2.1 Gone...(I) Winter of 1215-16

[tab][/tab] In the small conference room of the Rotunda the assembly of almost all the magi of Meru Mudi make it seem crowded. Last year's 'founders' mingle with the newcomers in small talk and genial conversation, while a woman servant (who is looking down and not meeting anyone's eyes, except Raven's, quite terrified) brings in a tray with some victuals and tidbits. A small dish of black olives and soft white cheese, a stack of freshly baked flatbreads, a small platter of wizened late-fall apples neatly cut into pieces, and of course wine. Room temperature adequate wine, nothing fancy, that is supposed to be consumed watered down in the plain ceramic cups provided, to cool your thirst. Of note, the servant woman serves Raven a small opaque glass cap with a carafe of water separately, then with a small bow leaves (a bit hastily).
[tab][/tab] The unobtrusive servant makes little impact in the introductions and deliberations. Pavo has a side of the table to himself, looking much like a young prince with an almost palpable aura around him. The Bonisaga named Raven sits next to him looking quite reserved. Aristocles the Verditius is all business. It is Scylax the ex Miscellanea that is the most chatty, perhaps due to his lineage. While the newcomers want to make a good impression and learn more about their new home, some on the other side seem reserved, others more genial. Talks continue....

[tab][/tab] General Gossip and Overhead tidbits

All characters, use your discretion on what you might have heard or overheard:


The covenfolk are very clannish. They do not gossip with the newcomers. It is almost impossible to get more than a word or two out of them.
Almost of the mundanes look up to Anastaj, the oldest magi in the covenant, with at least some measure of respect. This is also shared with Dimitrios, his aide/right-hand man.

The covenfolk do gossip between themselves. There also seem to be some divides between ethnic groups, and people who work inside the rotunda, outside and the various guards, though this is still a nascent evolving process.
Most covenfolk are in various states of awe when it comes to Pavo. They treat him more like nobility than a garden variety magus. On the other hand, they seem to prefer Raven for some reason, their dealings with her are more relaxed and typical of a servant-master relationship.
Other people of note are Dimitrios, the unofficial seneschal, sir Georgios who runs the guard (he has shown some kind of martial prowess recently) and a wild woman of the mountains called Maia (who is not resident).
The covenant was created by Anastaj and Christoforos. Both these old men are known to the covenfolk in a personal basis. There is still some sorrow over Christoforos' passing. No covenfolk will be caught criticizing either of these men or gossip about their doings.


The people are not sure about their place in the scheme of things. Most are nervous and worry about their future. It is an ominous place, deep in the mountains, and there has been little effort to assuage their fears. There was a lot of construction though, and the new buildings bring a sense of permanence.
There has been 'something' recent going on in the covenant itself, some kind of discovery. People refrain talking about this, making signs against bad luck. [This option is still locked. More to come in the State of Affairs about this discovery]

He also inspects the free rooms, to get a feeling for what's available. The new building could give an interesting home...

There is a description on what is free and what is not. The new building is under the control of Raven and her family (maybe ask her permission to see it), while the workshop outside the covenant is open.

For any young Theban Tribunal Magi, he's probably met them at least once before, if not anytime recently - at the Apprentice Presentation (TSE 33)

There are three Polites present. All three are indeed from the same batch of apprentices but 'graduated' on different years [from what I can see]. Aristocles (1213) is known but after apprenticing in Igantios nothing of note was heard about him. Pavo (1214) was a striking figure even as a child. There were quite a few magi wanting to bid over him. Its is weird that fate has put him in the covenant. Scylax (1213) is almost an unknown, he had little presence all these years back.

We-are-herders! Astonishing, isn’t it? We hope to streamline the operation, expand...Arni Bjornaer was looking into this, but he seems distracted these days. We are lucky to count Aristocles sodales amongst our number, his crafting mastery will surely attract some much needed funds to help us move at least two steps forward for each inevitable misstep we take.

