Chapter 2: Through a glass darkly

Pierre Clergue loads you onto two wagons (there are two donkey cart drivers with him). After a day - cold and dreary for all those who choose not to use magic to stave off the cold - you sleep in a farm house (the inhabitants left after talking to the priest). There are two beds in one room and three benches in the other room. The priest sleeps on a bench.
After breakfast (bread, milk and cheese) the donkey carts rumble onwards, soon taking a left turn from the main road.
The valley of the Mas river rises towards the snow-capped Pyrenées. The wind blows down from the mountains icily. You pass one village, Mimont, a collectio of 12 poor peasant huts People seem to be sheperds mostly.

You arrive at Agraves shortly before dusk. The village, somewhat richter than Mimont, consists of something over a dozen solidly built wooden houses and a small stone church (sufficient for 70 people - standing). The villagers (70 or so?) are watching you. Their glances are suspicious and a few whisper words to others.
The priest leads you to a door of a house at the southern (high) end of the village and tells you that this is your new home. He declares he has no right and no wish to enter it. He clearly wishes to get home.

The house, made of wood with a stone chimney looks like every other house in the village. Serrano notices cobwebs and the grass growing before the front door - both signs that it hasn't been entered recently.

ooc: Do you use a warming spell? Who gets a bed (max 2 per bed)? Who gets a bench and who sleeps on the floor? "Inns" btw are fantasy nonsense, mostly.

Having been raised modestly , Serrano will certainly not share a bed with a woman who is not his wife.
Sleeping on the floor is fine with him.
As for a warming spell , who knows what would happen if he sponted one.

"Thank-you Father for your patience and perserverance."

Approaching the door , Serrano opens it and steps inside the house.

ooc (nonsense):

Ladies, the priest is right there!

Cygna, after mentally reviewing her proficiency in the various Forms and Techniques, will don her warm cloak and draw it close around her while trying not to think about how cold and miserable the weather is. At the first stop, however, she will ask a maga (either Viscaria or Helena, whichever seems the most approachable) to accompany her out of sight of the menfolk. If she is obliged, she will, once out of sight, disrobe, politely ask the maga to carry her clothing back to the cart for her, and transform into her heartbest. She will then waddle back to the cart with the other maga and fly up onto the cart, then find somewhere to hunker, using whatever (or whomever) is handy as a windbreak. Every so often, she will fly up and around for a few minutes to try to get her bearings and to see if there are any problems ahead (or behind), and then change back to her human form and reclothe when they reach the farmhouse at the end of the first day's travel.

Having grown up with two sisters, she is not averse to sharing a bed with another woman (although she would obviously prefer to have a bed to herself). If she is not able to get a bed, she will make a nest out of the way and sleep in her swan-form (asking that all the men turn away while she changes).

The next day, she will continue to travel in swan form as she did the day before, and seeks a bit of privacy so that she can change back to human and garb herself once more.

At some point during the journey, she will approach Serrano privately and apologize if she overreacted to his characterization of her House.

As she draws near the house at Argraves, she will pay particular attention to whether she can feel the effects of an Aegis. She will also circle the house from above to see if there are any...peculiarities that catch her eye.

"Overreaction would have been a challenge to Certamen."
"No apology is needed for responding to words of a nature unproven."
"That Tytalus was correct.Such words do indeed give insight"

Hiems will spend a fine day, being absolutely not inconvenienced by the cold. In fact, he feels mostly at home in that temperature.

Nonetheless, he'll offer to use his "Warm Aliments" spell to warm up the food and wine of his sodales, as he'll warm his. Cold food is cold food after all.

While in the farm, he'll galiantly leave the beds to the ladies, instead sleeping on a bench on which he'll dispose some clothes. Nonetheless, he'll watch all of their arrangments with complete and utter detachment. To him, anyway, a man must respect a lady, and no pudor can surpass honor.

If asked, he'll spont a spell to warm up the beds (CrIg base 2, +1 touch, +2 sun), but it won't occur to him unless someone complains about the cold: Warm food may be something which he knows and likes, but this is alien to him: He likes the cold and feels fine with it, as it echoes something as his core.

This is strange.
No right, sure, but no wish? He'd surely be curious about it.

Anyway. To boldly go where no magus has gone for quite some time, Hiems enters the House.

Viscaria will try to spont a Warm Clothing spell on her cloak for both days of the trip, letting the duration roll up.

