Two raptors circle above the covenant of Insula Canaria. One bird is large and white, with brown markings, and the other is larger and tawny.
"This is it; I'm certain of it," calls one.
"It seems quite small," the other replies.
"How much space do you need?"
"A whole island just for you and Jeor, once this poor loch has been emptied of fish!"
Both birds descend near the beaver and magus. The brown bird lands and changes into a naked woman; the white bird lands on the woman's shoulder. "I am Halie, follower of Birna; it is a pleasure to meet you, Drystan. This is Dalla. My other consortes will be arriving soon, with my belongings." She accepts the casting token with a shy smile, and puts it into a little leather pouch that hangs from her left wrist.
Halie quirks a brow at the charter. "If I may?" She looks over it, scanning for any inconsistencies, contradictions, loopholes, errors, or anything that could pose issues in the future. (10+3 Lex Hermei+either 1 for int or 3 for per?=14 or 16)
Trimalchio slowly walks down from the hillside, wishing he had his parens' command of rego magic so he could move without having to walk. It has been a hard trek from the lowlands to here, and he would be unable to make it at any time of year that wasn't high summer.
Perhaps I should have asked for more training in Rego,he muses to himself, or asked for a magical horse that would accept a Gifted rider.
He is now regretting carrying three books and a fine robe in his pack, and his travelling robes are getting tattered from the thistles. A small hedgehog peeks out of one pocket, the normally nocturnal animal feeling strangely active as they approach a magical aura.
"Salvete!". Trimalchio is hoping someone understands Latin, as the monk he was travelling with left yesterday, and he no longer has a companion who speaks the local language. It will be hard to work outside the covenant until he learns the local language. This whole "exploring the frontier" business doesn't seem as attractive now as it did when he left Cad Gaddu.
"Salve!" replies a covenfolk. It looks like he will be safe after all.
As you cross the Aegis, you notice that, save for the fishermen on the pier and the loch, almost everyone you see are women, mostly doing their housework. Once you get settled into the abandoned, oversized sanctum they've assigned you (which has an extensive, if neglected, garden surrounding it) you see that most of the men seem to work elsewhere...mostly shepherds, by their attire.
The majority of the covenfolk speak a heavily accented form of Latin.
Siobhan arrives on foot but there is a small cart with supplies driven by two people a distance ahead of her enough that she doesn't spook the mules pulling it. In the cart are a number of supplies carefully labeled that likely are the equipment for a laboratory. All three are dressed in traditional irish peasant garb.
As she gets closer, she raises a hand and an owl flies up out of the cart to land on her shoulder. "Greetings. I hope that my arrival is timely and I will need something to allow my companion to enter as well as myself and my cousins." She considers casting a spell before entering but she can always do that at a later time to learn the vis sources in the area.
One of the covenfolk scurries off to fetch Drystan. When he arrives, and the introductions are made, he hands you a casting token. He also pulls one out for Banrion, looks at the token, speaks a CrHe spell (no gestures), and a circle of twine appears through the hole in the token large enough to place over the owl's head like a medal.
He looks at Siobhan. "May I?" he asks. He then (assuming he has Siobhan's consent) place the token around Banrion's neck, and says "Banrion, familiar of Siobhan scholae Bonisagi, I invite you to share the protection of our Aegis of the Hearth."
He then looks at Siobhan. "The ribbon will only last until sundown, I'm afraid."
The tour and the meeting continues as above, unless you want to do anything.
The familar bows its head and speaks softly, "I can speak directly to you after all and understand you and I am sure I can have a proper tie to fasten it to my leg like a jesse before evening."
Siobhan smiles. "I would like to review the charter and see what is expected of me as well as what benefits I receive in way of sancta, lab and resources. My companion would like access to all the gossip he can collect and unlimited privileges for hunting mice, voles, rabbits, squirrels and such that are not marked as being a familiar."
"Very well. The charter is kept in the library, if you would come with me." He will escort you to the library, on the second floor of the council hall on Eilean Muireach. The charter is as described earlier; as it is still a few days before the meeting, no changes have been made.
"You are entitled, of course, to a sanctum and laboratory space. It shall be up to you to personalize the laboratory to your own specific needs and tastes, but the resources of the covenant are at your disposal toward that end. You are entitled to a personal servant and man-at-arms, if you have not provided your own. As far as hunting goes, he is free to hunt as he will. You are the first one to arrive, but hopefully not the last. My familiar is Wallace, here," he gestures toward the beaver. "Doineann has a crow named Beira. I doubt that your companion would find either of those suitable prey."
((and for simplicity's sake, i'm going to handwave that everybody is at the meeting when it starts.))
((Oy! My head hurts from multiple time streams in Bibracte, separated by different threads.))
