Look Who's Coming for Breakfast -- A Samhuinn Pub Crawl

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Crow
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Look Who's Coming for Breakfast -- A Samhuinn Pub Crawl

Postby Crow » 17 Oct 2005, 18:18

Editor's Note: These stories that appear from time to time in The Pub are just a bit of silliness that has been a tradition at The Druid’s Head and at The Foggy Duck for many years. In this story you'll see names of people you may recognize. Just because you don't see your name here doesn't mean that you can't participate. Please write yourself in if you'd like, and in that way we may get to know you. The only "rule," if there is one, is that we try to pick up the story from where the previous poster left it, and to include at least some of those elements in whatever comes next. Storytelling is a bardic pursuit, and although it’s hard to imagine Taliesin telling stories quite like these, it is entirely possible that by your participation, you could be immortalized in The Attic.

---

Perhaps it was the sound of leaves skittering down the street driven by a freshening breeze, or perhaps it was Crow’s well-developed sixth sense for impending doom. But whatever caused it, the old reporter awakened with a start, and, from his perch in an ancient yew across the street from Lorraine’s Wayward Druid Bed & Breakfast, stared at the flickering candlelight that her trim parlor curtains could not quite conceal.

The Foggy Duck Pub had long been his beat for The Pagan Press, and Crow had written many a story that had its beginnings there. But one thing journalists did was read other newspapers, and so, hoping to capitalize on Crow’s hard-earned success, reporters for the upstart Daily Druid had started haunting the Duck, trying to steal the stories that would normally be his.

Thinking about this problem one day, with a purloined tumbler of Laphroaig by his wing, the old reporter decided on a plan to get the jump on the competition. If someone new – someone interesting – came into town, they’d look first for a place to stay, he thought, and as everyone in the area knew, there was no finer establishment in the Foggy Downs District than Lorraine’s Wayward Druid Bed & Breakfast (but then of course the Foggy Downs District certainly wasn’t what it used to be). Crow thought that if he could find out about new arrivals before they showed up at the pub, then he could have a leg up on the competition.

And so it was that he scouted out the bed and breakfast and thought that the old yew tree in the cemetery across the street was the perfect place from which he could watch the comings and goings. And besides that, he liked the imagery of a crow sitting in a yew tree in a cemetery.

Now, wondering about the unseen guests that Lorraine must have ushered in by the back door, and about why it was necessary to burn candles in the parlor at this late hour on a dark night with a new moon, Crow flew to the window sill and perched there, craning his neck to peek through the gap in the curtains from which the candlelight was shining.

Around the table, with nine candles burning in the center, he saw several people sitting, and they were holding hands. All were wearing veils, and so their identities were a mystery, except for one. With a smirk, Crow noticed that one of the people was dressed in a gossamer gown, but over it was tied the telltale apron embossed with the Wayward Druid Bed & Breakfast logo, and this could be none other than Lorraine herself.

As Crow watched, the candle flames flickered and danced, and from inside he heard the low drone of chanting coming through the glass. The feathers rose on the back of his neck, and just as he reached for his reporter’s notebook, he heard another noise, this time from behind him, in the direction of the cemetery.

Frozen in fear and unable to turn around, Crow wondered what would happen next …

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Daigh Cahan
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Postby Daigh Cahan » 17 Oct 2005, 19:24

Daigh tried to keep his falme low hoping not to startle the bird. He had come to have a rather liking for birds, having spent a great deal of time as a falcon himself, but aqs this was his usual haunt he figured he might give it a little scare.
Removing his sword he touched the tip to the tree and a flood of brilliant flameless smoke erupted from it, encompassing the crow.

Moving around the tree Daigh replaced his sword and brightened hs falme, saying with a thunderous voice "Who dare disturbs my sleep!" seeing the crow jump he added in a tad bit freindlier voice, "and do they wish to join me for a drink?"
With that he dulled his falme once more and produced a bottle of 40year old scotch, taking a swig first to prove that it wasnt poisoned, as he knew just how suspicious a crow could be.....

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Postby Beith » 17 Oct 2005, 19:57

"Nice evenin' for it" intoned a deep voice.

Crow spun around. There was no-one there. He ruffled his feathers and turned again to the window.

A frond of yew tree tipped him on the wing. This time he almost fell off his perch in shock.

"I said: Nice evenin' for it".

Crow half cawed-half stammered his affirmation that yes, indeed it was a nice evening.
"But for what?" he stuttered.
"For the dance of the seven veils" replied the voice of the yew as it tapped a branch against the window.
"But there's nine of them in there" retorted Crow, his keen reporter's sense recalling his observations.
"Substitutes" intoned the yew. "Every team's gotta have substitutes - in case of injuries. See?". It pointed a tapered twig in the direction of the window.

