The Rudolphious Records (Winter 1245)

It is the start of a new year, and Fleur receives an unexpected Christmas gift. Delivered by Redcaps, wrapped tightly in cloth, she has been given a thin flap-bound book with no title or indication of the contents. Flipping through it, it appears to not be a proper book at all. It is a collection of notes someone had copied from a variety of resources. They include the extended lineage of the Rudolphius family, which is the Redcap heritage of her apprentice. And surprisingly, it appears that she and her sister are not the only Gifted members of the family. There is no direct correlation or examples of any one of them having inherited their gift. Mundanes sire Magi and Magi sire Mundanes. There is no consistency pointing a direct causal relationship of any sort. But what is certain is that this family has a vastly disproportionate number of Gifted magi. All of House Mercere. Until now.
But there is more.
Also included is information about other families that seem to have a concentrated number of Gifted children. For example, Carmen Perez of Flambeau is noted, having both a gifted mother and father. There is also an example of a line of Tremere magi that births a Gifted child every two or three generations.
But several questions arise. How accurate is this information? What evidence is there for some of these claims? Who compiled these notes and why? And why was it sent to Fleur?

There was an official request made to House Mercere some time back, inquiring about the lineage of the Rudolphius twins. Fleur had received that some time ago, and there seemed to be nothing exceptional of note. The data here seems to directly contradict that. She suspected that the first record was not entirely accurate, but this second book seems to be a mix of truth + conspiricy theory + fabrication.
So what gives?

Fleur begins exploring teh text in detail, checking the discrepancies between the accounts and looking for some insight into the mysteries of mage births from this potential insight, sending letters to the Translvanian Tribunal to see if the stories about the magical lineages has any support or confirmation, and compiling lists of living members of these magical lineages.

Fleur eventually receives a response from Transylvania. Octavian of Tremere informs you that ...there are no truth to the rumors of a Tremere eugenics program. Just as with the liche and vampire conspiracy theories of generations past, these lies, which are easily debunked, were started by jealous rivals of House Tremere. In this case, the origin of this slander is House Jerbiton.
House Tremere does thank you for this inquiry and the opportunity to clear our reputation.
House Tremere has taken interest in your research and would like to contribute to your efforts. We have informed the Mercere bank at Andorra to transfer twelve pawns of Creo Vis to your account. In addition, the Chief Librarian of Coeris has been instructed to compile a codex for you consisting of what little research we have collected on the subject.
Your noble work has the full support of House Tremere. If there is anything you require in these endeavors, Vocis of Tremere, from your own covenant, has been instructed to facilitate what further assistance you need.

Aound the same time, maybe just before that, a Blackcap of House Tremere delivers a message to Vocis. His instructions are to "monitor" Fleur, see what help she needs, and to covertly secret a clandestine covert secretly obfuscated "you-know-what-to-do".

Meanwhile, Fleaur compiles her list. In analysis, she notices a few trends.

  • The ratio of living magi claiming Gifted ancestry is astronomically higher than one-in-ten-thousand. There are over thirty living magi with a Gifted lineage that can be verified to any degree. Every House claims two or three, five are Mercere Magi, and four are Flambeau.
  • Three of these magi were conceived &/or born in or near Andorra.
    • Carmen of Flambeau, according to official records, is the daughter of the Archmagus Antonio of Flambeau and an unnamed Gifted Folk Witch, given the title of the Seeress of Barcelona, and these records further state that her union with Antonio occurred in the town of Ordino. The Andorra records mention Carmen's mother is Golda, that she is Jewish, and etcetera.
    • Dora of Flambeau, aka Edith Rudolphius, is the daughter of Redcaps who was born and raised in Arans. The records mention that she was the apprentice of Vulcanus of Flambeau, that won her battlefield gauntlet, and she is being mentored by Roberto of Flambeau.The record mention that her sister Vera Belladonna is the apprentice of Cornelius of Bonisagus, and that they have sons that are deemed likely to have magical, mythic, or heroic blood. You also get a copy of the whole Rudolphius family tree, and there is recorded to have been at least one Gifted magus in each Rudollphius generation since before the Schism War.
    • Florenzo of Jerbiton is the son of Rodrigo of Mercere. Rodrigo was a Redcap Grandmaster, a former Pontifex of Andorra alongside Archmagus Antonio, and the visionary behind the initial creation of what is now the Mercere Quarter of Andorra. His son Florenzo is the filius of Carles of Jerbiton from Barcelona Covenant.The records mention rumors of some secret deal behind this, which resulted in the modern Redcap Lodge of Barcelona. But this is unverified. Florenzo was a member at Barcelona for several years, and has recently migrated to the Covenant of Bellaquin. He has three children, none of whom exhibit signs of the Gift or exceptional capability.

