[Story]Harvest Moon

As our seasons's drama opens, we find Fabrica talking with Deirdre in the council chamber off the main hall. All things considered, the discussion can't going all that bad, for the hall is still standing, and Fabrica unburnt...

"Let me get this straight...A flambeau maga has comissioned you to do some work for her?" At Fabrica's nod, she continues "And she, and her apprentice, will be guesting here for the season it takes you to do the work?" Again, at Fabrica's nod. "And the name of this Maga is one Féadrun MacLachlan?" When Fabrica nods, Deirdre leans back.

"Since she's already on her way, there is little I can do to stop this. Besides, one of the reasons Mathius and Yourself were invited was because of the business you can bring in here. Now about your other request..."

"Vis enough to power your longevity focus?" She looks thoughtful for a moment. "I can't deny you the use, that will cause quasitore problems. And we do have the vis in stocks, though we might be a little short on Creo come the spring." She shakes her head. "We can trade for some if we need it, or Mab and I can contribute from what we've got in our personal stores..."

"Go on, git," says Deirdre, dismissing Fabrica in a rather brusque fashion. We'll talk about that other business later."

Fabrica mops his brow with a handkerchief that he tucks back into his belt.

"Thank you Dierdre. I'm sure you will not be disappointed in the results. I hope this does not put us out overly. I would be willing to spend time obtaining Vis from the Ether in order to trade."

"Thank you again."

Fabrica departs to check on the guest lab to make sure it is properly prepared.

Mathius stops Fabrica in the hallway and says to him.

"Ah, brother, I was looking for you. If you have a need for vis, I have a commission for you. I have some items which need opening, and due to the time constraints, I need some... assistance. If you could spare a season or two I would split the rewards with you. It need not be right away - sometime within the 5 seasons would be acceptable.

Fabrica's eyes brighten up as he considers the sudden bounty he stumbled upon. No doubt an arrangement like this would show his quality as well as his magnamity to his House.

"Brother, I would be glad to help you with this. My current commision is to open an enchantment. If my guests do not arrive this month then I'll be able to open it this Season. Otherwise I'll be able to do it afterwards. I have another commission that will take quite a bit longer than opening an enchantment, so I would like to help you before I start that."

"Truly we have come to a rich Tribunal, starving for our craft. Come, let us retire to my studio and discuss these matters." Fabrica offers his arm to Matthius.


Mathius takes Fabrica's arm and walks off to the studio with him. Along the way he discusses general things about the state of the covenant.

As the day proceeds toward evening, there is a collection of people waiting at the gate; Familiar to most is Cordelia, with four others with her, clearly fay. There is an older woman there, lively, and chatting with Cordelia and the fay. Looking stern and disapproving is a older man, with steel grey hair and beard, and piercing eyes, in deep blue robes. Looking somewhat lost in this assemblage are 2 younger magi; One looks like he has been in the lab far too long, the other is a young woman, dressed in good clothes, dressed for travelling. There are a number of custos about as well, the ones accompanying the older magus having the best equipment and discipline, while the pair that accompany the other 2 are less well equipped, and quite a bit younger. A pair of wagons hangs somewhat farther back.

Both Mab and Deirdre meet the newcomers; The older maga, in particular, recieves a warm welcome from Mab, which is returned; They, and they're escorts are off to Mab's lab and sanctum. Likewise, Deirdre and the elder magus greet each other warmly, if somewhat more reserved. When asked about the older newcomers, Deirdre replies. "The maga is one Vinaria, ex merinita, here to discuss House Matters with Mab. The Magus is one Stentorius ex Tremere, an old friend of mine. Again, with news and business for me, along with some of Fengheld's finest."

The pallid youngster introduces himself; "I am Xerxes ex Bonisagus, here to copy the lab notes of my sodales Glendower, for the great library at Durenmar." He eyes both Mab and Deirdre with some trepidation. "I shall be staying here as long as it takes me to complete my task. I am afraid I do not have a gift to offer in return for your hospitality, I can only offer my skills and services in payment." The lad is unremarkable and average looking, but such facade may hide a discening mind and a sharp wit. "I am an excellent copyist and translator, and have some modest skill in the lab, should you need something done..."

The younger maga introduces herself as well "I am Zephyris, filia Féadrun MacLachlan, maga ex Flambeau, here on the business of my mater, who has comissioned an item from one Fabrica Diabolica ex Verditius. She will be arriving shortly..." The young woman is of average height, with steel grey eyes, and hair. She carries herself in a calm and collected fashion, taking note of everything around her as discreetly as possible. Unlike most Flambeau, the only weapon she visibly carries is a dagger.

And, of course, Sean Dulidh, redcap at large, is present, albeit looking somewhat timid as he appears to be hiding behind a wagon, sneaking a look out, trying to avoid someone...

Fabrica is dressed in his best robes, with Caleb nearby bearing the three blades that have given him his nickname. He bows courteously to all of the guests looking somewhat expectantly for the one he is waiting for. At the young Maga's introduction he motions for Caleb to step foward.

