1227.3: An Unexpected Vis-i-Tour

"Oh, it's the easiest thing in the world!" guffaws the dwarf. His hands come up, miming the first two actions he describes. "You just grab -- yank down -- stare in awe and wonder, and acquire a staggering inferiority complex if you happen to be male. Nothing to it!"

Stultus mmms thoughtfully. "Well, the climb is a pain in the posterior, of course. I feel truly terrible any time I have to ask the servants to bring something up. I'm going to need to come up with something to ease their burden once I've got my lab set up... maybe next year sometime. But overall, I like it. It's got... character." He briefly contemplates informing the other magi that the ability to piss on the entire world if one feels like it is an advantage, but he doesn't think Tranquillina or Gerulf will appreciate the humor. Fiona would likely find it hilarious, though.

Stultus, being the linguist bastard that he is, echoes "Slainte!" and takes a drink before going back to talking. "The mice I've found to be a mixed blessing. They're irritating -- but they're entertaining, they keep other pests out, and unlike their mundane cousins don't gnaw the books and don't leave their droppings all over the place. I just wish I could stop them from... well. Never mind," he ends in a mumble. "My problem, and it's somewhat embarrassing."

Gerulf takes the ale even more gratefully than might be expected. "My gratitude, Stultus," he says taking a sip. The austerity of the furniture seems at odds with the man, but as Stultus explains the long climb, Gerulf can only agree with the sentiment. Then again, "Why not haul the pieces magi-... Mm. Never mind." He rubs his eyes with one hand.

"Do they, ehm... Do they perform any other tricks, the mice?" He casts about for a place to sit, but like Tranquillina, finds himself more comfortable standing at the moment. Fiona's... ample-ness... does not escape his notice, but he tempers his glance with another sip of ale.

Stultus smiles at Gerulf, nodding. "You see the inherent issue with that." He doesn't know that Gerulf botched a spell on the way up, but -- having spent a lot of his time in cities -- he's very conscious of the dangers of overusing magic. He does things the mundane way much more than most magi.

The dwarf snorts, wryly amused. "Y-yeah. They apparently have some sort of low-power magical effect that affects their bodies in some way, and they figured out in fairly short order that they can't come into contact with me when it's active. So now, every once in a while, I am woken up during the night by tinny cries of 'WHEEE!' as the little bastards climb the headboard of my bed, launch themselves out into space, and skid down my Parma into the blankets. Apparently, I make a very good hill for sledding."

"You could leave your Parma off for a night," Tranquillina suggests helpfully. "That would show them not to take your slopes for granted." With her non-ale-holding hand, she tries to mime the trajectory of a slightly magic mouse when it leaps upon a surface that is unexpectedly more contactable than normal; in the end it just ends up looking like she was swatting a fly on her own abdomen. At least her diction remains impeccable.

[color=blue]"No one likes having their slopes taken for granted," Fiona says as she looks over at the bed, shaking her head in what looks like a disapproving manner. [color=blue]"And if I were to have someone jumping on me in the middle of the night, I would hope that he would be somewhat larger than a mouse."

Stultus shakes his head rather forcefully at Tranquillina's suggestion. "And have them use my nose for a springboard instead, or something equally obnoxious? Nuh-uh! I'm thinking a simple Rego Animal ward would work." Hearing Fiona's comment, he chuckles and bows towards the giantess. "I defer to your greater experience in slopes and taking things for granite, oh my Singularly Spathic[sup][1][/sup][sup][2][/sup]Sodalis."

Fiona chuckles at the wordplay and grins broadly. [color=blue]"Oh, I definitely like having you around, Stultus." But a couple of minutes later, as the conversation continues, she watches him thoughtfully.

"You know, I don't believe we've spoken much since arriving, Stultus. I'm quite curious: what are your magical interests? Any fascinating research projects in the near future?" He takes another sip of ale, curling his lip a bit at the unusual fare and watching Tranquillina's reaction to the shift in conversation.

((As much as I hate to go non-linear time in a thread, I'm going to have to some wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey...stuff over in the other thread, because how that conversation plays out could affect how Stultus and Fiona interact in yet another thread. Or not.))

