Chapter 3d: A Twist and a Turnaround

(Starting a second story that happens after the current investigation of the pillars. There shouldn't be too much interaction between the two.)

Midway through summer, Bernhard drops by with a troubled expression. He asks to meet with all three magi to discuss some news. The meeting takes place at the inn. Of course, when faced with them all, the redcap starts to stammer.

"Er...Ye...yes, I... hmm... I got news about oth... other magi... who cou..cou..could maybe.. err... want to join the cove... covent... I mean... covenant?" He wipes his brow before continuing. Apparently, there are two magi who might be interesting prospects for the covenant. One is a Jerbiton magus from the Greater Alps, who has been travelling the Rhine for a few months. He is apparently something of an Aquam specialist.

But Bernhard also heard from the Bonisagus healer who failed to show up to a meeting with Japik last summer. He contacted Bernhard again, saying that his reason for not showing up was because of sickness of a dependent. He would like to have another meeting.

(OOC: This is the hook to introduce Flavius' magus. But I also heard back from Trogdor, who was supposed to join the saga last August. The current magi can decide to accept one or both of them. But if they decide to accept both of them, there will be a problem with the number of labs. However, don't worry if your magi decide not to allow Trogdor to join, since I have a backup plan for him -- I can let him join the sister saga instead. So this should be a decision based on your magi's priorities.)

"Someone who can actually negotiate with these folks without producing more problems than he is trying to solve? Like to meet the man. I do wonder whether a Jerbiton can deal with these conditions (they all seemed to want fancy stuff when I was being trained.)"

Prochorus strokes his beard.

Hm. We will run out of labs. But who wants to sit in a lab all the time anyway?

I say we take both. The more people we have to stake the claim for this place the better. Plus any help with the practicalities we could use. This is hard enough as is.

"Of course. The more the merrier! I'm not going to spend a lot of time in the labs anyway. Maybe you and me can share a lab Prochorus, at least to start with." Japik is positive and happy about it as expected.
"As long as the two Bonisagi get a lab and are happy I think we will do just fine. Isn't that right, Herman?" he grins at Herman. "The Jerbiton should certainly be a good addition. We need one of those."

"Works for me. So who goes to conduct interviews this time? This is really still your show guys, so I am inclined to let you talk to these two." (What he does not say is that he would much rather stay and putter around the lab :slight_smile:

Merf. Must I? Prochorus groans.

Oh well. I will think of it as a stint of migrating.

"Yes... well... I will... I mean... let the Bonisagus th... that you aggre t.. to... meet him. In Anners, I mean Anvers, like last time?" Bernhard asks.

The redcap adds, "F..f..for the Jerbiton, well... I still, I mean... still have to contact... hmmm... contact him? I just... I mean... just heard from him..."

Try to get them both there at the same time, will you? It takes a month for my whiskers to stop smelling like city filth.

"B.. butt... it may take mm...mmmonths to track down th..the Jerbb...bbiton. Are y... you sure," he wipes his brow, "sure that you ww..wwant to delay that much for the Bobo... Bonisagus?" Seing Prochorus' frown, the redcap quickly avert his gaze (perhaps remembering last year's threat) and quickly adds, "But I cc..can tt...try."

(OOC: Flavius' magus is still undertaking his pre-saga story and I have yet to begin Trogdor's. It may be hard to synchronize the end of both so that they end up ready at the same time. I'll try, but there's no certainty that it'll work. And any effort that I put on seperate stories is that much time I can't put into covenant stories. There is only so much time I can put into Ars...)

"I'll go and meet them like last time." Japik says. "Try to arrange a meeting with both of them at the same time if you can. If not so be it."

Prochorus' frown melts.

Damnation. Pushing you around is like poking needles at babies. Fun decreases as volume increases. Do what you must. Japik will do the first one and I will go if we have to do this again.

Later in the Summer, Bernhard indicates that the Bonisagus will be meeting Japik in Anvers in late August.

(We can skip ahead straight to the meeting.)

As Konrad arrives in Anvers, he looks for and locate the inn that Bernhard told him to seek. First he arranges for accomodations and comfort for young Tom and their servants (OOC: Not created yet? You need a grog and a servant.) with the innkeeper. Your room is small, which is not unexpected, but clean, which is a nice surprise.

Once he is settled down, the innkeeper inform Konrad that the person he is supposed to meet is awaiting him in the cellar, for a private discussion. He is polite and asks you if you need anything in the way of food and refreshment and -- although you have to pay for those -- the rates he quotes are quite reasonable. Certainly less then you expected for a first-time visitor of this bustling trade center.

When he leads you down to the cellars, you are met by a tall but thin man in his early twenties, with shoulder-length blonde hair and blue-green eyes that sparkle with energy. He wears simple clothes, a linen tunic that has seen better days.

(Japik has been there for a few days.)

Konrad is very pleased with the inn. He'd have to remember this one. Clean and reasonably priced. That was a rarity in the city. He spends very little time in his room upon arriving, leaving his servant Baldwin to take care of what needs to be done. Konrad instructs Tom to stay with Baldwin until until the meeting is over. This was an important meeting, he explains, and might determine where they live for years to come.

Then the magus heads downstairs with Gerhard, his shield grog, leaving the fellow in the common room to wait. Konrad consults with the innkeeper, and finding out that the representative from the covenant is here already, thanks the innkeeper and quickly makes his way to the basement.

"Good afternoon," he says to the tall man. "I'm Konrad ex Bonisagus. It's a pleasure to meet you." Konrad is a man of average height and build with dark blonde hair cut short and blue eyes. He wears clothes you might expect from a merchant. Nothing fancy, but well made and cared for.

