1221: The Future is Now

Magnus nods. "My point exactly. We're just breaking even as it is. If we add another magus and another set of buildings, with associated servants, lab expenses, and the like, we'll start losing money. We have some cash on hand, so we could afford that in the short term. But it's not a long-term solution. That's one reason I raised the issue of getting people here. Almost all of the ideas I have for raising our income require people. Trade needs sailors and ships; farming needs farmers; sheep herding needs shepherds; mining needs miners; forestry needs foresters. Until we have people, we're unlikely to have much in the way of income. We could sell vis, I suppose. But I'm loathe to do that for obvious reasons."

"Of course, we can't afford not to accept Atticus either. The loss of Nigrisaxa's contributions would be as bad, or worse, as supporting a new magus. Besides, we do want to recruit magi for the island."

"The solution, as I see it, is that we start focusing on recruiting significant numbers of people to the islands, and getting some money flowing into our coffers. With money we can expand, and with expansion we'll have more opportunities to make money. The process will hopefully build on itself."

"And Atolycus is right about the need for the cantons to support Domus Magi. There's enough land dedicated to the central covenant for it to feed itself. But it will definitely need more income than that to perform the duties of a central government. Some support from the cantons will be required."

Transforming Mythic Europe has this to say about income:

The real question is, what are "expenses" for a manor? I'd say between 10-15 pounds, depending upon how ambitious you are. For now, I'll say it's 10 pounds, so each manor will get you 10 pounds/year in income after expenses. This number may vary in the future. Magic assistance may allow for some inflation of numbers.

This will cover various types of farming income. If you want to explore a different income source, then we'll develop that as seems right.

In Lords of men the income from a manor is described as being capped for tax purposes at 5 pounds a year. If we assume that is after expenses that would put the expenses at 15 pounds, though on p. 72 of Lords of Men it states that the typical income is 20 pounds and that this is just barely sufficient to keep the manor running (in which case we gain nothing by establishing manors)

"There are lots of ways to make money with magic, especially while we are not in a tribunal, and it can be the duty of junior mages to perform such tasks while we get the covenant and the island on more solid footing."

Thanks for the cite. I'll have to look at Lords of Men.

And clearly manors were historically able to pay taxes. So, they must have been able to make some kind of profit. The question is figuring out what that profit would be.

"That's true," Magnus replies. "We are in a kind of limbo until the Grand Tribunal. And I'm sure we can get away with a little more than we could in a tribunal. But two things concern me. First, if we do get placed in another tribunal in seven years time, they may look back on what we've done and penalize us for that. Second, if we're too brazen about using magic to generate income, the Grand Tribunal might act to limit such use of magic. So, a little goes a long way in that respect. We can be a little more free about using magic to make money. But we should also do so with a bit of restraint as well."

"If we might lose income by not taking him on, and can use him to generate income, then I think our question answers itself."

"I agree," Magnus replies. "We have to take him. But that leads to the next question of where we'll put him. We can keep him here for now if we like. But I think we'll eventually want him to be in a chapter house, though he'd be in a chapter house almost alone with just one of us for company."

"Then again, I can't imagine he'll be the last recruit we'll get. There will certainly be more to come."

"Shall I pen a quick response to Maximianus saying that we'll be happy to meet with Atticus at his earliest convenience? Or does anyone have qualms about accepting him?"

"I agree we should take him barring hideous flaws. On the topic of money, the ideal situation is to be self-sufficient. Minimize costs. Actually, I have an idea for that. Artemis explains, detailing a pair of magic gloves she could make. "Of course I would need the vis and raw materials to make it."

"Let's meet him with the expectation of him joining. I have no concerns at this stage. "

Ooc: can BPs be spent to get income sources? I found the place to purchase mythic pounds, but not where an income source would be allocated. Seems it's via boons not BPs.

There is no way under the rules to purchase income sources, and I would prefer they be obtained by action and story. Technically everything you have was given to you by contributing covenants. None of them handed over an income source.

"There's another letter to the covenant," Magnus says, after their discussion has moved past the missive from Nigrisaxa. "This one from Fengheld." He reads the letter.


"Seems like now that word is out of our feat in raising Atlantis, we'll never have a want of correspondence." He smiles. "Fengheld is not one of our band of contributors. But it's a powerful covenant in its own right. I think we'd do well to hear what its representative has to say."

"And there's a more informal note saying that a rock to serve as an arcane connection would be appreciated with our response if we'll see their representative, for the representative to travel more easily to the island, although it is not absolutely required."

