"We should certainly welcome the opportunity and embrace it. I am happy to go to Harco. Or concede to another if we prefer a different voice. And a mercer house and portal would be excellent. "
"Not at all. In fact I expect us to have dominion over the area surrounding the island. If that means creating specific defenses and punishing the Atlanteans then so be it. But I don't want a long war as I respect what I know of them, and politically we need them to strike first."
"I think you would be an excellent representative for the covenant," Magnus offers. "Does anyone else wish to go to Harco? I find that my research here makes this an unwise time for me to depart. There is so much that still needs to be done to make the island habitable and appealing."
Andor responds passionately "While your ideas are certainly worthwhile and are certainly worth consideration Magnus, the cost in both time and resources is not insignificant. We need something to fill the void in the interim while we pursue these alternatives, as it could be years before they are ready, no? To let the Atlanteans dictate our usage of the sea in unacceptable, as is having a hostile power so close to our home. I suggest that swift, decisive action be taken to resolve the situation, either with words, or by force if necessary."
"Fair enough," Magnus replies. "Though I could potentially get an item created this year that would allow a ship to fly." He pauses to do some mental calculations, muttering to himself as he does. "Perhaps ten Herbam vis for the job, maybe a little more; maybe a little less. That would let one of our ships fly, though to be frank, that's an incredibly obvious use of magic. It would be useful out on the open ocean, where our ships would be most vulnerable, But we'd have to bring the ships back to the sea once they approached land. Oh, and we'd have to train sailors in finesse to be able to use a device like that properly. And that would take time - unless you allowed us to use one of your 'architects' until some aerial pilots were trained for the ships. They're quite skilled in the use of magic items."
"But tell me, what did you have in mind to fill the void?"
Andor nods "Of course my men would be happy to assist. As things are starting to wind down this year in terms of building, it will hardly detract from our other projects. My suggestion was to, in the mean time, fund a shipment from the Levant to England. I have a not insignificant amount of coin available, which when coupled with a like amount from the Covenant should be more than sufficient to fund the trip. As I plan on heading to the Iberian Tribunal, I'll endeavor to make contact with some people who might be able to help us get past the Moors blocking the Pillars of Hercules. Again, it's not a permanent solution by any means, but it's a start."
"Any funds will be a help," Magnus says with a nod. "We're doing okay now. But the generosity of our sodales won't last forever. At some point we'll have to stand on our own two feet."
Artemis finishes reading her mail. One letter from her Apprentice snatching parens and one from the maga who originally apprenticed her. The first is mostly just generic congratulations and well wishes and rambling speculation about how sinking and raising an island would affect vis sources. The second is a letter about how the risen island is a sign of Ragnarok and how she wishes Artemis could die in glorious battle with her in a couple centuries.
"I just wrote a magic theory Summa that we might be able to hawk. We'd probably need to put someone else's name on it. But I think copies could sell for a decent amount of vis or coin."
"Interestingly enough, Sophia is just finishing one as well," Magnus replies. "I guess great minds think alike. We'll have to see what we can get for them on the open market. Knowing the caliber of your scholarship, they should go for a pretty penny."
Technically a book on MT should go for coin. But I tend to think those are more valuable than that. What do people think a L8, Q15 Magical Theory Summa ought to go for?
"I think you would be an excellent emissary," Magnus replies. "You have a keen mind and know our plans as well as any. But you should know our position, and for you to know it, we must as well. Are we agreed to allow a Mercer House in the covenant? I say yes. I believe that the benefits will far outweigh the costs. It sounds like Constantine does as well, What do the rest of you think?"
Aquarian opines "The Atlanteans have control of the seas, this is a point of fact. They are based in the Mediterranian and despite having control over the seas, and quite strongly there, they hamper trade so little as to be negligible. While those using these ancient temples are a vocal minority, most Atlanteans live in fear of being dragged to the surface world more than anything. Indeed if we could find a way to send a return message I would suggest that we extend an offer to this group to come and use the temple at their leisure, certainly the dragon will not mind the increase in his income. The power of the Atantians does include magic, but relies mostly on the beasts of the sea, and much of these alliances are built on peace and prosperity, which they threaten by acting against us while having nothing to gain- even if we were to abandon the island it would not be returned to them. If I could locate an Atlantian to act as our advocate, one who can still return to Atlantis, we might avoid this conflict altogether."
"Do you think you could find such an Atlantean?" Magnus asks. "It would certainly help us to open up a more peaceful line of communications with their nation."
Andor nods "I too would always prefer to negotiate before engaging in what would become a needlessly bloody and ultimately pointless conflict. I suggest that you make locating such a person your foremost priority my friend, as there's no telling what the Atlanteans will try in the interim."
"I would need to call an animal to carry a message, and I am uncertain of the exact location it should be carried to, but we can at least attempt to set up communication. I'm afraid I have forgotten my Greek since becoming exiled, but if someone would write a message and place it in a waterproof container, or better write it so it is itself waterproof, I can call a creature which should be able to carry it to an Atantean, and hope for the best." He pauses "We might also consider calling and making alliances of our own with local sea creatures and monsters."
"I could write a message for you in Greek, if you need," Duncan replies. "I suppose the question is, what should it say?"
"And could you make alliances with such creatures on our behalf?"
"I could certainly speak with them, what they might agree to would have to be seen."
"I think that's worth the effort," Magnus replies. "If you can find them, and if you can do so without undue danger to yourself."
"I need but enter the ocean and call them to me."
"I can't imagine that talking to them would be bad," Magnus replies. "If nothing else, it lets us know who, or what, we're dealing with."
Should we create an adventure thread for this, or do you want to roleplay out Aquarian talking to various sea creatures and negotiations here?