Halls Beneath the Earth

Upon the morn, the magi wake at dawn and engage in their ritual. Some go back to sleep, others spend the time scouting in the dim light. WIth the morning sun you can see that this will provide quite a spacious yet private area. The lab text for the spell is brought out along with the diagrams and the charts and maps that Acacius has gathered as well. Maxximianus sips on a mug of bitter tea while Aggie pours a morning ale that he warms slightly on a breakfast fire. Rhodri meanwhile is running back and forth between the older magi, performing various tasks on their behalf.

The Mundanes are told to move their gear back in order to make sure it will stay out of the way when the spell is cast.

After a sustaining breakfast of porrage and some biscuits, the magi address various issues that may influence the casting. Degrees in Aura variation, the amount of stone and rock underneath the hills, the two mystic sites and triangulating for the maximum effect, guessing how the Sigl of Maxximianus (which Rhodri explains is of script in various types and languages left behind or within the spell's effects), and whether or not the spell will deform the landscape overly much.

It's a 9th Magnitude spell based off of Conjuring the Mystic Tower, adding in additional Magnitudes to allow for a Rego requisite to move the earth aside and shape the tower and to allow for a more elaborate design. He tries to go into detail about why Perdo was not added as well, explaining that they worried that Perdo could destroy some of the elaborate designs they had in mind, but Aggie pulls him aside to gather the Vis.

Chests brought with Siobhan from her stay at Voluntas are brought forward. Opening them reveals a wondrous site. Vis! So much vis! Much of it is in the form of clay disks with the hand sign of Terram stamped on both sides. A loan that the Tribunal took out from House Mercere to help create the Covenant. Some of the vis has not been altered in its form though. Crystals, powders, flakes of stone, a vial of iron filings, what looks like the petals of a flower made of silver, and...teeth are also included. Terram is the predominant Art, as it will also be used to create your labs, and since Earth itself is in greatest abundance, it's not much of a surprise that Terram vis is also in abundance.

It is decided that the spell will be cast to coincide with the sun reaching high noon. 45 Diameters before noon (2 hours and 15 minutes) the Ritual will begin.

Siobhan watches the opening and study of the chest of vis. She is glad she is not casting this spell. She will suffer from casting to establish her lab. She doesn't want to create the building itself.

Bjorn wakes blearily at dawn to recast his Parma, grumbling once again about how he is going to design a new Parma that must be re-cast at noon, instead of this unGodly hour of dawn. Rubbing his eyes, he stumbles about the camp in search of another magus to tell him when the tower is going to be cast. Upon discovering that it isn't going to happen until noon, he tells the magus to wake him then, and promply walks off to find a quiet spot out of the way to lay down. Bjorn curls up around his precious item, and is soon fast asleep once again.

Acacius stands like an eager child to watch the ritual that will create the covenant. This is one of the most exciting moments in his life.

Siobhan carefully watches and waits for the spell casting to start. She half wishes that it was a casting tablet that she could cast the spell herself. She knows it will be a long time before she can do any magic of this level of power and she suspects the limited books might make her studies even slower.

She studies each of her fellow magics and knows that she will have a lot of work ahead of her.

Maxximianus is quiet most of the day, eating a sustaining breakfast, drinking strong tea and avoiding Aggie. One snarled rebuke from Maxximianus and Aggie decided to drink his ale elsewhere. Some of the sod is peeled back to closely examine the soil, which Aine helpfully provides and is one of the last tasks that is performed in preparation for the grand casting of the Ritual. Some of the younger magi wonder if all of this is necessary. Aggie snorts.

"Well we could probably wing it, but with all that vis we might knock a hole all the way through the bloody island and sink it! With all that vis..." he whistles as the chests are brought up. "That's the makings for a magical disaster! It reminds me of the time Maxi tried conjuring a simple animal, a bull I think, when he was a wee bit drunk..."

