Presentiments: Iohannes

As Iohannes strides down the gangplank, his attention is drawn to two women, standing under the awning of a dockside building. It is not their dress, which is too good for the women who usually frequent the dockside in ill-weather. It is not for the strange symetry between them, one young and fair, the other older and dark. It is that the rain does not notice them, and nor do the cutpurses, drunkards or militamen.

They watch Iohannes land, briefly discuss something, then the older one nods to him, as one professional to another on the street. They step around the corner of a building, passing out of sight.

He also notices that they do not recoil from his Gift.

Magi, perhaps? Not likely. Women like to talk and wizards like to talk and women wizards... like to talk.

Faeries? Demons? Angels? Faerie women traditionally come alone or in batches of three, but tradition isn't what it used to be. And there are other traditions. Demons supposedly work alone when they can because they hate even each other. And angels? Not bloody likely.

For the briefest moment his thoughts hang poised between the wharf, the wizards in the covenant he has come to meet and the women who have come to meet him.

Then another moment. His would be the only ship arriving tonight at Lubeck from the Baltic Sea, and probably none tomorrow or the day after. The crew... the cargo... his mate can handle that well. The attention? That too. He smiled widely, thinking of his crew the place he has made for them, and the place they have made for him. They can handle things.

The wizards would have to wait.

The women.... it's as though Lubeck has come to meet him. Will Lubeck be as welcoming as Venice, married to the sea as they are?

Taking it all in (totals: Faerie Sight 15, Folk Ken 11, Awareness(alertness) 10 with no penalties for darkness) he follows the women, unless some greater appreciation of what's going on come to him. He maintains his pace. If they are obviously in sight when he turns the corner, they probably want him to follow. If they are not, then he is left with the meaning behind a nod.



When you turn the corner, they are not to be seen.

It looks as though the wizards will not have to wait after all.

The covenant it is.


Ken, is this in "present time", where the characters are just about to leave on the January thread, or do you see it as being earlier?


I am open to it being either way, though when I started writing I saw it as earlier.


And here we see that I should ask more detailled questions:

Choose whatever time you like, from 10 years ago up to the day before the January thread. If you choose, hrrrm, more than 2 years ago, then the leader of the covenant is the old Jerbiton magus who founded the place and you'll deal predominantly with him. If you choose anything later, you'll be dealing with the player characters whose players say "Two years ago? Sure, I was there..."


Ok. I was imagining something relatively recent but before the current storyline began. This way, he'd already belong to the covenant at the beginning of the saga, but would not have time at the covenant under his belt and the different experience outlays that I suspect would go with it, to represent being in a covenant.

Of course, it would be highly amusing--though disconcerting to Iohannes--to make full speed for Lubeck (bearing a cargo, of course) and whatever plans he had, only to discover that a covenant caught in a brief interregnum between old magi and new, with no magi there but some grogs already expecting him.

It also works quite fine if he arrives as the current magi are preparing for their adventure, though it's not what I'm expecting.

Hmm. I guess this is an overly detailed way of saying that although I was imagining an arrival recent enough for him to join the covenant that is already stable but not recent enough for him to have settled in, I am not at all attached to this! I can see larger story benefits to other approaches (either a richer but more complex presentiments segment that might even run alongside the main story, or, conversely, just dumping him into the story by having him arrive in media res). I have a mild preference for him to arrive sufficiently in the past to justify some presentiment development--and a major preference for whatever best triggers in you "if I have him arrive at this time I get all these cool story effects...."

Does this help? If you really have no preference at all, then I'd say that the storm occurred six weeks ago.



So, six weeks ago, Iohannes strides to the warehouse that is the public face of the covenant. The grog on station at the door, an older man named Crenvalus who served here under the previous magus, recognises the Gift immediately, and ushers you inside.

"Good master", he says "please wait here. I must call ther magi together to hear you news."

The room he has ushered you into has a bed, a warmed bath, and a small keg of beer in the corner. It is rapidly supplied with toated cheese sandwiches by a servant.

It strikes you that these are quarters kept for a redcap.


It's easy enough to mistake him for a Redcap, all things considered. What interactions had there been with the Order over the years other than a very few commissions to transport this or that from one place to another when, for whatever reason, a Redcap or Rego Corpus spell would not turn the trick?

And, in its own way useful.

He bathes, eats and drinks a small amount. Eventually, when he finds himself with whichever magus or magi happen to be present, he introduces himself.

"Good evening, and I am grateful for your hospitality. I am Iohannes filius Marcus, and I believe I am expected."

He waits.



If one of the players does not pick this up in three days, you will suddenly have an NPC magus in your covenant to deal with these sorts of slow points in the plot.

Please jump in, here.

