6a Beyond the Valley of Mists


As you sleep on the Moss Covered Pylon, you all have the exact same strange and eerie dream.

You see a young girl playing in a vast green field. The sun is shining down brightly upon her, and the wind smells of roses. And she has a playmate. It is a being of pure fire, a man made of smokeless flame. They are laughing and playing and enjoying the springtime sunshine. She calls him Old Man, which is also his Old Name. As they stroll through the field, the sun follows her wherever she goes. She casts no shadow. But the man of fire does, and it grows larger and larger as they walk further and further.

Then the scene shifts. You are running frantically through catacombs and labyrinth, corridors lined with skulls that have eyes staring at you from every direction. Everywhere is darkness, though your senses are unhindered by it. You have become the darkness. And you here his voice. He is coming for you, the Angel of the Abyss!! But before he can reach you, you find the thing he fears the most. A massive Iron Door, and your persecutor fears what is behind it more than anything in existence. You grasp the handle, piercing all barriers of resistance, and throw it open wide and free.

And you find that the prisoner is you. Now free, you step outside and stand again looking in the vast green field. Although it is no longer spring, it is now autumn. The sky is red and the shadows of storm clouds gather in the west. The sun hands low in the east, it is rising to battle against the coming storm of darkness. The girl now stands alone on hill, hair fluttering in the wind, radiating with light as she prepares for the battle to come. But which side shall she take? Which is the path to choose?

But suddenly from behind, the Iron Door closes shut upon you. You turn around and find yourself still locked within. You pound upon the door with all your might, but you are as weak as a kitten. Try as you might, you can’t put any force behind. You struggle to shout, but you cannot make a sound. You know you are dreaming, you remember going to sleep on the pylon. You figure that if you could only shout, you could wake your sodales and they could help free you from this cage.

And then you do, you all wake up mumbling incoherently for a moment, then your mind clears and you become focused and awake. You are on the other side of the valley, beside a road of black gravel. You can see it leads up alongside a winding ridge, leading up high to the Black Tower f Val-Negra, perched on a cliff overlooking the valley below.

The Zodiac has switched to Cancer and it is now summer season. All of your spells and effects of a duration of less than a year have expired. You have to perform your Parma rituals and other preparatory spells and such. Captain Alexandro has the men set up a perimeter so you can do so at ease.

Just wanted to bump this back to the top

Ludovico stands in silent awe, looking up at the tower for several minutes, then prepares his parma and resets his usual spells and enchantments following suit with the others. When finished he immediately ascends aloft, hands outstretched he glides up into the air to gaze around at the grounds before them. A few moments later he glides back down to his feet to land near Inigo whom he gives a slight nod. [color=red]"From what little I can remember, it is as I recall. How would you recommend advancing?" He says, the orange/red glow of Ordobos settling over him a few moments later, then erupting into a fiery aura like before. [color=red]"Last time I came here I was moderately well received. I'm not certain at all what kind of reception I might receive this time, though my general feeling is relatively bad if not violent."

Inigo closes his eyes, taking a moment to shake off the too-real dream that seems etched inside his eyelids.

He opens them again, and surveys what is before them.

[color=red]Carefully, Master Ludo. We shall advance as we can. Let us press forward for now, and if we find we are in danger we shall respond in kind.

You follow the Black Road uo to the Black Tower. Apromor was powerful, but not very original :laughing:. Originally the valley was discovered by Flambeau's mentor Delendar, Flambeau himself established the Covenant and Tribunal, and it was Apromor who built it up to glorious heights. However, only the Black Tower remains strong and intact. here are several other smaller towers of various designs, and they are crumbled with age (though perfectly preserved in their crumbled state).

It is not long before you get to the gate. Any discussions before then about the dream the expedition or anything?

Vares watches the dreams from within and from without, his mind searching for the hidden symbols behind each of the figures, some distant part of himself wondering if it is memory, prophecy, and blending of the two--or something else. Messages, perhaps.

The instant upon awakening, he focuses on the dreams, imprinting the pieces and shards into a mosaic in a room within his mind, each a key leading to further details, preserving whatever insights might be contained within them.

He stares up into the heavens, noting the change in the Astrological Sign and the "season". Carefully, he tests another Creo Ignem spell to see if the Duration of a Minute expires, or if spells here last indefinitely as well.

Listening to Ludoviccio, Vares asks, "Were the dreams the same? Was there anything within it that you remember from before."

To any and all, "There could be a warning at the last. Escape as an illusion. That is what happened with Tagelyn."

Spells of duration Diameter or greater will endure for the entire season, spells of a Year duration are effectively permenant. However, crossing the Twilight Void always ends spells and effects, regardless of duration (the exception being constant duration effects and powers).

Yes, analyze the dream. It may have more meaning to some than to others, but no one of you has the perfect understanding needed for full interpretation. Some parts seem obvious to some people, other parts are perhaps strange and obscure. Is it memory or prophocy? Or both?