"I was conjuring a horse! Why would I conjure a bull?! I get enough from you to last a lifetime!" snarls Maximianus who was going through the components, but couldn't help and overhear.

"Well, whether it was a horse or a mouse, you conjured a crazed bull! It charged through that old covenant you used to stay at!" Aggie guffaws at the memory. Maxximianus merely shakes his head sternly.

"Fool!" he finally mutters. "It was you that distracted me..! You'd better not distract me while I cast this!"

"Aye, aye." Aggie says with a wave, and then steps aside with a bow to allow Maxximianus to step into place for the ritual.

Rhodri takes Maxximianus's arm and walks him to the designated site for casting the ritual. Once there Rhodri opens a leather satchel that is skillfully stitched with golden threads depicting keys, snakes, and other arcane symbols. He pulls from it with reverence a heavy black velvet cloak, the hem stitched in in red and gold thread. Maxximianus shrugs off his plainer cloak and lets it fall into the mud. Rhodri holds the robe up and places it over the master Bonisagus's shoulders, as he slowly turns. It can already be seen that he's muttering softly in Latin as he does the turn and is dressed in the fine cloak. Once complete he faces the site of your future covenant and calls out in a bold voice, shaking the onlookers out of their quiet watchfulness. Aggie shakes his head at all the ceremony but stays quiet as he takes another drink of ale.

Rhodri steps back and around his old master, grabbing the discarded cloak and hurrying to the assembled covenfolk and magi. He casts the muddy garment to one of the serving girls before addressing Dermot, who he knows speaks Latin.

"Lord Dermot! You must keep them all back!" he whispers as loud as he dares. "For their safety, for all of our safety! And keep them quiet, not even a babe must cry!" Rhodri turns to his Sodales. "We shall be protected by our Parma and Gift, but mighty magic will be released, as I'm sure you're aware. I will attend my master for the Ritual, but you must help keep it quiet and calm. The spell will take 45 Diameters to cast!" Rhodri looks behind him to see that Maxximianus is chanting still, and one hand is making a slight circle gesture, as if to say 'come here'. "The vis!" Rhodri hisses as he hurries back to his Master, and reaches into the chest full of vis. He picks up a clay disk and hands it to him. Maxximianus takes the disk and crushes it in both hands, then forms the gestures for Terram with his Left hand, and Creo merging to Rego with his Right, clay crumbles and falls to the ground in sprinkles. A faint feeling of apprehension can be felt, as if one is near a hill and the sound of falling rocks can be distantly heard.

The old wizard continues the Ritual.

The time ticks by agonizingly. The patience and concentration required is enormous, most of you grow tired merely watching and listening to the old wizard drone on in his clear but monotoned voice, and wonder if you shall ever be able to maintain such poise or be able to cast such a powerful spell. Rhodri stays nearby at all times, being quiet and observant for any of Maxximianus's needs. Every 5th Diamater he gives his Master another clay disk, who repeats the process of crushing it before making the Hermetic hand signs. Each time the vis is used that feeling of growing power increases, causing the hairs on people's necks to raise up and nerves to stretch taut.

At one point there is a collective gasp from the onlookers as Maxximianus pauses his casting to cough for several seconds and clear his throat. Rhodri is struggling to stay calm as possible as he provides a mug of tea that had been kept near just in case. The old Bonisagus seems unconcerned as he quenches his thirst and then begins chanting again as if there had been no interruption.

After two hours of continued chanting, the final clay disk is provided, representing the final cost for the 9th magnitude spell. Maxximianus's hands are caked with clay as he crushes the last one and rubs his hands, trying to get off all of the solidifed magical power. His chanting continues, increasing in volume and intensity as the ground begins to tremble slightly.

