Magic Lore. But just for grins, let's check Order of Hermes Lore too...Int 1 + Order of Hermes Lore 2 + die roll of 8 = 11. Figures. Roll hellagood on the one that's got no shot at being right
1220.4 Where have ewe gone? (Fiona's season)
Magic Lore isn't fuitful. However you're OoH Lore roll is sufficient to remember that the nature of the Normandy Tribunal has some odd customs. Covenants have can declare oaths of fealty to other covenants and that covenants have, in years past, been allowed to attack the mundane resources of other covenants.
Fiona sends a page to bring Paul-Henri back to the library.
[color=blue]"One more question before we call it a day, Paul-Henri. Which direction were the sheep going when they were...wandering off?" (ooc - I felt so like Columbo when I saw what she realized.)
While you didn't give him the same amount of whiskey, you drank, you gave him quite a bit, and he downed it quickly. He looks like his day is done, in more ways than one, he just barely manages to slur out words you can't understand. Reynault says, "I THINK he said mostly west, but a bit to the south." Whereupon Paul-Henri collapses.
[color=blue]"Should have known better than to give a Frenchman a real drink," she mutters in Gaelic as Paul-Henri passes out.
She places one of the light globes on the shelf beneath the table and places the Covenants map over the main map, trying to ascertain which covenant(s) is/are located in that general direction relative to Paul-Henri's paddock. If there are one or two that jump out at her, she will see what information we have in the library about them.
She will also try to hide the glee she feels at the challenge she sees before her...but not do very well. Com 2 + Guile (hiding true feelings) 3 + a die roll of 0. Really? Ok, checking for botch comes up an 8, so no botch. Merely a 5. She smiles a little. [color=blue]"So, ye think ye can out-raid a Scotswoman, can ye? We'll just see about that!" she says in Gaelic.
Then, to Reynault: [color=blue]"I think whoever's stealing our sheep is going to learn that they picked the wrong time to start a fight."
As you view the covenants sheet over the freeman paddock's layer you see Atsingani lies almost due west. When Reynault sees this, he inhales deeply in such away as to make a reverse hissing sound.
Reviewing the convenant sheet indicates that the covenants are color coded. It matches the color of two different covenants, Montverte and a covenant that is Paris Montverte.Ch.
[OOPlay, sice you have The Lion and the Lily, switch the position of the covenants of Atsingani and Atrementam Renatus.]
"This is dire news. It is unlikely that Atsingani would not act so brazenly and so independently. They are a vassal of Montverte. This is very dire news. I have to get Apollodorus, as this is now a matter of Tribunal politics, and I can't advise you further." This is a very unusual circumstance, Apollodorus has been seen very little outside his sanctum, except for periodic common meals to update the council of status of projects and to transition power from one Princeps to the next, or in the event of guests arriving and he offered them Jerbiton hospitality. Reynault leaves and indicates he'll get someone to take care of Paul-Henri and Apollodorus will visit you in the Princeps office.
Ivor has been summoned by a page, and has been waiting outside the door for a polite time to enter. He's heard most of the exchange.
He enters the room as Renault leaves. They nod to one another in the doorway.
He's quite a big man, but he looks small next to Fiona. He has a friendly face, but it's a bit tense at the moment. In fact, it's very often a bit tense.
"Well, Fiona," he says in Gaelic [in a very thick highland accent that I won't try to imitate] "I can't say as I like this much. Sheep raids are bad enough - why, you're from the Highlands - you know as well as I do that most men who die in battle, die in battles over sheep. But this has the smack of magic about it - and when wizards turn to sheep raiding, it's time for lesser men to duck their heads and get out of the way. No, I don't like it one bit. If you ask me - and I know you will - there's no point following the sheep - it can't end well. That's my firm and settled view."
"But no doubt you'll want to go and find them anyway. You'll be wanting me to go with you, then? I'll pack my things."
[color=blue]"I dinnae think it's about the sheep, Ivor," Fiona replies in the same tongue. [color=blue]"Or, at least, it's nae just about the sheep. I think whoever's behind this is testing us. And they're about ta learn that we're nae wanting.
Ye pack yer things, lad – and if ye see Moire, tell her ta pack my things, too. I'll go see what Apollodorus's opinion on tha matter is."
By the time Fiona has returned to the princeps office Apollodorus is already there. He greets her and they sit in some comfortable chairs near the hearth. On the table there are already two large mugs of whiskey poured. They are both Fiona-sized.
