[Actual Play] Ruins of Andresina

[center][u]Summer/Winter of 1223: Storm Rising[/u][/center]
It is now time for a flashback. Gotvinus is told of ruin being brought upon his sodales due to mundane interference. Rheingasse is under house ransom by Duke Waleran III of Limburg; demanding Wilhelm to craft him magic items to make up for his providing of them to Margrave Philip II of Namur in their war.

Gotvinus makes way to Cologne, readily evading Waleran's stationed soldiers for an audience with the co-leader of the Apple Gild. Wilhelm is unsure what's happening, other than hearing of rumours that Philip got ahold of some fairly effective magic items, and evidently Waleran believes he provided them. After some general questioning, Gotvinus headed out for Philip's castle, hearing rumours of a guerilla catapult team and his own castle able to slay entire teams of horses at a glance.

Posing as a diplomat hired by Waleran, Gotvinus obtains an audience. It's a long-winded set of time, but he leaves behind a point of Warp using his more potent mind-reading magic. Philip was approached by a poor man named Boris who claimed to be a magus from Cologne, selling the Staff of Vilano and the Phobos Flagrum; both bearing Hermetic runes. Philip had gladly paid the magus much for the items, then proceeded to hire a team of half a dozen men to go forth with the staff and wage war upon Waleran's castles in retaliation for his aggression. As Philip's own castle is under seige (Gotvinus use simple ReMe magic to get past Waleran's men) the Phobos Flagrum is kept within the castle and brought out twice a day to kill some of the horses. Gotvinus leaves with a 'failure' to satisfy potential negotiations between Waleran and Philip, and makes his leave.

Once outside, he makes haste to Waleran, this time under the explicit position of being an envoy from the Order of Hermes. Making his case, he tells the Duke that the items were never supposed to be sold as it goes against their code, and so Rheingasse's aid under his threat simply cannot be done. Waleran is unconvinced, but is convinced that were Philip's own magic items to be removed, he would cease attempting to force obedience from Rheingasse and other magi for aid in his fight against Philip II.

Gotvinus travels for a time and finds the location of the team carrying the Staff of Vilano, strangely unarmored and bearing not a single bit of metal, using their position as serjeants to the Marquis of Namur as payment for drinks when in the tavern. Staying out of sight, Gotvinus manages to overhear their boisterous carousing, bragging of their invulnerability to iron weapons so long as they willingly bear one in turn. Later in secret, Miruna overheard them recount the tale of a strange man in rags giving them the blessing as thanks for giving him bread.

Later that night, under the cover of invisibility, MuIm for the voice of the wind, and sleep magic, Gotvinus keeps the men asleep and absconds with the staff. Under the rush of success with magic, Gotvinus then disguises himself as a merchant to go before Philip and slaps down the Mentem until he walks out the door with the whip. At a later meeting with Wilhelm, Gotvinus agrees to not lay down the law on Wilhelm, who had used magic to bankrupt several of Waleran's soldiers and their access to funds through gambling; on the condition Wilhelm subtly resolves the conflict between Waleran and Philip.

Gotvinus impounds the magic items to Durenmar for storage, their sigils showing their construction being from before the Schism War. He then gets paid for his service and returns to the covenant.

And now we return to the present, three birds circle the inside portion of the aegis.

The goose lands on Tim's lab and explodes most of the roof with lightning. Struggling to think of what to do, Joseph spontaneously casts an elemental version of Demon's Eternal Oblivion, successfully destroying 3 Might. Due to Weird Magic, he does get blasted in the face with lightning from the effort, but the penetration fails to do a thing. The elemental blows away their grogs, failing to even budge the magi's hair because of the Aegis. Karl targets the owl with a spontaneous MuAu to transform 13 Might into stone for a day, knocking it into Incapacitated.

Threatened by these magi, the two elementals swerve down and surround Karl and Joseph's heads for their suffocate power. Each of them attempt to cast a spell, but fail to penetrate their magic resistance. Not trusting their ability to continue doing magic with two fatigue levels already on their person, they opt to sit down and recover a fatigue, as the elementals can't tell they can still breathe.

After a minute or so, the elementals realize it's not working and begin fighting the others, blowing everything everywhere and beginning to suffocate others...

duh duh duh dunna chargin’ my attack

Using the arcane connection from some of the collateral damage, they enhance their penetration and heavily damage them with MuAu for the same effect as before. One of the Black Cloaks nearly chokes to death because it was transformed into goose feathers while in his mouth/throat (Joseph's weird magic again). But the threat is now handled, and they store the transformed bits of vis in air tight jars at the suggestion of Sanagos; who they are believing to not have the Gift since they've yet to see him cast a single spell.

Next is exploring the ball of violet energy in the crater below that the elementals crawled out of. Through experimentation and Magic Theory, they eventually deduce it seems to essentially be an excessively Warped, 10 pase diameter, circle ward against Animal, Terram, Aquam, and Herbam that's been around for anywhere from 50 to 200 years. It's carved onto a plate of brass inscribed with various Hermetic Forms indicating what it's warding against, but seems to be otherwise empty. After a couple days of excavation, they get the hemisphere completely exposed with a walkway to it. Stripping naked, Gotvinus enters the circle to start using Intellego magics; including a lack of aura and the presence of regio boundary. As he exited, he swore he heard the rustling of pages. Juniper goes in next. Within the boundary of the ward is two layers of regionnes, the middle one seeming to be an empty void, and the top-most one filled with clouds and sunlight along with a huge tome floating within.

Juniper, traversing the regio boundaries, finds herself unable to catch the massive codex, but does manage to 'herd' it into the bottom regio long enough for Gotvinus to use InAn magic to find the table of contents.

Ars Fulgrum
A massive, 36"x21", tome with the sigil of Tempestus of Tytalus embossed on the cover. It floats out of reach of any who attempt to grab it, but were they to get it to listen to gravity, it would weigh 75kg (Load 21). Within its covers are the following books.* Efficacious Conjuring: With Applications for Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Body and Spirit (Creo L10/Q15)

  • Study on Storms (Auram L10/Q20)
  • Lab Text on Fulgrous Orb - As per incantation of lightning w/Potency 7 and the component of an agate set into a wand
  • Casting Tablet of Fulgrous Orb
  • Ars Fulgrous Orb (Fulgrous Orb Mastery L5/Q18)
  • Calculations on Transient Lightning (Fulgrous Orb Mastery, Q18)
  • Boundless Realms of Zeus (Fulgrous Orb Mastery, Q18)
  • On Meteorological Events (Fulgrous Orb Mastery, Q18)
  • Lightning Strikes Six Times (Fulgrous Orb Mastery, Q18)
  • On Crafting Thunderstones (Fulgrous Orb Mastery, Q18)
  • Cyclops’ Illumination (Fulgrous Orb Mastery, Q18)
  • Correspondences of Tempestus and Others (Fulgrous Orb Mastery, Q11)

You totally stole the name of a Creo book of mine. :smiley: And I know from whence you stole it.

