[Story] In the beginning...


"I too like a man with ambition, especially in a brother of my house. You may indeed find me useful in your quest."

"Well, I am off to explore as well, does anyone wish to join me?"

He stands waiting to see if anyone else, wishes to. If no-one does, he leaves the room.

Fabrica smiles that his claim is not taken as idleness or boasting, and he definitely approves of the way the dispensing of labs is present. He murmurs thanks to Corvus and Mathius.

"I feel very well received that I and Mathius are offered a lab early in recognition of our humble talents. I pledge then to provide enchantments to the Covenant that shall benefit us all, until all are similarly with a lab. I shall create what is requested and keep an accurate tally of Vis and materials." he wipes his hands and face after the finish of his little speech.

"I too would like to explore the Covenant grounds, and thank you for the warning. I will join you Mathius." he smiles.



"It seems that we have dispositioned two of the four open labs to the Verditii. Is there anyone else here that would like to persue labwork for the general good or do we need to draw straws for the remaining two labs?"

Rhiannon(in Latin)

"I need to persue my arts, and for that, I only need a place to read. I am, however," and at this, she looks slightly embarassed, " of little use in the lab, I'm afraid. I will need a lab, however briefly, before this winter is over. 3 decades and 5 is the rule, after all."

With that, the large irishwoman gets up. "I need to find out what my son and his nurse are up to, and get settled into temporary quarters before supper and council." She takes her bowl and cup, and places them in a tub set aside for dirty dishes. "However, Magister Stephan, I believe you wanted to make a trip down to the stables, to check on your travelling companion? I am headed that way myself... "


Daggin sits back in his chair as others make rumblings of movement.

"My talents in the lab are not insignificant, but I must confess I do not know if my Arts will readily lend themselves to the more urgent needs of the covenant. Further, I do not know if all have formally voiced agreement on my proposal, but unless any speak objection now, I must deem it mete to view them as having done so tacitly.

"Let us view the labs now, and together, and perhaps another of us will become inspired to join those who have already spoken. The rest of the covenant grounds will wait until we have finished that task, even if the full tally of magi may not."



"Come now, Daggin, you know that no agreement among magi may be assumed..." Stephan says with a smile. "I do, however, believe that now would be a good time to break and explore. Let us reconvene at council this evening and maybe we can finish this discussion then."

"Rhiannon, I'd be happy to walk with you, if you are willing to call it a 'stroll' as 'walk' implies a speed that may be beyond me." He chuckles with the self-deprecating humor. "Tell me, has your boy been learning his Latin? How about ..." and Stephan and Rhiannon 'stroll' to the door.

The sun was dipping lower in the sky, and shadows were beginning to reach out from the low wall while a few birds wheeled or sped overhead as the group left the main hall for their various destinations...

Daggin forces a humourless smile to his peer-

"Aye, that is my point, indeed. But I think we are all in agreement..." He shrugs and a truer smile breaks through. "I hope so..."

He finishes his goblet, and stands and arranges his clothes a bit.

"Outside it is, then!"

He moves with the group out the double doorway, and to his left, heading toward the Eastern cluster of labs, to peruse what there is to see...

(Somewhere in the central courtyard)
(In Latin)
As they slowly walk towards the stables along one of the paved paths, Rhiannon stops suddenly. Frowning, she looks about, as if something isn't quite right with the world. "There is something amiss in this place. Something doesn't add up at all," she muses. "Sadness lies over this place like a pall." She shrugs, and joins Stephan as they continue. "Aye, and also his letters. However, I've probably told him too many of the ancient tales for his own good, the lad wants to be one of the heroes of old..."




A wry grin shows on Stephan's face. "Well, young boys are always wanting to be heros, either to impress thier mothers or the maidens. It's good that he is getting an education. "

He pauses a moment and says, "Why do you say that this place is so sad? The folks that I've met seem to be positive enough and they certainly don't lack for any need. What are you seeing?"

Fabrica joins an arm with Mathius as they head out of the dining hall.

"Ah Sodales, it is nice to be appreciated is it not? There is much we can do to enhance this Covenant. One of the details that drew me here from the Covenant of my Parens..." he pauses and crosses himself, indicating that his Parens is no longer alive. "was the great deal of Vis they have. I was on a meager allowance due to the extravagances of my Parens. But now I can bring to fruition some of my greatest creations." Fabrica pauses, surreptitiously looking over his shoulder so their conversation is mainly their own to enjoy.

