Summer 1221: Tribunal in the Pyrenees

She plans to go visit Hibernia and see who she can find that practices the Old Religion and might be concerned that the English encroaching with their Catholic priests, who are less friendly to the old ways than the Irish Monastic system, and see who might be willing to resettle in a land of plenty...

But where is she going to go? She has no Area Lore for Hibernia, so she only has a vague idea that pagans might live in Hibernia. Is she going to go to a random village and ask for pagans? Is she going to look around in the woods for pagans? Is she going to go to a covenant and ask there after pagans? What's her starting point?

She will probably start by going to her mystagogue and asking if she knows anything about mundane pagans, or who would know about them.

OOC: Ah, the mystagogue connection. I was wondering if you'd remember to use that.

Meliai checks with the mystagogue who initiated her into her her mysteries, a maga named Órlaith cultas Meriníte who was just past a century old when Meliai first met her and is now finally starting to show some of the first signs of aging, not that she lets that slow her down.

"There aren't many of us left," Órlaith says in response to Meliai's questions. "Not in Hibernia at least. St. Patrick came here over six centuries ago, and in that time the religion of Christ has taken over these lands. Where once followers of the Old Faith were everywhere, now they are but a memory. So few of us remember the old ways and keep to the old traditions." She shakes her head sadly.

"But I know of a small community of Cruithnigh pagans up in Tír Fhomóraig on the Isle of Rathlin. You could speak to them. They might be willing to listen."

"As a member of New Atlantis pointed out, the Gift is often a barrier, and I certainly do not present as a regular person. Is there any avenue you would advise pursuing that would soften these effects? Perhaps an introduction, if they regard you well?"

"They're more familiar with the Gift than many you'll find," Órlaith replies. "They practice the hedge tradition of Gruagachan, though they don't call it that. They're descended from Picts who came to Hibernia ages ago. They have Gifted practitioners, so they've seen what the Gift will do. It doesn't take away the effect of the Gift, but at least it makes them aware of what's happening." She shrugs. "It's a step in the right direction at least."

"As it happens, I do know a Cruithnigh priest I could introduce you to, a man named Fergus Cáel. He's not their high priest, but he and I have worked together on occasion. We can go there this afternoon, if you like." Órlaith lives in a cottage in an Aura next to one of the regio entrances, so travel is not that difficult for her. "There are no regio entrances on the island, however. We'll have to take a boat to get there. We should be able to hire one in the morning."

Meliai left in the morning, and region travel takes but minutes, so it should still be morning...

"Certainly, I would love an introduction. Does he know about the existence of Parma? If I were to offer to extend mine would he understand what I am talking about?"

OOC: The travel though the regio takes a few minutes, but it took Meliai time to get to the regio entrance from where she was in the morning. That was a long walk. Meliai's mystagogues place is right at a regio entrance, but the covenant that Meliai stayed at wasn't. Also when Órlaith said you could leave in the afternoon, that was a polite way of saying she had a few things that needed doing before she left. She can't just drop everything to run off. Also, it's a bit of a walk from the closest regio exit to where you can get a boat. The end result is that it'll be morning before you can get to the island. The regio network cuts down travel time tremendously. What should be a several day trip will only take a matter of hours for you. But it doesn't give Meliai two-minute travel between any two points.

"Fergus has experience with the Order," Órlaith replies, "and experience with Parma; he has agreed to be covered by my Parma in the past. He should be willing to accept yours. He is Gifted himself and understands the problems we face. I can't speak to the others of his clan."

"Now, I shall leave you to the hospitality of my servants. There are matters that I must attend to before we leave."

By afternoon, Órlaith is ready to depart. She has a servant come with you, mostly to deal with the locals and to carry a small bag for her. The trip through the regio is a quick one, but then the real trip begins. It's several miles of walking to a large seaside village, where Órlaith says you can take a boat to the island. Unfortunately the sun is setting by the time you get to the village and no boats will head out to the island. So Órlaith has her servant arrange for a place for the two magae to stay in the village, Apparently this is not the first time such an arrangement has been made, because her servant knows just who to talk to. The two magae are given use of a normally empty cottage for the evening, where they are left alone by the villagers.

