1260.4 - The Bear came over the Mountain

He will travel with you until the Danube and, just as he said, he will cross and you find a river boat/barge moving up river to Belgrade. On the way he will point out a dragon flying in the mountains that you have exited. He is not helpful for local customs other than the Tribunals that the Tremere hold every year ( which is a good thing) and the Oppidums which seem to pop-up everywhere and come and go ( which he does not like).

On the boat you meet a young Redcap named Nika who is also going to Belgrade before heading to Trieste. She tells you about some of the customs of the land. Cautions you again about vampires. Arktos gathers that the Redcaps have a Mercere Magi named Panacea who is quite good at longevity rituals and has had many children and several that have been gifted. The jokes is that she is trying to rebuild the redcaps and magi of the House by herself.

Arktos continues up to Mohàcs where he is met my a merchant named Veles who is on his way to deliver some goods to Hèviz and was told to wait for him. Veles is not very talkative and Arktos can recognize the effect of the Gift. It takes about two weeks and they arrive 3 days before mid-winter.

Arktos and his men are greeted in the courtyard by some other armed men that do not appear to have anything to do with the Inn. Some of the men speak Greek and all can speak Latin ( unlike the staff of the Inn). They have prepared a site for Arktos' hounds but it is outside the Oppidum proper. When questioned about this they just shrug and say Rules

While Arktos's men are lead into the Inn, he is lead by another around the Inn and into a compound that looks to be an old Roman fort. He can feel the tingle as he passes into an Aegis Remus smells all sorts of magic and is getting excited. Arktos is lead to a door which leads to a round room. The man leading him stand aside and, with a slight bow, gestures for him to enter. The room has an obvious ring drawn in the floor that must be crossed from him to enter.

Arktos follows the ring with his eyes.

Careful. Good. Keep watch, boy.

He steps confidently over the ring into the room.

There is an older and balding man sitting behind a large desk in the center of the room. He rises when Arktos enters and bows slightly.

Grettings Arktos ex Miscellanea. I am Aleksandar, the steward of this Oppidum.

There is some yelling from above.


And a much more calm voice answering. Yes. and his pack is being kept off of the grounds.


That is his familiar so that does not count as a dog.

Uhmmm. Aleksandar seems a bit taken aback. Laterala will be with your shortly...I hope.

Arktos nods.


He looks up.

I see we have a cat lover.

"Are you telling me there is a magic dog now?! What is this* Laterala?! We had an agreement! Wolves were fine...but...no...DOGS! And now you tell me there is not one dog...but a whole bloody pack! Where is the Hoplite! This must be an attack upon my person, why are you just standing there! Sound the alarm!"

*edited for accuracy

Go outside, boy.

Remus takes a whiff, trying to catch the ruffled man's scent. He gets up and runs out. Arktos raises his voice.

I sent the hound away. Come down, cat lover. I would have a word.

The shouting from above abruptly stops and the wood creaks slightly as a light tread walks to the stairs and comes down. The door opens with a whoosh of chill air and a tall and unusual looking man walks in. He is tall and lean and dressed in fine clothes that seem somewhat foreign to this locale. His skin is near white as marble and his shining black hair reaches his collar. He wears an emerald ring on his left hand and a fine cloak on his shoulders.

His eyes though are perhaps the most disconcerting, virtually black orbs that dart about in their sockets. He looks about the room and seems to sniff the air lightly before finally looking at the newcomer.

"I am Zoltan ex Merinita." he pauses and looks about the room again "Why do you say cat lover? Is it merely a choice of dogs or cats, is it so simple? Have you already catalogued me sodalis?"

Arktos raises his eyebrow ever so slightly.

Arktos ex Miscellanea.

Why else would a magus fear a hound? It must be their young they worry about. No need. My leash holds.

Arktos raises his arm, revealing a black leather whip curled around his forearm.

Zoltan laughs softly, but his eyes remain fixed on Arktos, their stare is unnerving to say the least. (he has the Piercing Gaze virtue) "Who said I was afraid of dogs?" he finally asks as the tension seems about to rise to a boil and he walks to a chair and sits down. "As for why would a magus fear a dog? I am not so certain you know dogs as well as you think. Dogs and Hell are known in many stories, Cerberus for example, the guardian of Hades. The Goddess Hekate is represented by the dogs that were her companions...and she was known for her spite and wrath. But also, dogs represent civilization and the taming of the wild, of turning rage and fang to the whims of people who do not appreciate the cost on their soul at enslaving an animal that used to run free. Perhaps that is why I do not prefer the company of dogs. Perhaps that is why many wild animals do not prefer the company of dogs."

Arktos strokes his beard.

Yes. Dogs are made by man. Other creatures are merely given unto him.

