(Although the Gift plays a part in this, it is mostly the expression of Prochorus' Difficult Underlings flaw.)
Tristan smiles (and huffs, as he is not yet in shape for this walk, even without heavy luggage). He points towards the tree visible in the distance. After a short breather, he leads on. As they approach, he shouts out "Hey boss, company." he turns back to Lothar and comments "walking in on the magi when they are distracted tends to make them even more grouchy than usual. They claim it can also cause more serious results."
As everyone gets up to the door, it opens, and a head pops out, looking around. "Yes, Yes, what have we got?" he then focusses on the group, and slowly steps out. He is an average looking young man. "You must be the stonemason. Lothar wasn't it? That building there can be your workshop." (He points at the one that does not have the lab.) "Tristan, you have seen the plans. Can you explain them to Lothar?" Tristan shrugs in acceptance.
Lothar looks skeptically at the Bonisagus "Ye...ees, I'm Lothar the stonemason from Bremen. You are...Herman?" He tries to keep a few steps distance to the magus without looking too obvious that he wants to avoid him.
He looks relieved when Tristan is given the task to show him the plans they have for the buildings and takes a few steps towards the house Herman pointed at.
"Yes, I am Herman. " He pauses for a moment, thinking "Thank you for coming." And then gestures towards Tristan and returns to the building.
Tristan sighs "Some of them are more social than others. Lets go look at what we have." He leads the folks to the other building. Once inside he opens the shutter so there is light, and pulls out the scroll on which the mages drew their rough plans. Turning to Lothar "This is what they have drawn. One problem is that our agreement with the local lord only provides for six hearths total. We need one in each of these two buildings, and that leaves only two for the other buildings. And the Magi are rather demanding about what they claim are 'reasonable' comforts. As you can see, we need a kitchen a dining area. I expect you know more than I or they about what it actually takes to make those work. The current thinking is to have a library and meeting room in the building that does not have the kitchen. And yes, they have enough books (or hope to) that they need a room as a library."
Lothar looks at the plans in silence for a long while, he seems to be in deep thoughts. Then he looks at Tristan "These magi, what do they do? I have heard stories of magic and wizards but..." he turns back to the plans on the table in front of them. "Here it says laboratory, I assume it is the second floor of both houses looking identical. But what is that, laboratory? And here, Sanctum. What is that?"
"There are no measurements on these plans. How long and how wide are the buildings supposed to be? We need to take a look outside as well, where they are to be put." He measures the length of the buildings with the width of his hand and seems to make some mental notes.
He gets silent and thinks again for a while, then turning to Tristan looking worried "These magi, how are they when they get aggressive? I mean do they harm people?"
"What do they do? In other places, they seem to look for things that no one else understands or needs, and then engage in nasty politics. Herman? He sems to want to understand everything. Which means he mostly sits and stares at things. From what I have heard since we got here, I think all three of them are looking for things. There are a few magi who are very aggressive. There was one when I served at Fengheld who terrified people. But even he did not hurt the servants. He seemed to be perpetually angry about d(pause) something, but I never saw anything. There are always stories about how powerful they are. But what that really means I don't know. Herman never seems to hurt anything. He didn't even really want to hurt the birds that were eating the vineyard, he kept talking about 'why are they doing this?'"
"Now, about the buildings. We have permission to build each building just a bit larger than 8 paces by 13. Each laboratory should be as unbroken a space as possible. As far as I can tell, wizards each want to arrange the insides of their laboratory to suit themselves. But we need some way to keep them warm in the winter, and not too desperately hot in summer. (aside: Some fancy magi do that with magic, but we won't have that). Sanctum. Oh yes, that is their fancy word for living space. The staircase for each laboratory has to come from the sanctum. Something about rules they have that keep wizards out of each other's spaces. "
"Shall we look outside?"
(ooc: I expect that in practice this was more fragmented and conversational, with Tristan making more comments about people he has known, and asking all sorts of questions about where Lothar has worked. B ut trying to do a conversation like that would take rather long...)
(OOC: Lothar has plenty of questions about the magi but lets say they spend some time so Tristan can tell the basics at least. It won't help Lothar and Wilhelm against the effects of the Gift but they have an inkling of an understanding of what they are and do...or not.)
"8 by 13 paces, ok. He seems to do some silent calculations. 2-storeys high. Is there a quarry on the island or can we get some stone from the ground here? There is two sanctums per house, that makes it four magi right? And from what you told me it doesn't seem like they have any families right?"
