1221: The Future is Now

I always expected 1220 to go by quickly. It was mostly about just getting people to the island and setting up the covenant. Lots of work to do, but not much that's worthy of a story. This thread will be for what people want to do in the second year following the raising of Atlantis. (So get those plans for 1220 finished soon! :slight_smile: )

Building and repair will no doubt continue; Latin lessons will proceed; and there may be some explorations of sites found on the island. 1221 is also the year of several Tribunal meetings. It's probably too early for you to want to deal with that, since word is only just getting around through the hermetic world that you even exist. I'm not sure if you want to be proactive or if you'd rather wait for them to make the first move. And so far as you know, no one outside of the hermetic world has any idea that the island even exists.

Possible things that might interest you in 1221 are recruiting colonists, talking to Tribunals, looking into sources of income, and exploring the island some more. Please use this thread for anything you hope to accomplish in 1221.

Andor will be visiting the Levant Tribunal for their meeting, possibly Thebes. Using that as cover, he plans on scouting out how to best sneak past the forces guarding the Straights of Gibraltar so he can start up a shipping and trading business. That or perhaps he'll simply hire a Muslim crew (no sneaking required then!). He'll also be looking at how to best... enhance said business through magic.

How is Andor getting to the Levant? It's a long, long way from New Atlantis.

Also, with respect to Thebes, remember that they mostly speak Greek in Thebes, not Latin.

True, that and Thebes isn't too friendly to the Tremere, Iberia would be a better backup and still serve his purpose.

He can Leap over to Ceoris, then it should be fairly easy to find passage to the Levant.

When is he leaving? Meliai will want to try and fine people who will better fit her ideal of the covenant (pagans), and could drop him off somewhere in the vicinity depending on the forest regio network.

It all depends on when the various Tribunals actually are, season wise. But yeah, that's not a bad idea, though the Levant doesn't have too much in the way of forests. Iberia on the other hand...

Levant is in spring (Can you imagine summer in the Levant?); Iberia is in the summer.

And yes, Meliai can find a regio entrance that will serve the Iberian tribunal meeting. Getting to the LEvant would be a bit trickier, though not impossible. It would involve a lot more travel overland, though. Going by ship from Coeris and then overland to Jerusalem might be easier.

The end of spring brings with it another major spell from Magnus. He tells the covenant that he's perfected a ritual that will create a road network on the island, as good as any that the Romans ever had. Given the power of the ritual, he can make more roads than the island could ever use. He recommends that they make a road around the coast with some additional roads to go into the interior and connect to the various ruins. He doesn't want to fill the island with roads (we need room for some wilderness), but he does want to make good use of his ritual. Here's what he proposes:

Please let me know what you think.

It's a lazy day in the middle of summer down at the docks. There are only a pair of dock workers waiting there against the possibility of a ship coming in, though neither vessel is due for at least another week. Both workers are sitting on the dock with fishing poles in hand, hoping to catch something good for supper when a stange thing happens.

Over on the shore, a sea turtle begins to pull its way onto land. The sea turtle is not odd in itself. But this one has a strange contraption on its back, an ornate box of some sort. Even stranger, when it gets onto the shore, it starts to pull itself along the dock toward the two men.

Worried at first, then curious, the two men work up the courage to approach the turtle, who stops moving when they get near. Perhaps it's some kind of sea faerie come to give them riches. They goad each other into action until one opens up the box on the turtle's back. Alas, there are no riches inside, just a leather scroll with writing on it. Neither man being literate, they know that this is something for the magi back at the covenant. They turn back to the sea turtle after having examined the scroll for a moment, only to find that it has moved to the edge of the dock and is even now falling back into the water, where it begins to swim away.

The men question their sanity at this encounter, but have the scroll to prove that they're not entirely crazy. They decide that one of them will travel up the new road to the covenant and bring the scroll to the magi.

Some hours later, a group of the magi are gathered to hear the man's story. He shows them the scroll, which they discover is written in Greek:

Duncan, who spent some time in the Theban Tribunal, is sent for and he quickly translates.

"It says 'Surface dwellers, You have intruded in our sacred place. You have defiled the halls of our gods. You must leave now or face our wrath.' It has no signature, but I think we know who sent it. The real question is what we're going to do about it."

Meliai would prefer that roads not go through her fledgling forests, and give them a bit of room to expand.

Aquarian shrugs his shoulders "they are aloof, and haughty, and full of themselves, but if they come to land they will never be able to return, so their ability to do much besides threaten is limited. Our ships are probably vulnerable, but I have never heard of an Atlantean who could affect the land without becoming alienated from Atlantis. The other Atlantis that is. I'd suggest we ask them for instructions on caring for the temples, Meliai would certainly prefer that, but they clearly have no interest in dialogue or the turtle would have stayed for a response. If we establish flying transportation, or one of those gate things, otherwise we need to defend our ships."

