1222 - Odds and Ends

Sometime during the summer, Orion finds Maximilian in the library. "Good afternoon, sodale," he says. "If I'm not interrupting an important passage, I was wondering if I might have a moment of your time." When Maximilian consents, the Merinita magus will take a seat at the table opposite Maximillian.

"You've spoken in general about needing a longevity ritual soon, and I thought this might be a good time to hammer out the details before too much time passed. I assure you, I'm quite skilled in them, and I'm certain that you'd be more than satisfied with a ritual I devise for you. In fact your ritual will probably be better than the one I used on myself, since I've had time to increase my skill since I devised my own. Now, as you know, it will require about three months for me to properly devise a longevity ritual tailored for your use. It strikes me that a fair trade would be for you to also spend a season working in your lab for my benefit."

"I understand that your talents lie with magic items, as is common with your house. I expect that you're as competent in your field as I am in mine. To that end, I propose that in exchange for my devising a longevity ritual for you, you will create a magical item for me - with the limitation that I choose an item that you can craft in a single season. In fact, I must admit that I'd rather fancy having a fire wand such as the one you have.[sup]1[/sup] I'm quite good with water magics, as you know. But is strikes me that having some fire in my repertoire would be very useful as well. Furthermore, each of us shall provide the vis for the other's activities, you for the longevity ritual, and me for the wand of fire. Does that arrangement sound agreeable to you?"

[sup]1[/sup] Basically I'm looking for the best Pilum of Fire wand you can make in a season with a decent penetration and a decent number of charges.

Maximilian raises his eyes from the Rego summa he has been reading for many days. He nods at his covenant-mate and, after marking the page and closing the book, turns to listen to Orion's proposal.

"What you propose would certainly be fair and to our mutual benefit," says Maximilian with a smile. "I have heard much good about the potency of the longevity rituals that you craft. As for myself, I have indeed some skill with fire magic."

As the discussion progresses, the Verditius raises a few points. "In the interest of getting the best ritual possible, and since I will be mostly stuck in your lab for the season, I could assist you in its creation. In exchange, however, I might want to call upon the assistance of your apprentice at some future time to assist me in the lab for a season while working on one of my own projects. Probably not anytime soon, as I'd prefer for her to get some training first, but probably in a few years' time. Would that be acceptable to you?"

"I do not have the type of raw vis that would be needed to cast a longevity ritual. Would you take Herbam vis, or should I arrange to trade it for Vim or Corpus?"

"As for a wand of fire, I have done previous work on two different versions, for which I have lab texts, but they may not be suitable for you. The first version, that I created for my former covenant, was a charged item casting a bolt of fire hotter than a standard Pilum, at sight range and with enough power to punch through a strong magic resistance. As a charged item it would of course require no raw vis, but its limited number of uses might not be what you have in mind."

"The second version, which I carry here, is a more traditional Pilum in an invested item. As such, it need a wand already prepared for enchantment. Although it doesn't carry quite the same raw power as the charged version, it can be used repeatedly. However, such an item would require two seasons of work to recreate, as well as seven pawns of Vim and four pawns of either Ignem or Creo."

"Of course, I could design a completely new item for you, to your specifications, to be enchanted as a lesser item. But as you well know, without a lab text handy the item would be much weaker."

"I'd welcome the assistance," Orion replies when Maximilian offers his help. "It would certainly get you a better ritual if I had the aid of a skilled magus. Right now Ana's at the fetch-and-carry stage - not a great deal of use in the lab, I'm afraid. And I'd welcome the chance for her to see a Verditus of your skill at work in the lab. We each have our ways of doing things, and your house has some of the best techniques for crafting magic items. I'm sure she could learn a lot from a season in your lab."[sup]1[/sup]

The subject then turns to vis supplies. "Well," Orion says, rubbing his beard with one hand. "Normally I'd insist upon Vim or Corpus vis for a longevity ritual. But seeing as you're a fellow member of the covenant, I'll take the cost in Herbam. I haven't any of that in my stores, and you never know when it'll come in handy."