Once the conversation dies down and Tranquillina and Gerulf get ready to move on, Fiona shakes her head. [color=blue]"Go on ahead, I'll catch up with you in a couple of minutes."

"Ah ... very well, we shall await you outside," Tranquillina answers ominously.

(( Thank you, Peregrine -- I had tried to craft a response to Gerulf several times, but wasn't happy with any of my efforts, and was wondering where to take the scene from here. Gerulf, you can assume that Stultus' answer would have been a self-deprecating one, to the tune of 'you're just out of apprenticeship and you're already ahead of me magically -- that discussion between you and Tranquillina at the dinner lost me in the space of five minutes, so any magical interests of mine you'd likely consider child's play.'))

((I don't have any problem with Stultus's response to Gerulf, as described - but let me OOC point out that Stultus's Magic Theory is actually higher than Gerulf's. So is Stultus's comment erroneous, or calculating? :slight_smile: ))
Stultus will not have much trouble noticing that the more the conversation sticks to Hermetic theory, the more comfortable Tranquillina gets. When Stultus draws comparisons among the achievement of the specific magi in the room, she seems more on edge.

((Now that Fiona and Stultus have had their pillow talk....))
When Fiona and Stultus emerge from the magus's bedroom, Tranquillina clears her throat. "The plan was to visit the Tribunal plateau next, and the salamander's retreat. Then we can take a little break and ready ourselves to head down towards the black rose. But first," she turns to Fiona, "I believe we have an unsettled wager. I propose we now tie up that loose end."

"Let us agree on the exact terms. The path that leads from the mansion past your cottage dead-ends into the main trail which we took up this mountain, forming an intersection. Let us say that we are at the starting line right here, and the goal is to reach that intersection. When our sodalis - " she turns, intending to motion to Gerulf, but finds herself gesturing directly at Stultus's face. With a sigh, she continues, "... when our sodalis Stultus gives the signal, we may make our way down to the intersection, using whatever methods we wish. The first to arrive is the winner. Does that sound correct?"

(( Yes. :smiley: That is, it's a bit of both. Stultus' Magic Theory knowledge is mostly focused on practical applications. Tranquillina and Gerulf's discussion at the dinner was Magic Theory in its purest form, Magic Theory for Theory's sake, elevated and rarefied: they did lose Stultus eventually, although it took longer than he claimed it did. ))

Fiona raises a brow. [color=blue]"That sounds correct, although I had assumed we would settle the matter when we were done. But if you'd rather do it now..."
She turns to stand right next to Tranquillina, then looks back at Stultus and nods with a wink. [color=blue]"On the count of three, then?"

She listens intently at the count. The instant that Stultus starts to say "Th", Fiona turns and grabs Tranquillina, kissing her so deeply and passionately that even Cumachd feels inexplicably frisky. When she breaks the kiss, she heads down the mountain side on her spider-legs, hopefully while Tranquillina tries to gather herself.

((In my mind, Fiona's going "woop woop woop!" as she scuttles away :laughing: ))

Tranquillina had been watching Fiona, curious to see what her first action was going to be; her actual choice was nowhere on Tranquillina's list of predictions. After a moment of being stunned, she tries to squirm out of the giantess's grasp, which naturally accomplishes exactly nothing. When Fiona finally lets go, she falls with a bump to a sitting position, from which she watches the beginning of the race with a dazed look.

"Well," she says, lifting herself up and patiently smoothing her dress back down. She saunters over to an edge of the landing, catching a glimpse of Fiona spider-prancing across the second switchback down. "Did I advise her to be as fast as possible? I thought I had chosen my words more carefully." The remark is confusing to the other magi until they actually (surprise!) see a small grin and a twinkle in her eye.

Glancing down to rummage patiently through her pouch, she tosses a few words over her shoulder in a slow drawl: "Gerulf, I will be happy to continue this tour when you make your way down the trail. I am enjoying our little outing. And Stultus ... well, a pleasure, as always," she falls back on formula. Her lips form a gently "aha" as she pulls a nondescript flat rock out of the pouch. Straightening up, Tranquillina looks at the two magi; she peers quickly over the edge of the cliff, as if she is considering jumping off of it; and then she winks at them and says simply, "Wish me luck."

