Chapter 2a: The Wayward Inn

About a week after Dietlinde get started on her search for a house to purchase for the magi, she strolls in one late afternoon, seeking out Prochorus. She finds him trying to relax after another day of flying around the island looking for vis sources.

Taking control of the magus' mug of warm herbal tea, she takes a swig and sits down. "You are lucky to have me working for you, master," she says to Prochorus. "For I have found exactly what you were looking for. A large house, that used to be some sort of inn for sailors, with a reasonably size storage shed. Just outside of town, along the river. Been unused for a few years, so it needs some repairs. But I should be able to purchase it cheaply. There's just a small catch, but nothing a powerful wizard like yourself can't fix, I'm sure." She grins, awaiting the magus' reaction.

Prochous lets out a protracted sigh.

There would be. Well, spit it out. You went and told them the prospective buyers are a bunch of mad sorcerers, didn't you?

Dietlinde smiles evilly, "Of course not, maaaster. I would not do such a thing... so soon." She takes out her eating knife and spears a piece of fish from Prochorus' plate, takes a bite and sip before answering. "No, it is just that the house was abandoned because it is said to be haunted." She grins, "I told the owners that my master did not fear ghosts, like superstitious fishermen do, so that if the price was right he might be interested. They are asking for an inflated sum of 10 pounds, but I think I can easily get them to cut that down by half."

"So, are you ready to go and visit the place? It'll be easier to tell you the tales I heard about the place if you can see it for yourself."

Prochorus looks thoughtful.

Ghosts? Yes, yes. Acceptable.

He looks at Dietlinde sharply.

You mention tales. Tell me what you heard and who you heard it from.

"Well, it would be clearer if it were there," says Dietlinde. "The short of it, though, is that some years ago there was a man who built the place as some sort of sleeping place for sailor and transient workers. His wife worked with him, cooking and cleaning, and they had some children too. Details vary, but it seems that the man got sick and died. His wife kept the place running, with some help from the man's brother. Then the children disappeared. Later, the woman was found dead in her kitchen. The brother sold the place and left." She shrugs, "The new owner tried to run the place, but sailors stopped renting room. Said there was a ghost. Then the owner disappeared soon after. His relatives say that he was scared in the end. So the place is closed down and no one goes there anymore. That's about it."

Sounds deadly. Good, ought to keep meddling mundanes off our property.

Tell my sodales that I will investigate the place at noon tomorrow. They are welcome to join me if they wish. Tell Alruna I want her with me, as well.

I take it you visited the place yourself, by the way? Anything out of the ordinary?

Before departing the following morning, Prochorus gets outside of town and dominion aura, sponts a touch-sun-individual level 10 ward against magical spirits on himself at level 20 (i.e. 10 levels of penetration), and rests off the fatigue.

Rego 9 + mentem 10 + stamina 1 + drumming 3 + loud & gesticulating 2 = 25

15 levels needed to level 40 for spont, meaning he may take 1+3=4 fatigue at most.

"Not paying attention, were you?" Dietlind says disdainfully. "Yeah, I took a quick look at the place. As I said, if you'd bothered listening, the place is a bit run-down and hasn't been lived in for a couple of years, but it ain't too bad. About large enough for a dozen people to life there full time. We may need some new furniture and stuff, but we'll need that anyway."

"As for talking to the other magi, you can talk to them yourself. Don't care much for those weirdos, and I'm not your gopher." With that, she takes another swallow, emptying Prochorus' cup[strike], gets up, and leave[/strike].

(Prochorus' ward is successfully cast, costing him 3 fatigue levels which takes a little less than an hour to recover. It will last until sundown.)

(The ward stuff was for the following morning)

Prochorus curses Dietlinde under his breath and goes looking for the other magi himself.

(If anyone wants to join him, say so now; otherwise Prochorus'll go just with Alruna)

(I'm not sure when this is happening in relation to the other sub-threads, but if Japik is around in the town he will join.)

(About 2 weeks before the knarr comes back.)

