Since 1998 

Page 1  2  3  4  5      Main

Tarot Readings

Date: 01-19-09
Poster: Mikhail MacKay
Post # 1

Tarot Readings

Mikhail was relaxed out in front of the hearth. Glass of potcheen on the side table near where his hand rested. The deck of Tarot cards there as well wrapped up in the black silk. Thoughts were far away as he watched the flames dance over the logs in a hypnotic way. A patchwork leather vest in dark shades was worn over a powder blue shirt, black pants and boots.

She considered more and more each day the act of slipping away from her guard. Just once, just once. Mostly to see if she could be as sneaky as some of the others. She was wrapped up in white, layers of it, trimmed in gold. Abe was at her heels, even after he let her in through the doorway. Her head bowed and her eyes sent a brooding glance along the floor. A quick one. She removed one layer, her cloak, and passed it off to Abe before walking away. She tipped her head forward, a nod, when she caught sight of Mikhail. "Good eve."

Pyper came in, bundled up tightly against the cold, her cheeks rosy from the chill in the air, but a smile on her face. She pulled down the hood to her coat, and unwound her scarf as she came in, and ordered a warmed peach brandy.

He'd been sitting far too long and so gaining his feet was a welcome feat. Smile swept easily with the show of white to be there and gone. "Good evening Banafrit," barely welcomed as Pyper was coming in her wake. "Pyper. Is it still snowing outside?"

"Good evening, Pyper." Accented greeting through a hinted smile. She glanced aside to Mikhail, then to Abe. Her head scarf was completely removed, for once as she settled down into a chair near the hearth. "Will the snowing ever stop?" Somewhat of an answer and a complaint, too!

"Good evening Mikhail," she said with a smile. "Aye, it is, but it has let up a bit." As she came in, and collected her drink. "Evening Banafrit."

Kaylea knew her brother was close. Of course, she had been cheating but only he would know that. She peeked through the window in a way that would have made Maddie and Pearl proud. She ducked back down and sneaked in through the back door, putting a finger up to her lips. Lucky for her the guards knew her! She removed her outer wear before she reached the door. And then sent a snowball flying toward her big brother. She'd clean it up for Alex in a bit.

"It probably wont until spring or least slow down. We've had snow accumulations of a few feet in April still but at least it doesn't last for the majority of warmer days." He was aware of his sister though she was being elusive until in completely and the reflective action as a hand was up to catch that snowball as quick as it had been sent and sent right back her way with a grin.

With the sudden snowball fight, she had a flashback of the lake. She ducked, even though nothing had been aimed her way.

Pyper was about to say something to him, hearing someone sneaking around had put a smile on her face, but seeing him catch the snowball had her jaw drop just a bit.

Which she noted a little late. Her brow arched and she glanced aside to Pyper.

That was why her brothers weren't any fun. They cheated! She had already moved so the snowball splatted against the wall but it still sent a shower of snow over her. She squeaked then laughed. "Bah. I should have known I wouldn't get the better of you." She would keep trying though. Just needed him distracted enough. Brushing the snow from her hair and shoulders, she smiled at the two women. "Evening, ladies." Mikhail was going to get a big ol' hug, with no tricks attached.

She closed her mouth and giggled a bit. "Evening Kaylea. I hope you are having a good evening."

"Good evening, Kaylea." She smiled. And with the head scarf off, it could be easily seen. She had her hair down tonight and she combed her fingers through it.

"Now, if my drink hadn't been in my right hand..." he had caught it with his left and prominently right handed. The slide of his hand went against the side of his pants, setting his glass down as well before he caught his sister up into his arms. "You need to remember why I am one of the best warriors," which was low near her ear during that swing about before she was set to her feet. He'd not say it loud for he was not really bragging, it was a fact. "Now, maybe I should read your card for it's been a while?"

"Anhur asked if I wished to marry. I told him of my reading." She mentioned to Mikhail when he asked Kaylea if he could read her card. She placed her hands in her lap and tipped a small smile over towards Pyper.

She hugged him tightly then gave him an impish look when he whispered. "It has been a while. Aye, if you would like." She blinked and looked at Banafrit. "What did you tell him?"

She smiled back and gave a nod to Banafrit. She was a bit surprised at the Egyptians next statement. "What was your answer?" almost mimicking Kaylea.

"Ah, it was something.. like.. yes, then that I was not sure. I think.. it depends on finding a man that would accept our custom. I do not know. It may happen. It may not." Something else was said, but she didn't open up on that bit.

He wasn't quite sure what Banafrit was meaning. About to ask her the same as his sister but then didn't need to as he listened for the answer. "What of your customs do you think would be hard for a man that was drawn to you in that way would have trouble with?" He was curious as to her view on the matter. He motioned for Kaylea to take a seat near with the table between as he shuffled the cards. She knew the procedure as they were then passed to her.

"It may be arranged. The marriage. That may be one .." She struggled for the right word. "..issue." She glanced over to Abe that stood near the hearth. He wore a devil's grin.

Which he caught that exchanged between Banafrit and her guard. "If it were arranged then it would be with another that holds your traditions. I know such was arranged for Desh and Isaac by their parents when they came of age. In the meantime, events had the two families moving here," which she was of one of those families. "They were unsure to hold to the tradition as such is not held here and so it was left up to Desh and Isaac to decide. I believe they are drawn to each other no matter the arrangement."

She was over to the table as soon as Mikhail motioned and sat with one leg tucked beneath her. She shuffled the cards, cut them into three, put them together again and handed them back. "An issue that is personal?" She was nosey and Mikhail could smack her one for it if he wanted, but not hard.

The Elf listened, learning about Banafrit's culture a bit in the process, perched on her stool, her hands wrapped around the warmed glass of brandy.

"Perhaps they are arranging a marriage with your guard Abe here," certainly that would account for his wicked grin.

"No, most here do not follow the custom-- that custom, of arranged marriages." Answering Kaylea first. She was thinking over Mikhail's words. Though his last had her eyes widening. And had her blurting out what Abe was grinning over. "No! Anhur asked if I had interest in you.. " That trailed off very slowly and because this was somehow Abe's fault, somehow, she fixed him with a brooding stare.

He was teasing her, "then again Anhur could be arranging that you become his wife. Or..." except her last had him looking up as he was about to turn over the card. Dark brows lifting. "If he asked if you had interest in me, then I doubt he is trying to arrange any marriage for you. That would indicate freedom of choice and acknowledging it." Dark eyes held to hers as there was an shielded intensity there, he didn't ask if she had an interest in him, would not put her on the spot. The card that was finally turned over was the Five of Wands. It portrays Jason's battle with the dragon which guards the Golden Fleece. The dragon, huge and covered in greenish scales, belches fire from its mouth while it clutches the precious Fleece in its claws.

Jason battles it with two flaming wands. Besides him stands his lover and helper, the sorceress Medea, daughter of King Aeetes of Colcis in whose possession the Fleece has lain. She is beautiful and black haired, garbed in a flame colored gown and carries three flaming wands. Focus switching to Kaylea with some concern. "The five of wands augurs a time of struggle where the individual must battle with the dragon of material reality to achieve the goal. Mundane matters may begin to go wrong and more attention must be paid to the demands and limits of concrete reality; or the individual falls into the grip of a depressive or apathetic mood. Compromises must be made while still retaining the integrity of the original vision." Which had him pause in consideration. "Have you a particular goal of late?"

She listened quietly, pursing her lips slightly in thought. When Mikhail spoke, she looked from the card to him. "I've been thinking about going to find the wild horses. Also, to plan on animals that I'd like to see in the zoo. Beyond that ... no." Her family was here except for their sister, and she wanted them all happy.

She continued to listen, curious as to the description of the card for Kaylea, and both their reactions to it. It all fascinated her.

She was silent, her attention on the card reading. Listening, yes, and a glance briefly ticked away to the flames in the hearth, then back again to Mikhail and Kaylea.

"You usually don't overly struggle but certainly you've had to fight." Which reflected back on what plagued their family even if they were presently safe. "Time will tell but I feel whatever it is, you will triumph even if the going will be rough."

Abe reminded her of something. And Banafrit winced openly in reply. She rose up smoothly. "I am sorry, I was not aware of the hour. Have a pleasant eve," she murmured on her way to the door. She had her head scarf on in the matter of seconds. One day soon, she'll plan a visit where she can actually stay longer.

She noticed Banafrit taking her leave. "Good night to you Banafrit. Safe may your travels be wherever they take you." she said with a smile.

"Good night, Banafrit. It was good to see you again." Mikhail had received a smile for his words though she couldn't imagine what the problem might be.

She wasn't sure what sort of look she was trying to achieve tonight. With her hair, at least. It was all in.. tiny little braids that swung along her spine, the ends of them decorated with small, wooden beads of varying colors. She removed her cloak as she swept in, humming a cheerful song. Warm in dove grey pants and a darker sweater, she hung her cloak then plucked at her sleeves as she headed for the bar. "Good evening, everyone."

They spent the whole day up until now in their leather shop and time to get out for a bit before they slept. So Trevet and Kynan headed up to the Thistle in the hope of some company, food and drink.

Banafrit was quick to take her leave as dark eyes trailed her rushed departure. Almost in her wake, there was Gaelle as a smile surfaced with his greeting. "Evening Gaelle. It's been some time, how are you doing?"

It was all coming along nicely though and his expression showed how pleased he was. "I'm surprised at how nice the flat is." He looked toward the Thistle and grinned. "Family's here." There was a whisper of something near his ear and he patted his shoulder but didn't say a word. Up the steps and he held the door this time for Treve.

She turned to ask Alex to refill her drink, just as Gaelle came in. "Evening to you Gaelle. I hope you are well this night," almost echoing Mikhail this time.

"It has been quite a while. I'm doing fine, just fine. Staying busy. How are you? And you, Pyper?" She turned up a dazzling smile as she settled down on one of the barstools. She wasn't sure what she wanted to order, just yet.

"Aye," grinning for he heard the same whisper although maybe not the same familiar. He had yet to meet the one that came and went around him and more around him of late. He had a feeling it was a different one, one from the Hollow Hills. Time would tell. The old wise Druid there had said something about protection when it came time for him to leave. He was up the steps and soon within. "Evening," greeting all present as he divested of the long woolen hooded cloak, as well scarf and gloves. Hanging his cloak before giving the snow a dusting off.

She nodded to Gaelle, "I'm well, thank you." as she turned to see who else was entering, smiling as she saw the two brothers entering, curious as to how their shop was going. "Evening sirs."

"I am doing well, pleased in fact. Have you met my brothers who have returned?" Ruarc and Aedan were also home but hadn't come out socially yet for all they needed to see to. There were stirrings still. He tapped the cards, "anyone wish their card read?" He would definitely get to Trevet and Kynan as it was overdue. Time just didn't lend to reading their cards yet.

She turned her attention to the door, which required a bit of a twist on her barstool. She watched briefly, then shook her head. "I have not met them." Answering Mikhail's first, then for his second. "I would, but someone else can go first, if they wish." She turned to order punch from Alex.

"My brothers, Trevet and Kynan. Please to meet Gaelle. Have you met Pyper yet?"

"Evening everyone." He was over to hug Kaylea and whispered something to her then he turned after picking up the glass of ale placed on the bar for him. He'd order the Irish stew after meeting everyone.

He was over to claim a glass of potcheen and some stew with brown bread on the side. "Aye, I've met Pyper. Nice to see you again. A pleasure to meet you Gaelle." Which he made due note of both in a quick efficient way without overly looking per say.

