Wolfram sits back down, hanging his head.
Much different here than at Durenmar. I'm not as prepared as I once thought. Better to keep my eyes open and my mouth shut, I see...
Wolfram sits back down, hanging his head.
Much different here than at Durenmar. I'm not as prepared as I once thought. Better to keep my eyes open and my mouth shut, I see...
In a more pleasant tone, Stentorius asks, "Any more questions?"
(I'm assuming not, but if you do, I'll modify the following to take place after them.)
"Very well, then. Now I will be briefly interviewing each of you individually. Please wait in the hallway until you are called in."
The individual interviews proceed much the same each time. When your magus is called, Stentorius has a page of parchment that he consults as he asks each magus a variety of questions.
OOC, each player should outline:
(OOC: I apologize in advance for the wall of text. I tried to answer every question posted by Stentorius as though Wolfram was speaking, much like one would with an oral examination or interview. If I've missed anything, please let me know.)
I am already rather skilled in Terram, but that doesn't mean I'm a master of it by any means. Terram will always be an Art that I wish to study, even if I have to seek out new teachers or environments to further my studies. I know that with each passing season, this will get harder and harder. In addition to Terram, I'd like to further my studies in Ignem. A forge-jockey such as myself cannot do much without a lit forge, can he?
Beyond these two, the one area I am truly lacking in is Herbam. Sure, I could use some studying up in Creo, or Rego...or to even get started with Perdo altogether. But I feel that Herbam and Terram work hand-in-hand as it were; plants need soil to grow, and earth needs the plants to prevent erosion. I think some wonderful knowledge could be unlocked by studying both of these together.
Parma Magica, simply put, is the top priority here. I don't foresee myself ever being in a situation where I would need to protect myself from a magical threat, but that doesn't mean it can't or won't happen. In fact, I'm more interested in protecting myself from something bad happening in the lab than I am against another magus. At this stage of my career, any magus that wishes to harm me is going to win hands down, I fear. And so, because of its protective capabilities, Parma is the top priority.
I suppose I should also need to know more about the Order, and the Code of Hermes. I am familiar with them, yes; Gudrun did a great job teaching them to me. But if I am to at some point even become interested in politics - what with my lineage and all - I need to be better. You've already seen how poorly I am at paying attention and following procedure; would you put me in front of a Tribunal and ask for my thoughts and vote on a topic? I wouldn't.
Spells and Enchantments
Spells I haven't given much thought to, other than which ones I may need for the enchantments I am thinking of. You see, being familiar with wheels and gears, combined with my natural talent for forging iron, I'd like to - at some point, mind you - craft a kind of self-propelled vehicle. A carriage, or chariot, or cart...or even a boat of some kind. I know that flight is possible through the use of magic - Gudrun has told me many stories about spells that I couldn't even dream of mastering yet - so maybe some kind of flying machine. Even if it's something as mundane-sounding as a mine cart that can move itself along a set of tracks to help a Covenant extract ore from a mine it controls or owns...that would be something to see!
So, I guess, the spells I am thinking of would be along those lines. Some kind of propulsion system, with a combination of mundane and magical means, to give these machines the ability to move someone or something on its own. With control by a magus, of course; I wouldn't leave any of these devices lying around for some serf or noble guardsman to find!
I've also had some thoughts about creating a device that would allow for automatic copying of books and tomes - maybe magical texts as well - thanks to the many nights I spent scribing in the library as part of my studies. That's one part of being an apprentice I could have done without, but was probably the one I learned the most doing. But if there is a way to transcribe something for someone easier and quicker than having an apprentice - or oneself - do it, then I'm all for it.
I'm not sure if I'm allowed to speak of things that are part of the inner workings of my house, Master, so please forgive me if I seem to withhold some details here. But, as you've probably already guessed where I'm about to go based on what I've stated above, stating the blatantly obvious shouldn't be a crime.
I'd like to study Automata. It goes along with what I've already said about self-propelled machines, and is probably the best way to get there. Again, I can't give you more than that; I don't want to upset anyone in my house so early in my career.
Preferential treatment? I hardly think so. Just because I am in line to potentially assume Primus of House Verditius does not necessarily mean that I will. There are 3 people in front of me - Imanitosi, our current Primus, followed by his first apprentice Stouritus, followed by his first apprentice Gudrun. In order for me to assume the duties, either everyone in front of me has to die OR they all have to abdicate in my favor. Neither of which I would prefer to see, unless their dying is by natural causes of old age. I mean, we can't all live forever, can we?
