A few days after everyone has arrived, and Apollodorus has shown you around and you've settled into your respective sancta, Reynault comes to each of you and says that everyone has arrived, and Apollodorus wishes to call the first council meeting to order at the break of dawn the next day, which happens to be the spring equinox.
1220.0 The First Council
Fiona arrives first, it seems, and looks around the council chamber. She spends a few minutes wandering around, examining things, before turning her attention to the council table and the chairs. If there's not an out-sized chair, she will pick one closer to the head than the foot and make herself as comfortable as she can. If there is one, she will sit in the chair (unless it's at the foot of the table, in which case she'll swap with one closer to the head).
All the chairs are the same size, over-sized in fact. The chair appears it might be a tight fit for you, but once you sit in it, you find it rather comfortable.
A few seconds after you take your seat Apollodorus and Reynault arrive.
He acknowledges your presence and your apparent suprise at the chair with a bit of a mischevious wink. "We have a few moments to wait before the others arrive, and food to break our fast will be served once everyone has arrived." A servant comes in bearing a wax tablet.
Alexei enters shortly after the servant with the wax tablet. He wears the clothes of a military man, the tabard over his tunic bears his personal mark, that of the hourglass mounted like a lantern upon a spear. His hair is coifed and beard trimmed. He smiles as he enters bearing his talisman staff and approaches the table.
"Salve sodales. Apollodorus, I hope I am not late." he turns to Fiona and his eyes rise in some surprise at the sheer size of her. "And Salve to you. I am Alexei Von Kroitsau ex Flambeau, I take it you have accepted Apollodourus's invitation as well?"
[color=blue]"Thank you, Apollodorus," Fiona says politely, while mentally chastising herself for letting her feelings show. She's been steeling herself for decades to not let people see what she's thinking, to not give any clew as to the hand she's holding, so to speak. And here, she's not even been in her new home a week and she's let all that drift away like a dandelion seed.
Fiona rises to greet Alexei...and if possible, she's even larger standing than she looked sitting down, as the Flambeau realizes that he doesn't even come up to her armpit. [color=blue]"Yes, I have. I am Fiona ex Miscellanea," she says with just a trace of a Scottish accent. [color=blue]"It is a pleasure to meet you, Alexei."
Fiona is a not-unattractive middle-aged woman, with pale skin and fiery red hair. The only indication of her age is the crows-feet at the corners of her eyes. She is dressed in white woolen robes, woven with designs of green plant leaves (of differing kinds) interspersed with black cauldrons.
Alexei bows and when he stands he has a hand covering his mouth as he struggles to conceal a snicker. "My dear Sodale, with you here, who pray-tell is shattering bridges and castles in Scotland, and grinding their children into meal for their bread?" After that his struggles to hide his laughter fail and he enjoys a hearty laugh as he wipes a tear from his eye. He waves a hand after several moments and addresses Fiona again. "Pray, forgive me Fiona Ex Miscellenea, it was a poor attempt at humor. Welcome to this covenant. Apollodorus will tell you that my sense of humor is likely the dullest weapon in my arsenal. Please Fiona, what magical skills do you bring to this endeavor? I myself am from the School of Ramius that my House has created. Which is to say I approach magic and combat from an up close strategy rather than hurling bolts of flame, I will enchant myself and my Grogs. It can be quite effective as most opponents do not expect a Magus to fight so close and with weapons and armour."
Fiona merely stands there, poker-faced, until his laughing jag passes. Com 2 + Guile (hiding true feelings) 3 + die roll of 7 = total of 12 to hide her annoyance, if not offence, at his joke.
Fiona takes her seat again. [color=blue]"I am a Daughter of Circe," she says, as if that would explain it all. After a moment, when Alexi doesn't appear to know what that means, she continues. [color=blue]"I specialize in transformation, magically, and am skilled in herbalism and the making of potions."
[OOC: So let's lay out some ground rules for this thread. Players should post as frequently as they wish to this thread. This is, after all, your first introduction to each other's Magi or Maga characters. If you're responding to a post, make sure that it is the immediately preceeding post, or make use of the quote function so it's easy to follow (this is surely necessary for slower posting players). If you're a a frequent poster and a topic has reached some break, such as awaiting votes, go ahead and segue into the next discussion, other characters can voice their votes/opinions by quoting and we can revisit the dicussion at that time. Apollodorus will assume that you've all entered the room at about the same time and welcomes you all to the covenant, and then he will essentially bow out of any future conversations, and attempts to engage him will be rebuffed gently and persistently, he brought you here to run things, so he can focus on his art and cultural pursuits. This thread is going to get crazy and go all over the place due to different posting speeds, but this is kind how board meetings work, too. Some people talk, some people just observe.]
"I wish to welcome all of you who've agreed to join our new covenant. In each of you I have found a drive and ambition that was unappreciated in your previous homes. It is here that I wish that you would all enjoy my home and make it your home. We have some formal business to attend to, but it is my hope that we make this a fun affair, as well. I've made arrangements for all the legal formalities to be observed, at the end of the council, I'll have a Quaesitore come in and formally observe our signing of the charter, as well as declare any of the seisin we might wish to declare, we, of course, must declare at least 1 that matches our council size in pawns of vis. There is much for you all to discuss." At the end of his little speech servants come in placing platters of breads pastries, sausages, boiled eggs, cheeses and fruits along with flagons of watered down wine and beer are brought in to break the fast.
 Need an OoH Lore (average ease factor) roll to know what a seisin is, as no one has yet spent a lot of time in the Tribunal to understand its political structures and terms.
Fiona says nothing, for now, but merely watches the others, taking their measure, wondering if, as Apollodorus says, they were all in less-than-appreciative covenants wherever they came from and what they hope to achieve by coming here, wondering if any of them will be of use to her in her plans. She has already seen evidence in Alexi that there is much work to be done here if she will be successful. She is also grateful that she got her temperament from her father and not her mother.
