Winter 1221, Chp 4: The Search for Maribus / Wrath of Sanno

You see two of Sholem's daughters leading a bemused Aequi down to the docks. He is munching on a breakfast quiche and starts brushing the crust crumbs from his vest and exposed belly. He has a ditty bag slung over his shoulder, a blocky wooden object strapped to his left wrist, and a slightly metallic circular disc hangs from his belt.

The two girls skips up to Stefan and giggle a bit. The older daughter greets Stefan and starts, "He wandered by the barn and stables-"
"Twice!" the younger one exclaims.

The older sister shushes her charge a bit but nods, "And when we saw him pass by the kitchen when we were dropping off the morning milk Marike recruited us to take him where he was trying to go." She shrugs a bit, "He said the docks. I have no idea why he was by the stables, although that wretched goat tried to bite me again. He's yours now, we have to go back to our chores." They slightly curtsey to Stefan again and then turn to return up the path.

Aequi waves at the gathered magi. "Hail and good morning! 'Tis a good day to sail!" Looking at Rhodri and Sinmore, his face falls into one of concern. "Wouldn't it be safer to stow the heavy until landing? Maga Jasmine always says it's good to be prepared, yes it is, but even the smoothest ride is haunted by drowned countrymen. She even makes me take off my gauntlets." He pats his bag and there's a very slight muffled clang. "Me mercantile weights are in there too, just in case."

The boat ride is uneventful. Sanno tows it at a breakneck speed, and some of you pretend to row just so it doesn't draw too much attention (the river Dee does bring you right through Chester).

The overland walk is pleasant, though it is already quite cold for this early in the winter.

When you arrive at Llyn Efyrnwy, it is a cold, still day. The lake is still and quiet, the day grey. There is a tower offshore rising directly out of the lake's surface, with a long stone bridge on pillars rising out of the water, and there seems to be a few buildings on a couple small islands in the lake.

What is your plan?

As sinmore stretches and gets out of the boat she consults the notes from Maribus that dealt with this area. It's mosty about fishing spots, but she's checking to see if there is any information on the tower or the buildings.

Medieval paradigm notes: vellum is quite expensive, and a scholar would not take notes of any importance onto a boat or otherwise put anything important enough to write down at risk of destruction.

That said, Maribus didn't record anything in his personal journal that was Mercere business, only his personal thoughts and records. If he had information on buildings or its inhabitants, it would have been house business.

((I meant to write important notes on a wax tablet before we went on this trip, I remember you bringing up the vellum issue before. Oh well, since reading it she merely knows the fishing spots then))

So what's the plan?

(For the record, the stone tower I described really exists:

"Let's check one building at a time together. Sanno can get us from one place to the other pretty quickly."

Of the islands, the largest one has a stone house and two smaller wooden huts, and the smallest island has a single wooden shack.

There is a large dock near where the lake turns into the river, and a couple large wooden buildings near the dock.

And there is the stone tower in the water.

Where do you want to start?

"I suggest the stone tower first."

The stone tower is within the lake itself, with a long stone bridge on pillars leading to the shore. At the end of the bridge is a set of ornately carved oaken doors. There is a small dock at water level, and a spiral stone staircase on the tower's back end leading up to a small landing with another wooden door.

"The tower of stone seems a good starting location," says Iapetus, the Spaniard stretching from the long trek in the boat. He takes time to adjust his worn armor, the magus muttering in Spanish for a moment about something or other. He checks the loop holding his mace before he looks around again, taking in the lake as a whole. "I don't suppose any of us are specialized in Intellego?" he asks. "I regret I have not found myself time to be learning everyone's skills." Whether anyone answers or not, the Tytalus will turn and appraise the Tower ahead, studying it thoughtfully before he begins to trudge down the shore towards the bridge.

"The tower it is." agrees Sinmore and hefts her rucksack and starts the walk down to the bridge.

As Sinmore steps onto the stone bridge, a silver bell begins to ring wildly at an overhead window. "I'm coming, I'm coming!" calls an aged-sounding male voice, in Welsh.

A few minutes later, the front doors open and a hunched old man comes out, with a bucket in his hands. "Oh-- excuse me, I-- umm, hello? But where's Bosley, if the bell is ringing?" He looks around, seeming quite confused.

Sinmore had kept a hand ready to draw her sword or cast a spell depending on what happened once she heard the bell. A small harmless looking old man was not what she expected. He spoke in the gibberish that many at the covenant spoke also. She frowns and scratches her head.

"Hmmm...Do ye speak English? Maybe Latin or even French?" she asks in English.

Rhodri replies in Welsh, "We are looking for one known as Maribus. Are you familiar with that name?"

The old man chuckles. "Looking for maribus? Omnes flumina maribus ducunt," he quips ("all rivers lead to the sea," a play on the saying "all roads lead to Rome").

Working on the assumption that this man is likely not a Magus (despite the Tower), Iapetus will lurk near the back of the group, and look down at the water. He will admire the light off the waves, study how the wind and the water, the fire (light) and earth all converge in this scene. Oh, and of course, keeping an ear out for the conversation.

The silver bell continues to ring, and the man clears his throat. "Excuse me," he addresses Rhodri in Welsh (since he's the only one he knows to share a language with), "But could whichever of you is a lycanthrope, please step off the bridge? The bell can be quite shrill. Unless he'd like to be fed, of course," he adds quickly, gesturing to his bucket.

Attravere will stand off to the side in his redcap attire due to his lack of language with which to speak to the locals of the isles, unless they should happen to speak Italian or Latin. He'll be paying attention to non-verbal things like demeanor and nervous ticks in those they deal with as well as keeping the occasional eye on their surroundings.

Rhodri let's the others know in Latin, "The bell rings for lycanthropes. The man would like us to stop ringing the bell. Perhaps someone who knows Maribus well - Sanno? - could give me details to share with this man to see if her recognizes Maribus?"