1.3b Perama Caves

[tab][/tab] Miklos and Scylax are examining the strange cave and its inhabitants. The young Pralician is focused on the magic side of the place and though eager, his attention is cannot fully pierce the mysteries of this place. He gleans some interesting facts though: the worm is indeed a magical creature but no further details were gained [ability did not penetrate]. The concentrated vis is in the largest, intact, glowing crystals and there are few of them. The worm is munching on said crystals. The shards and younger crystals have traces of magic, not enough to be useful though. The beast does not seem to be aware of Miklos' light but it does react to the vigorous gesturing of Scylax and later at the levitation of things. It seems it is blind but can sense movement, turning what looks like its front part this way and that trying to sense what disturbed it.
[tab][/tab] Scylax grabs several broken shards and some skin. The cockroaches peel off on contact with the barrier, and skitter around in panic. The broken shards hold traces of magic long gone, the younger intact ones are faintly luminescent with some kind of ambient thaumaturgy. The larger ones contain Vim vis. The skin fragments that he sampled, they too contain magic albeit of the Terram flavour. These are though too small for use, perhaps the two larger carapace fragments hold vis.

[Obviously this is a place that can provide vis. The Covenant will need one season of research to gain knowledge of this site and claim it (officially or unofficially). You can bring some vis now but it might trigger the worm]

[tab][/tab] The worm is fairly large. Perhaps it fits the tunnel you just used, certainly the round shape of it is suggestive. You have not seen other such tunnels in the complexes you have been so far, nor such destruction of the cave floors. It could be that it is confined to this chamber or that there are other entrances/exits, possibly under all that rubble...

Scylax is enthusiastic, he will definitely volunteer a season to research the vis site and the ways to harvest it...we just have to get to next year! And the worm's capabilities as well.

Did the worm react violently, or did it soon lose interest in the flurry of activity? Scylax will not leave without some vis, that's for sure! He will proceed to lift other inanimate objects and move them nearby the worm, see if it reacts violently. He believes that the worm exudes some nasty humor that may allow it to bore into the earth...and that might have flash fried the creature in the other cave, as well as drying it up. The smell of vinegar means there's some of that nasty stuff nearby.
Perhaps he can get the worm used to such "supernatural" activity.

Depending on what he observes (worm's agitated responses, worm getting used to floating objects, worm moving away to another part of the cave), following course of action:

It is possible that the skin flakes may be still active Arcane Connections to the worm. He has multiple ones, not super fresh though. Scylax will spend an hour creating a horoscope for this creature, Artes Liberales should be 2 (took Ioannes's class in Spring) + 3 Int vs 9, _: 1D10 = [7] = 7 , done! He will then attempt to cast Opening the Intangible Tunnel ReVi 15 Mastery 1 Resistance/+20 on the worm, totally silent and w/o gestures using a totally silent/quiet Facilitate the Stifled Spell (Vim) MuVi 10 Mastery 1 Quiet Casting/+20, +20 -10 silent/subtle +3 Aura = _: 1D10 = [10] = 10, oof, no botch as it is mastered, (only 1 botch die, correct?) = 13, done!
Concentration of 9 to get off successfully 3 Int + 4 casting spells vs 9 _: 1D10 = [9] = 9 = 16, easily done!
Now for the Tunnel: _: 1D10 = [2] = 2 = bah! 22 total, Penetration is 7 + 2 Penetration Vim x 4 (multiple "scales" should be a x 3 connection + 1 Horoscope) = 15, rather pathetic. Can he perceive an Open Tunnel? :stuck_out_tongue: He was planning on freezing the worm to unconsciousness from afar with Winter's Icy Touch PeIg 10 Mastery 2(4) Multiple Casting, Penetration/+20, but of course, there are many things he does not know about the creature!

