Chapter III (1230-1234)

This is a sandbox roleplaying thread. Just freeform stuff that we can use to inspire storys or just have fun with.

It's a fresh, but beautiful morning in Andorra, when Vulcanus, hearing his name, sees Arachné walks towards him, using her staff to help her along.

Salve sodales
Since the council decided to trust upon me our magical defenses, I've been thinking a lot about what we can do. As you can see (she gestures towards a group of mannequin guards on the walls), I've already begun to implement some of them.
Yet, there are some things I can't do. But there is strength in numbers, and what is beyond my grasp may be possible for one of my sodales. Not only that, but we don't know how much time we have until the covenant is attacked again, so the more we do, the better.

And I've got this project that may interest you, since I've heard you to be quite the master of magical weapons.

The idea is to create a magical ballista. This is outside my abilities, so that'd be your part. I'm picturing something that flies, self loads and reloads, and fires when commanded. On it's own, this could be quite useful against a wide range of threats, especially as it's mundane bolts wouldn't be impeded by magical resistance.
But together, we can do more. For the bolts? That'd my part. Of course, we'd have the mundane ones. But I can create special bolts that discharge on contact, each having their own magical power, be it to create a pit, an illusion, or to sap a demon's might. They would combine nicely with the high range of the ballista.

What do you think of it? Would you agree to such a partnership?

Arachne notices Vulcanus stiffen significantly. "Oh, have you now. It's a good thing you're here to provide direction for my craft, I just wouldn't know what to do with my time otherwise," he replies icily.

"Mundane craftsmen could fulfill a commission for a ballista in a fraction of the time it would take me to learn the very rudiments of bowyery and engineering. What you'd gain in having such an item made by a Valdarian is not worth having me spend years studying crafts which would be highly unlikely to be of use ever again. Now if you'll excuse me?" It is very clear that Arachne has majorly affronted the Flambeau's pride.

(Vulcanus does not have any applicable craft skills for making a ballista. Basic Verditius magic only applies to items the mage has crafted himself. He would be able to open the item for enchantment with more vis capacity per season than most could, but that's about all he can contribute to the project, without having to spend a considerable amount of time training skills he has no interest in.)

((OOC: I don't think it is so much a matter of initially crafting or opening the item. It is more about the powerful effects you can invest using your focus in armaments. Then again, Vulcanus is of a haughty and snobish personality, so this reaction is in character))

(It makes very little sense for a Verditius to spend a great deal of time dumping enchantments into something he didn't make personally, when he could be spending that time dumping enchantments into items he DID make personally, that he can put more powerful effects into. More bang for your buck. I mean, you could ask Carmen to make a wand of fireballs, and while it's within her capability, it would be inefficient to have her do that instead of a wand of lightning bolts.

Also, just like "it isn't paranoia when everyone really is out to get you," Vulcanus isn't haughty or snobbish because he really IS the greatest magical blacksmith alive.)

((Just maybe Carmen will make a Wand of Fireballs, just to spite you. Her focus is not lightning, it is weather. Now make it a MuAu(Ig) effect that makes it rain fireballs....

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

we shall see...))

Arachné stops dead in her tracks, and looks at vulcanus, frowning

Yes, it's a good thing I am thinking about how we may save our collective butts, yours included, should this covenant be attacked again.
You're free to find flaws in my ideas, and suggest better ones. That's what members of this covenant are expected to do, especially when under duress. You know, "Let us work together as one and grow hale and strong".
Now, if you feel offended simply because a sodales asks for your help and advice, I'll leave you wanking over your toys.

(She doesn't know much of vulcanus abilities. To her, he's a valdarian, and a smith, and he's good with weapons. So it should cling. As she sees it, she approached him respectfully, suggesting an idea, not ordering, and clearly indicating the respect she had for his abilities, only to be coldly and harshly rebutted. She didn't expect this at all, not after years of cooperation with her sodales, not after working with Antonio and Dimir Taar. So she reacts badly. She wasn't sure if Vulcanus was a jerk or not, but she is now :laughing:)

(And I mostly fail to see your point. Even if made by someone else, a ballista is big enough for vulcanus to dump all these enchantments into, and with his focus and arts, he could do this easily. What am I missing?)

"You would have been welcomed had you asked for my help and advice, but you did not. You came to me and told me what you thought, in your ignorance, was the best use of my abilities. Now, we have nothing further to discuss." His back is so very ramrod straight, he looks like he'd shatter if someone gave him a firm poke.

(Oh, he is. I have been reading "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality" and have been using that as a guide for how someone might behave around other people when they REALLY ARE smarter than everyone else.)

If made by someone else, it won't have Verditius Runes. It's strictly better to enchant an item that gives you a +6 bonus to enchanting it, than an item that doesn't.

((OOC: I was about to rub your nose in it and point out how Carmen is smarter than all of you (Int +4). But I just looked at Vulcanu's character sheet (Int +5). So, you got me there :laughing:

But I'd like to point out the Big Bang Theory as a comparison. Sheldon Coopersupposedly is super mega intelligent beyond the others. But Lenord is the one dating Penny. Now, who's the genius?
Bob Newhart made it all clear as day when he guest starred a few weeks ago.
Sometimes I wonder why the others don't just slap the $#!+ outta Sheldon, but then again he is so innocent in his ignorance of proper socilization that you just laugh. And the actor behind the character is a comedic genius with the timing he drops straight lines.