We spoke of searching for mineral wealth. This, of course, might attract attention. Mineral wealth is coveted by all mundanes, particularly powerful ones. This region is in a state of flux. Shrugs. There’s a Lab Text for the ahh, creation of wealth glances at Pierrick, but ahh, that would have to be well conceived, to ruffle few feathers. To stay within the Code. Stares markedly at Pierrick, but grins . We could charge mundanes by the hour to bask in Pavo sodales’s presence, no doubt, there’s an idea!

To Prometheus:
Would that I had your talents! Getting along with mundanes well, extraordinary . And yet we must make do with what we have! Looks at Prometheus, twinkle in his eye.
Talent with the minds, eh? Very Tytalian! Could be very useful, in fact, life-saving in this region. Would you very much mind conversing some more, later, Prometheus sodales?

Pavo smiles and says "Any scheme to increase our income will be welcomed, even though the wise Anastaj seems remarkably unconcerned. I do have good news though - myself and Arni went to a Bjornaer gathering with a view to obtaining more books, and we came back with three primers and a tractatus."

Pavo proudly shows off the four volumes - summae on Animal, Corpus and Intellego, and a tractatus on Herbam.

"Arni assured me of their quality, but alas I only started studying Latin in the spring so it will be another year or two before I can start learning from them. The work on Animal will aid the covenant while Arni is away, and of course the work on Corpus will be much in demand by those who wish to fashion their own longevity rituals rather than purchase them from others. I understand we have no Intellego specialist to write us books, so we purchased a primer. I trust you find this helpful."

OOC: From the "Gathering of Twelve Years" thread, we traded for:
Summa on Animal L10 Q15
Summa on Corpus L10 Q15
Summa on Intellego L10 Q15
Tractatus on Herbam Q15.
Me and Loke never did agree on the titles and authors to use before Loke vanished from the boards, so there's room to define them now. I believe they were all in Latin, which is annoying Pavo but good for the covenant. IonianD, do you want to update the meru mudi thread with these and any vis found on adventure?

Aristocles says "My intension is to create and sell items to help fund the covenant until we secure other sources of income. The commitment of time will take me away from study but we all need to do our part to make the covenant a success. I have negotiated with the Redcaps and I can generate 50 pounds per season."

"Herding sheep for wool I suppose...? There is no shame with that. And actually, the trade is less important if you can figure out the best price. We might consider buying more wool from local herders, bring it safely to the market and earn the difference between the lowest buying and highest selling price. Do we have enough herders? Who is doing the trade?"
After a short pause he continues: "I have seen a young fellow with birds... Is he a hunter or a falconer? That would be a worthwhile business as well, if we find the right clients."
To Pavo and Aristocles: "It's not as much as you have put onto the table, but I brought some things as well. Mainly some vis, two small items and a lab text that might be of help here, given all the different languages that appear to be native around here."

To Scylax: "You promised wine already, didn't you? I am looking forward to our conversation already."

"I would love to start a correspondence with a nearby maga! I can't do a very good job with Greek though. Still, she's certainly welcome if she wants to read the tractatus, but she'll need to come here probably. We don't seem to have a scribal team, so making a good copy would take a lot of effort."

When Raven is given her own water she thanks the servant in both Latin and Greek. (At least she hopes she said "Thanks" in Greek!)

"I'm don't think we should create raw precious metal unless we absolutely must. Even mining it with magic would be suspect, I think. While using magic for something practical is much less risky. That's not a legal interpretation, but what my husband says. He used to be a merchant, and it made sense when he explained it to me. I could write Crow for a legal interpretation, but he doesn't specialize in the Code here. We could sell vis too I suppose. Although that would probably look really bad though."

"Do we have a good enough reputation to sell vis, and do we have enough to survive if we do sell vis? I only worry because the Aegis requires some Rego or Vim vis, our Verditius friend will no doubt need some for enchantments, we will all be wanting Longevity rituals in the next decade, and before you know it we're all emptying the treasury. Still, keeping our servants paid, our buildings maintained and everyone fed is an important business.

