Chapter 3: Meeting with the Queasitoris

In the council chamber the magi are assembled at the council table. The magi have had their morning meal and are eagerly awaiting the queasitatoris, the tension is quite tangible after all few magi are really comfortable meeting the legal enforces of the Order. Even if no-one has done anything wrong there is the feeling of always being examined for potential breaches of the code. This reminds most magi of when their master made their first examination in Magic Theory.

One servant announces the arrival of the queasitori and through the door a short man with a piercing gaze approaches, his steel gray gaze watches over the magi. A few steps behind him there are a manservant, a broad-shouldered man with a daft look upon his face. The queasitoris introduces him self with a deep voice. [color=red]I am quesiatoris Bartolomaeus and I have heard that you have a problem.

[color=red]Welcome to Ad Fons, sodales. My name is Ardath Ex Miscellanea. I hope your travel here was fine.

Anyway, we called upon your help because we suspect a breach of the code. Since our arrival here, we had minor problems with what we thought was an hedge magician. Or so we thought, until justus here had a direct confrontation with our opponent, which raped his mind for knowledge using hermetic magic, thus scrying upon him. He thus learned our library's location, in which he stole our finest books, thus depriving us of magical power.

I think I've said it all. I thank you for coming so quickly, and hope you'll feel at home in our covenant.

[color=red]Interesting, the quesiatoris mutter. [color=red]I try to make it my cause to monitor the affairs of young covenants, especially those who located in the tribunals far corners. They usually need more monitoring and help than most other covenant, that is in more then one way…

[color=red]Perhaps you could tell me a bit more of what happened in detail. Do you have any clues to who may have attacked you? Anything that can give me a possible identification of your assailant? From whom did you by this books or are they your own creation? Do you have any enemies amongst the hermetic community? Any information that you can give me is of great use. I wish that each of you tell your own story, different tales come from different men so I wish to hear you all.

[color=blue]Do write what you say rather than just claim “I tell him what happened”. Thanks.

[color=red]"Since we arrived at the covenant there have been a number of unnusual incidents which have caused us trouble. Initially while several of us including myself where away from the covenant there was some harrasment and it appears an attempt by one of the serving staff to gather arcane connections to the magi. One of the serving women then dissapeared at the same time as one of our building burned down and we have been unnable to locate her despite possessing an arcane connectio. She may have been involved in these events but we cannot be certain. Ardeth who was at the covenant can probably give you more details of these events.
Several seasons later we where attacked at the covenant again while one of the magi was away. We discovered that one of the coven folk had left a door open and it appears he was magically influenced to do so. The next morning five werewolves attacked, they where highly committed to their attempts to kill several magi and attack our libary . I killed 4 of them and the 5th was maimed but we stabilised him enougth that he lived and we where able to interrogate them. Apparently a sorceress had taken their families hostage and forces them to attack us and steal our library. We immediatly set out with three magi to locate the families and this sorceress and confront her as as this time we believed we faced a hostile hedge wizard.Arriving at the site we found everyone dead and where unnable to locate this sorceress.
There is a possibily the sorceress and our missing serving women where one and the same.
While we where away Justus was assaulted by a mage who based on his abilities he believed to be a hermetic mage . This mage must be of some power as they where able to overcome Justus Parma with mind controlling spells while within our Aegis.
We have also on several occasions witnessed coven folk with eyes temprarily misted over most recently at our council meeting yesterday I beleive this may be the sigil of a magus spying on us via or covenfolk

Heinrich listens quietly and increasingly intently as the story is relayed. His eyes slowly widen as the story reaches its conclusion.

Justus speaks: [color=red] I does not think that there is anything that I can say that will add something to Mariella’s tale about the assault upon us. I can’t tell if the sorceress or whatever assaulted us is one and the same. But as I where attacked I managed to comprehend the magic’s of our foe but only to that extent that I determine that it where hermetic magic’s that where used upon us. We have for the moment no hermetic enemies and the book where bought and paid for from Oculus Septentrinalis, ill have the deeds that tell you about this lawful purchase somewhere.

[color=red]That will be most necessary child of Pralix but I'll take it later, [color=red]Bartolomaeus cuts Justus short. But I have a few request before I get to work. Can I get this arcane connection, it is rather strange that you haven’t found anything by using it. Are you adapt magi in the arts of scrying and detection? Are your books insured somehow? Bartolomaeus turns towards Heinrich. [color=red]Young Jerbiton from what covenant does you hail?

Mariella produces a small lead figurine vaguely feminine in form
[color=red]Here is the Arcane connection I fixed, I am afraid that I have very little talant with Intellego and it seems my Sodali's could do little better than I.

Quietly, Heinrich replies -[color=red] I am only recently arrived from Oculus, Quaesitor. Also my covenant of Apprenticeship.

[color=red]I beg your pardon, sodales...
But as Justus was attacked by mentem magic, we can not count on what he believes to have seen. No offense intended Justus. But given the circumstances I'm a little edgy. And as it was you that sent for the quaesitor...

Yannick turns to Bartolomaeus:
[color=red]I am Yannick ex Miscellanea.
Bartolomaeus, would you mind to cast a spell? Any spell will do, I just need to make sure that you are who you are supposed to be, as we never met before. I shall be glad to fill in some more detail and answer your questions after that.

Krispin has been listening quietly throughout, his eyes widening. He's surprised at Yannick's caution, but appears to agree. If there is an opportune moment [OOC: Perhaps slightly earlier in the conversation?], he adds [color=red]"I'm only recently arrived, so I don't know everyone's skills here, but I have a little ability in the arts of Intellego and Corpus. If we have a map of the area, I could attempt an Inexorable Search. Of course, if one of my sodales is more qualified, I will gladly relinquish that duty to him or her."

