Chapter 3: New Blood

During Winter, Bernhard tells Prochorus and Japik that he has talked to a magus who might be interested in joining them. He thinks a meeting in Anvers in a few weeks' time (early Spring) could be arranged. Who goes to the meeting?

(Note that I'm posting this right away, even though Winter 1210 hasn't been discussed yet, because I figured that a discussion between the magi could take some time to hold.)

Japik would like to go but we might as well go both?

Yeah, both.

(To try to keep this moving, I will assume that at some point we are all in Anvers and Bernhard brings me in to meet you two. I figure we can correct if I misjudge some context.)

You see a well-presented but not overly fancy man of about 26 years. Dark hair, dark eyes, typical Germanic features. What is striking is that even as he walks in and sketches a bow, his eyes seem to be darting back and forth trying (probably unsuccessfully) to see everything at once.
"Thank you for making the time to meet with me. I gather from Bernhard that you are engaged in a challenging venture, which means time is probably your most precious resource. I am Herman, of house Bonisagus. I am, I readily acknowledge, still new, having only a year of experience since my gauntlet. I am looking for somewhere interesting to land. I bring expertise in Magic Theory and Intellego to wherever I do land." I then wait, while looking back and forth between the two magi, and at the rest of the room.

(Bernhard might be a man of old habits so it's likely that he has arranged the meeting to happen at the same inn in the harbour district of Anvers that the original magi met the first time. Arthur feel free to change if there is anything wrong in our assumptions.)

Japik wears his usual simple garments, a knee-long greyish woolen tunic and pants of the same type. His long blonde hair is unkempt and he looks generally like he has been out in a storm for a long time (even if there hasn't been one). He looks at Herman as they meet in the cellar room of the inn where he and Prochorus had started this project with Bernhard about a year ago.

"Greetings sodalis. So you are the one Bernhard has been talking so much about." he starts out with a harsh and serious tone as he bows to the Bonisagi. "Now is the time to show us how true the rumours are." his fake seriousness starts to falter. "I'm Japik Dolphinus of Bjornaer, and if you play with me..." he waits for a few moments for the dramatic effect "...then I'll play with you too." He breaks out in a laughter that probably no one else joins him in.

"Let's be a little more serious for a while. Do you like the sea? Do you like windy places? Do you feel a strong loyalty to your pater or your house so that you must report everything you find out about to them?" Japik smiles but he still looks more serious than he did initially.

(That's exactly what I had in mind.)

(Note that I'll probably keep out of the meeting for the most part and simply let your magi interact, unless there is a question to be answered.)

(Bernhard isn't present for the meeting, but he is in Anvers and will show if an agreement is reached, to make sure Herman signs the same contract that the initial magi did.)

Herman looks a mite startled by Japik's sudden shift of mood, and then smiles and relaxes.

"Loyalty? Loyalty comes in all manner of degrees. I am loyal to House Bonisagus in that I support the goal of improving the knowledge of the Order. I am not a fanatic, and hope to get recompense for what I contribute. I will eventually have to send them a copy of the Tractatus I prepared last year, but they certainly don't need to know everything I do. As for my pater, if he comes asking for help, he will get it. Immediately. He has done well by me. But he is busy trying to understand the fair folk. I would not bother him with our activities. As for the sea, I have barely ever seen her. I hear she can be a harsh mistress, but full of mystery. And I love a good mystery or three."

"I'm not certain of how much Bernhard has told you but if you are willing to invest your future in this venture you need to get used to the sea all around you and lots of wind and bad weather. Also you will not be able to tell anyone about the whereabouts and the magic resources we might have. Not your House and not your pater." Japik pauses and looks deeply at the Bonisagi. "These are not my rules but Bernhard's and he is rather skittish about them. You need to sign a contract if you didn't know already."

He shouts for one of the wenches working in the inn. "Can we have some ale over here please!" Then he turns back to Herman smiling broadly and friendly.
"There is nothing to worry about though. I'm sure you will find this very interesting. You are good with Intellego you say? That's perfect. That means you can help us explore the site more effectively. We had a few setbacks but now we are rolling again. Do you have any other assets that you may bring to the benefit of our young covenant?"

(OOC: Did we ever discuss a name for the covenant by the way? I don't remember. If not we should perhaps start that.)

