Chapter 5: Council meeting

Justus is sitting on his throne like chair still wearing bandages from the injuries he sustained. The vine and food in even more splendid for this council meeting than for those that have been before. Once everyone has taken their seat Justus raises his voice and starts to speak. [color=red]There is only very little time before Maga Constantia Ex Flambeau visit us, she should have been here weeks ago, but she sent a mail that she will get delayed. I have also received a letter from the quesiatoris mentioning that our errand is taken care of and leaves his care, though it doesn’t mention what has happened to it. Before I’ll let our covenfolk enter the room and speak I’ll just mention that we have a peculiar problem to solve. We have over 80pounds of silver and a gold treasure and some vis behind a sturdy wooden door guarded by one of the larger grogs in the bottom floor of the covenant building. I think that this is a security problem that needs to be solved. We can talk about this later. Oh and I shall repeat our vis stores before we decide how to use them,for the moment we have eight Aquam vis, one Vim, four Animal, four Herbam, eight Terram, two corpus and three creo. Then Justus summons the covenfolk. All of the covenfolk bows in turns as their name are called. [color=red]I’ll let them speak in turns and then we can ask them questions.

Erich is allowed to speak first. Erich is a forceful man who speaks with a stern voice. [color=red]I have the following to report, he states, Both the militia and the new guards are training and the tournaments have been an appreciated success. Everything is going fine. I have heard of some soldiers who have left their employ and returned home they should be a good addition to our forces if my lords thinks that we need more able men.

Gunter is a slender man with a cruel look upon his face and speaks with a soft voice. [color=red]Our funds are still decreasing we have 83 pounds of silver left. The new tax system seems to work fine but have not yet yield any result. I must ask you masters to make some effort to save silver or at least fill up the stores.

Horst is next one to speak. His average height and has a sturdy body can easily mistake him for a peasant rather than the head of the villagers. [color=red]I must thank you my lords for supporting my daughters wedding. When I where there I got the impression that the mayor of Kolberg needed to borrow silver. With your permission I can lend the lord of Kolberg some silver and either earn an few pounds of silver or improve our relations with Kolberg.

Father Gerald steps forward and starts to speak.[color=red] Blessing of the Lord upon you masters and this covenant. The local congregation have a healthy spiritual health but there are one thing that bothers me. I mass lately there seems to have been some covenfolk missing from attending the sermons. I fear for the spiritual health of my heard. Is this a matter for me to solve or will my lords have something to say in the matter?

The servants and covenfolk exit the rooms so that the magi can deliberate in peace and wait to be summoned as is the usual practice.

[color=red]There seem to be no great developments here. We should continue to try and raise more money. I think it dangerous to loan money to mundanes it is a sin and can often cause resentment particulary if there are problems with repayment.
We should find out what are servants are doing if they do not attend church while this is matter of concern to me I would rather one of my Sodali attend to this as my investigations may cause more trouble.

[color=blue]OOC this is later in the same season as my plot so Mariella is still involved in her lab work , Ilse is still expectant rather than having delivered her child as well. Mariella is keeping an eye on developments there

Krispin listens carefully to the reports from Justus and the covenfolk. His plate and wine glass are notably empty, and he firmly refuses any offer by servants to fill it, quietly claiming to already have eaten. He listens quietly as Mariella speaks, and then jumps in himself at the appropriate time. [color=red]I am hardly a scholar of Scripture, but I believe it is usury that is the sin. The loaning of money to a friend is not, provided no usury is charged. I see no problem with improving our relationship with the local lord, provided it is done in a… circumspect manner. We will have to deal with whatever mundane is nominal lord of these lands eventually, and better to do it on our terms than on theirs. This is, of course, provided that he can be expected to repay the loan in a timely manner.

Since we have the blessing of several Gently Gifted members, perhaps a few of us could go to negotiate the loan personally? We would have to do it in a way that is not suggestive of any sort of violation on our part, but I think that walking that fine line is a necessary evil that many covenants face.

Regardless, we do need a source of silver and of savings, preferably one that will not adversely affect the local economy like the, ahem, windfall we were discussing earlier. Now that things are quiet, I will volunteer my skills in Creo and Herbam to craft some sort of device for forestry or agriculture, if my sodales will agree to make similar contributions. I assume that the vis for such communal projects would come from communual stores?

I am indeed sorry to hear about the good Father’s wayward flock, but I imagine that this is more of a spiritual matter than a material one. I say we let him attend to it. However, one of us should keep an eye on him to make sure that the covenfolk are not doing anything that would aversely affect us. If they are simply a little lax in their devotions, I say leave it for Father Gerald to deal with.

[color=red]Why should we force these men to follow the christian god if they don't care? Why should we even back up father gerard for this? If they don't worship him, fine! I don't.
Note also that this is exactly the kind of behaviour that the werewolf tribe feard, the kind of behaviour that'll make ennemies of them, and I must say I perfectly understand their position on this.

Then... Justus... Was all this fine food really necessary? I appreciate the attention, but still, we should cut back a little, shouldn't we? At least for some time.

Krispin, the herbam project has been discussed since the beginning, I'm all in favor of you doing it.

