1227 Tribunal Preparations

((Assuming Moire is still at least nominally part of the conversation.))

Moire clears her throat delicately and simply says, "Stutter."

((Funny piece of trivia: PB and I drew up 10 covenfolk as potential quarriers (not counting Seumas). PB did 3 and I did 7 ... but all 3 of PB's made the team and only 1 of mine! :cry: ))

((I sort of knew this, when I thought about it. But it still seems like fun to get one of them good at Finesse - plus, presumably, skill in Finesse should actually make them do a better job with the rings, even if they could all do adequately without, yes? Maybe there will be some finer stone-shaping at some point that Amauri can specialize in. Also I think some semi-specialization would happen naturally on the team anyway, even if mechanically we don't have to worry about its consequences - just RP texture.))

Tranquillina's brow furrows. [color=magenta]"Oh, dear, I am sorry to have been insensitive to your husband's affliction," she comforts Moire. [color=magenta]"You are right; I will not put him in a position to which he will feel unsuited."

[color=magenta]"Your summary seems wisest. We shall learn more about their particular strengths in the early months of the project."

If this part of the scene is coming to a close, Tranquillina will offer: [color=magenta]"Viscaria, sometime in the next few days, would you allow me to accompany you to the proposed quarry sites? I should be familiar with the location as I direct these covenfolk to their new assignments." ((OOC motivation: discovering the vis source that is part of Tranquillina's build points. Her Magic Sensitivity should come nicely into play here.))

((I count myself as having selected 8 of them for my various plans. Are you not counting Loys, Amauri and the silkweavers?))

((My understanding is that enchanted items are MUCH more rigid in their abilities than spells, unless you explicitly put a Finesse roll into them. But yes, I think having Finesse specialists sound like a good idea. Mechanically, I see no particular reason to favor Amauri over the others for that choice, but from an RP standpoint, sure, let's separate him out for the training.))

"Certainly. I thought we were headed there now. How are you with heights? The bridge is a bit....unfinished."

Assuming she agrees, Viscaria leads her up a level, then out of the mansion,(see image) and past Fiona's cottage. She points to the stone bridge (just to image right) below which connects to a heavily gardened circular outcropping with a magnificent view.

"When construction is finished, the bridge will connect down there. For now, though, the support lines are stronger than the bridge itself."

As she moves on towards the cliff looming behind the mansion, she adds, "There is also a path from there leading down the mountain, past the entrance to the caves that lead to our chess-playing friends. The path is pretty narrow right now. Making it was part of what led me to my new course of studies. I'm covering the entrance to the cave system with Rashid's workshop, under the premise that many of the spider-sirens live down there. Here - you see this path leading down? That leads down to the garden, and from there to the silkweaver's shop, and then around the mountain several times and all the way down to that river. But we're going up."

She guides Traquinilina up past all the vis sources and up to the caves that lead to her sanctum, pointing out the vis sources along the way. "If we can train him in the Theory of is, then Rashid can collect the silkworm cocoons for us, and then weave them into vis for us....I plan to add a staircase here that goes around the bushes so there's less risk of damaging them...These stones appear to be heavily Muto based, but given the shift in the regio, I suspect there is some underlying Rego to the chaos of it....Careful of these mirrors, I haven't enchanted them yet.....Ooh! Grab that leaf! Grab that leaf! It might be vis! Dammit, I missed! This seisin is stupid and unfair to short people...."

There is nothing Viscaria walks past without her thinking of ways she might improve it. She does not stop to smell the roses, except to sniff out how much fertilizer she could add before poisoning them.

The cave mouth leading to her sanctum has been heavily worked by now, and has a pair of guards stationed here. It's not QUITE a room in its own right, with two very rough doors. Viscaria hastens to assure her that she did not build it.

"So that door leads to my sanctum, though the sigil-point is pretty deep inside. And that door blocks a regio boundary that Tria enters through. I've never used it myself. Supposed to be underwater, and I dunno if there's another boundary in there or if that's where she goes pop. I'll get to it soon. Well, maybe after the Tribunal. And here....is the bridge!"

