Welcome to Andorra Marcellus, hope you survive the experience! (Autumn 1244)

OOC Just so you know, the encounter took place in the inner courtyard. And it is Vocis who concluded it by saying they had to return to the tower, not Marcellus leaving.


The next day, Marcellus seeks out the captain of the grogs to discuss an escort as he explores the area surrounding the covenant. Not having been introduced, he asks one of the guards to direct him.

Marcellus has a personal attendant assigned to him as a show of hospitality. Olaia. She is a middle aged single mother raising two children down in the village. Her husband Bartomeu was one of the old guard, slain in the massacre of 1230 while she was pregnant with her second child, her daughter Marissa, who is now 14 going on 15. The girl works as an assistant at the Mercere Tower. Olaia llovers her daughter, but has many complaints. Her eldest, her son Tomeu, is 20 and a Corporal of the new guard. She talks your ear off about him as she takes you to Captain Armand.

(None of these names are actual characters. I just did a search for Catalan names and brainstormed a cluster of grog ideas to inspire people).

On the way to meet Arman, Marcellus meets the Captain on his way to meet Marcellus.
Indeed. As I have foreseen, it is time for you to understand what has been laid before you. Meet me at the gate yard in one hour, and I will have Sergent Oscar and Corporal Roger escort you.

"Good day, captain Armand," Marcellus replies. He is a bit taken aback by the apparently abrupt directives, but nods and thank the captain.

At the appointed hour, appropriatedly dressed to travel in the valley, Marcellus shows up at the gate yard.

OOC Basically Marcellus is looking for a small tour of the valley, being shown the village and other places of interest. This is only a quick walkabout to orient himself, as a prelude to further explorations at a later time. As such, I leave it up to you to decide whether any of it needs to be roleplayed.

At the appointed hour, the Captain meets you at the front gate with two guardsmen. The one is only lightly outfitted, and the other is not armed at all.
This is Sergeant Oscar and Corporal Roger. Oscar is a specialist as an expedition escort, Roger is a specialist in magus security. I have given them instructions to show you around the village and take you to the Valley of Xagyg.
I do not know what happens next. Only that the three of you return safely.

OOC From their stats on the wiki, all of them seem to be fluent in Latin, so I am assuming that is the language being used.

"My thanks to you, captain."

Turning to the two grogs, Marcellus greets them, "Good day to you, Oscar, Roger. My name is Marcellus, a new magus who is a guest to your covenant. I am looking forward to learning more about the area surrounding Andorra."

Quickly thereafter, he offers, "I would like offer to offer you the protection of my magical shield to protect you from the effects of my Gift, but I can only include one of you in it. Which one shall it be? I offer you the choice." (I am thinking that Oscar will be the one who will speak more to Marcellus and interact the most with him, so that would be the logical choice.)

After that has been dealt with, Marcellus gestures toward the gate and the trio make their way out of the covenant. "Tell me about your beautiful valley. Its people, wonders and dangers. Captain Armand also mentioned the Valley of Xagyg. Where is that and what is present there?"

Oscar nods. I doubt we will encounter any danger, and if we do it is probably best if your Parma is at full strength. If it is for social reasons, don't worry about it. The Gift does not bother me. That is the reason I was made expedition specialist. Roger here is used to it. Well, they tell me it isn't something you get used to, you just learn to deal with it. Anyway, Rodger is as stalwart as they come. And he has his own magic resistance.
Roger nods and explains in a thick English accent. 'at's right sir. I am a ghost. Got me arse incinerated in an explosion many years ago. Took me awhile to realize it. Bloody 'ell, some of these lads still don't realize it! But the nature of this ghostie thing, it is pretty inconspicuous and I can manifest armaments when needed. And small magics bounce off me. So they made me a security specialist. I am a bodyguard for magi. Especially new members on expedition.
Oscar nods again. In the Andorran Guard, we have our own traditions. Most of us are just regular soldiers with some Hermetic experience. Seven of us are designated "Champions". Usually because of some mystical quirk such as my immunity or Roger's ability to cope with being dead.
Captain Armand is one of the Champions too. He has crazy dreams that tell him what to do, and it is almost always the right thing to do. But his instructions were simple. Show you around town, then take you to that valley and show it to you. Then bring you back. Let you make any major decisions or adjustments along the way.
The Valley of Xagyg surprises me. That's where the Caverns of Entropy are. Still, if we don't go in there should be no problems. And even if we do, expeditions there have had a 100% success rate so far. Minimal hazard if any.

