Spring 1221: Chapter 5, Prelude

Late in Spring, Attravere pops off and pops back with a group of folks from Iberia: Cygna Bjornaeris and Hiems Ex Miscellanea, plus a few of their retainers. The visitors are all given guest quarters within the Great Hall.

A council meeting is called to discuss the state of the covenant and to discuss provisional membership for the newcomers.

The two guests, Cygna and Hiems, are the first to arrive in the council chamber, where Liliana Merinitae is arranging some flowers in a vase. Upon their arrival, she looks up and sees Hiems first. A slow smile spreads across her face, and she looks almost shy for a moment. Then her gaze settles on Cygna... "I know you are her creature, foolish child. I will be watching your steps carefully... you would do well to do the same," the faerie woman declares, with a smile that never touches her inhuman eyes.

Cygna looks at Hiems with a look of incredulity on her face, then back at the obviously fae woman. [color=red]"I do not know who you are," Cygna says coldly, [color=red]"but I am not a 'beast,' and I most certainly do not belong to anyone. And it would behoove you to stay clear of my path."

"You are going to let this...creature insult you like that, child?" a voice whispers in Cygna's ear. "All these years, and you are still a mewling infant?"

Cygna shoots daggers at Liliana as she moves to take a seat at the table.

O_o Hiems is take aback by the woman's words. Is this how she greets a stranger? With warnings and threats?

He looks at her, then cygna

Sigh... We are guests here, so I should accomodate things. Yet I do not like how she spoke of lady cygna, although the reply was quite accurate... Here we go

To Liliana
Please. We come here in peace, to live as sodales with you all. I do not know you, but it seems to me you're confusing Lady Cygna with someone else. I've known her for some years now, and I can assure you that she is quite a noble and wise person, one whose I trust and value the judgment and integrity.

All this while looking at cygna from the corner of his eyes, recognising some signs of her anger (although he doesn't know if it's from Liliana or from Adorjan)

OOC: Funny thing is, due to hiems combo of V/F and all and liliana's reaction, this may actually worsen things up, adding jealousy to the mix :unamused: :laughing:

Shortly after the newcomers arrive from Iberia, a woman dressed in an undyed abaya which completely covers her body from head to toe wanders the covenant. After a while, she will ask the first person she sees (in good Latin) where she might find the library

Most of the covenfolk do not speak Latin, but they know the sound of it when they hear it, and direct Claudia to see Josef.

Claudia quietly knocks on Josef's door. "Excuse me...Josef? I was wondering if you could direct me to the library?"

He quirks an eyebrow. "Are you a new apprentice, then? You'd need to get access from your parens. Only magi and official scribes may access the library unattended."

"I'm not...well, I used to be, for Pater Salamanca, his apprentice before..." Claudia sounds a little flustered as she speaks. "But I was a scribe at Phoenix since the accident, and they tell me I have a talent for it. And I'm also of some use in the laboratories. And I was hoping that I could do so here, as well."

His expression softens to pity as he thinks he realizes what she's implying. "...Ah. My son was an apprentice as well, and his Hermetic patron has just passed into Final Twilight too. We do not yet know what will become of him now. Perhaps the two of you should talk... Regardless I do not have the authority to appoint new staff to the Hermetic library, only the mundane library. It must be voted on by the council. They are just gathering for a council meeting now. Why don't you and my son Shmuel go on up? He is in the next room."

Claudia will find an awkward gawky boy of thirteen, sobbing quietly at a desk. The ink jar is overturned, and there are tearmarks on the scroll in front of him.

Claudia glances quickly at the desktop, to see if overturned ink jar had ruined the parchment, then realizes that when Josef said that Shmuel's master had just passed into Final Twilight, he meant that the magus had just done so.

She sits next to the boy and places a hand on his shoulder. "Shmuel? Are you okay?"

He starts, and looks up with reddened eyes, and rubs his raw, cracked nose on his sleeve. "I'm-- I'm fine. I just got some ink in my eye," he explains lamely. "Who are you and what's with the holocaust cloak?"

"My name is Claudia ami....Claudia. And this is an abaya, it is a custom for the women to wear them in al-ʼAndalus, where I am from. Or was from, once."

He nods. "You're Islamic," he blurts, part question and part statement. "So when Church soldiers come you'll die like the rest of us. I never feared them when my-- when--" he gasps out a sob and then chokes as he forces it down. "But now that he's gone, who will protect me? Ahh, it's so selfish of me to think that way. I never told him how much... how grateful I... how I loved him!" He breaks down into heartbreaking sobs.

Attravere enters the chambers shortly and in seemingly fine humor.

Smiling brightly and offering the slightest inclination of his head to those gathered, Attravere looks to the guest magi first -

"Ah, greetings Maga Cygna and Magus Hiems. I hope you've found your stay pleasant thus far. I see you've met our dear Maga Liliana..." he trails off awkwardly as he tilts his head to acknowledge his parens' sister and takes in the smile and cold-eyed expression which Liliana bears. Picking up after the strange pause, "...of house Merinitae." and finishes with an involuntary swallow. (It is not difficult for those with any folk ken to see he's a bit afraid.)

Claudia, unsure of what else to do, wraps her arms around him and lets him cry himself out, waiting for him to compose himself.

"I'm sure that he knows how feel, even if you were never able to tell him in words," she says after she lets him go. "But you can still make him proud, by the way you live and the service you do.

"And yes, I am Islamic. But I hope that we have nothing to fear from the soldiers. If Gallis Florensis is anything like Phoenix, then we will be safe for as long as...well, for a long time."

Shmuel cries for a while, and then regains control of his emotions. "You're right," he declares. "I have to find a new master, and grow up to be a wise and benevolent magus. Like my pater. Someone he would be proud of. Like... like..."

He stands up and straightens his virulent green robes. "I have to go find Aequi. They're about to have a council meeting, but they're probably going to try and decide how to get rid of me. I have to convince them not to. Are you-- did you need something here in the accounting room? Something I could help you with before I head over to the wizards' tower?"

Liliana embraces Attravere warmly. "Nephew. It is good to see you," she smiles fondly.

"I hope the others arrive soon. Marike is making honeycakes."

Sophronia enters and introduces herself to anyone she doesn't know with a simple, "I'm Sophronia of Tremere." If someone comments about her full membership status she'll indicate her parentage.

Reassured by the familial connection, Attravere smiles and settles in. His eyes light up at the mention of the honeycakes and he unconsciously licks his lips.

(Has news of Maribus' passing been hand-waved over since the end of chapter 4? It hadn't yet been mentioned in the Epilogue and seemed more appropriate for there... unless it is a segue into chapter 5)