1260.1 A Beginning Is a Very Delicate Time

Sergei, who'd been keeping an eye on the scowling dock worker and his mate, plows into the pair as they rise and start to move towards the door. There is suddenly a lor of bumping and upset exclamations as drinks are spilled and people disturbed. "Sorry guys," the grog says loudly in Finnish, "tripped on my feet. Innkeep! Next rounds on me!" With that, he throws a small pouch towards the owner.

The diversion allows the magi and their entourage to make their way to the door and out before things turn ugly. The grog joins them shortly and again whispers something to Bartholomeus before handing him his staff back. Bartholomeus nods, then casts a quick Muto Herbam spontaneus spell(1) on the inn's closed door.

"This should keep them inside for a little while, should they decide to follow us," he states in Latin. The red-headed magus than leads them away through the streets of Turku, away from the inn. Some time later, they are on the beach near a rocky outcrop. A step between two large rocks and they find themselves on an plank leading up to the deck of a ship, which until they'd climbed aboard was invisible.

(1) Non-fatiguing spontaneous spell to make the door warp slightly and stick to its frame for Concentration duration. Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Conc. He will let go of his concentration once they are out of sight of the inn.

OOC: Just to confirm, the language spoken in Turku is Finnish, right? Which comments have been in Latin and which have been in Finnish?

When the ruckus starts in the inn, Galan grabs one boy with each arm, holding them both close. This was not the time for either one to decide to wander off. He keeps a firm hold on each of them until they're out of the inn and starting down the road. Only then does he let go, admonishing both to keep up with the group and not wander.

As they get out of sight of town and start their trek to the hidden location of the invisible ship, Galan takes a moment to cast a quick spell. With a lowered voice and a wave of his hand, he invokes a simple enchantment to dry off his tunic, still wet from the spilled beer.* "There," he mutters to himself. "That's better."

At their arrival at the rocky outcrop, they are met by a grey owl who descends from the sky, alighting on one of the rocks. "Apollo!" cries one of the boys with a smile as he moves over toward the bird. "Any mice for me today?" The owl does not answer.

"Bartholomeus, may I introduce my familiar, Apollonius." Galan gestures toward the owl, who dips his head in response. "He's been keeping a low profile while we've been in town. I didn't want the locals talking about the visitor and his pet owl. Too many questions, as I'm sure you'll understand." While he speaks, Galan draws a small chisel and hammer from his belt pouch, and uses the two to chip off a sliver of one of the rocks. The hammer and chisel are then returned to their place and the piece of stone is deposited in one of many tiny leather pockets built into Galan's belt.

The magus is quite amazed once the ship is revealed. "Invisibility's always been tricky for me," he admits as he and the boys board the ship. "But I do appreciate a good invisibility enchantment. This would be the ship Calpurnia wrote about. It sounds like a marvel."


    • Cast Comfort of the Drenched Traveler using soft words. Base CT +10 (-5 for soft words) = +5. I'm assuming that by the time we get to the outskirts of town there's no Dominion Aura around (if there ever was one). That should be an auto-cast.

Tacitus and Johan make it into the town, and Johan tries to find a merchant who can understand Low German. Tacitus had already cast Thoughts Within Babble so can understand the locals, but can't speak back to them with spontaneously casting Creo Mentem spells in the divine aura. After searching a while, Johan finds a shopkeeper used to dealing with outsiders. Tacitus and Johan are directed to a tavern, which they enter and Tacitus is overjoyed to hear someone speaking Latin.

"Greetings gentlemen, how are you this day? What brings learned folk like yourself this far north? he says in Latin.

(Whenever bartholomeus spoke to Galen, that was in Latin. When Sergei spoke aloud it was in Finnish. I edited my previous post to make it clear.)

"My pleasure meeting you, Apollonius," the lanky magus says seriously to the owl. Turning back to Galen, Bartholomeus nods, "I understand your caution in regard to the townsfolk seeing you familiar. I had to leave mine here on the ship to avoid drawing undue attention and to keep him safe." He looks around, searching, then shrugs, "He's probably hiding down below. Perhaps he caught sight of Apollonius and felt uneasy. I will introduce you as soon as he comes out."

