Spring 1221, Chapter 1B: Bunnies and Burrows

( Sorry for my long silence: Blame ME3. I get distracted... Most things have 'meal' based on how often they eat. Cattle eat a bit constantly. Many predators in harsh environments eat every day or few days, but gorge. Some snakes are known to eat once a week but eat things bigger than them. They slither around all swollen and fat to find a place to lay in the sun... We haven't fed this guy in years. :smiley: )

"Would you think it is possible to get a cow in here to keep it happy, Attravere?" the Tytalus asks, his eyes fixed on the dragon and his expression carefully held neutral. Iapetus feels a strange mixture of fear and elation, but he's trying to minimize the former... and the latter, actually. Either could get him killed. This is a dragon, after all. In a (hopefully) steady voice, Iapetus will say boldly, "Apologies for the intrusion," in Latin, giving the dragon a nod. It's been harassed by Magi enough it may speak the language, though it seems to be primal in nature. "We merely investigate the situation at hand, and seek no part of your territory." Even if the words aren't understand, putting them there out loud helps Iapetus get the right attitude and stance for non-aggression.

"It seems too convenient to have the shell broken as we enter. If is likely something either triggered the shell's weakening or the dragon's resurgence against it as we passed the Regio borders." Wasn't there something about Aislynn's familiar being jealous of this dragon, thinking that Aislynn'd swap out? That would imply a positive reaction between her and the dragon, which means it's possible.

At the little girl's question about the ghost she gives a big smile and leans down close to the child and offers her huge hand. "Would ye care to give me a pinch and see if' I'm real?"

"So these hills are haunted eh? Do ye know what I heard? I heard that there are dragons under the hills, and that they shake and fight and cause noises at times. Do ye hear anything like that child? What's your name by the way? Mine is Sinmore."

The regio entrance does not seem to have any size constraints, as one walks directly into the side of the hill. A cow could be led through.

The little girl regards Sinmore gravely. "There's no such thing as dragons. But ghosts are real, and there's more of them haunting this hill than there are everywhere else. Too many died here." She stoops down to put down her milkpail, then reaches out and pinches Sinmore's hand. "You're not one, though. I'm Ann."

Sinmore smiles again and then makes a playful ouch and flinch when she's pinched. "No Dragons? Truly? My my, Ann, you seem certain. But...I always heard there was. I suppose there are no giants either?" she says as she stands up to her full height and raises an eyebrow. She quickly leans down so as not to frighten her. She playfully tossles her hair. "Too many died here though? Was there a battle here?"

Thr girl looks at Sinmore solemnly. "This is where the Britons fought the Romans, and later when the Romans were the Britons, this is where they fought the Saxons. Some of them say I'm a Saxon, but Papa says we're Britons." She shrugs.

Sinmore is rather impressed by the young girl, not only talking to her so intelligently, but also approaching someone who so often scared people.

"Ann? Have you ever seen ghosts or talked to them? Do ghosts talk to you?" Sinmore starts to get a hunch about the girl, but doesn't want to do something that might actually scare her.

((Sinmore is starting to wonder if Ann might have the Gift. Sinmore couldn't train her, but she'd make an excellent gift to the members of the Covenant and might get her out of the hotseat a bit.))

Attravere will rush down the tunnel in the direction they're come from to get back outside. Once outside he'll shout around to find Sinmore and offer a rushed greeting to her new friend (smile, handwave, universal gestures of goodwill..)

"I need to find a cow. Or some sheep. Maybe goats. Perhaps some pigs?" Attravere speeds through in Latin. Pleased that there is a random little girl wandering around (and thus civilization of some sort nearby) he'll ask Sinmore, "Does she live near here? Is there a town?" (Where is Lord Beric? coughwink)

Sinmore looks at Attravere and his sudden appearance and antics as if he's gone a bit mad, she gently but firmly takes him by the shoulders and gives him a shake. "Sodales...calm yourself. I brought some food with me, you're welcome to the mutton leg, I had naught but a few bites from it. This is Ann, and she's from around here. They probably have a cow...but I doubt we should just take it from them unless ye have some coin." she looks down to Ann, curious to how she'll respond to the sudden appearance of Attravere.

"Ann? A pretty name. The food isn't for me. It is for... looks at the girl one of the beasts. Do you think she has a cow? Or other livestock? We might be able to buy it. Can you ask? Speed is the essence - Iapetus may be in danger." Attravere tries to keep up a smile.

Sinmore quirks an eyebrow and then leans down to Ann. "Ann? Can you take us to your Da? We'd like to talk with him, it's a bit of an emergency."

"Do you have any coin?" she asks Attravere in Latin. "I know I haven't any. Did you find the dragons?"

"I have a bit, but I can get more in a hurry if needed. We'd best go quickly if we can."

Just a reminder, Ann has a giant pail of milk with her, and said she's just come from Lewis'. :slight_smile:

(No way Attravere is going to rego-corpus himself using the milk as an arcane connection to the cow/goat. My mechanic-fu isn't good enough to know if I'll pop in on top of the cow/goat, beside it, half in it... plus explanations to potential agrarian serfs...)

Sinmore looks at the pail of milk and Ann and leans down smiling. "Ann dear? Who's cow is that from? Where did such a little girl get so much milk? You said a name, was it Louis?"

((Sinmore would need like 5 exploders on a spontaneous magic roll to do anything with the Arcane Connection of the milk. It'll be much easier to just lead the cow to the regio.))

"Lewis owns the milk cows. You're not going to kill him, are you?" she inquires gravely.

At Ann's answer Sinmore nods and straightens up and begins tying her hair back and was about to reach for her sword and armour when she asked her follow up question. Sinmore stops short for a few moments and then smiles again at little Ann.

"No...why would we do that? No, we just would like to perhaps...use one of his cows, maybe buy the cow even, we might be doing Lewis a favor! Could you tell us where he is?" Sinmore looks down the road where presumably the little girl came from.

There's no roads; there's only what path gets beaten by a 30 lb girl walking back and forth once a week, and Sinmore's no hunter, thus doesn't pick it out :slight_smile:

Ann shrugs. "Because Evan says Romans always take what they want and kill anyone in the way. And you and your friend talk like Romans."

"What direction did she come from?" Attravere asks Sinmore, growing worried about Iapetus.

Sinmore shrugs. "I was having a snack, I looked up and there she was. It looks like there's only one way she could have come from, let's go. Ann?" she bends down and smiles at the little girl. "We're going to see Louis alright? Is he that way?" she points down the road.

(There's a full 180 degrees behind Sinmore's head that Ann could have come from.) Ann glances up at a spot in empty space, her eyes widening, until she turns around and bolts, leaving her milkpail behind.