[size=150]Gallus Florensis[/size] ("Wales in Bloom")
Originally an old Viking settlement, the town of Neston is a bustling fishing community on the Wirral Peninsula, in the county of Cheshire. The town boasts two churches: St. Mary's in the town proper, and an Eastern Orthodox church, St. Helen's, tucked just into the woods. The town has some industry due to its location on the River Dee; all the commerce to Chester travels by river. What most mundanes don't realise is that most of that industry is not due to proximity to Chester, but that the "Grand Inn" is actually a Mercer House, with a Mercere Portal to Durenmar.
The area is governed, in name, by the Barony de Montalt. However, Baron Robert de Montalt lives in Flintshire; the manor house by the lighthouse is, in actuality, the covenant's Great Hall. It is protected by a retinue of twenty-five highly trained Welsh archers. The covenant pays exhorbitant fees to the Baron in exchange for his silence and maintenance of the charade.
The town itself is surrounded by thickly forested hills (favoured hunting grounds of the Earl of Chester and his retinue). A great lighthouse stands on the shore just northwest of the town proper: in actuality, this tower houses Hermetic magi. (There is a matching lighthouse in the town of Flint, flanking the river on its Welsh bank, though this tower serves entirely mundane purposes.) There is a small Jewish ghetto just inland of the lighthouse; it is thought by the town that some of the Jews are tasked with tending the lighthouse. In actuality, the "ghetto" is made up of the educated Jews who serve as Gallus Florensis' covenfolk.
Top Floor: "The Light"
With walls of magically fortified glass, Iapetus' Elementalist sanctum offers more privacy than one might think. The tower's "light" is cast by a giant fire elemental who guards the sanctum against intruders; its radiance is magnified by the glass walls. A highly intelligent air elemental guards the sanctum, and currently tolerates Iapetus squatting there in his mistress' absence.
Sixth Floor: Formerly the living quarters of Aislinn and Justinius; currently unused. Only accessible from the floors immediately above and below, and thus likely to remain unused.
Fifth Floor: Formerly Justinius' laboratory, Sophronia Tremeris has announced her intention to take up residence here, but has not yet arranged some manner of perceiving the tenth-magnitude illusions that conceal the entrances, and keep the lab shrouded in magical darkness.
Fourth Floor: Covenant Library
Third Floor: Council chamber
Second Floor: Guest laboratory
Ground Floor: General use / something official?
Basement One: Used as cold food storage
Basement Two: Aequi's laboratory and living quarters.
Attravere's sanctum is a cottage on stilts, in a sheltered cove of the estuary. It can only be reached by a marsh skiff (the water is too shallow for most boats to navigate). This was once the home of his pater, Maribus.
Leona's sanctum was in an isolated cabin somewhere in the woods; it is protected by some kind of Shrouded Glen effect. Unbeknownst to the others, it is now Cygna's home.
Rhodri makes his sanctum in the smithy. It is a dedicated building furnished with a set of superior lab equipment crafted magically by his pater, Cuprincus.
No one knows where Liliana's sanctum is; it is suspected to be completely underwater in the estuary, or perhaps up the coast somewhere. (She is usually seen disappearing into the river.)
Tabanus, Sinmore, and Hiems live in guest quarters in the Great Hall.
THE MANOR HOUSE:
(Someone want to draw a map for some bonus experience? Should have a large chamber for the library, a great hall for the covenfolk, small dining hall for magi, large guest quarters, big kitchen, basement storage, covenfolk housing also in the basement for covertness' sake, and anything else I've forgotten.)
Gallus Florensis' aura is +5; however, it is magically aligned with Creo, thus counting as a 10 aura for all activities involving Creo (RoP:M).
As a result (or perhaps the cause) of the Creo alignment, the area is vibrant and full of life. Fish caught in the estuary are peculiarly plump and flavourful, and fruits grown in the area are especially sweet and juicy. The trees are particularly green and the sky shines especially blue. The people are all healthy and fairly happy. It is perhaps due to some influence of the aura that allows such a disparate mix of cultures to coexist in harmony.
