[Story] "Once more, into the breach..."

Glendower smiles."Primus - I no longer have need of it, so let it go to whoever can use it, or has need of it. Everything within is well documented, as you may have guessed."

"Secundus - you are mistaken in thinking that I have become fae; rather, I have become a spirit; My body was destroyed by the ritual, yet my spirit and soul remained. Since she was invoked in the ritual, The Lady of Waters completed the transformation, but for a price. I can no longer walk the mortal world. It is different, but it is difficult to explain; Being mortal is like looking at the world through a keyhole while ignoring all else. The transformation was like taking a step away from the door, and seeing the rest of the world."

"Tertius - I wouldn't know, because I haven't met this Quendalon fellow yet." The watery figure shrugs, then smiles. "I only know the same rumors and tales you do."



"Glendower, if I may ask, it sounds as though you get to explore a wide world indeed. Would it be possible to talk with you further at a later time? How would we accomplish that?"

The watery Glendower nods. "I do indeed. I would like to talk to my old and new sodales as well, but I have yet to learn the trick to doing it on my own. My Lady is the one providing this opportunity, through her power. Perhaps, like any spirit I could be summoned... but for that you would need to know my Name, or have a really strong connection to me for it to work... In theory." He shrugs. "As I have learned the hard way, there is a great deal of difference between theory, and practice."



"True enough. I'll work on finding a way to chat with you, though it may take me a few years to figure it out as Aquam and Vim are not my Arts of interest. Before you go, are there any messages you wish for us to pass on?"

The watery figure shakes his head. "I only had one for Mab; My transformation and apparent death had left her most distraught, and I wished to provide her some comfort in the thought that she had little to do with it, and that so far, everything has worked out."

"I do have some general advice for those who have just arrived; As you may have guessed, not all here is as it seems. There are secrets around every corner, and while some of them are quite harmless, there are a number of them that could be quite lethal. Be careful, both in your investigations, and with what you find."



Stephan smiles.

"Well then, unless someone else has anything, I wish you fair winds ... though I suppose 'fair currents' will be more appropriate, now. I, for one, hope to speak with you again."

And, with a smile but without a second look, Stephan turns aside and moves to investigate a particularly interesting piece of lab apparatus.

Daggin seems a bit thunderstruck at what occurs, though for exactly what reason remains unclear. He does not seem afraid, nor confused, merely unsure exactly how to respond. He listens to Sheridan's questions with a puzzled look himself, then to Stephan's with a bit more interest. But as two others speak up and then finish, he steps forward and takes his turn.

"Daggin Plantard here, honored Glendower, and admittedly of a magical tradition older than the Hermetic Order, tho' one now integrated into it. My respect also to the Lady to whom you are bound. To speak with one who has passed through to the other side in such a manner is a rare privilege indeed, and one which I may be closer to duplicating with my own Arts. I have no small gift in the laboratory, and look forward to plumbing the benefits of your research - I thank you, for myself and all in the Order."

As he speaks, he takes the two tomes that had solidified from the water, and hands them directly to Diedre, but keeping his attention upon the watery visitor.

"My first question is a for a clarification of your warning of dangers- what are the three greatest that you could name, within this lab, these grounds, or beyond, be those enchantments, individuals known or no, or other?"

He waits for the answer to that, and then thanks the spirit, pausing a moment in contemplation before asking his next.

"My second question then addresses your mention of the documentation of the items within this lab- I have glanced at some of your notes upstairs, and the shorthand will take a bit of reading to undo- could you point us to an index or logic to the reams of notes or your own shorthand, that would make them easier to pursue- or give a clue to cracking that code? It is only as a timesaver to the inevitable, and to avoid some few of those dangers that you warn of."

"And my last question would be more a request, for I ken that you are allowed to answer the questions, but may decline at your option, yet I will risk my third on your good will - would you tell me your name, or point me to a connection strong enough to contact you again? Or if not myself, then one of us whom you more trust. I would think that you accept that one of us will discover such sooner or later- it would save us time to so do, and for my part I would swear on my Oath I will neither abuse it, nor allow it to be known beyond these walls."

He waits, hopefully and expectantly, for the answers to the above.

"The three greatest dangers around the covenant... The most dangerous to persue is the mage known as Diedre. Investigate her background at your risk. A second, more well defined danger, is Queen Cordelia and her court, who live in the trod beyond the circle of stones on the isle. Fortunately, her favorite grand-daughter lives here," he says, gesturing in Mab's direction," so relations have been pleasant. However, early on, they were not always so."

"The final one I shall speak of is Calyx' Grave, under the covenant itself, accessible from within this lab. There was another covenant on this site, much ealrier, but it's inhabitants were utterly obliterated, save for one magus, who plotted his vengence against those who had ruined his covenant, and slain his sodales. It ended in tragedy, as such tales usually do. It is closer to a prison, than a grave, Calyx' lab, and to persue the mystery may bring ruin down upon your heads, much like it has brought ruin down upon Calyx."

"My cipher is what I call a book cipher; Each page will have a number, this corresponds to a page in a book, in my case, The Travels of Fedoso, a copy of which should be around here someplace. The first letter on the page is "A", the next "B", and so on, with each letter substitution being unique. Kallias did it one better, he came up with a number substitution cipher. "

"I don't know my Name," he says, shrugging. With the emphasis on 'Name', you realize he's talking about his True Name. " Yet. However, My talisman should be around here someplace; That would have the strongest connection to me. It's a simply exquisite silver ring set with a sapphire and an amethyst. I had it on me when I performed my ritual of becoming, but it did not come with me. So it has to be around here someplace..."

There is a musical sound, and Glendower's watery shoulders slump. "I am told I must go now. It is a pleasure meeting you, and I hope to talk to you again..." The column of water loses definition, and slumps back into the pool...

