In the summer of 1222 a magus from outside the covenant makes his way to find Orion and introduce himself. "I am Heraklos of Guernicus, and while your charter was approved at the last council vote, I was asked to drop by and verify that everything is in order. Also, I would be very interested in seeing the book, I believe it was on Terram, which is held in such high regard."
Orion welcomes Heraklos into the covenant and ushers him into a comfortable chamber, asking one of the servants to bring them some chilled wine. "We're doing very well here, and should have everything in order. We've had our first council meeting and have settled all of the issues facing a starting covenant. Some of the construction is going a bit slower than we'd hoped. But isn't that always the way of things? We have an amazing carpenter, so the wood buildings have been no problem at all - they're even ahead of schedule. But it was hard getting a skilled stonemason out here for the bits that require stonework. He's here now, but we lost weeks trying to find him."
He pauses while the wine is delivered, and then continues. "We've had the first classes for our school as well. Those went quite well. We hope to expand them in the coming months and years, of course." Orien smiles at Heraklos. "But I don't want to bore you with our future plans. You asked to see our Terram summae. I'm sure that can be arranged. One of our magi is currently studying from it. But I daresay he won't mind a brief interruption to show it off."
"But you said that you were asked to drop by to verify that everything was in order. May I ask by whom?"
Quick question - have we cast an Aegis yet? I would have imagined that was one of the first things we did in the spring, but nothing was ever explicitly stated (and no vis deducted from anywhere), so I wanted to double check.
BTW, have I heard of a Heraklos of Guernicus at all over the years (various Area Lore skills - I don't know if any of them are appropriate).
Also, would a magus of House Guernicus have any sort of verification to show that he was sent by whomever he was sent by? Just checking that this isn't a ploy by someone nefarious to see the book.
I had assumed we did not have the vis for an Aegis. If we had the Vis, I am happy to cast it.
Order of hermes lore+intelligence, ease factor 6.
He does have a note from the Conciliatory board which indicates he is reviewing the covenant's claims and status as presented at the tribunal in order to decrease the potential for future conflict on these matters.
"I see, I had hoped to get a longer look at the book, well, if my investigation should go over, perhaps in the fall?"
"I'll have to check out the library logs to see whether it's been claimed for the fall or not," Orion says, taking a sip of his wine. "But even if it is, I can speak to the magus involved to see if he'd be willing to defer to you. After all, we want people to know about the book. That won't happen if we don't let other people see it."
Agapitus has indicated his desire to study the Terram text during both Autumn and Winter 1222. We might want to talk to him about whether he'd be willing to give up his Autumn slot to make nice with the Guernicus magus who may well be reporting to the Conciliatory Board about us.
Int + OoH Lore check: 1d10=2 + 3 (Int) + 1 (OoH Lore) = 6; barely made it.
Heraklos of Guernicus has a reputation as being a bit of a mooch. He apparently always has at least one friend (or perhaps blackmail victim according to some tales) on a council who can give him assignments of an easy nature which allow him to spend seasons enjoying the hospitality of various covenants. He is known to be well connected and a minor pain, there has only been twice he has actually uncovered anything and generally gets what he is looking for by implying he could become a bigger nuisance.
"Very well, while you speak with the mage in question, if you could assign a servant to show me to this Charmion, that should probably be the first thing I verify."
"Indeed," Orion replies. "She's probably at her spring right now. I'll have someone take you there right away." The magus then calls for a servant of appropriate stature and instructs him to bring Heraklos to the spring, or wherever Charmion happens to be at the moment.
While Heraklos is off verifying that Charmion does indeed exist and is the covenant's patron, Orion seeks out Agapitus.
"Good afternoon, sodalis," he says upon finding the Mercere magus. "I have a matter of some delicacy to raise with you. It seems we've had our first official visit as a covenant. A Guernicus magus by the name of Heraklos has been sent by the Conciliatory Board to check up on us and see that the covenant has been set up properly. Heraklos is known for his love of the hospitality of other covenants. He's also known for having some very highly placed friends in the Tribunal. He's asked to see the Terram summa, and I gather he'd like to study it for a season as our guest - probably as much for the prestige of having studied from it as anything. I know that you've indicated to Liberius that you'd like to study from the summa during the autumn and winter. But I was hoping that I could convince you to change your plans to winter and spring." He pauses to take a deep breath.
