Chapter 0: Four Magi Walk Into an Inn

As your magi arrive in Anvers, they look for and locate the inn that Bernhard told you to seek. As you arrive and discretely identify yourself to the innkeeper, as you were instructed to do, he shows you and your retinue to your rooms. These are rather small, which is not unexpected, but clean, which is a nice surprise. Your mundanes are assigned to a similar room, although they are expected to share them, four to a room.

Once you are settled down, the innkeeper inform you that a section of the cellar has been cleaned and prepared for any private discussions that you would like to hold. Although he is polite, the effects of your Gift is obvious for he frowns in distaste at any special request from the magi. He expects you to pay for your rooms and board for yourself and your mundanes, but the rates seem reasonable and there is no extra for the meeting room in the cellar.

He also inform you that Bernhard has not arrived yet, but he is expected to arrive within a week.

As your magus has no idea how many magi may show up, they spend some time getting to know each new arrival, discussing their ideas and hopes for a new covenant. You are yet unaware of the location or nature of the vis source Bernhard mentioned, so many of your discussion may be based on hypothetical situations.

(The first one to post is the first one to have arrived.)

(Whether there will be a punchline related to the topic's title is yet to be seen. :laughing: )

A Pomeranian, a Swede, a Saxon and a Breton walk into an inn ... :mrgreen:

While the innkeeper direct them to their rooms, Quercus reviews the floor planks and support beams without even thinking about it. Alice follows him. Fresse enters a little bit later after securing the contents of the cart with a piece of canvas and paying a pair of kids to keep an eye on the cart for a few shillings.

The rooms smell of human habitation but are clean and ordered. They all appreciate it after so many days on the road and sea. First from Triamore to Brugges and then from Brugges to Antwerp by sea. Alice has not liked the sea voyage at all, and while he has tried to look cool and supportive for her, Fresse does not like sea voyages much either.

On the other hand Quercus has been fascinated by the cog, and has spent as much time as he has been able to observing the ship's structure and crew, even if they tended to show a hostile attitude towards him and has received more than one shoulder push by sailors passing near him. he even made some small repairs on his own initiative.

After 'placing their most valuable items in Quercus room and securing it with Rego Herbam spontaneous magic they go down to the common room to observe new arrivals. The innkeepers direct them to a quiet [strike]room in the[/strike] corner in the common room, where Quercus and Alice sit quietly. Quercus keeps his hood up to be as inconspicuous as possible; he is well aware of the effects of his Gift. Alice is just starting to get used to him, and she keeps shooting side glances at him. Quercus ignores that. Meanwhile Fresse engages in conversation with some local sailors. They share stories and news, and soon they are maintaining an animated conversation.

Quercus is really curious about what other magicians might appear and is looking forward to this project with trepidation. Experience has shown him that it is a bad idea to build castles on possibilities in the air, but he cannot himself from doing that in this case.

Edited by Arthur (in red)

The last part of their almost month-long journey from Lübeck was the calmest and took several days longer than expected. Japik had been sitting at the bow of the ship for most of the time after they left his plundered home village which worried some of the crew who preferred when he was swimming as dolphin ahead of them. He had barely spoken to anyone either which was even more disturbing since he usually were open and positive with everyone.

Japik enters the inn together with Prochorus* and their grogs. He lets Yulia and Hjalmar handle the practicalities with the innkeeper and starts looking around the common room for anyone looking like...well like magi. He notices the hooded figure sitting with the young woman at one of the cornertables and decides to approach them. Japik wears a simple grey woolen tunic and pants that looks to be made from some kind of pelt. He has a knife stuck into a leather belt around his hip and his darkblonde hair is still in turmoil from the sea travel.

As he comes towards the table he smiles broadly at the woman and her companion.
"You feel...familiar." he says in Latin laughing for a moment.

*((I just assumed this and will change it if you have other plans for Prochorus, Wits.))

((Who is the Swede? Prochorus is the Pomeranian with a Finnish tradition, correct? Japik is Frisian. I, the player, on the other hand is a Swede. :mrgreen:
Also what season is it? Beginning or end of 1210?))

((End of Spring, as the safe navigation season begins.))

As he and his grogs rowed into Anvers, Pytheas had done his best to remain inconspicuous. First, he had been rowing himself, with Morlaer on the other pair of oars and his grog Benarec at the rudder. which would make him the apparent captain; but in this case this was also a frank assessment of the trio's strengths, and Pythas youth against Benarec's old age. Then, they had made a point of coming in just after a large cog, so they would be met at the dock by an assistant rather than the harbormaster himself, and draw less attention. Pytheas left Benarec make all the arrangements, and take the lead toward the inn.

In the inn Pytheas quickly disappears into his room, and remains here, with Morlaer to bring him his meal, until the innkeeper tells them of the meeting in the cellar.

((Sorry, but with the Blatant Gift Pytheas is just not going to step foot into the common room if he can possibly avoid it, not even to sit in a quiet corner)).

