The Rhine Expedition (Spring 1236)

Carmen arrives at Duerenmar with little fuss, and a servant meets her at the front door, asking why she seeks admittance.

(I do love introducing myself in character :mrgreen:)
My name is Carmalita Maria Diana Perez of House Flambeau, Pontifex Maxima of Andorra and Lady of the Knights of Seneca.
But simply Carmen of Flambeau will do.
I seek an audience with the proper authorities of the Rhine Tribunal. From what I understand, the German Emporer has a Hedge Wizard in his service, a rumored diabolist, whom he employs to persecute and execute weaker wizards. It is quite a problem and concern for Magi of the Levant where he was recently active. It has disrupted the lines of communication between magi and mundane, he persecutes a whole class of people that would be a great asset to the Order, and the level of magic he employs seems beyond the scope of a mere Hedge Wizard. I suspect there is a magus involved. And his target, he focuses solely on Jewish wizards. Now put the pieces of the equation together. Hedge Wizards and Jews are not a direct concern of the Order. But the laws set in place are equally hostile to Jewish magi. Plus the reputed diabolism. And the suspected involvement of a magus. I believe that I ran into a mundane that was under theprotection of Parma Magica, for my Blatant Gift did not have nearly as a dramatic effect upon him as it should have.
I believe that, for the Good of the Order, this Hedge Wizard should be eliminated and any Hermetic allies he may have be brought to justice. I am willing to take him on. But I have no desire to become a loose cannon that makes trouble for my sodales. So I come seeking advice and information.
It has been a number of years since I was last here, so I admit I am not sure who the members here still are. I remember two names. Philipius Niger of Flambeau and Murrion of Bonisagus. Are either of them still alive and active? I seek their wisdom.

"Phillipus sadly is no longer with us. I will convey your request to Murrion, if you would like to come to the sitting room while the message is delivered."

Carmen crosses herself and mutters a Jewish prayer. Then in Latin...
Ad mortem incurre sodale. Time destroys all things.
What happened? Age? Twilight?
I will gladly await her emminence Murion to speak with her at her pleasure. It will give me time to compose my thoughts.

"The stories vary, but basically he got into a fight that was bigger than he was."

A few minutes pass before Murion appears, her robes nearly threadbare from neglect and smelling of some combination of pitch and roses. "Carmen, my dear, what brings you to Deurenmar so suddenly you could not send a message by redcap?" she thinks for a second "Oh, I suppose it is this hedge wizard you were going on about. /is this the same fellow that this lunatic Marcus has been pestering us about?"

"Then it must have been a worthy foe and a glorious battle."

"Andorra is a covenant of international magi. And I like to fly :slight_smile:
And a letter could not answer questions that my eyewitness testimony might bring to your mind. And since you brought it up first, might I presume you know of everything I had spoken to your custos about?
So you understand my concerns. My mother is a Sephardic Wise Woman. Jewish Folk Magic, Seeress, yaddayadda. A minor Hedge Wizard long aligned with the Order. I took her for a trip to the Holy Land, and while visiting old temples we were attacked by a would-be rapist. One of the emporers soldiers. I put him down and my mother saved the life of a Templar the thug had stabbed when he tried to stop the rapist. Took him back to his commadery. That's when I met Markus. And I agree. All guys named Mark are lunatics. But I investigated and some of what he told me I confirm was true. There is a systematic program to persecute specifically Jewish Wizards. I was summoned before their magistrate, and we played a game of intimidation versus one another and he bested me. I tossed him around a bit and he kept his nerve. All he wanted to know is my religon. And I couldn't lie. My father, Archmagus Antonio, raised me Catholic, and though I so admire my mother's culture I could not deny my true faith.
And you know, this is the part that has me suspicious. For all he knew I was a Crypto Jew trying to avoid trouble. I have the Blatant Gift, it should have arouse an innate suspicion and hostility as well as distrust for my word. None of that. Just "thank you have a nice day" and crossed the fake name I gave him off the list. And he kept looking behind him at a screen, perhaps someone behind it observing him? Sheltering with Parma Magica? That would explain why he was calm despite my gift. And after my display, having a magus advising and guiding him would explain why he stayed so calm. And why he looked so nervous looking back at the screen.
So I know something fishy is up. Don't know exactly what, but it gives creedence to what Markus told me. He insists there is a powerful hedge wizard in service to the emporer residing here in Germany giving the orders. I wish to investigate.
I am more tolorant about Hedge Wizards than Philipius, God rest his soul. Minor hjedge wizards too week to be considered magi should be allowed ally with us in service. The powerful ones should be given the ultimatum, Join or Die. He seens to disruptive an influence to be allowed to go on unfettered. And if he is a diabolist, it is my duty as a Flambeau maga to put him down like a dog.
What happened to Philipius Niger anyway?

