Before I handed over recap duties to my players, I wrote out brief Opening Crawl summaries, named after the informative establishing text crawl at the start of most major Star Wars movies. These summaries, enhanced by giving them the ultimate Opening Crawl treatment, were collected in a Word document so I could keep track of story arcs and how much XP was rewarded in a session. The first one is pretty lengthy due to establishing the game with new players, but as time passed, I got better at keeping them brief but relevant to the progression of our chronicle.
I never really intended for others outside of my gaming group to see these summaries, but in this post, I figured I'd share with all of you my chronicle in brief. Maybe this will help inspire you with your own game summaries. At the very least, you'll get a peek at what my players saw at the beginning of each game session to get them ready to play!
SESSION ONE: KICK THINGS OFF
It is a new era for the NINE MYSTICK TRADITIONS. After suffering a series of tragedies at the turn of the century, commonly referred to in mage society as the RECKONING, the future of these misfit mystics looked bleak. Defying the odds and pulling together in a show of unity not seen since the First Convocation over 500 years ago, the Traditions scored a decisive victory against the forces of darkness.
However, ghosts of the past still haunt the Traditions. Theirs is but one faction vying for the fate of humanity and their sworn enemies, the TECHNOCRATIC UNION, have renewed their ages-long war. MARAUDERS, lost in their own twisted realities, continue to drag other mages into madness with them. And the NEPHANDI, corruptors beyond compare, are still out there, waiting in the shadows for the right moment to drag reality into the Abyss with them.
There is hope, though. The end of the AVATAR STORM, considered by some to be the Reckoning's way of restructuring the boundaries between spirit and flesh, brought with it a surge of Awakenings the likes of which the Traditions had never seen. Across the globe, more and more people discovered the truth about magic and reality, and all factions rushed to claim these new mages.
In a world of darkness, the Traditions fight a renewed ASCENSION WAR to bring a guiding light to the world. And it is now a new generation's turn to join the battle for reality...
SESSION TWO: FEAR & LOATHING IN USELESS, KANSAS
After rescuing a young courier from two suited thugs, our Tradition mages ended up with a rare and powerful item in their possession. The item in question? A fragment of the SAXUM OCULORUM, once an ever-present feature above the Council of Nine's meeting table in Horizon for hundreds of years, now shattered by war and scattered to parts unknown.
The sympathetic magickal ties binding this piece of the shattered crystal orb to its counterparts pointed them to their first destination: ULYSSES, KANSAS.
Now, our mages embark on their first quest together, one that has far greater importance than they realize...
SESSION THREE: A GRAVE MATTER
Road trip! Our Tradition mages hit the road in search of a piece of the shattered Saxum Oculorum, an artifact of the NINE TRADITIONS. Already in possession of one piece of this rare crystal sphere, they pooled their talents to discover the probable resting place of the nearest fragment.
When they stopped midway on their journey to rest, however, our mages discovered they were not alone. SHADOW SCRYERS, used by some as spies, were discovered and dispersed, though who or what sent them remains unknown.
Now, our mages find themselves at their destination: MOOSE JAW CEMETARY in Ulysses, Kansas, where the local avians take issue with visitors to their corner of the world...
SESSION FOUR: ONE DOWN, ??? TO GO
Success! Our mages discovered a fragment of the Saxum Oculorum in the ruins of the LACHESIS PORTAL, one of the few paths to the lost realm of Horizon. Though the portal had been closed off for many years, the fragment remained hidden and under the watchful eyes of KAKRAW, the portal's guardian. Now reunited with the piece already in their possession, the artifact is one step closer to being made whole again.
As our mages returned to their vehicle, however, several unmarked black vehicles appeared. The TECHNOCRACY pursued the fleeing mini-van, but were successfully deterred with some quick creative decoys and obstructions. Unfortunately, the van sustained heavy damage in the course of the chase, and the magickal momentum speeding them to safety has dispersed...
SESSION FIVE: 9PM
Success with their hunt for the first piece of the Saxum Oculorum came with a price as our mages' vehicle suffered heavy damage to the engine block. Without reliable transportation, their quest was stalled in Ulysses, Kansas.
While the van is at the shop to find out if their ride is salvageable or if they should look for new transportation, our mages holed up in the nearest motel and wait for the news. Absent any spirit spies, they did discover a business card slipped under their door for a local diner, the CORRAL CAFE, with 9:00 PM written on it...
SESSION SIX: BETWEEN A BOULDER AND A HARD PLACE
Trapped in Ulysses, Kansas with no easy way out, our mages discovered opposition from all sides. Vhara chatted with MR. GUY STOCKMAN of the Technocracy, who explained that a renegade branch of his faction is acting against them both. He then offered a deal: He'll keep the Technocracy away from them so they can pursue the remaining SAXUM OCULORUM fragments, if they'll thwart a cult that is working against the best interests of humanity and reality. Vhara agreed.
