It's early in the spring of 1242 when a Redcap arrives via portal with a small package for Roberto. By chance, the magus is at the castle at Arans and the Redcap is quickly brought to him, where he reveals to Roberto that this was not just a regular message, but a priority one sent just a few days earlier. The Redcap won't reveal who sent it ("If that's important, it'll be in the message," he says), but it's clear that someone paid dearly, probably in vis, to get this message delivered right away.
Once Roberto can get to a quiet corner of the castle, he opens the package to find that it contains a folded up piece of parchment and several chips of stone. Unfolding the parchment, reveals a short note.
You got me :mrgreen:
At first, seeing Roberto's name, I thought of ways to try to worm out of it and pass it off to another. Then I saw Campo de Marte. Roberto would certainly be interested and even flattered, and I am intrigued to see what you have done with the place.
Then I saw Santiago's name.
Ahhh! You got me. There is no way he would ever hesitate to answer the call of his mentor and second master, the hero of the Schism War and slayer of Rassus, the man as marred and mean looking as Machete and serene as Danny Trejo irl, the one and only Santiago Flambeau of the Knights of Seneca!
Roberto begins asking about for volunteers. So anyone that wants to jump on, speak up
Frederika will join in! She's not normally predisposed to [size=115]adventure[/size], but there are a great many reasons why she'd be happy to tag along. Mostly I want in, damnit. That's reason enough, right?
I would like Vibria to be in this, depending on what her status is when she returns to Andorra some time after Bride of the Vavel Dragon, and whether or not she's with child (spoiler alert: she's not, at the time of the adventure. Probably.)
Once Lucas hears that subtlety is needed, he'll volunteer. Also, he grew up in Normandy, which might help. Besides that, he's heard stories from Roberto about Santiago and the Knights of Seneca. He really wants to meet the man behind so many of those stories.
Heeey, it's been five years since I joined the covenant. Am I that untrustworthy? I mean sure, I'm untested in actual combat. And the bulk of my magic is about as subtle as an avalanche. But Frederika herself is only as unsubtle as an avalanche sometimes...!
So do I really need watching that carefully? :mrgreen:
From the title I would think Fleur and Adan would both be interested, but there is nothing in the letter that would arouse their interest.
Rilcheaux is always up for something involving skulking and intrigue, but even if he knew about this- which he does not (he keeps his curious little fingers out of official Hermetic business and concentrates on how close he can skirt to interfering with mundanes), he still would not try and interject himself.
Arachné waits calmy until everyone has spoken, pondering the message's implications.
This is intriguing, in more ways than one.
It might be worthwhile losing some time over this. With Carmen and Solomon at the covenant, I might be able to leave, at least to hear the man and ascertain you don't need my help.
Oh, and if need be, don't forget that I am able to send more things and people away, albeit at the cost of dangerous warping.
Considering who sent Roberto the request for assistance, and that Roberto was the one requested, I figure that melee is potentially a component of this endeavor
As for going to speak with him, I have two ideas about this. Those who can teleport shall do so. Those that cannot will travel by carpet, give them a head start maybe. Or those that can teleport go on ahead, then return here to assemble a team as needed.
Tempted by the allure of excitement (excitement slightly romanticised no less!), Frederika has decided to take some time off to answer Roberto's call. "Campo de Marte is in...Leon, no?" She thinks for a moment. "Two days of flight, one day to recover. I could probably make it in a single day, but that would be awful. So let's not do that!"
"What to take though? Given the tone of the letter, and where it's from, I should probably pack some armour..."*
[size=85]*Frederika does not actually look like someone who would handle armour particularly well.[/size]
Lucas listens to Roberto's suggestions and adds one of his own. "If you say that the task is going to be in Normandy, at least to start, maybe keeping those who can't teleport here would be best. The Mercere portal network can get us to Dragon's Rest, Cunfin, or Confluensis, depending upon which is closest to our ultimate target. That might save time in the end."
Okay, so far we have:
With Fleur and Adan interested based on the title, but not in character. (There may be a point later at which they can act on more information.)
