In which we secure land for the Covenant

Works for me.

Me too

When the various groups get back, they find Tartessos has arrived home. He has unpacked to some degree, and laid out items, some familiar (Grog in a box IOQ), many not. There is an iron box hovering a few inches above the ground, an assortment of gloves, chisels and wands. Three bound tomes are laid atop a truly impressive stack of varied papers.

"Hello, everybody! I'm back, and like any good Verditius, I brought toys!"

[tab][/tab] Maffeo follows the rest of the group from Mggar. Unless otherwise engaged, he will make polite conversation with Julia about the weather, the land, anything innocuous really, keeping anything “important” off the table with evasions and generalities. Keeping a low profile is second nature to him.
[tab][/tab] The young Mercere is intrigued by this “traveling camp”, mildly curious as to how both women in their small group are unchaperoned, eager to meet the rest of the people.... and a bit appalled that the people here were actually considering having the covenant next to the village....

Julia will converse with the stranger, on a cherchul note, but sometimes letting out hints of being annoyed by something, especially when she mistep (she cannot fly back to the camp because of the presence of the two strangers)

"So Maffeo, why did you come to Malta ? "

[tab][/tab] Maffeo ponders a bit how to answer the question. In a soft, unhurried voice he confides in Julia '[color=blue] You have mentioned the Order yes? There have been some inquires though the messenger channels about Malta, the kind that hint the creation of a new covenant. As I have been looking for membership in one and my need is for seclusion, nay almost self-exile, I decided to come here and see what may be.” He smiles charmingly, giving off the sense that he would prefer not to talk further of this.

Paphos will consider Maffeo for a moment, then speak. "I am Paphos Pygmalios, an artist of the Galatean School. Maffeo, forgive my impudence, but you do not seem to have the air of someone seeking membership."

[tab][/tab] Maffeo blinks slowly '[color=blue]I am pleased to meet you Mr Pygmalios, kindly clarify your statement?” he objects politely, then carries on “[color=blue] Verily am I seeking a place to belong. I even have a writ of commendation from Harco and a letter of introduction for the covenant to be. Truly, I could have petitioned one of the established covenants in the mainland, but the opportunity to start on even ground with a new one is a siren's song.... Thus I present myself here, a pilgrim petitioning entrance. ” He hopes he has dispelled any suspicions the other man has.

Ironically, Paphos is suspicious of a man claiming to be a mage who does not present the negative effects of the gift. So he's reacting as if you did indeed have the gift. Paphos shakes his head, "No matter, I'm sure you will be welcome in our community; many have left recently but the caravan has always welcomed new members who seek knowledge."

He turns to the girl and introduces himself specifically to her. "Your headman seemed quite concerned about our presence at the ruins. Is the problem the long term affect of staying within the boundary, or is there something else at work he neglected to mention? We are quite aware of the long term affect; we call it aura, know how to mitigate it's damage and how to harness the power for good. Regardless, the hospital itself would not be on that land, but other scholars in our group wish to study the effect."

Hakima is crouching down by the floating box, apparently trying to determine how it functions. I'm not really sure. All I know of is the poisoning. she pokes it So you know how to use it, the aura or whatever, for medical purposes? Did you make this box or steal it off someone? I've always wanted to try my hand at alchemy, but its expensive... why would anyone make a floating box? she's trying to hide her envy the best she can. She's speaking in Arabic assuming that everyone can either understand it half decently or get it translated.

As Hakima inspects the box, it shies away from her hand, then approaches when she stops. Despite the incongruity of a chest doing this, the action itself is quite familiar to anyone who has ever been around a young puppy. For those observant in the group, they would see Tartessos smiling and making quick motions with his fingers; he's having fun playing.

Paphos will watch the interaction and let out a laugh. "Not directly concerned with healing, no. As I told your headman, the scholars of the caravan have many interests, of which healing is one. Tartessos for example, who presumably made the chest, is a mason like I am, and even an artist in his own way, but is little interested in medicine. Instead he makes magnificent toys such as the one you are playing with.

I don't think there are any alchemists currently in the caravan, nor do I know of the costs, but if you wish to stay a few days to observe, you are certainly welcome. Many who come to the caravan find they like a life on the road He pauses, as if out of sadness. "Alas, with the loss of our founder, the road has left us behind and we seek a new place. The stars have led us to Malta, and to several sites of the ancients specifically. As I told your headman, we wish to build adjacent to the ancient temple; that is where we would have the hospital, but our other researchers would need access to the limestone area to harness the power found there. We have ways to avoid the poisoning and have no wish to bring harm to the people of the village. This will be the case regardless of what site we settle in.

David turns to Tomas and says in classical latin "I think she just said someone was poisoned!" He then turns to the Hakim and continues in Arabic "did you say someone was poisoned?"

She doesn't stop speaking Arabic No! No one was poisoned! Everyone's fine. The ruins are poisonous. We're safe here., and in case he has trouble understanding the Arabic repeats in Latin No human is poisoned. Ruins Poisoned. No go to ruins. Safe here. Everyone is safe.

Tomas looks up when she says that in Latin. He respond in that tongue. "I assume this poisoning you refer to changes people? Warps them? The inner part of the ruins would surely do that to most people. The outer part? Not actually a problem if you are careful. And we understand the inner part so as not to be warped by it."

Master Paphos raises an eyebrow when she speaks in Latin. "Hakima, just to be clear, is the poisoning you speak of the weird things that happen to creatures who spend too much time at Skorba? Things that are inexplicable but almost always negative?"

Yes. she responds in Latin, slightly unsure of some of the words the man used, but she was pretty sure she got the gist.

[tab][/tab] The Mercere discreetly listens to the discussion about the ruins and its probable aura, though the interchange between bad Italian, fast Arabic and halting Latin makes it a linguistic puzzle. His eye is caught by the box of the Vertidius, though he is too polite to mess with another magus' property. Maffeo looks around, taking in the sight of the caravan. These people were on the road all the time, presumably their laboratories, if any, would be mobile. He wonders if the denizens are prepared for a more static and permanent home after so much time.

Tartessos sees the Mercere eyeing the box and explains, "It is a lab enhancement, intended to carry tools and other objects one might need. I suppose it could have many uses, but my needs are simple. I can make more if you are in need, and have vis." OOC, the chest is described in the Tartessos thread, third page "Attentive Chest of the Mage's Desire".

Turning to Tomas, "Tomas, I have a few tomes to add to the library, nothing special, just some mediocre mundane volumes, but they count for something, I suppose. Is the library still in the same place?"

Tomas, of course, would know how much Tartessos loved the caravan library, and was proud of how much progress he had made studying from it.

Tomas looks surprised, having managed not to really register Tartessos return until now. "The library is still where it was. Welcome back. Unfortunately, the master of the caravan seems to have gone on to twilight. So we are planning to stay here. There is an amazing amount to explore, and good places for a covenant, if we can figure out how to get permission. We hope to set up a hospital, which should help befriend the nobles and bring in some money."

"I just flew in, and boy are my arms tired. I'll take a few minutes and get these tomes settled." :smiley:. He gathers the stack and heads off.

A few minutes later he returns without the stack, but his face is almost purple with consternation. In a low voice, "Tomas, where's the library? All I found were two summa and a scattering of tracti."