Chapter Two - The Light of the New Year

Moving Right Along

Okay, the Banquet is over, and if there is anything you want to interject, toss it at the end of the previous thread. It is now a few weeks later, and everyone is about halfway through their seasonal activity. Lets start with roll call, and a Gift for each of you :smiley:

Marie Norris
You stood up well to Pietro’s little game. Before he leaves, he privately hands you his personal copy of The Analect’s of Tytalus. Not bound in human skin you weirdo! It is Flap Bound, but it has his personal gloss (House Tytalus Lore Summa; L4, Q10; Flap Bound, Well Scribed, Well Illustrated).

He also tells you this. Antonio did want to help you with your chair. You often have a servant do it, but you wanted a fellow covenant mate to do it, he could tell. He told Antonio before hand not to. He wanted to see what the others would do.

[color=red]The Flambeau respect power and self reliance. Don’t let them coddle you because it means that they feel superior to you, even if they think it is as a noble protector or helper. It was good that Octavius did it. To them, it is an expression of your dominance. In this case, it was the dominance of his gentlemanly obligation to you over what he perceived as my desire to see you prove self reliance. The Tremere are easy to manipulate. Always remember that they are your little brothers. As for me, I do realize the admiration and rumors that members of my old House have for me, how they say I am embedded in some deep complex game. But honestly, I am through with them. This whole split prima thing is the latest example of their insanity. Here, have this. (hands you the book) [color=red] Read my gloss and comments, see if it starts to make sense. There is some good in the old man’s philosophy, I admit that. I seek to take the best of that and teach it to my Flambeau followers. I even started my own Scool of Combat. If it makes you feel better, I have developed a Beloved Rival in House Flambeau. The lineage descended from a Flambeau magus that I defeated in Wizard’s War keep coming after me. So, in a way, it never stops. And the same goes for you. Your worthiness, your status, your power. They will be constantly challenged.

And after he says good bye and Merry Christmas/Happy Saturnalia/Festive Yule/ Happy Hanukkah/Etceteras; he leaves via Leap of Homecoming. He has a magical trunk full of his stuff that leaps ahead of him by command.

You spend most of your time resting and relaxing, spending time with your family. You also have three Griffon Eggs to deal with. The magus that hired you in the first place sends his agent to pick up his egg, bringing with him your agreed upon payment. Before he leaves, Pietro expresses interest in one, and will pay well for it (slightly more that the original magus paid you). What do you choose to do?

Antonio talks to you privately about Pietro’s chair game. He says well done, for Pietro was indeed playing a game, trying to see which magi are followers and which are leaders. [color=red]That’s one thing that annoys me about that guy. He is always up to something subtle and indirect. Look, while I am gone I am leaving Inigo in charge. But I want you to look after him. Marcellus is recovering from his injuries (and he has been acting weird lately), so let him rest.

In a way, this is kind of amazing. Only three people in your life have seen you as the responsible leader type of figure you want people to see you as. The first was Karandos and the second was Terrace. Now Antonio has complimented you and given you this responsibility. And it is not just a hollow second-in-charge responsibility. He has given you the key to the Vault of Valdarius just in case of emergency, and if you need anything else, talk to our covenant steward.

And he has further instructions for you. He knows of your field experience with Karandos, and he respects that. Your spell selection is evidence of a strategic and logistic mind. But he thinks you lack offensive power. He wants you to improve on that, either by taking some martial training from one of the custos or spell-training from one of the other magi. He will have Alexandro or Carmen train you (martial or spells, as you choose).

Yes, you are feeling pretty good right now. But in you dreams you see fire, and they are screaming.

That whole banquet situation was barely tolerable. You wonder if it was worth coming here. But a few weeks later, back at the regio in the tree, your mischievous faerie friend Ian MacNaught has thrown a little surprise party for you with faerie wine (from your casks), and has invited a bunch of small little faerie folk. I will let you research and decide what the nature of the local tiny fae are. But in any case, Ian has them all laughing with his comedy routine imitating and mocking each of the magi of the covenant, taking the shape of each one to play the part, wearing a strange stupid hat in each case. And Constantine the butterfly is there too. Oh, what a happy day in happy tree land :wink:.

