The vine tendril twitches briefly, and seems to almost glare at Mustafa, before switching to Etienne's native language.
The vine regains some of his bluster. "Eh? What are you on about? Bonisagus? You don't want to see The Last Lannister, not unless you want to get your epaulets all covered in flaming snot. The maids can barely get him to eat! It takes seven griffons just to wrestle him out of his clothes and bathe him, and all the while he sits there blubbering over the dead. What's the big deal, I say? Tyrion's as like to claw his way outta hell and spend eternity haunting my wretched fields. Not Cersei, though, she's more like to haunt somewhere else, if you know what I mean!
"The man is drowning in his sorrows! Well, what do you expect after a demon lord eats your entire grove! No messenger is going to be able to distract him. But if you must, then have the broken girl take you across the way. You'll find him by the pond in the park. Now, is there anything else?"
Considering his options carefuly, "In the interests of allowing him to come to terms with his grief, I'll not disturb him. Can you inform the Widow that this letter must needs get to him, though? My master will be here in about a week. I'll be camping outside the wall, so as not to disturb Master Lannister, and I don't wish to be a bother to any of the staff. If he gets and reads my letter soon, he can send a message to me. I'll stay for the next three nights and then go. the following morning."
Étienne waits for the plant to translate what he has said and then says to the Widow, slowly, to try and push comprhension somehow, "for Jamie Lannister" and makes a big show of giving her the letter. He'll head back towards the perimeter of the covenant and wait for three days, observing signs of activity going into and out of the covenant itself. He'll try and talk to any passersby in Latin.
The appearance of Ra'am and the rabbi at his side causes a stir amongst those who see them. After much excited discussion, it finally occurs to them that the scoundrel next to the rabbi might be a magus (after all, he has the byname "ex Bonisagus" and speaks the same language as Jaime Lannister and the new masters) and that they should fetch someone to deal with him. The debate then turns to who? They had been told to bring Jaime, but he spends all his time where the maids aren't allowed to go without protection.
Some decide to send for Claudia, who is able to deal with the strangers on something resembling their own terms.
Others decide that they should send for one of the new masters...debate then turns within that group as to which one. Cygna, while certainly appearing the most trustworthy, is a little frightening, and the consensus is that they should not approach her as she works in the kitchen until she seems more reasonable. Which leaves Amos and Heims. And as they know where Heims to be easily found (moreso than Amos, I think), the second group delegates one of their maids to fetch Heims...and hopefully she can get the message across.
They also send one their own, a young girl who seems to be barely old enough to have been bat mitzvah'd, is sent out to deal with the newcomers. "I beg your pardon, Rabbi," she says, looking sideways at Ra'am as she speaks. "We did not mean to keep you and...the other waiting. But things are very disorganized around here these days, and we had to decide who would be best to deal with..." and gestures toward Ra'am with a jerk of her head. "We will have one of the Señores out shortly." She will then make to leave.
The rabbi replies, "Child, thank you. You have bravery and wisdom beyond your years." and he looks kindly upon her as she leaves.
Meanwhile, the children run from the wagon over to Ra'am who's been standing by himself and stay close to him. The small woman chases after them, trying to get the girls away from him, but eventually gives up. He regards each girl and the woman with a loving smile and whispers words of encouragement (Castilian) to each of the girls. They girls peek from behind him at the crowd while the woman holds the man in grey's hand.
OOC: Ra'am has a Parma of 1. He can only cover 1 person at a time with his Parma, to protect them from the effects of his Gift. His children are not mentally advanced enough to rationalize in a way which would let them ignore the Gift. I've let the others in the party slide, assuming that Ra'am has been in correspondence with them, or otherwise has a reputation amongst them that causes them to try to intellectually dismiss their emotional reaction to him, but we're roleplaying The Gift in this game as described in the MRB. So, which of his kids does he cover with his Parma?