"I see the Order as my Grand Parens did. The Order can be so much more, not scattered covens of mystics and craftsman, but a power to be reckoned with. The power of our crafts coupled with the power of silver. We can achieve a greater power as well as peace than has ever before been achieved..." he sighs as he draws off. The vision he speaks of is one that is often talked about in the Verditius, usually followed by wistful statements of how it would never be allowed to work.

"Ah...I think these are the labs she spoke of. Well Sodales, I defer to you the lab of the previous Verditius, it is only proper if I'm to learn from the inner Mysteries of our craft. You should be well outfitted for that task...that favor."

Rhiannon(in Latin)

"'Perhaps I am jumping at shadows. Everything feels right; Magi here want for nothing. And all I have read are rumors." She frowns, and stops speaking, and shrugs. "I think I've been on the road for too long, in dangerous lands. And maybe sad is the wrong word. We'll know more after dinner, at council." The walk continues in silence for a moment.

The unlikely pair arrive at the stables, where Eaghn and Belle are helping to take care of their horses. Anselom is off to one side, happily munching on some hay and thistles.


(Eastern Cluster of Labs)

The Eastern Cluster of Labs is a section of the covenant that has seen little recent use. Some of the winter debris is still present, but most has been cleared away. The three large buildings share a common courtyard, with the west side open to the covenant at large.

A pathway of cut stone rings an open area of dirt, large enough to hand a wagon or two. The cart track heads north, towards the feasthall and kitchen, and south towards the gatehouse, stables, and barns.

The building on the north side is set into the ground. The stone walls appear to be quite thick, and bronze panels are set into the perimeter. The stone around the corners of the panels has been vitrified, as is by some great heat. The door, when tried, is unlocked.

On the eastern side is a building that smells of smoke and iron. It is fashioned of well mortared stone, and slate tiles for the roof. Many glass windows open out into the yard, but little can be seen of the inside of the building. The large bronze double doors are unlocked, and open easily to a push. A signboard showing a helm and shield hang near a smaller, man sized door.

On the southern side is a half timbered house, with a larger ground floor. This shows the most recent use - in fact, a light can be seen inside, moving slowly, from room to room. Again, the door is open. Around back is a large herb garden. At the back door is a bucket, broom, and mop. The garden has been cleared, and it looks like someone has been tending to it.

A common feature of all three is a spot next to the doors, where it looks like a plaque has hung for quite some time.

Easily visible from all three is the center grove of the covenant, the trees just beginning to bud, and the young boy riding on the back of an overly large wolf, with Mab behind him. Their laughter floats across the ring for all to be heard....


Daggin follows near but not with the two Verditius as they head along the Eastern perimeter, for they seem to be discussing matters that concern him not a bit. As they all enter the common side-court, the other two seem more interested in what look like a Flambeau's and a Verditius' labs, but he casts no more than a glance at those, moving on toward the half-timbered abode before him and to the right of the others.

He pushes the door open boldly as he steps inside, and calls out-

"Greetings! Hello!" he calls out in Latin, then adding an equally confident "Allo?" in Frankish, tho' he holds little hope of the latter being answered in same.

He makes no hesitation in advancing into the building, taking in the layout and trying to get an image of the previous owner and their preferences, and in general seeing how the overall atmosphere strikes him, moving on toward where he believes the light had shown.

To Fabrica "I, as my parens who inducted me, am a member of the confraternity of Roland. If you wish to learn how to manufacture swords, how to craft devices of power beyond the understanding of other magi, and if you wish to become one of our brotherhood, then I will gladly spend the time to introduce you to our ways."

He looks around a little as they approach the labs, as he enters the room which smells like a smithy he casts a small intellego vim spell to look for magical devices along the floor before him.

"Yes, this lab may be useful indeed. Of course I will share its tools and resources among the two of us, for I have brought some of my own."

The reply comes back with quiet footsteps. A young girl, perhaps 10 or so, is led into the room by a small, motherly looking figure half her height - obviously a faerie of some sort.

"Good day, good master," says the sprite, curtseying, in perfectly good latin. "You may call me Kiara, and this is Brit." Kiara says something to the girl, who turns to face Daggin slightly, and curtseys as well. "Don't be shy, lass, he's not going to bite you." It is also plain to see that the girl is blind; the pupils are a milky white.

"Your pardon, good master," she says, in latin (which seems to be at a level of fluency most magi aspire to). "I'm but the cleaning girl. Lady Sylphie was kind enough to let me stay on and help keep things clean around here when my family died, even though I was blinded. Since Lady Sylphie went away this last winter, I didn't think she'd mind if I kept everything clean like I normally do."

