End Times

A Tumultuous Winter

Ferra,

The covenant has accepted these 4 itinerant magi as guests for the winter. Freki vouched for their good character, so we have allowed them rooms and access to our spare laboratories. It would seem that these magi are making use of the labs and the time to gather themselves. WE have also taken advantage of the many books they have at their disposal. We have allowed them to copy some from our library in exchange for them copying texts from ours. This has turned out to be a very fruitful arrangement for both groups.

The giant of the group has made friends with some of our coven folk and began assisting in some of their more, menial, duties. One of our grogs mentioned the old mine and that it had fallen into disuse for decades. On his way through the snow to visit the mine, he encountered one of the portals that occasionally open in the valley. He returned to the covenant to report his findings. Shortly thereafter he collected two of his companions and set off into the portal to investigate. By my recollection, no one has made any serious investigations into the portals in three decades. So this was an opportunity to get some firsthand knowledge. When the three of them returned, they claimed to have killed a frost giant. They produced a mighty axe as proof of their deed.

From here we should start preparing for the “tribunal” that will be held in Lubeck. We will be sending two of our number with these magi as there is safety in numbers on the road.

Julia of Tremere
Colem Leonis

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Grim Tidings

Magi of Colem Leonis,

My journey to the island of Rügen was uneventful. Once I had made landfall, however, I discovered there was a group of magi floundering their way through the wilderness. I made the assumption they were also heading to Crintera. I arrived ahead of them at the village of Bergen to determine their intentions. The night of their arrival I made myself known to them and discussed their plan. It seems these magi have taken it upon themselves to travel around the tribunal and make contact with all the covenants. Essentially creating a census of the remaining wizards in the tribunal. From what I gathered, their altruism seems to be legitimate.

We agreed to travel to Crintera together and set out the next morning. Upon arrival at the covenant, we discovered that there had been a significant battle. The long houses and huts were burned or damaged. And there were bodies of the covenfolk strewn about. We scoured the entire covenant and all levels of the regio that are known to me. There were additional bodies of some of the magi present. Each of the magi appeared to be laid out ritually. As if they had some sort of funeral rites. Each had their arms crossed and silver coins from France were placed on their eyes. Attempts to summon their spirits were not successful.

There were no signs of my parens. The labs, library and stores had all been plundered. This is a dark day for House Bjornear. I will be returning to Colem Leonis to prepare messages to as many members of the house that still survive.

Freki of Bjornear

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Visions and Hallucinogens

Great Svetovid,

It would seem that your temple has been violated by interlopers. Buildings were burned, the sacred chamber, desecrated by the violence of these crusaders. A collection of yong magi informedme as to the wearabouts of these crusaders. And while they are beyond my immediate reach, they are not beyond the reach of your justice. As a sure sign that you will prevail, these same young wizards are even as we speak, marching on the location of the leader of these trespassers. It is only a matter of time before they, filled with the divine fumes you have provided, will will the rivers with the blood of the non-belivers and bring back what was stolen.

Your ever loyal disciple,
Vasska Volny

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Crossroads

My Dear, New Friends,

It was such a pleasure meeting you all and spending time discussing the fundamentals of Bonisagus’ theory. Even though my days of travel are likely behind me, I feel more invigorated than I have in years. It meant a great deal that you should choose to spend time with a broken old man, and I appreciate it. And after our time together, I feel I have a firm sense of what each one of you are like, and what your destinies hold.

First, it is important I tell you some of the history of Rethra. The covenant was founded by a cult of Slavic magi/priests who joined house Ex Miscellanea. Their lineage worshiped a Slavic god of forests and the earth. It was said that he granted his followers prophetic abilities. Although, this line was always rather cagey about their abilities. Over the centuries, the number of magical descendants from the original 6 founders of the covenant dwindled to 2.

With the encroachment of Christendom into the area, the mundane worshipers were either driven away, driven into hiding or simply killed. Especially in the last 50 or so years, the Deutschritterorden and the Schwertbrüderorden have been relentless in their rooting out of pagans and heretics in the east. At the time of the revocation of covenant status, Rethra was believed to have been attacked at least once by a group of Christian knights. We have had reports that the complex had been looted by a war band in 1212. You may need to do additional investigations to track them down in order to recover anything of magical value they may have carried off.

Now, on to bigger things. The order is at a crossroads. Will it concede to mercantile desires and simple political maneuvering? Or, will the survivors take the more difficult path, to build something of true wonder? I can tell you that down one path lies the future of court wizards and subjugation by the dominion and mundane authorities. Down the other, I think will lead to a new expansion of the order and a more varied understanding of the limits of magic. I know I much prefer the later to the former. And I am entrusting to you, this choice between two futures.

