Days of Shade and Sunlight

Episode 3.5 "The Past, Present and Pocket Future"

The following morning a bright and clear Sunday brought some downtime with it as well as a desire on both Charles and Colin’s part to investigate the past. The first trial had revealed to Colin that His older Sister Margaret had exhibited some type of strange abilities the very day He took off running at super-speed from His families home without looking back. He had no idea that His Sister or possibly both Sister and Brother were also mutants. The death of His parents in a car bombing had consumed Him with anger and grief and all He wanted to do was escape from the one place that was painful. Home. When Emma informed the two of them that they had about six days of free time to do with as they wished Colin made the immediate decision to return to Belfast Ireland and visit His old home. Packing hastily and leaving via the magic of the Tower of the Sunlight He misrepresented Himself to the Irish customs agents and was detained. They had His face and name in the database as partial registration to the mutant roster. Colin was given a brief chance to update this and disengaged the alarms and perhaps some of the suspicion of the approaching guards but He opted to utilize His instant return to the Tower spell and vanished to reappear back in His private quarters. This time He took measures to create a believable Irish Passport and Documentation as well as a external disguise. He passed through customs and made His way via taxi back to North Belfast and His old neighborhood.

Colin came across two police officers approaching His childhood house and kept across the street out of sight as to watch them and see what they were doing there. The door was answered by a tall muscular man in his early 30’s with a black eye patch and a five o’clock shadow. He looked at the photograph that the police officers presented Him and then before yelling at them and swearing He spit on it. Colin was not sure that this man on the front doorstep was His elder Brother but He decided to approach the officers and ask who they were looking for. The police already agitated by the man at the door scolded the now disguised Colin and told HIm to mind His own business that this was an official Irish Police investigation. The police left abruptly and Colin took a moment to watch His old Home spotting some upgrades to the side of the House where the front door and second floor staircase would of been. Taking a walk down and around the block Colin decided to look around for other landmarks that might stand out. His old boxing gym where He trained as a lad was now a shell of itself a delapitated building. Turning to cross the street He was almost face to face with the man from His old Home, and at this close inspection Colin could now see this man was indeed His elder brother having their father’s features. The two of them exchanged words as to why Colin would be watching His house and already walking into the Pub on the corner Nick invited the disguised Colin inside. They talked briefly some more as Nick picked up a few cases of draft and then began to walk back to the house. Nick let on that He could tell this was Colin simply by the miraculous power of deduction, what odds were there that cops would be looking for the great boxing champion at His home and then a stranger appears. Colin waited until He was inside to drop His disguise and the two had a long and interesting conversation. Colin learned that they were indeed all mutants and possibly even their late parents, He found out that His sister went under cover in the “Midnight Hour” faction almost 4 years prior and She didn’t return. Taking a trip down to the basement He found all of His old boxing gear as well as a new punching bag for His 15th Birthday from His late Father. There He found a memorial as well set up for the fallen friends of Nick and Margaret Norforth. Nick a metaplasmic morph was able to shift any part of all of his body into various forms or shapes, fingers to knives or full and total object mimicry a very sought after ability for infiltration. Colin told Nicholas that He was working for a individual that was looking to stop both the Rune Witches madness as well as that of Ares and His militant Mutant Faction which equally seemed like madness. Nicholas decided that He would be better off taking a trip to Toronto and finding a new place to cook His fish and chips as the neighborhood had fallen apart slowly and although He was very bitter about Colin’s running away He was still His blood and family was a bond not easily broken.

Meanwhile….

Colin didn’t stop to tell Emma or Charles of His plans and trip. Charles didn’t seem very put off by this as He could scarcely tell what Colin was really about from the brief time they had spent together. He was powerful but not very focused and Charles’s years in the dojo were in efforts to always keep His own focus strong and in a forward moving direction. The news delivered via Emma of the death of His Mentor, Alexander Thantris was a dull ache deep within His heart. The reports claiming that He was mobbed by a group of five or six runed assassins near a frequently visited electronics store in the normal Toronto streets came even hard to Charles to believe. The seriousness of all of this would not be realized over a week of reflection and Charles had to at least visit His grave and pay last respects to a man who was a very influential and important figure to Him. Thinking on it during the day He decided to venture there during the early morning hours. Perhaps this was a trap or someone could be watching the grave site to see who shows up. Charles took the visage of a younger man with very similar features who could easily pass as a son. Alexander Thantris was a very private man who kept many of the details of His a secret. No one would be the wiser other then actual family so it seemed like a sound disguise. Charles left at close to two in the morning to arrive at North York Cemetery. The Thantris Mausoleum was situated in the back of the grounds where the long time Torontonian families had their plots.

