After the Interrogatory of Fredricka and the arrival Tertio, and invitation to dinner is delivered by a Redcap. The Covenant of Bellaquin, currently located in Andorra La Vella upon property they lease from us, have invited any and all magi of our covenant to join them for a formal dinner in three nights.
Fleur shows up in a green dress that only leaves something to the imagination if one were to contemplate coloration of certain delicate body parts. It clings to her bottom and stops shortly thereafter, far enough that only those who know her exceptionally well would realize she is wearing it in what she considers a long style due to this being one of her "blood months". On the top end it is held up by a single strap on one side, suggestive of a toga but of a single piece of cloth which hangs from her left shoulder and barely stays above her right nipple, almost as though it is not quite committed to the idea of remaining there. Her sandals are a silver hue, though clearly by dye and not the use of metallic strands.
Bellaquin? Didn't they try to undercut us or something? I'm so lost on politics these day...
(Skip back a few years, with Faith Forest having invested in OoH Lore among others... This is what Arachné needs!)
I'm not one for social graces, anyway. But whatever. Let's see what they have in mind.
She'll show up in her crimson dress, leaning on her staff, eyeing Fleur as she passes by.
I have ruled that the Brass Expedition has either returned safely by now and/or been replaced by genie impersonators. So those characters may attend (or appear to).
Roberto his formal robes and escorts Arachne. He likewise rolls his eyes when he sees Fleur. Carmen arrives wearing a gown of flowing white silk. Vocis is wearing traditional Tremere robes. He is the one who dubs Bellaquin a Covenant of Dopplegangers. When asked why, he smiles and responds [color=blue]"You'll see."
As it turns out, the members of Bellaquin arte an eerie reflection of the members of Andorra. Other than Archmagus Valgravin, every member has a counter part. Constantius of Jerbition looks like Solomon enough to be mistaken for his brother. Robert of Flambeau looks like a blond "good twin" version of Roberto. His daughter Carmen looks like our Carmen, a bit younger with black hair. Francois of Jerbiton dresses scanty and is openly homosexual. Artemis of Tremere looks like a female version of Vocis, and apparently knows Carmen from many years back.
And there is more beyond that.
The first Antoine hears of the invitation is when Arachné stops by his forge to see how the Ring of Soldiers' Bane is coming along (just fine, thank you). Always willing to attend a social gathering and clear his mind, he is there; dressed in an approximation of formal robes, but cut in a more modern style, midnight blue and trimmed with the Veriditius house symbol in silver thread.
If plus-ones are allowed, Isolde is on his arm, wearing an elegant dress of sky-blue. Both wear several (mundane) precious-metal rings, and Isolde has been Parma'd if she's present.
Early in proceedings, Antoine chats to Vocis: I see what you mean about the Doppelgangers. This is eerie. Surely such close likenesses cannot be by chance?
((Is there a faux-Antoine?))
The Spider has really taken a liking to antoine and isolde, feeling both proud and protective. She has little social interaction, but those are among his favorite people to visit. She's like the weird old aunt, in a way.
Roberto is is second favourite, and she sees him more as an equal, discussing strategy and tactics, him being proactive, her being deceptive.
Fleur flounces flirtatiously to Francois and strikes up a conversation "Yummy, if this weren't my blood month, but for now it's girls only, didn't you luck out?" and winks at him so he'll know she is being playful rather than serious. She's curious how far this doppelganger effect goes and talking to 'herself' seems like the best way to find out.
Vocis has a wry expression than notes both concern and unconcern at once. [color=blue]I am not sure what to make of it. There are similarities and differences enough that one could easilly call it coincidence. If it was only one or two examples. But for there to be a counterpart for each of us and each of them? There is something strange going on and the cause is yet unfathomable.
There isn't a faux anyone. They are all genuine and real and likely think this is all just as strange as you do.
Maybe you are a faux Vulcanus.
Oh yeah. Surprise! Vulcanus of Flambeau has returned and has become the newest member of Bellaquin. He has two wives, both buxom readheads that used to be covenfolk back at our covenant. He also has five kids by them, all red head sons. His ex-wife, Fedora (another former member and now the chief Redcap in charge at Yvall's in Barcelona), she has no idea about any of this.
Well, it is barely surface deep. Francois shares Fleur's style of flaunting sexuality and being outspoken about it. But divergences grow from there. He is a solid 6 on the Kinsey scale, so his resonse would be something like [color=pink]"Oh honey, I wish I could. But the closest we could ever get is sharing a man. Like that cute Spanish magus you guys brought with. What's his name?
He is more interested in Hermetic social gossip than magic discussion. He can tell you who's gay or not in two tribunals, mentions he has a long running affair with Ricardus of Flambeau (from Doisettep), he can you whom is cheating on whom and who is planning game changing political moves.
If you ask
Carmen happens to know Artemis of Tremere from many years back. Trollsynir Wars up in Ultima Thule. That's neither here nor there, just to say they are old friends and catching up on tales of each others lives.
Vocis forms a small circle with Antoine, Arachne, and Roberto. [color=blue]See what I mean? And what the hell is Vulcanus doing here?
Is Fredrika here? Who else might be attending?
"Sharing a man could be fun, but not this month. Are you aware of what magical specialties or research anyone else is conducting?"
Acutus arrives wearing a tunic of deep blue embroidered with images of seaweed and seashells embroidered along the hem, neck and wrists. beneath the tunic he's wearing simple brown leather trousers and well-worn travelling boots. He nods in greeting to Fleur, his eyes lingering just a bit longer than necessary to admire her dress; it was always difficult not to notice her. But his attention was quickly stolen by Carmen's entrance; he couldn't help but think that she looked quite beautiful dressed much more femininely than usual. Before he was caught staring at the Pontifex too long, he forces himself to survey those in attendance, seeing what the magi of Bellaquin look like.
