1226.3 - Road to Bibracte

I don’t know what voice colors are open, but I noticed somewhere that JL said he discourages the use of Red because he has it reserved for his use. Red had been my old habit for Roberto (red being the color of fire), but I shall use [color=brown]Brown for Roberto and [color=blue]Blue for Carlos. For now. Voice colors can be altered later as needed.

The chill of autumn was beginning to take hold of the land, but a decent campfire kept it at bay. Johan Junior wanted to stay at an inn which was in the town the passed a few hours ago. Carlos sympathized, but Roberto wanted to press on. Stopping at every town after only a half days journey would stretch out the journey twice as long as needed, and Roberto was certain that it would require the whole rest of the season if not longer to get settled in and obtain his bearings at a new covenant. Pedro had no complaints or comments, and for Allen and Albert, this was just a typical day on the job.
Roberto sat reading a letter by the campfire while Carlos was replacing a string on his guitar.
[color=blue]Reading that thing again? Hoping to find some hidden clues or riddles or something?
Roberto smirked. [color=brown]No, this is the other letter that came along with it, from Mons Electi. A welcome letter. The request of the Prima has been granted, as was expected, and I am being sponsored by a magus named “Alexei Von Kroitsau”. A fellow Flambeau magus. Heard of him once. I think I saw him at the last tribunal, but I am not sure.
Carlos plucked at the new string, tuning the instrument by ear. [color=blue]Blah-blah-blah. Are there going to be any fine ladies present at this new home of ours? And this new prima of yours, is she cute?
Roberto chuckled and shook his head. [color=brown]You are incorrigible.
[color=blue]Maybe so, but you still keep rereading that letter like you are looking for something new
[color=brown]I am. I am trying to figure out who knows what and what this sponsor of mine expects of me. This tribunal controversy cover story, I don’t think it floats. Alexei’s letter mentions nothing of it, simply referring to the troubles in the tribunal and his covenant over the past few years. What are these troubles? Obviously that is his main expectation, I am being sent to help out. With what? How deep into these issues are they tied? What do they know? What are they facing? This letter is full of more questions than answers”.
[color=blue]Again, yer talking straight over my head and I am only understanding half of what you are chattering about. I still think rereading that letter over and over is doing you no good. You need to relax, have some wine, get a full night’s sleep, a hearty breakfast in the morning, and back on the road. You won’t find your answers rereading the same letter that fills you with questions. You will find the answers at the end of the journey.”
[color=brown]Wise words my friend. Roberto set the letter aside and rekindled the campfire with an Ignem spell. Then, taking up a leftover joint of meat, he reheated the food for a bedtime snack. That and a cup of Andalusian red would make the perfect nightcap.

((What route is Roberto taking? Flanders to the Burgundy region of France. And how big is Roberto's retinue? It helps me gauge an accurate travel time.))

I'm a Yank, so Flanders and Burgundy are like Oz and Mordor. I have no idea what road. I sorta know I would be travelling diagonally accross France from NW to SE. My entourage consists of myself, Carlos & Pedro (who have served with me or for me over twenty years), Albert and Allen (veteran almogavars who have served Santiago for a few years). And then there is Johan VanHalen Junior, son of a drunkard pirate and tavern wench and general onery sob.
That's six men, six horses, two pack mules, and a wagon. Roberto, Pedro, and the two mercenaries are on horsebach (Roberto has a magic rein). Carlos and Junior are in the wagon drawn by 2 horses. Our supplies and other gear are on the wagon and carried by mules.
Roberto is being wary of Bandits and Tytalus magi :wink:
None of us are cavaliers or expert horsemen. But we know how to ride. Except Johan I think (which is why he is on the wagon).

And he's dead set against shortcutting through portals? Could cut down on travel time significantly. I'm into logistics, it shapes the stories I tell/write a lot. I'm not against handwaving logistics, but this is a significant journey, and if he's looking out for bandits, it's reasonable to presume he'd do his best to generally avoid bandits (not out of fear, certainly) but to avoid the hassle. Think of it like fast travel in many modern CPRGs. It's there and open, and with the vis stocks I awarded elsewhere... possible.

I was unaware of a portal network in the area :slight_smile:
Maybe Roberto & co. are headed for the closest Mercere hub. We had no portal at NM, so he would travel to a nearby covenant that has one.

Well, I was thinking of making you roll against AL of some sort, but then I figured that you'd know a Mercere House would have portals to somewhere. And a Normandy Tribunal Lore 1 is enough to know that there are two Mercere Houses, Dragon's Rest is closest. Does anyone else in the party have any Area Lore of Normandy Tribunal or the local area?

