Council of Pontifici (Winter 1239)

In which Pontifex Maxima Carmen and Pontifex Majore Arachne discuss the rank and status of the other magi of Andorra.
Solomon and Vocis are both good candidates for Pontifex Minore. But which one? Or Both? Or neither?
Many of the Sa Dragonera magi are, at this point in time, eligible for Master status. They have been here several years and performed many special services for the covenant. Off the top of my head I am thinking about Acutus, Lucas, Roberto, Kesara, Fleur, and Antione. They can all each fill vital Officer roles.
Carmen wants to discuss allowances and treasury. She wants to increase the budget allowed for Journeymen and Masters, plus grant a minimum vis share to every member that scales up in rank. This will require amending the resolutions. Which is as easy as the Masters passing a Resolution and the Pontifici approving it.

Remember, the original actual charter grants Pontifici all the power and the Masters all the Privilege, the Journeymen get Protection. The Resolutions exist because the charter is outdated and draconian, and the covenant is useless without Masters. So the Pontifici have acquiessed their power in exchange for privilege, empowering the Masters to draft resolutions and by-laws that deal with the management and ruling of the covenant.
And just as the Pontifici depend on the Masters, the Masters have learned that in turn they depend on the Journeymen.

It's way past time we discussed the Masters situation seriously. Things are lacking in guidance, and it's beginning to show.

For Pontifex, I'm thinking Solomon, and Solomon alone. He's different enough from both you and I to provide a voice or reason and an insight we might need. Also, having 3 Pontifex means that it's easier for us to reach a 2-third consensus, rather than a blocking stalemate.

For the Masters... Yeah, this has been a concern of mine for some time now. Here are those I'd elevate, and put to work.

First, as the situation with Bellaquin and Barcelona proved, we need a Herald. I'm thinking Fleur would be great in this role, especially as she can easily be underestimated. Give her the Master rank, and the workload of dealing with these.
Antoine, of course, needs to replace the Oaf. He is his better in almost every respect, and we need an Artifex.
Roberto... Vibria is alive, but it's been years since she departed, and she showed no desire at all of returning since then. We need a marshall, Roberto is here, and has both the skills and the vision. Vibria has, in essence, abandonned her responsabilities towards us. We should demote her, and elevate Roberto as both a Master and a Marshall.
Kesara... Seriously, has she done anything for us? I hold no grudge against her, she troubles no one, but brings nothing either. I can't consider her a part of this covenant. Leave her alone, as it seems to be her wish anyway.
Lucas... I won't lie, I like the guy. He's been trying to help any way he can, although he seems a little lacking in capacity. But I think he's got great potential, and I need the help. He fully deserves to be elevated to Master rank, and I'd like to have him as a Junior Warden. Provided Roberto becomes our marshall and agrees, I'd also like his to assist Roberto if possible. This would be pretty instructive, and would help groom him into a very efficient magus. Of course, this means he'd have Sa Dragonera's defenses to care for, but this'd be a good training ground for him, too.

And now, you're proposing Acutus? I don't know. I've seldom interacted with him, nor have I seen him do anything for us. I'd put him into the same boat as Kesara, with the exception that he's got a skillset very suited to Sa Dragonera. I don't know. What do you see in him?

My boss is coming, if I don't say more, ping me back, I'll havbe forogten

It is agreed then. Solomon shall be elevated and join our council. Decisions on whom to raise as Master should wait until he can sit with us, perhaps tomorrow night.
But for discussion, I would advocate more on behalf of Acutus. He has put his time in and lived up to his end of the bargain. At this point, according to our Resolutions on Rank and Membership, it is pretty much automatic. Same as for Roberto and Fleur. Fredrika's got five years in, two more to go. Seven years, and spending the whole of the time at Sa Dragonera counts as their required services. A deal's a deal.
For Kesara, I could point to her work and legacy, but I have to admit I think she is not interested. Heard a rumor that she may be petitioning for membership at Duresca and training as a Quaesitor.
Lucas is my top pick to raise as Master, honestly. Once he learned that we don't count service the way we count beans, he has doubled down on his efforts and seems to enjoy doing as much as he can for the covenant!
And I see him as best suited for the Herald role.
Fleur, her raising is due. I am actually not so keen on her, but she has filled her end of the bargain. And, based on her demonstrated efforts, I figure she should be our librarian. I have a different idea for Vocis, I'll get to that.
Now about Roberto. I know you love the guy, and he is due. And he is the best magus for the job. And one of the greatest examples of a Flambeau magus I have ever met. And he can have the job if he want's it.
However. You knew a "however" was coming? There is always a however.
I think that guy is an extreme jackass. He is arrogant, pushy, reckless, and a magnet for trouble.
So offer him the job. See if he takes it.
I put in a push for Acutus, but he and Roberto both raise the same concern for me. Their joining the covenant is sort of the result of our having annexed them. Roberto has said as much openly before.
As for Vibria, we technically would have discussed that a few years ago :mrgreen:

I decided to backdate this to 1239 (instead of 42). It makes more sense and fits with Vibria's return better. Also, it rewinds Journeyman time to around five years instead of eight, so promotion is not an automatic issue and we have room to play and rearrange people as suits our long term goals.

Also, after Arachne replies, Carmen proposes closing council. Then sending a messenger to Solomon inviting him to a special dinner and meeting tomorrow night, We pick up from there.

(that is; Arachne responds, we close, message Solomon, then we open again with Solomon present)

If you say so, I follow you on making Acutus a Master. No problem here.

Kesara wants to go to Duresca? Good for her if she's found her calling, and good for us: This means both a potential space for a maga who's more commited towards this covenant, and a potentially friendly quaesitor.

She laughes softly

So, you too have been impressed by Lucas? I had some reservations at first, but I'm so glad we allowed him in. No contest here, he's my top pick too.
Now, if you want to make him the Herald... Yes, it makes sense. I have little interest in this, so this fell out of my mind, but, now that you speak about it, he worked a lot on this, more so than any Herald I knew of, and without having the title. I fully agree he'll be awesome at the job, I just feel a little like it's a waste of his magical skills and keen mind. Heh, I really enjoyed working with him, and hoped to groom him into replacing me one day. It may be too much duty and responsabilities, but I might try and see if he'd be my Deputy anyway.

And once again, we feel alike. I, too, am not that impressed by Fleur. Pushing her for Herald was mainly an attempt to make some use of her gentle gift and glib tongue.
But now, if Lucas is supposed to be our Herald, maybe we can have Fleur as a deputy. I've seen her, and she can be really good, in her way, if she has to. She'd handle social matters at home while he's away, and would handle Mallorca too. I know I may be a little stubborn with this, but I really think that having the deputies essentially handle similar duties for Mallorca is a good way to both ensure smooth running of the place and help them grow into their role in a smaller, safer environment.
And I hadn't see that, but I agree: As a Bonisagus, there's some chance she might be a good Deputy Librarian to vocis. At least, she would love the job, which goes a long way towards being effective and commited.
Oh... And I just thought. We talked about this Rod of Eternal Guardianship I want to create, and I was thoroughly impressed by her magical insights. If we can convince her to take on an additional duty AND, more importantly, to get her head out of her ass once again, she might be an invaluable Technical Designer to Antoine's Artifex, if he agrees to this.

Roberto? Sigh... Yeah, you're right. This is yet another reason I wanted Lucas to assist him: Not only would he have picked up a lot of martial know-how from roberto, but, hopefully, his more thoughtful and ponderate nature would have rubbed on Roberto. Sadly, we can't do this, so we'll have to reign him in ourselves if need be... Unless we put Acutus as his deputy? I'm thinking, maybe the reasons he hasn't impressed on me would be the perfect reasons to pair him with Roberto? Also, I believe he's quite martial anyway, so it'd be great for Sa Dragonera? I'm not sure here. You know the guy, I trust you on this.

Next stop, budget discussion with Solomon added?

A messenger comes to Solomon. Carmen and Arachne have invited him to a private dinner.

Roughly, Arachné's ideas (will try to put this more into shape later).

Edit: See post down below.

Solomon arrives shortly after being summoned, "Carmen, Arachne, how may I be of service?"

(Arachné will just let Carmen introduce Solomon to the mess).

