Sigil: Flavia's spells are all accompanied by a flare of magical power just as they come into being
Voting Sigil: A caduceus
Youth and Apprenticeship
Flavia was born in Barcelona to a woodworker and his wife. She had a fairly normal upbringing, until she started to show signs of the Gift. The most prominent of these signs was that she started to recive visions of the future. Sometimes it was the far future; sometimes it was the next day. But enough of her predictions came true that it began to worry her parents. It was then that Celaenea of House Bonisagus found her. The maga was spending a few years at the Barcelona covenant chasing down a legend of Hermes and by chance happened upon the young Flavia. Seeing in her the spark of greatness, Celaenea convinced her parents that she had a great future, and claimed her as an apprentice.
Flavia spent the next couple of years in her home city, but soon found herself being moved back to the Thebes Tribunal when Celaenea's research project ended. At first it was a hard move for her. But once she arrived in Thebes and saw the majesty of the ancient world, she never looked back. Hedyosmos Covenant, where Calaenea was based, was scary, but also irresistibly interesting to Flavia. That this was a temple to Hades that had been around for ages was far too compelling to allow its minor annoyances bother her. She took to the covenant like a fish to water and discovered her way around the dark caves sooner than anyone expected.
Calaenea was obsessed with the god Hermes and was a member of the Cult of Mercury. Both of these had a profound impact on Flavia's life. Not surprisingly, Flavia was involved in many of Calaenea's investigations over the years. And while Calaenea's obsession did not completely carry over to her apprentice, Flavia did inherit a lifelong interest in the underpinnings of magic from her mater. She also was trained in the secrets of the Cult of Mercury, and inducted into that organization upon her gauntlet, which involved deciphering a code used by ancient Roman magi.
First Cycle: Ancient Ruins
Upon passing her gauntlet, Flavia accepted a position at Hedyosmos covenant, but spent much of her time travelling throughout the tribunal of Thebes visiting ancient ruins and studying as a visiting magus at other covenants. Even at the start, she knew that she was destined to be a Seeker, and spend her life looking into the secrets of lost Mercurian magic. To this end, she sought out rumors of lost temples and investigated promising ruins.
Her most promising encounter took place about four years after her gauntlet when she was running down a tale of a lost temple of Athena. She was up in the Scardus Mountains, nearly into Serbia when she stumbled upon a cave at the base of one mountain. The visions of her youth had never disappeared, and she had received a powerful vision regarding this section of the mountains. The vision was of her in a flowing white robe in an ancient temple with a blindfold around her eyes. She didn't understand it, but felt compelled to follow it.
The cave lead through the mountains to a hidden valley, and there she discovered a mostly intact temple to Athena built into the mountainside. Inside she was astounded when she was met by a talking owl who introduced himself as Daedalus. He explained that he was the guardian of this temple, and had been for centuries, since the times before even the Romans arrived. This was an oracle's temple, and had once been a rival to the temple at Delphi. Potential oracles were drawn to the temple by visions from Athena, and once they arrived would become bound to the temple, as he was, and would be granted astounding gifts of insight and divination. Flavia was intrigued until she learned that once she accepted the position, she would not be able to leave. For what was once a bustling temple was now all but deserted, being visiting perhaps a few times a year by local herders and farmers looking for guidance. She had no desire to end her life trapped in a temple, however intriguing, unable to pursue her research. And though the promise of answers to some of her greatest questions was tempting, it was not enough for her to accept.
Instead, Flavia learned what she could about the place from Daedalus. He too was trapped here, immortal, but unable to leave the protected valley. That was okay, he said, when the temple was great. But after its decline, it was significantly less interesting. About the only respite Daedalus got from his boredom was the occasional oracle that would appear across the centuries and stay for a few decades telling fortunes to those few who still knew about the temple. Because of this he tried to convince Flavia to stay, but understood her desire to leave. She wasn't the first to turn away from Athena's gifts. But as it turned out, she might be the last.
