Road to the City of Brass (Winter 1236)

Okay, time to start this one in earnest. After several delays and schedualing conflicts and a lab explosion and much more...
It is finally time to begin our expedition!
After forging a treaty with Pyramids, we were allowed to set up a portal to their covenant. Temporary. It costs 20 pawns per year (15 for casting and 5 to pay a caster). A permanent deal would cost us a queen, so let us go with the temp Hermes Portal.
Solomon, it is up to you to organize us. Portal opens on the solstice. Many pieces are in place. What is our plan from here?

The only thing we are lacking is write ups for the items we obtained from Pyramids. That is my bad. See, I may have mentioned my current chaotic situation. Well, my main rule book and some other things are locked up in storage at the moment. I will have them together in about a week. But for now, let us just call it a magic "bag of tricks".
Peregrine is taking a break, so Vibria and her entourage will not participate (unless minds change soon). That leaves Solomon, Arachne, and Roberto. Arnau and Bernhard are tagged to go along. Again, unless minds change soon. As for any and all other players, if you want to play a companion or grog in this, feel free. Maybe we can squeeze in another junior magus or more. Let me know your ideas and we can work it all out together.

Do we expect that CoB going to be primarily combat? If so, then Lucas is very poorly qualified to assist. But if we expect that there will be a non-combat support role needed, then that's something Lucas can do pretty well.

Lucas has other uses besides combat. He can do infiltration, recon and communications better than any other andorran magi. These are precious (and I sure hope he'll be able to have his moment in the Visitor thread).

And he has time to either improve his penetration skill or learn some spells, anyway. If you fear he won't be able to Penetrate (which is a very real possibility with Djinni), he can always rely on mundane attacks, should he train with Fausto or else.

Direct martial conflict with a city of genies is certain suicide. There may be a few individual confrontations, maybe, but probably not any sort of full on battle.
You should adress Solomon (aka Prince of Boredom), and see what function you might best serve.

Lucas approaches Solomon while the master is in the library. "Solomon," he says. "I wonder if I might have a word with you about the expedition to the City of Brass. I've been thinking about the mission since I traveled to the Covenant of the Pyramids to help lay the groundwork for it. I know it's going to be incredibly dangerous. But I was thinking that some of my talents might be of use to the expedition. At the very least, I wanted to raise the issue with you to see what you thought. My skills are more in the area of subtlety than anything. I won't be of much use if things go south and we get into a fight. But I might be of real help if you're planning an infiltration. Would you find my abilities useful? If so, I'd like to volunteer."

Arnau and his pals are certainly not there for the smooth ride and the pretty sights, but they would prefer not to be smashed to dust either. I suppose there will be some combat, but hope we do not deal with everything with steel and flame if we want to keep our characters alive for the future. Treat of violence is one thing, while actual violence might be to the loss of everybody. As professional soldiers they are sure to understand that.

This isn't Antoine's scene at all. But he is willing to spend Autumn 1235 crafting for the expedition, if that will prove useful.

More crafted items are always good. And there is the potential for martial conflict at a few points in the expected sequence. Some can lead to triumph, others will be certain tragedy. For example' you might encounter bandits or a wild desert jinni that can or may be forced to fight and can win. Contrary' walking right up to the malik of the 'afrit and attacking him (even in force) is certain suicide.

Antoine also buttonholes Solomon. I wish to help with your expedition to the City of Brass. I regret I won't be much use coming with you, but I could certainly try to help equip you in this one season before you go. You know my strengths[sup]1[/sup]; have you any ideas for devices you may find useful?

[sup]1[/sup]: He would, if Antoine ever got to petition council... They're basically Imaginem and Mentem; and jewellery.

First off, how far is the entrance to the City of Brass from Pyramids? Will we be allowed to setup a base station at Pyramids where we could Wizard's Leap people back to a point just outside their Aegis and get them medical care as needed?

Solomon smiles sagely, "I think we all hope that this expedition doesn't lead to a full scale war. I'm not entirely certain what to expect once we enter the City, nor the power of the foes we might face. If you are as capable at infiltration as you say, then you are definitely an asset I will not refuse. But be certain, this will likely be the most dangerous excursion you have ever undertaken. Do not view these threats lightly, and do not try to be the hero. I would recommend you speak with Roberto, as he will be organizing our forces for the expedition."

Antoine also buttonholes Solomon. I wish to help with your expedition to the City of Brass. I regret I won't be much use coming with you, but I could certainly try to help equip you in this one season before you go. You know my strengths[sup]1[/sup]; have you any ideas for devices you may find useful?/

"While the jinn are likely to be affected by Mentem magics, they would have to be quite powerful to penetrate their magic resistance. I think focusing on Imaginem items that would enable us to remain hidden and aid in our infiltration efforts would be most useful."

"I assure you," Lucas replies. "I have no intention of engaging in any heroics. In fact, if I hadn't just learned Leap of Homecoming, I might well reconsider my decision. But this is a major undertaking by the covenant, with a great deal of its resources being devoted to it. I may be the covenant's newest member. But I'm no less committed to the covenant's success than any of its other magi. If I can materially aid this mission without it being suicide, then I should. As I said, most of what I can add is infiltration ability. I know an illusion that can disguise a magus, a spell that can transform our clothes to match whatever it is that they wear in the City of Brass, I have a silent communication spell, and I can cast all of my spells without gestures or incantations. I never really intended all of this to be a spy's repertoire, but it's somehow worked out that way."

In the end, he nods and adds, "I'll talk to Roberto and see what he has to say."