Maribus Mellitus Merceris. An undine-blooded Aquam specialist who crafted magical ships and other modes of transportation for House Mercere. He was a cheerful fellow who kept an otter named Sanno as his familiar. He has had two apprentices: his son, Viator (who now resides at Coeris), and Attravere. Maribus made his longevity ritual later in life than most, and as such, always appeared older than most magi his age. He was five and a half feet tall, with salt-and-pepper hair and a matching beard, and eyes the colour of the sea after a storm. His wizard's sigil was the sound of crashing waves.
Maribus was last seen in 1215, when he left by ship to investigate a regio. His body was recovered in the winter of 1221. His familiar, Sanno, survived him, and us now bound to Attravere.
Quaesitor Justinius filius Nyyrikki, Assessor Tremeris. Of Roman birth, Justinius served his apprenticeship at Cursus Alcis in Hibernia. Even those who do not recognize Justinius' reputation as a formidable Intellego specialist and investigator, have heard of him: he is the Tremere who married a Tytalus. Speculation abounds as to whether their marriage was politically influenced by one House seeking influence over the other. (Most speculation lies towards Domus Tremeris having the upper hand, as the only copy of Aislinn's magnum opus lies at Coeris.)
Justinius was as well known for his keen vision and sharp ears, as for his openmindedness and fairness. Justinius was a handsome Greco-Roman, standing just under six feet tall, always clean shaven, with curly blond hair and inquisitive blue eyes. His familiar was a snowy owl named Glaukopis. His wizard's sigil was glowing eyes.
In 1216, Justinius was sent on an investigative mission for the Guernici; he took with him only his familiar and his Hoplite wife, Aislinn. The two have not been seen since and cannot be contacted or sensed by Intellego magics.
Archmaga Aislinn Tytalii. Elementalist weather witch and former Ex Misc; unreasonably outraged by the reputation of Ex Misc as "hedge wizards." She petitioned for entrance into House Flambeau and killed all five Flambeaux opponents in her Trial, then snubbed the House by remaining in Ex Misc. Her actions were applauded by House Tytalus, who extended an offer of membership which she then accepted. She later married Justinius of Tremere, who joined Gallus Florensis to live with her. Aislinn was an attractive Irish woman with a wiry build; she stood nearly six feet tall, and had dark red hair and blue eyes. She was known for entering battle wearing chainmail, wielding a magical sword imbued with the powers of the North Wind. Her laboratory is on the top floor of the North Tower; she shared living quarters with Justinius on the floor below. Her familiar was a falcon named Zephyrus; her wizard's sigil was the scent of ozone.
Leona Bjornaeris. Secretive Rhine maga whose heartbeast is an enormous winged lion. Known for her healing skills and nature focus, she is rumoured to have some Diedne corruption in her lineage (her "heartbeast" is unnatural, and she had a familiar, both of which are highly unorthodox, if not impossible, for Bjornaer). However, her usefulness as a healer (major Hermetic breakthrough in inventing longevity rituals that do not inflict warping and do not impair fertility) was sufficient to keep those rumours from being followed up by Quaesitores. Leona was an Irish woman, quite short, and pretty in a delicate way; she had pale hair and green eyes. Her wizard's sigil was grass stains on the feet.
Leona had been flirting with Final Twilight for almost a decade. No one recalls when she really disappeared, as she was so rarely seen at the covenant. There have been sightings of a winged lion for some time now, but the last time Leona showed up to a Council Meeting was in 1214. (Her attendance had always been poor, however.)
Liliana Merinitae. Half-sister of Maribus Mercere by way of their shared undine mother, Liliana is deeply rooted in the inner faerie mysteries of House Merinita. Known for her rivalry with Leona (both were fae-blooded healers, though beyond that no one knows if there is a deeper source of their acrimony). Liliana has discovered a method of travel through Faerie that involves water. She has tried to explain it to others but to no avail (Incomprehensible Flaw). She is often distracted and known to leave the covenant for long periods of time.
Lamentus Criamonis. Known for his erratic and unreliable prophecies, this ancient magus is so Twilight-riddled that he almost never uses magic anymore. For the last decade or so, the covenant has done its best to schedule its council meetings during his few lucid moments.