"Invisibility is indeed useful," he smiles, "though it isn't something I've spent much time studying either. The ship is indeed a marvel."

At that moment, a voice can be heard from between some crates lashed unto the deck under some tarps, "Is it safe to come out now, Meus?" It asks shakily. "No hunters followed you?"

Bartholomeus smiles, "Yes, Dax, you can come out. There is an owl, but he is the familiar of a magus so he is a friend."

After a moment, there is movement from under the tarp and a small pink nose appears, sniffing out the air. It is soon followed by a grey-brown head covered by soft fur and long ears. Small eyes dart left and right, then latch on the owl. The small hare hesitates for a few moments, then slowly comes out from under the tarp, keeping his eyes fixed on the winged predator. Then, suddenly it hops a few steps to Bartholomeus, slipping behind the magus' legs and keeping him between himself and Aopollonius.

Bartholomeus picks him up and nods to Galen, "Sodalis, this is Garapadax, my familiar friend. Garapadax, this is Galen and his familiar Apollonius. The boys over there are Nicholas and Henry. They will all be living with us at the new covenant I spoke to you about." The hare, still keeping its eyes on the owl, says, "Hello. Are you sick? Are you going to attack us like that other magus did? If so, stay away from Meus! I warn you, he is my friend and I will defend him!"

"A pleasure to meet you, Garapadax," Galan says with a short bow. "I assure you, Apollo means you no harm."

"That's true," the owl replies. "I should never harm a fellow companion. That just wouldn't be proper."

"And no," the magus adds, "We're not sick. LIke Batholomeus, we're trying to avoid the sickness by coming here to the far north. But your devotion to Bartholomeus does you credit. He's fortunate to have a loyal companion like you."

Then Galan takes a more careful look around the ship around him. "So, this really flies?" he asks, almost rhetorically. "I don't suppose Calpurnia would mind the three of us getting a ride to the covenant site. It would save us a long overland trip. "

OOC: I'm afraid everyone has left the tavern by now. Galan will have to return to pick up his things. Perhaps you can meet up with him then.

Calpurnia comes up to the top.

"Sodales, it does indeed fly. As you can see, it does not have a mast, or rudder. Galan, when you store your gear, be sure to secure it tightly. I try not to make sharp turns, but it may be necessary." At the bow there's a small area with rails. "I stand here while guiding the ship. We went through a small squall from Germany, I do not care to repeat that experience. The winds require me to continue focus on our path, and I could scarcely see where I was going, even with the enhanced sight that my talisman grants me. I have a problem with rust. If this was in on the water, with strong waves, it would quickly overturn. The boat rides lower in the water than I expected."

Calpurnia's pale face grimaces. "I'll need to develop a spell to control rust. Even so, the spell used to move this boat is powerful, and subjects the craft to Warping. Perhaps we could develop an enchantment with Vim that could stabilize the ship for long-term use. If I were to do this again, I'd build a skeleton of a metal ship, and have the shipwrights build a typical boat around it. If the metal became flawed, I could replace pieces. I'd have a ship that could function normally, as well as magically."

Looking closer at the deck, it vaguely looks like a metal quilt. Thin slabs of, metal, man size, are joined together. The connections are sometimes noticeable, like steel was made to run like wax, others are barely visible. All ships are irregular in places, but this one has sharp corners, and a couple of places where the edges are sharp. The walls are uneven, some thin as parchment, others a finger's width. The outer hull is over an inch think.

The hold is surprisingly well-lit. A disk on the (low) roof, glows as bright as day (Calpurnia's Sun Disk). The air is stuffy, a few vents near the ceiling on each wall are insufficient. There are crude bunks, fashioned from metal, three tiers high. Many women are sewing. There seems to be two areas partitioned off. "On the left is a place for Maria and myself. Over there is a place for Bartholomeles and his companions." Calpurnia allows a peek at the two bunks there. There's a chest, and on it is a placid turtle, gently munching. "Zeno provides a sense of calm and stability for me."

As Calpurnia walks by, a couple small children dart away, and get behind their mothers. The littlest one is crying. "Here is Joachim, our master blacksmith." Joachim appears to be near forty, with a huge head of black hair and beard. He's a tall man, well over six feet. He's surprised as he meets Galan, nodding his head and smiling.

