The tale of Dahlgaard the Magnificent is entwined with Magoria, a sleepy town at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Even as Dahlgaard first showed up on its cobblestone streets as a penniless youngster performing closeup magic, there was something about his incredible tricks that left his audience breathless. In just a few years, his almost unnatural talent far exceeded that of the greatest illusionists of his time, and he would become known as Dahlgaard the Magnificent – a living legend.
After years of traveling the world with his performances, Dahlgaard returned to Magoria, bringing glory and prosperity to his hometown. He donated a fortune to various construction projects, including the Grand Magorian and Magnus Pantheon theaters, turning Magoria into the Capital of Illusion. The town council honored Dahlgaard with a statue downtown that depicted him with his lucky charm: an amber-shaded stone that he claimed to have had since the beginning. Dahlgaard wanted Magoria to witness the culmination of his life’s work: a grandiose performance in the Magnus Pantheon, ending in a breathtaking disappearing act that had him vanish without a trace – seemingly forever.
Forty years have passed since. One night, Magoria’s four most talented rival magicians received a mysterious invitation that led them to the Magnus Pantheon. There, they met no other than the living embodiment of the magician’s statue downtown: Dahlgaard himself. He revealed to them his greatest secret, kept hidden for decades: his childhood discovery of a glowing amber crystal on a stone pedestal in an underground cave, which he named Trickerion. The stone slowly changed him and granted him almost supernatural luck, speed and dexterity, leading him to become the greatest magician of his time. Dahlgaard then revealed that the small, radiant fragment enclosed in their invitation was indeed a piece of the Trickerion stone, which he had shattered to invite the magicians for a final competition. The winner would take on Dahlgaard’s legacy to restore Magoria’s former glory, receiving his entire fortune and the remaining pieces of the Trickerion stone.
Thus began the tale of Trickerion, and the competition that ensued will challenge – and change – the magicians in ways they never imagined.
By the time that Amabel Fae was born, her family had become quite wealthy from the success of her father's furniture workshop. But as she grew older, the business became less and less profitable. As the family's only child, the burden of keeping her family out of the poorhouse fell on her alone; so, she unwilling agreed to marry a rich nobleman--her heart, though, belonged to the son of the local blacksmith. On the day of her wedding, the boy showed up to profess his love and elope with Amabel. Furious, her fiancé took a guest's gun and shot the boy, killing him on the spot. Unable to move past this murder, she called off the wedding.
Part of Amabel died with her love that day, and, though she would not see her family again, she would never give up trying to contact the boy. Becoming obsessed with spiritualism, she dove deeper into the subject than reason would allow. When her ex-fiancé became sick with a disease that would slowly consume him, many blamed her, calling it a curse.
Nonethless, people started visiting her - some asking her to help them contact their deceased loved ones, others to bring doom to their enemies. Her fame quickly grew, and the Priestess of Mysticism was born. The Priestess not only has a natural ability to communicate with the dead but is also a gifted soothsayer; she is capable of altering the future by modifying the Prophecy for the round.
Few Magorians know the true tale of the Spiritmaster, the city’s most renowned mentalist. He is of royal blood, the prince of a mysterious country in the Far South. His father was a good man but a weak king, merely a puppet of the country’s corrupt Advisor Council. Things started to change, however, as the young prince gradually discovered his gift: the ability to influence the thoughts and actions of others.
By using his powers to influence his father, Yoruba was able to reign in the Council's tyranny for months, but his actions were eventually discovered. Barely escaping an assassination attempt, he fled the country. After a long journey, he settled in Magoria, where he could put his mentalist skills to good use. Now, as much as he likes to amaze and entertain, his true goal is to gain enough fortune, fame, and influence to eventually return to his homeland and claim the throne that’s rightfully his.
Other magicians envy the Spiritmaster for always getting the perfect time slots for his performances, but with mind control powers, negotiating with theater directors is much easier than one would think...
Gerhard von Liebenstein inherited a love for machines from his father, a rich nobleman from Germania and an iconic person of the country’s industrial revolution. The Liebenstein family manufactured state-of-the-art industrial equipment for the largest corporations in peacetime, and deadly war machines in wartime. The proud Liebensteins also played their part in shaping the history of Germania; while his brothers prevailed, however, Gerhard lost his left arm in an explosion during the final battle and was discharged from the military.
