It is 1218. The Holy Roman Emperor is dying, and everybody knows it. Mundane powers are realigning towards the victor’s camp and taking revenge on the loyalists of Otto that did not turn their coats fast enough. Like them, you all have known war in the last decade, and so has the castle you know approach. Lucien’s Folly, a moniker for a castle that a count built to boost his power and become a new Landgrave or Duke more than 100 years ago. It happened to be a plan to grand for him. The castle was never finished, and you see the half built outer walls, and the incomplete upper floor of the keep, where a ramshackle roof holds the elements at bay. Since then the castle has passed to the Holy roman Emperor, and from him, to the wise men of Triamore. The men and women that has sent you the letter you now carry with you. A letter of invitation to join them at their covenant.
You might have been digging some information about them, or you might have heard here and there. In any case you know that Triamore is in a complicated situation. Only 2 Casters remain of the original complement of six. And as the power of the Emperors wanes so does the peace for Triamore. This area is a hotspot of conflict, and Triamore is in the centre of a lot of the power struggles. With a full complement of Casters Triamore could have weathered the situation quite easily, but now the mundane powers (and maybe some mystical ones) are smelling the blood like a pack of rabid hounds.
As you approach the castle you see that the outer wall is only half finished. It would not hold out an attack for more than 10 minutes with its stone structure. However, you see labourer filling the gaps with a sturdy palisade made using tree trunks from the nearby forest, that is being cleared in front of the barbican. A makeshift measure, but way better than nothing. And clearing forest in front of one’s wall is always a good idea.
YANNIS (priest of Arduinna)
(You approach Triamore from the forest).
You received your letter a month ago. White Paws’ pack, a wolf family you have known for a long time, brought it to you. You know that the leader of the pack shares a bond with one of the magi of Triamore, Remi. He has some understanding of the forest and has interacted with you on occasion. He even asked Arduinna to build a hut where to do his magics a while ago, and Arduinna accepted. You did not fully agree, since Bois de Haillot is a village that encroaches on the borders of the Ardennes, but the spirit overruled you. She must have her own plans.
White Paws’ pack abandoned you when you approached the border of the forest. No problem at all. Your connection with Arduinna remains strong and you trust the forest spirit to look after you. You have passed a hamlet, and now approach the castle. You see the village fields and the castle as an unhealed superficial wound on the Ardennes, but a wound none the less. Let’s hope things are for the better. You are curious about the invitation of Triamore, but the recent and past obertures of their magi towards Arduinna place them positively in her regard. They have always tended to be more oriented towards the northern parts, out of her reach, but they have never tried to encroach further into her domain than what they already found. That is more than what can be said about most villages around Her Sacred Boundary.
You approach Triamore through the ford. What you see is what is in the writing of Sicero of Tremere in the Triamore book, just less whinny.
The weather is overcast today, but fortunately it has not started raining. You approach Triamore with your letter of invitation. It reached you last week in Arbois, your dwelling place, making an appointment for today, the first day of March. You know about them, and have been in bois de haillot before. However, you have never been in the castle. You tend to interact more with the peasants than the nobility, so that is not a strange case. Arbois and Bois de Haillot are very interlinked, so having a reputation here as well is quite normal for the likes of you. Gossip travels fast.
The castle is an imposing land feature. You do not like it much, but have interacted with such structures before. This one seems quite dilapidated, but still impressive on its hill dominating the Meuse. Some peasants wave at you from the fields as you pass them. They are hurrying in their labour before the sky opens up and it starts to rain. They are preparing the fields for planting.
The letter has impacted you. You do not receive an invitation from Daria LaGris lightly. She might be the mistress of a single manor, but everybody in Lorraine and beyond knows about her. Not only a noblewoman, but a magician and one of the leaders of the Augustans a coven off heathens. The priest of Arbois told you about that last bit with some horror in his voice, but it just picked your curiosity.
You are already in the castle. Having come here a few weeks ago to peruse the library for some texts on Theology that the Holy roman Emperors made theirs when a monastery in constested lands losts its case in the imperial court. That was not very Christian of the dead Emperor in your opinion, but at least the books are available to consultation and held at Triamore.
You have been here for 4 weeks now. After the trek through that dark and desolate Ardennes forest the vision of Bois the haillot and is hamlets made you thank the Almighty. Triamore impacted you, since you were not expecting a library to be held in a castle, nor a castle this big to be here. Since this original impact you came to know why the castle is here and why the library is here as well, but these power plays of the nobility still puzzle you given the only true Truth of the existence of God and his manifest power on earth. You have in the past blamed demons for such human behaviours, but have come to appreciate that demons can be on leave of absence and humankind would still perform most terrible things. Well, it is your mission to correct that and make sure more souls end up in heaven after judgement day, so you know you have a purpose.
Now you are waiting to be summoned. You received a formal letter for a meeting with Daria LaGris and Remi of Mouseau yesterday in your room. The are also members of the order of Hermes, like yourself, but you have not interacted much with them. They belong to other mystical traditions after all. Madamme LaGris is an Augustan Sister. You are unsure about the tradition of the knight Mousseau, but she doesn’t seem to be as learned as her. Anyway, you are in the outer bailey now looking at the servants go about their business while you recite the rosary while waiting.
All of you: you can make whatever introductions and interactions you like with NPCs and yourselves. Except Daria, Remi and Morris. They are not available right now. You can introduce new elements in the narration, including features of the covenfolk, stuff about the covenant or the village.... whatever you think. This is a collective project, so player feedback creativity and story building is encouraged. Go out and mess around