You would not tame the wild and rule it as master. No matter. More for the rest of us.

He lets loose a short, rumbling laughter.

Zoltan quirks an eyebrow at the last statement and seems a bit surprised but he's soon laughing right along with Arktos, and then still laughing loudly after he is done, he is obviously quite amused at his statement. He finally stops after a few more chuckles and wipes his eye. "Yes...well good luck with that. There are virtually no stories where that view went unexpectedly awry. Anyway, regardless of my feelings of dogs, an agreement was reached between myself and Laterala when I joined this Oppidum. And dogs, rather their absence, was part of it. I'll let Laterala inform you of those things, she is good with rules. Why are you here though Sodalis?"

Arktos smiles at Zoltans jape. He adjusts the rope that binds his travelling furs to his rotund waist.

Cataloging creatures. And if I pluck some off the top, no one is worse for it. You can help yourself to those stories. It seems to me you are missing some important ones.

And old woman in Tremere robes comes out. You had better move along Zoltan. I'm going to invite Arktos up and I'm guessing his familiar is coming as well.

Please come up the stairs over there Arktos but slowly to give our sodalis a chance to leave.

Once he is up on the landing Laterala invites him into the aegis with the token being scale from some reptile that is 3" in diameter.

Come into my office please and pour yourself some beer if you wish.

Zoltan make an overly obsequious bow to each before departing, you think you may actually here a hiss emanate from him once he leaves. "Yes Juriska I know there are dogs, I found out about them. No! Juriska, you must not..!"

Thank you, Laterala .

Arktos waits until Zoltan is out. He then whistles loudly, and Remus returns to his side.

(Would Remus be able to smell Juriska?)

He pockets the token and follows Laterala to her office. He takes a seat and a swig of beer, thoughtfully scratching Remus behind the ears.


This Zoltan is a curious character, even for a Merinita. I hope he doesn't give my pack trouble.

Because she is fae, no. I did look this up a day ago on a totally different premiss but the Glamor that makes a fae is not magic.

Laterala waves him inside the office. Pour yourself some beer if you would like. She says waving to a pitcher of beer and some mugs.

He will not and you should treat him with respect due to another member of this Oppidum. And that means that your pack must be kept off of the Oppidum grounds proper. I have prepared a site for them outside the old walls of the fort. I must do that because Zoltan has an existing contract with my House for services and as a part of that contract there are no dogs allowed within the Oppidum grounds. I have stretched this to allow your Familiar. I can do this because he is a creature of magic and bound to you but if makes a complaint to the Praeco I do not know how he would rule. So I must ask you to not antagonize him with Remus. Do not bring Remus to council meetings. He may sit near by but not come in while Zoltan is there. Is that understood?

Arktos nods, sweeping beer foam off of his drooping whiskers.

Understood. Work together and prosper, yes.

I take it this site for my pack is outside the Aegis. This is unsatisfactory, if understandable. l have heard of the horrors that creep the night here. l will not have my pack devoured by gourds.

May I protect the hounds with non-lethal magic? I would also have Remus look for a sabotnic hound, and acquire this for the pack. It would benefit the covenant as well.

Remus sits quiet through this exchange, enjoying Arktos' gentle grooming.

It is outside the Aegis for now. In 3 days we must decide the boundaries of the Aegis. If we include the pen for your dogs, we will have to move them before beginning the ritual.

She chuckles a bit at the gourds. I think I can put a ward around the pens to protect them for now if you wish. Or just allow the local guards to put up their anti-vampire charms around the pens. It works just as well.


You will have to help me on the word sabotnic I can not find a definition of the word on-line.

Excellent. A ward against faeries in the meantime is fully satisfactory.

But l am not here so that you can be of service to me. Should we discuss the specifics of what you require of me?

(The sabotnik dog is on p. 131 of Against the Dark. I typoed it above.)

Laterala gets a small scroll from her desk and opens it.

The Tribunal will pay a fee for the cataloging and capture of magical creatures.
For any creature captured, the Tribunal will a base vis cost of what would be extracted from it.
For any captured creature that has it abilities, strengths and weaknesses cataloged, the Tribunal will pay 2x the base vis
For any creature that is captured and tamed or trained. The Tribunal will pay 3.5x base vis
Highly dangerous creatures will have a bonus of 2x base vis above the prices noted above.
Lexander ex Tremere will determine the dangerousness of the creature. I'm sure he will be a primary buyer of the dangerous ones.

You must follow the rules of the Tribunal as it pertains to the selling of magical creatures. Meaning they cannot be sold to outside individuals without the Tribunal having first given approval.

You will have the status of Hospites within the Tribunal with all rights that it gives.

She hands the contract to Arktos to look at. You may add or change things now if you wish. They may or may not be accepted.