Dawn of Magic

Meet The Ladies
The Three come to meet the Summer and Winter representatives

The trio has not much to wait. After plainly but kindly rejecting Aarlesidhe’s request of alligiance to the Winter Court, they go and talk with Daniel on the matter, and the man is quite preoccupied. If Ronald’s death was not an accident, that could mean bad things for two people, the Winter and Summer Fairies, usually always on the brink of bloody wars. Not to mention the coming of the Solstice, when the two courts must meet to exchange the sceptre of seasons, and pass from the great power of Summer to the reign of Winter. If the matter wouldn’t be resolved as soon as possible, who could know what problems could come of this?

Another thing that Daniel announces is the arrival of estimated guest. The Ethereal had been closed for the general public, because of them. And is in this particular situation that the three get to meet the Summer Lady, Aurora.

Aurora is beautiful and delicate, with a warm, welcoming and gentle smile, and a sweet, tender voice that make you feel all the warmth of summer, all the comfort of sun and wind. She’s simply dressed in a green short dress, and her hair are the colour of the tree bark. She welcomes the three in her private stall, divided with two Elves of her court, Lugolas and Lagolas, very busy in braiding each other’s hair, and Metaron, a disgruntled Minotaur.
Aurora shows that she already heard of the three, apparently especially of Chrystabella from “a member of her court”, and offers them drinks and food while talking to them about the tragedy occurred to the Knight. The three listen and try to make themselves an idea about what could have happened, especially when Aurora says, and not so much between the lines, that the idea of their guild is more widespreaded than they thought.

They are still trying to start and defend themselves from the accusations when the door slams and the Winter Court enters, lead by a tall, very skimpy-dressed vulgar woman with a man on a leash. She talks with a rude ghetto accent and tone, and is saluted by the heavily contrasting Aurora as Maeve, the Winter Lady.

The meeting between the two doesn’t end in anything useful. Aurora asks Maeve if they could clearly declare that they have nothing to do with Ronald’s death, Maeve answers that they aren’t, but that Titania, the Summer Queen, would never believe anythin Mahab, the Winter Queen, says. Even if fairies can’t, usually, blatantly lie.
The diplomatic encouter ends in nothing, and the Summer Court leaves. Maeve remains, instead, and starts talking with the mages.

In the end, she asks them to figure out if any Winter Changelings are in some way involved in the killing of Ronald, acting by themselves perhaps trying to do something for the Court before their Choice. If they found any, the trio was to give them a leaf that would have permitted Maeve to talk with the Changelings. This gives the trio the chance to investigate on Ronald’s deaht and clear their name. The mages manage to accept this mission, but without officially allying with the Winter Court. Their first steps in the complex Over The Veil politics are hard ones as well.

So they learn about Changelings: sons of supernatural creatures and humans who are born half-and-half. They apparently manifest just some kind of their powers during their growth, until the day the have to make The Choice: either remain completely human or turn completely fairy. The Choice has no coming back, at all.

The Three, young and naive but not entirely stupid, exhamine the leaf Maeve gave them, and discover that is not, in fact, a mere communication device, but rather a magic item that releases a special kind of energy that forces the turning of Changelings into fairies. Probably so if they find a guilty changeling, he would be absorbed in the Winter Court and become untouchable and, more important, very, very hidable. And with it, the truth. But they made a pact with the Winter Lady, they have to give the leaf to the Changelings.

So, they fast learn how to turn around pacts: they cover the leaf with a spell that will block the energy blast after its activation, rendering it harmless, or at least they hope so. They will give the leaf, they never guaranteed it would work. And they are partially safe.

Now, they just have to find the Changelings.

The First day at Transylvania
When the heroes met the Supernatural World

The trio went to bed a Laboratory richer and woke up to get to their first day at the Transylvania University, a day for which the three of them had worked hard and stubbornly nearly their own lives. It was implied that any child of their three particular families must go to the most refined university in town, and that of course meant Transy, from which all their parents graduated before them. Achieving that goal took a lot of sacrifice, and magic world or not, no one of them could feel as good as the day they passed the gates of the University, to start chasing their dreams.
William was after a medical career, following the steps of his father, in his constant quest for saving lives. Dorian also was going to march in his parent’s wake, taking the long road towards the family’s law firm, and Chrystabella had her path set in front of her since a very young age, and very much more so since her brother was diagnosed with his disease, leaving her the only heir to the Sweetheart’s economic empire. A doctor, a lawyer and an economist, the true hopes for a better Lexington of tomorrow.

Sadly, the opening year ceremony was quite turned down by the bad news of the day: professor Ronald Reuel died in a terrible accident the day before. That meant near to nothing for the trio, but for many seniors it did mean the loss of a good teacher, and the air of mourning could easily be felt thorought the ceremony.

