Nova Semitae Loose Ends

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Ars Magica: Nova Semitae Saga
ArM5LogoColor.jpg
GM
Mark
Game Start
Anno Domini MCCXX, hiems
A.D. 1220, winter
5 Neanne 1, Hiems
Game Year
Anno Domini MCCXXXIII, hiems
A.D. 1223, winter
4 Aulus 2, Hiems
Magi of Nova Semitae
Geoffroy de Dreux of Jerbiton
Joshua Levi of Verditius
Magni of Flambeau
Obscurus Ignis of Flambeau
NPC Magi
Aulus · Neanne · Fr. Thomas
Apprentices
Aline · Ysabelo
Companions
Lady Angharad ferch Madog, Princess of Powys Fadog
Ritter Sigmund, German ex-Crusader
Sir Daniele d'Audrieu, Norman merchant
Sir William Cornwell, English ex-Crusader
Other Characters
Covenfolk · Agents
The Redcaps · Notable NPCs
Chart of Languages Spoken
Notable Animals
Guests
Hortense of House Bonisagus
Siwan, Lady of Wales
The Covenant
Hermetic
Covenant Charter · Membership Record
Record of Offices · Covenant Service
Council Voting Records · Hermetic Politics
Stonehenge Tribunal
Mundane
Mundane Geography · Mundane Politics
Village of Melverley · Melverley Castle
Village Laws · Village Rumors
Medieval Farming
Covenant Resources
Covenant Library · Varana's Tomb
Hospital · Hospital Library
Vis Sources and Stores
Covenant Magical Items · Mundane Wealth
Classes and Training
Covenant Mechanics
Other
Ars Magica House Rules
Ars Magica Expanded Notes
Campaign Log · Loose Ends
Ars Magica PC Reference
Player Resources (PDFs)
Experience Point Worksheet
Character Sheet (Variant 1)
Character Sheet (Variant 2)
Experience Point Chart

This page lists plot hooks in the saga.

On-going Plot Hooks

These are listed merely in alphabetical order, not in importance or chronological order.

Angharad's Kidnapping

While Angharad was successfully rescued and married to off to Geoffrey, the question remains: who were the kidnappers, and why did they kidnap her in the first place?

Some clues found in pursuing them:

  • The main opponent was a Hermetic magus
  • He spoke latin with a slight french (Norman) accent
  • His name is Francis
  • He was overheard speaking to someone else

Angharad would know the following additional details:

  • They were planning something large
  • They intimated that they were going to kill her
  • The magus Francis had a headband that allowed him to speak to a distant third party; it sounded like they were plotting something. She is not sure if Francis was a minion, co-plotter, or mastermind.
  • They seemed not to be too surprised at being followed, but were not expecting as large a party

The Abandoned Roman Town

While searching for Maribus, the magi were transported to a hilltop town featuring a Roman town that was apparently abandoned. The foliage suggests a location somewhere in Europe as opposed to the Middle East or North Africa, but the magi did not stay and explore for very long.

Currently the only way there is via the King of Lake Vyrnwy, though two flagstones from the road have been retrieved. They do not allow transport to the regio, however, as Geoffrey made the attempt. After explorations in Summer 1228, the magi now have a way to transport to the mundane level outside the town (an open field in Burgundy) and have managed to figure out a way into the regio by erecting a gate that simulates the Triumphal Arch in the town.

The town is compact and laid out in a very regular grid of approximately 100 blocks (10x10). The city is partially ruined, with some buildings burned and extensive damage near the amphitheater. However, most buildings are still intact with furnishings that could probably be salvaged.

