6a Beyond the Valley of Mists

Octavian did travel after all. There was some slight confusion that I ironed out :slight_smile:

After a careful examination of the smoldering ruin, he finds no signs of Noscur's fate. He dwells not on the matter and seeks out the adults to compel one of them to take the child they saved under their care. Forcefully with Entrancement if he must.

He makes his way towards the pylon. The other members of the expedition sleeping peacefully there. After surveying the vicinity for any of Ludo's spirits, he approaches silently when satisfied with being undetected. He stops a few paces from the group, oblivious of the silver streaks that slowly roll down his cheeks. He finally takes seat against the pylon, his forehead buried in his arms that are supported against his knees. When he awakes, the streaks have pooled into a hardened crust of vim vis on the ground between his legs. He will collect it by scraping it off the ground with the tip of a dagger.

His eyes adjust quickly to the bright sunlight of Summer, and his skin has a copper tanned complexion that darkens his delicate features akin to a wood carving. Before proceeding to enact his parma, he removes the scabbard containing Roger's sword from his belt and lobs it gently towards Javier without a word.

Indeed. It is a magical sword, one of the treasures of Andorra. Without a word, Javier accepts it and straps the sword belt on. He then notices his hands, odd collored markings on them. He shrugs his shoulders and pays it no mind.

(OOC: would Octavian see it? If so... ) "Your hands. Show them to me if you please."

He shows you, orange callouses on his hands.

(OOC: Oddly enough, I think Javier has a better Magic Lore than Octavian does, and would have a better understanding of what this vis could be used for. Does anyone else have a score in Magic Lore? Has anyone else read the section in RoP-Magic where it talks about what you can do with this vis?)

OOC: Vares has a Magic Lore of 2 with a specialisation in Alchemy.

I do not have Realms of Power: Magic, however, so could you please relate the salient information to me?

Did I miss something? Is the Vis to be taken in the form of enchanted items?

The vis is located in your body or on your person, such as the Vim sweat of Octavian or the Ignem calluses of Javier. It could accumulate in your ring or talisman or some such as well.

You can use the vis as normal, or you can use it to achieve Transformation in the Magic Realm and gain new Virtues & Flaws.

what about the rest of you? How does the vis manifest for you?

OOC: Thanks for sending me the mail with the details.

Vares would naturally go for Transformation. I'll think about the exact form that it takes.

The Approach to Val Negra

The sky is a hazy read, the sun hangs low in the west, a large full moon dominates the eastern sky. The very air is brimming with power. The Magic Aura is 10, as it is everywhere in the Magic Realm, and you are within a level 8 Mentem Boundary. Thus you gain a +10 to all your magic rolls, +18 if it involves Mentem, and you have an additional 8 botch dice for Mentem rolls.

As for Vestiges, the place is full of them and those of you with Second Sight can see them everywhere. Vestiges are hyper real phantasms aligned with a particular Form. They encompass all 5 senses, but are utterly insubstantial to all but magical beings aligned with the same form. Vestiges are also very weird and inconsistent. Examples present here and about you include: a black storm cloud that represents a battle going on somewhere (Mentem vestige for their anger); a huge rock formation that represents a single rock somewhere in the Pyrenees (Terram); a black thorn bush that represents a whole forest on Mount Periditu (Herbam); a snake made out of fire that represents the Gift of some magus somewhere (Ignnem); and so on.

The Gates of Val-Negra
Though it is in disrepair and potions of it are in ruin; the walls and gates of the covenant remain intact. A stone ridge leads across a small chasm though an archway, the looming Black Tower hangs overhead, and the guard tower is manned by a solitary soldier. You don’t notice him until he moves in startled surprise in reaction to your approach. He blows a horn and then hoists three flags so you can see the symbols of the Order of Hermes, House Flambeau, and Val-Negra. Alexandro has Javier post the flag of Andorra on his spear, waving it in response

The guard is strange looking; his skin is stone grey and his features are expressionless, though his posture and body language indicates confusion and worry. He wears a red tunic over a leather hauberk reinforced with metal rings, and carries an axe in a belt at his side. But he doesn’t seem at all like the warrior type, not a soldier at all, more like an auxiliary.

But as you get closer, the real soldiers do appear. There has been trouble here as of late, and they are slightly more prepared than they were last time (back-story stuff that shall be revealed). The gates of black iron are lifted and the iron reinforced doors of black oak creak open slowly, and a score of similar soldiers with spears march out in procession. They all have the same grey skin, ranging from stone to steel or silver in hue. Two of the soldiers are wearing black chain-mail hauberks and carry sword and shield, obviously officers. The soldiers divide into two rows in order to let the Autocrats through, who come out and meet you. Two men dress in the finery of days long ago, twins, they stride forward with confidence and introduce each other (in perfect Latin, though slightly accented).

