Adventure Seed - the Old City

By Patrick O'Duffy (



This adventure seed deals with a sorcerer, and I haven't read The Marches yet, so it may not be kosher under the rules. If not, it shouldn't be hard to adapt (I hope) to the One True Way.

--The Old City--

A mortal sorcerer lives in the campaign locale. This sorcerer is very old, and lived in the locale in the last century. In love with the place at that particular place and time, he vowed never to lose the world he loved. After a great ritual, he took a 'temporal snapshot' of the place - a moment frozen in time, compressed into a physical form. This snapshot is kept in a pride of place within the sorcerer's home in the present day.

It is possible to enter the snapshot, and live within the city at that time. You can spend as long as you wish there, and time passes in the 'outside world' while you're inside the snapshot. Ever time you enter, the city is 'reset' to the moment when the snapshot was taken.

Since that time, the sorcerer has entered the snapshot often, exploring this pocket world, righting wrongs and enjoying himself (rather a nice old guy).

Of course, there's a catch. The snapshot runs on a sort of 'temporal energy', and spending time within the snapshot exhausts this energy. To 'refuel' the snapshot, the sorcerer must channel the life energy of others into it, stealing years from their lives to replenish the time spent inside. This isn't anything icky like blood sacrifice - the sorcerer just needs to touch people with an enchanted object (something small like a ring or symbol) to steal a few years from the end of their lives (ie if he steals 2 years, you die at 81 rather than 83). It doesn't work on everyone - the sorcerer scries to find suitable subjects for the theft. You don't feel the loss, he spreads the theft around so no-one loses to much, and everyone's happy.

Especially Kronos.

The sorcerer has been tricked rather nastily by Kronos, who fed him the knowledge of how to take the snapshot in the first place. It works as advertised, no problem there, but it doesn't take the years stolen from the end of the subject's life - it steals the period when the subject would have met their Destiny. Kronos steers the sorcerer towards those people with important Destinies, and the sorcerer ends up stealing that destiny to fuel his snapshot. Over the last century, the sorcerer has neutralized the potential of a lot of mortals.

Angelic PCs might get involved if they're guarding a mortal with an important Destiny. They check the mortal one day, Destiny in place - the next, it's gone! This old man did touch the mortal once, but nothing odd seemed to happen... the angels will have to track down the sorcerer and regain the mortal's Destiny before it flows back to Kronos.

Demonic PCs... hmm, don't know. Any ideas?

During the course of the adventure, the PCs will probably have to enter the snapshot, arriving in the campaign city in the 1800's. Once inside, they have to track down the sorcerer.

Inside the snapshot, there's a bonus - disturbance caused inside isn't heard outside! This gives PCs a chance to flex their muscles without pressure to keep quiet, and should be fun for the players.

Of course, there are traps for the unwary... Kronos bound a Shedite into the snapshot when it was first taken. This Shedite makes sure that the sorcerer keeps caught up in things by complicating matters, staging fights, drawing things out so that the sorcerer has to stick around longer to work things out, thus draining the snapshot's power further. The Shedite's being doing this for a while, and is _really_ bored... And there could be other celestials there as well, part of the snapshot, reset to normal every time the snapshot is entered. There could be a lot of confusion there... and if characters have been in the area for a while, the PCs could meet an earlier version of an NPC - or a PC...

This adventure _sorta_ has time travel. There are no paradoxes to worry about, since the characters don't actually travel in time, just interact with a sliver of time that the Symphony has since forgotten. Still, there's potential for wacky fun.

If the snapshot is destroyed... well, lots of things could happen. The temporal energy could be released in an explosion! It could just quietly flow back into those mortals who were robbed of their Destinys. Or it could play havoc with time in the area for a while, with paradoxes and general weirdness. The sorcerer could be killed by his own time loss. He might swear revenge on the PCs for destroying his beautiful city. Or he might set up to take revenge on Kronos for fooling him all those years...

Well, any comments?

-- Patrick O'Duffy, Brisbane, Australia // In Nomine Line Editor GURPS, Roleplayers, In Nomine stuff; Art:


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