Key activities:

  • Re-organizing the scattered paperwork in the Basilica that can be turned into various tractatus; some appear to be a type of lab notes, likely be the priests of Mercury
  • Fixing the aqueduct; this will require extensive repairs and a team to maintain. Notes to come on this activity.
    • Note: This will require skilled recon and examination by a stonemason
    • Repairing the aqueduct is simple, but labor intensive. It requires 20 man years to repair the aqueduct, that is one character working 20 years for an equivalent of two seasons a year. This could be achieved in other ways, say 20 characters all working together for two seasons. Note that this is just repairing the existing aqueduct; originally constructing the aqueduct would have required considerably more labor.
    • Once the aqueduct is repaired it must be maintained, by clearing it of silt and debris (and maybe ice in winter), and plugging leaks. Maintenance occupies 5 characters every season, and the work must be done every season. If maintenance is not done for a season, at the end of that season roll a simple die against an Ease Factor of 3 + 1 for each consecutive season for which maintenance has been neglected. If this roll is failed the aqueduct is clogged by silt and the flow stops. If less than 5 characters’ worth of work is done in a season, then it counts as a season without maintenance. Once maintenance has been neglected, for every season of neglect it takes 1 man year (i.e. two seasons of work) to catch up on the maintenance, with a maximum requirement of 20 years work (at two seasons per year). This repair work is in addition to the normal 5 characters’ worth of work per season. The flow does not resume until the extra repair work has been done.
  • Salvaging the town: although compact, there are 100 blocks to go through, particularly the warehouses
  • Fixing certain key buildings (like the baths, or the burned down domus lots)

Flavius of Flambeau, Infernal Spirit

In 1224, the Redcaps tipped the covenant off about an abandoned village with a 'creepy' feel about 3 days travel away. After some investigation, they found the village at the heart of a series of Infernal regios, each filled with infernal disease spirits. At the center, surrounded by corpses and trapped in a Ward of his own making, was an insane Flambeau who had tried to kill the entire population of mundanes in Europe with a massive disease-based ritual. His thinking was that the Parma would protect those worthy of populating Europe (i.e. magi).

Whether due to a botch or divine (or infernal!) interference, his spell backfired and killed him, trapping him in his own ward. His evil acts created a series of infernal regiones that attracted the spirits of the diseases he intended to infect the world with. However, they have remained in their own regiones rather than spreading out.

The magi believe that the Flambeau could be freed if his ward were disrupted, but opted to leave him in there for now while they figure out what to do with him. Without magical protections, it would be very dangerous to head in due to the increasingly potent disease spirits resident in the regiones.

Late 1229, Magni organized a party to go deal with Flavius. Obscurus Ignis, Sir William, and Ritter Sigmund from Nova Semitae went as well as Perditia, Magni's Hermetic Soror. Those selected were particularly well-protected from demons. On reaching the highest regio where Flavius was trapped, Obscurus Ignis and Magni kept him occupied with taunts while Perditia examined the warding circle more closely. In her opinion, she thought that the warding circle was particularly powerful to keep out the spirits in that regio level as well as keeping Flavius in. Given that Flavius showed evidence that he retained at least some of his Hermetic powers, she thought it was unwise to try and deal with him at that time. Instead, they should try and gather a larger group to deal with the demons.

After some discussion and dealing with lower level spirits on the lower regiones, the Flambeau decided to organize a Flambeau Melee for House-members only. They would be sure to invite Flambeau Quaesitores both to ensure that they were being compliant with the Code, but also because it would be an opportunity to Gauntlet apprentices. The gathering would cover for the fact that Flambeau would be going through and dealing with demonic spirits and would have plenty of firepower to deal with Flavius -- particularly since he was one of their House members.

Immanola's Prophecy

Heirs of Merlin, beware!
One with an ancient grudge seeks to bleed the lands of Arthur and of Charlemagne.
Her spear seeks the heart of the lineage who stole her sister;
She has clipped the feathers of the white-tailed eagle;
She has struck at the daughter of the dragon;
She comes in the guise of the godless of the East
Whilst serpents of the West poison and weaken her prey
Until all are laid low. Beware!

Final Prophecy of Immanola
Praeco House Ex Miscellanea
Given at the Extraordinary Tribunal of 1227

Missing Magi

See: Julissa's Journal

As the PC magi know, the entirety of the covenant Founders are missing, as are a number of more recent members. The covenant is developing a reputation for being cursed. Being the only Jewish-majority covenant is only fueling the rumors.

