Nicholae has been wandering the island in search of vis for many months now without any signs, unusual considering he has visited, at least in passing many magical auras. However as evening approaches and the wind gets cool the air carries the sound of vis to his ears, and the source appears to be moving. Moving quickly you find the apparent source- a young woman walking towards Skorba carries a basket on her arm from which the sound of vis appears to be coming.
Nicolae will hide his clothes in a bush, and take the sky as a falcon, flying to Skorba. He will circle the Skorba temple ruins, trying to find something out of the ordinary with his second sight, and when he is done, the shapeshifter will wait for her perched on a tree.
Everything appears as before, aside from the seasonal variation in plants, and a regio boundary in the middle of the circle which defined the strongest aura near the village. The region boundry . The girl arrives in town around evening and greets a couple of people on her way over to a house...
Nicolae, who had planned to approached to girl once he had scouted Skorba, now do so. As he only has a basic understanding of italian and none whatsoever of arabic, he will mostly try using gestures and signs, will do so after she leaves the people she is chatting with. He will offer coins in exchange for her flowers.
In any case, if he is not successful, he will not the house she enters, and then go back with haste to the covenant, as he suspects the magi will want to investigate the regio.
She either does not understand the gestures or is feigning misunderstanding. She shakes her head at the offer of coin and hurries to the house she was headed towards. Your return trip to the covenant is largely by moonlight, and generally uneventful, though at one point you hear what sounds like a large pack of wolves to the east.
Nicolae try to find Julia, Vulpus, Vita and Pallas, as he know they never sleep, to tell them the news about the regio that appeared near Skorba, and ask them to relay the information to their magus/maga. He will also inquire to them if they are interested in meeting wolves tonight. He will them depart in direction of the howls he heard later, bringing some meat from the larder with him as a gift for the pack leader.
Alas, Pallas does need to sleep. But he's nocturnal.
He'd be happy to go visit wolves, provided he can stay up in the air.
Vulpus is skeptical, "Just what, exactly, is supposed to prevent the dove, rabbit and fox from becoming dessert?"
Nicolae smiles and says:
"Wolves don't fly so Pallas and Julia should not be bothered too much... and you are clever, so I am sure you will come up with something. Though you are right, Vita might be in danger. Let be tell you that, Vulpus. Should they bother you or any of my friends here, they'll learn in a second why the lion as dominion over all animals, as I bite and claw them into submission."
He adjust the large piece of meat on his shoulder and says:
"Shall we go, friends?"
"Okay," Vulpus replies, somewhat unconvinced. "But if I get eaten, I'm never gonna let you forget it!"
(Oops. I forgot I should be playing Vulpus not Pallas.)
hehe... me too!
Julia will also tag along aerially, using her Sight Beyond Sight power to keep a high level of awareness and also to listen in and see the conversation, if any.
Those traveling by air are first to notice what is blatantly obvious as you approach the sounds of the baying pack- these are not normal wolves. They are too large to begin with, and stand on two legs. They seem to be out hunting in the area around Balluta bay.
Nicolae is walking by Vulpus; the terrain in this part of Malta was treacherous and more times than he could count he almost stepped into a hole in the ground or on a rock, which would have surely resulted in a sprained ankle or worse if it was not for his ability to see in darness resulting from his padfoot heritage. As they reach the top of a small hill overlooking Baluta Bay, they catche a glimpse of the moon, partly obscured by a passing cloud; down below, a lone candle is lighting a window of house in the village. Except for the sound of the waves breaking and backwashing on the sandy shore.
Suddendly, the spots several bipedal shapes moving not far; quickly he drops his ham onto the ground and says, suprised and worried at the same time:
"Shit, that's not what I expected. I don't know what these are Vulpus, but wolves should not run on their hindlegs... that's just not... natural. I was wondering how it was possible for a pack of wolves to survive on this island so close to man, and was eager to ask them, but not so much anymore. Let's just try to quench their hunger with that large piece of ham; they might de more receptive to talk when they are full."
He fall silent, but then whisper:
"But, stay close, wolves ... or wathever these creatures are, usually hunt in packs, so there might be already some behind us to cut our escape attemps. If it comes to this, I'll try to buy you time."
Nicolae then transform into a lion and let out a soft roar:
"Wolf-men, we wish to discuss."
Perception+awareness (aletness) : 3 per + 2 awereness +1 alerness +9 die roll = 15
"You promised this would be safe!" Vulpus hisses. Then he quickly turns invisible, though with beasts that hunted by smell, that was hardly comforting. He scans around looking for the best escape should that become necessary. Most likely that would involve ducking between some boulders or down a rabbit hole. And with Nicolae calling out to the wolf-men, it was looking more and more likely he was going to have to use that escape route.
Alas, while Vulpus has a lot of Magic Theory, he has no Magic Lore.
One of the wolf men approaches, flanked by two more. From 15 or so paces away it calls out to you and speaks- In Itallian "Shapeshifter, what is your business here?"
"This night is definitely not turning how I expected it would, but at least they are not overtly hostiles... yet", he thinks. "Shame they speak italian and not the language of the wolves."
Nicolae is not sure if the wolf men can understand his wolf speech, so he will try to communicate using animal ken.
"I am Nicolae, and come from a village several miles to the south. I heard wolves howling and I was suprised a pack would be able to survive on this island, so close to men. So I came to meet them, for I thought they would have interesting stories to tell. I myself have many, and was willing to share some in exchange. I brought this ham to as gift for the pack leader... Obviously, you are more men than beasts, but the offer still stands."
"We do not wish to steal your preys, nor to harm you. Some of my friends are with me. They arent shapeshifters like me; butare some of the most interesting animals I have ever encounter in my travels... and I met many."
If they dont understand the wolf language (animal ken) he will try:
"No italian.... I come peace... Friend... talk"
The shapeshifter then look at the night sky, trying to spot Pallas:
"Pallas, would you be so kind as to act as a traductor ?"
They do speak wolf
"Your trade is accepted, but return in daylight, under the guise of man, and we will speak then. Know this is marked as our territory, do not enter at night or in the form of an beast and we may have peace. If you challenge our territory, you shall be hunted." He sniffs the air "Beasts may come as pets by daylight, or in cages. Wild beasts may show their intelligence by staying outside of our territory."
"We have an agreement then. Whom shall I ask for when I come back ?"
Later, the quatuor is heading back home under starlight and the walls of the covenant become distinguishible from the darkness, Nicolae will say to Vulpus:
"Hey,are you okay ? You have been awfully quiet since we encountered the wolf-men."
OCC: I guess If other people want to go explore the regio, we can continue the adventure while we finish the return trip to the covenant ?