The Turn of the Tide (Autumn 1233, M)

(It is assumed, from my end, that this all occurs some time after "High Noon in Evissa," and that Roberto and Cidito are currently visiting Andorra.)

At breakfast, Tiana asks both Vocis and Solomon if they would meet with her and Fedora in the council chambers after they've finished their meals.

She and Fedora seem to be agitated, and as soon as both the Gifted magi arrive, she gets straight down to business. "The Provencal Tribunal is on the verge of establishing a covenant in Mallorca," Tiana declares, her voice strained with worry. "Solomon, they've requested your presence. Patricia of Guernicus is on her way there, to ratify their charter, but they've asked for you to be present as a witness. It could be that Provencal is using this to help extend their border into the Iberian Peninsula, or it could be that they are colluding with Barcelona to force Andorra to choose a Tribunal. Vocis, I asked you here in the hopes that your House connections might have any insight into what implications this might have for us."

This is the first I've heard of it, though I can certainly contact the local exarch and ask for information. It will take a few days.

Solomon raises a curious eyebrow as Tiana explains the situation, "It seems odd to me that Barcelona would collude with Provencal, especially if they're looking to expand their influence towards Iberia, but I suppose stranger things have happened. I will be happy to accept their request for me to present. Is there some other concern that your House has with this particular arrangement. I will admit ignorance as to the importance of Mallorca beyond its close proximity to Iberia."

Roberto arrived on his flying carpet with Wen and Cidito. Carmen has twice offered to buy it from him, and he has twice refused. It is essential to his logistics. He has Wen take their stuff to their rooms, using the carpet as a porter. Then he lingers in the exercise yard, watching the training and expertise of the soldiers and trainer. The sword master, his skill is without equal, and Roberto is mesmerized by the circles and geometry he is using.

"Then can we agree to do our respective information gathering, and meet this time next week? They won't sign their charter without Solomon as a witness, so we have some time."

(PMs incoming; thread resumes "next week" in game time.)

I looked it up. It is Fausto, Swordmaster of Andorra, who in this season (Fall 1233) is teaching Bernhard one-on-one.
Roberto is quite impressed with Fausto's skill, and his excellent training technique. And Bernhard is pretty damn good too. They are both very good. Extremely good. Muy exelante. Maybe as good as me. No, swallow your pride. That teacher is better than me. For now. I need to see what I have to do in order to earn some time under his tutelage.
Wen has dumped off the luggage and rolled up the carpet, and has taken to exploring everywhere in the covenant that she can go.
Peregrine, I invite you to play Wen in classic form :smiley:
Also Meanwhile...
Don Diego el Cidito will attempt to socialize with other Familiars, or failing that, see if there are any girl cats in the area up for a bit of midnight meowling.

Cidito finds himself "hounded" by a small fluffy puppy, who seems to be attached to a lovely Redcap who keeps chasing after the dog and scolding him. "I'm terribly sorry about him. He's just excited," she says apologetically. "Are you new here?" she asks Cid politely, though the cat can instantly tell that the poor girl is very stressed and not sleeping well.

(words spoken in the girls native tongue, and to the puppy it sounds like whatever language he can understand if any)
kaffkaff, ahem...
My name is Don Diego el Cidito. It is a pleasure to meet both of you. My hooman is here on some official magus type business. So yes, this place is new to me and my characteristic curiosity compels me to wander around and explore. I was hoping to meet other Familiars, maybe some of the local cats. Or possibly find out where it is you hide your wine reserves.

After a particularly vigorous series of passes, the two grizzled combatants break, salute, and part. Bernhard leaves the training ring to dunk his head in a bucket of water while Fausto performs a series of stretches. He notices Roberto's gaze and approaches, looking Roberto up and down as he does. He stops just out of sword range and speaks in Castilian. Bienvenido. I would ask if you've spoken to Captain Perez, but you are clearly no recruit. He bows slightly. I am Fausto Zapatero Alvarez, swordmaster of Andorra. The large bear bathing itself is Bernhard. Can I help you?

The cat hears Tiana's response in whatever s the cat's native tongue (cat, perhaps?). "El Cidito" you say? I suppose I should count myself lucky I did not get saddled with such a name myself. My great-grandfather was a colorful figure, but decidedly masculine," she muses with a wry grin. "I am Sebastiana of Mercere, though most call me Tiana or Tia for short. And who is your hooman? I am having mage troubles myself, of late."

Well, Roberto is dressed like a soldier and he has the Gentle Gift, but he does bear his sigil upon his shield (which is slung over his back). He is wearing his studded leather hauberk, as he was recently travelling. His red cape, tattered at the edges, flaps gently in the wind. At his side he bears his longsword, "Kindness", which he briefly touches with his left hand.
My name is Roberto Rodruigez of Flambeau, newly associated with this Covenant. Good sir, might I commend you? Your skill at arms is astounding and your style of teaching is magnificent. Though there is no time soon, I would like to once day schedule a season or two of training time with you. It has been long since I have met someone that could teach me a thing or two about swordplay.

Perhaps it is CAT-alan? :laughing:
As a side note, the original inspiration for Cidito is an orange tabby named General Sterling Price, Rooster Cogburn's cat in the movie True Grit. Thus, Roberto's cat is likewise named for a military leader, Don Diego (aka El Cid). Cidito, as a word, comes from the fact that he is a little fat cat (Cidito rhymes with gordito, little fattie).
Cidito sniffs Tiana and rubs his head against her. Then stands up proper.
My partner is Roberto of Flambeau, Knight of Seneca, champion of Novus Mane, Imperitor of Mons Electi, the hero of Heracleion, and defender of Portmany.
As Cidito touts the accolades of Roberto, you get the impression that it sounds like he is listing off his own achievements.

Fausto salutes properly this time. My apologies, sir. I was not aware another magus had joined the covenant. As for my skill, you are too kind. It's merely a product of living longer than most of my peers. I would be pleased to teach you what I can though, at your convenience.

Bernhard is watching from a distance. He basically has two expressions - smiling and angry - and he's not smiling. He also has Judged Unfairly. Make of him what you will. :slight_smile:

Assuming we're skipping to "next week"...

Once everyone gathers again, Vocis offers his report. According to my exarch, a Greek hedge maga recently uncovered a massive Aquam vis source near one of the islands surrounding Mallorca. Estimates range from several rooks to a full queen per year. Patricia of Guernicus contacted the hedge maga and is pushing her to found a covenant immediately. A few magi have shown interest in joining her, including a recently Gauntleted member of Barcelona, but they have no resources beyond the vis source itself. Even the location of the source, an island called Dragonera, is barely habitable.

The exarch's political assessment agrees with Tiana's - Patricia is attempting to extend Provencal's influence. I suspect the vis source is more important than the political repercussions, at least in the short term. Either way, Patricia appears to be supplying the hedge maga and her allies with the will to form a covenant, but little else.

Also, I do not see evidence of Barcelona's direct involvement. The young magus who plans to move to Mallorca is something of a black sheep among the Barcelonian magi and will not be missed. They're also not providing him with the support one would normally expect in this situation. If this is a ruse on their part, it's quite elaborate.

[color=blue]”Maybe I am missing something,” Fédora (who is quite visibly pregnant) says, [color=blue]”but how can anyone plausibly argue that Mallorca would be Provençal and not Iberia? Unless they intentionally waited until after Grand Tribunal to move in, with hopes at 25 years of tradition would make them difficult to uproot..”

"Then perhaps we should make them a better offer," Tiana suggests.

Solomon thinks for a moment, "While the boundaries between covenants are fairly clear on land, things tend to get a little more murky when discussing islands. Perhaps they would hope that their patronage would be enough to convince a Grand Tribunal."

Solomon nods, "That is a possibility. One concern is that a covenant being formed so close to us could affect our neutrality. Perhaps we could make some sort of arrangement to claim this vis source for ourself?"

(I tried to post this this morning, but the forums were down. It's what I get for not getting out of bed at 12:30 when I came up with it.)

[color=blue]”I still don't,” Fédora starts to say with a distinctly uncomfortable look on her face before she jumps up and flees the room, barely making it to a chamberpot before she brings up her breakfast.

After a couple of minutes, she returns. [color=blue]”I'm sorry, I should have known better than to try to make the meeting, the way I felt when I got up this morning. Tiana, I'm going to leave this up to you. I know you'll do a fantastic job. I'm going to try to get some rest.” She then returns back to her home and goes back to bed, feeling incredibly unwell.

Vocis frowns. Claiming a vis source of this magnitude and at such a distance could also affect our neutrality. Perhaps Barcelona could be convinced to sanction this new covenant as part of the Iberian tribunal. They have the necessary mundane resources and they could certainly use a large vis source. One of their number is also involved already, whether they're on good terms with him or not.

After Fedora leaves, Vocis gives Tiana a look of concern. Should we send for a nursemaid? She seems a bit far along for this to still be morning sickness.

Arachné, after listening carefully her sodales, takes turns
What bothers me is that Andorra's neutrality has, as far as I can tell, be attacked before.
If either covenant expands that way, even if it's under the auspices of allies like the barcelona magi, it'll further enclose Andorra, and help those who would have us join either tribunal.
Going that way, expanding ourselves would sure draw attention, but it would strenghten Andorra, and would probably be better than another tribunal encroaching upon our area of influence.

Closed face, frowning
Don't know. Never had children. Never could be bothered with them, anyway.
Inside, of course, she's thinking of Isabelle and her son, Damien. He should be a flambeau magus by now, just 2 years out of gauntlet. What has he become, what man is he, the child of her love? No, better not to think about this.