1223.1 In My Mother's Footsteps

"That!" she murmurs to herself. "We need exactly that for the Tribunal."

After the second or third person narrowly avoids her, she'll leap in front of the fourth person (one of the masons repairing the building), just as he steps away. "YOU!" she bellows. "Notice me. Pay attention to me."

Assuming he is capable of that, she will calm down. "That's better. Now, where is Mnemnos?"

"Where do you think he'd be? In his lab, of course." He resumes his previous activity before coming to realize that Viscaria is unfamiliar to him. He quickly turns back towards here and says to her, "Wait, who are you?"

((What time of day did the transfer take place, at one point you had suggested noon, I'm going with that, unless there's an objection.))

"I'm someone who knows what it is like to live in a cage, and who has just staked her future on a bet that Magus Somnifer is someone who keeps his bargains, even in the face of great temptation.

"Viscaria Lynchis, by name. It is a pleasure to meet you. Whom do I have the honor of speaking to?

She'll chat the man up aimiably, recalling the years spent locked in Norbert's sanctum. At least these people haven't been subjected to ethically questionable experiments....or rather, she has no reason to suspect they have yet.

The man is dressed in deep and dark rich blue and his skin is chalky white, almost appearing as if dust might fall from him if you were to strike him hard. His white hair covers his eyes, but he pushes his hair aside and says, "You have the honor of speaking to your host. I am Candidus, and you have entered my realm. I watched your exchange with Somnifer with some delight. You were the first one brave enough to agree to his request to trade places. Not even his filius would make the exchange with him. What drives you, Viscaria?"

Viscaria curtsies deeply (Presence +1 + Charm 2 + Specialty: Faeries 1 + die roll 2 = 6), but is too surprised and overcome with emotions to do so gracefully. The day has been a whirlwind of events -- discovering the man who claims to be her father, offering a treasure trove of knowledge she had been seeking her entire life, the desperate gamble she took in trading places with him, and now to meet a Fae Lord who seems at least equal to the dwarven king who raised her so long ago!

She recalls brief moments of her ill-conceived return to the mountainhome, the way her clansmen had fled from stone inside her soul. All but her fath---all but the dwarf who had once raised her like one of his own, who named her an abomination.

Wordless in surprise for a brief but quiet detectable moment, she gathers her composure before responding.

"As I said, Lord Candidus, I know what it is like to live in a cage. Beyond that, well...the motivations of a wizardess is valuable knowledge. What would you trade to know such a thing?" She smiles, as the lessons of social discourse among the fay return to her.

(OOC: I'm basing most of my assumptions about how fair folk act on Dresden Files)


((Grandmother, see this post. And I'm sadly Dresden Files ignorant.))
"Ahh, you wish to bargain with me? You ask me what I would trade to know what drives you. Unfortunately for you, that is not how I bargain. You need to tell me what you need, and I will get it for you and name your price. But do not seek to turn this into a tedious legalistic endeavor. That happened here and I gave the magi here exactly what they asked for and no more. Oh, I knew what they wished for, to be sure. But they sought to bargain with me meanly, and so it became a mean bargain. No, my question of you, child, was what drives you. You may be a maga, but you are in my domain, and do not forget that I am lord here. I have kept many powerful magi here against their will, and even Somnifer, with his power to penetrate your Order's most vaunted protections is unable to stand against me." Candidus appears to stare, as much as someone without eyes can stare, intently into Viscaria when he speaks of Somnifer and his ability to penetrate protections.

Viscaria nods acquiencense. "I had not meant to offend, good sir, but was only trying to show the deference I had been taught was proper to show a figure of your station.

"I have three motivations which drive me that I am aware of, not counting that desire within all sentient beings to uncover their own hidden motivations.

"As a woman, I seek to understand my history and heritage, especially as it draws near to the day when I must decide if I ever wish to have children. The question of birth and heritage looms large as I have well passed the age when most maga of the Order sacrifice their fertility for other sorts of magics. Somnifer told me that he knew of my history and had proof of it within this realm, and so I came hither.

"As a dwarf, I seek ever to improve my craft, to descend with greater and greater ease into that inexplicable joy of creation, to hold within me the sense of grand purpose that comes with mastery of an art, be it hermetic or mundane. Somnifer claimed a vast trove of treasures which would refine my skills, and argued convincingly, and so I came hither.

"Third, as a wizard...forgive me, but I now have unearthed a fourth motivation within myself (and I thank you for that gift). As an enchanter, I seek knowledge of defensive arts and fortifications, to protect myself against enemies. Upon arriving, it became clear to me that the covenant enjoys a powerful fortification, but not one of their choosing. Such a mystery would be well worth my time to decipher, even if Somnifer should prove unwilling to honor his bargain, and so I came hither, confident that whatever power Somnifer gained over me, he learned it here and has left his notes.

"Fourth, then, as a wizard, I seek to learn of the world, and understand in fullness those dangers which I am subject to thanks to my unique gifts, so that I can better defend myself against them. Upon meeting Somnifer, it became clear that he had somehow brought me here, and yet his attempts to beguile me while waking were so bungling that I am hard pressed to believe it 'twas he who brought me here. This mystery has layers within layers, and though I have much to do at home, I am drawn to mysteries like a spider is drawn to the quivering strands of her web, hungry to devour something new."

