1223.2a Interludes in Surreal Time

Maps of the period were notoriously inaccurate. There is a map, in the library, in a display case. Attempts to take it are rebuffed by the librarian, saying simply, "Prospero's orders are that it is to be left in the Library for anyone in the covenant to use." Ra'am, Elizabeth and Ulrich are there when she tries to acquire the map.

((I have a tenuous feeling that there's something I'm supposed to be doing with these folks ... for now just winging it))
((Also yeah, the map plan isn't destined for great precision - but still seems better than guessing on the timing, at no real cost.))

Tranquillina frowns as the librarian walks away: she had been hoping to sequester herself away so that nobody would be disturbed, including herself. [color=magenta]Ah well, she decides, [color=magenta]just make the most of it. She approaches the trio with a smile: [color=magenta]"Good morning, sodales. I suspect we all are similarly motivated today - by a preference for the coolness of this well-kept room over the dusty heat outside." As she mentions the weather, she realizes that she didn't don any outfit this morning, thinking she would just be retreating back to her quarters; she hopes her wolfskin cloak isn't too gauche for studious conversation.

She is definitely interested in what they are reading, particularly the younger two. ((Awareness roll: Per 2 + Awareness 2 + stress die 4 = 8.))

"Good morning, sodalis." Ra'am says cordially, without any trace of being upset. Elizabeth is reading what appears to be an advanced Tractatus on Vim. Such an advanced text shouldn't be all too surprising, considering her proficiency with casting the 6th magnitude Wizard's Communion. ((Ulrich's reading whatever Peregrine says (within reason), we'll adjust his personal study plan however.))

[color=green]"Good morning, maga," Ulrich squeaks out. If that's all she's wearing, Ulrich definitely notices, but tries not to stare too hard. ((Com 1 + Guile (to women) 3 + die roll of 5 = 9)) After a couple of minutes, he forces himself to look away and just starts whispering [color=green]"Discipline...discipline" repeatedly.

((How does Mastery of the Sky by Pietro of Flambeau, a Q13/L7 summa on Auram sound?))

That book is available, while Prospero's book on Auram is currently unavailable! Interestingly enough, it has notations on the margins indicating some corrections, or improved spell casting capabilities (normal quality of the volume is 12). The notations are in a hand all too familiar to Ulrich's.

((OOC: Rules on glossing indicate having a score of at least half the book's level and a superior communication score.))

Coming back to the matter at hand, she addresses them all: [color=magenta]"I have no desire to bother anyone, but I had hoped to conduct an Inexorable Search using this map, here. It will take me quite some time; please know that if it would disturb you, I will not be offended if you take your leave, and in fact apologize deeply for any inconvenience."

Tranquillina studies Ulrich for a moment, as if she could somehow divine what has "been done" to him that way. [color=magenta]"On the other hand, viewing such a spell in action might be instructive for a young one. But of course I defer to you on this matter, Ra'am: you are best placed to know the best use of his time this morning." ((I think it's fair to make a Charm roll at this point: Com 3 + Charm 2 + stress die 7 = 12.))

((Fun Fact! In 1223 AD, they had yet to invent "read quietly." All reading was done by reading aloud. So libraries aren't designed like modern day reading rooms, with the shelves against the outer walls and a large inviting space in the center. Instead, exterior edge was a series of nooks, and the bookshelves were a large double row splitting the room in twain (which also served as a method of "fire protection" by keeping them away from the walls).

Not sure if we're playing it that way in Mythic Europe, though.))

((Addendum: They did have prelinary concepts of sound proofing by then, so there is probably a fair bit of art and tapestries on the outer walls of the library))

That's debatable...
stanford.edu/class/history34 ... aders.html

which brings us back to the scene in the library!

Ulrich looks quickly, and a little nervously, at Ra'am, deferring to his master in the matter but knowing what he hopes Ra'am answer will be.

Ra'am nods his assent, he's not too concerned about Tranquillina's actions given that the map is never removed from the Library.

Ulrich moves over next to Tranquillina, slightly back a little bit so he doesn't distract her while she's casting, and watches everything she does intently.

He doesn't say anything while she's working, but saves all his questions for after she's done.

Tranquillina nods an acknowledgment to Ra'am and motions Ulrich over. [color=magenta]"The Inexorable Search, as you might know, is an Intellego Corpus spell that requires a map - here - and an Arcane Connection to some living person. Using the Connection, one can sense the location upon the map where that person currently is. I will need to concentrate for some time, so if you have any questions about the spell, please ask before I begin or wait until the end."

