1227.2t You Heard It Here, First

"I'm to serve as stud, and that is the extent of my responsibility. House Mercere will take care of the baby, and if unGifted, the baby may grow up to be a Redcap, or something else. Something about family, blood of the Founder, I didn't follow it all. It was all part of the contract I was sent, and I've signed it and will give it over to Korvin before..."

[color=blue]"Ah, I see," Fiona says. It still seems contrary to everything she had heard, but it sounds like all the parties involved have no problem with it. And like she said, it's none of her business. She then kisses him more deeply.

[color=blue]"So, tomorrow's your big day, then? I suppose we shouldn't waste any more of your seed, then. I'm just glad I finally got a chance to get your magnificent rod to myself...and it was well worth the wait, believe me But, as long as your tongue and fingers work fine..."

When Wirth realises what is being said to him, he quickly puts Clara and Edward apart, so as they remain ignorant of what roberto says.

He is quite stunned and surprised by roberto's story. But he trusts him, and listen to him until he's finished.
Quite a mess you're into... Powerful traitors to the order on one side, convoluted cowards on the other... Everyone knows where everyone stands. Yet, everyone is afraid to do anything.
There is quite the potential for war here. I don't want it. I have a family. But should you need me, I'll come.
From here, I guess they'll further talk anc complain :laughing:

??? Is there an HR on the gift I'm not aware of? Or is that a mistake on your part (Becoming used to someone's gift vs becoming used to the Gift)?
Nevermind, I'll probably read any answer in 2 weeks anyway :unamused: :laughing:

It's funny because it's true! :laughing:

Fixer, you pretty much ignored the last part of what you quoted, "having so many different magi about can distress her." Means that the Gift of others does affect her... But, let me preach on, since you seem to want a more detailed explanation...

No, there isn't a house rule on this, per se. But, I would say that Redcaps and other mundanes who hang around magi, as much as Alips does, and interacts with them (not just following orders like covenfolk) as nearly equals come to understand how the Gift can taint all interactions and recognize it for what it is. I'd extend this to Adeline after a suitable amount of time, as well as Roberto's grogs with whom he carouses on a regular basis. It's the amount of time we're talking about here. Alips is nearly 70, though she looks to be in her mid to late 20s. She's been hanging around with magi for 5 decades. She knows the score. She isn't used to the Gift, but she is used to understanding how the Gift affects her and can take some steps to mitigate that. You'll notice that her interactions with Korvin and Fiona had her pantomime something that looks reminiscent of the Parma Magica ritual, in an effort to get them to extend it to her, so she wouldn't have to bother with it. She won't have that level of luxury at Tribunal, she won't always be by Praxiteles side, and with nearly 300 magi running around, some of whom are probably Blatantly Gifted, she will get overwhelmed, and will wish to retire to Mons Electi.

Finally, and you'd have to be in the mind of Alips to understand this last bit. Praxiteles wasn't asking for himself. He was asking at Alips encourangement. It's one reason why I accidentally colored Praxiteles words in green above, because I was imagining the conversation between Alips and Praxiteles, and what her motivation would be to stay at the covenant. She's basically rubbing it in everyone's faces that she's a guest of Mons Electi during the Tribunal, when they see the guards letting her cross the bridge and go back to Mons Electi and away from the Tribunal city, that's like, wow...she has a VIP pass. Or something.

Long story short (peanut gallery: too late!), the Gift of other Magi does affect her. She just recognizes it for what it is, and attempts to work around it. She is also not against using the Gift and how the magi know it affects others to her advantage, if she can. :wink:

((picking up from when Korvin approached Jareth on Tranquillina's behalf))

Tranquillina smiles broadly. "Thank you very much, Korvin," she tells him, touching him on the upper arm. "I appreciate your brokering this meeting! I shall wait until your important business is done with these Gifted members of your House, then approach Jareth afterwards."

True to her word, she will wait the day or two (or whatever) and then invite Jareth to her receiving room. If he doesn't already have a casting token, she will ask Korvin to approve giving him one.
((What does Tranquillina know about Jareth? Int 3 + OoH Lore 1 + stress die 5 = 9.))

[color=brown]I just don't know what to believe in all this. But I know my loyalties in order of priority. Amici first, Societas and House second, then covenant. A "cabal" that I was unwittingly drafted into comes after all.

Jareth takes the House Mercere ethic as a a house of commerce to heart. Almost everything he does is for sale; but his prices are exorbitant for those not of his House. His also extremely literal. When the page comes back to Tranquillina he says to her, "Mistress, he would not come, he prefers to stay at his quarters in the Tribunal village, and requests your presence there. He said that he had told Master Korvin that he should send you to him."

