[Story] Queued Events - Spring 1220

It does not take long for things to settle into a routine around Loucgh Caillte, even with the ocassional Mab incident.

Rhiannon can often be heard using most unladylike language as she sorts through the ill maintained library. Those brave enough to enter the library as she works see things slowly sorted out into piles of unbound folio, bound volumes, scrolls, and loose papers before they are turned around and marched out the door.

[color=blue]All of the texts mentioned in the "Create Your Covenant Thread, and detailed in the Covenant 'sticky' topic, plus 2 of the house Bonisagus compilations, is what is found this season

Belle and her charge, Eaghn, keep out of the way, Belle helping where she can, her presence making the toil seem lighter, and Eaghn learning something of fighting from some of the custos, much to his mother's dismay.

Construction work begins with the arrival of a master mason and a work crew, who begin clearing space for the foundations of the new buildings, and begin laying out thier needs for tools and supplies. A gang of carpenters arrives soon after.

There are no incidents like the ones that mark you arrival. Quintus and Flavius leave, promising to return before the fall season. Dierdre is in a foul mood most of the time, and keeps mainly to her lab except for the ocassional council, and when she has to dole out coinage to pay for the work crews.

Evenings, for the more sociable, is eased by the presence of an itinerate story teller. His familiar "Stay awhile, and listen..." starts off many grand tales of great heroes and their struggle aginst the forces of darkness, when men fought against Hell not only with faith and piety, but with sword and spear. Dierdre tolerates him, and Mab absolutely adores his stories. The gift appears to affect the man very little, even Corvus, Mathius and Fabrica. He seldom stays more than a night, and wanders out the next morning. He makes 4 visits during the season.

Soon, more men are available for the work crews from the village as spring planting is finished, and Colin Smith and Liam are hard pressed to keep up with tools needing repair, and new tools needing to be made. Fortunately, Lough Caillte trades with other covenants; Good Iron from the continent is always present, usually 2 score bars, with the wagons of trade goods that arrive. Also present are crates of glassware and other basic staples for the hermetic lab, some coming as far away as Venice.

Mathius and Fabrica busy themselves in Torsten's shop, and soon the sound of hammers striking metal is heard from the early morning into the night. As the season comes to a close, a very neat pile of stone blocks winds up accumulating outside the lab.

Fabrica trudges back from the quarry, carrying the harness with three swords that has given him his nickname of 3 Blade Fab. Behind him Caleb follows clutching an ornate dagger in both of his hands. He points the tip towards a large block of freshly quarried stone that floats to his side as if carried by invisible hands. He is sweating, though it doesn't look like any physical effort is on his part. After twenty or so paces the stone drops with a loud thud to the dirt path towards the site of the new labs being built. Fabrica stops and heaves a sigh in exasperation, running a hand through his hair. Caleb's embarassed look shows this has happened a few times. Fabrica finally turns to him.

"Caleb...you need to concentrate, You need to think only of holding up the block. It's not difficult, you're not even actually lifting it, you're merely thinking about lifting it. Can't you do that? Even for the penny I promised if you didn't drop this more than 3 times from the quarry to the lab?"

Caleb drags a foot in some embarassment, toying with the blade in his fingers. Fortunately the blade was not very sharp, magic cut the stone, not the blade. "'M sorry Fab. It just, I was hungry and thinkin' about the stew we got waitin' for supper..."

Fabrica shakes his head in annoyance and lightly cuffs Caleb on his brawny shoulder before taking the dagger back.

"Well most grogs should be able to do this, if a flighty empty-head like you can't, that's not a flaw in the dagger." Caleb only smiles at the mild rebuke, he knew he wasn't smart like others. "Go get our stew, I can hear your stomach rumbling." he says as he touches the tip to the stone and lifts it with a slight gesture, thinking nothing of finishing his conversation and moving the stone while he headed back to his lab and placed the stone on the pile. He puts the dagger away while scanning the Covenant for any of his Sodales.


Problem, Fabrica?

Corvus is suddenly standing behind Fabrica, peering round his shoulder looking back at the covenant as though trying to see what Fabrica is looking at... or looking for.

Fabrica makes a small twitch in his shoulders at Corvus's sudden appearance and then turns to regard him. His bland expression changes to a slight smile.

