A Strange Serendipity (Winter 1239)

for the finding of Lucien in Arans in Winter 1239 when Solomon casts his spell.

At the time of casting Lucien has recently arrived in town in the company of a group of mercenaries who found him on the road and were unable to ignore their Christian charity despite Lucien's strangeness. Upon arriving in Arans they made it clear he was safe, and also on his own. He's been scooting between hides and odd places since.

Ooc: Story probably starts with how Solomon handles the discovery? Can we get Solomon to describe the casting of the spell and what he learns? Give an opportunity to show it off a bit in text?

This dovetails into current situations nicely.
This group of mercenaries, they number say about a half dozen. They are Almogavars of the Vibria Company. Currently the covenant has in their employ a division of these Vibria Mercenaries, dubbed The Gold Griffons. Periodically, the parent company rotates soldiers in and out of the Griffons. In the decade since they have been with us, the only individual Almogavars from that original hire still with the covenant are those that have been directly hired by the covenant (thus no longer Griffons).
What that means, basically, is that they band Lucian travels with are the replacements sent by the parent company in Barcelona. They also include a new Commander, Gomez Adams, whose job it is to reorganize and resize the Griffon Division as fits the needs of the assignment. You hear him and his sergeant talking about reassigning everyone and rebuilding the division from scratch.
Travelling with them, they treat you as a lackey and bust on you constantly. But at least they treat you like a human instead of a rabid animal. And they are not afraid of you. And Commander Adams doesn't seem off put by you at all.
Yet the fact remains that Lucien is a dick. At least he comes off that way (poor Presence). They grow weary of you, and at one point they consider ditching him. But they hold out until they arrive at Arans, and once reching civilization, they boot him off on his own and make their way to the keep.
So the kid makes his way skulking about for a while. How long? At least a month. Maybe longer? The townspeople are getting sick of the kid.

Then the day comes when Solomon will cast his Ritual. I need PoB to describe the casting, tell us how it works, I will give him the data, he will tell us how he perceives and understands that data.
Then I need Silveroak to tell us what the Man in Black with a Sack on his Back is intending to do...

Lucien may be dickish, but that doesn't actually make him a bad kid...

The MIBWASOHB knocks at the door of the keep and asks to speak with Carmen "Or whichever of her kind is available"

A servent alerts Carmen, and she furrows her brow.
Tell him to await me at the gate. I shall meet with him shortly.
With that, Carmen returns to her sanctum, attires herself properly in trousers and boots and sulk shirt plus an ornately embroidered robe. Then she steps out onto her Balcony, and uses her Talisman to fly out of the keep and circle around to meet TMIBWASOHB.
Positioned behind him (or rather, on the one side with the gate on the other side), she hovers and calls out to him with authority in her voice.
It appears we are to meet again. What is you wish to speak about?

"I have found a child who, though ill mannered, is Gifted, and thought you might wish to purchase them rather than let them languish in my parlor. Also I noticed on the way a large number of children in your town whose behavior might qualify them for my sack. While I have been avoiding the area in general it occurs to me we never did settle on a price for me to cease all abductions here."

To pick this up, where do we want to go with it? I had imagined Solomon casts his spell locating the gifted kids, then TMIBWASOHB providing an obstacle to getting to them. But this could take it in a different direction, Solomon's ritual being used to find missing children.

I've no idea the history of TMIBWASOHB. I tried searching, but didn't find anything. Explain context?

The Man in Black with a Sack on his Back.
He is a faerie that collects disruptive children, puts them in a cave, and feeds them fairy food until they turn into pig people.

TMIBWASOHB would have no reason to obstruct Solomon, and he chooses children based on their behavior being bad, not them being Gifted. Generally he interacts with Gifted children in one of two ways- the child becomes disruptive as the Gift alienates them from others, or other children begin behaving badly in response to the child's Gift.

OOC: Will Carmen respond? I think we're either waiting for that, or for Solomon to take direct action on his own.

I am waiting on Solomon to cast his spell, for this whole story is supposed to be focused on that

There will be a post coming tonight

Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk

Groovy. Carmen will answer tmibwasohb after that :slight_smile:

(Sorry for the wait, hopefully it was worth it)

Silvia was just placing the last candle around the pool as Solomon stepped into his laboratory. The candles weren’t strictly necessary for the ritual itself, but they would help him see and interpret its results.
The circular pool itself was not large, perhaps three feet across and no more than about eight inches deep, but it had still been a chore to have it brought in and properly aligned; it would be a permanent fixture of his laboratory from now on.

He slowly limped around the pool, ensuring the candles were properly spaced, before making his way over to a table near the wall. Thirteen pieces of varied-color stones laid spread out on the table; vim vis that would be necessary for the ritual. He grabbed the vis, two stones at a time, and unceremoniously dropped them into the pool, taking caution to not cause the water to spill over its edges. Once all of the stones had been placed in the pool, he nodded to Silvia, who began lighting each of the candles.

