Blackborow Reflection

We played Blackborow Academy by Becky Annison in this week’s session. The Blackborow Academy is a storied institution of learning for those with magical talent, and we are all former students and now teachers at Blackborow. We are Willa “Willow” Widowspeaks, teacher of potions and master of healing magic; Stanton “Stormy” Twombly, who commands the weather and teaches the Charms class; Quill Alkina, a master of Moon & Dream Magic who teaches Divination; and Romilda Wildwood, a (secret) werewolf who can communicate with all creatures and uses that ability when teaching Magical Creatures to the students.

Twenty years ago, not long after we had graduated from Blackborow, an evil known as the Shattered appeared on our shores. The shattered appeared as shards of a mirror that can infect people and slowly transform them into their mirror selves, right instead of left, evil instead of good. We banded together to stop the Shattered, but in the process we put our classmate, Nigel Limgrave, into a magical coma when we attempted to extract information from him. Each of us contributed to this grave error, and we each regret our part in it: Romilda for injuring him, Willow for failing to heal him, Stormy for naming him the target, and Quill for putting him to sleep.

Blackborow Academy Cover showing a stone bridge leading to a small castle.
Blackborow Academy cover image from Black Armada Games.

Today, something chilling happens. A student rushes into the teacher’s lounge screaming that they’ve found a dead body near the woods adjacent to the school. We go to protect the students and investigate. The body appears partially crystallized and wholly twisted into an unrecognizable form. Could this be the return of the Shattered? The victims didn’t look quite like this, but there are so many shards. Romilda stomps off into the woods to ask the animals what they may know about what happened. She learns there was a student, then the student was glass. A flash of light followed by the sound and spray of shattering glass.

While Romilda is away, Quill returns to her notes of recent prophetic dreams involving young Chloe Elbreen picking mirror shards from the skin of other students. Quill believes the girl may be destined to confront and defeat the Shattered. We argue over whether we must hide her away to protect her, or accept her fate and assist her destiny. Willow decides to make a reversal potion to restore the body to its previous state, so we can at least learn who was the victim. We cover her classes for her while she toils away at the potion, which takes days to complete. At last, when we apply the ointment to the body, time reverses for it until it returns to its original form. First it reassembles into a shape we recognize—a troublemaking student named Raphael Moor—but it continues regressing until it becomes a simple handheld mirror.

Magically searching the school reveals that Raphael is still alive, so this mirror self that shattered, we conclude, must have been Raphael using the mirror to conjure a duplicate self (to attend classes while he pursued other interests). Relieved that this doesn’t appear to be evidence of the return of the Shattered, we take up a very pressing matter. Quill thinks Raphael should be rewarded for his ingenuity and for nearly pulling off this very difficult spell, but the rest of us insist he be punished or at least discouraged from ever doing something like this again. We need him to think twice next time and to make some restitution now for endangering himself, his classmates, and his school. We fade to black as we walk down the hall, still disagreeing on what we’ll do when we reach young Raphael Moor.