[tab][/tab] Though the worm seems to sense different movements in the air and looks 'curious', stopping its voracious eating several times, only once does it react in violence, when something large is brought floating near it. The force of its upper body thumping the ground is humbling, a small earthquake that shakes the complex, dust falling everywhere. This is not a creature that is easily subdued. Still, its attention span seems limited and it goes back to munching crystals. While too far for Scylax, Miklos detects a faint acrid sent coming from the worm when agitated.
[tab][/tab] Scylax manages to gather some crystals and skin fragments. The large carapaces hold the terram vis while the largest crystals hold the vim...and they need to be carefully cut and extracted from the ground. He also does some preparations and spell-casting...

[Scylax does the horoscope, albeit under stressful situations. The scales are indeed a +3 arcane connection. The Tunnel fails to penetrate. MM is 25.]

I suggest we retreat and reassess our options master, that worm looks like it could chew is up any time it likes. I suggest we go while it stays unagitated. Miklos suggests.

Scylax laughs Now Miklos, why do you have to go on and make sense? We "Masters" should always have someone like you assigned that can bring us back to earth when we start to daydream! I was thinking of acting bravely, how dire! Gather everything carefully then, and let us away to the other cave.

Miklos, speak little or not at all of what you saw here, ehh? Good man! This should only be shared with the Masters and whoever they deem necessary.

Do you know the village this hill overlooks? I direct you to find out who owns what, surreptitiously, particularly the area near this new entrance, and get back to me, perhaps it behooves Meru Mudi to acquire some cheap woodland.

*edit: to be clear, Scylax has some vis? If he hasn't, he will attempt to acquire some, no matter what. He's not coming back empty-handed! He will carefully harvest one of the clumps, and attempt to grab a skin flake, using Wizard's Leap to get there, and hoof it back quickly if he can't Leap back because the molted skin is too big to be included. As the fauna and flora may be poisonous, he will grab them using the sack as sort of a mitten. To avoid roach infestation, he will trace a quick circle of beast warding near the flake pile, grab the flake and then carry it inside, into the sack. From there, Leap back, or walk slowly, Fremen-like :wink: , this worm is dangerous! If the worm attacks, Scylax will avoid, though he will defend himself with Winter's Icy Touch PeIg 10 Mastery 2(4) Multiple Casting, Penetration/+20, which together with the arcane connections and horoscope should have an ok chance of affecting the thing (on a roll of 5, Penetration 27). Still, he's not particularly brave and does not look forward to being acidified, and he prefers to use the worm as resource, not attempt to kill it, so main strategy is avoidance.
Also, will stay at least the night in the other cave, see if they can witness anything else. Then collect the skeletal remains elsewhere, hide traces of their expedition, and leave.

[tab][/tab] Miklos is familiar with this village, called Perama. Its the same village you passed-by and on the outskirts of which you made your camp. It is situated at the edge of the lake, just in front of the hill. It is too small to have its own governor or noble, and too close to Ioannina not to fall under that town's jurisdiction.
[tab][/tab] Scylax manages to grab 1 Vim vis crystal and enough large skin remnant for 2 Terram vis from afar. Being pragmatic, he figures that any attempt he makes might agitate the worm; it is quite sensitive to the environment. He should attempt to confront it with at least some more people (magi and mundanes) or send in stealthier people...
[tab][/tab] Returning back to their in-cave camp Scylax and Miklos inform the others of what they found. It is up to the party whether they want to stay the night or just leave through the new found entrance, circle the hill and go back to their outside camp (about one hour, plenty of time before sunset).

[What skeletal remains do you want to take with you?]

If stealth is identified as the major skill required to pick up more bits and pieces Miklos will happily volunteer to go back in himself and pick up whatever is required. He is much happier only having to look after himself rather than Magus Skylax as well. As to staying the night he will suggest not as caves can easily flood and the worm may roam about at night. He will suggest that they exit after dark so as to be less likely to be spotted from the village. He is skilled enough to lead the group in a moon lit environment as that is his usual time of "work".

Not so much, Scylax is guarded in his speech, although he is obviously pleased, and keeps the bag with vis with him at all times, unless it becomes unmanageable. He will say that this place is worth exploring some more. He will be more chatty and open with Arni, in a very low voice. If he perceives Miklos as spilling the beans to the other bored members of the expedition (unlikely!), he will interrupt, and engage everyone in an unending barrage of verbosity, all the while staring with unusual intensity at the man.