Anyhow, I don't want to be treated any different just because I have the possibility to assume Primus. At this stage of my career, I am no different than any other magus who has successfully completed Gauntlet - I have zero experience doing anything other than serving my Master, and I'm just trying to show her that her teachings were not wasted on myself. Maybe if somewhere down the line it becomes apparent that I am going to assume Primus, then...but who knows?
I have several reasons for joining this Covenant, Master Stentorius. Not the least of which is out of tradition to strike out on my own post-apprenticeship and, as I've stated, show Gudrun that her teachings were not wasted on me. See, while Durenmar has space, and I could have very well stayed there, I feel that I've learned all I can from the magi there. Or, rather, I've learned all they are currently willing to teach me. Coming here gives me the chance to meet new magi that I have not yet been introduced to, and they will most certainly know things that I do not. And the possibility that they may be willing to teach me some of these things is something I cannot pass up.
Staying on the topic of meeting other magi, and going back to the topic of Primus - at the same time - we have a conjunction. If I am to one day assume Primus, I am going to need support from those both in my own house as well as from those outside it. I cannot get that support without befriending others, and I cannot befriend those whom I have not met. And meeting new magi gives me the chance to practice some politicking...if the opportunity presents itself. I obviously need to work on my paying attention and speaking; I can work on these things with magi here who I have not interacted with as it is a better barometer than trying these things on people I already know and who are familiar with me and my ways.
Finally...vis. Creating any kind of enchanted item requires a lot of vis, and it is no small coincidence that Fengheld is renowned for having a rather large store of vis. I'm not saying that by being here I should be given some, or that I have any right to ask for any. However, the Charter does allow for a magus who is a member to draw a share of vis, and as I will need more vis than I currently have access to, joining this Covenant is of great help to me. And I can only hope that I can be of some help to the Covenant.
So, simply put: Tradition, travel, meeting new magi.
A new tribunal? I haven't heard of any such thing during my time at Durenmar, so if you ask what my feelings on it are, then I guess...I have no feeling on it.
My first and foremost duty is to the Order overall, regardless of tribunal boundaries. I am concerned with keeping the whole of the Order intact, above whatever tribunal I am currently a member of. Now, that's not to say that I don't value my tribunal; quite the opposite, actually. I am a member of this, the Rhine, tribunal, and as such I wish to see it's glory and tradition fully restored to what it was in years past. But I will not ask that this be done at the expense of the Order.
Now, if there is to be a new tribunal, then I should need more details thereupon before I can make an informed decision as to if I feel this is good or bad. Whether this question is hypothetical or about a real event, I cannot answer properly without being given more context.
I hope I've answered your questions satisfactorily, Master Stentorius. Should you have need of further clarification on any point I've discussed, or if there are additional questions you feel need asked of me, please send for me at once; I am at your service.
My parens was mainly a generalist with some training in the school of Flambeau, however we found during my apprenticeship that I had an affinity for Perdo so he suggested I should look into the School of Apromor to be more effective in my fighting style. I haven't met a true Apromor magus or maga yet to get that kind of training though.
However, I have also thought about developing a technique of my own that uses darkness through Perdo Ignem more actively as an indirect way of adjusting the conditions surrounding a fight. I need to enhance my own vision for that to work properly though so I need to focus some on Intellego I guess.
Then since the death of my pater I am determined to fight demons. Creatures from Hell will always be my primary targets and of course any infernalists that summon them to our world. Secondarily I want to learn more about ghosts and spirits and how to free them from our world where they are not supposed to linger.
I'm not very interested in the conflicts of the mundane people and I don't think the Order should get engaged in them either. We have our own problems to deal with. The Church may become involved in the dealing with demons of course, but preferably they should be kept out of the way when we of the Order of Hermes are set to hunt down a dangerous demon.
Of course if the order as a whole is endangered I will fight against the source of that threat no matter what it is.
I have heard of the hoplites and I know that you have one here at Fengheld, Master Indulius. I haven't had the honour to meet him yet but would love to talk to him before we travel to the Chapter House. If I get accepted that is of course. Is Master Indulius elegible to become my praefectum if both he and I should feel that is going to be a good match?
Perdo and Ignem primarily.
Vim and some Mentem to be effective against demons and spirits.
Intellego to improve my senses in the dark but it's also good for learning things in general of course which might be needed if i go the hoplite route.
