UM Chapter 1 Spark Notes

A Dark Passenger
  • After arriving to the Jeong House, the group collapses, and unwinds. Nightingale is clearly the most beat and her skin is still pale, but through her determination to convince everyone that she’s alright, they let leave her be.
  • Suri asks about the Jeong House, commenting about the magical hum about the building. Zeke explains that the royalty used the building as the dorms for their children and that the whole place is covered in magical enchantments that keep them safe from harm.
  • After bidding farewell to Suri, she vanishes returning to the realm from whence she came.
  • The group spends the night at the jeong House.
  • Nightingale suffers terrible nightmares that night as she constantly sees images of the white shard on the pedestal and a horrific black ooze with a thousand eyes. As she comes to, images of the thing linger in her vision, standing in her bedroom. Shaken, but still determined not to alarm anyone or be forced to go to her father, Nightingale shakes it off and heads downstairs for breakfast.
  • While they eat a loud pounding at the door startles them. On the other side of the front door they find Kufu on an errand. He explains that that the three of them were summoned by King Balthazar himself for a special audience. Worried that their foray into the White Vaults was uncovered and concerned that her father might force her to stay away from Remi, Nightingale brings Remi along to the meeting. If push came to shove, Nightingale intended to demand an explanation to the royalties aversion to her new friend.
  • Together, the four depart with Kufu towards the Arsen Castle, afraid of the disciplinary action that was to come.
A Strange Pedestal
  • The party follows the trail of the thief deep into the White Vaults and through a massive set of double doors that opens up into a large platform that stretches across the darkness.
  • The thief pleads with a gigantic, horrific abomination called Hogrifar, Master of the Vaults.
  • Between the thief and Hogrifar, there is a pedestal. On its surface, the group sees a small radiant shard of glistening rock.
  • It becomes clear that this glistening shard is of great value to the thief and his objective is to steal it.
  • The party watches in fear from afar but their rustling gives their position away.
  • Hogrifar was under the impression the thief was alone, but after seeing Nightingale and the others, the abomination became enraged.
  • Hogrifar decimates the thief in a horrific fashion, cutting him down and turning his anger on the rest of them.
  • Nightingale instinctively runs over to help the injured man as her friends battle Hogrifar.
  • The thief warns her to get away from him before going still and succumbing to his wounds.
  • Before Nightingale can react, a mysterious black ooze spouts from the dead thief’s mouth and forces its way into Nightingale’s throat.
  • Nightingale blacks out.
  • Rook buys them some time by cleaving into one of Hogrifar’s tendrils. Rook grabs Nightingale’s unconscious body and alongside Remi and Zeke, they all make a break for it.
  • After running around the vaults aimlessly in a panic, they lose Hogrifar but also become horribly lost.
  • Nightingale comes too, scared and shaken, but otherwise okay. She asks about the mysterious black ooze that came out of the thief’s dead body, but nobody else saw it latch onto her.
  • After regaining their composure, the group panics as the reality of being completely lost sets in.
  • After swearing them to secrecy, Rook calls for his inter-dimensional friend Suri to aid him. He is able to summon her from the realm of Arkalla through an enchanted amulet he wears around his neck.
  • Suri’s presence on Middara is dangerous, as summoning those from Arkalla is banned. If others were to find out, it would put Suri in real danger.
  • After a quick introduction, Suri investigates for a moment before letting them all know that she believes that she can help them find a way out of the labyrinthine White Vaults.  
A Way Out
  • Suri guides them safely through out of the White Vaults by finding a secret exit that leads the group out into a remote area outside on the grounds of the White Vaults.
  • Zeke leads the group towards his family’s manor until they finally arrive at the Jeong House. A large white building that Zeke and Nightingale called home.
Back To The Vaults
  • The group backtracks into the White Vaults using the secret entrance that Suri originally led them out of.
  • Rook makes sure to put Nightingale on watch, preventing her from recklessly running ahead or even leading the party. As her appointed knight, Nightingale’s safety is directly related to his own now.
  • Once inside and away from prying eyes, Rook summons Suri to help guide them back to the pedestal where the radiant shard sat atop. He isn’t willing to take any risks, and if Hogrifar was still lurking about, Rook was going to make sure they didn’t run into the abomination.
  • It isn’t long before familiar monstrous creatures emerged from the gloom in front of them, blocking their way.
Before the MAST
  • All newcomers to Middara must pass the Magical Aptitude and Skill Test, or MAST for short. The MAST is taken in a controlled dungeon called The Acerbus. This test must be passed before a newcomer can proceed as a full fledged citizen in the world of Middara.
