Chapter 2d - Spring 1228 - A Visitor From Afar

It's late afternoon in the spring of 1228 when a group of travellers approaches the covenant of Nova Castra. The group consists of five men on foot: one, a medium-sized, brown haired man in his middle years, is wearing fine blue robes of the sort a magus would wear; another, a tall man with dark hair and a close-cropped beard that are both starting to grey, has the look of a scholar about him; and the others, military men all, are certainly guards.

The man in blue, clearly the leader of this group of five, walks slightly ahead of the others, a long wooden staff in one hand. He approaches the covenant gate, or whatever passes for an entryway and may be guarded by grogs. "Γεια σας με τη διαθήκη![sup]1[/sup]" he calls out. "I bring you greetings from the Stonehenge Tribunal."

[sup]1[/sup] "Hello to the covenant" in Greek.

Mundane travel to the covenant is by water - first through the mediterranean, then past Constantinople into the Black Sea and on into the Sea of Azov. The ship that's brought you deposits you at a small fishing village at the mouth of the river, where the locals take one look at you and start loading you into another boat to take you up river, in a way that's polite enough, but indicates they've got a good idea where you should be and would rather you were there rather than here. None of them seem to know more than a few words of Latin or greek (and most don't even know that).

Travelling up the river takes several hours to cover an distance you'd judge to be somewhere between 5 and 10 miles, but eventually the boatmen pull in to the side at a bend of the stream, to unload you onto a grassy bank sloping gently upwards to a band of trees around 100 paces distant. You heard a bell ring as you came into sight of the bank, and as you're heading up the bank a couple of men come out of the woods and head towards you, one dressed in metal scale armour, obviously a guard, and the other in what appear to be good quality travelling clothes.

This second man looks slightly blank at the first part of the greeting, but smiles a welcome to the second part.

"And greetings from the Theban tribunal, and this its furthest outpost. I am Gregorius of Tremere, and bid you welcome to our covenant."

He's lean and of medium height, slightly more weathered in appearence than you'd usually expect from a magus, with dark hair and sharp dark eyes, which seem to be managing to watch all of the party at once.

Curiously enough, these newcomers don't arrive by boat from the village. They come down a little used game trail in a totally different direction from the river, possibly to the great surprise of the guards. The trail they arrive on leads nowhere of any interest - a whole big expanse of nowhere.

"Oh, so you speak Latin here," the man in blue says in that same language. "The few other covenants I've visited in your Tribunal all spoke Greek." He smiles and jokes, "I hope I haven't wasted my time learning Greek to come out here." Then he offers his hand to Gregorius. "Stephen of Bonisagus, at your service. This is my companion Godwin." He gestures to the scholarly fellow next to him. "We were hoping to impose upon your hospitality here for a while, if we may. I've heard you have some ruins and barrows that might be of great interest to me." Then he quickly adds, "But I'm forgetting. I have a letter from the primus of my old covenant, vouching for my character." He reaches into a pouch by his side and pulls out a folded piece of parchment closed with a waxen seal, which he hands to Gregorius. "You may feel free to use what means you like to assure yourself of its authenticity."

Whichever way the travellers came, they'll have found the band of woodland, although they get considerably closer to the trees before the man comes to greet them.

Gregorius takes Stephen's hand. "I'm from the Transylvanian tribunal originally, as is Tasia" he explains. "Most of the covenfolk speak greek as their native tongue and have poor Latin at best, though, so you're still likely to find it useful. We've got another Stonehenge Bonisagus here at the moment - Fray - I don't know if you're familiar with him?"

[OOC: Fray has a reputation at level 1 amongst the Bonisagus and Stonehenge magi as a magus specialising in transformation.]

He nods to Godwin.

"Providing hospitality is what we're here for, and the barrows in particular are intriguing." He takes the letter, and reads through it quickly, before handing it back (assuming there's nothing that jumps out at him). "Please, this way. Don't be concerned by Alcimus." He pauses. "you may wish to pass that on to your guards if they don't speak Latin."

He heads into the trees, where within a few paces a monstrous white wolf (the size of a pony, with an expression that seems to be amused by people's reactions to him) slips up beside him. Shortly into the treeline, Gregorius turns sharply right and continues that way for a little while, before turning inwards again. This zigzagging continues even when there is an apparently straight trail, as Gregorius says by way of explanation: "the old covenant here was wiped out by raiders, so we've left defenses in the woods."

