Archibaluds moves to his feet and grips a casting tool for Obliteration of the mystical foe and speaks. “Step forth into the light and we will speak. Who is your brother? Tell me his name and I will say if I know him.”
1180.3 part 4
"Easy now," says the... man? The man. "No sudden moves and we'll all be happy. What would you need to switch sides? Whatever you're getting, we can do better," he says confidently.
Oddly enough, he does not seem fazed by your Gift. Or maybe he is, and his semblance of calm is a disaster in the making.
But there's something refreshing about a straight offer.
1180.4 part 4
"Step forth?" A voice asks puzzled. Then another repeats the question, and another and another. With each repetition, the surprise eases into sardonic amusement.
A pine comb suddenly falls. A coinicidence, except then another and another and another, from all around you. It seems likely that there's one pine comb per voice, and you have sufficient Supernatural Lore to understand that you are talking either to trees or to some power associated with them.
If they are trees, you probably don't want them stepping anywhere. If they are trees, they have you very surrounded.
"Put out your fire," one of the trees suggests. "You will see us better. Then you will tell us of our brothers."
Father( Archibaluds age + 25= 51) : Ebekin
Oldest brother ( Archibaluds age + 4= 30) : Waldfrid
Older brother ( Archibaluds age + 2= 28) : Peer
Younger sister ( Archibaluds age - 2= 24) : Edeltruda
Younger brother ( Archibaluds age - 6= 20) : Oatbald
I assumed that there are no other people around. Archibaldus walks towards the man and looks him in the eye. Perdo Mentem! Archibaldus cast Trust of the childlike faith (casting total: 6 – aura + dice vs. lv. 10). Please allow me to introduce myself I am Tage Weaver. Sorry about that I didn’t mean to scare you. May I walk with you for awhile? This neighbourhood does not seem safe… And who might you be good sir? How come you are taking a stroll in this part of town?
Salve soldaes, I am Archibaldus Ex Verditius, I am fresh from gauntlet and are trying to start up a magical item forge so I took the opportunity to walk around this tribunal to see if there is any magus that would need my magical service. I focus mainly upon the elemental arts but that is not the end of my knowledge. I am residing at Parum Sanctus Bellum if you ever should need some magical items.
1180.5 part 4
Indeed, it is late at night when people of good intention should not be walking around. It's dangerous!
As you approach the magistrate, he seems about to strike you, yet he has no clue about the threat he faces while you are pretty sure you know the score. You cast your spell in this nasty, nasty Aura and take a Fatigue Level.
Suddenly, the magistrate isn't very sure why he was about to strike you, or what's going on, and being a decent fellow does not complete his swing. You startled him. It's late.
I had first written something else, but upon reading the spell I notice that it makes the target believe lies rather than make him stupid, except that he believes half of your lies (note the Int roll ). He accepts that you are who you are, but does not introduce himself. Instead, he apologizes for mistaking you for a thief of some kind, and wants to know why you were following him.
1180.1 part 6
Various valuable but mundane objects exchange hands among the Ex Misc. It turns out that they had noticed you some days ago, and had bet amongst themselves about whether or how long it would take for you to approach them. Another set of wagers involved what your intention would be, but the stakes are lower for this one: The issue is less about what a Verditius magus might want to discuss, but how quickly said Verditius would get to what he really wanted.
The Ex Misc find your plight amusing: They don't think much of your parens and as fringeworthy magi themselves, they benefit from others being fringeworthy. Especially someone dressed as splendidly as you. There's no malice in it, and they invite you to sit with them.
Unfortunately, they are not at all interested in paying full price for anything you might do for them. After all, at full price even an Ex Misc could get work done for him by a reputable Verditius magus, rather than the student of a magus who might be no better than his teacher. But if you're willing to negotiate a lower rate, the girl whose head is on fire would love something that allowed her to fly--her magic is powerful but she cannot affect herself. And the Nose Witch is very interested in something that would let her kill some supernatural threat, blasting through its magic resistance, or something that would take down its resistance for a short period of time; even a one-shot would be fine, since she wants it as a backup of last resort. The Spindly Finger Witch would love something that she can use even in a church, to look at someone and have them orgasm, except she says it far more crudely. She plans to use it on a priest she dislikes, and maybe the miller's wife back home, whom she thinks needs it.
