With the market faire in town for the next month or so, most inhabitants of the covenant find a reason to go down to the faire, and wander about. Even those whose gift inflicts itself upon others find that the reaction to the gift is muted. There are the ocassional odd look, but most here are concentrating on selling things and having a good time.
Dierdre herself is escorting Mab around the fair, along with Angus, who is talking business with his cousin, Cathal, King of Connacht.
The sheer number of goods available is mind boggling; things from as far away as Byzantium and the Levant are present here, though not in great quantity. Venetian Glass, English Wool, goods made from German Iron and Steel, French Wines, Horses... The list goes on and on.
Off in one secluded portion of the faire are some tents that see little mundane traffic; Both the English and Irish nobles can be found here, along with those mundane scholars; There is a bookseller here, and nearby, the House of Vezzini has set up, and is doing a modest business, dealing in magical trinkets and baubles.
And it is not only the mundanes and magi enjoying the faire; A retinue of the Tuatha de can be seen wandering the faire, purchasing a few things with silver, and in general, acting like the gracious nobility.
There are few scuffles between those parties with differing opinions; Those who bear arms into the faire are asked to check them at the gates. Those who cause trouble spend a day in the stocks, where passerby can throw rotten fruit and vegetables at them. Such crude punishment, however, is not for the nobility. The presence of the 2 lords mean that Justice can be meted out there, so things remain calm. And Quintus is there as well, enjoying himself, though he is dressed more like a minor nobleman than a Roman senator.
Dierdre has been generous; before going to the faire herself, she gave everyone a bag of coin (amounting to about 1L of silver). "Get out and enjoy yourself," she said as she escorted Mab (and was, herselg, escorted by Angus).
And thus you find yourself, a purse of coin in hand, and a pretty much empty covenant, since most (beyond a group of Custos and Angus' oldest son, RiocÃ¡rd) have gone down to the fair.
Fabrica put down his quill and ink with some frustration as he reviewed both his plans for his lab and some future items that he had put some thought into. He was having difficulty putting together his thoughts, there was so much to do. Gathering up the sheafs of paper he put them over a rack of very low burning coals so the ink would dry. He retrieved the bag of coins he'd been given and picked up hs staff. He was about to leave when he noticed a journal entry he hadn't bound yet.
It showcased a detailed drawing of a jeweled scepter; a preliminary sketch beneath it showed a man with a crown and robes waving it before an advancing army. The next sketch showed the entire army keeled over dead. Beneath it were pages of comments and related material in his hand wrting.
"Probably shouldn't leave these out." he mumbled as he gathered them up and lifted a loose floor stone and hid them under it.
From there he headed outside, practically bumping into Caleb who was about to knock.
"Ah Caleb, just in time, please accompany me to the faire. I need to get some fine German steel, and maybe some other items that catch my fancy."
Somewhere very far away is a cave so deep that if it wasn't for the light that Azaelle created by magic, there would be nothing but pitch blackness.
Azaelle attatches her coin purse to her belt and in it she stuffs a list of items she will need for her projects over the next few seasons. She wears a hooded cloak even though it's summer and heads out the door.
Just outside the covenant she emerges from the entrance to her lab and walks the rest of the way in where her companions wait patiently for her.
The faire is a lively event in the town, with people coming and going during the day. There is the lively bargaining, the bards singing, vendors doing business. The only thing magi not gently gifted attract are a few odd stares, or mutters, but no trouble, A few people stutter nervous apologies if they bump into you, but that's about it.
It's been an afternoon of good times; deals are made, fun is had, and money is spent. However, the most amusing sight...
It appears Sean Dulidh got in a bit of trouble, and is currently in the stocks. Mab and Dierdre are taking turns lobbing rotten vegetables at him. "Ladies, please..." he begins, before Mab hits him with a rotten cabbage. "Hey! He shouts, trying to get the attention of a magus passerby, "I could use some help!" Dierdre's response is to pick up something really juicy and throw it, splattering the entire stocks. "I just took my bath, too! Now I'm going to have to take another!"
"I did warn you, Dulidh, what would happen," says Flavius, watching. "You were the one who made a pass at Cathal's wife, and made her scream." While he doesn't participate, he does have a slight smile as he whispers something under his breath. He is there for a few moments longer, then walks into the crowd.