Then she casts Leap of Homecoming without a sound or a motion.

Stultus blinks as Fiona kisses Tranquillina, and does his level best to suppress a snicker, or even a trace of a grin. He inclines his head to Tranquillina's farewell, not trusting himself to speak just yet. After the pop of inrushing air as the Bonisagus teleports away, he waddles to the edge, shading his eyes with a hand as he peers after the two magi, and finally -- finally -- starts snickering.

"That was -- hehe -- a sucker bet if I've ever seen one. What the heck was Fiona thinking? Heh. Well."
"It was a pleasure, Gerulf -- thank you for coming by, and I'm sorry about the mice. If you need me... I'll be in my bunk."

Fiona flat-out runs down the side of the mountain as fast as she can, not bothering with going along the trail, although it does take her a minute or two to trust that her spider-legs won't let her fall arse over teakettle down the steep slope.

She's breathing heavily by the time she gets to the bottom, and finds Tranquillina there, well-rested. [color=blue]"You're already up and around? I thought I was a better kisser than that. Have to work on that," she says with a broad, playful grin.

[color=blue]"Looks like you win."

((It's too bad Fiona didn't break out her Taking the Raven’s Wing spell. I think if Tranquillina knew about that spell's existence, it might well top the list of things she'd want to learn from Fiona. Something to ponder....
Do you want to schedule a season for the teaching? I'd be fine with Autumn 1229 since it seems to be her next free season. Or would you rather find a way to negate the bet? - the stakes were pretty high....))

Indeed, Tranquillina has already changed her feet back to human form and put her boots back on. "The kiss did not quite incapacitate me - sorry to disappoint you," Tranquillina tosses back with a grin. To be honest, the kiss made her rather uncomfortable, but she is so happy with having regained face that she can joke about it. She shields her eyes from the low sun as she looks upslope, happy to make idle conversation while Gerulf makes his way down the trail. "What are we supposed to think about all those magical mice?" she wonders, shaking her head.

((Wouldn't have worked – no size modifier, Fiona would have had to cast her La Petite Mascarade first to make herself smaller.))

((Works for me. And looking at Tranquillina's character sheet, I see a few aughts on her Arts score, and Fiona has at least a 5 in everything so she can open an apprentice if she had to. But take a look at Fiona's and see what Tranquillina would like. Being Secretive, Fiona won't say "I know blah, blah, blah, and blah," but she will tell her if she knows something she asks about.))

[color=blue]"I'm thinking I should leave Paul at home when I come calling on Stultus," Fiona says.

[color=blue]"They are rather interesting, though. I suspect they're faerie mice, aping human society with the way they dress and behave...but in a twisted, almost mocking sort of way."

((Autumn 1229 it is. Unless that messes up the schedule you set with Petronius - just let me know.
As the player, I'm really keen on the Taking the Raven’s Wing spell. It's just super cool, I could see Tranquillina possibly using it, and it would take her forever to get the spell any other way. I think it's reasonable that Tranquillina would ask about Fiona's spell capabilities ... what Fiona admits in response is really the question. :open_mouth:
If that doesn't seem appropriate, there are plenty of other things that would be helpful and nice. Artes Liberales, for example - Fiona teaches Tranquillina how to read Ancient Greek texts. Or Ancient Greek itself, for that matter. Or Ignem or some other Art in which Tranquillina has a 0.
Whacha think? :slight_smile: ))

((I'm sort of just biding time now until Ulfengaard can rejoin us....))
"That is a compelling judgment," Tranquillina admits, rubbing her chin thoughtfully; she's always happy to jump into a speculative theoretical discussion. "What is strange about that possibility is the fact that they have made their home in a Magic aura. Particularly since we have such a direct link to the Magic Realm itself, I would naturally assume any beasts within our regio are aligned thusly. But I concede that the demeanor of the mice make this theory hard to justify."