Rise of the Phoenix: Severin's journal

Note: if the author's or the staff thinks it is better not to publish this story here, feel free to delete it. I am running this story with Laura, one of my players (and one of the more aggressive ones, at that) and flatmate. We are using Severin as a PC that she is running (modifying his profile slightly), so this might be slightly different than what the original text would have seen since the PC ois Severin, not an external force in the adventure.

Today we worked on the character and played the first part of the adventure. If it goes well, this will be the start of a saga with its related saga arc.

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Year Of Our Lord 889 or 890. I am not sure. Apparently autumn season.

My name is Severin of Tytalus. I am writing this from a cave where I have taken refuge. I am surrounded by entanglements, the servants of Cruciator, an unselie faerie that has been hounding me during the past few months. They cannot cross running water, so I am relatively safe right now, but I am wounded and I am unsure if I will be able to destroy them before I am overpowered. I am writing this to warn the Order about these dark faeries in this time of strife, and the treachery of some of our fellow magi.

During our attack mission against a stronghold of the Great Enemy in Arran my vexillatio stumbled into a faerie kingdom ruled by an unselie faerie called Cruciator. Me and my companions have been fighting a series of skirmishes with the fae forces during the last few months. I am the last survivor in our party. God blesses my companions and trusted grogs. I was captured by Cruciator and for the past few months he has tortured me and drained me of all my strength. Or so he thought. The relaxation of Cruciator’s wards has allowed me to escape taking advantage of a momentary slip in his attention and I have returned to the mundane realm.

I moved to continue with our mission, not knowing if the enemy would still be in Skye or not. Apparently it still was. Not only that, but it had been reinforced by unexpected help. It seems that a group of hermetic magi have deserted the right cause and joined the ranks of the Great Enemy. I tried to cause as much damage as possible, but being alone was forced to retire and start a guerrilla campaign against the traitor’s locale. I was unable to find any traces of my fellow hermetic magi: it seems that they never managed to attack this locale. They must have been ambushed. My campaign was quite successful in disrupting the enemy’s supply lines, but they hounded me down and I was forced to retire to a muster point.

Year Of Our Lord 889 or 890. Three days since last entry

The servants of Cruciator found me while retiring, and have been hounding me since. Keeping near inhabited places and their related Dominion auras has helped me keeping them at bay, but yesterday they managed to surround me and wounding me before I could drive them away. I am making slower progress today, but I trust I will be able to reach the muster point.

There seems to be some problems: the villages I am visiting look weird, and the people talk weird dialects.

Year Of Our Lord 1219. 29 of October

I have confirmation of what I felt. A priest informed me that we are in the year of our Lord 1219, at the end of October, concretely. That would mean that I have been trapped in Cruciator’s realm for 330 years, not 8 months as I thought. That means that all my friends are likely dead or in twilight, and that the political and conflict map will have changed sensibly. Now I wonder who it was that I attacked three days ago…. I have decided to continue to the supply point and then to Peak of Light, my home covenant.

I have bought supplies in a nearby village, where my silver has helped me overcome the negative effects of our blessed Gift and obtain the necessary supplies. My wound is not improving, but I was unable to get medical assistance in the last villages I visited. I plan to stay in the muster point until I receive help or I can overcome the pursuing entanglements. They seem to avoid the Dominion if they can, but not enough for it to prevent them attacking me at night.

Year Of Our Lord 1219. 30 of October

I am at the supply point. The supplies of our war effort against Davnalleus are gone, but I have been able to make a resting point where I can recover. My wound seems to have stabilized, but I am still weak. The entanglements have put siege to my position, but they can’t cross the waterfall that protects this cave’s entry. I will try to regain my strength. I have brought several tree trunks inside the cave to provide me with some much needed muscle via rough hewn servants and carved assassins, but my situation looks grim. I am also re-equipping myself with my other tools of war. My present weakness is proving to b a hindrance and I am unsure if I will be able to escape.

Year Of Our Lord 1219. 31 of October

Today I tried my last trump card and attacked the entanglements with my five carved assassins. It did work, but only to a certain degree. I have assaulted my jailer and collected enough vis to heal me magically, but the assassins were destroyed and I am still trapped in the cave since I was forced to recoil there by the entanglements. I am healthy again, but I lack the necessary weapons to attack again in force.

Year Of Our Lord 1219. 2 of November

Yesterday we had some progress. A group of Hermetic magicians attacked the entanglements and I tried to escape using the confusion. I was beaten back by a group of invisible entanglements, though, and I fell into the river. The magicians managed to rescue me and drive the entanglements away, even if two of their grogs died in the process. Once I had recovered they presented themselves as members of the Order of Hermes, from the covenant of Lumen Septentrionalis and told me that Davnalleus was beaten but never found. It seems I have caused quite a stir, since I attacked a Hermetic covenant in my initial dash, and have collected vis from three sites belonging to two other covenants. One of thse covenants is theirs. Aurora ex Trianomae, the apparent leader of this group told me that we could make amends later. She was especially interested in my cloak’s Hippian symbol and the story of Davnalleus’ war I had to tell. August ex Jaerbitonis was surprised by my apparent age: he is as old as I am, but he looks to be in his early thirties instead of the sixty I appear to be. It seems that hermetic theory advanced quite a bit since I was imprisoned. They offered help in getting me out of the diverse charges that are bound to be thrown against me at the next tribunal. I will have to pay for it for sure, but I accepted. I am still at war, even if the enemies are faeries, and I must use all the help that I can get. They also offered me some help in beating down Cruciator. Apparently a rival faerie of Cruciator told them a few interesting data on him.

