1259.4 Last Call

(meeting thread)

Ophelia leads her men into the compound of the Inn as the twilight deepened. This was the place giving in the letter. Before mid-winter it said. Well they beat that by three days. She could not read the words above the door but it had a picture of a golden hart on a well kept sign. As they drew near, several stable boys came out to get their animals.

Shortly before entering the town, Pyrrhus calls out to the men, "Alright, this is different from our usual inn experience. We don't know the language very well, so Onassis will be running interference. We act as if we are protectors for Ophelia, and we keep people from approaching her, so they don't get that funny feeling. Onassis, get us the rooms we need."

Ophelia waves Hector over to her. He reluctantly comes over to her, "You're new to us, and our life. As my shield grog, you're expected to stay close to me in battle, but I have otherwise given you some freedom. That ends here, while we are at the inn or in the city. You appear young enough to be my son, so we'll play that charade, here. Stay close to me, until I order you away. Here are my sling stones and bolts. It would be unseemly for a lady to carry these. And while I can't necessarily pull off the full charade, not having to explain why I have a pouch of weapons on me makes it much easier. If I give the signal, you will do everything possible to get these into my hands, and then see to defending me, so I can defend the fighting group. Do you understand, Hector?" Hector nods, "I require a yes or a no. You must learn to speak to me and not fear me. The more often we interact, the easier the process becomes. This is part of your duty. It's taken years for Pyrrhus and Onassis to overcome the taint of magic upon me. It can be done, but it requires diligence on your part. Soon enough, you will be joining the fighting group, and I will select another as my shield grog, but we are not there, yet."

"Yes, ma-" she shakes her head gently, "Ophelia. I understand. I will do as you ask."

To Hector she says, "Very well." She turns to Pyrrhus, "We're ready, let's go in." To everyone else, "Hector is going to be my son, which explains him staying close to me. If we're going to be here for a while, we should probably get some fine clothes for him, and the explanation that he doesn't have them is that our pack horse bolted off with them. Let's get some rooms." To Onassis, "spring for the best rooms available. Pay extra, if necessary for a suite for all of us, or adjoining rooms for at least Hector and myself." Onassis tips his head and nods.

When they reach the stable boys, everyone dismounts, Ophelia's horse being relieved that she's off her. She lets everyone handle their normal roles, Pyrrhus deals with the stable boys, and Onassis goes in to the inn to see to the accommodations.

In Slavic that is passable, Onassis makes his way to the innkeeper, "I require rooms for the night. 4 men, a woman and her nearly grown son. She prefers to keep an eye on him, he has a wandering eye, but he's being groomed for better things, if you catch my drift." Onassis lies with some facility. "I'll pay you this much." He throws a coin on the counter, which is reasonable, if a bit on the low side for what he's asking, but he's pretty persuasive. Totals of 9 and 12, respectively for the rolls.

Of course. The men will not mind sharing a room it will be fine. The coin disappears into the man pocket. Do you wish to join the common room for supper eh?

"So long as it is big enough and we aren't packed in like sheep." Onassis looks at the innkeeper directly with a warm smile. "The other men and I will be eating in the common room. The lady will be seen to her by her son in their quarters. I expect we will be here for at least three days, but we will pay by the day."
Leaning in, in a conspiratorial manner, "The pack horse we had was run off. The boy's finer clothes were on it, despite our warnings that the road can be dangerous, Is there a quality seamstress, tailor in town?"

He can see that the common room is huge by most standards. Many trestle tables and benches are lined up. It looks moderately busy tonight.

Of course sir. He waves at a young boy who is doing errands. Tordor. Go outside and escort a lady and her son to a room upstairs. Once they are settled come back and take her men to the room in the corner.

Now a seamstress. Hmmm. Not for fine clothes. We do not have much call for that. But Hristina over there. He points to a middle aged woman carrying six pitchers in her hands. She can do a good job sewing and making clothes. Will that do?

"No, but thank you, he has traveling clothes. She was just wondering about getting some finer things for him. I suppose it's a good lesson for the lad to learn."

Ophelia will wait a couple of days, but will send out some of the men to keep an eye on the man who matches the description in the letter, to see if he arrives early, or has arrived. Ophelia will generally stay inside her room to avoid interacting with anyone.

When she enters the Inn she recognizes the tingle of passing through an Aegis.

As she crosses the Aegis boundary, Ophelia gives a shudder, and says "Aegis" in Greek. All of the men except Hector instantly adopt a different pose, much more alert, and ready for trouble. She waves Onassis over to her and they cross to the innkeeper. To Onassis she says, "Translate for us." Turning to the innkeeper, "I would like to speak to the magus or maga who resides here." Hector comes up behind Ophelia and watches carefully for anyone who might make a move. ((Onassis will dutifully translate, so I'll just presume the two are speaking directly to each other for convenience.))

The innkeeper looks confused for a moment as his gaze moves from Onassis to Ophelia and back to Onassis. Ahh. One moment. He goes to a door by the kitchen that turns out to be a small closet and rummages around for a short while until he pulls out several scrolls. He looks to be reading something on them then glancing at Ophelia,discarding the scroll and moving to another. He finally finds one he likes and puts the other away and come to Ophelia. (In bad Latin) What is your name?

