2.4 - Interlude

(in case anyone else is obsessive enough to have their characters do stuff the evening of the first meeting into the next morning like I am).

The evening of the first council meeting, after the meeting has adjourned, Cygna will chat with Viscaria about Jews Golems and the Art of Memory. She will even demonstrate if Viscaria wishes, although the only things I have slots for her at this point in time that she is willing to share are The Ballad of Tristan and Isolde and the path through the Regio boundary (the pamphlet, she is going memorize the next day, when she has a chance to read it, and the body of evidence she's keeping to herself).

Afterward, she will track down her maidservant Celestria and one of the humiliore servants and try to find out where they can go to bathe (as Jaime had mentioned that the humilores bathe regularly). She feels funky, as she has not had a chance to bathe properly since leaving Riversedge almost a month before. Once she finds a humiliore, she will ask in Latin and English where they can bathe. Since it's unlikely Random Serving Girl speaks either, Cygna will resort to charades to get her point across.

Celestria will bathe after she gets Cygna settled into her guest-chambers for the night, and then she's going on the prowl. Cygna has had her on a short leash since leaving Riversedge and she hasn't...erm...enjoyed the company of a man in almost a month. Worst. Dry spell. Ever.

So she's going to remedy the situation. She will wander the Right Side, looking for people of the masculine persuasion. I thought I had seen something about a tavern down on the docks, but I can't find it at the moment. If there is such a thing, hopefully she will stumble across it.

When she does find something, she is going to do what she can to get them into bed. She almost certainly doesn't have any language in common (speaking, as yet, only English), but as Ursula said: "You have your face...your looks...and never underestimate the importance of Body Language!". Her roll is Pre 5 (with Satyr Blood) + Charm 5 + Die roll of 1 and follow-up roll of 8 = 5+5+16= 26. Poor chap never had a chance :laughing:

The next morning, she breaks the news to Cygna that she has become the covenant's new head maid and won't be able to serve as Cygna's chambermaid anymore. Cygna takes it...not well, but doesn't fly off the handle. There is still loud discussion (plainly audible to anyone passing by the room, although they will have spoken in English), but not really any yelling and screaming.

My dear Cygna, have you forgotten about the Council Bath House already!? Or it's Cijaran counterpart, both of which you have to walk past in order to get from Left to Right.

Viscaria would have offered to finish the conversation in her new sanctum underground, but our non-linear storytelling precludes that, so she instead suggests that you have that conversation in the only other room Viscaria has spent any time in -- the library. The scriptorium girls are about, apparently excited at their new project. Assuming Cygna doesn't offer an alternative location, how does she want to interact with the others in the library? Avoid them? Include them? Viscaria seems to find their giggling mannerisms both repellant and attractive at the same time. Repellant in their tendency towards high-pitched squeals of delight over the most trivial matters. Alluring in the way they seem completely comfortable with her Gift.

What does demonstrating the Art of Memory look like?

I can't find it in the wiki anywhere either, but I do seem to recall saying something about an almost-tavern near the docks. So, I extemporize: Dockside is a simple affair, with a T-intersection designed primarily to keep crews from wandering inland. Both ends of the crossbar are cul-de-sacs. One end of the crossbar is all the undervalued, really smelly businesses, like the tannery and cooper-house, and the other end is a set of homes for crews and merchants to sleep in when they overnight. One of these buildings has been turned into a kind of wine-house, ostensibly for displaying/tasting the merchandise that is Cijara's lifeblood. In the off-hours, the existence of barstools has wrought inevitable changes.

The community is so over-worked and understaffed, however, that few people are there. A handful of the newcomers are here, including Gerard and Augustus. A woman who smells of goats, and a strapping Jewish young lad with amazing biceps are with them. All three of the men seem like worthy conquests, and it is possible, with that roll, that Celestria could get both grogs to give her what she's needing, right there in the wine house, once the locals pack it in for the night. Either that, or she could turn the young apprentice into a Man tonight.

When he's not on-duty, roll a stress dice. On a roll of 6+, Gerard is there, having fun, possibly with Amos adolescent guards (Yeah, he's taking them under his wing).
On a botch, he's somewhere outside vomiting, or is just passed out.

Should he stumble upon Celestria, the two should get along just fine. I can just picture him saying to Augustus and Brigitte something like "Sorry, lad and lass, but sometimes, a man just have to follow his luck :wink:"

(OOC: Funny, I wrote this before reading Amul. Seems like we're on the same page here :laughing: )

[Hey, he knows how to have a good time. That's what Celestria is.]

[color=red]"My apologies...it has been a very long day and I've no clue what the custom is here. I'm used to individual baths...although my uncle and father had built a bath-house when they first moved to Riversedge, but they were the only ones who used it. Are we all expected to use the same...bath, men and women alike, at the same time?" Cygna looks somewhat scandalized at the notion.