So, the finance proposals.
Last time Carmen, as Treasurer, gave us a breakdown, we had the following, each year:
Creo 16, Intellego 11, Muto 12, Perdo 13, Rego 14 for the techniques
And for the forms, we had Animal 10, Aquam 10, Auram 12, Corpus 10, Herbam 10, Ignem 22, Imaginem 10, Mentem 10, Terram 12, Vim 28
That's roughly 200 pawns, as incredible as it sounds.
And we're even more blessed, as, due to our arrangment with the redcaps, we have an even exchange rate, ensuring we don't have to worry about type of vis, so long as we plan enough and don't ask for anything stupid. This makes things so much easier, I'm relieved.

Here are my ideas.

As I see it, our first priority is to ensure our security.
To that end, we need not only a strong aegis, but enough reserves to renew it is nescessary, or face down an emergency.
To that end, we should put out 10 pawns toward the Aegis.
We should put as much towards the covenant coffers. This gives us wealth the council can allocate toward any project, such as paying for longevity rituals of useful specialists and servants, buying a specialist's services, or even the kind of vis gift Carmen gave us a few years ago. With 2 restrictions: Such expanses must be approved by council vote, and we should always have enough vis reserves to cast 2 aegis: 1 if our current one is dispelled, and another at the next solstice.
We're thus down to 180 pawns.

Then, the offices.
I don't like the officers having too much vis for their services: This encourage us to hoard it for our own purposes, instead of spending it for the covenant's good. So, in my opinion, each office should have a vis grant, that is to be used by the officer, not for herself, but for any project related to her charge, under the scrutiny of the Treasurer. Anything done with this vis is then covenant property, and can't be taken away by the officer should she depart the covenant.

Now, some offices, like Artifex and Warden, are more vis-hungry, but I don't want to give them more vis. Not only can an ambitious Librarian use more vis than a complacent Artifex, but this would imply, at least in people's perception, that some officed are more important than others.
So, each office should receive the same vis... But have the right to divert it, either to the covenant's coffers, or to another office. Or else, they can just hoard it, of course, but if you're not using it, you should give it away. As a rule of thumb, I think an officer shouldn't be able to hoard more than 10 years worth of vis. If you need more, ask your fellow officers or the council. That should lessen any potential damage from an eventual Vulcanus bis.
I figure 8 pawns per office if a good enough sum, for 64 vis spend. Any unspend vis should go back to the coffers. As we three double in our duties, that's 8 pawns that go back to the treasury.
That leaves us with 116 pawns, to be divided between the magi.

Despite what I said earlier about the officers, I think we should still receive some compensation for lost time and headaches, just not too much. It is our duty, not a place for vis-hungry parasites like Vulcanus.
I don't think we should make a difference between journeymen and masters, though. I'm all for having a long probation period before becoming a Mistress, with the requirement to prove your dedication to Andorra, and this is rewarded by increased decision power, in the council. If all you're after is the vis, though, you won't strive for much, staying a journeywoman, which should help us to see who wants what, and who we can rely on.

Thus, I propose we give each officer 2 pawns, and each deputy one pawn.
With at most 8 officers, and 8 deputies, the maximum cost is 24 pawns, leaving 92 pawns to divide evenly between magi. Any vis left should go back to the coffers.

Last, the individual wages
I had Eva ask around for a count. Barring any error, including the Sa Dragonera magi, we're currently 14*. That's 6 pawns per maga per year which is just... insane, and 8 pawns going back to the coffers. This also mean that we can still induct another magus without having to lower our wages.

So, my breakdown for next year:

  • Aegis: 10 pawns
  • Treasury: 10 pawns, +8 for the offices, + 8 for the leftover wages, equal 26 pawns
  • Offices: 7 offices, for 56 pawns
  • Officer wages: 24 pawns, with some spilling over to the coffers depending on how many deputies we have.
  • Individual grant: 6 pawns for 14 maga, meaning 84 pawns.
    Total: 10 + 26 + 56 + 24 + 84 = 200 pawns.

What do you think of it? It seems to give us all huge quantities of vis, while still leaving aside enough for each officer to work, with any unused vis being moved around to be used at the council's discretion. This is also flexible enough to allow us to accomodate year by year.

