1223.2a Interludes in Surreal Time

Elizabeth is surprisingly elusive and noncommittal and always manages to avoid a deep conversation, whether she is around Ra'am or not. She seems to be well practiced at being polite but hard to pin down, and, or, extremely lucky to get an interruption and then disappear.

Heh. Tranquillina tried! Elizabeth probably hasn't made a friend here, but Tranquillina is fine with live and let live. (most of the time)

Well then, more Inexorable Searches it is then. All castings are automatically successful (unless it's stressful and there's more than 1 botch die for some reasons). Meanwhile, she's beginning to say her goodbyes to the other magi, Ulrich, and the few covenfolk she's had repeated encounters with (who speak Latin). She'll put the finishing touches on a letter to Ariel the new Prima of House Flambeau, who just six months ago was her covenant-mate at Nigrasaxa; and another to Maximianus, filling him in on her plan to journey to Mons Electi, and on gaining Alexei's sponsorship. She'll also leave a letter of thanks for Tria, and certainly will convey her gratitude in person to Prospero for Le Maison's hospitality.

Elizabeth grew up here, from the age of 3 to 14, if my math is right. She is perfectly at home here. :smiley:

When Tranquillina says something to Prospero, "'twas nothing, girlee. Happy to have ye about."

On day 30, they seem to be about 5 days from Mons Electi, if the map is accurate. Repeated castings, several times a day for the next 5 days allows Tranquillina to determinw when they are about a day from Mons Electi. Repeated castings on that day shows that they are not moving.

heh, sorry, I meant Elizabeth hasn't made a friend in Tranquillina. I'm sure she's crushed :neutral_face:

Personally Tranquillina finds the term "girlee" a bit disparaging, but she learned months ago that there's no point fighting that fight: Prospero is Prospero, and he doesn't mean anything judgmental by it. [color=magenta]"I hope that our paths cross again soon, sodalis. Perhaps I will be in a position to repay your hospitality at Mons Electi!" she smiles.

All righty, it doesn't take a Puissant Artes Liberales to figure out that this is the day to take the trip. She'll make the same preparations she made a month ago before she was told not to travel with Maris. Just because she feels insecure about Maris's opinion of her, she'll also use her cloak for an Aura of Ennobled Presence. She'll "wear" sturdy-looking traveling clothes, and she will travel lightly: one day's food and water, and only those possessions of hers she can easily carry (she can Leap back here when she's settled, although she probably doesn't have much here she couldn't carry anyway).

Finally, as early in the day as she can manage (hopefully before noon), she will find an isolated spot for spellcasting. [color=magenta]Listening in on this grog's surroundings would definitely risk magical scrying, she muses, [color=magenta]but the chances of a maga being within a pace of him are acceptably small. So she'll cast Eye of the Sage just to get a sense of what this grog is doing at the moment and what sort of landing spot she should expect. Assuming nothing unexpected results, she'll cast her Leap of Homecoming. (She thought about trying to spont a spell to warn him that she's about to appear, perhaps a little ReMe effect. But if the traveling party isn't moving, odds are better that he'll be ready for a surprise maga.)

((All spells used in the making of this post automatically succeed in this aura, with no Fatigue. Although she will be a bit worn out from all the spell casting, at least psychologically.))

Fair warning before Eye of the Sage is cast... You'll put a warping point on another maga's grog. If you're ok with that, confirm that Tranquillina gave it some thought. :smiley:

I hadn't thought of that! - thanks for the backup :slight_smile:
Hmm, well, Tranquillina finds that acceptable on a one-time basis. It'll put hair on his chest, she thinks (not).
Also it'll cause him a moment of mild nausea, which is probably as good a (vague) warning as anything.
Also also, I forgot to roll for the duration of Eyes of the Eagle - only until sunrise, sadly.

Tranquillina's spell seems to have encountered unexpected resistance and fails. If you want the mechanical details, highlight below what I put in a spolier tag. Note she didn't have any problem casting The Inexorable Search just prior to this ((you can assume that you rolled a 5 on that, if you want to use it for comparison purposes in assessing what's below)).

Casting total of 39 less the level is a total of 9+5 from the aura is 14.
Penetration score of 2, with the AC lasting months, it's a +2 to the multiplier, for a multiplier of 3 (1+2) for a total penetration of 20 [2 (Penetration) x 3 (Penetration multiplier) + 14 (excess over spell level)].[/spoiler]

Tranquillina sees only the wall in front of her, not a person as she expected.
[color=magenta]"Huh," she says. [color=magenta]"This usually works." Performance issues, now? she whines to herself.

