Konrad ex Bonisagus

I have not made them up, but I can. Both standard grogs?

Both using the grog character design rules, yes.

One should be a fighting grog, assigned to you as a protector. The second one is more of a personal servant, maid, gofer, or something like that. The servant can have some useful skills, but its primary role is not that of a specialist.

I just realized yesterday that I needed to know what they were capable of before running your introductory story. Sorry for being slow on that. :blush:

I'll try and get them done today (subject to the things I have to do at work).

No need to rush, I'm usually not very active over the weekend.

It's worth taking your time to think them through, as these will be your most trusted people. Gold shirt grogs, if you will. :wink:

[size=150]Reginald the Valet[/size]

Characteristics: Int +2, Per +1, Str 0, Sta +1, Pre 0, Com +1, Dex +1 (1), Qik 0
Age: 36

Virtues: Arcane Lore, Custos (Academic), Well-Traveled
Flaws: Ability Block: Martial, Small Frame, Temperate

Personality Traits:
Loyal +2
Steady +3
Temperate +2
Animal Handling (horses) 1
Area Lore: Negrisaxa Covenent (nearby towns and villages) 2
Artes Liberales (music) 1
Athletics (grace) 2
Awareness (alertness) 4
Bargain (food and lodging) 2
Brawl (dodging) 2
Carouse (staying sober) 2
Charm (appearing harmless) 3
Chirurgy (bind wounds) 2
Code of Hermes (mundane relations) 1
Concentration (avoiding work distractions) 1
Craft: Cooking (simple meals) 2
Dominion Lore (saints) 2
English (extensive vocabulary) 5
Etiquette (magi) 4
Faerie Lore (faerie creatures) 1
Folk Ken (townsfolk) 4
German (extensive vocabulary) 4
Guile (lying for his master) 2
Hunt (small game) 1
Infernal Lore (demons) 1
Intrigue (gossip) 2
Latin (conversational) 4
Leadership (other servants) 2
Magic Lore (magical traditions) 2
Magic Theory (sounding knowledgeable) 1
Medicine (apothecary) 2
Music (fiddle) 2
Order of Hermes Lore (politics) 1
Philosophiae (natural philosophy) 2
Profession: Servant (serving magi) 5
Ride (speed) 2
Scribe (copying books) 2
Stealth (moving quietly) 2
Survival (moors) 1
Swim (long distances) 2
Theology (biblical knowledge) 1

Background: Reginald was born in the covenant of Negrisaxa, where he was raised to a life of service to magi. His father was one of the footman for the covenant, and much the same was expected for his son. But Reginald was clever. He impressed his superiors and eventually caught the attention of some of the magi. Soon he was being given important assignments, and not too long after that, he was getting special instruction. He was even tested in simple duties assisting magi, where he performed with great success. He was able to set aside any ill feelings the Gift might have caused, and was able to serve the magi without any trouble.

By the time he was in his late teens, Reginald was considered a good candidate for one of the most important and difficult positions in the covenant - that of a personal servant to a magi. Such a position was very prestigious, but also very difficult, for it meant staying near a magus for extended periods of time, with the discomfort that brought. But at each stage of his preparation, Reginald proved adept and willing. After another year of training, he was ready for his first assignment. He was to take over as manservant to an older magus whose former manservant had reached an age where he couldn't keep up with his duties. Such was the fate of any normal person serving one of the long-lived magi.

Reginald served the magus well over the decade-and-a-half following. He saw to the magus' personal needs; he assisted him in the lab, as much as a non-Gifted person could; and when his magus traveled to the Rhine for several years to study at other covenants, Reginald went along with him. During that decade-and-a-half, Reginald was even able to learn a few things about the magical world that his magus lived in, the better to serve. In all, it was a very satisfactory pairing, and Reginald expected it to go on for many years to come.

