Nicolaus of House Nicaenetus

Nicolaus dwells in one of the caverns under the keep. At first, a visitor would not suspect that his home is that of a mage, for the rooms are sparsely furnished and few of their contents bespeak the trappings of a wizard. A few books, some lying open and half-finished, sit on a small table next to a pallet. It almost seems the wooden gewgaws on a work-bench in the opposite corner have received as much attention.

Still, one glance at the occupant leaves no doubt that he has some interaction with magical forces - even at his quietest, his body is wracked by fits of trembling. When he greets newcomers, he tries his best to have them feel comfortable and welcomed. He explains that Magda has only recently taught him how to clear the cave of sulphurous air, and when he moves to finished rooms in the keep, everything will be in order.

Laboratory

[forthcoming]

Hermetic Grimoire (TechForm Level/Bonus)

Vision of the Marauding Beast (InAn 15/+10), Mighty Torrent of Water (CrAq 15/+13), Sobriety of the Pious Abbot (PeAq 15), Evoke Charybdis (ReAq 5/+12), Whispering Winds (InAu 15/+17), Circling Winds of Protection (ReAu 15/+9), Bind Wound (CrCo 10/+11), Despair of the Quivering Manacles (ReCo 10/+10), Staff of Nettles (MuHe 5/+6), Vigilant Gaze of Yesteryear (InIm 20/+15), Summoning the Distant Image (InIm 35/+15), Dispel the Phantom Image (PeIm 15/+10), Weight of a Thousand Hells (CrMe 25/+13), Lay to Rest the Haunting Spirit (PeMe 15/+10).

*Mastered spells

Vis Supply

[forthcoming]

Nicolaus of House Arteman

Strength

0

Dexterity (trembling)

-2

Stamina (stoic)

+1

Quickness (nimble)

+1

Intelligence (questioning)

+1

Presence (in crowds)

+2

Perception (alert)

+2

Communication (writing)

+1

Virtues & Flaws: Strong Writer +1, Piercing Gaze +2, Dowsing +1, Well Traveled +1, Demonic Wounds -1, Historian -1, Sense of Doom -3, Obsession (hunt down heretics & demons) -1
Abilities: Artes Liberales (rhetoric) 1, Hermetic Lore (founding) 4, Scribe Latin (composition) 4, Speak Latin (Hermetic) 5, Speak Polish (children) 4, Great Weapon (staff) 4, Swim (current) 3, Disputatio (debate) 3, Enigmatic Wisdom (numerology) 2, Bargain (food) 1, Speak Russian (directions) 1, Brawl (disarming) 1, Woodcarving (toys) 1, Speak German (questions) 2, Dowsing (water) 1, Climbing (trails) 1, Slavic Lore (Triglav) 1, Survival (woods) 1, Magic Theory (divination) 5, Certámen 3, Parma Magica 4

Nicolaus of Arteman

Year Born

1183

Age (in 1228 A.D.)

45

Decrepitude

0

Gender

Male

Size

0

Height
Weight
Hair

Black

Eyes

Brown

Handedness

Right

Twilight Points
Physical Description: 29 years old in 1212. Blond hair, brown eyes, right-handed.
Personality Traits: Generous (children) +1, Calm (crisis) +2, Curious (divination) +1, Suspicious (clergy) +2, Obstinate (backing down) +1
Reputations: Steward (Order) +2, Miracle Worker (Frohnleiten) +1, Historian of Antiquity (Order) +3
                   

Magical Arts

Creo

7

  Animál

6

Ignem

6

Intéllego

9

  Aquam

9

Imáginem

7

Muto

5

  Auram

5

Mentem

8

Perdo

7

  Corpus

6

Terram

5

Rego

6

  Herbam

5

Vim

5

                   
Soak: +3 Armor Worn: none

Skill

Weapon

Scr

Init

Atk

Dfn

Dam

Fat

Single weapon

staff

4

+12

+7

+12

+3

+6

Brawling

fist/kick

1

+3

-1

+2

+0

+2

Background: As the son of a Polish scribe, Nicolaus was brought to a monastery in Silesia for education and eventually, the Holy Orders. Nicolaus took well to his schooling, especially Latin and rhetoric - the worldly abbot often bade him recite Classical works before and debate with the monastery's guests. Performing before powerful nobles and eminent clergy, Nicolaus began to notice that the more power a man possessed in God's name, the more it was wielded for personal over altruistic aims.

