In the Ruins of Bibracte

1222.2c Your Presence Is Requested and Required

Dramatis personæ

  • Carmine ex Flamebeau – powerful Flamebeau magus. Married to Andru ex Jerbiton
  • Korvin ex Mercere – Magus from Mons Electi
  • Poena – Tremere Prima
  • Elain – Shield Grog to Laetitia ex Guernicus
  • Insatella – Mercere Prima
  • Arabella – A redcap at Harco
  • Garus ex Flamebeau – Flamebeau Primia
  • Lucius ex Flamebeau – Magus from Castra Solis
  • Maria – Daughter and heir to Insatella
  • Murion – Bonisagus Prima
  • Caecilius ex Bonisagus – Quaesitor
  • Laetitia ex Guernicus – Magus from Mons Electi
  • Moebius ex Guernicus – mentor to Laetitia powerful Terram magus.

Branched from the Lost Boys plot.

After Elain accidentally reveals that Apollodorus is actually Xenophon of Tremere, Carmine sends Korvin to gather many of the Primi at Durenmar for a meeting. Korvin must travel to Coeris, Harco, Castra Solis and Durenmar to send deliver his message.

Apollodorus transports Korvin and Elain to Coeris ( that had been attacked) where they meet with Poena. She tells Korvin to return to Harco and destroy the portal to Magvillus.

Korvin arrives at Harco to see it in flames. Insatella has been badly burnt. After stabilizing Insatella he goes to the Magcillus portal and destroys it thus getting a lot of Redcaps mad at him. He then heads to the Castra Solis portal, taking care not to hurt any of the Redcaps but to just protect himself and Elain.

Once through to Castra Solis he finds the place locked down. Garus has been assassinated. Lucius arrives and listens to Korvin’s tale. He gathers 3 Hoplites to help with the fires at Harco and sends them back with Korvin.

Korvin is met with some hostility but is able to heal Insatella and several others. He does learn that Maria is in Magvillus. He goes with his Prima to Durenmar for the meeting.

Murion calls the meeting to order and then indicates Poena should start things off. “Each of you here, except, perhaps, Korvin knows that Xenophon of Tremere has been killed tonight. Until his death, he was probably the oldest magus. Apollodorus was gauntleted shortly after the Schism, and was a product of that environment. He was haunted by a lab accident that left him extraordinarily Gifted a few years after his gauntlet. He did much for my House, and much was given to him. He became a student of the Schism, and indeed of all the troubles the Order has had from within. After a hundred hears of study he drew a startling conclusion, that House Guernicus was behind all of the troubles, and it all began with the Duresca scrolls.” Cavillor hisses, “House Guernicus cannot have done all that you claim, they simply aren’t powerful enough, they maintain order in our ranks, and nothing else!”

Poena returns a laugh, but one with no hint of mirth or humor, “I have copies of Apollodorus’ research, of how he connected the dots.” She waves her hands and several volumes are brought out and provided to everyone present, including Korvin. “Apollodorus had been lying low for these last few years, until he found what he was seeking. He built Mons Electi on the spot of a former covenant of House Diedne.” A few people draw in a sharp breath when they hear her call the House by name. “Apollodorus, had been inquired as to whether it was safe to build a covenant in that location, several members of House Guernicus assured him it was, never mentioning what had been there previously, even though Apollodorus knew what was there. One of the things that troubled him most was that House Guernicus always seemed to prefer destroying evidence, preventing others from learning about their mistakes. As loremasters, destroying evidence and lore should be a last resort. It is not lore that makes us evil, it is how we use it. Why not destroy the books on the Arts, if lore is truly so dangerous. Xenophon understood this, and began making trouble for House Guernicus, after several attempts on his life, he let one appear to be successful and assumed a new identity, and apprenticed with Astrolabe of Jerbiton.”

Andru picks up the tale, “Of course, that wasn’t the case. He was an apprentice in name only, in reality he was my master as much as Astrolabe was. He taught me much, but how I am most appreciative of him was that he taught me how to look at the way House Guernicus was isolating us, and keeping knowledge of our past hidden. Why is it that people who even bring mention of the Duresca scrolls get punished so severely? Threats of being marched if they don’t keep quiet. And then there is the stranglehold that the House maintains on the Normandy Tribunal, odd rulings allowing covenants to continue exist in a nearly perpetual state of near/almost war enshrined into that Tribunal’s peripheral code. Why are the places of House Diedne kept secret, lost in lore only to the records House Guernicus keeps to themselves. And then there is the central mystery, the one that I don’t think Apollodorus solved. Little is know of what happened to Guernicus, the Founder, how he died, only rumors and innuendo remain. Fenicil spoke for him in his later years, and then once he became Primus of the House, that’s when, apparently the Tremere were seeking to dominate the Order.”

