OOC: This thread picks up after Jaime leaves the library. What do you want to do now?
Well, Hiems will search for a lab. Remote, cold and dark will be better. North is an added piece. He doesn't want people to see him. He doesn't want to have to put up a mask before people. He doesn't want a lush countryside and happy laughters to remind him of what he'll never have. He wants a cold place, devoid of emotion and life, so as to feel as little pain as possible.
Ideally, there'd be some windy place around it, preferably with some trees, where he could walk and wander by foot without being disturbed.
Damien will grumble about any remote location, and spend as much time as possible with the other warriors and the turb, trying to have them ascertain his skill and manifest destiny. Still, he takes pride in his duty, and will be there if asked or if he feels he's needed (like if people approach the covenant).
Gerard will befriend as many people as possible, enjoy good wine, and try to find himself some ladies with which to spend time.
Marie will stay clear of the men, feeling relieved to be among so many women. After consulting with Hiems, who'll agree, she'll try to get a post as a sentinel, so as to do her duty and prove her usefulness without having to obey too much someone else's order.
Cecilia will settle in the kitchen like a general in conquered territory, taking charge with such skill and authority that no one will contest her supremacy (and subtly using intrigue is need be to divide and conquer. Her social skills and gossip will quickly win hearts anyway. As time passes, she'll become the center of a hub of concersation and gossip, aware of most that goes on at the covenant. She'll also reactivate her network of agents.
Raoudha... Will come later.
**Editted - realized after Peregrine's post there's no way I know how to get out of the regio either, so... I'm storming off on Right Side, NOT looking at Serrano's wagons and troupe family but imagining"
As Amos leaves the library and the target of his ire, his back unstraightens and he seems to visibly shrink, his strides getting shorter into an almost shuffle all the while quietly muttering to himself, "Leave for all I care and good riddance. Who needs you heathens anyways? Filthy scavengers, as likely to loot the Church that grants them sanctuary, blesssings be upon the poor naive souls that take them in. Equipment and voting sigil, Ha! Like anyone cares..." His shuffling steps get slower and slower until he barely looking moving forward, his anger now completely gone, and he starts violently looking and spinning around. "Jamie, Jamie, where's Jamie, Jamie would care. Explain to the Archmagus..." his eyes wide as saucers now as his thoughts quickly flickers to Serrano's wagons and troupe family, still unpacking since they are unaware of what's transpiring in the library.
"God damn it I'm so screwed." The diminutive magus takes five running steps and suddenly stumbles and stops, gripping his cross in his right hand.
"Forgive me Lord for taking your name in vain." NOW he runs, frantically looking and calling for any of the Covenfolk that understand Latin that can direct him to where in whichever world Jamie might have taken off to...
A thick tentacle, covered in grape leaves, leaps forward, startling Amos completely.
"Assalamu alaikum, devout one. I am Abdul Kareem Jamaal Vintner. Do you seek assistance? Several more vines leap up into the air, undulating, searching. "I sense none of The Impatient nearby. Are you lost? Your antithesis is conversing with me, over there. Another newcomer sits by the wall. The Palacio is further ahead down this path. No others have been this way."
Several further masses of tentacle-like vines wrap themselves into three arrows, making an unsettling stretching-and-squeezing noise as they do so.
It is hard to find an area that is not covered in vines. Cygna does find a spot, though. After a few minutes, she can feel something stroking her hair -- one of the thinner, greener stalks of the thick vines.
There, there, dearie. That was quite a row those two had. I do hope they make up. Little Jaime needs as many friends as he can find.
"AHHHHH!! DON'T TOUCH ME!!" Amos screams and then immediately tries to flinch away, wildly looking around for the hand trying to grab him. Looking down, he blushes in embarrassment. "Oh. Oh, apologies, umm... good Vintner. Abdul Kareem Ja..."-blinks-"that's a heck of a name. I apologize for my reaction to your touch and greeting, I'm a little... umm.. sensitive." He looks up at the three arrows, then down at the vine closest to him, then at some of the other shifting vines around him, with a perplexed look on his face. "I'm not sure which direction to face to talk to you...? Anyways, umm... I really need to know where Archmagus Jamie is, and I guess as you say he did not come this way, I will have to search elsewhere. Unless you know?"
