Chapter 12 when the magæ travel to settle elsewhere, taking Thom along

Thadeus and his party returns to Ungulus a few days after midsummer. Iago's caravan has already arrived, but only just since they took extra time to avoid settlements.

The magæ have been planning to find a new place to settle, and waiting almost impatiently for Betula and the baby to gather enough strength to travel. When Thom returns, with Iago's caravan, they are just about ready, and Betula's stigmata suggest it is time. They make an image of three ladies and a childish bloke making their way ...

Nauvi is preparing to travel to Lincoln, and they could travel together for a couple of days before parting ways, and more importantly, they need to sort out between themselves, who takes what grogs and companions.

Thadeus has planned to stay home to complete his lab. Janus too, is prioritising the defense of the covenant. If he is needed on the adventures, Thadeus would have to take responsibility for the defense.

Please organise your parties and make your preparations in character.

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When he gets a chance, Leofric approaches Nauvi, "I hear that you are planning a trip south in the weeks to come. I too was planning to travel the villages to spread the word and help people along the way. Would you mind me and Roxie tagging along? Simple folk always have things in need of repair, and it's not bad to remind them that God is there for the littlem things too."

Thom thanks Sionag profusely for her healing, going so far as to bring her a bouquet of wild flowers every few days as a gesture of his gratitude. He can often be seen wandering about the area around Ungulus looking for faeries or studying the area.

In anticipation of the trip to the Midsummer Copse and the need to interact with the King of the Foam and his guardians, Thom also spends some time in contemplation about how best to pay tribute or appease the King enough to enter into a conversation if not cordial relationship. [Faerie Lore Roll: 4, no botch]. Sadly, the flowers and pleasant weather seem to draw his attention, that and watching the folk fishing.

Nauvi smiles at Leofric. "Of course! Always safest to travel in numbers. I will be heading to Lincoln to retrieve some people and the goods they are keeping safe for me. I will need to ask if any of our soldiers want to come with us, partly to discourage trouble and partly because they'll want to meet my guards."

The monk nods, wiping off sweat from his tonsured head with a scrap of fabric, "Are you planning this as a quick trip straigth to... were are we going... and back? Or will we have the time to stop a day or two once in a while, if we find villagers in need of my services?" Leofric shrugs and smiles broadly at the same time, "Sometimes, I just see people in need, and I cannot refuse the call even if it means remaining in a village for a time. I'd hate to delay you..."

Sionag blushes when Thom offers to her the bouquet. But in fact, she avoids to think about this plants as new potions to heal the body of this man... Since when the body was more important that his wounds... it was these thinking who explain why she blushes, more than the gesture of this... hum... concentration... return to our journey preparation...
Sionag makes a batch of medical plants in her chest, that will be useful if he is wounded again... no, no, no... not just him. even healing and looking after him... so, some plants to heal the group and calm the baby. And some corpus pawn, always useful...

[Sionag will take 10 pawns of corpus and her chest]

Cath'rinne wanders in on Thom offering flowers to Sionag one afternoon before the trip, and stammers an apology before exiting the scene: "Sor..ry! I didn't mean... to... intrude..." She is as flustered by the scene as Sionag is and is quick to exit. She makes herself rare the next few days, often perching towards the top of the tower or flying arround, and mostly appearing in public settings only.

Turold will go and see Betula. He's been as present as she would allow him to be the past few months, towards the end of her pregnancy and after the birth, seemingly finding excuses to make himself useful to her. "I've heard you're going on that trip to Midsummer Copse. I want in - I really need to setup my kitchen and settle down closer to Sherwood Forest. Is there anything I can help prepare for the trip? Whom should we take along?"

Thom appears completely oblivious to the blush, only expressing his gratitude with a bright smiling "Thank you so much!" before dropping off whatever interesting summer flower he's found on his walks about the covenant's area or along the lake. The handsome young magus never stays long before heading back, often toward the lake.

Thom flies up to the top of the tower one day, clearly much better at this flying thing than when he started some months ago. He lands near Cath'rinne, squawking what might be a greeting. He stretches out his wings, letting them feel the sun as he sits beside her watching what's going on about Ungulus. He keeps looking toward the lake, as if with meaning, though it's hard to tell really.

"Leofric, as long as it is only a day or two once in a while, then there should be no problem staying. It is if we have to stop in every village we pass that I would have to leave you behind. Do not worry - I should be returning from Lincoln with a horse and cart so will be able to pick you up no matter what happens." Nauvi sounds confident that his dowry is intact.

Hamish quietly joins the conversation.

"Did you say you were bringing back some guards? Will they be joining the turb?"

"I will accompany magus Nauvi, if he will have me, as my entertainment skills will be more use in villages and towns than out in the wilderness" states Finn

"Hi Thom." Cath'rinne squawks back, in vulture tongue (it occured to me that shapechangers speak their animal tongue while shapeshifted, so Thom and Cath'rinne can understand one another without a human tongue, something I forgot in the last chapter) "Are you coming here for a look at the land?"

"It's nice up here," says Thom as he settles his wings back. "You can see so much. And Sionag healed me! So nice to stretch my body and soar. Why are you up here?"

"I needed some space. Dealing with people is... complicated. Sometimes I wonder if the gift is a curse, or if I'm just bad at it. Probably both. Life is simpler when you can just enjoy the wind blow through your wings."

"You're not wrong, but you do well with people I think. Better than I am, that's for sure."

Vulture-Thom remains silent for a time.

"I'm excited to see the Midsummer Copse again. I liked it there. But we need to figure out how to make friends with the King of the Foam. Maybe we can bring him a tribute of some kind."

Betula's attention, always so preoccupied with the Enigma, is now stretched by the baby's demands. She leaves the preparations for the other magæ. Sionagh has packed her medical supplies. Is that a big chest, requiring a donkey, or does she carry it herself? Iago and the two grogs pack their standard grog packs¹, and are ready to help. Do you bring donkeys and further supplies?

Iago considered taking the two Scottish captives, but Arlainne still has a medium wound and would need a month in Clarissa or Sionagh's care before she recovers enough to travel at normal speed. Glenn only had light wounds IIRC and recovers in time. What do you decide on?

Cath'rinne, Sionagh, Betula, Thom, Iago, Arlainne, and Glenn are ready to go to the copse(s) in the Penninnes.

The companions flock around Nauvi, eager to see the villages and towns, and meet his crew. They are Leofric, Hamish, and Finn, as well as Nauvi. I assume they carry something like standard grog packs too. Do they bring donkeys and provisions?

The two teams can travel together for several days before they part ways in the Pennines.

¹ See Grogs

Iago will take Glenn but leave Arlainne in the care of Clarissa at Ungulus

Then I suppose he takes Gorm instead. He is the standard soldier who were also part of the returning group. Awkward, since they only share an effective language at 2, but I suppose they are used to that.

Iago needs to make a leadership+communication roll to manage the new, involuntary recruit. It only takes 3+ to avoid any hint of trouble, and 0+ to avoid serious trouble, but 9+ to take a step towards long-term loyalty. Stress roll. (Yes, it would have been harder if you did not split the two long-time friends ...)

Iago rolls Leadership+Com of 22 and does very well integrating the new recruits.

"A couple donkeys won't be a bad idea," suggests Thom.