As library access and some other aspects if covenant life are based on seniority (full members > provisional members > apprentices > guests, and tiebreakers in order of charter signature), seniority is as follows:
Justinius of Tremere (full member)
Aislinn of Tytalus (full member)
[strike]Maribus of Mercere (full member)[/strike] Passed away, summer 1220
[strike]Lamentus of Criamon (full member)[/strike] Final Twilight, winter 1221
Leona of Bjornaer (full member)
Liliana of Merinita (full member)
Attravere of Mercere (full member, winter 1220)
Aequi of Criamon (full member, spring 1220)
Sophronia of Tremere (full member, spring 1221)
Tabanus of Jerbiton (full member, winter 1222)
Iapetus of Flambeau (full member, summer 1222)
Rhodri of Verditius (prov. member - winter 1220; disappeared in Spring 1221)
Sinmore of Flambeau (prov. member - spring 1220)
Cygna of Bjornaer (prov. member - spring 1221)
Hiems Ex Miscellanea (prov. member - spring 1221)
The Autocrat: Josef ben Gavrel. Married to Naomi, father of Shmuel and Daniel
The Scribe: Naomi bat Feivel, wife to Josef
The Tutor: Wallis of Oxford
The Doctor: Chayyim ben Efraim. De facto rabbi.
The Majordomo: Stefan the Moor
The Priest: Alexander (Eastern Orthodox)
The Tailor: Arieh ben Herschel, married to Devorah
The Seamstress: Devorah bat Uziel, wife to Arieh
The Shepherdess: Sarit bat Tamir
The Cobbler: Zelde bat Sholem
The Carpenter: Jens of Roskilde
The Milkman: Sholem ben Tevye. Married to Rivka, and father to manymanymany daughters.
The Foreman: Ethan ben Herschel (Arieh's brother). Oversees the field workers, many of whom are his own children, nieces and nephews.
The Butcher: Shlomo ben Idan
The Kosher Chef: Rivka bat Feivel (Sholem's wife, Naomi's sister)
The Magi's Chef: Marike, a plump blond German woman with a flair for pastries.
The Pageboy: Daniel ben Josef
The Mercer House (known to mundanes as "The Grand Inn") is administered by an elderly, retired Redcap named Parsifal. He and his family live within the Mercer House, the better for Parsifal to attend to his duties. He oversees all clerical functions of the House, but many of those duties are shared by his assistant-turned-wife, Maredudd. Parsifal still proudly wears his red hat, though this may simply be a way to hide his ever-receding hairline. Their eldest, Andrea, is currently in training at Harco, and their other two children, Elspeth and Ingrid, are ages 9 and 5, respectively.
Also known as Guglielmo de Firenze, "Great William" is a great beast of a man, standing eight feet tall, and barrel-chested. To those who know him, however, his appearance is almost comical, given his shy, pacifist nature. He has long, unkempt, dirty blonde hair, and brown eyes. He is even-tempered and quick-witted, having extensive knowledge of Hermetic law and various arcane lore, and even has some knowledge of Hermetic theory. He was apprenticed under Horst of Fengheld, whom he idolises to this day. Great William currently serves as the official Tribunal scribe of Stonehenge. He has a pair of boots that can cast Seven League Stride unlimited times per day.
Also known as Sir Guillaume d'Arras, the nickname of "Little William" is something of a joke. He is a minor landless knight of northern France, standing at nearly seven feet, and is built like an ox. With shining golden hair to his shoulders, and sparkling blue eyes, Guillaume represents the epitome of Norman breeding. His real age is thought to be somewhere in his fifties, though he appears in his late twenties due to an early longevity ritual. His martial prowess is unmatched by any at Gallus Florensis, and he likes to boast that William Marshal remains the only man ever to have bested him in combat; he bears the scar on his lance-arm proudly.
Guillaume wears a fine suit of magical chainmail crafted for him by Justinius Tremeris. He carries a small arsenal with him, and bears an old-fashioned kite shield embossed with the image of a phoenix. He is accompanied by a magical destrier named Champion.
The youngest Redcap in Stonehenge, Edgar is just out of his teens and always feels the need to prove himself. He is extremely attractive, with black hair and green eyes, and spends most of his downtime trying to woo any and every pretty woman he finds. He is not particularly liked within the Order or even his own house, and has no magical items.
The hardest-working Redcap of the tribunal, Jasmine is rarely seen at the Mercer House, as she believes that message-bearing is the least important duty of House Mercere. She spends most of the year travelling about Stonehenge, Loch Leglean, and Hibernia, keeping abreast with politics both mundane and Hermetic. She is rumoured to be the best-informed maga in all of the Isles.
