[tab][/tab][tab][/tab][tab][/tab]of Things Go Bumping In The Night
Participants: sir Giorgios, Miklos, Maia. Some teamsters, 1-2 guards
[tab][/tab] Snow is slow to melt this high in the mountains, and yet spring is finally here. The late winter snowdrops gave way to early bluebells carpeting the apple tree hill and life reawakens in a frenzy. The weather is still fickle and the winds still run strong, but the bite of the chill seems to at least have soften somewhat. Melting ice creates run-offs and soon the rivers will bloat with water. The Covenant itself starts a different rhythm centered around its new masters. The teamsters bring up fresh provisions, the first in quite some time, covenfolk return to their wooden homes, flocks of sheep and goats are herded up from winter pastures, bell sounds bouncing off the mountain cliffs.
[tab][/tab] Most magi busy themselves with scholarly pursuits. A visiting learned man has commandeered a large area in the ground floor of the rotunda and is teaching reading and writing, geometry and mathematics to those interested. Most covenfolk sent their younger children though there are more august personages participating too. Anastaj has started teaching some rudimentary and advanced Latin in the council rooms, this is quite a smaller class. He privately suspects the two young girls (soon of marriageable age) are there because of Pavo and not Pliny, and talked about it with the young man. He also had cautionary words for the other Bjornaer; that one spent most of his time as an eagle flying high above the mountains, a very dangerous pursuit in the Vlach's mind. He advised never to be out of sight of the rivers, avoid the alpine plateaus and weird rock formations, stay clear of the northern mountains especially Smolikas, and a list of many other admonitions. By the hungry look in the young man's eyes despite his vigorous nodding, he was sure he was fighting a losing battle.
[tab][/tab] There were a couple things of interest that happened in early spring. The first Redcap came to the Covenant, bringing correspondence for the magi, official business and well wishes from anxious parens. She was... interesting in her own unique way too, fascinating the covenfolk (the vlachs seemed comfortable with her, the slavs avoided her all-together). After an absence of two days, Anastaj returned from his ''mountain walk'' with a wooden doll house in hand. Slightly worried, he called Raven over and together went to the other side of the hill and after some conference picked a spot. He bade the Bonisagus to stand back and not to let other people near. Taking a baked clay tablet out of his robes, smooth and peppered with simmering flecks of some kind of metal, Anastaj started casting a ritual. Hours later, the folk were surprised by the new house that seemingly appeared out of thin air. It was a sturdy, two storey affair, with a porch and balcony going all around, a house from Raven's family. There were of course some issues. Though the house was made entirely out of wood, it seems several parts of were made out of balsa... as Asad found out when he tried the stairs to go to the upper floor. Moreover, dust was all over the place, along with mildew and wood shavings, Lubaba was not happy (she had issues with dust, started cleaning almost immediately, passing a broom and rugs to Raven). More importantly all the fireplaces and chimneys were made out of wood too! Anastaj quietly convened with the carpenter, who took it up himself to fix the stairs, doors and shutters with sturdy wood and nail replacements, but the fireplaces and kitchen counters would need a skill mason to be commissioned. The house would be ready in some months. Anastaj retired for the day clearly fatigued.
[tab][/tab] It was after nightfall a couple of days before the full moon, when the son of a teamster was almost run threw by the spear of a guard. The youth panicked by fear, with torn clothes and in a lather, had run out of breath without looking where he went trying to reach safety. It took some time to calm him enough to get his story. That day's caravan had reached the covenant, but a mule had strayed and got lost in the gorge. The youth was charged to find and bring it back, the packs of purchased equipment more valuable than the beast itself, full of expensive supplies for the Masters. He tracked the mule deep into the Gorge but it was past sunset when he found the carcass at the foot of the Towers. And there was a infernal beast eating the remains. The youth described a foul creature of claws and teeth, worthy of a nightmare story, he panicked when the beast seemed to spot him and fled. He got lost in the gorge, swearing there were creatures hounding and hunting him for his flesh. White as sheet, the ordeal clearly drove him near madness.
[tab][/tab] There is worry all around. The more experienced of the covenfolk know that the youth obviously exaggerates, tall tales as an excuse of him not finding the mule. Yet there is fear even in their eyes, fables told to frighten young children are sometimes cautionary warnings for grown ups. They know that they must find the mule and bring whatever remains back, but they are hesitant to start a search in the night. They are also hesitant to bring this to the magi's attention, surely they would not be pleased being bothered about beasts of burden. Normally such problems would be brought to Dimitris, but the henchman is in Ioannina seeking mason specialists for the covenant's buildings. In their dilemma, they instead bring this issue to the resident Companions, and literally drop it in their collective lap. Should they go search for the mule, and the important packs, with the moon rise? Should they wait for dawn? Or should they seek the counsel of Magi? This is now your decision....