Here...but it looks like it's firmly embedded, correct?

Now, now, my dear fellow! Let's not be hasty! I wish to observe this pool some more and its environs, there may be something to witness in the night. We can camp higher up, to avoid this hypothetical flood, but I want a good vantage point. I will indulge my curiosity!

Simplicity itself. In my meager repertoire, I do have some relevant formulae, we can exit unseen like owls in a moonless hunt. (when the time comes, Scylax will turn people invisible and spread Eyes of the Cat around, so that they can navigate normally in the night)

<OOC I understand IonianD wants to wrap this up, and I am fine with that, but there may be more things to discover, so we can skip the role-playing and if the SG wants to regale us with a short narrative of what happens next, that would be excellent. Scylax will also try to carve hand/footholds using Perdo Terram sponts in the various cave walls where they have ascended or descended OOC>

[That femur is way back, second chamber. Easier to reach from the other entrance than go back through the whole cave (and the cramped passages). It is indeed embedded into the rock, but you can easily cast a PeVim and get it out. No vis in it, you will need someone to study it for an Int+ Animal Handling 21 or Int+Philosophiae 15 roll. I will assume that Scylax has his way and you stay the night in. I need Miklos to do a Qui+Stealth 9 and see from there what happens]


Stealth 4+2 + Qik 2 + D10 roll 4 = 12 - success.

[tab][/tab] Miklos puts his life in danger to bring some more crystals for Scylax to study. He expertly navigates the cavern floor, avoiding most of the rubble. Still the Worm seems to be sensing something, as it frequently pauses and sways its massive front in search of noise. Not risking it, Miklos manages to bring back one more of those light-filled crystals.

[You now have 2 Vim vis crystals, 2 Terram vis half eaten skins and a large femur, plus some arcane connections to the cave and pool]

[tab][/tab] You regroup with the rest of your party at the large underground lake, where Alexios and Bogdan have created a rudimentary camp under the supervision of Arni. Scylax is adamant that you spend the night here, so you try to get as comfortable as you can. However you cannot make a fire, as there is nowhere for the smoke to go. It is a cold, miserable and mostly silent night spent with rudimentary equipment and bedrolls. The magi of course use some magic to make themselves more comfortable, but its a far cry from their usual repose back at the covenant.
[tab][/tab] Some more 'poking around' at the large lake reveals very little else. The 'fish' are almost non-existent, to any sight or physical ploy. They seem to react only to magic, they must be some kind of Thaumavores (magic eaters) since they seem to be attracted to magic and by some means consume it. Perhaps that is why you cannot glean information about these mysterious entities, since magic used on them would probably be consumed. Still, they are an important find, that generates more questions; What do they eat in here? What do they look like? Were they created, transported, evolved here? Who else knows about them? What can they do, or what can they be used for?
[tab][/tab] The rest of the night passes silently without any problems or disturbances. The three mundanes keep a guard up, just in case, while the magi try to sleep. At what you think is morning, you start the climbing to the exit and squeeze through the opening there with some trouble, just as the sun rises in the east. It was a tiring adventure but you are richer in knowledge if not in material things. Still, with sufficient research you could potentially have a steady supply of vis in the future, something all magi treasure.
[Research option opened. Everyone please make a Sta roll 4]

[tab][/tab] The five return to the base camp, this time going around the hill from the north side, avoiding the small village and the lake. It would be best to keep the second entrance secret from others. It takes some time for your grogs to pack things up again and you leave for the covenant, making it in time for a warm diner...

[Adventure is complete. Anything else we need here, besides xp?]

Nothing more from Miklos.

Scylax is good with closing the adventure here. He will carefully place the new Vim crystal Miklos obtained with the other pawns. He now feels rather proprietary about the cave, and wishes to delve into the thaumavore's secrets and return, perhaps with a metal enclosure, to capture at least one of these elusive fish. He will suggest to the Council to splurge for materials for a Mobile Lab, perhaps a cheap one can be assembled in the cave at some point.
Scylax will be as garrulous as ever, but he will not discuss events in the cave except with other Magi, and will not look fondly on any of the grogs who say anything except that it was boring and dreary. :wink:

As to the bone, we do have the Philosophae expert along, Alexios, no one better educated to identify it.

