Pytheas ex Tytalus

He leaves because he is sick of the infighting, but he just poured additional oil on the fire by betraying his pater's position in the conflict? That seems a bit contradictory. It might make more sense to say that he had failed to understand all the repercussions and personal consequences that would come with the betrayal...

By the time the saga starts, the conflict has been going on for over a decade. Most the the Tribunal is sick and tired of it, and no longer pay attention. Any splash you action may have generated will be of very limited scope outside of your House.

What is it that Bernhard would have heard of Pytheas that would drive him to seek him out? Perhaps a base on good relationship between Bernhard and your mentor? We need a hook of some kind.

As I mentioned, you cannot sail to Helgeland on your own, because Bernhard will only reveal your destination once you're on your way, and after each of you has signed the contract regarding the vis source. He probably directed all of the magi to gather in the city of Anvers (Antwerp).

But yes, if Pytheas wanders along the way and swims around, he will certainly meet trouble of some sort. My problem is in believing that he would survive the trouble he would find, for he is a single magus, far from optimized for survival and/or combat, with a single shield grog. His mix of flaws tell me that if he gets into trouble, he will be quickly over his head.

Another issue is that if he just "swims around" to make his way over to Anvers, then he cannot bring much resources with him. So if he starts out of Fudarus with a good part of the resources he brings, then he needs to transport them. That limits the ways he can travel. We need to find a plausble scenario for that.

I think you're trying too many things in the short period of time available to your magus before the saga starts. So let's concentrate on only a few actions, which will make things more believable. Here a potential roadmap around which you could work.

Pytheas leaves Fudarus with only a few things: the Analects, the Book of Instruction, a bit of silver and his shield grog. His mentor directs him to the ruins of a dead (unnamed) covenant that literally fell into the sea during the Schism War. Exploration occurs, you retreive some stuff (silver, vis, perhaps some other equipment such as an minorly enchanted boat).

But you get into trouble because another magus has claimed the site for his covenant. You can't remain in Normandy nor keep most of what you reteived. You contact a redcap to peddle off some of the things you found. The redcap is Bernhard. Listening to your rants about established covenants, he offers you an opportunity to perhaps form a new covenant. He directs you to Anvers, where you meet the others.

How does that sound to you?

Don't forget that according to the backstory, Pytheas' mentor has already helped him in the past. Pytheas owed him, which is why he declared for Harpax; not because he believes he's the right Primus (actually, no Tytalus cares about which one is 'right', they don't want to waste a perfectly good quarrel with stupid leaglities). He didn't do it to help along the dispute, he did it as a favor to Adanos. He certainly wouldn't want to stay in Fudarus after he has made a personal enemy of his parens, but this is still a Tytalus enmity we are speaking of here. No one is going to resort to violence.

Well, I don't know that much about Bernhard, but he would probably have heard that Pytheas is adventurous (a rare quality in a calcified Order), likes the sea (important for a covenant on a small island). If we need more, a relation with Adanos Lutorum ex Tytalus, Pytheas' mentor, is certainly possible.

Right, sailing to Anvers then once Bernhard does catch up to make his offer.

That bad ? I could design my servant grog to be good at social skills to help with the humans. Other than that, would it help if Pytheas and grogs traveled in a small boat of their own ? That would limit interactions with humans a lot (sending the servant to buy supplies from time to time), and the sea itself should be safe enough, sea-monster-wise, because there are fishermen plying their trade all along the coast.

I never intended him to swim any distance. He just stops in a place that catches his eye, makes camp, then spends a few hours/days swimming nearby. THen he starts on his journey again.

Now it's my turn to have trouble believing the series of events. If a magus from Normandy has claimed a site, Adanos is bound to know and wouldn't direct Pytheas there. After all, claiming a site must be done at a Tribunal, it's not something the other magi would miss...
But we could amend that to say that Pytheas and the other magus arrive at the site around the same time, perhaps from opposite sides. They start exploring, pick up things, leave the heavier items to take away later, then meet in the center. They can't agree on how to share the bounty, and the other magus calls for a certamen to resolve the issue. Pytheas loses (big surprise) and must leave with only what he had already put in his bag. Pytheas decides to peddle off some of what he found (he just doesn't have the skill to investigate a magic item, for instance), and contact a redcap (Bernhard).