"Nothing Sodales. Well almost nothing. We certainly have brawny Grogs, but not many brainy ones. Here. My Spring project, the dagger is finished. Try it out." he says as he offers the blade's handle to Corbus, the lodestone plum bob dangling from the pommel on a slim silver chain.

"You trace a square on the stone, and then touch the tip to the center of the square. You can then direct the stone where you wish, the block you cut will remove itself from the larger piece." Fabrica is usually mild mannered, but there's definitely a hint of pride in his voice as he explains the item.

Corvus regards the knife for a moment like a child shown a new toy. Then, with a smile, he takes the knife.

Like this?

He starts to carve out the straight lines, swift and confident. And then he touches the knife to the centre of the square.

Aye, there it is! What do ya think? No bad fer a crow, eh? Tis a good knife Fabrica. A good knife.

Azaelle wipes dust from her brow after allowing a very large slab of stone to glide gently into place. She ventures over to see whatever has her sodales attention.

"That's quite clever, Fabrica. Can it cut all types of stone?"

"An excellent cut Corvus. The slightly difficult part comes from carrying it, as Caleb discovered it does require you to concentrate to move it. A task any apprentice could handle." remarks Fabrica as he examines the stone. He didn't feel it was necessary to tell him that the magic makes the stone into the near perfect cube or rectangular shape. Even a poorly drawn square would come out to mason quality. It was all in the Runes, 'Praise Verdi' thought Fabrica as Azaelle walked up.

"Ah good day to you. Yes, all types of stone. If it were magically resistant some how, it wouldn't cut it or lift it though. However that's a decidedly rare thing so not much to worry about there."

"This can have numerous applications aside from quarrying. It could easily sap a wall or dig a tunnel. The main problem would be the potential of collapse to a careless sapper. Something to remember with an item like this. Like most of my inventions it is a weapon, and the smart warrior (or craftsman) never allows his weapon to be used against him."

Azaelle looks impressed.

"Whenever I do those things I take a chance at twilight. I mean, except for when I open the large crevasses. That is no spell. But I think your way is better."

"We Verditians know very well the difficulties of the Art. Verditius himself never cast a spell. For such a mundane and repetitive task a spell would be a bad idea, any Magus might risk Twilight. An item, especially an item that a mundane..." he glances off towards Caleb who is trying to take off his breastplate before entering the dining hall and succeeds in crashing into the wall next to the door. "...well most mundanes can handle it."

"And the nice thing is that this is an item that any Baron or Duke might covet and pay a princely sum for. While we don't seem wanting for gold, one can never tell. With a slight modification I could redesign it so that it's magic will fade and the item will become useless, as well as limit how many times in a day it can be used. Considerations like those have to be implemented when selling a device like this to the mundanes."

"Speaking of which, I need to find a suitable person to serve as my mouthpiece. We call them Venditores. Someone that can speak with the Nobles and the Church, someone of discerning quality and tastes, who can handle delicate negotiations. Potions, amulets, trinkets, weapons of quality, these items can be sold for huge sums and greatly build up our prestige and influence within the Tribunal and among the mundanes. With two Verditians and access to a port and ship we can have money coming in every Moon..." Fabrica trails off, perhaps finally realizing how he must sound to the others. "Well..." he harumphs. "Of course such things are really a council decision, and we have many other things to do for now."

I am confused. I thought we couldn't sell magic items to mundanes. Oh wait, haha, thats why it has to be designed to lose it's power."

As she is is talking, Azaelle's brother wanders up behind her. He hasn't been around all day, not that anyone would be looking for him here. He doesn't look like he was made for hard labor. He is wearing a beautiful white silk shirt that might get dirty by just being in sight of the yard.

"Hi, haven't seen you a... Where'd you get the shirt?"

"Yes that was the odd thing. Thats why i came to find you. It's nice, isn't it?"
He holds his arms out to show them.
"But I don't know how it got on me. Something strange happened."

Aye, there are days I nay remember gettin' dressed either...

Corvus turns to walk back to the covenant, talking over his shoulder as he goes.