"I'm not sure we want to go handing out arcane connections to our island. I would be willing to escort the representative through the forest paths."

"Its easy enough to get Arcane Connections if someone wants them. I'd rather we create some sort of landing area." Artemis responds. "But either way I'm for it."

"They'll come regardless. Let's give them a connection. As for their involvement and participation that's a baited hook. They'll want a stake and a return on effort, and we need allies for the grand tribunal and younger Magi. "
"I think we avoid dilution of our ownership and encourage migration. It also means that our establishing the chapter houses in each aura is critical now. It must be done before they can claim them independently. I've set a lab in the Aerie and have my familiar and apprentice living there. The town will follow soon. How are the other locations?

Ooc - Are the chapter houses declared and owned in 1221?

"I agree, it makes little sense to alienate a potential ally, especially given that we'll need all the help we can get. But Artemis does raise a valid point, perhaps we should set aside a location where we can receive visitors and the like? If we control where and when they arrive, we can ensure that they see only what we want them to see. It allows us to put our best foot forward." He nods at Constantine's warning about ownership. "I agree friend, if only there were a Redcap here who could ensure that these Chapter houses were officially recorded..."

"Ha! Indeed, well said" laughs Constantine. "What about a spot overlooking the lake so that they have view of the central covenant from afar? It's a beautiful view and outside our aegis. "

"We might consider putting the landing spot close to the forest Regio, so visitors by either method can be received in the same place. I still have reservations, there is nothing as it stands to keep the Tremere from establishing their own covenant on an unowned aura on the island and challenging anything we do based on that."

So far the only information I have is that Constantine and Magnus have conjured towers in thier Auras and placed a few people there - stress the word 'few,' since you only have 100 grogs to go around for the whole island right now. I'm thinking you could have at best 2-5 grogs per site, with the average being 3.

Unless I hear to the contrary, I'm going to assume that what the Artemis, Atolycus, and Melilai have is the equivalent of two grogs and a tent watching over the other sites.

It's a little more complicated than that. Yes, Atolycus can register the covenants and chapter houses with House Mercere. That will ensure that everyone gets their mail. Yay! And Constantine can notarize the charter so that it's a legit document. So far, so good. But Constantine would also know that you're limited in what rights you have by not being in a tribunal. Reasonable arguments could still be made that you're not officially a covenant until you're registered with a tribunal. You certainly have no recourse short of a grand tribunal of enforcing any rights.

I know the plan is to become your own tribunal. If that's successful, then many of your problems are solved. But for now, there is no New Atlantis Tribunal to appeal any decisions to. There is no New Atlantis Peripheral Code. And since you maintain that you're not in any other tribunal, there's no other tribunal to appeal to either. Also, consider that If a GT decides that you can't be your own tribunal, then you have to meet the requirements for a covenant of whatever tribunal you do end up being made a part of. Then you might find that you aren't a covenant yet because you haven't met some local requirement.

Furthermore, let's say that a dispute arises about Auras or vis sources. You have no one to appeal the matter to short of a GT, whereas the other side could appeal to their own tribunal, who would likely be more favorable to them. Worse yet, not being a member of any tribunal, you have no voice in a GT and would therefore have to get a representative to the GT to raise the matter with the GT (remembering that each representative can only raise one issue at the GT).

Yes. the system is rigged in favor of members of tribunals.

As a side note, while you could almost certainly decide which tribunal you're in now, if it does go to the GT, there's a decent chance that they'll just assign you to a tribunal regardless of your opinion. That's the perennial problem with taking a matter to trial. Once the matter is in the hands of the decision maker, they start making binding decisions.

Of course, in theory as rulers of the cantons, we could forbid the building of foreign covenants or chapterhouses from a strictly secular perspective (hard to have a chapterhouse or covenant with no buildings...)

Yes ... in theory. That assumes, of course, that they accept your sovereignty of the island.

I think the thing to remember is, if we annoy enough folks, or even one sufficiently strong person (either Political or Martial Power), there's nothing stopping them from making our lives miserable. And lets say you tell someone they can't make a Covenant somewhere on the island, what's stopping them from turning around and challenging you to Certamen over it? To say nothing of a Wizard's War. We're outside of a Tribunal at the moment with little to no backup here, we need to be smart.

The issue is more that we have leverage than we can take all comers...

I started AM in 3rd ed, Tremere always make me nervous.