At first, Viscaria appears to be pointing to the open air opposite the cave entrance. Then Tranquilina sees it -- four thin ropes arranged in a diamond pattern connecting to the walls, ceiling and floor of the guard post. They seem impossibly thin, swaying hard in the wind, quickly blurring into non-existence. Far, far beyond, she sees the plateau on the other mountain. How far away is it? A mile? Two miles across open air?

((I do not actually know how far away the peaks are from each other, but I bet they seem really far away.))

((I was counting only the quarrying team, aye - but fair enough, many of them get to be special :exclamation: ))

((What controls how neatly/precisely they cut the stone blocks - Finesse, or Dexterity? Anyway, either way we're in RP agreement.))

Pleasantly surprised, Tranquillina agrees: [color=magenta]"That lab equipment can rearrange itself for a while." She thanks Moire thoroughly and sends her back to Fiona.
As they reach the bottom of the "bridge", Tranquillina decides a little magical assistance can't hurt; she removes her boots, leaving them outside the mansion, and casts a spontaneous version of Sure-Footedness of the Crag-Leaper upon herself, turning her feet into the hooves of mountain goats. ((MoH, page 85. Fatiguing spont, automatic given no botch.)) She also grabs a rock from below the bridge, in case she wants to return the short way.

((I'll respond to the rest later today. By the way, is there a map of the regio anywhere? Either way, the geographical details are great, keep em coming!))

As a friend of mine says, "Learn to count the green lights." :slight_smile:

((It's the Stone Cutting Knife spell from Cov 52. Double-checking the description there, I see that it does indeed use Dex+Finesse vs EF6 substituting for Craft:Mason. It's never been clear to me if that implies that you could use either skill.)

No, I started one back in Listen, Do You Smell Something? but then we decided to just handwave the season and the map file was never re-opened. We've been really loose about the layout of the mansion, so I've resisted the temptation to pick a floor plan and start labeling things. As a group, we tend this campaign tends to focus on details once they're given (::glares at Fixer, Peregrine and another player, before realizing the third face is a mirror::), so it's been best not to discuss the interior too much.

Plus, there is SO much going on here. Are the crafting specialists in the regio, the mansion, the town at the foot of the hill, or one of the nearby shepherding villages? Exactly how much square footage does a Legendary Wealth capacity require us to manage?

Okay, let me ask some OOC questions first while I'm wrapping my head around the layout and all that. First, geographical questions:

  • Where are the ruins of Bibracte located?
  • Where are the covenant fairgrounds?
  • Where (and what) is the "Pierre de la Wivre"?
  • Suppose I'm standing in the heavily gardened circular outcropping. Am I right that I can go basically three directions from here? (1) over the stone bridge in the picture, thence to the mansion; (2) down past Rashid's workshop and eventually to the river; (3) up towards the mulberry trees and all that? And if I choose (3), then before I get to the mulberry trees, I could instead leave the cliff behind the mansion, travel past Fiona's cottage, and also get to the mansion that way without crossing the pictured stone bridge?
  • Suppose I go on the ledge past the mulberry trees, and also past the cave entrance that leads to the Vim of the Cave and eventually to Viscaria's sanctum - but I pass that and continue on the ledge. Where does that go?
  • When I read your post, I seem to count three ends to the superbridge to be constructed: (a) the heavily gardened circular outcropping; (b) the guard post outside the cave leading to Viscaria's sanctum; (c) the plateau on a separate mountain, a mile or two distant. What am I missing?

And as long as I'm checking out vis sources:

Apologies for my confusion.... :confused:

Don't know where or what, but from the sound, isn't it the "Pierre de la Vouivre" (Wivern)? (Just like Le Maison should be LA maison :unamused: :laughing: )

Mons Electi and the ruins of Bibracte are located here, just southwest of the big red "A" pin.

