Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Secrets of Cats tARE c6s10b

As they arrive to the domus Svansglidaren's mentor is even more tired than Svansglidaren himself who isn't exactly an physically fit cat. To the surprise of Svansglidaren and the others his burden and his family isn't at home. Frustrated Svansglidaren mumbles "How am I gonna protect when you run around in the night without me knowing where you are?!?" The two slaves and he door guard are home. Svansglidaren's mentor suggests that they are at the same misunderstood honour-the-gods-ritual as his burdens. Anyway, for the moment he's satisfied with the situation since advanced magic sensing requires him being quite absent. He asks them to keep away from the hall but guard and tell him if someone comes. Svansglidaren patrols uneasily and over and over asks the other if something has happened. Svansglidaren's mentor walks around in the hall and then lies down almost in the middle of the hall and fades out. It looks like he's talking to the pattern and then falls asleep.

Time passes.

The mentor wakes up and rises slightly unstable in a drowsy manner. Svansglidaren recognises how it is to return to the body after having slightly left it when dreamwalking. Grå leaves to catch a mouse. Eagerly led by Svansglidaren they walk out to the hortus (garden) to be able to talk undisturbed.

The mentor is gliding from different aspects of magic and humans and they're not fully following his reasoning but as he seems to become more present his reasoning become easier to follow. He says that there's something under the mosaic. They conclude that it must have been put there when the mosaic was put there and that's months ago. Why hasn't the magic triggerd? How could a fresh sacrifice be maintained under the mosaic for month? They reason back and forth. Maybe someone put a sacrifice there first when the sacrifice was put there and then the magic was initiated later. That still doesn't explain how the sacrifice could be maintained in a useful state for so long. It would require a very large sacrifice and very hard to slip in there while the mosaic was being laid there. A possible solution might be that someone got hold of something with a connection to someone in the household. That would be a way to make magic affect the household or someone in it. When Svansglidaren think back he remmebers that there were great frustration in the household because the mosaic layer blocked of the whole hall while he was working because he was an artist and needed space and peace while the household mostly saw him like any worker they contracted for other building actions. That could have opened up for putting something under the mosaic. They still don't know what the magic does though and maybe it's not possible to find except maybe by waiting and see if something happens that could be connected to it. That doesn't feel like a way they want to go.

Instead they start to think about how they could get the mosaic getting picked up and the thing under it discovered and removed. Suddenly they are distracted for awhile by Grå returning not only with a mouse for Svansglidaren's mentor but for them each. The eat a little and enjoy the fresh meat before continuing the discussion.

They discuss how to for example discolour the mosaic so that they would have to replace it and in that process find the thing under it. Blood is suggested but is not a favourable option. Maybe ink could be a better option. There is ink in the tablinum (office/study room). If they were to spill ink there now it would start to dry and stick before anyone discovers it. The mentor shows where the thing is and Grå and Tryggtass fetches ink. Svansglidaren keeps away so that he don't get ink on himself so that he should not get the blame. The other aren't here so much that the risk of getting the blame is quite small.

Grå topples the ink-bottle in the hall and pushed the bottle around a little so that the ink spreads around. Grå put back the cork and they carry back the ink-bottle to the desk. The humans will notice that the ink is gone and that there's ink in the hall. It will look like someone was carrying the ink-bottle and accidentally or willingly spilled the ink and the put back the bottle and left to not be caught. Any human knows that that could be the household cat. Perfect coverup.

Since most of the night is left they decide to use it for something and walks of to Skarpöra's territory. When they arrive they notice a lighter mood among cats in the area. They search for Skarpöra and after a while find her in an apartment. They can't get inside though so they decide to climp up to the window alcove since the shutters are slightly open to let in some air. To not crowd her and threaten her so much only Tryggtass climbs up. Svansglidaren stays on the ground and Grå climbs up in another window to peek into the apartment.