  • After spending two years preparing for the MAST, Nightingale, second princess to the throne of Elenia is finally ready to take the test and finish her schooling.
  • Nightingale’s sister Shayliss is a proctor who is running the test and separates the students from their class into groups.
  • Testing groups are made of four individuals. Zeke Jeong is the youngest to the Jeong family. As Royalty, it was expected by their whole class that him and Nightingale would be grouped together.
  • Rook is chosen to be part of the group as well for having outstanding grades.
  • To Shayliss’ chagrin, Remi is chosen at random to be the fourth member of Nightingale’s group. Despite that, Remi is welcomed by Nightingale.
  • Shayliss leads all of the students to the armory to gear up.
  • ! Take Starting Pack: Gain Gear depending on your character.
  • All students head into the first part of the test: The Mast Day 1
Bombs Away
  • You successfully planted the bomb and blasted those pesky bugs away. Ormic is pumped and hooks you up with some tasty loot.
  • ! Reward: The party gains a hefty reward. Ormic also asks if the party killed the large cave sickle.
Cave Sickle Extermination
  • While checking out the market, the party walks up to Ormic’s Pest Control. Ormic himself warns of a terrible Cave Sickle infestation just below the city. Many residents and livestock are being attacked. He needs help planting his bug bomb into the depths of the Cave Sickle nest but is too injured to go himself.
  • There will be a reward, so the party accepts the challenge.
  • Ormic warns the group that he saw a large cave sickle down in the depths, if they kill it, he’ll offer extra gold.
  • ! Special: Someone in the party must carry the Bug Bomb.
Check Out The Loot
  • Walking the Parimitate of the cave, Zeke’s vigilance pays off and he finds a tightly wrapped bundle of burlap containing rewards left by the proctors for clever students to find.
  • ! Reward: Zeke gains some loot.
Cozy Fire
  • Over a campfire, Nightingale expresses that she is sick of her obligations as a cooped up princess and shares her intense desire to be an adventurer and see the world. After graduation, she dreams to join the Demiurge, an illustrious and elite group of soldiers. Her close friend Kufu is even already part of the Demiurge.
  • Zeke doesn’t know what he wants to do after graduation, but knows that he’d prefer to preserve his immortal un-aging life rather than throw it away by being an adventurer.
  • Rook wants to be able to support his parents on their small farm and thinks that both Nightingale and Zeke take their own privileges for granted.
  • Remi is hesitant to talk about her past and only listens.
  • The next morning, the party is awoken by the splashing of water. They realize they aren’t alone.
  • After a night of rest, the four head onto the second part of the test: The Mast Day 2
Dungeon Delving
  • Following a secret entrance shown to him by his sister Antoinette Jeong, Zeke takes the group into the White Vaults.
  • The trip inside circumvents the guards but proves to be more perilous than Rook expected as the group is led down a seemingly one way shoot into the depths of the White Vaults.
  • Perhaps with some luck, they’d catch the thief and Nightingale could prove to her father she was capable enough for the Demiurge.
Ending 1: Back to School
  • The party’s continued failure disappoints everyone.
  • They solemnly make their way back to their dorms and hope for a better grade next year.
  • ! Ending: Game Over
Getting Cocky
  • The party high-fives over their easy victory before pressing on, confident they’ll catch the thief.
Good Try, Let’s Go Again
  • A few proctors burst into action from the shadows of the cavern and save the party from the Water Loas.
  • Shayliss pulls some strings and lets your party give it another go.
  • If you were a regular pleb you would’ve gotten a fat “F”.
  • ! Reward: Gain a small reward from Shayliss before trying the first Chamber of the gauntlet again.
Inexperience in Extermination
  • The party walks up to Ormic’s shop in defeat. Despite their failure, he still offers a small reward for the trouble.
  • ! Reward: The party gains a small reward. Ormic also asks if the party killed the large cave sickle.
Lead The Way
  • Excited and invigorated from their success in killing The Warden, the group continues moving ahead into the White Vaults.
  • Maybe coming back to the White Vaults wasn’t a bad idea after all.
Leaving The City Of Elenia
  • Knowing that it was only a matter of time before Yoel or Shayliss found out she’d left, Nightingale takes every precaution she could to leaving Elenia Proper unnoticed.
  • Following Rook’s lead, the four are able to leave without the City Guard noticing royalty leaving the city.  
  • The party sets out for the pirate town of Rhamsted.
Let’s See How You Did
  • The MAST is set up in such a way that reduces the chances of any students getting killed. The proctors are always close by to jump in should any danger arise. Luckily, they make it in time and are able to keep the monsters at bay as the group is saved.
