Vibria lays back with her hands behind her head and her feet in Jaksic's lap, eyes half-closed. She wriggles her toes as he rubs her feet, and makes soft, almost indescribable sounds of delight...something part purr, part growl.
[color=red]"Definitely a keeper," she murmurs softly to herself.
It's not long before her eyes close the rest of the way and she drifts off to sleep.
So you fortify and bunker down. The town is quite cooperative, grateful as they are for being saved from giants. Things are quiet and secure for the next week or so. Then one day a messenger arrives. A Redcap dressed in black. He is to take the two trainees with him, plus he carries communication from Coeris.
Vibria has been given a battlefield promotion
She recieves a letter granting her official status during her stay in Transylvania, a member of Domonstron with the status & privileges of the Socii ("allies"), currently stationed at an Opppidia of Kedzo Valasz. She may wear designs that look like decorations of Grass and Myrtle.
Grass because she saved magi (an apprentice and two Redcaps).
Myrtle because she has been ppromoted to field general.
Vibria's presence is requested at Coeris asap. Sigmundo and Poena have worked out a plan that will end the dragon war quickly. It will be up to Vibria to choose and command a team to execute this plan.
Vibria is rather confused, to say the least. She doesn't mind so much the battlefield promotion (although she does wonder where her medal is, and if it means she'll be getting paid more. [color=red]Wait a minute...if they can give me a promotion, they should be paying me!)
When she's done reading the letter again, she looks at Jaksic. [color=red]"Looks like we've got more travelling ahead of us."
She then goes to the magi of Kedzo Valasz. [color=red]"It seems my immediate presence is requested at Coeris. What's the quickest way to get there?"
The two other magi look it over for you. The Tremere shrugs his shoulders and goes looking through his stuff to see what he has to help you. The Flambeau takes you aside and expains what it all means.
[color=red]You were given a status, an award, and a promotion. Covenants in Transylvania are hard to explain. It is actually a social status. We then form Camps, an Oppidium, members of which come from different "covenants".
Whatever. I'm from Normandy originally, It still seems strange to me.
My associate and I are "Cives", citizens of the Tribunal and members of Coeris. Our Oppidium is Kedzo Valazs. I just call it KV.
When we met you, we had just lost our commanding officer. You were given command of a refugee expedition by Octavian. So when our expeditions met, your chain of command being intact and ours broken, protocol is to hand command over to you. We communicated this to HQ and the letter confirms the decision. You vere made Socii, an Ally of the Tribunal and a member of our camp.
Then comes the battlefield promotion.
There is a bundle of other letters, many of them for you. News we are getting is that there have been heavy casualties and severe collateral damage.
Anyway, you have been promoted from Commander to General.
I need you to let that sink in.
We will get you to Coeris, the Oppidium Coeris. Confusion again, I know. There is a book that explains it somewhere around here.
[color=red]"I see," Vibria says, even though she doesn't. Not really. Sure, she has the gist of it. She's a General now...and as much trouble she has getting people to take her seriously (aside from her being a maga and them...not), she's not sure how that's going to fly.
But it's another obstacle to overcome, another mountain to climb, another inferno to pass through unsinged. She's dealt with worse, and once the initial "Wtf am I doing?" wears off, she nods to herself, takes the letters, and goes back to her quarters to go over them to see just how much merda she's in.
At some point, she's going to go up to Jaksic and give him a big tight hug for a while. No particular reason, just because she appreciates his being there.
It slowly sinks in that you are a victim of circumstance. Having not yet met you face to face, the powers that be have yet to judge you unfairly. That will come later when they whisper it is because of your grafather getting cozy with Poena (Prima of Tremere). Which is sort of true.
Heavy casualties. Shortage of officers. Promote to fill ranks as needed. Battlefield Gauntlets at discretion.
Royal city of Veszprem in Hungary utterly detroyed. More than a dozen magi slain. King survives.
Oppidium of Laniena repells attack, suffering heavy casualties.
Scholomance taken by Stormriders, but are apparently trapped in regio. Students and staff safely evacuated.
The Antares of Archmagi stated he is sending advisors to Transylvania with instructions to keep the conflict contained.
All regional strategic reserves open. Priotity code Gamma.
Then you read over your orders again. Closer this time. From Coeris HQ
Orders for General Vibria Flambeau
General Exadaur Tremere is on his way to fortify your position. Unite your forces under his command, then detatch a squad of your choosing and report to Coeris for special orders. Priority code Alpha.
-- General Sigmund Miscellanea
Vibria reads the letters carefully, trying to take everything in. When she reads the letter about the destruction of Veszprem, she will ask the magi where that is, and what (if anything) they know about the situation there. Particularly, whether this is solely a result of the sudden dragon wars or if the dragons had just taken advantage of something that had been building for a while
She also asks where Laniena is, and whether we can expect whoever attacked Laniena to turn their attention here.
She raises her brows in surprise when she sees that Pietro (who, near as I can tell, is the current Antares) is getting involved in the situation, even if indirectly, and she finds herself hoping that she's up to the task ahead of her.