"If he is a diabolist, yes, and I have heard nothing of his power being great enough to warrant a join or die visitation, not that I would normally object to any mage making such an invitation at their own discretion, except that this man is an advisor, and yes court magician, such as an astrologer or whatever form of soothsayer he may claim to be is a real court magician, to Fredrick II, the Holy roman Emporer, King of Jeruselum, King of Sicily, Germany, and parts of Italy, and as such clearly is well within the scope of interfering with mundanes. We have long been aware that the Emporer has a law against the practice of Non-Christian magic, but the qualifier is ambiguous and we have generally decided to deal with these issues according to how local administrators enforce it. It appears many use it as a means to force conversions, and they have generally left the Order alone, in fact the degree to which they have succeeded in avoiding harassing the Order is, to my mind, the most suspicious thing about the whole affair, though conversely it also makes it extremely hard to justify interference."

Then what is needed is more investigation. I cannot deny you are correct in that there is no apparent justification for dramatic action as of yet. But you admit there is cause for suspicion, and we would all certainly benefit from more knowledge of what is really going on.

"Yes, and we have already had a ruling that since he is either not a member of the order or in clear violation of the code regarding interfering with mundanes he may be investigated without fear of reprisal. To my knowledge what little investigation has occurred has been to try and obtain information about his magical tradition. I have in fact seen a lab text or two on the subject myself."

Really? Fascinating. I would like to hear the conclusions you reached after perusing said Lab Texts. And I would like perhaps a view of them myself.
Do you know where he may be found? Is it possible to meet with him through agents or more dirrect communication? Would that be acceptable? What other lines of inquiry and inspection exist? Are there any leads I can follow up on? Or is there a starting point you might suggest for me to start my own investigation?

And whatever happened to Phillipius Niger?

"Phillipus, from what I heard, took on a coven of infernal witches on their sabbat night. From the accounts I heard he left an impressive body count, but ultimately fell to a well placed dagger. As to the reports I have read, the hedge tradition seems steeped in some variation on wards and protective circles, using them to channel magical energies in overly complex ceremonies. I don't expect their research to overshadow my own when next I publish. I don't know how you would find this man, you might try talking to Casper of Bonisagus at Fenghold, he appears to be leading the pack in terms of research on this topic."

Then Philipius went out fighting the good fight. But as always, a dagger placed between the ribs puts a serious cramp in the wizard's style.
It has been twenty years since I last visited Fengheld. I wonder if anyone I knew is still there.
I thank you for the consultation your emminence. I do not wish to take up more of your valuable time than need be. I will be in contact when I have gathered more information. I shall head off to Fengheld. Before I go, is there any further information I should know or any words of wisdom to share?

"Phillipius went down fighting a crowd of lesser magic weilders, of a sort. Fredrick is making very large waves, and events around him, even to his advisors, catch many people up in the eddies. Be carefull."

Indeed. I estimate it will take me up to six hours to get there by air. If you would be so kind, I would hope to lodge here for the night and set off shortly after dawn.

Duerenmar puts you up for the night- you left the carpet in the Levant and were using the seven league stride and the gate network to travel.

I estimated Carmen's travel time based on a flight speed of 40mph and an approximate distance of 240 miles. She has Wings of Soaring Wind mastered and her talisman catches her if concentration ever fails.
She wants to make sure she is well rested for the trip and that she has plenty of "Parma time".
And she gets a chance to chat with other magi at breakfast, maybe discuss scribal exchange and mention Fleur's work in that area.

A few magi are interested in the idea of scribal exchange, though most at Deurenmar feel the covenant library is large enough that they need not put forth any effort to expand it.

A flight to Fenghold lands you there midafternoon, where an armed guard challenge you at the gate "State your name and business"

Carmen Perez of Flambeau; Pontifex Maxima of Andorra, Warden of the Antares, Lady of the Knights of Seneca. I come seeking an audience with Casper of Bonisagus.

The man glances to the side and you spot a boy running your request into the covenant. After a while a man in stereotypical blue robes shows up "Carmen of Flambeau, why do you seek audience?"

Salve sodale!
I have come to inquire about your research, on the reccomendation of Murrion Bonisagus. I am not as much interested in the fruits as of yet, more so the roots and potential effects.
See, I am on an investigation of the activities and powers of a hedge wizard, one in the employ of the German Emporer, one who has stirred up trouble in the arcane society in the Levant.
I wish to know more about him, about his powers and their magnitude, and to learn what he is really up to.
Nothing but investigation at this point. I heard that he is involved in diabolism, yet another report claims this is untrue. Murrion told me you have been researching his magic. I was hoping to discover any useful information or advice you might offer.