Marcellus Of Verditius History


In the Beginning

Coming up the last flight of stairs as quickly as his weary legs allow him, Honorius tries to speak, between gasping breaths. “Is he still…”

The old woman waiting in the antechamber nods. « He hangs on still, » she says with tears in her eyes. This was the end, she knew. Honorius' presence meant that, at last, the old mam within would soon be able to let go of the pain, to slip finally away into eternal rest. “He was waiting for you.”

His head bowed in relief and sadness both, Honorius takes a deep breath, then nods his thanks to the serving woman. Then, steeling himself, he walks to the door and pushes it open gently, before slipping inside.

There are only a few Sun Globes alight, filling the bedroom with a soft golden glow. On the bed a thin shape lies, covered by a linen shirt, his chest rising and falling in time with wheezing breaths.

As the door clicks shut, the rhythm of the breaths change. A hand rises slightly towards the younger man who has just entered. “Is that you, Honorius?”

“Yes, father, it is me. I came as soon as I got word, and as quickly as I could.”

“Good, good. You were always a faithful son. I am glad you are here now, before I pass away.” Each word comes slowly, filled with the efforts to draw one breath, then one more.
Kneeling besides the bed, Honorius takes his pater's hand, which grips his with surprising strength. “What happened? I thought that last longevity ritual was supposed to last you for a decade or more, provided you didn't over exert yourself.”

“I had to do it, my son. To keep a promise; you now I always kept my word. Gabriel and his family have given me so much service over the years, spilled so much of the sweat, their blood. I had to pay them back for their loyalty, when the time came. I thought I would be able to. But now, now! To die with my oath unfulfilled…” Each word is weaker than the previous one.

“What is it, father?”

“You… Will you do this for me? Finish my work? Keep my honor, one last time? Only you can…”

“ I will, father, I will. But what is it that I must do? Father? Father!”

Later, when Honorius comes out the bedroom, the old woman is crying. “He be gone, isn't he?”

Honorius nods, his own eyes filled with tears. “Yes, Maria. He asked me to complete his work, but he… he slipped away before he could tell me what. Do you know what he meant for me to do?”

“Oh, you’ve not heard, have you?” When he shakes his head, she adds, “He took in a new boy, one of Gabriel's nephews… Perric, he be called.” As the implications of the old woman’s words set in, Honorius looks at her with consternation.

“An apprentice? But I'm not ready, I don't know enough to teach him properly! How will… How will I teach it all?”

Childhood and Apprenticeship

Thus is it that Perric, at age 11, became the apprentice of Honorius of House Verditius upon the death of Octavius Maximus, who had taken the boy as his apprentice, to fulfill his promise to his trusted custos, Gabriel, that he would train any family member who manifested the Gift for magic.

The boy had been increasingly making even members of his family ill at ease, and several magical disturbances had occurred already. He’d been sent away from home as much as possible in the last year, mostly watching the family’s goats in their summer pasture. The goats apparently did not mind his burgeoning abilities, but boys from other families were another matter.

Octavius had opened the boy’s Gift before succumbing to illness. Longevity rituals had never worked well for the aging magus; a problem the he had passed on to Honorius and now Perric. Honorius struggled to train the boy. His promise to his dying pater precluded him from passing the boy to a more experienced magus, so he did his best. Even using the full 15 years allowed to him, this left the new magus weak in several areas. Perric was given the name Marcellus Theodoricus when he passed his Gauntlet by the smallest of margins.

At Honorius’ covenant, Marcellus shared his time as an apprentice with another, under the covenant’s Bjornaer maga. The two youngsters became inseparable, sharing a passion for wilderness and building a deep friendship over the years. The first non-Verditius to welcome Marcellus as a new magus was Regulus Aquilius of Bjornaer. After celebrating, they swore to keep in touch and visit each other as often as possible. This may initially prove easier for Regulus to do, as his Spanish Eagle heartbeast makes travelling easy for him.

For his Gauntlet, Marcellus crafted the body of a small iron drum that, when its skin is struck, instill fear in a wild animal. (ReAn 21, R:Voice, D:Conc, T:Ind, 2 uses per day; drum provides +2 S&M bonus to cause fear, magical focus applies)

Selecting a Covenant to Join

Marcellus wanted to be able to visit his Bjornaer friend, who completed his apprenticeship 3 years ago and settled in the Pyrenees, joining a small Clan Sirnas sept scattered in the great mountain range. So he sent out letters to covenants near or inside of the mountain range, inquiring about the possibility of joining and the conditions for membership.

Since there are several other covenants in the Pyrenees, why did he choose Andorra over them?

  • Bellaquin: The presence of several Jerbiton magi, with their focus on mundane interactions, was a poorer fit to Marcellus, who prefers the wilderness. Bellaquin would have welcomed a Verditius, but were one who would arm their grogs, which didn’t interest Marcellus. It is also said that Andorra’s aura is quite stronger, where Bellaquin’s is rather average. This is a big advantage for a Verditius.
  • Aedes Mercurii: The covenant already has a resident Verditius and wasn’t looking for another one, particularly not a just-Gauntleted one with not particular skill in making enchanted weapons
  • Miniata Sophia: A Criamon clutch, not interested in welcoming a Verditius.
  • Ostal des Exiles: Was a possibility, but Andorra’s situation was more interesting to Marcellus.
  • Ara Maxima Nova: Marcellus’ close association with Regulus Aquilius means he shares some of House Bjornaer distrust of House Merinita. So he didn’t want to join a covenant dominated by magi of that House.

Early Years as a Magus

Arrival at Andorra

Marcellus arrived at the covenant of Andorra at the end of autumn in 1244 and was granted the status of visiting magus and pledge (a magus interested in joining the covenant but who has not yet made a formal request to do so). At that time, he sent a letter to his pater to inform him of that fact, which allowed a small group of mundanes (Cassian, Bernat, Menaut and a few others) to join him in Andorra.

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