[Story] Dinner and a Council Meeting

Whatever dinner that is served is scant fare compared to the wealth and variety displayed at the faire; It is mainly the ever present stew, fresh fruit, and some cheese. Most of the covenfolk eat their meal outside, on tables set up in the trees around the pond. Soon, it is the magi who are left in the feast hall.

"While I've got you all here," says Dierdre, after she finishes her bowl of stew, " there's some business to be taken care of. First, we have some new arrivals - Albertus Pictor ex Bonisagus was supposed to have arrived in the spring with you lot, but got delayed. He was invited here, like you were, and I officially welcome him to the covenant." Deirdre hands Albertus a small box with a silver ring set with a blue stone whose hues shift subtly. Albertus notices that every other magus wears a similar ring - it is the official token of welcome that allows one to cast spells unimpeded within the Aegis of the covenant.

"Secondly, I have called in some old favors; Until such time as another hermetic magus skilled in healing wishes to come here, Murchadh* will be taking over the hospital here. He is a skilled chirugeon and physician, and one I trust."

Murchadh, who has sat quietly, and eaten little, is tall and lean, with longish blonde hair, and blue eyes. His build suggests some kind of martial training, yet he carries no weapon. His clothes are all pale colors, blue and white. "I am honored to have been invited here," he says, standing, his voice a decent tenor, and not particularly memorable. "While I hope you won't need my services much, I hope to be of as much service as possible." He bows, politely, before sitting back down.

(* pronounced MUR-kha)

Aye, well Albert and I have met already, but we didn' have chance fer a proper welcome. I should like to know the Englishman better, for I hear dey have some strange customs about 'em and I'd like to know the truth of it all, so I'm offering a cup or two o' the covenant's finest once we're done here if he'll tek a cup wit me.

I’ll accept your invitation Corvus. I must express my gratitude to have been invited here to live amongst you and conduct our magical research together. I hope that I being Saxon shall not be a problem; after all I am a magus of the Order of Hermes for most not a foreign nobleman with conquest in his mind.

Daggin nods in recognition of the newcomer, but seems a bit distant otherwise.

"Welcome to our little island, sodalis."

After the welcomes have gone around, Daggin brings up another matter.

"I suppose this is as good a time as any to bring this up - the original members had agreed to aid each other in creation of their labs, and it weighs on me that I, unfortunately, was unable to fulfill my end of that bargain. If there is any manner that I may be useful, I put my spare time to that end. Among others, I have a spell that can be used to excavate and move loose dirt and stone, and with great precision, altho' that stage may be past for much of the new construction."

Fabrica raises his cup, though not certain why Albertus being an Englishman should matter so much. He was originally from York, and it seemed to matter little around the Covenant.

"Salvete Sodales. I am Fabrica Diabolica ex Verditius. While you are arranging your lab, should you have need for more fine and exact stone work, you can use my newly invented 'Dagger of Stone Chirurgy'. I believe the foreman is in posession of it now."

"I am a bit of a Theorhetician myself, I look forward to discussing magic with you once we are not so busy." he raises his cup again and then takes a drink.

Daggin turns to Murchadh, and speaks to him directly-

"I am not sure if you've been made aware of my situation, but I recently recovered from a coma, lasting almost a full season, brought on by uncontrolled magical surges. I would appreciate it personally if you could aid me in my recovery from that long bedridden state, an ongoing process with me at the moment."

Once the other answer, Daggin pursues a related line -

"Your raiments seem to have a symbolic character in their choice, do they speak of a healing order, or some other fellowship or path? Where did you learn your arts?"

"Until I know the exact details of the episode," Murchadh says, respectfully, "All I could recommend is good food, fresh air, sunshine, a long walk or two, and stay away from any strenuous activty."

"My clothes are simply colors that I prefer, though they were darker when they were new. I am simply a skilled consortis, one who wanders from place to place to learn about healing and medicine. I am recently come from Iberia, where I studied medicine under jewish and muslim physicians. I have been employed by several covenants in the Rhine, Normandy and Iberian tribunals to train chirugeons and physicians, and to provide aide where needed."

"I learned my skills by study and by practice; I have not officially studied under any one particular master or authority, but from numerous sources as I travel. I have spent seasons with wise women, learning folk cures, and studying greek and arabic texts in university libraries in Iberia and Sicily, and stitching together soldiers on the battlefield."

"I have also sworn a vow never to shed blood, but that does not mean I am incapable of defending myself, because there are those who think I would be an easy mark, even though I only keep enough money to just get by in my travels."

Daggin nods as the other speaks, and seems happy with the answers presented.

"Doubly welcome, for your experience, then. I'm afraid details of my recent incapacitation may not be easily gleaned, for I was unconscious of them, and we had no healers or much practiced eye among us, aside from Dierdre. But I will take your advice to heart, and already have to some extent, tho' perhaps I overdid it that first week - the long walk to that faire alone almost killed me!"

He says this last in obvious jest, tho' any who saw him on the walk back looked upon a haggard and pale visage, indeed. Since then, tho', his pallor and sunken features have been slowly replaced with signs of better health.

"You read Greek? We have a text in the libary on medicine, which awkwardly for most here is written in the original Greek. We're taking steps to have it translated this Winter, but at least, depending on the text, perhaps you'll have some reading to expand your knowledge, or at least train an apprentice. If your duties here require any additional funding, do let us know - the health of the covenant is one thing I think we can agree to spend a bit to maintain. And your own health, as well - should you wish a body guard, or simply a sturdy chirurgeon's assistant and serving man, I'm sure we could provide you with such."

