The Day's Blank Slate: Isobel (1220.1)

The letter is delivered to the hands of Eilid, who (upon checking the date of the letter) realizes that Saturday is only a couple of days away.

Mid-morning that Saturday, after she's broken her fast, Eilid goes to the road in the direction that Isobel would most likely be coming from and stands with the sentries as she patiently waits for her guest.

At the appointed time a woman in her mid- to late-twenties appears, walking down the road. She is dressed in simple clothes, much as you'd expect from a peasant, but holds her head high. As she gets closer, and it becomes clear that Eilid is waiting for her, she comes up and curtseys to the maga. "I'm so glad you agreed to meet me. My name is Isobel. I've been watching your outpost for some time now, and am very interested in speaking to you about the possibility of joining you as a chirurgeon or a chirurgeon's assistant."

[color=brown]"Greetings, Isobel," Eilid says in the same language that Isobel had (I'm assuming Gaelic?). [color=brown]"My name is Elid, and I am one of those in charge here. Welcome."

She turns and walks up the road, motioning for Isobel to walk with her. One of the sentries follows behind, a scowl on her otherwise beautiful face. [color=brown]"There is one thing you should be made aware of if you seek a life here." She pauses dramatically before she continues.

[color=brown]"We are witches. Well, witches and wizards." She watches Isobel out of the corner of her eye, gauging her reaction.

[color=brown]"We already have a healer, Runa. Although she's more of a midwife than she is a healer, she is...adequate when it comes to injuries. I will introduce you when we get to the covenant and you can discuss things."

Isobel falls in next to Eilid as the maga walks around the covenant. She glances back at the sentry, wondering for a moment why the person thinks she's a threat, but then quickly forgets that they're being followed.

She listens carefully to what Eilid says, somewhat uneasy around the woman because of her Gift. But surprisingly, she seems more relieved than shocked at the maga's big reveal.

"I'm so glad you came out and said it so explicitly," Isobel replies in Gaelic immediately. "I was wondering how to tell you I knew without offending you. I've been watching you from afar for some time now, and paying attention to the rumors about your settlement. Moreover I've had my ...," she hesitates a moment before going on, "... my familiar looking in on you. He can't get past the road we're walking on - you have some powerful protection magic at work - but he's still learned some things."

"You see," she continues, "I'm a witch too, though from a different tradition than you, I think. At least you don't seem to be in a coven like mine. And you're a natural witch too, like Elspeth from my coven. I've known her for years and still feel uneasy around her, like I do around you. Belasco - my familiar - tells me that it's part of being a natural witch. I hear that it's one reason that some covens can be disfunctional. He warned me that if I started feeling uneasy around one of you, I needed to try and overcome those feelings, and I am trying. I still feel suspicious around you. But I try and pretend you're Elspeth and ignore those feelings like I do with her."

"I specialize in healing, though I can do other things as well. I can talk to animals and use magic to find things and ... well, more than that. I can also brew potions to let other people share my magic." She reaches into a belt pouch and takes out a small carved wooden container stoppered at one end, offering it to Eilid. "Here's a healing potion for you as a gift. It should heal one person of any but the most fatal of injuries. Belasco wanted me to tell you that I can also brew potions that would help you overcome exhaustion. He seemed to think you'd find that interesting."

"But I'm also trained in mundane healing, and even some Medicine," she adds, then switches to accented Latin. "And I've learned how to speak the Latin that you sometimes use around your settlement. I really think I might fit in here, though I have no desire to displace your Runa. Please say that you think there might be a place for me."

Eilid looks at Isobel with a "Well, that's interesting" look on her face, but doesn't interrupt.

[color=brown]"The reason your familiar...Belasco? couldn't cross the path is because of magical protections we have in place. If you're going to be living Inside, or even spending much time, we should give him a token that will allow him free passage across the road. When we renew the protection, you and he are welcome to participate in the ceremony; that will enable him to come and go with ease, without needing the coin.

"We also, those of us of the Order, have personal, magical protection; one of the benefits is that it mitigates the feelings of distrust our Gift often generates in others. That protection can be extended to another, temporarily, with the same benefit. If you wish."

Eilid takes the vial and places it in her pouch. [color=brown]"Thank you. I hope we don't need it any time soon, but it will be nice to have, just in case.

"Magical healing is, I think, more versatile than mundane healing. Does your magical healing require Vis? Magical energy in physical form? And if you truly can overcome exhaustion and not merely delay it, that will be of great benefit."