Terram and Corpus as other ways of doing harm.
Creo is not going to be my most effective technique but i need some to develop some interesting spells later on.
More than half of the Arts is in that list but this is the general priority order.
Parma Magica and Penetration is definately important.
Finesse as well for some spells.
Magic Lore and perhaps Infernal Lore to learn more about the enemies i intend to fight.
The rest will come.
I'm not naming any specific spells but any Perdo-spells are interesting. Perdo Vim to attack demons, Perdo Mentem to attack spirits, Perdo Ignem, Perdo Corpus and Perdo Terram for basic attack spells.
Not Tamas highest priority but I'm thinking about developing some gear that may help him see better in complete darkness.
To be honest, my plans have been a bit modified, since I received the invitation to the covenant. Magically speaking, not so much, I'm already a bit specialized in aquam and I'll probably continue to study this art primarily. As most young magi, I'll try to increase my parma magica a bit. The rest is more flexible, I'll try to play on my strengths :
-I'll probably study basic animalem, to make use of my gift that doesn't bother animals and increase my magic resistance in Ibis form
-I can make spells last longer than the average wizard and cancel them at will so I'll probably study creo and muto as my main forms to make use of those advantages on utilitarian spells.
Speaking of spells, I really need to develop a spell to create clothes, I'll try to get a copy of it as it's quite common among Bjornaer. Along the way I'll probably try to initiate another mystery maybe to create my talisman. That might be too early for the later, I need to accumulate a bit of virtus and to increase my magic theory for it to be worth-it.
Everything else you ask is linked together, at least in my opinion. As you probably already know, I'm from clan Midusulf and I make no secret that I'm a wilderist, I believe that untamed land, that represent most places with magical auras, virtus and the spirits we need for our initiations must be more protected. The fading resources already creates tension between the magi of the Order and will inevitably throw magus at each other's throat if we let mundane spoil them.
The invasion of Crintera isn't a simple mundane invasion, I firmly believe that the speed by which they settled implies a discreet support from another covenant. I hope we can prove it so that our prima can receive enough support to kick them out of our Island. Crintera is such a unique place, I can't really go into detail with someone outside the House but it possess a very specific regio that is needed for our mysteries, so sooner or later we'll find a way to get rid of them, we have too. I hope for the sake of my House that we'll find enough political support soon enough otherwise some will inevitably act no matter what the consequences for them and for my House.
That being said, The guardian of the forest clause, gives me hope, it creates a precedent from which I can try to work to expand It to other places of high magical interest, that would resolve the two previous issue I mentioned.
Concerning Quaesitor ruling, I'm not sure what you expect me to say, I swore an Oath that's not something you do lightly. Also, I've seen firsthand how an accumulation of trials can ruin the life of a magus. So despite my strong belief I won't make the same mistake, otherwise, why would I try to expand the guardian of the forest clause.
I would like to improve my skills in Rego, Intellego, Vim, and Corpus. These Arts support my interests in studying the decline of vis sources and in continuing to develop the abilities my pater taught me. I am determined to gain at least some benefit from his tutelage. I would also like to study new texts on Magic Theory and on the lore of the Magic Realm, if any are available. Spells I would be interested in learning or inventing are any concerning the creation, detection, manipulation, alteration, or interrogation of vis. My overall goal for the short term, once we are situated at the chapter house, is to become familiar with the source of vis we are to lay claim to. I plan to explore its surroundings thoroughly and to learn what I can from them. My hope is that this study will give me some insight into how vis is generated, and conversely into source decay. I would share these insights, as well as the results of the rest of my future research, with all those who are interested in them. I believe that knowledge should not be kept from others, particularly if it is relevant to the survival of the Order or if it can improve our lives. This belief extends to the knowledge housed at the Great Library of Durenmar - it too should be shared. I recognize that knowledge can be exploited or misused, and that there are therefore risks associated with this openness that I condone. I also realize that I, as a fledgling magus, am not the best person to make decisions regarding the sharing or use of knowledge. So until I am sufficiently experienced or powerful to determine what the right use of knowledge is myself, I must rely on the sound judgement and selflessness of those individuals around me who are. And, since I am joining this covenant, those individuals would be the magi of Fengheld. So I ask you candidly, Archmagus, what is the prevailing environment of this covenant; is it one that is open to new knowledge, and to finding the best or right application for it? Are people considerate of the greater good? Do compassion and decency direct decisions and actions?
