Chapter 14 - Test of the Flames

Marie touches her head with her arm. The Rowan Crown sits fast on her head, embedded in her headscarf. (Don't ask me, I'm sure this is trivial for a woman).
Marie checks her parma and her spells.

  • an emergency teleport home as a waiting spell.
  • she hands the glove of vigor to a grog (ideally one that doesn't feel the effects of fatigue or one that is less proficient). One day, being handed THE GLOVE might acquire meaning.
  • she also casts wizard's sidestep, more as a routine than anything else. She is convinced that it'll be of little use against her opponent. Still, it might make him underestimate her.
  • she adds a pebble to her collection of arcane connections.

Marie finally looks at Isaac: "Does your talisman safely concentrate on my little icecube?"

The rising surf had awoken him to a starlit sky. Day or night, sun or moon; it made little difference to his eyesight. He sat up, or rather tried to. A sharp pain ran along his side where he had been stabbed by the renegade Metron. His fingers poked through the slit in his clothing left by the blade. When he pulled his hand away, a black viscous liquid remained on his fingers. He brought it to his nose to smell it. The stench of ammonia and rotten eggs made him wretch. Some foul poison perhaps? He crawled to the nearby shoreline and dipped his hand into the waves to cleanse it. He then tasted the water and spat it out; saltwater.

His mind still a haze, he began an incantation to recall the events of the battle. Despite his weariness, the spell went off without a hitch. Now he remembered. (OOC: The Good Witness CrMe 25: invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/2472050/ 6 +19 +2 for Memory bonus from talisman = 27 = success).

After washing away some of the dried blood on his forehead, he sat on the shoreline for some time in reflection while trying to restore feeling in his legs. It was slow at first, but eventually he could wriggle his toes although his legs were still wobbly when he finally elected to stand. From a standing position he scanned for as far as he could see. In the distance he could see a villa, but not of Spanish architecture. Roman perhaps or someone with more cosmopolitan tastes. He had no way of knowing where he was, the villa was as likely a place as any to retrieve answers. Restoring his parma magica and a wizard's sidestep should the villa's residents prove hostile, he shambled towards the entrance while favouring his wounded side.

Everyne is in the villa Rodrigo rented. Marie is adjusting her crown, and asks Issac abut the "icecube". It is safely held as long as his shield maintains the spell (I think Electron has wandered off, so he is an NPC "red shirt" for now).
Rodrigo tells everyone to be ready for prepatory drills and the final plannong discussions at Noon (an hour from now, which is when Arawn is supposed to be back). Then he heads outside to refelct by the shore, when he spots Octavian, stumbling towards the cottage gripping his side...

What the hell are you doing here? And...
Never mind that. What the hell happened to you? You are a shambling wreck!

Octavian narrows his eyes briefly at Rodrigo before offering a curt bow in greeting. "Good morning master Vasquez. May I inquire as to where 'here' is exactly?"

Having finally caught up on her rest, Ameline has only one thing that she has to do for preparation and that is she finds a quiet place and sits down to pray that she is strong enough, that she says the right things and that she is successful. She focuses on her love of God and her service to him. With his support she can face any foe and any failure is hers and not his and she prays to be worthy of his name and aid.

Esteban wants to collect Arcane Connections to Captain Alexandro and the grogs, if they agree. This is so Esteban can scry on them if we get separated during the battle. Also, if any of them are inexperienced, wounded, or in low spirits, Esteban wants to spont Heart of the Lion on those grogs. He also gives the whole turb a rousing pep-talk about how once again we go into battle against the supernatural, armed with but mundane steel and our indomitable courage, and of course we shall prevail because nothing is a match for the men of Andorra!

Esteban casts Wizard's Sidestep, Aura of Ennobled Presence, Finding the Fuel of Magic and Eyes of the Cat on himself. He gathers a pouchful of stones for Invisible Sling of Vilano. He's good to go.

Pantelleria, the island just south of the Arc of Fire. Or rather, the area of the mundane world that corresponds with it, the regio that will lead us there. We are headed off to rescue Carmen from the palace of Burning Bronze, where she is held captive by the efreet Khyron.
But surely you ust know all of that. Why else would you be here? Are you willing to lay aside your differences and join together with us for the time that it takes to rescue your sodale?

Alexandro and the accompaning members of the Andorran Guard agree to granting you Arcane Connections. Sergeant Moses heads over by Rodrigo to meet Octavian. Sergeant Armando asks for a word aside with Estaban
[color=red]Sir, I would also like to remind you of the wisdom of glory. Glory is not something you seek in battle. The purpose of combat is to put an end to combat as quickly as possible. Long drawn out battles are not your friend. I have seen more than a few magi perish from prolonging an encounter in order to show off their fancy new (and untested) tricks.
Glory is something you seek after combat is over. Save the long drawn out moments of tension for the tale you tell of the battle after it is won.
:wink:

Esteban gives Sergeant Armando a cool stare. "You say the purpose of combat is to end combat as quickly as possible. I say the purpose of combat is victory.

