1209 A.D.

A Hard Bargain

Date - 6/22/97 (73rd Session)

Beta Storyguide - Kendall Miles

...The petitions of a hedge wizard lead to Rabenstein consorting with mysterious ancient ghosts

Early in the spring of 1209, Magda of Bjornaer and one of the socii, Lazsló (known for his propensity for strange visions), began to have recurrent dreams about a quaint old man whom they had never seen before. When the same dream was soon experienced by Merento of Bonisagus (who detected the residue of unfamiliar magics within his sanctum the next morning), an expedition was immediately set forth to the town of Graz to pursue the meaning of the dream (as Magda was certain that parts of the dream took place at a particular tavern within Graz). Arriving at the Green Mallard hostel, the expedition discovered the very man from their dreams within, apparantly expecting their arrival. Calling himself Alchar, the man explained that his companion, Sir Ulrich of Moosham castle, was possessed by a malicious spirit. Apparantly, Alchar was an Austrian hedge wizard skilled in peculiar arts, and had used his mastery of dreams to communicate his desire to speak with the denizens of the Covenant. Bringing the two strangers back to the Covenant, a meeting was arranged between Alchar and the council of Magi.

Alchar appeased the Magi with his friendship with a Redcap of the Order, and elaborated that poor Sir Ulrich was inhabited by an aged spirit named Raku, whose spirit he had accidentaly released from its lengthy imprisonment within an ancient magical Roman chest when he opened it. Due to his post at Moosham castle, Ulrich had heard of the mystics of Rabenstein, and hoped they could help him in his quest to banish the spirit that haunted him (to learn more of Rabenstein's past dealings with Ulrich's kin, see the previous tale, The Dwarfs of Moosham Castle). Further, Alchar claimed to have the power to bargain with ghosts, and promised he could confer them with the counsel of the spirit (Raku) that inhabited Ulrich if they would help he and Sir Ulrich find Raku's former body. Although none of the Magi were enthused about the petition, they were interested in learning more about reuniting a spirit with its original body, and since Alchar's tale seemed to involve this prospect, they agreed to accompany him on his errand.

Setting off for the site where Ulrich had originally discovered the Roman chest, the Magi arrived at an ancient Roman encampment on the slopes overlooking the Mür valley. Below the camp, they found a massive wooden door nestled within a rocky ledge which Merento discerned to be marked with protective runes. Using his magic to safely open the door, Cynric and Lassitor entered the hillside and were startled to find a living man within a small cavern! Clearly insane, the man (named Avrius) managed to explain that he was immortal as long as he remained within the cave. This was made possible by the bronze crown which adorned his head, forged by an ancient Magus (friend) called Laeuticus. Claiming to have knowledge of the resting place of Raku's mortal body (for Laeuticus had also fashioned the box which imprisoned Raku), Avrius bargained with Alchar, and agreed to reveal its location if they would retrieve the body of Laeticus for him, which lay nearby. Unearthing the body of Laeuticus from a nearby ravine where Avrius had said it would lie, Merento professed that its ring and clay vials of dried blood inferred a malefic taint. Nevertheless, bringing the body back to the cave, they witnessed Avrius perform an elaborate Ritual, summoning the ghost of Laeuticus. In return for his proper burial within the cave and its subsequent sealing, the spirit Laeuticus broke the power of the crown, freeing weird old Avrius. Following Avrius, who was freed from his imprisonment, the expedition returned to the Roman camp and began to dig within the ancient ruined well as he instructed to unearth Raku's body. At the bottom of the well amidst a heap of bones, some of the bones quickly rose up, clamboring out of the well and reuniting with their spirit (Raku), freeing Sir Ulrich from his possession. As demanded of it, the spirit Raku answered two questions posed by the Magi and then departed (its skeletal form growing rather to resemble that of a normal man). From Raku the Magi learned how to lure spirits to their former body with sympathetic devices, as well as suggestions about how a spirit may dwell upon the earth even after its physical body has died.

