In the Springe of 1221, Marcus of Tremere received a letter via Redcap from a Priest in Italy. It has originally been sent to his home Tremere covenant and was slow to find him in Scotland. The letter read:
_To Stephanus of House Malaspina or to the man once known by that name,
In this Season of Lent in the Year of the Lord 1217, I, Ft. Martinus of the Parish of Fratta Todina, write to you upon the last wish of a most loyal servant, who despite his crimes against man and God, begged our Lord’s forgiveness, confessed and I pray was redeemed.
This man Piero, was a servant of the Malaspina family in Monte Castillo di Vibio. He confessed that he gave you to an evil man, but by doing so saved your life. He said he was told that you would be taken to east, beyond the Dalmatians and into the lands of the Magyar. It is to there that I send his last words.
He pled for me to send you word that your birthright the estate outside Monte Castillo di Vibio, as the last in the line of the Malaspina, was yours to be claimed. If you come to claim your rights, please come to me first, for there is more to tell than I dare place on paper.
Your Humble Servant Ft. Martinus
Feeling need to confront his dark past, Marcus decided to journey to Italy and lay the family tragedy to rest. He confided in his soldales Fergus and they two planned to take the journey together. Pelleas would be left at the covenant to protect their vis sources and respond to any needs that arose, including requests by Alan, Lord of Galloway.
Fearing the worse. Fergus and Marcus began to prepare for the trip. Wanting to take extra time, they set their departure for the following spring so that there would be plenty of time to learn new arts and so that they would avoid traveling by sea in the stormy winter months.
Once the time came to depart they commissioned Bjorn, Captain of the See-Bjorn to take them from Galloway to the French Coast. The two mages took as their companions Annie of Wigtown to act as their steward for the trip, Hammish and Seamish for muscle, and Pollys the welsh scribe with the hopes that they could leave her at one of the covenants that they passed to continue her training and maybe copy some books. The took along plenty of vis to pay for such books and in the even that they needed it for their mission.
The two magi also decided to visit many covenants along the way to meet with their brethren in the Order of Hermes and learn more about their Order. For Fergus this was the first time he had left Scotland. Marcus’ only demand was that they avoid any covenants dominated by Tremere wizards.
Once he learned of their trip to Italy on one of his visits to the Covenant, Brother Padrig from the Abbey in Glen Luce asked to accompany them. He wanted to visit his Order’s mother house of the Cistercian Order in Cîteaux, near Dijon in eastern France. Taking this as a pilgrimage, he also hoped that he could accompany them at least to Rome where he wanted to seek some sort of absolution.
Soon they were off to Cherbourg, on the Normandy coast.