"Prochorus, Japik, either of you got enough Rego Herbam to fix up a boat? Sure it might take a couple of tries to get the finesse, but Hjalmar can probably tell if we got it right. And if we are out there on our own, I can provide some protection against the waves." (OOC what would the target number for the spell and for the finesse be? I can manage a bit, but probably not enough.)
(That would be pretty much the same as The Mystical Carpenter from Covenants, but without the flexibility -- so Base 5, R:Touch, T:Group -- or a level 20 spell. The Rego Craft ease factor would be 12 for a basic boat that doesn't leak too much, 15 for a good boat. Not an easy spell to cast spontaneously if you're not a specialist.)
Too hard for me. Look, you keep thinking how you are going to get yourselves up there. I'm going to take a look to see if there is anything obvious.
Prochorus gets out of town, shifts to scaup form and flies over the pillars.
"It's an interesting idea Herman but I'm too weak in Herbam for that. I can make a nice image of a boat though, but you would have to swim yourself to get anywhere" he laughs.
"I have an idea. Just be ready to leave if I call on you in the next few days." With that Japik goes away.
Japik has been swimming around the island as dolphin a few times since he first arrived here a year ago so he should know if there are any smaller fishing villages along the coast. Now this is his plan:
Assuming there is a small fishing village on the southeast side of the island, avoiding the northern and western parts, he swims there as dolphin in the late afternoon. He has cast Eyes of the cat on himself to improve sight when it gets darker.
As it starts to get dark he swims into the small harbour and looks for a boat of a decent size. About the same size as Dibbelt's or just a little smaller.
When he has found one and made sure there are no one close to it on land he shifts to human form in the water and moves to untie the boat pushing it away from it's pier and with ropes in the water.
When it is free he changes to dolphin again and takes a bite across the ropes and starts pulling the boat out. If there is a deserted beach close to the inn he takes it there and pulls it up on land (back in human form then of course).
Then he tells Herman, Prochorus and Hjalmar that he has a boat and they need to go to the pillars in the early morning next day. They should take the western route to avoid passing the village where the owner of the boat belongs.
Japik intends to give back the boat after they are done with their trip.
The air around each pillar is thick with sea birds, a few of them fairly agressive as you approach the pillars. Many have nests along the sides. Prochorus thinks he could probably get closer to them, at the risk of an attack. While he considers the risks of this, he takes the time to inspect them from afar.
The top of the red pillar is flattish, with only a slight slope down to the east. It is smaller in area than one would have expected, as the pillar rounds off in its last third.
The white pillar is more of a needle, with no area where a man could stand at its top. The indentations, however, lead to a sort of ledge near the summit of the needle on its northern side.
(In short, Japik plans to steal a boat. Yes, yes, he intends to bring it back. )
(BTW, it cannot be from the eastern shore of the island, because that's a marshy area where sea-worthy boats aren't used. But it can be from one of the southern hamlets. See the map here.)
Damn it! Was it that obvious?
He will go to one of the hamlets farthest from Meden along the southern coast then. Before the marshy area starts.
Prochorus casts formulaic Wizard's Sidestep (at -7 [he can't use voice, right?], so probably loses fatigue). He then takes as close a look at the ledge on the white pillar as he can without landing.
(No voice and no gestures. Subtle Magic takes care of the second one, leaving you with -10, no? Still, he's able to cast it with 1 Fatigue Level lost.)
Waiting for a moment for the sense of helplessness generated by his spell to pass, Prochorus flies closer to the white pillar and lands. A few of the more agressive birds try to attack his image, for predictable results.
Once on the ledge, he immediately notices something unusual to the place. A set of chains are affixed to the rock wall. Fairly solid chains, with manacles to hold the wrists and ankles. Of a very large individuals, as the topmost chains are positioned above Prochorus' head. The chains don't look new and appear to be made of brass.
(Yeah, I just meant that Prochorus has 13 on a level 10 spell, so he's 7 below casting it without fatigue.)
Nice and gruesome again. What is wrong with this place, Prochorus thinks to himself.
He takes a similar look at the other pillar, always ready to use his substantial dodging capacities if any bird chances too near by accident.
When Prochorus lands at the top of the red pillar, he feels a slight tingling sensation that informs him that something just brushed against his Parma. Otherwise, there seems to be nothing special about the top of this pillar. The view is impressive, to be sure.
Prochorus takes the time to rest off fatigue and shift back to human. He then life-linked sponts an InVi base 4 effect to detect third-magnitude or higher magic, with +2 magnitudes for also getting technique and form and +1 for Touch (touching the pillar under his feet) for a level 15 effect. He waves but uses normal voice, so has 9 before aura and die.
The spell goes off but reveals nothing but the vague sense of a subtle magical effect permeating the pillar. It does leave Prochorus exhausted. (3 Fatigue Levels lost)
Ok. He rests the levels off before heading back to report.
I visited both pillars. On the white one, on top of the steps, I found chains that could hold a large man. I think this is related to a story I heard about wrongdoers being chained to the pillar to die. If that is not a vis source then I am not a ribald little teddy. Anyone feel like being eaten by gulls? Or like convincing the lord to reinstate this charming form of punishment?
I also sat on top of the red pillar for a while. Something hit my parma when I landed, but it was under third magnitude and too subtle for me to figure out. I briefly considered self-experimentation, but thought better of it after looking over the edge.
The red pillar is definitely enchanted, though. It could have something to do with a story I heard about heroes who climbed the pillars to warn the islanders of pirates. Maybe an itsy bitsy hedgie Eyes of the Eagle, something like that? I'll bet you could wave the King of Jerusalem from up there. But I don't see how they could make it so weak ... Bah, this kind of trifling bollocks is why we have Bonisagi. But what use are they in a boat?
Both of the pillars are inhabited by menacing birds, by the way. If you intend to go, I suggest getting some personal protection. Wizard's Sidestep was enough, it seemed.
(Japik has gone stealing a boat. )
When told of the situation, Herman frowns. "Birds? I am getting very tired of birds. And no, I do not have a good way to keep them off me. I can throw rocks at them, but that would mean bringing the rocks up with me I suspect. Which means that someone has to get up there, get the birds away, and then I can get up there and try variations on Intellego Vim to see what I can tell."
(Bump again? I haven't seen any action proposed or initiated by the characters...)
(Maybe you should do Japik's boat thing - see if it works out, since he's apparently off before I get back, so he would do it regardless of my news.)
I can ward you against them. I think that'll do it. I am not sure it is safe to fly you up while sitting in a rocking boat, though. Maybe I'll give you the feet of a fly? Should be amusing.
(Consider the boat stolen.)