What is happening to all the magi of Nova Semitae?

Julissa:

  • Journal and notes discovered in her lab once the guardian was dealt with. She noted that her grandfather (Maribus) was last seen headed upriver to Lake Vyrnwy. She has possibly headed to the deep eastern edge of the Order to search for a threat that nobody else believes exists.

Maribus:

  • At Lake Vyrnwy, the 'King of the Lake', a faerie/elemental beast confirmed that it sank the boat Maribus was riding and that it has him, or at least can return him. He demanded blood from one of his line, or one years' harvest of his Aquam vis from his underwater lab.
  • After collecting the vis, the King of the Lake reported that Maribus had wandered away from the pool and transported covenant members to an abandoned roman town where Maribus was discovered missing much of his memories. He has been returned to House Mercere.

Litha:

  • While Sir William was settling into the woods west of the covenant, workers found a spot shrouded by tall bushes where evidence of habitation existed - rotted tables, broken glassware, carpeting. Workers eventually found a chest buried deep beneath this abandoned lab and brought it to the magi
  • The chest was formed of a single piece of wood, but ended up opening it up with magic to find laboratory notes and a journal that belonged to Litha.
  • Litha had apparently originated in Scotland and was trained there. She received a plea from her family to 'help the clan'. This was apparently Clan Ross in the northern part of Scotland. Litha disappeared shortly after the final log entry.

Justen and Aislinn

  • Julissa's notes suggest that the threat she was investigating was noticed earlier by Justen and then Aislinn. She believes that they have also gone east to investigate.

Aidan

  • One of the magi who joined the covenant when the rest of the PCs did has disappeared under mysterious circumstances as well.

Stonehenge

One of the deferred issues at Tribunal was whether or not to move Tribunal somewhere else to remove it from Blackthorn's influence. One of the suggested locations was Stonehenge itself. However, without additional knowledge of the locations or the ability to secure it from mundane eyes, most magi in the Tribunal were unwilling to commit to it.

In order to prepare for this, Geoffrey has sent his lab assistant to scout the location. He has returned with a physical description of the place, and there is suspected to be a regio present but this would require a magus with the right spells in order to confirm this.

Suspicions (Phessalia)

Magni is wondering how Phessalia knew about the incident of the faerie vikings that resulted in charges at the 1222 Tribunal.

In 1229, Magni, Obscurus Ignis, and Joshua visited Voluntas to discuss with the magi there about Phessalia's whereabouts during the incident. They were able to speak with a number of the servants there with Julia's permission. They discovered that at the time, Phessalia was spotted dressing up in 'faerie court garments', though the servants of course didn't know where she was going.

The magi suspect that she was visiting faerie courts just prior, though they're unsure which one(s).

Transportation Magic

Joshua reached out to Andros of Bonisagus from Durenmar, a magus who presented a talk at Tribunal regarding some research he was doing in transportation magic - namely how he was trying to make it easier for Rego Corpus effects to move people. His research was submitted to the Collentes Arcanorum within the House as research worthy of the Folio of 1228. He took the opportunity for Stonehenge's later Tribunal period and Neanne and Aulus' invitation to House members to speak about their research during the Tribunal colloquuim.

The following are available from Andros; the two spell lab texts are available for 1 pawn of vis for both; the Tractatus is available for an additional pawn of vis, largely to cover transportation and copying fees.

  • Lab Text: Group Leap of Homecoming, ReCo 35. As per Leap of Homecoming, but with Target: Group and no increase in level. Andrus's notes explain that this is the result of a failed attempt to lower the base level of Leap of Homecoming.
  • Lab Text: Rapid Movement of the Unsupported Body, ReCo 15 (Pers, Conc, Ind). This spell successfully lowers the base guideline for 'move a body rapidly' from 15 to 10.
  • Tractatus: Inherent Limits in Hermetic Theory, Q10 Magic Theory. The tractatus draws on the two spell texts to begin a way to find out which guidelines can be lowered, and which ones cannot be, and what this means for hermetic magic.

