Plot Step Stories

Created: 12 January 2023, 11:08:54 CST
Last updated: 18 September 2023, 20:44:52 CDT
Step 1: Magic Malfunctions?
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January 1st, 2023 - Hello everyone, and welcome to the Daily Bark, with me, Jake Barker, your daily news source for the goings on in New Barkston and beyond! Happy New Year everybody! I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Years, I'm sure everyone is also looking forward to the Festival of the New Moon, and I'm happy to report we won't be waiting very long, as the first Full Moon of this year falls on the sixth of this month! So get ready to party and howl! At least there's some time for everyone to get prepared for thier Festival of the New Moon parties, even if New Year's and New Moon are close together this year.

Now, onto some more serious news, I know we have a lot of fun here, and its a fun time of year, but here at the Daily Bark, we have been getting scattered reports of puppillars having issues with magical abilities lately. Now, I don't want to alarm anyone, especially since these reports just started, and there's only been a few reports so far, but anyone who has a magic ability or interacts with magic regularly should be careful! And of course, if you have any reports of your own regarding this phenomenon, please let us know!

As I mentioned, there have only been scattered reports so far, and they have only been coming out in the last twenty four hours or so, so we can only really speculate as to what could be going on. Maybe its just a fluke, a weird coincidence that a few pupps have had issues with thier abilities, but here at the Daily Bark, we will be following this story closely in case something bigger is happening! So make sure you tune in tomorrow, at the same time for any developments, as you'll hear them here first!


Jan 21st, 2023The following is a Transcript of an interview of Dr. Rover Wagstaff by Jake Barker, from the Daily Bark broadcast on January 21st, 2023

Jake Barker: Hey everyone! Welcome back from our commercial break, as promised we have Dr. Rover Wagstaff from the University of New Barkston here with us today to discuss the recent happenings with magic! Thanks for coming on the show Rover!

Rover Wagstaff: Thank you for inviting me Jake, this has been a bit of a chaotic time for everyone, and I'm hoping that I can help to put the public's mind at ease a bit about the situation.

JB: I sure hope you can Rover, but from what I have seen, the university hasn't come to any sort of conclusion about what's been happening, I know you have some smart folks over there working hard and I'm glad for that, but I would say I'm among those who have been worried, we just don't know what's happening or how to fix it.

RW: Well, yes and actually I am glad you said that Jake, we just don't know yet. At the university we are working hard to find anything that might help, but its certainly true that we don't know, and neither do those who have been speculating on possible causes, such as yourself if you pardon me for saying. All that talk about the moon-

JB: But we don't know its not somehow related to the moon though, do we Rover? We don't know anything at all!

RW: We don't, but we also don't want anyone saying things that will create more of a panic. I don't mean to be rude, I watch your show every day, but with a platform like yours, you should be careful.

JB: Thank you Rover, I'm glad to hear that you've been watching! Now listen, I understand what you are saying, and I appreciate the constructive criticism. I will admit that at first I perhaps didn't take all this as seriously as I should have, and after hearing calls from our listeners, I have heard what kind of stuff is happening out there, I'm sure you have too, and that's part of the reason I asked you on the show.

RW: Ahem, well thank you. I'm sorry if I came on strong there, I just worry, especially since things have stayed the same, but I do want to assure you we are trying our hardest to find out what to do.

JB: Thanks to you and all your colleagues for all the hard work! Is there anything that the general public can do to help?

RW: Oh, well thanks for asking! It would actually be very helpful if members of the public wanted to come and volunteer at the university archives to help comb through all the information we have! If anyone wants to volunteer they can just stop by the university!

JB: Well, you've heard it here folks! If you are in the area and have time please head on over to the university and lend a paw! I'll be there helping out as well! The only way through this is to work together!

Step 2: Into the archives
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March 1st, 2023 -The city of New Barkston is a busting city, one of the biggest on the continent and today is no different, especially around the University of New Barkston, where many have gathered to lend a helping paw in the research effort. Without the use of magic, things have been going slower at the University for both those doing experiments with magic and doing research, but seeing as research is safer to have laypeople volunteer to help with, thats where are the volunteers are headed, to the massive university library. Rover is there to greet everyone, he looks stressed out but is handling himself well, directing anyone who needs it.

