Letters, we got your letters

This note arrived mid spring for Fiona in 1220, after the dinner with the Tremere. The letter was sealed with black wax and embossed with a scale. The redcap sought a private audience with you to deliver this message.

Fiona, Daughter of Circe, ex Misc

I bid you greetings and welcome you as a new resident of the Normandy Tribunal. Allow me to introduce myself, I am called Proctor and am a follow of Guernicus. Apollodorus had planned to setup his covenant for many years, I'm guessing. I recall at the Tribunal of 1214 he request that the Tropaea that he'd been granted as an eremite be used as the seisin for a new covenant. It was approved by acclimation, as that vis source is rather troublesome to gather for many covenants, due to the large number of mundanes involved in the fair. It is my understanding that it is declared as a size of 7 pawns of Vis. And am I to understand there are 7 magi there? It seems that everything around Mont Beuvray has become very social and active. It's my understanding that Apollodorus recently hosted an event for a large contingent of Tremere who were travelling to their Domus Magna. I've heard tht Apollodorus has thrown some lavish dinner parties, but I've never had the opportunity to attend.

In any event, I had hoped to discuss some aspects of transformational magic with you... [/i]
The letter goes on for some time about the art of Muto, generally as it applies to Terram, but it has some broader implications. If you choose to respond to his letter, you can use it as a point of XP in Muto or Terram.

[i]I hope this letter finds you well, and I look forward to developing a long correspondence with you.

Proctor, follow of Guernicus

(Does Fiona know whether Proctor is the Quaesitor here in Normandy? Int 1 + Order of Hermes Lore 2 + die roll of 2 = 5. I suspect he is but not sure.)

She will counter Proctor's discussions and observations about Muto with some of her own, focusing more on her own knowledge, particularly as it applies to the forms of Corpus and Herbam.

She will also mention that, although she is quite familiar with the plants and herbs of Scotland, and from what she has seen, they are similar in France, she does not want to make any potentially catastrophic errors with her uses of herbalism, and will ask if he can recommend someone she can speak with on such topics.

Yes, your sure he is a Quaesitore.
[i]Dear Fiona,

It was so good to hear back from you. I found your insights on Muto as it relates to Corpus and Herbam to be fascinating, but have you considered how it relates with the Art of Mentem?
And he continues in some depth discussing the nuiances of of Muto and Mentem, although his focus is on Mentem here.
Well, if you don't have 7 Magi to start with, it's trivial to add them later. We aren't so provincial as the Rhine Tribunal which requires new covenants be founded only with acclimation of the existing covenants. Additionally, we aren't as stringent as the Tribunal of the Greater Alps, which requires a rook of vis per Magus to establish residency. So, it does seem to me that having only 1 seisin of 7 pawns of vis would be sufficient to fund a covenant, especially in the manner one would expect Apollodorus to prefer. It was my understanding that he was a profligate spender of coin and vis, though the location appears to have little to show for it. As you may or may not be aware, our Praeco is very old and will likely die or pass into Final Twilight soon. Do you know how ould Apollodorus is, our records seem to be in disarray and requests to Valnastium seem to have a habit of leaving out that tidbit of information.
Also, it appears that has been a recent change in Tremere leadership in the Tribunal, and that change seems to have ocurred around the time the Tremere passed through. Maris of Tremere recently informed me that she has been named Exarch and provided me a list of the sigils she was assigning to proxies.

Proctor, follower of Guernicus.[/i]

Dear Proctor,

Naturally, most of my studies in Muto have been regarding how they can be applied to Corpus and Animal (and, to a lesser degree, Herbam) but have not given it much thought as to how it could be applied to Mentem. I have at times wondered how difficult it would be to reduce a man's intellect, at least temporarily, to where he is no smarter than a mere beast; conversely, it seems to me that it would be possible to increase an animal's intellect (or that of a simple man) to the level possessed by most of humanity. I suspect, however, that the latter would more likely fall under the auspices of the technique of Creo, even if it were merely temporary.

Here is where Fiona will speculate on the possible uses of Mentem, particularly in relation to her focus in transformation.

I have noticed that many things are handled differently here than they are in Loch Leglean. Much more structured and organized, it seems, and not so much left to each maga's (or Covenant's) discretion. I understand that there are a relatively small number of magi who do not belong to any Covenant, but it appears that it would be more difficult to do so than in other Tribunals.

I have heard rumours about Renita's failing health, and I am saddened to hear that there is some substance to them. I trust that, should she pass, there is an orderly transition to the next Praeco, whomever that may be.

I have actually not asked Apollodorus his age. As they say, it's not how many years a man lives, but how he's lived them. I suspect, however, that he is nowhere near old enough to become Praeco, even if he would accept such a prestigious office. Has anyone asked him directly?

I recall the party that the Tremere attended while on their travels. Very interesting, and very entertaining in its own way. I learned more about the Tremere at the one party than I have since my Gauntlet.


Delivered Autumn of 1220, by Redcap

[i]Dear Fiona,

I'll be frank. Apollodorus has befriended many of my house, and he has an avid interest in history. He did extensive research, or had it conducted on his behalf, to ensure that the rumors of a covenant of the renounced House were not true. He supplied much vis in exchange for this service.

Another item, I find curious about Apollodorus, is that he appears as if from nowhere in Hermetic terms. He claims he is a filius of Astrolabe of Jerbiton, like the current Primus of House Jerbiton, but it would almost seem that they were trained at the same time. Such a practice is not uncommon amongst certain Houses, such as Bonisagus or Tremere, but amongst the Jerbiton it is much less common, at least before the fall of Constantinople. I would be pleased if you could introduce us at Tribunal, I would appreciate it.

Proctor, Follower of Guernicus[/i]

Dear Proctor,

I will be attending Tribunal next summer, and look forward to the experience and to meeting you.

Should Apollodorus decide to attend as well, I would be honoured to introduce you to each other.


Fiona ex Miscellanea, Daughter of Circe

(sent in summer 1220)

To my sodalis Drystan ex Merinita,

I hope that my letter finds you in good health and better spirits. I have arrived in my new home in the Normandy tribunal without incident. We were slightly delayed upon our arrival upon the continent, but not to the point where I was not able to join the Covenant.

Things are quite different here than they are in Loch Leglean, but I am sure that you already know that, as you have ever been more traveled than I was.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Normans here are less obnoxious than the ones that we've had to deal with from England in the past. Perhaps they sent all of their problem children to England all those years ago, and kept the more civilized people for themselves. That is not to say, however, that everyone here is a as welcoming or accommodating as I would have liked – I had not been here a day when I realized that giants and their kin have a long way to go before being accepted in society.

The Covenant itself is much more spacious than Insula Canaria, and each of us has our own lab in the most powerful aura, which is much more to my liking than having to petition the Council for access to the better labs every season that we had need.

I have also had success with my new garden. The soil seems to be richer than in the Highlands, and I am eager to see how my herbs and flowers develop here.

(Fiona will discourse on some of the plantlife she has found here and how it differs from what she was working with in Scotland)

Your sodalis,

Fiona ex Miscellanea, Daughter of Circe

ooc – don't really have Drystan statted out out fully developed. Like the others of Insula Canaria, he is rather older than Fina (I'm thinking the youngest of them is 15-20 years her senior). As only Faileas is older than Drystan, I'm thinking he's about 40-ish years older than her (which would put him about 70 years out of gauntlet, or thereabouts).

Originally Welsh, Drystan is a Nature Merinita (as opposed to a Faerie Merinita). If he were Bjornaer, I would say that he's definitely a Wilderist. His Arts of expertise are probably Animal and Herbam.

Returned by redcap, late summer 1220

To my sodalis Fiona, Daughter of Circe,

I was most pleased to receive your letter. I am glad that you have settled into your new home easily. I had hoped that the change in scenery would be good for your continued development. I think you'll find that you'll have many more opportunities available there than you would ever have here.

Your mention of the giants puts me in mind of something, we've had scattered reports that they are becoming more combative and territorial. Some trade agreements they'd had previously are no longer being honored amongst several of the tribunal's covenants. I'm unsure what is going on, but I fear it does not bode well.

I think you'll find the weather is much more moderate where you are, which allows you to grow a greater variety of plants. To the south of you, in the Provencal Tribunal the soil is rocky and the weather warmer and it allows for a vast array of herbs to be grown, as they generally prefer poorer soils. If you want to learn a lot about the plants, I suggest you seek out some of the monks in the area. The letter goes on to discuss plants and covers the Art of Herbam rather well.

You should also endeavor to ask Apollodorus to see if he can get you an invitation to Valnastium sometime, they have fabulous gardens, growing many different plants. They've created magics which allow them to grow plants from many different climates.

Dristan of Merinita

(OOC: To receive correspondence XP, you should adjust the date to summer 1220, as spring 1220 already has an opportunity for correspondence XP)

original post is edited.

To my esteemed Primus and Head of the Milites, Garus ex Flambeau

It was my pleasure and honour to receive your missive regarding a mission for one of our Sodales in Bonisagus. It is my duty to serve whatever the cause and whatever the need.

I received one Xander ex Bonisagus later in the season and brought with me Mufarrj, the moorite you had mentioned as well as one of my more capable Grogs. Xander informed me that the quest was to capture a giant for his research, and he told me he knew in general of where one could possibly be found.

Alas, despite my best efforts I have failed in this quest. I would say that I was ashamed of my failure, but I am not, for despite Xander’s stated desire of capturing a giant he took deliberate steps to make this even more difficult until it became completely impossible.

From the start of our venture he lied and dissembled. He claimed he knew only of legends of a giant not so far from my current home. We spent days searching out rumour and claims of this giant, and while we heard of different claims were not given much else, except perhaps a ranch that was ravaged by it at one point.

We approached the ranch, and found the giant…doing farm chores, for he is the young son of a farmer named Andre. His son ran off at the sight of us leaving me to try and deal peaceably with a frightened and angry father. I tried to make an offer of service that he might be rewarded for in return for letting Xander study his son. The farmer knew Xander by name and certainly by reputation as Xander had tried to kidnap his son a few times before. Xander had already disappeared at this point, taking any truth with him. He had lied about not knowing the giant, to what purpose I’m not sure, perhaps he hoped I had no honour and would attack a father to steal his son.

After this awkward moment I managed to speak civilly with the father and find a possible way to salvage this, as I had no intention of kidnapping his son once he pointed out that he had no intention of allowing his son anywhere near Xander. He knew of a regio nearby where his son sometimes lived with other giants, and one of those giants was victimizing his son. Now it seemed I had a way to complete the mission and bring down a rampaging giant. My men and I went to the regio and were then ambushed by Xander.

He cast spells on the giant, my men and myself, but could not get through my parma. My men and the man’s giant son were paralyzed. I berated Xander for his lies as well as fouling up a means of recovering the mission with some honour, and as learned as he was, such talk baffled him. It was only when I explained that there were more giants on the other side of the regio that he decided to try for those, and even then he threatened to taunt and provoke them into causing a massacre on our side of the regio.

My men were now unable to help until after Sunset, and I wanted nothing more than to be done with this. We crossed over and I agreed to find the giant they had named. Again I found that this rampaging giant was just another giant child, one that happened to be a bully of the first we encountered. I brought him to the entrance of the regio, still uncertain of what I would do and found that Xander had been overcome by the first giant, his father, and to my embarrassment, my men. The spell had worn off due to the difference in time between the regios and they took him by surprise. He was only mildly hurt, but tied up and gagged.

