After a few conversations with Gregorius, Stephen decides that he'd like to look into the barrows and the apparently missing king. The faerie market is also something that definitely interests him. At some point he corners both Gregorius and Fray to get a debriefing about what they found during their previous investigation, asking them to spare no detail.
Once he's learned all he can (I've read the appropriate thread), he'll inform them of his intention to go investigate the east barrow. Either of them are welcome to join him. But this was just the sort of thing that he came out here to study, so he's perfectly content to head out alone - well, not alone. Cicero would be with him.
"So I'll be heading out to the barrows to the east in a couple of days," Stephen says to Gregorius and Fray. "Your reports have been very informative. But I want to see the site for myself. I also want to take a look at that faerie marketplace that you described. It sounds fascinating. I don't suppose either of you are up for the trip? I'll be taking the dinghy from my boat, so I can bring more equipment. There's easily room for another person or two. I'd take a grog or two with me, but I suspect that I'm better off just relying on running if I encounter trouble. And it's easier to get away when I don't have to worry about saving some endangered grogs."
Travel to the barrows in the flat-bottomed dinghy[sup]1[/sup] with overnight gear, since some things seem to happen only overnight
Bring/wear chainmail, just in case.
Make sure Stephen has an arcane connection from his lab.
Bring some wax tablets, parchment, pen, ink, and a flat surface to write on so that he can properly copy down all of the runes that Gregorius found.
Set up wards at the camp site once he gets there. (I'll do that when the thread has him arrive at the eastern necropolis.)
[sup]1[/sup] typically when travelling by air, Stephen will use Invisible Conveyance, so as to not startle the neighbors.
Gregorius is happy to help out with the briefing, although does request that Stephen inform him of any significant discoveries he makes based on it.
He'll decline the offer to come with him. "I'm happy to consult if there's anything specific you need me for, but I really need to spend time with a summa - I meant to spend last season studying, and then we found the regio."
Fray politely declines the offer to investigate, "Thank you Stephen, but I am getting overly distracted by all the comings and goings and I must get back to my work. That said, if trouble arises during your investigation please tell me and I will join you immediately."
(OOC: Happy to play play an accompanying grog character during the thread. If Stephen is taking any others I'd like to play.)
My invite was intended for all the magi of the covenant. It's just that Viola has been so aloof of Stephen so far, I didn't think she'd be interested. She's only said two words to him on screen so far, and deflected a couple of attempts at conversation. But if she's interested in coming along, I'd love to have the benefit of her expertise. How's this?
Later that evening, at dinner, when the conversation comes around to Stephen, he mentions his intention to investigate the barrows. "I'll be heading out to the necropolis to the east in a few days' time," he says to the magi present. "The one Gregorius, Fray, and Patrick explored. Unfortunately, Patrick is no longer here, and Gregorius and Fray are caught up in their own research right now, so as it stands it'll just be me and perhaps a grog or two. But if anyone else wants to come along, I'd welcome the company." He raises an eyebrow at Viola and Calliope. "I'm definitely planning on taking a look at the faerie marketplace while I'm there. I'd welcome your insight into that."
Stephen smiles back at Viola, impervious to her look. After spending fifteen years as an apprentice, he'd long-since gotten over feeling embarrassed or self-conscious when someone gave him a judgmental look. Instead, he glances over to Calliope, wondering whether she'll join the expedition as well.
Not fussed, just putting it out there and to keep my hand in the sessions. Happy to sit out too, your call.
Aison is a good choice (solid shield grog), or Simon (goblin blooded with ok stealth), or one or both of the Rus brothers Bogdan & Godzimir. All have rudimentary Latin.
"Well," replies Stephen, "I have to admit that I'm intrigued by the idea that we have a faerie marketplace so close. So I was hoping to see that first. The king has been dead for over two thousand years. I don't suppose a few more hours will hurt him."
Calliope will join the expedition when it sets out for the faerie market. She's accompanied by her shield grog*, and carries her lute. Her dress is possibly not as practical as it could be, but the fact that it's summer means she gets away with it at least initially.
[*I will stat up the shield grog, and finish advancing Calliope over the weekend.]
Early in the morning, a few days later, Stephen is outside the main building of the covenant with one of the sailors from his river boat, loading supplies into a smaller flat-bottomed boat that sits just outside the entrance to the building. This boat looks like a dinghy that could probably seat about eight people. The Bonisagus magus is dressed in traveling clothes worn over a suit of chainmail.[sup]1[/sup] At the moment he's gesturing and a large folded tarp made of hemp canvas is lowering itself into the back of the boat.[sup]2[/sup] "Well, that should do it for camping supplies," he says to the sailor. "If you'll just go to the kitchen and get the last of the foodstuffs, that should account for everything."
[sup]1[/sup] Cast Hauberk of Sublime Lightness on the armor using talisman.
[sup]2[/sup] Using The Unseen Porter, which he can cast without fail if he's not under stress.
BTW, with me, MTK, and Salutor participating, who's actually serving as SG for this adventure?