Antoine is probably not unduly bothered - the history of Flambeau doesn't interest him hugely (with one obvious and notable exception). However, he does speak French, and has a few Mentem / Imaginem tricks, if not enough to rival Lucas. So if you want him, he'll come.
I thank everyone for being so eager to help out. But I do not think that this many magi are necessary. I don't even know what is going on yet. And I warn you, it will likely involve martial confrontation at some point. But it may require a special set of skills or spells that one of you has and I do not. So there will likely be a need for someone non-martial as well.
I propose this. Two of you that know the magic of instant transportation, travel with me to meet Santiago. Find out what he needs first, then come back here to select a team.
As for non-magi, place that concern on hold for now.
I am excited to see what you do with Santiago. Information about him is found mainly in Roberto's background. He has come up in all three sagas now, but he has ever and always been played "off screen", communicating with letters mainly. But no one has ever acted the character out in play. That will be interesting.
Off the top of my head, there are only a few hard details about the guy...
He is ugly, but impressive (good Presence and Disfigured?). Imagine Danny Trejo as a magus :mrgreen:
He has a violent history and dark secrets in his past. Roberto's pater, Joel Muniz, was Santiago's mentor, and taught him to be more calculating and subtle. However, the two of these guys were still lawbreakers and led a mercenary company that fought in mundane conflicts. Hence Roberto's Flaw of Infamous Master
Santiago was at the battle of Las Navas, as were Roberto and Joel. Joel was killed, Roberto avenged him (earning his battlefield gauntlet), and Santiago became his Mentor (and second pater actually).
Straight away Santiago and Roberto were plunged into the Shadow Wars and fought in several conflicts. In 1219 the caught up with Rassus and Santiago slew him in combat. Supposedly. Interesting villains have a way of surviving. But That's what Roberto saw and Santiago did. So they believe.
After that the two part ways and communicate mainly by letters. Santiago went to the Stonehenge Tribunal and became all pious and stuff.
Santiago is the one who sent Roberto to join Novus Mane, and latter asked him to go to Mons Electi.
As backstory fluff, he gave Roberto a scroll of spells that are in the library and sent him two of his best soldiers (Allen and Albert). These were paid for in Mustering out.
And that is all I can think of. Some of his magic would be similar to Roberto, and he taught him several spells and skills. However, he is not the one he learned Virtues & Flaws from. So, though they may have some overlap, the origin and basis of Santiago's magic may be somewhat to very different, and he may have developed a few things new and different.
Oh! One more thing. Santiago has not yet had a successful apprentice. Though he may now. Who knows?
But back in the day, Roberto's original "Companion" was a delusional Failed Apprentice who thought he was a monk and called himself Marcellus. He was created and played by Jebrick.
But I really don't have a "persona" for Santiago, just an idea. Someone Roberto idolizes. There are no stats. I tried several times and came up with nothing. So it is all yours. Chisel what you will on the blank spaces of the rough ashler.
Roberto decides that he and two other magi should go and meet Santiago to learn more of what is needed of them. After that will be the time to assemble a larger team. As it turns out, only Arachne and Lucas have the magical wherewithal for instantaneous travel, so the selection seems clear.
A short time later, Roberto, Arachne, and Lucas are all standing together, each holding a chip of stone provided by Santiago. The time for any last minute preparations or concerns is now.
I believe Arachne and Lucas are the only ones of the group who know Leap of Homecoming. Please correct me if I'm wrong. And Marko, tell me if you're okay with the two of them as Roberto's companions.
OOC: Thanks for the information on Santiago. I'd gleaned some of it from Roberto's background, but not nearly all. It should really be a help.
It's been years since Arachné seriously left the covenant. And the last time, she met Metron.
She's quite uneasy.
Unless there's reason not to, she'll probably want to ward herself, hide from sight, and follow Roberto at a distance, leaving one of her wooden spiders with him so she may see through it. Should trouble arise for Roberto, she can provide surprise backup.