Considering the little rule adjustment, Campus Vernalis has the following characteristics :
Defense: +1 (fortified)
Military resources: +2 (a specialist as acting captain and small turbula of competent grogs with skill at +4)
Reputation: +5 (twice Prestige, and protector of an edge tradition (major))
I will detail the rolls of the 8th year, as the result was quite complicated:
First, I got two 1s, so 2 adventures (A&B)
Both will be difficult (10&9), with a 12.
It involved: 8&6, so A: neighbouring covenants, B some well equipped bandits (considering the difficulty of 12).
It happened in 5&10, so in Autumn, and I decided that the second one would be somehow linked to the first one, so also in Autumn.
Adventure A would be complex, and Adventure B even more so (5&0)… oh boy, that is going to be something.
Adventure B was going to be complex and very complex (5&9 on the reroll)
Adventure A required 8&6, so diplomacy & magic
Adventure B required:
B1: 5&8 Legal & Magic
B2: I opted to roll another origin as the real origin of the first part of the adventure. Somebody was acting behind the scene to make B1 happen. I rolled 7, so the real origin is Hermetic, followed by 1,5 &8, so social, magic, legal/diplomatic.
That’s not going to be messy at all…
Adventure A was resolved with success in Artes Liberales (with a total roll of 17), Folk ken, but failure with Intrigue for the Diplomatic part, and a three success in the magic part with a spell, Hermes Lore and Parma.
Toward the end of Winter, Ariana brought a mail to Melios were the nearby covenant of Don Burh was inviting him as an expert architect to help them renovate part of their covenant, specifically an overall of their outdated and cramped labs. It seems that the covenant business had been very successful in the past years and it was time to invest this silver into the best use magus know: better laboratories.
The first day of spring, Melios took the road to Don Burh.
The initial contact was a bit rough, as the mages of Don Burh were considering themselves quite superior to the single-maged, farm-covenant of Campus Vernalis (failure in Intrigue), which made the stay unpleasant.
The magi of Don Burh had very specific requests, quite challenging, and it tooks many days of discussion to put on drawings what they wanted, but the result was beyond their expectations (Artes Liberales), with Melios guessing accurately their needs better than they were able to express it (Folk ken).
The execution was flawless, with good use of Melios favorite’s spell (Mystical Carpenter), good understanding of hermetic heraldry for the lab decoration (Hermes Lore) and a very efficient use of Parma magica as a mage left some unfinished work boiling in the corner when Melios was setting the wood framerwork... so neglecting.
Don Burh mages were delighted by the work – they still needed to let the massons finished the work, but the structure was well set, and Melios promised to come back regularly to check the progress and make adjustments.
In payment, he got all the excellent quality wood beams, granit’s blocks and slates that Melios skills and spells allowed the covenant to save, the promise to have for one year a team of builders send to improve his own covenant (Important building), and finally the son of their local brewmaster expressed his wish to have his own brewery and the permission to settle in Campus Vernalis, where the barley is of the best quality (Secondary Income).
As Melios was travelling back to Campus Vernalis…
B1: magic and legal with bandits, let’s be creative.
The magical part is handled by heavy usage of offensive spells (Coils), Parma and Magic theory. The Parma failed, but fortunately, the other succeeded.
The legal part was handled with a mixture of Etiquette and Artes Liberales (both succeeded), and failure of Folk ken.
B2: magic, legal & social, within an hermetic context
The social part was handled with Charm (failed), Folk ken and Etiquette (24 on the last one).
The legal part was a failure (Organisation Lore: Brotherhood), hermes lore & Artes liberals (success for the last two).
The magic part was brutally solved with Vilano’s Balista, magic theory (23) and Parma (18).
As Melios was reaching Campus Vernalis, he found it under the attack of bandits! Those bandits seems to be handled to the few little magical defenses he had set, but fortunately, the grogs were holding their ground.
After a quick assessment of the situation, Melios realise that some hermetic magic (MT) was at work. Good use of Coils of Entanglement, and the surprise effect allowed him to quickly turn the tide and capture most of the bandits and their leader. Some form of magic had breached his parma, but without consequence. Once the dust settled, he searched and found what he was looking for: a several charge items, all carrying the same sigils…
He was not able to get much information from the leader (failed Kolk ken), but thanks to a well written mail to the nearby quaesitoris (conviently residing in Don Burh) with compelling arguments (Artes Liberales, Etiquette), he received quick support. As the Quaesitor’s lab was under transformation he came himself on site a few days later.
Better equipped to deal with hardcore criminal than Melios, Carmina ex-Guernicus got all the information she wanted: a young magus wanted to plunder the library and vis of Campus Vernalis, as it looked not well defended.
Melios got a name: Janus, ex-Tytalus. That was clear violation of the Code and the punishment would be swift.
Melios went through several emotions: first, anger for being attacked, then disappointment that one would consider attacking a peaceful magus, living quietly with his neighbors… and finally the realization that if he was not setting an example, that could happen again.
Calling on some favors (mostly enlisting Ariana and her Redcaps associates), he decided to take the matter in his own hands. He declared a Wizard’s War on Janus (Artes Liberales and Hermes Lore), using Ariana skills and network to have it delivered quickly to the fleeing magus.
Then, to set his trap, and still relying on Ariana, he had a letter send to every nearby covenants, describing the action of Janus and requesting from them not to host this traitor for the duration of the War. It seemed that Melios use the right words and his plea was heard (Etiquette of 24). The covenants decided that since it was a vendetta between magi of similar capacity, they would step out and let it comes to its natural conclusion.
Three weeks into the War, Melios and Janus finally meet. Despite a good array of offensive spells, Janus could not overcome Melios defense (Parma – finally holding up) – his over-confidence was his doom. Melios on the other hand, studied enough of the items captured on the bandits to know the strength and weakness of Janus (Magic theory of 23). And when it comes to the finishing blow, the powerful Parma of Janus was for naught against well-aimed blocks of stone.
Still, it was against Melios conviction to take a life, and refrain at the last moment to deliver the fatal blow. Possibly a mistake, to keep an humiliated enemy alive, on the other hand, who knows who would have wanted to avenge the death of Janus. And Carmina was going to have also a few chosen words with Janus.
“There is definitely more than meet the eye with this young fellow. He is definitely worth assisting. Those labtexts would be quite of interest for him. Ariana, since he seems to be a good friend of yours, would you be kind enough to deliver this parcel to him ?”
“Right away Archmagus Astrolus.” (Powerful ally - initially Melios tried to reach for the Brotherhoof of Samos for assistance, but failed, probably because it is still his scrutiny period).
All this events allowed to definitely earn the trust of his covenfolks (Loyal covenfolk). He also stroke a deal with the remaining bandits: they won’t be executed if they serve him faithfully. It is a bit of gamble, but after seeing him brought their boss in chains, he made a strong impression (Veteran fighters).
The rest of the rewards is collected as BP to get various labtexts.
Since the challenge difficulty was 12, I could have taken again Excellent book (even several times), but I found it a bit too easy and not so interesting in crafting a story describing the evolution of Campus Vernalis.
Without several exploding dices, the outcome could have been much worse.
All in all, Gentle Gift really allowed Melios to handle a lot of challenge that otherwise would be much more difficult.