Mere Dead Men
The Early Adventures of Ars Magica
Late in the fourteenth century (Dalereckoning), a band of adventurous youth formed the “Ars Magica” adventuring company. The group was based out of Waterdeep, an enormous port city located along the western coast of Faerûn (in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.)
A charismatic half-elven bard named “Lorelei the Siren”started the company, easily attracting an assortment of boisterous and adventurous young men. First to join were the dashing duo of Lotifer and Jaret Brackenburg, swashbuckling sons of a fallen noble family. Lor-thai the Wanderer was a young and brilliant mage, who although ruled by bouts of fancy, was determined to tame the mysterious, chaotic power of “Wild Magic”.
The initial iteration of the group included companions Taurus the Ranger, an elf whose heart lay deep in the sea; an emotionally distant bounty hunter named Thaddeus Gillcrest; and an ambitious priest named Serrin who agreed to provide healing support for a profit.
The group’s earliest adventure involved a trip to and exploration of the ruins of Myth Drannor, where they unwittingly unearthed an ancient evil.
Lost in a Fog
As the group hiked back to Waterdeep following their quest, a mysterious fog claimed them. When they finally found their way out of the mists, they found themselves deposited back in Waterdeep. They could not account for several months of time, but all had vague recollections of a strange, foreign land, beset by wolf-like creatures; retrieving a crown from an unholy underground temple; confronting a powerful vampire within his keep; and a towering cathedral constructed of bone. The party’s memories of these incidents are hazy and insubstiantal. These occurences clearly had profound effect on the party, not the least of them Lor-thai, who seemed to gain greater self confidence and force of personality. Thaddeus became even more withdrawn, and would soon drop from the group entirely.
The Company Disbands; Sithil’s Keep
The group disbanded after returning to Waterdeep. Lorelei, Jaret and Lotifer adventured within the city for a time, while Taurus and Thaddeus followed their own persuits.
Lor-thai and Serrin liberated a small keep that had been taken over by a demon-worshipping cult. The pair laid claim to the keep, acquired its land rights, and contracted workers to build upon its original structure. They left a local named Jarrod in charge of the project.
Adventures Away From Faerûn
The call to adventure led most of the band to reunite. Thaddeus was replaced by a curious individual the party met on the road, a lost jester named Puncheron. Though slightly unhinged, Punch was an amiable fellow despite having more than his share of bad luck. Punch explained that he was on a grand quest which seemed nonsensical to his new companions, but the jester remained resolute and upbeat.
A series of unusual events led the party to adventures in spelljammer space, away from Faerun. At one point, Punch was tasked with flying the spellship, and crashed it on a foreign world, stranding the party for an extended period of time. The band (save a bitter and homesick Lor-thai) allied themselves with ruler Duke Rupert, helping protect his lands from a warring nation that controlled undead forces and a dragon. Eventually, the party was able contact another Spelljammer craft and made there way back to Faerûn.
Note: The above events transpired over the course of four years, while we were students in high school. Our friend Adrian acted as GM of our adventures until we crashed the spelljammer ship, at which point Mike (Lotifer’s player) took over. We didn’t have the opportunity to play throughout University, but Mike restarted the campaign after graduation.
Read on about Ars Magica’s Continued Adventures