[color=green]Remus: [color=red]This is Romulus.
[color=green]Romulus: [color=red]He is Remus.
[color=green]Remus: [color=red]Welcome to Val-Negra.
[color=green]Romulus: [color=red]Welcome and Beware.
[color=green]Remus: [color=red]To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?
[color=green]Romulus: [color=red]And what is your purpose here?.

(OOC-Mechanics: The two of them are each radiating a passive Rego Mentem effect, an Aura of Rightful Authority. The Penetration value for this equals +31/+32 (one twin has a slightly higher might score). The each get a bonus of +18 for the Aura and Boundary, but you all get a +18 to your Mentem Resistance, so it equals out. Looking at everyone’s scores, it will briefly affect all of you except for Vares, but it will quickly dissipate as they demure to the natural authority of magi right away. But the custos will continue to be affected. It isn’t something they can switch off, it radiates as a natural part of their aura.).

Octavian steps forward, retrieving a folded official looking document from his possessions. He shows his credentials first to Romulus and then Remus. "I am Octavian filius Tiberius ex Tremere, quaesitore of the Order of Hermes." He intones carefully while observing if they react differently to any word in particular.

They pass the paper back and forth reading it and looking at each other. Then speaking in unison, they say [color=red]"Come in, we have been expecting you" :smiley:

He reclaims his documentation. "Myself specifically or a quaesitore of the Order?"

Vares observes and notes the Vestiges that flow around them. Were circumstances otherwise he would concentrate on studying them in more detail. Perhaps, should matters be arranged to mutual satisfaction here, that can be a future project.

The strange guards are much as has been described. Vares feels the wave of influence roll over and past him--and sees it affect the others. He would not presume to cast his own spell on another, however, it is something regarding the "casual" treatment of the Code in this place.

When it comes time for his own introduction, he says, "I am Vares filius Antoninus Exupereus of House Flambeau."

In response to Octavian's question; Romulus and Remus look at each other with slightly puzzled looks.

[color=green]Romulus: [color=red]Were you intending to be someone else?
[color=green]Remus: [color=red]I suppose the answer is yes in each case, as well as no, or possible yes and no, or no and yes. It all depends on how you approach the question.
[color=green]Romulus: [color=red]You seem to be a very complicated man.
[color=green]Remus: [color=red]Your sodales as well. . He scrutinizes all of you, looking for any identifying symbols or heraldry, then Vares identifies himself.
[color=green]Romulus: (specifically addressing Inigo and Vares) [color=red]Sons of Seneca, I am Romulus, Autocrat of the Interior. Follow me and I shall lead you to the Inner Chamber to meet with the Primus.
[color=green]Remus: (to Octavian and Ludovicio) [color=red]Magi of Hermes, I am Remus, Autocrat of the Exterior. Welcome as guests of Val-Negra. Follow me and I shall find one of the other magi to meet with you.

Romulus' words echo of the histories that have been handed down in Vares' own tradition--histories containing the 'true' story of Flambeau, student of Delendar. "Then Val-Negra is still Domus Magnus for all Flambeau." His tone is a statement, not an interrogative.

To the other, non-Flambeau Magi, Vares says, "We'll meet with you later."

He pauses for a moment, thinking to ask of Romulus, "Has one calling himself Metron approach Val-Negra?"

[color=red]The Traitor? He was held prisoner here for a while, but he managed to escape. Your tavelling companion, I believe his name is Luigio? He was played for a dupe. Vanacastium hold him no ill will, and has stated he shall be left in peace. All that is desired from him is information.

As for your other statement, this is the rightful Domus Magnus of Flambeau, for this is where the Primus resides. Vanacastium is the lawful Primus, Teritious is an imposter.

(note: Teritious was Primus just before Garus, the current Primus, and Flambeau tradition since the Schism War holds that wherever the Primus resides is the Domus. Vanacastium is the eldest of all Flambeau magi, and he never abdicated his claim the way other old Flambeau magi often do. And yes, Flambeau was indeed named Reculed Seneca and Delendar was his true master).

"I am who I am." he responds simply.

He raises his hand to interrupt. "If I may interject sirs. I am on official business so would request private audience with the leader of the covenant. Particularly as it pertains to Metron and Master Abaddon."

Romulus would have waited until you were separated to answer Vares question, so Octavian is unaware of any mention of "the Traitor".

It is Remus you are dealing with now, Romulus will only pay attention to Flambeau magi, Remus only to non-Flambeau magi.

[color=red]You may speak with Vanacastium after he has held audience with his fellow Disciples of the Torch. He will discuss the Traitor with you, I am sure he is keenly interested. As for Abaddon, um, well, I advise that you try to avoid him at all costs. That will not be possible though, and he already has his eyes on you. Remus points out how there are skulls embedded in the walls, and their eyes flicker with light. Abaddon is watching you.

Octavian will have interrupted before being split up but too late I suppose.

The Tremere remains unperturbed by the skulls as his gaze is directed towards them. He turns to the custos and bids to follow.