1229.3 To Live and Lie in Normandy

Infernal lacunae and their residents?
It is Paris!
Seriously. It's not much more than a set of town houses, as I envision or recall.

Ahh, here it is...

And then it goes on to mention that his (unnamed) sodales live scattered throughout the city.

Okay, let's put it this way. Given Stultus' knowledge of Eboris and its environs, what would be the safest and least attention-attracting method of arrival? I don't particularly want to have to lug the Palindromedary through the streets -- even if we disguise it with Imaginem magic, Stultus can't really carry it long distances, and while Fiona can, it's not nice to use your sodalis as a pack mule. :smiley:

((Dang, now I'd love to see that scene.))
As best as I can tell from the map on page 81 of The Lion and the Lily is that there are some fields just inside the outer walls of Paris. Might be able to execute an evening landing with little problem, but that will leave you a few hour walk to Mathieus's House. I'd be willing to say that there is a resident of the covenant (if we wanted to create such a magus) or covenfolk who work the land and can house the Palindromedary safely, that they've done similar things for other magi in the past.

OK, that works, then.

((How about you identify who the person is, magus[1] or covenfolk, a name, a shared memory, something to play with, and I'll run with it. I'm never good with coming up a name contemporaneously. Consider this your job since you decided to go from ME to Eboris to Confluensis, rather than via portals. :stuck_out_tongue:))

[1] The magus may or may not be gently Gifted, since they are outside the city. I'm too busy with Cumhachd right now.

(( snickers You should know better, JL. Post coming later tonight, once the Spousal Overunit and I are done watching B5 for the night.))

Who says I don't? :laughing:

Late that night, just after sunset, the now-visible Palindromedary comes floating gently down in an orchard outside Paris, pausing next to an apple tree just long enough for Stultus to grab an apple and hand one to Fiona. He unbuckles the harness, and climbs out, stretching. "Ow. My thighs may never forgive me. I'd ask how your thighs feel, but I'm not sure I want to know the answer."

He polishes the apple on his sleeve, taking a bite. "I've forgotten just how good those are," he says around a mouthful. "Do me a favor, please -- give me a hand with this thing?" Stultus lifts one end of the Palindromedary -- it's not terribly heavy, just large and unwieldy. "We don't have far to go, just to that house over there."

The house is a peasant hut, although a large, sturdy, well-built example of its type. The owner is clearly prosperous as peasants go, and the fields and orchards around it (what's visible around them in the dark) are neat and very well tended. The path takes Fiona and Stultus around the side of the house, past the windows that stand open to the warm autumn evening: through a window, Fiona can see an idyllic scene. A large dark-haired man and two small children ('irish twins', around 5-6 years old) are eating dinner at the table, a third child is sleeping peacefully in a cradle, a young and pretty red-headed woman is slicing vegetables at the stove... Pieter Bruegel, were he born, would drool and dive for his brushes. The only odd thing is that the cradle is rocking seemingly by itself.

Stultus blinks up at Fiona, saying "Um... you may want to stand outside the door for a second... out of the blast radius..." and pushes the door open, taking a step in and declaiming with an enormous smile "Hello, Elsbeth!" A moment later, he ducks just in time as an earthenware bowl (followed by an incoherent scream) whizzes inches over his head and out into the night. The dwarf straightens. "Aw, how sweet... you missed me!"

"How dare you show your face in here, you... you... ditch-dropped poxy son of a poxy whore, you slimy sneaky cack-handed natural, you bastard descendant of a lineage of snakes!" The torrent of abuse, in mixed Latin and Gaelic, comes from the woman at the stove. The man in the background is watching with amusement. The older child, a girl, says in a matter of fact voice "Mommy's mad".

Stultus leans his head back out the door, winking at Fiona. "Reminds you of Tranquillina, don't she?" He returns his attention to the woman at the stove. "Elsbeth, luv, you wound me..."

"Not yet I haven't", retorts the woman, brandishing a cleaver, "but it's a great idea!"

The younger boy blinks at his sister, asking "She going to set him on fire, then?" in a tone used to inquire after the weather and other things of low import.

Stultus holds up his hands. "Pax, sodalis. Fiona, may I introduce Elsbeth Vernier (nee MacNamara), maga Jerbitoni, member of the Viticulturalists. Elsbeth, may I introduce my covenant-mate, Fiona filia Marós Ex Miscellanea Kore tes Kirkes. I think you'd have a great deal to say to each other."

"Aww, no," mutters the girl-child. "He's a magus. No setting magi on fire."
"Aww, shucks!" echoes her brother.

Elsbeth heaves several deep breaths, trying to regain control of her temper, and nods to Fiona. "Sodalis." Stultus waddles deeper into the house, greeting the man. "Hello, Benoit."

"Hello, Stultus," smirks Benoit. "How's the eye?"

"Still aches in cold weather," reports Stultus cheerfully. "I still say you cheated and snuck in a mule somehow. No one should be able to punch that hard."

((I'm hoping that there's a slight window in which a maga can cast a new Sun duration spell and not have the old one expire. If not...buckle your seat-belt, Stultus, it's gonna get rocky for a minute.))

