Blossoming Covenants

The winter was mild over all, not as much snow, but lots of cold rain. The wizards are not all in warm hospitable places, but their magic helps to make their shelters warm and comfortable. At the clan's camp by the port the surly Scottish highlanders impatiently wait, their two leaders missing for a greater part of the time as Dermot met with the reave of the land while Tessa investigated the new home. Christmas came and went at the camp with little celebration, though some fine pheasants were caught for dinner.

Siobhan's Christmas was cold by reception only, Voluntas still is a very comfortable home. But after the discussion with Julianna the atmosphere became positively frosty. They no longer encouraged you to join their Christmas party, which until then they had seemed excited that you'd be joining them. Once the weather cleared enough they sent you on their way by carriage to the port, seemngly grateful to be rid of you.

Bjorn, your lab work bears fruit, your new item seems to work perfectly. The Winter was actually rather comfortable for you, but the maddening nature of the Covenant of Blackthorn was more than enough for you. Rushing your work a bit, you leave early to join the others at the port, you are met by Fornax as you leave, who gives you a brief and terse reminder of the price you owe Blackthorn for the use of their lab.

Rhodri returns with his Master Maximianus, but not Jaen. Jaen had enough of Maximianus's taunts as well as the bullying of the younger magi. After losing two Certamen matches that he was cornered into he stayed well away and determined that he'd be heading to Verdi in the Spring. The old wizard and his latest apprentice arrive by carriage as well, and Rhodri helps out the bitter and snapping sorceror. Servants carry a chest behind them while Rhodri has a leather scroll case with him as well.

Old Aggie greets his friend Maximianus. "Maxi! You cantankerous old jackal! I'm surprised you still have enough ink on your pen to even assist in lab work! By Jesu, you look awful!"

Maximianus's eyes narrow and he whispers to Rhodri, then returns the glare back to Aggie. Rhodri gulps and then turns to Agitatus. "My honored Parens asks if you have his Cask of Bountiful Spring. If not, he has nothing to say to you."

Aggie shakes his head. "No, ain't got the bloody Cask. But, it's a high priority, believe me! You still owe me more though, in case you forgot!"

Maximianus smiles at that, and he whispers again to Rhodri. Rhodri seems about to balk but is nudged in the ribs by his master. "M-master Maximianus wishes to advise that the bundle of sticks that is addressing him will now be in Maximinianus's debt, and not the other way around. This favor of the Covenant shall put him in the lead." Maximianus nods eagerly at that.

Agitatus shrugs. "Ah so ye were keeping count! Ah well no matter. Come let's get ready, I received word that they have found the place."

Later in the day the Redcap Edgar arrives with two magi. He doffs his new cap as he approaches. "Well met! As Aggie asked, I have spread the word that a new Covenant was forming, and two young magi have expressed interest."

He gestures behind him to reveal two magi, perhaps a bit tired from the road.

Aggie seems a bit confused. "When the Hell did I ask to do that?"

One of the magi seem slightly frozen in place by the harsh words.

Am I not wanted here after all? But...if only I could meet her...

"Salve Sodales. My name is Gwendolyn ex Miscellanea. I am...pleased to meet you." She bows slightly, and pulls away her hood. Long, thick honey coloured hair spills out of it and her stunning face seems hesitant, but friendly.

"This is the home of Siobhan ex Guernicus, is it not"? Voice quivering, she walks half a step forward, bites her lower lip and studies the man intently.

[Edited for spelling]

The other magus, a thin man with dark eyes, looks warily at those around him.

“Salve,” he says, with a half-hearted smile, which seems awkward and strained, as if he doesn't smile often. "My name is Alexander."

A fresh start... This seems as good a place as any. Away from under the accusatory gaze of the Quaesitores...

Drawn by the commotion made by Old Aggie over the newcomers' arrival, Bjorn wanders over to see what all the hoopla is about. Bjorn appears to be a young man that has gone prematurely grey. His hair is cut short, and comes down along his jawline in thick, furry sideburns, both tapering off to a point on the sides of his chin. He seems unconcerned with the brisk spring breeze that is blowing today, walking about without a cape or hat, and even rolling the sleeves of his workman's shirt up to his elbows, revealing pale white fur flecked with grey on his forearms and backs of hands.