I didn't steal it, Tempestus did :stuck_out_tongue:

[center][u]Spring to Autumn of 1224: Salt the Earth[/u][/center]
Spring is a busy time for the covenant. Approval has been made to dip into the coffers and break ground for a new covenant great hall, with eight wings attached equilateral around it for mage labs. For their first year, they are going to contract two teams of masons to start construction on two of the labs, and enlist Ehren to continue his Magic Theory lessons with the familiars and three of the scribes; the plan is for all four scribes to spend a season this year toward constructing/moving the labs into two of the buildings that should be finished within the year.
Meanwhile, a large & heavily armored fellow w/his team of soldiers ride up to the entrance of the covenant, claiming to be Hoplite Joseph Miller (the Bear) of Flambeau. He demands a return of his vim vis and amulet, displaying a written statement of the original sender as proof of him being the intended recipient. Remembering prior incidents of the amulet bursting into flames, Joseph Miller opts to give him the legal finger, to which he is then challenged to certamen; the winner gets to be the caretaker of the items in question until the Tribunal case is resolved.

Joseph Miller wins the certamen!

Miller leaves with parting words to the effect of warning that Malachi is likely following the bearer of the amulet, and sarcastically wishes him luck as he leaves.
They later figure out the regio should be 'stable' if they break the ward, and do so. Then they manage to coax the Ars Fulgrum to fly into a corner of their 'library'.
Just before Summer, Sanagos returns, not seemingly with greater burden than before. The next day, they see him wandering the grounds near the exposed ward. When Gotvinus heads out to inquire this relatively unusual behavior on the part of Sanagos, the elder exclaims that the Queasitore's crying over their finances with his trip has evidently paid off, because he just found where all the salt from such tears had been found! With a kick at some dirt, revealing a salt vein, Sanagos promptly turns around and goes back to his sanctum. After some Intellego prodding, Gotvinus determines that it's a singular mass of sea salt that's over 1000 tonnes.

Use 7: Defend yourself from giant slugs.

The party debates amongst themselves at how to handle this sudden discovery of wealth, eventually coming to the temporary conclusion that they should at minimum use it to reduce provisions by 20% & start throwing £12/yr (two per magus) into the market directly as a source of income, so as to stick to the silver guideline.
About midway through Fall of that year, word spreads that four wealthy-looking hooligans are messing with the village adjacent to their covenant. With a disguise, Gotvinus heads down and uses Peer into the Mortal Mind to find out what their deal is: they are a gang of former bandits enlisted by the new lord of Neufchateau, Malachi. The handsome, raven-haired youth had earned their favour by granting them entry to an orgy or two, then asked them for a small favour in return. They are told to head over to Andresina and look for a man that goes by the name Joseph Miller. If the opportunity seems easy, kill him and bring what they can back to him in exchange for actual gold. If it seems like it would be difficult, then simply returning to the castle and telling him what they can will be sufficient.
As added incentive, Malachi advises against failure, especially if they attempt to run off with the money he's given them (several shillings). To back up his advice, he welcomes a terrifying looking demon.
Gotvinus directs the hooligans under an Aura of Rightful Authority, places them under guard with an equal number of Black Cloaks, then convenes an emergency meeting with the other available magi. While discussing the matter, they hear cries of agony suddenly cut short. Running to the room, they see their Black Cloaks hacking at the hooligans with blind rage, eventually calming down enough to angrily shout that they were a threat to Joseph Miller and must be put down. Simple InMe magic shows their minds to be virtually empty except for vengeful rage, and Gotvinus does his best to calm them down.
After further debate, Joseph Miller (obtained some Infernal Lore texts after the last demon attack and has since gotten to Ability 2, and rolled a 17 with a lucky crit) sends a servant to have Ehren check the library for a text that may identify the demon Gotvinus describes. While they are initially ready to rock to take out the obvious infernalist at Neufchateau, Ehren arrives with the book, white as a sheet.

The demon is known as Olrox, Lord of the Broukalak. Like his brethren, unable to being born on a Saturday makes you protected (none but Ehren and Count Albrecht of the players), and can breathe fire. This dampens their enthusiasm dramatically; as suddenly realizing they may be facing a fire-breathing vampire demon lord that can penetrate their aegis. So, they send word to potential other magi of the diabolist's presence and plan to marshal their forces in the comparative safety of their hearth.

[center]Autumn of 1224: Winter is Coming[/center]
During Gotvinus's travels, he meets a Redcap with a similar outlook on life and interested in a covenant that isn't a Mercere hub; due to the fact she experiences some level of discrimination by not physically showing many of the physical traits of the Mercere bloodline. In addition, Wickerus is being redistributed after the incident between the two Joseph Millers, so a regular Redcap is needed to replace. And thus, a new Companion is added to the ranks.

In an undisclosed residence at Neufchateau, Karl sits in the back while cloaked in shadow. At the start of Summer, a message was sent to a merchant by the name of Urban with the promise of white gold. In whispers, Urban is tasked to sell a tonne of salt within the year, with the promise to keep a fifth of its sales. If Karl is pleased with the proceeds, then an even greater amount of salt will be tasked to him. Urban is further warned, with all the force given by the Gift, of the dangers in attempting to cheat Karl of his due.

"Pass the salt" seems so much more ominous in this context

In light of the news of Malachi, they decide as a group to have Alfonso investigate Neufchateau. Transforming into an eagle for overland travel to get there in like 20 minutes, she then shifts into a sparrow to investigate more closely. The day reveals that Count Barathias remains in control, but has elevated Malachi to an exceptionally high position of respect after fighting off potential assassins without his skin being broken. Within the castle, she sees Malachi, with surprising immaturity, enjoying the women draped around him. The elderly infernalist enters and gets berated by Malachi (in a language the women don't speak, English) for Joseph Miller still being alive and wondering why they don't just take The Item. The infernalist placates Malachi with the request for patience and subtly insults the boy's lack of understanding at how to control Olrox.

After a few more hours, Alfonso picks up a dropped hair from both Malachi and Count Barathias, and spies on the Count, who is writing letters of praise about Malachi to Duke Matthias II and trying to convince a couple of the village elders to increase production of armor and weapons.

