I know little to nothing about Florum save that they are the leige to NM (and I didn't like having a liege covenant). The compact doesn't amount to a hill of beans to Roberto. He doesn't quite get it, but NM has had adequate supply for what we have needed thus far.
No surprise he heard word of my leaving seeing as has taking me forever to get ready and ain't even hit the road yet
If (if) he strikes me as a man of honor, i'll take him into my confidence. See, we good guys are trusting
[color=brown]"I have business to attend to, serious business. House business. I am sure you must have heard something. I know little else, but I seek answers. And Mons Electi is where I will find them."
Rhesus regards Roberto carefully before proceeding, "Don't we always quest for answers, for better understanding? Don't take this the wrong way, Roberto. I hope you are never satisfied with the answers you find. It is the journey that is important, not the destination. It was my hope that you would impress upon your new sodales that Florum could use their assistance. I can shortcut your travel time, significantly, say to take you to the Mercere Portal in Dragon's Rest, perhaps? No strings." He smiles are Roberto, "It's a favor offered without expectation, but with hope. That you remember us well."
He seems to go off subject, "Time is the most precious of resources. Wouldn't you agree?" He doesn't wait for a response to his rhetorical question, "It's a week to Dragon's rest by ship, well, my ship, or it's a month over land. And then to Mons Electi it's two months over land. You could be at Mons Electi in two weeks, not two months. You have a wagon with supplies, yes? Horses, yes? My ship is large enough to accommodate your retinue and equipment. And Dragon's Rest happens to be on my way to Lisbon, where I have some business to conduct."
He looks at Roberto and brings his fingertips together touching each one precisely to the mating one, repeating the process again and again, "A fortuitous event, wouldn't you say?"
The manner in which he does isn't menacing like Mr. Burns.
Not like Mr. Burns you say?
What would Captain America do?
He offers help when help is needed. An if he is part of this plot, my good fortune is that he came right to me...
[color=brown]"I have never been to Libson, but I hear many good things. What draws you there?
And yes, I would be grateful to accept your offer. The wagon is loaded with my equipment and supplies. I have 5 other men, 6 horses and two mules. I hope there is room.
And there are always strings. The cords that bind us together as an Order. I shall remember you fondly for this favor, and keep in mind magi such as yourself that know loyalty and duty and honor. There may be many sacrifices to be made, but such is well worth the price."
Drama roll? Pre + Leadership? Maybe?
Roberto will take the ride. It may help, and if it's a trick I found a clue.
And Roberto doesn't know about Junior's problem with women on ships, and he is too drunk to think about it. Carlos is too carefree to worry about it.
Do with that what you will
"As you may or may not have heard, Florum is not attending next year's Normandy Tribunal. We are instead politicking abroad. I'm off to Lisbon for a while, and then I'll be going to several covenants across Iberia to plead our case for the new Tribunal. My ship will continue on and meet me in Barcelona, and it's hoped that the calmer waters of the Mediterranean will allow for some winter time journeys to various covenants on the Mediterranean coast."
[color=brown]"Barcelona I am familiar with. Beautiful city. Reclusive magi. There was talk a few years ago of a Catalonia tribunal. Nothing ever came of it.
"I am also disatisfied with the state of affairs in this Tribunal. But perhaps fragmenting into smaller and smaller divisions is not the solution. Don't we as magi, soverigns within our Order, don't we have an obligation to reform from within?
"But in any case, I don't even know what the stance of Mon Electi is on this issue. All I know is that this is where the next tribunal is to be held, and the answers to the matters which vex me with questions, these answers can be found only there."
All will be decided at Grand Tribunal. And you have a point, but House Guernicus refuses to see that they have made bad law in this Tribunal. They hold fast, despite all logic. Regardless, the situation is untenable. We will seek a new Tribunal. If such a new Tribunal being created forces this Tribunal to reevaluate, all the better. My desire is to see a measure of reason be restored or a new Tribunal be formed. For nearly 150 years we have persisted to change within. It is time for external pressure to be applied.
[color=brown]You are correct, and one way or another, there must be change. transformation into a truer, purer ideal.
But what does this have to do with me? You seem eagar to help me. Why? I do thank you, and I do believe you are motivated by duty. But I ask these question so that we both may share enlightenment. Remember, the first purpose of a flambeau (torch) is to bring light. And my queations may inspire your own curiosity.
But why did you come to see me? Why me? Why this day? What is at the root of your concern? Where do you get your information from, and who may be feeding you disinformation?