"Strictly speaking, we're under no obligation to let him study from the summa. And I know that our intention is to require payment from anyone who wishes to spend a season reading it. But as I said, he's well-connected, and he's going to be giving the Tribunal its first report on our covenant. Nothing has been said, of course. But based on his reputation, I gather the details of his report will be more favorable if he's allowed to study from the summa. Now, at the moment we're a brand new covenant. I'd rather we not have to face the consequences of a bad report to the Tribunal at this time. My inclination is to allow Heraklos to study from the summa. We could consider his good report to the Conciliatory Board as suitable payment. And it wouldn't hurt to have someone like him bragging about having studied from it. He'll certainly sing the praises of the book to any number of important people in the Tribunal."
"The only snag to this plan is that you're scheduled to study from the summa for the rest of the year. Would you be willing to allow him to study from the summa during the coming autumn? There are a host of other books in the library available for study."
As he is led to the spring Heraklos calls out "Oh ancient and wise spirit of the spring which gives life unto all of Petras, I request your presence!"
Charmion's head and shoulders emerge from the water.
"O honoured mage! When called with such respect
I cannot but appear. I hope your stay
Among these noble wizards and their books
Is pleasant as the water of my spring."
It is a high standard to meet, but my duties require me to inquire that you have consented to be the patron of this covenant with no undue influence or pressure. If I might ask, what is it you expect of the magi in return for your patronage?"
((Agapitus is willing to give up the book for that season....though I need to figure out what he's doing beyond that...))
(come much about the countryside with your brother we will do redcap duties...and he will teach you uh...how to find love yeah that)
((He could, but he'd likely be all weird about it...anyway, moving on, hope that helps above.))
"Behold the wind-worn columns near my spring.
An age ago, before the fall of Rome,
A band of wizards pledged to Mercury
Would gather here to do their arcane rites.
I was their patron and their Goddess then.
But age gave way to age, they passed away,
And left me no companions but the stream.
The age of magic comes around again,
A modern band of magi needs a home,
And so in memory of my old cult
I grant them refuge and my patronage.
Of influence and pressure there was none.
(What pressure could be put on such as I?)
It is my joy to listen once again
To arcane words I do not understand.
I seek only the role of figurehead
Of their community, and for respect
Like that with which you greeted me today."
"Very well, I admit I know little of your specific cult, what form of offering do you prefer?"
"They would sing hymns to me, and offer gifts
Of flowers and of sweetmeats and of wine,
And dance and revel here beside my spring.
I judge a gift's intentions, not its form.
A simple song, if offered up with love
Is better than a thousand gleaming coins."
"Indeed, well while I do follow protocols and formalities, I will be honest and state that I do not know you well enough to offer anything up with love, so I shall simply take my leave and return to my examination of the covenant."
With this he begins seeking out Anastasia.
Anastasia is in the library, sitting in front of a book on magic theory, trying to puzzle her way through the basics of what will become the foundation of her existence for the rest of her life. She's smart, and is doing a good job of it. But she's also fourteen, and can get distracted by the fine summer day outside the library's window.
"I see you are studying, does this mean that Orion has opened your arts already?"
"He hasn't yet, sir," Anastasia replies respectfully. "He says that he needs a working lab to do that. And Alexander only just finished constructing the lab building a few weeks ago. Magus Orion is probably there right now setting things up. He says it'll take months of preparation before it's in proper shape to allow him to open my Arts. But I've certainly been busy enough. I just finished a course in ancient Greek. And now he has me studying magical theory. It's thick stuff. But I think I'm starting to get the basics."
"I'm sorry, sir," she adds. "You seem to know me. But I've never met you before. Are you one of the new teachers I heard Master Christopheros talking about?"
Since Anastasia is going to be a maga some day, I gave her a color too. It seems readable and different from the others. Please let me know if it's a problem.