Despite the route, it doesn't take all that long to get through the woods, and when you do you emerge into an area that's a rough square about 200 paces wide, with a cluster of buildings in the centre and ruins around them. In the southwest corner is a small tower, and there's a ditch running along the westward side of the square - you've come in from the north. As you enter the clearing, you feel the tell tale tingling of an Aegis boundary.

Gregorius starts walking towards the central buildings.

"Let me show you to a room, and I'll find you an aegis token whilst you refresh yourself from your journey. Are you happy for your men to lodge in with our covenfolk? I'm afraid it won't be very luxurious, but we're still establishing ourselves to an extent."

By the uncertain looks he's giving him, he seems to be trying to gauge Godwin's status.

"Fray, Fray, yes. I think I have heard of him. Specializes in Muto, if I recall correctly." Stephan nods his head. "From somewhere in the midlands, wasn't he? I've never met the man. But what I've heard of him is good. I look forward to meeting him. For my own part, I apprenticed in Voluntas up near York, but was recruited to Negrisaxa in the south after my gauntlet. Been there ever since - until my trip here, that is."

He follows Gregorius through the woods until they meet the large white wolf. He says something reassuring in English to the guards and then returns to Latin with Gregorius. "This would be Alcimus, I presume? A fine fellow." As he speaks, an owl alights on a branch nearby. "This is Cicero. Cicero, Gregorius." The owl nods his head in greeting.

When they arrive at the covenant, Stephan stops and takes in the sight. "It's magnificent," he says, as if it weren't a bunch of old ruins. "I can hardly wait to explore." Again he follows Gregorius, this time toward the main buildings. "That would be excellent," he says when offered a room and an aegis token. "And for my part, I should be happy to help around here as I can. I don't want to be considered a parasite. Certainly I'll do all I can in defense of the place, should that become necessary. But I can also help in other ways. I'm quite competent in Terram, which may prove useful in rehabilitating the ruins - if that's your intention. And I'm also skilled in Creo-Corpus, should anything in that line be necessary. I may not have the spells you need on hand. But I'm a Bonisagus - it takes very little to convince me to do a little research." He smiles.

"And it's perfectly appropriate for the men to lodge with your covenfolk. I'm afraid I might be crowding things a bit, and I apologize for that. But I also have the ... conveyance, which brought us here. I left a few other retainers with it. But it can house any or all of them, at need - though I'd prefer not all, since that would be rather cramped. It served for our trip here, but I'd hate for it to be a permanent arrangement. I'm also willing to research Herbam or Terram enchantments for establishing more permanent structures for them, as well."

"I'm not sure what lodgings you have that would be appropriate for Godwin. He's a teacher and a scholar who came with me to investigate the ruins and barrows as well. He's no magus, but he's a proper gentleman. He's also knowledgable about a great many things. In Negrisaxa he would often serve as our teacher. In fact, it was Godwin who taught me to speak Greek. We discussed the matter on the trip over here, and he's more than willing to perform the same services here in return for your hospitality."

"Indeed," Godwin says, in excellent Latin. "I should hate to see my teaching skills get rusty."

BTW, nothing in the letter beyond what you'd expect from a letter of that sort. It says that Stephen is a magus of good standing in the Order, that it was Stephen's decision to leave Negrisaxa, and that he's a fine fellow and a competent magus.

Godwin is my companion character. I haven't had time to stat him out yet, but it was necessary to introduce him here for obvious reasons.

Gregorius inclines his own heads in response to Cicero.

He's clearly pleased by Stephen's reaction to the covenant, and willing to talk further. "When we arrived, there were only a couple of buildings standing from the previous covenant, plus the tower - which I think actually dates back to the time of the romans. Since then, we've got another three buildings up, and are working on the fourth. Not much spare Terram vis, unfortunatlely, so we're having to do it the hard way - we've reusing some of the stone from the roman buildings where possible, and also have our own quarry. There's also a pipe system dating back to the romans which means we've got running water."

"Oh, I should warn you - the covenant's haunted on dark nights. I've never seen the ghosts hurt anyone, but you should warn your men."

"It would be useful to have an idea of your capabilities, in case the defense offer becomes relevant in a hurry. I primarily use the school of Vilano myself."

"What type of conveyance are we talking about? The locals subsist partially on hunting, so they're likely to find anything obvious left up that game trail. And how many extra men? It may need to house some of them - I'm afraid we don't yet have as much accommodation here as we'd like."

"I'll see that Godwin is given custos accommodation. We've been trying to have the grogs learn Latin, so if he could either help with them, or improve our teachers, that would definitely be useful."