"DAMN IT!" yelled Lorraine. "That's the second time today!"
The serene chanting gave way to shrieks and cursing as the occupants learned the hard way about the fabric care instruction "Highly flammable, do not hold near naked flame". Much stomping and swearing proceded as they put out the fire on their delicate robes.

The apron-wearer rapidly lashed altar wine over the candles and balefully eyed the charred marks on her gossamer gown tails. Another of the group picked the hardening candle wax off her robes: "That's never coming out in the wash" she moaned.

Lorraine bustled two observers from the back of the group into the central circle and relit the candles.
"Dryadia, yes you - western direction please. Mind the water bowl and don't stomp on the incense, good girl.
Alferian dear, do sit in for me while I open the window to let out the smoke".

A be-spectacled man in a funny pointy hat looking vaguely embarrassed in gossamer silk moved to the circle. Velvet was much more his thing. And less see-through.

A shadow enlarged and grew towards the window.

Crow ducked, which was an impressive act of species mimicry for a corvid.
The yew tree snapped back its branches and leaned away from the window just before a pale arm released the catch and the smell of charred silk wafted out into the night sky.

Crow stood still in the shadows and watched as the group regained composure and began the chanting again.

"What are they saying?" he hissed to the Yew tree.
"I don't know" replied the voice of the dark green one.
There was a ponderous silence for a moment, and then a long low creaking sound.

"Ssshh!" hushed Crow

"It wasn't me" replied the yew in a slightly worried voice.

Another creak from behind.

"What do we do now?" inquired Crow, adrenalin pumping in is veins
"Well you're alright, you can fly off - I'm rooted to the spot with fear" said the yew. It's fronds trembled. "Turn and look".

Crow turned.

And saw...

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Postby Beith » 17 Oct 2005, 19:59

oops! didn't see Daigh's response when I posted. Ah well..carry on regardless or disregard!
Beith

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Postby AnonyMoose » 17 Oct 2005, 22:35

AnonyMoose staring him straight in his beady little black eyes. The greatr beast was about to munch a twig from tree next to him and jumped back, startled enough to drop a moose-pie when it whacked him on the nose, and said loudly, "bite me and I'll beat the fur off your hide Moose!"
AnonyMoose stared wide-eyed from Crow to the tree and back again. "Don't blame me," said Crow, "it just about frightened the feathers off me a minute ago!"
"I... I think after that I could use a drop of that scotch to steady my nerves," said AnonyMoose shakily. "If you'd just tilt the bottle up for me...?" and drained it in a single gulp, when Daigh did as requested without pondering the wisdom of the decision. "thanks," said the moose, glancing suspiciously at the tree again. "oh the dance of the seen veils! How many have they accidentally ignited so far?" he asked his startled compatriots. "I'm not allowed to get any closer to it, since one of them accidentally ran into my antlers a few years back," he explained woefully.

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Postby Mike » 18 Oct 2005, 03:37

Footsteps came along the cobbled street and attached to them was the body of newish OBODie Mike.

"In my old Grove we did the dance of the seven army-surplus blankets. Far less likely to catch fire - made of old Nissan Huts you see, I suppose that must be why they itch so much, all that rust digging into your nether regions" he said by way of announcing his presence. He glanced around at the mottley crew he now seemed to have got himself involved with and wondered what on earth he had signed up to and then said

"Anyway, why are you all sneaking around peering through other peoples curtains? Is there no right to privacy in this community?" Crow was the first to come up with a plausible answer.

"Well see it is like this" said the Crow (who had suddenly aquired a rather forced Welsh accent) "We Crows are sort of related to magpies and I was hoping to um...Aquire, yes that's right "aquire" - not steal you see just aquire - some shiny objects so I just hopped up here looking for some silver milk bottle tops. I mean that would harldy be theft would it see - you are not a rozzer are you? I mean a Police Officer"

"Now just you listen to me" butted in the Yew "I am not spying on anyone. I have been stood here for 1,000 years, that is long before that house of ill repute was built. You can hardly accuse me of being a peeping Tom when I was here long before Lorraine and her friends began flaunting themselves to all and sundry in their see-through clothing by candle light"

"Shss tith with sumeritng nah foss" said AnonyMoose before slumping ignominiously to the ground.

"Oh I knew Daigh should not have given him that alchohol - he's always doing that" said Beith "Now what are we going to do?"

