Prelude of Brass: Plea of the Prince

The specters have slowly migrated from the village and now haunt the path between the town and the covenant keep. It is as if they are slowly winding their way towards us, half lost and wandering by bind instinct towards their goal. Prince Keshan has decided this is too inefficient, and has sent one of his officers to take command. Jabali, being of higher rank and might, is slightly more sentient and cognizant. He also speaks Classic Greek, Coptic, and Hebrew. He will be able to make himself understood to someone, and desires to speak with Solomon. He is in communion with Alexios the herals, who is in turn in communion with Prince Keshan.
This is everyone's opportunity to find out what needs to be done in order to save the world, and then you can thus plan accordingly..
Everyone should already be up to date through Winter 1234. You have the nest four seasons to prepare; Spring, Summer, & Fall of 1234, and Winter 1235. Then we embark Spring 1235.
Anyone not going is asked to spend a season or two contributing to the effort. Enchant or charge somethings. If is is a simple replica of a cannon spell as a lesser item, I will hand wave a lab text.
Those that are going are encouraged to invent items &/or spells that will be helpful, and share the lab texts of original ideas.
Vulcanus is going to create a device to get you safely across the desert. A device to make ships fly was originally hinted at, but Fedora informs us that this is not the case and her husband has found some ancient Lab Text of Daern that he says gave him a brilliant idea. I will surprise you later :smiley:
Carmen is in the process of trying to recruit a Hermetic Sahir to assist us.
Mallorca Magi: I will re-post the Sanctm rules, and will presume everyone has their quarter and lab set up in full by now. Actus may have met Pere by now (we can handwave or flashback that story), or he may still be an unknown yet has a set up anyway. For our labs, we have a balanced number of Virtues & Flaws as adjusted for Size. The aura cap is still low and there is no time for Refinement yet, but we must all take Regio as a boon/hook and have it as a Lab Virtue. All points are linked to Sa Dragonera, and their is a point on each of the islands. So everyone, readjust and post your quarters and labs to your character sheets, and you are up and running for Spring 1234.
Pere is asked to contribute any item or whatever that he can. Roberto will spend three lab seasons doing this, and asks the covenant if he can spend a season training under the sword master.
Vibria should probably spend a season organizing all of the fighters for the expedition for training as a group. This may take away one of Roberto's seasons :frowning:

It is up to Solomon to figure out exactly what we have to do, and propose a plan on how to best do it. The flying ship idea may be stupid. Maybe we can convince Vulcanus to invent a Tardis :mrgreen:
All we know is the specters need our help in returning the lid and rescuing their king. What does that entail? What will we need to do? What will we need to bring?
Think Logistics :wink:

Here are some initial thoughts, more wiil follow as I think of them.

  1. Solomon is not a fan of the flying ship idea. First, as has been at least hinted at, Solomon prefers to travel mundanely whenever possible, it's just a quirk of his. Second, a ship flying over the Sahara is a bit conspicuous and might alert the afrit's to our mission before we'd like them to know. Third, He was going to recommend Selim be our expedition guide (because I want Selim in the action). Selim has Ways of the Desert, Animal Handling (Camels), Animal Ken with specialty in Camels, and Survival (Desert) so he might be slightly competent 8) .

  2. Solomon is planning to spend 1, possibly 2, seasons studying the Coptic text he got from Sigmundo. With the book quality, his Book Learner and Linguist virtues, he's looking at 32.5 xp per season. So in one season he can go from 0 to 3, and in the second season up to a 4. I'd really like him to be at a 4 before the expedition.

  3. Depending on what else needs to be done, Solomon wants to spend two seasons installing a ReVi, Personal Ward vs. Magic Beings in his talisman. It'll take a minimum of two seasons since he first to needs to open more space in the talisman which takes a season, and then a season to add the effect. If there was more time, he'd want two seasons to add the effect to make it more potent, but we can't afford to take any longer (in his opinion).

  4. He'll recommend that someone (probably Vibria or Carmen) develop a ReIg Afrit ward for all of the magi to learn. It's much more efficient than ReVi since it won't require penetration (based on my understanding of House Rules), Solomon just isn't very strong in Ignem so ReVi is more efficient for him.