Regarding the right of Bonisagus magi to take the apprentice of another, my views are somewhat biased against it, as I'm sure you can imagine. However, I do respect the traditions of our House, and this appropriation of apprentices is unfortunately one of them. If I were to suggest a change, it would be that the decision of which master to serve is left either to the apprentice, if they are old enough to make it, or to Certamen or some other test of skill that would objectively determine who the better master would be.
All of you:
At the end of the interview, Stentorius will confirm that you will be able to swear your Oath two days' hence at the Council meeting. He also indicates that various members of the covenant will probably approach each of you to get to know you. Some may propose to become your praefector. Others may wait for you to ask them to fulfill that role. You may even have to seek out the one whom you feel would be the best match for you. There is no set deadline for you to reach an agreement, though of course it will need to be determined before you leave for the chapter house at the end of summer.
When you mention the mysteries of your House, Stentorius refers you to Peter, the resident Verditius, who is a senior member and a master.
With regards to your lineage and your eventual accession to primacy, so long as you don't expect better treatment you will be treated as fairly as the others. He notes, however, that you don't need support to become Primus in House Verditius, as this seems to be just a matter of being in the direct line of succession. It looks like a simple matter of living long enough. But Stentorius acknowledges the fact that gathering support outside of your House and the respect of your peers will have value once you become Primus.
The Lotharingian Tribunal is simply an initiative that some magi are discussing. "I'm sure those who support or oppose it will be glad to approach you to explain why they think it is a good or a bad idea." Stentorius doesn't seem to have a stance on this, he just wanted to see if you did.
As for vis, it is no secret that Fengheld has important stores and acces to numerous sources. But the needs are many as well, so quite a bit of this vis is set aside for uses to fulfill the greater needs of the covenant. You will be getting a small share of any surplus vis, as other magi will. If you need more, then you will have to perform additional services to the covenant, or trade with other magi. But you are correct in your assumption that the vis will be available, if you can demonstrate that it will be used wisely.
Stentorius seems aware of your pater's training and has heard about your own school. The true master in the school of Apromor would be Phillipus Niger of Durenmar, but it is unlikely that he will be interested in helping you, Stentorius says. "He is a staunch supporter of many initiatives that run contrary to our interests, with the reverse being true as well, so he probably considers us less than favorably." He also indicates that Indulius may indeed tell you more about becoming a Hoplite, as well as how to improve in a specific school of training, even though the master is himself from the school of Flambeau. This will have to wait a little, though, as Indulius is currently away from the covenant on assignment.
As for demons, Stentorius adivses you not to go chasing them too much. House Guernicus takes a dim view on that, as it can cause demons to actively retaliate against the Order. It is also a bit early in your career, thus more dangerous for you.
Regarding mundanes, Stentorius comments that since you have a Gentle Gift, it seems highly likely that you will be called upon to handle at least some mundane issues for the chapter house or the covenant.
Yes, the Guardian of the Forest clause has been occasionally used to protect magical resources. But there has been a movement lately in the Tribunal, in the few decades at least, to put the clause on interference with mundanes first. So thread lightly there, in order to avoid putting Fengheld in a bad position. The covenant is aware of the history of your pater. Don't follow the same path, if you want to remain a member of Fengheld. What you say about Crintera may be true, but that covenant has badly mishandled the issue at Tribunal, so its support is limited at the moment.
There are few Quaesitors in the Rhine at the moment, and most of the covenant like it that way. So let us make sure we don't draw undue attention, shall we?
Your skill may be called upon for the identification, harvesting and preservation of vis sources. Any research you may be able to do in this area may indeed be worthwhile, but you will need to prove yourself willing to serve the covenant. Here in the Rhine, taking on an apprentice is something that is considered a privilege, something that should only be done once you've proven yourself competent enough by earning the rank of master.
The covenant is open to new knowledge, but it should be put in the right hands. As for the greater good, "Whose greater good? If you ask ten magi what the greater good is, you will receive ten different answers. Some will indeed value compassion, while other will consider it a weakness. Too much compassion, or too little, can be harmful to the Order. Directed at the wrong persons, compassion can lead to war and destruction. I have seen such things happen."
Renatus seems surprised I've heard the Prima was rather convincing, why would you say she mishandled the issue ? I might learn from her mistake and your wisdom on the tribunal politics.