[color=red]I agree with Ardath. There is no need to force the covenfolk to Father Geralds services. I intend to improve our relations with Aldrick and his kin in the years to come, and I intend to come back here in one piece. :slight_smile:

Cutting back on the expenses for food is not a good idea I think. We have a cook working here, and we don't pay her for not working. Good food will be a substantial factor towards good morale of our covenfolk in bad times. Which we have had in plenty, as far as I remember.

Lending out money that we don't have at hand will most certainly get us into trouble with jews and quaesitori all alike...
But then, Horst is sort of obligated to do so, the mayor being his father-in-law. We need more information on Kolberg.

As for herbal projects:
I finished the item I've been talking about for so long. I'll have it brought to the forresters soon enough, we will learn about its impact in a couple of years.
Would you agree to have the children of the village pass the night of the full moon after their seventh birthday with the forresters? I thought of some sort of initiation into the forrests mysteries.
Krispin, the two of us will need to talk, and do some planning for projects to come, so we do not do the same work twice.
Or maybe I should rather focus on animal, to give us a broader base of operation, what do you think?

[color=red]After your recent experiences , you do not worry about those who avoid the church that seems .... Unwise. I will investigate then.
As for the loan one of the options was to make some money for it , that is Usury . Should we decide to buy favours from mundanes with Loans or Gifts that is politics we are not so wealthy we can do so freely but I do not oppose the principle of buying freindship . If we are to do so we may also want to see if the Church or Local merchants wish money as they also ahve power
This was unclaimed land if some mundane comes and demands service from us I can negotiate that matter.

[color=red]I´ll suggest that we let Horst handle the loan and demand no interest, it will strengthen our relations in the future and that can only be a good thing. Justus pause for breath for a moment. [color=red]About the churchgoers, we cannot force faith upon our people but we must fight the infernal. In order to do that I’ll suggest that we investigate discreetly if only just to see if the forces of the abyss are at work here but we make no involvement if we don’t need to. Do anyone of you think that we shall raise our expenses and hire more armed men? Regarding the food and wine, I don’t think that it is wrong of us to enjoy a little fine wine and food once every season.

[color=red]You should, of course, do whatever you believe is right. I’m sure each one of us will do the same. Krispin’s plate and glass remain conspicuously empty.

[color=red]Your form of… negotiation… is a stopgap measure and one that would bring ruin on us all. Worse, it would do so much, much faster than simple negotiation with a few harmless mundanes. If we have a reasonable claim and mundanes backing us up, it will never come to that.

[color=red] I agree with your suggestion about the loan, Justus. Speaking of which, exactly how much money are we loaning, here? Is it something we can afford, or replace easily from our “windfall”?

[color=red]Since we agree some action is necessary, I will handle it, with the aid of any of my Gently Gifted brethren who would like to join me. Those who avoid the Church do not necessarily truck with the devil, but if they do, we will seek it out. Heinrich and Yannick, it strikes me that our skills together would be perfect for the job – perhaps each of us could investigate the problem and, between us, come to some consensus? Mariella, your investigations might be thorough but with the potency of your Gift I fear they would not endear us to the covenfolk, the good father, or the Church.

[color=red]That seems like an equitable division. I would gladly tend to the plants if you will handle the animals.

[color=red]Hopefully the situation will not happen , but I bow to no mundane authority

[color=red]Since we agree some action is necessary, I will handle it, with the aid of any of my Gently Gifted brethren who would like to join me. Those who avoid the Church do not necessarily truck with the devil, but if they do, we will seek it out. Heinrich and Yannick, it strikes me that our skills together would be perfect for the job – perhaps each of us could investigate the problem and, between us, come to some consensus? Mariella, your investigations might be thorough but with the potency of your Gift I fear they would not endear us to the covenfolk, the good father, or the Church.

[color=red]As I said originally I prefered that others investiage this matter, and now that someone is I will avoid the problems caused by the poor reactions of Mundanes.

[color=red]I think that this is the shortest council meeting so far. We agree upon investigating the missing churchgoers and not hire any extra armed men. Are we really sure that we will not discuss what to say when Constantia visit us. Perhaps we can strike some trade deal with her. I’ll talk to the silver smith who moved here regarding production of lab equipment for our covenant. He should have set up his shop by now. Is there anything anyone wish to say before we conclude this council meeting and set about to do our tasks? Justus looks at his soldaes and gets ready to move on.

[color=red]I see no problem with it, it might even help out in the future.

[color=red]I'd like to, but fear that we can't afford it for now.
We'll just have to make do, and continue with training the milicia.

[color=red]I had forgotten this. We should be careful around her.
What kind of trade do we want to settle? What can we propose? What should we keep secret?

[color=red]Without Knowing what she wishes to discuss it is hard to decide on a strategy in advance. Given her interest in our covenant I suspect she wants something or knows something about this area which we do not. It will be difficult to anticipate her.
While we are discussing the Silversmith we also seem to have a competent swordsmith perhaps we should see if we can set him up . That may be another source of income.
If we set up any of the craftsmen we should see if there is anything we can do with magic to lower their costs and raise our profit margins

[color=red]I don't know Ardath what she can offer, but I suspect that her tribunal is rich of vis and poor on anything else.We just have to wait and see what happens. Justus pause, [color=red]I'll talk to the swordsmith also.

Heinrich replies to Krispin - [color=red]Aye, let's go see where the wayward sheep might be wandering off to!