"That's a useful bit of magic," Isobel replies. "Yes, I'm sure Belasco would appreciate being able to cross that boundary. And I'd be happy to have his help in the kitchen - that's where we witches do our work, brewing potions in the kitchen. I'm afraid to be any good to you as a witch, I'd need a large kitchen to work in, preferably one that was not used by anyone else. My projects can take a long time and a lot of space."

"That would be most appreciated. I feel the effect of your - Gift, you call it? - just like with Elspeth. It's unnerving because I don't want to trust you, as much as I know I must."

"Yes, I'm afraid it does require magical power. One piece of power for each potion, plus a little on top of that based on how powerful the potions are. But I've been told by the other witches in my coven that I'm particularly skilled at brewing. So I can make more potions in a batch than they can."

"As for the potions against exhaustion," she shrugs. "So far as I've been told, it truly removes exhaustion. But I've never had a chance to actually brew one to make certain, even though I was taught how to do so. Magic power is hard to come by, and I've spent what I had on healing potions. But if you wish, and can supply the magic power - vis? - for it, I'd be happy to brew some potions against exhaustion. With enough magic power I can make them such that they'll bring you back from the brink of unconsciousness."

[color=brown]"Where is Belasco now? We can go ahead and invite both of you into our protection until we renew it in a few weeks."

[color=brown]"Kitchen. That's akin to our laboratory, isn't it? A place to research, to invent spells, to enchant magical items? I'm sure our craftsmen can build you something to your specifications. Most of us have our workspaces as part of our cottages, but if you need it to be separate, that can be arranged, as well."

Eilid will extend her Parma over Isobel, giving her an effective Parma of 2 (3 vs Animal). [color=brown]"This protection is only effective as long as we're together."

[color=brown]"Depending on the situation and the need, the Council may agree to grant you the vis needed for the potions."

[color=brown]"That would be most useful. Not just for magi, but possibly for the turn as well."

"I left him flying around outside of your barrier. I can go call him if you want."

"My kitchen is where I work, yes. It's also where I cook my meals." Isobel smiles. "It would be best as part of a cottage. That's how I have it set up now, though my own cottage is nothing as nice as you have here."

"That's wonderful," Isobel exclaims when she feels the effect of the Parma. "Oh, how I wish I could do something like this with Elsbeth. My bad feelings about you just went away as if they had never existed."

"I should warn you that it takes most of a season to brew a proper healing potion, though I can manage a good number of doses in that time. It's not something that can be rushed. I do have a stock set aside for emergencies, though. So if someone's badly injured, I can take care of them immediately. But it's a very limited supply. I only have seven of the kind I gave you."

"I'm so glad that it can be of use. So far I haven't had any call for such a potion."

[color=brown]"No," Eilid says slowly, [color=brown]"let's go to him."

[color=brown]"You would most likely have your own cottage Inside. We have several empty ones, if any are to your liking. If not, we can have our people build one for you. But working either with the covenant healer or becoming our healer yourself, you will have use of that cottage" (Eilid points [color=brown]"by the practice field."

[color=brown]"Eventually, you'll get used to the effects of the Gift from a specific magus, but you'll never become immune to the effects in general. For example, in about fifteen years, you'll not feel the distrust for me or Boudicca, but if a maga visits from Loch Leglean, you would still feel the same. Unless someone extends their protection over you as I have."

[color=brown]"Not to worry," Eilid says with a smile. [color=brown]"We're used to doing things that take time. Right now, I'm working a spell that will only take three months to figure out. And it would take much longer if my laboratory weren't set up correctly and if my granddaughter weren't helping."

[color=brown]"And I pray we never will. But best to be prepared, I think. Especially in lands like these."

OOC: Does Isobel get a place where she can set up her kitchen? That's a requirement for her to make her potions.

Speaking of which, she'll be willing to make potions for people for a little over her cost of making them. Potions she can make are as follows:

Heal: heals up to an Incapacitating wound
Restore Fatigue: removes Fatigue up to Dazed
Flight: gives you a Flight Ability of 5 for the duration of one flight. (Requires a Sta + Flight Ability check (EF 9) to get off the ground.)
Dowsing: gives you a Dowsing Ability of 5 for the duration of one search.
Animal Ken: gives you an Animal Ken Ability of 5 for 21 days.
I'm still trying to figure out what will be fair prices. But I at least want to break even. And a little profit would be nice so she can make some potions for herself. For Healing and Restore Fatigue potions, the more she can make, the cheaper they are, since there's a fixed cost as well as a per potion cost.

Is anyone interested in any of the potions?

I'd like the covenant to have a handfull of healing and fatigue potions, perhaps a few others too.
How many season does each take?

