It is spring 1230, and we need to decide what to do about our missing kitchen servant Charles. Last time they were seen, they were heading into the woods with a bag of nuts having spoken about needing to ‘appease the King of the squirrel-folk’.
During our sailing trip, the GM asks me to roll a d10 to see what the weather is like. I rolled a 1, and since it is a stress die I roll again and double the result. I roll 10. The weather is not good.
Jack, Spring 1230
According to the head cook, Charles been acting a bit weird over the last year or so, muttering about squirrels and the like. Now he’s missing, having gone to look for a Squirrel King.
He was last seen the night before the new year. The magi go looking for what they call an ‘arcane connection’ to Charles. I figure that it’s something personal to him that they can use to track him. I need to make a note to burn anything of mine that I leave behind if I ever need to leave the magi.
Maedbh takes out a roughly sketched map of the local area, and starts tracing her finger over the map, until it comes to rest in some nearby woods about half a mile from the covenant. Apparently this means that Charles is probably somewhere near there.
I drag Knox out with us, and we accompany Maedbh and Greysen the Redcap in a search for Charles. It is Knox who actually organises us all in a search, though Maedbh seems to spend most of the time making a flower crown for herself. Knox is also the one who finds something – a dip in the terrain amongst the trees which is hiding a body.
I scramble down to the body, which is by now surrounded by flies. There are signs that it has been nibbled on by the local wildlife, though the clothing is still intact. It is Charles, and he has been here a few days. He has a bag of nuts tied to a rope around his waste.
However, his gonads are missing. That probably wasn’t what killed him, so the reason for his death isn’t entirely clear. His knife is laying nearby, which suggests he had it out before he was killed.
Knox doesn’t find any obvious tracks around it. It is then we spot a squirrel sitting on a tree branch watching us. There is something odd about it, but looks normal to Maedbh’s ‘faerie sight’. Whilst looking, she spots a faerie ring in the middle of the dip where Charlie was laying. Knox checks Charlie’s body again, and pulls out a bag of mushrooms. It looks like he was collecting them at some point.
A second squirrel turns up.
Maedbh thinks that he possibly poisoned himself with the mushrooms. There are now more animals around, mostly squirrels. They all seem to be looking at us. Maedbh casts a spell over the mushrooms, and they shrivel up, allowing her to take their magical essence.
The magi discuss that maybe the local animals have been eating the mushrooms, and imbibing some of their magic. Maedbh makes the mistake of starting to eat them, but quickly stops herself so she ties up the bag to prevent herself from being tempted.
We head back to the covenant, and later Knox is sent back out to capture a squirrel. He comes back quickly, bringing it in in a bag. Maedbh does some investigation of it, and apparently it really likes the mushrooms.
So Knox is charged with putting the squirrel back outside, and not cooking and eating its mushroom filled body. It seems to be welcomed back to freedom by its squirrely friends.
A couple of weeks pass, and we hear of bad things that have happened at Crun Clach covenant during the earthquake. The covenant is on the peninsula over the other side of the Isle of Arran, so we will need to take a boat to get around the Isle of Arran, then across to the peninsula. From there, it should be a short walk to the covenant.
We head off with Blane as our boatsman, along with Maedbh ex Merinita and Allistor ex Miscellanea.
As we head around the coast, the wind suddenly comes up, and the sky goes black as a storm descends on us. We had been trying to avoid the Isle of Arran, but are blown towards the Isle. Blane guides us into a sandy inlet, barely managing to get us safely ashore.
There is a house on a rise near the shore, but it looks like it was partially collapsed by the recent earthquake. We get the boat up high above the water line, and make for the building. It offers some shelter, but its roof has collapsed so its still wet and miserable.
The storm goes on for about another eight hours. By morning, the weather has cleared up and nothing unusual has happened.
We get back into the boat and head back across the sea to the peninsula. We head across land towards the covenant, hearing strange noises as we do. With help from Allistor, who grew up at Crun Clach, we make it to the hill ‘behind’ (in a magical sense) which the covenant is located.
Maedbh says that she can see the entrance, but that it is looking odd and trying not to be seen. Allistor ‘knocks’ using the secret pattern he was taught as an apprentice, and after a while the door opens and one of the magi, Iain ex Merinita, pops his head out. He seems overjoyed that Allistor has managed to find and open the door.
Iain says that they hadn’t been able to get out of the covenant since the new year, after there had been a lot of shaking of the ground. They talk about some magical stuff, which I don’t understand so ignore it. Before we head inside, it is decided that someone should stay outside. Blane eagerly volunteers, which is annoying, because I was planning on doing so myself.
Iain gives Blane a token to allow him to ‘knock’ on the door, and the rest of us go inside.
We are provided with refreshments, then taken through to meet Caitlin, the head of the covenant who is rumoured to be several hundred years old. She doesn’t look a day over a hundred. Things then devolve into another discussion about magic. However, the food and drink is good so I occupy myself with that whilst waiting for the magi to finish.
Eventually we get onto a discussion of what we will do next. It’s decided that we should probably go back to the Isle of Arran, though none of the inhabitants of Crun Clach want to go with us. The earthquake originated from there, and the magi want to know what caused it.