(I thought about naming this chapter "Korvin, in the Phoenix Library, with the....")
We have a lovely map to help figure out how Korvin travels there, and how long it will take.
Mercere Portals will only get you as far as Duresca or Interritus. Traveling any further south requires entangling yourself in a labyrinthine political maze, as the Iberian Redcap network is maintained by extremely junior redcaps, who have divided themselves between three Mercere Houses that are apparently at war with each other. Indeed, it seems that each House was started by a Magical Mercere of no more than journeyman status, and they have all accused each other of diabolism.
There is some scandal here, which Korvin can easily learn more about as he heads to Iberia if he wishes.
The last leg of the trip, no matter how he arranges it, involves a joining a wagon train which takes him to a fast growing town named Castiblanco. Abdul al-Faisal, the merchant in charge of the wagon train, had planned to drive the wagons across a bridge and then to the vineyard which Korvin seeks, but it turns out that the bridge is out -- some calamity had befallen it since the last time al-Faisal had made the trip.
So, it must be by ferry, briefly north and then east across the river to the small port town associated with Cijara Vineyard (and, as is known only to the Hermetic Order, the Covenant of Phoenix). al-Faisal arranges for you to take the boat ahead of the wagon train, along with one of his sons, to let Cijara know he has arrived. Despite your Gift, he wishes you fondly farewell in the traditional Islamic custom -- which involves a great dealing of touching, hugging, and clasping.
The river is slow moving in the spring, and around a lazy turn, Korvin sees that the dock town once sported perhaps a dozen buildings, but much of that was lost to some long-ago fire. Now, it is a few warehouses*, an inn*, and little else.
As the ferry boat completes the river-bend, he sees an impressive fortification under construction on the west bank, directly across from the docks.
Although the ferry is unexpected, it was seen long before it arrived, and two people are waiting at the docks to greet the boat.
The first is a magnificently beautiful Spanish woman in her 40s -- dark, lusty skin, a gorgeous mane of brown-black hair, and a curvaceous body underneath the full suit of combination plate-and-chainmail. She wears a massive sword strapped to her back, which somehow seems to back-light her open, honest, face.
Besides her, in a simple black cassock, is a worried-looking hunchback wearing a rosary made of polished stones etched with silver*. He's appears to be in his late 50s.
As Korvin approaches them, he notices that the woman's breastplate is etched in exquisite detail with an image of the crucifixion, with superhuman craftsmanship*.
- Months later, as he becomes more familiar with her work, Korvin will recognize these buildings and items as Viscaria's handiwork.