They say that a man’s will, if strong enough, can change the world. In a grey, unremarkable town on the brink of the Industrial Revolution, called Magoria, a young boy trying his luck as a magician on the streets will prove this true. Though street magic acts were common at the time, it didn’t take long for people to notice that there was something extraordinary about the boy and his performance. Word was spreading fast and, within weeks, the young, ambitious Dahlgaard was considered a prodigal magician. The acts of the greatest illusionists of the time seemed shallow and mediocre compared to his talent and, in less than a year, the youngster became the undisputed greatest magician of his time - a true legend of illusion. He was Dahlgaard the Magnificent.
Dahlgaard spent the following years travelling the world with his stupendous performances; his mind always returning, though, to the place where it all began. At the apex of his popularity, he decided to return to Magoria and used his wealth and fame to bring prosperity to his hometown. He donated a fortune to various construction projects across the city, including the world-class Grand Magorian and Magnus Pantheon theaters. With excellent venues to perform at and the best tutor to learn from, illusionists from every corner of the world flocked to try their luck in Magoria. Dahlgaard’s dream was slowly taking shape: Magoria was becoming the Capital of Illusion.
As the city grew and flourished, Dahlgaard’s name became entwined with Magoria. He was so deeply respected by the community that the town council decided to honor the great magician with a statue downtown that portrayed him with the mysterious artifact that he has had with him since the very beginning : a radiant, amber-shaded stone he claimed to be his lucky charm.
The years were passing in prosperity and it was rumored that the aging Dahlgaard was preparing for a performance said to be his ultimate masterpiece. Thousands of people arrived from around the world to see the master’s pinnacle act, and he did not disappoint. The show was simply unbelievable, but everyone held their breath for the promised reality-defying finale: a disappearing act without using any instruments. Dahlgaard stood solemnly in the spotlight in front of the breathless crowd, closed his eyes, and suddenly, in a flash of amber glow, he vanished into thin air. After a split-second of awestruck silence, the roaring ovation transcended even the orchestra’s crescendo. The legend was gone, but no one suspected that it wasn’t just for that magical night.
Forty years passed without anyone seeing or hearing from the great Dahlgaard since his legendary disappearing act. Magoria’s theaters were still hosting performances, but the Golden Age of Magic seemed to have passed. But one day, the city’s four most talented illusionists received a mysterious invitation. The short letter hinted only to a date and a location, but a small, radiant fragment similar to Dahlgaard's mysterious artifact was lying next to it in the envelope .
Reluctantly, the four rival magicians met as instructed in the huge auditorium of The Magnus Pantheon. Shortly, a cloaked elderly man appeared on the stage and invited them to follow him. They passed through a secret door behind the orchestra and entered a huge hall filled with a wide variety of magical instruments and trinkets. As the man stepped forward, a ray of light illuminated his face.
To their greatest surprise, the living embodiment of the magician’s statue from downtown, the great Dahlgaard they only knew from their parent’s tales, greeted them cordially.
As they stood there speechless, the great magician began to tell a story - a story that was kept secret for decades.
"I grew up as a son of a travelling merchant and spent most of my youth on the road. I’ve been to many places, but I’ll never forget the day we camped near the Cascade of Erion, famous for its vast, mysterious sculptures of unknown origin. The place was avoided by most because of its inexplicably foreboding atmosphere, but I was beyond excited to see it for myself. In the middle of the night, I decided to sneak out and explore the area. As I reached the waterfall and saw the sculptures, I immediately understood the rumors, but instead of dread, I felt something else: a calling. As I tried to leap over the rocks at the foot of the waterfall, I slipped and was carried away by the water to under the rocks. Once I regained consciousness, I found myself in an underground cave bathed in a strange, amber glow. The many sculptures removed any doubt that I was not the first to enter this cave, which was filled with an unfathomable amount of energy. I soon found its source: a glowing amber crystal on a stone pedestal.
The stone was huge, far too large to take with me. I tried to lift it nonetheless and, to my great surprise, it suddenly began to shrink until it was small enough to fit in my pocket.
Upon returning to Magoria, I was planning to sell the stone at the Market Row. But, after strolling aimlessly for hours, I realized that I couldn’t bear the idea of losing it. I slowly became obsessed with the stone and concluded that I found it for a reason. So, I kept it and named it Trickerion after the place where I found it. In time, it would bring me great luck.
It didn’t take long for me to find out that the stone was slowly changing me in ways I could only dream of. I was filled with energy and I started to see the world differently. My imagination was soaring, and everything looked so clear and obvious. As my father was infatuated by the world of magic at the time, we had seen the performances of many illusionists, and I was deeply impressed by their craft. Through the power of the stone, I could understand even the most intricate and professionally presented magic tricks at a glance, while knowing right away how to perform them in a much more impressive way.
So I started to work on my own tricks and soon I found myself on the street performing magic acts to the townsfolk. At first, they didn’t seem to pay any attention, but once they saw me doing the impossible, rumor quickly spread that there is something extraordinary about a young boy in Magoria.
The rest, as they say, is history.”
As the four illusionists were sitting in silence, stunned by the incredible story of their idol, Dahlgaard finally got to the point: he needed someone to restore his beloved city, Magoria, to its former glory as the Capital of Illusion. And for this purpose, only the best illusionist would suffice.
And so, the idea of the grand Trickerion Contest was born. The Illusionist who manages to become Magoria’s absolute favorite in seven weeks will ascend to be the rightful heir of Dahlgaard as the new Legend of Illusion, inheriting his whole legacy including the mighty Trickerion Stone.
Dahlgaard would help the competitors by sharing some of his most successful Tricks during the contest and even handing out small fragments of the Trickerion Stone to the most worthy competitors. But the heritage itself would be awarded to only one Illusionist.
It was no surprise that all four Magicians accepted the challenge without hesitation. They were already bitter rivals before rising to the challenge, and with so much at stake, they knew that they would stop at nothing to overcome the others – not even if they would have to get their hands dirty. The struggle for fame and fortune is about to begin.
Only one question remains: who is going to be the next Legend of Illusion?
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!