Oh dear, off on the wrong foot already, Tranquillina bemoans as she Leaps to the Tribunal city and follows the directions the page gave her to Jareth's quarters.
She will have cast Disguise of the New Visage on herself to artificially age herself to about 40 years old. ((Int 3 + Finesse 2 + stress die 1 / exploder 1 / second exploder 4 = 21.))
She will also use Outfit for Any Occasion to dress herself in clothes befitting a merchant noble lady. ((Int 3 + Finesse 2 + stress die 3 = 8.))
Finally, as always during the Tribunal, she has Aura of Ennobled Presence active.

"I beg your pardon, sodalis," she greets Jareth. "I had already asked my page to invite you to our covenant before hearing from Korvin that you prefered to remain here in the comfort of the Tribunal accommodations. I am pleased to see you, particularly now that the press and bustle of the Tournament has ceased."

"I don't stand for puffery. You want something from me. Let's get down to it." Jareth appears rather annoyed, as if he's heard this same offer time and time again. ((See my recent OOC comments in the 1223-1227 OOC thread for insight... :smiley: ))

"Very well," Tranquillina agrees, changing her demeanor completely. She sits down opposite Jareth, relaxing back in her chair. "Through forces not under my control, many of my spells continue on longer than they should. A spell that should cease once the sun has moved its diameter in the sky instead might last a quarter hour; an effect that should dissipate at sunrise or sunset instead might continue nearly a week. Sometimes advantageous, true, but often troublesome. I would like you to teach me to harness one of my spells, namely Disguise of the New Visage, so that I can end it voluntarily."

"Naturally I shall compensate you for your time and trouble, in a manner agreeable to us both. Possibilities include learning the Art of Corpus from me directly - perhaps you might prefer Perdo - or learning a spell or two from me directly. Or, I could also assist you in a laboratory project; you would be correct in surmising that a maga Bonisagi will be a very potent helper indeed. Of course," she adds, shrugging her shoulders and looking away briefly, "we could also resort to a manner of payment as crass as vis, if you prefer."

Tranquillina leans forward as she completes her first salvo. "There is another possibility, one that I would not offer to many, but I offer it to you as a sign of esteem for the Mercere traditions of magic, as exemplified to me by my Princeps Korvin. I can write a tractatus for you - on the subject of Corpus, certainly, or broadly on Magic Theory if you prefer - and not only provide you with a copy but this also: I can explicitly waive the Cow and Calf Oath for magical Mercere. In other words, you would be free to distribute copies of the tractatus - within House Mercere only - at whatever price you wish, or none at all." She sits back again, keeping her eyes on Jareth's face. "This is all I can say before knowing what types of payment interest you."

Jareth actually yawns as Tranquillina goes on. He seems bored by the entire exchange. "I'm unconcerned with your difficulties of working magic, we all have some deficiency or peculiarity with our Arts. Take your Princeps, for instance, he has Deficient Perdo, who he passes on to his protégé, I'm sure, along with his silly issue with requiring casting tools like some Verditius. Be that as it may, Harnessing isn't all that you make it out to be. And you are not the first to come to me of a problem like this, you will be unsatisfied with the mastery ability as he was. You see, your Gift is such that the spell will continue to linger for a time after you try to end it. Enduring Magic can only be captured with a more fundamental understanding of Harnessing than you can achieve from simple mastery techniques I can teach you. The spell mastery techniques might help the spell end sooner than it otherwise would, but it will still persist beyond your desire, if your wish is to end it instantly."

"I find all of your offers pedestrian and unexciting. Certainly not worthy of being taught a mastery ability, let alone trying to instill the virtue."

Essentially, harnessing will cut the extra duration of her spells in half, if cutting it half is beyond the time that the spell has already been in effect, the spell will end the round after she concentrates. She'll gain some control over the spells, but not as much as she'd like, if she wants true harnessing, she needs the Virtue, then she can turn off any spell, at will.

"Really?" Tranquillina is honestly surprised. "I have never heard of a limitation of that sort to harnessing one's magic. Where did you learn of that exception?" She has done a reasonable amount of reading, where she could find sources, about magic that endures longer than normal, in the hopes to understand her own condition. To be sure, she has not looked particularly closely into writings on harnessing spells.

Now fully in bargain mode (although perhaps for nothing, in the end), Tranquillina does not take Jareth's last comment personally. "Presumably you are as human as the rest of us: what sorts of offers do you find exciting?"

"The issue, to be frank is your overriding strength of the magic you practice. Your Gift is especially long-lived, as I understand it. Harnessing, as practiced by spell mastery is simply not sufficient to instantly overcome the life of all of your spells, all of the time. I'm not saying it won't help with the duration, it will, but it won't be as effective as you'd like. If a spell might last for two days, two sunsets and two sunrises it might still last for a day, which might be longer than you'd like. As to what offers I find exciting, well, that hardly makes it fun for me to tell you what I find is exciting or interesting or useful. Commerce is a matter of exchanging something that the participants want. Frankly, you aren't offering me anything I want or could make use of."

He then gets dismissive, "I believe we are done here? His tone is polite, and while it is stated as a question it's clear that he isn't interested in negotiating on the opening terms Tranquillina has offered.

