In the Ruins of Bibracte

Preludes (prior to covenant founding)

What Came Before

A cloaked figure arrived at Apollodorus of Jerbiton’s manor to create the structures of the new covenant, as previously agreed. Unfortunately, the cloaked figure breeched the rules by asking the Jerbiton about the Aegis that he had cast by himself. As a consequence, the cloaked figure would no longer be allowed to keep the lab text that he would use to create the structures, but must instead return it to Apollodorus.

At a later dinner with Apollodorus, he and Janos discuss why Apollodorus would want to build a covenant on a site that was rumored to be a Diedne covenant. Apollodorus had done some personal investigation, and checked with House Guernicus, and was certain that there had never been a Diedne covenant there. Apollodorus was disgusted by Tribunal politics, as he kept being bothered by invitations to join covenants, and wanted to start his own covenant so that he would be left alone to focus on his other pursuits. He then showed Janos the regio entrance, and how to pass through, and the two wound up fifty feet above the ground in the Regio. He had commissioned a manor house to be built quickly (albeit by mundane means) to make the regio entrance more easily accessible. Apollodorus had also found a regio entrance on the mundane side, which led to a cavern. He had not been able to find the entrance to the cavern, however, and wanted Janos to help investigate. He also hired Janos to create structures on the regio side.

Some months later, Andru paid an unexpected call to see what Apollodorus was doing. Apollodorus said that he had made no secret of his plans. He went on to say that he had served long enough and no longer wished to. He would continue to host the Antigones and their masters, however, if they came to visit, and would sponsor some of them on their Itinerarium should a master be unable to.
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Fieltarn ex Miscellanea had been captured and tortured by his own clutch of Aes Criedne, who had killed his pater some twenty years earlier. They had used the Stone of Pain on him in an attempt to get him to renounce Hermetic magic, as the clutch felt that their Tradition was being destroyed by the Order, subdued by Christianity, or enslaved by the order of Diedne the Traitress. A trio of magical vipers managed to free Fieltarn from his bonds, allowing him to gain his vengeance on those who had killed his pater.
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In the summer of 1219, Korvin of Mercere visited Apollodorus to let him know that the magical Mercere intended to make his residence at the new covenant. However, he would not be able to move for another year.
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Toward the end of 1219, Fiona ex Miscellanea received a pair of letters at her home in Loch Leglean. One was from Apollodorus, to let her know that the covenant that was the subject of much of their correspondence was almost completed, and would be ready for her to arrive in the spring. The other was from Angus Mac Ossian, her full-Giant cousin, telling her that she was to move to the continent as soon as possible, to work on her dream of normalizing Giant-human relations. She informed the Council of the Covenant of Insula Canaria that she would be leaving within the fortnight, an announcement they did not delight in hearing. Fiona broke down and packed her laboratory, and made a deal with a local merchant by the name of William the Conqueror to get a couple of carts and some draught animals; William bargained to accompany the maga in exchange for ten draughts of a popularity potion. Fiona’s maidservant Moire and Moire’s husband Seumas convinced Fiona to take them along, to spare them from retribution for Fiona’s leaving. Ivor MacBride, who had grown up amongst the giants of Clan MacOssian despite being fully human, found the group camping just north of Hadrian’s Wall and informed Fiona that he was sent by Angus to be her new bodyguard.
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Alexei of Flambeau and his entourage dined at an inn near Autun. A boy found a guide to take them to their destination the next day, and said that the guide had been taking a lot of masons and strange folk to the ruins lately.

The next day, they passed the ruined Temple of Janus en route. Shortly after entering the forest, the group found themselves surrounded by a number of men, lead by a seven-foot-tall dark-skinned man dressed in skins and bearing a sheathed scimitar. The leader introduced himself, in German, as Alexei’s captor, Mufarjj ibn Walid. Mufarjj then drew his sword, and all of Alexei’s entourage fainted, while the magus felt his parma repel an attack. Mufarjj claimed that his master told him much about Alexei, to make him easier to defeat and to capture, and promised by Allah that if Alexei yielded, his cohort would come to no harm.

Alexei cast Assume the Stature of the Giants of Eld to make himself seem larger, which caused a couple of Mufarjj’s men to bolt. He then tried to cast a couple of spells on Mufarjj, with no result. Mufarjj then swung at Alexei, but the Moor’s scimitar froze in mid-air, allowing Alexei to score a solid hit to the chest with his spear. Mufarjj cried out to his master to save him, then collapsed, unconscious. His skins and scabbard dissipated into a black mist which flew toward Alexei. The mist formed a face with eyes and a malicious smile as it drew near Alexei, then split in two to go around him before reforming and flying off to the southeast. Mufarjj’s scimitar, meanwhile, still hung suspended in mid-air. His mean broke and ran, while Alexei’s came to. Alexei and his men managed to muscle the gravely wounded man into their cart, at which point his scimitar fell to the ground.

As Alexei approached Bibracte, he took note of the indefensible nature of the place, where the only wall present was the one along the road, and the remains of any other walls in the area had been scavenged for building stones for years. He was greeted by Apollodorus. Alexei informed him of the attack and said that he would like Mufarjj healed, as he may still be of use to the covenant. The grogs were shown their relatively opulent barracks, which gave Alexei fear that they would grow soft. Apollodorus showed Alexei the regio entrance and the new structures in the Regio, and also pointed out the second regio entrance in a cave that would likely become the Criamon’s sanctum.
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Iosephus of Criamon sat on the edge of a rugged cliff at the end of Wales. He knew that a great wind was coming, as he could feel it in the Tide of the Inspiratio. When the time was right, he flung himself from the cliff onto the wind and floated across the channel to Bibracte. While he was airborne, he had a vision. He saw several structures, a manor house and several outbuildings that were quite well made, sitting on top of a tall plateau. He began to notice some things amiss. There were sheep milling about, but some were lying on the ground, torn apart. Next to one of the rent sheep was a human arm, tossed and bent awkwardly at the elbow. Looking about him,he saw that carts were overturned, and then saw several people looking toward the manor. Looking back at the manor, Iosephus saw that it had been severely damaged, and where one would expect to find a door, he instead saw a roughly man-shaped hole over twelve feet tall. Then he saw two giants. Between them, they caught someone running toward them, rent the person down the middle and tossed the pieces aside, only to move on to the next person. One of the giants was a woman, about twelve feet tall, while the other was a man a foot taller; both were dressed in animal skins and had clubs some six feet long lying on the ground. After the person had been torn asunder, they picked up their clubs. People continued to run toward them, and each giant swung, knocking people flying backwards in the air. Suddenly coming into view was a scowling man with deep, reddish-brown hair and beard and deep brown eyes. The man wielded a great two-handed sword with remarkable skill. Anyone who ran toward him was cut in half. The people running turned and ran back to the giants, who dispatched them in turn. The cycle repeated until none were left.

Iosephus hoped that the vision was allegorical, but feared that it wasn’t.

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