But wait! Something is amiss! A frail little faerie crone has come knocking at your door, asking to be admitted to the party. She is being escorted by Maria the Wise Woman (Fixer’s grog character), because she is so ancient that she cannot walk by herself (an ancient faerie!). They have some wisdom they would like to share.

(We have that weird wiki spell projecting a sub aegis around your tree, so no one can come in without permission, and where Ian got the tokens for these little people from, well, it is best not to ask too many questions)

Antonio tells you he will discuss the membership issue in council at the Spring Equinox meeting. He likes you. He remembers you from your childhood when your mistress discovered your gift and took you to Rome. He was much younger then, perhaps around the age you are now. And he is a very likable guy to you, you guys have a good vibe going. He is agreeable to the idea of hosting the Cult of Mercury here, and even to granting you full membership eventually. But you cannot have Rodrigo’s lab. He’ll be back one day. You’ll see.

But in the mean time, your responsibility is organizing the Mercere Quarter of the covenant. Things are slightly in disarray. At your disposal you have a small staff of grogs (a steward, a craftsman, two clerks (scribe/notary), two custos, three servants, and a lackey). Lejla is permanently based here as well, and is charged with assisting you in your duties.

The tasks at hand includes the following…

  • House Mercere maintains two Labs here, one for the use of Mercere magi to study and invent, and the other purely for the purpose of vis extraction. You occupy the one lab, and the vis lab has fallen into disuse. Your job is to organize this, perhaps have the vis lab refined and made into the practice lab, while you keep this one? Your call.
  • The Pawnbrokers of Mercere maintain a Vis Vault here as well. No trades are made here. The individual broker simply makes exchanges here or puts in a voucher. The accounting and inventory has gotten sloppy.
  • In addition to vis, Hose Mercere has stashed a large amount of mundane material wealth in the vault as well.
  • Members of House Mercere come and use the facilities here all the time. Mostly Redcaps (Mundane Mercere), but the occasional magus as well. They come to relax &/or engage in official House transactions. Usually it is only one or two, sometimes there is no one visiting. But sometimes the covenant gets overwhelmed by multiple Mercere visitors who drop in unannounced. Sometimes it gets a little unexpectedly overcrowded, and although Andorra is able to provide for them all, House Mercere gets the bill.
  • The reason your lab was built off site was that it was built by a crazed former member obsessed with experimentation. When Twilight took him, Rodrigo had it converted into a Lab Text lab for the purpose of visiting Mercere to study the spells and rituals of the Cult of Mercury.

Dimir Tarr
Okay, it is your duty to make sure everyone has at least one cool magic item. You have one I gave you, you made the ring for Inigo, so I am looking for more stuff like that. As I have mentioned before, some of this could be generic junk left over from previous generations. If they need a longsword opened for enchantment and invested with a single spell from the books, let them have it. If they want a vest customed designed for them that adds aurmor, bboosts soak, and changes size when he does, that is a custom item wou will have to make; and you may tell him to make it himself :laughing:. Everyone gets a trinket, like you were Q from James Bond.

Oh, I think you wanted me to remind you that you wanted to talk to someone, but I forget who.

Did Dragan make the deadline? I don’t know. As I write this, I am at home sick and disconnected from the inter-webs. I haven’t peaked at the Forums since Thursday. But I am not going to eat your character or make him for you unless you request me to. If you are not posted, then your character is otherwise occupied and not here until he is posted. But he was here briefly. Membership offer is still open. Eventual target number is twelve.

Buttercup & Siccus Same goes for Buttercup and Siccus, though I am looking into replacing them.

Vortigern Sorry, I haven’t memorized your character’s name yet :smiley:. But anyway, I hope people have helped you figure out your character. This is where I want to start with you.

You wake up. The sun stares down at you. It is midday and you were fast asleep outside lying on your back in a grassy plain in a lush mountain valley. You are not sure where you are, but you vaguely remember where you were. He had you trapped in that cave of ghosts as part of your initiation, but things went wrong. He held you in there far longer that was needed, even after you had acquired your knowledge. Then the crystal container shattered, the spirits escaped. You escaped from the never ending labyrinth, and you remember fire everywhere you went. That thing was lashing out in anger everywhere, but you managed to get away. You wandered lost and confused in circled for who knows how long, then you collapsed. Now that you are awake, you are nowhere near where you where, and you don’t quite remember how you got there to begin with. Furthermore, you don’t know where you are now. Checking your inventory, you had everything you came in with. Curious.