As they move on to discussion about the wand of fire, Orion leans forward on the table. "You're right," he says with a nod. "I'm not looking for a charged item. At my age I'd prefer something that'll last. It would have to be permanent." He pauses in thought for a moment. "Would it be possible for you to invest your power in a wand that I prepared for enchantment?"[sup]2[/sup]

"Barring that, is there anything else I could do for you in the lab or elsewhere that would be worth the extra season of work it would take to make it as an invested item? I certainly wouldn't mind having a wand with a little more potential. I don't believe our mystical strengths have a great deal of overlap, save in the area of Creo magics. Perhaps I could spend a season teaching you new spells?"[sup]3[/sup]

[sup]1[/sup] Really, it's to Maximilian's benefit to increase the LR, not Orion's. So there shouldn't be any reason for Orion to give something away for that benefit. But I like the idea of Anastasia getting some experience in the lab of a Verditus magus. And Orion is proud too. He wants to make sure he devises the best damn longevity ritual he can.

[sup]2[/sup] I've never seen this come up before, but can one magus prepare a device for enchantment and another instill an effect into it? I know you can't do that with a talisman. But what about a regular invested item? Orion probably has the Magic Theory to know the answer to that question. But I sure don't.

[sup]3[/sup] If you wanted to include a ReCo spell in the mix, like Wizard's Leap, Orion could teach you 58 levels of spells. If you wanted to learn Poseidon's Gift of Movement (Orion's only ReAq spell, but a big one at level 25), then he could teach you 60 levels of spells (i.e., 35 after PGoM). Having a CrCo spell (like any of the healing spells he knows) would still keep you above 55 levels.

"I'd be happy to help in broadening her knowledge of enchantments." Maximilian nods at Orion, with the unspoken but shared understanding that this was all a face-saving exercice. (1)

"I appreciate you accepting Herbam vis for my ritual. I will, of course, put a small premium on the amount I provide you to compensate for the fact that you may need to trade some away for Vim or Corpus. Considering my age, would a rook do?" (2)

"As for the wand, I could of course enchant the Pilum of Fire effect into any item you provide. I would note the advantages of letting me prepare the wand for enchantment." He takes out a wand from a short scabbard on his belt, "Take this wand as an example. It is made of hornbeam, with silver capsule emmeshed in the handle, itself containing mercury. All told, it has a capacity of fifteen pawns' worth of effects, but required only seven pawns to prepare. Even with the Pilum effect enchanted into it, you would have plenty of space left to add additional effects that you might wish to have available in deleterious circumstances. And it's composite nature provides a wide variety of potential attunements." (3)

"As for compensation for the second season required, I'm sure we could find something that would satisfy both of us." He waves his hand dismissively, "As you said, our specialties differ, as I have little interest in water magic or crafting longevity rituals. But I'm sure we can eventually come up with something. Perhaps enchanting an Aquam effect in an item I would provide? I might appreciate something that would protect me from drowning, in case of a shipwreck. Does that sound like something you might be able to enchant?" (4)

(1) I know it's to Maximilian's advantage, but since he's proud, acting as the assistant of another magus goes against the grain. Which is why he's asking for a (quite small) compensation in Anastasia's time. Much more a matter of keeping face than of the service itself. And it doesn't really cost Orion anything, in the end, as it's Anastasia's time being traded away.

(2) That's 10 pawns, as opposed to needing 7 pawns for someone up to 35 years of age. With vis being considered plentiful, Maximilian is not going to quibble over the exact amount.

(3) I'm using the word attunement instead of Shape & Material bonuses, as it is a less mecanistic way of describing how the wand's makeup provides lab bonuses.

(4) Although he won't share this with Orion, Maximilian is Deficient in Aquam, so learning Aquam spells would be quite limited. Corpus spells are tempting, but we will be scribing lab texts of our spells anyway so it might not be the best use of that season even if it would be more efficient than learning from texts.

OOC: By my calculations, as things currently stand, Orion would have a CrCo lab total of 47 and Maximilian would add 14 to that, for a total of 61.