I wonder if our founder Anastaj has any opinions on what The Peripheral Code allows - I studied at Epidaurus, which sells longevity rituals and receives donations for its healing and its research, and had a priceless Corpus vis source. Our situation is very difficult from my parens' covenant."

He looks around. He then beckons a servant and whispers "Has anyone seen Anastaj today? He's supposed to be here already."

Aristocles responds Just to make clear my sodales the 50 pounds of silver per season of work requires only one pawn of vIm vis. However, as you can understand the sooner we have a more mundane and stable income source the better.

"How many pounds are we actually missing at the moment? Surely being broke is a more severe problem, but spending vis on food doesn't sound good either."

He waits for a response but as nobody appears to have any concrete numbers at hand, Prometheus proposes: "Should we invite Dimitrios? He seems to be the one with most insight into Meru Mudi's finances."

Pavo says "Certainly we should invite our... de facto, is that term Westerners use? Yes, our acting seneschal does indeed have a firm grasp of the expenses, telling me that we're 88 pounds short before we added more people and before considering expenses like travel to Delos. We are staggeringly poor, and I am unsure how we are surviving as the silver supplies a few of us brought must surely have been expended. I am also unsure how we are going to earn enough in the coming year. I have personally compromised by ordering the bare minimum of laboratory equipment in order to keep supplies aside for future labs and keep my running costs down. Please, suggest any means you can to help.

With our vis, I hope the new source will help us have enough to cast our Aegis without running down the reserves. We also need to decide who will carry out the duty to harvest vis from the Dodone oracle on behalf of the Tribunal. Does it need any particular skill?"

Pavo displays his ignorance of any details of the Oracle.

[Edit - OOC: I have missing equipment to reduce lab upkeep by 1 - it's only 1/3 of a pound a year which may get missed by rounding, but it's worth pointing out just in case]

Scylax: My dear fellows, and dearest Anna! For this coming year I intend to spend a Season of study at a site we visited last Fall, I await the arrival of Annastaj, and the ahem, ceremonies, to report on my findings. But it shows promise, some wealth and mystery that such as we crave.

Annastaj showed the esteemed Aristocles and myself the desired method on how to gather this obligatory vis at Dodonna. It is a short trip, which I planned on appending to my schedule on the way to this place of study I mentioned.

In the Tribunal I acquired, perhaps hastily, some interesting pelts from the furthest North. Their nature may contain some desirable resonances, and they are inherently valuable because of their scarcity. As well, I was thinking on the formula for the creation of Wealth, perhaps this could be adapted to such materials? We could even ascertain interest in this through our mundane residents? Miklos seems like a very competent fellow, and I am certain that he could easily find out whether such trades could have takers.

<OOC Scylax just finished his Lab, wanted to run by IonianD on having installed some Free Virtues and Flaws, and obviously looking to having Upkeep of 0 or less. OOC>

I'm not really familiar with the way the code is interpreted in the tribunal but usually It's not really an issue to create gold from a spell as you make it clear you've done so, and you give the tribunal a proper way to measure how much you use per year. A simple way to do so would be to cast the spell in front of a 3rd party of great reputation within the tribunal and leave the gold in his possession. We would then pick our yearly revenue from them.

