Chapter IV (1234-1240)

This shall be the sandbox thread for the new cycle, from 1234 through no later than 1240. Here we can do random freeform roleplaying and character interaction stuff, all the little side fluff that brings our little world to life.

Dear Masters of the Covenannt of Andorra,
As I approach the end of my gauntlet I have given consideration as to where I would like to reside, and while Canem de Mer has offered me a position here, I am interested in the cave systems near your covenant, and understand that you are quickly becoming a center of power and commerce within the order. As such I would like to apply for membership at your covenant, if I could be allowed to begin my process as a pledge this spring.
Fleur de Bonsiagus

Carmen looks atthe roster and takes note of recent departures. Estaban went to cavort with his brothers, Gullaume went to Duresca, Octavian and Xalbador off to Coeris, Tiana went to Harco, and Gardiatius never stuck around. Still remaining; herself, Arachne, Vibria, Vocis, Vulcanus, Solomon, and Fedora. Then the new Jouneymen, Roberto, Kesara, and Pere.
The ratio is imbalanced. Te number of Journeymen needs to be doubled at least.

Carmen writes a letter back to Fleur, inviting her to come visit Andorra in Spring of 1234. The quickest way is the Mercere portal network, Carmen sent you a voucher waving all fees and expenses for using it. The Mecere Quarter & Lodge at Andorra is located in the upper left according to our Map. The map is old, there is a building there newly built not yet indicated. And all other repairs have been completed.

Anyway, there is a little security checkpoint right when you come through the portal. There are a pair of guards, one seems attentive and the other relaxed. The attentive one takes immediate notice of your arrival. The relaxed one is chatting with what appears to be a soldier or adventurer of some sort, wearing a studded leather hauber and a tattered red cape with a broadsword slung at his hip. There is also a guy sitting of to the side plucking a melody on a lating guitar, Smallish fellow, quite good looking. There is a large (and fat) orange cat curled up next to him. The cat looks up and sees your cat. You can see it is missing an eye and has a scarred face (sorta like Jonah Hex).
The soldier looks over and takes notice.
Salve :smiley:. My name is Roberto of Flambeau. How may I help you?

Setting down her bags and holding out her papers she introduces herself. "Fleur de Bonisagus." She looks the man up and down and puckers he lips inwards as if in thought, then tilts her head to one side. "You could show me to my bed, if you would like."

Roberto of Flambeau seems oblivious, but the guy playing the guitar perks his ears up right away and jumps up.
Greetings Seniorita, fair Fleur of Bonisagus,. My name is Carlos, and I am privileged to offer myself as your humble servant. If you are residing with us, I would be glad to escort you to guest quarters. He makes a show of being polite and suave, and bows before you.
The attentive guard reads your voucher and invitation, then hands it to Roberto. The Flambeau magus reads it, then shouts at the cat. Cidito! Go tell Carmen that her guest has arrived.
The cat yawns. meow I don't wanna get up. You do it.
Roberto scowls. Pinche gato webon...
I apologize. My familiar drinks to much wine and is lazy. Carlos will gladly give you a tour of the covenant, and I will tell the Pontifex (Carmen) you have arrived.

Fleur takes Carlos by the arm "humble servant you say? Well, let's drop my bags at my room first, and then we can go on a little tour, as he suggests." She winks at Carlos.

We have servants to carry the bags. Marcos! Xavier! Take the lady's bags up to the Cristal Suite.
The two porters look confused.
:unamused: The really nice one. Now get!
Now if you would follow me milady, I would like to show you the courtyard. The lilacs are soon to be in bloom.
And he will play a song for you on his guitar...
Sanish Romance

Yes, Carlos the grog is putting the moves on you. 8)

Oh, by the way, Carlos has Venus Blessing. So what was played sounded like the YouTube link above. But what it sounded like to you was more like This.

Fleur follows Carlos to the courtyard, looking bemused and entertained. She smiles though his performance, then clings to his arm and whispers in his ear. "That was lovely, but did you not realize part of the point to taking the bags to my room was to take me there as well?"

Carlos smiles with wisdom.
Oh, I understand you well, muñeca. I am not as obtuse in the arts of love as my friend Roberto. I am trying to pace you, My intent requires a steamy simmer. Love is a gentle art. I want more than just your body. I seek your heart.

Flora shakes her head gently and runs a finger along the inside of Carlos' thigh. "You proclaimed yourself my servant, come serve me well and I will keep you, heart or no."

