Chapter 0: Flight of the Ibis

(In which we will tell the short story of Renatus travelling to Fengheld.)

"The vote is clear," states Bilera, Head Quesitor of the Iberian Tribunal. "Ymbert of Bjornaer, this Tribunal has found you guilty of interfering with mundanes... again." There are mutters amongst the magi of the Tribunal. "As this is not your first offense of this nature, we hereby fine you forty pawns of raw vis, to be paid before next Tribunal. Half of this sum shall to paid to the covenant which suffered from the mundane repercussions of your acts, with the rest going to the Quaesitorial coffers. Should you fail to pay this fine, you shall be cast out of the Order and Marched."

Bilera's cold gaze turn to the younger magus standing beside Ymbert. "Renatus of Bjornaer, as those acts were commited while you were still an apprentice to Ymbert, this Tribunal find you not accountable. As you have now sworn to follow the Code of Hermes, let this be your final warning that acts of this nature are not be tolerated from magi of the Order."

"This concludes today's proceedings." The sound of Bilera's staff, as it strikes the stone ground, echoes in the great chamber where the magi of the Iberian Tribunal are gathered. The rumble of their discussions soon fill it as they rise from their seat, some loitering and others leaving.

"Well," Ymbert comments to his filius, "this group of selfish no-good cursed stone lovers have spoken again." The white-haired magus curses and spit on the floor. "Don't they see that letting mundanes drain our marshes will destroy the magical aura there, as well as the vis source that provide the same vis that they just fined me to pay?" Renatus' pater rants like that for a bit, before changing subject rather abruptly. "So, have you decided to join a covenant yet?" He seems unaware that all of his filius' advance to various covenants have been turned down. Perhaps he simply forgot.

"You've seen yourself, that Bilera is already threatening me with her ridiculous interpretation of mundane interaction... If I were a Jerbiton weakling eating at local noble's table, giving advice for their endless wars, she wouldn't mind, but protecting our ancestor's sacred land by bringing fear and respect of the wild to a handful of settlers that's unacceptable... We didn't even touched them, we didn't even spoke to them, we only convinced a few noble beasts to get out of the forest..." He shakes his head. "There's no future for me in this tribunal, my migratory instincts are slowly overcoming my gregarious nature."

He gathers his thought and continues "I'm considering moving to the Rhine tribunal... You've probably heard about the guardians of the forest and how they're protected from quaesitor's petty intrigues especially when it comes to mundane interaction. That's what we need ! We need to expand this ruling to all untamed land, starting by the Rhine tribunal"

He lets that sink in before asking "What's your opinion on this project of mine ?"

Ymbert makes the noise of an angry swan before answering. "Even that ruling is becoming a joke, my son. When the island on which Crintera is built was invaded twenty years ago, they were denied the right to expel the mundanes under that ruling. These Roman Houses, they just twist and manipulate their promises to whatever suits them at the moment." The expression on your pater's face is one of frustration and disgust. But them he nods, "Of course, another vote in favour of our line would help there. And if you can convince other magi to help." He shrugs, not daring to hope perhaps, "It might help. But in any case, you are right that the Guernicus bitch has you marked. So moving elsewhere would be better for you. Fly away, my son, fly away."

"Bjornaer were divided on the matter of Crintera's Island, even if the speed by which they settled was an obvious sign of outside interference. Some are still afraid of isolation from Roman House, we even have devout christian in our ranks... I'm not expecting things to be easy but I'm going to send an application for a position in the new chapter house from Fengheld. If they're not completely blind, they'll realize the merits of your teaching and pick me. From the inside I'll see what I can do. They might not see the truth of our views yet, but they'll end up supporting us sooner or later when their precious vis will disappear like melting snow in the sun"

"I hope you succeed, with all my heart," Ymbert sighs. "Well, then. Off you go, then. Find the redcaps and send your letter."

Within a few week, Renatus receives a letter indicating that the Council of Fengheld is willing to consider him for probationary membership. He is to get there by the 15th day of June at the latest to be interviewed.

Renatus makes sure he thanks everyone who participated in his training before leaving, but leaves early to make sure he arrives in time even if winds are not favorable. It's not like he has luggage to prepare or anything, because he plans to fly to the covenant so he takes a proper meal of larvae, dragonflies, crickets and grasshoppers, but also worms, leeches and a few mollusks.

He planned his trip before leaving and will try stay near rivers along his trip, first the Guadiana and then north to the Ebro, the Garonne then turn to the east and follow the Rhône and finally the Rhine before his final destination.

If everything goes as planned he'll be there at the end of may at worst.

When reaching the covenant, he plans to arrive as a talking bird, tell his name and ask for clothes from the grog at the entrance or ideally just outside the Aegis if there's some grogs there.

(OOC : we can roleplay that if you want)

Taking wing, Renatus leaves all his possessions behind to fly east and north. He spends his days flying, his attention on the terrain below him as he strives to find the best way towards the Germanies. He cannot help but notice the many signs of humans encroaching upon nature.

These are frequent. Forests being cleared, rivers harnessed and marshes being drained. Monasteries being built, armies marching and domesticated animals being led to pasture. Here and there, pristine nature remains intact, but these sightings are few.

It is with relief tha he comes to the Pyrenees, where the signs of human occupation are fewer and smaller. Too bad his ibis form cannot live there, he thinks, where nature and man have a much better balance. But it is much too cold and dry for him there. So he is forced to fly around the mountains, turning south and following the coastline rather than crossing the mountains, feeding from small streams and lakes.

