Ars Magica: The Rhineland Chronicle of Collem Leonis

Game Title: The Rhineland Chronicle of Collem Leonis
RPG System: Ars Magica 5e
Game Moderator: OriginalMadman
**Game Description (1 sentence): A mystical saga of an awakened winter covenant in the heart of Kottenforst in Rhineland. Actual played from september 2021 to [still running] **

Session 1 Writeup:
It is the year of grace 1220 AD. Some young but hungry Hermetic magi from far and wide seek the mythical covenant Collem Leonis, somewhere in the deep and wild forests of the central Rhine Valley between Dortmund and Cologne...

Our Protagonists:

Yaakov Feibesch filia Carolus, Jerbiton

Played by Johan E

Hermetic magus of Jewish descent. Obsessed with the mysteries of creation and true forms.

Convinced that YHWH created everything in 6 days and from this it is still possible to feel the reverberations of an echo of an echo of the first word, from which the universe was created; a driving force to create that can be given outlet through the Hermetic technique of Creo.

Background

  • Born in the Jewish quarter in Cologne. Parents died when he was young in a local riot and flogging of Jews in 1196. Helped by Jewish merchant Simon to escape.
  • Raised by uncle Ivomai in Lübeck, affiliated with the covenant Oculus Septentrionalis. Somewhat isolated from traditional Judaism.
  • Was apprenticed to Carolus of Jerbiton of Oculus Septentrionalis.
  • Not an actively believing cultural Jew. Believes that the Jewish tradition as it stands is not capable of protecting and developing the Jewish people. However, tries to follow basic traditions such as the Sabbath, kosher, etc.
  • Sees the Hermetic Order as risking the same fate of the mundane mass if the relationship is not actively managed (Jerbiton).
  • Still sees himself as a Jew and feels a responsibility to both the Jewish people and the Hermetic Order to find a secure future.
  • Built up strong contacts within the Jewish community and is known there as a healer, has supported above all his own family with gold and healing arts. Probably accepted but not appreciated by rabbis.
  • Specifically strongly connected to a large number of mother / uncles, cousins ​​etc in the scattered family primarily in Cologne.

Appearance

  • Prominent but aesthetically pleasing nose, high hairline, dark hair. Deep-set intense dark eyes that can catch the eye (pre +1).
  • Ascetically emaciated (-2 str), impractical and clumsy (-1 dex, -1 qik), until it comes to magic when movements become sure and precise. Long with slightly curved back.
  • Surprisingly deep and melodic voice (com +3).
  • Dressed like a traveling Jewish merchant, sturdy dark blue clothing of good quality, including the round badge required by law.

Motivations / driving forces

  • Passion to create! Feels an urge to create new things where nothing previously existed, and to restore something that is damaged or destroyed. Man as from YHWH's image is the highest form of this, hence healing is the lowest form of actual creation.
  • Jerbiton: Create the beauty of the natural form (natural form), especially the human perfect natural form. Order and perfection in thought and surroundings is beauty.
  • Must have security! In the long run vs the uneducated mob. In the short term for the family, for the covenant, for the traveling party, for his room and laboratory.
  • (Unaware) Prove your worth! As a Hermetic magician, as a Jew, etc. Drive to be recognized as the greatest Creo magus in history, and the great Jewish secular patriarch [not low on ambition this one].
  • Fair dealings (type). Giving or demanding is for those who don't understand better, or who have a hidden agenda. Fair structured agreements that give and take are the civilized way. Taking advantage of someone's vulnerable situation or need is just smart. Breaking an agreement is the lowest of the low. [a foreshadowing what will keep happening in the campaign!?]
  • Specifically from Jerbiton
    • Seek beauty, avoid ugliness. Beauty (inner) = goodness and right (and vice versa)
    • Jerbiton dislikes fairies: "parasitic creatures without soul". Inner ugliness masked by outer beauty.
    • The Creator gave us an insight into beauty!
    • Sinful deeds are ugly

Alessio filia Janus of Tremere

Played by Henrik R

  • Sent to the Rhine Tribunal by Master Janus of Tremere (the spy master of Coeris, Tremere domus magna covenant in Transylvania)
  • According to ancient information recently found in the deep archives of Coeris, there were signs that Diedne magicians housed in Collem Leonis. However, it could never be proven and nothing more was done during or after the Schism War. If they were even there, they are probably long extinct. No matter what, Tremere has a few points for Alessio…
  1. Ensure that this is the case - no Diedne magi must be allowed to exist! In case of any discovery, the order of priority is a) Report immediately for support. b) Only in case of risk of discovery or danger to life - destroy them. Caution is advised - they can be cunning and dangerous and use unexpected spontaneous forms of magic. Remember that the Diedne were allied with dark fae powers, as well as unique masters of unhurried magic and thus got the whole word on fall.

  2. See if there is any ounce of truth to the rumors that it occurred historically at the covenant.

  3. Ensure that no remaining scriptures are in the library. In that case, these must be confiscated and sent to Coeris. Secondly, that they are destroyed rather than falling into the wrong hands.

  4. Since older covenants can sometimes harbor forgotten knowledge, see if anything else useful is available for the benefit of our stately house.

  5. As always, be sure to counteract and minimize any possible Tytalus influence. May they be kept out like the ever-annoying vermin they are.

In order to effectively carry out his mission, Alessio may "need to officially join the covenant". Janus understands that this may cause some unhappiness, but expects to have him placed there for a longer period of time so it is probably for the best. He's ordered to keep a low profile and hide his agenda. In the meantime, of course, he's free to focus on whatever research he chooses, but it is assumed that, like all Tremere, the house is always put first!

The house expects a detailed seasonal report on the progress of the mission as well as the activities of the other mages in the covenant. These are to be sent punctually to Master Janus in Coeris, as well as to Magister Daria la Gris of Triamore's covenant on the "western front" [the closest covenant against the Tytalus-dominated Normandy tribunal].

During his time in the Rhine Tribunal, Alessio is mostly left to fend for himself, but in times of need he can of course count on support from Tremere brothers, especially from the Triamore covenant in the west and Roznov in the east [bordering Transylvania].

There are currently only two seal-bearing Tremere in the Rhine Tribunal:

  • Master Severicus in Roznov, who holds about 2/5 of the seal (and will be allowed to take over Alessio's seal during the time in the tribunal, if necessary he will also take over the role of "supervisor" from Daria la Gris).
  • Archmage Stentorius, authoritarian leader of Fengheld [the largest covenant], and Tremere Exarch of the Rhine Tribunal hold the remaining 3/5.

Note that Archmage Stentorius is NOT notified of Alessio's presence or mission [let's keep it that way..].

Guiscard filia Buliste, Tytalus of Normandy

Played by Daniel B

Originally from the Normandy Tribunal (northern France) - where Tytalus domus magna (headquarters) covenant Fudarus is located (the home covenant). The Tribunal also has several other powerful Tytalus mages.

Guiscard's master is the Prima Buliste of Tytalus (read more below), who quite soon upon awakening from a long-term Twilight brazenly took over early in his apprenticeship from an outmaneuvered fellow mage. Before her Twilight, Buliste was unthreatened Prima over House Tytalus, but after she reawakened after several years of slumber a couple of decades ago, she was challenged by Primus Harpax who became her successor - and who then refused to step aside again. It was shortly after this that she took Guiscard on as an apprentice, almost out of pure anger. Over the years, she has taken out much of her anger and frustration on Guiscard through the apprenticeship, forcing him to endure both spit and spite and many unpleasant missions in her petty vendettas against Harpax.

Prima Buliste now sees that Guiscard has failed her in the power struggle against Harpax, despite "everything she has done for him"! At times she has accused him of running Harpax's errands (truth?).

Having (almost) succeeded in throwing off his master's yoke, he has for a time been a traveling magician (peregrinator) and has heard of the hospitality offered at various covenants in the Rhine Tribunal. It's been a bit of a relief to put as much distance between himself and the troublesome master as possible!

However, his first attempts in Triamore on the border with the Normandy Tribunal almost ended in disaster. He was certainly welcomed (like all magi), but there were several Tremere mages there led by one Daria la Gris who weren't too fond of Tytalus.. At all!

The conflict was indeed a "fun" challenge, but perhaps a little beyond Guiscard's ability, so he decided that a strategic retreat was the best. He'll be happy to put sticks in the wheel of Daria and Triamore if he gets the chance in the future, and one day of course he wants to reciprocate by dominating them completely. It shouldn't be that hard as it really was a small crap covenant with few magi.

The next move was to try to visit Durenmar in the Black Forest, the First Covenant in the entire Order and the seat of the Grand Tribunal! Although he wandered constantly in the forest for probably a whole month and never found it. Cursed be the Fairy Shapes!

The same thing with the covenant Dankmar in the southern Black Forest, but there the forest was much darker, colder and downright unpleasant. Surely there were multitudes of dark fairies that eluded and tormented him! The unrest and discomfort he felt for being there was a bit beyond what he saw as "positive conflict" and he left the forest (never really met anyone to spar with anyway...).

After that he tried something more city-based: Fengheld on the Rhine covenant in Cologne. But there he chose to basically turn at the door as it was also a real Tremere nest with the archmage Stentorius of Tremere himself visiting [Fengheld, the most powerful covenant in the Rhine Tribunal have several chapter houses]. "Some challenges you may have to work your way up to, but one day..."

In any case, the Rhine Tribunal seems to be a more fun playing field than Normandy (and further from his tormenting master) at the moment, but perhaps he should start by building a power base at the right end...

Guiscard has heard about an older, but slightly smaller, winter covenant in the Kottenforst forest northwest of Cologne - not so far away! It has also been rumored that there are fairies there (maybe more interesting to spar with? Revenge?) and that the farmers stay away because they don't want to be eaten by the beasts of the forest. Perhaps learning from conflicts with these could be something as the next step..

