1230, Spring – Arran 2

Continuing on our Ars Magica campaign, we are still on the Isle of Arran, which was hit by a large earthquake at the end of 1229. There were tales of strange things going on, so a few of us have gone to investigate. Jack, my mercenary companion, our grog Blane and the two magi Maudbh ex Merinita and Allistor ex Miscellanea are the investigators.

As part of the weirdness we all got an increase to our Confidence Score (not pool), including the Grog.

Spring, 1230 – Jack

We are on the Isle of Arran, having just investigated some stone circles. They seem to have had human sacrifices performed there as part of magical rituals. According to the magi, the casting sigil of each ritual had been different – one hinted of blood and death, the other of dark faerie. Apparently this means that the magic was cast by two different magi.

One of the stones here seems to have fallen over, probably during the earthquake. Allistor is able to move the stone with his magic, revealing a hole where it had been based, and a large indentation where it had fallen. It doesn’t appear to have fallen on anyone, or anything, though. Allistor continues to dig down using his magic, to see if anything is buried beneath. There are broken shards of pottery at the bottom of the hole.

He investigates, pulling out the shards and casting magic to try and view what they once looked like. He reckons that they were good quality rounded pots, decorated in patterns.

After investigating things, Allistor stands the stones back up again as we assume they were before the earthquake. Maedbh sees a shimmering in the air at this point, fleeting images of people standing around in the circle. I feel slightly odd, but I don’t know why. The magi seem to think that there was a fluctuation in the magic field, or something.

I have a drink, and feel more confident.

We head back to the boat, then sail around the island to the far side, where we find a small natural harbour to shore up in. We camp down for the night. Apart from some odd noises, nothing too weird happens.

By morning, there are some small gifts left outside our magical ward.

We head up the hill, reaching the top in about three hours. There is more ‘recently sprung up forest’ around here, and a good view of the entire island. We see some smoke raising from a small village on the coast to the north east. We head down the hill, which is again heavily forested. It remains sunny as we get down to the coast.

As we get to the village, we spot a figure running down the street, though it is too far away at this point to determine if they are small because they are a child, or just because they are some distance away. There’s no sign of domesticated animals, but there are some animal noises coming from inside some of the cottages. Several of them have smoke rising from their chimneys,

Blane spots a number of offering bowls left outside the houses. Nothing unusual for a peasant village, except that there are more than would be expected. All seem to be empty.

Allistor shouts out “Hello! Is anyone here?” After a bit, a shutter opens and somebody shouts back “Who are you? What are you doing here?”

Allistor says that we are from the mainland, looking to see if anyone needs any help. After a minute or so, the door opens and a man comes out clutching a spear. He says that we’re unlikely to be bandits since there aren’t enough of us. The villagers start to come out of their houses to take a look at us. There are about a dozen adults, the same number of children, and maybe a couple of elders.

The headman introduces himself as Thorril, and Freida is his wife. 

They say that there are things wandering in the forests and can be heard fighting at night, and that on the night of the earthquake all iron glowed red hot.

In response to questions from Maebh, the woman says that there are sometimes things seen dancing at the stone circles, but it is very rare, and nothing was seen on the night of the earthquake. However, this place is about as far from the stone circles as it is possible to get.

Maedbh sits down with the old women, and discusses stories about the good folk. There are quite a few stories about people going missing, or being found a lot older than they were. This is generally around the winter solstice. 

We are invited to stay the night, and do so. Even Allistor is allowed to stay in the cottage, though he has to stay down the far end by himself. Apparently they are used to ‘rune readers’ here.

Samuel Penn