Chapter 1c: Ludovicus Meets Other Members of Fengheld

Less than an hour after the meeting with Stentorius, Ludovicus is visited by Dorana of Bonisagus, the maga you initially greeted you when you arrived at Fengheld. The mature maga is accompanied by a young girl. "Greetings, sodalis! Now that the formalities are over, I wanted to introduce you to my apprentice, Felicia." The young girl curties clumsily at this, looking down at the floor. As you all settle down comfortably for a chat, Dorana continues. "So, how did the meeting with Stentorius go? Have you decided to accept our offer? Do you have any question?"

"Hello Maga Dorana, your visit is a pleasant surprise, as is the chance to meet your apprentice. I hope you are both well this fine day. The meeting went reasonably well. Archmagus Stentorius was at least willing to listen to our questions, if not answer them completely - have no doubt, I understand the need for secrecy concerning location and whatnot. It just makes it hard to determine whether the new chapter house will provide an environment in which we can flourish, or whether we will be bogged down by extraneous issues that will distract significantly from our mission. For potential new representatives of the Covenant of Fengheld, what degree of assistance would be reasonable to expect from the more senior magi, when it comes to potentially delicate interactions with our environment at the new chapter house? Say, for example, that we must carve out our new home from between a mundane duchy and faerie kingdom. Can we turn to you for advice on how to proceed without breaking the Code, or will we be expected to sink or swim on our own?"

"Of course not," the maga smiles and you mention sinking of swimming on your own. "After all, you won't be all alone out there. That is why we send an... older... magus with you to establish the new house, after all. Any major decision will probably need some consultation with the council here, but that will also come with the appropriate level of assistance. Decided on a case by case basis, with your council deciding whether you are able to tackle any specific problem on your own."

"I haven't visited the place myself, but from what I've been told it is a rather out of the way place not too far, but neither too close, to a small village. So you shouldn't have too many problems with mundanes. Nor is it in a faerie place, as far as we know..

"Well that is a relief. Thank you for the additional information. If it is acceptable to you, I would like to ask a question of a slightly more personal nature: as a fellow Bonisagus, do your interests lie more with the political faction of our bifurcated House, or with the research faction? I ask this to gauge your potential interest in the research that I hope to conduct at the new chapter house, relating to the decay of vis sources. In my experience, I've found that, in addition to generating valuable feedback, the act of communicating one's results to others can help solidify and improve the thinking behind one's work. Would you be open to the arrangement of such an avenue of written communication?"

(OOc: Made an Order of Hermes Lore roll for you. Ludovicus remembers that Dorana is an important member of the lineage of Trianoma.)

"As you may remember, I am of the lineage of Irmele filia Trianoma," she looks at you a bit strangely, as if surprised that you don't know this. "As you know, my lineage is much more interested in preserving peace and promoting good relations within the Order, so that discoveries such as the one you seek can be shared with all. Now," she smiles self-deprecatingly, "I am no slouch in magic theory, so I would certainly be open to exchanging letters with you. But my main area of expertise if weather magic, so specific research on vis sources, though an interesting subject for sure, is only of secondary interest for me."

"Ah yes, of course maga. I do know of your prominence in the lineage of Trianoma. Forgive my lapse. I fear there is a contagion of inattention among the potential new initiates today. Perhaps it's the new surroundings. That aside, thank you for agreeing to a correspondence. I will strive for conciseness, so as not to take up too much of your time. Are there any other magi Bonisagus at the covenant, or nearby? Also, on my journey here, while traveling with Franz the Redcap, we stopped at a village called ... Soltzvedle or something similar, so that Franz could deliver a message to an independent magus. Do you know of this Hermetic hermit, and why he chooses to remain independent from any covenant?"

"There are several members of our House in the Tribunal. Just last year, Rudolph joined us here," Dorana begins. "Perhaps you know him? He is actually from Rome, like yourself." (OOC: You know him indeed. He seemed nice enough, although perhaps a bit snobbish and vindicative.)

"Durenmar, of course, has many of them. Our Primus Avarett, Andrus, Tandaline, Caecilius, Occultes, Murion and Ricardus Caespuus live there." She pause before continuing, "And there are of course many visitors who go there to study from the Library. As far as I know, there are no members of our House at other covenants in the Tribunal. There was one at a small covenant near Koblenz, but he left some years ago when that covenant was disbanded."

"As for independent magi, well, some just don't fit in into the proper structure of the Tribunal," she says dismissively. "This is probably some member of Ex Miscellanea who prefers a muddy hut to the proper walls of a covenant."

"I have indeed met Rudolph before, though we are merely acquaintances. I was not aware that he found his way here."

((OOC: Does Ludovicus know whether Rudolph is on good terms, or potentially in communication with Ludovicus' pater? And does he know anything else about Rudolph, like his research or political interests, or his favorite Arts?))

Apologies for the abrupt change in subject, and I understand if you would rather not share, but I'm curious about what some of the major political difficulties that you or Fengheld face at the moment. Will the new chapter house add fuel to any fires that are related to these challenges, or start a new fire of its own? Is there anything to be wary of?"

(OOC: You only met Rudolph once, mid-point in your apprenticeship and his. His pater was also a follower of Trianoma, but you can't remember what his specialty was. You don't know if he has any contacts with your pater. That seems unlikely at the moment.)

Dorana smiles, but shake her head, changing the subject without answering your question. "Have you given some thought as to whom you would like as your praefectum, and what you will do with the next season?"