The nun, Priere, is also wandering about the fire, enjoying the food and the good times. She is a favorite of the children of the village, and several accompany her wherever she goes, and she tries to set a better example for them. She gives what little coinc she has for alms and helps wherever she can. Every once in a while she stops and looks about, and frowns, slightly, then gets pulled along with the children.
Albertus came to the faire, eager to search for his new home. He didnâ€™t like to be surrounded by all these people running back and forth in what seemed like a frantic flock of people ripping one and other apart. Rather uninterested in the sale of merchandise, Albertus searched for a place to find some food and to be able to read another chapter in the â€œOccult ramifications of Muto magicâ€™s that he carried in a caseâ€. It where somewhere right about her where he would meet his new soldaes, the question was where that would be.
Fabrica wanders throughout the faire browsing but not mingling too much. People's conversations seemed to be cut short as he arrived to look at what was there to offer. But they seemed to get over it soon enough. Caleb was busy bumbling into everyong and everything, but still trying to convey the importance of the magus he was accompanying.
He stopped at a German metallurgist's stand and examined some of the fine steel billets. He left an order wth them to have it delivered to the Covenant later. From there he wandered to the bookseller to see their selection on Philosophaie.
Finally he stopped at Vezzini, to examine their so called magical wares.
"Whatcha doin'?" The unexpected question comes from a surprisingly youthful face. Violet eyes, framed by black hair, fair complexion, and a friendly smile complete the picture. The eyes, though... There are unexpected depths to them, and you cannot see your reflection in them. Then she sees the book.
"Oooh," she exclaims, reading silently from her upside down vantage. "I don't think I've read this one before." she says, after scanning a couple of lines of text.
"MAB! Confound it, where have you gotten to?" The voice is loud, and female. The person it belongs to is on the short side, red-brown hair, brown eyes. The figure is youthful, but something about her is not.
"Dierdre, over here!" Mab stands up and waves, and Dierdre marches over, Angus coming up behind, carrying a number of things. She takes one look at the book, the person reading it, and makes a couple of quick deductions. "I'm Dierdre ex Flambeau," she says, in clear latin. "This bundle of cheerful energy is Mab, filia Babh, maga ex Merinita. Yes, that Mab. You must be Albertus Pictor. We were expecting you in the spring..."[/b]
Fabrica rubs his eyes in some confusion, then looks in his cup. The colors and majesty of the faire were almost magical they BRAAACCKK! Fabrica burped quite loudly as he wondered at the sights. Thumping his chest with a fist he handed the half finished mug to Caleb.
"Excuse me." he mumbled at the laughing faire goers.
I am Albertus Pictor ex Bonisagus, Albertus stood straight as he spoke to the magas. Yes I was delayed, there where some trouble at my old covenant that had to be take care of before I could depart from them with good conscience. I hope that I havenâ€™t caused any inconveniences by arriving a bit late. I would be most interesting to meet your fellow soldaes. As Albertus speaks a crow lands on his shoulder, This is my familari Tiberius and at an other location he would introduce himself. Albertus looks delighted to see some other magi.
As Mab has wandered off, Angus in tow, it leaves Dierdre to provide some information.
"It isn't a problem," replies Dierdre, in very good latin. "We've had an exceptionally busy spring season. Angus, our steward, and some of the magi will be returning to the covenant as the sun sets. I'll be brief on a few of the rules while you're here. Make no trouble with the mundanes, Church, or Fae. Most mundanes here have worked up at the covenant, or their families have. Most are used to the gift, and know who to go if there is trouble. Mab is directly related to the Fae court here. Fr. Brendan and Br. Patrick are old friends of mine. I'm still not sure about the nun, Priere."
"Until we get a suitable charter in place at the covenant, this is the only rule : My word is Law in the covenant. Expedient, but a pain in the arse. I choose the punishments. We are currently building labs, but we still have a couple of previous labs vacant. I hope to take care of the lack of a skilled healer before this season is out. The senior quasitore is also here"
"If you wish to head on up to the covenant, take the road North, across the first bridge, to the Inn. Turn west onto the lake road, and it takes you to the main gate of the covenant. Angus' eldest son, Riocard, is standing in for him at the covenant while he is down at the Faire today."
"I will be returning to the covenant at sunset. If you want company on the walk, meet me at the north gate at sundown."
