«So we can still use them next year. Useful.» comments Marcus. «I am curious about the Palermo lairs. However, if none of you have gleaned any additional clues, I would think the best strategy would be to research Leo's letters further, to find at least their names. Unfortunately, that means I have to return to Malta first, so it makes it a slow process. Nobody has a casting tablet for Leap of Homecoming by any chance? What was the courtesan's name again, by the way. Jocelin?»
The Courtesan used multiple names, which is in keeping with normal business practices for a courtesan. More aliases than deep covers...
Right. The question was IC, though, but it looks as if the answer was OOC ... Marcus is even worse with names than I am ... There is one name known, even though Marcus does not remember it, possibly more in the letters, but they have not been referred to in play.
Anyway, I feel we are at a deadlock here. Marcus is not in charge, and he can achieve very little on his own. He will make an attempt to find Leo's residences in Palermo, if there is time to do so within the season. How he goes about it depends on whether he is on his own or not.
We are kind of I the conclusion of the adventure- once it is evident how difficult it will be to find the residences there is only one other individual - the Criamon- who wants to pursue this avenue, and he agrees to partner up with you to do so, the two of you are acknowledged as having sole right to pursue this and any magical resources Leo has left in these places. the Guernicus isn't familiar with Leo's aliases beyond Athena. Are you still interested in the membership at Luctatio?
Yes, he is still interested in the membership at Luctatio. Did he get an impression, when he was there, of the covenant's facilities? Aura? Library?
Does the Criamon have any suggestions? Or is he still behaving like a waste of space as he did before?
The criamon suggests dividing your resources- he will create some charged items to detect magic while you research the letters, and recruit some grogs to handle mundane investigation and a search while you are engaged in the research and he in the lab work.
Marcus inquires about where the Criamon will be staying to do the lab work, and what his timeframe is. He does not have a covenant, does he?
Unless the covenant sodales object, Marcus will take Rollon and Richard, as well as a maid, and set up a small household in Palermo, where he can do his studies while the grogs make their enquiries. If he is going to stay a season, he will bring a book on some art, and research the letters in his spare time, even though he will not say this to the Criamon. Essentially, he believes that if he can just find some names in the letters, the grogs' enquiries will be successful.
The Criamon does not have a covenant, but he has a sanctum with a lab he has set up in Naples. Even managed to place it on a lacunae...
Clever guy. Then it should be relatively easy to get in touch when needed.
We have a plan.
8xp, 2 confidence
how do you want to handle the help for searching for Leo's base of operations in Palermo?
tx 5xp Parma, 3xp Penetration
I return to Malta to retrieve the letters, a book I want to read, two grogs, and a maid. Rollon and Richard are best suited, I think. Before leaving for Palermo, I will of course settle all the necessary discussions with Taliha and Archimedes.
I make sure to ask the other magi exactly where the arcane connections lead before leaving Etna. And I make sure to take them with me, just in case I get an idea.
I can look up the name Jasmine fairly quickly in the letters, and hopefully I can find other names that the courtesan or the old man have used in Palermo. The grogs (and the maid, possibly, in other social circles) are asked to enquire about these persons, using the information we have. Richard has actually seen both of them.
The grogs report on a daily or almost daily basis, so that Marcus can use their input to guide his studies of the letters. If there is more to find. And I feed more information and specific queries to the grogs accordingly.
- Is there some structure to the letters that I should be aware of?
- Was there more discussion about loot to share?
- Was anything more said about he place at Luctatio?
The letters are organized as you found them, but the structure within the letters changes with the persona that wrote them (incidentally, so does the signature, which could have interesting hermetic implications). None of those structures, however, is of particular plot significance…
you are offered the spot at Luctatio, and if you wish to delay joining until the other new members are appointed, that is fine (I am still working up the covenant stats, and if when I finish you would rather stay at Malta that is fine)
In terms of loot you are last to get to choose between what was found on the body, given your other benefits, which leaves you with a choice between two charged items- a healing "potion" which will instantly heal up to a severe wound, and a potion which changes the voice of the imbiber with duration day.
