Winter 1221, Chapter 4b, Part Deux: A Nice MLT

"Maga Sinmore, allow me to introduce myself, I'm Sophronia Tremeris. I have been searching for you for the better part of the day. I'm so happy to have found you at last!" Of course, it's the absolute truth that she has been searching for her...

Sinmore is huge! Exaggerations were if anything understating her size and mass. She sits on a tree stump holding a steaming clay cup that she sips at. She wears a bulky leather cuirass under the required yellow gown and an enormous great sword (large even for a great sword) is nearby. Her brilliant red hair is a frightful mess, and as she sips from what is likely tea she picks at her hair and attempts to brush it with her huge hands. Despite her unnatural size, she is quite attractive; an expressive face, bright green eyes and numerous freckles. She looks up suspiciously at the newcomer's arrival and quirks an eyebrow.

"I'm not difficult to find usually, I couldn't hide even if I were inclined to." she says and presses a hand to her stomach and winces a bit. "What can I do for you Maga Sophronia? My Pater William Du Soleil greatly admired the Tremere." she shrugs. "He also said he taught them a lesson in Certamen. He was a bit of a braggart."

"Well, I just wanted to get to know some of the Magi around here, I've not been able to talk much to any of them, busy in their labs and all. Say, do you know when the next council meeting is?" Without pausing for an answer, she'll continue, "My dear, forgive me, but you are a sight. I think I could do something about your hair, if you'd lower your Parma. I'm a bit of a Rego specialist. Well, I am, but the books at my disposal at Libellus were inadquate to advance me very much past where I was at gauntlet, let me tell you." Sophronia is going for girl and/or shop talk. If she doesn't, she'll pull a brush out and offer to help Sinmore "We can do this more conventionally, I think I can levitate myself up well enough, or I'll climb on something...".
"I only wish I'd been able to come back to Gallus Florensis under better circumstances than searching for my parens."

Sinmore looks at her suspiciously. "I think I shan't lower my parma, but don't be offended, we just met." when the brush is pulled out she grunts; "Here." and gets off the stump so she can sit on the ground. "I usually end up sitting on the floor anyway, the benches are too flimsy and the ceilings too small." she does seem to appreciate the brushing though, and doesn't wince or make a noise even when the brush has to be pulled hard.

"So...searching for your Parens? Who was that?"

There's bits of twig, grass, wool, bone fragments, and mud in the flame red rat's nest on top of Sinmore's head :stuck_out_tongue:

Sophronia begins picking out all the bits that aren't hair, she expected, to need to do this anyway. "I understand, when she talks about the ceilings and floors and her difficulty with her size, of course, Sinmore may sense that it is fake, or perhaps patronizing. ((Guile total of Guile (1) +com 3 + die roll of 0, no botch=4))

When the caked dirt or mud is all that's left,"Sinmore, maybe we need to wash your hair, there's a fair bit a mud in here. How long have you been in the field? Last time my hair was in this condition I was a two week bivouac during my apprenticeship."
Continuing on, regardless of the hair washing, "My parens is Justinius. My superiors, actually my grandparens ordered me to come back and seek membership in Gallus Florensis."

Sinmore heaves a heavy sigh, if it's from pleasure or consternation, it's difficult to tell. "A moment then, stand back please."

She stands up to her full height and begins speaking in Latin and gesturing, finally slapping her hand on top of her head which suddenly bursts into flame! ((Using a non-fatiguing Spontaenous Creo Ignem and supressing her Parma long enough to cast the spell, she is immune to fire so it should only burn anything not of her on top of her head, if it would actually burn her hair, she won't do it)) She continues talking as if nothing is going on. "This usually takes care of it." she says as she brushes her hands on her gown. Needless to say she looks absurd standing there chatting with her head literally on fire. "Justinius...Justinius, where have I heard that name? He lived here didn't he? I'm somewhat new here, but the Covenant is rather in disarray, not that I'm complaining. But we're often left to our own devices...except for clothes and footwear...which I think has to do with the Jews. Nice people." she looks up and then begins to pat her head firmly, putting out the flames. When done she winks at Sophronia. "Easy way to take care of split ends that way, don't you think?" She sits down again. "That should take care of those snarls up there."