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Postby Underground River » 18 Oct 2005, 05:43

GreenDruid was having a bad dream.
It was Halloween/Samhuin night and she was alone in a grave yard with 9 ominous yew trees. The trees towered over her, seeming to know something she did not about the night that was closing relentlessly all around.
GD awoke, a cry of fear bitten down before it could wake GreenEyes.
She reached for her braille watch; it was 11:30 pm. She had been asleep for only an hour and already she was wide awake.
She decided she should go to the pub for company since she knew she wouldn't get any sleep after that stupid dream.
She walked the three blocks to the pub and sat at a table. Nobody else was there except Gladys and GD was very much afraid of that ogress though she could not really say why the lady bothered her.
"You should have taken me with you," an accusatory telepathic voice spoke in her mind. "I would have made you feel better and now you are alone with that mean old ogress and no kitten to protect you if she decides she wants a midnight snack..." The kitten trailed off meaningfully.
"Be quiet kitten you're just making it worse," said GD.
"I know," said GreenEyes. "Next time bring me along or I'll scare you twenty times as bad as that dream did."
"How did you...?" GD asked, astonished and more than a little afraid.
"I have my catly ways," was all the little kitten would say.
Great, thought GD as the kitten's mind left her's. I'm alone with an ogress around midnight on Samhuin, frightened out of my wits by a stupid dream and a bloody kitten. Now what?

(Btw, you guys are scaring me with your graveyard tales. It's too bloody late and I am going to bed. :P )
GD
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Postby Dryadia2 » 18 Oct 2005, 13:04

Back inside "Lorraine’s Wayward Druid Bed & Breakfast", the 9 participants were getting their composure back after the 'flaming fiasco'.

Dryadia was a little nervous about the "Dance of the Seven Veils", although she had taken belly dancing lessons, veil dancing was not her forte. She didn't know exactally what to expect, but she was excited about the Samhuinn ritual, and was eager to take her place in the circle, representing water in the west.

The night was clear and crisp; and the veil between the worlds was indeed thin. Magic was in the air, and the mysterious sounds of night creatures could be heard in the distance.

With the window wide open, and the smoke cleared, Beith couldn't help but to lean out to 'feel the Ancestors' presence there, waiting to be invited. But what she found instead were some curious on-lookers!

"Why are you folks spying on us?" chided Beith. "Lorraine, dear....we have uninvited guests outside the window, who are NOT from the Otherworld!"

"Well..." hesitated Lorraine. "...I suppose we should invite them inside." "Corporeal beings: please come in through the door."

So in came Crow, Daigh Cahan, AnonyMoose, and Mike; heads and eyes lowered in embarrassment for 'being caught'.

Just then, Alferian noticed a light on in 'The Foggy Duck Pub' across the way, with the silhouette of a patron there. He could clearly see the Ogreish shape of Gladys pacing back and forth behind the patron, and wondered who would be out at this time of night, on Samhuinn, in the company of an Ogress barmaid. (little did he know it was GreenDruid, trying to get her wits about her, after experiencing a bad dream).

Outside, a breeze began to swirl and blow dried leaves around. The Ancestors were apparently getting impatient.

"The time is drawing near." "We must get back in our places and begin the ritual." urged Lorraine.

Everyone glanced around the room, to make sure each person was in their proper place, and that there would be no more distractions.

But then...
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than any city on earth - Steve McQueen

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Postby Crow » 18 Oct 2005, 16:08

“Wait a minute, wait a minute,” said Crow, remembering that his real purpose here was to write a story for The Pagan Press. “Just what is the meaning of this ritual anyway? As anyone knows, it’s not yet time for a proper Samhuinn ritual, so what’s going on?”

“Excuse me,” interrupted Dryadia, who noted with satisfaction that everyone immediately stopped what they were doing and turned to her, showing the proper respect due a full Druid. “While we’re at a stopping point, can’t we just lose the gossamer robes? I mean, sheesh, I hate to say it, but they’re awfully see-through, and, well, it’s just not very flattering attire on some of you others, I’m afraid.”

Lorraine stamped her foot at this, pouted, and finally couldn’t contain herself. “But the ritual specifically called for gossamer robes, and you know it wasn’t cheap buying nine of them, and besides that, I did offer all of you aprons like mine to wear over them if you were embarrassed.”

“True, but those do nothing to cover the back,” said Beith with a grimace as she quickly turned away from Alferian, who had bent over to tie his high-top Converse All-Stars.

“They don’t bother me at all,” said GreenDruid.