I will tell you here, clear and now, what my truth is. I don't care a hill of beans about polotics. I have successfully avoided such until now. Normandy Tribunal, Logthuringian, or East Burgandy. Call it what you want, I don't care. Novus Mande has done well in Normandy with florum as a staunch ally, and it shall continue to do so no matter how boundaries are drawn.
I care about one thing only. The death of a Primus.
So, now that you know our motives do not clash and there is nothing more to profit from me, are you still willing to give me a ride? When can we depart? I can have everything loaded and ready to go before dawn.
Let' go take a look at this ship of yours. We can continue our conversation as we go.
Roberto is employing a technique known as "Frame Control". Not that he would call it such or think of it that way. It is a modern term used to describe the methods used by dominant leader type people to control a conversation and get people to naturally unconsciously follow along. Roberto is setting the parameters of percieved reality by cutting away all the bullshit (i.e. things he doesn't care about) and setting the frame for our interaction. He is also making the presumtion for this guy, that he is helping me out because he is a good guy.
And if he is a badguy, then I am provoking him by laying my cards on the table
"When you say you don't care a hill of beans about politics, I think what you are really saying you don't like backstabbing, double dealing and the less savory forms of political interaction. And that is a reasonable position. However, you will find that as you grow as a magus you must also grow as a politician. One can go only so far without politics. This entire Tribunal is weakened by the current system of leadership. Resources are always scarce, in other Tribunals that is generally limited to vis. In this Tribunal it's everything, and it's entirely a convention of the local Periphreal Code. Fighting for food for your covenfolk, fighting for the personal luxuries we magi tend to hold dear added onto the vis scarcity in much of the Tribunal."
Rhesus pauses in his monologue for a moment and switches directions, "There are two methods of leading, with a carrot or with a stick. I use the carrot. I am offering you this ride. It is my hope that you will look upon us favorably, and perhaps some of our interests while we are absent from the coming Tribunal. It is not a requirement of your transportation. I have my suspicions about Mons Electi, that they might support the new Tribunal, or even want to join the new Tribunal. There is a Merceris magus there, and I can see him wanting to develop a Mercere House to enrich himself and his House. Normandy already has two, Dragon's Rest and Cunfin. Cunfin is not far from Mons Electi, but borders can be drawn such that Cunfin stays in Normandy."
Headed to the library to make nicey-nice posty-posts with spellchecking.
But this conversation causes me to reflect on the Reformation and Protestantism.
I personally am Greek Orthodox, but as a born and bred Yankee, I have had many other influences. Most notably, an old friend of mine became an evangelical pastor. So I have my sympathies. But I wonder what if perhaps they (and even we) should have stayed united and worked for better reform.
But then again, there is the human tendancy to react with fear and viollence towards those who differ from themselves.
[color=brown]"Aid me in getting to my destination, and I shall be sure the favor is repaid in due time when the moment comes. If politics is the need at that moment, I shan't let you down.
The next morning everything is loaded onto the ship, including the cart, which is lashed securely to the deck. Roberto is shown to a modest stateroom, which is normally a cargo area, but it's private. The rest of his retinue are shown to another cargo area, nearby where they can bunk together. Horses are put in stalls along with sufficient forage and grain for a weeks' travel. One of the mates says, "You'll have to bucket brigade your own horse doody. We're a light crew for this voyage."
The next 4 days see Roberto and his team sailing to the southwest, keeping the coast in sight. On the morning of the 5th day a ship is spotted. After a few hours it is apparent that it is attempting to intercept Rhesus's ship. "Well, Roberto, it seems we have some pirates coming for us. How shall we teach them a lesson? Care to fight or stand our ground? It's a gambler's choice for me."
Four days ago, Johan Junior woke up with a hangove on a ship at sea. Not remembering how he got there, he was displeased. But once he assured himself that there were no women aboard, he slipped comfortably into the daily life of a sailor. Roberto had instructed his men to assist the ship's crew in whatevr is needed. This being Junior's natural environment, he fit right in. The ever stoic Pedro found what labor he could to keep himself occupied, while Carlos did his best to look helpful while finding ways of goofing off. The two Al-s, not being shy of a little work, aided in whatever they could.
Roberto stood on deck with Rhesus when the ship was spotted. His cape fluttered in the wind and he touched the hilt of the sword at his side.
[color=brown]"They appear to be on course to intercept us, so - am sure their intentions are unfriendly.
Carlos! Tell the boys to suit up for marine duty! Junior! Come see if you can recognize this ship!