I don't think we've ever nailed down exactly where, but it's on the covenant grounds somewhere, presumably in a big open area where they can set up all their tents and stalls and what not.

Hunh...the link I had put in the covenant building thread is dead. Okay, then. Basically, it's near the covenant (I think). It's a rocky outcropping on Mont Beauvray, and was where the Celts elected their leaders; it is also where they met to make their major decisions. According to legend, there is supposedly a serpent living under the stone. Most of the sites I found just now are in French (for some silly reason :wink: ), and my French isn't what it used to be. But that's what/where it is, I think.

Probably, but the websites I found at the time had it as "Wivre" for some reason. damn yanks. :laughing:

That sounds right.

Here there be monsters? Dunno. No one's ever gone that way. Or no one's ever returned from there. :smiley:

I had originally put three in the covenant design thread, but the Vis Inventory sheet shows we've been putting four in the coffer, so I'm inclined to say it's actually four.

Yes, they did. The albino squirrel Herbam, I can certainly understand...getting it may have been beyond our power. After all, as both Green Lantern and Doctor Doom can attest, you don't f*** with squirrels. :laughing:

Bibracte is the ruined oppidium of the Aedui on what is now referred to Mont Beuvray. La Pierre de la Wivre is a outcropping of stone on top of Mont Beuvray. It is actually 20 miles from Autun, France.
A lot of good basic info about Bibracte can be had here: historyguru.com.au/Celts-of- ... y-Bibracte

I think the Spring's Break of Frost should be 4. Those other vis sources were eliminated, or I combined them. The Obsidian Portal list is authoritative. But I'd have to do a thorough review to be sure (PB just confirmed that for me, so I'm good with not doing the review.)

((The wiki is edited to show four pawns on the Aquam source, now.))

The ruins have not been specifically identified in game, AFAIK. The covenant of Mons Electi was built "on or near" them, IIRC.

JL put together a map of all the covenants, and Peregrine got obsessively canon. These should give you the world-wide view.

So, are you asking about the ruins, or the covenant?

In that I just made that bit of description up (pieced together from previous gameplay), yes, that is what I am saying. I may turn this into a text adventure game. Go North! Open mailbox. Get key.

The player who invented all of that played Iosephus, and was describing the path from the mansion to his cave sanctum. What he wrote was, "in a cave high up near the top of the cliff," and nobody has gone further up IIRC. So it's open to be developed. Or you could say that this is basically the top of the mountain.

I just answered this, but then deleted it because I think it would be much more fun to answer that question in character :slight_smile:

The answer begins with, "Oh, this is actually a spider web."

In the very early stages of the game, we had some trouble understanding the exact power scope, and some build points got redistributed.

Thanks everyone! :smiley: So in particular, it seems that the ruins of Bibracte, the Pierre de la Whatever, and the covenant fairgrounds are all on the mundane covenant grounds, as opposed to the regio.
I don't know the extent to which the topography within the regio mirrors the mundane topography, but it would be cool if the plateau on which the Tribunal Field was built was the in-regio analogue of the covenant fairgrounds.

I also need to hand out several cool points - for the Ruins of Bibracte text adventure game, for a sweet graphic, and for the obvious reason that nobody knows what's beyond the mulberry grove: "no one's ever returned from there :smiley: ".

And it works even better if we really treat the per-season advancement as the abstraction it's meant to be; then he can be cutting stone, learning to read, and studying Finesse more or less in parallel over a total of X seasons.

For both the mulberry grove and the stones Viscaria indicated, Tranquillina will use her Magic Sensitivity ability to see if she senses anything about them. ((I don't know exactly what she's looking for, and it's fine if she doesn't find anything. Suggested Ease Factors, on page 66 of the core rulebook, don't address a vague situation like "are these dudes magical in nature". Anyway, her rolls are 15 and 9, respectively.))

Tranquillina looks around, startled, before seeing the leaf Viscaria is pointing at and starting to reach towards it.

She quickly flinches away from the leaf with her whole body, then makes a weak motion intended to indicate that it was too high for her to grab.

