Road to Pamplona (Spring 1234)

"Sex out of love, out of duty? Why not just for the sheer joy and glory of sex? What duty is there in enjoying yourself? Yes, I agree sex is better with love, so is cooking. But a meal prepared by an accomplished chef is still good if you do not love them."

Houses of Hermes: True Lineages, p. 82: "the Mercer House in Barcelona is known informally as Yuval’s, after the senior Redcap there, and it has a reputation among even the mundane folk as a wealthy and slightly sinister house of magic and vice."

That would have given Fédora another reason to try Poble Sec first, if Semyon is Tiana's apprentice like Ryu and I had planned. Fédora would love to see her son again, if only for a few minutes.

Houses of Hermes: True Lineages, p. 82: "the Mercer House in Barcelona is known informally as Yuval’s, after the senior Redcap there, and it has a reputation among even the mundane folk as a wealthy and slightly sinister house of magic and vice."

I kind of like this idea. You will never find a greater hive and scum and villainy in all Barcelona. Which also fits with some people's vision of Mercere as, like, the Order's version of the Mafia. It can be a tavern and brothel with not only nigh-impervious mundane security but enhanced magical protection as well (maybe an Aegis, to keep the succubi and incubi out?) The lower levels can be the Mercere Lodge itself (although redcaps can stay in the inn portion of Yuva's if they want, even if they don't want company).

Fédora looks ahead as she tries to make sense of what Fleur is saying. She knows that there are people who believe that sex is an end to itself. Most of the people she's known (mainly Redcaps), although they seemed to see sex as its own reward, she believes also had their duty to the House in the back of their mind, so it wasn't merely sex for sex's sake, as Fleur seems to be promoting. She herself had been approached a few times by men who seemed to think she would choose to sleep with them in hopes of adding to Mercere's numbers, without success.

[color=blue]"One can enjoy one's fact, one almost must enjoy one's duty if one is to perform their duty well. But doing something for the sheer pleasure of it, and no other reason, is hedonistic."

"Right, like in Greek philosophy, love to enjoy what you are doing, take your pleasure from life, enjoy the moment, embrace the joy and release the pain." Fleur doesn't seem to understand that "Hedonistic" might be a pejorative term. "We must eat, so it is best if we enjoy the meal. Likewise should our other appetites be fulfilled with joy and enthusiasm."

Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy it shall be then. Yvall has moved on. Tiana kept the name though. Technically this is part of Barcelona Covenant too, so we will hand wave it and leave all those details up to them. Fedora is responsible for security on the Andorra side. There is no Magic Aura here, nor even a lacunae. But there isn't much of any kind of aura here. You are lucky there is no Infernal Aura! Maybe it has a 1 in every realm, depending on what night it is :laughing:
There is a knock on the door that interrupts your conversation (just when it was starting to get deep!). It is Tiana and Seymon. How old is he now? Would it be appropriate for him to shout mommy? Or would he say Hi Ma! ?

Of course. New signs are expensive!

Summer 1234, Semyon would be 10, turning 11 in a couple (or few) months. I think at that age, he'd be all "Привет, ма!" (Privet, ma!)

Fédora scoops up her son with an uncharacteristic grin on her face, and they converse quickly and briefly in Russian.

I'm trying to remember if we're doing anything besides glad-handing on the visit, thanking them for being in the network and giving them their free toaster-ovens.

Fédora would visit with all the Redcaps there, get their feedback on the Portal network, what they like about it, what they think could be improved, and so on.

Fleur is uncertain of the situation, or what is expected of her, and so does little. Does Semyon have distinct faerie characteristics?

Definitely. Pale skin, white hair, ice blue eyes (Strong Faerie Blood). And, although he's still too young yet, he will obviously be a heart-breaker when he grows up (Venus's Blessing).

Fleur blushes. "I guess the story you told was your own."

[color=blue]"Yes, it was," Fédora says as she beams at her son, [color=blue]"but I thought it would be a better story if I told it as I did."

She sniffs. [color=blue]"He is all I have to remember his father by, and he looks more and more like him every time I see him. I have other children by Vulcanus, and I love them all dearly...but Semyon's father and I had something that Vulc and I never will."

After the touching mother-son reunion, Tiana sends her apprentice off to deliver the message to all area Redcaps that you would like to visit with them. She then invites Fleur and the grogs to enjoy the comforts of Yuvall's Tavern, and invites Fedora on a tour of the facility (meaning she asks for private conversation)

Fédora will go with Tiana, going "Ooooh! Aaah! Very nice!" as appropriate. After a little while, she will turn to her fellow redcap. [color=blue]"How may I help you, Tiana? I trust everything is going well with Semyon?"

I have a feeling that Fleur in Yavill's tavern would be a very interesting scene, but I'm not sure we want to interrupt the main story thread for it- should I start a spin off?

That is the main story :slight_smile:
I do not often use linear plots or a planned course of events. I prefer a sandbox style, creating a bunch of potential possibilities and waiting to see what the players do.

Fleur walks into Yarvills flanked by the grogs. She looked around the room, innocent of what dangers might lie within. She had never gambled, drinking was simply something one did at a meal, There was one thing however that she spied plenty of, one thing she liked.
Rough, muscled, sweaty men.
Her face looked like a child's in a candy shop as she looked around. It occurred to her that she might want to pace herself or she could have trouble walking...

He is a brilliant student, no worries about that. My concern is the lascivious nature of this station and the corrupt Hermetic politics in and around this city. And I think I have discovered a potential scandal that could ruin everything we worked to build. I heard a rumor about a few Iberian Redcaps are taking bribes to carry messages for mundanes or letting their friends use the portals to do so.. I cannot yet confirm it, but the agent that gathered this gossip said it sounded common place. I am sure you understand the implication of potential mundane interference. I am working to discover the truth of this, and to find out what information if any is being transmitted. Keep an eye on your end.

A rough customer grabs you by the arm to pull you onto his lap and smiles. Well hello dere sweetheart. Your a new one. My name's Eric da Red, onnacount o' me red hat. An' who might you be?

Never before had Fleur been treated like this, none of the grogs or covenfolk at the covenant would have dared and the other magi... well she wasn't completely sure why they never acted this way. She liked it. No cowering whimpering man afraid of his nature here. She didn't bother answering his question but straddled his lap, facing him, and grabbed his head, thrusting her tongue down his throat. When she came up for air she asks, "Shall we do this here or did you have somewhere else in mind?"

Fédora furrows her brow worriedly. [color=red]"That goes beyond merely 'scandalous', Tiana. To allow those not of the Order free use of the Network..." She shakes her head in dismay. [color=red]"And to act as messengers for the mundanes? If it were almost anyone but you, I would think I was being played for a fool.

"Do we know, or suspect, who these black sheep are? And which portals are being used?"

I suspect it is English Erik. We have three Redcaps named Eric or Erik. English Erik is a bawdy ruffian sort of misogynist pig that makes me hate men in general. But really, that is based on gut instinct. Still, I bet he knows something. He is the shadiest dealer in this crew.

In the tavern below, the very same Erik being spoken of has his tongue down Fleur's throat and his hand...
Then you are interrupted by a shadowy looking fellow in a black wool cloak.
Erik, we need to talk.
Ah..., take a hike. Im busy here.
The Blind Man is on the move and we need to head him off in Toledo, like, yesterday!
And with that Erik roughly drops Fleur into the next stool and heads off. Later doll!