Arriving at the proper Mausoleum took virtually no time to find with it ornate metal, glass and crystalline architecture. Charles spotted a life sized statue of His late Mentor through the glass doors resting an a small stone dais. Moving inside the dimly lit foyer He could see a black and silver scroll case hanging from the statues neck. The case was covered in runic sigils that Charles could discern where meant for His understanding, lifting the case from around the statues neck He opened it to discover inside there was only a small silver signet ring with a ruby and amber setting. Placing it upon His finger the statue suddenly moved its arm up and extended a finger as if asking for the ring back. Placing it upon the statues finger the arm lowered once more and the entire room seemed to be sinking but in reality the statue was not moving down but the floor around it upward toward the ceiling. The ceiling an illusion faltered momentarily as the thick stone platform came to its final rest inside a new smaller foyer. Charles found Himself face to face with His mentors preserved body encased in some type of crystal obscured enough to respect the person inside and only vaguely show features of the deceased body. Sitting on the floor at the base of the statue a circular dish with 5 colored crystal orbs and encircling the room mosaics with indentations to accept these orbs would lead to the opening of a portal to another place. Charles knowing this was His Mentors handiwork or suspecting as much quickly solved the riddle and opened a large smokey portal. Stepping through He found Himself on the front lawn of an expansive mountain top estate and after a brief scuffle with a masked attacker Charles found a strange energy covered the front doors and windows and on the stoop an ornate silver coffer with an indentation lie waiting to receive some object. Investigating the mask and clothing left behind by the attacker that quickly fell apart once bound in air bands. The mask seemed to fit the coffer and the way ahead was made clear. Once inside a pale faced man with dark red hair and black clothing emerged to explain to Charles that He was named Duncan and that He was created by magic to serve the Manor’s residents and in fact the entire place was inside a pocket dimension. Charles soon discovered other coffers in other rooms, the study, the gym, the greenhouse, the master bedroom and then the basement and once He had figured out what masks went where and what items found inside He found His way to the basement.

Charles discovered a computer terminal and strange optical discs, crystal key cards and a journal. Completing yet another puzzle He activated the computer system and was greeted on the screen by the moving image of His late mentor Alexander. The truth was that He had not been killed by the runed assassins as once believed. The ruse was to ensure that Windem Haas was none the wiser that his true nature had been revealed but Charles was in mortal danger. Leader of the “The Rising Sun” the mantle would now move to secretly to Charles but in time. Alexander told Charles to be aware of the following facts. Windem Haas was a very twisted individual and not to be trusted. The next mission that Charles and perhaps the mutant He conspires with would lead them to one of tow places. The first being a very well recognized Bio-dynamics Corporation in which they would be expected to eliminate two targets that were secretly developing chemical weapons for Ares Grey. The second mission would be to a highly classified American Military Base where they would be set up to be eliminated by a group of mercenaries. Alexander cautioned Charles to return to the Tower and remain silent even to the mutant He worked with unless He felt He cold be trusted. During the next mission a representative of Alexander Thantris would make themselves known and offer an exit strategy out of their having to kill or be killed. The most revealing piece of information though was that the so called Rune Witch was in fact the Wife of Windem Haas or perhaps one of the three women believed to be this witch were. The particulars were still unverified but they helped to shape the true motivations of Windem but were they shared by Emma as well? Charles returned to the Tower late in the evening to discover something had changed…

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Episode 2 "The Five Trials"

The players receive their individual living spaces in the form of circular rooms with wooden floors and platforms leading out to stonework balconies. Colin and Charles use the power of their imagination to create their own personal looks and additions one being a bar for Colin’s room and the other a Martial Arts Dojo for Charles’s. They are both introduced to their new companion and long time apprentice of Windem Haas, a very beautiful but potentially dangerous beauty by the name of Emma Birkin. Part Succubus and Part Siren weaker men fall easily to Her charms and now reformed through the intervention of Windem She has become a permanent fixture of the Tower of the Sunlight. Taking Her role as “Substitute” mentor somewhat seriously Emma cracks the whip so to speak and flirts easily with both the mutant Colin and the technomancer Charles as she directs them to the Tower’s roof and the specifics of the “Five Quest Trials” that they both have been assigned. Taking a seat at the large stone table where meals and afternoon teas are usually enjoyed the two men receive a book outlining each quest and suddenly there is a very large chest sitting in the middle of the roof’s expanse. Tow large ornate handles jutting out from the side of its lid and a very strange gargoyle type face etched upon the front make this dark chest of wonder something very odd indeed.

