Antonio considers Fab's words. "The one I would refer you to in the case of your house's mysteries would have been Torsten himself. Several junior members of the house learned much from him while he was alive, and he knew much. There are others, some are willing to come and teach, other's service must be bought and haggled for. I could make initial inquiries, if you wish, and forgo the nominal fee."
"Several of the requests would be well met by a mundane smith, and I intend to direct them towards such, however, there is the occasional anomaly that could only be handled by a magus. For instance, there is a knight-errant, Sir Elias, currently wandering the Rhine gorge and vicinity. He is a noted slayer of worms and serpents, such that he can find, and wishes to purchase a blade which could slay such in a single stroke, or barring that, grievously wound. One would think such a man to be a lunatic, but he has the hearts of nine such creatures, which he offers in trade, plus whatever else would cover the fee."
"There is also a maga in the Normandy tribunal, looking for a fine blade to enchant, and is willing to trade her skill in creo for one such already opened for enchanting." Antonio shrugs. "Another covenant is looking for a fine weapon for a turb captain who has rendered exemplary service, and offers vis and silver in payment."
"I would appreciate you making those inquiries, and thank you again for graciously waiving the fee." Fabrica gives a slight bow to the older Magus.
"The Knight-Errant sounds interesting, but I believe such a sword might be beyond what one of his rank should own. I'd rather keep such a weapon for my Covenant, or the Order's use." He smiles at the consignment for the weapon that was merely opened for enchantment. He pats the other Verditian's hand. "Why are so many of our Sodales so adverse to that part of the enchantment process, eh? Unless she is offering a considerable bounty, I would pass. But if the price is right, I'll be happy to do it. However I charge high for what I'm sure you'll agree is apprentice's work."
"The Covenant that wishes to reward the Custo, that sounds very good. It would spread word of my craft, and is a practice I heartily approve of. If you would be so kind, I'll take that request. I keep abridged notes on the blades I created as simple devices, basically to give them an idea of what they want in a sword for a champion. I shall also include my tracti on the dangers of arming unruly Grogs with magical weapons. It is the story of my Parens Vulcantus, who was slain by his own shield grog and the rest of the turb; run through with the magical swords he made for them. It's a lesson I took to heart."
"Did you know there is another Verditius at the Covenant? I'll be sure to have him stop here and meet with you Sodales."
"I will let you look over the latter agreements, then. Marco and I will be here with the faire for the week. And I would like to see your Sodales, if he has the time." He hands over 2 envelopes. "These are the prospecti for each commission, with what is expected, what what payment can be expected, beyond the standard fees. Should you take longer than a week, deliver word by Redcap, to our chapterhouse in Waterford. Gaeth knows where it is."
"Now, perhaps I could interest you in some of the wares we are offering for sale, or perhaps some lab texts or tractati...?"
Fabrica is dutifully interested in the various items he's shown. He knows however that he has nowhere near the funds to purchase even the minor wonders, such as knives that return after thrown. He'd need to commandeer considerable funds from the Covenant, or make promises of favors, neither of which he's capable of doing. The wonders from a Verditian lab are not cheap by anyone's standards.
"I thank you Sodales, but even your most modest creation is beyond my price range, I'd have to consult with Diedre to make any purchases. But rest assured, I will encourage her to stop by, as well as consult with the Consorti to see if any of them know any nobles or Church officials discreet enough, and wealthy enough. In the meanwhile Sodales, please let me know of your commisioner's fee for letting me know of these two commisions." he pats the pouch with the envelopes. "Perhaps it can be paid from the fee offered?"
"May I help you, sir?" The man behind the table asks. "As I can see you are a man of some taste, is there something in particular I could interest you in?" The man appears not to be affected by Mathius' gift, which means he has magic resistance, is used to dealing with magi on a regular basis, or his brain is mush. He is richly dressed, short of stature, and beginning to bald. "I can also see that you are a student of philosophy - perhaps I could interest you in some other wares... I am Marco d'Vezzini, venditore of House Verditius... Might you be the Magus Mathius, that Fabrica Diabolica mentioned in a message he sent up yesterday?"
The trinkets being offered for sale are typical apprentice work - rings and single use items, like potions. Without being too obvious, Mathius gets a general idea that most are less than 3rd magnitude in power. "If you wish to speak of business, you will have to talk to Antonio, my brother, who is within, but he is discussing business, so it may be some time..."
"The fee is one part in 20, paid either in silver, or in an equivalent item," says Antonio, smiling urbanely. "For the sword, for instance, it would be 1L of silver, or something magical that amounts to 2 of what you magi call 'magnitudes" of effects. This could be a book, spell, item, whatever. There are customers of all sorts, for all sorts of things. It is, more often than not, taken from the fee paid by the one comissioning the item."
