The mutton is the mother of the lamb at hand. The spell determine that the sheep indeed has a about a pawn of vis inside it’s snake tail. Polycarpus speaks: It was born alive and it is not old. It appears sickly and the birth took a great strain on the mutton. Alexis feared for her life.
Alexis, how many other lambs did you have this season? Do you know where the flock was during the rut?
Alexis: I had a few lambs (he says a number appropriate to a poor sheep farmer) but this is the only one that has been like this. He gestures towards the lamb in the pen. I had the sheep grazing beyond that ridge. Alexis points east.
What say you, Polycarpus, want to journey further? Do you have any shield men at your disposal? Layland is strictly personal service, his weapon skills are lacking. Or do you trust in our might enough to go on without some men?
Turning to Alexis, Atlas asks, How far away would you say it is?
ooc:I'd wait the couple minutes to recover the fatigue before taking off for the ridge.
Polycarpus to Alexis. Can you give us any more details? Alexis replies. I have been grazing the sheep near the old house ruin and that is a long walk but you can make it from here and back in a day with a flock of sheep. Polycarpus to Atlas. Sure I can take a walk with you but I must take care of a few things in my lab before we go and perhaps it is wise to bring something to eat and drink. Just in case we find something interesting. I think that I can take care of myself without any guards.
Then let us get some stores, food, water and wine.
Polycarpus and Atlas return to the covenant, stock up on supplies and Polycarpus takes care of a few things in his lab. Some time later they are on their way. The road is an uneventful one and there is a slight climb, to subtle to see but still there making the walk not that pleasant. Once past the ridge you can see the old house ruin in the distance. This part of the walk is an easier one so with not that great effort you approach the house.
Polycarpus, have you determined the borders of the aura of the covenant? I've also heard rumors that there was a failed covenant here before, do you know where they abided?
While waiting for some answers, Atlas will scan the house, trying to get details, noting mystical details that might stick out, but not actually working any magic. I'll move out to either side of the house, staying within earshot and sight of Polycarpus. I'll also listen for sounds and odors that might remind me of the deformed lamb.
Polycarpus shakes his head. Never heard about an old covenant here… Tell me more and perhaps I can remember something. A short pause. Sorry I had not had the time to walk the lands and measure the extent of our aura. I had more than enough setting up my lab and taking care of my experiments. There is much to do with a new covenant.
Atlas inspection of the ruin reveals a few things. First of all the ruins of the house has been scorched, it was a good quality stone house at some time and has sunken into the ground in some strange way. As you walk through the ruin you can feel discomfort and the start of a nagging headache.
I don't know details, and it was something I heard in passing, from someone, I can't remember the details of the conversation where I heard it now.
After the investigation of the perimiter, I'll continue some magical inspection.
Polycarpus, I'm developing a bit of a headache, are you, as well?
I'll cast another spontaneous, not fatiguiging, InVim spell to determine whether I'm in still within the aura
I'll relay results to Polycarpus.
In + Vi + Sta + die + aura?
6 + 4 + 3 + 3=16 + aura?
16 + aura/5 = 3
If we're still in an aura, I'll see if I can detect a regio on or about the house, enduring a headache, again not fatiguing.
In + Vi + Sta + die + aura?
6 + 4 + 3 + 5 + aura? =18 + aura
18 + aura /5 = 3 + aura/5
Meanwhile three figures march along the dusty road that leads to the covenant from the nearby village. The first is a young warrior in full scale mail bearing a large shield, whose eyes are in constant motion as he surveys the world around him. Next comes what appears to be a slender youth in a leather hauberk, a red cloak around his narrow shoulders and a steel helm with a nose guard on his head, from under which cascades dark hair halfway down his back; a short sword is at his side and small buckler attached to his left arm. Lastly comes a large man in peasant dress, heavily laden with a massive pack; his thick dark hair is matted with sweat, and his scraggily beard does not follow the Greek fashion. All three travellers appear to be weary from their journey, but the peasant leans heavily on a staff while the two armed men still carry themselves proudly erect.
The party comes to a halt within hailing distance of the covenent; the warrior in scale removes his helm, revealing a handsome face circled by curly reddish hair. "Hallo, honored magi and their servants! We are three who have travelled a great distance, and hope for wine, bread and good company! We bear news from afar and seek your good counsel!" Though he speaks good Greek, his accent is odd and clearly not local, perhaps placing his origins somewhere in the Pindus Mountains.
OOC: The aura here give -1 to all magical abilities.
Polycarpus: Yes I am. This place makes me feel most uncomfortable. And yes a headache is about to begin.
The first casting reveal that it is not a magical aura at the house and it is only the house ruin that is affected and some area around it. Just a foot or so. You have not yet revealed what kind of aura there is. If you plan on more InVi spells then write what you are looking for.
