Chapter 2: Nimbosa Myrice

Summer passes, with the new members of Fengheld spending their time in study and scribing, as well as finalizing those preparations that they can make for their coming trip to what is to become their home. At some point during the summer, they are presented with a rough sketch of the building being constructed at the covenant -- a fairly large, two-story circular building with an inner courtyard. The second floor is where their laboratories and sancta will be located, while the mundanes will be using the ground floor.

A grog is finally assigned to Renatus to become his protector. He is named Andreas, but is not the one that accompanied him to Quedlinburg a few months ago. This Andreas is quite tall and muscular, with a wide smile and an open face. Although his Latin is very basic, that is a great improvement over most of Fengheld’s grog. His demeanor is cheerful and he speaks loudly.

The day before your planned departure, servants, grogs and charioteers spend the day preparing the baggage train. The young magi’s belongings, which have been added upon since their arrival, are loaded into travel chests and carried down by servants. A pile of chests and crates slowly builds up near the loading docks, before being loaded unto three chariots waiting for that purpose. Two additional chariots seem to have been loaded in the previous days. You are told that these contain building materials and lab equipment.

It is early morning when you all depart. The three magi, eight grogs and five servants, plus the five charioteers. All in all, a reasonably-sized party that sets out not long after dawn.

During the week-long trip, the magi get to know their mundane companions a little. The grogs are led by Oswald, who is a bit older than the other grogs. His Latin is functional, and he looks a bit stiff when addressing the magi. In addition to Andreas and Giuseppe, there is Martin, Renatus’ of Jerbiton’s personal grog who is older and dressed as a hunter. The turb is completed by five more men: Caspar and Mathias (brothers by the look of them), Ruk (short but sturdy), Burkhard (a scout) and young Hagen (who looks quite inexperienced).

The servants are four women, who will cook and clean, as well as a man named Rupert who will be in charge of provisioning the chapter house.

The trip itself is fairly boring, lasting for seven days on the roads. It goes slowly, which is to be expected with five heavily laden chariots pulled by oxen, with the men walking beside them. Thankfully, there isn’t any substantial rain during their trip, so the roads don’t turn muddy. And the party is large enough, and well-armed enough, not to be bothered by road brigands.

On the morning of the seventh day, you pass through the town of Walsrode, a fairly quiet place from what little you see of it. The southern part of the town seems to be some sort of religious community, but the northern part along the small stream has various normal shops and houses one find in most towns. On at the northern edge of town, set on a small rise, is a small manor house where the local knight probably lives. The town has a small river running through it, flowing southward.

Only stopping long enough to water the oxen, as any normal travelers would, your party continues on the road, heading north along the river. But not so far from the town you turn west on a smaller path, which soon starts to disappear. Evidently, the charioteers have been here before. The ground slowly becomes softer, and wisps of mist starts appearing between the trees. After half an hour more, you reach the banks of a small lake of undetermined size, as much of it is hidden by mist. The place where you are is still rocky enough that the chariots don’t sink into the ground, but it looks like the surrounding area is much too soft for such means of travel. At this point, one of the charioteers retrieves a hand bell from a patch of brush, which he rings in a pattern, before letting the party know that they have to wait now.

After less than an hour, a boat emerges from the mist, with a man pushing it along with a wooden pole. It is soon lashed down beside the rocky area. “You go along on the first trip, masters,” says Oswald after conferring with the boatman, “and we’ll make sure all the supplies are unloaded and ready for transport.”

Renatus is relieved to finally reach his destination without any major issues, he's very pleased by the natural environment and has a smile on his face as he addresses Oswald "Good, see you later." . He then walks into the boat refraining from immediately shapechanging to make a first scouting of the area, he'll have plenty of time for that later...

After peering into the mist and unsuccessfully trying to discern where the boat could have come from, Ludovicus asks Giuseppe to stay with any of his belongings that might have to wait for a later ferry trip. Then he steps aboard.

The three magi board the small boat, along with Oswald and Martin. The boatman, who introduce himself to Oswald as Volker, then pushes off his boat from shore with his long pole, then starts moving it on the lake. The sun shines on some places, showing crystal-clear water that doesn't look very deep and heavy vegetation at its bottom. But Volker's pole sinks much deeper than you expect, so it looks like that same vegetation lays a heavy carpet at the bottom of the lake.

Then the boat moves into one of the misty patches, and the sun disappears abruptly. The mist is thick and cold, cutting down visibility to only a few paces. Looking untroubled, Volker keeps pushing the boat with the same long strokes of his pole. After a minute or so, the boat emerges from the patch of mist, back into the startling sunlight. This doesn't reveal much, simply more of the lake and other patches of mist. To the south you catch a glimpse of the distant shore between the bands of mist, before they drift and cut off that view. With each bank of mist that you cross, the sounds of your baggage train being unloaded become less distinct and more distorted.

