Chapter 0: Flight of the Ibis

The middle-aged and rotund priest seems quite surprised by your appearance at his door, as well as your request. Taking in your apprearance, he says in an heavily accented Latin, "Dear God! Whaz happezend to zou me son! Werz zou robbed?" Evidently, this rural priest doesn't use Latin very much in his daily activities.

"i'm afraid I indeed had some trouble during my travel, our cart was robbed and I was stripped naked and separated from my companions... But I'm alive, in good health so I thank the Lord. Ho, I forgot to introduce myself, I'm Gustavo, a Lawyer which explain my knowledge of Latin. Anyway I'm travelling to the Rhine to meet a boatman friend who could lend me another cart, clothes and money to continue my journey. Could you be kind enough to show me the way ? I've tried to follow the rivers, but I'm not sure whether I'm really following the Soâne river anymore. Is there a big town nearby or any landmark I could use ?

"Robbed, you sayz? My, my, my..." His attitude changes slightly at the torrent of words from the stranger who calls himself 'Gustavo'. Suspicion enters the priest's expression as he gives a second glance at this stranger's clothing. You can almost see him thinking. "The Saone? It iz to the north, not here. Thiz iz the Loignon. Zou are in Marnay." He speaks slowly and loudly, as if adressing an idiot. He points eastward, "Besançon! Over zhere! Big zity! Zou will be safe from zour lord zhere." Apparently, he has decided that you are lying and are an escaped serf, apparently not realizing the contradiction inherent to an Latin-speaking serf.

Renatus refrains a laugh as the priest mentions the lord and adds : "You're mistaken, I'm not fleeing any lord... Anyway It doesn't matter, one last question and I should leave you to the tranquility of your village. Could you remind me what river flows in Besançon ? If I follow that river it should lead me closer to the Rhine isn't it? "

Again speaking slowly and loudly, the priest repeats, pointing toward where the river flows, "Thiz iz the Loignon, not ze Rhine. The Rhine iz elsewhere." He waves vaguely north.

(OOC i'f forgot to roll a dice for enduring magic to see how long the spell lasts, i'll have to remember this next time!)

Renatus is disappointed by his answer, "Thank you for your help father, now I shall leave." He bows slightly and leaves the town by foot. When he thinks no one is looking, he searches for a place to hide, turns again into an Ibis and lift off in the direction of Besançon.

As he flies around the city, he measures how the fields around the city range leagues around. He now has a vague notion of where he is and plans to follow the river flowing through the town as long as it seems to go north east. When this isn't the case anymore, he plans to stop to a village again and ask for direction.

Shrugging off his stolen tunic, leaving it lying there on the muddy ground, Renatus turns into his heartbeast and is soon gaining altitude.

Passing near Besançon, he can see the fields extending wide around it, with little patches of forest scattered amongst the cultivated areas. No doubt, these remain there only so that they can be harvested for wood or hunted for meat by the nobility.

Following the river, which goes more eastward than northeast, the Bjornaer magus flies for the rest of the day. An hour before nightfall, he catches sight of a town along the river, with a castle and a church. The river seems to turn south at this point. Meanwhile, the northern edge of the Alps can be seen further east, with vast expanses of forest extending at their feet, covering the northern hilly slopes of the great mountains.

Renatus makes a large circular flight around the city to make sure there's no local noble launching Falcon at him. Before reaching the city's divine aura, he casts his usual Bjornaer voice.

That will last 9 times the usual sun duration 1d10=9 so 4 days after the sunset ?

He enters the city with the twilight and tries to find an empty house with bedroom in the upper-floor from in which he could enter from an open window.

(not sure if it's stress die ?)

(In what shape does he enter the town? Note that he will be naked again when he switches to human.)

(He enters the city in Ibis shape, that's why he checks for falcon. He plans to turn into Human while inside a house to pick clothes and shoes if lucky this is why he searches for a window to enter)

(What clues does he look for to identify a house that it's empty before entering it?)

(Light mostly at first from afar. Then he plans to walk on the window ledge and look through it to check if no one is in the room before entering. At last he can then listen carefully for noise in the houses before shapechanging)

(It's still daytime, so there aren't any visible lights anywhere. And it's still early spring and fairly brisk outside, so few houses have their windows open. House that do are quickly revealed to have people active inside.)

As Renatus dips and flies lower to try and find an unoccupied house, people start to notice him and point at the large bird flying low over the roofs of the town.

(OOC: I'm trying hard to make interactions, maybe too hard ^^)

Noticing people pointing him, Renatus flies away from the city and waits for the night to make a second try. If the spot is safe (balcony out of sight for example) he's ready to open the window from outside after shapechanging.

(Also OOC: I'm not trying to prevent it, just illustrating the difficulties of a normal-Gifted magus vis-à-vis such interactions. Particularly when he is travelling by himself and can only show up either naked or with stolen clothing. That tends to make normal interactions difficult. There is a value in having grogs around.)

(How does he see at night? Flying without seeing well is hazardous. Also, again how does he identify unoccupied houses? If it's dark, there is a good chance that it is simply because the people inside are sleeping.)

(Just establishing the setting, and testing your character to see what he is capable of doing. :wink: )

(OOC : Well 90 % of difficulties are liked to the fact that I miss a spell to create clothes... I'm aware of this, I chose to take a "defining spell" as one of my custom instead of this and I'm aware this make me very bad at interacting with mundane... I don't think it's so hard to fly to the roof of any house and then walk on the roof to the next one, most house on one side of the street share a wall and often share portion of the roof too. But I guess your point is to make me use spontaneous casting. I'm not gonna try a lot longer If this gets overly complicated to get into a house. I know I'm near the Alps and have to go mostly North-North Est to reach the Rhine and get my landmarks back.)

Plan hasn't change, I'll try to cast a personal and animalem version of eye of the cat : CrAn (base 2 +3 moon) 1d10+9=17 17/2) 8 I assume I do It outside the city. Now I roll for duration : 1d10=4 so it last 4 months unless I chose to stop it.
I wait for recovery of fatigue lost and cast a similar spell to improve my earing to match that of an owl (basically can locate a mouse on the ground in near darkness) CrAn (base 2 +3 moon) 1d10+9=17 17/2 =8
I roll for duration : 1d10=6 so It lasts 6 months.

I then proceed to the city again in search for a place to steal clothes, be it house, brothel, baths anything that seems to make sense.

After flying around for some time, occasionally landing on a roof to listen to any noise inside of a specific house, Renatus eventually locates some clothing hung upon a balcony. There is noise of someone snoring inside, however, and it is on the second floor.

Renatus still in Ibis shape tries to pick clothes one by one assuming there's not too heavy to carry and brings them in a safe place outside the town where he can spend the night and come back tomorrow after the sunrise. It indeed seems like a bad Idea to visit the priest so late in the evening.

Weight is an issue (they weight as much as he does), but even worse is the size of the clothing. They simply constitute a bundle too large for Renatus to pick them up in his beak, or hold them with his feet, and be able to fly off.

Renatus is not willing to take the risk to fall from the balcony neither does he want to sneak through an inhabited house. So as a last try he goes outside the Dominion aura once again and casts a personal version of beast of outlandish size.
1d10+9=17 failing to make the spell last for but a moment, he sleeps in a safe spot outside the town for the night and the next day continues to the North-Est in search of what he believes will be the Rhine.

Picking clothes in a big town seems to be too much risks for what it's worth, so he's gonna avoid them for the rest of the trip and focus on small villages...

If he eventually reach what he thinks is the Rhine, he's going to make a stop on a small village along it to make sure he's found the right river.