winter 1229- The Simplon route

The route has four stops- the Matterhorn covenant, the Kandar covenant, Harco, and the copper rooster. You are tasked with getting the required mail transported to and from all of these locations in a period of three months and having no messages left in your inventory. Durring the winter, in the alpine mountain range. How could the first trip not be an adventure?
You obviously know the way to the copper rooster, and you can take a shortcut to (or from) Harco by way of a Hermes Portal at the redcap outpost in Splugen.

Sounds like Harco is the main stop that is out of the path, so yes, using a Hermes Portal sounds good. Guida will get going to the copper rooster as a first stop, then to the three stops in the alps, being careful with the paths she takes along the mountain range.

You arrive before dusk at the copper rooster. There are letters to be taken to Harco, and one for Elia asking for her assistance with an aging crisis, if that is in her repitoire. No letters here for the other covenants on your route.
Your directions give the traditional land based route to each covenant- Kandar is the closest to here- 60 miles south to lake Thun, around the lake to the town of Spiez, then through the valley to the south for 14 miles until a valley on your right leads to a lake, across that lake and up a 1000 foot cliff is the covenant of Kandar. Or you can head to Splugen and Harco and take this from the opposite end after picking up more of the letters to the covenants.

Guida will drop Elia's letter to the covenant before making her way to Splugen and then Harco.

Bartomeus pens a missive and asks Guida, before she leaves, to kindly see if it can't be sent to his previous covenant, addressed to his magus friend among the senior magi of the covenant.

The letter reads:

Winter 1229, In the Alps

Salvete Sodales,

My travels have completed successfully. The Alps are breath-taking, quite literally when walking their paths on foot.

I am writing to you, sodales, to thank you for your kindness and to notify you that I hereby renounce the Oath of Covenant with you. I do not take this step lightly or without a measure of sadness. Our seasons together were fruitful, and our collegiality was most beneficial.

But we must needs pursue our owns paths of research and study, and mine has led me into these lofty mountains and beyond. Rest assured that I have found refuge among a remarkable and capable covenant of hermetic magi. My research shall go on, though I hope without such dramatic outcomes as we experienced together.

Yours in the Order,

Bartomeus ex Bonisagus

Assuming she flies to Splugen, this will not cause any issues.
At Harco there are two small chests- one for the Matterhorn covenant and one for the Kandar covenant. Each chest has a load of 3, and a moderately sized bag of messages to be taken to the copper rooster.

She will pass on the letters that were due for Harco including Bartomeus's so it can be redistributed in the Roman tribunal to his covenant. She will then fit either or both of the two small chests with the bag to include in her own weightless chest depending on the size and what fits, and cross over to Splugen and make her way to the two other covenant, starting by the closest one.

Harco is closer to the Matterhorn than Splugen is.
directions from Harco to the matterhorn:
Route A (Great Saint Bernard Pass):Go north to Ivrea, follow the valley to the north as it hangs left and continue 2 miles before heading north to the end of the valley, and light a fire at the base of the mountain in the blue fire pit. covenant member will descend to help you into the covenant inside the mountain.
Route B: (Simplon pass): Go north to reach Omegna, head north through the broad valley to the abandoner Roman Marble quarry, take a side valley to the northwest, follow to Simplon pass. Cross the path and turn left at Briga Dives, proceed for 5 miles then turn south. When you reach a divide in the valley the Matterhorn will be in sight, again procede to the base and light a fire in the blue fire pit (this is in fact a different pit, in a different valley) and you will be escorted inside.

Will go by route A.

You travel 35 miles from Harco to Iverea to find the city walls closed and a sentry asking "Guelph or Ghibelline?"

You would know that Guelph's support the pope and Ghibellines support Fredrick II. Which one controls this town would require an int+area lore roll with a target of 18.

I rolled an 8 for int + area lore. Not knowing what to expect, Guida tries something else. "Neither. I'm but a simple merchant plying my trade." She tries to get on the good side of the sentries if she needs to. I rolled an 11 on Presence+Charm if required in the situation.

They talk amongst themselves for a bit then turn back to you. "What are you selling?"

Trying not to stay too far from the truth, Guida describes her role as a service broker, looking for rare craftsmen in different cities, and helping them secure crafting contracts in other Italian cities. She has a skill so she can answer casual questions, and obviously, she'll avoid mention of the Order or her role as a redcap. If pressed to discuss who she works for, she'll talk about various merchant guilds to avoid accidentally identifying herself with a town that might be on the wrong side of the Guelph / Ghibelline dispute.

The questioning is short, but leads to more discussion between the two guards. In the end they settle on an entrance fee of 20 mythic pennies (don't bother keeping track), and you are let into the town. Inn's are priced a bit above normal, despite having an apparent paucity of customers, who keep to small groups which combine a merchant or two with a handful of mercenary guardsmen each, each of them eying the other. As you sit for dinner the serving wench brings you a handful of notes from your fellow customers, wanting to know what trade you are engaged in and if you would be interested in an exchange of information.

Guida won't let a good chance to gossip fly by her. She'll want to find out about the local situation in Ivrea and surrounding towns, and also do her part as a service broker, keeping in mind any information that may prove useful in locating possible covenant members to recruit while in town or help her while traveling the region.

It turns out the remaining merchants are transporting either flax or dye, depending on where they are coming from, south to Italy, and want to know where allegiances lie regarding the war between Fredrick II and the Pope.

Guida explains that she tries to avoid being entangled in that dispute, as it is bad for business and traveling. She'll spend some time talking out what road the different merchants came by, see if any of them may know if there are problems she should expect ahead on the mundane part of her trip.

"That's the point of knowledge, to avoid entanglement. Be able to mutter the right words in the right places."
They have different accounts of events north of the alps, many of which you actually have better information of having been in the copper rooster so recently. Within the trails on the alps itself they talk about rumors that Fredrick will try a surprise attack, which most dismiss as foolishness, since the eastern alps are much more conducive to troop movement. Aosta is fortifying, to the degree that it really does anything military, against the possibility of an invasion from the south, since it is part of the Holy Roman Empire, and supports Fredrick despite his being excommunicated. They also indicate that Aosta won't need much fortification in a week if the weather keeps up the way it has been.

Guida will share as much as she feels she can share without revealing secrets known only to the redcaps.

The politics of Italy are an ever shifting Gordian knot of their own, further complicated by the tendency of some merchants to lay false trails of rumor in order to improve their own results at market. As such they are very grateful for what information you can and do chose to share with them.
At the end of the night as you prepare to move on they wish you well, choosing to remain at the inn rather than risk travel in the worsening cold, and express concern of avalanche since you are headed north.