Orion: Cr 18 + Co 13 + Int 3 + MT 8 + Aura 5 = 47
Maximilian: Int 4 + MT 7 + Inventive Genius 3 = 14

Neither has activities slated for 1222 that would change those total. Let me know if I missed something.

"Oh, a premium isn't necessary," Orion replies with a wave of his hand. "Six or seven pawns would probably be enough for the ritual. But if you feel you ought to add a premium, whatever you decide is fair would be fine with me." [sup]1[/sup]

When Maximilian describes how he could prepare the wand for enchantment, Orion nods appreciatively. "That does seem most useful. Would you take all Creo vis for the preparation and enchantment, or would you prefer to have some of it in Vim?"

"As for an Aquam item," he adds with a smile, happy that they're back in his area of expertise. "I could instill any of a variety of enchantments into such a device. Something to make you breathe underwater, or to make you swim like a fish, or to see underwater as you would on land. Of course, if you're more interested in avoiding going into the water, I could put in an enchantment to break waves before they reach you or the boat you're on. I could even enchant something so that it will allow you to summon a wave to move your boat without rowing. There are any number of possibilities. And if you were interested in an Aquam device with more versatility, you could always provide me with an item suitable for instilling multiple enchantments, and leave open the possibility of future lab-work trades. But then I don't know if you feel the need for more than the bare minimum in Aquam enchantments."[sup]2[/sup]

Got it with the face-saving. That makes perfect sense. I understand, since I had to phrase my response very carefully so that I didn't admit that Maximilian might be better than Orion at crafting. He just knows some different techniques is all. :wink:

[sup]1[/sup] I won't quibble over vis either. Whatever Maximilian wants to give is good for Orion. Just so long as he's getting something. He's too proud to do it for free.

[sup]2[/sup] Now I have visions of a "Ring of the Tritons" going through my mind. :slight_smile: But really, Any Aquam effect would be pretty easy (though Intellego gives me a bit of trouble). I can get a LT of 60 with ReAq, 58 with CrAq, and 51 with MuAq - and that's not counting shape and material bonuses. So there are a lot of potential effects available that he could craft in one month.

You forgot that Orion has a familiar. (I don't have a final version posted, so it's really my fault that you didn't include him in the calculations.)

Orion: Cr 18 + Co 13 + Int 3 + MT 8 + Aura 5 + Fam 8 = 55
Maximilian: Int 4 + MT 7 + Inventive Genius 3 = 14

LT = 55 + 14 = 69. Add 2 vis to bump it up and it's a 71. Much better than Orion's 51. :smiley:

"Creo would do just fine. I will need some Vim to prepare the wand, but this can be traded for. Either at the covenant level, or otherwise through the redcap network."

"As for the Aquam effect, it is mostly something that would protect me from drowning. So something like Lungs of the Fish would probably work well."

Right, so the total would be 69. Might be worth adding those 2 pawns for that additional magnitude. Or not. I'll think about it. Barring very bad luck, it's doubtful he'll need to replace that ritual for many decades. And it's not like that additional magnitude will mean anything if bad luck strikes. :smiley:

I think Orion and Maximilian understand each other fairly well, pride-wise. :laughing:

"Now, all that remains it to plan those seasons in the laboratory. Considering that I plan on installing my lab in the Fall and Winter, it means that I could start working on a new wand next Spring. But that could change, based on when you would be able to start working on my longevity ritual."

Maximilian strokes his chin in thought. "Tell you what, I could give you this wand," he gestures to the wand now lying beside the Rego summa on the lectern, "instead of waiting until the new one is ready. It doesn't do anything I cannot do myself with spells, anyway."

"That's very kind of you," Orion replies. It was a spell he couldn't cast, so having the wand now would be useful.

"I'll finish setting up the guest lab this winter as well, so I could work on the longevity ritual or the ring of water-breathing as early as spring. I'll be busy opening up Ana's Arts in the summer, but I'll be available in the autumn or winter to do the other task." He shrugs. "It makes little difference to me what order I do things in. I'm committed for the summer of next year. But any combination of the other two seasons would be fine with me if you have a strong preference."