He has also heard of the new covenant Waddenzee on the outer islands off the nether lands of the north. It is supposed to have been founded by a Tytalus (Eric Ribecus) and a Tremere (Hygwald Veritas) together (what?!) about two decades ago when they beat out a fleet of pirates. According to the rumor they are now the pirates themselves… [not so compatible with the code maybe? exciting...]

Sometime in the future (not in a hurry) he would like to go all the way to Maddenhofen forest as the founder of the house, Tytalus himself, disappeared there in 807 AD. According to legend, he planned to challenge the Queen of all fairies herself there. The Merinita mages of the Covenant Irencillia are said to be extra protectionist about that particular forest. He might find out more if he can "ask" someone from there?

Guiscard has an ambition to eventually become an archmage! (he is now only "Tyro" i.e. journeyman, and in the Rhine Tribunal they also have "Magister" before you can become "Archimagus" i.e. archmagician). It may take some time to really take down his own tormenting master - but hopefully she'll be busy with her archenemy for a good while longer...

Didrik of Merinita

Played by Johan W

  • Was a child in a rural village near the edge of the forest - a forest he knew that one was absolutely not allowed to enter as a child.
  • The mother disappeared/died or was displaced after birth or at least before he has any clear memories.
  • The father was a simple and harsh man "such a child cannot be my son!".
  • There was a rumor in the village that the mother lost herself to fairies (or Satan himself, for many it is the same thing)
  • Childhood memories of priestly sermons about all the fires of hell that hurt both body and soul..
  • Wise old woman takes pity on the weird child, but is eventually lynched by "the godly"
  • Saved and hurriedly abducted by a "traveling figure" at more or less the last moment. After that, the memories are very blurry for a while...
  • Twigs and thorns that pull and tear.. The smell of dying leaves, the oppressive musk of deep primeval forest. Slumbering and awakening as if out of the blue... The feeling of a warm bosom and the taste of honey-sweetened goat's milk.
  • Dark crackling fires, large stones, powerful and loud unintelligible singing in crescendo with sudden interruptions. Strong scents of musk and in the air a taste of metal. Euphoric feelings!
  • The savior is a blur in memory.. was a little scary? but somehow still so safe... Was he perhaps called something in A.. or something in F.. or was it both? Or one at a time? So confusing when old memories fail...
  • The memories only clear when he is handed over one late and stormy night to his parens at Irencillia. He thinks he was around 9-10 years old at the time - but that cannot be determined.

Notes:

  • A bit unsure of where exactly he grew up in the early years, or how long he was actually with the fairies
  • During his time as an apprentice in Irencillia, he was never "caricatured" (see Irencillia's culture and traditions) which several mages there thought was quite strange.
  • As a young mage after his gauntlet he has wandered around Europe as a "peregrinator", i.e. visiting mage to the various covenants (to learn more)
  • Unclear exactly why he left Irencillia
  • Heard rumors that the old covenant Collem Leonis (in winter since long) in the old fairy forest Kottenforst welcomes new permanent magi. There certainly must be "forgotten secrets" and a huge library in such an ancient place.
  • There are also dark rumors that the Covenant housed (or houses) Diedne magi, but this has never been proven. If it had, the covenant would have been destroyed in the schism war. Are there even any survivals of Diedne traditions left?
  • Also heard that Kottenforst and the Black Forest to the south (where the first covenant and tribunal seat Durenmar is located) house older and more unique fairies than most other forests. Something exciting outside of the more common fairy traditions? You never know with fairies...
  • Even wonders of a magical nature must have been seen in Kottenforst. Perhaps they got there via portals from Arcadia or magical regios? Is it time to find an interesting familiar perhaps?
  • If one wants to play with fire and tease Tytalus magi, you can always point out that their founder got lost in the Maddenhofer forest when he was about to arrogantly challenge the queen of all fairies. [Irencillia Merinita closely guards this forest.]

Additional Magi and guests TBA here

#1: Arrival - Winter 1220.

2021-09-30

The magicians Yaakov of Jerbiton, Didrik of Merinita, Guiscard of Tytalus arrive at the old covenant Collem Leonis located in the heart of Kottenforst - a vast and ancient forest between Cologne and Dortmund:

  • Yaakov encounters Ritter Kunz Kohlberg outside the forest. "We don't want any Jews here..." on his lands. Yaakov avoids mentioning he's a magician and deescalates the situation by pretending to pass through and leave.
  • Didrik talks to a sluggish tree and then meets an old man called Böllverk. (This is later revealed to be Wotan (=Odin) who is naturally curious about newcomers in the forest).
  • Guiscard joins the covenant together with Verum and his two disciples Helena and Nichola, and gains a "fan" in Gregor the chicken-farmer from the village.
  • Yaakov is taunted by a little blonde farmer-girl in the village, "Jews are burning in hell..." etc. (The demon of Wrath who provokes and taunts!)
  • The Covenant is significantly more dilapidated and unkempt than one might expect.
  • The magi familiarize themself with the covenant's layout, grogs and servants (and resident faeries and gnomes in Didrik's case - he sees more of this as Merinita + Second Sight virtue), as well as the resident magi Liebwin (later revealed as a fake mage) and Manus.
  • Manus gives them the Charter of the Covenant which is more than a bit confusing, with several more or less crazy rules.
  • The palisade is somewhat dilapidated and lacks a gate (later revelealed to have been the case for a very long time). At the overlook near the gate hangs a small silver bell with ancient runes inscribed.
  • The magical aura is really powerful here, it's as good a place as you could wish to both perform and research magic. (Magical aura 5 in the covenant, Faerie aura 2-4 in the forest outside).
  • They decide to stay as guest peregrinatores until the next council meeting in a few weeks, it seems that some new blood is needed so the chance of joining is probably not that small.
  • There are 8 permanent laboratories, as well as 2 for guests. Only 3 seems to operate in full use.
  • The two guest laboratories are not in proper order. Yaakov begins to arrange, and leaves list of supplies to the autocrat Johanna. There doesn't seem to be much money, but there should be a silver mine nearby that can't be used for some reason.
  • Guiscard seduces the cook Eloise - but Eloise also shoot glances at Didrik, who has some weird magnetic attraction - which, however, doesn't seem to work at all on either Frida or Hedwig (female fighting grogs). Eloise's food is "so-so" for the French connoisseur. Maybe it's because of all the cats in the kitchen that's disturbing? - She wants to get rid of them anyway...
  • Despite reading the charter, Didrik happens to utter the strictly forbidden word! The Covenant shakes like in an earthquake and the rustling noise of a giant chain snapping from strain is heard from somewhere. Something is happening but everyone seems confused. It does not feel good...
  • Guiscard examines the cellar that "where the younglings are not allowed to go down". There is a mysterious door that shifts and moves when you get close. Among the debris, Guiscard finds an old magical serving cabinet that generates daily silverware - what luxury!
  • One night a little later, all the many cats of the covenant are meowing like crazy and the servants barricade all the windows and doors they can and the soldiers man the palisade. They don't really know what's going on but "that's how we've always done it" is the only answer given.

The Charter of Collem Leonis

This charter recognizes three levels of rank: haeres, prospectus and visitator. The work of the covenant is ordered into cycles where one cycle equals two years.

The haeres form the ruling council, they alone vote in matters concerning the covenant. Two-thirds of the council must be present for votes to be legal. The council shall meet on the first day of all seasons.

Any haeres may call an emergency meeting with due advance notice. No haeres may be demoted in her absence unless she has been forewarned one season in advance. There are five seats of authority in the covenant. Each cycle, any member may nominate a haeres for a seat and the ruling council votes. No magus may occupy more than one seat. Should a seat remain empty for a cycle the Elder holds the responsibility and may delegate the work no any member.

  • The Seat of the Elder goes to the eldest haeres and is never voted upon. The elder’s responsibilities are: Acting as moderator of all council meetings, calling a vote when discussion has lasted a suitable amount of time, and overseeing the recording of all discussions and votes in the covenant chronicle by a scribe. The eldest must always cast her vote, never abstain, and her vote is tie-breaking.
  • The Seat of the Governor holds responsibility for the day to day business of the covenant. She is given the Circlet of the Governor as badge of office.
  • The Seat of Armiger holds responsibility for the defense of the covenant. She is given the Spear of the Armiger as badge of office.
  • The Seat of the Predator holds responsibility for the domain of the covenant. She is given the Mask of the Predator as badge of office.
  • The Seat of the Diplomat holds responsibility for the covenants mundane relations in order to keep Collem Leonis safe, secret and prosperous. She holds the Clasp of the Diplomat as badge of office.

The council decides on rights for prospecti regarding the use of the library and labs. Visitatores’ rights and time limits are agreed with the council. Apprentices may only use the library by sharing their parens’ rights and priorities. Prospecti may ask the council for elevation to haeres once per cycle. Prospecti must perform a service or donation to the covenant in the previous cycle, otherwise they can never gain access to neither library nor laboratory. Haeres also needs to perform a service to the covenant in the previous cycle, if not, they may only borrow books from the library that no other member requests. The council may not remove a haeres’ laboratory, but only magi who performed a service to the covenant last cycle may receive monetary funding for their research. A magi who has performed service in the previous cycle is defined as a privileged magus.

At the beginning of each cycle, the vis income of the previous cycle is tallied and fixed expensed removed. Fixed expensed includes but are not limited to: longevity potions, healing magic, aegis of the hearth, devices commissioned for the covenant and projects for the common good. The remaining vis is then divided into shares. All privileged haeres gains two shares, all privileged prospecti gains half a share, the Elder is granted an additional half share. Any privileged magi may gain an additional share for extra services performed in the previous cycle. Vis that cannot be equally divided into these shares goes to the covenant coffers. Any magi finding books or vis may keep it, donating it to covenant however counts as a service. Any vis source found in the domain of Collum Leonis must be handed over to the covenant, though the magus who found is granted harvest the first year.