At this point I washed my hands of the whole affair. I let the one giant go, gave Xander a lecture on the values of honesty, gave him six pawns of Corpus vis (four to heal himself, and two more for the assault he endured, and I feel I was overly generous) and exited the region after I saw Xander cast a spell on himself to no doubt return to his sanctum.

I wished to make sure you had an account from myself as soon as possible, for certainly you will receive a letter or some other device from Murion as well as Xander. The accounting I have thus related is true as I witnessed it, so I swear by the honour of my master Tristan ex Flambeau and the Lord Christ; may He hold me to my word.

I hope this letter helps resolve the trouble that this affair has caused.

I remain your servant,

Alexei von Kroitsau ex Flambeau, Milites member in good standing

Dear Alexei von Kroistau:

As you describe the events, I think you acted with distinction. There are times when we are asked for service without having all the details at the beginning of the mission. It is the mission of the Milites to conduct themselves within the bounds of chivalrous behavior as applied to the Hermetic and mundane worlds. There are those who will take advantage, it is always so. I do not fault your subordinates for taking action, you had trained them well to maintain the values that you hold dear. We do not look for those of our School to merely follow the letter of our ideals. The spirit of our ideals is more important. Was a Magus harmed? No, I don't think so. He requested our help through his Prima. He lied to you, it is likely he lied to her. I will inform her of the status of her request as you reported it. If he responds, we will resolve it, but I think it is unlikely that he will inform her, or he will attempt a lie, and the story will come out. I will vouch for you, as you've never failed a mission, to my knowledge.

He goes on to detail different ways he's been misled in the past, and how he's responded.

Garus, Primus of House Flambeau

(This is sufficient correspondence to generate 1 xp in Intrigue)

To my esteemed Primus and Head of the Milites, Garus ex Flambeau

I thank you for the generous estimation of my involvement in these affairs. I also greatly appreciate your own experiences, they were enlightening. It seems it is difficult to maintain one's honour, but all the more important to do so. I must confess at more than one time during this expedition I was tempted to take the easy route and follow the mission's letter at the expense of my honour and am shamed to admit that without the reminder from Mufarrj might have taken different actions.

I would press upon you again though my Primus, I have newly arrived in Normandy, and find it has odd rules and conventions. I am struck by the Perthean Code (I believe that is how it is called) which seems to serve only to forment strife by plundering our sodales mundane resources. I should not be surprised as I now abide in the Tribunal nearest to the Tytalus Domus Magni, but I still find this to be nearly intolerable. Do you have any excerpts of the Peripheral Code for this Tribunal where our House and most especially, the Milites may have had any involvement with incidents between Magi and Covenants with this Perthean Code? I would greatly like to expand my knowledge of this Code and how we may have responded in the past. I value peace perhaps far more than my covenmates realize, it is the perspective of a soldier who sees war first hand, and I believe this Code shall only bring more strife. My first reaction to an incident that affected our Covenant was far more...aggressive than my covenmates would rather have, despite our being the aggrieved party, by my estimation.

My thanks again for your wisdom, if you have the time or could perhaps have a Milites member who knows such things send me any examples I would be truly greatful.

Your servant,
Alexei von Kroitsau ex Flambeau, member in good standing of the Milites

To Alexei von Kroistau:

The nearest Miles nearest you in the Tribunal would be at Le Maison d'Levrier, which is near the Atlantic coast. Apollodorus knows the founder and Princeps of that covenant rather well. There is a capable Flambeau nearer you, at Atsingani, though. He was born and raised in the Tribunal, and was covenfolk for Atsingani before his Arts were opened. That covenant is poor and has been heavily abused by their leige covenant of Montverte.

