The servants inform the Magi (wherever they find themselves) that supper is being served.

They also call upon the visiting Coroner for the area Sir Ranulf the Vast who has been enjoying (since his arrival yesterday) the best sleep he’s had since arriving in the area. He wonders what it is about this strange place that causes him to be able to overcome his insomnia.

All of them gather and find themselves some supper. Julia is sitting down, muttering into her stew… But she stands and effusively greets the visiting knight.

Corvus, wearing the robe that the cooks insist he wears in the hall, leans over to the new magi and asks: “What did you do to Julia? She’s not normally this out of it…”

(This has been a Blatant Plot Device ™ to bring all the narrative together for a while.)

(Diligentus is still puzzling over his puzzle.)

With the disconcerting sound of thumping footsteps approaching, the doorway is darkened by an unfamiliar figure. Pausing in the doorway for a moment before entering the room is a man, bigger than any mundane knight. He is eight feet tall, and wide enough to fill the doorway, with a blond beard and hair cropped short in the Norman style, wearing a long blue tunic. He looks around the room with a broad grin and a proprietary manner. “I am Sir Ranulf.” He strides to the table and takes a seat, with a confidence bordering on rudeness. As he gets closer, some things about him seem a little odd. His blue eyes are set a little too deeply in his head, and appear to be a little cloudy. While he seems to overflow with vitality and energy, his skin is a bit sallow, lacking the healthy glow one might associate with his youthful appearance. He continues, addressing Julia, “You have a lovely…manor? I don’t quite understand what this place is, but something about the air here is wonderful.”

“I am glad you are pleased… Let us get you some food. I have a favour to ask you Did Diligentus not… Oh. Well, I’m glad he’s still working on it. Please someone see that he feeds himself.”

She sits down and asks if he would do them the favour of looking over, from a legal point of view, the text of the manor’s charter. “It is unusual in that it does not require the provision of a knight’s service in fee for the land but was validly granted by the Conqueror himself. Some of the people living here have been worried that there may be challenges to the terms of the charter in this uncertain time…”

Wine and good food are put before the towering knight.

Ranulf gives her a big smile in response and nods, but suddenly something is a little off, he seems nervous, and engrosses himself in wine and food for a few minutes. When his first ewer and second plate are empty, he focuses on Julia again. He speaks calmly, and his Norman accent is very noticeable.

“I think I need to tell you something about myself. I’d ask to speak in private, but it seems you all keep counsel together, which is probably wise. I’ve fought… well, I’ve fought in three decades worth of wars, and I’m now serving my third king. I was in the capitol a week ago, sworn to young King Henry… but I wasn’t wanted there. I got sent here, as Coroner. I don’t exactly know why, but I can make a guess about superstitions and doubts.”

He takes a long drink of wine. “Lady Julia, I’m a warrior born and bred, and I’ve forgotten more of war than most knights ever know. So I hope you’ll forgive me for being blunt. That paper, the charter… might as well be written in Greek for all the sense I’ll be able to make of it.” He chuckles wanly. "I’ve heard a rumor that you’re wizards; and I think I saw a glimpse of a library… I don’t know if there’s even any such thing as wizards, but I think you have a place of learning, here.

I wish to be a success in this posting, not only for my own sake, but in pursuit of every chance to help the young king keep his uppity Saxon vassals in check. You… well it seems you need something from me, I’m not entirely sure what. As long as it’s not treasonous, I think we can work something out."

Acerbus smiles and says "Forgive Julia, there have been a lot of outsiders around Wilton recently. Why, only today as I was making my way through the woods we saw a warrior with a plain shield and a Scottish accent talking to the local constable. "

Acerbus turns to address his colleagues. “There are also some lost… Italians in a very ancient armour walking along the Roman road. We may need to discuss this later.”

Julia looks at Acerbus with a glare that says “You’re not making my life easier, you know!” and then asks Sir Ranulf what his duties as Coroner would involve. Investigating deaths, perhaps?

And is there any way that she and her colleagues can be of help to him in his office? To mutual benefit perhaps?

“My understanding is that the coroner stands as a check to the power of the sheriff.” Sir Ranulf blushes. “But the fact is, milady, I require tutelage in the written word and a little study of the law. I was certainly sent here to be out of the way, and probably also to fail. I had thought to bluff my way through, but I see an opportunity to do better than that.”

Hubertus is listening intently. “Do you know anything of the Sheriff, Sir Knight? He appears to be new to the area as well?”

At the same time Hubertus is trying to work out Sir Ranulph’s lineage, and where he sits in the pecking order of nobility if at all.

To find out what Sir Ranulf knows of the Sheriff he would need to roll Int (O) plus Folk Ken (2 because of his specialisation in Nobles) on a stress die.

Hubertus or Sir Ranulf?

Sir Ranulf would need to roll for his own knowledge and Hubertus for what he wants to know about Sir Ranulf.

(Sorry, I should have spotted that…)

@PlotDevice asked for a die roll:
Rolling for knowledge stress 1+2: 2 × 3 = 6, +2 = total 8

And I would be int +2 folk Ken 1

@discobot roll stress 1d10 + 3

Hi! To find out what I can do, say @discobot display help.

Oops. - wrong instruction - sorry -remind me!

Using square brackets rather than braces:

{stress A+B}

where A is the number of botch dice and B is the total to be added.

1 Like

@MichaelCule asked for a die roll:
That would be stress 1+3 except with square brackets around it.

Like this

stress 1+3: 1 × 7 = 7, +3 = total 10

Well, Hubertus knows a little more than Sir Ranulf but there’s not a lot in it.

Hubertus has heard of Sir Ranulf as an actual Norman (rather than an English knight of Norman ancestry) who fought under King John in his wars against the Barons. He is surprisingly yourthful in appearance as well as surprisingly tall given the experience you know he must have had to have fought in those campaigns. You thought you had heard he’d been killed but perhaps it was only a wound of some sort.

Sir Ranulf has heard of the Guimsey family: they’re a growing family from Norfolk and their first English lands were granted by the Conqueror though they’re only knights and not great lords. He knows from his time hanging around the Chancery trying to gain employment that the constable is a protege of the Justicar, Hugh de Burgh, one of the three great lords of the Regency Council.

His own appointment came via appealing to Pandulf the Papal Legate but he’s never spoken to the worthy cleric: he’s not that important. He suspects that some lower ranking clerk was the one who appointed him no matter whose signature is on the paper he was given.

Ranulf shakes his head, “I don’t know a lot, but he’s an ally of Hugh de Burgh; so we will have to tread lightly when dealing with him. My own appointment was by Pandulf, but I don’t have his ear, he may not even know who I am.”