She redoubles her efforts to get her troops (or keep them) in shape and ready to transition them to Exadaur when he arrives, and decides who to take with her to Coeris. Definitely Jaksic. The survivors of the squad that came with her from Scholomance. And three others, to make it an even six mortals, and seven including the Dragon-born.
You know it is a major city and that History has forever been changed. There was also a major university there, a fabulous academic library turned to ash.
Jaksic knocks on your tent post.
[color=green]Hey, there are a bunch of wizards out here to see you.
It is not whom you expect.
Aeorix Minore of Tremere, about your age, is leading a force of a half dozen young magi. All are younger than you and each is injured or damaged in some way. They are the remnants of three different units that have broken and been rallied by Aeorix. He has come to unite his forces with yours and hand over command.
Vibria returns the salute. [color=red]"Sodales. It's a pleasure to meet you. I only wish we could have met under better circumstances."
She invites them into her tent and offers them some wine while they talk. [color=red]"I miss Lucia sometimes," she mutters when she realizes she doesn't have a maid or servant to pour the wine for her, so does so herself.
[color=red]"Let us introduce ourselves, so that I may get a better idea of our strengths and weaknesses. I'll begin.
"I am Vibria Filia Fulminara Flambonis Nascor Draconem, a peregrinatrix late of the Covenant of Andorra. I am dragon-blood, by virtue of my grandfather, and a student of the School of the Founder. I don't like cold."
Minor point. Ereginator is the Rhine term. Iberia calls a homeless magus "Vagabundo", a vagabond. But that is something I made up. In Provencal there is no special term for anything outside of what is described in the core RAW.
Aeorix explains that [color=blue]"In Transyvania, every magus is assigned a covenant. You, General Vibria, are a member of Domostron now. Age 36 of our handbook here, "Against the Dark".
As for myself, I am Aeorix filius Aeorix, magus of five years and a Cive of Coeris. My Oppidium is Lycanedon, where I was also raised. I also studied several years at Scholomance. My four strongest Arts are Creo, Perdo, Animal, and Herbam. I am also a Nyktophalanx. My Parma Magisa, and Sun Duration spells, run between Noon and Midnight.
The forces I brought with me, I am their leader by default. This war came on sudden and strong. Many were caught underprepared. But not unprepared, thank fate. This tribunal owes a debt to the magus that brought word to Scholomance and had them evacuated.
Vibria inclines her head. [color=red]"Point taken. I'm still getting used to how things are done here as opposed to farther west."
Vibria smiles. [color=red]"I'll be sure to convey your gratitude when I see him in a few days. Until then...do you happen to know when Exadaur is to arrive? I would like to work with my men and drill with them until he gets here."
[color=blue]I an not sure about Exadaur, but I presume in a day or two. I hear he has numerous mundane soldiers so that could slow him down.
Then you hear commotion outside.
[color=blue]Or maybe not...
General Exadaur of Tremere has arrived with his forces aboard a flying ship.
Vibria takes a moment to ooh and aah at the flying boat as it pulls in, then starts barking orders at her men. [color=red]"Everybody fall in! Those who are going with me to Coeris, behind me to my right! Everyone else who is joining with General Exadaur, to my left!"
She then takes her place at the head of the formation, standing at attention, head and shoulders back, chest (way) out, and waits eagerly for the general to disembark.
Exadaur has arrived with five other magi and two dozen soldiers. Alltogether, your combined forces (including you) consist of 15 magi and 45 soldiers. Exadaur plans to use this fortress as a staging area to recapture Scholomance from the Stormriders. But he feels he need more numbers.
Vibria is to take a third of this forces to Coeris for her yet to be revealed secret mission. Four other magi and fifteen soldiers. Exadaur will let you use his magic ship and lends you his captain, with the hopes that the ship will pick up reinforcements when they drop you off.
Vibria will select the magi on the basis of which ones she knows and which ones she feels would be a good mesh in combat. Since PB doesn't know enough about them to make an educated decision, I will roll thusly:
To the grogs who stay behind: [color=red]"Gentlemen...and lady. It's been a pleasure serving with you. If the grogs I work with in the future show even half of the skill and honour and bravery that you all have, I can rest easily knowing that my fate is in good hands. Thank you all."
To the magi staying behind, a quick hug and a [color=red]"Thank you and good luck."
Once they're skyward on the flying ship, she will stay close to Jaksic, keeping a worried eye on him. [color=red]"Are you going to be okay?" she asks, remembering how well he handled flying on Sigmundo. If he looks like he's not feeling well, she will ask if he wants to lie down for a bit and take him below decks where he can find a hammock or something, and she will sit up with him talking for a while.
Jaksic is okay. There is a vast difference between riding a stable vessel and clining to the back of a dragon without harness. Though he does avoid looking over the railing
We are at the end of this Act. Replenish Confidence, gain 15xp, and 4 points of Fortune. I will start a thread for Part II tonight.