Carmen - Is stewing about the latest turn of events. On the one hand, she is filling an official position for the Antares, which is good for her resume :laughing: . On the other hand, she is stuck at her home covenant as a non-member, which blows. Before departing, her father asks her to have her or her brother train Octavius for a season.

Lejla I want to drop a few more magic items on you. The Robes and the Ring on your sheet, those are yours to keep. These additional items are to help you fulfill your duties.

-Mercere’s Scale
InVi18 Scales of the Magical Weight (Base 4, +1M Touch, +10L Unlimited Use, +3L Environmental Trigger (placing vis on the scale))
InVi18 Sense the Nature of Vis (Base 4, +1M Touch, +10L Unlimited Use, +3L Environmental Trigger (placing vis on the scale))
ReVi28 Transfer the essence of vis (Base 10 move vis from one object to another, +1M Touch, +10L Unlimited Use, +3L Restricted Use (House Mercere))

-Boots of Jumping and Leaping
InMe30 Mental Link
ReCo28 Gift of Frog’s Legs (Base 10, +1M Touch, +3L Mental Link, +10 Unlimited Use
ReCo28 Traveler’s Jump (5 paces) (Base 10, +1M Touch, +3L Mental Link, +10L Unlimited Use)
ReCo29 Traveler’s Leap (50 paces) (Base 15, +1M Touch, +3L Mental Link, +6L fifty uses a day)

The first item pertains specifically to the duties House Mercere has assigned you and Decimus to take care of. The second item belonged to Rodrigo. They were his Redcap Boots. They were left in the Larder of the Mercere Quarter with a pamphlet explaining how to use them. You also read some notes he left behind, a sort of “manifesto”. His original vision for the Mercere Quarter was mainly for the use of mundane Redcaps. The vis lab was an old lab he had converted over for the benefit of magi working with Pawnbrokers. The training lab Decimus occupies was originally built with the purpose of crafting items from texts for the benefit of Redcaps.

Xalbador – Antonio is leaving you in charge. He gives you the key to the Furnace Room of the Eternal Flame. This is important. This flame can never go out. There are a lot of enchantments and rituals of the castle that are ties to this flame; so many so that Antonio has no idea (and in truth, these claims are never tested).

He brings you in, the flame is burning strong and bright. [color=red]Check on it once in a while. It pretty much runs by itself. It has minor prophetic capabilities. It flickers and changes color as a portend effect. Don’t star into it too long. It gets freaky when you do. Most importantly though, the Brand. (Antonio lifts up his shirt to show you his brand). [color=red]Anything burned or branded by the flame has a permanent Arcane Connection between them and the Flame. We don’t do it that way anymore. We give Knights of Seneca brands on wooden tokens nowadays, like the one you received. Anyways, the reason I bring it up is because I will check on the flame once a day with the spell InIg5 Compass of the Vigilant Flame. Not only does it tell me the direction, I have the spell mastered in such a way that I can sense the state of the flame. There is a box of powder over there (points over in the corner). [color=red] I forget what is. Fuego gave it to me, its one of his alchemy concoctions. If there is an emergency, toss some of that powder into the flame. It has an all day effect, I’ll catch it. I usually check on the Flame when I am doing my Parma. Remember, it can never go out. That is so important, there is no way I can emphasize it enough.

After that, he hands you a key to the Vault of Valdarius. That’s where we keep emergency vis stocks, doomsday devices, the true cross, and stuff like that. He tells you to just let the covenfolk run the covenant. That’s what they are here for. These aren’t the ignorant peasants of Mistridge. These are the elite of Andorra. Rely upon the Chamberlain, the Steward, and the Captain. (NOTE: I made Alexandro for our Captain. Who wants to make our Steward and Chamberlain? These are good and juicy roles for a companion :smiley: )

No Marko, unfortunately I haven't yet finished. My life is a matter of numerous directions at once and I am clearing as much time as I can (being an independent contractor) to devote my attention and imagination to finishing Dragan, but its slow going given his complexity.

If you decide to shunt him then so be it but I would rather a character I am satisfied with according to concept than something fudged for time sake.

The simple solution is to have him out of the picture for the three seasons he needs to act as Genus Loci to the Mountain to initiate the Mountain aspect of his Wilderness Lore. That gives me time and doesnt interrupt your story.

