The Vault of Valdarius

VALDARIVS MCXI (Valdarius, 1111)

Time to take a look and see what's inside?

"My lady Carmina, will you now assist me in opening the vault?"

According to the instructions in your VSB (very special book), while standing before the door a magus of the Valdarian lineage speaks the command words (open sez-me) while in the presence of a pontifex. The door shimmers and changes within the door frame, and seemingly disappears. You hear a soft moan. Beyond is a brightly lit chamber of white marble. Inside is clean and pristine. The room is shaped like a hexegon. One side being the entrance. There are displays up against the other five walls. To the left is a pedestal, and upon it is a solid block of glass encasing a brass bottle stopped with lead. the next wall has a large oak chest with a huge iron lock. The opposite wall has a large iron tablet propped up against the wall. It is inscribed all over in Greek and other strange symbols. Next is a cylinder of glass, encasing a longsword in scabbord. The grip is wrapped in leather, the pommle is a red ruby, and the hilt shines of red gold and is fashioned like wings of a great bird of prey. Against the last wall is a wooden table with a closed book.

In the center of the floor is a great iron circle engraved with the symbol of Andorra (a griffon grappling with a dragon, no colors though). This iron circle is also engraved with "VALDARIVS MCXI"

Carmen raises an eyebrow. Supposedly, Valdarius resided here around the time of the Schism War. AD 1111 is the year the covenant was restored by the original Knights of Seneca coming up from Valencia.

Vulcanus nods absentmindedly, clearly not having heard anything Carmen said. He moves straight towards the sword and removes it from its case, looking for its maker's mark.

Ah, but upon closer inspection you realize it is not in a glase case. It is literally encased in a solid cylinder of glass. Same for the brass bottle, encased in a solid block of glass.
You visually inspect the sword (by undane means) the best you can at the moment, and it appears very much to be what you think it may be.

Vulcanus takes off his cloak and folds it over a few times and lays it on the floor. He carefully places the glass cylinder on its side, on top of the cloak. He then sponts a Rego Terram to teleport the glass off of the sword: Base 3 for "very unnatural movement," +1 for glass, +1 for Touch range for a final level 5; CT of 32 so he'll spont it nongatiguingly with quiet words and subtle gestures, just because he can.

THEN he takes a closer look at it :slight_smile: Whose maker's mark is it?!? Inquiring Flambeaux want to know!

Your attempts have me worried!
But the spell level is insuffcient. Perhaps your presumption of the material and/or volume involved is inaccurate? Or maybe I purposefully led you astray? :smiling_imp:
I'll tell you this. It is about two cubic feet worth of material, and it is heavier than glass. You might even need Carmen's help lifting it :mrgreen:

[size=85](but I am thinking a level 15 spell would succeed in teleporting it out of the block)[/size]

Medieval glass is horrible quality compared to today's; if that's a block of solid diamond it would not be mistaken for glass. Anyway, with a +3 Strength, if Vulc can't lift it on his own then Carmen certainly isn't going to be any help :slight_smile:

He'll ceremonially cast a ReTe to transport the sword out, instead. Base 3 + 2 for metal +2 for voice, for a spell level of 15. He does have to expend fatigue for this. Focus applies; and I forgot to add +5 for the aura last time, his CT is 17Te+14x2Re+1Sta+3AL+5Phil+5Aura=59+3 on the die = 62, so that's enough to get a spell level of 30, in case I calculated the spell level wrong. (Yes, I realize that with his focus he probably doesn't need to spend the extra time to cast ceremonially, but he IS trying to maintain the appearance that he can't spont without difficulty, and anyway it's more cinematic this way.)

Who made this sword?!?! :slight_smile:

[size=25]You would think they encased it for a reason...[/size]
Though encased in magical transparent steel, you could observe enough details to presume it probably was what it seems to be. But you have to look closer. You insist upon seeing the Maker's Mark...
The Maker's Mark on a sword is usually upon the Ricasso. The unsharp portion just above the hilt.
So you draw the sword just a little bit, you hear a sizzling hiss as vapor escapes, you see that mark that confirms all of your suspicions...

