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Author Topic: Ghosts of the Past  (Read 150785 times)

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Offline Bynw

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #765 on: June 22, 2020, 01:46:22 PM »
Father Paulos watched as the Reeve led Father Michael towards the inn. This was not the first time he had witnessed the involvement of Windyner's elder in something going on at the inn. No, since Windyner is a stopping point on the east road to Valoret it is a common occurrence with strangers.

During his time in the village Father Paulos has sat in on a few of these investigations and judgements. Truth reading some to see how well human judgement got it correct. He had been surprised by the accuracy of Father Michael's ability in determining truth from falsehood.

And here, in this instance, Father Paulos himself turned back to his duties inside the village parish. Thinking that things were well in hand by Father Michael and the Reeve. A foreign Deryni priest would not be needed in this case.

But Father Paulos was wrong. A foreign Deryni priest would be needed soon. For what awaited Father Michael was dark magic beyond his understanding.

In an unknown corner of Father Paulos's mind, hidden from even himself, were thoughts of what was to come next. For Washburn, the son of Alaric Morgan, was the cause of the disturbance at the inn.

And he was being held in thrall by an old Torenthi spell. Little known today in the Peace of Kelson that was being challenged on the far side of Gwynedd by a rebellion. But it was not forgotten by some certain Deryni houses in the east that have kept the practice alive.

The hidden thoughts knew that Father Michael would call for his friend, the Torenthi Deryni priest when magic is discovered causing the strangers distress. And Father Paulos would come. A dutiful servant he was and just as much in thrall to the master as Washburn was.

Offline DerynifanK

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #766 on: July 02, 2020, 07:28:16 PM »
After the encounter with the innkeeper, Fiona returned to the room where Washburn still lay without moving. She closed the door behind her and walked over to the bed. He still lay exactly as he had since he fell into what they now believe to be a coma caused by the ruby clutched in his hand. He had not stirred despite the loud voices and altercation occurring just outside his door.

They had sought to discover the source of the coma. Darcy had tried to take the stone from Wash’s hand, but it had delivered a painful shock to his hand and arm when he touched it. Fortunately Aliset had not needed to touch the gem to examine it.  She had discovered several spells on the ruby but had not been able to identify what they were or their purpose.  Any attempt to touch or move the gem resulted in pain to the person making the effort.

Fiona paced the small room restlessly. She was frightened. The innkeeper was loud and angry. He had demanded that he be admitted to Washburn’s room to see for himself what was ailing the knight. He was afraid that his drunken guest could wake and cause mayhem, just as fighting men had done so often in the past and this would frighten others away. Darcy had not tried to dissuade the innkeeper from his thoughts about his inebriated  guest. For if magic, especially black magic, was suspected as the cause of the knight’s condition,  people would be afraid that it could somehow affect them. She didn’t know how they might react or what they might try to do to Wash and his companions. Fright could turn to anger, and they could become a mob. They had to do something but what could they do?

She whirled around as the door opened.  She relaxed as Aliset entered. Aliset moved to stand beside Wash and asked quietly, “Any change?”

Fiona replied. “No. He has not moved or stirred since this began. I am afraid that the innkeeper will get the villagers stirred up, and they may do anything. They might try to force us out of the village or even try to harm Wash. We have to do something!” Fiona was becoming more agitated.

Aliset sat on the other bed and motioned Fiona to sit beside her. Fiona sat and Aliset took her hand. “Calm yourself. I understand your concern for Washburn. We all share it. The innkeeper sent for Father Michael, and I have found the priest to be a  reasonable and reassuring  person. The villagers trust him, and I think he will be able to quiet their fears. But he will want to discover the nature of the problem, and I don’t see how we could keep him from seeing what has happened. Nor can we really explain it.”

“Then we have to do something to remove that cursed stone!” Fiona was up and pacing again.
Aliset answered. “You saw what happened when Darcy touched it. If we try again to move it, we don’t know what will happen. It could release an even stronger shock and cause lasting harm  to the person touching it. And we can’t be sure it won’t cause harm to Wash.”

Fiona came back to sit beside Aliset and turned pleading eyes toward her.  “I can’t just sit here and do nothing. I think I may know a way to get at the stone without incurring injury. It’s a spell my mother taught me when I was a girl. It can be used on articles you are wearing to protect you from injury if you are attacked. I have a pair of leather riding gloves. If I can put the spell on the gloves and wear them to grasp the stone, I might be able to get it out of his grasp without getting shocked. Then he would be free!” Fiona jumped up and went to the door. “I’ll get the gloves.” She ran out of the room.

