((Since the main roleplay thread is slow, due to initiative orders and such, I'm going to run these concurrently. Events in this thread take place a month or more after the resolution of the Midsummer Madness thread.))
There's vis to be collected in late summer:
A musician's festival, with competing troupes from all over the Isles. Anyone with Enchanting Music can enter a faerie regio, where the competition takes place. The greater the crowd response the participating musicians generate, the more Imaginem vis can be pulled out of the amphitheatre.
(Technically on the first day of autumn) - A magical cornucopia yields 6 pawns of Herbam.
Who would like to go to harvest from these sources?
Iapetus is MOST eager to see the musician's festival! He is no great skill but does love to sing anyway. He will turn down no offers of companionship should he be allowed to go, company makes everything better!
Can those of us without Enchanting Music enter? Rhodri would invite the Knight of the Golden Locks to accompany him to that. The other doesn't interest him as much, but if it's not too much time away he'll go there, too. Hmmm... He doesn't have a lab total to be penalized, so I guess it's hard to have too much time away.
Iapetus is the sort who throws himself into volunteering. Since he's not much for lab work anyway, he'll gladly go collect from that magical cornucopia as well! The festival is much more important to him however.
As Iapetus and Attravere make preparations to depart, Stefan flatly refuses to allow them to go without an armed escort.
Devorah, Maribus' former shield grog, insists on accompanying Attravere until he finds a shield grog of his own. She wears ringmail and wields a mace and heater shield.
Stefan assigns Emilio to accompany Iapetus. "We three are the only ones here who speak a proper tongue," Stefan explains in Spanish, during introductions. Emilio seems quite pleased to be working for Iapetus, as Lamentus insisted on forming thoughts directly into Emilio's mind. "I understand Latin much better than I speak it," he tells Iapetus in Spanish, "I believe the old man does it just because he thinks it's funny how much I hate it." Emilio wears a full set of chainmail and bears two Toledo swords across his back.
Stefan provides provisions into saddlebags he puts on a pack mule, and assigns a young girl named Ursula to lead the beast somewhat away from the magi.
It takes your group eight days to travel to the musician's festival. The trip is largely uneventful, and the weather is pleasant.
You arrive at the specified location. A canopy of long-branched trees forms a shaded glen within a faerie forest. Stefan told you that only Enchanting Music can open the regio from the glen, but he doesn't know the specifics, only that it's important to be really loud. How will Iapetus try to open the regio?
Iapetus shall enjoy the time speaking his native tongue with Emilio, though he regularly speaks Latin so that nobody would be excluded. He adds a little bit of jesting about his own lack of skill with languages, telling tales about ordering the wrong food at traveller's inns, and getting run out of a town once, when he tried to bargain for a room for the night and ended up seducing someone's daughter.
Sadly, I must assume my own Faerie Lore and Stonehenge Lore won't help me much with this. If they do, I'll follow their lead, else the Spanish Magus is going to open up with a sea shanty about a sailor who ran away to the distant north in pursuit of a mermaid, and found her one drunken night on a cold and stony shore. When the Sailor woke the next morning in bed with a walrus, he decided to keep her, since she was much less hideous and fat than his wife back home. Being a sea shanty, it gets pretty loud, and has a repeatable chorus in case someone wants to join in... Though Iapetus isn't going to push anyone. After all, he's the singer here.
"A warm bed with a warm woman in it, for free? Is a pretty good bargain," Emilio muses.
Iapetus performs masterfully. Stressfully masterfully, even. Devorah and Emilio are completely enthralled by the music (though Attravere feels only a soft but constant ping on his Parma). (Iapetus is pretty sure that if he snuck in a "sleep with me" into the lyrics, Devorah and Emilio both would immediately tear off their clothes and maul him. Devorah is a redhead, and not too hard to look at, but Emilio.... well, he's not good looking, even by the standards of folks who like men.)
The glade about shimmers in time with the music. The trees sway, and as their leaves rustle softly, the sound slowly melds into the roar of a distant sea. Suddenly a great wave crashes across the glade, soaking everyone except Iapetus, who seems protected by a sphere of air. A walrus swims up to the edge of his bubble, and beckons with a fat flipper.
Fortunately the grogs know how to swim, and Devorah keeps a firm hold on Attravere even as she drags him through the water to the edge of Iapetus' bubble, the better for them both to hear his voice.
When the wave subsides, you are all standing on a beach, with mermaids and walruses basking on the rocks just off shore. There are 30-35 other people (about a dozen of whom are carrying musical instruments) assembled about on the beach. They all seem rather surprised to find themselves where they are, and are distinctly not dressed for sand & sea. Further upland there is a small stone keep, outside which a young boy is singing sweetly to a woman who gazes down adoringly from a balcony.
