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.
It was a night every spectator will remember for decades. During his years of absence, Dahlgaard perfected new, jaw-dropping illusions unlike anything seen before, and left his audience awestruck.
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. As soon as he stepped up the stage, a piercing white light exploded from Dahlgaard’s hand, staggering even the Heir. Strains 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 the Heir opened his palm and there it was: the Trickerion Stone.
“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.
Speaking of vanishing, please allow me to conclude my trick.”
With that, the legend gave a grateful smile to his Heir, 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.
To this day, people still claim to have seen the great Dahlgaard in a dark alley, around the Anvil Pig Inn or in the theaters - like they should be. For as long as one coin is deftly plucked from thin air, one card masterfully picked, no one should forget the legend who brought along the Golden Age of Magic.
As Magoria slowly moved on, word of the Academy initiative spread quickly. Soon, eager students flocked 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.
The Heir proclaimed that the Academy should be renovated as a common effort of the Magician community, but whoever contributes the most shall become the Patron of Magoria. 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.