Logs:Consilium Factotum Exam

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Bodhisattva, Yoshitsune, Dandelion, Decima


Consilium Hall


Consilium Factotum Exam: [The auditorium of the Consilium Hall features a raised dais and stage where the council itself can be seated. Seating is arranged in stadium style before the dais with three aisles forming five sections of seating. The portraits of prior Hierarchs and Councilors, those who have passed from this earth, feature prominently on the back of the room.]

[The room is warded to contain nimbus and resonance, making it a relatively safe space to perform magic away from the Arboretum. Its other security measures are maintained by the Council, the Sentinels, and the Guardians of the Veil.]

The desks typically reserved for formal arguments and the presentation of cases have been set with a single scantron sheet and a copy of the Factotum written exam. There are #2 pencils, scrap paper for jotting notes, while the massive scroll of the formal consilium Lex Magica rests on the council dais, unfurled several feet to allow casual perusal. Some might view this as cheating, or an open book exam. But the truth is that without the aptitude to argue the Lex Magica, and formal study of its contents, access to its contents will avail no one during this exam.

Bodhisattva herself is a pretty young woman, racially ambiguous, with a mop of unruly dark and curly hair atop her head which she wears in proud defiance of the anglo social conventions of the world in which she operates. She's wearing her formal robes, festooned with the runes of her office, and carries the rod off her office which knowledgeable observers would be forgiven for mistaking for a yod. If a large one. With everything prepared, she quietly pours tea for herself and for Provost and Adamant Sage Yoshitsune.

Dandelion has dressed up for this event; tidy dark brown pantsuit, hair in a General Leia updo, a briefcase in one hand and Starbucks cup in the other. She doesn't have proper mage robes, all she has is her dignity, that she wears like a cloak as she steps into the room.

Timing is everything, and River fussed with her presentation, her hair, her clothes and robes juuuuust long enough to arrive the moment that the tea had settled in Adamant Sage Yoshitsune's cup. She doesn't have a briefcase, but does carry a worn, leather folio in her off-hand, and sweeps in with a gait like an alleycat, an affectation that no context, circumstance, or pomp could possibly smother.

Yoshitsune offers a bow while seated, then lifts his little cup with both hands to take a slurpy sip. He sets it back down, nodding his approval. "Excellent as ever, Bodhi. You have patience and craft." She inclines her head respectfully to the elder Arrow, "Thank you, Master." She turns atop the dais and regards River and Danelion both, the latter receiving a pleased smile. That's the spirit, auntie. "Would either of you care for tea before we begin? If not, you will find the written portion of your exam face down at each seat. Once you begin, you will have ninety minutes to complete the exam. You may consult the Lex Magica at your leisure. We are present to offer clarity on any questions which seem unclear to you. You may use the restroom or take a break for refreshment at any point during the exam, though we ask you not to leave the building and to leave all of your test materials at your station. If you are caught cheating, you will be forbidden from serving not only as a Factotum but in any consilium office in the future. So please do not. Any questions? And... again. Tea?" She holds up the squat clay pot in her hands.

She glances between the Starbucks cup and the clay pot, and nods. "I would, in fact, appreciate some tea, please. It might cause less jitters than the mocha latte would."

"I'll have some tea, thank you," River inclines her head in a short bob to both the offer, and in clear acknowledgement that she understood the instructions and guidance. She flickers her stormcloud grey eyes sidelong to Dandelion and shutters an encouraging, almost conspiratorial wink at her.

She pours two more cups of tea and then carefully ushers them one by one to each aspiring Factotum. "Here you are, River. And good luck." The next is brought to Dandelion and offered over, "And for you, auntie. We are all so very proud of you." Once the tea is handed out, Bodhisattva withdraws up to the stage again and takes a seat in the Acanthus chair. "You may begin at any time." Having an Acanthus proctor means time keeping isn't a problem, thankfully.

River beams her most charismatic and appreciative smile at Bodhisattva, and armed with tea, thousands of hours of study, - and hopefully a little bit of luck, as would befit a devotee along the path to Arcadia - she finds her seat.

Dandelion takes a deep breath. As she begins the test, she works...methodically. Answering any questions she can off the top of her head, taking notes on the provided scrap paper. She brings the scrap paper and a pencil when she goes to consult the Lex, cross-referencing and making sure she has everything in order--it wouldn't have been provided if she wasn't meant to use it. Right? And this is what real lawyers do, reference the materials on hand that might help with a case.

Both Bodhisattva and Yoshitsune are perfectly happy to assist with turning the scroll of the Lex Magica. It's an enormous formal document, and gorgeous to look upon. There are other, less ornate, more functional versions. But this is the treasure of the Consilium, the heart of it, really. All Factotums are proctored in with it open, and it's fairly obvious why. Looking over its centuries old writing is a humbling thing.

Once both parties have concluded their work, Bodhisattva comes by to collect the scantrons and passes them off to Yoshitsune who heads off to grade them, no doubt. "Next is the oral portion. This is simply to measure your competency with thinking off the cuff and your retained knowledge. The written test is more highly weighted, however. So don't be nervous. Dandelion, we'll begin with you. How would you advise a young magus who is frustrated with his lack of influence and power and is seeking safe and legal routes to increasing it?"

She thinks about that question for a moment. "The two aren't necessarily linked, of course, and it's possible to accrue influence without being in a position of power, by becoming someone who is either known for a certain skillset, particularly well-liked, or having the right friends. I'd want to ask them about their reasons for seeking influence-and-power; do they have a clarity of vision they're seeking to convey to others? If so, I'd end up directing them toward a more experienced mage whose viewpoint would resonate with that vision. Or is this someone enamored with power for power's sake? Well, I might still point them toward a more experienced mage, but one who they can learn from the example of, someone whose vision might end up imprinted on them."

Bodhisattva nods her head impassively at what Dandelion has to say. Of course, while the test is underway, she's not going to be keen to give away how either party are doing. She asks no follow up question, and simply gestures for Dandelion to retake her seat. On to River, then. "Maga River. A volley of Arrows have been sent to investigate a paradox beyond our borders. They discover an unfamiliar band of Unnamed who were responsible for its creation. How should they proceed in making contact with these individuals, and what authority do they have, if any, to police this apparent violation of the Precept of Secrecy?"

River watches in a reverent, observative silence while Dandelion gives her reply, and then considers Bodhisattva, inhaling a breath once her question has been asked. She cites the Precept of Recognition, some attendant case-law around Paradoxes and the Nameless in her response, dovetailing into a small but exuberant tangent about the Right of Sanctuary and the interplay between Gold and Silver laws.

As before, Bodhisattva merely listens attentively with a neutrally pleasant expression, then nods her head once at the conclusion of the argument. No follow up question is posed. "The last portion of the test is the debate portion. You have the option of arguing against me individually or arguing against one another. The choice is your own. You will be invited to pick a topic from among Gold, Silver, or Bronze Law entries. One of you will argue the 'for' side, the other the 'against' side. Or I can pick a topic for you, and you can argue either for or against against me. Again, we are not looking for who is right and who is wrong, but who is instead clever, knowledgeable, and gifted with talents for spoken advocacy. I leave the decision to you both."

Dandelion looks at River, and there's a bit of a smirk. "Care to make a show of it, my girl? A proper sparring match?"

River raises her shoulders in acquiescence. "It will probably be more stimulating that way," she acknowledges with a small grin, the thing tugging at the corners of her mouth.

"Opposition," declares Yoshitsune boldly, "defines Power." He approves.

Bodhisattva gestures towards the unfurled Lex Magica. "In that case, pick your topic."

Dandelion looks thoughtful. "River, how do you feel about Avalon vs. Mysterium? One of the points in the ruling that fascinates me is that a whole order or cadre can lose access to a fruit from the Martyr's tree based on the actions of one person, even if those actions aren't malicious. That feels like something that could be poked at."

River's eyes slither down the tapestry of words scrawled in illuminate script. "I defer to your preference. Whatever you're most comfortable with." It almost sounds like a dare, and she punctuates it with another of those treacherously beguiling smiles.

"Flip a coin for 'for' and 'against'. Just so we can come at it fairly." Dandelion glances at the lex scroll, being sure to gather all the information she can from it.

"Flipping a coin with an Acanthus," Yoshitsune observes in his heavily accented and gruff manner, "a bold choice." Bodhisattva just grins at this in subdued amusement.

"I trust her not to cheat here. She wants this as much as I do; she'll play fair." Dandelion glances at the room itself now, getting a feel for the space as a stage, and trying to work out how best to use it while making her case.

River holds her hands up in preemptive innocence, but she winks, and produces a coin from the folds of her robes. When it comes down, she's on the for side. "I think you all will confirm, my better half prevailed, and the toss was clean," she charms. Because of course she has a coin on her.

"Fate does not always answer the prayers of the Acanthus. It is often the cause of them, too," Yoshitsune observes with a hand rubbing at his chin. "But I sensed no deception. Now. Do battle with your words." He gestures with his hand at the pair, as though he might be dismissing them. His body language remains a bit obscure to a western audience.

Bodhisattva regards her companion with that same subdued amusement as before, though she offers a less martial instruction. "For may begin. You have five minutes."

Dandelion begins to speak, pacing and talking with her hands as she does so. She clearly has thought a lot about this case in the past, and her manner is articulate, but not fiery. No, instead, she is a guide to the case, it's precedents, and logical conclusions, teaching as much as preaching. Her backbone is made of steel, and her words are chosen with care.

The debate portion is always entertaining. Either a student faces off against the present chief prosecutor of the Consilium, or-- as now --two individuals square off and demonstrate their chops against one another. Epiphanius, the tree's chief archivist, steps in from the arboretum, taking up a spot near the door. Soon, some of the Scions who have been with the tree begin poking their own heads in. Even the Hierarch steps out of her chambers to observe.

River is the picture of enduring grace while Dandelion launches into her side of the argument, and truly, she does stand apart, even River has to admit that. It almost seems like the Acanthus is stuck in a corner. But then it's her turn, and off she goes, beginning with the broadest, foundational definitions of a few pivotal axioms, even plucking one or two phrases from Dandelion's own exposition. She zests using people's words against them, and it's on full display. By the time the two of them have finished going back and forth, woe betide the judge who must fall to one side or another.

Dandelion only builds heat in response to River; they two of them trade turns of phrase and words and ideas back and forth. Throughout it, Dandelion falls back on protocol, remaining very polite and enunciating sharper rather than letting her volume grow. Not that anyone has to strain to hear her, but she is a master of etiquette, and seems to make the attempt to get River to lose it a few times.

When the arguments are concluded, more or less everyone is looking to Hierarch Penance to see her reaction. She's very good at hiding her reactions behind a face of maternal concern, but eventually she cracks a slow grin, lifts up her phone, and begins texting. "I'm upping my wager on the Convocation debates." That's all she has to say as she ducks back into her office.

Yoshitsune then hands the scantrons back over to Bodhisattva who reviews them briefly and slides them back into their respective envelopes. Rather than say anything immediately, she steps behind the council desk again and pulls out a white robe with silver and gold embroidery along the hems and edges. Runes of High Speech. On top of this is placed a bound copy of the Lex Magica. Leather bound, gold embossed, quite rich and lovely. But of a size and nature for portable use. This she carries over towards Dandelion. "Talon Dandelion. On behalf of the Silver Ladder Caucus of the Martyr's Tree Consilium, Hierarch Penance presiding, and on behalf of the Magisterium of the Lesser Convocation of the Northeast; its Magister, Lictors, and Factota, I hereby Recognize you as Talon Factotum Dandelion. You will henceforth be accorded all rights of Emeritus due your robe and office and shall walk among the Worthy as an Officer of this Consilium. Your will in action."

She accepts the robe and the Lex, gasping quietly. "Thank you. I will do all I can to honor the office."

She then returns to collect a second robe and copy of the Lex, and moves to stand before River. "Thearch Adept Decima. On behalf of the Silver Ladder Caucus of the Martyr's Tree Consilium, Hierarch Penance presiding, and on behalf of the Magisterium of the Lesser Convocation of the Northeast; its Magisters, Lictors, and Factota, I hereby Recognize you as Thearch Adept Factotum Decima. You will henceforth be accorded all rights of Emeritus due your robe and office and shall walk among the Worthy as an Officer of this Consilium. Furthermore you are to be elevated in status to the second rank of initiation within our Caucus. Your will in action."

River inclines her head deeply to Bodhisattva as she receives the artifacts, ruling her features and mastering her impulse to smile like a fool.

Dandelion doesn't bother to hide her grin, moving to stand right beside River. "That debate wouldn't have been half as good if we'd each had it with Bodhisattva. You're sharp. I love how you play with words."

In spite of the formal environs, River leans her head to the side and touches it affectionately against Dandelion's shoulder. "You too, Auntie," she mutters quietly, doggish grin blooming on the curve of her pale, pink lips.

"This concludes the open proctor session. Session is dismissed." Yoshitsune, acting in his roll of Provost to the Hierarch, takes up the gavel and slams it down on the block. The audience begins to mill out, arguing amongst themselves as to who had the right of the argument. Epiphanius is the last to leave, smiling his subdued approval about it all, but is once more called to the duties of watching the tree in all of its aberrant wonder.

Bodhisattva retreats to circle back around onto the podium, jotting into the minutes the events of today's open session. The history of the Martyr's Tree grows another column inch or two. "You are both free to go," Bodhisattva assures them, "I am sure you have friends in need of something to cheer about."