Meanwhile, Stockman's associates engage Technocrats in front of the motel our mages were staying at. While heading for the CORRAL CAFE, one black unmarked vehicle provided cover for them, and a woman from Alina's past offered to help them escape the area. Alina declined, and once reunited, our mages rented a car and left town with all due haste.
Now, our mages are on the road to BOULDER, COLORADO where they had arranged to meet with their mentors and find out what's really going on...
SESSION SEVEN: MISERABLE MYSTERIOUS MISSOURI
Mentor meet-up! After finally leaving the town of Ulysses behind, our mages and their mentors met in BOULDER, CO to discuss recent events and figure out how best to proceed. Joining them in their discussion was THEORA HETIRCK, Herald of the Chakravanti, who confirmed the importance of the artifact they were slowly putting together. She also imparted to the gathered mages another fact of its importance: Locked away in the broken artifact is evidence of a threat to the Nine Traditions that must be brought to the attention of the NEW HORIZON COUNCIL.
Warned of the Technocracy and its attempts to manipulate them, our mages ventured out to find the next piece of the SAXUM OCULORUM and uncover the information that it contains. Their next destination: ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI...
SESSION EIGHT: TECHNO TROUBLE
On their epic quest to reassemble the shattered SAXUM OCULORUM artifact, our mages travelled to the location of the next fragment: ST. LOUIS, MO. Unfortunately, this piece was under lock and key at The Grant Agency, an apparent front for THE TECHNOCRACY.
Infiltrating the building, NATHAN PERAZA found himself deep in enemy territory, surrounded by boxes and boxes of magickal items. Between car fires raging outside the building and gunfire from within the building, time is running out for our mages, but help may not be far off...
SESSION NINE: HIT (Marks) AND RUN
Captured! Before he could locate the Technocracy's piece of the Saxum Oculorum, Nathan Peraza was discovered and subdued. Using our mages' own distraction to their advantage, AGENT GRANT moved Nathan to one of his vans in the chaos.
Our heroic band of mages pursued the van and, with mysterious and knowledgable outside assistance, intercepted them before they could take Nathan to the airport. Their combined efforts subdued the Technocracy long enough to free their friend and flee the scene, but the Technocracy is not so easily thwarted...
SESSION TEN: ON THE MOVE
On the run after a daring rescue, our mages seek an opportunity to switch vehicles to throw the Technocracy off their trail. Unfortunately, the Technocrats intercepted them with a devastating cybernetic weapon: A Hyper-Intelligent Tactical unit, better known and feared as the HIT MARK.
As they flee the wreckage of another vehicle, their escape is covered by the source of their mysterious help, WILDKAT. Providing them a portal to her safe haven, the Time-savvy Virtual Adept provides them a space to plan another infiltration of the Grant Agency, this time to liberate all of the magickal equipment stored within...
SESSION ELEVEN: KEEP ON TRUCKIN'
The Technocracy is on the move! After Nathan's infiltration of the Grant Agency, AGENT GRANT has ordered the construct abandoned and moved to a new location. This includes the fragment of the Saxum Oculorum sought after by our mages.
After tracking down the truck, our mages seize their opportunity to take the vehicle. There's just one problem: The best mage to drive the 18-wheeler is stuck in their truck, leaving VHARA MISRA to clear out the cab and get things moving while Agent Grant and his team are closing in...
SESSION TWELVE: TRICKS OF THE TRADE
After stealing the Technocracy's truck and sending them on a low-speed chase, Agent Grant sent in air support to bring the chase to a close. In desperation, Nathan activated a SPIRIT DOOR wonder and sent himself, Vhara, and all of the confiscated magickal items into the Spirit Wilds.
Vhara and Nathan found their way out of the Wilds with the guidance of native spirits, ending up on the outskirts of INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA. Far from both the Technocracy and Kai, but with the crystal fragment "in hand," our mages must group up and decide where to go next...
SESSION THIRTEEN: NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE...
Another Mage captured! Though Vhara and Nathan escaped the Technocracy, Kai was not so lucky. GUY STOCKMAN presented our mages with a new deal: Eliminate a cult that will doom the world, and he'll return Kai to them. Refuse, and they doom their friend and humanity.
Investigating the North Carolina address he gave them, they find an old textiles factory under observation by Nathan's mentor, INEZ LELLOUCHE. But Stockman said he captured her along with the other mentors. But Stockman arrived at the factory with Kai. What is going on?!
