Spring: Tang visits the Faerie Dance with Michael and Cadan. No news from the redcaps on 4/14. Aaazz collects Ignem vis from the regio during all three full moons, bringing grogs along to collect the produce. The magae send a letter to Voluntas asking if they have a copy of The Shrouded Glen.
Betrys visited Mabel and over warm tea had a cold conversation, indicating that with Morien’s wedding in a year, the magae should vacate the manor. Mabel agreed to talk with the other magae. Voluntas responds that they do have the spell in their library, and wonder what AdAstra might have in trade. The magae discuss having Phillipe make a copy of his new summa for them.
On July 12, Aeddan Martyn demands to know what William’s intentions are for his daughter, Dilys, as they have apparently run off together. When William appears, Jocelyn has to calm Aeddan down. Jocelyn, William, and Aeddan the grog go to find Dilys. It turns out that William and Dilys had been meeting by a stream to the west of the village, where he wooed her with songs and stories, including one about a brave knight who tried to rescue the daughter of a dark knight.
When the trio gets to the trysting place, they find a large thorny hedge on the other side of the stream. Aeddan finds no tracks, and checks the hedge. The hedge has three-inch thorns, dripping a sulphurous black goo. Aeddan climbs a nearby tree to find that the tower which the hedge surrounds is three-stories tall. William starts cutting the hedge and Aeddan helps. William keep referring to himself as a hero, as the hedge and tower beyond remind him of the story of the brave knight rescuing the black knight’s daughter. William worries, however about how this story will end, as the brave knight has to kill a dragon which turns out to be the daughter under an enchantment. After cutting a hole beg enough to walk through in the hedge, it starts growing back, and quickly as Jocelyn attempts to pass through. They cut a few more branches and William is able to lead the group through the hedge. The lawn leading up to the tower is quite a bit larger than they thought it was from the outside. A large dog with two heads runs up to attack. Jocelyn and Aeddan attack the beast first, but the wounds they inflict appear to heal. William attacks the beast with his axe and eventually kills it. William tells the story of the black knight and the prince who tries to save the knight’s daughter whom he loves. The group approaches the tower, to find that it is a maze inside, just as it is in the story. After traversing the maze using thread from William’s shirt to prevent themselves from getting lost, they enter the large center chamber guarded by a dragon. Aeddan is paralyzed with fear. William starts to sing a song, and the dragon falls asleep. William jumps to the center of the room, opens the casket there, and has a long fight with the dark knight. When William lands a blow on the knight, the dark armor disappears and the knight turns into an elderly female elf who thanks William for the story and gives him a pearl. The dragon turns into Dilys who wakes up having had very strange dreams. The faerie turned into a dove and flew away. They return Dilys to her father, and go back to the covenant.
Tangwhystle visits the faeries near the stone circle with Michael, with the intent of making a bargain with the fey(!) to have access to the land on which to build a tower. She also hopes to open Michael’s arts during the journey. Of course, the faeries drive a hard bargain, asking for such things as the tears of a lion, the head of a dragon (every seven years), the first born child of a maga. Eventually, Tangwystl and Tiberion settle on the following agreement:
- The tears of a fertile maiden to be shed on the full moon after the autumn equinox in exchange for rights to the stone circle
- A perfect red rose on the winter solstice in exchange for an area seven times seven paces around the stone circle
- A lovers’ embrace on the full moon after the spring equinox in exchange for a marked and safe path to the stone circle; the path will have two bridges, one over the stream in the area, and the other over a faerie trod.
The rents are to be left on the large willow stump just outside the copse of trees on the bank of the stream. The magae are invited to attend the faerie’s feast on the summer solstice each year to re-confirm their agreement. Tang and Michael stay with the faeries for a time, dancing until Michael collapses, his arts opened.
Meanwhile, back at the covenant, Mabel has been packing up Corinthius’ lab …