Just to confirm, the following would be the kind of thing that Maximilian wanted:

Ring of Water-Breathing
MuAq 21
Pen 0, 2 uses/day
Range: Touch, Duration: Sun, Target: Ind.
This silver ring adorned with a blue crystal allows the user to breathe underwater.
(Base 4, +1M Touch, +2M Sun, +1M Part, +1 - 2 uses/day)

Alternately, you could go with:

Ring of Water-Breathing
MuAq 26
Pen 0, 50/day
Range: Touch, Duration: Conc., Target: Ind.
This silver ring adorned with a blue crystal allows the user to breathe underwater.
(Base 4, +1M Touch, +1M Conc., +1M Part, +5 device maintains conc., +6 - 50/day)

Both will cost 3 vis to make, since vis cost rounds up. And Orion can achieve the LT to get the second one, if you'd prefer it.

"For the longevity ritual, Fall would be best. This will give me some time to get some work done early in the year. As for the Aquam effect, it may be a little while before I can prepare the item I would like it enchanted into, so it may be as far away as late 1224. I hope you do not mind?"

Hmmm, I think you are forgetting the Auram requisite for the water-breathing effects.

That would cut down on your lab total to Int 3 + MT 8 + Mu 11 + Aq/Au 6 + Aura 5 = 33. Plus whatever lab assistant you can get at the time -- Anastasia should provide at least +5 by then (Int 3 + MT 2), while Zoros provides +8. So about 46. Plus whatever S&M bonuses that the item would provide, capped by his MT. So a grand total 54 or thereabout.

I was thinking Lungs of the Fish (MuAq 20, Au req) at Touch and Sun, with the remaining levels spent on the number of uses per day so that he could use it on others as well.

We can finalize the exact details when the item is ready for enchantment.

"I'm at your disposal in the Fall then," Orion replies. "As for the Aquam item, whenever you should like it enchanted is fine with me. I just wanted to assure you that I could do it as soon as the spring. But if you need to prepare an item, then I shall await your word."


I totally forgot the Auram requirement. Thanks for the catch.

Sometimes later during the summer, Maximilian seeks Orion out to discuss something with him.

"Sodalis, I have noticed that you have your apprentice studying our Magic Theory summa in the library. I am a bit concerned about letting an untrained youth such as Anastasia handling such a valuable book by herself. Twice already, I have noticed her mishandling the book -- in minor ways, but still..."

The Verditius nods sagely, "Perhaps it might be better to wait until she has been better trained before giving her further access to the library's valuable books? I felt it better to bring this to your attention personally, rather than raising the issue at a council meeting."

"I understand your concern," Orion replies. "The books in our library must be kept in good shape. But our apprentices must also be taught. I'm aware that I'm the only magus with an apprentice at the present time. But in time there will be others. We would do well to consider the good of all future apprentices as well."

"And consider, the whole purpose of the books we have is to educate the magi - and those studying to be magi - in this covenant. The books of our library are meant to serve us, and not the other way around."

"But I shall certainly speak with Anastasia about her handling of the books. And I am perfectly willing to allow you to speak with her about the issue yourself. We might even consider making a copy of our book on magical theory for the use of apprentices and those visiting the library. That way we can keep a copy pristine for the use of the magi."

Maximilian nods in shared understanding, "It is true that many of us will probably train an apprentice in the years to come. So the problem will occur again to each of us. As you say, making more robust copies of our valuable summae for apprentices to use would be a good idea. That is a good solution for the future."

"Yet, with still face the problem of here and now. It would be a severe blow for our small library if one of our books was to be damaged and made unusable for one of us. These books are for the use of magi -- and in that I will have to disagree with you -- not apprentices. Apprentices have no standing in our charter, nor are they granted access to our library. That is for magi, and magi alone. Apprentices should learn from their masters, not from books, for it is too easy for the apprentice to misapply that knowledge when it is acquired out of context."

