End Times

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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The Village

To Her Eminence, Brightest light of Winter, Purifier of the Land, Extinguisher and Renewer of all living things, Merciful Queen of Ice and Snow,

As your most humble of servants I have done as you asked and kept an eye on the borders of your kingdom. It is my privilege to report that a collection of strangers arrived at the hamlet of Waldheim. These strangers rooted their way through the hamlet’s agricultural assets, stealing anything they thought to be unnatural as they went.
One of their number, a beast who threatened your servant with an arrow, did set out into the woods and begin to make his way further into your domain. He eventual did come across your destitute brother at his camp. Instead of waking him, he stole your brother’s coin purse. The rest of these interlopers did then awake Sigfried and ask what he was doing out there. Upon hearing of his plight and listening to his requests for aid, they promptly turned and left. It would seem your brother will not be acquiring any additional aid this year to support his claim to your throne.

All praise to your radiance,
Red-Hame

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Nights of Blood and Fire

My Dear Friend Rupert,

I am undone! My library has been plundered and my books have been taken. How the thieves gained entry to it is an absolute mystery to me. It is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that among the stolen tomes was the book you lent to me, The Edicts of Augustus. What is more the shame and pity was how close I feel I was to uncovering the exact locations that the emperor used as the seat of his spiritual power. I seek your forgiveness in the loss of your irreplaceable book. I assure you, that I have sent word throughout my bishopric to keep an eye out for these “Bohn Knights” who no doubt were the ones behind this theft as well as a series of murders and other unsavory disappearances in Trier. If the rumors are true, they are led by a sorcerer of some power. I warn you of them as they also stole our correspondence I had retained. Your collection may be at further risk of loss if they are headed to Strasburg. Be ever vigilant.

Your Friend,
Theoderch

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Making Friends and Influencing People

To: Seneschal Edgar Dehne

Lord Seneshal,

Last evening was one of the mroe eventful we have seen in recent memory. A bar fight broke out several hours after sunset. The results were that one of the citizens was stabbed in the neck and killed. The perpitrator, Gerwald Fichte, was apprehended shortly thereafter hiding in an alleyway. His two compatriots escaped our questioning, but by all accounts they were not active participants in the disturbance or the slaying. Upon questioning it was discovered that he is a member of the notorious Bohn Knights, a pirate, highwayman and murderer wanted in several other territories within the Empire. Unfortunately, he appears to have been significantly more difficult to hold than to capture. By all accounts he simply walked out of the guard house sometime in the early hours of the morning. His cell was still locked and there appears to be no damage to the guard house at all. The other prisiners also claim to have seen or heard nothing. He is at large and we are preparing a hunting party to track him down.

In other news, two of our guards were found murdered near the market by merchants preparing to open their stalls for the day. A single arrow was found in one of their throats. The other had his throat cut. There is no motive or other information at this time. It is possible, the Bohn Knights were visiting vengeance upon the town for apprehending one of their own.

Prepared by: Otto Grün Sgt at Arms Trier Town Guard

To His Grace, Bishop von Wied,

As requested I have reviewed the reports sent from Landgraf Kunst. The confessions and revelations of the survivor are indeed, troubling. As luck would have it, the very same Nymandus depicted in these reports arrived here in Trier with his companions in tow. In general, the companions I met, fit the description given in the reports. However, there was no giant covered in tattoos. And while none of them brandished their swords, I can assure you that I saw no indication of blades made of hellfire.

I spoke with Nymandus at length last evening. He is an affable sort, very keen on his own greatness and the spinning of tales. While he does share similarities with other vagabonds or minstriels, something tells me there is more to him then he lets on. If he is an infernal sorceror, he hides it well. I would suggest we arrange a meeting so that you might better suss out the truth behind the stories.

Father Kaspar Lobe

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