1197 A.D. (Late Spring) Beginnings

Biting his lips Morrigan adds

"I'm afraid I don't know as much as I'd like about those covenants, being from another tribunal. Of course I know Crintera being a Domus magna and the other by name but I'm quite ignorant when It comes to this tribunal politics.

Could you elaborate on those ?"

"Dankmar was founded by a former maga of House Bonisagus and her filia, Schadrit ex Miscellanea. That was over a century ago. The covenant is located about 40 miles away from here and has been an annoyance for Durenmar ever since." Tandaline nods to Morrigan, "Your sodales from the Rhine can probably fill you in a bit more about them, although much of what we know is rumours and speculations. I've never been there myself; they wouldn't receive me if I did. You may want to wait until you've secured sponsor from the others before you start to negociate with Dankmar. If you can tell them that they are the only ones remaining, they will feel the pressure of not being left out."

"Crintera, as you say, is the Domus Magnus of House Bjornaer. As a House of non-latin origin, they can be somewhat peculiar. The covenant is proccupied by mundane matters ever since the Danish invaded the island where the covenant is located. One of the younger members may agree to sponsor you."

"Roznov," Tandaline says, "tend to keep to itself. The covenant is at the eastern edge of the Tribunal, close to the Transylnanian Tribunal. Mostly composed of Tremere magi, though their leader is ex Miscellanea. They are a bit secretive and stay apart from others in the Tribunal. It's a bit difficult to know what they want." She hesitates, then adds, "They also were part of those who were... unconcernedwith the disappearance of House Merinita. As they were one of the closest neighbours to Irencillia, with whom they had some disagreements, that may explain it. Although your covenant would not really be close to them, you would become the new closest neighbour."

A bit of nervousness creeping into his voice. Are we expected to travel to each Covenant to secure their blessing and supplies?

"Not to all of them, and not right away," Tandaline states in answer. "Official recognition will only come at the next Tribunal meeting. Until then, I expect to have written commitments from each covenant except the last three. I would leave those to you, as you will need to negociate with them yourselves. You will need to determine what you are ready to accept, and whose sponsorship you will seek. I cannot decide for you what is acceptable and what isn't."

"Remember, you do not need a commitment from the whole covenant, only from a sponsor at each covenant."

"As for the gifts that each covenant offer, these will be presented at the Tribunal meeting. Covenants like to make a show of their gifts, trying to show off their wealth and power."

Emericus is visibly relived and nods So we should perhaps research the magi of these Covenants to choose which to approach for sponsorship?
Doing research in the Library was something he could wrap his head around easily while he put together a plan.

"Yes, that would be a good start," agrees Tandaline. "Speaking with the redcaps would be a good way to research this. Perhaps some of the initial contacts can be made through letters, as well."

"Now, shall we discuss the site? I have located one that would be suitable for a small covenant."

ooc : I assumed considering my favor I was aware of that fact and that she had to make It bigger adding rooms to accommodate me hence the favor (and my initial post). Is that right ?

OOC Unless you mention it yourself, she will not specifically say that she made it larger to accomodate you. And since she took advantage of that to add more room for the library, it may not be obvious to the others that the covenant was originally planned only for 4.

"Of course, My mater told me there were previous residents and that It was located in a Regio but nothing very precise."

"Indeed, it is in a regio," explains Tandaline. "A few years ago, while I was perusing the notes of old Tribunal proceedings, I was intrigued by the mention of a covenant named Menosgada. I'd never heard the name before, which isn't that surprising when you consider the fact that those proceedings were from before the Schism. Still, I was intrigued enough to try to learn more about this covenant." She shrugs, looking at you with green eyes, "the site of previous covenants have been know to have vis sources that were thought to be dried out, but which can still yield a pawn or two."

"Anyway, looking for this covenant in other documents of the same period took some time, but I eventually found a redcap journal who mentioned it." She nods to Morrigan, "That is the archives you mentioned earlier. Or at least, a partial copy that I made and sent to your mater."

"This covenant, you see, was located somewhere in eastern Franconia. After a while more searching for a more precise location in various scrolls, I was finally able to pinpoint its location, as well as gather other informations about it, such as the fact that it is in a regio and how to access it. Armed with that, I decided to travel there and see for myself."

Tandaline's blue eyes twinkle as she continues her tales, "So, after a few days of travelling, I arrived at this village along the Main river. About a mile away is a fairly steep hill, surrounded by the remains of some sort of very old fortifications. There was probably some sort of settlement on the hill at the time of the celts, but there isn't much trace of it now. The hill itself has a weak magical aura, so I knew I was in the right place."

"Even knowing what I was looking for, locating the correct entrance was not easy, as there are many cracks and shallow caves scattered around the hill. I can tell you from walking around the top of the hill that it over a mile of boundary. But eventually I found one that led a bit deeper, near a spring that flows out from the hill. The procedure to enter the regio was fairly simple, so I soon found myself under the hill."

