Chapter 4: Death Comes to Stay

"As far as I know, we do not have a dedicated hospital or infirmary. I believe one of the grogs has set up an area for treating the injured, in the grogs' quarters, but that is about all." Petronius looks at her curiously at her mention of a cemetery. "And neither do we have a cemetery. We have been lucky enough to have no one die during contruction. And should someone do, they would be buried at one of the oulying churches of Koblenz, not here."

"There are ghosts of a sort, but in the forest that protect us. You'd have to talk with Aedituus about them, for I believe they are of some interest to him, but from what I understoodthey are not really cognizant. More like airy spirits than actual human ghosts. They seem to make mundanes ill at ease, particularly at night. But our Parma protects us from such effects, while the Aegis protects the covenant itself."

((That's correct, the basement is already earmarked for Petronius' sanctum and the vault on one side (under the main hall), and the food stores on the other side (part of it under the main hall and part of it under the kitchen building). So unless the council wants to relocate the vault to a less secure place, there is no space for another lab in the basement. The other buildings do not have basements. Does Morticia really want an underground lab anyway? The other place that could be used for a sanctum for Morticia is the secondary site with its Roman tower.))

((Of course, if she wants to set up a personal lab seperate from the visitor's lab, she will have to get the Council's permission to do so.))

Aedituus, appeared late to the meeting, then walked the perimeter of the room three times before sitting down. His eyes seemed to focus elsewhere until he completed his circuits around the table. Rubbing the end of his nose, he suddenly jumps into the conversation. "Petronius is correct, the spirits haunting the forest appear to have little semblance to human ghosts, more like the shadows of ghosts. There is some evidence that their manifestation can get stronger, but we have not had time to study them to any great degree yet." He peers intently at Morticia, his eyes widening. "You are interested in treating the sick and injured? I have some skill in this area myself; perhaps we should take some time to discuss our experiences?" He nibbles some bread and cheese absently.

Morticia nods, not quite condescendingly but close. [color=blue]"I would like to pay a visit to them at some time, just to see what they have set up. I might be able to give them a couple of pointers, until we get a proper infirmary put together."

[color=blue]"Pity," Morticia says, almost to herself. [color=blue]"Some relatively fresh bodies would be quite useful in my studies."

[color=blue]"I would enjoy speaking with him on the matter some time."

Morticia watches the Criamon curiously as he...performs his ritual? [color=blue]"So..the shade of a shade?"

[color=blue]"Yes. If one is to build a bridge, one must completely understand the foundations supporting each end."

Aedituus pauses mid-bite, then carefully places his cheese back on the bread in front of him. "I am not so much interested in building a bridge, as I am in maintaining the gift the Master Builder has already bestowed." he stands and begins to make another circuit of the room. "As for being the 'shades of shades', I think a better description might be memories of ghosts." He continues pacing, arms folded into his sleeves, until he returns to his seat. "Some further study of the ghosts is certainly warranted; I would welcome your thoughts on them." He continues eating his lunch.

((While pacing the room, Aedituus was using his Sense Holiness/Unholiness ability, as he is suddenly concerned about Morticia's purposes. A non-stress roll of 10 + 2 (ability) + 1 (Per) = 13, probably not enough to get a read on the maga, which would actually be a relief to him.))

[color=blue]"As am I, sodalis," Morticia replies. [color=blue]"But shouldn't we try to keep His gift in the condition He intended it to be?"

Morticia stifles a yawn and rubs her eyes. [color=blue]"As would I. Perhaps when I am not so tired, we can discuss things. I fear, however, that my thoughts are...thoughts are being smothers by Hypnos."

Aedituus again looks curiously at the maga. He seems about to ask her a question, but shakes his head and looks at the other magi present. "I believe we have covered the basics, and our next meeting will be at the Winter Solstice. Our guest is in need of rest," he nods toward Morticia, "and has only to ask if she needs something. Unless anyone has further business?" He looks around at the members present, and finally again at Morticia, smiling. "Morticia ex Bonisagus, filia Aesclipia, we formally welcome you as an Honored Guest to the Covenant of Laurus Argenti, with all the rights and responsibilities attributed to such status by our charter. Salve, Sodalis." Aedituus pauses to make a note on his wax tablet, then looks around once more. "I propose we adjourn this meeting."

[color=blue]"What time on the Winter Solstice will be be meeting?" Morticia asks.

Once the meeting is adjourned, she returns to her quarters and collapses in the bed to sleep the sleep of the dead for the next day or so, awakening just before sundown the next day.

Once she's broken her fast and performed her Parma ritual, she goes to the guest laboratory to look it over and start to make her plans for putting it together, deciding what she will need to get.

Petronius has observed the by-play between Morticia and Aedituus with interest, although he seemed unsure on what to make of it. "We don't have a set time for the moment. Our covenant being quite new, we haven't established any formal tradition yet. We will be sure to let you know." With a small nod, "Once you are better rested, let me know and I'll give you a tour of the covenant and its facilities, and introduce you to our key personel."

If, after a few days, she has not come to see Petronius about the tour, he will look her up.

Once Morticia awakes from her much-needed slumber, she summons the three mundanes who accompanied her to her new (albeit, hopefully, temporary) chambers. [color=blue]"I trust you have all taken advantage of the last day or two to wander the grounds of your new home, and hopefully make the acquaintances of those you will be working with for the rest of your lives. I'm given to understand that the smallfolk here speak German, and not Italian. Cristofano, I expect this may be hardest on you, as you will have to work very closely with men who have probably never tasted proper Romagnan cuisine. Pay close attention, let them see how good you are, and try to pick up the language as best you can. In time, perhaps we can teach these people how to eat right.

