1229, Spring 2

In our previous session of Ars Magica, we were investigating the goblins that were attacking merchants. We continue that this session, then switch characters to investigate the goings on at Jedburgh.

Jack, Spring 1229

I sneak back to the party, with Maedbh following behind this time, and Greysen behind her. I know where the noisy sticks are this time, so I easily get to the edge of the party without being heard. There are still about a dozen 3ft tall green humanoids with spindly limbs and wearing loincloths and big boots. There are occasionally glimpses of something else as we look at them.

Even Maedbh, who normally can see through Faerie illusions, sees the same as us. Their boots are similar to those worn by the Redcaps we met, and the weapons that lay on the ground within reach of them, look similar to the swords that the Redcaps had. Are these Redcaps? Or is it just a coincidence?

About half of them are unconscious or busily throwing up.

Maedbh whispers some magic, and one of the dancing goblins falls to the ground and begins snoring.  She does it again, and another one falls over. Then a third, the last of the dancing ones, falls over. So far they have failed to notice.

The three sitting at the latrine ditch fall into the ditch or next to it. There are three singers left, along with their leader, none of whom have noticed anything amiss. Indeed, the three singers have stopped singing and started fighting with each other over something.

More spell casting takes out two of the singers, leaving just one. The leader stands and shouts “Winner!” At which point the final one topples over backwards and falls asleep. At this point the leader looks around and notices everyone is asleep. He shrugs, and heads over to the barrels.

A final attempt at putting him to sleep, and he falls asleep. Maedbh asks me to make sure I don’t wake anyone up whilst stabbing them, so I sneak out and slit all their throats except for that of the leader. I give Maedbh a look, to see if she wants this one done as well. She makes a throat cutting gesture, so I slay the last one.

I must admit that I’m somewhat surprised at how blood thirsty Maedbh was. I don’t object, but it’s the sort of thing that’s been my job for most of my life. I always assumed Maedbh was a lot more forgiving. But we now have a dozen or so corpses, and Maedbh does some magic to extra their magical faerie essence. Or something.

I wipe my dagger on the grass, and start checking the contents of the merchant wagons. Most of it is just standard common goods. There is a purse, with £2 of silver coins, which I pocket. I also take a bolt of cloth which I think my wife Rhona would like. There are a few broaches as well, along with some simple tools which we also take.

We head back to the covenant, arriving there by nightfall.

Pisciculus ex Criamon, Spring 1229

The plan is to head to Jedburgh castle, along with Maedbh and Greysen. We take the road to Edinburgh, and then down towards Jedburgh near the border. The weather is reasonably good, and it takes us four days to reach our destination.

As we begin to approach the borders region, we find that the people begin to get less friendly. Not because they don’t like us, but they seem more wary and furtive. I cast a spell upon myself and Maedbh, so that we look different. We both take the bodies of men, and it should last a couple of weeks until the next new moon. Greysen remains as himself. Knox is with us.

We find an inn in Jedburgh, and Greysen starts playing and singing whilst Maedbh works the crowd.

I stick to the shadows and hopes nobody notices me. Whilst Greysen is playing, I notice that a lot of people are giving me some angry looks. As Greysen plays, I get the feeling that the atmosphere in the inn is getting decidedly frosty. In the end, I decide to get up and leave to get some fresh air.

Outside, I hear a crash. Looking behind, I notice that Knox has bashed a guy over the back of the head who was following me with evil intent. I dart down a side street, and turn invisible. Behind me, I can hear a couple of other guys come out of the inn, berating Knox, claiming that the stranger was something evil and wanting to know why Knox was defending him.

Knox claims that he thought the attacker was a mugger, and feigns being sorry. He offers to help look for me, but given that they are unable to see where I went to, they decide to go back indoors.

Given that I’m already invisible, I decide I might as well check out the castle. I use magic to lift myself over the castle wall, and head around to some of the small buildings. Being invisible, I don’t have any difficulty making my way around without being seen.

I find one small building that looks like it’s been recently turned into a gaol of some kind. There is a guard sleeping outside the door, and the windows have been covered over. There is a back entrance, but it looks like the building has been divided in two. Presumably the priest that we are looking for is being held in there.

I do think about trying to make contact, but given how badly everyone here is reacting to me, I decide not to. I will probably only give a bad impression, and that will make it harder for everyone else to convince him that we are hear to help.

I head back out of the castle, and try and find somewhere to settle down until I can meet with the others.

Some time later, I notice that they have returned to our room, so I float up to the window and make my presence known. I thank Knox, for possibly saving my life. We discuss what was going on, since even though mundanes often don’t like me, I’ve never had a reaction so bad from them before. Possibly there is something infernal going on here, or even a strange Dominion aura.

We discuss what I found in the castle, then we settle down for the night. Just after dawn, I put on invisibility again and leave the inn, arranging to meet up outside of the village. However, after waiting a couple of hours nobody turns up.

Waiting until noon, and still nobody has turned up. I start heading back, and start to hear growling from either side of me. I lift myself into the air, and notice two large dogs come out onto the road. Given my improved vantage point, I realise that I somehow took a wrong turn and was possibly waiting in the wrong place.

Making my way through the tree tops, I head back in the direction I should have gone. Eventually, I find the others coming back towards me. We meet up, and try and figure out what was going on. Did I make a simple mistake, or was there something warping my view?

Samuel Penn

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