[Story] The Tocsin of the Soul... The Dinner Bell.

The Mid Day meal is nothing like the feast of the night before, rather most of the covenfolk come in, grab a bowl of stew, some bread and cheese, and go out and sit under the trees nearby, since the day has turned out to be a fine one, indeed.

It doesn't take long for Diedre to dry herself out, muttering and grumbling as she does. Her scowl works wonders on groups of people, who part like the Red Sea before Moses. "I'll join you presently, I wish to drop these off first," she says, indicating the volumes from Glendower's lab that she carries.

Off in one corner are some new faces;3 women and a man. 2 of the women are tall, one extraordinarily so, the man is of normal height( but of exceptional good looks), and the last, wearing a nun's whimple (but not a habit), is the shortest. However, it appears that she has eaten as much as the extra-ordinarily large woman has, and that they might have been making a contest out of it.

Diedre soon rejoins the group, having had a quick change of clothes, and having gotten rid of the books she carried.

"You can handle your own introductions. I'm Diedre, maga ex Flambeau, and like it or not, Praeco of this covenant. Mab should come skipping along at any moment, she went to have lunch in her lab, which she normally does."

"The matter that I have to discuss is the treatment of the covenfolk; There was an incident this morning with a Custos and Magus Corvus, in which he provoked the custos to strike him, on a whim." She sighs, mightily. "Basically, this has gone a fair way to undo a lot of work that had been done to insure the covenfolk that they were not the playthings of the magi, but rather, valued servants or freemen. I had it easy with your predecessors, since 3 of them were gently gifted. Most of you are not. And Corvus' actions had brought out that spectre to deal with again, because the first grumblings that the old rules may not apply anymore are starting to make the rounds."

"Corvus' membership is now probationary; He has to earn it, in a year's worth of service, with whatever resources the council will decide he needs. I told him that the penalty for covenfolk striking a magus is death. I was not bluffing. However, I am feeling merciful today, so there will be no executions. However, the pair of them should have all the fun they want in mucking out the cesspools..."

"Don't go and make trouble with the covenfolk. That's what I had to say to the lot of you." She turns to the Nun, setting down her fifth tankard of cider. "So you're sister Priere. I wish I could have provided you with a more formal welcome, but it looks like this did the job. If you are going to report anything to your superiors, please note that we do try to treat our people fairly, and with mercy."

The little nun gets up, and bows politely. "Father Brendan sends his greetings, and regrets that he could not deliver this in person, having to consecrate ground in Galway for a church," she says, her latin flawless. "In keeping with old friendships and agreements, he said, From Brendan the Wanderer to Diedre, Leana Flambonis." With that, she hands over a velvet bag to Diedre. When opened, it reveals a crystal that glows with the light of dawn.
"Seen people treated worse by the church, 'In the name of God.' So, I'm not saying anything about what you just talked about."

Diedre nods. "Magus Gaeth O'Connor, magus ex Mercere, and our normal route rider, has the mail and deliveries in the council chamber. I'll pick mine up later. You lot," she says, indicating the assmebled group, "can do what you like afterwards. however, make any more trouble, and I shall be most upset."

Fabrica looks rather shocked at the news of Corvus and his altercation, and nods in agreement with the punishments meted out.

He turns to the assembled new magi.

(in Latin) "This is most disturbing. Getting into scuffles with the grogs and covenfolk is hardly the way to build morale, and certainly is unseemly for a magus to be used in such a way. I'm pleased to see that Mistress Diedre is taking this so seriously. My own previous Covenant had a Grog uprising, my Parens..." he crosses himself "was slain while on expedition with Grogs who he mistreated for a long time, they killed him in his sleep. Always pay careful heed of the Grogs my Sodales, we are mighty, but even a lowly pack of dogs can bring down a ferocious bear or lion."

He pauses and has some bread and ale. Then he leans in closer still gathering the Magi so he can whisper:

"That's why I always insist on arming the Grogs with either magic weapons or casting Edge of the Razor on them. It makes them happy, and they don't realize that the weapons will be useless against our Parma should they turn on us."

He leans back sagely.

Azaelle sits down beside Fabrica and introduces herself. She speaks with a faint French accent.

"It is often difficult to keep our wits about us, isn't it? I had a slight altercation in the villiage and I am VERY thankful that I didn't solve it in a way that would put me on her (gesturing toward Deidre) bad side."

"I thought about it, though." She says with a playful smile.

Rhiannon speaks, setting down her bowl after using the last of her bread to soak up the last of the stew. "I've had fewer problems than most," she admits,"but then again, I'm one of those gently gifted. Still, it never hurts to treat those around you as you would like to be treated; In all my travels, this simple rule has always applied, Even with the moors in the levant." She shrugs. "It is not a matter of wits, but of losing sight of what we came from, that causes the most problems. We think we are more than what we are, yet in the end, all men, in death, are equal."

