MAGE: Manila

Kaliwete
Season 2 - Episode 8

Despite their best intentions, Pastilan, Cham, and Tasyo are forced to confront Catalina, the so-called Saint of the Abandoned. Moreover, witnessing her through the lens of Pandemonium identifies the saint as a Goetia – a living embodiment of people’s hopes and fears. The saint accuses the mages of endagering her ‘children’, various infants whose bodies have been inscribed with sigils, and preserved in the secret room.

While Mumbaki is lost to his personal horrors, Alunsina attempts to recover from a shocking betrayal: Punyal, the Camara’s very own Sentinel, has attacked her. When Alunsina slips through his fingers, Punyal turns to face a furious Cailleach. The two Moroi clash but Punyal eventually traps Cailleach in a hidden basement. She attempts to set fire to the area, but is injured by her own spell. The basement goes up in flames.

Lucidly dreaming, Mumbaki is visited by his dying grandfather. After struggling in futility to save him, Mumbaki ends his grandfather’s life. Tribal ancestors arrive to pay their respects before vanishing into a cave. Mumbaki follows them, but instead returns to the present. After a concerted effort by the group, Alunsina is able to banish Santa Catalina.

They next come to the rescue of Cailleach and confront Punyal. Just as Alunsina begins forming an offensive spell, her imago falters as if someone were intruding on her mind. From behind Punyal, an uknown mage steps forward. When the smoke clears, Pastilan recognize him as the murdered Ilustrado from the co-located room.

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Maniwala Ka
Season 2 - Episode 7

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Having brokered with spirits dwelling in the construction site of Cielo Terraces, Tasyo next enters the Arete Mansion in search of his companions. He connects with the mansion’s spirit, and is told that an obstruction in the Shadow is possibly interfering with the area’s leylines. Tasyo then enters the spirit realm via the mansion’s basement to discover the cause.

From the co-located room, Mumbaki, Cailleach, Pastilan, and Punyal emerge in the depths of Mary Chiles Hospital. At the hospital’s charity ward, Cailleach and Mumbaki find a child terminally ill with leukemia. The Moros quietly ends her suffering while Mumbai watches.

At a restaurant in Binondo, Alunsina meets with Idiyanale. The two discuss La Solidaridad’s early history, and a conspiracy engineered by the Magdiwang, former Seers of the Throne who defected to the Diamond. They’re interrupted by the Proximus assassin Criselda Hao who seeks revenge from her last encounter with Alunsina. Criselda is accompanied by an unknown companion. To protect Sleepers, Idiyanale uses Fate to trigger a fire in restaurant’s kitchen causing everyone but the mages to flee.

In the Shadow, Tasyo finds his way to the leyline obstruction represented by a giant tangle of roots covered with spider-like spirits of greed. Despite initial hostilities, Tasyo commands the spiders to return to their source, a large hatchery at the heart of the construction site. A den mother ambushes him, but after a surprise rescue from Cham, Tasyo breaks loose and a vicious melee erupts. Though it nearly costs the Thyrsus his life, the battle ultimately dissuades the spirits who decide to abandon El Cielo.

Meanwhile, Mumbaki visits the hospital’s chapel dedicated to St. Catherine. He inquires with some devotees who share miraculous wonders attributed to the saint. Mumbaki decides to meditate, and experiences a supernatural visitation by St. Catherine. The saint however is a disturbing figure, thin and tall, with a multitude of limbs.

Mumbaki passes out, but is later revived by Pastilan who shares a similar encounter except the saint cradled a child. The Mastigos has discovered that the saint is possibly a goetia – the collective hopes and fears of patients given form in the Temenos.