"A tunnel leads to what appears to be a fairly large natural cavern, between forty and fifty paces wide, with a small pond of steaming water in the middle. It is hot in the cavern, with a slight silvery blue glow coming from the water. Which, in this case means both up and down, as where a stream would usually flow out from a pond, it flow up, to the roof of the cavern, where a smaller pond lies. At the bottom of the larger pond, which is perhaps four paces deep, there appears to be a great number of bones, some which appear human, some which are clearly not. They fused together and to the rock in a tangled mass. Strong magic emanates from the pond and permeates the cavern with an above-average magical aura."

"During that first visit and subsequent ones, I was able to determine that the bones are a source of raw vis, though epheremal if not harvested. A few times every season, one of the bones dislodges itself and float up to the surface, then up to the upper pond. If not collected within a week, however, it dissolves there and the vis is lost. Up to three pawns can be collected that way every season." OOC I am leaving the Art of the vis source undefined for now. We can discuss that in the Covenant development discussions topic.

"Although the cavern itself appears to have been left untouched, probably to avoid disturbing the vis source or the aura, the tunnel that leads to it has two side entrances just before the cavern. On one side there is a man-made corridor that curves down deeper underground. On the other side is a circular staircase that also leads down. The corridor forms a circle around the central cavern, leading back to the staircase but deeper underground, which cleverly allowed the former inhabitants to complete a boundary for their Aegis. Four circular rooms were excavated inside of the curve, so that they are inside of the boundary but not under the pond. These were the living quarters of the magi of Menosgada."

Tandaline looks at you with purple eyes, "To accomodate the need for addiitonal space, I arranged for another circomvolution of the corridor, with three more rooms. The last of the three is somewhat larger, to accomodate the library and a council room."

Alice says, "Noting that there is time before the tribunal meeting and that so far we have not accumulated anything with which to bargain well, it would seem the first order of business would be to settle the site and explore the immediate region. Meanwhile, we can start reaching out to those who are most likely the most receptive, holding off on the other covenants for a little while. That will also give us more time together to figure out how we can best work together before we have to face the tribunal as a whole.

"This site sounds like a potentially good one. It sounds defensible, and with a vis source right there it is easy to protect that as well. It also sounds like it would shelter us well from curious mundanes so we could get our own business done.

"How does this sound so far to the rest of you?"

I deamed the site good enough to travel from the Provencal tribunal, so I guess my opinion is obvious...

As Alice, I have more interrogations about the surroundings, on whose territory is the hill ? Can We arrange to buy or rent it somehow ? For what official activities ? There should be mundane ressources to be self sufficient and this could work as our cover. Do you have any ideas ?

Borealis nods and says"All good ideas, and the sooner we secure vis the better. As far as dealing with the other covenants, I feel the personal touch is best and we will need to visit to talk to individual magi. We shall have to think hard what we can offer other covenants and what we are prepared to do.to secure favour."

He looks around his fellow magi and asks "Are any of us Gently Gifted? This may be vital for dealing with the local authorities near the site."

Morrigan answers "I am indeed blessed with a gentle gift, but the language will be an issue... I'll have to secure a latin speaking tutor to learn the local language."

Turning to Tandaline

Maybe that's something Durenmar could provide as a temporary ressource?

Basilus stays silent for the time being - since he's not the best speaker, he figures it would be best to just let the others talk.

Tandaline hesitates a bit before answering the latest series of questions, "I do not know who, amongst the mundane power living near the site, has lordship over the hill. What I can say is that there were no houses or buildings of any type on it, nor was the land cultivated. As to what mundane resources could be harvested." She shrugs, "I never paid much attention to such consideration. One of the advantages of living at Durenmar is that we are further removed from society. When I need silver to travel, I simply ask one of the stewards to arrange it. I have no idea where it comes from, and have little interest in it."

"But I can understand, abstractly, how this would be important for a new covenant. Let me ask around and see if I could perhaps find someone who could help. Both for the mundane lordship of the area and the acquisition of local mundane resources."

It sounds like we have the beginnings of a plan for the next season. Emericus begins counting off points on his right hand. Research possible sponsors at each Rhine Covenant. Visit the site to to get a feel of the area. Nods to Morrigan Begin learning the local language. Have I missed anything?

Morrigan nods to Emericus.

You've got things covered. Once we'll have the area scouted, we'll have a more precise view of our needs .

Turning to Tandaline

Is there any clues of additional vis ressources used by the magi of the previous covenant anywhere in the archive you've consulted ? Somewhere in the vicinity of the Covenant site maybe ?

"I didn't see anyrhing at the time," says Tandaline, "but I was only there a few weeks total, over a period of two years. There may be a few minor sources in the area, but that can only be located if you are present at the right time and place."

OOC Note that this is the season when everyone is scribing lab texts, so additional activities being planned will be for Summer.

Alice considers what everyone as said. She adds, "That sounds like a good list, Emericus. Additionally we have mentioned securing mundane finances. We should meet together frequently while we finish our season's work here to share ideas about preparations for each of those points. I have some ideas for how I could contribute toward investigating the area, including searching for vis sources. I will flesh those ideas out more and bring them to you. As for mundane finances, I suspect, if we keep our covenant small as we are likely to do with only a small number of rooms, then we can probably manage sufficiently with our own skills. But it is another thing to discuss."