Chapter 5: Travel to Duremar

Henrich and Justus leaves as soon as the interrogation with the prisoner is over. The long road to Duremar is uneventful and tedious. The party arrives at Duremar at noon and it is a cold but clear day. Outside of the grand Duremar estate Justus turn to Henrich and speaks.

[color=red]I have brought a few vis with us so that you can gain admittance to the library. Though we need to make a decision. Should we tell the librarian what we are searching for or should we search alone. With his help I think that our task will be much faster but then we risk to reveal more information then necessary. Yet we don’t know who are on or side though I suspect that there are not any foes here. We need to find a tome regarding the Pomeranian forest or some guide to vis sources. My suggestion is that we act like normal visitors and enter the covenant and are guided to the guest quarters and then talk to the librarian, pretending to be just average library visitors. I have brought with me a splinter of out council chamber table. We could use that if we need to send some message home.

Heinrich has had a slight chill since entering the Black Forest. - [color=red]What I wouldn't give for a Saxon beer... Mmmm... the librarian or not. Justus, I'm sorely leaning towards taking a chance on the librarian. As you it would save time and we represent a substantial percentage of our covenant leagues away from the border, and silversmiths, and strong-armed foreign covenants.

Are you hoping to find information on vis sources to increase our stocks and therefore our bargaining position? Mayhaps we'd be lucky to find something on their side of the border and our service can be our suggested service fee. And I'd love to find some clue as to the alleged upcoming power play. Well, may the good Lord shine up on our humble mission, covenant and dire strait.

Heinrich laughs out loud - [color=red]You have a piece of the table? - He pulls out a fistful-sized piece of mortar - [color=red]I found a small piece of the manor wall. He looks at it smiling - [color=red] And no holes left that will let in rats. Finally, a respectable clearing and glorious... historical... edifices!

Justus smiles, [color=red]I took a piece of our own table so that I can give a message to our soldaes. Transfer messages fast through arcane connections. I’ll talk to the librarian. I have no intention to try to find more vis sources, but it is a good idea to find out what tribunal we belong to. Is the spring next to our covenant registered as a Novgorodian or a Rihne vis source, that is my question.

Justus and Henrich gets their accommodation in the guest house. The covenfolk of Duremar are gaunt and shady figures, the warping of the aura has seemingly taken its toll. As the magi approaches the library Justus speaks to Henrich. [color=red]If you ever have the chance of study here at some time you need to know a few things about the library. Never ever try to borrow or write a copy without permission. I saw one apprentice who did that…. It where not pretty. I know that you are not a thief but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Justus points at the tower. In the first floor there are discontinued lab projects, merely walking through that section makes you wish that you where a Bonisagus. The second floor contains spells and lab texts and the third floor contains tomes of the arts and other tomes in other subjects. Above the third floor, in the fourth and fifth there are guest labs. If one is lucky or waits a long time they are available and you can use the lab texts in the library. The sixth and seventh floor are the librarians personal sanctum. I have heard that is the basement that contains the real treasures though, relics from the founders.

The magi walks though the library door and ascend up the stairs. Just within the doors there a man standing behind a counter. He looks at Justus and Henrich and measures them with his eyes. Justus looks at the man and speaks to him. [color=red]Salve soldae. We are Justus Felix child of Pralix and this is Henrich Ex Jerbiton. We seek admittance to study from the library. Justus reaches into a small bag. Here is our contribution to the library. Justus presents his tome and discreetly handles a small pouch to the man. The man looks for a moment at the tome and at the pouch and then back at the magi. The library assistant is a gaunt male with rat coloured hair and eyes who stand out and a sharp nose. He speaks with a soft voice. [color=red]Salve soldaes, I am Frigidian apprentice of Andrus Ex Bonisagus, librarian of Durenmar. I thank you for you contribution. The library assistance voice sounds as thinks that the contribution is bellow the standards. [color=red]I will hand it over to my master and he will determine if they are worthy contributions. Until you access have been granted I must ask of you to remain in the guest quarters. Without further notice Frigidian seems to ignore that the two magi are standing in front of him.

Justus takes Henrich with him back to the guest quarters and later they are seated at a table in the guest food hall, both with a pint and a steak in front of them and Justus complaining about the librarian assistant a maga dressed in travellers clothing walks up to them and asks. [color=red]Salve magi, I am Urania Ex Verditius. May I join you at your table?