The news is reported back, and Gotvinus attempts some nocturnal spying on the Count, only to find him sleeping alone in a wholly mundane manner. His first attempt with Malachi is a failure due to insufficient penetration, but the second attempt is sufficient to discover him also asleep in his room with an innocent look on his face. Passing the attempt to Lady Vivienne, she opens an Intangible Tunnel to the Count (having previously cast a Sustain the Demanding Spell) to attempt to cast a couple Unravel the Form of Mentem spells on him, including a spontaneous variation to dispel an infernal version of the effect. About a minute later, through her Second Sight, the intangible tunnel glows red and then she's engulfed in flame. It fails to penetrate her Parma, as does the second burst of flame, at which point she unravels the tunnel so the inconvenience stops.

[center][u]Winter of 1224 & Spring 1225: Make Like a Tree and Bleed[/u][/center]
There was some weirdness shortly after the news of Malachi was revealed. Prokui stepped out, conjured a boat, made it hover, then handed a scroll to a naked human who stepped out of his sanctum. The ship then rocketed to the West. Early winter, Alfonso picks up a casting tablet of Ritual Communion (level 25) to be delivered to the covenant, and a mercenary company arrives. The one in charge of the company is a Giant-Blooded man by the name of William, who holds the goal in life to slay demons. There is some initial distrust, but William is permitted to move into the village as a general guard against the infernal.

Lady Vivienne DuBois has an extended conversation with William via Iovhar, as she desires a small scaled reptile with wings. After some debate, a conclusion is reached that she will make a number of single-use rings

As agreed in the Council meeting; Karl, Joseph, Tim, Lady Vivienne, & Gotvinus each use the casting tablet to boost Prokui so as create a level 50 Aegis to protect themselves from Olrox. By majority vote, they also decide to follow the spirit of the code against magically created silver by restricting the sale of salt to £16/year above and beyond personal covenant use.

Karl's response on the right when Urban's sales come in

Late spring, a team is sent out to scout out the vis source that's been giving them trouble; Gotvinus, two Black Cloaks, William, and a team of his soldiers. As they near the place, Gotvinus notices a trio of pale trees are swaying counter to the wind direction, which while enough warning to save him, is not enough to prevent the rest from being attacked by the vampire trees. It's a long and protracted battle, where Gotvinus learns a valuable lesson with his invisibility magic; trees don't have eyes.

The ambush probably doesn't work as well if they did

Fortunately, he spontaneously removed his Black Cloaks' touch species, which seems to confuse them enough to help hack out William and his men. Ultimately, one of the soldiers is killed and two are incapacitated (luckily they don't die), and everyone is brought to a healing circle they set up in one of the empty lab buildings and recover over four+ months. Half a dozen pawns of Herbam vis are stripped from the trees, three pawns of Terram are harvested from the source, Alfonso is shown the location and harvesting so they can have it registered to the covenant.

[center][u]Spring & Summer of 1225: The Stars Hurt[/u][/center]
During Spring, Karl gets a message to meet with Urban for the conditions of salt, and is paid £80. He's also told the tariffs become more lenient with a greater volume, £90 to the tonne in quantities of 4 tonnes or more. Karl, remembering the Council vote very recently, takes the money and tells him to wait a day or two for him to check with his sources. An emergency Council meeting is held, to which Karl argues that he did it before the Council voted, and emphasized the fact it needs to bring ruin upon their sodales before it's a problem; to which it's a single tonne of salt to a mundane merchant who works in Champagne in a region with no monopolies, and doesn't even know his source is from a wizard. The vote comes up again, about the same results, except this time it's Sanagos going "since it's Gotvinus who gave us this salt from his tears, fallout is to be on his head" and voting in favor of continuing the 1 tonne/year rate.

Some time later we have a coincidental meeting of grogs and companions. Alfonso, Ehren, Villenc the Illuminator, and the two teamsters Dobbins and Gregory. They had been doing some travels for business for the magi, and were spending the night at an inn in Neufchateau. Dobbins is woken by speech just outside the window in an alley, where two figures discuss the hurried arrival of Joseph Miller's materials as well as confirmation of his location. It's incredibly dark because of the new moon, so the torch really stands out, giving Dobbins a view of several astronomical papers and maps and other items. He wakes the others, telling them his view, to which Ehren identifies the papers as a nativity horoscope.

Realizing what's at stake, the group jumps out of bed and heads out to intercept the scoundrels. Villenc shifts into a stag, while Alfonso into an asp[sup]1[/sup]. Skipping the pleasantries, they ambush them; the one in furs and carrying the horoscope whipping out a dagger and wounding Villenc while dodging its attack, the other being knocked down and mildly wounded (resists the asp venom). The fight progresses, the asp repeatedly biting the same man who keeps resisting the poison until Dobbins stabs him to stop the madness, while the one in furs keeps dodging the stag and other attacks until a sword gives a distinct thunk when it strikes him for the first time. At which point, throwing his hair back, the 20 year old looking man shouts them down as Malachi. He takes a look at Villenc and tells him to run, at which point the stag bounds away. As the fight progresses, the asp spends a turn or two trying to shift, and Gregory is commanded to kill Dobbins (Villenc, upon release from his control, decides to keep running).

Meanwhile, Ehren has since run away to grab his stuff at the inn (the man in clothing had Contagious Obsession, which spread to Ehren). The innkeeper asks what's up, and gets unusually frightened by the events and starts trying to rally the town, claiming they're under attack.

Malachi, by this point having lost the horoscope in the fight from a sword slash, starts moving back slowly while Gregory & Dobbins struggle. Alfonso shifts into lion form, causing Malachi to lose his cool and run around the corner. Bounding after, Alfonso finds him bowled over inside a family's home, shouting for help. She growls and steps out while the rest of the town begins to gather. Dobbins gathers the horoscope remnants and joins the others in hitching up their wagon and getting the hell out of town. They pick up a small, wounded, naked man with only a deerskin out in the field on their way out.

Around midnight, the group rouse the magi to tell them of what they encountered. Prokui, tired of the threat, asks Alfonso to sneak into the castle to get a hair of Malachi's. Alfonso is granted invisibility and silence enchantments, transforms into an eagle whose casual fly speed is 30mph, and readily infiltrates the castle. The infernalist is nearby, with the demon in scary looking owl form, trying his best to scold Malachi without hurting his feelings while he's bandaged from the light wounds he received. Once they leave, Alfonso snatches a bloody gauze and stores it in her pouch to fly back to the covenant.

At this point, Gotvinus spontaneously generates an image of the room Alfonso is in with the Arcane Connection, then Prokui throws out a ceremonial version of Strings of the Unwilling Marionette with increased range. Malachi is dragged across the castle with a greatsword, stabs the infernalist a few times, then slits his own throat.