"Very well then, that seems fair. You can expect for the opened sword the pound of silver. I won't know until I hear from the esteemed Jerbiton how much that project is worth." Fabrica gives a crisp bow. "Well, I thank you for this business, and look forward to doing so again. I shall tell Mathius about your operation so he may prosper as well."
Fabrica excuses himself, practically bumping into his brother in Verdi.
"Mathius! I was just speaking of you. You must meet with Antonio, not only are there excellent items to peruse, but he has commissions fit for one of your talents and more." Fabrica leans in quickly to speak in Mathius's ear. "Please see me after you speak with him, we may have some things to discuss."
Mathius looks a little surprized at this introduction, he smiles at the Venditore and says "Yes I am Marco, it is a pleasure to meet you. It is thanks to those such as yourself that my brothers and I are able to accomplih so much. Of course I would like to see what else you have on offer, though right now I am not really in the market to buy."
Mathius is a little interested in this business, could this man be poaching comissions? After all, with two Verdi in this area, what business could a third be conducting? He decides to examine the wares a little longer, and to keep an eye out for the customer inside. He smiles at Marco and says "I would be glad to talk with your brother when he is available. For now I will examine your other wares."
Corvus, dabbing at a small beak-sharp bruise on his cheek, sidles up to Matthias at the table.
Ay, Matthias. There's been some comin' and goin' from round here today.
Corvus absent-mindedly fingers some of the trinkets on the table as he talks.
But these'd be Verditius wares, would they not? And I tek it that it ain't Fabrica's holdin' court in there?
With no malice and barely a thought, Corvus starts to palm a ring... then catches Marco d'Vezzini eyeing him carefully and rolls it to his fingers, self-consciously holding it to the light for a better view.
Ah. Cheap tat.
He drops the ring back where he found it and takes Matthias by the arm, attempting to lead him away from the table.
Will ye away and have a drink wit me? I know where there's a fight to be seen if fightin's ye game?
There's a glint in Corvus' yellow eyes... a glint of mischief, or subterfuge, or trouble...
Mathius disengages his arm from Corvus gently and says "I thank you for the offer of this.... sport... but I need to speak to my brother Verdi here. Perhaps later I can go to this, this fight that amuses you."
He resumes looking at the table of wares, examining each item in turn.
Fabrica starts at the sudden and rather strange or not so strange antics of Corvus, gently plucking at the sleeve of Mathius.
"Brother Mathius, you should speak with Antonio. He has commissions that can build your repuation as a fine crafter. He is an established Verditian with a long network and list of requests." he glances askance at Corvus and then whispers;
"He also can refer you to our Brothers that can initiate us into the Inner Mysteries. Do not let Corvus tempt you away from this."
Mathius is relieved that it was not someone stealing comissions, but rather someone who offers them. He is eager to hear of these offers, very eager indeed.
"I never wager when I am sure to lose. Marco, is your brother ready to receive me?"
If Corvus had had pockets, he would have plunged his hands deep inside them and turned to find somewhere to sulk. As it is, he simply turns to sulk regardless of pockets, scuffing at the ground as he goes.
He thinks for a moment about moping around in crow form, but chooses against it as it's much harder to look dispossessed as a crow.
Instead, he finds an up-turned bucket and plonks himself down, his chin in his hands, and waits for mischief to find him...
Antonio himself comes out of the tent. "Ah, business is good today, for I have another customer! Please, come within, for I have some things that would definitely be of interest to you."
After you have entered the tent, Antonio sits you down next to a small table, where he sits opposite. "As I have told your brother Verdi, we are venditores, merchantile agents of your house. As there are few in this tribunal, we serve most of them, and we have chapterhouses in the major ports. We hope to have one open in Galway in the next couple of years, since the Normans are making business difficult in the eastern ports."
"As venditores, we offer you various services, along with an outlet for you wares. Our fee is a modest one, one part in 20, usually added onto what we charge the one commissioning the work. This can be silver, vis, or 2 of what you magi call "magnitudes" in spells, etc. We also offer other services, such as money lending, and finding copies of books, and less savory activities as well, but the fee is proportional to the risk."
"Magus Fabrica had mentioned that you had some skill in Intellego, and were a competent weaponsmith as well. You are reputed to have written a fairly high quality Intellego summae; There is always a demand for high quality works, even if they are only copies. We would offer you payment in vis or silver to have the privilege to copy your book. Sadly, I have very few commissions that deal with divination and the like, and more requests for weapons and armor than I know what to do with, and most of those will be handed off to various master craftsmen that we do business with."
"However, there is always a demand for items with intellego effects in them. We will gladly purchase them from you, though the price we offer is below the standard set by the house. Since we split the profit three ways when we sell it - we get a third, you get a third, and the house gets a third, there is very little complaining going on."
"We also have contract work with House Mercere; for a set fee they pay every season, we are to provide a certain number of magnitudes of effects, typically in items, for their use. I could forward a couple of these jobs to you, since you would be reimbursed at the going house rates for the work."
