Astris Ex Tremere 1180-1186

1180.1 part 3

You're right! I didn't think about how old my family would be; my image of them is from Astris's childhood. Let's call it James's oldest son, my nephew, Robert.

For the extra +3 in calculating the Hours astrological duration for The Obedient Chest.

Right, I meant Score. I was debating using the favorable hour but because i had such a high score I took it out of the flavor text. I forgot to take it out of the crunchy bits too.

Pride or no, I don't see the need to BBQ a kid for stealing a penny. But if I notice that same kid hanging around later, it could go poorly for him. Mostly this contributes to my already sour mood. Its time for me to be sleeping and I'm tired.

I puff myself up, and in my best, courtly Norman French "What a band of honorable and noble knights. Fresh from Arthur's table you must be. Here I am, a noble's son, mis treated and oppressed by this mean peasant. And yet you do not stir in defense of my honor. In the hall of my father, such am impudent animal as this would be whipped for treating even a serving child so. Much less the manor's own son. I bring silver to buy my passage, and meet uncalled derision and offense. Were I not half this man's age, I'd be within my rights to call for blades and test his soft tongue against hard steel. Will not one of you rise in my defense?"

I'm trying to shame the knights into shutting the sailor up, and at least letting me walk away with dignity, and maybe even forcing him to let me on board. 5/-1 (+2 Com +4 Etiquette: Nobility -1 Nocturnal -6 Blatant Gift (i don't recall from your rules if this is still a mechanical effect, or if there is just your option of fiat failure/botch).

Right, if I can get on a ship soon this won't be a problem. Otherwise, we are going to have to consider some different ideas. My plan would be to find a ship with fewer crew- a smaller cog or the like that is manned by no more than five or six people. i look for a boat that is moored down a pier, someplace farther away from the hustle and bustle of the main dock thoroughfare. Once i can locate a suitable opportunity 2 (+2 Per +1 Awareness -1 Nocturnal), i'll lay the Aura of Rightful Authority on the captain. Cs:15-aura (11 TeFo +1 Sta +3 method -1 Nocturnal). Once he's suitably "lubricated" I'll ask to be taken on board and into his office. You see, i'm very tired and would like to rest.

Well, I'm not carrying much on my person that could be stolen. I have a single pouch of silver that has enough to buy passage on a ship several times over. its pretty heavy so I'm unlikely to not notice it go missing. As the only object of value except my sword, I'll keep a hand resting on it. My Notice Pick Pocket would be 3 (+2 Per +2 Awareness: Alertness, -1 nocturnal).

EDIT: Fixed quotes.

1180.3 part 4

I think you mean Eirik.

Well, Astris has managed to keep his virtue, and has not killed anyone yet. So far, so good. The worst that has happened are a few impassioned Certamens--how did they fake that?--and some eavesdropping on behalf of your fake Tremere superior.

Upon reflection, some of the deeper ideas that you have picked up from listening to experienced magi discuss the finer points of Magic Theory are every bit as silly as they seemed on first inspection. But sometimes there is something to be learned from lies and deception.

The night sky seems reasonable for the region, yet given your experience and the tools you have at hand, you could be a long way from where you think you should be--but not so far that the stars and constellations are wrong.

You've been here for weeks! They are pretending to be magi holding a Tribunal and have done nothing to harm you. It has taken you a while to see through their deceptions, as when the strangenesses of a dream seem reasonable in the moment, yet sometimes a sliver of wakeful awareness alloys the dream with the realization that you are dreaming, though you do not wake up.

The cases brought before Tribunal, meaningless and irrelevant. The discussions about Magic Theory, the less said the better.

And the "magi" react in character, though with the distortions you might expect from pretenders! There's a Faux-Flambeau who immediately rises to suggest that Faeries indeed have much to offer--lots of vis! This leads to his arguing with a Mock-Merinita, a Quasi-Quaesitor with dark warnings about molesting the fay, a Bogus-Bonisagus who rambles incomprehensibly about the supernatural, a Counterfeit-Criamon who makes the Bonisagus sound completely reasonable and so on. Your Tremere superior finds things to commend about your speech and also suggestions about what you could have done better. He isn't all that insightful, offering insights which you either realized already or would have have come to on your own very soon. But he delivers these 'insights' with a patina of world-wise and world-weary experience that a veteran Tremere Tribunician should have!

Tribunal has a few more weeks to run before you need to leave.

1180.4 part 4

Astris' athletic instinct is for jumping on solid ground, where his pedestrian effort might have been sufficient. Here, his jump does not propel him forward as much as it shoves against the treacherous and already cracking ice, breaking it. He's going down.