Fiona leans forward a moment before sundown. [color=blue]"Can I trust you not to attack me for a minute or two, Stultus?" She then recasts her La Petite Mascarade and the spell to reduce her Hermetic robes to her smaller size before performing her Parma ritual.

Fiona grins at the dwarf. [color=blue]"You know you're welcome to examine my thighs any time."

Fiona looks down at Stultus, first in surprise and then, when she sees how he's enjoying the abuse (I should remember that about him, just in case she thinks) with a grin. She then yells into the house, in Gaelic, [color=blue]"Hey, don't insult snakes like that!"

[color=blue]"A pleasure to meet you," Fiona replies.

Elsbeth says, "Would that you had time to chat. Mathieus and his guest are expecting you two. Leave that thing here.". She eyes her children from the corner of her eye while pointing at the Palindromedary and asks, "I suppose that it is too much to ask if it's kid safe." Looking at her husband, "We will have to ward this thing or our kids will end up who knows where.". She glares at Stultus, "Thanks for nothing, half-pint."
Her husband responds, "Want me to punch him again?"
"No, that'll just upset Mathieus" she looks at Fiona and Stultus,"Now run along. I've got kids to put to bed, chores to do, and that contraption to ward, and I'm tired. This is a working farm, you know. I've got no time for gossip and your particular brand of tomfoolery, Stultus, so get you and your friend gone. No offense, Fiona."

Stultus nods, and wanders out the door, Fiona in tow... only to stick his head back in a moment later, returning Elsbeth's bowl to her. "Wait... guest? Who's he got staying with him, aside from the usual loadout of freeloaders?"

"Go!" she yells out in exasperation. Benoit starts to get up from his chair.
Fiona and Stultus make their way through the streets of Paris to Mathieus's house. The pair draws some unwanted attention about 8 blocks from his House... Roll for initiative and state first round actions, as five toughs seem to spring forth from seemingly nowhere. The vibe around the area is decidedly unfriendly, and Fiona feels a certain dread as if something is familiar, but different. Stultus doesn't get anything except the vibe.

(( What's the aura, por favor? ))

It isn't divine. You can probably figure out what kind it is, from that and my vague description. More than that, you need to do some spellcraft.

(( Oooh, it's faerie??? Terrific! :stuck_out_tongue: ))
(( JL, please understand, I say this with the utmost love and admiration in my heart -- YOU SUCK. :smiley:))

Stultus hesitates for just a second too long. If it was just him, he could slide right on by in a dozen ways, but he can't very well leave Fiona in the lurch, now can he?

Initiative: [1d10] = 2 +1 Qik=3.
If someone closes with him before then and takes a swing, he'll use the "Acrobatic Dodge" Talisman effect to spring away and land beyond the toughs (Dex 1 + Athletics 6 + roll of 2=9 to 'stick the landing') and then taunt them, trying to get them to go after him. Power has the Fast Trigger effect, I believe that lets him do that.

Otherwise, he's going to try and spont a Call to Slumber (ReMe 10). Re 10 + Me 12 + Sta 0 + roll of 1 then
roll of 7=36. I think he pulled this off. :slight_smile: Penetration is 11, -1 for every 2 points of Infernal aura.

((Initiative: Qui -1 + die roll of 6 = 5...and Invisible Castle is down again, boo hiss!!!))

Fiona brings her Talisman up in a defensive posture, trying her best to remember the lessons that Alexei taught her over the last year or so, and silently casts Robes of Impenetrable Linen; the only visible effect is that her robes are now snowy white. ((CT 31 – No Words + [1d10] = 8 = 29 +/- Aura Modifier, easily besting the Spell Level of 10, giving her an effective Soak of 6 (Sta 3, Spell Effect 3).))

((Also...Int roll of Int 1 + (die roll of 0, with a botch check of6, so no botch) to try to pinpoint why it feels familiar, but I suspect it feels a little like it did when she was dealing with Duncan back at Insula Canaria a few years ago.))

The magi have essentially a round of free action, as the toughs close ranks around the magi. And Fiona, despite her nervousness in combat (the low roll) gets the immediate sense that it does seem like her experience with Duncan. Stultus also remembers that toughs around this area near MAthieus's home normally give "wizards" or those that dress the part a wide berth, so this isn't exactly right, and nor is his feeling in this particular area from the past.

"Grab the woman, kill the dwarf wizard." The apparent leader says from behind Fiona and Stultus. ((Am I correct in understanding that Fiona is normal sized?))

The one Stultus targeted with the Call to Slumber goes to sleep. As he casts the spontaneous spell he hears whispers, harsh and evil voices urging him to do more. Fiona's spell makes her feel constricted and restrained, not protected.

2nd round actions. Toughs will be in reach out and touch someone range this round.

Crap, deleting the duplicate deleted both...but. No, Call to Slumber is a T:Ind spell.

Yeah. You deleted the duplicate at the same time I deleted the other one, because I looked it up and realized CtS was T:Ind. The intent was to disable all of them, not just one. If you want to retroactively let me cast it with T: Group (Penetration dropping to 6 before aura modifiers), I'd appreciate it. If not, I'll deal.