OOC: Chapter 2b, Interlude (Winter 1220)

With the exception of Tabanus and Sinmore, and possibly Rhodri as well, everyone returns to the covenant with enough time to use the winter season without penalty. Attravere and Guillaume check out Leona's wood but don't find anything of note-- it's a faerie forest, looks like a faerie forest, smells like a faerie forest, walks like a faerie forest, so after a couple days of looking around they head back to the covenant. They do find Leona's laboratory but decide to leave it alone for now, as Erro is living there.

(As a note, in this saga, years start with winter and end at autumn, so "Winter 1220" is December 1219 - February 1220.) Please discuss your activities for the season here (chico, this is the season Aequi is learning spells from Lamentus). Any bookkeeping or loose ends y'all want to wrap up, this is the place to do it!

Sinmore will likely not be able to spend much time with improvements when she returns, even if getting a lab immediately, she'll likely have to spend the season acclimating to it or even building it. She'll make sure to study the charter and commission some extra, extra large yellow robes and wooden shoes (she'll just avoid those areas for now). If she does get a lab she'll set it up if possible.

Regarding the incident with Guillaum, she is not content to let it go, not without doing what she figures is the most she can do, which is talk to a senior member of Mercere and report his antics. Having said that, when she finds out this is a Mercere House, she might tone that down as well and merely try to find out if any other Magi had a past experience with him like she had. If he continues to do anything then she will go to the senior members of the Mercere to censure him if possible and if that doesn't work she'll petition a Quaesitor. There's just no easy way out, I never imagined a Redcap could back someone into a corner like this.

More information about the laboratory situation will be posted shortly.

Re: Guillaume-- yes, this is a Mercer House, and Attravere is the senior Mercere :slight_smile: The administrative head of the Mercer House is a retired Redcap named Parsifal, who listens to Sinmore's complaint, laughs heartily, thanks her for the tale, and offers her some tea. He clearly doesn't take her seriously :slight_smile: So when she tries to go to a Quaesitor...

...Sinmore becomes the first to discover what a dire state Stonehenge's quaesitorial situation is. She learns that Justinius Quaesitor Tremeris carried the brunt of the burden of quaesitorial duties in the tribunal, and now that he has disappeared, there is only one active quaesitor. Chief Quaesitor Iudicium is so very, very old that he never uses magic anymore and does not serve any duties to Guernicus besides presiding over the Tribunal. He has two filii, Fredegisa, who despite being a Guernicus is not a Quaesitor, and Trutina, who by nature of being the only working Quaesitor in the Tribunal, is so very overworked that there's a year-long waiting list to get an appointment with her for anything short of high crimes or other emergencies.

Some of you venture forth to collect from the covenant's Perdo source, Ambrosinus' Treasure. You arrive at a hill, and after use of a Muto Corpus to change your hair to blond and your eyes to blue, hear a bell ringing; following the sound to its source it is discovered that one part of the hill transports any blond-haired blue-eyed person within the hill. There are two chambers separated by a hall, and in each chamber is a dragon. The dragon's dung are each a pawn of Perdo. Each dragon poops once per season, so Gallus Florensis' magi collect 8 pawns of Perdo every year; however, there is no poop to be found this year.

Grumble, grumble So Attravere witnessed the whole thing, had to intervene before we came to blows, we'll have to see what his version of the incident was. And the Quaesitors are useless.

Sinmore will avoid Guillaum then.

On the plus side she LOVES the Creo focus on the aura and petitions the heads of the Covenant for what service she might offer as part of her consideration to join the Covenant once Spring arrives. Between all the talking and likely travelling Sinmore probably can't get her lab in order, unless you say it's ok.