Talia's arrival to Insula Canaria was most odd, in that it was aboard a medium sized cargo cog, but one of exceptional beauty and craftsmanship. Those familiar with Hermetic magic should've been able to easily determine that it was created with some sort of ritual, as it is an exemplar of a ship, despite a few years of age. "Ahoy the covenant, it is I, Talia, filia of Erimas, House of Tytalus if that matters to anyone!
The ship drops anchor away from the pier and comes to a halt, and then lines are cast to draw the ship into mooring. As that is done, a clear voice sings out, ♫"With all haste, allow me to rig the sails for I have no time to waste!"♫ The sails then furl themselves and are safely secured so as not to pick up an errant gust of wind.
Most, if not all, of the folk on the pier simply stand and stare, slack-jawed, at the cog pulling up to the pier. Once it's obvious that it intends to moor there (i.e. the ropes hit the dock), they come to and start to tie the ropes to the piles to more or less secure the cog in place.
One of the boys is sent scurrying off to the one of the cottages, returning after several minutes with a middle-aged man in Hermetic robes.
"Ah...Talia scholae Tytali. I am Drystan scholae Merinitae. Welcome to the Covenant of Insula Canaria. To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?" As he speaks, he seems unable to take his eyes off the cog.
"I'm looking to put down roots for a while. I'm tired of hunting for a stray magical aura here and there to settle my ship in. Past experience suggests that the aura here is vast, covers the entire loch, if I'm not mistaken." She pauses for a moment, concerned that the offer to come has been rescinded or otherwise modified, "I promise I won't take up too much resources, I have a lab aboard my ship, my men are self-sufficient, for the most part. And, if your offer has been rescinded we'll take off to another part of the loch until I can manage to get back through the river Ness and back out to sea.
Talia's face looks concerned, thinking about how she'll get back out, "I honestly don't know how long that'll be, as I had to take advantage of an extremely high tide, and some astrological convergence that temporarily lessened the divine aura in Inverness, and then relied on a lot of luck to work some magic and get the ship into the loch."
Drystan nods. "Your information is correct, maga. At least as far as the aura is concerned. The invitation for new members to our covenant is indeed still outstanding, and in fact we will be meeting in two days to formally extend the invitation to those who have responded. Yourself included, of course.
"You will be using your ship as your sanctum and laboratory, then? Will your men be wanting housing on dry land, or are they going to be staying on the boat as well?"
As he speaks, he pulls what looks like a coin out of his purse. He then casts what sounds like a Rego Terram spell, causing the coin to float up to you. "Talia filia Erimas scholae Tytali, I invite you to enjoy the protection of our Aegis."
"Ahh, thank you, Drystan. I think my men will consider settling into some more spacious housing while we're here. I have one who fancies himself a shipbuilder" she shakes her head indicating she doesn't think his skills are as good as he thinks they are, "and would like to explore the environs for setting up a facility. I promised him I'd bring it up to a full council if I ever joined a covenant or would assist on his behalf if I ever settled as an eremite, although I think you have another term for a solitary magus."
"Well, we could always use another carpenter, although I daresay his skills as a shipwright will be somewhat underutilized, here.
"We do have some cottages that are standing empty, if any of your men are interested. And I believe the word you're looking for is 'aonaran.' There's a long tradition of aonaranan in Loch Leglean, more so than any other Tribunal, I believe. At the last Tribunal, I think almost half of the magi in attendance were aonaranan, but that may be because many covenants didn't send a full contingent."
"How about children, nannies? I have a young son.
Working from when she left Aeliophanes her son is between 4 and 5 years old (1 year in Naples, two with Memnos, two with Aeliophanes, giving birth 9 months later)
Drystan thinks. "Will you be needing a nurse? If so, I think we may have one or two who would suit. Otherwise, as a member you would be provided with personal servant, if you wanted to ensure that your servant would take proper care of your son."
Talia shakes her head, "A nurse isn't necessary, he's long since been weaned. A personal servant should be sufficient. If she has sea or, at the very least lake, legs all the better. Would you care to come aboard? I can show you around and introduce you to some of my crew."
Drystan quickly scans the boat for a sanctum marker. Presumably seeing none, he will smile. "I would be delighted. It's been many years since I've been on anything bigger than one of our fishing boats."
Talia shows her around the ship indicating where her crew sleeps and where her quarters are, at Talia's quarters Drystan can see the sanctum marker. I have a functional, if cramped lab in there. I'd invite you to see it, but I understand if you you don't want to go in. It's jut too small to be able to enchant items, though."
A quartet of men make their way up the road to the distant covenant by the Loch. One is leading a handcart that is being pulled by an ass, he has a tall hat brought low on his head. Another man is dressed in Italien finery which along with his mannerisms seems more than a little out of place for his surroundings. Another man is dressed in the rough clothes and armour of the clans and is well armed. The last is dressed rather well, like a favored craftmsan in a noble's household. He looks behind and about him nervously as they make their way up the road.