Astris needs to choose whether to fast-cast or not! If he fast-casts, he takes known penalties and bonuses (except for the unknown Aura). If he casts normally, he might find himself in icy waters mid-spell, facing a concentration roll and unknown penalties, but can cast loudly and with bold gestures. Choices, choices!

Let's see what happens with the spell first.

1180.1 part 4

Robert it is!

"Lads," laughs one of the older knights. "Methinks yon fair damosel beseeches the flower of chivalry to rise in her honor against the foul mouthings of this uncouth commoner! What say you?"

Another knight grunts sourly. "That one looks like the sort who'd like to get a rise out of me."

A young knight offers, "Maybe she really is a girl," the others look at him, and he adds hastily, "an ugly girl, but still a girl in disguise, running away."

The second knight approaches you, scowling. "What tricks are you up to, eh?"

This isn't going well.

The default is a botch, but the -6 remains an option. Rego Mentem is your friend! Most people are not.


Fair enough, but I'm trusting that it at least seems possible to Astris that he has enough time to cast normally. He may well be wrong! But I assume that if it would be obvious to Astris that he is going in the drink before he could possibly cast, you would let me know.

So, he is going to risk a regular casting; but with reduced gestures to reduce his chance of getting messed up if he goes in the drink. Note, since I am not fast casting, I'll up the duration to Sun. If I can complete the spell, I'll either succeed or botch.

Keep warmCr(Re)Ig(Co) 5
Range: Personal Duration: Sun Target: Individual
(Base 2 (ArM5 p. 140, +2 Sun, +1 Rego, +0 Corpus)
This spell heats a human body to its normal temperature, and keeps it there for the duration. Rego magic insures that the body stays the right temperature, neither too warm, nor too cold. Corpus is needed only for targeting and does not increase the magnitude.

Casting Score 8=(6 TeFo +1 Sta + 3 cyclic -2 subtle gestures)(Goal 7)

1180.4 part 6

It's not obvious--there isn't enough time for obvious. And....

I'll assume you spend the point of Confidence to make the spell succeed... and it does. (Either Chaotic Magic is not as horrible as I thought, or you've been very, very lucky!)

But in getting off the spell as you slip, you do not make a controlled fall.... and get a nasty gash on your forehead(1 light wound). You're all wet, but your magic makes that just an annoyance.. The mud and water here is extremely shallow, and you can easily right yourself.

Springtime in Kyiv. A little bit of cold, a little bit of warm. The ice has broken up on the river some time ago; the land here is mostly flat--but not mostly enough to keep this small depression from catching you. Did the Founder ever have days like this, coated in mud, breathless? Yes, he did, and it broke him.

There's something to take away from this. Not just that you need to regroup and rethink how you prepare and learn the terrain as might a commander of soldiers, not just that for a magus, with the resources of a magus there's got to be a better way than tromping around outside, but a keen, keen insight:

Spring is treacherous. Never, never wage a Kyivan war in spring. Even the lunacy of a winter war, amidst cold like you've never experienced, storms that howl like living things, no, like dead things risen to tormented unlife, even that can at least be counted upon and planned for. Spring is treachery. To initiate a war in spring is to make an enemy of the land itself.

This does not come to you all at once, but over the rest of the sspring season, as you let your injury heal, as you venture outside again, perhaps with a different plan, as you watch the land turn to mud and mire, and maybe tromp through it.

It's an insight a commander might die from not understanding. Maybe there's something to this tromping around after all.

You're welcome to try some other stuff during this Easy season, scout around in some different way.

Otherwise, I'm ready to call it a wrap.

(OOC: Please let me know if these story resolutions are making sense to you, and are satisfying. This last one is weird in that I made an 'encounter' be an ordinary fall at night rather than an obvious enemy. It seems to fit a theme for the cycle that either I inferred or you chose to imply.)

1180.4 part 7

I'm just glad that no one saw that little "incident." I'll spend some time "tromping about in the mud" but also spend some time discussing the lay of the land with the covenant folk. I start a small note book, contained in my sanctum of course, describing what I learn, from other sources as well as my own notes. Its not much, but its a start. I'll chat up Redcaps about their journeys in and around this area. I'll discuss with Eirick what he knows of the area as well.

Internally, I definitely spend a lot of time, for lack of a better term, brooding. I'm angry and annoyed that this didn't turn out as I naively hoped. I'll never let that show, but I'm pretty upset that I can't even handle a simple freaking scouting mission. I'm starting to wonder if I am really qualified to be a Tremere? or even a Magus at all? After some long dark nights of the soul type, I start rediscovering my focus, my will, and my desire. I will be better than I am, because I'm better than they are. ("they" being the unspecified group of Others who have always shut me out). The Founder may have had days like this, but before it broke him, it honed him. I shall be sharper and stronger and I. Will. Not. Break.

