A New Morning (Spring 1234)

Both Roberto and Pere ere granted Journeyman status when we originally planned Mallorca and Ryu was still with us. So I suppose they have rights to be here and so on. But Robero spent all last winter and most of the spring here. But he has not set up a lab or sanctum. He wants to keep on with his tower in Ibiza. Heck, the guy knows how to teleport, maybe he just leaps back and forth everyday.

hat is really going on is some metagaming. I don't want Carmen and Roberto getting along at first, and I would only use one of them at a time in a particular story. In fact, I would prefer to use Roberto as my NPC storyguide character, because he is lower in status to each of you and his power level is more even (except for Vibria, who has dragon relatives so it balances out).

(Sorry for the disappearance, it looks like I missed a lot)

Solomon listens quietly as all of the deliberations carry on, showing little emotion as the other Masters speak. His eyes do light up as Arachne discusses her interest in binding the ghosts. "The binding of these ghosts to our service is not acceptable. These ghosts are the souls of the dead, and such the province of God, and his alone. To bind them to our covenant would be to steal from the their heavenly reward, or eternal damnation as commanded by Him. If we are to do anything, it should be to aid them in their journey to their rightful eternal home."

He then thinks for a moment, trying to remember something vaguely gnawing at his brain, "And I think I might know how to do just that. It had been my intention to propose an expedition for our covenant, and I believe these ghosts might be releated to that endeavor. Vulcanus approached me when he had discovered an ancient iron tablet that had survived the attack on Andorra. It turns out the 'tablet' was actually the lid of the tomb of a King Kush. The story is quite long, but the gist is that the lid was magically enchanted to protect the King. The king's eternal duty was to guard the entrance to the City of Brass and keep the malicious jinn there from entering into our world. When the lid was looted some 5 centuries ago, the lid's protection was broken and it enabled Malik of the ancient City of Brass to abduct the King's body and use it to summon and control the King's ghost. This Malik's influence continues to grow and will likely bring doom on much of the world. We have been asked by Prince Keshan, the king's son and a specter himself, to liberate King Kush and defeat Malik. We have been offered many riches if we succeed.

These ghosts I believe to be the soldiers of Prince Keshan who have been seeking out this tablet so that it might be returned to its rightful place and begin its service anew."

Sorry guys, I've been traveling for the past week or so.

On the topic of Roberto's proposal... I agree with Carmen's last recommendation. Hiring Arnau's men on is a good idea, but not as any kind of replacement for our current turb. We don't know Arnau and barely know Roberto, so he and his men can prove their loyalty by serving us in Mallorca just like the journeyman magi. As for convincing Roberto to go back to Ibiza, why is that necessary? Our covenant has a clearly defined hierarchy and he's subordinate to the council. If we want him on Ibiza (rather than Andorra), he goes to Ibiza.

On the topic of our new neighbors...Fedora, would you be willing to visit and investigate the new covenant in Pamplona? Given our improving financial situation and existing resources, we may be able to reach some mutually beneficial arrangement with them. Not allies necessarily, just friendly neighbors. Assuming they're amenable to it, anyway.

In addition to Marko's original list of hooks, Vocis is planning a trip to Transylvania to address some Tremere business and (hopefully) hire a full-time Hermetic-trained professor for the covenant. He's not averse to a traveling companion or two, but he will be flying and won't be able to transport anyone else.

Carmen nods. If no one objects, we shall go ahead and hire this Arnau and utilize his men as auxiliaries. We will make no changes with the Gold Gryphons and scrap the rest. Or table it and let Vibria consider it as Marshall, a Mistress and Officer of the council.
As for being a subordinate, I say it is better to lead by inspiration than by command. Roberto is a member in good standing and has the Rights of a Journeyman. I am painting a bad impression of him, and that is poor leadership on my part. I am busting his chops because he a Knight of Seneca, not in spite of the fact. I want him to succeed, but I want to make him do it the hard way.
And I think Solomon hit upon the best idea. We will get to that in a moment.

On the Road to Navarre?

I will take discussion about that to Table Talk.