Criselda all but confirms the Magdiwang conspiracy, and their promise to help her Awaken in return for her services. Moreover, she reveals her companion to be one of the resurrected Ibaloi mummies returned through a yet unknown process involving grafting on the tongues of murdered Awakened. The mummy lashes out with ancient Prime magic, while Criselda equips spectacles that allow her to use a limited version of Mage Sight. Nevertheless, Alunsina traps them with a well-timed Space spell. Satisfied with the knowledge she has gleaned, and the threat she has discovered, she walks away from the restaurant’s inferno. Idiyanale too vanishes.

The group decides to converge at Mary Chiles, and figure out their next move. Elsewhere, a Space portal yawns open, dropping Criselda and the mummy to an undisclosed warehouse where she speaks to her mysterious patron. In the background, several ritualistic operations take place, with tongues being transplanted to the rest of stolen mummies.

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Ang Namamagitan
Season 2 - Episode 6

Mumbaki and Pastilan investigate the mysterious machine at the basement of the mansion. Focused Prime Sight reveals a broken lattice of sigils surrounding the machine – a phenomenon Alunsina recalls is sometimes used as a ‘mage password’. Happenstance leads to its solution, and Mumbaki and Pastilan become trapped as the machine reconfigures to swallow up the entire room and them with it.

Meanwhile, Tasyo chases after a mischievous gremlin spirit, which has been sabotaging efforts to build the El Cielo Terraces. Cham assists him, and using Spirit magic, they successfully commune and broker with the gremlin.

Mumbaki and Pastilan wake up to find themselves in an antiquated study room. With considerable effort, Alunsina re-establishes communication with them through a scrying window. The room is filled with old maps, books, and navigation tools. Leylines provide electricity. One of the maps, a colonial-era city plan of Manila, has several sites marked with pushpins. Alunsina theorizes the mages are in a co-located room – an area of space that can exist in multiple locations.

What’s more, Mumbaki and Pastilan find the body a murdered man. A badge identifies him as an Ilustrado, a member of the prominent La Solidaridad confradia. Seeking to understand the nature of the man’s death, Alunsina calls on Cailleach. The Moros arrives, and boldly conceives of a plan to enter the in-between room by creating a shortcut through the underworld. Led by a spectral guide, Cailleach crosses the Lower Depths, but eventually emerges through a cabinet into the room.

A death spell reveals the last moments of the murdered man’s life. As part of a grisly act, his tongue was cut out, and he was allowed to bleed to death. Shocked, the mages as well encounter Punyal who has entered the room through a portal in an old movie house in Avenida. Punyal explains that he was searching for the murdered, a person of some importance within the Camara’s bureaucracy.

With Punyal’s corroboration and Alunsina’s keen memory, a disturbing story begins to emerge: During La Solidaridad’s early beginnings, it received into its ranks defectors from the Seers of Throne. Rumor has it that the defectors or their disciples still practiced forbidden blood magic with the murdered man being their latest victim. Alunsina invreasingly suspects Idiyanale, a prominent Ilustrado, and the mages’ mysterious benefactor.

The possibilities bring up more questions than answers, but the mages decide on a course of action. Alunsina contacts Idiyanale requesting a meeting in Binondo – another marked location in the room’s map of Manila. Secretly she asks Cham and Tasyo to meet her in Chinatown as well. Activating a hidden door, Pastilan, Mumbaki, Cailleach, and Punyal emerge in a third location – the basement of Mary Chiles Hospital.

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Open House
Season 2 - Episode 5

The Mulat convene in Quiapo Church to discuss the events that have transpired – a supernatural encounter with an Ibaloi mummy, and an ambush in Dangwa. Curiously missing is Cailleach. Rather than report to Idiyanale just yet, the mages decide to assist Tasyo in a mission for the Sangguniang Malaya.

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El Cielo Residences, a real estate developer, is constructing its newest highrise along Welcome Rotunda. In truth, the property sits on top of a network of ley lines. The Sanggunian is concerned that the building’s completion would seriously affect the flow of magical energy, denying its ‘public’ use. Moreover, the Free Council believes that Obra Maestra, a cabal of Ilustrados, also has interests in the property as well.