"A ghost?" Marcellus is suprised by the statement. He raises his right hand, as if to touch Roger, than draws it back before asking. "May I? I have never met a ghost." In the privacy of his own mind, Marcellus wonders if perhaps the grog is delusional, or maybe trying to play a prank on the newly-arrived magus.

Turning back to Oscar, he says, "That would suit me just fine. I am not looking for an expedition or some sort of adventure. I was more thinking of getting to know the places that are near the covenant. As I arrived through the Mercere portal, I did not get to travel to the covenant. It means I did not get a chance to see the lay of the land and the people living here."

As the trio start to leave the castle behind, Marcellus explains, "I was born in the mountains, in a small village maybe a week or two to the north. It feels good to be back in the mountains." The young magus' smile grows as he takes a deep breath of the cold mountainous air.

Hard to tell.You can check for magic resistance easily enough (forceless cast a fatigueless spont of any level). But otherwise...
Oh, I can be solid well enough. It used to be difficult, but I have gotten better at it. I can stay this way all day. I can can "switch" back and forth I suppose. But that does take some energy. Would you like me to show you?

This is an expedition. Call it a tour or walk about. Whatever you want. Our regulations have well defined protocols concerning escorting magi and expeditions. It is just a technical term.
As for adventure, I will do my best to avoid that for you. Don't worry about the Valley of Xagyg or the Caverns of Entropy. I can't remember the last time anything major happened there.

Arans proves to be an interesting and unusual village. The basic culture is similar others in the region, not unlike where Marcellus is from. But it has unique quirks, part due to the uniqueness of Andorra as a principality (the greater region), and part due as a rellult of existing in the shadow of a powerful Hermetic covenant.
The culture of Mythic Andorra is more egalitarian and democratic than the rest of Mythic Europe. They recognize no overlords and adult males elect their government. In most parts, a quarter of the population is foreign born.
Here in Arans, at third of the population is foreign born. And the voting franchise is extended to women who are mothers or own property. About one in ten persons is a retired (or semi retired) Redcap. About one in five works for the covenant somehow, either directly or indirectly. Or used to. Including old soldiers (the Grey Guard) and retired covenfolk, over half the population of Arans have a direct Hermetic connection (and for the rest it is a strong indirect connection).
You still affect people with your Gift, yet there is enough familiarity and experience among the people that no one reacts poorly. Still, as Oscar informs you, there are unspoken customs. It is a town of three taverns (a lotfor a population of only 200). The people prefer that those who are "Gifted" consort at Alba's house.
Alba Alara is a retired Redcap, a buxom matron and mother of three boys. She was never a member of the covenant, or any covenant. She spent thirty years as a herald, Back in those days, that was our primary and most noble duty. We had to walk or ride, no fancy highways of magic portals. The pawn brokering and peddling, that used to be a subtle side service. Now it's all these young ones seem to want to do! No respect for tradition or legacy anymore.. She retired here twenty years ago. That puts her close to 75ish? Her sons must be in their 40's. They are also Redcaps, off in distant Tribunals.

As they dawdle in front of Alba's house , the group is greeted by a strange sight. A magus, Criamon by his look, totters up to them under a heavy load. On his back is a large heavy leather satchel with shoulder straps. The satchels shape seems to indicate that another container is inside. The Magus wears grey robes and has a orange sash across his left shoulder. His arms bear tattoos that look like chains wrapping around his forearms. His bald head has other tattoos that resemble concentric circles. The most pronounced looks like a flower in bloom.

He moves to the group and pauses, leaning on his staff. Ahh. Not too late. Men and Ghost for escort. He look at Marcellus for a bit. You must be the Maker of Things. Another pause as the magus look around. No animals? No matter. I am Ikelos of Criamon and I am traveling to the Caves of Entropy to make a sacrifice to a Guardian. I wish to travel with you.

Marcellus considers the offer, then shakes his head, "I would like that, but now is not a good time, I think. If we run into an emergency today, it might be better for you to have all of your energy available. Perhaps tonight, when we can rest afterwards?" Realizing what he just said, the young magus adds, "Do you still sleep?"

OOC Just playing out the fact that Marcellus does not have a score in Magic Lore, so he knows nothing about ghosts or how magical beings recover Might.

Marcellus' answer is apologetic, "Of course, I did not mean to imply... I mean, I did not know the term had a specific meaning. Thank you for letting me know and not taking offense."

