Spring 1220: Announcements and Decisions

The air was crisp on the spring day in Glen Airgeaed Scotland when the conclave had its most recent meeting. There was still snow on the mountains and frost in the morning. But the promise of sunnier days was there, and all knew that warmer times were coming.

Inside one of the few stone buildings in the covenant, several men and women met to discuss matters of great importance. They were meeting in the covenant's council hall, though they were not the council, at least not all of them. All were seated at the large circular table save one. He was a tall man who looked to be in his thirties with a neatly trimmed beard and piercing blue eyes. Next to him sat a man who looked so much like him he must be the man's twin.

The man's name is Magnus ex Bonisagus, and he has gathered these men and women from across Mythic Europe for a project greater than any ever attempted in the world. They had all been working for years in preparation for this task, and now they were finally closing in on the final days.

"I'm glad you could all make it to this meeting," Magnus says in a strong voice. "I know it was a distance for some of you to come. Thank you. I also know this project has gone slowly. But better to be careful and meticulous than make a terrible error and move too quickly. I've called you all here today to let you know that I've completed preparation of my grand spell. I should now be able to bring the lands that were once Atlantis back from beneath the waves where they sank. And thanks to decades of work from my brother, Duncan, we finally have the location of where Atlantis lies. In short, there's nothing holding us back from our dream now."

"I thought it was best to tell you all in person so that we could discuss our next steps. Are we actually ready to do this thing now? There's nothing holding us back. Or do any of you feel that there are further preparations that should be made before we make history?"

OOC: Sorry for the delay in starting. Anyone who's character is complete should feel free to post.

A tall man with specks of grey through his hair and beard speaks, "Once the ritual is performed we will have much to do, as there are only so many preparations that can be made. Of primary concern to me is governance. This should not stop the casting, but will be key in the early stages.
How will we govern?"

A short but powerful man dressed in a peasant smock and a well worn leather apron answers. Haestus may seem naked without a hammer held in his hands, but unlike the peasants he resembles, he speaks his mind. "I too am concerned with governance, but I think we should hold any specifics until we know what we will be governing. At this point I will only suggest that these new lands will exist solely due to our combined magics, and thus by the Code all shall fall under purview of our magical power. Any governance should be of the magi, by the magi, and for the magi."

"What we need now," Melaia slips into the room, looking not a day past her early thirties, and dressed in strips of cloth with odd designs upon them- it appears to resemble clothing but those who have come to know he realize these are her charms simply threaded together and draped over her body. Her skin is green and her appearance striking even without that anomaly. Following the dramatic pause she resumes "is not governance, but agreement. We have no idea what we will find, aside from the fact there will be some sort of remnant of a city within the scope of what we find, but we need to proceed with an understanding of what each of us want, and an understanding that we will all be able to pursue our own designs within the context of the larger work. For myself, and wilderness, or more likely potential wilderness, will be my primary interest. I know not what will define inside and outside of a town or city, if the distinction is clear I am interested in what lies outside, and developing a new forest of magic there. Not that I will turn down access to any vis or books which may have survived unknown centuries underwater. If we could read such books. I do want to be certain that if the boundaries of a town are not clear when we raise the old city, that they will be apportioned in some way that what we raise will not be entirely defined as the space of the town."

Obviously, the magi should take the powers of nobles. Land made by magi belongs to magi. Artemis says. She looks like a young woman. 20ish, a woman in the prime of youth untouched by age. Toned muscles, blond hair. She's wearing furs, primitive clothes, which clashes with the finely made choker, or collar, around her neck. Especially considering the precious metals its made of, plus jewels and the necklace/chains attached to it. The furs leave her arms, the lower parts of her legs, and her mid-section uncovered. She's used to much colder weather and needs to adjust her clothes in warmer climes If we move covenfolk or settlers, we'll need to do something for religion. We don't want demons filling the void, and some Faerie are less than pleasant. On the topic of what we want, I was hoping to integrate any magic they had. That's the easy thing. The big hope is to settle the land. Use magic to make it bloom, to make a better place. Use magic to help everyone. A place for something better to bloom. She finishes sitting herself on a table. Her yellow eyes looking at the group.

(OOC: Is Duncan the only non-magus present, or are our companions viable in this forum?)

Melaia rolls her eyes. "We can fight demons, and we do not need this upstart Christian faith to keep the infernal at bay. The infernal was practically unheard of in the times of Rome, before the rise of this Cult of One God. If we want a religion to herd the masses we can rebuild an older, more magical religion. There are gods we can call upon who will actually answer prayers, and come, at times, to ceremonies in their honor. I suspect there is some causal link between this so called divine religion and the infernal, though I have had other things to do than investigate it, and would prefer we not bring either to this pristine new world we are forming."

Ooc: if Aquarian is allowed to be present he will have some objections to the idea that mages will inherently rule... of course he is under the mistaken impression that the Atlantis being raised is the Atlantis he came from...

