Dec 02, 2022 1:19 AM
Felicia and Elias visit the Casinean Empire
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"All meals, yes. We'll take the one with the twin single bed."

She turns to Allegra.

"Do you have a preference for where you prefer your room to be?"

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"Uh, probably as close to yours as possible? It's unlikely there'll be trouble in the night, but best that I'm nearby to explain things if there is."

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"We have two adjacent rooms on the fourth floor, if that sounds good to you?

So that's dinner for three tonight and tomorrow, breakfast for three tomorrow and the day after, and lunch buffet tomorrow, two rooms on the fourth floor - that'll be six crowns total, ma'am."

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Six crowns. There are twenty rings to a crown, so does that mean there are twenty crowns to a throne? That means she should get twelve crowns as change.

She nods and places a one throne coin on the table.

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"Thank you, ma'am, one moment while I get the keys. Will you be wanting a second key to the shared room?"

The receptionist looks through a drawer hidden behind the desk, picks out some keys, then takes out two crowns of change from another compartment to put down.

"Your room number will be on a list for your meals, just quote it when you're asked for payment. Numbers are on the doors upstairs. Is there anything else?" 

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"Yes, please." She doesn't anticipate Elias wanting to go out, what with his aura, but she doesn't want to categorically stop him if he wants to.

Only two? Um.

She moves back and asks Allegra softly, "Is that the correct amount of change? How many crowns are there to a throne? Are there eight?"

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"Yes, that's right - eight crowns to a throne. It kind of made sense at the time, there were eight nations in the Empire when the currency was devised, but no, it doesn't really make much sense." Allegra also replies softly, so the receptionist doesn't feel slighted.

"Is everything alright?" asks the receptionist, adding another key from the drawer. "I can call someone over to see you to your rooms if you'd like, but not all of our customers appreciate the gesture."

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"I see, thanks."

She turns back to the receptionist. "No thank you. We'd like to go to our rooms ourselves." She smiles and takes the keys, going up to the rooms with Allegra and Elias in tow.

She sighs deeply when they reach the room. All she wants to do now after all that walking is sleep and eat and do nothing for like, several days.

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"You okay?" asks Allegra, when it becomes clear Felicia isn't going to volunteer what she's sighing about.

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"Sorry, just...tired. Haven't walked that much in a while. Priests probably work differently in this world. Where I'm from, most priests are cloistered to their temple and people come to them, unless they're the sort to go adventuring. I'm not really an adventuring cleric, but I suppose I've been thrust into one.

Thank you for all your help thus far, Allegra. I hope you enjoy your stay. We plan on making the most of it, ignoring the...circumstances."

She's planning on confining Elias to quarters and fetching a menu for him, and then getting their orders on a tray and eating in their room. Normally, third-circle – no, fifth now – clerics don't do such things, but she doesn't feel ashamed. The Bronze Orchard is structured such that people are of the same social status regardless of strength, such that no task is beneath anyone. Of course, tasks get handed differently based on capabilities, which means it will be the junior wizards doing Prestidigitating – the spell slots and time of higher-circle wizards are more valuable and are better spent on item crafting or holding offensive spells in reserve – but it isn't meant to be demeaning.

 

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"Okay. We can probably hitch a ride on an ox cart to Anvil from here, there will be lots of traffic; maybe get a boat to Rhonwen's Fall first. Uh, there's not much alternative on the way north, I'm afraid, that is all hiking through cold mountains." Maybe if she says it like that it'll put them off the Thule plan, although Elias looks less like he is put off by a bit of physical exertion.

That sounded like a dismissal, so she starts opening her room door, giving them a bit of time to reply if they'd like. As long as they go to visit Verys tomorrow as planned, they probably won't get in too much trouble overnight; she'll just put some things down, try to enjoy an excellent meal, and get some sleep as soon as possible, in case of overnight emergencies.

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Cold mountains. It will be unpleasant, but Elias is resistant to the cold. Well, he's resistant to fire, acid, electricity, and cold. He'll be fine. It's up to him if he wants to do it, but she highly doubts the cold will be the reason he decides not to go.

