Spring 1221: Underwater Diplomacy

After speaking with the magi, Aquarian returns to the sea to speak with the local sea life and any sea monsters he can find to find out their disposition with respect to New Atlantis and to see if they can be recruited to help.

Assuming he has the scroll to send back to Atlantis, he will first call for a dolphin in hopes it will play messenger.

Aquarian sends out a call, and after a time a dolphin appears. It frolics around him and jumps into the air before coming to a rest near to the exiled Atlantean, awaiting instructions.

Aquarian expends 1 Might

The power isn't all that clear. How does the Atlantean give instructions to the creature? Spoken, mental? I'm not sure. Clearly instructions can be given.

I'm of a mind to make this a little bit like Aquaman and say that it's mental command.

Voice of the ocean allows communication with any aquatic animal in its natural habitat. Method is not specified, but he does not have susceptible to deprivation (we messed this up earlier) so he doesn't need to breathe...

"Do you know where you would find Atlanteans who still reside in their underwater realm? If so, please take this to them." he would then strap the message to the dolphin.

"I have heard tales of Atlantis," the dolphin replies. "But I've never been there. I've been told it's many sleeps away from here. Farther than I've ever gone, and I've gone far. But I can try. It will be an adventure! I love adventure!" The dolphin then consents to have a scroll strapped to him, presumably confident that the recipients will remove the strap.

As the dolphin swims away Aquarian waits a few moments then spends another might, calling for a sea serpent of the type whose remains Meliai found. "Hello brother of the sea. How do the tides find you this afternoon?"

How long does Aquarian wait for a response? Hours pass with no sea serpent showing up.

Probably about 4 hours.

Also the message sent to Atlantis- or at least Aquarians recommendation for it:

Dear fellow Atlanteans,
Though I am in exile I am associated with a group of humans who are occupying the temple complex which was recently sent a threatening message demanding they leave the island which recently rose from the sea. Understand hat their departure would not return these edifices to the sea, but most likely would result in the island being inhabited by people far less respectful of the sites than those currently occupying them. Also be aware that people who are capable of raising an island such as this out of the sea will not be easily intimidated, and that a war with them would be costly, and for no real gain should you win. I hope we can come to some sort of compromise, to which I would begin by suggesting that, amongst its other uses this island might serve as a refuge for any of our kind who become exiled through accident or otherwise. Should any of our spiritual brethren happen to become exiled I can assure you that there is amongst those inhabiting this island one who would most enthusiastically welcome your participation and input in establishing a similar land based spirituality. I look forward to future correspondences that will help us resolve this impasse.

Just as Aquarian is getting ready to leave, he senses a large disturbance in the water coming from a way off. Waiting for it to arrive, he sees a medium-sized sea serpent swimming quickly through the water toward him. It comes to a stop near him and speaks in the water.

[size=150]"Atlantean, why have you summoned me here to the land of the dragon?"[/size] it says,. [size=150]"Do you not know that my kind are not welcome here? I have answered your call. But I have no desire to stay here any longer than necessary." [/size]

"The dragon is sleeping, and now resides on land. I am not certain of the local politics right now, I will travel with you for a while, I only need some questions answered." He swims with the sea serpent, changing forms as needed to keep up. "How far out did the dragon's territory extend, and which creatures were forbidden to enter? Does the city of Atlantis have allies in the area, or are we too far out for that?"

The sea serpent is happy to move out of the area of the island.

[size=150]"There is no boundary,"[/size] the serpent replies.[size=150] "If we get too close, the dragon may attack us, so we keep away. But this is good fishing ground and the dragon is not always around. There are those of us who venture closer to his lair for food. That is why I was able to respond to you so quickly. How close is too close? We'll know if the dragon attacks."[/size]

[size=150]"Who is forbidden to enter? Anyone who does not wish to become a meal for the dragon. Whales, tuna, swordfish, and such usually brave the danger for the good feeding there is here. And they are not quite so smart as we serpents are. Full bellies are more important to them, Also, they know that many of my kind stay away from here. Better the small risk of being eaten by a dragon than the large risk of being eaten by a serpent." [/size]

[size=150]"As for your kind, they come here from time to time. Not often, I would say, but sometimes. I have seen them myself a long time ago, and some of my clutchmates have seen them more recently. Do they have allies? I couldn't say. It may be that they have made friends with some of my kind or some of the lesser sea dragons, or any of the mundane beasts that call this area home. But remember, it is not always about allies. Your kind has some authority over the creatures of the sea. You can at times compel us to assist you, whether we wish it or not. It was, in fact, that compulsion that caused me to risk coming into the dragon's feeding area to speak with you." [/size]

are we headed towards the mainland or away from it?