She reaches out with a long arm and grabs a cup of cider being set out by one of Cook's serving girls, and takes a drink before continuing. "As to what I've been about, this morning, A walk around the covenant, and a heated discussion with someone I hadn't seen for quite some time, our wonderful librarian..." She chuckles. "I'd wondered where the old fellow had gotten to..."

"And my apologies, Azaelle of Tytalus, for not greeting you earlier."




Mathius smiles at the group and says "I trust that your exploration of Glendowers lab yielded as much as my adventures in Torstens lab. I have never seen such workmanship before...." He gazes off into the distance for a moment, before turning to Fabrica "Yes, giving the grogs weapons which won't harm you is useful until you meet a creature of power. Then the best you can hope is that they will die in your place whilst you try to kill it with magic. When I am about with a group of grogs I make sure that the person in charge of them knows the limits of the magical weapons - and I do my best to give them no cause to turn on me."

"I greet you Azaelle of Tytalus, I am Mathius of Verditius, have you perhaps heard of my Intellego Summae? As you may gather we have spent the morning examining the laboratories of the previous covenant members. You missed the meeting where we were debating who would claim which labs, so I will sum up for you. There are 4 labs vacant, one belonging to a Verditius, Bonisagus, ex Miscalaneous and a Jerbiton. It has been decided that whoever moves into these labs, all of us new magi will devote ourselves to the task of outfitting the rest of us with labs. This is so that no-magi will be left standing in the cold whilst others of us pursue our own projects."

He smiles "It was generally agreed that a fellow verditius should inhabit Torstens lab, and Fabrica deferred the honour to myself. The Bonisagus lab was offered to Seireadan, but I don't know if he has accepted it yet. Stephan may be taking Kalias the Jerbiton's lab, though Daggin has also expressed an interest in it. The last lab, Sylvie of ex Misc is currently set up as the hospital. It will take a while to put the hospital somewhere else and to separate which parts of the lab are for healing."

"However, any device, book, treasure or piece of vis in any of the labs belongs to the covenant, not to the magus who claims the lab. There is no real "advantage" for any of us to claim the labs, as we are all devoting ourselves to building everyone a lab. Indeed, it may be beneficial to have a lab built as it can be constructed to your exact tastes."

He pauses to have a mouthful of ale before continuing "We have debated the matter of bringing in stonemasons or of building the labs using magic. It was suggested that we craft devices to aid in the building or the cutting and transporting of the stone. Numbers were thrown around as to whether it would be best to use vis to create the buildings, or just wait a few seasons for the mundanes to build the labs. Nothing was decided. Though it was mentioned that if we were using mundane stone we would have to beware the Drow."

He shakes his head "As for the matter of the new charter, we have not really discussed the matter, and we have a few days left to come up with something we can all live with. I believe that this covers most things."



"Thank you, Mathias. An excllent summary."

"And, Azealle, welcome. I've not worked with someone from your House before and I look forward to it."

"I would like to suggest that we deal with the labs definitively as the first item of discussion this evening. Further examination would help, some, perhaps, but I'd still like to move ahead. I would like to put myself down as interested in Glendower's lab as well as that of my late House-mate. Thorston's lab is, of course, ideally suited to the brothers Verditii and the healer's lab has only passing interest."

"Who are the others that would like to put thier names in the hat for Glendower's lab?"


(in Latin)
Thankfully I have my own lab space so that's one less lab that needs to be built. I will, of course, be happy help with the puzzle of arranging the remaining labs. How many do...
Did you say "Drow"?

Rhiannon chuckles. "If you are thinking of this," and she gestures, muttering some latin - an image appears, that of a cruel looking figure, bone white hair and skin black as jet, and about as beautiful as day old carrion," think again. This is a svartalfar, the dark elves of Viking legend. This," and she concentrates, and the image changes, to a lumpy, rock-like humanoid creature, "is a drow, a creature of the Daoine Sidhe, a spirit of the earth inhabiting a rocky body. While not much individually, 2 or three of them are unpleasant business."

After a bit she ends the spell. "I know much about the creatures and things that go bump in the night of the known world,and the tales that go with them, but just a smattering of other things."

Fabrica nods at Mathius regarding the issue of Grogs being armed with magic weapons or not.

"It certainly presents a quandary sodales. My parens was murdered by the weapons he created, weapons he designed to be powerful enough to slay magical creatures of any Realm. While on the surface that seems to be a generous gift, in my eyes it showed a tremendous lack of foresight and even a lack of respect for the Grogs and what they were capable of. It was just another sign of his lack of wisdom. Had they been armed with normal weapons he might have survived the initial attempt, he was a Terram specialist. As these were magical with a great deal of Penetration in the enchantment he didn't stand a chance. I am determined not to be slain in such an ignoble and ironic way.

