Ingrid regards Gerulf while enjoying the final match of the joust now underway, "Well, this Tribunal was certainly livelier than I could have expected. A change in Presiding Quaesitor during a Tribunal trial. The selection of a new Chief Hoplite, and the accidental killing of a fellow citizen of the Rhine. Was it the cesspool you anticipated?"
Gerulf folds his arms and thinks a moment before answering. "I suppose not. I must admit to some surprise over the turn of events. I had expected more droning and less action. It seems," he says, turning to look at her, arching an eyebrow, "that there is room for both among the magi of Normandy. I find it particularly interesting that a Quaesitor should attempt to suppress formal charges of deprivation. That Proctor looked like he was about to pop when that spilled out." He watches the match, though his mind momentarily drifts elsewhere. "That dead fellow: Praxi-something, yes? Do you not find it disturbing how easily they turned aside any possibility of foul play? There was hardly a question asked."
Gerulf's attention returns to the joust as one of the competitors spurs his horse to a gallop.
"But there was an investigation, wasn't there? Are you suggesting that the Quaesitors found in Valerian's favor because of undue pressure Bilera may have had in the investigation?"
Gerulf applauds as one of the competitors' lances strikes home, but he then looks somewhat puzzled by the resultant singing. "No. I haven't drawn any conclusions regarding any of the parties other than my suspicion at Valerian's seemingly miraculous double escape: once from charges of deprivation and once from an application of theory which resulted in the death of another magi. Even with the investigation, having been so seriously suspected twice should merit further examination." Another strike, and Gerulf applauds again as Valerian is defeated. "Look now as he fumes and fits. His rage is nigh-unbridled." He sits back in his seat, steepling his fingers. "I only mean to say that a magus might manage to evade scrutiny over one matter, but not two. The chances of that happening naturally are extremely remote, and under such circumstances, one should expect to find some confounder: an unknown factor in the experiment which influences its result."
"And now the irony should not be lost upon you, that this final lesson comes from your mater, a Bonisagus. When magi and magae of good conscience bury themselves into their research without witnessing the world around them, they fail to see that their liberties are being assailed." Ingrid smiles, "Some of us are paying attention, though. And some of us are moving our pieces into place. How quaint this Tribunal is. To mimic the forms of governance that we generally seek to overcome. How many Lords have we outwitted or placated to study our magic unmolested. And this Tribunal uses vassalage to control and govern the magi. And games and competition to distribute vis and other prizes."
Ingrid pauses, watching Alexei win the Joust. "You would do well to cultivate an introduction to the magi of Mons Electi. Their founder disliked the conventions of the Tribunal, and one of the magae has been named as a delegate to the Grand Tribunal. An offer to assist her in preparation might be helpful. And I just so happen to have a letter of introduction from the Prima to offer on your behalf.
Gerulf makes to respond to Ingrid's initial remark, but as she proceeds, realization visibly dawns on his face. "I- Well, I mean, that's fascinating." He gazes across the arena. Always one step ahead of him, Ingrid, but to Gerulf her grace could make her seem almost naive at times. Perhaps that is how she outwitted him time and again, always with that strange smile which seemed to say "There there, little one". If she were not his beloved mentor, it might have infuriated him. Regaining his intellectual composure, he says, "The prima has elected to write a letter of introduction for me? I suppose it is too much to hope that she was so intrigued by my notions on melding Rego and Muto in favor of a unified 'Manipulus' school that she took a personal interest in my course?"
"I suppose it was too much to hope you'd been listening." She hands Gerulf the letter. "Good luck." And without so much as a good-bye, Ingrid disappears from Gerulf's view...
Gerulf looks at the letter briefly. He stands up with a sigh and tucks the missive away. "I was listening," he muses to himself, smoothing his sleeves. "But now that you're safely away, dear Mater, I can rest easier." He exits the stands and begins his search for the Fiona, the delegate from Mons Electi.
((The letter is likely wax-sealed, but if it is not, Gerulf will take the opportunity to read it to see what glittering praise the prima has shared within. Ambitious, ambitious Gerulf. ))
((Does Gerulf know anything about the maga from Mons Electi who was named delegate?))
((He has been around the Tribunal for the major events, so I went with the assumption that he might have seen the electorate, but I could be wrong about that. Someone more versed in the lore could let me know, but I'll try to search around and see whether it is plausible for him to have seen that event or not.))
((Oh, yes. Gerulf has seen everything of note, including the selection of delegates.))
((In that case, since Gerulf is watching the final match of the joust, he would see Fiona climbing over the rail and onto the list field to go help Alexei.))
Gerulf makes his way down into the arena as people begin to mill about after the conclusion of the match. Seeing Fiona engaged in conversation, he politely waits aside, watching for an opportunity to speak up. When that opportunity arrives, he interlaces his fingers behind his back and makes a very slight bow. "Madame Delegate, my name is Gerulf Waldenhof, and I was hoping I might have a word with you, when you have the time, of course." He produces the letter of introduction, holding it out for her to take.
Fiona spots Gerulf standing politely to one side, then says something softly to Alexei and bends over to kiss him on the top of the head before approaching the newcomer.
When Fiona approaches, Gerulf may be astounded at how incredibly tall the attractive red-headed maga is – he barely comes to her waist.
She leans over to take the letter and opens it. [color=blue]"It just so happens that I have some free time before the Falconball tournament this afternoon," she says as she looks him over appraisingly. She then reads the letter.
Curiosity glimmers in Gerulf's eyes as he watches Fiona read the letter. Extensive time in the lab had stunted his experience with people, no doubt, but Gerulf doubted that the size of this woman had anything to do with standard variation. Rather, he surmised that some aspect of magic must be at work, and that sparked his interest. He waits patiently until she finishes reading the letter, studying penitent Alexei.
He arches an eyebrow. "That was a sound victory," he says, then more quietly, "and a much deserved defeat, if I might say so."
[color=blue]"Yes, it was."
((Reserving more comment until I find out what's in the letter.))
((It's a straight forward letter of introduction for Gerulf. That he's a promising Bonisagus, and he needs to join a covenant. The Prima Bonisagus also sends her compliments to Mons Electi.))
((Did Fiona happen to meet Ingrid when she was at Durenmar in 1222?))
Fiona smiles at Gerulf. [color=blue]"Would you care to join me for lunch, sodalis?"
Assuming he agrees, she takes him to one of the cafés/vendor carts/Great Hall that were set up to feed the guests during Tribunal and sits at the table across from him.
[color=blue]"So, you are considering applying for our covenant. May I ask how you came to know of us and what drew you here?"
"Certainly," Gerulf replies.
He sits back in his seat, taking a sip of wine as he begins mentally paging through his knowledge on Mons Electi. "My Mater, Ingrid, suggested that Mons Electi would appeal to a magus of my research persuasions. I have a particular talent for the school of Rego. However, beyond her subtle nudgings, the site itself holds significant interest for me. While the beauty and wealth of Mons Electi are well-known," he says, indicating the environment, "it has within it a number of rather important mundane ruins which would be fascinating to view firsthand. I regret that I haven't had much time to do so thus far. And, of course, what decent researcher wouldn't benefit from a ready supply of writing materials, for which this covenant is also famed. There are, indeed, many reasons one would seek membership here."
"However, and perhaps more importantly, I believe I can be of assistance to you. I anticipate that you will have many preparations to make as delegate to the Grand Tribunal." He very slightly shakes his head at the mention of it and shifts in his seat. "I'm terribly sorry. I can't imagine how unpleasant that must be for you. I would be willing to place myself at your disposal, assisting in those preparations in whichever ways you may need so as to decrease the stress of your appointed position."