1227.3 What Happens Next

((I'll wait for this to be complete))

((These can go simultaneously I'm perfectly willing, don't want to step on anyone's toes))

The chamber that they stopped at is decorated to befit a general; banners, weapon racks, maps, sheaves of paper. But the Imperator is not in it. Michel walks in and picks up a piece of vellum that Stultus recognizes, it's the letter he wrote to Alexei.

"Beg pardon Magister, the Imperator is training in the field now, he asked me to grab this if you were going to see him. Come, I'll take you now."

Michel leads Stultus to the training field where some mock battlements of wood and hay are arranged. Behind one row of hay are some archers and behind a shield wall of five men stands young Helmut, dressed rather awkwardly in wizardly robes. Off to the side is the hobbled old man that trains the men and opposite the fighting men is Alexei in armour leaning on his staff.

"Ah, we're in time. Hold please." Michel says as they walk to the side of the field that should be out of range.

Helmut calls out something to the archers and they quickly draw and fire upon Alexei. He seems unconcerned and takes an unhurried step back from where he was standing; all of the arrows miss him. The men forming the shield wall lock shields and weapons but do not advance as the archers make ready to draw again. A moment later Alexei disappears and reappears behind the shield wall and Helmut calls to his men in a near panic. Alexei looks perturbed though, he's several paces away, if he had been close he could have engaged either Helmut or the men. As the archers loose again he quickly steps aside again, but more than one arrow strikes him, one sticking to him. Michel winces in sympathy at that as Alexei disappears again, this time to reappear behind the archers.

"All halt!" he calls and presents his staff boldly. The archers all freeze as they were about to draw weapons and Alexei disappears again. This time he is behind and slightly to the side of the shield men, but they are prepared and wheel quickly. What follows is a bizarre melee. One minute Alexei is in one spot and then behind them, poking the men with his staff while defending with both his staff and repeated disappearances, any man that takes the staff end to the body acknowledges the hit and falls. Finally when the last one stands still in front of Helmut Alexei grows to the size of a giant and merely reaches over him and picks up Helmut.

"Hold!" calls the grizzled old man as Alexei smiles and puts down the shaken Helmut. Alexei shrinks down to normal size and walks to the man seeming pleased with himself. "Not sure why you're so happy 'Lexi. You would have likely been killed or seriously wounded. You waited to eliminate the archers and were struck by two of them, one was a likely wound. Your first transport was inaccurate, it was pure luck they didn't turn and run you through. You should have stunned the shield men rather than fight them." Alexei seems unperturbed at the criticism as he heads for a wooden table that was set up with some fruits, breads, cheeses and watered down wine.

"Enough old friend. I am happy to have won at all, it's been too long since I've been laid up." he says as he begins to shuck his armour with the help of a grog until he is wearing just his trousers. His torso is still wrapped and his fit body shows old scars and wounds. He gratefully sits down and grabs a piece of fruit as Michel leads Stultus to him and hands him the note. "Ah Stultus. Good of you to come. Please, sit down." he glances at the note again as he mops his brow.

((Waiting is for wimps! Let's multiplay this thread.
And actually, notice that we can change the subject mid-thread, and "quote" should respect the new subject. That can help keep Stultus's three requested conversations straight. 8) ))

The day after the dinner welcoming the new Probational Members, Tranquillina is laboriously conversing with Giorgio just outside the kitchens: their combined prowess in Latin, French, and Italian is tantalizingly close to being able to actuallly understand each other, and in a grass-is-greener mindset they keep switching languages, hoping for a breakthrough. Suddenly Giorgio looks past her shoulder and yelps "Mamma mia!" Tranquillina turns to see Rahere strolling into the larder. She shuts her eyes with a pained expression on her face; when she opens them again, Stultus is indeed standing there, bowing low. If I hold up the hem of my cloak, I could step right over him and walk away....

