7 years of his life
Kiyv’s academics – first contact with the eggheads
Objectives: Arnaut wants to find out where he is, and get a general impression about the city he lives next to (e.g. languages used, basic power structures, a basic idea of the economy, religion, customs, but also magical aspects like lacunae, dominion strength, major church holidays).
He has a special interest in books (writers, production, trade, publishing) and schools. In fact, he’s trying to find either a good school or a good scholar to teach him/his children when he is away.
He’ll also keep his eyes open for a suitable wife (pretty, faithful, likes his collection of kids, can spend time by herself, is open to magic, can keep a secret or three, moral, caste no bar)
Expected complications: getting lost, pickpockets/criminals, an unexpected scholarly language (Greek), choosing between several less than perfect options, school caters for a limited group (Jews, guild,…)
- Find a suitable person (or 2, but no more) at the covenant to act as a guide, to introduce him in the right circles
- go to Kyiev, tourist around (guided by covenant person), get to know people (guided by covenant person), find the book traders (guided again), tell scholars that you need a teacher for your children (guided if helpful)
When Arnaut left his lab, the cold wind immediately reminded him that he was elsewhere. He had followed the steward’s explanation about where they were, but it still felt unreal.
He reminded himself that his sense of displacement was only logical, and decided to ask a servant for help. Trying out his mysteriously acquired new tongue – full of devilish sibilants – he got one of those good-looking flaxen-haired servant women to take him to the steward. On the way he caught himself pondering on the high cheek-bones, slanted green eyes and inviting hips of the women here – so exotically different from Spain. For a moment he considered using his “Enchantment of Detachment” spell to rid himself of such carnal thoughts for a while, but decided to deny himself the easy escape.
They arrived at the room where the steward, a subservient fellow with a ready smile on his lips , was going over some lists.
“I plan to visit Kyiv, master steward,” Arnaut said in Latin, after the exchange of a polite greeting. “ may I ask your assistance in finding one or two members of this covenant who can guide me through this city I can see over there? I’m planning to get a first impression. I also hope to meet with the local book industry and wish to get introduced to academic circles. Have we got anyone here who has the time to join and guide me?
I also need help finding appropriate clothing: Can I wear my scholar’s robes without sticking out?
Mechanics: Gentle gifted, +4 Com, +1 Etiquette, no magic used to assist this dialogue; skill total: +5)
difficult (not all children, but some, story probably splits up into more stories later)
Objectives: Arnaut retraces his early apprenticeship years, finding out about any children he might have and collecting them. I want to use this story to contrast Arnaut (careful, temperate, tempted, experienced, relationship-oriented) today with young Arnaut (fumbling, seductive, sex-oriented, unfaithful).
He wants to try to convince his offspring to move to Kiyv to go to school. Since he can’t tell who is gentle-gifted, he’ll take them all. Basically this story is a door opener for many other stories occurring later. He hopes to find a wife, but I doubt he will.
Complications: Arnaut has to come to terms with himself (opening up a bit, or becoming more bookish and aloof – I’ll let the course of the story decide that), when he has to deal with his past misdeeds he can’t deny. Mothers and children may become story hooks of their own, some recurring once, some more regularly (kind of like Data’s brother, Spock’s parents, or Worf (?)’s Alexander in Star Trek). I expect most mothers to be less than happy when daddy shows up again after so many years (about 10-13; though he did his best to send money during apprenticeship). Ironically, one or two might still love young Arnaut. He’ll understand those best that like him least.
Children at the onset of puberty that meet their dad again after so many years are the stuff of talkshows with a plethora of emotions and surprises (hate, curiosity, twins, mistaken identities, jealousy – you name it). They may be better off with mum, or be unwilling to go (best friend, first love), or project all their hopes on the new parent, or go with him to upset their mothers. There is plenty of room for moral dilemma situations and wrong choices that will haunt him later. I don’t expect much life-threatening physical violence apart from step-fathers and maybe a bit of revenge-driven poisoning.
A practical problem might be travelling and adventuring with a bunch of children (he’ll have to hire someone to watch them).
