In which Hugh arrives at the covenant of Vigil...
Hugh followed the directions he was given to Vigil. He travelled fully as a bear, renewing the change at sunup and sundown, hunting and sleeping, his companion changing forms at its own whim. When he finally sees the buildings at the northern tip of Ireland in the distance, he pauses to rest, waiting for the next dawn. He doesn't renew the power, then, and he approaches the front gate of Vigil in his natural appearance, the faerie walking alongside in its normal form also, that of a slightly built, short young man, with the ears and tail of a fox.
Under a tree in the courtyard sits a young man in deep thoughts. Or maybe he is dosing. Hugh cannot quite tell. He wears a light blue tunic, and long blonde hair and beard. He has seated himself on a red cape, and a lyre is resting by his side.
The strangers get quite close before he suddenly sits up, eyes wide alert. He raises an eyebrow and gets to his feet. «Travellers,» he says, «we did not expect you, I think.» He speaks Gaelic, and as the fox-tailed lad appears to understand, he goes on without thinking, looking twice at the fury tail. «What a peculiar ancestry you must have, my friend. Epic stories must be told about you. Do you want to sit down and talk?»
The two stop when addressed, the foxy person responding to the sudden attention. "Peculiar? Not peculiar at all. I am a cousin of the great Reynard, have you not heard of him?" He pauses to stare expectantly at the man, and Hugh whispers something in his ear, at which the fox-man asks, "Is this Vigil?"
«Maybe,» he answers slowly, and thinks, «the great knight?» The man looks uncertain, but as he starts reciting an epic poem in Latin about great knight called sir Reynard. He speaks clearly and articulated as a performer. The poem complete, he apologises, «I am sorry, I don't know the Gaelic verse. You were asking!? Vigil? Yes, that's here. Whom are you looking for?»
Hearing the Latin, Hugh perks up, and speaks in Latin, "You..."
But as soon as he speaks, the fox pokes him, and he goes quiet until the poem is complete. The two applaud at the completion. Hugh says in Latin, "That was lovely. Thank you." The fox says, in Latin, "That was a nice poem, but I meant Reynard the fox." then turning to Hugh, "He asked who we're looking for." to which Hugh replies in Latin, "We're newcomers to the island. We were told that Vigil was the place to learn the customs and history, for those of a magical inclination. So we traveled here, but I don't know who we're looking for. I suppose, whomever is responsible for receiving guests?"
As the magus speaks, the young man shrugs and takes a step back with discomfort. «You,» he says, «you are one of those Gifted ones.» The contempt is poorly disguised, but he shakes it off to answer the question. «Visitors usually call on a person in particular ... but I suppose you can talk to Éinri. He is the kind to take an interest in the place as a whole.» He pauses to point to one of the ringforts. «As to learning the customs and histories, well ... Vigil is certainly known to protect the customs and traditions of the island.»
He turns to the faerie, and says, «and I would love to hear the stories of your cousin the fox.»
The fox grins. "Me too! I don't know any, though. Maybe you can find some and tell me?"
Hugh is a little taken aback by the contempt, it seems more than the ordinary effect of the gift. "Do you have a particular hatred of the gifted?"
«No, no,» he says defensively, «some of my nearest and dearest are Gifted. Now, you wanted to see Énri, no? It is this way,» he says, waving his hand for the magus to continue up on the headland, while he turns towards the faeries. «Well, I know a few stories, but none about the great fox-raynard, and I always hope to learn new ones.»
Hugh will follow the other man. "I'm Hugh, by the way, and this is Filou. I'm hoping to do some research here, if I happen across anything I'll let you know. But the Reynard stories are from France, where we both come from. Your performance was very good, are you a performer by vocation? I paint, myself."
«I am Éogan, Bard by training,» he answers. «France, 'ey. I would love to hear more about your land.»
Hugh will pass the time on the walk to see Enri by telling the story of an Ettin-wife who lives in the forest of Broceliande; who is very beautiful, and courted by men far and wide, but any who show up and are not pure of heart end up in her cookpot. He is clearly not a professional storyteller but he seems very familiar with this particular story.
You are led to the ring fort where two mundane soldiers stand watch over the front. They issue a challenge in Gaelic demanding to know your name and business.
The bard listens with interest and commits the story to memory. All his attention on the story, he trips just as they are approaching Énri's gate. Panting, he needs some steps to regain his balance, while the grogs talk to Hugh and the faerie in front of him.
[OCC. Going by canon magi, Máel-ruanaid an Doire has the right age to be Éogan's father. Is that OK? Or is it better to introduce a non-canon magus as family?]
The setting specifies that there are 6 sanctums, and 4 of those are filled in 1220 with canon magi, so I think it would be almost a necessity to have a canon magus as your parent- however you should be aware Enri would, at this point, have taken his longevity ritual 30-35 years ago, where your character is 25 years old, so he would have to be adopted. Gráinne inghean Uaitéar is currently 35, so she would be too young, Máel-ruanaid an Doire is 50, so 25 years ago so he is a possibility, as is Maoilfhinnéin mac Lir who is 45 and would have been finishing his apprenticeship 25 years ago...and 5 years later would be a bit young to apprentice his daughter. So I think we need to go with Máel-ruanaid an Doire.
Hugh will respond to the soldiers in Latin. "Is this Vigil? I am here to pay a visit, my name is Hugh, of Merinita."
Èogan regains his balance and stops to see that the visitors find their way.
"This is Vigil." One of the soldiers responds, before giving the other a very poor translation of what the magus has told him. The other nods then moves back into the fortification while the first guard simply says "here watching" in Latin, though you expect he has mispronounced "wait here".
«Language problems?» asks the bard from behind them.
The guard nods, and asks the bard to let the merinita know he should wait here for an appropriate reception.