Year of Our Lord 1219. 10 November

I have gone with my newfound sodales to Lumen Septentrionalis to recover. Their covenant appears to be a fortified manor near Glasgow. It seems that there are raids there, since it is quite a strong locale. Glasgow has grown from a glorified fishing village into a town since I was there last time.

I have been here for a week, and have improved substantially with some rest and much needed personal hygiene and improvement of my personal belongings. They have even let me use some thread of gold to redraw my Hippian Tytalus symbol in my cloak. It looks much better than the white symbol used by current tytalians, if you tell me. I have also remade my quiver and the related hundred of arrow shafts. I have made spares to be carried by the servants as well. Some entanglements have been seen lurking nearby, and the more warlike members of Lumen Septentrionalis are having some sport hunting them down. August Jerbitonis captured one of them, and Marcus ex Bonisagus and me interrogated it to discover the exact location of Cruciator’s fortress.

I have been briefed about the current situation of the Order of Hermes. Quite a few things have changed. The most shocking news were the war against the Diedne and the Tytalian purge of infernalists. I am still shocked at both news. What fools we were! The current leadership of my house also seems to have gone out of the Hippian philosophy, and that is causing heavy tensions with the other Houses of our Order. Tytalus, my grandparens, would have chucked about it, and then would have smashed the current leaders of the house for being utterly stupid. That must be corrected, once I have dealt with my more immediate concerns. The funny thing is that as Aurora pointed out I am the oldest living magus of the Order of Hermes, so I could claim the position of Praeco if I wanted it. We will see what I do about it.

Magic theory also seems to have evolved substantially. I am being briefed by Augustus in more efficient use of hand symbols to command magic, and cast the same spells I already know with more impetus and ease. Longevity potions seem to slow down apparent aging as well, and other substantial changes have occurred. You need half the vis we used to need to cast ritual spells or enchant items! Marcus is interested in those theoretical changes, so I have been discussing magic theory with him. He is writing a history of Magic Theory, so I am prime material for him to work on. All the help and briefing I am getting will come for a price, I am sure, but we will deal with that later.

Besides the Diedne and Tytalus disasters, mundane politics seem to have seen a huge overhaul as well. England is in the hands of the Normans (old viking settlers from Normandy) , the Vikings are no longer a menace (even if they stiull seem to run parts of the British islands and Scotland) and the big powers of Europe seem to have fallen into some semblance of a stable system, as well as having been wars against the arabs in the Levant and Iberia in an unprecedented scale. I am quite curious about these “crusades” they talk about. It seems I will have to make some inquiries about who is who in both the Order and the mundane world to place myself in motion again as a political player.

Year of Our Lord 1219. 16 November

A message arrived a few days ago with a note declaring me a traitor for attacking the covenant of Holy Oak, a Merinitae den. It is the covenant I raided unknowingly. Aurora and Marcus have already dispatched a counter-notice to have the issue revised at Tribunal in 2 years time, and Aurora has gone to Holy Oak to appease them.

The fact that I am not going myself is because I have something else to do, and because they might shot me and ask questions later. Given my precarious current political situation that would be a quite unwanted development of events. For the past few days a twinge has been hitting me. Picus Conscius Silvestris, my familiar, is alive. I can feel his presence, but he seems to be trapped. I guess that he flew back to Viviane’s Quest when I disappeared since that is the rough direction of the twinge and where I would have gone. Apparently this has been confirmed by the faerie that Aurora and August met in the woods. An old ally of mine (according to hwer) prepared some things for my return. I guess it was Benedictus ex Merinatiae if he was helping a faerie in a faerie feud. Me, Augustus, Peter (his apprentice) and Presteris ex Flambeau are out to see what we can find. Viviane’s Quest was in the Normandy tribunal, near Nantes, so we are using a Mercere portal to move to the Normandy tribunal.

[i]SG Note: This second session was really cool! Roleplaying (more than die rolling) was the general activity. I think we rolled 2 die in the whole session. It was a session of Severin getting back in contact with hermetic society and magic. We tried to stress the differences in Severin's magic and that of 1220's magi, and it worked really cool. laura made quite a show of how Severin could be worse off with magic than them, even knowing the same spells. (we had not applied the vis restriction in the previous session, but it sounded really cool, so we retro, introduced it easily). An other of our players (Jordi) joined in today and played around some of the other magi. Having 3 sides interact here was really interesting. It was a kind of joint storyguide development that we had not seen in quite a while. We were all "changing costumes" all the time! :slight_smile: Some of the potential stories (like Severing being Praeco and the Hippian stories as well as the tribunal troubles) start to unfold. let's see how it works.

