Mar. 8th, 2013

masterofgunfu: (hyena-what)
[OOC: All dialog taken from Magic Burns, pages 104 and 105.]

Kate slid a beat-up book over from the top of the stack she had brought with her and flipped it open to the index. Some volume of myths and legends which, oddly, smelled of chicken.

"Your books smell like chicken," Raphael said from behind me where he had been rubbing my shoulders; which felt incredible. Had to give the guy credit, he really knew how to work a muscle. Okay, that sounded bad.

I reigned my thoughts in and shrugged off his hands. It was time to work. "If you're going to look for Julie, I'll help. She's my responsibility."

"No, she's mine," Kate shook her head. She was wrong of course since Julie had been in my keeping when she was kidnapped but now wasn't the time. "There is nothing I can do for her right now. But I can find Morrigan's bowman," she began and explained about The Sisters of the Crow, a coven Julie's mother had belonged to which was lead by a woman named--I swear this is the truth--Esmeralda and how they had done some ritual that started this whole mess. She then went into more detail about the reeves, their latest attack and needing Bran's blood, Bran being Morrigan's bowman. "When the reeves attacked us, the Shepherd mentioned the Great Crow. Let's see…"

We watched Kate flip pages back and forth for a few minutes, her forehead wrinkling in thought a few times. She stopped once to read and Raphael asked, "Any luck?" but she shook her head and said, "Not yet."

Then she had the expression that read like a face palm.

"What?" I asked as it was obvious she had found something.

She turned the book to show us an illustration of what seemed to be a boy being chased by an older woman as they both changed shape, ultimately ending with the boy (as a grain of wheat) being eaten by the woman (in the shape of a chicken).

"Birth of Taliesin. The goddess Ceridwen had a son of incredible ugliness. She felt sorry for him and brewed a potion of wisdom in a huge cauldron to make him wise. A servant boy stired the potion and accidentally tasted it, stealing the gift of wisdom. Ceridwen chased him. He turned into a grain of wheat to hide but Ceridwen turned into a chicken, swallowed him, and gave birth to Taliesin, the greatest poet, bard, and druid of his time."

I frowned, not quite getting the connection. "Yes, I see that the boy was reborn through the cauldron, but so what?"

"The name of the Goddess's ugly son. Morfran: from the Welsh mawr, "big", and bran, 'crow'. The Great Crow."

"This is the guy?" Raphael asked. "The guy in charge of the Fomorians?"

"Looks that way," Kate answered. "And more, he is a crow just like Morrigan. Very similar names plus very uneducated witches equals…"

"Disaster," Raphael finished for her.

"Those idiot Sisters couldn't actually be that ignorant," I added doubtfully. "Fumbling spells--yes, but screwing up enough to accidentally pray to the wrong deity? Morfran and Morrigan aren't even of the same gender."

"Maybe the started out praying to Morrigan, and then fumbled just enough to give Morfran an opening. Maybe Morfran managed to make a deal with Esmeralda. She wanted knowledge and he offered it to her. Taliesin, Morfran's half brother, served as a druid for King Arthur after Merlin. It follows that Morfran was probably also a druid. Who else would've taught Esmeralda druidic rites?"

I leaned forward, playing Devil's Advocate to make sure we looked at this through all angles; a child's life was at stake here. "Okay, but to what purpose? Why go through all that trouble?"

"I don't know," Kate answered rubbing at her chin. "If you were a god, what would you want?" She picked up the tea pot and filled Aunt B's cup before doing the same for her own.

"Life," Raphael said.

"I'm sorry?" Kate asked. I looked up at him, pretty sure I knew what his point was but curious to see if I was right.

"I would want life. All they do is look down on us from wherever that exist but they never get to take part. Never get to play."

A good guess but impossible. "It doesn't work like that," I said looking back to Kate. "Post-shift theory says a true deity can't manifest in our world."

"You see reports of deities all the time," Raphael said reaching for my shoulders to massage them again. I leaned into his hands a bit but not so much as to give him ideas.

"Those aren't actual true deities. They're conjurer's constructs, wicker men for their imagination. Basically magic molded into a certain shape. They have no sense of self." I took a sip of tea before continuing.

"First, most people imagine their deity within some magical realm. I mean, what worshiper pictures Zeus strolling down the street with a thunderbolt under his arm? To manifest on Earth would require independent will on the part of the deity. That's a pretty big hurdle right there. Second, deities run on the faith of their congregations like cars run on gasoline. The moment the magic ebbs, the flow of faith cuts off. No juice, no powers. Who knows what would happen to a god? They could hibernate, they could die, they could be jerked out of existence. The magic is simply not that strong and the shifts are too frequent for a deity to appear…"

"Unless she does it during a flare," Kate said in a quiet voice that echoed off the kitchen walls.

I opened my mouth to argue but closed it with a click.
Damn.

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Andrea Maria Nash

August 2014

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