2.4 - Investigating the Refugees

Dawn of Saturday morning finds One-Eyed Maria, fully armed and armored, with her bow and her quiver slung over her back.

She sits on one of the chairs in the patio, patiently waiting for others who had volunteered (or been volunteered, more likely) to arrive.

She also thinks it would be nice if one (or more) of the magi came with them, but doubtless they all have things that they think are more important to deal with.

OOC[ Étienne would try to check with Ra'am well before leaving to see if he new Doublet of Imprenetrable Silk so he could go out and about without armor. Étienne would often go out on semi-dangerous errands armed, but appearing unarmored when working on behalf of his previous covenant, and this is something Ra'am would know given his closeness to Prospero and Étienne. And IIRC, this happens the day following the council meeting.
Ra'am does not know the spell, but has a chance of doing a ceremonial spontaneous casting of it Mu 5 +An 0 +Sta 2 +Artes 5 + Philo 4+1 +Aura 5 + die roll of big fat goos egg=22. 22/2 is 11 and it fails. Checking for a botch...no botch. Ra'am sends him off after the one attempt, since it ate up 45 minutes of time.]

Along the way to the courtyard he picks up the Rabbi and Levi the baker to come with.

Étienne appears in the courtyard followed by the Rabbi and Levi, the portly baker with a cloth sack of food. Étienne is armed with his falchion and whistling a merry tune of no particular melody. Upon spying Maria, he cycles through greetings in Norman French, Latin and Arabic. If unsuccessful he points to the Rabbi, who does Hebrew and Castilian. Hopefully someone comes along and can translate Latin into another language... Étienne vaguely recalls that Raoudha had mentioned a doctor coming along. Surely a doctor knows Latin or Arabic and the local tongue...

Maria would probably recognize Latin, even if she doesn't speak it, and will respond with "No lo hablo" (Castillian/Spanish for "I don't speak it." Presumably that will make Rabbi Ibrahim's job a little easier. (And, oddly, I just now realized that both of our rabbis have basically the same name).

"Good morning, Rabbi. I must admit, I'm a little surprised to see you here. I sincerely hope that this," and she will indicate Étienne and Levi with a sweep of her hand, "is not all that will be coming on this little foray."

Maria looks eastward at the rising sun. "I say we wait another half an hour for anyone else to show up, then be on our way."

She will look at the Rabbi and Étienne, waiting for a translation and reaction slash reply.

Ibrahim responds, "No, I don't believe that we will be all to come along. As I understand it from Ra'am, the magus I arrived with, some others are to come. My friend, Étienne, here doesn't speak Castilian, and I don't speak Latin, so we can't really talk very well with each other. Ra'am said Étienne told him that a doctor or someone was going to be coming with us as well. As far as I know, that's all. It is a mission to check on refugees, after all. I'm here in case they speak Hebrew, and he's here in case they speak Arabic. By the way, I'm Ibrahim."

Étienne continues whistling, and polishes his nails on his fine tunic for a bit. He has somewhat long flowing hair. the hair on his left side seems a bit unkempt and is brough a bit further forward. He's on the attractive side, but appears to take himself pretty seriously. After a bit of waiting he appears to be bored, finds a spot under some shade and takes a nap until others arrive.

Marie was there shortly after maria, but said nothing, did nothing, stayed away from the men and waited. She only speaks Occitan, but as (Lion and the Lily) Catalan is a specialty of occitan, she should have an effective language skill of about 4.

Esteban is thus probably the last to arrive, having been talked into it by raoudha. To clear up his objections about his arthritis, she managed to obtain him a mule for the travel, which he currently leads along him.
Luckily for us, he speaks both "spanish" (that'd be Catalan) and Latin, so he can translate.
He knows the leader is called Etienne, so that leaves Etienne, the rabbi, the baker... Screw the baker, and the rabbi is probably recognisable as such, so he'll adress Etienne. In Latin, because, to him, any educated man must know it (If etienne didn't have, he'd have looked down on him):
I was told to come with yu see upon some travelers safety, so here I am. If no one's left, I'd like to go. We're losing everyone's time with each passing moment.

Rousing from his nap Étienne responds groggily, "Yes, well, very good then. Sorry about that, I'm a bit of a night owl, and I had to see to everyone who came with my Magus Ra'am last night. See to their safety and comfort, that is, some of them don't speak Castilian, just like me. It will be a difficult transition for us all. As I see it, Roudha sent me on this mission because Ra'am volunteered me. I speak a bit of Arabic, and might be able to smooth some ruffled feathers and communicate a willingness for Phoenix to host the refugees for an indefinite period of time."

