In the Ruins of Bibracte
Tranquillina Bonisagi, filia Maximianus
(stats are through 1228.4 – see character advancement)
Weight: 102 lbs
Birth year: 1166
Gauntlet year: 1193
Age: 63 (15)
Characteristics: Int +3, Sta -3, Str -2, Dex -1, Qik -1, Com +3, Prs +2, Per +2
Decrepitude: 1 (2)
Longevity Ritual: +7
Warping Score: 2 (11.5)
Confidence: 1 (0)
Personality Traits: Insecure +3, Patient +2, Social +2, Addicted +1 (3)
Reputations: Affluent Corpus Researcher 1 (3), House Acclaim 0 (2)
Virtues: The Gift, Hermetic Magus, Puissant Magic Theory; Flawless Magic; Affinity with Corpus, Affinity with Magic Theory, Enduring Magic, Magic Sensitivity, Puissant Intrigue, Side Effect1, Unaging
Flaws: Tormenting Master, Waster of Vis; Fragile Constitution, Oversensitive (being judged unfairly), Unimaginative Learner, Vis Allergy2
1 Every time Tranquillina successfully casts a spell, she briefly gains the ability to sense the presence of nearby vis. The more vis there is, the more nauseated she feels; a rook of vis is generally enough to cause her to vomit. Mechanically, she can sense the presence of vis within a radius of (10 x magnitude of spell) paces of herself; this radius decreases by 10 paces per round until it disappears. She wouldn’t know the type of vis; she wouldn’t automatically know its exact location, but could triangulate it reasonably well if necessary.
2 Vis Allergy (custom Minor Hermetic Flaw): Whenever Tranquillina is in the presence of vis, all of her rolls and totals take a penalty based on the amount of vis present: -1 for a number of pawns up to her current Vim score, -3 for up to 2x her Vim score, and -5 for more than 2x her Vim score. This penalty is triggered by any vis that Tranquillina is carrying on her person, that is touching her, or that she is currently sensing (naturally or supernaturally).
Soak: +0 (includes constant Doublet of Impenetrable Silk)
Dodge: Initiative -1, Defense +2
Fist: Initiative -1, Attack +1, Defense +1, Damage -2
Kick: Initiative -2, Attack +1, Defense +0, Damage +1
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-5), -3 (6-10), -5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20)
Athletics 2 (running)
Artes Liberales 1 (logic)
Awareness 2 (being watched)
Brawl 2 (dodge)
Carouse 2 (2) (conversations while carousing)
Charm 2 (1) (distracting attention from herself)
Civil and Canon Law 1 (international law)
Code of Hermes 2 (apprentices)
Concentration 1 (conversations)
Etiquette 2 (1) (addressing magi)
Finesse 2 (14) (Corpus)
Folk Ken 3 (1) (their opinions of her)
French 3 (4) (Diocetes duties)
Gaelic 5 (expansive vocabulary)
Guile 3 (playing dumb)
Intrigue 2+2 (11) (alliances)
Latin 4 (Hermetic usage)
Leadership 1 (calming others)
Magic Theory 7+2 (17.5) (Corpus)
Magic Sensitivity 3 (magical creatures)
Order of Hermes Lore 1 (4) (Hermetic lineages)
Parma Magica 4 (Ignem) – don’t forget to subtract Magic Sensitivity
Penetration 2 (Perdo)
Scribe 1 (books to study from)
Stealth 2 (quiet movement)
Survival 2 (when alone)
Swim 2 (long distances)
Cr 6 (2), In 6, Mu 12, Pe 14 (2), Re 9
An 8, Aq 0, Au 0, Co 29, He 0, Ig 0, Im 10, Me 10, Te 5, Vi 7 (1)
When Tranquillina casts a spell, people nearby briefly feel a mild sense of nausea; if the spell fatigues her, she also feels the nausea. She votes in Hermetic meetings with a third-century Roman coin depicting Augusta Tranquillina, wife of Gordianus III.
