Upon arrival at Uzec Elemix requested an audience with the Baron. It wasn’t anything urgent, but it was something he felt he should discuss prior to departing on his upcoming mission.
A few days later, the Baron returned. Summoning Elemix, he said, “magus, the road was hard and long, with several encounters with goblin vermin. Soon I may have to depart, so this time is as good as any. What can I help you with?”
“Thank you for sparing the time to speak with me my lord,” Elemix stated as he bowed. “Your daughter has mentioned that you have discussed the possibility of my taking up residence locally. I wanted to tell you that I have given the matter some thought, and relocating here does interest me. If I may, what thoughts did you have around a mutually beneficial relationship between us? If it please my lord I could share my preferred situation in moving here to see if it meets with your thoughts as well.”
“I spoke to the Castilian and we are in agreement that it would be in our interest to have one such as yourself in this area. Make your offer and I will consider it.” the Baron replied.
“I had two thoughts actually,” returned Elemix.
“The first of which is to be granted a parcel of land somewhere in town upon which to build a tower. Of course to do this I would humbly request assistance with paying for the towers construction. In exchange for the land and the money to build a tower I would of course offer my services at my lords request. This is similar in nature I believe to arrangements my lord has with certain knights and other lords that owe him homage. If we went with this option, I would request the right of ownership to the tower and its grounds after a period of time to be arranged by us both, so that I may do as I wish after a certain time period. It is this option I prefer but I am open to the next option.
The second option would be for a more temporary basis perhaps, or it could be long term as my lord sees fit. Essentially it would be to grant me use of a tower, or construct a new tower for my use here in the keep. With this option any investment made for the building would remain my lords. With this option as well, I would of course offer my services at my lords request. but I would ask that the tower remain off limits to anyone but those of my choosing as long as I reside in it. As there is little to no investment for my lord with this option in terms of payment outside of room and board I would also request a capable servant, use of the castle proper and its resources (cooks, stables, blacksmiths, etc), a suitable regular stipend, and a share in any treasures or magic items acquired on missions for my lord.
With either option, I would humbly request the following.
Freedom with which to pursue my own missions from time to time that may very well take me out of the area. Such is necessary for a wizard to grow in power and ability and would only aid you further having an even more skilled Wizard in your service. Any such missions would be relatively rare, and would only occur as my lord grants me leave.
And finally that while in service to my lord I be granted at least one skilled guard whose sole focus is my protection. While I shall and always have done everything possible to defend myself by my actions and by my magic, I know that I am both an asset and a target. Missions for my lord will undoubtedly be dangerous and I must have some protection to prove effective for my lord. Combat is but a portion of what I offer. Magic knowledge and ability is I would say at least as important as any combat advantages I would provide.”
Elemix paused for a moment realizing he had been very matter of fact in his response. He thought that the Baron would respect that much.
Then he added, “Of course everything is open to negotiations and I appreciate my lords confidence in me even to bring up such a conversation. I am honored to be invited to move to your domain and though I am certain this will hurt my negotiations with my lord I shall say it anyway. I have the utmost respect for my lord, what you have achieved to date, and what you hope to achieve in the future. I believe I can add significant value to that cause and am excited at the chance to help see it come to fruition. I hope we can come to a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Regardless of where I reside, you can be assured I will offer my services as I am able.”
With that he bowed and awaited a response. He hoped he had made his feelings clear, and also that he would be able to work out a favorable deal.
The Baron listened intently and then said as matter-of-factly, “very well. I will consider your proposals and formulate a response. When you return from the East, I will deliver said response.”
“Thank you for your consideration,” replied Elemix.
A day later, Elemix requested a brief follow-up with the Baron. He had another option to propose which he felt may be most advantageous for both the Baron and the Wizards guild. Assuming he was granted a brief audience, he would propose the following.
“Another option my lord, would be allow me to draft a formal proposal for the establishment of a Wizards guild tower in Uzec. If my lord would be willing to grant some land to the guild for such, and request I be named as the wizard in residence, then I could take the formal request to the guild. They would very likely be willing to pay for the construction costs, to gain a foothold here with my lords approval.
In this way not only would you have me in residence to assist you as you need, undoubtedly with a guild hall there would be other wizards from time to time in the area as well. It would also no doubt serve as a sign this area is growing as are its defenses.