Tasyo, Mumbaki, Cham, Pastilan, and Alunsina arrive to discover a protest against El Cielo by local residents and civic defenders. Obstructing the completion is an ancestral house, which the locals wish to preserve, and the developers seek to demolish.

Already strange things are taking place: Erratic power failures occur caused by agitated spirits. One even causes an accident that gravely injures several construction workers. While spying, Alunsina discovers that the complex, once completed, will form a sigil. Cham and Mumbaki are pulled into the ancestral home by the strings of Fate. Pastilan accidentally discovers a hidden basement where a mysterious engine lies partly-submerged in the ground.

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Flowers and Bones
Season 2 - Episode 4

images__15_.jpgA day after several Ibaloi mummies are stolen from the National Museum, Pastilan and Cailleach assist Professor Dimagiba in reconstructing a damaged mummy left behind from the burglary. Dimagiba explains how the remains were discovered by accident in a cave complex in Sagada.

Cailleach uses magic to delve into the origins of the mummy, and becomes trapped in Death Sight when she has visions of the mummy coming to life. Pastilan attempts to rescue her through her mind. The effort succeeds, but at great cost, draining both mages. Moreover, the Ibaloi mummy imparts its single-minded mission to Pastilan: Reclaim the other stolen bodies.

In a restaurant, Tasyo secretly meets with a contact from the Sangguniang Malaya. The man reminds the Thyrsus of his mission to recruit Mumbaki for their order. The Free Council’s influence is growing, says the contact, and eventually the Diamond orders will respect its strength.

In his workshop, Mumbaki fails a ritual, and becomes disturbed by visions of clockwork angels and saints. Alunsina picks him up from Quiapo Church, and at the request of Idiyanale, the two visit Mandragora at the Dangwa flower market to analyze the poison used on Alexei.

As the Moriones’ plant expert uses a magical Voynich Manuscript-like book to study the poison, assassins ambush the mages. They are led by the same woman who influenced the mark to poison Alexei, and stole the mummy’s at the National Museum. Moreover, the woman uses magical charms similar to Aloysius Tseng. Mumbaki fends off several gunmen as Tasyo arrives to stop one from escaping with Mandragora’s book.

Alunsina briefly steals into the woman’s mind, and discovers that she is a Proximus named Criselda Hao. Additionally, she glimpses an image of an old man on a balcony overlooking what appears to be a district with multiple signages in Chinese. Before Alunsina can learn more, Criselda breaks free of the spell, and escapes.

Through a mental link, Alunsina reports to Idiyanale who calls in the mages for a debriefing. Alunsina decides to meet with her cabal first, while Idiyanale ponders how reliable the PCs are. Beside her is Santelmo who expresses his doubts.

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Purgatoryo
Season 2 - Episode 3

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Tasyo dreams parts of his past. During a protest rally, he is separated from a female companion, and is cornered by several riot police. While being assaulted, he catches a glimpse of her once more in the distance along with animal effigies going up in flames.

In Divino’s, the Russian female companion of Alexei discusses the poisoning attempt with Alunsina, Mumbaki, and Idiyanale. Their conversation reveals that the woman is somehow indeed Alexei as well, and the mages begin to wonder who or what she is. The female Alexei asks Idiyanale to send Tasyo and Cailleach to search for the man who had poisoned her male body. A CCTV feed shows his image. Cham uses Temporal Sympathy to impede and the mark’s escape.

Cailleach and Tasyo set out, interacting with Malware’s colorful locals. Cailleach strikes a deal with several street kids for information, while Tasyo visits a brothel. In the process, Cailleach’s shotgun necklace is stolen, and a spell meant to ensorcel the brothel’s bouncer backfires on Tasyo. Both mages however acquire information about their mark.

