Back to Bellaquin (winter 1237)

A message is delivered via redcap to Solomon:

It being Winter and Christmas time, Carmen gives every member magus a gift in the form of a Rook or more of Vis. Each Journeyman, up to Guiverna, receives 10 Ignem contained in a Chess Rook made of gold. Each Master receives the same, and a magic orange containing Creo. The vis is in the seeds and each has 6 to 8 seeds, so just say 7 or roll a d3+5.
There is no faux pas in exchanging the type of vis using our even rate with the Mercere. Just keep the gold chess piece.

(so, if say Solomon wants to, say, chat with Carmen about anything, she would be ging door to door checking up on everyone)

Solomon will track down Lucas shortly after having received the letter, "Lucas, I need a letter delivered to Archmagus Valgravian as soon as possible. Would it be possible for one of the Redcaps to deliver it immediately, vice waiting for their usual rounds?"

The letter (which he has already sealed so that no one else reads it) reads:

"That shouldn't be a problem," Lucas replies. "I know Cecelia's free if no one else is. Last I saw she was taking a break from the book she was reading to play with Maria. But I'll see who's on call and if they can't do it, then I'll check with Cecelia. One way or another, I'm sure I can convince someone to deliver it right away." He pauses a moment then adds. "Given the delicate nature of relations with Bellaquin these days, would it be better if I delivered it myself? I'm no stranger to Redcap duty. And it would send a message to Bellaquin that we're taking relations with them seriously if we sent a covenant magus to deliver your letter. I could fly there and leap back once it's delivered, so it shouldn't take me away from my studies an undue amount of time."

"I will leave to your judgment. I don't think there is a need to send you personally, and honestly, I'm not sure I want to send a message to Bellaquin that they are that important to us. But, as I said, I will leave it to your judgment."

"I'll see who's on duty, then," Lucas replies. "We can save the unspoken messages for when they're needed." He nods his head toward Solomon. "Good day. I'll find you later to let you know that the letter went off properly."

A short time later, Lucas is in the Mercere guildhall, sealed letter in hand. He checks the daily schedule and finds that Gunvarra is on call. He finds the Redcap in the guildhall, smiles, and holds up the letter for her to see. "Afternoon, Gunvarra," he says. "You up to a short trip to Bellaquin? Solomon wants this delivered quickly, and I'd take it as a real kindness if you could put it on the fast track and not make it wait for the regular delivery there."

OOC: QPaC. Time for Gunvarra to shine!

When Carmen comes by with the chess rook, Lucas is studying a tome on the Arts. "Good afternoon, Carmen. I've just been working on some preparation for a few spells that Arachne and I have been talking about. I'm looking to learn some harnessed and tethered spells for use in defense of the covenant, as well as perhaps an item of the same sort."

When he's given the gift, he's most appreciative. "That's very kind of you," he says. "I've been giving thought to what kind of a talisman I'd like, and a supply of vis is just what I need for that."

"Sure. I wasn't actually assigned any work. I can start today. It will be nice to get a break from trying to teach Lisbeth. I've also haven't spent this long cooped up since my Gauntlet. And can you put in a good word with whoever runs the library?I'd like to study books on Faerie Lore."

"Excellent," Lucas says, handing over the letter. "I'll let Solomon know that the letter got off straight away. And thanks."

"Oh, by the way," he adds, turning around as he gets to the door. "Cecelia wanted me to let you know that we're having a weekend get together at our place in Majorca on the 27th for all the Redcaps that are free. You should be back well before then if you want to come."

The trip to Bellaquin is short and you arrive with the letter. One of the younger mages informs you that Valgraven is busy right now, but you can leave the letter with the covenant scribe or wait for dinner if you need to deliver it personally.

"I think I should deliver it personally. Plus I should give a chance for a reply. And food is always a plus. Vara answers.

Robert sits down with her as they waited. "I think I remember you, from the festival. It's hard to remember, that sword jinn did a number on my mind."

Gunnvara thinks back trying to remember. She vaguely remembered festivals from her childhood, and some more things that could be called Festivals, but she didn't pay particular attention. Festival? I don't think I've been to many festivals in my life. Maybe when I was still an apprentice. Don't take offense a lot more people seem to know me, than I know people. I'm Gunnvara ex Mercere, and Vara reaches into her bag And I have a letter for the covenant, Valgravian specifically, from Andorra. she pulls out the letter and holds it out.