*Motivational clarification - When this tale began, several of Rabenstein's grogs lay dormant as mindless husks, their spirits separated from their bodies by a previous story event (the method by which this occured is described in the two previous tales Mist of the Ancients and Realm of the Ancients). And though the Magi had borne the disembodied spirits back to the Covenant, the spirits did not reunite with their bodies. By assisting the spirit Raku to be reunited with its body, they hoped to glean how this may be accomplished for their covenfolk.

Cast: Ansbert & Ouen (Ann Harper), Brother Meshach, Cynric and Piotr (Patrick Murphy), Merento & Gelvin (Jason Buss), Lassitor (Chris Blake)

Springtime is for Lovers...

Date - 6/29/97 (74th Session)

...A village romance goes astray and witchcraft seems to be afoot

During the spring of 1209 the dutiful socius Matthias of Rabenstein culminated his newfound romance with a local lass by becoming engaged to the pretty young Eleanor of Frohnleiten, daughter of the cooper (perhaps foreshadowed last year when a colorful butterfly perched atop his hat in the dead of winter!). When Eleanor's friend Irmengard became pregnant out of wedlock by a mischevous village lad named Aelfrik, his fiancé begged Matthias to help. It seems Aelfrik had abandoned his would-be bride and left the village rather than wed the girl, and to please Eleanor, Mathhias agreed to find and return the man to salvage Irmengard's honor.

Despite his worthy intentions Matthias soon discovered that Irmengard was not well-respected within the village at all, having been known to flirt with many men, visit the witch Inge in Bruck, and had recently been seen after dark in the graveyard with Aelfrik. Convinced that she was the Devil's concubine, pregnant with his infernal child, the villagers shunned her and proved to be of little help in searching for Aelfrik. By visiting the witch Inge, Matthias and his friends Polu, Piotr, and Ansbert learned that Irmengard had come to see the old hag to beget a love potion (while visiting the frightening old witch, Piotr also paid Inge to brew a love potion for himself in hopes of wooing his beloved Tatyana back at the Rabenstein). Then after talking to the new priest of Frohnleiten, father Galen, they learned that Aelfrik had probably run away to join a band of ruffians in the woods. Receiving permission from Lady Enelle to accompany the priest in his journey to speak with Aelfrik, Matthias, Ansbert, and Piotr marched to the brigand's hidden camp the next day (apparently someone had revealed to father Galen during confession the location of the camp, and he saw fit to go there to petition them to give up their sinful ways). The ruffians were quite agreeable to giving up young Aelfrik (whom they disliked and had beaten repeatedly during his stay with them). But when returning to the village, they learned from Aelfrik that the girl Iremengard had been bitten by a black snake in the graveyard, and that a strange bewitching woman named Svetlana had seduced him (he claimed that she remained at the brigand's camp and had appeared to him in the woods and followed him there after he fled the village). Back in the village Aelfrik's story was confirmed by a red bite-mark upon Irmengard's ankle, which the villagers called the "Devil's mark". Further, she refused to allow father Galen to bless the wound, and confessed to Matthias that following Inge's advice to heal the bite and stop its venom she had captured a mouse before dawn, cut it in half with a knife, and pressed the top half to the wound until the blood dried. Such news only worsened her reputation as being taken as the Devil's concubine, and she was forced to flee the village in shame.

Worried that the mystical woman named 'Svetlana' described by Aelfrik might be none other than Hlavka (see the previous stories Lorelei of the Schützklamm Falls and The Siege of Oravsky Podzamok), Magus Cynric Ex Miscellanea journeyed down to Frohnleiten to investigate. While talking with the belligerant young Aelfrik the two grew angry with one another and came to blows. Knocked out by a lucky punch by the boy, Cynric awoke to find himself robbed and Aelfrik gone (certainly fleeing the village to escape his bad reputation and his punishment for the crime he just committed). Though he tried to pursue the boy utilizing one of his shirts an arcane connection, Cynric was unable to locate Aelfrik and assumed that the boy had departed the valley for good.

