The Vault of Valdarius

Vulc splutters. "But-- that's IMPOSSIBLE!!" he exclaims, his face registering first shock-- then delight. If Carmen asks, he just says "oh, nothing" as nonchalantly as possible... about as subtle as a freight train.

"Okay. Long term, the sword of my Founder should be kept here with the vis- to be used in case of emergency. But I MUST investigate it, as it possesses secrets lost to my lineage. If I can re-discover them and bring them back into our line, then, then..." His eyes glisten, "...One day we will have satisfaction from Verdi."

"This bottle is beyond dangerous. I propose to remove it from the glass steel and instead encase it within actual steel-- if it cannot be seen it will be more difficult to target with magic, so removing it from its casing will not be so easy as I found removing the sword. I propose to put the bottle inside an anvil-- hiding in plain sight is often the best disguise."

"If you have no objections, I would like to reappropriate this desk for use in my own sanctum, and keep this book within as well, as it contains knowledge of Valdarian mysteries."

((Just a little back history about the Lineage of Valdarius:
One may only guess what various mysteries Valdarius also knew, but the branches of his line may provide a clue
His Filius Daern specialized in metals and stone and magical constructions. His famous masterpiece is a pocket sized metal cube that transformes into a steel fortress (also a cube of 10 paces). In turn he had two filiae; Ganthet and Valdaern. Valdaern kept to the traditional Valdarian ways and focuses on weapons. Ganthet was into spirit magic and similar studies, and his line eventually migrated back over to House Verditius (including Kyra of Verditius and her filius Dimir Taar). The lineage of Valdaern splits in two, one leading to the Iberian lineage of Andres and the other being the Rhine lineage of Ivar and Vulcanus.
Which is to say that one might suspect that whatever unique mystery Valdarius knew to craft a healing enchantment may have evolved from or evolved into Hermetic Empowerment &/or the Verditi mystery of Bind Magical Creatures. The healing power uses just vis (it only uses Creo, but can transfer & store other kinds). This does not (seemingly) involve a spirit, but the sword has other powers concerning spirits. It is of course magically sharp and improved and an item of quality. It can also strike the intangible and drains might from spirits in lieu of combat wounds.
It also glows with warming light upon command, and can make pretty colors :smiley:

:slight_smile: Did you notice Tiana has an item I named "Castra Instantus ex Daernus"?

Okay, so the names I made up for lineage are wrong :slight_smile: Vulcanus filius Ivarr filius Valdaern filius Valdarius.
I like how we've all kept Vs in our names.

As far as Vulcanus (or Ryu) knows, that's impossible. "Effects matching those of Ritual spells may not be placed in any enchantment. The elaborate rituals neede to control that much magical power simply cannot be contained in an unthinking physical item." If binding a djinn into an item overcomes that limitation it's obvious that the magical spirit itself is performing the ritual, not the item itself.... OR IS IT?!!? Dun dun dun...!

Yeah, Vulcanus is seriously annoyed that some highfalutin Redcap is getting all up in his grill about how we can't use one of the greatest Hermetic items ever created.

Or maybe there is more than meets the eye and some other mystery or intelligence is at work here.
Needs investigation?
As far as the lineage, I was basing it off of what you wrote (with Ivarr and Andres).
We can readjust or whatever.
Rodrigo asks again about the recent attack and what happened to Antonio. Carmen explains to him. He frowns, and as the magnitude of the severity becomes revealed his eyes grow wide with shock.

The name of Vulc's grandparens is inconsequential. I did think it would be kinda cool if there was at least one or two female Valdarians out there, though.

After Carmen describes the attack, Vulc nods. "So you see why it would be critical to rediscover the lost mysteries of my lineage. If you will not deign to allow the Sword of Valdarius to be used in defense of Andorra, I shall have to construct items of equal defensive capabilities." (Still as subtle as a freight train.)

I am available to weild the sword any time, just call upon me when you have need. And take a season to study it while I hang around a while and see what's going on. I presume the Mercere quarter remains relativly intact?