He shows Stephen to a room inside the main building.

"I'll send Sophia up - let her know if you need anything."

He exchanges any last conversation with Stephen, then heads off first to instruct Phocos (the autocrat) to find rooms for everybody else and have Sophia (a maid) sent up to Stephen, and then to find Tasia in her lab (as she'll have the aegis tokens and covenant charter).

[MTKnife, I assume you'll play Tasia?]

Well, you know, that's interesting. Tasia left a few weeks ago, saying something about needing to "explore", and railing over the shortage of Terram vis. You haven't heard from her since, though I'm sure she'll be back soon enough.


Huh. Does Gregorius know where she's left the charter and aegis tokens? And is the answer "in her sanctum"?

Yes, she left them with Gregorius.


Stephen nods as he hears about the improvements that the covenant has made, and he gives a genuine smile when he hears about the running water. "It sounds like you've done quite well with what you had to start with," he replies.

Then Gregorius mentions the ghosts. "I'll be sure to warn the men about that," Stephen adds. "They're covenfolk, so they've seen some strange things. But a little warning ahead of time is certainly appreciated."

"I'm not primarily a combat magus," Stephen notes when the question of capabilities comes up. "Being Bonisagus and not Flambeau, I've focused more on research than fighting. But I do have a few spells that I can use in my defense - or the defense of the covenant. Still, I should certainly love to learn some Vilano spells if they were available. As I said, my primary focus is on the forms of Creo and Rego, with Corpus. Herbam, and Terram as my preferred techniques. I have some direct spells and some indirect spells. Some for defense and some for offense, I can run down the list for you later, if you like. One thing that might be useful to your soldiers - I know it's been helpful when we ran into trouble on the way here - is a spell I have in my talisman. I can make metal armor lighter than it should be. That makes it much easier to move around and fight in it. I can cast that as often as I need to."

When Gregorius asks about the conveyance, Stephen smiles. "It's a river or canal boat. We flew it here from England using a spell of my devising. We landed it in a clearing in a grove of trees about a half-mile away. At present, it's magically obscured from view. But the sooner we can get it moved to somewhere safer, the better. I suspect that with a little effort we can disguise it to look like an outbuilding. I have some ideas about that. We might also keep it in the water, if you think it won't raise too many questions. There are three more men on the boat, but they're rivermen and happy to live on the boat. If you can house the three soldiers, then the boat will be more than adequate for the rivermen. In fact, if you'd like them to ferry supplies to and from the nearest town, they'd be delighted."

"And thank you for accommodating Godwin. I'm sure he'll be more than happy to run some classes in Latin for the grogs. He's as accomplished in that as he is in Greek, if not more so."

When shown the room he's to wait in he once more offers his thanks to Gregorius for his hospitality and takes a seat to wait for Sophia to arrive. When she does, all he asks for is a cup of water to quench his thirst.

I'm assuming that Godwin and the grogs were left somewhere else when Stephen was shown into the main building.

Gregorius frowns at the mention of learning spells from the school of Vilano, but mostly at himself. "Unfortunately when I wrote up some of my spells a while ago, I largely focussed on my Mentem spells - possibly a mistake, but Posing the Silent Question can be so useful."

"The Hauberk of Sublime Lightness could come in handy - is it the usual Sun duration?"

"How big is the boat? If it's not too big or too unusual, we could probably put it in the river - the locals might wonder how it got there, but it shouldn't spook them too much. They've got a rough idea of what we are - we're not hiding our magic - but they're not used to it on a day to day basis, either, so I tend to be careful how we wave it around them. We've got good relations but at a distance with them, in essence."

Sophia arrives shortly after Gregorius leaves, a woman in her mid thirties who moves with slow deliberation unhelped by a noticable limp. On her first visit, she's brought a jug and basin for him to wash the dust off, together with a (if he tastes it) fairly unexciting weak wine. She takes Stephen's instructions in whichever of Latin or Greek he issues them in, though, and shortly returns with his water.


The grogs and Godwin are housed elsewhere in the main building - the grogs are in what essentially amounts to a dormitory, whilst Godwin is placed in a fairly tiny room that apparently used to be shared between two people, but is for now his own.


Ah good, that makes life simple. In that case, Gregorius doesn't have far to go - just down the corridor to a door with a sanctum marker carved above the Tremere symbol imposed on a leaf. He returns shortly, and first hands Stephen the charter document.


