Pytheas ex Tytalus

Pytheas named himself for the Greek explorer Pytheas of Massilia, who circumnavigated Great Britain and is to blame for all the legends about a distant land in the North named Thule

Pytheas was born (under the name of Gwenaël) in 1188 on the island of Ushant, the same island that houses Fudarus, Domus Magna of House Tytalus, to a family of fishermen. He quickly became the talk of the village (and not in a good way) for his habit of holding conversations with, he claimed, a blue fish living in a tidal pool, which no one else could see. This was in fact the spirit Peska, an elemental spirit of water.
Pytheas was apprenticed at seven to Kybella ex Tytalus, a close friend of Buliste and a leading member of the Titanoi, a theurgist cult within House Tytalus. Given his Blatant Gift, fostering him out for his general education was not an option, and Kybella resolved herself to having to teach everything to her apprentice herself. Being an apprentice caught in the middle of a Tytalus feud of such proportion was harrowing, but Pytheas was very occasionally able to work the supporters of Buliste against those of Harpax, and get his own way in small things. In this he was helped by Adanos Lutorum ex Tytalus, a stauch supporter of Harpax and who bears the blood of an earth spirit. Merging together the hints dropped by Peska and Adanos with the teaching on elemental spirits from Kybella he acquired quite an affinity for Elemental Magic.
After successfully passing his Gauntlet, Pytheas reversed his purple cloak (Buliste's color), revealing the green (Harpax') lining he had secretly sewn there for the occasion. He then knelt to Harpax and thanked him for accepting him into the House. While the two Primi were insulting each other he walked off and left the island. This incidentally nicely shelved the plans Kybella had made for her apprentice to join the Titanoi, which held little interest for Pytheas.

Pytheas' departure had been planned with the help of his mentor Adanos, who well understood that Pytheas would not want to stay in the same covenant as his parens after such a public insult (although the insult itself was very much in the Tytalus tradition). Adanos gave him some coins and gems worth 10 Mythic Pounds of silver (no one want to lug around 10 pounds of metal if he can help it), as well as an open boat, about 20 feet in length, with two pairs or oars and a removable mast bearing one sail. He also asked Pytheas, as a favor, to stop at a former covenant that sunk underwater and retrieve an artifact for him, telling him to keep anything else he found there. Pytheas left Ushant on that boat, together with a shield grog (a reformed pirate) and a servant (the son of a fisherman), both skilled at sailing and rowing.

The closest thing I could find to Pytheas' boat, although his wasn't built in Norway :slight_smile:

Pytheas and his grogs traveled up the coast of Brittany in a leisurely fashion, sailing or rowing by day, stopping by night or whenever the fancy took Pytheas, avoiding villages except to buy supplies. In time they arrived at the covenant mentioned by Adanos. Pytheas spent a few days exploring the underwater site, and found the artifact mentioned by his mentor, as well as what looked to be a couple of minor magic items, some valuable objects (silverware, glassware, a mirror, ...) and some vis. But Adanos had carefully neglected to mention that the site was claimed by another covenant, and Pytheas found himself having to flee hurriedly and leave the Tribunal. He contacted a redcap Adanos had mentioned as amenable to skirting the letter of the law, Bernhard, to arrange the delivery of the artifact back to Ushant and to find a buyer for the other two minor magic items (Pytheas only knew they where magical, not what they might do or how to use them, and he did not have the skill to find out).

Bernhard, who clearly had some history with Adanos and probably heard of Pytheas from him, took the opportunity to invite Pytheas to join in the founding of the new covenant. Pytheas agreed and made his way to the meeting point at Anvers/Antwerp.

Pytheas' conflict with the Sea
Adversity brings positive change, that is the basic philosophy of Tytalus and the basis for the House's Motto, Auctus ex dimicatione (“from conflict, growth”). Pytheas fully espouses that, but he also believes that to focus entirely on interpersonal conflict is not enough. In fact, he believes that the current feud between primi, while no doubt excellent for both of them, isn't doing the House any favor, and he takes no part in it (although he is on record as supporting Harpax). Instead he has chosen the sea itself as his adversary, and he intends to force it to reveal its secrets. As a mark of this, Pytheas wears blue, not green or purple, at formal occasions.