I also edited some of the information of the previous posts, to make it better. We also changed the name of Severin's covenant, since "Lumen" and "Light" in the same story sound (hilariously) lame as Jordi pointed out. neither Laura nor me has seen it in the previous session! :open_mouth: lol The new name of the covenant is Viviane's Quest since it was located near Broceliade[/i]

Year of Our Lord 1219. 24 November

It has been painful to see the ruins of what used to be my home for most of my Hermetic life. Of the once beautiful covenant only dilapidated buildings remain. The structure is still sound, but clearly weakened from neglect. Some new structures that did not exist in my day have been built (and abandoned) since this was my home. I have managed to enter the building. It seems that my lab is still in its place but has been reused and my garden was cleared to construct an ugly tower. I have not told my companions, but there seem to be quite a few of the magical and mundane traps are still in place and appear undisturbed, so some resources from my time might remain hidden in this place. The door to my lab’s vault even has my sigil still attached. Good for my future.

We followed Picus’ presence to Benedictus’ lab, as I suspected. There we found a sarcophagus for Benedictus. However, there was no body within it. Benedictus was up to something when it came to faeries, so this cenotaph did not surprise me. Apparently a few faeries have turned into faeries lately according to Peter, The young man seems to be more versed in the history of the Order than his pater.

It did surprise me to find that Picus seems to be within the cenotaph, though. We opened it up to find Picus turned to stone, but he regained mobility the moment he was in my hands. Picus explained me that Benedictus (whom I considered to be a friend) trapped him and enchanted him until my return. The fact that he was sure of my return and knew I would be gone for a long time just one week after I had disappeared does not sound right. It seems that Benedictus was much more implicated in my woes than I would have thought. And I considered him a friend for decades…. He also told Picus that we should search the covenant’s well.

We dug up a waterskin enchanted with a CrAq spell that creates running water (at waterskin speed) constantly. Worthless in most circumstances, but Cruciator and the entanglements are susceptible to those. Who was the ally of Benedictus? The more I know the less I comprehend this mess I am in.

Year of Our Lord 1219. 25 November

Cruciator is dead. I killed him. I can’t say how satisfied I am about this.

This past night we have been attacked by Cruciator and his minions. He arrived with an important force of entanglements. Most of his forces, I would say. We had made camp in a place of my choosing though, and it proved important. Cruciator asked my fellow magi to handle me to him (he called me his “toy”, the bastard) since I was a worthless empty cask after losing everything that mattered. Augustus and Presteris flatly refused and in the ensuring melee (where my twenty disguised Carved Assassins and striding trees helped quite a bit) I managed to kill Cruciator with a burst of arrows at point blank range.

My sodales performed well, even if Augustus might have been overpowered had not been for Peter and their grogs: Peter led them in a spearhead attack that was later reinforced by my wooden servants, smashing a path to the surrounded magus. Presteris simply seemed to enjoy how his multiple Aquam spells seemed to affect the entanglements more than usual and caused the most destruction of us all. He seems slightly crazed, that one, but good to have in your side in a fight. It seems that Peter is more likely to become a good leader of men over the knight errant ideal that his pater represents. Out party did not go without loses. Two grogs died and we had to spend vis on three others to save them. No grog was unharmed, and both Augustus and Peter were wounded as well. Fortunately vis was right on hand in the bodies of the fallen entanglements. I kept Cruciator’s head and whip as my trophies.

Year of Our Lord 1219. 25 November

We have found the faerie noble that my sodales talked about. She met us in the forest near Viviane’s Quest. She brought a small child with her. Apparently she has knowledge that Cruciator is dead, but warned us that he might revive if we do not destroy his dwelling place. That is something that had escaped me and my sodales. It tells how interested we are in the fae… There is something... familiar about this faerie that doesn't look right, though. Everything appears too perfect in this story. I do not like it. In fact it looks like a story.

We are going back to Lumen Septentrionalis to prepare, and to get our grogs in good shape before heading there. Presteris has already expressed his desire to continue onwards, but Augustus might not want to accompany us this time. He had a pretty strong discussion with his apprentice after the later’s foolhardy actions (or so he said).

In a few days, we assault Cruciators cursed fortress. I am going to throw a whole forest worth of carved assassins at him.

[i]SG Note: since this is actually the preface to the actual saga, we are trying to go fairly fast over Severin's first steps in Mythic Europe. We have played this in three short (well, the second was fairly long) sessions during this weekend, and plan to be done with another similar weekend. Whew! Quite intense, after almost a year without playing Ars :slight_smile: I really enjoyed the troupe playing style, with the 2 or 3 of us changing roles constantly (and picking each other's characters!!) while playing some of the more talky scenes. It is great to invent the personality of the secondary characters as we go. Presteris has become quite a crazed lunatic in those 2 days (Jordi wants him to invent a CrAq spell to drown a whole Boundary.... like a city), but Peter, the lowly apprentice is the best character so far :slight_smile: I also haven't had such a nice magic theory conversation in years, and we are playing ARS MAGICA for god's sake! LOL A nice comeback to troupe play, if you ask me. :smiley: Will keep you poste don further developments. The nice thing about having the main character as your flatmate is that you can play when you have a moment. We actually played the magic theory conversation preparing lunch in the kitchen. Having Enrichment and ritual vis consumption explained using celery sticks and tomatoes was hilarious. :stuck_out_tongue:

Cheers,
Xavi[/i]

Thanks a lot for this very enjoyable journal

Still on the works. As we keep playing I will keep updating it. :slight_smile: So far has been a good reentré into Ars Magica. More along theatre than anything, since this is the preface: all the players had read the adventure before playing it. We are defining the characters here more than solving a mystery. There will be time for that later

We have also noticed that we will need to edit some of the previous info, since as designed the character would have been totally helpless to talk to most people in the adventure!! :laughing: so his covenant is relocating to East Anglia or some other area like that, for example. Minor tweaks (I will mark them in red in the previous posts) but needed to make the setting work well.

If things keep up, Severin is likely to become the puppet master of the saga, working through a network of agents and minor mages and only stepping in scene for the Big Stuff adventures, so as said, this is just an introduction. :slight_smile: The adventure is set, even if the exact location still needs to be fixed with the rest of the troupe.

I also love the rewrite of Severin that Laura did: he is a much more consistent character now for what we want him to achieve, and we have corrected the design typos that the original has (Carved assassin is level 25, tomb of kaineus is rather weird having a Penetration mastery...). She has some wicked ideas of what to do with Rego & Herbam spells :smiling_imp: The Acorns for Fun (ReHe5) and the carved assassin spells (and other similar spells using other forms) are bound to be really popular in the future mages of our sagas given the observed results. The warlock aided by 4 or 5 constructs just looks COOL against his enemies and the death rate of grogs drops drastically using 55 levels of spells (25+20) since they are the second wave, not the first wave of warriors to be taken down. :slight_smile: They are less handy than the flesh and blood ones when it comes to human interaction, though :wink:

Cheers,
Xavi

Year of Our Lord 1219. 10 of December

I have recovered my staff Talisman. Cruciator’s fortress was a hard nut to crack, but thanks to our preparations we assaulted it in force, and took minimal human casualties in the process. After wading through the snow and preparing the assault under cover, I raised sixteen carved assassins to lead the way, and they paid off, smashing through the entanglements protecting Cruciator’s cursed place. We also recovered some other minor items and some things that more knowledgeable magi in these areas are studying to see if they are Arcane Connections to anyone.

Presteris Flambonensis and Marie Ex Tremere came with me and proved to be excellent fighters. In fact I had not seen someone so proficient in the art of destruction as Presteris in a while. It seems his water focus was quite something to see. He demolished part of the structure with ease. My carved assassins did the rest. We found my staff at the top of the fortress and recovered it after fighting our way up. Now I feel complete again. It was less tough than we had anticipated.

Cruciator’s fortress proved quite rich in vis, and there seem to be a few vis sources around according to the intellego spells of Marie. It seems we might be coming back here in the future. We left a few of the smaller entanglements there, in case they are important to keep the vis sources. Alter the damage caused to the area they did not seem to want to follow us. We got quite a few pawns of vis and my talisman, with no (human) casualties in our party, so we regard the attack as a success.

The faerie noblewoman, answering to the name of Peripeteia approached us after we left the scene of the battle and thanked us for the destruction of his rival. She looked gaunt, but royal at the same time, and seemed more recovered than in our previous encounter. An adolescent followed her. Seems that fae children grow fast. She seemed to show some kind of interest in me, but nothing above the usual. After all I am a follower of Tytalus, and we catch people’s imagination.

Year of Our Lord 1219. 22 of December

I have started to enter hermetic society again. Yesterday, I participated in the Aegis ritual of Lumen Septentrionalis, and was offered a probatory membership in the Council that followed. I accepted it. I settled down and started to customize somewhat the lab that they have assigned me. It is outfitted as what they call a “standard hermetic laboratory”. Still, the turns of Hermetic Magic have changed in the past centuries, so I am quite unfamiliar with a few of the devices and materials found here. During the next weeks I will familiarize myself with this new equipment, and personalize it. I just brought in a dozen tree trunks for a start. I plan on carving a few lab assistants, a pair of burly escorts and a wooden horse to be used in my trips. Picus is already making a hole in one of the tree trunks that he has asked me to put in a good vantage point, so he can control all the lab from there.

During the past few days I have been sending out requests for information on faeries and their behaviour. I am not proficient in those issues, but something is definitively not right with the assault on Cruciator’s fortress and the following meeting with the faerie Peripeteia. Benedictus was also not prone to undergo the behaviour that Peripeteia and Picus assign him for the time after my disappearance, so something is not right here. I can’t nail it down into a chamber pot, but it is there for sure….

Year of Our Lord 1220. 20 of January

I do not envy the Redcaps. Performing their activities in this awful winter weather must be testing in their endurance, even if our magic helps them. Viator ex Mercere got here today bringing some answers to my open request for assistance. He deservedly got some vis from me as a token of thanks.

It appears that I was right. Or that I was correct in being suspicious at least, sicne I might have been tricked by the fae. Nasty and nice: They will make for a nice challenge to overcome. Or turn in my favour.