She nodded, "Aye, we have, just the other night. They were kind enough to help fix something for me." She turned to Trevet. "Aye, it is a pleasure.... except you are not wearing your....." she had to think of the word." ... costume." Hoping that was the right word for it. "The hat and such..." she was teasing him a bit, though it had looked good on him.

Kaylea got a hug from him following Kynan. "I can have mine read once I eat." Maybe it would turn up better on a full stomach.

"Nice to meet you Gaelle. We met Pyper at the shop the first night we were there. Aye, Gaelle can go first. I'm starving!"

"Nice to meet you, Trevet, Kynan." Easy grin cast to them.

About to claim a stool as the stew was set out but ended up staring at Pyper a moment, blank lost expression until it hit. "Ah, no. It wasn't a costume anyway." Remembering she had thought it that.

"Treve likes to dress up." Snickering, he tried to duck out of hitting range.

He was wearing a vest of dark green over a cream poet's shirt, black pants and boots. Boots that still showed some crusted snow. "What is sold there is regular clothing, I just tried on a Stetson and one of the long coats to see how they looked." And yes, Kynan got a swat to his shoulder.

"Oh...." now it was her turn for a blank look, just not quite understand it all. But gave a smile as the brother commented. "Well I thought it looked nice on him." She chuckled then as Kynan got swatted.

He was chuckling under his breath as he watched the antics between them. It was good to see and so was thoroughly enjoying it. He was seated again and would wait. Anyone that wanted to have their card read would be over.

Oh, the brothers were going to eat first, right. She finally got up, with her drink, to ease towards Mikhail. She sat across from him and set her glass down.

"Thank you Pyper. I thought they looked good as well. Enough that I have set them aside to pay for once I've the coins." It wouldn't hurt to wear some of what they sold, walking advertisement.


Date: 01-19-09
Poster: Mikhail MacKay
Post # 2

He took up the cards, folding the last one into the deck before shuffling them. Once done he set them over in reach of Gaelle. "Shuffle, cut three times then back to one." She would remember the procedure.

"Owwww." He used a whining voice then grinned at Treve. He had enough for what he was wearing. Black leather vest over a blue shirt. Of course, his pants were just plain black cotton and his boots his old comfortable ones. As soon as the food was placed before him, he was scarfing it down.

She gave Trevet a tilted nod of her head, that she thought it a good idea too, a smile on her face as she then stayed quiet to hear what card Gaelle chose and what it might mean.

"Yes, Sir." Teasing. She took the cards gently and shuffled them up. Then cut them into three, small stacks. Once she had them all together again, she passed them back to Mikhail.

Kaylea had happily hugged both of her 'little' brothers, who just happened to be taller then her. She sat at the table again, drinking her tea and watching Mikhail and Gaelle.

He turned over the card, showing Temperance. It portrays a beautiful black haired young woman garbed in rainbow colored robes and bearing wings of many hues. She stands with one foot in a clear stream and one foot on dry land. Along the sides of the stream-bed grow purple irises. Behind her in the sky stretches a rainbow. In her hands she holds two cups, one of gold and one of silver, and pours water from one to the other.

"The appearance of Temperance implies the need for a flow of feeling in a relationship. Iris, the guardian of the rainbow, suggest the potential for harmony and cooperation resulting in a good relationship or a happy marriage. We are all challenged with the issue of learning to develop a balanced heart, while also being gently reminded that the Fool cannot remain forever even with the beautiful Iris and must pass on to the next Moral Lesson. Only you will know how this fits within your life presently or soon to come." The readings of one card were for the present and near future, within a couple of months.

He was listening while devouring the stew and bread. He realized he'd not eaten since earlier in the afternoon and was starving. The stew filling along with the bread. He glanced to Kynan with a slight snicker under his breath. "Someone falling in love or hope to?"

He looked up when he heard Trevet and gave a quick nod. Couldn't really answer with his mouth full but it sounded like it to him!

He heard his brother as dark eyes skipped there a moment then back to Gaelle. He really hoped a good one came up for Trevet along the same lines, just because!

She furrowed her brows as she stared at the card, then up at Mikhail, then down at the card again. Up, down, and if she had heard Trevet, she would have turned every shade of red possible!

Pyper couldn't help smiling a bit at hearing that, but as Mikhail said, only Gaelle would know for sure.

"Trevet, get your arse over here." He was getting too curious as what would come up for that particular brother after his comment. He knew he was near done with his food too. "Kynan, your next then Pyper if she would like a card read." It had been a while for her as well.

She nodded her head, game to try it again. She found this all very interesting.

Gaelle let out a little giggle. And she stood up to even give her chair to one of the brothers. She was giggling again. And sent a look over to Pyper with a wide smile.

He was done with his meal, eyeing Kynan before grinning as he was up and over to take up a seat near his brother Mikhail. "I'm ready."

Kaylea smiled at Gaelle but didn't say anything. She watched as Treve approached, winking at him.

Gaelle was giggling! Brows lifted, not just once but twice. Was giggling good? "I trust you like the card that turned up for you Gaelle?" He couldn't resist as the card was folded back into the deck then shuffled. Once done he handed it over to Trevet to do the same. His brother was well acquainted with card reading.

Kaylea got a wink as he took up the cards, shuffling them, cutting three times and putting back in the opposite order before placing it in front of his brother again.

Kaylea was too quiet. Gaelle sent her a smile, too. And by now, she was a little red in the cheeks. "Yes. I do." She answered Mikhail.

He turned over Trevet's card to expose The Chariot. It portrayed a handsome, virile man with curling auburn hair, blue eyes and ruddy complexion, driving a bronze war-chariot. He is dressed in bronze amour, bronze helmet and a blood-red tunic. At his hip is a bronze shield and at his side is balanced a large spear. He grips the reins of two horses, one black and one white, which pull in opposite directions before him. The dusty road on which he travels winds into a reddish, desert-like landscape, while the sky lowers with an impending storm.

"We have the Chariot which augurs conflict and struggle which can result in a stronger personality. One may come face to face not only with aggression in others, but with one's own competitive and aggressive drives. This conflict cannot be avoided, but needs to be faced with strength and containment. Thus the Fool comes to harmony through learning to handle his own contradictions and passes from the world of adolescence to the next stage of his journey."

He listened carefully, hard to read dark eyes most like his brother Mikhail's. "I am ready. Have been ready." He was use to facing contradictions and the like, knowing well it made him stronger. He didn't take it as some kind of doom to befall but a new challenge to rise up to meet head on. Relying on his strength of character and morals in an ultimate victory no matter how hard it was getting there. "Thank you brother," life was not going to be mundane! He was up to let his brother take up the hot seat.

He had finished eating and pushed the plate away before wandering over to the table. Leaning against, Kaylea's chair, he watched his two brothers a moment. Once Treve was out of the chair, he sat and placed the tankard on the table.

She sat perched on her stool, slowly sipping her brandy, listening and watching, interested in how each reacted to their card.

He slipped the card back into the deck before shuffling it good. Once done he set it within reach of Kynan to do the same, cut and put back to one pile.

He took his time shuffling, then cut the deck and placed the cards back together. They were handed back to Mikhail.

She was still watching, but she moved around the table to come up to Pyper's side for a quiet lean against the bar.

She was considering both her and Treve's reading. Similar yet not. Still, she had no doubt they would both overcome any obstacles.

He turned over the top card to expose the Two of Cups. He was not overly surprised. Trevet the warrior and Kynan more the poet. The card portrays the initial meeting between Eros and Psyche. Psyche, dressed in white to proclaim her virginity, is bound by the order of Aphrodite on a high rock surrounded by sea. At her feet stands a golden cup. She looks away into the distance, awaiting her certain death in the jaws of the monster who lurks beneath the sea. Behind her, Eros hovers in the sky, shimmering with his golden hair and golden wings. In his right hand he holds a golden cup. In his left hand he carries the arrow with which he has just accidentally pricked himself, thereby inadvertently falling in love with the woman he has been ordered to kill.

"The Two of Cups augurs the beginning of a relationship. I can also suggest a reconciliation where an already existing relationship has undergone difficulty or separation. It can even imply the meeting and contractual arrangements of business partners, for here too the element of relationship is invoked." Which had a slow grin rising as dark eyes lifted to his brother. "Which do you prefer?" Certainly the last would fit perfectly for the business they just took over.

Which had him glancing from Kynan to Gaelle. Grin was insufferable in a way but teasing as well. Both got romance to come up or at least could go that way. "How about you my brother Mikhail, when is the last you pulled a card for your own reading?"

Had he been drinking, he might have choked with the first suggestion but then he laughed. "Business, definitely." Oh, he liked the lasses well enough, but a serious relationship? Not for him.  He hadn't seen the grin or he might have slugged Treve one.

It had been a while as he usually read for others. Dark gaze turning on Trevet in consideration. "I will draw one on myself but will do it last. After any others," which had that dark gaze turn on Pyper. "Pyper, would you like your card read again?"

He was up quick so Pyper had a place to sit. Back he went into his lean against Kay's chair.

She gave a nod and hopped down off the stool and went to sit in the chair.

Well, that answered that quick enough! He slipped the card back into the pile and shuffled before handing them to her do to the same, as well cut them three times then back to one pile.

She noticed Trevet's glance and his grin. She suddenly laughed!

She nodded and took the deck shuffling them slowly, then cutting the deck as the others had done, handing it back to him when it was once again one pile.

She was curious about Pyper's reading and stepped closer to the table to get a better look.

Which he set on the table, no more shuffling as he turned over the top card. The Hierophant. It portrays a strange figure, a Centaur, with the torso, arms and head of a man and the body of a horse. His long brown hair and beard and his benign, mature face suggests a priest or teacher. In his left hand he holds a scroll containing written wisdom. His right hand is held up in an ancient sign of blessing. To either side of him is a stone pillar. Behind him can be seen the rough rock of the cave which is both his home and his temple. Light streams down upon his crowned head from a circular opening in the roof of the cave. "Chiron, the Hierophant, implies when he appears that the individual will begin to actively seek answers of a philosophical kind. This may emerge as the study of a particular philosophy or system of belief or as a deep commitment to a quest for the meaning of life.

The Hierophant may appear in the form of an analyst, psychotherapist, priest or spiritual mentor in outside life to whom we turn for comfort and help. The fool thus emerges from his discovery of the underworld and the hidden powers of the unconscious seeking answers to the enigma of himself and the meaning of his life. When he meets the Hierophant he encounters that part of himself which can begin to formulate and express a personal philosophy, an individual vision of the spirit, which guides him as he leaves his childhood behind and ventures out into life's challenges." Dark eyes kept upon Pyper as he told of the card's meaning. In a way she had been as a child learning and now it seemed she would be taking a bigger step, no matter what her Elf age was. "Only you will know how this fits but I do wonder if there is such a catalyst in your life presently that you turn to?" If not then she would probably meet such a person.

She looked at the card for several quiet moments, then looked up at Mikhail with a smile. "Thank you saeo dhean." she then shook her head. "No.... there is not.... but ... maybe soon...." she then dipped her head a bit at him in respect and thanks, as an Elf would.

She was met with a smile and respectful dip of his head in return. "All will be as it should, Pyper. I feel that you knew, even expected this to come eventually and looked forward to it."

She nodded. "Aye, you are right... at least I had hoped it would come to pass at some point." And she would still wait, patiently, as it seemed that person was not a part of her life yet, or not as she knew them as such.