Cygna has no better ideas, so she will accompany Viscaria to the library. She's actually not quite sure what to make of the library staff. Fidelia's outfit seems almost sacrilegious, Daniela's almost cute (if somewhat immodest), and Sandra's is simply...oh my.

She won't go out of her way to include them, but she will listen with half an ear to what they're talking about...and trying not to let their childish giggling get on her nerves. She will greet them all...including Charles (whom she will greet in Russian).

Either something like describing the steps/methods to cross the regio boundary from memory or singing The Ballad of Tristan and Isolde, or trying to memorize either the library catalog or one page of it (depending on how long the catalog itself is).

Celestria feels much like a kid in a candy store. "I do think I'm going to like it here," she says as she licks her lips. Decisions decisions. So we turn to the dice (as Yakko chants "Wheel of Morality turn turn turn, give us the lesson that we should learn"): 2d6. On a 2 or 12, she decides one won't do; 3-5, she'll go with Gerald; on 6-8 she'll go with Augustus (who gets the top of the bell because he speaks English); and on 9-11, she'll go with the Jewish apprentice with the "omg he is ripped!" arms. And it looks like the winner is Augustus (8). She doesn't ignore the other two, she will flirt with them (even as she's seducing Augustus) and she's entering them into her mental little black book for future reference. She also keeps an eye on the goat-smelling girl, make sure she doesn't try to ruin her fun.

Gerard will flirt accordingly, just for the pleasure of it, and, when Celestria departs with Augustus, he'll have a loud laughter and slap his hand on the young's back "Congratulations, my young fellow! It was time you learned a thing or two, and it seems like you've found the perfect teacher. Enjoy yourself!"

And with that, he'll return to singing, playing and drinking until he doesn't feel like it anymore

"Oh, the humiliores usually bathe on different days, but that is just a matter of custom, I suspect," Ricardo Warder tells you slyly. "Here, let me show you the way. If you wish, I can, ah...watch out to make sure no one interrupts you."

Adorjan seems quite fascinated with them. "Indeed, there is something almost anachronistic about their wardrobe....I wonder..." Without a further word, he flows into the stone tile floor, and Cygna does not see him again for the rest of the night.

The goat-smelling woman introduces herself as Farihah al-Kasim, a goat-herder who lives on the other side of the river. She has many amusing stories about the stubbornness of goats, and a clear devotion to her pig, whose name seems to be Hen.

[color=red]"Perhaps in a bit, after I've visited with my sodalis for a bit." And after she and Viscaria are through, Cygna will make her way to the Bath House, while keeping an eye out for Ricardo.

Cygna looks for a moment like she's about to yell, then slumps her shoulders. [color=red]"Oh, bugger," she says.

Having settled in, Raoudha will be pleased to get reacquainted with the place where she grew up.
She'll begin an extensive tour of Phoenix, speaking to everyone, trying to discern our strengths and weaknesses (economically speaking), and what we may need to buy with our money.
She'll also quickly identify those who hold key positions (Fati, and Celestria, but also cecilia) and try to work with them: What do they need? Weapons and Armors for Fati? Clothes and fabric for Celestria? Grain and cattle for cecilia?
Finally, she'll confer with the representants of the 3 faiths, and try to gain some kind of support from them.

Viscaria needs stone to work with, as well as silver (along with Sophie). Tatiana needs gems, ivory, etc for the lapidary work. Hector needs glass-making supplies, either of the mundane variety, or the "dwarven ice-metal" supplies, including potash and such things. During this conversation, Hector mentions that he has two magic pots for growing trees suitable for turning into potash, and an extra magic furnace, should the blacksmith want to use it.

During this conversation, the human ex-slave who accompanied Hector to work as his potash-maker asks if he could have a warhammer, preferably of dwarven make.

"Hrmm....? Is something the matter?"

Viscaria actually knows very little about golems, beyond that they are a Jewish secret spoken of among the Verditus. She's quite interested in the Art of Memory.

[color=red]"It seems," Cygna says through thin lips, [color=red]"that my problem has decided to make itself the covenant's problem. He muttered something about the library staff's clothing, that it seems 'anachronistic', and then passed through the floor."

She then looks at Viscaria. [color=red]"Do you know if the library staff typically sleep in the same room?"

[color=red]"If you like, once we get settled, and I become a little more skilled, I can teach it to you, perhaps in exchange for your returning the favour some time."

"I assure you, Cygna. I see no such creature, and would be able to, were he able to affect me or my environs. The children of faerie creatures are so gifted. Their clothing seems no more odd to me than much that I've seen worn in faerie lands."

Danielle, pretending to purr while adjusting the cat-ear-like ribbon in her hair, answers Cygna from across the room. "Sharae shares a room with some of the other Muslim girls, but the three of us are the only ones left in the Christian servant's quarters."