Pytheas brings with him 15 Mythic Pounds in portable wealth; one 20 foot boat (suitable for rowing or sailing); one copy of the Analects of Tytalus (summa on House Tytalus Lore L3 Q8, tractatus on Philosophiae Q8; tractatus on Order of Hermes Lore Q6); on copy of The Book of Instructions (no educational value whatsoever); 1 pawn each of Aquam, Auram, Ignem and Terram vis; and two grogs, Morlaer (a repented pirate) and Benarec (a servant/fisherman)


[tr][td]The Gift (free special virtue),
Hermetic Magus (free social virtue),
Cyclic Magic: Rising Tide (minor hermetic virtue)
Elemental Magic (major hermetic virtue),
Improved Characteristics (minor general virtue) x2,
Long-Winded (minor general virtue),
Mastered Spells (minor hermetic virtue),
Second Sight (minor supernatural virtue),
Self-Confident (free house virtue)
Tough (minor general virtue)[/td]
[td]Blatant Gift (major hermetic flaw),
Cyclic Magic: Falling Tide (minor hermetic flaw)
Driven to Explore the Ocean Floor (major personality flaw)
Mentor (minor story flaw): Adanos Lutorum ex Tytalus,
Overconfident (minor personality flaw)
Weird Magic (minor hermetic flaw)[/td][/tr][/table]
His Cyclic Magic is, in Pytheas' mind, an important clue to the existence of magic (and therefore magic auras and vis) in or under the oceans. His active childhood and harrowing apprenticeship have left him quite tough physically and mentally, and in fact a touch overconfident in his own abilities. On the other hand his rather eclectic learning of magic (from his parens Kybella, his mentor Adanos Lutorum ex Tytalus, and the water spirit Peska) have left him with a slightly flawed understanding of Magic Theory, manifesting in occasional strange effects.

Int +3, Per +2, Pre -2, Com -2, Str +2, Sta +3, Dex +1, Qik +0
Confidence Score 2 ; Confidence Points 5
Age: 22
Decrepitude 0; Warping 0
Pytheas' learned to swim before he could walk, and spent most of his childhood swimming since the villagers wanted as little to do with him as possible. This prepared him well for the physical rigor of a Tytalus apprentice, and he has a strong body, but his social graces, already hampered by the Gift, never developed at all.

Abilities (270 xp: Native Language 75 + early childhood 45 + later life 30 + Second Sight Virtue 5 + Apprenticeship 115)
Area Lore: Ushant 1 (Fudarus), Artes Liberales 1 (astronomy), Athletics 1(1) (climbing), Awareness 1 (alertness), Breton 5 (storytelling), Hunt 1(1) (fish traps), Latin 4 (hermetic usage), Magic Lore 2 (airy spirits), Magic Theory 3 (Aquam), Parma Magica 1 (Mentem), Profession Sailor 1(1) (small boats), Second Sigh 3 (airy spirits), Stealth 1 (underwater), Swim 3(5) (underwater)

Personality Traits: Overconfident 4, Driven to explore the oceans 3

Combat Scores
Dodge: Init +0, Dfn +0
Fist: Init +0, Atk +1, Dfn +0, Dam 2
Soak 6
Wounds: Light 1-5, Medium 6-10, Heavy 11-15, Incapacitated 16-20
Arts (115 xp)
Creo 4, Intelligo 5, Muto 5(1), Perdo 0, Rego 0
Animal 0, Aquam 10(1), Auram 4, Corpus 0, Herbam 0,
Ignem 3, Imaginem 0, mentem 0, Terram 2, Vim 1

