[Story] Meanwhile Back at the Inn

The town is quiet except for the sound of a young woman screaming.

Screaming Girl
"...an' why don't y'just go right back where y'come from?..."

The fury of this one shrieking woman and a small gaggle of similar specimens is aimed at Azaelle who is sitting with her head in her hands and white blonde hair cascading down her shoulders, nearly reaching the ground.

Screaming Girl
"... an I know why yer here!"

Azaelle looks up from her boulder/chair and sighs. The expression on her face says "Oh, here we go again."

Screaming Girl
"You stay away from John Neely!"

Azaelle rolls her eyes.

Screaming Girl
"...Blah blah blah blah..."

Or, thats what Azaelle hears.

Screaming Girl
"I know what you are, y'witch!"

That got Azaelle's attention. She stands up to her full six feet, towering over the small red faced female in front of her. She looks around. Are people noticing this? Yes they are. Damn.
The girl continues to yell, which surprises Azaelle. They usually stop when she stands.

Screaming Girl

Azaelle reaches out her hand but before she can utter a breath, the voice of reason speaks out. A cowled figure slightly larger than the average wall steps forward.

"Azaelle, Don't."

Screaming Girl
"... You and your big ugly man can just get right outta town!"

This cowled figure is at least seven feet tall and once the dusty brown cloak is moved aside, noticeably well armed with a long bow and a short sword. Also, not as noticeably, this cowled figure is female.
Uza steps toward the woman, fist lightly curled. Azaelle is about to protest when she is interrupted by the sound of singing. A hush falls over the crowd. As if in a trance, they all turn to the source of this beautiful melody. A lone figure walks up to path. His golden blonde head is turned to the heavens as he gracefully approaches. Azaelle gestures to Uza and as all the women are distracted, Azaelle and Uza silently walk away.
Behind them they can hear the sound of Azaelle's brother, Asa, still singing a hymn.

(singing) "... yea, though I walk through the valley of-"

There is a dull thud.


Azaelle and Uza look back. Asa appears to have tripped on a tree root and is being helped to his feet by a half dozen eager women, none of whom are thinking about John Neely.

Azaelle and Uza laugh and shake their heads.

"Maybe we should head up to the covenant early."

"No, it's rude to arrive unannounced. I'll send word that were here and we will wait for an escort."

"What started that problem back there?"

" I just thought he would make a good shield grog. I barely said two word to him."

As the enter the inn, Azaelle gives a message and a coin to a young boy. The message is for Deidre at Loch Callite. Azaelle ex Tytalus has arrived at the inn.

Better late than never.

Not soon after a young man approaches Azaelle, Uza, and Asa (who is still surrounded by an ever thinning gaggle of young women). Clearly visible at the clasp for his cloak is the symbol for House Mercere.

"A pardon if I am intruding, Maga Azaelle," he says, deferential to Azaelle, "consortis", he says, including Asa and Uza as well. "I am Gaeth of Mercere, and I am headed up to the covenant. In fact, I have specific instructions to escort you up to the covenant, seeing how you did not arrive yesterday with the others. If you're belongings are already gathered, might we be off?"

"Hey, hey, HEY! Wait for me!" the one using such brusque latin happens to be a nun, of short stature, but not of slight build. "Father Brendan said I should go up with you, since I haven't been there before."

"Allow me to introduce my companion for the morning, Sister Priere, currently with the church here in the village." He looks crestfallen.

"Well, Father Brendan has travelled north, and Brother Padraigh has to mind the Church, so that leaves me to deliver this vis stuff to them in person," she says. "His instructions, Gaeth, live it with it. I have to."

"Well then, Sister, Ladies, Sir? Shall we...?"

The journey is rather uneventful, with Gaeth pointing out the common features, noting that if they have any questions, "...they should put them to one Maga Diedre, who is in charge until a new charter can get hammered out..."

Sister Priere is not you average nun; She has none of the reserve, none of the patience, and a most lively manner. And she likes to sing, which she does passingly well.

And soon, they arrive at the gate.

They see a small woman, with flame red hair, berating someone. She sees the group at the gate. "You stay right here, and I'll deal with you in a bit." 2 gaurds, stand on either side of the poor individual.

"Gaeth, you're a bit late, aren't you?" She says giving the young man a hug.