After a moment's thought, she decides the most likely explanation is that Maris is protecting this grog with her Parma Magica for some reason ... even though that still seems pretty unlikely. Well, she can try a thing or two to rule out some possibilities. First, after checking that there's nobody around her to be disturbed, she will raise her voice and her arms and spontaneously cast The Whole from the Part (HoH:TL page 72) on the hair, just to double-check that it really is the hair of a grog - that won't be affected by any Magic Resistance currently protecting the grog. [color=magenta]Although if it weren't a grog's hair, why would this be the first spell that failed? Casting Total: Sta -3 + In 6 + Co 27 + aura 5 + Talisman attunement (Corpus) 3 + words/gestures 2 + stress die 2 = 42, halved is 21, surpassing the spell level of 20.

She'll rest a bit to catch her breath after that spell. Assuming she didn't see anything weird with it, she'll decide that she might as well try to overpower the resistance: maybe if she marshals her full attention rather than her initial blasé casting, she'll have better luck. ((OOC: She has a couple other bonuses not accounted for in her initial Casting Total - but that outcome is fine, we can just say she didn't roll as well as an 8.)) And if not, that information will still be valuable. [color=magenta]Could there be some protection against scrying that wouldn't affect a Leap of Homecoming? Also unlikely, but I suppose possible....

Time wasn't of the essence before this hiccup, and she judges that it still isn't ([color=magenta]hopefully...!), so she'll go to the astronomical charts in the library and take an hour to draw up a daily horoscope for this grog ([color=magenta]really wish I knew his name....), whose location she was luckily already able to determine. Int 3 + Artes Liberales 1 + stress die 9 = 13, beating the Ease Factor of 9.

Returning to her isolated spot somewhere (I guess her quarters would still be hers to use), she'll gather all her energy and loudly try The Eye of the Sage again. Casting Total: Sta -3 + In 6 + Co 27 + aura 5 + Talisman attunement (eyes) 6 + Mastery 1 + words/gestures 2 + stress die 8 = 52, which is 22 above the spell level. Penetration Total is thus 22 + (Penetration 2 + Mastery 1) * (1 + Arcane Connection 2 + horoscope 1) = 34. She unfocuses her eyes, and sees....

She sees the grog milling about. No. Wait... he appears to be walking a post inside some trench and little else.
((Clue to the player: Maris can be a bit of a bitch. She's also shares her pater's primary strength, perhaps not to his degree...))

[color=magenta]Well, that's somewhat less strange, Tranquillina thinks with partial relief, [color=magenta]but still a bit strange. Is he on guard duty? - some expected danger? ... or is this some sort of punishment, or chore, of Maris's devising?

The trench itself seemed benign, from what she could see; but she might as well take a couple of precautions against possible danger. She goes outside and gathers up several fist-sized rocks from the covenant grounds, placing them in a satchel she carries: projectiles in a pinch, plus an Arcane Connection back here. Returning to her quarters yet again, she casts Wizard's Sidestep on herself: [color=magenta]no sense not using a spell I've already invented. Finally, she takes the grog's hair back in hand, inhales deeply, and then suppresses her Parma Magica just long enough to take the Leap of Homecoming to his dirty trench, knowing* that any magical protection on the grog won't matter.

  • ((She will know for sure, but I'm slightly doubtful ... the spell targets Tranquillina herself, so magic resistance at the destination is irrelevant?))

No, the MR is not irrelevant.
Need penetration totals for Wizard's Sidestep and The Leap of Homecoming.

aha, I just figured out the likely scenario - destination inside an Aegis. sorry to have not rolled before :blush:
I guess I assume that Tranquillina automatically uses a permanent Arcane Connection to herself when casting on herself? And gets "blood relative" and both "name" Sympathetic Connections to herself? This feels a little munchkiny....

Penetration Totals:

  • Eyes of the Eagle: Sta -3 + In 6 + Im 10 + Mastery 1 + Talisman attunement (eyes) 6 + aura 5 + stress die 6 = 31, minus spell level 25 = 6, plus Penetration bonus (Penetration 2) * (1 + Arcane Connection 4 + Sympathetic Connections 3) 16 = 22
  • Wizard's Sidestep: Sta -3 + Re 9 + Im 10 + Mastery 2 + Talisman attunement (alert image) 5 + aura 5 + stress die 7 = 35, minus spell level 10 = 25, plus Penetration bonus 16 = 41
  • Leap of Homecoming: Sta -3 + Re 9 + Co 27 + Mastery 1 + Talisman attunement (travel) 4 + aura 5 + stress die 7 = 50, minus spell level 35 = 15, plus Penetration bonus 16 = 31

I guess the first two totals assume that she lowers her Parma for those spells as well. I imagine she certainly would for Eyes of the Eagle, since with a worse roll she wouldn't penetrate her own magic resistance; it's more of a toss-up for Wizard's Sidestep....

If it indeed an Aegis, then her Taliman's Soak buffs will be cancelled, as will the Aura of Ennobled Presence, and even her nice outfit reset to the plain ol wolfskin cloak :cry:
(I guess it's possible that her token from Le Maison's Aegis has been revoked ... or that she couldn't keep it for a day or so and return it once she reached her destination....)

