For conversations around the covenant, outside of adventures.
Upon arrival at Gardenia, Bartomeus learns from his sodales which of the labs has been assigned to him for his use (Lab 6).
The Bonisagus appears relieved to find that the lab is in a single-story dedicated building, modestly spacious, constructed with care and forethought. Bartomeus walks through the building, taking his time and care in each room. An unusually large cat with the tortoiseshell pattern to its luxurious fur pads noiselessly at his side, its active eyes studying the space as carefully as the magus, though the set of the felines ears might indicate a vague sense of disgust.
"What were you thinking bringing us up to this remote mountain top? We're in the middle of nowhere! Nowhere!" says the feline. "If our bond was any less than it is, I would leave you to this forsaken outpost and go back to my friends in Brescia."
"Give it time, Aurelius. Give them time. We only just arrived. I have a very good feeling about Gardenia. Can't you feel it? The aura here is tremendous!" Bartomeus continues moving from the comfortable room, naturally set up to be a sanctum, to the more open space that is set up as a laboratory. "It won't take long for us to continue our research. Just a few seasons to help our new colleagues shore up the foundations of this covenant. It's really rather exciting, don't you think?"
"Your idea of exciting and mine couldn't be more different." The tortoiseshell feline paces the outer edges of the laboratory space, effectively ending the conversation as he studies nooks, crannies, and lower spaces harder for the magus to see or reach.
Bartomeus takes time to inventory the laboratory, to have cleaning grogs dust and sweep the sanctum room and the laboratory itself, and then he takes time to make the necessary mark of square, circle, and diagonal lines surrounding the elegantly written outline of his name: Bartomeus ex Bonisagus.
Elia is out early in the morning, as is her custom, and tends to the small herb garden she's cultivating. Most of it is done with minor spells, but it's a joy to see them grow. But she can't help but wonder what more one could harness from plants. And in this strong Aura, it is time to see just how far this Aura extends. And who better to help her explore than their new Bonisagus resident. She was certain that he'd be up for such exploration, so she called Riza over "Now, we're gonna go and meet Bartomeus, and I ask you to be nice to his cat." But before Riza can speak, she adds "No, be nice even if he tries to provoke you. Be both know your scream can be heard far and wide, and very loud. It's great for a defense, but still be nice. That last car wandered for a few weeks without the ability to hear." Riza wasn't happy, but she declined to answer, and instead was pouting.
Like many in a world lit primarily by flame, Bartomeus tends to rise and retire with the sun, though light can often be seen flickering in his sanctum for a few hours into the evenings. The magus also appears to enjoy a walk about the covenant as the sun rises, often stopping to watch the grogs go about their chores.
On this chill fall morning, Bartomeus has pulled an outer cloak about himself as he starts out, pausing after closing his door to take a deep breath of the bracing mountain air. He is alone this morning, striding casually along the pathways.
As the Bonisagus passes near the area where the magic realm gate is located, he stops and considers the area surrounding the gate. He leans on his stave as he studies the gate towering at that far end of the circular campus.
"It is an intriguing thing." Says Elia as she stands besides him. Her footsteps were just loud enough so as not to surprise him. "I am glad to see you up early."
As Bartomeus gets used to his morning walks, he'll probably cross Anastasia a few times in the morning, coming out of her lab to eat before retiring to get some sleep. She apparently works throughout the night, and sleeps during the day... If he attempts to make casual conversation in the morning, she'll dismiss him saying she's trying to stop thinking and to talk to her in the evening instead.
"It bears study, for sure," responds Bartomeus with a friendly, companionable smile to Elia as she steps up beside him. "I'm really quite pleasantly surprised by Gardenia. Such a difference form my previous environs." The magus chuckles, softly. "Maybe it's the mountain air. Who knows. Has anyone entered the gate besides Mingus?"
Bartomeus inclines his head to Anastasia, respectfully, as he hears her dismissal. As he turns to walk further, he mutters quietly. "You and Aurelius both."
"Not yet, but they do plan to enter in, I believe in the Spring. I will try and get some things done for the covenant while they're gone, but I do think it's best that one of us stay here just in case."
"Oh really? Now that would be exciting!" Bartomeus chuckles softly as he considers the idea of an expedition.
"Perhaps someday I'll join an excursion but not this spring. No, too soon. My travels to Gardenia have made that clear. I'm rather hopeless outside the laboratory or library."
"What areas do you feel you're 'hopeless' outside the lab?Perhaps we can work together to show each other's lacks, so we can all benefit from it. But i do want to take some time to see how far the aura extends, and se if we can make more use of it."
She barely notices that she has entered her teacher mode.
Bartomeus smiles and shakes his head. "Practical magics, I suppose. When we traveled here from Brescia I was no help to Master Schwartz at all. I fear I slowed him right down. It became right clear that my weakness in the elemental arts needs work if I'm to be about exploring into other realms and the mountains and forest around here." Bartomeus chuckles and shakes his head looking off in the distance.
"So the boundary of the aura… Have you begun to map it out yet?"
"I haven't begun, but it's good to mark it, so we can see what defenses we want to put in place. The illusion and the Aegis will need to be renewed, and we have no idea what the illusion is, or how to replicate it."
[It may have been noticed that Kriegeist gets up very early every day; before dawn; and is rarely seen after dark.]
He is walking around the cave perimeter, looking up at the walls and making marks on a little slate. He ends up near the two, looking down at his figures, then puts it away with a satisfied nod and joins them. "Apologies for intruding, sodales, were you discussing the illusion? I inspected it when we first arrive, and it's made of two linked effects, which leads me to believe it's an item, buried somewhere. But if it does go away, I can manage something close enough, I think."
Bartomeus inclines his head respectfully to Kriegeist as the amply-fleshed magus joins the two magi. "Ahh, curious. Do you think it's two polarized halves in an enchanted item that perhaps mark the diameter or ring of the illusion? Or simply linked effects bound together withing the structure of a more complex enchanted device?" The strawberry blond magus looks up at the cliff walls and then back at his colleagues, Elia in particular.
"So does the aura extend beyond this caldera's circumference? Or is that a natural boundary?"
Elia shrugs "I'm not sure. but that is what I had hope to find out."
The obvious difficulty in determining how far the aura extends is that it appears to extend through solid rock. Since it goes to the very edge of the rock it is safe to assume it continued from there, though whether that would be measured in feet or inches is hard to say.
"Yes, yes. I suppose a stroll through the crack might allow you to test the extent. Does the aura grow stronger near the gate?" asks Bartomeus of either of his colleagues.
(it does not, or at least not discernably so)
Bartomeus leans on his walking staff and looks back at Elia, gesturing with a hand in a rough circle toward the cliff rim of the "caldera" that is the covenant campus.
"It's really a remarkable place. The potential here is tremendous. But I suspect there is some degree of risk." His brow furrows as he looks toward the Gate.
"Have we seen anyone or anything cross over to our side?"
Nobody has reported seeing anything...