Prelude: The Gathering (Fabrica)

Elizabeth steps through the portal into the dank basement of Fengheld's meeting hall. The waiting page or guard appears a bit surprised, but not too surprised by the sudden appearance of someone through the portal. Elizabeth looks at the page, "Elizabeth filia R'aam scholae Bonisagus ab Phoenix here to see Fabrica filius Nicoforus doctrinae Verditii Diabolica an Fengheld. I am unexpected, and beg forgiveness, it is a matter of some urgency."

The page runs off, and leaves Elizabeth waiting. The page makes his way to Fabrica's tower and gets his attention, "There's some blatantly gifted maga of House Bonisagus by name of Elizabeth here to see you. She's at the Portal."

Fabrica is nose deep in a book, reading of the exploits of Philipus Niger, likely the most famous of the Archmagi in the Rhine aside from Murion when he gets the message.

Needless to say he's more than a bit surprised at the sudden announcement. He puts the book down and dons his cloak. "Should I be alarmed? Does she bear a letter to be read on the full of the moon?" Fabrica wonders at who it could be. He wasn't unknown to the Bonisagi, though had not made many inroads with them.

"Magus, am I to relay your question to her? Should I convey her to you in your antechamber? Will you meet her in the meeting hall so she doesn't have so far to travel? Should I ask her to return at an appointed hour?" The page is flumoxed.

Fabrica sighs at the page's flustered state. "Take me to her, that should be easier I think. Did she give her name at least?"

"Oh, yes. I'm sorry, magus, I thought I did." He appears genuine, though he did include her name when he came to Fabrica, "Her name is Elizabeth." Thinking that might ring a bell with Fabrica, and seeing no reaction he continues, "Of House Bonisagus.
"I'll run ahead and bring her to the meeting room closest to the Portal, Magus." And indeed he does run.

When Fabrica makes it to the meeting room, and Elizabeth is seated at a table with another table pulled out for Fabrica. Upon entering an out of breath page announces Fabrica, "Magus Fabrica filius Nicoforus doctrinae Verditii Diabolica ab Fengheld."

Elizabeth rises and greets Fabrica, "Thank you for receiving me without any notice."

"Greetings Sodales." murmurs Fabrica as he kisses her on either cheek. "The notice is short indeed, but I was only doing some light reading. Well Elizabeth of Bonisagus, to what do I owe this urgent visit?" he sits down and gestures to the page. "Some refreshments please. Thank you."

((Would Fabrica have heard of her? He has Order of Hermes Lore, but I can't make a roll right now))

((Let's say he hasn't. She's a bit of a lab rat, homebody type, not from the Rhine, hailing from Iberia.))

"I was directed here because of your most recent contest win. I was wondering if you'd like to put it to good use teaching apprentices. I'm starting a school?" At this stage, Fabrica probably can put two and two together and suss out that this may be what the special Grand Tribunal being convened might be about. He hasn't received an invitation to be a delegate, but some members of Fengheld have.

Fabrica's initial reaction is hard to gauge, he keeps his face neutral perhaps mulling over what he heard her say. Finally he speaks up.

"Who do you represent? Did my parens Nicoforus tell you how to find me? Have you spoken with Dioclement ex Verdi?" his questions seem quite suspicious and urgent. "My invention resides at Verdi even now and is not allowed to leave those halls until the next Contest. And what do you know of the item?"

Elizabeth is shaking her head at the names when asked if she's spoken to them. "I represent myself, and the Prima Bonisagus, Tria. A Grand Tribunal can request the device be returned to you, and it carries the weight of Lex Hermetica. I don't know enough of the item. I've just heard about it. But it can be returned to you sooner, if you wish to join my school."

Fabrica listens to the answers carefully and poses more questions. "What do you mean, a school? A school for the Order? How could that be? My item was invented with instruction in mind, but still with a Master and Apprentice. This...wait." he thinks for a moment over the recent talk and letters about the special Grand Tribunal that was supposed to be held soon. "This is one of the subjects being brought to the Grand Tribunal? And you want not only my item, but me to join this school?"

Elizabeth looks perturbed, as if she's been perfectly clear, "Yes, of course. Only someone who is interested in teaching others would invent such a device. Wouldn't you rather have it back sooner than later?"

Fabrica actually starts at the question and his face hardens, eyebrows knitting "Why on earth would I want to..." he begins and then stops and catches himself and then smiles at Elizabeth. "I'm sorry sodales. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the traditions at Verdi. Right now that item resides in the most prestigious studio in the Order, with the other winning items going back to when the Contest first began. It is there for the others in my House to marvel at and grow my acclaim. Removing it is actually not something I would want to do lightly." he pauses as he thinks for a few moments.

"But...if it were removed...and I were to attend this school, my item, my name will be presented at the Grand Tribunal? My accomplishments in the past and the accomplishments made in this academy, they would be spread through the Order? Would this happen?"

Elizabeth looks at Fabrica, "Well, that's kind of the point. I would think any of the teachers of the school would gather acclaim from teaching at the school. Unless it's a failure, of course."

Fabrica shakes his head and waves off the last statement. "Failure would be not having someone like me on the project." he thinks for a moment and then smiles. "So you've heard of the 'Ring of Perfect Clarity of the Master's Mind.' And that's what brought you here?" he sighs with some pride. "And the Grand Tribunal, I'd be invited?" he rubs his hands together as his smile grows. "I'm sure Dioclement would be so very interested to hear of this development. I believe you may have me."

"I'm sorry, who? Dio-who?" Elizabeth seems confused.

Fabrica's smile is beaming. "That right there says you have discerning tastes and that this project will work even better. Now though. There are obvious obstacles to this, political among them. But how are we to overcome the problems of the Gift, of individual instruction of the Arts?"

"Well, normally the master extends Parma Magica, and that could work, indeed it was what I was initially counting on being the limiting factor to how many students we can acquire. But I've been told that a Tremere has developed something that can ameliorate the effects of the Gift in certain situations. I'm not aware of all the details, but my Prima told me that we there is no effective limit on the number Gifted individuals one can have at the school and she was in discussions with the Prima Tremeris about setting a location and marshaling resources necessary for the endeavor."

Fabrica seems skeptical for a moment or two. "Well that would be necessary, but what about dilution of the arts? Teaching students is usually done one-on-one, and individual instruction is preferable. My device would help I'm sure, but the crafts taught since the Founders have ever been meant for a master and one student."

"Why is individual instruction preferable? Because that's the way it has always been done? Could only be done, I might add. She seems a bit upset by this.

Fabrica shrugs. "You see my point then. I did not create this limitation, but it exists. If there is a way around it, I think that would be necessary, otherwise we'll just be teaching more students...slower."