OOC1: I wasn't sure what time of day it was, so I assumed afternoon. I figured that if Konrad just arrived his group must have ben traveling for a little while that day.

OOC2: I'll make Baldwin and Gerhard up.

The Bjornaer approaches Konrad with a big smile on his face "Greetings and finally. I guess Bernhard's directions can be a bit hard to interpret sometimes. Come and sit."Japik turns around and walks to the main table in the cellar. "Want something to drink? The ale here is quite good."

"Formalities then. I'm Japik Dolphinus, Bjornaer, fili Ardea. Bernhard may have told you something about our little place away from the old and rigid covenants, but let's get to that later. Now tell me about yourself." His manners are flighty and impatient but at the same time friendly and enthusiastic.

"Yes, thank you," Konrad replies when offered ale. "We've been on the road since morning and I could use something to drink. I'm afraid Bernhard was very cagey about the covenant aside from saying that it was relatively new and centered around a newly discovered vis source." But the Bonisagus doesn't press for details, instead telling Japik about himself.

"I was born in Lubek, and entered into a very poor apprenticeship. My master treated me more like a servant than an apprentice and by my second year he'd barely taught me anything. I was extraordinarily fortunate, however, that around that time our covenant was visited by Maximanius of Bonisagus. Despite efforts on my master's part to trick him, Maximanius discovered that I was there and exercised the Bonisagus right to claim an apprentice. Before I knew it, I was on my way to England and the covenant of Nigrasaxa. My education got significantly better after that. Maximanius quickly made up for my deficiencies and got me back to where a second year apprentice should be. I progressed steadily from there under Maximanius's tutelage."

"Around my fifth year as an apprentice, my family came to visit and my sister fell in love with a grog at the covenant. They were married and had a son, Tom. I'm only mentioning this because several years after Tom was born, my sister and brother-in-law died , leaving Tom in my care." Konrad looks pained as he speaks of this loss. "If you accept me at your covenant, I'll be bringing my nephew with me. He's eight years old, but well-behaved for a boy of his age."

"In part because of my sister's death, I started focusing on Creo and Corpus and learned some healing magic. I also studied some conventional chirurgy and even some medicine. I understand that I've still much to learn, but I was able to assist the covenant's healer in my last few years at Nigrasaxa. I'd be happy to serve in that capacity at your covenant, or even in the surrounding villages, if they need a healer."

"That's another thing I ought to mention. I've been blessed with a Gentle Gift. I've never had any trouble with people or animals getting uneasy around me. So I'd be happy to work with the locals to maintain a positive attitude toward the covenant. I did that at Nigrasaxa to some effect. I've also practiced my healing magic to the point where I can cast those spells without incantations or gestures. I've found that makes things a lot easier with nervous locals. I can cast a spell to improve healing and the target need never know. They just think I'm a good chirurgeon."

"So that's me in a nutshell," Konrad concludes. "Anything more you need to know?"

(Actually, Konrad arrived by ship from England.)

(In my history I had him coming to visit his parents in Lubek after he left Negrisaxa so he'd be closer to this new covenant he'd heard about. But maybe that hadn't happened yet.)

(Even from Lubeck you'd have come by ship. It's much faster that way, and pretty much as safer, or as dangerous, depending on the point of view.)

Japik starts to get impatient midway through Konrad's tale and he starts walking around the cellar room looking uninterested in the story, drinking ale from his mug and refilling it from a small keg he has ordered from the innkeeper before the meeting started.

"Sorry about you sister", he says when the Bonisagus is finished. "Lübeck you say, you know the magi at Oculus Septentrionalis then? One of us was apprenticed there."

"Creo and Corpus is great and the Gentle Gift perfect. We have had some trouble with the locals so we could use someone that understands both our side and theirs. I'm sure they would be happy if you treated their sick and injured, but you never know. One day it's a miracle from God, the next it's a curse from Satan. Why not just accept good for good?" Japik shrugs and smiles.

"So where do your loyalties lie? You have any contacts with magi and covenants in Rhine and why did you leave Nigrasaxa and Stonehenge? I'm just asking because there is some secrecy involved in this. You understand we are not yet an official covenant and need to stay that way for a bit longer until we feel we have established ourselves at the location we hold. Would this be a problem for you?" He stands at the short end of the table looking at Konrad. Although the words sounds a bit harsh and serious his face is friendly and well-meaning.

Konrad pauses for a moment, considering his words carefully. "I knew a few of the magi at Oculus Septentrionalis," he says. "But that was from when I was eleven years old, so I can't say I know any of them very well. Who was it who was apprenticed there? I might have known the magus or maga in your covenant."

"My loyalties," he continues, "are my own to give at the moment. I've made no promises to any other covenant, if that's what you mean. My primary ties to Lübeck are familial. That's where my parents and siblings live. I'm afraid I have little in the way of hermetic contacts save the tenuous ones from my original apprenticeship."

"As for why I left Nigrasaxa ... I felt that the magi of the covenant could have done more to help my sister and her husband. After my sister died, I found that I no longer felt comfortable at Nigrasaxa. Among other things, the magi there were less than supportive of my idea to become more involved with the local villagers, helping them with their injuries and ailments. When I expressed such displeasure to Bernhard, he told me very obliquely that there might be another alternative, and I found that idea very appealing."

"After much back and forth, Bernhard eventually explained to me the need for secrecy, which I can totally appreciate. I also understand that your facilities are primitive by normal covenant standards, and that your resources slim. But frankly, I'd rather live poor and have some control over my life than spend the next fifty years under the thumb of the senior magi of Nigrasaxa, begging for a bit of vis or access to a magical tome."

OOC: We have an overlap of back stories, it seems. Based on that, there may well have been a year or two of overlap in apprenticeships.