Ad Astra

Summer 1208 Pogrom Investigation

The last day of the Tribunal was spent discussing possible actions to take in response to the interdict. Julia wanted to invite magi from the continent to come set up new covenants in Stonehenge; Goliard argued strongly that chapterhouses of existing covenants would be better. The discussion lasted hours. In the end, letters were sent inviting additional magi to Stonehenge, encouraging them to join the covenants already in existence. The Tribunal also decided that any new covenants being proposed would need to gain a majority approval at a Tribunal to be officially recognized. The meeting was officially closed, and magi returned to their camps/rooms to begin packing.

The AdAstra magi set out for home with Natan and Astrolabe, arriving back on July 25. Mabel paid the rent for the Stone Circle to Gryffydd, and visited her godson, Hywel. Aaazz and Natan, accompanied by Aeddan, Gaspard, and Annie left for Nigrasaxa on August 5th. On August 13, the night of the full moon, Astrolabe casts the ritual spell to release Everard from his curse. Astrolabe leaves the next day. Mabel goes to the Pool Regio on the 13th with Kevin. She collect vis: Ignem, Corpus (Kevin’s shadow is in a box) Imaginem, and Auram. They missed the dream vis at midnight, and the dew the next morning, By the time Mabel returns to the covenant, on September 12, the shadow has disappeared from the box.

Aaazz and Natan meet with Trutina, Focus, and Herrit to discuss plans for investigating the pogrom in Berkshire. Trutina and Focus decide to visit Sheriff Richard fitz Regis, while Aaazz, Natan, and Herrit visit the abandoned ghetto. The story fitz Regis tells is of several murdered children, and the town’s belief that the Jews had something to do with the deaths. He rounded up the community and had them stay in the dungeon to protect them from the rest of the town (and vice-versa) while he investigated, but five days after they were imprisoned, the Jews disappeared from the dungeon. Trutina and Focus investigate the dungeon, and find the keystone above the entrance arch contains Rego vis. Trutina casts a spell to speak with the stones in the floor and finds out that the people walked through the arch, but not onto the floor on the other side. Focus gathers whatever bits of clothing and hair that he can from the dungeon.

Aaazz, Natan, and Herrit find that the ghetto was abandoned quickly, but in an orderly fashion. They discover a house in which the family was sitting Shivah for a dead relative. Herrit attempts to cast The Inexorable Search, and finds that the person belonging to the clothing is not in the southeast of England. Aaazz finds the most recent grave in the Jewish cemetery, but decides not to disturb the holy ground. They also find that the rest of the town believes the Jews to be dead, as they have seen ghosts in the area, and really, what else could have happened to everyone since they are no longer in fitz Regis’ dungeon? Joining back with Trutina and Focus, Aaazz, Natan and Herrit compare notes. Trutina uses the arcane connections to find that the people are apparently now in Cornwall. She and Focus, along with Herrit will travel there to determine how the entire group was transported out of the dungeon. Aaazz and Natan are tasked with finding out what happened with the dead children.

Aaazz and Natan return to the ghetto, hoping to find one of the ghosts the townspeople mentioned. They decide to start with the house of mourning, figuring if the Shivah ceremonies were interrupted, the deceased may not be resting peacefully. Their logic proves true as the temperature in the house suddenly decreases. Aaazz casts Vision of the Haunting Spirit and they find the ghost of a young girl, who wonders where everyone went. Sarah tells them that she is lonely, and when questioned about her death, tells about the other little girl with pretty eyes who had a secret to tell her. Sarah met the girl on the way home one evening, and remembers talking to her and being kissed by her, then waking up to the empty house. The timing of Sarah’s death coincides with the death of one of the other children in town, about a month after the first two. Working backward from the information from Trutina and the description from Sarah, they figure out that the murders took place around the new moon, two children at a time.

Aaazz and Natan, through the use of Aeddan, Gaspard, and Annie, track the deaths of children through several communities, moving generally southward. At the end of September, they find themselves in Odiham where two children were found dead just a few days earlier. After some careful investigating, they determine that the culprit is probably in the beggars’ field of sod houses west of town. About half of the houses show signs of life, but the inhabitants are reluctant to speak with anyone. They decide to go “door to door” beginning with the sod house furthest from town. Aaazz creates a light inside the first apparently unoccupied house only to find a mother and daughter huddled inside. Both are surprised at the intrusion, but the young girl comes forward, her arms outstretched. Aaazz, feeling her parma resist a spell, backs away and casts a spell toward the girl, who is unaffected. As Aaazz backs out of the house, Natan attempts to collapse the doorway onto the girl, but again, the dirt slides past her, widening the space into the house. Aeddan and Gaspard step forward to protect the magi from the advancing girl and her mother. The grogs engage the pair with weapons, and Aaazz casts Hands of the Grasping Earth managing to overcome the girl’s resistance, and holding on to one of her feet. Aeddan slips in the mud, is touched by the girl, and falls unconscious. Gaspard tries desperately to elude her touch, while doing battle with his axe. Aaazz catches the mother in another HotGE, but Natan has trouble penetrating the magic resistance of the pair. Gaspard manages to wound the girl several times, staggering her, and manages to avoid being touched or looking the pair in the eyes. Finally he deals a deadly blow to the girl, and Natan casts a particularly effective Pilum of Fire at the mother, dropping her as well. The group quickly examines the bodies, which are starting to disintegrate in the sun, and find the pair have small fangs which contain Perdo and Corpus vis. The magi and grogs quickly leave the area with the vis, as the bodies decay away.

The group returns home on October 1.

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archimedes

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