Return of the Dragon Bride (Winter, 1238)

(rewritten. See below.)

Maybe 1238 or latter would be better for this?

There is indeed much excitement and jubilation. This isn't like someone from the past come to visit, this is like someone that they have long awaited to come home.
There are some new faces, mainly amongst the soldiers and staff. A few new magi as well. But more so there are familiar faces.
Carmen smiles with genuine warmth instead of her normal RBF "polite grin". Welcome home. :smiley:
Roberto mutters to Arachne. Who is this broad again? What's her schtick?

There is some confusion, but seeing how serious you are, Carmen plays along.

I congratulate you on your coming marriage. But I think you are being over dramatic trying to demote yourself. In the Resolutions it is written "The rank of Master endures indefinitely unless resigned or expelled." You took a leave of absence, for it is written that the "freedom to roam to and from our location as (one) will(s)" is one of the Basic Rights of our covenant. You were never expelled, and resignation is a formal process you never went through. If you did, you would be a Past Master. And if you try to renounce your oath now I will censure you!
This is just like you. Our joy at the return of the Prodigal Mistress is not enough. You have to go out of your way to prove how humble you are.
Madame Pontifex, please! Vocis interrupts. Word will be emerging in the coming seasons, and the news is fortunate. Vibria was instrumental in resolving what Transylvania official news releases refer to as the "Draconian Disharmony of 123?". If she feels humbled, wants to be humbled, it is because of the stress she has been through.
She needs relief, time to plan and celebrate her new life! I agree that demoting herself is more than needed, and our Resolutions make no provision for it.
However, as heroic as she was, her heroism belongs here and not in Transylvania. That is why I was not summoned. My first duty is the security of my post. Vibria walked away from her post, leaving us without a Marshal. That duty has fallen upon the other Masters, mainly Arachne who made Roberto her deputy. So the office is no longer hers. It should remain with Arachne or I will take care of it until the time is right to select another Bishop.
In fact, I think she should be put on probation and barred from holding office for seven? years.
? is a question of Timey-Whimey concern, that I shall address HERE

Arachné looks from the sides, frowning

A faerie impersonnificator, most likely.
I recall a flambeau maga, dragon-blooded, untrustworthy. It looks like she's trying to pass as her.

My sentiment exactly, says Arachné, walking forward.
You claim to be our departed sodales, suddenly able of feats of magic beyond the ken of most magi.
I don't know what would be worse. For some kind of Faerie or Demon to try to trick us into welcoming her in our rank, or for the sodales who abandonned us without warning to just come home smiling. While our charter allow us to leave, there's a difference between leaving and deserting.

The spider tried to give Vibria the benefit of the doubt, but she was hurt by the young maga's departure. Now, Vibria's Judged Unfairly comes back full force, yeah!

Fleur stares pensively downward. "Are you a maga who can transform into a dragon or a dragon who can assume the form of a maga? Does that matter for your position? Should we at least re ask the protocol questions if we aren't certain who she is? Felicia, could she be a faerie?"
Felicia ponders the situation "Vibria certainly had the kind of reputation that would allow a faerie to use her story to adopt a form, but unless that faerie is quite powerfull indeed I do not think they could have made it through the Ageis, unless we have botched that this year as Belaquin did years ago."
"So she is either a human transformed into a dragon who can adopt human form, or a maga who can adopt a dragon form as a bjorner can adopt the form of a natural animal. Or perhaps a shapeshifter with an unusual feature of being able to adopt a form not usually found outside of a mystical realm. Any of these represents a potentially intriguing breakthrough. What about a familiar? Can she still take a familiar? Does she have a familiar?"

Lucas sees Vibria arrive as he's coordinating the furnishing of his tower, having just moved back to Arans. He comes down and greets her cordially, welcoming her back to Arans. Unless and until he hears from the other masters to the contrary, she is still a master at the covenant and deserving of respect. Should the matter be brought up in council, however, he will agree with Arachne that it might be best for her not to hold office for a time. Diplomatically, he'll suggest that it be done 'to allow her to become comfortable with her new abilities.' He thinks it unlikely she's a doppelganger, but is aware of the trouble she could cause if she were and was allowed to take control of the covenant's forces.

Having to rejigger a couple of things, due to my missing one or two details. Namely, that she can't change into a dragon at this time (but she could for a while, and will dedicate herself to figuring out how to do it again because it was AWESOME!

I'll edit and repost the initial post in a couple of minutes.

It's a cold and blustery day in early December of the year of our Lord 1237; the wind is swirling around the base of the castle walls, there's a light dusting of snow on the ground, and there are just enough flurries scampering through the air to excite the children.

The guards standing watch at the top of the tower that once served as Vibria's sanctum blink in surprise as they see a couple walking hand-in-hand up the path from Arans Village. Alejandro, the older of the two, peers intently at the travelers, thinking that something looks very familiar about one of them. As they draw closer, his jaws drops in surprise, then sets in a grim line.

"I can't believe she's still alive," he mutters. He watches them for a few minutes to be sure of himself before turning to call down to the guards on the parapet below.