However, if Dimir Taar thinks he can summon and bind me in that disembodied state into one of his devices, Ill turn the device against him and fry him and his lab :wink:.

Up to you.

It's okay. I will run the story, and you can catch up with us when you are ready.

Viola is only marginally more entertained by the faerie party than by the human one, but manages to maintain polite composure. She looks grateful for the distraction of the arrival of the strange visitor, but there's a hint of concern in her voice as she inarticulately beckons the crone to come inside.


Ludovico, finishing his review of his equipment and supplies, seems to calm a bit and stands looking about with his hands on his hips and a dour expression for a long moment.

Shifting his weight he sighs and slings his hard leather canteen forward and into his hands, unfastening it's closure and checking within. Unfortunately he had not been prepared to leave... so the canteen was mostly empty and had a slightly brackish smell. Dumping the small amount of water left within out his expression grew more dour.

"Yasmine. Ordobos. Attend." he says firmly, looking about. Nothing. He was bound by foul Abaddon longer than he thought. Shaking his head he curses most foully, one hand making a hexsign against the man.

Grimly a he draws a dagger and begins to cut a circle into the ground, cutting the long grasses and half-heartedly weaving them into a roughly circular shape around the one cut into the ground and then inscribing his circle with the marks of his craft. A quick work of perhaps ten or fifteen minutes. Afterwards he sits down beside the circle to rest, eyes travelling over the plain

Then he makes the call... focusing on the plain, or indeeed the whole valley, around him, letting his strength roam in search of it's attending spirits. He raises his voice, calling out strongly in a commanding voice, speaking latin in his incantation, commanding the spirit of this place to appear in his circle.

( Presence+Rego+Vim(2)+Penetration )
( +1+24+21+21+4 ) ( Summoning Total: 71 + stress die )

I like it, I like it a lot! Tell me, with that total, how powerful of a spirit would you summon? 30 or 35 ish? The local place spirit may be smaller, I just am looking for the benchmark. I will ponder the place and have the place spirit speak with you tomorrow.

Marjolaine serves the two magi refreshments, and stnads ready nearby to accomodate any further desires. Octavian watches Antonio carefully as the Archmagus details his plans for Inigo to serve as interim leader. "I understand. Inigo is of your Order and House but still you are concerned that his passionate heart may lead the covenant astray. I will honour your request and keep a watchful eye on him." Antonio could certainly feel ill at ease at the prospect of the Tremere's gaze although he has not experienced it's full weight.

As Antonio speaks of his lack of firepower, Octavian's green eyes turn to his cup of bitter tea. He nods in acknowledgment. Without looking up, Octavian's speaks to his servant. "That will be all. You have my thanks. Please see to the needs of the tower." He waits until after Marjolaine is out of earshot before continuing. "Your concerns are not unfounded. There is something you should know..."

[color=green]Antonio: [color=red]Eh? Do not overly fret about it. The best generals were old men past their fighting prime, and themselves lacked personal offensive power. Your true power lies in your ability to lead. But still, self reliance is a virtue. Now then, what is this concern of yours?

(ps, I love your little bits of side dialogue with the servants; it is a good character development device)

Octavian stares into Antonio's eyes for emphasis. "My eyes are not bound by the same limitations. Sometimes, they catch glimpses of events past and future possibilities." Silently and without gestures Octavian casts By His Works on himself (level 5 spell +1 magnitude for no gestures, +2 magnitude for silent casting, +20 casting total) to recall the dreams he has experienced lately about the fires.

"I have seen an inferno burning everything in its wake. I see faceless bodies burnt to a crisp in their flight followed by macabre laughter. The vision always ends with the girl Kesara as the flames begin to lick and consume her body."

Once finished he closes his eyes. "This is only a possibility among many. I have not seen what is the root cause for I am only witness to these events. But know this, while the future is mutable as we are free willed my eyes are rarely wrong. I have only experienced such strong images a few times in my existence but if the course does not change they have proven to always turn out true."

Come with me.

(Replaced by a longer and version of this scene, scroll down and see:) )

You can summon up to 1/2 ( stated as reaching a total of double the might of the target ) of the total and it will be bound within the circle without you having to concentrate or worry about anything until you decide to release it. ( Well, that or until the circle is destroyed by some other factor. ) You automatically can see and converse with something summoned into the circle.