Yes, I've learned a valuable lesson. I need to slow down, think things through a little more. I'm worthy to be a magus, I'm worthy to be a successor of Viraxis, and ultimately of Tremere himself. Pace myself a little. The Founder didn't try to do it all at once. Yes... indeed.

YES! I'm really enjoying playing Astris, and the stories that have wrapped ended in satisfying ways. I think the "nasty fall" encounter was a neat twist and I thought it ended well. Your closing post on that story was really awesome. I'm not as good a writer- at least not as good a creative writer- as you are, but I look forward to responding to your prompts. And once I've posted something I check my email constantly, waiting for your updates!

So, yes, bravo so far.

1180.1 part 5

No. No it is not.

Do I know this knight? +5 (+2 Int +4 England lore: Nobility -1 Nocturnal)

1180.4 GM Summary and Close

Some of the covenfolk have seen you tromping around outside at night and know the disheveled state of your return. They may gossip among themselves, but that would not leave the covenant. Certainly you are shown every bit as much respect as before.

Your conversation with Eirik leads him to remind you that there are Shapeshifters among the covenfolk: Many covenfolk can assume an animal form; some can assume many! Some can fly, part of their covenant duties is to observe. Perhaps you can leverage this in some way. Getting a shapeshifing peasant to become a skilled mapmaker or communicative intelligence operative isn't going to work, so it gives you something to think about.

5xp for the season plus the deep insight about warring in Spring.

Repuation xp after writeup

1180.1 part 6

You do not. It has been a long time, after all. You do know that none of the three are particularly important: Otherwise, you'd recognize them.

1180.3 Part 5

Alright. These are likely faeries. I don't seem to be in any danger and there is nothing really alarming about the night sky. I'm in. I play along, thinking that I may very well learn something important in all this. In fact, if these Folk can be allied with, I may have found something very valuable indeed. I play along with the Tribunal, dropping a few intentional (and likely many unintentional) hints that I'm not asleep anymore. 4( +2 Com+ 2 Intrigue?) I have time and I'm curious. I try to take some notes about their magical ideas- this could be very valuable- or horribly dangerous, but that's to be explored later. If anyone follows up with me about what is really going on, I'll see what happens then. If not, I'll wait until the final night of the Tribunal to really make it clear that I'm on to them and see what happens.

I look the lead knight in the eye as I let my hand rest on the hilt of my sword.

"If you need proof I ahemcarry a sword, as it were, I'll give it to you. But, I've given you no offense, am not your foe, and from what I see of your arms, am like as not a kinsman some distance removed. Moreover, I don't wish trouble, or bloodshed, or the breach of the King's Peace here. Step back on the boat, good Sir Knight, I'll step away and we may meet again in Normandy. "

OOC: SG call, I didn't specify when I designed the spell, but if i concentrate can I control my invisible chest? At least as to where around me it hovers? If so I will bring it between the leading knight and me after I say the above.

Finally if the knight gets within about 3 paces, I am going to cast something, depending on his demeanor and statements as he reaches that threshold.

Ok, Discipline. Discipline is self-control. Discipline is hewing to your teaching, even when it is uncomfortable. Are they testing to see whether I foul myself before quiting? Or stay here till I pass out from lack of sleep or food? How do these reflect anymore than the basest Obedience? Not Discipline. I think over what it is to be a Tremere. It is not Viraxis voice I hear, it is Wolf's. "Mobility. Flexibility. Initiative. Cohesion." I learned that lesson by acting impulsively. I need to act calmly. Rationally. I suppress the bursting sensation in my bladder. I am convinced that soiling myself is no part of this test.

What is being tested? Discipline to those core tenants. Here, the circle prevents Mobility. The rules prevent Flexibilty- no magic. I'm alone, no Cohesion; no allies to draw on. I'm stuck, so I've lost the Initiative. So, how to i overcome this problem to restore those qualities? I need to be flexible, with or without magic. I need to take the initiative, stay mobile. I'm not allowed to leave the circle, but nobody said I couldn't disrupt it.

I need to show my Discipline, that is my obedience to the core pillars of being a magus Tremere. I need to seize the Initiative, be Mobile, Flexible and find Cohesion with my House. I think I have this problem solved. I walk to the edge of the circle, draw my blade, take a deep breath, and scratch the sword across the circle's rim, breaking it.

EDIT- for horrible grammar.

[OOC note, I've reworked this to remove the "protection" idea and to correct ages- like I said, I forgot to "age" Astris's family in my mind's eye!]

