Chapter 1f: Into the Owl's Nest

(In which Renatus has a private meeting with Eule of Bjornaer.)

Renatus arrives half an hour after nightfall at Eule's sanctum tower and asks the door servant if he can inquire whether her mistress is awake and wishes to receive me now.

The servant nods and goes up the stairs. A few minutes, she comes back to fetch Renatus and leads him to Eule's sanctum, which is on the last floor of the tower.

As he enters the dimly lit quarters of the older maga, Renatus immediately notices the subtle but unmistakable smell of a bird of prey. The antechamber is clean and confortable, with a small dining table where the older maga is currently eating breakfast. "Ha, young Renatus. How good of you to visit. Are you hungry? I can have my staff prepare something for you, if you want." Renatus half expected the maga to be eating raw meat from her plate, but at the moment she seems to be finishing some gruel and fruits.

Renatus is only half reassured, Eule's Heartbeast is probably too small to be a predator for him, but the scent is barely distinguishable. He wears his best outfit and his beard is perfectly groomed.

"All pleasure is mine. That's very kind of you to offer a collation, but I've just finished dinner, next time maybe."

Renatus seems embarassed

"You probably already know why I wanted to meet you, I was way too straight forward about it at the council meeting. Anyway...I discussed the reasons behind my migration to this specific tribunal with Archmagus Stenorius already, but I don't know how much he explained to the other members so I'll elaborate a bit on the matter If you don't mind. There's a specific ruling in this tribunal concerning the protection of the Forest and I would like to try to expand this ruling to any untamed land having a magical aura or being inhabited by ancestor's spirit. Considering you've been given the honorary rank of Quaesitor you're probably the most knowledgeable and wise to advice me on such a delicate matter."

"Oh, don't you worry you head with this, fledgling. The others are pretty stuck up at time, with Stentorius worse than most. He's not a bad sort, really, but he takes things too seriously."

She swivels her head to the side, "He did explain the circumstances that lead you to leave you roosting grounds. And I know Ymbert, met him a few times at the Gathering. Your pater probably means well in protecting the wild, but he sometimes goes too far and acts rashly. I'm afraid he is hurting us, sometimes, by his actions. It is hard to push the unawakened into action, particularly when they see us as uncontrolled and threathening. Not that I have yet found a way to make them see reason." Her right hand flutters, "Yes, yes, I am a Quaesitor, but that does not give me any more weight in the matter, or particularly insights. I have had visions, however. They are both murky and clear. There is a storm approaching, I believe. Those who are too exposed will be carried away, I fear."

"Now, now," she says, leaving behind the dark tone of her previous words, "you wanted me to be your praefecta, didn't you? That would please me! But... perhaps you could do something for me as well? I am looking for a new apprentice, but haven't had any luck finding one so far. Perhaps you could keep your eyes open for a suitable youth while out there at the chapter house?"

"I'm not really worried, but I try to learn from my mistakes...

As she swivels her head, Renatus feels the urge to stretch his neck from the bottom to the top.

"Could you tell me more about those visions ? what kind of trouble did you foresee ? Was is linked to Crintera ? I don't know what to think about this, Falke is usually wise, but will she rise to the challenge... Anyway you pick my curiosity. Any idea why those visions stopped ?

He smiles broadly as she says It would please her to be his praefecta but as she evokes the apprentice, he remembers Lupus's words...

"It would be only natural for me to help my praefecta in return for her advices but I confess I'm a bit surprised, what makes you think there would be a suitable candidate near the bog ? Also with your connexions among the House and the tribunal, I'm surprised you're having trouble getting one."

he thinks but keeps for himself Unless everyone know she's too old to teach one up until the end...

The old maga shakes her head at Renatus' questions regarding her visions. "You are not ready yet for such knowledge. Just be careful out there, not to fly too high nor too far from your nest."

