Spring 1221: Chapter 5, Prelude

"I see. And I suppose you think it's an acceptable expenditure of everyone's time for us to wait upon a grog so that you can hear the report before we cover other business at hand. Just like your pater. I disagree, so we are moving on for the moment. You can speak with Marcus when he arrives."

Samuel chews on his lower lip. "I'm-- I don't know. I would prefer to know that I can stay close to home until I'm grown up. But-- even if it's only a temporary situation, that's still preferable to being shipped off somewhere I've never been before."

Liliana shrugs. "It is a covenant charter. The skin of at least a dozen sheep is dedicated merely to defining a Code of Conduct for all members. For example, it is technically a violation of the charter not to say "God bless you" when you hear someone sneeze, or to wear slippers instead of cobbled shoes. He's actually got a dress code in there as well... Magus Justinius felt that magi should declare their station by their dress, and thus all magi are required to wear robes publicly. There was no greater way to offend him than to wear trousers in his presence. The poor man never could adjust to living in a mixed covenant, and I believe that having such a frivolous charter helped him feel optimistic that we would all shape up to be prim and proper little Tremere soldiers for him." There is a strange sound then, much like the gurgling of a hot spring steaming through a snowy riverbank, and it takes a moment before you realize that sound is Liliana's laughter. "We have all been a terrible disappointment to him, I fear. Regardless, your concern is understandable. I signed this document more decades ago than I care to count, and the only time I have ever regretted it was once when he actually pressed charges against me for calling little Sophia here by her birth name. 'Discipulus' indeed. The good Quaesitor charged me five pawns of vis for the low crime of violating a covenant charter." She fills a cup with tea, and passes it to Sophronia along with a honeycake, and then pinches the maga's cheek like some batty old aunt. "It was well worth it, I think. He needed to learn that no amount of knowledge will ever allow anyone to control their environment entirely." She turns back to Cygna and her eyes glitter with mistrust. "Regardless, little swan, if you fear to sign, no one here will attempt to force you. I'm sure Duos Flumen would be happy to have you back, though I regret that your Hermetic pater would not be there to welcome you." Her unnaturally pointed teeth glisten as she smiles.

[i]((This is about the time that Attravere, Aequi and Sophronia all notice that Liliana has changed quite a bit from how you remember her. She always had an unnatural sort of beauty, typical among fae, but her teeth were certainly not sharp, her eyes were unnaturally blue but they didn't look like someone shoved a pair of sapphires into her head, and while she had been pale before, her skin didn't look like it was crafted out of porcelain.

Her personality is a bit different as well. She had always been kind and motherly but occasionally capricious (at least where Leona was not concerned), but now she seems more reserved and distant. Her unmasked loathing for Leona is completely unchanged, though.))[/i]

Attravere cocks an eyebrow at Claudia when she enters the room with Shmuel. A slight upturn on the corner of his lips to indicate pleasant curiosity when her desire is mentioned.

"Sorry I'm late." she mutters before sitting on the floor so as not to break (another) chair.
Attravere in a friendly manner to Sinmore once she enters.

To Tabanus, Attravere nods a suitably casual manner so as not to cause him discomfort regarding his obvious condition.

When a gap presents itself in the conversation, "Regarding the conflict of interests within the turb's archers it seems like we'd best be quite careful about the situation lest we invite hostility with the mundanes nearby. Perhaps working out a new set of negotiations with this baron fellow would be in order. It seems he is in a position of great weakness at the moment which could be used to barter for much better terms."

"Ah. We really should get a summarized version penned at some point so that we can avoid this. Normally it isn't as much an issue, but of late it has gotten a bit tedious." Attravere sighs. "I can offer a small summary of the more notable bits for what you may be signing, but having not read the entirety of it I can't really answer many questions. Will that suffice?"

While awaiting a reply, Attravere offers in an encouraging fashion, "It is a shame that Magus Rhodri hasn't arrived just yet. I believe he would be pleased to have you as an apprentice, Shmuel."