She helps herself to a platter of everything, eating politely yet abundantly.
Now that Invisible Castle is back up: Fiona gets Int 1 + Order of Hermes Lore 2 + die roll of 9 = 12
Alexei looks about the gathered council in some confusion after Apollodorus's opening statement. "Forgive me Sodales, my participation in Covenant and Tribunal politics has been limited due to my status as a travelling journeyman in the Rhine Tribunal. What is a Seisen? It sounds like it has something to with vis sources?"
Alexei has no Order of Hermes Lore, so he can't really make a roll.
"A seisin is a registered vis source belonging to a covenant, within marching distance of a covenant. Usually within 20 miles, but it might be more or less as conditions can vary. We are lucky in that most of the vis sources I discovered are on this side of the regio and not in the mundane world. It was only by chance of my correspondence with Iosephus that I discovered so many rich vis sources available to us." While speaking Apollodorus points to the tatooed Criamon who has yet to say anything.
"So, we only need register one seisin, which must be as large in pawns of vis as the number of Magi in the covenant when it forms. More magi can come, or some can leave, but at least in the founding we must have 6 pawns of vis as a declared seisin. The redcaps know all of our sources of vis, and they are our insurance policy in demonstrating that these are sources that have not been collected previously and are thus available to be declared as a seisin. We may of course declare them all, if that's what you decide, but I speak too much of making choices, I ask that you make the decisions."
[color=blue]"So long as the Redcaps are aware of our vis sources, and protect them with their typical diligent confidentiality, I see no reason to overplay our hand. I would prefer that we simply declare the one as a Seisin...let the other covenants make of that what they may."
Alexei shakes his head, his lip curled. "I feel the opposite. Unclaimed sources would seem to invite problems. We should claim all sources that are ours so that all know what belongs to us. That will eliminate later claims of ignorance or political chicanery which can deny us access to those sources as they might become tied up by political maneuvers from other Covenants. A clearly marked and claimed source tends to prevent that."
He sits back into his chair. "It is also my prerogotive to be forthright in my dealings, so that others will be so with me. I find the idea of not displaying our holdings...distasteful."
[color=blue]"Oh, no, sodalis...I am not saying that we should not claim every vis source that is ours under the laws of the Tribunal. I am merely saying that we should not declare them to be our seisin. You are, it appears, a military man. Let me ask you: when you go into battle, do you tell your foe 'Here are all my men, I have so many reinforcements, and I have this many in the woods prepared to flank you when you attack!' Or do you set your forces, keep your reserves, prepare an attack from the sides, and let your foes discover them at your leisure?" Fiona takes a deep drink.
[color=blue]"This is probably not the best analogy, but I trust you see my point?"
Alexei continues to shake his head. "I am a military man, and I do not win my battles by deception." he pauses and thinks. "Well...that is not completely true, as I honor my Oath, I do not advertise my status as a Magus to my enemies, and my magical focuses tend to enforce that. But...as we will have neighbors that approach, meet or exceed us in power, I prefer to let them know a great portion of our strength. A show of force and strength actually prevents battles, secrecy of one's forces does not. No one attacks another force because they think it is stronger than their own. They attack it because they think they can achieve it. While I admit that keeping secret one's forces might provide an advantage, a strong showing can prevent it entirely."
Iosephus arrived just a little late, and came in quietly while the others were talking. He's a tall, very thin man covered head-to-foot in dark tattoos that shimmer just a little when the light changes. He's got a gentle smile. He seems very friendly in a naive sort of way, and a bit excitable.
When he first came in the others were talking, so he simply nodded to all and took his place at the council table. Now he's watching the conversation play out between Fiona and Alexei.
He assumes that the debate about how much vis to declare as a seisin is some sort of complex allegorical game - a game he doesn't yet know the rules to. That's fun. He's been smiling rather excitedly the whole time, but the last few comments have really set him beaming.
He looks happily up at Fiona the giant, and then down over at Alexei the normal-sized man. Then he says:
" Of the two of you, the larger one wants us to appear smaller, yes? And the smaller one wants us to appear larger? Have I got that right?"
He smiles, like an eager student who thinks he's got the answer.
"The solution is clear. Each of you should try to consider the matter from the other point of view"
Alexei pauses for a bit at the strange newcomer's first contribution. He seems about to stop and start speaking a few times before he finally does so.
"Forgive me Sodale, is that no what we're trying to do? We're each presenting our reasons for why we feel the way we do. Fiona is explaining her position and I mine. Seeing the other's point of view does not mean agreement will be achieved. I understand Fiona's reasoning, and they do have merit, but that does not mean I agree."
Onesiphorus appear at the council. He is an man who appears to be in his fifties, tall with black hair and a greyish tint near his temple and a face who does not look friendly. He is dressed in burgundy wizardly robes with the Verditus symbol on his chest. His belt is covered in casting tools. Salve soldaes. I am Onesiphorus Ex Verditius. I must beg your pardon, I was delayed. He takes his seat at the council and then asks. Could anyone please fill me in on the topic that is being discussed.
[OOC, everyone should presume that they've been present for the entire discussion. Quote and respond to any point you wish, even if it appears that it has been resolved.]
Fiona smiles. [color=blue]"And I understand my sodalis's point of view as well. I certainly understand his reasoning, although I do not agree with it." She then looks at Iosephus. [color=blue]"So, your solution, then, is an Ouroboros, is it not?"
Fiona is rather pleased with how the meeting has started. For the first time in her life, she is among people who don't talk down to her. Her parents, her mater, her sodales at Insula Canaria...none of them let her express herself the way the magi here have, so far.