Skorba II return of Mggar

Those journeying to Mggar find they are arriving mid morning, the village in general is much as the previous expedition had left it.

Before going to Mggar, Paphos will pick up a few small luxuries that villages always need, small tools, needles/thread, ribbons, etc. Nothing big or expensive, but the kind of stuff that would be inconvenient for the villagers to get themselves due to either distance or monetary priorities. He will seek the village headman and present the gifts to the people of Mggar as a thank you for their food and hospitality of the prior day.

Knowing the Arabic culture (he was born in a similar village in nearby Sardinia), he'll make polite small talk for an hour or two before gradually approaching his true goal, information about the prince and his presumed autocrat, who we know as the Muslim. Who is the Muslim?, do they both operate out of the townhouse, or is there a manor somewhere else? How do the people pay their taxes and how much/form are they?

While he is there, he'll also evaluate the people of the village, specifically looking for people who don't quite fit in village life and might be hireable. This also includes children/teens, especially orphans who might not have anyone to look out for them.

There is a house in the middle of town which is larger and more ornate than the rest, and the design of which is distinctly Arabic, suggesting this may be where "The Muslim" lives, since he is presumably of higher status than the rest of the village.

Unless anyone else disagrees, we'll approach the house, and observing local etiquette, indicate we wish to speak with the headman of the village.

"Headman? Do you mean the noble or the tax man? The noble is not here, he has a place in Mdina." The woman who answers the door is wearing a simple dress tied with a belt similar to what was found in the ruins.

"Good morning, sidati. Hehe, not not a noble. I am seeking the the person of importance to the village whom people respect and come to for advice, not some silly noble!" Paphos has a cheerful laugh at the idea of a noble actually getting his hands dirty with the people.

"Please, have a seat." She gestures to pillows placed around the room, "What should I tell him is the reason for you calling?"

"Thank you, this concerns the strangers from yesterday."

The young woman looks concerned for a moment, then nods mekly before heading into the house. A few moments later a man appears in his late middle ages and dressed like a well to do merchant. "Salaam, how may this humble man be of service?"

"Salaam, sayyd. I am a seeker of wisdom, and this have come to this house. I am associated with the strangers of yesterday who bid me bring these gifts to the people of Mggar who granted them hospitality yesterday." Unspoken, it is also an apology for the commotion caused. If the headman seems inclined, we will exchange pleasantries for a while before approaching his desire to learn more of the village, it's people and the relationship to the fickle prince we met in Mdina.

He receives the gifts gratefully, and hands them to the same young woman who answered the door. Pleasantries seem to be something he is willing to dispense with, at least with those he does not already know."These strangers made quite an impression, many hope they will choose to make their hospital here, though others are concerned that they were spending so much time at the temple ruins."

"A hospital is a certainty, although we worry about gaining permission to settle. As scholars, we are naturally attracted to the ruins of yesteryear and the stories they have to tell. I know they are looking into other locations if Skorba does not suit. I have to admit, I met the young prince who claims sovreignty over these lands yesterday in Mdina, and he seems somewhat... fickle. Probably a good man at heart, but perhaps in need of a guide? Nevermind, we were speaking of the visitors of yesterday. We do hope to found a hospital, and using our knowledge of Aristotlean philosophae, we hope to bring back the old ways of building and teaching to this area so that prosperity may flow again like a newly found wellspring. You seem somewhat worried at mention of the old ruins, and we know little of them save that the ancients lived here. Are there any stories we should know about"

Paphos will pause to see if David has anything to add.

Since they arrived at the village, Julia is looking for anything unusual with her second sight. Althought she didnt have a premonitions yet, she hopes that being in contact will the villagers or the temple might reveal something. For now, Julia is sitting near Paphos, somewhat unconfortable in her white linen robe; as she never quite got used to clothing. She is listening in silence, distracted by the song of birds coming from outside.

During this visit at Mgarr, she will be looking for the girl that Antonius showed her using a CrReIm spell.

Second sight : Per 5 + 5 +2 second sight +(+1 if ghosts) + 9 die roll = 21
Premonitions: Per 5 + 5 premonitions + 2 = 12

It is a smallish village, and sooner or later she will spot the girl.

The man pauses to think, and David apparently has nothing to add. "There are stories, ones I heard of as a child, about the bones of a giantess being buried beneath the stones. Many here refer to them as the tomb of the Giantess, and it is said that evil will befall any who attempt to live there, or take the stones from there to build a house."
Meanwhile Julia spots the girl walking across the town square with a basket under her arm.

Julia will excuse herself and walk towards the young woman carrying a basket. And then say enthusiastically in italian (or in arabic if the woman doesnt understand or speak with an accent):

"Oh Hello ! My name is Julia." She extend her hand to shake the hand of the woman. It is a pleasure to finally meet you ! Do you mind if I accompany you ? I think we do have a lot to discuss ! It seems you made quite an impression on a dear friend the other day..."

Paphos considers the headman's words with gravity. "Our Sahirs have knowledge of how to break ancient curses, and for us lesser beings, the love of Allah is all the aegis against evil I need. I would not, however, do to be disrespectful of the honored dead, pagan though this giant was. My mason tells me the foundation is an important cultural relic, so we certainly wish to build at and study it; we have no desire to destroy it. Tell me, do you speak for the prince on these lands, would your word allow new settlers to come to Mggar?

The girl turns to Julia. "Excuse me, I believe you have me confused with someone else. I have not met any outsiders besides yourself, so I do not elieve I could have met your friend."

The man sits back on his pillow "I would not say that I speak for the prince, but if I should welcome new residents to the town I doubt the prince would question my decision, or likely hear of it beyond whatever increase in revenues the taxes might bring. But I am confused, some sources tell me you wish to build a hospital, while you tell me you wish to study ruins. What exactly are the plans you propose?"

Paphos smiles at his question, he was anticipating it. "Hehe, we are a group of learned men, and if you ask a dozen of which direction the sun rises in the morning, you will receive a dozen different answers. To be plain, we are a group of scholars that have travelled far and long to study the knowledge of those who came before us. Our leader has passed and others go their own way; the core that remains seek a new life here on Malta. As scholars, we welcome academics, clergy, doctors, artists, sahirs and such. We have decided that the skill we can best offer to those we hope to live with is that of medicine and chirurgy, as we are knowledgeable in both the Frankish and Saracen schools. That is not our only skill or interest; for example we have a skilled stone worker and I myself am an artist of some minor reknown."

"To most directly answer your unspoken question, it is written in the stars for us to settle here, or a site like it, but as always, trying to interpret the will of Allah can be a difficult exercise. We number a little over a dozen souls, and wish to build on and near the site surveyed yesterday, for I think it is no coincidence that we were led here at this time. We wish to engage in such commerce as is appropriate to support ourselves. In return we offer medical service to Mggar, and to your lord as well, should he wish it. We are certainly willing to pay a tax for this privilege, although I should ask what type and how much before blithely assuming we could afford it. As learned men, I also anticipate the need to offer in service to the people of the village who might wish employment, and schooling or apprenticeship in trade for those both talented and inclined."

"We wish to be partners with Mggar, and with the engineering of Aristotle and the philosopiae if Al-Kindi, we offer our knowledge to this community."

"I suppose I could allow you to build near or in the town and investigate the site by day. Subject, of course, to the appropriate taxes."