Prokui teleports back to bed.

At the end of spring, Lady Vivienne hands the team of men from William's company magical rings that will grant immunity to fire for a day (+25 fire wards), and they set out on their journey to capture a dragon for her to bond to.

Writing to the King of Cats, Ehren implores his liege to revoke his banishment and return to where it is safer. The King of Cats responds with an offer of redemption. There is a party being hosted by the League of Gastronomers, to which Ehren and a +1 is invited. Sanagos is also invited, and is permitted a +1. RSVPs are expected from Ehren, and if the party goes well, he will be permitted to return.

  1. The next day, I realized that the Dominion aura for the town should've applied to Alfonso's shapeshifting. Taking advantage of the fact it was at night, and New Castle is more of a town than a city, meant it was merely a -3 to checks; we decided to just keep it in mind for next time.

[center][u]Summary of 1224[/u][/center]
GotvinusSpring - Adventure (5 Intellego, 5 Parma)
Summer - Queasitore Exposure (2 Intrigue)
Autumn - Reading (21 Creo)
Winter - Reading (19 Vim)Joseph MillerSpring - Adventure (5 Muto, 5 Vim)
Summer - Lab Exposure (2 Magic Theory)

Autumn - Reading (18 Intellego)
Winter - Reading (18 Intellego)[u]Tim[/u]Spring - Adventure (5 Magic Theory, 2 Magic Lore, 3 Parma)
Summer - Reading (18 Magic Theory)
Autumn - Translation (2 Scribe)
Winter - Lab Refinement (2 Magic Theory)[u]Karl[/u]Spring - Adventure (5 Penetration, 5 Finesse)
Summer - Reading (19 Vim)
Autumn - Reading (7 Vim)
Winter - Reading (15 Creo)[u]Lady Vivienne Dubois[/u]Summer - Reading (15 Creo)
Autumn - Reading (16 Auram)
Winter - Lab Exposure (2 Ignem)

[u]Familiars[/u]Miruna Spring (16 Magic Theory), Summer (15 Magic Theory), Autumn & Winter Matchmaking (4 Intrigue)
Owlowicious Spring (15 Magic Theory), Summer (16 Magic Theory), Autumn & Winter Predictions (4 Premonitions)

[center]Be Very Quiet: We're Hunting Dwagons[/center]
The search for a dragon suitable for Lady Vivienne's needs as a familiar isn't established in the rules, so I kit-bashed the rules for searching for an apprentice. After spending a season searching, make a Perception + Magic Lore stress roll against an EF 18. If you fail but still get a 12+, you get a +3 for the next season.

And so, the team of Williams's grogs searched across the land for three seasons before they found rumours of a tiny dragon. Stealthily, they sneak up upon it, and the resulting combat goes surprisingly well for them as they grapple and scuffle it into unconsciousness. They triple muzzle it and begin their trek back home.

Might 9 (Animal)
Characteristics Cun -3, Per +2, Pre +0, Com +0, Str -3, Sta +2, Dex +3, Qik +4
Size -2
Season Spring
Virtues/Flaws Magical Animal; Lightning Reflexes, Piercing Gaze, Puissant (Brawl), Tough; Mute, No Hands; Magical Monster
Qualities/Inferiorities Affinity for Magic Theory, Ignem Resistance, Improved Abilities, Improved Defense, Improved Powers x2, Improved Soak x2, Lesser Power, Personal Power x2, Puissant Magic Theory, Unaffected by the Gift; Essential Flaw (Avaricious, major), Miniature; Susceptible to Deprivation
Personality Traits Avaricious +6, Fierce +4, Territorial +2
CombatBite Init +3, Atk +11*, Def +12*, Dmg -2

  • +9 group bonusSoak +11
    Fatigue Levels OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
    Wound Penalties -1 (1-3), -3 (4-6), -5 (7-9), Incapacitated (10-12), Dead (13+)
    Abilities Athletics 2 (flying), Awareness 3 (alertness), Brawl 2+2 (bite), Folk Ken 2 (peasants), Hunt 2 (virgins), Ignem Resistance 1 (dragon breath), Leadership 2 (group combat), Stealth 4 (stalking), Survival 2 (mountains)
    Gout of Flame, 1 point, Init -5, IgnemR: Voice, D: Mom, T: Ind
    Range of 30 paces, dealing +15 damage
    CrIg 25 (Base 20, +2 Voice)Beast of Three Heads, 0 points, ConstantBase 25, +2 Sun, +1 constant, +2 additional heads

[center][u]1225: Mysteries & Recruiting[/u][/center]
It's early spring when Alfonso does a season of Redcap service, keeping an eye out for potential recruits for the covenant. She rolls a successful Perception test to find someone desperate enough to live in the covenant with creepy people (EF 6); to which she runs into a priest managing a gaggle of people stricken with mental demons, one woman who speaks in naught but tongues and is untouched by the innumerable insects around. As Alfonso has Gift of Tongues, she figures out the woman is actually an Egyptian beekeeper (under the rule of Ramses II), mysteriously stranded in a cold and dirty foreign land when her village was attacked by a huge swarm of locusts. Alfonso offers to take the woman, Beetrice, under her wing to help heal her; the worried priest complies, happy to have the space.

During Spring, Tim researches a new spell, which he casts around the covenant.

Count Adalbrecht Werahamun Sylvester von Tutankhamun pulls some strings, and gets in contact with Profundus who lives in Valnastium. With an agreement of the covenant, they offer him a magic item in exchange for him to visit for two seasons to provide Etiquette tutoring for the people invited to the party, which are made by Joseph Miller.

They don't beat around the bush when it comes to bribing a gardener.

In preparation for the party, Alfonso and Lady Vivienne send a letter to Petalichus in hopes that he could make a cloak to aid in Alfonso's shapeshifting and a dress for Lady Vivienne (she'll enchant it herself). He writes back in agreement and tells them to anticipate his arrival in Summer, and will need access to a lab; charging 5 pawns of vis for each item. I am presuming that Petalichus uses his loom on his off days to try to make the best cloth he can, and so has a decent supply of Excellent (+2) fabric bolts in which to work with. It will take repeated castings of another assumed ReAn spell to craft clothing (super low level, and very in character to have), and restricting him to a simple die, but he is numerically able to make Excellent (+2) work on his Finesse checks. Then, his plan is to use Item of Quality on the violet amethyst he's going to have woven into the dress and on the cloak itself, giving a +4 to each for "ascendancy over the masses" and "transform wearer" respectively. And so, 2xp into his Hubris and 10 pawns richer, there will be a breathtakingly beautiful dress with sparkling amethyst and a fabulous cloak that dramatically eases Alfonso's transformations.

