Journey to Waddenzee (summer 1240)

Ah, that makes more sense.

"We should look inside," Lucas says to Antoine. "Maybe there will be a clue as to where Vulcanus has gone with the sword."

Okay, then the only confusion remaining is the timeline, since based upon when the boys were earlier reported to have been born they should be 10, not six, which is part of what led me to believe there might be other children involved...

Fleur doesn't understand why the women would be important, but it is not like she is going to be leaving quickly anyways, so she will go inside to talk to them. "Hello, you probably have not heard of me, but I am Fleur of Bonisagus, and I am doing into research on magic lineages and heredity, and had heard some stories about you and your boys which I thought would bear following up on, if you wouldn't mind my asking a few questions."

Having difficulties finding the exact post, but the trip down memory lane has reminded me of what a true jagg Vulcanus was/is :laughing:
It was sometime between 1231 and 1234 when the boys were conceived. I think. Vulcanus brole up with Vibria, bedded two buxom readheads (Ryu's words, not mine), then married Fedora. So timing is vague.
The two girls are named Dora and Donna. They are twins, but not identical. One is studying an Ignem Tractus and the other has her nose buries in a Summa on Magic Theory.
They look up from their books when Fleur enters, and in response Dora asks "[color=red]Who are you? What do you want?"

Donna shakes her head. "[color=blue]My sister is rude. Apologies. My name is Donna, my sister is Dora. We met at Bellaquin not too long ago. We are the daughters of the late Rudolphius Mercere, and are the apprentices of Vulcanus of Flambeau. I will be glad to assist you in whatever way possible."

"As I said, I am researching magical effects on lineage and birth traits, and had heard stories about magical twins associated with Vulcanus, though the stories had become confused and I was under the impression that it was your sons that were Gifted. I am looking for assistance with my research, and felt that having one of you aid me would lend a certain resonance to the work. Did the two of you come into your Gift at the same time?"

After spending way too much time rereading stuff, I managed to find the post in question...I think.

Yes, that is it :slight_smile:
You know, rereading things I am reminded yet again of how horrible a man Vulcanus is. And how excelent a roleplayer Ryu was (even if quite hard to handle). And the names were Edith and Vera.

[color=red]Don't tell her anything! Remember what the Norn sisters said!
[color=blue]Quiet you! This could be our way out of this.
My apologies. My sister is stupid as well as rude. Allow me to introduce myself fully and responf to your inquiries. My full proper name is Vera Belladonna Rudolphius. My sister is Edith Andorra. Hense the Nordic style nicknames we have acquired amongst these strange people.
I am not sure when our Gifts became manifest, but I believe that it was a latent inherited trait and was in effect when we were in our wild youth. We were the "bad girls" of Arans, but no one seemed to mind. I supposed we were spoiled and privilaged because of our family.
Enrique Rudolphius. He was once Master Redcap of Iberia. When his cousin, the magus Rodrigo of Mercere, founded his bank at Andorra; father retired to Arans as a Pawnbroker.
Here is a secret you might be interested in. I am a Flambeau apprentice that did not understand the significance until I researced it on my own. The Mercere know how to deactivate Longevity, and furthermore the Ritual reverses the sterility.
Father was old and decided to settle down and took the proceedure. Hence my sister an I were born to Jasmine Yemina Rudolphius, herself a young Redcap from Valencia and daughter of the magus Joaquim of Mercere.
You see what I am getting at. I think it is possible to inherit the Gift, but it takes a perponerance of additional circumstances to a degree that what if anything has an effect is almost imperceptible.
Vulcanus doesn't care. He Opened our Gifts while we were still with child and had dreams of grooming us as shield maidens. But we were born to be bar wenches. Well, she was. So he pretty much lets us study what we will from his personal library. His hopes are in the two boys, and dreams of making them master smith-warriors.
That is another part of his mad quest. I'll tell you all of his secrets. I hate the bastard. One of his "failings" is that he cannot teach Verditius magic. Valdarian magic is a fraud. It is a closed set of mysteries cut of from the root and grafted to a political allegiance that cannot support it.
So he consults with the Dvergar and Svartalfar to learn their mysteries and invent his own Initiations. As genius as he is, Hubris has turned him into an idiot and fool. The Aesir may be magic, but those creatures are true Fae and will feed off of his pride and ambition.
But even if he succeeds, the boys will never be magi. Their nature has already been spoiled by the Magic Realm. They Transformed just this past season. We have only been here a year, and I notice study has strange effects.
Dora has agreed with me, we have to find a way out of this place before it happens to us too. I have other theories, but it all boils down to the same thing.
You mentioned you are of House Bonisagus? Take us as your apprentices and I will show tell you where Vulcanus has hidden the Key of Rassalon.
Stupid over there will confirm everything I said and will be just as glad as I.
Edith "Dora" is sitting of to the side drinking ale. She smiles and shrugs.
[color=red]You know the only reason I put up with your shit is because I am way hotter than you and much-much smarter. Just not as wordy.
She's right about Vulc. He is an ass and we gotta get out of this mess. Leave the brats. He can keep them. But I disagree with her about the Norn riddle. I shouldn't let you have the stupid magic key. But if you do take it, we have to bring the boys with.