Solomon arrives shortly after Carmen and Vocis, wearing the simple brown robes he is known for and heavily leaning on his staff. He limps his way over to Vocis and the other magi, nodding to them. "You were correct Vocis, it is definitely an interesting phenomenon."
New though she is, Frederika attends: mostly to introduce herself to her neighbors - but also, feeling maybe a little prideful, simply to say 'yes, I am a member of Andorra now!' ...which means she's trying to show off. Wearing what looks like vibrant red velvet (a material rare in Italy, but popular in the East!), Rika isn't looking to stay subtle! ...especially as the sumptuousness of her attire is mostly a simple glamour.
Right now, she's blushing somewhat furiously while trying to pretend she's not listening to Fluer and Francois s-...scandalous talk!
Using Taste of the Spices and Herbs as a base, Frederika's glamour is a MuIm (base 2, +1 touch, +2 sun) spontaneous spell to change the look and feel of her clothes. CT: 14 (+ aura) + 5 on the d10 / 2 is more than enough to make her look quite nice indeed.[/size]
The presence of Vulcanus is, of course, deeply interesting to Antoine. But he remembers his last meeting with the formidable Flambeau, and takes a watching brief to start with. He chats with the Andorran visitors, and with the Bellaquin hosts (subconsciously, he favours Artemis as being Vocis' double. Is there an Arachné equivalent?), but always slips around Vulcanus, trying to read his body language and disposition to see what sort of mood he's in.
(Per -2 + FK 4 + die roll 4 = 6)
Vulcanus is in a quiet yet suspicious mood, and he has his eyes on Antoine.
Solomon takes note of Constantius Jerbiton, and notices only a fain resemblance. In fact, it seems that much of the "doppleganger theory" seems to be a it of paranoia on Vocis's behalf. There are many more dissimilarities than likenesses, and not every one has a counterpart. For example, there is no version of Acutus, Fredrika, or Arachne amongst then and no Valgravian amongst you. Artemis has the same eye and hair color as Vocis and is also Tremere, the similarities end there.
Chatting with each other, you further learn that not all those present are actual members of Bellaquin, half are friends and family here visiting. There is gossip about some proposal Valgravian and Constantius plan to present. Someone metion it is sad Lord Featherbottom could not be here with them for this special occasion.
Everyone turns their head to pay attention as Archmagus Valgravian speaks.
Salve soadles, amici, friends and family. As many of you know. severe has been the struggle for our survival. The Cathar crusades in Provencal have spawned havoc on many covenants, and arcane feuds have destroyed famed institutions such as Windgraven and Mistridge. Yet Bellaquin survived. Only just barely, for our old home has been conquored and razed. Fortunate that we have had the foresight to diversify and establish many chapters to which e have sought refuge. Yet as time marches on, many of those chapters have also fallen or been absorbed by other local covenants. Sadly, this last one remains. And we do not have the benefit of our own property. The rights to the space are leased from our benefactors, Andorra Covenant, and we are most grateful to thee for that.
But this is a short term solution at best. I am prepared, after much analysis and discussion, I am prepared to make an offer to Andorra. One of two choices, two options for unity.
Let us band together and form a Catalan Tribunal, such as Archmagus Antonio dreamed of. Give Bellaquin Hermetic juristiction over their own lands directly, ally ourselves with Barcelona, and sponsor a new colony in Valencia or revive Val-Negra.
The other option I would propose is a merger. Bellaquin will die unless given the fertile soil of a new tribunal, or barring that, unless we graft upon a healthy living covenant. I propose dissolving the independant status of Bellaquin and reforming ourselves as a chapter of Andorra.
Politics. Heaven's above, what had Frederika walked into! New as she was, Rika hadn't had an opportunity to map out a who's who in the political landscape. Suddenly, she felt very out of sorts. The wine probably wasn't helping. Mention of Val-Negara perked her ears, though. Who was it - that Tertio fellow? - he'd mentioned it as well!
She whispered to her compatriots, bubbly with the notion of possibility: "Val-Negara? Wasn't there supposed to be a huge library there? Finding anything from that would be so...so exciting!"
Then Antoine will leave him be for the moment. When he catches Vulcanus eyeing him, he will give him a smile, a friendly nod, and a raise of the glass from across the room. Slowly slowly catchee monkey, he thinks.
Regarding the politics, Antoine takes only a passing interest. He knows this is important for the covenants' futures, but has no strong feelings. He is interested to see what the Masters say, though.
Fleur's head spins. What kind of library do they have here? Would the grand Tribunal accept them as a new tribunal? It could take years to properly analyze this proposal, though hopefully Carmen would be much more familiar with it than she. Plus there were whatever machanizations Barcelona was up to, she still remembered her first day here, and she had to assume someone in provencal was campaigning equally hard for their inclusion there.
She took a bite of food to help her regain he composure then looked to her "counterpart" to gauge his reactions. Was this truly a surprise for everyone?
folk ken(1)+per(0)+die(3)=4 for gauging reaction...
It is hard to gague reaction. But many begin muttering. Your new friend turns to you and says [color=pink]Oh my. This will never work.
"never? I could see it being difficult, but why never?"
[color=pink]Jerbiton politics honey. Bellaquin seeks to make the mundane magical, and Barcelona wants to make magic seem mundane. And it is a half baked idea that might have worked ten or twenty years ago. But the social climate in Iberia and Provencal are radically different. Why would I want to leave Doisette and rejoin* in this situation? Why would Barcelona want to give up their new political influence?
- (he was a former member of Bellaquin, but joined Aedas Mercurri shortly after the original main site fell)
"Are you referring to both options, or just one of them? I'm not seeing where Barcelona would be giving up influence."