It is the Phoenix Sword, crafted by Valdarius himself using mysteries long lost to your lineage.
The voice came from behind you. Twirling around ready for a fight, you see Carmen staring dumfounded at the person before you.
I am Rodrigo of Mercere, Genie of the Sword.

"Well met, Rodrigo. I am Vulcanus filius Ivarr filius Morgan filia Valdarius of Flambeau; Knight of Seneca and Artifex of Andorra." He salutes. "The lovely lady here is Carmen of Flambeau, Pontifex of Andorra. I thought genies were not typically Mercere, and that they were typically in bottles." His eyes flick back to the brass bottle, with a curious knit to his brow.

I have known Carmen since she was born, and knew her father several years before that. I was once a member here, a Pontifex alongside Antonio. In those days, I was granted use of the Phoenix Sword to compensate for my weaker magical power. I was even admitted as a Marshal of the Knights of Seneca (a non-Flambeau associate member).
That sword, an attuned item, has powers and mysteries we do not comprehend. An efreet inhabited it for a period of time. We forced him out and trapped him in that brass bottle over there. But the sword yearned for an inhabitent, and I had become eventually so warped by magic and so associated with the blade, my last twilight resulted in my transformation into a Genie. My locus is that sword.

Vulcanus frowns. "Do you know if there is a way to free you? I mean, if you can grant wishes, I could wish to set you free...?"

The base is also slightly off: It's base 4 (MoH p92) to teleport a terram object up to 5 paces. Which just means he'll have to fatigue himself, that's all.
Callen compiled a great pdf of guidelines on the atlas web site, I use and abuse it when sponting.

Well done!!! :smiley: Simple, but brilliant :smiley:

It doesn't quite work that way. With an authentic traditional bottle Suleiman, holding the bottle gives you power to command the genie bound to it. They may seem like wishes, but they are actually commands. Those efreet, they lie a lot. They will tell you that you have three wishes and then they are done, in hopes that you will close the bottle and leave them alone when you are finished.
As far as freeing me, the best way I can think of is to close the sword back up and find an even better way to secure it than Dimir Taar's Creo-Muto Terram trick. That is not a Suleiman bottle, so it gives you no power over me that I know of. But it is similar enough. when it is closed up and I am inside, I am dwelling in the City of Brass. I have a nice tower, all my own. It is not a bad place to live. In fact, it is a pretty sweet arrangment. No rent, free food, no inhibitions to the practice of magic, I have three different girlfriends that all get along, and much more.
The magic of Suleiman, there is no way to duplicate it Hermetically as far as I know. But then again, I was never that good of a wizard. So what do I know. But an authentic bottle, and I am not even sure if that one is his, it just worked well enough to force him into the magic realm, but an authentic brass bottle. specific to the individual genie, not only traps him in the magic realm but it gives you the power to command him. When closed up, they are not actually inside the bottle. They are in the City of Brass. The boddle is a conduit, and the towers they dwell in are vestiges of those bottles.
Now me, I am a Genie, but not a Jinni. I am a magic spirit. The choices are death, final twilight, or this. I am fine with this :slight_smile:. I have transformed into a genus locus, and instead of a land feature, my locus is that sword.[/color

as for Carmen, she looks on in astonishment as the two of you talk. But once she gathers her wits about her, she rushes forth to wrap her arms around his neck and give old uncle Rod a ginprmous hug :smiley:

A look of stern disapproval crosses Vulcanus' face, and he makes no attempt to hide it.

"You mean, that one?" Vulcanus asks, pointing to the pedestal with a brass bottle. "If we have access to a djinn, the repairs on the covenant could go much faster... if they are not the vicious and deceitful creatures described in tales, anyway."

Vulc nods. "If you are happy with your situation, I will not intervene. But if you change your mind I will do whatever I can to assist you. Do you have any desires how, or if, the Phoenix Sword is to be used in service to the covenant? I would personally love to investigate it, as so much of Valdarius' knowledge has been lost."

But they are. Malicious too, especially the efreet. And I suggest ypu do not open that bottle. The efreet within is vastly beyond your power, and it is unlikely that the bottle is his original and holds power over him. Khyron is of the Arc of Fire, not the City of Brass.
Come to think of it, I have never seen him in the city. Maybe...
Just don't mess with that bottle. We sealed it up for a reason.

