(( Hell no. Of course you wouldn't want it tied to the covenant in any obvious fashion. I was thinking in terms of a network of troubadours, minstrels, and acting troupes that -- in exchange for "seed money" and help getting started -- would secretly feed Mons Electi a portion of their profits as well as intelligence. Good lord, intelligence galore... more news than you can shake a stick at. Would help the Mercere, too.))
(( Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.))
I think we can approve of them now. As I've told Tranquillina, we can make silver for a year or so but it must be temporary until we increase our revenue.
Tranquillina nods at both Fiona and Korvin. "We would need to elevate our income to handle new magi, or else start to lower the standard of living to which we have become accustomed." Her face says everything required to convey her opinion of the latter option. "If we simply require any new member of council to contribute a season or two to cost-saving measures, then together with a little magically created wealth we would probably be fine."
"Space in general, particularly laboratory space, is a little bit of an issue as well. But these are not problems that are impossible to surmount, if we wished. What is vital is for us to decide ..." Tranquillina searches for the best words here "... whether it is in our best interests to admit three new magi. Or, to put a finer point on it, these specific three magi. Do we consider all three equally beneficial, equally trustworthy...?"
I worry more about Gerulf than I do Stultus and Rose. Rose will not betray us but she will think of House Tremere first. I wonder why Gerulf was sent here. I'm sure he is innocent of most intrigue against us but you said his letter had a note from Murion. She knows very well what we face. Why would she indorse sending a researcher here?
[color=blue]"Both Gerulf and Stultus strike me as being possibly invaluable, in their own ways. Rose, I don't know*, but I do know her mater, and assuming that the apple fell not far from the tree, would be good enough for me."
- Pending Rose's response to Fiona's question from earlier.
"I had a lengthy discussion with Gerulf earlier tonight," Tranquillina rebuts. "I made him well aware of the enmity we face, and he did not shrink from the possibility - indeed quite the opposite. You at least would like that, sodalis," she says to Isen with a forced smile. "Let us not forget that we have quite the repute within the Order, particularly to those who understand the forces arrayed against us; it makes us an attractive destination for those on the right side of justice."
"Rose and I also had a similar conversation, a few days ago," she continues. "She was not unaware of our troubles even beforehand, and I think, despite the elitism cherished by her House, that she would be loyal to any oath she made. On the other ... I ..." Tranquillina stammers a bit, remembering the flash of insight she had into Stultus's intentions; she takes a deep breath before continuing.
"I will not speak against any one magus personally; that would be unseemly of me," she opts to say. "But we should be very wary about granting magi from certain backgrounds our trust with a place on our council. I have strong misgivings about accepting a Tytalus into Mons Electi." Although she is trying her best to control her emotions and say all this neutrally, her clenched jaw is apparent to anyone watching.
[color=blue]"Would that be any Tytalus, or just certain members of the house?" Fiona asks.
"Any Tytalus," Tranquillina emphasizes quickly, the intensity of her response a bit alarming. "They treat other people as pawns, to be toyed with and then sacrificed when desired. How could we trust such a one with our council decisions - with our actual security?!"
It is not Gerulf with whom I am concerned at the moment. It is with Murion. Or do you think Gerulf stands on the right side of justice and Murion is a kindly old maga looking out after a poor researcher? As for Stultus, Tytali hold to a philosophy that challenges make us grow or change. If it is well know through the Order that we have Guernicus looking to squash us, as you say, I'm surprised we do not have Tytalus Magi lining up around the hilltop to get in. It is a challenge like they can rarely get. I'm surprised we have not had more Tytalus apply given the number of them in the Normandy Tribunal.
Tranquillina wrinkles her brow at Korvin. "Murion wrote a standard letter of introduction for Gerulf - of the sort that barely required her to actually read the letter, I am certain. Surely you have signed similar documents in your role as Princeps? If you have issue with Gerulf then by all means raise that issue, but let not Murion's harsh reputation play a role for no reason."
"And as for your comment about Tytali," she continues, "I have no trouble understanding why they might want membership here. But their desire does not make me trust them."
Do you really think Murion signs letters of introduction for her House? Can I see yours and perhaps I'll compare. Korvin stares at her for a moment as if he expects her to pull the letter out of her robe. then waves his hand as if dismissing the thought. There is nothing but a little paranoia which can be healthy. I would restrict all new members so they can not read or have access to Apollodorus' books on magic or his spells. When they are full members they may have access.
Oh, my, how Tranquillina bristles at the Murion comment. "I would like to think I have made enough of a name for myself that my need for such a courtesy is less than that of a newly Gauntled Bonisagus," she hisses. "But if you are convinced that Gerulf has now been shown to possess some special quality that I lack, why, what standing do I have to contradict you? I am glad at least to hear that my superior's application to this covenant will receive your support."
I did not say special quality but an an oddity. And you focus on Gerulf when he is not the issue. Nothing will happen soon in any case. We will just have to be careful for a while.
