The Tower of Venis

Doc yanks repeatedly on the door bell. "Open up in the name of His Holiness, Pope Alexander II! We want sanctuary!"

As the sun disappears the wind picks up bitterly, throwing snow mercilessly in their faces. Doc continues wanging on the bell.

He's about ready to pull out the megaphone when he finally gets a response from deep within the hall.

"Who goes there?" a male voice calls.

"DaVinci, an emmasary of the Pope, and my escorts. Let us in before we freeze to death!"

There is a delay. A hushed and muffled argument takes place beyond the walls. Footsteps run towards the door. Someone lifts the wooden brace off the doors and sets it aside. The footsteps run back away. Finally the portcullis lifts. Thunderhorse and Skullfucker push the heavy wooden doors aside.

The gatehouse is pleasantly warm, despite the cold draft penetrating the curtained arrow slits. There is a sweet smell of incense piercing through the stench of hay and horse shit. It is a room about thirty feet wide and fifty feet long, with a vaulted wooden ceiling twenty feet at the highest. There are horse stalls filled with fresh hay along the left and right walls, some occupied.

The portcullis closes down again behind them. Thunderhorse and Skullfucker close the wooden doors again to keep out the bitter cold, but they neglect to brace the door again. The adventurers park their horses in the open stalls.

There is a second portcullis at the other end of the gatehouse leading into the main foyer, golden with the light of a warm fire. It is also down. Two brown robed monks stand out of reach on the other side of the gate. One has a bow and arrow, not nocked but not drawn, pointing down. The other has a hoe, which he tries to hold threateningly.

Doc approaches them slowly, arms apart and palms upturned.

"Brace the door again, if you please," says the man with the bow, nervously.

Doc turns to Thunderhorse and gives him a silent order. Thunderhorse obeys, enlisting Skullfucker's help.

"We've come to see Abbot Nathan," Doc tells them.

"He's been summoned," replies the monk with the bow. "He'll decide what we do with you."

"Of course," Doc replies.

Beyond the foyer is a large, square room with two staircases that curve around the back edge of the central tower. Between them is an arched doorway into a brightly lit dining hall set into the rock its self. A few nuns and monks sneak a peek at the visitors around the edges of that doorway.

The clopping of sandals can be heard accompanying a grumpy grumbling. An ornate white and gold robe sweeps down from the top of the curved stairs. The sandles carry an older man of at least 65 if not 70, fit for his age but wrinkled and grey with a thin whisp of a beard on his chin.

He approaches them swiftly. He's quite tall, nearly seven feet, so his stride is long and deliberate.

"You are not from Rome," he booms as he approaches. He speaks Norse with a strange accent. "Who are you? What omens do you bring on this dark day?"


Doc said...

Tell Thunderhorse, Skullfucker, Aerikson & Fairhairson to take care of the horses (unsaddle them, feed them, rub them down, etc.and take their time about it) but stay with the horses and don't speak, not even to each other. They must be silent, as this is critical. This is a place of priests and they keep quiet and so should we if we want to avoid suspicion. The only way we are going to pull this off is to let me do ALL of the talking. This is the kind of thing I would have said to them before we went inside I think.

Now to Father Nathan. Have Mark and Brother Broderick step forward into the light with me. We should present a posture of relief at arriving, and a bit of urgency about our mission.

"Ah, Father Nathan! It is a strange omen that brings me to your door. (make introductions)Brother Broderick I'm sure you know, and this is Sir Mark, Captain of the Duke's own guard. If we could just have a private word with you for a few moments, I'm certain I can explain everything."

Okay, no need to lay it on thick here. This guy is no dummy, so I need to mind my P's & Q's. I just need to get him aside and talk to him a bit so I can see where I stand.

Use Read Emotions and throw a Precognition in for an additional +2 to my roll. (-2 chi total) Let me understand the man so that I can better tailor my remarks.


ERR said...

Precognition works automatically when you're roll is 1 or 2 under, unless you say you want to conserve Chi.