1205 Spring - The First Wave (Story)

April 3rd, 1205

The smile remains frozen on Julius' face for a moment, then simply disappears as he answers, "I was attempting a joke, master Perion. I have had no successful communication with the structure so far."

Marcus notices Perion and waves to him as he approaches. The two men are nearly comical when they stand near each other, with Marcus barely clearing the taller man's chest.

"Perion! This is Eikona of house Jerbiton. Eikona, this is Perion of house Tytalus."

Eikona inclines her head and addresses the Tytalus first: "I am still trying to find my way around here. You are from Brittany, right? Is it too bold to ask where your magical interests lie?"

Turning to Marcus, she adds: "And I take it you are the Verditius magus. It's always good to have a Master Craftsman at the covenant. There is one of your house members at Fengheld, a wine maker, and he has never failed to impress me. I may have a business offer for you, Marcus. My late husband, " a cloud crosses her face and her voice sounds a bit raw, "used to own a flying cloak, elegant and practical, and speedy, with a pouch big enough for me to take my familiar with me. It was steered by concentration and finesse. He always said I was an elegant and a safe flier. Anyway, I'm looking for someone who could fashion me such a cloak. I daresay that I can pay handsomely for it. As a man of the cloth, you may be the perfect person to turn to. We would have to talk about fabric and color, and maybe about opening it a bit more, so I could make it water-proof, self-cleaning and warm, tiny hexes that I can easily add myself."

"oh dear, did I introduce my sodale, but not myself? Y-yes, I am Marcus of house Verditious. But I have made a flying cloak before for the redcaps, I can make a faster one for yourself, happily. I am more than happy to consult on style and colour, which I suspect is an issue more pressing to me as a weaver than many of my house who work in more rigid materials. "

he thinks

"I shall be making an offer about enchantments, as soon as we have our first council meeting, I suspect"

Perion, feeling slightly chastised by the steward, takes a moment before turning and looking between Eikona and Marcus. He waits for Marcus to finish before starting: "Apologies! Yes, you and Marcus are both correct, I am Perion of the infamous House Tytalus, and I have recently arrived from Brittany."

He strokes his short, patchy beard for a moment before continuing on: "I was trained as one of the Titanoi, if that appropriately answers your question. Might I inquire as to where you are from, Eikona?"

April 3rd, 1205

The tour covers the various assets that the covenant has.


  • A small turb of grogs. Eight of them lived here before the arrival of the magi. Each magus' personal grogs will have to be integrated to the turb, for example learning the local language. The old-timers are a well-disciplined and competent group and know the valley well, but they speak High German almost exclusively. Some have families amongst the covenfolk or even in Chastellion. They are equiped with standard equipment (mostly short swords, spears, full metal reinforced leather and a few short bows).
  • There are over twenty covenfolk (servants, cooks and laborers), many of whom are related in some way. There are enough of them that they should be able to handle the new arrivals' needs, but a few more can be hired in chastellion as needed.
  • The covenant also has a small number of craftpeople. The stone cutter and her two sons, a carpenter, and an old glass maker. There is also a blacksmith who lives and work in Chastellion.


  • Two local vis sources, the huge oak tree in the valley and the petrified snake in the caves. There are more vis sources scattered in the region.
  • A small amount of lumber that can be harvested from within the valley.
  • The quarry for stones.
  • The taxes from the village of Chastellion, which is enough to cover the basic needs of the covenant.

Magical Assets:

  • Laboratories for all of the magi, although some of them are somewhat basic because there wasn't enough time to completely set upp all of them.
  • A small reserve of raw vis, twenty pawns in various Arts (including enough Vim to cast an Aegis).
  • A small library covering the basics, plus some more advanced books.

There is no Aegis of the Hearth active at the moment.

Wolfgang offers, "I spotted a text for the Aegis in the library. Once we've settled on laboratories, I will learn it and take care of that, I am quite good with Vim."

Eikona looks doubiously: "These rituals are tricky. All that vis can lead to ugly explosions. Let's find out who the safest caster among us is. When it comes to rituals, it certainly isn't me!"

"I wouldn't be able to learn such a high-level Rego Vim spell even if I wanted to," explains Clusius with shrug. "What I can do, however, is offer support through Wizard's Vigil to improve its power. Provided, of course, that there are enough of us to join in a communion."

"If we are in a hurry to establish an Aegis, I have also secured a casting tablet for it. It is even riskier than casting it regularly, so I would understand if no one is willing to use the tablet."

Marcus shakes his head sadly.

"I only wish I had the aptitude. I am scheduled to cast some monsterous thirteenth magnitude ritual in the next decade, so I feel keenly my lack of some assurance of making it through disaster free, or some method for casting rituals cheaper."

Perion listens to what the others have to say before quietly offering, "I think I've had my share of lab accidents for the decade already, so I think it best if someone else sees to the Aegis. I don't mind lending a hand in whatever way is needed however."