They argue back and forth a bit, casually hurling insults at each other debating about the key and the boys. If they take the boys, Vulcanus will follow. If they take the key, Vulcanus will be stuck in the Magic Realm for Seven Years and by which time they will be each a Maga.

Lucas and Cornelius can listen in as well. In addition to the information contained in the above, from the debate between the twins you learn...

  • The Key of Rassilon (probably some magus) has the power to open barriers between worlds. Vulcanus has been working on how to duplicate it.
  • Modi and Magni are horrible kids. Mischievious and mean spirited. Each accuses the other of being the worse mother with the more rotten bastard boy. But it is safe to say that all four are pretty flawed.
  • Dora is a $:)! with a $)-@ that +$%" and Belladonna is a *)-+ and a +@_)&&$.
  • In the past four seasons, Vera Belladonna has gained much arcane lore and is quite puissant in several areas. Edith Andorra has other more dynamic ways and sounds like a fierce Flambeau maga already.

Fleur turns to Cornelius "Obviously I can only claim one, but I believe between their testimonies there are numerous transgressions you can use against Vulcanus. It does sound however like they are of Mercere lineage, and should probably be relinquished to House Mercere as apprentices when possible. If you do not currently have an apprentice I suggest we each take one, I would prefer Vera, and gift them to whichever gifted magus house Mercere designates after a while. I must admit to finding fascination in this key, but I do worry about this being considered depriving him of magical power if we were to allow these women to abscond with it during this rescue. What are your thoughts on the matter?"

Edith stands up and interrupts just as Cornelius is about to answer.
[color=red]Oh no, you ain't seperating us. You will have a fight on youur hands. And I am not keen on the Mercere idea. My sister, I can see her as a Bonisagus one day. Seems to fit her style from what I read about them. But I am a Flambeau. I mean, I could take being Bonisagus for a little bit, but would just wind up joining them on my own. Hell, give me the test and I bet I can pass a battlefield Gauntlet on the spot. I am no warrior maiden, true. I fight with spells, not fists or swords. Try me. Test me. I am ready.
This gets Carmen's attention, for this so closely resembles her own magical style.
Cornelius finaly gets a word in edgewise.
[color=brown]As I mentioned long ago, I am a Quasitor as well as a Bonisagus. There is no law preventing you from taking both at once. It is just considered bad form. So I will go with your plan and make things easy for the girls. Yo take Vera. Work closely with her. As a student she has the composure and wisdom of a master. Nuture this one.
I will take Edith, turn her over to a Flambeau that will give her a quick field test, then she can rejoin you and her sister.
Taking the boys or this key, that would be considered a deprivation of magical power. I don't know what this key is. Sounds like some sci-fi gimmick word. But the boys. If they were mundane it wouldn't matter. But they exhibit magic power and the mother mentioned Transformation. They have probably developed Might scores. Thus they are magical property of their magus father.
Yes, I draw my example from Order of the Stick and use metaterms in game speech. Accept that and move on :mrgreen:
Now this sword, stealing that appears to be part of a cult initiation, so the Law has no position of interest. But I want no part of that. I suggest you and I take the girls and go.
Antione tugs on Lucas's sleeve to wisper secretly.
[color=blue]Forget the sword for now. Let's get out of here as quick as we can. I have an idea I will explain to you latter in private.

And I have an idea. Because of wibbly-wobbly timey-whimey stuff, Antoine would have bound Lemon as his Familiar before this adventure. And that player has departed and placed the character in NPC limbo.
So, Lemon was with us all along. Just out of sight in the background all along like Horus has been. Horus is here too. Of course. :mrgreen:
And you can use the same mind-link set up. Horus tells Lucas what Lemon was told by Antoine to pass along.
Antoine already has the Key of Rassilon! As soon as the girl mentioned it, he used a Deusexmachina magic ring to pluck the knowledge from her mind. Rediculously easy hiding spot. Mike already snatched it. The key is a potent Valdarian artifact and will fufil the requirements of the Initiation script. No legal issues. But it had to be stolen by him (or by extension his Familiar, just roll with me here :slight_smile: )

OOC: Sorry, it's been a busy few days and I haven't had time for the long post I needed to make.