The covenant of Nova Castra has been dedicated by Thebes Tribunal to provide hospitality, including a temporary Sanctum and laboratory, to any member of the Order of Hermes, for as long as he or she wishes to make residence at the covenant. In exchange for this duty, which shall exist in perpetuity, the Tribunal grants Nova Castra books for a library, equipment for the establishment of ten laboratories, and the services of sufficient specialists, grogs, and covenfolk to establish the new covenant site.

Members and Council

The initial members of Nova Casta are Ennia of Verditius, Viola of Merinita, Anastasia of Guernicus, and Gregorius of Tremere. Any magus who maintains his Sanctum at the covenant for an unbroken period of three years may become a member, on the approval of a majority of the Covenant Council.

Each member may vote in the Covenant Council, with all decisions to be made by a majority of those present. Decisions of the Council may establish permanent Ordinances for the covenant. Meetings will be held at regular intervals, at least once a year; they can be called at irregular intervals, but in such a case, every effort must be made to notify all members in advance. A change to this charter requires a vote of two-thirds of members present, at a regularly scheduled meeting.

Ennia of Verditius will serve as the leader of the Council, for a period of three years. At the end of this term, the Council will elect a new leader for a new three-year term. A leader may serve consecutive terms. The duty of the covenant leader is to conduct the meetings of the Council, as well as other such duties as the Council may specify.

The Council may, at its discretion, designate a mundane autocrat to administer the covenant, and may, also at its discretion, allow any such autocrat to vote in the Covenant Council.

All members of the covenant, as well as their unGifted servants, are entitled to participate in the covenant's Aegis of the Hearth ritual.

All members of the covenant are charged with maintaining it so that it can fulfill its duties to the Order, and the Council has to power to allocate specific duties to the members as necessary, though this allocation should to the extent possible place an equal burden on all members.


A visiting magus is entitled, for himself and up to three of his servants, to accommodations, a laboratory, and sufficient mundane provisions, with provisions to be made even while the magus or his servants while on expedition when using the covenant as a base.

A visiting magus is entitled to a token from the Aegis of the Hearth ritual. However, no visitor, magus or servant, is allowed to participate in the ritual itself.

A visitor may be expelled, on a majority vote of the Covenant Council, for violation of this charter, whether or not such violation constitutes a Hermetic Crime.

A magus engaged in a Wizard's War (whether the aggressor or the defender), for the length of that war, is not entitled to residence or hospitality in the covenant, and a visitor must leave the covenant before the beginning of such a war. However, after the conclusion of the war, the visitor may return at any time, with no loss of normal visitor privileges. Moreover, time spent outside the covenant due to Wizard's War does not interrupt a visitor's residence for purposes of establishing a three-year period of residence in order to become a member.


All inhabitants of the covenants are expected to respect the lives, property, and enterprises of one another. Engaging in violent combat within the Aegis or its vicinity, whether magical or mundane, except in cases of self-defense, or in an attempt to enforce this Charter and the ordinances of the Council, is forbidden. Certamen, of course, will not be regarded as violent combat.


The members of the covenant are entitled to take half the vis collected from recurring sources by the covenant, as salary. The other half will be used or stored for later use as dictated by the Council. Visitors are entitled to no vis from the covenant's recurring sources or stores, unless the Council decides otherwise.

Members and visitors alike are entitled to keep for personal use any vis they obtain, including vis from previously unknown recurring sources. However, the future production of vis from any recurring source discovered by a Magus who maintains a temporary sanctum at the covenant belongs to the covenant. An attempt to conceal a recurring source of vis will result in the expulsion of the magus in question from the covenant, and the forfeit of its services.

At the bottom of the roll are two sets of signatures, one under the heading "Members", and the other "Guests".

Gregorius comments "the key points of relevance to you are probably those relating to vis - you're entitled to keep any single batch of vis you find, but any recurring sources' future harvests you might find whilst you're here belong to the covenant. If you've got any questions, I can try to answer them, although unfortunately our Quaesitor's away from the covenant at the moment so we're missing an expert legal opinion. If you're happy to agree to the terms, please could you sign in the visitors section to acknowledge them."

Assuming Stephen signs the charter, he'll then ceremonially declare:

"Stephen of Bonisagus, I bid you welcome to the covenant of Nova Castra" and hand him an glass aegis token.

Once that's done, he suggests "You should be able to meet the other magi at dinner tonight. In the meantime, would you like a tour of the covenant?"

When Gregorius mentions Mentem spells it's Stephen's turn to frown. "I'm afraid I never could get the hang of Mentem spells. I'm absolutely atrocious with them. But then, we each have our gifts."

