Jaime pushes his plate away and leans back in his chair. "Yes, well...I suppose I should begin by officially recognizing and accepting the memberships of those who have signed the charter. The council formally welcomes Viscaria Lynchis Verditi, Nothos Constantine Amos filius Martreau scholae Flambeau Scutum ab Constantinople, Hiems Ex Miscellanea, and Cygna filia Grus of Bjornaer as signatores of the charter and full members of the covenant in good standing.
"Let us begin with mundane matters."
He turns to one of the serving girls, and instructs her to bring those covenfolk who wish to speak to the council. There is a few minutes pause (during which magi may interact) while the mundanes are summoned from their dinner.
First comes one of the newcomers, Father Pierre de Lyons, the Eastern Orthodox priest."Well met, my new allies. Allow me to express my most sincere prayer that you will all continue Phoenix Covenant's long tradition of protecting the peasants of this land from the depredations of the war-mongering Reconquista covenants of the Iberian Tribunal.
"I have discovered that the local church lacks a priest, and I humbly request that I be allowed to take residence and re-establish proper church services. I also must point out that the rabbi here, in addition to being a blasphemous pagan who has not accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, is ALSO an undead monstrosity! Even assuming you are content to let these unrepentant sinners continue to practice their impious ways, you must destroy this unholy abomination, or at least cast it out of a position where it could lead these poor misguided souls down a path which not only endangers their souls but could unleash demonspawn upon our lands!"
(OOC: IIRC, no one is actively playing Father Pierre, and it is unclear from my notes what sort of personality he has. If Chico or somebody had a different flavor in mind for him, I can ret-con his speech. And yes, he is displaying a surprising amount of familiarity with the Order.)
Vineyard manager Widow Mustafa is a stout, elderly woman of Hebrew descent. She reports that the spring season looks good, and while we could all use more help, she is managing to use what resources she has to sustain the reputation of Cijara wines. However, she worries that without Cersei, they will not be able to continue producing the magical wines which are a significant part of the vineyard’s income. Finally, with the air of one who is used to disappointment, she restates her concerns about protecting the fields and warehouses from magical assault by the enemies of the Lannisters, "including any that you new Lannister lords may be bringing with you."
Next comes the ghostly form of Abraham Warder. "Greetings, my lords and ladies. War rampages across the lands, as Moors clash against Christians, while my Jewish brethren are caught in the tempest. Jews throughout the area are losing their homes and their lives, and do not know where to run to. While I know we cannot save them all, and that many would not welcome shelter in such an unusual place, could we at least not seek out the orphaned children and bring them here?
After the losses we sustained, the covenant is now full of widowed and unwed Jewish women, and I am worried about what will happen when reports of this come to the Christians building their Templar Church in Castiblanco. I have heard rumors that the French noblemen pouring in to the country are encouraging their soldiers to take whatever liberties they wish from the daughters of my tribe.
We still need much effort to replace what we lost at Las Navas de La Tolosa. The mosque and church stand empty, and we are so shorthanded that the children cannot be spared from the fields. It is the tradition of both Hebrew and Muslim to educate their children in the Artes Liberales, but even if we had living tutors, we could not spare the children and still hope to sustain the fields.
"I fear that this plantation is losing much of its unity. Many have moved out of their homes to be closer to their house of worship, the better to share the burden of caring for those very young and very old. Widowed sisters have returned to the homes of their mothers. As a result, many homes now lie abandoned, and the entire village feels more squallid and desolate. I fear that in their attempt to find solace within their homes, our people inadvertantly emphasis the losses we all feel. Something must be done about this."
Librarian Sharae comes in, still dressed in that undyed, rough-hemp abaya. Her speech feels extremely well-rehearsed, and more than a little quavering. "When my grandfather was brought here by the Lannisters from Trujillo, Phoenix Covenant vowed that it would seek out and protect the literary treasures of my people. Yet, the Arabic collection in our library dwindles even as the tide of Christian conquerors rises, and our current scribal staff is unskilled in the reproduction of what few books remain. I would ask that you reconfirm your commitment to this task of preservation, first by educating Claudia, Danielle and myself in Arabic, so that we may translate and preserve the knowledge that we have, and second by seeking more Arabic works during this troubling time. We have heard many reports of book burnings throughout the recently conquered lands, and that many humiliores are put to death for employing agricultural knowledge learned from the Moors. Knowledge must be preserved.