[tab][/tab] The servant curtsies to Raven after her thanks, but just she is about to leave (flee) the room, Pavo inquires about Anastaj. Poor thing is stunned, flushing red and working her mouth like a fish for some moments, then answers that she does not know where the esteemed Master is, she will inform Dimitris (while staring at the floor avoiding Pavo's eyes). She literally flees the room, you can hear her running steps.
[tab][/tab] Your deliberations continue in loud voices and soft murmurs, and it is a bit later that there is a knock on the door. A serious looking Dimitris enters then nods respectfully, then asks how he may help. Asked about finances, his moved to the small 'office' at the back of the council chambers and gathers a wax plaque and styles, and a neatly written sheaf of paper. In detail he has the finances of the last year, with expenses listed and a small column of income. As stated the income was stable, agricultural products from livestock, two herds of sheep and goats that produce milk for cheese. Wool quality is low and as such only for local use, not trade. Magus Arni was in the process of handling the situation but was called to the North. Total expenses surpass 120 pounds, with some additional expenses this year spent on various important tasks (Finances). Dimitris is very thorough and answers all questions in his purview promptly.
[Please do a Per+Folk ken 9. Those who pass notice that when he enters and during his presentation Dimitris is concerned to the point of being anxious about something, but keeps it under iron control]
[tab][/tab When asked about the tardiness of Anastaj, he hesitates then stammers that 'we' are searching for him. Apparently he has not returned from his customary mountain walk this weekend, two days spent alone in the mountains as is his habit. Dimitris, knowing how important this meeting that his master called was, has sent a scout team to locate him yesterday, but the snow storm made things difficult if not impossible. He is concerned for his absence, but when asked about the old man being lost in the snowstorm and in trouble, he adamantly shakes his head in the negative; Anastaj knows the mountains better than the residents, he would not be caught awareness by weather. Dimitris stands there while you deliberate....

[OOC Per 0 + Folk Ken 2 + die roll of 8 = 10, Pavo notices, but decides to continue with the meeting rather than risk embarrassing Dimitris right now]

Pavo nods to Dimitris and declares to the table "Sodales, it appears our meeting to introduce each other and settle duties for the year is sadly interrupted by our founder and disceptator being missing. We have several serious matters to discuss - covenant finances, who will go to collect vis from Dodoni, what to do about the vis located in the autumn, whether to investigate several things - but I feel locating Anastaj will be more important.

I move to adjourn the meeting scheduled for today, and reconvene tomorrow or when Anastaj is found, whichever comes sooner. We should try any method short of scrying to locate him. Will anybody second this motion? "

"The membership of our covenant must always be our priority sodales, I second magi Pavo's motion, let's see to our sodales Anastaj's safety" comes Aristocles reply

[ooc Per(1)+Folk Ken(3)+1d10(6) = 10; success
Prometheus notices but doesn't react]

Prometheus follows Dimitris explanations closely, nods from time to time and engages in the conversation:"Dimitris, do you think we can afford taking more people into the covenant? And if we can, what kind of talent should we look for?"

After the situation with Anastaj becomes clear, he replies:
"I second Pavo and Aristocles. What can have more importance and urgency than finding a missing member of the covenant. Should you change your mind about scrying, I brought a device that could be of help finding him. Until then, how can I help?"

Prometheus looks from Pavo to Aristocles to Raven to Scylax and the other newcomers.

[Pierrick doesn't pass the folk keen test]

Sure, let's meet again when Anastaj is found...

Scylax's roll 1 Per + 2 Folk Ken + 4 = 7, miss.

Hmm, Annastaj does like his privacy, are we sure that he's not merely, ahh, lost track of the time?

What do you propose, Pavo sodales? We cannot and should not all abandon the Covenant, yes? (waits on his sodales opinions) As Dimitris mentions, he is one uncanny denizen of this area, and we are not there, yet. Hmm, does he have transportation formulae at his disposition, I wonder, I should be very surprised if he doesn't!

In a low voice The man, Nicholas, he has trained birds, in fact, he's got quite the remarkable way with them. I wonder if falcons and ravens can take flight in this weather, at least for a bit

Of course we're not abandoning a covenant when a magus goes missing. I don't want to bring bad omens but is there any chance he could be in twilight in his lab ? Does anyone has permission to enter his sanctum ? A lab assistant maybe ?

"I indeed suppose we won't all together abandon the covenant. I am here for whatever plan Pavo has. Or Dimitris, who might know Anastaj even better."

"You think he can send his birds on a search? That would be quite remarkable indeed.

And what is the talk about ravens? I thought he was a falconer."

"I assumed somebody saw him leaving the covenant. If not, it might indeed be wise to knock at his sanctum's door and check if he's there."

After a brief moment. "And again, if the scale leans towards scrying - maybe because we are out of further ideas - tell me."