Pastilan arrives in Malate as well, and with the help of Cham’s Fate magic, he swiftly identifies the mark who is drunk. Pastilan’s attempts to ingratiate himself with the man only turns for the worst, and a brief scuffle occurs. When the mark storms off, Pastilan uses a Space spell to confuse and lead him back to Divino’s. Before he can pursue any further however, the Mastigos receives a message from historian Professor Dimagiba to come quickly to the National Museum.

Back in Divino’s Alexei and Mumbaki have a moment of intimate discussion. He/she warns him about speaking with angels; that thre might be deeper machinations to them. Mumbaki’s obsession to scry Alexei’s room, reinforces a growing reliance on magic.

The mark arrives at the nightclub once more, and is befriended by Alunsina. Cham uses Fate to help her thoroughly sift through the mark’s recent memories. It is revealed that his attempt on Alexei was an implanted mission given by a mysterious woman. But before Alunsina can pry further, the man goes into shock and dies on the club floor. Idiyanale asks her to seek assistance from Mandragora, the Moriones’ poisons expert.

In the National Museum, Professor Dimagiba takes Pastilan to the museum basement, which has been ransacked. The museum had just only acquired several Ibaloi mummies from the Mountain Province only to have them stolen. Of note, explains Dimagiba, are the mummies’ missing tongues. Reviewing the past, Pastilan sees a woman leading the burglars – the same woman Alunsina saw with the mark.

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Waking the Dead
Season 2 - Episode 2

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Orfeo, Alunsina, and Mumbaki meet with Idiyanale at the lobby of the Luneta Hotel. The Acanthus Councilor requires the group’s assistance in two related matters: First, that Alunsina and Mumbaki accompany her to an evening party at Divino’s, a nightclub in Malate; and second, that Cailleach and Tasyo meet with the Camara’s Sentinel, Punyal at the abandoned Paco Train Station.

Tasyo and Cailleach explore the partially-demolished Paco Station before finally finding Punyal. The gruff Sentinel shares the history of the station, especially during the Second World War when it served as the first line of defense of the Japanese Imperial Army against invading US soldiers. More importantly, Adamantine Arrows fought in both sides of the war, and faint traces of their battle still emanate in the station mainly in the form of High Speech hidden among the graffiti.

Punyal asks Tasyo and Cailleach to stand watch as he prepares a ritual to call on the lingering ghosts of war victims. As souls begin to manifest, a spectral train arrives to bring them to the afterlife. The ritual is interrupted however by the Lieutenant – the vicious ghost of a Japanese officer – and several spectral minions. A fight ensues, forcing Cailleach and Tasyo to employ Death magic to fend off the hostile undead. Triumphant, they watch as Punyal completes the ritual and the victims’ ghosts depart.

At the same time, Mumbaki and Alunsina accompany Idiyanale to the glam rock-themed anniversary party of Divino’s. At the party, the trio meet with Alexei, the nightclub’s Russian empresario. Idiyanale and Alexei discuss business and especially the exorcism of Paco Station. It dawns on Alunsina and Mumbaki that Alexei is a middleman – a broker of sorts who trades one dubious favor for another.

Unexpectedly, Cham has also entered the nightclub under the guise of a bartender, and provokes a fight between two patrons. A scuffle breaks out among multiple parties, and Alexei is forced to kick out the transgressors. Shortly after, the club owner is poisoned, but saved by Mumbaki. Though he is carried off, Alexei’s female companion turns to Idiyanale, Alunsina, and Mumbaki with a smile.

“Now, where were we?” she asks as if continuing where Alexei had left off with business. Her eyes flash red for a moment.

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Trial at the Camara
Season 2 - Episode 1

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With Kaluskos banished back to the Primal Wild, and Tseng’s separated body and soul in the custody of the Moriones, willworkers Alunsina, Cailleach, Cham, Pastilan, Mumbaki, and Tasyo are eager to return to their separate lives. However, Santelmo, a Provost to Manila’s ruling mage council is appalled to discover the rampant use of Paradox-tainted magic on board the MaƱalac (which the mages used to defeat Kaluskos, a Supernal Being).

