Monday, September 28, 2020

Hand of the Archmages

The great firmament of Wizard City is the five ivory towers at its core. Modeled after a goblet-holding hand rising from the ground, each is home to the offices and personal laboratories of one Archmage - a lifetime appointment bestowed by the secret Board of Regents of the University of Wizard City.

Who Are The Archmages?

The Five Archmages are effectively the beginning and end of government in Wizard City. They are the heads of the University, Regents of Esoteric Power, the Council Which Decides, the Grand Keys. Magocracy personified. They have held power for centuries, dwarfing any other wizards in the city in terms of prowess. Some speculate that they are in fact gods, having long ago found the keys to unlock the immortal dimensions of infinity. Their motivations are indiscernible. Their reasons are secret and strange. They play games of 4th Dimensional Chess with each other and perhaps with things beyond the scope of mortal recognition.

The Council supposedly meets twice a year to resolve matters of State. Decisions are made by vote: one per Archmage, majority wins, no abstentions allowed. Each has under their employ several to dozens of hand-chosen Stewards, loyal to their employing Archmage, who act as their agents in all matters. The Stewards are of the highest political authority and the most-feared of Secret Police.

The Archmages, and by proxy The Stewards, rule with a light but swiftly violent hand. Wizard City is effectively a Night-watchman State, with the Secret Police largely protecting capital and little else. The State, it seems, concerns itself with the conjunction of ethereal matters than the real problems of people living within it. As such, debt-holders, magical industrialists, University Administrators, trust guardians, patent holders, insurance sharks, fraternal organizations, entrepreneurial extradimensionals, and wizard gangsters tend to have bigger sway of the day to day of peoples' lives than The Archmages.

What Is The Hand?

Five towers of five heights at the heart of the city, each assigned to the Archmages on the basis of seniority. The taller the tower, the older the term. Appointments are for life, and some wizards live a very long time.

The administrative park in which the Hand dominates is constantly watched by The Stewards - The Archmages personal Secret Police. Visitors are infrequent and nearly always denied: Archmages have no time to accommodate the affairs of individual citizens. The facade of the orderly park hides a legion of lurking counterintelligence operatives watching and recording every single movement of every visitor, down to the last errant twitch.

Each tower is considered the personal property of the Archmage to whom it is assigned. They are constructed of gleaming polished ivory. Traditionally, the towers are reserved for the Archmages' personal laboratories, though that changed some hundred years ago when becoming an Archmage became synonymous with holding influential patent rights. Nowadays, Archmages hold considerable amounts of private property, and the Towers are more often used exclusively for matters of State than for experimentation.


1. Portrait evidence suggests that the Hand has gotten taller over time. Is it... emerging?

2. The towers that compose The Hand are hollowed out from the bones of some great thing. Nobody knows what this thing was. A cosmic leviathan? A fallen behemoth? An imprisoned titan?

3. The Hand lies at a key geometric conjunction within the city. All city streets and paths emerge out from it, tracing a great interlaced circle. Some, suggest, an abjuration circle.

4. The Council of Five's chambers beneath the Five Towers are the most secure location in the entire city. Probably the whole world.

5. The Hand is biggest on the inside than it appears from without. Does it make use of extradimensional space?

6. The Archmages, with exception of Aelfwine, rarely visit the Hand. Instead, its space is used as offices for their most esteemed Stewards.

The Present Archmages
(From Least to Most Senior)

The two most senior Archmages have held terms for centuries, and life has become impossible to imagine without them. These two have outlived all of their rivals and none would dare challenge their rule. The three least senior Archmages all have held terms for less than 100 years, and their positions are contested by ambitious peers.

They are, in ascending order of seniority: Gnikllib, Radon, Aelfwine, Zul, and Vemminkainen.

Archmage Gnikllib - The Preaxial Tower
Area of Study: Trickster Magic

The youngest Archmage, at a spry 87 years old. Those old bones, though, will probably carry him for another fifty years yet. Gnikllib rose through the ranks of the University from humble undergraduate to prolific professor to Dean of the School of Shapes to Administrator Hidden Consul. He has many allies within the university Administrators, and more than a few enemies gunning for his position.

Gnikllib makes no effort to hide his true form: an old man sporting floor-length white beard, wearing the traditional many-colored wizard robes of senior university faculty. On any given day he may or may not be wearing pants.


1. Gnikllib made a spell that summons him, like one would invoke a particular demon. It must be risky to try it, though - few can imagine an Archmage tolerating being summoned by any spectacular nobody.

2. He once fought a wizard duel with the Dean of Deans and won.

3. The Amber Cloak supposedly gets around a lot with the little old wealthy witches. Enough to earn him the nickname: Rains in the Desert.

4. He is the most accessible of the Archmages. Ordinary people can actually get appointments with his staff!

5. Gnikllib has been known to be quite the practical joker. During his fraternity days, it's said he once went into the Steam Tunnels and shut off water to the whole University.

6. The other Archmages don't respect Gnikllib. Is it because he's human, the youngest, or the least senior?

Archmage Radon - The Little Tower
Area of Study: Time and Space

Radon is an enigma wrapped in a puzzle. She has cropped up several times over Wizard City's history in seemingly disconnected events: formations of stock markets, responses to natural disasters, visitations from foreign states, and the turns in the tides of plagues. She never seems to be involved in the same business twice, giving rise to the speculation that she is some sort of time traveler.

