Mortui Vivos Docent

The Inheritance
...in which con men fail to leave with the de Commarque treasure

Two Sword Brothers of the Hospitallers arrived at the covenant in the summer of 1217, asking to speak to Sir Roger de Commarque. The magi arrived to find that they had produced a letter from the Grand Master of the Order of Saint-Jean, which caused Sir Roger to faint upon reading. Loefwen of Mercere stole a glimpse of the letter, which requested that Sir Roger hand over the property of the Order promised by his ancestor Sir Geraud; Aureus Ex Miscellanea noted that the Brothers’ armor was serviceable, but inexpensive, and their tabards seemingly newly made. William of Jerbiton made excuses for the lord and took the Brothers off to drink at the buttress house before they met again at dinner.

Vindicatus of Guernicus acquired an Arcane Connection for one of them from their horses, and attempted to eavesdrop on their conversation that night. While they spoke in a language he did not know, he did note the significance of one of the Brothers pulling out a piece of cloth that could only have come from William’s cloak!

Suspecting that the Brothers were impostors, and knowing they had gathered at least one Arcane Connection to one of their number, speculation began as to their real intention. Suspicion immediately fell upon Temeritus of Tremere, thought to be plotting his revenge on Commarque and Vindicatus in particular. Could one of the men in fact be a magus? It was decided to shoot first and ask questions later, and the grogs were set in motion. The longbowmen occupied the guard tower, their weapons trained on the buttress house, while Montagne led the melee grogs to the narrow passage between the buttress and oven houses. Loefwen mounted one of the “Brothers’” horses and made a racket so they would come out to investigate.

The first of the men did, and when Montagne and his men tried to sieze him from behind, they were surprised by how adeptly he avoided their attempts. However, as he fled toward the tower, Melita of Bonisagus gave the order to fire, and he was dropped by a flight of longbow arrows. Storming inside the tower, Montagne faced a defiant (and now armed) “Sir Martijn”, but as the doughty warrior moved to attack, he slipped on a piece of furniture, fell, and disarmed himself. He grudgingly was taken into custody and interrogated.

Apparently this man – Matheus – and his companion were Brabacon bandits in the employ of the infamous Lobar the Wolf, who had sent them to acquire Sir Roger’s inheritance. They admitted to having magical help, but the magician they described – a man named Rene who gave them magical charms – sounded more like a hedge wizard than the feared Temeritus. The magi sent him on his way with a letter to Rene, describing the Order and suggesting he must join…or else.

Finally, the magi persuaded Sir Roger to show them his inheritance. Gold, a chalice, and a shroud from the Holy Land were dazzling, but not magical. Sir Roger sheepishly admitted spending part of the money on building the castrum, which had, in fact, been pledged to the Hospitallers, and all were left to wonder how Lobar and Rene found out about it.

Cast: William (Bob), Aureus (Nick), Vindicatus and Montagne (Grady), Melita (Val).

Alpha Storyguide: Patrick

Experience: Source Quality 7

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Beginnings
...in which the magi establish the covenant of Crypta Venatus and meet their neighbors

As the Winter Solstice of 1216 approached, and the newly-arrived magi Melita of Bonisagus, Vindicatus of Guernicus, and William de Bonville of Jerbiton prepared to engage in their first Aegis of the Hearth ritual, visitors presented themselves at the gate. Four brothers of the Abbey of Sarlat presented themselves: Lucas, Andri, Daniel, and Lorenz. Accompanying them for the last leg of their journey was Kara of Mercere, to become their fourth member, along with wagon loads of lab equipment.

William was welcomed to a meeting between the Abbey members and Roger de Commarque. Brother Lucas informed Sir Roger that the Abbot wished a chapel to St. John to be built upon his lands, in order to serve the spiritual needs of the people of the village of Beyssac. Brother Lucas enthusiastically seized upon the idea, to William’s chagrin. William glumly reported the matter to his sodales, who immediately began plotting a means by which to thwart the encroachment of a Divine aura on their turf.

As they dined together that evening, Melisandre des Escars brought Brother Andri to speak with the magi. It seemed he was more interested in hearing about their scholarship than discussing matters of the faith. They dodged his request to see the Gallery of the Hunt but otherwise engaged him in discussion of Artes Liberales.

Days later, the Autocrat Agatha de Reims brought a frantic Jehans des Escars to beseech the magi to find his daughter, missing for the last couple of days. The Inexorable Search revealed her to be on the castle grounds, and Summoning the Distant Image showed her to be trapped in a cave somewhere, but searches proved fruitless until the day of the Solstice. While the magi completed their Aegis of the Hearth ritual, Lady Agatha asked them if they had searched the caves next to the Gallery. Puzzled, they went with her to find that indeed, a cave entrance leading farther below ground appeared, where previously there had been none.

A search of these caves revealed nothing, but when Melita cast Piercing the Magical Veil, another level of this regio was revealed, where more cave paintings survived, and a strange, phosphorescent fungus illuminated the caverns. Here, they found Melisandre, and returned her to a grateful Sir Jehans, who pledged his eternal support to the magi.

Things seemed to be about to settle down when one last visitor paid their respects: Curina filia Rex of House Bjornaer, of the covenant of Doissetep in the Provencal Tribunal. Ostensibly, she was there to make a courtesy call and inform them that some of her House might be in the area as part of their rituals. It was clear, however, that she also sought to convince them that joining the Provencal Tribunal would be a better fit for them than the Normandy Tribunal. The magi were noncommittal.

Cast: Melita of Bonisagus and Kara of Mercere (Val), Vindicatus of Guernicus (Grady), William of Jerbiton (Bob).

Alpha Storyguide: Patrick

Experience: Source Quality 5

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