"Send for one of the magi. We have visitors, it looks to be Mistress Vibria. And she's picked up a stray, it seems."

Vibria and Jaksic stop before the castle gate. The maga Flambonis is wearing heavy fur robes that manage to conceal her distinctive curves, and a hat pulled down over her ears; her chestnut hair falls over her shoulders, and the air seems to shimmer around her (a result of the Robes Proof Against the Cold that she cast that morning). The snowflakes evaporate when they land on her with an audible and annoying hiss (the spontaneous Cloak of the Duck's Feathers she had cast got a little bit away from her). Her tall and gangly fiancé, for his part, is dressed in the manner of a German courtier, and also seems surprisingly unaffected by the cold (as Vibria had cast the same spells on him as she had herself, and has also extended her Parma over him).

She looks up at the castle, a lump gathering in her throat. [color=red]I've faced down dragons, why does returning home scare me so? she wonders. Jaksic looks at her, a look of concern on his face, and gives her hand a reassuring squeeze. She grins when she sees [strike]whichever random magus the guards fetched (basically, whomever hops in first)[/strike] Carmen.

[color=red]"Salve, sodalis. I'm home."


Once the welcoming pleasantries are exchanged, Vibria grows more serious.

[color=red]"I request that I be allowed to enjoy Andorra's hospitality as a guest, and I petition that I be allowed to meet with the Council at their convenience."

[hr][/hr][color=red]"Thank you, sodales, for allowing me to speak today. First off, let me apologize for leaving as I did. After the accident, and my injuries, I believed that I needed time away to...recover, to rediscover who I was. And, in a way, I was right. I have regained my breath and, more importantly, I found Jaksic. My fiancé. I have returned, come back, I feel, a much better person and a stronger maga than I was when I left, and I petition for membership anew in the Covenant as a Journeyman. I feel that all of you are aware of my value to the Covenant. And, furthermore, [strike]I have gained the ability to assume the form of a dragon.[/strike] I had, for a time, an item that allowed me to take the form of a dragon, at least for a while. That is something I need to regain, either through my own innate knowledge or (barring that) through the crafting of another item. I'm sure I don't have to spell out all of the benefits that having a draco-maga would have for Andorra. And all of my talents are, as always, at Andorra's disposal."

Carmen's response

Arachné's response. Seeing as how Vibria's draconic form phrasing has changed, might need to be revisited.

Lucas's response

(Fleur's and Felicia's response probably needs to be changed drastically, considering the changes I made)

Arachné looks from the sides, frowning

Aside from roasting meat, you mean? Abandonning her friends, at best. Being a mole for Sigmundo, at worst. I'm hoping for "unwilling pawn" myself.

My sentiment exactly, says Arachné, walking forward.

You claim to be our departed sodales, and expect us to welcome you with open arms.
I don't know what would be worse. For some kind of Faerie or Demon to try to trick us into welcoming her in our rank, or for the sodales who abandonned us without warning to just come home smiling. While our charter allow us to leave, there's a difference between leaving and deserting.
Or maybe you are Vibria, just... closer to your grandfather than you were before?

I'll tell you. I don't know who you are. Do you?

The spider tried to give Vibria the benefit of the doubt, but she was hurt by the young maga's departure. Now, Vibria's Judged Unfairly comes back full force, yeah!

Fleur looks at Vibria "Faerie or demon?"
Felicia shrugs " Possibly, though a faerie adopting a story from her reputation should be fairly young, and I wouldn't think able to cross the ageis."
"So possibly a demon? Not sure why a demon strong enough to cross would want to impersonate her as opposed to someone whose arrival would be less dramatic. I suppose a demons eternal oblivion would help make that determination..." she thinks a moment "probably overkill though. Besides I don't think a demon would bring along a fiance an complicate the story."
"And a faerie wouldn't be able to add that kind of detail without human assistance"
Having apparently made up her mind Fleur walks up to Vibria and offers a gentle hug. "Welcome back, when is the wedding?"

Lucas watches Vibria's return with some suspicion. Did she really do all she says she did? Will she stay here for good or go haring off again when the mood suits her? These were all good questions, and time would tell. But she was still a master of the covenant and deserving of respect. Whatever his suspicions, he would certainly give her respect.

OOC: I hadn't realized she had Judged Unfairly as a Flaw. I'll have to cut her a little less slack. :wink:

[color=red]"No, I don't. I expect to return and to be given the opportunity to atone for what I did. I have done a lot of soul-searching the last couple of years, while I was gone, and see that I was a lot less mature than I should have been, especially for a maga with as much power as I have.

"I totally understand and appreciate your skepticism...frankly, I would have been shocked if you weren't," Vibria continues with a smile, [color=red]"and I am willing to undergo any examination you, any of you wish to perform, magical or mundane.