Cast: Matthias (Kendall Miles), Ansbert and Polu (Mike Daumen), Piotr and Cynric (Patrick Murphy)

The Love Potion

Date - 7/6/97 (75th Session)

...A love potion works all too well, and renews the attentions of a malevolent creature

In the spring of 1209, starcrossed young Piotr learned that the midwife Inge of Bruck could brew love potions (see the previous story Springtime is for Lovers...). Desperate to win the heart of Tatyana, the love of his life, Piotr went to the witch and paid her to make him such a potion. Bearing the strange potion back to Rabenstein (containing his own tears, which Inge mercilessly beat out of him with her wooden stick), Piotr slipped the unction within his beloved's drink. Then each Friday, he carefully watered a single ivy leaf that Inge had given him whilst repeating a simple rhyme. As the plant grew, Tatyana's love for Piotr began to bloom (the pretty young Slav even ignorned Sir Ladewig's amorous attentions in preference to Piotr!).

As Piotr reveled in the sudden attentions of his beloved Tatyana, he grew lazy in his duties, slipping away to be alone with her (when he wasn't being bribed by Wolfgang to work in his stead in return for his silence about the love potion and ivy plant). But he was not alone in his negligence as other grogs proved lazy and disobedient in their construction of the Principia, the new central keep for the Covenant. Despite efforts to discipline the grogs, even their sergeant Bertoul proved relatively complacent, and the pace of construction remained quite slow. Then Magda of Bjornaer, known for her capacity to sometimes observe magical phenomena, noticed a mysterious glittering 'sand' that lay scattered among the workplace of the grogs, even clinging to the clothes of some folk (though it faded not long after darkness). Unable to either physically touch or magically detect the sand's presence, she tried to show it to other covenfolk, but only Merento and Tatyana were able to discern its lustre (though each perceived it in a different manner). Merento and Cynric suggested that malefici might be at work, observing that normally dutiful socii had crept away from their work of late, andthat several covenfolk were recently afflicted with minor ailments, while Tatyana suggested an evil faerie. In response the night watch was increased, and some Magi supervised the workers during the day.

As the weeks passed by, oblivious to the consternation among the covenfolk, Piotr and Tatyana were soon deeply in love. Slipping away from the crowded, noisy Covenant to the old oak on the hillside above the Covenant, the couple consumated their love as darkness fell. But Tatyana had been haunted by a malicious creature named Hlavka, and with her renewed sensual activities Hlavka reappeared, striding up to face the frightened couple lay as they lay content in each other's warm embrace (it is important that you consult the previous story Lorelei of the Schützklamm Falls, as well as its precursor story The Siege of Oravsky Podzamok to understand the identity and history of both Tatyana and Hlavka). Pleading with Tatyana to come away with her, Hlavka reluctantly allowed Piotr to live due to Tatyana's desparate petitions (angry with him for using a love potion to win Tatyana's heart but pleased to have used the opportunity to return for her beloved). When refused, Hlavka vowed to return to win her beloved Tatyana's heart, claiming that she only acted for Tatyana's own good.

Several nights later, strange little creatures were discovered in the Covenant's gatehouse, having desecrated the chapel and mauled a sentry before they vanished in the torchlight.

Informing the Magi of Hlavka's appearance (and professing her newfound love for Piotr), Tatyana begged for help in dealing with the evil woman. Stunned at her odd behavior with Piotr, Cynric of Ex Miscellanea soon discovered the truth about Piotr's love potion, which was responsible for the whole messy state of affairs. After an abundance of melodramtic plot twists (worthy of a modern soap opera), and myterious dreams among the covenfolk obviously inspired by Hlavka, the plant embodying Tatyana's love for Piotr was chopped apart, dispelling the charm. As the plant's influence over her subsided, Tatyana became very angry with both Piotr and Cynric for their juvenile behavior towards her, and although Hlavka was not seen about the Covenant after the love potion's termination, Julian became quite concerned about the influence Hlavka seemed to be winning over their grogs (clearly Polu was enamored with her, having expressed the desire to flee Rabenstein with her, and Wolfgang had behaved quite strangely around her presence in the past...but now Piotr's emotions seemed entwined with the strange woman, as he slept with her during this tale).