Rhodri's pater, Cuprincus, gifts him with a size +2 laboratory with Superior Equipment, and moves it in for him with The Ambulatory Laboratory. Because the set-up of the lab is identical to the one Rhodri slaved away in during his apprenticeship, Rhodri will not need to spend any time refining this lab for his own use. If he wants to take over an existing lab, though, that will take time, and if he wishes to give this lab to another magus, they will have to spend time refining it before they can use it without penalty. He would still need to pick someplace for his sanctum before the lab can be moved to the covenant, though.

Inside the Mercer House, there is a size +2 laboratory with Superior Equipment, which Aequi has been squatting in at the sufferance of House Mercere (unbeknownst to any outside of House Mercere). Attravere, as resident Magus Merceris, has the right to claim this laboratory as his own sanctum, and should he wish to do so the lab will be stocked with Priceless Ingredients (and all upkeep for this laboratory is covered by House Mercere, as it is Mercer property and not a part of the covenant). However, if Attravere wishes to set up a sanctum elsewhere, he can do so without any negative repercussions from the House. (Your predecessor didn't live here, after all; with the exception of Aequi and another transient non-Mercere magus indebted to the House, this lab has been empty for almost a century. And yes, the Mercer House was here long before a covenant set up around it.)

There is a guest laboratory on the second floor of the tower (below the library). Currently it is being used by Lamentus' apprentice, Shmuel, but by nature of being an apprentice, he can be bumped by any full magus should someone want to make it their sanctum. It is a standard laboratory with the exception that it is size +1.

As reminders, Aislinn's laboratory, Justinius' laboratory, and Maribus' laboratory have been left abandoned and are up for grabs.
*Aislinn's laboratory is outfitted with Flawless Equipment and is specialised for Auram and Ignem, but it is protected by a giant fire elemental and an invisible spirit of some sort (probably an air elemental). V/F: Unknown. Greater Guardian for sure, though :slight_smile:
*Justinius' laboratory has not been seen by any but the couple themselves. His skill at Intellego was legendary, and he was known to be more than passing fair with Terram as well. He had been seen entering and leaving his laboratory by melding into the stone itself. V/F: Unknown, though he almost assuredly has Flawless Equipment as well, having been a glassworker of some renown.
*Maribus' laboratory is encased in a cube of translucent crystal, which lies at the bottom of the river. Attravere knows that it is mobile, and can be moved using an enchanted orb within it, but he does not know how to activate that effect. Maribus used the mobility of his laboratory to facilitate shipwrightery. The lab itself has Flawless Equipment and is stocked with Faerie Ingredients supplied by river nymphs, and includes a vis source-- a distillation apparatus that automatically extracts 1 pawn of Aquam per season from the river. Moving the lab out of the river would negate the vis distillation, and probably the faerie ingredients too. The orb also has the ability to drain water out of the lab, and keep it pumped with fresh air; in the interests of keeping his apprentice alive, Maribus DID teach Attravere how to activate that particular effect. V/F: Natural Environment, Underwater, Mobile, Flawless Equipment, Faerie Ingredients.

Little William offers to go check on Erro at Leona's laboratory, only to discover that the beast-magus seems to have moved on; thus, Leona's lab is up for grabs as well, though there are complications. The faerie forest exudes a Mentem effect causing travellers to get lost-- William informs the council that guests in good standing with the local faerie court are immune to the effects. Additionally the lab itself is under the effects of The Shrouded Glen with 26 points of penetration. Guillaume is immune to it, and it cannot penetrate Attravere or Rhodri's parmae, however, the lab is specialised for Herbam, Animal, and Corpus, AND is protected by three giant animated trees, a talking bear, and a talking gyrfalcon... and that's on top of the horde of faerie polecats who live here. V/F: Natural Environment, Living Quarters, Dedicated "Building," Faerie Ingredients, Flawless Equipment, Greater Horde (faerie polecats), Shrouded, Greater Focus: Statue (Corpus).