"Maga Feadrun..." he begins as he tries to introduce Fabrica. Fabrica scowls at the air headed grog.

"She is Zephyris!" he whispers sharply to him.

Caleb looks back in some confusion at Fabrica. "She-a-Zephfris..?" he tries to say, utterly confused. He had spent all morning trying to memorize an introduction for Fabrica and was completely thrown off by the fact that it's a different Maga.

"Thank you Caleb, tha's enough." says Fabrica as he steps forward.

"...Well I'm sorry Fab, you said her name was Faedrun..." whines Caleb as he steps back.

"Maga Zephyris, I am Fabrica Diabolica ex Verditius." he pauses a moment before stepping forward again with some hesitation to place a kiss on either cheek of the Maga. "Salvete Sodales." he murmurs. "Welcome to Loch Cailte." he steps back, shooting one more scowl at Caleb who is drawing circles in the dust with his toe.

Zephyris smiles, and bows politely. "Hail, and well met, Magus Fabrica. Féadrun is my mater, I am still her student. I am a full member of my house, having passed my gauntlet, but have yet to complete my compulsory studies." She shrugs. "Such is life. I am here on her business, and she will arrive after I have taken care of the mundane side of things; Lodgings and such. When that is taken care of, I shall tell her all is ready, and she will come. It is customary, in the Rhine tribunal, to give a gift when recieving hospitality; I have a lab text for a spell, The Circle of Homecoming, an invention of my Mater's, for the covenant."

Fabrica nods and then his face brightens at the prospect of a gift (Fabrica loves gifts). With appropriate solemnity he takes the text and bows in thanks.

"A marvelous gift Zephyris! Your Mater is most generous! Dierdre, I present to you Faedrun's gift to our Covenant. A lab text for spell, most appreciated!" he says again as he hands the text to Dierdre.

"Well then, I shall take you to the guest laboratory we have prepared for your stay here. Is your Parentes far? We would love to have her join us at dinner. We can send a messenger for her."

Fabrica gestures towards the inside of the Covenant.

Mathius seeks out Sean Dulidh, he has an urgent message for him. He finally catches him in the great hall where he is having a rushed dinner.

"Ah Sean, you seem to be in a hurry. When you are finished I would be grateful if you could meet me at my sanctum. I have a message for you to take with you."

When Sean finally appears at the workshop, Mathius gives him a sealed message. (sent by email)

As soon as Angus finds suitable quarters for all involved, Zephyris steps outside the wall (and the Aegis) and finda a relatively clear spot. She takes a rock, and places it in a small box she takes from a pouch. Quite clearly, she is heard to say "Home", and the box disappears. The young maga takes several steps back, and someone materializes in the center of the clearing.

The woman is of average height and trim build; Red hair is giving way to silver, and an eyepatch covers the left eye. Despite that, the person is still very easy on the eyes, and very attractive, physically. She is dressed well, some of her attire would clearly mark her as belonging to the nobility; And if her clothes did not, the tartan she wears most certainly would, as marking her as a member of the McSomerled clan, nominal 'Lords of the Isles' in Scotland.

Like her student, she bears no visible weapons beyond a simple, utilitarian dagger.

She is accompanied by 2 persons who barely come up to her chest; One is most likely a lady in waiting or maid servant, of stocky build and passing good looks, with brown eyes and hair, and good clothes. The other is the opposite; Old and grizzled, missing half of his beard (the cause is that he uses his large, double bitted axe as a walking stick, and the head trims his beard), dressed in steel scale, with a half helm, and a large, 2 handed axe, the man is marked as a custos.

"Well, we're here. Where's this craftsman with whom I am doing business with?"

And thus, you are accquainted with Master Féadrun MacLachlan, maga ex Flambeau, and her custos Sola and Gril, the half-beard.

Mathius seeks out Deidre, he eventually finds her in the main hall. He glances about him to make sure that they are alone and says to her:

"Good afternoon to you gracious elder, I am here to discuss a matter of some delicacy with you. My Brother Fabrica spoke to you yesterday of needing some vis for a project. You may recall which project it was. As you can see from this letter " He hands her a piece of parchment

" I will have some vis arriving at a certain time. Fabrica has agreed to aid me with my project, and I will be giving him a sum of vis as payment. If you could furnish him with the vis he asked for, I guarantee it will be repaid from his share of my fee - when it arrives."

Fabrica was waiting patintly (within the Aegis) as Zephyris performed the summoning ritual. Caleb was back at the inn, so Fabrica was there mostly alone, but suitably impressed at the Flambeau's entrance.

"Good afternoon Master Feadrun, I am Fabrica Diabolica ex Verditius. Salvete Sodales." Fabrica decides to forego the more formal greeting of a kiss on either cheek, suspecting it might not be welcome at the moment.

"I have met your Filia, Zephyris and have arranged for your lab as you stay here. Please, come in and welcome to Loch Cailte. Dinner awaits us at the Hall and you can meet some of the other Magi."