I got a few letters from Merinita magi wanting to interview me. One of them wrote something along the lines of “Awesome! Go fae!”. Some others asked to dissect me to see how a 300 year stay in Faerie has affected me. One of them also suggested me being subject to warping spells to see how close I have been exposed to Final Twilight by the stay in Faerie. All of them will get a proper answer the next time Viator appears in their covenants. A pity you cannot cast penetrating spells without wizard’s war having been declared in advance. The most insightful letter came from Jordanus ex Bonisagus, though, not from a Merinitae.

Jordanus is also extremely interested in my whereabouts, and wants to interview me, something I can grant without problems since it does not affect my physical well being. It seems that his research has to deal with time fluctuation in Regiones and the Supernatural realms. This is part of the project being performed in the Hibernian covenant of Temporis, where several magi are working to achieve a breakthrough that breaks the limit of Time. Quite a project if you ask me! Anyway, I am losing my point.

According to Jordanus, faerie stories do not tend to reward the subject (in this case, the “subject” seems to be me… how I hate when the Bonies start talking like I am an caged experimentation creature) with items like weapons. Those are rewards that are too material, and that tend to be given to the subject at the start of the story, not at the end. People like King Arthur or Cu Chulain did get their weapons BEFORE achieving great results, not as a reward. He suggests that I might be just starting my adventure. After all the ordeals I have passed I can only grimace at such affirmation, but I can also rejoice it since I am recovering my strength and I look forward to the future challenges.

Jordanus suggests that Peripeteia might be quite something more than a side beneficiary of this story (something I already suspected) and that I would do well in knowing what exactly is the target of the story I seem immersed in. Other fae or powerful Merinitae might get the answer to this response, but Jordanus mentions the Miserable Life type of stories as potential models of reference. He also suggests the Fall and Rise and the Glorious Apocalyptic Death models as potential story models. I will need to consult with more knowledgeable sources of fae stories about that. Jordanus seems like a good lab rat, but he might not be the most sensible one when expressing his discoveries and ideas to third parties. I am writing to him to agree to his interview and thank him for his ideas. In fact they were quite informative.

I have asked the librarian of Lumen Septentrionalis (a nice bookish mundane by the name of Richard of York) if there are any books about the fae, especially about fae story models in the covenant’s library. I know there is one book by Ignatius ex Tremere dealing with that in the library, and I know where it is since Marcus told me, but extensive dealing with librarians has shown me that it is better to make them feel indispensable. Saves a lot of trouble later on, when you really have no idea of what you are searching for. He also knew that he had the book, but it took him three days to have it ready for shipment to my lab with all kind of dire warnings in case the book gets damaged. Seems that librarians have not changed much in the last 300 years. The library of Lumen Seprtentrionalis is quite impressive compared to what the one in Viviane’s Quest used to be. One more show of the strengthening of the order since my time among magi.

SG Note: Isn't it great to be able to advance the plot while watching TV after dinner? :stuck_out_tongue: The grumpy librarian was quite hilarious to hear, I tell you. Laura told Jordi "well, now you can stop acting normally and start to roleplay" after he did a great old man style speech about those magi not taking enough care when managing books :laughing: "Surprisingly" the librarian took 3 days to give Severin the book after that :stuck_out_tongue:

Year of Our Lord 1220. 4 of March
Study Fae Lore. Update MT lore. XP in Legend Lore = 15.
Exposure points in MT (update of knowledge) = 2 XP
Exposure in Hermes Lore (Code of Hermes) through correspondence = 1 XP

My activities for this season have progressed well. It has been an extremely active period of my life. Setting in is never easy, but doing so in a different time period is extremely tricky. My correspondence has been heavy, and my study time has not been idle either.

I have been reading about the fae. According to “The Fae: the Saviors of Our Soul” by Garland Merinitae I did get it right the first time. It seems that I am in a Fall And Rise faerie story, and I would bet Picus’ beak that its main beneficiary is Peripeteia. I am unsure of Cruciator was part of his plot all along or she simply twisted him to become part of her story. I am almost sure this is the case and I have almost completely discarded the Miserable Life story, since it does not really fit under close examination. Still, the Glorious Death storyline can still be possible. May I be an hermetic Roland? He did not pass through similar ordeals as mine, though and the other story fits better. This will mark my future life, so I’d better be completely sure. I plan to contact a Merinita magus to be sure that I am doing what I should to get rid of this story. Or get a clear advantage out of it.

Besides my reading of “The Fae”, I have also been perusing through some modern Magic Theory texts and talking with Marcus and Augustus about this: I nheed to update my knowledge as much as I can and I have a lot of work to do here! The changes are not radical, but are still significant. During the past week Presteris helped me with some new possibilities in spell control since there are changes in magical praxis as well. The new hand signs for Mentem are notably more powerful than their previous versions, but they seem to be trickier to perform subtly. I have to rethink how I have been doing several things in the past.

A consequence about my return to hermetic society has been Picus bugging me about making our bond stronger. He is quite keen on learning to talk; he has seen it in the books, and the owl familiar of Marcus ex Bonisagus can talk, so he has seen this is a real possibility and is on a hype about it. He is saying that he will refuse to correct my oversights in the lab until I upgrade our bond. The bastard…

Talking about it, I have been getting used to the lab. It has a nice collection of equipment and I figured out what the new paraphernalia is all about in a brief time. I felt like an apprentice when I noticed that the extremely intriguing item I had been investigating for two days was a toilet, but apart from that rather humorous event it has been easy work.

