort of gun-whisperer, he gets the thing to do its best to describe how to get back to the technocratic base. It’s apparently under a nearby park, in the sewers, and it has what the gun casually refers to as ‘guard beasts.’ This may not be easy.

Legacy, Session #2

The mages take a flustered and uncomfortable Max to a nearby cafe. They order some food and Max starts up the conversation, hands still fixed on his iPhone (pew pew). Lily, annoyed, breaks Max’s iPhone with a Hermitcally empowered spitball, but Max replaces it with another from his pocket. Very nervous and chatty, he wants to know about who ‘Susie’ is and how the mages know that “his grandmother” isn’t at the police station. Gia is having none of his tomfoolery and quickly forces a confession. She offers up that someone named Susie stole Emma’s body last night, but then demands the truth from Max.

Max concedes and tells them what he knows. Max is a Virtual Adept and one rather concerned about the rise of the Tradition Rogue Council. He tells the group (a reminder to some) that fifteen years ago the original Council was killed and the Traditions have been leaderless ever since, which is terrible in some ways, but also gives younger mages a chance to make more of an impact. Over the last few years though, a rather shadowy group called the Rogue Council have been trying to bring back the old structure, directing and coordinating Tradition endeavors from some hidden location, probably in the spirit worlds. Max isn’t against the Rogue Council per-say, but referencing the Virtual Adepts’ relatively recent defection from the Technocracy, he has a healthy distrust for shadowy cabals controlling vast organizations. All of which is to say, he intercepted a Rogue Council transmission sending a couple of mages here to retrieve Emma’s body and thought he might get here first and see what was up.

At about this time, he brings up that police scanners are going nuts. Something bad is happening back at the police station and he hacks into their security feed to find out what. He passes out phones to the others so that they can tune in – although he gives the one with the cracked screen to Lily.

On the third floor of the police station they find a older, disheveled man wearing a police lab coat. A number of officers are in the hallway, shooting at him. The bullets are hitting, but the man continues to advance. This looks bad for the police. The group decides to head back to find out more while Max backs them up from the diner, via phone.

Reaching the police station, they discover a host of squad cars outside, but a meager two guards remaining at the front entrance. They sneak around to the conspicuously unguarded rear entrance and Max offers to unlock the card reader. What they find is the coroner, terrified and running for that exit on a badly injured leg. He is being chased by the former population of the morgue – naked and with what looks to be a hunger for brains. Lily fires off some magic, but it isn’t strong enough to hold them. Kenny yells at the floor, demanding that it become tar. The formerly-dead are caught in it. They disgustingly tear themselves free, but by that time the mages and coroner are safely outside. Gia calms the coroner, who tells them that there was an emergency announcement inside the station and when he asked officers rushing by they claimed that a man named Tommy was back. Tommy was a junkie who died at the station a few months back and was supposedly haunting the place. At that point, the morgue burst open and the coroner’s charges began attacking him.

Gia gives the man a thorough looking over to check for zombie bites and then sends him off to a hospital. She notices that his life-force seems slightly diminished and that a larger,life stealing effect seems to be emanating from somewhere on the third floor. At this point, Max warns them that more people are showing up. A Fed is walking through the front doors that Max suspects is Technocracy and two women are sneaking in another entrance, who Max suspects are the Rogue Council mages.

Lily climbs a tree to get a better look at the third floor and Kenny tells one of the walls to turn into glass so she can see. What she sees is awful. Police are strewn about the hallway, unconscious and slipping towards death. Walking past them is the disheveled man who is apparently Tommy. At the other end of the hall, by the stair case, stands a very odd pair. One is the Man in Black. Cool, composed, in a business suit, and firing a semi-automatic pistol into Tommy. Next to him stands a weathered looking woman in her 40’s, fading blonde hair pulled back into a tight bun. She too is firing a pistol into Tommy, their combined fire keeping him at bay, but not for long. Each shot blows away what appears to be the ash of human remains, revealing for a moment a younger woman trapped inside Tommy, screaming for help. But each time, the ash reforms, sealing her away.

Lily can see that whatever Tommy is, he feels more like a magical side effect than something intentional. His power is tied to something larger, beyond her perception. Gia asks Max to focus on finding whatever that is.

Behind Tommy, the last races of life fade from two police officers. In that moment, a dark force animates them, lifting them back to their feet and propelling them towards the two gunmen. The Man in Black shoots one in the head, his enchanted bullet tearing through the magic animating the body and dropping it to the floor for good. He switches aim to the other, but the woman deflects his arm. In that moment, Tommy lets loose a shockwave of dark energy that slams the Man in Black against the wall, staggering him. Things are looking bad and our heroes spring into action.