Vis Hunting

The covenant's vis expenditures are at or over its vis income. It should locate some new sources.

Two main ways to do this include:

  • Using the Magic Lore skill, magi can trace down rumours of vis sources out of stories and legends of the area. Good rolls can include time of year, and specifics to indicate when and how to harvest it.
  • Using Tribunal Records, vis sources registered or fought over by covenants that no longer exist can be recovered.
    • Elishiva bat Sholem has been assigned to begin researching Tribunal records to unearth any references to vis resources that may be unclaimed.

A regio in northern Wales called "Merlin's Midden" is the site of several vis sources that a long-dead covenant once claimed. Its vis went unclaimed and the covenant made their first foray in 1230, encountering some of the creatures that inhabit it.

Resolved Plot Hooks

Chapel of St. Catherine of Alexandria

Fr. Thomas raised this without permission from the local bishop, particularly as there was no defined 'local bishop'. Due to a realignment of the covenant towards Wales, this is now more certain. The chapel could become a full church, but as it lacks a full-time priest it is only a chapel. (Fr. Thomas celebrates mass when he can, but is often very busy.) Bartolomeo del Imola, already an acolyte and follower of Fr. Thomas, is an ideal candidate. However, he is a foreigner, and does not speak any of the local languages well. The bishop may very well decide to assign a priest of his own choosing, perhaps to keep an eye on the strangers.

Bishop Reiner died in 1224, however, and the Cathedral deans will vote in Bishop Abraham in 1225. The covenant will now need to forge a relationship with him in order to select a priest for the Chapel.

In 1226, Bishop Abraham has been taking account of all the vacant benefices with an eye to fill them with proper Welsh priests. He has indicated a desire to fill the benefice of the covenant's chapel this way. The magi have discussed petitioning the Pope to assign someone else instead via their contacts with Aulus at the Papal court in Rome. There is concern that this may take too long to accomplish, however, and that if they wish for Bartolomeo to become assigned as the priest, they will need to intercede soon.

In 1227, Bishop Abraham sent the Dean of Marchia to investigate filling the vacant chapel with a priest and recoiled at having to deal with a non-Christian village leader. The Dean also refuses to acknowledge the unorthodox leadership of the Magi as legitimate and has petitioned Sir William (as overlord) to negotiate a replacement priest for the church as well as to build a living (benefice) to house the priest.

In order prevent the Bishop from ordering an unfriendly priest who might otherwise harass the covenant's majority jewish population or the minority english Christian population, the magi used the fact that one of their members was presently residing in the Papal Curia and pushed through a petition to order the bishop to assign Bartolomeo as the parish priest. In 1228, Bartolomeo travels to Rome to meet with Aulus and Fr. Thomas and is ordained in Rome. All three travel back to Nova Semitae at the end of 1228.

This neutralizes the bishop's ability to assign a priest of his own choosing as he realizes the magi have connections that go above even the Archbishop of Canterbury, but the covenant has made an enemy of the bishop as a result.

The Hospital

Lady Angharad has commissioned a hospital and has asked the covenant to found it and administer it. They will get to keep its proceeds with the stipulation that all are welcome at the hospital; that it not be restricted to those with means. She has offered a location on her lands, some 30 acres, and initial funds to begin.

The Council has voted to accept the offer in Spring 1225. They have sent some people to southern France to seek out doctors, apothecaries, and books on Medicine to establish a solid foundation for care. Sir Daniele, Louis, and Jeanne de Dreux returned after acquiring books and securing two future doctors and young apothecaries who will join in late 1226/early 1227 as they complete their training.

The Council has also voted to use covenant vis for raising the building itself once the time comes.

The french medical staff arrived in Autumn 1226, which was also the time the hospital was raised and a road network to tie it and Angharad's lands to it (and to the covenant) were created.