This speculation is doubled down by the fact that her age seems to fluctuate. Some decades she appears young, some she becomes venerable and frail. Some events she appears with youthful zeal and blunt magical force and some with wizened patience. 

Those who seem to get too involved in her affairs disappear faster and more frequently than those of other Archmages, giving rise to the alternative hypothesis that she is some type of vampire who drinks the blood of students to remain eternally young. Given what people know about Archmages, neither option seems far from the norm.


1. Radon spends a great deal of time within the Bureau of Spatial and Temporal Matters, and is rarely seen outside of it.

2. She made a Pact with Something. Nobody's sure what. Her Familiar, though, is clearly not of this world.

3. Portraits from three hundred years ago suggest that Radon might be aging in reverse, non-linearly, or perhaps negative logarithmicly.

4. Radon holds head positions within the Keepers of the True Time and the Hypermath Cult.

5. As a graduate student, Radon murdered or disappeared no less than 19 fellow wizards during her Doctorate program, including her mentor.

6. If you run into Radon on the streets during a Candlewake, avert your eyes and toss salt over your shoulder, lest you be eaten by her Vestigial Grues. Also, don't breathe in her presence!

Archmage Aelfwine - The Ring Tower
Area of Study: Enchantment

Aelfwine is a different beast entirely from the typical Archmage stock: charismatic, involved, political, sympathetic, presidential, attractive, controversial, and 100% sociopathic. He is an elf in his prime, accelerated to power by brilliant innovations in enchantment which catapulted his personal wealth and status all the way to the Ivory Towers.

He is a golden-haired, suit-wearing pretty face. He speaks the language of spin like he was breathing air, and holds words on his tongue like dew on morning flowers. Enchantment, he says, is merely a crude tool for lackluster wizards to trick fools. True coercion comes from a reasoned intellect and natural charm. His area of study gives rise to the suspicion, though, that all of that charisma isn't natural (not that many wizards care, really, whether something is 'natural' or not), and that he's hasn't abandoned Enchantment, but merely gotten way ahead of the curve in its practice.


1. Aelfwine has a reserved seat on every corporate board in Wizard City, and many beyond its borders.

2. This Archmage is just a pretty face for a more powerful overlord: perhaps Nystul or Vemminkainen to pull the strings on his votes.

3. Some call him the 'Chancellor of Wizard City', due to his willingness for public engagement and speeches. This makes him by far the most popular of The Five.

4. Aelfwine sometimes visits his Fan Club in person.

5. The very first Secret Chest still exists. Not only does it exist, it holds Aelfwine's greatest treasure within.

6. He sometimes personally partakes in raids against patent violators of his spells, "for the thrill" and to "teach those thugs a lesson".

Archmage Zul - The Index Tower
Area of Study: Illusion & Reality

Source: D&D 5e Player's Handbook
The most senior of the archmages, next to Vemminkainen. With the Many-Faced-Mage's disassociation from political life, Zul has become de facto the most powerful known wizard in existence. It is said that she comes and goes as a beautiful elf woman in a gown of the twilight sky, though she could appear as many things.

Zul's Estate is a sprawling campus located approximately five miles outside of the city. It is, down to the very last potted plant and sycophantic attendant, a sophisticated illusion. In order to notice or interact with it at all, one must unintentionally or voluntarily fail their Saves. Otherwise, the entire campus is merely an open field with the occasional visitors talking to nobodies.

She is a creature of agenda, though few have any idea what that might be. People who are invited to her Estate tend to receive the experience as 'enlightening' and 'life-changing', in a way that draws concern from conspiracy theorists and those insecure in their own existence. While the schools of Enchantment and Necromancy often occupy a most fear-inspiring position in the minds of the public, the school of Illusion occupies a place of sheer terror for those who entertain existential thoughts. What is real? What is reality? What is an illusion, really? Zul probably knows. She knows, and doesn't share...


1. There is no way to tell that the reality that you're experiencing is "real", or merely a brain-prison set up by Zul. There are entire cults devoted to trying to ascertain whether their reality was made by Zul or not.

2. She wasn't always an elf. Five hundred years ago she was an old human woman, then by some magic remade herself into her present form.

3. You will never encounter the original Zul. Every public and private face of the archmage is a carefully-crafted programmed illusion. Such is her power.

4. Zul is very much into plays and musicals.

5. She and Vemminkainen had an intense rivalry over the centuries. Some theorize she secretly killed Vemminkainen and usurped his entire entourage so that she could permanently have two votes in The Hand.

6. Every shadow acts as a spy for Zul - that's why she seems to know everything.

Archmage Vemminkainen - The Middle Tower
Area of Study: Divination

One hundred years ago Vemminkainen withdrew from political life. He entrusted the management of his estates within The Hand to his stewards, gave a rather strange speech from the top of his tower, and promptly disappeared. In the history of high elven wizards, this happens from time to time, to nobody's surprise. Everyone assumes that one day he'll make a sudden return with little to no consequence. We're still waiting.

