A Council of Owls

Back in the cave, the hunchbacked and shuffling servant leads you to the chamber that you had originally met Iuducium and Barbara before the Tribunal. They are both in fact here, as is Trutina and Fredegisa.

"Very well then Master, my new residence will be at Libellus. I shall send you a letter to make this official that you may send it to Magvillus. I thank you for renewing my Hoplite status." she kisses him on either cheek. Iuducium hands her a scroll case without saying a word. She takes it and thumps it briefly on her thigh. "And I shall take care of this soon. I would like to send my apprentice to you sometime, that he may learn more of the law. If that should be acceptable?"

"It is. As always Barbara I am humbled by your dedication and zeal, and honored to be held in such high regard. I'd wish you luck on that assignment, but as always, I know you need none. When the time is right, send me your apprentice and he will learn much at my side." They bow briefly and Trutina and Fredegisa rise and bow as well.

"Ah! Siobhan." says Barbara as she heads to the door you stand in. She pauses briefly to kiss you on either cheek. "Salve, I shall be happy to visit you in your new covenant once it has been established. I assure you it will be under more...pleasant circumstances than Libellus. Good fortune to you." she concludes and pauses a moment before leaving.

Siobhan smiles at Barbara, [color=blue]"Better the scare of a hoplite than presense of Queasitor. A hopilite will only scare them and intimidate, Queasitors can march them. Still, I think they will treat you well."

She then turns and politely greets her fellow queasitors. The catch of who will be senior queasitor always makes these gatherings interesting and she doesn't know the qualifications of those eligible or how many terms the current senior has been as such.

Barbara's eyes twinkle as she leaves. "Only Quaesitors can March..?" she chuckles in a way that is most discomfitting as she leaves and closes the door behind her.

The other Quaesitori remain standing until Iuducium signals that all should take a seat on the stools provided. Next to Iuducium is a thick leather bound book and a leather bucket containing some scroll cases.

"My fellow Quaesitori, I would like to conclude the Tribunal and our responsibilities. I commend all of you on your roles this day, the advice offered was excellent, and I'm sure when I review the notes from Trutina they will be both accurate and thorough. I would hear your thoughts on the day's proceedings. Siobhan, as the newest member, one who is new to both Tribunal meetings and Stonehenge, what is your impression? What counsel might we receive from you?"

[color=blue]"I admit to some concern and worry." Siobhan speaks clearly and her agitation is clear on this matter as this is a discussion among queasitors. [color=blue]"A monk walking around speaking visions of a man protected by god and slain by people throwing lightning and fire at him is very disturbing. I would like to know where this monk is, can he perhaps be tricked into moving on to some other tribunal and why we were not notified of this as soon as it arose. This is something we should have known about before it hit the tribunal floor. That fact that the apprentice spoke out saying that we were not given the full truth and that something was concealed in the matter bothers me as well. What is our sodalis Julia hiding?"

Siobhan speaks of Elysia as apprentice since she had not yet taken her oath yet when this particular discussion had arisen. [color=blue]"This fair also raises concerns. We are very islolated here that mages coming here are not going to arouse as much attention. We also meet only once every seven years. A yearly fair of mages regularly parading to a place could draw much unwanted attention. We will need to insure there is great access to mentem magics to alter memories to perhaps ease troubles that crop up. I will be joining to insure that no magic is sold to mundanes there that violates the code, to witness agreements made, and adjudicate disputes that occur but the interference with mundanes potential is disturbing. That the one that would seek to promote a saint supposedly martyred by the order would propose it makes me suspect her motives some."

Trutina takes down Siobhan's suspicions, writing them in her elegant shorthand. Fredegisa seems a bit surprised at the magnitude of Siobhan's concerns.

"Or it could be the ravings of a mad man, or it could be something sinister. These may be matters of faith, something we as wizards are woefully ill prepared for." Comments Fredegisa. Iuducium speaks.

"When you question Julia, find out about this monk. We live in a time filled with men and women claiming visions. Tricking him is an option, and I am loathe to consider other options...should the Order be endangered. That shall be your assignment. Julia is too closely involved, even if she is innocent, and I believe she is, she cannot be trusted to do...what might be necessary. Exercise your judgment on what should be done with him, if he is granted visions by the Divine...I believe our temporal influence will be found wanting."

"Regarding your concerns with the fair, they are wise and appropriate. You intend to join his Covenant, yes? We shall be well served by your presence there. I trust that you will see to it that this fair shall be...compliant as well as festive. Let us make it the pride of Stonehenge. Trutina? I would hear your counsel now."

