Meanwhile, In Apollodorus's Chambers

(Source Thread)

Jonathan.Link » Mon May 13, 2013 10:56 am
Discuss precautions regarding securing Apollodorus’s Book of Control and then resolve things in character.



 cunningrat1 » Mon May 13, 2013 10:58 am
(( Do I get to participate in this discussion, since Stultus arrived after Apollodorus’ death? ))


 Jonathan.Link » Mon May 13, 2013 11:02 am
I would say certainly, that this would be an ongoing discussion, subject to revision and what not. I just want a clear understanding of what’s there for Cumhachd to circumvent.

Keep in mind, that it (Apollodorus’s inner library) is warded against House Guernicus specifically, it may or may not have been warded against Tremere, but given his admonition to not share the book with House Tremere, that’s not an unreasonable guess. Too bad Rose as a PC never materialized… 



 Jonathan.Link » Mon May 13, 2013 11:12 am
Let me also add that this is not a permanent loss of the book, it’s not designed as a story to be punitive at all1. There is something I’m doing here that I need the players to trust that it will work out and be interesting at the same time. It requires players divorcing themselves from their characters a bit. PCs can and should be totally PO’d by what’s going to happen. Players should give me the benefit of the doubt, and let the story unfold. That’s why I’m asking for reasonable precautions for securing it above and beyond the basics that are known and/or can be reasonably guessed.

Oh, and let me add, that since it has been enchanted and is clarified, it must stay within an aura of sufficient strength or be destroyed. Probably all characters but one will assume that Cumhachd doesn’t wish to destroy the book… 

on my review of the Planner, is that Isen is impacted by the loss of the book, based on the current plans listed in Google docs document. This is a momentary blip, though.

 cunningrat1 » Mon May 13, 2013 11:21 am
Stultus would suggest the following things:
The real books are in a deep walled-in niche within the sanctum. The niche is divided into two separate chambers, a front one and a back one. Accessing the niche requires a spontaneous ReTe/MuTe spell; accessing the back niche requires emptying the front one, and casting another such spell.
A number of other books (spare lab texts, vain books, or even blank books), re-bound to resemble the real books, within the front niche.
Optionally, a second set of fake books on a hidden-but-easy-to-find shelf within the sanctum.
A register of the real books, within the Princeps’ sanctum.
A separate Arcane Connection to each book, held by the Imperator.



 Jonathan.Link » Mon May 13, 2013 11:29 am
What’s the design of said spell?


 cunningrat1 » Mon May 13, 2013 11:50 am
Jonathan.Link wrote:What’s the design of said spell?

I said, “spontaneous”. Any spell designed to bypass a wall would do. MuTe (change mortar between the stones to get rid of its “sticky” property): Base 1, +1 Touch, +1 Diam, +1 Part, +1 to affect “stone”: level 5. If you have trouble with Muto or Terram, go get Fiona.



 cunningrat1 » Mon May 13, 2013 11:55 am
Alternately, hide the niche behind a tapestry and have the blocks of stone that cover it (and blocks of stone that compose the inner wall) be mortared together, but unconnected to the rest of the wall, requiring ReTe or a strong enough mundane to remove. That’s not really the important part. The important part is that the outer niche contains false books, and most people once they find something ‘hidden’ don’t look any further to see what might be hidden behind it.


 Jonathan.Link » Mon May 13, 2013 12:06 pm
cunningrat1 wrote:
Jonathan.Link wrote:What’s the design of said spell?

I said, “spontaneous”. Any spell designed to bypass a wall would do. MuTe (change mortar between the stones to get rid of its “sticky” property): Base 1, +1 Touch, +1 Diam, +1 Part, +1 to affect “stone”: level 5. If you have trouble with Muto or Terram, go get Fiona.

