After the Pirate Queen (Spring 1221)

You return to Palermo, and the port authority balks at the idea of simply handing over 2000 pounds of silver, suggesting they could give you a letter of credit instead.

Antonius is gathered with the other magi and selected crew members in the captain's cabin to discuss what do to with the port authority reluctance to give them the silver:

"I suggest we make them an offer they cannot refuse. Thanks to Talus skills and perseverance, we have a more than twenty thousand silver pounds on account here. However, this is worth nothing if we cannot withraw it when we need it and today, is such a day. We can agree to have then deduct a thousand pounds from our account, so that we can withdraw two thousands immediately. That is loss for us, but nothing we cannot recover from, especially when a man's life is at stake."

He now addresses Flavius and the other magi:

"I have a plan that could enable us to get both Mattheus and the silver. If we buy enough iron in Palermo, with the help of Flavius's flame and Terra's mastery over earth, we could craft a sturdy ring, in which we would place the silver. I would then cast a ward to keep the faeries out; it might not be enough to stop the Pirate Queen, as we have no idea of how powerful she is. We could further entrave her by a wise choice of the island. Terra, are there place where a fairie's power is diminished? Like our magic is inhibited on sacred grounds ? Perhaps it would be the same for hers, perhaps not. But we should strive to make the exchange as unpleasant for her as possible."

"Vincente, do you know of any island not far from Sicily with an abandonned church or cemetary ?"

The issue is the amount of silver o hand- they simply don't have 2000 lbs of silver sitting around, most of the value is in commodities.

Would it be possible to contract a loan with someone else / another organization on the island ?

Bavol will look puzzled and ask, "Why don't we just give them glass? Either get more or buy back some of our cargo, which is undoubtedly sitting untouched in a warehouse. I don;t think the pirates were being literal in requiring bullion, I doubt even the King has that much metal lying around. Besides, don't pirates and women both like shiny stuff?"

Antonius tries to answer Bavol the best he can, but clearly, he knows very little about faerie:

"Hum... I don't know if she was being literal or not. What do you think Terra ? In any case, we should at least get enough silver to fill a chest, maybe some gems ? Perhaps some strong liquor and expensive wine ? What do pirates want ? "

He sighs, exasperated:

At this point I would be tempted to get whatever silver we can from here and some expensive goods that pirates might like from here, sail back to Malta and get Tartessos to conjure the balance in gold for us. It is not like we would be interfering with mundanes by doing so anyway."

OOC: What is exactly is the ransom defined as? What exactly is the Queen asking for?

The sailor told you 2000 lbs of silver. If she told him any other instructions (or equivalent in...) he has not mentioned it to you, and nobody has discussed the amount of ransom with the Pirate Queen.
If anyone wants to hazard a guess based on faerie lore, let me know what your Int+faerie lore roll was...

OOC: Terra does not in fact have Faerie Lore, this shall be based on ramblings. Mainly what she has presumably gathered from House Merinita Lore.

Terra, having slept through Faerie class as an apprentice has learned the art of It replaces the need to go back and read primers on Faeries! "They like creativity. Charms or something cooked. Bread is a common token offering. Things someone has put effort into. Like a well cut gem. I don't think anything magically conjured would count at all. Of course you can never be sure. Maybe if it was infused with vis...

Garcin throws his head back in disgust, "Well, if that's the case we might as well just go home! If bread is what they want we should have sent Patrice instead. I say we gather what we may and present it to the queen. Either she accepts it an we are good, or we tick her off so much she attacks us. And we're still good.

On short notice the dockmaster is able to round up 200 lbs of silver, 60 lbs of gold (trading locally at 18:1), 800 lbs worth of various gems, for a total cost on your account of 2080 lbs silver.

He is basing the selection on forms of ransom that pirates typically accept.

Antonius will try to acquire iron in Palermo, enough to craft a ring about 12 feet in diameter and 2 inches thick, and a solid chest to put the ransom in.

"We need to select an island to bury the ransom, any will do, but it would be better if it had a solid bedrock. We trust your judgment Vincente, you know the Medditerranean much better than all of us combined.

He says, while looking at Garcin, whom he knows has a deep hatred for pirates:
"Lead us there, and we will try to make sure the Pirate Queen has a hard time actually leaving with the ransom. If we are lucky, by the time we get Mattheus and come back, it will still be there."

"Aye, I know islands around here," Vincente replies. "But I don't know what kind of stone they're built on. I doubt I'll be able to find on on as solid stone as you want. They're islands, after all. But I'll do the best I can."

You are able to locate a rocky island fairly close by. It isn't so much bedrock as all rock with a few scraggly bushes growing here or there. The island itself is circular, about 1/4 mile in diameter with a shallow pond in the center where rain water seems to have collected over the years, and a dry creek bed which apparently is filled when the pond level rises high enough to feed the creek. A quick examination suggests that the pond, which is also circular and roughly 100 yards in diameter, has a floor which is below sea level, though probably only by 30 to 40 feet.

Just how circular? Creepy circular or roughly circular?

roughly circular, like any of hundreds of volcanic or coral islands.

Antonius dig a shallow circular trench in the rock using the arts of rego and terram. and then roughly shape the iron purchased in Palermo. Afterwards, with the help of Flavius, the iron will be melted to form a ring. Once this is done, the chest with the ransom will be burried in a large hole inside the circle and covered with a heavy stone.

Finally, the rest of the hole will be filled with sand. The magus will then draw a large "X" on top of the ransom location, and place a single shovel in the center of it.

"I despise the pirate queen as much as you all do. That abobination treats men as cattle, and has no qualms about killing them. I very much doubt that her crew, bet it faeries or men, will be able to retrieve the chest for her. She will have to do it herself,.... if she can get past the ward. We are true to the letter of our agreement, and this shall send a message as to not mess with Domus Aureus."

The Bonisagus will then walk around the circle, while casting his formulaic ward against faeries.

"Vincente, let us sail back to the island to meet Circee again and learn of the merchant's location."

Is there any vis on the island ? Is there an aura ?

CT: Rego 23 + Vim 23 + Focus 23 + 2 Sta + Aura + 2 die = 73 + aura + 8 penetration

It should keep faeries of might 35 or less outside of the circle.

There is no vis or aura.
with duration and target of ring/circle and range of touch that would be up to might 20, not might 35. Of course with effective penetration of 9 you won't even get that much. On the other hand if you use circle of protection against the Dhampir, you will get up to might 20 with penetration well over 20...

Whichever way you decide, you return to the island and she gives you directions to a different island, where she assures you the man is alive and alone, waiting for your rescue.

Can we use the Pirate Queen's directions as an AC to scry the island? If so, Julia will suggest it to Antonius prior to going there.

No, directions to a place are not an arcane connection to it. It could be an arcane connection to the person who gave them, if they wrote them down, which was not done in this case.