While Chrystabella disappears on the trail of a charming professor and finds herself majoring in both Economy AND Criminal Psychology, William notices something strange: Daniel Laxton. Not someone you expect to see on university grounds.
Approaching him, they are soon joined by a tall, mysterious man with a “not of this world” look. He presents himself as Aarlesidhe, a noble Winter Elf, and starts to imply that Reuel’s death is something more than a human accident, being the professor a supernatural/human figure himself: The Summer Knight. Aarlesidhe leaves a call card to William, instructing him to use it if they wanted more informations.

Curious about this first dip into supernatural, William goes to the little chapel of the University where the body is exposed for last goodbyes. There are just a few people there, and nothing can be understood from the professor’s body at this stage. Story says he fell down the stairs of his home and died tragically, living alone without anyone who could help him.

Back at the Lab, the same afternoon after classes, the three find themselves curious, and call forth Aarlesidhe to talk with him.

Knights, for Summer and Winter courts, are humans vested with the Matle, a sort of supernatural power that grants them the title of being mediators between human world and fairy world. Apparently, the Summer Court is no so convinced that Ronald’s death is a simple accident, and while the mystery remains, some accusations are not so covertly made towards the Winter Court. And in this midst of doubt and suspicion, the mages discover, to their utmost surprise, that their names have come out as well: three young mages suddendly find a forgotten laboratory and a Summer Knight dies? Apparently, that raises questions.

Especially from the trio, who don’t know what is going to happen to them.

The InnKeeper
The day Daniel Laxton's life changed forever

After defeating the demon and the goblins, and after the peace treaty with Zagor, the three mages started to explore their new surroundings. The Laboratory they discovered had a place for rituals, with a cauldron and a place for summoning circles, a library with some books, a few of them but very well kept considering the conditions they were in, and some collapsed rooms. The placed looked like a very old building, maybe even from the 1800s. There were big coloured windows, now completely blocked by earth, and the walls and floor were made of stone. It would have taken some time to tidy it up well enough to make it a place of work again, but it already had its own character. They were trying to contain their excitement, when suddendly, a voice came from over them, calling out to whomever there was down there.

Scared and preoccupied, the three followed the voice to a flight of stairs and a hatch in the roof, discovering a new ingress, apparently in the main vat room of the Ethereal Brewery.

Calling to them was no other than Daniel Laxton, owner of the brewery, a middle-aged irish man, who didn’t seem so surprised to find three teenagers in an ancient laboratory under his establishment.

Talking with him, the three discovered that Daniel’s family had been in charge of keeping watch over the Laboratory since ages, waiting for someone to come and claim it again after its latest occupants disappeared for unknown reasons, or not remembered ones. Daniel’s family are keepers of the Lore on the Supernatural world, and also the keepers of the Ethereal that’s, true, a successful(ish) brewery, but also a neutral place where Supernatural creatures can come and talk with the guarantee not to be attacked or killed by anyone, as per accords signed eons ago.

Daniel thusly rapidly becomes the trio’s friend and advisor on a world they are just now starting to discover.

The Hunch of the Harrower
How three mages went of their first adventure

Two years after the three friends found themselves united by the greater force of magic, on the very day before their university started, Dorian had a hunch.

A vision. Showing an hidden facility in the UnderTown, a stucture in which the trio could be free to practice their powers without worrying about being discovered by the normal folks around them. Where perhaps the so much needed answers they were seeking so hardly were — at least, partly.

After locating the entrance in the Kentucky University and surviving an attack from Walternative, the three descended into the dark and hollow corridors of the underground city.

Slipping past some guardsmen without inquiring for what they might be guarding, Dorian, William and Chrystabella reached a door that could be seen only with the eyes of magical creatures.

Inside they found the facility Dorian saw but… it was taken by a gang of goblins led by a slug demon in corporeal form. After their very first battle, the demon was vainquished, and they took possession of the ruined lab.

Inside it they found a lot of old books of magic, most of athem spoiled by time and needing repairs, a cauldrun, and some ampty rooms with marcescent furniture. And Zagor.

Zagor is a goblin, a fairy sided with the Winter court. But a very particular kind of goblin indeed. Fist of all, Zagor has a cellar under the main floor of the lab, ad uses it for his own “studies” — often leading to explosions and other weird noises, and a lot of filthy language.

If you don’t fuck with me, I don’t fuck up with you, You understand you punks?

Before it All Began
A Quite Normal American City

Lexington, Kentucky, is a fair and wonderful city. Well educated, over the 39% of the citizens has at least one university degree, multicultural and multiethnical and proud to support the diversity of its inhabitants, it’s a small pearl in the central west of the United States. Theatres, a symphonic orchestra, multiple cultural pride parades and a flourishing economy with a very low unemployment rate, a good public university and an excellent private one, the Transylvania University, everything shows that Lexington is the most perfect city you can possibly desire to live in.