"Wolfgang has generously offered to learn the aegis. I don't think it would be reasonable to demand the risk of a casting tablet from him, so I propose we live aegis-less for a season while he learns it. I will try to learn enough vim to help in future year's castings, if that would help?"

The last part is a question directed at Wolfgang.

Wolfgang shrugs. "If others want to learn Vigil, and cast with me, it would be helpful, but it's not strictly necessary. I can manage a decent potency on my own. I don't expect any accidents, I'm not one to do much experimenting."

The tour ends when a servant brings a message to Julius. "It appears that Master Augustus Nero of House Guernicus has arrived with a youger berthren."

"Ah," says Clusius, "excellent news!" He looks at the other magi with a smile. "Shall we gather in the council room to discuss the signing of the Charter, as well as our plans for the future?" This sounds like a rhetorical question, asked out of politeness.

Turning to Julius, he adds, "Pleas have Augustus and his companion brought to the council room. I think I will be able to get there without an escort."

(Clusius does indeed succeed in leading the group there, with a minimal amount of detours along the way.)

All the magi are finally gathered together when Julius announces Augustus Nero, along with a younger magus named Regulus Petraeus of House Guernicus.

After Clusius has embraced Augustus, expressing his pleasure at seeing the old Guernicus again, everyone takes their place at the long table. Clusius insists that Augustus take the chair heading the table, seating himself beside the old magus. After everyone is seated, the Jerbiton magus rises to speak.

"I would like to officially welcome every single one of you to Tugurium, our soon-to-be covenant. As you all know from the letters we exchanged, this covenant is being formed to honor the memory of my grand-pater, Leonardus of Jerbiton, who originally arranged this refuge to be built, not only as a place where he could retreat to when the demands of Hermetic life became too heavy a burden, but also as a place where people ill-suited to mundane life could find safety and build a life away from harassment, poverty and fear."

"Of course, my grand-pater did not do so completely out of kindness, for this valley gave him access to some rich vis sources. These resources he left as inheritance to his heirs, which include my mater. Since they could not leave their respective positions in their covenants, they asked me to create this covenant to take control of those resources. In exchange, our covenant will pay each of the three of them a rook of vis each year. That may sound like a lot, but it will leave us with plenty of raw vis for ourselves and our covenant."

"To make things a bit more complicated, as you know Tugurium is located at a crossroads between three powerful Tribunals -- Normandy, the Rhine and the Greater Alps. Each of these Tribunals have significantly different rules regarding covenants and vis sources. Some of these rules would prevent us from forming this covenant, while others would deny us a claim on some of our vis sources."

"This represents a significant challenge in the coming years. Political forces may try to tear us apart. Some may try to woo us, other may percieve us as weak and try to take for themselves vis sources we claim. Can we meet these challenges? And how? Only time will tell. I, for one, am determined to do so. Since you are all gathered here," he smiles at the gathered magi, "you must also believe such a challenge can be met."

"The first step in this challenge is the formation and recognition of our covenant. Normally, this would mean registering a Charter with a Tribunal. Our peculiar situation makes this a bit more complicated. For this reason, master Augustus has proposed an innovative approach. I will let him explain." With that, Clusius sits down, gesturing to Augustus to explain the Charter.

Augustus, a fairly stout man who appears to be in his late fifties, adresses the magi without rising from his seat. He opens a portfolio containing several documents before speaking. He looks up at the gathered magi with a smile, his brown eyes glinting.

"The Charter that I have prepared is, at its core, fairly standard for new covenants. It does contain some important changes that reflect the how and why this covenant is being formed."

"First, since the resources from which the covenant is being founded -- its buildings, inhabitants, source of income, and claim to several vis sources – were part of Leonardus’ inheritance. As such, the Heirs felt that the Charter should contain clauses protecting their rights to a share of those resources. After much discussions, it was decided that the best way to achieve this was to establish the position of Princeps as leader of the covenant, who has broad powers and is restricted to the lineage of Leonardus. Clusius will be this Princeps. He cannot be removed from this position by the other members of the covenant. Only the Heirs can replace him."

"The Princeps will have the power to overturn the Council’s decision, unless they have been reached by an unanimous vote. I have advised Clusius to his this power sparingly and after careful thought, for to do otherwise would undermine the Council’s trust in him. He should listen to the members, and rely on them for sound advice regarding the future of the covenant."

"Each of the members will be entitled to a yearly payment of three pawns of vis. The Princeps does not. Excess resources of the covenant can also be distributed by the decision of the Council, so you may end up getting more vis."

"The rest of the Charter is fairly standard."

"This leaves the most innovative part, from a legal perspective," adds Augustus. "Instead of registering this Charter with a Tribunal, it will be registered directly with House Guernicus at Magvillus. By doing so, your covenant will claim that due to its unique position, selecting a specific Tribunal at this time would cause undue strife between the three Tribunals. This will give you time to negociate with your neighbours, either to set youself as a neutral covenant, or join one of the Tribunals."