Well, the design of the spell, be it spontaneous or otherwise is actually really important, because as you say, just “go get Fiona.” But, I submit that it is an argument a player makes, and not one a character makes. Spontaneous spells of fifth level require CS of 25 to be cast without fatigue, and also no flaws which inhibit casting spontaneous magic. Fiona certainly fits the bill. But, reasonably, do you think she would appreciate or other magi would rely upon her for access to the book? And the alternative, of casting it oneself is risky due to the chance of botch. And that design suggests that it weakens the joints, but it doesn’t move any components of the wall, which means it becomes a Rego spell, with a Muto requisite, so you have to go get Isen, or someone else who is proficient with Rego. Even if the Muto is “free” it’s a huge imposition to a lot of people a lot of the way around. A Tytalus might be willing to live with this, for a time…but eventually the risk of 1 botch per season, on average to access the book is a bit too high for most magi. And I figure magi are smart enough to know that pushing themselves to cast a spell 90 times in a season during the course of a day is probably a bit risky… Especially for those magi with a Gift that makes spontaneous spell casting more difficult, or the characters with Flawless Magic….
cunningrat1 wrote:Alternately, hide the niche behind a tapestry and have the blocks of stone that cover it (and blocks of stone that compose the inner wall) be mortared together, but unconnected to the rest of the wall, requiring ReTe or a strong enough mundane to remove. That’s not really the important part. The important part is that the outer niche contains false books, and most people once they find something ‘hidden’ don’t look any further to see what might be hidden behind it.

And that’s fine, as described. It’s within the ballpark of entirely reasonable, whereas I submit the idea of needing a “spontaneous” spell is not. Now, perhaps this incident might give the council pause and they would consider inventing the spell, and then ensuring everyone knew it, but, even if we go back and revise recent history to allow for the creation and dissemination of said spell, I doubt it will have been implemented, yet.



 gerg » Mon May 13, 2013 12:12 pm
As Jonathan mentioned in the other thread, Tranquillina knows Ward Against the Curious Scullion and is certainly happy to use it on behalf of the covenant. She casts it with a typical Penetration of 28 or so (in the regio aura). Of course, that could hinder us as we go about our own business – that’s a call we have to make.

I note also that the hardest part about guarding a book (or anything) is guarding it against magi who know what they’re looking for. Stultus’s suggested subterfuge will work against people looting at random; barring access with spells and walls keeps out mundanes. But so far Tranquillina herself could probably bypass all suggested defenses – teleport in and out, boom. Is there anything reasonable that can be done against that sort of intruder?



 cunningrat1 » Mon May 13, 2013 12:15 pm
Jonathan.Link wrote:Well, the design of the spell, be it spontaneous or otherwise is actually really important, because as you say, just “go get Fiona.” But, I submit that it is an argument a player makes, and not one a character makes. Spontaneous spells of fifth level require CS of 25 to be cast without fatigue, and also no flaws which inhibit casting spontaneous magic. 

And I figure magi are smart enough to know that pushing themselves to cast a spell 90 times in a season during the course of a day is probably a bit risky… 

Why cast it 90 times a season? If you’re actually studying it, you remove it for that season and keep it within your Sanctum. Give it back once you’re done. 
Why would you want to cast it without fatigue? Again, if you’re only casting it twice a Season (four times, twice for each of the walls).
Why wouldn’t you use ceremonial casting? We could keep a set of casting tools that give, say, a +3 bonus, within the sanctum, in a drawer.

But yes, ReTe is the better option.

I will also say something that the player knows from his IT work. Security is inversely proportional to convenience, and there is no such thing as perfect security. You come up with a workable compromise, that’s all you can do.

Besides, this was just what I came up with off the top of my head. Other people may have other ideas.



 cunningrat1 » Mon May 13, 2013 12:23 pm
gerg wrote:But so far Tranquillina herself could probably bypass all suggested defenses – teleport in and out, boom. Is there anything reasonable that can be done against that sort of intruder?

I challenge Tranquillina to teleport (blindly, without an AC) into a 2’ by 2’ by 2’ niche filled to the brim with books.  It’s not an actual room, it’s a space big enough to hold the books. 