As Silvia circled the pool completing her task, Solomon picked up one final, uninteresting stone from the table. This one had been taken from the center of Arans, and would serve as his arcane connection to the nearby village.
Once she was finished, Silvia silently exited the laboratory and closed the door, leaving Solomon alone so he could concentrate on this powerful ritual. He looked down through the clear water and could see the thirteen stone pawns of vis sitting on the bottom of the pool. He took a deep breath and offered a quick prayer to the Creator before he slowly began circling the pool. At first he said nothing, only focusing his thoughts on the thirteen stones, counting them as he made each revolution. After three circles around the pool, he began to softly chant as he still focused on the pool. After nine more rotations his voice became louder and bubbles originating from each stone could be seen floating to the surface of the pool. He completed three more circles at this increased volume before the pool began to boil. He could feel his throat becoming raspy as he continued this process for eighteen more cycles around the pool until the water again took on a placid state. Stopping, Solomon looked down, noting that the water was now opaque, having been infused with the vim vis that was provided.
He took a few moments to stretch his legs, he’d been circling the pool for nearly two hours, before he checked his calculations one last time, ensuring he knew exactly which direction was north. Once he was certain they were correct, he took his place on the southern side of the pool and again said a silent prayer. Taking the “Arans stone”, he leaned over the pool and dropped it in the center of the pool. The stone sank, but only halfway, as if the viscosity of the vim-infused water was too thick to allow it to sink any more.

He then slowly sat down on the floor facing the pool and with some strain, crossed his legs. He held his staff horizontally in front of him with both hands and took a deep breath before chanting again. This time, ripples began to flow outwards from the “Arans stone”, at first expanding as if the stone had been dropped into the water and allowed to sink. This continued for quite some time, until eventually the water began to swirl, creating a whirlpool effect centered on the stone. Solomon could feel the power of the vim vis infused water acting upon the stone. He cleared his mind of the pain he could feel in his arms as he began to focus on his goal. He was looking for the Gift, searching for those ripples in the fabric of reality that the Gift caused. He would use the vim water to power his magic, focusing on the stone, and where it came from. The whirlpool stopped, and the ripples began again. However this time, ripples began emanating from two other objects in the pool. In two locations, one northeast of the “Arans stone” and one due west; the vim in the pool had solidified again and identified two individuals with the Gift.

Exhaling a long held breath, Solomon stood, his bones aching and creaking as he finally moved after over two hours of sitting. Slowly he walked over to the table and pulled out a crudely drawn map of Arans. Noting the point that had been drawn on the map representing where the stone had been taken from, he measured out to where the two floating pieces of vim indicated were individuals with the Gift. He would investigate both. He hoped at least one would serve as a worthy apprentice.

Fearing that the two potential apprentices might move if he waited too long, Solomon called out to Sophia, who was currently circling Arans, to find a suitable place for him to Leap. Once she had found a secluded location, Solomon joined her and, map in hand, heading in the direction of the first candidate.


(Note, the casting total doesn't reflect what is on Solomon's character sheet, but rather what has been calculated on the Mage Planner through Winter of 1239. I haven't updated Solomon as I'm waiting for the finish of the City of Brass adventure)

Casting Total: 23 (In) + 19 (Vi) + 2 (Sta) + 5 (Aura) + 4 (AL) + 3 (Phil) + 8 = 64 (two long-term fatigue levels)

To be clear, I don't want any children to languish in your parlor. I cannot safeguard the whole world or even the small part of it that are these mountains. But Arans is under my protection. I am not about to pay extortion money. I am willing to pay for services though. Gifted children are a rare commodity. Only one in ten-thousand are born with it, and often it does not develop until they are grown a bit. I was an exception.
So, what price do you ask to tell me where to find this child, and then depart my town never to return?

Meanwhile, Solomon arrives in Arans next to one of the two children. Gabe.

"The one I speak of is in the sack, and I am willing to sell her to you for five pawns. The other is in your town, I noticed the other children picking on him. I have no interest in him personally, though snatching those picking on him is certainly tempting, but I can lead you to him for a single pawn."

Down in the town of Arans, two Benedictine monks have taken refuge for the night in the barn of a local farmer. They were traveling north along the river road to deliver copies of some rare texts that had been copied by their brothers at the monstery at Meritxell for a local noble. With them is a strange young boy named Gabriel who seems more at home with the mules he's caring for than the two monks he's accompanying.

While the monks take a silent walk around the barn to meditate, the boy grooms the mules. As he does so, the boy talks to them - not an oddity in itself; many people talk to the animals in their care. But if one paid attention to what he was saying, it might seem strange indeed. For it appears as if he's having an actual conversation with the animals rather than just trying to reassure them.

((OOC: I am presuming this is a third child? Solomon's spell revealed two gifted children in the town, and metagame we know they are both male. We are certainly allowed to plug in new ideas. But the story was started by IBT, and I think he should determine which is what and how))

You have a child in your sake here now? I find you to be an exceptionally cruel man. I will need to verify this all and check on the health of the girl. If you would, release her from your sack and let us escort her to the infirmary in Vocis' tower.

(OOC: the man in black cane as a surprise, but I'm ok with two or three children. The question is where is Silveroak going with it, very happy to play it out. It's possible the man in black didn't "see" Solomon's potential apprentice as he's gentle gifted or just happenstance. I'm curious why one child on hand is with 5x pawns and another is 1x. Why is the additional child needed?)

There is no third child. TMIBWASOHB simply knows where the second child is by virtue of the fact that he will tend to attract hostile reactions from other children, which he keeps track of, and he has no Idea that Solomon already knows where he is.