So we have concluded that Vulcanus is the Sheldon Cooper of Ars Magica magi :smiley:
And I personally, as an objective observer looking in on these fictional creations of ours, I think you are either incorrect or looking at it the wrong way. Arachne has a plan of action, and what you actually do is so much more important than what you can theoretically do. Arachne has an idea, and even though it is not within his specialty craft-wise, it is within his specialty magic wize. And even without runes or other tricks. Vulcanus can generate a Lab Total so much higher than any one else. He is the best man for the job. And he is depriving the covenant of his needed talents because his hubris is such that he doesn't wanna work on it unless it is his project.
Which does make sense from a roleplaying standpoint, and I am very relieved that the two of you can see it that way and joke OOC. Ryu worries me sometimes, and is known to get way over the top into character. Ryu once bathed in swamp mud for hours every night for weeks while playing an Herbam maga who was a swamp hermit.
No, wait, that was Alan Moore while he was writing Swamp Thing.
But I think it is a good project. Carmen would think so too. In fact, if you bring the idea to her she might try to convince Vulcanus. Or maybe she will just enchant it herself. With Fireballs :smiling_imp: !!!

He has 0 Herbam. 4x0=0. He is no better than anyone with a decent Herbam score at enchantments to make it load and reload and shoot. And it's illegal to harm Christians with crossbows.

hmphfff Some Flambeau you turn out to be [size=50](illegal to use crossbows on Christians, mutter-mutter)[/size]
We will use them to shoot at ogres. Or better yet, put them on swivles (we used to do that, we slipped away from it). Able to aim upward at aerial targets, like dragons or flying wizards. We were attacked by a giant effreet once, would be goot to use on him.
Don't use wooden bolts. Make them out of steel. You will be ahead of your time, but I can envision a magical spike-shooter. Or enchant it in a different way. You ain it, and spray webs. Or shoot lightning. Or fire. Or spray water. I suppose this gravitates away from the magical reload idea. But I am sure there should be a decent Form & Effect bonus for Shape & Material.

I just thought of an idea, something Carmen might try. A crossbow, a regular crossbow. But you don't have to load it or anything. Just point, command, and shoot lightningbolts. A Charged Item with one shot, so as to get maximum Penetration. Then use that Lab Text to create them with many shots. Arm our grogs, and they can use it in normal fashion or magically. "Hi-ho, just carrying my totally mundane crossbow here. Nothing to worryabout. Dum-deedum... [size=150]BAM!!![/size], I just Lightning Bolded your @$$!!"

This isn't quite roleplaying...
Carmen approaches Arachne one day. I've got an idea for you :smiley:

Ah, yes, I haven't read it, but all accounts seemed quite funny and interesting.

Ah, yes, although it wouldn't make that much of a difference: the item doesn't need to penetrate, and is well within Vulcanus graps, despite being out of reach for Arachné.
Of course, if I understand correctly, if it doesn't asks for his full abilities, it's beneath him :smiley:

Yes, that's why we have things like IQ and EQ, or talk about smarts and savvy. Asimov once told about how, despite having this supposedly mega high IQ, he became dumb as hell whenever he had any car problem, to the point of not even thinking to call in his insurance.
LIkewise, Sheldon, despite being brighter on some things, is quite dumb on some others, and misses things.
And I won't tell you how dumb and slow-witted I am sometimes :blush: Humans are complex beings :smiley:

Oh, yes, totally.

And here we have another point, which we can even rationnalize game wise, since Arachné is not that interested in weapons :smiley:
I thought about a mostly metallic crossbow, with the metal bits being enchanted. Of course, with herbam, vulcanus is right.
And maybe Arachné thought he'd add a Muto requisite to give it flexibility.
So we have Arachné who thinks "he can totally do it with Terram", and Vulcanus who thinks "I absolutely can't do it with Herbam", with the two thinking "what an ass!" :laughing: :unamused:


After listening to carmen's idea
That's a good one. In my opinion, anything that can give us an edge is positive, and this could prove quite useful against powerful ennemies. Too bad I just can't use lab texts* when crafting magical items, or I could have used yours to mass-produce them.
In fact, I've add similar ideas, but nothing as destructive by far, as I lack your sheer firepower. So I say go for it!
Sigh... Too bad, you talking of crossbow reminds me of a ballista project I vainly submited to vulcanus :frowning: Although maybe I can do it on my own, albeit it'll take more time.
(She'll expose her ballista project if asked)

  • As far as I understand it. These use casting total, not lab total.

A couple of days after everyone returns from the Drake Hunt (assuming everyone returns in near-mint condition), Vibria makes her way to Vulcanus's workshop and knocks on the door. She is still wearing the clothes that she got from the villager after her armour was destroyed, but has gone to the tailor to have a couple of new dresses made.