Trutina stops writing notes and looks up. "I have nothing to add that is not already in my notes Senior Queasitor." she then picks up her pen to resume writing. Iuducium nods to Fredegisa. She licks her lips and seems to hesitate...gathering her resolve before she finally speaks.

"Senior Quaesitor, I feel that the power within Stonehenge is out of balance. There is too much power that resides in Blackthorn, the Praeco, you, the Tribunal Meeting, and of course Barbara." Iuducium's face does not change, but you can see the snake tatoo on his face rear up on his cheek, taking a pose as if to strike. "I know this is what many of the young magi always say in any Tribunal, and they are often jealous of the power and prestige that the older covenants posses. But in this case...I feel they are right. Look at their response over the last 20 years. No less than three new covenants were formed, all with the intent of making the Tribunal meetings Quorate again. They form a considerable voting bloc, and often oppose everything that Blackthorn does, yet Blackthron still remains at the top of the pyramid. We should break up this power base, remove the focus, and allow balance to take its place. That starts...by having the next Tribunal at the new Covenant with Agitatus. It also starts by having a new Senior Quaesitor..." Iuducium holds up his hand for her to stop, his face still resolute and inscrutable.

"That part of the meeting has not been reached yet. Do you have more to add?" Fredegisa shakes her head. He turns to Trutina, who seems only mildly surprised at this turn of events, but she too shakes her head. He finally returns to Siobhan.

"How do you feel?"

[color=blue]"The queasitors serve the order, the Hoplites serve the queasitors. That Iuducium is of Blackthorne should not matter. Does anyone claim that he would fail in his duty to the order in general to benefit his covenant. I do not. The power of the Preaco is another matter. The covenant of the Praeco often dominates for a long time because the Preaco can control the agenda and silence people but that is tradition. It is also tradition that tribunal be held at covenant of the Praeco and Blackthorne is well suited to host our numbers. With this new covenant of Agitatus, some of whom do not seem to like Blackthorne's influence a lot, I think balance will be achieves. Still with starting up and concerns of fair and such, I do not believe the covenant will be ready to host a tribunal for the next one. Perhaps the one after that if that is what we wish to advise the next tribunal to chose." Siobhan might be young but she thinks thing through carefully and was trained by a senior queasitor of tribunal.

She then continues, [color=blue]"However, in the tradition of our house, no single queasitor should sit as the presiding queasitor for more than three terms. The purpose of this is so that the role of queasitor remains important and not the individual that holds it. It might be wise for another to be elected for a term before our respected Sodalis" She nods towards Iuducium, [color=blue]"serves a another term. I am not fully familiar with all of you though and I would like to know more of my sodalis of the house that I can truly make a wise decision on this matter. For myself, I am Siobhan and I am newly gauntleted, My mater served three terms as presiding queasitor of the Hibernia tribunal until she stepped aside per tradition at the last tribunal and helped select the one that would stand as presiding queasitor in her place." She waits for the other to speaks. By her words that set her as junior queasitor, it means she does not have the standing or senority to become the presiding queasitor.

Iuducium seems to inhale the content of your council with a long slow breath.

"Much of what you say is in regards to tradition, but law must supercede tradition...and sometimes, practicality trumps both.

"I shall have a hard time conceiving that this new covenant will be prepared, nor its facilities sufficient to house a Tribunal of our size. Tribunals are a tradition...they are not mandatory. That is why for so long we were not quorate. Holding a Tribunal at a covenant that is not prepared could send us back to those times, regardless of Blackthorn's popularity." he pauses for a moment and gathers his thoughts. "Let us see how well the Covenant handles the fair in these next few years. That can be the deciding factor. If Agitatus is still alive and able to act as Praeco, and the Covenant is sufficient, it is possible that the Tribunal could be held there. Let us reserve our judgment until then.

"Very well. Let us now decide who shall be the presiding Quaesitor. For my part, I shall not nominate myself for this position. Let us hear the nominations." The silence is palpable in the room as Trutina stops scribbling.

"I nominate you Iuducium to be our presiding Quaesitor." she suddenly says as she puts down her quill.

Fredegisa's head whips towards her and she levels a hard stare at her that Trutina cooly ignores.

"I nominate myself to be presiding quaesitor." Iuducium nods and Trutina shrugs. All eyes turn to you Siobhan if you have an official nominaion.

