(We will be splitting the Presentiments thread because it is too hard for people to find their own character posts. Please do read each other's though.)
If you were forced to choose, you'd say that you became aware of the covenant, and your desire to travel there, after hearing about it from a redcap. Your first distinct memory of the covenant, though, is of a strange conversation you had, the following day. You were at a pilgrim's stop, and you were eating some of the bread that the church in that area provided for pilgrims, when a woman passed you a bowl of pea porridge and sat down opposite you. She was dark, you recall, perhaps an Arab, and was in her forties you'd guess, although quite handsome despite her age. She had a red velvet shawl over her shoulders.
"I have seen many travelers, and heard many of their stories, and I would like to hear yours. I presume, like most people here, that you are going a very long way, and for a very good reason, but what, do you think, you will find at the end of your road?"
Pandolfo greeted the woman courteously as he took the bowl. "The blessings of our Lady be upon you, madam." He took in her odd dress, dusky complexion, and forward manner, wondering perhaps if she was a Pulani noblewoman?
"At the end of the road, my Lady?", Pandolfo mused. "The end of one road is the beginning of another. I do not travel to find an end." Here he pauses, while slowly chewing a mouthfull of porridge. "Nor I think, to find a beginning, lest it be to find Him from who all things begin."
Leaning back against a tree, Pandolfo removes his hat, brushing his hand along the collection of pilgrim's badges that adorn the brim. "Nay, my Lady, I do not travel to find, but to seek, for in seeking Him we find his works." At this, Pandolfo frowns, thinking. "But his works cannot be his ends, for his works can be known, and He, in His works, is unknowable."
Pandolfo nods with satisfaction. "Thus it must be that I do not travel to find some end, or to seek a beginning, but to know that I do not know by knowing what can be known about Him who cannot be known."
"Let me place then a puzzle before you. If He is unknowable, is his will knowable? If his will is knowable, and thus some things are right and others wrong, how can you wander, rather than doing the right thing?"
Pandolfo nods, considering. "Ah, but how can one know that which is right without knowing that which is wrong? To wander from the right is to wonder what His will might be, in granting will to us, who must wander, being not Him, though made in his image."
Finishing his porridge, Pandolfo places the bowl between them with a nod of thanks. "In wandering, too, we find wonders, in the works wrought by His will. It is wonderfull that in being willfull, and wandering, we can ponder why He, in willing us ti be able to wander, gave us the wonder of returning to Him, for it is known that He wills that those who wander be belcomed when they return."
Pandolfo gives a contented sigh, and continues. "It seems that the greatest wonder is his will, for though we can know the right, and His will, He has willed us with the wiles to wander. His works are mysterious, and in mystery, wonderfull."
"Let me offer you a wonder then, magus. I foresee that in your lifetime, a great change will come upon the way men live. Great acts of heroism will be necessary, because great acts of depravity will occur. I see a place for you in this, observing or acting as you will, but to participate, or simply watch, you will need to travel to the far north. I realise that you have no call to trust what I have to say is true. Let me give you a...token. I am about to leave this place, and when I am gone, four men will enter and they will try to kill you. They will do this because I have told them that you know one of their secrets: and it is a secret that you will dearly wish to know, once you have ascertained it. Once you are done, you will see me again, and we will talk further."
Pandolfo raises a quizzical eyebrow at the departing woman. "Secretive men who kill to protect their secret from one who would want to know it, if he knew what it was? But what is a secret, save a thing known only to a few?"
Pandolfo grasps his staff, and struggles to his feet. "You do me no service, Lady," he grunts. "If I am to be killed for knowing a thing that is secret, then it is best I know it. In knowing it, I may make it known to others. It then will not be secret, and I may not be killed for knowing, for what I know will be known, for hence, what I know is no secret."
Pandolfo readies himself, and watches for the men the woman in the red shawl warned him against.
It's the local toll collectors. They are men who take a toll on a pilgrim bridge. There are three of them, and they come in and yell "Stop there!" "Thief!" and "Murderer!"" and they sraw their weapons and start to shove through the rapidly thinning crowd toward you.