Stultus’ suggested defenses are actually specifically to keep out magi who know what they are looking for, by putting fake books where they could be found. If a magus has all the time in the world to look around, yeah, they’d find it. But if they’re in a hurry, they may be deceived by the first or the second fake copy. 

That is also why his defenses are not magical in and of themselves: because magical defenses will show up on an InVi spell, and because There’s Always Someone Better™ who can bypass them magically. Tranquillina’s Penetration on “Ward Against the Curious Scullion” is 28. Do you really think, say, Bilera’s or Valerian’s Corpus resistance is worse than that? To say nothing of Cumhachd.



 Jonathan.Link » Mon May 13, 2013 12:24 pm
cunningrat1 wrote:Why cast it 90 times a season? If you’re actually studying it, you remove it for that season and keep it within your Sanctum. Give it back once you’re done. 

Because if you remove it from the location warded against Guernicus, you remove a major protection…?
cunningrat1 wrote:Why would you want to cast it without fatigue? Again, if you’re only casting it twice a Season (four times, twice for each of the walls).

See above, I think that the magi would not reasonably remove it from where it is, and would study it on the lectern on which it sits.
cunningrat1 wrote:Why wouldn’t you use ceremonial casting? We could keep a set of casting tools that give, say, a +3 bonus, within the sanctum, in a drawer.

Again, you can do all that, and if it gets the CS to such a level that all the magi could reliably cast it without exerting themselves, I’m on board with it. Some magi, won’t agree to such a stipulation, though. And I’d be hard pressed to accept any and all players saying their magi would accept it.
cunningrat1 wrote:But yes, ReTe is the better option.

I will also say something that the player knows from his IT work. Security is inversely proportional to convenience, and there is no such thing as perfect security. You come up with a workable compromise, that’s all you can do.

That’s exactly right. And security is a process, not an endpoint.
cunningrat1 wrote:Besides, this was just what I came up with off the top of my head. Other people may have other ideas.

Oh, I’m not trying to be a Negative Nancy, I’m just trying to come up with reasonable precautions taken. A method requiring a spell is a reasonable precaution. Some magi wouldn’t mind casting it spontaneously, but even going back and revising character sheets/history for the creation of said spell, and then the dissemination of said spell, I don’t think everyone would be there, yet. And then it becomes a question as to when everyone would sign off on it being effectively off limits to mundane intrusion, keeping in mind it already is with Ward of the Curious Scullion…



cunningrat1 » Mon May 13, 2013 12:45 pm
Jonathan.Link wrote:Because if you remove it from the location warded against Guernicus, you remove a major protection…?
See above, I think that the magi would not reasonably remove it from where it is, and would study it on the lectern on which it sits.

Okay, that’s a fair point.
Jonathan.Link wrote:And then it becomes a question as to when everyone would sign off on it being effectively off limits to mundane intrusion, keeping in mind it already is with Ward of the Curious Scullion…

Re-quoting what I said, so people don’t miss it in the storm of posts…
cunningrat1 wrote:Stultus’ suggested defenses are actually specifically to keep out magi who know what they are looking for, by putting fake books where they could be found. If a magus has all the time in the world to look around, yeah, they’d find it. But if they’re in a hurry, they may be deceived by the first or the second fake copy. 

That is also why his defenses are not magical in and of themselves: because magical defenses will show up on an InVi spell, and because There’s Always Someone Better™ who can bypass them magically.



 gerg » Mon May 13, 2013 12:51 pm
cunningrat1 wrote:I challenge Tranquillina to teleport (blindly, without an AC) into a 2’ by 2’ by 2’ niche filled to the brim with books.  It’s not an actual room, it’s a space big enough to hold the books.

I agree with Jonathan’s comment that the place where the book is stored must also be a place where the book will be studied from.
I’ll also take on your use of "blindly"  Seeing through a wall into the room beyond is trivial: a CrIg spell to create light inside the room (by touch from the outside), then Eyes of the Cat, thenPrying Eyes - all level 5 spells.