"Given teh reactions of the various covenants, I guess I can understand Bernhard's rules. I will need to see the contract of course, but I can live with what you have described. Does the contract have some clause to allow us to contact folks if Bernard is not available? As for resources, I have some useful parts for a lab that I would be willing to contribute. I have a few texts that I would provide to our library. As a member of House Bonisagus, I am happy to teach, and folks say I am actually good at it. Conversely, I like learning new things. I have some personal vis, and would contribute some of it towards establishing the covenant. Which reminds me of another question about the contract. Are one of you skilled with Longevity potions, or will Bernhard help us arrange for longevity rituals, assuming we can get enough vis?"

Japik looks impressed as Herman describes what resources he may bring. He looks at Prochorus to see his reaction and turns back at the Bonisagi.
"I like the sound of this. You should know that any luxuries or standards that you have been used to at Fengheld you can forget about here with us. You have to do it all by yourself. But isn't that the fun of it, and best of all you get freedom!" Japik laughs heartily.
"We have vis sources. One that we know about but we suspect there may be more and that's where your Intellego expertise may be of great use. We have defined a space to build some houses for living quarters, labs and so on. We have a mundane business running that gives us some income to fund the project. In all it's a very interesting location with lots of potential but we haven't revealed it all yet." he pauses for a moment. "But that's the fun part! Finding and revealing it! When you know everything it gets boring."

"As I said we lack many things. Skills to produce Longevity potions are one and establishing a decent Aegis of the Herth is another, but such obstacles are there to be removed or overcome. We are just two now, excluding Bernhard, with you our chances to succeed will almost double. Regarding contacting others I think we may want to establish ourselves as strongly as possible first then we could start talking to others and make our covenant public, but it will take a while." Japik suddenly stops and his green eyes turn dark.

"You know about Waddenzee don't you? Have you had any direct contact with them? Been there?" Japik looks as serious as he ever would be. This time it's no fake.

"Waddenzee? Is that a tribe somewhere up here? A princeling? Sorry, I have not heard of them. From your tone I gather they are important and a problem?"

Japik immediately loses his seriousness and his broad smile is back again. "Waddenzee is a covenant of vile pirate magi not very far from our location. They may become a very big problem. But let's not speak more of that now. For me it's done. You are welcome to come and join us. What do you say Prochorus?"

(Sorry for moving on so quickly Wits. Prochorus is probably more active in the discussion, but we should hold now until you can give Prochorus questions and opinoins of Herman.)

Prochorus snaps awake and looks around stupefied.

"Huh? Sorry, flying days on end takes its toll. I don't know how the birds do it."

He raises from the table and stretches. You see a small man with a huge blond beard and long hair. He wears plain robes and carries a drum on his hip.

"Yes, I would be happy to have you join us. Japik covered most of it, I suppose. Better destitute than a slave. Not afraid of ghosts, are you?"

"Ghosts? No, I haven't seen any. I believe one uses Mentem to understand them? I haven't had the chance to learn much about that form."

Ha. I know mentem well enough and I still don't understand them. We have one, you see, that we are trying to get rid of. But it's mostly harmless.

Back at Oculus, where I was apprenticed, everyone was constantly whining about Waddenzee. I never understood why they didn't just deal with them. Oculus is the one with the money and power, after all.

"Yes it is completely insane how they let Waddenzee break one clause of the Code after the other. But I guess there is no evidence as usual. The Quaesitors see nothing or they are too busy finding evidence against Crintera and House Bjornaer. Oculus Septentrionalis won't do anything, but I suspect they miss at least one load of expensive lab equipment that went to the bottom in the Frisian Sea last summer." Japik spits out his clear hatred and bitterness. Even Prochorus may be surprised to hear him like this.

After a minute and a few full mouths of ale he is back happy and smiling again.
"The ghost mother is fun and so are her faerie boys. Don't you think Prochorus? Did we kill them all?" he laughs loudly.

"There are some fair folk involved with the ghost? Presumably they are not feeding off the ghost, but off people reacting to her?"

"I suppose you are right. I know only a little bit about ghosts and faeries, so maybe you can be of help there."

"You don't like Waddenzee overmuch, do you, Japik?"

"Let's not talk about Waddenzee anymore today. Their time will come."

"Herman, how do you feel about this? Ready to take the step and leave some of your past behind but enter into a freedom you probably won't find elsewhere."

"It sounds like this is an interesting place to be. I appreciate your being clear about the down-sides. Everything said, yes, I'm in." After a pause, Herman looks at Japik a bit sidesways and adds "My friend Aerianos will probably like you, which may make things a mite interesting in an extra regard. He's never broken anything that matters. Just think of him as the playful wind." Another, briefer pause, and Herman adds "Actually, Aerianos will probably like this whole enterprise, which ought to be useful."