"I will appreciate having you by my side in battle. It will take more than a season to unlock the lost mysteries, though. I won't do so in consecutive seasons, though, out of respect for your studies elsewhere."

"The Mercer Quarter is fine, though... there is talk of your house's leadership moving the Mercer House away from Andorra."

Well, time to play the charade again. I tricked them all into thinking I was a powerful magus, now it is time to trick them into thinking I am still mortal. Lead me to the Mercere Quarter and the current Redcap leadership present.

"The two who reside here want to stay; it is their superiors that believe otherwise, and they will not be here until-- actually, I remember hearing they were coming to discuss it, but I don't recall when they said it would be."

Well, I would like to meet with them briefly. And let me carry that sword. I am bound to it. And I suppose I'll need to set up living quarters in your lab. I have to stay within shouting distance of it.

"I should investigate it before you hold it; It would be a disaster if a temporal rift opened up because a bound spirit came in contact with his anchor."

He'll walk over to the Mercer House, and make introductions.

You don't understand...
He dematerializes into vapor, then reappears holding the sword. If you were holding it, his hand forms between yours and the grip.
I am the sword. I set up the binding that way on purpose. Well, accidentally on purpose. No, on purpose by by accident. It was a lucky experiment let us say.
But I can make a bargain with you maybe?
As far as the Redcaps go, though it may seem I set it up convieniently, it is sort of coincidence. So maybe you guys could strike a bargain with Rodrigo to help us out with the Mercere at some later date, this isn't where I was planning to go with this. So let us say that both Fedora and Tiana are not available at this immediate moment.

So, now that you let the genie out of the bottle, so to speak, what do you plan to do with this stuff? The sword, maybe it is not as dangerous as it was now that I have bound myself to it. I left instructions with Dimir Taar to seal it mainly as a precaution, and to keep me safe. The chest, I reccomend you leave it locked up until you really need that vis. Most covenants have never seen a Queen of vis stored all in one plave before. Andorra has three of them hidden in this keep, on reserve in case of emergency.
And I wasn't supposed to tell you that. It is the privilege and responsability of the Pontifici only. But she didn't know about this one. All she could possibly be aware of is the Cask of Ancient Winter kept in the Ice Cavern
I wan't supposed to tell you that either. I am being indiscrete for some reason. Well, I will tell her where the thrid one is and she can keep that one secret.
As for the Tablet and the Bottle, well, I honestly don't know what that tablet is supposed to be. Just a hunk of iron scrawled in Greek. We had a translator read it, just a lot of lamenting verses of some old dead king of whom there is no record in history. King Kush. It is not enchanted, and if it was ensorcelled by spell, it has faded away so long ago that no trace or residue remains. The only facts we have are circumstantially related. Dimir Taar used to have trouble with sprit enemies, low powered ghosts that would continiously attempt harass him but to weak to actually bother him. Zap one down and another would soon take its place. They kept grabbing at this thing, but being but ghosts they could not touch it. We locked it away in this vault. This chamber is warded when the door is closed, and the door has been open nearly ten minutes now so you may wanna look into that. But we sealed that away, problem stopped.
Then the bottle. Like I told you, I have been hanging out in this place called the City of Brass. There are a bunch of genies living there, all in towers that are vestige links to these bottles scattered about the world. They were boud by Solomon using ancient lost magic and the authority vested in him by the Allmighty. Countless wizards have attempted to recreate this power over the ages. Hermetic magic has come the closest so far, yet far pales in comparison. I created the conduit and the bindings. I know a lot about that sword. If my old notes are intact somewhere, I have already done most of the investigation work already. I know what it can do, but not why it can do it. Well, not exactly why, but I have suspicions. Valdarius knew a few tricks concerning the 'Afrit.
I'm getting off track. That bottle is not what I thought it was, or at least not whose I thought it was. Khyron may or maynot be in some other part of Jinistan, but not in the City of Brass. At least not publicly. But why would he hide? Could he be bound in the Arc of Fire? Maybe, but that would not make sense. I think that the bottle is just a coercive ward, forcing spirits within and trapping them. Maybe Sicilio Verditius was just conning us, and the name inscrption was no more than an Arcane connection. Or maybe we got totally ripped off and the bottle is empty. Have you tracked down who attacked us? Maybe it was Khyron after all.
But in any case, we need to find out for certain if he is in that bottle or not. If so, is he secured inside? And how can we tripple secure it on top of that? Or can we destroy it with him in it?

