1229.etc: Devil of a deal

Once Korvin has left, Fiona moves to the Precept's chair and sits down, her lips pursed in thought. She wastes a couple of minutes daydreaming about what she'll do [strike]to[/strike] with Korvin when he returns, then smiles as she reaches for the wax tablet and stylus.

She immediately writes the name "Viscaria" on the tablet, then frowns as she thinks some more.

((I am drawing a blank on what Verditius magi Fiona knows that aren't Quaesitores or are specialists in something irrelevant to the matter at hand like wood or something. Int 1 + Order of Hermes Lore 2 + (die roll of 1, followed by a die roll of 6) 12 = 15 (or 16 if they're from the British Isles).))

After a few minutes of racking her brain, Fiona smiles, sets the tablet down, and makes her way to Isen's chambers. ((I think he's established in the Regio Manor.))

She knocks politely, and asks Adeline if she could speak with Isen, alone. (I don't know how quiet Isen and Adeline's relationship is, but considering who Fiona's maidservant is, Fiona may be kept abreast of all the covenant's happenings, regardless of whether she wants to know and how accurate that information may be).

(Adeline has quielty wormed her way into Isen's life by now, which is quite knows by now).

Adeline is surprised, but she ain't (yet) sure enough of her position to face a maga. And she recognises the value of the power behind the throne.
Could you wait a moment? I'll see if he's available

After a while, she comes back with Isen
Fiona, what a surprise! We seldom see face to face. If you could follow me?
He leads Fiona towards a cabinet full of perchment, maps of Mons Electi and its region, and astrological diagrams, and closes the door.

I was banging my head over our defenses, he says, frowning. But what dire matter brings you here, that Adeline should be excluded of it?

[color=blue]"Are you aware of what happened this afternoon?" she asks. [color=blue]"Of the attack by the faux Instatella and her demonic consort?"

[color=blue]The demon made her escape, and she is obviously powerful enough to penetrate our Aegis. Korvin is of the opinion, and I agree, that we need to get some weapons to fight any Infernal foes we may have."

Fiona glances to the closed door. [color=blue]"And the reason I asked that Adeline not be privy to our conversation, was to ask about our Flambeau neighbors that we saw several years ago. Do you think they could be of help, or would have access to the kind of weapons we need? Korvin recommended that we procure some from some Verditius, but the only ones I can think of, their fields don't run towards fighting demons."

Isen tenses

A demon? Here? What the hell happened?
After fiona has told him the tale (And since he doesn't has any infernal lore, his options are limited).

A demon powerful enough to penetrate our Aegis is a grave threat indeed, since it'll be able to wreak all kinds of havoc into our covenant. Mind you, your size is a real problem here. If we could accommodate a lesser area, we could have been protected by a tenth magnitude aegis instead of a seventh one*. That being said, such an aegis is nothing to be shrugged of. We really have a problem.
He pauses, pondering
I've been pushing myself through Control, in order to learn the more powerful rituals, but it'll be years before I'm able to cast the fifteen magnitude Aegis :frowning:
So we can't stop this beast from entering. Only stop it when we find it. Which means spells, or items. Seeing as he was able to bypass our Aegis, I'd say we need at least 8 magnitudes of Penetration, so spells are out of the way for about all of us. So items, Korvin was right in his assessment. This will cost us a lot of vis... I don't know of any verditius demon hunter, but there was a... problem in hiberia with demons, some decades ago. I'd be surprised if Val-Negra doesn't host some demon-hunting items, although, due to the magnitude of our foe, it's quite possible that they have nothing up to the task. We're talking at the very least 9 magnitudes of power here.
And this will only be usefull if we manage to detect it. No, there must be another way, a better way, but what?

  • Normally, he learns it in summer 1227. Of course, they may have gone one or two more years with a lesser aegis if, for example, Isen was the only one paranoid enough to want it, despite the high vis costs and the risks involved by Wizard's communion, despite, too, the fact that Mons Electi had had no problem in a lot of time.

((Isen may know that Jacques has been working on an approved AoH that will cast at 10th Mag protection ( ReVi 75). We will need to figure out if we can enough WC to get it cast.))

((And at this point Control has been stolen by Cumhachd, and it's unlikely it has been recovered, by this point.))

Fiona tenses momentarily before she realizes that he meant the covenant's size and not hers. [color=blue]"Do you think we can feasibly reduce the size of the covenant without either abandoning our resources or depriving any of our members of their magical power? I'm not sure we can do so and still cover all of our laboratories, but I could be wrong. I've not given much thought to the matter."

[color=blue]"I don't know, off-hand, of any demon-hunters, Verditius or otherwise. I had forgotten about Iberia's troubles, though[sup]1[/sup]. I was planning on writing Viscaria to see if she knows of any, and now it strikes me as an ever better idea."

[color=blue]"Isn't it true that demons can only be detected if they want to be detected? Perhaps a better question would be why is she here, why was she with this false Instatella Jareth (whoever he is), and what were they doing here? Was this merely a feint to probe our defenses, or are they up to something else?"

[sup]1[/sup] She probably didn't know about them at all (Int 1 + Order of Hermes Lore 2 +die roll of 3 = 6), but she won't let on that she's ignorant of something that sounds like it could have been important.

