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Covenant of La Roche Caribet

Part 4: Our first Council Meeting

We have continued our search of the surrounding area. Saskia has spent much time out of sight, presumably in the forest, and has located some flowers within a circle of protective thorn bushes which yield 4 pawns of Rego Vis. I have been touching and exploring stone outcrops but without success.

In addition to these excursions, I have worked with Iuris Perita in the wording of our Covenant Charter. Saskia made several contributions to this, some of which seemed to me to imply a degree of mistrust in the other Magi that astonished me, but she would not explain her reasons and Iuris convinced me that it did no harm to word it as Saskia desired.

Our first Council meeting was rather a long affair as we reviewed, agreed and signed the new Charter. For the occasion, Speculor transformed one of our poor tents into a magnificent cloth of gold tent with rich tapestry hangings. Thankfully the changes required to the Charter at this stage were slight and all the Magi signed to accept this document.

We voted in our Officers, as set out in the Charter. There was general agreement that Iuris Perita be the first Princeps of La Roche Caribet. I had assumed that I was the natural choice and was very disappointed that another was chosen. Speculor nominated myself as the first Librarius and there was no objection. The post of Defensor required a vote: I nominated Saskia, Iuris nominated Joach and Speculor nominated himself. Iuris pointed out to Speculor that the Charter he had just signed did not allow this. The vote went in favour of Joach. With agreement of us all, Jacques was appointed as Centurion and Jehan as Vilicus.

We attempted to review the major Services that each of us would perform for the Covenant during the present season, but apart from Joach giving his attention to the defences, the rest were all asked to assist with hunting out Vis sources, sources of income and aid from other Covenants. Speculor, Joach and Iuris prepared letters to their Parens while Saskia wrote to Rene. The request was for a loan of 500 gold pieces and for someone to cast magic to conjure a tower for us to live in. I performed my first significant service by casting Aegis of the Hearth to protect the Covenant. We were fortunate to have a level 20 Aegis spell in one of the books transported from Petrusca by Speculor. I would have wished it higher but we only had the 4 pawns of Rego Vis to use. The casting was quite simple but I think it should have made an impression on the grogs, all of whom joined us in walking the bounds of the Covenant.

Just a few days later, Aversus the Redcap arrived, bringing correspondence for all the Magi but me and he gladly took the begging letters for us. Not long after he left the first arrival resulting from the messages sent out to seek workers found us. Pierre Martin was greeted by Garth, led by Zane to meet Jehan, and encountered Speculor on the way, but was still not put off. Jehan was quite impressed with the carpenter and took him on at once. Pierre set men to cutting trees but Saskia intervened and insisted that, as far as possible, oak, beech and chestnut be spared. Her only reason for this was that they tasted good. She was persuaded to allow cutting of those growing so close to the clearing that we could usefully clear the ground for growing food. Pierre rashly took and kissed Saskia's hand at this point, whereupon she cast a spell to make his nose grow long, went behind a tree, turned into a boar and ran off into the forest. The other grogs reassured him that it would wear off and cautioned him about showing respect to the Wizards - Pierre was surprised that Saskia was one of them since she looked like a normal peasant girl while Speculor, in Pierre's view, was undoubtedly a Wizard of great power.

Jimena, unconcerned by his extravagant nose, took Pierre away to indicate the site she had selected as the most healthy for the construction of some stout wooden buildings. She told Pierre that five rooms would be required as temporary accommodation for the Magi, plus somewhere to cook and store food. The Magi were counting on having a tower by magic before any strong, weather-proof wooden shelters could be ready and were already discussing how to use each of the eight floors and two basements, but Jimena was not prepared to rely on shelter from such a source. Pierre seemed entirely in agreement with Jimena yet wanted her to take him through every detail of her thoughts and plans, which she felt unnecessary, but he was most charming.

Gilles and Georges, a tanner and a quarryman, wandered into our clearing, apparently having mistaken their way whilst travelling from a visit to the shrine of Sainte Anne d'Auray. The tanner was a very sociable chap and was immediately in conversation with some of our residents who convinced him to stay and work here with us a while. The quarryman was anxious to stay with his friend, who he believed had been blessed by the saint and cured of a troublesome sore, and Jehan was very glad to secure his services.

Br. Joseph turned up again a day or two later. He had found the priest at Ploeuc to be in the pay of Jean and ignoring his vows of poverty. In addition to praying for the priest, Br. Joseph reported to Father Quietus at the Hermitage that Jean de Ploeuc and his priest were biased against the newcomers and not necessarily to be believed. On arriving to check on the scholars in the forest, he was very interested to hear Gilles news of the miracle wrought by Saint Anne for his companion. After making enquiries about the spiritual well-being of the inhabitants, Br. Joseph preached to and prayed with those who wished to attend then agreed to stay a while, ministering to the souls of any who would hear and offering lessons in French to any who wished in payment for his keep.

Two days later a swan glided down into the clearing and transformed into Rene. Soon afterwards a small man carrying a sign of the Order of Hermes rode into the clearing on a pony, accompanied by two other riders - this was Pratus Viridis of House Guernicus, parens to Iuris Perita. He was closely followed by Jovinus of Petrusca, parens to Speculor.

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