An expedition to Italy Spring 1230

Elia has requested a custom staff, made from materials available primarily in Italy, and some of these imported from Africa. Giovanni will take charge of the expedition (as NPC) but is asking for others associated with the covenant for assistance in finding an appropriate artist and overseeing the construction.
And it's only marginally suspicious that he wants them to carry packs of goods along the alpine trails as they make their way to and from Italy...

This is a redcap work season for Guida so she probably can't commit to a real mercantile expedition before Summer unless work is slow. She would offer some contacts she may have though. If this happens in the summer, Giovanni may get a different answer.

On hearing Giovanni's request, Lena will make her way and seek to approach Elia, knocking on her lab door: "Mistress Elia, may I have a moment of your time, to discuss the staff you want made? I wonder if I may be able to assist you in some way?"

Elia welcomes Lena "Of course, I always have time for you, and if you have knowledge on how to acquire such a staff, I'd be happy to hear."

"I'm wondering what your intent is with that staff? Do you intend to enchant it as a Talisman?"

"That is my intent. I have taken a long time to settle on what my Talisman should do, and what some of the effects I wish to instill in it are, but I have a good idea now, and it's time for me to get it started. Plus, I hope that with that, my former apprentice, my dear Riza, and this book I'm writing, I would get more recognition within this Tribunal."

"Good, that is what I thought. Then perhaps I may be of assistance? As you know, I'm an alchemist. One of the things I can do is purify the components that will go into your Talisman. I don't normally work from crafted products - I tend to work with the raw material before it gets crafted into a final shape. It's not necessarily something that is worth my time to do, if you're looking at a lesser enchanted item, but it may be worthwhile on a Talisman - if you're willing to be patient while I research the necessary alchemical formulas and purify the components you will eventually enchant. My understanding is that your magic will benefit from it down the road." She explains how long it could take her and how that may help her magic down the road.

Short story - puryfing the materials alchemically improves the S&M bonus. Since it's going to be on a Talisman, that means the bonus you'll gain from attuning to it will be higher, provided your Magic Theory allows. She can for sure purify components to +1, and you can expect that to delay your project by 2-3 seasons per component purified that way. She can aim for +2, but that's pushing her capability and will delay your enchantment by six seasons or so per component, unless she studies a bit more to prepare. On the bright side -once a formula is developped, there should be enough raw material to help the Talismans of other magi, and the formula can be easily replicated - and this could bring income to the covenant from trading with other covenants.

The key questions are twofold:

  • Which Talisman components are most of interest to you;
  • How long are you willing to wait before completing the project and starting to attune?

For ex. Are you willing to wait if it means once you attune to your Talisman, you could get +7 to healing from the Ivory, instead of the standard +5 attunement bonus?

Elia is fascinated by your description of the process, and as she nods and considers the implications, her fingers, which were mushing a leaf as she was thinking, smudged it into her hair, which hasn't even been pulled back, and was a bit of a mess even before that. "i can definitely see the benefit of your suggestion, and the application to sell such knowledge to others, or to sell such a service, but I wouldn't want to take too long, both of your time, and in putting off making my Talisman. Say, have you had a Longevity Ritual done for you? such skills are a marvel, and should be allowed to flourish."

OOC: She'll probably ask you to refine Amber (controlling movement +3) and Cedar (any effect with mentem and herbam requisites +5), by +1 each.
She might later ask you to refine the Olive and Flowers, but she will first need to research what their bonus might be. If she gets it done before the refinement is done on the other components, and she hasn't started enchanting it.

Lena beams to see her skills recognized.

"No, mistress Elia. I haven't had a Longevity Ritual made."

"Then once we have the Vis for it, I will make you one, and make a new one for myself. Mine is still working, but it's potency is not what I would like, ah, but that's for another discussion." Elia appears older than you, but she easily engages you in light conversation, that probably takes more time then you imagined this conversation will last.

With Bartomeus going to the Magic Realm, Fiore will join the expedition to Italy to locate the items she wanted for her Talisman. Having spent the Winter recovering from his wounds, and doing some bargaining on behalf of the covenant for supplies.

As the magi head into the magic real,. Giovanni, Fiore, and maybe Lena? Head south towards Italy. Giovani has traveled the route many times and knows the innkeepers along the way, once again carrying quatrz and gold from the covenant with which to make purchases ranging from the routine to the new requirements of the maga.
The journey is uneventful until the group gets to Barbian, where the local bishop has forbidden travel through either pass or gorge, apparently out of concern that support for Fredrick will come through the trade route.

After the strange adventure in that Faerie place, Fiore was feeling much better about this trip. He was back in his element, until they reached Barbian, and learned that the bishop has forbidden travel.

OOC: I assume the roads are blocked with soldiers, or some such?

"Well, if I didn't know any better, I'd say our travel plans are ruined. I can see if there's a way to bypass the bishop's word, if you'd like."

There are three roads- one up the slope into another pass which is blocked with a dozen men. The one through the valley the tow is in looks like it has not been used in decades, and apparently every merchant knows it is unpassable further down, and of course the road you came in by which is not blocked.

Fiore will try to find a contact that may provide some assistance in bypassing the guards. Be that via smuggling them, offering some alternate path to go on, or forging a letter from the bishop that will allow them to travel.

Please indicate what you are doing not what you intend to accomplish.

Fiore will try to find someone in town that has contacts with the criminal underworld. In a place that is under blockade, there are bound to be those who seek to overcome it.

Again we are going to "try to find" instead of something like "goes to.."

Goes to a tavern, looking for the underside of the town/village.

He heads to the tavern and finds it to be predominantly traders held back by the bishops ban, huddled together talking about the situation. Many of them know Giovanni so they don't object to your joining- the options they are discussing are heading north to take a different route, attempting the closed southern route, or heading up the pass and setting their guards against the bishop's men. Heading north has the most support, heading south the least but none enjoy a majority of support, and nobody here has settled on a plan, the balance seems to be on what the risks will be facing the bishop and how many are willing to band together to do so.