1223.2a Interludes in Surreal Time

Alexei's smile fades. "Under honourable men, this crime would already be punished. Under an equitable system, Valerian would have been Marched already. The ones we accuse will be our judges in this! They have the entire Order believing them over us. They...tricked Tremere and my House to attack Diedne, and when that wasn't enough just simply renounced the entire House!" he pauses to let that sink in. "Yes...they are responsible for the Schism War as well. That is how far back this goes, how desperately they will protect their plans. Any evidence we make would be considered fabricated or destroyed, assuming we weren't outright attacked and Marched. The fact that they did not descend en masse, in my estimation, shows that they do not consider us much of a threat, which might be our means to victory."

"Don't worry about material contributions. Some that have joined came with more, others with less. Apollodorus's desires were to share what he had accumulated over his very long career as a Magus. That is one desire that has lived on past his untimely murder. Write a letter to the Council of Mons Electi. I will countersign it, as I might not be there when it arrives. And then I suggest you begin settling your affairs here." he lays a hand on her shoulder. "You have my blessing and acceptance to Mons Electi...for whatever that is worth."

Her smile deepens, and some of her distress drains away at Alexei's endorsement. [color=magenta]"I shall do exactly that, kind sir - I'll return a bit after sunset." Before turning to step out of Alexei's quarters, Tranquillina clasps his hand firmly with both of hers. [color=magenta]"You cannot know how valuable your explanations are to me, Alexei ex Flambeau. I thank you, and my true wishes for success go with you on your journey. And, of course, my renewed sympathies for the tragic loss of Apollodorus." With a final squeeze, she releases his hand and departs, giving one last comment back over her shoulder: [color=magenta]"Let us see how the addition of my voice can help effect the revenge that is deserved on that score...."

As promised, she returns after sunset, with a letter already bearing her signature and a (larger) space reserved for his. She brings a lit candle for its wax drippings, and a well-worn coin (which she shows him with a smile) that she will use to mark the seal on the letter.

After taking her leave of Alexei, Tranquillina will try to go to sleep (though the rush of new information, together with the lingering Endurance of the Berserkers, will make that difficult). The next day, she will try to find time in Prospero's schedule to convey her hope that Mons Electi will be accepting her. She will then seek out Ra'am for conversation....

((Jonathan: it looks like I'll be spending the bulk of 1223.2 at Le Maison. How should I handle study/experience?))

Ra'am and his daughter are in the library. They are both reading books, as Tranquillina approaches she can see that Ra'am is reading a book authored by Prospero, his name is clearly displayed on the top of each page, along with the title, Topics on Mastery of the Fickle Winds. She can't see what Elizbaeth is reading without a roll or some sort of obvious reading over the shoulder.

Tranquillina will use the same facial appearance ("herself" in her mid-thirties) she used when healing Ra'am, since this is how Elizabeth knows her. As is a not uncommon tactic for her, she'll change her outfit to one that matches (as well as she is able) the style of clothing that Ra'am wears ((Finesse roll: Int 3 + Finesse 2 + simple die 9 = 14)); she'll keep the clothing comfortable and allow her Bonisagus fibula to remain prominent. She'll tap on the frame of the door to the library before entering.

[color=magenta]"Ah, Ra'am, I came to see how you were doing - but if you are already delving through the library, you must be feeling better indeed!" she beams, nodding politely to each of them. [color=magenta]"Let's see, you've chosen ... a book on Auram, it seems?" She's certainly curious enough to see what Elizabeth is reading, and will be patient for an opportunity to catch the title and so on; but she won't go crazy trying to see. ((Awareness roll: Per 2 + Awareness 2 + simple die 8 = 12))

[color=magenta]"Please excuse my confusion - the events of two nights ago happened quickly for us all - but I still lack a bit of surety: am I correct that the two of you are related by blood, rather than by Hermetic lineage?"

Ra'am is dressed for warmer climes. "After some initial fatigue cured by a good night's sleep, I'm well. Thank you for the efforts on my behalf." In response to her query as to what he's reading, "Well, yes and no, it a tractatus on controlling magic, specifically Auram magics. Prospero thought it advisable that I enhance my understanding before a return trip home. I've sent word that I'll be absent for the summer, and what has happened here, including my own folly. And in answer to your question, Elizabeth is my daughter. I was married before I was apprenticed, my daughters were born while I was apprenticed."

[color=magenta]"I'm happy to have been able to help," Tranquillina replies, smiling at the affirmation. She appears dressed for warmth as well, although in truth she is not overheated. [color=magenta]"Though I was certainly not the only one; we were fortunate that Elizabeth was here - not only as a personal solace for you, but also to lend her significant power to our healing ritual."

[color=magenta]"I find it quite wondrous, to be honest - a Gifted magus with a Gifted daughter. Really I'm not sure I've ever known of such a case before ... have you?" she asks, addressing them both. Technically this is probably a true statement, but since there are rumors of Ra'am's two children floating around the Order, she is playing a little dumb here; so let's make a Guile roll just in case. Looks like her Aura of Ennobled Presence lapsed this morning (simple die 2 for extended duration), and she didn't think to check or renew it. Prs 2 + Guile 3 + stress die 6 = 11.