((edited because I forgot that Korvin had told us the impostor's name.))

((Korvin did name the Merceris Magus who was impersonating Insatella: Jareth.))

This may be a solution. This would require us to have a suitable boundary, one closer to the covenant proper. This is doable, even just by mundane means.
In fact, we could keep our current Aegis over the Regio, and have a smaller, more powerful one, over the covenant.

I've heard as much.
And these are very good questions, but irrelevant as to what we can do, which is, I fear, not much.
My concern is, how can we protect ourselves from this demon? Our current Aegis wasn't enough, and it can hold at bay 7 magnitudes of might. This is almost the best any of us can manage in penetration. I can do better, but only with a few of my ice spells, so this ain't a solution. I could maybe kill its physical form, but this would do us no good. And even if we had enough Perdo Vim firepower, it can deceive us, spy and enthrall people, maybe even a few magi.
I could maybe create a device that would freeze a demon in it's tracks. But this comes too close to dabbling with demons for my tastes.
So here are my recommendations:
First, we may try to create a closer boundary, and to acquire a standard Aegis of Tenth Magnitude. Hopefully, I should be able to cast it with about 8 to 9 magnitudes of penetration.
Secondly, unless they are able to penetrate 8 magnitudes of might with an offensive spell, I urge all magi of Mons Electi to learn and master an indirect attack spell that can bypass magical resistance. If everyone agrees to this, I think I might be able to invent a spell that summons and hurls stone towards an enemy, sparing us the need to carry amunitions with us, but I need to check this.
Third, if the enemy is in league with Demons, it doesn’t hurt to learn and Master a low-level Demon’s Eternal Oblivion, for those times when we’ll be outside. Even if useless against this monster, it will always be good against any minion it might bring with it

So, following this discussion, Isen will propose the following mesures to the council:

  • Have the outer wall of the covenant finished, if this isn't done already. I believe Alexei wanted to do it, and we need it for the next step, which is
  • Acquisition of a standard aegis ritual, of tenth magnitude, to cover this much smaller boundary. Of course, this'll cost vis, but this would mean a bump of our Aegis by 2 magnitudes.
  • Everyone should invent an indirect attack spell, usually ReHe, ReTe or PeTe. This won't have much effect versus demons, but it may hinder them, and may very well save the magus life against other ennemies.
  • We can buy wands of DEO, but this'd cost us too much vis, and the ones we'd need (that is, the really powerful ones) may not be available. Yet, given our overall deficit in Perdo Vim magics, we really should buy one such item, with the highest penetration our vis can buy.

The only wall that exists is the ruined wall that surrounds the oppodium, virtually the entire top of Mont Beuvray, which covers an area of about 2 km^2 on the mundane side.

A standard Aegis will bump the power of the Aegis by 3 magnitudes, and will leave Stultus and Marcus exposed, and it may possibly leave Fiona exposed. The current Aegis covers the entire top of Mont Beuvray on the mundane side, the castle, courtyard and up through Stultus's lab on the magical side of the regio. A Diameter of 100 paces is not a lot of space. The castle alone is that big, and not everyone lives in it.

Am I remembering wrong, or is there a breakthrough spell in Apollodorus's writings, Aegis of the Soldier's Hearth, which is a non-ritual Ring spell that provides an Aegis?
Not saying we want to fully rely on it (it can cause Warping for one thing), but it might be worth someone learning....

Jacques has learned the 7th mag version of the spell.

My bad. Then, we'd need to create a newer, closer boundary

I wrote 2 magnitudes because of Penetration: Even with Wizard's communion, Isen wouldn't have a high enough total to gain the full benefit of the 3 extra mags.

For these magi... :-/ It might be worthwhile for them to relocate. Another possibility is for us to cast 2 aegis: Our current, plus a smaller one over the covenant. It would mean, however, that these 3 magi would be less protected, which Isen don't like much.

Yes :frowning:

It might be a solution for the 3 aforementionned magi. Isen could learn the lvl50 version, and, if we could have a smell enough circle, cast it over the 3 aforementionned magi's lab.
Nonetheless, yet again, he isn't a great fan, because this would put them behind the other magi from Mons Electi.

Marcus won't move, because he likes being near the main entrance to lend a hand, and also, it's near the site of his excavation. I'll let Fiona and Stultus present their own arguments, should they wish. I'm assuming everyone else is in the castle. IIRC, Marcus is the only one on the mundane side, so he only has a +3 to his lab total.

And then there is the cost. Mons Electi doesn't have the vis income to maintain two Aeigides indefinitely. Someone's going to have to start farming...

Fiona would be quite opposed to moving. If it were simply a matter of [strike]moving[/strike] having Sheelagh move her lab, and moving her and Moire & Seuma's quarters, that would be one thing. But she has years and years of work invested in her garden, and it would be very difficult to safely uproot and transport everything to its new home intact.

Fiona can learn the spell in one season, and since she can't spend Vis on spells, it may be a good idea for her to have it. She can probably have workers come and build a low, circular stone wall with a [strike]gate[/strike] lychgate around her cottage to make the casting a little easier. And, since it's D: Ring, it can be theoretically eternal.

But what would receive the warping? Everything/everyone within the circle? The circle itself?