"I'll try to advance as slowly as the situation permits on the matter of magical resources protection, I know I can't push such case to the tribunal alone. I hope I'll be able to convince the members of Fengheld first so that when an interesting opportunity arises we can seize the opportunity of such a debate." He adds with a cryptic smile "Maybe our future chapter House will allow this who knows."
The interview finished...
...more like interrogation...
...Wolfram bows to Stentorius, as low as his little body will let him, before thanking him for the opportunity and moving out of the council chambers. He takes a long look down the hallway, both to the left and to the right, trying to remember which direction he came from and which direction he hadn't. He wants to make sure he goes the right way, and not further into the actual Covenant building than he really needs to just yet; he's made a bad impression already, and he doesn't want it to get worse. He finally remembers which way to go, and he heads off towards the entrance to the Covenant, thinking on what Stentorius told him about Peter.
I need to select a praefector, and I need to speak to someone about the inner mysteries of the Automata. Peter is both a member of my house AND a senior member here at the Covenant. And while I may not need to politick just yet, it can't hurt. Right?
Once at the entrance to the Covenant, he flags down any passing Grog that happens to be walking along the hall.
"Excuse me, but could you point me in the direction of Peter? And, while we're at it, the library too. I shall need to make use of both Peter's time and the library's."
(OOC: Actually, the meeting was taking place in one of the large towers that line up the wall. And the room was much too small to host a full council meeting, considering that Fengheld has over a dozen members even before the arrival of the young magi.)
Wolfram has been given a tour of the covenant when he arrived, so he already knows where the library is. Finding out where Peter has his sanctum isn't difficult at all either.
(OOC: Starting individual topics again, as each of the new magi meet other members of the covenant. I hope this won't be too time consuming. We will return to this topic for the ceremony of swearing the Oath of Covenant and the council meeting that follows.)
Two days after the meeting with Stentorius, three of the four young magi await nervsouly to be let into the main hall of the covenant, where the Council meeting is apparently taking place on this day. Ludovicus, Renatus and Tamas are debecked into new sets of clothing, much more ostencious than what they are used to. Wolfram is conspicuously absent; you were told by the herald that the Verditius left Fengheld the night before.
Before the magi, the double door that leads into the hall is guarded by two grogs in full ceremonial gear, with halberds held crossed before the entrance. A herald awaits with them, having previously discussed with the young magi the way the ceremony is to take place, including providing you each with a copy of the Oath you are to take.
After an hour of waiting, another herald opens the door from the inside to speak briefly with the one outside. You recognize this second herald as an older redcap who is based in Fengheld. He signals you to follow him as the doors swing wide to let you all enter, one after the other. The herald/redcap taps his ceremonial staff on the stone floor before introducing each of you, producing a booming sound that far exceeds what an unenchanted staff could.
"OYEZ! OYEZ! The MAGUS Ludovicus of House BONISAGUS! Filius Machmalius of the ROME Tribunal!"
"OYEZ! OYEZ! The MAGUS Tamas of House FLAMBEAU! Filius Kiranko of the THEBAN Tribunal, fallen to enemies of the Order!"
"OYEZ! OYEZ! The MAGUS Renatus of House BJORNAER! Filius Ymbert of the IBERIAN Tribunal!"
The great hall is bedecekd unlike anything you've seen before in the previous days. Large banners have been hung on each side, showing the colors and sigil of each of the magi present. The more elaborate ones obviously belong to the senior magi, some showing the effect of magical spells cast on them to enhance their appearance. Some are a bit less grand, probably representing the full members, while a third tier of only a few banners are hung a between and below the others. Some of the banners are shrouded in shadow, showing that the magus in question is not in attendance today.
Once each of you have been led to a confortable seat, set between those of the other magi of Fengheld, Stentorius speaks. "We will now bear witness as these magi join us in the covenant of Fengheld, swearing to our Oath."
As you've been coached, each of you then proclaim the Oath of Covenant, as follow:
Your words, as you recite them, reverberate in the large hall. After each of your Oath, the assembled magi utter solemn words: "So do we witness today!"
Finally, the Oath is complete. Stentorius calls for a short recess as the current members greet their new berthren. The archmagus remains seated during this time, simply nodding toward each of you.
The magi in attendance are Stentorius of Tremere, Clemens of Tremere, Horst of Mercere, Eule of Bjornaer, Peter of Verditius, Dorana of Bonisagus, Günther Lupus of Bjornaer, Adelheid of Tremere, Renatuf of Jerbiton, Rudolf of Bonisagus, and Garrinchus Ex Miscellanea (from the chapter House of Rheingasse).