"That's about all. We travel during the day, and land on solid ground for the evening. There's a sealed area that has our lab equipment, some furniture for the new covenant, and Joachim's forge and tools."

"Because we need not concern ourselves with obstacles, nor the direction of the wind, we can travel great distances quickly. Should we ever need to make war, this ship should give a commanding advantage, allowing us to transport troops over walls, or break troop formations. An Aegis, of course would nullify this advantage."

Agnarr rides his sled into the site, halting the dogs when he is thirty if so paces from where the grogs have camped. He mutters and the dogs circle the sled. He then seeks a person to speak to, approaching the nearest as his white owl lands on the sled. Agnarr is not carrying anything more than a hunting knife on his hip as he approaches (assume it might be Thyra? and speaking Finnish), "Hello" raising his hands showing peace, "my friends and I did intend to camp here. Perhaps you know them?"

Thyra looks over Agnarr and the owl. (in Latin) I hope you are a member of the Order and can understand Latin because I have no idea what you have said. If so them I am Thyra filia Monica ex Tremere. I will be meeting more of my Order here and perhaps you are one. If you can not understand me you do not need to be here and I will have to wave my arms around to try and communicate that to you

(in accented Latin, and breaking into a laughing grin) "Please don't wave your arms Thyra, my name is Agnarr ex Miscellnea; and this is Karhu" gesturing back to the owl, "its a pleasure to meet you."

"You're straight into the work. Good! I can help with some temporary accommodations and defenses if you would like. Or dull witted manpower." Nodding to the trees "removing some of the trees perhaps?"

"I say Johan,", says Tacitus,"we appear to have missed everybody! I suppose we should stay the night and in the morning make the journey to the site."

Johan nods his assent, and proceeds to negotiate a fee to stay in the inn - it takes some haggling but the landlord will let the Gifted Tacitus sleep above the stables.

"Even with the problem of rust," Galan acknowledges, "the ship is an impressive creation. It certainly seems to have served you well in getting you out to our new covenant. I've had to arrange transport for all of my supplies by conventional ship, and arrange for travel overland to the covenant. Not nearly as convenient. The grogs I'll be bringing with me are following with those supplies. I and two grogs came ahead to arrange for the details. With luck and fast sailing, the others should be here within the week."

"But I must ask, would your ship be able to take on five more passengers for the last leg of the journey - six, including Appolonius? At present we include myself, Nicholas, Henry, Apollo, and the two grogs back in town. If you can hold the six of us, then I can fetch the others when I go to get our belongings from the inn."

(The ship is probably a bit crowded with people at the moment. In addition to Calpurnia's people, Barthomoleus also has about a dozen mundanes travelling with him -- two grogs and four specialists, as well as some unskilled covenfolks and family members.)

"I could help you with the supplies," says Bartholomeus. "This staff," he lifts the short staff he's been carrying around, "has enchantments that allow it to shrink down most objects to one-tenth of its original size, so it makes it much easier to transport them around." He shrugs apologically, "It doesn't help to transport our people, but this still means we have more space for people aboard. In any case, Calpurnia's ship travels fairly fast. From what I understand we aren't that far from the location of the covenant. So even if we can't carry everyone in a single trip, perhaps we could make several until everyone and everything is transported to our destination?"

Thyra holds out both hands towards Agnarr, palms out, as if pushing him away. "While I enjoy the opportunity to talk to a fellow member of the Order, I must ask you to keep your distance for now. I can't prove to you, beyond any doubt that I don't have the Plague. I can't cast Frosty Breath so unless you can I suggest we wait."

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"Bartholomeus, your shrinking magic lasts for a moon's duration? Then this is no problem. The forward compartment is filled with pieces of furniture and equipment. If you will reduce the size down of the supplies, I can make it suitable for your men."

"At the speed we can go, it will not be a long journey."

Calpurnia lowers her voice, and moves close to Galan. She looks up into his face. "Galan, I am sure that your men are well-behaved. Thus, it will not worry you a bit that I would be most displeased should any of your men trouble the ladies. I've already spoken to Bartholomeus about this."

