As Lares returns to his sanctum to begin the search for Barshako he is greeted by two young men who sit outside waiting "Father, where has mother gone?"
[OOC: @silveroak , how long has it been at this time since Barshako set off?]
Before leaving the council chambers, Lares exchanges a few words with Tastheus and Zarkut, who had expressed an interest in joining the expedition ( @Heaven_s_Thunder_Ham ; @Panopticon ; Zarkut already got on with other business, so I assume he is not coming, but I think we can fudge that whichever way).
“My plan would be as follows: I go to my laboratory and cast a flight spell upon myself at once. After this I must rest about for half an hour. Assuming you are going by foot, you set off as soon as possible with whatever combat-ready or tracker grogs we have left, in that direction, and try to find her trail. As soon as I have rested, I find her, inform you of her location, and magically induce her to move back towards the covenant. I and Barshako meet you in the middle. If either group runs into trouble, support will be near. Are you in agreement?”
As he heads back to the lab, he grabs the grog who had spoken Barshako’s language, and as he walks, he has him teach him a few useful phrases in her language: “Follow me”, “take cover”, and “return to the covenant”.
Lares inspects the men from head to toe. Do they look like him?
“Makes sense. Have you already figured out what has happened to the covenant? As you see, I have shed many years. The associated memories are lost to me, as well. This means that neither I nor your mother have any recollection of each other or of you. For this same reason, your mother earlier decided to find her own mother, leaving the covenant. As you may know, this is a decidedly bad idea. I did not realize this at the time, however and let her go, but you will be happy to hear that I and my colleagues are presently preparing to retrieve her.”
He pauses, stroking his beard.
“Tell me, sons: what are your names and what services have you been performing for the covenant?”
"Why must you rest half an hour, Lares? Either way, I suggest everyone gets at a minimum some water and a walking stick. The last thing we want is to have to find water in the middle of a desert mountain."
Aetherius will prepare, thinking this could have been easier if only he could shape into a bird too, and meet his colleagues at the entrance of the covenant. He'll invite his familiar along, of course.
[Zarkut wasn't sure if he was needed or not, so he headed out to investigate, but he's just wandering around the courtyard if anyone wants to ask him to come along.]
What did I get myself into? Tastheus dressed as best he could for the extreme heat, with a walking stick and a few water skins. In a commanding tone, he barked out in latin and french until some grogs understood enough to prepare and come with him.
"Salve Aetherius. Ready to go?"
Aetherius nods to Tastheus. "As ready as I can be."
(Will otherwise let Seon post again before proceeding)
The young men look nothing like Lares.
"You have been instructing us, teaching s Arabic and Latin, and we have been taking a season each year to copy books and help administrate the library, of course" They give their names as Izri and Merin, and since they do remember the land around the covenant, which neither you nor Barshako would, they volunteer to help look for her.
Lares had intercepted Zarkut on his way out, and said the following before heading to his sanctum and the boys (hence some temporal funk here):
“Thank you for your assistance, Aetherius, Tastheus, and Zarkut. I will, of course, remember your kindness going forward. As for the reasons of my resting: casting the flight spell will tire me substantially, and it would be foolhardy to fly around exhausted. And no, it has nothing to do with the Diedne, it is just that my body seems to be attuned to magic in this way.”
“I am thankful for your help. Please prepare as best as you can, Izri and Merin, and join the group gathering over there.” He indicates with his arm. “Explain yourselves and follow the orders of my colleagues to the best of your ability. I will fly ahead to find and catch your mother faster, but we will meet you shortly. And,”
he looks each of them in the eye in turn,
“please be careful.”
As the boys depart, Lares speaks to Albrecht:
“Please fly high again to get a visual of Barshako while I work, friend.”
Lares grabs water, ensures his clothes sufficiently shield him from the sun, and then enters his laboratory.
He life sponts a flight spell, ReCo base 15, “Move a target quickly in any direction you please”, at Duration Sun for level 25.
His casting total is 3 sta, 8 aura, 10 re, 4 co, 2 gestures & sound = 27;
27/2 = 13
So depending on the roll he takes either 3 or 2 levels of short-term fatigue, which he then rests off for 10 or 30 minutes. After resting, he flies off. During this time, the other party probably manages to take off already.
Lares takes two levels of short term fatigue, and can depart in 10 minutes.
Aetherius will ask the young boys for the general direction she would have left, and then depart with the rest of the group.
(OOC: Lares already showed you the general direction earlier.)
After resting, Lares slowly takes him out of the lab and the building, then shoots straight up far above the mountains. What is the weather like?
He shades his eyes with his hand, looking west as Albrecht had indicated earlier. Does he immediately catch sight of her?
“Can you see her, Albrecht?”
Having been intercepted, Zarkut got himself a couple of waterskins, then went along with the group following her trail along the ground.
The magi quickly find that the paths through these mountains twist and turn in ays that do not seem to make sense, leading you to wonder if you have stumbled into a regio more than once while the grogs confidently lead the way towards where Barshako had been spotted earlier, but it does take more than a few minutes to get there, and it rapidly becomes apparent that without knowledge of the area nobody would make it in or out.
Aetherius takes in the surroundings as best as he can to memorize the path in and out, should he need to at a later point, and he keeps going with the grogs who seem to know what they are doing. Not knowing what to expect outside the covenant, he has Gift of the Bear's Fortitude and Wizard's Sidestep active.
This is an appropriately defensible location. I, (former me?) chose well.
Tastheus will keep his wits about him, eyes flickering glancing from twist to turn on the path. "Anyone catching a glance or Barshanko?"
For several minutes the group proceeds, getting to where Barshako had been when Albrecht had spotted her. Soon thereafter Lares arrives through the air and can see where she has gotten to, in another half hour the group is able to track her down, but she begins yelling and some of the young Berber men begin shouting back, with none of the magi knowing what is being said.
"I will solve the situation." Tastheus whispers loud enough in Latin for his new sodales to hear. He will begin to multi-cast Call to Slumber and put 2 men asleep at a time until all of them are subdued except Bershako.
"Wait! Hear them out first!"
Lares won't try to stop Tastheus physically, but if he relents, he will ask the men: "What are you discussing?"
[OOC: Invocation of Weariness makes them lose a fatigue level - I think the one you were thinking of was The Call to Slumber.]
OOC: Thank you, I mistitled my spell.
Tastheus pauses, and shrugs. "Alright, if you say so."
Aetherius seems unsure. "Are they hostile to each other?"