A Talk with Roma

by Edward Cupps and Dustin Evermore

Over the next few days after reviving from being nearly destroyed, Fianna was busy with her studies for the greater portion of the time. But when she had an opportunity, she asked to speak with Roma about a personal matter.  Soon after, a student arrived to let Fianna know she'd see her.

Fianna, dressed in a semi-formal skirt and blouse and looking far more healthy than she had been, approached the Mistress of the Chantry, and sank to bended knees until Roma told her to rise.

"Thank you for taking time to see me, Roma," she said in a respectful tone.

"Please have a seat Fianna."

Fianna continued, "I wanted to give you an update on the matter of the meeting with the Prince and the matter of Santiago the Nosferatu. The Prince was as generous as his expectations were high. He awarded each of us a bounty for every head of Sabbat we defeated, allowed us an additional ghoul, formal permission to create a Childe, and increased hunting grounds. In addition, he awarded a small favor."

Roma responded, "The Prince is a fair, but stern person.  He rewards success."

"I had not expected any reward at all, honestly, but I see that he does so because he wants and needs strong, loyal people to support him and this is certainly a good way to separate the chaff from the wheat, as they once used to say." Amazingly, that was one saying that Fianna knew from her day that was still in use.  She continued, "I respectfully declined the hunting grounds since I didn't need them, nor did I have any real means of using or guarding them from other predators. But I did immediately take him up on his offer of a small favor.

"In a moment you'll see why I chose the way I did, I hope." Even the memory exasperated and angered Fianna as she continued. "I spoke with the Nos, explaining to him that I have strong doubts about trusting a man who would shoot me in the back in his zeal to kill the enemy. I asked him to help me. Give me a reason that I should trust him. He offered no justice, or apology. His tongue was so loose he even told me to my face he'd shoot me again!" Fianna's fists were balled in tight bundles of fury. "Oh, he tried to correct himself, but his heart spoke plainly for all to hear!"

Roma kindly answered, "I do not believe he has a vendetta or bias toward you personally; however, he obviously has little or no concern for injuring a comrade when the Sabbat are involved.  I believe the colloquialism is, "a loose cannon".  It is plain that both I, the Seneschal, and yourself have informed him of his actions.  He has been warned.  If he repeats these actions, then he will more than deserve what he gets.  For now, we need his contacts and his fighting prowess."

Fianna took time to draw a slow breath and calm down. "I know that we still need these idiots," she said, her anger making her lump all her allies into the same category as the one she was truly upset with, "at least until after Ireland. So I left the room to ask my favor of the Prince. I asked for a suit of armor."

"Armor?," Roma looked quizzical. "Given time we can craft defenses for you. Why rely on something manmade?"

She swallowed and lowered her voice. "I know it sounds mundane, but if I'm going to be around these insane, gun-happy, violent bastards, I need to concentrate on short-term survival."  Her tone, in spite of the fierce words coming out of her mouth was soft and polite. It would not do to yell at someone who was being patient and helpful and Fianna knew it. She sighed, "And as usual, he has exceeded my expectations."

Roma leaned over a bit and said mother-like, "Dear Fianna, we can help you neutralize the threat of mortal weapons.  Celeste, Ashlynne, myself and others have studied spells of defense that can give you an edge.  I'm sure Ash would teach you or provide the materials to study yourself if you wished.  It would take time of course, but in the end you will be more powerful for it.  For now however, when you are going to battle, use your friendship with us, the Tremere, your family, to protect you.  You can be imbued with spells, given talismans, and anointed with potions of power.  We are your mother and your father and we will not allow you to be harmed needlessly."

Roma leaned back, "Now however, I know you are probably quite angry at the Nos and others in this situation.  If you are half as angry as Celeste was, then I'm afraid for you."

Fianna looked down. "I knew that sooner or later you'd hear about this, and I wanted to assure you that I'm keeping my temper in check enough not to break any rules. But sooner or later, I do want to extract my pound of flesh from that Nos. In fact, as you have requested I do, I will be explaining to Ashlynne exactly how I will use my Ogham to strip him of all his vampiric power and leave him vulnerable and weakened before his enemies. I intend to make sure he understands how it feels to be betrayed. And he will know that it is I that take away his power, just as he did to me. I hope that he will scream, curse and beg for me to stop, even as I suffered that humiliation." Blood tears began to well in her eyes, but she angrily blinked them away.

She sniffled just a little. Her accent took on a vaguely native American tone. "I guess I'm just asking you if you wouldn't mind if I started with some of the darker uses for Ogham. Maybe even just working through it, I'll work out my anger and not have to carry my plan through."

Roma saw in a glance that it was not all that likely Fianna would suddenly shrug and forget about it. But bless her heart, she was going to try anyway. Celts, ancient or modern, were not known for their ability to 'turn the other cheek'.

Roma answered, "Fianna, he has slighted you, this I know.  But your response must be measured.  It's okay to be angry, and to want to seek revenge.  But, in the end, if you respond to him with force or pain you may cause a feud between the clans.  This cannot be allowed to happen, especially here in Detroit.  That is exactly what the Sabbat wants.  They wish us divided and fighting one another.  Just the knowledge that if he repeats his actions or some other similar misstep will bring about his bloody demise should keep the Nos in line.  He will think twice before endangering you.  Make him afraid of you with words first, deeds second and in the end, if he does not learn, he will be destroyed."

"Yet, there is a certain satisfaction in knowing you can hurt him at any time.  If you wish to research a methodology for this, please do so, but keep Ashlynne informed.  Also, appeal to the Scourge to do his duty and obliterate the Nos if he endangers you or any other working with him again. But, always be discreet.  I would also encourage you to talk to your teachers, friends and advisors about this."

Fianna nodded. "I shall do as you say, Lady Roma. Thank you for hearing me." After Roma smiled and nodded her dismissal, Fianna rose and went from the room.

Website designed by Edward Cupps and Dustin Evermore. c.1999-2002

Credit and thanks go to Jason Monroe, Brian Pint, Ryan McCullogh, Josh Holt, Tom Welch, Holland Erickson, Lisa Hartjes, Curtis Eckerman and all those who participated consciously or not.  And of course...the Partyman R.I.P.