"There are ways of course around this, and your sugestion of engendering trust is probably the best. But I have some ideas about creating whole kits of armor and weapons througha Ritual. Using the Platonic ideal of Forms, whole new materials could be made, creating superlative equipment that is not magical. That's quite costly though. There would have to be a great need."

"For the labs though and the future labs, I believe items that cut the stone and lifted it would be best and easiest to create. They could be made in a season most likely and would save enormous time in quarrying and moving the stone. I don't believe I've seen Torsten's lab yet. Or maybe I have, I think I have the names confused."



At Azealle's mention of her lab, Stephan does a double-take. With a raised eyebrow, he asks, "Really? Where is your lab? I thought we had been told of all the labs her at the covenant."


Azaelle listens to Fabrica's story about his murdered parens with a look of deep sadness. She fades momentarily into a thousand yard stare which is broken when she is addressed by Stephen.

(snapping out of her reverie)" Huh?- Oh- my lab. It's actually nowhere near here but I can get to it whenever I want. Perhaps in the future I can build one on site but for now, mine is okay as it is." She smiles wistfully at Stephen, as though half her mind is still somewhere else.

She turns to Fabrica.

"Where does the stone that needs to be cut and moved come from? Maybe we can just cut and move it without taking a season to make an item. That would be faster and less expensive."


Stephan continues to give Azealle a shrewd look for a moment and then turns to the discussion at hand.

"We did discuss some of this already, but perhaps it needs to be revisited. Azealle, is it fair to assume that you can cut an move stone in large amounts?

Yes, it is.


"Well, that is one problem solved!" says Stephan with a smile.

"On the topic of assigning already extant labs, though, I think we need more discussion. Is anyone else interested in Glendower's lab or may I simply move in?"

"I have no interest in it, Torsten's lab should suit my needs nicely. Fabrica if you need it you have my vote, or have you chosen another lab?"

How many labs are we needing?

Turning to Mathius
I would love to read your summae on intellego, as my intellego skills could use some help.

Fabrica considers the proposition.

"Well I suppose simply having one of us go and cut and port the stone, that would save the time to create an item. But it also comes with other problems. Frequent and repeated castings of a spell could lead to Twilight or worse, especially if it is a Spontaneous spell, even an easy one. Plus, should we need to do this again, would we be willing to send a magus out again for this mundane task? By spending one season to create a simple item, we now have a device that can be used indefinitely, used by Custos and Grogs, and provides an amount of prestige to our Covenant and its creator. It would also make for a decent item to trade or give as a gift, either the item or a lab text."

"I think we would be passing up some excellent opportunities for the sake of expedience. But then again, crafting items is in our nature, my brother Verditian and I."

"As for labs, I'm still looking, but I would be willing to wait for one of the created labs, and of course assist in its creation." he gives a brief chuckle. "Of course that might require one of us to go and quarry the stone by magic now anyway."

Azaelle, smiling warmly after drinking the last of her ale, turns back to Fabrica.

"So you need a lab to make an item to build your lab? Is there a Criamon in the house?" She pauses to consider. "Can you make such an item in only one season? If you can, perhaps you should have one of the existing labs first. I think, when it comes down to the planning stage, that we are going to have to make use of both Verditian items and cast spells. Hopefully it wont get to the stage where we need the Criamon."

"An item could be enchanted in one season, but it would do one thing, either cutting the rock or lifting the rock, but not both. The advantge is it would save on vis. Either way it could save time. However, even if Mathius and I could take a lab today, it would still take some time to accomodate the lab to our Gift...so, in other words, going to the quarry ourselves might be better for now, to help get stone for perhaps at least one or two labs."

"Hmmm, I was more confident about this just a bit ago...now it sounds like a better idea to go down there, at least for now."

Rhiannon(In Latin)

"I, too, am willing to wait for a lab to be built, and have some input as to it's design. The labs here were designed to meet the quirks of the previous occupants; No doubt previous labs had their appartus removed, and the buildings destroyed, then rebuilt." She shrugs. "It may seem like a waste, but every magus I have met has had requirements that were nearly mutually exclusive with anyone elses."

A brief bit of conversation going on between Uza and the Nun in a foreign tongue causes her to pause for a bit, raising an eyebrow, until the pair realizes someone is listening and become quiet.

"I can aid with the moving of the stone, by providing temporary 'help' or security. Right now, however," she says, rising, "I'm going to go see if the last of my belongings have arrived via Redcap."