Naturally, because you are at Andorra, finding records on these three (four) is easy. But the records in the bundle make it seem as if someone is watching Andorran born magi very closely.

Fleur contemplates these records for some time and their implications before heading to see Vocis.
"Soldales, I have received a message from Tremere which I believe has more to it that what is written. They include denials of some form of Eugenics conspiracy which I had not heard of before, nor do I understand why such a claim would be considered slanderous. They are not Bonisagus, and therefore required to reveal their research, and indeed I am very grateful for what they have given to me. It seems that investigating the origin of the gift and how to increase the incidence of it would be prudent, and in line with the philosophy of your house. I have several lines of thought as to what the implications of these statements might be, but I would like to know why the house would consider such rumors to be scandalous rather than praiseworthy." Fleurs signature exuberant sexuality seems dimmed as she begins the meeting, not as if it has been turned off for a serious discussion but rather as if she were restraining it in a fashion she is unaccustomed to doing.

(OOC: Not sure if IBT is paying attention, so I will take over Vocis and alert IBT)

Vocis sighs heavily when he reads the letter from his mentor. They do not understand matters as well as they think. And their overreaction will draw attention. The dramatic is the antithesis of the pragmatic. I am sure she will love the help though.
When Fleur knocks, a servant answers. He invites her into the antechamber and knocks on the Sanctum door to alert Vocis he has a visitor. The Tremere Grandmaster is, at that moment, touching the letter from his mentor to the candle flame.
Excellent. Tell her I will be with her in a moment
Vocis gathers the ash and swallows it.

The light becomes dim in the antechamber, then brightens in a spot in which Vocis appears. The lights then brighten, but remain soft and gentle.
Salve Sodale. I am glad you have come to visit. I wish to discuss the future of the Library.

I think you meant to say they are "therefore non required to reveal their research". But there is nothing to it anyways. There was a rumor in Alpine, stirred up just after the Dragon War. An attempt to slander the Tremere diplomat that was trying to mend the disputes with House Jerbiton. An attempt to discredit his personal magical projects.
I don't know all the details. But it has nothing to do with your projects. I am intrigued as to why Coeris has taken a sudden interest in your work. What is it exactly that they have sent you?

"I'm sorry you are correct, I dropped the word. They have not said much about why, though I suspect they believe having more gifted magi would benefit the order and make recruitment less haphazard, given what little I actually know, versus mere reputation, of your house. What they have sent is a donation of vis and a record of several magical lineages for me to examine for whatever patterns might benefit my research. My concern is that I may have stepped into an intrigue of some sort where I am in over my head. Was it, if you know, the Jerbiton who began the rumor?"

OOC: correction, if I am reading and remembering things right. Someone anonymous sent you the records of lineages. Among other things, they mention a Tremere bloodline in which the Gift repeats every few generations. Fleur wrote an inquiry to Coeris. Due to the fact that both this and that covenant host Redcap hubs, she got a response (and the donation) in just over a week. The respondent, Octavian of Tremere, was once a member of Andorra, circa 1220-23. Octavian is also the mentor of Vocis, and was the official liaison to the Antares during the Dragon Wars. He worked closely with Vibria of Flambeau (and is the secret reason that neither she nor Jaksic can remember how it ended nor ever think about it).

