Chapter 2b: New Blood Arriving

A bit over a week after the Summer Solstice, Renatus comes back from Fengheld, bearing the magi's yearly vis as well as news. Upon his arrival, he calls for a meeting of the chapter house's council.

"Sodalis, I bring back the surplus raw vis that was allocated to each of you." He hands out two pawns of Aquam vis to Renatus Ibis, while Ludovicus gets one pawn of Vim and one pawn of Auram.

"I also have with me the lab text for the spell True Sight of the Air . Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that there was a lab text for an enchanted item that would satisfy our need. The request for an item crafted with that effect has been recorded, but it is not considered a high priority for the covenant. So it may be a few years before it is commissioned. Our only Auram specialist at the moment is Mistress Dorana, and she was unwilling to spend one of her seasons crafting it for us. I have been authorized to offer recompense of five pawns of vis if one of you want to undertake the task, with the vis for the enchantment being provided by the covenant."

"Speaking of Dorana, she mentioned that she would be visiting us soon. She was supposed to join me for the trip back, but apparently changed her plans at the last minute. So she may arrive at any time during the next few weeks or months."

"Also, after our progress report and the reminder that we could host one or two additional magi, the covenant has decided to send us a peregrinator. I met him briefly," he nods to Ludovicus, "and he is a collegue of your House, sodalis. He was supposed to travel with me as well, but he decided to wait a little for Dorana. So again, I don't know exactly when he will arrive."

He nods and add, "So we will have to host a peregrinator, very soon, despite our message to the Council that we would only be ready to receive one next year. One of the things I have been told is that he will have priority over lab time, since those labs have been set up as part of your covenant services. As such, Fengheld considers them as common labs, instead of being yours. We can use them, of course, but only if the covenant doesn't need them for other visiting magi or for covenant projects."

He sighs, "I was no happier to hear this than you probably are right now."

"I thank you for the virtus Renatus, can I leave it in the chapter House's coffer for now ? It's probably safer...

He shrugs, leaving his shoulder too high and too long making him appear like a bird flexing his neck.

While the status of the lab is a disappointment, this won't really be a problem until we improve our vis gathering method anyway. At that time the peregrinator will probably be away anyway. What's his name by the way ?
Tt's always a pleasure to see mistress Dorana, but did she mention any specific reason for her visitdespite supervising our advancement and introducing the peregrinator ?"

Renatus shrugs, "She didn't say, and I won't speculate overly." He turns to Ludovicus, "But she is your praefecta, isn't she? Did she mention anything in your correspondance?"

"The pereginator is Konrad of Bonisagus, recently arrived from the Stonehenge Tribunal. He seems a nice enough fellow, but I didn't have much time to talk with him."

"My thanks for the vis too. No, Maga Dorana didn't mention to me that she'd be coming here for a visit. To be honest, I'm a bit surprised that she would. I wouldn't think that our outpost here would interest her. I suppose we should get all we can in order, for both visitors."

Ludovicus pauses and scratches the stubble on his neck.

"Where does our chapter house rank, in terms of productivity? Are most of Fengheld's other vis sources richer?"

"They vary wildly, as not all of the chapter houses were formed for the purpose of harvesting raw vis. Fengheld House and Rheingasse, for example, have a more mundane purpose so they bring almost no vis in. Lusatia and Turris Acontarium, on the other hand, were formed for much the same reasons as Nimbosa Myrice and bring in several rooks of vis. That is why one of our task is to discover additional sources in the region. Though the primary source here in the bog is rich, it alone would not have warranted all of the resources that were invested in building this place."

"Seems like a bit of a gamble, to make the investment of the chapter house without being certain of the additional vis sources. We will have to work hard to improve the productivity of our source to make it on par with the high producers. And it would be good to have another lab set up as soon as possible too. I would be happy to do so, at the first opportunity. Will the peregrinator assist us with vis collection?"

"I do not know. Strictly speaking, I think that he has no obligation to do so, since he will be paying the covenant for his presence. So any efforts he deploys to harvest the vis source would need to be paid for, probably in vis. So it does not seem a winning proposition for Fengheld."

"As for the fact that the establishment of the chapter house is a gamble without additional vis sources, well that depends. Reliable sources of vis are scarcer than ever before, as well as becoming harder to find. It is no longer enough to fly over and area with a simple detection spell to find a new source. A magus must investigate rumors and stories to see whether these can lead to a source. That requires a local base of operation, which the chapter house provides. And the investment to establish it was, for the most part, mundane resources. Which Fengheld has aplenty."

