Chapter 2bis (Summer 1013). Refuge in the Peak District

"Who is this gentleman, exactly, and what is your relationship with him that you would follow his suggestion?"

"He goes by the name of Nauvi. Perhaps you may have heard of him? I have found every piece of advice he's ever given me worth acting on. May I ask your name?"

"Never heard of him, no. I'm Cath'rinne ex Bjornaer."

When the maga approaches, the local shepherds withdraw a little, whispering anxiously between themselves, before they turn to Malhad and the other druids to gossip.

"Well, it is a pleasure to meet you, Cath'rinne. May I travel with your party along the path?"

Thomas does not shy away from the maga, unlike the shepherds.

Cath'rinne turns to her fellow magae: "What do you think?"

Obstetrix shrugs. She has no love for House Tytalus, due to their reputation, but this merchant says he's just following a suggestion made by someone of that House.
"We could do well to have contacts with a merchant." And she adds in a whisper "And one that seems unfazed by the Gift".

After a little while, Malhad returns. «Good; we have what we need. We should not be seen here, in case the sheriff's men is closer than we think, so we need to move on today, already, and camp out of sight.»

It is evening, but still daylight, and you move on in the sheep's trod towards Lux Draconis, as narrated previously. You get out of sight from the shepherds to make camp, and the next day you can see the tower. At the end of the day, Malhad and the druids want to turn left to follow the stony ridge. Lux Draconis is straight ahead of you.

From the ridge you look down on a wide area of grassland. Closest to you, it is green enough, but further away it is brown and barren, and a tower rises in the middle of the barren field, maybe about two miles from where you are. You can see a path leading down the hill towards the grassland.

After having informed his mentor, Malhad, of his intentions, Turold approaches the group of magi. A relatively small men (5'5", 114 lbs), he is equiped much like you would a hunter. The magi who have been with the druids for a while may have seen him join the group in the Peak District sometimes arround the turn of seasons. "Excuse me." His non-verbal language doesn't seem to show the type of unconscious reaction magi with a non-gentle gift or a blatant one may have come to expect from mundanes when first meeting them. "I know about how you saved my mentor, Malhad, from the clutches of that witch hunter. You seem like a resourceful group - I think we could benefit from cooperating. The druids want to go along Stony Ridge... you seem to have other plans? I'd like to travel with you for a while, if I'm welcome. I'm sure I can find a way to assist in whatever venture you may have. And hopefully we can catch up with the rest of the druids later." He looks on with some expectation to the party.

«So you leave us?» asks Malhad of the magi. «Well, we need to find a camp site where we can forage. If you decide to return, Turold will know how to find us, but beware. The sheriff's men are not to be messed them, so be always very careful that you are not watched or followed.»

He pauses for a bit. «I am not sure what you hope to find. The tower is cursed, and you can see it alright from here. Have you decide where to go afterwards?»

"We have a few places to visit. Our trip will take us north towards Hadrian's wall and then to towards Wales. And yes, it would be good to meet again."

Malhad hesitates. «Oh, that far. Well, I hope you have a safe journey.»

Does everybody make their way towards the cursed tower at this point? @dc444 @Red-Shadow-Claws @temprobe with grogs and luggage and all. @darkwing and @Plot_Device I think already committed to this journey.

Thomas will follow the group, eager to make his way to the tower of the old covenant.

Benedict goes along, to be a witness for the Order.

Definitely going to the tower.

You continue towards the tower. The descent is straight forward, but the grassland is soggy and takes longer to cross. As the sun approaches the horizon in the West you reach the barren area, with the dead and dry, pointy shrubs. The tower towers on a little hill a couple hundred yards in front of you. To the right is a big pile of rubble, or maybe it is a similar hill buried in rubble. When you approach the shrubs scratch your legs and snag your clothes, and you need to take great care not to tear them.

When the terrain gets rough, Benedict takes bear form. He will lead the way through the shrubs as he did in the forest.

The bear leveled terrain is not quite as taxing to walk, and as the sun touches the horizon to your right, you approach the tower. It looks completely deserted, with windows boarded up and the door shut.

The door faces the sunset, raised about three foot from the ground level, with a small exterior stair well. Even from the foot of the stairs, you can make out the sanctum mark on the door. There is also a crest next to it¹ and what looks like text underneath; you are not sure until you mount the stairs.

¹ Hermes Lore + Int 12+ to recognise (9+ if you mount the stairs); add six if you are not native to the tribunal.

Thomas says "Do you think it's safe to go in, or should we camp out here for the night?"

He does not step on the stairs, but stares at the crest and goes "That's not from a noble family I recognise."

Cath'rinne thanks Benedict for clearing the path for them.

She gets closer to look at the sigil being somewhat careful as she gets closer. Order of Hermes Lore rolls is 12, to which she adds a confidence point for 15. She does want to know whose sanctum she may be about to enter.

(I'm assuming I have time to read it before the sunset completes, that being said, Cath'rinne keeps an eye out so she doesn't let her parma magica go down while looking given the risks involved here)