1226, Spring

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Our Ars Magica saga is still in spring 1226. We had been investigating the deaths at the village of Inverkip, and now wanted to ensure that others knew a bit about what we had discovered. We often get sidetracked into distractions during a session, and this session it was a discussion about the most suitable type of boat that we’d have in medieval Scotland. We needed something that one or two people could sail, but which would be large enough for the party to fit into. We settled on a small birlinn, or something similar.

We also discovered that we’d be using an old version of the rules on distractions (of the in-game type this time) during a season of downtime. It used to be that you could spend up to 10 days away from study (doing adventures and stuff) without it affecting your season of work. It appears though that in 5th Edition this has changed to a month. It’s now a lot more generous, and we’ve spent several years of playing 5th edition without noticing the change.

Pisciculus ex Criamon

We were heading to Crun Clach to talk to Caitlin Suil Uaine ex Merinita about what we had discovered at the burial mound. The boat ride was a lot of fun. There was a good fresh breeze, and a cool rain, but the grogs didn’t seem to appreciate it. So I cast Cloak of the Duck’s Feathers on Blane to keep him warm and dry as he tried to sail us through the storm. Allistor was also able to give directions about which way to go to avoid the worst of the weather.

It turned out that Blane was really good at sailing a boat, and got us safely to our destination despite the weather.

On reaching Crun Clach, and there are signs of burned vegetation around the mound. It didn’t look at all normal, which was worrying. Seamus an Cat ex Miscellanea came out to greet us, along with his wild cat familiar Srondubh (“sron-doo”, apparently). He happily let us into the covenant through its magic door, and Maedbh asked him what he knew about Inverkip. They had heard rumours about what had happened, but hadn’t been there themselves. Apparently they’d had some issues of their own.

Giant pheasants setting fire to the landscape

Some fire breathing pheasants had turned up on their doorstep. Quite of few of them actually. They’d appeared around midwinter, and it may have been due to their relationship with the Prince of the Grey Jerkin, who was still playing little pranks on them.

We staid for dinner, where we could share tales and talk to Caitlin and Radislav ex Criamon. We explained to them what had happened with the giant hedgehog they had sent us to investigate, which cleared up some confusion since the peasants had given a very confused description of events. Caitlin was apologetic that they hadn’t realised the full scale (ha ha) of the problem when they asked us to help.

During the meal I got talking with Radislav, and I think we left a lot of the others a bit confused with our discussion. Radislav tried serving me a riddle hidden in the conversation, but it was one that I’d come across before and I knew the answer right away. I even managed to embellish it and add back a riddle of my own, which took him a moment or two to understand. To be honest, I’m really happy with the way I handled that, and I think I jumped a notch or two up in his estimation of me.

Maedbh explained what had happened in some of our recent faerie quests to Caitlin. It was during this time that Caitlin’s dog tried to sneak up on Seamus’ cat. The cat seemed nonplussed by the whole affair, though we were all startled when Seamus himself suddenly turned and gave a very cat like hiss at the dog.

Caitlin thought that the arrival of the Slaugh may have been unrelated to Dierdre. She also said that it’s possible that the pheasants may not have been entirely related to the pranks of the Prince in the Grey Jerkin. Some unusual things have been going on around Christmas, including the shifting of auras. There had been a reason why she had pushed for an investigation into the various faeries events by someone of House Merinita. Very possibly, there is something behind all of them.

Maedbh at the mounds

The next day Maedbh wanted to head back to the mound in order to do some weird shit – mostly talk to the spirits there, along with some rituals. It’s something that really didn’t seem to be a sensible idea to me, but Maedbh felt strongly about it so we sailed back to Inverkip and the loch. Allistor and myself decided to stay with the boat and the grogs, whilst Maedbh headed up there alone. We give her until dawn to return, otherwise we would head back to the covenant without her.

Later that evening, Maedbh returned to tell tale of what she had found. She had looked inside the cairn, where there was a sword that glowed with a brilliant golden light. It had felt good and wholesome to her. She got a feeling that it was a powerful protector of something – possibly two different things, one lesser and one greater.

And so we headed back to the covenant where we filled Alexandria in on what had happened. Her thoughts were that the sword was a weapon, and that Horsingas might be looking for such a weapon with which to fight the Normans. Possibly the sluagh had been dragged there by whatever had been picking up the other faeries and dropping them on our landscape – they may have been nothing to do with the mound itself.

For the rest of spring we plan to settle down and do some study. I have some Intellego Vim spells I need to invent so that Maedbh isn’t the only person who can detect auras and handle vis.

Samuel Penn