1223.3: A Giant Problem (Trimalchio)

The covenant is abuzz with activity – mainly the gardeners harvesting their vegetables and getting them ready for the winter, the menfolk making sure that the remaining inhabited cottages are prepared for the winter ahead. The sky is grey, but the air is dry (or as dry as it gets on the shores of the Loch). Shortly before sundown, one of the shepherds comes running to the covenant and grabs the first magus he sees (who just happens to be Trimalchio).

"Magus!" he gasps as he tries to catch his breath. "Giants! In the meadows!"

Trimalchio looks perturbed. "Get help from the magi inside, and see if anyone can be called to arms. I will try and see what they are doing, and see if I can stop them doing any mischief."

"Oh, and tell the magi I will be invisible while I'm in the meadows." , he remembers to add.

With a wave of his hands and muttering something involving "Perdo" and "imaginem", he disappears. (casting total 18 + aura of 3 =21, over the 20 needed, I don't need to rush it).

An invisible Trimalchio start walking down to the meadow, trying to spy out the giants and see if any of them are employing the fabled Giant Magic that Damhain-Allaidh's allies had.

((Okay, so he's casting Veil of Invisibility. Got it.))

Trimalchio walks up the path to the meadow that the shepherd was pointing to when he was telling him about the giants.

He has no problem finding the giants. They don't seem to be doing any kind of magic at all, that Trimalchio can tell. They seem to be setting up camp. Pitching tents, they have a couple of cooking fires going. There are a handful of giants (men) arguing, but they're too far away for him to make out what they're saying...or even what language they're speaking.

Back at the covenant, the loud ringing of a bell sounds from the roof of the Revel Hall. It's the first time that the new magi have heard it, but they would have been told that it's only rung in case of emergency.

I will move up a little closer, and attempt "Analyse magic" (Lineage of pralix special ability) on a giant, and slowly examine each one (takes about three rounds for full information per subject).

Want to give me a couple of Comprehend Magic rolls, or do you want me to roll them for you?

OK perception 5 + skill of 2 (specialised in magical beings, so will help if they are innately magical humanoids with a might score) 1st roll: 1 2nd roll: 1 [url]http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3736725/[/url] so, 2 more rolls [url]http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3736730/[/url] OK, looks like this will get silly quickly - a 7, and another 1. So first roll is 2*2*7=28, and next roll will be doubled as well. So first is 5+2+28 = 35 (I'll not get another roll that good all saga) 1 more roll [url]http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3736733/[/url] 3 - so 5+2+6 = 11 total.

Boy, that's a nice roll. Blew through their Resistance and everything.

First round: Magic is definitely present, as the subjects look to be, for the most part, 15-20 feet or so tall, as near as Trimalchio can tell. But, even aside from that, they do have Magic Might.

Second round: while they are Magic-aligned, they're not Hermetic, or, really, any kind of spell-casting magic at all. They are simply Magic.

Third round: there doesn't seem to be any kind of ongoing magic, spells, enchanted items, or what have you going on.
They're still arguing...or, at least, two or three of the bigger giants are. Trimalchio might be close enough to hear what they're saying, if you want to try an Awareness roll.

((This takes place the season after Thomas arrives. Would you like him to join the thread?))

((If you want him to, I have no problem with it.))

perception 5 + awareness 2 + roll 2 =9.

As I'm trying to listen in, a quick look with second sight to make sure there are no invisible friends, spirits, etc. waiting to trap the unwary magus.
perception 5 + second sight 2 + roll 9 = 16

((To elaborate: Trimalchio had the shepherd sound the alarm at the covenant to get help from the magi. The bells have rung at the Revel Hall, so any magi who want to be involved, can be.))

What they're speaking sounds like Gaelic, the same language the locals speak.

Trimalchio doesn't see anything with his Second Sight.

Thomas arrives in short order. Knowing that one magi is already hidden and has had several minutes to scout the matter, he considers going for the straightforward approach.

((Per 2 + Premonitions 2 + Speciality:nobility(including himself) 1 + Clear Thinker/Enigmatic Wisdom? 3 = 5/8 + die 8 = 13/18, would perceive up to "light, imminent danger" or "mortal danger within the season"))

((Okay, I can see how that'll get old for SGs real fast. Also, not sure if Clear Thinker or Enigmatic Wisdom would apply to Premonitions. Both have descriptions that suggest they could. Regardless, he's just worried that if he shows his face, they'll hurl a rock into it. So, assuming no Imminent Mortal Danger premonitions...)