Carlos kisses Fleur's neck and does his trick with the hand and the garden...
He then takes you to your room and plays a song of a different nature, you become ins instrument.
His "performance"; Dexterity +2, Charm 4 (ladies), Venus' Blessing +3, die roll of 1d10=8
Total of 18 8)
Cidito had followed Carlos without anyone knowing, and is hanging out under the sofa with Fleur's cat. He speaks the Language of Cats and has the Gift of Tongues as well as the Gift of Speech.
meow He uses that same shtick every time. He plays that same song, acts like he is playing hard to get, makes out and does that trick, and does the deed anyways. Ans he claims he is innocent and is a slave to romance and wahwahwah cry about it.
Say, do you speek hooman? Roberto is bugging me with the mental link, telling me Carmen is ready to see Fleur and to find herand Carlos. I don't wanna freak yer hooman out, so maybe if you could tell her?

Lucia paused at the edge of the training yard, taking a short break from her afternoon errands to watch her maga spar with some of the men. A quick glance at the sun as it kissed the covenant walls told her that Vibria would be wrapping up her session soon, and she knew that Vibria would like a quick soak to relax before dinner. The young girl smiled to herself as she let her imagination wander, picturing Vibria inviting her into the tub with her to help her work out some of the knots in her arms and legs, then letting Lucia soap up Vibria's magnificent huge...

She shook her head quickly to snap herself back to reality. If there's one thing she'd learned about Vibria the past few months, especially after the embarrassment in Barcelona the Christmas before, it was that Vibria wasn't interested in her the way Lucia was in the maga, and never would be. She sighed and turned away to start her trek back to Vibria's sanctum when something on the archery range caught her eye.

Or someone, rather. For a split second, she thought that Vibria might have a twin sister who had joined. The same unmistakable silhouette as the woman quickly drew an arrow from her quiver, nocked, drew, and released. By the time the arrow thunked into the target, the woman was already drawing her next arrow.

Lucia glanced quickly back to the training yard and saw that Vibria was still engrossed in her sparring. Taking a deep breath, she approached the archer and watched quietly as she waited for her to finish.

The archer was almost as tall as Vibria, and almost as curvy, with a bust somewhere between where Vibria's was when she first met Lucia and where it was after her return from Vulcanus's errand. The archer's hair was straw blonde, just brushing her shoulders and well out of her eyes.

When the archer's quiver was empty, Lucia took a couple of steps closer. "Nice form," she said in Occitan.

"Thank you," the archer replied in the same tongue. "I wish I'd put more arrows on target, I'm not used to shooting at things that aren't moving."

She saw the questioning look on Lucia's face. "When I was growing up," she said with a smile, "I used to borrow my brother's bow and go hunting when I needed to get out of the house for a while. I got to be a pretty decent huntress."

Lucia grinned back. "Did your brother know you had borrowed his gear?"

The archer laughed. "No. That just got me in more trouble. Never bothered me much, though."

Lucia stuck our her hand in greeting. "I'm Lucia. I don't think I've seen you around, and your accent says you're not from around here."

The archer looked at Lucia's hand in surprise, then shook it carefully. "Call me Epona. And, yes, I'm new here, just arrived a few weeks ago. I just got fed up with everything at home and decided to leave while I could. I heard rumors of a place that would welcome people who were different, and wound up here."

Lucia shrugs. "I grew up here, so I guess I'm used to different people."

She walked alongside Epona as she went to the water barrel. "What was so wrong at home that it made you leave?" Lucia knew things were different out in the "mundane" world, but she had a hard time picturing what was so bad that people had to run away.

Epona filled a cup with water and took a quick sip. "My family kept trying to push me into a marriage, and I was having none of it. They finally pushed me too hard, I'd had enough, so I left."

"What was wrong with it?"

Epona looked at Lucia for a long minute before she finally answered. "Let's just say that men aren't exactly my thing."

Lucia nodded sagely. "I know exactly what you mean. They never did anything for me either." She looked back at the training yard and saw that Vibria was removing her dragon helm, which meant she'd be headed back to her sanctum soon.

"I have to get going," Lucia said apologetically. "My maga's finished her sparring and I need to go draw her bath. If you're not busy after dinner, I would love to meet you at the tavern and share some drinks, talk some more."

Epona smiled. "I'd like that."

Oh my, such ribaldry.
Remember to please keep things classy. Use metaphors, allusions, and double entendre. Within those parameters, i am comfortable with you guys being as ribald and alternative as you want.

Felicia rubs her face against Cidito's, "Mental link? Interesting, I'll let her know." Felicia wouldn't be in heat for another 2 months, but when the time came it was nice to have an intelligent male cat around. She jumped on the bed and spoke out loud "Are you even not in heat? Cidato says Roberto says Carmen is ready to see you. I suspect they will want you to wear clothes at this covenant."

Fleur jumps up and starts getting dressed. "Oh come on, that was just the one time, and I was 15. Are you never going to let that go?" She turns to Carlos. "Well get dressed and come along pet, you need to show me to Carmen's" she rests her hand on his crotch and smiles when she says "pet"...