The Ex Misc with crumbs in his beard suggests that you build something interesting for yourself, that you can show off to other magi, something that showcases your magical specialties and your creativity. The best Verditius magi come up with ideas that other people never thought of. He adds that if you need the vis, that's one thing, and establishing a reputation among Ex Misc for being understanding, discreet and professional might become extremely lucrative once people realize that, unlike your parens, you will not challenge an Ex Misc to Certamen for disrespectful behavior if his shadow touches yours, and that you create what is needed and wanted rather than what you think a magus should have. But, he continues good-naturedly, a reputation for catering to magi such as ourselves--and he seems to include you among them--will not impress magi of your House even the slightest. He does not presume to know your House as you do, yet has met more Verditius magi than you have, and they care only about what you create and who you sell it to.
The magus of the exquisite facial hair--you think he did best in the betting--fastidiously tells you that he needs nothing, though it is kind of you to ask. The others give him odd looks, but let it pass.
Perhaps it is best to have a few guards. Archibaldus is keen to find out more about his surroundings and what can be purchased or crafted. He will also take some time to study the area closest to the covenant. If he has the time then perhaps he can also search the closest area for strange phenomena and interesting resources (vis and such… ).
How do I know that I can trust you? And who are you working for? He inspect the man and the surrounding for some clue about who he is and if there are any other threat that is approaching.
Archibaldus puts out the fire with a nearby pot of water. Archibaluds notice that he is beginning to sweat, not much but he is clearly nervous. "I assume that mean the dry sticks that I picked from the ground, they where our brothers? I am most sorry if I in anyway have offended you in anyway. "
1180.2 part 6
With guards, everything changes. Although Eirik would have preferred you to avoid Kyiv entirely, he is very good about providing you with guard--four bearded young men show up at your door, led by older man, also bearded. They all seem a little hung over. They remind you somehow of a pack of wolves, with the older man of the white-streaked beard their leader. A pack of good-humored, hung-over, boisterous wolves.
"Ha!" says the older man. "None bother you today. Mishka says it!" He claps you a little bit too hard on the back. "You go where you want. See what you want."
Once you're in the boat on the way to the city, the men start drinking--though it's still morning. After they each take a swig from a rather large skin, they pass it around to you. And if Archibaldus has the good sense to take a drink, it is a very good day. He doesn't get the deference he is used to; these grogs are too... paternal. But no one shows him disrespect--quite the contrary. He can go where he wants without a word of comment. Well, there is a word of disapproval from a priest, but toward Mishka, not toward Archibaldus, and it is the priest who withdraws from the brief argument, tail (figuratively) between his legs.
The next days, also good. There are churches here, a famous monastery which Archibaldus might not care about. There's a craftsman quarter for locally made goods, which with the exception of woodwork and a few other crafts are usually of inferior quality, and a foreigner's quarter where the best of Europe can be found... for a premium price. If Archibaldus wants premium forge companions who excel in metal work, he will have to import them too, because the chance of finding that one local metalworker is dim. Even that's not going to be easy. What competent craftsman is willing to leave a place he knows and where he enjoys some kind of success, to go with you all the way out here? Something to think about, yet another problem to solve.
On the other hand, fine timber and fur can be had here for prices that seem ridiculously low, and woodcrafters of various sorts are no less proficient than anywhere else. There are competent bookbinders and scribes, though the covenant has these too.
Mishka's men bargain for things at various places, for themselves--and seem to expect you to cover it! If there are things you want for yourself, Mishka's presence makes bargaining much easier. You probably pay more than a skilled merchant might in a similar situation, yet not the "I have a Blatant Gift and am the Spawn of Satan" special price.
Finding vis in Kyiv proper will be difficult (and requires stories on its own) to find elsewhere. On other days, Mishka and his people walk with you around the covenant, but walking is not very efficient, you don't get very far... and if you're looking for vis, it's usually best to start with a plan.
So far: Kyiv itself does not seem to be a good source of vis or forge companions, but you can have stuff imported, if it has not already been, and some local craftsman are just ok metalworkers. Having five guards around can be handy: You don't pick up as much of the local flavor and are not likely to find that one journeyman with great promise. You also don't get spat upon. Mishka seems to like you, especially if you took a drink.
Unless Archibaldus wants to push in some direction, or you want to be sure I have covered some basic information about Kyiv and the covenant's environs, this exploratory season seems wrapped.
1180.3 part 6
"You don't," he says. "And I'm not asking you to. As for who I'm working for... a lack of trust goes both ways. If you're not interested, you're not interested."