Cool, I just wanted it explained.

With a magus with the Blatant Gift, a grog with good social skills is a good idea, regardless of other considerations. :laughing:

A small boat right off the departure from Fudarus might be a good idea. If you give your grog (and/or your servant) skills at sailing, you'd kill two birds in one stone.

Why do you think your mentor asked you to do it, instead of doing it himself? :smiling_imp: You owe him favours, that was one. He was searching for a specific artifact, which you got for him. He manipulated you into taking the heat for this. You still owe him more favours, but he'll leave you alone for a little while because of this. With your non-existant Order of Hermes Lore, you didn't realize the site was claimed.

Certamen and all might still have happened, or the magus just pressed his claim ex post facto, to get you to relinquish those items you obtained. But by getting rid of them quickly (through Bernhard, a contact your mentor gave you for this purpose), you got around the strict wording of the certamen results (or Quaesitor ruling).

You keep saying that it was Bernhard who caught up with you to make the offer. But it is in fact the reverse; you linked up with him to get rid of your loot (some of it may have been used to purchase some resources) and he reacted to your disgust at the legalistic deck being stacked in favour of established covenants. That's when he proposed a deal to you. You had to get out of the Normandy Tribunal anyway, so it suited you to move to the Rhine and poke the establishement in the eye over there.

Is that more plausible to you?

Hmm, all right. Let me try to reweave the story from the top, as it's getting a bit frayed with all those patches, then you can tell me if I'm still missing things.

Pytheas was born (under the name of Gwenaël) 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.


Now, what kind of resources does that entail for Pytheas at the time of his joining the others?

Here's what I have so far

10 Mythic Pounds of silver (or their equivalent in portable wealth).
One 20 foot boat, with sail and two pair of oars.
Two grogs, one fighter and one servant.
The Analects of Tytalus (summa on House Tytalus Lore L3 Q8, tractatus on Philosophiae Q8; tractatus on Order of Hermes Lore Q6).
The Book of Instructions (no educational value whatsoever)

That's what he left the Ushant with. Should be added the proceeds of his exploration of the sunken covenant. I'm sinking more silver (probably not coin, but silverware or other valuable objects), and maybe some vis: Aquam vis found on site, or the proceeds of the sale of some mystery magic items -although the rules on magic investigation don't make mystery magic item attractive for the buyer: you lose at least one season of investigation which you could have used to extract vis...)

Although the right InVi spells can at least give you an idea of how powerful a magical item might be -- based on how much vis is cooked into it. But indeed, the best guess is probably to try and peddle this to a Verditius through the redcap network. But you don't get much value if you sell it as an unknown. One option would be to pay someone to investigate it first, another would be to try and keep for a time when you can investigate it (unlikely). Perhaps you can get a copy of a vain book or a tractatus. Or otherwise a few pawns of vis.

In short, let me know what you think you'd get out of the adventure, from a loot point of view (or what you purchased with it). You also get 10 xp for that season.

How about 5 Mythic Pounds of silver and one pawn each of Aquam, Auram, Ignem and Terram vis ?

Works for me.

Updated the first post with all the resources and the full history.

Have you decided where the 10 xp will go?

Right, I knew I was forgetting something. Hmm, let's go for a little of everything:

1 xp in Athletics, 1 xp in Hunt (that's for fishing), 1 xp in Profession: Sailor, 5 xp in Swim, 1 xp in Muto, 1 xp in Aquam (which will trigger one xp each in Auram, Ignem and Terram with Elemental Magic).

Emphasis mine.

Story experience is not study. Study is from books, raw vis or a teacher.

You're right. I was going by memory and my experience of the Affinity virtues, which applies to everything from exposure from studying. No free experience then.

I can't locate Pytheas' age on his character sheet...

No personality traits either, from what I can see.

If you're wondering, it is simply because I'm putting together a summary of the magi for my own use, so that I don't miss anything important when preparing stories or making secret rolls.

Pytheas is 22.

As for his Personality traits, he is overconfident and driven to explore the oceans (both tied to flaws). Maybe I should see about adding another one or two... but I'm not sure they would register after the first two.