Midnight in Duresca (Winter 1231)

It is three days after the start of winter, when a Redcap arrives with messages. In particular, Solomon and Guillaume recieve seperate letters from Duresca.
Solomon's letter is from Tacitus of Gurnicus, leader of Duresca and Chief Quaesitor of Iberia...
Salve sodale
[tab][/tab]We seek your wisdom in participation of a council concerning the Hermetic Rights and Usages of Barcelona Covenant. The magi of that covenant seek to review and revise rulings concerning rights of commerce and visitation. Though you are no longer a resident of Iberia, your covenant has always been known as a friend to this Tribunal and an ally of Barcelona. Additionally, in your time here at Duresca, I recall you had a clairity allowing you to temper fairness and justice. And you are not at all far away. I look forward to seeing you soon

Guillme recieves his letter from Rudolfe of Flambeau, an old Shadow War compatriot and a Knight of Seneca...
You old salty son of a &!+#! How are you?
[tab][/tab]The have decided to move forward with the sentencing of Metron, having thus far proven resistant to cooperate with inquisition into the whereabouts of the renaining members of the Cult of Flaming Shadows. Karandos of Flambeau will be there, emerging after decades of seclusion in the Cave of Twisting Shadows. I figured you may want to know. I am planing to be there, and hope to see you as well.

After reviewing the letter, Solomon searches out Guillaume, "Sodales, I have just received a letter from Duresca requesting my attendance in order to aid in council matters there. As I understand you have also received a letter from Duresca, I wonder if you might also be traveling there? If so, it would seem prudent for us to travel together."

It appears as if Guillaume is brooding reclusivly.
But Kesara is nosy :slight_smile:

What's up? My father told me I am supposed to be your protector, so I am of course escorting you.

Solomon smiles, "Of course Kesara, I wouldn't feel safe traveling there without you. And it might be interesting for you to see how the quaesitors operate and see Duresca."

Are we walking or flying or teleporting? We need a flying carpet around here.

Solomon thinks for a minute, "While I believe I do still have a connection near the covenant that I could teleport to, personally I prefer travelling the old-fashioned way. Perhaps a carriage with a grog escort."

Horses and I do not get along. But a coach or wagon could work.

((we can speed this along to you r arrival at Duresca if you wish))

Solomon smiles, "That is our curse. But yes, I think a coach would be best. Perhaps you could organize something for us with the grogs?"

((I'm okay with that, was just hoping to give callen a chance to jump in...))

Sorry for being a slowpoke. I was waiting a bit longer.
You get to Duresca and most of the rest of the invitees to this symposium are either already here or arrive shortly after you do. Catorse of Gurnicus pulls you aside for a private chat, so Kesara goes wandering off where she will.
Glad you could make it. We need strong heads with cool tongues to iron this matter out quickly.
In short, the Covenant of Barcelona is demanding concessions if they are expected to facilitate the Pact of Cooperation and the Usages Provisions. They threated minimal compliance, which may sound hollow but there is a lot they can get away with not doing. What we need them to do is allow each covenant of our Tribunal to maintain a townhouse in the suburbs of their city, in which they will place a portal and thus create our long awaited network. The two previous plans failed when Perfugium was burned and when the Andorra portal was destroyed. As far as Free Trade usage, they propose ristricting all access to their city and running a delivery service instead, a service they want to charge for. This will cripple our tribunal's economy! And they want to charge all sorts of fees for all sorts of matters, they do not want other covenants owning property in their area but rather insist on leased properties only, rented from them of course.

Solomon nods as he listens to the issue, "I will do what I can Sodales. Does Barcelona truly have enough political or economic leverage to achieve their ends, or is this posturing on their part? If so, do we know what it is they truly desire?"

Oh they have the clout allright. As far as what they want, rumor has it they want to form a new tribunal.

"A new tribunal? Interesting. I can only imagine how that might affect the politics of the area. I assume I have no actual authority to form any lasting agreements with either party, so I will do my best to truly ascertain their intentions and where negotiations might be had and consolations might be found. is there someone from their delegation that you would recommend I speak with first?"

They don't have a delegation, per se. This is more of a Quaesitor meeting to discuss what to do about the situation. However, Carles of Jerbiton is currently visiting here at Duresca. He has made a trade of some books in exchange for copy privileges. Barcelona may have caught wind of our meeting and sent Carles to represent their interests or perhaps spy. But this is Carles. He really may be here simply and only for library work. If anyone is the agent, it is his familiar Noscur. But all that cat has done since he got here was prowl our catacombs for rats and pick fights with the other cats.

Solomon nods as he leans heavily on his staff, "Well, I will provide what counsel I can sodalis. When is the meeting set to begin? Is there time for an old man to rest his wearied legs a bit?"

