Mercuria of Mercere is at Doisettep, her aged mother resting in bed telling her tales of her youth. The fire is warm and bellies are full from a fine supper of game hens and carrots.
Outside a storm raged in the night, and the other magi of the covenant were muttering concern over some failure in thier portal network. A new hub that was being established at Andorra to bridge the Provencal and Iberian Tribunals, for whatever reason the first portal (from Barcelona) has failed. Redcaps had to take the long route to deliver their messages and sent an expedition to Andorra to check into the situation.
Word from that expedition was recieved not more than an hour ago. A call has gone out to find every Andorran magus abroad from thier covenant and deliver some urggent news.
Mercere's mother calls her closer to her bed.andorra' I am from there you know. A little town called Arans. There's a covenant there, or there used to be when I was a child. Oh, it was so long ago! I was just a girl, only child of a Redcap father. I followed in his footsteps and I have not seen my homeland in so very long.
Take me back there. I only have a year or two left on this earth. Let me sleep once more in the sun of the valley and be buries in the shadow of mount Arans.
(This prelude is aimed at Mercuria, but is also for any character that might be at Doisettep at that time. Especially Redcaps. The Andorra portal was destroyed and the covenant suffered a horrible attack. No survivors. There were a few Andorra magi that were not there at the time, and they need to be reached. Harco has put out a call for assistance in safeguarding the Mercere assets (the Redcaps there were also killed but their valt was left intact). The Quaesitors are informed, and have dispatched Octavian from Duresca to investigate. The magi of Barcelona said Carmen of Flambeau is in Valencia, renting Franc Several's townhouse. The Barcelona Redcaps are the one that went to Andorra and are first on the scene of the disaster, so they are busy. They need one of you to go
Do I have a volunteer?
((If word reaches Cunfin, and I suspect that it will in short order, Fédora will volunteer to move to Andorra to help them rebuild the Redcap network. She doesn't know if she'd be of any help in finding out what happened, but that's what the Quaesitores, Hoplites and Flambeaux are for.))
It is midnight in Duresca. Guillme of Flambea just had a meeting with the Quaesitors discussing the possibility of joining their ranks. Though he is qualified' it was pointed out that there are already three Flambeau Quaisitors in the region (1 each in Iberia, Provencal, and Normandy). Octavian of Tremere stood up for Guillme, pointing out his service in the Shadow Wars. They agreed to consider provisionally placing you as his deputy, then adjurned for supper.
Guillme was just getting ready to bed down when the commotion started. A Redcap just arrived with an Urgent message for Octavian, which sent the magi of Duresca into a frenzy (two hoplites went down into Duresca's Dungeon to check that Metron was still locked up).
A knock on the door. Guillme answers to see Octavian with his piercing green eyes flaring with mystical energy.
Come with me. Word has just come from Doisettep that a covenant of the Order has been attacked. They are forming an expedition to investigate, and I intend to lead it.
Octavian never mentions the name of the covenant, but someone else tells you. Andorra, where Octavian was once a member.
At the urgency in Octavian's voice and the message he conveys, Guillaume throws back the covers and leaps out of bed. He follows Octavian out of the room, without changing out of his robe. As he is passing through the doorway he glances back at Astrid, still lying in the bed. Silent words pass between them. She nods and begins to pack their few belongings.
"We will accompany you," Guillaume gurgles as he walks beside Octavian. His eyes are intense as he says this. His horrific scar is quite obvious as his nightshirt lies loose around his neck. "Have the other Hoplites been notified, or am I the first?" Upon hearing the others are already checking on Metron, Guillaume is at first content then worried. "Has it been considered that this may also be to lure Hoplites away from Metron in hopes of freeing him? We should not reduce the number of guards on him to augment the expedition. We'll have to get more support from elsewhere."
Only we two are going. You are the Hoplite and I as the Inquisitor. The Mercere are sending a half dozen Redcaps and probably a magus. All out of Doisettep where the new first reached ears of the Order. I have no Idea if the Flambeau at Castra Solis have been told yet. They don't share a portal with Doisettep. But when magic is involved, new such as this can spread accross the Order in a matter of mere days.
My main worry is Carmen. She was in Barcelona or somewhere around there last I heard. I don't know if she was there or not.
"Good. It would not do to have too many of us away." Guillaume ponders as they walk further. "As I am from Doissetep, I probably know most of those who are being dispatched from Doissetep. Perhaps we should go to Doissetep to accompany them on their journey?" Despite being friendly, his suggestion sounds perhaps a bit nefarious as it comes out in a raspy, wheezy manner. "Astrid is almost done packing the few belongings we have. We could depart very soon."
Indeed. There are portals here leading to Doisetep, Magvellius, and others. One was supposed to link Andorra next year. That needs rethinking.
Outfit yourself accordingly and draw a few grogs to accompany us. I shall meet you in the chamber of the Dozen Doors of Duresca in a half hour. I am off to the armoury to request the Rod of Inquisition, then to the library for a casting tablet we may need.