Maximilian sighs, "Now, your apprentice seem to be a fine lass, but I would still rather not have her studying alone from our books. I thought it better for the both of us to speak of this in private, but I am ready to raise the issue in council."

((OOC: Nothing personal. I just think that a position that magi in general might take and, in this case, that a Proud magus would certainly object to a 'mere' apprentice using the library as a magus would.))

"I respect your opinion," Orion replies, "though I disagree with it. Apprentices are the future for the Order. The stronger that we make our apprentices, the stronger we make the Order. Investments made in future maga are investments well made. We have nothing more valuable than our time, and we give a tremendous amount of that to each apprentice. What is access to our libraries compared to that? Of course, if an apprentice were truly mistreating a book, that would be different. But I don't think that's the case with Ana. She's nearly fifteen. Were she male and not Gifted, she might already be apprenticed to a scribe or be an acolyte in a monastery, handling books in her professional capacity." He shakes his head. "So while I am fully in favor of safeguarding the library, I think that my apprentice is no risk to our books. And I further think that it is in the best interests of this covenant, and the Order in general, to allow apprentices access to our library. Of course, the magi of the covenant will always come first. Apprentices should only have access to books after the magi have declared what they wish to study. But to the extent that books would otherwise sit on a shelf unused, I think we are better served by allowing our apprentices to access them."

"Now, I understand that you feel strongly about this. And if you wish to raise the matter in council, I will completely understand, and will make certain that the matter gets suitable debate. But in this matter I think we shall have to accept that we disagree."

OOC: I have no problem with the debate being raised. And I don't mind the assumption that there was some minor wear-and-tear on the books. (Much like what would happen with anyone using them.) But it would be hard for me to answer an accusation that Anastasia was actually mistreating a book in any major way, since her reading the book does not damage it in any way in game terms. And I should think that at 14/15, she could be expected to follow orders and be careful with the book.

"And there lies the core of our disagreement, I believe," replies the Verditius mage. "I would prefer for us to train good apprentices, rather than simply strong ones. There is much to be learned, in the way of attitudes and wisdom, that cannot be learned from theorical texts. In many cases, getting too much access to such knowledge, too quickly and untempered by the wisdom of the master, is actually detrimental to the good development of the apprentice."

"As I said, your apprentice seem a good lass, as serious as one can expect from a girl of her age. Yet she is mostly untrained in the ways of magic. She has no experience to temper the theory that you expect her to learn, nor in the time and efforts it take to produce a book as valuable as the summa she is currently studying can be." He shakes his head, "One cannot expect her to show the proper respect for the book, and I'm afraid that the two incidents that I observed prove it."

Maximilian's face brightens, "I have an idea. Perhaps we could kill many birds with a single stone. What if we were to require our apprentices to produce a copy of one of the books, for the use of apprentices, before they are allowed to study from the library? Spending a season or more copying a book would demonstrate to them the value of these books; they would gain valuable experience in the scribal profession; and it would create a less easily damage library for the use of apprentices." He smiles, "We could then add a clause to the covenant's charter regarding the rules that govern access to the library by apprentices."

"That is an excellent suggestion," Orion replies. "It would do Ana well to learn that aspect of the craft at an early age. And you're right, some time copying a book would certainly give her a better appreciation for the value of the books in our library. As you say, after spending a season or two copying just a single book, I imagine she'll show books in general a bit more respect. But I wonder if we could give her some training in the craft before she starts. She's a clever girl, that's true. But it might be better to have her learn the basics of copying books before she sits down to do it for the first time."

I know it's possible to scribe a book with no training. But it seems more logical to give her a season of teaching first. That's not a requirement, of course. But if we had a scribe who could spend a season teaching her Profession (Scribe), that would be great. Heck, even a season of Training would be better than nothing.

(Omphalos is both a good teacher andhas scribing at a 2 and loves teaching sprats)

(Orion could also assign her for a season at the scriptorium. Under the Training rules, it would not interfere with their ability to earn money and she would get 9 xp in Profession: Scribe. The same could in theory be done with Illumination and Bookbinding, but I think the main skill to be learned here is scribing.)