the Rush of Collis Felix, spring 1201

When the mail comes in by redcap at the beginning of spring in 1201 there are letters from scores of magi petitioning to join the covenant, from every house except Tremere and Mercere. Sorting through them alone will take time, and actually meeting any number of the applicants...

Archimedes will call a meeting for the three to sit and go through the letters together.

He is against inviting anyone older than the residents; otherwise he will look through for anyone who may be connected to NPOoLW, and put them on his shortlist of who he'd like to invite. (Though to his sodales it may just seem he is picking random people, if anyone even triggers that list.)

He will also suggest a list of people who will be interested in Africa.

I think we need to work out how much space there is in the other thread though.

When you say older than the residents, are you talking about chronological age or time post apprenticeship? There are a number of applications from people who have been part of unrecognized covenants and keeping it under this threshold could well cut your applicant pool in half.

time post apprenticeship.

Cutting down applicant pool is part of the goal.

But knowing that there are people from unrecognized covenants, Archimedes suggests that any such we politely decline, but promise to support their claims at next tribunal.

If we cut out the people with a higher hermetic age and those who are already in unrecognized covenants, how many applicants are left?

That leaves 8 remaining.
3 Bonisagus, 2 Tytalus, 2 Ex Miscelania, and 1 Merinita. Additionally there are 2 Verditius who hae been associated with Verdi in a post-apprenticeship role and a letter from Magvillus asking if you would be willing to host a Quaesitor.

At this point Archimedes starts becoming indecisive. He looks around at his two sodales.

"Should we invite these all to meet with us? I would be inclined to host a social function, and invite those who are not immediately objectionable as guests; after a year or two invite those who are good sodales as provisional members, then make those we like permanent just before next tribunal so we may be a significant voting bloc. I fear that is too many hands grasping at our vis, but I don't want to make enemies by turning them away, either. Deep down I really want to turn them all away, but I know that would be unwise."

"I think" Mercator begins" That we need to have a certain focus here towards getting the covenant constructed and supported. We have a manpower shortage, I'm not sure how many labs we have available immediately, but I would think we should start with the verditius and have one of their first tasks for the covenant to be the enchantment of crafting items that we can train a few mundanes in finesse and multiply their effectiveness. That will make it much easier to handle the next advancements."

Archimedes nods. "That makes sense. They can help finish the manor. Do you think we should use a similar strategy for everyone? Set them an important task to earn their membership? We have a few - we could also set a Tytalan and a Guernicus the task of getting us better title to our current land and to the adjacent temple. Together they could solve the problem and we'd be reasonably sure they'd follow the Code. Though it may be impossible right now. We could get the Bonisagus investigating the ruins, with a clear commitment to share everything they learn with the covenant. I think it's too early right now, but people committed to the Africa project would be good too.

By the way, if you don't mind me asking, does your house have a particular interest in this covenant? Or is it just about increasing your presence in Rome?"

"My house always has an interest in the frontiers of the Order, and until 1225 this is the frontier as far as Africa is concerned."

Archimedes nods. "Right, 1225. I had forgotten the year. So that's a bit farther from being relevant right now."

"It gives us 24 years to develop this covenant into a forward support base for the order to expand into Africa, potentially confronting whatever resources the order of Seuleman might have positioned there. I would think that is highly relevant."

Archimedes nods. "You're right. I just meant that I thought it was sooner. We have good vis investments, we can see to setting up monetary investments as well; those will provide us sufficient income for any need I think we'll have. What do you see as the ideal expeditionary force?"

"My expectation is that when 1225 arrives there will be a rush of magi wanting to expand into this frontier, similar to Novgorord but with more of a known versus unknown threat. At that point this covenant will become a forward post of the Roman Tribunal along that border, set to defend the order and provide supplies and support to those who are rushing forth into this new frontier. While I understand that many magi may be seeking to join this covenant to have a leg up on such an expedition themselves that is not where I see my role. I am a Tremere logistics magus, not a front line commander."

Archimedes nods. "That makes sense. I have a few ideas, I'll probably go along with the main force. I think I will write back to these 8 asking them what they can contribute to the growth of the covenant, if you don't object. I'm sure the Verditius will reply along the lines of what we'd ask them to do anyway, and the others might be helpful too."

If Mercator doesn't add anything, Archimedes will start writing letters. He will be more flowery and formal, but basically:

to everyone with an unrecognized covenant - sorry we don't have room for everyone, but we will support you for recognition next tribunal.

to those who are older but not in an unrecognized covenant - we are fledglings, and we don't think our library or laboratories are worthy of you, but if you can wait until next tribunal maybe we can discuss things then.

to the rest, the eight - we are interested in your offer, but we are still in the early stages of building and don't have suitable guest quarters yet, we ask for your patience and invite you to tell us how you can help make this covenant more established.

[How many voting magi are in the Roman tribunal overall?]

There are 142 voting Magi in the Roman Tribunal, before the introduction of Collis Felix.
You indicate you are writing to the 8, but also mention the Verditius- the Verditius and possibly Guernicus are in addition to the 8- are you writing 8 letters, 10, or 11 asking about support?

I miscounted, thought the two Verditius and the Guernicus were part of the eight.

If the manor house is built up enough to house them, will invite them to be guests, otherwise same letter as the 8.

We started building the manor very early, but we didn't make it as huge as we now want it, so not sure how much space we have.

The manor has had roughly 5 years of being built (or less if finished). From what I am reading of your orriginal plans, it looks like you were discussing an oversized manor house- you had 4 magi at the time at least 2 of whom were making their sanctum in the cave but would still presumably eat or have food prepared in the manor house, and also housing covenfolk- and you were talking about spending a large sum of money on both the manor house and additional grounds development. The cost for a standard manor house in covenants is 10 pounds, you were talking about construction costs of around 100 pounds, and the guideline is 1 pound construction cost per point of inhabitant (spring covenant magi are 5 points) assuming double costs for labor shortage, but stone is easilly available locally (as long as you are fine with limestone) you should be able to have residences for 50 points of inhabitants at this time. As mentioned before there is a shortage of covenfolk- you have managed to recruit all required servants...
I will get more into the weeds on this tomorrow...

What is motivating the shortage of covenfolk? A problem money can solve?

We can come up with more money pretty easily if we need to, if we need a bigger manor; we are rolling in vis due to our constant re-investment, so selling a bit off will give us plenty of silver.

Okay, by my quick calculations you currently have 30 points in people and 50 points in housing. The primary motivator towards a lack of coven folk is that Malta is at this point in history pretty sparsely populated and the Sicilian government has actually put effort in trying to run off the Muslim population and replace it with Christians, with more success to this point with the former than with the latter. As I mentioned elsewhere the current Count of Malta uses the island as a base for piracy more than he does an actual estate to provide income, and what income he collects is likely in the form of food for his crew.
Obviously there are two clear routes towards recruiting covenfolk- you can offer refuge to Muslims or participate in the government efforts to recruit Christians, but neither of these has been committed to or even investigated to this point, and while not technically mutually exclusive the two approaches are certainly at odds with each other,