"Welcome everyone! I think many of you know me, or at least saw me on Jake Barker's show last week, but I'm Rover, and if you need anything, just let me know! We're grateful for all the help, especially for going through all these old archives. There's a lot to cover, so I reccomend that you pick a topic that interests you and dive right in, that will make reading through everything more interesting! Now I will remind you to be careful, we mostly will have the volunteers looking at our achives from the last century, but if you do come across anything that looks older, please let a university employee know, as there are special procedures for handling a lot of our older documents... and of course, if you find anything of note about magic, or similar happenings in the past, please let us know!"


March 31st 2023 - New Barkston University had been bustling for weeks with all the volunteers helping out in all departments. Those with scientific experience and those with magic participated in experiments trying to pin down if there was anything magic could do to fix things, but so far all the tests have been inconclusive. The archives were busier than ever, with many books and records being pulled out that no one had touched in what seemed like decades! Even with the urgency of the situation, there were a lot of amazing random facts that volunteers found while looking through everything!

As time went on, and the volunteers got deeper into the archives, the volunteers started noticing references in a lot of the materials about a similar event that happened around 150 years ago. There were scattered references at first, in some old newspapers, in archived journal entries, in transcripts of old radio broadcasts, and even in some recipes in cookbooks! As the volunteers dug through this time period, it was clear that the issues with magic that were happening had happened before, the records referred to it as the Magic Ebbing. 

Despite pinpointing the era, pouring over the archives and everyone chipping in, it seems that whatever they did in the past seems to be lost to time. There was only one lead for what direction to go into next, found in an amateur cook's recipe book no less! The author details a recipe for nutbread, and mentions that they prepared it in order to bring it to a local witch, which the town was heading to in order to get some advice on their predicament. We're lucky that this cook tended to ramble, as they mention that the witch was a big help to the community as an expert in magic.

Seems like the best route forward would be to find and consult some magic experts!

Step 3: Those who know magic
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April 2nd, 2023 - After a lot of research at the University of New Barkston, the path forward had become clear for Jake Barker, Rover Wagstaff, and all helping them find out how to fix the magic of the Puppillars world. Magic is all around us, and a part of daily life, but there are those out there who are more in tune with our continent's magic, and in our research it was discovered that our ancestors sought the help of those who know magic, so that's where the team heads next, the mystics, the wizards, the legendary, and anyone else with a strong connection to magic. 

The call to action went out on Jake's Show,the Daily Bark, with Rover in tow was well:

Jake Barker: Our research paid off, didn't it Rover? And its all thanks to everyone out there who came on down and helped out!

Rover Wagstaff: Yes, it certainly did! I was pleasantly surprised by how many of your viewers showed up, and they were certainly all amazing to work with, I think we managed to comb though a very large portion of the archives, an amazing feat! Thank you all for all the help!

JB: Never underestimate the power of the people! Especially those with the good taste of liking this show. Now, for those of you that haven't heard the details, we were able to find the info we need-

RW: In a cookbook no less!

JB: Yes, in a cookbook, and it looks like that our ancestors have faced this before, and they got help from fellow puppillars who had lots of experience with magic. So here we are, planning on following their footsteps.

RW: Yes, to anyone out there who has a strong connection to magic, please call into this show when you can, or visit me at the University and lend a hand!

(later on in the show)

JB: Hello caller, you're on the line!

Stella Fortuna: Umm, yes hello, I'm Stella, I'm calling because I'm a fortune teller, my connection to our world's magic might not be as strong as someone who works directly with magic, but I channel our world's magic when I tell people's fortunes!

JB: Ohhh, how cool! Thanks for calling in Stella, how has your magic been since the incidents started?

SF: Oh, things have been strange that's for sure, whenever I read the cards there's an energy that's off, like something is hurting... I haven't really been able to determine more. Maybe if I delve into it more... but as I said, those who work more directly with magic may be able to help more!

RW: Is there anyone you happen to know that works with magic more directly?

SF: Ohh, well most of those types are more recluisve like... witches, hermits, et cetera, but there are a few folks out there that are easier to reach, have you guys ever met Milton? He's a pleasant wizard who mostly uses his magic to craft special items, though from what my grandma tells me, his magic is quite strong!

JB: Oh, Milton? I never realized he was that poweful, that's amazing! I had him make a gift for my neice last year! I'll have to go have a chat with him.

RW: Anyone else that you know Stella?

