The Day's Blank Slate: Hope (1220.1)

Hope approaches the covenant, her Forge-Companion behind her with Tia coiled around neck and draping down. She wears a cloak and several belts with various pouches on them in addition to more normal clothes. She approaches the sentries trying to avoid the Aegis and calls out "Hello, I am Hope ex Verdi I believe I was expected. My familiar will probably need a token unless your security is severely lacking." she thinks a moment before adding "It would be nice if I got one too."

My familiar needs a token! Hope calls out, holding the parasite forth.

The sentries, almost as one, take a step back in fear and disgust when they see Tia. "We...we don't have tokens here, maga," one says. Not sure if he had the privilege of addressing Hope because he's the highest-ranking or the lowest. "I'll go get a maga," he yells over his shoulder as he takes off running.

A few minutes later, a tallish, thin maga in simple wool robes briskly walks up the path. She stops when she reaches Hope, and looks over both her and her familiar.

[color=brown]"Hope of Verditius? I am Eilid of Bjornaer. Welcome to Insula Canaria." She then pulls out a pair of tokens and formally invites both into the Aegis.

[color=brown]"I apologize for any rudeness the coisridh have shown. They are not used to seeing familiars as...unconventional as yours. Would you care to settle in and freshen up after your journey, or do you wish to tour the covenant first?"

The familiar does its best to take a token, and Hope does the same. "Yeah he's a parasite, it won't look near as bad when he's back where he belongs." Hope says as she steps through the Aegis.
"Hungry" the little drake croaks out.
"Hold on sheesh." Hope puts Tia on the ground and crouches down. Tia crawls under the cloak using the bond's power to take up residence in Hope's back. For Hope's part she grimaces and clutches the ground fingers digging into the dirt.
When that's done Hope stands back up, dusting herself off. "She get's super cranky when she has to stay outside for too long. We're really lucky to have found each other, my magic resonates with parasitic creatures and having a parasitic familiar makes the bond that much stronger. Crap, you're House- Sorry if... point is I got lucky. There was something about a tour?" Hope getting tripped up over realizing A Bjornaer magi wouldn't be able to make a familiar bond. Her Housemates could get offended when other magi made a point about casting tools, and she didn't want to create a similar situation here.

Eilid (barely) manages to conceal the revulsion she feels when she realizes what's happening. The grogs around them don't even bother...they can't bring themselves to watch, and look away until Hope 's finished.

Eilid smiles. [color=brown]"It's all right. Just because my House can't bond familiars like everyone else doesn't mean I'm not...somewhat familiar with how it works.

"And yes...grand tour. Or petit tour, if you'd rather get situated and rest for a while?"

Heh, feel free to make fun of my casting tools. Hope says fumbling with one of her pockets before getting out a small rectangular token. This one is for casting an Aegis! A Grand Tour would be good, or we could get food to eat. I'll be getting hungry as Tia gets full. But I can wait. We'll be working on enchanting together right? I think Boudicca had some plans about us rebuilding a lab for common use.

Eilid smiles. [color=brown]"I know a Verditius whose casting tools are the gaudiest pieces of jewelry you could imagine. I doubt yours will be any funnier than hers."

[color=brown]"How strong an Aegis can you cast? And do you know the Wizards' Communion?"

[color=brown]"Perhaps we should start off with a bite to eat. And then, if you get hungry again during the tour, we can return to the Revel Hall for a refill."

"Urf. My housemates sometimes... The Aegis is the weakest you can find. I do have Wizard's Communion of the fourth magnitude and eating sounds good. How much space did the common lab have anyway? I've heard of labs big enough that multiple magi use them at the same time. Not sure how well that works in practice though... anyway let's eat first. Then can we see what there is for food prep facilities?

[color=brown]"The Wizard's Communion will be helpful. And we have a text for a stronger Aegis in the library should you wish to improve it someday."

Seeing as how it's mid-day and about lunch-time, Eilid takes Hope to the Revel Hall. There are a few people taking their meal there, seated at trestle tables; about half seem to be men-at-arms, the rest are covenfolk of one ilk or another. They greet Eilid respectfully and look at Hope apprehensively. The one exception is a blonde young woma who gives Eilid a familiar hug. Eilid introduces her as her grand-daughter, Frida; the young woman smiles and curtsies politely.

"How much longer will you be, Nan?" Frida asks.

[color=brown]"I could be awhile, dear. Relax a while, and I'll fetch you when I'm ready to go back to work."

Eilid offers Hope a seat at the high table, on a dais at the front of the Revel Hall, and the servers bring a simple fare: stew and bread, with her choice of fish or lamb.

[color=brown]"The Common Lab is a little bit larger than average. About 75 square paces. As big as we could get it on Eilean Chon." It's basically Size +1, or 675 square feet, or 62.7 square meters.

Eilid sighs. [color=brown]"It used to be a lot more useful than it is now, and I'm not sure we can ever get it the way it was again."

Hope chows down on the food, starting with the stew, in between gulps "Food. Wonderful. We probably won't get it the same. But the needs will probably be different. What was it like? An unorthodox idea would be to teach a covenfolk enough magic theory to set up a lab. Do the work with craftsmen or whoever and spend the time getting it perfected. Installing special equipment and stuff. Magi, probably us, make all sort of useful items for performing lab work. I've heard of some orders from Boni lab rats for a bunch of weird things for the lab. Oh I even got this wand Hope starts rifling through her pockets until she pulls out an iron rod, the Wand of Iron Clay. Haven't tried this in the lab yet, but it lets you mold metal like clay. I think it will make enchanting just a little easier.

Eilid looks almost sorrowful as she thinks. [color=brown]"It...was more than an Hermetic lab should be. We took turns for almost fifty years, each of us tweaking the lab to suit our needs a little better. Over was like we could do more, better, than we should have been able to, even with the stronger Aura on the island.