Lucas stands stunned by what he's heard for several moments. He's not sure what's most surprising. That anyone would have twins with the Gift was unfathomably unlikely. The odds staggerred the imagination. One Gifted child was rare enough. But two in one birth was unprecedented. But the fact that they were Mercere and lost to the House was heartbreaking. The house had few enough magi as it was. To lose two of them to be raised as brats by Vulcanus was unforgivable. More curious yet was how they slipped through the Mercere screening process. House Mercere carefully checked all childred for the Gift. How in God's name did they miss a pair of Gifted twins? All these thoughts go through his head as he watches the scene in front of him. And how does some apprentice know that House Mercere knows how to reverse longevity rituals when no one told him? You mean he and Cecelia could have had more children and no one in the house told him? It was unthinkable.

"No," he finally says when Edith says she doesn't want to be a Mercere. "Apprentices don't get to decide that sort of thing. These two were taken from House Mercere; they're magae of the Mercere bloodline. I don't care what the circumstances were of Vulcanus' claiming of them, and whether he somehow managed to twist the Code so that it was legal. House Mercere won't stand for this sort of thievery. There will be consequences for Vulcanus, and consequences for House Flambeau if they insist upon taking either of these two, quite beyond what's set forth in the Code." He doesn't mention now that the two may well have been ruined as Mercere magi. After all, what good would it be to force Edith to finish her apprenticeship as a Mercere maga if she would simply transfer her allegiance to House Flambeau as soon as she was gauntleted? But he set that concern aside for the moment.

"A Bonisagus teaching a Mercere maga is one thing," he adds. "That has precedent. The House could accept that. But for someone like Vulcanus to do it. It's beyond belief." He pauses and takes a few deep breaths.

"At the very least, there will have to be reprarations for this heinous and unforgivable act. And I shouldn't be surprised if there was a Wizard War declared against Vulcanus. Two Mercere maga. Two. Taken away and raised to a different House. There will be some reckoning for this."

Then Antoine whispers to him that they should get out of here and he nods absently. "I agree." he says back to the magus.

"Can we get out of here?" he says. "Taking Edith and Belladonna with us? I agree with Fleur, we may be on shaky ground with the boys. But they're also daughters of Edith and Belladonna. Don't they have some right to take their own children with them?" He looks to Cornelius for answers to that question.

Fleur smiles at the two women, "Okay ladies, lets get out of here, I am claiming you both as apprentices apparently, we can work out any rearrangement of houses later and we will need to at least talk to Mercere about the situation." Se turns to Cornelius "Would the fact that the boys are of the Mercere bloodline have any impact on Vulcanus' claim to them? One could argue he has already deprived the house of their apprentices both in the two women and in the boys, who should legitimately be trained as redcaps."

Ooc: point of law for Cornelius - the traditions of Mercere testing and claiming gifted children are not law. The father of the two women might have been a magus, an unproven claim; further if Mercere failed to find and claim the girls then it's Vulcanus's right to do so. It's vulgar and disgusting for many reasons and breaks traditions but not law to my understanding.
By reacting with Wizards War you will further change your own houses' traditions.
If that's all true (??) then only a Boni can snatch them. After the Boni is finished and discards them (which is also a vulgar but not illegal action) then the tribunal will doubtlessly be involved in resolving which Magus of which house can claim them.

OOC: Lucas fully understands that Vulcanus might have stayed within the letter of the law in taking the two girls as apprentices. (Whether he stayed within the letter of the law while keeping them as apprentices, devoting two seasons a year to training them, is another question.) He's not talking about House Mercere pursuing legal proceedings against Vulcanus under the Code. Rather, he's talking about House Mercere being angry that someone took its precious magae from it, knowing full well what that would mean to the House. The consequences would not be within the apprentice rules of the Code. But House Mercere could retaliate in many other ways outside of the apprentice rules in the Code, starting at ceasing to deliver messages and ending at Wizard's War. (And for what it's worth, Lucas is not threatening to declare Wizard's War himself. That would be suicide. But he's fully of the belief that some magi in House Mercere might arrange that to happen for the "crime" of "stealing" Gifted twins from House Mercere. It might not even be a Mercere magus that declares the WW, and it might not be about the twins. But Mercere are master negotiators, and Vulcanus has not gone about making friends. So finding someone willing to declare WW for the right incentive might not be hard. I"m just saying ... Vulcanus probably just earned the Flaw Enemy: House Mercere.)

