Chapter 1c: Chasing the Sounds of Magic

The next day dawns misty and damp, with the sun barely visible as a brighter presence in the east. Doubtful about flying in such weather, Quercus has Alice inquire on whether they can hope for the mist to clear. As it seems that it usually does, he keeps to his plan and make his way towards the stairs to Oberland, stopping along the way to get Fresse at the warehouse.

By the time he arrives to the oak tree at the northern end of Oberland, the sun has begun to dissipate the mist, but it is still obscuring the island in many places. Figuring that by the time all his spells are cast through ceremonial magic, he settles down to prepare himself for the lengthy preparations.

((I’m assuming he is attempting the spells as previously described – Base 1, R:Per, D:Sun, T:Hearing for a total level of 10. What kind of sounds were you thinking for the various Realms, and do you go with 2 of them at a time as you mentioned? Casting total would be Sta 1 + In 4 + Vi 5 + Artes Liberales 2 + Philosophiae 2 + Aura + die, or 14 + aura + die. Die rolls are 3, 9, 7 and 9 so all the spells succeed without any problem.))

Quercus does not want to overload himself and havfe improductive work, so he will go for 2 realms at the time. They will be staying here for a while (like, decades if everything goes well) so he is not in a hurry. He will start with the physical ones (magic & faerie) and leave the 2 moral realms for later. Unless the 2 realms have very similar sounds, and then he will try contrasting realms together, like magic & divine.

Sounds, depends if they can be anything or have to be related to his sigil. If the former, they could be something like this:

  • Divine: chimes
  • Infernal: nails scratching a blackboard
  • Faerie: children laughing
  • Magic: magnified rustling sound of oak leaves in the wind. Quite easy to differentiate from real leaves rustling in the wind since the sound is not the same level of intensity at all.

Suggestions welcome :slight_smile:

As soon as he completes his aura-detection spell for the magic realm, Quercus hears the loud rustling of oak leaves, making it very difficult to hold a conversation with Fresse. That’s when he realize his small mistake – he should have begun with the Faerie-aligned spell first, for now it becomes more difficult to concentrate on his second spell. He has to make two attempts before he manages to get his second spell off. ((Rolled a 0 but no botch on the first concentration roll.))

Leaving Fresse behind to guard his clothing, Quercus takes wing. He decides to first map out the magical aura of Oberland before moving off to the rest of the island. A few minutes of flying around the plateau reveals that almost half of it is covered by a magical aura, including the area around the stunted oak tree. The aura seems to extend away from the plateau for a short distance in the air and along the cliff some of the way down, perhaps fifty feet. Then it stops, the sound of oak leaves rustling fading away as Quercus flies farther down or away, to be covered by the calls of the numerous sea birds.

Some of these birds scatter as the sparrow hawk dives amongst them, but some of the bigger species are larger than the hawk Quercus, so they caw angrily at him instead, some even flying close enough to buffet him with their wings in order to drive him away from their nests. Unwilling to risk a fight against so many, he lets himself be driven off, getting free of the crowd of angry gulls.

A bit more careful, he flies down along the cliff, soon picking up the rustling of leaves again as he nears the waves beating on the rocky base of the island. It is harder to hear, somewhat drowned out by the cacophony of birds and waves. But knowing that it is there helps, so Quercus decides to follow it along the shore to see how far it extends. So he flies some distance northwest, along the plateau at first, then along the sandy shore. And yet the faint rustling of oak leaves continue.

((Giving you a chance to provide input as to where he proceeds from there. For example, does he keep going along the shore or go back to check the other side? Move inland? He's been flying for about an hour now, so this may take more than a day to complete the survey.))

The tall stone pillars sound like a place where an aura might exist, so Quercus will check these. The experience with the seagulls has not been of his liking, but he needs to have that area mapped out. The Aquam magi would appreciate it, he is sure about that. He will rest in one of the stone pillars if he needs to.

After checking the pillars he will fly to the northern half of the islannd, the part northwest of the plateau. After that he will check the eastern side of the plateau and then move inland.

Contrary to what is true for modern Heligoland, the pillars are much farther away, about 5 miles north of the plateau. They are to the north of the bigger island, standing about three miles apart and half a mile from the shore. So Quercus is not currently close to them. What is nowaday known as Tall Anna was still part of the plateau at the time. The Mythic Europe version of the pillars a much farther away.

Right now, he is still about a mile from the northern tip of the plateau, along the western shore. The closest of the pillars is still about 4 miles distant.

Ah, if the pillars are so far, he will investigate them later on, going there using a boat. Ok, He will continue north and check the land area on the northwest of the plateau before going dowwn on the eastern cliff edge and then inland. Let's see what he can find in a day of flying around.