After further exchanges with Murchadh, he turns to the assembly,

"The matter of labs has been mentioned outside these halls, and specifically our lack of any guest labs. We host many a redcap here, and to provide only a cot and a bowl is inexcusable, for my money. Therefore, with a mind to fulfilling my oath, which weighs on me, I would like to oversee the creation of a guest laboratory or two. Nothing excessive, perhaps very barebones, but at least so we can fulfill that need should a gifted Mercere or other guest have need of such. And merely having labs to spare would increase our prestige among the Tribunal, and perhaps win us friends and allies should anything untoward occur in our future."

He makes no particular emphasis in this last, but leaves the implication hanging to be filled in by each present.

"I would need some small monies for equipment and supplies, and a workforce for the construction - or, if we could achieve it magically, that would of course more than suffice. But these are neither time critical nor need be arcanely created, so if it saves resources, then a mundane approach is sufficient in my estimation.

"If that meets with adequate approval?"

In her mind Azaelle is staring daggers at Murchadh but she tries not to let it show on her face. She wishes she could figure out what it is about him that makes her skin crawl. Nobody else seems affected by him.

She takes her mind off it to ponder Daggin's suggestion.

"I think that is a great idea and I would be happy to add my assistance, both in the thought process and in the labor."

Corvus watches Azaelle, his eyes flicking back now and then between her and Murchadh.

Well Murchadh ye sound like a man wit a story or two ta tell. If Albert here does nay mind maybe ye'd like ta accompany us when we step out for a drink or t'ree and perhaps ye can tell us more about yersel'.

And as fer stories of the battlefield and da like, I once saw a man sew his own finger back on. A course, he had ta fight Rory MacMannus ta get it back on account o'him being the one who bit it clean off. I tol' him it'd never stick and he'd be best seein' Old Ma Flannagan to get it stitched proper. He held it 'gainst me 'til the day he died, so he did. Which was only a week later as I remember.

Aye, but me tongue runs away wit me. I do confess, wit Albert and yersel' being new here I'd like ta get the measure of ya both.

Daggin half-bows in recognition of the other, a graceful if understated gesture, considering they're all sitting at a table.

"I hope there will not be so much labor as organization thereof, and that some spells at key moments will be all that will take us from our season's efforts. I have a spell that will help with excavation of loose soil and rock, and some spells that can help with lighting and keeping the workers warm, and some motivational spells as well. Fabricus' recent enchantment can help if we run into bedrock, and to provide the raw material for the construction itself.

"We should consult with an architect on the design, and decide where they are to be placed for maximum convenience and security, since non-members will be staying there, sometimes short term, sometimes for seasons at a time."


"Among other languages, yes, I read Greek, though I admit to having no hand for scribal work." This is said with a small, slight smile. "It would be nice to have someone to assist me, but few have the stomach to handle what is a rather gruesome task at times."

He can only shake his head at Corvus' tale. "Foolish of him. It would have been easier for him had cautery been used, and deal with missing a finger. No chirugeon I know, short of a magus, can stitch a finger back on, once lost." He shakes his head, again with the slight smile.

"I shall have to join you, Magus Corvus, for that drink, but perhaps not tonight."

Corvus smiles and sits a little straighter in his chair. With a polite nod of the head towards Murchadh...

Today has, I feel, been a long day. Perhaps another time then. But I think the evening has hours enough yet for Dierdre to give me her blessin'.

The Bjornaer crow turns to Dierde

I'd like to try to break this curse that so afflicts your line. I may fail, but I could nay live wi' mesel' if I sat back wit'out tryin'. I'll go alone if I have to, wherever it may tek me, but I'd be sure glad o'the company if there's any here who would wish ta come wit' me.

Deirdre looks at Corvus, a wicked grin on her face. "You like to uncover secrets, Corvus?" she says, with that maddening grin still in place. "Best you should start well informed, so here..." she says, gesturing and muttering a few words in latin, "Start Reading."

A very large tome appears in front of Corvus. A good cubit thick this book is, and heavily bound in bronze and leather. "This has the most complete version of the tale, as recorded by my Grandmother, my Mother, and Me. Maybe you'll find something others have missed."

Azaelle leans closer to Corvus to try to get a better look at the book, her curiosity piqued.

Corvus, how do you propose to break this curse?

With a little daring and perhaps a pretty woman by me side?

Corvus tips the book towards Azaelle slightly allowing to read more comfortably and then Corvus turns his attention back to Dierdre

Maga Dierdre, my thanks fer yer trust in me. If there's a way to break the curse, I'll find it... or fail trying.

Maybe we can talk further on this later once I've read some of this here book?

Fabrica shakes his head ruefully at what seems to be Corvus's foolish promise.

"A word of caution Sodales. Our House knows a bit about curses, Himanus the Mad was famous for the curses he left behind. They are tricky and dangerous things, the magic can take on a life of its own and affect those who try to get involved. And those are merely the Hermetic kind of curses. But a Fae curse..?" Fabrica shakes his head again. "I would be very careful, and seriously reconsider getting involved so quickly."

Setting down his goblet, Daggin wipes the corners of his mouth with a cloth.

"While I agree with your assessment of curses, Fabrica, I see no harm in reading the history of the curse. That tome will cover a season or more of study, and if new eyes see something that previous ones did not, so much the better for all."

Aye, the pair of ye are right enough. One the one hand, where's the harm in reading the history. On the other, Fabrica's right - gettin' involved with powerful fae curses? Foolish and dangerous.

But a life without a little danger? I doubt I'd survive the night.

Albertus clears his throat. Does anyone here specialises in the fae and their magic’s? I can’t see why not a simple perdo vim spell of a reasonable magnitude would solve the problem. Either we can blast the ghosts into the beyond or break the bonds of the curse. Perhaps it requires some investigation. Does someone with a functional laboratory have the time to investigate the magic so that we can come up with a swift and simple solution?