"Well, I've had quite a bit to pack to bring up to the covenant. And collect a number persons making their way here as well. Dulidh's orders, milady. We have the Maga Azaelle ex Tytalus, and her companions. We also have one Sister Priere, representing Fr. Brendan this year."

"Why do they have to all be so tall?" Diedre mutters. "I, maga Diedre ex Flambeau, bid you all welcome to Lough Caillte," she says, taking each by the hand and leading them across the threshold of the gate, and across the aegis.

"Our steward will have to see to your immediate needs, I have some business to get back to." With that she marches off and restarts her dressing down of the unfortunate individual. The fact that she does so floating a foot in the air so she can look him straight in the eye makes the scene almost comical.

"Maga, Sister, companions, I am Angus O'Connor, Steward of the Covenant. What needs do you have that can be immediately addressed? Housing, I'm afraid, is in the guest quarters until we can build more suitable accomodations. And, if you are hungry, there is stew and cider in the hall..."

At the mention of being too tall, Uza, who was busy munching on an apple, tries to shrink down a bit, possibly as low as 6' 6". She glares sternly at the apple core as if it was responsible for all her grief, and crams it in her pocket. At the mention of stew and cider, she perks up considerably.

Azaelle curtsies graciously.

[in latin]
"It is good to make your acquaintance. I'm sure the guest quarters will be fine. Thank you for your hospitality and I'm sorry were a bit late. We got lost on the way."

"I got us lost... but I found a beautiful place that wasn't what we were looking for at all."

He'd lose his head if it wasn't attached properly but it would probably roll somewhere really great.
(gesturing to Corvus) "Is everything alright?"

[Back 20 seconds]

"Yes. A small matter of a new member learning the hard way what the rules are. If you'll excuse me..." There is a smell of smoke as she walks away, and her footprints have scorched the grass.

[Forward 20 seconds]

At the mention of Stew and Cider in the hall, The little nun is off like a shot.

"Don' let Lady Diedre's comments about height bother you too much; Everyone at the covenant, save the children, are taller than she is. However, and I'll warn ye, friendly-like, don't go teasing her about it. There are several mountains around here, missing their tops for a good ways. She did that." This comes from Angus, leading the group around to the guest cottages. "Gaeth, go on and head up to the hall, son. I'll make sure to gather everyone together."

Gaeth shakes his head. "Father, it's Magus Gaeth, please."

"As long as I'm still your father, your still my son." Says Angus, smiling. "Go on, I'll see you presently."

The walk leads around, and there is a commotion in the trees inside the wall. "Here now, what's this?" There are 5 or 6 young boys under the watchful eyes of Eithne, one of the Custos, and Maga Rhiannon's maidservant, all wrestling in the dirt, as young boys are want to do.

"Be beggin' yuir pardon, sor," says the solidly built custos known to most as Brick. "The young lads, they were teasin' Maga Rhiannon's boy, and they were about to start a brawl. Well, a good bit o' grapplin' blows off some energy that could be used for mischief. I figgered that if I watched 'em, sor, and kept things from gettin out o' hand, it would do 'em a bit of good." Brick's latin was passable, with a heavy accent. "So far, none hurt, and Eaghn's gained a little respect with his peers. Lady Belle, she's made sure that if any were hurt, they were taken care of."

Angus smiles a bit. "Lads will be lads. Maga Azaelle, Usa and Aza," this is one of our turb sargeants, who goes by the moniker 'Brick'. The gentle looking lady over there is Maga Rhiannon's maidservant, Belle. Most of the lads are the sons of custos and consortis, save the one with the black curly hair; That's Rhiannon's son, Eaghn."

It is only a short walk up to the guest cots. "I assure you these are only temporary, as we'll be building suitable accomodations for everyone here soon. He unlocks the last unoccupied one, and hands them a key. "The large central building is the hall, most council is held there, and the covenant usually comes in from a morning's work to eat. Library is to the left of that, Angus' home to the right. Now, beggin' your pardon," he says, bowing, as he leaves.

Azaelle and her companions take their belongings to the guest cots. Not long afterwards, they emerge. Uza and Asa head in the direction of "stew and cider" as though they are on a mission.

Azaelle has freshened up a bit. Her gown is free of dust and there are small sweet smelling pink flowers in her hair that weren't there before and they didn't grow anywhere nearby. She strolls slowly, ink black eyes taking in the scenery. Eventually, she makes her way into the hall.