Chapter 8b - The Homefire

A few days after the Drake Hunt Expedition sets out, a Redcap (Enrique de Capella Rojo) arrives at the covenant with a message for Octavian. Tacitus of Gurnicus is arriving in a few days to meet with you concerning urgent matters. Relegare has escaped!

Octavian spends most of his time studying and doesn't read the message. Tacitus will be directed to find him out near the orchards.

Octavian will be sitting; his back against a tree. He picks up a dead leaf and eyes it carefully before crushign the leaf in his palm. He slowly reopens his fist and observes the result. The breeze picks up and scatters the remains.

While you are reading, Rodrigo of Mecere comes to speak with you about the proposed revised membership rules :wink:

OOC - I really need you to weigh in on this.

The sound of footsteps over the fallen leaves draws his attention. He turns to the source of the noise and closes the book. "Greetings master Rodrigo. My apologies for not informing you sooner but after further consideration I will decline joining you in your trip to Harco."

Rodrigo has more than one thing to talk to you about. But foremost is the membership revision that is being proposed (btw I edited in the changes suggested and altered some other things to make it more code abiding)
Foremost is the membership issue. And he reveals to you the long term plan [color=red]We do want to start a chapter house. Andorra is a tiny country, but the many mountains contain a great deal of hidden space. This covenant has endured the cycles of ages and grown wealthy because the resources here are more than abundant. And, as you like to point out, our legal status is questionable to say the least. If a band of strong magi wanted to set up their own covenant in another parish, we can moan and complain all we want but there is realistically little we can do to stop them. We want to maintain control over as much of the resources as we can. And the best way to do that is create a second covenant that we control.
I know, you have concerns about our official Tribunal status. I actually sympathize with your anxieties. But it is best to bargain from a position of strength. No one has forced our hand as of yet because of the wealth we control. And our unaffiliated status has been to the benefit of magi in both the Iberian and Provencal Tribunal. Our members were able to act free and independently in a time of crisis when everyone else’s hands were bound by treaties and regulations. We provided a safe haven for the assets during times of unlawful taxation. We have kept the lines of communication open when hostility and suspicion would have kept all quiet, and we have facilitated the migration of magi between Tribunals.
Yeah, there is a sudden large influx of petitioners. This has happened before, such as several years ago when you joined. There were four other magi, two travelled onward to other covenants, the third was Jason who was only a member for two short years, and the fourth was you. Octavian of Jafariya, the hero of the Shadow Wars that no one trusted. Others judged you unfairly, but we saw your true potential. And I would say this, you are one of the pillars of this council. If it wasn’t for you, these magi would follow whatever crazed whim crossed their mind at the moment. Antonio would just wave his hands as long as it didn’t interfere with whatever half-cocked scheme he was up to at the time.

As you know, I wasn’t here for seven years. Things would be different if I were. But now that I am returned, I need to plan for this covenant’s long term future. Magi may defeat age, but Twilight makes mortals of us all. The next may be my last, and I need to think about who will succeed me. Change your mind, come with me to Harco in the spring, I would like to show you some of the inner workings of Hermetic politics.

He listens quietly to Rodrigo's words and remains silent for a time . "You are the first to make a coherent argument."

He discards the leaf from his hand. "However, it can be said that were Andorra part of a Tribunal, it would allow legal claim to be made to establish its boundaries and resources provided that there is precedence and evidence supporting said claims."

He rests both hands on his lap. "I disagree in your assessment. Andorra's status is not one of strength. Archmagus Perez's recent actions have provoked members of Provencal Tribunal sufficiently to wish this course of action. To use Harco as a shield will only further antagonize the magi of that Tribunal.

If there were issues of unlawful taxes, then Andorra's standing to remain outside of Tribunal only assisted in prolonging the problem rather than effectively counter the issue.

Communication between magi is the primary province of house Mercere. Elsewhere in the Order the Mercere have been able to act without issue."

He lowers his head to look at the cover of the book. He considers for a moment and then raises his head with an odd smile. "Master Rodrigo's evaluation of the other magi of Andorra is brief but relatively accurate."

[color=red]There are many things you do not understand, and like may Tremere, you have an idealized view of how the Order really works. I would like to teach you the skills that have served me well for many decades :wink:

But anyways, in all seriousness Octavian...
Do you support the membership rules or not?
Same goes for Fixer, Scott, Falls, and Max.
Unless someone protests, I will assume it passes via acquiessence.

(OOC: Care to point me towards the link with the changes? I can't find the post. )

"How will it be perceived when a quaesitore of another Tribunal promotes disorder within the Order?" The question comes rhetorically. "It will be unwise of me to have further entanglements in Provencal. I have already done more to assist in this situation than all the other magi of this covenant. Seek out Exarch Marcus of Tremere. The price for his support is like to be less prohibitive."

[color=green]Rodrigo: [color=red]if you want to become pontifex one day, you need to expand your way of thinking :wink:

[color=blue]I wanted to write some more, but it is already so late T-T

[color=green]Dimir Taar
Warned by a servant, dimir taar emerges from his lab, coming at once to see the redcap.