I have kept the written contact with Jordanus ex Bonisagus. Upon learning of my ancient longevity potion he has commended me to contact Tempus Fugit ex Bonisagus. Given his interest in Stopping time he has become an expert longevity potion brewer. It seems that the parens of Tempus Fugit had a sense of humour in Hermetic name assignment given the interests of his filius, but right now he is the maximum authority in Hibernia when it comes to longevity potions. We have agreed that I will be going to Temporis to see if he can upgrade my longevituy potion and stop apparent aging in the next few months. It seems likely that I will be the main attraction of Temporis covenant for a while once they start dealing with me in person.

I have also been corresponding with Quesitor Laurentus of Lombard Covenant to assess my legal status and what happens with my claim to Viviane’s Quest resources. Laurentus is the Head Quesitor of the tribunal, and me corresponding with such mighty individual just shows how tricky my case seems to be. I originally contacted Oculta ex Guernicus of Elk’s Run, but she directed me to the senior Quaesitor of the tribunal. We have so far only exchanged a pair of letters, but my claim to being a member of the Order with (temporary) residence in Lumen Septentrionalis seems clear and without dispute. My claim about the resources of Viviane’s Quest is not so clear though. And we also have the issue that I attacked (unknowingly ) a hermetic covenant during my initial mindless violence spree. We are working to minimize the damage and solve the resource conflict. Laurentus seems like a reasonable individual, more concerned with having the tribunhal at peace than having a limited reading of the code, though, so I have high hopes about the outcome. He has apready asked me if I plan to claim the Praeco position in the tribunal, an issue I am unsure about since it will give me power, but will get me a powerful enemy in the form of Jared ex Merinitae, the current Praeco and the covenant of Ashenrise.

All these letters had the Redcaps of Hibernia grumbling at my correspondence frenzy until I awarded them a pair of animated untiring and snow-ignoring wooden horses (using a version of the Carved Assassin spell) with Moon duration to make their travels in the winter of Hiibernia: now they seem to be OK with me.

I have discovered that the turb of Lumen Septentrionalis has mixed feelings towards me. The captains inform me that my carved assassins are proving to be an extremely good opponent for unit training, which has resulted in a heightened prowess of the turb and better tactics for both attack and defence when fighting large and tough opponents. This has raised the overall morale of the turb, especially after the casualties taken during the autumn season in our battles versus Cruciator. However, my carved assassins are TOUGH (as I designed them to be) and have sent several grogs to the infirmary with concussions, even when directed not to deal too much damage. The recruits are grumbling at being smacked by tough opponents, and how hard it is to bing those targets down, but the sergeants congratulate themselves at having the men at arms train in almost real combat conditions (at least real combat conditions for people going around with magi) but the Doctor of the covenant berated me yesterday for causing so much damage to his patients. I just pointed to him that he can try more of those theriacs that he was talking to me about a few days ago on new study subjects, but he didn’t seem to be really happy about it.

Last month I also was assigned with my personal grog assistants. Originally I had been assigned two shield grogs. I had asked for good shots since front line duty is performed by carved assassins. I changed one of the tough guys I was assigned for an ugly and extremely dirty grog: I was told that Eoghann (that the name of this creature) is a good tracker and forester, moving well in the wild. I prefer someone that can act as my guide and advisor in the wilds, since being cautious can save your life much more commonly than having a tough dead guy by your side. The other grog answers to the name of Sigurd and is obviously a descendant of the Vikings given his complexion. Call me a sentimental old magus, but one of the reasons I took him without hesitation is because he recalls me of the Viking turb we used to have in Viviane’s Quest. We will see if those guys stand up to my quality standards.

[i]Since it is not set in stone yet we have introduced a few changes.
The main one is that we relocated from Scotland to Hibernia. That is easy, just displacing Lumen Septentrionalis from Glasgow to the Belfast area AND placing Viviane's Quest to the south of Hibernia as well. I will update the previous posts about that. We might also change the date of the saga to 1210 or so, since the 1220's are an extremely tough time in the Isle of Man, and that will be important in our saga 8)

Hope you enjoy it! Tomorrow morning we have another gaming session. We are going back to Viviane's Quest and starting to unfold the saga's main story arc :slight_smile:[/i]

BUMP

I will delete this message later. Just FYI there is a 6th response in the thread (just above this message), but the forum page seems not to have recognized it. In case you are interested in reading it, there it goes. Winter season 1220

Cheers,
Xavi

Interesting and gripping reading thus far. Perhaps a later 'supplement' for Ars could actually be a series of released 'character journals', to give flavour for new players/storyguides who want to see how and where a story can go in the game.

Glad ytou like the story so far. We are having quite some fun with it. Actually you can read the base of the storyline so far in 2 sources:

1- Tales of Mythic Europe. Severin and the first weekend of adventuring is based there. Second adventure. We just did an additional spin to the story and built a whole saga out of that story. The adventure has provisions for just that event, only that Severin is not the main character (as we decided to do) but a NPC. Making the adventure something personal worked really well for us, making what are designed to be the PC in the adventure the actual NPC :slight_smile:
2- Hermes portal 14 and 15. Not introduced so far, but you will see why they are important in our wannabe saga. Lion of the North and Land of Fire and Ice also have heavy numbers to be important. Anyone guess why? :smiling_imp: You can download Hermes Portal online for free.