“well dearies,” said Carragh, who alone among them had not risen from her seat at the table, “i’ll admit that i might have been a little embarrassed at first, but i’d rather be embarrassed than look like a walking signboard wearing one of those aprons. honestly, lorraine, next you’ll have us all singing your little jingle that i heard on the radio this morning, how’s it go … ?

at lorraine’s b&b
you’ll sleep like a tree
safe from all mashers,
and in the morning, there’s rashers


“Well, I never …” gasped Lorraine, turning red. “Who appointed you jingle critic, and besides that, when are you going to learn to speak in capital letters?”

“Rashers? You have rashers?” said Beith. “How are you fixed for spuds?”

“Is that jingle really on the radio?” whispered Mike to Anonymoose. “She’s not a Bardic Pursuits Moderator, is she?”

“No,” said Anonymoose, “not yet anyway, but you never know what Kernos might do next. He gets some strange ideas sometimes.”

Just then Crow saw Kat Lady walking back into the room from the litter box down the hall. There was a long streamer trailing from her left hind foot, and at first the old reporter thought that it was toilet paper, but on second glance he saw that it was just her gossamer robe.

“Did I miss something?” she asked. “Hey, who are all these people?”

“In case you’ve all forgotten,” said Crow, “I did ask a question, but I’m not above repeating myself. What is going on here? What’s this ritual about?”

“Oh very well,” said Lorraine. “If the rest of you uninvited people must know, I have strange noises in my cellar – odd thumpings and bumpings in the middle of the night – and I haven’t been able to discover what’s causing it, and so I heard about this Seven Veils Ritual, and how it could, among other things, clear out odd thumpings and bumpings from a cellar. Well, I called for some help, and the people you see here were helping with the ritual, but then we had a little fire, and then somebody opened the window and you lot came in, and, well, you know the rest.”

“Odd thumpings and bumpings in the cellar?” said Daigh Cahan. “Are you sure it’s not just bloody rats? Big, nasty wharf rats? You know, the kind that’ll walk in like they own the place and gnaw on your toe while you’re sleeping. The kind that are so bold that they act like they own the place and might pull up a chair at the breakfast table. Big, stinking, disease-carrying, vicious things they are. Are you sure you don’t have a lot of huge, slobbering, mangy rats down there?”

Lorraine, near tears now, stammered “We d-d-d-do n-n-not have rats in this establishment!”

“She’s right,” said Kat Lady, an accomplished ratter in her younger days. “That was the first thing I thought so I checked. Not a sign of a rat or a mouse down there. I saw a few roaches, but they weren’t big enough to make the noises that Lorraine described.”

“Roaches?” said Lorraine. “No, you must be mistaken, I …”

“Lady, you don’t need a ritual, you need an exterminator,” said Daigh Cahan.

“burning leaves,” said Carragh, though nobody quite understood why.

“There’s nothing for it but to go down there and see for ourselves,” said Anonymoose. “But what about him?” he asked, looking back at the yew tree who still stood patiently outside the window. “We could use a man, er, tree like him.”

“Well, judging by the tracks in the yard, he already walked over here from the cemetery,” said Beith. “Why can’t he just come on inside?”

“He’s too big for that,” said Alferian. “And besides, in his present form he can only go where there’s dirt for his roots. Wait a minute, I have a spell that will extract his spirit into another form just long enough for him to come inside with us.”

After a flourish of Alferian's wand, the tree belched loudly and the next thing everyone knew, a small green dwarfish figure was standing in their midst.

“Hey you,” said Beith.

“Not you, yew,” said the dwarf. “And I haven’t got much time in this form, so let’s get on with it. Where are those cellar stairs?”

Crow was suddenly filled with dread. This story, which had started with such promise, was going down, both literally and figuratively. He wondered what would happen next …

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Postby AnonyMoose » 18 Oct 2005, 16:33

Alferian, having lit one of his self-recharging illuminator wands [only $89.95 US plus taxes, S&H], went first with the small green dwarf behind him then Lorraine, Beith and the others, ending with Kat and AnonyMoose bringing up the rear, due to his rear being largest...
Just as Alferian reached the bottom step, the big moose (who never was designed by the Earth Mother to walk down cellar stairways) trod on Kat's gossamer robe and slipped. "Oh no!" shrieked Kat as with a great bellow, the moose tripped over her, tumbling headlong down the stairs, his broad antlers gathering folks in his path like a bulldozer. Shrieks and yells of sheer terror filled the air as the whole company went tumbling downwards, gathering speed and mass in a tangle of gossamer, footwear and flying feathers from the corvids and owls. As they landed in a heap on the cellar floor, there arose a deep rumbling from below the floor that sent further terror through them.
"Oh my beak!" mumbled Crow, clutching his face, "I've lost enough feathers to fill a pillow..." just as a thumping and banging sounded from beneath the wooden floor, accompanied by a ferocious bellowing...