Not soon after he does, someone wraps their arms around him, and whispers softly in his ear "Why, love, the long face?" The voice is one he's familiar with, very familiar with. When he turns around, Ravenna is there, with a gentle smile on her face. "This faire of yours, it interests me. Could you show it to me?"
For those watching, the woman who comes up behind Corvus is one you've never seen before; A study in beauty in black and blues, short hair, amber eyes that seem to miss little, and a small collection of bright, shiny jewelry. She is barefoot, which bothers her not a bit. There is a certain degree of familiarity between the two...
Corvus jumps with fright and emits a startled cry, something he rarely does. Instinctively, he plunges a defensive hand up to his cheek, protecting the small bruise he'd received only moments ago...
He scrambles to his feet, extricating himself from Ravenna's embrace.
What, are you come here to chastise me over the Dierde ting again? I explained dat, and she means nothin' to me. Have I not already said, I'd rather pluck out me own eyes than have 'em alight on another woman, so I would.
Ravenna giggles chirpily.
Oh, did my rebuke wound ye feelin's as well as ye face?
She tries to soothe his cheek with her delicate hand.
Ah, no ye don't. Ye'll keep ye claws to yersel' young lady. Well? If it's not ta teach me another lesson, why do ye come here?
Well, this is a faire, is it not? And what might lovers do when there is a faire but be seen out amidst it?
Shh. Don't be sayin' that word.
She rolls the word, lengthening it, drawing it out...
Aye. That word
He tries to hush her
RAVENNAA picture of innocence
Oh. Now. Ye can't be ashamed o' me? Can ye?
No no no. O'course not. It's just... well, you're a... you know.
RAVENNATaken aback, puts her hands on her shapely hips.
Oh, and you're not, I suppose?
No. Ravenna. I. Oh. Would that God himsel' had a merciful bone is his body...
Corvus' head drops, defeated, and he reaches out a hand to take Ravenna's. His smile reappears...
Look. Deres a Englishman round here somewhere. What say you and I find him and tease him some. An' if we can't find him why don't we find oursel's some liquor and see what comes our way?
I think I saw him away there.
And with that Ravenna pulls Corvus off through the crowd.
"I would , of course need to clear this with my sodales, but I see no reason that you shouldn't be able to copy it. Vis would be preferable. How long would you need it for?"
"I could handle some of those weapon requests - from Weapons of Quality which do a increased mundane damage, to weapons with minor effects to damage the enemy with magic. Though I have had an interesting idea for a weapon which will 'guide' itself to the enemies weakness. Though that will need a little more study before I would be willing to put my name to it."
"I would be most interested in any specific requests. In fact, I have recently crafted a very nice item for the covenant which would affect the users eyesight to show the main influence of the animals you see. Whether they are hungry, angry, scared, calm etc. It would be of interest to anyone who wishes to either study animals, or travel through wild areas without trouble."
"Ah, I am currently working on such a device! It allows you to understand the speach of anyone you meet, no-matter what tongue they talk in. It is specially designed to work in cities and other places where magics are difficult. It comes in at 8 magnitudes of effect, which is a little expensive, but very useful indeed. It was designed for use by mundanes, and as such will last for 70 years. After it has expired I would accept it back as a part-payment of a new commission."
Mathius smiles at Antonio and says "Though, for a copy of my book, I could accept a minor item in exchange."
The day slowly passes as Mab keeps singing, and drinking, managing to put most of those singing and drinking with her into thier cups before she finally stops. The only one left standing is Priere, who looks completely unaffected by the goings on. Mab smiles brightly at the nun. "Since I really don't need the money they wagered, you can have it for alms, or whatever."
It takes a little bit for Priere to focus on Mab. "Right. Thanks. Oh, ugh..."
She tries to stand up, and then turns green. "Thy will, O Lord, not mine..." she murmurs before she runs behind a tent. One need not describe the sounds of those who have drunk to excess make.
Azaelle has been sitting there, Asa have moved off with the gaggle of giggling girls, if only to keep it from becoming a riot around Azaelle, "Whatcha got?' Asks Mab, smelling of a vineyard and brewery at the same time. Azaelle can only wonder how Mab is still conscious, let alone walking, having seen most of the contest.
"I have that flute that Asa had gotten off that fox, the one with more than one tail, and I wanted to see if you knew anything about them..." Explains Azaelle.
Mab takes the flute, but does not attempt to play it. She examines it closely, muttering a few words in latin as she does so. "Made of Rosewood, or a close kin. Craftsmanship is pretty good, too. There's no active magic on it, though that doesn't mean it's not magical. I'd have to have it for a season for that."
"Foxes with more than one tail? All the ones I know have only one? Are you sure your brother wasn't drinking at the time.?"