Jasmine possesses a magical skiff which can sail across both water and land, at great speeds; she also carries a ring which renders her (and conveniently, everything she touches) invisible.
Lady Isabelle d'Arras is Little William's younger, fae-blooded half-sister. Their shared father (a retired Redcap) is a minor noble in northern France, but unlike Guillaume, Isabelle's mother was a swan-maiden who captured the aging widower's fancy. Isabelle has inherited the ability to take the shape of a swan; due to her skill at flying and on the water, she is responsible for bearing messages across the English Channel. As a result, she is frequently seen at the English Mercer House, despite officially serving the Normandy Tribunal. She is a gorgeous woman with long golden curls and grey eyes, and her physical beauty is matched by her musical talent.
Isabelle has an enchanted feather which causes her clothing and items to change shape whenever she herself changes shape, allowing her to carry messages, vis, and equipment while in swan form.... Not to mention allowing her to resume human shape fully clothed! She also possesses a magical leather bracelet that resizes when she changes shape; when activated, the bracelet creates a favourable wind at her back, allowing her to fly nearly as fast as a falcon.
Attravere has taken up residence in Maribus' former sanctum. The sanctum proper is a wooden house on stilts in the river; the laboratory is within a crystal cube submerged underneath the house. The sanctum marker is on the house, not on the laboratory.
Rhodri's sanctum is installed in the old forge on the covenant grounds. It is a large, dedicated building, assembled from blocks of stone that fit together geometrically in lieu of using mortar. The forge holds his sanctum and his laboratory, and there is sufficient space to install a studio later, should he so desire.
Neither Tabanus nor Hiems have chosen a sanctum or secured a laboratory. Until they say otherwise, it is assumed that Tabanus and is staying in guest quarters in the Great Hall and has no sanctum or use of a laboratory. Hiems is not Gently Gifted and thus cannot stay in the Great Hall among the covenfolk, so he is renting a room from the Mercer House until he claims a sanctum, and also has no use of a laboratory.
Sinmore is staying in guest quarters in the Great Hall. She has used the guest laboratory in the Lighthouse, but has been explicitly asked not to experiment on any Ignem effects while there.
Aequi has taken up residence in Lamentus' old laboratory.
Iapetus is using Aislinn's old laboratory.
Sophronia is in Justinius' old laboratory.
Cygna has taken up residence in Leona's former cottage in the woods. It is outside the Aegis, but is Shrouded.
More information on available laboratories/sancta here.
The turb captain is an aging Norse fellow named Marcus. He has great leadership quality and teaching ability, and after a lifetime of training grogs, he was rewarded with a longevity ritual. He is grooming his and Devorah's eldest son, Benjamin, to replace him.
The Tremere grogs are called Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon. They are trained to fight under Justinius' leadership, or under Alpha. They have been revealed to be white wolves, who take human shape to better serve Domus Tremeris.
There are three Welsh archers, including Glen "Good Eye".
- Emilio is an old Spaniard who is lives with his family on a generous retirement pension, after a lifetime serving as Lamentus' shield grog. He fights with two Toledo shortswords.
- Annelise is a big flame-haired Scottish-Irish woman who serves as a shield grog to her cousin, Aislinn. She fights with an enormous claymore.
- Groth is a goblin-blooded warrior who serves as a shield grog to Liliana, though he spends most of his time working in the Mercer House pub with his Sidhe-blooded alewife wife, Sansa, and their legion of fae-blooded children. Groth is rumoured to be able to use anything as a weapon with equal proficiency.
- Devorah is a young Jewish woman who served as Maribus' shield grog. She fights with sword and shield.
- There's a huge talking polar bear named Knut who is known to be Leona's familiar; he has the ability to shapeshift into human form, and can fight with a poleaxe nearly as well as he can with tooth and claw, and he spends some time training with the other shield grogs.
Summer 1220: +14 pawns Imaginem; +10 Vim from Aequi's service
Autumn 1220: +6 pawns Herbam
Winter 1221: -6 pawns Vim for Aegis (Cast by Aequi), -16 pawns Vim to House Mercere. +30 pawns of Vim deposited by Sophronia Tremeris.
