The Day's Blank Slate: Gavin (1220.1)

OOC: I was going to wait until I got a response from my letter before posting my arrival. But I seem to be late enough as it is.

Shortly after the last arrival, a trio of men appears at the gates of Insula Canaria. The one in the lead is an attractive man in his mid thirties, dressed well, but not ostentatiously, in fine traveling clothes. He carries a pack on his back, but one smaller than that carried by the other two. Despite his agreeable appearance, however, he gives off a sense of untrustworthiness to those not protected by Parma Magica. Those familiar with the phenomenon will recognize it as a sign of the Gift.

Next to him is a younger man also dressed well, but in simpler clothes. A bit of the trim on his tunic matches that of the older fellow giving the impression that the younger one is a servant of the elder. His deferential demeanor confirms that impression.

The final man is clearly a military man for he wears armor and carries a sword. He's dressed in rougher traveling clothes than the other two that have likely seen more than one campaign. The military man seems at ease now, however, as if he doesn't expect trouble for the moment.

"Hello the covenant," the Gifted man says as he approaches the gate.

One of the squad watching the trail, a very short blonde woman in full chain mail (unlike the others' metal scale armour), smiles warily at the magus.

"Good afternoon, stranger," she says in good Latin with a light Gaelic accent. "And what brings you to these parts?"

"Good afternoon," the man replies, also in Latin, though this with a slight English accent. "My name is Gavin ex Miscellanea, and I'm here to join the covenant of Insula Canaria, if you'll have me."

One of the grogs in the squad that met Corbin trots off down the trail to the covenant. He returns a few minutes later accompanied by a blonde maga in red robes with yellow trim.

[color=red]"Good day, sodalis. I'm Boudicca of Bonisagus. You must be Gavin." She presents him and his familiar with tokens and invites them in. [color=red]"Do you wish to see the covenant first, or get yourself situated?"

Gavin notices (as do all the other magi who arrive when the covenfolk are out and about, and over the next few days and weeks) that whenever he passes by, work seems to stop as the people stop to look at him. The distrust on their faces is evident, but the effect is more than can be explained merely by the effects of the Gift; in fact, many of the people are too far away to feel it, or aren't interacting with the magus at all.

Gavin also notices a doe grazing on the ground and arguing with a ghost. Or, rather, the ghost seems to be arguing with her, as she merely looks up at him every so often. The covenfolk don't seem to see him. There are also a handful of other people that only Gavin seems to see, as well.

"If I could get situated first," Gacin replies, "that would be much appreciated. I can leave my shield grog wherever is appropriate, and have my servant tend to the area assigned to me. After that, however, I should love to see the covenant."

"Me too," says a small figure made of sticks who pokes out of a pouch on the magus' belt holding the second token the maga brought. "I've heard about this covenant. But you can never really get the feel for a place until you've actually seen it." It hops out of the pouch, but halfway to the ground turns into a thrush and starts flying around the two magi.

Shapeshifter check: 1D10+8 = [7]+8 = 15; success

If Gavin's shield grog is single, there are, basically, longhouses or barracks for the unattached members of the turb (men and women separate). If he's married, they will find him and his family a cottage. Of course, if he will be living with Gavin, that's different.

There are seven abandoned cottages that had housed former magi and their laboratories, which will be doled out on a first-come first-served basis, unless he'd rather have one made.. Boudicca explains that they can either have the covenfolk build one, or there's a ritual spell in the library, invented by one of the Founders, that creates a building out of wood as tough as stone. (It's a very difficult spell, but Eilid is inventing her version of it that season.)

Boudicca is suitably impressed by Groot.

She will show them around the covenant, starting with the Council Hall on Eilean Muireach and ending with the Common Lab on Eilean Chon. Stops include the Revel Hall, the barracks, training grounds, and the magi's cottages (both in use and abandoned), as well as passing by the cottages that house the covenfolk. There is a spider's-web of dirt paths that connect everything within the covenant bounds. There doesn't seem to be any real pattern to the covenant's layout...the buildings seem to have been placed somewhat randomly.

What's visible outside the boundary path is more cottages (for the families that don't directly serve the magi themselves), and a couple of blackhouses for the covenfolk that don't have families or are being housed with covenfolk that have similar duties.

Barclay is single, and will stay in the long house. Cory, is single as well, but will stay with Gavin, the better to serve him.

In order of preference, Gavin likes cottages 11, 18, new, 19, 12, 10, and 16

Gavin enjoys the tour, making comments and asking questions. He'll show interest in the two cottages by the edge of the loch, but will also express some interest in a new cottage if that's not too much trouble. "I have some Vim vis, though I suspect that it's likely to cost Herbam to use the spell of creation."