I will need you to make me a pair of boots...

At Rodrigo's mention of spirits, he asks Rodrigo whether he can cast any spells to detect unseen spirits. "If spirits may be spying upon us now, it would be best not to discuss our plans for the contents of this vault aloud." Failing that he'll send off a messenger to go and fetch the Quaesitor, "Please bring him here and ask him to sense for unseen spirits-- if anything leaves the room when he opens the door to come in, it must be destroyed" and then close the door before discussing further with Rodrigo.

Vulcanus rolls his eyes. "Oh please, I'm Valdarian, I'd seen more vis than that before I'd properly learned geometry; the queen can stay put. It's intended for an emergency and won't be tapped except in the event of an emergency. The sword would be best used in defense of the covenant, but in respect of your personal life, it would not be taken out for small tasks, but only in situations where its unique abilities may be required. Are you amenable to this?"

"Not by opening it, that's for sure," Vulcanus grunts. "I think we should take steps to hide the bottle carefully, and track Khyron through the magic realm. I'd like to hide the bottle in plain sight, by encasing it in proper, opaque steel. By keeping it concealed from sight, it can't be targetted with magic without an arcane connection, unless someone already knows where to look, in which case we'd already be in trouble. I was thinking about putting it inside an anvil, within my sanctum; I would of course lay many enchantments to protect my sanctum from intrusion. What do you think?"

"How can I make you a pair of boots, you're already a sword," Vulcanus replies with a straight face.

har-har-HAR-de-har-har...
I used to wear a pair of magical boots to allow me to overcome my lingering hip injury. In material form, even as a genie, this body is still part of my essential nature, as is that old physical flaw.
One other thing, and I am sure you are going to find this amusing. But I can't move. I just now have discovered that, while holding the sword, my feen are bound to this very spot.
We are going to need to run a battary of tests. Not just you, I would ask other magi to participate. But I need to find out what magnitude of Magic Might I posess, make sure it is of the Magic Realm, discover which Form I am associated with, and so forth.

Vulcanus nods, then draws his own sword and points it at Rodrigo. "Demon, begone!" he calls, enacting the sword's DEO5. "If that didn't harm you, then either you're a fairly powerful demon, or you're not infernal."

Apromor's test of Negative Response. Classic. But I know I am no demon. I am more concerned to discover if I am magical or a faerie. As for a gague on Might, I was envisioning a set of cocentric circles with successivly stronger wards. How far one can progress indicates how powerful their might is.
Now, as for the sword, I suppose I have to let you hold it. It is not possible to move one's own locus about, at least not without making an appropriate bargain.

Vulc grins, glad that his sense of humour is appreciated, even if only wryly.

"Easier than that-- I have a couple Arcane Connections to other covenants. I can release you near a foreign Aegis and see if you can enter, to narrow down the possibilities first. My native Fengheld has an eighth magnitude aegis, and my mentor's covenant a sixth. Let's try those first." (Bamf bamf, bamf)

And wherever you go, if you hold the sword, he is compelled to follow not too far behind :smiley:
The Fenheld Aegis barrs him from entry, but he is able to cross the second. So it is safe to presume that ranks him at the seventh magnitude.

"I can't cast a ward of sufficient magnitude to test your realm," Vulcanus says, "Not without taking time to invent the appropriate spells, and even then, penetration would be an issue. I'd like to ask around to find out who has a seventh magnitude Aegis to better pinpoint where your Might lies, but beyond that I'm satisfied."

(Is there anything left do with this adventure, or shall it move into Seasonal Planning for when he investigates the sword?)

Both. The adventure part of this story has yet to begin :wink:
But go ahead and plan out your activties