CrIg, Heat an Object to be warm to the touch = 2, duration based on roll
Creo 4 + Ignem 4 + Sta 0 + Aura + roll 6 = (14+Aura)/2 (fatigue) = 7-ish?
2nd day 4 = 12+Aura/2 = 6-ish

Depending on the aura, I believe that might give her up to Duration Moon, in which case the second roll will be for the same spell targeting any of her sodales who ask it of her.

Viscaria will quite happily snuggle up with any of the other magi, male or female seems not to matter to her. She does insist on sleeping in one of the beds, though.

The next morning, she leaves a extra token of thanks for the farmers who gave us their home for the night, purchased with the advice of Father Pierre. It is likely a cooking implement of some kind, well-crafted but not ostentatious. After Heims' trick with the food, she encourages him to warm up the others' cloaks as well.

She carefully studies the "peasant architecture" during the journey, particularly noting the style of Agraves. She tries to keep the trip light-hearted and full of talk, trying to learn more about her sodales and Father Clergue, and pursuing topics that seem to be of interest to each of them in turn. She demurs shyly, with unfeigned blushing when the same tactic is applied to her.

If Cygna asks her to hold onto Cygna's clothes (ooc: you should really pick one, otherwise I end up with these branching storylines in my head), then she makes a point of keeping those clothes under her cloak so that they are nice and warm when Cygna wants them back.

She pauses for a moment at the threshold of her new home, still dressed in her girls disguise, and wonders if it might be wisest to keep up the pretense even among the villagers living at the door to her covenant. "Helena," she hisses under her breath, "Are these our covenfolk?" After hearing Helena's answer, she shrugs to herself and steps into the house, after Heims and Serrano.

Cygna thanks Viscaria for keeping her clothes warm for her while she tries to keep warm in her swan form (which speaks perfectly well).

She will be happy to share the bed with Viscaria .

On the second day (assuming Heims does warm her cloak as Viscaria encouraged), she thanks him wholeheartedly.

In speaking with Cygna, Viscaria may learn that the Bjornaer is somewhat homey in a way, growing up planning to be a housewife until her Gift manifested itself, and that (without going into details) that her apprenticeship was somewhat contentious. As far as current interests, her focus seems to be on ghosts, shades, and spirits (and, in fact, when discussing them, she tends to glance around and crosses herself backward, right-to-left).

She would like, if no-one objects, to cast Ring of Warding Against Spirits around the cottage the first night around the farmhouse

(ooc: I didn't want to assume which maga would respond first, which is why I didn't specify)

When you enter the room, you see it is dusty. There are tracks on the floor (so people - and mice - have been here, but all human tracks look old).
The room is furnished with three beds - the linnen and sheepskins neatly folded. An oak chest stands at the front end of each bed. The chimney - which can warm both rooms - can be heated from this room.

A door, slightly ajar, leads into a second room (unsurprisingly - these houses are obvious two room designs). Looking into it without opening it, the characters can see a sturdy table and several comfy-looking wooden chairs. (You can only see half of the room without entering it).

Push the door fully open and walk into the room

The mice-tracks can also be seen in this room , but no human tracks.
Fastened to the backside of the chimney there is a man-sized mirror (about 2 paces high and 2ft broad, hanging a few inches above the floor). It is made of clear glass - but the glass is somewhat dull. The frame is made of iron and silver and intricately carved with hermetic symbols. The inscription at the top reads: "Salle de Glace".
There is a circle in a corner which is about one and a half paces across, painted onto the floor with a brownish-red colour.

examine the symbols carefully and take care not to disturb the cIrcle
Magic Theory roll = 07

Viscaria steps into the space, and seeing the dust on the floor, carefully steps to the side of the door, pulls out two small glass rods from her belt of casting tools, and asks, "Does anyone need this dust, or shall I tidy up?"

A few seconds later, she then sponts an Intellego Vim spell to detect magic. Intellego 4 + Vim 4 + Sta 0 + Aura ? + roll = url=[/url]/2 = 6.5 (6? 7?). OOC: The mechanics of this are well beyond my understanding of Intellego, so I leave it to JM to tell me how that ends up working.

A few minutes later, examining the magic circle, she rolls (Int 3 + Magic Theory 5 + roll = url=[/url].

"Interesting," she comments.

Serrano looks at the symbols and soon realizes that there are too many - so most must be ornamental unless there are dozens of effects imbedded.