Constantine is smiling with a look of disbelief, shaking his head, "Christianity has long ago thrown off the image of an upstart faith! Upstart no more. It is the faith of Europe, of most covenfolk, and many Magi."
"Propose all you desire, but you must treat others as equals and accept you are part of a greater whole; especially if you wish them to listen past your own prejudice and pagan predilections."

Counting on his fingers, "at the very least today we need to establish the rights of the founding Magi and how we will rule together. I suggest this is by democratic council.

Further I suggest we treat all areas of the raised island and its surrounding sea as a covenant grounds, and seek to protect them as such. For now the area raised is easier to protect from other magi if we declare it all covenant land. For example the oceans and skies has interest to me, but I would not expect sole authority of even part of them.

I suggest our covenant seek to uphold the laws of The Order, and establish ourselves outside an existing tribunal. A new tribunal is needed, especially if the lands are extensive.

I propose that the founding magi are equal unto each other.

Further if possible, each founder may be granted license for an area of the new grounds, if they prove extensive enough; again in proportion to the other founding magi. As caretakers and not rulers.

Contentiously I propose that we question if non-magi are not equal in the new lands. I know this is nothing new in the traditions of The Order, however we have an opportunity to create a place of providence for all creatures, magical and otherwise. How will we rationalise the desires of the non-gifted, the magical friends we all have, and the other supernatural powers we might seek to entreat? Looking directly at Duncan. As a direct example Duncan will never be accepted by the Order as an equal, yet should be recognised. If we raise one mundane high, why not all?
What can we propose that will create a utopia for those we love?

Artemis has not been exposed to revolutionary thought as she soon makes clear. "Well, if magi make the lands they are ours. We'll be playing the role of King, even if we work by council. That's gonna put us above everyone else. We could have mundane nobles, but they won't be the level of magi. And the peasants won't be the level of the nobles. I like the democratic council of magi though. Do you think we could convince some Redcaps and House Mercere to help manage the ruling thing?

Artemis starts seemingly counting on her fingers as she lists off her other thoughts "I agree about the covenant grounds; obviously, we have to uphold the laws; I don't think a single covenant tribunal would be approved; I could certainly agree about licensing areas. I don't think even my first Master would call Christianity an up-start religion. Its also optimistic to say there was no infernal in the time of Rome. How many even knew of its nature? It was all gods and monsters. Similarly, its optimistic to assume we'll be able to handle demons. Most magi can't even sense them to target them. That said, I'd prefer if we didn't have to deal with the church, or deal with converting people. What about the Cathars? I bet we could convince them to leave areas they face persecution."

"They still generate a divine aura which interferes with magic. If we are going to recruit Cathars I'd suggest recruiting from Northern Italy instead of France. I know the ones in France are more persecuted, but they also don't treat women as well. As to the ocean, we might claim control out to a thousand paces, or at least a hundred. I do intend to try and rebuild a pagan religion, I hope the covenant will be okay with me recruiting people with that goal in mind as well."

"My intent in dealing closely with Christianity is due to how prolific it is amongst our easily accessible kin. My extended family are all Christian and I intend to invite them to join us. Asking them to come here and forego their faith probably won't work, and that is likely the same for any person who venerates the divine.
When they have need of clerical service I also know a Priest who may be willing to travel to the island too - who is very open minded and has encountered his share of supernatural and pagan aspects."
"But please do not mistake my intent. I seek a utopia of the Order, and would welcome any creature who will live in peace and harmony with others. Acceptance of others is pivotal to that goal, and I hope that diversity will bring strength. There may be challenges with being so open, but I hope to surmount those challenges. "
"Pagans bring diversity, Fae will bring a core of supernatural force, and my familiar seeks his own land similar to my goals, where magical creatures can prosper. I would be keen to assist you in recruiting pagans as well."

"I suggest we take a step back from the issue and observe it dispassionately, as magi and educated men. And women," he adds, somewhat belatedly as he glances at Meliai. Trying to create a society immune to outside forces is doomed to failure. As such Christianity will be a part of our society and I suggest it should be a welcome one. However, that should not be our concern. Our concern should be a single focus: how will this society affect our auras, vis production and other magical aspects? Let the people have their religion, but in return their congregations should be intentionally kept small to keep the dominion influence small."

"I think however, we are getting too deep into the issue. I believe we have several proposals on the table: First, shall the governance of our new lands follow the precedent of a covenant, with an oligarchy of magi as the ultimate rulers? Second, shall this be an inclusive land, where denizens of various creeds and domains shall find welcome, subject to the decrees of the ruling body?

There was also a third proposal, that being to seek tribunal status in the Grand Council, however, I advise that this is premature, not only from a logistical standpoint, but mostly due to simply not knowing what we will be living in and among. Magi and even covenants have existed outside the boundaries of tribunals before, so there is at least some precedent for any status we shall ultimately seek.

We have more practical questions to address too, such as what shall we eat? Who will erect our buildings? Weave our clothes? Will we use magic for such, and if so what spells are required and what amount of vis?