After a time, Stentorius calls the meeting to order and moves on to the next item of business. "As was previously discussed with this Council and the magi concerned, the new probationary members Renatus of Bjornaer and Ludovicus of Bonisagus shall be dispatched to our new chapter house of Nimbosa Myrice, under the auspices of Renatus of Jerbiton, who shall be the praetor. The magus Tamas will be assigned to the chapter house of Turris Acontiarum for the time being." This constitute a surprise to Ludovicus and Renatus, as they thought that Tamas would be joining them at the new chapter house. The Flambeau does not seem surprised by this, however, so this must be something that has been discussed privately since that initial meeting with Stentorius.
"Do our new members have items to bring before this Council? According to our traditions, have you found a praefectum to guide your steps during your probationary period and beyond?"
"Unfortunately, as you probably already know, I've been a bit busy those last two days doing a small service on behalf of a member. So I've only had the opportunity to meet a few of the members. Considering the possible need for guidance over my initiation my first choice would be a Bjornaer magus. While Günther Lupus is probably an excellent advisor, I'm afraid there would be an incompatibility between our heartbeast. On the other hand I believe Eule would be a perfect fit, her heartbeast would go along perfectly with mine, she's widely recognized as a wise magus and as a quaesitor she could probably also advise me on how to best advance my political project without hindering the covenant nor breaking any rules."
"Eule," says Stentorius, "did you agree to take this magus as your mentoree?" A silence. Stentorius repeats patiently, if a bit louder, "Eule?"
The aged Eule, who had apparently dozed off for a moment in her seat, is startled awake by the mention of her name. "Whooo, whoo ooo ooo. What?" She looks around with large eyes, a bit confused. Stentorius repeats his question.
"Did I?" Says the old maga. "I don't think I did," she says after a moment.
There is an awkward silence. There is a titter of laugther, quickly covered by a caugh. Stentorius breaks the silence after a moment. "You should discuss the matter with the magus before hand, Renatus." Says Stentorius uin a neutral tone.
"Anyone else?" He adds, pointedly not looking at Renatus.
Then Eule adds, as if Stentorius had said nothing at all, "But come see me later, birdling, and we can discuss the matter."
Günther Lupus, whom Renatus knows to be her filius, had been grinning wolfishly until his mater speak again. Now he looks as if he has just bitten into a lemon.
(ooc : My answer didn't meant that I met him and that he agreed, on the contrary, I meant didn't have time to discuss the matter with him because I was away the whole time... Anyway I wasn't clear and this probably isn't a big deal)
"I have no items to raise at this council, other than to state my gratitude to all for this opportunity and in particular to Maga Dorana, who has agreed to act as my praefecta."
"Dorana?" inquires the leader of Fengheld. The Bonisagus maga rises to confirm that she will indeed be Ludovicus' praefecta.
Just before concluding the meeting, Stentorius adds, nodding to a magus wearing a hood, "Renatus of Jerbiton, as the praetor of the new chapter house, you should meet with your sodales to discuss what need to be done in order to prepare for the trip to Nymbosa Myrice." The hooded magus nods.
The end of the meeting is called, and most of the magi leave the main hall. A few linger behind to discuss some minor items between themselves.
The hooded magus approaches Renatus and Ludovicus. You notice that he walks slowly and with a slight limp, as if in pain. He addresses you, "Sodales, perhaps we should move to a more private place to discuss what will soon be our new home?" As he speak, a bit of light falls on his hooded face, revealing that the left side of it is heavily scarred and that the left eye is covered by a headband.
He leads you out of the main hall, which mundane servants are beginning to re-arrange for its normal use, to a different part of the building. Soon you are seated in a small study room. As Renatus of Jerbiton takes his seat, he pushes back his hood, revealing that the left side of his face must have, a long time ago, been savaged by some beast, for he bears scars that were probably made by large claws. One such scar is aligned with his hidden eye, so you reasonably assume that this eye is probably blind. "Let me know if my scars indispose you, so that I can cover up again."
Then he continues, in the same soft-spoken voice, "I am sure that you have many questions about the new chapter house. But before you ask them, let me summarize the information that I already have."
