Chapter 5bis (Autumn 1013): South along the Pennines

Thom seems to recall a story or two about otters playing on river banks but nothing about human sized otters with fangs that can talk. He pauses his advance to the falls.

“We have only come to introduce ourselves to the King of White Foam. But if we are not welcome, then we will leave,” says Thom. “Though that would be a shame and a missed opportunity, seeing that we have a bard of great talent in our entourage and a treemother, a wizardess of the forest. But if we are not welcome and the King does not want to see his legend increase… ”.

Thom shrugs, looking aside at his traveling companions as if to say ‘Play along.’

“But if not we’ll leave the King in peace.”

Treedaughter is more what I am, Betula thinks to herself but keeps her mouth shut.

Edwin looks at the ground, trying to avoid eye contact with the monstrously large otters. He tries to hide at the back of the grouping.

One of the otters dive and disappears, though you feel a current brushing against your legs; those of you who have stepped into the water that is. The other speaks, «there was something odd about you indeed, the way you were calling out. Wizardry, I suppose. What opportunity might you propose?»

Thom listens carefully, unmoving at the brush of the otter’s current.

“We are on an exploratory walkabout in these Yorkshires to assess the impact of the terrible wars of these past years. And we are seeking a location to establish a new refuge and home. A place of safety and learning and healing.”

Thom looks toward the King.

“We wish to pay our respects and speak with the King and seek his counsel in our endeavor.”

The otter looks puzzled and the whiskers are twitching. «You really want to see the King?» ask they, voice full of compassion. «You know how little patience he has with you mortal folk.»

The other otter resurfaces and glees, «they have not done anything wrong, you know, ... not yet. In his wisdom, the King would never punish anyone before a rule is broken. He could be bored, which may be bad enough, but he could not punish.»

«True,» says the first otter, «if you are sure, you had better come through.» They point towards the curtain of falling water.

"Rules?" replies Turold to the otters, curious.

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They nod, and offer no further explanation.

Turold chuckles, taking the lack of details to be a game. He gives a look at Thom and Betula. Assuming they don't back off now, he will follow, carefree.

Betula, placing a hand on Thom's arm, "Perhaps caution is best here and now. You might listen for more stories of the King of The Foam and go, able to know the rules before entering."

Can Finn make a magic lore or storytelling roll to know the story of the king?

Storytelling 9+ would give something useful. Magic Lore is not relevant.

Thom listens to the otters, brows furrowing as he tries to recall anything about this king or his rules. [Faerie Lore Roll: 4.]

The young magus looks at Betula and then nods before looking back at the otters.

“We wouldn’t want to offend the King, and since we do not know his rules, we will withdraw until we have a chance to learn them.”

Thom starts moving out of the water.

Betula follows. and once out of the water, clothes soaked, she says, "Shall we dry off as we walk towards the copse?"

“Sure. Thank you for your caution,” says Thom quietly.

“My curiosity was getting the better of me.”

Finn's storytelling roll 15 (16 for Legends)

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Janus knows a few stories about faeries dwelling in water, rivers as well as the sea. They tend to be on the malevolent side. Some of them behave like nymphs and lure spouses into the water never to return. Others seem to be less interested in human beings or sustained relations therewith. They compete with people for resources. Many fishermen have been drowned by selkies and merfolk. These faeries are often shapeshifters; fish and seal forms are common, but other sea animals are possible, as well as the well known hybrid forms.

Janus does not know of the King of the White Foam in particular, but he fits the image of a river faerie not wanting to share the river with human beings.

Finn will relay that information and suggest they stay out of the water.

The otters look a little disappointed when you leave, but not for long. Soon they are chasing each other around the pool, playing tag.

Most of the party are dripping wet, but it does not take them long to find the Circle of Oak Trees two hundred paces away or so. It is a near perfect circle of ancient oak trees. In the middle is a clearing of grass, about 50 paces across. It looks as if the grass has been mowed.

"Apprently, a lady by the name of Lise is linked to this place. Perhaps the Spirit Votary you are looking for." Turold looks arround. 4 on a Second Sight Roll, 8 on an Awareness check.

OOC: Does a circle of trees qualify for forest lore?