I will ask the redacaps if they have some maps showing the ways to the North Sea and or Denmark. Travel reposrts would be usable for Torros too. If possible I would like to read and copy them. Furthermore I ask my sodales for advice where by a rowboat and hire someone to oar us Rhine downwards.
The redcap in charge of the way station explain that he doesn't keep the reports here, but rather sends them on to the Mercer House in Fengheld. There are regular travel advisory notes dissiminated to the various way stations, which he shares with you. Hiring transportation down the Rhine will not be a problem for a Gentle-Gifted magus such as yourself (hand-waving here). Where is it that you wanted to travel to, he asks? He can certainly points to the better ways to get to various places, depending on what your needs are.
Torros will explain his plan to the redcap:” Well first of all I feel the wish to visit Durrenmar. That should be a must for each traveling member of the order. Afterwards I like to travel the Rhine downwards and visit some of the bigger cites. Here I would be happy if you have some recommendations what´s worth to see. For sure cologne should be worth to stop for some time. My final target for this year would be the monastery Verstervig in Denmark. Here I´m not so sure how to get there. Do you think I should ask at Waddenzee to sail me over?”
After some pausing:
”Please allow my servant Franz to copy your travel advisory notes. In the meantime I like to visit some places to relax in the city. Do you have some advice for me?”
OCC: I know that this plan sounds naïve. Torros just started to make his first experiences with long term travel. Regarding this, he is naïve!
"Well, if you want to go to Durenbmar, you should probably go down the Rhine to Strassburg then take the Black Forest Road. That would allow you to cross the Black Forest in about two days and saves you from having to travel around the forest to reach Durenmar." He looks at you, as if pondering something. "Of course, the Road isn't travelled much by mundanes, as many fear the forest's faeries. How do you feel about them?"
"But the alternative would be to travel down further on the Rhine, past Speyer, then move up the Neckar until you reach Tübingen, before going into the forest to reach Durenmar. That might take you three weeks or more, while taking the Forest Road would limit that to less than a week. And I hear magi don't like to waste time."
“Hm..Forrest Faeries! I have no Idea how annoying or dangerous they could be. If my knowledge about these faeries would be a bit better I would know what the risks are. Also Herbam is not my best art.
Even from Tubingen I have to cross the forest. Is this part of the Black Forrest less dangerous?”
After some discussions Torros will decide to play save and take the longer way. He is not in a hurry.
"Well, it is more a matter of distance. From Tübingen it is only a few hours to Durenmar, so you don't have to spend the night in the forest. That is when it is most risky, though sleeping near the old Roman milestones is safer. They still hold some magic that keeps the faeries at bay."
When Torros informs him that he'll take the longer way, the redcap shrugs. "Then it is relatively easy. You simply need to take a boat down until you reach the city of Worms, then hitch a ride on a boat moving up the Neckar towards Tübingen. Then it's half a day's walking towards Durenmar." He gives you some indications on how to find Durenmar from Tübingen. "Make sure you travel the forest by daylight, if you want to avoid drawing attention from the forest faeries. They don't like the magi much in that area, nor those who serve them."
While Franz is coping the travel advisory notes Torros and Hans will visit the docks. Torros tries to hire someone with a boat to bring him and his grogs to Tübingen or at least to Worms. He tries to bargain and will ask around to get an Idea what price is ok.
He is able to arrange passage to Worms without difficulty. No luck with boats going to Tübingen from here. Cost is reasonable. Boat departs the next day.
Torros will make sure Franz finishes the copies. If necessary he will copy some of the notes by himself.
He informs the redacps about his departure.
Travelling down the Rhine river to Worms happens without anything special happening. You arrive in Worms three days later. What do you do?
After they luggage is unloaded he will pay out the boatmen:
“Take your money and my cordial thanks for the save journey. Do you know some colleagues who might give us a lift up the Neckar?”
Torros will send out Franz to find an Inn to stay for the night and organize the transport of our belongings.
Hans and Torros will stay with the luggage until Franz comes back.
They will use the time at the river bank to chat with the people around and get the latest news.
Franz returns within the hour, having arranged for temporary lodging. Meanwhile, the boatman points you to another area of the docks where boats travelling up and down the Neckar often tie up at. You are soon able to arrange the next leg of your journey towards Durenmar. That boat departs the next morning.
