(1874-12-//) A Meeting of Sorcerers
A meeting of Sorcerers
Summary: The academy hosts a meeting
Date: 28th Nov 2018
Related: None
NPCs: None
Players:
Ludovic  Alia  Myrana  Ivo  Chessa  

Room Name

The Sorcerer's Academy in Four Corners can't be found by just anybody, and that's just how it's mysterious Chairperson likes it.

Located in one of the great free city's countless abandoned manses on the edge of the city, the Tower itself looks out over acres of waving treetops; an orchard gone wild and untended after the Great Raid, broken up by little streams and gulleys, too rough for farming or building and rife with wild animals. Isolation is key, after all, to its students and faculty.

Masks are worn here without exception; true names are forbidden.

The Academy itself consists of a central manor once occupied by a forgotten nobleman while Four Corners was new. It's courtyard, outbuildings, gardens and stables look utterly decrepit from the outside, all crumbling redstone and hungry ivy.

Inside, it is comfortably furnished and utterly secure, and thanks to the expanse of wooded grounds within the distant stone walls, very private.

Sometime in december 1874

The Sorcerer's Academy in Four Corners can't be found by just anybody, and that's just how it's mysterious Chairperson likes it.

Located in one of the great free city's countless abandoned manses on the edge of the city, the Tower itself looks out over acres of waving treetops; an orchard gone wild and untended after the Great Raid, broken up by little streams and gulleys, too rough for farming or building and rife with wild animals. Isolation is key, after all, to its students and faculty.

Masks are worn here without exception; true names are forbidden.

The Academy itself consists of a central manor once occupied by a forgotten nobleman while Four Corners was new. It's courtyard, outbuildings, gardens and stables look utterly decrepit from the outside, all crumbling redstone and hungry ivy.

Inside, it is comfortably furnished and utterly secure, and thanks to the expanse of wooded grounds within the distant stone walls, very private.

Eschewing her noble persona's favored color of rose, and instead wearing a simple gown of deep blue, and a matching mask of deep blue, Terrapine has also left off the wristlets, as they aren't needed here, and a give away as she's one of the few noblewomen that wears them. The tattoo mark of swirls and dancing feather that indicate her affinity with the wind and air around her wrist goes unremarked in this 'manor'. Lighter touches of pale blue in the mask match the trim around her sleeves and hem.

At these meetings Ludovic answers to the name Crag, has a featureless oval mask made out of solidly coloured blue glass, hide gloves, and wears bulky, and unremarkable, black robes that might do something to help disguise both his height and build if he would just manage to maintain a slouch (he doesnt) and hadn't belted the whole essemble with a length of expensive pumpkin orange silk knotted in a style that says 'Aequorian knight' to anyone who knows how to read such clothing clues. The mask actually does a pretty good job of hiding the fact he has a beard but was never designed to hide the fact that his right eye is a plain stone grey. A wrapped bundle has been settled into the crook of his arm.

The formal stuff has all finished (donations are desired) and the floor opened up to the various 'guests'. Its at this point that the stone sorcerer pushed up off his chair and dumps the sorcerously-made obsidian axe within onto a table. "I've a proposition." He states. "What if we take apprentices."

Leticia arrived as she always arrived. Not quite late enough to be late but certainly not early enough to have to waste time skulking around an empty mansion. She was dressed in her familiar black, from the simply black of her dress, to the gloves that covered her hands, to the cloak that was drawn up over her shoulders and head, leaving nothing of her hair exposed and only allowing a patch of skin here and there to remain unshadowed and unmasked. Her arrival in the meeting room was punctuated by the dropping of the axe onto the central table, but rather than stopping to examine it, she found a seat for herself. Once she had settled, she spoke, her voice perfectly modulated, her accent that carefully pitched non-accent that gave no indication of where she might have been from. "How many here are comfortable enough in their power to feel comfortable with that proposition?" There was no tone of argument in her words, only simple curiosity.

It's Afon's first ever visit to the Academy but it seems that he's had a reasonable briefing on what to expect, and what is expected of him. He's decked out in the kind of seafarer's garb that could be found anywhere along the coast of the West, there's nothing that particularly marks it as Aequorian, nor Galenthian, but instead seems to have been assembled from elements of all, even a heavy woolen clock that has echos of White Haller styles in the fur that decorates it. His mask is a simple one, plain white, of the kind that nobles tend to force upon their servants whenever they call a masked ball, to ensure the staff do not upstage the guests. Keeping largely to himself as he tries to get a feel for the place and the others within he looks across to Crag as the proposition is made, then flicks his eyes across to Leticia, shaking his head slowly to give her answer. He's not comfortable enough yet to risk a verbal answer though, too cautious of the risks of being recognised.

As do a couple of other air sorcerors, Terrapine stands close to the wide open windows, letting the breeze flutter the veil that hangs down her back to hide the hair she keeps tightly wound underneath it. "Apprentices?" she asks, the accent of Four Corners possibly marking her as a 'local'. Her head tilts a little as she looks at Crag, the barely seen eyes in the socket of her mask seeming to look towards one of her eyes. "I do not think I'm quite in control enough to be teaching anyone else, yet. I am still studying here as much as I can, and lately that has not been much at all." Indeed, the once familiar dark blue that used to haunt the halls has been absent for a month or more.

The witch Nightbird is dressed, as always, in a simple midnight blue kirtle and a hooded mantle of black wool which conceals all but the white half-mask concealing her features. Gloves cover her hands, and a supple belt of bull's blood leather hangs low about her full hips, hung with a chatelaine of rabbit-fur and set with fixings of silver. There's a book in her arms, and her rouge-brushed lips are set into a sort of inscruitable frown; if one could see her eyes in the shadow of that deep hood and the clever design of her white mask, it would be easier to read her expression. As it is, nothing about the short sorcerer's body-language suggests that her frown is incidental.

"Apprentices…" she says in a throaty purr. "That's no more ridiculous than submitting to the tests of our 'teachers' here."

"Not many i'd expect." Crag doesn't seem all that offended by the holes being punched in his question. "But we're talking about the future as much as today aren't we? Seems to me that something like an apprenticeship or squireship would go a long way towards reassuring the world that we're not that dangerous." He moves a few paces to the left. "That we've got systems in place to make sure the more dangerous of our brethren aren't just dumped into the world without the guidance of someone who should be able to stop them if need be. That we don't need anything outside ourselves to achieve that because we've the safety of everyone already in our minds." He gestures to Leticia and Terrapine "Its at least worth taking time to discuss it wouldnt you agree?"

"The logistics of such a venture would be daunting, as well as the questions one must ask before undertaking such a proposal. In my own experience, attempting to study with a sorcerer whose element is not ones own almost always results in a wasted effort. Each element has unique properties which cannot be understood or replicated unless one also possess that element. And how would one locate such an apprentice, if they were not someone already within the academy? Given the current state of affairs in the Kingdoms. And having located such an apprentice, how would it be decided where the master and apprentice lived and trained? I think most of us would agree that access to training on a consistent level is the only way to improve in something other than fits and starts. How would one explain, for example, bringing someone into their household who might have no usefulness to that household? Or explain to their relatives why they were being taken away, again, for the same reason." Letitia did not rise from her seat, seeming content to remain there, hands folded in her lap. "Also, given that we do not even reveal our identities to each other, how would we be able to convince anyone that we were capable of anything? We do not even trust each other, but think that we could convince the kingdoms and those who would prosecute us that we were worthy of trust and not things to be put to the torch? And that is not even taking into account that this entire enterprise is a secret society of sorts. We are not a recognized and vested guild. We cannot simply put a system in place and then walk out into the world, masked or unmasked and expect that the Inquisition would not hunt us down."

Afon's eyes flick to each in turn as they speak. He's curious as to who each is, of course he is, it's only natural, but he's making a concious effort not to look too long at anyone, or any group. Cradling a goblet of water in one hand he sips from it occasionally, but it largely seems there to give his hands something to do other than fidgit, rather than quench a thirst. "I think there is merit in the idea," he offers, braving the proverbial floor briefly, "but I also have concerns regarding the implimentation. You talk of apprentiships and squires, both of which require oaths, of a sort. What oaths might apply betwene sorcorer and apprentice? Could there be any that do not conflict upon other obligations such as, say, a squireship, in such a way as to be meaningful and yet not risk exposure? It is simpler if a sorcorer happens upon someone of their element who requires training, but any formalised system is open to the risks already mentioned." He tilts his head towards Letiticia at that, to indicate he's refering to the points she has already made.

There's silence from the window, and Terrapine has removed her contemplation from Crag to her hands in her lap, more specifically, to the tattoo that winds quite visibly around her wrist. "The Inguisition will not be so easily convinced that sorcerers are not dangerous. It is not how we govern ourselves that turns their teachings and their hands against us. It is the abilities themselves." She pauses for a moment, tilting her head slightly as ifchasing a thought. "It is said that 'power corrupts'. They use this as their argument that no matter how pious the sorcerer, once they have the ability, they will inevitably turn to dark ways." She looks up again. "If there was some way we could sense others like us, even with a different ability, and have them gather here with a core of people who would stay here and assist them in harnessing their abilities safely, that might help those out there who are scared of themselves. But on the whole? As far as influencing how people see us? It will take something … more fundamental to shift peopel's way of thinking."

Crag nods at Leticia. "All good points." he agrees. "But surely pairing the weak with the strong will do nothing but protect those too inexperienced to avoid the inquisition by themselves? Truthfully my Lady. In these times of upheaval and war, do you think that the inquisition actually has enough power to hunt us if we support each other? Long as we don't cause enough trouble to make the nations raise armies against us. I don't think theres the will to remove us ."

He looks at Afon. "Why not have the one who's willing to take that responsibility simply come to the academy and tell them they want to do it. Then the academy can find the best match and the two can discuss things - masked - and if that works and everything feels good then the apprentice and patron work out how to progress between themselves? Theres no question of them not living together and there being a master and student relationship. Thats why I suggested that it be an apprenticeship. Anything else would leave the patron in to much danger from their student." He shrugs, looking back to Leticia. "I dont think the elements need to be matched. Its about learning to live out in the world not about how to control your urges. I would not suggest it replace the minimums put into place by the academy here."

Theres a pause and he adds. "Might be worth noting I kind of think we should have a true order. Maybe alongside the academys secrecy. We need to legitimize what we do and find a place for ourselves. As long as we're nothing but a dirty secret lurking in the shadows theres never gonna be nothing but fear for what we are. We can be so much more."

There is a deal of murmuring in the room as the small group of sorcerers talk among themselves, robed figures of every description discussing the suggestion. Opinions vary, to say the very least, and while most keep their voices low, there are a few who object loudly to the idea of taking apprentices. A few others argue with them. Overall there cannot be as many as ten people here today, all told. All sorcerers.

"Forgive me," Terrapine says, looking over to Crag. "I am not understanding how you propose to make us a guild that people will recognize and respect, as opposed to a dirty secret kept in the closet. While it is true that there is much to keep the Inquisition busy enough to not have an army to spare to come after us, there are still zealots among the commoners and nobles to persecute us regardless."

Letitia looked to the woman by the window, a nod offered in response to her comment, "I cannot help feeling that you either do not appreciate the power of the Church and its Inquisition, or the depth of horror and fear they have instilled in the general populace against sorcerers. Nor the reality that most of those who are too weak to protect themselves from the Inquisition are also too afraid to announce themselves to others. Most of us dare not even whisper, even to those we trust most, our secrets. We have spent our lives since the power came to us, save perhaps those who are found safe havens in Galenthia and other strongholds of the Many, in keeping that secret, and you are suggesting that we now walk out in the open for all the world to see? That we take our case to the guildmasters and request to be acknowledged? When we do not even acknowledge ourselves amongst ourselves? And who would you suggest for that task? Because so far as I can see, that is almost surely a death sentence." Leticia shook her head, leaning forward to rest her forearms on her knees, "And the idea that the apprenticeship would not be about teaching someone how to control their gifts makes no sense. We all came to the Academy or were brought to it to learn that very thing. So how would the apprenticeship you are suggesting be any different?"

"Perhaps part of what Crag is suggesting is that some of us might benefit from learning how to blend in," says Nightbird, sitting in one of the polished wooden chairs by the hearth. The book in her arms she sets in her lap and flips open, fingering lightly through its pages. "That in itself is not terrible, I think, especially for those of our number who are destitute, or thrust from their families." A pause, and she lifts a gloved finger. "Though I believe it would be safer to furnish some of the rooms here as dorms."

"Can't say I have all the answers my Lady." Crag says to Terrapine. "But if we have a stated goal that everyone can see is in there interest and its clear we clean up any sorcerers that meet their fears, without being forced, wouldnt that change the way people think of sorcerers for the better?" He takes a deep breath and moves to sit down. "The only way something like a guild could happen is if some of us risk the consequences and form one and your right, some of us will probably die for it, but nothings gonna change anytime soon if we do nothing. I cant see magic just going away. We've gotta think about the life our kids will have."

His gaze moves to Letitia. "Your wrong My Lady. My greatest fear in this life, second greatest, is that the inquisition will call a purge of everyone thats attached to me. I just dont believe that we should let fear guide our choices. Sometimes the risk is worth it."

"What does an apprenticeship offer?" He asks Letitia. "It would teach the student how to apply their gift in the real world and grant them whatever legitimacy the patron can offer in terms of them being more useful than dangerous. Like a squire you prove your character over and over and only progress when someone is willing to risk their own reputation on your behaviour. I dont believe this should replace the academy. I believe it should be a way for those who wish to progress to do so." He looks to Nightbird. "Whilst I'm not opposed to that idea My Lady. I am worried that if we put all our eggs in one basket we will simply be wiped out. And how will a group that exists outside society ever be accepted by it. But there have to be students that need what Nightbird suggests. I just want more than that. This could be a way to get the kingdoms of the west to accept our service. Our enemies put sorcerers on the field." Conviction builds behind his words. "If we are to protect the west we need to be able to convince our kingdoms to do the same." He looks back at Leticia. "I wouldn't suggest something I wasn't willing to do."

Nightbird closes the book with a snap.

"This is something we're not going to agree on," she says, and impatient, crosses one knee up atop the other with a little flash of skirts. "Here is a question for you all:"

"Who here has seen monsters?"

"I think you have just confused me more," Terrapine's head inclines towards Nightbird. "How does requesting to set up a guild, something in the open, help us to blend in? Blending in is something we have all been striving to do since we found our gifts. Wouldn't starting a guild do the opposite of blending in?" Her gaze shifts over to Crag, and she nods at his words about the enemy. "Which only strengthens the Inquisition's argument, and those that follow The One. The enemy uses sorcery and they are heathens, ergo, sorcery is evil and heathen. We may never be fully accepted by society, honestly. Not by all of society. The ones who follow The Many will be more inclined to let us prove ourselves. I suggest we start there, start small, seeking acceptance and haven from duchies that are not opposed to sorcery, and build our numbers here at the school and among those who do not revile us out of hand. I do not think that anyone is suggesting that you are unwilling to follow your own words," Terrapine concludes mildly. "However, I believe many of us are more willing to follow a more discretionary course, rather than trying to bludgeon people into accepting us. That rarely works, and the blood spilled doesn't really serve a cause."

Letitia glanced over at the Nightbird, listening to her comment before she replied, "And while that is true, is that not already what the academy offers? And what any of us would offer, if we felt safe enough to do so, when we encountered another sorcerer? So I am still failing to see the point of creating the same system we already have in place now, all over again. Especially given that his proposal is that we do not have formal student and master relationships. Which, again, is precisely the same situation that exists here. When we leave these grounds, we all go our separate ways, none of us knowing who the other is. Which leaves us with no possibility of requesting assistance when we are not here, simply because we would not even know, in most instances, whom to even ask for help.

"Perhaps I have misheard. Did you not just say that your idea of an apprenticeship would not be about training a sorcerer to use their gift safely, but only how to hide from persecution? That was, if I recall correctly, why you felt that it was not necessary to match power to power, because the stated goal was only to teach the student how to 'blend in'." Letitia paused, falling into silence as Terrapine offered her own understanding of the situation. And as Nightbird posed her question, she rose to her feet. "I do believe I am seeing one right now. Or so I would call anyone who feels that the possibility of countless innocents being slaughtered for their hubris an 'acceptable' loss." Letitia took a moment to twitch her skirts into order. "If you all will excuse me. I believe I have had enough of the 'academy' for one evening." She stepped away from her chair to make her way towards the door, pausing only briefly to offer a final word to Crag, "Should the day come when you take down your mask, and find that all that you love are dead as a result, I pray that the One or the Many, whomever you pray too, will have mercy on you."

Crag nods at Nightbirds comment about it not being something they are going to agree on and leans back in his chair to signal she has the floor. "I've seen them Lady Nightbird." "

Leticia's words of hubris make him move back to his feet in a surge. Tension in every line. But instead of lunging, yelling or even following her he starts to pace like a caged lion.

Nightbird's masked face turns ever so slightly, a fraction, to watch Letitia leave, lips set in a silent line.

"What about you, Terrapine?" she asks in her thoughtful purr, giving no indication of her thoughts.

From the window, Terrapine watches Letitia leave, her head tilted thoughtfully to the side. As she's addressed, she straightens, taking a deep breath. "I have, yes."

Crag continues trying to bleed his urge to react away in the limited steps offered by the room but it doesn't really appear to be working.

Nightbird watches Crag pace back and forth, back and forth, wearing a rut in the carpet.

"That is going to make me seasick," she mutters, and rises to her feet with a whisper of velvet, carrying the slim handbound book under the crook of an elegant arm, Stepping toward the window and the little cluster of sorcerers there around Terrapine, she approaches the other sorceress with quiet steps, the skirts of her kirtle dragging a little on the floor. It is an excess of fabric in the Aequoran fashion, more suited to the marble floors of court than the old and faded carpet of this decaying manor, but it must at least be very warm.

When she comes to just a little more than an arm's length away she stops, and considers Terrapine from behind the porcelain white of her mask.

"Will you tell me about it?" She asks.

Terrapine's attention turns from Crag to Nightbird as she approaches, her hands folded lightly in front of her. At the question, her head inclines once. "I can. Next time I am here. I'm afraid it's not all that exciting, others did much more than I."

Crag grunts a little bit after the seasick comment, turns on his heels and strides out the door.

Nightbird smiles a little below her halfmask. It seems genuine, anyway. "Thank you, Terrapine. I'm interested in hearing anything you can tell me about the things you've seen. That anyone here has seen, of monsters." This she says a little louder, as if to the room, though her voice remains soft after the heated words thrown about the room a litle while ago. Seeing Crag storm from the room, she smiles wrily. "It looks like time to go," she says, conspiratorally, and gives a little wave to Terrapine and the other sorcerers by the window before taking her leave as well.

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