Could such perfection be natural? Of course not. Or, at least, not completely in its own.
Behind the scenes of Lexington’s politics and society, hides a well-organized and absolutely secret power called the Shadow Council. It holds representatives from various social layers of the city, from the most powerful figures to the most common ones. The goal of the Council is one, and one alone: keep Lexington a perfect place, unbeknownst from its own citizens. Their one and only reason to exist and act it’s to protect their citizens and let them live their peaceful and productive lives in peace.

That’s the main reason Lexington’s criminality rate is so low. Even if gangs and criminals do exist, when they are captured they get very fast days in courts before landing either in the out-of-town correctional facility or, for the worst cases, in psychiatric hospitals away from the city. If and when they do come back, ending their due sentences, they all are well-reformed men and women, productive members of the society, with no desire to ever come back to the bad deeds that landed them in prison or hospital, but they do look so very different, mentally and psychologically, from the people they were when they left. On the other hand, many never come back at all, and many more simply disappear, or tragically die during shootouts arrests. This is the main reason why Lord of the Flies created the UnderTown Hive: to give a resting place for those who are principally petty criminals who wouldn’t deserve a death sentence for their mischiefs. The Shadow Council promotes and protects those strange misshappens, to be sure that Lexington stays safe and protected.

William Stewart Halsted III is the eldest son of the Director General of Lexington Central Medical Center, the main hospital in town. His father, William Halsted II, is a very powerful man, and he is married with Miranda de Vallecourt, a famous fashion expert. William II has a seat in the Shadow Council.
Dorian Wellington-Harrower is the only surviving son of Richard and Emily, civil and penal lawyers of exceptional fame and fortune who dedicated their whole lives to their jobs, rising through the ranks of Lexington’s “aristocracy” both for their richness and for their innate ability to create and keep powerful alliances and friendships. As powerful and good as they are, they don’t have a seat in the Shadow Council.
Chrystabella Lee Sweetheart is the eldest daughter of Wilson Sweetheart, CEO of the Jif Peanut Butter Factory, the biggest facility in town and in the world, and of his sadly departed wife, Morgana Sweetheart, born Leshrac but since her wedding completely detached by her powerful family. Wilson has a seat in the Shadow Council, as well.

In different moments of their lives, the three kids, who had been friends since a very early age, due to the friendship of their parents, lived through an important trauma who awoke Magic in them.

The Magic of the world is different from anything lore and folklore clearly state, even if some truth can be fathomed through a deep and precise combing of tales and stories. Magic, potentially, exists in everyone. Every human being can discover his own powers, if certain conditions are meet.

First of all, there are psychological blocks that can manifest. Too much faith, for example, it’s a powerful wall between someone and its magic awakening.
Then, magic has to be unlocked in some way, and this unlocking unmistakeably happens after a severe and deep trauma that the individual overtakes, at any moment of his or her life. This creates a detachment of a part of the future wizard personality which manifest itself in the form of a Familiar, tied to a Faction Beyond the Veil, depending on the person’s tendencies and affinities.

Familiars are emanations of the wizard itself, but are self-sufficient creatures with their own goals and desires. Their only true limit is the necessity of remaining always near their wizard, but they have a will of their own. They have two main manifestations: as an animal in the real world and their spirit form, which usually reflects their Faction features.

Magic works by words of power that the magic wielder comes to know as his or her power grows. There are two kinds of words: power words and elements. The elements (Water, Fire, Air, Earth, Dark and Light) are the only powers that can be used to generate sudden surges of energy to create immediate effects of damage, utility or protection called Sorceries. For more complex spells, Power Words are required, as well as time to concoct the exact spell and physical focuses and ingredients. It usually takes a Laboratory where the Mage, or as more often Mages, can research and create the spell, usually investing less time by collaborating. Some spells become so natural and often used that the users can cast them as they were Sorceries, but they are only a limited number and with a specific set of options.
In addition to Power Words, Mages can specialize in Spell Masteries, another set of words that adds to the specific effect that a Spell must have.

The three young mages of Lexington, one by one, discovered their own powers and then came to know the fact that, by a strange turn of destiny, their best friends shared the same secret. So Dorian found himself quite good in divination and manipulation of light, William had a penchant for healing and manipulating water, while Chrystabella was particularly talented in displace things, control minds and setting fire to nearly anything she wanted. They spent years without any mean of wielding more powerful magic than their Sorceries or basic spells, though, because they lacked a Laboratory and any kind of magic books or items they didn’t even know where to start to search for.

Until, one day, Dorian had a strange vision of his…

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