The man seems local. It is night, and no one else around. Everything has been very quiet so far.
" You looked like a fellow that owns me a few coins and have yet failed to give me my money back. But I see that you are not him. So, sorry that I bothered you. Good night." Archibaldus walks away into the nearest alley. If possible he cast Invisibility of the traversing wizard and continue to follow the magistrate he could use some extravagant gestures as I assume that he can’t be seen by anyone (Casting total +3 – aura +1 for gestures – fatigue (not sure on how much…) = 4-a lot + dice vs. 10.
1180.5 part 6
You took one FL so far, so no penalty. You cast the spell successfully, with no fatigue (yay for rolling up). Now you can follow him in proper style!
The magistrate has a very hard time of it. You are not a competent shadow, but what of it? He hears your footfalls, yet when he whirls to look for you, there is nothing to be found. Bad nerves, perhaps. When he sees your shadow he also sees that there is nothing casting it, and a moment later there's no shadow at all. More bad nerves, right? Clearly no one is following him. Yes, a bad night for the magistrate. Even in the dark, even from a distance, you notice his increased agitation. But eventually he reaches a door. He knocks on the door with the knob of his stick, waits, then knocks again peremptorily. The door opens and he steps inside. Then it closes.
You can remember the place should you wish to return by day. Or perhaps you have other plans for this night!
1180.4 part 6
"Polite," goes around the circle, and before it finishes, "And brave," takes its turn.
With the fire out you can see more clearly now. Some of the trees are moving, slowly, and although they lack faces, they seem expressive in a way that you cannot put words to. Most of the trees are not awake, just normal.
"These are not our brothers. They are us, and they are dead. You are welcome to them. Tell us of our brothers. We smell them upon you, far far away."
It might take a few more passes at conversation, or perhaps you realize even now, that these trees wish you to tell them of the great forest around Kyiv, and of the trees. They also want to hear about the river and the ice, but are most interested in the trees.
There is little you can tell them, not being an expert, but you've been there long enough to talk about them, and they are happy to listen to whatever it is you have to say. Strangely, you find yourself saying more than you expected. As you grow tired, a tree 'hands' you a cupped leaf filled with water. You drink and are refreshed. You and the trees talk further, and sometime you find yourself listening.
If there is something specific you want the trees to talk with you about, let me know, and I'll fill it in.
But the season ends thusly:
At last it is dawn, or perhaps a bit later, since the forest holds onto darkness in its canopy a little longer before allowing the day to reach the ground.
"This is for your bravery," and you notice a small but particularly fine pinecomb beside your right knee.
"And this is for your politeness," and from the ashes of your fire, you see a clenched flowerbud catch the first ray of sun before it touches the ground. Its petals unfurl in purple and white.
"And this is for your friendship, for spending your summer with us rather than among others, for a time when bravery and politeness are not sufficient, nor the powers of fire and metal," and a simple leafless branch drops into your lap. "Break it, burn it or destroy it when the memory of us is not sufficient, and the powers of wood will come to your side. Wherever you are."
A summer? It hardly seems like a night. Yet as the warmth of the sun soaks into you, you can kind of feel time speed up from, as though you travel from the consciousness of tree to that of man.
Archibaluds replies to each of the magi in order.
To the magus with bread crumps in his beard: “I intend to, but first I must gain some vis but I have a few ideas for spectacular constructions.”
To the spidery fingers witch: “I can arrange that but first you must make a few choices. I am a metalworker so I specialises in metal art so I wish to know what piece of jewellery you would appreciate. This is a broche that I crafted to show of my skill with metal.” Archibaldus display a silver brooch on the table in front of the magi. In the centre of the there is the symbol of house Verditius and surrounding the symbol there is a sculptured circular dragon pattern. The dragon bites in it’s own tail. In between the house symbol and the dragon there is a black enamel where the silver shows trough in a few places creating symbols of the different arts. “Of course I can craft something more discrete if you so wish.”
To the nose witch: “I think that a wand would be suited to your needs and a charged item would suffice. Do you have any request about the physical appearance of the wand? I will try to incorporate any wishes of yours if possible. But then perhaps a ring is even more useful to you as it is readily accessible in case you should need it and it could be a most stylish addition to your wardrobe. Might I suggest a brass ring, it is a good metal for this purpose. Perhaps with an amethyst as well.”