You had me at the threat of doom o the world. But hat is the nature of this expedition? To take the lid back for them? They are unable to carry it?
Still, an expedition sounds like a great idea. A good leader leads by inspiration. I motion that this covenant funds your expedition, with you as it's leader. Take Roberto and his buddy with you, I am sure he will be eager. I'm all in(but deux ex machina, something will later come up so Carmen really won't be in). Who else? Vibria? Vocis? Arachne?. (Vulcanus has to stay at home with the kids while Fedora is out roaming around visiting here and there on duty).

Arachné squints

I am open to advice, and ready to take other's ideas into considerations. But you shall not tell me what to do with my time and my magic as if I was but a mere apprentice.
Now, to adress your concerns. The Tremere magi I've worked with hold the thought that ghosts are but echoes of the dead, especially as hermetic magic is unable to affect the Soul. Or do you really think that my spells, mighty as they are, could deny God's will?

Arachné answers at once.
I'm interested, of course. The secrets of King Solomon's magics... Although I don't think these old bones could handle the rigors of travel*. I probably shall have to translocate as much as I can

  • This is, of course, a lie, but Arachne likes to craft an image of weakness to go along with her apparent age.

Let us focus on that idea then. No need to dissolve into disputes about the proper care and handling of specters.

As for Mallorca, I am crunching the numbers, and it is barely profitable. To sum up, Barcelona has claims to a vis source on Sa Dragonera, near Mallorca. They encountered a reclusive meremaid maga who dwells under the shore, but she hasn't been seen since. There is also a regio in the city of Palma, and they sent their man Pere there to investigate.Roberto has a reputation for hunting pirates, Tiana brought him on for security. She cut the deal with BBarcelona and brought Pere on as well. Arnau was in the employ of the King of Aragon before he met Roberto.
And all that is just a mess.
We manage this vis site for Barcelona and take a generous split, bbut the cost of supporting off site resources and additional security concerns and staffing requirements and so on. It places things at barely the break even point. So unless we want to heavily reinvest in the affair and make it profitable, I suggest we allocate these resources elsewhere and minimize our participation.
That is why I like this expedition idea. Roebrto has a ship. Have Solomon take him and Arnau, myself and Arachne, and whomever else (Vibria, this is right up your alley, I promise you will love it*).
And this fits well with what I have discovered. I presume we will have to go to Egypt? Excellent. I suggest we shold make a quick stop in Cairo. You see, after that mission we performed for Vulcanus, I did a little investigating. I got our pen back by the way. Anyway, I had the creator of that Twilight wand tracked down by some friends of mine, a Verditius black market merchant in Sicily. After some "persueding", he revealed the name of his client.
Valten IV of Flambeau, the filius of an old enemy of my father, and a renegade wanted for questioning by Duresca.
He is holed up in Cairo they say, preparing an expedition to discover the secrets of Chaldean Sorcery.

So I figure we smash his head in real quick, and proceed from there to the City of Brass


[color=blue]"Of course," Fédora says with a smile. [color=blue]"I would be delighted to both serve as ambassador for my covenant and to serve my House."

Vibria blinks in surprise, as she keeps forgetting that she has Authoritah! now.

Vibria looks thoughtful at this point.

[color=red]"I thought there was a difference between a ghost or spirit or spectre or whatever, and a soul.

"But, yes, I would love to go on this expedition. It will involve being in the desert, right?" Vibria looks almost giddy with anticipation at the thought of spending time in a vast expanse of 130° heat.

It is so hot that rain evaporates before it ever touches the ground. In fact, it evaporates way up above your head. Whole cities and civilizations have been swallowed up by the scorching sand. That is nothing new, it is going on right now. Cities that were thriving and prosperous a mere few hundred years ago have been wasted and submerged, lost to time. What was a thriving oasis town a few years ago is now gone, vanished with barely a memory left behind. This was once the land of Ozymandaus, king of kings. This was once the breadbasket of Egypt which at one time fed Rome itself. Half dead now, burned, dried, a sandy husk of a one lush land.

These are all true facts, not mythica at all. Look them up. It is damn hot. And dry too. You will neet to take salt just to retain the moisture from the water you are able to drink. If any. Don't forget!
Vibria is immune to heat and flames. She can bask in the breath of a dragon and kiss the lips of the very sun.
But can she withstand Depravation from dehydration?
Granted, the heat won't dehydrate her. Maybe the ambient dry air, but that would be acting like a killer GM.
But I will rule that Vibria will need to be able to drink a large quantity of water just as anyone else (who would all benefit from using a Ward against Heat and Flames as much as the can).