Quercus rises his sight from the table and looks at the newcomer from under his dark brown. Japik can see his well trimmed short brown beard under the cloak and the calm dark brown eyes in his Saxon face. He assesses the man and likes what he sees. Salve sodales, I suppose you have been summoned here as well. I'm Quercus of Tytalus. May I know whom I am speaking to?. With a gesture, Quercus signals a place by Alice's side, that looks clearly uncomfortable at being in the presence of two magi, and rapidly rises to go get some more ale. The sailor's in the table with Fresse look suspiciously at the pair, but Fresse rapidly distracts them with a joke.

"Salve sodales. Turns out my feeling was correct." Japik gives Alice a smile and a nod as he sits down beside her and she rises. Then turning back to the magus.
"Nice meeting you Quercus. I'm Japik Dolfinus of Bjornaer. I understand you must have met Bernhard the redcap as well? He spoke about meeting up with a few other magi. Are you alone?" he looks around the room to scan the other clients and notice the suspicious looks they are drawing from some of them.

(Perception roll to notice Pytheas going up: Per: 1+ Awareness: 2+ roll: 5 = 8. I suppose a 9 was necessary, so I miss him)

Yes it seems we are the first ones to have arrived. With disgust he says seems we are starting to attract some attention.

The innkeeper comes to the table and asks them to move to the cellar meeting room, since they seem to have started attracting some more attention than what is desirable. Quercus stands up and so do Fresse and Alice. They start moving downstairs. If any fellows of us arrive, please direct them downstairs as well, thank you.

Fresse stops himself casually by the side of the stair to the cellar and remains there while the magi go downstairs with Alice.

Having sent the other magi downstairs, the innkeeper walked to the room where he had lodged the third magus. After a discrete knock, the innkeeper informs him that some of his party have arrived, and are meeting in a private room in the cellar.

Soon after, Pytheas makes his own way down to the cellar, where he introduces himself.

"Greetings ! I am Pytheas filius Kalliste ex Tytalus. I assume that you too are here by invitation of a certain redcap ?"

Prochorus, who had stayed behind to listen to the grogs talking to the innkeeper, strides up to the magi. The exhaustion of the journey shows on his face, but his forward-leaning posture and tingling eyes still make him seem energetic and, strangely for his short and slight figure, somehow overwhelming. His blonde beard is unkempt almost to the point of being filthy, his brown cloak's hem moist. If he is anxious about meeting the others, it does not show. Alruna follows in Prochorus' footsteps.

Trying to leave without me, are you, sodales? Salve, salve! Prochorus ex Miscellanea. We arrived together, you see (gestures at Japik).

Well, well. Four of us already here. It seems that our friend called quite a meeting! Quercus laughs. Nice to meet you all sodales. Quercus of Tytalus to serve you all. It seems that Bernhard is not yet around, but I suppose all of you know what this is about. I have been preparing for this day, and I have to say that I am more than happy to see I am not the only one that looks forward to this.

As for me, I recall seeing you Prochorus and Dolphinus at tribunal but do not have the plasure of having talked much with either of you. As for our last friend, this is the first time I enjoy his presence. I welcome you all and I hope we can all work together.

As for me, I tend to centre my magics in the field of Herbam, specially in the manipulation of wood. I look forward to the challenge ahead and I think we can be successful if we work together to achieve results. Now that you know a little bit about myself I will let whoever among you wants to present himself to take the stage. With a smile, Quercus sits again and takes one of the mugs of ale that Alice is serving. He has extended his parma over her, and she looks much more comfortable in the presence of magi than before.


Pytheas sits, and takes a mug of ale.

"I was apprenticed in the Normandy Tribunal, at Fudarus, this is the first time I have set foot outside it; and even now, all I'd have to do is cross the river and I'd be back. But I suppose a redcap like Bernhard crosses these borders all the time.

My own special talent is in the Elemental Forms, particularly the Art of Aquam, and my magic seems to follow the cycles of the tide. I hope that this vis source Bernhard has found is near the sea, because I would like to explore the ties my Magic seems to have with it."

((I was wondering in which Tribunal Antwerp is, and it turns out the border is the France / Holy Empire border, which this far North is the river Scheldt; Antwerp is on the river, on the Rhine Tribunal side.))

"Yes Prochorus and I have travelled together from Lübeck. We met our friend in common there." Japik says when Prochorus joins them on the way down to the cellar room. Before they walk down the stairs he makes a hand signal to Hjalmar who just nods in reply.

When Pytheas appears in the room downstairs and introduces himself Japik rises from his chair. "If the redcap you mention goes by the name Bernhard you are certainly welcome Pytheas. I'm Japik Dolfinus filius Ardea ex Bjornaer. Two Tytalus! How interesting!" He laughs loud and smiles at Pytheas and Quercus taking his mug of ale and salutes them all before drinking.

After Quercus' and Pytheas presentations Japik rises again. "Well spoken sodalis. I too have been looking forward to this meeting and what shall come from it ever since Bernhard told us about his prospect. Are there more to come or are we four the ones Bernhard has entrusted with his knowledge? As for my own proficiencies I handle Imaginem best but as an initiate of Bjornaer I have also spent some time with Animal of course. While Aquam is not my strongest art I love the sea and have it confirmed by Bernhard that wherever he is taking us it will not be far from it. So you don't have to worry about that, Pytheas." He looks at the Breton Tytalus.

