Holding the Fort

It is all hands to the wheel while Aoibheann is incapacitated. Fortunately, Gywn is fully recovered and seems back to her normal self; working hard, grumbling about it, shrugging off praise with sarcastic comments. She was serving a new visitor to the tavern; a young lady of the fae persuasion, wearing what was almost enough fabric to be a white dress. Gwyn and I spoke of Aoibheann’s condition and about the hunter. The newcomer was intrigued by our discussion and appeared knowledgeable about the hunter. Which made sense, if, as I suspect, he is of fae stock, then another fae would know about such things. She was of the opinion that the best thing was to stay out of his way, but I told her that wasn’t always an option and that he had already hurt two of my friends. At least she confirmed that cold iron was a good defence, even if it was only something that hurt them to touch, so horseshoes around the door were unlikely to help.

Gwyn went off to visit Aoibheann in the infirmary, leaving me with this strange fae woman. Another woman wandered in, looking lost and hungry. At first, she was reluctant to have anything other than water, but I managed to persuade her that my offer of the first drink and meal was without strings. I brought her some lamb stew, bread and a glass of wine, which she wolfed down as though she had not eaten in many a day. She told me her name was Venus. Our pointy-eared guest seemed fascinated by her, as she had been by Gwyn earlier. Her manner reminded me too much of Brigitte, when she sights an attractive woman. On the other hand, earlier, she had said that my sword would just serve to turn her on, so perhaps she has… variable tastes. She left soon after, muttering something about the bath house, and Venus left a short while after that.

Seven appeared from upstairs, later in the evening. He looked worn and nervous, and kept looking outside and asking if it was safe. I assured him that I had not heard the hunter’s horn that night. I gave him some of the lamb stew, bread and some apple juice, which he also wolfed down as though he had not fed in days. I suppose it is possible. Although everybody in the tavern knows they have a standing free order of meals, they might be reluctant to ask unless it was offered. He waited a little while to see if his sister was coming down to eat, then went back upstairs to nap.

Just before he did, a new stranger appeared; a dark-haired man clad in leather. He spoke briefly to Seven, asking how he was and if things were calmer than last night. After Seven went upstairs, he came to the bar and started asking the usual questions about the Cove. He also asked about the hunter, but when I explained, he appeared to have not heard of the Celts or the Norse. Very odd. He said his name was Enizo of house Valska, although he admitted that neither of those names would mean anything to me, and he told me that he remembered little of his journey here. I told him briefly about the order of things in the cove, about the royals and their seneschal. He quickly picked up on my dislike of Niles, but understood very quickly my reasoning.

Ofeelia appeared briefly, but aside from calling me Natalie, and playing with her Tarot cards, she did not do much, and left soon after, as did our new guest. Soon, it was just me and the tavern, as it so often is in the evening.

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