The Soul Cage
The Fallen World - a prison for human souls, bound by the Abyss and manipulated by the Exarchs. Preyed upon by a multitude of creatures, spirits and intruders from elsewhere.
Mages are the only ones that can see the bars. They breath the Supernal air once - only once, during their Awakening, and are then trapped back in the Cage for the rest of their lives. Magic is both a great gift and a great curse, the curse of having seen the Real, Supernal world which you are now forever denied.
Close your eyes in a Demesne. Meditate on the Resonance of a powerful spell. Catch a glimpse of a Cryptid from across a fog-shrouded moor and smell, just for an instant, the breeze coming through the bars of the Cage.
Whereas The Broken Diamond
follows a group of experienced Mages, The Soul Cage
stars newly-Awakened apprentices as they are forced to deal with the circumstances that have been forced upon them by machinations a century in the making.The character sheet may be found here.
Provides Examples Of:
- Action Girl: Most of the women in the cast.
- A God Am I: The goal of Cxaxa Queraphas. In the end she succeeds.
- A Load of Bull: The minotaur.
- Anything That Moves: Rodriguez. Ye gods, Rodriguez.
- The Atoner: Duma.
- Bad Ass: Several, but Rodriguez (or Gawain as he's now called) takes the cake. And the virginity of the chef, regardless of gender.
- Badass Longcoat: Samael.
- Black Dude Dies First: Happily averted with Ashlar.
- Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Persephone's aura fits this remarkably well, especially when you consider her legacy.
- Cool Guns: Rodriguez and his Desert Eagles.
- Cool Sword: Excalibur. Obviously.
- Ex Py: Rodriguez started off as this for El Mariachi. He's evolved a fair whack since then.
- The Fair Folk: The Smiling Man. Maybe.
- Grand Theft Me: Averted and played straight. This was rumoured to be Kosciej's legacy's purpose during the Nameless War. In reality, it was just a side effect of the Parliament of the Needle's legacy. This hasn't stopping him from playing it straight with Hades, however.
- Green Lantern Ring: Cobalt's trowel is a weak version. Often used as a Swiss-Army Weapon.
- Hell Hound: The barghests.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Kosciej is revealed to be the main villain about halfway through, but his actual plans remain uncertain until near the very end of the chronicle (with some of his actions noted as being irrelevant to his plan, and merely a means of securing aid for achieving it). His own showboating nature causes him to repeatedly make a big deal of how The Plan is being kept secret from them (the characters even lampshade how the undertones are so deliberately ominous that you can practically hear the capitalization). Subverted towards the end; the egalitarian nature of Kosciej's goals means that he publicly announces it shortly before the final phase goes into motion (although the characters had already been informed of the details shortly before, giving them time to prepare countermeasures).
- Solemn's agenda is also never made strictly clear, since he never directly interacts with the main characters, has his power base broken down off screen, and is killed off by Kosciej to further his own plan.
- Bede is pegged as having it out for the Auric Horizon early on, but why and what he hopes to accomplish don't come to light until shortly before the reveal of the main villain. He turns out to have misinterpreted a prophecy concerning their actions destroying a city, and was trying to prevent it.
- Instant Humiliation Just Add Youtube: Poor Cobalt.
- King Arthur: Everywhere. You have a group of characters all named after elements of Arthurian legend, references to Excalibur, and Merlin makes a cameo. Dave loves his Arthurian legend.
- Lady of War: Aurora.
- Large Ham: Cognos. Possibly voiced by BRIAN BLESSED.
- Lighthouse Point: Where the cabal live.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: To the point where even the players are surprised.
- Meaningful Name: Samael, according to Duma's last letter.
- Soul Rape: The Echo Walkers.
- Mysterious Past: Persephone, at the beginning of the chronicle.
- Rage Against the Heavens: The Pentacle in general, Kosciej specifically. He's even told them; say what you like, the man's got balls.
- Sand Worm: The Lambton worm is a version that phases through rock.
- Shout-Out: House of Leaves during the Cxaxa Queraphas arc.
- The Soulless: Samael after he gets his soul torn up by an Echo Walker
- Spin-Off: Takes place in the same universe as The Broken Diamond and has cameos by some of the characters.
- Temple of Doom: Boy Howdy, do these turn up a lot. Archeomancers are tough cookies!
- Wham Session: Session 13, "Time to Burn". Anything more would spoil the surprise.