"That would be excellent! Perhaps we could also hire a minstrel to teach us to sing together, someday? Shall I teach you to shape silver or stone? The ability to create the likeness of your targets is a great aid in penetration.

"Ah, and before I forget, let me ask another favor of you. While you are harvesting Vis from the Vintners, please bring the vines to me, and I shall use a spell to transfer the Vis into a more portable object. I suspect that the vines, once depleted of their vis, will be useful to me in my first project."

[color=red]"Are you telling me," Cygna almost yells as she wheels on Viscaria, gesturing madly at the spot in the floor where she had seen Adorjan moments before, [color=red]"that you didn't see...."

She then stops as the rest of what Viscaria had said sinks in. [color=red]"Wait...are you saying that you can see any ghost, spirit, shade, what have you, but only if that spirit has the ability to affect the physical world in some way? If you can't see him, does that mean that he's incapable of affecting any of us in any way...aside from annoying us to no end?" She then continues, almost to herself. [color=red]"If so, does that mean that he can control to whom he appears, and has chosen me alone so far? And will he appear to others if he so chooses?"

She looks over at the library staff, then leans in closer to Viscaria and whispers. [color=red]"Do you think their attire might be fae in nature, or at least fae-influenced in some way?"

Cygna looks at Danielle in amazement. [color=red]"Do you mean to tell me that you three are the only Christians left in the whole covenant?"

[color=red]"If you know such a spell formulaically, that would certainly be less taxing than my spontaneously casting spells to move the vis to one leaf on the vine. Do the vines you need have to have had vis in them at one time, or will any of their vines do?"

Viscaria explains how Second Sight works, to the best of her knowledge (Magic Theory 5, Second Sight 2). While Viscaria is quite certain that this means Adorjan is not actually there, what Cygna hears only seems to prove that Adorjan must be a powerful spirit -- Grus was a Master* Magus who specialized in Mentem, whereas Viscaria seems to merely be inexplicably confident of her abilities.

  • = unless someone tells me there is canon saying otherwise, magi are ranked thus: Apprentice, Journeyman, Master (able to open an apprentice's arts), Archmagus.

After a moment's consideration, Viscaria nods. "That, or perhaps somehow affected by the nature of this regio. The buildings beyond are hardly the work of any architect I am familiar with. They don't have any right angles!"

"Sort of," Danielle says, brushing her pleated maid's uniform out. "We're the only three Christians left who work in the regio, who are neither Warder nor Vintner. If you define the covenant as per the rulings of the Iberian Tribunal of 987, then yes, we are the only ones in the covenant."

"But," interrupts Fidelia, as she idly toys with the low cut neckline of her 'nun's habit, "If you define it by the more generally accepted usage of the term among the order at large, to whit, the area demarked by the /August of the Heart/, then no, we certainly aren't the only Christians still living within the boundary."

Viscaria blinks. "You mean the Aegis of the Hearth?"

All three of the girls giggle uproariously, as if they have just ensnared someone in an inside joke. "Oh, yes, we're sorry," Sandra lies baldly. "We've only ever seen it written."

This causes the girls to once again knock themselves out of their chairs in fits of laughter.

OOC Answer: Viscaria can come with and cast Store The Essence for you, but she's run by the SG, so somebody else has to actually play it out.

"I have the plans for a device known as The Bookstand of Hespera, an animated lectern of sorts -- have you heard of it? Given the mobile nature of the grapevine, I suspect it will resonate strongly for my purposes. Once made, I should be able to fashion similarly mobile and sentient furniture, to aid in the laboratory -- a tool box, or chest, for example. Thus, I will need cuttings which the magic has flowed through. Do you understand?"

Cygna, who is trying to ignore how much Fidelia reminds her of Celestria in a way, looks at the girls with a look of wonder on her face – as though she were thinking, "Wow...they actually know stuff?!?"

Cygna looks at Viscaria with a puzzled look on her face. [color=red]"I don't get it."

[color=red]"I've heard of it, and seen it (from a distance, anyway) in Crintera and Blackthorn. I do understand what you mean, though, and I will bring you the cuttings when I have them, that way you can focus what you need for the vis and take the rest for your work."

Vast OOC

There is canon saying so... And otherwise.

IIRC, this is the division used in the Rhine tribunal, but it is less used elsewhere, sometimes not at all.

Also, Archmagus is special, in that you have to choose to become one: Each archmagus has a challenge, and a magus can try to succeed at it in order to become one. If you're not interested, or don't succeed, you won't be an archmage, whatever your age and power level.

So, as far as I see it, in canon, you can perfectly use it in the mouth of a given magus, even in a tribunal where it isn't recognised: A magus from the rhine, or having spend time here, or having picked the habit from a rhine friend, will certainly use the terms, even if he's the only one to do so.