AT THE LODGE...
Aureliana pushes into the door, then stops as she crosses the threshold. ”So we weren’t the only ones invited,” she murmurs before raising her voice in Latin. ”Hail, sodales. Well met to you.”
Sceparnius looks up from where he's been sitting, warming himself by a small fire. "Hail! Are you the one to whom we owe the honor of this invitation?"
She shakes her head as she lowers her hood; her blonde hair is cropped short, but seems to rustle in a nonexistent breeze. ”Alas, no. We recently arrived from Bremen.” Nodding her head toward Oktavia, Aureliana continues, ”But this place seems pleasant. Have the rest of you been here long?”
Sceparnius answers, "We've been arriving since nightfall, it seems. Our host apparently keeps late hours."
Hearing someone mention the invitations, Jadranka looks up from the book she's had her nose buried in, the quill in her left hand stopping long enough for her to pay attention. As it seemed introductions were being given, she decided to chime in. "Mathematicus Jadranka ex Verditius, at your service," she put forward pleasantly. "I myself arrived just a few minutes prior to dinner yesterday, taking the opportunity my parens provided me with in arriving early to do a bit of light reading and writing." She holds up the tome she has been writing in, its thickness indicating it in and of itself is anything but light.
The newcomer frowns. ”I always forget to lead with the names. It just seems so much easier to go right into conversation.” Then she clenches her right hand over her heart. ”Aureliana, of Miscellanea. Pralician and student of sorceries both lost and forgotten.”
Sceparnius seems to have also forgotten his introduction. "And I am Sceparnius ex Bonisagus. I nearly decided to travel through Bremen myself, but ended up taking the Rhine route instead."
Oktavia scoots her way in on her crutches and finds a place to sit down so she can set up her crutches against the wall and unsling her now-quite-curious-about-surroundings daughter to hold her properly. ”Oktavia von Verditius,” Oktavia meekly chimes in with a thick German accent, looking a bit warily at the other Verditius in the room. ”And my daughter Elisabeth.”
A short woman, with a sword, approaches. ""Well met, sodales. I am Marcella ex Flambeau." There's a French accent there.
SceparniusLast Friday at 11:50 AM
"Well, I don't know about the rest of you," Sceparnius says, "But my invitation here - to this lodge and to this island - was rather mysterious. I suppose it's too much to ask that any of you have some idea why we are here?"
At Oktavia's introduction, Jadranka beamed. She was always eager to meet other Verditius magi; her own studies were so far off from what a typical Verditius would do that she viewed the normal crafting of items as exotic and interesting. So she seized the chance before her, rushing to Oktavia, shaking the woman's hand rather vigorously. "Well, met, sodales!" she happily shot out. "I was so afraid that I'd be the only one of our House here; Zalmoxis was so secretive about why I was to be sent here that he didn't give me any indication of what or whom to expect. I am quite positive that there is much we can learn from each other!"
There is a knock on the door, then it slowly swings open, revealing a blond young man with a broad smile. "This is wonderful!" he says excitedly, "I've been looking for fellow Magi for days! Which of you sent the letter? I'm Osbertus ex Bonisagus, by the way!"
He comes in and closes the door.
”It seems it was none of us.” Aureliana takes it on herself to repeat the introductions already given. ”But it is certainly a curious thing. Why us? What have we in common that would draw someone - or something - to call us so?”
"I met a tough-looking old man who gave me an invitation to come here at this time. It has a seal on it that I don't know, but I feel like I should." Osbertus takes out the invitation and shows the seal to Aureliana.
She glances at it and nods. ”Much the same for us, I’m afraid. Mystery and uncertainty abound.” Her voice trembles, like she’s suppressing emotion.
Aureliana ex MiscellaneaLast Friday at 12:27 PM
She begins to pace, mumbling to herself in German before her eyes widen and she stops. ”Oktavia and I are both newly-Gauntleted. What about the rest of you? Have you been released for a year or more?”
Jadranka asked, "Did any of your parens' tell you why you were to be even heading to this island in the first place? Surely the invitation isn't a coincidence, nor is our being here..."
Osbertus counts on his fingers for a moment, "9 days! That's how long it's been. The moment I was sworn in I got sent here." He considers Jadranka for a moment, "You were sent here as well? Were we all sent here by our Parens?" He looks around. "Did they tell you all to build a covenant?"
”He did.” Aureliana seems astounded. ”Moreover, not to return to the mainland.” She looks around at everyone else. ”Were they in communication with one another? To have this many apprentices move on so close to one another, then send them to the same area...why?”
Jadranka squints her eyes for a moment, obviously deep in thought. When she comes back around, she just smiles rather plainly, a lightness in her voice. "There is a reason for all things, usually found in the numbers surrounding such situations. We are all just out of Gauntlet by days each, which is magnified once over by how long we had to travel to get here. Then the age of our parens, collectively, multiplied once again by where each of our apprentice Covenants are..." Her voice trails off as she becomes lost in thought over the math of the situation, sure that there is an analytical answer here somewhere.
"That's what I was told." Sceparnius shakes his head. "I had to leave in the middle of the night, in secret. And my gauntlet was barely completed as well." He looks slightly confused by Jadranka's mention of the ages of parens and parens' covenants, but seems to shrug it off. In the current mystery, there's no telling what may be important.
Oktavia looks kind of sheepish when her hand is suddenly shook. ”Oh, um... Yes, hello. I look forward to...” The buzz of conversation has already moved along by the time she finishes mumbling a greeting. Every sentence makes her feel more out of place. ”I don’t think my parens had anything to do with this, since she had very different reasons for banning me from Europe, but... I guess I lucked out that we ended up on the same boat, huh?” Oktavia immediately pinches herself for the attempt at wordplay.
