Convocation of the Pontifici

You spot Carmen in the main yard, conversing with two VIP visitors. Archmagus Pietro of Flambeau and Archmagus Valgravian of Jerbiton.

Vocis considers a moment, then tries to catch Carmen's eye. He doesn't want to interrupt unless invited. If she waves him off, he'll carry on with the tour.

Carmen is in the yard talking with two guests. Archmagus Pietro of Flambeau and Archmagus Valgravian of Jerbiton (from Bellaquin). She spots Vocis and summons him over.

Vocis excuses himself and leaves Antoine in Lucas's hands for now. As he joins Carmen, he gives her a nod and turns to the archmagi, saying Welcome, Masters. ((or whatever title is appropriate)) I am Vocis of Tremere. What brings you to Andorra?

"Pleased to meet you. I am Pietro of Flambeau from the Covenant of the Icy North in the Alpine Tribunal. I was friends with Carmen's father Antonio and have been her mentor since she became a maga. She served for a while as one of my Wardens. This is my sodale Valgravian from Bellaquin, another old friend of Antonio.
An emergency plan, set up by the three of us many years ago, has come to fruition. Castle Bellaquin was destroyed a few years ago, and their other locations and chapters have fallen to the wayside. The property here sold by Antonio is all they have left, and all they have to sustain themselves are the meager magical resources he leased to Valgravian. This is not enough to survive on, and he in no way wants to infringe on your covenant or co-opt you into Provencal. Merging covenants would be undesirable. ut I was thinking about reviving Antonio's old idea of setting up a Catalan tribunal. Maybe a different name. Still, we have Andorra and Bellaquin. I doubt Barcelona will still be interested, that portal project really ties them in with the rest of Iberia. But I am sure Doisettep will be interested. Aedas Mercurri, the nickname comes from their set up with a Dorsum and Septum section.
So you would need one more to join in. Your chapter is too small and weak, and too remote, to consider. There are also a few petty covenants in the region also to trivial to consider. But there is one site, a prime location brimming with power and potential, long abandoned and thought lost. But I know it is still there and I know how to find it. And I know there are still magi hiding there.

I plan to revive the Lost Covenant of Val-Negra and form a new tribunal around it.

Vocis quietly takes all this in, his mind racing in several different directions at once. Once the archmagus finishes, he simply says How can I help?

"Not sure yet, but political support is a start. Octavian, the Tremere before you, he always fought my ideas and treated me like I was secretly still a Tytalus magus. I assure you, I have utterly renounced them and Tytalus philosophy sickens me. I am a Flambeau magus to the bone.
What can we do? Hmmm....
The place is full of untapped resources. Through it we can fuel and sustain Bellaquin, or double compensate your covenant for do ing so if you choose. Bellaquin is not that bad off and they are quite wealthy in mundane resources. More so than even you. They lack vis. Valgravian will quietly fun the operation in exchange for a vis supply, which you or Val-Negra can easily provide. Aedas Mercurri, they will gladly supply the mage power. Their covenant is mostly descended from Val-Negra refuges after the Schism War. They were never part of the old Val-Negra Tribunal, but you and Bellaquin were. So was Barcelona and Duresca, and I think Tolosa Partage was as well. But we don't need them.
Keep in mind I have layers of goals. Primarily I want to make sure you and Bellaquin can co-exist. You are practically on top of each other! Second, I want to keep the influence of Provencal in check. As it is, they are already the most powerful and influential tribunal in the Order. People have worked hard keeping them from absorbing you, and I don' wish to see that effort wasted. Getting Aedas Mercurri into a different tribunal from Castra Solis would be a good thing for the whole of the Order. They are always at each others throats.
And this is Val-Negra! One of the very first covenants of the Order, ancient stronghold of Reculed himself! And I know there is still a magus there protecting the place, and he is keen on the idea of revival. Unfortunately he is a Tytalus magus. Archmagus Abaddon of Tytalus. I don't trust them and they don't trust me. So I can't be the one doing this.
Oh, by the way, Abaddon is a necromancer of unprecedented skill and unequaled power. And he is a Living Ghost. And another, Vancasitum of Flambeau. Another archmagus, and immortal through alchemy. They are legit magi in good standing, the Q's put the seal of approval on it. Their immortality was a sacrifice made so they could become eternal guardians and guard the Iron Door against interlopers.
Don't ask me about the Iron Door. I have no idea. Old superstition and omens of doom that never came to be.