*Plot Development Note - This tale marked the fourth time Rabenstein became embroiled with the mysterious woman Hlavka. Although her true nature remained unclear to the Magi, Cynric began to suspect that she must be associated with demons of some kind due to the recent laziness of the covenfolk, the death and sin that surrounded times of her appearance, and the sighting of strange little creatures with deformed wings which descrated the Covenant's chapel during this tale.

Cast: Tatyana and Ansbert (Blythe Newton), Piotr, Mudimbe and Polu (Kendall Miles), Piotr, Matthias, and Cynric (Patrick Murphy)

The Tribunal of 1209

Date - 7/13/97 (76th Session)

Alpha Storyguide - Jason Buss

Beta Storyguide - Kendall Miles

Gamma Storyguide - Patrick Murphy

...in which Rabenstein is admitted into the Rhine Tribunal and establishes relations with other Covenants

In the summer of 1209, a host of Magi and socii departed Rabenstein for the Rhine Tribunal at the host Covenant of Transmarisca in the Rhine valley, lying far to the west. The fate of Rabenstein's petition for admission to the Tribunal stood to be rejected or approved in accordance with the decision of the previous Tribunal, in which Rabenstein was granted a probationary membership (see the previous story The Rhine Tribunal of 1202 for more information). If you are unfamiliar with the Covenants of the Rhine Tribunal, please refer to Other Covenants of the Order.

Arriving at the crumbling old castle, the Magi were disappointed to be quartered in a humble tent in the courtyard along with Magi from Lacrimare Saxum, another spring Covenant petitioning for membership to the Tribunal. Immediately setting out to win votes and guage support for their petition, they were pleased to discover that Magi of both Pastoris ad Caelum and Andernach Covenants were quite hospitible (due to their Jerbiton leanings). Other Covenants, however, proved quite unreceptive, including both Crintera and Irincillia, (the Domus Magni of Bjornaer and Merenita, respectively), as well as Silistra Covenant of Saxony, which seemed resentful of its waning influence at Rabenstein and poor personal relations between some of their members). Eager to win support in the face of such adversity, the Magi made overtures to recently gauntleted Nicolaus of Nicaenetus of Mondsagen Covenant to consider joining Rabenstein when he professed to be seeking a new home, and this greatly pleased his master Portanthus and the delegation from Mondsagen. Several Magi were even more agressive in their quest to gain acceptance, as Cynric paid raw vis to secure votes, and Merento negotiated a bargain with the supreme Magus of Obsucurum ad Luminis.

In addition, Magda of Bjornaer learned more of her lineage and was invited to return to the Domus Magnus of her kind, Crintera in the Black Forest, after the Tribunal. With the assistance of Merento, she also managed to win the aid of two rival Magi, securing raw vis from one and a magical painting from the other.

Despite fears of a close vote, Rabenstein's petition for membership in good standing was easily passed by a count of 42 votes to 20, and its Magi celebrated by consuming large quantities of red wine.

Upholding their offer to Mondsagen, they departed for home with a potential new member, the Magus Nicolaus of Nicaenetus, filius Portanthus of House Bonisagus.

Other issues were raised during the Tribunal, but the Magi of Rabenstein were very careful to avoid directly interceding in them lest they gain enemies. Of direct concern to Rabenstein, Imsos of Flambeau from Silistra Covenant, the pater of Melnik, became quite upset that his apprentice did not journey to the Tribunal or deliver any correspondence to him (in truth, Melnik has been missing in a faerie forest and presumed dead since 1205, though Rabenstein voted with his sigil).