He finds the visit in Arans quite interesting. The village is much larger than the village he grew up in, which only had about 50 people. On the other hand, it is smaller than the port town of Bergerac, closest settlement to Nidi where he was apprenticed. He asks some questions to Oscar about what the various villagers do for a living, as well as the local farming and livestock raised.

He chats a bit with Alba, though he feels he has only a little to contribute to the conversation. "So redcaps travelled more when you were a redcap? I seem to remember that your House is important in detecting threats to the Order, by travelling amongst the mundanes who live around covenants. Do redcaps nowadays still do that?"

"Greetings, master Ikelos. My name is Marcellus Theodoricus of Verditius, a guest of the covenant. We will be happy to have your company. What is this guardian you speak of?"

"Greetings, master Ikelos. My name is Marcellus Theodoricus of Verditius, a guest of the covenant. We will be happy to have your company. What is this guardian you speak of?"

"Verditius" he nods as he speaks to himself "Makes sense...but no animals" He looks up to Marcellus. "I am not a Master yet. Just Ikelos, a seeker of knowledge. That is not quite right and not all true today but most of the time it is right. He looks thoughtful for a moment then shakes his head then smiles at Marcellus The Guardian? I do not know. Shall we find out?

Marcellus laughs, "Are we not all seekers of knowledge? It is just that, as one who was still an apprentice a mere season ago, I find it easier to call all other magi 'master'. It is not as if they can be less experienced than I am."

He smiles and bows, "Let us go, then, even if we are without animals." Turning to Oscar, he adds, "Unless there was more to be seen in Arans at this time?"

Sort of. Spirits like me have to take rest in strong Magic Auras to recover their energy.
I was an occult buff even before I became a ghost. I worked for Hermetic magi most of my living life. It rubs off on a chap.

Oh, they travel now more than ever before. Except most of them do it the easy way. My youngest son, he hops around in magic boots like a wizard's cartoon cat. Not that I blame him. I still got my Mercury Boots. But I had to save up and go on a waiting list to get mine. The boy? He just "bought" them with the vis in his account.
My oldest boy? He is a Redcap also, and works in "senor administration" in the Barcelona lodge.He travels about with the portals. Important meetings at Harco or Coeris and such.,

Oscar shrugs. I guess not. So far, this is pretty much what the Captain said was going to happen. He said it was safe and I trust his predictions. And nothing bad ever happens at the caves. Nothing permanant anyway.

Ikelos nods and a new tatto appears on his left cheek. A spiral circle with what appears to be small figures on one of the lines moving towards the center.

Perhaps you have not been in the correct cave yet? I do hope to see some permanent things happen.

As the small group make its way out of Arans, Marcellus asks Ikelos, "Have you been a member of Andorra for long? What can you tell me about those caves?"

One would think you to be Tytalus with the simple yet complex questions you ask. Ikelos trudges on for a bit. I have not had my formal interview yet and I look forward to it with excitement and trepidation. As for the caves, I have only visited them in my dreams and visions so I really would not listen to much I have to say except as a guide.

"In dreams, you say? Your dreams led you here? How interesting! What can you tell us about the caves? What is it that you expect to find there?" The young Verditius grins at the turn of events. "Who would have thought that the day would be so full of surprises!"

As the entourage marches on, Roger quietly chats with Oscar in Catalan.
That thing you said, about nothing bad or permanant ever happens there. That's not exactly true. Old Charlie broke his hand trying to dig his way out that one time. And fifty years ago, there was a group of foreign adventurers that sought to earn fame by capturing that dragon. They were never heard from again. And the goblin war from twenty years ago...
Oh, give me a break. Chuckles was an idiot. The Goblin War, it sounds impressive when you say it that way. But what really happened? Some people living in the woods got spooked. Old Antonio got to flex his magic muscle.
And the dragon...
I hope you do realize that's the same dragon that hangs out at the covenant. Maga Vibria's grandfather. He can take the shape of a few different beasts. The caverns are well within his jurisdiction. He will be watching over us I am sure.

Oscar is not one that shows much concern. Marcellus and Ikeos can hear him clearly, and may want to follow up with questions. Neither Oscar or Roger speaks Catalan as a native. Oscar is closes, with Spanish 5 (Castilian), and Occitan 4 Catalan). Roger is English 5 (northern) and Catalan 4 (Andorra).
I am aware of the discrepancies. They are not severe. The concept of languages in gaming terms interests me though.
They both have Latin 4 (magi), so can communicate with you guys with ease and clarity, but with an accent.