  • I counted the list here, which, due to Trogdor's work, is probably quite up to date.

Carmen smiles and flips quickly through her little book to read something aloud...
It is time...
blahblahblah.... I wish to elevate you to a fellow Pontifex.
You do a lot for this covenant and have provided guidance and leadership. I wish to enable you to go further, do what you feel needs to be done, unfettered and without restriction.
If you accept my offer, your new status takes effect immediately.
then, presuming the offer is accepted...
((I need to think up some fancy little ceremony or initiation deal. But aside from that...))
Then arise, Solomon, Mister Pontifex!
As for titles, Varmen's thoughts are herself as Pontifex Maxima, Arachne as Pontifex Majore, and Solomon as Pontifex Minore. They are all equal ranks, the suffix is an honorific between pontifici.

Too costly. And would require too much alteration of the resolutions. Maybe it would be better to amend the resolutions as to not specify an amount for this or that, and instead mandate that it be determined by annual council. Or some such.
As for the three of us, we don't have to worry about vis or silver. The tradition has been that a Pontifex takes whatever he/she needs when it is needed, and put back anything they do not use. No hording. A pontifex dedicates their full wealth to the covenant, yet may take as needed without question save from another pontifex. Additionaly, we have our own private supply of Creo vis as well as a chest of Ignem infused gold coins that has been stored away for a dozen years in case of emergency.
Taking we three out of the equation, looking at the proposed numbers, I would like to suggest half of that. I suggest we focus on building up our stockpile while the getting is good. Ans we should build evenly. The Mercere deal is great, but what if that tanks suddenly? And the Sa Dragonera source is not as dedicated or stable as we would like to imagine. Barcelona could pull a fast one or the Dragonera magi may try to succeed.

The main thing I want to discuss though is the Journeymen. Some are set to become Masters soon. By '41 for Roberto and Acutus. There are some I would like to elevate sooner so that they may fill the open offices.

Sigh... Which is why, under my proposal, we stockpile 28 pawns each year, which is already insane, and wanted to give the officers enough resources to work properly. In my opinion, contrary to wages, vis invested in the offices isn't lost for the covenant, on the contrary.
But I can agree with your point.

So, taking the same idea, going with 100 pawns per year, any excess going to the coffers...

  • 10 pawns for the Aegis
  • 10 pawns for the coffers
  • 32 pawns for office work, which is 4 per post. At 7 offices, we'd put an extra 4 towards the treasury.
  • 12 pawns for compensation to the officers. That's 1 pawns for year to them, 1/2 to deputies.
  • 36 pawns for wages, which is currently 2 pawns per post for 14 magi. That leaves an excess of 8 pawns, going to the coffers. Unless we cut the journeymen and/or Sa Dragonera Magi out of the loop, of course. I'd increase this a little, from 100 to 110 pawns otherwise. This'd make wages of 46 pawns, so 3 pawns per magi, with 4 going back to the treasury.

Of course. So, solomon (making a resume of previous posts), what do you think of our ideas?

Solomon nods to both Carmen and Arachne, "Thank you both for the honor. As to the matter of whom to elevate to Master, I think perhaps you are both looking at this incorrectly. First, no member is due to become a Master simply by virtue of their time here, nor even by their actions. As the Resolutions of Charter states, 'A Journeyman is elevated to the status of Master by acclimation and consent of the Council of Masters,' so at a minimum there must be consent by us three as well as Vocis (I think that's all of the masters currently). The seven years and three services, modified of course for our Sa Dragonera residents, is simply a prerequisite to such.

As to the specifics of who I would recommend, I agree that Lucas, once he reaches his 7 years, is the ideal candidate. Fleur, against my better judgement, is probably a good candidate as well, although I would prefer a full accounting of her services worthy of elevation; of course her service at Sa Dragonera fulfills one of these I am simply unaware of what else she has done. Roberto is a good candidate as well, has served at Sa Dragonera and accompanied me to the City of Brass along with Lucas, so I think he has fulfilled his requirements once he meets his 7 years.