Remembering the pillars rising out of the sea, seen from the deck of the ship, Quercus wonders whether he can reach them soon. As he cannot see them at the moment, he beats his wings to gain altitude until his sharp hawk eyesspots them in the distance. It is farther than he expected -- perhaps four miles -- so he decides to concentrate on the vicinity of the plateau for today. So his flight turns north, then east, as he starts flying over land to circle around the plateau back to town. No sense in overflying the same stretch of coast twice when there is land he hasn't explored yet.

However, that part of the island is disappointing. No sound of an aura reaches his ears as he weaves and circles over the sandy hills of Helgeland, slowly making his way around the plateau. He cannot fly as high as he usually does, for he risks missing the sound of an aura, so the going is frustratingly slow. And yet that seems to make no difference as this part of the island seems devoid of both magical and faerie auras.

It is only after he has circled back over town and reached the shore again that he picks up the faint rustling of leaves, which becomes stronger as he gets closer to it.

So the day passes and eventually ends -- in frustration. Aside from around the oak and in a thin line alonf the shore, no sound of other magical or faerie auras are to be heard. ((By the end of the day, Quercus has roughly covered the southern half of the island in his peregrinations.))

Flapping back to where Fresse is supposed to be waiting for him with his clothing, another frustration awaits. The old shepherd is back, apparently chatting up Quercus' shield grog.

The old shepherd is the only one around, so Quercus lands on the other side of the hill, turns back into a human and summons some garments for himself using clothe the naked form (CrHe5, +18). He also summons a staff. He walks around the hill and makes himself visible to the two men. he keeps examining the plants around, as if he had been doing that during all morning (near the tree). He keeps his distance not to spook the shepherd. he expects Fresse to move to his side, so will keep this pretence for a few minutes. He takes advantage of the situation and does examine the plants around to see if there is anything noteworthy of them, besides the pungent fragrance and freshness that he has come to expect from plants in a magic aura.

The plants seem to be slightly more vibrant specimens of theeir respective species, as expected, although the grass near the oak is sparse and scrawny, as if the presence of the oak has stunted it.

It is hard to refrain from a grimace of annoyance, however, as the load rustling of oak leaves fills Quercus' ears. It prevents him from understanding from afar what it is that the shepherd is discussing so animatedly with Fresse. The grog has already tried a few times to move towards his cousin, but each time the shepherd has followed while gesticulating and keeping up his one-sided discussion. After a little while of this, Fresse points towards the scattered sheep, finally succeeding in distracting the shepherd and moving back to Quercus. He says something while approaching, but it is lost in the rustling of leaves.

Quercus is still more or less in a position where he can disappear behind the small hill, so he does so and casts a Muto Vim effect to change the magic detection spell become an Infernal detection one. He would prefer to unravel it completely, but unfortunately he is not proficcient in Perdo. Quercus uses strong gestures, but only firm voice.

MuVi general: Significantly change a spell of less than or equal to the level + 1 magnitude of the Vim spell. This may not change either the Technique or Form of the target spell. A change in power of plus or minus one magnitude is a significant change, as is a change of target, if the target was possible for the original spell.
MuVi5 (gen +3 hearing, +2 sun).
Int+Mu+Vi+aura+gestures= 2+9+5+3+1=20. Should be able to spont it without major issues fatiguing himself.

Quercus gets puzzled at how long it is taking to cast the spell...

The sound of oak leaves rustling around him was so nice that Quercus catches himself listening to it. It almost seems as if it contains a message to him, as if something was trying to communicate with him...

Shaking himself off, he concentrates and casts his Muto spell (die roll 8 ) and the sound fades away.

Quercus half closes his eyes. Was there something afoot here? He might need to try to talk with the tree, or at least investigate it further as he planned. However, he is not very confident he can do that reliably. InHe15 is the best likely spell level he can achieve with a good ceremonial spont spell. Having considered that, he moves back to the hill and keeps pretending to be looking at the plant does it) and wait for Fresse while eavesdropping. He does not suspect that the shepherd would be very interesting to talk to, but one can only hope.

OOC: does anyone want to interpret Fresse here? it might be interesting if Arthur throws a curve ball at us (likely) :slight_smile:


Fresse looks relieved as the shepherd moves away to chase down his scattered sheep. He walks the few steps to Quercus in a hurry to get away from the old man.

After looking back to make sure they are out of hearing, "Thank god you're back. That old coot has been bending my ears forever about sheep and how he knows this part of the island best, and how the weather keeps changing from one year to the other. Not to mention how birds leave droppnigs everywhere, or what not!" The grog rolls his eyes. "I hope we can build a fence around the covenant to keep him out. Otherwise we'll never be able to get anything done."

