Chapter 3f (Winter 1230): Reuniting Halia with Her Children

Throughout 1229, Viola sends grogs out among the mundanes to listen to the people's songs and tales, hoping that the new story of Halia is spreading as Ipek sings Calliope's song. Shortly after the beginning of 1230, Viola decides that the long nights and close quarters of winter have given the story the final push necessary, and she begins making arrangements to reunite Halia and her children. This is probably going to involve an annoying conversation with the local faeries. In addition to them, she's encouraging Ipek and her brother to come along (just in case), and she assumes Calliope would like to see the denouement of her effort.


A lot of the work listening to the local populace falls on Theodoric, as one of the few who can speak the local language. Damianos does make an effort to get involved as well, but his knowledge of Turkic is still fairly rudimentary.

Ipek is more than happy to come along (in practice, Viola thinks keeping her away would have been difficult), and her brother will accompany her.

Calliope will also come, along with her shield grog. She does note, however, that she sees her role as being that of a recorder - the actors in the story are Viola and the children. She tries to make this point to Ipek as well...

OOC: I think this is the latest version of the story we're going from, but shout if you disagree: Chapter 3 (Autumn 1228): Singing the Song

That version of the song looks great.

So, as the first step, Viola, in her role as mother, needs to talk to the creek faeries. Do we still need to do the elaborate horse-slaughtering ceremony? Viola isn't wild about it, but it's worth it just to drive Gregorius nuts.

As for Ipek, yes, Viola is aware she's a loose cannon, but she's as amused as terrified by her. In any case, the job at least one shield grog during all of this is going to be to watch Ipek and prevent her from intervening directly.

Oh, and Chryse needs to be here, to learn about the fae. Viola doesn't do this lightly, because of the reduction to her Parma, but it's what needs to be done.


Holding a feast and party has historically been one way of getting hold of the children's attention, but it possibly doesn't fit the desired tone in this instance.

Which shield grogs are you bringing?

Noted Viola is covering Chryse with her Parma until stated otherwise, with the associated -3 reduction. @JesseHeinig - are you around to play Chryse?

Pity we don't have a useful book on Parma. [Bigger pity they charged the Parma rules so that apprentices can't use it. :P]

I assume the usual suspects, i.e., Theodoric, Bogdan, and Godzimir, are available?

To try to summon the faeries, Viola will pick an auspicious night (Faerie Lore 4 +4 Int + die roll 5 = 13) call "Children! Children!" much as a mother would....


Bogdan and Godzimir - Bogdan stands watching the Maga with a confused look and mouth open, Godzimir is checking the surroundings where the Maga is calling to the children expecting some trouble or other - and finishing a morsel of food from the feast.

[I don't think we had a feast in this case.]


[No, no feast.]

Is Viola covering only Chryse with her Parma, or others as well?

Viola picks a night near the end of Winter, when the ice on the creeks has just started to melt, reasoning that the time of change for the creek fae will help in addition to the obvious symbolism.

For a long time, nothing happens, but then as dawn begins to break she sees movement in the woods near the edge of the Aegis.

Viola will also cover Idiot, her brother, and two shield grogs.

[She really should get her own personal shield grog or two, if anyone's interested in making one.]

As the faeries approach, Viola will wait patiently for them. She's not rushing out to meet them, but she'll be at the head of the group.

Obviously, the content of the story will have resonated with Chryse--Viola will have laid out the entire plan for her, since she needs to learn to think like a maga. Does Viola have any read on how the situation is affecting her apprentice? Also, does Viola have any idea about the nature of Chryse's turbulences?


[Let's say she has Bogdan and Godzimir with her and covered by her Parma, but no other shield grogs - that way, everyone's covered.]

Viola covers the group with her Parma, and reminds them (looking pointedly at Ipek) that it will only continue to protect that for as long as they remain within sight of her.

Chryse's Latin and Viola's Greek are still both poor enough to make communicating complex concepts difficult. Unless Viola is doing something fancy with spontaneous InMe magics, she'll have needed to employ a translator (probably Calliope? Although I'm sure Ipek would have been happy to help...)

Between the language barrier and Viola's own relative lack of experience of reading people in general and nine-year-olds in particular, Viola isn't very sure quite how much of her explanation Chryse has understood. Apparently something has got through, however, as the usually quiet young girl does ask one question:
"You're going to make the monster a good mother again?"

As far as the turbulances go...has Viola been using the Aegis to suppress them (by not including Chryse in the ritual, and only giving her a token when she wants her to be able to do something), or allowing them free rein?

