12/21 Phillipe cast Aegis of the Hearth (level 30), including the village and Martyn Pool within the boundary this time. A small parade including all the magae, most of the covenantfolk, and some of the villagers followed Phillipe, and ended back at the great hall with a small feast. Agnes refused to put on the big to-do since we were having noble guests arriving in a couple of days for the Christmas holidays. Much of the council meeting was taken up by discussion of how to hide Corinthius’ (Ieuan) disappearance and the magi activities from Hywel ap Alun and company during their visit. The magi worry about what to do with Bryn, our recalcitrant recruit
from the bandit gang during the visit. (The other two seem fairly content, since we nursed them back to health.)
12/22 The magi hold a “court of inquiry” to determine the best course of action with Bryn. Sitting on chairs (which Tang spelled to appear like thrones), all five magi confront Bryn, and question him about his motives, and what he feels would be the best course of action to ensure his silence during the nobel visit. Mabel and Epona cast Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie and Perception of the Conflicting Motives to aid in the inquiry, led by Tangwystl. It becomes apparent that Bryn is both scared and repulsed by the magi, and that he is completely untrustworthy. The decision is made to hide him in Epona’s sanctum, where her wax pig will (hopefully) cast Curse of Circe on him on a daily basis.
12/23 Hywel ap Alun, his wide Aerona, daughters Meriel, Rhian, and Nia, son Cadwgan, retainers Trefor, Dai, and Aled, and a gaggle of servants arrive and fill up the guest house. At dinner that night, Cadan, disguised as Ieuan, makes a small gaff, but Mabel quickly covers. The rest of dinner goes on with talk of plans for the entertainment during the twelve days.
12/25-26 Cadan makes a major blunder, and Hywel, already suspicious, realizes that he is not really Ieuan. The nobles retire to the guest houses in indignation. Tang eavesdrops on Hywel and his wife, and finds out that he believes there is an English plot afoot to encroach on Welsh lands and is tempted “to let Rhydderch go forth with his attack in the spring.” The magi decide to come clean (at least part way), and tell Hywel that they are trying to prevent any English
attempts on the land by pretending the Ieuan is still present. Hywel agrees to meet some of the “tenants” and the next day talks to Tang, Mabel, and Epona. By this time, the magi have invited their neighbor, Griffith ap Gwnfyr, to dinner, and invite Hywel and his family as well.
12/27 The dinner with the nobles and neighbors goes off as well as can be expected. It is decided that Hywel will leave behind Dai to increase the Welsh presence on the estate, but that he and his family will spend the rest of the holiday at Griffith’s estate. The magi believe that Dai will also be a spy for Hywel. It also becomes apparent that while Hywel was planning on arranging a marriage between his eldest daughter Meriel, and Ieuan, those plans are now defunct (and would have been complicated by the fact that Meriel may be secretly in love with Dai).
12/28 Hywel and his family depart. Rhian had apparently been crying over something; Meriel and Dai both appear to be detached and stiff; Cadwgan is stony and cool toward everyone. All in all, it is an awkward leave-taking.