He heads towards the fields on the most direct path, and then as soon as he is clearly visible (atop a hill, perhaps), he stands and waits, attempting to seem friendly, and observing the scene casually. He waits for them to notice him. If any of them point at him, he'll wave cheerily at them.

By now, he has learned to, if not live with his curse, at least roll with it. Should one approach eventually, he'll greet them. "This conversation is going to be very confusing for us if we don't speak the same language. Still, it's been all of ten or fifteen minutes, and neither of us have killed anyone yet. That's better than most civilizations manage, if my history teacher is to be believed. Which I'm not entirely sure is the case. At any rate, I sure do hope we speak a common tongue."

Idly, he recalls his parens Gregarius, who had always insisted the boy should learn at least some kind of combat skills. He wished now that he had listened to the old magus.

Thomas doesn't get the feeling that he or the covenant is in any danger. There is a feeling of a possible confrontation that could escalate, but it feels pretty unlikely and doesn't feel like it involves anyone he knows or knows of.

It takes a while before the giants show any sign of having seen him, and even longer before a couple of the more brutish-looking ones make their way up the knoll.

The two look at each other after Thomas's little dialogue. "You talk a lot," one finally says. "What do you want?"

Thomas nods sadly at the deep hidden truths behind these simple words. "Quite a lot of the time, I'm afraid. As for what I want, that could get really metaphysical really quickly. How about we ask instead, why are you here? No? Still a bit tricky, I think. Oh, I have it! I shall pretend you asked, Why do you speak to us? and then I can say, because someone saw you and got very scared, so someone else asked me to see what scared him and so I came, because I have learned the trick of waiting until I am in danger before being scared.

"To summarize then (for I can see that you are a man of few words), I came because I live nearby, and because strangers always seem to provoke curiosity. I should like to be able to tell people I know your names, and what you're all about."

Thomas tries very hard not to contemplate the other magus (magi?) who are here, let his compulsion force him to reveal their presence.

"Winter is coming," the larger one says simply, as if that explained it all.

After a moment, he continues. "We need a place to camp until spring. There's plenty of food, we can build shelter. And if the others don't like it..." He smiles, showing off his crooked teeth, and smacks one fist the size of Thomas's head into the palm of his hand.

(What langugage were they speaking in? At the start of Autumn, I've only got level 1 in Scots Gaelic so will possibly make out the words "winter", "camp" and "don't like" with a fist-thumping gesture.)
From what he can make out, Trimalchio was disturbed. Unfortunately, these creatures were too large for him to affect with battle magics, so it seemed blasting them to weaken their magical strength and slowly drain them that way was the only avenue open. A poor, slow, avenue.

He stalks around, trying not to give his position away, making it behind Thomas.

He whispers "Can you persuade them to move on, or do I have to perdo their vim away?"

Still sounds like Gaelic. (Irish and Scots Gaelic haven't diverged yet, so it's all Gaelic, with Scots and Irish dialects/accents.)

Corpus won't work, unless you've added a couple of magnitudes for size. Animal probably won't work either :slight_smile:.

The giants that are talking to Thomas are both tall enough that they would have to bend over to pat him on the head.

I was thinking that Corpus wouldn't work due to size. However, as my comprehend magic suggests these are magical humanoids with intrinsic might, PeVi might-stripping could work. Obviously, under the house rules, first I'd deplenish their might pool before I could actually harm their might, so it would take a few castings, and in the process I'd destroy their vis. So, while I could do this I'm whispering to Thomas to see if he has any better ideas.

Thomas nods sagely at this. The superstitious might even argue that his tattoo'd third eye did also furrow in consternation, but that would be silly, for everyone knows that tattoos do not move.

"Ah, it is so true. Winter is coming. Yet, this is no more true this year than it was last year, or next. Why do you seek shelter now? For as we scholars like to say in Latin, An entire tribe will not be frightened by one death, it will only anger them."

He pauses then, clearly intending to say more and says, "To say more than this without waiting for your response would be typically of an insolent child who is only interested in hearing himself speak."

Edit: In case that wasn't totally obvious, the bit in italics above was in Latin.

"We always seek shelter when the leaves change colour. This is the first time we've decided to make our camp here. With the mac Ossian witch gone, it's..."

The slightly smaller giant reaches out and punches his cohort in the ribs. Not playfully, but not trying to hurt him, either.

The larger one glares at him briefly before continuing. "We will be camping here for the winter. Any other clan don't like it, they can try to drive us off."