"A ghost-haunted house to keep our business here in the town at. Sounds perfect! Bring me there immediately." Japik laughs loudly when he meets Prochorus and is told about the prospect house.

I doubt we will find anything out of the ordinary, but better have your guard up regardless, Prochorus explains as they begin the walk to the house.

If there was something attacking random people in broad daylight, it would probably have done its thing to passers-by and we would have heard about it.

Dietlinde leads you to the place. It is much like she described it, a bit downstream of the town along the small river flow into the sea. A rather large house, with two wings extending on each side of the main building. There is a large storage shed behind it and to the side. The front entrance is on the south side, farthest away from the river. There is a second door in the back, leading to a small fenced courtyard where the shed is located beside the river, with a small path between the main building and the water. It is apparent that neighbours have been "borrowing" planks from the shed in recent times, for it is missing quite a few. The fence is made from small branches knit together, with some small shrub tree growing here and there. There used to be a small herbs and vegetables garden, but it has grown wild from neglect.

Well fabulous. Our grogs sure are lucky to have us providing them such palatial accommodations. Prochorus gives Dietlinde a sideway glance.

Any ghosts or other anomalies present? If so, reveal yourselves!

He waits a while in silence. If nothing happens, he says, Hold on to your hats and keep your eyes peeled, I'm going to try something.

Prochorus starts a gurgly throat chant and bangs on his drum, hobbling about and rolling his eyes widly, beard swinging about.

He sponts a level 15 ReMe effect with 10 penetration to force any ghosts within voice range to become visible or materialize if they can.

Base 5, Voice +2, momentary, individual = level 15; +10 levels of penetration = 25, i.e. target level 50

Rego 9 + focus mind control 9 [does this apply? if not, no spell] + mentem 10 + stamina 1 + drumming 3 + loud & gesticulating 2 = 34

So he is going to lose a maximum of 3 fatigue.

(I'll be generous and allow it to fall under Mind Control, but it is really borderline. Prochorus loses 2 Fatigue Levels. Nothing happens.)

(EDIT: Note that with spontaneous magic, there is always a chance of botching. If he botches, his casting total would fall to 0 as per ArM p.87 -- so he could kill himself trying to spont a powerful effect like that.)

[Oops, I forgot about the total falling to 0, thanks for the heads up.]

Prochorus looks around wearily.

Nothing. Good.

[Were we inside the house yet? If not, Prochorus rests off the fatigue and then heads inside. If yes, then he rests and suggests we leave.]

(You were outside. Note that Prochorus doesn't know much about ghosts, based on his various Lores, so there might be some reason for his spell not working that he wouldn't know. Japik doesn't know more either.)

The inside of the inn proves to be consistent with the outside. Slightly run down from being left uninhabited, missing or broken furniture, cold and drafty, and with small signs of stolen materials here and there. But it is also reasonably spacious and solidly built, so it might very well be turned into something comfortable.

Finishing the visit at the kitchen, you find something there that is a bit strange. A stale loaf of bread on a plate. Not very old, perhaps a week or so. It seems strange that someone would have simply left it there, considering that bread is much more costly here than on the continent.

"This looks perfect! With some people around it will chase away any skulking inhabitants that may come here." Japik says as he picks up a piece of the stale bread and tests its age with his teeth, without biting off. "Dietlinde, you and Yulia should start clean it up as soon as all the legal stuff are cleared."

Prochorus eyes Japik warily, then looks around.

No one was supposed to be living here. How fortunate, though, that I enjoy evicting bread-fanciers, he mutters calmly.

Dietlinde raps the table with her knuckles, eyeing Prochorus. "I'll need money, master, if you want me to complete the purchase. As I said, they're asking for ten pounds of silver, but I think I can get them down to five pounds." She grins, "Having a large pouch filled with silver would certainly make them loathe to see me walk away. Though you'll have to send a grog or two with me to make sure no one gets any ideas. Yulia's husband can certainly look intimidating enough by himself, but having two big hunking men is certainly better."

"If things work out as I plan, I'll also need some more silver to have the place refurbished and some furniture replaced. Another pound or two of silver ought to do it."