"If I can have victory with a the shock of the first charge, I will have it. If I can have victory by ambush and deception, I will have it. If I can have victory by wearing my enemy down to exhaustion, I will have it. If I can have victory by a siege of weeks and months, I will have it.

"This is battle. You must be ready for anything." (Esteban turns on his heel and walks away.)

He is silent for a time following the request for assistance. "It is unfortunate that mistress Perez was captured but it is not altogether surprising considering my counsel was ignored. If Andorra is willing to assure certain guarantees then I will provide my assistance."

Marie is doubtful about the sudden appearence of a drenched magus:
"There is too much coincidence in this for me. But your actions will reveal which side you are on. We can need any spellslinger available."

How very Flambeau of you! :smiley:
That pretty much shuts him up, though he shakes his head and mutters in Spanish.

It was more a question of "are you here to assist?" rather than a request for assistance. But anyway...
Rodrigo frowns: And what counsel concerning Khyron did you give that we failed to heed? And what sort of "guarantees" dost thou seek?
And you still havent answered my initial question. What the hell happened to you? You look like you were swallowed by a dragon and came out the other side. Are you allright?

(OOC: by the time he reached the villa he's probably dry :slight_smile: )

Octavian glances briefly at the tytalus who just now gave him additional bargaining power and smiles politely before returning his attention to Rodrigo.

"Master Vasquez, I thank you for your concern for my physical well being. As such, I seek the following guarantees:

-Circumstances have made it so I find myself unarmed. I would be provided a pair of daggers with which to defend myself.
-Secondly, Any vis I must use on this endeavour be repaid in full. Any injuries I sustain be healed and the vis spent by Andorra.
-Third, I am given the same treatment as were I still a member of your convenant while on this mission.
-Fourth, I am granted access to study the tomes Dominion over God's Creatures for three seasons and the Riddles of Mars for two seasons to master Inirelte's certamen from Andorra's library as well as provide any additional study materials I may require.
-Fifth, should I perish that the second and fourth guarantees extend to House Tremere as decided by Exarch Marcus of Tremere.
-Lastly, Andorra provides travel for my person back to Iberia.

You need a pair of daggers? Done. Carlos, Oscar, give Octavian one of your knoves.
I have a small supply of vis which I am willing to share, and healing of any injuries you sustain goes without saying. It shall be done
for your third and fourth request, your membership does not expire until the end of the season, as you stated when you left. If you wish to extend your time a few seasons, or rescind your decision to quit, so be it. It is granted.
It is outside of my authority to grant your fifth request, but I can grant your travel arrangements for your live body or your corpse, as may need be.

Traveling swift and light, Vares 'skips' across the land, sea, and sky, stretching himself and his magic with enthusiasm. He has enough time to enjoy the view beneath the sun before he arrives at the villa, making his last 'step' just beyond its threshold.

He takes a moment to collect himself before moving to join the other Magi--and is nonplussed to see Octavian present among them, in some conference with Rodrigo.

Keeping his distance until whatever it is is settled, he speaks with Marie (and Esteban and Ameline, should they be present). "My trip to Verdi yielded unexpected fruit. No new weapons, but a Warding incense designed to Work against all Djinni and Efreeti up to the tenth magnitude in strength," he smiles almost serenely, "and a Jar of Solomon."

Octavian inspects the knives carefully before sheathing them and securing them in his belt. He nods to Rodrigo's agreement of most of his requests. "If I may be excused master Vasquez? I would require some time to prepare before receiving explanation of your plan of action."

I grant you an hour. It is already noon, and the sun sets in around six hours. That is when we depart.

He nods and will likely take a bath in private and groom himself to be more presentable in preparation for the noon meeting.

Sorry about that. Work has been busy, kids have been sick [size=50]and I may have gotten a trifle wrapped up in something else. [/size]

Isaac keeps his own counsel while Octavian and Rodrigo discuss Octavian's participation. Unless it clearly threatens Carmen's rescue, it's not his place to interfere in Andorra's internal politics. He warms himself up with a few deep knee-bends and swings his sword about a little to loosen his shoulder. Any time he catches someone's eye, he smiles - he's quite looking forward to a good fight.

He's made his hauberk Impenetrable, his shield Unbreakable, hit himself up with Gift of the Bear's Fortitude and Ward against Weapons. He considered using a Ward against Wood, but really doesn't think he's likely to encounter any of the stuff in an Ifrit's palace. If any of the grogs are amenable (given his unfamiliar Gift and a likely language barrier), he'll offer to ward them, too.

EDIT: OOC: Also, it's 'Eclecticon' - as in, the Book of... Stuff.