Hearing no questions, she smiles reassuringly at him and takes a kerchief out of her pouch; from the kerchief she removes a single hair, which she wraps around her right thumb and grips tightly. She begins to cast Inexorable Search, speaking clearly and slowly and as quietly as possible that Ulrich can still hear, and using calm, exaggerated gestures for his benefit. After the initial power is invoked (at which point Ulrich feels a slight pang of nausea), Tranquillina begins to move her thumb slowly over the surface of the map, concentrating on the strip directly between Le Maison and Mons Electi - hopefully the traveling party will be somewhere predictable, in which case starting with that strip will be significantly faster than searching the entire map blindly. As time passes, she murmurs some of the Intellego and Corpus invocatory words repeatedly to assist her concentration.

((Her Casting Total would be higher than the spell's level 20 even if completely silent and still, and she has a Mastery point, so no need to roll. It's not clear to me if she needs to make a Concentration roll every 15 minutes or whether that's the maximum amount of time she can concentrate; also her Sta -3 makes Concentration rolls exciting, although this is a simple situation. In any case, she can just recast the spell if she loses concentration.))

((Depends on how much "instruction" she intends to provide while doing (or during) the spell. She has an advantage in that she knows where to search, which makes the whole process much easier.))

[color=green]"I'll wait until you're done, maga," he says politely.

He says nothing, nor does he make a sound, while Tranquillina works. He simply stands there watching her intently, barely blinking so as to not miss a thing.

((Let's go with Tranquillina not really doing instruction during the spell itself, other than just not blocking Ulrich's view etc. It's not a spell she's cast a lot, and actually she's pretty insecure about Concentration-duration spells in general, so she probably wants to pay close attention.))
((I'm going to assume for now that nothing surprising happens: she manages to locate the hair's grog on the map, in a reasonable location that shows they're heading in the expected direction but not that close yet to Mons Electi. But change anything that needs changing! Assuming that's accurate: ))

As usual, the hard part is to separate the true magical sensation from the trace of her heartbeat in her thumb or other imagined stimuli. But several slow passes over the presumed location from different directions, the last few with her eyes closed, provide confidence in the final result. Twenty minutes or so after beginning the spell, Tranquillina releases a deep breath and halts her Hermetic chanting, her thumb resting lightly on the map to the east of Tours; the grog (and hence Maris's whole party) seems to have just left the Touraine, not particularly close yet to the Bourgogne foothills. She turns away from the map, heart beating a little quickly, but pleased with herself. [color=magenta]"Was that what you expected?" she asks Ulrich with a smile.

((Ulrich's roll to understand what happened: Int 2 + Magic Theory 4 + die roll of 3 = 9.))

[color=green]"I think so, maga," he says. He then asks several pointed questions, focusing on the Arcane Connection aspect (which he knows next to nothing about). His questions about the theory behind it, and how the spell utilized Intellego and Corpus (the latter, he prefaces with claims of knowing very little about) to achieve the desired result seem to indicate that he knows enough about them that he would be able to learn the spell now, if he were to be taught or had a lab text, and that he would be able to cast it reliably when he learned it.

Tranquillina is happy to answer his questions and, occasionally, make short digressions that she hopes are informative and relevant to Ulrich's line of thinking. She is a little worn out from the spell she just cast*, so she's not at the top of her game, but she should be able to get a good rough impression on the extent of Ulrich's training in Magic Theory and Corpus. ((Per 2 + Magic Theory 8/9 (specialization in Corpus) + stress die 3 = 13/14.)) On average her responses tend to be reasonably helpful, even though her knowledge of Corpus is leagues above Ulrich's and she has to change tactics on a few of her answers. Both Magic Theory and Corpus are subjects she just "gets", so she tends to get right to the pith of the topic very rapidly.

  • not in the Fatigue sense, but in the "she's just a frail person in general" sense.

She considers complimenting Ulrich on his knowledge - after all, he sounds like he could set up his own laboratory from scratch, given his questions - or also complimenting Ra'am on his mentorship; but she feels a little awkward still, and refrains from anything potentially controversial.

If nothing else of note happens, Tranquillina will follow through with her plan to cast The Inexorable Search again on the 25th day after Maris's departure, the 30th day, and every day thereafter, trying to figure out the best day to Leap to them and minimize the distance to Mons Electi. In the meantime she'll continue to ((do whatever she's spending this season doing ... options? Is basically all of the summer going to be spent at Le Maison?))

She's also happy to strike up a conversation with Elizabeth (the only character she hasn't really talked to, besides the departed Maris) at some point. ((Nudges welcome for other possibilities in this thread.))