Winter 1220, Chapter 0: Introduction

"Of course. I won't get in their way." Rhodri tries to estimate how long it will take him to read the thing based on the little text he may be able to see at the bottom of the scroll. He's also going to pay attention to how the other magi respond to the exchange. To himself he thinks 'At least it's ink and not blood..."

If Rhodri squats a little, he can see underneath the bulk of the rolled-up portion onto some of the actual writing. It's drafted in the medieval approximation of 6-point font: tiny block letters all strikingly uniform in appearance. The segment he can see appears to be a giant mess of legalese denoting, essentially, that no part of the content of the charter may in any way supercede nor circumvent a magus' Hermetic oath, that it was drafted by Quaesitor Justinius Tremeris and ratified by Quaesitor Trutina Guernici, in full accordance with hermetic law on the such-and-such a day of such-and-such a year, etc etc.

You get the impression it would take you at least two seasons just to read through the bulk of it, and probably more than a year to actually digest all of the legal terminology. OTOH it would also grant some experience in Code of Hermes and Hermetic Lore.

Tabanus sat quietly at the table, silently regretting his failure to study Law during his Apprenticeship...

((OOC - Is this charter bigger or much different from other covenant charters that our magi might know? Elysante probably only has the charter of Montverte to compare with and since she has already signed this one she most likely didn't find it strange to her. Also she doesn't seem to care too much about the robe rule for provisional members...))

Elysante watches Valten with a wry smile as he lashes out his arrogance. She then sits back and listens to Rhodri as he discusses the charter with Liliana.
"Why this suspicousness", she asks him.

Attravere turns to Liliana, "Being more familiar with the charter's layout would you check the portion regarding apprenticeship and the waiving of provisional membership? That, at the least, seems immediately relevant to me. I'll still sign, but I would like to know where I will stand in the covenant."

After a few moments of contemplation, "Perhaps an outline of what strictures lie in the charter would ease the minds of those who aren't familiar with the covenant, Liliana? I can understand not wishing to agree to something without knowing what it was that I was agreeing to. At least without a great deal of good faith and knowledge of my ways out. To my fellows I will say that I suspect the length of the charter to be the result of Justinius' penchant for details. He was the sort of Tremere to pen contingencies. And then contingencies for those contingencies. In his favour he was very fair and well respected as a Quaesitor."

"Not innate suspiciousness, rather, as Attravere says, I like to know what I'm agreeing to before agreeing to it. There is an order to things, and I like to follow the proper order." Rhodri thinks over Attravere's suggestions. "Yes, a brief outline of the important things and any special details about provisional membership would do. Would you mind, Liliana?"

((OOC - Arya, I'm fine with you not writing out all sorts of details here. I'd be fine with "Liliana summarizes the important stuff."))

Liliana summons a huge hulking Redcap named Guglielmo to help summarise the pertinent bits of membership. The two cover much detail regarding council quorum, positions, membership rights and provisions, provisional membership status, and some weird regulations regarding pecking order (who has to stand aside for whom when meeting on a narrow path, and the like).

Main points being:

  • Provisional status can be granted by princeps (or in this case, acting princeps)
  • lasts two years during which three seasons' service is due (regular covenant service is five seasons for every seven years)
  • unanimous vote required for provisional to become full member
  • only full members may draw salary and have the right to vote at council

Full membership:

  • vis stock minimum is 200 pawns. No salaries granted in the unlikely event that stocks fall below minimum. Pre-salary tally is taken after Aegis and any other annual rituals' costs are deducted. Salary is divvied according to how many shares a member receives based on position (this is truly arcane; basically shares are determined on how many hats you wear). Salary not to exceed five pawns per magus per year.
  • All vis gathered on official covenant business is covenant property; failure to remand is considered theft. Covenant business is defined as anything taking up covenant resources (this includes costos). In gathering vis from non-Covenant sources, on unofficial covenant business or in a situation where covenant resources are used without the express intention of gathering vis, the finder retains half (rounded down) as a finder's fee but returns the rest to the stores.
  • provisional members must wear yellow robes on covenant grounds
  • everyone in the covenant must wear cobbled shoes on covenant grounds (exceptions being from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday, and certain high holy days)
  • violation of covenant charter can be brought as a grievance before the council and a simple majority vote will expel the offender (no statute of limitations)


  • should never be addressed by name, only as "discipulus"
  • must all wear apprentice's robes when on covenant grounds (these robes are puke green)
  • are entitled to three square meals per day, and any parens who intentionally denies his apprentice this entitlement immediately forfeits all membership privileges
  • may only dine in the magi's dining hall if invited to do so by a member of the council

There is a lot more, but that's what you get from Lily and William.

Guglielmo finds the appropriate segment and confirms there is no expiry on the claim of membership for magi who served their apprenticeships here; thus once Attravere signs the charter he is a full member.

Valten sneers
[color=red]Then I shall take my leave!
But know this, you have made a powerful enemy this day, and your foolishness shall yield much suffering

Valten then departs, planning the downfall and destruction of this covenant.
What do I know of this tribunal? Are there enemies or rivals I can work with? What of Blackthorn?

((You know next to nothing about the Tribunal or its politics. Valten may want to report back to Philippus, under the circumstances.))

[i]((He will, maybe, but only after setting up a base of operations somewhere nearby.
Order of Hermes lore will at least let me know if there are any other major covenants in the area. How far away is Blackthorne?
Valten knows his mission, he hasn't given up quite yet. No need to run back to Phillippus. He is formulating a plan...

Lilianna may come to soon regret her disrespect :smiling_imp:))[/i]

[i]((Your Order of Hermes roll was a non-botch zero. You know Blackthorn exists, and maybe even that it's underground; that's it.