But just over a year ago, tragedy struck. While dealing with a minor demon that was plaguing the covenant, Reginald's magus cast a spell and disappeared on the spot. And he didn't return. Not that day, nor even the week following. The other magi at the covenant told Reginald that his magus had disappeared into Wizard's Twilight, an odd place that Reginald had heard vague rumors about. They said that at his age, Reginald's magus might be gone for months, or even years. He was assigned to temporary duties, awaiting the time when his magus would return.

A year passed with no word from his magus. Soon afterward, one of the other magi came to Reginald and told him that it was unlikely that his magus would return for some time. Many years at least; possibly never. As a result, the covenant was reassigning Reginald to a new magus, a freshly-gauntleted fellow named Konrad. And so Reginald packed up his things and moved to the servant's quarters outside of Konrad's new sanctum.

But even that was not to last. Not two months later, Konrad had decided to take a trip back to his home in the Rhine. Tradition said that he could take his manservant and his shield grog with him. So it was that years later, and with a new magus, Reginald returned to the Rhine.

Aging Rolls:

Ages 35-40: Stress Die + 4 (age)

35: 1d10=8+4=12; +1 year apparent age; 1 Aging Point to and characteristic (Dex)
36: 1d10=2+4=6; +1 year apparent age

[size=150]Heinrich the Shield Grog[/size]

Characteristics: Int -2, Per +1, Str +3, Sta +2, Pre -1, Com -2, Dex +2 Qik +1
Age: 30

Virtues: Careful with Single Weapon, Covenfolk (free), Puissant with Single Weapon, Warrior
Flaws: Disfigured (large scar on face), Missing Ear, Poor Student

Personality Traits:
Brave +2
Loyal +3
Lonely -1
Animal Handling (horses) 2
Area Lore: the Rhine (military units) 2
Athletics (running) 4
Awareness (bodyguarding) 4
Bargain (ale and whores) 2
Brawl (grapples) 4
Carouse (games of chance) 2
Charm (charming the ladies) 3
Chirurgy (binding wounds) 1
English (military jargon) 2
Etiquette (military) 1
Folk Ken (soldiers) 1
German (swearing) 5
Guile (lying to authority) 2
Hunt (tracking) 2
Intrigue (gossip) 1
Leadership (in combat) 2
Profession: Soldier (guard duty) 3
Ride (battle) 2
Single Weapon (longsword) 6+2
Stealth (hide) 2
Survival (woodland) 2
Swim (long distances) 2
Thrown Weapon (stones) 3
Equipment: leather scale - full, longsword, heater shield, dagger, 2 throwing knifes. (Total Load 8, Burden 3, Encumbrance 0)

Longsword: Init +3, Atk +11, Def +10 (+13 with shield), Dam +9
Dagger: Init +1, Atk +6, Def +5, Dam +6
Knife: Init +1, Atk +6, Def +5,
Fist: Init +1, Atk +6, Def +6, Dam +3
Throwing Knife: Init +1, Atk +5, Def +4, Dam +5
Thrown Rock: Init +1, Atk +6, Def +5, Dam +5

Soak: +2 (+7 with armor)

Background: It was during Konrad's last year of apprenticeship that a man staggered up to the outbuildings of the covenant, covered in blood and barely alive. The covenfolk couldn't tell who he was or even where he was from, since he collapsed into unconsciousness shortly after he arrived. But it was clear that he'd been in a bad fight. He suffered from multiple knife or sword wounds, and had had taken a blade to the face that barely missed the eye and left one ear hanging off by just a bit of flesh.

The covenfolk took him in, as any Christian would, but there was little they could do for him aside from binding his wounds. The injuries seemed too great for the poor man to survive. The magi of the covenant were not even told of the incident, for it was known that no one would care for the life of a wanderer like him. But Konrad, with his gentle Gift, was a different matter. He was more friendly with the covenfolk than the full magi were, and was considered less imposing and more approachable. He soon learned of the dying man and came to see him.