Any magi found breaching the rules of this charter may be censured by the ruling council. Haeres so censured are demoted to prospecti. Any prospecti and visitator are given one full season to leave the covenant. They may then not enter the covenant for five years.

Furthermore:

  • The ancestral sites on the tallest hill of the covenant’s domain may not be visited, except by members of house Bjornaer.
  • The hermetic spell ‘Show of the Flames and Smoke’ may not be cast within the walls of covenant.
  • No lions or other felines may ever be hunted without the express permission of a resident Bjornaer magus.
  • It is absolutely forbidden to say the name ‘Fafnir’ out loud while within the covenant walls.
  • There exists total equality between the two genders: no positions remain closed to women, nor are they refused the right to vote.
  • Anyone caught closing the door to the Woodshed of Plenty before it is empty shall be flogged with a whip made from their own skin.
  • Any member, not of house Flambeau, in possession of ignem vis must offer any resident member of house Flambeau the opportunity to trade that ignem vis once per cycle.
  • The servants and covenfolk are allowed time off from work in accordance with local customs for celebrations and holidays, this includes: New year’s day, St. Simeon the Stylites day, Plough Monday, St Paul’s day, St Alberic’s day, Candlemas, St Blase’s day, St Andrew corsini’s day, St Wulfric’s day, St Ethelbert’s day, Kunegunde, Ides of March, St Abraham’s day, Fool’s day, St Mark’s eve, Cuckoo day, Beltane, Veneration of the thorn, Nones of May, Whitsun day, St Norbert’s day, Midsummer’s eve, St John the Baptist, St Thomas’ day, Swithun, Lammas, St Roch’s day, St Hyacinth’s day, St Sozon’s day, St Cyprian’s day, Michaelmas, St Maurus day, All hallow’s eve, All saint’s day, All soul’s day, St Hilda’s day, St Virgil’s day, St Sabus’ day.
    The Autocrat is the arbiter and no more than 20 covenfolk may be spared from service at a time.
  • No fiery animals may enter the library.
  • No depictions of serpents of any form may exist within the covenant.
  • Any animated dead sent on errands must be managed by a suitable party who can control them if need be. No council member needs to accept the help of such walking dead if they do not conform to his ideas of discretion and aesthetics, and she has the right to ask for other help more appropriate to the situation.

So writes the founders, Wolfgang house Bjornaer, Adler house Bjornaer, Pampeira house Flambeau, Tacitus house Tremere, Amadeus house Bonisagus, Briana house Bonisagus.

#2: The Covenant - Still Winter 1220

  • The magus Alessio of Tremere arrives at the Covenant (on a "spy" mission - to investigate the Diedne rumors, look for ancient useful knowledge as well as counter any Tytalus influence - by magister Janus in Coeris domus magna of Tremere in Transylvania)
  • On the road he also meets the Baron Kunz Kohlberg - things go better than for the previous magus. He meets the "magician" Liebwin whom he expertly exposes as a fake! Liebwin is clearly not Bonisagus - or magus. He's also heckled by the little blond girl Yvonne in the village - all magicians are destined to burn in hell... (The demon of Wrath keeps provoking them at every opportunity)
  • Verum's young apprentice Helena seems to firebomb her poor hermetic brother apprentice Nicola sometimes (who weirdly doesn't seem to get hurt much anymore though - he's curiously developing Ignem resistance).
  • Yaakov organizes an expedition to the silver mine. Somehow gets Nicola on hand, even if it's not his apprentice. On the way to the mine, the grog Henric hits the thieving little troll-kid Spott on the head so that it bleeds profusely and there is a bit of a commotion. Yaakov heals the troll and manage to balance an "agreement" with him against a golden apple (which he just eats whole!). Better not to risk the ire of the trolls of the forest (and "molesting the faeries" is against the code).
  • Once at the mine, it is inhabited by the kobold Splitt and his unseen children in the depths who seem to be hungry and have an appetite for human flesh. Despite their diligent insistence to eat a grog or two, it doesn't happen. According to Splitt, there is an old agreement with the covenant to provide provisions in return for use of the mine - but it has not been kept and he's now angry and distrustful.
  • Alessio knocks on several sanctum doors (almost no answers) and investigates the basement. Soemthing like a huge chain was heard moving behind the curiously moving door...
  • There is bad weather and the cats all howl ferociously again and the covenant barrages and goes up into defense mode. It seems the cats alert the covenant when something happens in the forest. Alessio gets to "talk" briefly to a large monster-cat named Nott and is reprimanded in several ways. Apparently there is an old agreement here too!

#3: The Council Meeting - Spring 1220

  • The Covenant has its seasonal meeting. Four new magi are elected by "absolute" council majority - only the ancient (and very very scary necromancer) Ferra of Bonisagus is present, but she has both her and Heinrich's seal. The remaining council member Septimus has not been seen in years. But the old crone remarks that "It's good to have some new... blood... in the covenant!"
  • Yaakov is appointed as the new Governor (replacing the seemingly useless Manus). Guiscard becomes the Ambassador, Didrik becomes the Predator and Verum the Guardian of the covenant.
  • The magic artifacts for each office are explained and distributed. (The Governor's tiara, Ambassador's buckle, the Predator's mask and the Guardian's spear)
  • As the new Governor, Yaakov takes charge of the Covenant's store of Vis (also in disarray).
  • Johanna points out that the merchant has not yet returned with the materials and consumables for the laboratories (which were prepaid!). Guiscard writes a correct, but slightly irritated, letter about business ethics and statutes to the merchant Charles in Cologne (writing quality 11).
  • The library is in almost total disarray. Things seem to be missing, and there has also been a fire!
  • Guiscard writes a reply to Ricardus of Bonisagus, who sent an open letter to the covenant concerning assistance in an important magical debate at the next tribunal (in 1221). It's a very good answer: Latin+Communication = 12, Int + Magic Theory = 17.
  • The magi discovers (finally) the Covenant's "knowledge-expert", the half-blood Erich, who has been "knowledge-gathering" (spying) on them... for many weeks... Erich definitely thinks that Guiscard should go to confession (and looks at him quite strangely - they later understand that Erich is very religious and can see things others can't - including how much unconfessed sin they might be carrying).
  • All free laboratories (except Septimus and "the one people keeps forgetting about") are investigated. Guiscard takes the disappeared Julia's lab (incl found corpse left alone on the floor - a small dragon corpse, but already looted on Vis though). A mysterious magical white orb (ReCo magic) is still left untouched. Didrik takes Tyrfing's lab (apparently an ex-Bjornaer magus) and Yakoov takes Vesper's lab.
  • The grogs Wighard, Frida, Hedwig are sent by Manus as usual to loot a spring Vis-source in the south-west forest, but a certain Theiss and two more well-equipped grogs from Fengheld of Rhine (in Cologne) were also there and tried to loot the vis-source. Battle ensues, and Hedwig is in dire peril with multiple wounds, but delivers an astonishing slash (hits 3x "ones" + sixes on the dice, for a 50+ total) and decapitates Theiss! Without pardon the other grogs are also slaughtered, and after a brief confusion, the corpses are dragged back to the Covenant. Unfortunately, the grogs missed catching the vis (only the first thawing drops in the spring).
  • Discussion arises as to which complications may arise and what should be done (not entirely clear, but no decision is made and no action is taken). Old Ferra appears and requests the dead bodies be delivered to her Sanctum (granted, as no one would dare otherwise).
  • To solve the money conundrum, Yaakov ritualizes gold into existence (with the vis of the covenant), delivers ¼ to autocrat Johanna - the rest is kept in reserve. Planned investments: 1) Equipment for supplementary lab 2) Hire a scribe (if possible) 3) hire good craftsmen: Blacksmith, Carpenter and maybe Tanner.
  • Yaakov sends a letter to his jewish relatives in Cologne inquiring a few things, including if there might be a family scribe available. (Quality 11).
  • Yaakov also sends message to a Jewish matchmaker looking for wife! (Quality 11). He includes a gift of pure gold! (= definite bonus)
  • Yaakov sends a letter to his Master Carolus in Lubeck (at Oculus Septentrionalis) explaining how he's now in the covenant Collem Leonis and a few more things (Quality 12).

#4: The Swine Feast - Spring/Summer 1220

  • The magi's research and restructuring of the library begins to pay dividends (see the library's inventory list in gdrive) The Covenant's history and past events begin to become much clearer (Guiscard receives the several pages handout - History of the Covenant)
  • Both current, forgotten and potential Vis sources become clearer. There apparenly has been several previous quarrels (and a Wizard's War) with Fengheld over the spring source before.
  • There must be regios is the forest, but it's alluded to also in the covenant(?)
  • It becomes slightly clearer which old agreements with faeries, mundane etc are/were in effect (it's a mess!):
  1. With the Duke of Mark to exploit the land, protect the villages and assist with advice.

  2. With F... (something something - not clear)

  3. The monster-cat Nott. The cats will warn when x is opened. No felines may be hunted/harmed without resident Bjornaer's permission (No Bjornaer in the covenant).

  4. Duke of Berg since 1203 - No magic of any kind to be used within his lands!

  5. Provide the Kobold (and his children) in the mine with "food offerings" every winter to use the mine and vis-source well without too much "hustle". This does not seem to have been kept properly for years, and the kobold has therefore collected its own victims from nearby settlements..