She can make up to 10 healing potions in a season. (That's the limit of the Vis she can spend. She could actually make more if her Folk Witch Magic Theory were greater.) They cost her 6 Co vis + 1 Co vis/potion. So the more potions she makes at once, the better.
Fatigue potions cost 4 Co vis + 1 Co vis/potion. Right now she could make 8 in a season. Once she gets a lab text, she can make 10. Again, that number could go up if her FWMT rises.

For the rest, she can make 7 potions the first season she makes them, 14 a season after that.

A Flight potion costs 1 Au vis; a Dowsing potion costs 1 In vis; and an Animal Ken potion costs 1 An vis.

FWIW, Gavin is interested in some potions. But I'll let others help me figure out a proper price first. I don't want to have to negotiate with myself. Too much of an appearance of impropriety.

Yes. She can either move into the Chirurgeon's Cottage (#9 on the map), which is basically unoccupied, or have the craftsmen build her a cottage. Either way, it still takes 2 seasons to set up her kitchen properly.

It takes a season to brew a batch of potions, which produces a number of doses equal to her Folk Witch Magic Theory + Lab Text Level (if applicable). Each dose takes one pawn of Vis, plus any Vis needed for the effect itself (which, for Wounds, can be from 3 to 6 pawns, depending on the severity of the wound that can be healed; for Fatigue, it would be from 1-4 pawns, based on the Fatigue Level recovered. (Hedge Magic Revised Edition, pages 40 and 38.)

Isobel will certainly be brewing Fatigue (dazed) potions in [strike]Spring 1221[/strike] Winter 1220. If the covenant wants some of these potions, she'll sell them at cost for 1.5 vis (rounded up) per potion. If individual magi want them, she'll charge 2 vis per potion. She also has some Healing (incapacitated) potions that she will sell to the covenant almost at cost at 2 vis per potion. If individual magi want them, she'll charge 2.5 vis (rounded up) per potion. She would prefer payment in An, Au, Co, or In vis, since that's what she uses for brewing potions.

Autumn and Winter of 1200 are up for grabs. If there's enough interest, she'll brew another batch of Fatigue or Healing potions. She also might brew some potions of Animal Ken if she can get the An vis to do it.

Plans have solidified some.

Isobel will brew 7 Animal Ken (Level 5) potions in Autumn of 1220.
Isobel will brew 8 Fatigue (dazed) potions in Winter of 1220.
Isobel will brew either 16 Fatigue (dazed) or 16 Healing (incapacitated) potions in Spring of 1221, depending upon demand.

Guaranteed Potions For Sale:
5 Animal Ken (Level 5) potions @ 2 vis/potion
5 Healing (incapacitated) potions @ 2.5 vis/potion
5 Fatigue (dazed) potions @ 2 vis/potion

Does Isobel have any preferences as to what kind of vis she gets in payment?

She would prefer In, An, or Au most, then Co, then anything else.

As we're now getting vis distribution, I'll ask again as to who might be interested in potions. I'm still trying to figure if it's worth Isobel taking another season brewing any type of potion or if I can have her do something else with her last season. A lot will depend on demand (which seems low at the moment).

Eilid would like to try the Animal Ken potion, and thinks that it might be good for the covenant to have a store of Heal and Restore Fatigue on hand.

Boudicca would like five Flights, five Restore Fatigues, and three Heals.

As of the beginning of Spring 1221, Isobel has:

4 Animal Ken 5 potions (2 vis each)
2 Healing (incapacitated) potions (2.5 vis each, 2 vis each for the covenant)
0 Fatigue (dazed) potions (2 vis each, 1.5 vis each for the covenant)

All of which are up for sale. (This accounts for Eilid buying 1 Animal Ken potion, and Boudicca buying 3 Healing and 3 Fatigue potions (all that were left). By the way, what flavor of vis will they pay for these?

She can spend Spring 1221 either making Flight potions or making Fatigue (dazed) potions or making Healing (incapacitated) potions. She'll ask Boudicca and Eilid which they would prefer her to brew. She can make up to 7 Flight potions, 16 Fatigue (dazed) potions, or 16 Healing (incapacitated) potions (vis permitting)

Costs for brewing would be:

Flight potions: 1 Au/potion, up to 7 Au
Fatigue (dazed) potions: 4 Co + 1 Co/potion, up to 20 Co
Healing (incapacitated) potions: 6 Co + 1 Co/potion, up to 22 Co

The price of potions will drop as she ramps up production. She has some Co vis on hand, though could use some more to maximize her efforts, and has no Au vis. So she'd need some of that before she could brew any Flight potions.