She returned in a few minutes carrying a pair of soft, brown leather riding gloves. She resumed her place beside Aliset and showed her the gloves.  “Once the spell is in place, I will be able to grasp the stone safely and pull it from Washburn’s grasp!” Fiona’s cheeks were flushed with excitement.

Aliset placed a hand on her arm and spoke to her soothingly. “Wait. We must consider what could happen if we remove the ruby.”

“What is there to consider? Wash would be free of its evil influence. He would be himself again. Isn’t that the result we want?”

“Of course,” Aliset replied. “But we don’t really know whether that is the result we would get. I want Wash to be released too, but I’m not sure that would be the outcome of removing the ruby. As I told you,  I could see several layers of spells but I could not identify what they were or their purpose, nor could I remove them. While we might free him, we also could harm him. We just don’t know what would happen. We know the stone can attack us, we don’t know whether it would also attack Wash.”

Fiona’s mouth turned down, a few tears appeared in the corners of her eyes, she sighed deeply. She began to plead with Aliset. “I can’t just continue to sit here and do nothing! I have to help him somehow!”

“Father Columcil will be here soon and perhaps he will be able to help us determine what is best to do, or he will be able to help us find someone who can remove these spells. I know it’s hard but I think the best thing we can do right now is wait and continue to watch over Wash.”  She tried to pat Fiona’s hand but the girl continued to look mutinous.

Darcy entered the room. “Is everything alright?  I thought I heard raised voices. Is there a problem?” He looked at both the ladies with concern.

Aliset spoke up. “Fiona is afraid of what the innkeeper and the villagers might do if they are convinced that magic, especially black magic is involved. She feels there is more we could do to free Wash from the spells on the ruby.”

Darcy turned to look at Fiona. “What is it that you think we can do differently to enable us to free Wash? You saw what happened when I tried. I don’t see what else we can do until Father Columcil arrives..”

Fiona’s cheeks flushed, and she stamped her foot. “You don’t know what will happen when the village priest arrives. I am sure he will be attended by not only the innkeeper but  anxious villagers too. How will we withstand their demands?”

“I have the king’s writ which the priest can read to them directing us to protect the knight and keep him safe. Surely they won’t disobey the king?” Darcy looked at his two companions.

Aliset replied. “Frightened people will do things that they would not ordinarily do if they feel threatened. We must convince them that what has befallen Wash does not threaten them. It is coming from one source, the stone, which is directed only at him though we don’t know why.”

Fiona snorted. “Do you really think they will listen? And we do not know who placed those spells on the stone and made certain that Wash would find it. We don’t know the intentions of the spellcaster but I have felt all along that there is evil intent here.”

Aliset spoke.”Fiona thinks she knows a way to get the ruby out of Washburn’s grasp, using gloves with a magic spell on them to protect her from any shock. .She knows how to place this spell on her gloves and thinks she can then get stone out of his grasp. I have told her of my concern that even if she manages to pry it out of his grasp, we don’t know what the effect of such an action might be on Wash.  While it might free him, it could just as easily do lasting harm to him. We just don’t know enough to take the chance. I think we need to wait for Father Columcil. It is not long until Sext and the good father should be here.”

“I understand your worry, Fiona, but I feel our best course and the safest for Wash is to wait.” Darcy laid a sympathetic arm across Fiona’s shoulders but she remained stiff and unyielding.

After a short time, they heard voices  in the street. Darcy looked out the window and saw the priest approaching followed by several villagers.  He turned to tell the women that Father Michael was near. He felt in his belt pouch and removed the parchment that outlined Kelson’s charge to him regarding Sir Washburn. He addressed Fiona and Aliset. “I’m going to move to the other room to draw them away from this room. Stay with Washburn.” He moved toward the door.

 Aliset followed.  “I’m going with you. Perhaps two of us will have a better chance of delaying them. ”  Darcy nodded and they left the room closing the door behind them. He hoped he could hold off the innkeeper and the villagers at least until Columcil arrived.

As soon as Fiona was alone with Washburn, she again considered trying to get the ruby out of his grasp. She understood Aliset’s concern that they couldn’t be sure that such an action would not harm rather than help him. But neither could they know what might result from allowing him to remain as he was. If the villagers became alarmed about the possibility of black magic being involved,  there was no knowing what they might do. It wasn’t long ago that Deryni had been burned because of fear of their magic. She had to do something!