Returning to the subject of an apprentice, she says, "As you may be aware, Gofted youths have become more difficult to find in recent years, with even the redcaps having diffifulty finding them in sufficient numbers so that all requests for one can be fulfilled. I simply figured that, living at a chapter house somewhat outside of the usual routes and areas where magi live, you might come accross a suitable young one."

Despite the comments that you've heard about Eule's age, she certainly seems clear-headed to you at the moment.

"I'll keep my eyes open then, we'll probably make some explorations in the next few seasons so I might indeed encounter someone. I didn't realized the apprentice shortage was so important It would impact even maga of your caliber. I'm very glad that you're pleased to be my praefecta. I'm sure our collaboration will prove fruitfull.

Concerning my settling in the new chapter House, I'd like to hear if you've got advices on the matter. We've begun to plan our seasons there and to look after summae, tractatus and labtexts, but it seems that the best are kept in Fengheld's wall...Any advice on the matter and on the installation in general ? What shoudn't I overlook in your opinion ? "

"It seems to me that you are making a good start on things," Eule says. "Have you been informed that you will be allowed, once in a while, to visit here for a season or two at a time? This will give you access to the better texts of the outer library. There is also an inner library, but that is mostly reserved for senior members. We can grant temporary access to one of the junior magi, but we need to justify it with the inner council. So that is usually only given after the junior member has proved herself worthy of the favour. For now, that is probably not something you need to consider -- they would never give acces to a probationary member anyway."

"As for the installation, well, spend some time getting to know your environment. Its resources, its dangers. This will let you blend in much more easily."

"I see, the inner library probabaly contain mostly high level summae and high magnitude spells anyway... Speaking if the environnement, I've heard the vis source was discovered while hunting a witch of some sort, can you tell me more about it ? Is there a chance some member of the same tradition still inhabit the bog ?"

"I don't know," Eule shrugs, "but it was Indulius and G√ľnther who tracked her down. I doubt that they would have ignored the possibility, and they reported back to the council that the problem was fully dealt with. And since Indulius has now spent some time living there, while he was overseeing the construction, I assume he would have taken care of everything local to the chapter house."

"What can you tell me about Renatus Ex Jerbiton ? I'm going to share the chapter House with him so I'd like to make sure I'm not doing any faux-pas..."

"Are you asking for gossip?" Eule smiles gently to remove the sting from her words. "That would be quite inappropriate, you know, for me to speak of a fellow member who has been here for over a decade, to one who has just joined as a probationary member. Not that I know him much, you must realize, as he is a quiet fellow for the most part. So my advice is to get to know you new praetor, and to judge him by his actions rather than by what others may say about him."

"One thing I will tell you, though, is that Renatus did not ask for this assignment as praetor of the new chapter house."

"Facta, non Verba, you're obviously right "

Renatus smiles in return.

"Although, I'm not asking for gossip, nor secrets, neither do I care how and when he got his wounds. I'm only asking what kind of man he is, what are his accomplishments, his previous assignments. I'm only asking the well known information... Anyway, he's a quiet fellow who hasn't chosen his current assignment, I guess that's something.

I can't remember who talked about It, probably either Renatus or Archmagus Stenorius but I remember someone mentioned that I could arrange with my praefecta to pick my share of virtus for me. Would you mind taking care of this for me ? "

"I can do that, although you should know that the next distribution will only come next year at the Summer meeting." She nods, anticipating a comment, "And yes, some of the current members wanted this year's distribution to occur before new members were sworn in."

"That's not really surprising, I guess they want to maximize their resources and make sure they don't waste resources to worthless candidates... I can live with that. We'll have plenty of time to arrange this later then. How am I suppose to let the council know of your agreement to be my praefecta, should I ask a meeting with Stenorius or can you simply let him know in a less formal way ?"

"I'll let him know," Eule says, "so there won't be any further ambiguity."

Unless Renatus has further topics to discuss, she will then simply spend some time with him discussing lighter topics, such as the air currents prevalent around the covenant and the name of the various Bjornaer magi of the trbinual.

(OOC: I've finished the discussion, after a respectful time talking lighter subject, I move to my second appointment)