1228.2 The Alabaster Lioness

((Keep in mind, I've read up on Roberto, what he did at Novus Mane, and such.))
"Truthfully, the matter is tangentially related to Hispania, but tied into your recent past. Someone you thought was dead, thought you saw die." She quietly mutters under her breath, "The fat bastard."

eho de la puta...
That fat bastard still lives? A foul infernalist! What has he mixed up in this?
If he is your enemy, then I am honored to be your ally.

"We suspect it may be so. Andru and I had heard rumors that, the fat bastard, yet lived, somehow. Reports kept propping up about him, favors owed to him being called in, somehow. His confederates operating with more direction. His mudane agents, reactivated. Either he isn't dead, or someone has taken up his cause. Many years ago, our chief librarian came across this scrap of parchment about this Alabaster Lioness jar, and it was described as a soul jar. Of course, this is a translation from Egyption heiroglypics into Ancient Greek, so it could be a mis-translation, but over the years we continued to acquire many additional scraps of parchment about this phenomenon, and on this specific jar and bound them into a book, for Andru to read. He spent a fair amount of time illuminating it based on his research on the item recovered from the island of Thera. So, yes, it may be more. But it's centuries old, and we don't have much to go on, but we're confident that it was the fast bastard's agent that stole the book."

Have you been plotting with Jebric and Fixer?
Leolinus, Babal Tariq, and Lord Soulis. There was something unsatisfying about the resolution to that escapade. Leolinus was seemingly killed and tossed aside by his mundane ally when betrayed. But we never investigated further or recovered a corpse. Likewise with Jabal Tariq. I thought I had incinerated him with a handful of pilae of fire. But that may have been just a cover for his escape, as he commands many jinn.
But maybe or maybe not.
As for Leolinus himself, I do believe he is outcast and marched. He murdered a maga and consorts with Infernal power. What knowledge do you have of his legal status?
And what is a "Soul Jar"? Sounds oninous. Does it contain or imprison spirits perhaps?
The enemies of the Order are my enemies, and as long as you remain open and honest with me, you can count me as a friend.
Do I have any time to prepare? What are my resources? I will need a more detailed debriefing as we go on, so that I have a clear idea of what needs to be done. As of this moment, I am thinking of just tracking down this theiving agent and questioning him at length concerning the matter. But that may tip our hand and lead us into false information.

"Tracking down the thief is what we think is the best course of action is. We have reason to believe he is in the Levant. Primarily because we have an arcane connection to him, and tracked his movements there on a map." She pauses, "Of course, having a connection to him suggests that we could apprehend him easily, which is true, but places us at a disadvantage in answering some questions, questions that I think you have an interest in, as well."

What questions are those? I could just suddenly appear and grab him, and ask him these questions face to face. Get to know him personally :smiling_imp:
But I do understand what you are saying. If he is indeed working for Leolinus, nabbing him would tip our hand and cause the SoB to flee into hiding once again. Or into doing something drastic. Which may or may not work in our favor. Place that option on hold.
But you were alluding to something. What questions might I have as well?

or maybe...

"The question I think you are most interest in is, If the fat bastard yet lives. There is some evidence, but it isn't certain. We have a hunch it is him, but we've been wrong about things before. I'd say if the fat bastard is behind this, then you'll want to find out. Oh, and I would suggest not using his name anymore. Diabolists know the power of a name, using names to summon demons, he may have developed more name magic in the last few years. "

I was thinking she may have been hinting about Marcello
But anyway...
Name Magic? That is the sort that Jab..., the other bastard used. Is speaking the name really a danger? I thought it worked different, as in he studies and learns the names of variouls evil spirits that aid his magic.
No matter. I presume you have a plan? Or are you expecting me to concocct one?
I may need some assistance...

"You are best capable of determining what you need. We will endeavor to provide you with what resources you might need. We have a Jerbiton Magus who is captain of a vessel. He can take you from Venice to Cairo. Or you can make your own way there and we can have him meet you in Cairo. We aren't certain of what you need. But your past interactions with him couldn't be ignored."

The player needs to contemplate before his character responds :smiley:

What I need is further information. Exactly what happened with the theft? What makes you think this guy is the theif? Why do you think Lil' Leo is involved and still alive? What inspires your hunches?
What is your timetable? Do we have a cover story in place? How will I be getting to Venice?
Thinking of plans...

And I need to invent a spell. Something I should have done a long time ago...
ReVi10 Ward of Protection from Demons: Mastery 1 (Penetration)
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind
I can be 14 days short and still invent it, and Penetrate while casting it.
or if time is short...
I will need the loan of a magic item or two...