Your Primus,
Garus of House Flambeau

To my esteemed Primus and Head of the Milites, Garus ex Flambeau

This Flambeau...is he named Jacques? If so, then he has much explaining to do. He is the one that by his actions, first brought to my attention this Perthean Code and what one might do with it. It must be him, for this Jacques is also from Atsingani. If you say he is honourable I shall let that recomendation colour my meetings with him, but so far by my accounting he is, or allowed; thievery of sheep, kidnapping of a yeoman's family, casting spells on another covenant's grounds, and has a band of brigands for a turb of Grogs. However, I shall find out more of this in time and shall take into account your knowledge of him and perhaps engage with a more open mind.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to correspond with me on these matters.

I remain your loyal servant,

Alexei von Kroistau ex Flambeau, member in good standing of the Milites.

Hibernia Tribunal

(Spring 1221)

Dear mater,

Forgive the lateness of this letter, but I wanted to be sure that things went as well here as I had hoped. I have settled into my new home in the Normandy Tribunal, and have all but severed ties to my former covenant in Insula Canaria.

I say that things have gone as well as I had hoped, but that would be an understatement – I find that things here are much better than before. The other magi here (who are, for the most part, of an age with me) are much less stringent about requiring the Council's consent for lab use and for the projects undertaken than I am used to.

And no-one has said anything about requiring the Council's consent for finding and bonding a Familiar, or for taking an Apprentice as required by the Oath. One of the other magi is fostering an apprentice, and has asked me to take a hand in furthering his training. I fully expect to be able to bond a familiar within the year, and to take an apprentice of my own within five.

The only real drawback is that nobody outside my entourage speaks Scots, and many of the mortals here do not speak Latin, so we are having to learn a new language.

It was also quickly made known to me upon my arrival here that I may have to become more active in fostering good relations between giants and humans. I do not believe that they have as much contact with my kind as they do in the isles; the only giants I have heard of here (if what I have gleaned is correct) live in a regio that only opens once every seven years. I have, however, heard rumours of unrest between the giants and humans in Scotland. Have you heard anything about this, and has it extended to the giants in Ireland?

I also understand that there should be more opportunities to study plants and herbs of various kinds here. I will look into them to see what I can find out. If I find any that may be of use to you, I will send seeds or cuttings via Redcap.

Your filia


The reply returns in Summer of 1221, while Fiona is gone. It is scribbled in a hasty hand on a torn piece of paper.

Dear filia,

It is good to hear that you are well. I apologize for the long delay in replying to you. I've had to relocate, and may have to do so yet again, quite soon. It seems that there are some heretofore unknown clans of giants making their way into our lands. They are bigger, and suprisingly, smarter than I'd anticipated.
I ended up getting into a nasty scrape with one of them, and I swear it had Parma, since I was only able to penetrate on a spell by using vis. I was able to resist his magic easily, though it's physical prowess was impressive. It's might should not have been so great for me to overcome. I of course alerted the Quaesitores, but they thought me delusional.


(Late summer 1221)

A letter arrives for Alexei von Kroistau, sealed with the sign of the Exarch of Tremere for the Hibernia, Stonehenge, Loch Leglean and Normandy Tribunals.

Dear Alexei,

I trust all is well with you after your victory over Rotgiers. When you didn't seem to take my warning seriously I took some steps on your behalf. No, I didn't do anything to him, but I did prevent him from doing something to you. He somehow had gotten hold of an Arcane Connection to you (OOC this was that Awareness roll I had asked you to make in the first round). I managed to convince Santiago, to switch the Arcane Connection Rotgiers had, so his preparatory spell that he intended to cast on you each round at the lists always failed, since it was actually targeting someone else.
You should not be upset by this, as you won the Tourney on your own merits with honor. I do however ask that you think of this as a favor I have done for you, otherwise you would've likely died as your armor disintegrated around you, and your magical protections failed.
This does not mean you are safe from Rotgiers, either. I expect him to make an attack of a different sort, and it may not be upon you. You and your covenant mates should be cautious.