(60 xp spent on spell mastery: apprenticeship 10 + Mastered Spells 50)
Mighty Torrent of Water, CrAq 20 (+20)
R:Voice, D:Mom, T:Ind
A 3-foot-diameter jet of water sprays from your outstretched arms towards your target. The target of this gusher of water takes +10 damage and must make a Strength + Size stress roll of 9+ or be sent flying back. AM5 p.121
In Pytheas' version of the spell the water is blue.
(Base 10, +2 Voice)
Mastery 3: Fast Casting, Multiple Casting, Penetration

Lungs of the Fish, MuAq 20 (+20)
R: Touch, D:Sun, T:Part
Turns water into air as it enters your lungs, allowing you to breathe water as you do air. AM5 p.122.
In Pytheas' version of the spell the water turns into blue air, causing him to exhale blue bubbles underwater.
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 Part, Auram requisite ignored thanks to Elemental Magic)
Mastery 2: Quiet Casting x2

Long Sight of the Naiad, InAq 15 (+18)
R: Per, D:Sun, T:Vision
You can see as clearly through water as through air. Clear Sight of the Naiad, AM5 p.122 with increased Duration.
Pytheas' version of the spell turns the white of his eyes blue.
(Base 1, +2 Sun, +4 Vision)

Sweet Water of the Island-Bound, PeAq 20 (+13)
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind
Turns up to a small pool of sea water into fresh water. The magi of Ushant developed this spell to supplement rainwater during dry spells (which admittedly are rare on Ushant, but magi like their bathwater fresh). Custom spell based on the AM5 p.123 guideline "Destroy one property of a liquid (like alcohol’s ability to intoxicate or sea water’s saltiness".
In Pytheas' version of the spell the water turns bright blue for an instant, before settling down to its natural (lack of) color.
(Base 15, +1 Touch)

Ward Against the Faeries of Water, ReAq 10 (+13)
R: Touch, D:Ring, T:Circle
No water faerie whose Faerie Might is equal to or less than the level of the spell can affect those targeted by the spell. Faeries cannot directly or indirectly break the magic circle, nor can they use ranged attacks or magic to affect those within it.
Seen from certain angles at night, the ring appears as a light blue dome. AM5 p.124
In Pytheas' version of the spell the dome is visible even during the day to a careful observer.
(Base Spell)

Ward Against the Spirits of Water, ReAq 10 (+13)
R: Touch, D:Ring, T:Circle
No water magic creature whose Magic Might is equal to or less than the level of the spell can affect those targeted by the spell. Faeries cannot directly or indirectly break the magic circle, nor can they use ranged attacks or magic to affect those within it.
Seen from certain angles at night, the ring appears as a light blue dome. AM5 p.124 with different Realm
In Pytheas' version of the spell the dome is visible even during the day to a careful observer.
(Base Spell)

Lamp Without Flame, CrIg 10 (+12)
This spell creates a steady light as bright as daylight on a cloudy day. The light has no apparent source, but illuminates an area about ten paces across, centered on a point indicated by the caster. This point may be a mobile item. AM5 p.140
In Pytheas' version of the spell the light has a bluish tinge.
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Conc)
Mastery 2: Quiet Casting x2

See the Nature of Vis, InVi 15 (+9)
R: Sight, D:Mom, T:Ind
You can tell what Art a supply of raw vis is connected to. To you, the vis appears to glow with an aura that is appropriate to the Technique or Form that the vis is associated with. Creo is white, Intellego gold, Muto constantly fluctuating, Perdo black, Rego purple, Animal brown, Aquam blue, Auram violet, Corpus dark red, Herbam green, Imaginem pearly blue, Ignem bright red, Mentem orange, Terram dark brown, and Vim silver. Some of the colors are very similar, but are easy to distinguish if the item is studied for a few seconds. Sense the Nature of Vis, AM5 p.158 with increased Range.
Pytheas' version of the spell turns the white of his eyes blue.
(Base 4, +3 Sight)

Pytheas' voting sigil is a smooth pebble painted with a labyrinth made of four square spirals.
Pytheas' casting sigil is that all his spells involve the color blue.