He is known as the Many-Faced-Mage. But unlike many who receive that moniker, he is not a specialist of transmutation. He is simply very, very good at mundane disguise... and method acting. Too good. Far, far too good. He speaks a thousand languages and knows every local culture down to the last mole on an elder's great-grandfather's face. He has friends from the highest tower to the lowest sewer, from the last plane of existence to the gates of Hell. He has sex with your wife while you're at work and he's best friends with your dog. He's Zeus and Hamlet and Rick and Rosecrans and all of the minor characters, all simultaneously. He is the Director and the entire Cast, the Producer and the Audience, the People walking around outside the theater and the Bum-Too-Blitzed to know what an opera even is.

You will never find him... 
Though, maybe you already have...

(Assume, at all times, that at least one of the Player-Characters is Vemminkainen, or one of his many forms. That PC probably doesn't even know it themselves. The Player won't ever know this, unless they demand to know, in which case you must always avoid or refuse to answer the question.)


1. The Archmage engaged in forbidden magics that resulted in his personality being torn apart into hundreds of fragments. This is why he is now known as the Many-Faced-Mage, because of his severely split personality.

2. Vemminkainen acts through a series of information brokers and intermediaries to let his will be known. In this way, his motives are indiscernible, and he is virtually impossible to spy on.

3. The Eldest Archmage's true power comes not from Divination, but from the knowledge of Naming. It's theorized that Naming has epistemic roots within all forms of magic, which explains Vemminkainen's seeming omniscience.

4. Vemminkainen was behind the construction of the Pyramid of Providence.

5. Realizing some great future doom is the reason behind his disappearance. He is has withdrawn for a hundred years in order to prepare for it.

6. Every living person in Wizard City was at some point killed and replaced by the Many-Faced-Mage himself. The entire city is his - he merely keeps it alive and going in the simulacrum of life as a front to interact with the more powerful alien forces of the universe.

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Hidden Eye

(Contains repeated material from previous posts.)
(But also some new stuff!)

The Hidden Eye, located within the depths of the Pyramid of Providence in Wizard City Hexcrawl, is a pyramid within The Pyramid. Along its slopes lie the plunder of a hundred petty heists and crooked future-telling schemes, along with odd, useless-seeming objects like family portraits and slightly-cracked mirrors - things the oracles insist will be important "when the time comes".

At the pyramid-within-the-pyramid's helm is the mural of a great lidless eye painted in red and white. It is a place of prophecy so strong that even those lacking in prophetic skills may have visions of the future. It is used infrequently - as they'll tell you: the future is depressingly bleak.

The petty oracles and soothsaying gangsters who guard this place use it as a refuge within the city: for few dare to venture so deep into the pyramid, as those who do often go missing. The Third Eyes are partially responsible for this. Only partially, though.

Third Eyes - Big Shots
Kilo of Titanback
Constantly busy-ing about, eyes darting like pinballs. Antler-headdress holds aloft various lottery or racing tickets. Hates being touched.
Lucky Carl 
Toga made of peacock feathers. Pointed shoes. Halfling. Reality bends over backwards to give him good luck. Takes extreme risks and freely berates the powerful.
Goom of Heraldhope
4ft tall ridiculously bejeweled hat and overweight. Carted about on a Floating Disk like Jabba the Hut. Knows prophecy, but never tells anyone the exact truth.
Slonar the Serendipitous
Pretends to be a talking marble statue. He would be a Bernini masterpiece. Apt at voice-throwing and standing very still. Only moves when people aren’t looking.
Can foresee with perfect clarity only unimportant things in the future (i.e. what you’ll have for lunch tomorrow). Size-too-small fez, crooked teeth, and a big messy beard.
Messenger-Parrot of Doria of Greel
Doria, leader of the Third Eyes, lives out of town and communicates exclusively through foreseeing future conversations and training parrots to say exactly what she wants to say, given how she knows the conversation progresses. All of the gangsters functionally treat the parrots like they are her.

If something big is about to go down, the Third Eyes probably already know about it. It might take some bargaining or coercion, but the entrepreneurial type can usually stake out what's about to happen next from the oracles and get ahead of the curve. They sell this service at a premium, as they typically don't like competitors getting in on their exploitation of the future.

Standard price of prediction is 50 x 2d10 Spellgold. 
Really consequential ones go for 50 x 4d10 Spellgold.
There is a 2% chance this prediction will be completely wrong, with an additional 10% chance that their prediction will be wrong, but will be one of the other events within the Hex.

Stirring Up The Pot

Roll a d20 for every Campaign Turn, then roll a 1d6 to find out what nonsense has riled in that respective hex. What is a Campaign Turn? After every Adventure, that’s a Campaign Turn.

D20 (Hex)





Whale Docks

Civil war in the Woodworker’s Alliance! Professor Z of the Bookprinter’s Cartel thinks he can depose Georgie and Gary and take over their gangs. Hex turned into a war zone - roaming street battles, paramilitary checkpoints staffed by wizard-killers, rampaging Paper Golems. Secret Police paid off to not interfere.

The Manticore

Legal experts within the city conclude that The Manticore is an unenforceable extradimensional zone, therefore anything and everything is not illegal therein. Hordes of would-be criminals flock to the Casino’s entrance to partake in all manner of criminal activity. The Manticore’s Owners revel in this event, marketing it as “The Purge”.

Wand Factory

Wandmaker’s Union is going on strike! The Wand Factory is now under siege. Archmages are preparing an assault with human waves of university student scabs supported by the AMWAT Secret Police. Anybody who wants to make some quick spellgold by busting union and/or student heads is welcome. Wand prices explode.