"This is certain to raise a legal storm, but it purchases you time to decide for yourselves the future trajectory of your covenant."

Regulus has been waiting patiently besides Augustus since their arrival at the covenant, mostly watching. When entering the council room anyone would notice that his left sleeve flutters emptily in the air. He would seem mildly surprised by Perion's presence, and seems to recognize Eikona, but says nothing to any of them (there is no much time before they all sit). He frowns a bit when looking at Clusius, unsure if and when he has seen the man before. Maybe at the last Normandy Tribunal?

After taking his seat and listening to both Clusius and Augustus words he politely asks for permission to speak.

"Thank you for your invitation, Clusius. I'm pleased to finally make acquaintance with you all." Regulus' eyes linger for a few moments over Perion's and Eikona's direction before going onwards.

"I am no match for Augustus when the subject is the Code of Hermes, but you can refer to me for any questions that require a quicker answer when a Redcap would prove too slow for our purposes."

"I will also take this moment to put forward my opinion about the subject: there are ways in which we can shield ourselves if any accusations are brought against us, but if that comes to be true we will immediately be at disadvantage, having to defend ourselves in our prosecutors' home. Augustus is buying us some time, but we can not forget that the next Tribunal will be in two years..."

He stops for a moment, reminding himself that this is not true in the Stonehenge.

"... and it would be better for us to be in position to make a choice, if we want to, by then".

"True, making a choice as soon as possible would be preferable," adds Augustus in reply. "If you are unable to do so quickly, I am sure that pressure will increase on you, and that it may leave you vulnerable. However, we may be able to postpone a final ruling until at least the following Tribunal."

Anyone looking at Marcus would be able to tell that he has really only just realised what a political mess he has gotten himself into.

"the greater alps would never allow us in, I believe? They're known for exporting their younger magi, which I certainly count as. So that only leaves us with two different tribunals to balance."

then he thinks again

"But I imagine that they'll definitely want to claim the vis sources, even if they wouldn't allow magi such as ourselves in" he muses

"Sorry, I expect this is why I was invited here as an enchanter, rather than a politician"

Wolfgang smiles shyly. "I quite enjoy politics. Though I am a bit of a neophyte. Augustus, what have you heard lately about the Lotharingian project? I don't know very much, just what I've overheard from discussions between the Gilds; and I believe we may be a bit south of their intended borders... If we pursued that, we would gain both allies and enemies, but I'm not sure what the balance would be. Augustus, could you opine on that? Would it be a good option for us?"

Eikona raises a finger and stabs the air: "Am I the only one who thinks we should renegotiate the passage about the rights of the line of Leonardus? Since the covenant doesn't exist at the moment, this passage can be renegotiated now. Or we could simply found a different covenant in this place using a different charter.

I do not mind giving the voices of the heirs extra weight to represent their central contribution to this covenant as it is. But I see two problems with this. First, over time, our contributions' weight will grow, but our power in the council will not. Second, if Clusius dies before I do, I might lose my home, my lab, all but my most private possessions.

I hereby suggest we limit the extra voting power of the heirs to a second vote. I'd also feel more comfortable if we become heirs of Leonardus after a membership of a number of years, like ten. This would free me of my worries of being turned out of my lab when I'm old.

As I see it, Clusius, you are under a lot of pressure. You'll need all the allies you can get to make it through the political storm you are steering this covenant into. This will work better if the people fighting by your side have something to fight for, if they are stakeholders, not just magi who can be bought with a better offer of vis."

She takes time to look into the eyes of all magi present, then leans back in her chair.

"If we are to discuss additions to the Charter... no, let's tackle one subject at a time."

"If I'm not mistaken you are Eikona of Jerbiton, right? Very well: I'd like to point out that the rights of the lineage of Leonardus do not grant full authority on the covenant, only the chair of princeps. The princeps cannot censure or remove a magus from the covenant except through a vote in the council. At worst, depending on the choice of the Heirs, we will be bound to a princeps we dislike, and he to us. There is also the chance of asking the heirs to chose other from their midst."

"I'd also like to point out that, if the worst happens and all of them perish, the covenant goes to house Jerbiton. In such case, I believe we have more to fear than you."

Regulus turns to Augustus and Clusius.

"But Eikona does raise valid points, and to start I'd like to question if Clusius and Augustus are fully entitled to make decisions in the name of the Heirs, and to what extent."

"I'd also like some assurance that, if all civility fails, we are not to be evicted by the Jerbiton on the grounds of this place being theirs. To whose hands and in what terms would the covenant go to house Jerbiton? Does Leonardus has an hermetic brother, or nephew, that would inherit these grounds, or is it all ending in your primus hands?"

"Finally – Regulus directs this to all of the present – I agree that we are to be friends, to each other an to Clusius. We will all be in dire circumstances, and we will prevail only together. I fully expect this to be the beginning of a long friendship, not bitter rivalry between us all, because I myself have objectives that I will not accomplish without your help."