The two of them pray the next morning. She prepares the following spells. She wants to potentially reveal more of her capabilities to Verys, though of course she'll limit them to only the ones that have economic value. She's not going to show off her combat spells save for maybe one or two. It isn't a good look. And besides, it's unwise to show your hand.

0: Stabilize, Purify Food and Drink, Message, Detect Magic
1: Command, Liberating Command, Cure Light Wounds x3, (Entangle)
2: Silent Still Charm Person x2, Hold Person, Owl's Wisdom, Fox's Cunning, (Barkskin)
3: Detect Anxieties, Detect Desires, Cure Severe Wounds, Suggestion, (Plant Growth)
4: Lesser Planar Ally, Sending, (Confusion)
5: Scrying, (Wall of Thorns)

She plans on casting Detect Anxieties and Detect Desires just before they come into the room, so that she can read his mind. Detect Thoughts is preferred by wizards, but clerics don't get access to those. And besides, there are things that Detect Anxieties and Detect Desires can see which Detect Thoughts can't. You actually have to be thinking about something for it to show up to Detect Thoughts, but Detect Anxieties and Detect Desires can sense things not explicitly thought about.

She honestly should have thought of that before coming into the room, given that she actually prepared the spells, but it didn't occur to her to do it. ...She understands why wizards love their Intelligence headbands so much, now. She's going to cast Owl's Wisdom and Fox's Cunning as well before entering the room.

The fact that she can prepare Suggestion, Charm Person, and Fox's Cunning because of Damian is special enough. She does know that Shelynites can prepare Charm Person as though it were a standard cleric spell, though.

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In the meantime, she casts Sending.

"Outside Pharasma's Creation. New pantheon, without Golarion gods. Finding way back. Local guide bringing us to promising portal. Currently safe with Elias."

It's short enough for the spell. 

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There is no response. She had sent the sending to Magnus. Magnus, despite his quirks, isn't going to ignore a Sending.

...why isn't there a response? None of the wards on the Bronze Orchard preclude Sending. Mage's Private Sanctum doesn't block it, nor does lead.

Perhaps it's just too far away? She'll try again tomorrow. She has read that interplanar Sendings have a failure chance, unlike intraplanar Sendings.

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Elias prepares the same spells as yesterday.

1: Dark Whispers, Demand Offering, Hidden Diplomacy
2: Invisibility x2

He prepares two of Invisibility this time, in case they need to make an escape. Sadly, he won't be able to cover Allegra, but...he doesn't trust her as much as Felicia does. It's simpler to work with Evil people. He can model Evil people. He knows how they work. He's much less able to figure out what will upset Good people. That's what led him to turn away from the Sarenrites when he was young.

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The two of them eat breakfast and get ready. Once Allegra is too, then they'll ask her to lead the way back to Verys again.

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The dinner was suitably ridiculous, Allegra was too nervous to check ingredients properly, so Allegra was up half the night with a terrible stomach ache and can be found picking sadly at breakfast.

At some point during the night, she wrote a few letters to people and sent them off via the receptionist - to Shatterspire, Bronwen's Rest, King's Stoke, letting them know in decreasing amounts of detail that she'd found people with interesting new magic and intended to bring at least one of them to Anvil, and to check in with Verys Eternal if she did not make it to Anvil.

Nevertheless, she plasters on a cooperative face and leads them back through the back streets to Verys' establishment.

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Verys is sitting in the antechamber this time, with some paperwork precariously balanced on his lap; at Allegra's knock, he hands it off to the door attendant to answer the door personally. Allegra bringing him strange people to - evaluate? trade with? - has made him unusually nervous.

"Ah, my friends, do come in - I have the secure vault prepared for you, if you'd like to follow me?"

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"Yes, of course. One moment, please. I would like to cast my mental enhancement spells on myself first so that I can communicate with you more effectively. I had neglected to do this yesterday. Allegra should be familiar with them. I cast them on her a while back."

