Magus' Council

"The pagans must have freedom of movement and voice." Interjects Constantine. "So to the Christians. I will not compromise my faith and I will not stand by while anyone tries to compromise a citizen of this island. "
"What we need now is laws. Meliai speaks loudly because of a history of persecution. We need codified laws that protect individuals. Those laws should also protect faith except where it harms another. And protect the community. "
"We should seek a baseline of behaviour and respect for all and bend all faiths to it. Any Christian or Pagan who cannot accept our laws must leave. "
"To say that it is a compromise to accept Christians is just as insulting and narrow minded as it is to suggest the pagan presence is a compromise. You or I don't get to pick based upon religion and if you cannot neutralise your own bias then you should leave sooner than later. "

(( OOC: Retcon! ))

When I made my character and developed the spell I was assuming we would be following the aura fluctuation rules in ROP:magic, which does allow for permanent raising or lowering of auras, but not in any way shape or form easily. I am using a published spell (feeding the font of the covenant) to accomplish this. If this was a problem I feel it should have been brought up a long time ago.

"If the pope places us under interdiction at least it will keep the divine auras from overwhelming the magic or faerie." Meliai takes a deep breath "there is no reason that most of our population need be Catholic, I can travel over most of Europe to recruit, and even if we need be mostly Christian, we can have Cathars and Eastern Orthadox, there might even be some of the Irish Monastic tradition who would like a place of refuge. If we are forced to choose a tribunal, I would favor Novgorod. As has been stated they work well with long distances, and they have no eastern boundry, which could wrap around the world to include us. I expect they would also have the least interest in interfering with our plans. I think the better plan however is to simply ask for time to make that decision."

"But what about the fact that many of the grogs in our covenant are practicing Catholics?" Magnus asks. "What about the fact that many magi we might recruit are also good Catholics? Do we turn our noses up to all of them? As Constantine said, if we're to practice religious freedom, that means freedom for all, including Catholics. And as idealistic as we may be, we must also be realistic. If we created a nation that shunned Catholics and catered only to pagans, Cathars, Eastern Orthodox, Irish Monastics and the like, we would be just asking for a Crusade against us. Unfortunately, as powerful as we are, I'm not sure that we could stand up against that kind of force, especially given that our sodales in the Order might assist in it." He waves a hand. "Oh yes, I know that we would be defending ourselves, an accepted use of magic, while magi are currently forbidden from assisting on a Crusade. But I fear that rule might not last if we were so open about our use of magic. We could split the Order wide open and create a new Schism, which might place us in the position of the Diedne - not a position I want to be in."

"As for choosing Novgorod, while I think that your argument about us being connected to Novgorod by the rest of the Earth is intriguing, I strongly question whether it would pass muster in the Grand Tribunal. It seems a bit esoteric to me, and likely to be dismissed in favor of an assignment of us to one of the Atlantic tribunals."

(( OOC: Retcon! ))

"I am not and have never stated we should shun Catholics, only that Catholicism not be allowed to rule the island, and that other faiths, especially from my perspectives pagans, be given full equality. I think shooting for a more diverse population to support this goal is reasonable. As to what happens to the Catholics under interdiction, pardon my callousness, but that issue is between them and the Pope, and we are expressly forbidden from interfering, as the Pope is anot a subordinate member of our community. I suppose we could arrange some form of transportation for them to non-interdicted areas for going to church, should the Pope take that measure."

"May I propose that we leave it thus," Magnus proposes. "We remain a land devoted to religious freedom. Let us bring what people we can to New Atlantis, and allow them to worship as they wish. And should conflict arise as a result of this, we shall address that conflict when it occurs. No sense borrowing trouble before it happens."

Yes, it's kicking the can down the road. But it'll give each side of the debate a bit of time to gather more evidence to support their arguments.

"Though as I think about it," Magnus adds, "there's another important issue to address. Who will rule the land of New Atlantis? It can't be us, that would have us playing politics and getting involved in mundane matters, or at least it would run a serious risk of us being considered to be interfering with mundane affairs. It would be far better for us if we could find a tame noble to be a figurehead. Someone who would let us do what we will and not interfere. If necessary, we could make one ourselves. Make Duncan or Edvard duke or something like that."

He sighs, and continues. "I know it's tempting to say we should run the place ourselves. But that way is fraught with peril."

"At the root of it, none of us are going to withdraw our authority so a figurehead could really rule. Unless I'm mistaken and some of you don't care, but I think we all do. "
"That means the people who live here will know we rule and any visitors will learn that eventually to. "
"If an envoy of Spain came here to meet the ruler, and they later learned that the person they met was just a figurehead i think they will be very angry. Yes we need a person to manage the mundane matters in detail, but I don't think our long term vision should be a king. "
"We could flippantly control that person from behind the throne, but in that case make it an automaton. "
"I guess I don't have a solution, except to say a figurehead will only last a short time and might make problems. "

"There's precedent for a regency council," Magnus replies. "Typically such a council only remains in power until a monarch reaches his majority. But what if we had a regency council on its own? Just the five of us - or whoever we appoint. It could have a life of its own without simply being a device to wait out time."

(( OOC: Retcon! ))

"We don't want to spend our time managing the let's say banal affairs of the island. But we also want to be rulers. We could set a council of magi as the ultimate authority. An autocrat as the people who run the land and more banal affairs. I like the regency council. Maybe we could have an official position for the person who does foreign affairs. We definitely don't want to antagonize the Church, but we should be able to work out something. There's never been a crusade up North despite the pagan presence. The Church likes money right? If we guarantee their tithes that will help right? We can do the same for any other religion that comes." In case its not obvious, Artemis does worship God, but she is very vague on her theology, and doesn't hold a high opinion of the Church.