She pauses, considering seriously and yet somehow distantly. "As a mortal, I am somewhat terrified of having so openly revealed myself to you, but I don't know if that can truly be considered a driving force. And besides, I seek allies in this regio, and you have suggested that paucity angers you. I suppose some might find the acquisition of allies to be a driving force, but for me I think it stands merely as a step upon the path to other goals. Beyond that, I am sure that I have many other driving motivations, but I am either unaware of them or unable to express them adequately."

She pauses for a bit, feeling as if she has been blathering.

"It would seem that you are net yet decided on what you want from me. Whether you will find the bargain you struck with your self-confessed grandfather to your liking, I cannot say. Whether Somnifer will keep his bargain, I cannot say. I will say that the bargain has created the most interesting happenstance, yet. Someone new to come into my realm that isn't utterly boring, and isn't utterly obsessed with leaving it. Doubtless your desire to leave will change, but that troubles me not. I bid you adieu, if you find you need to strike a bargain with me, that's usually enough to summon me." Candidus departs in a flash of blue smoke smelling of irises. As he departs, Viscaria is caught by the sounds of work returning around her and she sees the man who originally stopped to tell her where Mmemnos was can be found. While she and Candidus had been talking everything seemed to stop, but she didn't notice it at the time.

Viscaria blinks, thinks for a long moment, and then shrugs. She seems to have acquired a wish, barring the obvious "not wishing to be let out or ask for more wishes" sort of nonsense. She quietly murmurs a simple summation of all her previous rambling, barely audible under the workaday noises: "I wish to be better at everything."

Then she lightheartedly begins skipping along the path that was laid out before her, whether towards doom or destiny, she cared not.

Viscaria doesn't really know where she's going, but eventually someone interrupts her skipping by walking in front of her. Behind her she senses that others have gathered to surround her. "What business do you have hear? Did Candidus invite you through the Aegis?" The one speaking to her looks behind her, "Run! Get Somnifer, he was last seen in the mirror building! We need to withdraw her invitation quickly!"

I was under the impression that she had already been given directions, and that if not, they would have been obtained easily.

Regardless, she understands their confusion, and figures this will be as good a way to meet Mnemnos as anything else.

I don't have a token yet, right?

Playing this as if Viscaria might be unsure if the directions she'd been given were accurate... No, token, Somnifer said you could get one from Mnemnos.

Viscaria pantomines being in equal distress at the news of this apparent intruder, flailing her hands above her head like a puppet. "Quick, get Mnemnos! He'll know what to do! Oh my, oh my! The important thing now is to stop what you're doing and panic! Fetch a guard! Fetch some water! OH MY GOD, Someone ask her for her name and SAY HELLO before she thinks we're not being polite!"

Then she'll abruptly stop her flailing and observe the crowd's reaction.

"Look, you wouldn't be the first fae to have been invited into our Aegis by Candidus. It amuses him." Viscaria is ignored and two people run off in search of Somnifer and Mnemnos.

"Really? Do tell. That type of story particularly interests me."

Pre +1 or Com +2, Charm 2 (Faeries), Gift Penalty -3, die roll 8 = roughly 8, to appear good-natured and what not.

"I'm not going to divulge the secrets of our covenant to one of the fae, or anyone we don't know, for that matter."

After a bit the grog who went to the mirror building returns and seems upset, "Somnifer is gone!"

The grog in charge looks at Viscaria, "Did you?" He looks quite pale, "You have no idea what you've done."

"That is rather the point that I've been trying to make. Could someone please enlighten me? And fetch Mnemnos? Even on the off chance that I'm only going to be here for a season, as Somnifer promised, I'd still prefer not to spend it lamed and hobbled."

Several moments pass, but the grog isn't talking anymore. Suddenly there's a short pop and multicolored sparks flash out of which a figure steps. "I see we have a guest." Turning to the lead grog, "Where is Somnifer? He usually deals with the fae interlopers." The grog explains that Somnifer was last seen in the mirror building but is now nowhere to be found. Almost as he finishes speaking he disappears in a similar cloud of sparks. Turning to Viscaria he smiles warmly, "So it would seem Somnifer has outmaneuvered me and escaped before I was able to. I underestimated him. I expect you must be a Hermetic Maga, what can I do for you?" His voice drips honey.

"You could start by telling me what's going on."

"I don't accept demands from strangers in my own home." He nods at the grog who ran into the mirror building and then disappears in a shower of sparks.

"I can escort you to guest quarters. A word of advice, no one here is here to enforce whatever agreement you and Somnifer reached. He didn't leave instructions, although he did spend some time in those quarters and left several volumes of personal texts in there." He heads off, expecting Viscaria to follow and leads her to a tower. He travels up the tower staircase going about halfway up and shows her into what appears to be a long abandoned sanctum with a basic lab (-3 to lab work, needs additional season of activity and additional equipment to fully outfit it).