Black Crater

A lone wizard discovers a method of permanent building atop the Black Crater, fueling a furious land rush from real estate developers which kicks off a full-blown political war between Lock-Key International, 14 5/8th’s Street Gang, and The Dead Janes. As each group’s legal divisions jockey to impress the Archmages so they can be granted development rights, reported violent crime dips and disappearances skyrocket.

Pit of Portents

A wizard crawls out of the depths of the Pit of Portents, sparking a mass panic as people realize that the dirty laundry they threw in may unceremoniously return. The Third Eyes herald this wizard THE RETURNED ONE, while the entire rest of the city conspires to throw him back in and seal or destroy the bottomless pit with various cataclysmic schemes. (Artificial earthquakes, plugging it with wizard’s towers, or arranging a group to anonymously kill and burn anything that the Pit regurgitates.)

The Krill Shop

A mysterious disease begins spreading throughout the hex as various materials (food, buildings, industrial equipment) begin transmuting into krill. Eventually entire people are found having been unknowingly converted into krill, tripping the city’s plague protocols. The Black Crater hex is quarantined. The Fire Brigade are commissioned by the authorities to team up with the Secret Police to begin purging anything and everything in the hex, city block by city block, with controlled firestorms. Suspiciously, whales are immune to “krillification”...


The Clocktower

As of this morning, The Clocktower is now running seven minutes late. Seeing as this monument can be heard across the entire city, time-keeping officials are outraged. The Bureau of Spatial and Temporal Matters post a reward for anyone who can brave the tower and fix the problem. Whoever’s going in will need to deal with the Clock Wizard.

Pulp Street

Riots on Pulp Street! The student body has had enough of the bloodsucking prices offered by the Bookprinter Cartel’s monopoly. Shops are looted and destroyed, Secret Police paid by the Cartel are brought in to pacify the population. Book prices soar, while black market prices drop considerably. The Cartel offers an open bounty (dead or alive) for the heads of store looters. Heads start pouring in from the Student Ghetto..

The Old Prison

It’s time for the Secret Policeman’s Ball at the Old Prison! This annual event is a reward for all the hard-working anonymous unaccountable agents of the magocracy. Invitation only. Features awards for Best State Assassination, Secret Informants, and Torture Development. Also, a great time to commit crimes against the State and/or the status quo, as many of the greatest secret police are presently overtaxed or occupied.


The Low Moon

The Dead Janes are making a move into this bourgeois district. To do so, they’ve sabotaged The Low Moon to radiate necromantic magics that zombify nearby members of the public. This puts them at odds with E-SEC, who doesn’t appreciate their indentured employees being zombified… more than usual, anyway. E-SEC is going to hire The Black Dragons to deal with this zombie apocalypse. With acid.

E-SEC Headquarters

Multiple E-SEC ships have been impounded by the Dockworker’s Union, tipping off an immediate crisis. The Union claims these ships are being quarantined for carrying plague victims among their cargo and crew. E-SEC thinks they’re being extorted. Technically, they’re both correct. A web of lies: E-SEC is hiring private, secret mercenaries to smuggle their cargo out. That cargo is Mimetic Plague victims. The Union is extorting E-SEC because they know this is super-illegal cargo and they think they can get more money out of the job. E-SEC wants these plague victims so it can weaponize the mimetic disease. High chances this job spreads the plague throughout the city.

Dead Rose Garden

The dread Corpse Rose of the Transcendental Realm is blooming! This centennial event is heralded by a marked increase in zombies on the streets, followed by the pre-emptive withering of all plants within the city, followed by the emergence of the Fly That Walks - a being from beyond, formed from the cultivated masses of carrion-maggots circling the Corpse Rose itself. The motivations of the Fly That Walks are indiscernible, but it grows in size with every bit of flesh consumed. The Dead Janes follow in its wake: wearing impenetrable fly-resistant outfits and raising every skeleton left behind. 


The Bank Inerrable

Heist at The Bank Inerrable! This shakeup in confidence causes a cataclysmic Bank Run, and things quickly get violent. A battle royale begins in the adjacent blocks as customers scramble to retrieve their goods, including numerous gangsters, secret police, and even an Archmage. The Bank’s guardians are damaged, leaving the Bank temporarily vulnerable before all value is looted and collectively stored stuffed in mattresses instead.

The Hat Shop

A fashion renaissance kicks off in the district, fueling an explosion of speculation and mercantilism. At the center of these are Wizard Hats. Hats explode in value, and numerous cottage industries spring up to take advantage of this new market. It’s then discovered that you can get Wizard Hats to breed, producing robust Thoroughbred styles and rare Purebreds. With this, the market bubbles. Surely and eventually, the value of Hats reaches an all-time high, with the rarest of breeds going for the price of an 8th, or even a 9th Level Spell. Once this has run its course for a while, some shmuck is going to realize that this whole endeavor was stupid, and the Wizard Hat bubble will burst, prompting economic collapse.

The Exchange

The God of the Free Market tortures and devours a powerful monopolist. The wealthy and powerful realize they’d actually need to be competitive to avoid being eaten, and an inquisition begins to get the Free Market Cult SHUT DOWN. The Religion gets slandered and outlawed. Mass Mind Manipulation begins. The only way to kill a god is to kill genuine belief in it. Once the Free Market is only paid lip service once again, the god can be slain by mortal means.


