The following material was cut from the Arelat section of Faith and Flame to save space. The first Story Seed was cut when the role of the hedge magician allies of the Coenobium was reduced and Lavandarius thereby became a less important figure in the overall covenant heirarchy. The special spears made of Ash were interesting but I felt that Lavender of Virtue was more critical to the flavour text for Provencal and I wanted to have a non-martial Item of Virtue included in preference.
Story Seed: An Asp within the Lavender?
Unknown to his sodales of the Coenobium, the Hermetic liaison with the herbalists of Provence, Lavendarius ex Miscellanea, is secretly in league with the pirates of Froxinetum, although only through necessity ― the archipelago contains the only local source of Lavender of Virtue and he has been forced to negotiate with the pirates for this prize reagent on behalf of his herbalist allies. The Pralician’s duplicity so far has been limited to alerting the pirates to which ships are magically protected by the Coenobium to avoid any charges under the Peripheral Code of interfering with the covenant’s magical resources while the pirate covenant is still vulnerable.
If discovered, the magus may be able to use his secret to his advantage ― although stories of the raiders’ depredations are still recorded, none of the current magi of the Coenobium remembers the attacks first hand and the mercantile interests of the covenant may predominate. Lavandarius may be able to point out that Ahmad’s modern band of raiders has never knowingly attacked a Coenobium ship and that their piracy may better be harnessed by effectively granting them privateer status and targeting Ahmad’s forces against the Coenobium’s mundane competitors in an attempt to increase their wider Mediterranean interests.
Former foes may become allies. The direct heirs of the covenants destroyed by the original Hermetic raiders may not be as forgiving and seek to avenge their ancestors, drawing the rest of the Tribunal into an old feud.
The Lances of Fraxinet (Ash of Virtue)
The shield grogs of Fraxinet were feared in battle for their wooden lances of ash, capable of withering an opponent’s arm with only a light touch. Made from Enrichment of the straightest branch of an Ash of Virtue, such spears are carved while being blackened over cinders made from the remainder of the tree and doused in an infusion made from its leaves mixed with the blood of the chosen wielder. The enchantment lasts for six uses or until the spear is splintered during combat.
A totally wooden spear made from an Ash of Virtue confers the wielder a Lesser Magic Power Virtue (see Realms of Power: Magic) with an Perdo Corpus effect that destroys an opponent’s limb of Level 20, Penetration 0, with Range: Touch and Target: Part. The wooden point of the spear must touch an unarmored part of an opponent’s body to have its effect and may be readily broken in battle by metal weapons or against shields.
The straightest branch of an Ash of Virtue contains 2 pawns of Perdo vis.
See also the following online articles and posts related to Fraxinetum:
- The Saracens of St Tropez (Robert W. Lebling, Saudi Aramco World Sep/Oct 2009)
- Fraxinet (Wikipedia, accessed Aug 2014)
- Fraxinetum: An Islamic Frontier State (Ballandalus, May 2015)