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[Chapter 3] Midsummer Night's Visit - Page 2 - The Z-Team Forums

[Chapter 3] Midsummer Night's Visit

A forum-based companion game to the Ars Magica: Nova Semitae game.

Moderator: Renimar

Sixtus_quinn
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:10 pm

Re: [Chapter 3] Midsummer Night's Visit

Postby Sixtus_quinn » Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:06 pm

"Cautious..." Eos raised a finger. "investigation."

"Oh stop being such a ninny!" a voice squeaked from the table. Eos scowled down at the small owl (get it?) who ruffled his feathers. "An adventure is calling for you, and you'd rather just sit in your lab and read books! That's boring! Get out and get some...."

Archimedes was silenced by Eos offering another morsel of venison, who happily chowed down on the strip with obvious enthusiasm.

Quicksilver
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:31 pm

Re: [Chapter 3] Midsummer Night's Visit

Postby Quicksilver » Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:25 pm

“Your little friend is right.” Shona replied with a bit of a laugh. Returning to seriousness, she continued. “Things are in motion, and if we do not get ahead of them now, they may well overtake us.”

Shona finished her wine and placed it gently down on the table. She waved away the attempt to bring her more. “I, at least, am going to St. Mary’s in the morning. I will take a couple of our grogs. If this monster appears is unrelated, the matter will be settled and we can study the letter in piece. However if, as I fear, they are connected we may not get many calm lab days to puzzle this challenge out. “


Eltosian
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:00 pm

Re: [Chapter 3] Midsummer Night's Visit

Postby Eltosian » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:13 pm

"For the sake of safety, I shall spend five minutes after ever daylight hour in concentration for the spell of the whispering wind and lay my gaze upon the island." a cautious Llwyd will say. "Should you be in need help say the phrase Archimedes wings, and the coven will know to send help. Should you change your location without returning to the coven say translocation followed by the destination and to there will my gaze and focus change."
... perhaps a bit of Eos's worry had burrowed its way into LLwyd, but as always in knowledge and magic can a solution be found.

Renimar
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:33 am

Re: [Chapter 3] Midsummer Night's Visit

Postby Renimar » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:08 pm

The following morning, Shona boards the covenant’s lighter for one of its regular trips to Hughtown at St. Mary’s Isle. Accompanying her are Abeth and Ryd. The trip is uneventful in the morning mist, and by the time they dock, the town is bustling with activity. From previous trips, the grogs know that tenant-farmers dot the bulk of the island to the east of Hughtown. A small cluster of homes, barely qualifying as a village, gathers around a church about a mile and a half northeast of Hughtown.

Here, Shona and the grogs quickly find the village reeve who greets them warmly and with curiosity that such well-armed and well-dressed strangers would seek them out. The reeve, who seems to speak a variant of Gaelic close enough for Shona to understand, as well as Cornish and English, introduces himself as Stephen. He quickly assesses Shona’s station as that of nobility and is both flattered and humbled by her appearance. Despite his pleasure at the visit, he explains the recent troubles.

The northern end of the island is still heavily wooded and, it is said, haunted. Few venture deep into it despite the fact that it probably only runs a few hundred yards to the northern coast, and no family has been brave enough to settle in and clear out a section to farm. Recently, a young couple — a girl from the village and a boy from one of the farms to the south — had been taking long, scandalous walks together in the woods. A few months ago, their indiscretions became evident as she was discovered ‘with child’. After an argument with her father, she fled into the woods. Her father declared that she must marry the boy and took him into the woods to look for her.

What happened next was unclear. Some time after they went into the woods, the boy was found beaten senseless with a head injury and no memory of the event. The girl’s father was found slain with a great wound to his chest as if from a sharp horn, and covered with bruises. Tracks suggest wild animals, though the island is to small for such beasts to go unnoticed. Stephen confides in whispers that some believe the beasts walked on two legs, but he dismisses it as old wives’ tales.

A scrap of the girl’s clothing was found near the men, but no other trace of her has been found.
“I have begged the Prior for help — even to send to the Earl for men to go through the woods thoroughly for none of us are brave enough to do so,” Stephen says. “With your appearance, our prayers have been answered. Surely you have been sent by the Lord God to discover this mystery and return the wayward girl to us. And to find what had slain her father!”