Summer 1221: +6 pawns Imaginem
Autumn 1221: +6 pawns Herbam. -3 pawns Imaginem traded to House Mercere for 2 pawns of Aurum to be used in Iapetus' covenant service.
Winter 1222: -10 pawns Vim paid to House Mercere for a 6th magnitude Aegis. -6 pawns Imaginem, traded to House Mercere for 4 pawns Ignem to be used for Sinmore's covenant service. -2 pawns Herbam for Iapetus' covenant service.
Summer 1222: +7 pawns Imaginem
- The Oracle's Tree. Intellego, variable (usually 2-10 pawns). (spring) ***Rival claim by Libellas overturned by majority vote via Blackthorn.
- Myrddin's Well. Corpus, 8 pawns. (spring) ***Rival claim by Voluntas overturned by majority vote via Blackthorn.
- Musician's Festival. Imaginem, variable (usually 4-7 pawns). (late summer) ***Rival claim by Schola Pythagoranis overturned by majority vote via Blackthorn.
- The Witch's Cornucopia. Herbam, 6 pawns. (first day of autumn)
Total: average of 25 pawns per annum
Once the greatest library in the tribunal, by the time the PCs have joined Gallus Florensis, many of the library's lesser texts have already been sold or traded.
Creo: Ex Nihilo, Myanar filia Merinita, copied and illuminated by Leona Bjornaeris. Summa L22 Q15
This book is scribed on vellum, and is bound with laces of green silk whose delicate appearance belies its unnatural tensile strength, between sturdy boards of oak. The content focuses upon the cultivation of a magnificent garden in a regio hidden within the Black Forest; the author takes particular care to describe proper cultivation of many herbs of culinary and medicinal usages. If studied at least two seasons, also grants 15 experience in Profession: Gardener (as a tractatus) upon completion of the summa.
Intellego: Esse Est Percipi, Justinius filius Nyyrikki doctrinae Tremeris. Illuminated by Leona Bjornaeris. Summa L20 Q18
This book is scribed on immaculately white parchment, and bound between plates of solid quartz. This text claims the art of Intellego is an extension of one's own senses, not a magical art separate from the magus. (It was the authorship of this book which earned Justinius the offer of Quaesitorial training from House Guernicus.) If studied at least two seasons, grants 18 experience in Awareness, as per a tractatus, upon exhaustion of the summa's knowledge.
Muto: Non Sum Qualis Eram, Leona Bjornaeris. Summa L10 Q10
This book is scribed with multicoloured ink that seems to shimmer and shift upon the rough, unevenly tanned vellum; it is bound by heavy oaken boards lined with dark blue silk. This book extemporizes upon the limits of essential nature, and postulates that the possibilities of Muto magic are limited only by the imagination of the magus.
Perdo: Finis Vitae, Darius scholae Flambonis. Summa L10 Q10
Inked in some kind of blood, etched into some kind of dried skin, this book itself is a grisly testament to the author's master of the subject material.
Rego: Vincit Qui Se Vincit, Nyyrikki Tremeris filius Amphelisia. Summa L15 Q12
This exposition upon the finer points of Rego magics include many tips and tricks on how to handle unruly apprentices, and disciplinary guidelines for one's own children and spouse. It is written upon vellum which is strikingly uniform in appearance, and bound with a rigid, heavy leather cover. If studied at least two seasons, grants 12 experience in Leadership upon completion, as per a tractatus.
Animal: Dentis et Unguis, Saoirse Leona filia Arnsson Ilfetwis doctrinae Bjornaeris. Summa L12 Q12
This compendium of beasts gives detailed accounts upon the diets, natural habitats, and mating habits of hundreds of animals, both extant and extinct. This book is scribed on sheepskin vellum and scribed in goat's blood; it is bound with some sort of tough sinew between two heavy (and rather hairy) hide cover-plates.
Aquam: A Flumine Usque ad Terminos Terrae, MMM. Summa L18 Q12
This text details the mundane and mystical properties of the Irish Sea, and every river that flows into it. The book is scribed on vellum and bound between two oak boards, lined with deep blue silk.
