Summer 1220 AD

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Magi

Elwisa ex Flambeau was invited to the grand House Flambeau tournament at Castra Solis, the House’s domus magna.

Simon ex Verditius was dispatched to Toulouse to make contact with Beatrice, the acting head Quesitor of the Tribunal, due to the discovery of a long-untouched murder scene in the hidden chambers in the mountain at Absit Arce.

Emendatus ex Merinita and Electus ex Bonisagus spent the season studying tomes.

Companions

Solange was studying the medical texts at Foix.

Henri, a merchant who did much business with the covenant, joined Stefan in accompanying Simon to Toulouse.

Results

Elwisa won the Newcomer’s Challenge in the Tournament. One of her grogs was found dead. On raising the spirit of the grog in question, they claimed to have been killed by the familiar of Dama ex Merenita. At the Tournament, a Templar chapter master alleged that the head of House Flambeau had been trying to make an alliance with the Templars; the head of House Flambeau stood down from his duties and will face trial at next year’s Tribunal meeting.

Simon and those accompanying him were able to negotiate a compromise in the dispute at Castra Solis concerning access to the main tower of the Covenant, and was given an opportunity to learn the mysteries of Hermetic Architecture. An assassination attempt on Beatrice was foiled. The assassins were two returning Crusaders, who claimed that an apparition of the Virgin Mary that told them to do it.

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Spring 1220 AD

Actions

Elwisa ex Flambeau worked on extracting what Vis was available in the season.

Electus ex Bonisagus discovered a plinth where some sort of statue or other fixture once stood in a clearing just before a face of the mountain at the centre of the regio. A plate explained that that which stood there had been loaned to the Criamon coven of Miniata Sophia, to be returned when a Bonisagus of Absit Arce requested its return. Electus therefore set out to travel to the coven in the company of the troubadour Stefan and the physician Solange.

Simon ex Verditius worked to repair and extend the covenant’s defences.

Emendatus ex Merinita worked to complete the survey of the regio that Electus’ discovery had interrupted.

Results

Electus and his companions discovered a young stableboy called Philippe (5 years old) who had the Gift. Electus learned from the innkeeper at the country inn where Philippe lived that the child was an orphan, and therefore took him in in order to make an apprentice out of him. Solange was also able to treat the illness of the abbot at Foix; the monks there promised to make a copy of a medical treatise by Aristotle for Solange to study. At Miniata, Electus discovered that the item in question was in fact a large astrolabe, with a scale model of the known world within. Living within the astrolabe was Eureka, a strange magic spirit that was apparently brought into being as a by-product of Esmeralda ex Criamon, a former member of Absit Arce, apprehending the entirety of Twilight before she disappeared forever; the astrolabe had evidently been given to Miniata Sophia to help it get started some time around 1180, when Miniatia Sophia was being founded. On returning the astrolabe to its place the shadows cast from Eureka’s light made plain a passageway into the mountain, gaining access to the hidden inner chambers of Absit Arce.

Simon’s fortifications will be taken into account in the event of a physical assault on the covenant.

Emendatus was able to make a comprehensive survey, including not only the outer portions of the regio but also the inner chambers within the mountain. The inner chambers contain fully ready and prepared magical laboratories, left as spick and span as though their occupants had just stepped outside yesterday. There is also a small central library whose shelves are mostly empty – except one bookshelf is filled with the complete works of Elaine ex Flambeau – second apprentice of Flambeau the Founder, whose studious approach and extensive writing went a long way towards inducing respect for House Flambeau as serious magical researchers in their own right. The works here are as follows:

  • Ars Flambonis (“Flambeau’s Art”): Summa on Ignem, Level 14, Quality 12. Elaine wrote this book as a tribute to her pater, and the text is sprinkled with anecdotes about his teachings.
  • Ultor (“The Avenger”): Summa on Penetration, Level 5, Quality 11. While the principles in this book apply to defeating any type of Magic Resistance, Elaine’s emphasis is specifically on penetrating the Parma Magica. This builds on Flambeau’s early work and draws heavily on Elaine’s practical experience as a Hoplite.
  • Liber de Lumine (“Book of Light”): Tractatus on Ignem, Quality 11. As the title suggests, this book concentrates on light as one aspect of the Form of Ignem.
  • De Magia Sympathetica (“On Sympathetic Magic”): Tractatus on Magic Theory, Quality 11. This book covers Arcane Connections and the related topic of sympathetic connections (which grant a Penetration bonus; see ArM5, page 84). While inspired by Elaine’s research in Penetration, its content is purely theoretical and is applicable to all kinds of spellcasting. It is both insightful and rigorous.
  • De Potestate et Obligatione (“On Power and Responsibility”): Tractatus on Philosophiae, Quality 11. A discourse on the responsible and ethical practice of magic. Elaine advances the idea that The Gift is given by God to set magi apart, giving them both special powers and a special responsibility to serve his will. Her philosophy is evidently influenced by Saint Augustine’s book, City of God.

The set seems to have been prepared back in the days of Val-Negra, the original headquarters of House Flambeau, specifically as a gift for the mages of Absit Arce; each of the illuminated pages cunningly hides the coats of arms of Val-Negra and Absit Arce somewhere in the text or illustrations.

There is also a dead body – little more than a skeleton at this point – clad in the remains of what was a fine quality robe. A dagger remains embedded amongst the remains, as through the victim were stabbed in the back. The remains were found on and around one of the high-backed chairs in the library (whose designs unfortunately include sufficient gaps in the back to ram the dagger through), so evidently the victim was killed whilst reading (or snoozing) there.

Emendatus was also able to survey the sources of vis in the area and when in the year they could be harvested, as follows:

Spring: A crack in the wall of one of the inner chambers of the mountain lets through a trickle of water in spring, when the thaws start. If collected and distilled this yields 5 pawns of Aquam vis.

The regio is home to many butterflies; in spring their eggs hatch and the caterpillars emerge. Collecting the eggshells is a fiddly and time-consuming process, but yields 5 pawns of Muto vis.

Summer: The birds who nest in the covenant orchard don’t just lay eggs; occasionally nuggets of Corpus vis cam be found in their nests. About 5 pawns can be harvested this way over the season.

Likewise, it isn’t just ordinary apples that grow on the trees – sometimes beautiful crystalline fruit grow on them, like apples made of the most magnificent Venetian glass. 5 pawns of Herbam vis can be harvested by smashing these up and dissolving them, in a process not entirely unlike making cider.

Autumn: As the air starts to change, 5 pawns of Auram vis can be obtained by condensing it from the cooling air.

As the crops are harvested and vegetables dug out of the ground, the workers will sometimes find large, fist-sized flakes of an amber-coloured substance in the soil. From these 5 pawns of Terram vis can be obtained.

Winter: From the icicles that grow on the roof of the tower, 5 pawns of Perdo vis can be obtained.

Elwisa was able to obtain the Aquam and Muto vis available this season.

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Start of 1220 AD

The party moved into Absit Arce and established cordial diplomatic relations with the faerie kingdom which lives in the local faerie regio. The faerie king in particular told them that there was also Infernal and Dominion regios close by, each of which could conceivably be accessed through some sort of tampering with the tomb of Mary Magdalene, and it was agreed that both magi and faeries would keep an eye out for any such meddling.

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