Although, let's take his family interactions under consideration. He's been with his wife for quite some time, arranged marraige but grew to love each other. 20+ years. While she or the kids aren't used to the Gift and never will be, they are capable of livng with it. The children, again, 7 and 10 years of experience with him having the Gift. They've become used to the person with the Gift. I dare say Ra'am's association of being a loving father and husband has overcome his need to constantly extend his Parma to members of his family because of the Gift. I'm having them act as appropriate to the natural behavior due to their daily interaction over the course of 7, 10 and 20+ years. Who's most able to protect them in this situation. They're coven born, know about Magi and know Daddy's one, too.
Now, all bets are off when he scolds them, punishes them, fights with his wife, etc. I'm not asking for any leeway, but this is entirely reasonable and makes sense within the framework of the Gift. Try extending your parma over a wife throwing crockery at you and see how well it goes...
Having just finished the preparations for Ra'am's arrival, having also send messengers to all the magi, as well, as Claudia, Raoudha arrives in haste to welcome Ra'am...
Her friendly nature and open smile are quickly doused when she seem him, though. This is the man who wants to live here? This... pervert, watching over children with a lecherous smile? Yet, maybe he's got something to bring to Cijara, and maybe she's imagining things. She's been wrong before, and that woman besides him seems perfectly fine with him. Must she take the risk? On a whim (1d10=7 on intuition), like she always does when she doesn't know, trusting Allah to help her make the right choice, she decides to welcome him. To give him his chance to prove her he's a good man. But she'll watch him.
Taking bold steps forward, she approaches the delegation
Welcome to Cijara Manor, ancestral home of the Al'Jimni family, Ra'am of Bonisagus.
With a warmer smile: Welcome to you all, too. We have suffered greatly in the recent past, which is why we can't welcome you properly, but, nonetheless, we'll do as we always do, which is, treat you like family.
Now, come with me. I know the hardship of travel, especially for children. You must need to eat and refresh yourselves, and our new cook has prepared kasher food for you. While you restore yourselves, your servants can follow the maid and help them bring your possessions to your quarters.
She can't help it: She speaks more for the family that for Ra'am. She will try, but...
About the gift: You do not get used to the gift. You get used to someone's gift, if he gives you the opportunity to (notably by traiting you well and having social contacts with you). That being said, knowing that, on average, it takes 15 years:
Ra'am 's wife should surely be perfectly used to it.
Etienne should at least in part, maybe totally. Also, he must know the gift causes prejudice.
The children should in part. IMO, they must be seeing their father like this kind, loving figure that you're still afraid to cross the wrong way: They love him, but they prefer their mother, and trust her more (assuming she ain't a bitch, of course)
His family, it varies. Most should be used to him.
The rabbi... I don't know. Does he knows Ra'am well?
"Raoudha, is it?" Ra'am says confirming her name. "Thank you for the hospitality you have shown us, we are weary, as we've been travelling for nearly a month. Is a magus about? What can you tell me of the Covenant?"
I'm confirming that we're on the same page. I said "While she or the kids aren't used to the Gift and never will be, they are capable of livng with it." Which I take to mean used to the person with the Gift, not the Gift itself. Comments dropped have a habit of blowing up into fights, or the kids running of screaming that daddy doesn't love them. Given that they're in a strange environment I think it's natural that they seek the protection of perceived strength in their father, rather than the comfort of their mother. That she comes over just makes everything so much the better. Now if he'd ignored them or pushed/nudged them away they'd take that in the worst possible way. They're not used to the Gift, they're used to him, and there's an element for everyone in the family walking on eggshells in certain cases. It's not the only reason Ra'am has been bringing up the rear of the caravan. I can see 15 years if you have a life of experience to compare it against. The kids don't have that experience. And then there's the fact he's seen his kids with Aurelius and Prospero being grandfatherly, because they could easily extend their parma to both kids simultaneously. Those are the few times he's been able to interact with both daughters without worrying about the Gift.
The rabbi, he's actually had limited interaction with, most interaction will be indirect through Regina, as he's a friend of her family. Samuel, while he's family, is not at all used to Ra'am because he was born and grew up while Ra'am was never around.
The baker is Regina's family and he's left that in Regina's or Etienne's hands.
And I loved how you played Raoudha's interpretation of his actions, I was hoping that something like that might happen.
