A Meeting with Master Vocis

((I screwed up. thought I started this thread last week and I see now I must have messed up something.))
So to save on lost time....
Fredrika is shown her guest chambers for now, and Kesara is glad to show her around and answer any questions. She is invited to have supper with Master Vocis, and for that she is on her own.
so...(chit chat girl talk)
A modest feast has been laid upon the table. Mutton, cheeses, bread, salad, fresh fruits and steamed vegitables, and more. Only one other diner awaits her in the dining hall.
[color=blue]Salve sodale. I am Vocis of Tremere, Master Librarian of Andorra. Sit and eat. Relax. How was your journey?

"Better for all the hospitality I've received since my arrival in Iberia, meister Vocis. And it's my pleasure to be invited to Andorra." Frederika sits and introduces herself; partaking of a sampling of the food and drink on offer.

"I met with meister Carles in Barcelona. He suggested there were pressing matters here that would benefit from my assistance?" She brushed her hair back and smiled expectantly. "I'm happy to hear what you have to say."

[color=blue]The issue here is that there is a lot of work to be done, and I cannot always be on hand to deal with it all. There are several projects in the works that I am managing. One is the construction of a medical facility here. Another is my ongoing library expansion and protection project. A third is establishing a teaching staff and utilizing it properly.
Yet another is helping fill in where we have a shortage of officers..

Frederika listened while Vocis talked, eating all the while.

"Then it seems," she said, gesturing with her knife. "That I'm here for a reason." While they ate, Rika shared a little of her past and more on her capabilities. She was a scholar, a teacher and a lover of books:

"But the hospital is where I can do the most good, I think. I know hospitals (I know the very best of hospitals!), and I'm skilled in terram. I could do in a handful of days what would take a team of craftsmen many moons to hew and place. I'd like time to get settled too, of course, but I'm confident I can aid you readily while doing that."

[color=blue]Terram? No matter. I myself am a master illusionist. I am not interested in the particulars of your magic. It is an administrative role, one that requires a maga with academic wisdom.

Frederika shrugged dismissively: "Supervising the creation of a hospital doesn't require a maga - it requires a supervisor. If magic should not aid in its construction, then neither of us are needed there; delegate to an experienced craftsman. They'd be no less capable!"

Pushing her plate back, she cleaned off her knife. Frederika had lost her appetite. She took a moment to compose herself before continuing: "Expanding the library is a worthwhile cause though - and not something easily delegated!"

"What did you mean when you mentioned teaching though? What are the subjects, what is the purpose?"

[color=blue]I think you are jumping to conclusions in your eagerness to impress. Nothing needs to be constructed. Though if magical construction is truely your passion, I can think of ways this covenant could exploit that.
As for the medical facility, I speak not of a mundane hospital. There will be a medical staff and supplies of course. But the idea is a magical facility. What we Tremere magi call a Zenodochium. In addition to mundane supplies and staff, I want several useful Casting Tablets, appropriate magic items, and an emergency vis supply. Very little of this has been assembled, and a mundane will have no understanding of the Arcane requirements.
Now as for a teaching staff, I am off to a stronger start. I have three good teachers. Marius is an expert in arcane topics and matters of lore. Dragganna specializes in languages and lycanthropy. Fausto is a swordmaster and an extraordinary military trainer. He has had a heavy workload as of late, training all of our soldiers in group fighting tactics. Our magi have benefitted from is leadership classes. And Draganna has an idea of building a specialized teaching auditorium.
The library is a massive and ongoing prohect, and there are many ways you can participate. Fleur is already managing an exchange with another covenant. Arachne and Antoine are working on security measures. Next I want to expand the library in two directions. I want a general library open to all residents of the covenant. The focus would be on general education and academics. I also want a Master's library, which would restrict the access to certain texts. Yet there are no texts we have that, in my opinion, deserve such an exclusive audience.

Frederika...sniffed, reluctantly, and reigned herself in. It would not pay if she lost her head - she was, in her own opinion, better than that. "Yes," she said, slowly "Forgive me. It seems the journey tired me more than I thought."