While Viscaria goes on about her delayed plans, Tranquillina will go up to that second door and see what her Magic Sensitivity tells her. ((Probably nothing, other than once again detecting the local magical aura: she got an 8.))

((Maybe she's waiting for her Trunk to hand her a bridge? :wink: ))

After a moment of standing there squinting, Tranquillina rolls her eyes at herself. Without moving her arms and legs from the holds they have upon the cliffside, she quickly recites her Eyes of the Eagle spell, and the ropes come into near-perfect view. ((In this aura she can cast it automatically even without motions.)) The length of the rope connecting the floor of the guard post to a spur of diagonally-banded rock on the far plateau (which currently has a small lizard crawling upon it) is 7,324 feet and 3 inches, or maybe 2.

[color=magenta]"I see these ropes now," she says casually, [color=magenta]"but I admit I'm having trouble picturing the bridge. Where will, um, where does it connect?"

Tranquillina raises her eyebrows. [color=magenta]"This is the work of, your familiar, yes? I have only heard a bit about it...."

The topography of the regio is in no way similar to the topography of the mundane realm.

The distance is like a 1/4 to 1/2 mile, but the terrain is such that descending one mountain and ascending the other is difficult and treacherous.


JL says [deleted] what he just said.

Thanks, although we DO know what's beyond the mulberry grove. Just not what's above Viscaria's sanctum. Although there can always be additional paths that we've never used before...

It's entirely possible that those silkworms on the tree have Might 0.3, or something. But the site is definitely a potential vis source.

The stones are likewise a Vis source -- since vis is easy to spot. She also probably notices that Viscaria isn't certain of the path in this section (since the stalactites and stalagmites shift and shatter and create new paths)

((I had forgotten! That is awesome. LOL)

"Aw. It got away! A lot of the bits and baubles that get caught in this wind get imbued with Aurum vis. There's got to be a better way to collect it. Though, frankly, I think Isen should just rarefy the breeze right here and save us the trouble."

She pouts for a second.

[size=50]"I never manage to catch any."[/size]

Can Magic Sensitivity see regio boundaries?

"Over there-ish. You can't really see it from here, but there's a wide plateau that's actually a batholith. The expanse is very orogenic. All this pressure pushed it open, revealing some flow cleavage of mineral value and ultimately exposing this perfectly flat expanse. There must be a huge thrust fault somewhere down there, waiting to rip it open again." She shudders with delight at the geology of it all. "Anyway, about the bridge. I'm hoping to find a copy of the text to Tektonius of Bonisagus's Immovable Foundation Stone, rather than have to reinvent the wheel. If I make it on my own, there'll be immovable platforms midair there and there and the bridge will connect from down there, up to a platform, across to another one, and then to the valley. If I can find the text, then I can enchant the bridges directly."

Viscaria's hand gestures are not particularly illuminating. "I can show you the drawings, if you'd like. They're in my sanctum."

((OOC : it's a question of making the bridge out of 2 Structures or 3))

Viscaria ties several ropes around here waist, each looping around one of the webstrands. She offers some rope to Traquillina, and considers her goat feet. "Interesting idea. Maybe something more suitable though?"

((I wonder what the MuCo(An) spell would be to grow some spider-like extra limbs?))

Viscaria pulls three small stubby silver rods off her belt -- Traquilina may have thought them merely decorative before, and uses them to spontaneously cast a MuCo(An) 5 spell of her own, Grace of the Spider-siren (no botch), transforming her hands and feet to match that of her familiar.

((call it +3 climbing, same as Bushy Tail of the Branch Dancer from MoH 85))

As she begins to climb across the vast gorge, she calls back, "You wanted to ask something about my spirit-sister?"

((This is a diagonal rope from rather higher than the bridge itself, so the bridge can be shorter than this near half-mile.))

((Ok then, I'll bite - what's beyond the mulberry grove? Maybe Tranquillina can even see it with her eagle eyes now....))