As it turned out, over the ages, there had been very few Gifted oracles, and none for centuries, since before the founding of the Order. Back in the day, there had been oracles who had been trained by the Mercurians. But that ended ages ago. And those few Gifted folks who appeared were utterly untrained. Flavia was the first potential oracle since the days of greatness with both the power and the skill to use it. And use it she did. After deciding that she didn't wish to stay, she ask Daedalus if he too wanted to be released from his binding. It wasn't guaranteed, but she thought she might break the spell that bound him to this place and free him to see the world. He lept at the chance.
Well, it was a near run thing. The power of the temple was centered in a seat that the oracle sat in while giving her pronouncements. Flavia devised a ritual that would dispel the power in that chair. But when she cast the ritual and touched the seat, power rebounded into her and nearly killed her. But her calculations were sound. The power of the enchantment dissipated and Daedalus was free. But there were two important consequences. Daedalus was no longer immortal. He would live a normal life and die at the end of his years like any other. And the life-giving power that had poured through Flavia changed her as well. She now looked no older than twenty-five, and didn't seem to age at all from that day forward.
Daedalus, for his part, was happy for the exchange. He would gladly trade an eternity at the temple for just a few years in the wider world. He swore to devote himself to his rescuer and serve as her guide and companion for what years he had remaining. And when Flavia suggested that he become her familiar, he gladly agreed.
Second Cycle: The Mysteries of the Levant
Following her time exploring Thebes for signs of Mercurian magic, Flavia then turned to the Levant. For while this was on the edge of Roman power, it was an area that had not been well investigated in the past. She began to make friends among the Jews of the Levant and sought out their rabbis and wise men to see what stories they had from the days of the Empire. It was dangerous in the Levant, that was for certain. And as a woman, she was in particular danger. But she was also a maga, and that made all the difference. One thing that helped was that she obtained a number of items that allowed her to take on any appearance, including that of a man. For in this part of the world, it was much easier to travel as a man.
Flavia crossed the breadth of the Levant, ostensibly basing herself out the covenant of Domus Pacis, but really running down every lead she could. The Jewish rabbis proved an excellent resource, and they were able to direct her to any number of lost temples. It was during this time that she fought some enchanted mummies in an Egyptian tomb, and dealt with some djinn from the fabled City of Brass from whom she obtained a flying carpet that would prove very useful to her in the future. But she didn't find anything that would get her closer to the secrets of the original Cult of Mercury. It seemed that those were gone for good.
Third Cycle: The Desert and the Sea
Eventually, Flavia determined that the Levant was played out, at least for now, and relocated to the Roman Tribunal, where the Cult had its origin. But while she did her research in the Roman Tribunal, at Magvillus covenant, to be precise, Flavia went farther afield for her research. Instead of sticking in the Italian States, she traveled across the Mediterranean to North Africa to search the Roman ruins there. For while the search for the Mercurians was old in the Roman Tribunal, she knew that few had looked in North Africa. This might not be the center of the cult's activity, she knew. But the cult was spread out, and there might be some remaining hint of it in the ruins of the Roman presence in Northern Africa. She went down to Sansaron covenant, which she used as a springboard to investigate numerous ruins across North Africa.
It was during this time that she learned Arabic and much about the Muslim world. She also traveled across deserts, visited lonely oases, and uncovered ruins buried in a thousand years of sand.
Fourth Cycle: Temple of Mercury
Over the course of years, Flavia had made contact with the Knights of Seneca, and particularly with a member of that order named Santiago. The two had struck up a friendship, and over the years had maintained an off-and-on correspondence. Recently, Flavia uncovered a book in a lost outpost near the ruins of Carthage that she thought might be relevant to her research. This book provided clues that, after much work, gave Flavia a hint as to where she might find a true lost Temple to Mercury. Knowing this was too big for her to handle alone, she sent a message to Santiago telling him of their great success and asking him for his help. Soon, she would have the location of the temple, and then she'd need a group to help her investigate. But her victory was short-lived. An enemy of Santiago's, Darius of Tytalus, had intercepted one of her missives and had learned of her find. She was kidnapped while on her way to Harco, and was spirited away to Paris where she was held and mentally probed for all the information that she'd uncovered thus far.