Chapter 1: Meeting with the bishop

The next morning down at the docks a few magi assemble. There is a gentle breeze in the air and it looks as if it is going to be nice day. Polycarpus stands next to the captain of the ship discussing a few crates of goods that are apparently going up to his laboratory. Once the discussion is over he turns to his fellow magi. He speaks to the magi. I have spoken to the captain and he will take you to [name of city] where the bishop resides. I wish you a safe journey and good fortune.

OOC: Write a post where you mention that your magus or maga board the ship and if you bring any particular possessions. I will start a thread later for the magi that remains, that is if someone other than Polycarpus remains at the covenant.

After stroking his owl Athena (who wants to use the time to watch the covenant's children learning their letters) and kissing his wife and children goodbye, Nestor steps on board. He has his far-speaking earring with him, and a lock of Jeanne's hair, so they can stay in touch.
He also carries a Bible (New Testament only, a sturdy but undecorated copy made for using not for marvelling at) from the covenant's library with him, to pass the time aboard and prepare for the bishop by reading some of St. Paul's epistles.
He doesn't carry weapons (apart from a knife to sharpen quills), but he had, his man (name starts with an N like his own - Nikolaos, right) , pack writing stuff.
He has decided to take only one shield grog with him - and has asked the turb captain for a man with some basic social graces rather than a great warrior; and the young man that was chosen looks civil enough - probably a nobleman's younger son - despite the sword he's wearing.

ooc: I hope I haven't overstepped the equiment (both a book and two servants). If I have - Mad Max - just edit them out.

Though she is not going to be part of the meeting with the bishop, she has promised to be nearby to help or fulfill needs. She sends a small bundle aboard the ship with Nestor. Nothing much, only a bundle of clothing. She herself takes the form of a dolphin privately and swims near the ship, occassionally rising up to dance on her tail for the amusement of watchers. She revels in the freedom to as she thinks necessary. The clothing are only for if she will be on land for long periods of time for she can always conjure clothing for short duration.

Odysseus boards the ship, a smile on his face. He wears his more 'rugged' outfit, consisting of his armor, sword and his various magical items and ac's strapped across his waist in a bandoleer of sorts. "Good morning!" Nodding to the Magi present he quickly becomes immersed in talks with the Sailors, spinning a tale of sea monsters and lost treasures.

A young man boards, carrying a trunk. Glancing up from his story telling Odysseus smiles "Ah, Alexander! Would you be so kind as to put my trunk in the hold? We wouldn't want such nice clothing to get ruined..." He returns to his story, pausing again only to hand Alexander a small coin with a thanks after he returns from the hold.

It seems everyone is here. Take care and good luck on your journey. Polycarpus takes his leave of the magi and return to his covenant. The ship leaves shore and sails out into the sea. The captains show the magi aboard where they can sleep.

The wind is good and the weather is nice so the journey goes without trouble. In the middle of the day after the magi arrives at the port of [insert name of city where the bishop lives]. The port is a busy one so the magi can arrive without causing too much disturbance or getting noticed.

Any plans for the visit or do you make the way towards the bishops residence?

Nestor convenes the magi that are part of this expedition and suggests to send ahead an elegantly sealed note anouncing visitors - 3 learned men - for the following afternoon.
This way, there is enough time to ask around (among the palace's servants and townspeople) and learn about the bishop's interests (especially gifts).

ooc: nestor can use a spell to disguise himself as a servant, if needed.

He tries to find the perfect Gift
Int 3+ etiquette 3 + simple die roll 10 ( =16
using the information gained by their scouting

Odysseus agrees with Nestor and offers to pen the letter.

Dex 5 + 4 Scribe + 7 Item of Quality Quill + 8 Roll = 24

(( Should be a damn fine piece of work! :smiley: ))

If Nestor's search yields any results Odysseus offers to use his social contacts with the Merchants in an attempt to find the item(s) in questions and attempt to purchase them at a favorable price.

Pres 5 + 4 Roll = 9

(( Which beats the 6 required for the Social Contacts virtues, so hopefully he finds a friendly merchant who can either sell him the goods or point him in the right direction? ))

Com 5 + 4 Bargain + 3 Aura + 0 Roll = 12

(( No Botch ))

Upon arriving at the city, Kalliste swims ahead to find a quiet beach and shifts to the form of a golden eagle. She has plenty of time to make the shift so it goes smoothly. In eagle form, she flies up and circles in the air enjoying the wind currents and exerting almost no effort as she watches the ship dock and the mages fly to quarters. She notes what inn they are at before flying down to a quiet alley and reverting to her normal form. She then summons clothing and makes her way to the inn to join them and to get her clothing that won't disappear at sunset.

OOC What mages made the journey? I know we have Nestor and Odysseus. Kalliste will be staying at the inn while you meet with the Bishop because she is what you call backup. She will be moving down the common room to see if the mood is quiet or unruly (and whichever it is gets magnified).

Kalliste can scout (either as eagle perching on buildings, cat or person in many forms).

(( OOC: Hey LadyP, while I acknowledge that there are different ways of playing, I feel that rolls would have been required for some of Kallista's actions. I count four things that I would say require rolls: The Shapeshifting ( Both into Eagle and back to Human ), Spotting the Magi and finally the Spell Casting. I'm not trying to nit pick ya here or anything, but three of these four things are magic of some kind and there's always the chance of a botch ( Plus, I assume the city has a Dominion Aura? IIRC most cities have a 3? ) and the last one isn't something that's exactly very easy. I mean heck, I had to watch Predator feeds back when I was in the Air Force and let me tell you, keeping track of someone in a crowd isn't exactly the easiest thing. I can only imagine what it would be like in a busy port city... The point is, actions like this ( IE actions that have some measure of consequence for failure ) can't just be 'hand waved' as it were, our characters have skills, they should need to use them. ))

ooc comment

I assume that the magi meet later at an inn near the port. You have located a book on ancient myths that could be a good gift and managed to get an invitation to the bishop’s residence the day after at noon.

The inn is crowded but as the magi are not acting too strange than then other guests at the inn do not take notice. So far you have managed to get something to eat but there is still the problem on where you are going to spend the night.

Solomon has NOT come along. Instead he has sent Siobham O'Donovan, his personal Companion and Venditorré (whom I will define in game terms presently). Siobham is a broad built auburn haired Hibernian, with fine tenor voice and soft accent. He wears the garb of a well-to-do merchant, and has a longsword at his hip. Around the mages he is quiet and deferential, and he always takes a few steps away from any Mage who has the full Gift (rather than the Gentle Gift).

Nestor suggests to find lodgings that are suitable for successful university men/traders. He'll prefer lodgings were his two servants are quartered nearby (but somewhat less comfortably, as befits their station, without being hard on them). He probably has some insight into how a Magister from a University travels, but he is not above listening to the others - including the servants.

As for the book - he suggests starting negotiations before nightfall, and proposes leaving those negotations to Odysseus and the venditore.
He hopes spending the evening (disguised by a spell) among the bishop's palace servants.

Kallista considers and suggests, "We should get 1 or 2 rooms. It makes us more prosperous in appearance but it is safer. Siobham and the servants can share a room and the rest of us can share a second. This way we don't seem too prosperous. I will stay in the room unless I am needed unless you want me to take eagle form and watch over your travels through the city since there are few grogs to protect you. Just a warning, I won't be able to shift quickly in this place of the hostile one's touch and I will need calm and peace to make the change safely." She still has spasms of the uncontrolled hand and pilums of fire in her eagle form though.

You are able to find quarters at an inn near to the church and try to blend in amongst the travelling churchmen that are visiting the bishop. Without troubles you can find back to the book seller who is also a practicing alchemist. How does Nestor intend to spend the evening amongst the bishop’s servants? Infiltrate the manor? Approach them at the tavern where the swing a cup of vine after work? Or…?

Nestor leaves the hostel with his servant shortly after sunset. In a back alley (or a stable - some place where he has a minute of quiet), he casts a spell to assume the form of an elderly rigidly fasting pilgrim and puts on appropriate clothing (that his grog bought earlier). His servant is to wait for him with his usual clothes.
Nestor then approaches the alms kitchen of the bishop's palace. He asks for food, water and access to a church - and offers to do a few hours of menial work for it like washing dishes (he is confident that they won't make him work for too long because few people work long after sunset. He also chooses a fragile appearance for himself, because he knows he is not good at hard physical work.)
He tries to talk to palace servants (or overhear them) -- he hopes to learn about the bishop's tastes and reputations from the servants.
If asked who he is he will reply that he is a pilgrim fulfilling a vow to Mary. He will call himself Dimitri.

If all goes well, he returns to the servant and casts another spell over the old one, so he looks like himself again and puts on his normal clothes. He sleeps at the hostel.

he rolls a 5 and a 6 on his spell rolls for assuming another human form. He waits until fatigue is restored before going on.
If anything goes wrong his first defense is a forgetting spell, failing that a sleep spell.
Both the servant and he watch out for people observing them.

Kallista choses to get a good night's sleep. She wasn't riding on a ship to get here but came under her own power. Sure it was her choice but that doesn't mean she isn't tired. If all goes well, they will be on their way home tomorrow. She will fly ahead since she can cross the distance far faster as an eagle than the ship can sail.

At the bishops palace the servants has quite an easy night. They seem to have work to do but are not overworked and they seem to like their workplace. Nestor (or perhaps it should be Dimitri) is give bread and a something to drink and is shown the closest church. As he spends time in the kitchen he can hear the head chef discussing the menu for the banquet that is soon to be had by the sound of their conversation it sees as if they both are skilled chefs and that their master enjoys their work.

The next morning. Everyone wakes up in time to make good preparations for the visit.

OOC: When casting spell please write Spell cast Te + Fo + Sta + Dice + Extra mods. = XX vs. spell level Link to dice roll so I can see what is happening with ease.

At breakfast, Nestor shares his observations with the group. He eats little - enough to keep his stomach quiet, but he hopes to get a chance to sample the bishop's cuisine.
He'd like to visit a barber shop and puts on his Magister robe for the audience.
He points out that we mustn't visit without the book.

The magi make their way into the bishop (once they have obtained the book) and are greeted by one of his servants and shown into the audience hall. The servant announces their arrival and the bishops inspects his guest. The bishop is a middle aged man with an apparent taste for good food and a large beard. Welcome visitors to my manor. Take a seat at the table and we shall speak. The bishop gestures towards a table with several seats nearby.

OOC: Everyone who says something should make an etiquette roll + com – gift modifiers.