The donkeys look at each other, than at Corvus, then start to plod toward the fairgrounds, the driver chasing after them and yelling at them in Gaelic; apparently, the driver has it on good authority that neither of the animals' parents were married, nor were their parents, nor their parents before them.
As this is the day before the Tribunal officially opens, there's a lot of hustle and bustle around the covenant. Magi are conversing in Gaelic and Latin (and a smattering of other languages, including mainly English). There are people of every conceivable size, from dwarfs to a couple of people who have to be Giant-blood, people who are rail-thin and those who are seem to be as wide as they are tall.
There are people all over the covenant wearing blue tabards with a white unicorn rampant between two letters "L", especially in the areas of the guest cabins. Occasionally people stop and talk to them, and the covenfolk will sometimes accompany them elsewhere.
There are a lot of people going in and out of the main building, which is a large manor-house with wings (not literal, but architectural) in the center of the covenant close to the river. There is also a great hall toward the loch side of the covenant, with a couple of attached kitchens.
The cabins assigned to the covenant are all stone with steep wooden roofs. Each one has two bedrooms (with a hook attached to the door where the guests can place a sanctum marker) and a large sitting room. The cabins are all fully furnished, and the beds, chairs, and lounges look comfortable.
"Over in the faire grounds, dearie...wherever you can find a spot. We've got folks there who will tell you if you're setting up out of bounds."
Inside the covenant, most things look the same. The buildings are all in the same place, although the last time he was here, there was one large, ornate gate in the center of the wall rather than two gates at either end. They had a different casting token last time, and the covenfolk were wearing different livery.
Outside the covenant looks similar; the fairgrounds where the merchants are hawking their wares is a jumbled mess, like before.
From what Corbin can see, things are going well so far. Loch Leglean has staff all over the place, easily recognizable, and nothing seems to have blown up yet.
Magi are all over the place. Some are just standing in the pathways talking, some are going somewhere, some look like like they're headed to the great hall, some are headed to the manor house (which Corbin knows, from his previous visit, is the home to the magi who call the covenant their home, as well as where their council chambers and library are housed).
As he passes by the manor house, he sees a group of magi leaving. What appears to be a girl in her early teens with light red hair, wearing a colourful dress (whom Corbin recognizes as the Praeco, Caitlin Suil Uaine), is arguing with a tall, thin man with a tonsure and a hook nose in a priest's raiment. Right next to them is the Quaesitor, Whitburh Frithowebba. There are a number of other people with them, but Corbin can't tell if they're magi or muggle.
For the most part, the magi in attendance don't seem unfriendly, and he is able to strike up conversations.
The flight itself isn't that long. But sundown isn't until shortly after 8pm, and I had imagined that everyone else arrived in mid- to late-afternoon.
Then she would leave during the night before they expect to arrive so she would get there before dawn of the day they expect to arrive. Then she'll want to nap and so won't be very active until midday, only a little before they arrive.
So, she would have left the night before everyone else, check in, get her cottage assignment, and rest for the day?
The covenant is enclosed by a large, low wall made of piled stone with two entrances (one to either end of the covenant),wide enough for a wagon. Each looks to have a gazebo which holds three people seated a table. The gazebo is well-lit by magical torches. There currently appears to be no one else at either gazeo, but from Bea's aerial vantage point there seems to be a few people out and about in the covenant, even at that early hour.
I had thought it would be shorter since walking is usually much slower than flying, both because of speed and traveling in a direct line. That was why I figured a two-day walk could be handled in a single night's flying and had planned to leave after them. Still, I'm confused. If they're arriving with half a day left, then they spent two nights on the road if it's a two-day walk. Then just over one night of flying would still be leaving after them. Meanwhile, if it wasn't a full two days of walking, would it really be more than one of flying?
I basically googled hiking information for the Highlands, found trails running from Loch Ness to Loch Laggan, added up the travel times and got about a day and a half, which is how I figured they got there about mid-afternoon.
As far as "as the crow flies", it's about 26 miles straight-line between the two covenants. Not really sure how fast an undead dragon flies, but I doubt it would be an all-night journey. Probably a couple of hours?
So they would leave after sundown the evening at the end of the day the others have left. They would arrive very late that night and Bea would sleep in a bit. The others would arrive the following afternoon.
Isobel finds a suitable spot and sets up the small tarp that she brought with her and a sign, in Latin, that advertises potions for sale. Then she says hello to the merchants around her, since they may be neighbors for a while.
Gavin, for his part, navigates the merchants area looking for anything interesting to buy. He starts with some meat on a stick and enjoys that while he passes among the merchants looking for something more esoteric.
It probably doesn't take long for her to set things up. It being Saturday afternoon, the day before the Tribunal officially starts, the fairegrounds are pretty well full. In her immediate vicinity is a man who's selling wands; a man who's selling rings, bracelets, and necklaces; a man who's a venditore for Maia of Verditius; and a man who's selling bread and pastries.
Is he looking for anything in particular?
Aside - Browsing the marketplace can we see anything like items of quality, defensive items for grogs, or establish which vendors have enchanted devices and then what typical specialisations those crafter's might have? Bizzaro items might be good too.
Gavin will look for everything noted above as well as magi/venditors advertising that they will do crafting for hire, and anyone selling casting focuses.
There aren't any Items of Quality for sale in the market. There are a few defensive items (such as a shield that repels arrows, a helm that has a Shriek of the Impending Shafts effect, et cetera).
There is a ring that shines with "direct sunlight on a clear day" level brightness, a small silver skull that has a Whispers Through the Black Gate effect, a cloak that lets the wearer turn into a vulture (a variant of Cloak of the Black Feathers), and earmuffs that have an Ears of the Bat effect, among other things. Most of the items that are available (and there are a lot more mundane items than magical) are fairly "ordinary."
Maia's venditore (next to Isobel) says that his mistress specializes in jewelry and takes commissions.
Tia will look for books. Tractatus for arts in particular, but arcane abilities or abilities on social interaction are also nice.
Corvus will settle in and look for other Merinita in the Wayfares. He needs a contact beyond his parnes into the group so he can learn Mysteries.
There aren't as many actual books asone might expect at a wizards' fair (not like actual bookstores), but there are a few. Hope can find at least a couple of summae and tractatus on each of the Arts, most supernatural or arcane abilities, and one or two on Charm and Etiquette.
The first name that comes to people's minds is Ciarán of Merinita, an older Irish-born aonaran who makes his home on the Isle of Skye.
Bea has mostly been hanging out with the Redcaps to catch up on things. But she does make sure she wanders about to get a feel for what is available and to be seen herself. Günther walks about in human form with her. If she happens across Gavin, she may start walking with him.