Khras-Nagar

See: The Fable of Khras-Nagar

Early in 1223 while returning from a visit to Angharad, some covenant members discovered a small regio on top of a hill. What appeared simply as a monolith in the mundane world, was a humanoid statue rooted to the hill in the regio. This turned out to be Khras-Nagar, a man of ancient history, cursed to be in his current form by the 'old gods'. He will remain in statue form until his curse is broken -- begging forgiveness for his hubris (a story he is forced to recite) from a descendant of the tribe he is from.

He dates to pre-Roman Britain, so the covenant will need to be creative in recovering information about where his people dispersed to.

A visit to the Isle of Man with a powerful fae creature that they had previously encounter revealed that a particular trip into the faerie realm may allow the magi to 'replay' his story and see where the descendants may be.

Visits to two faerie courts have yielded some clues. The nearby faerie court featuring the musical competitions have offered some help in finding their way into the faerie realm, suggesting that the magi prepare and return in a station of transition.

The covenant sent a number of members who eventually journeyed through Elysium to "replay" the history of The Hill People and learned some clues about where to go next.

Three peoples still somewhat intact (that is least inter-mixed with all the invading groups) exist: the Ganganoi in Wales and Ireland, the Caledonii in Scotland, and the Parisii in England. A descendant of Khras-Nagar's tribal bloodline is said to be available in one of these three peoples.

In 1229, Paden Lynton was sent west ostensibly to find a blacksmith for William but went looking in the direction of the Parisii and narrowed down the location. While he did find a blacksmith for William, she was unfortunately not a descendant from Khras-Nagar's tribe. Paden intends to return to the area and bring another back to try again. Finally, in 1230, Paden returned with someone who fulfilled the ancient curse's requirement to have a tribal descendant present, made his apologies, and was finally freed. He has pledged to work for the covenant for five years in exchange for their efforts to free him.

It has been postulated that Khras-Nagar may have witnessed supernatural or other events that could be indicative of vis sources. It might be good to try and tease these out of him before the curse is broken.

The Reliquary from Constantinople

In 1222, the covenant investigated a rumor of a village starting to act 'weird'. Through various investigations, it was discovered that diabolists were stalking the town looking for a additional human sacrifices. They rescued a teenage girl from the cultists, and discovered that the reliquary in the village church was actually crafted by a Verditius and houses a demon. They have managed to convince the local priest to release it for study.

Neanne studied this early in 1223 and announced a number of discoveries. It remains in the covenant awaiting final disposition by the magi.

Early in 1224, Joshua spent time recreating the relic to give a convincing fake back to the village so that they wouldn't miss it. The actual relic with the resident demon is being stored in the covenant's secured room along with its Parma Magica tomes for safety and to keep the demon suppressed and trapped.

As of 1225, the reliquary is still residing at the covenant awaiting Aulus' duties in Rome, where he will take the reliquary to be gifted to St. Peter's Basilica, where it is hoped the demon will be trapped until Judgement Day.

In 1227, Aulus took the reliquary with him to Rome to donate to the Basilica as a gift to the Pope. There the demon will sit until Judgement Day.

Sir William and Lady Martha

In 1221, Sir William intervened in a local matter involving a widow and two more powerful knights pressing in on her, hoping to acquire the land she is holding on her own to add to their own wealth. The two rival knights are Lord Michael of Pontesbury, and Lord Roger of Ratlinghope. To stave off their claim attempts, they arranged for Sir William to become betrothed to her Lady Martha's daughter, Catherine, who was only 13 at the time.

In 1223, Catherine is 15 and rapidly approaching the age where she would become properly married. This remains an outstanding issue for Sir William. Catherine is sent to the newly formed court of Princess Angharad, where she serves as a lady-in-waiting. This delays any decision involving her marriage to Sir William (or anyone else for that matter) for a little while.

In 1226, Sir William and Catherine have officially married and moved to their own manor to begin rulership of their portion of lands granted to them by Angharad. For the moment, her father's lands threatened by Lord Michael and Lord Roger are abated, though what will happen to those lands once she dies is still a matter of concern. Without a son to inherit, the lands would theoretically be a split inheritance with all three daughters.