"Now that you are all here," Tandaline says from the table, "let us begin. Come closer, please."
Once the five magi are seated around the table, she addresses them. "As you are probably aware, the Order of Hermes has faced several challenges since the time of the Founding. The Schism War, the Corruption, the Crusades, the Disappearance. Furthermore, the continual encroachment of mundanes upon magical sites has left several covenant of the Order vulnerable and contributed to the growing scarcity of raw vis. In short, the Order to which you just swore an Oath is quite different than it was when our founders create that same oath. It has even changed significantly since I swore my own." (From what you know, Tandaline is between 20 and 30 years your senior.)
"As you know, our House, House Bonisagus, is dedicated to two things. First and foremost is the advancement of the magical theory upon which the magic of the Order relies. As such, our members push its boundaries, seeking to broaden its applications and overcome its limits. Most of you are from the lineage of Bonisagus, although each of you have different research interests and goals."
"But there is also a second lineage, the followers of Trianoma, such as myself and Morrigan here. Our focus is upon the ties that bind our Order together, working on strengthening them so that the Order as a whole remains strong and healthy. Not an easy task these days, but it never is."
"You are perhaps the largest single group of apprentices from our House to complete their Gauntlet so close together. You do so at a time when House Bonisagus is being challenged by many other Houses due to some of the privileges we enjoy within the Order. There are voices that question our right to take another's apprentice as our own. Others claim that the research we perform is not shared as quickly and easily as it should be. That access to the Great Library of Durenmar should be free to all magi."
"What this means to you is that fewer covenants are willing to accept newly-Gauntleted magi of our House, at least not without imposing additional obligations on them. That is why your respective masters had so much difficulty when they tried to find each of you a covenant to join."
"To counter this, and with the approval of our Primus, I have been allowed to offer you my help in creating a new covenant within the Rhine Tribunal. That is no easy task, for there will be many challenges facing you, but I can offer you advice and support, both personally and from Durenmar."
"That is what we are here to discuss today. If, of course, you are interested."