The road ahead for you is dark and uncertain, but I have foreseen some things that I would share with you.

Anton, you have your head in the clouds and follow your instincts. You trust those you meet and always see the good in them. Never lose that sense of wonder. It will serve you well as you seek lost knowledge and ancient secrets. In you I see the best of House Bonisagus. Retain, preserve and share the knowledge you find. Seek out the past glories of the Order, and restore them for future generations to marvel at and learn from.

Sigrun, your heart is in the right place and your faith in things greater than yourself will see you through dark times in the years ahead. Men of faith rule the lands we live in. And the Order will need people like yourself, who understand them, in order to either avoid conflict or to thrive within the confines of the dominion. You are conscientious and will serve your friends as a strong advocate for the “right thing.”

Ludolfus, The path before you is convoluted. Twisting and turning back upon itself. Of all of the members of this little group, you best of all understand that change is inevitable and constant. You will accept and embrace those changes, which in turn will make you a strong defender of whichever incarnation the Order eventually takes. You will take on the sin of murder for your fellow magi.

Mathilde, there are stark choices ahead of you. We are all products of our parens, but in the end, it is up to us to decide how we make our own way in this world. And, to what ends we wish to commit ourselves. Which direction do you wish to commit yourself to? Only you can answer that question or yourself. In the meantime, your destiny is clouded as a result.

Fendrel, I must say that I feel a deep kinship to you. More so now than I would have prior to the cataclysm. I have come to understand the pain and emptiness that comes with the destruction of the gift. But one such as yourself, with the blood of an archmage in your veins, should not overly despair. There are stories of angels granting magic to mortal men. Imbuing them with the gift and then teaching them how to use it. Curses can be lifted and gifts can be restored. For now, take comfort in knowing that you have great potential to follow in your parens footsteps as a strong upholder of the code.

In closing, I hope our connection was not a one time affair. I plan to cling to this mortal frame a while longer still. And so long as I draw breath, I will be here to counsel you as best I can.

Glaucon of Bonisagus

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Finding Our Man

Boris of Mercere,

We arrived in Brandenburg with little incident and proceeded to set ourselves up at one of the inns. Once settled the necromancer sent a spirit out to search to town for anyone who resembled Glaucon of Bonisagus. After most of the day spent in fruitless search, a group of the gifted magi went to see the Margrave of Brandenburg; Albert the Bear. Upon describing the target of our search, Albert was able to suggest that the monastery of St. Killian, in the hills to the north of town, was likely where he could be found.

The group set out the next day to the monastery and were ushered inside to see their charge. Glaucon was indeed there. He looked frail and sickly. It was speculated that his longevity ritual had failed. By all measure of his faculties, his mind is still relatively sharp but his gift is gone. I do not foresee him to be able to be a significant impediment to your plans.

We spent several weeks speaking with him. He spent a great deal of that time instructing us on the finer points of magic theory. Of significantly more interest to you though, he did pass on his information on a group of hedge wizards he wished to bring into the order, as well as the opposition to this plan by House Bjornear in general and Crintera in specific. These “Magyars” are a collection of shapshifters from the East whom have been in conflict with House Bjornear since the founding, and with the line of Birna prior to that.

The other thing of interest is that Glaucon suggested that the group first travel to the site of Rethra and see what may remain of that covenant which fell to winter some 15 years ago. It would be a small detour out of our way to do so, and I believe that is where these magi intend to head next.

Luther Dressler
House Mercere

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The Farm

Henri De Tours,

Your filiis had directed that the group head north from Raznov towards Crintera. We continued to follow the woodcraft and uncanny direction sense of the boy Fendral. His course took us north, through the woods near the border with the Novgorod tribunal. It was in these woods that we made an opportune discovery.

Just a few hundred yards off the road, up an overgrown path, the boy discovered a farmstead. This place was the home of one Isenbert Geiszler of house Merinita. From what the magi told me, the area if the farmstead has a pretty significant magical aura. In the house, lived an old man and a boy who was an abandoned apprentice. The magi surmised that Isenbert was taken during the cataclysm. They took stock of the contents of the books in the boy’s possession as well as any other potential magical resources that were readily apparent. I have included a list of the books and other items at the end of this letter.

We spent the night in one of the three large barns that are present. During the night, it was uncovered that there were some bodies buried behind one of the barns. After summoning the ghost of one of the bodies, we learned that Isenbert murdered the family that had lived in the home prior, and assumed ownership of it. While this sort of tragic and terrible situation is often the cause of spirits lingering around, that does not seem to be the case here.

