And the group prepares to return to the magic realm
Towards the end of 1230, Anastasia starts speaking with her fellow magi at the covenant about her new spell "The Gift of Vé", which she plans to use to communicate with the ghosts beyond the portal in the magic realm during their new foray, regardless of the multitude of languages they might have spoken in life. She could scribe it down, if anyone else would like to learn it before their next trip. She is suggesting Winter 1231 for the next major trip, which would leave some time for any preparation they need to make. She's looking to discuss who would take part in such a trip and whether any additional preparations are needed in order to make a breakthrough.
Kriegeist is receptive to the idea. "Are you planning to go deep into the Realm? Or to get a better understanding of our neighbors?"
"I want to understand the place more, and see what knowledge we may gain from that ghost metropolitan area. But yes, we'll want to go deeper in the realms at some point, from what we saw last time, there's at least two paths we couldn't explore last time - the door guarded by what I'll call the Valkyries until I know better, and the bridge guarded by the large dog. I'm open to traveling further, if it seems wise once we know the place a little bit more than we do. What would your interest be?"
Bartomeus joins the conversation, quietly waiting for a moment to speak.
"I would certainly be interested in both the spell you speak of and another visit to the realm," says Bartomeus. "And I agree: there is still significant work to be done to advance our understanding of the fundamentals of the initial metropolitan area. Not to mention determining how much learning can come from these ghosts. We also need to continue to better understand the development of vis in the realm: rates of growth, variety of type."
Bartomeus pauses and then smiles.
"So yes, I would to join you."
Kriegeist says, "I'm interested in learning how their education works, that is a primary interest of mine. As for the guardians of the deeper paths, I would like to challenge them, but now is not the right time for that, I think."
"Yes, understanding their education system sounds like a worthy objective which I subscribe to as well. I'll scribe the lab text in the spring so you both have time to learn it as needed. Is there anything else we need to prepare, at this point, you think?"
Bartomeus furrows his brow.
"Are you thinking about this a vis harvesting expedition as well? I wonder if we should bring some consortes or grogs along to assist in the harvest. I suspect it will be useful to start establishing a trade and harvest route of sorts. Or am I being too ambitious?"
OOC: I have factored in that we have, since the last magic realm expedition, had a practice of collecting vis from all the boundaries we identified as producing vis on a seasonal basis, much like the rocks we used to place right beyond the portal. This is reflected in the vis accounting page, with a seasonal income of:
Magic realm: 8 Mentem, 24 Corpus, 2 Animal, 4 Vim, 14 Terram, 2 Aquam, 2 Ignem.
1 Terram from Quartz Mine
Your magi would know this.
OOC: So this is basically ALL the vis we're going to harvest? Or is there opportunity to cultivate more? Part of what I think Bartomeus is thinking is the question of expansion: is it possible, how do we do it, etc.
OOC: Ah, I see where you're going.
"My understanding is that, to get more vis, we have to find new zones. Or understand what the local vis economy among the ghosts is like, to take part in it. I'm not sure how grogs and companion have a role there, but I'm open to ideas."
Bartomeus nods thoughtfully.
"I am simply speculating about what we might consider. Nothing wrong with seeking to understand just how far this bounty might extend." The Bonisagus smiles briefly.
"I also wonder what we might plan to trade with the ghosts. The one we spoke with said that they spend vis as tuition for their learning. Perhaps we should bring vis with us to pay for our own instruction should that be an option."
Bartomeus takes a breath before adding, "I also wonder if we could convince Guida to travel through one of the vestiges that lead to one of nearest locations. It would help to understand if these vestiges could be used as a means of traveling to these destinations. These could open up some interesting trade route possibilities…"
"Are there routes you haven't explored beyond those two you mentioned? Maybe we can divide our efforts, some of us can explore a bit further, and some can try to make sense of their education and vis economy? that way we expand our knowledge faster. It is disappointing that the books he left behind are nearly useless and it will take a long time to make sense of them."
"Beyond the portal lies a small village with a main hall, or community center. Each house links to a sort of boundary, a regio within the magic realm. The regios actually seem like atriums, or various forms of dwelling, singular or multiple once inside. We explored those, and extract vis from the houses, much like our rocks beyond the portal. The houses, beyond being a regio, also seem to be a form of... arcane connection I guess, to somewhere in Mythic Europe. We haven't tried to navigate to the real world yet, as it wasn't clear whether the destination was safe, or whether travel back to the Magic Realm could be made from there...
The guarded door was within the community center itself, which seemed to be a sort of school for ghosts, and the ghost we spoke of described it as the gate to a higher level of existence, as if their presence there was transitory, although given some of them have been there since the Roman Empire, I guess temporary is a relative notion... While the bridge guarded by the dog seemed to be the only path out of town. There are likely several paths beyond either point, but we didn't see any evidence of additional routes that lead deeper into the Magic Realm during our last trip beyond those two. Where Mingus went is a mystery also."
"Have you tried crossing the bridge guarded by the dog? Maybe all it needs is to be petted to let us through, or maybe we can just teleport across the bridge, and not worry about it at all.
It would be interesting to see whether these houses actually lead to far away places, as that would shorten travel times for us, and with our magic, even if they only open one way, we can come back here faster. I do have the Seven League Stride spell, that I can share with you, if you do not have it already. Though of course, the next step, for me is to research a version that would allow me to travel anywhere I have an Arcane Connection to."
"No, we didn't try crossing the bridge. With the language barrier, we weren't sure what was the dog's relation with the locals, and wanted to avoid creating a problem we couldn't fix right away. I'm also not sure we can simply teleport accross the bridge, as the bridge seems to lead into a regio, and I'm not sure whether teleporting into it without crossing the bridge will work... but again, we haven't tried."
"I've also developped a circle version of the leap of homecoming spell, which I can share, if you want."
"Sharing is always welcome. Any spells you'd like me to share?
Mmmm, the bridge leads to a Regio, within the Magic Realm? that would be interesting to investigate."
"I don't know. I mostly know of your interest in healing and Herbam spells. My interest at the moment is mostly directed at Vim and Mentem magics. I suspect if I had to learn from somehow, that might be @Plot_Device Kriegeist, or @Bartomeus."
Kriegeist shakes his head. "Most of my spell research has been either preparing for violence, or very difficult rituals of human improvement. Nothing especially useful for exploring or investigating, that's why I tag along with you, you're better at the investigation. I've always been one to analyze the raw data others bring back, but it's interesting to explore, so I like to go along."
"Well, I wouldn't mind learning those rituals. With the local aura here, I doubt they are beyond my capacity. And, of course, you're welcome along."