Yawning, Étienne continues."Let's get underway. If you could translate for me, and tell the warriors to come here. I want them in front, you and I will bring up the rear, the rabbi and baker with some food will be in the middle, and we'll chat a bit as we go. I need you close by to translate anything in a hurry. Tell them to stay within shouting distance. As Estaban is translating he'll drop his vain facade and pull his hair from the left side of his face and show them his missing ear to ensure that shouting distance for him is a bit closer than for someone else. Once that's complete, he'll offer to assist Estaban onto the mule, and then will walk along to Esteban's left. He'll also check to see that the pack mule with supplies that Levi or Ibrahim will lead is ready to go. He'd asked Raoudha to see to getting some supplies ready on a mule, as he'd be busy ensuring that the people who came with Ra'am were well settled the night before.

OOC: Étienne has the Nocturnal flaw. Of course, it helps with his favorite activity... :wink: Mornings, not so much. Since Étienne doesn't know the area, or even the people he's with very well, he's going to rely heavily on Intuition (virtue) to get him through this. If he was approached with this mission, by either Ra'am or Raoudha, or together he would've made sure he had some privisions for potentially hungry people. He'll do his best to ignore Vivienne, but she'll probably pop up at some point...

"Pleased to meet you, Rabbi. I am Maria, I came with the maga Cygna."

Maria watches Étienne as he soon grows bored and goes to take a nap. She's thinking either he's a seasoned veteran who knows how important it is to get what sleep you can when you can, or a punk kid who was out partying too late the night before and didn't get any sleep...and may still be drunk (or hung over), for all she knows. Probably the latter.

Maria remembers the quiet woman from the day before. She will make her way over to her and introduce herself (in Castilian), then ask how she's doing.

"Are we expecting nobody else, señor?"

Maria will line up in the front with the other soldiers, taking a position closer to the right than than left (i.e. either the center or left of the group). She will be watching (and listening) diligently, while also keeping an ear on any conversation that happens to go on in Castilian around her. She knows they're walking into an ambush, and she'll be damned if she doesn't spot it before it's sprung.

Marie is happy to see maria again. Her confidence is reassuring, and she prefers her than any male, warrior or not.

She had some trouble settling in, but is fine with very little, so whatever she has will do.

She'll tell Maria that she's a scout and an archer, and thus should be sent forward to spot ambushes and bring reports, not wait with the rest of the group, where she'll be useless. She doesn't want to bring this to Etienne, but hopes Maria will.

I don't know, I was just told to bring you my skills. I have no wish to burden myself with details of organisation, and was told the one named Etienne would see to that

(AFAIK, we're all that is)

Vivienne appears. She's well dressed, and showcasing her incorporeal bosom. "Well, hello, sexy. What does that Ra'am have you doing now? Wouldn't you rather be bedding some of the fresh meat available here? Word I've gathered is there is a maid around that will blow you britches off. She's a bit young for your tastes, though. But old enough, and oh so willing. Oh, and there are a couple of maga, if you're looking to satisfy that particular urge." She prattles on for a time trying to get a rise out of Étienne, of course, when he's busy, or on business he's used to ignoring her, as best he can.

Maria looks over Marie, to see if she really is what she says or is merely talking herself up. Folk Ken (Soldiers) 4+ Per 1 + die roll of 0)...um...no botch...so, total of 5.

Maria will sidle up to Étienne and let him know what Marie had told her. Of course, she hasn't (afaik) actually seen Marie in action, so she can't vouch for her ability, and thus will leave it to Étienne's discretion. But Maria is of the opinion that we shouldn't just one scout...it should be either two or none.

Étienne nods and shakes his head. "Pauci." Privately Étienne wonders why he's on this mission. It's incredibly difficult to lead when he doesn't speak the language. He'll ask Esteban to tell Maria there are two few of them to risk Marie going very far ahead. She needs to stay within sight and hearing distance if she scouts ahead. As Esteban translates Étienne points to his eyes and good ear to emphasize the point.

[OOC. So I'm kinda NPC'ing Esteban by doing this. I hate to do that, but Fixer indicated he'd have a decreased post rate, and I don't think Esteban would have a reason not to translate. It's in the interests of moving the story along, at which point there's probably more interesting stuff for Fixer to do with Esteban than translate.]