"How about we have a Duke of New Atlantis to be in charge of day-to-day matters on the island," Magnus suggests. "And a Regency Council to hold the real power. If you like we can have a Chancellor of the Exchequer to handle finances, an Ambassador Plenipotentiary to handle foreign affairs, and whatever other offices you like. We'll also need a host of knights, both to form a defensive force, if necessary, and to monitor the farmers we hope to gather, and perhaps even barons to serve as intermediaries between the knights and the Duke."

(( OOC: Retcon! ))

"A moment ago I asked you all to consider what happens when we put a fake leader in charge and it seemed to be understood. We talked about a council. Now you're suggesting a Duke rather than a King, and paying tribute to another King or Queen/noble? What happens when that leader dies and a new one isn't as flexible? They die all the time and we will live for hopefully another 100 years. That's at least 4 monarchs."
"Look I'll concede if out voted on this, but I don't like it."

"Then think wider for a second - look at us. At present we don't even have a way to settle disputes or a damn covenant charter which dictates some guidelines for us, and between us. And before it is suggested seriously - damn Certamen is not the solution. We're adults, we should not need a competition of magical power as the basis for solving difficult complex problems. That is just putting us back into the same thinking that I thought we were trying to expand from and grow beyond. "
Looking at Andor and realising he might have hit a nerve "don't get me wrong, it's an excellent tool. But it is not a replacement for parity between us and discussion to solve issues. "

"I disagree," Magnus says. "We have a way of settling disputes; it's just that no one has used it yet. We can always put it to a vote of the magi. It's just that we've been discussing the matter and hadn't come to a point where a vote was needed. Yes, there have been a number of different proposals made. I, for one, think that's a good thing. It shows that we're thinking this matter through and trying to come up with a viable solution. No one has said that his solution is the only way forward. They've just been proposed for purposes of discussion."

"And we have time to make that decision. Not a lot of time, but time. At present we're under three hundred people. We can be governed as a covenant and don't need kings or regents or anything more than an autocrat. But as we get more people, the need for some form of central governemnt will rise. So far We've seen several proposals for that."

"We could have an outside king or queen whom we could use as cover for the rest of Europe and the Church. That option comes with many advantages, but also many disadvantages. It's the best option for keeping the Church at bay, but it ultimately gives up our sovereignty, which I think most of us don't want."

"We could have a king or duke who we promote ourselves. That gives us some legitimacy, but will be limited by the perceived authority of the ruler. If we promote a commoner to the position, he or she will have less credibility among the crowned heads of Europe than if we picked someone with so-called royal blood. It also gives up our sovereignty to the ruler, whose issue might prove less tractable than they are."

"We could have a figuredhead king or duke with a regency council of magi, much like a covenant has a council of magi and an autocrat. This has the advantage that it provides someone to run the kingdom in a day-to-day sense, but reserves the power to us, or our successors. Of course, as Constantine notes, the ruler, or his issue, might get ideas and try and seize more power, which is a risk of this method, but I think it's no worse than giving up our authority directly to a king."

"Finally, we could rule ourselves, as a council without any figurehead. That secures us all of the power, but also all of the responsibility. In that case, we'd likely have to devote some of our time to actually ruling."

"I think those are our four main options. I'm willing to entertain other suggestions. But these seem, to me, to be the most likely to work. At present Andor believes in the first option, while I support the third. Artemis has also expressed support for that idea. I'm not sure precisely what you prefer, Constantine and Meliai, one of these options or something different. But this is the time to make suggestions."

"I believe", Meiai states slowly "that there are two points that are being missed. The first is that yes, in fact Andor has stated repeatedly that 'this is how tings will be' and then stated as a fact that things will work contrary to the way we had discussed prior to raising Atlantis. Perhaps this is poor word choice on his part, but as I said earlier, as a result he has already given much offense. The second is that I believe that Aquarian was a noble of Atlantis in some regard, and being a magical being will not be dying off and leaving hereditary issue who might make a power grab in the foreseeable future. How this might interact with the church or mundane authority I really could not answer, but it would at least solve part of our problem, if we believe he is qualified."

I think there has been some miscommunication," Magnus replies. "And I blame myself for that. We should all remember that the island of New Atlantis will be accepting of pagans. We've made assurances to Meliai and to other pagans within the Order, not the least of which are some members of the Order of Mercury. However, we never spoke of heretics from the Catholic Church. That's an entirely different matter."

"We will have Catholics on the island as well. That also is not a matter for debate. And if that means Dominion Auras, so be it. We shall try to focus those Dmonion Auras away from the Magical Auras, but that's all we can do."

"It may also be wise to keep the Catholics and the pagans from mixing at first. Not that anyone is a lesser citizen, not at all. But we can't govern the feelings of our people, and there might be conflicts otherwise. Best to ease them all into acceptance of each other."

"As for Aquarian as a ruler, it's an interesting idea, and one not without merit. But having a non-human ruler would be another log on the fire with the Church. I'm not sure how much we can antagonize them without them taking action against us. Do we dare be that brazen?"

"It would take so long to notice you doesn't age though. Especially if I'm able to improve the conditions of the isle. We can stall longer with a touch of illusion magic. And this is a newly discovered isle. Who is to say what documents here would look like? Ultimately, we should try to control the information flow and access. Mundanes can't complain about what they don't know. Anyway, can't we just judge heretics by the presence or absence of a Dominion Aura? Plus you know who stands against the Divine? The infernal."

"I have a concern about having Aquarian as the nominal leader if the relations with the Atlanteans is a real issue or ongoing concern. We don't know if that will make things better or worse. Don't they hate those who have left?"
"Otherwise he is an excellent choice."
"How will he manage the various faiths?"