1180.6 (Takes place Winter 1185)
Home for the Holidays v. 2.0
Intended Difficulty: Easy

Objective: See his family. Get an idea of the lay of the magical land around them. Rather than try and arrange for protection now, he's checking out what kind of protection they might need.

Expected Complications: Family drama times 100 due to Gift. Local Faerie presence, is it a threat?

Plan: Teleport to Sussex (after collecting his vis for the year). He has arranged by letter to stay with his family in their manor for the season. He'll avoid notice as much as possible, limiting his interaction to his immediate family. During his free time he walks the lands around his families manor to get a feel for the supernatural landscape.

First Post:

Astris arrives in Sussex in the mid afternoon. The air is cool, but moderate, and there are no signs of the snow that was falling in Kiev. Shaking the heavy powder from his shoulders, Astris sets out for the manor house he knows so well. As he agreed, he casts Personal veil of invisibility 10 (6 Te Fo + 1 Sta +3 method) before approaching the house. (Well; he promised to approach unseen) He bypasses the workers in the field and makes his way to the manor. He waits for nightfall, and with it the dispelling of his invisibility. Soon, he spies his sister, Cecile; grown from the little child he remembered from his disastrous visit during his apprenticeship, to a tall, lithe and lovely lady. (She's quite a bit younger than Astris, but probably in her mid-twenties by now. Home taking care of her aging parents.

He presses himself into the shadows and she looks about, before calling “Geoffry? Geoffry??”


She jumps at the voice.

“Is it you.”

Geoffry steps into the light coming from the torches inside the building, “Yes, sister. I'm here.”

Cecile squeals and leaps onto Astris, nearly knocking the slight man over in her enthusiastic greeting. Astris stumbles backward, catching her weight and pivoting to avoid falling over. “I'm so glad you're finally back, Father is getting on in years, he always looks around before saying your name, like he's afraid you'll pop out of his shadow. But don't just stand here in the cold, come in!”

Astris meets his family members, one by one. Father is old, but hale and hearty. As John is too old for battle he is retired, his lands are now run by his son, Sir James. James is broad shouldered and dark of hair and eye. He never spends much time with Astris and tries to keep his son Robert, away from the wizard. His mother is simply old and worn; lines of care etched onto her face. She has gotten simpleminded in her age, and much of Cecile's time is spent caring for her. James's wife is a solid sort, the third daughter of a nearby baron. Evidence the family Testor is moving up in the world.

But as much as Astris is glad to see them all, the family members each seem a little put off. Most are able to contain it, but James is the most hot headed. Cecile is the only one that seems to get close to Astris. Over the next few days, he tries to converse with his father brother but they remain distant and strained. His other older brother is a landless knight, travelling from inn to inn and tourney to tourney. His older sister is long since married to a minor nobleman. His younger brother has become a priest, and lives in city working as a clerk.

Of the family, only his sister is close to him. She seems unaffected by the Gift, and Astris adores her company. They spend long hours together, discussing the family, mundane life and his life at the covenant.

As Astris usually sleeps late and stays up all night, he has a lot of time to himself. Often he will walk away from the manor at night, covered in his Personal veil of Invisibility and explore the area around the manor's lands.

On one such visit he comes across a tiny man, who comes up to Astris's knees, rushing along a stream. When the small man spies Astris, he jumps comically in the air, and failing his tiny arms and legs, before falling flat on his behind. Astris walks toward the man, chuckling at the pratfall.

“Pray, what manner of folk are you?” Astris asks, in English.

1180.3 part 6

Do remember that Astris has no Supernatural Lore, so his idea of faeries and their habits are likely to be.... off.

It was going well. Very well.

But then you dropped one deliberate hint too many, reflected by my rolling one botch die too many. You have all but called them fakers. You might not even realize what you have done, or perhaps in a few moments you do.

Suddenly, everything changes. Everything.

You, as a player, get a choice:

  1. Wrap this up as an Easy story that doesn't end very well.
  2. Escalate difficulty and take the sweet with the bitter.
  3. Keep this season Easy and less productive than it might have been, like #1, but also continue the story into a second season, which will be Difficult.

As Astris, you are not aware of this choice.

Escalate difficulty and take the sweet with the bitter.

(If I have a character sheet in the Metaverse, it probably has "Glutton (punihsment) +3" written on it).

1180.5 part 4

When I wrote Wolf's dialog, I set that excerpt within an extra set of quotation marks. Wolf was quoting House Doctrine, and Astris had heard it before, from Viraxis and others.

And the spell breaks!

Would you like to set up the next test, or should I? Either way, Astris is not given a chance to rest.

Yeah, but it's Wolf's recitation is what came to Astris in that moment.