She casts Owl's Wisdom on herself first, then Detect Anxieties, then Detect Desires, then Fox's Cunning. All of them involve chanting, waving of hands, and her holding something in her hand, although what she's holding might not be immediately obvious. Allegra might see the casting components of Owl's Wisdom and Fox's Cunning as familiar, but not Detect Anxieties and Detect Desires. Each spell takes three seconds to cast, and she pauses for three seconds before casting the next one.

She's not sure if Allegra will notice the extra spells. She might be able to pass it off as it being a necessary component of casting two spells in a row. She did take a break in between casting the spells on her way back when.

The two Detection spells have a cone-shaped emanation centered on herself, so positioning carefully would let her get both Allegra and Verys in the spell's range, although she's able to move the spell with her to keep them in range even if they move.

They might be able to resist against the spell with Will. If they successfully block it, then she won't be able to read their minds. If they block it very strongly, they'll be able to feel something prodding at their mind, akin to the sense of scrutiny Insight induces, although there wouldn't be an indication that it came from Felicia exactly. She had the presence of mind to cast Owl's Wisdom before all the other spells, so it should be harder to resist her spells.

If Detect Anxieties goes through, she'll know their Wisdom. For Detect Desires, their Charisma.

"I am ready now."

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Allegra detects the first one (and blocks the second). She can't say she's exactly surprised, though. She'll ask them what it does later, when it's not in front of the doorkeeper; it doesn't feel like anything other than detection, that's not likely to go particularly wrong in the next few minutes. Now she's thinking about it, there was definitely one extra spell there which wasn't the divination or the two other spells she saw earlier.

Maybe keep it for after the summoning demonstration; she doesn't want to get into a confrontation and stop them doing that, it sounds like that might be the most informative thing they've agreed to do.

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There are definitely anxieties present in Verys! He brushes off the second spell without noticing it, though. His Wisdom reads as 14 - solidly above average, but not exceptionally so.

"Well, let's get to it," he says, in quite a good approximation of cheerfulness, and starts leading them down the warren of corridors, deeper into the building. Allegra takes up the rearguard position, but everyone seems to be very carefully getting out of Verys' way and not getting too close to them.

Verys is anxious about what they're going to discover about the visitors - about whether he actually can detain them if it turns out that's a good idea, even with Allegra here, she doesn't quite seem a match for both of them and he's not at all a fighter; and he doesn't want any of his people getting hurt, which he's fairly sure they will do if he calls for backup.

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Ugh. She only gets Verys, and only on Detect Anxieties. She should have thought about preparing more boosting spells beforehand. Oh well. She is having an unlucky day.

Well, it's good that Verys seems to think that she and Elias would be able to defeat them, but she'd rather have Elias cast Invisibility on the both of them and go run away rather than fight. Fighting seems like it would cause a big ruckus, and she has no idea where to find a different trustworthy guide.

"Of course." She walks in front, with Elias behind. What does the vault look like?

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The vault door is quite impressive, being a large metal hatch, with one of those opening wheels that draws back heavy bolts. There's a big keyhole on the wheel mechanism but it's clearly been left open.

The vault itself is much less impressive - it's quite a small room, not much over a ten foot cube, and the walls, floor and ceiling are all made of the same metal. There's a couple of free-standing lightstone lanterns in the far corners.

Verys isn't exactly looking forwards to standing in Elias' aura again, but it seems likely to happen if the two of them are going to perform some kind of ritual in here.

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Elias carefully positions himself directly opposite the door, and asks Verys and Allegra to stand in the corners adjacent to the door. So long as they stay there, they won't quite be in the aura's effect. Felicia can stand where she wants, since she's unaffected.

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She does love not being stricken with fear.

"I will now begin to cast Lesser Planar Ally. It should conjure an outsider that is under my god, Damian. It will take ten minutes for me to cast it. I won't be able to talk to you, since I'll have to chant, but you are free to talk so long as it doesn't get too loud. Keep clear of the center. That's where the outsider will come from." She's going to request a incubus to come, since she'd rather not summon a terrible monster in the room and start a ruckus.

Divine spells are more malleable to intent than arcane spells are, and in this case, this is a direct request to Damian, so she'll request that the succubus come modestly clothed. She'd rather not have to explain.

She begins chanting and waving her arms and holding her divine focus.

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