Well, if they are fairies they are doing a grand job of imitating humans who have been marching too long and are fed right up.

You don’t recognise ‘the Port of the Brigantes’ but Isurium is now the town of Aldborugh near York which was itself a Roman foundation.

And if there is a difference between what they are wearing and the armour shown on Roman columns and monuments on the Continent it’s too subtle for your knowledge to spot.

Acerbus starts worrying that they are in some sort of faerie regio where time plays tricks on you, and a couple of minutes here could have wasted a month back home, and his sodales will think him lost forever…

“Harold, turn round and prepare to walk back to the main road!” he orders. He places one hand on the grog’s shoulder, and says to the leading soldier “join hands and link up with me. It is very easy to get lost here.”

[OOC: I’m assuming that from my knowledge of Faerie Lore I know whether or not you need to be touching someone who can see the way out to be lead out, I’m being cautious and assuming you do.]

@MichaelCule asked for a die roll:
If you can’t see the path and they can your caution is entirely justified. You might manage to find the way by accident (the legionaires might have done or they might have had their footsteps guided into trouble) but that’s not the way to bet.

You try to persuade the squad leader (decanus? Is that the right word?) to take your hand and let you lead him out of the wood.

Charm 2 (the specialisation still applies) + Presence 3 but -3 for the fact your Gift is not Gentle:

stress 1+2: 1 × 6 = 6, +2 = total 8

The decanus is more amused than frightened by you and lightly takes your hand and you grip firmly. But his men call out to him to stay and not to trust the ‘pagan’…

Acerbus shouts behind him “Follow our tracks exactly!” and then says to Harold “Forward to the main road at a slow pace”.
He will follow Harold, trusting that his sight will guide them back to the mundane world.

@MichaelCule asked for a die roll:
Well, you’ve convinced the commander so let’s have him roll his leadership…

stress 2+4: 1 × 9 = 9, +4 = total 13

He barks a command in Latin that is far too fast and far too non-classical for you to follow but sounds like “You heard the man! Get on your lazy feet and follow me!”

At least that’s the tone of it.

And a few moment’s later you’re stumbling back along the much diminished and overgrown road. You can see the point where the remaining paving has been uprooted (for use in nearby houses most like) and the road over grown.

You can see Wat looking frantic and then releaved as you and Big Harold re-appear.

And then wide-eyed as ten Roman soldiers and two civilians stumble onto the road behind you.

And then frantic again.

The soldiers are demanding to know what’s happened: where did their road go? How did the forest grow so fast?

And they are muttering about ‘sorcery’ and looking at you.

Acerbus says to Wat “How long were we gone for?”

He looks behind at the Roman soldiers. He turns and says in Latin,“It seems things have changed while we were on that road. Your road is still present, but the forest appears to be growing over it. Still, I’m sure if you head north you can find the place you were looking for. I think my guides wish to take me south.”

@MichaelCule asked for a die roll:
Wat replies “Seemed like forever, magister. The sun is coming down and I was wondering what I was going to tell mistress Julia.”

He listens to the muttering of the soldiers and your speech to them (a long term servant of the covenant, he has enough Latin to follow). When the soldiers talk about sorcery he tells his fellow grog to come and stand the other side of you and be prepared to leave in a hurry.

I think this comes under Guile rather than Charm which gives you +2 rather than +1, the Gift cancelling out your Presence.

stress 2+2: 1 × 2 = 2, +2 = total 4

You tip your hat and start to move south. The soldiers are shouting. Some of them about sorcery, some of them about trickery, some of them… Well none of them are complementary to you.

The two grogs flank you and Wat keeps an eye out to the rear.

“The…is he an officer? The lad in charge isn’t keeping them on a rein. I think they’re going to rush us.”

“Back off slowly, men, be prepared for it. I will try and slow them down.” Acerbus reassures the grogs.

With a gentle mutter of words and a wave of his hands, he takes a step to the right. He then loudly says something about oil behind him.

[First I will cast The Wizard’s Sidestep as a formulaic spell - I will take the -5 penalty for quiet words. Then I will try and cast as a spontaneous spell Footsteps of Slippery Oil from p121 of the rulebook - as it is only level 5, if there is no aura penalty I should be able to do this as a non-fatiguing spontaneous spell. The aim is to leave a slick of oil on the road behind me, so if the Romans try rushing us they risk slipping]

@MichaelCule asked for a die roll:
Wizard’s Sidestep: Your -5 penalty counters the +5 from your base casting chance and you get +3 for the Aura.

stress 1+3: 1 × 2 = 2, +3 = total 5

@MichaelCule asked for a die roll:
So that works…

And you’re a lot better at Creo Aquam…

stress 1+30: 1 × 8 = 8, +30 = total 38

Half of that is enough to cast the spell with ease. You start to spread oil from your footsteps. The legionaires make a lunge towards where they think you’re standing. You take a step or two backwards…

And if this was seven centuries later the scene that follows would be an inspiration to Mack Sennett and the Keystone Kops. You make your way through the woods and rejoin the grogs…

“Let us return to the covenant, as the sun is getting low in the sky. I shall have to tell mistress Julia what happened and devise a plan to deal with this. Thank you for waiting, Wat.”

Acerbus, slightly out of breath from the fatigue of casting spontaneously, hurries south with his companions.

And they will arrive back at the gates of Voluntas as darkness begins to fall.

Acerbus will perform his Parma Magica, get inside and send the grogs off to get something to eat. He reports to Julia, and explains there may be a small patrol of Roman soldiers wandering around, who just escaped the Faerie realm.

You find her having a bite of supper in the dining hall. The council chamber isn’t used for meals except for special occasions.

Julia looks a little stressed. She appears to have had a ‘bit of a day’ and just says “Oh, Joy!” when she hears about the Romans.

She questions you closely about the meeting you witnessed in the clearing and asks you if you could provide a good portrait of the man (the Scotsman?) you saw the Constable meeting with.

She also allows you made a good start to your task of finding out what happened to the last Merinita… And asks what your next step will be.

“He was wearing leather armour, lined with grey fur. His shield had no device. His weapons and armour looked well-used, like those of a veteran. His lined face and grey hair suggest he is aging but he carries himself well, like a healthy man. I asked Wat to try and eavesdrop, he said the man is a Scot and was asking about a bastard child of a noble. The Sheriff told him to ask around Wilton. I think you should ask Wat if he remembers more.”

Acerbus thinks for a moment, and then attempts to spontaneously cast a Creo Imaginem spell of a static visual illusion of the man as Acerbus saw him.

“As for searching for our lost colleague, I think that regio on the Roman road is too dangerous to explore - I went for maybe a diameter or two, and when I left the sun was low in the sky. Those soldiers have been trapped for the best part of a millenium. If she went there, it may be a very long time before she reappears. I had best take Wat and Harold into the woods to see the fae, and very politely make enquiries before heading straight back. It is best if I don’t take the road north for a few days, not if those Romans might be out that way.”

Julia seems distracted by the words ‘a bastard son of a noble’. She looks very hard at the image but says she doesn’t recognise the ‘Scot’. “That means nothing though… I think I had best come with you at least part way through the wood tomorrow. I have unexpected business there.”