I am cool with this -- nay, excited at the prospect of playing with Marko, but imagine a slippery slope wherein we are advancing the entire Order of Hermes seasonally. On spreadsheets. Which get published by Atlas.
Since "Novus Mane" was probably meant to translate to "New Morning," I suggest we rename it to "Ex Tenebris Aurora" (From Darkness Comes Dawn). Others are free to suggest other names, or other tweaks than the ones that I've been strong-arming in, but we've got enough bare bones settled now to start the chapter.
The road from Autun to Mons Electi is new, by the standards of Autun, but hard and smooth, supernaturally so in some places.
Aernoudt Roger de Verditus had insisted on building the carriage himself in his laboratory, using up the last of the covenant's vis stocks. True, what few seisin they had were in no jeopardy of being lost, and no doubt an enchanted wagon would be of great value, once he'd actually put some magical effects into it. And in the end, getting the huge thing down from the tower had been easier than initially imagined (though, initially, it had been imagined to be impossible).
Yet, if Aernoudt thought he was fooling anyone about why he'd enchanted such an ornate and noble carriage on the very eve of the Council's decision to seek vassalage, he was most likely mistaken. His pater had been the last of the founders of Ex Tenebris Aurora, over a century ago, and Aernoudt had been the only apprentice who had wished to stay much past their Gauntlet. In a sense, a sense that was very real and very bitter to Aernoudt, he was the last guardian of the original vision for his covenant. His new sodales were welcome hands in the prospect of much labor but they knew nothing of the spirit of his old covenant.
They were building something new. Aernoudt was trying to save something old, and precious only to him, it sometimes seemed.
So, he had built the ornate carriage, and he had packed his finest robes, and he had insisted on coming with, and using the Reins. "Verditus make for good bargaining tools," he argued. "They'll want to pledge us just for the discounts that I might offer them. You're sure that they will be willing to stand up to Montverte?"
He could still see the burning ships and the devastated harbor. Some of the surviving villagers were talking about turning to piracy, he knew. Aernoudt found the idea nearly sacrilegious, although the sad truth was that there were no boats for them to pillage with anyway. Well, none except for....
He shook his head and tried to listen to what his sodales were saying.