[color=brown]"We do have one or two muggles that we've taught enough Magic Theory to be useful. My granddaughter, for one; she's been a God-send in the lab the last couple of years."

Eilid stops to think for a minute. [color=brown]"I'm not sure who else here has been taught Magic Theory. It's not something most magi are willing to take the time to teach."

Eilid's face lights up like a kid on Christmas day. [color=brown]"That looks fascinating! We'll have to get some iron sometime and see what we can do with it. It is something anyone can use? Perhaps one of our craftsmen can sculpt something useful."

"That sounds impressive. Anyone can use the wand. Tap it twice while saying clay clay on the target. You need to focus though. At a minimum I figured it would help with concentration practice. I don't think it would work well for metal you want strong. A lot of the strength comes in the forging process. I could take a season or two to teach someone. Especially since I need to give Tia some lessons. I could slip in an extra student if they didn't mind. Honestly Jerry is pretty used to me and Tia. Where did he get to? Jerry! Hope says standing up and waving. Jerry had been trying to strike up a conversation away from the magae, but he didn't find anyone who wanted to have a long conversation in Latin. He's apparently set most of the luggage down, just clutching a box. When he gets over he makes sure Hope is in between him and Eilid
Everything alright?
Yeah, this is Eilid a maga, but it seems like you can tell. Here hold my hand- Hope extends her Parma and Jerry looks a little more relaxed -and its fine. How would you feel about learning magic theory with Tia? I'd teach?
I've always been a little curious, but his voice drops to a whisper [size=85]Do you think Tia would honestly spend the effort?[/size]
Eh, she'll probably complain, but I think ultimately she'll soak it in. Unless you had someone else in mind, Eilid?

[color=brown]"I believe that, if the metal has been forged already, it retains the strength that it had before it was reshaped with the magic. Unless you stretch it too thin..." She thinks for a minute before she starts theorizing about Rego Terram and how (or whether) it can strengthen unforged metals.

[color=brown]"My granddaughter knows enough to set up a proper lab, if you think you can teach her more. I suspect that Boudicca would like her children to know magic theory as well, if she hasn't taught them already."

I almost think it might be better to have me teach Jerry and then have him teach other people. He's actually really good at it. Totally worth the embarrassment of being taught how to smith by a little kid. Still my first priority is Tia, and I'm not really an expert on Parma, plus my Gift is blatant. He could teach a whole group of people while I could maybe teach one if Tia doesn't chase them off. Besides that, I'm really only to the point of setting up a lab myself. I could teach Jerry what I know, he could teach others or set up extra labs if needed, then I teach him everything the books taught me and he can then spend his time teaching a batch of covenfolk or possibly magi who don't want to spend all that time reading? Maybe he'll have some insights he can write about. Jerry what do you think?

[size=50]Not a fan of teaching magi, but otherwise it sounds good.[/size] he whispers into Hope's ear
They'll behave. Besides my House has particularly annoying members. Anyway Jerry doesn't want the responsibility of teaching magi, but he's on board with the rest.

Eilid looks thoughtful as she walks. [color=brown]"We've never taught groups of muggles anything, really. Just one-on-one as the situation merited. That might be something to bring up to one of the Councils, either ours or the Muggle council, see if it's something worth pursuing."

Well the magi wouldn't be. I would just kick the thing off as a bonus when teaching Tia. Muggles aren't nothing though. If we really want to take the long term view we could set up a school and start teaching some children useful skills. Skilled educated covenfolk would be pretty awesome to have I think. I suppose it depends on how many magi want a specialized or high quality lab. Anyway we probably want to talk with the other magi before making more concrete plans. Hope laughs a little at the last bit.

Eilid smiles. [color=brown]"Definitely something to think about. Feel free to discuss it with the other, see if they feel the same way and if it's something we want to commit the covenant's time and resources to."

Hope nods and finishes inhaling her food before talking again. Its the sort of thing that takes organization and takes time to pay back. The theory I've heard is you never want a magus doing work a grog can do since its a waste of valuable magi time, while there are a lot of grogs. Guess I'll see what the other people think. In my experience there are always a few who don't think teaching non-magi magic theory is proper and some who are just insulted at the idea of having someone else set up their lab. Well want to show me around the covenant then? I suppose we could get a look at the state of the Common Lab. See if there is anything to be salvaged.

Eilid shows Hope around the grounds, introducing her to some of the craftsmen who would be working on lab equipment, furnishings, clothes, and possibly the construction of the cottage/lab itself, as well as her granddaughter/lab assistant Frida.

Once they reach the post on the shore, Eilid will activate the enchantment that brings the bridge into being that will allow them to cross to Eilean Chon. She opens the door and stands aside for Hope to walk inside so she can see what's left of the lab herself. The magical heating and lighting still works, and the lab is larger than normal (+1). There's an antechamber, a large window overlooking the loch, and plenty of cupboards (indicating that it used to have Extensive Stores). There's also a large water stain in one corner of the lab.

[color=brown]"We cleaned up the damage as best we could, but we thought it best to hold off on rebuilding it until the new members joined, as you would be helping design it."

It seems pretty decent for a starting point honestly. Magical heat and light, its large. You'd probably want someone with a little more study on the more advanced aspects of laboratory design, but a couple seasons and I think you could have a nice functional lab. Extra space is a good thing when you want a real high quality lab. Honestly, I'd suggest picking some specialized purpose. I'd actually suggest a lab for working with texts. It not only allows for faster writing, but easier replications of someone else's work. I guess how it should be designed once its safe and functional depends on what you want. The spot on the lake is really nice though. It might be worth it to design a spell to make our own islands.