The Camara summons the mages to an inquiry three days after the incident. When they finally convene at the Luneta Hotel, the PCs meet several Camara personalities: Acanthus Councilor Idiyanale, Mastigos Councilor Demimonde, and Thyrsus Councilor Tigbalang. Santelmo accuses the mages of being Scelesti while the greatest suspicion falls on Mumbaki, who holds no allegiance to any of the orders of sorcery.

Idiyanale speaks with the willworkers in private, and suggests a compromise: Alunsina and company will be put on probationary status, and in return, will offer its services to the Camara. By deputizing a ‘neutral’ cabal, Idiyanale hopes to bypass the clout and tangled network of favors the Camara owes to the Pearl’s more established mage groups.

Idiyanale then hints that several Camara bureaucrats have ties with the Porcelain Hands, a Proximi Dynasty that controls the gray market of arcane goods in Manila’s Chinatown. Moreover, Aloysius Tseng has strong filial ties to the Porcerlain Hands, which maybe why elements in the council are looking to indict the willworkers.

Now, the mages’ destinies draw even closer to collision. Will they learn to work together, or will their personal obsessions and varied loyalties lead to violence and tragedy?

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In The Dark
... no one will see you change

7:00 PM.

Tiyaning Tatum’s Turo-Turo (or T4) was alive with her dinner patrons, drivers of different vehicles, residents and passers-by. On the table were different home cooked dishes. Lola Ning, T4’s proprietress and cook still did all the cooking herself, at the ripe old age of 60, she could’ve gotten several helpers, but she refused to let any of them touch the stove. That was hers and hers alone.

Cham sat at his regular table, outside and close to the alleys and side streets of Quiapo, he had a great view of Quiapo Church. On his table were several bottles of San Miguel Beer, a half empty long neck bottle of Tanduay rum, two small quatro kantos of Ginebra San Miguel and several toppled shot glasses. He was having dinner, Bicol Express and Rice, with Chop Suey and whatever soup was available, he was guessing it was Nilaga.

“Hey man, how about a shot?” Cham would ask whomever passed by. Most of them know Cham as a regular, who did odd and end jobs for the old woman, in exchange for food and occasional booze. She keeps saying that Cham is the nephew she never had. Everyone else thinks Cham freeloads off her.

There was no reason for tonight to be any different, but it was for Cham. Roger the Factory Worker had just returned from work at the Canning Factory, brought with him a bottle of unknown drink, supposedly something that they got from work. Not one to turn down free drinks, he set it down on Cham’s table and poured a small glass to celebrate his good fortune. “Man, I just got a raise from work!” Roger said, “A small toast for my good luck.” Cham picked up his glass and raised it up. “Whoa! What’s going on around here?” Ferdie, the cab driver said as he picked up Cham’s glass and chugged it down, much to Cham’s displeasure. Sitting down next to Roger, Ferdie stuck out the glass for another shot. “One more!” he exclaimed. “It’s good, smells fishy, but good.” Ferdie said. “Must be the smell of the Canning Factory.” Roger said as he poured a second shot to Ferdie.

Cham watched as the two became three, then five. His table was full of people who celebrated with Roger. Cham sighed as he pulled out a deck of cards and some cigarettes. “C’mon boys, drinking is no fun without smokes and a little game of cards.” Cham offered the men, who then sat down and started shuffling the deck of cards.