The maidservant finds Claudia working in one of the abandoned labs, doing some minor maintenance, making sure that nothing has been damaged and ensuring that it is clean enough to be used when the time comes. It's not much, but it keeps her relatively busy and keeps her mind off of what could have been. And it helps her feel somewhat useful to the Covenant. Perhaps when the new magi have settled in, they will have more use for her than she has now, she thinks.
"Claudia? New magi Right Side," the maid says, all but exhausting what little Arabic she knows.
The former apprentice thanks the maid for the information and looks for Jaime. She is surprised to see that he is not at his customary location at the pond*, and a little worried. She wonders where he could be, and debates momentarily whether she should take the time to seek him out. She quickly decides that he would probably either send her to deal with the new magi herself or fetch one of the new magi. She nods emphatically to herself, then races full-bore back to the cavern, where she hurries through the regio boundary. In the places where a turn is required, she spins like dervish, arms flung wide.
She practically flies out of the basement into the Right Side courtyard and continues her run to where the visitors...or newcomers, more properly, would have arrived. She comes to a stop just before she reaches them...or that's her intent anyway. Momentum carries her to Raoudha's side, where she stands panting, trying to catch her breath and taking in the scene trying to figure out who's what and whether proper introductions have been made. Per -1 + Folk Ken 2 + die roll of 8 = 9.
Basically, a petite woman in an undyed plain abaya comes running full-tilt and stops near Raoudha, panting heavily and looking around at Raoudha, Ra'am and his entourage.
hope this isn't too out of line...I was hoping to keep the ball rolling, and try to keep the players more involved as opposed to having the gmpc handle everything...it's easily editable/retconable if need be.
Meanwhile, there's a knocking on the door of Hiem's tower that disturbs his brooding. Whoever answers the knock (whether Hiems or Gerard), one of the covenant's maids is standing there, saying something in Castilian. They can hear the word señores, and the maid gestures for them to follow as she heads back toward the Right Side.
Ra'am addresses both Raoudha and the new figure in Arabic (4- smalltalk specialty), "And who is this arriving so swiftly to greet us? A daughter or niece perhaps? I must say it is so nice to be greeted by covenfolk, it's unusual to have such a varied delegation. I know how busy my brothers and sisters in Magic are and they tend to be annoyed even by scheduled interruptions. And then there's the issue of the letter, but it is a small issue and consdering the sudden activity all about the Covenant, everything is bordering on mass chaos." He'll engage them in smalltalk to the extent that they're interested, if they fall silent, he won't push conversation.
OOC: I hate rolling for PC interactions, so artificial, but if necessary I can do some charm rolls.
If it's obvious that Ra'am's Arabic is better than her Latin he'll continue in Arabic.
"My apologies for my presumption and thank you for the warm welcome. I am Ra'am ex Bonisagus. These are my wife, Regina and daughters Elizabeth and Abaigael," indicating the woman and girls behind him. "My majordomo, Étienne," indicating the gentleman walking behind his family, "left a letter with a Jewish woman, a widow is how I believe she was described, for Jamie Lannister. He told me that he spoke with some grapevines who translated on his behalf. It was suggested that he visit Jamie at a pond, but he was in mourning for losing his bunch. Étienne deduced that might mean family and decided not to intrude and left the letter."
"I thank you for the hospitality you offer, and I mean no disrespect." Ra'am pauses eyeing both the girl Claudia, who acts like a woman, and Raoudha as if he's contemplating how to phrase something, "We are... devout, and as Sabbath starts at sundown, we would like to make preparations now so we aren't rushed. May we be shown to our rooms? See my shield grog with that cauldron? It's so I can work some magic and keep it hot through tomorrow sundown. We can't ask anyone to cook or work for us during the Sabbath, and we can't start or feed a fire, either. After I work a ceremonial casting to keep the pot hot, and make some lights, I'd like to continue our discussion and learn more about Casa de Cijara and partake of any refreshments. You're both welcome to stay while I work and my wife and children make preparations. If you wish to come back, we should be done in an hour."
Assuming no objections:
If Claudia and Raoudha stay, he'll tell them "My wife and daughters will be cleaning, not because we think the house is unfit, it is quite tidy. It is part of our rituals of keeping Shabbat." Ra'am will direct Étienne and Samuel to stand outside the suite to intercept anyone while the family prepares, informing them it will be about 1 hour and to ask anyone to abide as it will be an hour for us to make Sabbath preparations.
