All roads lead to Africa (Fall 1244)

Several plans have been made to return to Africa. Valten needs to be found and killed, and was reportedly looking for the city of brass. Information about the Temple of Mercury indicates it is Africa, probably near Egypt. And some want to establish a chapterhouse to secure some resources in case of a disaster. Each of these plans has been delayed- there were elections for Primus to see to, and logistics for travel, until the three missions finally came together into an over-arching journey which encompassed all three missions. As hip has been commissioned which will carry both women and Magi, and a season's worth of food and supplies has been assembled for the journey, along with porters to carry the equipment and set up tents. The ship is being loaded as the Magi gather on the docks in Barcelona.

So, who is up for this adventure player/character wise? and what is it we want to do?

The Spider wants Valten's head. She wants to avenge her friends, and ensure Andorra's safety (to her, Valten is still a threat)
I seem to recall someone (Pietro?) giving Arachne some information on him, but I can't tell what for the life of me.

She doesn't care about anything else, for her. But we know where he's going, it's easy to lay a trap there and kill him.

And yes, she also wants a hideout far from any of the OoH's zone of influence (+ information gathering), or the Order of Suleiman, or... But this is both time-consuming and menial, which is why I wanted to have the "grog story" on this.
Since it seems to have fallen out, I'd either handwave it, or push it back to whenever. I just can't see how it can the combined with Valten, especially since he seeks a place in the "known world", so I wouldn't bother with it. And there's just no way Arachne will lose several seasons just wandering in the dust, that's why grogs are for :smiley:

according to the latest information, Valten is in Africa seeking the City of brass, which is why the quests can be combined.

An adventure for grogs can be fun though. Maybr companions? Whatever the case of valten it would be useful to have intelligence operative in the area before the magi take action.

waves I'm still up for any adventure to Africa. I submitted a grog under Fixer's thread, I can make a companion in a couple of days. As I'm not a current Andorra player, I don't have a magus and I understand developing one of suitable experience that takes your house rules into account may take a while.

As I see it:

  • From a character perspective:
    The Spider's plan for an Africa expedition (slow, wandering, research and exploration, out of the books) doesn't mesh well with either Valten of the Temple(quick, with a definite goal, decided by andorra). At best, to her, the expedition can serve as a decoy for her pet project (which is great).
    To her, sending grogs and companions first to prepare a strike against Valten is mandatory. First, it means she can avoid losing time to an hazardous travel, using her blood maps to go to the grogs (other magi may do as they please). Second, they can, and should, be used to lure Valten to his doom, hopefully gathering some arcane connection in the process. She assumes valten knows the magi, but he can't know grogs and companions*.
    She doesn't care about any temple of mercury, but having the people around go there after Valten is sensible, and she'd support this, especially if it can strengthen Andorra.

  • From a player perspective:
    I know what kind of stories I wanted to tell with Arachne's expedition. Sadly, the players disappeared. Silveroak, whatever happens here, this wouldn't be these stories, so it would leave me unsatisfied. This is different from Valten, where my motivation comes from the character (and which I really thank you for picking up. I don't care at all if this is over quickly, but she's waited years for this). I am conscious you're a far more talented SG than me, and that you mean well, but I'd really appreciate if you left this precise adventure idea to me, even if it never materializes.
    Darkwing, we could try a solo game, with other people taking characters afterwards if they feel like it, or not, and you could have a companion here. Assuming everyone agrees, you tell me if you're game.

  • I like this, because it goes well with my tradition of the Spider as a semi-NPC/mentor who stays in the margins.

I am sure there is a way that we can make everyone happy. Maybe you could each run a story? I do like the idea of a companion& grog tale. Carlos & Richeaux could find a way to bond. A classic buddy tale :laughing:

The way I see it this is essentially a quest for Valten and keeping an eye out for anything which might be useful (especially locations) for establishing the African outpost. I certainly wouldn't railroad Arachne's project but might provide some hooks you could use for the stories you want to tell along those lines. Having multiple reasons for teh expedition doesn't mean they will all be satisfied in this expedition.
I will mention that he issue I had with "Going south" was that it requested that we all make new characters for the adventure, where if you had simply requested grogs and/or companions I have plenty of those.

Sorry, it's just that everytime I see "Valten", the spider stirs and gets all "Revenge!!!" :smiley:
Really, I don't care if this is quick or last ages, but she wants him dead :imp: .

When you say you have plenty of those, do you mean in andorra, or already stated?

