Quaerentes in Extremis

Summer 1225 - The Champion's Portion

The Champions Portion – this story involves a magical journey to Ireland in the midst of political unrest, hermetic intrigue and legendary heroes to obtain a great source of vis.

After traveling back to Ireland with Aedh O’Connor and meeting with his fian, the party went in search of the portal stones and the access to the magic sources the witch spoke of. The magi present are Feargus, Sealgir and Marcus. After using the rune stones found in the construction rubble, the party opened a portal into the Faerie Realm, and into another time. the party found themselves before the gates of Bricui’s Hostel at Dun Rudraige, which happens to be on the same site as the current fort Dundrum Castle, which is currently being fortfiied by the English and their allies against a likely attack of the Irish Norman Lord Hugh deLacy and his Irish allies.

Inside they found the trickster faerie host Bricui challenging the famed Heroes of Ulsters, beings of legend, to determine who is the greatest among them. This kept them fighting among themselves. It also meant that each challenger who won received a silver armband worth 1 pawn of terram vis and so did the judge. The magi decided to compete among the heroes. With Feargus winning most like one of the giant Heroes.

They also learned that someone was killing off the servants of the Heroes. It was most likely the Flambeau who had been following them trying to get into the regio.

After Fergus (who had won every contest against the Heroes of Ulster with some crazy over the top tricks) chickened out in the face of the Giant Uath’s ax. However, Selgir the Bjornaer (who may be leaving the covenant to study in the forest nearby) decided that if the final contest required that he put his head on the chopping block, he would was brave enough to do it. None of the Heroes from Ulster or any of the members of the PC’s party were that brave. (Spoiler alert: the giant let the mage cut his head off. But then he returned the next morning to swing his ax at the mage’s heard but reversed his ax blade so that it didn’t cut the Bjornaer’s neck). The last story “The Champion’s Portion” finished unexpectedly. Congratulations to Selgir and his player Adam S, for putting it all out there.

The final results where 3 gold arm bands with 1 pawn of teram vis each for Fergus, 1 gold arm band for Selgir of teram vis and the Champions Portion, a hind of beef that contains 15 pawns of animal vis! Every Mage got 10 xp and Sealgir got an extra confidence point.

GM NOTE: Remember there are basically different kinds of vis. Generally, raw vis is magical power given physical shape. Raw vis is the manifestation, or some would say the residue, of pure magic. As the stuff of magic, Raw Vis can be used in powerful ritual spells and allows magi to do magical feats that would otherwise be impossible. Magi treasure and trade raw vis much like mundanes do gold. Then there are some exceptional forms of raw vis.
Lesser Enchantment Vis – is a rare variety of raw vis acts like a naturally-occurring lesser enchanted device.
Spell-like Vis – This exceptional raw vis can be expended to create a magical effect similar to a formulaic or ritual spell.
Dedicated Vis – is especially useful for one type of activity, either casting spells, studying in the laboratory, or enchanting items. An InVim Lv5 Spell can tell you the nature of vis and whether it is exceptional vis. IF the vis source is legendary chances are it is exceptional. Exceptional vis can be used once to create some kind of magical effect. This is how many hedge wizards use magic – by using vis like a one time magic item.

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Spring 1225 - Mound of Crom Dubh

The Mound of Crom Dubh – 8 xp for Marcus and Feargus. 4 xp for Sealgir.

We made some adjustments to the story to better integrate it into the setting. I think it made it more concrete. For example, the Abbey visited was Melrose Abbey. (an interesting fact is that King Arthur is supposedly buried in the Eildon Hills, which overlook the village). The two feuding families were the more established Hume and The Scott. These borderland clan chiefs act as feudal nobles. The party did more research in the church archives of the abbey and interviewed Father Lachlann in more detail. Once they had enough information, they journeyed to the mound with the aid of The Hume’s son Thomas.

Once they found they mound using second sight they entered an opened cave entrance and journeyed through four different regios. Each one presented a different level of danger.

On the first level, there was nothing but a straight path that was clearly aligned with the son on St. Brigid’s day. This was the day the Mage Crispin ventured to the mound. On the second level, they found some of Crispin’s grogs dead. Around them more revenant bodies. Marcus attempted to summon the ghost of one of the grogs but made a rare botch and summoned a demon that possessed one of the corpses. It was a fearful start to their explorations. Demon’s Eternal Oblivion exercised the revenant and they learned more from the grog’s ghost. Each level could be passed through either by a sacrifice or by use of second sight.