Encrypted (EF 15) message on secreted text with S&M bonuses listed. Message is to be burned outside the Aegis, mixed with wine into a paste, and buried beneath the tallest white birch within a day's march
During spring, at sunrise, a goose calmly flies into your lab. It attempts to honk for a moment before it stands up straight, stares at you with eyes of fire, and speaks...

"He who is called Tim. Know that you have been chosen to join our Order, where you will be taught much. That earlier tome is but a shadow of an echo of our secrets. If you wish to probe into the depths of mystery, keep an eye out for a single rose growing without a bush. Tell it where you where born and the day of your birth, then leave. Upon doing so, arrange a trip to this location upon your birthday at least three hours before the hour of your birth."

[Image removed by moderator due to complaint/demand for license from Getty Images]

Golden eggs would probably be preferred over strange messages, but you take what you can.

It's early in spring when Owlowiscious finds the rose, to which Tim walks out to tell it he was born in Brunswick in the middle of July. When the time comes, Tim gathers his things, two Black Cloaks and Eustace. He tells the covenant only that he'll be back in a couple months.

In Brunswick, he is approached by a masked figure wearing a robe. It provides him with an equal robe & mask, along with another rose, telling him to crush it two hours before the hour of his birth and then walk to the place where he entered the world. Donning the clothes, he crushes the rose at the appointed time and begins the walk. While travelling, three other equally disguised figures slowly join him in the walk. At the site, they use imaginem magic to shield their activities from active viewing.

There are some who used to call me...Tim

They afterward cast another ritual and create a magical locus inside [strike]Tim's[/strike]Scolarus's mind, with a summae of Conclave Beneath the Rose Lore L4/Q14, and tell him that instructions for the next meeting will be within the pages of the book in his mind. He then returns home, having told none his business.

[center][u]1226: Year of the Party[/u][/center]
It is a focused year. Profundus comes for Summer and Autumn seasons to teach a gaggle of the covenant in the ways of proper manners. The Weaver spends Spring & Summer in Karl's unused lab ("my student's obviously not using it!") to make Alfonso a Cloak of Quality and Lady Vivienne a Dress of Quality, Karl ranting at the betrayal of his covenant by giving an atrocious man vis.
Sanagos pays Alfonso a pawn of mentem vis to swiftly deliver a message to the host of the party in Geneva, Cybele, and to obtain the best coachman with a reputation of asking no questions to arrive a week prior to the party. Two weeks prior, everyone going to the party but Sanagos loads up into their carriages and begin the trek. One week prior, a crotchety older coachman arrives and Sanagos departs on his own. Everyone gets there with a day to spare, and begin to file in.
The party goes off pretty well with the following attendance.* Cybele of Jerbiton (46yr AG) - Disfigured host and sole mage of the chapter-house for Valnastium. 46yr past Gauntlet, last keeper of the Most Venerable Diamond Sword spell.

  • Shaunziel the Gelded of Jerbiton (30yr AG) Younger apprentice of the same lineage as Cybele, more politically disgraced of the two by their master's fall into diabolism.
  • Nomara of the Silk of Jerbiton (5yr AG) - Young, exotic, shaven-headed woman who dresses in the manner of and claims to be from Serica. Known for specialization of cantations.
  • Marno the Eternal Apprentice of Jerbiton (5yr AG) - Through a combination of theft, death, and unfortunate accidents, Marno's apprenticeship lasted for 25 years and five parens.
  • Rozin Tinwright of Jerbiton (20yr AG) - Current professor of philosophae, this middle-aged woman is prone toward deeply moral questions
    The King of Cats, Ehren, Count Aldebrecht, and those of the same court participated in their own party in a different wing of the manor.
    During the party, everyone but Lady Vivienne aimed toward using their Etiquette to improve the quality of the party. Every Jerbiton except Sanagos and Marno took a penalty to lower Vivienne's attempt. Altogether, the party went splendidly and Lady Vivienne was obliviously made a fool of due to the Jerbiton racism against fae.
    Right at sundown, in the open courtyard shielded from the rain of the storm, a flock of large crows was looking down. As soon as Cybele began his Parma ritual, the chef busted through the door and threw a spear at him, which Lady Vivienne fast-cast a mild disintegration effect to stop it from harming the host. In response to that, a dozen crows flew down into the courtyard, the Aegis (level 20, Cybele is the only magus in a covenant suffused with Dominion rating 3 aura) only being strong enough to stop the spell maintaining their animal-form spell. They 'revert' into a dozen armoured giants (+3 size) with swords and shields, and the battle begins as a micro-storm forms within the aegis.
    Cybele is quickly stabbed by half of the giants for a Heavy Wound from each. Shaunziel attempts to cast a spell and falls into Twilight. Nomara's magic is suitable for embarrassing people, so she contributes little. Marno screams like a girl and runs. Rozin pulls out a black stick and breaks it, disappearing altogether. Sanagos spontaneously throws half of them into a deep slumber. Everyone else jumped into the fray with a mix of magic and grog-fighting for varying levels of damage, until two white cats jump into incapacitate four of the giants (weaponized cuteness) with their magic and the King of Cats sends five of them into a coma by stealing their breath.

    I find your lack of cats disturbing
    In the aftermath, Sanagos used ritualized healing magic to restore Cybele. Gotvinus attempted to interrogate the chef on the balcony (a lacuna), only to see the man struck dead by lightning, prompting Joseph Miller to head out and dispel the storm. In their investigations and mind probes, they determine that a bald ginger by the name of Boris hired the mercenaries; he enchanted them into giants, turned them into crows, had used entrancement on several merchants, summoned the storm, and himself turned into a massive winged lion with horns to kill a vis source.

[center]1227: Travel & Twilight[/center]
Karl conferred with Gotvinus and Alfonso with regards to whom would be the best magus to bribe for the upcoming Grand Tribunal ruling over the Silver Consensus; leading him to an initial correspondance with the Primus of Tremere. Ultimately, if he provides a donation of a magic item that can weaponize cabbages, then Poena will advocate for a measure that will be favorable to Andresina's coffers.
Meanwhile, Alfonso flies south for the winter, ending up in the Kingdom of Nri; where she hears of a shapeshifter being tied to a stake for a pile of crimes. Heading out to where he's being held is a large tortoise chained down with intricately crafted bronze chains and covered with various palm fronds. Thanks to Alfonso's Gift of Tongues, they arrange a deal to be taught how to be a better shifter in exchange for his freedom; one season of practice as an accompliche, and one season of full-on training.
Back in Europe, Gotvinus travels to the Cave of Twisting Shadows to speak with one of the Criamon in Concentration training. After some debate, he is given access to three seasons of training by a seasoned ghost, and he is obligated to extract memories from the mundanes into a physical medium. Specifically, within the next five years, he must obtain at least 36 distinct memories of items. Examples of the kinds of memories include* True Love's first kiss

  • A bishop's first prayer
  • A king's coronation
    For every additional 18 memories obtained afterward, Gotvinus will earn 'credit' for an additional season of training.