To the woman with her head on fire: “ I would also recommend a ring as it is quite difficult to drop once in the air. Just about how fast would you like to travel? If you wish an item for fast travel then perhaps it is best to make it a greater device so that I can later fit it with some useful enchantments that will ease the comforts of travel by air, perhaps a warm wind to surround you and perhaps the option of turning you invisible. Of course I can craft a lesser device as well. Whatever that suits your needs. Do you have any wishes about the physical appearance of this ring? The nobler the metal and the more gemstones, the more power I can fit into the item if you wish to make it a greater.
Once Archibaldus has gotten what he wish to know from the magi he will negotiate a price and when it will be ready. (Bargain 1 +1 + Com 0 = 2 +dice)
“Fair enough. What do you have to offer?” Archibaldus curse the fact that he does not know any mind reading spells.
It depends… If there is a few nights until the trial then Archibaluds will just try to determine some fact about the house or what goes on in there and then go home to sleep. He will attempt to listen at the windows or perhaps take a peek inside as long as he is invisible. If the need to put some pressure on the magistrate is urgent (i.e. the trial is tomorrow) then he will do a few things in an other order.
1180.1 part 8
I didn't catch that the first time around; while you are at GT, you don't yet know the name of the covenant. No big deal... the Ex Misc and you will be able to find each other when you want to.
The man chuckles indulgently, but doesn't explain.
All of the Ex Misc gather around to look at your sample--they seem to approve. The exquisite facial hair magus says, "Most elegant." The hair-on-fire maga gives him a hard look and he steps back involuntarily for a moment, before assuring her, "Have no fear, it will abide."
The Spindly Finger Witch says, "Yes... more discreet. People always get so jealous of me." The other Ex Misc turn to her, and all but the girl with burning hair manage to suppress their laughter. "What!" exclaims the witch. "They do."
Then she says, "But it is so pretty. Can you make it a cat, or do you need to have the right kind of shape?" She smiles. "It should look pretty and I'll just have to wear it where none can see."
The Nose Witch doesn't know what to say. Finally. "Me, an amethyst? " She smiles. "A ring is better than a wand."
She is a woman, but so looks like a girl! She says, "I don't need to worry about warmth, and the rush of air just feels good. But... you can make me travel fast? And be able to do acrobatics in the air? Not just fly, but fly. And invisible?" She considers. "I like to be seen. But maybe for flying over a city. Discretion," she says it like a dirty word. She pauses. "I don't think it will work. I don't just radiate species!" And indeed, Perdo Imaginem would not be sufficient to hide her burning hair. Now that you are talking with her, you notice that her fingernails are crystal. She must also be a kind of elementalist, more in tune with (and victim of) the elements but with less in the way of Hermetic Magic. Of course, she might also have been to the Twilight Void a few times.
"And I don't think you'll be able to quench this, even temporarily. A ring," she says. With a firebird!"
She is definitely interested!
The elegant man steps in to negotiate for all of them, which is good news and bad news.
It is good news because it looks like you're going to achieve all three commissions, negotiated as a package! Getting three commissions as a brand new journeyman is a coup. You will earn a bad reputation for this, because other Verditius will be both impressed and jealous. They will have to find something bad to say, and these guys are Ex Misc. But these items are not mere trinkets, and other Verditius will notice. So will other Ex Misc, and a bad reputation among magi for serving Ex Misc is a good reputation among Ex Misc... and there are lots and lots and lots of these.
It is bad news because this man is clearly an experienced and professional bargainer. Better than anyone you've seen in Antwerp. This fellow might have centuries of experience and knowledge. He knows merchandise, knows about finance, and knows about the Order. He even knows all about you. He doesn't come right out and say it, but his words unerringly home in on your hopes and your fears, and your feelings about your parens. Either he is very well-informed and has a high Folk Ken, or he is using Mentem magics. You suspect the former--but maybe that's because of CrMe!
First, he wants to be sure that everyone is agreed about what is to be created. In OOC terms, please write up the items Archibaldus is to fabricate.
Second, he would like to know a time frame for delivery.
And during it all, you discuss price. The normal price is twice the vis cost plus the cost of the object itself. You can negotiate up to 1.5 the vis cost plus the vis cost of the items, but no further... and House Verditius will be told that you are being paid full price.
1180.3 part 8
He can offer money, alliances; he even hints at marriage possibilities. He suspects that you aren't properly appreciated where you are. He doesn't seem to realize that you are part of the family, and that you are not likely to turn your back on them, even work against them. Certainly not for money. ....and just what is your family involved with anyway?