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Underground River
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Postby Underground River » 18 Oct 2005, 17:20

GreenDruid was feeling less and less comfortable around the ogress Gladys. She had never totally trusted Gladys. I mean really, trust an ogress?
GD thought maybe she should go across the road to the bed and breakfast. Maybe Kat-L or somebody would be there to talk late and help her sleep again.
She said a timid goodbye to Gladys and went across the road to the B&B.
She opened the door just in time to hear everybody plunging down the cellar. Intreagued, she headed that-a-way.
;)
GD
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Postby Lora » 18 Oct 2005, 17:45

“Wait, the sound’s stopped,” said Daigh Cahan.
In fact, it was ominously silent, now that everyone had picked themselves up.
“Probably just an earth tremor caused by all those Druids hitting the floor at once,” said Lorraine, trying to convince herself. This wasn’t such a scary place...was it? There was a fearsome chill in the air, especially when one was wearing gossamer robes, and it was a little damp down here, but really, it was just one large room, lit with a flickering florescent tube, and now filled with a motley and somewhat impractically-dressed bunch of shivering druids as well as all her B&B storage.

Two felines sniffed around the shelves - Green Druid’s kitten jumped from shelf to shelf looking fish, while Kat Lady was in prowling mode, looking for something else entirely. “Tea bags, endless tea bags,” the Kat sighed. “Not even a smidgeon of mead.”
“What on earth do you do with all of these?” said Dryadia, eying the row upon row of ‘Bettabuy’ baked bean tins neatly stacked.
“I stock up in advance, just in case I run out during a busy period,” said Lorraine in a faintly defensive tone.
There was no chance of that, mused Crow. He scribbled in his notepad. Lorraine is something of a hoarder. Come the apocalypse, Lorraine and her guests will be found down here many years later, still surviving on baked beans. He couldn’t imagine what that would do to the already musty air in this place.

Lorraine was getting impatient. “Never mind the beans. You’re all spending far too much time looking at my secret B&B supplies, and not enough time looking for the source of these noises.”
“Wait a moment,” said the dwarf. “What are all these books over here?”
He gestured at a shelf in the corner, filled with old cloth and leather-bound books.
“I don’t know what’s on that shelf," said Lorraine "They were here when I moved in, and I won’t go near them. I’m allergic to old books. It’s so bad that my doctor has ordered me not to travel within a five miles radius of Hay-On-Wye.”
“Why would anyone be allergic to books?” said Mike incredulously. “It’s not as though you eat them.”
“I do,” said Anonymoose. “They come from trees, after all...OW!” The dwarf had just given him a sharp kick in the shins.
This was a strange bunch he’d got mixed up with, and getting stranger by the second, Mike mused.
“Old books have this certain smell, which makes me go...ah...ahh...” Lorraine gave up on explaining, and wiped her nose on the charred remains of her veil.

Alferian walked to the front of the crowd and knelt down by the bookshelf. “Let me look.” He leaned down to the shelf, so preoccupied by his discovery that he didn’t even notice his best pointy velvet hat had fallen on the ground. “Why, this is wonderful! Such a treasure trove, in such an unlikely location!”
“Would you listen to him?” marvelled Beith. “He’s just like me on a visit to Manolo Blahniks!”
"the last time i saw him like this was on a visit to the utilikilt, robe and pointy-hat store," said carragh.

“Some of these are lost occult classics!” Alferian cried. “Do you think I might borrow some for Avalon College? Just for a little while?”
“Do what you like with them, Alferian.” Lorraine said, in between sniffles. “Just don’t...ah....”
“Thank you, Lorraine. Thank you so much. Perhaps I should take them all...just in the interest of safe keeping, you understand. I shall care for them lovingly. They are a little mouldy and dusty here.”
“Don’t...ah...” gasped Lorraine for the last time.
But Alferian did. With fingers trembling with anticipation, he pulled out one of the most impressively dog-eared tomes, puffed out his cheeks, and blew the dust from its covers..
“AAAAAAAAAACCCHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” sneezed Lorraine, and several other druids in unison. Alferian and the dwarf, who had been closest to the bookshelf, the fell forward, and the bookshelf made a loud click.
“A secret door!” everyone gasped.

But what lay beyond? Could it be that the source of those strange sounds was to be found in the undiscovered depths of the B&B? Dare our intrepid but somewhat ridiculous-looking druids venture there?