While I don't know Octavian well, I can safely say that I don't share his trepidation regarding the creation of a new tribunal. I think it's a natural fit, considering Bellaquin's situation, the appearance of small independent covenants in the area, and now your desire to resurrect Val-Negra. I'm also hopeful that our agreement with Barcelona will help convince them to join the endeavor, though as you said, they may not be strictly necessary.

However, before I begin making promises, I need to hear my Pontifex's thoughts on the matter. Carmen, are you interested in pursing this course?

Carmen responds to Vocis. "I support the idea of forming a new Tribunal. It was my father's vision.
I am not so sure about Val-Negra. Very dangerous. But we do have the most rescent and accurate intelligence of where it is located and the conditions there. Former members Inigo and Octavian led an expedition there some fifteen years ago.
Nor do I think Doissettep would be a stable ally in this. They have too much power and influence in Provencal. I doubt the would want to give that up. I think we can pull it off between ourselves and Bellaquin, perhaps turn the Balearics into a covenant. I am also certain that Barcelona would join with us if we can demonstrate the viability of the idea.

I hate to do this to you, but Vocis is going to wait for Pietro's response to Carmen. We might want to take this out of character to simplify the discussion.

Simply put, he thinks Carmen's idea would work only if Barcelona was convinced. He understands not trusting Doisettep, but thinks reviving Val-Negra would secure their cooperation. He is on the fence about turning Sa Dragonera into a covenant.
His primary goal, for now, is securing the safety and security of Bellaquin at La Vella. Forming a new tribunal is an ambitious political goal. At the very least he wants to keep Andorra at Arans from being pressured to join Provencal. As for Val-Negra, this may well be a pipe dream. It requires our assistance since we have the information, but it may be more of a difficulty than it is worth. He admits as much. But the potential rewards are alluring.

Just to be clear, Aedes Mercurii is just Doisettep by another name?

In that case, Vocis offers to start working on Barcelona personally. The Sa Dragonera agreement is the perfect start to involving them in a new tribunal. If that can be managed while the Bellaquin situation is clarified, everyone can then turn their focus to Val-Negra and Doisettep. He also throws out the next Grand Tribunal to define a possible timeline for this whole plan.

(I just want to throw out that Solomon [and his player :stuck_out_tongue: ] have shown some interest in getting into the political side of things, and has some history negotiating with Barcelona [specifically on the portal network])

Solomon would be a welcome addition to the discussion. There will be a special private dinner tonight with Carmen & Pieto, inviting Vocis and Solomon to participate. Perhaps we should split this off into a new thread? It moved far away from the original intent of intoducing a new magus.
But not entirely.
There is talk of Fedora transferring to Yuvall's in Barcelona and Vulcanus relocating to Sa Dragonera. Which binds together these ideas with creating an opening at home for Antoine.

Doisettep and Aedes Mercurii are one and the same. Aedes Mercurii is the actual proper legal name. Doisettep is a nickname that evolved from the way the contraction of thems "Dorsum" and "Templum" are pronounced in their dialect of Occitan. It was a deliberate play on word. :mrgreen:

[tab][/tab]Carmen, as the (default) Pontifex Maximus, is entitled by tradition to call a special Convocation of the Pontifici. This may not seem like much since she is the only Pontifex, but Pontifici are allowed to invite outside participants. This essentially means she is able to hold closed meetings. Invitees include Pietro, Vocis, Solomon, and Fedora. It starts at noon, and both diver and supper are to be served through the course of the day.

