Summer 1222 Tribunal: Wouldn't It Be Loverly

Cygna stays at her seat for a couple of minutes, looking at surprise at Sophronia's abrupt departure. [color=red]"And I thought I was the hot-head," she mutters to herself.

She then gets up and mingles for a bit, gradually making her way back to Niamh and Stephen Eruditus.

[color=red]"It's funny you should mention Duos Flumen," she says (hopefully working it smoothly into the conversation). [color=red]"I was actually born and raised there, not to mention spending my whole apprenticeship there, before I left for Iberia."

A look of annoyance briefly crosses Stephen's face when Cygna joins their conversation, but he quickly hides his annoyance. Niamh, however, welcomes Cygna's interjection. "Such a lovely place!" she exclaims. "The willow trees by the riverbanks are beyond comparison, I hear. I can understand wanting to stay close to family, but not TOO close."

As Cygna hears the conversations going on around her, she can't help but notice how studiously no one mentions Sophronia's dramatic egress.

Really? Sorry, I just have a hard time with Jerbiton being exclusive. You like Art? Great! You're gently gifted, great! You like discussing politics? Great. A dinner party of simply gently gifted magi is nothing if not an exercise in congratulating themselves for being themselves. This is one of the few free choices Sophronia (as I envisioned her) was able to make. This exclusivity literally made her sick. Note, it wasn't storming out, it was walking out calmly, and wishing everyone, in a pleasant voice good night. But characterize it however you wish.

Yup, that's precisely what it is, and disdain for the Jerbiton parties is a sentiment Iulia herself expressed right off the bat.

Just because it's true, doesn't make it any less politically damaging to declare the Tribunal's biggest movers and shakers a bunch of self-important snobs :slight_smile:

As the evening progresses, Cygna will feel more and more like a fish out of water. She tries to mingle and make pleasant conversation, but gets a stronger and stronger feeling that she doesn't belong with all these polite, genteel magi. (She has no Etiquette, is basically a peasant, and is trying very hard to keep to her Vow of Humility...and it's easy to feel humble when you're rubbing elbows with the upper crust.)

Eventually she probably retreats to the kitchen and practically begs for something to do, some way she can help.

Like a shark who smells blood, Iulia descends on Cygna just before she scurries out. "Overwhelming, isn't it?" she asks amiably. "You would be wise not to compound upon the problems your sodalis has posed for Gallus Florensis. You already had your work cut out for you, as is. Let me help you."

[color=red]"Yes, it is," Cygna replies. [color=red]"I'm quite sure what I was expecting, but I'm fairly certain that it wasn't...this." She manages to refrain from gesturing toward the entire room.

[color=red]"I was a little surprised at her leaving, but most likely she simply felt as out-of-place as I do. I'd certainly hate for my covenant to suffer for my actions, though...from what I understand, it's going to be difficult enough as it is."

"What if I could offer you a guaranteed success winning all the vis claims you're contesting?" Iulia asks Cygna, in perfect fluent Russian.

Cygna looks at her, more than a little surprised. And a little suspicious. [color=red]"Not to be blunt, sodalis, but why?" she says quietly, in the same tongue. [color=red]"Isn't it risky to 'guarantee' that we'll get all of our disputed vis sources back? And I can't help but wonder what's in it for you, or for Voluntas?"

"I am willing to make you a deal: I will ensure you get what you need, if you help me get what I want," she explains. "Tomorrow the Tribunal will hear proposals on matters affecting the Order as a whole, including tribunal protocol. A friend of mine will be proposing a number of reforms, none of which affect Gallus Florensis' interests in any way. If you secure all the votes your covenant controls, in favour of the proposals I support, I will drop all Voluntas' claims on vis rights previously enjoyed by Gallus Florensis."

((as far as Cygna knows, do any other covenants have any claims against Gallus Florensis's vis sources, or is it all Voluntas?))

Libellus has a claim on the Intellego source, and Schola has a rival claim on the Imaginem source. Voluntas has claims on the Corpus source and the now defunct Perdo source; one of their members is responsible for the dissolution of your Auram source as well.

((So, they will drop the claim on Myrddin's Well that they are disputing. But the Oracle's Tree (Libellas), the Musician's Festival (Schola Pythagoranis) are claimed by other covenants, while their dropping the claim Ambrosinus' Treasure is, as near as I can tell, an empty gesture since the hill went kablooey.))

[color=red]"I thought you said that you would guarantee that we would win back all our contested vis sources?" Cygna says with a smile. [color=red]"Dropping your claim on Myrddin's Well and getting Phessalia's husband to allow us to harvest the Auram as we had in the past is all well and good, but are you able to guarantee that Libellas and Schola Pythagoranis will drop their claims as well?"

Iulia smiles smugly. "Who do you think notified Schola when the Musician's Festival source became available? As for Libellus... I have a certain amount of influence I'm willing to exercise over Eruditus. So the short answer to your question is, yes, I can guarantee it."

Cygna thinks for a moment, then nods. [color=red]"Very well. I will speak with my sodales and get their support. I will verify with you in the morning that I have what I need, and likewise you. I do believe we have a bargain?"

If so, she will get a list of what reforms Iulia's friend will be proposing, and then seek out each of the Gallus Florensians and explain that, by the grace of God, she has worked out an agreement with Iulia that will ensure that we get all of our vis sources back, and uncontested, in exchange for our support on these proposals.

Longer post will follow later, but the tl;dr version is Fredegisa has a number of proposals that will wrench the concentration of power away from Blackthorn and spread it out among the Tribunal covenants fairly evenly. Voting for it all unilaterally would put you on the wrong side of the most powerful covenant in the Tribunal, but then, if it passes, they would no longer be the most powerful covenant in the tribunal.

The proposals:

  • tribunal location will rotate every seven years
  • scintilla is the rightful praeco whether she wants the job or not.
  • praeco vote should no longer break ties
  • presiding quaesitor should no longer declare sentences for crimes-- sentences should be voted upon by tribunal majority
  • any fines levied for low crimes should go into a fund at the mercer house dedicated towards general tribunal use, and those funds should be documented transparently as public record (currently, Blackthorn hoards all of those, ostensibly for their own private use)
  • any covenant that fails to send at least one delegate to two consecutive tribunals will lose their covenant status

Those actually seem, to Us, to be perfectly reasonable proposals. But, [color=red]"What happens if Scintilla just decides not to come to Tribunal?"

"She won't. She's been working too hard to rebuild her House's influence in Stonehenge."

Something about Iulia's smile reminds Cygna of a viper. "Clever girl. I almost regret putting you into a position where you have no choice but to ally with me."