You also know there's an old Flambeau covenant somewhere in the north, but you don't recall its name.))[/i]

Then Valten heads north.

Unless someone someone rethinks their foolishness and sens someone to call him back inside.

[i]((I don't think Valten made any friends among the PCs, and none of the NPCs would try to stop him.

You have no Area Lore, and as soon as you leave the tower you quickly become lost in the forest. We'll handle Valten's wanderings via PM (unless you prefer email?).

Let's resume the proceedings in the Council Chamber. Anyone whose character is ready to sign, put your sigs beneath Elysante's.))[/i]

Upon remembering to close his mouth at Valten's egress, waiting a moment and commenting "I have the feeling we would do well to keep an eye on that one. He seems to lack both the wisdom and tact of our Jerbiton sodales." Attravere winks at Elysante.
Taking Liliana's offered quill and after a brief query, "I presume there are no objections?" and assuming there are none, pens his name.

Thinking to himself, Attravere makes a mental note to query his houses' information network regarding this 'Valten' character and his parens.

Being satisfied with the summary, Rhodri will sign the charter. He will be wearing the robes over everything else, following Elysante's example.

Tabanus nods and patiently waits for his turn to sign the Covenant Charter.

Once Tabanus is finished, Liliana blots the page, and Great William (Guglielmo) makes use of his incredible size to grasp the scroll and carry it away, ostensibly to the library. As soon as he opens the door and steps out of the council chamber, a portly blond maid enters with a tray of stone cups, and places one before each of the magi, along with a cloth-wrapped package for each. The cups contain a hot beverage that is both sweet and sour (it's honey and lemon-- you are surprised at such opulence, as honey is extremely rare and valuable, and lemons must be imported from the Mediterranean), and the cloth napkins each hold a currant scone.

Liliana clears her throat. "First of all, welcome to Gallus Florensis! It is a pleasure to have you all here.

"So... the state of the covenant. Yes... oh dear. Well, our vis sources have all been claimed by other covenants since we lost quorum, and due to the troubles we've run into in the past few years, our stocks are empty. This past year, our Aegis was cast on loan from House Mercere, and we did not cast the Bountiful Feast ritual." She pauses thoughtfully. "Due to the legal loophole regarding our young Mercere here, we are technically at the minimum for quorum once more. The new claims upon the vis sources are not binding until ratified by a Tribunal, so should we resume harvesting our old vis sources, we strengthen our case for defending our claims come 1222. Beyond that, we have had troubles with our mundane finances. We will not be able to pay our lease to the Baron next spring. And of course, it would be ideal if the fates of Maribus, Justinius and Aislinn, could be discovered. My brother has always been prone to bouts of wanderlust, as I am myself, but he has never been gone for more than a year at a time. Justinius and Aislinn are formidable magi, and anything that could trouble the two of them together must be truly frightening indeed.

"But of most pressing need, of course, is for you all to settle yourselves in. This is your home now! Perhaps you could investigate the abandoned sancta of our missing sodales, and in the process, claim new homes for yourselves? I would not worry about offending any of them by taking up residence in their former homes, as they have all been missing long enough that they would be reasonable regarding the covenant's needs and the limits of space. Should they return, either of their own volitions or by your efforts to locate them, they will simply have to re-establish new sancta and laboratories, as is only reasonable. Would this please you, my new friends?"

Hearing the comment about money, when Liliana is done Rhodri concentrates and drops his magic resistance for a short bit. He pays attention to what he feels from the other magi, trying to ascertain whether any of them are gently gifted or not. Rather amazed to find two, Rhodri stops suppressing his magic resistance. "Elysante, Tabanus, do either of you have contacts among any relatively nearby nobles? If so, I think I can make us the necessary money. We can make money as the premier smithy in Albion. I can give you a sample to take with you to get requests. What we'd be selling will be non-magical, so we are not going to have problems with the Code."

"I'm not surprised. Just the typical Flambeau behaviour." Elysante sighs loudly when Valten has left. "We should keep an eye open if he returns, but now lets focus on our more dire problems."

When the drinks and scones are served she takes a sip and bite of each respectively while she listens to Liliana describing the current situation of the covenant. In answer to Rhodri's question she says "I wouldn't be too worried about the mundane finances problem. I know the Baron, in fact it was I that settled the current contract between him and the covenant some years back, as part of my Gauntlet. I believe I can talk to him and postpone the payment of the most urgent lease. Your idea is great though, Rhodri. We need to look over any assets we do have and see what we can make from them. Smithwork is wonderful and I would be delighted to try and make a profit from it for us. If I can convince some of the nobles in Chester of it's premier quality I believe the word would spread quickly through the land."

She then turns towards Liliana on the discussion of making this our new home "I'm intending to make my sanctum in the manor house as I have grown used to it now. It's also better suited than this tower for my needs. If that's ok with you of course."

((By the way great name of the covenant, Gallus Florensis!))

Nodding in acknowledgement of Elysante's connections and Rhodri's talents, "It seems that between Elysante and Rhodri our mundane finances have the etchings of a solution. Excellent!"

"We do still have the matter of our vis sources being endangered. I confess to a lack of familiarity with the laws of the Stonehenge tribunal and how they interact with covenant workings. What allows others to lodge claims to our vis sources? I presume because we were inquorate, but I'd like to know a bit more for when the issue inevitably reaches Tribunal." Attravere looks to Tabanus, Elysante or Liliana for a response.

"For my part, I should be capable of casting an Aegis for us in future years if I have the time to spend a season in preparation. Hrm, and possibly Bountiful Harvest with some time to study Creo or Herbam. We do seem to have quite an impressive Creo Summa."