The book before each of them outlines the specifics of each quest and the pair decide to undertake the fifth trial “Origins of the Past” and upon gripping each side of the large chest by its handles they signify that they are ready to begin. Each one takes a turn visiting a moment in the past of the others lives learning more information about each other in the process. Charles visits the 15th birthday of Colin to discover this is only days after the demise of His parents in a Belfast explosion. He finds out that Colin was already an accomplished boxer winning the under sixteen championship. He also learns that Colin has two siblings one of which exhibits some sort of strange ability unbeknownst to Colin who stormed out that day to never return home out of anger and sadness of His parents death and having had a poor relationship with His Father. Colin’s super speed ability was also manifested this day when he demolished the stairs and part of the front door on His way out. Charles observed this all in an unseen ghostly form. Colin ventured into the past of Charles and to the day He was asked by his now late Mentor to become an apprentice to the ways of Technomancy. Colin observed how powerful a mage this Mentor figure was after some morphing of a old model personal organizer into a modern touch screen device with the wave of His hand. He then observed a would be pickpocket snatch the Mentor’s amulet onto to be rendered completely helpless by some type of strange device that attached itself to the man’s neck. Making this man a puppet for the Mentor who informed Him it was time to give up His life of crime and join the police force. There was a strange woman tailing the two of them that day wearing red and black and using a strange ring to phase in and out of existence. Charles was not aware of this fact and each man had indeed learned something about the other that was new to them when they swapped information and successfully completed the first trial. Seemingly as if they were long term teammates Colin and Charles moved from one trial to another completing all five within the span of a single afternoon.

The remaining quests consisted of saving lives, critical thinking and choosing the correct chests to open as well as a one on one arena battle to prove mastery over their individual powers. The quest that truly stood out in the end was that of combining each others abilities to create three new attacks. The elemental technomancy of Charles mixed exceedingly well with the elemental controls of Colin to create ground spikes, electrical punches and projectile shards of ice driven forward by Colin’s thunder clap ability. When all of the quests had been completed Emma directed both of their attention to the replacement of the one largest mahogany chest with 10 smaller ones of different colours. These were magically transported to each of their private quarters within the Tower and the two retired for the evening to rest up for the next days events. Upon waking the next day they went through their chests to receive their rewards and soon after took a short guided tour of the Tower of the Sunlight with Emma where they learned of their own practice as well as personal floors in addition to their private rooms. Truly the Tower provided all they could want or need.

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Episode 2 "Strangers of the Sunlight"

This episode would unite all three players at the future setting and base of operations for a time. Charles Briggs a young technomancer and apprentice to a well respected multi-wizard was informed that when a stranger arrived that this would be the sign it was time to leave for a very special “interview” and Charles eager to learn new things saw this as a great opportunity to do just that. Gremlyn and Colin Norforth both found their way to the Tower of the Sunlight via the discovery of a new scroll in the alleyway and both arrive first in a sizable garden area beside the most breath taking of Towers they have ever seen. Soon after two owls approach and the first one morphs into a familiar face. The white haired and blue eyed man introduces Himself as Winter Tresdale. Gremlyn tenses as He feels like He might of been set up but after the second owl turns into Charles Briggs and nothing occurs to give Him suspicion He sits down to smoke a cigarette. Colin seems to be lost in His own world until the auburn haired, gold-eyed woman appears from a nearby flower-bed. She is also familiar, completing the other half of the puzzle the face from the mirror. Summer Tresdale the sister to Winter takes a seat and the players have an uneasy wait for Windem Haas the Tower’s master to arrive. Gremlyn presses the brother and sister pair for answers but they remain elusive and instead ask to see a demonstration of Charles magical ability. Charles just happy to be given this opportunity to be at the legendary Tower of the Sunlight He makes no face about it setting aside any personal ego He creates a mixed sphere of fire and ice which a bored Colin decides would look better smashed and He punches it out of existence. Gremlyn becomes more inpatient a little offended by all the head games and the strange place He has been summoned to. Knowing about magic and seeing it prove to be different states of mind. Windem arrives out of nowhere without being observed and He assures Gremlyn, Charles and Colin that during their meal to come all will be revealed.