[color=blue]"The letter did not read (to me, anyway) like one that was written indiscriminately, to anyone who would give Gerulf the time of day, but rather that she feels that she feels for whatever reason that Gerulf would be a welcome addition to Mons Electi. Note the personalized commendation at the end."
Fiona smiles. [color=blue]"To be honest, I wouldn't know my prima...Ebroin, I think?... if she walked up and punched me in the pit, and I think the fact that Murion did write a letter for Gerulf tells me one of two things: that she thinks that he would fit admirably here, or that she despises him and wants him here in case they do mount a full-on assault and destroy us all." She shrugs. [color=blue]"I don't see either option as a strike against him."
[color=blue]"No one has said that he is your superior, sodalis. And you are correct in that you are not a newly gauntleted maga. You do have a reputation and are able to open doors on your own accord. Gerulf does not have that advantage, and must rely on your prima's aid."
Fiona then switches to Gaelic. [color=blue]"Would you like to come tell me what the real problem is?" she says softly.
"Oh, there's no problem, sister," Tranquillina snaps, her Gaelic almost too fast for Fiona to understand, "other than that our leader here is more suspicious of, of the leader of the lineage that founded our entire, our whole community, than he is of a, of that bastard clown down there who comes from a line of snakes." She intentionally avoids saying the names of any Houses or other Hermetic terminology so that nobody else can know the topic of her utterance. Tranquillina's chin is held high, her gaze staying fixed on Korvin after she emitted a quick glare at Fiona. After a few moments, though, she glances towards the giantess again; Fiona may or may not be able to see the hurt in her eyes, or her concern that she slapped away a helping hand.
Korvin returns Tranquillina's gaze and will switch to Fiona when Tranquillina does and then back to Tranquillina . It is really that terrible that you can not speak openly to me. I have aired my thoughts which is what we should do. If you have anything against any of the candidates then speak it so we all may judge. So you do not trust Tytali because you feel they manipulate everyone. Is that correct?
Fiona looks at Tranquillina with a slightly confused look on her face for a moment as she tries to parse the double-speak. She then gets an "Ah" look on her face and nods slightly.
[color=blue]"Sodales, I would like a brief recess," she says as she stands up.
[color=blue]"I would speak with you outside, if you please?" she says to Tranquillina in Gaelic, and looks briefly at Korvin. Fiona then leaves, goes outside and finds a spot to sit against the wall where she waits for Tranquillina to join her.
[color=blue]"So, this is not just about your issues with Tytalus, but a slight against your Prima," she says quietly, looking Tranquillina in the eyes.
[color=blue]"Murion has long been a friend of Mons Electi, and Apollodorus, even before there was a covenant. Apollodorus and she worked together to try to prepare for the coming troubles. Perhaps Korvin has forgotten that; I will speak with him in a few minutes. But if your prima writes us a letter of introduction for a newly-gauntleted housemate, that is good enough for me. Just as it would have been if she had felt the need to do so for you.
[color=blue]"As far as Stultus goes...that is something that you will have to work out yourself. I will only say that I am...surprised that you seem unable to see beyond the house to the magus."
Tranquillina nods rapidly to Korvin and is about to speak further to the matter, but is interrupted by Fiona....
((Couple of side questions: first, Fiona doesn't have any Magic Realm vis inside her in 1227, right? And second, can you tell me anything about Murion and Apollodorus's collaboration?))
Out in the hallway, Tranquillina stands eye to eye with Fiona's sitting form. "Oh, his crack about Murion being devious doesn't offend me - hell, it's probably accurate," she begins, looking over her shoulder at the doorway to the council room. "But his damn judgment of her, and her, her judgment of...." She trails off, not really sure where she was heading. Her mind is obfuscating the telling detail that, yes, it does make her feel inferior when a younger Bonisagus is recognized by those above her in the House, when she herself has done little to earn that recognition. Damned if I'm going to vis-bind some animal to myself just to score points with the Prima, her thoughts whirl. Maybe it's time I start concentrating on research...?
Tranquillina rubs her eyes, like she often did during the Tribunal; her long green and gold sleeves obscure her face for a drawn-out moment. "Don't you see, Fiona - it is about the magus, not the House." She probably even believes this rationalization as she says it. "Stultus was personally trained by a deceiving, cruel, grudge-carrying Tytalus maga, a specific person, not a stereotype." Her face is very pale, even paler than the worrisome hue it has been the last few months. "She ... she is the maga to whom I was first apprenticed. Before, before Tria and my House. So don't think I don't know exactly what we're dealing with here." Her last words are barely more than a whisper.
((Murion, through the Jerbiton and Tremere Primas, knew about the research into the scrolls. She knows what we know about the attack on Apollodorus. She has the evidence that Guernicus is behind much of the major events in the Order. Basically the same stuff we have. Korvin was asleep during the Prima meeting with the major folks so he has no information on what they talked about.))