    First gray hair?
    The Rhine Tribunal is ultimately uneventful except for two events. Scolarus manages to sell nearly a queen's worth of vis through copies of the fulgrous orb and his own personal lab texts/tractati. Also, Joseph Miller enlists the legal advice of the Gadfly of the Rhine to initiate a Queasitorial decision to give an ultimatum to Joseph Miller; hand over the misdirected amulet and 6 pawns of vim vis, along with a penalty of 6 more pawns of vim vis, before the end of the Tribunal. A couple silver pieces are dropped in Alfonso's lap to run and get the original vim vis, finally putting an end to the situation.
    At the end of Autumn, middle of the night, there is a terrible wind blowing into Prokui's lab. With a crack of thunder, the wind stops, and a soft white glow emanates from within. Out steps a glowing centaur that looks like a younger brother to Prokui, demanding to know where he was.

    The party finds themselves unable to satisfactorily answer the question of location, and find themselves threatened with assault. To which the Black Cloaks band together into a ball of murder...successfully butchering Prokui's adulteration, but not without each Black Cloak ending up cursed with a full understanding of their place in the cosmos; the psychological effects mechanically identical to that caused by Weight of a Thousand Hells. They get over it at the next full moon.

[center][u]1228: A hot time in the old town, tonight[/u][/center]
It's a calm Autumn day, when one of the covenfolk swiftly arrive with an unconscious Eustace in his cart. According to the covenfolk, he had been getting progressively more and more tired each day, and today he won't wake up at all. They attempt to rouse him, but he gives an exhausted mumble and goes back to restless sleep. Gotvinus avails himself of his less imposing magic to scan Eustace's mind for answers, and eventually figures out that he saw a prostitute in Neufchateau several days ago, and has since been unable to sleep at all due to nightmares of her riding him most vigorously. From the description and behavior, Joseph Miller makes an 18 on his Int+Infernal Lore test, and figures out that it's a succubus that's marked him.

She doesn't accept headaches as a good excuse

After checking when and where Eustance availed himself of the hell-whore, several black cloaks, Felicia (one of Lady Vivienne's grogs), Joseph, Karl, William, several of William's men, and Gotvinus made their way to Neufchateau. Knowing she/it only worked at night, they checked with the townsfolk, figuring out that she was the most popular prostitute in the town and the only one that operated out of the castle; technically out of one of the back doors to the grain storage area.

They wait until nightfall, having seeming outruled the possibility of any other prostitutes as being succubi. They do discover that there's been a rise in adultery in the area, which is where Karl got one of his new forge-companions recently; her blacksmith husband was not happy to find out it wasn't his child. The magi shielded themselves with a personal-range ward against demons, and Gotvinus went alone to the castle in an attempt to 'buy' her services. After a bit, one of the castle guard opens the door and takes a small bribe to leave the door unbarred while he goes on rounds.

Castle 'guard'

He shortly meets her within the castle, adjacent a small bed hidden in a corner of the hallway. They discuss silver, and Gotvinus's own silver tongue convinces her to provide the 'girlfriend experience' and walk with him to the tavern in town. Leaving behind the silver as up-front pay, they head out to a predetermined location where everyone else jumps out of hiding. Karl spontaneously uses a ReVi spell to command her to not dematerialize, the succubus uses a group target Obsession power to redirect the martial types' wrath into rapeful lust, to which the blackcloaks, Williams' men, and Felicia all succumb and attempt to gang-rape her before putting her to the sword. They manage to collectively pin her down, at which point Joseph Miller destroys her with a Demon's Eternal Oblivion.

Gotvinus and Karl head back to the castle to get the silver back, the guard not having finished his rounds. While inside, Gotvinus checks the aura, and discovers that it's a level 4 Infernal aura. Upon the realization, a cold gust of wind slams the castle door shut, simultaneously jamming the bar into place. Then, the torches near them begin to billow excessively caustic smoke. Gotvinus fails to unjam the bar, to which Karl uses (making the Concentration check) Arcane Translocation to teleport to the other side of the door (using a sliver of the door as the arcane connection since he doesn't have LoS to the other side) and then spontaneously uses MuTe on the hinges to allow Gotvinus to pass through. Catching their breath for a moment, they begin to leave the grain silo, only to be stopped by a fire starting in front of the exit. Joseph throws down a forceless & spontaneous MuIg spell on the fire to make it mildly dimmer, permitting Gotvinus & Karl to escape. Looking back, the fire extinguishes itself, they see sooty footprints appear inside the castle.

They ride back home, thankful that they sent at least one demon back to Hell.

As they know there's still someone there, they suspect it to be Olrox. Alfonso has heard of the Mulhidun, and makes plans to fly to where they hang out during the Spring of '29 and offer them a pile of silver for its True Name.

[center][u]1228-1229: Cockfights, Cabbages, & Consortings[/u][/center]

During the Grand Tribunal, essentially everyone is out in Durenmar except for Sanagos and the familiars. Miruna is in a secluded area trying to help the growth of budding love between two villagers, while Owlowiscious is elsewhere, hunting field mice. They're both approached (not simultaneously) by the same short man with long furry ears, speaking in soothing rhymes. Owlowiscious gets a strong premonition of struggling in a sack and talons gouging his throat, so he attempts to paralyze him with his stare, only for the man shrug it off and stuff the owl into his bag. Miruna attempts to shoo him away, saying to leave the couple alone, to which he agrees and stuffs Miruna into his bag.

When the come to, it's dawn and they're in metal cages in a hollowed dirt mound. In addition, their wing feathers have been clipped. With a spring in his step, the furry-eared man skips over to pick up the two cages to bring out to a ruined stone circle (might have been an old tower's foundations) with a large-ish wooden cage. There's a gaggle of other goblin-like people gathered 'round, cheering at the arrival of the fur-eared man and his two 'contestants'. Shoving Owlowiscious into the larger cage, he announces round one has begun with Dökkál the Black Cock as the current fan-favorite. The fight goes on for a while until a combined botch for the owl and crit for the rooster results in an incapacitating wound (using a Confidence point to only have it be that).

"Nuts, and I bet £20 on him too..."