The party are given seats at a very ornate table outdoors which is soon covered by all different types of foods and exotic alcoholic beverages from the magical plane. While eating their meal Windem first freezes both Summer and Winter like statues and He reveals to the party they they are actually creations of His through magic and that He would like them to be destroyed. His deep yellow eyes and persuasive gaze seems to illicit attempts on Gremlyn’s part to try and sense this strange beings motives. He is unable and after clearly stating that He did not come to “Sing for His Supper” as the saying goes that He wants the real reasons to be revealed. Windem not the sort of man to be ordered about makes a small deal with Gremlyn that if they succeed in defeating the brother and sister in a battle thus destroying them He will reveal the full reason why they were summoned here. Gremlyn and the rest realize that this is what must be done and take time to prepare their master plan of combat. The garden is cleared and at the signal of Gremlyn unsheathing His sword the battle was underway. Though long and fraught with miscalculations on all members parts the two were finally destroyed and Windem revealed his true plans to them all as promised.

There are two major threats facing the magical plane and its inhabitants and consequently these issues also affect the well being of the mutants and the non-magical people. The appearance of the Rune Witch Basilica who’s ability to etch runes onto Her faithful devotees turning them into power-sniffing suicide bombers has become a clear and present threat. The second and just as volatile according to Windem Haas would be “The Midnight Hour” the faction led by the fanatical mutant Ares Grey also known as Grey-matter. He is an expert weapons master who surrounds Himself by a small army of powerful mutants. Windem makes it plain to the party that He has used magic to locate the most suitable mutant and magic using individuals to first remove the Witch and then to take out Ares Grey and bring order to the chaos that has become somewhat at the forefront of His existence and obligation as a powerful member of the magical community. The party confer with each other and decide that the first mission being to infiltrate the Witches commune disguised as followers of Her highest inner circle will be their first priority. They know that if one of them uses their abilities or are caught it will result in sure death. Windem informs the three men that their old lives are done and that they have all been reported as dead. They will now live inside the Tower of the Sunlight and soon His assistant Emma Birkin will arrive to begin their preparation. Windem informs them He will be leaving for a few weeks and they have time to work out the kinks He saw during their battle against Winter and Summer. He tells them He will allow them to secretly return to their previous places and fetch any personal items they desire to have.

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Episode 1: Invitation to Magic

This pre-party episode involved Gremlyn and Colin Norforth meeting for the first time outside of Colin’s apartment building both led there by strange scrolls, vials of a odd green liquid and subterfuge. The two had lost a very important possession overnight and someone was leading them around like puppets on a string. Gremlyn have even less tolerance for games or tricks came off very overwhelming to Colin who was at first intimidated by the six foot two winged man. They found more clues, a root and some strange blue dust that led them to the laundry room inside the building to find only more scrolls with pictograms. They deduced that someone was targeting the both of them but beyond the similarity of both being mutants they couldn’t understand why them. Colin not one to overlook details and Gremlyn very careful with His moves and actions both worked out that they would find more answers on the buildings roof. Gremlyn gave Colin a short demonstration of His ability to teleport.

The rooftop seemed a dead end until someone hit Colin with snowballs and Gremlyn spotted a strange scroll in the snow. The next location would be High Park across town where a mysterious cube awaited levitating over a fountain that they recognized as being in the north area of the park. The two men still not at ease with each other but aware they were going to have to work together to overcome these odd challenges arrived at the park to find a pair of doppelgangers of each of them and the park sealed off by a strange wall of ice. Gremlyn was first to notice that their doubles were mimicking the opposite of what they were doing and His plan to swap opponents with Colin almost backfired when the copies made this move first. Taking down each others doppelganger proved a bit less difficult and soon the battle was completed. Locating the strange blue and red cube they used the final pictogram to figure out that the green liquid was a teleportation potion and the cube was actually a sort of entrance way into a very strange room. They arrived one after the other at a table set with different kinds of food and hanging in mid air near the back wall Gremlyn’s missing sword and Colin’s missing Vortex Suit. The food and table fell to dust and as the walls became a flock of black birds flying away into a dusk like sky the pair found a mirror atop a set of stairs with its frame split in half. The white-haired, blue-eyed face of a man on the right and the auburn haired gold-eyed face of a woman on the left beckoned them closer and in a moment of disorientation the pair found themselves on their backs in the alley beside Colin’s building being observed by some of their neighbors. They would almost believe this had all been but a strange dream had they not heard the lingering sound of laughter.

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