Reserved for Pytheas' familiar

So I'm working in a story of Pytheas having attracted the attention of Mogidell, a great spirit (Might 40) bound to Ushant. Mogidell is a spirits of mist and fog, and under its teaching Pytheas developed the virtue Elemental Magic. Is that okay ? I don't want to introduce such a powerful spirit (even if it is bound to an island hundreds of miles away from the saga) without permission...

Characters should be built only using the 5th Edition core book, as specified in the initial rectuiment post.

That seems a bit scattered, and leaves you magus quite weak in everything. I would suggest tightening up the Arts to focus on fewer Arts. Particularly since Xavi mentioned that his Tytalus will be a generalist, which means your two magi won't have much differentiation Arts-wise.

There is nothing in HoH:S to suggest that Fudarus was only inhabited by only the two Primi, and I don't have The Lion and The Lily. I'd prefer if your magus had been apprenticed with a magus supporting Bulliste, rather than Bulliste herself.

Only problem I have there is with making Mogidell your Mentor. It might have been the case during your apprenticeship, but a magical spirit bound to Ushant can hardly call upon you to ask for services. I'd rather the Mentor was the magus who assisted you during your apprenticeship and convinced you to support Harpax instead of Bulliste, against your pater's wishes.

I can change my character to be a Rego specialist (secondary Muto) instead. I am more about manipulating my environment than being a generalist per se.

Sorry, that slipped my mind. Good thing I paused for feedback before going too far. I'll correct.

Tightening it is ! Although with Elemental Magic, it's hard to justify not putting at least a couple of levels in all four Arts. There, go take a look, I'm now an Aquam specialist (and I may yet take Puissant Aquam or Affinity with Aquam)

It's in Lion & Lily, which of course you don't have. Okay then, what I really want is to be apprenticed in Ushant, if you say there are other magi there, all the better, I'll pick one. In fact I'll pick Kybella ex Tytalus, she's perfect in case you ever get the book.

All right, so we then have a fourth magus, supporter of Harax, be the mentor who caused Pytheas to switch allegiance. Adanos Lutorum ex Tytalus, I chose you !
I've adjusted the history a bit.

I've just changed mine into an clear Aquam specialist. Muto will remain my best Technique at 5, because it really goes best with Elemental Magic.

I've adjusted the history again, this time to remove all references to the great spirit Mogidell and introduce a (presumably) weaker water spirit instead. That should make things easier all way around, and is a better fit for the Aquam specialization. Virtues and Flaws are chosen, abilities are learned, spells are in progress.

Because of his Blatant Gift, and the fact he was born within walking distance of a covenant, I advanced Pytheas' apprenticeship as early as I could, when he turned 7. Since I also didn't pick any of the '+xp' virtues (except mastered spells) this has the unfortunate side effect of leaving him with a very restricted selection of abilities. I'll happily volunteer to pick a few years post Gauntlet to round him up.

Mentor still lists Harpax, I take it should be Adanos instead?

Otherwise it looks good.

Mentor fixed. I added my last spell, and made it a custom one (wait, don't hit me !) based on an AM5 guideline that didn't have a spell of its own. The spell seems like required reading for an apprentice on a small island:

Sweet Water of the Island-Bound, PeAq 20
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind
Turns up to a small pool of sea water into fresh water. The magi of Ushant developed this spell to supplement rainwater during dry spells (which admittedly are rare on Ushant, but magi like their bathwater fresh). Custom spell based on the AM5 p.123 guideline "Destroy one property of a liquid (like alcohol’s ability to intoxicate or sea water’s saltiness)".
In Pytheas' version of the spell the water turns bright blue for an instant, before settling down to its natural (lack of) color.


Note that this doesn't necessarily make the water safe to drink. Dirty saltwater will become dirty freshwater. It doesn't remove algea, insects, sand, mud, or anything else than the "saltiness" property. So if the water is tainted in some way, it remains tainted and potentially unsafe to drink.

Absolutely ! Still, without the salt, sea water is probably safer to drink than your average river water (let's not talk about muddy pools).