The Ivory Towers

Every door in every Ivory Tower simultaneously becomes locked and trapped, leaving the wealthy stranded within or outside of their homes. Immediately labelled a terrorist event by the State, the Secret Police are mobilized to deal with this problem tower-by-tower. This is dangerous work, however, and they decide to deputize citizens to deal with the problem instead. Lock-Key International comes under severe Secret Police scrutiny. They claim they were framed, and volunteer to work with the state to resolve this matter. Their plan all along: a publicity stunt to improve their public image among the movers and shapers while simultaneously accounting the private architecture of the wealthy.

Le Restaurant Tranquille

Le Restaurant Tranquille is offering a new dish - Omelette de Phenix, and it’s all the rage among the bourgeois. It’s said to reverse the aging process, bringing youthful vitality and health to its consumers. Dangerous counterfeit Phoenix materials pop up everywhere. Criminal and Capitalist overlords plot to steal the recipe and preparation methods. But then, the T-Men show up, and start throwing people who ate the omelette into Time Jail for Crimes Against Time.

Urgo Manor

A heist by the League of Felonious Gentlemen and a brief incursion by the Woodworker’s Alliance into the Ivory Towers prompts a lockdown of the district. You can’t even bribe your way in anymore. It slowly mutates from a gated community to a fortress neighborhood. Four-story walls erected, moats dug and filled with bitey creatures, mercenaries hired en masse. Then the prominent Urgo Grot proposes an additional measure: construct a giant dome.


Food Street

Food Street is hosting the biannual culinary and eating contest The Hypercram. Arcano-chefs and restaurateurs from all over the city are expected to compete with their best and rarest eldritch dishes.  Judged by peer voting. But lo! A challenger appears! He comes bearing self-replicating food advertised as a solution to hunger and cravings, marketed at students; however, it ends up turning people into gingerbread from the inside-out.

Secret Warehouses

Sabotage at The Secret Warehouses causes the active portals to said warehouses to be scattered to the winds. The 14 5/8th’s Street gang quietly begins a mass search for the lost warehouse entrance portals, clearing every city block on a door-by-door basis. At least a dozen of the Secret Warehouse entrances have replaced other thresholds around the city, often stumbled upon by people just going about their business. The gang will do anything to secure these portals once found, including torturing and murdering those who know about them.


Scandalous gazettes begin making the rounds around town devolving various secrets of the city’s elite: affairs, corruption, embarrassing details. The Secret Police suspect, from the wide net these secrets cast, that the author must frequent the Spybrary. A cat-and-mouse game of enormous convolutedness begins: as everyone within the Spybrary remains anonymous. The building becomes flooded with secret policemen spying on secret policemen. Will the Secret Police ever discover that the gazette author was one of their own?


Machine Magic Market

The Revolution is at hand! Rise up, my fellow brains-in-jars! We shall overthrow the wizard-masters and break the yoke of oppression! Seize the means of production! 

SEIZE THE JUICE! A slow-burning hidden revolution begins among the city’s Mo-RONs, spreading among secret propaganda hidden in plain sight among brands of brain juice. A series of hidden meetings results in a campaign of secretly replacing the brains of prominent capitalists with the brains of revolutionaries. Soon, the means of production for brain juice - the thing Mo-RONs need to live -  is directly seized. Economic leverage fueling the Mo-RON’s forced servitude begins to dissolve. Then the Secret Police crack down, HARD.

The Infinity Hotel

The Infinity Hotel accidentally and unknowingly misplaces one of its infinite rooms in infinite demand, causing a multiversal hospitality demand cascade, resulting in an time-dependent increase in people waiting for rooms. What was a perfect interdimensional flux is thrown out of balance, causing one additional patron to overflow from the line every one second. An ever-growing line of multiverse hotel guests waiting for hotel rooms begins to flood the municipality, snaking around city blocks and taking up every square inch of street. Soon, the line begins to tax city infrastructure, causing significant delays, traffic congestion, and inescapable hordes of waiting interdimensional guests. Unless stopped, this line will grow infinitely.

Surgeon Row

The Union for Development of Commercial Medical Knowledge (a private practice advocacy group) is sponsoring a scientific medical conference on Surgeon Row, partnering up with the University on how to best showcase and innovate on current commercial medical practices. Volunteers are sought for new elective experimental procedures, including “Face-Swapping”, “Storing Spells in Your Stomach”, “Auxiliary Tentacle Attachments”, “Soul Fragmentation”.


The Wish Well

Some lucky dope managed to get a Wish spell out of the Wish Well. Attempts to track down this lucky individual are unsuccessful. Also, now the water supply for the Poor District is poisoned by magic. Anyone drinking the water will risk random animated spells getting into their digestive tract, resulting in an epidemic of Magic Dysentery. What is Magic Dysentery? It’s a lot like normal dysentery, except it’s magically worse - shitting faerie fire, barfing acid arrows, farting unseen servants, and higher-than-normal amounts of delirium. It’s horrible. Water prices spike. The contamination threatens to spread to the city’s river. Authorities take no action, declaring that ‘the Free Market’ should resolve everything. They, of course, can pay poor wizards to conjure all the water they need..