Cast: Julian of Jerbiton (Kendall Miles), Cynric Ex Miscellanea (Patrick Murphy), Merento of Bonisagus (Blythe Newton), Nicolaus of Nicaenetus (Mike Daumen), Magda of Bjornaer (Ann Harper), Lady Enelle Hallinger (Jason Buss)

The Count's River Toll

Date - 7/21/97 (77th Session)

...A band of miscreant Imperialists collects taxes in the name of Prince Frederick

Returning from the Tribunal of 1209 at the Covenant of Transmarisca, the expedition from Rabenstein encountered a distressing band of nobles along the road south of Passau during their journey home. Serving Count Conrad of Wasserburg, the group of knights had set camp along a bend in the Danube river south of the dense Mühlviertel. Stopping barge traffic along the river and confiscating their merchant monies and goods, the knights bade Rabenstein's folk to stop and deliver a tax to them to continue along the road. Replying that they were poor, humble servants of the Bishop of Seckau did little to improve Rabenstein's standing, as the knights cited the Archbishop's vast wealth as sufficient proof of their own riches. Claiming that the funds were destined for the Prince of Romans, Frederick II, the knights grew angry with the covenfolk as they tried to debate the fairness of such a tax. In fact, Julian of Jerbition easily discerned that the knights and their tax were a farce. As tempers began to flare, the knights drew their weapons and a melee ensued (though several had difficulty controlling their horses due to subtle magics). When one of the knights was slain by a magical Pilum of Fire and the Magus Merento summoned a gust of wind to lift him into the air, the knights lost their nerve and fell back to regroup. Forced to retreat themselves, the melee ended in a draw and the folk of Rabenstein made a muddy river crossing back upstream to avoid the noble camp.

*Historical Anecdote - Count Conrad of Wasserburg, whose ministeriales collected taxes in this story, interrupted river traffic along the Danube repeatedly in the early 13th Century, using the collected monies to fund his own estates. In 1216 Conrad was ousted from his noble title and forced to give his castle to the Bishop of Passau as penance.

Cast: Merento (Patrick Murphy), Wolfgang (Ann Harper), Nicolaus and Willibrond (Mike Daumen), Ouen (Chris Blake), Tatyana (Blythe Newton), Julian (Jason Buss)

The Lindwurm of Klagenfurt

Date - 7/26/97 (78th Session)

...A deceitful poet kidnaps some covenfolk and brings them before an ancient dragon

With the falling leaves of autumn in 1209 two riders arrived at Rabenstein, young Sir Heinrich von Strassburg and his friend the poet Jaufré (see the previous story The Picture of Castellan Demel to learn more of Heinrich and his friendship with the Covenant). Entertaining the Magi with his baudy poetry, Jaufré relayed the joyous news of justice having been recently served to the assassin of Duke Philip of Swabia (tracked down and murdered for his crime this past summer). Further, Jaufré conveyed an invitation for the mystics to the town of Friesach for a royal feast in honor of the event. Loathe the neglect their arcane studies, the Magi reluctantly agreed to send a small delegation to attend the festivities.

En route to Friesach, the expedition was waylaid when Jaufré drugged their wine, overwhelming the groggy Ewald and overpowering the startled Nicolaus by revealing himself to be some manner of malicious imp. Binding the Magi and slinging them over their horses, Jaufré led the horses into the woods and south into Carinthia. Though Cynric and Nicolaus managed to awake during the journey, their blindfolds and bindings proved insurmountable as Jaufré delighted in their futile struggle. However, unable to bear all of the covenfolk away on horseback, Jaufré had left several grogs asleep in the camp. Hence Ansbert, Matthias, and Sir Heinrich awoke the next morning from their fitful drugged sleep, startled to find an abandoned camp. Desperately searching for their companions and horses, they marched onward to Friesach in hopes of finding them there. But in Friesach they were shocked to discover that not only had their companions not arrived, but that no such royal feast was planned. Hastening back to Rabenstein with the news, the two remaining Magi at the Covenant cautiously explored the mystery of their comrade's disappearance, uncertain who was behind the vanishing and wary of depleting the Covenant further by mounting an expedition to find them. By week's end, a search of the campsite proved unrevealing (Lassitor speculated that they were hidden within some manner of regio), but the poet Jaufré returned to Rabenstein bearing a message.