A sharp, bloody dagger in hand, blood on his hand and arms, he seems in every way to be a vicious killer, a vision only denied by his very fine clothes and his demeanor, like this was perfectly normal (and in fact, it's not the first time antonio, carmen, xalbator or any of the old fellows see him like this).
Uncaring, he sits, plants the dagger in the table, and ask a startled servant for some water (should have taken blatant gift :laughing: ).
[color=red]Tell me, how did it happen? She was well-guarded. I can't conceive she didn't receive help.

It seems OK, although dimir taar will always try to have for a full year of screening before membership, as a test of character and dedication to andorra. Nothing personnal, he's just that way

The message arrived after you guys departed on the hunt. You are not there, and only Octavian would be allowed to read the letter (and so far he has ignored it).

That seems perfectly reasonable.

Both Deciumus and I can accept the membership rules.

(OOC: I was not aware there was more to the message. I figured the entirety of the contents was that Relegare had escaped. Of course he would have read the letter but seeing as Tacitus was coming to see him about it, he felt no need to do anything until actually discussing it with him.)

(OOC: Octavian the character does not support the current version at the present time)

(OOC: This is one revision that he does not object to).

OOC: If you don't support current version, have octavian say so. You were just icly asked about it so why not icly answer the question?

Okay, what does Octavian the Player think?
What would Octavian the Character need in order to get him to agree?
There are several other players waiting on a decision from you :slight_smile:

His expression returns to one of neutrality. "Master Rodrigo, if you seek someone to continue your works then perhaps an apprentice would be a more suitable candidate." He trains his eyes on the mercere carefully.

"I deem the expedition to Val Negra to be a partial failure. What little success was possible due to other forces having interest in seeing it through. In that case, Andorra's so called independence was made a tool of others. That the others failed to perceive this fact only lends credence to your previous assertion."

He leans back against the tree. "Just as they failed to comprehend the ramifications and consequences of Metron's escape. As magi, we are afforded the chance to explore and understand the limits of knowledge and reason. One's own nose should not be that limit. It only leads to self-absorption."

Andorra's stubbornness to remain independent of the Tribunals is not borne of any noble desire. Consider the arguments used by the other magi to defend it. It is all about a misconception of power and influence. Is a miser that hoards all his silver truly powerful? Is an army of 10 000 peasants truly strong enough to defeat a force of 1000 trained men at arms?"

Twice did the founder Tremere attempt to usurp the power of the Order for his own. At first he sought military conquest but was defeated by the Jerbiton who whispered in the proper ears. From his defeat he learned that armies, no matter how powerful, can be defeated. He changed his stratagem and attempted to win the Order through select uses of influence and force and nearly succeeded. While the Sundering had done more than break his ambitions, the true lesson was made plain as day."

He closes his eyes slowly before re-opening them. "Power for power's sake is a meaningless and hollow pursuit. Power used unwisely can be turned aside with a careful strike."

Absorbed in his own assignment and research, Vares did not answer the call to participate in the 'Drake Hunt'. Though he has an interest in those creatures, and might have perhaps sought a Familiar among them, the pressing concerns of the Covenant outweigh time spent in that exercise, at least for him. The Covenant is not secure, and there are forces moving in the region that must be monitored. So it is that he has spent many of his days and nights observing the politics of the mortals around them, listening in for signs of the strange or unusual which might presage activities by their enemies or some new or undocumented phenomena to be studied.

In his lab exists a growing collection of Arcane Connections to notable places and people around Andorra, along with salient data on them. Organising it will take time; right now, he is concentrating on gathering it. A master astrological compendium with the natal horoscope data on those most likely to affect the course of the Covenant is also in the works, growing more slowly due to the difficulty in retrieving the information of events from long ago in minds that do not record such things clearly. More than once he has visited the parish churches only to be frustrated by the insistence on recording appropriate Saint Day affiliations above such things as the actual date and time of birth. Sharpening the memory of midwives has been more effective. Though his guise may be dissembled, his great affinity for those attuned to Magic makes them more talkative than most, and the intelligence which the midwives and hedge wizards assemble is far-reaching.

When possible he coordinates some of his work with the Redcaps on their rounds, sending for information concerning the foreign-born figures. He is particularly concerned with the ongoing events in the Provencal Tribunal, and the Provencal proper. Much will depend on the fate of the House of Savoy--that much he can sense.

Thus is it in a return from one of these forays that he learns of the letter delivered to Octavian, and makes use of his own position to examine the general declaration directed at the Magi of the Covenant.

"Doissetep," he mutters, scanning the new terms of membership. The 'tests' could so easily be turned to competitions pitting applicants against one another. But it is the 'Inspection' which troubles him more. With the phrasing, there are virtually no limits to the questions that might be asked, and though it may be conducted in the open, it still strikes him as a potential violation of the Code's prohibition on magical scrying.

OOC: Sorry that I've been away. I've been very busy and haven't been able to check in. I knew that Vares would be missing out on the Drake Hunt because of that. It turns out that means he may have something to say on this matter.

On an IC level, it wouldn't make much sense for someone assigned to attend to the external security of the Covenant to waste weeks to months chasing Drakes, giving the Covenant's adversaries an unfettered chance to establish themselves or act if already established within the region. Technically, if he's considered a "Master" he doesn't have the requirement of a season's commitment to the Covenant, but with his assignment, he DOES. Ergo, he doesn't have the time to himself as he has to help secure the Covenant.

Octavian may not care for him, however, the two of them will have to coordinate if Andorra's security is to be improved.

IIRC, it is only scrying if done without the person's consent.