Hildegard spends the afternoon observing the servants of the covenant.
Then, she takes a hot bath and braids her hair. Diederik is given off for the day. He manages to befriend the gamekeeper, an ugly fellow more at home with animals than people.
The evening meal is served in the hall, on a pale ash table. The chair at the head of the table is empty. Larinda introduces you to two women, Masters Orphedra and Jiphella, who flank the empty chair. Orphedra is a thin woman with a piercing stare, whose hair is tied in a tight bun. She exudes a smell of rotting wood. Her hands which she stiffly holds out to be kissed is bony and cold.
Jiphella is just the oposite. Bloated like a toad with fatty hair, she croaks a friendly welcome and tries to hug you to her enormous flabby bosom.
Horst is seated opposite Larinda and Hildegard sits next to her, to honour the filii of Mercere. The other magi get the remaining seats.
Before dinner is served. a long, black coat shuffles to the table. The magi from Dankmar rise, expecting the same of you. A bony finger appears from underneath the coat, and points at Jiphella. You realize that you have lost full control over your vocal cords - you can only whisper in the presence of the cloak.
Jiphella raises her goblet and toasts to the guests, who braved the dangers of the snowy forest to bring news. "My mother wants me to tell you that she is grateful for your deed and asks me to pay the Mercere. You have given us more - much miore - than you are aware of. My mother says that she will grant you hospitality and place to stay until it is safe to travel again. You may move freely, but have to stay outside the library and our sancta. She warns you not to poke your noses into our affairs though. You are the first in over 40 years who are allowed to stay at Dankmar for a season. Your wounds will be seen to. Don't leave the wooden palisade without company though - the forest around here is dangerous. She thanks Horst for the news he has given her and asks you to tell us more about the world outside our forest.
Is there anything else we can do for your comfort?"
ooc: this is going to be a short chapter designed mostly for spending xp. After all we've got a coveant to found...