To be continued...
Last edited by Lora on 18 Oct 2005, 18:07, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Kat Lady » 18 Oct 2005, 18:00

Kat Lady turned from the shelves of tea and beans and looked around her. Wait a minute! If the dance was of seven veils and needed 9 participants, for some unknown reason, why were there 13 in their ranks? Sure, 13 was also a Druidic number. But being a kat, she was curious. She put her paw under her handy-dandy 007 collar and pulled out her official Pagan Ritual Book. Pawing through it, since she did not have thumbs, she came to the section for numbered rituals. There was the Rite of 3 Drunken Ogres, the Ritual for 6 sky-clad pixies, the Dance of the 7 army-surplus blankets, but no Dance of the 7 Veils. Wait! Could this be it? She focused her Kat-Vision on the paper and saw "The dance of the 7 Veiled..." and a smudge. "Hmmmmm", she said.

"What is it, Kat?" said a voice from behind her.

"Shhhhhhhh, Moose Breath. I'm thinking." She rubbed the smudge until she could just make out the letters d-r-a-g-o-n-s....dragons.

"Hey Guys!," she said looking up at the others in front of her, including Anonymoose. She had a bad feeling about this now. It the annoying moose was in front of her, then who was behind her? She gently put her paw behind her to feel what was behind her, since it obviously wasn't the moose, and felt rough, scaly skin. She swallowed hard and said to herself, "Oh boy!"

Just then, from behind the hidden door...
Last edited by Kat Lady on 18 Oct 2005, 18:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Crow » 18 Oct 2005, 18:05

Being the most curious, Kat Lady, with the mysterious book tucked securely under her collar, led the others into the room that the bookcase had concealed. Stepping through the wall, the friends saw that this part of the cellar had a much different feel to it.

“Hey, what is this place?” asked Mike, looking around in the spooky light cast by the illuminator wand. “What are all these metal tables and cabinets and things?”

“That stuff is left over the previous owner of this building," said Lorraine. "I realize that these furnishings feel rather cold, rather antiseptic, and so I closed off this portion of the wall with that bookcase until I can refurnish the room. But I see I’ll have to relocate the switch that swings the bookcase open, as that certainly wasn’t supposed to happen by accident, heh heh. As for these metal tables and cabinets, I’m just using them for more storage now.”

“But this stuff is of a rather unusual design,” said Anonymoose, walking over to a long metal table on which Lorraine had stored, among other things some fruit that she used in her delicious breakfasts.

“These things don’t look like ordinary furnishings,” said Anonymoose, picking up an apple and starting to chew it. “Who was the previous owner?” he asked, between bites.

“As you all can see, everything’s quite tidy down here, no rodents, just like I said,” said Lorraine, ignoring Anonymoose’s question.

“lorraine, who was the previous owner?” asked Carragh smoothly.

“Yes, as you all can see, it’s very warm and dry down here. Why, people could easily live in the cellar if I ever want to add more guest rooms to the B&B!” said Lorraine with a nervous laugh.

“Lorraine, who was the former owner?” asked Dryadia.

“Nothing more to see here, let’s go back up, shall we? I’ll put on tea, and we can all enjoy a cup before we return to the ritual. This way …,” said Lorraine.

“Lorraine, who was the former owner?” asked GreenDruid.

“Oh, you all have one-track minds don’t you?” said Lorraine, finally sensing that there was no escape. “Okay, fine, I’ll tell you, there’s nothing wrong with it, nothing wrong at all! The former owner was not a who but a what. This building used to be affiliated with the cemetery across the street. It was a mortuary, and this equipment down here was used by the embalmers.”

Anonymoose spewed apple chunks across the room. “Embalmers?” he roared.

“oh that’s rich, dearie,” said Carragh. “you turned a mortuary into a bed and breakfast! what a capital idea that was!”

“There’s nothing wrong with it!” stammered Lorraine. “One way or the other, you’re sleeping aren’t you?”

“I think I’m going to be ill,” said Anonymoose, still spitting. “I want out of here, right now.” He turned quickly, too quickly in fact, and his antler struck the wall, knocking a huge hole in the plaster.

“Hello, what’s this?” asked Alferian, holding up his wand.

“It looks like a tunnel!” said Kat Lady, stating the obvious.

“Look, there’s a sign down there! What’s it say?” asked Beith.

“I can just make it out,” said Dryadia. “There’s an arrow pointing straight ahead, and it says To Cemetery.”

“Yes,” said the Yew Dwarf. “That would be the direction of the cemetery all right.”

“I suppose they embalmed the bodies here and rather than take them up and carry them across the street, they had this tunnel dug so they could take them to the cemetery that way," said Alferian. "I'm guessing that on the other end of this tunnel, there must be another building where services were held,” said Alferian.

“I’m not going down there,” said GreenDruid.