One morning in January, as Rhodri is walking to the dining hall for lunch, he notices the lighthouse glinting, in the corner of his eye. As he turns to look at it and concentrates, his faerie eyes discern that the fifth floor of the lighthouse is actually panelled in glass, with the illusion of stone hiding it. He can tell that it is a masterful illusion, and he was very lucky indeed to have seen through it at all. (He got a Second Sight roll every day and it took until the 47th before he got a high enough stress roll :stuck_out_tongue: Hence, mid-January!)

Heh heh... I can see it already. Attravere comes home after a long, fruitless night searching the forest and crashes in his bed. The next morning when he wakes up there's this strange magus NOT in yellow robes puttering around the kitchen, gathering some oats. Instead of making oatmeal or pancakes, however, he waves and says, "Oh, hey Attravere! Good morning to you! Be right back, gotta feed Geoffries before he eats more vis again." and woosh! Out the door he goes.

Without trying to seem too boorish, Sinmore will take the Guest lab that is size +1, but will defer to any other magus's claim on it that seems to have been at the Covenant longer than her. She'll politely ask the apprentice to leave while batting her eyes (one of her other Personality Traits is flirtatious, she's not always angry! And she hates when people think that!).

Rhodri and Guillaume do spar with blunted weapons, and throughout the course of the sparring match, Rhodri doesn't manage to touch William once. Guillaume grins like a mischievous schoolboy throughout the entire match and never breaks a sweat, even though Rhodri is exhausted by the time they're done.

Later, Rhodri spies Guillaume sparring against all five Tremere soldates at once. The Norman knight does break a sweat as he holds off the five trained soldiers, who manage to score quite a few hits on him. Guillaume definitely makes more hits than he takes, however, despite the evident skill and coordination of the soldates. The match draws quite a few spectators, and afterwards, one of the Tremere soldiers comes up to Rhodri and introduces himself as Alpha. He asks whether he can commission the Verditius to repair their armour and weapons (about a day's work) in exchange for five silver coins (generous, but not exhorbitant). It is then that Rhodri notices that they were all using live weapons for their sparring match.

Oh, Sinmore is just making friends left and right :slight_smile: Shmuel glares daggers at her at every meal, and makes a point to correct all of her Latin errors and some inconsistencies in Magic Theory during Hermetic discussions (there's nothing more obnoxious than a precocious eleven-year-old with a +5 Int, 6 in Latin, and more Magic Theory than most Bonisagi). And just when Sinmore looks like she's about to blow her top, Shmuel makes some comment about how his pater is one of the oldest and most powerful in the Tribunal: "He was alive in William the Conqueror's day. He's oldest second only to Iudicium...maybe. I think. Actually... how old IS Iudicium??? Does anyone actually know?"

She can't make claim to it until after she's signed the charter, though.

She's fine with that, actually she finds the little scamp rather cute with his pretensions. Rather than get angry, she'll turn on the charm. A precocious little snot like him probably has not had much experience with the ladies, and even though Sinmore is gigantic, she's also very pretty and can be charming when she wants to. She makes sure to play up how impressed she is by his Latin and knowledge of Magic Theory and play to his no doubt oversized ego.

Sinmore could always use someone who wants to do her homework for her. :wink:

Wow! Rhodri's got an effective score of 12 in Single Weapon plus Characteristics plus practice swords stats with these. Guillaume is really good. Did Rhodri get touched many times?

"Thank you for the match, Sir Guillaume. You do indeed live up to your reputation. I would be delighted to train with you in the future." How good is Guillaume's sword (not the practice one)? Rhodri has still been making weapons, but with no more Elysante Rhodri he figure's he may try to work with Sir Guillaume. Rhodri would like to make a gift of respect to Sir Guillaume, and having an example of his work that could be displayed by a Redcap could also suit his purposes well. ((I already made rolls for a bunch of swords and sent them to you a while ago. I'll do more soon, as I work on the season.))

"It would be my pleasure." Rhodri will also take the chance to display some of his finer pieces in case the Tremere may be interested in hiring him later.