You can also however summon something which you don't double ( but at least equal or above the thing's might ) with your total. Then however you have to worry about maintaining concentration on your circle to keep it bound within it. Which would logically also require concentration checks to cast some other spell or use some other power on it while you were maintaining the circle as well. But it 'can' be done.

So, realistically, without an arcane connection or other penetration boosters he can reasonably and repetitively summon might 35-ish spirits. With some kind of penetration booster, such as an AC, he jumps up to a 45 or so. But he can also easily summon anything up to a 70, maybe a 75. But then he is stretching his limits and risking losing control.

Utmost reaches of his power, invoking Chthonic magic and with an ac, he hits a 116, so he theoretically could summon a cosmic might 100+ 'thing'... but he would be afraid to try, and he would not be able to do much more than beg for whatever he wanted from it... no way I'd risk flubbing the concentration checks to try anything fancy there. :wink:

(I see this series of events taking place after Octavian’s vision, whatever it may be, but before he shares it with his (PC) sodales, if he does. Presumably it's also after Inigo has taken charge of the place.)

Inigo takes his new duties seriously, though his daily routine changes little. He still walks the vineyard and the castle grounds, and even spars with the grogs. He can give most soldiers a workout, although veterans and lifetime warriors wipe the floor with him.

One morning, he leaves the practice grounds covered in sweat and grime. Marcos, an old veteran, nearly had him for lunch. It’s one way to stay in shape. Looking over his shoulder to make sure he’s not followed. The Furnace Room of the Eternal Flame has been getting more use than usual lately, but it is still his duty. He checks on it more than necessary. It should be empty at this time of day.

He enters, closing the door gently to that the latch barely clicks. He is alone with the flame. Brazenly, perhaps with a little fear, he looks directly in to it. He thinks of what he has come here to accomplish.

[color=orange]What is valuable, that costs nothing? That can be lost? All that I love, I carry close to my heart. He rubs his fingers gently over the rose shaped amulet around his neck. It’s coolness against the skin has always reminded him of her. He sees a flash of raven hair for but a moment. Those are less frequent now, but no less bittersweet.

With a decisiveness he does not feel, Inigo sheds his tunic, not taking his eyes from the flame. The light flickers off his thin, wiry chest. His eyes are distant, seeming to return the flame’s glow. Not looking down, he takes out a tiny iron implement from a belt pouch. It is a maker’s mark, the kind used by a master smith to stamp his work so that others will know him by it. It is simple and stylized, almost like a teardrop or a flower petal. He stares into the flame and his eyes glaze over, seeing something far away. A quick headshake, and it is gone. He takes out the mark, reaching out to the flame. Too late to stop now.

The flame appears surprisingly hot, much hotter than it should be. It is done in a moment. Good God. The pain is not glorious. Well, it was glorious for a moment, and then it was excruciating. Inigo bites his lip, drawing blood. He walks briskly and deliberately back to his sanctum.

He bursts in the door, muttering a Creo Corpus incantation, unable to look down at the fresh, angry brand on his chest. Luckily, Kesara is out for the day at lessons. It would not do for her to see him like this. [color=red]Stupid, old man. Stupid, stupid stupid… He collapses into bed, clutching his chest, and things are dark for a while.

Decimus gather his small staff and Lejla at a round table in a room adjacent to his laboratory or other worth conference hall that he might use. Everyone is seated around the table on equal chairs and one the table there are some bread, butter, mutton and red wine. Nothing fancy but enough that everyone should have enough to eat.

Decimus speaks to his staff. [color=red]I know that you are accustomed to have magi give you orders and expecting you to follow them. When I run this operation I expect the same of you but I trust your judgement. I will give you tasks and you shall complete them at the best of your wisdom. The gods have all given us wisdom but with different capabilities. I can manage a few spells but I can’t invent a proper system for accounting. I will describe my vision and you will each be assigned a task. Feel free to suggest improvement and I shall listen. Decimus takes a pause and then continues to speak. [color=red]First of all we need to make a proper Mercere house. We have the vis extraction laboratory. I wish that that one are removed. The laboratory packed down in cases and the building removed. Give the stone blocks to anyone who deserves them or if anyone of you my staff needs a stone house to live in. In it’s place there will be conjured a stone tower. Within that tower the vis extraction lab will be reconstructed and a additional lab will be constructed. Also there will be guest quarters with individual bedrooms and a common area. The rest of the space should be used to take care of our vis storage and for more valuable mundane wealth. This is order to make a part of the covenant a Mercere area. We will start the pawn broking business anew and use our mundane wealth to increase itself. We will engage in the money lending business so that our Mercere house become self sufficient. Decimus pauses to let his vision sink in to everyone.