Amos does a little half-bow towards... pauses... the general direction of the vines and backs up two steps, fairly unnerved in his frantic state, and something else clicks in his mind. "Oh! Antithesis! You mean Serrano! Beware of him! I think he cares more for your magical essence than any possible salvation! The bastard... beware! That's why I have to find Jamie! I mean, I don't think you have to worry right now-my actions may have been... precipitous and in the end self-damaging but I still believe justified," his face kind of crumbles. "Or am I just trying to justify it to myself and my pride? Oh, Lord, give me strength."
"Yes, it is quite a mouthful, I'm told. It means "Servant of the Most Beautiful and Generous One, Whose Progeny Are Crushed Beneath the Heels of Man and the Blood Of Their Corpses Is Left To Rot in Bottles. I picked it myself. Do you like it? I believe Margeurita said Senior Jaime was going to the Cave Between Worlds, where you entered from.
"Oh, and thank you for your concern about propriety. Very few people ask so directly, and it makes me see that everything I've heard about you is wrong."
"Serrano? Vivacia said that Yana told her that Shante heard from Charles that you kicked Serrano out of the covenant so you could be free to have sex with burning idols of the Christian God! Now why would you do that? He seemed a likable fellow, and he brought a priest along, which the humiliores could certainly use. They lost their own at the battle, and have been untended these last six months! Though, I heard from Ricardo that Zane said that Fidelia had thought the man a bit lecherous. Anyway, the last I heard, he was stumbling about the caverns, trying to find the way out. He's fallen into a giant pit with some kind of weird anti-magical shielding and is about to be eaten by a grue. Anyway, I didn't mean him. I meant the one who is as cold as you are hot. He's standing over there, flirting with one of the Vintners...
OOC: Quick cut scene over to Hiems. Hiems, what are you doing at the ruined tower?
"I mean, the nerve of the man! He watched you trounce that fellow so you could pollinate with inanimate citizens at will, didn't lift a finger to help! And now, not ten minutes later, he's flirting with one of the vines! Has the man no shame?"
"Yes, yes... umm.. it's a very auspicious name," Amos blinks in some confusion. "Since you chose it, you seem to be growing into it quite well. The Cave, you say? Thank you!"
"Huh? There's a second priest here besides Father Pierre? And a pit? A Grue?!" Amos quickly slips off his shoes and cross and crouches down. "I will be blamed for sure and, more importantly, I would never wish to be the cause of someone's death! God gives everyone multiple chances. I apologize Jamal but I must go post-haste to the caves then! Sorry for cutting this short - this form is faster!"
He grabs his robe hood, pulls it tightly over his head, and concentrates - his robe collapses and he turns into a mottled brown kestrel. Stretching forwards a foot he quickly slips it through an amber ring that clattered to the ground and takes off towards the Covenant and the caves.
Viscaria decides to explore the caverns underneath the manor for a possible sanctum. She takes a few Warders with her for company.
Oh, Hiems is just happy to stand there, without people, just breathing and being quiet.
He'll wander through the place, taking the feel of it and exploring the old sanctum.
Once Cygna gets over the initial shock of having her hair stroked, she finds herself remembering fondly her childhood, when her mother would do exactly what the Vintner is now doing...except in Russian instead of (presumably) Latin.
[color=red]"Spasibo," she says absently before she remembers where she is. She then looks around to see who (or, in this case, what) is stroking her hair. Being a relatively bright girl, she quickly figures it out.
[color=red]"Sorry...thank you," she says, looking in the direction that the voice seemed to be coming from. [color=red]"And yes, you're quite right, that was unacceptable. Coming to blows over something that wasn't even in the Charter to begin with? Seems rather childish to me." She sighs in exasperation.
[color=red]"Oh, I'm sorry, where are my manners? I'm Cygna, I'm one of the new magi that answered Jaime's invitation.
"And I'm afraid that I'm actually from England, so I'm not familiar with the goings-on here in Castile. Has it been very long since Jaime's friends...left?"
The vines withdraw from your icy presence, leaving you free to enter and explore. The first floor of this Spacious sanctum looks like it was used to entertain guests, with a small seating arrangement, tapestries on the walls and floor, and an armoire with some (broken) bottles of liquor and such. There are also two cots, such as servants (or apprentices?) might sleep on, in a pair of alcoves. All of the furniture is slightly charred. A doorway which once had a sanctum marker on it leads up to a heavily charred bedroom befitting a magus.
