The First Meeting (1220.1)

It is a cold day on the shores of the loch. A cold, misty drizzle falls on the covenant, and those who don't have to be outside generally aren't.

At mid-day, Muriel inghean Tairdhealbhach (Insula Canaria's chatelaine) rings the bell in the tower by the Revel Hall. Three times three the bell tolls, to summon the magi to Council. Ding-ding-ding, ding-ding-ding, ding-ding-ding.

When the new magi arrive, they see two (or three, depending on how you count them) are already in their places in the Council Chambers. Boudicca is seated in a chair by the head of the table. Eilid, in her Heartbeast, is standing at the head of the table (which is farthest from the door). Behind her is a chalkboard. In one corner is a transparent man, wearing a robe with several bloodstains on the front and seated on an old chair.

The two magae greet everyone as they come in. When the last magus is seated (there are chairs enough for everyone around the table, even if they may be a little closer to each other than one might find comfortable), Eilid speaks.

[color=brown]"Good afternoon, sodales," the doe says. [color=brown]"Welcome to your first meeting of the Council of Magi of the Covenant of Insula Canaria. I trust you have all met each other?"

If not, she will allow time for everyone to introduce themselves to whomever they've not met yet.

[color=brown]"I've had Diana make copies of the charter for you all to review, if you've not already taken the time to do so, and we can discuss it before you sign our Covenant."

Corvus, dressed all in black hangs back and does not initiate any conversations. He is obviously uncomfortable talking to people. Anyone trying to engage him in conversation will find him looking away and conversing with his raven Crone more than directly at them.

When the copies of the charter are handed out, he becomes very studious over the copy. He looks up at Eilid. Are we to be probationary members or full?

Hope is nervous, and it sort of shows. Darting eyes, lowered eyes. She's not great in these sort of situations. Recently she's been handing control to Tia during these situations, but these would be the magi she would be working with for hopefully at least a few decades. Falling back on Tia now would set a bad precedent. Even so she waits for the answer before saying anything, checking for a 13th time today that the box with the Coin is still were it belongs.

Gavin arrives dressed in well-appointed robes and with a postitive expression on his face. He's in a good mood and seems happy to see everyone. The magus has familiarized himself with the covenant by now, and has met those magi gregarious enough to converse with their sodales. He seems to be quite ready to start his new life in Insula Canaria.

He does, however, pay close attention to Corvus and his question. Despite his inherent optimism, he's as keen as any of the new magi to determine whether they will start as full members or probationary members.

Angus attends the meeting in a simple tunic and pans, similar to what he wore when he first arrived but cleaner and of new material. He has fully reviewed the Charter in the past days, and barely glances at it to ensure it is the same document he has been reading before signing.

Eilid and Boudicca look at each other quickly before Boudicca speaks. [color=red]"We've actually discussed this, and we feel that, under the circumstances, we will waive the probationary period for anyone who signs today."

[color=brown]"We've never had this many people apply at one time before," Eilid continues, [color=brown]"and, frankly, we'd be hard pressed to come up with enough tasks for everyone to complete within seven seasons' time."

[color=gray]"Balderdash!" says the ghost in the corner. [color=gray]"Just because we have so many applicants, that's no reason to change the rules. This has never been done before, and I still say it shouldn't be done now!"

[color=brown]"We've also never taken in more than one new member at a time since the covenant was founded, and as I recall none of us had to serve as probationary members."

[color=gray]"Except when you left and came back."

[color=brown]"True...but I was also, for all intents and purposes, a new member, and had to go through the probationary period then. "

[color=red]"As always, Curwen, we value your input. However, we both feel that the circumstances warrant the waiver."

Curwen crosses his arm and sulks, sinking partway through the seat of the chair.

It is.

Another spirit appears, this ne dressed in dark robes and with their face in shadow. "This is your covenant, but I would suggest you reconsider when it comes to Angus, he has barely finished his gauntlent, and even then only on a technicality. He really shouldn't be considered a full magus, and certainly should at minimum go through the probationary period."
As the voice starts talking Angus recoils "No, you're dead!"
"Yes, quite so, you always were quick to grasp the obvious, weren't you?"