Explaining that their friends were safe, Jaufré delivered demands for their ransom (revealing his role as an enemy, but refusing to clarify whom he served). Since he demanded 'vis', Lassitor and Merento assumed that a Hermetically-trained Magus must be masterminding the kidnapping. Giving Jaufré 14 pawns of vis (a significant portion of their vis treasury), Merento and Lassitor set out with Jaufré to deliver the ransom and retrieve their friends, following the poet deep into the Duchy of Carinthia, northwest of Klagenfurt in the Wimitzer Berge. Entering a deep, twisting cavern in the wild mountains, they arrived at a large chamber to discover their fellow covenfolk bound, and a towering decrepit dragon (the Lindwurm) before them! The beast accepted their vis, and delivered it to his "friend," an aging Jew named Engelbert, in the company of the now decrepit Castellen Demél. Keeping Lady Enelle and her nephew Gelvin with him in the cavern, the dragon released the other covenfolk on the condition that they use their scholarly books to discern how he might summon a mate.

Returning to Rabenstein, Merento and Lassitor learned from their freed companions that the Lindwurm was quite ancient and obsessed with producing a child to carry on his blood. He had eaten their horses and a poor grog, Ewald, and only spared their lives due to their scholarly knowledge. Further, the Magus Engelbert which served the dragon was none other than the former court wizard of Strassburg castle (who was ousted due to political intrigue caused by the Magi of Rabenstein in a previous story - The Picture of Castellan Demel). Though he clearly possessed a Hermetic lineage, Engelbert refused to reveal his House or history, and in his dialogue with the Magi made it clear that he held little regard for the Code (Engelbert had urged the Lindwurm to eat them, and apparantly garnered the vis for himself with the promise that he needed it to help the dragon find a mate). The dragon further sent along two of his servants, Jaufré and Girard (human in appearance, but clearly some manner of magical creatures, perhaps drakes), to assist the Magi in their research and make up for the absence of Enelle and Gelvin.

*Historical Anecdote - In 1208 the Imperialist candidate for Emperor, Duke Philip of Swabia, was assassinated, leaving the papist Otto as sole Emperor and effectively ending the civil war (see the previous story Wrath of the Waiblingen). Although many suspected political intrigue behind the assassination, in truth Count Palatine Otto of Wittelsbach had slain Philip out of rage for being refused the hand of his daughter in marriage. With the approval of the Pope, Marshal Henry of Kalden (the captain of the Imperial forces on the Third Crusade), tracked down and murdered the perpetrator in the summer of 1209 in a barn along the Danube, cutting off his head.

Cast: Julian and Ewald (Kendall Miles), Tatyana, Gelvin, and Lady Enelle (Ann Harper), Nicolaus and Ouen (Mike Daumen), Lassitor, Merento, and Matthias (Chris Blake), Cynric, Brother Meshach and Piotr (Patrick Murphy), The Lindwurm (Jason Buss)

Shepherd of the Clouds

Date - 8/3/97 (79th Session)

...A flock of lost sheep are found, but their mysterious shepherd comes calling

On a regular daily patrol in the winter of 1209, Piotr's patrol came across a group of animal tracks in the freshly fallen snow on the mountain slopes above Rabenstein. Following the tracks, they spied a group of lonely sheep high above the treeline (perhaps lost). Deciding to retrieve them lest they fall victim to wolves or the harsh snow, the patrol trudged high up the steep mountain to gather the flock. The journey proved difficult, and only after dark had fallen did they reach a group of a dozen sheep in a snowly clearing. Huddling with the sheep in the icy wind, they rested for some time until a wolf began to stalk the group. Matthias defended the animals with his bow, but Sergeant Bertoul and Willibrond (usually known for their stoic bravery) were surprisingly rattled by the beast and proved to be of little help to Matthias. In fact, Bertoul shouted to 'follow the ram', while Willibrond jogged along with the flock as if he were one of them. Although two of the sheep were lost to the wolves, Matthias successfully fended off the beasts and herded both the sheep and his comrades back to Rabenstein.