As a side note, it's a good question as to what happens when a maga decides to stop teaching an apprentice. Can she hand off the apprentice to another magus without interference? Does the Tribunal get involved, demanding a say? I really don't know. It's not something that I imagine happens a lot.

I was only pointing it out because Cornelius has never been fast and loose with the law. the way Lucas reacted was great!

The reasons that Vera knows what Lucas does not are simple. For one, it is something that someone in her family has actually done. She didn't understand the story as a little girl but she knows now and her curiosity led to further research. Second, and this is important, it is a Mercurian thing. Lucas is Mutantes. It is not something he can do nor his parens. It is actually quite uncommon. In fact, Most of those that can do it do not know they can? and most of those that know they can do not know others cannot. Plus there is a mere handful of Mercerian Mercere. So the information is rare. Vera only knows because her curiosity led her to investigate and the girl is a freaking genius.


Cornelius shakes his head. [color=brown]I am sorry Lucas but the Mercere have no legal ground to argue anything here. There is no special provision in the code for Mercere myths. True or not, the law has no opinion. Even if your own blood son was gifted, if you have not opened his Arts then any magus from any house can lawfully take him from you. I am sorry if this hurts your feelings, but the Law simply does not care about lineage. And I can find no fault in his training. I may not like his style, but from this conversation I come to understand that they are both as well educated as a newly gauntleted magus.
And I am taking Edith Andorra as my own apprentice. She has expressed a desire to end up a part of House Flambeau. You are right to say an apprentice does not get a choice. But I am a nice guy, see. And she is ready to start a fight about it. So apologies once again Lucas. But it is you that has no say in this.
As for the boys, the Law does not recognise mortal mundane parental bonds. The mothers have no more right to them than their father, and the father is a magus and they are not. And they have flat out stated they don't care. Let go of the myth of motherhood. It is a cultural trend, not an absolute. And besides, the boys are magic beings. Thus, by extension, to take them would deprive Vulcanus of his magical property and power. A crime I shall not allow. Two wrongs do not make a right. There is no way you can logically argue they are Mercere property. They were mundanes until recently, no one's assistant or apprentice, and were not even born until the mothers became apprentices.
So as outraged as you are, there is simply nothing you can do.
And none of this assists my investigations into Wadanzee or Vulcanus concerning piracy. Maybe I will question my new apprentice about it before turning her over to HOuse Flambeau.

So let us just go home and sort things out in a stable setting. My covenant or yours. I don't care.
Fleur, I am presuming that all we have to do is reverse course and go out the way we came in. What is your theory?

"Oh, I never said that Vulcanus violated the Code," Lucas replies. "He was careful about that. And as for discovering the twins, I'm more annoyed with my own House for falling down on the job than anything. But do remember, there is life beyond the Code. House Mercere won't be able to seek satisfaction within the Code for this horrendous wrongdoing - I won't call it a "crime" since that has particular meaning to you. But it is clearly a wrongdoing. Vulcanus knew what this violation of tradition would mean to House Mercere, and he must have known there would be consequences if it ever came to light."

"As to those consequences, there's much House Mercere can do outside of the Code. So long as we don't deprive Vulcanus of magic or scry on him or do anything else the Code forbids, the sky's the limit. And I'll be both surprised and shocked if House Mercere doesn't take some action against him. There's nothing in the Code that says Redcaps have to deliver messages to him, or that the Mercere bank has to trade vis with him, or any of the other tasks House Mercere does to keep life pleasant for magi. That's all tradition too - and we can see what Vulcanus thinks of tradition. There are hundreds of other ways to make Vulcanus' life difficult that the House can employ, all staying within the metes and bounds of the Code."

"But you're right. This is not the place to hash things out. Best we return home now."

OOC: You can't tell me that in this situation House Mercere would just say, "oopsie, my bad. Guess I'll have to do better next time." House Mercere would be incensed by this viotation of tradition and would retaliate in some way. (Sticking to the Code, of course. Never want to violate the Code.) At the very least I would expect them to blacklist Vulcanus. This represents a loss of almost 10% of our total magi. It should be A. Big. Deal.

"I would think we should start by reversing course. Felicia can see region boundaries, so if the way out is different she should know. We might want to say goodbye to our hosts first, I might want to come back here someday for additional research, if the way in becomes less problematic, and being polite to gods just seems like a wise idea."

"Yes, of course," Lucas says, regaining his composure. "By all means we should be polite in our departure."