[The men are fit, but not in the perfect condition expected of elite soldiers. The have swords and light armor, over which they wear clothes that display the device of the local bishop. One is older than the others, and their leader. He is further forward.]
Pandolfo sighs as the toll collectors approach. Drawing himself up, he assumes a dramatic pose, and casts Scent of Peacefull Slumber.
This, of course, results in a potential botch, but Pandolfo is ok. I assume that with cautious sorcerer, I should be rolling no more than 1 botch die. Unless Pandolfo is in a HUGE dominion aura, the spell should go off, but he loses a fatigue level. Once the crowd are asleep, he will try to identify the leader of the group, and cast Aura of Rightfull Authority and Posing the Silent Question on him. The latter, of course, produces a SECOND botch check, which he passes safely. Both spells go off, but Pandolfo is down a second fatigue level.
Once the spells are in place, Pandolfo will awaken the leader, and demand an explanation for his ridiculous behaviour. He will want to know what the tollkeeper thinks he's up to, how dare he attempt to assault Pandolfo, demand why he did it, and generally scold him while finding out what it is that the tollkeepers think Pandolfo knows.
You got that last bit out of him using Posing the Silent Question...are you casting a spell again? Also, if you didn't tie the man up, then he's going to try and attack you again. (I'm not one of those GMs who do the "But you didn't -say- thing, because tying him up is obvious, but if you don't think your character would have, please fess up.)
I believe that Aura of Rightful Authority won't stop a man who thinks you know that he has committed a crime punishable by death, and has decided that given everyone in the room is asleep the best way of dealing with you is to kill you to guarantee your silence, from trying to kill you.
It makes him act as if you were his superior: this man would, in this situation, kill his superior because he has nothing to lose.
So, no, I don't think that Aura of Rightful Authority will protect you here. However, this conversation is OCC, so it's not like you've tried this and failed in game. You still have time for an unhurried combat round as he grabs his weapon and comes for you.
Pandolfo's spell flings him forcibly into a nearby table. His attacker seizes this opportunity, and strikes at him with an overhand swing. [Rolls 1] invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1354282 for a total of 4, +10 for his Ability, weapon and Dex, for a total of 14.
sorry for the delay, I've been out of town for a while and the internet access I expected to have was down.
Pandolfo scrambles away from the maddened cretin, his crippled legs flailing uselessly as seeks purchase on the wooden floor.
Wincing in anticipation of his opponent's blow, Pandolfo decides discretion is the better part of valour. Summoning a loud and imperious voice, he attempts to cast Scent of Peacefull Slumber at the approaching murderer.
Oooooo-kay. That is going to hurt. Assuming Pandolfo survives, he'll cast. I'm working on the assumption that using a booming voice and big gestures will offset any penalties from casting flat on his ass. The role is a 19, so it should go off even with any wound penalties stacked on top of the fatigue hit he's already taking. He'll lose another fatigue level though. Once the toll-keeper is asleep, Pandolfo will try to continue to interrogate him, assuming he isn't injured too horribly, and that their altercation didn't attract too much attention.
The guard's slash bites deeply into Pandolfo's shoulder. You feel your collarbone break as you cast your spell.
Pandolfo collapses, and the guard, knocked insensible by the spell, tumbles forward, partially pinning him to the floor.
In the silent room, filled only with the snoring of the unconcious pilgrims, Pandolfo lies in a widening pool of his own blood. Turning his head to watch it spread across the floor, he notices, in the distracted way of the seriously injured, a pair of black women's boots, and the hem of a burgundy coloured dress.
"You really are perfect." says the lady that caused all this trouble, as you pass out.
When you awaken, she is gone, and all of the others are still asleep. The wound in your shoulder is sore, and there is a scratch surrounded by bruising. You know you cannot have been asleep for more than a few moments, but you feel deeply rested. Your would-be murderer is still lying across your legs, yet you feel inexplicably calm.