With a sigh, she tells Giorgio to start the lamb dish she has requested, packaged for travel. She turns to the dwarf and hails him in Latin. "I trust your first official night as a Mons Electi member was a comfortable one?"

Stultus had been watching the practice, fairly attentively. What he knows about physical fighting can be summed up in four words -- "Run Away Very Fast" -- but it's always a pleasure to see a master of the craft at work. He perches next to Alexei, and decides to reuse the line, because in these circumstances it's even more apropos. "Hail Imperator, morituri te salutant. What can I do for you?"

His eyes keep returning to the archers, looking thoughtful. If he tried to do what Alexei had just pulled off, he'd be dead several times over... with one rather notable exception. The arrows would have missed: Shriek of the Impending Rotten Apples is a very useful spell. He makes a mental note to suggest it to Alexei, once he knows the man better.

(( Hell, you could step ON him and still walk away. :smiley: ))

"Very comfortable, thank you, although the official... um. Excuse me a moment." He looks towards the ceiling, indicating his next words are not addressed to Tranquillina, and raises his voice slightly. "Drop it, fuzzball. You know better." Behind his back, Rahere gives a guilty start and backs away from the basket of walnuts, pouting.

The dwarf returns his attention to Tranquillina. "Anyway, as I was saying -- the 'official member' status is new enough that it still chafes, like a newly-starched pair of trews. I'm sure I'll get used to it in time." He glances up towards Giorgio. "I heard the mix of languages, and was going to offer my services as a translator, but it looks like you've got things well in hand...?" Assuming, of course, she wanted licorice-flavored lamb. Sounds disgusting to me, but it takes all kinds...

Alexei nods appreciatively at the respectful greeting and sets aside the note for now. "Salvete Sodalis, I hope I have not interrupted your studies. I'm taking a rest from resting, though it might aggravate the wound. We are trying some new tactics, I often have the grogs training to protect a magus. This day it was my goal to reach the magus, as Hoplite I might have that regrettable task. They did well enough. Most grogs will be assailed with magical bolts and mental compulsions, it is rare that they will be fought so directly by magic and weapons." he pauses and pours a cup of a watered down wine for them both. "How do you think I did? What advice would you offer?"

Jacques, who was watching the training walks by. Alexei, if your done I'm going to take a group into the woods and work on ambushes.

Alexei looks up to see Jacques. "Oh! Uh...certainly..." he pauses looking a bit confused. "Ambushes? Are we looking to ambush certain quarry?" he looks down at the note that Stultus had sent, was that related to what Jacques was doing now?

It is a way of life in Normandy. We do not have knights so we ambush. We can be quite good at it.

Stultus laughs. "What I know about fighting you could write down on a very small piece of paper and have space left over. The best I could do, I'm afraid, is tell you what I would do were I faced with your task." He half-closes his eyes, running what he saw through his memory.
(( Per 1, Magic Theory 5, roll of 6=12.))

"So. Bring a magus defended by grogs into melee range, while restricting yourself to Personal or Touch-range spells..." Stultus considers for a moment. "Shriek of the impending shafts", of course. Possibly a Terram equivalent as well. Then... probably use Rego Corpus to bounce around like you did, but use Imaginem to add to the confusion. Leave an image of myself behind when I bounce, for example. Turn myself invisible... no, wait, that wouldn't work, that'd affect my weapon too... hah, I got it. Change my image to look like one of them, so while they're still swinging at my last illusion I'm in their back ranks. Or change my image to look like the magus they're supposed to be protecting: sow enough confusion and they'll take him down themselves and save you the trouble."

Alexei nods slowly and indicates another chair. "A moment please Jacques. Stultus had sent a note to me regarding some rumours he had heard at Tribunal and so I called him here to discuss what we might do." he slides the note over to Korvin. "Had you heard anything? My initial inclination was to lay to rest the rumours with a show of force. I had actually thought putting Roberto onto that task would be one he would enjoy and excel at...besides he's looking to get some pay back for his own weclome into Normandy." he looks at the note with some disdain. "The poison in the ear...the venom in the pen. Rumour and gossip are powerful and fast moving weapons...ones that I have never mastered but know they are dangerous."