"Is Greek better?" She inquires in Greek. Whether he says yes or no will decide whether Onassis translating the following. "My name is Ophelia. And yours?" Ophelia says simply. Thinking to herself, We aren't prepared for battle here.
"We were seeking a place to stay for a few days. 3 maybe more. The presence of an Aegis was something that needed to be investigated, though."

Ophelia can't tell whether he responds to the language or her name.

Ophelia. Yes. Ophelia. He nods and hands her the scroll in sort of a bow.

She reads:(in Latin)


At least I hope so if the fool Pavel has any brains. And I hope the reader of this is Ophelia filia Gerasimos. If not then please hand this back to Pavel and shout your name at him.

There is a door on the east wall towards the north end. There four men sitting near it. Go to them and tell them your name and that you wish to see the Crooked One and they should open the door for you. Only you and one of your men. I swear on my House and my Oath that no harm will become you or your men unless you bring it with you.

Through the room and down the corridor ahead of you and you will find Aleksandar, our Steward. He will guide you to me.

Laterala ex Tremere
Aediles, Oppidum of Hèviz[/i]

Ophelia confers with her men after struggling to read the letter (Latin 3, Hermetic usage, so she can likely figure it out, eventually). "I'm going in alone." Pyrrhus begins to objet, but Ophelia cuts him off"If I can take only one, it's not worth it, I'd rather have all of you out here to defend yourselves, if it's an elaborate trap. Give me my quiver." At her request, Hector hands it to her without comment.
She crosses over to the four men sitting near the door on the north end of the east wall. And says, in Latin, " I am Ophelia, and I wish to see The Crooked One."

Three of the men stand. The one still sitting checks a paper and then nods. One of the guards produce a white stone which is pressed to the door which then opens freely. He then bows low to Ophelia and steps aside. The other men have been watching Ophelia's immortals with a practiced eye. When none of them step forward to go with Ophelia and the door closes, they wave them over and order more beer.

Ophelia, following the directions moves moves through the first room and into an hallway. All is made of stone. The hallway goes on for about 50 feet, passing several doors. Ophelia can see a strong light ahead in what she would take to be a room. She pauses at the entry and can see that the room is round. Looking down she can see a ring carved into the floor that encompasses the entire room.

A middle aged man sits at a large desk writing something on a scroll. He is mostly bald with some salt and pepper hair on his temples. The light in the room comes from several lamps that do not flicker and Ophelia can assume to be magical. She can also feel a warmth coming from the room that does not seem to have a fireplace.

Ophelia racks her brain for any mention of him, but fails.

In her crude Hermetic Latin she identifies herself, "I'm Ophelia of House Flambeau. And you are?" She pauses long enough to have the greeting returned, and then continues, "I was alerted to a magus in residence by the presence of an Aegis as I crossed into the inn. I would inquire as to whether I might be invited into said Aegis for the length of my stay."

Meanwhile back in the bar the men mingle with the others, such as they may with a language barrier. Miles proceeds to power drink, given the free beer. He will likely be drunk rather soon. Pyrrhus and the others drink a little, his stern glare when anyone but Miles goes for a second drink is enough to convince them to nurse this one.

((Do you cross the circle into the room?))

The man looks up from his work. His face is narrow and sharp and his eyes are a strange golden yellow.

I would if I could Magus but I am but a humble servant. He stands and moves around the desk. I am Aleksandar. I serve as steward and administrator for this Oppidum and I welcome you.

No, Ophelia avoids the ring. ((Sorry, I was thinking about it, but never wrote it out!))
"Well, this is where I was told to come. I'm pleased to meet you, Aleksandar. So, I'm here, what's next? There is an element of mystery and evasion to what's going on here. Might I ask why?"

The Aediles is... he pauses as he seems to search for a word, Circumspicio. She is very cautious.

He does not move from in front of the desk. I'm afraid that I can do nothing until you enter the room. Call it a small test. Not entering the room is taken as a failure. I understand you are cautious as well Ophelia of Flambeau. It will server you well in the future.

Ophelia nods and says simply, "Very well. She steps inside, crossing over the ring .

She passes into the room without any problem.

Aleksandar lets out an audible breath as if he had been holding it. I welcome you Ophelia of Flambeau to the Oppidum of Hèviz. Come this way.

A voice speaks from above. A rough voice of an old woman. Ophelia looks up and sees a balcony on the opposite wall from the way she entered. The light and angle made it almost invisible from the doorway.

I invite you into my Aegis, Ophelia of Flambeau.

She appears to be an old woman. Slightly bent with age. A large scar run down her face from her left temple, across her left eye and down to her jaw. An eye patch with some symbol on it covers the left eye. She tosses down an acorn to Ophelia and turns away. Show her to my office.

Laterala, I presume? Ophelia utters as she catches the acorn. She'll let herself be escorted into the office and wait patiently for Laterala, or whomever else to show.