- make a list (pre-story)
- go to Spain
- travel along the route he took with his parens – in Spain, Foix and southern France
- observing his former lovers in disguise, trying to find out about children of a suspicious age.
- deciding if and how to approach mother and child
Note: I’ve made Esmeralda, the woman that came between Arnaut and his parens, a chapter of its own. He'll have to find out that she ran away with gypsies after he had stolen the most precious flower of her youth (you may blush NOW).
Arnaut breathes in the air – warm, full of roses, Jacandas and other flowers. It smells like – home. He opens his eyes, looks at his hands, then around him. So the pylon seems to work. Astounding! Memories flood back to him, the happy innocent thoughts of childhood as he looks around the meadow he had chosen as his target. No witnesses save a few birds. Good. Then he realizes that it must be early morning - hours earlier than in Kyiv. He feels a knot forming in his stomach: Did he travel in time? What day, what year might it be?
A few miles of travelling and looking at the plants and the fields convince Arnaut that the season hasn’t changed. When he asks a peasant in the first hamlet, he learns from the man, who looks at the scholar in bewilderment, that the feast of Santa Ana de la Corazon is two days off. Relieved, he realizes that it is the day of his departure. He makes a mental note of the potential use of pylons for breaking the hermetic limit of time, and takes out the list of women he has slept with, compiled from his diary notes.
Inez, Los Gatos
Aurelie and Marie, the two daughters of Roland of Zaragosa
Simone, innkeeper’s daughter, at an inn somewhere between Zaragosa and Jaca
Manuela, some farm a day north of Pamplona
Name unknown (tall, red hair, freckles, small breasts), farm near Montaillou
Beatrice, noblewoman in Foix
Azais, mistress of the priest of Bois-la-Fontaine
Geneviere, daughter of the Lord of Libourne
Esmeralda, chateleine de Montana Verte
Again, he wonders how many of these carnal sins resulted in pregnancies, in sons and daughters needing his guidance. At the same time, the list evokes sinful thoughts, which he tries to ignore.
He leaves the path to Los Gatos only to disguise himself with a made-up spell.
Finally, bathed in the ray of the morning sun, the village appears in a valley below him. He directs his steps towards the priest’s house, identifies himself as a book trader interested in buying or procuring books and asks if he can stay the night
Ooc: Los Gatos doesn’t have an inn – like most villages at the time.
- Fatiguing spont. Spell: Disguise of the new body; MuCo5; Base 3 +2 sun;
Makes user look differently (cf. ArM5, 131-132)
(Mu5 + Co 5 + 1 Sta)/2 = (11 + die +aura) /2
- Talking to people skills: +4 Com, +2 Charm or +1 Etiquette = +4/+5
- unobtrusively (deft mentem) uses Perception of the Conflicting Motives on people, to understand people he talks to in non-stressful situations better +19
- unobtrusively (deft mentem) uses Enchantment of Detachment +19 on aggressor should a conflict arise
1180.3??? (after he has found his other children and made arrangements for them)
Objectives: Find Esmeralda, find out if she is a mother, see if she’s the right wife
Complications: Esmeralda is (a noblewoman) now a travelling gipsy who might be anywhere in Europe. She is protected by her clan – that includes hedge magi and supernatural abilities of all kinds. When Aimiric, Arnaut’s parens finds out, old wounds break open: He certainly does not want his filius to have her and would love to humiliate Arnaut by making her pregnant, or, failing that kill her – Aimiric will pretend that this is a game to him - but it isn’t. Esmeralda may or may not have a child. Finally there is Esmeralda herself, a woman beyond compare in body, mind and soul, admired by many, wary of them all. Arnaut won her once – only to despoil her. Can he win her forgiveness, protect her from his parens and be accepted by her gypsy clan?
Plans: Find her (he will have to befriend gipsies who tell him), find out if she is the mother of one of his children, win her back (he doesn’t admit that part to himself yet).