((OOC: I'm not sure Japik has been to any Tribunal yet since then he must have travelled to Durenmar and i don't know when that would have happened. When was the last Rhine Tribunal if it's 1210 now?))

Alruna takes a look at the cellar, then sits down on the stairs near the door.

Yes, a warm welcome to you, Pytheas. Prochorus ex Miscellanea, from Oculus Septentrionalis in Lübeck. Prochorus raises his mug with Japik.

Four is plenty. We have seem to be mixing a worthy concoction, at any rate. My Tietäjä songs are known to affect the minds of those who hear them. One time, a presumptuous trader so enjoyed my voice that he walked around without pants for the whole day! He smiles devilishly.

(OOH lore roll: Roll(1d10)+3: 9,+3 Total:12. I guess I know more or less the whereabouts of Bernhards usual routes. )

Quercus smiles as well. Must have been quite a sight! :laughing:

So it will be a near the water. Given that two of our group have expressed an interest in water locations it seems appropriate for Bernhard to chose such a site. or more likely he has chosen us because he thinks we might fit the place. Given our current location I guess it will be a location in the northern sea or in the Stonehenge or Normandy tribunals. I would discard Stonehenge since none of us belong to that tribunal and as far as I know Bernhard does not venture much into Normandy, so I would say northern sea or channel coast. Given our current location the later is more likely.

Now, for resources, I have a few books and a lab that I am willing to donate to a new covenant. The books are not many, but we all know how hard it is to get them. I am also able to cast an Aegis, but unfortunately lack the vis to do so at the moment. Hopefully Bernhard's vis source can help us with that.

Japik laughs heartily at Prochorus' anecdote. "I love that story every time I hear it. Splendid!" He toasts his travel companion.

He sits and looks at the other magi for a few moments before continuing a bit more serious.
"I understand Bernhard had found som vis sources that no one else seems to have claimed before and he also mentioned the potential to build a new covenant if we were brave and ambitious enough. Well are we? Apart from your personal abilities and knowledge what resources can you bring to such a venture? I come with little myself but if we can pool together what we have it might be good as a start."

He takes a sip from his ale and looks at each of the other three, especially Pytheas and Quercus since he probably already know what Prochorus is bringing*. "I have a ship with a crew which I think we will have good use of for mundane trade and transportation. Bernhard was pretty clear about that the vis source was close to the sea when he spoke to us." He turns quickly to Prochorus. "Then I have some other more specific equipment that might help us if we find a location to build us a covenant."

(*I know you haven't discussed your resources with Arthur yet Wits so it might be difficult for you to say something about that here, but feel free to say something that you would like to have based on what the other three of us have got and then we could just change it later on if it turned out differently.)

I have a few books to keep us occupied once we have a roof over our heads. Nothing fancy, but it's a start.

Pytheas makes a mental inventory of what he owns.

"I have a boat, not big, basically a fishing boat. Good enough to go anywhere in Europe with a good crew, which I have, two good grogs. I have a few gems and a pouch of silver, worth maybe fifteen pounds of silver all told. A little vis, one pawns of each Elemental Art. And my copy of the Analects of Tytalus. And, of course, I'm not afraid of hard work."

Ah yes, mundane wealth. I have jewelry of my own and money worth around nine marks* of common silver as well. I also have with me Fresse, the grog you saw in the room's entrance, and Alice, the young maid serving us all so wonderfully. Alice blushes like a tomato and scurried to do something elsewhere to stop being the centre of the unwanted attention. My laboratory equipment would do well with some extra ingredients like vitriol or mercury. I suppose Bernhard can point us to where to acquire these wares if we feel like it.

Still, the first thing we should probably do is secure or wares here and go investigate the location and its surrounding area travelling more lightly. I have had more than one piece of lab equipment break in transportation, so I prefer to keep them as secure as possible if I can help it.

It is certainly fortunate that we have boats available if we are to travel to a coastal location.

*Nine marks = 6 pounds. It was a common measure for bulk silver. 1 mark being 2/3 of a pound.

"Arithmetics never was my favourite subject of the liberal arts but it seems we have some good resources to start our venture with. Pytheas' two sailors give us a total of seven grogs able to craft a boat or a ship and we have two of those now. Baltrum is a knarr and can take about twenty-four tun*. I think the equipment I got in Lübeck is enough to outfit a proper laboratory when we have a place for it. I also have two pawns of vis and some silver, 5 or 6 pounds I believe."

"Quercus, do you think we can leave the equipment here somewhere? Maybe Bernhard has some reliable contacts."

After finishing his ale and asking Alice for another round he turns to Quercus and Pytheas and looks at them with a sly smile.
"So tell me more about Tytalus. I think I met some of your house at Fengheld when I started my apprenticeship, but I never had the chance to get to know them. My mater cursed me now and then and said that I would have suited the Tytalus better, but she never gave me an answer why." he chuckles.

(*Tun would be a cask about a metre high and could weigh as much as a tonne, 1000 kgs in the metric system)