There was that time in Cork; I'd been out fer a drink with Sheelah O'Malley and her three brothers. That was a night, aright! She was a girl who didn't mind the Gift, and nay mistake. And her brothers did nay mind so long as I was buyin' da drinks.

I woke up in a Killarney hayloft two days later wearing Shellah O'Malley's dress, and bereft o'my coin. I can understan' dem takin' ma coin, but the dress left me thinkin' ta this very day.

Corvus stops and turns quickly on the spot.

Wait! What kinda strange? Drunk strange, or strange strange?

Fabrica takes the dagger back and puts it in the sheath at his belt.

"Yes items can be sold to mundanes, but it is encouraged that they be limited in either duration, or that the magic fades, just as you said. It's logical."

Fabrica watches the tableau open up and stands politely, uncertain of what to say.

Azaelle is so startled by what Corvus just said, that for a moment she forgets what Asa just said. She shakes the stunned look off her face and attempts unsuccesfully to hide a smile.

"There was no drinks to cloud my judgement or it would not have been strange. I was just out walking, the grounds here are beautiful, you know, and I wandered into a shady glen that was even more stunning then the rest. It got darker toward the center and there were spider webs hanging from the trees...and spiders like none I had ever seen. Oh, and someone was singing. It was someone delightful, but a man or woman I don't know... and then I woke up wearing this shirt and my old one was ruined. Stranger still was this."

He pulls a small flute from his pocket.

"I caught a two tailed fox who was a pretty lady first before I caught her. She left this. I knew better than to play it before bringing it to you. Oh, and there was a demon, but it went away."

Azaelle does not look surprised.

There is a >BOOMF< noise, followed by an explosion of flowers (and annoyed bees) and purple smoke, from which steps Mab, dressed not in her usually purple and orange, but some rather more rough clothes, including a silk blouse that looks a lot like Asa's new shirt. "Oh, Weaver likes you," she says, smiling. "She only does that when she feels bad about something she's done, not meaning to. I bet she saw it as payment for ruining your original shirt. She's not a bad sort, really. She just doesn't like unannounced visitors."

Mab is dressed as if to go hunting, including an exquistely crafted longbow and arrows. Miach is not far behind her. "My grandmother has invited me out for a hunt today, so I'll be gone for the day. Dierdre already knows." Mab's smile turns into a slight frown. "And Rhiannon's being a meanie. She won't let anyone into the library... Not after I tried to help by casting a spell..."

"Ahm not bein' a meanie, ya silly git," says Rhiannon somewhat crossly, her accent plain, as she walks up. ""Tis a matter o' keepin' the books intact while we chase out the wee critters you conjured up out o' the dust..." Rhiannon is dressed more for working in a forge than in a library, but she's had a rather rough season of it; She's wearing one of Torsten's leather forge aprons over breeches and a rough shirt, and heavy boots. And indeed, behind her can be seen a whole horde of dust animals - mice, rabbits, squirrels, and little things that look like puffballs with eyes and legs, all of them looking at Mab... "There she is," Rhiannon says to them, and they all scamper towards Mab.

"Eeeeeek!" screams Mab, in mock horror, as she runs off smiling, Dust Sprites in pursuit, with Miach bringing up the rear. "It is going to be one of those days. I'll see that she returns safely this evening," says the wolf over his shoulder before breaking into a trot to keep up with the strange procession...


"One of those days indeed." Mumbles Fabrica as he waves a hand in front of his face to clear the various vapors and dust that came with the magical appearance of the magi and animate dust balls.

"So you're saying a large Fairy Queen Spider made that shirt? But you don't remember getting it or seeing her?" Fabrica pauses, a look of seriousness on his face. "I don't wish to be alarming...but...well I believe this is cause for concern. Mab's assurances aside, a large magical Fae creature giving gifts while you sleep? What else happened while you slept? Mab said she gave it as an apology for ruining your other shirt, but how did she do that? Did you have any injuries? Did you eat or drink anything? The Fae are not like us, nor obviously are spiders. But a large Fae spider?" He shudders at the thought.

"Spiders and some other insects are able to hide in plain sight, blending with their surroundings, or even making themselves look like another creature. Fae can do the same thing, and also do such things as replace people that catch their fancy."

"I'm not certain what should be done here, but even the good intentions of Fae are suspect to me."

