|Excerpts from the Library of Durenmar|
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Interaction with Other
| Once you are released from (or escape, depending on the
success of our teaching methods) the hallowed halls of Durenmar, you will be
unique magi; many, if not most of you will be members of the First House,
honoured by means of your predecessors in the traditions of the House; others
from the other Houses will have learned enough about the way we do things at
Durenmar that you may be almost Bonisagus magi yourselves. You are about to
have the shock of your lives.
The real world is not like Durenmar. Out there, no-one will turn you out of bed in time for the Latin test. No-one will be your Master, to whom you can go running with burnt fingers and grazed knee. It is up to you to fend for yourselves. You must discover a way other than diddling the Bursar to make money to support yourselves; manys the proud new magus who has come crawling back to our gates after pawning his laboratory equipment for a meal. Be prepared for the worst, and you may just cope. At first, the road will seem long and hard, but when you can look back at your striving from the security, no matter how illusory, of your own sanctum, it all becomes worth it.
One of the hardest adjustments to make is to the behaviour of the magi you meet. Not all magi are as good-natured or altruistic as your average Bonisagus magus; indeed, at risk of offence, some are right buggers. Always be prepared, however, to stand on your rights; even if you believe you will be smashed flat, always at least offer a Certamen when offence has been given. A defeat, even a crushing one, will earn you more respect from the local Tremere than a refusal or a capitulation. On the subject of the Tremere, while often entrapped in their own schemes, they are reliable, honourable to a fault and unfailingly courteous, especially to magi of the First House. Generalising though it may be, if you are caught in a storm, the Tremere are a good place to seek shelter - as long as you understand that debts owed must be honoured.
In many cases, especially in the more populated parts of Europe, our brothers of Jerbiton are equally prominent and reliable, though one should beware becoming involved in the mundane entanglements of this House unless one plans on studying either the Dominion or the power structure of the local mundanes. If either of the latter, House Jerbiton magi - again, as a rule - will usually be overjoyed to share their treasures with you, provided you do not tread on their toes or sour their alliances. And what goes for the Jerbiton goes for the Merinita if the Faeries are your field of interest; truly, though, one should be on your guard dealing with the more otherworldly members of this House, whose allegiances sometimes seem perhaps a little confused. Exercise the caution you normally would with the fey themselves and you will find yourself with little trouble.
If the vast open spaces and the wilderness call to you, then speak with our brothers in Bjornaer and ex Miscellanea. While many are inclined to look down on the ex Miscellanea, it is here that in the opinion of many Bonisagus magi the future of the Order lies. Each of these fascinating splinter traditions can be the source of endless fascinating research and discovery, and oftentimes the results lead to a new and fascinating spin on basic Hermetic theory. Among the Bjornaer can be found much of the lore and the history both of our Order and of others; they still remain the least Hermetic and therefore the most magically interesting of the Houses. They are, nevertheless, apolitical in nature and often solitary in demeanour. If one can earn the friendship of a magus of this House, one is honoured indeed.
Many are inclined to dismiss our brethren of Flambeau as unruly and disorganised, but there is a deep spiritual core to the House that few have ever taken the time to understand or plumb adequately. Do not dismiss the Flambeau as uncouth or unruly; while they may indeed cause much trouble and strife, they are arguably the most in touch with their magic, and if the secrets of the elements are what you seek, this is the House to speak with. They are, however, wise to handle with great care; offering offence to a Flambeau magus is best done from a great distance, and preferably only as you are leaving their area of influence. Respect their power, if not the way they often use it.
Two Houses come close to sharing the same driving quest for knowledge and understanding as the First House; though in each case the road they take is different to ours. Closest to us are our brothers of Verditius; what we create in the great crucible of imagination, they make real with their skill. Never seek to challenge House Verditius hegemony in the field of magical artifacts; you will be in for a humiliating shock if you do. Our aims often coincide, and Verditius magi are often natural allies for we of the First House; nevertheless, never assume that they will be allies automatically. The Verditius are far more firmly entrenched in the real world than ever we will be, and the wise magus always makes sure he is not stamping on any mercantile toes when he deals with the Artificers. The other similar House is of course our brothers of Criamon. If you can battle through their at times baffling symbolism and allegory, you will find them wise, and often alarmingly perceptive. Criamon magi are in touch with the very heart of the magic we weave; often they understand too much to be communicated in simple words. Nevertheless, endeavour to understand them; only the fool mocks what he cannot understand.
Two Houses are vital to the maintenance of the Order our founder created, and they still work to the betterment of magi everywhere. Always ensure your accommodation is sufficient to put up a visiting Redcap in good comfort, and endeavour to acquaint yourself with your local Mercere Co-Ordinator. This House is the very lifeblood of our Order; never make the fatal mistake of underestimating them or treating them with anything other than the deepest respect. They take the risks that keep us strong; more than one has paid with his life. Remember that.
It is my sincere hope that the only time any of you ever see a Quaesitor in his official capacity is at a Tribunal; nevertheless, always seek to aid and support these adjudicators, not just because keeping the local Quaesitor sweet is good sense, but because not doing so is tantamount to political suicide. If you intend to pursue a career in Hermetic politics, make sure you know your Quaesitor and that he knows you - in a good light. Often, a Quaesitor will appeal to a member of the First House for assistance in a matter of magical enquiry; always be ready to render any assistance required. Finally, remember that under their official robes, Quaesitori are magi like you and me who have lives, laboratories and interests. Like the Mercere Co-Ordinator, remember to treat them as fellow magi rather than being awed by their weighty titles. You may find them grateful that someone has remembered that they are real people too.
Finally we come to our brethren in Tytalus. As a rule, these are best avoided unless one enjoys the cut and thrust of debate; it is my advice to the theorists among you to steer clear of them and allow the followers of Trianoma to take them on on their own ground. Consummate politicians, schemers and cunning opponents at Tribunal, if one seeks to know the lay of the land from a political point of view, watch these magi and the alliances they form and break. Many are inclined to class them with the Flambeau and the Tremere as a War House; in my experience, they are far more dangerous in times of peace. Never allow one to become bored.
With regard to the First House; always extend courtesy and hospitality to your Housefellows, and remember, no-one trained under the Crossed Keys will ever be turned away from the gates of Durenmar.
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