"Do you have a home, or do you wander? I assume you must have found some auras or regios you nest in."

Headed roughly parallel to Mythic Europe (North).

[size=150]"I have a magical place I go to rest when I've eaten well. It's not as powerful as some areas I've seen. But I'm still growing. In time I will challenge someone for a better resting place." [/size]

"Thank you for the visit, and happy hunting, I think I have what I need for now, and will return home."
Aquarian returns to the covenant and spends some time hanging out in the level 10 aura to recharge his might and discuss the situation with the Magi. "The dragon has established a feeding perimeter in the ocean of about 4 hours travel. We can rely on mundane animals to a degree within this area, but if Atlantis is going to send magical creatures against us we might be well served by establishing a detection system for this area. I also am thinking about establishing a defensive position at the pillars of Hercules. Something that would force those crossing to come to the surface should be an effective defense against the warriors of Atlantis."

"Creating a bottleneck in the Pillars of Hercules seems like a good idea," Magnus replies. "But will you be able to do it? You're outnumbered by a good many. And aren't there Atlanteans with the same abilities that you have?"

"With the same abilities I have, yes. But what is an island in the middle of the Atlantic is a significant obstacle at the pillar of Hercules. You wouldn't even need to raise the land all the way. Fifty or a hundred feel of water should let ships through but make things very difficult for Atlanteans or sea monsters."

"I can see a few problems with that plan," Magnus replies. "First, it would cost a substantial amount of vis. Not an insurmountable problem, but something we should consider. Second, it would take four hours of ritual casting for the spell to take effect. I might well be noticed in that time. Third, while it would not interfere with the ships, it would certainly change the currents in that area, and would likely be discovered by divers or fishermen in the area. It would be hard to hide what had been done from the locals who live in that area. It would definitely run the risk of giving magic a higher profile. True, the locals might mistake the spell for an earthquake. But even so, the risk is there."

"And in the end would it stop the Atlanteans? I would imagine that an Atlantean could slip through even fifty feet of water at night without much chance of being seen. As for sea monsters, is it not possible that they could employ sea monsters that live in the Atlantic instead of the Mediterranean?"

"The risk is in being brought to the surface. Remember, and Atlantean who is brought to the surface suffers exile, as I have. With 50 or a hundred feet of water, and fishermen in the area, the risk of exile becomes much higher for any Atlantean who travels through the straight. And to employ sea monsters on this side they will need to travel to this side to recruit them, and we will be able to interact with them far more freely, as I do not have to worry about being exiled, since I am already, and I am already on this side of the straight."

OOC: FWIW, my understanding is that it's contact with surface dwellers that has causes the exile, not simply being brought to the surface. We might be talking about the same thing. But I wanted to clear that up just in case.

"I can see the risk," Magnus replies. "But it seems minimal to me. Fisherman don't go out at night. The Straits of Gibraltar should be relatively deserted in the middle of the night. It seems they could pass through even fifty feet of water with little chance of being seen, much less caught, if they did it in the dead of the night. Not ideal for them, of course. And it would make passing through to the ocean more difficult. But it would be a blockade that would be relatively easy to get around."

"It could be done, of course. If I flew to the center of the Straits at night, that would minimize my own chance of being caught. And if we waited for a new moon, the chance would be even lower. But still, sound carries very far on the water, and I will be chanting for four hours. Also, the end result would be noticed by the locals. Would they blame it on an earthquake or would they ask questions? And is it worth spending 16 vis on the effort? What do the rest of you say to the idea? Is there merit in trying to block up the Straits of Gibraltar at fifty feet and below?"

Constantine is puzzled. "I don't understand how the tactics we talked about match. Aquarian said (I think it was) earlier that we might offer the Atlanteans use of the temple which is both out of the water and in direct contact with humanity, yet this underwater wall tactic assumes that they cannot risk being close to the water edge for fear of outsiders. It does not match up. "
"So until we know more about their customs we are silly to risk exposure of the island and wrath of the locals in the Straits by altering the sea floor. No sea wall for now in my opinion. "
"I had always assumed that it was direct interaction with outsiders which caused an exile and also read years ago that even leaving their home was a taboo. Now I don't trust those texts at all, especially as Aquarian is an Atlantean, but I think we are missing detailed information about their habits and customs. "
"Without getting too personal Aquarian, as I do not wish to offend, can you explain the range of reasons for exile and any are exceptional or standard to the customs?"

OOC: it's confusing and might take a bit of banter to get to the lore, but I think we are at the point where a bit of Aquarian's backstory will help.