Coin, lilac, opal - they seem to be recurring and there was something about those three...
the iron seems to be there purly for stability - but the silver?

ooc: feel free to look it up and remember - I hope it's more enjoyable then me just telling you.

Standing back from the mirror slightly
With a few arcane gestures and intoning in a manner suitable for Church ,
"Mirror , Mirror on the go
Open the way to the Regio"

Hearing a comment about dust , Serrano quickly sponts a housework spell.

Chaotic Magic , page 52. Desired effect level 20. Focus applies. Using fatigue.
roll = 05
(33 + Aura)/02 , so unless the aura is between 5 & 7 , i fail to get the desired level.

Cygna enters the house slowly and almost hesitantly, looking around cautiously and straining her senses to see if she can tell if there's an Aegis in effect here. She doubts it, if the magi have indeed been as long as the Mercere seem to believe.

She looks around the first room slowly, and shakes her head. “You'd think somebody would have kept the place ready for their return,” she says, almost to herself.

She follows Serrano into the other and gasps when she sees the circle in the corner.

After a moment, she casts a spontaneous Intellego Corpus on the circle from about a pace away, in order to confirm her suspicion that the circle was painted with human blood. Base effect, I think, should be no more than level 4 (on a par with “Sense very general information about a body”). Keeping the Duration Momentary for information and Target Individual for the painted circle, she's going to have to actually touch shudder the circle to have a reasonable chance of success. Thus, the final target is, if I have it figured right, Level 5. And she will use Fatiguing Spontaneous Magic for this.

Casting score is: 6 (In) + 3 (Co) + 0 (Sta) + 4 = 13 + Aura (if any) ÷ 2 = at least 6.5.

♪♪“Oh what foul magics do I see
If indeed man's blood that paint should be”♪♪

Viscaria's spell enables her to smell magic for as long as she concentrates. A flowery smell seems to be coming from the mirror.

The circle, on the other hand, doesn't smell (nor does any other object that is in the room).
Her knowledge of magic theory tells her that the circle is either mundane or the magic is too weak to be smelled by her.

Cygna's spell doesn't register any human blood in the circle. There was no feeling of breaking through an Aegis.

Then Serrano ses a spell that makes the dust fly around in the room, enough to be unpleasant, but doing no damage.

After a minute or so, the dust settles on the floor again.

Hiems looks at viscaria, unblinking, then nods.

  • "Of course. I should have thought of it. My thanks. I'll rectify this error at once."

Basically, Hiems will cast a Warm Garnments spell, resting somewhat between each casting.

Base 2 (Heat an object to be warm to the touch), +1 touch, +2 Sun = lvl 5
I'll need to use fatigue for this, but that's easily replenished.
Cr 5 + Ig 6 + Sta 2 + Aura = (13 + aura + die)/2
I assume I cast this outside of any aura, so only fail on a botch. I throw a bunch of dices, since I dunno how many people are interested.
1d10=6, 1d10=10, 1d10=9, 1d10=8, 1d10=1
Rolling for potential botches on the "10": 1d10=2, 1d10=7, 1d10=8, 1d10=7, 1d10=4 ouf! Saved!

While casting, Hiems thoughts can't help but wander about his love. In turns, sadness grips his heart, and, for the first time in the day, he feels very, very cold, and lonely. This moment's lapse almost ensures a magical mishap. Luckily, he manages to grasp the spell and complete his casting before anything bad happens.
Note that, for this to work, his sodales will have either to disrobe, or to lower their Parma.

Hiems is embarrassed, although he shows nothing. He doesn't deserve this.

  • "My pleasure, my lady. But you should thank the lady viscaria. It is she who thought about it in the first place."
  • "Do as you like. It doesn't bother me.

Hiems is beginning to feel ill at ease. Too many people, unknown to boot. He... Well, he just feels like walking alone, thinking about his loss and mourning, yet he can't. Not as long as he's with people (even more so sodales), and certainly not as long as he might be needed. Still, he tends to withdraw, and speak little. He'll warm up temporarily if spoken to, but that's about it.
Still, he must help. At some time, gathering up his (mental) strength, he reaches the mirror, and touches the glass, while saying "Salle de Glace". This may work, or not, but it had to be tried. If it doesn't work, though, he'll withdraw even more, and, after a time, go walk outside a little, then come back when he feels better.

OOC: I'm happy, as shown above, even preventively, Lost love is proving to be great for explaining my absences and lack of time, just as planned :smiley: