1220.4 Where have ewe gone? (Fiona's season)

More trouble with sheep, and this time it seems as if someone is stealing them, specifically ewes about to give birth. It appears that the pregnant sheep just walk off, despite what the dogs can do to stop them. One of the shepherds, Paul Henri, followed the sheep as he watched them walk away. He followed the ewes for a little way and then said he fell to the ground, as if he couldn't help but sleep.

Lambing season is about a month away. The ewes that have wandered off appear to be of two prized lines. One for exceptional wool, and the other for exceptional parchment.

I assume this is during Fiona's season as Princeps (which, iirc, is during winter)?

That is correct!

Fiona does her best to hide the surprise (and, probably, frustration) she feels at having to deal with another potentially disastrous situation involving the sheep so soon after the last one had been resolved. Com 2 + Guile (hiding true feelings) 3 + die roll of 2 = 8.

As the shepherd delivering the news speaks (I'm assuming Paul Henri?) she will watch him closely, gauging his truthfulness and trying to decide if he's telling everything he knows about what has happened. Per 0 + Folk Ken 1 + die roll of 9 = 10.

Assuming that he is, she has some questions for him, such as:

  • [color=blue]"Do you normally just watch the sheep as they wander off, or do you try to bring them back where they're supposed to be?"
  • [color=blue]"Has anything like this happened before? Here or elsewhere?"
  • [color=blue]"Would you be able to show me just where this happened?"

If he feels that he can, on the last one, Fiona will invite him to meet her at her garden after the meeting is over.

(btw, does the shepherd speak Latin, or is he speaking through a translator?)

He is certainly telling the truth judging by his facial expressions and body language. Reynault is at your disposal to translate into Latin (presuming you didn't take any time to avail yourself of learning French during the previous three seasons)

"No ma'am, uh your ladyship, that's what the dogs are for. The dogs keep them together, and they failed. I followed 'em, I did. When I saw 'em walk off this time, all in single file, I followed them a ways, and then I felt as if I couldn't keep my eyes open. Next thing I knew the dog was licking my face, and the sheep I were followin were gone." Paul-Henri says desparately trying to end what he perceives to be an interrogation.

A bit shocked, he responds "Why no ma'am."

Paul-Henri looks quite haggard and tired, as if he secured the sheep as best he could and came to the covenant straight away. Reynault indicates that his paddocks are about a half a day away, in good weather. They lie to the south, southeast. It'll be the middle of the night if you leave straight away.
Some things you've learned while at the covenant, there are grogs who speak French and Latin and can translate for you, if you're willing or need to rely on such. There's a map of the Normandy Tribunal in the library if you need to get a sense of the land.

(I actually didn't click to the fact that this doesn't necessarily come up in the council meeting until I was taking a shower a few minutes ago. I really need a secretary every time I go to the bathroom)

D'oh! Forgot about that discontinuous season/yearly xp expenditure thing. Time to get the old spreadsheet fired up. But yeah, the first season she'd be setting up the lab, so she'd probably be getting that 8xp Practice Experience in French. But even with a Score of 1 (or, if she "wastes" two seasons just learning the language, 2), she'd probably be better off with a translator.

Fiona finds the fact that the sheep were leaving single file very interesting, and very unusual, but keeps a dead pan. Com 2 + Guile (Hiding true feelings) 3 + die roll of 8 = 13. Sensing Paul Henri's discomfort (Per 0 + Folk Ken 1 + a roll of 0, , but luckily no botch, so a total of 1), she will end the "interrogation" with a [color=blue]"Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Care for a drink to calm yer nerves?" and will offer him a...well, probably not a mug, since he's French and can probably barely handle his wine, but a drink of her home-brew whisky, She will also imbibe, with her substantially larger mug.

Didn't realize the paddocks were so far away. And it being winter (even in France), it's probably not good weather. And probably all the shepherds are out tending the flocks, because there are at least one or two she knows that she wouldn't mind asking a couple of general questions of.

And after Paul Henri leaves, she will head to the library to study the map, to see what's showing in that area.

Paul-Henri accepts your drink and downs it quickly, then begs permission to leave.
Reynault indicates he'll escort Paul-Henri to quarters and find you in the library to discuss any questions you might have.