On the third region, they encountered a carnal pit for blood sacrifices and a three headed vulture demon. It was fearsome, but it botched its effort to instill fear, and the overconfident Gille killed it with one bow shot. On the fourth level, they found gold and jewel offerings but left them undisturbed. Finding Crispin’s body the party retreated through the regios, and Fergus brought the stone ceiling of each passageway down behind them. Once outside they observed Hume and Scott horsemen skirmishing. However, the Hume were victorious and they took Thomas Hume with them and allowed the magi to leave un molested satisfied that there should be no more new revenants walking the bog between them and the Scotts.

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Autumn 1223 - Musical Murder Mystery

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“The Musician’s Murder” takes place in early Winter 1223. Sophia and Francois had 2 seasons of advancement before this story. All other magi/companions can advance for 3-4 seasons before their next story session.

The Musical Mystery Tour stars Redcap Francois Orlon (Aaron), Sophia Trianomae (Adam G), Garrett Trueford (Nick playing Eli’s grog), and Hammish and Seamish (Adam S). They arrived in a village on the way to Buittle Castle where an acquaintance of Francois named Baldwin lived. He was bard for the lords at Buittle Castle and other nobles in the area. Buittle was one of Alan’s keeps, held by his uncle and then father before him. Now it is the primary keep of his daughter and husband Robert Balloil.

The party arrived during Baldwin’s wake! Baldwin was found dead in his home by his wife early one morning. He was clutching his chest, a look of agony on his face and his many instruments were busted up around him. His teen daughter Olivia was also missing.

However, he was not the first to die. A traveling balladeer who had stopped in town to see Baldwin on his way to Sir Phillip’s (a local knight formerly in service to Alan of Galloway) had also been killed a couple of days earlier. His body was found off the path halfway between the village and Phillip’s manor.

As the wake ended, Garrett visited and examined the body of Baldwin, while Francois and Sophia spoke with his widow. Hammish and Seamis have spoken with Gus, a guardsman for Sir Phillip and a good pretty good musician himself. Francois has also spoken to another singer who had a issue with the local priest. The group stayed at an Inn run by a fellow named Otto. In the same inn was also Bartholomew, Baldwin’s friend who arrived shortly before Baldwin died.

The PCs were close to solving the murders of Paul and Baldwin, until Horace was found dead on the Church steps, his head having been smashed against the wall by the door. Everyone looked at Francois as there are few people left who can even carry a tune. However, they found Baldwin’s missing daughter, suffering from some kind of madness. Much of the investigation had to go off without Sophia who was sick in her room following something she ate at Baldwin’s wake. (Don’t eat undercooked haggis if you are from a more civilized country).

Fortunately, a spooky magus arrived having learned that not only people were being killed but large groups of animals. This was Sealgir (“Hunter”) the Bjornaer. He has great tracking skills and was able to cast a spell or two. Mainly he tracked things in his cat form.

One thing we learned is that it really sucks to have blatant gift. As a result, Adam has asked for quick character sheet revision, and we have traded out his blatant gift for study requirement both are major flaws the second reflects his trouble learning easily from books or vis that comes with not being apprenticed in a covenant.

In conclusion, for the Musical Murder Mystery – the following PC’s gain 10 Adventure experience (and a magic ivory flute): Francois and Sealgir. Sophia gets 5 xp because she got sick and missed most of the detectiving. The Grogs will be advanced as part of their annual advancement. There was no special xp awards.

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Spring 1223 - Faerie Queen

Where we left off, Sophia has returned from her trip to visit the different Merinitae that have information about Lady Cecelia and the Galloway Fey. Fergus and Marcus have asked the Bishop of Whithorn (aka Candida Casa) to determine the validity of the marriage between The Faerie Queen and Thomas the Bastard of Galloway. In addition, they have mobilized Cruggleton Castle to host a Tournament. We will assume that it is set for late Spring after Lent and invitations have been sent out.

During this Time The Faerie Queen has been active, sending her faerie heralds and centaurs to the edges of Galloway informing the populace of the death of Alan and the marriage and ascension of his son Thomas. Most people seem pleased as she has waived all taxes for this year in memory of Alan.