[color=red]This is how I wish to divide our tasks. Personally I will speak to the council and request the additional space if such is needed and perform the necessary magical ritual. I will also aid in the removal of the structure. I will also meet with each and everyone of you my staff individually and with your family. I wish to know everyone of you. Later if everything goes well I will hire a Latin who will arrange classes so that everyone here who cannot read will be able to and so that we all can speak Latin. If this person has knowledge in the liberal arts or medicine then so much better.

Decimus turns to Carbo the steward. [color=red]I wish that you survey our mundane resources and starts up a money lending operation without usury. Hire expertise if needed. When loaning out to a mundane then make sure that they supply an arcane connection to them. I would suggest a lock of hair for a discount or mandatory with the loan.

Decimus turns to Pere the scribe. [color=red]I wish that you organise the vis vault. See to that any outstanding debt or missing vis are reported to me. You will be responsibly for the vis lending and every transaction must go through you. Make up some way to make some vis of the operation you run. Lejla can probably help you with the sorting. Perhaps we can charge a fee for every transaction or for the storage of collateral and or contract. If needed hire some expertise.

Decimus turns to Stephanus the notary. [color=red]I wish that you split your time between helping Carbo and Pere. You three can organise your as you wish.

Decimus turns to Rabascun, Nonar and Deusde the servants. [color=red]If I get my approval from the council then I need your help with packing the laboratory and the removal of the stone house.

Decimus turns to Raimundus the craftsman. [color=red]What is your craft? Please tell me. Assist Rabascun, Nonar and Deusde until further notice.

Decimus turns to Archimballus and Dorca the custos. [color=red]Hone your skills and in time I wish that every one of my staff get some training in the martial arts.

Decimus turns to Guilelmus the lackey. [color=red]Make sure that everyone have their need taken care of. If you are not needed by someone else then I wish that you are in my vicinity.

Decimus turns to Lejla. [color=red]Find me a casting tablet of Conjuring the mystical tower and if we don’t have vis in our store then enough vis to use the casting tablet. Also I wish that you search for any scholar or Latin teacher preferably skilled in the liberal arts, phiosopiae or medicus.

Decimus then speaks to everyone. [color=red]Are there any questions?

I wanna praise max and Falls for really getting into their parts :smiley:!

Visions in the Vapors!

[color=green]Antonio: [color=red]Come with me… Antonio leads you over to the main keep, down in the basement, down below the cellar, past the catacombs and donjon, into the deepest recesses of the covenant.

[color=red]Behold! The Vault of Valdarius! This isn’t where you thought he was going to take you, but it looks pretty impressive. Before you stands a fifteen foot brass door, with no discernable way to open it. He rps on it. Solid, thick. There is no telling how massive it is.

[color=red]The key I gave you, there are three of them. I am holding one, I gave the second to Inigo, you have the third. Each key is magically enchanted with a single effect, opening this door. It is restricted to only this door and only by command of a member of this covenant. He touches the key to the door, and the massive brass block disappears. He walks with you inside, where you see all sorts of amazing treasures. Silver and gold coins, precious gems, antiques and artifacts of earlier ages, the Ark of the Covenant, the skeletal remains of the Lindburgh baby, and more.

He scans the shelves and racks, and you have no idea how anyone would begin searching for anything in here. Then he finds it. [color=red]Here we go. Catch.. Antonio had levitated up to the very top of the shelves, and grabbed a small blue pouch. He tosses it down to you, and you look inside to see an amount of fine crystalline powder. [color=red]Don’t Touch that stuff! Its dangerous! That’s why I keep it locked up in here.

He then leads you back up, through the donjon, into the basement, then down the stairs in a different part of the basement. [color=red]They two sections don’t connect. This leads down into a tunnel into the side of the mountain. The Ice Chamber is embedded deeper into the mountain at a higher altitude, but if you could swim through rock, you could reach it by going… (looks around, then points) [color=red]That way. .

