Trapped in the Pouch of Arcano.

Mortimer Novarian is a gnome wizard. His familiar is Edgar.

Mort and Maggie grew up in the city of Aldingham. This huge sprawling mess of humanity comprises of an area of crumbling mansions surrounded by a warren of slums and dirty streets. Maggy grew up on these fetid, dark paths and survived using her wit and natural dexterity. It wasn’t long before she turned to crime. She started with petty theft and pickpocketing but her skills were soon recognized by the local thieves guild. She was recruited and became a valuable member on many of the groups nefarious outings. It was on one such heist she was hurt by a member of the city watch and taken to one of the guilds back ally doctors to be stitched back together.

It was here that she met Mort. This strange little gnome’s father was the siurgeon who healed Maggy’s wounds. From that point Mort and Maggy formed a bond of sorts, a love hate relationship that saw them spending time together despite all the bickering. Mort’s skills as a doctor never really excelled but he had an almost morbid obsession with bodies and the workings of a corpse. It was for this reason he began secretly dissecting the corpses of the people his dad couldn’t save. Eventually he was discovered and him and his father fell out as a result. Mort found himself on the street and it was then that he had an idea.

Conversations with Maggy coupled with his…hobbies made his come to the conclusion that the best way to make money and pursue his interests was to become a grave robber. He convinced Maggy to help him by offering her a large percentage of any valuables they recovered in exchange for allowing him to have the corpses. They continued doing this for a number of years and managed to mostly avoid trouble due to Maggy’s skills as a criminal and her connections with the darker parts of Aldingham society.

Things eventually came to a head however one dark rainy night. The pair visited a new graveyard in the richer part of town and were instantly drawn to a large and imposing gothic tombstone. Without hesitation they dug up the coffin and pried it open. Inside was a corpse that was alive and with deathly vigor attacked them. After a struggle the two felled the creature and just before it collapsed into a pile of ashes it hissed “You shall never posses ”/wikis/arcano" class=“wiki-page-link”>Arcano’s Deck!" Tired and suffering from a number of injuries Mort looked into the coffin and found it was filled with sparkling riches including a box crafted out of almost black mahogany and inlaid with gold.

Mort was instantly drawn to the box and before he knew what he was doing he opened it and inside he found a small pile of cards. similar in size to playing cards but with a back that was so black it seemed to consume all the light in the area. As he took them out a wave of nausea swept over him and before he knew it he had passed out. whilst he was unconscious strange, incoherent thoughts filled his mind. flashing images of corpses rising from their rest and living people having the life drained from them. One image that reoccurred multiple times was man in black wearing a skull mask crowned with a pair of stags antlers. The man stood atop a pile of writhing corpses and orbiting around him, glowing with dark power, were rings of black backed cards.

Meanwhile Maggy found herself alone and having to deal with a patrol of guards drawn by the sounds of the fight against the zombie. They asked her to drop her weapons but with a smirk she drew her rapier and charged into combat. Mort awoke to see his friend surrounded by guardsmen. She had felled nearly half of them but was now suffering from a plethora of cuts and injuries and her movements were becoming slower and it was obvious she would soon be overpowered.

In a state of half consciousness Mort grabbed one of the cards he was still clutching and threw it into the air above the group. Once there it burst into a shower of small dark motes of magical energy. As they settled on people they could feel their energy being drained. Unfortunately Mort’s lack of control meant that the spell also affected Maggy and before long he was surrounded by unconscious people. “Oh, well isn’t that interesting?” he muttered to himself with a wry smile before he also passed out.

Some time later the two awoke in a cell. They had been stripped of all possessions and there were no guards in sight to question. After a little while they heard a flapping of wings and a raven landed between the bars of the cell window. In it’s mouth he held the cards Mort had found in the coffin. Tentatively the battered gnome took the cards from the raven and as he did a sensation of both power and nausea swept over him. As soon as it’s mouth was free of obstruction the raven spoke in a harsh voice “Mort you idiot, why would you leave such a powerful artifact behind?”

Taken aback by the sudden aggression Mort looked down and shuffled through the cards whilst mumbling “um ok…sorry…”

Made irritable by recent events Maggy glared at the raven and snapped “What the hell do you want you mangy bird!?! I am not in the mood for insults, especially from a freakish talking ball of scruffy feathers!”

The raven looked at her with as much malice as a bird’s face could show and caw’d loudly at her before turning back to Mort and saying “I am Edgar, and it appears I have no choice but to be your familiar Mortimer. I will help you find the rest of those cards and with their power we will have unlimited control over life and death…”

Regaining some of his composure Mort looked up at Edgar and said “My familiar? power over life and death? What in the world are you talking about?” a loud rustling from inside the prison drew Mort and Maggy’s gazes and as they turned to look into the corridor outside their cell they saw a group of stocky robed figures arrive with a pair of guardsmen. Mort glanced back towards the window to see Edgar had vanished and as he returned his gaze to the corridor he saw the guards and the robed figures conversing in hushed tones. Eventually they seemed to reach an agreement and with a jingle of keys one of the guards opened the cell door.

“What the hell do you want?” spat Maggy but all she received in response was a swift blow that knocked her unconscious. Mort quickly hid the cards in his sleeve before he too was struck and collapsed to the floor.

The two awoke again with no idea of how much time had passed. They had been bound and were on a cart slowly swaying as it moved towards an unknown location.


Xymor Sebos