SF: Well, not personally but I do know that legendary puppillars have a strong connection to magic, maybe they'll also have a sense of what's going on as well...

JB: Well, definitely avenues to persue, thank you so much for calling in!

SF: And of course, my readings are always open if anyone needs one, just head on over to my stall!!


May 1st 2023: 

Tracking down puppillars and snailcats with strong connections to magic was a bit tricky, but thanks to the help of volunteers and getting the word out, Jake and Rover were able to get in contact with some who could help! Opening up a correspondence with these folks has been a great step forward, as most of them had been already doing thier own research and experiments looking into this incident with magic!

Stella and thier contacts among magic users were invaluable, but so was thier fortune cards, of which Jake and Rover enjoyed consulting. The cards were able to pull them in the right direction a few times when they weren't sure what to do next or how to contact some particularly hard to find magic users. 

The mild mannered Milton was also a lot of help, though his expertise is crafting, his connection to magic was strong and he detailed his sense of magic for the researchers.

Stella has been busy at work creating a network of magic users who will help out, and has even been trying to start a Magic Council up again, which would be helpful in the future!

The magic users have been working hard on compiling information on the magic issues, and should be reporting in soon....

Step 4: Stray Magic Shenanigans
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May 1st, 2023: Jake barker here, interrupting your usual programming to bring you a special report regarding the situation with magic in our world. I'll keep this brief friends, but this is important! I've just recieved correspondance from a team of some of our area's strongest magic users, who have been working together to try and find a solution to the issues that we've been experiencing! 

Our magic users have detected some anomalous magic pockets throughout our area, apparantly these pockets have been lurking around since earlier this year, around when all this trouble started, but they have been so far, naked to the puppillar eye. This surely must be related to our issues, so we are putting out the call for anyone who is able to investigate these pockets of magic!

Thankfully with the help of the magic users we have been in contact with, these magic pockets are now visible thanks to thier skills in magic! We do urge anyone going out there to be careful, we don't know what can happen with these magic pockets yet. Direct contact with magic can be dangerous, as anything can happen, but we have been advised that any effects will be temporary, and we have also learned this fact by my wonderful boyfriend Rover's overzealousness in heading to one of these magic pockets. He isn't on the air with me right now because he has become tiny, but we have been told he will be back to his regular size soon enough. So if you're prepared for an adventure where anything can happen, please brave these magic pockets and let us know what happens!


May 11th, 2023: As the puppillars and snailcats spread out throughout the land to investigate the magic pockets, reports started coming in about seeing strange creatures in the areas surrounding the magical pockets. Frogs with mushrooms sprouting on thier backs, lizards with fire frills, and other strange creatures. It wasn't until Jake and Rover ran into a familiar face that they started putting everything together...

"HALLO IS mE OLD PALZ!!!" the flutterbat said, turning away from the swirl of magic it was trying to lick, "I waz just tryin to taste some more magic, magics is what maked the flutterbatz, but there have been so many uh ohs we thought we could be MOAR MAGICAL by eating some. Then we can help all the puppopillies and the snailies. But turns out, can't eat the dang thingies! SAD!"

Jake and Rover were thrown off, but got the famed flutterbat to explain furthur, it seemed that thier colony of strange bats used to be normal bats, but had been exposed to some strange magic and became what they were today, forming thier own society as we know them today. Furthurmore, this was happening to other creatures throughout the land!

Rover and Jake got the word out, and soon enough puppillars and snailcats set out to make contact with as many of these new creatures as possible, as they could be a possible help in fixing magic, and to be ambassadors of this new sentient species in Arcanis!

Step 5: The Big dig!
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August 1st 2023: "Hi everyone! Jake here, thanks for gathering here at the university on such short notice! Everyone's help investigating the magic pockets was really helpful, and  now with help from our new Arcane Fauna friends, we've been hard at work tracking down where all that stray magic was coming from! Arcane Fauna have a unique connection to and sense for magic, which has been extremely helpful  in following the trail of stray magic, and  we have finally pinpointed where the magic has been leaking from-"

"And isn't that fascinating! That our issues were  being caused by some errant magic! Well, I shouldn't get ahead of ourselves. The problems aren't all solved. the stray magic definitely was a factor, but we still have to figure out why there is magic stemming from this location..."

"Yes, thank you Rover, that will be our next step! As I was saying we have pinpointed where the stray magic is leaking from, and now we are planning our expedition to the location! And what is that location my dear turtledove?"

