1222-1227 Defense Discussions

Remember that if you repair the wall we may get unwanted attention for the local nobles or the church. No one really cares about a broken down wall from an old Roman villa. But building real fortifications could cause problems. And they would only be good vs mundane attacks. So what are we defending against?

Fiona winks at Alexei. [color=blue]"I'm assuming anything and everything?" she says with a grin.

She then looks serious again. [color=blue]"Before I forget again, though...anything we do for defence that's designed with a Corpus form should include an extra magnitude to affect people significantly larger than normal."

Isen sighs...
Aye, especially as, given their place, our ennemies could surely use that against us.

But we can still rebuild in the regio, or hide our very real wall with illusions of a ruined one. This would also impair attends to translocate through sight, now that I think of it.

Alexei returns her grin with a nod and grin of his own. "No matter what we do, we shall attract attention, but there can be things done to prevent that. For starters, I actually work quite well with mundanes. I am a Christian and my Gift is gentle. My military life can also lend well to dealing with mundanes, especially mercenaries. My magic is subtle enough that few ever realize I have even cast a spell, I was often called 'Lucky Lexi' by soldiers who never knew I was a magus. My men's armor never failed, their swords always sharp and their spirits high, as well as my own enhanced abilities. Should it come down to it I can treat with the mundanes in a way that will keep us safe and preferably anonymous. Any defense on the inside of the Regio of course, we should spare no expense or concern. But outside it, craftily designed defenses need not even look like actual defenses. Add some magic to that and none shall be the wiser."

I like your approach and style, answers Isen.
In my opinion, you should really work on some way for the turb to enhance themselves. This may prove a life saver, and is quite suited to your magic as I understand it.
And we should really find a way to have a team of grogs ready to deal with magi. Probably not to confront them directly, but to at least confuse and misdirect them.

I've thought a little about this, trying to bend my mind to your thinking and style.
As I see it, we could equip this team with the following: (counting on his fingers)

  • An item that makes them invisible.
  • An item that protects them from Mentem effects. This can be done with Perdo Vim, so that any spell lasts at most a moment.
  • A way to create fog, and various illusions, as well as to see through them
  • An item that enhances their defenses, through spells such as Doublet of Impenetrable Silk
  • A way to translocate at short range, for tactical jumps.
  • We could also equip them with some non-standard weaponry, such as daggers made of both animal and human bone. Better yet, should viscaria one day design a suitable ritual, we can have them sport diamond blades

Alexei nods as is if such things are obvious. "Yes, yes." he waves. "I always go into combat with arms and armor maximized to their greatest potential, the men will be as strong and durable as an anvil." he shrugs. "With some time in a lab I could easily make items that provide the same benefit, for when I'm not there. Perhaps charged items for economy. Trabslocation is a specialty of mine actually, it is what my enemies find out too late. But it takes a lot of practice to use effectively. I know a spell called the Wizard's Leap, it is low in magnitude and allows for short jumps, ideal for combat or leaving it. It is meant to be used by the caster, but it would only take a bit more power to effect one who wields an item that bears the property. You'd have to look to someone else for invisibility..." he frowns. "I find such tactics...distasteful."

[color=blue]"But in war, is it not necessary to do that which you find 'distasteful' at times,or lose the day?" Fiona asks. [color=blue]"As forward as you are, my friend, I can see why you would think so: it smacks too much of the assassin's trick. But it can also be an invaluable tool in the scout's arsenal, could it not? And a scout who cannot be seen is also much less likely to be taken prisoner or killed."

Isen is not really surprised by Alexei's reaction. Nonetheless...

Fiona is right, sodales.
But don't forget that, in my mind, there are 2 different cases here.

The one is our normal turb, which we could enhance to make them more efficient. For these, invisibility is not nescessary, save for the scouts and spies, of course.

The second is to have a small team able to divert or, maybe, if very lucky, kill an attacking magus.
With all due respect, if he's going to face a magus, a mundane has no chance unless he can surprise him. Would you confront valerian without your Parma Magica or Form Resistance? Because this is what they may have to do.
To tell the truth, I did not so much think of invisibility as a means for them to murder someone than as a means to protect them a little from ennemy magics. I am not trying to give them an unfair advantage, but to tip a little the scales back in their favor.

Alexei acknowledges the arguments, but the frown on his face doesn't change. "It will not be me that does such things then. I do not deny the tactics are sound, the reasons logical. But it is not tactics I abide, but I won't stop them from being used either."

((Fyi, it's not just honour that concerns Alexei, he knows he's not very good with Imaginem anyway, he has a flaw with it.))