Heinrich takes a half-take and replies flabbergasted - [color=red]The spring?! and then realizing he feels he's speaking too loud - (sotto voce) [color=red]Good lord, the spring?! Mein gott, if our covenant lies next to a Novgorodian territorial vis source, then we're in for it! I'm gladder for it we're here to determine our fortunes.

After walking away from Frigidian the assistant librarian and well around two corners - discreetly - [color=red]Bit of a snooty chap, eh? Looking down his nose at what we know to be honorable efforts and great resources! Must think everyone else is a provincial bumpkin.

...and the over steak and beer, Heinrich looks up at the maga addressing them and, from exhaustion of the road, takes two seconds longer to than comfortable... - [color=red]Salve! Of course, mein freund, sit! Sit! Are you recently travelling? And, if so, from how far?

[color=red]Perhaps it is. You remember that spring right outside our covenant. That is our main source of vis and I suspect that it is the target of our enemies. There are no other vis source that I know of in our vicinity.

Justus agrees but then points out that a word from the librarian and you are barred from life from the library, and the librarian gets his information from his assistants. Sad but true.

[color=red]For the moment I stay here at Duremar. I have even managed to rent me a lab. The woman his obviously happy about it. Travel all across the Rihne tribunal, I am one of the Peregrinatores (magi who travel from covenant to covenant and rely on the Rihne tribunals laws of hospitality).[color=red] I have recently left a covenant in the south of the tribunal and are renting a lab here for a moment. Where my next covenant is I don’t know. Now tell me where are you from? I guess that you are here for the library. The maga shines up in an eager way, seemingly interested.

[color=red]We are from the Pomeranian Forest - Ad Fons covenant. A short journey from Kolberg on the coast. I've not personally met a peregrinator, but I've imagined the road to be hard and hospitality to be of many varying colors. just making rhetorical chit-chat [color=red]South from here? Dankmar?

Aye, the library. Good ol' research for the alma mater. Heinrich stays non-descript.

[color=blue]ooc- I've got the Rhine Tribunal book so feel free to pull out all the stops! :slight_smile:

[color=red]Right out of apprenticeship I lived three years at a small covenant in the Bavarian forest, Creta aedificium I think it where called. Lived there for three years. Then I spent a year at Fengheld and studied in their library mostly. After that I didn’t know what to do but I wanted to go to Verdi and so I did. When I returned I stayed three years at Occulus and then a year in a covenant up way in the Baltic. And after that I returned to a new covenant in Constance, it had not even a name when I went there. Now I finaly have been granted access here so I may study from the Great library. Now tell me more of Ad Fons? What are your rules for hospitality?

Justus replies. [color=red]My soldaes and I have not settled upon a policy for such occasions as we have not yet gotten the question but I suppose that we would demand the usual oath of mutual protection and then perhaps some fee for use of a lab and the library. Perhaps a season of work for every year or so. Can’t tell really as we have not discussed the matter.

[color=blue]If no particular subject is brought up then the evening pass on with pleasant if a bit talkative company.

Pleasant talk continues, but Heinrich will politely inquire as to the general nature of Urania's research if she seems personable. Heinrich mentions that Oculus is his covenant of apprenticeship.

Later in the evening back in our quarters Heinrich suggests to Justus that perhaps guests at our covenant - especially an interested Verditius peregrinator - might be play a supportive role in our covenant's rocky times.

Urania is interested in all of the arts and survives by making lesser enchanted devices to magi in need. She is a metalworker and have mostly sold of rings that does a number of effects and some laboratory equipment.

Justus replies to Henrichs proposal. [color=red]I think that the suggestion is a sound one and that we should take it up at the council at home and if so send a letter to Urania. Fist we must see to that our covenant is a proper place to have visiting magi. There should be a spare lab. But perhaps it better so seize the moment and invite her to discuss the terms. It will take some time before she arrives so we can fix what needs to be fixed. I’ll go talk to her in the morning.

The evening turns into night and night into morning.

After a quick breakfast it is of to the library. Once at the library assistant they need to stop in order to see if they have been granted access. The assistant looks down in his ledger. [color=red]Justus Felix Ex Miscellanea and Henrich Ex Jerbiton you have been granted access to our fine library until the end of the summer. Without an effort to sound polite the assistant says. [color=red]Enjoy your stay.