--At the covenant--
The port is just next to the covenant so he and his party is easily noted by the workers of the covenant. A man in plain clothes walks down to the approaching party. I am Silias, first servant of magus Polycarpus head magus of this covenant. You are most welcome here. For the moment I am afraid that magus Polycarpus is preoccupied by other important endavours. How may I be of assistance?
Atlas will do another InVi spell, to determine whether there is an infernal aura.
Nonfatiguing spontaneous casting
In + Vi + Sta + die + aura
6 + 4 + 3 + 3+10 -1=25
Atlas will also take a closer look at the construction of the house, using his knowledge of stonemasonry to determine whether the construction is consistent with Greek methods.
Stonemason (buildings) specialty of 2, perception 0 +die
The youth removes his helmet, revealing that he is in fact a young woman! A dark-eyed beauty who carries herself with a bit of reserve, by the standards of the era this is painfuly thin, though her graceful limbs are in fact sheathed with well-toned muscle. Her helmet tucked under her arm, she smiles at Silias and holds up her buckler; suddenly a face appears upon its burnished surface, which appears to be identical to her own save for eyes the color of pale sea haze. The spectral face smiles like a lovely twin, then speaks in eloquent native Greek
"Greetings, Silias, I am Amphora of House Tremre, and these are my servants, Nicola and Gavrail. We seek shelter within your walls; I have business with your master, but most likely it can wait until his return. May we enter in peace?"
OOC: Not sure if I need to roll a mastered spell in such relaxed circumstances, but here's one just in case
Cr + Im + Sta + die + mastery + aura
10 + 4 + 2 + 1 + 5 (correct?) = 26
There is a weak infernal aura in the house ruin and the house is of native design. Well built at the time but now a ruin. Again it seems as if the ground is attempting to swallow the house.
Silias nods. I will give you food, drink and quarters until my master returns. He should be back in not to long time. If there is an urgent errand you come in then perhaps I can send for him. Silias shows the way and tries to make conversation as he walk you to your quarters.
Polycarpus, there is an infernal aura here. Do you have experience with this area? My knowledge of the infernal is only to the degree I know it exists. My temptation is to begin destroying the house. Repeated casting of Stone to Falling Dust on the individual stones would accomplish the job, eventually. I'm sure that there's an altar or some other malificient artifact within the house, and I'm unsure on how it would respond to attempts to destroy the house. Also, note how the house seems to be swallowed up by the ground? I'm reluctant to enter the structure, what do you think?
Amphora shakes her head as the face on her buckler continues. "The matter can easily await his return; my parens, who is also our Tribune in Thebes, is seeking to have a signal tower built in the area to aid communication with the Tremere fleet. It is his hope that I direct the construction of the tower as well as maintain it; of course, I would seek to join your covenant first before a such site was chosen. If your master or any other magi object, we have a few other options available, though this location would be the most advantageous."
The lovely face grows quiet and seems to sink below the surface of the small shield as the spell fades away. Any subsequent queries on Silias' part receive non-verbal replies from the young maga, who despite her lack of speech can usually convey her thoughts via a wide variety of head shakes, hand gestures and her own very expressive face. At several points Nicola responds on her behalf, apparently prompted by silent direction from Amphora; the well-favored grog seems to enjoy his role as mouthpiece. For his part Gavrail sits alone, relieved of his burdens and dully staring into the fire.
At the ruin
Infernal you say… Polycarpus scratches his chin. Do you have any understanding of how intense the aura is? After as with other auras it probably the stronger the aura the stronger activity has taken place here. For example you have felt a strong sense of divine might in a cathedral but not as strong in rural fields. We could either examine this site. Just a few simple spells to excavate this house to see if there is any clue to what has been going on here. Otherwise I can only think of that we either leave this place and come back with a few warding spells. One to keep man and beast out and another to keep foul things in. What do you think? Will we let loos some horror on the world if we dig or can we wipe the problem from existence. Have you noticed the scorch marks on the walls? What can they mean? It seems as if the house have been put to the torch. Perhaps we shall return to think this over… A wax tablet and a good nights rest to think this over must do the trick. Polycarpus is abvious thinking loud.
OOC: If they return then we can involve Amphora in the story as well.
At the covenant
Silias just take care of Amphora and make sure that she and her party are taken care of.
I would judge it to be no more than a low magnitude spell. It is weak.
Yes, let's return after planning this out a bit. My headache is discomforting, too.
ooc: Did I get a sense that the vis contained within the creature was similar to the aura here?
The magi return and as soon as Silias can manage all three of the magi will meet.
Regarding the vis and the creature. There is always a risk that the vis is corrupted and that it is a result of infernal warping rather than magical. It is difficult to tell but the beast did seem rather corrupt rather than mystically altered.