1222.3 Race for the Pennant

((I'm starting this thread now, but some work needs to be done in response to Lucius letter. Anyone attending the Flambeau Primus selection events neeeds to leave about a month ahead of time, or establish some method for travelling to Castra Solis quickly.))

In an effort to get this moving, who is going, grogs, companions, magi? I'm assuming it's Jacques, Isen and Alexei for the magi.

And most importantly, how are they going to get there?

Jacques is planning on riding with 5 grogs.

Isen is grog-less since his was killed (before he joined Mons Electi). He would feel honored, though, if Brionne did come with him. He was impressed by him during the Lost Boys events.
Otherwise, he'll go alone.

So everyone is good with a month travel one way? No one's going to do any legwork in the summer to fix that problem?

Daffyd and Catrin, Deykin and Wen, as far as my grogs go. I think Viscaria expressed an interest in trying to get Wilhelm to go, too. The whole "it might be good to have an expert hunter, tracker, and woodsman type with us" thing.

The grogs are, since they're covenfolk and if they're gone that long, somebody will have to cover for them out in the fields.

Wilhelm? That's something that Viscaria and he are going to have to negotiate. That's a long time to go without getting food.

And since the month of travel technically has to happen in the summer to get to Castra Solis by the Vernal Equinox, I'm going to handwave this and say it's all autumn activity, that whatever you needed to get done in Summer is done, or at least can be delayed until the return in Autumn, just for bookkeeping simplicity.
For the grogs and whatnot, they're probably tied to sheep industry. I'm not a sheep rancher, so I'm not aware of what autumn activity is necessary for sheep, I know that they are sheared sometime between mid spring and the start of summer.

Jacques is precepts during the summer so his options are limited.

Sorry I didn't post sooner.

Helmut, Brionne, Michelle La Rouge are his main entourage. I think we should go with a decent sized crew though, like a total 0f 20 fighting men and then assorted hangers on. Alexei has no problems travelling slowly, it will give him a chance to discuss plans with the others. He can (at any time) transport to Castra Solis though as a member of the Milites.

Glaukopis alights near the assembling war party and clears his throat. "Ahem. No disrespect, imperator, but perhaps it is... ill-advised to undertake such a long overland trip, especially with such large and conspicuous party, under the circumstances? Our enemies know where you're going, from whence you're leaving, when you need to arrive, and how long it will take you to get there, after all. I have relayed to my mistress what I've seen here, and as soon as she recovers from her apopleptic fit, I expect she will arrive here with a few choice words regarding your... tactical oversight?"

((You dare question the Imperator?!))

"Who the bloody Hell are you?" ((I'm not sure if Alexei knows this man or who his mistress is...he doesn't sweat too many details)) "Who is your mistress?" Alexei starts doing a mental count of the grogs that he'd be taking as well as how many he'd be leaving behind. "Hmmm...you might have a point though. I'd be leaving with a good portion of the grogs and not have many behind to guard the covenant. We'll reduce the amount a bit. Ten armed grogs and some servants. We'll travel lighter and faster that way. If I bring some silver I can probably hire more along the way." he relays the instructions to Michelle who he puts in charge of the armed grogs.

"Wow!" says Wen in Welsh. "First a talking spider, now a talking owl? This place is so AWESOME!"

Glaukopis looks affronted. "My familiar is the esteemed maga Laetitia of Guernicus," he says, "As you will no doubt recall our first introduction when you welcomed us to Mons Electi, and again when you dined with us, and any number of council meetings to which I have accompanied her."

Laetitia arrives then. "What the bloody blazes is going on here, you filthy liar!" she yells in Welsh. She runs up to Alexei and shoves at him ineffectually before shouting at him in Latin. "You said, you PROMISED, you were not going to run off and commit suicide-by-Hoplite, and here you are assembling your honour guard for your funereal party? Are you so eager to die? Do you hate us all so much? Or is this just your way of punishing me, because I don't have enough deaths on my conscience already?!?" she shouts.

Not giving him a chance to explain himself, Laetitia turns to the grogs. "You want to follow this suicidal maniac into a death trap, you're free to do so, we can't stop you. But know that Valerian knows exactly where you're going and when you'll be arriving, and the only chance in hell you'll all walk away from this alive is if Valerian stops and thinks to himself, "No, there's absolutely no way Alexei could possibly be so stupid," but I assure you that the Chief Hoplite of this Tribunal puts more stock in the cleverness of the weasels that chase the voles out of his garden, than he does in Alexei's competence."

She turns back to Alexei, furious. "If you want to get yourself killed, go right ahead. But leave behind the grogs so that after we've buried you, we still have some strong men with some sense to defend the covenant."

She turns to Isen and Jacques. "And you two! All three of you are milites, and not one among you has the slightest concept of troop movement or stealth? You must be joking. I'm astonished that the Inner Council thought the milites could ever be a tactical threat to them, if all the milites are as gormless as you three!"

Meanwhile, Glaukopis alights on Wen's shoulder. "Why thank you, miss. Did I detect a Cymric accent? My mistress and I hail from a place in y Mynyddoed Duon," he says in flawless Welsh.

((To be clear, these events take place shortly after the council meeting where Jacques, Isen and Alexei would be in a powwow thinking about how best to to travel to Castra Solis, but before Laetitia and Fiona depart to the Land of Giants.))

"You're kidding!" Wen says. "We're from y Mynyddoed Duon, too! We used to live near Cathedin, before we moved here!"

She looks over at Laetitia, reading Alexei the riot act in Latin. "Um...your human looks pretty upset. What did Magus Alexei do?"

"She is from Blackthorn; I was there before the covenant was, though.

"Alexei? He's trying to march all of these soldiers into certain death, either out of suicidal intent or just lack of forethought."

((Jacques and his grogs are mounted as they are all Brabancon. They will bring 3 extra mounts as well. And Jacques can not leave before his term is up unless Onesiphorus will step in early))

((If Jacques is Princeps in Summer instead of Spring, then I'm guessing that they traded seasons for whatever reason? In which case, since Onesiphorus is Vice Princeps, he's supposed to fill in if Jacques is indisposed or busy or whatever, I think.))