The faeries stop a little way short of the Aegis, and Viola can hear what sounds like an argument.
"I told you you was imagining it!"
"And I told you I weren't! Just cos you wouldn't notice your own creek freezing over..."
"It's probably some trick by those weirdos living up in the didn't sound nothing like her..."

I'm assuming that Viola and Chryse have been communicating through whoever is teaching her Latin--though Viola wouldn't pull that person into this situation. Right now, yes, Calliope is probably the best translator, because God knows what Ipek would do. (Note that, while not a gifted communicator--or really, not a communicator at all--Viola has invested some effort in Folk Ken, at level 1 anyway, with a specialization in peasants.)

Viola speaks up to the creek faeries, "No, I'm not your mother, but I have a son, and this is my daughter." She holds Chryse in front of her and places her hands on the child's shoulders--that might be a little bit of a lie in English, but in Latin, the words are the same. "I know that you love your mother dearly...and if the stories are to be believed, she loves you just as much, and as a mother myself, I know in my heart what she must feel. You haven't spoken to her in a very long time, but now is the time to change that. Come, let's go to her...." She waits for some sort of positive reaction before turning and leading them towards the regio.

[I'm assuming two things there: that Viola communicates better with faeries than with humans, and that she had some help from Calliope and Ipek in composing that little speech.]


[It also didn't help that Viola rolled fairly poorly on her Folk Ken roll. For interacting with Faeries she's using Faerie Lore rather than human abilities, though, which should help somewhat (although she's still got her negative comm hindering her).]

[In case it becomes relevant later - is Chryse being affected by the Aegis during this adventure, or has Viola given her an Aegis token?]

The faeries stare at Viola. "Wot? You romans as crazy as her, or just think we is? She kills everyone wot goes near her!"

There's no reason to give Chryse a token yet, since her Arts haven't been opened. I'm not clear on whether the Aegis extends into the regio, however; I suppose it does.

One more precaution Viola will have taken before coming out here: she'll have asked to have several grogs posted in the lab room with the statues, and a few more to guard the door to the crones' room. She's not sure what, if anything, is going to happen to any of these characters when Halia changes, since their ultimate fates aren't part of the story. (That might constitute poor planning, but a simple story is likely to work best.)

Viola nods, ":She turned one of you to stone, I know. know the stories, yes? She feels dreadful for it. I know you still love your mother--or you wouldn't have come when I called."


There's a little bit on the statues in the story (in so much as there's a pre-defined method to transform at least one of them back), but I agree nothing on the crones.

The faerie gives an awkward shrug of agreement. "She's our ma, yes, and ain't nothing going to change that. But how is you going to stop us getting stoned too?"

Yes, the one statue who's Halia's child is supposed to get transformed back. The ones that worry Viola are the ones in her lab--she doesn't want to encounter a bunch of angry "heroes" on returning from the upper level of the regio. There are obviously other statues in the labyrinth, but Viola and Calliope will be there when whatever happens to them happens, and so can probably deal with it.

Viola smile, a little slyly. "I think that will work itself out....A mother's love is very strong." She beckons them forward. "But don't worry, we won't talk to her until it's safe."


The fact that the one statue focussed on doesn't automatically turn back suggests that the others probably won't - but it rarely hurts to take precautions.

The children look at Viola a little dubiously, but start moving in the right direction.

Viola will need to give them Aegis tokens for them to enter the covenant grounds.

[I reread the story the other night, and I could have sworn that the last scene is for Halia to return the one child she turned to stone to flesh. There's also another statue mentioned, IIRC--the lover in the labyrinth.]

She passes out the tokens, "Here, these will let your enter your mother's home. Follow me--let me go first to be safe."


[She does, but there's a specific process she follows rather than it just happening automatically.]

The children follow Viola through the grounds of the covenant, then on through the great bronze doors which make up the entrance to the regio, down the four steps into and into the temple. The trepidation they show only increases when one of them elbows another and points up through the broken roof; there, Viola can see that the sky has started to cloud over.

Let's wait for the rain. Viola pauses, and asks of the assembled fae, "Do you know where to find your mother in here?"

I don't recall if we can hear Halia or not. If Viola has to navigate, it'll probably require some sort of In effect--a Mu or Re would change visibility for everyone, including Halia.


The fae shrugs. "Follow the sound of crying, I guess."

Viola can't hear any crying from where she's waiting on the first level of the regio, but she remembers it being audible in the second level previously. The maze is likely to make it harder to pinpoint.