Vocis shrugs as he responds to Fleur.
I know little more than I already told you. It is a rabbit hole that will yield nothing. Octavian is just oversensitive and paranoid. Especially since Mistridge and Grimgroth.
If you want to get under his skin, talk about Certamen. The first and only time he dueled here at Andorra, he was overwhelmed by his own phantasm and went into Twilight.

(OOC: That player botched his roll right out of the gate, it did not go well)
There is no intrigue or anything to worry about. House Tremere has a policy of encouraging promising research that is for the good of the Order. You remember Cornelius, right? They gave him a grant assisting him with his Glyph magic project.
So what is in these records? What patterns have you noticed? What are you looking for? Be wary, for even verified data can be skewed.

"Very little in the way of patterns so far, there seems to be a higher incidence of the Gift in families where there has already been a member with the Gift than in other families. or f course that may be an easier time recognizing them and getting them into the order. It seems to spread fairly evenly throughout the houses, and honestly geography seems to be the greatest factor so far, which in and of itself could explain a bloodline tendency since people tend to live where their ancestors lived, or it may relate to how often its detected. Mostly it is serving as background information for when I investigate my apprentice to see if there is some research to be inspired there, lines of inquiry to pursue. So far it seems what I have is a lot of records with little in the way of actual patterns, but the hints of several possible patterns.
You said you had some things you wanted to discuss about the library.
" as Fleur has explained her research her outgoing sexuality has returned to her demeanor, not in an aggressive or overt display, but in little things like the way she moves her legs, sits, and holds herself.

Vocis has never mentioned it, nor will he now. But he has always found Fleur's salacious demeanor to be annoying. It does not make him uncomfortable or anything. He just feels that it is beneeth her.
As I said, he has never mentioned it and he never will.
Ah, yes, the library. I was talking with Carmen, and she brought up an old project we never got around to. She laid out her vision, and with what we have in stock now, I think we can do it.
The Master's Library.
She wants to create a two or three tiered access system. I feel that is more complicated than needed. But I do like the idea of a simple two tier system. The top shelf summae, and all of the tractati. That is what I envision being in the Master's Library. That, and any records or documents that should kept private.
My motives and inspirations are not exactly the same as Carmen's though. I do understand the importance of hierarchy and making the most efficient use of our materials.
It is about the Sa Dragonera Chapterhouse. You and Roberto are more than welcome to move into the main covenant. Sa Dragonera was intended to be for junior magi. I am not trying to undercut your personal influence, but I feel Sa Dragonera has grown to cantankerous. It is mostly because of that bull-headed Flambeau magus, Roberto. But he is correct when he says we annexed him. He was living on Ibiza already when we secured that Vim vis source. We have no temporal claim to his estate. That's a deal he worked out with the locals before we met him.
He has the sort of arrogant independence that I find to be annoying yet admirable.
He has repeatedly brought up the idea of moving half the library to the manor house on Majorica, where Lucas' wife lives. He is as subtle as a brick, and we all know he wants to turn Sa Dragonera into a separate covenant.
But his idea is not that out of line. The main library has grown huge and become bloated with repetition of subjects. There is no logical reason to not do this.
I would not be speaking with you so frankly if I had any doubt or reservation about you. But I do have reservations about him. And then there is the matter of the Journeymen, Acutus and Guiverna. They have rights to petition for Master status by now. Can you imagine a chapterhouse of senior level magi with their own library and a powerful vis source will remain content as a vassal for very long?
I also feel that a Master's library can serve as a powerful incentive. It will give the new junior magi something to aspire to. We can allso use offers of limited access to it as a way to motivate the to do our bidding and serve as a proper reward.
And I will tell you a unsecret secret. There is already a secret library for the Pontifici. Or so I have been told by Sigmundo. Did you know he has a copy of every book that has ever been in our library? The good and the bad, all in top quality condition.
And you know what? This will give you a chance to work closely with him. His granddaughter is Vibria. He claims to have over a hundred human descendants. Find out if any of the others are Gifted or have some latent magic. And he has copies of records that we no longer have. Dig through those and see what you can learn.

