1260.4 - The Bear came over the Mountain

Within a day of crossing the border into Transylvania, Arktos and his pack are visited by a mage (Glaucia) who assess why they are traveling in the Tribunal. She leaves after a short interview with some information on the road ahead. She recommends that he get river boat at the Danube and travel to Belgrade. She give him several names of merchants who are friendly to the Tribunal and would carry him further up river to Vukovar.

As you come out of a mountain pass and evening approaches and see the plain of the Danube ( which is a huge river at this point), Arktos comes to a campsite just off the road with one man there who has a spartan camp. His robes show that he is from House Guernicus and he carries a sword. After a moment of sizing each other up he gestures for you to come into the campsite. He says a greeting in Slavic. When Arktos does not respond he switches to Latin.

Welcome. There is plenty of wood as this is a normal stopping point for travelers coming out of the mountains. Are you a hunter?

Arktos shakes droplets of water from his beard and raises his chin. He stops a small distance from the man and eyes him warily.

Of sorts. Arktos ex Miscellanea. On my way from Polyaigos to Heviz. You?

Remus sits down next to him and savors the stranger's scent. Alcohol and grass. Its head reaches well over Arktos' fur-clad waist. The rest of the pack stands back with the grogs and servants who are carrying everyone's belongings.

I am Valerian of Guernicus. Hoplite of the Order.

Hèviz you say? A dangerous place. What will they have you do there?

As you get closer you can see a much older man. Clean shaven and very hard eyes. He seems to be traveling alone. There are no other grogs or people around the camp ( at least Remus can not sense any).

Well met. Dangerous for some, perhaps. We - he gestures at the hounds We hunt and tame monsters.

Arktos' gaze catalogues the Hoplite's sparse belongings.

Why sit alone in the middle of nowhere?

I am a Hoplite. I travel to investigate problems. I like to keep track of visitors who may be a problem some day. Or be helpful.

He gestures to Arktos' group.
I do not need grogs. They would only slow me down. There is nothing in this Tribunal that I fear.

You are investigating the potential problem that is I? Flattering. Nothing else? May I assist you in some way?

I would share your knowledge of the tribunal. We would be happy to camp with you, or travel together.

Valerian raises an eyebrow and makes a noise that you could assume is a chuckle.

Do not put more importance on yourself. This meeting is merely chance. This is a common stopping area for travelers coming out of the mountains. Our ways will be together for the next several days. Once we reach the Danube, I will cross and you will find a boat going up river to Belgrade.

You may ask me questions about the Tribunal if you wish. I've only been here for roughly a year. I was in Normandy and Rome before.

Good. The interest of hoplite quasitores is a blessing I gladly wish upon my enemies.

Their company, on the other hand... You mention the dangers of Heviz. I have heard little but rumors. Anything besides monsters?

It depends on what you consider monsters.

He pauses for a moment.

For all of the Tremere control of the Tribunal it can still be dangerous to the unaware. How much do you know about the vampire problem they have here?

I know what a vampire is. What should I know?

In this land, almost everything could be a vampire. I've seen various vampire trees and gourds. They crawl out of the woodwork. My understanding is that each has it's own way of being destroyed. The Tremere have a cult of vampire hunters they train just to do it.

He mumbles under his breath and shakes his head.
Insane tribunal

That is the start. There are Dragons and Giants. The later is mostly harmless. I'm guessing the Tremere keep them around so they can suck vis out of them.

He says the word Tremere like it tastes bad.

There are worst monsters then those living in this Tribunal. And I will hunt them down.

There is an insane gleam in his eyes for a moment then it is gone.

Vampire... gourd? How does that...

Prochorus furrows his brow.

What is worse than a vampire gourd?

Remus lets slip a little growl.

Laugh now because when you find your grogs drained of blood one morning you might being to take it seriously.

I am serious. What is worse than a vampire gourd?

(OOC: you wrote "there are worst monsters then those", so I hope I am interpreting correctly. )

((Indeed I did. Arktos will get the feeling that he may be one brick shy of a load))

The most dangerous of all. Traitors to the Order. Those who work against the Code for their own ends. They hide here. In this Tribunal. I can feel them.
But they have made a mistake. Yes. And I will destroy Vim.[/size] (mumbling to himself)

Arktos hesitates a moment.

...Hedge magicians? Anything I should watch out for in particular? How do you feel them, exactly?

No! Hedge magicians are nothing. Some are quite useful in a way. I speak of magi in the Order that works against the stability that we have gained. They seek control of which they have no right. They are more dangerous than a coven of hedge witches.

Grave news. Who are these magi, and why have they not been stopped?

Arktos balls his fists, but remains otherwise unfazed.

Valerian stares at Arktos for a while.

No. I shall not tell you. You are going into a nest of vipers and may turn into one yourself.

Very well. Arktos pauses.

I shall be off to the nest unprepared, then. Would you accompany me and discuss less delicate matters? I give you full permission to size me up in case viperdom strikes and I begin to threaten the Order's stability, he remarks drily.

If the cooky Guernicus agrees, Arktos will interview him while traveling as much as he can about common-knowledge topics concerning the Tribunal. He will try to piece together as much lore on his new home as possible while shifting out the weirder bits.