Arachné's goal is simple: By learning Wizard's Reach (Corpus) 40, she can increase her Leap of Homecoming spell to touch. This allows her to teleport anyone she touches to any location she has an AC to.
Also, by learning Intangible Tunnel 40, she can, at AC range, create a tunnel to someone and use the 2 spells above: She can, for exemple, reach to a grog over AC range and teleport him to her, or teleport a grog she touches to another grog's location (provided ACs, of course)

This allows her to teleport people in and out... At a cost, as each LoH will inflict 1 warping point. She'll thus refrain from doing this, keeping this for emergencies only. This is powerful, but not to be used lightly.

She could try and craft some item on her spare time, but 2 seasons on logistics is enough, and she promised some to Roberto anyway :smiley:

Vocis is willing to loan out his apprentice Mica for two seasons to assist with lab activities related to the City of Brass. I need to update her, but she'll add at least 7 to your lab score.

Robero has a ReIg(Aq) Lab Total of 31. As a charged item, he can make a balm that protects against sunburn & dehydration. ReIg(Aq30) Roberto's Sun Ointment; Base 4, +1 increase protection to +10, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +1 Requisite). He can crank out one charge the first season, then with a Lab Text he can make 7 more. Similar spell doesn't count because of the addition of a requisite and extended duration, but he does have Ward against Heat and Flames mastered and can cast it regularly upon people. But maybe with a few components he can get a +5 bonus, giving him 2+8 charges, protecting ten people for a month with +10 soak versus heat and +10 (I guess?) resistance to deprivation from dehydration.

Ooh, that would be awesome! Once I figure out whether he'll need 1 or 2 seasons of help, I will let you know.

Correction - Mica only adds 6 to lab scores, even after updating her to 1234. Sorry about that.

Hey, it's better than nothing. I'll figure out the math and see if that will help, otherwise she can help someone else out.

On that note, I am looking at Craft magic,on how you can craft spells as charged items, and looking at the spells you have. Arachne can crank out volumes of the sunblock lotion, sans moisture protection.
As for what Roberto might find useful, there is The Call to Slumber mainly. A sleeping spider :laughing:

I think I have a way to 'conceal' the flying ship, but it's messy and I'll need input from the troupe and permission from the council. Before I get into it, I want to mention that I tinkered with invisibility and disguise options (basically CrIm, MuIm, and PeIm) that didn't seem to work when I considered practical concepts like 'sailors need to be able to see their own ship'. I'm skipping all that and getting to the crazy option. :slight_smile:

The idea is to use the ReIm base 10 effect, 'make an object appear (to one sense) to be in Sight of its original position' and send the image of the ship straight up as far as a man standing on the ship can see. By using the Structure target, I think it effects the ship's contents and crew as well, and therefore the crew still sees the ship normally from their perspective. And since they're still in their original location, they can see outside the ship normally as well. Fixer, your thoughts on that one?

Now, starting with a base effect of 10 sends this effect level very high. I'm looking at Touch, Sun, and Structure, so the total level with one use per day is ReIm 45. Vocis's ReIm lab score is 60, and that's including Mica and Celeste. The only way he can do this is to make an item that only lasts seven years. He also has Waster of Vis, so this will cost 7 pawns of vis rather than 5. I assume Vulcanus will have an apopleptic fit over that ( :unamused: ), but Vocis will put it to the council anyway.

There is something essentil that got lost in the mix.

So I will bump this ahead. The magi (whomever desires to attend) may conference with Jabali, and through him Alexious then Prince Keshan. The situation as is explained, and the request of the prince, is as follows...

