Malta, the long run

This thread will be used to handle long term gaming of malta- seasonal plans or activities which take too long to be done in game but are short of an entire season at a time. When an activity leads to a story that will spin off into a separate thread. This thread should be reserved for simple (as in casting a spell or non-story approaches) investigations, investments, building plans and the like.

Archimedes will inform the others that there are ghosts present below (probably not a big surprise), and that he is just barely able to detect them, and can't do much of anything about them, but he doesn't mind coexisting with them. Since it sounds like Marcus isn't interested in an underground laboratory, he would like to take the third sub-level as his sanctum. That is assuming that Taliha also wants to be underground; but is more desirous of fresh air; he points out that someone has to protect the statue by including it in their sanctum, he will do so if Taliha doesn't want to take a big chunk of the second level.

In terms of vis searching/divination, he will first ask, "What vis is in this aura?" in the Hypogeum and the Temple. His strategy after that will be "What is the vis nearest but not inside this aura?", go and harvest that vis, recording the location, then return home and repeat. So it will take him longer to find the vis (each question takes an hour, plus whatever travel time), but he won't have to deal with a glut of information.

Marcus is concerned with the mundaner things in life. Getting a house suitable for living, a few servants. Did Archimedes or Taliha already have plans for the building? Can they do it magically? If we need to recruit builders in town, Marcus can do that, possibly with the help of Julia. If they need more silver, Marcus can go to Naples to see his sister and Guccio, and sell a pawn of vis (IIUC that's a lot of silver). How do the others propose to get the buildings up?

OOC, Archimedes could build with ReTe/ReHe but he has no Finesse. So just having a manor house built mundanely is probably the best option. If it's planned properly, we can have one wing in the aura and one wing outside the aura, so we can have a couple of labs there but the covenfolk won't get warped.

Taliha agrees that mundane building is the way to go. If the site were in a regio then we could perhaps think about doing something with magic but even a "house built in a day" would be suspect.

OOC side note: Since there are almost no large trees on Malta, pretty much everything is built of stone.

Do we have the money to recruit masons and labourers? And buy the stone? If we do, Marcus asks Julia to join him. Otherwise, he goes to Naples, I think.

Are we still in Winter 1194?

We have 170 MP from Archimedes. Though some of it is in draft form and so someone will have to go back to a Mercere house anyway.

Wait, seriously. How quickly do we need the money? I cannot carry 100 lbs of silver from Naples without armed guard. How much do we need and how quickly?

Do you have enough silver to get started with the construction? We don't speak the local language either, which gives us a problem when we recruit labour. I could try recruit people in Naples, but I am not sure that is practical in the numbers we need.

We would likely need to return to a Mercere house to get the money we need. Taliha purchased the books directly off the draft and only took 5mps worth of silver (a mere 6,000 1,000 coins IIRC). Though we have obviously spent some of that traveling.

Taliha takes a liking to the lower-right corner of the middle level. Rooms labeled Acoustic Hall (7), Unfinished Hall (6), and Decorated Hall (9). It would likely require placing some sort of barrier to close it off from the Antechamber (5). I'm also not so sure the entrance to the lowest level is very accessible without passage through the Decorated Hall (9).

He has 10 MP.

Take the draft, sell another pawn or two of vis, so we can get all we need for the next few years. Then hire armed guards in Naples to keep you and the money safe. We need a turb anyway.

There is a summary of medieval money on C&G 143; the main point of which is that a "Mythic Pound" is a money of account having nothing to do with an actual pound of silver. In 1220 everything is on Charlemagne's system, which is pounds/solidus/denarii.

Regarding the entrance to the lowest level, 7, 6, 9 doesn't create a problem, there's access through 12, 11, 1.

Edit: It also shouldn't be hard to find Norman mercenaries that speak all the languages around here. Makes a good shield grog.

Marcus argues strongly for constructing buildings with cloisters surrounding a garden. No, it is not going top look like a monastery. It is just a manorial lord with good taste. We may not build all of it at once, though. Start with one side and expand. Can we build around the cave entrance? (@silveroak, is the terrain suitable for that?)

If we do build around the entrance, we probably have to make detached housing for covenfolk outside the main buildings, but with a 76' aura diameter, we are only talking a few paces away or so. Unless we make the main building very large to stretch it across the boundary.

Going to Naples is not an issue. There are several reasons to do so. The unsolved problems are (1) recruiting labour when we do not speak the local language, and (2) safely transporting several stones of silver.

What do you mean «having nothing to do with» a pound of silver? I agree that the precise weight may have drifted over time, but all canon sources I have seen equate a MP with 240 (mythic) silver pennies, and large amounts are still weighed rather than counted in coin, so there is a relationship.

OK. Marcus will go to Naples and deal with the money. He will invite Guccio to join, and at least discuss trade, banking and recruiting with him in confidence. Do we need an IC thread for that?

I mean that a pound coin is a Mythic Pound because some king says it is, and because people agree it is, not because it actually consists of a pound of silver, or weighs a pound. There's no way venetian trade could have worked if it took thousands of grosso to make up a pound.

But if that's what we're going to go with, I won't argue the point further. I think others enjoy the logistical minutiae more than I do so I'll leave it alone.

It may seem that the story happens exactly at the time when more weight efficient coinage starts to develop. In England the pound sterling starts to differ from a pound weight of silver from around 1300. I have no doubt that Venice went through that process earlier, but how widespread such coins are in Sicily and on Malta around 1200, I have no idea about. If @silveroak decides we can use light-weight coins, then I am not going to fight for difficult logistics.

Well, ~1,000 grosso is 5 pounds. 15 MPs was more. It was less minutia than “my size -1, strength -3 character cannot carry all that much and it would be conspicuous anyway.”

Julia would be happy to go to Naples but I would like to note that, again, my own character will probably take front seat.

the divination reveals that vis in the cave consists of Creo, perdo, Corpus, animal, terram, aurum, and aquum.
The nearby temple has Ignem, Creo, Animal and herbem vis
The next nearest site is a half mile towards the bay, and would be another adventure to explore...
You can fit that in during the winter still, if you are not to busy with other activities setting up the covenant...

lighter weight coins are rare, and indicate a combination of purity and reputation of the minting authority. The savings In weight are minimal and unless you have an exceptionally straightforward source 9such as dealing with merchants from the area or the relevant authority) not likely to make up a large percentage of your currency. The actual weight savings at this point would be under 10%.

Side note about Julia, if someone else wanted to play her for Naples that'd probably be fine too.

Based on your reply to loke I assume you need me to roll a sight InVi spell to actually find the vis in the cave and the temple, which he just rolled and succeeded.

what is the duration? When you first cast it you spot over 400 pawns of vis, each in a separate item.

If I get the picture right here,

  1. We can literally swim in vis.
  2. We have no means of constructing buildings or furnishing the caves without travelling.
  3. We are going to sell vis for silver, rather than try to establish mundane income.
  4. Julia and Marcus travel to Naples, and possibly other cities on the way to,
    a. Sell 1-2p vis.
    b. Hire grogs to serve as shield grogs and interpreters, possibly Norman merenaries.
    c. Liaise with Guccio.
    d. If they can hire a mason too, they will probably do that.
    e. While at it, probably buy lab equipment.
  5. Returning from Naples with an interpreter, they will recruit workers and procure stone to build suitable accommodation.
  6. Archimedes gathers the vis identified.

Anything else?

[Well, @Plot_Device, Marcus tells you that he finds the place littered with vis, and he does not have the spells to identify it accurately. I reckon we leave the job with you for the common good.]