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ID: 154


November 20, 2005, 8:50 am

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Carried on the back of a dove


A prized possession lost ... easy to hurt, difficult to find, and with a tendency to lose itself again, only a white feather left behind…

Like so many stories, this starts with a wizard - not a bad one, not a nice one.  No rookie he was, yet no archmage, but trust his peers he did not.
Where should he store all his research data, where should he write the true names of demons he discovered, where could he safely store what his creative spirit had given birth to?
This wizard, let us call him Kerlon, owned a slave-girl, sweet seventeen she was, a bag of gold did she cost, it does surprise few that the wizard made her his mistress, but ...
He thought - she is always here, and no-one suspects…and the skin, oh so soft and flawless…
An idea was born - he enchanted her back, and proceeded to tattoo all of his data there. Once the available space was used up, the spell would allow him to continue , hiding the previously written pages and making them available at notice - when none of the pages were displayed, the girl’s back would be adorned by a tattooed mandala.
The girl, let us call her Columbia, had one truly unique feature - when luna displayed herself in all her glory, she sprouted wings of ivory and could fly, taking on the shape of a pigeon. This she did, and escaped from the very surprised wizard, along with all his notes - his paranoid nature lead him to burn all the originals after he had transcribed them.

One of his colleagues got wind of this, and his little eyes gleaming with greed, set out to find Columbia for himself.

The adventurers have to find that very special white pigeon until the full moon ends, as then the transformation ends, and she will be an easy target for Kerlon’s enemies.

A good way to gain the favor of one wizard and the enmity of others…

For spicing it up a little bit, the GM could postulate that the girl’s fear is enough to fuel some of the inscribed spells, leading to interesting situations…

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Comments ( 12 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

June 4, 2004, 3:53
I think this is a great idea! I found it a little surprising that Columbia suddenly sprouted wings, but maybe if you made it clear she was some sort of captured fairykin to start with it would make it less of a shock.

Perhaps to spice it up a little more she is found staying with some powerful friends (e.g. eagles in the mountains) with whom the PCs would have to negotiate/do combat to retrieve her.

June 4, 2004, 5:10
Well, she's no fairy, but a were-pigeon, her powers triggered by Luna in here flawless, round shape...full moon does that to many a were. Others, like were-bears, shift shapes upon berserking, while some might change when scared, or upon contact with some substance or place...
It's reassuring that you like it - I haven't used it myself yet...
Feel free to change it and let me know how it turned out...
June 4, 2004, 16:52

June 5, 2004, 11:19
If a swanmay is more to your taste - suit yourself.
June 6, 2004, 0:16
Was es "swanmay"?
June 6, 2004, 1:05
A Swanmay is somewhere in between a Druid and a Were-Swan. (Ack! I've been bit by a swan! Now I am surely cursed!)

I like the story but would like some more fleshed out, like what Columbia was doing captured if she could turn into a pidgeon.

June 11, 2004, 1:58
A beautiful woman with powerful magics inscribed in her flawless skin, and she can sponataneously turn into a bird. Very interesting, I could see it done in an anime style, or heck, even as an anime. I'm looking forward to dropping Columbia into a game.
Barbarian Horde
June 14, 2004, 9:27
Reply to Agar:

Columbia might be reletively easy to capture in human form (assuming she's not a warrior type) and the shape-shifting ability wouldn't help if she had no control over it (i.e. it ONLY happens on the night of the full moon).

Keeping her captive would be easy enough if the captor knows about her ability -- simply put her in a cage an the night of the full moon.

The problem, of course, is that the slave trader never told Kerlon this.
Melvins Cat
June 24, 2004, 11:29
It could also be used with a twist :
Maybe a rival sent the girl to the wizard, all the while subtley implanting the idea (of hiding the research on her body) in the wizards mind
(ie : "she does have smooth skin on her, doesn't she?" "I once saw a shaman that had tatooed his clan history on his back...")

Now the moon came & the girl turned to a pigeon, & where deos a pigeon fly to? ...back to her original owner.

what do ya think?
Barbarian Horde
August 5, 2005, 4:21
Maybe the girl doesn't even know..if it were some odd resonance magic from being used as a living spell-book.

A thing like that could turn someone into a wild mage pretty quick.

But the gorgeous and beautiful irony is..she can't read what he wrote. It's on her back written in mage runes..hee hee.

I bet just the thought of her sets necromancers drooling.
Barbarian Horde
October 3, 2007, 11:09
Maybe the wizard falling in love with Her (oh so soft skin)
and the evil sect need just the skin from the girl's back...
and maybe they sacrifice her after...
But it reveals after first escape to the players, when they catch a girl and escort back to the wizard
so this is a boomerang quest :)

Voted valadaar
September 17, 2015, 11:33
This feels like it could be dropped into Thieve's World. Short but does the job. Nice.

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