Welcome to the Story Arc Summary Page. Here you can quickly get caught up with what has happened previously on Mark of Portent. Please note that this page only contains summaries for completed story arcs. To get caught up on the current story arc, you will need to check the latest episodes by visiting our Archives page, or through the dropdown menu below.
The Traveling Shoppe: Episodes 1 & 2
Jacen and Tracie, two friends out shopping for video games, stop at a mysterious store boasting "Cheap Games." Once inside they wade through numerous oddities until they locate a small bin of old, very bad video games. In the bin, they find a strange game they've never heard of before entitled "Mark of Portent." The quirky shop owner, Wonton, assures the friends that the game is an import as he sells them the game. The two leave the shop with a strange sense that something isn't right, and when they turn to look back at the store they find that it has completely disappeared.
Now back at Jacen's apartment, the two friends being playing the game. After wading through several hours of very predictable plot, Tracie notices a strange glimmer on the TV screen. As she reaches out to investigate the two are engulfed in a strange light and seemingly taken into the game; right in the middle of a battle between the evil General Falcon and the party of heroes. The mysterious arrival of Jacen and Tracie proves to be a deadly distraction for the heroes, which Falcon uses to remove them as a threat. Jacen and Tracie are now left to face down Falcon, who crushes the former hero's sword with his hands as a demonstration of his power. Jacen, undeterred, grabs the bard's lute and finds he has inherited the bard's abilities as well as his clothes. Tracie follows suit in grabbing the witch's staff, inheriting her magic ability and skimpy dress. Falcon, unimpressed, moves to destroy the two friends; but quick thinking and very bad lute playing on Jacen's part send Falcon fleeing.
After Falcon's retreat, Jacen and Tracie turn to the bodies of the heroes only to find the main hero is barely alive. As Jacen kneels to help him the hero reaches up and places his hand onto Jacen's face saying "Take this." As light bursts forth from Jacen's eye, Tracie makes a quick attempt at magic to help her afflicted friend which backfires and leaves her all wet. Jacen finally collapses and his eye appears normal. Any hope for an explanation seems lost, however, as the hero passed away after imparting Jacen with his unidentified gift. Just then, a mysterious figure calling himself Deus Ex Machina appears claiming to be the herald of Jacen's destiny. He informs the fledgling heroes that Jacen has been given the Sacred Eye, and that is his fate to rid the world of the evils that plague it. Jacen and Tracie, however, are unimpressed by DEMs speeches and the semi-deity leaves in a huff.
With Jacen's new-found destiny firmly in tow, the two heroes set out to the nearby town and home of the former hero. As Tracie goes to stock up on supplies and acquire a less revealing dress, Jacen ventures into the town in search of information. The townies, feeling Jacen is to blame for the death of the hero, are less than eager to be of any help. Luckily a passing stranger versed in the language of Ellipses is more than willing to give Jacen a nudge in the right direction. Using his bardly skills to converse with the old Ellyptian, Jacen learns that he must travel west through the mountain pass to the Magical City of Hagworts.
Elsewhere at Falcon's base camp, the brooding general makes a call to alert the Emperor of the arrival of Jacen and Tracie; and puts in a request to unleash a "new breed of monster" to destroy them. Meanwhile, Jacen and Tracie head west to the mountain pass where they are harassed by random encounter monsters. The battles prove easy as the monsters all use a turn-based fighting style and simply await their turn as they are endlessly battered. Tracie decides to use the easy opponents to perfect her magic style which, once again, backfires on her. Jacen tries to lift her spirits by telling her about a parade being held in the city that is put on by the Hagworts University of Magic, which might be able to help her. With Tracie's spirits lifted, the two move on to the end of the mountain pass where they are ambushed by Falcon. In an act of predictable villainy, Falcon has brought a pet monster named Lockjaw to take care of the heroes while he attends to plans elsewhere. Jacen and Tracie are pepped for another turn-based smack-down; but quickly learn the secret of Falcon's new breed of monster: Lockjaw fights in real-time. The two quickly find themselves on the wrong end of the anticipated beating and on the verge of defeat. Just as Lockjaw moves in for the final blow Jacen's eye once again erupts in light and summons a small, tiki-masked gnome to take care of Lockjaw. Though Lockjaw is dead, Jacen's ability to summon monsters in battle has raised even more questions. Hoping to find answers in the city of Hagworts, the two continue their journey.
