It’s been over a month since we last played Ars Magica (and a month since we last played any RPGs at all), but we should now hopefully be back into our regular weekly gaming routine. The last thing we did was to rescue a village from a frog king, which was only one of a series of odd things that had happened in the area. Our next target for investigation was the skeletons of two lovers that had been found near the village of Ardgowan. From our list of rumours:
A young man and woman have eloped from Ardgowan. While this is not particularly unusual, two ancient skeletons have been found near the stones of sleeping sun nearby. One of the skeletons had a bracelet on its arm that was identical to one owned by the young man. A search recovered clothing and other possessions that match those of the couple.
Along with Pisciculus, were Maedbh ex Merinita, Allistor ex Mercere and Euan ex Miscellanea. We also had two of our grogs, Blane and Malcolm, with us.
Pisciculus ex Criamon, 1225 Spring
We have spent several days away from the covenant now, investigating the rumours of strange goings on in the area. The decision is to continue on, and check on the skeletons of the eloped couple that were reportedly found near the village of Ardgowan. We spent the night in the village of Clubroot, where the grateful villagers were happy to give us room and board. I guess having spent time as frogs meant they were willing to overlook our arcane oddities.
Ardgowan was on the west coast, so the next day we followed the road along the shores of the River Clyde. To be honest, I’m not certain whether Ardgowan counts as being on the coast or on the banks of the river, since the land here is a complicated mess of islands and inlets which make the distinction between sea and river unclear to me.
According to Euan, the stones of the sleeping sun are a recumbent stone circle, which are laid out in a sun burst pattern on the top of a hill. It has links to nine maidens who travelled through the land bringing the word of Christ to everyone from a long time back.
The stones of sleeping sun are a recumbent stone circle, laying in a sun burst pattern. It is linked to nine maidens who travelled through the land bringing the word of Christ to everyone.
The road we followed circled around village, running between it and a couple of high hills to its East. Ruan circled around in bird form, spotting the stones and pointing out the way to us. The village itself was reasonably large and appeared to be in good condition. We tried to avoid it as much as we could though before investigating the stones.
At the top of the hill there lay a number of stones. Maedbh was able to detect a moderate faerie aura here, which gave way to a divine aura down towards the village.
Allistor thought he found some hidden markings on the stones, but Euan managed to convince him that they are probably just the scratchings of local children. There were signs of a fire here from a few weeks back, which Allistor checked the ashes of to see what had been consumed here. Mostly wood, as was to be expected, but the spark of ignition seemed to have been magical in nature, probably around the time of the Winter Solstice.
I found some disturbed soil in a dip about a hundred yards from the circle. It looked like it has been dug, much like a grave. Allistor uses Pit of the Gaping Earth to create a large hole by destroying the dirt and leaving two sacks of bones which clattered to the bottom of the bit. It was a difficult climb, so I levitated down to grab the sacks and bring them back up. The sacks were relatively light, containing only bones that had been cleaned of any flesh.
Euan tried to have a vision of what happened, and promptly fell over. So I used Intellego Corpus, and find a wound in their chest as if they had been stabbed. The bones seem both quite young and also crumbling and old, which was confusing but matched what we had heard. When Euan awoke, he spoke of seeing them stabbed in some ritual.
With more Terram help from Allistor we rebury the stones and try to hide the hole by filling it in with earth from around about. I think we did a reasonable job of ensuring it didn’t look too disturbed.
What we needed next was information from the locals, so we sent Maedbh into the village along with Blane and Malcolm. As usual, she used her charms and natural looks to get talking with the women there who filled her in on what had happened.
The couple had run off during a storm at the Winter Solstice. The storm had apparently come out of nowhere, appearing over the hills rather than blowing in from the sea. They did not return, and a few days later the bones were found up on the hill. They were skeletons, and looked old, but had the clothing and jewellery that the couple had worn. The local priest did not allow them to be buried in the graveyard, so they were buried at the top of the hill.
This seems similar to what we have found elsewhere – unnaturally ageing people, faerie circles and strange rituals. Something odd is going on around here, and the big question is whether it will cause trouble for us. The only way to find out will be to investigate further.