Auram: Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum, Aislinn filia Fáthach scholae Tytalus. Illuminated by Leona Bjornaeris. Summa L28 Q16
Aislinn suffered a Twilight experience after performing a ritual that lifted a great drought from England; when she emerged from Twilight two months later, she immediately set to writing this book. After publication, this summa earned Aislinn the honourary title of Archmage. The book is written on clean white parchment and is bound between two thin plates of silver, and bound with strips of sky blue silk. The tome itself is an enchanted item; the book cannot be copied, and the enchanter (presumably Aislinn) is always aware of its location. Known to be the most authoritative text on Auram in existence, the only copy of this manuscript is at Coeris (causing some upset within Domus Tytalus, as Fudarus would dearly like to have a copy). ***For every season of study, this summa also grants 1 exp in Penetration and 1 exp in Finesse.
Corpus: Sanguis et Lacrima, Justinius filius Nyyrikki doctrinae Tremeris. Illuminated by Leona bani Bjornaer. Summa L10 Q18
Scribed in blood on pages of human skin, this book gruesomely takes full advantage of form & effect bonuses with its subject matter! Despite its grisly appearance, however, this book is quite accurate and informative, detailing the inner workings of the human body in ways which would be dismissed as frivolity by any medieval doctor, yet are confirmed by Intellego magics. Includes roughly drawn, yet accurate, sketches of how to bind certain types of wounds, and how to treat certain illnesses, complete with cross-references and an exhaustive index. If studied at least two seasons, also grants 15 experience in Chirurgy (as a tractatus) upon completion of the summa.
Herbam: Vivat Crescat Floreat, written and illuminated by Leona Bjornaeris. Summa L10 Q10
This book expounds upon various edible plants native to the Stonehenge tribunal, and includes preliminary notes upon the design of several spells to prepare food for large groups of people. It is written upon a papyrus-like parchment made from birch pith, and is bound between oaken boards lined with a fine linen dyed in shimmering green.
Mentem: Mentem Mortalia Tangunt by Justinius Tremeris, illuminated by Leona Bjornaeris. Summa L12 Q18
A memoir on how to write memoirs, this summa explains the way the mind stores and recalls memories. Written on vellum and bound between silver plates, lined with royal blue linen.
Vim: Crescat Scientia Vita Excolatur by Justinius Tremeris. Summa L11 Q18
The first half of this text describes geographical, magical, and natural properties that affect the magnitude and attunement of auras. The second half extemporises upon regiones and the levels by which they link to their realms.
Magic Theory: Principia Magica by Bonisagus. Copied by Aulus Germanicus scholae Bonisagi discipulus Trianomae. Summa L8 Q15
Parma Magica: Magus Invictus by Justinius Tremeris, Summa L4 Q16
The Masoretic Text Summa L8 Q8 (Hebrew)
Disputation of a Jew with a Christian about the Christian Faith as recorded by His Grace Gilbert Crispin, the Abbot of Westminster; Tractatus Q15
Common Law: These four books may be referenced in conjunction as a single Summa L8 Q10.
* "Leges Edwardi Confessoris" by His Royal Highness, King Edward the Confessor
* "Charter of Liberties" by His Royal Highness, King Henry I (Anglo-Norman, with side-by-side Latin translation)
* "Leges Henrici Primi" the laws of His Royal Highness, King Henry I
* "Being a Summary of those Strictures and Liberties Detailed in the Magna Carta Chartarum" by Josef of Shropshire.
Rabbinic Law: The Mishnah and the Gemara. Summa L6 Q10. (Hebrew)
Soothe the Pains of the Beast, CrAn20 (LB)
Enchantment of the Scrying Pool, InAq(Im)30 (MM)
Bridge of Frost, ReAq30 (MM)
Clouds of the Summer Shower, CrAu25 (AT)
Incantation of the Body Made Whole, CrCo40 (JT)
Gift of Vigor, ReCo20 (JT)
Leap of the Homecoming, ReCo35 (JT)
The Bountiful Feast, CrHe35 (MM)
Ward Against Wood, ReHe20 (LB)
Wizard's Eclipse, PeIg35 (AT)
Flames of Sculpted Ice, ReIg(Aq)35 (AT)
Eyes of the Eagle, InIm25 (JT)
The Black Whisper, PeMe40 (LB)
Conjuring the Guernicus Tower, CrTe40 (JT)
Piercing the Faerie Veil, InVi20 (JT)
Piercing the Magical Veil, InVi20 (JT)