Corbin arrived a little early and has been sitting quietly, at his side is a sturdy walking staff and a heavy wooden cloak is folded on a side table where a black and white cat sits sleeping. He is dressed in good quality traveling clothes with a warming set of deep browns, reds, and greens selected for the meeting.
Corbin nods or greets magi as they meet and smiles to those he has met before, perhaps in the revel hall or in the small garden he has been frequenting since first arriving. He is a tall lithe and attractive man with a resonant voice.
The he takes the charter and re-reads the terms, then places it to one side. Not at all fussed by the wait.

Edit - when the second spirit appears Corbin is plainly surprised and watches with interest for what the senior Magi will do.

Eilid and Boudicca scowl at the newcomer, and Boudicca's glare looks like it would hurt to be on the receiving end.

[color=brown]"You are not one of ours," Eilid says in a voice that's too calm. [color=brown]"Who are you, and how did you get Inside?"

"I am Nocturnus ex Tytalus, and I followed my apprentice."

"That's good enough for me," Gavin says, and signs the covenant charter. He's amused by the appearance of another ghost, but not particularly upset by it.

"Yep" nodding all the while Corbin also signs. "We should celebrate a little too, once this is all done." Pointing to the intruding ghost and the charter. A mention of revelry is enough for the cat to briefly open one eye; briefly.

Laerleggr, who gave a friendly greeting to all who would make eye contact with him, scans the Charter and signs as well. Once he hears Nocturnus announce himself as Angus' pater, he rolls his eyes, and mumbles, "Oh come off it, spook."

Corvus signs the charter with a large sloppy signature.

When Nocturnus appears Corvus listens and then starts talking to Crone. What a place you have landed up my dear. It is like that battlefield near Scoor. Ghosts popping up everywhere. Crone caws loudly. Corvus may have had something to do with coming here but you suggested it Corvus is sure of that.

Boudicca and Eilid look at Angus.

[color=red]"Well?" Boudicca says.

[color=brown]"The covenant had a tradition of having a big revel the evenings of the Council meetings," Eilid says with a smile, [color=brown]"at the Revel Hall. The biggest feasts of the year, and they unstopper the whisky kegs. Dancing, drinking, singing, story-telling, until well into the wee hours of the morning."

[color=brown]"We do have a few ghosts that have attached themselves to the Covenant when they've passed away, our sodalis Curwen among them (in fact, he is a de facto Protected Guest of the covenant, and a non-voting member of the Council). Most, if not all, are members of our little village that have met an unfortunate end over the last four-score years."

"I"ve seen a few of them wandering about," Gavin notes. "And I was wondering about them."

Angus stares at the ghost "He hasn't been dead that long, this is the first time I've seen him since... he died."

Nocturnus laughs "Since you killed me. If you can't own up to it boy how can you be a proper magus? Aide from the fact your training in magic is wholly inadequate!"

"Whose fault would that be? If I hadn't killed you they would have eventually marched you."

"Perhaps, in a century or so. More or less." The ghost shrugs "Not something I need to worry about now."

"So should he be here? Why exactly was he going to be marched?" Hope asks. This situation certainly was awkward. How did he even get in?

Corbin will ask Angus, "I'm assuming you were cleared by the Quaesitory and sworn in by them?"

...Then, when the banter between Angus and his ghostly master pauses Corbin asks Eilid , "Are ghosts frequently occurring in the grounds of the covenant? It's an odd thing to happen without some aid like the Criamon do."

[color=brown]"We have, too. Not so much the who, but the how and why. We haven't been able to figure out what it is about this area that draws the spirits back. As near as we can tell, none of the covenant's ghosts pre-date the founding of the covenant. On the other hand, they're not limited to those whose lives ended Inside. At least two had their lives ended outside the bounds of the Covenant proper."

[color=brown]"Yes, they are. And some of us," she says with a look at Angus and Nocturnus, [color=brown]"are haunted by ghosts of our own."