She is a little paranoid, so she wants this to be secret. So, as a pontifici, she first discreetly diverted whatever resources she could (within her purview) to this end, for a few years. Eva was useful there, if only because she could be used as a proxy*.
For the same reason, she doesn't want any character associated with Andorra: She figures she might be watched, and that such an expedition wouldn't be secret, which would defeat its whole point. Which is why she went outside. Also, at best, characters will stay years in a foreign country, which makes Andorran grogs unsuitable (Weaken the covenant + they have families + This is kinda a suicide squad, since she's ultimately sending them into the unknown).

Sorry, I'm ranting, I've spent too long in her head :laughing:

What would be logical to me:

  • An Andorra expedition to kill Valten, maybe do whatever is needed to that Mercury temple. Grogs and Companions would do all the setup and preliminary work, with magi staying in the shadows and coming in for the kill. The Spider wants this so much. Killing Valten.
  • A secret, no-return expedition with outcast and minor characters assembled by Arachne and monitored from afar. This is a travel story, taking years to explore, gather intel/lore, recruit similar characters and, ultimately, go away even from the Order of Suleiman's reach to found a secret base. If it doesn't happen, too bad for me.
  • Suitably disguised through maintained MuIm spells, with the spider watching through her eyes using a Tunnel-bound Through the Eyes of the Spider, ready to teleport her if need be.

So as the first expedition is getting together, who all is on that roster?

I seem to vaguely remember volunteering Vibria, Jaksic, and Felix for this expedition (because Africa = Not Cold). And this mission seems to have a strong Flambeau-y feel to it. (Maga SMASH! Rawr!).

I don't think I need to update my character sheet (the one currently on the wiki is as of Summer 1243), but I do need to do her dragon form and get it up.

He won't want to, as, despite his wishes to accompany his brothers in arms in yet another adventure, the Lion of Andorra is a father of plenty, and just can't leave his wife and children behind for such a long time, but Antoni, the Lion of Andorra, will be dragged along by the other grogs. Yes, despite his delicate complexion which can't stand the heat. Despite the covenant depending on his presence for its security.

Likewise, Eva is about 13 now, so The Spider wil probably send her along, to watch and learn, act as her eyes and hears.

Being both paranoid* and jealous of her time, the Spider will stay in Andorra. She'll check periodically on Eva, and only teleport in when needed.

  • Reasons:
  • Andorra needs her protection, having its magi away is too great a risk
  • This may be a trap, she can't go rushing in headlong
  • Valten may learn of her presence, and it'll tip him off, especially as he knows her (or at least she assumes so)

I think I’ve volunteered Vocis too, subject to what the mission was about from a while ago.

The rumors on Valten are, though more robust than what has been gathered in the past, still rather thin. He has been spotted in Cairo and Alexandria, and is reported to be looking for the City of brass, though how close he may be has not been widely reported. The obvious place for the ship to go to would be Alexandria, unless anyone has other directions for the captain who has been hired for the journey.

Carlos is a good candidate for this.

Carlos, Vibria, Jaksic, and Felix (along with numerous faceless grogs handling baggage) load up on the chartered ship, since the Spider warns everyone to keep a low rofile and not use resources that are easilly traced to the covenant, to seek out Valten. The ship travels for several days before arriving at the port of ALexandria, a bustling city held by a Muslim emir, and while the ship is allowed to dock, they are notified that nobody will be allowed to disembark until an agent of the Sultan has reviewed the manifest, cargo, and passengers.

Carlos leans against the rail and strums his guitar ♫♬♬♩
[tab][/tab]I think I've been here before. This is like the fifth time I've been to Africa. I'm not tryin' to brag! I once accompanied my old boss on expedition. Joel Muniz. Roberto's old master. Back when he was an apprentice he used the three of us as "shield grogs". Pedro. (crosses self) He got killed the second time we came here. The Alabaster Lioness affair.
[tab][/tab]Hmmm.... I wonder if...
[tab][/tab]Never mind. I just remember that on our way out we passed through this area. Heracleion is just a bit off the coast from here, at the bottom of the sea. I was down there a few times too.
[tab][/tab]♫! Wow. I have had quite the life. Maybe I should be the one they write songs about. Hmmm... Maybe I will be the one that writes them!

The captain nods "That's good, authorities are rather suspicious about people coming here for the first time right now, worried about spies is my impression. If you know anyone local that could make things easier."

Vibria will spend most of the journey up on deck, alternating between leaning on the forward rails, gazing at the horizon, and talking to the crew. She is trying to see, to learn what they're doing (but not necessarily how they're doing it); she will try very hard not to interfere with their work, however.

When they approach port, she will change into her best robes (the ones with the decorations reminiscent of grass and myrtle) and wait on deck as they pull into the harbor.