 Jonathan.Link » Tue May 14, 2013 8:39 am
Who wants to place their grogs here? One player, one grog…


 jebrick » Tue May 14, 2013 3:10 pm
Peregrine_Bjornaer wrote:Only think I could come up with last night/this morning (when I should have been sleeping) is to make the book look like something it’s not. Maybe have the binding painted/decorated to look like the Holy Bible. But then JL mentioned that that one book might not be the only thing worth plundering.

So I’m thinking, maybe, a hidden storage space either in the floor or behind the bookcase in the wall or something. And have decoy books where the real books would be expected to be. Perhaps with Aesop’s Fables written in code in ancient Greek or whatever it’s called.

I’m thinking the same thing.

I was working on an item ( a brick) that would give the effect of the Diagon Alley opening and closing. I’m also thinking of a linked trigger that would accept a metal command. I think a base of 5 could understand/listen for 2 words. Or, if you really really wanted to be tricky, an emotion.



 Marko Markoko » Fri May 17, 2013 8:14 am
Junior is more of a henchman thug. But Roberto has been trying to train him, so maybe some guard duty will do him good.
So, before any of this happens, just the moment before, Junior looks over at the other guard and says
Wanna armwrestle? Looser buys drinks after the shift ends.


 Jonathan.Link » Fri May 17, 2013 8:26 am
“Sure.” We’ll assume that there’s a table nearby, and chairs. The other guard, who shall identify himself eventually, maybe, stands and let’s TB and Junior get to it.
This is just a few days after the fight in the bar, so Junior isn’t healed, yet, but he’s coming along nicely. "How are the ribs?“ He says it out of genuine concern.
The two get down to arm wrestle. And TB smiles. It looks like Junior’s going to win, but then he says, ”You remember how you said I was using magic the other day? And then I said, I wasn’t? Well, that’s not the case today." Junior finds himself frozen in spot, with his arm halfway to a pin, but his entire body is immobilized. 

TB then stands, turns to the other guard, and smiles.



qcipher » Fri May 17, 2013 11:35 am
Alexei suddenly appears outside the chambers with a burst of a somewhat spciy hops aroma and takes a second to look around. Brionne was standing at his post like he should be but the other grog was sitting at a table with his hand in the air. That was odd, and why wasn’t Brionne saluting him?

Alexei raises his staff and sees someone that is vaguely familiar at best. "Who are you? Stand fast!" he commands.



 Jonathan.Link » Fri May 17, 2013 12:14 pm
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Timeframe in this story is a bit before the events of the Mistress Spanks twice as they are now. So this is supposed to be just you playing Brionne here. When I said show up over here, I meant show up as a player, but playing Brionne, not playing Alexei trying to stop Cumhachd. 

Here’s the order of events:
Cumhachd had her note delivered by a page, meaning she was in the castle, already. Once she had ensured that the note was on its way, she found an out of the way spot, transformed into Twigberry, and came up here and took Apollodorus’s book. She then secured that book, resumed her form as Cumhachd and returned to Mons Electi and acquired the Magic Theory text in the library. Then she paralyzed the Alexandria as she started complaining about taking the book. Cumhachd then secured that book, and shortly after that (few minutes later) Alexandria came into the council, told Alexei and the council about the Magic Theory text being stolen, and shortly thereafter, Cumhachd secured Loys, but that happened after Alexei is in the Library. Even if Alexei had gone to Apollodorus’s library right away, it wouldn’t have mattered, the dead would already have been done.

So, Alexei can arrive on scene, see Brione and Junior paralyzed, but it should happen in the other thread. Because here, is just about Cumhachd taking the book, and Alexei and/or everyone else doesn’t find out about it until after it’s gone.