The next morning, the covenfolk realized that the sheep were none other than those of the late Gilbert the Giant (see the previous story The Giant of the Hochschwab). Merento discerned the beasts to harbor Auram vis in their billowy wool, and Lassitor urged the covenfolk to lead the sheep back to Gilbert's hill in an effort to appease the Man in the Moon. Reluctant to cede such a bountiful source of vis and unable to return the sheep to the Hochschwab until the spring thaw, the Magi decided to keep the flock for a time. But several nights later, the sheep nearly 'escaped' when the sentries fell asleep on watch (to the lulling strains of a distant lute they claimed!), and the Covenant gate raised up on its own accord. Protective of the sheep now, but convinced the Man in the Moon wanted them back, the Magi eagerly conversed with a strange shepherd named Treuwesniet when he revealed himself to them the next night. The shepherd denied that the sheep belonged to Gilbert or the Man in the Moon, but rather himself, and that an old hag had stolen them away whilst he passed by (it became clear that Treuwesniet plied the clouds tending his flock, as evidenced by the Auram vis in the sheep's wool). As his cloud passed the mountainside some of his flock were deposited on the high slopes (this explained a subsequent patrol's finding that some of the sheep tracks simply appeared on the mountain slopes). Bargaining with the shepherd, they agreed to return his sheep in return for some hay, their wool (all except the bellweather's wool), and the promise to bear Lassitor to the moon when it next became full. Shearing the sheep, the Magi collected 7 pawns of Auram vis.

8/10/97 Journey to the Moon (Act II)

Following the demands of the shepherd Treuwesniet, Lassitor procured a 'moonstone' (an opal), and painting crescents upon his shoes, climbed to the top of the mountain on the night of the full moon. A great cloud arrived and enveloped the Magus within a murky fog, and soon he was borne away in the sky. Falling asleep on the long journey, Lassitor awoke to find himself lying upon a strange landscape, whose horizon appeared as if he were in the bottom of a great bowl. Wandering the dusty terrain, he discovered a mottled rabbit and followed it towards the horizon, though each rise only revealed a more distant lip to the basin. Soon the Magus discovered that some of the white dust upon the moon covered a silver road. Abandoning the rabbit, Lassitor left the path when he spied people on the moon, but they were frozen silently in place (including such folk as a man chopping wood and a woman churning butter). Dozens of folk did he find in this predicament, but miraculously he came across their own Miles Erik von Mälmo, his mace still raised menacingly as if to strike down Gilbert the Giant (who banished him here with a rhyme in the previous story The Giant of the Hochschwab). Though he was able to return Erik to the silver road, Lassitor found himself frozen when his Parma subsided, and the next thing he new a bright white light was glimmering before him. Fading, the light subsided to reveal a beautiful dark haired woman clothed in white. Calling herself 'Diana' (though only using that name when Lassitor persisted in knowing her identity), she told Lassitor that he did not belong upon the moon. After a lengthy conversation, Lassitor decided that the moon was some manner of Purgatory, peopled with sinners too good to be damned to Hell, but too unrepentant to reach Heaven (following this logic, the Man in the Moon was not a faerie but rather God Almighty). Because he had come to the moon selflessly (to rescue Erik), Diana offered to send him back to earth, but she explained that by coming to the moon both he and Erik were forever tainted by its touch, and would have to return to it occasionally.

*Hermetic Anecdote - It was never clear whether Lassitor truly journeyed to the moon or not, whether Diana was the Roman goddess or an angel, Treuwesniet a malicious imp, or the entire journey a manner of dream. Most of the Magi of Rabenstein disbelieved the esoteric Criamon's tale of his journey, but he did return with Erik, so clearly something mystical had transpired (dust he claimed to have scraped off his shoes after the trip harbored Vim vis). Lassitor reported that his magic did in fact work on the moon (but was this possible because he wasn't really on the moon, or did this happen due to Lassitor's strange affinity with the moon, an ability which began to manifest itself after his visit to the cave of Mondsagen?).

Cast: Bertoul and Merento (Kendall Miles), Willibrond and Cynric (Patrick Murphy), Lassitor and Matthias (Chris Blake), Treuwesniet (Jason Buss)

This page last modified on 11/5/97.

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