Rhodri will be quite happy with this lab. He doesn't need a lab this season, though he will need one soon.

Both adventures were in the same season, right? So if we're taking adventure experience we add the two?

Rhodri will ask about its construction if any of the magi who have been here in the past are present at a meal. Otherwise he'll bide his time and ask them later.

Sinmore spent the XP on Speak French, since she most likely used that with Geirlaug and others at the Baron's castle.

Oh, I forgot your Faerie Sympathy! :confused: In that case... he does break a sweat, and you manage two touches on him, as opposed to the eight touches he scores on you.

Throughout the course of the match, Rhodri can tell that Guillaume definitely has more skill with a blade than anyone else he's ever seen-- but on top of that, he moves with an unparalleled, uncanny grace, is strong as an ox, and is absolutely tireless. Almost as though he's been a Redcap for half a century, and the Cult of Heroes has boosted all his physical stats up to +5. Huh, go figure :stuck_out_tongue:

Rhodri finds Guillaume to be quite the gracious winner. He carries with him a small arsenal: a longsword, a warhammer, a hand axe, a longspear, and a poleaxe, all of which he allows you to inspect. The hand axe and longspear are as good of quality as one can expect from mundane craftsmanship. The longsword and the poleaxe are Items of Quality, beyond a doubt. On closer inspection, Rhodri can determine the crafters of each. Without even checking the maker's mark, Rhodri recognizes the poleaxe as the work of his pater, Cuprincus. The longsword... you blink in surprise. It is seemingly plain, being unadorned by gems or other finery that usually grace a knight's favoured weapon. Despite its plainness, however, to Rhodri's experienced eye, the weapon is unparalleled in beauty for the sheer perfection of its design and craftsmanship. The steel itself is no alloy you've ever seen-- dull grey, with silver flecks barely visible on close inspection, within the ripples of the folding process. The balance is perfect, making the heavy sword seem almost weightless, but through sheer ingenuity of engineering, not by arcane means. Something of this quality could only be made by one man's hands, and as you turn over to view the maker's mark you are certain you know what you'll see before the etchings confirm your suspicions: this sword was made by none other than Verditius the Founder.

Alpha is thoroughly impressed, and offers to recommend you for a contract of patronage from House Tremere.

This works like a charm. He's not interested in her flirtations (he's only eleven, after all) but when you show you're impressed with his intellect, he becomes an entirely different person. Samuel, as he asks you to call him (your Hebrew pronunciation is atrocious), is quite full of himself, though, rightfully so. The kid is brilliant, and due to his pater's madness, he has spent most of his apprenticeship devouring the covenant's most excellent library. He is an absolute gem, and one of the Tribunal's two Bonisagi claimed him as his own, until Shmuel's self-importance and sarcastic tongue got him dropped right back off at Lamentus' doorstep :stuck_out_tongue: The kid is brilliant but has had no real focus to his studies due to Lamentus' long Twilight spells. He has been mostly ignored by his family and no one seems to notice him, so once you show him a little bit of attention he proves to be surprisingly sweet and thoughtful. You also discover that he is an absolute trove of covenant gossip.

You get the adventure experience regardless. Maybe I've interpreted wrong, but I've always assumed the entry for Adventure Experience is only if you spend the whole season doing adventures. Adventure rewards I give you are on top of your seasonal activites.

Lamentus is present, and is happy to tell you about the tower. "The lighthouse! A light house, yet equally a dark house. Do you see? Only half, of course. Justinius begins his ritual after lunch, and then forsakes to renew his parma at sunset! That is how his hair turns purple, you know. Of course I had nothing to do with it, that would be wrong! But if I did I would certainly not tell you about it, oh no! When he finishes his ritual just before dawn he will come to find me, and I shall tell him that yes, it looks wonderful, though I suspect he will be referring to the tower, not his hair. The eyes of an inquisitor see the world in black and white. What colour is the sky in your world, young Naog?"