population limit on Bjornaer Great Beasts

Familiars do not share in the Longevity Ritual effects directly. They can not die of old age until the Magus does, which means they are indirectly effected.

EDIT: Jinx!

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Familiars can, in theory breed.

I do smile at the idea of someone going up to Philippus Niger ex Flambeau to ask him to borrow his Basilisk for breeding purposes...

The familiars of mine and another PC's Magi had a litter of kittens in play. Fortunately since they are intelligent, that kept away any disagreements over who the kittens belonged to. Unfortunately for me, my familiar is the female and spent most of a year pregnant or distracted by her kittens.

Two of the kittens (a boy and girl) have taken the library as their home. The boy hangs around the scribes and protects the books. The girl resides mostly in the classrooms (one is a "lab" with Teaching +3) and serves to keep things calm there. Of course the students don't really enjoy having a sneaky intelligent cat who will sink her claws into tender parts of their anatomy when she thinks they are goofing off or not paying attention.

[in joke]Them being where they aren't wanted. [/in joke]

Reading this thread and seeing how big a mystery heart beasts are, my desire to kill the monster becomes less controversial.

I don't think anyone without a 24+ lore roll, or being part of Bjornaer with maybe a 12+ lore roll could know.

Shouldn't a Bjornaer then tell you that the Great Beast is an ancestor of several Bjornaer magi, and a protagonist of the history of his House?

Sure, IF there is a Bjornaer around, and IF he knows that the creature in question actually is a Great Beast and not some other kind of magical beast, then he might tell you that the Great Beast is a former Bjornaer magus - which may or may not be an ancestor to some other Bjornaer magi.

By HOH:MC p.15 The Gathering of the 12 Years

It is an event central in the House's cult of ancestors, a time to honor one's predecessors in the company of one's mystical family. <...> All Initiates (scilicet: to Hearbeast) assemble - seated - to hear the Eagle Elder present the news of the Order, and the Horse Elder recites all news from within the House. <...> During the rest of the Gathering, which lasts about a week, the House honors the memory of its lineage. <...> Each member of the House strives to uncover as much information about his lineage as possible, as this information is vital in the pursuit of the Inner Mysteries of the House.

In brief: the later or Final Twilights of older Initiates to Mysteries of the Inner Heartbeasts are typically known to other Bjornaer after the subsequent Gathering, and so are their rough forms as a Great Beast.