A couple of minutes later, a rather haggard-looking Vibria opens the door...and the "haggard" doesn't even include the fact that she is bald as...um...well...as an egg. Completely hairless. Not even any eyebrows, or eyelashes. In her arms, she's holding a bird of some kind, obviously a hatchling, since it's still covered in down.
[color=red]"Um...we don't have a phoenix egg anymore."
(I know, I am purposefully messing with the timing, and pretending she is ignorant).
But if it is easier that way, sure. But the very first words out of Carmen's mouth are something to the effect that she wants her egg back and how hard it was to avoid getting pregnant while obtaining it.
She wants Vibria to feel uncomfortable and guilty [size=20](that thieving little hussy)[/size].
Carmen could make the argument that it was acquired on an independent side adventure. Covenant business was the deal with Cacadackles tower. The cloud-sheep can be considered part of that. This is a new vis source, and Carmen can claim the first year's yield.
The book and egg were acquired during a personal adventure, having chosen to take the long way home and being lucky enough to chance upon Frey's castle and having a successful (and non-fertilizing) personal encounter.
However, the Resolutions do not state that covenant business needs be involved. It simply says:
That's a tricky bit of wording and I don't know why I did that. But there it is.
Now the assets in question are the book and egg together. Carmen is due one-seventh of the value of this fabulous book and an un-hatched phoenix egg. She will propose that the shell fragments with their original vis is fair compensation.
Vulcanus shrugs. "It's not like you had what it takes to hatch the egg. But if your personal greed exceeds the covenant's need, then there's much anyone can do to stop you from taking what you want," he sighs. "The vis is in the covenant stores and I'm sure that as Treasurer you know where that is."
But it is the egg shells that are the important part. I was thinking of using the egg as an ingredient in a longevity potion. But the powdered shells should suffice.
And what sort of vis? How much? I was theorizing Creo and Ignem. Is it dedicated vis or separate pawns? Creo would be useful for Longevity. I wish you hadn't removed the vis from the shell, and had let me do that.
But aside from any sympathetic resonance, the original vis or any vis itself is not important.
All I want is the eggshells.
Vulc, this is not about me and you or your sense of propriety concerning resources. This is about the relationship between me and Vibria. She is a disrespectful little shrew and she needs to learn her place. I want those eggshells, I want her to personally present them to me, and I want her to apologize for her actions. I would have paid the covenant for the egg and presented it to her as a reward for service, if she had only asked.
I see this as an opportunity for her, to learn to be introspective and show temperance and subdue her passions that they may not be a stumbling block on her path to illumination.
(this is all roleplaying stuff, hoping to develop the personalities of these characters and the nature of their relationship)
"I didn't, it's not an efficient use of my time. Fedora transferred the vis into pawns; there was a rook each of Creo, Ignem, and Vim. I should probably have tipped her for it, but she's a Councilmember, so I didn't." [size=20]also I'm a cheap bastard.[/size]
Vulc nods. "If you'll let the vis stand in the covenant stores then I have no quarrel with you. Though the four pawns as a Finder's Fee seems entirely reasonable. Now, I can't really disagree with you about Vibria. She's very young, but she is maturing. I thought she was going to bite my head off when I told her I was putting the vis in the treasury, but she suppressed her instinct and agreed. If she tried to keep it, I was just going to argue that since I technically discovered the vis it was mine by rights, and then just put it in the treasury anyway." He smirks. "She does need to learn some temperance, for certain. But you going alpha-bitch on her isn't going to achieve anything. If you walk in there and make demands, she's just going to dig her heels in because she'll think you're just being spiteful. Why not just tell her, privately, that she undermined your authority by running off with the egg, and let her figure out what she needs to do to make amends for the insult?"
My father may have been lacking in many qualities, but leadership was not one of them. It isn't about dominance, it is about maintaining authority. And our gender is not a factor, so mind your tongue. I know, I am a bad example. I shall watch myself.
I knocked on her door earlier, she looked like hell and told me she didn't have the egg. So I went looking for you. And now I learn about this. If you want, we can go see her together.
So, what happened when it hatched?
Vibria continues to scratch the hatchling in her arms tenderly. [color=red]"Carmen, I'd like you to meet Lux. She was...or a previous incarnation was, anyway...the Familiar of Elaine. Elaine filia Flambeau." She waits to see if Carmen gets it yet.
((I'm not quite sure when the rest of the dialogue between Carmen and Vulcanus happens, or where, so I don't know how pissed Vibria should be ))
(don't worry about it, we will just roll with it)
I see. Frey explained much and the book I brought tells more. So you...
...Carmen seems at a loss for words, so befuddled by her own anger and frustration. Gears spin, wheels turn, and when she comes to a conclusion she tries to phrase it as best she can...
Thank you for hatching the bird for me. I was hoping to draw upon your unique talents with Ignem in this. The nest step is that you will come with me when we return the bird to Elaine in Valhalla. Also, I require the remaining eggshells.
((All day, I was thinking, and was planning to post something starting with, "You do realize I'm standing right here, right?" ))
[color=red]"You're welcome. It was an experience...far more taxing than anything that I've ever gone through before. Although..." she looks down at Lux again, then glances at Vulc with a coy smile, [color=red]"I suspect it may have prepared me for the worst aspects of motherhood."
[color=red]"Elaine's still alive?!?" Vibria seems shocked. [color=red]"The Elaine?!?"
[color=red]"May I ask why? I was hoping to keep them, maybe find a way to glue them back together into the egg's original shape, as a memento. I don't think Lux will be staying with us, and I would like something to remember her by. We have been through a lot together, already."
The whole time she's been talking, she's been scratching and petting Lux.
Vibria, meanwhile, gets a mental image of Elaine completing a ritual spell, after which the intact egg rests in her hands.
The baby bird waddles over to the nightstand where the shell fragments lie; she looks up, unable to see how to reach them, then promptly torches the nightstand. The ashes of Formerly Nightstand fall to the floor in a heap, and the shell fragments fall down on top of the pile. Lux pulls them into a little heap and then sits on top of them, as if to say, These are mine, how dare either of you claim ownership?
(Carmen smiles, then bursts out laughing)
Well, there you have it. The shell bits and bird and all and going with us to Asgard. Next year, after it has grown large enough to fly.
(Metagame issue, I want to get past the dragon situation in our timeline and development before undertaking this adventure)
Oops. Carmen doesn't feel something ping off her Parma; she receives the same mental image, too. (I forgot that I'd reduced the might point cost of Empathic Communication down to 0, which gives Lux 48 Penetration on that ability. NICE. That also means her BoAFs have smokin' hot penentration, too!)
Vibria glares daggers at Carmen's retreating back, then turns to Lux. [color=red]"Do you want this, Lux?" she indicates the flames on her bed.
If it seems she does, she will cast Tremulous Vault of the Torch's Flame to have the fire leap from the bed to the phoenix chick. If not, she will cast it to have it leap into the nearest hearth. Or against the floor or wall. (I was going to have her spont a PeIg, but she's still too weak to spont and not have to take a nap.)
She then looks at the ruins of her bed. [color=red]"Damn it, where am I going to sleep now?" she asks Vulc. [color=red]"It's going to take a couple of days for the carpenter to make me a new bed, and the chirurgeon wants me to get a lot of rest for a few days."