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Mage:James Smith Awakening Story

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James became a missionary and was sent to a small out of the way Polynesian island with a population of less than a couple of hundred people who were nominally Christian. The island was small, with a steep sloped half moon shape of an old volcanic rim forming a bay with a beach from which the canoes of the village were launched. From the southern tip of this half moon, the island runs back in a reverse curve as a broad and reasonable flat area. From the end of this curve, a narrow spit of sand and shingle runs out to the edge of the reef. The village was sited on the flat land between the old rim of the volcanic and the southern tip of the island.

The church, constructed over a hundred years ago from imported timbers, was sited at the top of the village, just at the bottom of the rim. Unknown to the islanders or to James the church alter was sited on top of an ancient node and this was to play an important part in the events of James’s awakening.

For several months after James’s arrival, nothing much of significance happened. The people fished, James preached and was also the school teacher for the islander’s children.

Then the wind turned to the south for many days and stayed there. This was unpleasant but no one was that worried until one of the fishing canoes failed to return before evening. The following day search parties found the canoe upturned and broken, folded as if a heavy weight had landed on it midships. There was no sign of the two men who were using it for fishing.

The wind continued to blow from the south. A day after the canoe had been found, two boys went missing. They had been out fishing on the edge of the reef. Their fishing spears were found but not the nets used for holding the fish they had caught. The next day one of the men, out searching on the edge of the reef, gave a scream of terror that was cut off by a splash as he was pulled into the water. Those nearest to him reported seeing a dark band hooked around his torso that pulled him into the water.

After this incident, an elder of the village came to James and related the legends of the Kraken (or in pidgeon English: Fish, him not fish, so big him eat man) that preyed on the island since time before memory. When the People came to island first it was after many days of travel and they found it a good place to live but when the wind blew from the south the Kraken came. The Kraken took man after man for two weeks before departing.

For two years, the wind remained from the west or north-west. More canoes came and a hero. The hero built a hut at the top of the village. He had the scars of encounters with sharks and other beasts. He listened to what had happened and when the wind turned to the south, he began a long ritual in his hut. The Kraken took two men before the hero was ready. The hero walked down through the village with his spear burning with the fire of his spirit on it. He walked out onto the spit of land, right to the very end. Here he chanted insults at the Kraken.

The Kraken rose out of the sea, grabbed him and dragged the hero into the sea but the hero didn’t give up. The sea boiled and thrashed for a long time then the hero walked back out of the sea and the Kraken floated to the surface, wounded and subdued. The hero turned to the Kraken and spoke a curse onto it. When he was finished the Kraken sank and was not seen within the lifetime of the hero, his son nor his grandson.

For a long time the wind never blew from the South.

Then one day it did. The great grandson of the hero went through the ritual and carrying the spear walked down through the village and onto the spit of land. For two hours he chanted and insulted the Kraken. Nothing happened. The next day a fisherman was taken. The great grandson repeated the ritual and stood on the spit.

This time the Kraken came. It took the great grandson, dragged him down into the sea, never to be seen again. That night the wind returned to normal. The following year, the wind turned to the South again. On the third day, the most heroic young man in the village performed the ritual and walked down to the spit. The Kraken took him and the wind returned to normal. The following year, the chief forbad anyone to do the ritual, but after the Kraken had taken four lives, a hero was chosen to walk to his death.

It became a ritual sacrifice. When the wind turned to the South then everyone gathered around the hero’s hut whilst the chosen man performed the ritual then went to his death.

Then in our father’s father’s father’s time, great white man came. He was a missionary as far as the rest of the world was concerned but secretly he was an awakened mage sent to eliminate the Kraken. He spotted that the hero’s hut was located on a node. After several months of preaching to the still largely heathen islanders, then the wind turned to the South. As the islands prepared for the sacrifice, the white man stepped forward and said “To prove the power of my God, I will pray then go and face the beast. By the will of my God, I will defeat the beast.” The villagers were shocked but happy to send someone other than their own to his death.

The white man, went to the hero’s hut and prayed to his God. On the third day of South wind, he walked down to the spit of land and chanted psalms until the Kraken came for him. The white man dived in before the Kraken could grab him. The sea churned and boiled for many minutes then the Kraken floated to the surface. The white man swam ashore, climbed out, lifted his rifle that he had left on the point of the spit and fired five rounds into the Kraken’s body. The Kraken’s body drifted off out to sea as the wind returned to normal.

The white man had proved his faith and the islanders almost worshiped him. He tore down the shrine to the hero and build a large wooden church over the spot.

The altar was placed exactly on top of the node. For a decade the wind occasionally turned to the South but the Kraken never came. The islanders began to forget.

James listened to this tale then shook his head. The old islander was the only person who remembered the stories. James refused to believe the stories but didn’t know what to do. The next ship to visit the island wouldn’t arrive for several months. All he could do was call the villagers in for a service of prayers.

Not everyone would come to the service. About a third of the islanders went to hide in the only cave on the island – an ancient lave tube, open at the top and blocked before it got into the sea. The service went without incident, very bland, too bland. James was worried that he hadn’t achieved anything and knelt before the altar to pray.

His prayers were answered as he awakened and channelled the spirits of the ancient hero and the white man mage. The quintessence had been pooling in the node for nearly a century and flooded into him. With the chaos and confusion of the channelled spirits he didn’t know what he was doing. He rose and turned from the altar. His latent Life & Matter spheres ran wild. As he walked forward out of the church, his power reached out and he absorbed the bodies of those attending the church. He became a giant monster, smashing through the end of the church. He turned and took the roof beam of the church. It was transformed into a spear by the time he reached the sea.

This giant walked down through the village with tendrils of his overflowing power grabbing yet more of the villagers to increase it’s bulk. It reached the spit of land, walked to the end and chanted the ancient insults until the Kraken came.

The Kraken had been driven off after the encounter with the European mage a century and had gone to nurse it’s wounds in it’s deep oceanic lair. Memories of the wounds kept it from the island until the fishing fleets of Japan, Russian, Spain and China hoovered through it’s feeding ranges. Hunger overcame the fear of the pain and it returned to the island.

The Kraken lashed out with it’s tendrils. James swotted them aside with the spear and lunged with the point. The Kraken evaded and tried again. It caught James around the waist but he speared it through the base of one tentacle. Feeling pain, the Kraken decided to retreat. It released James and went to dive away. This retreat was going to thwart the desire of the spirits of the ancient hero and the white mage.

With a roar, James dived in to chase after the Kraken. As it went to dive, James did the only thing he could and transformed into the resemblance of a whale. In this shape he pursued the Kraken into the deepest ocean but the shape he had taken wasn’t capable of swimming to the depths necessary to catch the Kraken.

A passing sperm whale was encountered and absorbed into James’s bulk. Thus he transformed into a sperm whale and dived down after the Kraken. Memories of the battle in the dark depths of ocean are for James vague and nightmarish at best. It is accepted that James killed the Kraken and probably ate it (see focuses below).

Afterwards, disorientated and lost, he set out to find his way home. This is where the agency found him, sitting on a beach near Avonmouth. The great bulk that he had assembled had returned to the sea, falling away as dolphins. It is believed that this is where the minds and spirits of those he absorbed ended up.

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This page was last modified on 21 August 2009, at 19:08.
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