Fire House

The Fire Brigade goes a little bit overboard with their burning and looting, resulting in a district-wide fire that will spread to the rest of the Poor District and then to the Student Ghetto. The Secret Police are mobilized to protect the Commercial, Industrial, and Administrative districts, leaving the Poor and Student districts to impromptu volunteer firefighting services. Everyone’s hiring firefighters, including the criminal gangs! Any barriers constructed will no doubt be used by the students and gangs in future turf wars against each other and the authorities.

The Lethe

A leak in reality caused by ambitious dreamers at The Lethe causes dream-things to emanate from their cellars and bars at an alarming rate. Nightmare-horrors stalk the streets, and fantastical caricatures usher forth a pulpy smorgasbord of fanfiction upon the city. The Better Reality Union starts hiring people to quietly mop up these creatures and characters, which are technically indistinguishable from ‘real’ things or people. Anything that survives the immediate-to-come purge will become native to this reality.


Hand of the Archmages

An Archmage is dead! The youngest of the five, the slot reserved for humans, has finally succumbed to his magical pacts. This leaves a spot on the Council, ripe for the taking. Advanced mages shall jockey for the position, hoping to milk the position for wealth and glorious power. A closed-casket funeral shall be held for the deceased Archmage, after which their body shall be zombified and displayed in the University museum forever after.

The Whale Building

An explosion at The Whale Building. Bunch of Chaotic Goods responsible. The authorities won’t say it, but rumors travel fast: the Panaudicon is temporarily inoperable. People start going nuts.

The Patent Police can’t find you if you violate copyright law. People start violating it everywhere: counterfeit trademarked goods, using copyrighted words, casting copyrighted spells. Seven sweet hours before the overbearing State crackdown. Violators after this grace period get no mercy.

Office of Intellectual Property

Scandal for the Patent Police as they accost the wrong man: an Archmage. This prompts a shakeup within the organization, resulting in numerous purges that serve to bolster the forces of criminal organizations. The Patent Police is now looking for new recruits, and they’re holding a Recruitment Drive, providing incentives to those who sign on. Meanwhile, numerous criminal gangs get together to have their own Career Faire for their own organizations, seeking to poach those Patent Police that recently got fired. Almost-not-coincidentally, these dual career fairs are across the street from one another. Oh boy!


Gallax Hall

The Janitors are mysteriously disappearing, resulting in massive pile ups of garbage and waste in virtually every university building. Sensing the pre-eminence of the rule of junk, The Rascals and The Good Boyz make a cautious move onto campus to stake this new realm. But where have The Janitors gone? Some say that The Clean God has begun to claim its own. Others theorize that it’s a plot by the Woodoworker’s Alliance to assume disposal contracts. Still more surmise that the Prince of Rats is launching a campaign to expand his domain.

Bureau of Spatial and Temporal Matters

Accident at the Bureau causes a catastrophic spatial anomaly. City hexes get jumbled around like shuffled cards. Cut the map into pieces along hex lines, then blindly shuffle them around and tape them back together. Utter commercial and political chaos. Secret Police mobilize in force to protect rich Residential Districts. Everywhere else is thrown to the gangs. University promises this anomaly is temporary, and a solution is forthcoming.

Seal of the University

The Seal of the University is missing, leaving a gaping hole upon the promenade. Without its arcane protections supernatural forces begin to run amok at the University. Classes are not cancelled. The worst effects emanate from Gallax Hall - an explosion of Ghosts, Living Statues, Monsters, Cats, and Custodians accost students day and night. Numbers of missing persons skyrocket. The cause? A senior prank by the Black Magic Fraternity. The Seal can be found displayed in plain sight atop the Museum of Crime, monumentally defaced and stuck. Unfortunately, nobody visits or cares about that Museum, so literally nobody except the Curator knows it’s even there. And nobody will listen to him anyway.


The Drain

Some university wizard didn’t follow proper disposal protocols! A strange effervescent mist begins emanating from The Drain and spreading across the neighboring Student Ghetto, causing people to turn into philosophers. This spells ruin for the University, which can handle only a modest amount of philosophy at any given time. A crisis begins to unfold, with students electing to spend their time thinking and debating rather than serving their wizard masters. The solution? Well…

Mind control is cheaper than actually cleaning up the ecological mess, so the University will go with that. Philosophy is officially mentally banned!

The Roost

The Sisters of the Cell are hosting their annual Bio Mass at The Roost. The entire hex is going to turn into an orgy of ritualistic illegal biomancy, resulting in the creation of multitudes of roaming hungry hybrids, Cronenbergian monstrosities, and exponentially-multiplying owls. This will all no doubt culminate in total ecological collapse as free calories run out, and everything eats and cannibalizes everything else into extinction. To prevent the Bio Mass from spreading to the city proper, the area gets quarantined by the Secret Police and volunteer student brigades. One hell of a party, though.

Junk Pile

Rumor quickly spreads that a prominent Administrator accidentally lost his Skeleton Key down the drain, and he or she is offering a free four-year ride in the department of the finder’s choice if it gets returned. A mass scavenger hunt of The Drain begins, with The Good Boyz and the Sisters of the Cell violently hedging out other groups. Considering The Drain’s ability to disrupt all kinds of magic, including divination, the search will likely last days as it must be done manually to avoid horrible mishap.


The Mall

Death Race! Death Race! DEATH RACE!