"Ah yes, the location! The trail of magic has led us to a large mountain with what looks like a collapsed cave entrance! How exciting, I know that many of us puppillars love to dig, so we will surely make quick work of this! And who knows what we will find beyond this rubble under the mountain?"



September 18th, 2023: After many days of excavation, the volunteers at the base of the mountain finally broke though the dirt and rubble, revealing a large, deep cave within the mountain they had tracked the stray magic to. Everyone celebrated, but there were also nerves in the air, with everyone wondering what could be inside the cave, and certainly what sort of thing could be disrupting magic for everyone. There was the feeling in the air of hope that this would be the end of all the chaos and problems, but only time would tell if this was just another step in the long investigation and journey. Even with the trepidation, everyone was glad to rest and be  proud of the work they had done to reveal the hidden cave in the mountain.

Rover and Jake gathered everyone as they took a break to eat, with food having been prepared by some of those who had been supporting the dig. The next steps were exciting, yet scary, and the duo told everyone that they would form a smaller team to head inside the cave to investigate, wanting to be careful as they weren't sure what they would find inside. After some deliberation, a team was assembled to brave the caves, and in the morning they were off into the mysterious depths.


Adventurer's Log, Day 1

Jake here, I've decided to keep this log of our trip into the cave, maybe I'm going a little overboard, maybe this journey will only take a day, but Rover's journaling of our jouney so far has proven to be helpful, so hopefully this log will be as well! Our newly excavated cave here seems very vast inside, the cave in blocked the entrance, but after walking a few hundred meters, the cave looks open and stable. I believe that our volunteers are continuing to remove rubble around the entrance and just inside the cave mouth, maybe they can also find some sort of use for it even! As we are going deeper into the cave, it seems that this place has a number of strange and interesting properties! Even as we have walked very far into the cave so far, the air still feels fairly fresh here, and even in the low light we have seen some interesting rock and crystal formations. Even with our excitement of discovering what this cave has in store for us, we have been doing our best to look at our surroundings and log anything significgant! I have been trying to sketch out some of the stuff we have seen, but I am not the best artist, hopefully the diagrams prove useful. That's all for now, we are setting up camp for the night after a long day's march! Hopefully I can get some sleep even with all the excitemeny! Tomorrow we will delve deeper into this cave.



Adventurer's Log, Day 2

Another day of marching through the cave, it seems that this cave is quite extensive, there have been a lot of twists and turns, but luckily there haven't been any branches off the main cave, so far the going has been easy, but its hard to tell how close to ground level we are, the cave has been twisting and turning, with the path we're on going up and down. We could have probably kept better track of elevation as we went, but its a little late for that, and anyway we have been far more preoccupied with logging the oddities of this cave! Today on our journey we have started to see odd plants growing, completely strange since we are underground, and these aren't your typical  cave species such as mushrooms. I'm not sure how these plants are flourishing without light, but I'm no botanist! At least I can try to draw some diagrams of these odd plants, I think Stella also trimmed some samples from some, so that will be nice to bring back with us for someone who knows more about plants. After a long march yesterday, the plants are a nice comfort even if they are strange. We have decided to set up camp for the night in a small grove of strange trees, we've picked some of the fruit and we are going to see if its edible!



Adventurer's Log, Day 3

As we keep travelling through this cave everything seems to blending together a bit. Even with the strange plants the cave goes on and on, so when we came across a larger chamber with a pool of water, we decided to take a rest and examine the pond for a little while, this chamber was nice, but we had the feeling it wasn't the end of the cave. The water was clear and normal, but the fish were unlike any I had seen before, with vibrant colors and types I had never seen before! Our rest was very productive, with documenting the surroundings and the pond, we also were able to spot some interesting lizards in the chamber, though we didn't get as good a look at them as we did the fish. Furthur exploration of the chamber revealed another exit, and we were off once again into the cave through the tunnel. We proceeded onwards until it was time to camp for the night again. I'm glad that I decided to write this log, since this journey is taking longer than we expected when we started out. I have the feeling it will be well worth it though! Tomorrow is another day!