Stories of the Beast (gives an animal the ability to speak. MuAn 15: Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Diam) – Mastery 3 (5) (Still Casting, Quiet Casting x2)
Bind Wound (CrCo 10) – Mastery 1 (Penetration)
Bind the Giantess’s Wound (CrCo 15) – Mastery 1 (Penetration)
Purification of the Festering Wounds (CrCo 20) – Mastery 1 (Still Casting)
Purification of the Lingering Ailments (CrCo 20) – Mastery 1 (Still Casting)
Incantation of the Body Made Whole (CrCo 40) – Mastery 1 (Quiet Casting)
The Inexorable Search (InCo 20) – Mastery 1 (Penetration)
The Eye of the Sage (InCo 30) – Mastery 1 (Penetration)
Disguise of the New Visage (MuCo 15) – Mastery 3 (5) (Penetration, Quiet Casting x2)
The Wound that Weeps (PeCo 15) – Mastery 3 (5) (Multiple Casting, Fast Casting, Penetration)
Invocation of Weakness (PeCo 20) – Mastery 1 (Multiple Casting)
Twist of the Tongue (PeCo 30) – Mastery 1 (Penetration)
Lifting the Dangling Puppet (ReCo 15) – Mastery 2 (Penetration, Still Casting)
Wizard’s Leap (ReCo 15) – Mastery 2 (Fast Casting, Quiet Casting)
The Gift of Vigour (ReCo 20) – Mastery 1 (Fast Casting)
Ward Against the Curious Scullion (ReCo 30) – Mastery 1 (Penetration)
Leap of Homecoming (ReCo 35) – Mastery 1 (Still Casting)
The Ear for Distant Voices (InIm 20) – Mastery 1 (Penetration)
Eyes of the Eagle (InIm 25) – Mastery 1 (Still Casting)
Veil of Invisibility (PeIm 20) – Mastery 3 (5) (Still Casting, Quiet Casting x2)
Ambush on the Deserted Road (PeIm 20) – Mastery 1 (Imperturbable Casting)
Wizard’s Sidestep (ReIm 10) – Mastery 2 (Fast Casting, Still Casting)
Panic of the Trembling Heart (CrMe 15) – Mastery 3 (5) (Fast Casting, Penetration, Quiet Casting)
The Two-Faced Diplomat (CrMe 15) – see The Wizard’s Grimoire, page 168 (ArM5 level calculation: Base 4, +1 Eye, +2 Sun) – Mastery 1 (Still Casting)
Perception of the Conflicting Motives (InMe 15) – Mastery 2 (Quiet Casting, Still Casting)
Enchantment of Detachment (PeMe 15) – Mastery 1 (Still Casting)
Aura of Rightful Authority (ReMe 20) – Mastery 2 (Still Casting, Quiet Casting)
The Resolute Mind of the Tireless Researcher (ReMe 20) – from Covenants, page 122 – Mastery 1 (Quiet Casting)
Shroud Magic (MuVi 15, with Duration: Diameter) – Mastery 1 (Quiet Casting)
Wizard’s Communion (MuVi 15) – Mastery 1 (Still Casting)
Unraveling the Fabric of Imaginem (PeVi 10) – Mastery 1 (Unraveling)
Tranquillina’s talisman, which she wears constantly, is a long cloak of dark grey wolfskin, its predominant decoration being a fibula (a Roman-style fastening brooch). The fibula is a square piece of human bone (from a scapula, actually, not a leg), with the two-key House Bonisagus insignia inlaid upon it in gold. The two circles in the keys’ handles are set with amber and yellow topaz stones, while the third circle formed by the crossing of the keys is set with an opal. A nearby fold of wolfskin is available to cover the fibula if discretion is necessary.
Attunements: The cloak gives Tranquillina the following bonuses: +5 on spells that alter or suppress her image, +3 on Corpus spells, +6 on spells affecting eyes, +4 on spells related to peace, +4 on spells that transform her, and +4 on spells related to travel. Only the highest bonus applies to any one spell.
Capacity: There are 12 pawns’ worth of effects already in the cloak; it currently does not have room for any more, although its capacity could easily be increased.