If you want inspiration, I cannot recommend enough the 4th edition supplement Ordo Nobilis and the 5th edition Tales of Mythic Europe (you can find my review of that in the forum somewhere). Great ideas on storytelling also in Project Redcap (an amazing repository of sagas and material) and in the Play By Post sections of the atlas forums. You can read quite few saga developments there. :slight_smile:

Xavi

Year of Our Lord 1220. 22 of April

I just went back from a trip to Viviane’s Quest with Questitor Laurentus, that is assessing my claim to the resources of my covenant. It seems that I will have to refuse my probatory membership in Lumen Septentrionalis to do so, but we will look at something around that.

The lands now belong to clan Cormac. They do not have much use for those dilapidated buildings in a useless strategic position (from their point of view), so I did strike a deal with them rather easily to get back my right to use them without interference. I promised them some services that will not be written in this journal, but that are not illegal. Not Hermetically, at least. Laurentus did not oppose my move.

Viviane’s Quest is active again according to the charter overseen and registered with Laurentus. I have Hermetic right to reclaim what used to belong to Viviane’s Quest, but it will be more a political struggle at tribunal than a purely administrative one. Viviane’s Quest has been in disrepair and struggling in the brink of extinction for decades, so most of its vis sources and other magical resources of my day and its posterior rise to power have been taken by other covenants, as is usual in those cases. I suppose that this battle over resources will not be a big problem once I state my plan at tribunal and get their support for my project, but I will have to haggle quite a bit to achieve that.

The covenant itself was like the last time we were there. Only that some trees were misplaced due to our actions. I left Laurentus and his grogs in our camp and went with Sigurd and Eoghann to the covenant at night. Only at night can you enter some of our supply caches. The password and my magical signature opened up one of the caches that I had noticed undisturbed in our previous visit to the place, and I found a rook of vis inside. Not the type I originally stored there, but vis none the less. That brings hope to me about the other supply caches in the covenant, but I will not investigate them fully until I am alone and in full possession of the place.

Year of Our Lord 1220. 10 of June

I went to see Ashenrise. Jared ex Merinitae had been informed of my return to the tribunal and was edgy about my potential claim to the Praecoship, since I am technically 300 years old. I went there to dispel his immediate concerns about losing that position and to get his help with my case of Peripetheia.

Jared confirmed me that Fall and Rise was the most likely type of story I am immersed in, and was quite curious about it. Apparently he had never seen a protagonist in a faerie tale that was so aware of his role. He mentioned the potential of such supernatural link between me and Peripetheia. I might hate her, but she is story-bound to help me to rise from my current (rather weak) position to one of greatness now, so I can take advantage of that. I am only at the start of my Rise process, since right now the most I can do is claim the praecox position, and that is not really remarkable in itself, so it is not a viable path to greatness. I had already leaped to the same conclusion, but I deferred to his advice and acted as if I hadn’t reached such conclusion myself. That opens quite a few options. I hate the damn creature for making me suffer so much, but I will make sure that she repays me for having taken me as the subject of his intrigue.

When I arrived back in my lab I found a letter by Jordanus ex Bonisagus informing me that he is coming to visit me next month.

Year of Our Lord 1220. 21 of June

I have talked with the council of Lumen Septentrionalis about my status in the covenant given that I have reclaimed my membership in Viviane’s Quest. We have reached an agreement here. They will allow me to keep my lab and keep using the resources of their covenant, declaring me an Amicus of the covenant. In exchange I swear to vote for them when it comes to tribunal meetings where Lumen is supporting a certain position and to help them if they request my help in an external mission (though not more than once per year). This agreement will be maintained until one of the parts breaks his part in the agreement.

They will also allow me to use the covenant’s resources (specially the library) to rebuild Viviane’s Quest to a semblance of glory. I negotiated the fact that I will be bringing a skilled copyist into the covenant’s library to get some books. This servant will be mine, and it will be allowed to copy most books, but the Hermetic books will be under the Calf and Cow Oath and he will have to make one copy for me and another for the Lumen Septentrionalis as payment for the use of the library.

The previous agreement was an easy one, since I had already interviewed the members of the covenant on an individual basis and they had more or less given me their benediction before the actual council. The last discussion point was more lively, though, since they were unaware of it.

I informed the members of Lumen Septentrionalis that I wanted to finish with the Partitio Monaviae by bringing the Isle of Man into the Hibernian tribunal. This caused quite a stir. Augustus yelled that I was totally mad, while Aurora and Marie seemed to evaluate if I was up to the challenge and Presteris asked when we were leaving towards Man. Marcus seemed to reserve his judgement. After I informed them of the diverse stages of the project, they seemed to relax a little, and started to ponder if this would be an opportunity. By the end of the debate they agreed to have Lumen Septentrionalis support the effort, trying to use it as a springboard to pre-eminence in the tribunal, but in the first stages they would simply support the effort indirectly through me. Once I established the covenant they would take a more active role.

