Childhood and Early Life
Peter was born in the city of Cologne in Germany, the third son of a cobbler (a shoemaker specializing in repairing them). He spent a mostly normal childhood in the streets and back alleys of the city, for his Gift only begun manifesting itself when he was 8 years old. Thus, he was able to make friends his own age and learn his father's craft as his brothers did, although he wasn't very good at it. Even at that early age, though, he had a fascination for doors, archways and other stonework within the city's architecture. He would spend long hours perched on fortifications observing the townsfolk going about their business in the city.
The normal life changed as his Gift begun manifesting itself. Other children, even those who used to be his friends, stopped inviting him to play with them. Even his family became ill at ease with him. At the same time, his mind grew more inquisitive and his fascination for stone grew. His father's efforts to train him at his craft were met with limited success, for it was obvious that he had limited gifts for leathercraft. And with his brothers being much more talented in that area, Peter was often assigned to run errands through the city.
At the same time as he was becoming estranged from other youths his own age, Peter begun being plagued by strange events linked to the awakening of his Gift. Once, as he was being chased by older boys trying to bully him, he slipped through an archway to come out of another. Another time, a locked door opened itself to his touch while he was leaning against it.
This period of Peter' life changed forever the day when a man wearing a red cap came into his father's shop to get his boots repaired. When Peter was tasked with delivering the man's repair boots at his inn, the man asked him many strange questions. For some days later, he kept having the strange sensation that someone was either following or watching him...
A few months later, the man was back, with more repairs to be done. He asked specifically for Peter to deliver the repaired footwear. Another man was with him, a disturbing man who asked even more strange questions and muttered words in Latin to himself while examining Peter. The next day, the man with the red cap came back to Peter' father shop. After some discussions and negotiations, he took Peter away to apprenticeship.
Travelling with the redcap to the mountains in the South of Germany, Peter found himself living at Irminsul, a covenant in Saxony near the city of Paderborn where strange people lived. There he was apprenticed with the disturbing man from the inn, the magus Octavius of House Bonisagus. Bewildered by these sudden changes, and intimidated by the fact that his master was a sorcerer, he was at first unable to accept that one day he would also be one.
Those feeling passed quickly, as he was immediately put on a severe training schedule. First he was tutored in Latin, and had to learn to read and write, under a severe teacher who was quick to punish him. Once he was fluent enough to read by himself, he had to learn philosophy and mathematics, as well as the Hermetic Theory of magic. And throughout this period, he was also assigned chores and tasks by his master. Days began before the sun rose, and ended well after it set.
Eventually, when his letters were acceptable and his knowledge of Magic Theory sufficient, he was also put to work copying texts for his master. He was also taught strange and elaborate ceremonies, often exhausting and sometimes painful -- to open his Gift to the summon magical energies through old Mercurian rituals, ceremonies and customs.
After a few years of this regimen, he began assisting his master in his laboratory work. His apprenticeship became more fulfilling, as he became able to apply his newly-learned ability to work magic. While Octavius was himself a specialist in healing magic, he allowed Peter to develop a natural kinship with portals and an affinity with earth magic, while shaping him to the peculiar Mercurian tradition. But this meant that Peter was never able to truly master the full power of spontaneous magic. No matter, he was content to learn everything that his was taught, or told to learn. Delving into the intricacy of rituals, both ancient and new, was a delight to Peter.
After a decade of apprenticeship, Octavius brought Peter with him to Durenmar, to be further tutored in magic under different members of House Bonisagus. Still, even that tutelage failed to overcome a small flaw in his ability to master the full extent of Hermetic magic, so he remains weak in the art of Mentem. Another disappointment was that the initial manifestations of his Gift were tamed and diminished by the way Octavius awakened his Gift to Hermetic magic. He discovered this while trying to invent a new spell (Doorway to Doorway) to replicate his travelling through archways in the city, which proved much more difficult with Hermetic magic than it had been with his untrained Gift.
Shortly before passing his Gauntlet, while he was traveling for his pater in one of the deep forests of the Rhine tribunal, Peter met and was "adopted" by a magical cat. This wild cat apparently felt kinship with the young magus' magic due to its own magical powers of movement (it can teleport from one patch of shadow to another). It deigned to accept the name Rufus, given by Peter for the reddish highlights of its tawny stripped fur.
When he passed his Gauntlet, he received the name Petronius from his pater and offered a position of prestige in House Bonisagus, to work for the benefit of the Order. Now a full magus, Petronius has the overriding goal of recapturing his early abilities to travel by magic, and developping what he calls "Portal Magic".