Still Winter 6
When Lucius comes home late in the afternoon the day before the mission start, he mostly lives in his family house rather than his chamber at the Pretorian garrison, he finds an excited house slave telling him that the family has an important visitor who wants to meet him, Lucius. The slave helps Lucius to quickly freshen up a bit and so Lucius enters the atrium. There the family head of one of the most influent nobiles families is sitting and talking with Lucius' s parents not mentioning the fact that the social gap almost is as between a rich plebeian and a proletarian.
When Lucius enters and bows to him he gladly tells Lucius to straighten up and needlessly presents himself as Mamercus Fabius Longius. He chats friendly a bit and then suddenly gets to the point - the mission. The secret very important mission. The mission not to be spoken of. The mission that would be a great boost for principale’s carreer. The mission that could be a great boost for a once wealth and successful family that now is not so wealthy and a little sidestepped by other families in the rise. That is if the mission is well done and strengthfully completed. On a side note but a very clear such he mentions that it's more important that the Thing reaches Asylum than the physicists. But most successful would of course be if they all arrive at Asylum. The Senate and The Mice People would be most grateful. Then he rounds off the conversation and says that he should note be rude and have them serving him expensive wine and keeping them up. After all there's an important mission to fulfill. He bids farewell and leaves.
Lucius and his parents are quite excited but noone really knows anything about the mission. Lucius manages to cool down and get to bed and be at the gate in the dawn as expected. There he meets his patrol leader centurio Gaius and his patrol mate principales Decia. They get the money for keeping the physicists happy on the way back and a sealed document with the names of the physicists they shall escort to Asylum. It is sealed with a seal from The Senate and The Mice People and they can barely imagine how curious the gate keepers has been. An extra early mission with a message from SPQM. That's got to be important. The patrol leaves frustrated about the carelessness with the name list. They reckon the whole of Asylum will soon know about it.
As the patrol walks on the great road to Navalia and Sapientia they discuss the missions and try to convince the others that they have the right political opinion. The travel is hard in all the mud. Gaius is keeping up their own cover story and makes notes about the path and every tine they pass a Town (muncipalis) they leave a report there for the town itself and for the pretorians to come.
After almost a week's travel they reach yet another small village but in this village everybody seems to be gathered in the small tavern and excitedly talking about something. Apparently there's a band of highway mice not far to the south that robbed the first merchant caravan to set out in late winter. Then the gathered mice sees that pretorians have arrived and suddenly they are the centre of everything. After getting some information from the villagers and a farmer that is living in the village where the merchants sought help after the ambush. They join the farmer for the travel to his village after convincing to leave early the next morning and getting the arrangement of his buying of seeds going quicker.
They travel for about two and a half day and arrive at the farmer's village. At the tavern they get a description of where the ambush was said to have happened. They stay overnight and set off to the place the next morning. The place is actually easy to find because it's a part of the path that passes through a narrow pass which also turns and bends. A good place for an ambush. They soon find tracks of the robbers leading away the pack beetles and follow them into the forest (Passed Scout versus Winter 6D). They soon find a camp where they also find the beetles, apparently killed and left for the birds to eat and also a lot of the packs of cloth the merchant got robbed of, at least what remains after animals have toyed with it and taken pieces to build with. This together with the fact that the robbers seemed to avoid injuring someone too badly make the patrol suspicious. This is not an ordinary robbery. Usually you don't want to leave any witnesses after such hard punished crime.
As they continue to follow the tracks they follow them to a wide flat rock area where the tracks disappear. The patrol use the rest of the day to search for the tracks in their end of the area but don't find anything. In the evening they discuss the matter and decide that they can spend all the time needed on following the robbers and reporting to the city of Nocus (the closest city). They are also now sure that this band of skilled fighters, at least one skilled scout, at least one used to handle beetles and one rich leader with a sword (or so they have been told) is no ordinary robbers. They could probably earn a good living as bodyguards instead. Everything points at this being organized for some other reason like revenge or competition. They decide to go to Nocus and report and leave the matter to them snce it now is an internal affair of that city (the merchat was also from Nocus) and pretorian matter. They also have an important mission to fulfill.
On the fourth day they arrive at Nocus and speak to a militia captain there and also seek audience at the pretor's office and the merchant office . They speak to the merchants personal scribe and to the merchant himself and ask a few questions and lay forward their ideas about it not being an ordinary robbery. The merchant agrees when he hear it all but has no that hard competitor. It's all very strange. They also report to the pretor and give him their ideas. This way they hope that someone will take action and also spread the knowledge among several people in case someone should be corrupt.
The next day they leave Nocus to return to the big path and their mission (Half way through GM's Turn).
<GM's Note>We had a LOT of role playing this meeting and that was fun and iteresting. It was nice to see the patrol getting involved in the robbery and the general duties of the Pretorian Guard and having angst when pitching it against their important mission. There were also some remarks about who's better, a plebeian or a nobiles, an Asylum mouse or a Sapientia mouse and other colourful role playing and of course a lot of investegations.</GM’s Note>
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