“Oh yes you are,” said Beith. “We’re all going, and I don’t think you’d want to stay here by yourself. Come on, just grab hold of my hand and I’ll lead you. Luck of the Irish and all that! Come on, it’ll be fine!”

"falling leaves," Carragh intoned.

And so Crow watched as one after the other, the friends stepped through the crumbled wall and disappeared into the gloom. He had a very bad feeling about this, and wondered what would happen next …
Last edited by Crow on 18 Oct 2005, 18:43, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Lora » 18 Oct 2005, 18:34

Crow, being a journalist, had a level of curiosity comparable to a cat... or indeed, a Kat. As always, his curiosity battled with his bad feelings, and won hands down. He followed his friends into the dark tunnel, listening to their conversation.

Up in front, Lorraine was trying to make the best of things. “When you think about it, what better location would there be for a Druid’s B&B? After all, we revere the ancestors don’t we? What could be a better place for Druids to stay, or a better time of year to visit a graveyard?”
“falling leaves,” intoned Carragh mysteriously.
Orange,” said Crow, involuntarily.
“Oh, are we doing word Association?” said Beith. “Shoes.” She was thinking of those orange suede ballerina pumps she’d had her eye on...
“Tents,” said Mike, thinking of mud-caked walking boots left outside a good sturdy army surplus tent.
“Teabags,” said Lorraine, thinking of a nice brew on a camping stove, and distinctly relieved that everyone had stopped questioning her.
“Chocomelk” said Green Druid, relieved to have a game to take her mind off what lay ahead.

“GROAN” said... something. The sound came from the direction of the graveyard...

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Postby Selene » 18 Oct 2005, 19:12

From the corner of his eye, Crow saw an orange spark, which grew quickly into a glowing ball of light. It coalesced into Selene’s robed figure and she stepped forward toward him.

“How did you…” he began, but she cut him off with a sharp glance.

“There are some things about Pumpkin Medallions that even you, my friend, don’t yet know. Now, you invoked me, so what’s the situation here?”

Crow reluctantly explained, feeling once again trapped by fate. Whatever had led him to fall in with this bunch? He’d once been a mild-mannered (well, honesty compelled him to admit he was more usually curmudgeonly than mild-mannered, but he did have his moments...) reporter, content if not happy with his lot in life. Then he’d gotten involved with all these druids and if that weren’t enough, some Administrator always turned up in the middle of things… He sighed loudly.

“Such a Crow…” he heard Kat Lady mutter.

“Yes, isn’t he,” answered a small voice from somewhere near the floor behind her.

“Shhh, Snarg,” she hissed. “I told you if you were going to come along you had to stay invisible and quiet!”

“I’m sorry,” the little dragon answered, sounding not at all sorry. “I’m just happy to be alonmmpf…” he trailed off, as Kat, using her excellent sense of touch and kat’s eye night-vision, improvised a muzzle from a bit of gossamer.

Selene and Crow exchanged glances. The other druids had gotten into the spirit of things and had crowded past Kat, leaving her and her reptilian friend behind.

“Guess we’d better catch up and see what’s happening up there,” said Kat brightly, surreptitiously herding the dragonet in front of her.

“Of course,” nodded Selene. “Lead the way.”

At the far end of the tunnel, the way seemed blocked by something that at first appeared solid but as they approached, they could see that it was translucent in places, almost transparent in others.

“The thinning veil!” someone whispered in awed tones.

“No, I think it’s just a rather substantial thicket,” diagnosed Alferian, who, after all, was an expert on all things wooden.

“I can handle this,” announced the Yew Dwarf, stepping forward.

As he began to chant in an unknown tongue, the air grew chill and dank and darkness deepened around the group. Even the most intrepid of them felt a growing uneasiness. Surely the Otherworld was near indeed…

“…gliainn, gletha, gliad, glemais…” Beith whispered, sounding apprehensive.

“I hope that’s a spell of protection, Beith,” said Lorraine. “I’m not sure I like the feel of this.”

“What? Oh, no, Lorraine,” said Beith. “I have a test first thing in the morning on Old Irish verbs, so I was just practicing. That was the present subjunctive of the verb glenaid—”

Crow rolled his eyes and might have made some sarcastic comment, but at that moment the Yew Dwarf’s chant rose to a shriek and a loud cracking noise issued forth from the end of the tunnel.

