Later that afternoon, Eilid takes two members of the turb (Aodh and Maris) to Drystan's former cottage. The grogs motion Eilid to stay behind them as they slowly open the front door, weapons drawn and half-expecting trouble.
The group is escorted by two terriers. On that Eilid recognizes as Good King John but the grogs call Blackie and the other the grogs call Digger. They keep a respectful distance from Eilid but rush to the door as Aodh puts his hand on the latch.
The door opens about 2" and hits something and stops. Eilid, the only person without a helmet on, hears a faint sound of many many small feet moving the room beyond. ((A per+Awareness vs 12 will get more information)).
Aodh glances back to Eilid and then puts his shoulder into the door which scrapes open. Both terriers rush in with a snarl. The room is dark as all the shutters are closed. All the light is coming from the door.
(Is Eilid in Heartbeast form? If Aodh and Maris want to make their awareness or you can at a -2 to their rolls Again assuming they have helmets on. )
If you want to do something to impede the terriers then we can adjust the setting.
Her Per is 0, her Awareness is 2 (specializing in Heartbeast), so her Awareness roll is 0 + 2 + die roll of 3 = 5.
Eilid holds up her hand to stop the grogs, then casts Sun In My Hand (CrIg 10, base 4 to create light as bright as a cloudy day, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Individual. Her Casting Total is 26 before die roll, and she has both Subtle Magic and double Quiet Magic. That should be sufficient to illuminate everything beyond the door.
No, she's not. She's afraid physicality might ensue, and her doe-legs aren't all that durable.
Aodh is Per 1 + Awareness 3 + die roll of 3 -2 = 5.
Maris is Per 0 + Awareness 3 + die roll of 9 -2 = 10.
The light illuminates the cottage. Eilid sees mostly what she expects with shelves and chairs and the typical layout of the cottages. The terriers are stunned for a moment by the light then run off barking in the direction ( and temporarily out of sight) of what Eilid knows to be the lab.
Aodh and Maris enter with weapons ready and look around. Eilid follows holding the light up. She can see that the table had been placed by the door. It was what she heard scrapping as Aodh forced it open. She notices that while the dust is heavy on the shelves is is much less so on the floor. There are large patches that appear quite clean.
(Per+Awareness rolls from everyone target is 6 )
The terriers are at the entry to the lab but have stop at the doorway and are barking. Eilid can see that there is a circle ward in the lab. Something small can be seen moving in the shadows of the lab.
Maris: 3 + die roll of 9= 12.
Maris ( the paragon of awareness), grunts and points his sword to the wall separating the lab from the cottage room. Eilid and Aodh look at him with blank expressions ( a wall. Yes we see it.) Maris moves closer to the wall and gestures to a shelf. Aodh's eyes widen a and he nods. Eilid looks at them both. Both gesture to the wall and shelf. She looks again at the wall and finally turns to them and stamps a foot. WHAT! she shouts.
The shelf and the chair magus Maris replies. Eilid looks closer and sees what looks like some knotted twine coming off the shelf to a chair below it and then what is obviously a small ladder from the chair to the floor.
All this time the terriers are barking at the entrance to the lab. Suddenly they stop barking. The one called Digger whines a bit and everyone gets a strange feeling on their back molars like something vibrating. Eilid has a feeling she can almost hear something. Both dogs yelp and run from the cottage as fast as they can. After they are gone the sensation stops.
Moving into the entrance to the lab area, Eilid and her guards can see the lab by the light coming in through the hole in the ceiling for the birch tree. Most of the work benches are against the walls and look fine despite the weather that can come in.
The first thing that stands out is a moving carpet of what look like large beetles moving away from the door. A small (6") figure that looks more like it is shaped like a cylinder than a human. It appears to have a large mane of hair down its back and is carrying what looks to be a Shepard's crook. It becomes apparent that the creature is herding the beetles to the back of the room.
Other things can be seen moving on the tables or under them. Some move on two legs and others on 4 but they all seem to be the same type. At best their are twelve to fifteen of them. By the light of her spell, Eilid can see various ladders and ropes set in place so the creatures can climb up from the floor.
Eilid activates the magical lighting in the cabin and lets her Sun In My Hand lapse.
[color=brown]"Who are you?" she calls to the figure with the crook in Gaelic, [color=brown]"And what are you doing here?"
Light fills the room and the creatures are revealed to be hedgehogs. They scurry ( on 4 legs) or waddle quickly ( on 2 legs) into cover. Squeaks and cries can be heard. Eilid thinks there may be words in there but they are very high pitched.
After the room settles down for a moment, two of the hedgehogs come out from behind the tree walking on 2 legs. One is larger than a normal hedgehog and carrying what looks like a spear or very small claymore. The smaller one is much lighter colored and is wearing what appears to be a kilt and carrying a set of hedgehog sized bagpipes. They advance 3' beyond the tree trunk and then stop. The one with the pipes begins squeaking ( in Gaelic) and Eilid has to bend closer to hear.