Albertus Pictor replies: Then I will await your journey back to the covenant. After all it could be a good idea to get to know the town here before travelling to the covenant. If there is nothing further I will start my exploration of the city and the faire and meet you at the gates at sundown.
If Albetus Pictor is not asked about anything more he strolls around the faire and town for awhile and then searches for something to eat and drink and studies his book until sundown when he meets up with Dierdre at the northern gate.
The bookseller's collection was rather poor from a scholarly viewpoint, a collection of tractati of mediocre quality, and none on the subject that was of keen interest. Works of fiction and poetry were in abunance. "Howe'er," than man adds, "I can ask around, and see if someone has texts on Philosophiae to be copied."
A bit later...
After wondering, for a bit, what was in the ale, Fab finally makes his way, a little unsteady, to the tent where the Vezzini's have set up. The wares are the typical trinkets, well crafted rings and jewelry, some potions, and a few oddities lay about (a lute, a jewelry box, a pouch, and something that catches Fab's interest, a shortsword). More than a few items visibly bear Verditius' runes.
Watching Fabrica is a richly dressed man, short of stature, and balding on top. He says very little while Fab browses the odd collection, waiting until he was done. "So, Master Magus," he asks politely, "Is there anything in my modest wares that interest you? I am Marco D'Vezzini, merchant and venditore. And before you ask how I know that you are a magus of the Order..." He holds up a hand , on which is a ring. and the stone is a brilliant green. "This detects the presence of the Parma. You must be Fabrica Diabolica. Antonio is within the tent, if you wish to discuss business, and see wares more suitable to your station; These are mere apprentice projects..."
The look of shock, soon replaced by mirth, on Dierdre's face is worth the risk. "Beloved,: she says, with enough sarcasm to curdle unicorn's milk," This is Albertus Pictor, newly come to the faire, from far away England. Forsooth, be kind, for not all Englishmen are buffoons and beasts..." Trying to ham it up finally takes it's toll on Dierdre, and she breaks down, laughing...
"Albertus Pictor ex Bonisagus and Familari Tiberius, Corvus Lux ex Bjornaer," she finally states, when she can speak again. "We were expecting him last spring when you arrived." And with that, she grabs Corvus, hauls him down and close, and gives him a fiery kiss.
That done, Dierdre lets him go, and Corvus drops to the ground. Dierdre's smile is one of mischief, and Corvus is suddenly reminded of a previous engagement when a Raven's indiginant squawk is heard from the trees...
Albertus to Corvus: I am Albertus Pictor Ex Bonisagus a new resident of your covenant. I appritiate if you didnâ€™t make hasty conclusions about me or my actions. Perhaps if you where more confident in your self and about your manhood you wouldnâ€™t need to make such accusations. Albertus seems rather annoyed by being insulted by a complete stranger.
Azaelle hunts through the faire until she finds the the stone she's seeking. It's a grey stone with red lines coursing through it like veins. It's strange and ugly but Azaelle doesn't want something pretty. She wants the thing that will do the job. Business being done before pleasure, she is now free to enjoy the faire.
She wanders through enjoying the sights and sounds. Some of the food makes her wish she had some kind of natural immunity to poison but she recovers without need of assistance from a doctor and continues on her way. There's a man in the crowd that gives her cause for alarm and she can't figure out why. He doesn't look unusual and he's not doing anything. She can't get close enough to have a better look at him and when he finally evades her completely, she is actually a little relieved.
She then sees something totally irresistable. A group of small children performing "magic tricks". Azaelle crouches down to their level and shows off a few "magic tricks". The fun part is making it look like slight of hand. They "ooh" and "ahh" as she conjures tiny flowers and makes them disappear. A little boy asks her "How did you do that?" and she replies "magic.". She pulls a real coin from his ear, genuine slight of hand this time, hands it to him and pats him on the head. He runs off squealing with delight. Azaelle smiles.
Something Azaelle catches out of the corner of her eye stops her in her tracks. She turns slowly to look, fearful that what she thought she saw will be there in reality...and it is.
Corvus is cruched on one knee, proposal style, in front of Deidre.
Azaelle watches, horrified. She thinks he's a maniac but she doesn't want to see him die right here in this nice place.
Deidre kisses him and Azaelle almost faints from shock. Then she buckles over into a fit of laughing.
Recovering, she sets out on her last mission for the day. Finding Mab and asking about the flute.