[color=blue]"Alessandra, I will see if I can find the head maid to show you how things are done here, and someone to teach you German as well.

[color=blue]"You two," Morticia says, indicating Antonio and Lizetta, [color=blue]"will be training with the turb. Lizetta, since you speak some Latin, I expect you to find the sergeant in charge and get situated. Translate for Antonio as needed. Antonio. Do your best, and try not to embarrass the turb here."

Morticia then spends the rest of the night in the laboratory, planning the new laboratory. She heads down to the main hall directly after performing her sunrise Parma ritual to join the others for supper. (Or, supper for her, anyway. Anyone else there would be having breakfast), looking around for Petronius. (So, this would be dawn of the second day after her arrival, I think.)

As you arrive t the breakfast table, a person already sits there.
"And a good morning to thee?" At first he appears to be an apprentice, but at second glance it is a fully grown man, despite his slight build and youthful appearance. "Would you be Morticia of Bonisagus? I was told she had arrived. I am Titus Aurelius of Bonisgus." He bows gently in greeting, clearly unsure just who he is talking to.

[color=blue]"Yes, I am, cognatus[sup]1[/sup]," Morticia says as she rises and curtsies. [color=blue]"Again, I apologize for the lateness of my arrival a couple of nights ago, but I was so close to the covenant that I couldn't justify stopping for the night. I look forward to discussing our ideas. I'm sure we have both come up with ways to improve not only the Order but possibly mankind itself. Would you care to join me for...breakfast? I've had a busy night, and I'm hoping to be able to take Petronius up on his offer of a tour before I get too tired."

Morticia does seem much more awake then many of the other dragging themselves into the hall for their morning repast.

[sup]1[/sup] It seems to me there should be a word for someone in the same House, but not of the same Parens. So I did a Google Translate for "cousin" and came up with this one, which means "kinsman". If you like it, we can keep it; if not, we can scrap it.

I love it actually - can't think why I didn't do this myself years ago. Thank you!

[color=blue]"The Council has granted me guest quarters at the top of the stairs," Morticia says, gesturing toward Sanctum #2, [color=blue]"but I won't be able to set it up as I would if it were my own. If I am granted membership, in time, then I will either be granted a new sanctum or be allowed to make it more particular for my own studies and interests. As to the tour...Petronius did offer, and it would be rather rude of me to spurn him, even if it is for a house-mate. Perhaps in the coming weeks we can discuss our studies."

"Very good cognata, I shall look forward to seeing you around this place"

Petronius shows up for breakfast soon after, his face lighting up as he sees his sodales already chatting. "Titus! Morticia! Good morning to the both of you!" He seems to be in a good mood and perfectly awake even at this early hour. After asking a servant to bring him some food for breakfast, he seats himself with his House siblings. "So, cogata, are you rested from your recent travels?"

[color=blue]"Yes, I am," Morticia says with a smile. [color=blue]"I went to bed directly after our meeting two...three? days ago, and just woke up last night. I've spent the night in the guest lab making notes and measurements, and I'm putting together a requisition of the supplies that I'll be needing when I equip it. I should have it ready to give to...whomever by the end of the week."

Petronius nods at this, "We should have all of the standard equipment and supplies in storage already, so it will simply be a matter of unpacking and installing them." His right hand rises up for an absent-minded scratch to the side of his head, just above his ear, before he continues. "We had plans to install everything before our first visitor arrived, as I believed I've mentioned. But your quick arrival took us a little by surprise."

He turns for a moment to thank the serving woman who brings him a wooden plate with a small loaf of bread and a mug of watered ale. As the woman scurries off, the magus tears off a small piece and soaks it into his ale, as he turns back to Morticia. "As anyone given you a tour of the covenant yet? As I mentioned at the council meeting, I'd be happy to give you the ten-pfennig visit." Though the German word is unfamiliar to Morticia, she can easily guess that it is is probably a local coin as she watches Petronius eat his piece of bread.

[color=blue]"I'm actually looking forward to building the laboratory. I've not had a chance to do so before, I'd always used Aesclipia's when I had work to do. I only hope that it meets the Council's expectations and will be acceptable as payment for your hospitality."

[color=blue]"Not yet. I remembered you had offered after the meeting, and I was hoping to take you up on it. "

"Good!" says the thin-boned magus as tears another small piece of bread. "Then we can get started as soon as you're finished with breakfast." Petronius has apparently missed the fact that Morticia works by night.

((I'll wait until tomorrow before moving on to the visit itself, to give the others a chance to have their magus interact with Morticia over breakfast.))

After the morning meal is completed, with Morticia eating the meal prepared for her under the supervision of by Cristofano while Petronius seems satisfied with his simple ale-soaked bread (he don't even finishes his small loaf), the two Bonisagi start the tour of the covenant.

Their first stop is the library, which Morticia recognizes as the place where they held the meeting right after her arrival. "Let me introduce you to our scribe and head librarian, Eberhard. We also have an illuminator and a binder who work with him in the scriptorium." Turning to the librarian, "Eberhard, this is the maga Morticia, from Italy. She will be visiting here for some time. You should render her assistance, if she requires help." The dark-haired young man bows slightly to Morticia, greeting her, "M'lady. We'll do what we can to help, if you need our services." Morticia notices that the short man has crooked teeth and startling golden brown eyes.

"Thank you, Eberhard," Petronius says before he leads Morticia around the various armarii. "Our library is still small, but we have secured some very good summae in both Corpus and Creo, as well as a copy of Fundamental Advances in Magic." The title is known to Morticia, as a thorough work on Magic Theory. "Unfortunately, our works on the Hermetic techniques is otherwise weak. Something I hope we can change in the future," Petronius notes.