Chapter 1e: Visiting Fengheld's Library

(In which Ludovicus starts exploring the library, with Renatus joining him later.)

Leaving the two other magi, Ludovicus walks to the large building that hosts the library and enters. He is soon met by the middle-aged Theoderich, whom he'd been introduced to in days before his swearing of the Oath of Covenant.

"What can I do for you, magus?" asks the man politely.

"Hello Theodorich. I hope you are well today," Ludovicus replies, striving for equal politeness. "If possible, I would like to learn more about what texts are available to Probationary Members, both summae and tractati, as well as lab texts about spells. Is there a section of the library that I, as a Probationary Member, am allowed to browse?"

"Well, ser, the library is open to all members equally. So you can consult or use any of the volumes available here. There are no restrictions, provided that the volumes do not leave the walls of the covenant."

"If you are looking for a specific subject, then I can help you find the relevant books on it."

"Truly enlightened! I feared there would be a similar system in place as I've heard there is at Durenmar, where some knowledge is off limits to all but a chosen few. Well then, if you could please point me toward the Vim texts, I will go and lose track of time there through engrossment."

Theodorich sniffes in distaste at the mention of Durenmar, "Well, I've never been there but I've heard of that place. We may not have a library as large as they do, it belongs to the covenant, not just to those of House Bonisagus."

"What kind of Vim texts are you interested in? We have several summae set up to be consulted by the magi in one section, in several alcoves. Most of the tractatus, as well as the less popular or older summae, are kept in armarii and only taken out as needed. We also have shelves of rolled scrolls for some of the lab texts and notes, although the higher-magnitude ones are sometimes bound and kept in seperate armarii as well."

"I am definitely interested in the Vim summae and the lab texts. Do you happen to have a cataloguing of the latter? That would be a most convenient way of learning about what spells are housed here. If not, then I am happy to start with any section you would suggest appropriate for a fledgling magus. I can work my way up in magnitude, time permitting."

"Certainly, we have a catalog," the librarian seems a bit miffed, "if you prefer slogging through it for hours and days looking for something. But I know my collection well, sir, so I can help you find it much faster. That is what my duties are, after all."

(OOC: Fengheld's library is quite large and I don't want to have to list all the spells contained in it, so if you are looking for specific spells just let me know what you are looking for.)

"Indeed? Well thank you Theodorich. I suppose I can start with any lab texts that are focused on detecting, harvesting, or otherwise manipulating vis. In particular, I seek a voice range spell to transfer vis from its natural form into a container of my choosing. Magus Renatus said that he recently learned such a spell."

The librarian reaches for a wax tablet to take some notes, "Indeed, I believe he did. Hmmm... I will check with him wether he has returned the lab text yet."

"As for other spells that detect vis, I am certain that we have the standard one, such as Sense the Nature of Vis and Scales of the Magical Weight. We of course also have the spells for detecting auras as well, and those for... regiones I believe you call them? I will have to check whether we have other less-known variants."

"When did you say you needed to study these texts?"

"I'd like to study them in the coming months. If I may trouble you further, what summae on Vim are available for the same period?"

Theodorich quirks en eyebrow, "At the same time as the lab texts?" He pauses, as if waiting for an answer, but continues before it becomes too obvious that he is questionning a magus' plans. "I don't believe the beginner's summa is in use for the next season."

He opens a book that lies on a nearby lectern; it looks like some kind of ledger. "The intermediate-level summa seems free as well," he returns his gaze to Ludovicus, "although as a probationary magus you will have to study it here, in the library. Only the senior magi are allowed to bring the summae to their sancta."

"Of course, I understand. Are we allowed to make copies of the texts?"

"That requires authorization from the Scribam Principem," the middle-aged librarian says. "The base policy of the covenant is to only allow the study of the library. Scribal rights are sometimes granted to visiting magi. Of course, it is more flexible when it is for members of chapter houses. Still, I would advise you speak with Master Horst, as I cannot allow any copying to be done without his prior authorization."

Renatus arrives to the library and joins Ludovicus and Theodoric.

Greetings and sorry to interrupt, Theodorich, I'm Renatus Ex Bjornaer nice to meet you.

"Greetings, magus Renatus," the librarian says, "I'll be with you shortly." He smiles apologically, thinking that you will want to speak with him after Ludovicus' questions have all been answered.

He smiles at the Librarian "I think there is a slight misunderstanding. We arranged with Ludovicus to meet at the Library, so that we can discuss with you together. We believed we would be more efficient this way considering we share several needs related to the new chapter House. I hope this isn't an inconvenience for you."

assuming he agrees, he continues "You might already have answered the question but can you tell me what kind of document can be borrowed and transported to the chapter House and for which duration ?"

Theodorich nods in understanding, "My apologies, magus, I wasn't aware of your arrangments."

"To answer your question, I have to say that most of the summae are not to leave the covenant's grounds. As I mentioned to the magus Ludovicus here, only senior magi are even allowed to bring them to their sanctum. Copies can be made for that purpose, although that requires the approval of the Scribam Principem, namely Master Horst. If it is for a book on mundane knowledge, then the copying can be done by one of our scribes. But as you know, the copying of magical books can only be performed by one of you, so you would of course have to perform that yourself -- or have you apprentice do it for you." (OOC: See the House Rules -- books on Arts, Finesse, Penetration and Parma Magica can only be copied by a magus or an opened apprentice.)

"Most tractatus can borrowed for a season or two, although there is a limit on how many you are allowed to borrow at one time. Their copying is restricted in the same was as summae. And of course, both kind of books can be subjected to the Cow and Calf agreement with the author, in which case no copying can be done at all."

"Lab texts are more more freely available. They can be borrowed for up to a year and most can be copied as well, although most do not bother to do so and simply borrow them for a season or two."

After a moment, Theodorich adds, "Oh, I almost forgot. Some of the older summae can be taken out of the covenant's grounds as well. These are usually slightly worn or damaged, or otherwise deemed less desirable."

"I see...Well we're staying at the main covenant for one season before we leave to the chapter house, so let's consider our options, what is the best quality vim summae or tractatus available for the season we'll spend here, whatever the level ?"

"Well, the most sought-out summae are already set up in the library for consultation. What do you mean when you speak of quality?" the librarian inquires. "We maintain our books to the best of our ability, so they are of good quality. We also have beginner, intermediate and advanced works for most of the magical arts."

(Don't expect him to quote Level and Quality to you. Those are completely OOC terms to simulate the learning process. The librarian thus uses the term quality to reflect the physical quality of the books. In-character, someone can only know how good a book is after he's studied from it for a season. And then he'd say "well, this one was fairly interesting" or "that author cannot even write complete sentences". You can also infer the quality if you've read another book from the same author, of course.)