One hour later, Cham sat with a small fortune in loose change in front of him. “I think he’s cheating.” Ferdie who was on his last peso whispered. “Yes he is, how could anyone have such luck in cards without cheating?” Tonyo the paper boy agreed, he already lost his money and was just watching the game already. “Bah! You’re all crybabies, let’s see him beat my hand!” Igno the neighborhood tough claimed and slammed his 13 cards on the table. “Sorry, Igno, you lost. Pusoy pa!” Roger laughed. “Putang ina! I have a great hand and still lost? Pre, I think you’ve got to be cheating!” Igno roared at Cham. “Pre, you may have a great hand, wala ka lang diskarte, kaya palagi kang talo.” Cham retorted. Igno stormed off in a huff while Cham raked in the coins. “Tiyang, bayad po.” He paid for his dinner and most of the drinks on the table. “One day, iho, those people will get revenge on you. I don’t know why you hang out with sore losers…” Ning told Cham. “Ay Tiyang, the best people to tease are their kind.” Cham said. “I’m going to take a walk, Roger’s new booze has a fishy odor, I smell like Patis already.” Ning just sighed. “Okay, take care, fool boy. Drunk and angry men are not the best people to encounter tonight.”

Cham was simply darting through the different alleys and side streets of Quiapo. “Oi! I found him.” Cham heard from behind. he swore and turned around. “Igno, you really need to get people to do your dirty work? Can’t do it yourself eh?” Igno chuckled. “No, I just needed them to make sure the old lady didn’t see this. You’re a slippery one. We’ve been tracking you in circles, but we’ve got you now.” Igno pulled out a balisong and charged Cham. “Hay naku. Lasing at pikon.” Cham said as he sidestepped the clumsy charge, but was surpised as Tonyo struck him from behind with a sucker punch. “You’re a cheat, and cheaters shouldn’t be allowed to prosper.” Cham grunted. “Okay, then you better be ready to lose again.” Cham feigned a punch and stepped away just as Igno charged in. the burly man slammed into poor Tonyo who crumpled under the weight of the man. Cham picked up a piece of broken chair leg and hefted it. “This will do.” Cham charged towards Igno who stabbed at him. Stopping a few scant inches in front of the knife, Cham smashed the chair leg at Igno’s knee.

crack Igno falls to the cold wet concrete, and the rest of the gang scattered. “Kids shouldn’t play with Big Boy toys.” Igno mutters, “Ang Init! Ang kati! Hayop!” Cham espied what seems to be a scaly lesion from Igno’s chest as he unconsciously scratched. He pulled from Igno’s hand the bottle of “fishy alcohol” and concentrated. Bonnie Tyler’s "Total Eclipse of the Heart sprang to mind. The bottle had been around places, but it originated somewhere near the Port area. This will bear some investigation, Cham surmised. Fastest way possible? Rooftops. The whole place was tattered with makeshift houses, squatters and poorly scratch built homes.

Not a good idea to be seen, Cham thought and looked around for a way to hide, fortunately, several articles of clothing held over from Halloween were being hung out to dry. A pair of slacks, a black tux like thing (probably a rental), a black cape, and a half mask. All Cham needed to do now was sing and he’d make a great Phantom of the Opera. It wasn’t long before Cham found a commotion.

In the middle of streetball court, families were being herded together by a rather effluent man with a bunch of ruffians. The guns were being used mostly as a prod and tool for intimidation rather than to kill. Sigh, hoodlums needed to be taught a lesson. This was where he was supposed to go, Cham sighed. Can’t really avoid this without being caught.

From the edge of darkness and rooftops, Cham started to belt out “Lagot Ka.” by The Masculados. Trying to catch the attention of the gunmen, as he jumped from rooftop to rooftop, drawing their fire, a stray bullet zinged past him and knocked a street light on top of a goon, knocking him out. That was all it took for the enraged citizenry to surge forward and fight off against their hostage takers. Cham didn’t even get to stay to see the final fate of the man who was their leader. He had a sari-sari store to go to.

Removing his outfit, Cham clambered down a water pipe and stepped out into the streetlight. Here was the sari-sari store where the alcohol was bought.

“Ate pabili nga nung bagong alak!” Cham said as he fished out a few coins… and a hundred peso bill. He must remember to thank Igno later when he wakes up. And with his new acquisition, he takes a jeep and returned home.

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Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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