Vulcanus comes to the door barechested. He grins when he sees Vibria, and immediately pulls a heavy red wool cloak from a peg by the door, and places it around her shoulders. "Please come in."

He grabs a couple of chairs and drags them up right next to the furnace, holding out the one closest to the flames for her. Once she's seated, he will pump the bellows a few times for good measure before sitting down beside her. But then, he opens his mouth, and a look of confusion crosses his face, as though he's not sure what he's supposed to say.

Vibria looks momentarily surprised when Vulcanus opens the door. [color=red]"Thank you," she smiles as she enters and lets him drape the cloak around her. He can feel that she is radiating heat...not to the point where she's scalding hot, but definitely toasty warm. (She cast Robes Proof Against the Cold on the clothes they found for her.)

She smiles shyly as he pumps the bellows, trying not to let it show that she appreciates the view. [color=red]"I hate winter," she says matter-of-factly.

[color=red]"I've been thinking about what you said a couple of days ago, about how your work would be more durable than what I had before. I was wondering if I could examine some of your work, and what you would consider fair trade for crafting a decent set of armour."

Vulcanus notices, and completely lacking subtlety, walks over and picks up an anvil and carries it over to place it in front of Vibria, perfectly aware of how how muscles ripple with the strain. "In case you'd like to put your feet up... it should be nice and warm, too."

Vulcanus snaps his fingers and a suit of armor assembles itself on his body (with his Focus, he can cast Phantasmal Squire with no words and gestures with no problem). It is finely wrought steel chainmail encrusted with rubies, with armor plates impossibly wrought with runes inscribed in bronze upon the steel plates. "This is a full suit of chainmail. It offers the best protection you can get, though obviously it's quite heavy. There are magics to offset the weight of an armor, of course, but even so, it would be heavy for someone of your stature." Another snap of his fingers, and Vulcanus' talisman reassembles itself on its stand in the studio. He goes to another armor stand, and a lighter suit of chainmail, of similar quality but with far less ornamentation, assembles itself onto Vulcanus' torso. "This is the same basic armor, but as you can see, with fewer areas reinforced by steel plates. If you'd like to try on both sets of armor, you can see how each feels with its weight magically diminished, and decide which you'd like for yourself." (OOC: you want partial chain or full chain? Vulc will cast Hauberk of Supreme Lightness whenever she likes, if she doesn't want to pay him for another season to enchant it into the armor. With the whole workshop, he should be able to pull off Excellent +1 quality.)

"Either suit of armor will have a capacity of 20 pawns; making the armor and opening it for enchantment will take me one season. As this is for a councilmember, I expect that the covenant will pay me standard salary for the season. Obviously my time is more valuable than most, so if you wished to make up for the deficit..." His eyes glitter with emotion. "Promise me you will bring me my pater's bow. I cannot tell you how important it is that we recover her from Caduceus." He grasps Vibria's hand tightly.

"I can spend a season instilling the armor with runes, which will nearly double how effective it is at protecting you. If you do not feel that covenant salary is sufficient for that season, I would accept a gratuity of no more than one pawn of Vim." (Item of Quality, +7 Soak.)

"As for operating costs, the work for the base armor would require a total of 15 pawns Vim. In the future I could enchant permanently to be lighter, but I don't foresee having the time to do that this year. In the meantime, I could cast that spell for you on an as-needed basis."

[color=red]"Thank you," Vibria says as she looks at the anvil (I'm assuming it's not placed on anything flammable). She then removes her shoes, setting them on the floor next to her, pulls the hem of her skirt up a little bit, and sets her feet on the anvil as she casts a spontaneous Creo Ignem spell. ((Base 5 to "heat an object enough to make it glow red-hot," R: Touch +1, D: Concentration +1, T: Individual, for a target of 15. Her CT is Sta 2 + Cr 10 + Ig 11 + Aura 5 + die roll of 6 = 34, halved is 17.))

Once the spell is cast, she wiggles her toes happily and sighs with contentment.

Vibria will faux-reluctantly get up from her chair (I'm guessing that her concentration would lapse on the spell, but since the forge is still red-hot, it will take it quite a while to cool down to the point where it's not too hot for anyone but her to touch) and retire to the next room to try on each suit of armour in turn. She is not a slight woman – relatively tall (5'10"), and muscular - so the armour may not be as burdensome as Vulcanus had thought. She models them both for him to get his opinion and to give him her feedback, but when all is said and done, she would prefer the full chain.

Vibria returns to the seat and puts her feet back up on the still-glowing anvil as they talk. [color=red]"Of course. After all, since my old armour was destroyed on covenant business, there's no reason for the cost to come out of my purse."

[color=red]"As to the other..." Vibria says as she glances down at Vulcanus's hands, then smiles. [color=red]"How can I refuse?"

[color=red]"That would be very much appreciated. I cannot thank you enough for all you're doing for me."

"Not really a fair comparison. The armor you lost during the drake hunt was barely passable for the poorest levy. Only kings and dukes can afford amor such as what I create, and only then if they have connections within the Order."

"Of course. It is no trouble for a fellow Flambeau."

(Grrr. quote tags)

[color=red]"When would you like to begin work on this masterpiece?"