Wherein brief encounter and stories will be played out for the summer season of 1220 AD.
For the three days of the full moon, the gaunt knights are camped out in the ring of Lough Caillte, Each night, the one in robes, and 2 of the more richly dressed warriors approach Dierdre, and ask her a simple question - "Do we have your forgiveness?" All near can hear the question when asked, in whatever tongue they speak.
For the first 2 nights, Dierdre's response is to simply turn her back to them, and she goes inside her lab for the evening. The three hang their heads, and shoulders slumped, they return to their camp. On the third night, Dierdre actually gives them an answer.
One of the warriors explodes "Has not your line kept us here long enough? How long to you intend to keep us from our rest? When can we join our families in death's repose?!?!?"
Dierdre's face looks like stone as she replies : "For three of my line's generations. Aedammair, sister of Dierdre, was the first, and the one who laid this Geas upon you. Nealla was the second, and I am the third. When I finally pass on, it will fall to my student Amelia, or her apprentice to give you the judgement you desire. You have until dawn to get out of my sight." The last is spoken in a manner that would send any manner of creature running for the horizon. The one in robes bows, and with the help of the other warrior, haul their companion away.
When asked about the matter, Deirdre quietly explains. "There once was a maiden called Deirdre, the daughter of Feidlimid, who was King Concobar's storyteller. It was prophesied at her birth 'the child who cried out for this is no ordinary child she will be blessed with great beauty and her name will be Deirdre , however her beauty will cause the Red Branch to divide causing war and strife and Ulster will suffer greatly.' The one who made this prophesy was one Cathbad, magus ex Diedne."
"The babe grew into a woman, beautiful beyond words. In her 16th year, she was to be brought to King Conchobar's court, where she woul be married to him. Instead, the lass fell in love with her escort, and fled to Scotland, where they lived happily, for a time. They were eventually tricked into returning, and this lead to the death of her husband and his brothers, whom Cathbad drowned by turning the plain into a swamp, and eventually Deirdre herself, who fell from the chariot as she was being taken to King Conchobar, and broke her head open on a rock."
"Most tellers would end the tale there, but in truth, the story continues, for Deirdre had a sister, Aedammair. She laid a mighty geas on Conchobar, Cathbad and his knights, that they should not rest until one of her line grants them forgiveness for their deeds. Thus they linger, unable to truly die, until one of Deirdre's blood kin grants them forgiveness. Aedammair had written that she wanted them to see the fullness of Cathbad's prophesy, which was the destruction of all they had built. Of the three, Cathbad quietly endures, accepting this as his fate. It is Conchobar who rails against the Geas. Fortunately, they are bound to their barrows in the north, and return there."
"They come every seven years, when the full moon shines on the summer solstice, and for three days, ask the same thing of me. And every time, I give them the same answer, for they have not suffered enough."
"You've found your way into a tragic story, sodales, and now, you are a part of it, for good or ill." With that, and a polite bow, she departs.
Something sniffling causes you to turn to the side, where Mab is crying a river, vainly trying to soak up the flood with a square of linen cloth.