To describe Pietro, imagine Vincent Price with long silver hair, crossed with the voice and eyes of Lee Van Cleef. He wears traditional Flambeau robes, black embroidered with silver symbols[sup]1[/sup]. These include the Flambeau hourglass, the symbols of Mars and Jupiter, the symbol for Auram, and others. He is a famous Archmagus, and anyone with an OoH Lore score of 2 or better will be familiar with his story. He was originally a Tytalus magus, and his Archmagus contest was to win his way into House Flambeau. He did so the old fashioned way, having to face and defeat seven Flambeau champions in magical combat. He won the day with mastered multicast lightning bolts. Since then he has renounced the teachings and philosophies of the Tytali. He is thoroughly dedicated to House Flambeau, and has had to work three times as hard to gain half the respect he is due. He has had to face certamen and wizard war just to earn a modicum of respect. But he did earn it from several important Flambeau magi: Antonio Perez, Flamarcus, Michael Agustus, Julius, Carmine wife of Andreu, and others. Amongst archmagi he is given the full prestige and reverence he is due, and they even made him the Antares (leader of their war council).
Again, he has totally rejected Tytalus philosophy and is quoted as saying they are a House of deranged lunatics. He is a dedicated Flambeau. However, the fact that Tytalus magi idolize him doesn't help. They cheerfully accept his condemnations with appreciation, and keep spreading the rumor that he succeeded in tricking the Flambeau. Pietro hates this. He vocally claims to hate House Tytalus, what they do to their magi and people they know. He makes a few exceptions, but totally disavows their philosophy. In fact, he even wrote his own annotated version of the Book of Instruction, deconstructing what he calls the "Madness of Tytalus", and encourages other Tytalus magi to try and break free from the cycle of abuse. This doesn't help either though.

[sub]1 Flambeau who like to adhere to old tradition wear ceremonial robes at formal functions; either red with gold embroidery, or black with silver.[/sub]

Am I to presume there is no interest in this?

(Sorry, I was out of town all weekend)

Solomon sits quietly and ponders as the introductions are made and the proposal is given. After slowing eating a pastry, he leans on his staff and stands up, "Archmagi, it is an honor to meet you both. Your proposal is intriguing, and I must confess that Andorra's independent status has been concerning to me in that there was no tribunal to 'protect us' should the need arise. I share our Pontifex's concerns over Val-Negra, although I must confess my ignorance on the matter beyond the standard rumors and legends. As for Barcelona, I believe there could be an opportunity there if we can demonstrate worthwhile gain for them. I have recently worked some diplomatic issues with them, so I do know how to work with them and with whom to speak.

As for the Balearics, I would prefer that to remain a chapter house of Andorra and, if possible, remove any connection to Barcelona as a part of the negotiations.

I know very little of Aedes Mercurii, so I can't offer a strong opinion there. If Barcelona proves untenable, there might be an option for us to consider Duresca. I once resided there, and still have many friends there."

(Does Solomon know what legal mechanisms would have to occur to 1)create a new tribunal and 2)for covenants to leave their current tribunals? He has Code of Hermes 5 with a specialty in Tribunal Procedures)

Solomon knows everything that you. the player, knows. My information may be accurate or may be faulty, so I am willing to be corrected.
AFAIK, all it takes is the agreement of twelve magi from four covenants. I suppose it needs ratification from the Grand Tribunal. I think. That may be a fifth edition deal. But I imagine provisional tribunal status would be easy to come by if all other qualifications are met and a Quaesitor ratifies it.
In Provencal and Iberia, both of which operate according to standard customs (unlike every other tribunal of the Order with strange unique rules), I think all that is needed to exit Tribunal is to stop showing up. Which is why Provencal has been unable to annex us.
The situation at Val-Negra is (mostly) as is written in Faith & Flame. What I wrote there is based on a story I once ran here. References are available here. None of those players are with us anymore, so we can feel free to change things to suit our needs and to line up with (what is now) Cannon Val-Negra.
But simple facts remain the same. During the Schism War, it was infiltrated by Diedne archmagi who burned the library and opened the Iron Door and broke the seal. They were all killed, and it took the combined might of two archmagi to reimprison the thing within and close it up. One magus remains, Abaddon of Tytalus, who stands eternal vigil guarding the place. To learn of current state of affairs and inquire about possible revival would require an expedition there.
Aedas Mercurri is Doisettep with another name. They were formed by other survivors of Val-Negra and consider themselves the true heirs to Flambeau's legacy. They believe the truth has been altered (this is also now Cannon).
Duresca would not likely participate or support this idea. They can be convinced, but they will probably not want to part from Iberia. They are also on the opposite side of Iberia from Barcelona. Barcelona is close by and will be easier to convince.

from core Rulebook p. 14
The one and only condition for a tribunal to be recognized is Grand Tribunal establishment of the Tribunal.

That makes no sense. I will have to look it up. It may be from ArM4, and if it is I am keeping it, but a regional Tribunal must also incorporate twelve magi from four different covenants as well as sanction from Grand Tribunal. Otherwise it is theoretically possible to create a Tribunal of a lone magus in a tower.