No one seemed interested in character dialog with Cumhachd/Twigberry with one of their grogs, so we’ll just call this story done, and it never lived up to it’s potential.



 qcipher » Fri May 17, 2013 12:28 pm
((Woops, yeah very sorry, let me redact this with Brionne, I’ll reply shortly. I completely misunderstood you. Go ahead and delete my previous post if you’d like))


 qcipher » Fri May 17, 2013 12:50 pm
Brionne had received light duty for a change, guarding the important Magi’s chambers was easy enough. He’d heard about the great fights that the stranger had done at the inn but for the most part was unimpressed. As Michel had often said "No one won a war with a punch." If weapons were drawn he and any of Alexei’s guard would more than take care of business. He didn’t approve of the impromptu arm wrestling contest with him now, he’d have to report that to the sergeant once the shift was over. He kept his eyes on business when he smelled a strange odour that brought a familiar tingling up his spine and set the hairs on his body to stand straight up. He looked over at the table and saw the newcomer rising while Junior was still sitting.

“What…what’s this? Junior? Junior!”



 Jonathan.Link » Fri May 17, 2013 1:04 pm
Twigberry looks at Brionne. "Don’t run away. I’ve no desire to hurt you. If you run, and I paralyze you, you might fall. And my spell might not get you until you’re at the top of the steps, and if I paralyze you there, that might be really painful. So, the question you need to ask yourself, is do you want it the hard way or the easy way? It makes no difference to me. Well, except that I really don’t want to hurt anybody.“ Brionne doesn’t feel the anxiety he does around other magi, it’s almost as if he’s talking to Alexei.
If he does run from his post, he’s right, he probably will fall down the stairs if her spell hits him at the right time. ((I can’t remember if Brionne ever went to the Magic Realm, so if he has, he might think it’s a chance to return. If he hasn’t, he might think it’s a chance to get there for the first time, through rumors he’s heard…)) 
Brionne’s indecision causes him to say, ”I don’t have all day, dear boy."


 qcipher » Fri May 17, 2013 1:33 pm
((Brionne knows a bit about Magi, but not any Magic Realm, and in the end he’s loyal, he took a beating for Fiona who he’d only just started working for, he’s not about to just give up his post))

Brionne draws his weapon in response. "Stay right where you are! You come to me and I’ll hack you down! I heard you were good with your hands…this ain’t a fist though! Don’t try me!"



 Jonathan.Link » Fri May 17, 2013 1:46 pm
Brionne feels his body infused with energy, the feeling after a short jog or other physical exertion, where you feel as if you could keep running, working or whatever, the hint of feeling that you can do just a bit more "My dear boy, your weapon can’t hit me if you can’t move.“ Brionne receives a warping point, because Twigberry isn’t dumb enough to engage in hand to hand with someone armed with a sword. The energy rides through him, and his eyes are free to move, Twigberry sees that he’s relished the sensation.
Twigberry changes form before his and Johan’s eyes, and Cumhachd, an older, not unattractive woman, is before them. She might be considered almost MILFy in today’s parlance. ”You enjoyed that I see. I can do so much more for you, dear boy.“ she whispers into his ear, as she grabs a lock if his hair. The lock comes off, while Brionne feels a minor surge of energy pulsing through him again. ”When I’ve settled, maybe I’ll call you to me, and I’ll share with you delights few men have ever felt." That doesn’t sound as sexual as it could…

“See you later, boys.” She walks into Apollodorus’s sanctum, shutting the door and leaving the guards where they are. The spell lasts until sundown. But someone will come along before then…half hour? Hour? Who knows… 

The two can here voices from within the chamber, one voice sounding familiar to Brionne…make an awareness roll for him when you can…



 qcipher » Fri May 17, 2013 2:11 pm
((Yeah that works…

I’ll roll for Awareness later on and return to Alexei in the other thread))



 qcipher » Fri May 17, 2013 8:21 pm
Brionne knows he failed, but at least he stayed loyal. Ohhh that sweet spell!

While frozen he couldn’t help but hear some low voices in the chambers, he tried concentrating despite the lovely distraction…

Per + Awareness 5
1d10+5 → [5,5] = (10) 10
http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/4054087/


Meanwhile, In Apollodorus's Chambers

In the Ruins of Bibracte jonathanlink Peregrine_Bjornaer