Gregorius stares flatly at Viola for several moments, before asking "So, does that mean you're voting for me?"
Chapter 2i (Summer 1228): A New Leader for the Covenant
"if you promise me what I've asked for, yes."
"I'll leave you alone when I can, but there will be times when you're needed - I assume you don't want to be left out of future council meetings, and there may be urgent problems that your assistance is needed with. I won't bother you frivolously, but do you seriously want me to never keep you informed of what's going on in the covenant - not to have told you the results of my exploration of the covenant's caverns, for example?"
"As to the covenant patron - the entire idea of magi venerating some magical or faerie creature is ridiculous; choosing a familiar merely makes it more obvious. But if you or anyone else can come up with an alternative that doesn't risk a descent into paganism, I'm willing to promise not to oppose it without another very good reason."
"I don't want you to interfere with me or my projects--that's all."
"I understand why you think the rule is silly, but in this tribunal that's the rule...and we have to follow it. A Tremere can understand that, yes? And I don't think that mocking the rule with our choice of patron will make our sponsors happy."
Gregorius thinks a moment. "I'm happy to leave you to purely personal projects, as long as they don't break the code. If the project starts to affect me or the covenant, or my House or the Order, though, I'm not just promising to ignore that, especially if the effect is detrimental. I'd also count attracting the attention of any sort of pagan deity as negatively affecting the covenant."
Gregorius sighs. "I acknowledge we have to follow it, at least until we can get the tribunal's peripheral code rectified. And I take your point that some covenants in the tribunal wouldn't like us appointing a familiar as patron - although I don't think they'd all be upset. Ultimately, the patron doesn't have to be a familiar - but it does need to be something people aren't going to be tempted to actually start worshipping."
"I have no intention of violating the Code or endangering the covenant...neither of which should surprise you."
"Gregorius, you should fight battles that you can win. A Tremere should know that, too."
At this point, Viola will outline for Gregorius her plan to deal with Halia, and suggest the obvious conclusion that Halia could serve as a patron. She's not a god, and so there won't be a question of worship, though there might be what could be characterized as veneration.
Gregorius shrugs. "Just because a battle's not immediately winnable, that doesn't mean it's not in the long term."
Gregorius listens as Viola describes her plan, frowning occasionally. Finally he says:
"Well, a faerie patron certainly wouldn't be my first choice, but I suppose it's not completely out of the question. I'm not going to decide whether it makes a reasonable covenant patron until after I see how it turns out, however. It could work relatively well - a woman betrayed by the god she worshipped, now reunited with the mortal family which unlike the god truly cares about her. Sends the right message, even if the "mortals" are actually other faeries. If on the otherhand she's going to keep trying to be a priestess, or think she needs Poseidon's forgiveness or something, that doesn't work. And we certainly don't want her setting herself up as someone for mothers to invoke - that's heading straight down into paganism."
"I can't predict precisely how it will turn out. Keep in mind, though, that while you find paganism distasteful, it's not in itself against the Code."
Gregorius opens his mouth, but then shuts it again without saying anything. After a moment he just says "Hence waiting to make a decision on her suitability."
He waits a few moments to see if Viola has anything further to add, then asks:
"So, are you willing to vote for me on those terms?"
[OOC: Did we ever decide what year the tribunal happens in? We presumably need a patron in place before we can actually be recognised as a covenant.]
I don't recall. I don't see anything in Viola's advancement log (I thought there was a tribunal reference there). Most of the content of the Purification through Fire saga, from which Viola originated, appears to have been lost when the email list that housed it was shut down. However, one of the notes I saved seems to indicate that the regional tribunals took place in 1205 (which was, I think, canonical for ArM4. Is there anything in ArM5 canon? I don't even see the rule on the number of years between tribunals in the main book, though I only glanced at it, and might have missed it. Is it 5 years between regional tribunals, or 7, or what? 5 would put the most recent and next tribunals in 1225 and 1230, while 7 would make them 1226 and 1233.
Gregorius nods. "Very well, then. To sum up: in exchange for you voting for me to be leader for the next leadership term, I agree that over that period I will not frivolously interfere in your affairs, but only if I have good reason to believe them likely to affect myself, the covenant, my House or the Order, or in the unlikely event that they appear to break the Code. Further, I shall not insist that the covenant's patron be a familiar, but shall give serious consideration to alternatives where those alternatives do not present a meaningful risk of people worshipping them, and will not oppose said alternatives without clear good reason."
[OOC: Tribunals are every 7 years (there's a reference on page 8 of the main Rule book). By canon, the next tribunal is 1228 (see reference to the tribunal of 1221 on page 22 of The Sundered Eagle), i.e. nowish. However, we previously discussed (I think inconclusively) shifting it to a different date.]
"You talk a lot, yes?"
Let's call it 1230 for continuity with the previous saga, and so that we don't have to arrange a tribunal story for Autumn.
Gregorius shrugs again. "I like things to be clear. So, you're voting for me, I'm voting for me, therefore I'm appointed. Is there anything else we need to discuss?"
[OOC: Okay. Summer or Autumn 1230? (I note that we're currently advancing to Summer 1230).
Also, you should probably roll for the Aegis from the Casting Tablet, just in case.]
"If you can't trust someone to stick to the spirit of a deal, adding more detail probably won't make things better."
I'd think Summer. When is the Grand Tribunal? If that's in 1230, the regional one would be pushed up to 1229.
And yes, I'll roll the Aegis once I've sorted everything else out.
Gregorius frowns. "The Tremere keep their deals. But I thought fae liked playing with their wording?"
[OOC: Guardians of the Forest (page 29) says 1228, i.e. now.]
Judging by the look on Viola's face, that was the wrong thing to say. "I am not...the fae."
But that's assuming the canonical schedule. What's the time between Grand Tribunals, 10 years?
Gregorius again opens his mouth then shuts it without saying anything. After a few moments, he opens it again, but just says "Understood."
[OOC: You're a little out...it's actually 33 years.]