"It is my understanding that some of our new masters have brought literary works with them. I request that any such works be brought to the library quickly, even if my lords and ladies do not wish the books to be made publicly available. Many of you are from foreign lands, and therefore do not understand the effects of the local climate on written material. The library and scriptorium staff are here to serve you both as a covenant and as individuals.
"Sandra de los Montes, our binder, has requested permission to collect the writings of Tyrion Lannister and create a sort of memorial floriegellium for him. Whether you accede to her request or not, I respectfully suggest that the girls could use a long term project to keep themselves occupied.
"The scriptorium also reports that Archmagus Gilderoy Lockhart has released a new tractus which would be an excellent addition to the library. It is called Gadding With Ghouls. An autographed copy would be two Rego Vis, illuminated but unsigned copies are Two Mentem, and unsigned, un-illuminated copies are a single Vim vis. The scriptorium staff recommends the autographed copy."
(OOC: You may roll something appropriate to see if you've ever heard of this magi. Ease Factor 9 indicates that he is no Archmagus, but a Bonasagus who has just recently graduated from Journeyman status to Master. Higher rolls will reveal additional information.)
Next, you hear from Captain Fati, to report the status of the armed forces. OOC: Chico, I believe you're playing Fati. Please have him make his report and requests.
After these mundane matters have been responded to, Jaime moves on to mystical matters.
"Vis needs to be harvested this season. It has been many years since I performed that duty, and so the exact nature and location of our resources must be researched before that can be done. We must also formally recognize the sanctums of each of you. From what I understand, there is also some matter involving a conflict earlier today which must be deliberated on. Beyond that, I know of no other matters. Does anyone have anything else to bring to Council?
Later, Viscaria will also make a raise a few motions, and comment on a few of the mundane issues:
"I recently had....dealings with a local faerie dwarf-lord, Orbhammer Founderson, who asked that I pass on his concerns about his ongoing trade relations with Phoenix. Apparently, he used to receive some quantity of Phoenix wines and agricultural produce for his mortal subjects, in exchange for unspecified goods. He feels that with the, ah, shift in personnel at the covenant, and the absence of last season's shipment, the existing contract is voided, but he wishes us to send someone to negotiate a new contract quickly. He says that he will need to begin raiding mundane settlements in order to feed his mortal subjects, as we are the only settlement nearby which has surplus to trade with, though he seemed unusually attached to the wine.
"The Phoenix Manorhouse is huge and ill-used. With so much space, we could set up specialty labs for certain activities, like vis extraction, longevity potions, familiar bonding or animal training, unstocked while unusued, but available to all when needed." She places a special emphasis on vis extraction.
"I have brought several of my kin with me out of the dwarf holdings: a glass blower and mirror maker, a lapidary, and a silversmith. These three part-fae siblings bring with them an unskilled human furnace worker, and a father who has spent much time among the Fae. Should this family reside in the village or the regio? Their workshops are obviously of faerie origin, where should we put them? Have my sodales brought any staff with them who ought to be employed by the covenant as a whole?"
Regarding Jaime's comment on vis gathering, she says, "I would like to be involved in the harvesting of the grapevine, as I may have some use for the cut vines in the future -- have any of you heard of The Bookstand of Hespera? I have notes on how to build such a wonder."
Regarding Abraham's worries regarding education and labor forces, she says "Reyes, the faerie loremaster I spoke of before, might be able to teach the local children, as he did for the mortal scions of the dwarves at one point. Also, the dwarven clan I spoke of fed all their people in a single great feast hall. If we have so many empty buildings, perhaps we could convert some into a similar edifice? This might engender a sense of unity among the fraying peasantry, and if a handful of people were employed cooking full time, it would save time for many. Once my lab is complete, I could enchant items to further reduce costs and effort in the kitchen."