For the request of his brother, he slipped the card back into the pile before shuffling them again. Cut into three and stacked back as one in a different pattern before turning over the top card. The card was The World. It portrays a golden serpent coiled in the shape of an egg, eating its own tail. Within its circumference a strange figure dances, half male and half female, winged, crowned with laurel leaves and holding in each hand a golden staff. Around the egg-shape of the serpent can be seen, rising from the clouds, a cup, sword and flaming wand and a golden pentacle.

"My card is The World," glance lifting mostly to his brother Trevet for the request. "It is a card that augurs a time of achievement and integration. This is a period of triumph at the successful conclusion of a matter, or the reaching of a goal which has been worked hard for. But this peak is merely a glimpse of something mysterious and elusive, and the dancing Hermaphroditus becomes the foetus who eventually emerges from the cave as the Fool. Thus the great cycle of the Major Arcana ends where it begins, for we might start with Hermaphroditus as the unborn potential of the personality which ultimately leads to the birth of the Fool. And so the circle, like the World Snake, is complete."

He leaned forward slightly as Mikhail picked his own card, his hand coming to rest on his sister's shoulder. He knew she was feeling some worry and offered the touch as a gesture.

He watched from the distance giving a thoughtful nod. He felt the card fitted his brother well. Six read and all seemed to fit, wait. "Kaylea, did you have your card read?"

"Yes. It seems I have some goal I wish to achieve but it may take some doing to do so." And she would have to watch that she didn't fall into the black mood that seemed to plague their clan at times.

"Seems perhaps then we might be meeting the same challenge?" A lot of their challenges up until coming to these lands were faced as a whole or a few of them.

Which had her smiling at Treve. "It could very well be. Time will show us if that's so, aye?" She was glad to have her brothers here, and even more so now.

"Aye," leaving it go there. Time would tell but he would lend her his strength in any challenge if so it transpired he could. He was tired at this point. "I think I'm going to head back and get some sleep. It was a pleasure meeting you Gaelle, seeing you again Pyper and always good being with any and all members of my family."

She was thoughtful over the readings, all of them. And, she was growing tired. She slanted her gaze over to Trevet, smiling. "It was very nice to meet you. Rest well, Trevet."

She finished off her brandy and took the glass to the bar, then getting her own coat. "It was a pleasure as well Trevet." putting hers on, she then turned to the others. "I am off for the night as well. Pleasant dreams to you all, and safe may your travels be, wherever they take you." she gave another nod to Mikhail, "Thank you again Mikhail, for the reading."

"I'll join you." He smiled at the others. "Nice to meet you, Gaelle and good to see you, Pyper." He gave his sister a kiss to the cheek then. "We'll be coming to the manor for dinner tomorrow. Will you be cooking ?"

"I should be on my way, too." She set her glass to the bar. "Nice meeting you, Kynan. Good to see you again, Pyper, Kaylea, Mikhail. And thank you, very much, for the reading."

"Either myself or Adara." She laughed and poked his side then stood, yawing a bit herself and stretching. "Good night, ladies." She'd join her brothers in walking out. "Are you heading for the manor, Mikhail?"

He too rose from his seat, the cards carefully tucked away into the pouch on his belt. "A good night to you all, I enjoyed the time spent and hope the cards bring good things for each of you respectfully." Then to Kaylea, "aye, I will see you back of course." He was over to get his cloak with the others before heading out, group exit!

Cloak snagged, she went out with everyone else!

Winter gear donned as he was out with the rest leaving Alex to close up for the night.


Date: 02-10-09
Poster: Mikhail MacKay
Post # 3

Tarot Card Readings

Broch had come earlier as he'd been out riding, boots caked with snow were rid of the debris before entering. Marks still showed on the leather. Fur cloak hung on a peg just inside the door. He wore a brown tunic over a pristine shirt, tan pants and boots of a darker leather. The ancient runic sword hung from the wide belt at is left hip, sheathed and tie off in a peace knot. The bastard sword he left at home, favoring this new one given him by a special person in his life. One he was presently thinking on as he nursed a drink of potcheen.

She'd been busy for most of the day, but now that evening rolled around, she had a chance to break free. She'd been riding for a while now, and decided that stopping by the familiar tavern sounded like a pretty good idea. She left Buttercup to the hands of a stable boy before she turned for the door. Not often that she would be seen in leather.. anything, but there was a pair of pants that she had found that Charlie had given her. They fit quite nicely. She paired them up with a layering of tops, a ruffled blouse worn beneath an ivy green sweater. Bouncing up the steps, she palmed open the door and swished her way inside, brushing her long hair away from her shoulders. She blinked twice, seeing Broch at the bar and she grinned, slinking right up behind him to trap him in a hug. He didn't have to move, really.

Mikhail headed for the Thistle for a good late meal. Knowing well it would be good! Hazel was the finest and if he found a woman one day, he hoped she could cook and bake as good. There was the start of snow drifting. He also stopped by to check out Rick's snow castle. The lad needed to keep busy even in play. He was still chuckling knowing well those groups of teens didn't know what they were in for dealing with a McAndrews. Not far behind Gaelle as the door opened and closed once again, barely in and shrugging out of the heavier cloak. Leather tunic in a patchwork was worn over woolen pants of black and boots lacing up of the same hue. Eyeing the two as he saw to the task but would give them a few more minutes of privacy, seeing Gaelle was hugging Broch. Oh yes, he noticed! Set an amused glint in dark eyes.

He had seen her come in once the draft of air was felt, the mirror worked well to see without being noticed. He knew she liked to sneak up on him and there was a wicked smile to surface, still with his face away from her. "I bae a taken mon, lass. S'e bae catch'in yea like t'is s'e mig't claw out yea eyes o' break yea arms." She might notice he was looking right at her by way of the mirror, once eyes met there, he gave a wink. Quick he could be as he was around to bring her up into a bear hug. That's when he noticed Mikhail, "Guid eve'in tae yea Mik'ail." Greeting him in turn.

"Broch Ian Touchable Cunningham!" ..The touchable was in there for a reason--something said on a night out. He may remember. "I would do no such thing. I'd break her teeth instead and stick them up her a--hi, Mikhail." She cut her babbling in half, just in time to offer Mikhail a friendly greeting, while being all wrapped up in Broch's arms. She did not mind, so said the cheeky way Gaelle smiled. She reached up to fluff Broch's hair for no reason,  really, then planted a kiss to his cheek before weaseling around him to lean against the bar. She placed an order with Alex. Potcheen punch, tonight.

Laura had in the back hall where she had been given a small office. Paperwork finished, she blew out the oil lamp and made her way down the hall. Hearing a nickname for her brother, she paused a moment before continuing. Wouldn't do for her to be laughing.

Which had one of the warrior braids left sticking out at an angle. He was laughing as he hugged her up good, feisty she was and he loved it. Releasing her then that she might order a drink. "I bae well protected from all souch women," which there were some, but not of the lands. More the ones that came here to 'visit' but really looking for a man. He knew. Ran into a few. "Laura, come join us in a drink." She might notice how happy he was, something different about him in that way. It was a few things that had caused it.

"Good evening Broch, Gaelle," pausing as another came in from the back hall as he neared the bar. "Laura, good evening as well." Smile touched as once their drinks were delivered, potcheen was set out for him.

She slanted a look towards the back hallway when Broch said his sister's name. Gaelle, still holding onto that cheeky grin, lifted her hand to wiggle her fingers in a hello. "How is everyone tonight?" Friendly and far too cheerful for her own good. She straightened the braid that stuck out from Broch's head, biting a laugh off. She had the idea to mess up every braid, make them stick out in all directions. But she didn't. She was a good girl, for tonight, at least.

"Good evening, everyone." She chuckled as she headed out and for the bar, pausing to place a kiss to her brother's cheek. "Yes, how are you all? I'm fine."

"S'e bae fond'lin mae braids.." sounding a touch dirty when far from it. He was waiting to see if she blushed! Incorrigible he was. Sweeping an arm around Laura as she drew close and into a hug. Good one before easing from the embrace. "Sae, 'ow was everyone's day?"

He could probably just say the word 'fondling' without anything else, and she'd blush. He certainly got what he had been waiting for. Gaelle's cheeks turned a nice shade of red. "I am good, great, wonderful. My day has been quite well." She grinned off-side to Mikhail then slanted that grin towards Laura.

"I'll drink to that," comment Broch made in teasing Gaelle. Lifting his glass like it was something serious before kicking back a good swallow of the pure. He set the glass to the bar top as he topped it off being Alex left the bottle. "A good day, wandering, checking out the area." He was fine with an ordinary day, in fact relished them for all he and his family had been through.

She chuckled as she stepped back from her brother, eyeing him. Now what was he up to? "I had a busy day as usual, but all in all, it was a good one." She accepted a glass of brandy from Alex. "I'll be traveling to Ballicastle tomorrow, Broch."

He didn't say anything but one might tell he was enjoying the apples on Gaelle's cheeks. That's when he decided to let Laura know, first of his siblings. "Gaelle and I bae see'in eac' ot'er." Would she blush more? Then back to his sister, "will yea bae gone long?" Knowing well it might be a day trip or more, so was curious. Also worried on her naturally, in traveling the distance.

She did, indeed. She even went quiet when Broch broke the news. She watched Laura, perhaps waiting for a reaction and no doubt, hoping for the best. She even snuck a glance towards Mikhail, and there was a smile. She wondered if he was thinking of a particular reading he'd done for Gaelle not so long ago.

"Congratulations, both of you. You got yourself a fine woman, Broch." He was trying to recall the last reading he did for Gaelle if it had any indication in it she would be seeing someone.

"A couple days at most." She tipped her head slightly. "Seeing one another?" She was trying to clarify what he had said though Mikhail did. Her eyes went wide briefly. "Well... yes, congratulations." She held up her glass in a toast to them both and drank quite a bit of it down.

She was still blushing though she was curious to Laura's wide eyed stare. "Thank you both, very much." She lifted her glass, smiling over the rim of it before she took a drink.

"It bae recent," wasn't like he was hiding it. Not at all. "Din bae surprised iffin Mic'ael bae announc'in t'e same. T'ough," sliding a glance to Gaelle as she would find his arm sliding around her shoulders possessively, "no wit' Gaelle." Like he really needed to state the obvious but it went along with the lighter teasing.

"Michael? I didn't know either one of you had even been dating." She was wondering if he had told her what he had his siblings.

"I'd certainly hope not!" On the tail end of Broch's last. Her eyes were wide now, but she laughed quietly and leaned against him. She rested her cheek, briefly, against his shoulder. "Well, if I am not there when or if Michael makes his announcements, tell him well wishes for me?" For both Laura and Broch.

"If any of you would like a card read, possibly glimpse of the future..." while untying the pouch that contained his Tarot cards. A dark eyed look Laura's way in a slight curiosity of her reaction.

"It nae 'as been official dat'in like yea call it. Not until recently it bae becom'in t'at way." If that explained it. He reached over to run a thumb against Laura's cheek. "Yea bae next. 'ave yea card read." There was that ongoing teasing. Logan wasn't seeing anyone that he knew of, more like that would come as a surprise.

"It's hard to be next when I'm not seeing anyone." She chuckled then looked at Mikhail. Curiosity overcame any hesitation she might have felt. "All right, I will." She carried her glass over with her to the table, placing it aside where it wouldn't be bumped.

She turned slightly, enough to see Laura and Mikhail. She was curious, of course.

He indicated the table Laura had picked with a slight gesture of hand, "you're all welcome to join us of course." They could sit and relax, proceeding over as he drew out a chair for Laura to take then took up the one off to her right. Once seated, he shuffled the cards up good before placing them in front of her. "Shuffle them up then divide the stack into three, putting them back in whatever order before placing them back in front of me."