Nicolaus' talents sharpened as he grew older and more knowledgeable, yet his questions about power and salvation went unanswered. More and more he picked arguments with his teachers, secretly delighted when they failed to reconcile Christian tenets with the reality of existence. As tempers shortened within the monastery, and as more and more students grew to fear Nicolaus' epilepsy, he was soon removed by Porthantus.

Porthantus had described himself as an attendant in a nearby manor. He visited often, seemingly out of place among the other listeners. At the nadir of Nicolaus' time as a student, Porthantus told him his suspicion that Nicolaus harbored the Gift. His explanation of the power and responsibility that magic carried intrigued him: that magic, like salvation, should not be kept from others for selfish reasons, and that those who possessed it should steward it, for the good of all. Nicolaus accepted the invitation of apprenticeship.

At Mondsagen, Nicolaus found out that magical power was treated very much like spiritual power. In particular, the young mage witnessed a long procession of wizards traveling to the Cave of Moonbeams to wrest its secrets for a minimum in return. Still, Porthantus managed to instill in his student his notions of personal sacrifice for the benefit of others. Perhaps the greatest sacrifice of his pater was to forego the Cave lest no one in the Covenant have a clear head. Confident in his pupil's fortitude, Porthantus was able to shield Nicolaus from the Cave for a long time.

What little Nicolaus remembered from his unwitting visit to the Cave is written in his journal. He believes he witnessed a force even greater than magic - destiny. After debating long with Nicolaus about the vision and its meaning, the sorrowful Porthantus saw he could do little to sway this newfound conviction. Nicolaus began traveling the countryside, chronicling portents and fortune telling to further the knowledge of House Arteman and to recreate the forces he perceived. As it seemed that his pupil could learn no more from him, Porthantus decided to seek a new home for Nicolaus.

Excerpt from Nicolaus' Journal:

I awoke weeping. Magister reports that when the two grogs dragged my limp body from the cavern, I could neither sense my surroundings nor communicate. I lingered in such a state for three days. Indeed, were it not for my shallow breathing and the copious tears I wept, even the most lucid members of Mondsagen Covenant would have given me up for dead or hopelessly hag-ridden. Although I am alive, and appear to be returning to good health, I suspect those that whisper the latter are not far from the truth.

She brushed my head, and with the touch of her palm my blood turned now to ice, now to boiling steam. "Only water, my poor Magus, as inconstant as the sea," she sighed, and the sound was that of oak leaves rustling in the groves of Dodona.

From the condition of my pallet at sunrise, I must deduce that my vision frequently returns to me while I dream. Still, attempts to coax all but the most basic details from my mind have failed. I know that what I saw portends my final destiny; yet it is not the prospect of death that I fear (for will not all men, despite potions and spells designed to forestall the inevitable, eventually meet her embrace?). Rather, I believe that the source of my anxiety stems from the source of the vision.

My Sybil, my dark oracle, I must find you again. To risk the cave a second time would mean insanity, yet if I remain at Mondsagen I cannot resist the longing to seek you there again. I yearn to show you that I can be the vessel of your power. I would seek the destiny you presented not from hubris, but merely to fulfill the terrible aspect of the magic you yielded.

I know not what magic was present with me in the cave, only that its power approached heights I had heretofore never encountered. Its brilliance rivaled even the most potent of Hermetic wizardry; my own talents pale in comparison. As I study I wonder more and more whether my calling is not as an apprentice to the trappings of magic, but as a chronicler of prophecy. I must tell Magister.


Illustration by Michael Daumen.

This page last modified 4/21/98.

Comments to murphy@email.unc.edu

Return to the Rabenstein home page