"Lily, that's not what you just said. You were making a unilateral decision to allow the grogs to go, that Thomas could do as he pleases and hope that our grogs come back. Such a course of action seems imprudent at this time, and I would have more information so that we may all partake in the decision. We are a council, are we not?" Calmly pressing her case that the matter is not settled.

"If there is another, more prepared to take an apprentice I would withdraw my offer. I'm, honestly, ill-prepared to take an apprentice, as there is much I must learn myself. I offer this, as any Tremere would, as indeed, a Tremere did when I was discovered in Graecia. And, I would end up requesting much assistance from the House, especially after bringing considerable resources with me back to Gallus Florensis."

Shmuel wrinkles his nose. "Magus Rhodri... He's always sweaty, like some common tradesman. Does he even do magic? I'd rather be YOUR apprentice..."

She waves her hand dismissively. "If there are no further opinions on the issue, then yes, we would let Thomas do as he pleases. You yourself said your opinion is pending on hearing from Marcus. We are not going to put council matters on hold because you wish to consort with mundanes."

[color=red]"Yes, it will. Thank you."

Upon hearing Attravere's summary of the Charter (the good parts version), she will sign, using her full Hermetic name. The quill does jolt a little bit at Liliana's last jibe. When she finishes, she carefully replaces the quill and stands up straight, glaring at the Merinita.

[color=red]"What have you done with my mater, you cow?" she says lowly. ((ooc – I assume you meant hermetic mater, since Grus is a woman. Or were you referring to her uncle, whose name escapes me at the moment and apparently I forgot to save – the polar bear Bjornaer from Blackthorn who's Siberian, and who had originally taken Katerina to be his apprentice before her heartbeast was brought out and found to be of an incompatible temperament?))

Attravere chokes on a honeycake and unceremoniously coughs up some crumbs before him. Eyes watering he stammers an apology, "gack M-my pardons."

[Editted to add:

Attravere's summarization, while nice, does include the restrictions (priorities) on library use, use of byways, and the use of Iapetus' robes as an example of the probationary member's clothing. Just in case that gives any potential signatories pause.]

"As far as I know, your mater is in perfect health and temperament. I was merely expressing my condolences that your pater has passed away. What was his name again? Tall, dark Spaniard...?"

((Nope, used the gender-specific term on purpose. :stuck_out_tongue: Liliana really hates Leona, so she doesn't trust Cygna. It recently came out that Leona had been banging Lily's brother Maribus, so there's fresh vitriol on top of the existing acrimony.))

Sinmore looks at the charter and signs it, possibly again (she can't recall if she signed it before or not). At the mention of the archer turb she looked about to say something but then thinks better of it. She was in enough trouble with the blasted book she ruined, best not to chime in on this.

Her eyes perk up at the nasty comments though and she looks on eagerly for what could be some excitement.

Seemingly nonplussed by Liliana's physical changes, though still a little shaken from his choking fit, Attravere notes Liliana's mocking tone (2+2+8=12 on a Folk Ken) and offers Sophronia an honest condolence in an attempt to deflect the rising ire. "I am very sorry to hear about your loss, Sodale. As you've undoubtedly heard since your return, I too suffered the loss of someone close to me not long ago. Perhaps we might find the time to commiserate over a good brew together after the council?" Then without pausing, "While at the council, however, we should focus on the matters at hand. I've offered my meager thoughts on the matter of the brewing conflict outside our walls. It seems the issue of Shmuel's apprenticeship must await Magus Rhodri's appearance." Then turning to Shmuel, "I'm sorry Shmuel, though I am now a Magus, I am still very young and not qualified to a teacher, let alone for someone as bright as you." Turning to Liliana, "There is still the matter of Claudia's request, but are there other -covenant- matters of greater importance we should deal with first, Maga Liliana?"

Sophronia looks a bit horrified at the thought that Justinius is truly gone, as if she'd never considered the possibility that he might be dead or in Final Twilight. "I'm quite focused on council matters. I'm waiting for Lily to entertain the next item on her agenda. So far we know she wishes to send our grogs off, without any expectation that they might return. I would enjoy hearing what else we have in store." she says a bit tersely.