In the library, you go to the map, something you've never really paid attention to before. The map is on a desk which is tall enough for a normal person to stand at and review comfortably. You notice that the map is slightly transparent and you can see that there is glass (it's not clear, of course) under the place where the map is positioned. Above the desk are several compartments above the desk. The compartments are labeled: covenant paddocks, freeman paddocks, covenants, seisins, legacies and tropaeum and luctatio. [If you have Lion and the Lily and know what these are, you've been hear long enough to know what these are as long as you don't botch an OoH Lore roll]

Fiona will take a quick, surreptitious glance around to be sure she's not being watched, then lean over the desk to study the map. She will then reach up and go through the compartments in turn: first the freeman paddocks, Tropaeum and Luctatio, and Legacies. Order of Hermes Lore roll to ensure she knows what the last two groups are: Int 1 + OoH Lore 2 + die roll of 4 = 7. (btw, I do have The Lion and the Lily but haven't taken the time to read it yet). The main thing she's looking for in the the vis types is if there are any known vis sources in that area that might involve mind-controlled sheep...she's no shepherdess, but she's fairly certain that sheep walking in single file is not something you see every day.

After a couple of minutes of leaning over, she decides that it's rather uncomfortable, so decides to do something about it. She will try a Spontaneous Muto Herbam to make the table larger (mainly taller) without damaging or displacing anything on it. Base 3, Range Touch (+1), Duration Diameter (+1), Target Individual, for a final target level of 5. Muto 16 + Herbam 10 + Stamina 3 + Aura 5 + die roll of 6 = 40 ÷ 5 = 8. Should go off, with a Penetration of 3 + Penetration (Transformation) score of 3 = 6, if it matters. The spell turns the table white.

Also, she will make a mental note to come back to the library later and study the Tropaeums and the Luctatios after the sheep thing is over.

Non fatiguing spontaneous spells don't get a die roll (just CS/5, unless I'm missing some errata somewhere), so we'll say you fatigued yourself, and achieved a 20. It covers the glass you'd break if your spell had been successful (requisite) and pushes the duration to sun with ease. You can quickly recover the fatigue, and sunset is about an hour away (it is winter).

As Fiona layers the maps over she finds she can't read it very well. The covenant is on the main map, not on the covenants map.

Except she has Weak Spontaneous Magic and can't exert herself when casting Spontaneous Magic; all casting totals are divided by five. But, yeah, I missed that there's no die roll in the formula. So...um...16+10+3+5=34÷5=6.

But if it looks like the glass is secured to the table and would break if she casts the spell, then she won't...she'll just deal with a little bit of a backache if it comes to that.

Mental note...have craftsmen come in and put some kind of risers on the table so she can elevate it when she needs to.

:open_mouth: D'oh. Forgot. Thanks!

Some light would be good...

There's not enough light in the library to read the map with? (For some reason, I assumed that the map itself was having legibility problems).

Fiona looks around for a lamp or light source of some kind. If there's not one, she will find someone who works in the library to bring her one. (Was going to try to spont a CrIg, but that whole "dividing by five" sucks monkey butt...she could only pull off a level 3 or 4, depending on how you round (it works out to 3.8 ).

Fiona remembers suddenly about the Lamps Apollodorus wrote to her about (items players spent the 250 bps on are known to the character, as these had been discussed in letters, even if it wasn't actually written in any of the letters present).

There's plenty of light above, but as layers of transparent parchment are put on top of each other it becomes increasingly difficult to see the initial map.

She will have the servant bring at least two of the light globes.

What about underneath? Is it possible to hold or place a light globe underneath the glass to create, basically, a light box? Or is the tabletop solid underneath the glass?

If that won't work, then she'll just have to swap out the layers so she only has probably one on the main map at a time, that way she can still make out what's underneath.

The globes easily fit on a shelf below the glass.
Though the glass is cloudy, it's translucent enough to allow you to read three layers on top of the original map.

The freemans paddocks are labeled with the owner. You find Paul-Henri's but no vis sources from the Tropaeum and Luctatio, and Legacies maps that might cause such behavior (going with Rego or Animal).

[color=blue]"Reynault, you've been here longer than I have. Have you ever heard of such a thing happening in this area? Or anywhere, for that matter?

And what do you know of Paul-Henri? Is he the type who imagines fanciful things, or is he trustworthy...or at least honest?"

After, she will send a page to where Paul-Henri is staying to inform him that she will be going with him back to his paddock to take a closer look at the area. She will also send a page to Ivor to tell him likewise.

"Fiona, he is trustworthy. He produces some of the best sheep for parchment making. We buy many from him every year. I don't think he'd do anything to jeopardize a relationship with his largest, if only, customer."

"Fiona, to answer your other question, I have never heard of anything like this before. I am mystified by the entire episode. Have you heard of anything like this before?"

[OOC: sorry about not completing this last night. It's one of those things where you think you wrote something, and when you go back, you realize you didn't, that you'd only thought about it]

Fiona thinks for a moment, as she makes either a Magic Lore or an Order of Hermes Lore roll (probably the former, but she has the same score in either one). Int 1 + Lore 2 + die roll of 3 = 6 (unless it involves the Loch Ness Monster, in which case it's 7).

[color=blue]"I can't think of any off the top of my head," she says with a shake of her head.

I need a specific choice on which one you're checking.