Some Time Later

Lucas approaches Roberto as the flamboyant magus is making preparations for the expedition to the City of Brass. "Well," he says, "I've suffered a blow to the head and I've come to volunteer for the City of Brass expedition. Do you think you can use me?"

Roberto looks at you with concern, left then right. [color=red]You seem fine. Where did you get hit?
As for what assistance I could use from you in the field, I always stress three essentials to my non-martial sodales who underestimate themselves. Intelligence, Communication, and Logistics. Your familiar is an asset. I will need you to improve and master that communication spell. Logistics wise, hmmmm...
Do you know or can you learn Ward against Heat & Flames?

"In the time we have left," Lucas replies. "I can learn Ward Against Heat and Flames, if that's how you think my time is best spent.[sup]1[/sup] I believe that spell is within my capabilities. And as I recall, we have a lab text in the library. That it, assuming that our trip to rescue your true love doesn't take too long. If that takes more than a week-and-a-half, then all bets are off.[sup]2[/sup]"

"As for the communication spell," he adds. "If the covenant can supply some Mentem vis, I can boost it to reach anyone I have an arcane connection to.[sup]3[/sup]"

[sup]1[/sup] Lucas can get a ReIg lab total of 28, which is enough to learn the spell. But I note that Arachne already has that spell. She can cast it on all of us and it has a Sun duration. Granted, we don't want to put all of our eggs in one basket. But I just wanted to check that there wasn't another spell Lucas could learn that would be of more use. Gentle Caress of Aesclepius? A suite of Imaginem Aura spells to help infiltration? Veil of Invisibility? Wizard's Ward Against Weapons (Arachne also has a similar spell, but I'm not sure if it's Touch or Personal range)?

[sup]2[/sup] Of course having the time to learn a spell is dependent upon having enough time in Summer 1235 after the Rescue the Princess adventure. Thankfully, Lucas can leap back to Sa Dragonera once it's over, and doesn't have to take the long way home.

[sup]3[/sup] With boosting, Whispering Minds can be made into an Arc. range. Lucas just needs 1 Me vis every time he boosts.

Checked her grimoire. Personnal.


Arachné ponders...
I'd say learn Veil of Invisibility. It'll help you for infiltration purposes. It'll protect you in battle. And it'll protect you against hostile spellcasters. Or you can try to do something weird, although now ain't probably the right time to it.

Very well; I shall think about what I can manage, and return with a proposal.

((That is, I need to run some numbers. Rings of Invis are an option, but I had to experiment last time I made one of those. Disguises may be easier, or sound mufflers. Actually, maybe not - presumably muffling sound is as hard as removing sight...))

[color=red]Can you teather invisibility? That couls be useful. The thing about WaH&F is that it is a spell that will have to be cast repetatively every morning.
For your mentem spell, I will ask the covenant to requisition a room of Mentem for this use. Creo rituals are good. Not just healing, but also those that create food and whater.
Give me a run down of what you know that could also be useful.

To reach the City of Brass, you must first find the Palace of White Marble, which contains the tomb of King Kush and the gate way into the Magic Realm that leads to the City of Brass. The distance to the Palace is about four weeks. Halve that for only two weeks following Selim's guidance and his Ways of the Desert. The distance is much to far for WL. Maybe SLS. Accross the Magic Realm, AC's do not function.

"Unfortunately, with only one season to prepare, I would have to learn the invisibility spell from a lab text. And since none of the lab texts we have are for tethered invisibility spells, I would not be able to learn it such that I could tether it." (At least that's my understanding of how things work. If I'm incorrect, please tell me so.)

"As I said, if that's the spell you think I'd be best off learning, then I shall do so."

"That would be excellent."


Lucas gives Roberto a quick rundown of the spells he knows.

Doublet of Impenetrable Silk (makes cloth as tough as leather armor)
Remake the Tailor's Craft (instantly changes the clothes the target is wearing)
The Voice of the Bjornaer Magus (allows caster to talk while in animal form)
Cloak of the Duck's Feathers
Chamber of Spring Breezes
Bind Wound
Chirurgeon's Healing Touch (Ritual)
Eyes of the Cat
Improved Shape of the Woodland Prowler (changes target into a wolf; Harnessed and Tethered)
Improved Spasms of the Uncontrolled Hand (same as basic spell except at Sight range)
Wizard's Leap
Incantation of Paralyzation (paralyzes target for conc duration)
Leap of Homecoming
Touch of Warmth (keeps target warm)
Extended Lamp Without Flame (same as basic spell, except at Sun duration; Harnessed and Tethered)
Improved Disguise of the Transformed Image (same as basic version except Harnessed and Tethered)
Wizard's Sidestep (same as basic spell except Harnessed)
Whispering Mind (can send thought at Sight range; can be Boosted to act at AC range)
Hex of Slumber (Sight-range sleep spell)
Disarm the Warrior (spell to snatch something out of the hands of a target)
Improved Unseen Arm (same as basic spell except Sight range)
The Key of Theodorus (open any lock)
The Unseen Porter

[color=red]You are more capable than you realize. The Doublet, the healing spells, Paralyzation, Sidestep. Nice mix.
Okay, so you need to reinvent spells to take advantage of Mutantum. Hmmm...
What can yo do with Mastery?
And what are your organization skills like? Vibria is the Marshal. My normal role is as a Deputy marshal, sort of, seeing to the security of Sa Dragonera. I was tapped to assist with this mission, and suddenly things get dropped in my lap. Vibria blew up her lab, and she claims she needs .emotional as well as physical" recovery. She is going on vacation with her grandfather, apparently some Ex-Miscellanea magus I have never met. The Masters seem to be in awe of him though.