Maxximianus shows surprising spryness as he quickly steps back, leaving Rhodri behind to grab the chest of vis and hurry back himself. The trembling of the ground increases, along with a deep rumbling sound from under the ground in front of where Maxximianus and Rhodri stood. Many of the clans men back up still further, some breaking into a panicked run, others give chase to the animals they have, who snort and pull at their tethers and then bolt. Suddenly a mound of earth bubbles up from the ground and trembles, still covered by the rich green grass. It then rolls forward like a wave, before subsiding again. More mounds appear and begin rolling beneath the earth, sometimes merging to form a larger mound, sometimes breaking up into smaller mounds before fading. The grass breaks apart in some areas, exposing the soil underneath, but for the most part stays covering like a blanket on a thrashing person.

All the while the ground trembles and a deep rumbling resonates throughout the area. Finally after perhaps a minute of this the rumbling stops, leaving one mound remaining, still covered with grass, looking like a short hillock amidst all the rest of the hills. Moments later the grass on the side of the hillock facing you sloughs off, revealing a dark opening leading into the ground, some dust emanating from it. The covenfolk stay well back, their fear overwhelming any curiosity. Aggie stands still with an undrunk mug of ale in his hand, clearly impressed by the display. Rhodri helps his master to a stool and gives him a mug of tea as he begins to weakly cough.

When Siobhan realized that the whole chest of vis is in the ritual area, she rushes forward. She makes sure the vis for the spell is there but gets the chest itself out of the area in case of explosion, mishap or anything else.

When the spell ends, she looks at the mound of dirt with the single opening and is one of the first to head into the opening. As she gets inside she realizes that a light source will be needed and considers the options for deal with it.

As the appointed hour for starting the ritual nears, Bjorn is shook awake roughly by a servant. Rubbing his eyes and yawning, he slowly stands and stretches, taking a look about. Seeing all the magi gathered together, he picks up his item and walks over, waking up more completely as he goes. He greets the magi around him, but more speach is cut off by Maxximianus starting his ritual.

When Maxximianus is finished, and the ground finally stops rolling, Bjorn gapes along with the rest of the magi. He snaps out of it as Siobhan eagerly moves forward to peek in the opening. Quick to recover, he moves after her and pokes his own head in the hole. "A bit dark, don't you think?"

Stepping back out of the hole, he rests his item on the ground and attempts a spontaneous spell to make some light. Finished, he picks up his item in his other hand and cautiously moves into the opening.

Palm of Flame, Level 5
Cr 6 +Ig 2 + Aura ? + Roll 7 = (15 + Aura)/2

Acacius is very impressed by the ritual, he has never seen powerful magic at use. He thinks I must explore that… But for that I need some light. If his light spell that he cast to illuminate camp is still working then he tries to find it otherwise he looks for some mundane source of light.

Rhodri leaves his Master behind to join the others at the entrance. "Thank you Sodales." he says to Siobhan, for the help she provided moving the vis. Looking inside with the sun and the light from Bjorn's flame. Inside, the tunnel extends perhaps ten feet before it descends on stone carved stairs. The air smells of the rich earth it came from and while cool, is actually warmer than the air outside. As you advance in slightly you can see that the walls are decorated with fine carvings, upon closer examination they seem to cover every square inch of the walls, ceilings and floor of this tunnel.

"Ah...Maxximianus's sigil. It used to be gibberish, but he believes that since a Twilight episode that he had a few decades ago there is meaning in it somewhere." As you look closer at it, you can see that it's fine script, skillfully carved. It looks like it might be carved in Latin.

Siobhan mutters in latin, straining herself so that she has plenty of light. She can always dampen it with a spontaneous vim spell. She starts to glow with the light of a torch. This works well since she can hold her hand to the wall and read the writing some. She suspects that the latin is likely the words of the spell that created the tower over and over. The tower might be one giant lab text to how to make it. She prepares to head down the stairs knowing that there will need to be a lot of furniture brought in. "A few tapestries will cover the walls and make the place look a lot more livable. So would a lot of light." She definately sees how this place will need work.

