“I believe you have recently closed and taken control of a school to the north and west, far enough beyond the centers of population to afford privacy. There is enough land for a buffering zone, gardens, basic self-sufficiency.”
Unsure where this might be going, Jorel concedes her information. “The Harmony Academy. Several of your people were shareholders in the enterprise. Some as well were prominent faculty. The people had been hearing unsavory rumors about goings on there. Some of your social experiments, group sex, occult ceremonies, dangerous ideas being spread. We arrested several of the major shareholder/instigators. The property is in the hands of the City Council until we auction it off.”
“Yes!” Caela seems almost glowing. “A dangerous idea – but danger can be a challenging doorway to glorious adventure, or the price of a longed for treasure. Sell me this school. I will pay whatever price you ask, over time from my profits. I will start a school to teach our people how to find their precious abilities, along with immediately practical healing techniques.”
Jorel is intrigued, more by her thrilling energy than her words, her proposition. The Chief Councilor in him smells trouble, but it has more the feeling of a reflexive defense than a real threat. It’s not about a financial arrangement. He has no doubt this witch woman will make good. He fears her power. Yet, somehow, it is a good fear, a call to challenge to his self-image as a brave man.
Or was that the witchery? Was she playing on his sympathies, bewitching his mind, dissolving his strong-willed resolve?
“How would this school help with the immediate situation? Are you going to single-handed convert us all? What could you teach us that would be to our advantage? I am sure you could turn a fine profit and pay your way, benefit the city coffers in return for our protection. Though I am also sure we could not guarantee your safety at any price. What are you offering these people?” He gestures grandly toward the ever greater unrest of the ever larger crowd just outside this governmental edifice. “How will you pay them for your life?”
“With theirs, of course.” She laughs, briefly, out of irrepressible mirth. “I am a healer. I have learned long, well and wisely so many methods, so many ways of being ill and injured, how to recover, become a new whole, stronger, better prepared to go forward, healthier, more completely alive. But I have no need to take the whole task upon my self. I can easily train those willing to learn to assist me, more easily at first those who have already developed the sensitivities more natural to we witchfolk. Over time, with longer training, we will be able to expand our pool of potential healers and trainers from graduates of our school, no matter which of our clans they have been born of. Really, it is simple. Together we can make it be. Let us be partners, allies in a wonderful enterprise.
Please, now, arrange for these children waiting for their verdict, and their chaperone, in the next room, to be taken to the school grounds. Make arrangements also for their parents, now held in your prison, to join them there. They can get started putting the place in order for our clientele. Eventually our children can learn together, and from each other, what we need to know to be a successful people together.”