March 1225 saw a great deal of rain, and the plain about Commarque was a soggy mess. Unhindered by such simple concerns, the Bjornaer maga Curina once again paid a courtesy call to the magi of Crypta Venatus, and warned them that she and her clan (Ilfetu) would again be performing their mystery cult rituals nearby. As a fellow Wilderist, she invited Gaston of Bjornaer to participate.
Meanwhile, another familiar face arrived, bearing her own invitation. Melisandre, bride to Royal family member Henri de la Rochenoire, arrived the following day to visit her father. She also extended an invitation to William de Bonville and the other ‘scholars’ to dine with Count Archambaud II Talairand de Périgord, who himself was entertaining many powerful French nobles…it was even possible that His Majesty, King Louis VIII, would be in attendance! Raymond of Toulouse had been excommunicated, and a large army was being sent south to push him into the sea and return the light of Christ (and rule by the Crown) to these heathen lands.
Melisandre admitted to William and Melita of Bonisagus that her marriage was not what she had hoped it would be. With the dissipation of William’s love philters, Henri had gone back to his womanizing ways, and paid her no heed since their daughter was born the year before. William planned to create another potion; Melita recommended Melisandre carve out her own life with the power given her.
Arriving in La Cité, the party from Commarque was stunned to see the large French host arrayed around Archambaud’s lands. William tried to procure housing for their men from the army’s commander, Humbert de Beaujeu, but was rebuffed. Archambaud made the necessary arrangements, and held an audience with the magi. They discussed strategies for moving the army on, while stressing the need to downplay allegiance with King Henry III.
Lady Agatha again impressed the guests at dinner with her singing, accompanied by the legendary Bertran de Born lo Filhs. Yet during dinner, Giovani realized that vicious rumors of Godlessness in the area were being perpetuated by one of Humbert’s party, a Dominican brother named Michel. Williams quickly put an end to this by casting Gossip of the Marketplace, insinuating that the brother himself was a buggerer. The next day saw the good brother off. (William also gained a reputation for managing a 43 on his Carouse roll, drinking the place practically dry and being unfazed!)
Meanwhile, Gaston discovered that Petrocoricus, the lead Bjornaer of the group of Wilderists that had enacted the ritual, had himself discovered a way to awakened the Heartbeasts of mundanes, and that some of the participants in the recent ritual were not magi, but simple peasants from the village nearby in which Petrocoricus lived. He then grappled with the implications of this news, and worried whether or not he should inform his sodales.
Calling the magi together, Gaston tried to gauge his fellow magi’s positions with respect to the advance of the Dominion. Melita quickly gathered that his meandering queries had to do with the recent Bjornaer rituals, but William, Fortis of Flambeau and Jehans of Tremere were obviously of the mind that the Dominion could and should not be challenged. Melita advocated formally disavowing the Bjornaer activities and Gaston’s fellow magi favored alerting the Quaesitors, lest any possible violations of the Code come back to haunt them.
Cast: Gaston and Giovani (Guillaume), Eadwyn, Melita, and Agatha (Val); William (Bob); Giles and Jehans (Eric).
Alpha Storyguide: Patrick
Source Quality: 6 (+1 Cnf to Agatha and William)