1223 Council Meetings

Drystan calls for the Spring council meeting for directly after lunch, to give everyone time to wake up and have eaten (in some cases, twice), and hopefully able to conclude the business in plenty of time for the Spring Feast.

The main business of the Spring Council is distribution of the surplus. There are currently eight Full Members of the Council, each of whom is entitled to six pawns of vis.

"Speaking of Full Members," Drystan says, "has anyone seen Siobhan lately?"

"If I remember right, Talia, you had mentioned creating a second ship like the Whoa Buoy to bolster the covenant's income. Would you like to use the covenant's vis to do so, since the boat will be in the covenant's service?"

"Speaking of the Whoa Buoy," Eilid says, "have you considered having your maidenhead enchanted?"

Also, who's going to harvest which vis sources this year? Most of the sources are fairly straightforward, but some require some planning or the use of magic.

  • The Salmon of Truth could probably be harvested by a muggle who makes a decent fishing roll, to be sure he snags the right salmon.
  • Peat Bog would probably require an InAn or InCo to find the corpse to have dug up.
  • The Roses of Eilean Chon probably require an InVi to cut the right blossoms.
  • Mandrake probably requires a plan.

I think Halie volunteered to locate and harvest the Fleece of the Lucky Ewe, and I think Caiomhe said something about fishing up the Monster's Eggs?

Halie would prefer hers in Intellego, if possible.

"That might not be wise," interjects Halie. "If the ship is covenant sponsored, we can be held accountable for its actions. Its crew can operate more... shall we say, freely?, if it maintains independence." Halie looks at Talia. "If we sponsor your crew with the creation of a magical ship, we are culpable for any crimes they commit. If your crew acts of its own volition, however, there is no Code violation, regardless of what they do."

Halie spews her wine out in surprise, snorting a bit out of her nostrils on accident.

Halie can do the peat bog and the roses, in addition to the fleece. Caoimhe would swim around for the eggs, if [strike]King David[/strike] Talia isn't trying to get her away from [strike]Bathsheba[/strike] her girlfriend.

"I have not. She kept pretty much to herself, though, and I've been studying intensively for the first time in my life."

((It would be outside the docks, after Drystan (is that right?) offered to help get the Whoa Buoy into the inside of the dock and therefore within the Aegis. "Yes, the Atta Buoy is ready to sail, her main duty is to be used here upon the Loch. At some point, I'll travel with them into the North Atlantic and create a ship for them to sail out on the ocean. I've been so busy I haven't had a chance to do that, yet. Despite their insistence."

"You really mean that a magus acting alone creating a ship is not violating the Code, but that if an entire covenant is involved it becomes a crime? I think your legal opinion is suspect, to my knowledge[1] there is no description of a covenant within the code. If the covenant can be held responsible for the actions of the crew, then there is no reason why I cannot be held responsible. So, if the idea is to leave me out to hang for the actions of the crew, then I shall enjoy all the rewards my crew brings back."

Speaking to the entire council, "In any event, the last few years before I came here I spent most of my time assisting vessels coming under pirate attack. I spent very little time being a pirate, as that got rather boring fast."

To Haile, "Really!? You must acquaint yourself with nautical terms."
Turning her attention to Eilid, "Indeed, I've thought of enchanting the entire ship. The past few months I've spent studying Arguing with One's Reflection have been illuminating. I judge I will have exhausted the contents of the book by the end of summer. I had assumed it was possible to enchant a ship but it would be beyond my reach and would require a Verditius master, but I know believe that it is within my own capability. Anyway, I digress, what enchantments did you have in mind for the maidenhead? I would think enchantments that detect dangerous oncoming waves and destroy them would be good, basic enchantments to have."

[1] Code of Hermes check of 8. I think it's easy.

Halie regards Talia with cool indifference. "You seem to have had me confused with Whitburh, so let me disavow you of this confusion: she's short, brunette, completely devoid of ethics, and dare I say, rather chubby. All four of these characteristics, you may use to differentiate her from me. What I really mean is that what you do on your own time with your own resources is your own business. If there are charges levied, I will investigate them to the full extent of the law, but it should be a simple matter for you to avoid such; I expect you've been doing it for a while. I have no responsibility to look any further into your business without reasonable suspicion-- and just so you know, "a peeled and boiled potato has more moral fiber than she does" is not reasonable suspicion. Now, on the other hand, if the covenant as a whole uses its resources to sponsor this crew's activity, you are making it my business. You cannot both ask for my endorsement, AND expect me to look the other way. It is one or the other with me. Don't dangle it in front of my face if you want me not to swat at it."

"This is a good example of a situation in which your interests would be best served to have this conversation together privately," states Halie.