She started to eat again.

"For the library..." Frederika considered her options. "I could make a request to my colleagues in Salerno. A new hospital, as magical as it is, would be ample excuse to send for the latest medical texts."

Leaning back, she steepled her hands, wondering if she make her second suggestion. "I...could also send word to my parens. I am firm believer in sharing knowledge. He shares that desire, and he might be willing to add to the collection. Solely for that purpose."

[color=blue]Splendid ideas! Medical texts, both academic and arcane. Magic is not the only solution. Books on Medicine and Chirurgy are always welcome. As are texts on Corpus and Creo. Plus Casting Tablets. We need those for the hospital and for the Andorra library.
As for an exchange program, I approve whole heartedly. That is how I trained Fleur for the position. We can work out the details latter. But what would be ideal is to set up an arrangement with another covenant, such as the contact you mentioned having, and work out a trade of equal value. We have our scribes copy some stuff, and their scribes to the same. We can even offer the services of our scribes for a better deal. Quality tractati are always good, as are summae of high quality content.
In game terms, he looking for tractati of around Q10 and summae with a Q+L of around 20. An even trade is equal point value. Silveroak can advise you as to what his project entailed so you can have a benchmark.

The philosophy is simple- knowledge builds knowledge. We will, in effect, have a group of professional students whose job it is to study and write texts, chosen not from the brightest minds, though we certainly would not exclude them, but from those best able to convey ideas clearly. With this group we will begin by educating them, first in Latin, and artes liberales, then in some of the arts of magic- magic theory and finesse. They should be able to produce higher level tracti than what we have now, and the lesser students will serve as scribes to copy these. We will eventually be able to gather sets of these to trade for higher quality books, and perhaps get some of our own books written by these professional scholars.

((Frederika herself is also an able writer (her default tractatus quality is 12). So she can definitely contribute to the library directly!

I don't know if she'll have written anything already. Probably not on magical subjects, but she could well have written commentaries on established academic works while at university, or published a tractatus or two to support her dissertation?))

Clearly any tracti she wishes to contribute would be welcome...

To have written anything, she would have to have spent one of her seasons from CharGen doing so. Just like any seasonal activity such as lab work. So she has not written anything yet. So the Gates are Open...
The plan is quite a sound one though.

Frederika clapped her hands together enthusiastically: "I will write the letters then!"

"From Salerno, we'll have to pay for any copies we send for, but they'll be good copies and shared freely. We won't lack for academic, philosophical or medical texts - depending on your willingness to shoulder the costs. I should be able to arrange everything with the Redcaps."

"As for my parens, Fabiano, I'll try to broker an arrangement. I can only see it going well, and it would be good to talk to him anyway. If you can have a list of texts that you're willing to trade on short notice, that would surely expedite things."

"Ah! Also, I must ask, meister Vocis: if I'm to be here for some time, who would I ask for to arrange accommodation and laboratory space? The sooner I can get settled the better I'll be able to help!"

[size=85]((Poking around, it really does look like medieval universities have an obligation to share knowledge! The stationer's guild in each university will make a copy of the texts we'd like if we can pay for them. If we were actually in Italy, we could arrange to rent books and copy them ourselves, but...Spain is a long way away, and I think they might be reluctant for the books to travel that far! I'm hoping local Redcaps can do most of the heavy lifting here.

I'm not 100% sure how to pull Fabiano into this. But setting up a relationship with another covenant sounds like a good way to go, and I'm happy for that to happen! Frederika will probably also start Corresponding with her parens when she gets more settled.

And speaking of being settled, per the house rules, Frederika will be offered a lab, non? Which I presume will avoid me needing to spend a season to set one up - though I imagine I'll still need to spend a season to tailor it to her tastes (and scrub out that pesky -3 penalty). If I need to set a lot of the lab up as well, then that's my first two seasons accounted for, and I should probably add them to the planner thingy!))[/size]

[color=blue]How much of a cost? Silver and gold we can easilly afford. I am adverse to spending vis though. It only looks like we are vis rich. But between membership of several many magi, our high level Aegis, and our pension program...
Well, just to say, I don't want to make it tighter than needs be.
Hermetic and Arcane texts can get expensive and silver is often not an acceptable trade. But Academic and other mundane texts can be bought at a much better rate. I still prefer straight trades and spending our money to pay our staff. But if you have access to some steller texts, it would be worth it.
So go ahead and open a dialogue.
So, now that is settled and I have a better gague on your capabilities, I would like to make you an offer.
I invite you to pledge for membership at Andorra Covenant. We have a strong aura and a powerful Aegis, and you will be provided a lab. Or if you desire the fast track option, we offer instant Journeyman status to those willing to serve duty at Sa Dragonera. Our chapterhouse. The aura is weaker and you have no Aegis, but you recieve an annual stipend.

(And we have easy going Lab rules. You get a full set up either at the keep in Arans Andorra or on the islands of Sa Dragonera. You can stock it with V&Fs to your hearts content. I allow Flaws to lower instal time. The only real limit, besides Refinment, is Upkeep. The covenant covers Journeymen up to 2 and you owe the balance.)

"To get texts out of Salerno, you'd need only to pay in silver or goods in kind. If you know any reputable universities locally, we may be able to rent some texts and have our your scribes copy them; that would be even cheaper..."

Frederika bit her thumb thoughtfully.

"For Fabiano...I might be able to persuade him to trade for vis (or even to loan us some books if he's feeling generous). But he prefers for knowledge to be shared openly; he'd be agreeable if we exchanged books. Maybe his covenant will have something to say on the matter, but...I'm confident share and share alike will work best. I'll open a dialogue, as you suggest."

She cleaned off her knife and put it away; stifling a short yawn trying to escape after a long day and a good meal. "And, meister Vocis, I accept. I'm willing to pledge for membership here. You have exciting plans, and good prospects. I'll also take you up on your fast-track offer: I'll do my duty, if you'll have me!"

...tents fingers...

Frederika stood, and curtsied with a smile: "Then, I will be away to write and - perhaps - get some rest. I'm sure there will be much to do tomorrow. It's been a pleasure, meister Vocis."

A short time later, and in a small room, she sat down to write. Rubbing her eyes, she let out a tired sigh and put quill to paper; the missive to Salerno was simple - she knew the texts she wanted (some off by heart), and the Red Caps would arrange for everything else.

The letter to her parens was more complicated - she felt it should be. Because this transaction wasn't nearly as simple. And because she missed him. Frederika put her quill down.

With a word and a gesture, she summoned a casting circle on the table and placed her ink pot within: with a simple spell, the ink sprang to life! It danced across the page - arranging and changing as she drafted her message:

Frederika continued to write for some time. Detailing her journey, the people she'd met and the curious circumstances she'd found herself in. Signing, finally, with the love she held for her parens and a promise to write again soon.

Then, she was off to sleep...

[size=85]The books available from Salerno no doubt include summae and tractatus on Chirurgy, Artes LIberales, Medicine and Philosophiae.

If Fabiano and his covenant are willing to work with Andorra, we can figure out which books are up for trade when the time comes.

I'm also casting two non-fatiguing spontaneous spells here:

The first is CrTe, creating a rough and ready ceremonial magic circle [summon sand 1 + 1 touch + 1 duration (span) +1-2 elaborate shape] for a magnitude of 4 or 5. Frederika can do this in a neutral aura.

The second is a ceremonial ReAq spell to control ink, allowing Frederika to write, re-write, and change her writing until she settles on her wordage [control a liquid in a gentle way 1 + 3 range (sight) + 1 duration (concentration)] for a magnitude of 5. With her Rego and her ceremonial casting ability, she can do this in a neutral aura.

When tomorrow dawns, I will be ready for interviewing or whatever else needs happen!