Once up the stairs Henrich can see that Justus is boiling with rage though he does his best to keep it from venting. Once at the third floor the magi can stop. In front of them there are a book case and a label, recent arrivals. Justus sees his book displayed here and nearly bounce of the floor in happiness. Justus turns to Henrich his face are now filled with joy. [color=red]Henrich I made it into the library. The librarian liked my book! Justus then hushes himself as he realised that he spoke to loud. Justus now speaks with a softer voice. [color=red]I’ll suggest that we divide our search and tries to find what we need. Have you ever been here before?

Heinrich quietly says - [color=red]Congratulations and no, I haven't been here before, but I'm ready to study quickly and begin the search.

Henrich and Justus spend much time in the library studying day after day searching for any clue of what their foes may be after. Henrich has little success in locating anything. His lack of any knowledge of Duremar makes his efforts without result. (The roll should have a +3 for the greatness of the library as well, but it won’t do).

Justus searches the library with more success but he can’t find any details. Justus finds a tome (Pomerania witches, werewolves and what else?, a tractaus on Pomerania lore Q12) ( that mentions that a significant vis source that is a life brining spring where once a Novgorod vis source and later became a Rihne vis source. The ownership where contested as the location has been traden back and forth between the tribunal. Some times the area have been a part of Novgorod and that includes the area that the Ad Fons covenant stands on and other times it where a part of the Rihne tribunal. The last time it changed ownership where back in Tribunal of 1164 when the area became a part of the Rihne tribunal.

Justus speaks to Henrich once they are alone. [color=red]I suspect that our soldaes should know of this but then we need to know more. Perhaps we should look for covenants on the other side of the border. I should be some of them who perhaps uncovered a document that changes the ownership of the area around our covenant. Perhaps I shall search the library concerning tales from Novgorod and you see if there are any Redcaps that can tell us anything. If you do not find anyone then comeback here and help me. By the way I gave the Verditi maga an invitation.

Heinrich talking about the Novgorodian/Rhine claims states - [color=red]Well, here is an obvious point of contention. And anyone could have utilized the historical precedent they just have to have the might or political leverage.

Indeed we should look for Novgorodian covenants and information about them but perhaps their tribunal histories or minutes would be important as well. I'll talk to every redcap and traveller from the east that I can. Perhaps we can find word of living tribunal members that would have been on councils (i.e. committees) regarding Rhine-Novgorod affairs as well? If we are lucky they are here at Durenmar - or perhaps in between if not too far off the beaten path. I'll ask librarians on my way out. [color=blue]Heinrich's Hermetic Order Lore = 1 : History.

Presuming we have a few days to take our time to settle in as visiting researchers Heinrich will spend spare time in the library as breaks from getting to try to know folks. Heinrich will tell tales - especially with redcaps - sparing many great details of travels and lands as apprentice and covenant member to "socialize." At the same time he'll be inquiring - especially at the library - with others how to learn more about the history of interribunal politics and politicos.

[color=blue]This border politics lore is actually something I had as part of my background story when I first designed Heinrich as a character although it's not reflected in his abilities. I brought up interest in intertribunal border politics so this might be a good tie-in as personal history or as an intro to springboard a specialty in Rhine Tribunal lore: border politics.

Apparently Heinrich will be doing lots of socializing. Heinrich'll be sure to act as if he's getting simple regional historical and area search with Kolberg as a sort of growing urban tie in for a Jerbiton's urban interests - the growing town squeezed between coast and forest and all.

Henrich learns from the man that there are three covenants within a fair distance from the Ad Fons covenant. The one that belongs to Constantia and two others. The one located furthest to the south is currently ruled by a former apprentice of Igor Rastavan, some say that Igor Rastavan is the ruler but rules through his apprentice. The other covenant is according to Igor the Redcap a pawn of Rastavan’s apprentice. Henrich also learn that there are a growing conflict between Rastavan’s apprentice and Constantia. There have been a few skirmishes around the odd vis source but so far nothing has escalated further. ( add +1 for charm.)

Later that day Justus meets up with Henrich. [color=red]I found a few things in this tractatus, A modern study of tribunal politics (A Hermes lore tractatus of Q 12 that could give a specialty on Rihne-Novgorodian politics). ( ) What Justus found confirms what Henrich uncovered. Justus looks at Henrich. [color=red]I suggest that we try to contact our soldaes and tell them what we know.