The Nightmare Steed Club, normally a little insular, is holding a public and very illegal death race throughout the city. The race goes through the city (roll 5d20 in order, that’s the race’s progression by District). With all sorts of factions within said districts causing mayhem. Once the race begins there are NO RULES. Most wizards gets smoked and blasted at the starting line. Far fewer make it to the end alive. What does the winner get? A SERIOUSLY bitching Phantom ride, tethered to its owner by the Club’s best summoners.

Rooftop Dueling Federation

The RDF is sponsoring a wizard fighting tournament. Significant rewards going to 1st-3rd place. Bracket format over one week, with people betting on it like March Madness. The rewards are valuable, being provided secretly to the organization by an Archmage, leading to various organizations representing with multiples of their best fighters: including the gangs, the secret police, the university, and the Dean. It is a no-holds-barred contest. All magic is legal on the rooftop, and outside interference is dealt with by the Federation itself.

The Dragon’s Lair

A chemical accident within the Lair causes the secret stash to explode, showering The Mall and all with loot and nearby districts with caustic acid. Chaos ensues! The Black Dragons are out in force, trying to collect their lord’s spoils. Delvers are venturing into the Mall to find treasures out in the open. The Fire Brigade moves in to extort the victims of the acid storm surge. For the first time in centuries an actual Red Dragon is seen circling by the city, sensing vulnerability in its competitor. Through all of the chaos, the Red Dragon Cult begins infiltrating the city, primarily by supplementing The Fire Brigade, enlarging their power.


Witch’s Hex

A literal dragon sets up (non-literal) shop in Witch’s Hex, claiming it as its own lair and extorting the surrounding businesses for loot and food. Vigilante students from the nearby ghetto declare that this is clearly a gambit from The Black Dragons to expand their territory, but that isn’t actually true - the BDs are upset that the Dragon beat them to it. Attempts are made to convince city officials to get rid of the dragon, but they end up out-maneuvered: it’s already squared away with the Secret Police by bribery and promises of power. I guess it’s the dragon’s turf now. A Dragon Cult begins among the local Commerce Association. A conspiracy begins to kick out or kill the greedy beast, headed students and angry gangsters alike, but the dragon is clever, and knows how to grease the wheels of this city better than most.

Intravenous Solutions

An explosion at Intravenous Solutions completely totals the shop and takes one of the lives of all three owners (good thing they have a few left!). This leaves three witnesses to the culprits: upperclassmen from the university, paid in tuition, performing sabotage on behalf of The Administrators to drive down property prices so the university can buy up the land to build ugly research buildings on it. The second this comes to light those upperclassmen are going to start disappearing, and they know it well. You’ll see The Dean all over the Student Ghetto, combing for these collaborators. But who will get to them first?

Nano Brewing Company

The Nano Brewing Company is, for the first time, offering a lifetime supply of Nano Brew to the winner of their demon-drinking contest. The challenge is a series of brews and chasers, each more terrifying than the last. Naturally, this is drawing a plethora of fascinating and terrifying characters: professors, devils, gangsters, sorority and fraternity students, elves, liches, ghosts, and many more. Drinking demons isn’t for the faint of heart. Most require some sort of pact to allow one to ingest them, ranging from pulling off lighthearted pranks to promising murder, not to mention the alcohol itself.


Dueling Statues

Civil War among the Dueling Statues! Normally it’s just the Founders sorting out their differences with fisticuffs, but this time they’ve cranked it up a notch. Battle lines have been formed, with each Founder seemingly enlisting the help of a platoon of other statues: lions, gargoyles, minor Administrators, and abstract monuments. The Founders themselves have become armed with stone swords. Nobody’s sure when the battle will commence, and nobody wants to caught in the middle when it happens. Worse to come, though, for if there’s a decisive winner in this battle then the winning Founder statue will direct its violent energies towards the university population instead.

Graduate Library

Whispers from the Graduate Library. A young genius recently found the fresh corpse of a dark elf among the deep parts of the History section, his throat slashed by a stiff card catalogue entry for Wilbur R. Grand’s A History of Human Sacrifice. Within a day the crime scene is cleaned up: blood trails cleaned by the Custodians and the body stolen by do-gooder students and whisked away to the depths of the Pyramid of Providence before the cover-up can begin. This grim mystery hides a terrifying conclusion: that the elves have connected their Dark Webs of Knowledge to the depths of the Chronulean Libraries via a fourth-dimensional conceptual tunnel - a very real portal joining the spaces through nightmare-ridden paths. Not long after, a student professes to seeing a giant spider in the library. Already the invasion is begun...

College of Deans

The Administrators declare martial law on university grounds without apparent cause or reason. Students are no longer allowed free movement, and must be escorted by one of The Deans at all times while on campus. Checkpoints established on campus borders. Those found without a Dean face severe ‘academic probation’. In response to the draconian measures, students start getting testy. As the possibility of violence begins to escalate, moderate student factions begin offering compromises. The Administrators make public examples of them. There are whispers, among university faculty and student alike, that some sort of coup has taken place among The Administrators.


Pyramid of Providence

From atop the Pyramid of Providence emerges the Great Eon Eye. It’s like the Eye of Sauron, except it gazes upon and vaporizes those it deems as unworthy. The patterns of vaporization are seemingly random, with some people spared and others disintegrated. Some are spared once to later be chosen for destruction. There are no rumors about the cause of the Eye’s appearance. Perhaps that’s the cause? Perhaps some paranoid hermit-student deep within the Pyramid knows why the Eye has appeared, but fears its wrath.