Titius Livius ex Verditius walks into the room to meet the stranger. He is a man of average build and dressed in the latest fashion in high quality clothing and proudly displayed upon his chest is the sign of Verditius. I am Titus Livius ex Verditius filius Gudrun Tigurina and you are most welcome to our covenant. I see that you have received the redcap quarter and I am most sorry for the mistake. Please accompany me to our dinner, I have the servants prepare a welcoming feast. As Titius speaks he gestures towards you to follow with him. I’ll have the servants move your belongings to a proper room in our guest quarters.

Theodora arrives as the two are leaving she is a short olive skinned women dressed in a blue ankle-length tunic with narrow sleeves. Over this is worn a dalmatic in blue, shorter than the tunic and girded with a gilded belt. The costume is completed with a mantle, buttoned in the frontof Green Cloth.
She greets the two mages saying are Titius you arrived before me perhaps you could introduce me to our esteemed colleague from House Mercere

Iohannes bows like a courtier, that is to say, like a man who bows as a courtier might were he not at all a courtier yet nevertheless familiar with how a courtier might behave.

"I'm honored to meet you. Regrettably, I am not a Redcap and I do not have any messages for you. It's an easy enough mistake to make, and I take no offense. Indeed, I'm doubly honored to be so mistaken. I'm a magus Ex Miscellania, Iohannes filius Marcus, and I was told that I was expected."

He pauses. "Though perhaps less expected than expected."

Even though you are not the redcap we expected you should feel welcome I haven’t heard about you arrival but you should feel welcome here none the less. Our servants a getting some things to eat and drink and while they are at it please tell us about you travel here. Titius shows the way to a table with a grand view of the surrounding.

Iohannes sits. "My travel here. Where to begin?

"I was in the Mediterranean carrying a cargo and some... distinguished passengers who prefer not to be distinguished, if you carry my gist, when my parens, Marcus--if you follow developments either in medicine or Corpus magics you might have heard of him, but then again, maybe not--visited me in my cabin using the Leap of Homecoming and an Arcane Connection.

"Naturally, I was startled, though, in truth, hardly surprised. That had always been his way, to visit and take leave as he pleased, and, as he so rightly pointed out back when I was an apprentice, there's nothing in the Code against it. I might have asked him to leave, but that would have been unconscionably impolite, don't you think? Especially after the effort he must have gone through to make sure that he didn't pop by when I was on deck, surrounded by crew, or during a delicate negotiation. And what if he didn't want to go?

"There was nothing for it but to share my very best wine and exchange stories of what had happened in our lives since last we saw each other, during the course of which he told me the purpose of his visit, to offer me the gift of membership in this covenant, which he had arranged some time ago and was waiting for the right time to present. As I recovered my wits, he filled the silence by telling me exactly why it was the right time for me to make certain adjustments, and how Lubeck would suit me better than the alternatives.

"So, here I am. It's the sort of thing you'd more likely expect of a Tremere or Tytalus master than Ex Misc, but my lineage has a tradition of... continuing involvement and participation, you might say."

Iohannes pauses.

"And he's probably right."

After another pause he says, in a more personal way, "In fifty or a hundred years, I'll probably do the same kind of thing. I notice that both of you appear to be of an age with me, Hermetically speaking, or close enough to make little difference. In the outside world, we would be at the peak of our powers, masters, junior to none except through accidents of blood and birth. In the outside world, I am a master! But have you noticed a difference among magi with a hundred or so years on you, a few lifetimes of experience? And I don't mean raw power, that's the least of it."

Amongst my kind its is common to become both prouder and more pompous as time go by. Most Verditi magi tends to become self absorbed by the passage of time and that is what I know of the elderly magi. I have spent little time outside my mistress quarters to observe anyone else. Have you ever seen the crystal custodian? It is a true master piece unchallenged by anything else, a modern wonder of the world.

My apologies Iohannes Imistook you for a Redcap rather than a new magus of our covenant. You are most welcome, did you spend long in the medditeran , or perhaps visit Constantinople?
Your master's Crystal Custodian sounds most interesting Titius.

"I haven't seen it. I've heard that about Verditii, about their pride and their wonders, but that's the whole of my experience. I think a man ought to take pride in himself. What kind of masterworks do you plan to build?"

Iohannes stretches. "I accept your apology. I've been to Constantinople, but I'm told it's not the place it used to be. I have spent more time sailing the north than the south. Someday I intend to circumnavigate." He smiles. "I don't believe I caught your name."

The crystal custodian is a master piece beyond the description of mere words; its splendour glooms the surrounding in its vicinity. But amongst my one projects I have a few things planned. First I will spend some time building a laboratory. I am working on a work bench that is planned to become the focus of my lab. After that I will start my production of different magical furniture, you see that I am a most proficient crafter of magical furniture’s. When I have a studio full of different magical furniture’s then I will try to dwell deeper into the mysteries of the lore. Perhaps one day learn the secret of the Automata.