Roberto gets the sense that time is of the essence, and waiting a season or two to invent a spell probably isn't in the cards.
"What kind of magic item do you require?" ((I build my stories based on the participant, so a spell or a magic item isn't strictly needed, although the utility cannot be denied. The other thing, is that there is always something to research, and sometimes magi have to go out into the field, not being as prepared as the player or even character would like. But that's not a problem for the deadliest magus at Mons Electi... :smiling_imp: ))

Roberto, not Markus. My youngest cat is named Marcus, I am Marko, the character is Roberto.
No worries. I can put that off and spont it if need be.
I am getting ahead of myself. But planning and preparation are most important. But I still need specifics. This guy is hiding out in Cairo you figgure? What is your objective? Spy on him? Observe and report? Or confront? If you are setting me up as an agent of my own discretion, then I have no idea what I may need access to.
Help me come up with a plan :slight_smile:

"The specifics that we know are the target is somewhere in or near Cairo. It is being sought by agents of the fat bastard. There is a Hermetic confederate of the fat bastard, but he is my responsibility. And because of that, I don't want to know the details of your plans, so they can't be discovered. We can provide transport via the portals, if you leave within two weeks, after that, the covenant's portal to Cairo expires, and at this time we don't intend to re-establish it. Finally, we have the issue of returning, which will by ship, which is currently docked in Venice, but will make its way towards Cairo as soon as you are on board, or we've sent word that you are there. There is one piece of the puzzle that will be added to what I have provided, but only by our magus on the scene. If you are not interested, I can turn to Marcus, but he has been resistant to doing any more favors for Andru and our House." She appears to be completely above board and without guile here, if you turn her down, she will go to Marcus. "But he is knowledgeable of the Levant politics, and may be useful there, despite his prickly nature. Although going to him also activates the enemies he has made, so he has some baggage. Truly, you are the best choice. And I've told you all I can."

Screw Marcus. I already told yoy I will help you. I am just trying to figure out how best to do that.
I will need a staff. I will be bringing three of my own men with me, we will use portals and meet up with your man in either Cairo or Venice, whichever you think is best. I need two more soldiers, a steward, a scout, and two or more laborers.
I will need an Arcane Connection to a location I can safely meet with you in order to recieve further information and supplies. I am thinking of using a townhouse as a base of operations. Or even a wharehouse by the docks. I will need a casting tablet and vis to set up a low level Aegis.
Would you happen to have a flying carpet you could spare?

"Mons Electi has all the men you need and more. This covenant has vast wealth, and this is another reason we came to you, since you are a part of a covenant that has vast wealth. You aren't the only one the fat bastard crossed, but you are the one who can best respond, we believe. Andru is unwilling to release our staff, but you may have my son. I hope you realize what it is that is being offered. I can't offer you anymore beyond that. He will be your steward, or seneschal, if you prefer. The rest you'll have to pull from Mons Electi's resources. I'll let the guards for the portal know to expect you at Valnastium. Upon your arrival there, I'll have my son prepared and available within an hour of arrival at Valnastium. From there, make your way to Venice, or make your way to Cairo. Depends on how much time you think you'll need to integrate your team into an effective force. My son will retain the arcane connection to me, as well as means to destroy it, should it become necessary."
At the mention of a flying carpet, "A flying carpet? No, but the ship in Venice is capable of flying, though her captain has a fear of it, and it flies slowly. And there is an Iberian magus familiar to Mons Electi who has one, but the method he used to enchant it requires a fair amount of finesse to control. I'm sorry, Roberto, I must go, and make arrangements with my son, now." She gets up and makes ready to depart.

It is an honor to be of service sodale. I shall be at Valnastium within a week.

After she departs, Roberto sets wheels in motion. He sends Allen to fetch Junior, and Alberto to get Pedro. Conference. My chambers. One hour!
Then he turns to Carlos, who is smiling at him. She knows how to make you jump and hop after just one meeting :slight_smile:
Shut up. Simple as that. I know what this magus is guilty of and what he is capable of. Go tell the council I request a meeting tonight. I require their advice and assistance. Then head back to my sanctum within the hour. Conference.

Carlos heads off and Roberto walks to his sanctum with Cidito alongside. When unobserved by others, he walks upright and anthropormorphic. By sheer coincidence, when strangers see him, he is walking on all fours. He has to be familiar with you before he can relax and act like people maybe :slight_smile:
I will need three servants of my own. Cats are treated like gods in Egypt. One servant to carry me on a pillow, another to caary my food and water, and a third that follows us with a box of sand.
You shut up as well. And who said you were going? You have followed me around for who knows how long, and never joined one of my adventures before.
I wasn't your familiar before. And you never went to Egypt before. And I followed you around plenty, you just couln't see me while I was sleeping in the fire. And I don't see how you are gonna stop me.

Marcus shows up, unless Roberto kicks him out (he's a Protected Guest, after all).

A servant returns from having delivered Roberto's message to Tranquillina. "I truly apologize, milord Roberto," he says, "but despite calling loudly several times, and knocking on the wall near the door to her inner chambers, I could not raise a response from our lady Tranquillina."

((Not a commentary on Roberto or this thread, mind you! Tranquillina is using mind-addling magic to focus on inventing spells in the lab this season - I think it's likely she would be hard to interrupt :laughing: ))