Not a fair, no. Most of the bartering and selling seems to get done in the back rooms, in between sessions, when people are buying votes.
And let me guess, the feelers are squashed...
Do you have any appropriate skills?
Actually, an Int+OoH 9 would tell you that the easiest thing to do would be to stand outside of Desiderius' door and grab anyone who goes by
Since PB mentioned he always has Lore rolls as stress, I've come around to his way of thinking, so yes, it's stress.
Desiderius' Twilight Scar makes his company very difficult to tolerate; he's a nice guy, but most of his "friends" are exclusively of the correspondence variety. The ONLY reason anyone would seek him in person out would be if they need the professional services of a necromancer, and the vast majority of those are going to be LR seekers. Granted, it's kinda underhanded, but hey.
People actively looking for LRs:
Cerys of Merinita is in need of an LR, but belongs to Nigrasaxa and thus will probably get one from Maximianus of Bonisagus.
Likewise, any at Voluntas are unlikely to be sold away from their covenantmate, Desiderius.
Sophia Tremeris needs a longevity ritual, has no "in" with Maximianus, and Desiderius is her ex-boyfriend's parens. It was a messy breakup.
Flavius Ex Misc says his covenantmate, Espera, has had an aging crisis and is in need of a replacement, but they can't pay in vis, only in either texts or magical items.
Jonaquil Merinitae says her mater, Eirlys, has had an aging crisis and needs a new LR. She is on Tribunal record as Tribunal property, because she is a vis source. (It was politically a big stink about thirty years ago.) Regardless, she's likely to be very able to pay well.
Magi approaching that age within the next few years, but aren't actively shopping yet:
Collem Ex Misc; known to be pretty good with Corpus, might not be an easy sell.
Deiectus Flambeau, of Duos Flumen
Caitlin Ex Misc, of Burnham
Blaidd Ex Misc of Cad Gadu
The ones with aging crises are problematic, he will feel them out as far as whatever magnitude LR they need. For the ones that need a high level one he might offer his services as an assistant adding nearly 3 magnitudes. ((int 5 + MT 6+2))
He will seek a personal audience with the ones who are thinking about it. He would reasonably seek out Sophia. ((As a player it is weird))
There's only five Redcaps in the Tribunal, and they're all covered for the moment (Edgar is too young to need one, the Williams and Jasmine already have one, and Parsifal wants to get old with his wife); the huge Mercere delegation only showed up for the trial, and left immediately after the vote.
On the evening after Tribunal has adjourned for the policy & procedural discussion (the vote will be the next morning), Tektonius is about drumming up leads on who he may be able to sell LRs to. Whether intentionally or not, this places him hovering about Desiderius' quarters.
Desiderius won the regional Verditius contest on the first day of events, with a wand that casts Incantation of the Body Made Whole. Items cannot normally use vis, so Desiderius has broken a Hermetic Limit.
At some point that evening, Tek will notice that Desiderius hasn't ventured out at all, to his knowledge, since retreating from the contest. He is normally fairly reclusive (not out of desire, but out of politeness), but he hasn't even come out for any meals, and none of the magi with ageing problems have gotten any answer at Desiderius' door.
((I'm presuming that there isn't a sanctum marker outside the door.))
So, Tektonius, feeling awfully boorish for poaching potential patients (sorry feeling alliterative) from Desiderius grows a bit concerned and knocks on the door himself, and identifies himself as "Tektonius of Bonisagus".
No sanctum markers; these are temporary housing.
There is no answer at the door.
(Oh poo, could we get a summary of who presented what during the contest? I believe Iapetus and Attravere were both looking to attend.)
(Not until after I'm feeling more creative, no.)
((Sure, but someone might be presumptive enough to do it. ))
If there is a lock or latch, Tektonius will open it with a spontaneous casting of the Key of Theodorus Base 1, +1 Touch, +2 Part, +2 for metal=10th level. Casting total is (13 + 16 + 5+die roll of 8)/2=21. He will push the door open enough to keep it from relatching then rest a few moments before entering saying, "Desiderius? Are you well? You've had many clients come by to inquire of services who have gone away. I wish to apologize for my impertinence at trying to intercept the clients who are less worthy of your Arts."
As soon as Tek enters the room, he is overwhelmed by the smell of burned hair. As he rounds about the small sitting room into the bedchamber, he finds a charred husk of a mangled human body, sprawled across the floor.
What are the surroundings like? Passers-by and what not? He'll call out for hoplites or Quaesitores, or for someone to fetch them and bar entry to the room until they arrive. He will touch nothing else in the room.
If I haven't totally screwed up the timing-- there are no Quaesitores available as they are all performing a complex ritual. Word spreads like wildfire.
Ariel of Flambeau responds first, as a miles and hoplite; she stands guard while others run about like headless chickens.
Corvus Bjornaeris comes by for preliminary investigation in the absence of any Quaesitores. As he enters the room, his normally cool demeanor is shattered as his jaw drops and his eyes well up with tears. He shakes himself as if waking from a dream, and begins casting a smattering of Intellego spells.
He'll recount events, dropping his Parma and suggesting Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie. He'll detail how he was outside the whole time, trying to find clients for Longevity Rituals who couldn't meet Desiderius price, but he never answered the door to any caller while he was there. Tektonius will relate how it was strange that he received no visitors after several people stopped by.
Deiectus will stop by later, speaking breifly with Ariel, offering to assist if she has matters that force her away from the post, such as Covenant issues.
Iapetus will swing by, see people running around like headless chickens, and stay out of the way since he's a terrible investigator. Sounds like time to go relax and enjoy beer. Or ale. Or whatever English swill is available.
Corvus turns on Tektonius. "Have you seen his wand? I should hate to think a man's life was taken simply because someone wished to steal his Hermetic secrets," he inquires.
Tektonius details the reasons he opened the door and how he came to be caught in his present circumstances. "I merely opened the door observed the horrific scene and immediately called for someone to secure and investigate. I thought it very odd that he received no visitors, and indeed several seemed quite insistent and some seemed to be desperate, even. I opened the door and asked for him to excuse my impertinence, when I saw this. I wasn't searching for a wand, indeed I didn't search for anything. I'm not aware of all of his specialties, but picked up on the fact that he could create impressive longevity rituals. It stood to reason that some who came to him couldn't meet his price, and that I might be able to assist those in such an unfortunate position."
Leaning in closer he whispers, or at least speaks quietly enough so that others can't hear, "I don't like to talk about it, but I can't cast any spells, except spontaneous spells because of my late parens ham-handed approach to teaching me. I am, also, completely clueless of ignem. As my name implies, I'm interested in building and stone.