"And since her mother and father were kind to the wee folk, We help her." Says Kiara, nodding. "Unlike the poor lass, we need light to see by, especially in the inner rooms, away from the windows."

And thus Daggin realizes he's in the "lab" of the healer. And what he can see of the place, it's spotlessly clean and well organized. There are several cots facing the southern set of windows, allowing for a view of the garden, and allowing for sunlight to come in. There are several cabinets along the walls, and each cot has a comfortable pad, good blankets, and a pillow. The building itself is just the right temperature, very comfortable, even with the slight chill in the air, common in the spring.

There is a slight tug at his robe, and he looks down to find another sprite, this one male. "Pardon me, master," he says, in Frankish, "but the lass hasn't quite grasped the fact that Lady Sylphie has died during the winter. Oh, aye, she's been told, but she still thinks she'll be coming back. She'll come to terms with it soon enough, but the lass has had enough heartbreak in the last year."




Stephan walks up to Anselom, murmuring hellos. He's careful to avoid the other animals, knowing full well the effect of the Gift. The other horses get a bit skittish, but Anselom snorts in a quelling sort of manner and they calm down a bit but not entirely.

"Rhiannon," he chuckles, while checking Anselom for burrs and the like, "it sounds like you have a number of good stories to tell. I'm sure we'll get a good picture at council this evening, but if you'd be willing to share what rumors and stories you've heard, I'd be greatful. For some, perception is nine tenths of reality, after all."

Stephan finishes checking Anselom and, satisfied with what he has found, flips a small silver coin at the young covenfolk boy that has been trying to look inconspicuous in the corner.

He turns to Belle and the Boy "How about you two, any good tales to tell?"

Eaghn looks thoughtful for a moment, then brightens. "I've met talking fish! They were swimming in front of our ship, laughing at us and telling some awfully funny jokes, though most of them were about fish...They called themselves doll-fins, or something. They were fun to watch. Mum told me that they often swam with ships, and were the sailors' friends."

Belle, shyly, speaks up. "The bazaars in Constantinople are the most amazing places," she says, smiling. "You wouldn't believe what you can find there. It's not so near as grand now that the Venetians have plundered the city, but you can still find just about anything there you're looking for, if you know who and how to ask."

Rhiannon finishes. "We've been all over the known world. Eaghn has never really known a home, though I've tried as best I can on the road. Belle has been an enormous help with him, and I've been glad of the company. I've been as far east as Acre, and decided to return to the land of my birth. Eaghn was born in Athens. Diedre's invitation found me in Salerno on my way back."

A voice comes from up in a tree nearby. "I liked the story about the talking fish," says Mab, dropping down unexpectedly from the branches, in a manner most un-maga-like. "How would you like to meet a talking wolf in trade for your story?" Miach can easily be seen padding up behind Mab.

"Mum, may I?" Asks the boy, his eyes wide.

"Certes. 'Tis a fair trade for the tale."

Soon, Mab is making the introductions. Eaghn's eyes go even wider, and then he scratches the great wolf behind an ear, much to his delight. Mab whispers something to the wolf, who sighs, and lies down, allowing Mab to climb onto his back, much like one would ride a horse. She helps Eaghn up in front of her. "Hold on tight," she says, grabbing a handful of fur. "Once around the yard, Cuana, and then, dinner!"

And with that, the wolf is off.

Stephan and Rhiannon are joined by Seamus, the consortis who brought them in, earlier. "The lad's in no danger, if yuir worried. Lady Mab adores the wee bairns, as if they were her own. He'll na come to harm with her. I'm ta see if you need some helping with yuir baggage, and getting up to your cots..."


Fabrica pauses and turns to Matthius in some surprise.

"You are part of that Confraternity? My Parens always tried to steer me away for some reason, I can't say why, jealousy perhaps. I hear that they make some of the greatest blades, and are well versed in the Mysteries."

"My Arts are already focused in the crafting of weapons, I might be a natural fit. We should talk more on this brother."

"Ah, look, here are some faded Runes, this was definitely the lab of a Verditius." says Fabrica pointing to an anvil that has fallen through the wooden table it was resting on.

"Indeed, we have much to talk of. This was certainly the lab of one of ours, can you see the crucible there? Though I am more interested in this device here by the door. It allowed Deidre in, but perhaps it doesn't like outsiders?"

Mathius stands in the doorway and looks around the lab slowly, his eyes seem to be weighing up everything in sight. "If the others are agreeable I shall accept this lab." He steps into the room and cautiously walks to the forge, ready to dodge at any sign of danger.