Fueled by anger and denial, he spent years working obsessively on a mechanical prosthesis that could replace his missing arm, and he eventually succeeded. This incredible accomplishment quickly earned Gerhard a place among the greatest inventors of his time, but his ambition was limitless. He kept building intricate machines and honing his mechanical skills. But soon, knowledge was not enough. He wanted prestige, too, so the idea of a stage show was born. Keeping his Germanian identity, he started performing his scientific magic as "The Mechaniker” – something the world has never seen before.
Thanks to his incredible knowledge of state-of-the-art machinery, he, as the Mechaniker, has several inventions to enhance his Apprentices as well.
Even as a child, Eleanor has always been a little... eccentric. She never cared much about dolls, games, or the company of others. There was but one thing that could excite the moody and silent girl: thunderstorms. When others hid behind locked doors and windows, she watched the raging storm without the slightest fear, fascinated by its sheer power. Her habit of "storm hunting” lasted until adulthood, and she became obsessed with harnessing the unspeakable power of lightning.
She dedicated her life to the research of the emerging, unexplored concept of electricity, as she was convinced that with it, she can bend the power of lightning to her will. The people of Magoria both feared and admired her obsession, and as she learned to both control and tame the power at her disposal, she realized that she can turn the admiration into fame. Electricity was nothing short of magic at the time, and in Magoria, good magicians have an easy way to success. While many illusionists in the city were more dexterously skilled, Electra’s lightning-enhanced performances were unmatched spectacles that left the audience breathless.
With the power of electricity, Electra can supercharge her tricks, increasing their Fame and Coin yield at the cost of some extra maintenance.
The Sanderberg dynasty’s youngest talent, Leo, was the fourth generation of magicians in his family. His male ancestors were also masters of optical illusion, so following his lineage and becoming a magician himself was a given. However, the pressure of the family name was great and his demanding father all but strengthened this feeling in him. His anxiety led to him failing his first standalone performance – a very personal disappointment that forced him into self-exile in order to find peace.
His journey eventually took him to the Far East, where one day, he heard of the monastery of the silent monks high up in the mountains. He decided to join them in tranquility. Five years passed in silence, contemplation, and practice until he felt ready to return to his life. He returned to Magoria filled with a desire to show his great talent to his family, only to find out that his father passed away in his absence. As he was standing stricken at his father’s grave, he promised that he will honor his father's memory by becoming the most famous optical illusionist of all time. Leo proceeded to create his own circus of optical illusion and started performing as The Great Optico.
Because visually misleading people is his profession, it should be unsurprising if Optico double-crosses another Illusionist by imitating her own tricks.
Jay Mac Shonzo, or "The Gentleman” as you may know him today, has always been an inscrutable type; you could never know what he was really up to. Ever since he ran away from home as a wayward teenager, he used that ability very well to fool people - first, as an extremely talented card-sharper. He earned good money in various forms of gambling, only to spend it right away on his impetuous lifestyle. Living a dream life built on other people's misery, he traveled around the country to avoid suspicion.
His journey in the world of fraud ended the day when a tradesman lost all his wealth to him on a bet and committed suicide in desperation, leaving his wife and two children behind. Jay’s perfect world fell apart in the blink of an eye, and only guilt remained. He realized that, all his life, he left nothing but misery and sorrow in his wake. In an attempt to redeem himself, he decided to change his ways by giving people joy and happiness. As a talented card-sharper, it wasn't hard for him to master the tricks of close-up magic, and he used them every day to give people a good time, wherever he went. It wasn't long until a manager discovered him and offered a contract to perform in the theaters of Magoria as "The Gentleman."
The Gentleman has countless small tricks up his sleeve, and he loves to perform them on the go, just to amaze the people around. This increases his fame little by little even when he is not performing on the stage.
Escaping has always been in Frederic White’s blood. In fact, he never spent much time at the orphanage where he was raised. Once he was old enough to stay on the streets without getting caught, he joined the local mob as a courier - but he quickly learned what it’s like to mingle with the wrong crowd. One winter night, he saw something he wasn’t supposed to, so the mob took care of him: they tied him up and threw him into the icy river with a block of concrete attached to his legs...