  • Shayliss Arsen isn’t pleased, but she tells the group that they’ll pass at least and ushers them into a chamber beyond.
Let Me Take That For You
  • You deviously convince the man to hand over his loot. He was being a jerk so you don’t feel too bad.
  • ! Reward: The party gains a small reward.
Loa Problems
  • While wandering through the streets of Elenia, a man named Therld approaches the party in panic. He explains that he’d stolen a crystal from an altar deep within the forest.
  • Since the theft, the loas in the region have been angered and are attacking locals.
  • Therld asks Nightingale if she will use her clout and leverage as royalty to give the crystal to the local guard so that they can organize and remedy the issue by replacing the crystal on the altar.
  • Therld says that he cares for the Loa and is offering a reward for replacing the crystal on the altar with as few casualties to the Loa as possible.
  • Seeing this as perfect practice for the White Vaults, Nightingale decides to skip the guards and takes matters into her own hands. She takes the crystal and heads for the forest.
  • Rook, Remi, and Zeke follow.
  • ! Special: Someone in the party must carry the Loa Crystal.
Loa Problems: Solved
  • You find Therld and ease his concerns by explaining your victory in depositing the crystal back to the altar. Relieved, he pays you for your troubles.
  • ! Reward: The party gains Therld’s gratitude alongside a reward based on how many Loa survived.
Look, A Distraction
  • An Earth Loa bears down on the party in their defeat.
  • In the nick of time, Rook busts a wall down and the party narrowly escapes.
  • They press onward, still hoping to find the thief.
Making The Grade
  • The party finishes up the MAST and makes their way to the armory to get their final grade.
  • Excited to finally have the opportunity to join the Demiurge, Nightingale brags about all the dangerous exciting adventurer’s she’ll have.
  • Zeke deflates her enthusiasm by telling her that her family wouldn’t allow her to join the Demiurge.
  • The party turns in their hand-me-down MAST gear and are given real gold to purchase equipment.
  • ! Add Up Points: Gear is purchased. The gold the party has to spend changes depending on their performance during the MAST.
Marching Forth
  • The party is defeated by The Warden and must find another way out.
  • Rook calls for Suri to help them.
  • She guides them through a secret passage, circumventing the warden.
  • The party presses onward.
Nightmares Manifest
  • Suri guides the party to the landing where they’d first encountered Hogrifar. Luckily, Hogrifar is nowhere to be seen.
  • Unfortunately, the artifact they’d been looking for is also absent.
  • Whatever the black ooze was that crawled into Nightingale the previous night re-emerges from her body in a writhing, floating, mess. It incapacitates Nightingale as it speaks, floating above her, wailing in a thousand discordant voices.
  • The black ooze calls itself “The Maluma” and it was angry. It lashed out at them in anger, screaming over the absence of the mysterious white shard.
  • Rook tries to swing at the creature but it retreats back into Nightingale’s body.
  • Concerned, Suri senses that this Maluma creature is from her home dimension of Arkalla.
  • Now realizing that she has been infected with some sort of parasite, Nightingale and the crew brainstorm ways to find out what this thing is.
  • Hoping that Shayliss could help, and also knowing that Nightingale could obfuscate their current predicament, the group starts their investigation by asking Shayliss what a Maluma is. Unfortunately, this leads them nowhere as Shayliss has no idea.
  • The group decides they don’t want to wait for Balthazar to return from his trip, and they also don’t trust Yoel.
  • Running out of options, Nightingale decides to break into Balthazar’s study with Remi’s help and scan his massive library for information.
  • Spending all night searching, Rook finally finds a tome with something about the Maluma in it.
  • The information in the book stated that The Maluma is a parasite that could not be removed except for the destruction of the host. Once removed from the host, The Maluma will either hop into the body of the nearest living creature to become its new host, or be banished back to Arkalla.
  • Nightingale goes numb as the realization that there was no cure for this. She had to die.
  • But, Rook continues reading. The book read that practitioners of the ancient Theodotion magic employed Maluma as familiars. This meant that Theodotion Mages could control them, and maybe even remove them safely from the host.
  • This was their clue. They needed to find more information on Theodotion magic.
  • The Maluma resonated within Nightingale’s brain, taunting her and letting her know that her time was limited. Pretty soon the Maluma would take hold of her mind.
  • Without revealing too much about why or how, Remi timidly explains that her father may know where to find a Theodotion mage. She calls her father an information broker of sorts. The problem was, her father was located in Rhamsted on the coast of Elenia.