As the wizard in residence, there would be certain formalities I would need to adhere to in terms of the guild, but such would be between wizards and visitors to the guild etc.
I have recently been informed of a wizards conclave to be held in Derrien a few days hence. If this is an option my lord would wish me to pursue, I could take a signed proposal there and bring it up for conversation.”
The Baron thought a bit. “I had hoped to wait on this decision, but as you will be leaving soon perhaps we should discuss it. It is obvious you have put a great deal of thought into this.”
He continued, “considering the options, let me be frank. With the military situation, I can neither provide or lend the funds required to build a tower as they are needed elsewhere to rebuild the old dwarven forts, Calder Keep, Uzec itself, a new defense in the Upper Valley, recruit knights, equip men-at-arms, and more. I also cannot grant indefinite ownership of something my people would pay for even if I could afford to do so. It would be a breech of trust, and would call into question the fief agreements I have made with others. These are personal arrangements that end with death, end of service, or failure. Any heir must be approved by me, else they revert to the Barony once vacated. Should I grant you a fief of some sort, you would of course be able to limit who can demand entry, with the exception of myself and those acting under my orders. As far as the castle or its contents, I cannot grant unlimited access. That is my home. Concerning the Wizard’s Guild tower, I have heard that His Grace, the Duke was discussing such already. I do not believe it would be wise for us to upstage him.”
He added, “this being said I can do this for you. There is an old tower, part of an Eterian fortification on the other side Mericourt Ridge with a view of the valley below with Gamaché in the distance. It is currently abandoned, but serviceable with a single path winding up to it. From here it takes a hour to get there by horseback and some 30 minutes to ascend the ridge. It is isolated enough for your privacy, but close enough to allow you to journey to either Uzec to consult with myself or Gamaché for supplies. It has a single outbuilding for horses. It is a work-in-progress to be sure, but I can grant it. As a whole, the building and outbuilding is worth some 12000 gp.”
“The lands below are under my control. I can siphon some of the taxes to allow you to afford a servant as I assume you have no interest in governance or land management. It would also pay for basic upkeep of the tower and its grounds, which are minimal. The advantage of this will be that you would not have to pay taxes on the tower. To give you an idea of what it needs, it has no furnishings, no finishings, nor extant doors, nor unbroken windows, but it is of the strongest stone with intact floors, roof, and stairs. It has four floors and a cellar, plus a partial circular columned veranda. The interior is some 15 feet diameter. To bring it up to snuff will cost some 2000 gp, and I can match one-for-one each gold piece you spend on the tower up to 1000 gp. Any more than that would have to come from some kind of income source. In exchange, you will serve the Barony for 40 days per year. That is all. I will also from time-to-time ask your advice on matters and if there is an emergency, I expect you to rally to the Barony’s aid. If I ask for you to conduct a mission for me exceeding this, you will be paid accordingly. Any mission on which you do act in my name, I expect a ten percent tithe to the Temple and a ten percent tithe to the Barony, with all else yours to keep. Any mission that I do not send you on, I do not intend to tax you, nor have any interest in doing so. Should you spend the money you earn locally, you will make friends and contacts. I even know a dwarven architect and engineer who could help you. I’ll split his fee with you as well.”
“What do you say?” asked the Baron.
“Let it never be said that my lord is anything but accommodating and gracious.” Elemix smiled and bowed. “I gladly accept your offer and thank you for its generosity. Also let me say that I appreciate your frankness with me and I shall en-devour to always be as such with you my lord – should that be your wish of course. Let us work together to defend and grow Uzec!”
As for the tower, I should like to see it and hopefully get some work started on it presently. As I will be travelling shortly I would very much like to speak with the dwarven architect and engineer you mentioned. If you trust them to work in my absence then so shall I. At the moment I can only afford a down payment for work to begin, but I expect I will be able to pay more upon my return.
“Magus, you should understand this is a tenure. Should I die or you die there is no guarantee the tower will be enfiefed back to you or any heir. Assuming that is understood, then my congratulations and welcome. The marshall, Sir Renald Leclerc, will give you the keys. In the mean time, I will send a letter of introduction to Master Narr Stonesplitter. He lives near Tourenne. He could be here in two, three days at most depending on his business.
“Thank you my lord. I understand and I look forward to seeing the property and meeting with Master Stonesplitter.”