Dragons Rest, In Flanders and thus near NM, is the old Mercere house. It will have a portal to Fundin ( the new Mercere house) that is just 2 weeks travel from Mons Electi.

Otherwise you will have a delightful trip through Paris on your way here. Flanders and especially Novus Main, is in the North-NorthWest part of France. Burgundy is in the South East of France ( but not the far SE).

Only Roberto has Normandy Trib Lore. The others are focused on the mundane local area, specialized in finding the party & etc.
Dragon's Rest it is!
(this is starting to feel like one of those road flicks :slight_smile: )

The night before Roberto is set to depart, the cart is all packed and everyone is getting to bed early for a good night's sleep before a two month long overland trip to Mons Electi a ship sails into port. Carlos is dockside, avoiding bedding down early unlike everyone else, he figures he can get in a dice game or two, and walk away with a bit more coin in his pocket before he leaves or perhaps engage a young lady in a good-bye tete-a-tete, of sorts. In any event, the commotion of the large ship coming into port so late in the evening is unusual. What stood out most is the method the sails were furled, as no one appeared to be manning the sails. A gangway is lowered and a man in a linen robe, remarkable due to its complete lack of wrinkles walks down first. "I'm Rhesus. I seek one of the magi here who calls himself Roberto. If he is no longer here, I need to know when he left and where I might be able to get in touch with him."

My name is Inigo Montoya...
er, I mean
[color=brown]"I am Roberto Rodriguez, of House Flambeau. How may I help you?"

((I targeted Carlos... :smiley:))

oh, ok
Carlos steps forward...
"My name is Inigo Montoya..."
What language is being spoken? French to Spanish is -3 I think...
But he would understand "Robert"
[color=blue]"Mi llamo esta Carlos. Que audau?
(my Spanish is weak. basically he said "my name is Carlos. how can I help you?"

It's actually spoken in Latin, French, French and then Castillian. He says it in Latin and then two others behind him translate it. One translates into Castillian while the other translates into French and Flemish.
But Carlos has heard enough Latin to recognize magus and Roberto in the same sentence. He's probably heard the name Rhesus a time or two, given that Novus Mane is a vassal of Florum. He may not be well enough informed on Hermetic matters to know exactly who he is, but it's likely he's a magus looking for Roberto. The night before he leaves Novus Mane. Carlos can do with that what he will.

I get to show off my linguistic knowledge!
Carlos does not speak Castilian, he speaks Aragoneese. But that's okay, because both are dialects of what will come to be known as Spanish. And, if the first speaker is using proper Latin, magus (MAY-goos) is virtually the same as Spanish magos (MA-gos).
Carlos also speaks a little Flemish and French. No Latin (other than Spanish). But he does have OoH Lore at a score of 1. Better than most player magi I have encountered!
There is no free knowledge by incidental exposure. If there is exposure with the expectation of gaining knowledge, then that is where exposure xp should go. It drives me nuts when players act like their magus should know everything about the different houses, cults, tribunals, etc. And as 20 year magi they have 0 OoH Lore
/rant mode off
Now, I need to back up and figure out where we are. We are at Dragon Rest when the ship arrives, or we never actually left and this is at Novus Mane Harbor?
The response will be the same in any case. I am thinking NM. The campfire scene, that was a dry run camp drill Roberto put them through :smiley:
Ship pulls in, Carlos steps forward and says "How can I help you?" in Flemish (Flemish 3, local slang).
Then Rhesus gives his speech. Then it is Junior who spouts the Inigo Montoya bit. He is piss drunk and making fun of Carlos' accent.
All sewn up nicely :slight_smile:

what to do...

Carlos smiles with an apologetic look on his face.
[color=blue]"Roberto was in a hurry to leave on urgent business. I will go inquire if he had left word of how he could be reached."
And with that, Carlos leaves to pass the buck off to the boss and let Roberto decide what to do.
Junior is drunk, trying to pick a fight with a gull.
[color=violet]"My name ish Inigo Montoya, can how I help you..."

BTW, Junior drunk at the dock is a hook, obviously, if you want to use it. Also, this would be a great jump on point for Jebric if he wants.
Or you can wait for Roberto to come out and see what the hell is going on and why magi in magical ships are showing up unannounced in his harbor (yes, he exaggerates in his mind out of frustrated curiosity).
[color=brown]"This better be damn well important! The covenant specifically informed everyone that we are trying to maintain a low profile
[color=blue]"Maybe he's here to give you a ride?
[color=brown]"Rhesus you said? He's from Florum. This just thickens the plot. Maybe he has some information."
[color=blue]"Or misinformation."
[color=brown]"Or malintent.
[color=blue]"Right... Should I..?
[color=brown]"Get Pedro and the two Al's. Full dress for the Al's. Make a show of it. Five minutes. (Now where did I put my cape? Ah! There.)