The tunnel leads down and around a short way, then you reach it. A normal size door, but made of steel. In this case, the door itself is enchanted, and will only open for a Knight of Seneca who bears the Brand of Andorra.

He throws open wide the door and you can see it in all of its eerie beauty. The Eternal Flame of Andorra!

Jets of flame are a natural occurrence throughout the world, resulting from fissures in the earth releasing natural gas and being ignited. The Oracle of Delphi was such a flame. In Mythic Europe, they also have great mystical significance. You stare at it, fascinated, overwhelmed by its power.

(snap of fingers) [color=red]Snap out it! See, that’s the problem with those that have second sight. Here. Toss some of this powder into the fire and inhale the vapors. It induces Visions if you have that gift. . He gives you a small handful of the stuff, then tucks the rest of the pouch under your cloak, then stands back.

You toss some into the fire. The mists rise, colored blue and green and white. You inhale deep, they change colors to purple, red, yellow and green. A rainbow made of smoke and mist. The effect is a little hallucinatory. The walls breath and you see trails. Then they come, the Visions in the Vapors! Your eyes roll up into your head and you begin babbling in tongues. You have the dream again, but this time it is so much more vibrant and vivid.

This time you see it again, except that you can’t quite make out what “it” is. It seems like a being of pure fire, an elemental or an Efreet perhaps? And what you thought was laughing now sounds like screaming. Pain? Rage? You cannot tell. But then it sounds like laughter again. You see it in battle against countless foes, you can’t tell who but your imagination runs wild. Then over in the distance, you see Inigo’s daughter Kesara, standing by herself. It rushes towards her…

Then the vision ends. That was an intense rush, a sensual pleasure unlike any you have ever experienced. You want more! More of the vapors, more of the mist, more of the powder!

But you are Temperate. You maintain your composure. Antonio saw one seer act like a crazed fiend for the powder right after a vision. You seem fine. That inspires Antonio’s confidence in you

Octavian does as he is bid, following Antonio by about three paces. His eyes dart to and fro taking a quick inventory of the vault, noticing the details as well as if he were handling the objects.

As the vision ends, he lowers his head into his hands hiding his face as he regains his composure. "I know the cause." He states softly before describing the new information he has seen.

"I will take some time to reflect on what I have seen. I shall inform you of anything else that I find. By your leave." When given, he walks out of the room, his back turned to both Antonio and the Furnace.

lol, I had meant that Antonio tucked the pouch in his own cloak, incase you went crazy for the stuff. But either way is fine. He will lock it back in the vault, you know where to find it if you need to induce another vision. But be warned, the side effects grow stronger with time.

i'll fix my post then.

Before he leaves, Antonio meets with each of you privately. I already went over Inigo and Octavius. His goodbyes with Carmen are private. I think I covered Decimus, he’ll talk more about making you a full member when he gets back. He is a little embarrassed around Marie because of the chair thing. But he commends her for her quick thinking and good caretaking of Marcellus earlier, and tells her to go ahead and make improvements to the infirmary as she suggested earlier. He mentions to Viola his plan to form an expedition to the faerie caverns next season. Being the elder Verdi of the covenant, Dimir Taar has the Master Key to the Vault of Valdarius. The others are copies made from the lab text of this original. But, he doesn’t realize it. It is in a trunk of junk his mater left behind, and he has a whole storeroom of gadgets and junk cluttered together. Antonio asks him to sort through some of this and find out if any of it is any good for his planned expedition. Though the stuff is disorganized, there is a tome that describes many of the items and how they are used. But not all of the items in the tome are actually in the store room and not all the items in storage are catalogued in the tome.

Last but not least, Antonio visits Marcellus and his family. Antonio is the type of guy who willingly shares his Parma so people are not bugged out by his Blatant Gift. And you know what? Even he flirts with Ximena. Not overtly of course, he is respectful. But anyways, he goes on down the list of everything that’s going on; Inigo is in charge, he set Octavius to look after him, and he wants you to watch out for them both. [color=red]Oh, and one more thing. Those two frozen griffon carcasses. Where did you leave them?

[color=darkred]Yes, Kyra (my mater) never cared much about all this, although I'm sure there'll be great things here and there.
So many things to do, so little time :smiling_imp:

This expedition, what'll it be exactly? Do you have an idea of the type of creatures we'll be up against or the kind of perils we'll face?