A mere few hundred years ago, the Caliph at Damascus commissioned an Emir named Musa to explore and locate the fabled City of Brass. This lead him to the heart of the Egyptian Sahara, to a palace of white marble. This was the ruins of the city of King Kush, whose tomb Musa discovered. He removed the lid, a tablet of Iron of China, said tablet down through the ages somehow winding up at Andorra covenant. This palace also marked the entrance way into the City of Brass. Once he got there, the place was seemingly deserted. Returning to Damascus, he gave the Caliph the treasures he discovered, which included a few brass bottles and the tablet of iron.
This is a super brief summary of the tale of the City of Brass as found in the classic 1,001 Arabian Nights.Magi have access to this tale only if you the players out there in TV land individually track down the book at your local lirary or something and read the story. The storyguide will offer estra credit to those who bother :smiley:
Then there is the hidden story.
For the most part, the jinn of the city hid from the eyes of the mortal adventurers, And Musa did not reveal the whole of the story. Or rather, he altered the truth somewhat. How and what really happened, the specters do not know. They were not there.
What they do know, however, is that the removal of the lid made their king vulnerable. It guarded his corpse from molestation by other spirits, and kept his ghost anchored and uncommandable by magic. Removing the lid broke the ward. The Malik of the 'Afrit who rules the City of Brass had his minions storm the palace and steal the corpse, allowing the malik to summon and command the kings ghost. King Kush is currently in bondage to the malik, a hostage to insure the compliance of the rest of the specters, guarding the entrance to the city of Brass (located in an Ignem Boundary of the Magic Realm), and allowing his minions free passage into the mundane realm to do his bidding.
Prince Keshan also has Visions, and he is convinced that the holders of the tablet are powerful sorcerers and can help him. He wants the magi to bring the lid to the palace, then rescue his father from the City of Brass and reseal him in his sarcophagus within the wards.
The prince does not know much about the theory of magic, but he can offer you this advice. The palace leads to a direct route to the city. Most of the jinn that live there are prisoners, bound into brass bottles by King Solomon. The towers of the City of Brass are vestiges of these bottles. The 'afrit cannot leave unless their bottle is opened or unless they strike a magical bargain. The malik knows sihr and can make bargains to command minions to do his bidding. King Kush originally had the duty of barring these 'afrit from the mundane world. The jinn of the city are mainly 'afrit and aligned with the magic realm. They are heathens, respecting the divine out of fear but shameless in their pagan habits. Other types of jinn dwell there too, a minority, and may or may not be bound the same way as the 'afrit. There is also a large underclass of mortals/semi-mortals. Jann and those with jann blood, human slaves, and powerful sorcerers. There are other types of magic beings there, also a minority. The 'afrit form the upper class and nobility.

Yes, although, since, IMO, this is potentially destabilising, I try to make items that are either convenient (travel), flavor (covenant defenses) or disappear (gifts to roberto). I also avoid to arm grogs, save to say "the covenant guards are armed with ~~~".
In short, logistics: yes, covenant description: yes, adventure firepower: avoid.

You know me :unamused:

IMO, this'd fly.
As you noticed, this is stricky, since our image would move with the spell. But to long as we can see each other, daily operations should be fine. This’ll be strange, though, since we’ll see from the vantage point, not from our real location. This is also what stops us from using base 4 

I shall try to think about it, but this looks hard

Thinking some more about this "hiding the ship" idea.

As you noticed, this is both tricky and difficult :frowning:
But there are other options.

We can use MuIm to make the ship appear like something else, like a cloud. Arguably, this could impede us like an invisibility spell... but we can use Target: Part so that only the species from the ship's underside are affected.
This'd be something like MuIm base 1, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 Part, +4 extra size = 25. Add uses per day and you're golden.

You can do a similar thing using CrIm, creating the illusion of a cloud under the ship.
CrIm base 1, +1 touch (I'm assuming we strap this on the ship's underbelly), +2 sun, +1 complexity (the illusions changes and shifts slightly, like a real cloud), +3 size (1000 base individual) = lvl 20.

We can try a similar trick to what I did with MuIm, destroying the species that go below us.
PeIm base 4, +1 touch, +2 sun, +1 part, +4 size, +1 changing image = lvl 45.

Both the MuIm and the PeIm option can be enchanted into the ship, saving one magnitude by making the effect Personnal.

Hope this helps.

In my opinion, these are not things you need to worry that much about. Maybe a little, I do like the cloud idea.
But most of the time we will be over the sea or over the sand, both have a low probability of there being anyone below to look up and spot us, and they probably would not be in much of a position to do anything about it if they did spot us.
Granted, flight is not necessary. Compared to sailing on the sea, it won't get us there much faster. Flight is just a good way to avoid pirates and bad weather. Over land, we can tough it up or use something like a teleporting tower.
But flying ships are cool, and it is technology we are familiar with (or rather, Roberto and his crew are used to it).
The main stealth issue is when we pull into port at Cairo. There is also a covenant in the desert that we can use as a way point. Pyramids II. That is where Roberto got the flying carpet from :smiley:

Why would the sailors' vantage point not be in the real location? Their species are moved, but species still reach their eyes normally, right?

