Chapter 1 (IC): Welcome?

Animus listens as the other guests express their opinion. His jaw clenches at Menatia's laughter and dismissal of this situation. He is about to speak harshly when Daria answers the Tytalus' ridiculous notion that impersonating a maga can be considered a simple prank. He finds the weedling and petty positioning that follows distasteful, but what can one expect from individualist magi of other Houses? They only see their own interests in this, whether it is the waste of their time or the slight to their honor. They fail to see the larger picture, or to work for the common good.

Still, despite his anger at this imposture and at the way these magi only care about themselves, he has been give a task. So, after a few moments to control his temper, Animus speaks again.

"If we are to find the originator, or originators, of the letters, then it might be beneficial to track down how they were delivered, and from whom." (I am assuming here that the letters were delivered through the redcap network.) "Finding out who handed these letters to the redcaps, and backtracking until we reach the common carrier, would seem to be one avenue of investigation. Determining if any of the letters constitute an arcane connection to the writer would be another, even if it is unlikely. Failing that, determining the origin of the parchment and ink might yield some clues."

He pauses as he looks around at the hall, and servants bringing food to the guests of the covenant. "But this may not be the best place to conduct such investigations. We should reconvene after dinner, in a more suitable room, to discuss the various steps we can take to identify the source of this misdirection."

HIldegarde answers :"I concur with Animus (I'm guessing we were introduced by name for simplification) on the steps of the investigation and their relative probability of success, but of course Rémi and Daria are the most experienced in the matter so I'll follow their lead."

She then joins hands and whisper a prayer to the Lord when food is brought.

"It sounds as though we are all in agreement about the proposal. And I agree with Animus that we should gather later to discuss our plans. For now, may we enjoy Triamore's hospitality and each others' company?" Adele's anger seems to have subsided, and with the focus shifting toward the meal she starts to look happy or excited again, as she had been when she arrived.

Menatia watches the other guests as they speak and tries to get an impression of what they are like.
She smiles at Eduardo the Flambeau Spaniard, no surprise about the fierce temper there. Will be fun teasing him. The female Flambeau Hildegarde though, she seems a bit less typical to her House. There is something mysteries about her. I need to find out more. The Tremere, Animus, just as stiff as Daria but they all seem to be moulded in the same form in that House. They are supposed to like certamen and challenges though so maybe there is hope for him. Finally the Verditi, it must be the first time she is out to see the world. Seems like Durenmar treats all their apprentices the same, Bonisagi or not. With some help she could be really beautiful though, but she need to prove herself being worthy of such help first.

After the food has been served Menatia addresses Hildegarde in French.
"So Hildegarde where did you say you are from? I think I noticed the French accent in your speech before."

Daria solemnly intones:
"We are agreed. Receive the token of Triamore, residentes."

Remi rolls his eyes and flings each of you a coin with a hole in it. Daria shoots him an intense glance, but calmly adds:
"So it is done. Let us proceed to have dinner then."

It's during dinner that you learn that the Arcane connection in the letter has already been probed. It was found to have become inert. When Daria is absorbed in pleasant conversation, Remi uses the opportunity to lean over to Menatia and whisper: "A year is the usual probation time. But I bet my pretty smile that she's going to make you wait for two or three, Tytalus". The last word a perfect imitation of Daria's tone.

After dinner, you remain in the great hall but gather around the huge chimney to talk further.

Hildegarde shifted rapidly her attention to Menatia, surprised to hear French in the company of wizards. She delicately wiped her mouth before answering, not really surprise to catch the Tytalus attention. (In French) "You're quite observant" (In Latin) "I'm not sure that would be polite to continue in French. My father was a wandering merchant, so I spent my childhood between Boulogne, Reims, Clairvaux and Vézelay mostly. I then moved to Fengheld as I told before. I presume you're of French origin too ?"

Menatia shrugs at Hildegarde's remark of being unpolite. "Oui" she starts to answer the Flambeau maga's question but then continues in Latin. "I was brought up in Picardy close to Amiens so not far from the areas you mention. The last ten years or so I have mostly spent in Flanders though. Ghent is a lovely city." She takes a sip of the wine before continuing. "Your father was a merchant you say. That's peculiar, what was his specialty trade?"

Menatia leans closer to Remi as he speaks. She likes his smile and he is Jerbiton, one of the Houses that seems to produce a fair share of interesting magi. She can't help chuckling at Remi's final words "Alright you want a bet I'll give you one. You give me your full attention for free as teacher or in the lab for two seasons if I manage to make the probabtion in one year. Pick your prize if I fail." She smiles at the older magus.

Daria looks over suspiciously, so Remi smiles at her disarmingly and lets the offer rest - for now.

Animus slips the Aegis token unto a leather lace, which he hangs from his neck, tucking the token under his tunic.

His behaviour changes quite a bit during dinner and the small talk that accompanies it. He is much more cheerful and charming in a youthful way, sharing stories of how the bad weather has affected clothing. "Let me tell you, there wasn't a single piece of fabric on me that wasn't splattered by the time I reached here, running all the way from Fengheld! He laughes mirthfully at this, "One could almost have mistaken me for a peasant digging a trench in the spring mud. Such a sight I must have presented!" Whenever presented food by the servants, he thanks them politely and smiles.

And yet, the young Tremere is all business again when the magi gather around the hearth to discuss their plans for investigating the circumstances of their gathering here in Triamore. Not exactly stiff, but rather very focused on the task ahead of them. "One of the things we can try to track down," he repeats, "is the way these letters were delivered. Have you any memory of the redcap who delivered it to each of you? We could track them down and ask whom they got these letters from, backtracking until we get to the source.

"Unfortunately I didn't had the opportunity to visit Ghent"
Hildegarde opened her hand so that her palms face the fire "my father was mostly trading wool and pigment to go with It, nothing really fancy"

(OOC : I didn't realized Animus was from Fengheld, maybe we already know each other, at least by sight)

She then turns to Animus when he mention the redcap network again taking a sip "Well considering Fengheld is a Mercer House, I'm not sure my letter is the best to begin investigation, If I remember well It was delivered by Felix the Redcap

Edit : name of the redcap from the invitation

"The Redcap that came to me in Ghent called himself Felix. Good-looking but not very talkative. He just referred to the letter and the attached report about this covenant." Menatia answers quickly.

(OOC: The name is from the Invitation post Pralix wrote.)

"So was mine," Animus says. "The next step, in this avenue of investigation, would be to locate Felix and ask him who gave him those letters to be delivered."

(OOC: Is Felix a know redcap to us, aside from that particular delivery? Would we know where he is based on? Otherwise this would be best started from Fengheld.)

Yes that was the name of the redcap, so it at least seems with have a common thread to begin upon. He would smile back to Hildegarde there was a comforting presence in having one of his house mates present, as he resigned himself lightly that vengeance for the slight would have to wait, but the accused would rue the day...RUE the day they chose to malign him. But in the mean time there was food and a warm roof, and with that he settled into place and half closed his eyes.

Adele enjoyed the meal and the company. She is fairly open about her past and the like if anyone probes.

Afterward when they gather she is ready for business. "Mine was delivered by the same Redcap as well. I had had a similar thought of tracking him down. That may not be easy, but I can travel fairly quickly, which will surely be helpful."

"So can I," Animus says, "how fast would it take you to reach Fengheld? No need for both of us to make the trip, if one of us can get there much faster."

"But tracking down Felix might be just the first step. The man who delivered those letters to us may not even have been the real Felix, but rather someone impersonating him. Am I right in supposing that none of us knew Felix the redcap well?" He looks at each magus in turn, making sure none did.

"Do we have other avenues of investigation open to us at this time?"

After a moment of reflection, Hildegarde adds "Maybe we can ask the local Quaesitor If someone has already been found guilty of impersonating Redcaps, If that's the case, maybe he can provide us with leads. I'm sure either the mercer House or the Quaesitor can provide us with a list of redcaps in good standing with this tribunal, this way we could see If this person is a pure invention or If a real Felix exists"

Daria cocks her head pensively as she hears about the redcap:
"Felix you say? But he is well-known in the Rhine. He is based in Harco, I believe, but since he possesses some rudimentary Gift, he is often used by his magical brethren as a lab assistant. Of course he has been delivering letters in the Rhine. I believe House Mercere subscribes to the credo that all Redcaps should occasionally fill that role. Maybe they really know more at Fengheld!?"

One of you has described Felkix as good-looking but not very talkative. You soon realized that your descriptions of him match. You may be acquainted with him, but not enough to really know him well.
It's 109 hours of walking from Triamore to Fengheld (says google maps), about 530 km.

"Is Fengheld the closest Mercer House from here? We should split up and search in different locations. Harco is even further away so maybe you quicksters should go there and ask for Felix?" Menatia chips in.

"I know there is one in Fengheld," Animus replies, "but I don't know if there is another one. At Durenmar, perhaps?"

Fengheld holds the centralized Mercere house for the tribunal, however the problem is most redcaps tend to stick to the roads, the best hope to catch Felix for questions is to make it to his next route before he does. *he calmly ate his meal listening to the others, as he rubbed his face off handedly, not looking forward to trudging through the shit outside.