1197 A.D. (Late Spring) Inspection of the site

A week after the initial meeting with Tandaline, the magi who are to travel to the site gather again in the fields below Durenmar's towers, at the same pavilion.

Near the tent is an object covered by a tarp, roughly two meter in width and length and half that high.

Tandaline is waiting for you, along with two grogs in leather armor, round shield and short swords.

Borealis walks up in his travelling clothes, with a blanket and some food stuffed into a satchel.

Looking at the covered object, he gestures and says "I presume that's how we're going to travel?"

(OOC Let us assume that the others arrive pretty much at the same time)

"Good morning," says Tandaline as Borealis inspects the bundle. "It is indeed our means of transportation to the site. An enchanted item left here a long time ago by a visiting Verditius. He left and never came back to retrieve it. A bit unpredictable in its operation, but still useful in a situation such as ours today."

She directs the grogs to remove the tarp protecting the item. It looks a bit like a low-slung open carriage with no wheels and no hitching place for horses. There is a door on one side. It is painted bright blue and decorated with white imscriptions along the railing on the outside. In short, a blue box that appears too small to carry six people.

"You will have to lower your Parma before you step inside," directs Tandaline as she opens the door and wave you in.

Suppressing his Parma, Borealis says "I hope this device is safe, even if you call it unpredictable. Still, the magical option is so much more convenient than travelling there by river."

As Borealis steps into the box, the side appear to rise up around him until they are slightly higher than he is. Looking back, he sees Tandaline towering over him from the outside and he realizes that he is the one who changed size. The inside of the box now looks much larger, enough for all of the magi and grogs, along with their gear.

As Tandaline joins him and the others, she says with a smile, "Yes, it's bigger on the inside."

OOC : that reference !! I see what you're doing here ^^

Morrigan arrives too as Borealis steps into the device.

She's wearing the worn traveling clothes she's been using to come to the covenant. She's brought food, but she's not wearing her leather armor not expecting any fights.

"Good morning Tandaline, that's a nice device we've got here"

She's taking the time to greet the grogs, but doesn't expect them to know a lot of latin so she keeps It simple.

She then lowers her parma and goes inside the Box.

The grogs just nod at her, touching their sternum and bowing slightly. Tandaline introduce them, "That is Jorge and Jan. They're brothers and mute. Runs in the family. They grew up here, so they understand latin."

Once each get inside the box, they get shrunk down to a bit more than a third their previous size. Inspecting the inside, you see benches along the front and sides, with several levers and various items. There are also small windows showing the exterior around the box, which were not noticeable from the outside.

Tandaline moves to the front of the box (meaning the side opposite the door) and sits down on the bench. "Sit down everyone, and don't touch anything unless I tell you to. I'm not sure what all of these do. Hang on to your seats, it can get rough."

She takes hold of two levers before her, then turns her head. "Borealis, pump those small bellows in front of you five or six times, will you?"

When he does, a noise between the "woosh" of normal bellows and the screeching of an old wagon's axle is emmited, and a strong wind starts swirling around the box, whipping everyone's hair. "One more time!" yells Tandaline. Soon enough the wind lifts the box, which rises in an uneven fashion, tilting this way and that. "Hang on!" Tandaline moves the levers in front of her. The box starts picking up speed, rising faster, but also starts spinning of itself. Through the windows, the passengers can see the landscape moving around, then recede and you pick up even more speed.

You get jostled around occasionally, as Tandaline manipulates the lever in a tight grip, trying to stabalize the box. The landscape below flashes by at an amazing speed as the box spins this way and that way. After an hour, maybe more, Tandaline directs the box closer to the ground, where you can see a river and eventually a village. With a sudden lurch, the box spins towards a large hill, presumably your destination. The ground approaches fast. Too fast! With a final crash, you break through the trees and BANG! You get thrown around in one last time, some of you falling down from your bench. The box is not at rest, if leaning slightly to one side. Tandaline slowly lets go of the levers, taking a deep breath.

"Well, we are here." She stands shakily, "I think so, at least."

Morrigan laughs

"Well not exactly what I was expecting, I hope everyone's OK? Let's get out to see where we landed. We might have to hide the device on a short notice and to mind trick a few witnesses"

With a smile on her face she heads towards the door of the machine.

As soon as you step out, you grow back to your normal size. The group debarks from the box to find themselves in a light forest on a rocky hill.

Tandaline replises, "It is actually not particularly noticeable when in flight. One of its imbued effects, I believe, though it only covers sight. The noise can still be heard, but as there are no habitation up here, I doubt anyone noticed our arrival."

As she talks, Jorge and Jan were unloading the supplies from the carriage. Now they unfold a large tarp and lide it over the box, securing it with several rock. With a shimmer, the tarp appears to solidify, taking the color and texture of a rock outcropping.

Borealis steps out, slightly dizzy.
"A most unusual device. Still, we are here!"

He looks down over the hill. "Let's head to the caves!"

"Let's see..." Tandaline looks around, trying to orient herself. "The easiest way to get there is probably to get up to the rocky plateau on the north side of the hill, then come back down to the spring. From there, it should be easy to find the correct entrance. This way!"