"So that was a lovely discussion, but have we decided to do anything?" Viscaria asks, sounding very much like a Socratic teacher.

I have not even heard what threat we want to defend against. Is it an Army? Brigands? Magus? What is the greatest threat? What is the purpose of the defense? To slow them down until some of us get into action or to allow everyone to escape? Are we to win a fight or flee? Do we want to appear strong magically and physically or weak?

Before you say all of them, consider that we do have limited resources that might be better put to the most urgent one first and then the next.

5 xp to Korvin: appropriate abilities are Leadership, Artes Liberales, or even Profession:Soldier.

Alexei looks to Korvin and considers his words. "An excellent point my friend. Of course the problem is a cagey foe will attack with means that are unexpected. We should prepare for both with superior means. The aegis shall only provide protection for the mystical, but solidly made mundane defense with enhancements that only we can provide will work against both. Our Regio will be one of the best defenses, but we have to take it into account and guard all known entrances. As for what foe to expect...we have waited some time for the follow up assault on us and it has not happened yet. They are patient and plotting."

Alexei is right.

In my opinion, any defense efficient versus magic will work just as well against mundanes. I'm counting on either a magi-only assault, or magi plus teams of grogs. But we should be ready for an attack by physical force. Expect the unexpected, and prepare as much as possible.

So, as I see it, we should aim for these:

  • Surprise them and hurt as many of them as possible, be it through a high-penetration spell or the school of vilano. This is my idea of a stone outerwall whose destruction serves as a trigger for another spell.
  • Impede their capacity to move around and translocate. This includes both barriers they can't destroy, illusions, architectural tricks...
  • Find ways for us to move around rapidly through the covenant and target them while they're out in the open. This is mainly the hidden niches my sodales suggested.
  • In case everything fails and we are overwhelmed, we need a way for the covenfolks to retreat, and a new base of operations. And to drill them, too.

As for our appearance, it should appear roughly unchanged. Still mundane, with new walls and some new buildings, but that's all. Magically... The aegis will be visible. We'll need, though, to shroud our defensive enchantments.

[color=blue]"Perhaps enchant certain parts of the wall so that trying to remove a stone would cause massive damage to anyone touching the wall?" Fiona muses.

[color=blue]"This sounds almost custom-made for Viscaria and Theraphosa."

[color=blue]"I believe we're maintaining a Hermes' Portal to Harco, which, unfortunately, could be common knowledge, if it's not already. Perhaps another place that acts as a Leap of the Homecoming somewhere. At the end of an alley, maybe?"

[color=blue]"Agreed. We should try to look like we've got 'more important' things to worry about than bolstering our defenses."

So it sounds like controlling an attacking Magi is our greatest concern and that will require most of the work. I would suggest thinking of two scenarios. One, the Magi appear outside our Aegis and attack. Two, the Magi use indirect spells like Intangible Tunnel to attack us.

For the former, would you expect our grogs, guarding the entrances, to slow down a magus? They might given some work on our part but it might be more useful for them to be able to alert everyone. How can we do this for each entrance? I believe Isen suggested a Watching Ward.

Walls are next to useless verses magi so I would put that off unless there is nothing better for the workmen to be doing.

[color=blue]"I wonder," Fiona muses, [color=blue]"how difficult it would be to enchant a bucket so that anyone who drinks from it would, after a little while, be turned into a pig? Or a sheep, or a hare, or some such?"

Isen is pleased to see the giantess interest herself to his pet peeve.

I thought about it, but discarded the idea. Mainly because this requires the opponent to touch the wall, whereas he may just cast a Voice-ranged spell. Also, I would like our first strike to take out as many people as possible. Moreso, this requires a lot of enchantments.

To put it simply, my idea was to create one enchanted item, with an intellego terram detecting wheter the external, stone was, is complete or not. A linked trigger would unleash massive destruction at voice range to anyone outside the wall, hopefully taking out a lot of opponents. For exemple, It could create a huge group of Ice Spikes and throw it out, skewering anyone outside the walls. You get the idea.

Nonetheless, I think your idea is quite suitable for Watching Ward-style straps.

Didn't you have an Arcane Connection to Britania?
I think the could send a few capable grogs there, to establish some buildings, manage them... A kind of limited chapter house, with minimum personnel, hidden from sight, ready to host us, that could serve as a fallback should we need to flee Mons Electi. The shrouded glen could be very useful in keeping it secret.

Isen lets out a soft laugh (but non-mocking)

Good resume.