"Most magi don't marry, nor have children, though. Too busy chasing for power and begin their longevity ritual. Aurulentus Jerbitonis has children, and indeed, his Gift has descended along that line. There is an element of faerie at work there, though. Still the concept is valid, that the Gift can appear along hereditary lines. I, for example and descended from Mercere. Although that is a matter for some debate, but our genealogical records do line up with a descendant of Mercere in antiquity. It's how Abigail became eligible to be Korvin's apprentice." Ra'am says distractedly as he's perusing the volume before him.

((Int 3 + Order of Hermes Lore 1 + stress die 7 = 11. Good, must have come up in letters with Apollodorus))
[color=magenta]"Ah, Korvin, the Mercere magus at Mons Electi! I have heard of him through my correspondence with them." Tranquillina's mind races as she tries to put together the pieces of what she's been told. [color=magenta]"And Abigail - his apprentice ... she is, related to the two of you?" She tries to include Elizabeth in the conversation, though to this point the daughter has been pretty content keeping her nose in her book.

[color=magenta]"And Aurulentus ex Jerbiton ... that name rings a faint bell with me ... hmmm. Some years ago, in Stonehenge, perhaps. I'll have to go through my letters...."

Ra'am puts the book aside, "Ahh, yes, Abigail is my youngest daughter, now apprenticed to Korvin Merceris. She and I have...disagreements. I didn't think we could be an effective master/student pairing. My main line of research is based off his original idea, although his route has proved to be not fruitful for me. Aurulentus invented a longevity ritual that worked for him and his wife that preserved their fertility. I'm pursuing a more generic ritual, to work for anyone. Aurulentus, unfortunately, is a Jerbiton who subscribes to sufficiency. His needs have been met, so he so reason to continue his research. I'm convinced that he would have resolved this for the Order as a whole many years ago. Such is life, though. In any event, I'll be able to create such a ritual, and perhaps Korvin will be able to complete his, and my daughter, Abigail, when she becomes a maga of the Order and pursue integrating both effects into one ritual."

[color=magenta]"That research sounds fascinating," Tranquillina says, truthfully, as she takes a seat near him. [color=magenta]"Many have written theoretical tracts postulating causes for the Longevity Ritual's sterilizing effects, as you surely know, but actually putting those theories to the test.... Did Aurulentus find that the form of the Ritual was important, be it a potion, a bath, a tincture, or the like? Have you read the theory that unconscious inclusion of Muto magic in the development of such a Ritual is the disruptor of the beneficiary's Essential Nature, and that a strict anti-Muto regime would succeed in removing the unwanted sterilization? ..."

Tranquillina is more than willing to talk shop with Ra'am all he wants, particularly about Corpus, with no particular agenda other than cultivating a collegial relationship; she would certainly, at the end of such a discussion, ask permission to continue conversations with him on the topic over the rest of the season, as well as to correspond with him in the future once they both leave (or maybe that request can wait until later in the summer). She will also mention that her pater Maximianus worked for a time on the Longevity Project at Sinews of Knowledge in the Greater Alps, and will offer to introduce them via letter should Ra'am express interest.

At some later point, when the conversation reaches a lull but is otherwise going successfully, Tranquillina gets up to examine one of the nearby busts in the library. [color=magenta]"Is Abigail doing well in her Hermetic studies, then? So many feel homesick during their apprenticeships; at times the encouragement of one's pater is the only thing keeping an apprentice going. Does she get along well with Korvin ex Mercere?" she asks innocently.

"Abigail has written infrequently. But from what I gather, she is accepting Korvin's instruction quite well. He had a bit of a prize as I had taught her for a bit before selling her to Korvin." Ra'am does talk shop for as long as Tranquillina wants. Ra'am's understanding of Corpus is less advanced than her's, but his application of theoretical principles is unmatched, even discussing how he plans to utilize his two apprentices in his research and how he's subdivided the tasks they complete under his supervision.

Tranquillina fancies herself a fair master of Magic Theory, but is thrilled to speak with someone more able, who enjoys a good theoretical discussion (without making her feel inferior). ((Those two apprentices are Elizabeth and Ulrich, right? Although maybe Tranquillina hasn't even met Ulrich.))

Before she leaves: [color=magenta]"You are looking quite healthy and sound, sodalis; but I am of the type to measure twice when possible. Would you consent to a casting of Revealed Flaws of Mortal Flesh upon your person? I certainly accept that you might prefer otherwise, and will not be offended if you decline." If he does consent, she will ask him respectfully to suppress his magic resistance, and then cast the spell spontaneously, with very definite words and gestures to make it clear that it's an Intellego Corpus spell. ((Co 27 is already high enough for a level-10 spell, so let's just check for a botch: nope, fine.))