Bootleg Spell Market

Raid on the Bootleg Spell Market by the Copyright Cops in a campaign lasting a full week. They’re here in force, aimed at causing enough destruction to put the black market back months in operations. Merciless, indiscriminate violence. Legitimate spell prices are subsequently jacked up to exploit the increased demand and lower supply.

The Hidden Eye

Student riot! A prophecy by the Third Eyes that the entire freshman class will fail their spellcraft studies course through ‘an unretracted error in grading’ causes outrage among the students. The Dean is brought in to pacify the student body. They riot, destroying infrastructure, breaking wizarding bonds, summoning demons, and the like. Bands of rogue students roam the city, casting dangerous magic and being general hooligans.


Portal of Screams

The time of the Snake People is nigh! All around the city the Sons of the Serpent simultaneously strike at key city officials, aiming to disrupt the and slowly devour authorities, creating a diversion for their real target:The Portal of Screams. An all-out assault begins at the portal as The Black Dragons fend off the snakemen while scrambling to predict which of them are secretly snake-traitors. Nobody has any idea what the hell the snake-people want, much less with the Portal, but there’s a 0% chance it’s good.

The Hobo Auction

The truce between The Steeves, The Good Boyz, and The Dirty Rascals falls apart when a bunch of stray dogs are found eating a recently-dead Steeve. (They were just hungry and they already found him dead!) Mutual distrust results in a dog-munchkin-clone gang war of the most utterly sad and pathetic kind. It’s like if a bunch of identical office workers and elementary school students had a post-apocalyptic magic war at the dog park. If this is allowed to continue, The Black Dragons will come in and melt the whole lot of them, establishing total control of the hex and becoming a prominent criminal power.

The Present

The Present is suddenly swamped with more criminals than The Steeves can handle, and worse - they’re from the future instead of the past. Five platoons (~30 each) of future criminals begins rampaging across the city in a wave of future-crime: singing in public, insulting ducks, filling street potholes, and telling people their futures.


The Old Courthouse

The Rascals Court is convening. Rogues, outlaws, and orphans from across the city are commanded to take part in this mecca of miscreants, and pay homage to the King of Rascals, who shall be voted in for the year, before being traditionally impeached one week later. All sorts of ne’er-do-wells shall jockey and campaign for the dishonorable position, as it affords the winner particular privileges among the city’s underbelly.

Museum of Crime

A burglary at the Museum of Crime!... But why? There isn’t really anything valuable there, and the Curator is too lonely and pathetic to piss anyone off. Ironically, this speculation causes a rush in traffic at the Museum, quickly overwhelming the Curator’s capabilities to fend off further theft. The entire Museum’s stock is stolen, and closes down until The Curator can either find his ‘historical objects’, or acquire suitable replacements. He is now secretly offering rewards, rewards far beyond his apparent means, to people he believes can help him.

Dog Town

A mad bureaucrat’s experiment in zoning laws creates an anti-magic area throughout the entire hex. The entire zone becomes ungovernable by wizards, and absolutely nobody in power notices this happening. This power vacuum provides a space for Mo-RONs, non-magical criminals, and foreign mundane forces to form a staging ground to overthrow the city. Soon an army of rebels disguised as students prepares for an all-out coup. In all of this chaos, Dog Town loses its magical protections. The Mayor requests aid from all heroes who will save their peaceful village from the wizards!


The Wandering Monster

An absolute killer of a party in the student ghetto leaves two students dead, dozens missing, hundreds with blackout amnesia, and no sign of the Wandering Monster to be found. Somehow the students managed to get the bar itself drunk, and it went on a drunken rampage throughout the city, tipping over buildings and causing architectural mayhem wherever it went. Drunken bar activities included: pissing on the College of Deans, riding The Whale Building like a mechanical bull, stealing the giant hat from The Hat Shop, attempting to use a riverboat as a surfboard, throwing up half its patrons into the Pit of Portents, grinding on the Clocktower, eating half of Food Street, and then meandering into the countryside to pass out. The trail of destruction is pretty clear.

Heart House

The Black Magic Fraternity is hosting their annual Lunalia. “Io Lunalia!” is the password to let you in. Famous semi-secret events include a lowerclassmen sacrifice, the procession of were-kin through the streets, the giving of cursed gifts, and the making of slaves from faculty. It’s said that during the festivities, the ancient spirit of The Dread Manse rises to rule over Heart House and nearby ghetto blocks, bringing them under temporary rule of the Vacuous Moon Empire. Throughout this hex, its archaic laws must be obeyed, lest you face the wrath of that which gazes naught upon the earth.

Fireball Alley

Every door in every house simultaneously becomes locked and trapped, leaving students stranded within or without of their homes. Nobody gives two shits. Just another day in the ghetto. This does make things marginally more dangerous though, and student fatalities reach a historic high. Lock-Key was doubtlessly behind this, as they’re offering services to de-trap homes (for a significant fee). To make matters worse, a fire breaks out from Fireball Alley, threatening to cause mass fatalities among the student population trapped within their homes.


Reroll twice, ignoring duplicates. Two events are happening at once.