"Reynault told me the news. This is very bad. Montverte is moving against us, even before our formal acceptance at Tribunal in June. Atsingani is weak and has pledged fealty. They have 4 magi and a seisin of only 4 pawns. They rely on the charity of Montverte. What are your plans? I can add some additional information. They have about 30-50 brutes of largely middle age as their turb. They are all extremely capable. I don't know anything about the magi. Except their princeps is reportedly a seeress.". Apollodorus drinks his whiskey while talking with you.
[color=blue]"My plans are to track down the sheep and get them back, and verify if it was Atsingani that stole them. If it wasn't them, find out who it was. If it was them, get a little extra back to make them think twice before raiding us again. Then figure out what Montvert has that we could use and take it from them." Fiona pauses to take a drink. [color=blue]"Sounds an awful lot like Loch Leglean."
"That's a good initial plan. However, I feel I can safely say that if Montverte were prepared to move against us through their agents, that they would expect a direct response, and have planned for it. Atsingani is in some ways almost incidental to this. An overly bold response may end up causing us more difficultyat a later date. I think you need to think several steps out." He bids you goodnight and wishes you luck, and offers you an open door if you want to discuss anything else in the future.
Fiona will think in the Princeps's office for a little while before she returns to the library. She spends some time examining the maps again, getting a feel for the lay of the land - whether it's forest, or field, or moor, or rocky crags. For now, if she's understanding Apollodorus's advice correctly, it's best to simply get the sheep back and establish responsibility. If anything more is offered them, she would take it, but she'll not worry overmuch about getting "restitution" Montvert and Atsingani just yet.
Reviewing the maps the land changes and forested areas are less common. The land changes to pastureland, vineyards, or other farm land. The more direct route to the site of the covenant is along the river Arroux which flows into the Loire. [OOPlay I miswrote something earlier, the Atsingani is not directly west of Paul-Henri's paddocks, and is instead southwest of his pasture]. Total travel to the other covenant would be about 45 miles on the river, and a little more than 50 miles going to Paul-Henri's first.
Mkay...so Ways of the Forest might not be all that helpful, then. If we're not doing a counter-strike, no need to get a big raiding party together. Her, Ivor, and maybe four or five others (i.e. whoever wants to bring their characters on this little venture).
The plan is to go to Paul-Henri's paddock first, track the sheep from there (which should be easier since we think we know where they're going, but Fiona would still like a confirmation, just to ensure that going after Atsingani won't be a wild goose chase).
[OOPlay: We can sort out who get's brought later, as things develop. I'm pretty flexible.]
Paul-Henri, hung over, leads you back to his pasture/farmstead. It takes nearly all day, and by the time you get there it's getting dark. He offers to take you to the specific paddock they were lead from in the morning.
His home is small, most of the room is taken up by the wife and 5 children, 3 teenage boys, a girl, and another younger baby boy. He appears to hem and haw, looking at Fiona warily, before he offers Fiona an invitation to stay inside the house, and everyone else can stay in the barn, which is warm in the loft from the animals inside. The smell isn't too bad, either (really).
[color=blue]"Thank you," Fiona says in what little French she knows. [color=blue]"We won't stay long."
Before going to bed, Fiona will wander around outside for a little bit, looking and listening for anything out of place. Long shot, but worth a shot. Per 0 + Awareness (Searching) 4 + die roll of 9 = 13. (ooo, the dice likes this one, they does!)
The moon is full and bright out and the air is clear and crisp. Your breath shows in the night. You walk around the homestead, and spy another barn, a bit further away, but still close, it was hidden by the other buildings. Out of curiousity you make your way towards it. As you come closer to it you hear some scuffling against the door. Eventually the door opens enough and a ram comes out and starts walking to the southwest.
I'm assuming that I'm quite a ways from the farmhouse...definitely too far to reach over and knock on the wall. If I'm close enough to hit the farmhouse with a small rock, I will try to do so - Dex 0 + (I'm guessing) Thrown Weapon 0 + die roll of 9 = 9. If she's not, she won't.
Regardless, she will follow the ram to see where he goes, and if any other sheep go with him. She will still keep an ear/eye out to see if there's anyone else about. Per 0 + Awareness 3 + die roll of 4 = 7.
[OOC: rolling on Ivor's behalf Aware (0) + Per(0) +Die roll of 0=0. Check for botch, no botch. If he'd botched, he'd be snoring so loud no one could hear. If you want to now select some grogs, I'll give them the opportunity. Even if they do hear something it might take them a while to catch up to Fiona...]
Hopefully he or one of the others heard the stone hit the house. I doubt that Fiona has time to wait and cast another stone before the ram leads her out of range, so she will continue on, carefully.