(I would certainly make Vibria immune to the desert climate. Allowing her to take firebreath showers with impunity or sleep in a volcano but die dehydrated in a mere desert looks as correct as hitting your grandpa with a wet dirty sock. Xavi has spoken :stuck_out_tongue:).



I doubt anyone is going to die that way really :smiling_imp:

Arachné cackles with glee
What a nice surprise! I am eager to meet this Valten :smiling_imp:

Brrr Don't worry, Arachné fully intends to spend as much time as she can in the comfort and security of her home. No way she's gonna risk life and limb needlessly (Although I shall take a grog for the travel)

As I see it, she won't feel the heat, just like anyone protected by a Ward against Heat and Flames, but she still has to eat and drink.
The desert shouldn't make any difference on that, positive or negative, save with the sand: In a sandstorm, she'd have trouble, like anyone.
I believe there was a magi (Alexander?) in MoH who traveled the desert. He might be a source of inspiration.

There is that. Vibria could withstand any flame producing Creo Ignem magic of the Nth+ magnitude. But she is not immune to Perdo Aquam.
And the Sahara is no "mere" desert.

So in reality, the Sahara naturally contracts and expands. But in Mythic Europe, who is to say for certain? It might possibly be caused by a powerful god-like genie that has been unleashed. Or perhaps many lesser wild jinn set loose. Legend calls the Sahara "Allah's Garden", because of it's serene mystical beauty. The sand storms, dust devils, mirages, heat delerium and such; these all may in part be the source of many tales of the 'afrit.
The Encyclopedia of Earth adds

But this is all just to put it in perspective, to scare you all a little. You are magi, you can conjure water, transform or preserve it somehow, make it rain unnaturally, fly in an air conditioned sky ship, teleport, or whatever. It all depends on the time and resources you guys expend. But I estimate that you have a lot allready. Play it out and i will slowly reveal secrets to you all...

The Sahara is also home to the Sand Cat


I'm thinking of taking Bernhard. He participated in the ill-fated march on Cairo in the Fifth Crusade, so he's familiar with the area.

I'm with Fixer here, both on Vibria's immunity and using Alexander as a resource. He's very heavy on MuCo(An), but he has a couple low-level PeIg spells that make camping in the desert much more comfortable.

Ah. Point.
Especially in Mythic Europe.

I played an almogavar in the salt mines... Bienvenido :slight_smile: A family man, lover of food and wine, boisterous and a good companion.
I shall take him again.

For reference, I would suggest searching for names in Catalan, Aragonese and Basque for future recruits if you want them to be from the Pyrenees. Spanish was not talked in that area of the Pyrenees until much later than the Ars time period et al. :wink: DFor me it sounds like hearing people from the Lot de Garone area being consistently named Jack, Richard and Whilhelm and people from Chicago being François, Jean-Luc and Domingo. :stuck_out_tongue:


Back to the meeting...
We still haven't let the Journeymen in. Roberto is still out in the hall, and Kesara to (in case you guys forgot about her). And I presume Pere could be with them too (it is up to Fightmaster).
But we are in Master's council. We are looking at the list and deciding what we agree and can compromise on. Basically, we are deciding to vote as a block on everything we all agree upon, once we open General Council and let the juniors participate in a vote that is already decided.

What we have accomplished so far...