It was clear from Konrad's first look at the injured man that the fellow's chances were not good. But that meant little to the compassionate apprentice. He'd recently lost his sister and most of her family to plague, and was not about to let this man die without a fight. He tended the man's injuries, and used what magic he could to improve his patient's chances of living. He also convinced the covenfolk that it would be ill luck to turn out a dying man. Now, the man's fight for survival would begin.

Day after day, Konrad visited the injured man after his work as an apprentice was done; and little by little, the man's health began to improve. He had regained consciousness enough to eat and use the chamberpot, but he was still very weak. All Konrad could get from him was that his name was Heinrich, and that he was from the Rhine.

Weeks passed, though not without their crises. Twice it looked as if Heinrich would die, but each time, Konrad remained at his side until the crisis was over. Finally, it became clear that Heinrich would live, though it was equally clear that without Konrad's care - and the magic he used - Heinrich would now be with God.

During this period, Konrad learned more about his patient. Heinrich was a mercenary who had served an English lord for a time, but had been looking to head back to the Rhine when he was attacked by bandits on the road through the nearby woods. The bandits outnumbered him badly, but he wasn't one to go down without a fight. He took three of them down before he received the blow to his face. After that, he ran for it. They chased him for a time, but when he killed the first one to reach him, they let him go. They already had his horse and pack with all of his belongings. Seeing him dead wasn't worth the risk of dying themselves. After that, Heinrich had wandered through the woods, dropping his sword at some point, until he arrived at Negrisaxa just around sunset. The rest Konrad knew.

In time Heinrich could get up and walk, and Konrad knew that he would soon be able to tell the man he could travel again, if he were careful about it. During Heinrich's convalescence, Konrad said nothing to him about the covenant or the magi inside, allowing the mercenary to assume that the covenant was simply a center of learning. But people are people, and even covenfolk like to talk. The people helping to tend Heinrich had told the man enough for him to piece the rest of it together, including the fact that Konrad had used magic to drag him away from death's door. He was leery of wizards in general, having heard stories about them. But he owed Konrad his life. Besides, the apprentice wasn't at all like what Heinrich thought wizards were supposed to be. He certainly wasn't aloof from the common folk.

As he talked to the covenfolk, Heinrich also learned that the covenant employed soldiers. He even learned that certain of the soldiers were dedicated to protecting the magi. Heinrich asked if Konrad had such a protector and was told that he did not, still being just an apprentice. From that point on, Heinrich determined to be Konrad's protector. When he was fit enough to leave his bed, he went straight to the Turb sergeant and asked to join the grogs of the covenant. Once he was fit enough to demonstrate his fighting prowess, Heinrich was accepted. And when Konrad passed his gauntlet, Heinrich immediately volunteered to become his shield grog.

Note: I was assuming that I could take armor that was Standard cost, but not Expensive. If that's not the case, then I'll give him chainmail. Just let me know.

I've redone his servant and grog a little bit, including renaming them. I did this mostly because I forgot that I'd made these up originally. (Though I stole some background once I did.)

I split off his grogs into their own topic.

OOC: What resources does Konrad start off with? I know each of us comes with a small bit of wealth/books/etc. I was wondering what Konrad had.

What would have liked to have? Make a wish list. The more reasonable the list, the more likely you are to have it (at least in part). Try to make it clear what is more of a priority for your magus.

The obvious answer is:
lab equipment
But that doesn't really answer your question. You want to know how much money, how much lab equipment, and what books.

So I'll try for some simple answers
enough money and lab equipment to set up a proper lab (I am a Bonisagus, after all), with maybe a little bit left over for expenses.
what books I can manage on the arts I'm worst at, as well as something on Chirurgery or Medicine.
I figure that the money/lab equipment would be pretty easy to manage. It's the book issue that needs some prioritizing.

I would say that my priorities are:
Simple books on any Art I have a 1 in
Obviously summae are preferred. But I realize that tractati are more likely. If I do manage to score an Art summa, I'm only expecting something around level 5-6. I can't imagine I'd have obtained anything better than that just out of gauntlet.

