Year of the Demon Lord - Sage the Necromancer

Sage unceremoniously dropped the dagger into her backpack, nobody seemed to notice as she did so. The red glow from the blade illuminated the interior of her pack. It wasn't a warm glow, there was something sinister about the power that hummed within the blade. There wasn't time to deal with it now, Sage cinched the pack closed and hurried to help with Reudan.

The young man had foolishly attempted to exorcise a spirit with the blade Sage had just hidden away. She had been a bit surprised when Holgar, the dwarven priest of the New God, had actually blessed the blade at Reudan's request. She had expected a bit more wisdom from the dwarf. Things had not turned out well. They had feared the spirit had killed Reudan, but the boy was starting to come to when Sage joined Holgar by the fire.

  (c) 2015 Schwalb Entertainment, LLC

(c) 2015 Schwalb Entertainment, LLC

The rest of her traveling companions eventually found their way back to the fire near the ruins of the tower. Runt threw more logs into the fire, building it up and warming their camp once again. Just outside the fire's light, the spirits of the tower continued about their business and ignored the group.

Everyone was a bit nervous about the continued presence of the spirits, but soon it became just part of the scenery. Buckets sing-songed himself to sleep, reciting an odd ballad about a tree whose bark would protect him from evil ghosts of the long dead past. Fox's constant clicking and whirring next to Buckets slowed to a calming pace as the rest of the camp settled back in. Sage laid her head on her pack and pulled her blanket up against the cold of the night.

Sage's eyes fluttered open. The fire had burned to embers, the spirits were no longer walking about the ruin. She could still hear the slow metronome of Fox's gears clicking away. Her head, an ache split through it right behind her eyes. She threw back the flap of her pack and reached in, digging for the vial of lavender oil she carried. A quick whiff of that would dampen the pain a bit. As she dug around the pack her fingers brushed the hilt of the dagger and the blade began to glow again. Forgetting the headache, Sage wrapped her fingers around the hilt and removed it from the bag. Reudan stirred as the dagger's light dimly lit the camp up.

The dagger was ancient. Upon closer inspection Sage found the hilt was intricately carved bone, lacquered with a dark resin that highlighted the tiny skulls adorning it. The blade was cool to the touch, unmarred by time, and still sharp. It was an item of great power, and it's secrets were unlocking in Sage's brain.

Sage studied the blade, feeling its magic out. It was a rotted, filthy power that corrupted the natural way of things, but it was powerful. She reached out and took hold of the power. Calm washed over her mind as she realized death was just a door, and all you needed was a key to unlock it. She had that key now, death wasn't something to fear.

The power of the knife triggered something else. Deep within her mind were hidden memories, locked away by the magics of her creation. The necromantic power seeped through her subconscious, peeling apart the layers of fae magic the Betrayer had used to create his only changeling. Sage could feel time clearing before her, but her genesis was still obscured by the shrouding magic of the Betrayer. 

  (c) 2015 Schwalb Entertainment, LLC

(c) 2015 Schwalb Entertainment, LLC

The sky was beginning to lighten when Sage regained her senses. Her traveling companions were beginning to stir, they would be hitting the road again soon. She tucked the knife into her belt, the blade no longer glowing.

Gameplay Summary

At the end of the first session, Sage had pocketed the dagger Reudan had used to anger the spirit in the ruin. Our GM, Marc, informed us that the dagger would provide access to the Necromancy tradition, and give a bonus to casting spells from it as well. I wasn't planning on going into necromancy, but the dagger being in Sage's possession at the end of the session seemed like a good reason to just go with it. This was her story justification for discovering the Necromancy and Divination traditions, which I picked up for her level 1 Magician Novice Path.