The island of Malts is roughly 15 miles in diameter,so the actual travel to Skorba takes well less than a day. When you arrive you can see the nearby pastoral village of Mggar, and the fields around this town extends and circle around the ruins of the ancient temple, though apparently some goats are allowed to graze up into the ruins themselves, and a boy watches over them, or at least is close enough to claim to be watching over them, though he appears not to be putting that much effort into the watching. The area with the level 10 aura is clearly marked by the edges of the ruined floors and the attendant remnants of a wall, and sits roughly 35 yards by 40 yards. The ruins of the surrounding town are roughly a quarter mile in diameter.
Tomas turns to Cheech "at least let me know what you find before you get too deep into things. I want a chance to look too." (Both Tomas and Cheech are curious, and Cheech is reckless. Trying to stop him is a waste of time, so I am just trying to get him to work with me.)
Penko takes in the sight and grunts "Hmmph. I've seen worse." He unpacks surveying rods and a roll of thin rope , then approaches the ruined temple site. When warned of the temple boundaries he simply growls, "I've got eyes, don't I? Just make sure I don't get sucked into one of them, whaddya call them, Reggies?" He seems in a foul mood, which is not at all unusual for him, but that mood seems to change as he moves along the temple boundary. He slowly walks the boundary, closely examining the stone and what little of the workmanship remains. Periodically he even tastes the stone. He ignores the Magi with single minded determination, confident in his skills and knowledge of what must be done. Eventually he finishes walking the perimeter and returns, assuming no trouble in the first hour?
I'll let everyone have a chance to post before I back to Penko.
Antonius conducted his own survey of the ruins, looking for passage ways to magical regios and analyzing the aura more in depth. As he walked through the ruins, the goats made sure to avoid him, and when one was not careful enough and was surprised by him, it would ran away bleating loudly. Throughout the years, the caravan had explored many ancient ruins, but this one appeared very old; the weather had gnawed the limestone use in the gigantic blocs of stone like a houd would with a bone. Not much of the temple remained, but Antonius suspected there was more was hidden; something must be, as this aura would have otherwise faded eventually.
After he completed his own survey, he walked to Penko and waved at Zoltan, indicating him to come and join them.
"Penko what do you think of these ruins ? I think it would be worthwile to excave; part of it is surely still beneath the ground, and we need to assess if it would be possible to conjure a tower at this location."
Antonius then turned his head towards the goat herder.
"Oh, and this young goat herder could probably tell us more about this location if he brings his goat to graze here often, maybe he noticed something out of the ordinary happening here, I mean, except for us showing up. He would probably knows which noble owns the land as well.... however, it would probably better if one of you went to enquire to him, as he would probably distrust me or worse..." sigh
While surveying I will:
- I search for regios with: Glimpsing past the veil of magi, which enables me to see the boundaries between magical regios (same as piercing the faerie veil).
- I will spontaneously cast Eyes of the Eons (Core Rulebook p.153) on a block of stone to get its approximate age (divide by 2) (2 stam + 5 intellego, +10 terram, +10 aura +die roll 2, 1 fatigue level)
- I will spontaneously cast a spell the hear vis : Base 1, Per, +1 conc, + 3 hearing, spell level 5, (divide by 5) die roll: 4
If I dont hear any:
- I will spontaneously cast a spell the see vis : Base 1, Per, +1 conc, + 4 sight, spell level 10, (divide by 2) die roll: 3 and I will cast Maintening the demanding spell on it, concentration roll: (2 stam +2+1 concentration, +die roll: 2 total: 7 target is 6) so it is maintained for a sun duration.
There are no region active at this time, but if there is one where there is no current path through, the spell would not reveal that.
The stones are roughly 6000 years old
The only apparent vis is 6 pawns, invested individually in a number of small figurines which look like extremely fat and well endowed women. The tone indicates corpus vis, but it has a strange harmony to it which suggests it may be some form of Extrordinary vis, possibly lesser enchanted vis. Seasonal vis sometimes disappears if not collected, so as with the Glimpsing, the information is limited by the limit of time.
When the group gathers back, Penko gives his report.
"Well, you've picked a pretty spot, I'll tell you that. Looks like the ancients made a tile foundation by crushing limestone, mixing with water, and pressing it back together. Over time this formed a conglomerate tile that looks quite beautiful, actually. It's been badly damaged by the elements, but with polishing could easily be used as a first floor. That will save us significant construction time, but it would be a shame to break such a relic to dig a basement, but if such is desired, we could dig stairwells from outside the boundary, angling underneath. Needless to say, summoning a gigantic tower would likely shatter this multiple thousand year old relic of ancient magic, as well as destroy the aesthetics of how the ancients shaped their temple.”