OKay, this avoids the fledgling forest:

"That's troubling," Magnus adds, "but not unexpected. We knew that the Atlanteans were going to respond somehow. You say there's no hope for reconciliation?" He looks to Aquarian and nods when the exile shakes his head. "Then we'll have to defend ourselves. What can we expect in the way of attacks from the other Atlantis?"

In the early days of summer, a man wearing a red cap appears at the edge of the covenant of New Atlantis. This is a bit shocking, since no ship has been in port since The Cercistum departed four days ago. But the man identifies himself as Benedict of House Mercere and says that he has messages for the magi of the covenant. After some fluster with the gathered grogs, he is invited into the covenant and given refreshments. The Magi are immediately called.

When they arrive, Benedict stands and greets them formally, introducing himself and giving each of the magi a forma bow. He is either unbothered by those without the Gentle Gift or knows how to hide his discomfort very adroitly. "I'm pleased to find you well," he says. "I come bearing messages for all of you." He reaches for his pack and opens it up. Inside are several stacks of folded letters, each wrapped with a cord. "But the most important of all," he says, "is this one." He takes a nondescript letter from the bag and hands it to Magnus. "I was told to deliver this to you personally." He smiles.

Magnus quickly opens the letter, scans it once, then reads it to the gathered magi.

Much in this letter goes unsaid. Many were the Redcaps who assisted with the initial planning for the creation of the covenant of New Atlantis. Though the details were not shared until just a year ago, members of House Mercere were aware that something was in the works for some time prior. They were intrumental in both keeping the wrong people from learning of the project and facilitating communication between those who did know of it. One of the things that was strongly implied in discussions with House Mercere was that when this new covenant was founded, wherever it might be, a Mercer House would be a part of it.

Now was the time to see if the magi of New Atlantis would meet their obligations.

"I was told that there would be a reply," Benedict says. "I'm under no enforced timetable. I can wait for your reply for as long as you need."

In answer to Magnus question Aquarian replies "Mostly I would expect attacks from sea monsters, the Atlanteans have many such allies. Those who worshiped the Old Gods are a vocal minority in Atlantis, so it is not as though Atlantis is united against you, and they tend to be on the dramatic side. They might manage to attack some seaside construction, but the covenant itself will be beyond their reach. Several of these sea monsters are capable of sinking ships, but I doubt many could, or would be willing to take the damage if they can, stand up to a magus."

"Thank you Benedict, an auspicious message. We will have an answer for you immediately after we briefly confer. Let us offer you the modest hospitality we have."

And then let's talk.

"That's both reassuring and troubling," Magnus replies. "I"m glad to hear that the covenant proper is safe. But we are an island, and we still need supplies from the mainland. If they can disrupt our shipping, or worse sink one of our ships, we could be in serious trouble. And I don't like putting the sailors in danger. Should we suspend shipping until we can be certain we can protect it? And I suppose this sinks any idea of having local fishing craft for the time being."

"And are you, yourself, safe, Aquarian? I know you still need to go to the sea from time to time. WIll you be at risk when you do so?"

"Of course," Benedict replies with a bow of his head. "You'll want to confer. I'll withdraw to the hospitality of your covenant and await your response."

"The Atlanteans are not to be underestimated. This covenant isn't untouchable. Sea monsters and direct attacks to the shore are plausible, but so it various aquatic elemental based magic, and potentially targeting our rivers and waterways. "
"I studied Atlantean magic and learned some of its secrets, but the powers who taught me had far more tricks that just what I acquired. "
"Specifically oceans, waterways, storms, and the powers of creatures from the deep. And water elemental magic, which certainly could be used against us. Not that I wish to, but should they prove repeatedly hostile we can use some of what I learnt from them to create responses and counter attacks."

"If it comes to that we'll be glad of your knowledge," Magnus says with an appreciative nod of his head. "Unfortunately, they may give us no choice. We need to defend our ships. I have some ideas for how we could allow our ships to fly. And there's always a modified Leap of Homecoming to transport people or supplies - provided we use it sparingly on any given target to keep Warping to an acceptable level. But are we truly ready to concede the seas to the Atlanteans?"

"So," Magnus says when Benedict has departed. "We've heard from our first prima - though not our last, I wager. And its time to pay for some of the largesse we've received. Is someone prepared to go to Harco to speak to Insatella? I don't know how we can deny her request without serious repercussions. But having a Mercer House on the island could be very useful. If we manage things right, we might even get a Mercere Portal to the island. I certainly think the distance justifies one."

"What do the rest of you think?"