"If I may, I never brought up the issue. Drystan did, and, as of yet, I have neither agreed nor disagreed with his proposal, but responded to your interruption, first. So, if you have an issue with this, I suggest you take it up with him, or allow us to converse. If you wish to disavow yourself from this discussion, you can depart for a time and come back when it has been fully discussed to everyone else's satisfaction. You can then say, you had know knowledge of this activity as it was discussed outside your presence."

"Drystan brought it up, and you showed all the savvy of a first-year Flambeau apprentice and explicitly confirmed all suspicions that otherwise would have remained a matter of speculation. You really need to develop some sense of subtlety. Now, if it's not brought up in a council meeting, then it's none of my business; you may have noticed that this is a council meeting. Recusing myself from it upon your explicit request so you can discuss illicit affairs is tantamount to complicity, so I'm afraid I can't honour it." She gestures toward herself. "Tall, blond, healthy sense of ethics, and dare I say, svelte."

((This really rubs me raw. I made no mention, nor ever expressed any interest in the offer from Drystan! Suggesting I showed any is really bad form from a player perspective. You're playing my character and not letting me express myself, as I would like. I responded to YOUR character first, as far as I'm concerned this is a pissing match between Haile and Drystan and not Haile and Talia. Not sure how you see it as ethical that Talia can create a ship for her crew but that the covenant can't. That's a distinction without a difference. If it is illegal for all magi to be involved it is illegal for one to be involved. And to suggest ethics on one hand while on the other hand suggesting Talia is capable of creating plausible deniability for herself is a bit of a stretch.))

((It could have been entirely between Talia and Drystan. You made it a pissing match between Talia and Halie. If your character is going to say "you're morally bankrupt" every time she says "Hey, leave me out of this," you cannot cry foul when she addresses you instead of the NPC who brought up the issue in the first place.))

((Let me remind you, Talia confirms that her crew's actions will be legally actionable: "So, if the idea is to leave me out to hang for the actions of the crew, then I shall enjoy all the rewards my crew brings back." The difference is that if the ship is covenant sponsored, then Halie has a responsibility to make sure everything is on the up and up. If it's Talia's own thing, then Halie doesn't have a responsibility to look into it unless she's not careful and someone requests an investigation, or if Talia is dumb enough to walk up to Halie and say "So we stole a bunch of vis from Crun Clach the other day, that was fun."))

That it was brought up in council made it council business. I didn't bring it up. You proposed a legal theory that suggested that the covenant as a whole could be responsible, but left it unspoken that a maga individual wouldn't be. That's the way you phrased it. I just called you out on your phrasing. And look, you wanted the pirates more than I did, or at least said son in a PM. Figure out what you want and let me know, ok?

It now appears based on what has gone on that we cannot have pirates without a full blown Quaesitorial investigation. Next time, suggest that any further discussion of this matter should be outside Haile's presence and leave it at that, don't throw out something that can be easily read as leaving one maga out to hang if everything turns south.

Her phrasing assumed that Talia is already aware of the ramifications of her own actions. It was a request not to make her complicit in it.

Arya likes pirates. Arya wants to play pirate. Arya didn't see any problem with playing pirates, because she didn't think anyone was going to announce that we're all playing pirates in front of the Quaesitor as a matter of covenant business no less.

We can have pirates without inviting Quaesitorial investigation. Again: she has to swat at it if you dangle it in front of her face. It really shouldn't be that hard to dangle it out of her face.

That was Talia's invitation to respond, "They are completely independent, I am no longer their captain and have no investment in their actions."

Are you really suggesting that a Quaesitor would by that these are completely independent pirates who just happen to spend the winters at Insula Canaria? You can't have Haile pretend to be a paragon of ethics while being willing to accept token explanations like that. I don't buy it, I can't see any PC buying it. Again, as I said, that is a distinction without a difference.
If you want to retcon PB ever bringing it up as Drystan, I can live with that. As far as Talia's challenging you on how you phrased the question, bring it. There is no charge to be made, since she has not (yet) brought ruin upon her sodales.

I am really suggesting that a Quaesitor who doesn't share a language with your pirates won't have any reasonable suspicion to look into their activities as long as you don't announce "I could get strung up for their activities, but that's okay as long as I string the rest of you up along with me."

Can I then just suggest that Talia has not done anything or said anything to suggest to Haile that they are pirates and the discussion from your response to here be retconned to oblivion, and moved to an OOC thread to be kept for posterity? :stuck_out_tongue:

This is an area I have danced around purposely, in character. Nothing has been said in character that indicated Talia is or was a pirate. In fact, as far as I can remember, the only conversation Haile was a part of was about being a ship's captain and Talia talking about Ysebrand helping secure some shipping contracts for her, legitimate business. So if she is voicing her suspicions publicly for the first time, then she's really calling Talia out. And being a Tytalus, she'll pick any loophole in a legal argument and exploit it for maximum value.