"So, did you find out anything interesting to us mortals?" He grins at the last term, an old joke between them.

"I do not search for stuff that might interest mere mortals" replies Quercus with a haughty intonation and body language, following Fresse's sentence and ending the punchline. Both chuckle. "No, I did not find anything very interesting except a better look at some of the lay of the land than what you can see from up here. The cliffs seem that they can prove to be good sources of eggs and feathers as well as birds, and it seems there is a low magic aura along the lower edge of the cliff, but I did not detect much else. it seems that the tree might be worth investigating in detail, but I am not well prepared at the moment to do so. I am somewhat tired now, so let's eat something. This afternoon I will repeat the analysis. it does not seem like you need to be around, so I will save you the experience of being harrassed by that shepherd again. Go down and check with Alice if she and Dietlinde managed to find who rules the land and any relevant information about him. This tree certainly generates enough vis to be a good place to stablish a covenant.

Fresse seems relieved to be able to move south even if he expresses some concern at leaving Quercus alone. Still, he unpacks the bread and cheese that he brought along with a bottle of ale and they both sit down to eat. Quercus conjures some magical nuts to spice up the cheese and give flavor to the bread. Yhe also cast a small perdo Terram spell on the bread before eating it. The teeth of magi and covenfolk tend to be better than those of most Mythic Europeans because of stuff like this.

After Fresse has departed, Quercus takes wing again. The afternoon allows him to cover the northern half of the island. For the most part this is disappointing, as most of the island seem devoid of other magical or faerie auras. So it comes as a welcome surprise when he finally hears the sound of rustling leaves while overflying a swampy area in the northeastern part of the island. He seems few habitations near this swamp, aside from what looks like a monastery along the small river that snakes out of the swamp.

As the day's light begins to diminish, he comes back to the plateau and gets dressed again, mulling the results of his search. He is famished and exhausted by the time he makes it back to the warehouse.

[i]Over the next couple of days (and weeks for the detailed strength of each aura), Quercus completes his initial survey of the island and its immediate surroundings. He discovers the following auras:

  • The northwestern half og Oberland is covered by a magical aura. It is weak for the most part (+1), only becoming stronger (+3) around the oak for a bit more than a hundred paces in an elliptical shape.
  • The base of the cliff falling down into the sea, as well as most of the shore, seems covered by a weak magical aura (+1) forming a narrow band all around the island. Its width varies, but is never more than ten paces.
  • The swamp in the northeastern part of the island seems covered by a slightly stronger magical aura (+2). It extends for about three quarters of a mile in a roughly circular shape, although that circle has a crescent cut into it in the northwest, in the direction of a monastery that was built along the river leading to the sea.
  • Small but stronger magical auras (+3) cover the two pillars rising out of the sea.
  • Divine auras exist where one would expect them to be. Around the religious communities of St. Ludger Church (+2), Buis Monastery (+3) and Oster Church (+2). In the town of Meden with its own two churches (varies from +2 to +4 depending how close to the churches you are). Weaker auras (+1) are also present at Ubbe Castle and Rod Castle, presumably because of the chapels there. Finally, Ober village is also covered by a weak (+1) Divine aura, which is slightly stronger at its small church (+2).
  • Quercus finds no obvious signs of faerie or infernal auras.

All this activity leaves Quercus rather tired and with sore arms. He is not used to fly so much around. He still considers to have been worthwhile to do the survey, but will prefer to spend a few weeks feeling the touch of plants between his toes again now!

While on his own, Fresse has surprised himself developing a liking for the odd shepherd of the plateau. He is weird, but seems more in the know about certain things than most people he is used to talk to. Not surprisingly it did not take long to understand that Quercus was a magician, but did not seem overly bothered about it even if the old man urged him to be wary of the sorcerers regardless of blood links. Fresse tends to agree with him in that aspect.

((Note that although the shepherd -- whose name is Kleis -- has befriended Fresse to a degree, he is more along the lines of a covenant Hook. Fresse soon discover that the man is a quack, prone to doing or saying crazy things, or start ranting about this or that.

For instance, he once started yelling and throwing small rocks at a woman who seemed to be simply walking by along the edge of the cliff. Fresse was unable to get any coherent answer from Kleis about his behaviour. And the woman showed no reaction to Kleis' behaviour and just kept walking...

[i]I am fine with that. Just wanted to point out that Fr4esse is used to weirdness (he is around magi most of the time after all) and that companionship can engender liking, regardless of how odd the fella is :slight_smile: Having the characters starting to develop some connection with the local inhabitants sounds cool to me as well.

Perfectly fine with the odd dude :slight_smile: Couldn't remember his name. Nice to know[/i]