"Do I know who I am? I have a better handle on myself than I did when I left. I accept that I am human, with dragon blood, and not a dragon in human form. And that was harder to accept than you might think. But, do we ever really know who we are? All our lives, from the day we're born until the day we die or fall into Final Twilight, we're all different people. I'm not the same person I was yesterday, and I'll be a different person tomorrow. And that's okay, that's good, you have to keep moving through life, as long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I am still Vibria Flambonis Nascor Draconem ab Andorrae. And I would love to be ab Andorrae for the rest of my life."

Vibria returns the hug, albeit with a little more enthusiasm than Fleur showed. [color=red]"Very soon, we hope. Basically, as soon as we can get with Father Clemente (he is still around, I hope) and can get into the church. We've been traveling together for two years now, and we are both very antsy to get things going."

Yeah. Vocis and Arachne, I think you two are being overdramatic as well. She left for a few years then came back. We are not indentured servants and she did give notice. In fact, I think suspending her from holding office is far more than called for. But she wants to be humble, and if probation makes her feel better, no skin off my nose.
Unless a situation arises where these childish games interfere with the operations of this covenant.
So welcome back Vibria. You can have your tower back, it is just as you left it. You may have to build a new lab from scratch though.
Your rank is Mistress. There are no provisions for reduction. I'll give you the honorific of Flamina Minore if it makes you feel any better.
And if it makes everyone else feel better, we shall run her through the Interrogatory. Though I think she has done that before. It is somewhere in this record book here. Too lazy to look it up.

When Vibria returns the hug more enthusiastically Fleur also squeezes harder, and appears to consider kissing her but glances at Vibria's fiancé and apparently decides against it.

Carmen... So like your father...

She smiles briefly, but frankly.

Have it your way, then.
But you can bet I'll run her through the interrogation again. That's my job, after all. Be the wicked one^^.

(It it me, or are we playing good cop/bad cop here? :laughing: )

You perceive correctly :wink:

(I could have sworn I posted the Interrogatory already for Vibria's return, but I guess not. (Oh, and btw, I put the Interrogatory on the wiki, on the Rules for Membership page.)

[color=red]"No, I haven't."

[color=red]"Not only do I not intend to deceive or harm Andorra or her members, but I will do what I can to protect her."

[color=red]"Not willingly."

[color=red]As surprising as this may sound," she says after a moment, [color=red]"but there's no such thing. Andorra is my home, and I would never dream of betraying her again."

[color=red]"If by 'consorted' you mean 'tried to destroy', then yes. Other than that, never."

What do you mean by "betraying her again"? Are you still being overdramatic about your vacation? Or is there something else you need to tell us?

Then from out of the fireplace...

MeoW! You guys are getting wrong! It is supposed to be "Are you now or have you ever been a member of House Diedne? Are you a Diedne sympathizer?
Roberto walks over and grabs his cat from the fireplace.
No it isn't, Just STFU and sit over here by me.
Sory about that everyone :smiley:

[color=red]"The former. And perhaps 'betrayed' is too strong a word, but for a long time, I did feel like I betrayed you all, somewhat, by leaving abruptly the way I did. Perhaps 'let you all down' would be closer to the truth. Either way, it won't happen again."

What's done is done. I just don't want to set a precedent for others having to feel guilty for taking a leave of absence.

Welcome home Vibria of Flambeau. Now let us plan a wedding!

[color=red]"Oh, there is one more thing. I told Jaksic that I would try to find him a position with the covenant. He has the gift of tongues, so I think we could use him as a translator if and when the need arises. I don't know if that talent extends to writing as well (although he is literate). If so, then we can trade for books in other languages and have him translate them for our library?

"Also, he is rather good in combat, perhaps he could find a spot in the Guard if we don't have use for him elsewhere. I'm honestly not sure if there's someone we need to talk to about hiring him, or if that's something we do."

After the meeting, Vibria will get Jaksic and track down Father Clemente to make arrangements for the wedding, asap. (I'm thinking three days, I don't know why. But hopefully within the next few days). She will sit through whatever questions he may have for them, answering truthfully. The relevant ones that come to mind are:

  • Whether they're members of the Church. Vibria is (having been baptized and confirmed as a child), and continues to attend mass on a semi-regular basis; although, with all the traveling the last however long, it's probably been longer than normal since she's been. I'm assuming something similar with Jaksic.
  • Whether they've been "living in sin", which they haven't. Never even slept together in that way.
  • Consanguinity, which there isn't.

As soon as they get a date and time for the wedding, she will post the bans on the church door, then extend personal invites to whomever she can think of – basically, all the magi she knows, the members of the Andorran Guard she'd trained with, Lucia and Epona. She will even ask about Vulcanus and Fédora, and be somewhat surprised to hear that they'd left).

She will seek out Carmen and ask if she would do her the honor of being her Maid of Honor at the wedding, as she can't think of anyone she'd rather have at her side at such a time. If Sigmundo is available (and I'd be surprised if he isn't), she will ask him to give her away. She will also ask if Jaksic has anyone in mind for his best man; if he doesn't, she would suggest Roberto.

She also asks if there are any villas on Mallorca that she and Jaksic can use for a few weeks for their honeymoon. Or someplace nice and warm, and private.