Gia throws her goggles to Lily, letting the treebound sleuth see through walls. In addition to the insanity on the third floor, she sees the morgue zombies making their way to the stairwell, the police captain on the phone in a second-floor office, and a strange young woman praying over a candle in the second floor hallway. Gia begins using the power of science to hype herself up, flooding her system with adrenaline. Kenny climbs a tree to the roof, demands that the roof part for him, and then reaches down to help.

More officers are slipping into death and rising again, but Lily fires a force field through the glass to hold them back for the moment. The gun-wielding woman helps the fed to his feet and pushes him up to Kenny. Tommy unleashes another blast, throwing the woman down the stairs. Kenny jumps down and goes after her. As Lily struggles to hold the force field in place, Kenny grabs the now-unconscious woman, runs back up the stairs, and raises her up to the fed, getting both of them to the roof. He then runs back down to see what’s up with the praying woman.

Gia, now super-pumped, takes a tree to the roof and tries to help the injured woman, but can’t do much. “Protect Shanna…for just a moment longer…” she says. Gia jumps down and ends up on the stairs, trapped between animated police officers above and morgue zombies below. Kenny has the fed’s gun and the other woman’s, but doesn’t want to fire with Gia in the middle, so he wades in with his fists, asking his clothing to be kevlar for a while.

There is quite a fight. Kenny and Gia force their way through the morgue zombies and take up a position in front of Shanna – the praying girl. Lily has snuck in through the front and made her way to the second floor, joining her friends. Kenny only has one shot left in the woman’s dessert eagle and is waiting for a shot on Tommy. The animated officers are making that difficult and Gia tries to fend them off with a fire extinguisher. She throws it into the middle of them and Lily tries to detonate it with a word of power, but can’t hit the mark. The officers, close in around Gia, the horror of their otherworldlyness threatening to suffocate her. But Lily lands her second spell and the extinguisher explodes in shrapnel, blowing a hole in the officers. A moment later, Shanna completes her spell and the hall is filling with blinding, holy light. The officers are stunned, the zombies are destroyed, and Tommy is staggered. Kenny takes the shot, striking Tommy squarely in the face. Ash explodes with a definite finality and the young woman trapped inside him tumbles down the stairs.

To everyone’s surprise, the police officers that were thought to be dead begin crying for help, many of them severely injured by the extinguisher bomb. Gia does what she can to help them, Lily directs her attention to the hiding police captain, and Kenny turns to regard Shanna. Lily calls Max, who is o the run after the Technocracy traced his signal – but he offers to look into the phone number the captain called.

With all these victims, the captain, Shanna, the news media outside, and the two rooftop fighters unaccounted for there are a lot of loose ends and not much time…

Mage – Legacy, Session #1

Last night was the beginning of a new and wonderful campaign. I’m going to try to keep a light journal for it, to help keep my thoughts straight and because memories. If anyone else stumbles across this, I hope you enjoy it.


So without further ado, the beginning of Legacy, a story set in Mage: The Ascension.

Lily, Kenneth, and Gia are all fairly successful tradition mages in 2015. Kenneth is an older Dreamspeaker, with a knack for talking to technology. Gia is a Son of Ether, focused on neurology and through that pushing at the gates of true artificial intelligence. Lily is attending a prestigious Order of Hermes academy in upstate New York and while she gets into trouble more than most students, no one can question her aptitude. But before they carried themselves with their current confidence and sense of self, there was a time after they had just Awakened where they were confused and lost. And each of them had been found by Emma Forester of Southside Chicago. A kind old Mage who spoke little of her past, Emma had a habit of taking in strays, teaching them the real truths of this world, and sending them off with a sense of purpose and clarity.

Now all of them found themselves back in Chicago, summoned by a lawyer bearing the sad news of Emma’s passing and bidding them to attend a reading of her will.

The three of them met that morning, with Gia excitedly telling Kenny how much Emma had talked about him while Gia had been trained by her. Lily was more subdued, staying just outside normal awareness. And lastly, a well-dressed teenager fixed on phone games had come in, fingers tapping away and a steady stream of pew-pews and explosions adding an aggravating ambiance to the affair.

At 10:00 Aaron Johnson opened his door and let them in, although Gia noticed that his greeting to the kid on his phone was less warm – perhaps even suspicious. With the four of them seated (and the kid’s phone almost muted – but not quite) Aaron began the reading of the will. Emma spoke directly to the three students gathered there, leaving her possessions to them, but more importantly her legacy.  She said that she had done much in her life, but these three students were the accomplishment she was most proud of. And then, at the end of a somewhat long and emotional will comes the sentence, “At to my grandson Max I leave my earthly remains.” The End.

“Cool,” says the kid over his phone.

Mr. Johnson gives them the keys to Emma’s apartment and informs the kid that the coroner will be ready to release her body at 6 tonight. Max takes off. The other three talk to the lawyer some more and learn that Emma didn’t die of natural causes. Three nights ago she was shot in her home, but Mr. Johnson doesn’t know much more beyond that. He gives them the phone number of Evelyn Thompson, the detective working the case.