Arnaut was in Montana Verte again. He looked at the nobleman's house, not a castle, but the only stone house in the village. He entered the barn knowing that old the old senor de Verte, blessed be his deafness, wouldn't hear a thing. Too old to be a man - the only use that old gimp had for her was keeping his feet warm; what a waste for a young woman like Esmeralda. He had seen Aimirics eyes lustfully drinking in her curves, but he had been quicker, and there waiting in the hay, she was: Eyes like wet black stones, snow-white skin, a black waterfall of chastely combed hair. Her voice touched him, her smell engulfed him and he raised his robe to make her his, his again, forever his, only to blink at Aimiric who had taken her place and mockingly admonished him not to draw a sword if you didn't know how to use it - and then he woke with a start, only to realize that this had only been a sinful dream.
Arnaut quietly casts an Enchantment of Detachment on himself, then prays.
Esmeralda no longer is at Montana Verde - ran away with the gypsies as the peasants were eager to tell him. For a second he wonders if Aimiric had his hands in this, but then he doubts it. How can he find her without an Arcane Connection?
He decides to take the pylon to Spain, decides that he won't need a grog for this mission and teleports to a wood outside Zaragosa. He moves to an inn and waits there for a few days, awaiting the fair of Santo Domingo de Zaragosa. He uses this time to earn a little money.
At the fair, he strolls through the stalls, paying special attention to gypsy crafts like basket weavers, horse traders (which he wisely watches from afar)., tinkers, soothsayers, jugglers, and sieve makers, striking up friendly small-talk, buying this and that (no horses though).
In the evening, he walks towards the fire the gypsies have lit near their wagons, seeking someone to talk to.
Arnaut doesn't disguise himself. He simply says that he is looking for a woman he once loved and foolishly left, named Esmeralda, said to live with gypsies, and that he wants to find her and apologize for the wrong he did her (without going into detail on how he wronged her). He is willing to describe her and to pay for information.
Earning money could be by honest scribing, or he could work as a soothsayer (using his mentem spells Posing the Silent Question and Perception of the Conflicting motive (both +19) to advise people. Guile 2 + Com +4 = +6 (he doesn't consider that working as a court wizard; after all, his predictions are based on mundane charlatanry, not on magic). If he comes across someone in distress, he can also make them feel better usnig "Praise the worthy student" (+19). Using mentem spells is unobtrusive thanks to deft mentem.
talking to the gypsies:
talking skill total etiquette/charm +4/+5
He tries to avoid using magic (having heard rumours that the gypsies have hedge wizards among themselves.
I'm skimming through these. As usual, I will wait for the full complement before starting. However, I noticed something that suggests I did not successfully communicate how things are intended to work:
All of these stories execute in parallel with no dependencies on the others.
This means at least one parallel story is initiated per point of applicable flaw, with no dependencies on the outcome of any other story initiated this period. The only way a story dependency may occur is when you initiate a story and that story continues that cycle, either because it gets complicated during its season or because it spills over into another season.
In neither case does "after he has found his other children" work as the beginning.
Now, you can tack this onto another story, as a complication you want, and I will do my very best to track you.
But each story begins and ends independent of the others: If one of these stories becomes something else, none of the other stories are affected. Arnaut and you get to initiate at least 7 of these.
Oh then just deal with story 1180.1 and 1180.2: 1180.2 will branch into lots of other stories, I suppose, and we will come to a point where I can use a modified version of 1180.3.
edit: my character has CHILDREN and he thinks they might be in danger. So he won't get involved in too many (7) new things (like the Order, for example), unless it is unavoidable. Once he knows about his family, they'll provide him with plenty of parallel stories and he has time to worry about other stuff again.
This is why I suggest a two stories + 5 follow-up stories. What that means for the difficulty of 1180.2 (easy, so the resulting stories can start parallelly, or difficult, because it's such a mess), shrug
I continue to decline to go with the suggestion. 7 stories, in parallel. One of these can be a major quest for children that branches out.
As for children being in danger, consider: Arnaut has been making these on and off over the years. Any immediate danger would already have happened. Now it is true, that you, as the player, can construct stories in which they are in danger, and then tell me "see?" but you can also construct stories in which they are not. In a similar way, you can create stories that feel natural to the character yet cut across the grain of the game's structure, but you can also create stories that feel natural to the character and work well within it. Your choice.
To recap and reiterate: 7 stories, independent, to be run in parallel.