"Fair enough on both points. For the latter, I certainly look forward to learning more about our environs. So while I'm off sheep hunting, I'd be fine with giving up the lab I'd started to make my own to [strike]Konrad[/strike] the peregrinator. I've not put that much work into it, afterall."

((Ludovicus plans to use the purple sheep hunt as a start to his explorations, and take at least a season or two to look for environments that might be favorable for his future studies, and to learn as much of the local language and lore as he can. The other two seasons he would use to set up a fourth lab and to harvest vis, if that works.))

(I think we can move forward a little to Konrad's arrival.)

A few days later, the bell summoning the boat to shore is rung and grogs inform the magi that they have a visitor. About an hour later, the boatman brings back three people to the chapter house, one of whom is clearly a magus, although is clithes are travel-stained and in some disarray from the trip.

Renatus of Jerbiton awaits the new arrival at the pier. "Welcome to Nimbosa Myrice, sodalis. Wasn't Dorana supposed to arrive with you?"

"She was," Konrad says, stepping onto the pier. "Unfortunately, some important covenant business arose just after your departure that delayed her. She said that she would likely follow in a few days once it was cleared up. Guntram," he gestures to the redcap with him, "was kind enough to agree to lead me here." Then he points to the third newcomer in the boat. "This is my shield grog, Gerhard."

"Come and meet the others, then," says the scarred magus. "Though perhaps you will want to freshen up before we call the council together? I had your belongings stored in one of the spare quarters when I arrived, and a servant can lead you there if you want. Let's meet back in, say, an hour?"

If Konrad agrees, all of the magi can meet up in the library, which doubles up as a council chamber.

"Yes, please," Konrad replies. "Freshening up would be nice. I've been traveling without my things, and it would be good to meet the other magi looking my best."

Then, an hour later, wearing clean clothes and with his beard trimmed, Konrad appears at the library. He's a magus of average height with brown hair, a close-cropped beard, and blue eyes. He greets the other magi eagerly. "Good day," he says, "I'm Konrad ex Bonisagus. It's a pleasure to meet you both."

Renatus is wearing the most formal robe he's got, the one he got after he first met Dorana.

"Welcome, Konrad. I'm Renatus Bjornaer. I hope you've made a pleasant trip"

"It's a pleasure to meet you Renatus," he says. Then he looks back and forth between the two Renatuses. "Three magi at the chapterhouse and two are named Renatus. That must have been a surprise to you both. Is there a different way either of you like to be called to avoid confusion, or shall I refer to each of you by name and house?"

"If you're not hostile to the Bjoarner heartbeast paradigm, while we're at the chapter house, you can call me Ibis, that's what I am. Yet refrain to use this name if we've got visitor as it can be misunderstood as lack of respect"

"No, not hostile at all," Konrad replies. "I knew a magus that I got along with quite well who had a dolphin as his heartbeast. It's a fine magical tradition, even if it's not one I share. Ibis it is."

The other Renatus shrugs, "Indeed, having two magi with the same name is unusual." His mouth twists in a smile, "At least we are from different Houses."

After a moment, he asks without malice, "If you don't mind me asking, what caused you to accept being foisted upon a newly-established chapter house in a bog, with only a budding library and very little in the way of local entertainment?"

"As you must know," Konrad replies, "the Order is not exactly expanding these days. Vis is harder to come by, and the power of Dominion is growing. I came here to get into a large and powerful covenant. The price of that was to pay my dues for a time. That payment of dues evidently starts here, in a bog, where I'm more of a burden than a benefit. I do apologize for that. I know that none of you wanted a peregrinator here right now."

"It isn't that we are against your presence, but rather that we feel that the amenities that we can offer you are limited," says Renatus of Jerbiton before looking at the other two members of the chapter house, silently inviting them to comment.

"I know I come at a time when you have little enough for yourselves," Konrad replies. "Particularly lab space. Unfortunately, I'm paying for my presence here, so I'll absolutely need the lab for distilling the vis to pay that fee. I offered the masters to help harvest vis as a service instead of paying for being a peregrenitor, but they declined. I can only hope that they'll ask me to help you. Then I'll be more than willing to do whatever I can."