Quickly, Fiona pulled out the leather gloves and placed them on the empty bed. She knelt beside the bed and focused, taking several deep breaths and calming herself. She felt herself entering  a light trance. She focused on the gloves and allowed the trance to deepen. She repeated the words of the spell as she remembered them.
    Our Lady, in your sympathy for those in danger
    imbue these objects with your power
    That they may provide protection to those who wear them
    blocking attacks from without and preventing harm.
    In nomine patrii, et filie, et spiritus sanctus. Amen
A golden aura surrounded the gloves, seeming to penetrate the leather until it was no longer separate and visible from the leather.

Fiona slipped her hands into the gloves.She felt a tingle in her palms and fingers but it was not unpleasant. She stood and moved to the bed on which Wash lay, kneeling down beside him. Now that the moment was here, she was frightened but she was also determined. She could see the glint of the ruby through his fingers. Gingerly, she reached out to grasp one of his fingers and attempt to straighten it and pull it away from the stone.

Is Fiona able to straighten the first finger and pull it away from the stone?
Dice roll !roll 1d6. Use 3 xp to increase chance of success to 4,5, or 6
Results = 3. Attempt failed

Wash’s grip is like iron, and she is unable to straighten even the first finger. As she pulls at it, the stone flashes. Although the glove protects her from the pain experienced by Darcy in his attempt, she can sense its power. Just for a second, Wash seems almost to grimace and moans softly. Fiona remembers what Aliset said about the possibility that the ruby would attack Wash if they managed to pry it loose. She should have listened! She looks carefully at him, but now all is as it was before. His breathing is quiet and easy and his position is unchanged. He continues to hold the stone as he had before.  She removes the gloves and curls up close beside him. Tears run down her cheeks. There is nothing she can do but wait and pray that Father Columcil will arrive soon and will know what to do.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 08:56:29 PM by DerynifanK »
"Thanks be to God there are still, as there always have been and always will be, more good men than evil in this world, and their cause will prevail." Brother Cadfael's Penance

Offline Laurna

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #767 on: July 03, 2020, 01:30:39 PM »
All eyes looked up at the underbelly of red scales that sparkled through the red mist of the sky. Red leather wings again stroked the mist and the sulfuric whoosh of air brushed Wash’s hair into his eyes. His hair had grown out since his last haircut. How long ago had that been? Hadn’t that been when he had gotten a tonsure back at the monastery in Culdi. That had been so very long ago. At least that memory had not been caged up like so many others, memories in danger of being lost behind the fence at his back.

The lion-beast roared defiance, “I am guardian of this realm!” The breath of the beast blew Washburn’s hair back from his face. And the winged dragon above them seemed to be blown just a little higher into the sky.

“I am a free man, I defy you!” Wash growled in a dangerous voice. He stood his ground before the lion. Yet his heart was not as confident as his words.  His hands moved to break the ties which held the sword hilt secure at his side. If he could just break those bonds, he could make a good attack.

The Sea Eagle screeched at his side. Interpreting the eagle speech, Wash heard Darcy’s words.  “As you taught me, break the bonds with your powers!” To go into trance while facing down the enemy was a risk. Wash sensed the protection of his friends, they would defend him from attack. He closed his eyes, and reached for an inner calm. Thus it was that he missed the pacing of the snow-lynx to stand between him and the lion-beast.

The beautiful cat purred in anticipation of action. She too had reached an inner calm and had used her powers. Sensing her, Wash opened his eyes to see the white paws of the lynx turn golden with a surrounding aura of warding. The huntress tensed her hind legs, with great agility she leapt at the lion- beast.

Proud of her action yet terrified for her, Wash rushed forward. The lion roared and a bolt of lightning flashed between the lion and the pouncing cat. Blinded, Wash smacked hard against the sudden appearance of a crystalline wall. As the flash dissipated, he could just barely see the lion smiling on the wall’s other side.

“Only the master can free you from this prison,” laughed the beast.

Wash yelled out in frustration. Then he leaned down to find the defeated snow-lynx at his feet, She was crying yet unharmed. He bent down and picked the sleek cat up in his arms, he cradled her and pet her soft fur. Carrying her, he turned away from the crystalline wall and walked back to the corral of animals and the two eagles waiting for him there. “I am sorry that I have put you all in grave danger,” he said to them.

“We are unharmed and we are here for you,” the lynx said with a comforting purr.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 07:24:56 PM by Laurna »

Offline revanne

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #768 on: July 05, 2020, 06:57:49 AM »
Columcil went quickly to his room and put together the few things that he would need. Then removing his cassock he dressed in a linen shirt and a pair of sturdy breeches. Carefully wrapping the precious text in a linen cloth he slipped it securely under his shirt next to his skin, and put his oldest thickest cassock over everything. In this warm summer weather he did not dare take a cloak; dressed for riding it would reasonably be assumed that he was on an errand for some of the higher clergy locked away in Synod, but with a cloak and a pack someone might see and suspect.

