- Senex, most senior magician of Marehuizen;
- Baruch the Jew, merchant and member of the Grunloh triumvirate;
- Johannes, Jerbiton magician from Marehuizen;
- Dorkas, Bjornaer magician from Marehuizen.
The next day features fresh spring weather. Senex asked around if anyone has seen a flying snake, and he is assembling his people in his laboratory for some sort of planning session. Even though the French half of Marehuizen tries to be discreet about it, they can't hide the fact that they all congregate and lock themselves up for a few hours. Dorkas notices something is afoot and tells Johannes that "those French" are up to something. She doesn't have time to look into it: she needs to tend to her experiments in her laboratory, leaving Johannes to deal with this. Johannes decides he is not_ going to deal with it just because Dorkas thinks he should. Instead, he retires to his writing room to think about a treat to offer to the surrounding farmers on the occasion of Easter in order to foster positive relations with them. The French cook is certainly interested in helping with this!
Kaspra decides to walk along the Slinge, to see if she can find more, perhaps fresher, spots where someone tried to make golems. She will be walking towards Grunloh and continue onwards, and Gunther will send out a patrol to check in the other direction. Damiaan offers to send someone with Kaspra, but that is not necessary: Kaspra is capable enough.
Senex' session features a cork board where all kinds of connections are visualised with pins and colored yarn. Damiaan, Christiaan the redcap, the cats and Matilda are present as well. Matilda is quite excited that her bosses are planning to expose and dismantle a conspiracy that threatens all of Europe!
Kaspra follows the Slinge and comes upon a trade caravan coming from Grunloh. Two guards on horses ride in front, and then follow a number of wagons with merchandise. A man in relatively rich clothing on horseback is obviously the merchant, and he is accompanied by Baruch, also on horseback. The two man converse animatedly. The guards are relaxed: this close to Grunloh, the roads are safe. The caravan is set for travel over longer distances, and the wagons are well-maintained. Kaspra walks over to the road, and stops ten meters from the edge. The guards spot her, but when she raises her hand in greeting, they decide she is not a threat and greet her back. The merchant and Baruch nod at her, and the caravan goes past. Kaspra peers onto the wagons, and spots wool, broadcloth and little barrels (perhaps brandy or other liquor?).
Then she continues on, but does not spot anything out of the ordinary for the rest of the day.
When the caravan reaches the road to Marehuizen, Baruch waves goodbye to the merchant and rides up to Marehuizen. There, he makes himself known to the doorman and asks for Lord Johannes or Lady Dorkas (the two magicians that he knows of). Johannes is the obvious choice, and he instructs the doorman to bring Baruch to his office and to prepare a light lunch. When he arrives, Baruch does not look very pleased.
"I understand that these days the trip from Marehuizen to Grunloh is easier to make than previously, and that we even can expect four-legged inhabitants!" Baruch explains that he wants to be a good neighbour to Marehuizen, but if unexpected, unannounced and impertinent visitors scare the women of Grunloh, then that is going to be a problem... He tells Johannes that one of the cats from Marehuizen had wandered into his house and had interrogated his wife without any probable cause. In short, he is angry about the way his wife has been treated. Civilised people announce their visits!
Johannes offers his apologies for the behaviour of the cat, and assures Baruch that he will make sure Baruch's dissapointment about this turn of events will be passed on to those who are responsible for these familiars. But he also offers to explain why this rather awkward conversation took place.
As Johannes recounts the findings of Kaspra and Senex, and explains the theory of the possible connection with Rafael, Baruch shakes his head. He knows that Rafael doesn't have a magical gift, and he must have undertaken a fruitless attempt to create a golem. He has been staying with his family, and has only recently returned to Grunloh. He has heard many stories -- more than are good for him. Baruch draw a parallel between Rafael and the magicians at Marehuizen: others think he is strange, and he is looking for a place to belong.