OOC: In the interests of getting this done with (actually finding out if I CAN do it). Ra'am will work two non fatiguing ceremonial spontaneous spells to create moonlight on a couple of items in the suite with duration moon, 1st magnitude effect. If the first one works, he'd know for sure that there is no Aegis and continue to the 2nd and then work a 2nd Magnitude effect to keep a pot hot to the touch but not so hot to boil water within a ring duration. The hotpot spell is a fatiguing spontaneous ceremonial casting. Total time spent would be 1 hour. If there is an Aegis, he'd ask for some assistance in banking a fire of sufficient size to last until tomorrow sundown.
For the hotpot: Cr (11) + Ig (1) + Sta (2) + Aura (5) + Artes (5) +Philo (4+1) + Die (3)=32/2=16
You are quite well informed, I must say
About your sodales, all I can say is that I've send servants to try and reach them, but, as they're just settling, they are all pretty busy, to speak frankly. I guess most of them will want to welcome you formally once they have the time for it. But come, I'll tell you all you on the way.
Hey! Easy claudia!!!
Ra'am of Bonisagus, this is Claudia, who would have been one of your peers if not for an unfortunate accident. She is a scholar nonetheless, and very appreciated by the other magi.
And a thrill-seeker that I wouldn't have around, speaks claudia's gift to Raoudha. Still, knowing her plight make Raoudha compassionate enough towards the girl.
Claudia, this is Ra'am of bonisagus, and his family. They came here to answer Jaime's call, and may very well settle here with us..
She'll let the 2 talk (what they did, I'm just retconning)
Of course, I was just waiting for you two to get acquaintanced. I know next to nothing about judaism, but I'll do what I can to make sure you feel at ease among us.
She begins to take Ra'am and his family towards Cijara, telling him about the covenant, all the while interrupting herself to show him a building or present him someone.
To answer your question about "the Covenant"... Well, Cijara is the home of my family, first and foremost. But, due to war, we would have lost it, lost everything in fact, if not for Tyrion Lannister. My mother made a bargain with him, in which he gained a place in which to live, and we gained his protection and money. Together, they made Cijara a haven against war, famine and death. But that couldn't last: Most magi, and almost all able-bodied men, died in a deardful battle at Las Navas de Tolosa, and my mother died heartbroken when my 2 brothers were killed there. Things went downhill from here, especially as everyone blames everyone for everything. Which is why Jaime called upon me, the last adult of the Al'Jimni line, to honor the bond between us and rekindle Cijara, making sure your order is welcome here, all the while invinting a host of eager young mages to take on his mantle of peace and serve as the protectors of the land.
Consequently, you'll find things in a state of disarray here. You'll find bickering and failure. You'll see Cijara at its worst. But it is bound to resurect, and become again a shining beacon of peace in this war-torn land.
"Raoudha, I am honored that you share your home with Magi. I hope to join my sodales here and meant what was announced, that I will take up their causes as my own. If I'm allowed to join, we will make this a home and restore the polish and grandeur to the jewel Cijari once was."
"I have no ill will for any man of faith, only for men who force their faith on others. Truthfully, Salamanca is a haven for Jewish people, but there are signs it will not always be so, and then, of course, my Gift makes city living difficult. I thank you for your hospitality. If I or any in my service can assist you, you need but ask.
When Étienne is out of earshot, directing him to see to the book chests or some other task, he'll say conspirtaorialy, "If you should wish it, Étienne, who is an able administrator, is at your disposal when he is not at mine. He is resourceful and is adept at making contacts with merchants of exotic items that magi generally need. I'm sure the merchants you deal with are more than capable of seeing to the necessities of daily life, but if a Magus should place a request for something upon you and you have difficulty with it, seek him out and he will do as you ask. If he does not meet your expectations, I wish to know of it. If we should be in conflict with the need of his skills, feel free to talk to me directly and we'll discuss the problem. And I warn you, be careful of his appetites... I endeavor to keep him as occupied as much as possible, and until we're settled, he will be busy. It is after we've settled and I turn to other tasks that his idleness will become a problem for him."