At this point I would like to make a case for sympathy for good 'ol Carlos Gutierrez. Yes, the girl is less than half his age, nor is she even his first maga. There is a very-very long list of women from his past.
But he has loved each and every one of them :smiley:
He is not a player or a womanizer as many may think. He has an honest and genuine weakness for women.
But he is a master of his game :wink:
As Carlos and Fleur are getting dressed, Carlos looks at Felecia.
Another talking cat, eh? The old man that used to run this covenant years ago, they tell me that cats drove him nuts. And now it is turning into a covenant of cats. Serves him right. What kind of monster doesn't like cats? :smiley:
He reaches over and pets Felecia if she lets him.
As for Cidito, where is pinche gordo hiding?
(Cidito had left when no one was observing him)

Felicia licks her hindquarters disdainfully. "You humans are so unobservant. I'm not going to betray his lairs."

Fleur prefers experienced partners. I just hope Carlos isn't prone to jealousy...

That was non sequiter. Perhaps you mean Fleur?
And Carlos gets seduced a lot. He can't help it. He does contemplate making a wife of a maga one day, or at least having children by one befoe he goes on longevity. In fact, Fertility is exactly the reason he and Roberto have been putting it off for so long (even in old days of previous sagas, that has always been on their minds).
He maybe told you this story during pillow talk (this time or some other time).
Back in Bibracte, there was a lascivious maga who made amorous partners with over half the men at the covenant. Carlos had a few turns, and understood that it was no more than just a turn. But his goal was to win her heart over, to teach hershe was worthy of really being loved.
Then he lost interest.
There was another woman, the serving maid of said maga, an older woman with several kids. There was nothing salacious or romantic about their relationship. He liked chatting with her over tea and cakes, playing with the children and singing songs for them on his guitar. That was far more fulfilling than the constant chase after cherry pie. He still talks with her through Cidito. The cat scent marked one corner ( :mrgreen: ) and travels up north on occasion to visit and pass along messages.

"You assume a woman who has an appetite for sex does not feel she is worthy of love? Would you assume the same of a man similarly disposed?" Fleur follows Carlos to Carmen's, looking forward to meeting the elder maga.

Talking while walking...
In both cases? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. I have loved many women. Yet the purest most innocent love I have ever known was the time I spent with Moire and her children. So sex does not equal love. It just feels like it does. There are those who are just in love with love and want to express it anyway they can and be accepted for it. I am guilty of that. Then there are those who are lonely and desire to feel that they are loved, and they are oh so willing to give away tiny pieces of themselves.
Two examples of opposites. Fiona and Roberto. Fiona was the maga I knew up in France. She is a giant of a woman, which was quite a bit of fun I admit. :mrgreen: She also gave off that strong creepy vibe that most magi do. As a mature maga, she acquired the habit of taking on many lovers. Sometimes several at once. Whatever. But I could tell that she was trying to fill a void, she was yearning for something. She even told me she was not sure any could share her heart, but she was glad to share her body. It was sad but sweet, and I eventually came to understand her love was for a magus named Alexi who held himself to pure chivalrous standards. Either that or that Korvin guy. Never liked him. Maybe I do get jealous sometimes.
Then there is Roberto. War orphan, grew up with the same creepy vibe. Desperate for love, craving acceptance, he fell in with all sorts of ruffians and violent mercenaries, who made him feel glorified for his capacity for violence yet still looked on him with suspicion and disdain. The commander, Joel, he took Roberto aside and started teaching him his secrets. I guess he was a secret wizard, no one knew. But it made Roberto feel accepted and respected. Joel was ruthless, we fought in some fierce heated battles at his command. Roberto was glad to be his dog of war, if only because it meant someone accepted and loved him.
Joel was killed, they proclaimed Roberto a magus. We rode with Santiago awhile then I followed Roberto to Normandy. First the Dutch coast then southern France. For some reason, you guys call the whole area Normandy when Normandy is in neither one of those locations. Go figure. But anyway, in all this time I have known him, he has been with maybe three women. For most of his life, he has had the creepy vibe. It turns women off, so he turned inwardly to self discipline and martial studies. Then he got that cat, it mellowed him out. I sort of got used to his vibe by then. He shared Parma with me, I have always known the real man even if I could not always perceive him how he really is.
But one day the vibe wore off. And this is the power of love, both it's glory and tragedy.
He met a mermaid princess, and fell well and truly in love with her. It sort of washed the taint from him and made his Gift clean. I guess. But now he pines for her, like, all the time. We moved to Ibiza just so he could be by the sea. He is finally getting some "attention", but he gets to see her for only a week every few months. And he pines for her and will not turn his eyes towards another woman. I don't know if he knows how to even. And the tragic irony is that, only just now, the limits have been lifted from him.
How you conduct yourself and your moral code is your own business. I do not disapprove, nor should my approval or disapproval mean much at all if you are resolve in your views.And I think I know a way that you can demonstrate your ethics serve the greater good.
We will talk later, or maybe you understand me already. Hush now! Carmen and Roberto are waiting for us just through these doors.