Dinner, as it turns out, was far from the relaxing time it was supposed to be. Yes, the food was good, and the wine excellent, but still, there was something amiss...

Dinner, for all the guests, turns out to be something of a let down. There is a bit of talk between the newcomers, who all appear to come from the same tribunal, with Vinaria being the most talkative, and Stentorius looking sternly disapproving of all this frivolity, most of his conversation directed towards Deirdre. Féadrun makes polite conversation, being passably fluent in most of the languages spoken around the covenant. She expertly redirects most questions about herself and the covenant she comes from, instead comparing it to Lough Caillte, noting the differences.

Deirdre, for the most part, keeps her conversation amongst Vinaria, Mab, and Stentorius, and eyes her housemate somewhat warily throughout the night. Likewise, Zephyris (who is tabled with the custos) and Murcadh have been doing likewise.

Nighttime and sleep are a welcome relief from the tension in the hall.

The late summer soon becomes fall, and harvest. Most of the visitors have left, save for Xerxes and Féadrun who go about their tasks, showing due deference and courtesy to the magi within the covenant. About halfway through the season, there is a day where people in the hamlet outside the covenant's gates board up their homes, and set up tents within the ring of the covenant. Deirdre and Mab think nothing of it, and try and offer what comfort they can. Those who go into the town note that the Dominion Aura seems closer to what is normally seen and felt, mainly because most of the town appears to be in the church praying.

As the sun begins to set, a fog begins to rise, issuing forth from the barrows to the south of the covenant. The only spots clear of the fog are the covenant (because of the Aegis), the island in the lake (because of the Tuatha De's power) and the town itself (because of the Dominion).

The night deepens, and the full moon rises. Those who watch the spectacle can see shapes shambling through the mists, making unearthly moans and grisly sounds throughout the night. Families huddle near campfires, while the old storyteller plies his trade, trying to lighten spirits in this dark and oppressive night.

There is a scream as something pokes it's head through the gate; Pallid flesh hangs loosely from bones, looking like meat that was rotting underwater; a dull red glow fills the eye sockets, and it's teeth are sharp, and bloody. There are a few angry words of latin spoken, and the thing, whatever it might have been, becomes ash. The gate is quickly repaired and shored up.

Then, quite clearly, the church's bell sounds, a quiet, peaceful sound. The unearthly sounds and shapes in the fog begin to wail, the wailing intensifying as the bell continues to ring, the fog getting thinner and thinner until with the 12th ring, the fog and the unearthly things within are gone, but not the damage they had done, which is minor. Brother Padraigh is within the walls, tending to this part of the church's flock. He is an amiable fellow, and isn't put off by a magus' gift. "This happens every year, on Samhain," he explains, "and ends when the church bell rings in All Saint's Day. All of the families within the shire know what preparations to make, and thus, most survive, harrowed, but unscathed. What causes the fog and the dead to rise on this night from the barrows, I know not."

Thus ends a typical Samhain at Lough Caillte.

Caleb ends his vigil guarding the door outside of Fabrica's Sanctum. He slept through most of the harrowing night. Fabrica steps out his door in the morning still dressed in his night clothes clutching his staff as well as a cross and numerous other talismans as he looks around nervously.

"Is it all clear?" he asks with a slight tremor in his voice.

"Oh yeah Fab." says Caleb with a yawn. "Once the bells strike they never stick around."

"Good. Tell no one of this. I'll be at the Hall for breakfast soon." said Fab as he ducks back into his Sanctum.

Azaelle approaches timidly, not wanting to interrupt but definitely noticable to Fabrica. Azaelle is usually noticable.

Fabrica takes one last glance and seems about to close the door. He sees Azaelle approaching with trepidation. He pauses before closing the door, giving her an appraising glance.

"Ah--Azaelle? Yes Azaelle! I'm just getting ready for breakfast. Then Mass. Will you...join me? Please just give me a monent."

He seems about to close the door again. Then he opens the door quickly. "Caleb!" he snaps. "Fix some tea for the guest!" before he slams it shut again. Slight rumbles and cursing can be heard behind the door.

Caleb sighs as he tries remebering the lessons hat Fab has been teaching him.

"Madam, can you have some...tea? Master Fab will be with you soon. Please enter the...'soodio'?" he says as he directs Azaelle toward a room attached to Fabrcia's sanctum. Inside it is sparsely furnished mainly consisting of stools holding a pot, a pan and a sword.

Albertus travels from his room, most interested in finding someone to discuss the nights events with. Why does the dead haunt these lands? That question troubles his mind. Perhaps there are some interesting magic phenomena to investigate.

Most of the covenfolk are out and about, packing up the tents and cleaning up the damage. Some few are brought to the healer, Murcadh, having wounds that look quite grisly, but are little more than scratches.

Angus is about, taking stock of the damage. "Good Morning to you, Master Albertus. This happens every Samhain that has a full moon." He shakes his head. "Some years are worse than others, when the lords in the barrows rise. We have more than our share of the restless dead around here; Then again, we've a long and bloody past, with many battles fought, and many sore losers and winners."