Tryggtass silently calls for Skarpöra to not waken the humans she can feel the scent of. "Can I enter?" she asks. She doesn't get any answer but Skarpöra comes over to window to talk to her. Tyrggtass express her curiosity over what the meaning with the street hogging was but doesn't get any real answers out of Skarpöra. Not even when she brings up the topic of Skarpöra's former companions but no longer her friends. Not even questioning the perceived loyalty to cats no longer loyal to Skarpöra gets her anywhere. While waiting Svansglidaren vaguely sense a rat at the border of his sewer ward. A little like a regular stupid rat walked into the ward and confused turned around. Another rat tries and gets a firm "No!" from Svansglidaren and turns around. The ward is working but it is worrying that so many rats are at least slightly magical capable (otherwise they wouldn't be able to challenge the ward in any way). Rats are usually not even sentient. Maybe that's something to mention to the senate or at least princeps. They decide to do that and walks over to that area of the region. They meet the secretary cat and asks if she has heard anything about magic rats. "No, not since my grandma told me about magic scary rats to keep me an obedient little kitty." she says with a smile. They tell her about the ward and the repeated tries to get through it. It could of course be a stupid magic rat but it could also be several of them. They also tell her about the many albino rats that have appeared around Grå's and Tryggtass' territories. Princeps secretary cat is slightly skeptical but dutifully listens to them and promises to tell princeps herself. They thank her and leave.

They all think that they've done enough for a productive night and goes home to sleep and rest. Before going to sleep Svansglidaren climbs up to his favourite sacrificial space and sacrifices to his forefathers. When he leaves he thinks of his burden's family who sometimes when they see him sit there jokes that it's almost like if the cat were sitting guard and protecting them. Then they laugh and say "but it's only a cat". As he stops at the humans' forefather alter, in this case of a family moving here a common denominator of getting in contact with forefathers, he thinks of how the humans also joke when he sacrifices in front of the alter. "It's almost like he's trying to sacrifice to the forefathers'' they say and for once don't get annoyed by him leaving sacrificial mice in the domus "but it's only a cat" they then say and smile.

Shortly after that he hear his burden shouting at the slaves and slapping them asking who spilled the ink and shouting to them that they should not lie to him. The door guard has had to lower his status and scrub the hall mosaic. His burden seems to in a way believe the slaves after slapping them somewhat and instead starts to shout obvious instructions to the slaves like "In this household we don't move around master's things and most of all we don't go about and drop them". The he storms into the tablinum and when seeing the Svansglidaren shouts "And that goes for you too!". The cat didn't carry around any of master's stuff and did especially not drop any of his stuff.

When the master comes out again and finds all the salves and the guard scrubbing the mosaic he shouts at them that it's of course no idea, that they obviously will have to replace the mosaic. "But you told us to..." one of them tries. "But I was upset, stupid" master answers him and storms back into the tablinum muttering something about "slaves of today". The slaves and the guard looks confused at each other and silently takes the stuff back to the kitchen. The master's wife seems to be standing and calculating the cost of removing the mosaic and putting a new one there.

In the morning when they're more balanced the family decide to exchange the mosaic and are doing calculations of the cost and thinking about whether they could use their own slaves to remove the mosaic since that's destroyed anyway. During the day the cats spend some time checking where sewers ends in the river Tiber and if it's possible to track the sewer with the rat hole but since they don't know if it's going straight or not and don't know which manholes or doors that goes to that specific sewer they can't really follow it.

At a nightfall there's another attempt to break through the ward and Svansglidaren had to actually make an effort. Maybe all the earlier successful blockings has made him sloppy or have they fetched The Great Warlock Rat? Suddenly there's another attempt and the rat breaks through and they all run there to stop it. Svansglidaren is a little scared both because he's not really a fighter and because some weird magic rat has broken through one of his wards. The surround the opening and close in on it. A rat big as a minor cat sits outside the hole. They attack the rat before they start to hesitate and also are motivated by the situation of strong magic rats trying to do something whatever it is. A fight breaks out and the rat fights back instead of fleeing and since it's so big they actually have to be somewhat careful when fighting it. The fight goes better for the cats though and the rat tries to flee into the hole again. Not with three hero-like cats against it and it turns again to fight and hurt them as much as possible before dying and it dies quite quick for the paws of Grå and Tryggtass.

The warden is broken since the rat shoved out the sacrificial rat from the hole to get out. On the inside of the hole they see eyes faintly reflecting light and hear rats hiss towards them. The cats starts to shove the newly killed rat into the hole as a new sacrifice to create a new ward agains rats. Luckily they've managed to do this without any human noticing them and getting suspicious. They're spooked by the abundance of large albino rats and on top of that large albino rats with magical abilities. They discuss whether they should try to bring up this on an actual senate meeting and maybe ask if any other cats maybe have more knowledge about the sewers.

No comments:

Post a Comment