For a moment, there is quite obvious surprise and bewilderment on Iapetus's features, as he had no idea this would happen. Or anything so dramatical, really. Then the moment is passed, and Iapetus is the soul of innocence. He turns a polite smile to his companions, and gestures towards the gathered musicians and observers. "Shall we continue, my companions?" he asks, before approaching them, his attention moving towards the keep and the singer there.
[size=85]Iapetus's specialty in Guile is feigned innocence.[/size]
As he sees you approaching, the young singer smiles triumphantly and continues singing, emboldened. As his clear voice rings out across the beach, the sand beneath his feet dissolves and gives way to spring grass. The boy sings of a forbidden love across the lines of an ancient feud; the sound of clashing weapons is heard off in the distance. The beachfront near him disappears and is replaced with a forest's edge.
Some of the other people milling about slowly begin lifting their instruments and begin their own music. Rather than playing counterpoint or harmony to the youth singing by the tower, however, the others all pick up different songs; and rather than begin playing, it seems that they are all resuming existing melodies.
Iapetus is going to change his approach, instead turning it into 'finding a more dramatic place to stand'. He puts his foot up on a chunk of rock tangled with seaweed, takes a good breath, and returns to his singing. It is perhaps obvious that he lost his stride with the sudden change into the Regio, but he is going to continue all the same. He turns towards a nearby walrus, mimicking the other singer by serenading the walrus. The surprise and bewilderment on the other peoples' faces makes him emboldened, and as a Tytalus, he certainly will not back down from the mere challenge.
(Iapetus will use his confidence, picking up the song as best he can despite being shaken out of it from his arrival.)
Iapetus resumes his previous song without missing a beat. (Please describe where you take your song, and describe the area around you conforming appropriately. With an Enchanting Music total of 35 the place essentially bends itself to fit your song. All that will remain is a little pocket of influence around the other fellow.)
Iapetus finds the perfect place to stand, finishing the verse where he left off, giving him a moment to think. He gets one foot up on a perch of rock (whether it was there or not) and begins serenading one of the walruses while the mermaids watch. His chosen walrus will even dive into the ocean and surface near him to listen to the song. Since all sea shanties have similar beats and tunes, it's rather easy to use a chorus about a sailor lost at sea to extend his build up. As he sings of the lost sailor, the wind picks up around the beach, a chill wind blowing past, though not touching those who stand near the walruses and the mermaids.
Iapetus sings a little louder, as it is a sea shanty, and he sings of the Sailor's mates searching for him, finding the sobering man as he swims with his walrus wife, who he called a mermaid. He bears their ridicule, and one of the men even promises to take good care of his previous wife. The drunk sailor denies them and continues to sing and play with his walrus wife; the various mermaids about begin to cavort with the walruses, but the mermaids all hide as a boat-full of drunken Spanish sailors come past. The newcomer sailors pause and ridicule everyone around, both the singing Iapetus, the spectators, all the rest of the musicians, before they sail off.
Iapetus's final verse is not the normal end of the song, which is mocking. Instead, he brings his voice to a sweeter tone and sings of the drunk sailor's devotion to his wife, and the strange fact a cask of ale was always fresh on hand as he built a small home to live in solitude. As he sings, stoppered casks wash up on shore near people. Iapetus sings a song of a year and a day the sailor built his home, made it comfortable, and swam with the walrus, until finally, one day, the walrus transformed into the most beautiful woman any seaman had ever seen. As the song reaches its pinancle, the walurs that the Spaniard sings to will swim to shore and drape itself over one of the casks of strong ale, and turn into a mermaid clad in shells of the most lustrous hue, and the other basking mermaids all begin to sing and flirt with the spectators, trying to tempt them into the sea.
[size=85]Is this about what you desired for this post, Arya?[/size]
The beach becomes thick with walruses and seals, the near shore dense with swarms of mermaids and nymphs. Most of tge other contestants have given up and are trickling away, though the one boy still serenades his lady in the tower (who has sprouted a mermaid's tail, and has perched herself on the window ledge to let her jewelled tail flick side to side with Iapetus' song). They frolick and cheer, and the air begins to shimmer visibly.
A lovely creature who can only be a sea goddess emerges from the surf, lovely as a song and naked as a babe. She kisses Iapetus on the cheek and places a crown of seashells upon his brow. The crowd of fae creatures cheers for this year's champion!
Right about the time Attravere thinks it's time to start harvesting the vis that Iapetus generated, both of you see Lucia of Jerbiton emerging from the retreating crowd, pulling a glass vial from the sleeve of her robes.