The devastation of Earthfall resulted in the slaughter of billions, and the widespread destruction of most civilization erased much of humanity’s knowledge. The man credited with bringing magic back to humanity was Old‑Mage Jatembe, a folk hero and a myth to the people of the Mwangi Expanse. During the Age of Anguish that followed Earthfall, Old-Mage Jatembe and his students, the Ten Magic Warriors, traveled the Mwangi Expanse and beyond to deliver lore, and with it, hope. Perhaps the greatest and most long-lasting of Jatembe’s achievements was founding the oldest (and arguably greatest) magic school in the world, the Magaambya.1
First off no spoilers! Very mild spoilers maybe about some included elements – and the benefits of the power of friendship – but not about the plot or secrets to uncover!
With that out of the way while my three-part series on The Mwangi Expanse may be over, but there’s still a lot to talk about especially with the release of Kindled Magic, the first of six adventures of the Strength of Thousands adventure path written by Elenaor Ferron (who was a developer for the Mwangi Expanse if you recall) and Alexandria Bustion. Nearly a year ago we started hearing about these two releases at the announcements from PAX Online and it got me thinking about my new Pathfinder 2E game. We first saw the above picture from a blog article at that time and it’s still as breathtaking now. I was so excited to hear we’d get more information of this region but more specifically get to explore and actually study at the Magaambya. As I said then, I’ve long been a Dragonlance fan and my favorite game I’ve run was all wizards of the Orders of High Sorcery. I’ve longed to see details of the school and the rich history of magic at Magaambya, and now we can!
Back To School
This adventure is an amazing start to the path. Of course, I go right for those tasty sidebars and the first of Chapter 1 is on the Learning Experience in this campaign. It calls out that part of being at a magic school is learning magic, so the Free Archetype Rule is leveraged to provide either the wizard or druid multiclass archetype, which is noted in the Player’s Guide too. Additionally as is appropriate for going to school, there’s XP to be gained from helping teachers and students, making new friends, discovering what’s afoot at the school, and solving related mysteries. Hopefully there’s a little time between classes to do some adventuring too. Battles are ahead, but perhaps not as many as a standard dungeon. That’s the trouble you can cause I bet, which is specifically mentioned as part of the school experience…
Much To See
With so much to see and explore, I’m thrilled at the art to reflect such. We get a wonderful map of the campus and even the main dormitory the students stay at. I won’t spoil some of the other maps but the focus is on your entrance to the school, introductions to class and life there, as well as meeting a great many NPCs: both students and teachers alike. There’s a nice chapter on what life there as the academy is like and every chapter has a wonderfully written full page story with corresponding art. Chapter 3 in particular was enjoyable as a favorite Young Trickster of Grandmother Spider went to give a gift to the Queen of Bee. There’s an insectoid and arachnid theme in this first path and one I think we’ll see more of.
Oh yes, as expected there’s Anadi with three Bestiary entries for the Seeker, Lurker, and Fateweaver. It’s the Magaambya Academy after all, and the Anadi have long been students and teachers here. There’s more to it than that of course, but again I’m not here to spoil the story that unfolds as the students become better known to the administration. Some of those students could become your allies too and there are benefits to doing so. The predominant students each have their own write-up. While not a full stat block the Students of the Magaambya section details alignment, ancestry, their branch, notable interests and a bit on their history. Each student also has a headshot for you to bring up while roleplaying them as well. And of course, they’re students at a magic school with much to share…
Much To Learn
There’s new spells and magic items you might find valuable as well, and some of the students have been developing magic never before seen on Golarion. Make good friends, heroes! That Life in the Academy chapter has rules for your personal endeavors in advancing your branch level of scholarship at the Magaambya. Your friends may be able to offer aid toward those new rules for downtime activities like Study and Cram, when you’re falling behind. There’s benefits for increasing your level in those branches including bonuses to skills, specific and optional feats. Truly your learning experiences, social encounters, and adventurous encounters at Magaambya are well rewarded.
There’s useful elements in Kindle Magic even if you’re not going to run the full path. I won’t be, but I plan to heavily borrow the narrative and various elements like NPCs for my players’ characters to meet. They could still make an alliance with the school, learn some of its mysteries, and get to know some of the students and faculty. Yours could do the same, especially if one of the heroes previously went to the school and was now bringing their friends to visit before venturing further into the expanse.
The Adventure Toolbox also has numerous useful items like magical masks, granted to those who are full-fledged attendants although some may have their personal mask further enchanted. The Shapespeak mask doesn’t have to be a crocodile (note the rounded snout) but I love the art of such. And while the spells listed are predominantly the province of specific students, they don’t have to be in your campaign. Perhaps they’re a gift for certain activities or found elsewhere in your heroes’ adventures. While I noted a strong insectoid presence to this adventure, the gremlins are even better with a somehow adorable pugwampi amongst them!
If you’re interested in exploring the Magaambya, dedicating yourself to academics and magical study, or perhaps visiting for an adventure or two, I highly suggest you invest in Kindled Magic, the first adventure of the Strength of Thousands adventure path. I eagerly await the new adventure and the secrets we’ll learn. I do wonder what Old-Mage Jatembe has been up to since he brought knowledge and magic back to the people…
I wasn’t quite sure what to name my article series when I first started but the idea of showcasing or discussing things that make me excited, that I find new and interesting, or maybe I’m otherwise passionate about seemed to fit with the idea of Investing In something like the Pathfinder 2E mechanic. To use some magic items you have to give that little bit of yourself, which helps make these things even better. I like the metaphor of the community growing and being strengthened in the same way!
I also want to hear what you’re Investing In! Leave me a comment below about what games, modules, systems, products, people, live streams, etc you enjoy! You can also hit me up on social media as silentinfinity. I want to hear what excites you and what you’re passionate about. There’s so much wonderful content, people, groups (I could go on) in this community of ours that the more we invest in and share, the better it becomes!
- Campaign Overview chapter excerpt, Kindled Magic, Paizo
- Magaambya, Strength of Thousands Adventure Path blog post, Paizo, Tomasz Chistowski
- Anadi Fateweaver, Kindled Magic, Paizo
- Student studying or cramming from Life in the Academy chapter, Kindled Magic, Paizo
- Shapespeak mask, Kindled Magic, Paizo