"It looks like the original structures were cloverleaf, with three main rooms and an entrance facing sorta southeast. There any arcane significance to that? There were two of these structures here, as well as some lesser structures, all with the gorgeous tiling. Looks like the boundary encompasses a little over 12,000 square feet, more than enough for any structure you might desire.”
“For actually building on this site, I think it would be best if we used the same materials found onsite, using the harder grayer stone for structural work and the lighter softer stone for a decorative façade. Looks like the ancients just stacked their dressed stone; I want to actually fuse the stones together, which would require someone having access to Rock of Viscid Clay, and maybe a little magical help reaching the inside of joints. If we do this, the structure will essentially be a single rock, without weak points. We can make it look local, but it will in fact be much stronger.”
"Any chance Garcin can talk to the locals and get us some food? I keep smelling bread baking from the village and it's making me hungry."
As Penko mention bread, Antonius start to feel hungry as well, the excitment of the exploration of such a site slowly giving place to more trivial matters.
"Do not worry Penko, I doubt conjuring a tower would be appropriate. Those who dwelt in the ancient ruins that surround us had a profound connection with the realm of magic, for it is still very strong after all these years. I am unsure what significance the shape of this temple had for them, however this must be related to this. Probably something to do with fertility", as Antonius take a small women figurine from a leather pouch hanging from his belt and shows it Penko.
Antonius stops speaking for a minute, thinking and then a smile appears on his face as he continues:
"Yes, the more I think about it, the more I share your point of view. It is poetic when you think of it; let us hope that like spring flowers blossoming after a long winter, let the new covenant blossom from these ruins of old. Except for the ruins, it appears there is not much of value here; it shouldn't be too hard to come to an arragement with whomever it belongs."
"Well, I am starving. Garcin, can you go to the village and buy us some food ? Try to enquire about these ruins to the villagers, they live close by and maybe know stories about this site, or have noticed strange occurences happening here. Now that I think of it, the goat herder might have noticed too if he comes often with his flock here; after all, there isn't much to do while goatherding besides looking at the scenery. Here take these coins, it should buy us enough food and maybe, help people to start talking.", as he hands a few silver coins to Garcin.
Is someone playing Garcin?
I was holding that spot for Bangawangah, I'll handle if he is unable to post.
I'd like to do it. Thanks for holding the role, Kuiti. Nice touch with the bribe fund.
Garcin takes the money and bows gentlemanly to the mage. Then he affects a cough and says "Perhaps a little more would be wise, señor?" while tapping the coins already in his hand. Antonius hands him a few more coins, and Garcin sharply turns around in direction of some rough stone huts on a nearby hill. Once out of earshot of the group he begins to chuckle at his ingenuity and in anticipation of spending most of the coins later.
Nearing the group of huts some shepherds grazing sheep in a field nearby call out to the houses, from which some men step out chatting in Gozo's Arabic dialect . They congregate around an old man who is apparently the most prominent elder in the community.
Unable to speak Arabic, Garcin gives them a big smile, shows them the coin, and pantomimes eating and drinking. At sight of the coin, the villagers quickly relax. The elder comes forward and amicably guides him to sit on the carpet and roughly made cushions that are quickly placed in an area by the biggest hut. There Garcin and some of the men eat goat-cheese and drink diluted wine. Afterwards Garcin points to some nearby baskets and pottery, and shows them another coin. The elder, in a good mood from having sold the stranger his worst bread and wine at exorbitant prices, chuckles and orders two of the younger men to pack and carry enough provisions to the ruins.
Garcin and the two young men walk briskly to the campsite where they can be questioned by someone that speaks Arabic.
The afternoon was going by slowly. A light sea breeze was rustling the fresh leaves of nearby hold oaks. Antonius had joined Tomas and Cheech, and they were sitting on large blocks of stones in the ruins of the temple, discussing their findings. The statues containing the corpus were laying in the middle of this impromtu meeting:
"I haven't seen any regio here yet.", adressing Tomas and Cheech. There might be one, but it could only be openned during magically significant times during the year. If we decide to settle here, I will investigate more for sure. What are your impressions of Skorba so far?"