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Quicksilver
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:31 pm

Re: [Chapter 3] Midsummer Night's Visit

Postby Quicksilver » Thu May 01, 2014 11:50 am

Shona listened carefully to the man’s story, at the beginning it was one she’d heard as gossip all too often. The propriety of boys, girls and woods was a well-known tale across Albion, if not Europe. For a few seconds, Shona wondered if something might have been lost in the initial retelling, adding in a monster that was moral, rather than mythical. That thought quickly ended when the story turned dark and to death. The desperation in his voice at the end of Stephen’s story served to illustrate just how desperate the men of St. Mary’s were to be eased of this fearsome monster.

I shall do everything in my power to solve this mystery.” Shona promised the man.

but how? Shona tried to think what her pater, Catharine would have done. Probably Intelligo-Mentum on the beaten boy to tease out any observations that might still be lingering. Well, that was out, Shona couldn't manage an Intelligo spell to save her life. In which case, it was probably best to see the body, than head for the forest itself.

Has the father been buried yet? If not, I would like to examine him.

She turned to her own companions. “Ryn, would you ask around the village, see if anyone has any more old stories of this forest or the beast?


Renimar
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:33 am

Re: [Chapter 3] Midsummer Night's Visit

Postby Renimar » Thu May 08, 2014 4:11 pm

Stephen nodded sadly to Shona's question even as Ryd headed off to speak with the villagers. "Yes, my Lady, it's been several weeks now that the girl's been missing in woods. Our local priest, Father Eric, administered last rites. However, the boy is still here as is Father Eric, if you wish to speak with them. Please come with me, I will find them for you."

The reeve is eager to assist in any way he can, looking relieved and even pleased that someone had come to investigate the village's problem. Indeed, at the church both Father Eric and the boy in question are there making exterior repairs to the village's humble church. After an introduction, both the priest and the boy bow slightly to Shona, though the boy's bow is clumsier by far; it's doubtful he's run into anybody more important than the islands' abbot.

They can tell Shona little more than what the reeve had already, and the boy confirms that he remembers nothing after heading into the woods with the girl's father. The discussion quickly turns into an argument that Shona can tell is well-trod between the reeve and the priest.

"The father's death, while tragic, was merely result of a terrible accident," said Father Eric. "Clearly a fight broke out about the girl and passions got the better of everyone. It is a curse of the young and hot-headed." He gave the boy a direct look causing him to look down in shame. "There is no need to blame demons or ghosts."

"You are still new to the village, Father," said Stephen. "Those woods have been haunted for years and years going back to my grandfather's time at least. Ask anybody on the island and they'll tell you the same."

"Superstitious nonsense! You are frightening the villagers with this talk and for what? The earl will not send his precious men-at-arms from the mainland to search our woods. Better to let the boy do his penance and move on."

"But we have someone here! God has answered our prayers!" Stephen said, gesturing to Shona. "You punish the boy too harshly for something that could not possibly be his fault."

"He was the only one there! Who else might have killed the father, if by accident?" said Father Eric. "Besides, he admits to fornicating with the girl and getting her with child. This is a grievous sin if nothing else. He must do penance for this."

"Merely boys and girls being boys and girls. Also, what of the tracks of the beasts in the area around them!"

"Tricks of the light playing with your eyes," said the priest with a dismissive wave. "'Twas the dogs that found them."

The argument goes back and forth with the priest insisting there is nothing else to become of it and that the boy should work with him and the church and the reeve insisting there is more to the woods than the priest allows.

Some time later, Ryd has returned and reports that the villagers, by and large, believe there has long been an evil in the woods brought about by the dark times of the past few centuries. Pirates and viking barbarians would make regular raids on the islands taking loot and slaves, killing the rest. They talk of pagan blood rituals in the woods, while others talk of areas of the woods that cannot be penetrated. Some mention seeing visions of animals speaking.

What few brave souls there are report seeing the occasional elusive shaggy creature seen only in shadows and out of the corner of one's eye. He does have directions to show where the boy and the girl's father was found, apparently a clearing some distance into the woods.

OOC: Just moving things along. Shona can interrupt to ask anything additional if she's looking for more details from any particular party.

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Quicksilver
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:31 pm

Re: [Chapter 3] Midsummer Night's Visit

Postby Quicksilver » Tue May 13, 2014 8:06 am

It took a particular force of will not to smile and roll her eyes at the priest. There had been one of similar disposition in her home town when she was young. For years he had animatedly denied the fairies of the wood, much to the fairies amusement. Still, Shona held her composure and simply let the well-rehearsed argument take its course, making mental notes along the way.

Father, while I do not wish to take the boy from his due penance, may I borrow him for half a day. I am, after all, here to look into the woods.” Shona asked of the priest before turning to the boy. “Come, son. Show me the clearing in the woods where you were found.

Stephan, you may also want to accompany us.” Shona added at the end.



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