[size=50]I am Colyne MacHeyg. Bard of Clan MacHeyg. What biguns come to our lands?[/size]
(Sorry, I thought I had responded to this already. Turns out I had just thought about it really hard, which doesn't make things happen as well as it used to.)
Eilid takes a moment to cast a spontaneous Intellego Imaginem spell to sharpen her hearing (base 3 to enhance a sense in one way, R: Personal, D: Sun +2, T: Individual for a final Spell Target of 5; her CT is Sta 1 + In 14 + Im 5 + Aura 5 = 25; she can divide by 5 to cast the spell without Fatigue; as she has Subtle Magic and double Quiet Magic, she does so without words or gestures with no penalty.)
[color=brown]"My name is Eilid, and these are my guards Aodh and Maris. I, and the man who used to live here, have dwelled in these lands for more years than I care to admit, and we were not aware that these were your lands as well."
You speak of Laird Drystan who raised me up and taught me the ways. Colyne sweeps his hand in a wide arc. He granted this land to me and my clan when he left. He made the protection from the fierce beasties to give us time to grow. He said naught of other biguns who might come and claim the land.
[color=brown]"What do you mean by 'raised you up', Laird?"
"I'm glad that he gave you the protection, else we never would have met. But I'm afraid there's been a misunderstanding. If he granted this land to you, I'll not take it from you. But I would like to discuss sharing it with you and your people."
Laird Drystan caused myself and several others to awaken by his magic. When he realized what had happened he taught me the language of man. I have taught it to the others and my children who are aware.
Sharing the land? Hmmm. He scratches his chin in a way that reminds Eilid of Drystan.
The larger hedgehog with Colyne speaks up. Ack! Yon bigins wat take wat is ours! Ye can na let um Colyne.
Calm down Thom. We are just speakin now.
Tell me of your proposal Eilid of the outside. And have your guards sheath their weapons so we do not feel like you are invading with hostile intentions.
noun: laird; plural noun: lairds
(in Scotland) a person who owns a large estate.
Was not sure if you were familiar with the term.
[color=brown]"My apologies, Colyne. Our kind aren't used to seeing yours, and it takes a little while for the wonder to fully sink in sometimes." Eilid turns and gestures to the grogs to stand down, then turns back to the hedge-bard.
[color=brown]"I assume that you and Laird Drystan shared this house, which allowed him to continue his studies and research while allowing you to continue as you have been. Unfortunately, Drystan hasn't told us anything, which is why we were so surprised to find you here.
"There are other, new 'big-uns' like me and Drystan coming to these lands. What we might propose is one of the newcomers to move in here and continue with an arrangement like you had
What we would like to do is to meet with you and any of the newcomers who may be interested in this place and coming to an agreement on how to share."
Drystan was Laird of this land and gave it to us. What makes you think we would accept another laird? You have something about you that is sly and sneaky Eilid of the outside. My head says it would be best for the Clan to listen but my guts say you big-uns will just take our land and throw us to the dogs.
Eilid can use a either Folk Ken or Charm or Bargin ( depending on how she wants to negotiate with Colyne) at the normal -3 for the Gift. They would be treated as Clansmen ( or I will accept peasants) for bonus purposes.
[color=brown]"There is something about the ability to use magic, what we call 'The Gift', that makes others feel ill at ease around us, that makes you see us as less than trustworthy. You might have felt the same thing with Drystan, at first."
Her best of the three is Bargain: 4, with a Com of 1. So, that would be a 5 + die roll of 8 = 13.
Nah. Laird Drystan was ever true to us and never gave me reason to mistrust him. And if we had a problem, Wallace would always help in explaining something to us. Colyne begins pacing back and forth as he thinks ( also a Drystan mannerism). The other hedgehogs are calling out for Colyne to not give in. It is obvious that some mistrust you. After a bit he waves them to be quite. We will meet this new Laird and talk to them before you get our answer. I would also ask that you keep the dogs out until we meet as a sign of good faith.
Just so you know i am not pulling things out of a hat...
Wallace was Drystan's beaver familiar. Drystan's Gift didn't effect animals. Eilid would know the former. Not sure about the later but she might.
[color=brown]"Fair enough, Colyne. I will be sure that all the dogs are kept away from your lands. And any of the big'uns who want to share your lands will meet with you first."
headdesk I can't believe I forgot that Drystan had Inoffensive to Animals and Animal Ken
We can either hand wave it from this point as Corvus is the only one to want the cottage or keep going. Corvus is Inoffensive to animals, Alluring to Animals and has Animal Ken. I would guess he would be found acceptable. My plan was to start off with The clan as inhabitants ( minor Flaw). Corvus will have to spend a season to remove that flaw and another season to add Lesser Horde virtue. I will send you a write-up on the Clan, a typical warped Hedgehog and Colyne. Hopefully this weekend.
Sounds good to me.