"I can create forests, I can grow food. We are raising an island, we can raise some buildings, if there are not some already there. As for clothing..." Meliai smiles, "Where we are going is much warmer than around here, I don't know that we need clothing. If we are to decide governance, let us ensure that founding magi shall always gain precedence over newer magi."

"Not so sure about letting first magi have precedence. I don't have any objection to probationary status or rank for senior magi, but its really annoying to be stuck as a lesser rank with no possibility of advancement for 40 years." Artemis says thinking about every time she had to deal with the magi from Dankmar proper. "Now then, I have a spell to create a sanctum, I can cast it without vis if I'm willing to exhaust myself for several days. I have a spell to ensure crops grow, and a spell that creates a wheat field. Oh and I have a spell to create a spring. "

"For founding Magi to have precedence does not men future magi must be powerless. However with the effort we are going through to create this covenant, literally from the ground up, I don't want to be usurped in 40 years by a collection of newer magi who joined in after the fact."

Constantine nods, "From observations of a variety of covenants, I agree we must maintain our influence. Younger Magi will seek the influence and resources very aggressively, and I have no desire to allow a debate with them. "

Other companions can be there if you think they'd have been in on the plan to raise Atlantis. Up to you.

OOC: Yikes, I take off a few days for Christmas and things explode.

Magnus nods at many of the statements and eventually speaks up to make some of his own thoughts heard. He stands from his seat and paces back and forth as he talks.

"I agree that we would be best in doing all we can to retain power among the founders," he says. "We would certainly not cut the newer magi out of the power structure. But Constantine is correct. Younger magi can easily overrun a covenant. Perhaps it would be wise to have two tiers of membership, masters and journeymen, each with their own rights, privileges, and obligations."

"I also agree that it would be difficult to make the whole land a single covenant, if only because we'll ultimately need four covenants to petition for our own Tribunal. What I propose is that we found a single covenant with the expectation that the covenant will spawn chapter houses. These, in turn, can become the new covenants that we need to create our Atlantis Tribunal."

"Of course, that does lead to the question of what Tribunal the Order will consider us in. We would be best, as you all say, to claim that we are outside all of the Tribunals. But we can't say what position the Order will take. From a location standpoint they may claim that we are part of any of Loch Legean, Hibernian, or Iberian Tribunals - possibly even Normandy. But that will be an argument for a future date."

"The question of rulership is a thorny one. It may well be that we will want a conventional leadership structure put in place under the authority of the magi. I would suggest that we have Lord Mayors of the towns we create, Deans of any institutes of learning, and Squires or Knights in charge of farmlands. The magi would, of course, have direct control over any lands designated as covenant grounds. To that end, we could be very generous in designating such land. Much as the Church in Mythic Europe owns much land, so too will the covenants in New Atlantis own much land."

"But this is perhaps placing the cart before the horse. We will need to have people before we have rulers. And getting people without upsetting the rulers of their current homes may be a delicate matter. As you say, we could do well by accepting those who are persona non grata in thier homelands. That may give us a start. But it also leads to the further question of how public we will be at the start about our new land. If we say nothing, it may be quite some time before anyone notices that it has appeared."

"And then there's the Church. Once more, I agree that we do not want to place ourselved under the thumb of the Church. There will be no kneeling in the snow to accept their blessings on our new land. But I disagree with keeping them out. Those we bring in will inevitably include Christians. We cannot deny their faith, nor can we expect the Lord to ignore our new land. Christianity will come to New Atlantis whether we wish it or not. Best that we accept it and try to mold its presence into something we can deal with rather than let it spring up as a forbidden religion."

"I would suggest that we accept it, but limit the presence of churches to limit the effect of the Divine Aura. Perhaps something akin to royal preserves around covenants can keep them safe from interfering auras."

"Clearly there is much to discuss," he concludes. "But I take it that we are all agreed that there is no disagreement that we should not delay the raising of New Atlantis and the beginning of our transformation of it into a living and growing land. I know Meliai, among others, will be instrumental in that. But others of us can work on getting towns ready for people to move into when we are able to gather the people together. I have no idea of hte nature of any ruins that may remain and whether they will be significant or reparable. But that is also an option."

"So, may I suggest the Summer Solstice as a propitious day to arrange for the casting of the spell?"

OOC: Make it the very end of Spring 1220 as the time for raising Atlantis. I'm going to say that even though the spell only takes a short time, it's going to take much of a preceding season to get ships ready, sail out there, get the positioning right, and then do a bit if initial exploring.

Aquarian clears his throat "Much of this planning may be presumptuous. The Atlantis I left, at least, was inhabited. Raising it from the sea could certainly have an impact on those who reside there, but I hardly think it appropriate to assume you can simply take the land away from the native inhabitants!"

OOC: Most documents would put Atlantis either in the Mediterranean or in the Atlantic just outside the Mediterranean, off the coast of Spain. I was a bit surprised to read that this would be around loch leglean or Hibernia...