[b]"Well, I haven't made any definite plans yet. But once I've learned more about my future home, I will do so. One undertaking I would like to begin, if the situation permits, is to explore the area surrounding the new chapter house, to see what there is to be found. So I will likely prepare what needs to be prepared for that task. Otherwise, my Arts are still quite undeveloped, so there is studying to be done. Thirdly, it was mentioned that not all the laboratories will be in place for all of the magi at the new chapter house. I will volunteer to be among those who must be without a laboratory initially, and will gather what necessities I can for outfitting a new lab, before traveling there."

"To your other question, I would be honored if you would agree to be my praefecta. Your guidance would be invaluable to me, in this new Tribunal, of which I know nothing."[/b]

"Why would you gather... Oh!" Dorana smiles, "I think you misunderstood. The fact that labs won't have been set up doesn't mean that you will lack the equipment or supplies to install them. Just that they won't have been unpacked and place properly. We wouldn't send you out to do something so crass as to..." she wrinkles her nose as if smelling something bad, "actually have to purchase such supplies yourself. That is why we have mundanes working for us, after all." She waves her right hand, brushing the concenr aside, "So do not worry about the supplies themselves. I believe that the main concern is whether all the space to establish the labs will be ready right away for all four of you. It may take a few seasons before the craftsmen are done building everything, that is all."

"If you want me as your praefecta, that would please me as well. But we will need to make more solid plans for your season. What are the subjects you want to study? What spells would you like to learn or invent? At what time are you planning on taking an apprentice? Or binding a familiar? These are all questions that will need to be answered if you want answers to. To focus your efforts, you should think about goals, both long-term and intermediate."

Ludovicus smiles, "Thank you, Maga Dorana, for agreeing to be my praefecta. I look forward to learning from you and working with you. As for my goals..." he pauses and considers. "My long-term ambition is to find a way to address the issue of the depletion of vis sources. One approach I have been thinking of is to study vis sources in various states - waxing, waning, or stagnant - to determine, if possible, what is different about them (other than their vis output, of course). To this end, studying Vim from books and from vis, finding new vis sources, studying Magic Theory, studying the Techniques, all seem like relevant short term goals. The other approach that I am considering is to pursue research related to personal vis sources. I have heard that some magi are able to generate their own, albeit low, quantities of vis from their bodies. I would like to find a means of bestowing myself with this ability, as a way to learn more about it, and perhaps then find a way to increase its productivity and to diversify the nature of the vis it produces. If every maga or magus becomes the source of the vis they need, then our reliance on the dwindling sources in the environment would be circumvented. To this end, the previous studies I mentioned would still be relevant, and in addition, I would study Corpus."

[b]"I don't have immediate plans to find an apprentice or bind a familiar. Both of these aims require more thought than I have given them, and I've also been told that I must achieve the rank of Master in a Gild if I wish to do the former. So, after all that I have just said, I believe my plans are best served by studying Rego next season. I believe that this Art will be useful to both of the approaches I mentioned."

"Oh, I should mention that I have a bit of a condition when it comes to studying. I don't learn unless I am immersed in an environment that includes elements that are attuned to the Art that I am studying. So for Rego, I would require some place in which things are controlled. Like a courthouse, or ... maybe a vineyard? What do you think? The growth of the vines is controlled and orderly. Would that work?"[/b]

"Dorana listens and nods as Ludovicus explains his plans. "Then my gues is probably that study is indeed needed. Have you thought about learning existing spells in Vim, and inventing variants more suitable to your research? In that case, perhaps your next season might be better spent perusing our library to identify and copy those lab texts, as well as identifying those summae that will provide you with the knowledge you seek. I believe the plan is for the members of the chapter house to be allowed to borrow some books from our library for a short time, maybe up to a year, so that you can make copies for the chapter house's library."

"As for you study requirements," she shrugs, "I wouldn't know what you need. I'm sure you are much better positioned than I am to learn what is an appropriate studying environment than I am." (OOC: That's not something that a maga without that flaw can tell you.)

[b]"I would enjoy the opportunity to see what spells and summae there are here, at the appropriate time. The offer is quite generous. I'm sure there are many that I will find useful."

"Now, as my prospective praefecta, do you have any particular policies for how the mentor-mentee relationship is implemented? Are there any guidelines to adhere to or specific ways in which you would like it to unfold?"

"I am also curious about Gild membership. As ... what is it that we are to become, ... "probationary members" of Fengheld, are we expected to join a Gild too?"[/b]

"Gilds are something of a tradition here in the Rhine, based on what your stance is regarding the political situation. You are certainly welcome to discuss what the goals of each gild is with various members, but I would advise you to wait a bit before joining one. Get to know them and their members. See whether they are suited to your own tastes."

Coming back to your previous question, she adds, "There isn't anything formal about the relationship between the praefecta and the probationary member. The praefecta is there to help you learn about Fengheld's way of doing things, and the ressources that can be put to your disposal. In short, guide you to help you achieve your personal goals while also help our covenant to grow. As such, I would expect you to come to me, or write to me, about what your plans are. For example, if your research meant that you need a considerable amount of vis, then I could advise you on ways to obtain it. If you need a specific lab text that isn't widely available, I might be able to find it in the inner library and clear your access to it. Or, should you be unsure as to whether you are suited to a specific assignment as covenant service, I might suggest ways to fulfill it."

"That cuts both ways. Perhaps at some point I will have some task that I am unable to attend to, and that you could take care of. You would be free to decide whether you want to undertake it or not, and it wouldn't come without its own rewards, of course."

"That sounds reasonable. Well then, I've reached the end of my list of questions. I'm very glad you came by to see me, and I very much look forward to starting on the path to becoming a member of Fengheld, with your guidance and God willing."