Obviously the overland portion of this will be much shorter, as you travel to Verdi, where the Tribunal is being held this year.
Talus is more than happy to take the trip to Rome. It will be a good chance to try and pick up some more Italian.
As discussed prior Pallas and Oderisi are coming. Are Soot/Sparks along for the ride?
Antonius and Julia will go to Verdi,
The ship docks at Rome, the captain explains that to go further North in Italy while operating under the flag of Malta, even as a commercial vessel, would be to invite both antagonism and undue interest.
Isn't Verdi on Sardinia? We can be dropped off by the ship as it heads to Merseilles; no need to travel the peninsula at all.
Okay, that was one of those things I figured I could look up later that well...
You are instead dropped off at the Island of Sardinia, in the Port of Cagliari, which the captain explains is the best port of on the Island as it is controlled by the Republic of Pisa, who are allies with Fredrick II. Unfortunately the island is divided into four independent states, and Verdi is in Gallura, which is technically also allied with Pisa, but frequently raided by the Genoans, and occasional raids still from Logudoru, another kingdom of Sardinia which is allied with Genoa. That shouldn't be an issue once you get close to Verdi, however, as it is not in any way a political center.
As walk on the docks of Cagliari, Antonius chatting with Talus and Tartessos:
"Have you ever been to Verdi, Talus ? I haven't. I must say that I look forward to see the marvels this covenant holds. Not that Tartessos' craft is not sublime, and God knows Domus Aureus is a testimony to his talent, but Verdi must be at the forefront of all research into magical devices."
To Tartessos (if he chooses to come to Verdi):
"How should we proceed to Verdi ? Are the roads safe in Sardinia?"
Actually I was recently at Verdi, but spent very little time traversing the roads. Mostly I was studying the ruins or working in the lab. Sardinia is actually very similar to Malta, writ large. The nobility are various Italian factions and spend most of their energy squabbling amongst themselves, but are always willing to rope an innocent into their disputes. The bulk of the population are Saracens with the peasantry trying to scratch out a living and dispossessed nobles trying to regain scraps of their fiefdoms from the Italian interlopers.
Tartessos did not originally intend to come, but since it's so close he'll fly over. Is there any way he can fly directly to Verdi at night and send transportation to meet the party at Cagliari?
He would certainly be able to fly over.
Sardinia is in fact mostly populated by Itallians who were seeking refuge from various conflicts within Italy, and wound up bringing them with them- hence the trade wars between Genoa and Pisa being a predominant local issue. Also unlike Malta Sardinia is divided into 4 kingdoms.
"Would you agree to travel by foot then ? We are in no hurry, and to be honest with you, I would rather spend a few days admiring the scenery instead of sitting inside a council chamber arguing about some obscure point of hermetic jurisprudence."
The corpulent Verditius looks anything but comfortable at the idea of walking for four days. "I'm afraid I need to spend this time finding out who will be attending tribunal and setting any needed groundwork. I'll meet you in Verdi in four days. Just stay out of any local politics!
The Verditious flies to Verdi, and arrives along with the vanguard of other magi arriving. At the front gate stands a pair of guards and a very harried looking scribe with several scrolls "Name and covenant please?"
Meanwhile the rest of the group sets out by road, there are Inns at both 8 miles and 16 miles from the city, but beyond that there seems to be only farmhouses.
Talus opts to fly to Verdii as well, not speaking the local language, he's uncertain how much he'd really get out of the trip.
"Talus ex Bonisagus," the magus replies as he steps forward, "Domus Aureus covenant."
Antonius will spent the afternoon walking in the countryside, and will finish the trip to Verdi by a nighttime flight, probably arriving late. He will land some distance away from the front gate, and walk towards the sleepy guards on duty.
"Antonius Ex Bonisagus, of the covenant of Domus Aureus." he will say while his red eyes glow in the night. "Is there a place I can get a hot meal? The days has been exhausting."
Tartessos had an extended stay at Verdi just a year ago, so I'll assume I know some of the staff.
"Piero! How are you doing! Please record me as Tartessos of Domus Aureas as our venture is off to a great start. Whenever your duty is finished I would love to buy you a cup of wine and catch up on all the gossip I missed.
"Domus Aureas? I can't find that one listed, is it in the tribunal?"
"No, not yet. And that questions probably will not be settled this tribunal, either. Yet nonetheless, we are here."
He flips though a few pages, then finds a page for "foreign guests" and puts down your covenant and yourselves. "There is a limit on space, you will have to stay in one of the companion quarters, at least for a few days until we see how well attended the tribunal is by the magi of the Tribunal. Are you wanting to rent vendor space?"
"Wherever you can put us up would be fine," Talus replies. "We appreciate your hospitality. As for vendor space, I'm not sure. We'd like to arrange some book trades or purchases. But I don't think we're selling anything in the way of magic items."
"Tartessos?" he adds with a raised eyebrow. "What are your thoughts on that?"