  6. The merchant guild in Dortmund for trade (Julia of Tremere, or was it Tytalus? was responsible) et al.

  • Alessio accidentally utters the forbidden word! (has now happened 2 times). The Covenant shakes yet again and a ​​massive crack of something that sounds like a chain breaking is heard.
  • Joseph Vorderhagen, the Baron's youngest son comes to visit - a week before the father. He marvel's wide-eyed at the covenant and the magi.
  • One night the cats warn yet again and there is a big storm. From the forest comes an enormous wild boar (tall like two men! elephant-sized!) that tears down a section of the palisade and scatters grogs around. The grog Elken is severely injured and one of the unused outbuildings is demolished. Guiscard manages to calm the beast down before it causes even more destruction and Yaakov lures and keeps it calm with created acorns - yummy.
  • Yaakov botches and aggravates Elken's injuries. The grogs are now more suspicious of the quack-healer! (him being a jew really does not help either).
  • The giant boar is killed in a magical "pen" they set-up and then slaughtered. But amazingly it resurrects and regenerates fully at dawn. The meat tastes fantastic and quickly becomes very popular. Everyone except Yaakov eats it.
  • Nicolas Vorderhagen, the local Baron arrives and is told by his son about all the exciting events and how the magicians handled this. Herr Vorderhagen has two requests:
  1. He is worried about his son who is going on the Baltics crusade and asks the magicians to give their lord some kind of magical help. After all, it is his only heir! (as an old crusader himself, he knows how dangerous it gets!).
  2. He asks to borrow the magical cabinet with silverware to impress the Duke of Mark who will come to visit soon.
  • Yaakov grudgingly commits to addressing ALL of the local farmers' points (they had plenty of small complaints) at the Covenant's council meetings, as well as allowing them to be represented in person if "really needed" (yeah right...). Gregor (village leader and chicken farmer) looks pleased with the agreement, even if he was not allowed to attend the council meetings himself as he requested.
  • At the summer council meeting, Alessio of Tremere is voted into the Covenant as a prospectus.
  • No Vis is distributed because there is not as much Corpus as old Ferra requires (8 pcs). The source of the Corpus-vis has not been sapped, which clearly upsets Ferra and the Governor is accused of carelessness (even though he had no idea there was one!). She sternly orders the youngling magi to arrange enough Corpus before winter (chillingly).
  • Yaakov questions Ferra as best he can (it's quite scary and difficult with the old crone)... The Corpus source must apparently be at "the Sanctum in the forest" (at some special tree) that the Bjornaer used.
  • Apparently, something must be solved or defended at the ancient stone circle against the bochmenn when the first snow falls...
  • Ferra also expresses that "the black fairies should always be kept short...".

Summer Activities:

  • Alessio plans to build secure and permanent giant-boar enclosure (that can handle the elephant-sized pig)

#5: "Knife in the Dark" - Summer 1220

Guiscard travels to Baron Vorderhagen's manor, as the Duke of Mark is visiting:

  • A gigantic wolf overturns the cart on the road and steals half of the boar-meat brought. However, the pork turns into old leaves and twigs when it leaves the forest!

  • Guiscard still manages to endear himself to the duke, and the magical silverware impresses him.

  • Guiscard also charms the Duke's daughter Henrietta (who suggests a moonlight walk, which Guiscard very reluctantly - but smartly - refuses)

  • The Duke invites Guiscard to Castle Mark, as well as announcing that he plans to visit the Covenant when he has time.

  • Guiscard suspects that the Duke of Mark is actually the son who was given a longevity potion 98 years ago by the covenant (as was found in their research). Karl is then probably not the duke's real son because longevity potions make you sterile.

  • Malte of Dortmund, the Duke's suspicious advisor - seems to be a competent conspirator (Guiscard suspects he may be hired elsewhere)

  • The Duke's son Karl expresses an interest to come and hunt the infamous beasts of the forest (ideally avoided).

  • Alessio heads to Cologne to investigate the delivery of laboratory equipment, and he takes most of the Covenant's remaining gold coffers with him.

  • Alessio meets Böllverk (Wotan in disguise) on the road who asks if he has seen a big pig? "Yes, but the pig was killed when it went berserk in the storm..." is his answer.

  • Alessio follows good custom and visits Fengheld in Cologne immediately upon arrival. Meets the magicians Gustavus, Cassia and Horst. Gets tied up with the always intriguing Gustavus of Tremere, who inquires if they have seen their three grogs who have disappeared in the forest (and can apparently not be found through arcane connections either). Alessio feigns ignorance.

  • Alessio visits the merchant Simon in the Jewish quarter and gets pricing for equipment and consumables.

  • Alessio realizes that the merchant Charles has cheated them and lost both money and cargo. It was just borrowed from Simon, and the cargo has now gone to merchant Petrus.

  • Alessio can't bear to mess around too much in the mundane and just buys all the needed equipment from Simon (at a "slightly" higher price... about 3x) but he gets all that's needed.

  • One night, the grog Hilger wakes up in the night and reacts to a presence in the room by throwing a knife into the chest of the maga Alrun (of Fengheld) who was in his room (sneaking?). Alrun is close to death but is saved by Alessio and they return her to Fengheld. Gustavus is not happy about the incident but appears appeased (well..). He does demand that Hilger be properly punished and that Alessio check what happened to the missing grogs.

  • On the way home with the goods, they are stopped by the Troll King Durga who demand "toll". Negotiations go as they can with trolls and about ⅓ of the cargo is lost. Durga will smoke the good exotic herbs especially (i.e. all Herbam ingredients lost)... An invitation to an audience in Durga's palace is obtained (to offer proper tribute to the forest's rightful King!), at the large pond behind the small one somewhere to the east in the forest.

#6 "The Witch Burning" - Summer/Autumn 1220

  • The autocrat Johanna receives 1/4 of the gold to continue covering the covenant's finances. Yaakov now has only 1/4 gold left. (Will only carry them through 1221 "as-is" if the Silver Mine is not restarted).

  • During the spring and summer, Didrik investigated the through forest. He has found a giant (magic aura 6) ash tree that apparently you can't even walk around and its top can't be seen (later revelaed to be the Yggdrasil world tree). The tree is inhabited by a talkative squirrel named Ratatoskr who can be bribed with nuts, but gets a little pissed at Didrik because of the big nice nut he was given that then "disappeared". Ratatoskr manage to convince the grog Henric of how incredibly bad and unreliable Didrik is! The tree has an ominous and seemingly treacherous hollow beneath it (he does not investigate this).

  • The tree has a hidden entrance in a "fold" to an old Bjornaer lab (which Didrik spends the summer fixing up). The lab has a bound forest spirit named Agnes, who is helpful but doesn't know much about the outside world. Adjacent to the lab is a Corpus vis-source that is now regularly sapped by Didrik.

  • Didrik also finds an ancient stone circle, where some stones have rusty old chains and there seem to be traces of blood rites. The place is nasty and has a high and seemingly malignant fairie aura.

  • When he leaves the stone circle, he stumbles upon the dark faerie-witch Merrow's little cabin. Didrik drinks "tea" at her place while the grogs get to chop endless wood outside until their hands bleed and worse. Didrik has a little difficulty remembering everything that was discussed, but has agreed to once again honor old agreements - as well as return with more woodchopping help (Merrow is counting on this anyway...). He luckily gets all the grogs from there - however, they are a bit worn and worn and probably never want to see a chopping block or an axe again!

  • At the season meeting (autumn) neither Ferra, Manus nor Liebwin attend. There is much discussion about all the things that need to be done... Gregor the village leader has passed on a number of annoying points, including that several farmers are mysteriously ill...

  • Didrik senses little devil imps dancing around in the village and they keep stabbing one of the sick with their little pitchforks. Infernal powers! Six of the farmers are very sick and Yaakov helps them, but eventually begins to feel sick himself.

  • It is discovered that all the goats have been sacrificed and buried in the fields to give better harvests (since they are no longer needed now that they have the resureccting boar - but that goats also give cheese and milk had apparently been "forgotten" apparently).

  • Unfortunately, it is also discovered that Rurich (who was named as the convenient culprit) was also sacrificed and buried! Nobody wants to know or talk about this, and the farmers seem shocked and upset.

  • As Horst and the peasants are about to bury Rurich in the cemetery, old Ferra arrives and requests the corpse for her laboratory instead. She seems more confused than usual though (getting old?) and she waves off Yaakov's warnings and ravings about the Infernal as "inconsequential".

  • Rurich's wife Eike is missing and cannot be traced. Their daughter Yvonne is insufferable (as usual, it's the demon of Wrath!).

  • Yaakov and Didrik sense that their magic is being strangely deceived in their investigations (Infernal!).

  • The whole village and several grogs are mobilized, but Eike is not found during the day - the atmosphere becomes increasingly violent and crazed.

  • At night, piercing screams echo about, as the farmers burn Eike at the stake in a large bonfire! They finally found her in the woods. A fierce but almost festive atmosphere is around the whole thing... The sick farmers have now perked up and it is celebrated that they have now passed the ordeal!

  • Little (demonic) Yvonne looks sad and turns to the magicians and especially targetting Alessio. They take her from the village where she cannot stay now as both her parents have been killed, and into the covenant...

Summer season activities:

  • Yaakov who took Vesper's lab fixes it up properly.
  • Alessio fixes Tyrfing's lab (Didrik waived this lab in favor of the tree lab in the forest)
  • Guiscard fixes up Julia's lab. He touches the snow white orb that seems to be some kind of teleportation trap, and he's transported a couple of hundred meters up in the air above the covenant! He managed to save himself with a spontaneous ReCo spell to fall calmly like a feather. The grogs who are outside are amazed by the initial screaming and the spectacle.

In the autumn season:

  • Alessio creates a permanent magical amulet of protection (ReTe, effect 22, with a unique discovery). The amulet protects the wearer against incoming attacks with metal weapons that "can be perceived".

As the next adventure activity, Guiscard plans to visit the Duke of Mark and then Dortmund. He plans to see if they can find any "properly holy" priest to help exercise the Infernal problems and he also want to investigate Julia's possible assets in Dortmund.