Fleur chews her lip, thoughtfully and seductively, then says "I was aware of Vibria's history, and the geneology of a dragon is certainly something that would fit with the work I am doing. I see your points about the library, though honestly I feel that Sa Dragonera is two geographically diverse to be a good location for a satellite library, unless we are going to claim a whole location for the satellite library and put it in place instead of a magus and a lab. Even then it really doesn't offer much beside the physical separation of tomes, since it will be necessary for anyone to travel by regio network to get there regardless of whether they are from the main covenant or Sa Dragonera. Setting up a masters library and a... main library? That should be simple, a matter of designating which books belong in each and transporting them to separate facilities. I suppose I need to see how accessible this manor house is to begin with, and start hunting down what information I can about Vibria's family tree."

You misunderstand. I don't want a separate facility. Two different floors of the tower here will work fine. The idea is that, if we stock each library here, there is not enough material to form another library on the islands.

Fleur nods "Still separate, just by floors instead of by buildings. It might look better for me to investigate the possibility of the Mallorca site though." She grins wickedly and vamps it up for a moment "Especially If Roberto's wife understands that establishing a library there would result in my nearly constant presence"

Lucas's wife. Roberto is unmarried. He claims to have a girlfriend that lives under the sea. Never seen her. But others assure me she is real enough. And the life arcane is full of strange oddities.
But Lucas' wife is the one at the Majorica Manor. That happens to be the actual hub of the Portal network.Well, actually, Harco is.They link to Majorica, which links here.

Whatever Fleur is implying seems to have gone straight over Vocis' head. Or he is being purposefully obtuse. Hard to tell.

Fleur grins "Even better. I'll go have a wonderfully obtuse and overt discussion with her about how Roberto wants me to set up a library there and spend so much of my time out of the lab with her and her husband, by the time I leave she will have one conversation with Lucas and he will be opposed to the idea, leaving Roberto and his free Majorica movement hanging in the wind." For a moment she turns from her usual lightheartedness to something much harder, more dominating, though in its own way still sexual, "I like my sanctum, and I like Andorra, and I absolutely do not want Majorica to go through some misguided independence movement that is going to leave rivalries, animosities and hurt feelings in its wake either way and be even worse if it succeeds. Rest assured I have no intention of actually moving any books beyond what I check out for my own reading to Majorica, and I will not let Roberto blow his sense of injustice into a conflict within the covenant unless he plans to go it alone. I may not be a warrior, but I do defend my own." She blinks twice and the sweet sexy smile returns to her face. "So how about I go have a chat with Lucas' wife about Roberto's plans and then see what I can find about Sigmundo's lineage."

Yes, go ahead and do that. I will have Sigmundo meet with you when he next comes to visit.

Fleur stops at her sanctum to change into something less conservative than she normally wears- not quite having her breasts out (so not her party clothes!) but something where they always seem on the verge of falling out, a short dress which ends a couple inches above mid calf, of a thin white material. She freshens up her makeup a little more, vying slightly from 'seductive' towards 'cheap and available'. Gazing in the mirror at the results she grins, the adjusts her smile to "knowing" before heading out to the regio to Lucas' abode. She steps in confidently, looking to see who is there as she arrives without making it obvious that she is looking, and more like striding confidently into a soldales abode is simply her accustomed style, chest thrust forward.


Fair enough. I was hoping to get Trogdor involved, as he knows more about the characters than I. Give me a chance to research and I will come up with an idea to move a plot forward. Day or two?

or four?

Two full days. The first partial day and this partial day do not count.
I was hoping to get Trogdor involved, but I have an idea.

Fleur arrives at the Majorica manor. A servant lets her in, and the first person she meets is Maria, Lucas and Cecelia's 14 year old daughter, who has just started her own training and is studying Order of Hermes Lore.

Hello. How can I help you?

Also present here are Evard and Elena. Evard is their 16 year old son, and Elena is Lucas' 16 year old apprentice. Evard gawks at Fleur, but the ladies take no notice whatsoever.