Maria nods. "I understand," she says simply, hoping that Étienne will be able to understand and pick up short phrases better than long sentences...and harking back to her conversation with Fati two days ago, the quicker Étienne picks up Castilian the better, if he's going to continue being in charge. Not that she resents his command (she's too good a soldier to resent executive decisions), she just wants things to go as smoothly as possible. And the fewer ways the Devil can find to muck things up for them, the better.

She then falls back next to Marie and relays what Étienne had told her. She then adds that she will stay with Marie, and that this was her decision and not her being ordered to.

[OOC: Stick the personality as you've seen it, and it shouldn't be a problem. He did mention he'd be offline, and this is a troupe style game.]

Where do you guys go, and how are you searching?

[OOC, This is something I wasn't clear on and was planning to sort out via dialogue, presuming that Esteban had been more fully briefed about the situation. I had understood that this was to happen the day after Ra'am and his retinue arrived. If that's the case, Étienne will have had very little time to prepare (essentially settling Ra'ams retinue), and was going to rely on intel from others in the group, presuming Esteban would be the one to know more about this situation. The Rabbi is traveling on Shabbat, because he thinks people are in danger and is seeking to provide aid to them, regardless of their faith. From what I can tell in the Merchant Arrives thread, it is in the hills east of Castilblanco where we expect to find refugees. Étienne can certainly pump Esteban for information, but I think it's a bit unsatisfying to pump him for information as Étienne and me fill in the blanks as Esteban. So, if you can give me some guidelines as to what Étienne can know, and who he knows it from, he can then act accordingly. Otherwise, he'll wing it acting on the hills east of Castilblanco looking for signs of refugees.]

Esteban has only arrived a few days before Etienne did, and knows very little beyond that his skills as a healer may be needed.

According to Raoudha and Ra'am, there may be a small camp of refugees lurking somewhere in the southwest, somewhere near the road to Castiblanco. With the Knights Templar set up in Castiblanco, they are worried what may happen if these refugees are discovered by Castiblanco forces. If these people seem trustworthy, then Cijara desperately needs the manpower. However, Cijara has no one but women, children and newcomers to guard the walls. If these people are interested in helping themselves at Cijara's expense, then they must not know how easy it would be to do so.

From Abdul Fati's report to the council a few days ago:

Reconsidering their mission, Étienne deploys their force as follows. He takes the lead, along with Esteban. He asks Esteban to tell Maria to stay in the back and appear to cover our rear in the event of a hasty retreat, and asks that Marie scout the area where the reported camp was, and do her best to stay out of site. If she sees any armed men she is to come back and report immediately. Otherwise she is to stay out of sight as best she can and provide cover fire in the event the rest of the party needs to escape quickly. He'll ask for advice, if anyone has a better idea, based on the information he relays to them to speak up. This could be very dangerous or it could be a refugee mission.
Unless anyone has any objections or additions to the plan, that's what we'll do.

Étienne will tie his sword onto the donkey that Esteban is riding so as to appear unarmed, and unthreatening.
Étienne gives Marie a 30 minute head start (or some smaller amount if the distance isn't so great to the reported camp) and then has everyone else move out.

(OOC: Arya, and Peregrine, we should probably discuss splitting up some characters here to provide the best experience...)

Thus the mixed team: Skilled fighters if need be, a representative of the covenant, a healer...

Yup, this is the kind of things you can assume without problem.
He's not malicious or else, and would not blur the meaning, so there's no need for me to "re-translate".
Being a translator is, on one side, demeaning, but on the other, it's an acknowledgment of his culture and education, so it flatters him that the groups depends on him.

This seems kinda stupid to marie, but, if this comes from Maria, there's probably a good reason to it. Maybe...
Nonehteless, she'll tend to be forward and look out for dangers, as much as she can.

(I don't have any characters besides my maga, though if refugees are Jewish she would very much want to go.)

Actually this is not how pikuach nefesh works. There are Gentiles who can (and are) going so there is no mandate for him to desecrate Shabbat. If the rebbe had some special skills which were both known to be necessary in the direct application of saving a life (i.e. someone is drowning and he's the only one who can swim, or if he were a doctor and none of the gentiles travelling were doctors) then there is no sin in travelling during Shabbat. I don't think any of this is the case, and "there are refugees who might be found by crusaders" is pretty abstract for trying to apply pikuach nefesh in the first place. If he goes, he is breaking mitzvot; any rabbi would know that.

Ibrahim sees things are well in hand, and since Levi isn't observant, he makes on comment to him specifically and returns indoors as the party leaves.