"I think I can do that." She gave him an impish look before picking up the cards and shuffling them quickly. Three piles were made before she had them back together and placed them in front of Mikhail. She apparently had learned to shuffle cards well in her youth.

Gaelle picked up her glass from the bartop, then glanced up towards Broch with a tip of her head, towards the table. She turned towards it, sweeping around to claim one of the chairs. She set her glass down first.

With his drink in hand, and making sure Gaelle had hers, he escorted her over to the table. Setting his glass before drawing out a chair for her next to Laura, then seating himself.

She had been patient! She didn't sit, yet. After Broch pulled out the chair, she settled down, murmuring a thank you to him.

Being Broch had teased his sister, he was going to give it more fodder. He turned over the card, showing Strength. "You will be meeting a man, muscular in build who will sweep you off his feet and take you to his cave for his own in claim." Dark eyes lifting but there was a glint of humor there, hopefully she felt the same. Prepared to be swatted before he would get serious. The card portrays a muscular, powerfully built man with curling chestnut hair, wearing only a red loincloth. He is engaged in a savage struggle with a lion, and has managed to wrap his strong hands around the beast's throat; at the critical moment he is winning the fight. Around man and lion loom the rocky walls of a dark cave. Through the mouth of the cave can be seen a barren landscape of brown hills.

"'e bae look'in a bit like Maurice McDonoug', sae iffin yea catch him in a red loinclot', Laura, yea bae 'n trouble." Teasing her as well with a wink.

"Now don't you start!" She did reach over to swat his arm. Had it been Broch, she would have punched him instead. "Teachers don't live in caves." She sniffed then felt her cheeks grow hot. "Not like I haven't seen a man running around in hardly anything. I live with the three of you." And they never knew when Laura would be home.


Date: 02-10-09
Poster: Mikhail MacKay
Post # 4

She leaned slightly, getting a peek of the card. Gaelle's mouth bloomed into a smile and she let out a quiet laugh for the teasing from the men. Laura's retort was even better. Gaelle pressed her hand over her mouth, trying to muffle her laughter, at least some!

"Yea got one ov'r Gaelle t'en. I din t'ink s'e bae see'in a mon 'n near not'in at all?" It started out as a statement only to turn into a question her way.

Which he let out the chuckle then turning to a laugh with more teasing to follow. Once done he started in on the meaning of the card. "This card implies a situation where a collision with the lion within is inevitable, and where a creative handling of one's own rage and senseless pride is desirable. Courage. Strength and self discipline are necessary to battle with the situation. Through such an experience we can come in contact with the beast, but also with that part of us which is Heracles, the hero who can subdue it. Thus the Fool, having developed the faculties of mind and feeling, now learns to deal with his own ferocious egotism, emerging from this contest with trust in himself and integrity toward others." He paused here while slipping the card back into the deck. "Only you will know how this fits, something already or something to come within the next six months." That was the usual duration of a one card reading.

"Uhm..No. I have seen them without shirts, which.. is that close enough?" It was to her! She glanced over the three. Now, she was the one blushing! She fell quiet as Mikhail explained the card.

"Yea bae becom'in feisty, mae ferocious sister," though there was pride in his words that he was stating, least to him, that Laura had fire in her soul. Something good, when kept in control but she had not shown such so far, least he saw.

She listened quietly, her brow furrowing in thought though she looked at Broch and chuckled. "I'm glad you see it. I'm not certain how it applies at this point." Maybe more brandy was in order. And that's what she had. And yes, she said at this point. Who knew what the future could bring?

"Some times yea need tae let gae, let t'e beast surface, grasp life and liv'in like Heracles is 'ere." He much desired for his sister to find what he found but knew she needed to become a little more ferocious, get others, men included, to stand up and notice. To take more than one glance, but three or four.

She listened to Broch speaking with his sister. She smiled to both of them, her eyes holding a tiny gleam. She picked up her glass then, for a sip.

"I see it as a good thing, if it comes about. Nothing is ever written in stone but more than likely the opportunity will arise to be allowed." One always had a choice, sometimes it was better to know what to avoid and what to embrace in life's challenges. He shuffled the cards as he placed them in front of Gaelle with a slight reach. Ladies first if she wanted a reading, "would you like a card read or you, Broch?" If she didn't she could pass them to him.

She was somewhat excited. Broch had never been present when she had her card read. And every single one she'd had read this far had been.. quite interesting, to say the least. She beamed at Mikhail and took the cards into her hand. She knew well the routine by now. And after cutting them into three stacks, she placed them back together and slid them towards Mikhail.

"If it does, then I'll be certain to let you know." Her smile was warm as she spoke. "Thank you, Mikhail." Green eyes shifted from him to Gaelle as she lifted her glass for another sip. She'd have to get a refill soon.

Once they were placed in front of him, he turned the top card over. Three of Wands. It portrays Jason newly arrived at the city of Iolkos. He wears only one sandal, having lost the other in crossing the river, thereby confirming the oracle which has prophesied his advent. He stands triumphantly, holding in his right hand three flaming wands. At his feet kneels the usurper, King Peilas, black haired and black bearded, dressed in royal purple, and offering with apparent humility the golden crown which he has unlawfully stolen.

She squinted at the card, brows furrowing. Naturally, she had no idea what the card meant. Expectantly, she lifted her eyes to study Mikhail.

The card placed so all could see the fine artwork, "the three of Wands implies a stage of initial completion of a creative idea or project. Good foundations have been laid, enthusiasm is high and there is a feeling of satisfaction and optimism about the future potential of the project. But there is also hard work ahead, and new plans which must be put into action before the full promise can be realized."

He was listening intently, after all this dealt with Gaelle. A glint brightened in burnished green eyes with a look her way, "I bae yea project?"

She canted her head to the side, pursing her lips. Then dark eyes slanted to stare at Broch. She grinned. "Indeed. If that's the case, then the reading definitely fits, no?" She chuckled quietly and lifted her glass again for a drink. When she set it down, she watched Mikhail again. "Thank you."

"Aye.. t'en it bae yea need tae work 'arder on mae to reap t'e full reward.." she walked right into that one as he added a suggestive waggle of brows.

She watched Broch.. again. "Hmm. I'm pretty sure that can be done." Her brows waggled and her grin was nothing short of wicked.

He slipped the card back into the deck and shuffled them as he watched the two, a chuckle under is breath before dark eyes were upon the quiet Laura. Perhaps there was more buried in the more demure woman? He was curious but then pulled back to the project at hand, passing the cards down to Broch. He knew what to do with them by now.

He only smiled more, held her eyes then finally tore his away as he took the cards. Shuffling them, parting them into three, putting them back before handing them back to Mikhail.

Her eyes lifted from her drink to Mikhail when he looked her way, a hint of an impish smile appearing. Her expression changed slightly when she turned her attention to her brother.

Her cheeks heated, turned a nice shade of red. No telling what she had been thinking when she was caught in that eye contact with Broch. When he repeated the card ritual and handed them back to Mikhail, her attention turned that way. She watched silently, curious to what the cards would reveal.

He turned over the card, Judgement. It portrays a young man with curling black hair, dressed in a white tunic and a blood red traveling cloak. On his head is a winged helmet, and his feet are shod in winged sandals. In his right hand he holds the caduceus, the staff of magic entwined with two snakes. On either side of him, dimly visible, are two columns, one black and one white. The stairs on which he stands ascend to a doorway through which can be glimpsed a rich green landscape over which the sun is just rising. Before him, several carved coffins lie and from these sarcophagi the dead are rising, reaching out to him as they shrug off their burial shrouds. "This card augurs a time when the rewards of  past efforts appear. This is a period of summing up, of a realization of what we have been doing and where we ourselves have created the future which now awaits us. It is an ambiguous card, for it can also imply a disturbing confrontation with all our evasions and self betrayals. The reward is not always a pleasant one. The Fool must now answer for his journey, for the time of gathered together to form the future. Whatever occurs to the individual in terms of experiences, the card of Judgement heralds the end of a chapter in life. But unlike the card of Death, it does not imply mourning. Rather, it is a clear perception of the extent to which we have been able to be true to ourselves."

He was listening with glances between Laura and Gaelle before a serious look captured his features. One not seen often but certainly was there beneath the surface. "I most o' done somet'in rig't t'en," not saying more but the look leveled on Gaelle. He knew well about judgements and how they all caught up with one, no evading death nor the summary of deeds at the end of it. Like this card implied, no mourning, a second chance and the fact a lady could love him, meant he had accomplished the difference from where he had been to where he was now.

She didn't know what to make of that card. It had not been something she expected. She furrowed her brows and watched Mikhail first, but then her attention slanted--first to Laura then to settle onto Broch to see his reaction. She smiled for his response, a warm thing and reached out to squeeze his hand.

She watched Broch a moment, her expression softening briefly. "It seems you have, Broch."

It appeared to him the card fitted, something presently in Broch's life. A smile touched but focus shifted back to Laura. He wondered if she was still trying to figure out the card she had drawn.

Laura nearly had her blushing. She smiled over to her then lifted her attention to Broch. "I am getting exhausted. I think I may grab a key and sleep here tonight, travel back early in the morning."

"I t'ink I bae spend'in t'e nig't as well, see yea back 'n t'e morn'in." He was up and around to give Laura a kiss to the cheek, "din stay up tae late." Teasing her before he offered his arm to Gaelle as he'd escort her upstairs to her room, then his he got a key for as well.

No, she wasn't really thinking about the card. She looked at him and smiled then looked up at Broch. "I'll be retuning to the manor directly, Broch. Good night to you both. Rest well."

"I'd like that, Broch." She enjoyed the company, especially his. She rose up with Broch's help, leaning to kiss his cheek before she stopped off to snag a key from Alex. "Thank you, Laura. Thank you, Mikhail. Have a good night, the both of you." Then she turned to head upstairs to find her room. With Broch.

He rose from his seat as they prepared to turn in for the night. "A good night, I'm please to have seen you both again."

"Guid nig't, Mik'ail an t'ank yea," giving a last wave before disappearing down the hall leading to the stairwell.

He remained standing, the deck of Tarot cards slipped into the pouch he had for them "I would be honored to escort you back. The moon is high this night rending it unusual for the snow." One could see near as day.

She stood just as he started to speak and smiled warmly again for his offer. "Thank you. I would really appreciate your company." She carried her glass to the bar and turned after biding Alex good night. "I love the way the moon makes a snowy landscape look so bright, and how it causes everything to sparkle. Like everything is sprinkled with diamonds." Which had her laughing. "Not too creative since it's the way everyone thinks of it."

He was at a pace by her side, leaving his empty glass on the bar as well in easy reach for Alex. "Tonight we shall have another to enjoy it with then." Something that didn't often happen for him even with a friend. "Aye, but they are accurate." Giving a quick wink as he'd help her with her cloak then don his before getting the door. Once out they could talk while enjoying the sight in a leisurely walk. It was not so bitter cold this night, having warmed some, or so felt compared to the near zero temperature over the past couple weeks off and on.


Date: 02-17-09
Poster: Mikhail MacKay
Post # 5

New Readings

Mikhail was seated in a wingback, enjoying the heat from the hearth as well a glass of the potcheen. Warming his insides while the fire warmed the outside. He was comfortably attired in a multi leather tunic over a poets shirt. Pants of black wool and leather boots. The pouch with his Tarot cards attached to the wide belt as surely as the hunting knife sheathed there as well. Another small pouch contained healing herbs for emergencies.

