He's going to need a total of 11 pawns of Rego and/or Mentem vis to bind Alcimus (it would normally be 8, but he has Waster of Vis). The rabbit helped, but more Mentem is definitely needed, so he is still going to be trying to trade. (He has considered trying to kill the covenant's ghosts for vis, but that feels like the sort of thing likely to have unwanted and potentially serious side-effects).
OK, the 1230 date must have reflected the influence of malign magic: if there was a tribunal in 1205, the next few would have been in 1212, 1219, and 1226, placing the next one in 1233--well into the future.
Yeah, apparently I can't do arithmetic. Did I mention that I'm a professional data scientist?
Lord, what a mess.
So, we have the following:
Continuity with Purification through Fire suggests tribunals in 1226 and 1233. However, that places a tribunal in a year we already experienced, in which we didn't attend or even remark upon a tribunal. Oops. In theory, the tribunal could have been held in Winter 1226, that is, the season before the covenant's foundation, but that wouldn't allow at all for the cat-herding entailed by a tribunal-wide coordinated effort.
ArM5 canon and the story text you quoted give us 1228. But that creates basically the same problem as 1226, unless we want to rush off to the tribunal in Autumn. That would slow things down a bit, but we could try to do it quickly, and it might be a fun way to introduce new players/characters.
I'm pretty sure the 1227 reference is essentially a typo, and we can disregard it.
I think that Autumn 1228 is probably the best of the flawed options. Or might we suggest something else?
I'd thought teacher, but I can't remember why now.
We'd need a patron in time for tribunal, which means that if we go for 1228 (which as you say does have the advantage of being consistent with the standard ArM 5 continuity) it'll have to be someone other than Halia, as I don't see trying to appoint a gorgon working out well.
I was a professor, yes. I changed careers a few years ago.
Do we need a patron just to show up? We might not be officially recognized as a covenant yet, but I'm not sure that matters much. I mean, the tribunal did found us, and not very long ago at that, so it's not like we're trying to barge in.
Not as such, but it does stop us being eligible for a degree of citizenship - you have to be resident at an establised Theban covenant to qualify. Gregorius might manage to get round this by taking up temporary membership at Gigas (it's something the covenant is stated as doing, and our charter doesn't have an exclusivity clause); however, TSE does state resident at rather than merely "a member of", which is problematic.
Announcing to the world that we're not actually a properly recognised covenant may have its downsides as well, as it means we have a lot fewer rights (although the Theban tribunal tends to be relatively civil about these things).
The alternative would be to put in a temporary patron now, and possibly replace them down the line. I don't think we have any candidates Viola's particularly going to like, though.
I'm not sure if it goes against a story you have in mind for the future, however having NC as a starting covenant, and going through the trial of gaining this sort of special magical patron is really interesting. in the meta-game I think it is one of the special aspects of the tribunal which I've not seen before. Just a quick thought.
My impression is that "is there a suitable patron", or at least "can we find a suitable patron in preparation" is probably usually a significant consideration in deciding to found a covenant in Thebes, whereas we're more approaching it from a "we've founded a (proto-)covenant - now we need to get a patron" angle.
There is one covenant that had a sort of similar problem in TSE - Moero's Garden got forced out on Constantinople, and needed to find a patron for their new site (as the previous patron remained at the old covenant, and the patron has to be reside within the covenant). They got round the problem by summoning and binding a ghost - it's not a great solution, because the ghost is weak and resentful of its binding.
Fair enough. I think though that Nova Castra's status as a covenant sponsored by the tribunal will lead to some forbearance on the part of the other covenants. After all, we weren't founded in the normal way: we were ordered to go to a particular spot, as opposed to siting the covenant at the location of a suitable patron. The other covenants will I think understand that we'll have to spend time finding a patron who's suitable--and I suspect that imitating Moero's Garden would do us more harm than good, since it would risk turning a measure in extremis into a precedent that makes the patron rule effectively meaningless.
I'm not fully clear - when you're talking about the other covenants being understanding, are you meaning they'll recognise us as a covenant anyway, despite us not meeting the requirements (which I'm not convinced will be the case, given the patron is a peripheral code requirement and not just a social convention), or just that it won't make everybody hate us?
