Mortui Vivos Docent

The Way of St. James, Part I

...in which a noble heir's disappearance puts the magi on the pilgrims' path

Amidst the heat of summer in 1224, Gaidon d’Aubec received an urgent summons from his liege lord, Comte Archambaud II Talairand de Périgord. This missive not only summoned him to La Cité, but also intimated that the ‘scholars’ of Crypta Venatus might prove useful in a manner that suggested he was familiar with their involvement in rescuing a missing noble boy (see The Legend of St. Guinefort). William de Bonville, Gaston du Rouergue and Jehan of Tremere agreed to accompany the Count’s man on the two-day journey to La Cité.

The normally boisterous Count was clearly vexed by something of import, and quickly explained how Antoine, the son and heir of Antoine Montagrier, Lord of Château Mourette and important vassal of Hugh “le Brun” de Lusignan, Count of Marche, Aubusson and Angoulême. Given the complicated relationship between the two counts, Archambaud was concerned how the disappearance of Montagrier’s heir while in his care would play out. He tasked Gaidon with the boy’s recovery.

Questioning Guy, the captain of the guard, amde it clear that while the premises had been searched quite thoroughly, the investigation had also proceeded without imagination and was stymied. Those who say him last – the serving girl Maude and Father Francois – added little information of use, but it was revealed that pilgrims had stayed at the castle a week prior, on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Still, the boy had not disappeared until some days after the pilgrims had passed on, so it was not seen how this event could be related. Arcane connections to the boy were gathered, and Gaston took bird form to fly these back to the covenant. Gaidon spurred his horse along the road to the Pyrenees, hoping to catch and interrogate the pilgrim group.

Gaidon caught up with the pilgrims, but learned a strange woman named Ala had joined their group just before entering the castle and then quit their number a day after leaving. Melita of Bonisagus cast The Inexorable Search using the arcane connections Gaston brought her and pinpointed the boy’s location somewhere between La Cité and Ostabat. Recalling that the Way of St. James was purported to predate Christianity, and associated with the fertility magic that so enthralled her, she set out to rendezvous with the other magi while Gaston sought out Gaidon.

When the groups had reunited, they struck south and Melita made repeated castings to try to gather their proximity to the boy. One night, the grogs glimpsed a shadowy figure, and soon the magi were confronted by a specter. William managed to gain its attention, and it gestured for them to follow it. Where no road had been before, they were now walking on the old Ab Asturica Burdigalam. The apparition led them to a small hollow, where they found the remains of a robed man. Then the spirit spoke.

He revealed himself to be one Adolphus of Bonisagus, and retold how he was traveling the Way when he was mortally wounded by a pack of magical wolves. He requested that his remains be taken to the catacombs of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. While the magi were hesitant to comply, Adolphus said he would reveal to them the hidden fertility rituals within the Codex Calixtinus is they would do so. Melita quickly agreed.

Within days the group was apparently right on top of the missing boy, according to her magics. Finding an old standing stone, the Bonisagus maga led them around it three times in a counterclockwise direction. The regio they entered was not unlike their normal surroundings, but a large boulder nearby now assumed the visage of an ugly, 14-foot tall giant. The giant, Bonebreaker, queried the visitors as to their business here, and seemed amused by their answers. He called for “the Lady”, who likewise parlayed with the wizards, assuming a knowing and superior manner. Their conversation convinced the magi that this creature had eaten the boy, and faced with the prospect of combat against two apparently powerful foes, they retreated to consider their options.

Cast: Jehan (Eric), Gaston (Guillaume), Melita (Val), Gaidon and William (Bob).

Alpha Storyguide: Patrick

Comments

This adventure summary states that the events described took place in summer 1223, but the prior adventure (run by Eric) took place in autumn 1223. Patrick, could you clarify the year and season for this adventure?

The Way of St. James, Part I
madirishman

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