Owlowiscious is saved at the last second from the killing blow by the fur-eared man, who is then given the pretense of bandages to stabilize him. Miruna is then shoved into the ring, who as soon as the fight starts, promptly hulks out of the cage by turning into a human with +2 Strength. Not wanting to fight the rooster, who actually has quite the quickness advantage over her human form, she jumps out of the cage to grab Owlowiscious and runs off into the woods. The fae don't consider the fight over, so they goad Dökkál to pursue her and follow to watch the outcome. Eventually, she reaches Rosid and claims grievance against the fowl fighter. Just as Dökkál reaches the copse, he's entwined by Rosid's vines and the fae stay to defend him. Ultimately, the Linden Copse rules in favor of Miruna & Owlowiscious and sentences the cock-fighter to the stocks...soup stocks. Fortunately, the Black Cloaks have arrived by this point, who began the search that morning when Miruna was reported bird-napped. Sanagos provides a healing circle for the owl to rest in for what will be the next three seasons.

Scolarus offers a season of his assistance in the lab in exchange for Lady Vivienne to go forth and deal with the fae who forcibly enlisted his familiar into a fight.

Later, Karl begins the work on opening up the Cabbage Wand for the Tremere Primus as promised for their assistance in pushing the Silver Consensus to be an individual Tribunal matter. In Spring of '29, he beseeches Scolarus to assist him for one season, offering two seasons worth of magic items at a later point. After the owl recovers, the three work together for one season and Karl experiments on top all of this. In the end, Karl will spend 1 season opening the wand and five seasons enchanting it, addled the entire time; earning one aging point and 5 Warp. His plan is to deliver the wand in person by carpet, which he made back in '27.

In Spring of '29, shortly after the Council Meeting, the covenant comes to the conclusion that they need to deal with the infernal presence in Neufchâteau. Lucky lore checks result in Alfonso knowing of the Mulhidun, and offers to head out to purchase the true name of Olrox by the infernal scholars. While in Harco, researching the Redcap maps to plan a viable route via eagle, she is given a contingent letter by the librarian. A magus wishes to speak with her at Braunschweig Cathedral this coming Sunday, during services, for important matters. Asking around, the most Alfonso is able to discern was that it was a member of the Order not of House Mercere, and that the letter was to whomever referred to the maps she was looking at. There's some sleuthing, and long story short, it ends up with her spying on a business transaction between two men in a carriage; and one of them doesn't have a head.

"Family fights over head puns get pretty intense."

Noting that the headless man was holding a pet salamander, she searched the carriage, taking a wood shaving from what seems to obviously be the salamander's cage. Then, she goes to the Cathedral, eventually getting the stink eye from a lower-class man with a magnificent beard. As the man is in a relatively private area, Alfonso approaches, and is met with a cough and Hermetic gestures. After passing through a couple layers of debate, the stranger reveals himself to be Aladavan Venatore fili Rudophus of Bonisagus, the sender of the message and very curious as to why someone was seeking out the Mulhidun. Alfonso gives the reason, Olrox's true name to purge the neighboring castle of evil. Aladavan refuses to go into the castle personally to handle, because that's just They would expect him to do, but offers to teach one of the magi (after a background check) his Venatore techniques. After meeting them in a chapel, exposed to a relic, and blasted with an extreme Demon's Eternal Oblivion; he offers to teach Joseph Miller for a year. Specifically four seasons, granting him Bind the Devil’s Hands (PeVi 30), Exorcise the Filthy Spirit at Eye Range (PeVi 25), 18xp of Infernal Lore (5 goes towards Olrox's name), the Names of Power Virtue (inflicting the Minor Flaw - Venatore; which is a reputation of 3 with Hermetics and Hell), and 45 levels worth of Names. Meanwhile, Gotvinus will invent a spell to let allies see through his illusions, so invisibility will work while keeping the group bonuses intact.

Their plan, to attack the castle on Christmas morning.

"Yippee ki yay mother-..."

[center]1229: Bloody Treatise[/center]
Shortly after Aladavan had been introduced, Alfonso relayed his discovery of the peculiar headless man. Their combined knowledge are able to glean that this was likely one of the Blemmyes, and the pet one of the dangerous Salamanders of Virtue. Curious as to what this man was doing, Gotvinus uses the piece of the salamander's as an arcane connection to spy a little bit each day until useful information is obtained. It's late spring when something finally gets revealed, the headless man speaking with someone invisible and silent (magic resistance in the 20+ range), and paid a substantial sum of silver to take out someone, along with an enchantment of some kind to keep quiet.

Easy for him to convey. Our assassin just makes people think your speech went over his head.

Occasionally keeping tabs, they realize he's spending the night at the inn in Neufchâteau about a month later. Watching like a hawk, Gotvinus leads the charge of invisible black cloaks enchant to be able to see each other with a recently invented spell of his own design.

The caged salamander is apprehended, and the headless man is knocked out without a real fight. Except of course for the poison coating his hands (he handles the salamander all the time, hence the copious soap supplies) that knock out one of the Black Cloaks with an incapacitating wound. Lady Vivienne uses a spontaneous PeAq to clean all of the poison from the sleeping headless man, then they continue to drag him and the poisoned black cloak into the covenant. When the headless man comes to, Gotvinus attempts to mind read him, only to hit an Immunity of some kind being maintained by some kind of hedge magic. Vivienne uses more spontaneous Perdo magic to dispel this immunity, and then Gotvinus properly beings to slather the headless man with Peering Into the Mortal Mind for information (uncaring of Warp). Hired by a ginger man named Boris, he was to have his salamander (to which he was naturally immune) poison the dandelions shortly before they're harvested and turned into wine for the covenant to use, and to also literally poison the well.

There's some legitimate debate on how to go about executing Prestor (headless man's name), especially since he requested his Last Rites before being executed, and the players are unsure of the theological implications of executing a man who is without sin. Ultimately, they decide that while he'll be fine in the eyes of God, he still needs to be punished on Earth after Extreme Unction; and Gotvinus borrows a sword to kill him...after 18 agonizing seconds of chopping and screaming and crying.

Why couldn't you have had a neck?!

Later, after Owlowicious has recovered fully from the cockfighting incident, Lady Vivienne brings him and his dragon with her into the woods to help look for the Man with the Furry Ears. They find his home near the ruins where the cockfight happened, and describe to him the importance in not kidnapping the sentient animals of Andresina. She also desires to expand her borders and enforce rent upon the Man with the Furry Ears, but is countered by the fact he already swears fealty to the King Beneath the Dandelions; which is a surprise to every player involved, so they arrange to meet with the King at the next dawn.