  • Rhamsted was a few days away from Elenia Proper on foot, but it was their only option short of going to Yoel Arsen for help. Feeling that Nightingale’s safety was his responsibility now, Rook encourages the group to find a solution on their own and travel to Rhamsted.
  • After gathering their gear, the four wait for the cover of darkness before heading towards the city walls.
  • ! Reward: Nightingale has been infected with the Maluma.
Off To A Rough Start
  • The MAST is set up in such a way that reduces the chances of any students getting killed. The proctors are always close by to jump in should any danger arise. Luckily, they don’t have to as the group retreats before things get to out of hand.
  • Together, the group presses on, hoping that the loss won’t affect their grade too much.
Path To Citizenship
  • The party leaves the Institute of Elenia and makes their way into a courtyard where students are greeted and congratulated by their friends and family.
  • Nightingales father, King Balthazar, and mother, Queen Kezia, let her know how proud they are of her. A rare occurrence.
  • Zeke and Rook are also greeted by their families but Remi is alone. Her family is not there.
  • Rook’s parent’s excitedly tell him that Balthazar has invited him to a special meeting to discuss his future. Nightingale assumes that her father will use the meeting as Rooks formal invite into the training program of the Demiurge and cant help but be a bit jealous of Rook.
  • Nightingale invites Remi to come hang out at the graduation ceremony and Remi reluctantly agrees.
Poor Doggie
  • Remi laments the death of the Gevaudan, it’s dog like features reminding her of the common pet back on earth.
  • The group learns that Remi had a cat back on Earth that she misses dearly.
  • After a brief respite, the group heads deeper into the Acerbus to continue their test.
Scramble Away
  • The MAST is set up in such a way that reduces the chances of any students getting killed. The proctors are always close by to jump in should any danger arise. Luckily, they don’t have to as the group retreats before things get to out of hand.
  • Rook leads the escape while wondering out loud jokingly if they’ll be graded on how well they made their escape.
Setting Up Camp
  • The party members are each assigned a task for the night.
  • Zeke is assigned to keep watch. While chain-smoking cigarettes, he might find something in the dark.
  • ! Skill Check: (Perception check)
Sleep Tight
  • After scouting, Nightingale returns to camp and further expresses her disdain for this phony dungeon. She wants to go on a real adventure and intends to make that a reality after her graduation.
  • The party rests.
  • The next day, as they explore The Acerbus training dungeon further, Nightingale becomes reckless and disobeys Rook’s warnings to take heed. She veers off path and in her carelessness is ambushed by an Earth Loa.
  • Rook springs to action and narrowly saves her life as they dash to safety.
  • Zeke chastises Nightingale, angry at her disregard for their safety.
  • The party gets back on path and continues until they find a room full of fellow students waiting to take the final part of their test before graduation, The Gauntlet.
  • After a long wait, and with encouragement from Shayliss, the four enter the dungeon to hopefully finally graduate.   
Step Aside
  • Nightingale couldn’t muster up the courage to steal the man’s loot, even though he was being a jerk.
  • ! Reward: The party gains a small reward.
The Arsen Castle
  • Kufu brings them to the Kings court inside of the Castle. To Nightingale’s surprise, the entire Arsen family and many Jeong’s are present.
  • The two families make up the Diarchy of Elenia and their delicate balance of power keeps the country running smoothly.
  • Nightingale’s worries about being caught trespassing into the White Vaults drain away as Balthazar explains the nature of the meeting. Balthazar exclaims that he will be embarking on his annual memorial hunt and will be leaving town. In his absence, Yoel Arsen will be in charge. Nightingale doesn’t get along with her older brother so the news is a disappointment. The two families argue over politics well beyond Nightingale. They make note of the rising tension between their kingdom of Elenia and the neighboring Brahmanian Empire. Nightingale learns of a diplomatic mission to the nearby country of Fairedge, a geographically strategic country nestled between the Brahmanian Empire and Elenia.
  • Nightingale only listens, accepting that her invitation to such an important meeting must be a by-product of finally graduating and becoming a full citizen of Middara.
  • Nightingale knows that Balthazar’s claims of going on an annual memorial hunt is much more than it seems. But even so, Nightingale is happy to be rid of her father’s presence in Elenia Proper for a least a little while as she can now go adventuring whether Balthazar would want her to or not.
  • Unaware of the events that transpired in the White Vaults, Balthazar and Kezia both depart Elenia and Nightingale’s transgressions go unnoticed.
  • The group heads into town, relieved they weren’t in trouble after all.
  • With her new found freedom and citizenship, Nightingale excitedly wonders what the white shard on pedestal was. Determined by her typical enthusiasm, Nightingale intends to find what was so important that both Hogrifar and the thief were willing to die for it. Nightingale concocts a plan to again go adventuring into the White Vaults.
  • Rook thinks the idea is bad, but he’s convinced to tag along only after taking a couple days off first.
  • In the meantime, Nightingale and Zeke decide to share a stipend they were given by their parents upon their graduation.
  • ! Reward: Nightingale and Zeke pulled out small pouches and began counting how much gold they have to share with everyone.
  • With the money from their parents, the group decides to buy better gear and spend some time in the city before the journey back into the White Vaults.
The Door Is Still Locked
  • You’ve defeated The Warden by hurling him off a cliff. The trouble is, the keys fell with him.
  • Luckily Remi has some lock-picking skills and busts open the previously guarded door.
  • ! New Story Flag: Bouncer Bounced.
The Everlasting Loa Problem
  • The party finds Therld. With an apology, they hand him back the crystal.
  • Theirld appreciates the groups efforts and gives them some gold anyway.
  • ! Reward: The party gains a small reward.
The Graduation
  • Later that night at the graduation ceremony, the ballroom is packed with students and supportive family. Nightingale shows her support as a new friend to Remi as she takes subtle verbal abuse form the royalty who see her sitting beside Nightingale. It’s clear to Nightingale that Remi is disliked by the royalty but she isn’t sure why.
  • Nightingale see’s Rook conversing with Kufu at a table full of Demiurge soldiers. Kufu is an old friend to Nightingale from Earth and a current member of the Demiurge.
  • She introduces Remi to Kufu and the group spend a portion of the evening dining and getting to know each other.
  • They discuss Zeke’s older sister, Antoinette Jeong. Zeke laments her absence at the party. The first year he was on Middara was spent having fun at her side. Since then, Antoinette Jeong has left to find adventure of her own.
  • Balthazar enters the ballroom and makes a commencement speech. Afterwards, once the party resumes, Nightingale makes her move. Believing that Rook was formally invited to the Demiurge by her father, Nightingale decides to ask her father personally for his blessing to join herself.
  • Balthazar surprises her, and says that Rook wasn’t invited to the Demiurge. Instead, due to Rook’s bravery during the MAST, and for saving his daughter’s life from the Earth Loa, he will be knighted and assigned as her personal protector.
  • Nightingale pleads with her father to allow her to join the Demiurge. He denies her request and the two argue.
  • Angry, Nightingale leaves to find a better party, one that Zeke had mentioned during their conversation over dinner.
  • Zeke, Rook, and Remi follow Nightingale in an attempt to calm her down.
The Second Night
  • The party moves further into the caverns of The Acerbus.
  • Nightingale is put on watch duty while the others setup camp.
  • While scouting her way through the nearby tunnels, Nightingale comes across another student carrying a bunch of loot. Apparently his group killed a Tomb Guardian nearby and he had so much he couldn’t even carry it all.
  • The fellow student makes a snide remark about how the royalty didn’t even have as much loot as them. He then goes on to belittle Nightingale’s party as being weak.
  • ! Decision: Nightingale may choose to suck it up and ignore the rude comments or leverage her station and extort the student for his loot.
Wrong Way
  • The group success leaves them feeling reinvigorated.
Yun’s Party
  • While outside, the four follow Zeke until coming to a courtyard. Together, they marvel at the White Spires of Elenia.
  • Deep within the White Spires contains a portal from Middara to Earth. These Portals are rare and sought after and kingdoms are built around them. Beneath the Spires are the White Vaults, a dangerous, seemingly never-ending maze of tunnels, caverns, and dungeons. Many myths surround these vaults and many of the students of the Institute of Elenia are well aware of their dangers.
  • Zeke’s brother Yun Jeong is the official guardian of the White Spires. Historically, Yun has been on very good terms with Zeke and always invites him to the extravagant parties he holds on the upper levels of the spires. This night is no different, and Yun is having a huge graduation party tonight and the group attends.
  • Yun was uncharacteristically preoccupied throughout the party. This catches the attention of Zeke.
  • Remi surprises the others with her cunning subterfuge abilities. She overhears Yun and a guard talking about a thief that recently broke into the vaults. While the thief is in no way close to gaining access to the valuable portal to Earth, they apparently gained entry into the White Vaults that run beneath the spires. Yun sets up guards on the perimeter of each exit and returns to the party.
  • Remi relays this info to the others. Nightingale gets excited. This is her chance to embark on a true adventure. The team reluctantly agrees to join her in a quest to catch the thief.