Bjorn's ice blue eyes seem to hold a twinkle of amusement as he watches Agitatus's reaction to the newcomers. Grinning slightly, he turns to the new arrivals, "Salve Sodales. I am Bjorn ex Verditius. It is fortunate Old Aggie here had the forsight to search for more members. It seems that the Stonehenge winter has proven to be too much for quite a few of our number." He glances back over his shoulder at that, the grin slightly fading, but he recovers quickly as he turns back. "May I ask where you two are coming from? I don't recall seeing either of you at Tribunal last fall."

Rhodri, the timid looking young man by the two wizards seems to be contemplating the newcomers, especially looking at Alexander. Does he recognize the name or the face? Then he shakes his head and turns back to his master as he raps him on the head.

"Ow!" he snaps. "Master! Stop that! I'm no longer your apprentice!" finally showing some spine. Maximianus frowns and then leans in and whispers to him. Rhodri nods. "Master Maximianus wishes to show the design and layout of one of his most magnificent creations. There will be a virtual palace under the earth, with labs enough for all! And the labs shall be the pride of the most fastidious Bonisagi!"

Rhodri gathers the magi to come by one of the crates where he unfolds a large scroll from the scroll case he carries. The scroll shows a diagram in fine black ink with four different angles of a large complex of halls, chambers, stairwells, and tubes. It'd be an impossible structure to build as some chambers seem to literally hang in the air, but since this will be built entirely underground all will be easily supported. The detail is amazing, if the actual Covenant were even half as good as you can imagine based on the drawings you see, you'd almost definitely be in a Covenant that would be envied by all but the most powerful of the legendary Covenants.

Gwendolyn moves in and watches the drawing unfold. Gasping slightly for air at its daring design and intricate details, she looks at Maximianus.

"Surely a very ambitious project Master Maximianus! Is this where your interests lie? With building and architecture?"

She folds the robe a little tighter around herself as to assuage herself not only against the still lingering cold, but also the eyes now resting upon her.

"Oh forgive me for ignoring you!" Gwendolyn looks at Bjorn.

"I am merely tired from the journey and winter has been filled with much ado for me." She smiles slightly at him

"Regarding the Tribunal, well," her face darkens, "my master was very protective of me. He feared loosing me to a Bonisagus," she nods towards Maximianus, "and no pleading would help; so I still have my first Tribunal to look forward too."

"By the way, I feel almost naked for not haivng met the other magi, and since we are not acknowledged." She has a certain determination in her eyes. "Well it just doesn't seem right, that we are looking at plans for a covenant that we might not be accepted in? If you follow?"

Rhodri smiles. "And what's wrong with being apprenticed to a Bonisagus? We're not so bad..." he looks at his master who just kicked a small white Scottish terrier that had gone from chewing on Agitaus's boot to sniff at the hem of Maximianus's robe. The dog yelps and scurries behind Agitatus's boots where he stays and growls. "Well some of us at any rate."

"There will be plenty of space for all, and Siobhan brought the vis for this project from Juliana. We just need to go to the location. My master will cast the spell, and then we have the tablet for creating the labs with a ritual."

Aggie doesn't seem to be listening, he's looking at the two magi that have shown up. "I'm confused, I thought the maga had a mouse in her hair and was at the Tribunal?"

Edwin steps forward. "Master Agitatus, you told me to spread the word of your covenant being built. Some that were at the Tribunal and expressed interest have left. But, I have these two fine young magi willing to join you."

"Hmmm..." Agitatus says as he taps his long hooked nose. "Alright then, that's fine with me I guess. Once we have everyone we can leave, they have booked charter with a boat. We can leave soon if we're ready."

Smiling at Rhodri's comment, and looking at nodding at Agitatus' urging to go, Gwendolyn eyes the young Bonisagus more.

He seems forthright and kind. I hope the others shall be as well...

"I wish I had a present to give you, seeing you have in...? I am not really used to people being so spontaneous, but Master Edwin did tell of your warmness and openness." Gwendolyn picks up her travelling sack. Seemingly tired, but with a fierce fire in her eyes.

"I am ready Masters!"

Alexander's eyes avoids Bjorn's eyes as he answers the question.

"I come from a small village near York, but, alas, I could not make the journey. I was... deep in preparation for my Gauntlet. My mas... my parens felt it would be best if I concentrated on my studies rather than attend the Tribunal."

Plus Damocles really wanted to avoid gossip and speculation regarding his... special apprentice. It was a good thing I spent that time preparing for the Gauntlet. Had I failed, I've no doubt Damocles and the Quaesitores would have slain me. They would have taken failure as a sign of demonic corruption, rather than plain incompetence. Still, it is done. I am a Magus now.

"There'll be plenty of more Tribunals to visit, one hopes," he added with a sad smile.