Rhesus, you are the captain and know the capabilities of your ship better than I. So it is up to you. Give me the word and I shall send bolts of fire into the air as a warning, and if they heed it not, I shall set their sails ablaze. And my men are skilled soldiers, and can serve as marines to repel boarders."
And you may presume that Roberto does as he says he will do.
Does Junior recognize thye ship? Or can he at least tell for certain if they are pirates or not. He also glances around to make sure again that there are no women aboard.
"Pirates, I'm sure." Rhesus takes a deep breath, "This ship doesn't sail these waters much, because if it did, the pirates probably would never have ventured out. The ship can certainly outrun her. The sails make their own wind. I was more concerned as to whether you're itching for a fight. I'm trying to be a courteous host, and the Flambeau penchant for games, contests and personal battle is...legendary." He sets an appraising eye on Roberto.
[color=brown]"War is not a game. The purpose of combat is to end the enemies ability to make violence, not to create violence. These Frankish Flambeaux, Milites and Mithrites, they have turned the need to practice and drill into sport and a contest for its own glorification. We Iberian Flambeaux, the true scions of Reculed "the Torch" Seneca, we know how serious such matters are.
I don't play games. I neutralize the enemy by any means nesecary.
Now, captain, what would you have me do?"
While Roberto is giving his speech, Johan Junior is still scruitinizing the ship. And checking that there are no women aboard.
"If we presume these are pirates, then if we do not destroy them, they will continue their piracy until otherwise defeated. Now, magus," Rhesus says the word magus so forcefully that it is readily apparent that he takes the term magus to be much more important that the title of captain. He continues after a short pause after magus, "The choice is yours to make. I'm not concerned for myself, or for this ship or her crew in this matter."
Checking for women aboard the other ship? No, it's too far away without some kind of augmented vision, even beyond Keen Eyes (saying without looking at character sheet).
Junior is looking for women on this ship
I know he hasn't seen any on board this voyage. Yet. The current situation is making him itchy.
[color=brown]"As I said, this is your ship, magus. The authority, and responsability, is yours and yours alone. I will not be goaded into unprovoked acts of war. I do not know if they are pirates, nor do I know why they are pirates. Nor do I care. My only concern is our mutal saftey.
But we wate time in conversation as they close in on us. You must decide now. If the ship is capable as you say, then give the orfers and let us leave them in our wake as we go merrily on our way.
Or are you deliberately stalling? Trying to force my hand?
I will not be toyed with, magus.
This is cool stuff
Robert's psychology: pirates do bother him, but mundane pirates are a mundane affair. The Oath and all
And they very well may have good resons for piracy; corrupt government, desperation, etceteras. Or just greed and evil. Still, he swore not to interfere with mundanes. Self sefense is another situation, and totally fine by him. But picking a fight is unlawful aggression. Let mundane authorities police their own waters.
"Yes, it is my ship." He gives a nod at what you might assume is the first-mate, or at least one of the officers of the ship. The officer proceeds to give additional orders to people, additional sails are unfurled, and then a few words, of which Creo and Auram are heard whereupon wind fills the sails. Rhesus walks astern and motions you to follow. "I was not toying with you. I was measuring you." After an hour, it becomes obvious that the other ship is falling off and will not be able to intercept Rhesus's ship.
"I know who those pirates are, or at least who benefits from their activities, in any event. I was wondering just how Flambeau you were. Mons Electi is going to be the center of politics next year. They're hosting the Normandy Tribunal next year. You would do well to treat all engagements there much as you treated this engagement here. We'll be able to put you ashore in the morning, where you can continue to Dragon's Rest and take the portal to Cunfin, and then proceed to Mons Electi."
Roberto scowls, grins, and even chuckles slighty when he speaks.
[color=brown]"How Flambeau am I? Heh. I bleed fire! Mine is the lineage of Delendos, the seventh champion. These Franks, they are the ones who have strayed from the path of Light. I see now I shall be sorely tested. My paitience more than anything.
Junior relaxes, Pedro goes back to work, Carlos plays guitar, and the two Al's just stay in gear and chill for a while.
"Perhaps a discussion of Job is in Order, once you find a priest, that is. I'm not a theologian. As far as the distinction of what is Flambeau or not, well, the contest and Tournament was designed by a Tytalus, not a Flambeau. Flambeau compete for the resources for their covenants because they are generally the most able to do so, and perhaps because it satisfies their need for battle in what is otherwise a peaceful Tribunal, with the exception of occasional raids, of course."