"I assure you," Galan replies, also in a low tone, "I've picked good and loyal grogs to come with me. They know how to behave themselves. I could have taken more grogs with me, but I only took the ones I could be sure of."

"It does," the lanky Verditius replies. "not only that, but a second power of the staff allows me to end the shrinking effect whenever an item is needed, so we won't have to wait for the next moon to use an object that we need."

"It's a good thing that the mundanes accompanying me have had some time to get used to the flying ship. Still, we may want to make the motion of the ship as smooth as possible until we get to the site. I'd hate to see some of them panic at the idea of flying and get hurt as a result, or hurt others."

After Galan has vouched for the good behaviour of his men, Bartholomeus asks, "How long do you think it will take us to get everything loaded and ready to go? I must admit that I am eager to see the site of the covenant."


"If Galan does not have much to equip, we can be done shortly. I'll cut an entrance to the hold, and you, Bartholomeus, can reduce everything down. I'll re-mold the interior to have some ventilation, and form some bunks."

(OOC I'm assuming its now afternoon, with perhaps an hour or two before sundown.)

"If we want to do this now, we can. Galan, I suggest that you send your men back to retreive your supplies. Write a letter to the innkeep to arrange how the remainder of your staff will meet up with you. Once you're back with the supplies, Bartholomeus will reduce those as well, and I will secure your possessions. Please make sure that no one follows you here, I do not want to reveal our nature."

"Or if it's too much to carry, we can do it on the morrow." Calpurnia looks to the two male magi.

"We haven't much at all," Galan replies. "My men and I can carry what we have. The bulk of my equipment is arriving in the next week or so. What's most important to me is to gather the two grogs I left in town. They should be getting back to the inn soon and might be wondering where we've gotten off to."

"As for being followed," he adds with a nod toward his familiar, "Apollo can keep a lookout from above to make sure no one pays any extra attention to us. Thankfully I have the gentle Gift, so I tend to gather no more attention than anyone else passing through town."

"Are you okay watching the boys until I return? They won't be much trouble. Curiosity is their biggest weakness."

"If you leave them here, you will release them from your Parma, and I think their introduction to my Gift should be in a different setting." Calpurnia seems puzzled. "Or did you want me to extend my Parma over your apprentice?"

Upon hearing Galan's answer, Calpurnia heads down the stairs to modify the cargo hold.

She calls out: "Joachim, I have need of your skills!"

She casts Hairline Fracture, with Wizard's Boost, to affect only part of the interior walls, and cuts an interior section out. Inside is boxes stacked nearly to the ceiling. They are held in place by chains. Calpurnia casts Shape Iron like Clay, modified by Wizard's Boost (Part) to make the entryway smooth, then casts Unravel the Thread of Terram, so that the material regains the structural strength. Calpurnia uses Hairline Fracture to cut away the chains until items within reach are no longer secured.

"Bartholomeus, could you please reduce these items to make space?"

As Bartholomeus begins to work, Calpurnia and everyone else give Bartholomeus plenty of space, especially when he starts moving his staff around.

Calpurnia then goes to the next layers of chained goods, removing those chains as well. She cuts away the mounting point. Sometimes she uses Shape Iron Like Clay to smooth aside the metal, other times, Joachim pounds it flat. The ringing is a terrible din inside the metal ship.

Once all supplies are reduced, Calpurnia takes some of the chains and uses Weld to hold the goods securely. The remainder of the chains, plus what used to be part of the wall are all connected via Weld, then she casts a single Shape Iron Like Clay. Maria shows up with what looks like a roller for baking bread, and a couple of knives, like leatherworking knives. The mass of metal is smoothed flat. Calpurnia walks away briefly and comes back wearing a leather glove (The Enchanted Porter) that's carrying a large table. She moves the steel to the table, and Joachim uses the roller to smooth out the metal, getting it very, very flat, close to parchment thickness. She uses the knives to cut out a large rectangle. She then uses Unravel the Thread of Terram to return the sheet to typical strength. The process is repeated with several more flat pieces. Calpurnia then uses Weld to take the metal pieces and mount the sheets to the wall, forming bunks. A quick Shape Iron Like Clay to round out the sharp edges.

Lastly, Calpurnia cuts some small vents in the hull, to allow air, using Hairline Fracture.