After moving west for several minutes, the lake begins to transform. Small knolls of muddy earth topped with grass start to appear, as do trees with their trunk growing out of the water. The sound of frogs and insects is occasionally interrupted by a splash of water or a bird's call. Volker guides your boat between the knolls for almost half an hour, occasionally crossing into another patch of mist, before the view opens unto the chapter house.

It just so happens that the mist parts wide enough to provide you with a complete view of the island. It is not very large, though it is certainly a lot bigger than the muddy knolls you've crossed while crossing over. What immediately catches your attention, though is the low, wide tower that rises two stories at the northern end of the island. There is a number of armed men coming out of the double door at its base, moving towards the small jetty located further south. The south end of the island still has a few trees, surrounding a wodden house that looks like it has seen better days.

A few minutes later, your boat is secured to the jetty. Volker calls out to the man who moves to help tie up the boat to the jetty, and that man prepares a second boat for departure. Soon enough, all of you are standing on the ground again, with an older magus coming to meet you.

"Well, vigilans," the man who must be Indulius sneers at your praetor, "took you long enough to get here. I suppose that was to be expected, that a soft Jerbiton wouldn't be willing to push his men to travel faster."

The man turns to examine the two young magi, "Wasn't there supposed to be four of you? I suppose some of you decided they had better things to do that come rot into this muddy hole. Which one of you is from my house?" Not waiting for any of you to respond, he gestures to the girl[strike]s[/strike] that following him out of the tower. "Richenda! See to it that our belongings are packed and ready to go. We leave within the hour." Turning back to Renatus, he says, "I better brief you about the state here before I leave. Come." Then he turns towards the tower and walks off.

Renatus feels ill at ease, He wasn't expecting Indulus to be so rude. As he walks towards the tower, Renatus of Bjornaer follows him and add.

"Master Indulus, Tamas of Flambeau and Wolfram of Verditius won't join us so there's no one from your House. I'm Renatus of Bjornaer, and i'm glad to make "this muddy hole" my home."

Ludovicus is also put off, but manages a polite smile as he introduces himself. "And I am Ludovicus ex Bonisagus. Has an Aegis been cast for the chapter house yet?"

As the newcomers trail behind Indulius towards the tower, the notice that the small island is indeed quite muddy at the moment, particularly around the new tower where the workers have churned the ground up. There are still scaffolding along the western walls of the new structure, showing that it isnt fully completed yet, although the eastern side looks fine. Whatever vegetation that had been growing at the northern end of the island have been almost completely obliterated by the construction of the tower. Only two small trees, located close to the edge of the water, are still standing at this end of the island. Furthermore, the ground is still littered with various debris -- small pieces of wood and chips of stone -- mixed up in the mud.

A bit of gravel have been spread before the double doors leading into the tower. Though, as they cross inside, the newcomers realize that the doors don't quite leading into the tower. Rather, the lead in an arched tunnel that leads to a small inner courtyard, with doors on each side of the tunnel that actually lead into the building.

Indulius takes the door on the right side while answering the young magi's with a short tone, "Then you're welcome to it, Bjornaer. I've wasted enough of my time here." Heedless to the mud his steps leaves behind him on the bare floor, he takes a flight of stairs leading up to the second floor, still speaking, "There's no Aegis, as there was little enough to protect so far."

His quick pace brings him to the entrance to a sparsely-furnished room, which he enters. Renatus of Jerbiton follows him more slowly, his limp more pronounced after the long days on the road. As he goes into the room, the Flambeau magus says: "Only you, vigilans. What I have to say is for your hears only."

Your praetor turns to you and shrugs somewhat apologically, before closing the door.

(OOC: Your magi can explore, talk to the mundanes or talk to each other for a bit while the two are meeting.)

"He's probably one of the rudest magus I've met... I'm glad He's leaving. Leaving us out of the room ? Who does he think he is ?"

They messed-up the soil, humm I guess this was expected for such a building...

I'll have a look at the island while they meet, I 'd ask the workers about the schedule of the construction but again I don't speak german... Will you join me ?

renatus then walks towards the old House and makes a round trip of the island.

(OOC: I'm assuming that Ludovicus will follow you. Emelric, if you wish to have him explore on his own, just let me know at which time he splits oof and what he doing.)

The two magi go back the way they came into the tower, then head south towards the old house. That end of the island has been less severely damaged than it has been close to the tower, but hasn't been completely spared. It looks like one spot had tents put up there for quite a while. The ground there has been trampled and packed, and the area around it has been churned to mud by repeated passage of men in all weather conditions. The result is pretty much the same, the eradication of all the vegetation that once grew there. Trees still grow up here, but many of the branches have been crudely sawed off. There is a place that looks like it used to be a garden, but a combination of neglect and careless trampling has mostly ruined it.