Tranquillina shudders and chooses her path with care so as not to even brush the trees or stones. Fortunately, she has had nothing to eat since before the interview with Moire, or else some of it might be adorning the path by now....

((Unclear. Thematically it seems like something Magic Sensitivity would be good for (Magic regios only, of course); on the other hand, would that cramp Second Sight's style?))

Tranquillina opens her mouth, but then shuts it after a moment when nothing intelligent threatens to emerge. [color=magenta]Natural philosophy, not my strong point, she mutters to herself.

[color=magenta]"Er, yes, actually, I would be interested to see the drawings. All in good time of course!"

((Serf's Parma, but I thought the very chapter of MoH we've been exploiting describes a magus with spells like this...?))

Tranquillina gapes a second time, thinking about the relative likelihoods of her thin bones breaking under the strain of climbing, versus a simple fall to her ignoble death. [color=magenta]"Yyyess ... you know, I think I would like my boots after all. I'll meet you on the other side," she calls, progressively more loudly, as Viscaria scuttles happily away.

[color=magenta]Don't fret, Eskil, she's not testing you, she reassures herself. [color=magenta]Still, no reason not to show what a Corpus maga can do. So without further ado:

  • Leap of Homecoming, to the location she grabbed a rock from (I guess a little ways past Fiona's cottage). Automatic in this aura.
  • a spontaneous Unraveling the Form of Corpus, to change her goat feet back to dainty lil human feet. Sure-Footedness of the Crag-Leaper is such a low-level spell that she can do this without fatigue. It leaves her Eyes of the Eagle intact.
  • puts her boots back on. Dex roll? :wink:
  • a spontaneous ReCo spell to fly her to the other end of the rope(s) down which Viscaria is climbing. She needs Base 15 (move quickly in any direction), R: Per, +1 D: Conc, T: Ind for a level 20 spell. Sta -3 + Re 9 + Co 27 + aura 10 + Talisman attunement (travel) 4 + stress die 3 = 50, good enough. wooosh 8)
  • when she gets to the plateau, she will damn well take a piece of cliffside home with her as an Arcane Connection!

~blink~ I just walked you through all of it. Did you click the link? And scroll down to where it said "Vis Sources?"

That link describes the journey, though some of parts of it may not actually produce vis.

I guess, going by what they've got there, it would be Base 10, +1 Part + Duration.

Viscaria gets there a few seconds after you, and then takes another few minutes getting untangled from the ropes. There may have been a long-suffering "Harumph" in there amid all the heavy breathing.

((Com 2 + Guile 2 + die 3 = 7. Subtext, if you spot it: "Sure, I could learn it if I wanted to, but I've been way too busy doing Important Things. It's not like its a cool spell or anything. I don't even like to travel."))

"Ready to go?" she asks with false cheer.

((It's a giant, flat expanse of rock, as far as Viscaria knows. No human that I know of has been up here since 1222.1, and Theraphosa hasn't been here since 1222.4, though her spider-siren children may be on both mountains, at everyone's discretion. Feel free to take the lead.))

Aha, I suspect I know where the miscom might be. From the mansion there's a path up the mountain, which quickly turns into more of a ledge. This ledge eventually leads to a mulberry grove (at the back of which is a cave entrance leading to Moar Cool Places Yet Higher Ups). Now I'd thought that the ledge leading to the mulberry grove also goes past the mulberry grove, continuing along the mountain at that same height. But maybe the ledge actually terminates in the mulberry grove (other than the cave entrance)?

((We tie: Per 2 + Folk Ken 3 + stress die 2 = 7.))
[color=magenta]"I am," Tranquillina says equally cheerfully, looking at Viscaria closely - she's still getting used to reading the tiny maga. [color=magenta]"And I hope you will indulge my intense curiosity about your ... spirit-sister?"

