The small ship was taking a group of twenty newly graduated wizards on a cruise of the Caribbean. They came from a mixture of Wizarding schools from different countries. All of them had been accepted for higher training in the elite American Wizards Academy.
As a first step they had been sent on a ‘retreat’ to get to know each other and four professors they would deal with.
They were only hours out of Miami when the strange storm hit.
The captain of the ship was worried. The storm had blown up suddenly with any warning from the weather reports and his ship was being pounded by waves and soaked by heavy rain, The mists were so thick he had no idea of where he was.
To add insult to injury his ship was being propelled at ever-faster rate of speed toward the Bermuda islands.
He was, he had concluded, on top of a tidal wave. He shuddered to think what might happen if his ship hit some rocks or an Island.
He picked up the phone and called below.
“Any luck with the portal key?”
“Total failure” said one of the professors. “A spell of some sort seems to be blocking it.”
Abruptly he could see something through the rain. It was trees.
The great wave crested and swept his ship into the reef around the island tearing large holes in the hull. The ship shuddered to a stop and lowered in the water. It settled on the reef but didn’t sink. The question was how long that would last.
The lower holds flooded but for the moment the student’s quarters remained dry.
The waves continued to beat at the ship as the storm raged.
Setting Name: Wizard's Isle
Setting Description: Spring break for a bunch of university-age magi goes wrong when they end up lost, shipwrecked, and short on supplies.
Inspiration: Harry Potter, Cast a Deadly Spell, the Elemental Masters series by Mercedes Lackey, Island of Doctor Moreau, zillions of teen-centric horror movies that involve wilderness and isolation
License to Kick Ass: Potterverse University Students. Say no more.
Chi Is: Chi...but for this game we shall call it Vis. Yes, that's an Ars Magica reference.
Sample Character Concepts: Scholar, Debutante, Jock, Wallflower, the Bad Boy/Bad Girl
Typical Tasks: Wizardly duels with improvised wands. Hunting and fishing. Fighting off the sinister native population. Romantic entanglements.
Suitable Traits: Any style of magic used as a specialty (Animagus, Illusions, Pokemon Summoning...), Party Animal, Wise in the Ways of Muggles, Familiar (maybe), Lab Rat, Quidditch Ace
Suitable Weaknesses: Poor eyesight, Boy (or Girl) Crazy, Easily Distracted, Weak Caster (for a particular style of magic), Hopeless on a Broom, Guy (or Girl) Magnet
Mooks: If there's an evil wizard, then he's gotta have the minions. Go read the First Ed AD&D definition of Orc, please.
Nemeses: Your Landlord (the Big Bad Himself)
Fiona's knees tremble as she raises her wand toward the trio of Dementors closing in on her. Oh so slowly, her arm heavy as lead and cold as ice, she drew a Rune of Warding in the air and watched the tracing fill with power. As she'd known, it didn't slow them down one bit.
"Th-there's something ye ought ta ken," she stuttered through fear-numbed lips. "I'm nae the likes of that Potter boy, ta come alone..."
A second later, Reynald's cry of "Excellent Prismatic Spray!" gave the Dementors the only warning they would get before the multicolored firey darts peppered the entire area, scattering the ghostly entities back to the Outer Dark and ricocheting off of her simple shield in a flurry of pyrotechnics.
A note on Magical styles:
Any use of magic requires at least two details: an invocation and a gesture. More details may of course be added to taste.
It is possible to have a general Wizard trait at 3 or 4, a Strong Magic Type at 4 or 5, and a Weak magic type for your weakness.
Use of spells like the Patronus or Dragon Slave ought to be reserved for a coup de grace moment. :)
If a familiar is going to be merely color commentary, you don't need to spend a trait on it (Crookshanks would not require a trait. Hedwig might. Fawkes would.)