Mortui Vivos Docent

The Wicked Players, Part III
...in which the a powerful creature is confronted
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The Wicked Players, Part II
...in which the mystery of Saint-Cernin is further investigated

Aedifex was greeted by his new soldales, but the mundane Simon proved more problematic. During introductions, a commotion ensued: it seemed a peasant had somehow evaded much of the guard and penetrated some of the castle before being apprehended. Pleading that he needed to see the magi, Fortis and Aedifex quarantined the new arrival and proceeded to interrogate him. His name was Pierre, and he sought assistance from the magi in vindicating his mother, who stood accused of witchcraft, and killing her husband Jean. It seemed she had seen “pixies or imps” witnessing a hanging the night before her own husband was found hanged from a hawthorn tree. The lad’s earnestness and his description of the strange manifestations intrigued the magi, who decided to investigate. After much hemming and hawing, it was decided that the magi would accelerate Simon’s introduction to the ars magica and therefore begin to speak openly of the unusual circumstances of the case.

So it was that Aedifex started south with Gaston, Simon, and the grogs Gerard, Eadwyn, Esteve and Broderick. After spending a night at Cadouin Abbey, they group soon came upon Saint-Avit-Sénieur, a house of Augustinian canons. The canons admitted they knew of the matter, but seemed disinterested in further queries, believing that Father Aubert of the village of Saint-Cernin had correctly held a trial and found the woman Margot guilty of murdering her husband and witchcraft.

So it was that the group struck northwest to the village of Saint-Cernin and the scene of the unpleasantness. The villagers did not welcome their new guests, but the headsman Evrard greeted them. He confirmed much of Pierre’s story and Margot’s guilt, having found the body of Jean hung from a tree the day after the “witch” described her vision of imps hanging one of their own.

The magi interviewed Margot herself, locked up in the village church, who confirmed much of what was known, but denied having anything to do with Jean’s death, despite the fact that he beat her regularly. She had previously shown the gift of foresight, and for this was branded a witch by the villagers. Thus she never attended Mass, and this proved decisive to them that she was of the Devil.

Gaston had seen markings on the oak tree in the village common consistent with the “imp hanging” story of Margot, and Evrard took the group to visit the hawthorn tree where Jean was found hanged. Curious as to who ended up with Jean’s belongings, the group set about investigating a villager who had ended up with a “Venus” that apparently Jean had found the day before.

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The Wicked Players, Part I
...in which the magi become embroiled in a macabre tale

The end of 1225 was a time of great upheaval, with the Council of Bourges in November and the excommunication of Raymond of Toulouse. As the Winter Solstice of 1225 approached, Aedifex of Merinita made his way south to Crypta Venatus, amidst a great many crusaders, to his new home. He struck up an acquaintance with one Simon, a learned man and Magister in Artibus, who was glad to find an educated companion with whom to travel south. The travelers made it to Commarque without trouble, and the magus was bid welcome to his new covenant. While the established magi discussed the relevant merits of the new addition, a great deal of maneuvering surrounded his traveling companion. Would the man Simon, obviously educated and a man of talent, be open to the idea of magic and the Hermetic Order? Giovani spent most of a dinner trying to feel out the newcomer, when a hue and cry arose in the courtyard. A chagrined Fortis was irate to learn that an intruder had infiltrated the outer walls before being apprehended at the barbican. This young man, one Pierre, requested an audience with the “masters,” having heard of their authority and wisdom. It seemed that Pierre’s mother was accused of hanging her husband (and Pierre’s father), she being a well-known witch. Pierre insisted she was innocent, and described the “pixies or imps” she saw hanging his poor father. By the end of the evening, loose tongues spoke of magic and faeries, and there was no telling what the itinerant Simon might make of it all.

The suggestion of pixies brought Aedifex into action, and Gaston agreed to accompany him,scouting ahead in avian form. After journeying south and spending a night at Cadouin Abbey, the party came upon the abbey of Saint-Avit-Sénieur, home of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine.

Cast: Aedifex (Jeff), Nequam (Paul), Gaston and Giovani (Guillaume), Simon (Rick), and Fortis and Agatha (Patrick).

Alpha Storyguide: Patrick

Source Quality: TBD

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The Relic, Part II
...in which Giovanni and Fortis navigate through a difficult situation with the Templars

On the morning of Sir Guy de Chatillon’s appearance at Commarque, Giovanni successfully coaxed the truth about the relic out of his uncle-in-law, Pasquale Scharaffi. A Templar clerk had told Scharaffi about the relic and had conspired with him to steal it, sell it, and divide the profit. After the relic was stolen but before Scharaffi could find a buyer, the clerk gave in to fear and guilt and identified Scharaffi as the sole thief. Scharaffi had been on the run since that time, with Sir Guy in hot pursuit.

Fortis quickly called a meeting of the other magi after the Templar group’s departure, and Giovanni and Scharaffi were summoned to the meeting to give a full account of the Templar property and the circumstances of its theft. The magi, wishing fervently not to run afoul of the Templars, decided that Scharaffi and the relic should leave the castrum and that they would provide no assistance.

Giovanni made arrangements for Scharaffi to leave, and travelled to Sarlat to give the relic to the Abbot of Sarlat, Elie I de Vinion. He made an ostentatious show on the way of asking for information about the best routes and methods to transport an expensive item, in order to draw attention to himself and away from his uncle-in-law. Abbot Elie I accepted the relic and invited Giovanni to stay for dinner. The two were joined by Sir Guy, who quickly deduced that Giovanni was the relative with whom Scharaffi was seeking sanctuary. The discussion turned to the disposition of the relic, and when Sir Guy learned that it was now in the Abbot’s possession, he made a veiled threat of violence against the abbey. The Abbot countered with a veiled threat of excommunication against the brother-knight. Giovanni managed to cool the situation by suggesting that the matter be settled in the ecclesiastical courts.

Giovanni and his crossbowmen, Giacomo, Enzo, and Luigi, left for Commarque the following day. On the way, they were accosted by a group of thugs, who had followed Giovanni to Sarlat. The thugs managed to put arrows into Giacomo and Enzo before Giovanni’s party escaped on horseback. Scharaffi escaped the Dordogne valley area without detection, thanks to Fortis privately arranging with Giovanni to cast Disguise of the New Visage on Scharaffi.

Some time after the departures of Scharaffi and Sir Guy, Sir Gaidon d’Aubec caught the thugs. Before being hanged, their leader confessed that they had been hired by Sir Guy de Chatillon to keep on eye on the castrum and keep tabs on anyone in the area who might be related to Sir Guy’s quarry.

Cast: Giovanni and Gaston (Guillaume), Giacomo Di Firenze, Lady Agatha, and Melita (Val), Enzo Piccolino and Fortis (Patrick), Luigi Romano and William de Bonville (Paul).

Gamma Storyguide: Bob

Source Quality: 7 (Giovanni, Giacomo, Enzo, Luigi, & Fortis)

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