The third floor holds the blasted remains of laboratory. The roof is gone, though it looks like their were once stairs leading up to it. Much of the wall is gone. It is relatively clear of vines, unlike the lower floors, but this may be because some of the third floor is still glowing red hot.
After a casual inspection, it seems clear that you could convert the lower two levels into a perfectly reasonable Spacious sanctum, though there is much charring and weather damage. The third floor could be still be used as a lab, if you were willing to accept its flaws (eg, Deformed, Exposed, and Afire, or some set of V/Fs that you choose. 4 of the 5 existing labs get a Minor Virtue, which doesn't have to be Spacious, if you don't want it to be).
If there is any of the Vim Vis that Jaime mentioned which was not consumed in the explosion, it must be hidden. (Requires specific actions and rolls)
I'm Margeurita Vintner, my dear. The place has been practically deserted since last Summer, when they left on campaign. It's been decades, and they still haven't forgiven Rafas."
Margeurita will, if encouraged, explain the history of the Covenant, but like all grapevine, is prone to embellishment and wild supposition. Ask some specific questions, if you have any. You'll need some kind of appropriate roll to discern truth from fiction for every three questions you ask.
Hiems recoils before the fire. No way is he approacching that!!!
Exposed might actually please him, at least for a while, especially as he is immune to mundane temperatures.
OOC: Is this fire magical, or can I put it out through magic, even if he has to cast spells an entire month to quell it? Spacious is great, but Afire is a no-go. In fact, I was gonna go for the reverse, with a frozen tower and lab
Well. This could be better. But this sure could be worse, and I'm sure it'll be able to get improved in time, it at least I can stop these flames. And at least, I'll have some peace, maybe. And the night.
He enters the magus quarters, sits somewhere, and just stays there, overwhelmed by sadness and emptiness. After a while, he'll feel better and go, but for now, he just needs to be left alone.
Cygna, I think, doesn't know yet to take what the grapevines say with a pile of salt, so she will listen politely...and slowly grow more incredulous.
Questions I think she would ask:
[color=red]"Jaime mentioned this 'Rafas' person, and had some rather choice words about him as well, but didn't really say what had gone on." (yes, technically not a question, but I'm hoping Marguerite is intelligent enough to pick up the hint)[/]
[color=red]"I notice both Sharae and Claudia were wearing the same...thing," she pauses, with no clue as to what it's called. [color=red]"Is that the fashion here? And, I pray I don't sound ignorant, but how does one tell them apart if it is?"[/]
[color=red]"Are all the grapevines here, and on the Right Side, as intelligent as you?[/]
[color=red]"I hope this isn't too personal a question, but Jaime seemed rather choked up when he mentioned this Cersei woman; was she his...?"[/]
[color=red]"Are the Warders always visible?"[/]
[color=red]"I take it that, before we came along, the magi were all extraordinarily amicable?"[/]
[color=red]"Has Jaime always had a bit of a temper, or has that been somewhat recent?"[/]
[color=red]"Do the Vintners lie entirely in the covenant, or does your influence extend beyond the walls as well?"[/]
[color=red]"What languages do you speak?"[/]
Okay, that's a nice even nine questions. Soooo...Folk Ken, then?
1: Folk Ken 2 + Per 0 + Die Roll (1,7) 14 = 16
2: Folk Ken 2 + Per 0 + Die Roll 4 = 6
3: Folk Ken 2 + Per 0 + Die Roll 3 = 5
Margeurita explains that the Lannister-vs-Rafas conflict started long before she met Jaime. There are many, many theories among the grapevines as to what caused this, and Margeurita seems to believe all of them, but you sense that none of her explanations are accurate.
Claudia wears her outfit to cover her horrible scars, the poor dear! She mentioned many theories on why the lab accident happened that caused Salamandrus to explode in his lab, but they all seem unlikely. Sharae must also be wearing hers to cover up some kind of deformity. She started wearing it a few years ago, when her body started developing strange protrusive bulges on her chest and just above her legs. (Cygna realizes that she means Sharae started wearing them after she hit puberty). Margeurita doesn't understand why you would need to look at a person to know who they are.
