When the reburial is complete Betula finds Cath'rinne and leads her to the manor house.
Chapter 2bis (Summer 1013). Refuge in the Peak District
Edwin greets you at the door.
Welcome. Janus is waiting inside. Do you want me to take your coats, or any of your luggage?
He steps aside to let you in. You step through a small ante-chamber, and then straight into a grand hall; much larger than you thought possible from the outside. The table is laid with beautiful silverware, even the plates are silver, and at the far end, bearded man in his thirties has taken the high chair.
If you want to refresh yourselves before eating, we can get have hot water brought up. Or you may have a seat, and I'll pour the drinks. He gestures discretely to a side table with two large bottles, a green one and a purple one.
He looks around to see if anyone takes up on any of the offers.
"That's a beautiful table you have there. I wouldn't mind refreshing myself. All the traveling takes a toll."
Take the left hand door at the far end. You know the way. You cannot miss it.
When she passes, the bearded man rises from the chair.
Welcome, mylady. I am Janus; they call me the incinerant warlock. Pleased to meet you.
Continuing through the left hand door, she finds a small corridor with a flight of stairs leading up as a well as a single door. The door is marked as a sanctum with Cath'rinne's own crest.
[OOC: I am assuming the previous second sight that showed me Edwin was a Faerie shows me Janus is a Faerie, what I write here should not be altered due to that but if she needs a new roll or something, please let me know.]
He is not quite how she remembers him, time and The War have aged him noticeably from when she last saw him. "Hunger has gotten the better of me, Janus, and I doubt I need to avail myself of hot water," she is obviously oblivious to the dirt caked on her hands so thick they look black and mostly covering her forearms up to her elbows not to mention her forehead and cheeks from when she absently rubbed herself while digging or after though some of that has dripped down with her tears earlier. When she goes to pull a chair near Janus though, she notices, "Actually, perhaps I could use your hot water to refresh myself," she says looking at her filthy hands.
Cath'rinne doesn't really register the "you know the way" and returns Janus's polite greeting as she makes her way there. "Likewise sir Janus, a pleasure."
Hearing the absurd remark about not needing water, Cath'rinne shouts back "You need a bath, sister!" with something ressembling a small cackle as she crosses the left hand door.
Arriving upstairs, Cath'rinne jumps at seeing her sigil. "What is the meaning of this?" she asks, mostly to herself. Nonetheless, she decides to cross the threshold of her false sanctum.
Janus smiles warmly when Betula approaches.
Elsebetyyanna! How lovely to see you after all these years. Edwin said you were here, but I could not quite believe it. I look forward to hearing about your journeys, but I won't keep you from your bath.
Edwin was ready to pour a drink but steps away and shows Betula out the same door as Cath'rinne. There is one sanctum marked on the ground floor. The stairs lead to a corridor on the first floor with four more sanctums. There is no way this could fit inside the manor house you saw from the outside, but here you are. There are sanctums for all the five magi, including the redcap, and plus Janus. The one for Obstetrix is on the ground floor opposite side.
When Cath'rinne steps inside, she find a fully furnished lab, with a steaming bath tub in the middle of the open floor space. A good sized bed is hidden in an alcove.
Betula may roll second sight when she enters hers.
"Tempting, I admit." She'll clean herself and take a few minutes to look arround the place after to see if there's anything interesting in her things. She'll do a non-fatigue InVi to verify the level of the magical aura. If she finds none, she'll test for faerie as well.
It is a level 4 faerie aura.
There is an exotic air to the lab. Tools and equipment are immaculate, and oddly different from what you are used to, but it is hard to point a finger to anything in particular, not before supper anyway.
Cath'rinne will go back down, dressed up and refreshed.
Betula takes a quick bath and get dressed, leaving her hair stringy and tangled, merely pulling it back so it is behind her ears putting back on her clothes but merely putting her long, warm socks in her bag. Then returns to the dining area, feeling refreshed and taking the same seat she was pulling out when she noticed her hands. Nodding to Janus, then Edwin, "Thank you, I do feel a bit better."
Cath'rinne sits down at the table. "That felt good. It had been a while... How are you and how are things here, Janus?"
«You look refreshing, mylady» says Edwin as he goes around with the two bottles, «do you want the sweet or the dry wine?» He pours dry wine from the green bottle and sweet wine from the purple one.