(QPaC, just a reminder, the note is for Valgravian, not Robert)

Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk

"Valgraven will be finished with his research for the day in a couple of hours, I am reading this season, so my time is a bit more flexible, though technically I should probably be looking for the vis and tablets. Would you care to see the covenant?"

If you'll take the time I would love too. Vara replies. She's used to much less friendly reactions from covenants due to her reputation, but truthfully she wouldn't have a huge problem with the typical pattern of spending three days at a place. Of course, showing someone the covenant could be a polite way of keeping an eye on her.

Robert takes Gunvarra around a few of the 'highlights'- the courtyard, the dining hall, a quick gesture at where most of the covenfolk stay, He slows however as he approaches his sanctum "Here is my sanctum, of course I also have chambers outside the sanctum for entertaining guest magi." He looks meaningfully at Gunverra and it is clear that he has probably never heard of her reputation unless it was her desire to bring the gift back into her house, and was not simply trying to keep an eye on her. "We probably have a couple of hours while Valgravian works on whatever he is working on."

"Why don't you show me entertainments... Vara says (Fade to black?)

2 hours later Vara makes her way back to the dining hall, leaving Robert sleeping. Valgravien is already started on his meal, which appears to be a pork loin with carrots and a mug of wine.

(I apologize for not doing a better job with putting words and actions in Carmen's mouth and hands. I don't feel like I have a good grasp of her voice, for some reason.)

Boxing Day finds Carmen knocking on the door of what's apparently a merchant's office and home. The door is answered by a young woman, or girl, actually, who looks to be not quite in her teens. When Carmen says that she's looking for Guiverna (this is where she said her Quarter, was right? Carmen asks herself as she repeats the directions to herself), the girl is practically shoved to one side by her father, a large, neckless and well-to-do man.

"You looking for Guiverna? Are you one of those wizards she said might be coming around for her?" The merchant casts a critical eye over Carmen as she replies. "Well, at least you know how to dress properly. That woman shows a little too much skin for my liking," he lies.

" Señora Carmen to the basement...and keep her away from the wine racks, I don't want any more bottles to come up missing!"

He shuts the door forcefully behind him as the girl, Zoe, smiles nervously at Carmen and takes her around to a cellar door. She fishes a key out of her blouse and unlocks the door, locking it behind her again once Carmen (and whoever would be accompanying her) are inside. The cellar is lit only by what light comes in through windows near the ceiling and some torches on the support columns. Zoe takes one and leads Carmen to an open doorway.

"You've never been down here before, have you, señora?" she asks. Carmen sees no light down the passageway that the doorway leads to, nor any indication that it actually goes anywhere.

"Take my hand, then, and close your eyes. Otherwise, we'll never get there."

After a couple of minutes of walking, Carmen can feel the air growing warmer, and soon feels the sun on her face. "We're there," Zoe says needlessly. "When you want to go home, just go down the tunnel the same way and knock on the door, one of us will open it for you." Zoe then scampers back the way she came.

It takes a few moments for Carmen's eyes to adjust to the sudden, bright sun. Spread out before her is a small anthill of activity, with quite a few workers scurrying over the foundations of a couple of large structures and a handful of smaller ones. A number of small tents have been erected on the northern(?) edge of the quarter. Most of the workers have removed their shirts to work in the warm sun, and Carmen doesn't have any trouble finding Guiverna, who is standing in the center of one of the larger foundations, next to one of the workers with her hand on his arm as she points to various points in the future structure. Semsuhfaw is basking on a rock at the edge of the activity.

After a couple of minutes, she notices Carmen standing there, says something to the worker, and hurries to meet her. When she passes Semsuhfaw, she reaches down to stroke it momentarily, and the serpent uncoils to follow her.

Guiverna bows when she reaches Carmen. The ex Misc is wearing a gauzy outfit that...well, it's not that it "doesn't leave much to the imagination", but it hints very strongly at what it does conceal.

"Good morning, Pontifex. An unexpected delight. To what do I owe the pleasure?"

When Carmen gifts Guiverna with the rook of vis, Guiverna practically squees with delight and gives Carmen a big, well-cushioned hug. "Thank you so much, it is beautiful! I can't wait to offer it to...I think Isis would be the most appreciative, don't you, Semsuhfaw?"

The snake nods his head. "Especially since you're just starting to build a new laboratory dedicated to her art."

"I'm still staying at Lucas's manor until my housing here is...habitable. If you don't mind, I'll just take this back there and put it someplace safe. Do you want to come with?"