Lab equipment is cumbersome, so if you didn't know where you were going when you left Nigrasaxa it would have been a pain in the neck having to transport it around. Imagine several large crates, containing some stuff that is either fragile, perishable, or both. Lug that around from Nigrasaxa to Lübeck, then to Anvers, then again to wherever you're going. When any proper covenant would have been expected to be able to provide such equipment through its usual supply channels. Soooo... did your magus indeed plan ahead of time that he needed to carry those "easy to arrange" supplies around? Or would he have taken it for granted that his new covenant would be able to supply him with one? Your choice! :wink:

How much money you have will depend on that answer. (Carrying those crates around is costly!)

Now, as for books, your priority seems to be on mundane books, so:

  • There ain't such things as books on Chirurgy. It's more of a lay man's art, taught through practice rather than through books. Particularly since most chirurgeons are uneducated (they are often simply barbers).
  • So, moving on to Medicine, let's be generous and say that you were able to arrange for a copy of Causa et Cura by Hildegard of Bingen. It's a summa on both Medicine (L3) and Philosophiae (L2) of excellent quality (Q13).
  • Nigrasaxa was very reluctant to allow you to copy any books on Arts. You were only able to get a basic summa scribed by a former apprentice of the covenant on Ignem (L7Q9).

A lot depends on what Bernhard said when he obliquely referred to the new covenant. My understanding was that he spoke about a new covenant being founded around a newly discovered vis source, without established magi above you. (In fact, that was much of the appeal.) "New" implies a covenant without established resources or an established supply chain. This is further supported by the lack of magi above us. That means no established labs and therefore no established chain of supply for lab equipment. As you say, any proper covenant would have been expected to be able to provide such equipment through its usual supply channels. But from what Berhard said, this is new covenant which would hardly be expected to be a "proper" established covenant.

I'm not trying to game the system here. It's just that based on how I understood Bernhard having described the covenant, Konrad would expect that nothing would be established, and that they'd have to set up their labs without there being an established system to do so.

That having been said, you're right that lab equipment is cumbersome, and the trip from Nigrasaxa is a long one. What's more, Konrad wasn't expecting the extreme isolation of the current covenant. I doubt he'd have carted a whole lab (or most of one) all the way from England. Realistically, he'd probably expect that most common stores and equipment would be reasonably available at the new covenant, if with more difficulty than with an established covenant. What he'd probably do is pick up some hard-to-get ingredients and equipment when he got to Lubek, where his family is merchants (or the place he's in now. Where is that again?) Furthermore, once Japik explained that they were on an isolated island, he'd probably rush around trying to get whatever he could to fill out a lab in his current locale. (I'm not sure how big the place is or how likely it would be to have what he needs. But at least he's got a Gentle Gift and can actually ask around.)

So it's a mixed answer. No, he wouldn't have carted his lab stuff from Nigrasaxa. You're right, that's absurd. But he'd probably have several boxes of hard-to-get lab equipment and ingredients with him. How much would that offset the cost to set up a lab? That's your call. More than nothing, less than all, I'd imagine.

What are your thoughts?

Don't worry, I'm not trolling for another book. But I did want to gently note that there were, in fact, books on chirurgery. As it happens, my wife and kids are in a medieval re-creation group, and one of their members does a medical presentation. I checked my facts with her, and she said that there are quite a few surviving medieval books on surgery (chirurgery). She took much of her presentation from Guy de Chauliac's Major Surgery (Chirurgia Magna), which was written in the mid-14th century. She also refers to a couple of other surgeons, such as John of Arderne and Henri de Mondeville. There's a heavily-illustrated manuscript of Roger of Parma's Surgery, written around 1180 and translated into Anglo-Norman some time in the 13th century, that she uses for visuals.