Aura of Ennobled Presence (MuIm level 10, one use per day = level 10)
Doublet of Impenetrable Silk (MuAn 15, +4 for constant effect = level 19)
Gift of the Bear’s Fortitude (MuCo 25, +5 for twenty-four uses per day = level 30)
Invisible Sling of Vilano (ReTe 10, +6 for fifty uses per day = level 16)
Outfit for Any Occasion (MuIm, changes the appearance and feel of the cloak – Base 2, Per, +2 Sun, Ind; +5 for twenty-four uses per day = level 10)
Shape of the Woodland Prowler (MuCo(An) 25, -5 for Personal instead of Touch, +2 for three uses per day = level 22)
Beneath her talisman, Tranquillina wears a plan woolen kirtle, chausses, and sturdy walking boots, as well as appropriate underlinens for comfort. She carries a small pouch, in which she keeps her coin sigil; a splinter of wood serving as an Arcane Connection to her bedroom, and a chip from the floor tile under the door to her receiving room; and two small stones that are also Arcane Connections, one to a spot just inside the Aegis of the Hearth on the mundane side of the regio, the other to the plateau upon which the Tribunal city was built. (She periodically tests these for potency, using The Ear for Distant Voices, and replaces them when necessary.)
In her laboratory, she also stores two Arcane Connection rocks from locations just outside other covenants, namely Le Maison d’Levrier and Nigrasaxa; these are permanent, having been fixed in the spring of 1226. Other Arcane Connections are a lock of Loys’s hair wrapped in a kerchief (acquired in the autumn of 1227) and a cloth that has soaked up Cumhachd ex Tytalus’s saliva (fixed in the winter of 1228). She also keeps a coin bearing a wolf insignia, which was a casting token to Rose’s “Field Aegis” in the summer of 1223. On her lab’s main writing stand, she has a silver inkwell, delicately engraved with leaf-and-vine motifs with images of Augusta Tranquillina interspersed throughout, and a matching quill holder.
Tranquillina’s statistics when in wolf form
Characteristics: Int +3, Sta 0, Str -2, Dex +1, Qik +1, Com +3, Prs 0, Per +2
Additional Virtues and Flaws: Long-Winded (a +3 on non-spell Fatigue rolls), Sharp Ears (a +3 to hearing rolls); Compulsion (killing), Infamous
Qualities relevant to play: Keen Sense of Smell (a +3 to smell rolls, a +2 to Hunt rolls)
Additional Personality Traits: Brave +3, Cowardly +3
Teeth: Initiative -1, Attack +8, Defense +6, Damage +0
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, 0, -1, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-4), -3 (5-8), -5 (9-12), Incapacitated (13-16)
Athletics 5 (distance running)
Awareness 3 (smell)
Brawl 5 (teeth)
Hunt 4 (track by smell)
Survival 5 (winter)
Abilities from her main list, as appropriate
Eskil was born to a chirurgeon in the royal burgh of Eilginn, a coastal town in the northern reaches of the Loch Leglean Tribunal. Even when she was three or four, her speech was often characterized as being more like that of an adult than of a child. While her father enjoyed her precociousness, her mother felt constant unease in Eskil’s presence, an attitude unfortunately shared by many of their neighbors. After a few more years had passed, it was not uncommon for maladies and accidents in the community to be blamed on her in whispers.
When Eskil was eight years old, her father hosted a visit by Cailleach-Dhubh Cumhachd, a nun from the abbey in nearby Farrais. The nun was amused by Eskil’s expansive vocabulary as they supped; as the meal concluded, Cumhachd leaned over the girl with a quiet prayer, after which her face took on an expression of deep seriousness. By the end of the evening, Cumhachd had negotiated a steep price from the chirurgeon for the privilege of having Eskil enrolled in the abbey school.