As for Antoine, he only became a journeyman in the Fall of 1236, less than 3 years ago. I do not support his elevation, as he made the decision to not serve at Sa Dragonera and should wait the full 7 years.

Acutus has shown me nothing that would cause me to support his elevation. He's done his duty at Sa Dragonera, but nothing else for the covenant, and he doesn't seem interested in taking on more responsibility.

And you are correct in regards to Kesara, she has shown interest in moving to Duresca and becoming a hoplite; a move I wholly support and will endeavour to make happen."


Always the voice of reason, eh? But you're right on all accounts. It'd be unfair to bypass our own rules without a very good reason, although pissing of the Oaf should count, if you want my opinion. Not what I'd have liked, but it's also useless to have masters and officers who aren't dedicated to their covenant and charge.

So we're speaking of Lucas, which we'd also propose as Herald, and Roberto, which we'd make a Marshall. We all agree on these two, once they have done their 7 years. That's fine.

We don't have to give a post to Fleur, hoping she'll prove her worth and dedication, she has to do it first, okay.
Antoine has to wait and servce.
Acutus looks fine as a journeyman.

She looks at Carmen

See? Told you he was the best choice :wink:

Indeed :smiley:

And agreed. Roberto is set to be raised in 1241 and Lucas in 1242. Antione becomes eligible in 1243. We'll keep an eye on him until then, and like the others we will discuss when the time is right.
Then we have Vocis and Vibria. Vocis was there for my little episode at Bellaquin, but I do not think he is the best fit for a Pontifex. His focus seems to be directed too outward as of late. Which is fine. Political advantages for him translate into advantages for us. I have an idea there that I will get back to.
But as for Vibria. When she returned, she was really hard on herself and in turn inspired some of us to be hard on her. We shouldn't be so hard on her. When our membership was cut down to just a handful scattered abroad after the attack, in my haste I inducted everyone as a Master. Which was what was needed, and it worked fine because most of us were seasoned and experienced. But Vibria wasn't. She was fresh from Gauntlet and I had just recruited her as a Journeyman when the two of us got ambushed in Valencia that day. It is now nine years later and she spent only a few of them seeing some of the rest of the world. I was gone longer than that when I visited Scandinavia when I was young.
If she wants to be hard on herself, let her. Let her prove herself to herself, and let us praise her as she does so. Will she ever be Pontifex material? Probably not.d back toi Vocis. The hospital he established? I wish to support it. Not from covenant coffers, but by private donation of our secret council. We have an Orange Tree. It is the private property of the Pontifici. By tradition we gift most of the yield to the covenant coffers. Five Fruits. There are normally six to eight fruits per year. So we set aside for ouselves one to three of them per year.
Where am I going with this?
I want to donate a portion of our current stockpile to the hospital, and place a portion of our private surplus into reserve to build to another emergency coffer. Our private stock currently has a queen of Ignem infused in gold coins and a dozen fruits.

Any discussion?

Fine by me.

As a side thought, this is not a pressing matter, but maybe we should try to create a fallback place in a far away place, should we need to retreat. I'm thinking of the levant, or deep africa. Somewhere far from the order's land, that we, or our descendants, may survive a war. We have Sa dragonera, but it is both too close and too associated with us for me to feel too secure. Whatever.

(This is just that I'd like to master some companions and grogs being asked to go into Africa and build a bunker from scratch, but probably will never have the time to GM it)

Oooh, what a great idea. Lucas may actually have to learn some Arabic ...

Carmen likes the emergency bunker idea. A hold out and reserve available for the Pontifici in case of covenant emergency. And details will have to be noted in the journal incase of a big disaster and a new pontifix situation.
I favor somewhere in Scandinavia. Like waaaay far North past the Lapps.
Africa could work too. Somewhere in Morrocco or the Sahara.

Africa was not as Arabic back then as it is now. A strong influence, yes. But Egyptian is still widespread, and the Berbers have two or three other languages. I forget what the common language of Morrocco is. Arabic is mainly used by clerics and scholars.

Ooc: if you're not set on going south, my magus character is likely to be from the frozen north. Just saying, if you'd want somebody who knows the landscape. :wink: A protected fortress (?) is a great idea for a powerful covenant to have in reserve.