OOC: Ra'am's a busybody, especially concerning covenfolk, so he'd think nothing of sharing these details about Étienne. Étienne has a chamberlain score of 4, and so can deal with the household staff/servants while Raoudha would be able to focus on the specialists, like the librarians and craft people. Étienne would be subordinate to Raoudha and Ra'am is making it very clear that she would be in charge of him. If she should accept this offer, I'm sure it will be loads of fun with Étienne speaking Latin, his native tongue and a smattering of Arabic (3) to a mostly Castilian speaking staff... Then again, that's not something Ra'am would be overly concerned about.
"We have entirely too many widows," Claudia says after a thoughtful moment, "even among the Jews.
"Yes, Magus Jaime was hit particularly hard by the Battle of Las Navas. We not only lost all the magi of the Phoenix, but he lost his sister as well."
"I believe Jaime has called another meeting of the Council for dinner this evening. Would your...'devotion' prevent you from attending?"
Claudia looks down at Raoudha's introduction/praise...whether from embarrassment or shame, it's hard to tell through the niqab.
"The Jews do have a rabbi, Abraham Warder. It would probably be safe to say that the rabbi is closer to their God then any man has a right to be."
In case Raoudha misses it, Claudia will be sure to point out where the Jewish temple is as she walks with them for a short while. Before long, she will beg everyone's pardon, explaining that she needs to get back to what she was doing, and to make herself available in case they need her in the meeting. (which, from her tone of voice, sounds like she thinks it unlikely), then will return to the lab where she had been working to finish up. From there, she will head to the library to spend some times with her friends...although calling her their friend might be a bit of a stretch – maybe better to say that they make a better show of tolerating her, which is all she can expect from anyone not of the Order.
Ra'am pauses to consider and has a tortured look when he finally does speak, "I won't go into my theological rationalization, but in this case, I believe an exception is warranted."
"How so? The Rabbi with us would probably enjoy speaking with him, as I'm sure I would. Could you send an invitation to him to join my family and the Rabbi for dinner this evening, while I'm away?"
When Ra'am notices that Claudia is trying to leave he says to her, "Claudia, thank you for your assistance. And if you can, have Abraham Warder join us for dinner? If you have time on Sunday and your duties permit it, I'd like you to show me about the manor. I hope to have joined the covenant or at least be given a guest status with priveleges to the library and an unoccupied lab, if one is available. And perhaps you can show me to where the magi who arrived before me have taken up residence. We can discuss Hermetic magic, too. I always find it refreshing to discuss magic theory with apprentices. I find apprentices push magic theory in new directions, more so than many gauntleted magi. After breakfast on Sunday?"
"It would be my pleasure." She will ask where they will be staying; presumably either he or Raoudha will tell her.
Claudia shifts awkwardly in place for a long minute before she finally speaks. "I...am...actually no longer an apprentice, since..." She pauses again. It's been two and a half years, but she still finds herself on the verge of tears if she thinks about that fateful day, and what could have been. Her voice, however, shows no sign of her momentary depression when she finally speaks. "But I would be delighted to show you around the covenant and the Casa." She then starts to make her way back to the manor house and the regio boundary, jumping from rock to rock (almost as though she were playing the "the ground is lava!" game).
After the family is settled in, the amarii are secured and the magic has been worked Ra'am will direct Étienne to see if everyone is settling in alright. While doing so he realizes his initial plan to send Samuel with him won't work because they don't speak any common languages, so he asks his wife if she can assist Étienne. He asks Samuel to stay with his children and play with them, watch over them while he drifts off into thought.
His thoughts drift to concern over the lack of an Aegis, to the curiosity of what the magi who arrived before him might be like. He considers Claudia's suggestion that he might be attending the council meeting tonight. Was she just impertinent, or was she acting on Jamie Lannister's behalf?
Being unsure he opens the door to his suite and asks the next household staff person to pass by to ask Claudia to come to his quarters, before the council meeting, as he has more questions and seems closer to the Magi than Raoudha did.