((And also likely burned up any evidence! :laughing: ))

Nope, I'm inclined to say your hair would burn, for the same reason that it doesn't hurt when you cut it.

Would be a clever idea otherwise, though :slight_smile:

It's not the Parma or her magic resistance that she's counting on, but her fire immunity, reasonably that would apply to her hair that wasn't dead, wouldn't it? Hair being extremely flammable, the virtue loses a decent amount of its potency if her hair is unprotected. It doesn't hurt her of course and is mainly cosmetic, but still I think it should apply. By now, with all of the fire she plays with she'd be totally bald and hairless. It is a Major Virtue, it should cover her hair I would think.

All hair is "dead." It's just keratinous debris and is no longer living, nor actually part of your body anymore.

Even Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, "The Unburnt," had her hair go up in flames when she walked into a funeral pyre :slight_smile: And Sinmore is no Dragon.

((Moving on, whether or not the hair is there or not is irrelevant to what Sophronia had planned, and evidence is also unnecessary. ))
((Edit: Magic Lore check on were creatures, to see if they can reassert themselves during the full moon period if threatened and/or how long the full moon period is (in Bibracte, I have it as 2-3 nights, where the moon is greater than 95% full) Magic Lore 1 + Int 3 + Die roll of 8=12.

((If the Magic Lore check doesn't reveal anything, proceeding with the following))

"Well, that's certainly an interesting way to handle things. Me, I tend to use Rego Corpus effects to unknot my hair. So, anyway. It's my understanding that you're a warrior of some renown. There is a fearsome beast attacking the sheep, and now the dogs. It's causing a problem with covenfolk morale, food supplies, and even parchment supplies. I need your help to hunt and kill it. I've got this bone, and I am in the process of fixing an arcane connection to it. It will help us track the beast. You up for it?" She looks at Sinmore expectantly. Guile 1 + Com 3 + Die roll of 2=6.
Also an intrigue roll to see if she knows about her alternate nature... Intrigue 1 + Com 3, +Die roll of 0, no botch=4, 5 if this is an elaborate negotiation.
"This might mitigate some of the difficult situations you've found yourself in, or at least repair a reputation with covenfolk, and help reestablish some order within the covenant.

Most werebeasts change during the full moon, though certain lycans have been known to change during the daylight hours instead of, or in addition to, the night. Extreme fear or pain can trigger the change as well, but that is not necessarily limited by lunar cycle.

Sophronia senses that Sinmore isn't** being honest with herself-- the giantess seems to be suffering some major internal conflict here.

**(that is a non-botch 0, not a 10)

"Well, when you're ready to discuss the particulars of my plan, if you're interested in stopping the attacks, I will be at your disposal. Tremere have a lot of experience in unusual creaters such as this, and if the creature can be managed and leveraged, we can help with that, as well." Sophronia leaves, but doesn't turn her back fully on Sinmore to keep aware of Sinmore's movements. Per 2 + Awareness 2 + die roll of 2 =6. Once she's out of range, she'll head back to the covenant's main buildings, but still keep a watch out.

Sinmore does seem conflicted, and it seems also that she wears her emotions on her sleeve. The mention of a beast brings up two emotions. The first looks like excitement at the thrill of the hunt. After hearing further explanations her expression droops looking to concern possibly even guilt. As Sophronia seems to leave Sinmore reaches out with her huge hand and takes Sophronia's. Her grip is not painful, but obviously quite strong.

"A moment more Sodale, if ye please. I...will take you up on the offer of my hair. The covenfolk have been...reticent to help me in valet duties of late. It would be greatly appreciated if ye'd stay. We can go near the well or the stream and wash it properly."

"Tell me more about this beast. Has it been seen reliably? Does anyone know what it is or have an idea where it lairs?"