For four years Eskil did little but study Latin and learn to read. Her conversations with the nuns were pleasant, but she had no real friends. One day, at the age of twelve, she accompanied Cumhachd on a routine shopping trip; this day, however, they returned not to the abbey but to a small group of towers out on the moors. Eskil was told that her instruction would continue at this isolated location, and she soon came to the conclusion that Cumhachd was no true nun. Gradually she learned the truth: she was now the apprentice of Cumhachd ex Tytalus, and her innate Gift was awakened two months later with the opening of the Arts.
At first, Eskil’s keen eye and quick understanding of Hermetic magic pleased her mater, although the maga seldom allowed praise to interfere with a traditionally brutal Tytalus apprenticeship. Nevertheless, progress was steady for the first seven years, as Eskil was slowly broken down and prepared for reforging with an iron will. But the winter of 1185 held tragedy for Eskil: an experiment gone severely awry sent vis streaming into every corner of the laboratory. Only the Parma-clad Cumhachd was spared; the accident begat considerable changes to Eskil’s life – supernatural, physical, and psychological.
She found herself innately attuned to magic: her lessons in Hermetic theory seemed almost obvious to her, and her spells were more durable than usual. She even found herself able to perceive magical places and effects with little more difficulty than checking the weather. However, she grew extremely apprehensive about vis, disinclined to use or even touch any item containing it. She also became physically frail and easily susceptible to bruises and maladies, which prodded her to start focussing her studies on Corpus.
Furious with Eskil’s increasing reluctance to participate in enchanting and other laboratory work, and knowing it would eventually make the apprentice even stronger, Cumhachd refocused her training so that vis was everywhere she turned. But Eskil grew adept at wriggling out of such duties, her deceptions becoming more and more tenuous; as Cumhachd would never relent until her filia succeeded, the apprenticeship devolved into an impasse for two long years. Eventually, the Redcap rumor network made the situation an open secret within the local Tribunals. Tria Trianomae, seeing an opportunity for leverage, stepped in to claim Eskil as her apprentice by right of her lineage in House Bonisagus. At the age of 21, the apprentice moved south from her first covenant to her second.
As part of the negotiated transaction, Tria forbade Cumhachd from having any contact with Eskil until her Gauntlet had passed; the Tytalus, demonstrating excellent Hippian ethics, solemnly agreed to the restriction and then proceeded to ignore it. Letters found their way into Eskil’s chamber, this one praising her (faintly), that one goading her into facing her fears in the laboratory, the next one chiding her for lack of loyalty or gratitude to her ex-mater. Eskil struggled with the new path set for her: on the one hand, she was genuinely interested in the Trianomae path, with its social aspects and its analytical study of the politics of the Order; on the other hand, she was constantly reminded of her failures under her first mater, and kept drifting into side projects irrelevant to Tria’s exacting plan for her development.
It is conceivable that Eskil might have eventually found her balance and matured into a worthy filia for Tria; however, the elder maga had no time to waste in suboptimal situations. A deal was struck between sodales, and Eskil was informed that she had been sold to yet another magus, Maximianus of the Bonisagi path. In 1189, the young woman relocated once again to her fifth home and began her fourth plan of study.
Happily, the new environment was a better fit for the fate-buffeted apprentice. She was permitted to speak with the other Hermetic inhabitants, some of whom were in the Spring or Summer of their lives; and Maximianus, while emotionally detached, tolerated her mood swings and vacillating interests as long as she steadily progressed towards her Gauntlet. Cumhachd’s interference (however well-intentioned) continued, perhaps with a bit less vigor, but it was not enough to derail Eskil this time. After four years working and studying, Eskil was taken for her Theoretical Interview, which she passed with flying colors.
On the last day of her apprenticeship, the keys to the Parma Magica ritual still spinning in her proud head, she dined with her pater and received two gifts from him. First, he bestowed upon her a Hermetic name: Tranquillina, a venerable name of imperial Roman origin just like Maximianus itself, and one which he hoped would signify a more peaceful soul for her as a mage. Second, he handed her a single silver coin, almost a millenium old, that depicted Augusta Tranquillina herself. The obverse, he told her, represented the intellectual pursuits of the Bonisagi; the reverse signified the value in harmony among magi of the Order.
