Marcellus nods as each step is described. Then he asks, "A few clarifications, if you please, Pontifex Maxima. Do I understand correctly that the tasks or labors are to be performed after the petition is submitted but before the vote? Or are they to be performed once one become a journeyman?"
"Is there a requirement for me to wait some time before I petition the Council to become a full member?"
"I stand ready to answer the Interrogatory at any time. I have nothing to hide."
OOC: the information you seek can be found here. IC, the one who can give you this information in a way that best appeases Marcellus' curiosity would be Solomon.
The waiting period is at our discretion. Our rules say that we can't keep you waiting indefinitely, and in the meantime we have to treat you as a guest.
Right now you are a guest. My guest. You can submit a petition any time you want. Look around and see if the place feels right for you.
As for the labors, we don't always do that. I cannot remember when we last did. But that is a right the council retains as they consider your petition. We may want to test you.
Once you are entered as a Journeyman, you can stay a Journeyman as long as you want. If you want to ascend to the rank of Master, that is a different set of further requirements.
"Thank you, Pontifex Maxima Carmen, for your hospitality, and thank you, magi of Andorra, for your welcome." He inclines his head to each of the magi present.
"As I indicated to master Lucas during the tour he gave me, I am willing and available to create enchantements that your covenant may require, within the limits of my capabilities. So does the covenant have any need that should be addressed within the next few years?" He smiles self-deprecatingly, "As I am still inexperienced, knowing the needs of the covenant would allow me to concentrate some of my studies towards improving the relevant Arts."
"And before you tell me that I should study whatever subject I do intend to do that as well. But," he nods to Fleur, "as the lady Fleur has mentionned, this is no nursery for young magi hoping to endelessly study. Having more specific goals for enchantments will help me focus my studies."
"For your information, my current knowledge is mostly limited to the Art of Animal, while my crafting skills include both leather and iron. But I intend to broaden my Arts as quickly as I can, while also seeking additional training in my crafts."
"Finally, I have a few mundanes who have indicated that they would be willing to join me at my new covenant. With your permission, I will send a letter to my pater indicating that, at least for the next year, I intend to remain here at Andorra where they can join me. Is that agreeable to this Council?"
Marcellus answers her smile with one of his own, "Of course. Simply let me know when you have something you are comfortable discussing with me."
Moving on to a different subject, the young Verditius asks, "Since I will be here for a time at least, would it be possible to borrow the services of a grog or two to show me the lands around the covenant and explore a little bit? I'd like to get more familiar with Andorra beyond the covenant's walls.Having a guide would help me greatly in this."
"Thank you for the advice," Marcellus says with a crooked smile. "If I understood you correctly, any covenant service needs to be pre-approved by the Council. Any other work I do will be according to the usual contracting rules for Verditius items."
"Still," he adds, nodding to Guiverna, "any advance knowledge of the kind of items this covenant or its members may be interested in will be welcome. As I said earlier, this will help guide the areas of study that I should consider in the near term."
Sort of, but not quite. If the council feels you need to be tested or "pay your dues", they will decide what to request. It may be a service, or some strange task. Now that I think about it, there are no formal guidelines to it. But no need to worry.
If you want to go about trying to win friends and influence people, have at it.
Marcellus nods, "Understood, and thank you again," he looks at each of the magi present in turn, nodding to each. "And my thanks to each of you, for the warm welcome that you extended to me. I shall do my best to rise to the level of trust being shown me."
Shrugging his thin shoulders, he adds, "I plan on spending the next few days and weeks familiarizing myself with the covenant itself and surrounding area. I hope you will not be too annoyed by my numerous questions whenever we cross paths, or if I seek one of you out regarding a specific subject."
Later that day, after spending a little time unpacking his meager belongings in the quarters assigned to him, Marcellus returns to the Mercere tower to inquire about sending a letter to his pater's covenant.
Marcellus is let into the Mercere tower by one of the guards who leads him to a small room on the ground floor. The room has four high-backed chairs and a small table. Having dealt with House Mercere before, Marcellus recognizes it as the sort of room the Redcaps would use for business - arranging messages, trading vis, and the like.
Only a few minutes after the magus is settled into the room a man enters. He appears to be in his mid-thirties, has a shock of red hair, and is dressed like a working merchant. As the man steps into the room he offers Marcellus his hand and says in Latin, "good afternoon to you. I'd be Fergus, the duty Redcap today." His accent betrays his Hibernian origins. "You're Marcus, aren't you - no, I beg your pardon, it's Marcellus, isn't it? I saw you arrive and read your name in the log book. But we didn't talk because Lucas came to meet you."
The newcomer is clearly not unaffected by the magus's Gift. Marcellus has dealt with the Gift long enough that he can see the signs - a slight tightness of the face, a brief hesitancy to extend his hand, a barely perceptible narrowing of the eyes. But Fergus shows remarkable self-control, a sure sign of someone who has dealt with the Gift frequently and has the training to try and ignore it.
"So what can I be doing for you today?" Fergus asks. "You'll not be wanting to head out again so soon, will you? You've only just arrived"
"Hello Fergus. Yes, my name is indeed Marcellus. Before we continue, would you like me to extend my Parma Magica to you?"
After this is taken care of, the young Verditius explains his business, presenting a sealed letter from his satchel bag, "I would like to send this letter to my pater, Honorius of Verditius, at the covenant of Nidi in the Tribunal of Normandy."
"Thank you kindly," Fergus says when Marcellus has extended his Parma. "Tis much nicer conversing this way. We get a bit careless about that sort of thing working with Lucas on account of his Gentle Gift."
Then he listens as Marcellus explains his business and accepts the letter from the Verditius magus.
"That should be no trouble," he says, setting the letter down on the table. "My only question is how quickly you want it delivered. The covenants pay for our regular delivery. That'll take between a season and a year, depending upon demand and Redcap routes. But Nidi is near Castra Solis, which usually gets a lot of messages. So, I'd guess closer to six months for delivery."
"Of course, you'll find Redcaps willing to go the extra mile to get the message delivered early if there's an enticement for them. Typically it'll be a shilling or two to get a Redcap to rearrange their schedule to visit a covenant earlier in their route - that'd drop it down to a season to get the message delivered. Nidi's pretty conveniently located, so I'd guess a single shilling would do it for you. And most Redcaps charge three to five shillings for a special trip, depending on the location. Again, somewhere like Nidi would probably be only three since it's not out of the way."
"I was scheduled to head to Harco in three days to drop off some letters and pick others up, though I could leave tomorrow if I had reason to. There I'm sure I could either find out who's scheduled to deliver to Nidi or who might be free to take a message more quickly. I'd be happy to arrange for your message to be sent."
"It's your call," Fergus concludes. "It'll get there no matter what you choose. But if you want it there quickly I can arrange it."
Marcellus considers the various information for a moment before answering. His pater gave him some silver before his departure from Verdi, but for now his funds are limited. On the other hand, it is just silver.
"A year would certainly be too long. I think anywhen from a month to a season would be fine. That will give them some time to prepare and then travel once the roads are dry." He smiles and nods, "Yes, that would be splendid."
Taking a small coin bag out of his satchel, he unties the drawstring and fishes out two silver coins. "I fear these are not local coinage, sols from Périgord, but I believe they are worth about the same as shillings. Will they do?"