Murion speaks, interrupting Andru before continuing, “There is a clear pattern beginning with the supposed Tremere domination, escalating into the Schism War. And here is where it is most disconcerting. It has long been rumored that House Guernicus has amassed a collection of ancient magical artifacts and rituals, which they keep to themselves. It was during the Schism, that Xeneophon’s pater, as the Quaesitor of House Tremere witnessed the ritual murder of the Diedne representative, cursing that House and weakening it to allow the rest of the Order to defeat House Diedne. Notice the targets, Houses that were tightly woven with strong sense of duty to one’s house. House Tremere and House Diedne were both greatly weakened, and only House Guernicus remains that strong sense of duty to the House amongst its members. And it is all covered by a cloak of service to the Order.”

Discussion continues into the afternoon, Korvin hears some other things, but mostly he’s in a daze. One tidbit he plucked out of the conversation is that Garus had been a confidant of Xenophon and was targeted because of that relationship, and that Garus was attempting to build a tightly woven sense of duty to the Order and the House into the Flambeau, and it was beginning to work.

Upon returning to Harco they find that Laetitia has been able to save Maria from Magvillus. She and Korvin have some tense moments as she explains how she was controlled and brainwashed into revealing Apollodorus’ real identity to her House which lead to his assassination.

“There are some things you must know, before today’s events will make much sense to you.” Laetitia pauses, and then leans back in her chair and continues. "My Gift is particularly suited towards the mastery of spells. This same aptitude is especially well suited to certain other rituals, discovered by Fenicil, the existence of said rituals are also a closely guarded secret of the House.

“My Hermetic pater is my vulgar father, whom you know as Iudicium scholae Guernici, the Presiding Quaesitor of Stonehenge. He is on Magvillus’ inner council, and despite his… complex relationship with me, sees it as a matter of personal honour that I be groomed as his heir. It was thus that I was taught certain secrets of the House, on the pretense that the Order may soon face a great threat, which would call for drastic measures.” She pauses for a moment, as if considering how best to say what is to come. “I had often wondered at many inconsistencies in the accounts of the Schism War, and when father taught me a ritual which would curse an entire people, involving a blood sacrifice… I suffered a crisis of faith.”

Laetitia clears her throat. "I believe firmly in the rule of law, that no one is above the law, especially not those tasked with its enforcement. That my own House would commit such a heinous crime, under the pretense of being “for the greater good,” shocked and appalled me. I demanded reassignment, reassured my superiors that I would keep the House’s secrets, and they insisted that they would not call upon me to betray my principles under any circumstances. I was reassigned to Normandy, where Proctor asked me to keep an eye on Apollodorus, with no explanation of what his interest was. I assumed it was in furtherance of his stranglehold on the Tribunal’s politics.

“Apollodorus told me that he was interested in claiming his rightful place as Praeco of the Tribunal. So when it became clear that he is Xenophon…. You must understand, I had been told my entire life that Xenophon parens was a power-hungry sociopath, dangerously charming and a great manipulator of people, bent on destroying the Order’s structure and plunging us all into chaos. Father had even hinted at times that Xenophon’s parens was directly responsible for framing Diedne, and ultimately causing that entire House’s destruction through his manipulations.

“Did I believe this of the man I had come to know over the months? Of course not. I have very good instincts, which had never, until today, led me astray. I did, however, know that Valerian had long been pulling strings, abusing Quaesitorial authority to spy upon Apollodorus, and Mons Electi at large. I had every expectation that, by confirming their suspicions, Magvillus would charge Apollodorus with whatever evidence they had against him, that Xenophon would be tried by a court of his peers, and that with me as his advocate, charges would be dropped. I thought that by speaking out, we would finally be able to live in peace.” She laughs bitterly. “I suppose it was hubris on my part. I could never have imagined that the inner council would flagrantly disregard the rule of law. As soon as I was debriefed, they began assembling strike teams— and when I objected and tried to assert standard protocol, not only was I overruled, but Valerian sealed me in my former sanctum— without an aegis token.”

Moebius nods then. “My familiar had told me there was a great hubbub above, but I was not concerned with it until I heard sounds from the abandoned sanctum next door to me. I tunnelled through the seal on Laetitia’s door, and we made our way to find young Maria. We fought our way to the Mercere Portal, but its magic was dormant. The inner council must have known we would try to escape that way, and sacrificed the portal to trap us. Instead, we sabotaged part of the fortress and tunnelled our way out. Which brings us here, and now.”

Laetitia frowns. "We cannot openly oppose the inner council at this point. But the primi must be made aware that the upper echelon of House Guernicus has committed grievous crimes in furtherance of their bid for power, and will do worse, if given the opportunity. I would have them believe we support them, while we quietly muster opposition. The damage we did to the Magvillus fortress will allow us to dissemble, and claim that Magvillus was attacked at the same time as the other domus magna. If we spread this misinformation, Magvillus may believe we can be controlled, which may buy time for ourselves.

“I cannot undo my own actions. I will always have Apollodorus’ blood on my hands, and I will have to find some way to live with that. He foresaw what was coming, though; it is no coincidence that he gave me his will when he did. I believe he took comfort in knowing I would take up arms and continue his work… I believe, perhaps, he thought that I would finish it. Which I intend to do.

“So now, I must ask. Will you stand with me?”

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