With incredible effort and on the verge of drowning, he broke free of his fetter and reached the water's surface. To his great fortune, a burned-out street magician, who planned to drown himself in the river that day, witnessed the scene from the riverside and helped the poor boy climb out of the freezing water. Saving the youngster gave him a new meaning in life, and he offered him a job as his apprentice. Frederic quickly learned the profession of illusionists; he mastered the techniques of escaping any restraint, be it chains, padlocks, straitjackets or a coffin. Soon, he became the Master of Chains, the incredible escape artist, the world knows him as today.
Breaking free from seemingly impossible situations is the Master's specialty. With his ability, he can freely sneak one of his tricks in another performance into the last minute before performing.
The mysterious Red Lotus wasn't exactly a saint prior to arriving in Magoria. Thanks to her almost unnatural flexibility and speed, she was one of the most skilled thieves in her country. She managed to keep her identity secret for years, but because of a betrayal, she had to make a split-second decision one night to escape law enforcement, and the perfect opportunity presented itself in the form of a Magorian merchant soon to be headed home.
While unloading the freight ship at the port of Magoria, one of the longshoremen was about to lift a delicate-looking small vase but was taken aback by its heft and ended up dropping it. To everyone’s shock and awe, a young woman emerged from the porcelain shards. Unsurprisingly, the mysterious woman ended up on the front pages of every newspaper and it wasn’t long until The Red Lotus established herself as a successful escape artist, thanks to her unbelievable flexibility.
Old habits die hard, however, and even after arriving Magoria, the Red Lotus returns to her thieving roots every now and then, stealing something more valuable than jewels and gold: the secrets of her rival Magicians!
After seven weeks of magic and wonder, the grandiose contest for Dahlgaard’s heritage came to its conclusion. As a closure of the contest and the ceremonious initiation of his new Heir, Dahlgaard announced something truly spectacular: one last night of magic when he himself will be performing.
As the momentous night was nearing its end, standing in the bright column of theater lights, Dahlgaard asked his Heir to assist him in his final act. Strands of the master’s hair turned silver by the second, his apt hands began to shake, his frame became frail, his melodious voice rasp. Then, in an explosion of amber light, the Heir opened his palm and there it was: the Trickerion Stone, whole and intact like on the day it was found.
“You are its owner now, and with it, I entrust to you our legacy of wonder. Let it be heard in all Magoria: I, Dahlgaard the Magnificent, leave the Trickerion Stone to my Heir and my old manor to the magician community. Let it become an Academy, a place where masters of our craft can gather and teach the future generations. Let my legacy stand eternal and let illusion and marvel never vanish from memory.”
With that, the legend gave his Heir a grateful smile, bowed to the audience, and his form began to turn to dust, like a figure formed of dry clay. Sudden darkness engulfed the theater, and for a brief moment, time froze in place. When the lights came back, Dahlgaard the Magnificent was gone, leaving only a faint trace of dust behind.
As Magoria slowly moved on, word of the Academy initiative spread quickly. Soon, eager students flocked to the peculiar building, celebrated illusionists volunteered as teachers, and the renovation works started. To everyone’s amazement, the ancient manor held many hidden rooms and signs only visible to a magician’s eye: once uncovered, these could lead a lucky few to some of Dahlgaard’s most prized secrets.
As time went by, it became obvious that the Academy will need a senior leader. Dahlgaard’s Heir knew there was only one way to settle this question to the satisfaction of both magicians and laymen: a contest of skill and show. Thus, the city’s senior magicians compete once again, and whoever emerges victorious shall become Rector Magnificus of the wonderful and enigmatic Academy.
Being the youngest daughter of rich Indian nobles, Anjali accompanied her parents to one of their many journeys to the West, but alas, she got lost in the swirling mass of people during a visit to a busy market. Since she was too small to remember where they lived and couldn't speak the local language, she never found her family again. Over the years, she forgot her lineage and life as a noble girl and became part of a gang of pickpockets and thieves.
She had unmatched dexterity and sleight of hand, but while others were out to get jewels and money, she learned that stealing others' secrets often had much more value. One day, a stage magician piqued her interest during a performance and she decided to join him. Studying his tricks one by one, she slowly realized that a lifestyle of glamour and limelight was much more suitable for her - maybe a remnant of her childhood self - and that learning the secrets of magicians is just as valuable, if not more so, than those of ordinary people. Eventually, she left the lowly magician behind and started to build her own show based on her mysterious heritage.
