In the autumn of 1219, Fortis of Flambeau, William of Jerbiton and Melita of Bonisagus were returning from the covenant of Atramentum Renatus, where they had been invited to set up vis and text exchanges. Stopping at an inn to rest for the night, the group noticed three soldiers in the common room with livery bearing three horses argent on a field of vert. Speaking to these soldiers, Fortis learned that they were employed by one Gille de Roche – a French Nobleman from the Vale de Sombre – and were participating in the crusade against the Cathars to the south; specifically, at the town of Lalanne.
As the night wore on, a flood of refugees appeared at the inn, claiming to be from Lalanne. Two of the refugees stood out: Avram ben Schlomo, a Jewish scholar, and Martin, a tradesman. They informed the magi that they have been pursued by the soldiery which sacked Lalanne, and also that the soldiers had been searching for a book in the town. William noticed that the three soldiers in the inn left as soon as the refugees arrived. Martin gave Fortis uncannily precise directions when questioned on the way the refugees had traveled.
Deciding to further pursue the mystery of what the soldiers sought in Lalanne upon the morrow, the magi retired for the night. Fortis and Melita were awakened by an attack upon their parmae, while William and the mundanes in the inn were afflicted with bad dreams of being hunted through a forest. Martin was the only person not affected by such dreams and indeed had joyous dreams of running with his “family.”
Deciding that Avram might prove useful to the covenant due to his skills as an architect and mason, the magi sent him and his family on to Commarque; meanwhile, they arranged to take Avram’s son Mikha’el and the mysterious Martin with them to research the sacking of Lalanne. Along the way, the magi ran into a small army with the livery of Gille de Roche, including a large number of priests. Posing as pilgrims, William and Fortis approached to parlay with the head priest, Father Chrétien. Father Chrétien loudly denounced the heretics of Lalanne, seemingly supernaturally enraging the army and Fortis, but failing to penetrate the William’s magic resistance. Sensing that Fortis was now poised to harm Martin, William prevented him by casting a spell upon him to break the incitement to violence. Attributing Chrétien’s power to diabolism (the smell of brimstone was detected), Fortis conceived a plan to disguise themselves as soldiers, infiltrate the army, and gather more information, while William suggested they might kill the false priest. Fortis was well pleased with this suggestion and assented. Meanwhile, Martin exhibited more animalistic behavior, adding to the suspicions that he might be a werewolf, and William again came to the group’s rescue with Mentem magics, calming the tradesman.
Disguised as common mercenaries, Fortis, William, and Eadwyn joined the army. That night, Fortis was given guard duty outside Father Chrétien’s tent, along with another soldier, and the Flambeau overheard Father Chrétien carrying on a conversation, seemingly with himself. Later in the evening, William approached the tent and put the guard to sleep with his Call to Slumber spell. Fortis then quickly slit the guard’s throat, and the men proceeded inside. There, Fortis grievously wounded the priest, and Eadwyn was aghast when Fortis then decapitated the “holy man.” Taking Father Chrétien’s journal, a demonic Bible, and a tainted torc, the magi made their escape back to Commarque.
Upon having Bernard the scribe and Avram read the journal, it was discovered that Chrétien had been after something called Υιοσ λυκαον, κυον σωτερ.
Cast: Melita of Bonisagus and Eadwyn (Val), William of Jerbiton (Bob), Fortis of Flambeau (Patrick).
Beta Storyguide: Nick
Experience: Source Quality 5