Crossing into Provence, he slowly overflies the growing stain of humanity upon the land. The Mediterranean sea is rife with boats and ships; its coastlines crowded by villages and towns. This culminates when he reaches a large city, which he guesses correctly to be Marseille.

Look at this boil on mare nostrum he thinks for himself. I can smell the fumes of this rotten city from here, this delta isn't much different from where I come from but look what they did to It. You'll probably get sick just to walk into the water, let alone eat from it He cackles with rage as he banks towards the Rhone valley. He recognises a few heron on the way not really different from the ones ibises shares territory in Huelva region. He feels nostalgic just for a moment but let the soothing wind noise bring him peace of mind again.

After a few days, he starts to feel the freshness of the breeze as he follows north towards Lyon, he's awaken from his calm meditation by the smell of the towns and decides to fly around to avoid being above the massive Divine auras of the cathedrals, from a few miles away he can see the most major construction project in town, that of St. John's Cathedral. This area is lost he thinks for himself, don't they have enough places to kneel before their God already...

Until now, following the directions he'd gotten has been fairly easy. Flying over a river as it flows down towards the sea is easy, as is following the coast. Even following the Rhone river up to Lyon had been easy, as the river was broad and unmistakable. But now, things were beginning to be more difficult for Renatus as he flew north from Lyon.

He was supposed to follow the Saône river, a tributary of the Rhone that flowed from the north of Lyon. This was fine for the first day, but afterward the river splits into two nearly equal rivers. Which one is still the Saône, he can't remember. So, taking a guess, he follows one of them. Except that, half a day later, that river splits again. Which way to go now? Was he even following the right river?

[strike]Apparently lost, Renatus considers his option, he could try and ask the locals for direction, but he's not even speaking their language and dislikes stealing clothes probably as much as priest who're usually the only ones to speak Latin... So he decides to continue to the north using the sun and his migratory bird's senses feeding on whatever river he can find until he reaches the sea. Then he'll follow the shore to the east until he reached the estuary of the Rhine as a new landmark.

From here he will follow the Rhine until it separates into three, following the main steam until it separates again into two, following the northern tributary until the end. If he remembers well he should then continue to the North over a forest and find a river again that split again more or less at the east of the Quedlinburg.

From here he'll have to find this Quedlinburg village which is the closest village on the north, North-Est of the covenant.[/strike]

(I have a few problems with this plan. First, it relies on a fairly advanced knowledge of the rivers of the Rhine Tribunal, or at least having had access to detailed and accurate maps of them. Medieval maps are nowhere near that level of accuracy. Second, it supposes that weeks after departing from Iberia, Renatus still remembers all of those fine details and the relative position of everything. This is, after all, an area about which he has no in-depth knowledge -- only what he gathered when he planned his trip. This gave him a general idea of where Fengheld was -- in the Harz mountains, south of Saxony, about 50 miles west of the Elbe river. But when flying, rivers and towns don't have a name and look pretty much alike.)

(It is also a story about him getting there; not simply arriving there. :smiley: )

(alright i'll find something else involving less geographic knowledge and more interactions ASAP, to my defense my character is actively trying to avoid such interactions )

(I understand that. He could probably get there without mundane interactions, but his journey would take a long time. One of the objectives of the story is to get used to his capabilities, and get to know him a bit, before the magi get together at Fengheld.)

Until now, Renatus was confident in his plans to follow rivers but now he isn't so sure of the way to go. So he decided to make a stop in the next village where he could see a church and try his way to the Despite his mixed feeling towards priests, they're usually the only one to speak at least decent latin.

Being naked in public isn't usually a the best option so first thing he has to do is to make sure he finds clothes near a safe place to hide. He turns in circle a few times above the houses to locate the Lavoir

perception roll : 1d10+6=8

and follows one of the lady where she hangs out the washing. When she's away, He search for a place to hide nearby and casts silently "The Voice of the Bjornaer Magus" 1d10+11=17 in case something goes wrong.

And looks for an opportunity to regain his human form and pick some clothes.

As he flies down towards a village along the river he's been following, he notices in the distance to the southeast a much larger city, overlooked by a castle.

He circles for some time looking for a village-woman who is indeed washing clothes, but eventually locates one. Finding out where she hangs the clothing is easy. Stealing some of that clothing doesn't pose a challenge either, and is done without anyone noticing. The tunic he takes that fits him is still wet from just being washed, however, as is the pair of breaches. No belt, nor shoes are present.

Away from the city with his wet clothes, he hides again and turns into Ibis. He then spontaneously casts comfort of drenched traveler url=[/url] on the clothes and removes some of the fibers of the breaches to weave them as a plait into a rustic belt. Now still shoe-less but dressed he goes to the church and hopes the presbytery is nearby.

(I couldn't see a result from the die roll, so I made my own. Success on the first attempt, no botch.)

At first, Renatus attempts to take out some fibers from the breeches without damaging them. But this proves to be unrealistic, so he simply tears up strips from them instead, and weave them into a crude rope that he uses to tie up the tunic around his waist. It looks improvised, but at least the tunic won't flap around too much.

The church has a small house beside it, which you assume is where the priest lives.

(OOC: for some reason the result wasn't provided, it seems like division isn't very well supported (and it was (1d10+10)/2 anyway no botch)

Renatus knocks at the door and assuming he receives an answer from the priest answers in latin "Greetings Father, I 'm sorry to bother you but as you might already have guessed, I don't speak French. Could you spare a few minutes of your time to help me find my way"