Experience and other Awards

With the end of the season, you rightly deserve your seasonal advancement totals. You all gain 7 experience points from your activities in Barcelona, and 5 pawns of vis in lieu of xps for your short but exciting time in the Magic Realm. The vis is because things are static and unchanging in the Magic Realm. You do not age while here, but it will catch up with you once you return home. You don’t have need of actual food or rest, though you cannot recover fatigue or heal wounds without them.

The experience points should be spent on activities undertaken while in Barcelona. This can include any Ability you used on or off stage, or any Art you used in active play. For example, Octavian might choose to spend points on Intrigue or Leadership; Inigo might spend them on Leadership or something he used in Certamen (Perdo, Ignem, Parma Magica, Penetration, Finesse); Vares and Ludo as well. Order of Hermes Lore and Etiquette (or other social skills) are also good choices. And at Carles shop, it is possible to pick up an xp or 2 on just about any odd thing. You guys choose what you think is best.

The vis must be of any one single type, and you are allowed to choose what kind it is and the form it takes. The vis manifests on your body or in things upon your person. For example; Corpus takes the form odd colored calluses or select hairs that become incandescent. Optionally the vis can manifest in personal possessions; your blade takes on a strange hue or the gemstone in your ring starts to glow. You can use this vis however you wish as normal, or you can use it for special study later on :wink:

You all also receive Confidence points. I think I have been stingy with Confidence, because ArM5 page 20 says that a character should be receiving 2-3 points of Confidence per session. I am not sure what constitutes a “session” in a PbP game. But anyway, I am giving you all a point for having contributed to the group goal of getting here, another point for success in a difficult task, and third point because you all played awesomely.

Just to confirm, all of this would have been the "spring season" right?

Yes, Spring season is finally over

Ok, well I'll spend 2 xp in intrigue and can i take 5 XP in my mystery lore seeing the revelations by Fuego to try and pressure Octavian into participating?

What Mystery Lore? The Knights of Seneca are not a Mystery, and Fuego has nothing to do with your specific cult. He is part of a cult involving Astrology & Alchemy such as Vares is. Is this what you are interested in? I will allow 2 xps towards that at max (as it is a mild exposure).

I'm referring to the mystery I'm initiated to that we discussed a long time ago at the start of the game. the conversation we had where he revealed how Abaddon was supposedly a former member and such. If it's mild exposure that's fine. I'll go for intrigue and that for 2 xp.

Oh! That Mystery! Okay. I was researching your background not to long ago trying to think of what I could do with that as far as story ideas go. Then i forgot :blush:

What kind of vis are you going to choose and how does it manifest?
Alexandro and the grogs have accumulated vis on their person as well :wink:

OOC: I'm taking it as vim vis since I'd like to eventually enchant the talisman with some abilities and I have a feeling metron might have some more surprises left over and the iron door might require some sort of demon or magical beast warding

IC: He removes his long coat to bury Roger's corpse. He occasionally acknowledges the spirit as it tries to engage in conversation with him but he is characteristically silent for the most part. Once his task done he takes inventory of the custos' belongings. The chain mail is too heavy to simply lug around and so he buries it out of the way elsewhere and will recover it later. The magical blade he keeps for now, slinging it on his own belt somewhat uncomfortable with the weight on his hip. Any other valuables he will wrap in cloth before inserting them into his bags so he doesn't accidentally mistake them for his own.

He makes his way over to his discarded coat and picks it up, draping it over his shoulders as a cloak. He picks up the bag Metron inadvertently discarded and begins to peruse the contents as he searches for signs of Noscur in Perdu. He starts with the destroyed guest house. A slight glimmer draws his attention. He approaches and slowly picks up the dagger he had discarded before separating with the expedition.

Wait, you separated from the expidition? I was unaware of that!

This places you in a great deal of danger that is not really part of what I had forseen. However, I do play sandbox style and I will let you do as you see fit. But, from SG to player, I am warning you that you are making a most unwise decision. I mean, this is not the end I imagined for Octavian at all.

And the season does not end for you. You will wind up watching them sleep on the pylon for a very long time. If you sleep elsewhere, then time moves and the pylon moves to the other side of the gorge. You will have to rely on Second Sight for travel, and a bad roll...
well, you are taking unnecessary risks. Think Tremere docterine. Even if you disagree with leadership, you should still show solidarity with the unit.

Well I replied to you in PM about how Octavian perceived the situation but you haven't replied.

That's why I prefer public to private. I loose PM's all the time. Let me dig into my box and see if I can find it.

nevermind. Um, Alexandro had a private talk with him and rallied his morale :smiley:

OOC: Octavian didn't travel to Val-Negra with the others? I wouldn't think that they'd leave him behind. The other Grogs would definitely be adverse to the idea.

I saw that he was going to bury Roger's body, but that was when the group was about to receive its "rewards" from the community. Presumably, they would have spent at least a few subjective "hours" there before leaving, giving Octavian time to finish.

I'll have to look to see what Vares might have learned. Probably Lore, though he was studying esoteric documents as well. Vis will probably be either Creo, Intellego, or Mentem.