Then finaly, Garcin came back with food and two young men from Mgarr. Antonius could hear from afar that they were speaking arabic between themselves... and it appeared that no one except him spoke arabic. "Well so much for making a good first impression", thought Antonius as he walked towards them. His eyes featured carmine irises with a abnormally large black pupils and were unsettling to most people, who would generally avoid making eye contact (-6 to rolls involving trust). Between that and the Gift, Antonius didn't have many social interractions beyong magi.
Adressing them in arabic, with a slight italian accent:
"Assalamu alaykoum. Would you mind joining me and my friend ? We would like to know more about this place; even legends and hearsays. If your answers satisfy the curiosity of me and my friends, my servant here pointing towards Garcin will give you a fair payment for your information."
(You can do any roll you deem necessary, silveroak, but I will have a -6 penalty for rolls involving trust and a -3 to all social rolls due to the gift. I would also like to roll folk ken to see if they are inventing stuff just to get money.)
In fact there are those in the Village who also speak Itallian...
Which does not help Garcin one bit.
One of the locals looks you over and retorts "It is a place for boogey men and old women, you should fit right in."
One of the older, calmer people sighs "It has a reputation, and sometimes under the full moon there are lights on the ruins that we do not question, but the land is common lands, technically they belong to the lord of the village, we mostly graze goats there. Sometimes the goats have to be slaughtered early if they begin to become strange."
Antonius' face became tense for a second, and then became relaxed again. He had get used to mockeries and even hostility for a long time, but it was still frustrating at times.
Adressing the old man that had answered his question:
"I thank you for sharing your knowledge about this place. I appreciate your help. You will be rewarded as promised". Antonius turned his head towards Garcin, and told him in romany:
"Garcin, please give this good man a coin for his help."
And then Antonius's attention turned back to the gathered villagers
"They are in not living far from the ruins of and were bound to discover sooner or later that were practionner of magic... now would be probably as good as any other time."
Now, adressing the man that had been discourteous :
"I don't believe I have done or said anything to deserve to be insulted like this. I shall offer you this advice, as payment: speech is silver and silence is gold."
(If he answers with another insult, I will spontaneously cast : ReCo 10 Curse of the unrully tongue, with a duration of sun on him.)
The young man smirks "And the tears are bronze, Oh the words, they sting, take them back" (the last is said mockingly, and he is apparently trying to make it seem he is emulating you.
The young man's word are starting to get to on Antonius' nerves. While pointing towards him with his index, Antonius says with an slightly angry tone of voice.
"You are still somewhat young and must you think you are so clever right now. I wont hold you accountable for your provocations ... this time. However, as you lack the perception to pick up on not so subtle clues : sometimes it is better to shut your mouth, especially when the boogey man tells you to. You, my friend, need to learn to respect strangers."
(I cast Curse of the unrully tongue : rego 23, corpus 10, stam +2, -6 aura? +8 die on him, with a moon duration, i get one fatigue level, and I will be on the lookout for an aggressive reaction from someone in the crowd, like someone picking up a weapon)
Penko never pays much attention to the antics of magi, so he's kind of oblivious to the interaction.
"Oh good, the bread is here!"
As he chews his bread he looks slightly confused as he slowly starts to realize there's some kind of confrontation.
The town has no church, no mosque, and no aura.
The crowd backs away, and you can hear muttered conversation. The man attempts a retort, and the crowd breaks into laughter as the young man becomes angry, and the stuttering and sputtering grows worse. An older woman falls to her knees before you and pleads "Please of powerfull Sahir, this affliction, how long wil my son pay for his foolishness?"
Antonius move towards the old woman, take her hand and help her up:
"Please stand up woman. I shall lift the curse as soon as your son apologize, for I mean no harm to him nor this village. In fact, quite the contraty; me and my collegues", he points towards Tomas, "are planning to restore these ruins and eventually inhabit them, God willing. "An agreement still need to be reached with your lord, as this land is his, but I think it would benefit you all. If we settle here, we will be needing laborer and servants, and will provide a fair wage to those of you that work for us. "
Antonius waves at Tomas, asking him to come closer to the villagers, and then continues to make his sale to the crowd:
"My name is Antonius, and this is Tomas. He is skilled in the art of healing, and you and your children won't have to fear disease as much if we settle here, nor will you fear hunger and marauding bands. There are however many mystical places, and if you don't wish us to settle here, we will move on. We will let you discuss it between yourselves."
Well played, sir!