Just saw that you listed sense the nature of vis as a level 15 spell, when it is a level 5 spell. Either it is a typo or you get 10 extra levels to invest in spells :slight_smile:

It's a variant spells (cleared with the ST) at Sight range instead of Touch, which explains the extra levels. I plan to using in conjunction with Clear Sight of the Naiad (which I also have as a variant with extra duration, also cleared) to look for vis at the bottom of the sea. Maybe I could have changed the name...

Ah, great. I had not noticed it. it is a clever use of a longer range effect. Nice :slight_smile:

You should probably change/adjust the name to avoid confusion.


All right, here's what I envision for the resources and the journey from Fudarus to Heligoland.

First, when he left Fudarus Pytheas did not leave empty-handed: his mentor had put together a small pack with a few 'essentials' for the journey. Nobody was so gauche as to say, or even think too hard, that this was a reward for betraying his parens and switching sides in such a spectacular fashion, of course.

This is the part where I get a generous allotment of silver and possibly a text or two, to be determined. From his apprenticeship Pytheas should also have a copy of the Analects of Tytalus (HoH insert p.74 and all along the chapter on Tytalus for snippets of the book), and a copy of the Book of Instruction unless he decided to burn it and scatter its ashes over the ocean...

The Analects of Tytalus, collated by Hariste
Summa on House Tytalus Lore, Level 4, Quality 11
Summa on Philosophiae, Level 3, Quality 11
Tractatus on Order of Hermes Lore, Quality 8
The Book of Instruction by Tytalus ('has absolutely no instructional value')

Second, when he left Fudarus Pytheas decided to head North and East along the coasts of Brittany, Normandy, Picardy and Flanders, buying passage on a series of coastal merchant ships. He made a point of going ashore at a few points of interest and even explore a few interesting bays, among them:

  • the Domen of Kerguntuil, which stands on an island and was once the site of a Diedne covenant (Northern Brittany)
  • the general area where the regio in which Branugurix stood is located, but he did not try to find the entrance (Branugurix was the Domus Magna of House Diedne, in Norther Brittany near the border with Normandy).
  • the isle of Jersey where the covenant of Aedes Salii once stood (Flambeau/Tremere covenant founded to coordinate actions during the Schism War, abandoned afterwards)
  • The site of the covenant of destroyed covenant of Pagus
  • he stopped for the night at the quaesitorial covenant of Confluensis.
  • he also stopped for a couple of nights at the Mercer House of Dragon's Rest (a possible place to hook up with our redcap. There's a Mercere Portal there.)
  • the site of the abandoned covenant of Infelicitas (founded by Rancrax ex Tytalus, abandoned at his death)
  • he again stopped for a night at the covenant of Spider's Palace (Quercus would love it, there was once a thousand year old oak spirit there).
    Each time Pythaeus made only a token effort exploring the land (or not at all in the case of active covenants) but spent a few hours swimming in nearby waters.

(Note: basically every covenant along the coast from Fudarus to the border with the Rhine Tribunal, according to L&L)

Basically one or more seasons of adventures along the coast, to gather resources, including

Attacked by pirates
Pytheas was traveling on a ship along the Brittany coast when it was attacked by pirates: a large rowing boat filled with armed men, several times more than enough to take over the small merchant ship he was traveling on. Or it would have been, had he not been on board (and the captain who had only been persuaded by a very fat purse of silver was suddenly very glad his greed had gotten the better of him). Pytheas had reason to bless his parens' insistence that he learn on good offensive spell and learn it well, as he blasted the ship and its occupant with torrents of water, sending half the pirates overboard and eventually capsizing the boat. One of the pirates shouted out, promising to serve Pytheas forever if he would just save him, for he could not swim. Pytheas did so and acquired a loyal grog, and a large rowing boat (missing most of its oars).
Acquired: a shield grog, a large rowing boat.

The stopover at existing covenants are also a good excuse to turn some of the silver from Fudarus into lab equipment, possibly ordered ahead.