The members of Lumen agreed to keep the project secret for the time being, in order to prevent the other tribunals to know about it. This would give us more time to prepare before the annoying interference by the other tribunals started and hopefully would help us survive the dangerous stage between both Grand Tribunals. Viviane’s Quest will be the covenant that will be supporting the effort (officially) but Lumen Septentrionalis will carry the weight of it. Aurora ex Trianomae would be instrumental into convincing the other covenants of Hibernia to support the effort as well. Having convinced them I went on to the first stage of the project.

First I needed to re-found Viviane’s Quest and explore the island to identify potential agents that wil set the foundations of the covenant. This will take me several months to achieve, but if you want something make sure to make it yourself. Just after Jordanus’ ex Bonisagus visit I am leaving for Man with Eoghann and Sigurd.

SG note: this was a really lively conversation among the players: there were 4 of them in the season (the whole usual gaming group), 2 of which were new to the saga and were totally caught by surprise buy Laura’s (Severin’s) speech. So the debate was real since “Marcus” (Marcel) and “Augustus” (Ricard) were not really sure of what was going on (they were aware of the official background on the Partitio Monaviae, though, since we have played several mini sagas and scenarios in the British Islands) and demanded strong incentives and persuasion to jump into the boat defended by Laura (Severin) and Jordi (Presteris). The players took little time to convince, since they saw the potential of a saga in this hotbed of conflict and magic but the magi took a while of highly charged debate to agree with the project.

Hello all,

I have the last session in the works, but the important stuff that we have done this weekend is mop up the whole idea. I will be editing the previous posts during the next few days, but if you do not want to read it here come the major changes.

  1. We have defined the tribunal of Hibernia. As such, some of the defined covenant names are incorrect (I was using them on the fly, mostly, coming from previous Ars supplements). I will be editing the names of the covenants.

  2. Since the Broceliade link is totally useless now (we relocated the covenant), the home covenant of Severing changed its name again and is now known as Custodes Hiberniarum (awful latin for Protectors of Ireland), something that makes more sense after the war against Davnalleus and the establishment of the Praeses Septentrionalis), It was located in Ulster, near Agnew's Hill, relatively near where the current covenant of Lumen Septentrionalis is located.

  3. The year has been changed to 1190. This allows us to play the events that we want to explore in a much better pacing, and it is good given the Grand Tribunal dates as well. Saga planned to run 1190 - 1240 approximately

  4. Lumen Septentrionalis is near Custodes Hiberniarum. In fact, they will have "inherited" (read: pillaged the older covenant after encroaching on its failing senile last magus, who passed to Final Twilight 3 years ago) most of the stuff of Custodes Hiberniarum. As such we have run a small unease between Severin and the characters when they first met, and later a confrontation (a verbal one!) when Severin realizes what has happened here. Lumen Septentrionalis has become a covenant on a Mote and Bailey castle, since they are basically a group of Norman adventurers that took advantage of the chaos following the English invasion to carve an allod for themselves in Ireland (Major Hook in Politics).

  5. The fact that they agree to support the Manx project is due to being in front of someone that has a strong claim to most of their current vis sources and part of their library as well as well as because they fancy it. Some of the more studious or militant magi have not reached this conclusion, but Aurora and Marie (the most politically canny of them) certainly have. Nobody is innocent here :wink:

  6. Sigurd and Eogan (I changed the spelling to Irish format) are part of the offshots from old Custodes Hiberniarum, not original warriors of English origin like most of the rest of the turb of Lumen Septentrionalis. This small group of warriors were absorbed by Lumen when the older covenant collapsed. This is why Severin selects them. there are around ten Norse warriors (seems that Custodes Hiberniarum favored them throughout their history) at Lumen Septentrionalis that belong to this group, and that are likely to follow Severin if he asks them to, having served Lumen for generations. Custodes Hiberniarum only collapsed 3 years ago, so these options are perfectly OK for us. Eogan comes from the Irish Clans of the area

That is pretty much it :slight_smile: We decided on those changes given the kind of developments that we want to see. IN the following days I will be updating the text, and correcting the previous entries as well as posting the last entry of this introduction to the saga.

Enjoy!

Xavi

*Notice:

Due to my current workload I will have to leave the journal on hiatus. I will try to post the text that I have half-written in my computer, but I cannot promise regular updates. The story continues. So far Severin has done some lab work and done the following things

  1. Visited Mann for a month
  2. Journeyed through eastern Hibernia and met some magi along the way (and thought about the changes of warfare in the last 300 years). he started building the magi network he will need to support his project.
  3. Restablished his sanctum in his old covenant (even if he is an official member of Lumen Septentrionalis)
  4. Visited Mann again and made preparations for a covenant site there and contacted a local noble to be his agent on the island
  5. Sent some agents on errands to start building the covenant's site.

We will see how it develops. Severin is starting to act the Puppet Master role that we want for him. We will see what happens.

Cheers,
Xavi

bump?

Game going on, but I do not have time to write up the journal ATM. Will try to come up with a general account of the last year for Severin in brief time.

Bump again?