As they talk, Tranquillina wanders aimlessly around the plateau in a vague search spiral. At intervals, she checks with her Magic Sensitivity to see if there's anything more noteworthy than a flat plate of rock. Of course there is plenty of local texture to the terrain - up-and-down undulations in the plateau, cracks and boulders, and an occasional fault line requiring a large step up or a little jump down. On the far side of the plateau from the mansion and giant spider-web, another mountain rises steeply up, providing an impressive backdrop to a location that will become much more impressive by Tribunal time. Every now and again, she gets a view into the land below on one side or another of the plateau; at one point, she spots the faraway river, insects running along the scummy water near the edge of a minor confluence. She wonders where the secondary stream originates.

As far as anyone has said to date, it terminates at the grove, and there's a cave entrance in back. Viscaria said she was planning to build a set of stairs around so that visitors stop walking through our vis sources. Maybe that was the confusion.

"Oh, sure. You've heard of sirens? Luring sailors into shipwrecks and killing countless screaming Argonauts? Well, Theraphosa is sort of related to those bird-women. Only, instead of being a bird woman, she's a giant spider. And instead of hanging out in rivers hoping to eat sailors, she lives underground in caves and hopes to eat gold-diggers. Although, apparently, she now prefers to digest a juicy trial transcript instead. Perhaps I shouldn't have experimented during the bonding process."

It is not entirely clear if Viscaria is joking.

"Now, you don't have a familiar OR a talisman yet, is that right? And you're wearing your real face right now?"

((This raises a fair point. I've always assumed that the Supernatural Abilities functioned as additional senses that are always on, but you need to train yourself to be able to understand those senses. Except for Shapeshifter, and possibly Dowsing.))

You definitely get the feeling that Viscaria sees more in this terrain than you do, the way a botanist sees more than a spray of color on the side of a hill. There's definitely a part of her soul that resonates with being in the mountains.

I keep picturing it as sort of like the high sierras.

((It's not clear at all, is it. I'm betting I "decided" it was probably a need-to-activate ability mostly to relieve the SG of the responsibility of remembering to check for me every time something magical passes by. Looking at the ability's description, "When attempting to sense the magic nature of...." seems to slightly suggest a need-to-activate power.))

[color=magenta]"I see," Tranquillina says noncommittally. [color=magenta]"Well, Farrago Bonisagi's theory of magical creatures does maintain that a certain size threshold cannot be superseded except in the presence of supernatural powers; so perhaps it is no surprise that a giant spider must necessarily have a modus operandi as remarkable as that which you describe. How did you encounter it , how, did you meet her?"

[color=magenta]"Now now, Viscaria," she chides, [color=magenta]"you know it's unseemly to ask a maga what her real face is." She says this while keeping a straight face, knowing that any normal person will get the joke. (Viscaria, of course, is not a normal person....) Tranquillina is using humor as a cover for uncertainty: really each of those three questions could be considered very personal, depending on the situation. Turning to look at the purple-haired woman, Tranquillina sees her seemingly transparent emotions, her striking guilelessness; and a piece of her heart decides to hold back a little bit less in her new home. She stops walking, faces Viscaria, and carefully casts a formulaic Perdo Vim spell upon herself. Her brownish-red, wavy hair straightens and shortens, retreating to just below her ears; some of the plumpness sinks out of her face, leaving the thin, delicate features common on fifteen-year-old women. [color=magenta]"This is me," she says simply, hazel eyes blinking.

When they continue their stroll, she lifts up one side of her wolfskin cloak. [color=magenta]"And this garment is my talisman. As for a familiar ... well, the bonding process would be ... unpleasant," she cuts off lamely. [color=magenta]Some things are still too personal for now, she decides. [color=magenta]"It serves as light armour - my talisman, I mean," she begins, slipping again into lecture-mode, [color=magenta]"and can also modify my skin directly for some additional protection. You have probably also noticed that I use it - "

Without warning Tranquillina stops, a puzzled look on her face. After a moment she pronounces slowly, [color=magenta]"That's odd.... There's a lacuna here. Really, right here," she continues, moving one step at a time in various directions around a central point.