In my opinion, my idea of a enchantment triggered by an attack on our wall partly solves the problem of an outside attack. This may take out some opponents, and will assuredly slow them down as they consider the possibility of other such traps. Likewise, the non-stone hidden (or created) walls we discussed might slow them down. So we need a complete wall, to serve as a trap for them, but also to protect us from any physical force they might brought to bear. We then just need to consider flying magi.

Intangible tunnel poses other problems. I heard that tremere magi use it a lot, and have myself considered learning it, if only for resistance. This is the more problematic situation, since we lack defenses against this, other than the Aegis, and, with enough vis, they can pierce through that. Worse, none of us have a way of detecting it, or acting against it.
The first, obvious precaution would be to take great care of not leaving Arcane Connections to us. But we can't count on it. This means that we must, either as individuals, learn suitable spells, or use an enchantment over the covenant to detect such spells, allowing us to retaliate. This would also help us to detect Tunnels used on covenfolk (and you don't want to know what my parens did with this), so I would very much favor this idea. Sadly, my intellego* isn't up to the task by far.

Yet, I think your way of thinking highlights why I thought you should be in charge of mundane security and the turb, while I consider the magical side of things.
No offense, it's just our different ways of thinking, and I have just as hard a time thinking as you do, and benefit from your insight, just as, hopefully, I may be of some help to you. To put it bluntly, I am surprised, and think that you may be underestimating your men. Have the recent events blunted your spirit? Have you forgotten my suggestions for the "magi squad"?

Your men will be in the first position to detect an attack, like you say. We then just need to give them a means to quickly alerting everyone, and this can, effectively, be done at no time cost with some Watching Wards. Costly in vis, sure, but we can spare it.
Nonetheless they can do more. Attacking magi will surely be protected against wood, steel, and probably stone. Yet, no defense is impenetrable, and, with luck and skill, an archer may wound an attacker**. At worst, this may distract them, and thus slow them down further.
Admittedly, this is limited. Thus my idea of the magi squad. A few grogs, equiped with items allowing them to cast obsfucating spells that may confuse or slow ennemy magi, invisible to as to be more difficult to target with magic, and armed with bone or diamond daggers should they, by any luck, be at striking range of an attacker. Not that I expect it.

*Isn't one of the new magi an intellego specialist? This would be great! Also, no warping, just like the aegis, since it would target the structure. The batiment would warp, but, IMO, this is an awesome feature.
** Shriek of the impeding shafts provides a great bonus to defense, but can be beaten by a good roll. Likewise, I'm assuming that Personnal Wards against Terram, Herbam and all don't provide absolute protection (I HATE this and, IIRC, JL isn't fond of them too), but instead a bonus to soak, like Ward against Heat and Flames. This is what I did for Isen, with base protection being +5 soak, +5 per extra magnitude. This quickly gets too high to be manageable, meaning that one must settle on lower wards, that can, likewise, be beaten by a lucky dice. Note that the lower magnitude possible for terram ward (the one used by Isen, IIRC!), means that you must be conscious of the attack, so even a warded magus may be struck down by a blow in the back

Sorry for the text wall, people...

This is quite difficult.
It would need to different spells. The first one, to change the drinker. And the second one, with a linked trigger, that would suspend the first effect for some time.
Due to the limitations of enchanted items, this would probably mean Moon or Constant duration for the first effect, and Sun or Moon duration for the second.
What's your goal here?

I should be more clear since I have too many characters Korvin is in orange. Jacques is in Green. Korvin has been making the comments. I have not gotten Jacques in the conversation yet.

[color=blue]"Yes, to my former covenant in Loch Leglean. I'm sure they wouldn't object to us passing by, although they would probably mind an army hot on our heels, and I doubt that they would want us settling there for any length of time."

[color=blue]"Boobie trap. After a long, hard-fought battle in which they've routed the defenders, I'm sure their soldiers would be hot and thirsty. And they would go to the well to quench their thirst. If, say, it were possible to enchant the bucket so that anyone who drinks from it were to be turned into a pig, à la Curse of Circe, that would effectively gut their numbers. But if the first person who drank were to be transformed right away, then no one else would drink. On the other hand, if the enchantment wouldn't take effect until after everyone's had a chance to drink, that would be more more effective."

((I think I'll kick it over to the main forums, because I can't think of a way to put a fuse on the effect like this, but I may be missing something. It just sounds like too much of a wicked cool idea to give up on so easily...and it's so rooted in legend, too.))

((That, and it sounded like Isen was talking to Alexei, too...or at least, that's the feeling I got.))