Janus greets you again, and explains,
We are doing well now, but we have been through some hard times; there is only Edwin and myself left from the old crew, and we do not know when that Evil menace Wulfric will be back. We fried him good the last time he met, but that scoundrel does not die easily. Blessed he must be, for any normal man would have fried to crisp.
I suppose you must have met him, for he wrecks havoc on the land far and wide. Haven't you?
"I will have dry wine, thank you. Wulfric... I can't say we've encountered him, but we've heard of his evils, and we encountered his agents, yes. You tried to burn him? Too bad it didn't work out."
"Yes, no... We have not met Wulfric," Betula confirms, speaking over Cath'rinne.
When she is done, Betula asks, "I am curious, he has not found you here? Surely there were rumors of 'the White Horse and its wizards.' I would think this would be one of the first places Wulfric would have sought out."
Edwin pours wine all around. The effect is quite astonishing. One of the shield grogs, who had the dry wine, sprout ears and snout like a wolf; the other, also from the dry wine, looks like a bear. The two specialists, who had the sweet wine, are suddenly dressed as jesters.
The mood changes too, as the wine evidently makes everyone tipsy. The jesters start joking as you have never heard them before, and the grogs start scheming new conquests.
The wine has an imaginem effect and a mentem effect, both with penetration +15. The imaginem effect is the visuals, dry wine makes animal features and the sweet wine makes funny dress. The mentem effect changes personality traits; both wines make people tipsy and talkative. The sweet wine makes them joking, while the dry wine on the contrary, makes them serious and scheming. Please make your own details and roleplay.
Janus continues, unaffected by the wine and its effects on the guests,
I have never met Wulfric here; it was further North that we crossed paths last season. He may have been here while I have been away though. He seems to be everywhere, making life difficult for the likes of us across the country. I am sure he will be back, but together I am sure we can take him down.
Betula, having silently indicated the sweet wine to Edwin, appears not to notice as her plain peasant dress transforms to colorful silks that seem to accentuate her femininity. Those who know her would be shocked to see her dress like this. While her dress now appears to hold something of the jester it also seems modeled on stories one might have heard of the harems of Moroccan or Iberian rulers. Her smile is wide, as it often is, but more mischievous, even flirtatious, as she speaks to those seated near her, Janus, Cath'rinne, Ruedi, and others. She leans in to speak and listen, laughs at their jokes many of which were not jokes to begin with. There is an easy comfort to her that would seem surprising to those who have traveled with her these past seasons, if only they had their wits about them. Her hands become much more expressive and she even goes so far as to touch a hand or arm or knee of the person holding her interest at that moment.
"Janus," Betula responds while putting her hand on his resting on the table, "surely if Wulfric comes he will have many he has convinced and your flames will not cleanse their hatred but only fan it into an even greater blaze." And she chuckles lightly at her own wit before turning towards Ruedi seated on her other side giving him her easy smile. Ruedi, having taken the dry wine, has the hungry look of a wolf... and ears and snout and fur on the back of his hands which she gently strokes. "Perhaps a dance?" She asks him.
Cath'rinne feels the tingling on her Parma Magica, as both the Imaginem and Mentem effects fail to penetrate. She is on her guard, clearly, looking arround the table to see what is happening and ready to respond with a spell. She is amused by seeing the funny dresses and animalistic traits coming to the fore. Is this a reflection of what their heartbeast would be, if they had the gift, I wonder? She relaxes a little, more amused by the situation than anything. She moderates her drinking, to ensure it doesn't hide the taste of the approaching sunset, so she can renew her Parma Magica. She enjoys the situation clearly and joins in the joking, but remains alert in case the situation gets out of hand.
Turold took some sweet wine. He is covered from head to toe in what appear to be a strange mix of vines and the many-colored leaves that you would find in the Fall on trees which shed leaves. His head is topped by a sort of star-shaped plant that's probably not found in nature and whose tendrils seem to mix in with his hair.
Seeing the wolf and bear looks of the grogs, he jokingly tells them they should show their real selves more often while traveling.
Finn will drink the sweet wine and once under the effects will start to retell the groups story so far from Calais to here in his native Irish tongue
Craft poetry 6 + Free Expression 3+ Com 3 + Roll 7 = 19. (Not that anyone will understand him)