The three students head over to Emma’s. On the way, Kenny asks his phone to do some snooping and it comes back having had a brief chat with some computers over at the police station. He hasn’t learned much, except that the bullets from the case are “a little weird.”

They enter Emma’s home, a place they all have their own fond memories of. Those memories are somewhat tarnished by the bloodstains on the floor and wall, already mapped out by police forensics lines. The place is in complete disarray, ransacked. Lily and Gia do a thorough investigation, something they are both amazing at. They discover two bullet holes in the wall and conclude as the police have that the assailant was standing close to Emma and was slightly taller than her. They find a large Adidas footprint in the pooled blood. Importantly, they find that as thoroughly as the place was ransacked, they can’t find anything at all missing – and Lily would know. Also, Emma’s wards against misfortune are intact – their was no randomness to this incident. Gia slips on a pair of high-tech goggles to take a closer look and finds that there are no traces of gunpowder and in the wall there isn’t even a hint of bullet fragments.

They also find a photo album that seems to be of all the wayward mages that Emma took in. They’re all in there, along with five other people.

In the meantime, Kenneth calls Detective Thompson and unnerves her with how much he knows about the case, but learns where the body is currently and the name of the coroner. Then he wakes up the wall and has a conversation with it, mostly about how it’s been shot and how much that sucks.

In the bedroom, they find one object that even Lily doesn’t recognize. It’s an old medal, a commendation for valor that Kenny identifies as a fairly specific medal linked to actions behind enemy lines along the French-German border during World War II. Kenneth awakens it and has a conversation. The medal belonged to Emma, but it wasn’t awarded to her. It was awarded to a man named Christopher who Emma served with during the war. Emma, apparently, was a doctor and later a soldier, but after Christopher died and the war ended Emma left that part of her life behind. The medal is the only reminder she kept and she kept him mostly hidden in a cubby in the wall.  The medal was also super angry, not only about Emma’s death but because that night he was manhandled by someone who was sweating profusely and as the medal put it, “Not the sweat of honest exertion. The nervous sweat of a coward.”

Lily analyzed the sweat, and learned that whoever left it was a young, Caucasian male with a bit of Adderall in his system. She took some skin cells to do a more thorough analysis later.

After taking care of some of Emma’s things, the group moved to the police station, intent on getting to Emma’s body before her grandson. Lily overpowered the desk officer’s mind with a Hermetic word of power and got him to give them guest passes and directions to the morgue. They arrived and met the coroner, who tried to show them the body and was startled and embarrassed to find it missing. He ushered them all out while he went to get the Captain, but Kenny left his phone behind to talk to the Coroner’s computer and Lily stayed as a fly on the wall, because people don’t notice her unless she wants them too. Lily learned that the Coroner left the office last night at 7:13 and that was the last time he saw Emma’s body. She also read a coroner’s report confirming what they had learned at the scene and that there were no bullet fragments in the body or defensive wounds of any kind. It also mentioned a strange pathogen in her blood that had been sent to the lab.

Kenny’s phone had a conversation with the coroner’s computer and through him met his girlfriend, the ballistics PC. Beign such a charmer, he’d gotten the ballistics PC to tell him a bit about the two bullets, which was completely unblemished and which the lab guys were completely unable to take filings from or identify.

The Captain went upstairs to review the security footage and Lily followed. At 1:07 AM, a girl in her 20’s with stylish clothes and a slick blonde ponytail showed up, at which point the Captain asked the others to leave the security room, saying that this might be related to a confidential federal investigation. He then watched as she walked into the morgue and left with Emma’s body. He made a call to someone who sounded like an intimidating type that the Captain works for. The Captain asked this person to keep better control over ‘Susie’ and then apologized and promised to clean up the mess. Lily then swiped his phone and got the number of this contact, which was listed only as ‘N.’

Having as much information as they felt they could get at this point, the three of them waited in the lobby for Max, who showed up at 6:00. They intercepted him grilled him fairly hard. Gia started off by consoling him with a head pat that allowed her to use her engineered hand to probe his thoughts, discovering that he’s a Virtual Adept with no relation to Emma whatsoever who is trying to steal her body. In the meantime, Lily stole three phones and a wallet from her pocket. He had an iPhone out and she swiped an Android, a Windows Phone, and a FirePhone. Kenneth tried to talk to the cell phones, but one freaked out and called Max, alerting him that something was up. Gia tried to keep him engaged, but the police captain showed up to tell Max that unfortunately his grandmother had been found to be the source of an infectious disease and the city was going to burn her for reasons of public safety. Max was pissed, but cops threw him out at which point our intrepid heroes insisted that they needed to talk and the whole group headed for a diner.