There was a whisper of song carried by the evening breeze. Wordless with the notes trembling from the cold that wrapped up the singer in constant shivers. She was walking, her gloved hand delicately holding onto the reins of the white mare that held a lazy stride at the woman's side. The mare's head bobbed, up and down, slowly as they crept closer to the tavern. And Luna's ears were tipped lightly to the back, listening to the song that haunted the night, haunted the wind. It faded to nothing when she drew near, a stable boy out to greet her and he took the mare from Nora to place her in the stables.

Sariyelle, Constance and the children had arrived earlier in the day. Now though, with the twins asleep and settled with Constance, Lily and Sari came from the room they currently occupied together. Sariyelle's steps quiet while Lily rushed ahead to the counter to bother Alex for a cookie and some juice, after making the strenuous climb up onto a stool proper. Sariyelle soon to follow with a light smile. Gowned in a shade of lilac and warm enough to ward off the chill of winter.

He picked up more than a song on the wind, that held something very ancient to it. The hand holding his glass that started to lift had paused for that suspended moment as he listened. There and gone like most in that moment he was startled from such thoughts as a child rushed in. One he recognized. "Lily," smile held warmth that spread as the glass was lowered and set aside than taking the drink that was initially intended. Of course Lily would not be here by herself as he gained his feet in wait and only a few seconds later. "Sari, how are you?" The warmth of his smile remained with only a dark eyed glance to the window then back. Another was arriving.

She did not rush indoors. Even in the cold, she seemed content to stand there and sing to the moon. She started again, briefly, her chin tipped up and her gaze scanning the night sky. When her mouth opened, it was more than wordless notes. Her lyrics came through foggy breaths that lifted to the sky in ghosted clouds of white. "If life were merchandise, that gold could buy..." Something had her trail off. She considered the next line, her brows furrowed and her chin lowered. Rolling her shoulders beneath the layers of a pale yellow dress, topped with a heather grey cloak, Nora finally approached the door. It was opened with a gust of icy wind chasing her inside, nipping at her heels. She shut the door quickly, pausing to cast a glance around.

Hearing her name, Lily turned to the source with a big smile and waggle of pudgy fingers. "'lo!"

The voice was easily recognized and brightened her smile. "Mikhail. I am well. How are you?" One hand reached for the nearest stool, where she stopped and turned to Mikhail's direction, sightless gaze shifted towards him but likely missed him all together. A pleasant surprise to have the company of her friend.

He recognized the lass coming in. "Nora, good to see you this cold evening. Come get warm." Although tendrils were attached on another level he had not seen about her before. Intriguing ones. Then back to Sari, "Sari, this is Nora. I am doing very well, my family also." Things had been laid back for him over the past couple months and he was enjoying that very fact. Two of his brothers that had been missing were found as well his two older brothers back. Only one sister remained missing and her whereabouts unknown presently. Though she was not in Ireland so was safe.

"Good evening," she greeted the both of them, but for the lady, Nora eased into a slow curtsey. "A pleasure to meet you." It was as if she had totally changed from the moment she was outside to the moment she was in; now all smiles and giving the indication that nothing was wrong. "It is quite chilly tonight. I wonder if it will snow again.." She was in the process of removing her cloak, but at her words, she paused with a blue-green glance tipping to one of the windows.

A nod given to the introduction. "A pleasure to meet you, Nora." Audible attention returned to Mikhail. "That's wonderful. It must be heart warming to have them all so close."

Juice and cookie were given, Lily thanked the man and settled back in her seat to nibble on the cookie and look around to those gathered. Waggle of pudgy fingers to Nora too.

Which he noticed the change but knew it was not a fluke either. It would ride for now but certainly piqued his curiosity. Mikhail possessed a bit in that area especially on certain things. "I'm sure it will snow again, possible a few good storms before we are graced with spring." Winter going out by tantrums he use to refer to it as. "Aye, I've known some peace I've not had in a long time since Trevet and Kynan returned. They are in the Moor's jousting and have done well." The two younger ones bounced back pretty well which was good in his view. "How are things going for you? It has been a while, Sari." Indicating a few of the seats near the hearth, but more the audible for Sari, "please come join me at the hearth where it is comfortable and warm." Wingback were more comfortable than table chairs or the stools at the bar.

More snow. Yay! Seemed the trend these days. "That's wonderful." In regards to his family. "It has been quite a while. I've been well. Busy though. No longer in Eldyn. The children and I have spent some time traveling. Looking for a life that will offer them comfort." The invitation was accepted. "Thank you." Hopefully Alex hadn't rearranged since her last visit so she'd know where the chairs were and claim her seat near the hearth.

Twice in one month had to be a record for Alyse to have an evening out, or else Fate was conspiring to have her spend a little time with adults. Either way, she was content to head for the Thistle to seek out company and a convivial glass. Reaching the steps, she quickly hurried up them and in, welcoming the embracing warmth of the hearth as a smile hovered on her face. "Good evening, everyone!"

She'd drifted off into a daze, apparently. She still hadn't removed her cloak and the cheerful greeting from the entering woman quickly brought her back into the present. She smiled to her, finally hanging her cloak before she turned to step off for.. oh, hearth or bar? She couldn't decide. "Good evening," she returned the greeting to the woman, tipping her head into a polite nod.

"No longer in Eldyn," that took him by surprise. Greatly. Took a moment to sink in. "What happened if you don't mind my asking?" Certainly she could put it in a nutshell without going into any details that might cause her pain. Alex pretty much left the chairs were they were although those visiting sometimes moved some closer together as suited the night. "Good evening," addressing Alyse as she joined them. "You're welcome to join us as well at the hearth."

"Thank you. Let me get a drink from Alex, and I believe I will accept your kind invitation, sir." The smile warmed brown eyes as she hung up her cloak, nodding politely to the ladies seated at the hearth with him.

She cleared her throat softly. "The Deities of Eldyn found a ruler to take the place of the previous king. I was released of my duties there." Happy for that, at least on some level. Eldyn had been home for a long time, but she was happy. A nod to the woman invited to join with a light smile.

Brows knitted in a natural concern. Sometimes what seemed a bad turn of events was a new path for better things. "I am sorry things went as they did and hope the best for you and the children." Last he knew of her husband, he was missing and the statement now, he suspected the man was never found nor returned. He would not go there, though they had talked on it before. There was something he would say, "when the heart of a land is no longer there, it is rarely successfully replaced." Something he'd seen over many years as a warrior, kingdoms changing hands from original families.

She finally moved for the hearth. Quietly, Nora chose one of the chairs and sunk down into it. Her hands smoothed over the fabric of her dress, then settled against her lap.

It was a good thing that it was so late. Kynan wasn't in the mood for a snowball fight tonight. It wasn't so much that he was in a bad mood, he was just tired. Too restless to sleep, he made his way to the Thistle after having walked the pup. Walked until she decided she was too cold and she had sat and refused to move, whining until he picked her up. Now she was hidden under his coat, nice and warm. He tripped up the top step, snickered to himself and continued on inside.

"I'm sure they will." Spoken with a light-hearted tone. "I have Constance to help me with the children." A nod of agreement to what was later said. "It is true, but it is not by the choice of the people who rules Eldyn. It is by the lands and Deities that a ruler is chosen. I hope it does well, but it is too much life for me." Not a proper upbringing for her children. Shaking her head a bit, she smiled again. "It's good to see you again."

Thanking Alex for her mug, Alyse absently smoothed down the rose wool of her skirt, a recent gift sent from Kintail, and went to take one of the fire-warmed chairs. Looking up as the door opened, she offered a smile to the man. "Good evening."

He nodded thoughtfully to himself more than anyone present. He wasn't sure of the setup of Eldyn but from the sound of it, it was not by the people's choice or hers but she seemed relieved. The responsibility of such a position usually weighed heavily. "Time to relax." As he'd not talk further on it. "It is good to see you again. I see Lily remains healthy especially for Hazel's cookies. Alyse, this is Sari and Lily," indicating the woman's daughter, "as well Nora." In case they hadn't met. "Alyse is in charge of our orphanage."

Nora's attention swept to the door and she seemed to perk up a bit when she spotted Kynan. She didn't speak to him, but she did lift one hand to wiggle fingers towards him in a quiet hello. She watched him for a moment, then her attention swept to Mikhail when he made the introductions. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Alyse." She smiled to her, then her gaze tipped to the child. Nora watched her quietly.

Which a heads up as another came in only to realize it was his brother. "My brother Kynan," which had him looking beyond to see if possibly Trevet was on his heels. Usually where one was so was the other found.

He grinned at Nora then turned to nod at the others. "It's a pleasure to meet you all." The pup was placed on the floor where she yawned and sat, looking somewhat confused. Once Kynan hung up his cloak and started for the bar, she was fast on his heels.

Lily climbed down from her stool at the bar after setting everything down on the counter. Grunt and grumble, she finally landed on the floor then reached up for her cup and cookie and made her way over to where Sari was sitting.

"A pleasure to meet you, Sari, Lily, and Nora." She nodded to each in turn, committing names and faces to memories. "You've been well, Mikhail? It's been a while since I've seen you. And Kynan, how do you do?"

Sariyelle smirked. "She's always healthy for Hazel's cookies." A nod given to those who were introduce and keen smile to Alyse. "A pleasure to meet you." One arm wrapped around Lily to pull her up onto her lap while Lily caught Nora's gaze and waved her cookie at the woman.

"Would anyone like their card read?" It would seem the card he read for Sari last time came to pass. Most of the cards read were accurate he was finding as well the ones he did a one card reading for. He forgot to tell one, when it was not quite clear, another card could be drawn to help clarify it in certain circumstances.

Nora wiggled her fingers to Lily, smiling to her. She didn't quite jump at the offer from Mikhail, not yet. She might have been too nervous. She watched Kynan quietly.

Once he had a drink in hand, he was over to join everyone. "I named her Sheba," he said quietly to Nora. The pup didn't quite realize that Kynan had stopped and ran into him. Sitting again, she let out a yap as if she were scolding him.

Clearing his throat with a light chuckle as he didn't mean to not answer Alyse's question. "Yes, I've been very well. Nothing too out of the ordinary and enjoying calm in my life."

"That is a pretty name, Kynan." She leaned forward in her chair, bending over far enough that her fingertips could tap at the floor. She was trying to steal the puppy's attention.

He was laughing as the pup scolded, turning slightly to look at her. Hearing the tapping, Sheba ran to pounce Nora's hand. While her master might be sleepy, she was now wide awake.

She hid her chuckle at the puppy's yap in her mug. It did sound like a scold. At Mikhail's words, she nodded to indicate she'd heard. "Calm can be a wonderful thing." It wasn't something she had a great deal of in her life, but mothering thirty children did not make for a placid, tame life.

She let out a quiet, delighted laugh. Before the puppy knew it, Sheba was scooped up and Nora leaned back, allowing the pup to sit on her lap. Nora occupied her with ear scritches and belly rubs.

Sariyelle was content to sit and listen with a smile.

The puppy had Lily's full attention, but there were too many people to venture over, so she watched and nibbled her cookie.

"Alyse, I don't believe I've ever read your card. Would you like to give it a try?" Settling in his seat where there was a table within reach. He would make use of it.


Date: 02-17-09
Poster: Mikhail MacKay
Post # 6

"Oh, why not?" Trading one chair for another, she went to sit opposite him. Alyse was not necessarily a believer in the power of the cards, but who turned down a peek at their future?

He took the cards out from the pouch that kept them protected as well the black silk they were wrapped up in. He shuffled them before setting them on the table within her reach. "Shuffle them, divide in three piles then put back in whatever order you want to make one again. Know that nothing is ever written in stone and cards do not make one's future but it can give a glimpse of something worth knowing."