Do we really want to wait another seven years before being eligible for citizenship?
I don't think they'd officially recognize us, but it's possible, given the unusual circumstances (when I set up the saga, I didn't have the patron problem in mind). I'm just not sure why it matters much whether we're officially citizens or not: what happens if we're not?
I think they'd have to actively change the peripheral code in order to recognise us, which is a pretty big ask (especially as it feeds into the existing tensions between the League Against Idolatory and the more traditionalist elements of the tribunal). Anything that looks like it's removing the requirement for a patron (or even is a step in that direction) is going to receive support from some magi (mostly those from Gigas and Oikos tou Eleous), but definite opposition from others. Whilst Gregorius would be all for it IC, OOC it feels like the sort of thing that would be the culmination of a lot of work, rather than a background handwave.
If we're not official citizens (politai), we're resident foreigners (metoikoi). This is a second-class status - whilst we actually can vote at tribunal (contrary to my expectations before looking it up), we can only do so in the Hermetic Assembly (which tends to deal with civil matters such as the various degrees of citizenship and contrition etc.) - we can't do so in the Law Assembly (which covers changes to the peripheral code) or the People's Court (which covers hermetic crimes). In addition:
We can;t submit a proposal for a change in the peripheral code (probably particularly relevant for us here...)
We're not eligible for any office
We can't make a formal complaint about any office holder
We can't participate in the shards or tokens system. This means, in addition to the basic drawback of not being able to use tokens gained to get favours from other magi:
We can't take any apprentice from the apprentice presentation other than the ones left over at the end no-one else wants (and this will affect next tribunal as well, as you give tokens to apprentices before the tribunal starts).
We're not eligible for the tribunal's provision of Longevity rituals - both Viola and Gregorius are going to start aging in the next 7 years (although it's true there are other ways to get them).
Not being a formal covenant probably also puts our claim on vis sources in question - whilst it's true the tribunal wants us to exist, some of the more fervant defender of the tribunal's traditions are the Hedyosmun Tytali...
I don't think either of us is running for office, and I'm not sure we'd have the political wherewithal to change the peripheral code anyway.
The shards thing might be serious. The apprentices problem is conditional on our using the canonical tribunal apprentice system--we never decided on that, but it didn't seem especially popular with the players back when we discussed it.
Viola isn't overly concerned about a Longevity ritual for the moment, given her faerie nature--and she'd probably like to try to have children at some point (admittedly, it might be easier to do that sooner rather than later, but she hasn't exactly been looking for romance).
One possible solution is to say that the Tribunal made us members of a sponsoring covenant (or covenants) for the time up until we've established a patron.
I'll have Fray dedicate a season to some items we chatted about earlier, if that is something that the two other Magi woudl still like (old post). I cannot find what was discussed around using vis, payment or somesuch for crafting covenant items. I'm thinking of the Eyes of the Cat effect and the Doublet of Impenetrable Silk effects in lesser items.
In the Theban tribunal it's not a matter of running for office (or at least, not for the junior positions) - citizens are drawn out of a pool by lot, and can't refuse to serve without getting a shard (and get tokens at the end of their term assuming they've done a decent job). We wouldn't be eligible for it this tribunal in any case, as the names that go into the hat are those who were citizens before the start of the tribunal, but it would affect whether we were eligible next time.
I quite like the Theban apprentice system - whilst it has its downsides (principally the wait until someone who's been found can actually start their training), it also has the advantage that it's easier to pair up suitable magi and apprentices, rather than it being semi-random. I think the main objection to it was that Cuchulainshound didn't like its interaction with his Bonisagus apprentice-hunter concept, which is a moot point now. Admittedly I haven't reread the relevant bit of the thread recently, so I might be forgetting other people's reactions.
A variant of the sponsoring covenant thing is the thing I'd been thinking about already with Gregorius and Gigas. By a strict reading of the rules, I'm not sure it works, though, as a citizen has to be resident at an established covenant, rather than a member of it (page 32 of TSE).