Quaerentes in Extremis

Spring 1220 Cont.

The Hunt Part 3 and Nelda's Lament

Following the slaying of the Boar and its butchering by the two huntsmen, the magi and Lord Edgar had to decide whether to stay the night or attempt to leave the swamp as dusk neared. Deciding the dry hill that was home to the Black Boar’s lair was safe enough, Fearghus drew a protective circle to protect the party from beast of legends and other magical creatures. Marcus added a ward against spirits around the camp as well. Binding the parties wounds magically and with first aid, the group enjoyed their feast of Boar meat and waited for Dawn with a fire blazing in the darkness beneath the Great Oak.

During the night a rustling and commotion was heard, and the party was surprised to see a small wild piglet scratch and snort near Fearghus’ circle of protection. The ever gruff Claude grabbed hi poleaxe to strike the wee beastie, but Fearghus stopped him. “Let ‘em be” the giant said. “He is likely the son of the great beast we just killed.” Marcus added that “This is the way of the land. The Boar’s replacement as protector of this bog will not be of any concern for some time as this little pig grows.” Understanding that this new protector for the animals needed a chance to come into his own power, the wizards wisely cautioned against stopping the process. They also knew that the when it grew, it too would have valuable Vis.

The next day, the party left the Boar’s oak tree and back the way they came. Once they reached their last campsite, where they had been attacked by the Black Boar of the Bog, Fearghus pointed out “Ye canna follow the trail I left in me flight from here.” Once back at the base camp, the group collected Annie their servant, David the Steward and the body of Sir Edgar’s son. If they traveled quickly and went almost due north they could reach Glen Luce Abbey, the Cistercian Abbey on the edge of the bog.

However, on their way, Claude and Gille who were in the vanguard were stopped by the sound of a woman crying. It started with echoes of her voice, calling out again and again for Ennoc, her husband. The echoes can be followed to the water’s edge, where a woman appears, bent double on her knees, grasping at the earth, wailing and crying, a despair like no other. Ghost in the bog Gille, always susceptible to a lady, fell to his knees and cried along with the figure kneeling up ahead at the water’s edge. The rest of the party joined them as Claude attempted to pull Gille away. Others in the group fell sway to the crying. The lament appeared to have no other effect than bringing forth the feeling of loss and sadness that this ghostly figure felt. They feared a faerie but Marcus informed them that it was a ghost.

Fearghus noticed with his second sight that the tears glowed with moonlight. Sensing magic was afoot, he cast an Intellego Vim spell and saw that some of the tears, the glowing ones, contained Mentum Vis. He collected the tears (6 pawns) and assisted Marcus who was able to pull the others along. They decided not to banish the ghost as she offered a ready supply of Mentum Vis to can be collected on the night that the spirit of Nelda returns.

Once away, David told them that as a novice at the Abbey, they were told the ghost story to discourage them from venturing into the swamp. He explained, “There are some stories that are as old as time, and this is one such tale. Many years ago Nelda, daughter to a rich and powerful chieftain, succumbed to the charms of a beautiful yet lowly shepherd. She fled her father’s house and his riches in order to marry her beloved Ennoc. Nelda and her lover were happy until the chieftain’s men found them and chased Ennoc out into the marsh. Nelda followed swiftly on but being lost, alone, and despairing she slipped into a stream and was drowned, never knowing if her beloved husband had lived or died.”

The magi learned that at this site of Nelda’s drowning, there is a magical aura of level 3. When winter turns to spring, on this day which is the first full moon after Saint Patrick’s day (March 17), the place where she died seems to remember her. Those without magic resistance or supernatural abilities experience a temporary +1 Despair Personality Trait. Those affected by the trait who break down and cry with Nelda’s spirit find that their tears contain Mentem vis.

After this adventure, they finally reached Glen Luce Abbey, where they were welcomed if not warmly, thanks to the effects of the gift. Edgar and David were led into the chapel where the monks let the corpse lie in a vigil. The Covenants’ group were house in the stables. At least they were warm and away from the cold damp bog. The next day the Covenant party took their leave while David took the body back and Edgar remained at Glen Luce Abbey to heal.

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seniormagus

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