SESSION FOURTEEN: RITUAL SACRIFICE
Outnumbered but determined to recover their fellows, Vhara, Nathan and Inez prepare to infiltrate ACE TEXTILES. The plan is simple: rescue Kai and the other mentors, then deal with the strange cultist activity in the factory.
Backed by potent ritual magicks and a couple new artifacts, our mages stealthily retrieve Kai and set the stage for the rescue of their mentors. But all is not what it seems under the watchful eye of GUY STOCKMAN and the factory's current occupants...
SESSION FIFTEEN: ACE IN THE HOLE
The infiltration of ACE TEXTILES has begun! While Nathan's mentor lures as much of the opposition away as she can, our mages are left to liberate the other mentors and deal with the highly unorthodox Technocratic procedure now underway.
Now that KAI is back in the action, they're close to uncovering the truth of the strange situation they find themselves in. However, a new complication arises that will threaten both mages and Technocrats...
SESSION SIXTEEN: IT DEVOURS
The infiltration of ACE TEXTILES has begun! While Nathan's mentor loops back after losing much of their opposition in the woods of North Carolina, our mages are left to liberate the other mentors and deal with the highly unorthodox Technocratic procedure now underway.
To that end, our mages have struck an uneasy alliance with AGENT GRANT against the forces led by Stockman within the factory. Will this truce help them liberate their mentors, or have they invited the enemy in to stab them in the back?
SESSION SEVENTEEN: THE SAXUM OCULORUM
The mentors have been rescued. The vat wyrm has been defeated. Agent Grant's Technocrats honored the truce given to our mages, and both sides witnessed the return of a villain from the Traditions' past - VOORMAS, THE GRAND HARVESTER.
Finally, the last crystal shard of the Saxum Oculorum has been recovered, making this historic wonder whole once more. Our mages have achieved a lot of good in a short amount of time. The question now is: What will they do with this artifact?
SESSION EIGHTEEN: SAVING THROW VS. MADNESS
With the Saxum Oculorum handed off to the NEW HORIZON COUNCIL, our mages are known and celebrated as the cabal that recovered a valuable fount of knowledge for the Traditions. For their deed, they were gifted periapts by the Council as a token of their thanks.
Home now and settling back into a routine that doesn't involve vat wyrms and Technocrats, our mages enjoy returning to the routine of their work and studies. Such quiet, however, is not long lived when you're a mage...
SESSION NINETEEN: THE GAME MASTER'S LAMENT
Reality is in peril! The Valley is being converted into a high fantasy wonderland by a mysterious cloaked figure, THE GAME MASTER. Wherever he goes, wild magick lashes out and transforms everything around him, including the hapless Sleepers.
Nathan and Vhara confronted this marauding mage at the bombed-out remains of the LDN STUDIO, until he summoned a white dragon to distract them. The dragon banished, our mages must find the Game Master and deal with him before fantasy becomes reality.
SESSION TWENTY: THINLY VEILED THREATS
Tradition mages are not solitary creatures. Even solo practitioners gather with their fellows from time to time for either protection or learning. In Los Angeles, the HEINIG HOUSE CHANTRY is a place where mages can congregate with others of like mind.
Our mages may soon learn that there is safety in greater numbers, as the past refuses to let go of some Traditionalists...
SESSION TWENTY-ONE: BEES?!
Increased attention from the TECHNOCRATIC UNION has led the mentors of our mages to pursue a chantry merger with one of the larger Los Angeles chantries. To that end, they journeyed to HEINIG HOUSE and entered into talks with the cabal leaders there.
Accepted into the chantry on a trial basis, chantry members old and new gather to discuss what they each bring to the table and what the chantry's future may hold...
SESSION TWENTY-TWO: BLOCK PARTY
The Technocracy is at it again, tapping the node that was to be contibuted to Heinig House as part of the chantry merger.
Without that node, our mages will have to find another offering to their new chantrymates, or find a way to recover their node from under the Technocracy's nose.
Fortunately, our mages have a plan...
SESSION TWENTY-THREE: PARTYUS INTERRUPTUS
Success! Our mages not only saved their node from the Technocracy's tap, they also mobilized the neighborhood to stall Good House International's plans to build on the node's land.
This calls for a celebration at Heinig House!
SESSION TWENTY-FOUR: PRELUDE TO THE PATH
The celebration at Heinig House is interrupted by a summons from the NEW HORIZON COUNCIL. The artifact they recovered has been misbehaving, and they hope that the cabal will provide insight.
What they get instead is a vision, imparted by the Saxum Oculorum, showing what can only be the path to its previous resting place: HORIZON, former stronghold of the COUNCIL OF NINE. This vision, however, requires some verification from our mages, should they be willing...