Roger de Commarque received an invitation to attend Count Achambaud II of Périgord’s May Day feast of 1218, and surprised the magi by informing them that they had been invited as well. Accompanied by Sir Etienne and Lady Agatha, Loefwen of Mercere, Vindicatus of Guernicus and William de Bonville of Jerbiton journeyed to La Cité, and the Castle Barrier, seat of the Count’s power.
After watching the peasants’ pagan celebrations, the group dined with the Count and his three guests: a young knight errant named Sir Aubry, a beautiful young noblewoman named Lady Anne de Burgh, and Bertran de Born lo Filhs, son of the famous troubadour Bertran de Born, and himself a troubadour of no small ability.
In an attempt to impress Lady Anne and Loefwen, Sir Aubry produced a vial of liquid of purportedly miraculous qualities. He related how he was hunting a large boar, and stopped to resin his bow with sap from a nearby pine tree. Upon returning to his camp, however, the liquid within had magically turned to something that looked like water. He attributed this to some protective magic that the “faerie” boar must have used.
Vindicatus used his magics to examine the liquid, and determined that it was, in fact, composed of human tears. Unable to attribute much imagination to the young knight, the magi became intrigued by this tale, and asked him to take them to the site of this miracle. Lady Agatha elected to remain behind and be entertained by Sir Bertran, but the charming Lady Anne invited herself along. She showed them some of the impressive sights of La Cité on the way out of town, including the ruins of the Gaulish temple of Vesunna and a massive Roman amphitheater.
Sir Aubry was not entirely successful finding the spot where the sap had been collected, but Vindicatus used the tears as an arcane connection to lead them to the spot. Nicodemus, with his ability to see beyond the mortal coil, spied a young peasant trapped within the tree.
When a wreath of pine cones was found nearby. Vindicatus tried to use his magics upon it, and while he determined that its creators were immediately behind him, this also seemed to send the group into a regio: heavy snows now blanketed the forest, as far as could be seen, in all directions. Soon thereafter, all of the mundanes were turned to trees…with the notable exception of “Lady Anne.” When the flabbergasted William noted her resistance to the effect, she coyly noted that she was probably “protected by her parma magica” and revealed herself to be a maga of House Jerbiton. Nicodemus set off with Balthasar to see if he could find the boundaries of a regio. Not long thereafter, the morose Balthasar became oddly silent, and Nicodemus found he, too, had been turned into a tree. His challenges to the powers of the forest went unanswered, and while investigating the spot where the first peasant had been found, William’s parma magica withstood an assault.
Terse negotiations ensued. Loefwen used her Leap of the Homecoming to return to the covenant, and Vindicatus intimated that their entire Order was now alerted to the threat of the trees and would come to destroy them unless their companions were freed. The trees then released all of the mundanes except Sir Aubry, Nicodemus and Balthasar, and said they would release them when their seeds were planted: a pile of pinecones full of vis. The magi agreed, and returned home to discuss their options. After some back and forth, the magi agreed to plant the pine cones in the depths of the nearby forest of La Bessede, hoping to discharge their part of the bargain, and establish a is source in the process. Almost two months later, having been freed, Nicodemus and Balthasar returned to Commarque.
Cast: Lady Agatha and Loefwen (Val), Balthasar and Nicodemus (Josh), Vindicatus (Grady), William de Bonville (Bob).
Alpha Storyguide: Patrick
Experience: Source Quality 7