Adventurer's Log, Day 4

Our foray into the cave continues! As we keep going deeper into this cave its amazing to see the flora and fauna, and how large this cave is on the inside. We keep on walking and walking and walking, and this tunnel is just as wide as ever. It's like another whole world down here, I'm sure the reasearchers at the university and the adventurer's guild will be excited to come explore this cave furthur once we've gotten done with this initial expedition! So far it seems like there's nothing particularly dangerous down here, but I hope I don't have to eat those words later on as we go furthur. All the reptiles we have seen scuttling around have been strange, but have mostly steered clear of us, and we haven't seen anything larger than a gecko so far. The only thing we have had some concerns over is this strange mist that has appeared along the floor of the cave. We stopped for a few minutes to make sure it wasn't dangerous, one of our arcane fauna companions recognized it as magical right away, and after a few minutes of sniffing and examining and analyzing, they declared that the mist was harmless, and in fact it was a more concentrated version of the stray magic that we had been following! A nice confirmation that we were on the right trail, but even with that exciting development we still need to rest for the night, so I'll end this log here!



Adventurer's Log, Day 5

All of our marching and exploration has paid off! None of us knew what to expect when we started down into this cave, but our perserverence through this, and even through all of what we have gone through before we tracked down the magic to this cave, has been well worth it. But I'm getting ahead of myself here, I should start from the beginning! This morning started out like the other mornings in this cave, we set out among the strange flora and fauna, at this point pretty used to that, we had even grown accustomed to the strange purple mist, even as it was getting thicker in the air. We continued on through the tunnel until we reached another large chamber. Like the previous chamber, this one was also filled with the interesting plants, and also had a large pool. Unlike the previous chamber, this pool was different, it had a purple hue like the mist we were seeing. We carefully made our way into the chamber, though perhaps not as carefully as we should have, with all our excitement we didn't notice that there was something else in this chamber with us! A large figure emerged from the swirling mists, taking us by surprise. Even with being startled, we were carful, not wanting to lash out if we didn't know what we were facing.

It was a good thing we didn't attack it, the figure approached us, looking scary, but it soon stumbled as it neared us. As it got close, we could tell it was a puppillar, a large one at that, but something was wrong. Despite the unknown, we approached in order to help the puppillar out, however we could! We set up a camp around the puppillar, and Stella began brewing some medicines that they had brought with them. After a few moments of uncociousness, the huge puppillar began to stir, it was a bit confused at first, but after giving us a few minutes to explain what we were doing in its domain, the huge puppillar calmed down quite a bit.  We were able to have a conversation with the puppillar, and learned that it was the guardian of this place, it told us it didn't have a name, so we simply started calling it The Guardian. 

The Guardian told us that it was an ancient being, one whose responsibility was to watch over this place, and it referred to the glowing pool we had observed as a "vein of magic". We gathered around as it told us more about the magic of our world, that there were other such places like this on the planet, all where the magic that dwells in the core of our planet peeks up to where we all live, and that was how magic influences us on the surface of the planet! It's quite interesting to hear, especially after chasing down magic for so long this year. Rover is in a tizzy, taking a bunch of his own notes on everything our new friend The Guardian has been telling us.

After hearing all this, we were able to take some time to explain everything that had been happening with magic, and our whole journey up to digging our way into this cave. The Guardian listened intently and was quiet for a little while, we waited patiently, giving it some time, since it seemed to be quite weak, As an aside, I think we were all pretty concerned for our new friend, but at least in my thought process, we wanted to give it some space, since we didn't know that much about its condition yet. After some time, The Guardian nodded and told us that it had not been feeling well for some time, and that timeline lined up with our problems with magic, it was quiet again for a moment, but then admitted that it wasnt aware that the cave had been blocked. It told us it had a strong connection to the magic here, and if the magic of this place was blocked, that would explain why it was feeling so poorly! How interesting! This of course kept Rover going in his flurry of writing down notes, and he had a ton of questions, but we were able to calm him down to ask them at a later time, The Guardian's health was priority now.

After our long conversation, we shared a nice meal and talked about what to do next. The Guardian said that it would probably start to feel better soon now that the tunnel was clear, but Stella said they would stay behind for a bit to make sure, while the rest of us came out to report to everyone else what we had discovered, and to test to see if the flow of magic remedied our issues. It would seem that our long journey was finally reaching its conclusion! For now, I'll need to end this log, as we are packing up for the trek back out of this place, which we've started to refer to as Arcane Cave. This will change a lot for us, hopefully in a good way!