"How big is the covenant in terms of grogs?" he asks. "And what trade do they practice? I imagine that many are fishermen, this close to the loch. Do you keep sheep as well?"

If the existing labs come pre-established, Gavin will take an old lab over a new one. 18 seems to be taken. 11 is still his first choice.

The more recently-abandoned labs are more or less intact, but they're still set up more or less the way their former owners have them. If you want to use them as is, I can track down the lab sheet and pm it to you, or you can take a season or two to get it set up the way you want it. The "recently-abandoned" labs are those that had belonged to Doineann (#11), Drystan (#12), and Fiona (#19). The others have been abandoned long enough that they are now little more than empty rooms.

Note that Doineann's lab was an Outdoors one; if you want an indoors lab, it will take the grogs a little time to get it built.

Hmm, I'd rather an indoor lab. What's the likelihood of getting a new cottage/lab built by magic?

If that's not a possibility, then maybe 19 would be a better fit (depending on what the lab was like).

I was hoping for 19 for Corbin. I remember there were also two unplaced labs too?

Eilid is working on inventing her version of Cabin of Earthen Wood from the covenant's lab text. She can just pull it off, but will need help to have more than a 50/50 shot at casting it (i.e. needs to have at least one person casting Wizards Communion with her to cast the spell).

19 was Fiona's lab; it is Spacious, and most of the furnishings are a little outsized, apparently designed for a much-larger-than-normal person. It has an antechamber, a still, and a large garden which is not completely overgrown with weeds. It is also Undecorated (but whether it was ever decorated, Gavin would have to find someone who had been in her lab to ask).

Yes..well, actually, one, that had been used by two former magi during their tenure. It had belonged to both Cainneach ex Miscellanea and Cináed of Bonisagus (in that order), but hasn't been occupied since 1182.

Hmm, I don't have Wizard's Communion. Maybe I could get Hope to help if it came to that.

That sounds like an excellent lab. Gavin would definitely be interested.

I'm also keen on 19. When did you post asking for it?

Here's a possible compromise. If I get lab 19 already in place, I'll have Gavin devote one season to helping Corbin set up his own lab. That way we both have to spend a single season setting up a lab.

I posted an interest in building 19 in Corbin's story thread (the introduction thread before it was split into each separate thread for each character), around mid Jan. Corbin was one of the first to be introduced.

OOC: I'm assuming in the meta-game that each Magus will need to spend a season setting up a lab again and also that each of the players really does not want additional setup time instead of productive seasons? Thus established building are likely to be more desirable.

Corbin would happily assist Gavin with that in-character, however as a player I do not want to miss a season of productive activity.

PB - what are your thoughts on establishment. Do we hand-wave or go to detail?

Oops, hadn't seen that.

That's why I thought a person who got a set-up lab might split the difference and help with one season. No one wants to lose a productive season setting up a lab, but then no one wants to lose two productive seasons either.

I'm curious as well. It seems like with some labs set up and some not, there will be real winners and losers. (Especially if some of the existing labs are better than starting labs.)

Those who choose a recently abandoned sanctum and lab (i.e. Fiona/#19, Doineann/#11, and Drystan/#12) will be able to spend at least a season "redecorating" their lab. I have the labs stated out for all three, I believe, and I can pm the stats to the player if they want. It would take one season to swap out one Virtue and/or Flaw for the lab. To swap more than two would take two seasons, since they're doing considerable work on it. Fiona's lab was +1 Size (as she was half-Giant), and Doineann's was an outdoors lab (since she was a weather-witch).

Any of the older labs (including the as-yet-unplaced lab for Cainneach and Cináed) have been basically cannibalized and will have to be rebuilt, taking two seasons.

Corbin was the first magus to arrive (I'll post the exact order on Hogsmeade momentarily), and ironboundtome did express an interest in the centrally-located lab/sanctum, which was Fiona's.

Corbin will certainly like to keep claim on that central spot at #19. Living in it should help. The space will be handy and the attached garden is something I can see use for.
Can you ping me the stats?

So basically, the people who were lucky enough to have their introduction threads start first get a free season of development and a lab with existing benefits, while everyone else starts at zero. Seems kind of whimsical to me. But then I suppose I'm playing the wrong game system if I thought things would be balanced.

OOC: Whimsy! I/my-maga will be happy if they have room to set up a lab. If people are getting put outside then we'll make a sad face. Regardless do you really want a lab which may have hidden flaws to strike revenge at a later data? Truthfully though they should teach a grog to set up a lab for them. Unless we want that to require the Gift.

Everyone is starting at 1220.1. Or have I missed something?