It is an Aegis that she is entering...
Effects with a penetration level less than 30 are cancelled, and as Tranquillina appears next to the grog, she feels the tell-tale tingle of an Aegis.
The grog points to a stone structure a few paces away.

Tranquillina frowns as much of her magic is taken from her; she can't even put on a proper outfit to be received in. Part of her had hoped there was some other explanation, but ... this is one of those uncommon times where the presence of magic seems like a threat, rather than a natural part of her. She shakes her head and takes a look around at the surrounding land, and also sizes up the structure itself ((how large is it?)).

[color=magenta]"What is this place, soldier?" she asks as kindly as she can muster, looking for an easy way up out of the trench. [color=magenta]"Are we in danger of assault, that a guard must keep post?"

"It's our bivouac. Rose ordered tighter security and a few patrols, then cast some spell around this trench line. She's inside, you should direct any further questions to her." It's obvious he knows more, but it's also obvious that he's said all he's going to say.

Tranquillina nods, content with getting even that much of a response out of a stranger, and is halfway to the building before she realizes that the grog said "Rose" and not "Maris". Again her brow creases, but she continues inside the building.

[color=magenta]"Salve, sodalis," she says - to Rose if Maris is not in sight, or to Maris (with a slight curtsey) if the maga is there. [color=magenta]"Thank you for providing me a way to Rego myself here from Le Maison d'Levrier."

Tranquillina looks around the interior of the structure, trying to figure out whether it is continuously occupied. [color=magenta]"Is there a threat outside the perimeter? Can I volunteer my aid?"

"What are you talking about? How did you get here?" She seems harsh and grounchy, appears to be tired and overburdened.

It takes a moment to sink in, and then Rose puts two and two together. "I'm sorry for the outburst. I just wasn't expecting you. Maris went missing last night just after sundown. I've dispatched her aides to Coeris and Blackthorn, after having them assist me with erecting this Aegis here while I setup a command center waiting for a team to arrive. It would appear, given your sudden, to me, arrival that this was an opportune time for Maris to present me with a test of command. Do you have an Arcane Connection to her? Is that how you got here?" It appears she's trying to work out a puzzle but is too tired and overburdened to think clearly.

((While I'm thinking of it: does Tranquillina know that Apollodorus was also Xenophon - much less that Maris was his filia?))

[color=magenta]"That's quite all right, you weren't told anything about me, so how could you expect my arrival," Tranquillina soothes. [color=magenta]"I used an Arcane Connection, but to one of your grogs; I have none to Maris herself." Her mind whirls quickly about the implications of Rose's report. ((She knows a great deal about Blackthorn, a little bit of Maris personally, and Coeris by reputation; but how well does she understand the connections among them? Order of Hermes Lore roll: Int 3 + OoH Lore 1 (specialty in Hermetic lineages relevant?) + stress die 8 = 12.)) [color=magenta]"So, you and I are the only magae - er, Gifted people, here at the moment?"

The situation places Tranquillina in a bit of a bind. [color=magenta]If Maris is in trouble, then I should take command immediately, as the only maga present, she debates with herself. [color=magenta]On the other hand, if this is indeed some Tremere drill, then I would be obstructing it to the point of uselessness. Delaying this decision for a moment, she turns to Rose again. [color=magenta]"May I request a casting token? I have enchantments that provide me some traveling comforts, which I am not nearly strong enough to recreate myself under your powerful Aegis." She is falling back on a typical tactic, subtly complimenting others in an attempt to put them in a receptive frame of mind. ((Charm roll: Pre 2 + Charm 2 + stress die 0 (no botch) = 4.)) As the words come out of her mouth, she hears her own exaggerated inflection of "your powerful" and winces inwardly: [color=magenta]that didn't sound sincere, she rues.

((No, Tranquillina doesn't know any of that, yet.))

"Yes, it's just you and I. But given the length of time that everyone has been gone, I'm going to err on this being a test by Maris." She picks up a coin with an emblem of a wolf on it, and hands it to Tranquillina. "I invite you into our field Aegis. I apologize for any difficulty related to your arrival. This was the largest magnitude Aegis I could cast without vis." Almost as soon as she says that she then starts cursing and swearing better than most sailors.

((Couple of quick OOC questions at this point. First, what time of day is it now, and how long a journey to Mons Electi from this location? Perhaps Tranquillina's information on the latter point is imprecise.

Second, my understanding is that every Aegis has the standard Year duration and is a ritual, just like in the core book. A saga might alternatively decide, though, that temporary Aegises can be cast without vis at shorter durations; I think this is ruled out by the spell description, but I wanted to check first. This is spurred by Rose's last comment - whether I should interpret it as "without vis other than what was used in the Aegis casting", or something more exciting....))