Anyone can become a wizard. Phenomenal cosmic power can be yours at the low low cost of being driven irrevocably insane.
This is fine. Wizards do not give a shit about safety.
The Wizard’s Fugue is a single-player game, of sorts. Maybe more of a writing exercise. Always start with FOOL. Choose randomly if you want, choose a limited number if you want.
0 FOOLProperty is bequeathed, goodbyes are said, affairs are put in order. From hereon, the initiate is dead to themselves and the world. You descend into the Fugue, where there is mad dancing and the droning of tuneless pipes.
- What did you give away? To whom? What parts of your life did you have to set straight? What are you leaving behind?
I MAGICIANHere is created the book that will contain your spells and soul, built by your own hand. Without it, you are a madman.
- Describe your grimoire - its cover, its binding, its pages and contents. What part of yourself did you put into it, to form the necessary spiritual link?
II HIGH PRIESTESSThe art manifests in a mark on the wizard: a brand, an emblem, a sign, unique to each one.
- What have you been marked with? Does the sign have any meaning?
III EMPRESSThe wizard must live in the world, alas, and the world will push back at them.
- Who among the earthly powers will you have to deal with? What kings and ministers will you have to navigate?
IV EMPERORA wizard’s authority is made manifest in the binding of their familiar.
- What have you called up from places unknown? What is its nature, its temperament, its form and power?
V HIEROPHANTA wizard must know the powers in whose shadow they play. The Fugue is too delicate a time to make contact
- What beings beyond the veil have you seen? Did one attempt to make contact with you?
VI LOVERSThe Fugue severs the past, but cannot erase it. Memories without context will haunt the wizard.
- What images float through your mind? Who have you left behind? What relationships did you burn and set to ghostly wandering in your unstable memory?
VII CHARIOTNo wizard’s retinue is complete without a mystic means of conveyance.
- How are you carried along. How might you make your appearance? How did you make it, buy it, steal it?
VIII STRENGTHThe Fugue grants power, and the means to taming it.
- What arcane art has the Fugue granted you the greatest power in?
IX HERMITThe wizard’s lot is isolation. They must raise their sanctum by their hands and arts alone.
- Where will you make your hermitage? What shape will it take? Who will you permit entry? How will you defend your solitude?
X WHEEL OF FORTUNEThe Fugue is not without its favors. It will grant a vision of a further power: an artifact, a sacred place, the grimoire of a dead wizard.
- What did the Fugue show you? Where is it? What must you do to attain it?
XI JUSTICEWizards have rivals. This is how they do not destroy everything - they are too busy overthrowing each other. The Fugue will bind you with another, a second half to resist and oppose you.
- Who is your rival? Who challenges your power and overturns your schemes, and whose schemes do you overthrow in turn? What was the first interaction you had with them.
XII HANGED MANAs the initiate is born into wizardry, they must witness a death. Not from a distance, nor from the intimacy of the connections they must burn. A complete stranger, breathing a last, shuddering moment
- Who did you watch die? How did they die? Where? What have you learned?
XIII DEATHWithin the Fugue, a wizard catches a glimpse of their own death. Just a glimpse, an image, an impression. Neither day nor hour is known.
- What did you see? Can you make out anything at all? What image are you left with?
XIV TEMPERANCEThe Fugue will destroy an initiate utterly if they cannot maintain their center. Great energy is given to maintaining
- What chain have you placed upon yourself, to prevent complete dissolution? What principle binds you?
XV DEVILThe Fugue reveals all, everything that lurks in the dark corners of the initiate’s mind. These demons must be dealt with.
- What demons of your mind has the Fugue dredged up? Did you submit to their power over you, did you suppress, did you synthesize, did you cling to denial and ignorance?
XVI TOWERIn each wizard’s spellbook is an ars magna, a most terrifying and powerful spell that may only be uttered once.
- What great art has been formed from your Fugue-broken soul? What would make you use it?
XVII STARWithout ambition the wizard is nothing.
- What shall you strive for, when the Fugue is done? Why did you grasp at power in the first place, if not for some hoped-for goal?
XVIII MOONThe dark night contains greater fears for the wizard. The last test is to be confronted by that which will haunt you until death.
- What did you see in the moon’s dim light? What will be the grim terror of your life?
XIX SUNDawn is here. You have survived the Fugue.
- How do you feel? What changes have been wrought on your mind and body?
XX JUDGEMENTSurviving the Fugue is the first step. Surviving the judgement of your peers is the second.
- Who served upon your Council of Three? What did they say to you? How did they treat you? What was their verdict of your transformation?
XXI WORLDIt is done. All complete. You are an initiate no longer, but a full wizard of the arts of mastery.
- Where do you go now? What goes on in the world around you? What revelations have clicked into place?