Summer passes, with the new members of Fengheld spending their time in study and scribing, as well as finalizing those preparations that they can make for their coming trip to what is to become their home. At some point during the summer, they are presented with a rough sketch of the building being constructed at the covenant -- a fairly large, two-story circular building with an inner courtyard. The second floor is where their laboratories and sancta will be located, while the mundanes will be using the ground floor.
A grog is finally assigned to Renatus to become his protector. He is named Andreas, but is not the one that accompanied him to Quedlinburg a few months ago. This Andreas is quite tall and muscular, with a wide smile and an open face. Although his Latin is very basic, that is a great improvement over most of Fengheld’s grog. His demeanor is cheerful and he speaks loudly.
The day before your planned departure, servants, grogs and charioteers spend the day preparing the baggage train. The young magi’s belongings, which have been added upon since their arrival, are loaded into travel chests and carried down by servants. A pile of chests and crates slowly builds up near the loading docks, before being loaded unto three chariots waiting for that purpose. Two additional chariots seem to have been loaded in the previous days. You are told that these contain building materials and lab equipment.
It is early morning when you all depart. The three magi, eight grogs and five servants, plus the five charioteers. All in all, a reasonably-sized party that sets out not long after dawn.
During the week-long trip, the magi get to know their mundane companions a little. The grogs are led by Oswald, who is a bit older than the other grogs. His Latin is functional, and he looks a bit stiff when addressing the magi. In addition to Andreas and Giuseppe, there is Martin, Renatus’ of Jerbiton’s personal grog who is older and dressed as a hunter. The turb is completed by five more men: Caspar and Mathias (brothers by the look of them), Ruk (short but sturdy), Burkhard (a scout) and young Hagen (who looks quite inexperienced).
The servants are four women, who will cook and clean, as well as a man named Rupert who will be in charge of provisioning the chapter house.
The trip itself is fairly boring, lasting for seven days on the roads. It goes slowly, which is to be expected with five heavily laden chariots pulled by oxen, with the men walking beside them. Thankfully, there isn’t any substantial rain during their trip, so the roads don’t turn muddy. And the party is large enough, and well-armed enough, not to be bothered by road brigands.
On the morning of the seventh day, you pass through the town of Walsrode, a fairly quiet place from what little you see of it. The southern part of the town seems to be some sort of religious community, but the northern part along the small stream has various normal shops and houses one find in most towns. On at the northern edge of town, set on a small rise, is a small manor house where the local knight probably lives. The town has a small river running through it, flowing southward.
Only stopping long enough to water the oxen, as any normal travelers would, your party continues on the road, heading north along the river. But not so far from the town you turn west on a smaller path, which soon starts to disappear. Evidently, the charioteers have been here before. The ground slowly becomes softer, and wisps of mist starts appearing between the trees. After half an hour more, you reach the banks of a small lake of undetermined size, as much of it is hidden by mist. The place where you are is still rocky enough that the chariots don’t sink into the ground, but it looks like the surrounding area is much too soft for such means of travel. At this point, one of the charioteers retrieves a hand bell from a patch of brush, which he rings in a pattern, before letting the party know that they have to wait now.
After less than an hour, a boat emerges from the mist, with a man pushing it along with a wooden pole. It is soon lashed down beside the rocky area. “You go along on the first trip, masters,” says Oswald after conferring with the boatman, “and we’ll make sure all the supplies are unloaded and ready for transport.”