Make of that what you will.

Rhesus merely looks at the man calling himself Inigo Montoya and nods politely. ((I got nothing else, here, really.))

(figured maybe you wanted to milk him for information, or maybe even abduct him or have him pick a fight that just causes chaos to ensue. but nevermind)
Roberto comes out to meet Rhesus in full formal pomp. He is wearing a stuudded leather doublet (dress armor, part of his costume), red cape, new sword at side (no shield), shiny boots and all nicey-nice.
Al & Al are in full gear looking soldierly at his side. Carlos will lead the processionand announce us. Pedro will bring up the rear and just sidle along like he's an onlooker (C&P are dressed in normal clothes, with the addition of Carlos having donned a blue cape though his shirt is still dirty).
We come out to meet Rhesus with cordial formality, Carlos all smiles and Roberto looking serious but amicable.
[color=blue]"We are fortunate good sir, for my master has not departed as of yet. Allow me to introduce Roberto Rodruigez, magus Flambeau".
[color=brown]Salve sodale, welcome to Novus Mane. How may I help you?

What does Roberto know about Rhesus? I have Int +2, Normandy Trib Lore 1 (Flambeau magi), & OoH Lore 2 (Flambeau). I can't roll dice on this phone, so I don't mind if you handwave it or roll a real die at home.
Who is this magus? What House? Other affiliations? What's his reputation? Has he ever pissed me off or stepped on anyone's toes that I care about? Has he ever been helpful?
What's my read on the guy just from looking at him? Per 0, Folk Ken 2 (warriors).
I am sure he can tell I am scrutinizing him &/or trying to remember who he is &/or figure him out. But I am being as affable and cordial as I can.
Other relevant scores are Pre +1, Charm 1 (wit), & Guile 1 (smarmy). No Etiquette score :frowning: , so I dunno what effect that may have. But with Leadership 3, at least I can look impressive :smiley:
I realize this is a mixed bag. Make of it what you will and decide what best applies.

Are you looking for Marcello here? I thought you wanted to rework him a bit. I will play him but if you are going to rework him then post some ideas on the companion thread and we can flesh it out.

I was actually thinking Havlard:)
You were doing a retcon of him, right?
For Marcello, I do have ideas, but he is your property. But if you are interested, I'll bring it to the companion thread.

"We should find a place for a private conversation. The Library, perhaps? And we need to ensure that the librarian is not present. What I have to say is for you alone." Rhesus eyes the men with Roberto.

Roberto knows that Rhesus is an honorable magus, as far as a Verditius goes, and has treated Novus Mane fairly[1]. He knows that Rhesus motivation for the Lotharingian Tribunal is to escape the Prethean Compact[2]. He also has a well voiced oppinion that the Peripheral Code ruling by Quaesitor Celestin that said "the mundane resources of a covenant cannot be considered to contribute towards the magical power of its members" is a horrible Peripheral Code ruling, but is enshrined into Tribunal code, and efforts to dislodge it have not been successful.

After Roberto relents and escorts Rhesus somewhere private to discuss things, "Word has spread, despite your insistence on keeping things quiet, that you're leaving Novus Mane. That you're joining Mons Electi. Is this true?" ((His knowledge can come from any number of sources, a spy of Florum's at Novus Mane, or even Viscaria and her pen pals at Spider's Palace, a Florum vassal.))

[1]Retcon anything you know about Florum from the Novus Mane saga, they've been a benevolent liege. They take vassals only so far as to shore up political advantage and or secure resources.
[2]The Perthean Compact is the set of Periphreal Code rulings defining the allocation of Vis in the Tribunal, Seisin, Legacies, Tropaea and Luctationes. All vis in the Tribunal is owned by the Tribunal. Seisin are leased in perpetuity to a covenant, they must be within a day's travel (there and back again). Legacies are vis sources which are outside the day's travel, granted to a covenant for a 7 year lease, after which they almost always revert to Tropaea. Tropaea are vis sources that are up for grabs at the Tournament. Luctationes are vis sources that require some amount of skill or ability or Arts to harvest, or there is an element of danger involved. Anyone may attempt to harvest these.