[Right. Alexios? You want a crack at the bone? Int+Phi please. Also my Sta roll from everyone!!!!!]

Scylax Stamina roll 2 + _: 1D10 = [8] = 8 = 10 if something nasty requires a higher roll, he is willing to spend Confidence to avoid

Miklos stamina roll is Sta 1 + D10 (8) = 9

Alexios - stamina 0 + _: 1D10 = [1] = 1, oh it rolls up, _: 1D10 = [10] = 10 for a 20

Int 5 + Natural Philosophy 8 (+1 if natural philosophy) + _: 1D10 = [1] = 1 - well that's 14 if it's a simple roll, if it's stress _: 1D10 = [9] = 9 then that's 31 (32 if natural philosophy.

Alexios is undeterred by any background environmental effects, and after peering at the bone says "I think I've read about this in Pliny..."

[tab][/tab] Back at your temporary camp, Scylax shows the freed bone to Alexios and asks him to examine it. The Naffatun does a brief cursory examination of the femur and immediately points out that this is the femur of a bear, albeit a kind of bear he has never heard of. Despite the patina of long age almost blackening its composition and the calcite deposits still clinging on certain parts of it, this bone is clean and well preserved with no bite marks or breaks on it. It is clear that this bear lived and died in this cave sometime thousand of years ago, and ancient cave bear. The femur itself is larger than any bear's and yet its shape suggest the creature had shorter legs than a modern bear has, comparatively to the rest of the body that is. Truly a bizarre find...
[tab][/tab] The morning is spent gathering up your small camp (mainly the grogs you brought with you), packing up any gear back into the mules you brought, then starting the road back to the Covenant via the same way you came. None is wiser of your passing, having been quite careful not to alert any peasants or other residents of your cave exploration. And yet this was an important find for your small group of magi, your first source of vim! ...well, besides the one you already had inside your Covenant aura that is. Still it was an important event and a worthy investment of time. The magi go on to apprise the rest of their cabal during that season's council meeting, opening up a new source of power. They have yet to decide whether they will report this to the Tribunal and claim it for their own or keep it hidden (potentially losing it if someone else discovers it). The cave itself should be mapped, whatever small part of it you saw as you suspect it might be far larger than previously though of, the worm and fish could be further studied. The prospects are exciting!
[tab][/tab] For the companions and grogs it was a rather more pedestrian chore of guarding the odd men (and woman) of the Covenant do whatever they came there to do. There was no combat this time and thankfully no-one was hurt or died. All came out hale from this experience and a bit wiser. Back at the Covenant, Scylax cautions them to not talk about their exploration of the cave. A pity cause it would make a great drinking story for cold nights...

[tab][/tab] [tab][/tab] [tab][/tab] Gains


Total of 5 xp to all Magi and companions. (Scylax gain 8?)

[tab][/tab]Confidence points

A gain of 2 confidence points.
I count Alexios using 1 point and Scylax using 2 (please check)

[tab][/tab] Reputation[tab][/tab]

No changes

[tab][/tab]Material Gains

Several arcane connections.
2 Terram vis and 2 Vim vis in the form of discarded worm skin and large crystals. 1 Large ancient bear femur.

<OOC Yes, because of Independent Study, +3 to adventure Q xp. Scylax will spend 5 in Mastery of Wizard's Leap ReCo 15, x2 = 10, Precise Casting Mastery, 1 point on Perdo and 1 on Vim (which become 2 each with Affinity, as I understand it), 1 on Auram. OOC>

<OOC Went over the story and looks like that is correct.

Note that I was mistaken in how the Maintain Arcane Connections spells work, they work while there's a duration on the spell, so as Scylax rolled them in this adventure they do not work. The connections still last as long as they last normally.OOC>

*edit - BTW, really enjoyed the adventure, Scylax is stoked to plumb the secrets of the cave. Too bad loke and Arni, is not around, now Scylax has to see with what other Magus he can hit it off.