In a day or two. We are still waiting for others to arrive. There is also a number of hoplites gathering here. They are pronouncing and carrying out the final sentance on the wretch Metron.
Go ahead, get some rest. If you don't mind, I would like to share breakfast with you in the morning, perhaps discuss your membership at Andorra and their conditions, and their relations with Barcelona.

"Of course, I would be happy to break my fast with you. And I would be interested to hear of the final outcome with Metron."

The next morning you awaken before dawn to a black cat sitting on your chest.
The moment you start to move, he hops down off of you onto the floor, and as he walks towards the door it opens for him. He looks back at you
"Meow mawrr... kaff ahem...mmm, before you have breakfast with Catorse, Carles of Jerbiton has a quick secret he'd like to share. If you follow me..."
(btw, the cat speaks in perfect 13c English)

Solomon wakes up with a start, the face of the cat unnerving to his just awakened eyes. As the cat jumps off of him, he turns to look at Sophia, perched next his bed. Her eyes were glued on the cat; clearly she’d been watching the creature intensely since the moment it had entered the room prepared to defend him if necessary.

Shaking off any hostility at the creature’s invasion of his room, for now, Solomon stood slowly, grabbing his cane in the process to help ease himself out of bed. Quietly he spoke the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, activating the demonic defense in his staff, and then stepped over to wash his face in the washbasin. After donning a simple brown robe, he slowly follows the cat out of the room, Sophia following closely behind, her years of covenant life making her quite adept at flying within the confines of the structure.

The cat was just that sneaky that Sophia didn't notice him until just before he woke you up :slight_smile:
Noscur the cat leads you down the halland e door to Carles room opens of its own accord. The elderly magus is already awake and active at his desk scribing a letter. He looks up and smiles when you come in..

Good morning sodale :smiley: Come in and sit down, I've just brewed morning tea. Noscure, close the door (and the door shuts as if by itself). I was just writing a letter to Durenmar, requesting the materials I need for my project. There is a lot going on here at Duresca it seems. My project has nothing to do with your meeting. I am collecting and codefying texts on Magic Theory, that I may diseminate known integrated minor breakthroughs throughout the order. It will take time, but the generation of magi trained by our apprentices will know the rudiments of mystery alchemy and astrology, integrate potent objects into their mastered spells, amplify the effects with vis, and more! Then there is the final phase in the trial of Metron, the sentencing. Almost certainly they will decide to execute him, but when and how? Make a spectecle of it? And why does Metron cackle and taunt his captors, daring them to kill him? Or is it to be perpetual imprisonment, unknown and unprecedented in the Order? I have even heard talk of exile to the Twilight Void.
What was I saying? I am rambling...
Oh yes! You are participating in the Conference on Iberian Cooperation. They are concerned with Barcelona's intractability. I don't really give a rat's @$$. My covenantmates are being stubborn and stupid, but they will eventually compromise and capitulate. I'll even give you an inside edge. They don't want any portals in the city itself, but they will tolorate them in the outlying county. They simply insist, as they always have, that visiting magi must be escorted to be admitted into the city, and activities therein are subject to regulation and monitoring.
The trick is this simple question. Why are you here? Andorra is not part of Iberia. Your interest and authority is elsewhere.
I'll tell you why you are here. They want you to get comfortable, to feel like ou are one of them, to become one of them.
Iberia and Provencal both lay claims to Andorra, yet you hold your Val-Negra Charter and Magvelius ruled that neither may force their boundaries upon you, and that you must choose on your own. Provencal tried to bring the issue to Grand Tribunal, but your benefator Pietro of Flambeau (Carmen's Mentor) extinguished that at the source and Provencal never brought the issue up.
Now it is Iberia's turn. Their strategy is to "kill you with kindness", as it were. Get you to like hanging out with them, participate in their activities, join their reindeer games.
And maybe merging with Iberia would be good for you, maybe it is what you want. Maybe not. It is not my place to decide. But I feel they are being insincere with you. It has little to do with who you are and valuing your opinion. It is about who you know, and wanting you to influence them. Use this information how you wish. Play them to your advantige if you will. I do not care. I just think you should be made aware.
And this is not an old man's pananoid delusions. Noscure overheard them talking about it while hunting mice. If I were to think of cnspiracy theories, I would consider the fact that you have prior history and connections with Duresca, and that they either placed you there or convinced you to join then on purpose, trying to replace the influence lost when Octavian returned to Transylvania.
But I place little faith in conspiracy theories.
It is almost dawn. You should go about your morning abolutions and prayers, your Parma Magica ceremonies, and prepare for your breakfast with Catorse.

Oh! One more tidbit of gossip. There has been talk of a visitor due to arrive tonight, and rumor is that it will be Erat Caecus of Tytalus. What his intention or purpose may be, I have not a clue.
And come see me later if you would like to discuss a library exchange. I can have my filius Florenzo visit you and make an assesment of your needs.