She says that it's true that medicine was a recognized subject in the universities, and surgery was not. Physicians (those with degrees in medicine) were far more prestigious, but surgery was less restricted by the rigidity of scholasticism, and advanced much more quickly as a result, through practical/empirical learning. (She notes that Guy's book is great for things like "Galen says this, and the Arabs recommend that, and Hippocrates was all about the other, but in MY experience, here's the best solution".) But she says the facts just don't support an assertion that there were no books on surgery (chirurgery).

For survey information, she notes that Carole Rawcliffe has done a lot of research into medical practice and public health in medieval England, and is highly respected in that area. Her Medicine and Society in Later Medieval England includes a chapter on surgeons which notes that it was more likely for surgeons on the Continent to have medical (i.e. university) training than for those in England, though it was by no means unheard of even there, and a handful of men practiced as both physicians and surgeons. Most surgeons trained in the artisanal apprenticeship tradition, and were subjected to the usual requirement of demonstrating mastery, but many also continued their studies privately. As Rawcliffe says, "That leading exponents of surgery, at least, could hold their own in the company of learned physicians and clerks is apparent from the widespread evidence of book ownership and private study among craft members during the later Middle Ages."

My friend also notes that there seems to have been a well-understood three-part system of medical care involving physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries, but they treated mostly the urban well-to-do. The poor or rural folks relied on "empirics" -- who are the "uneducated" providers that you refer to, and who were looked down on by the educated. Some women trained formally as surgeons and apothecaries, but in England at least not as physicians.

And, by the way ... she notes that autopsies were performed and knowledge of anatomy was surprisingly good (though physiology not so much -- they totally missed the circulatory system, for example). What she's concluded from the reading she's done so far is that while theories to explain HOW treatments (and maladies) worked would strike us as very peculiar these days, the fact remains that a lot of the treatments did work.

In any case, that was your Schoolhouse Rock moment. Sorry I wasn't able to set it to music. :wink:

Great info on chirurgy, which I was not aware of. You learn new things every day, and it's a great thing. :smiley:

Let's just say that Konrad was simply not yet able to secure a copy of any book of chirurgy, then. He knows they exist, but couldn't afford nor copy one with the resources he had.

Going back to the question of the lab. I know you're not trying to game the system, don't worry about that. I'm good with the hard-to-get equipment and ingredients. That would probably cover a bit over half the cost of establishing a lab (3 out of 5 pounds). The rest is still needed for cumbersome furnishing as well as perishables. He'd end up travelling with the equivalent of two large crates. Still too much for his grogs to carry around without the use of a cart (or ship).

As a consequence (partly) of having to carry those around, plus the expenses related to his stay in Lübeck to visit his family, he has around 5 pounds of silver as hard currency.

The book on Medicine was more important anyway. :slight_smile:

(BTW, I ordered the book my friend recommended - it was only $7, including shipping - so I may well have some more info to pepper Konrad's posts with.)

The lab material sounds fine. 3/5 of the cost of a lab is pretty good.

Does he start with any vis?

Nope, no vis for Konrad. If he had any, he spent it all to take care of his nephew when he became sick.

The level of resources he is starting with (half a lab, one very good book, one poor book, a small amount of silver) is consistent with what the others had. 8)

Righto. Sounds good.

BTW, found an article that seems to cover most of what you mentioned here. Just browsed it quickly, but it looks interesting. What's the book you ordered? I might be interested, as I do medieval re-creation as well. :smiley:

Medicine and Society in Later Medieval England, by Carole Rawcliffe

I'll let you know how it is.

Also, my friend tells me that a retired surgeon named Leonard Rosenman has been translating "the eight seminal treatises that reintroduced surgery into medieval Europe after 1170 AD" and publishing them via Xlibris. The editorial quality isn't the best, but they're the only complete sources she's found in English.

What era do you do? My wife and kids are in a group called La Belle Compagnie, which does Hundred Years War re-creation. They have a wonderful book out called The Peel Affinity.