They discuss this for a while then he says "Ok let's go out and have a look at the site. Wilhelm bring the iron." Wilhelm nods and then opens the chest. He takes out a simple iron rod about a pace long that is slightly pointed in one end.
(Do you all want to continue this? Although the details of the construction can be discussed out of character, there might be some additional in-character interactions here.)
As they step out, Tristan comments "Families? Almost unheard of among that bunch. And not in any of the planning they asked for." He then provides what help he can with the site, although Lothar probably can spot more relevant things than anything tristan has had a chance to notice.
(OOC: I presume Tristan will be interacting with Lothar over the next several weeks, but most of it is not worth playing, and I don't see what to add of value in the play here. In general, if I try to say "done" too soon, feel free to tell me to tell more story. It is not my strength, but I believe it is critical for this type of game.)
Lothar and Wilhelm measures and marks the corners of the two houses as Tristan is showing them where they are supposed to be erected. Lothar paces the length and width using his own legs and they mark the corners with the pointed iron rod in the ground, if there is solid rock they use a chisel and hammer to make a small mark.
Chalk! They use a piece of chalkstone as well to make marks in the ground where possible. If there are any smaller shrubs or other vegetation within the spaces where the buildings are going to stand he orders Wilhelm to get an axe and start taking them away.
"Only four hearths for these two buildings is going to be tricky." he tells Tristan. "No possibility to get permission to build more? If not, then we have to be inventive. I have a few ideas. Also where and how do they intend to take care of there waste." He stops and looks at Tristan with eyes wide open. "They do shit do they?"
(OOC: I'm not a civil engineer by profession and I know even less about house building techniques in the 13th century so I will need some ooc help to make Lothar an expert at this. I have read your posts Arthur in the OOC thread and I will weave that into the story.)
Tristan looks at Lothar. "Shit? Shit! Over the cliff? From buckets I suppose? This rock won't take a useful outhouse, will it? More unpleasant work for me."
A moments pause. "From what they said, getting permission for more hearths will take lots of time. And they won't want to wait that long."
"Ok." Lothar answers short.
"Unless they have some magic ways to help build these houses this WILL take quite some time if they want it properly done. There are ways to build one hearth to warm several rooms and there are alternative heating sources. Braziers might be the simplest. Hypocausts, but that's not an option if they want them done quickly."
He walks around the site. "What about the roofs?" he asks. "Are there any carpenters and thatchers on the island that can get employed for those? I saw the work on the buildings down in the town and most of them were rather simple work."
(OOC: Yulia and/or Dietlinde may have some contacts with carpenters and such on the island as they have been asking around a bit already.)
"Yes, they want it soon. So braziers for backup it will be. When I go back down I will check with Yulia about carpenters."
Tristan then watches as Lothar continues his examinations. That evening he will relay the question to Yulia about carpenters and thatchers.
There are a few carpenters who live in town. The question will be how sturdy you will want your roof to be (meaning how much silver you are ready to put into that).
Roughly, how much will low end cost, and how long will it last? Similar for high end?
After about two days, during which Lothar has probably been measuring and trying to guess what is needed, Tristan comes back to him.
"Great questions! Made the Magi think about what they wanted. Which means, of course, a change in plans...
How about we build one house. Build it really well, with good flooring and roofing. Use the plans for the house with the kitchen and library.
Can we add a basement storage area?"
Lothar gives Tristan a strange look. "Alright only one house and this one." he points at the square he has marked on the ground where the house with the kitchen is supposed to be erected.
"Basement storage. That is no problem. How deep do they want it? Mansize or just crawling height?"
"Another thing. Yulia and I discussed manpower when we first met. She said there would be people in a village that could be employed. I have only seen one village up here besides the town below. Anyway, how many will be available to help? I can go speak with them myself to see if there are anyone with the skills and strength that I need for this. But who do I talk to?"
"The village up here is small enough that you could just ask around and find out if they have any labor to spare for pay. There may be folks from down below who would be willing to help. Yulia can probably tell you who the person is who runs the villager. I have not yet figured it out." is Tristan's reply.
(Bump. What is Lothar doing?)
Lothar goes to talk to the people in the village on the Oberland. He wants to see if there is any normal people there and also what they think of their weird neighbours. Then he asks them if some of them can help him with the building project. He needs some strong men to begin with.