Shortly after his rebuking, Rilcheaux will seek an audience with Arachne, regarding some weaknesses he has found in the covenant's defense and related topics of common interest.
The delay I took to read this being indicative of Arachné's schedule, most of her time being just spend in her lab.
Luckily, Eva is a lot easier to find, and, through her, Rilcheau is finally able to manage an audience with the old witch.
So you're the new redcap*? Pleased to meet you.
My servant told me you had interesting observations to convey to me. I'm saddened I couldn't schedule a meeting sooner, but here I am. A fresh eye is always interesting
- New being very relative, especially for Arachné. It may have been years since Rilcheau first set foot here, but it's probably the first time the spider sees him.
Rilcheau thanks Eva, both for conveying the message and for escorting him to Arachne's meeting room while he is on probation.
"I take it you did not here about the incident with Solomon? I have been probing the mundane security of the caste which both the redcaps and Andorran covenant call home, and have found that while it is fine for keeping out invading armies and I assume enemy magi, a more mundane and subterfuge based approach finds it virtually wide open. Numerous people come into the covenant on daily basis, to deliver supplies, haul away waste, visit family which resides here, all the normal comings and goings of a castle. Front gate security might be improved with some kind of enchantment based device to ensure nobody approaches with ill intent, since I had none you might eve have such a device I am unaware of, or you might be concerned as Solomon appears to have raised that it might be used on redcaps and violate the code. In any case I have made a list," he hands over 2 folded sheets of papyrus," of places where you should probably station some internal guards or establish patrols, even with an eye towards the idea that magi are responsible for protecting their own sanctums"
"I chose papyrus instead of vellum because it burns far more easily. Any of those locations you choose not to establish a guard for are not something that needs to be advertised to anyone who collects trash or can read lower levels of a pampliset. However the real point I want to discuss is coordination of Intelligence. Redcaps and Andorra alike share an interest in maintaining the security and prosperity of this location, which is why Harco has stationed me here. They feel that my skils in establishing networks of information will be of use in ensuring Andorra has fair warning of threats which may be lurking on its horizon. Of the three Pontificates I believe that you, in addition to having already made security a top priority, are the one with the best temperament for me to approach as liason for this undertaking. In that regard I was wondering f there were any past threats or issues of concern you might have where I might begin establishing more of a network?"
I like it
Oh great. More of an headache incoming. I need some sleep.
She sighs, rubs her forehead, and takes the sheets, taking a moment to read them.
Thank you, Rilcheau. This is instructive, and I appreciate the time you put into this. Now, I've been aware of the points you raise, yet my initial duty was just magical security when we started. I've had to handle additionnal matters as time went by, but there was, and still is, much to do, which means I try to tackle the biggest problems first.
Your advice regarding mundane intrusion, though, shall be put into consideration, as it might greatly alleviate some of my future burden. Despite being not focused on it, I'm deeply aware of the risks it entails. Sadly, this is a domain in which we can seldom use magic, which greatly limits our options.
Regarding an intelligence network, though... This goes way beyond my duties, and would be more the province of the Autocrat of the Exterior. There are, of course, the usual suspects: Barcelona, Bellaquin, Aedes Mercurii... Information is always useful, so long as you can process it.
(Sorry, had to go)
I don't think Aedes Mercurii has come into any story I've been in as a player, at least not where I (player) recognize the name...
Aedes Mercurii is Doisettep. It has come up before in the past, members have been traded, and back story stuff. Aedes Mercurii is the official ArM5 name, but the text of F&F hints at the origins of inspiration. Aedes Mercurii has two distinct sections, a "Dorsum" and "Septum". I remember while working on that book, a deliberate decision was made to preserve the covenant yet somehow drop the name trademarked by another company.
"I will keep an eye open for agents who can cover those areas. I have begun recruiting someone locally, though not exactly an agent yet, who should at least be able to give us warning if someone is operating through subterfuge at our doorstep."
Thank you for your efforts. Any help we can get is much appreciated.
