Playing in snow (lobs snowball and ducks for cover).
The snowball catches Moire flush in the shoulder, and she looks surprised for a second, then smiles. It's a smile that's half jovial and half "Oh, it's so bucking on right now." She turns, opens the door to the cottage, and calls inside in Gaelic, then turns and smiles at Carlos. A couple of minutes later, two small children come out. Moire looks down at them and says, "Viviene, Meadbh," then something in Gaelic, after which the two girls run out and start quickly making snowballs and attacking Carlos with youthful ferocity. Moire yells something to Viviene, then watches the ensuing chaos.
((True story. My mom once started a snowball fight in the house. It was in Austin and we had the first decent snowfall since we moved, me and a couple of friends were playing D&D in the dining room, and the GM gets it in the face. It was on like Donkey Kong until we pretty much used up all the good snow in the front yard.))
Carlos makes a show of trying to fight back, but essentially he lets the girls pummle him with snowballs and he falls down laughing pretending that they just slew a dragon.
Moire stands in front of the door, watching the whole thing with a smile until it's over.
She then says something in Gaelic to them, and they run toward her. She then says something to the oldest, and they both go inside.
"You're good with children, Carlos," she says in French. "Would you like to come inside and warm up? I've got Viviene putting some water to boil for some tea."
Si, gracias. Thank you
Moire shows him to the dining room and sits him in one of the two normal-sized chairs, then gets a couple of cups and a tea strainer out while Viviene (the older of the children) carefully removes the teakettle from the fire and puts it on a trivet on the table.
"If you're looking for Fiona," she says as she pours Carlos's tea, "she's not home. I think she's at the manor house." She moves the tea strainer to her own cup and pours her tea, then dumps the leaves back in the kettle and sets it and the trivet on the sideboard. "I'm not sure if she'll be in this evening or not."
Never said I was looking for anyone. Just playing in snow. Then you sent goblins to attack me and I was killed by ice. You offer mercy and ressurection in the form of hot beverage, so I am grateful. [size=85](do you have a little brandy that I could add to this?)[/size] I have no idea what happens next, but I admit that I am now hoping that you have some of that fantastic soup you make.
"No brandy," Moire says, "but we have some whisky, if you'd like. Assuming that pesky cat hasn't drank it all up. Vivienne, get our guest a bowl of soup and a chunk of bread, while I go fetch something from the back."
She smiles at Carlos. "I'll be right back," she says as she gets up, then goes to through another door. He can hear a brief conversation between Moire and a man in the other room, in Gaelic.
While that's going on, Vivienne (the older of the two girls) pulls a wooden bowl and spoon out of the sideboard, carefully ladles some soup into the bowl, and places it on the table in front of Carlos. She then gets a footstool and reaches into a space in the chimney (like a locker or cupboard, with a vented metal door) to pull out a loaf of warm bread. She tears off a good-sized piece and places it on the table next to the bowl and says something that sounds polite in Gaelic.
"No open whisky," Moire says when she returns, "but we have some wine." She pours him a cup of wine and one for herself, then sits down and gives Vivien a hug, saying something to her and sending her off.
"So, you're the one who's been singing to Fiona lately," she says. "I don't know if she's told you, but that's done her spirits a world of good. After that row she had with that Tranquillina, she was pretty down. Stayed home for a couple of nights, cried herself to sleep when it happened." She shakes her head sadly.
"Not like, her, really, but I think she cares more than she will admit."
Carlos thanks Vivienne politely Gracias niña and smiles, enjoying the soup.
Pan esta Vida! Bread is life. Then he humbly remembers to say a prayer then continues eating, dipping bread in soup.
When Moire returns, he accepts a little wine. Piquito vino, just a little nip to warm the blood.
Well, I am glad I was able to cheer her up. Life is too short for sorrow.
"Maybe for the likes of you and me. Not for them. Fiona's been a maga longer then I've been alive. My mother was her maidservant, and Viviene will be her maidservant after me. And possibly Viviene's daughter after her." Moire shrugs. "Perhaps if I knew I wasn't going to die, I would carry on the way she does, but I doubt it. She didn't used to be that way, though. She was a nice, proper lady, for a wizard anyway." She clucks her tongue disapprovingly before she takes a sip of wine.
