Chapter 2: A Study Break

(There seems to be quite some confusion about the current date. I'm calling this sometime in Spring of Patrick's 36 year. I forget what year that would make it.)

Patrick heads northeast once again through the strange hills, towards the grasslands, thinking perhaps to track down the mythical hind. Once again, as he always seems to, he reaches the murky pool where The River Delta had first called to him shortly after he arrived here.

Once again, he heads north around the pool, intent on his game. Once again, he changes his mind by the end of the five or six steps around the pool, and turns south and east, to the delta.

He'll head to the swamps again, see what's there to be found. Perhaps he can get some information on worthy beasts from the spirit.

(I believe that we're talking about 1228.Spring)

...also, there was that one location which may have been a vis source. He wants to look at that some more, assuming nothing distracts him while he studies it. Again.

When Patrick peers into the pool, he's greeted by a vision of the possible vis source he had identified earlier: a small pond overhung by willows, within the marshes south of the stream that the covenant site overlooks.


(Within the murky pool in the cemetery?)

Patrick nods to himself, and heads toward the willow. As he walks amid the hills, he occasionally catches sight of his Maeve between the hills. He recalls the first time he had thought he'd seen her, the way he rushed toward the spot, and knows once again that he no longer even has the hope that she might somehow be miraculously alive.

His thoughts turn inward, trusting his instincts to bring him out of the reverie should there be anything he needs to pay attention to.

Yes, the vision of the pond is within that pool.

The willow is well south of the stream...a few hours' journey. The journey itself is unremarkable, though Patrick is beginning to get a feel for the land: the flora and fauna begin to look familiar, and just as importantly, the spirit of the place is settling within his gut.

Finally, he reaches the pond in questions, and spies the overhanging willows. He recalls from his first visit the the magic aura here was slightly stronger, and that the pond itself emits a faint glow.


Patrick will glance around for any indigenous animal life he can chat up before proceeding with a magical investigation. He's looking for animals that hang out here frequently, see what they have to say about the area.

It's the usual creatures you'd find in a marsh: a wide variety of birds, reptiles, small mammals, and fish. An occasional deer or antelope also wanders by, and there are signs of wolves and other, smaller predators, through Patrick sees none of them. The animals have little to say that's of interest to humans, though they are aware that this pool is special in some way.


After a short while, maybe 30-60 minutes of conversing with the animals, and briefly contemplating killing the polite deer for dinner, Patrick begins to get excited at the prospect of all the spell-casting he's about to do in order to determine this. He begins with casting "Intuition of the Forest."

In 9 + He 5 + Sta 2 + Aura = 16 + Aura, non stressful casting so it goes off.
Int 2 + Conc 2 + Ignore Addiction 1 = 5 + die roll 5 = 10
vs (Spell Level 10 / 2) = 5

Then he gets a little more excited, but controls himself, and goes through his little exercises (rote casting)

Lovely (Hermetic), InVi 3 ct12 Touch, Mom, Ind
Lucky, (Faerie) InVi 3 ct12 Touch, Mom, Ind
Hosed (Dominion) InVi 3 ct12 Touch, Mom, Ind
Screwed? (Infernal) InVi 3, ct12 Touch, Mom, Ind
Four different spells to determine aura power. Base 2, + 1 Touch

And then adds a fifth rote.
Search for Vis InVi 5 ct12 Per, Mom, Vision

While this spells works, it doesn't produce any immediate effect, of course, though certainly it will make things easier for Patrick after this point.

The aura is magic, slightly higher than the surrounding area (which means 2, rather than 1).

There's none here--and he didn't notice any the last time, which is why he regarded this as a promising site, rather than concluding with certainty that it was a vis source.


He'll begin by studying the willow tree.

His mind keeps coming back to the thought that he hasn't seen any predators around here. Only herbivores, it seems?

The willow tree is a willow doesn't appear to be especially remarkable, though it does partake of the approximation of perfection that one would expect of a tree in a magic aura of 2.

As for predators...he does see small ones, and a few tracks of wolves and the like.


On to examining the pond itself then.

He's got In 9 + Vi 5 + Sta 2 + Aura 2 = 18, and of course can go much higher doing something ceremonial, especially if he can make it numerological. What would be the spell guidelines to test if the aura here is aligned to a particular Art?

As some point, after about an hour investigating the pond thoroughly, taking note of the plants, the quality of the water, the fish living inside it and so on, he'll murmur, "Are ye here, my God-water? Ye summoned me here, is this to be a task, a present, or a lesson?"

(OOC: Not sure if the River Delta is male or female, but I figure that "godmother" is the closest human term to describe their relationship.)

His fingers are beginning to tremble with the need to throw some magic at the situation.

I'm going to gloss over that at the moment and stipulate that this particular aura isn't so aligned.

Some minutes after he says this, Patrick is startled to notice a large heron standing in the pool, only a few feet away from him.


"Gah! Ooch, ye startled me there, old friend! And they say that cats be stealthy beasts. I tell ya true, they don't even stand in the running 'gainst anybody with a pair of wings."

The heron stretches its wings and preens, perhaps responding to Patrick, perhaps not. It looks a bit away from him.


Not having met many animals who aren't surprised into conversation by Patrick's ability to speak with them, he is duly surprised, and watches the bird for several minutes.

If the heron does nothing, after a while, Patrick sort of "zens out" with the heron, letting himself get in tune with his surroundings.

The heron lets Patrick "zen out", and then, just as he reaches a meditative state, the bird flaps its wings uproariously. At that moment, a leaf falls from the willow, and, upon striking the surface of the pond, takes on a pale yellow glow.


Patrick does some quick mental computations in his head, computing the rote Search for Vis (InVi 5, Per, Mom, Vision, CT 13), as he reaches for the glowing wet leaf.

"Now what have we got here, my friend?"

Oh, yes, it's vis--not much, not even a full pawn, but it's definitely vis.


Patrick looks around for other leaves. Presumably they have to be collected at a certain point.
"I'm thinking this would probably go easier in the autumn," he thinks aloud.

Then he performs the rotes of Sense the Nature of Vis, followed by Scales of the magical weight. The second one isn't really of much value, since it isn't a full pawn. Still, he recalls those strange tubes and faucet knobs on the Trough which were meant to add Vis into the warping effect in some way that was never made clear to him.

"...course, this t'ain't really the Socratic method..."

He shakes himself out of his reverie and address the Heron. "Much obliged I am for you help, friend. Is there anything I can do to repay you?"

If this gets no response, he'll add, "You wouldn't know anything about those beautiful horses, or the magical hind, would you?"