In any case, Tranquillina will thank him for a long and pleasant conversation and retire. (She'll also say goodbye to Elizabeth if she's still there and can be verified to be alive....) She will definitely be happy to talk shop with Ra'am again as opportunity presents itself over the summer.

((Speaking of which ... what are Tranquillina's options for study/advancement for the 1223.2 season?))

((Ulrich and Rose stood off to one side when the others were casting the healing ritual on Ra'am, but i don't think they'd been formally introduced.))

Ulrich can be in the library, or with Rose. Ra'am is giving him the freedom to choose where he wants to be. Indeed, he's given Elizabeth that freedom, as well.

((I'm cool to have an introductory chat between Tranquillina and Ulrich (and perhaps Rose too), if Peregrine wants to play.))

((Rose, I believe, is packing right after the ritual for a trip to Coeris in the morning, which is like any moment now. Ulrich would like to be with her if she will let him, help her pack, say goodbye, and then mope until next time. If not, he will be in the gardens, being all emo.

But, yeah, I'm game.))

"Your efforts certainly aren't necessary, Tranquillina. I have done an extensive self-exam, and am in good shape, but thank you for your concern." And Elizabeth is certainly there, but her nose is buried deep in the tome, as it were. Tranquillina will have to ask her directly what she's studying, if she wants to know, or wants her to talk. much beyond a friendly, "Goodbye."

Tranquillina hears through the grapevine that Maris and her Tremere are leaving for Coeris, which, geographically speaking means that they will be going near or to Mons Electi.

No sense interrupting Elizabeth, Tranquillina decides: if she had wanted to talk, she would have joined in.

This trip towards Coeris sounds like a no-lose situation. ((except sorry Ulrich/Peregrine :cry:)) Tranquillina steps to a spot just outside Le Maison's Aegis and hacks a bit of rock from the ground; she can always Leap back here if the trip turns out not to be fruitful for her.* She quickly writes a second copy of her letter to Mons Electi; unless Alexei is still around (I don't think he is), she'll show both copies to Maris, in the event that a witness to Alexei's signature would be helpful. She leaves the signed copy with instructions to have it delivered to Mons Electi, and brings the unsigned copy with her.

  • Tranquillina isn't above generally grabbing Arcane Connections to locations as she goes, of course. That being said, the only one of note she's likely to have in her possession right now is one to near Nigrasaxa, since most of her stuff is still there. And she probably leaves that in her quarters at Le Maison.

Of course this all depends on Maris accepting her company on the journey, which she politely inquires about. ((Who are the other people in the traveling party? And I don't know anything about Maris, although Tranquillina would have learned a bit about her by now.)) [color=magenta]"You are kind to offer to allow me to accompany you, at least until we arrive close to Mons Electi," she thanks Maris. [color=magenta]"I know you offer this with no implied debt, but I can volunteer to help with reconnaissance during the journey. I have various means of traveling with great stealth, as well as vision that I can enhance magically."

In fact, she will cast Eyes of the Eagle on herself as the journey departs ((automatic, even fatiguelessly so in Le Maison's aura; it will last three days and two nights)), and while on the road she'll use her cloak's Gift of the Bear's Fortitude every sunrise and sunset.

As Tranquillina attempts to insert herself into Maris's party, Maris takes her aside for a word, "I'm well aware of where your ultimate destination is. You see, I'm the one who gathered all the information about his prospective members on his behalf. I think you would be a fine addition there. You are not a fine addition to my retinue, though. The magi in my retinue, including my apprentice, Rose are all Gently Gifted. Your presence with us will generate some amount of discord among our group." She pauses a bit and pulls something out of a pouch, "Use this in about 30 days." She holds out a strand of hair, "It's one of our grogs, and I'll tell him to expect you at some point after about 5 weeks."

She smiles as she gives the strand of hair to Tranquillina, "Think of it this way, you don't have to endure the overland travel. The purpose of this trip is a test for Rose in handling herself in mundane environments. It will also take us some time before we go past Mons Electi, at least 5 weeks, but it may be more, depending on how Rose conducts herself. It would be a shame for you to waste a season traveling with us, when you could be more comfortable here, wouldn't it?"

Carefully, Tranquillina secures the grog's hair, thanking Maris without meeting her eye. [color=magenta]"I will count thirty days and then Leap to this position. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. I will certainly enjoy the comforts of your home in the meantime." In fact, Tranquillina is nearly crushed: she heard only that she would not be worthy of the traveling party, despite the fact that it was sandwiched between a compliment and a reasonable explanation. She tries to hide her dispiritedness, but probably doesn't do so completely. ((Prs 2 + Guile 3 + stress die 2 = 7))

When Maris's party sets out on the road, Tranquillina is there to wave goodbye. But as soon as they march out of sight, she visibly deflates and stands still for several long moments, breathing deeply at the ground. ((I'm guessing)) She is mirrored by the moping form of Ulrich on the other side of the road.