Marie thanks the butterfly with a small blue bouquet of Iris and borage, whose delicious nectar tastes of courage, faith and hope, as every Andorran peasant woman knows.
Then she smiles and asks Decimus (aside): [color=red]Ready for a small hike? I'll instruct the grogs to take torches - or do you think we need magical lights? A small party might be sufficient. We should pick grogs who can fight with wooden weapons as well as iron ones and wear leather armor - we don't want to anger the fae. We should leave a message in case something goes wrong.
Some gifts might be a good idea as well, but what can we take for the fairies?
Last not least, we must decide if we take Viola along.
[color=red]We could very well go out for a little walk. I do not have the faintest clue of what to bring when dealing with the fae. We go without Viola she is vulnerable in her current condition. We take some grogs and perhaps magical lights, we should try not to pick a fight. Perhaps we get lucky and slay a few fae but I think that we should be cautious. I can be ready when you are.
(I hope I am not overstepping. But that's what the edit function is for)
An hour after sunrise, a small band left the massive gates of Andorra Covenant. It was still cold, and only one armed horseman was among the troupe - a bit ahead of the others.
The travellers would have made an odd sight walking: It was less their well-tailored clothes, but an intangible air of authority that betrayed three (ooc: ?) of the walkers as people used to wielding authority. They were deep in conversation. Two women followed, one in the honest plain dress of the peasantry, leading a mule, the other with a guitar slung on her back. Finally, there also were two men, armed woodsmen maybe, strong, with the brown faces of people spending a lot of time in the mountains .
This is the sight that would have offered itself to an observer that morning - but the only observers on their mountain tracks were a few animals that suspiciously watched the group pass from the underbrush.
After a while, a faint drizzle set in, but they made good speed...
(ooc: I didn't give a destination because I didn't want to highjack the story. I assumed we were going to the place where Viola was, but I wanted to leave room for changes, additions and/or surprises.)
We apparently had a little miscommunication....I didn't realize a new thread had been opened for the story, and so I didn't realize anyone had been posting about it (I thought the saga was dead, actually!). Mark has asked me to take over again, and so once I've been able to wrap my head around recent developments, I'll continue on Friday.
The grog Edward, who accompanied Viola on the first trip, is happy to lead the expedition to the Caverns of Entropy. He brings along his wife, Astrid, who was also along on the former journey.
As Edward explains it, on the original trip, soon after the small party had entered the Caverns ("an eerie place, really--I can't imagine why anyone but a magus would want to mess with it"), Viola had motioned for Astrid and him to stop, and then disappeared, alone, into the darkness. She'd been gone for only a diameter or two before returning, with an odd smile on her face. She'd then led the party home, almost without a word. That's all he knows about the situation.
After having spend much time investigating the vaults, Dimir Taar emerges at last.
Still, he doesn't seem at all like a lab rat or else, dressed as he is in finest clothes.
After a gracious smile and a baisemain for the ladies, he seizes a cup of wine, drinks a little, and, turning then to the assembly, as if everything was perfectly fine and normal.
So... What's up, people?
Looks at viola
And what's up with her?
Oh, I see.
Sigh... These merinita... I'll tell you, this would never have happened to a flambeau maga such as you, my dear.
I guess she's even forgotten how to write?
Turns towards the windows, seemingly lost in thoughts.[color=red]
The caverns of Entropy. What was the foolish girl doing there? She was lucky.
Turns towards Carmen again[color=red]
This could be fun I'll accompany you, I guess. Anyway, your father would kill me if I let you go there without my company. You could die of boredom, after all.
Sips some more wine
Hum... Not bad at all. Where did you find this?
[color=red]It fits my palate, and that is already a lot. These men did good work for us. Maybe I'll congratulate them later. They deserve it.
Anyway, back to the task at hand, or else, we'll still be here in 2 years.
You decided to go to the caverns. Sure.
The questions are who, when and how? More importantly, once there, can viola lead us to the source of her curse? And how do we avoid the same fate? We can't rush in there blindly.
We'll need some trusty grogs, maybe some items, but it's be better if we knew what we were facing. Preparation is the key to success.
[color=red]If Viola could talk, we would know what we face. But anyway, it is just around the mountain, not far away at all. Edward and Astrid were with Viola, so they can be helpful perhaps. We'll take three other soldiers as well. As for when, well, no time like the present! Let's head out and see what there is to see.
OK, the party files out of the covenant's gate early in the morning, led by Viola's shield grog Edward. His wife Astrid precedes the group by several hundred yards, scouting ahead--you catch glimpes of her every once in a while, but her ability to blend into the terrain is quite remarkable.
The path winds up the slope of the nearest mountain, climbing toward a high pass. The covenant itself is situated at a fairly high altitude (this is the "upper" part of Andorra), but this path leads higher still, and toward nowhere important, save a couple of mountain villages you move past along the way.
At sunset, most of you are growing hungry (not to mention a bit chilly)--it's close to supper-time, but Edward urges you to push on, insisting that you cross the pass onto the western slope of the mountain. As you emerge from the pass, near nightfall, you look down into a dark, craggy valley, not a flat, fertile plain, but a terrain of twisting ravines and precipices.
The next day, the group descends into the valley. After journeying nearly the whole day, you arrive in a small vale before a cliff. In the face of the cliff lies an opening to a cave--and at this hour, it's too dark to see much beyond the cave's mouth. This Edward insists, is the entrance to the Caverns of Entropy.