Having finally arrived at Hagworts, Jacen and Tracie are greeted with a totally unexpected sight: the mysterious shop from which the two bought the game that transported them to this strange world has reappeared in the city. Jacen bursts into the shop and finds Wonton, though claiming to be someone else, standing at the counter. After repeated failed efforts to get information from the old man, Jacen storms off to find a new weapon to replace his lute. He finally settles on a harp and is transformed, again, into a new bardly outfit comprised of heart-patterned boxers and strap-on angel wings. Now utterly infuriated and unable to buy back his lute, Jacen leaves the shop, which once again disappears. As the two begin to muse on the nature of Wonton and his traveling shop, Jacen is mauled by a group of screaming, boy-crazy girls. Tracie drags the bewildered Jacen to safety, who blames the bizarre event on an increased charisma level from becoming the main hero. Once the crowd of girls has passed, the two decide to seek out the local school of magic.
Jacen and Tracie finally arrive on the campus of Hagworts University and seek out the school library. Though insanely disorganized, the two manage to find some books which could hold the answers to Jacen's summon and help Tracie refine her magical abilities. The only hitch is that they must be students to check out the books. In hopes of an easy solution, the two head to the Dean's office where they meet Dean Smythe and his assistant dean, Warbold. The Dean says there is nothing he can do to help them unless they go through the official channels for applying to the school and wait for the next semester. Warbold, however, suggests another idea: a scholarship pageant with a grand prize of free admittance into the University.
As Jacen disappears on errands of his own, Tracie goes to reluctantly register for the pageant with Warbold as her coach. As the pageant begins, Tracie is off to a bad start when she is unwilling to submit herself to the skimpy and degrading standards of the pageant. Tracie manages to make up some ground in the talent portion as she reveals her natural ability to beat up weak, unarmed evil minions. When it comes time for the final judgment, however, it isn't enough to win her the victory and Tracie is stuck with the title of first runner up. Tracie's anger at losing the contest and the one chance at becoming students is quickly changed to relief, and a bit of jealousy, when she learns that Jacen secretly entered the men's pageant and won by a landslide; a victory he attributes to his increased charisma.
After picking up Jacen's Student ID, Jacen and Tracie head to back to the Library and check out the books they need. On the way, Tracie wonders allowed how Jacen, a bard, was allowed to enter a Witch's pageant. A nearby student overhears her musing and quickly runs off to alert the dean. Upon getting their books, they begin reading through them and Tracie finds some pointers to help her aim her magic. Jacen discovers that summoning is ability held only by members of an ancient cult known as the Waking Dreamers who worship the Waking Eye, which may have a connection to the Sacred Eye Jacen bears. The Waking Dreamers were able to summon Guardian Dreams created by their subconscious. As the two finish reading through thier books they are suddenly confronted by the campus guards who forcibly escort them to see Dean Smythe. Smythe is livid about Jacen's infiltrating the pageant and condemns the two to death! Jacen is quickly knocked out and Tracie steps up to showdown with the Dean, for which she is sorely outmatched. However, a lucky shot enrages the Dean further as he transforms into a hideous beast. Tracie is pummeled by the Dean's new form, and as he is preparing to deliver the final blow a recovered Jacen cracks him over the head with his harp. Jacen begins to lead Tracie away, but the Dean quickly recovers. With a hastily made blast from Tracie, the Dean is sent plummeting off his crumbling office balcony and into the depths of the city below.
Fearing retribution for ousting the Dean, Jacen and Tracie are shocked to learn that Warbold will assume the title of Dean and that they will be celebrated as heroes. Warbold insists that the two act as Grand Marshalls in the upcoming Hagworts Parade. When they learn that the Emperor and Falcon will both be watching the parade, Jacen decides to seize the opportunity to confront them. The two are ushered off to the parade float waiting area where they find there "Angel" themed float populated by a lot of Jacen look-alikes. As they wait for the parade to begin the two watch the Pre-Parade Spectacular on a set of nearby monitors. As Warbold and then the Emperor's entourage are introduced, Jacen and Tracie are shocked to see that DEM is among the Emperor's cronies. Even more eager from the prospect of learning DEM's true intentions, the parade begins and Jacen and Tracie prepare to once again face off with General Falcon.