Jacques Jacques was there as your 2nd.

((Likely said right before Korvin arrived))

Alexei is impressed. "Good observations and advice all around. You did not strike me as being too martially inclined, but assumption is a deadly mistake. I do use the Shriek as well as other variants. I believe I was a bit too close when I was actually struck." he sighs at the memory. "My flaw is I'm a wizard who fights like a knight who uses magic. But one works with the tools given. A cleverer magus than myself would employ tactics that kept himself safer." he pauses to take a drink. "Now, about this note..." Alexei pauses as Korvin walks up.

"Change is challenging for all of us - quite natural to feel that way. Still, it must feel nice to put belongings down and not have to cart them off again immediately. And you are finding the food here to your satisfaction?" Tranquillina is both trying to be hospitable and keeping the topic of conversation to banalities to avoid conflict; because of her state of fatigue, however, a skilled observer of human nature could probably see the tension in her. ((Com 3 + Etiquette (magi) 3 + stress die 3 = 9.))

At that Tranquillina raises an eyebrow. "You speak a language native to the Roman Tribunal?" As Rahere saunters out towards Stultus's right side, Tranquillina shifts her weight and takes a small step towards his left.

((Wait, is it Jacques? Alexei wouldn't be as surprised then, let me ammend my posts))

((Corrected my posts with the names))

Alexei continues. "My thoughts were to have you and the turb continue as normal, including the ambushes. Any that are watching may look for a pattern. In the meanwhile, Roberto can take a few grogs for additional measure as a provocoteur, any that might be wishing to strike at us will get a nasty surprise."

A few weeks after Gerulf settles into his new home, after one of his dinners with Fiona (who still dresses nicely for them), she sets her napkin on the table.

[color=blue]"While I have you here," she says, [color=blue]"I was hoping to get your opinion on something. If you will excuse me for just a moment?" She gets up and passes through a closed door, returning a couple of minutes later (after Moire has had a chance to clear the table) with a sheaf of vellum.

[color=blue]"I happened to acquire the lab texts for a magical greenhouse some time ago. But looking them over, I've hit a roadblock. I'm having a hard time figuring out how to open the greenhouse, let alone enchant it, in a lab. It seems too big. Is it going to have to be done out in the open, and the quality of my work suffer considerably for it, or am I missing something?"

The evening of the meeting, shortly after dinner, Fiona (wearing her mundane work clothes and with her hair tied back) heads to Alexei's cottage and knocks gently on the door.

Helmut answers, he's dressed down a bit and smiles at Fiona. "M'lady Fiona. Please come in." he says and bows. Alexei is sitting in a comfortable chair by the fire looking like he's snoozing a bit. A tray near him has an empty mug of tea.

"He's just resting a bit." he adds quietly.

"I'm awake." Alexei mumbles as he looks over. "Hello Fiona, did I embarass myself too much? Is there a full monn council in my future?"

[color=blue]"Thank you," Fiona says with a smile, and rubs against him as she squeezes through the doorway (taking long enough to extend her Parma over him).

Fiona looks around for a place to sit, then makes herself comfortable next to Alexei. [color=blue]"You did embarrass yourself a little bit in there, but nothing major. You just overindulged a bit, again."

She puts a worried hand on his leg as she leans in. [color=blue]"But that's something I wanted to talk to you about, Alexei. It's not the first time I've seen you in that condition. And I fear that others may have noticed that you tend to enjoy the fruit of the vine overmuch. I know you take your duties as Defensor seriously, as you should. I'm just afraid that...certain forces may be aware of this, and seek to use it against us." Fiona looks at him with sincere concern on her face, and an almost pleading look in her eyes.