Campaign: Ellamura the Scholar of Istallia

Character: Ellamura, Scholar of Istallia
Game: Fall of Magic
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: Blood I Bled by The Staves
Keywords: Impatient, Skilled, Antisocial

Magic is dying. There are so many magical creatures in the world, and they too, are dying. They draw their last breaths and no one bears witness. They seek refuge in the few small magical places left in the world. They hide. They need protection and safety.

Ellamura is a scholar from the prestigious school in Istallia. She has no magic of her own, but is a kind of zoologist of magical creatures. Despite appearing as a proper scholar, she's the first to get her hands dirty, to know how to camp, and to seek out magic nearby. She travels with a swineherd, a giant, and a fox. None of them are especially talented or useful.

Of all of them, Ella seems to be the only one who understands what it means that magic will die. The others, lost in their own daydreams of life and death, scare her. She knows magic will die and there is nothing they can do about it. Why is she traveling with the Magus? Well, because she was asked to. Her school didn't want to send anyone important and so Ella got elected to the task. She is the strange one. The one who doesn't belong. The one who's usually muddy or has an odd smell about her, or has her hair in a tangle.

When I decided to host Fall of Magic for the public, I had to make a character who wouldn't be the main character but would still be interesting to follow her story. So I made someone who spent most of her time demonstrating the subtle and beautiful way magic influenced the wildlife of the world. Ellamura is a little haughty, as anyone who looks down on others who had no education is, but mostly wants the best for those she travels with.

A few years ago she traveled through Stormguard when she heard there was a sleeping beast that made up the mountain. She woke it, on accident, she assures, and since then, has been terrified of returning to Stormguard. The knights there blame her for their ill turn of luck, and as we near Stormguard, she's gone from fairly confident and at ease to being a nervous woman who lags behind the others as they press forward.

As we played, it became clear that once in awhile a Magus goes bad and evil and starts to turn to necromancy. While Ellamura didn't know this, she's not incredibly suspicious of the Magus. Before they left, the animals she normally visited in the menagerie had been turned to stone as a way to preserve them, including the baby griffon that she had brought there a year or two ago. It broke her heart to watch it become turned to stone, but she believed the Magus when he said it would be for the best.

Her heart aches for a world that's dying and becoming something new. Once this journey is taken, she will have nothing that holds her to this place. Her life's work will be meaningless and the creatures she guards and yearns to understand will be dead. This is something she accepts, but will follow through to the end on. There's definitely a sense that she is there to be a witness, not to be on a quest. There is no quest to her. To her, the world is dying. All she can do is be there when it does.

The group has been good about making space for each other to play with both sorrow and comedy and vulnerability. They ask good questions. I didn't know as much about Ellamura as I do now, and I feel like slowly she will soften and grow quiet as they move through the story. I really do want her to play witness to the process and not be one of the main heroes. I want her to question the Magus but also let the others guide that process. She wants to see what will kill all the animals, and so she shall.

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