Octavian proceeds with calculated movment, as if he is thinking several steps into the future. A brilliant tactician, it causes him to seem detatched from the present and somewhat emotionless.
Not knowing the local grogs very well, Guillaume asks Octavian for any names he may prefer. He then turns back to meet up with Astrid before approaching the grogs. Better they be appropriately dressed first. Astrid actually speaks with the grogs on Guillaume's behalf to recruit several to accompany them; Guillaume stands somewhat in the shadows behind her, hoping not to frighten the unfamiliar grogs too much. Astrid tells them they'll be leaving from the chamber of the Dozen Doors in just over a quarter of an hour. Then the two of them head to the chamber of the Dozen Doors of Duresca to await Octavian and the grogs.
This shall then be the origin of any grogs you wish to gen up later
The Chamber of a Dozen Doors dates back before the Schism War. Only a few of these portals are still active, others destroyed with the covenants at the other end during that war. The Diedne had infiltrated the portal network, and a pitched battle took place in this very room. A squad of eliete guards and a magus now stand duty here at all times.
Commanded by a wave of Octavian's hand, the Door to Doisettep is opened by the guards. It seems so mundane, like you are looking to an entrance to an adjacent room. But that room is many miles away...
You step through and are greeted by the Pontifex of Doisettep.
As soon as she hears the news about Andorra being attacked, Fédora dresses and chooses her enchantments. She takes her Boots of the March, Bracelet Proof Against Steel, Bracelet Proof Against Wood, the Cloak of the Beaver's Fur, the Red Cap of Warmth (which is her Redcap hat), the Redcap's Bridle, and the Stone of Inspiration.
As soon as she's ready, she heads [strike]to Chamber of the Dozen Doors[/strike] down to meet the others.
[color=blue]"Good evening, sodales," she says with a slight Russian accent. [color=blue]"I hear we're having problems with one of the portals?"
Duresca has the Dozen Doors. Doisettep has a different set uo. Five portals, each in a seperate chamber. One leads to Duresca, one to Durenmar, and a third to (some other location). The Mistridge and Va-Negra portals are dead.
Anyway, the $#!+ gets dropped in your lap!
Here's the situation. Iberia has been working on building a portal network for seveal years now. The plan was for Andorra to be a hub linking the Iberian & Provencal Tribunals. A portal to Barcelona was established, and three more were planned for Doisettep, Estancia Escarida, and Bellaquin.
Someone tried to access the Andorra portal from Barcelona, it didn't work. So a pair of local Redcaps went up there on foot to see what was the matter. They found carnage. The portal tower was destroyed, fires and broken buildings, and no one left alive.
Fedora, you are now charged with the task of secruing the Mercere resources left intact there. The Quasitors are sending an investigator, aid him if you can but your priority is the Mercere vault. Draw a team as you see fit for the task.
And find Lukas. They need to send him to Valencia.
Guillaume, now wearing his breastplate, quickly greets the pontifex in the appropriate manner (slight bow, words of greeting, ... I'm not sure). "I assume you are acquainted with Quaesitor Octavian of Tremere. I will be accompanying him to Andorra," Guillaume says in his usual eerie voice. After a moment he and Astrid look into each other's eyes, and the brunette sets off for their chambers to collect the view personal things they have here. "How soon can we plan to leave?"
Since Mercuria lives at Doissetep, presumably she is made aware of what is happening? I am assuming Pythos and Lucas are off somewhere together. She will look to the injured Redcaps and find out all she can from them, and suggest to whoever is telling her about these events that they try to contact Pythos, as he might be willing to help.
EDITED TO ADD: She had probably been planning to transport her mother through the portal, but since there isn't one any more, she will have to do something else. In any case, she shouldn't bring her mom into the middle of a disaster. She should definitely accompany Fedora and the investigators to see the extent of the damage and do what she can for the survivors.
There was no portal between Doisettep and Andorra' there is (was) planned for next year. What is destroyed is the Andorra end of the portal they share with Barcelona. Some Recaps tried to go through and it didn't function. So they hoofed it there and discovered an attack had transpired. No one in that expedition was hurt. They just discovered a crime scene.
No survivors. The Redcaps posted there are all dead, but the Mercere vault untouched.
the Quasitors are sending an investigator
the Mercere are sending in a team to secure their resources
someone needs to go to Valencia. The magi of Barcelona say that Carmen of Flambeau is there, the last of the Andorran magi, and she doesn't know yet.
I was hoping to send Lucas, but Mercuria is the best available at the moment.
And I don't know whatt the situation with Amul (Pythos) currently is. He had a falling out with Jonathan Link in the Birbracte saga and I have not heard from him in almost two weeks.
When Guillaume gets a chance to talk strategy with someone taking charge or with the group headed out, he'll ask, "Did anyone bring an arcane connection to somewhere near Andorra back with them? If not, it could be that Carmen has one to within the covenant and could bring other connections to nearby back with her." Does his voice indicate he may do something sinister with such a connection? Or is it that he has seething dislike for someone here? Or maybe it's that nasty burn on his throat?