Anjali is the Keeper of Arcane Wisdom. Her knowledge, gained sometimes overnight during her lone meditation, cannot be of this world. However, it is possible that the occasional night-time visits to Dahlgaard’s library are the source of her mysterious wisdom...
Geert van Augustin is the son of Ioachim van Augustin, one of the richest people in the world. Though he shares the family wealth with twelve siblings, Geert’s financial background is still nearly limitless. To the surprise of many, the van Augustin clan fully supports Geert’s affection for magic as long as it keeps him away from the family business, for Geert’s savvy for making money is quite diminutive compared to his ability to spend it.
Geert has always been fascinated by the life of Dahlgaard the Magnificent, having been born in the same country as the legendary illusionist. He is practically a walking lexicon of trivia about Dahlgaard’s life; he visited every place the great magician did, collects his relics, financed a book written about his life, and is the president of the Dahlgaard’s Legacy Association, a group dedicated to revering the Master’s memory. Unsurprisingly, he followed in the footsteps of his hero, too, when he moved to Magoria to become a stage magician. Soon after his debut, however, Geert learned that the great legend passed away. Inconsolable in his grief, he plunged himself into supporting the renovation of Dahlgaard’s Academy, a place where the legacy of this legend would live on forever.
Geert's shows employ breathtaking stage effects, bedazzling pyrotechnics, a plethora of assistants, and so on. He often distributes free gifts at the end of his performances and holds fancy parties, making him quite beloved among the audience.
Ordinary folks know Lumenia as the ethereal Goddess of Light, the Child of Brilliance, and not entirely from this world. This hearsay is only reinforced by the fact that no one has ever seen her outside of the stage - she always disappears at the end of her show in a radiant column of light. The Magorian Soothsayer - one of the least reliable papers in Magoria - published an article in which an anonymous young man, claiming to be a former suitor, shared some revolting secrets about Lumenia.
According to this source, the Lady of Light is Lucille Hammond, the young daughter of an honorable nobleman, who allegedly run away years ago with some circus performers. After leaving the empty life of aristocrats behind, she became fascinated with the radiant world of illusions. The young lady was bewitched by the tales of fairies and fantasy since early childhood, so it is no wonder that she drew inspiration from these creatures to create her own stage persona. Her breathtaking shows of brightness and brilliance became her trademark, dazzling the spectators with a seemingly endless symphony of flashes and rays. Thus, the Lady of Light achieved great fame in all of Magoria and beyond.
Lumenia’s performances usually have a theme, telling the story of a fairy tale or some other fantastic adventure. She is extremely apt in chaining her show elements together in the most glamorous ways, keeping her audience in constant thrill and amazement. People love to return to her performances to be spirited away into an arcadian tale of her weaving.
As the new Golden Age of Magic dawned, Bernard Drudson, a well-known artisan of locks in Magoria, received more and more peculiar requests from the city’s performers. Being a man who is always up for a challenge, these tasks delighted him endlessly. One day, he had a dispute with an upstart magician who claimed that Bernard’s shackles were flawed and that he almost drowned because of the mediocre craftsmanship. Bernard argued that the tool was working perfectly - it was rather the upstart escape artist’s skill that is mediocre.
The magician was outraged and challenged Bernard to a duel, which he accepted under the condition that it shall be a duel of magicians. With both of them using the same generic shackles underwater, the first to emerge to the surface wins, and the loser is due to give a public apology and must forfeit his trade forever. The haughty magician accepted. The next day, when a huge crowd gathered to watch the duel, Bernard showed his unmatched understanding of locks, freeing himself in mere seconds. The audience was awe-struck, and the priggish magician left Magoria ashamed, never to return. It wasn’t long until Bernard was invited to perform on stage, and his show was met with thunderous success.
From then on, young magicians flocked his workshop, begging him to teach them his ways with locks, and Bernard, being a teacher at heart, agreed. Decades have passed since then, and Professor Bernard - as he is known now in the magicians' world - became incredibly versed in dozens of tricks and is, to this day, the world record holder of the fastest Water Tank Escape ever performed.