((SG note: I'm not a fan of Tranquillina giving up this capability (disability in certain situations) quite so soon as a function of play. She's relatively new to the saga, as it were, so I want to play around with it for a while. She's identified a potential teacher, she just needs to open up negotiations with something that he wants. The other Mutantes who is available to teach this might be available, but Hypatia and Vincentius will also have challenges to overcome in teaching. Vincentius will probably request taking out some enemy...combat related quests. Hypatia will probably require some political favors, such as convincing the Magical Merceres to setup a domus magna of sorts for the magical part of House Mercere. Not that it's a good idea, but she wants more political control than she can get due to Insatella's position at Harco, and that she's a very able administrator, and generally good for the House as a whole. We can play those out, so she has a better idea of the...resistance House Mercere has to teaching this to outsiders.))

While she finds it satisfying that Jareth evaluates her enduring magic as a source of strength and power, Tranquillina has certainly grown quickly more pessimistic about the prospects for negotiating for anything, since (unbeknownst to her) the ability she sought to learn would not even work for her as she desired. Still in bargaining mode, she responds to Jareth's last comments: "Come now, Jareth: a shrewd professional such as yourself can only testing me with such a two-handed declaration. You may choose to communicate, or not, that which you might want others to provide you. But is it fun you seek, or profit? He who chases two rabbits, after all, catches neither."

Tranquillina stands and offers her hand. "It seems so, sodalis. You are gracious to inform me that what I sought is actually less valuable to me than I thought. Thank you for your time, and enjoy the rest of your stay at Mons Electi; please let me know if I can arrange for anything to increase your satisfaction." She walks among the square towers and villas of the Tribunal City, lost enough in thought that she does not immediately use Leap of Homecoming.

((Player note, short version: okay, she has lots of other things to do.

Longer version: Tranquillina's character concept contains the idea of someone who has a stronger natural connection to magic than your average maga (which brings both plusses and minuses), as manifested in her Flawless Magic, Enduring Magic, and Magic Sensitivity and all her vis problems. From a conceptual point of view, Harnessed Magic would be a natural fit for the character (so would Boosted Magic, if not for the vis requirement). This, together with the convenient circumstance of a bunch of Mercere magi being around, was the motivation for me to pursue this avenue for Tranquillina.

However, the given description of the mastery ability's effect renders it unattractive (much like I shy away from corrective eye surgery when I learn that I'd probably need glasses/contacts afterwards anyway). Moreover, there doesn't seem to be any compelling reason, either in-character or out-of-character, for her to pursue actual membership in the Mutantes tradition, even just to the point of getting one virtue. So this looks a little like a dead end in hindsight. That's fine, she has original research to pursue and other possibilities for stories.))

"Dear, Tranquillina, I am the seller, you are the buyer. If I say you haven't met my price, that is all that is necessary. I have little desire to satisfy your curiosity as to what my price is, though. That would demonstrate an insouciance, if you will." Which seems completely contradictory to what he's said or how he's acted heretofore."You will find my brother and sister both have rather large demands, as well. You can seek them out while they are here. Perhaps knowing their requirements will help put mine in a better light...at least once you figure out what it is I want." He smiles and winks at her mischeviously.

As she prepares to depart, Jareth takes her hand, and brings it to his lips. "Enchanté." He seems sincere, which is a contrast to his demeanor during the negotiation. "Next time, lose the illusion. But it did amuse me."

Tranquillina is indeed confused, but would much rather be toyed with than judged unworthy of the effort, so that's something.
"I would lose the illusion right now - if only I had been taught how," she ventures, a twinkle in her eye. And out she goes 8)

Tranquillina was dealing with a Fae blooded Imaginem specialist... The player is free to put two and two together, if the player can't quite bring it all to bear... :wink:

I guess this is a good thread to put this in:

Tranquillina will definitely share with the other Mons Electi magi what she found out from her conversation with Rataxes. To wit:

  • Valerian was investigated and found to have no "focus" applicable to the spell. (Wouldn't the investigators also have asked him directly whether the killing was intentional...?)
  • The spell that killed Praxiteles in the Dimicatio was at least a 20th magnitude spell.
  • The investigators decided that this must be a botch. Tranquillina suspects that actually Valerian must have a huge Art score, presumably a Terram up near where Apollodorus's Rego was.
  • Valerian's sigil was only "nominally" a part of the spell. Tranquillina doesn't really know what that means.
  • Tranquillina heard it rumored that Valerian has been "recalled to Magvillus and assigned to duties in service to the Inner and Outer councils".

Although maybe we're getting a new guest star in the Evil Enemy role? :wink:

Did you ask the question (Did you ask the Quaesitor if he asked Valerian if he meant to kill Praxiteles)? Might Valerian receive special treatment?

A new guest star? Bilera always struck me as the perfect villainous mastermind...

I didn't ask the question - Rataxes clammed up pretty thoroughly after his first remarks. :stuck_out_tongue: