Journey to Waddenzee (summer 1240)

...a valid point. And one Antoine would not have forgotten, just me :blush: . Forget I said anything!

I do not think they realize that they were spotted. Let us continue that way :mrgreen:
Cornelius frowns.
[color=brown]I do not like this. I read a report from a reliable source that said that guy was dead. And it is not like him to just open the door and wander away. Unless he truly has nothing to hid.
Or, unless he is hoping we will dig up dirt on his covenant mate, thereby eliminating someone who is perhaps problematic whilst keeping his hands out of it.
Or it could be a trap.

Carmen scowls at both of you
The crime is in getting caught, you don't bust out your friends, and never tell anyone you are scrying. And don't scry on magi. Bad form.
Just keep quiet, stay invisible. I am takings us down to the top of the tower.

Lucas nods in quiet response before he realizes he's invisible and it doesn't matter. He also takes a moment to ponder just how different Carmen and Solomon are, and wonders how the two ever get along. In the end, he doesn't entirely agree with Carmen in what she says. But this is definitely not the time to get into a philosophical debate.

Fleur proceeds in via the front door, with Cornelius beside her looking for Vulcanus' secretary.

She is rather easy to find, sitting at a large desk writing upon a tablet as she is counting trinkets and thingamabobs. Weapons Grade Thingamobobs.

Her name is Gemma, and she looks up at you with a smile.
Well hello again Cornelius. And greetings and well met newcomer! My name is Gemma, perveyor of the finest magical items and venditior to the most famed Verditius magi of the Order. And I can guarantee that all items are of legitimate origin and can provide certification. Just ask Cornelius. She smirks. If you need something customized, just describe what you are in need of and I can put you in contact with the right magus.
So, how may I help you?

"Actually I am here to inquire after Modi and Magni. Are they around?"

Gemma looks at Fleur with a wink and a smile. The woman is insanely attractive, and you can tell Cornelius is having trouble composing himself. He stutters and stammers and resolves to just let Fleur speak. She makes her statement of inquiry, and Gemma responds with a broad grin.
I am inclined to help you, but information has a price. I will trade you knowledge for knowledge. Why do you inquire?

[spoiler]Metagame: She is indeed very inclined to assist. Getting rid of the brats equals getting rid of their wench mothers as well. But there is no way for you to know that, or for her to know what you want.[/spoiler]

"I am a bonisagus, seeking an apprentice. How aware are you of the rules of the order?" She smiles flirtatiously at the woman.

I am aware of the ones that apply to me and the work that I do. I buy and sell magic items, and I broker deals for those items I may not possess. How aware are you of the nature of my operation?

Meanwhile, the others lower onto the roof, and can gaze down a large open roof into the core of the tower. The top two floors at least.
Something squirms under Carme's cloak. You cannot see that because of invisibility. But you can see it when it emerges. A bird, small raptor with multicolored fiery plumage, it wriggles free of the cloak and perches on Carmen's shoulder as if oblivious that she is supposed to be invisible.
Hurm. Guys, meet Lux. Like I mentioned before a while ago, I intend to return her home. And retrieve the sword.

"Very little, I was just trying to ascertain how much I should explain. When a Bonisagus seeks an apprentice, they are entitled to take the apprentices of other magi. Now as I understand the situation, Vulcanus has two apprentice magi, Magni and Modi, which are of his own bloodline, which is of great interest in my research on heredity. Cornelius can confirm that it is my right to take one of these children as my apprentice. Do you know if either of them are currently here, and when Vulcanus will return? While I am not obligated to do so, I would like to discuss with him the future of his child."

Gemma smiles gleefully. You should take them both. They really work best as a pair. Please, take them both. One for each of you maybe?
Right now Vulcanus is in Asgard. Or what he thinks is Asgard anyway. Some competition he is in. The balcony on the third floor is a portal into the top regio lair. Head up into the clouds and follow the rainbow. I will deactivate the traps.

"Well I am only allowed to take one. I don't know if Cornelius needs an apprentice. Is that gate to Asguard inside his sanctum? It might be better if we talk with the boys while we await his return. How long does he usually spend in Asgard?"

"Pleasure to meet you, Lux," Lucas says politely, unsure just how intelligent the creature is. "So, Carmen," he adds. "Do you know anything about how his sanctum might be trapped? Vulcanis can't have had too much time to devise new traps. So he probably has moved over some of the ones he used back at Arans."

One for each of you. The gate is in his tower, but not in the lab or sanctum. The boys are with him and I have no idea how long he plans to be gone. Usually never less than a week and generally no more than two. One time he was gone for a month!
And they age faster there, I can tell. He takes the boys frequently. They should be only six, but I would swear they both seem adolescents already.

"Well in that case let us proceed." She reaches out her hand to the beautiful lady.

Lux, eh? And don't phoenices rebirth from their ashes when they die, making them effectively immortal? So this would be... Lux Aerterna. Very nice. A pleasure. (that last to the bird) Carmen, you wouldn't happen to know how strong the aura is here, would you? I would like to do something about the ring, but I know I need a good strong aura to manage it. Even at Arans it's tricky.

It is a Magic Aura III here on the outside. I do not know how strong the two regio layers are, but I recall that the aura on the Bifrost was close to X. Vulcanus did not employ traps at Andorra. None that I know of. Antoine would have better knowledge. He has probably adapted existing traps to his purposes, and has not had much time to develop anything new. As for a ring, if you mean that moon-roof deal here, give it a shot. It wasn't trapped or tricked last time I came through, but the circle shape makes it an easy target. After that we drop down one at a time, remaining invisible. I'll go first. Lucas, count to 300 then follow unless I signal danger. Antoine, follow Lucas after a count of 100. Then...
Carmen is interrupted, as Lux the Phoenix takes flight. She shoots straight up into the sky, ignites, then dives into the moon roof entrance.

Gemma fumbles around her desk and produces a ring of keys. She goes up to the door, waves a key while uttering gibberish, then opens it.
There. That should deactivate the traps in the approach hall.

Actually, I meant my invisibility ring - Antoine waves his hand, with the still-visible ring on it. - but a III is not going to be enough to let me hide it. However, regarding that roof, let's see...

Please correct me if any of this is wrong; targeted Intellego spells, especially InVi, confuse me with their guideline range and targets.
Spontaneous casting of InVi (Mom, Voice, Ind) to detect traces of magic on and around the hole. CT In 4 + Vi 6 + Talisman 2 = 12, + stress die 3 = 15. With Fatigue gives spell level of 7. Accounting for Voice range, that's a base InVi effect of 5. I don't know what magnitude magic that detects, because I don't have my book here.

Of course, if that interrupts my casting, then I shall be interrupted. I watch. Does anything happen to Lux?

"Lux seems to have a plan," Lucas says. "Do we follow?"