#7: “Chaos in the Covenant” - Autumn 1220

  • Manus - having not being seen for a while - is found murdered inside his sanctum! He's been dead for weeks. It looks like a knife wound in the back. His lower jaw is cut off (to spite corporeal talking to the dead spells?) and in his chest is carved: "Circilus autem contrita est" (the circle is closed).
  • Manus' sanctum door is sealed (with half-witted spell seal by Yaakov) in anticipation of a Quaesitor. Yaakov heads to Cologne to contact one via the redcaps. (The seal is not very effective unfortunately)
  • It is revealed that the grogs Elken and Roald have been missing for a while (weeks?). Mysteriously, their arcane connections leads to in the pigsty (they were turned into pigs - where the new pigs came from was completely missed).
  • Yaakov sees a giant eagle(?) and mysterious shadow sneaking about in the forest (later revealed to be a spy/observer for the high "priest" of the dark faeries - which they'll see many times, but not all).
  • Yaakov meets the angry local baron and ritter Kunz Kohlberg on the road who after some heated discussion sends his son Alwin to the covenant (to get rid of the useless wretch!)
  • Guiscard leaves for the Duke of Mark then to Hamm. The grog Regin absolutely does not want to leave the forest and tries to desert, but is forced to go along by Mentem magic. Once they're completely clear of the forest, the grog melts down into a pile of mud, leaves and twigs! The magi finally understand that there has been two Regin in the covenant from the beginning, which the mages saw but didn't think about (there were double Regin sheets at the table) - but the grogs themselves couldn't perceive this. Faeries... but who?
  • The grog Hilger bonds really well with the guards and servants of the Duke of Mark and "improves" the magi's reputation with tall tales of Regin's disloyalty and subsequent terrible "punishment"! It's a rumor that takes root...
  • The Duke seems difficult to reach and no audience is obtained (devious advisor Malte is seen there and maybe he made it difficult to pass?)
  • Guiscard gets along amicably with the Duke's son Karl and his fiancee Franka, and (barely) manage to avoid Henrietta's nocturnal visit to his room.
  • Guiscard (with grog Hilger) visits Hamm, meets the prophetic blind beggar in the square and visits Father Gonzalo in the church (which he keeps well locked and barred for some strange reason). Guiscard allows himself to be blessed and explains their problem with the Infernal, for advice and help. Gonzalo has a lot on his plate himself, but promises to see what he can do if Guiscard returns empty-handed from Dortmund.
  • Guiscard plans to visit Bishop Rainer in Dortmund and/or the monk Benedict Saxer (who is rumored to be good at exorcisms and such).
  • Escalating conflicts in the covenant (everyone hates each other, Wrath has taken hold everywhere!). Johanna in particular absolutely mad at all the peasants, servants, grogs and magicians. Helena chases Nicola with fire and then turns on Alessio who manages to influence her with an aura of rightful authority. The young girl clenches her fists until the knuckles turn white and the nails draw blood. (An Infernal aura affects all without Parma).
  • Alwin Kohlberg reaches the covenant after being sent all by himself through the forest and receives a stone in the head as a thank you from Henric (he claims he thought it was a monster that attacked the covenant...). (Note: Kunz Kohlberg completely ignored waiting for Yaakov's return from Cologne)
  • Captain Adalbern has the grog Henric severely whipped for this. Regin whips immeasurably hard (filled with Wrath) and poor Henric is completely ruined! The perpetually angry Frida seriously considers taking the opportunity to get rid of both Regin and Henric.
  • The cats all meow again and in the storm at night the giant Faurbindi (7 men tall!) comes stomping around down in the village to the panic and injury of the villagers. It seems to be looking for a wild boar he's been tracking (which "is not his but shall be!"). The giant smells it and heads towards the covenant but is magically lured away by Alessio. It leaves a well-trodden "street" of broken trees through the forest behind it.
  • Several grogs are gone or mysteriously absent and morale is at rock bottom throughout the covenant.
  • In the great common room, at the beginning of the evening, Alessio has made a circle with "Ward against demons" - where servants and others are gathered and force through (this then becomes the norm). There is been commotion and fighting in the meantime with the giant outside and little Yvonne goes absolutely crazy - tearing and biting Eloise to avoid being dragged into the room with the ward. After, Yvonne is nowhere to be seen and they don't know where she has gone. Poor Alwin Kohlberg wonders what kind of asylum he has ended up in...

The rest of the fall:

  1. Alessio creates the magic amulet for Baron Vorderhagen (see earlier). They're magi are keenly aware of the implications of mundanes and magic items.
  2. Yaakov learns the Aegis of the Hearth (urgently needed now that Manus is dead, as no one else knows it). The lab total will be 23 (20 needed for Aegis).
  3. Guiscard reads book from the library (Vim, level 14, quality 16, The purest of all arts by Augusta of Bonisagus) and thus gets 16xp in Vim.
  • Yaakov is in Cologne. Will request a Quaesitor from Durenmar through the redcaps, and exchange to a vim vis (needed for the Aegis) as well as a “Demons eternal oblivion” spell. He will also visit Fengheld, the Jewish matchmaker and old Simon. He'll try to arrange Herbam lab equipment (to complement what the troll Durga took as toll)
  • Guiscard is in Dortmund. Needs to find a real priest. Will snoop on Julia's business/assets.

After the above it will be winter.

#8: “The Mundane and the Divine” - Still Autumn 1220

Due to the few people present we only dealt with Yaakov in Cologne and Guiscard in Dortmund and we are not yet past autumn.

Yaakov visits Cologne:

  • Arranges purchase of the missing lab equipment with jewish merchant Simon and his helper Isaac.
  • At the redcaps: Letter to the Covenant Durenmar for the Quaesitor (due to the assassination of Manus) via discussion with the redcap Friedrich of Mercere (Comm+Latin 12). Want to trade Vim vis vs Aquam 1:2 with them too.
  • Dinner at Fengheld covenant and again questioned about the missing grogs. Manages to enter a Bargain with magister Gustavus of Tremere for "an honest exchange" (result of a whopping 71(!) vs a still very respectable 28 for Gustavus - wow!). This incredible result means that the scheming magister Gustavus will from now on be "forthright and honest" with his upcoming agenda as long as Collem Leonis is so, but it does not make it any less difficult for them.
  • Marriage broker Zamira presents four candidates for marriage. Ofira (from rich merchant family), Yemina (strong “Eva Green” type), Miriam (young and sweet) and Roswitha (raised in the country, practical and unknown to Yaakov a bit of a hedgie). He fails horribly to impress Yemina, but has a chance with the covetable Ofira (requires more to contribute, as she's from a richer merchant family) or he can settle for Miriam.

Guiscard in Dortmund:

  • Meets Benedict Saxer, who understands the covenant's situation but is unfortunately "a little locked up" by the new Bishop Rainer. The bishop himself is much less accommodating (and probably expects a heftier bribe), but agrees to send a Father Lichtenauer "before winter... maybe".
  • Meets Lady Ishilde's obnoxious and repugnant little advisor Glokta who comes to meet the bishop after him.
  • Investigation of Julia's house. It's a small trade building with Wahilda looking after it and old Friso - who remembers Julia so well and misses her but hasn't seen her in at least 2 decades(!).
  • Among Julia's old things and some lab equipment are two magic books (one on vim and one on Parma Magica now added to the library list) and a broken journal. The journal goes back to the 1050s (when Julia joins Collem Leonis), and several things are noted:
  1. Julia's disciple Scapha stole 3 "dangerous" books that the covenant "should not have" but no one knew where they came from. She is forced to kill him in 1100 (Wizard's war from the covenant). However, the books themselves were never recovered. According to Julia; Scapha must have had dealings with the traders in Hamm.
  2. Her second disciple Stasimus is taken c. 1140, but leaves the covenant in the 1160s.
  3. Her third disciple Dorothea is taken c. 1180 but expelled from the covenant in 1196 and "...is forbidden from ever again entering the covenant or its forest." (see "Excerpts from council meetings" document).
  4. Her coven brother Gorgines who joined at the same time as her liked her, but not his disciple Septimus (taken in the 1130s). Septimus is referred to as perhaps the most dangerous fire mage she have ever known.
  5. In recent years, Julia conveys clear suspicion of several others in the covenant. Were perhaps Ferra and Heinrich, Septimus - or the faeries - involved in the many mysterious deaths and disappearances at the Covenant? Even Septimus is described as very suspicious and acting quite paranoid.
  6. Hormus was Heinrich's and Ferra's master. He first took Heinrich around the 1070s and a decade later Ferra (she's OLD!). Apparently, Ferra and Heinrich had a secret relationship for many decades - which was not known in the covenant.

#9: “Frauen kuhhandel unt Lintwürm” autumn 1220 to winter

Yaakov is still on business in Cologne:

  • Yaakov realizes that Gustavus might be interested in “breaking out” into a true covenant and becoming less dependent on Fengheld (and they are now pretty open with each other). Therefore there may be an interest in access to high competence on (CrCo) longevity potions as Yaakov can provide that. Gustavus also wants to visit the covenant in the spring.
  • Completes negotiation with matchmaker Zamira and Ofira's family. Gustavus also gave a good word that helped in the negotiation. In the (hard) negotiations, Yaakov committs to...
  1. The remaining gold treasury will become a substantial wedding gift
  2. The Jewish family and trade get access to the hermetic assistance(!) - (He knows this may have ramifications in with the Code.)
  3. Trade contacts with Lubeck and the Occulus Septentrionalis to Ofira and her family business.
  4. Ofira will get access to the Governor's tiara in order to spy on trade contacts and competitors.
  5. Ofira will spend some time in the Covenant as well as in Cologne. She will mostly be able to control the distribution herself.
  • Of course, no other magi know the details of this agreement.
  • He sends a sealed letter to his Master; Carolus in Occulus with the basic implication that "for safety's sake" all covenants should have access to "ward against demons" and "demons eternal oblivion"... In exchange for suitable books (the letter is well written with Comm + Latin = 14, we'll see if Carolus allows himself to be "smalluras").