The goal here is to make sure Pytheas brings his 'fair share' of wealth to the covenant. If this setup works it would give Pytheas

  • some silver.
  • possibly a text or two if it is appropriate; maybe a few lab texts for useful spells ?
  • a copy of the Analects of Tytalus, which is a decent starter book on Philosophiae if nothing else.
  • a large rowing boat (which he arranges to be towed by his merchant ships)
  • an ex-pirate shield grog
  • possibly some lab equipment (it costs 5 Mythic Pounds to outfit a basic laboratory) - this is merely converting silver from above into equipment in a storied fashion.
  • whatever the ST judges appropriate for a season of adventure that incidentally produced a large rowing boat and a shield grog.
  • I still need to recruit a servant somewhere; not a problem, I just haven't figured out the servant yet.

I still feel this is low for starting a covenant, so unless the troupe feels otherwise I'll travel more slowly and add as many seasons of adventure as it takes. If I happen to find vis, my stopovers at covenants would give me an opportunity to trade it.

Brace yourself... :wink:

Does he know yet that he is headed for Helgeland? He wouldn't. At best, he would have been directed to a port town/city where all the magi are to gather.

How did Bernhard approach him? Does he know the other magi? Have they corresponded beforehand?

You got your ten pieces of silver, Judas. Ok, let's make that 10 pounds of silver instead.

I've always found that the sourcebooks are overly generous in terms of level and quality, and even more when combining multiple subjects. Seemes to me that the stats you quote ewould result in a book sevral hundreds of pages long. So, as I do not feel bound by the dictates of the sourcebooks outside of the core book, here are the stats of the Analects in this saga:

  • Summa on House Tytalus Lore (L3Q8)
  • Tractatus on Philosophiae (Q8)
  • Tractatus on Order of Hermes Lore (Q6)

How did he know about all of these sites, particularly those of defunct covenants? He has no score in Order of Hermes Lore, nor does the Area Lore that he has (Ushant) cover this area.

What was the purpose of this exploration? What did you, the player, and him, the character, try to achieve by it?

Note that the magus has neither the Gentle Gift, nor any significant social ability. Negociating with ship captains will have been very difficult, perhaps even impossible. And it would have cost him a bundle. Perhaps even all of the money he received from his mentor, so he would have almost nothing left by the time he linked up with the others. Some of the ship captain might also have ended up being pirates themselves if he shows that he has a lot of money with him.

I'm not convinced the encounter with pirates would have turned that way. Your single offensive spell is D:Mom and not strong enough to capsize a boat that size. And chances are that the merchant captain would have thrown you overboard afterwards even if by some chance it did.

Pirates usually attack with overwhelming force. A rowing boat has little chance of catching up with a sail-driven ship.

Finally, I have mentioned before that each magus gets a shield grog assigned to him at some point (usually late) during his apprenticeship, as a standard procedure. This allows the grog to get used to the Gift the apprentice. So you would already have a shield grog by the time you leave Fudarus. The servant is optional, but might be a slave you rescue in a modified version of the pirate attack. (You could get captured instead, and escape with your grog and the servant.)

The list will evolve as you adjust the story above. One option is to have your mentor arrange for more resources for you, or point you towards a place where you can earn those (or additional) resources in various ways. That could be the link to a story-like period of time, but on the other hand would probably involve something shady to help you gather more resources in a shorter time.

But do not forget the biggest resources of all that you bring to the covenant. The magus himself. Even without anything else, that brings a lot to a shared-resources situation. So don't worry about your magus "not bringing enough" or "not bringing as much as the others". That will quickly balance out. Even if you were to bring only a sailing boat, that would be a significant contribution to a resources-poor new covenant.