During this, Johannes nods understanding (he hopes). He asks Baruch what Marehuizen can do to help Rafael, and to keep him on the long and narrow path. Baruch needs to think this over, and if the help from the mages is needed, he will let them know.
Then Baruch takes out a package that he had been carrying. It is a cloak that has been in his family for centuries, which enables the wearer to look like a Rus -- his family was forces to flee to Russia, but stood out between the locals. This cloak made it possible for them to move relatively freely amongst the Slavs. Baruch wants to gift the cloak to Marehuizen: it has outlived its usefulness, and he knows magicians are collecting items with permanent magical abilities. Baruch himself classifies this as a grand gesture, and he tells Johannes he expects reciprocity. Then he takes his leave, and Johannes walks him to his horse and wishes him a good trip back.
Then it is time for lunch, and everybody gathers in the great hall. Johannes shares Baruch's dissappointment at the treatment of his family by the people of Marehuizen with the rest of the group. As he is speaking, Landru starts to wash himself veeeery thoroughly... Dorkas mumbles something to the effect that Kaspra got herself into trouble again, but she does not seem to feel any responsibility for the behaviour of her companion. Johannes decrees that if someone thinks they have any business with Baruch or his family, they will first have to come to him to explain. The rest agrees that this is a wise decision. (It also seems Dorkas is just about done with Senex' cats: she thinks they have strayed too far from their original nature to be taken seriously.)
Then Johannes shows the cloak, and puts it on to see what it does. It shows some subtle changes to the facial features to give him a much more slavic appearance, but he is still recognisable as Johannes. A nice piece of work, and the cloak itself is also in a very good condition. Dorkas suggests that someone should check out which magics exactly are incorporated in the cloak, and Johannes volunteers.
Senex suggests to procure a gift for Baruch and his family, to show the goodwill of Marehuizen. It is decided to procure an ornate dagger for Baruch and a slightly smaller copy for Rafael, and two clasps with the same motif: one for Baruch's wife, and a slightly smaller one for his daughter. Matilda draws a design which is just a little ostentatious for Johannes' sense of aestethics, but that might just be what Baruch's family likes. Christiaan will take the design and travel to Aachen, where he knows a capable goldsmith who could produce these.
Then Dorkas asks the French contingent what kind of meeting they were having. All at once, everyone makes themselves scarce, remembering some urgent errand... Which leaves only Senex to explain their actions to the German mages. He starts some story about a winged serpent: if they meet one (even in a dream!) and it offers them something, it would be good to decline its offer. Dorkas asks why, and Senex mumbles something about a group called the Serpents, which is a mysterious society that is up to no good.
Johannes posits that the magicians of Marehuizen should have secrets for eachother: they are all members of the convenant, and trouble for one of them means trouble for all. If they want to make Marehuizen a thriving convenant, they will have to cooperate and share information! Senex has to admit that this is true, and he offers to run them through his briefing in his lab. It is decided to have that session tomorrow morning, before lunch.
With that, everybody splits up to pursue their own projects.
Johannes takes the cloak to his laboratory, and finds a Rego Imaginem spell on the cloak, but it is not very powerful (hence only subtle changes). There is also another spell on the cloak, which keeps it in pristine condition: it is impossible to see if it really is centuries old like Baruch claims, or if it was made only a week ago. The cloak is made of wool and lined with furs, so the spell has a strong Animal component. It has been enchanted by a pre-hermetic magician, but from a tradition that was a precursor of the hermetic techniques.
Johannes writes a letter to his parent convenant at Gutenberg, describing the working of the cloak and the spells he found. He also adds a few sketches to the letter. He then seals it and delivers it to Christiaan to take with him to Aachen. There, he will pass it on to a convenant there, where it will be picked up by other redcaps who will bring it closer to Gutenberg. It's a slow system, but it's not an urgent message.
The cloak itself is stored in the tabernacle Johannes keeps in his office, where he also stores his Vis pawns.