Guiscard in Dortmund then Hamm:

  • He does not get an audience with Lady Isilde (Unknown to him he was blocked by the icky advisor Glokta)
  • Back to Hamm, he stays with Father Gonzalo, who unfortunately regrets that he has no opportunity to help the covenant as he has "too much soul-soothing" to attend to here in Hamm. (Guiscard is pretty much ignoring the fairly obvious signs of trouble).

Meanwhile in Collem Leonis:

  • The Little Demon girl Yvonne cannot be found with magic or when the servants and grogs search the covenant. But every now and then, an unpleasant girly laughter is heard from different corners of the covenant...
  • Alessio finds the place where the giant emerged in the forest. There is a local strong magical aura that feels like it is waning...
  • In the village, a Holger has disappeared into what appears to be a more recently opened portal (in another clearing with a mushroom ring). It's starting to gather into a storm again. Alessio with apprentice Nicola, and grogs Wighard and Frida examine the portal and go through it.
  • On the other side, the weather is a glorious spring with clear skies. Vast coniferous forests and fields, with snow-capped mountains in the distance. Wighard sees something very strange and unevenly elongated flying across the sky high above the treetops far away (aesir in flying carriage drawn by goats, but they can't really see that).
  • Smoke from a fire can be seen in the distance and Alessio decides to investigate.
  • They come to a farm and meet the strong man Denor (germanic "Thor", and a powerful faerie) and his wife Efwa and are treated to good food and wonderful (but incredibly strong) mead. Denor happens to completely crush Wighard's hand in a handshake - ouch.
  • The aesir faeries also try to get Alessio to trade them young Nicola as they need an auxiliary pair of hands - but they are refused. It's nice company, but as so often with faeries - it's difficult to get out of there but it they manage in the end. The party just make it back to the portal before it closes again.
  • On the home side of the portal there is now a storm and they pile home towards the covenant.
  • Meanwhile, an enormous snake (linden wyrm) has destroyed buildings in the village and eaten a couple of farmers and it the attacks the covenant. As no magi are present, the grogs led by captain Adalbern and coveant champion Francois try to hold their ground against the huge beast (they still only manage to score a light wound in a very dangerous fight). Poor Alwin gets swallowed hole. Apprentice Helena explodes several fireballs but is unable to do any damage to it (only results in some zinged grogs).
  • The wyrm demolishes some outbuildings and starts to damage the main hall of the covenant as Alessio comes back in the midst of the commotion and manages to calm the linden wyrm so that it becomes less aggressive. But then it slinks through the main gate of the covenant and hurtles towards the basement stairs (why?).
  • When Alessio tries to touch the snake to put it to sleep, he manages to get himself under its moving body (Dex botch). Ouch!
  • No one else sees this, but it seems old Ferra has come out of her sanctum and uses some really really scary magic, instantly killing the Linden wyrm before it does any more damage. Whenever anyone goes up and down the stairs at the covenant from now on, there is a cold and creepily uncomfortable feeling of dread and death, and anyone staying in the area shivers and chills. The Linden wyrm's heart is hollowed out and taken by her. Within the rest of the body they younger magi find Animal vis (2), and in its stomach several corpses of animals and humans are found, with a few more animal vis (3). Ferra returns a little later and "requests" (i.e. demands) any remaining human corpses.
  • Yaakov and Guiscard return from their respective expeditions. Thanks to Yaakov, the labs are now supplemented and no longer suffer from any penalties.
  • It's not really decided what they're going to do with the giant linden wyrm (needs to be decided, it's really big and will start to rot - think of it like a stranded whale that ferments and eventually explodes...). Some of the corrosive blood is saved in glass vessels and some of the strong scales, teeth and claws are saved. There is debate about perhaps saving the huge skull.
  • Alessio gets the completes the medallion of protection for the Baron's son.
  • Yaakov discovers that the Aegis of the Hearth ritual he studied during the season actually has "defects in its magical fabric". It seems that the covenants Aegis has had defects in the past (may explain some problems noticed). Yaakov is doing his best and experimenting heavily (+2) to try and solve this, he believes the new one is going to work (but there's still some nagging worry that it might not quite be 100%, but what is with magic?). He does get a proper insight (discovery) and a lot of extra xp. Having studied the Aegis so intensely (which is a derivative of Parma Magica) he now understands Penetration more intricately. A minor bonus effect on Yaakov's version of the Aegis is that the covenant causes everything inside to have an increased "coziness factor" for some strange reason.
  • Gregor the chicken farmer announces that there is discontent in the village due to many unpleasant events, monsters etc. Several have died, others have disappeared, some have moved. "It's getting hard to house all the shrieking widows..." he complains. The villagers are still reasonably happy in terms of food and workload (the lazy bastards), but safety has really been lacking as of late.

Council meeting at the winter solstice (now becoming winter):

  • After intense and passionate debate (mainly by Guiscard), Verum is deposed as Guardian and the role goes to Alessio - who has actually shown his mettle more than once. Guiscard suspects (hopes) that he now has a new enemy for life - in true Tytalus spirit!
  • The Predator (i.e. Didrik) is ordered by Ferra to come back with what he should do about the situation in the forest and why there are "so many creatures disturbing the covenant"? - "we should have peace and quiet here..."
  • Ferra gets her 8 Corpus-vis after all the work put in to acquire them, but she doesn't seem to remember that she requested them at all. "But they might come in handy, thank you...".
  • Verum is ordered to pay the regular grog-loss fine of 2 vis for Alwin being eaten by the Linden wyrm, as he was the responsible Guardian. He doesn't seem particularly happy with the situation at all...
  • Ferra complains about the rats (what rats??). Can the new guardian perhaps do something about the problem?
  • Yaakov botches the Aegis of the Hearth ritual, but this is not noticed by anyone (yet anyway...)
  • Didrik is sent with the grogs to inspect the source of the vis in the lake (5 creo calculated)
  • It appears that more more peasants have disappeared from the vicinity of the mine (late this spring).

Upcoming events:

  • Fight the bochmänn at the stone circle at the first snow (Alessio and/or Didrik to handle)
  • The magi plan to conveniently blame as much as possible on the dead Manus (regarding Fengheld's maybe-visit, the Quaesitor etc. )

#10: "The Buck Slaughter / Bockaslakten" winter 1221

  • Didrik has sorted out his peculiar lab in the giant tree (actually Yggdrasil) during the summer, and during the autumn season he has researched the spell "Gate of the sturdy Oak" to finally solve that issue for the Covenant.
  • The first snow nears. Didrik and Alessio bring five grogs led by Adalbern to the stone circle. There they meet the bochmänn Narbarr, Odelbaug and Atlazcher who they almost manage to force leaving (by using magic) without a fight. However, they fail at last and there is a battle. Atlazcher is wounded and a dozen bochmänn die and the rest are driven away.
  • Funnily enough, Hedwig got to try out the new amulet (which later goes to young Joseph Vorderhagen), but as it only helps against metallic attacks (not claws and horns) it was useless in the fight. Fortunately, it still went well and her armor saved her. Henric excelled with the Spear of the Guardian (which Alessio assigned him to use). However, the biggest merit was probably Adalbern's leadership ability to keep the grog formation together against the higher numbers of the bochmänn.
  • While the others head home, Didrik drinks "tea" with cozy black fairy Merrow in her little big hut (once again). According to her, the bochmänn (who are also dark fairies) want to "take back their forest, and put the Black King back on the throne".
  • The magi have kept decent order in the covenant by continuously casting circles of "ward against demons", which seems to have mostly worked but is quite time-consuming and very annoying as well as it restricts the movement of the covenant staff.
  • Guiscard and Didrik check the basement, where they finally find little Yvonne's half-rotted body that the rats have feasted on. It is decided that the body should be hastily buried in the cemetery before Ferra gets hold of it.
  • The Priest Jochen (sent by Bishop Reiner) comes to the covenant. He gives half-hearted anointing and burials. He also interrogates, snoops, comments and takes notes. Jochen is appalled by the lack of godly people in the covenant and the condition of the chapel. He's shocked by Erich's half-goblin appearance (but Erich himself is the most religious in the covenant and very happy that a priest has finally arrived).
  • Jochen holds mass (but few come) and pressures everyone to confess their sins. Only Alessio shows up for real, Guiscard does so half-heartedly, and Erich looks on him with great concern. Didrik and Yaakov are not Christians (woe and horror!).
  • The monster-cat Nott meets Didrik in the forest just outside the covenant. Nott is angry that he is not welcome anymore (because of the new Aegis?). Didrik arranges a necklace with a token for Nott to solve the conundrum.
  • Jochen utters the forbidden F-word so the covenant shakes and another "chain" is heard breaking (?) - this has now happened 3 times. Apparently he has found a carelessly written note on the floor. After investigations, more notes are found in various places (luckily not many people in the covenant can read or the situation might have become real dire).
  • Ferra severly scolds Didrik (who just happened to be the closest nearby of the magi) and is very upset that it absolutely must not happen again!
  • Guiscard "promises" Erich that he will confess "for real" (not fake as he does now) before the end comes...