"In the interim, let it be know I've claimed my pater's lab, I have paid off the debt to the Baron, and had I known that this debt was for just a year, I would've undertaken negotiations. I also have vis available to repay the debt to House Mercere that I believe the covenant has incurred. But, we can discuss all that when Lily's ready."

(OOC: I completely mixed up Sophronia and Cygna. I am big fail)

"By all means; I am thrilled to hear you're no longer insisting that we all sit here idly while we await your grog captain friend."

"'Certainly, entertain us with your next item, Lily." Sophronia doesn't even bother to feign an expectant look.

Iapetus seems to relax comfortably in his chair, fingers absent-mindedly tracing the edge of his foul-looking yellow Probationary robes. He seems attentive if distracted, though there is a definite hint of interest as he follows the witty barbs being slung back and forth by the various magi gathered. He briefly ponders if people had forgotten to keep their Parma up, but the history apparent between the associated magi is clearly much more than mere Gift-induced distrust. So many stray thoughts... These lady Maga seem quite vicious in their smiles to each other - Liliana he know had a fey temperment, but the counterstrikes were very interesting. He could definitely learn some interesting things from their banter, if he cared to.

"So glad I have your permission, Sophia. The next item on the agenda is the state of our vis sources. All but one are currently contested, but I fear that some of them may be being destroyed. The Perdo vis source, in particular, concerns me. When I went to collect the vis last, not only was there no vis, but both of the dragons seemed... endangered. When I entered the first cavern, I found the white dragon inside a burrow, encased in some sort of shell. I went to the second cavern, and the red one was encased in a similar shell, suspended from the cavern roof. I could not release either one from its... bonds, but as I am not versed in the care of magical creatures, I thought perhaps someone else might wish to try."

At this Iapetus will sit forwards again, brushing his dark hair back from his eyes. "I am of course glad to help. I understand I must still prove myself to this covenant properly." Without noticing, he seems to be adjusting those probationary robes again. They never seem comfortable. "I know nothing of dragons nor magical beasts, however... and I am not well versed in the arts of Perdo either." He gives a slight frown to himself, before shaking the mood off, and adding, "But I always do love a good challenge." The Tytalus gives a winning smile and settles back to quietly observe the meeting once more.

Tabanus relaxes visibly once the topic of conversation moves on from the subject of who is to complete Shmuel's training. In fact, he now feels well enough to help himself to one of those tasty-looking cakes on the table!
"These are for everyone I presume?" he asks before actually touching any of them...

Cygna grins for a moment as Attravere mentions that all probationary members must wear the ghastly yellow robes that seem to be causing Iapetus such discomfort. The smile quickly fades as she realizes that he's not joking, to be replaced by a "are you kidding me?" gape.

Cygna continues to glare at Liliana, the anger on her face tempered with a dollop of confusion. ((ooc – the "tall, dark Spaniard" isn't ringing a bell))

[color=red]"Do the shells seem to be bonds of some kind, or could they be cocoons? In Voyages with Vampires, Archmagus Gilderoy Lockhart hypothesizes that some forms of dragon undergo a metamorphosis into other, more fearful forms, something akin to caterpillars becoming butterflies. Perhaps that is what is happening here."

(OOC: Wow, you guys do write an awful lot!!!)

Hiems will look at cygna, not wanting to sign until she agrees to stay here.
He'll refrain and pose the quill while Cygna's questions are answered, and sign after her.

As per the boy... In a moment of weakness, he takes pity on the boy and almost offer to take him as an apprentice... Luckily, Samuel's last words snap him out of it :wink:

Being right next to Cygna, Hiems should hear this.
He turns to cygna, raising an eyebrow o_O
Hushing Cygna!

I can't promise you anything, but I may take a look. I am a little focused on Perdo and Rego, which may help. Although it might be wise to investigate the shell first. Are you sure this is a trap and not some kind of natural change?
When Cygna voices the same concerns, although in a more informed fashion, Hiems is pleased, but not surprised at all. By then, he's become quite accustomed to her wisdom and deepness of vision.

Hiems /impassibility ^^
(But he doesn't like it either. Which causes him to be even more impassible.)