Unfortunately, Cumhachd remained convinced that Eskil (as she still called her) never earned the right to take the Hermetic oath, but rather had contrived to sidestep a true Gauntlet through House connections. With dogmatic certainty, the Tytalus maga knew that Eskil’s character would never be wholly formed until she addressed her unwillingness to defeat her visiphobia; she resolved not to relent on manipulating Eskil into facing her fears.
The newly proclaimed Tranquillina Bonisagi continued to pursue both her own spell-invention projects and active participation in the politics of the Order of Hermes, although resources at Nigrasaxa were scant enough to somewhat limit the possibilities. Many were the nights she found herself working late in her laboratory, sustained more by magical stimulant than by nourishment and rest, driven by Cumhachd’s goads (and ultimately her own self-doubt, still fueled by her failure to complete the rigorous Tytalus training) that she had not yet demonstrated her worth as a maga.
1166: Eskil is born in Eilginn (northern Loch Leglean Tribunal).
1174: Cumhachd ex Tytalus meets Eskil and enrols her in the abbey school in Farrais.
1178: Eskil becomes Cumhachd’s apprentice at the Loch Leglean covenant of Lamh nam Monadh (“Hand of the Moor”).
1185: Eskil survives a severe laboratory accident under Cumhachd’s supervision. Eskil becomes obsessed with Corpus and avoiding lab activities.
1187: Tria Trianomae claims Eskil as her apprentice. The two move around the Stonehenge, Loch Leglean, and Hibernia Tribunals, shadowing the Spring Tenens Occultorum. Eskil proves not to be a suitable pupil for Tria’s strict curriculum.
1189: Tria, eager for more representation of House Bonisagus in the north, convinces Maximianus to relocate to the Stonehenge covenant of Burnham. Eskil’s apprenticeship is transferred to Maximianus as part of the negotiations; they share interests in understanding wounds and diseases, and Maximianus tailors a plan of study to accommodate Eskil’s apprehensions about vis.
1193: Eskil passes her Gauntlet; Maximianus gives her the Hermetic name Tranquillina. Tranquillina stays at Burnham, slightly shielded from Cumhachd’s badgering.
1194: The Stonehenge Tribunal meeting is declared void due to lack of attendance. Maximianus is dumbfounded by the resignation and lack of engagement, especially compared to the combative Roman Tribunal and highly structured Greater Alps Tribunal.
1195: Stonehenge is not represented at the Sixteenth Grand Tribunal of the Order of Hermes.
1200: Blackthorn calls another Tribunal meeting, but again nobody else comes (despite Maximianus’s urging of his sodales at Burnham) and the meeting is inquorate.
1201: Disgusted with the isolation of Burnham and Blackthorn’s unchallenged dominance of the Stonehenge Tribunal, Maximianus founds the new covenant of Nigrasaxa. Tranquillina and Ariel ex Flambeau, filia Thoros, accompany him from Burnham to Nigrasaxa, where they are joined by four other Spring magi. Nigrasaxa calls a Tribunal meeting, which is successful. Under Maximianus’s prodding, Hermetic politics in Stonehenge becomes more engaged.
1216: Tranquillina receives a copy of Apollodorus’s letter describing the creation of Mons Electi. Although she shows no interest, a cordial correspondence is begun.
1219: Cumhachd sends Tranquillina a goading letter deriding her complacency at staying in Maximianus’s shadow at Nigrasaxa. In reaction, Tranquillina requests membership at Mons Electi from Apollodorus. Eventually they agree to postpone until after the next Tribunal.
1222: The Stonehenge Tribunal meeting is held at Blackthorn. Afterwards, Tranquillina resigns from Nigrasaxa and writes to (the deceased) Apollodorus, formally requesting membership. The letter ends up in Theraphosa’s hands.
1223: Leaving many of her possessions in storage at Nigrasaxa, Tranquillina accepts Tria’s invitation to visit Le Maison while the matter of her stalled application to Mons Electi is sorted out.
(for more recent life events, see roleplay events)