Heinrich is floored by the likely political powderkeg (for this part of the border). [color=red]I am very happy to return as soon as possible, and, I also find myself strangely and very reluctant to suggest my next question as I feel a terrible urge to protect the home nest. But do we have time and is it worth my energy to stay back temporarily to study this tractatus in order to come back more prepared to deal with tribunal maneuvering?

Justus sighs.[color=red] I fear that it is not worth the time. I gave you the title so that you can spend the summer here once this is resolved to study. I thought that you had a interest for politics. We have after all paid for study until the end of the summer. The tribunal (and so the summer season)[color=red] is in a few weeks. If Constantia speaks the truth, that is where the plot will unfold. And then I am afraid that it is too late. We either contact our soldaes and tell them to travel here so that we make our stand in the tribunals debating area, regardless of who our opponent are. The other option is to resolve this matter in a unconventional way as Constantia mentioned. I have talked to Uriana so we can use her lab for casting of a ceremonial spell to contact our soldaes. Perhaps it is best that we talk to them before we take action.

[color=red]A few weeks? Mein gott! I'll be glad to assist with the ceremony immediately. We'll hail Ad Fons at once, then.

Justus leads Henrich to the laboratory that Uriana uses for her library work. The laboratory is smaller than usual but equipped with fine equipment and great tools. Uriana has trusted the Ad Fons magi enough to sit down in the library awaiting them to finish their spell casting.

[color=red]I’ll start by alerting our soldaes back at the covenant. Justus casts a spell that will make the council table in Ad Fons sound with a bestial roar that is heard through the entire covenant. (CrIm Base 1 + 4 for range arcane connection). [color=red]I will now use spontaneous magic to create a First magnitude opening the Intangible tunnel so that you may make some spell to communicate with our soldaes. I will have to concentrate on the spell so you’ll talk to our soldaes. Justus begins casting the spell and concentrate on keeping it working.

[color=blue]Hmmmmm... Heinrich has CR/Me Silent Conspiracy - lvl 15? Heinrich will add a little time for mystical choreography to give a boost to the efforts (less time in Urania's lab) and cast CR/Me Silent Conspiracy - lvl 15 to talk to the nearest sodale back at Ad Fons. Creo 9 - Mentem 7 - Philosophae 1- Artes Liberales 3- Stamina 1 - Aura is great?. If this goes great I'll talk to all of them back home.

Justus suggests between his teeth that you try to create sound at the council table as it does not have a mind of its own and perhaps try to get some effect that allows you to hear what the others have to say.

[color=blue]OOC: Could Henrich manage… Cr(In)Im Base 1 create a “image” that affect a single sense or in this case a sound, R: Touch +1 mag., D: Diam. Or Conc. +1 magnitude, T: Ind., +1 magnitude for intelligible sounds (i.e. words) and +1 magnitude for a Intellego requisite that allows Henrich to hear what is happening at the other location. Total level 5.

To speed things up I assume that Henrich goes with Justus idea.

[color=blue]Cr 9, In 7, Im 5, Sta 1, Laboratory 4 to ceremonial magic, Artes liberates 4, Philosophiae 1, Magical aura 7 -- > Total: 29

Henrich doesn’t even need to be fatigued.

Heinrich utters - [color=red]Hello! Hello! Will a magus present himself to the council table! Guten tag! Oi! Come on over, we have news from the Black Forest! Boo! Get your arse over here!

[color=blue]Some poor covenfolk might be a tad unsettled by the sound blaring out of the table - they think about approaching uncertainly, but the ridiculous sounding 'Boo!' makes up their mind for them and they back away and decide to let a mage know instead. - Heinrich addresses the first to arrive.

After introductions and quick news about the journey - [color=red]Oh thank goodness! We have some timely and important news that won't wait a return journey. Justus, has discovered that there is a older historical Novgorodian - and even initial - claim on the spring at our covenant. It later became part of the Rhine tribunal. It has been traded back and forth between the tribunals and thus has precedence to be traded again. The last trade was 1164 back to the Rhine.

The cast of characters in Novgorod include not only Constantia but potentially includes the crew of one mage, Igor Rastavan, his former apprentice in a nearby covenant to our south and another covenant that is rumored to be ruled by a pawn of this former apprentice. There are already minor conflicts between this mage and Constantia over, of course, vis sources.

So, we feel that this is very possibly what Constantia's information might relate to. Is there more, Justus?