"Yes, the spell is of Sun duration," he says of the Hauberk of Sublime Lightness enchantment. "I'd have liked to make it Moon, but as it was, I was pushing the edge of my skill to get it crafted into my talisman. Still, Sun duration isn't bad. I actually had a set of chainmail made for myself for the trip, just in case. It's very odd wearing it and feeling the bulk but not the weight."

"I tend not to think of it as big," Stephen replies to Gregorius's question about the size of the boat. But then I just flew across Europa in it, pressed in with Godwin and six grogs." he smiles. "I can bring it here later today and you can judge for yourself whether it's too big for the river. It's a fairly standard boat of its type, narrow with a flat bottom. The only real change I made was to expand the shelter at the expense of cargo space."

Stephen is happy to take advantage of the water Sophia brings to wash himself, and he drinks the wine he's offered as well. During their interaction he speaks Greek to the woman, wanting to get some use out of the language he spent so much time learning.

When Gregorius returns with the charter, Stephen reads it carefully, then reads it again to be sure he didn't miss anything. He frowns a bit when he reads about the vis, but what did he really expect as a guest? At the end of his second reading the English magus nods his head. "It seems eminently fair. Quite generous for visiting magi, actually. Getting assigned a lab when you're a guest at a covenant is not always an easy thing. I brought a fair bit of my own lab equipment with me. But space restrictions prevented me from taking it all. I'm happy to know that you should be able to fill in the gaps." He smiles and signs his name at the bottom of the list of names for guests.

Stephen then takes the token and places it in an inner pocket of his robes. "Thank you very much, Gregorius. I look forward to a very happy stay here, and I look forward to meeting the other magi in residence." Then, when his host suggests a tour, he agrees immediately. "Excellent suggestion. I'd love to start getting the lay of the land. But after that, I should probably go and fetch the Argo. The grogs waiting with it may get anxious if we wait too long to bring word back."

Once more I join a saga late, and once more the early birds get the vis. Those that started out get paid vis while all the newbies get nothing. :frowning:

Ah well, some day I'll get in a saga at the ground floor. :slight_smile:

Presumably you get vis income from your home covenant. If you're now homeless, you might be able to get Nova Castra to pay you vis for service here.


Gregorius will lead off on the tour. They're currently in the largest building, a two storey affair which seems to date at least in part back to roman times.

"This main building houses the covenfolk, and some of the magi. The rest of the magi have their quarters with their laboratories. The covenant's library is in this room." The room is little larger than a broom-cupboard, with a couple of armarii squeezed into it, with lists pinned to the doors. "A larger library, in multiple senses, is on the list of things to do. You're welcome to study any books that are not being otherwise used, but please let someone know you've got it and don't copy them without the covenant's agreement."

Moving on, they leave the building and Gregorius points to the fountain in a courtyard between the main building, and what looks to be a ruined temple.

"This fountain in front of the building was been substantially repaired by the previous covenant, but something has been at this spot since the original roman settlement. It was broken when we moved back in, but interestingly restoring the flow of water to it and the other buildings linked to the pipenetwork increased the aura around them slightly. The covenant's aura is also unusual in that it also has a seasonal fluctuation - it's reaches the sixth order in spring, but only the fifth during the rest of the year."

"The temple is to Poseidon. Or possibly Neptune. From what I understand, the full details are somewhat complicated. There's a faerie aura in it most of the year, but it's covered by the magic aura at the moment. The temple also contains a faerie regio where our Merinita member, Viola, has her sanctum, but I wouldn't attempt to enter without an invitation."

"This smaller building behind the main building contains the kitchen and dining room. Meals are served here, or you can request them to be brought to your room - although if too many magi are doing that at once, they can start getting a bit cold, so I usually eat here."

"Those buildings over there" - he points to a pair of buildings situation in the northern part of the square, but doesn't walk over to them - "are a couple of craftsmens workshops. That one" - he points to another set a little distance on its own - "is the infirmary."

[OOC: there's be a bit more of the tour to come, but I need to stop for time. I'm also inclined to be somewhat fuzzy regarding the status of the cave draining, as whilst I think this is probably happening after "Still Caverns", that might need to change if things go horribly wrong in that thread.]

