It having been decided to leave the Mystics and their followers to their own path in reaching the royal court, the party mounts up and turns to take up the path into the Spithrenduil wetlands.
Of a sudden the raven Mimr caws and flaps up a ruckus, ebon feathers flying, and then settles down on Arthur’s shoulder as if nothing happened.
To the ears of Arthur and Oak his raucous cries seem to say, “They are coming! They are coming!“
Inexplicably, the Mystics Pelagius, Katharos and Waldo approach and stand by expectantly, looking at the trunk of a particular poplar.
A great sheet of bark curls away from the bole of that tree, edged in emerald sparks, and a grizzled old human man steps forth, leading by the hand a stately and statuesque elfin woman.
“Ahhh, there you are. Oak’s grandfather advised us that you were likely to the edge of the Spithrenduil fens already. I see he was right, as he so often is.”
A great light is coming from the moon depicted on the elf’s pectoral/collar so bright that all color is washed out in the immediate vicinity.
The old man shades his eyes and grouses at her, “Dim your moon, would ya, Morgause? None shall be able to see!!”
Clearly it never entered her mind, as it doesn’t seem to affect her in the least. “OH! Yes, of course!”
“I beg your leave, m’lord, I am Agravane, chief of the Govannon for the ancient realms of Albion and Shanria. This is Morgause, She who is First among the Fathi. I’m afraid we weren’t able to make proper acquaintance when we appeared to question Oak at the earl’s court.”
“May we detain you but a moment before you go farther afield, my Lord?”
“There is a task that is no affair of your own, but of great concern to the dwarfs and the dvergar, which could be turned to advantage and become of great import in the future, as the Storm draws nigh, especially where the elfs are concerned – indeed all the pagans, including the humans.”
The dead have always been somewhat restless, since the days of the ancients, before the time of the Valkurs, who actually accommodated the needs of the dead, building homes for them to inhabit in the afterlife, “passage tombs” crowned or guarded with wreathes of blue balefire that marks the edges of the world of Spirit, burial grounds trod by the living only under the threat of death.
But they were never so bold here since the dvergar gifted their brethren the dwarfs with the oracle of the Sithin of Geddin, and it seems that those days are to come again, and to come here, as well, now.
I see no recognition at the mention of the name of Geddin. The within lies beside the foot of the Brass Roar Falls, where the river runs down into the Spithrenduil, part of the headwaters.
The sithin and the oracle within it labor for these past many moons under a dire and dangerous shadow, if they have not actually been claimed by the Darkness.
The dwarfs lie sealed under their mountains – by their own hands it is true – but they have not answered our entreaties that they send help or at least contact the dvergar to send relief to the dwarfish monks resident there.
We are in a position to do them a great service. One which it is highly unlikely that even they will be able to turn a blind eye to, and so be in our debt to stand at our side when the Storm comes at last.
I will speak truth here: None of the huntsmen we have sent, and a couple of the Fianna among them, returned to tell us what they found there after we sent them to go see and perhaps do what they might to succor the dwarfs.
But there are ancient artifacts dear to the dwarfs that cannot be allowed to lie unguarded in the sithin once the Dark curse is disposed of, and we wish you would take them into custody so they might be returned with pomp and gratitude when the dwarfs emerge from their mountain halls again … whensoever that might be ….