Picking Lily up, she smiled. "It was nice to meet you all. It's time for this little one to be asleep though." And quietly excused herself.

He grinned as he watched then looked at Mikhail, grinning slightly. While Alyse went to have her cards read, he found a seat. He wiggled his fingers at the wee girl as she was taken off. "Good night, m'Lady."

A nod acknowledged Sari's departure with her daughter as she obeyed Mikhail's instructions, shuffling carefully, then making the piles as indicated. Glancing up, she smiled at him. "A single choice can alter everything, I know.  There." satisfied that the pile was complete, she left it for him to pick up.

She leaned down, to the puppy. And it was Nora that made the little growly noise that sounded nothing like one that belonged to a dog. All in a playful way, of course. She straightened up with a smile, her attention turning to Mikhail and Alyse.

He also gave Sari a nod, as she was quick to depart in seeing Lily getting to  bed. Concern there but back to the cards as he turned over the top one. The Star. It portrays a beautiful young woman with long, fair hair, kneeling before an open chest. From the chest a noxious swarm of flying creatures rises, filling the air with darkness. But the young woman's eyes are fixed on a bright star which hovers above her, within which can be seen a female figure in glowing white robes.

"The meaning of this card portends the experience of hope, meaning and faith in the midst of difficulties. Although the Star too can be ambivalent, and can warn against blind hope without the necessary action to build upon it, the card of the Star is a augury of promise, an altogether welcome experience for the Fool who has passed through the collapse of everything which he believed to be of value in his life. Only you will know if this card fits in things present or to come." It wasn't a bad card at all for what it ultimately signified.

Had they stayed, he would have shown the little girl a magic trick but since they were off so quickly, he sat back to watch. He chuckled when he glanced over at Nora with Sheba, then his attention was back to Mikhail and Alyse.

She smiled as she listened to the card's meaning and a glance tipped back to Kynan. Maybe she was giving him a break by.. puppy sitting? It was hard to say, really.

If she was, he appreciated it. He was drinking coffee but wasn't sure it would help for long. Green eyes tinted with brown moved from his brother to Alyse to see her reaction.

Attentive to his words, she studied the card quietly, uncertain of what it might portend for her life. She was not certain what constituted difficulties in this instance.

"Would you like me to draw another card to see if it can clarify the significance of this first one?" It would be the next card and why he would need to do it now.

"Yes, please." She nodded encouragingly.

He could tell by the look upon her features it didn't really make a whole lot of sense. As she agreed, he turned over the next card, showing the ten of Pentacles. It portrays Daedalus as an old man, his brown hair now liberally streaked with grey. He is comfortably seated with his children and grandchildren around him, the patriarch and founder of a line. On either side of him, mounted on vine draped columns, hang ten golden pentacles, five to his left and five to his right. In his lap nestles an infant playing with a golden rattle. To his left stands a woman of around thirty, clothed in green and wearing a beautiful golden necklace. At his feet, a boy of ten plays with a toy golden horse. In the distance can be seen a landscape of rich green mountains and calm blue sea.

"This card suggests a period of ongoing contentment and security, and a sense of something permanent having been established which can be handed on to others. This may be a material inheritance of wealth or property, or it may be an artistic achievement such as a book or painting which one knows will live on and offer its value independent of one's own span of life." The card was fairly different than the first that he was not sure how they would interrelate, unless this was after the first to happen. "I am not sure if this clarifies the first, it may be one that is hidden until it happens or not come about at all." It wasn't his own insight so he was blind at times as well in how they would fit or not.

Nora stood quietly, but it wasn't to leave. No, she inched over to Kynan to return the puppy. At least Nora had calmed her down some?

"It helps clarify a little, yes." To Alyse's way of thinking, it spoke of the time spent in re-organizing the Orphanage and establishing herself at the head of it, the trouble times of adjustment were almost over, blessedly.

"Thank you, Nora." He smiled up at her as he took the sleepy puppy. She had calmed her down quite a bit though she wanted to gnaw at his fingers. That was when he pulled out a bit of rawhide for her to chew on until she fell asleep again.

"You're welcome, Kynan." She smiled right back, then returned to her chair, nearly curling up in it.

"They say three is a charm," turning over a third for this situation, partially for his curiosity. He would not go beyond three cards. The six of cups showed. It portrays the Psyche seated on a rock, behind which a calm sea can be seen. In her left hand she holds a golden cup into which she pensively stares. In her right hand she holds the rather bedraggled remains of her bridal bouquet of white lilies. Around her on the rocky ledges stand five more golden cups.

"This card augurs a time of serenity, much like the second, which grows out of the testing of the dreams of the past. Sometimes an old love from the past returns, or a cherished dream which one has held in the past seems possible of fruition in the near future. The blind in love state has solidified and although the past may seem beautiful and irrevocably lost, something of its promise emerges, tempered and strengthened, into the present. The card implies nostalgia about the past but with a difference: the past can lead to the future, and the dream is experienced as still possible, even near achievement." After this card he took the moment to slide all three back into the deck.

"Hmm. Interesting." Leaning on an elbow, she watched him slide the cards back into place.

"I can say this much, all three cards are very positive. How, why, when and where, still remain to be seen." Or be seen at all but he rather hoped the cards were fulfilled. "Nora.." dark eyes turning her way, "come have a card drawn." Curiosity driven for something picked up on earlier.

At first, she simply blinked and there was a tiny bit of hesitation on her part. However, the positive reading for Alyse had her thinking that maybe she'd get the same. She nodded and unfurled from her chair, moving to sit across from him.

"Thank you." Rising to make way for Nora, Alyse had plenty to think on.

She smiled at Alyse, sitting quietly once the chair was vacated. She leaned forward, propping one elbow on the table.

"You are welcome Alyse, I would be curious if such comes to pass where the cards are clarified." He shuffled the deck as he spoke. Deftly. Then set them in reach of Nora for her to shuffle, cut in three, put back as one then set before him.

She took them up and shuffled them.. for.. quite a bit! One had to wonder if she was ever going to stop. She cut them then, into three stacks before piling them all together. Then, she handed them to Mikhail, her eyes lifting to his.

He well picked up on that anxious quality of one almost fearing what card might enlighten things hidden she was becoming aware of possibly. Once set he turned over the top card. The Hermit. It portrays an old man with a grey beard, shrouded in grey robes with his face half hidden by a cowl. In his right hand he carries a lamp which burns with a bright golden light. In his left hand he wields a scythe. A crow perches on his shoulder. Behind him a cold, misty landscape of grey mountains bleeds into an oppressive grey sky.

He watched her initial reaction as one might expect of another seeing what appeared to be gloom just by the drawing. "This card augurs a time of aloneness or withdrawal from the extraverted activities of life, so that the wisdom of patience may be acquired. There is an opportunity to build solid foundations if one is willing to wait. Thus the Fool at last arrives at maturity, having developed a mind and a heart, a firm sense of identity and finally a deep respect for his own limitations in the great passage of the round of time. Only you will know how this card fits or if unclear I can draw another."

She stared at the card as she listened. It sort of made sense. She nodded slowly though... "One more?" She furrowed her brows, lifting her eyes.

"If a card is not clear in it's meaning, too diverse, another card can be drawn, up to three as I had for Alyse."

"Draw one more, then.." She couldn't believe she'd said that. She should've just went with what she had!

"Aye, they are fitted together then to clarify the first, or in such hope." He turned over the next card which showed the Emperor, two cards of the higher Arcana in a row. It portrays a mature man with broad and muscular shoulders and chest. His rich, flowing hair and beard are a vivid auburn, and his eyes are a clear sky blue. He cleared his throat as it looked like someone he knew. He faces us seated on a golden throne at the top of a mountain. His robe is purple bordered with gold and on his head is a golden crown. In his right hand he holds three lightning bolts; in his left rests the globe of the world.  An eagle perches on his shoulder. Behind him stretches a backdrop of snowcapped peaks. "Zeus, the Emperor, augurs a confrontation with the issue of the father principle in both its positive and negative forms. We are challenged to make something manifest, to concretize a creative idea, to build something in the world, to found a business perhaps or to establish the structure of a home and family.

We are asked to take a standpoint, to become effective and powerful, to formulate our ideas and ethics. We are also asked to consider where the creative young king has become the rigid, oppressive tyrant and where our ideologies are interfering with life and growth. When the Fool meets the Emperor after his sojourn in the instinctual world, he learns to confront worldly life with his own resources, alone, according to ethics which he must develop for himself. Then he can progress on his journey with the certainty that he can be effective in life because there is something higher in which he believes, and whose authority he himself now embodies." Both cards seem to be saying the same, a definite stance in self reflection and setting about resolutions in ones beliefs. Both told how this was a self thing, alone, only something one could do within themselves.

The second card, oddly, did help her understand the first. She was quiet for a long moment before she nodded. "Thank you," she murmured to him, leaning back.

"You are welcome, I hope this soul search ends up profitable to your development." It was getting late but if Kynan was interested he would read his cards. "Kynan?"

"Hmmm." It seemed he had been drowsing and now opened his eyes to peer at his brother. "What did I miss?" Sheba was curled contentedly on his lap.

"Thank you, I hope so, too." She smiled a bit, just a bit as she stood, to leave the chair for Kynan. Who, had been sleeping.

"Another time then Kynan," chuckling as his brother had dozed off. "I'm surprised Treve isn't with you tonight." Bringing up something he had noticed as he carefully wrapped up the cards in the black silk before tucking them away into his pouch.

"I'm not sure where he is. I went to bed early. Couldn't sleep anyway." And didn't see if Treve was in his own bed or not. He smiled sheepishly at Nora. "I hope your reading was a good one."

She passed by Kynan's chair to give the puppy a scratch on the head. "I believe I should get back to the castle.  It was... interesting." She nodded.

Knowing Mikhail would be heading back to the castle as well, he stood, holding Sheba in his arms. "They usually are. If Mikhail is going to escort you back, I'll join you part way." He would be sleeping at the flat over the shop of course.

"Aye, best you have an escort this late, Nora." He was up, finishing off his drink as he stood before moving to the bar to deposit it there. His cloak snatched up and donned before over to collect Nora's cloak to help her with. Alyse had already taken a quiet leave while he was reading Nora's cards.

"Thank you. I would not mind the company, of course." She was already moving for the door, nearly forgetting her cloak until Mikhail had it in his hands. She must have been rather exhausted herself. She smiled sheepishly up to him. "Thank you, Mikhail."

Which had him chuckle with a slight nod as he helped her with getting it one, then the door to open as he stepped ahead, holding it for them both to pass. Once through so was he to close it behind him then flank Nora to one side leaving his brother to take up the other. A comfortable pace set that would not have her running either.

He managed to get his cloak on without putting the pup down. And then joined his brother and Nora heading outside.


Date: 08-23-09
Poster: Mikhail MacKay
Post # 7

(Reading on Gillian)


A friend's place had finally been visited as Mikhail decided to travel in his vardo. A world to see, people to meet outside the lands he called home. Though, this place was connected in a way, getting here wasn't. After time spent in Gulliver's Travels he set up his vardo down near the Piers. A cooling breeze coming in off the ocean made the night far more tolerable here. It didn't really matter if he got any customers or not as he watched ships roll in and watched them roll away again. Citizens and sailors alike came like the tides and ships in proportion. Mikhail sat on the steps leading up and into his vardo. Way he had it made, there was a little porch with a rail. Big enough to fit two people to do a reading outside than need go into the vardo. A cigarillo clutched between the white of teeth had smoke drifting from it more than inhaled. Unique scent, herbal,something ancient much like the cards he used when doing a reading.