Azaelle looks conerned.
"Fabrica is right and please don't wander around the covenant and forest. You might have been killed or turned into a tree. Would you give me the shirt and flute?"

Asa looks around. Mab and Rhiannon are out of sight so he removes the shirt and hands it with the flute to Azaelle. As she casts intellego spells on them, he turns to Fabrica.

"I don't remember eating or drinking anything and the sun was in the same place in the sky when I woke up with the new shirt. The flute, though, that was different. I saw the lady and she ran from me. I chased her and caught her. She begged me to let her go and not to follow so I did and when I woke up, hours had passed and I had that flute. I don't feel like any harm has been done to me though."

For a moment it appears as though Azaelle is going to fall over. She takes a moment to catch her breath.

"Well, the shirt is not of infernal nature, I can tell you that but the flute resists my spell. It doesn't take much to assume it is of faerie origin. Let's take them to Deirdre. Faerie magic is beyond me, I'm afraid.

Azaelle politely excuses herself and they turn to leave. Asa's back is lined with small scars. They head in the direction of the covenant.

Dierdre can be found in the public area of her housing, where she recieves guests. The accomodations, Azaelle notes, would be the envy of many nobles. Artifacts and trinkets line shelves, and well painted pictures show many scenes, usually Dierdre and other people in a group, smiling.

Dierdre's response is simple, and to the point. "Faerie Magic? Me? Bwahahahahahahahaha!" It takes her a while to stop laughing, leaving Azaelle and Asa to wonder what was so funny.

"Faerie Magic is Mab's domain. Mine is things that burn and go >BOOM!<". She leans back in her chair, looking at the ceiling. "I can tell you, though, about Weaver's gifts. Yes, I know her. I have a dress, a blouse, and a cloak made by her. She is the heir to Ariadne's line, the same Ariadne of myth and legend, and knows her secrets. The clothing she makes for someone are finely crafted, nothing more. No Arcane Connections, no hidden curses. Ocassionally, she hides a minor, useful enchantment into a piece of clothing, but nothing more."

"However, I find the flute more interesting, or rather, the creature you say dropped it. Never heard or seen a fox with more than 1 tail before. You'd better ask Mab when she comes back."

Asa smiles at Deirdre's reassurance, totally unphased by her laughter.

"See? Everything's fine. I knew it would be. Can I have my shirt back now?"

Azaelle hands him the shirt.

(to Deirdre)
"By the way, whatever happened to Brodvic?"

Fabrica shrugs his shoulders.

"Well, I'm putting together the last of my lab text notes. If you're fine with this...gift and Dierdre vouches for it, then you should be fine.

"If you need me I'll be in my lab, and I'll perhaps see at supper."

Fabrica bows and makes his exit.

"Quintus and Flavius took Brodvic," she says, quietly, "To a small, secluded covenant some days journey from here. His health was failing after getting rid of the possessing spirit, possibly a wasting curse of some kind." She shakes her head. "There is a healer there, who has been known to do things that Hermetic Magic cannot. She is Sylphie's mater, Precia. If anyone can heal him, it is her. "

The final days of the spring season are finally upon the covenant of Lough Caillte, and the whole vale is preparing for the summer. The Horse Fair to the north is getting underway, and merchants and prospective buyers have been moving up the road north. Business at the inn is good, as is business for any smith in the area.

Preparations soon begin for the summer market fair, usually held at the end of June. Merchant caravans bringing items from all over the known world begin arriving; First, it is merely their agents, choosing choice locations and reporting conditions for their masters. Then, the wains of goods and the mercenaries hired to gaurd them arrive with the merchants themselves... The mercenaries look bored, as the region is notoriously free of bandits and highwaymen.

And things soon begin to get more interesting...

On the east end of the market fair are flying the banners of England, alleged overlords of the isle. On the west end, the banners of Cathal O'Connor, rightful King of the fifth of Connacht. Fortunately, no heavy armor or weapons are present, and the meeting between the King's men appears to be peaceful... for the moment.

With Englishmen, Irishmen, and Scots (the mercenaries) about, can things stay peaceful for long?

Thus the day begins - It is the Summer Solstice, 1220 AD. The day begins hot, and sky clear, and a light breeze. The perfect day...