Bartolomeaus turns towards Krispin and snaps a reply, [color=red]I’ll think that it is better if I handle matters of this investigation myself. But I shall remember your offer if it is necessary.

Bartolomaeus reaches towards Mariella and says, [color=red]I would like that figurine so that I can conduct my investigation. Once Yannick voices his suspicion Bartolomaeus turns slowly towards Yannick eyeing him with his most uncomfortable gaze. [color=red]You doubt my integrity young journeyman. A short pause. [color=red]I am Journeyman Bartolomaeus Ex Guernicus and here is a document that states that I am a quesitaoris in good standing. During the circumstances I can understand your caution so I will cast a spell. Bartolomaeus mutters a few words of power and his right hand gleams with a ghostly light, tinted somewhat to a bleak green hue. As the spell take effect and it is obvious that mist isn’t his sigil. Bartolomaeus produces a scroll from his robes that clearly states that he is a quesiatoris in good standing. [color=red]Now young journeyman you had something to add? Bartolomeaus once again looks Yannick in they eyes as if he is trying to determine whether Yannick is telling the truth or not.

[color=red]I'd add that this person was able to cast his spells even in the middle of our aegis, and through justus parma magica. This requires a power that should be beyond any Hedge Magician.

Moreso, our ennemy clearly recognised our best books for what they were, which indicates a knowledge of Hermetic Magic. And the fact that he chose books on Hermetic Arts is a clear indication that his arts have been opened, as they'd be useless to anyone else.

This strongly agrees with justus analysis about our opponent. Also, why would our attacker modify justus memory when he had no way to know justus possessed these abilities?

As per the scrying arts... These are not my center of interest.
After yannick's demand and Bartholomeus's display
[color=red]Thank you for your understanding. As you have guessed, in light of all that has happened, we are all a little hedgy and distrustful. It is good to see that you truly are who you claim to be smiles and nods

[color=red]If there is nothing else to add to this matter I will take that arcane connection and go work in the guest laboratory. I will let you know when my work has reached some conclusion. Bartolomaeus reaches for the arcane connection to the ex servant girl of the covenant.

[color=red]If no-one will add anything then I will escort our guest to the guest laboratory. Justus Felix looks at his fellow magi and looks for someone that will utter a word.

[color=red]If there is anything that you want to add I will be found in your guest laboratory. I know that it is not necessary to say here but for as long as I conduct my investigation the guest laboratory will be considered my sanctum. Bartolomaeus awaits any answers, if there are non he will exit the chamber together with Justus.

[color=red]Fine by me.
I wish you good luck in this endeavour.

Once the concil is over and the maguses are out of the council chamber, ardath just pauses.
I just had a disturbing thought. If I were one of our ennemies, I'd have collected an arcane connection to the council chamber, in order to spy on everything said there. Maybe they have, maybe they haven't. But still, this is a possibility we shouldn't neglect

Thank you quaesitor Bartaolomaeus, Yannick replies, [color=red]I beg your pardon for the inconvenience.

What I can add to the things already said is the following:
The sorceress mentionned before and the missing serving woman are one and the same. After the first attack on us, Ardath and I both found our way to her by different methods. I tracked the woman by her scent.

We captured her and questionned her. She claimed to have been forced to attack us, her family being taken as hostages. She told us she was to deliver some of my clothing at a place not to far away. I didn't believe this to be true at that time, but Ardath and me wanted to verify this to make sure.
By the time we came back a building was burned down. The guard told us the woman had caused him great pains with a mere touch of her fingers.

Now, given that the band of werewolves that attacked us have been forced to do so by taking their families as hostages, there may or may not have been truth to the witches words.
If her words were true, then she's probably dead by now.

The sigil of our attacker seems to be an appearance of mist. Like our servants have clouded eyes, as the phantasmal wolves that looked like they were mad of mist.

But I have never actually seen the woman cast a spell. It is possible that this sigil belongs to someone else.

[color=red]Thank you Bartolomaeus, We will leave you to your investigations . If there is anything I can do to assist you have just to ask

Yannick will see Bartolomaeus the other day, to ask him for advice considering his lab project.
After all,"the forresters round table", while being in the covenants possesion, will be handed to commoners.
IIRC the codex forbids giving permanent magical devices to commoners, so i considered having the effect expire after 70 years. Having a quaesitor at the covenant, Yannick will like to ask him if that is sufficient.

Bartolomeaus replies but is considerable surly about being disturbed. [color=red]Are the commoners member of the covenant or just ordinary mundanes? In the first case then it is property of your covenant and isn’t restricted in any way. If you are selling items to mere mundanes outside of the covenant then I suggest that you make so that it expires.

[color=red]I want to enchant a table with "Intuition of the forrest" and give it to our covenants forresters, to aid them in their work. It is not being sold.
As the forrest here is sentient, magical and apparently intelligent, this will very likely spare us of a lot of trouble.
And it will increase our covenants financial funds as a pleasant side-effect.
I just wondered if I should make it expire in case the table would be stolen.

[color=red]Using magic to increase the covenants funds, Bartolomaeus stares at Yannick, [color=red]I cannot under any circumstances say that there is a anything good in committing such an offence. Perhaps it is to minor to make any significant changes in your income but for sure make it with an expiry date. I there is a significant increase in your covenants income there may be grounds for another investigation here.