Siobhan sees that her immediate council is ignored or misconstrued. That the new covenant not be location for tribunal was her advice and Iuducium speaks as she counciled the opposite. The fact that he nominated himself added to it and so she speaks up for balance.[color=blue]"I nominate Fredegisa to act as presiding queasitor." She knows that in seven years time, Iuducium can be renominated but house traditions do mean something to her and the hostility of tribunal towards blackthorne requires someone that can balance the two sides.

"I reluctantly accept the nomination." says Iuducium "Though it is not my desire to do so. Let us vote then. The nominees are Iuducium and myself. If you wish to vote for me, raise your Sigil." Trutina raises her Sigil for Iuducium as does Iuducium himself.

"Or Fredegisa." Fredegisa raises her Sigil.

The remaining vote belongs to Siobhan, and all eyes turn to her.

[color=blue]Sidenote, Iuducium didn't nominate himself, but it's pretty obvious he thought he'd be nominated. He also didn't say to have the Tribunal at your Covenant next time, he basically held off a ruling until later, basically to wait and see if Agitatus is alive and that the covenant can even host a Tribunal.

[color=blue]" Fredegisa" Siobhan says softly, voting for the one that she spoke in favor of already. The traditions of the house are fairly strong. No more than three terms in a row. Of course the issue of a tie remains for how it is determined.

All of the Quaesitor look at each other warily as a tie is achieved. Fredegisa bites her lip in anticipation as Iuducium sighs.

"A tie. Then...as Presiding Quaesitor, I shall break the tie." Fredegisa sighs and looks down with resignation.

"Fredegisa is the new Presiding Quaesitor...my last act as Presiding Queasitor." Fredegisa's head snaps back up and Trutina's incessant writing stops. She also looks up, shrugs and then continues writing. "Congratulations." adds Iuducium.

"I..."stammers Fredegisa and looks about. "I...thank you. Well...I'm sure then that we all know what we're doing...so, we are concluded. Trutina, please finish the notes as planned. Siobhan, good luck with the new Covenant. Master Iuducium..." she pauses, still unused to the sudden change in title. "Please send your report to Durenmar and Magvillus as intended. I shall send my own letter to them as well. So..." she stands up. "We are adjourned."

They all stand up and Iuducium kisses the quaesitor one by one, who also do the same. When he reaches you he gestures first to the book and the leather bucket with scrolls. "Siobhan, there is another tradition. This is the record of the Tribunal Meetings in Stonehenge from its beginning to the Schism War." he gestures to the large tome. "It is slightly abridged. We would ask that you study this and return it to Blackthorn when you are complete. The scrolls are Tracti that the current Quaesitor" he gestures to Trutine and Fredegisa and himself "have written in regards to that same tome. Please study those as well and add your own thoughts in the form of a Tracti, that it might be added to the body of law and lore for Stonehenge." He kisses you on either cheek.

The tome is a Summa in Hermetic Law level 5 Quality 6 and also Hermetic Lore Level 3 Quality 4. The Tracti are: Hermetic Law Quality 7 (Iuducium), Hermetic Law Quality 6 (Trutina) and Hermetic Lore Quality 7 (Fredegisa).

Siobhan looks over the scrolls carefully and then the book and realizes that this is a duty that could take her years to complete. She could focus on this to detriment of all other magical development to master this information. [color=blue]"I guess I have my studies prepared. If you could forward a copy of the notes from this tribunal, I would appreciate it."

There is enough there for 13 seaons of study, with 14th for writing a tractii

Fredegisa taps you on the shoulder.

"Sodales...I know you are to investigate Julia, please send the results to me at this point. I share Iuducium's general belief that while Julia acts rashly, she never knowingly breaks the law...though she might skirt some of its rulings. We are otherwise concluded here. Thank you again Sodales." she said and kisses you on either cheek.

You can return to the Towers over Mugs thread at this point and take Julia off to the side as you see fit.

Siobhan sighs, [color=blue]"I will do what I can but I am not sure I have the arts to catch her in a lie if she choses to deliberately try to deceive me. I lack a few of the necessary spells."

"Julia is not one to be so deceptive. She knows the law well though and will likely be prepared and thorough in her defense. Good luck Sodales." she adds as she walks by, where another trollish servant waits to escort you out.

Siobhan doesn't take a chance though and carefully casts a spell to prepare herself before she goes to approach. The words are for a common queasitor spell, the bitter taste of betrayal. [color=blue]"I will be on my guard but again, it will be a challenge. It took an apprentice to notice she was concealing something at tribunal. I missed it." She heads off.

OOC: Casting bitter taste of betrayal: 16 base + 2 (simple roll) + aura for level 15 spell.