Aodhan seemed to be studiously examining the crockery and flatware at the table, mumbling about various improvements that might be made on such simple fare. He looks up excitedly at the mention of enchanting a ship then looks back down as legal discussions fly fast and furious. He looks over at Drystan.

"Uh...there was mention of Vis I believe? I'd like mine in Vim if possible. And if there's a list of things being discussed on this meeting let it be known that I'd be happy to discuss commissions for the Covenant or members of the Covenant."

This is one of those Your Tribunal May Vary situations, but for the most part, stealing from mundanes is not a violation of the Hermetic Code (presumably, unless you succeed on a large enough scale to reach Blackbeard-level notoriety, or you steal from high-ranking nobilies or royalty.

Thebes, for example, prohibits piracy against covenants or magi, but merely frowns upon piracy in general. Normandy specifically allows you to steal from other magi or covenants, as long as you only steal mundane goods.

Loch Leglean not only allows for the robbing of mundane goods, but there's a provision in the Pact of Crun Clach that seems to allow the taking of magi for ransom in battle.

Long story short: Piracy is okay, but if you target a covenant be careful to only go after their mundane resouces, and don't "direct magics against a group of warriors from another covenant".

I'm not sure this is resolvable, to be honest. Or at least I don't see a resolvable path through it so, it's really up to Arya to navigate through this issue, how she can reconcile the desires for her maga against her desires as a player and being involved in other stories. If necessary I can edit and we can retcon the one and only instance where Talia mentioned piracy to any other PC in character, here earlier in this thread. Haile may assume that they are pirates, and if they come back with a whole bunch of booty her suspicions might be confirmed and she can act accordingly. Or not. I don't know. I didn't create the roadblock and was preparing to de-emphasize the whole pirate thing, but Arya suggested she wanted more pirates in the Covenant building thread. IMO, it's up to her to make the path, since I don't know what will satisfy her magus character and her player motivations.

Talia is going to (fairly) expect that if she's the only one who has put her neck on the line and accept all the risk, then all the rewards should be hers as well.

[strike]We have no intellego[/strike]. ((nevermind...accidentally put the Glencoe in the wrong column.)) The Vis we currently have in stores is:

  • 25 Creo
  • 10 Intellego
  • 20 Muto
  • 12 Animal
  • 20 Aquam
  • 20 Auram
  • 28 Corpus
  • 30 Ignem
  • 4 Imaginem
  • 34 Mentem
  • 44 Terram
  • 52 Vim

"So long as they don't steal a covenant's vis," Drystan says, "and don't target a covenant's warriors with magic, you're not in violation of the Code."

Doineann slaps her on the back. "Are you all right?"

"Hmm..." Eilid rubs at the tabletop as she thinks. "Being wood, it would only hold ten pawns worth of magic. An effect to move aside part of the pier at, say, Voice range, usable a couple of times a day would probably use three of them. I think there are a couple of Rego Aquam effects, one that quells the wave and one that makes a wave that pushes the boat forward, that would probably be about two or three pawns each. Unfortunately, those are some of my weaker arts, so I might be able to install the effects in a season each, working in the Common Lab."

Six pawns of Vim...check.

"How many people can you have assisting you in the laboratory at once?" Eilid asks.

((None of the Elders have expressed any qualms about engaging in piracy, brigandry, or raids of any kind. They've been on both sides of the raid in the past and know it's a fact of life in Loch Leglean. As long as any attacks fall under the rules in the Peripheral Code, which may well be somewhat lax compared to some Tribunals, they don't have a problem with it, as long as they can defend against any raids just as well. And from rereading the thread, I see where Talia said that she had been a pirate at some time in the past but hasn't been one for several years.))

"And so long as the piracy does not involve magic to draw undesired attention from powerful mundane trading operations, as that may draw charges of interfering with mundanes. So, I am sure you can appreciate the position you're putting me in, discussing how to enchant a pirate ship, using covenant resources, right in front of me.

"Either this is some sort of stunt that Whitburh put you all up to, some kind of blackmail fodder to try and cover her own ass from her own corruption, or you're all mad."

"Well, the real activity of the trip was to transport Ysebrand back go Bruges so he can get his boots on the ground and try and sell some of Aodhan's items already created and perhaps scrape together a commission. If we're lucky, he'll pick up a cargo in Inverness, be able to sell it in Bruges, and pick up another cargo for my crew to bring back. We would need someone else to sell it, though, and I have no idea what he'll buy in Bruges. And as to whether or not the covenant supports it, I'm not against it. My crew aren't really the pirates everyone makes them out to be. Scoundrels of an unsavory, unabashedly unsatisfied sort, most certainly. Talia sighs. "I'm going to miss them. But then it might give me a chance to get to know some of the other covenfolk better.