There were always places to wander, to see, especially when one wanted to get away from the more noisy, more crowded areas of the land. Too much had changed, too many new faces. Gillian had taken to seeking out the paths less traveled by those she knew, seeking solace along shores and docks where no one knew her. She stood on the pier, listening to the sounds of a place busy in a different way. It didn't matter that she might stand out in leathers and a long coat. Red hair left loose danced in the breeze around her face. It also brought the scent of the cigarillo. She turned to see the vardo that she had noticed earlier and after a moment, made her way over. "Evenin'." She had never had her cards read ... maybe it was curiosity that brought her close now.

The market area was wide that was filled with vendors during the day and many stayed opened into the very late evening hours for that extra coin. Dark eyes had skipped over those around then skipped back to one in particular that was in leathers on such a muggy night. Most wore as little as possible unlike this one. It seemed as he sat there watching her while pondering this that she turned and came his way. Cigarillo was plucked from between the straight of teeth to dash the ashes aside, flicking them easily onto the ground. Up a few steps, he was still at a height advantage than need looking up to her. She may well notice the weapons he wore and his overall appearance of one that knew how to use every single one of them. Most likely there was more than the sheathed long knife and sword at his hip. Pants fitted him well and the shirt that hung open showing off some chest hair had no sleeves. Skin a dark bronze in a hue baked by the sun over muscular arms in what she could see. "Good evening,"a hand in motion indicating the leathers, "resilient to heat?"

"Pretty much." She had a near smirk on her face, eyes bright blue against copper hued skin, ones that took him in slowly. She carried no weapons but if he was of those who were perceptive, and she was certain he was, he would know there was more to her then seen. "Mostly I ignore it." Sun baked deserts or frozen wastes, they had become all the same to her. "My name's Gillian." She offered her hand after removing a fingerless glove. "Gillian Damek. I'd like you to read the cards for me, though ... I have no question."

Such went hand in hand, like the rest of his family being descendant of the Danu. Weapons were more for show with his position. Also curtailed many the wayward idiot for he really hated killing. "Gillian, what means your name?" Taking a moment to crush out what remained of the cigarillo against the heel of his boot. Though still hot, he rolled it between thumb and forefinger having the rest of the shredded herbs and leaves spill out onto the earth. Just a slanted glance her way to see if she realized what he was doing before he was up to dust his hand off the side of his pants. Black they were as well the lightweight boots. He came down the few steps to take her hand in his as it was offered. He could have shook it like she probably expected but he put on all the courtly charm of a sidhe, lifting it to the slight bend of his head, intense eyes holding hers the while as the press of lips touched upon the back of her hand. Moments could hang near timeless in the way the brain perceived and committed them to memory. He straightened after only a few seconds as her hand was lowered to released. His sweeping out that she may advance up the steps to where two chairs and a small table fitted on the vardo's porch. "You need not a question where fate is concern."

"Different meanings. Jove's child, youthful. None that suit any more." She watched the fall of herbs and leaves before her eyes lifted again, meeting his dark ones. If she understood, she didn't show it. Though the near smirk changed to a slight smile when she realized what he was doing. It had been a long time since one had used such courtly ways on her. Too long to remember. Boots made no sound as she moved up the steps to the table and settled in one of the chairs. "It's been a long time since I trusted in destiny." Preferring to take her fate into her own hands.

He waited for her to reach the top before he was up in two steps over the six, seeing to her chair before taking up the other across from her. "If the card is not clear, I can pull another, up to two cards to clarify." Making it to be three cards in all turned over. He had already shuffled the deck that sat on the table between them. He watched her eyes to notice what she noticed. The ancient intricate work done, the backs exactly all the same and though they had passed not only in Mikhail's hands for readings, countless times, there was the feel they had been used a thousand fold over as much. Yet, the edges were not even frayed. "Shuffle them as much as you wish, then cut them into three piles. Place those piles back into one however you want them." Including how they were cut, back to before cut if one wanted.

She gave a single nod then looked down at the cards. Right hand reached out and hovered over the deck, one long, slender finger reaching out to touch for a moment before she lifted the deck. Her eyes lifted to meet his again as she shuffled them expertly, finally cutting them into three piles as directed and finally one. She placed the deck back onto the table between them. Her fingers were linked together, pointer fingers pressed together, the tips resting against her lips.

She'd meet those endless dark eyes before the sweep of such a contrasting smile might break the spell. Reaching over he turned over the top card. It was "the Eight of Wands." The picture portraying Jason's voyage away from Colchis after his safe escape from the angry King Aeetes. We see the ship Argo in full sail, with eight flaming wands lined up upon its deck, streaming fire into the wind. Following the ship's smooth wake, dolphins play among the waves. "This card's meaning heralds a period of action after delay or struggle. Travel is sometimes implied, or a clear stretch of fruitful creative activity, where the imagination flows unchecked after anxieties and tensions have been overcome or resolved." Pausing the moment as eyes trained on hers still as he spoke. "Only you will know how this card fits. No card nor seer can determine one's fate but only is capable of seeing through a window of possibilities."

As he smiled, so did she, one that lit up her face then her eyes lowered to the card. She listened to the explanation and when he finished, looked up. She looked at him a long moment then chuckled. "It ... fits very well. Are you certain you don't know me?" She was surprised at how accurate that single card was!  She placed a gold coin on the table though no price had been discussed, before leaning back. The reading was worth it.

"Perhaps I have in another lifetime and if I have not, then perhaps I will in this lifetime if Fate so allows." She had taken the step in approaching him and one could make the effort to help Fate along without nudging her too hard or where one should not. There was a balance, a way of telling if one was careful and not put their wants before what is their real need. "Have you ever been this way before or was it a chance encounter?" If she had been this way before, she would realize it being the first she'd seen him here.

"No, I've never been this way before. " She lowered her hands though fingers were still linked. She allowed another smile as she continued to speak. "I tend to wander at times and it seems my steps led me to you." She looked at the card and tapped it. "I've been without purpose of late. Perhaps ... it is time to focus again."

"This is the first I've been this way. I'm one with a penchant to wander at times, less in the past years since my family settled in lands south of here. Still, there are nights like this one the call of the stars ends up having me follow one of them or sometimes a cluster." Which had him pause with a slight faux pas in realization, "I am Mikhail MacKay, Gillian, and have the pleasure of meeting you tonight." His hand coming to rest over hers a moment, "everyone needs a purpose or they are lost to living while alive. Sometimes one sets out with one purpose that either changes or ends, they should then take up another purpose, one possibly that had been set aside for the first that no longer exists."

"A pleasure, indeed, Mikhail." She inclined her head slightly, then nodded. "One purpose has ended for me. Now I need seek another. I don't know if travel will be part of it but you've given me room for thought." She studied his face, chin lifting slightly. "I'm glad you sometimes feel the call of wanderlust and follow it. At least tonight." Had he been standing, she might have studied him in a more open, languid manner.

"What does your heart tell you, drawn to, to set as your new purpose? A skill, a wish, a dream. It is felt that as we walk our paths that one that can be of help may come to walk by your side until they are no longer needed. Sometimes they continue to be a part of your path for the rest of your life."

She leaned back in the chair, her expression thoughtful as she looked away and out over the ocean. The noise of the docks seemed to recede as she considered. "I don't know yet but it'll come in time. It always does. I'm tired of seeing the worse of mankind, of that I'm certain. I've grown cynical, maybe weary." She gave a slight shrug and laughed. "And I've probably talked more to you than anyone else in some time other than hello, goodbye. Or ... whiskey." Odd that. She had to reflect on what she said and it was true. She kept to herself too much of late.

"I can bring you to lands where it is the better side of humanity seen more than the other. If you have a wish to travel. I can offer you the escort in my vardo when I head back once dawn breaks, come the new morn. It is easy to become cynical in a world that feeds on hatred, killing and worse, the torturing of others. Only species that kills its own and with the most pain it can inflict, as often as it can without respect for life and the living." Which had him pause in reflection of the last. "Do you wish a wee bit o' whiskey?"

When she laughed, it was a clear bell-like sound. An impish smile and she nodded, "Aye, I could use a bit at that." Laughter seemed to come easy around Mikhail. And that surprised her too. "Are these lands you speak of far from here?" Then again, what did distance matter?

He was up from his chair, speaking as he stepped inside the vardo. It was one that was furnished with a lot of oddities, herbs, strange runes, crystals, beads of all kinds, various weapons and drums. "It is a distance south, probably take a couple days unless I bend time a little." Such implications there as he was back out with two glasses, each containing the home brewed whiskey. "Have you had potcheen yet?" Setting the one glass in front of her before taking up his seat across. He took the moment to turn the card over, slipping it inside the deck before wrapping it up in the piece of black silk.

"A traveler in time and planes?" She knew of that method of travel, having done so herself. The glass was lifted and the clear liquid inside studied. "Potcheen. No. This will be the first time." She looked at him again, a half smile appearing. "Is it the type that will knock one on their arse?"

"I am only gifted enough to bend the length of time it takes to get from point A to point B, though I know some who can do the other. Perhaps someday if I have need of a new purpose." Giving her a wink as he lifted his glass, "to life's unexpected turns and twists that bring us wisdom through the challenges. Sip it slow at first then." Though he kicked back what was in his glass.

"And to those turns that bring us new friends." She saluted him before taking a drink and though she was used to strong drink, the potcheen caused her eyes to water. She nodded her approval though she didn't trust herself to speak just yet.

"...and to those that bring us new friends for their value cannot be weighed in gold. If you have not a place to sleep this night that isn't close, you are welcome to sleep in my vardo, I can sleep on its roof."

"My room is some miles away, but so are the things that I would bring with me." She traveled light but to travel some distance without a change of clothes or two might not be a good idea. "I don't always wear leather." Giving him a wink in return.

"Leather seems to become you. We can stop by your place in the morning then head south." She didn't seem to have a horse with her to have ridden in, his two were tied to the back of the vardo, fed already and quite content for the night.

She had walked as always though she was able to ride well enough. "You're a trusting sort." She teased as she removed her coat. The vest she wore beneath was sleeveless, showing a hint of cleavage, her pants fell fitted. She held up the glass. "This is as good as any whiskey I've had."

"Would you challenge my judgment?" Laughter in his eyes as he kept a stern look otherwise like he was serious. The chair moved aside as he was up and around to tower over her. She might pick up on the fact he could be a fierce opponent on the battlefield for the intensity of eyes that would borrow through a lesser man, though, that was not his intention here.

"I might." She leaned her head back, eyes meeting his, "and if so, what would you do to prove otherwise?" She had known he was a warrior from the moment she saw him. It had been part of the draw as well as the cards.

"I could threaten to sweep you up into my arms and kiss you into tomorrow... is it I that is very trusting or you?" Smile returning with the wink as he pushed in the chair. Tomorrow he would put them in the vardo when he took down the stairs and porch, which fitted on top, before hitching up the horses.

"I'm not sure many women would consider that a threat. Mikhail." She laughed as she stood and stretched her arms over her head. She'd sleep well enough tonight, especially after finishing the glass of potcheen. Next time, she'd down it like he had. "Is there anything I can help you do before we settle in for the night?" She tipped her head again, but this time it was to look at the sky. "I think you'll remain dry this night."

"There is nothing to do, though I will make sure all things are out of your path." Being he knew his way around the vardo without bumping into things. Which was excusing himself a moment as he went into the vardo and arranged a few things, made sure the bed was comfortable and took up an extra thick blanket to use on the top. He ducked back out again. "Your castle room awaits you..." giving a half bow with a sweep of his hand.