I'm glad to see we think alike. :slight_smile: I actually considered all of these. The cloud ideas have two flaws - you mentioned impeding the sailor's sight, but we'd also have a cloud that was moving against the wind. Destroying species going in a specific direction is (per my understanding of HoH:S) either a miniature or a transparency, both of which only affect a narrow cone. I could use Part target and only make the bottom of the hull invisible, but the sails would still be seen. Ah well...

Create a real cloud. Have it shadow us from underneath.
But the question remains. Who and what are we trying to hide from? And why?

Hiding flying ships - protects from curious mundanes and their lords. Protects from quaesitors who think that disturbing the peasants counts as interfering with mundanes. Protects from rival magi without second sight or supernatural senses. Protects against the weaker kinds of magical creatures, but useless against faeries (many of whom can see right through illusions and disguises) and demons of the air (who live at the altitudes you may cruise at).

I will post some ideas on a Hermetic Sahir character to table talk tomorrow.

Yes. This is supposed to be a storythread. But I do suppose that, in the story, there would be a lot of shop talk.
So I should respond with Roberto's voice :wink:

Roberto rolls his eyes at the stranger in the room :unamused:

  • What are curious mundanes gonna do? We will be way up in the air. And we will mainly be flying over uninhabited wasteland.
  • The Quaesitors can go suck lemons if they think such a trivial display is any concern at all.
  • We are the Order of Hermes. There are no magi to rival us. And supposing there is a stupid and suicidal hedgie that wants to mess with us. Well, I really don't like killing people needlessly. So I suppose I would give them the opportunity to Join. Or Die. Choice is up to them. But this guy is not scared of any supposed rival wizards.
  • Weaker kinds of magical creatures? Why would we need protection from them if they are weaker? You are making no sense
  • As for faeries, the only *good faerie is a cha..., oh wait, that phrase became unpopular when my House went all PC and fluffy. But anyway, why would faeries and such be dwelling at such an altitude when there is no one up there to mess with or feed off of or corrupt?

Mind you, Roberto is my voice in character. Some of what he says is legit. It is a vast wasteland you will be travelling through/over, and contact with mundanes is highly unlikely. But the bits about rival wizards and monsters and faeries and such, these are indeed valid points. Roberto is Overconfident and Reckless and is unable to perceive things in terms of "threat" or "danger". Instead, he sees "challenge" and "opportunity".

And Darkwing is the Third Applicant I mentioned. He intends to play a Hermetic Sahir, the backstory will be that Carmen specifically sought him out and recruited him for the City of Brass expedition. I think silveroak was number two, and we lost the first guy already. And I think there was a fourth that wrote me a letter but I never heard from again.

(Welcome, Darkwing! :smiley:)

Arachné spend some time in her lab, poking at charts, drawing diagrams, sponting small spell, considering the problem Vocis talked her about. Then, she comes back to him

I am sorry, but I fear my conclusions are quite similar to yours. This'll be either difficult, or tricky. Yet, I agree that being able to hide such a ship would be important.
Now, I've seen some Quaesitores use a spell called... Aura of Inconsequence, if I recall correctly. We could maybe try something similar, but I'm not even sure that'd work :frowning:

When Roberto rants to Arnau when they are drinking some cold wine in the shadow of the keep, he replies as such.

Facing threats with raw firepower is something we can do, and me and my men are good at it as well as you and some of the other magi as well as the other fighters of Andorra. However, sometimes it is better to go undercover or pass unnoticed. This is a great strategy when approaching enemy territory. The fire brothers have taken more than one fortress by stealth. It tends to save on resources, time and inconvenient messy interaction with the locals. And it is good way to ensure that the place is good for your enjoyment afterwards. Speed is paramount to successful penetrations into hostile territory, and stealth facilitates this. it is also less tiring and leaves more time for the enjoyment of other life's pleasures, like wine, food and women! Being able to go in with shinning swords and being the best option available given our needs is not necessarily the same.

But you already know all that. Or would if you used the stuff between your ears. But well, we already know that you hardly ever do that! Luckily for you I am here to put some sense into that head of yours.

he grins, salutes with his cup and drinks.