She leads the group generally north. You quickly move out of the rougher terrain where you landed, to a somewhat flatter ground, though still rocky enough that you have to watch your steps. Small trees, with some larger ones, grow on most spot.

For those of you who know anything about trees (Survival 2 or more), there is oak, birch and spruce, at least. Some rasberry or blackberry bushes. Several different birds can be heard, including crows. Insects buzz around you.

ooc : I cast -The Evil Eye (Sight version of opening the intangible tunnel) (ReVi 25) on the bird, then Opening the Tome of the Animal's Mind (InAn 25) to ask for local human settlement and finally Commanding the Harnessed Beast (ReAn 30) and I ask him to "fly in circle in front of us and come back to me if It sees another human." Considering It's suppose to be a complex instruction, human seems fair to me.
I also take the opportunity to collect a few bugs that I stock in a closed pouch for later use. I don't think we're in a stress situation but You'll tell me if you need rolls.

I'm going to cast a few spells to ease our journey, I'll scout in front of us with a crow and mind read him to see if he's seen humans today and If there's settlement in the forest. Considering there's no magical auras, I'll need a few minutes to recover after each spells.

OOC The crow (or crows) can just be heard for now, as you are still under the cover of trees. But I will keep that in mind as you come out in the open and see one.

"Actually," says Tandaline from the front of the group, "most of the hill has a weak magical aura. I believe we are on the south side, which is the farthest from the river, and the town."

After perhaps a dozen diameters, the group break out of the trees. The ground becomes more rock than soil here, and rises up a bit more. Morrigan is finally able to spot a crow and cast her spells. As the others catch their breath, and wait more or less patiently, she is able to get more information. There doesn't seem to be any humans close to you, but there are plenty near the river.

Tandaline waits for Morrigan to let her know they can proceed.

Morrigan communicates the information she gathers

I seems that our path is clear from encounters up to river, but there's human presence there, unsurprisingly.

"That's fine", says Borealis,"for now we just want to get over the other side of the hill and find the cave entrance. Speaking to locals and finding out about the town can wait for now."

Morrigan adds
I'll pass by the river and launch a bug to see if I can peek what the merchants are transporting. I don't think I'll be in any trouble...II shouldn't even be in contact with them, It's useless as I don't speak the language yet.

We can go straight there after If you want but I want to collect as many informations as possible. The cave isn't the only thing I want to see, we have already rather detailed information about It thanks to Tandaline. Once we arrive there, I'll scout the surroundings maybe collect a few samples.

ooc : I cast Aura of Ennobled Presence (MuIm 10) +10 before We're in sight It shouldn't cause any fatigue. She also prepares a bug with Commanding the Harnessed Beast (ReAn 30) +19. She instructs It to fly in the boats and look what's inside and then to come back to me. I shouldn't need to be in contact with the merchants.
Once It comes back she mind reads If to get the image of what it has seen in the boat.
Well that's assuming they are merchants or transporters with boats.

Tandaline simply nods and starts walking again, leading you to the edge of the hill. A wide view is revealed of the valley of the Main river, down below and about one mile away. The small town is visible, as are numerous field to tboth sides of town on the southern shore, with only a few narrow ones on the northern shore. You are prpbably at one of highest point in the area, and the view is spectacular.

OOC It will take a long time for an insect to make its way to a boat, and it will have trouble finding you again. Also, its senses and mind are limited. It doesn't know what a boat is, nor will it be able to discern the type of cargo. As for Aura of Ennobled Presence, you are at least an hour away from town, unless you plan on jumping down a 100-foot cliff.

ooc : I was expecting to come at the limit of the forest and lauch the insect from here ? But I guess the forest is further than expected. I'm not sure It's view sense is really limited, his mind though...
The aura of ennobled presence was in case I would have to interact with the people at the river being notices near the edge of the forest and considering it's sun duration...

I'll take another opportunity when we'll be closer then.

OOC It is not so much that its sense of view is limited, but that its sense of scale is much different. It focuses and recognizes things from the perspective of a very small. Its food and threats are of the same size, so it concentrates on that. Anything as large as a boat -- or even a human -- is so large that it is more akin to a force of nature or part of the landscape than an individual object. When you add a limited mind... But as you say, you'll get the opportunity to investigate the town and boats.

Once everyone has had a chance to orient themselves and gaze out at the surrounding area from the top of the hill, Tandaline wave them onwards. "It will be much easier to find the entrance of the cavern from here." She points down to the southwest, "There is a spring about seventy paces that way. The cave to the regio entrance is about twenty pace west of that, hidden by some brush trees."

She proceeds as indicated, to an area where some smaller trees grow again. You can hear the gurgle of the spring, with a small stream flowing south down the hill. Tandaline follows it for thirty paces, before angling back north at an angle. "Easier footing that way," she explains, "the cave entrance is on the side of the hill. Going straight down from the spring is too steep to be safe."

You finally reach the side of the hill, to a fairly wide cave entrance, about three paces across but not much deeper. The sandy ground slants down into it, and there is a kind of natural alcove. Tandaline leads you there.

"Put your back to the wall and close your eyes. That usually works. Be patient, once in a while it takes a little while." She waves one of you to do it.

Borealis steps up against the wall, and slowly leans against it. He looks around, slightly doubtful, then closes his eyes.