Ok, and now, she's wondering who's this guy, where does he comes from, and why does he care? And can she trust him? If not, can she use him? This ain't her line of work, we need someone to oversee it!
(She'd very much like the opinion of Lucas on Rilcheau, thinking there's a chance he might be able to answer all this)
updating to 1242:
during this time Rilcheuax has approached and begun recruiting an agent inside Ballaquin, and has reported the following:
Valgravin appears to be getting paranoid in his old age, though he has apparently been getting some help along those lines. Vis has routinely gone missing, as have casting tablets for the covenants Ageis. They have gained new copies of casting tablets through trade multiple times but each time the tablets have gone missing, along with what vis they were setting aside for the ritual. Rilcheaux lacks the expertise to be certain but he suspects faerie involvement, and even has a suspicion where the vis may be hidden inside the covenant. It could be permanently removed and discovered elsewhere by redcaps, revealed to one of the magi, or even obtained without suspicion being aroused. The covenant is poorly organized, one of the main reasons the vis has gone undetected so long is that while Valgraven has ordered a top to bottom search of the covenant several times, everyone seems to be under the impression that someone else has taken care of that obligation. Also Valgravin's suspicions seem to be falling on Andorra, ad he has voiced the idea of "dragging Andorra kicking and screaming into the Provencal Tribunal where they can be held answerable for their crimes". There do not appear to be any magi willing enough to take over leadership to have reached the ears of covenfolk. Also the covenant appears to have a significant number of Cathars present.
This is interesting. You did good work here. Just be careful to not leave any traces that could lead back to you. Do not steal the vis. This would deprive them of their magical power, and we swore that we'd never do that to our sodales.
It just a matter of time before the issue blows up on us, though.
Had he been an ally, or even a neutral party, I would have asked you to arrange for Valgravian to find it, but it seems he's becoming more and more of a danger to us, one I'd like out of our political horizon. We could thus gain if the vis was discovered so as to make a fool of him. This would weaken him even more, disabling his ability to strike as us, and would maybe prompt one of his sodales to rise up against him. Could you arrange that?
She'll send Eva to contact Lucas.
For some time now, I've had an... interesting source of information about bellaquin. One I question the motives, though. Neither do I discard the possibility that he may be lying to me, of course.
But I cant take care of this, not much.
Now, as much as I want you to be my assistant and successor, we're in dire need of a Herald, and I think that, of all the magi here, you fit the bill most perfectly. Once you're elevated to Master status, I fully intend to propose you for this office, and make clear and official all the work you've already done for Andorra.
Which is also the reason I'm talking to you about this. This is your province, more than mine.
And thus, it appears that Valgravian is policitally weakened, inside his own covenant. He's also more and more entrenched into the idea that Andorra is his ennemy. So I'm trying to weaken him even more, hoping to impede his ability to hurt us. We could gain a lot by having him removed in favor of an ally, but I can't see who, or how, just now.
"I believe that will be possible, is there anyone from that covenant you would suggest be promoted as an alternative to Valgravian?"
[That's the problem, of course.
We need more information on this. Who among them is more favourable towards us? Is there anyone who decries or despises Valgravian's claims against Andorra? Or, although this is more dangerous, is there someone who could be convinced or manipulated to help us?
OOC: that also depends somewhat on Marcus- is there any information about the creation of Bellaquin which we do not have, or can I go wild with this aspect of the setting? Like maybe background info on the various magi?
I sorta have stuff locked in secret for bellaquin. Especially those members rawn from cannon. And ulrich. If this is a plan, i will run reactions for you.
How about impressions- Rilcheaux has subverted the head of housekeeping (with an effective Difficult Underlings for her) to gain intelligence- what would the covenfolk know about each of them that Rilcheaux would have compiled into a dossier?
That is something I need to contemplate. There is basic information in Faith & Fllame. That in turn was based on ArM2 Covenants. Then modified in game here. Have not put much thought into what dirt there may be. I will invent something.