However, many of the nobles have voiced concerns. This is especially true for the lords who are not long native of Galloway and come from other parts of Scotland, England, and France. While many have married into Galloway noble families, some have a more tenuous connection to the land and celtic traditions. They have voiced concerns about a bastard inheriting when there are three legitimate daughters, one of whom is married to the powerful Roger d’ Quincy 2nd Earl of Winchester and the other is betrothed to John Baliol of Barnard Castle in County Durham, England. De Quincy has only taken control of his deceased father’s lands in 1221 since he was away on the 5th Crusade.

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Spring 1223
The Faerie Queen

While the game was short last week, it saw big changes to the political and magical landscape in Scotland. Alan FitzRoland, Lord of Galloway, Constable of Scotland, and the number 2 general of the realm, was killed by Lady Cecilia’s Faerie Knights. They were able to enter his castle grounds and caught him when he only had a couple of men at arms beside him. While one Faerie Knight kept the 2 guards occupied (without killing either I note), the second knight dueled with Alan. The Lord appeared evenly matched but a impressive move (a critical roll) left the Lord of Galloway incapacitated. Because one Faerie Knight had a moment of chivalry and could not kill the Lord as he lay bleeding, the other knight finished him off. (Aaron and Nick played the Faerie Knights against Adam S’s Alan).

During the time, the Marcus of Tremere and the party in the forest learned a bit more about the Faerie Queen Cecelia. They learned that she had once been married to another fey lord, who she appears to have “outlived”. They also met a faerie butler called Guma who claimed to have been the “cupbearer” of the old faerie lord. He seemed to know much of the goings on at the court.

Fearing that the Lord of Galloway was also in danger (after Cecelia let it slip that he was), sent Gille out of the forest to try to warn the man. But it was too late. Marcus then made his way from the remains of the wedding party and headed out of the forest with the rest of the group of companions and grogs.

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Spring 1223
The Bastard of Galloway

While the Patriots were letting the air out of the Seahawks hopes for a National Championship, the magi at the covenant were called to assist their benefactor Lord Alan FitzRoland, Lord of Galloway and Constable to the King of Scotland. A tragic attack had occurred at his capital Cruggleton Castle, where 4 of his nights apparently killed his wife Margaret of Huntingdon and kidnapped his 1 year old bastard Thomas. It was not clear why someone would take the child, much less kill the women who was not his mother.

The Magus Marcus accepted the challenge and taking Visnja and Vichengo he invited the Maga Sophia Bonisagus to assist with the investigation. She took Anne to help interpret. Magus Feargus sent Sweet Gille, knowing that his knowledge of the area and wilderness skills may come in handy. Marcus wanted to make a good impression on the powerful noble as well as protect the vis site found at the old arch on the castle’s grounds.

The party interviewed the Lord, servants and collected gossip. Marcus summoned the shade of Margaret before she was buried and learned that there was a mystery surrounding the bastard Thomas’ origins. She said Alan brought him home about 4 months ago by ship. He never revealed Thomas’ mother’s name. He also took note of her concern for her daughters still at their estate at Buittle Castle. Marcus quickly wrote a note to Feargus and sent it my messenger back to Covenant. Feargus made plans to travel to Buittle Castle.

Posing the Silent Question cast on Alan revealed Thomas’ birthplace as the shores of an island most likely Arran and the name Neria.

During this time the bodies of the 4 missing knights were found in a wooded area at the bottom of a vale on the road to the Machers. This vale had an enduring fog that Gille knew was unnatural. Marcus’ second sight confirmed this as well. The knights had been dead for 2 months. So who had road out on the North Road with the child?

Using the child’s clothes collected by Sophia, Marcus was able to pinpoint the child to a forest. After a day and a half they arrived. Crossing a river through the middle of the forest, Marcus knew instantly they were in a faerie wood. Sophia confirmed it, noting an Aura of 4. Venturing into the faerie woods Sophia and Sweet Gille noticed they were being followed by horsemen. As they were about to enter a clearing in the forest bows were drawn behind them and the party was ordered to stop. Looking back they saw half a dozen Centaur archers.

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Winter 1222
Council Meeting and Welcome Sophia Trianomae
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