Warm regards,
Maris, Exarch of Tremere

Dear Maris,

Again I thank you, both for the information and your intervention. It is no small thing you did, the loyalty House Tremere has to its own is legendary, but in you I see a greater loyalty to honour, and for that I thank you. Is Rotgiers aware of your intervention and if not, shall I assume that you do not wish him or others to know of it?

I shall indeed regard this as a favor as well as keeping aware of his machinations.

Alexei Von Kroitsau ex Flambeau

This letter is addressed to Brigitte ex Tytalus, previously presented in the second post of Fieltarn's prelude.
I'd envision her as a mixed specialist of Muto and Intellego, with secondary interests in Corpus and Mentem. She can be of any covenant, is probably though not necessarily from the Normandy Tribunal - or whichever you'd see as a better fit. She was a member of a covenant that offered some seasons of hospitality to Fieltarn. They found common interests and shared a few good times, as aluded in the Prelude.

Spring 1221, Mons Electi, Tribunal of Normandy.

My dear Hippian sodales, when we last shared our respective views on mankind's primal urges, we also talked about me joining your covenant. As you are likely aware by now, I've joined the covenant of Mons Electi as a resident magus - well, a 'probationary member' actually, but that's common practice. As I spent almost half a century living as a Peregrinatores, since my late pater took me as his unrully apprentice, I find this new experience to be both exhilarating and a bit dizzying; but, as you said, "change is the water of rebirth, and the only fire that truly burn our old decreptit selves".

Speaking of which, you'll find my own modest take on the Art of Muto in the following sheets of fine parchment - a local specialty which seems to tempt more than a few greedy hands around here, but I digress. I'll be interested to compare my views to yours, regarding the use of this Hermetic technique, perhaps with regard to the forms "of life" (Mentem, Corpus, Animal, Herbam), and I'd greatly appreciate reading your thoughts in return, if and when you have the time between your many acts of dedication to foster "change" around you.

Oh, and how are the "dogs"? Does their training goes well, considering their savage lineage? Rarelly, have I had to call on the wilds for animals with such specific traits before. It was, I admit, challenging even to me to call on Mother Dana's generosity for a "preferably untamed and proud beast, but one still accessible to training, and big" - as per your expectations. When She answered favorably -praised be Her name - with not one but two young wolven half-breeds, I wondered if the challenge wasn't just beginning, even if I had no doubt that you have both the will and means to tackle it.

I have to ask : did you really retained "Ulseus" as a prospective name for the "smallest" mastiff eventually?Not your favorite, the pup with a "under-handed glint", per your own judgment. I had some bemused feelings that it echoed - not hazardously I'd venture - the name of one of your covenant's peer, this young Tremere who did not looked favorably upon my nightly calls at your Sanctum's "guest quarters", the same who nevertheless seemed never far from your floor each time we shared a pleasant conversation.

In any case, since I intent to attend the Normandy's meetings of 1221 - and probably make a fool of myself in some of its games - I'm entertaining the hope of seeing you there, or find some not to inebriated Redcap there to bring me a letter of your own.

  • F.

Delivered towards the end of Winter

[i]To Korvin Merceris, salve.

Please allow me to introduce myself-- I am Laetitia filia Iudicium scholae Guernici, Advocata ab Magvillus, Quaesitor in good standing. I have been assigned to Normandy to assist with some of the additional caseload the Tribunal is currently experiencing.

I will be visiting Mons Electi on official business, within a few days of your receipt of this missive. I wished to give advance notice so that no one is caught unawares or otherwise made uncomfortable.

You and I met many decades ago, as we were both presented to the Roman Tribunal in the same year; I look forward to renewing your acquaintance.

I appreciate your discretion regarding my sending of this missive, as the popular modus operandi among Quaesitores in Normandy is rather heavier-handed than I employ, and I am expected to operate by local standards.

Yours in friendship,

[size=85]***Laetitia has a reputation in Rome for being something of a hippie-- She is strongly Traditionalist and very active in trying to minimize the Order's ability to infringe on magi's individual liberties.[/size]