Closer to the house, there are scorched marks on some of the trees, as well as the side of the house. One can easily guess that a magical battle has been fought there. The house itself is fairly crude, having been built from crude wattle and daub, with a little timber for its structure. The tatch roof looks like it has been replaced in some place, probably becaused it burned away during the battle, but other places are older and has begun to rot away. It is quite apparent that maintaining the house has not been considered a priority while constructing the new tower.

The door stands open, with one hard-faced grog standing guard while another one seems to be helping the girl whom Indulius called Richenda take out chest and bags from the house, clearly the belongings of the Flambeau.

(OOC: As you can see from the map, the island isn't very large, about 100 paces in length.)

renatus squats to touch the soil and walks to the tree to examine the branches, the more he focuses his attention on the degradations the more his visage becomes tense, in a mix of fury and despair "The place was almost untouch for centuries and They messed up the place in less than a year... How many decades before the slow growing peat moss colonizes the island again. That's a tragedy...I'll make sure the worker don't spoil it any further"

He shakes his head and moves to meet Richenda and ask her about what he guess was the House of the witch Indulus and Lupus killed.

(OOC: I'll let Emelric answer before I go on]

"Yes, it is a shame. I also wonder if killing the witch was absolutely necessary. Indulius does not strike me as one who is careful when passing judgement of others. Although perhaps my judgment of him is equally incautious.

Excuse me sodalis. I wish to see if there is a regio boundary nearby."

((Ludovicus walks a few steps away and casts Piercing the Magical Veil, and then Piercing the Faerie Veil. Both are InVi 20, and his CT is +21.))

(Neither reveal any regio boundary nearby.)

The young Richenda appears frantic with hurry as she packs the belongings of Indulius (and her own, assumedly). Neither Renatus nor Ludovicus can see much of her, however, as the grog watching the growing pile of chests and bags interposes himself when you look like you'll enter the house. With a grim face, he points to the sanctum marker on the door.

"I see..."

renatus walks away, he doesn't feel like making her late in her packing and want to avoid any risks of breach of etiquette being caught looking into Indulus 's sanctum.

"I'll make a small scouting around, I'll be there in a few minutes" Renatus then goes back to the tower and search for an empty room to leave his clothes. He then changes into an Ibis and casts "voice of Bjornaer magus" (ooc : invisible castle is down so no roll... but I master the spell anyway and can wait to recover ) He flies away north for a minute or so and then goes back to the tower in a spiral.

(See Google Maps)

(OOC: The lake basically extends into a area of moors to the west, The covenant is set up on the biggest island in those moors.)

Renatus comes back to the room where he lest his clothes, changes back into human and gets dressed. He then waits for the 2 magi toget out of the meeting.

Even though he was gone for just a little while, by the time he gets back he notices from the air that Indulius is waiting impatiently for his belongings to be loaded into the boat that brought you to the island.

Ludovicus, for his part, has witnessed the two older magi coming out of the tower. Indulius has commented that his apprentice was being slow to perform her tasks, and had verbally lashed the servants in order to get them to hurry their loading of the boat. It seems like he was quite serious about his intention of being gone within the hour.

Renatus arrives to the jetty just before the magus, his apprentice and his grogs get on board. "Well, vigilans, you have your instructions. I'll see you back in Fengheld when you come to report on your progress here," says the Flambeau to your praetor. The scarred magus' posture is rigid as he watches the unpleasant board, but his words are still polite. "Fare thee well, and have a pleasant trip back to the covenant, sodalis." He turns briefly to the girl and nods to her in farewell, "Richenda."

Renatus Bjornaer nods at both leaving magi and waits for the boat to be further away before adressing Renatus Jerbiton "So... How did the meeting went "

Ludovicus, who has been strolling around aimlessly at the southern end of the island and looking at the natural vistas that can be seen from there, makes his way to the jetty when he sees Renatus and Indulius emerge from the tower. Once he's joined the two senior magi, he makes an effort to stand slightly behind and to the right of Renatus ex Jerbiton, in a quiet show of support and solidarity. He also tries to discern if there is a true enmity between the two older magi, or if Indulius is just being Indulius.

((Per + Folk Ken = 3 + Die Roll))

(As much as Ludovicus is able to discern, it seems that Indulius is openly scornful of the Jerbiton -- the term vigilans that Indulius used means 'watchful', perhaps a reference to the fact that Renatus only has one eye -- while Renatus seems to trying very hard not to respond to the baiting. What may exist behind that is not something you are able to determine at this time.)

The praetor waits several long moments before answering the young Bjornaer, simply watching as the Flambeau boards the boat and undocks. He stands there for so long, as the boat finally disappears into the mist, that you start to wonder whether he even noticed your query.

Finally, however, the scarred magus sighs and turns away from the jetty to face his younger sodales. "Probably just as badly as you can imagine. I will tell you about it later. For now, let us concentrate on getting our belongings transported to our quarters and the rest of the chapter house organized. The mundanes we brought with us know their job, but I am certain that there will be a lot of questions from them. Let us meet at the end of the day, if you will, to decide how to proceed from here. What do you say?"