BTW, is Gregorius just being obtuse, or has Salutor forgotten that the original colonists were Greeks, though at one point the city was a satellite of Rome? :slight_smile:


[OOC: It's a combination of a couple things - partially that, whilst I know it was originally a Greek settlement, I'm a little fuzzy on the extent to which it became a roman settlement, as opposed to a client kingdom later, and partly because Gregorius, whilst aware they were both there, tends to think that anything important will clearly be Latinate. I'm half expecting this to come back to bite him horribly at some point.]

Gregorius then heads towards the remains of a ruined building on the eastern side of the central courtyard. Close to, Stephen can see within it a broad staircase leading downwards, made of the same limestone as much of the rest of the covenant. Following the staircase down, you come to a reasonably sized cavern with three doors and a passage way leading off it. Gregorius opens the closest door on the left, saying:

"Most of the covenant's laboratories are down here, as the aura is more constant than on the surface, and at least as strong. This is the only spare laboratory we have set up at the moment."

The lab looks to be a fairly standard laboratory, although the equipment is of a good quality, and it's warmer than you'd expect given the season - although come to think of it, that could be said of the house as well.

"This room opposite used to be the infirmary, until we got its building constructed. We're planning to put another laboratory in there soon. This room at the end is the Sanctum and laboratory of Tasia of Guernicus, the covenant's leader. As I mentioned earlier, she's away from the covenant at the moment, so I can't introduce you."

Gregorius turns down the passageway, which has a door on the right, and another staircase leading down it on the left.

"Through the door is my own laboratory, although I spend most of my time in the main house." He seems inclined to leave it at that unless Stephen expresses a particular interest.

"There's a second level of the caves beneath this one," as you descend the staircase to a second smaller cave, with some more doors leaving off it. "The door on the right is Fray's laboratory."

[OOC: Depending on where this thread is in the timeline, there are also a number of entrances blocked off with rubble, or a long room with two entrances and a river flowing alongside it and a further staircase leading down.]

"That largely concludes the tour."

Wasn't the cave exploration during Winter?


[OOC: No, the barrows were right at the end of winter (because Gregorius used most of the Winter season to develop his Lay to Rest the Haunting Spirit spell before he went).]

Stephen pays close attention to the tour, asking the occasional question and marvelling at both the ancient handiwork and the job that has been done recently to restore the buildings. He can see that the covenant is still cramped, but with work progressing, that should take care of itself in time.

"Interesting about the connection between the fountain and the aura," he muses. "I wonder if its connection to Poseidon has anything to do with that. I'd love to have a chance to see the regio when Viola has the time to show it to me. No hurry, of course."

He nods as the kitchen, dining hall, workshops, and infirmary are pointed out. "It seems like you have a very nice setup here already. I can only imagine what it will be like once a few more buildings are repaired."

"What about those three buildings there?" Stephen says pointing to some of the ruined buildings surrounding the fountain.[sup]1[/sup] "Have you figured out what you intend to do with those yet? They look like they have some real potential. And they're some prime real estate in the covenant."

When he's shown the caverns and told that most of the labs are down there, he expresses his curiosity. "Is the aura on the surface inconsistent enough to matter?" he asks. "I've no trouble with an underground lab. But I must say that some of the buildings topside look like prime candidates for a combined lab and sanctum. Also, are you against the idea of any extra excavation? With some of my Terram magic I might be able to expand some of these caves, or even smooth them out a bit. And if the caverns don't extend below any buildings, I could extend them for you."

"As well, you noted that you don't hide your magic from the locals, though you don't flaunt it either. What would the covenant think about the creation of a new tower with a spell such as Conjuring the Mystic Tower? And how would you feel about some of the repair work being done by magic as well? Some of my best spells are Rego-Terram spells. I'm sure I could whip one up in a season or two that would let me repair stone buildings. Of course, I'd never do a thing without the covenant's approval. But I wanted to make sure you knew that the offer for help was there. I'd do my best to keep everything in the proper style, of course."

As they finish the tour, Stephen seems content with it. It's clear that he has hundreds of questions about every aspect of the ruins. But now is not the time for that. There will be many, many months and years ahead for him to explore those mysteries. Instead, he turns to more immediate concerns. "I suppose I ought to go fetch the Argo before it gets dark. Would you like to send anyone with me when I retrieve it? I'll take my three guards, of course. But anyone you'd like to come along is welcome. Also, where would you like me to set her down? Ideally I'd start by setting her down inside the covenant grounds to make unloading easier. After that's done, we can either leave it here or move it to the river, as you think best. Would work for you?"

[sup]1[/sup] Stephen points to the three buildings around the fountain that are labelled "Ruined Lab & Sanctum" on the map.