He mainly wants to complete the season in Palermo and tidy up on Malta, before travelling North. Of course, his decision would be based on his assessment of covenant resources when he was there, so yes, I'd like to see the stats before the choice is final. If most of the appointees are ready in Summer or Autumn 1196, it would be nice to take up the seat before Winter...
The healing potion is invested with vis, so that it is permanent, right? If so, that's his pick. I had the impression from the original narrative from Luctation suggested that something would be distributed from his lab, but maybe the letters was Marcus' share.
What was in the lab was distributed at that phase.
The healing potion is in fact invested with vis.
The grogs make quick work of Malta, running down names that you give them from the letters and in fact find three separate residences where Leo's various identities are being evicted for non payment. For a half pound of silver to cover the owed rent you are able to acquire the remainder of his things including:
A tractatus on the personae ability, SQ:12
A broach enchanted with aura of ennobled presence that affects the wearer constantly
A wand with unlimited uses per day of loss of but a moment's memory
Lab texts for making charged items of leap of homecoming and disguise of the transformed image
7 pawns of imagonem vis
The Cartheginian Campaign a summae on area lore:Northern Africa Level 3 SQ:11
A boxed set of symbols of various Tytalean cabals in the form of jewelry or bodily decoration suitable for outfits worn by differing personas, with no guide as to what any of them mean- 6 cabals in all.
A set of 10 codebooks, each embossed with a single Greek letter.
So this is picked up very early in Winter? Or even before the end of Autumn maybe?
Speaking of codebooks. Have I seen any letters in code, in his papers?
He will need to talk to the Criamon, whom he owes a share. Does he think they can find more? Is he keen to proceed to the other cities? If Marcus goes to Luctatio, he will have to check out Pisa at some point.
Did we get any news of the other three hunts?
Fine, although ...
Okay, I went back and missed that part of the post...
You also receive 3 tractatus from the lab on Rego, all Quality 12
None of the letters from the file were written in code.
the safe houses were found at the end of autumn, news of the other three hunts will depend upon what happens in Hibernia, but one way or another they will be concluded by the end of Winter.
Hmm, can I change that to 5xp Leadership and 3xp Palermo Lore?
Hearing rumour of the expensive fourth vacant lab, Marcus decides to rush North sooner rather than later. He makes sure to find a stone from the hill outside the aura as an arcane connection. It should last him a few years. Travelling through Naples, he banks some vis on behalf of the Malta location and some of his own, before he arrives at Luctatio just as Autumn becomes Winter 1195.
When he has settled duly in at Luctatio, he politely asks if the covenant does not have any useful lab texts. If he does not find what he is hoping for, he suggest that they procure some, and if the covenant won't he will try to get them on his own accord via the next visiting redcap. He is looking for Leap of Homecoming, arbitrary low-level (L5-15) ReCo spells (6-10 magnitudes), either Perception of the Conflicting Motives or Peering into the Mortal Mind, and a couple more InMe spells of low levels. He is not particularly picky about the low-level spells: he just wants something to play with if he has extra capacity in a season.
He also asks the senior covenant members about the trade arrangements. He is guessing that Pisa was Leo's domain, and will volunteer to take that on, taking advantage of what he knows about Leo. If the trade is at risk, he will put in some effort already in 1196, depending on advice from the senior magi. He will, in that case, take the same procedure as in Palermo, and try to locate any hide-outs Leo may have had there, as well as his contacts. Hopefully Luctatio has grogs to do the mundane contact. He can make an attempt to recruit one of Leo's agents as an agent of his own. Not sure if you have mechanics in mind for these trade operations ...
Is there any follow-up with the Criamon in Naples?
The covenant does have lab texts, it is simply that generating the list is a bit more complicated than generating a list of summae, so I had put it off...