The Chapel Rock Campaign
Sir Geoffroy Tortesmains
Crusader, Monster Hunter, Tremere
Geoffroy was born in 1178 to Hugh of Wells, who in 1220 is Bishop of Lincoln, but who was deacon at Wells then. A rudimentary ecclesiastical education was provided at mother’s insistence.
Swept under the carpet when Hugh’s lack of celibacy became an impediment to his career, Geoffroy was shifted to the entourage of a knight of Bath by his paternal grandfather’s connections. He joined the 3rd Crusade as an attendant to this knight in 1190, age 12.
He was part of the desperate shield wall that decided the Battle of Jaffa, 1192, where his knight was slain and Geoffroy was added to Richard’s retinue on the promise that he would be knighted as soon as he reached majority. He then set out with Richard from Acre, and was finally among the 20 who set out from Corfu. Ultimately he was captured with Richard at Erdberg inn, where Richard attempted to use him as a distraction and escape, the final piece in Geoffroy’s disillusionment with Richard. Geoffroy was then beaten, and left for dead by Duke Leopold’s men. As an act of Christmas mercy, Geoffroy was taken in by local priest who then discovered his literacy, and ultimately sent the young man to become a minor canon in the cathedral of Vienna. There he lived in moderately secure poverty until inspired to join the Crusade of 1197 as a man-at-arms, aged 19.
Geoffroy took part in the battles for Sidon and Beirut, and distinguished himself at the battle for Sidon. Following this he was knighted by and entered the service of the elderly Norman Lord of Sidon – Reginald Grenier – who favored him both because of his heroism during the battle and because Geoffroy spoke French. It was at Sidon that Geoffroy entered into an affair with Reginald’s wife, Helvis of Ibelin, who was his own age. This came to an end when Reginald died in 1202, and Helvis was assigned a less indulgent husband.
With the limited funds available to him, Geoffroy then journeyed north to join the 4th Crusade at Venice. There he was interned with the rest of the Crusaders, and effectively bankrupted. He took part in the assault of Zara, but joined Reynold of Montmirail in refusing to sail on Constantinople. Informed by an acquaintance from Vienna of an opportunity for service there, Geoffroy set out to return to the city. It was while en route from Zara to Vienna that he accidentally fell in with the vampire hunter Richárd Csesznek, Wildgrave of Bakony, and Companion of the Tremere Magus Mihály of Gönyu. Old Mihály was deeply pragmatic, and not the kind of man to look a gift horse in the mouth. Recognizing Geoffroy’s Gift, Mihály took him as an apprentice.
In 1218, Geoffroy’s thoughts finally turned to home, and he set out for England. It was while crossing from a visit to his mother’s grave at Wells over to Beachley, to visit his older brother, that he discovered the hidden power beneath Saint Twrog’s chapel.