Daggin raises a hand in salute, and his Latin is stylized and formal.

"Fare the well, Glendower; we shall follow thee in due time."

He turns to the others -

"Not the last thing I would have expected, but close enough. What now, Praeco Diedre, sodales? Do we progress en masse, or move his books immediately to the library - we have not yet visited that, nor been introduced to the secrets that lie within those walls- or is there more here that you would show us?"

Fabrica isn't entirely certain of everything he just witnessed, typically in such situations he just decides it's not his business. With the topic of the library though...

"Ah yes! The library, shall we adjourn to it? Perhaps taking some books along with to deposit them there?"

Seireadan peers around for any sign of the talisman.

"Oh, but I want to explore some more... can't we take the books later?"

Daggin turns to Mab, to see how she is faring after the experience of seeing Glendower again.

"That must indeed be a burden off your shoulders, Mab. He seems both happy and excited in his new situation, and enthusiastic about his prospects! A whole new world to explore, and all the time in creation to do it. It must be a huge relief, after what you went through- best not to dwell on that... and to avoid using any magic in here, to avoid any mis-step. That crystal is quite an impressive and intriguing light source... do you remember him using any other enchantments while you were here?..."

He stays at her side, talking with her and keeping an eye on her as he was told, looking up and around at the catwalks and other elements in the room, and gives a nod to Diedre standing on another part of the walk to acknowledge awareness of his assigned duty.

Mab is quietly crying, now down to a case of the sniffles. "Oh, yes, I feel much better, knowing I didn't have anything more than usual to do with his passing." She wipes her eyes on the sleeves of her dress.

"Kallias brought the crystal home from one of his journeys westward, and it proved to be beyond his skills to investigate, so Glendower investigated it. It always floats in the exact center of the chamber it is placed in. He told me what is was, a geometrically perfect representation of the Lunar sphere and everything under it. At least, that's what he thought it was"

Diedre chimes in. "Glendower always supplied the vim vis for our Aegis, and it was always bluish water, like in the pool..." She falls silent as a drop of water falls from the crystal, into the pool, with a ">knilp!<" sound. And then she laughs. "So that's where he got it from! I've suspected, but never really knew... I wonder what else is in here..."

"If some of you wish to explore other buildings on your own, feel free. I suddenly feel the urge to investigate this lab fully... I believe, Fabrica, that your housemate Mathius is exploring Torsten's lab..."



Stephan blinks back a bit of a tear from his eye as he watches Mab. As Deirdre finishes, he chimes in, "Dierdre, I would very much like to stick with you on this, please. I'm very interested in what else might lie in here as well."

The initial explorations and investigations of the lab goes smoothly - Glendower firmly believed in documentation - and the man had written a lot. Fortunately, most of the volumes - of which there are nearly 100 - are written out completely, the text easy to read, and clear.

Diedre collects the volumes that Glendower had indicated, and is preparing to move them back to the library when a gem on her necklace begins flashing and making a "ding!" sound. "Oh, for the love of..." she mutters, setting down the books on a table, and disappears with a mutter of "rego corpus..."

Shortly thereafter, there is a squeaking, chittering commotion at the back of the lab. Soon, a mouse is scurrying around the lab, carrying a silver ring set with an amethyst and sapphire; Close on it's heels is an ermine, white winter coat fading to brown summer. The ermine is followed in a more stately fashion by Mab, trying to coax the mouse to her, and finally, Daggin brings up the strange procession with all the dignity he can muster.


Trying very hard to not burst out laughing, Stephan asks, "Um... need any help there?"

With that, the mouse clambers up Stephan's robes, to perch in his hair, squeaking frantically.

The ermine screeches to a halt, then gets up on her hind legs, and looks crossly at both the mouse, and at Stephan, with her front legs crossed in front of her. She points out with one claw at the mouse, then to the floor, and growls something, to which the mouse's reply is more squeaking.

By this time, Daggin and Mab have arrived. The ermine turns to Daggin and begins screeching furiously, wildy gesticulating between Daggin, Stephan, Mab and the Mouse. She then crosses her front legs again, one of the rear paws tapping the ground as if waiting for something.

With a gentle hand, Mab disentangles the mouse from Stephan's hair, and whispers something to it. It looks sad, but gives her the ring. It scampers up to perch on Mab's shoulder, instead of getting back down to the floor. Mab hands over the ring to Daggin, smiling broadly, then scratches the mouse.

The ermine clambers up Daggin's robe, and before she can begin another bout of hyperactive squeaking and gesticulating, he sticks a piece of dried travelling meat in her mouth, which she destroys with great glee before going back into a pouch at his waist, poking her head out to glare evilly at the mouse.

Mustering as much dignity as possible, he drily notes "And thus, you and my familiar, Julia, are acquainted."



With some supressed mirth but not at all patronizing, "Greetings, Julia. Would that I could understand your speech so we could converse more directly. I hope to get to know you better in the future."

"Mab, is your companion similarly bonded, or simply the victim of misunderstanding?"

"Oh, good heavens, no." Says mab. "Cuana would be much upset if he was, I assure you. No, there's a family of mice in the barn, and I believe this is the elder mouse..." At this point, the mouse nods frantically. "So, he's a friend, but not like Cuana. He's a victim of misunderstanding, since he wanted the pretty for his nest..."



"I thought that was the case, but I'm still learning al the relationships here and I was afraid that I was confused."

"It does appear that Elder Mouse understands Latin, however, and has excellent taste in decorations, " Stephan says raising eyebrow and nodding towards Mab's small companion. "We seem to be in a place of generous gifts. Friend Daggin, other than the tasteful Sir Mouse, did you discover anything else in your investigations?"