Chapter 2bis (Summer 1013). Refuge in the Peak District

Betula bursts from the antechamber into the main hall, an excited, manic, wild look in her fae eyes, "I'VE GOT IT! Confusion. Dissolution. Seeking. Finding. Losing. Clawing. Walking. Winding... winding. Like string on a spool, or the path we are on, round and round and round. I do not know if it will take us to the center or to the edge but we must follow." Then turning to Edwin, "I must meet Nyliya and then we will leave. It is settled," turning towards Cath'rinne but still including Edwin, "we sleep here tonight and in the morning or soon tonight you take me, us?" She questions Cath'rinne, "to Nyliya and then we leave on our path... the wound path may return us but we can not say."

Unless someone objects and bars his way, Hamish follows Cath'rinne to the council meeting, standing a respectful distance from her, the space a guard or attendant might stand apart from her. The tall man's expression is neutral though he pays attention to what is happening. Does he understand it? That remains to be seen.

«Euh? Are you sure?» stutters Edwin. «Tomorrow, you say?»

(waiting for @temprobe)

"You're old enough to meet your mother without me, dear, but please Edwin, indulge my sodales. If you don't mind, I'll take the lead and visit the battlefield nearby. You can meet me there." Cath'rinne will round up part of the grog team and Hamish and leave early. Turold remains behind with Betula. She's not staying another night, and she figures she better get a head start on Betula if she wants to have time to dig in peace.

"But... but..." Betula sullenly mumbles over the rest of what Cath'rinne has to say, "she'not... my mother's dead... I know how it happens."

But if Edwin leads she follows to Nyliya with Turold.

Finn and Hamish needs to decide if they follow Cath'rinne or Betula at this point. Or alternatively go off on yet another tangent.

Is it the woods around Castillum Veridian she will investigate?

Edwin looks a bit uneasy, but he helps her getting ready. Then he asks, «we will see you back here in no time, won't we? And you will bring treasures to make the covenant great, no?»

Edwin will not accompany her, he has to stay and take care of the covenant, as is his duty, but he can explain the way.

It is very close to Nottingham, so beware the sheriff's men. The easiest path would be to find the village of St Alban's Well first. Then you have the main road into Nottingham to the West or Southwest maybe, and due south the birch trees grow. You won't find Nyliya though, but if you get lost, maybe she will find you.

As for Cath'rinne, Edwin happily helps her get ready, and a lot of the packing is just mysteriously done when she turns her back, with no trace of any helper. Ruedi to, helps her pack and prepares to accompany her.

I hope you find what you seek at Nyliya's, and then you come right back here; I am looking forward to it.

Evidently, Edwin is reluctant, or even outright opposed, to see anyone go without a promise to return with something to advance the covenant.

Obstetrix, at this point, takes her horses and grogs and bids her goodbye's, promising to look for a Gifted child to become Janus' apprentice while she roams the countryside as midwife and healer.


She'll specifically invite Hamish to come, saying the road is a good place to talk. Finn is welcome along if he wants to, or he can go with Betula, whichever he thinks is best.

She's not aiming to investigate the woods at this point, she's aiming to investigate the hermetic battlefield.

"We'll be fine, don't worry too much, and yes, I'm hopeful we'll find treasures to start a covenant."

That seems handy, she thinks.

"Leaving us, are you? I'm a bit sad to see my sister go. Take care, I hope to see you again."

You see the dread spreading in Edwin's face, and Janus too gasps, before he speaks.

Start a covenant? We have a covenant to build. There is so much too do, and we need every member and every guest.

"Build a covenant, start a covenant, pretty much the same thing. In my mind, it starts when we settle down. I don't suppose there's a library here, is there?"

«Oh, yes. We have a library, although it could use some new titles. There is so much we can achieve together, why look elsewhere?»

Finn will follow Cath’rinne as she is easier to understand and therefore be a subject of stories in the future.

Hamish appears to have hitched his wagon to Cath'rinne for the nonce. While Betula was the first to greet him, so to speak, the large giant of a man continues to stay near Cath'rinne, carefully watching the goings on about him.

"I don't mind a good stretch of my legs, milady."

Betula, with her tiny entourage is ready to leave in no time, and Edwin sends gifts with them. The companions have a bottle each of the sweet wine, and Betula a bag of holding. «I think you can need this,» says Edwin, «travelling with no horses.» The bag is certainly faerie magic, an who knows how it works, but for the time being, Betula can keep all that she owns therein, and she does not even feel the weight.

New thread for their journey coming up, so as not to muddle it with Cath'rinne's.

In the meantime, Cath'rinne is still engulfed in the discussion with Janus, who will not see his guest/covenant member just leave, possibly never to be seen again.

"If you want to have an argument with someone leaving us for good, have it with Obstetrix, not me. You're welcome to travel with us, as far as I'm concerned, Janus. Will you accompany Betula or myself?"

«Obstetrix is committed; she will return. No need to worry about her. I would love to with you too, but someone has to defend the covenant.»

"Fair enough. If any enemies attack, kindly keep them cold for me. The forest seems to think it owns the spirits of those buried in it, and I'm not sure what to think about that. Don't worry too much about me - we will meet again."
She thanks Edwin for the bottle of sweet wine and departs with Hamish, assuming no further arguments are raised.

On the road with Hamish, she travels a slight distance from the rest of the grogs so that they can talk without being within earshot.

"How was it, working for the Diedne? How much do you know the forsaken House?"

When you mention the cold bodies, Janus lights up.

Splendid idea. I'll keep some cold bodies for you, and you bring treasures to the covenant, and we shall all prosper. Deal?

He extends his hand to shake yours. If the deal is confirmed, he sends you with suitable parting gifts. The sweet wine mentioned was for Turold and Ruedi who left with Betula. Cath'rinne receives a little piece of wood, white as chalk. «If you burn it in the presence of a ghost or spirit, it will become visible and you can talk to it,» says Edwin. If investigated, it will turn out to be a pawn of Imaginem vis. Finn receives a new hat, in bright yellow, red, and green. The colour combination is quite hideous in fact, and it gives a +3 bonus to keep the attention of a crowd. Like Betula's gift, it is pure glamour. Hamish gets a bottle of the wine he drank on the first night.

Does Cath'rinne comply and seal the deal?

“Cath’rinne, we should have a meeting place decided before we part ways. Perhaps one of the covenants further North? Ungulus, perhaps?”

Assuming it is decided that they will travel separately to Ungulus after they each reach their separate goal or if some other thing is decided Betula says her goodbyes and is careful to make no deals with the fae and never definitively telling them she will return.

"I don't know what I'll find on our journey before I make it, friend, but I'll hopefully bring back treasures with me when we meet again, yes."

"I believe Castrum Antiquum was before Ungulus on our path... somewhere along Hadrian's Wall to the East. Does that work?"

“It could, yes. i hear The Wall is difficult to miss. Until then.”

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