OOC: Spont spell for light (Equal to torchlight base 3, personal (she will glow in the dark), sun +2) for level 5, using 1 fatigue

Sta 1 + Creo 4 + Ig 1 + aura 5 = 11 + 0 (0, 8 rolled) = 11/2 = 5

Between the Palm of Flame and the glowing Maga the area is well lit. The stairs descend into darkness still, with the traceries of Latin script flowing down into the darkness. As you go deeper the air's temperature stays the same. Without the sun to warm it, or the cold air to cool it, it stays a cool and still atmosphere. There is no dust or dirt anywhere, the main evidence that this was carved so quickly out of the ground are the occasional corpse of a mole, or scuttling insects.

"Blast! We should have added Perdo Animal!" mutters Rhodri as he nudges aside a crushed mole with his foot. Descending down the first flight of steps you come to a large round landing. "Ah...the Covenant proper. This shall be...or could be the waiting area for guests as well quarters for custos. There is a chamber large enough to serve as a lab. We thought we'd use it if we needed to depending on how many magi we have, or it could be used as a guest lab, or even a neutral lab, with no sanctum so two magi can work safely. We also have chambers that shall serve as a kitchen and another that can serve as a dining area. We have several chimney chutes that lead the smoke further away from the underground chambers, so that our true location will not be easily found. This shaft..." he points to an antechamber that has a wide stone shaft that leads straight down into darkness. "Is for a well. If Acacius's research is correct we've tapped into an underground spring, and the bottom of the shaft should be filling now. With the application of Rego Aquam and Terram Magic, we can likely have easy access to fresh water on all levels of the Covenant."

Around this central landing that you stand are arrayed several doorways, but no doors, darkness lurking behind each opening, all covered in the flowing Latin script. To one side is a wide double stone spiral staircase leading straight down into the Covenant.

Siobhan considers, "It would be good if we can figure out exactly what we have and who will be on what level. Obviously Aggie has first choice and probably the upper most. We still have a lot of casting to do today to get the labs equipped and we will need to get carpender busy on cottages for the grogs, doors, beds, and other furniture." The writing on the wall is still fascinating the quaesitor.

OOC as I have not seen those movies and I have no idea what you are describing without some sort of visual image. Definately is not my original idea of spiral staircase going up and down all levels so that we can use ReTe (rise of feathery body too) up and down the shaft for mass movements of equipment.

Bjorn starts poking his head in each of the doorways to inspect what lies beyond. He is very excited to see the drawings he viewed not too long ago in the flesh. He speaks over his shoulder to the other magi. "And how will we choose who is where after Aggie? Lottery?" He glances closely at some of the writing on the wall that he is in, to see if he notices any repeating from in the hall. "We have a carpenter?"

Might I suggest that we walk through the entire covenant and see what areas are available for laboratory placement? Once we have seen the areas we either have found our favourites or we have to hold a lottery about the lab spaces. Personally I would prefer a lab close to the ground to spare me a few long walks to my garden. Acacius gaze into the dark in front of the group

"I think we all would prefer being closer to ground. Even if it this were a tower going up rather than down, we would all prefer closer to the ground. If there is not a carpenter among that custos, we better see about hiring one fast. I am sure though that there are likely several as they have to have someone able to build them places to live and furniture." Siobhan considers the various rooms. "There is a lot of space but it will take effort to make it comfortable."

"Myself, I have no real preference, I could take one deeper if no one else wants one. We'll likely be without doors for a bit though, that's for certain. The Ritual to create our labs will create most other things, including stony shelves and tables. But no doors. I'm sure there are some able bodied men among that clan that can put hammer to nail." he makes a bit of a show of examining the cleanliness of his fingernails. "I myself have some spells that I'm rather proficient in, and could cast them to make crafted items of wood and metal, as long as the raw materials are there. Such magic is my specialty actually."

Now would be a good time to check and see the Grogs that we have, does anyone have carpentry or other skills like that? If not, we could certainly design one. Rhodri has the spell Mystical Carpenter, and as long as there was the right materials he could whip up a lot of the things needed, whether wood or metal.