Chapter 2: Once more in the council chamber

Once again the table of the council chamber where covered with all sorts of delicious food stuff and wines. It where almost as if Justus saved all the extraordinary food till the council meetings. As the magi assembled Justus began to speak in his self appointed chairman style, [color=red]Theses are some things that I wish to discuss with you and we are receiving some reports from our appointed amongst the covenfolk. The discussion mainly consists of making decisions concerning what our covenfolk present to us. These are the speakers that have requested our attention, Alberetcht our Latin teacher and in charge of our scribe school, Erich the captain of the covenant guard, Gunter who has is in charge of the covenants bookkeeping, and Horst who are the representative appointed to speak for our covenfolk. Justus summons the stated covenfolk and let them speak in turns.

Alberecht stands before the seated magi and begins to speak with an strong voice, reminding most of the assembled magi of their stern masters that trained them to be magi of the order of Hermes. [color=red]In order to get the scribal school going I have been forced to pay the apprentices a wage equal to any of the covenfolk and supply their families with support as we are taking away some of their sons to work for us. Most of the families of these young lads need them to work but paying a wage for their sons lets us keep them and keep them focused upon the studies. It will take a few years to get them fluent in Latin, able to read and write and have the capacity to copy texts without faults. Is there anything else you masters wish me to teach our young students? For the moment I have five students in my school.

Erich is allowed to speak after the Latin teacher. Erich is a forceful man who speaks with a stern voice. [color=red]I have the following to report, I have managed to train a militia that keeps order I our community. There seems to be a lack of any serious crime only drunken men in heated arguments. No serious injuries so far but one question must be answered, who has the right judge over those who commits a felony? Should you masters hold courts or who’s task is it? I also have a different question, will there be any pay for the ones that serve in the militia, all men at arms that are not in the militia are paid a an extra pound a day. For the moment there are ten men serving in the militia with cheap arms and armour and no pay.

A slender man with a cruel look upon his face is the allowed to speak. Gunther reports that in a soft voice. [color=red]The covenant’s funds a rapidly decreasing… We still have funds that cover our expenses but this matter should be corrected soon or who will have to decide what we must save on. The main costs are the Latin school and the militia. The Latin school has cost us so far five pounds of silver and will cost us five more until the end of the year. We can count on the Latin school to cost ten pounds of silver per year. The militia costs nothing for the moment but if you decide to pay them the costs will increase to at least ten pound per year. For the moment we are loosing a one pound of silver a year, excluding costs for our Latin school and the militia. In our stores there are 94 pounds of silver left.

Horst is allowed to speak as Gunther silences. He is a man of average height and has a sturdy body. [color=red]Amongst us servants and those who works with herding the swine, hunting in the forest and other mundane task for our master there is a pious request that you master aid our effort with the construction of a church in centre of the town that is growing outside the walls of your manor. Any contribution would be appreciated most profoundly by those of us who serve you.

Justus turns toward the rest of the assembled magi and asks. [color=red]What are you opinions of the matters at hand?

[color=blue]Listens to the translation to latin
[color=red]I think we all agree that these things all deserve attention. And it is important to keep the people happy. Half a year ago, when we arrived here, we did not come to a conclusion about acquiring mundane wealth. Now we should decide.
Turns to the 'mundane people':
[color=red]We shall do our best to solve these problems and take care of enough money
[color=blue]Frederick waits until everybody is finished in dealing with the mundanes before discussing about magically creating gold and rituals

[color=red]The Scriba school is an investment in the future which will pay off as we become more established as a covenant so I think we need to continue to fund this endeavor.
As to the question of Law and order as we are the lords of the land then the authority of justice lies with us. Wither we should ask mages to volunteer or we should take it in turns to sit in court. I am happy to undertake such a duty.
As to other means of gathering funds there are no areas in which I have expertise , perhaps we could recruit some craftsmen who can make and sell goods but economics is not an area I have paid attention to.

Finally building a church for the folk of the covenant is a sound idea although we may wish to make sure that we get a priest who is broad minded about the matter of magi. We can provide some silver or is there is aid I can provide with my magic I will be happy to assist in such an effort perhaps with felling trees or excavating a foundation

After stating their business the covenfolk are dismissed to be summoned later when the magi have decided upon the course of action.