From his seat on the ground, Corvus looks up at Albertus, a look of surprise at Dierdre's sudden kiss interrupted by a the distant raven call.
Aye, well, I see you and I shall quarrel well. And I look forward to playin' the game wit ya. But ye'll excuse me, for Dierdre's open passions have roused the passions o'another who has come a callin' on me.
Corvus regains his feet and offers his hand to Albertus.
And don't be worryin' if ya nay like me yet. It's me Gift, ye see. Nothing I can do wi' it. Once yer parma's strong enough ye'll no feel a thing, right enough. Nice meetin' ya, Englishman.
With that, Corvus hurries away back through the faire, apparently listening out for something, scanning the nearby trees as he goes.
Albertus thinks that he will try to have as little as possible to do with Corvus and all will be fine. He continues his plan of strolling the streets in search of interesting object or places, if such endeavours fail he tries to read some more and then meet up with Dierdre at sundown.
Fabrica's eyes brighten at this, and he nods with a smile. "Thank you Marco. Yes indeed, I would mush...very much like to speak with Antonio. Thanks." Fabrica's smile fades a bit at his slurred speech, and he blinks a few times to try and clear his thoughts. It would be unseemly to meet his fellow Verditian while in his cups.
The town of Lough Caillte (english - Lost Lake) is a pleasant enough place. There are, perhaps 5 score residents, most of them farmers, but not all. Being on the main road between Galway and Dublin, there is an actual inn, for those travelling. There is master smith in the town,, whose journeymen handle most of the work. There is a mill, and not far away, a small fortified building, which you find out belongs to the Reeve. Not too far away is a small, modest church.
The odd thing you feel as you walk around is not the overwhelming presence of the Dominion, but rather, an aura that's hard to pin down. Most magi can feel their gift fluttering as if in a gale when they enter a Dominion aura. Here, however, it is different. A monk waves at you from the churchyard where he tends a small garden. Nearby is a small graveyard.
Mostly, the town is empty; Men are either tending the fields, or in attendance at the faire.
A prominent feature of the landscape is the lake; Not a large lake, but big enough. About 2/3rds the way across, out in the southern end, is an island. From what you can see, there are standing stones out there.
To the north of the lake is a tall, rocky spire poking up out of the trees. You can easily see the road along the north shore of the lake, and off in the distance, you can almost see the roof of the feasthall at the covenant.
Fabrica is quietly ushered into the tent.
Antonio d' Vezzini looks a lot like his brother - a little older, a little balder, a little more richly dressed. "Master Fabrica," he says, respectfully. "A pleasure to meet you." After the requisite niceties are taken care of, he gets down to business.
"I have a handful of comissions that might interest you, having been approached by many persons inquiring about enchanted blades. I know summat of your skill as a swordsmith, but little of your skill as a magus. I do not mean to insult, but I must keep my eye on business."
"I have a few trinkets as well, that may interest you."
"I can also provide other things, if the appropriate fee is forthcoming. Books and other writings, information, moneychanging, even some ... less savory activities, if needed, but the price grows with the amount of risk involved."
Mab is quite easy to find - One looks for children, and one usually finds Mab, close by. This time, the children aren't around, and Mab is singing - and she has a lovely singing voice - and the lyrics of the song make Azaelle's ears burn, and is getting ribald laughter from the crowd. Priere has turned an interesting shade of red in embarrasment as she sings along.
Azaelle soon wonders where Asa had gotten to... The last she had seen, he was being chased around by a gaggle of young (and not so young) women. He was usually around to join in any singing...
As if on cue, he appears, a bit battered, but none the worse for wear. He relates his lurid tale, finishing with "They were following me, and then they started arguing about who was going to kiss me first. I was soon in the middle of a cat fight, and had to crawl out. Everything turned out Ok, because a little girl gave me some flowers." He holds out his hand, which contain some wildflowers. "For you, my sister."
Fabrica is appropriately impressed at the candor of Antonio as well as the business he's conducting, and gives the offers all due consideration. "Well I'd certainly like to hear of some of the commisions. My specialty does lie in weaponry, but my Art is diverse. I can accomodate a variety of different requests. I just made a simple device that cuts stone and lifts the blocks where its user intends. Of course weapons and similar effects will always be my forte."
"I have other interests though, particularly in learning more of Verditius's Mysteries. Perhaps you can help with that, or can refer me to someone?"