#11: “Who dances on the table when the cats disappear?” winter 1221

  • The weirdness continues at the covenant (of course). The magi continue to ward against demons all the time, but no overt demonic activity has been seen for a while. However, several cats have disappeared and Alessio wants to talk to Nott, who is not seen either. He first thought he could spontaneously do some "talk to cats" but realizes that he has promised Nott not to cast spells on any of the cats!
  • Didrik does research on fairies to figure out the creepy Kobold of the mine who has demanded "food" for the winter as agreed with Yaakov. He concludes that Kobold is a type of fairy that is probably related to dwarves, gnomes, etc. and often settles in mines. They often allow but want to be appeased by any mining operation. Sometimes they will cause streaks of Arsenic that cause problems, or they may ask for certain things. Sometimes they help and sometimes they topple the operation. A Kobold who's agreement has been violated may become really angry.
  • Unfortunately, all the corpses keeps being taken by Ferra, and the magi hesitate to "manufacture new dead" or sacrifice living people (as the Kobold requested). Didrik heads for the mine with 3 grogs and a cart of delicious faerie pork to try to appease the kobold - or at least buy some time.
  • On the way to the mine, the "Black Queen" Fossegrim appears with her priest Fir and the chambermaid Vittra before Didrik in the forest. She wants the magicians to restore her father the Black King's heart - which previous magicians in the forest betrayed them and stole on behalf of the Summer Queen. The devious Summer Queen has apparently hidden the heart somewhere in the forest - perhaps behind the 7 waterfalls? The gifts of these treacherous earlier magi may be keeping the heart in hiding? It comes to light that the covenant apparently had previous agreements with the black fairies that are seen as failed but that the Black Queen Fossegrim demands to be resumed - as they were first and it's only proper! She complains long about the situation, and also "reminds" Didrik that he is related and must listen to his true blood (that's complete news to Didrik!).
  • Didrik "promises" to tell Fossegrim if more information about the heart is found. "Then we have our agreement" she utters as she disappears.
  • Didrik delivers the pork to the Kobold who is not happy at all, it's not the same - and it's not even rotten! Also, it tastes like light fairy - yuck! Are the magicians failing again? He says they have until the end of winter to rectify the sitaution… Then the Kobold tries to be tricky enough to nab a grog into the mine but fails. Henric was seen as the most juicy mouthful. The mountain apparently rumbles with the Kobold's hungry children.
  • Alessio catches the rat "Ear Rot" (Öronröta) in the basement. Ear Rot promises that "I will stop writing and leaving notes in the covenant" and is then released. It quickly runs into a rat-sized hole, but turns back for a chat from safety. They disagree a little about what was actually promised and how the relationship should go.
  • A small gnome of the covenant named Tauchen hesitantly contacts Didrik. The little gnomes have been chased by not only cats, but rats now too! His brother Heinzelmann is missing. A sock handed down becomes arcane connection and the missing gnome can be located a few meters below the basement. Alessio calls out to Ear Rot, who admits that some brothers might have taken a gnome or two - even rats have to eat of course. They agree that Alessio will give some food to Ear Rot (but not the other rats, which Ear Rot sees as stingy) so they (Ear Rot anyway) won't take any more gnomes. The rat Åderlåtning (Bloodletting) appears and doesn't think Ear Rot should talk to the big people.
  • Didrik scrys a little more through the ground and it seems to be quite a rat's nest down there in the basement. Cat carcasses, scraps of clothing, parchment and various small items and lots of scratching noises and rat squeeks.
  • The young magi have a debate about what to do to the situation but it is postponed for now (until the next council?). The situation can be complex, the rats seem smart and it has become quite a lot alltogether.
  • Alessio travels to Vorderhagen and hands over the medallion "Anatoli's protection" that he made for young Joseph to have before the spring crusade in Lithuania. Vorderhagen becomes extremely satisfied and happy but makes sure that Alessio demonstrates that it works himself, which gets more than a little sweaty. At least Alessio succeeds in not shying away from a a sharp sword slash - or closing his eyes at the attack. The amulet protects "against all attacks with metal weapons that you see coming"...

It is still winter and the winter season's activities are:

  • Alessio reads Vim Summa (as previously decided)
  • Didrik invents a variant of Demon's Eternal Oblivion (PeVi), first at level 15 then another "bonus" at level 5 when his lab total allows it. He could technically do higher, but needs a lower version for better penetration (although it's lower damage).

#12: “Herzog's Vigil” - Still Winter 1221

  • The magi Alessio and Guiscard examine the unused(?) closed sanctum doors: Septimus and the-one-who-we-can't-remember-as-soon-as-we-walk-away. They can't really figure out how to disarm or circumvent the powerful magics protecting the sanctums though (CrIg and ReTe respectively).
  • Guiscard manages to somewhat "see" into Septimus' sanctum (but not very well - doesn't reach the proper "room" target) but senses that in the center of the sanctum is a mighty pillar of fire burning from floor to ceiling.
  • Alessio also experiments with some magic and gets a momentary glimpse of the second sanctum (whoever it belonged to, one doesn't remember as soon as the door is left). There are signs there might be a substantial forge inside - all the ironworks also point to this.
  • Important footnote: Guiscard and Alessio are technically guilty of breaking the Code of Hermes here, as they use magic to "spy" on the activities of other order magi (which a sanctum certainly is). But what one doesn't know, doesn't hurt - and since no one has been seen in or out of these sanctums for a very very long time, there is a lot of gray area. This could certainly be a warranted activity for the covenant.
  • The magi also investigate the door in the basement further. Bribing the rats with food (again) for some information. It turns out that the moving door is an illusion and the real door is where it was from the beginning (doh!). Once they go forward and feel it, a ghost appears - it's Herzog, seemingly an old grog captain who was appointed to "guard the door against both external and internal enemies" by Ferra a long time ago(?). Only council members can be admitted (which limits them to Ferra, Heinrich, Septimus or possibly having a council sigil?). The ghost doesn't know what's behind the door, nor does he care. He's just dead and very focused on his task. Guiscard happens to promise Herzog that they will not go through the door before they become council members - which appeases it.
  • Alessio calls the big cat Nott, who is consulted about the rats. An agreement is also made that the cats stop eating or teasing the gnomes and in return extra milk will be given to the cats once a week. Kitchen-maid Eloise is set to put it out every Sunday.
  • Nott also warns that a new storm is brewing. The Covenant prepares for the storm. Didrik's new magic gate is conjured in place and the grogs are "drilled".
  • Alessio searches for the gnome Tauchen all over the Covenant, but as if by chance (and an Awareness 37!) senses that something is really strange under the woodshed (of plenty), there seems to be a weird cavity beneath there. A large symbol on the floor of the woodshed seems to hold the magic of the woodshed. But from outside the woodshed, no cavity below can be perceived - only from the inside. The matter is not being investigated further at the moment, partly because there is a concern about damaging the wood shed's magical seal (which might be difficult to fix).
  • Once Alessio finds Tauchen, the gnomes are happy about the deal with the cats - they now really only have the rats to worry about. Alessio's clothes will from now on be mended, well washed and finely ironed!

#13: “Gesture with Gestur” - End of winter 1221

  • After enjoying the winter as a newlywed, Yaakov sets up a corpse-smuggling operation from Cologne with Jewish merchant Simon. Yaakov's new wife Ofira - is fully aware but perhaps a little confused, but she accepts that "magicians need it" (isn't she pragmatic?). Hilger the grog is good at taking care of the practical part of receiving the bodies (according to information information at hand it's just deadbeats, beggars and others without relatives who won't be missed).
  • Yaakov brings with him a new carpenter from Cologne who will be put to work to improve various things in the covenant. He will start by fixing up the palisade (will probably take a year).
  • Yaakov again creates Midas Gold for the covenant with 4 Creo vis (does not happen to use the "special vis" they unknowingly have in the vis-store). It should be enough for about 2 years, less if there are additional large expenses.
  • Alessio talks to Regin to figure out why he had a doppleganger. Several other grogs are a little pissed at Regin for "things he didn't do" - Wighard is particularly angry. Alessio also learns that the grogs see shadowy fairies roaming outside the Covenant at night sometimes, trying to lure people out into the forest. Adalbern is ordered to handle the situation and more accurately inform the magi whenever this happens.
  • There will be a storm again. Yaakov adds a (CrIm) scent of myrrh that spreads to cover the pig scent from the covenant (to avoid more sniffing giants). No beast or monster seems to come close to the covenant this time.
  • Alessio with a couple of grogs head out into the storm to try and find where and how portals are possibly opening so they can start analyzing things properly (similar to what Ricardus of Durenmar wrote to them about). It seems activity converge somewhere to the east so they head there. They see lightning and thunder up above the mountain Biberkopf, but according to the covenant charter, only Björnaer can go up there so they return home. Just before they leave, they (barely) can discern something very large moving up on the peak in the far distance.
  • The old man Gestur (Wotan in another classic disguise) comes to visit to take shelter from the storm. There are very exciting conversations by the hearth fire with Guiscard and Yaakov about knowledge and sacrifice (something Wotan is intimately familiar with.. having sacrificed much, including an eye to Mimer). After intense "knowledge negotiations" where Yaakov enters into an agreement to "honor the Gestur (guest)" of the covenant, and set out food and drink for him every lunar cycle in exchange for him revealing who the unknown F** is in the historical records of the covenant. According to Gestur, it is the Summer Queen, who after further conversation turns out to be Frauhjon (or Frija/Freya), and they also come to the conclusion that Gestur is Böllverk and at the same time Wotan (ie germanic Odin). They also agree that Wotan must now be held in front of Frija in the covenant (will have repercussions!).
  • Wotan also proposes to take over the covenant's agreement to provide Frija with a "Guardian" every 10 years so that he himself receives this "sacrifice", but it does not turn out that way.
  • At night, old Ferra comes and frightens Hilger when he is guarding the four preserved bodies from Cologne. She is of course curious about the dead, but seems to be happy and satisfied that she only gets one of them and that the others are to be used to supply the Kobold with food. Hilger has to carry the body up into her sanctum and suffers some terrible experience up there, "like descending into the underworld, but only coming back half a man..."
  • The next morning, Wotan wants his big boar back before he leaves, but he can consider letting the covenant keep it for a while as they seems to be enjoying it - but of course in exchange for something else that's valuable (such as Frija's "guardian agreement"!). Wotan wants the grog Ludold, who he thinks looks strong and good with the axe, but instead Alessio trades away the grog Henric to let them keep the pig (which is now essential for the Covenant's food)... but as he terribly fails negotiation and is tricked by the mighty faerie - it just happens to be until the next lunar cycle. Alas, it didn't turn out exactly as they planned...
  • Yaakov takes the three bodies from Cologne to the kobold Splitt in the mine and manages to fulfill agreements etc. to its satisfaction. Splitt's ego must be stroked, and from now on the mine is called "Splitt's Mine" and the kobold must be honored by everyone who uses the mine and a nice and intricate sign is to be arranged. In return, Splitt promises to help so that there will be fewer mining accidents (but there is a slight risk of some "accidental" loss of life "of course"...). On the way down to the vis-source that he is to show, Splitt demonstrates that he is now a little kinder and saves the situation when Yaakov nearly falls off an old slippery ladder. The Vis source are small fist-sized opal blue "stone fruits" that grow out of a specific wall. If not picked when ripe, they eventually fall down and perish (seems to have been that way for a while). Two Terram-vis per season can now be harvested here.