Justus begin to speak, [color=red]I agree with Mariella that the scribal school shall be kept and perhaps we should include some magic theory on the curriculum. Enough that they can scribe texts without fault and set up the labs for magi and perhaps even assist with the most base and mundane task in a laboratory. Such education would make them ideal servants for magi, even if they can’t match with an apprentice. But we must remember that magi in the Rihne tribunal aren’t allowed to train apprentices until they have reached the rank of master, if my memory serves me right. I suggest that we start to pay the militia like the rest of our guards and find the funds necessary to arm them like professional warriors. We should rely on mundane cost saving measures but not break the code of Hermes by creating mundane wealth. Perhaps there are craftsmen in Kolberg that can be convinced to travel here. I say that we let the covenfolk judge over themselves and give any fines to us. I would like more time in my laboratory than meddling in the affairs of the common man.

[color=red]The judgment part is a tricky point indeed. I think the best solution is to create a court composed in part of covenant representatives, and in part from villagers, which would change every 5 years. This court would judge most affairs, with the fines given to us.
We should only judge the most serious cases.
That way, we'll both make them know we trust them and let them soem freedom, which should attract people, but also remind them that we are their masters.

The milicia... As for now, we don't need professionnal soldiers. Not yet. We should first train them to fight both in group and with simple weapons, and pay them half what the men-at-arms receive. Later, we'll be able to improve both their equipment and their pay. In the meantime, this will make the status of man-at-arm an enviable one, and the best milicians could have the possibility to become one..
As an added motivation, they could receive a small part of any fine coming through the courts, up to the full pay of a man-at-arms. Thus, we will encourage them to be efficient without compromizing the status of our soldiers.

As justus said, the school is our future. Teaching a little Magic Theory to the childs is a pretty good idea. In a few years, we could export skilled scribes throughout the tribunal.

The wealth is a problem, of course, although, between the scribes and the incitative measures for the settlement, this should be better in a few years. Thus, we should keep up with the planned course of action. Inviting craftsmen to come is a great idea. If we manage to keep our costs low, everything should be fine.
We can of course look what solutions we may have to magically enhance our mundane wealth without actually creating some. Like, preserve grain from vermine with some wards, things like that.

Justus looks at Ardath, [color=red]Your words hold wisdom and I agree about both your suggestions regardning the militia and the courts. But what about a church? We might not be able to affect the choise of preacher and there is a risk with a church in the middle of the town. Our magic will be hamperd by a powerfull divine aura, even if it does not affect the covenants aura it affect our ability in our own town. I think it would be better if we suggested that the church is placed on the far edge of the town and that we support the building. If we give enough resources and perhaps aid the construction with magic we could most probably affect the location.

[color=red]Sigh... You're right.
I must say my dislike for the dominion got the better of me on this.
Anyway, as you say, and as much as I am loathe to admit this, such a thing will probably happen even without us, so better to control it and ensure that the church is far from the covenant. Moreso, this will improve our image with the villagers, even more so if we help them a little with magic. This will prove that we're not so bad after all :laughing:

Justus continues, [color=red]Yes we must accept the fact that divine worship will be a part of our community and personally I think it will be good for both us and the covenfolk to have a place where we can meet and pray. After all we are all Gods children and should bow our head in the face of the lord. But we also must make sure that we can defend our community with magic and continue our magical work. I suggest that we fund the entire church and place it at the far edge of town.

[color=red]I believe the matter of the Church is settled however I think there are more points to consider about the matter of law and order. The right to justice and taxation over a land are what the mundane nobility use to control land. If we choose not to exercise our right of justice over our lands we open a door for mundanes to claim that right . Should they do so it is difficult to remove them within the code.
As the lords of this territory I beleive that we must as magi exercise the right of justice over our lands in person where necessary or through an appointed deputy where appropriate.

As to the covenants income I agree we should use our magics where we can to improve efficiency and should also see if we can attract craftsmen to our lands . Perhaps also some of our magics could be used to search for any valuable resources on our land we could mine or otherwise exploit

[color=red]Unless there is someone who has anything to add or further discuss I think we all can agree on the following. Justus looks at the other magi as he speaks. [color=red]The covenant will aid the church construction will an significant amount of resources. The scribal school will continue it’s work with a little magic theory added to the schedule. We need to add a tome to our library for Alberecht to read and thus teach the young students. Although that matter isn’t urgent so I expect that we can order a copy of an fair tome through the visiting redcap whenever he arrives. We treat the militiamen as something in-between guards and other covenfolk. Focus on their training and give them some pay. We rule the land for now and deal with any nobleman that claims the area later. We deal in only the gravest trials and let the covenfolk hold justice over themselves and giving the fines to us. There is probably someone who rule this land but hasn’t showed any interest as we are in a rather secluded location. If there isn’t anyone who have something to add this concludes our meeting and we can continue with our banquette. As Justus stops speaking he scans the faces of the magi for any signs of anyone not agreeing with his statement.

Grinds her teeth
[color=red]Not everyone agrees with this, Justus.