"That is a remarkable project, Master Maximianus. Ambitious and elegant. I like it." Alexander adds, looking at the drawings with genuine amazement.

These people seem friendly enough. And those plans for the Covenant are ambitious indeed. I think I shall find peace and the chance to grow in power among these folk, he thinks.

Alexander tries his best to ignore the mocking dry chuckle he hears only in his thoughts, rising from somewhere within the darkest recesses of his mind.

Siobhan finally comes down. Since her preparations for the trip were made, she chose to spend a long morning in bed and enjoying herself with extra rest. There are not many days that she can do that as lab work takes dedication as does investigations. She is dressed very warmly and wonders when her fellow queasitors will actually let Voluntas know the result of her investigation. It would be amusing if they don't know the result until it is reported to the next tribunal. Then again, if things were really bad, there would have been a queasitor tribunal. Still word should be heading out to all the covenants soon to keep an eye out for that so called monk.

"I really do appreciate this sort of group. As least here, I don't have to worry about any investigations. She pauses and looks over her covenant mates and then sees two newcomers, "At least I hope that I don't. Please tell me that the guests are not here for me and another investigation."

Bjorn nods to each of the magi in turn as they introduce themselves, but is cut off from continuing any conversation by Rhodri rolling out the drawings of the covenant-to-be. He eagerly leans closer over the crate to look at the diagrams, mumbling unintelligibly to himself as he examines the details. Minutes pass like this, until he finally finishes with a quiet, "nice work, Maximianus." Bjorn straightens, glancing about the group, and adds quickly, "and Rhorry."

Smilng in excited anticipation, he spies Siobhan coming towards them, and beckons her over. "Siobhan! Just in time. Come see these beautiful drawings of our new home. And meet our new covenantmates-to-be!" Bjorn gestures to the two new magi in the group. "This lovely lady is Gwendolyn ex Miscellanea, and this lanky fellow is Alexander ex..." He pauses, looking a bit contrite and addresses Alexander directly. "I'm sorry, I've forgotten what house you said you were from, Alexander."

As Siobhan walks toward them, Gwendolyn seems hesitant and anxious. She puts down her travelling sack and holds up both of her hands towards Siobhan in a gesture usually reserved for magi having had the same master or from within the same house.

"Salve Sodales. Ego Gwendolyn ex Miscellanea. Obviam ire tu est bene." *

Siobhan is now starring into a pair of profound green eyes, at a woman who quakes slightly with anticipation for her next move.

  • to go (here) and meet you is good

"Bonisagus," replies Alexander, at Bjorn's query. His eyes turn to watch the two women, sensing a mounting tension in the air.

Maximianus is quietly pointing out the features of the covenant to others, his voice is weak and rasping. Rhodri turns when he hears Alexander speak. "Bonisagus? What is your name Sodales? You seem familiar..."

The Grogs and Custos are starting to gather up the supplies and bozes. It might take another hour or two, they've been preparing this for a few days now. They should be ready to leave in the morning when the ship is set to leave.

"Alexander ex Bonisagus," the dark eyed magus replies, trying not to let the smile slip from his face.

Iesu Christi! My infamy preceeds me... I had hoped for a fresh start.

He wonders if the laughter he hears is his own imagination, or the demon's glee at his discomfort.

Siobhan is sometimes perceptive and sometimes not. She assumes it is the case of her mentioning investigations that made the other covenantmates nervous, "Salve Sodales. I am Siobhan ex Guernicus, queasitor of this tribunal." She studies the two carefully trying to discern every detail she can. Scrying might be forbidden but not understanding of people and intrigue.

Rhodri nods and smiles at the repeat of the name and nods in recognition, then the smile fades and changes to surprise and he holds a hand to his mouth and turns away. "I...see. Well met Alexander..." he is distinctly discomfited, though he tries to hide it.

Acacius spends time cataloguing and drawing pictures of what ever herbs he can find. If he can get the time he speaks with Tessa. If he finds her he will ask if she know of someone who would be able to give Acacius a hand in the creation of an herb garden that will provide the covenant with medicinal herbs. The person either a man or a woman would need to be able to work hard, wish to learn a bit of Latin and the craft of an Apothecary.

Slightly disheartened as Siobhan does not take her hands in agreeting, Gwendolyn lowers them and nods and smiles awkwardly. Stepping back a little confused, oblivious to the exchange between Rhodri and Alexander, she packs up her sack again.

"You're a Quaesitor now? That's ...impressive."