Okay, let's get a bead on the most important part first, then I can see about maybe having some additional resources. I'm answering your answers below, but here's the outline:

Pytheas leaves Fudarus because he is heartily sick of the infighting there. He wants to challenge himself against the sea, not against his fellow Tytalus. He could have gone South, he goes North instead, for not particular reason.
Pytheas' spectacular change of allegiance is bound to have become gossip in the Tribunal. Plus, he stops along the way at several covenants, and makes no secret of what he is doing. That gives Bernhard a chance to catch up with him and invite him to join the new covenant. Bernhard probably was planning to do so anyway, but got caught by surprise when Pytheas left Fudarus immediately after his Gauntlet.
He has the Blatant Gift, no social skill worth mentioning, and is Driven to stop and swim around whenever he sees something out of the ordinary. Thus the journey itself can only be represented by a season of adventure (quite possibly played in character). Well, unless it takes two. Or three.
Once Bernhard catches up, Pytheas stops fooling around and sails for Heligoland, in a ship he buys if he hasn't acquired one through adventure.


Now for specific points

He doesn't know yet, he's just going exploring. Bernhard will contact him somewhere along the way. Maybe at Dragon's Rest ?

Objection, your honor. The proper term is filius carus ("beloved son"). That is Tytalus-speak for "ungrateful back-stabbing apprentice".

No objection to the stats, but that particular book is the collated wisdom of Tytalus as related by every Tytalus magus who knew him. It might well be hundreds of pages long.

You got me there. Unless magic lore can be stretched to cover the knowledge of where magic auras lie ? Or he might have gotten a map from his Mentor (which would count as a tractatus on the appropriate Tribunal) ? Also he does not need to know all of them when he leaves, only enough to get him to the first occupied covenant where he can ask for directions to the next one.
If that doesn't work, then he simply follows the coast and stops whenever the mood strikes him to explore a place for a few days.

Pytheas is Driven to explore the Ocean Floor. He's starting on his life obsession. Oh, if you ask Pytheas he'll say that he is practicing his spells and his skills, acquiring valuable experience, looking for areas of interests (magical auras underwater) and hoping to maybe find some unattended vis lying around. But really he's just following his Essential Nature.
As player I'm trying to pick up a few resources (vis, riches from a shipwreck, maybe something one of the destroyed covenant threw in the ocean rather than have falling into the conqueror's hands) so I don't come to the new covenant empty handed.

All of which sounds like wonderful stories and adventures in the making, and is another reason why it's going to take him several seasons to make a trip that should last 7 days (C&G p.89).

Let's not get carried away. 1 pound of silver buys a couple of magi and a half dozen grogs two weeks of travel with a merchant (C&G p.85). So the standard price for Ushant to Bruges for one person comes at 1/16 of a pound, call it a silver penny because the larger party got a group price. Asking for 120 times that price isn't gouging, it's outright piracy ! (okay, so he needs to buy food for the whole time too, and leave a small hospitality gift at the covenants he visits).

Okay, first I was thinking of a small sailing ship, with a crew of four or five (sailing ships have small crews). The kind of ship that stops at every village and does some trading instead of just carrying cargo from port A to port B. A large rowing boat can carry 20 if they are packed tightly, with maybe eight rowing, so that's overwhelming force (actually a viking longboat carried up to 50 or more, but that's no longer a boat). And over short distances, a rowing boat most certainly can catch a medieval sailing ship, particularly if the wind is not cooperating that day. What I'm envisioning is a group of local pirates waiting on the coast until a likely ship passes by, then rowing out to seize it, a common form of piracy in the Middle Ages (Pirates of the Caribbean this isn't).
Now as for the spell, it is the one I've mastered for multicasting, and it should work well enough to throw a pirate overboard. At Voice Range I should have a few rounds to play 'dunk the pirate'. I'll grant you that capsizing the ship is unlikely from the spell, as I had forgotten that the water disappears momentarily. Could we say the pirates did it themselves in the general confusion of trying to not get knocked overboard ?

Actually I was trying to work out a backstory for the one shield grog I was assigned as standard. Which apparently was the wrong thing to do, or at least the wrong time in Pytheas' life to put it in.

There you go, that's why I was visiting all those abandoned covenants !


Note: I added a short paragraph to Pytheas' character sheet, explaining that he has chose the challenge the sea and is trying to distance himself from the feud between Primi (although his formal allegiance is registered for Harpax).