In the morning, Órlaith's servant arranges for a simple meal and tells the magae that she's hired a boat to take them to the island. By the time the sun is more than a few fingers above the horizon, the three women are on a boat headed north to Rathlin Island. It's only a journey of about six miles, so it doesn't take too long. And soon the magae set foot on a simple dock on a smaller village across the strait. From there, it's more walking into the center of the island down trails that become increasingly less navigable. Eventually, however, one of the paths leads to a small village of about seven cottages in a clearing of trees. A few small farms can be seen in the distance and sheep graze nearby. The villagers look with suspicion at Órlaith and Meliai, but the servant travelling with them speaks for them and says that they are here to visit Fergus. That settles the villagers down, and they go about their business again.

Órlaith leads Meliai out of the village and down another path into the woods where it comes to another cottage set apart from the others. Órlaith strides up to the door and bangs on it with one hand. "Fergus!" she calls out. "It's Órlaith. I have business with you."

Pausing to give Meliai a chance to react to any of this.

Meliai is nervous through most of the journey, she is used to deferring to Orlathe, and dealing with people is not her forte. She may be set up to rule her corner of new Atlantis, but that was a small thing compared to...
"Orlathe" Meliai attempts what passes as small talk for her "I was just wondering how much longer I might consult with you before you Ascend."

(refers to ascendancy to the Hall of Heroes, which Meliai has not initiated)

"Oh, you'll not be getting rid of me that easily," Órlaith jokes. "I've had my ascendancy ritual prepared for years and years now. But there always seems to be something more to accomplish here on Earth before I have it cast." She laughs. "Still, I suppose I'm not getting any younger. Another decade or two and I'll be ready. Can't risk Final Twilight, can I?"

Meliai nods "Still better twilight than dying, Hopefully I will have a chance to complete that initiation before you ascend"

"Unless you drag your heels terribly, I daresay you will," Órlaith replies. "It won't be easy, mind you. But I have confidence that you can manage it."

"Is that our destination there ahead?" (moving from smalltalk to plot...)
When they are back around people Meliai takes a quieter role, following Orlaith's lead until introduced.

"Come in!" a deep voice growls. "The door's open." Órlaith opens the door and ushers Meliai into the cottage, which is made up mostly of one large room with a big wooden table in the center. A couple of books and many carved stones lie on the table in a mostly haphazard fashion.

"You're new," a large red-haired man in the corner says when Meliai walks in the door. "Her I know. But you're new. I apologize for the mess. I don't get many visitors." He chuckles at his own supposed wit.

"What do you need, Órlaith?" the man, presumably Fergus, asks. "You certainly didn't come all this way for a social call, not and bring someone new with you."

Órlaith raises an eyebrow and replies curtly. "My compoanion is named Meliai. She's a member of the Order of Hermes like myself. She wanted to speak with you, so I brought her here to make an introduction. Meliai, this is Fergus; Fergus, this is Meliai."

Then, without any further preamble, she gestures for Meliai to have her say.

Meliai smiles "First, would it be okay for me to extend my parma?" assuming the anwer is yes she does so, in either case following she presents: "I have come from a new land, risen from the sea at the site of the lost city of Atlantis, and I want to extend an invitation to any of your people who might wish to flee the advancing scourge of Christianity a place on this island where we may practice our faith freely and openly."

Fergus consents to have Meliai's Parma extended to him.

"A magical land, indeed," Fergus replies. "Lost Atlantis risen again and free of Christian persecution." He shakes his head. "It's a good tale to tell children who dream of a better life. But I'm afraid I must deal with reality. We stay hidden and don't cause trouble and the locals leave us alone. Why would you come to us with wild tales to get our hopes up?"

"They are not wild tales, I can show you, and you would be back here tomorrow."

Make a Charm check.

charm roll (Pre:2, no charm): 1D10+2 = [3]+2 = 5
hope there is some kind of bonus, at least there was no penalty for the gift. She might have been better off lying, she has a score of 2 in guile...

The Ease Factor on this roll was fairly low, given that Melia was introduced by someone whom Fergus trusted. And lies have a way of coming back to bite you. :wink:

Fergus looks at Órlaith and raises an eyebrow as if to say, is she serious? Órlaith catches the look and simply nods her agreement. Fergus takes a deep breath and then nods himself.

"I'll come along with you." he says at last. "I owe Órlaith that much. But we have a life here. And as much as you may promise, we have roots here that will be hard to dig up. We've lived here for generations. My grandfather's grandfather was born here. More important, our Gods are here. Leaving would be no easy thing. But I shall see what you have to offer and then bring word to our headman."

"Is there anything I should bring with me?" he asks, already gathering a few belongings into a bag. "You said we'd be only a day."