His castle is in a regio among the Mallorn Dandelions, only accessible to those coated in the morning dew of the dandelions. They go before the king, whose main hall is covered in gold with fountains of wine, the throne being a single large rose large enough for a human child to sit upon.

Call me a leprechaun and I'll cut you.

Before the King Beneath the Dandelions, they speak for a time, apologizing for presuming authority over the Man with the Furry Ears. But do with to negotiate a treaty concerning the safety of their familiars from the actions of his subjects. The King brings up the fact he already has a treaty with the Covenant of Andresina, but it doesn't include any beasts under its terms. Curious, they learn that the treaty was struck 60 years prior, at the founding of the Covenant, so long as the wand he was given bestows its gifts. He does idly comment that the magus said something about "expiry" for the want, but doesn't consider it important. The players cordially depart and check to see where their copy of the treaty is. Sanagos himself is unaware of any treaty, but he joined the covenant only two score years prior. They search Prokui's lab thoroughly for anything remotely looking like a treaty, unable to find anything; and Scolarus borrows the animated skeleton until Prokui's return.

[center][u]1230: Live Magically & Cast Hard[/u][/center]
Gotvinus, Joseph Miller, four black cloaks, William, and five of his men. This is the force that gathers for slaying Olrox and possible infernalists within the castle of Neufchâteau, Gotvinus applying invisibility and a touch range Discern Own Illusion on everyone. It's a slow process, but people are busy staying inside due to the snow and the fact it's Christmas morning, so they evade being seen. After a couple minutes of debating how to get past the door, Joseph transmutes it into an open mouth for a couple minutes, and they file through the castle as swiftly as possible. When people see something, Gotvinus puts them to sleep and they are subsequently gently placed somewhere out of the way.
At the bottom of the castle, where the kegs are stored, is the entrance to the short hallway that leads to a room that had been locked away (according to mind probes of various inhabitants). As they open the door to the hall, they are met with a stereotypical devil the size of William, billowing fire and ash that covers most of the assault team. After a short-ish fight, Joseph's DEO removes it from play (it was Might 10). Gotvinus reapplies invisibility over people to remove the visual traces of the ash, and they move forward to the reinforced and locked door to what they believe to be the infernalist's chamber. As this is a medieval basement, quarters are cramped. Miller, in bear form, takes up most of the short hallway. Gotvinus, two black cloaks, and William take up the basement, and everyone else is waiting upstairs for space to open up. Joseph Miller uses the same spontaneous spell from earlier on this door, which unfolds like a spiky mouth to Hell. It's not far off, as the room inside is about 20x20, filled with demonic signs made of animal bones of various sorts, dominated by Olrox sitting upon a throne of black fur while flanked by robed cultists, and the room is downright covered in blood.

as if someone shook up a six-foot can of… blood soda… and suddenly popped the top.

The party pours in where they can fit, in what they discover to be a rating 9 infernal aura (Joseph Miller holds back from retching). Olrox starts fighting William, who is quite well armored, but neither can reliably harm each other; while Miller starts throwing down true-name bolstered DEO, whittling down the vampire demon lord. After a round of fighting and another of only managing to burn Joseph Miller with burning spittle, Olrox starts trying to dematerialize, but the Concentration is difficult and will fail him in the end. The cultists put up very little fight, seeming to lose their bodies when killed by black cloaks' blade (Jedi-style). They are startled when one of the Black Cloak's armor is spontaneously heated to molten, dealing +12 damage to them...which he soaks for only a Light Wound. One of William's men pulls out an iron ring to shove onto the Black Cloak, who takes a second Light Wound before reciting the word to activate the fire resistance. This happens for two more warriors, one Light Wound and no damage respectively, before they activate their own consumable fire resistance rings. As Olrox is destroyed by Miller's magic, Gotvinus manages to cast a spontaneous form of InMe to allow him to 'hear' the location of minds, and notices an extra one that's invisible and trying to escape. Pointing to where he hears the mind, one of the black cloaks manages to stab the air and feel the resistance of flesh upon his blade (Heavy Wound!). They follow Gotvinus's direction to the feebly fleeing individual, and successfully create an invisible corpse.

They gather up the invisible corpse, reapply invisibility, and run like a team of adventurers out of Hell. At sundown, the infernalist's invisibility wears off, also revealing a trail of blood in the snow and thus making Gotvinus impressed with their level of skill with magic. A Whispers Through the Black Gate gives him a pile of information, this was the most skilled of a dozen infernalists for the Strigae tradition, their master dying at the hands of Malachi some years back. After getting their names and rough descriptions, Gotvinus spends the next day or two tracking each one down and rubbing a Salamander of Virtue over their sleeping face; thanks to the power of invisibility to sight, sound, and touch on both him and one black cloak guard. It's a rather blood-soaked Christmas...

Joseph Miller takes it easy for a week to recover from his Light Wound, only for it to get infected and progress to a Medium Wound. They create a healing circle for +9 recovery in the infirmary, task the apothecary and chirugeon to care for him over the next month. It progresses into a Heavy Wound. They go before Sanagos for help, as they have seen him use Incantation of the Body Made Whole, and he makes sure they provide their own vis and not the covenant's for his service. Sanagos botches and goes into Twilight, creating a second and symmetrical wound on the other side of Joseph Miller's body.

Fortunately, Sanagos was only gone until sundown and managed to comprehend his trip, gaining 6xp in Enigmatic Wisdom as well as becoming perfectly symmetrical himself. He grabs a fistful of vis from Joseph's lab, casts the spell again. As the other magi have been concerned about the aura botching, they were planning on trying to reduce the yearly modifier so they wouldn't have to roll and let the botch dice ease up to less than 9. This series of events is rather counter to their goal, and Sanagos tells Joseph he's not going to spend any time extracting vis to let off the pressure because of this. At which point he goes back to his room curtly, and we call it a session.

ADDENDUM - Future notes, the player for Lady Vivienne is no longer in the group. I'm currently assuming that shortly after whatever the PC did, she received a message and ran off to adventure with her familiar...never to return.

Howdy all -

Just an FYI. Today I received this message:

I've removed the image they reference from earlier in this thread, from a post in which a forum user had embedded a link to this image (the image itself is hosted on an external site).

What does this mean for me, going forward?

I'm not a lawyer, and don't know anything about the details of the image you linked to in that message, but Getty Images have a reputation for their tactics in trying to get money for unlicensed use of their images.

You might find these articles interesting reading:

artlawjournal.com/respond-getty- ... nd-letter/
techdirt.com/articles/20140 ... orts.shtml
isba.org/ibj/2014/11/lawpuls ... emandlette

FWIW, this is the response I sent to Getty: