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Author Topic: Ghosts of the Past  (Read 32609 times)

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Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #210 on: February 03, 2018, 04:16:45 pm »
With a good meat pie covered in a healthy portion of bubbling cheese and a hearty ale in his hand, Sir Washburn let the troubles of the past few days dissipate. Just enjoy the moment and the camaraderie, he told himself.  The serving girl was pretty, no trouble at all to look upon. And look upon her both Wash and Master Darcy did aplenty, at first. That is until Alfred cleared his young sounding throat and Washburn turned his attention  back to his pie and the seaman backtracked embarrassed, remembering the company he kept. He mumbled something about being so long on shipboard, that distractions such as the pretty lass were difficult to look past. That brought a smile to Washburn’s lips, for he didn't have that excuse. He dared to look up at his friends. Columcil was being far more discrete. He most likely was as offended by the remark as Aliset appeared to be, yet he hid it well. A red tinge of anger erupted on Alfred’s face. Or was that a young lady’s blush of embarrassment. Wash was not sure. Both younger men sobered up quickly, not wanting to offend the noble lady who was in disguise in their midst.

A definite change of subject was required at this point, to keep civility among their small group. So, Wash ventured to ask his companions the most neutral question he could think of. “I am sure we have all noticed the statue of Saint Brigid’s in the village square; the lass holding a Croix flambee above her head, she appears to be leading a gentle looking cow to the milking pens. So, I must ask; If Saint Brigid’s is known for her good works in dairy and for alleviating starvation in the countryside by the giving of cheese to the poor, then why such a harsh name for a town such as this, to be called Droghera? Shouldn’t it take on the name of the convent? I mean to say the date on the statue states Saint Brigid was born in the year 450. Seven hundred years is plenty of time to change the village name, at least I would think so.” He was just trying to make a trivial inquiry to give his friends something else to think on.

His companions didn’t quite get the point to all that. They looked at him for a moment quizzically. None had an answer, and truth to tell, they likely didn’t care. At least the inquiry eased the prior tension, and all turned back to enjoying their tasty hot meal. The normalcy of a quiet tavern afforded each of them the moment to relax. There were only a few other villagers at other tables, also enjoying a good meal. This tavern's reputation seemed well founded.

It was a man at a near table with a lyre set beside him, who perked up at the knight’s question. “Tis a very old town, this is, with a very old tale all its own. Older than our mistress saint, and there be a monster at the heart of that tale.”

“A monster?” Alfred could not help but ask. “Like a bear, or a cat, or a wild boar? I would hardly call the fauna of the wilds monsters.” She looked dubious at the man, whatever fiction was in his story, no monster was worse than the real man who murdered her kin for the sake of a piece of land.

The tavern guest, caught the edge in the young man’s voice, and responded gingerly, at first. “Perhaps monster is too strong a term if referring to the wild creatures of the forest, but nay this is not one of them." his voice perked up to a sing song tone. "This monster is far, far worse.  This monster kills and eats for pleasure!  This monster is a Troll!”

The little man ignored Darcy’s snicker. He sat himself on the edge of the table nearest the four companions, he brought his lyre to his knee and strumming a chord with a dissident flair. And with this cord echoing across the tavern, the room hushed, all turned to listened to what the troubadour would sing.


In the deep rills of Culdi Highlands
Near the waters of Drogh island
Tis where you find a mountain troll
Guarding his cozy evil black hole
His eyes orange in the light of the Sunderlands

B‘ware you should be for you and your kin
if ever you find him and see his sharp grin
Tis the sun you must seek
Or your future shall be bleak
Run, run, run fast, save the skin that you live within.

For whether cooked as stew or as roast,
You'll have little chance of your ventures to boast
When Drogh’s has had his meal
There will be nothing left to heal
Not but a bone and a soul wandering the deep rills, you a ghost.


When his song was sung, the troubadour batted not an eye as he turned from the small band of travelers to address the whole room. “I have seen this monster, I know it exists. Shall I tell you what awaits beyond Drogh island?”

A roar of cheers and encouragement went up though the few that watched. The tavern girl and the owner had come out from the kitchens. They had all heard this tall tale before, it was not new to the locals. Nevertheless, it was a favored story, for it was their own, and they loved to hear it told again, and again.



« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 09:45:16 pm by Laurna »

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #211 on: February 03, 2018, 05:15:34 pm »
The little man adjusted his position on the corner of the table so all in the tavern could hear his story.  He set his lyre aside and waited for the tavern to grow quiet. 

“Now listen closely,” he said.  “To this day it is a difficult tale for me to tell, remembering the terror of that night.”

Darcy Cameron leaned back and rested his back against the wall of the tavern, crossing his arms across his chest.  Father Columcil gave his a stern look, and Darcy shrugged.

The little man cleared his throat and began his tale. 

Deep in the bowels of the earth lived a nasty troll named Drogh.  In the dead of night, he would climb up out of his cave deep in that hill on the edge of our town and prowl the forests, snatching unwary travellers or young children if they played outside at twilight.  He would drag them into his cave, stick them on spits and roast them alive over his fire, using their bones to pick his teeth after he had eaten them.  Sometimes, the local villagers would see wisps of smoke escaping from the ground and know another poor soul had perished.

Women of the village lived in fear for their children.  No one dared travel to or from the village at night. 

One night, I, a poor minstrel, approached the town. I had not eaten in several days and hoped to find food and lodging in the village.  I had heard the tales of Drogh, but I was desperately hungry.  Suddenly before me appeared Drogh!  He was an ugly sight, with a bald head and dripping nose.  His legs were gnarled, his back was hunched, and he carried a huge club.

“You are my dinner tonight!” Drogh snarled as he reached toward me.

My legs seemed to turn to water; I could not move.  How could I save my poor skin?  Then I had an idea. “I will sing for you first,” I said, though my throat felt dry and tight.  “I’ll sing and play until I repeat one song.  Only then will you have me for your dinner!”

“You’ll choke on your own fear,” Drogh told me. “But play on!  I’ll take this wager.”

I played on and on and on.  I played every song I knew and made up a few more. Never did I repeat a song or sing the same verse twice!  At last, the sun came up and Drogh uttered an agonized scream!  Drogh turned into that rock you see as you enter the town.  I had won the wager!

The town welcomed me and gave me food and drink.  They gave me the hand of a fair maiden, and I have never left.

 Few remember Drogh the terrible troll now.   But sometimes, the ground shakes, and the town folk remember. They know it is Drogh trying to break free to snatch another unwary traveller.

The tavern erupted in shouts and the clanking of mugs on the tables.  Columcil, Washburn and Alfred clanked their own mugs.  The little man left his perch on the table and came toward the strangers.  Washburn congratulated him on an excellent tale.

The little man eyed Darcy carefully.  “You know about trolls, don’t you?”  he asked.  “You know my tale is true.”

“Nonsense!”  Darcy replied, but with enough sense to keep his voice low.  “Trolls are myth and legend.”

“Not where you are from,” the little man said sagely.  “You believe.”  He left them then, to accept a mug of ale from the tavern wench.

Only Father Columcil noticed Darcy surreptitiously cross himself when the little man’s back was turned.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #212 on: February 05, 2018, 03:34:08 pm »
((Since no one else seems to be jumping to get us out of the tavern...))


The Lendour knight let his companions delay in the tavern, for as long as they liked. The conversation was light. A few smiles lit their faces with the occasional jest. At least no one dared to jest over Washburn’s haircut. Not this time.  When the tavern started to get more customers who seemed to show some interest in the four, Washburn perked up with a voice a tad louder than he had used earlier. “Father, and you too my young seamaster, go see our lady back at the convent. I pray she is feeling better by now and she is likely anxious for news. Take a piece of this berry pie, that should brighten her outlook for being left behind. Our new young friend showed some interest in the R’kassi stallion; have you ever seen one, son?” Washburn looked over at Alfred, “Care to join me back to the stables, I forgot to get one more thing I need there.”

Darcy was not too pleased at the idea of leaving ‘Alfred’ behind. Also he would have liked to remind Wash that returning to the convent without the lady he had left with, could lead to questions from the Reverend Mother. He was about to say something, when he remembered Morgan’s rank. Father Columcil saw the small defiance in Darcy’s eyes and cut him off. “The lady will be happy for the desert. I doubt the convent would offer such a fair as this.” The two men departed first. Columcil checking at the door that all seemed well in the town square. When Washburn was sure the two had left peacefully,  he stood and beckoned the youth to follow him.

Again, as they left the tavern, the town square carried on with its busy normal atmosphere. He  and Alfred crossed to the stables, stopping only for a moment to pat Shadow’s rump. The black had succeeded in eating every last oat in his grain bucket. “I have a little business with the folks yonder. Can you brush Shadow down for me.” Stay in my sight if you please, he Mind Whispered to his young companion. And think you, on how we can disguise Shadow to look like a normal horse. Then he continued down to the end of the barn where the two boys were still working on all that harness. His red bridle was nowhere to be seen.

“Did you do as I asked?” Wash asked the two boys.

“Aye, my lord,” the taller claimed. He jumped up and lifted a horse blanket off a peg revealing a large black headstall with matching black reins and breast plate.

“Well done,” Wash said admiring the evenness of the black tone. As he handed over the promised coin, an older man, who had been checking the feet of his driving team, walked over and greeted the tall Lord with a respectful bow. “I am the boys’ father, Master Stanly. I run the cheesery here. How can I be of service.”

“Ah, good day to you Master Stanly, well met.” Washburn started. “Your boys have said you are leaving for Rhemuth. Will you be leaving soon?”

“Aye…” the cheese master said with a quizzical inquiry in his tone. “I am taking two wagons of cheese to sell at market in the capital. I can get the best prices there. We will be joining a number of farmers who will be taking their steers to market along with a few choice bulls for sell. A quality dairy bull fetches a good price in Rhemuth.”

“Very good, then,” Washburn let a smile pass his lips. “May I request that a few be added to your numbers as you leave the village, added discreetly.” Washburn emphasized the last words.

“We won’t be traveling very fast,” the master said with some concern.

“No need.” Wash said with a shrug. “My Friends, my two companions Father Columcil and Master Darcy, are looking to go to Rhemuth ahead of me. But they would like to leave the town with as little notice as possible. Can I make this arrangement with you?”

“You’ll not be coming as well , my lord?” the older man inquired.

“I intend to stay at the convent until the young lady I came to town with is well enough to ride. The Infirmarian said she had a small relapse this morning after wandering through the market square yesterday. The infirmarian has her resting. But I hope to see her well soon.”

“Aye, our infirmarian is the best in the land. Following her instructions is always the best recommendations,” agreed Master Stanly. “We leave at first light, have your companions ready before the gates open. I can not delay if they are late,” he said this with a deep bow.

“Thank you, you have my word they will be ready.” Wash handed the man a gold coin. He then returned to the youth brushing his horse. His hand moved to take the brush from him, but instead as their hands touched, he sent a quick Rapport. I will ask you to be in disguise as either Columcil or Darcy, whichever one will be staying with me. You’ll take all four horses with you. Therefor, Shadow will need to be in disguise as well. Do you think you can manage that?

I can replied the lady's voice in Washburn's mind. Although, could we move them back to the nunnery stables to make it that much easier.

I'll make it happen, Wash replied. "Son, it was so good of you to agree to help me today. The lady did ask that we bring Papillon, her horse, yes that one there, and her things to where she could reach them. walking this far is too hard for her just now. So if you don't mind assisting me further, let us get all the horses up to the nunnery stables for the night."  So saying Wash reached over to saddle up Shadow, while Alfred saddled Papillon. Spean and Baldilocks (was that really the Darcy's horse's name, Washburn wondered) would be next.

((Edited  on 2/9/2018 by Laurna to get all four horses back to the nunnery stables.))
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 12:24:31 pm by Laurna »

Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #213 on: February 07, 2018, 04:26:27 am »
((that same afternoon))

Duchess Mirjana bit her lower lip, distressed by the squire’s account, or rather his lack of account. Her guest, nay, her friend, was missing. This was the third squire to returned with no news; the missing Baroness was neither on the south nor the north facing rampart walls; nor in the seaside tower nor the rockery in the south tower; nor had she passed through any of the gates. Before the squires had been sent out, the pages had confirmed that they had not found the lady in the lemon groves nor in the gardens. The pages had been sent on thier searches when the handmaids had returned to tell the duchess that the baroness’s rooms were unoccupied. The Baroness of Trurill had supposedly taken to her rooms upon her husband's leaving for the South. She was supposed to join the duchess at luncheon. She had not appeared. This missed moment of friendship was what had started the whole cascading search involving more and more castle servants, yet no one could find her. Baroness Ailidh MacArdry was no longer in Ballymar castle.

Mirjana was a lady breed to her station since the day she was born, raised in a man's world where they dominated everything that a women was allowed to do or even think. The Duke of Cassan had rescued Mirjana from that loveless world. He had given her more love and more freedoms than she had ever imagined that a woman could have.  And respect; the men of Gwynedd truly respected their wives. A thing unheard of in her home country. But with all this freedom to be herself, Lady Mirjana could never imagine being as feistily independent as Lady Ailidh choose to be. The Duchess loved and even admired Ailidh for her candidness, her open wit, and her sense of freedom. Yet her proclivity for independence from this man’s world had at times set the Duchess’s values upside down. Mirjana controlled her world in soft touches, with strong maternal guiding hands. Not the abrupt, do as she pleased, strong will of Lady Ailidh.  And now, trouble was in the air. Independence did not always mean doing things alone. In situations like these, making a team that would have your back was far better than taking on the fight by one's self. Whether Ailidh even considered the notion, the Duchess considered herself the matriarch, the team leader.  She felt a strong responsibility for all the ladies within her duchy including the vivacious Baroness of Trurill.

Leaving the ladies solar, the Duchess lifted layers of saffron skirts to ankle height and paced down the breezy hall of their rebuilt seaside castle. The breeze felt good in the afternoon heat. She was only a little dismayed that the breeze seemed to follow her as she entered the duke's study; a parchment on his desk blow upward. A hand caught the inkwell before it could blow over. Lord Dhugal was not easily upset by such mishaps; he merely set the bottle to the side and awaited a squire to close the door behind the duchess to allow the pages on his desk to subside. He smiled at his lady and waited, it was clear that she was upset over something, something troublsome enough that it required his attention.

“My lady, may I be of service?”

“Yes, my lord, it does not please be to tell you this. But, it appears that the Baroness of Trurill has left the castle.”

Dhugal’s amber eyes opened wide. “She went seaside for a walk on the beach?” He knew before he even said it that this would not be the case.

“Nay, my lord. She has not exited the gates in any proper fashion. Though she has left, in some fashion or another.”

“Lord have mercy, Not again!” Dhugal exclaimed in disbelief. “Lord Daivi, have the horses counted! Have the squires look to see if there are any missing Cassan tunics or MacArdry tunics. I want proof before I have to contact Jass and tell him to find his own wife hidden among his retainers. He will be furious with her.” Dhugal shook his head, a sudden smile crossed his lips remembering a time long ago when he had discovered the young lady dressed as a man, hidden among his men. “I just don’t understand why she would do that now.”
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 04:32:34 am by Laurna »

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #214 on: February 07, 2018, 09:42:42 am »
Darcy Cameron walked beside the priest in silence as they made their way back along the street to the Nunnery.  They had used up most of their small talk in the tavern, and they could not discuss their plans for departure in case they might be overheard.

Darcy was annoyed.  He was a man slow to anger, a strength he has learned the hard way in his years at sea, but he had come close this afternoon.  He was not used to being so readily dismissed!  At least not in the last several years while serving as a ship’s officer.  He had had a good Captain, one he could mostly trust, and he was used to being in his confidence.

All that had changed; he admitted to himself that some of the changes in his life were easier to bear than others.

He casually surveyed the people around them.  No one appeared to be paying any attention to them. 

When they reached the Nunnery gate, Father Columcil turned to look at him.  “You know you can trust Sir Washburn with her safety,” the priest said quietly.

“Aye, I suppose I do,” Darcy responded and sighed.  “I’m not so sure Sir Washburn returns that favour.”

“I’m sure he does, though I doubt he’ll tell you that himself.”

Darcy snorted.  “Now that I believe.”  He looked up at the priest carefully.  “Tomorrow I will have to trust you with her safety.  Are you up for that, Father?”

“Assuming you don’t mean her spiritual safety,” Columcil replied dryly and paused.  “Yes, I believe you can trust me to keep her safe.  Both her physical safety and her reputation.”

“Could you kill a man to insure her safety?”  Darcy asked, careful to keep his tone neutral.

“Son, I’ve already killed one man in this town.”

Darcy was not sure if that answered his question, but he let it go.  “Go on inside, Father. I’ll wait out here until the others return.  I’m sure Simon told the Reverend Mother that Lady Aliset and I left together.  I don’t fancy trying to explain why I’ve come back without her.”

Columcil smiled and knocked on the gate for admittance to the Nunnery.

Darcy leaned casually against the Nunnery wall.  He did not have to wait long before spotting the Lendour knight and his red-haired companion strolling along the path.  As they continued to approach, Darcy noticed a man following behind, the same man he had seen when he and “Alfred” had walked to the tavern.  It was too much of a coincidence for Darcy’s liking.  He moved casually to cut off Washburn and Alfred before they reached the gate.

“You took your time getting back,” Darcy said in a voice just loud enough to carry beyond his companions.  Washburn gave him a sharp look.  “I think you have been followed,” he said in a much lower voice.  “I marked the man earlier when Alfred and I left.” 

“It’s a pleasant afternoon,” Washburn replied, matching Darcy’s original volume.  “Was there a rush?”

Still keeping his voice low, Darcy said, “I’ll distract him.  You and Alfred can slip around to the back gate.  You should be hidden well enough so Alfred and switch his appearance to enter as Aliset.”

“Are you sure that is wise?” Alfred asked him. 

“We don’t have time to think of anything else,” Darcy said, gave Washburn a clap on his back as if they were the best of friends, and strode toward the man who had suddenly become interested in a tree along the wall.

“You’ve got a good tavern in town,” Darcy said companionably as he approached the man.  He unfastened his trousers and relieved himself against the wall.  With a look of disdain, the man turned to look the other way, away from Washburn and Alfred. 

By the time Darcy was finished, being careful to take his time adjusting his cloths, Washburn and Alfred were nowhere to be seen. With a nod to the man, Darcy walked back to the Nunnery gate, rapped sharply, and entered when the gate opened.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Offline Evie

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #215 on: February 07, 2018, 02:23:36 pm »

Baroness Ailidh stepped off the Portal stone at Trurill and was appropriately greeted by a man-at-arms wearing the Trurill colors and a wary scowl. The scowl cleared as he saw who the unexpected arrival was, and he inclined his head in greeting. 

"My Lady...." As she stepped off the Portal stone, he instinctively glanced away from her face to the stone floor as if expecting another arrival at any moment.  "We weren't expecting you back yet."

"My lord husband and our retinue will be arriving separately," she informed the man, knowing what other arrival he was expecting.  As a second man entered the room, she greeted him with a nod of acknowledgement as she continued speaking.  "We received word at Ballymar from a courier that there has been foul murder done at Caer Mariot, with Lord Oswald Mariot from a cadet branch of that family usurping that manor and its lands, and that there might be Mearan separatists involved in the deed.  I thought it best to return quickly and assist in raising Trurill's defenses, should there be any additional troubles, and to determine if any of our other knights and manors have encountered similar difficulties.  Jass is also bringing back a number of men-at-arms from the Ducal household, but in the meantime, how many able-bodied men do we have at our disposal here if we should need to mount a defense quickly?" The question was addressed to the man who had just entered the room.

Sir Cillian O Ruane, grandson of the late Ciard O Ruane who had once served the Duke of Cassan loyally, fell into step beside his Baroness as the lady exited the room.  "Here in the keep? Many of our men rode out with you and Sir Jass, but we still have about a score in the keep who could readily muster up a defense if need be before reinforcements arrive. And of course we could call a muster from those knights and men-at-arms who owe fealty to you, as well as the able-bodied men in Trurill village, though it might take a few hours for messengers to get word out to them all, and if this is not an isolated incident, those in our more distant manors will wish to hold a few men back to look to the safety of their own lands and families as well."

"Of course. I am hoping this trouble is confined to Caer Mariot alone, but we couldn't take chances, with Prince Rory's presence and attention on the other side of Meara at the moment. And we still have Oswald to call to account, if the news we received is true. He cannot possibly think we would have turned a blind eye to this injustice done to one of our loyal knights, so I surmise he must have reason to think he has protection from our justice, to act with such impunity."

"Shall I raise a call to readiness then, my lady, just in case the tales of murder and revolt are true, and the troubles spread in this direction?"

"Yes, inform the household men to make ready." Her mind considered the domestic side of preparing for an impending conflict. "And have our womenfolk report to me. If we need to ready Trurill for the possibility of a siege and the common folk of Trurill seeking the shelter of our walls, I'd rather not leave that off to the last minute. Better to be overprepared than caught off guard."

"Aye, my lady." At her nod of dismissal, he turned and headed off with brisk steps to inform the guards and men-at-arms of Trurill of the possible danger at hand.




"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Evie

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #216 on: February 07, 2018, 03:36:33 pm »
As Sir Cillian went to inform the men at the gatehouse of the Baroness' arrival and news, the man-at-arms who had originally been assigned to keep watch at the Trurill Portal made his way in a different direction as soon as the knight and the lady were both out of sight.

Ruick, we will need to move up our plans.  The Baroness has returned from Cassan by means of the Portal, and Sir Jass is riding back with his retinue as well as reinforcements from the Duke.  It seems they somehow caught wind of our plans here too early. If we're going to make our move, it needs to be now, before the Baron and his forces arrive.

Bloody hell, the reply came back almost immediately. The additional men the Grand Duke promised us haven't arrived yet, Simon!  We can spring a surprise attack on the guards at the main gate and secure the Keep, but we can't hold a large force off for long. Is there any chance of taking the Baroness hostage? Maybe we can use her as a negotiating tool.

She's fully trained, Simon Mind-Spoke curtly. I'm not.  Maybe we should withdraw while we can, and save our attack for when we've got sufficient force to succeed.  There are still some loyalists in Trurill who remember the old days fondly, and who will rally behind Brioc de Paor when he makes his move openly.  Especially when they discover he is sire to our rightful Queen.

You may be right.  But I don't want to be the one to break the news to the Grand Duke, if we have to delay our plans.

Simon pursed his lips as he considered that.  Ruick had a point. Have we heard any word when the additional forces will arrive?

A mental shrug from Ruick.  Could be any time now.  All I can tell you for sure is that old Gareth in the watch tower hasn't seen any sign of them yet.

Simon sighed. All right. No open moves for the moment, then.  But if they do show up, I want to know immediately.  If we can't get them past O Ruane's loyal men at the main gate, perhaps we can let them in the postern gate under cover of darkness.  Or I might be able to work out how to get a few through the Portal, especially if the Grand Duke sends one or more of his Deryni to assist us.

"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
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Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #217 on: February 08, 2018, 04:47:01 am »
The three male guests of Saint Brigid’s Convent sat practically knee to knee in the guest house working through the particulars of the next 24 hours and the contingency plans for any number of things that could go wrong. All three men prayed that none of those plans would be necessary. Their goal was to arrive at Arx Fidei by the end of the following day.   And then the city of Rhemuth by the end of the day following that. The beautiful city of Rhemuth...  the son of Corwyn never thought he would long to see those high walls and tall towers with as much longing as he did now. He had spent years running from the fancy fashions of high court and the undercurrent of intrigue that followed every conversation. Well, he still didn’t like that part of Gwynedd’s capital, but the Queen’s gracious smile was enough to look forward to tolerating all the rest of court life.

The compline bells rung, the nuns walked through the court yard and into their small church.  Columcil went to stand to join them, but Washburn put out a hand  and asked him to stay. “I have need of assistance if you would not mind helping me.” Wash pulled forth the Camber Medallion from his tunic. “It is the time Kelric would be listening for a call from me. I really need to contact him and tell him of our present situation.” Washburn looked at the seaman apologetically. “You don’t have to witness this if you chose not to.” He gave a understanding node to the man. “If you would rather, could you watch the door and be sure we are not attacked.”

“That I can do,” Darcy said emphatically, standing and moving toward the door.

He actually is getting better about magic,
Columcil mind spoke to Wash as they moved their chairs even closer together and touched hands.

Father, I know you will protect Aliset, but you must understand how hard it is for both myself and Darcy to leave her behind, even for just a few hours. It goes against every fiber in my body. And her Protector over there, is feeling it too. Can you protect her?

I make you an oath that I will protect her with my life.
the clergy man said.

I can ask for no more than that.
Washburn accepted.  So saying he turned his focus upon the silver medal in his hand. The Rapport from Columcil was shallow, yet even so it had that familiar feeling. Washburn was getting use to that; he gave it little thought. Instead he was looking for that which was even more familiar, the strong connection he held with his brother.

((01:48 Laurna Contacting Kelric
01:49 Laurna !roll 2d6
01:49 derynibot 3, 1 ==4))

Wash centered and cast outward. There was a long silence, no hint of his brother waiting to hear from him. The priest had stayed on the very edge of their rapport, not wanting to commit himself. But he understood the need and decided he could offer more than just his energy. Show me His Grace Kelric. I have never meet your brother, perhaps I could reach out for him if I know who I am seeking.

This was an easy task, Wash shared the communications he had set between his medallion and his brother's medal. There was strong magic there, if Columcil could link into it.

((02:01 Laurna Rolling for Columcil to contact Kelric via the Camber Medals
02:01 Laurna !roll 2d6
02:01 derynibot 1, 5 == 6))

The priest had a calming way of building focus, nothing rash, instead very slow, deliberate and balance. It comes from Healing, my son, the older man said. If you want to learn that you must learn the balance of your energies first.

The pair of callers linked closer focusing on the mind they touched far far away. That mind when they sensed it was anxious, he too was having his own trouble completing the link. It was a woman’s touch that evened Kelric’s energies. Princess Araxandra was much like her parents, ready and able to handle the most stressful situations with prompt expertise. “Little brother, thank the Lord, tell me what is happening.”

Just hearing the Duke's voice was the most reassuring sound. It allowed Wash to calm further. Through his link with Columcil, he sent a swift but brief accounting of all that had transpired. Then he passed forward the planes they had for this night and the next day, leaving out the details but giving assurance that everything had been well thought out. “Can you meet us at Arx Fedei. It would be much relief to have an escort from there.”

“I’ll be there,” the duke assured him, “I expect you and your three companions to not disappoint me.” Wash smiled; his brother was always telling him to not disappoint a duke of the realm. 

“Give mother a kiss from me,”
Washburn said before letting the link dissipate.
 
Columcil removed his hand from the knight's forehead and leaned back against the chair. "So that is the Duke of Corwyn."

“Aye, and he will reward you for all that you have helped me accomplish.”

"it is not reward that I seek," the priest stated.

"That much I know, What does drive you to endure all of this, I can not guess. but what ever it is. I want to thank you for it." the nobleman commented humbly.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 04:54:04 am by Laurna »

Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #218 on: February 08, 2018, 01:33:00 pm »
It was some time before the midnight hour, before the bells toll, before Washburn considered it the best time to leave when a faint knock came to the guest door. The three men inside heard if even for its faintness. They had each been resting in their own way, for everything was already done, they were dressed, their things packed they just needed the appointed bells to ring to move. Master Darcy was cautious to open the door. “Who’s calling,” he requested of the knocker.

“Sister Ann Marie,” came a quiet voice from the other side of the door. “Sister Margaret asks if Father Columcil can join her in the infirmary. She is in need of his services.” Darcy looked back at his companions, this was not an expected request. He was given a nod from the priest even as the knight lifted his sword which had been lying beside him. Darcy opened the door a crack. Indeed there stood a pitie nun, head low.  “There has been an injury. A father brought in his boy, who was pinched under a cheese crate. The injury is in such a delicate place that our infirmarian thought it would be best to be handled by a man.” Darcy opened the door a little wider. There was no one else about in the courtyard.

“Sister, I will come,” the priest said as he stood.

“We will all come,” Washburn added. He grabbed up his bow and his quiver, slung them to his back, then picked up his travel bag and balanced the strap across his other shoulder. Father Columicl tossed Darcy the bag that the seaman had intended to take with him. The rest of their gear would be going with the good father and his companion in the morning on one of their pack horses.

The three men were ever watchful as they followed Sister Ann Marie into the infirmary. All was dark and quiet, except for Simon who stepped out from the gate house door, watched the men for a minute, and than returned to his watch duties.

Within the infirmary, two nuns and a man bent low over a boy who whimpered in the fetal position, his hands tucked between his knees. The father was trying to coax the boy to allow them to remove his breeches so as to allow to see the injury. The boy was old enough to know better than to appear unclothed before a nun and was having none of it regardless of the pain he was in.

Father Columcil took the lead allowing the nuns to step back. Wash recognize the boy and the father almost instantly, “Master Stanly, how did this happen?’

The cheese master shook his head, “My fault, I thought to add a few more crates of aged Manchego to the wagon, only we were all tired and the crates were heavy. One slipped and caught David in the groin. I fear for my boy, but I may have delayed your plans too, I am sorry, my lord.” The father was clearly distraught.

“Let us take care of this before any other considerations are taken.” Washburn bent down to help Columcil ease the boy’s pain.

The priest gave a prayer asking for the Lord’s care and mercy, his hand covering the boys eyes for just a moment. David’s tension eased allowing the father and Washburn to loosen the leggings and pull them free of the area of pain.  There was no cut, but already the right groin was bluish/red and hard swollen. A hernia with bleeding under the skin was surely at the boys hip. Washburn followed Culumcil's hand and placed his own beside his. May I ask that you show me where you get this power that you have, let me see if I can go there too.

Aye, I will let you try but only one try there is little time for more if this child wants to have children when he grows up.


The seriousness in the priest's tone sobered the Corwyn knight. This was not a mere game, lives stood in the balance. A balance that he was not certain he himself could achieve. Opening fully to the man beside him, he let the priest guided him into the place where his healer’s gift had laid hidden all these years.

((11:08 Laurna First try at learning the new Healer trait
11:08 Laurna !roll 1D6
11:08 derynibot 1 == 1
11:08 Laurna All I ever get is ones, never anything else. ***Deep sigh***))

Wash thought he had touched on the gift, but alas, he could not bring it forward in his mind. Quickly, he backed away allowing the master of Healing to complete his task. Wash stayed poised to give energy, recognizing that a third party had entered their Rapport. Lady Aliset had entered the infirmary. she too would give Columcil energy if he would allow it.

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #219 on: February 08, 2018, 02:47:09 pm »
Darcy Cameron wanted to pull his eyes away, to not watch the magic that was happening in the room.  The boy’s injury made him wince inwardly, almost physically, in fact.  He had stepped aside when Lady Aliset entered the infirmary, and he saw that she did not hesitate to assist.  Sir Washburn had tried to do something, but he had pulled away while the priest seemed to go deeper into whatever it was that was transpiring in this room.  Had he noticed a fleeting look of frustration on the knight’s face?

In these short few days he had seen magic kill; now he watched as it tried to heal.  Darcy was not sure if he could come to terms with the two extremes. 
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #220 on: February 08, 2018, 04:43:51 pm »
Columcil's thoughts were in a turmoil and once again he wondered how in heaven's name he had allowed himself to get embroiled in this situation. At worst he would get himself killed, at best be drawn into an even closer relation with those he had spent his life being happy to ignore, namely his noble kin. Or maybe he had the worst and best the wrong way round there.

He wished that Darcy were not so wary of him, understandable though it was. Darcy was a hard-working man, the sort amongst whom Columcil ministered, and around whom he was far more comfortable than the gentry and nobility. Just being a priest could be enough to make a man leery, Columcil knew all too well, when you added magic into the mix.... Then it was clear that neither Darcy nor Sir Washburn really trusted his ability to protect the lady Aliset. Well he could hardly blame them for that since he didn't entirely trust himself. Given the unconscionable amount of time it had taken them to come up with this plan, and the lack of any other, he thought it best that he kept that worry to himself.

Most of all though he was unsettled by the rapport with Washburn which had drawn him into contact with the Duke of Corwyn himself and her highness his Duchess. Neither had Washburn's innocent talk of reward helped. He was not offended, he recognised that Washburn's knightly vows gave him a sense of obligation towards others, but how was he ever to disentangle himself and disappear back into obscurity when, if, they reached Rhemuth.

So he was relieved rather than otherwise when the knock came on the door, though the relief soon turned to dismay when he saw the lad's injuries. He had to work hard not to speak harshly to the boy's father, whose lack of concern for the safety of tired workers was at fault, and then young Washburn insisted on sharing in the healing. He was being unfair, he knew. Washburn was motivated purely by compassion but he was not sure he could handle another rapport with his kin just then. Struggling to focus as Washburn laid his hand alongside his, Columcil managed to put the injured lad into a sleep deep enough to enable his tightly curled body to be straightened and reached deep within himself for his healing powers. At the vital moment he was aware that Washburn had faltered and drawn back; at the same time, "Blessed Jesus preserve him!", Lady Aliset entered the infirmary. With her, the knowledge of their desperate peril came flooding back and the moment was lost ((3+3 = 6 26nkl0knzh - those dratted dice - it's all their fault I had to give Columcil such a long winded crisis)). Before he could even withdraw his hands, however, Sister Margaret was at his side and, placing her hands over his, the healing power flowed from her into the boy's body.(( rolled advantage with two healers and two known Deryni in the room 6+1+5 =12 64xxhkjvh0))

He turned and smiled shakily at her. She returned the smile and said gently, "I rather feared that this might happen with all that you have on your mind, so I was just outside the room." Her voice as she spoke to the merchant,  on his knees by the pallet, was rather more stern. "Your son will make a full recovery, I hope you will value him rather more than your cheeses in future." More gently, for tears were streaming down his face, she added, "You can take him home to sleep the night now. No need to tell him that he was seen by a woman, in all honesty you can tell him that he was touched only by the good father's hands here." The merchant bent to kiss her hands and then those of Father Columcil and picking up his son as gently and easily as though he were a new born left the room. Sister Margaret made to leave too, then from the doorway she turned and said "What you must do is safe from being shared by any here. My prayers are with you. God speed." With that she was gone.
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

Offline Evie

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #221 on: February 08, 2018, 05:16:21 pm »
As Columcil had attempted to Heal the cheese merchant's lad, Aliset pondered how she might help, wishing that she hadn't been so quick to drop her Alfred guise as soon as she'd entered the convent gates.  Having grown up in a household of brothers, not to mention raised with the expectation that one of her roles as a future lady of the manor was to look after the sick and injured members of her household, she didn't shrink back from the task at hand out of any misplaced sense of maidenly modesty, but she hesitated to openly volunteer her aid because she did not wish to embarrass the boy by seeming to hover too closely while Father Columcil attempted to use his Healing gift on such a delicate portion of his anatomy. Yet if the good priest should have need to draw upon her energy while he worked, she wished to be close enough for him to be able to easily do so.

An idea came to her, and she moved discreetly to one side, ostensibly to avoid blocking the source of light so that the priest would be able to see the injury more clearly, but her change of location brought her to the other side of Sir Washburn.  As Wash was also in contact with the patient, perhaps the Healer could draw upon them both if she simply maintained contact with him.  Laying her hand upon the knight's shoulder, she politely averted her eyes from the patient, not wishing to add to his distress.  Instead, her eyes fixed upon Darcy.

She studied his features briefly, committing them to memory before casting her gaze demurely downwards, not wanting to be caught staring. But she needed to be able to reproduce those features accurately, after all, if she was going to attempt to disguise herself as him successfully before they all left Droghera the following morning.  She briefly wondered if he might find it useful for her to transform his likeness to her own as well before they parted ways in the pre-dawn hours.  The thought nearly made her giggle. How would she broach the topic to him?  "Master Darcy, how would you like to masquerade as a lady for a day or two? More specifically, as me?"  She fancied he'd like that idea about as much as he'd favor slipping out of Droghera in a nun's habit!

She glanced back up at him, only to find him regarding her with an expression that looked half puzzled, half amused. Had he caught some vestige of her thought, perhaps, or had he simply noticed she was hiding her own amusement at something? She glanced away again, her cheeks warming slightly.  All right then, perhaps she'd best find some safer line of thought before she burst out laughing.

A furrow of consternation marked Columcil's brow, and she could sense through the tenuous link between them that his efforts had failed.  But at that moment, another pair of hands--not those of the ephemeral Saint Camber, as Aliset had half expected to see, but those of the infirmarian--came to rest gently upon his. It was then that Aliset detected the shift of energies that confirmed the Healing power had been manifested, and with that shift came the visible transformation of bruised and internally bleeding flesh to healthy wholeness.

Aliset breathed a quiet sigh of relief.  She had feared the boy's injury would mean another delay in their departure from Droghera, as she and her companions scrambled to form some other plan.  But now they must use what precious time they could to preserve their remaining energies for the journey ahead.  With a nod to Columcil and a quick burst of focused thought to Sir Washburn to inform him of her intentions, she slipped out of the room, making her way to the nearby stables.  There were horses to disguise, after all, and that was best done now, under cover of darkness and while no one else was likely to be around.

((17:02   EvieAliset   Roll 3d6 (spending a hero point) for creating illusion to disguise the horses (esp. Shadow).
17:03   EvieAliset   !roll 3d6
17:03   derynibot   4, 6, 4 == 14))

Concentrating most of her focus on Shadow, but sparing a little attention to their other horses' appearances as well, Aliset murmured the words of a spell to cast a glamour over them that would hide their true form from the eyes of any onlookers seeing them depart from Droghera with the rest of the merchant's horses leaving alongside them tomorrow.  The change in Shadow was the most remarkable--instead of a showy black destrier, before her now appeared to stand a small dun mare. Their other horses were less changed, yet a slight tweak of color on one and a shift of markings on the others made them less recognizable, or so Aliset hoped, to those who might be keeping a close eye out for their departure.

And now it was time for rest, to catch up on what little sleep she might be able to muster before she and Father Columcil must ride out together on the morrow. 

Turning towards the guest house, she shifted her own appearance into that of Master Darcy and made her way across the courtyard under the cover of darkness.




« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 05:37:30 pm by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #222 on: February 09, 2018, 04:38:22 am »
Wash was disappointed in himself. Not so much for the failure to heal, for he wasn’t even certain that gift had passed on to him from his father. Although, he still held hopes that it was there. He was disappointed in his failure to protect those who trusted him to get them safely to Rhemuth. So many of his small tasks had been failures, at least from his point of view.  He was so fortunate to have such trustworthy persons in his company to cover for his lapses. At every turn, for four days there seemed to always be something hindering his progress. He didn’t believe in luck, per say. He believed in hard work and practice. Repetition, in theory, should allow an outcome to become predictable, and not a providence of luck.

The three people with him were good people. They weren’t the type to use his lapses for their own gain. To gossip behind his back or to abuse his rank to get what they wanted. They would never voice their disappointment. Yet, in subtle ways, he knew he wasn’t coming up to the expectations that they needed him to meet. The more he failed, the more the others seemed to  strengthened their own barriers to kept their own council. Wash did not fault any of them for doing that, it was just that getting out of Droghera, had its own difficulties. Trying to lead four independent souls to openly trust one another to get out safely was going to end in either stupendous success or utter failure. And it seemed only luck held the answer.

Failure was not an option, he told himself

Aliset had left to see to a few chores. Darcy had shadowed her out of the infirmary. Wash knew they were headed toward the nunnery stables and he let them go. Darcy would see to Aliset’s safety. Columcil meanwhile had closed down to Wash, he was upset and understandably so. He didn’t think anyone trusted him. The truth was, neither Wash nor Darcy would be leaving Aliset behind if they didn’t trust him. And he needed the priest to understand that. “Father, I well know that you have had my back since we first meet. You have helped me in far more matters than I have been able to offer back. Not the least of which, you have saved my life. I want you to know, I trust Lady Aliset to your care. The lady... well... she is an independent soul... I am starting to believe that of most Deryni women. My faith tells me that you are able to protect her in our absence.

Columcil nodded.  “I appreciate that, if you mean it.”

“I do,” Washburn affirmed. His hand grasped the priest’s shoulder in confirmation.

Perhaps this didn’t solve all that was troubling Father Columcil, but it did some good at least in the man’s outward facial expressions.

“Now, if I can just get Darcy to allow a little magic in that damnable tunnel. Do you think he will balk at handfire?”

“After everything else he has just seen?” the good Father returned.

“Damn,” Wash jumped up. “Aliset went to do her magic on the horses and I allowed Darcy to follow her, not thinking of the consequences.” One more lapse to add to all the others, which could push luck to the unfavorable side.

Wash raced out of the infirmary, over to the side door of the barn. Darcy was standing there, his eyes open wide, his face pale, the color of his hair. Yet, he could not look away. Aliset was patting the neck of a horse, a horse Wash had never seen before, a horse in the place where he had left Shadow. She is good. Wash thought, but he had to distract Darcy before the man saw more than he could handle. “Ah, there you are my friend. Are you ready to join me to stake out a good spot in the woodlands to watch everyone leave the town gates in the morning. I want to be well positioned before any of Oswald's men can move in.” Wash had stepped before Darcy to cover the lady’s exit from the barn.

“Yes, if you still think this is the best plan.” the seaman asked unsure.

“I am open if you have a better solution,” Wash said honestly.  He stepped aside now that Aliset had left the main barn door and could not be seen from their particular vantage point. “You have to admit she creates an excellent illusion. It is just illusion, you know. Just a trick to confuse the eye. Not black magic or anything.” Wash caught a glimpse of the illusionary Darcy that had been Aliset walking toward the guest house. The real Father Columcil joined him and the two entered the building and closed the door. It was some relief that the real Darcy had not seen that, at least Wash hoped he had not just seen himself walking away.

Wash flashed a key that was on a chain about his neck. “I would be honored if you would join me in a path through the underworld of Droghera. Truth is that I welcome your company in a place I would rather not walk alone.”

Darcy doubted the knight was claustrophobic, yet he did sense there were some truth to the knight’s words. Odd that he could sense that.  But then that second sight was something he knew he could trust. Just not all this magic, illusionary or not.

They walked together to a small supply room at the back of the infirmary. Wash pushed back a stack of crates revealing a narrow panel in the wall with a small hole above head height. Wash inserted his key into the hole. The panel slid free and opened to a blackness within. The knight walked in first, he started to cup his hands to make handfire. He saw Darcy’s eyes open in recognition and therefore changed his action to reach for a torch held in a bracket next to the opening. With a snap of his fingers the torch lit with a small flame.  The real flame brightened and the small room behind the wall was illuminated with a slight wave of the flame from a breeze. That was good, it meant there was movement of air where they intended to go. He handed the torch to Darcy. “Shall I led or would you like to be the one who proves there is no village Troll down here. It’s a jest only, honestly!” he said quickly, regretting his last words.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 02:05:50 pm by Laurna »

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #223 on: February 09, 2018, 10:08:51 am »
Darcy Cameron accepted the torch from the tall Lendour knight.  He had to admit the last bit of magic he had just seen had merit.  It didn’t help the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach though.  Darcy swallowed.

“I’ll go first,” he said.  “You can see around my back better than I’ll be able to see around yours.”  Darcy moved past Washburn and went through the doorway.  “But if there is a troll, don’t block my path back out of here.”

Darcy held the torch far enough ahead to illuminate the steep stairs leading down from the door.  The light it cast flickered a bit, casting eerie shadows on the damp walls.  Darcy hoped they wouldn’t find water at the bottom.  His foot slipped a bit on the next stair; he reached out to the rock wall to steady himself.

“Careful,” he warned Washburn.  “Some of these are slippery.”

The reached the bottom of the stairs without further mishap.  The torch continued to flicker, indicated there was still a flow of air at this level.  Darcy took a moment to survey the surroundings before moving forward.

A fair-sized tunnel had been carved into the rock, wide enough for a man to move through carrying supplies and high enough that Washburn only had to stoop slightly.  It stretched forward into darkness.  He moved forward, and Washburn followed him. 

Darcy was straining all his senses to help him navigate through the darkness.  It looked like there was something large looming ahead; Darcy hoped the tunnel wasn’t blocked.  Something skittered past his boot.

‘What was that?” Washburn asked.

‘I’m not sure,” Darcy responded.  “Probably a rat.”

“I don’t like rats,” Washburn muttered.

“Better than trolls.”

They continued forward.  It was darker here, Darcy noticed.  Perhaps there was a turn ahead.  He started to touch the wall with his free hand, then snatched it back before touching the spider that lingered there.  He moved on.

“Jesu!” he exclaimed, coming to a dead stop and almost dropping the torch.  Washburn collided against his rigid back.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, grasping the smaller man’s shoulder to steady himself.