Chatting up with the boatmen reveals that many of them are worried about the rising number of toll points downstream along the Rhine. Seems like there is number of castles that were built in recent years, with more being under construction. Every small "baron", as the owners of the castles call themselves, seem to think that they can simply demand money from boats travelling through their area. This is causing the cost of trading to go up, meaning more and more merchants are trying to move their wares by land instead of using boats.
We arrange to be ready for the next morning. If there is an tavern Torros will go there with Hans while Franz is staying with the luggage.
Nothing special happens on the way to Durenmar. The trip is long and fairly boring, but the instructions you received from the redcaps are detailed enough that you don't have any problem getting there.
The first sight that greets you when you enter the steep-sided valley nestled into the Black Forest is a mill topped with a small guard tower, located along the small stream that you've been following. There you are greeted by a quartet of grogs who seem to operate the mill in addition to standing guard. Once you introduce yourself as a magus, they ring a bell and ask you to wait. The older grog is hunchbacked, but the other three also show signs of physical difformities that you have been told are common for mundanes living in a strong magical aura.
After a wait of almost an hour, a wrinkled woman arrives, walking at a brisk pace. Approaching you, she place her hand before her forehead before extending them out as she bows to you. "Greeting, magus. What can I do for you?"
An hour of waiting is enough time to consider the actual circumstances of his arrival. And suddenly he recognizes that he had not announced his arrival. He feels very unhappy about his misconduct.
He tries to find a reasonable excuse to sudden show up. Before he finds a satisfying excuse an old woman arrives to greet Torros.
Without having a planned story at hand he decides to improvise:
“Greetings to you and all members your famous covenant. I´m Torros of the house Jerbiton” He bows in salutation.
First of all I have to apologize to the inconvenience my unannounced arrival causes. I was afraid my enemies get aware of my route so I decided not to announce my arrival. I´m here to visit the grate library and the towers and the forum and the tribunal field.
We will only stay a few days before we back on our track trough the Rhine Tribunal.”
He feels a bit clumsy but thinks by himself: “Ok this was not really sophisticated, but you will not be the first young magus who stumbles into this situation. Let´s hope for the best”
He tries to smile charmingly at the old women. What will look more or less like a sheepishly grin.
(OOC: Stumble into? You actually travelled three weeks to reach Durenmar. And just as you show up at their doorstep unnannounced, you invent a bogus story to explain why you didn't contact them in advance. So much for planning your trip before leaving Valnastium...)
The wrinkled woman seems a bit taken aback by your story. "My, my! Enemies, you say? I guess we should bring you to our Lord Protector, then!" She gestures to one of the grogs, "Nidung! Come, boy! Bring this magus to Master Philippus! Quick! Danger looms upon him!"
Thinking: “To plan something just means to substitute fortune by an error. This applies to travel planning as well as to excuses.”
Planning: Torros plan is to mimic a young magus with a slight tendency to paranoia.
In case it comes to a conversation with Master Philippus Torros will place statements within the conversation like: “….Abel is following me! I don´t have a proof, but I can feel it…You know what I mean, don´t you?..... I´m sure he will arrive soon, and then he will punish me for the stroke I gave him….. I know it was not right to strike him….”
Thinking: “Sometimes you start to move in the wrong direction, and even if you get aware of it after the first step, you are not able to leave this path.”
He will not lie! But he will leave out some parts of the true story. Especially the part he doesn´t thought about to announce his arrival.
Nidung approaches with a limp, answering the old woman in crude Latin. "Yes, Sula, I lead to master Philippus." Turning to Torros, he gestures him to follow, "Come, sir magus, this way to master Philippus tower."
(Do you follow Nidung to see Philippus? Even in Valnastium, you've heard about the Archmagus Philippus Niger of House Flambeau, the Protector of Durenmar. He is said to be a master of Perdo magic and someone you don't want to mess with.)
Addressing Sula and Nidung: "I think there is no need to waste the precious time of Master Philippus. Here in Durrenmar I feel save. The only reason I mentioned my enemies is to excuse my arrival without informing you in advance. But I don´t know your regularly procedure welcoming journeyman. If the famous Archmagus Philippus wants to see me I´m happy to introduce myself."
OCC: On one hand Torros sees an opportunity to mention the name of his enemy to one of the most famous Magus in the Rhine tribunal. And maybe ask Philippus how to deal with that. On the other hand he feels this is a few numbers to big for him.
And for sure he don’t want to upset the Archmagus.
"Well," Salu says, "if you have enemies that are chasing you, you should certainly see master Philippus. Were they close? What are they? Some sort of faeries?" The old woman asks curiously.