  • The Redcap Quarter, the new arrangements, and the portal project: The Barcelona portal is open. The Provencal portal (to Doisettep?) will be in place come this summer. The council has requested Fedora, in her duties as a Master Redcap and Officer of Andorra, to visit the new covenant in Pampalona as well as to investigate rumors of magi squatting in La Vella (the capitol of Andorra, where representatives of the five parishes meet in council). This addresses both these issues as well...[list]
  • A new covenant has been established in the region of Pampalona in the kingdom of Navarre. Like ourselves, they have declined to formally participate or ally themselves with Iberia or Provencal, yet like us they have ties and connections in both tribunals. Their political situation is so similar to ours that it is worth keeping an eye on.
  • Provencal magi have been encroaching on our territory. There was that Lord Featherbottom incident. But further it has recently been discovered that a Jerbiton magus associated with Bellaquin has been residing in the capitol of Andorra la Vella:
  • The mystery of who attacked our covenant and why. Carmen has turned up some interesting information: Which happens to point to a rogue magus named Valten IV of Flambeau of the lineage of Apromor. He is not under Narch, yet. But the Quaesitors want him for questioning and possibly stand trial in the Rhine Tribunal (crimes of debauched cruelty to mundanes that had repercussions on other magi). He is rumored to be currently hiding out in Cairo, searching for the secrets of Chaldean Sorcery. Carmen is almost certain he was responsible for the attack five years ago, and her logic breaks down like this:
  • We discerned three distinct spell sigils belonging to outside magi. One was for a fireball wand that was crafted by Metron, who claims to have made many and traded them with other magi (Valten was a name on that list). Metron was locked up at Duresca at the time, but has since escaped.
  • Another was tracked down to a shady Verditius wand crafter in Sicily, who also claimed he had made several Twilight Wands he sold to "Hoplites. Valten was a name on that list (and the only name on both lists). The third sigil is presumably Valten (cold & dry).
  • Valten's alleged crime in Rhine is casting a death spell on the household of a small manor. The same sort of spell that was used on our covenant.
  • The town in the valley, Arans, has recently experienced a spike in paranormal activities, such as hauntings by ghosts that cry out in some nonsensical language: We have figured out the deal with the specters, and have agreed to form an expedition to return it and...(we need to figure out what we are doing, now that I think of it. I will get to that in that story thread once we are ready).
  • There is this new junior magus, and upstart journeyman named Roberto, who has submitted a proposal...: We already decided to nix his proposal and let Vibria contemplate any future new military ideas. We decided to hire his buddies as extras for such things as expeditions and security in the Balearic Islands properties.
  • The past five years have been quite profitable, and in every category the covenant is now stronger than we were before the attack. However, keep in mind that this has required a lot of effort, and it also means that the last five years could have been growth instead of recovery. Someone out there still has our stuff that they stole; three queens of vis and a bajillion miscellaneous magic items: Keep up the good work :smiley:
  • The discovery of a large vis source on Sa Dragonera, claimed by Barcelona, and their desire to form a partnership: What we currently have is a deal with them, not a partnership. We sponsor a couple of junior magi in the region of the Balearic islands and provide security. And we barely make a profit. Carmen's opinion is that we need to either fully commit to a partnership or diminish our involvement. But either decision is put on hold for now, it can wait.
  • Our investment in the salt mines of Las Salines has been paying off quite well. In fact, maybe too well. We have offered little in the way of magical assistance, but they have prospered so well now that they are rid of that dragon, it has caused rumors and gossip in nearby towns that they have struck a deal with Satan: No comments on this one?
  • blah-blah-blah, Provencal, Cult of Mercury, Doisettep: those guys are jerks, screw 'em.
  • I am brainstorming these random talking points, so feel free to add as much to this list as you want :smiley:: Vocis is planning a trip to Transylvania. i suppose we can sort that out sooner rather than latter. Otherwise, if there is anything I missed or any comments on anything, speak your mind :smiley:[/list:u]

After that, we handwave the bit where we let the juniors in and vote. Then I will close this out and set up new storythreads: City of Brass, Road to Pampalona, Road to Transylvania, and I think that covers us. Yes?

I think this is interesting, but neither Arachné nor me can be everywhere :frowning:
Also, it doesn't interest Arachné, who's focused on revenge and covenant security.

Keep this in mind, though, this is, IMO, a great storyline, and it could bite us in the future.

Otherwise, yes :smiley:

Gah! I knew I'd miss something when I tried to catch up. Vocis thinks we should at least look into this. He can poke around a bit or we can send someone non-Gifted to investigate. He'd suggest Fedora, but her plate is rather full. Otherwise I'm good with all of this.

We can send some agents to investigate Las Salines and report back if it is serious.

So I am ready to open the City of Brass thread, which begins with some preparation time. Say a year? 3 seasons? Two? I would be in our best interests to brush up on a couple of spells and/or create some useful items. Roberto has a ship, one that normally requires a crew of 20 to 30, but can comfortably hold up to 40. And really, there is need for only one crewman. Johan VanHalen, the captain. He has the power to move the ship as he directs at will, even in the sky or under the water or over the earth.

Solomon is in charge, Roberto is his assistant. You will also have Javier of the Andorran Guard, Expedition Sergeant, who knows what you need and how to get it.