Setting

THE RISE OF A PRODIGY

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.

THE GOLDEN AGE OF MAGIC

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.

RETURN OF THE MASTER

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.

THE TALE OF THE TRICKERION STONE

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.”

THE CHALLENGE OF DAHLGAARD

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?