This is why I proposed the previous system: We let some freedom to the mundanes in these matters, which should make ourselves popular and lessen our burden, but remain the nominal lords and the higher authority. More to the point, the laws will be designed by ourselves :wink:

The issue of the mundane lord is one we should prepare ourselves, too. While this territory is secluded, some men's greed knows no bounds, and most nobles are worst on this than common men. This will mean:

  • Knowing our ennemy in advance: Who is this guy? What kind of man is he? What are his allies? His ennemies? His strengths and weaknesses? This could be a good mission for some socially adept grogs and companions.
  • Knowing well our surrounding territory, from a military viewpoint.
  • Enhancing our covenant's mundane defenses
  • In time, being able to use the milicia to increase our military forces. This also implies that they should be able to work efficiently together and know well the covenant's defenses
  • Having enough reserves to be able to support a siege.
    I do not intend to wage war on this guy, but we should be ready for it. However, if we can settle matters peacefully, we'll be better for it.

In time, being able to use the milicia to increase our military forces. This also implies that they should be able to work efficiently together and know well the covenant's defenses

  • Having enough reserves to be able to support a siege.

[color=red]There is no need to fear a mundane enemy or Mundane siege I can break any such force on my own . With the support of other mages such as yourself there is no problem with any mundane force

[color=red]I have an offer to make if any mage wishes an arcane connection to him to be kept by the covenant in case it is needed to locate them in an emergency I will he happy to fix it for them .

Justus looks at Ardath as he speaks. [color=red]Perhaps it would be a good idea to summon a few companions and any magi who are willing to travel to Kolberg where the mundane lord of the realm holds his court. Personally I think I will remain at the covenant. Ardath I think we can all respect our religious differences but I believe in our lord and creator. There was a bit of misunderstanding about the legal system. What I meant that we claim this land as our own and deal with any mundane intervention when it appears. I think that we should focus on our defences rather than any offence, for now we have only a few guards a small tower and this manor house surrounded by a stonewall that is enough to hold animals an brigands at bay. However I belive that we should focus no defences that allow us not to be found rather than building walls and towers.

[color=red]IMO, we should focus on both.

I'm not a proponent for war, but I'm trying to cover most possibilities in order for us to surmount any adversity. Hiding ourselves is good, and I, too, would advocate that, but it mustn't imply that we won't be ready for both diplomacy or war. If we readies ourselves, we should have no problem. If not, we'll have more difficulties to triumph over adversity :wink:

[color=red]Ardath both you and I know that large fortifications and men at arms brings attention. That we must avoid. Still there is a good idea to have both offence and defence though our strength should lie in magical defence and diplomatic channels. An arcane connection could be the key to victory. Justus looked at Ardath somewhat annoyed by the magas disagreement.

[color=red]I must agree with Justus , we have little need for extensive military preperations to fight a mundane war. We are mages and a mundane assault upon our covenant would be doomed to failure . Concealment could avoid the inconvenience of such an attack but our primary concern must be the possibility of magical assault where mundane defenses would be of little avail ,

What has been said by now sounds good to me.
Just one little note: I think we should not give the militia part of the fines, this will lead to a militia bullying people to earn more money.

Maybe we should fix the fines for the usual offenses, so the mundanes can handle these alone. We would only need to handle the most serious cases, helping out with intellego magics for example.

I'd like to avoid armed conflicts, we do not have enough resources to handle them by mundane means. That means we cannot build fortifications right now. But we surely will have to in the future. This all depends on money.

We will need to work the forrests nearby for wood and food. As soon as we have some Vis left, I could work on an item giving "intuition of the forrest" to our forresters. This will increase our income, make their work easier and the forrests more healthy. What do you think?

Justus replies, I[color=red] rather not use vis for such project, but feel free to use your allowance as you wish. I rather sell vis to Occulus and reap profit and strengthening our relation to them. But we can take funds from fines to fund the militia but we let the fines pass through our coffers lets our covenfolk risk suffering from bullies.

[color=red]Of course, that was my idea as well, it is evident we can't afford it for now.
I'd also remind my sodales that there are also non-mundane threats out there. We were attacked while in the forest. What if we get attacked by a band of werewolves? We magi can't be always there, nor can we be everywhere at once.

As per the Intuition of the Forest thing, this is a good idea, although this shouldn't drain our defenses. One such item at first would be good and of valuable help without draining our vis stores too much.

The objection against the fines is a sound one, although I, too, intended to sift the money through our coffers first. And we would base the bonus on efficiency, not on fines collected: The milicia, too, must be accountable before our law, and we'll have to judge harshly any deviancy.

Everything being said, I must say I'm rather happy of the direction things are taking. We are doing well, in my opinion