Osbertus looks at Oktavia, "Did you not receive the same invitation we did? I think you must belong here, the coincidence is too hard to believe..." then he trails off, and gets a look of wonder on his face. "Is that a baby!?!? Oh my goodness! Can I see?!?"
He tentatively moves toward Oktavia
Oktavia smiles and nods, holding Elisabeth up gingerly. ”You can hold her, if you like. Just be gentle. And don’t be surprised if she doesn’t take well to your Gift, though she was alright about it with Aureliana...” The baby has her mother’s bright red hair, but otherwise it might be hard to see the family resemblance - where Oktavia is pale-skinned, straight-haired and blue-eyed, Elisabeth’s skin is nearly bronze-colored, her hair is very curly, and she has amber eyes.
Osbertus takes the baby very gingerly and awkwardly, and after a few moments nervously hands her back, "Oh she's so little! I'm too scared to hold her." He continues to peer at the baby safely in her mother's arms, making silly faces. "I was a covenant baby too...it's not a bad way to grow up, but it can be a bit lonely."
Sceparnius smiles as well to see Elisabeth. "So we have a seventh member of our little covenant then. Did Elisabeth get her own invitation?" He pauses for a moment and wrinkles his brow. "I...I meant that as a joke. But...did she? I'm not sure it would surprise me at this point."
Sceparnius' comment shook Jadranka back to the waking world. "Covenant? We don't even have a site. Or buildings. Or a source of income. We are far from being a Covenant."
Oktavia laughs. ”I sure hope not. Hopefully the people who arranged this are at least attached enough to reality to remember babies can’t read.” Then she nods to Jadranka. ”Yes, those things are true. And while I don’t know much about the locals, I’m led to understand that taking land without the King’s permission is going to get a lot more ire here than in most of mainland Europe...”
Osbertus can't stop looking at the baby as he talks, "Our intent and agreement to form a covenant is not inconsequential, but we are still homeless, it's true. I think we should figure out what we want, then we can determine how to get it. I would bet my sigil that my mo... I mean... my Parens wouldn't have sent me here if there wasn't some kind of plan. And not to be crass, but we have the right assortment of Houses to make a very solid covenant."
"I'm not saying we don't have the ability form one. Just that we aren't one yet."
Sceparnius nods. "Indeed, I am getting ahead of myself. We are fully gauntleted magi now and it's up to us - not our parens - to make such decisions. We need not rush into commitments just because we received some cryptic instructions."
”When I hear you talking about things we don’t have, all I hear is a list of things we are soon to have!” Aureliana glances around again, then moves farther in the room.
Osbertus raises his hands. "Well, let's see if we agree. Do any of you feel uncomfortable about forming a covenant with this group of Magi? For my part, I have no objection. Of course, we don't know each other yet, but we don't have to be friends to be colleagues. We certainly need a covenant, and I can tell you from recent personal experience that it's not easy to find fellow Magi who don't have covenants yet."
"I am not opposed to this at all. However, someone is asking us to do this. I do expect this person or persons to provide support for us, to create a 'defensible' point. Defensible against what?" adds Marcella
”This isn’t usual, is it?” Aureliana looks around. ”There must be something we aren’t seeing or don’t know.”
Jadranka furrows her brow a bit. "While not opposed to forming a Covenant, there are some things that need to be taken into account. This is a strange island, at least to me; what hold does the Order have here already? Is there a Tribunal we need to seek out first and gain acceptance/permission? Do we have the authority to even ask for this of whatever Tribunal is already here?"
Aureliana interjects, ”If we are to do this, we should just do it. Permission takes time, but forgiveness is easy once possession is had.”
"You have the right of it. There was no planning, simply to attend here immediately," agrees Marcella.
"Other covenants aren't a problem as much as mundane authority, I think," adds Osbertus. "If we find a good spot for a covenant, that's unclaimed, it's for the good of the Order that we start a covenant there."
Jadranka's eyesbrows rise. "Perhaps our mysterious host, whoever that may be, will fill us in on the details once he or she arrives."
”You may be right, but I enjoy the challenge of puzzling beforehand. It gives me joy to be a step ahead,” Aureliana says, smiling. ”So what other connections can be had? Our Houses are disparate, but not exclusive. What of our Arts?” She points to herself. ”My master saw to it I was versed in each Art, though by necessity not deeply, so I could recognize them in other forms.”
”Well, um...” Oktavia looks thoughtful. ”Rego and Vim are my specialties, I suppose. I know how to put up an Aegis, if that’s helpful... Find regiones... Otherwise the magic I know isn’t very practically helpful.”
"I am of House Flambeau." Marcella crosses her arms. "I follow the Founder's school of combat."
”Fire magic, then?” Aureliana nods. ”So many situations that can solve.” Then, to Oktavia: ”All those skills seem fundamental to a covenant in my eyes. We are fortunate to have you, if you’ll have us, at any rate.”
Osbertus nods as Aureliana speaks, "I agree. Vim is the most fundamental and important Art, I'd say. Not to discount the mighty Flambeau." He bows slightly toward Marcella. "I studied Vim, too, as well as Corpus, Mentem, and Animal."
Marcella narrows her eyes at Osbertus' comments.
Osbertus looks nervous. "Well, what I mean is, the combative arts are obviously important, but short of a Wizard's March or War isn't it rare to be able to use them?"
"War is more frequent than you might think. Another magus can declare Wizard's War against you for any reason. "
"True. Innocent or well-intentioned comments can often cause offense." He smiles and glances down momentarily.
Marcella allows a partial smile.
"I, for one, am glad to have someone so combat-capable watching my back. I..." Aureliana laughs. "The one time my master tried to have me practice with a blade, I ended up on my back, with the sword stabbed into the ground next to his feet. I'm still not sure how I got there, but we agreed I have no talent for fighting."