The thicket drew back to reveal the opening into the cemetery and the groaning noise grew louder…
Last edited by Selene on 18 Oct 2005, 19:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Azrienoch » 18 Oct 2005, 19:35

"Can't you find anything better to come up with than a word association?" groaned the thing in the graveyard, staggering forward, revealing a disfigured sillouette in the fog. "Like scotch, or just a nice earl grey?"
"I know that voice," said Lorraine.
Beith raised a finger in the air. "Yes! It's..."
"It's Az," the figure interrupted, emerging from the fog. It was indeed Azrienoch. Or rather, the body of Azrienoch holding his head.
"Az," Crow's eyes widened, "your head..."
"Oh yes. Bloody objectivists went and chopped it off. Anyway, I'm back. Halfway decomposed and maggoty, but I'm back. So what's the problem here?"
"We're trying to get to the other side of the graveyard."
"Been there. Turns out that I was wrong all along, and there is an afterlife. Rather disappointing, if you ask me."
Greendruid was unamused. "Afterlife is disappointing?"
"No," the head shook back and forth in his hand, "disappointing that I was wrong. I hate it when that happens."
Crow shook his head. "No, no, no. Not the other side of the grave, the other side of the graveyard."
"Oh. I dunno. Let's find out." The body turned around and shot-putted the head out of the graveyard beyond the stereotypically creepy, wrought iron fence.
Thud.
"Oof!"
Silence.
"Well?" Crow hollared.
"All clear!" Az voice echoed back.

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Underground River
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Postby Underground River » 18 Oct 2005, 20:01

GD was having trouble pretending she wasn't mortally afraid of the Azrienoch ghost and the grave yard and all the Samhuin stuff. Even Beith's verb conjugations were some how scary. GD usually loved conjugating verbs but those present subjunctives always gave her nightmares...
"Are you ok, GD?" asked Kat-L, sensing something was not quite right.
GD couldn't bring herself to admit that she was afraid so she just smiled at Kat-L and said "everything's fine".

(You guys are all so morbid. :P )
GD
I love you...
Je t'aime...
Ik hou van jou...
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Postby Crow » 18 Oct 2005, 20:03

“Lorraine, you should know,” said Alferian, “how far is it to the other side?”

“I don’t know exactly but it is a very big cemetery, I know that much. It’ll take us a long while, that’s for sure, especially stumbling around in this fog,” said Lorraine, and, pointing to Azrienoch, she added, “and now we’ll have to lead him, as I don’t think he can quite see where he’s going.”

“All right," said Dryadia, this is classic Ovate stuff, so I think Ovates should lead, and fortunately we have plenty of them here. Selene, Crow, Kat Lady, Lorraine, Carragh ... front and center with you.”

The named quintet of Ovates hung back, clinging to each other, their teeth chattering. “Us, lead?” whined Kat Lady? “Through a cemetery at night in the fog? Uh-uh, I don’t think so.”

“Fine bunch of Ovates OBOD is turning out these days,” muttered Alferian, holding his illuminator wand high over his head. “and one of them with a pumpkin medallion, too. Okay, come on, Dryadia, we’ll lead, follow us.”

The friends tiptoed through the cemetery, the tombstones casting long shadows in the light of Alferian’s wand. Trees and shrubs shown darkly in the gloom at the very edge of their small circle of light.

Crow, stumping along as near to the center of the group as possible, suddenly saw an object lying on the grass. He cocked his head and peered at it with one eye. “Look,” he said. “Sombody has lost their comb. Azrienoch, I guess you didn’t need it any more, but it’s not nice to litter in a graveyard.” He stooped to pick it up.

“Noooooooooooooooo,” screamed Beith, but it was too late.

Suddenly from all around them came the wail of banshees.

“burning leaves,” said Carragh.

“Now you’ve done it!” said Beith.

Standing there and holding the silver comb in his outstretched feathers, Crow knew that he’d screwed up, but he didn’t know how. Shivering, he wondered what would happen next …

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Postby Mike » 18 Oct 2005, 21:14

Lorraine spoke up first,

"It looks very similar to the one that Wolfwalker uses to groom his pack but what is it doing here in a UK graveyard?"

"Allow me to answer that" said Crow "During a recent trip to the USA, and being fascinated by all things shiny, I must have urrmm accidently, yes that's right, accidently picked it up. I dropped it earlier on my way to the B & B but that was by the Yew tree not here"

"So how did it get here then" asked Dryadia

"Someone must have posted it" said Mike helpfully "The Royal Mail is ever so quick these days"

Just then a great wail emmited from Az's head "Am I going to be left here all night or is that useless lunk of a body going to come and retrieve me?"

"Well I would" replied Az "But seeing as you have the eyes I don't know where you are"

"So follow the sound of the voice then " said the head

"Can't hear it - you have the ears as well"

"So how can you talk seeing as I have the mouth also?" asked the head

"Oh that is easily explained" answered Anonymoose "Like most Druid he talks out of his a.........."


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