That's gonna interfere with my personal life. Look, that sword is dangerous. I would ask that you seal it back up better than we had it I suppose, so I can be sent home.

"The sword can be kept sheathed while it's investigated for enchantments. If it is dangerous, that is all the more reason that we should understand it. The covenant has been attacked, and another attack could come at any time; if anyone ever broke in and stole this sword, I want to be damn sure I know what our enemies can do to us with it. If we don't know what the worst-case scenario is, we can't plan to defend against that possibility."

Vulc just sheathes the sword again, because "no one is going to stand between me and my lineage's mysteries" is an argument he really doesn't want to have :slight_smile:

He'll then walk over to the book and take a look at it.

Carmen frowns. This is your home! I thought we lost you, and now you want to go away again? I just lost my father to Twilight, who knows how long or forever, I can't stand to loose you again!

Rodrigo's face grows tense with concern.
Perhaps I can stay, for a season or so. Give you a chance to investigate the sword. The scabbard is an enchanted item as well. You have to draw it to study it proper, examine the glyphs and inscriptions.
I want to know more about what happened. When were we attacked and by whom? What happened to Antonio? Where is Dimir Taar? Valentino?

just when you think you are doing the right thing...

You sheath the sword and Rodrigo disappears. Carmen shouts Hey! He agreed to stay!. So naturally you probably draw the sword again. Rodrigo reappears dressed totally different and sporting a short beard.

The book on the desk was written by Dimir Taar, and explains what everything is. This room, as you guessed, is one of several vaults crafted by Valdarius. He kept refining and improving his efforts with the assistance of his filius Daern. This valt is also the Crypt of Valdarius. His corpse is beneeth your feet, under the circle of iron.
The Brass Bottle is incased in transparent steel, generated and maintained by the pedestal it stands upon. It imprisons Khyron al-'Afrit, captured by Rodrigo in the Arc of Fire using a bottle obtained from Sicilio of Verditius. The bottle is not an authentic Suliman device, but does use powerful non-Hermetic magic. It is unknown what effect it has upon Khyron other than to keep him from bothering Andorra ever since his imprisonment.
The chest contains an emergency horde of vis, eighty Ignem and twenty vim each seperately imbued in a gold coin. In addition to the 100 vis coins, there are 900 coins of mundane gold.
The Iron Tablet looks like it could be the lid to a sarcophagus, and is isncribed in ancient Greek with lamenting verses and strange mystical symbols. Dimir Taar recieved it as a gift from his mater Kyra, and he sealed it away fro safety because it seemed to attrack miscreant spirits.
The sword is the Phoenix Sword of Valdarius, sheathed in the Sabbard of Daern. Dimir Taar notes that it's known magical powers include being ignited as a fiery blade, conjuring bolts of fire, being able to transfer vis into itself for later use or to empower a ritual healing power within the sword. Antonio used it to slay Khyron once, and used it to siphon and store the residual vis. Later, in battle against the cloud giant and his storm trolls, Antonio drew forth that very same vis to amplify his spell casting, and he botched. Multiple botch using 4th edition rules. The effects were that it reconstituted the might and material form of Khyron, who absconded with the sword. Rodrigo and Antonio later recovered the sword from Khyron in the Arc of Fire, and Rodrigo weilded it for a number of years thereafter. But Khyron continiously hounded and harrased him for many years, culminating in the events wherein Khyron was trapped in the bottle.
Only two short years later, Rodrigo seemingly dissapears into Final Twilight, leaving behing the sword and scabbard. Dimir Tar mentions he examined the notes and text left behind from Rodrigo's final experiment, which indeed involve experimentation to achieve transformation into a genie, as to avoid Final Twilight.
The glass-steel encasing it uses an experimental spell developed by Dimir Taar, based on the pedestal. It uses the Spellbinding Mystery to create and perpetuate the unique material (also invented by Dimir Taar).
And then there is the desk. It walks, and alters it's size and configuration (desk, table, night stand, podium, easle)