"Very well. But let's abide a moment. If you'll let my arm go, I talk with my hands, you know. It's amazing that I can cast Mentem spells without even speaking or moving my hands, but I need them to talk, believe you me!" A clear intent to remain and not be drug anywhere, along with a gentle threat of self-defense.

Sophronia offers a concilliatory tone if Sinmore is interested. "If you're ready to talk about a plan to restrain the beast, I'm ammenable to your suggestions." There's a clear de-escalation in the language being used that should be easy to follow. First it was hunt and kill, then manage and leverage, and now it's restraint. "I have some sense of what I'm dealing with here. It is my wish to come to some sort of accomodation, if possible. Such a creature must have a secure den. I don't think that is the case, yet. I think she's new in the area, hasn't really settled, scouting territory, trying to make a secure den. I know where she spends most of her time. She has a very regular cycle. Such a cycle can be used to our advantage, don't you think? She has easy access to prey, in the sheep. I think that could continue, we just need to make allownaces for the creature's prodigious appetite."

Sophronia offers an olive branch, a path out, "I think if we can come to an understanding, and develop a strong plan, we can preserve the creature mostly as she'd like, security, privacy, ample food and a secure home. The continuing violent losses threaten the survival of the covenant, and without the covenant, we are all more vulnerable. Wouldn't you agree?"

Continuing, "I know that there are some in my House who care and nourish the wild creatures, wolves mostly. I'm not sure how my House would feel about something other than a wolf, but I can't imagine that they'd not like it if I were to bec-- excuse me, I mean care for one, but I'd be willing to keep such a secret. My mission to find Justinius is my goal. What happens after that is done, and I have left, well, secrets would remain here." An attack designed to quiet Sophronia will be met with full disclosure, whatever the personal cost to her, otherwise, no one else need know.

Then, seeming to completely change the subject, "Tell me, Sinmore, have you ever had marsh mallow tea? It has a lovely slightly sweet taste. Oh, nevermind, I get so distracted at times. Where were we? Ahh, yes, well, I keep secrets. I keep them very well. But if I were cornered, well, then I'd have nothing to lose. Did you know that some people say my sigil smells or tastes like marsh mallow? I don't see it, but there you go." Sophronia knows who Sinmore is. If Sinmore wants to call the bluff and accuse Sophronia of scrying, well, we can go down that road. It's an offer of help, it's not a submission to the will of the person or the beast.

Sinmore gently lets go of her hand after patting it in a friendly fashion. She looks eye level at Sophronia even as she still sits on the ground and listens as she prattles on.

She looks somewhat taken aback at this. "Well surely..."

Here she looks concerned. "Well it...sounds reasonable..."

She looks genuinely surprised and holds up her hands. "Wait! I never..!"

By now Sinmore stands to her full towering height and looks down at the much smaller maga, her flaming red hair seeming to block out the sun. Her expression is unreadable and for a few moments, the thought of imminent violence likely crosses Sophronia's mind. Her hands suddenly swipe upwards (is it an attack?!).

She covers her face with her huge hands and a moment later a deep despairing sob eminates from the giantess followed by ragged cries and sniffling.

Sophronia is relieved. She had serious concerns that she might be turned, "There, there, Sinmore. I mean it. I keep my secrets. No one else need know what I know. Have you claimed a sanctum, yet? I'm so unfamiliar with the new magi."

Sinmore seems to be having a breakdown. She collapses on her knees and is still taller than most men and leans forward to clutch at Sophronia in desperation.

"I don't know what's happening to me! I can't sleep! I get restless and so angry! I wake up in strange places, and feel so satisfied, but so scared! The people never really liked me...not since the fair, but now, no one talks to me! Not the magi, not the covenfolk...even little Samuel, sure he's a brat, but he would at least talk to me! I'm having trouble comprehending my studies, I have to send a Wizard's War invite to that bastard...whats'hisname, and he probably can beat me still. And worst of all, my dreams are so different now!"

She buries her head on Sophonia's shoulder and begins to sob.