"You're not like the others," she says with a smile. "I can tell. You see the beauty inside her. The others don't. All they seem to care about is what's between her legs. Even Korvin wouldn't spend as much time with her as he does if she weren't so easy to bed."
Moire chuckles. "Listen to me, prattling on like a fishwife, and totally forgetting my manners. What brings you to our little cottage, Carlos, if you're not looking for Fiona?"
Wizaeds seem a strange and suspicious lot, but deep inside they are not really different than the rest of us. They laugh, they cry, and though some may be long lived, all who live must one day die. My friend Roberto, we are the same age so maybe that grants me a different perspective. But I have known him many years and learned to look past the eerie vibe that is often the curse of those who weild mystical forces. I have learned that you slowly become accustomed to individual wizards, you learn that they are not always up to something nefarious or diabolic. What is seen as wanton lechery in Fiona is likely a cry for the love and attention she never had when she was young. The potions the brew for longevity, Roberto calls them Hermetic Birth Control, perhaps it makes her feel free to explore her sensual side.
"I have known Fiona my entire life," Moire says, "so I am almost completely at ease around her, not like the other wizards."
Moire thinks for a minute, then shakes her head. "No, she wasn't like this at Insula Canaria. It wasn't until after we moved here that she started behaving that way. First with that Norse pagan wizard, he moved on after only a year, I think. Then when Apollodorus was killed, and Fiona disappeared for about a month, she had this...satisfied look about her, and that's not even counting how she grew. But I think it was after...what was his name, that Greek wizard who was killed at the Tribunal, after he showed up with his slutty wife a few years ago. I think Fiona had feelings for him, she always looked very satisfied after going to see him. And from what I hear about his spear... No, I think it was after he first left with that...wife of his that Fiona started to sleep with practically anyone who would look at her twice. I think he left a hole in her heart that she's trying to fill...she cried for days after he was killed." Moire trails off.
Carlos mind races through the pages of his mental manual on the game...
I apologize senora. I did not have your perspective, but you are right. Deformación. Warping. Roberto has mentioned that, explains that is why he doesn't want to have constant magical protections or use certain powerful spells in such or a certain way. Or maybe transformación.
Or, maybe as you also say, the trials and sorrows of her life leave her desperate to fill the emptiness.
I apologize again. I hardly know the woman, your insight is of great help.
"You may be the only one who's shown any interest in her beyond what's between her legs," Moire says. "She spends a lot of time with that Korvin, but he's worse than she is, so who knows.
"Even Melisent, works for Rashid the weaver, she comes over to get advice from Fiona. It doesn't seem to be working, though...I've not seen Melisent with anybody."
Moire will, if Carlos lets her, get him up to speed on all the goings-on in the covenant (at least her slant on it). She will try not to talk much about the men that Fiona's seeing...or if she does, about their non-Fiona-related lives. She's a Gossip, and she seems to have found someone to listen to her dish the dirt.
Carlos lets much of it go in one ear and out the other, but he will save tidbits that may seem useful in the future.
And is Carlos starting to feel jelous of Korvin?
No no no...
I apologize on behalf of my gender. Men are... dirty. And I will admit that if it is a gift offered, it is hard to refuse. But what bothers me is that, well, there are different ways to go about it. Yes, I have also had many lovers in the past. But I truly did love each and every one of them. It was never a contest, I was not keeping score or trying to win all I could grab. It is the opposite. It has just never worked out for me where I could find a love that would last. Circumstances just... so many war stories I am sure they would bore you.
Nut only one love at a time, and I always wished for it to last forever. This thing with the multiple partners and group sessions. It's just...
I don't mean to be judgmental, and to each their own. It is a crazy life and I have seen so many crazy things, whatever. Y'know? But to take this thing, something that is supposed to be spiritual and devalue it down to its bases carnal common denominer. It makes the sacred profane and just seems so sad to me.
Sad and empty. Yeah, that's what I'm getting at. It just seems so sad and empty. I see a deep sadness in Fiona, and it just kills me to see her that way.
Moire will continue talking until it gets close to dinner time. How late does Carlos plan on staying?
Not much longer. He is planning to meet a few of the other grogs at the tavern later