In answer, Darcy raised his torch higher. 

Before them was a solid chunk of rock, evidently too hard to cut through.  Some long-dead miner had taken the time to carve the outline of a large troll on it.  A bit of crystal in the rock looked like a single glowing eye in the light of the flickering torch.

Darcy let go of the breath he was holding.  “This is not funny,” he finally said.

Washburn, who had also taken a moment or two to recover, looked at it carefully.  “Someone did a good job on this. They must have meant it to frighten, maybe as a warning.”

“That’s not helpful, Sir Washburn!”

‘Sorry.  Want me to take the lead?”

Darcy shook his head.  “Nay, let’s just hope there isn’t worse ahead.”

There was a turn in the tunnel, probably to avoid the large rock.  Darcy squared his shoulders and moved forward.

 
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Offline Evie

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #224 on: February 09, 2018, 01:24:04 pm »
Aliset studied her reflection in her polished brass mirror with a critical eye.  Master Darcy's face stared back at her. She turned towards Columcil.

"Should I wear the leather cap pulled completely over Master Darcy's hair or not?" she asked.

"Hm. That depends." The priest tilted his head to study the illusory features before him. "Do we want to draw our enemies off Sir Washburn's and the real Master Darcy's trail and divert them into following us instead, or were you rather hoping to slip out of town entirely unnoticed?"

"Ah, good point."  With a whispered word and a wave of her finger, Aliset altered her appearance slightly to conceal the gleaming silvery-blond hair completely, also changing the familiar cap's color while she was at it.  That was easily enough managed.  Turning to look back at the priest, she asked, "How's that?"

Columcil studied her with a slight frown.  "Well, you look less like Darcy now, but on the other hand it occurs to me, if our enemies think we're still in Droghera after we've made our escape, won't they grow impatient with trying to wait us out and come in looking for us instead? I'd hate for them to sack the town thinking we're still here! Maybe we shouldn't try to hide who we are after all."

Aliset nearly threw her mirror at him in exasperation.  "Well, I can hardly disguise us and not disguise us at the same time, now can I?  And don't you think they might still wonder where the other half of our company is?  Besides, how many pursuers do you think are actually hunting for us? Not enough to sack the entire village, surely!  Even if Droghera has a few Mearan sympathizers, these are their friends, families, and neighbors we're talking about."

Columcil looked chagrined. "Well, all right, you have a point. Probably there aren't that many enemies looking for us anyway, though it certainly feels that way, when you're the prey."

Aliset only half heard him, suddenly considering another notion. What if there was some way to be disguised yet not wholly unrecognizable?  After all, she didn't wish any repercussions to fall on the villagers of Droghera either, and even though she figured a wholesale reprisal against those who had been kind enough to shelter them was unlikely, perhaps there was some way to slip past watchful eyes with just enough alterations in their appearance to make their pursuers doubt it was actually them leaving, but still retain enough similarities to their true forms that they might belatedly realize those they were seeking were no longer in Droghera?  It would be a tricky balance, but perhaps not impossible.

"Do you have any secular clothing, Father?"

Columcil shrugged.  "Well, I'm wearing breeches and a jerkin under my cassock. I suppose I could just leave the cassock off and put it in my travel bag."

"Good, good...."  Aliset studied him carefully.  "Perhaps I could make your hair appear completely gray also, and...oh, hang on for a moment...."  Rummaging through her bag for Alister's old clothing, she drew out a russet wool hood.  "That could work. Even if it gets too hot at midday to wear the hood over your head, it's an article of clothing our pursuers wouldn't be looking for on you."  Looking up, she asked, "Would you mind looking a little older than you actually are?"

The priest's lips twitched in a hint of a smile. "You're asking permission to make me gray beyond my years? Seems to me this adventure is already doing a good enough job of that without additional help, but if you think that will help...."

Aliset laughed, tracing an oval in the air around his face and murmuring the words to the familiar spell.

((12:47   EvieAliset   Rolling for casting illusion on Columcil
12:48   EvieAliset   !roll 2d6
12:48   derynibot   3, 5 == 8 ))

Columcil's hair appeared to turn steely gray. With an additional tracing of her finger, she also added another couple of inches to its length before deciding she was satisfied with his changed appearance.

As she turned to repack her other items in her bag, Columcil removed his cassock and packed it away in his own, then donned the borrowed hood. When Aliset looked back up, she smiled at the difference the small changes to his usual wardrobe and appearance had made.  "I think that works.  Hopefully we're just enough changed that no one will think twice about our departure until after the fact, once they realize there haven't been any sightings of us in the village in some time.  Between that and the story being put about that I'm still in the infirmarium, having suffered some sort of relapse, I think it might be another day or two before our pursuers put two and two together and realize we've slipped out from under their noses. And then, even if they do remember two merchants leaving this morning who might possibly have been us in disguise, we'll be long gone, and they'll still have doubts because there would still be two of us unaccounted for." She sighed. "Let's hope the ruse works, anyway. I really don't know what else we can try."

The two of them gathered their belongings and headed out to the stables, Columcil coming to a dead stop just before they reached the door, reaching out to put a hand on her arm, stopping her in her tracks as well.

"What's wrong?" she asked, casting out with her senses to see if she could detect some nearby foe whose presence he might have sensed before her, but if there was such an enemy close by, she felt no sign of him.

I just realized, he Mind-Spoke, you've changed Shadow's appearance already, haven't you?

Yes, Aliset replied. What of it?

Well....  The priest blushed.  He's a large horse, Shadow. What does he look like now?

A dun mare, Aliset replied.  Why, is that a problem?

I don't know.  Maybe you ought to change him back, at least until I can mount him.  Or should I lead him? I could ride Spean instead and just lead Shadow, if that would be easier....

Aliset stared at him, puzzled. I don't suppose it matters which one you ride, though if we end up coming under attack despite all our precautions, wouldn't you rather be riding the horse that is battle-trained?

Well, yes, but . . . won't anyone watching us ride away think it strange if I'm hovering several inches above what looks to them to be a smaller horse?  And how would I even mount him? Not knowing how high his back actually is, what if I accidentally kick him....

It was all Aliset could do not to burst out laughing.  I've made him look different to others, Father! I've not turned him invisible!  Since you know I've cast an illusion on him, you should be able to see him perfectly well.  Just look at him with your Deryni senses, not just your eyes.  Close your eyes while mounting him, if that helps.

She was still giggling quietly to herself as they rode out of Droghera together with the rest of the merchant's horses, riders, and goods.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 01:41:27 pm by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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