Och ye gurt fool! Wha d’ye think wud be watchin’ an auld priest like masen!” he chided himself, but he could not shake off the thought that it was best to trust no-one. Quickly he breathed a prayer of gratitude for Magistra Helena and brushed off the thought that he was abandoning his grandfather. Surely he, above all people would understand that he must do what he could for Alaric’s son.

He went into the stable, where Spean whickered happily to see him. “Aye, ah’ve neglected ye too, ye puir beastie and noo ah’m asking ye tae run the best ye can.”
He restrained his impatience while the stable lad saddled Spean for him, and in a friendly tone offered, “Och ah’ll be reet glad ta tak some fresh air fer a wee bittie,” but realised that he might as well have been speaking Torenthi given the blank look on the lad’s face. So he sketched the sign of the cross by way of blessing, mounted Spean and took his way out of the Abbey in a gentle trot. Then when he was sure he was out of sight he whispered “Off ye gan then, ma beautie” and without a backwards glance galloped towards the inn where Aliset had told him he would be anxiously awaited. Pray God he would be there by noon and that his presence would be of some help.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Reply #769 on: July 05, 2020, 12:16:37 PM »
“Aliset,” Darcy Cameron said as he left the door to their room open. The innkeeper would clearly see him, and hopefully that would deflect the troublemaker from Washburn’s room.  “How concerned should I be about Fiona?”

“You’re concerned about Fiona?”  Aliset replied carefully. 

“Aye, I am.”  Darcy paused to consider his words.  “She is becoming very fond of Washburn.”

Aliset sighed.  Darcy may have missed the early signs of her pregnancy, but he had not missed Fiona’s increasing attention to the Lendour knight.  “Yes, I believe she is.  Does that trouble you?”

“Aye and nay,”  he responded.

“That’s not helpful,”  Aliset said.  Under other circumstances, she might have made light of his concern, but she also had concerns.  And Darcy was hard to dissuade once he got started on something.  “Is it more ‘aye’ or more ‘nay’?” she asked.

“I’m not sure.”  Darcy paused to push stray strands of pale hair back from his face.  “If the circumstances were different, I don’t think I would have any objections.  Of course, any decisions on Fiona’s future will be Iain’s,  and I don’t know my brother well enough to guess what he would think.”

“I think he would give due consideration to Fiona’s feelings,” Aliset said.

“I’d like to think so, but that hasn’t always happened in my family,” Darcy said dryly.

“Your stepfather was never your family,”  Aliset stated firmly, and Darcy smiled.

“But in Washburn’s current condition, and the way his memories have been tampered with, I don’t think it’s wise. I respect the real Washburn; bloody hell, I respect the present Washburn!  I’m not sure I would be as resilient as he has been through all of this.  But that doesn’t mean he’s safe for Fiona at the moment.”  Darcy sighed and sat on the edge of the table. Aliset seated herself in the chair. 

“Darcy, Fiona does care for Washburn.”  Aliset could say that much without giving away any confidences Fiona had shared with her.  “But she was born and raised to be a proper lady.  She understands propriety and responsibility.”

“She was also born a Cameron through her mother,” Darcy replied.  “We tend to be very protective and chart whatever course is required to ensure those we care for reach safe harbour, despite the risks.”

 “I hadn’t noticed,” Aliset said dryly. 

“Oh, I’m sure you didn’t,” Darcy replied and grinned wryly.  “And I seem to remember another proper young lady who threw caution into a gale to do what she thought needed to be done.”

“Touché.”

“The more her feelings for him grow,” Darcy continued,  “the more likely it is she will do something rash.  You saw how distraught she was earlier.”

“Yes,” Aliset replied.  “But she listened to what we told her.  Surely she would not do something foolish.”

“You forget the Cameron part,” Darcy replied. 

“I never forget the Cameron part.”

Darcy grinned at her.  “And best you never do.”  He sighed.  “When we have freed Washburn from the gem, and returned to him his proper memories, we’ll be able to look at this in a different light.  Aliset,” he said suddenly.  “What if Washburn sees her differently then?  What if his affections take a different course?”

Aliset saw that Darcy had not been oblivious to Washburn’s attentions to Fiona, discreet as they had been.  “He is Washburn.  When this is over you will find his heart is true.  And thank you.”

“For what?” Darcy replied, puzzled.

“For saying ‘when’ we free Washburn and not ‘if’.”

Darcy smiled and leaned across to kiss her.  He would have let the kiss linger, but voices in the street and the sound of a horse being pulled up quickly drew his attention to the window.

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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