#14: “Fengheldian Spring Break” spring 1221

  • Didrik finds a new Vis-source by a foggy lake in the forest. Can be gathered in spring by tricking the tiny lake-dancing fairies into bottles (with magic it gives Quickness+Finesse /2 number of Imaginem-vis before the fairies are scattered). However, the lake is guarded by the somewhat vicious naiad Morgen, who likes to attract people into the lake to "play" with them. Didrik breathes water and dares to visit her (he doesn't drown to her disappointment) and manages an agreement that he will come next year and bring a "playmate" with him to "visit" her in the lake.
  • Alessio loses a Certamen-contest for the Spring vis-source to the fire mage Chanor, a Flambeau of Fengheld (this is a tough swallow as a Tremere Certamen-specialist!). Chanor also presents some document certifying ownership. The magi are confused.
  • Council meeting with several talking points on the current situation but not much can be decided. Ferra snores through most of the arguments.
  • Ferra and "the council" (it only seems to be her anyway, as they believe Heinrich is actually an undead in her sanctum and Septimus hasn't been seen for years) will consider an extra council meeting to vote in the new magicians to the council before the Tribunal - as they are otherwise a little short on real magi.
  • The Guardian Alessio is reminded he is required to do something about the rats.
  • After the council meeting, Yaakov "bribes" Ferra with bodies from the corpse-smuggling to possibly reach a council seat - this seems quite successful.
  • The priest Jochen hasn't made much progress in "saving" the peasants (yet).

Gustavus of Tremere, the leader of Fengheld on Rhine (and antagonist) comes by for a visit:

  1. Yaakov wants a exchange of suitable books.
  2. Yaakov's longevity potion services can be purchased - this is very interesting when it's time.
  3. Gustavus wonders if Collem Leonis might consider supporting the Lothringian breakaway tribunal the western covenants of the Rhine Tribunal are planning in "secrecy".
  4. The issue of the spring vis-source is addressed with Gustavus "certifying" that they have transfer papers dating back to a Wizard's War 140 years ago! Of course he doesn't have them with him now though...
  5. An agreement is made with Gustavus to exchange 3 books over 2 years (until the end of the next cycle). He borrows 3 with him (marked in the library list). 2 Mentem tracts and a Penetration sum.
  • Guiscard wants to investigate deeper into the portal openings and find the general context to prepare for the Tribunal (and the theory-debate he'll cooperate with Ricardus for)

Seasonal activities:

  • Didrik looked for new vis-sources in the forest - found one (also thus making the covenant service for the period - all magi have now performed their required services)
  • Alessio learns "Scent of Peaceful Slumber"
  • Yaakov invents the spell "Bestow the Divine Fertility" (he desperately wants to father children before Longevity potion is needed)
  • Guiscard learns “Perception of the Conflicting Motives” and “Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie”

#15: “ Denor's Bridal Voyage" - spring 1221

  • Gustavus has decided to stay at the covenant for the season to the chagrin of the magi. It is indeed rustic, but so "homely" here and definitely a good aura for some experiments he has wanted to try for a long time. There is also such an amazingly well organized guest lab, a real treat to be a guest here!
  • Gustavus is a bit amazed by all the active Ward against Demons circles in the covenant and how much daily time the magi spend on this - and why? It's answered somewhat vaguely. Gustavus asks to learn Ward against Demons spell they are using - "just in case".
  • Captain Adalbern is to see if there might be any grog material among the young people in the village. People Ken + Per: Beats 26, if they exist he will find them... (three are in progress, it could cause problems in the village that the magicians keep taking their youths)
  • Autocrat Johanna has seen to it that the mining operations are up and running again, but things are going slow. The procedures to maintain good relations with the kobold Splitt are properly in place in any case. No incidents in the mine so far (the agreement seems to hold, for now).
  • Verum's apprentice Nicola complains of a headache to Yaakov and seems to have contracted some sort of minor bleeding in the brain (not great!). Yaakov attempts to help him but botches his "Purification of the festering wound", an unknowingly Yaakov gets more or less the reverse effect and aggravates the issue. Poor Nicola...
  • Helena comes to Guiscard and asks for help and tips on how to "defeat other magicians", Certamen, etc. (Alessio hasn't impressed her with his loss to Chanor, otherwise he probably would have been asked). Helena flatters Guiscard, who shares some great inside tips on Penetration.
  • The cats meow-howl again, there's another storm! Guiscard takes Helena (unbeknownst to her master Verum - ouch!), and the grogs Frida and Wighard into the forest to find the portal. He succeeds better than expected and a newly opened portal is found in a clearing in a ring of mushrooms. They go through the portal to investigate the world on the other side...

Conclusions of Guiscard's various investigations with magic analysis and instruments brought:

  • The aura is +6 and it is a faerie realm
  • The aura seems to be increasing in strength (slowly over time) and it has been going on for a long time.
  • The aura bleeds over into the mundane world
  • It has a twin magical realm attached (weird!)
  • Guiscard believes that he will soon be able to understand when portals will open in the near future (from the forest side though)
  • +5 xp in Lore: Collem Leonis

Guiscard tries to extend the opening time of the portal, but it doesn't go at all as he intended and the portal warps to another location (some kind of mountain landscape with dripping lava). He then also fails to restore the portal to its original state and has to give up from exhaustion. Oops...

Despondent and frustrated, young Helena angrily throws a massive ball of fire into the forest, which detonates very loudly - but nothing terrible seems to come of it. Be careful of this one Guiscard...

Stuck in an unknown land, some time later a horse and cart arrives. It is Logi (i.e. germanic "Loki") who has taken his veiled "cousin... erm.. sister..." on a wedding trip and the group is offered to go with them (they still don't know where they are going).

A while of pleasant conversation later, they arrive at a gigantic Jotun (giant) fortress. The sister is apparently to be married off to the giant Trym. Some exciting discoveries and challenges as guests in giant land, they manage to get upstairs (tall stairs!) asd find their gigantic guestroom without being trampled.

Guiscard does some measurements and tests from the window sill and comes to the conclusion that they are in a magical aura +6. Feels like this could be the twin world he sensed in his previous researches. The Faerie and Magic realms are apparently connected(!).
Time is definitely moving in the same direction and not too far out of phase here as well - as long as they are linked home with portals anyway. There is some relief in that.

Logi convinces Guiscard that he wants the magic stone in the giants' soup cauldron in the main hall and gives him a special sack to carry it "so he can avoid being annihilated when he grabs it".
Then the wedding celebration and wedding starts. The small folk get to sit on top of a table, eat, drink and participate with the Jotun.

Frida gambles away her sword in dice (which are real heavy bastards to throw - she barely manages), which becomes a nice little toothpick for the giant winning it.

A long and pompous ceremony ends with the wedding gift of a magnificent hammer artifact (of questionable origin), whereupon Denor (i.e. Thor) throws off his veil and begins ragingly and mindlessly slaughtering all the giants with it. Brain matter, giant body parts and humongous entrails fly all across the Jotun hall!

In the chaos, the giant cauldron is knocked over and Guiscard sweeps up the magic "Creation Stone" using Logi's sack and they manage to get away (sneaking under the door) with their lives intact. The few giants who notice them they manage to trick into thinking they are harmless - they are so small. As they leave they hear the blows of Denor's hammer Mjolnir thundering mightily even in the distance...

Wighard has managed to lug along a gold coin as big as a shield (really heavy) - which he refuses to give up! However, Guiscard's sack seems all the emptier, there is no longer a lovely magical stone in it, but only a note: "Thanks for the help with the stone - Logi". Guiscard is really annoyed!
In any case, they manage to find their way back to the forest from the mountains.


Back in the covenant , Verum is absolutely furious with Yaakov because he used magic - badly - on HIS disciple, which is about to die! Verum demands vindication and becomes very hard to appease (incredibly close to acts of violence). Yaakov suggests that he can still help Nicola, but this is out of the question for the angry Verum if he is not allowed to cast "Breath of the Spoken Lie" on Yaakov with a lowered Parma. Verum refuses for Alessio to be the one to do so (as he doesn't trust or like the Tremere either). Yaakov finally agrees to lower his parma and Verum puts the spell on him. Alessio (who knows his variant of it) guesses that it is the spell in question, but that Verum definitely casts it very differently than himself and that there seems to be another form prop involved (though he doesn't know which one - scary). Maybe/hopefully it's just a quirk of his Criamon magic. Anyway, it all goes smoothly and the spell seems to work as intended, whereby Verum is appeased and allows Yaakov to save Nicola's life (however, it costs 6 corpus vis and 2 creo vis for the ritual).

  • Yaakov discovers during the ritual casting that the Aura of the Covenant has unexpectedly been strengthened, it is now +6 and they have no idea why. They note that this can become problematic over time as this can cause warping on unprotected mundanes (this normally takes years though).
  • Verum is a little happier - until he realizes that his other apprentice Helena is gone and he can't find her with arcane connection! Guiscard that bastard has stolen her away!
  • They idn't really have time to do anything with the rats this time either (but the magi did manage many and long discussions about what they should actually do..).