"About a year ago, two of the members of our covenant, Master Indulius of Flambeau and Günther Lupus of Bjornaer, found a place with a magical aura while they were hunting a witch. This aura is in a small bog in Saxony, south of a place called the Lüneberg Heath. It is about a week's travel time from Fengheld. Not only was the bog a magical aura, although a fairly weak one, it produces pockets of bog gas that erupt from the surface at irregular intervals and ignite in flames, which burns for a few minutes. Each eruption contains a small amount of raw vis, but to harvest it one needs to patrol the swamp to collect the pockets as soon as they ignite. One peculiar thing about this flaming gas is that it can be used as either Auram or Ignem vis, so I am sure you can understand how Fengheld was interested in collecting it. But its volatile nature meant that at least one magus would need to live there at all times to collect it as it erups."
"As you can guess, a bog is not the easiest nor the most pleasant place to live. On the other hand, Fengheld has the ressources to build a low tower on one of the islands there, so living conditions will not be shabby. Master Indulius is currently there overseeing the contruction of a low tower and collecting the bog gas. Once we get there, we will take over the coumpound and the vis collection and he will come back here."
"The bog is located close about an hour away from a small town named Walsrode, but the mundanes there do not know that we will be living in the bog. So far the supplies used to build the covenant simply passed through as if they were merchants travelling to a more distant place."
"Fengheld will provide us with the supplies to install two laboratories. There is also a laboratory already in place there, but it needs to be moved into the new tower as it is currently located in a decrepit building that was already present on the island."
"Although we will not have our own library at first, we will be allowed to borrow a few of the less-valuable books and lab texts from Fengheld's library at a time for a few seasons. We can either study from those during that time, or make copies so that we can study them later over a longer period. We will be able to borrow other books over time. Our covenant of Fengheld will also provide us the Vim vis required to establish an Aegis, though we will probably want to try to locate additional sources of vis that might exist in the region. As members of Fengheld, we can expect to receive a stipend of vis, but since we will not be present at the meeting when such surplus is distributed, we will have to submit our request ahead of time. As the most junior members of the covenant, you probably won't have much choice regarding the Arts of the vis you receive, but you can at least ask. Perhaps your praefectum will be able to help you obtain some more specific types of vis, should you need it. Or maybe you can arrange to trade with another of the magi, either at the chapter house or here at the covenant."
"In short, our duties will be to maintain and develop the chapter house, collect the raw vis from the current source, and find new sources if we can. We are to avoid interfering with mundanes and keep a low profile as much as possible."
"We will be moving to Nymbosa Myrice at the end of summer, so we have a season here at Fengheld to study from the library, or arrange to make copies of additional texts, or obtain other resources from the senior magi."
"Now, what are your questions?"
Renatus stares for a second at the scars and shrugs his shoulders, looking him in the eye again as if nothing happened.
His visage is lit up by joy as Renatus of Jerbiton mentions that the chapter House is locates in a bog,
"You've chosen an excellent name magus" he laughs briefly and continues
"I understand that a bog is probably a difficult environment for most people and I to sympathize with you both but to be honest, I couldn't dream of a better place to live. Some Bjornaer are picky about talking about their Hearthbeast, well I'm not."
"My Hearthbeast is a bird called an Ibis, we thrives in wetlands so this is the perfect match, in addition, I'm an Aquam specialist and i'll literally be surrounded by water. A decent tower to put my lab surrounded by untamed wetland, moving to Fengheld was probably the best Idea I had in the last decade"
"Well moving to questions. Will there be any servant there or only the three of us ? And also what do you mean by developing the chapter House ? please don't tell we our mission implies spoiling the bog with unnecessary constructions..."
"Hmm. A bog. There were many on the island on which I grew up. In fact, the name of the island, Leodhas, means "marshy" in the local language. I knew a few people who died in bogs. I would imagine the area is mostly left alone by mundanes? Or do they harvest peat from it?
Suddenly, Ludovicus remembers Dorana's reaction to his comment about sinking or swimming, and he chuckles.
"Oh, ha, pardon." He turns from one Renatus to the other. "Perhaps one thing we should agree upon now is how I should refer to each of you, to avoid confusion. Perhaps "Master Renatus" for Renatus ex Jerbiton and simply "Renatus" for Renatus ex Bjornaer?"
If that's ok, he continues,
"Master Renatus, or Renatus - I guess either of you - could you explain the name of the chapter house to me? I fail to see a connection between gassy bogs, saintly halos, and moths... And Master Renatus, how did you end up becoming the praetor of this new chapter house?