Despite her protests that she is clearly the most intelligent grapevine around, and not prone at all to passing on silly unsubstantiated rumors like the rest of the grapevine, Cygna figures out that most of the Left side grapevines, though not all, either are Awakened or will Awake someday. Some of the Right-side grapevines can talk, and move, but much more slowly than in the regio.
Jaime, Tyrion and Cersei are all fruit born of the same tree. Jaime and Cersei are grapes from the same bunch, and fell from the vine together. The Vintner's understanding of human relationships seems clearly flawed, though, because among her many stories of their behavior together, some sound like more romantic than sibling-like, and by this time Cygna has learned to take everything with a grain of salt.
The grapevines don't seem to use sight the way humans do. All undead are always visible to her. Which is nice, because it helps her do her job.
She also relates a pile of stories about conflicts, great and small, between the magi of Phoenix covenant. She particularly relishes stories about the Certamen challenges, which she describes very luridly.
By this point, Cygna is realizing both that the grapevines are prone to gossip and that they aren't very human at all -- being creatures of Magic, they are concentrated mystical force of nature, unlike the Fae who are borne somehow through humanity's attempt to personify natural events.
If you would believe her, and you don't think you should, Jaime can literally explode into a flaming anger.
The Vintners come from the Regio, but could be borne of any grapevine anywhere in the world.
She does not understand the question. Is there more than one language?
[color=red]Are there other kinds of undead than ones like the Warders? What we call 'ghosts'? Or are all the undead like them?"[/]
[color=red]So, if I were to bring a grapevine from England, and plant it here, then it's possible that it could become a Vintner?"[/]
[color=red]"We humans tend to speak different languages. Right now I'm speaking Latin. Did you understand me when I said 'sposibo' earlier?" She will say something in English and Russian. [color=red]"Was I speaking a different language then, as near as you could tell? And could you understand me?"[/]
[color=red]"Please forgive me if I offend you, but...how can I tell one Vintner from another? I'm really not used to dealing with people like you."[/]
Folk Ken 2 + Per 0 + die roll of 5 = 7, if I still need to make them.
Emotionally drained by Real Life right now, else I would try to convey this information in character. I apologize for not being up to that right now.
The Warders are ghosts that fight alongside the Vintners against the other ghosts and the rest of The Impatient. Like the Warders, most of The Impatient cannot be fought by normal villagers, but some can be. She thinks these creatures are not really The Impatient, but merely come from through the same hole (regio boundary?) as the others. Beyond that, she doesn't really pay attention to what kind of Impatient they are. It is not up to her to decide which are Warders and which are Impatient, but she knows without being told by anyone. She finds the whole subject dreadfully boring.
"I've never heard of England, but I think that all the original grapevine were planted in the manor estates." She quickly changes the subject to languages.
She understands you, regardless of which language you use. This vaguely reminds you of your own Animal Ken abilities.
*"Oh, it takes time, I suppose. We have the same problem with you. Can't even tell the Magi from the maids, I heard Tyrion say once...." and she's often again, telling stories about confusing one human for another.
By this time, it is getting quite late. You realize that you've been talking for hours. Well, listening, really.
By the bye, when she responds to my asking her questions in different languages, does she respond in the language I asked in, in Latin, or can I tell? (e.g. whatever language she's speaking, Cygna or whomever just...understands)?
It's probably getting well on, if not past, time for supper and Cygna's stomach is probably growling just a little bit. She will beg Marguerite's pardon, and explain that she's getting rather hungry. She will ask where the magi normally take their meals (if it's on the Left Side) or if she knows who to ask if it's on the Right Side.
If she needs to go to the Right Side, she will try to track down Claudia or Sharae and ask if they would be so kind as to guide her back to the Right Side so she can have some dinner, find where she's been placed, and call it a night. She feels a little bit bad for missing Mass that morning (since 10 March, 1213 is a Sunday) but supposed it really couldn't be helped since she was traveling, and resolves to make her way to the Christian church the next day and find out what's what.
The next day, she will start looking for a place to put her laboratory and residence.
You can't tell.
The vine has no idea about eating arrangements, and from this you deduce that it must happen outside the regio. You return to the library to get assistance crossing the boundary, and we'll let the others catch up.