Mathilda requested that you be informed about the boy so that we might be able to find a suitable new parens for him. Given the rarity of the gift, it seems only proper that we take care of those we find with it now. See the enclosed map of the general location.

We now will make our way to Brandenburg, per your request.

Luther Dressler
House Mercere

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Of Gods and Mountains

Lady Rosmert, Queen of Irencillia,

These wizards are unlike our beloved sodales. We have journeyed far from Irencillia, spending a great deal of time in Prague before heading on to visit the covenant of Roznov. Upon arriving, they set out for the apparently abandoned keep at the entrance to the mountain pass. This keep was the home to the Tremere of Roznov but there was no evidence of it having been inhabited for some time. The villagers all claimed that one night there was fire and lighting seen from it and then it was silent and dark. They assumed that some tragedy had befallen all inside and no one from the village had dared enter the keep for fear of it being cursed.

These stories did not deter the magi you have sent me to observe. I cannot tell if they are brave or foolish. They worked their way through the keep with a steady efficiency. For the most part they seemed unconcerned that the bodies of the covenfolk were strewn about and devoid of blood. They did pause for a short while as they summoned the spirit of one of the men at arms to ask what happened. While I could not hear the man’s tale, the ever cheerful necromancer related his account. Creatures of some kind were able to pass right through stone walls and killed everyone inside. It is presumed that these creatures were able to attack and kill the Tremere of Roznov as well.

The magi finished ransacking the lower keep before setting out up the narrow pass to the upper fortress. Unlike the lower keep, I was unable to enter the upper fortress. And, given the accounts of the lad who accompanies these magi, it is due to the Ex Miscellanea of Roznov still being alive. From what I have gathered, these magi were able to speak to the leader of the covenant who expressed surprise at the disappearance of the Tremere.

The wizards spent the night in the fortress and in the early morning hours rose and had a brief conversation with a mountain “god-child.” There were some negotiations that did not seem to go anywhere. Upon concluding their talk, the magi packed up and headed down the mountain pass. The intention is now to head north to Crinteria. I will stay with these magi until you see fit to recall me.

Your humble servant,
Nestor

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Of Gypsies and Cursed Vales

Lady Rache,

My tribe and I have arrived and set up camp just outside of the city of Prague. I received word from a spy in the city that a group of magi were recently arrived as well and had begun resupplying for some kind of travels. Unfortunately, there is none in their group that matches the description of the one you seek. He has either left this group or is extremely adept at hiding. Two of their number came to the attention of my brother who followed them out of the city and towards our encampment. They came under the pretense of seeking to purchase “an authentic gypsy tambourine.” After some additional conversation I was able to get, the odd young man of the pair, to admit that he was actually seeking knowledge on how to divine the future. These magi are either more well informed than thought or are incredibly naïve and lucky. I made up a story gave them their tambourine and sent them on their way.

Yours,
Pavlína Krejčová

His Glorious Master of the Mountain,

The valley has been intruded upon and the lower fortress breached. Someone has come seeking the blood sacrifice. They have brought a giant, a boy and a ghost with them. We should not underestimate them. You and the armies of stone shall be warned should the venture forth up the pass.

Kretch

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Faeries are hard; Let's go Shopping!

Pavlína Krejčová,

I trust this missive finds you well. As you requested, I am writing to let you know that two strange individuals came into my shop recently. They were seeking strange and rare books and scrolls. One of them gave me the same creepy tingle up my spine that I have experienced with other sorcerers. The other, a woman of all things, must have been under this sorcerer’s spell. They purchased a pair some of my older books and left. I believe this pair is still in Prague. May it not be many more moons before we see each other once more.

Yours in Blood,
Andrej Musil

The Rats of Devil’s Lane,

Rejoice my people! The man children have been rousted from their lair and scattered to the winds. Another building is ours to claim and the man children can be claimed one by one! We owe this bounty to a group of strange visitors. Be wary of them though, for they have brought a giant and a fiery sword with them.

Mengakaz, King of Devil’s Lane

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The Crystal Palace

To the Subjects of Irencillia,

Strangers have come with news that the end of all magi did not occur. And it is possible for them to exist in outside world. The time has come for volunteers to venture forth into the world and bring back news of the state of affairs so that we might better know how to care for our wards. Do not hinder their comings and goings in the meantime. But do protect the secrets, majesty and glory of this grand covenant.

Rosmert, Queen of Irencillia

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