Since our cabal is forming mid 4th cycle, this gives us more than two cycles to plan and work specifically towards our communal goals. As such, this thread is to discuss things to do pre-game start, who is doing them and where the resources are coming from. This top post will be edited with any approved ideas.
A complete set of roots/branches. Depending on the cost, Haestus would be happy to arrange for these to be available no later than the end of cycle 5. Trogdor, price and what arts/levels/SQ?
Ideas to use magic items in lieu of grogs. Manpower will likely be our biggest achilles heel, so let's start covering that now. Haestus can (barely, at the end of cycle 6) make "The Marvelous Hound" collar (covenants, pg 54) that should be able to replace both servants and laborers to some degree, but they will cost 7 vis each. Do we want to invest in some of these, and if so, how many?
FYI, my plan, when things get to a point at which you want to found a covenant on the island of New Atlantis, is to give you each build points to represent the various contributions from your covenants and others toward the project. I haven't settled on the exact numbers yet, but you won't be starting from scratch.
That having been said, I'm not against making additional prep for the covenant.
As for price of books, I'm inclined to use the standard pricing from Covenant, is it?
Manpower will definitely be a big issue, though likely not at the covenant level. It won't be hard for you to get 20-30 people to come with you. It's getting 2000-3000 to found some villages and small towns that'll be the problem.
Getting the roots and branches could be a use for the BP we've been allowed to take with the adventure activity.
For the Collar idea from Covenants - in cycle 5 I could make one in two seasons. Even with help in the lab, probably still two seasons (I could make a collar for a human far faster, and it's on my list of potential things to do).
Q. Is it ok to use our "covenant service" season to start recruiting befriending people. So when the new covenant needs to be populated we have a cadre of grogs ready to roll.
If not at the start, then this is something I'm happy to travel and do. Having gentle gift and Mentem Magic should make it a good fit.
I was thinking that my trader companion would start making preparations early among the lumpenproletariat of the towns he trades in, talking about this land of opportunity etc., and them ferry whole families of not-so-well-off townspeople over when it's time.
You'd have to be very careful about that for a couple of reasons:
1.) Word would get around and people would start to ask about this land of opportunity; and
2.) Nobles get angry when you take away the people that make them money.
Per covenants, the 9 roots are "widely and cheaply available" but price is not defined. If I go with standard pricing for a 6/21, it would be 54 vis for a set of 9. Do you wish to select the arts, or shall I?
Branches, by their definition, should have a L+Q of at least 31, the highest we have pricing standards for. One could assume the 8 branches are 21/10 books, costing 168 vis for a full set. There will be some overlap with the branches, but as ST you will need to advise if there are any arts with neither a root or a branch.
Are these what we want? If so, Haestus can probably cover the cost, but it will pretty much tap him out.
***Edit: we can also use seasons to copy non-proprietary books from our prior covenant. I'd suggest the 24/10's are not copyable per calf and cow, but others are likely available to any who wish to put in the time. Dobran for one would be willing to invest some seasons.
On the collar issue - Haestus can make them without spending seasons, but it costs more vis to do. I think we have more vis than time. Normal cost: 4 (+ time), Cost for Haestus: 7, cost to buy from Verditius: 12
Populating the island is actually one of the Big Problems (tm) that New Atlantis will have. Expect this dilemma to play out during the game. Some pre-planning might help. But don't expect to be able to solve it without trade-offs being made.
As for the Roots, knock yourself out. As you say, those are widely and cheaply available.
As for the Branches, Covenants specifically notes that these are more generally given as gifts rather than sold. For this reason, I would prefer that no more than 2-3 Branches be purchased prior to forming the covenant. Some others may be given to the covenant as gifts later (i.e., you can use your starting BPs to buy them). But it seems unlikely that, even with a large amount of vis, you'd be able to buy a complete set of Branches.
How exactly are we planning on raising/making the island? The easiest solution is big ritual creo spells, but that's not going to raise much of anything. Trying to raise a island actually take a more powerful spell. Notably you would need "part" instead of individual, a duration longer than momentary and the base could arguably be higher?
On a side note, how many sound tracti could someone reasonably purchase in a given art or ability?
I think 1 is unavoidable. On the other hand, there will always be stories like that circulating.
As for 2, I was hoping to focus on the urban underclass, the kinds of people who live off odd jobs, for just this reason: they will tend to be free(r) from feudal obligation and the guild structure, which is why fewer people in power will be concerned - many would probably be happy to be rid of them. There will be trouble anyway, but with an artifact to scan personality traits, professionals to teach them, etc. It shouldn't be anything we can't handle.
Word getting around of a land of promise is one thing. That's just stories. Combine it with families disappearing, and people might start to take notice.
The logistics on that might be tough. It would also be time-consuming on the part of the magi (if they're the ones using the items). It would also leave a pool of disgruntled rejects who might make trouble.
I'm not saying any of this is impossible. But I am pointing out that there's no easy solution. Any solution is going to have its flaws.
I was looking at a ReTe spell to raise the island and move supporting stone underneath it. CrTe won't work since we're not trying to create an island, but rather are trying to raise a sunken island.
Over the course of the cycles, say a 4-6 sound tractatus[sup]1[/sup] on any subject, a few more for really common subjects, fewer for rare subjects. For example, you might be lucky to find two sound tractacus on a supernatural ability, but would do much better with Magic Theory. The lower the quality tractatus you're willing to accept, the easier they are to find.
[sup]1[/sup] - Tractatus is a fourth declension noun, not second. The plural of tractatus is tractatus, not tractati or tracti.
In terms of the actual raising Meliai's contribution is going to be her wizards communion at level:50, which will take some preparation to be able to cast (invoke Name of Powr:Thoth, Invoke Name of Power:Hecatate, grab 3 charms- total +15 bonus)