"I thank you, sir." She said with exaggerated courtesy though she reached out and fingered his shirt. "You are a gentleman. And if it rains," she leaned close to whisper, "don't stay out in it. Wouldn't do to have you soaked when I'm nice and dry. I can sleep on the floor if there's room." She released his shirt and went inside the vardo, closing the door. Her pants and boots would be removed. She'd sleep in her undergarments and vest.

If it rained heavy enough, he would seek shelter inside but she'd not hear him as he took up a spot on the floor. He would not have her sleeping there, worse scenario he'd share the bed with her. Or was that the best scenerio?



Date: 02-21-10
Poster: Mikhail MacKay
Post # 8

Tarot Readings to Pass the Time
(Reading on Gemma and Evan)


Snow drifted outside as Mikhail was lounged out in a wingback in front of the fire. Chair angled that he could watch the snow falling in silence as much as it was within the tavern. The fire crackled low keeping it from being completely silent as well Alex when he was out to the bar for this or that and then would disappear into the kitchen being things were slow. You could bet he'd be out again if someone came through the door, before they could get completely in.

Gemma had always enjoyed walking in the snow, almost as much as she enjoyed walking in the rain. The way it muffled sound, how everything became pristine, and when the snow drifted how it danced and flowed. She paused at the fountain in the commons briefly, smiling at the thought that in a few months the water would be flowing again. And now that her brothers and newly found cousins were home, all seemed right with the world for the most part. She  continued on, and up the steps of the tavern, pausing after she stepped through the door and making sure it was closed tight before stomping off the snow and then hanging up her cloak. She removed the knit hat and gloves she wore last then made her way to the bar. "Evening," said to the lone occupant before she smiled at Alex. "An Irish coffee would be perfect tonight, Alex."

Dark eyes traced the progress of the one coming in as he gained his feet by the time she closed off the door. He was tall, but something else about him that spoke of ancient times, especially his dark eyes. "Good evening, we've not the pleasure of meeting before." Smile touched tipped up to the side as he studied her all the while he spoke. The way she moved, the tone of her voice, body language gave off a multitude of information. "I am Mikhail MacKay," although they had not met she might recognize the surname.

Being that Hazel had the same surname as well as several others, she did. "A pleasure, Mikhail. I'm Gemma Quinn." There was something different about the man definitely. Gemma moved like one of the jungle cats in his sister's zoo, almost languidly but there was that sense of power and quickness beneath it. Her demeanor bespoke of a warrior, just as it did for most of her clan.

Both had that quality, predatory, in different ways but a force behind each of them. It was recognized on another level as the woman drew his interest. His deck of ancient tarot cards sat on the table near where he presently stood. He always kept them on his person in a pouch. When here, he would set them out in ready. "Gemma, I believe I have met some of your siblings, both males and females. I'm honored to meet you. Come join me if you'd like some company," hand shifted to indicated the seat near his and almost in front of the cards.

"There's quite a few of us." She laughed as she picked up her drink and made her way to the table. "Thank you. Company is always welcome. Especially on a night like this." She settled into one of the chairs, and took a careful sip of the drink. Perfect.

Once she was seated, he settled back down into his seat. "You do not train the horses like your sister." More a statement than a question, "what is your profession? Seeker of truths," almost sounding like a title than a profession. "Would you like a glimpse of things unseen most of the time? Things that may be possible or even warnings to avoid you if take heed."

"I have been trained in the Old Ways though my strength lies more toward the path of a warrior. I hope to become part of the Order of Athena." She looked at the cards then raised blue eyes to his darker ones. "Yes, I'd be interested in such. My grandmother has said I've been as curious as a cat since I was a babe." And she didn't fear looking into what might be.

Karina was there for a hot drink and maybe some company at the end of a long day. She'd settled into a pattern here in Heathfield, one made even more content since her last trip North. But for some reason today, there'd been something nibbling on the edge of her consciousness, an itch that couldn't be scratched. It made her restless and even a little irritable, so to avoid taking it out on Vanessa or Ysa she'd donned her coat and gone out. It had been a while since she'd gone on a long nocturnal ramble and it helped clear her head, somewhat. Still she was in a reflective mood when she finally stepped into the Thistle. She glanced over to Gemma and offered a nod of greeting, though she didn't know this Quinn sibling as well as some of the others. The man she was with was given a curious glance, but first order of business was the bar.

"Shuffle them, cut them into three piles then put them back to one in whatever order you wish." He sat forward half leaning on a knee as he moved the deck closer to her within easy reach. Dark eyes lifted as another came in. Being a female he gained his feet in all due respect. "Good evening," maybe he knew who she was but he didn't give it away. "I'm Mikhail MacKay and this is Gemma Quinn, you are welcome to join us if you'd like some company."

The door barely closed when it opened up again with a sweep of cold air and shillings of crystallized flakes. "Evening," greeting one and all as he divested of his cloak, scarf and gloves. The derby style hat last to place on the shelf above where the cloaks hung. Once done he was heading for the bar and some potcheen to be gained.

Evan stepped in alongside Liam, hanging up his own coat and then pageboy hat just as swiftly. The chill in the air meant a drink was in order. His own easy grin flashed as he nodded his hello's on his way to the bar.

Nowadays she was finding that people did that much more often. Probably because she actually looked like a girl these days. Even if she hadn't quite given up the practice of wearing pants yet; there was always a pair layered beneath her skirt, which this evening was a serviceable gray wool. A linen blouse atop that, the sleeves wide where they came out from a brown vest. She was still a skinny thing which her impressive diet never seemed to change. Glancing back to Mikhail when he spoke she replied, "And I'm Karina, and thanks. Might do after I get a drink here." She noticed two of the Quinn cousins coming in too and gave them a nod as well.

She picked up the cards, shuffling them as she looked toward the door. "Evening, Karina," a smile was given to the girl. Back to the business of the cards. She cut them into three piles, put them back into one and placed them back in front of Mikhail. "Evening Liam, Evan." And she glanced at the door. "You're missing someone."

"Aye, we are. He might be along." He wasn't sure what was keeping Ciar, be it a game down at the docks or a woman he found to spend money on. He was suppose to be here or so hoped. "We'll have to drink his share of potcheen, wont we Evan?" Chuckling as he took up the glass and bottle set, pouring himself some to kick back initially.

"I am Mikhail, Liam, Evan." He had seen them around and was pretty sure they had probably seen him. Dark eyes turned on Gemma as he took his seat, a hand to reach out and turn over the top card. He never really knew how some of these would fit and sometimes the one didn't know at first either. "If a card is unclear I can turn over the next to hopefully help clarify it, up to three cards in all." It was the Page of Swords that showed. The picture portrays a youth dressed in a pale blue tunic, kneeling among the clouds in a turbulent sky. His hair streams out into the wind which emerges from his mouth as he violently blows. In his hand he holds a silver sword. Below him can be seen a grey mountainous landscape. "When this card shows up, it is time to meet within oneself the childlike curiosity and potential for spiteful gossip which the Page embodies, and which marks the beginning of the use of mental powers. One may oneself be the victim of others' gossip; or there can be a tendency to start petty quarrels and to be irritable and difficult. But these things reflect the emergence of new ideas and true independent thinking - often in one who has been accustomed to accepting the views of others." Which he paused as dark eyes shifted to meet and hold hers. "Only you will know or come to see how this card reflects in your life. Nothing is ever written in stone and outcomes are choices made each day."

"Aye, that's what he deserves for being late." He answered Liam with a knowing grin, which became more of a smirk as he muttered, "and hopefully not getting himself into too much trouble." Head and voice lifted when addressed by Mikhail. "Well met Mikhail." Gaining his own glass of potcheen, he kicked it back while glancing back to their table curiously. Seemed to be a card reading of sorts.

That was not what she expected. Brow furrowing slightly, she studied the card then looked up at Mikhail. "I think that will take more reflection, or perhaps you should pick another?"

"Aye, and we'll be reminding him too." Grinning a moment before giving a nod Mikhail's way. "Merry met Mikhail." Having waited until he was done speaking to Gemma. Too bad she was related. Wait, they might be far enough removed. There was a thought. He nudged Evan, "let's go join them." Even if not invited, though he felt they would be, he'd invite himself. Taking bottle and glass over where it was warmer, he chose a seat near his cousin.

Karina found herself alone at the bar while she waited for Alex to bring out the soup and bread she'd ordered. Which was alright and rather suited her tonight. Perching herself on a barstool, she lifted her Irish coffee for a sip. Propping her chin on her hand she let herself get lost in thought for now.

"Welcome to join us," before he was back to Gemma. "Another card then," hoping it would clarify it for her and perhaps himself as he turned the next card over. It was the Eight of Cups. The card portrays Psyche performing the final task Aphrodite has given her: the journey into the underworld to bring back a pot of Persephone's beauty cream. Psyche is shown empty-handed, descending the steps into the darkness of the underworld, her face set in sadness and resignation because she realizes that she will probably not survive the journey. Behind her, abandoned, stand eight neatly stacked golden cups. "This card implies the necessity of giving something up. The truth of the situation must be faced; no further action will avail, there is no way to go except to let go. Often this is accompanied by depression, for the underworld is a place of mourning. The future cannot be manipulated; we go empty-handed into the unknown."

Evan rolled his eyes slightly, having a feeling he knew why Liam wanted to join them... and it wasn't because he necessarily wanted his cards read. Evan smirked lightly but followed along easily, taking his glass with him. A polite nod given to Mikhail and a flashing smile for Gemma, though he kept quiet as the reading went on. He took his seat quietly.

He was leaning forward in his seat, glass of potcheen dangling from his fingertips between his knees where his elbows were placed. Dark eyes were intense upon Gemma, watching her every expression. Evan couldn't flirt anymore?

Of course he could! Just didn't have as much of an urge to anymore... though half of it was just part of his personality...

That's close to what he figured so he was taking up the slack.

This was going to take some thought. When she was alone, and could consider it all. She only hoped it didn't mean she had to give up her dream of becoming a female knight. She smiled at Mikhail and nodded. "Thank you. I will take it all into consideration, and see where it leads." She cut a look toward Liam and Evan, barely keeping her smile from turning into a full grin. "Don't you think Karina should join us?"

"I can draw one more if it is still unclear." To remind her before the cards were returned to the deck and shuffled.

"It may not help but one more." She rested her chin on an upraised hand, back to watching him.

Karina was tucking into her soup by now, though the eating was done automatically rather than ravenously. Bread dipped into the bowl as she talked quietly with Alex here and there, whom by now she considered a good friend. It was only idle chatter but good to pass the time and keep her mind off that itch. Her conversation with Alex was the reason she didn't catch Gemma saying her name behind her.

The Hanged Man was turned over. The card portrays a mature man with brown hair and beard. Although he is shackled in a torturous position, nearly naked, to the bare face of a cliff, still he wears a serene expression on his face. Behind him looms a dark landscape of craggy rocks, while a setting sun casts a bloody glow across his body and illuminates his head. Above him an eagle approaches. "This card augurs the need for a voluntary sacrifice for the purpose of acquiring something of greater value. This might be the sacrifice of an external thing which had previously provided security, in the hope that some potential can be given room to develop. Or it can be the sacrifice of a cherished attitude, such as intellectual superiority, or unforgiving hatred, or a stubborn pursuit of some unobtainable fantasy. Thus the Fool responds to the challenge of the turning of the Wheel with a willingness to put his trust in the unseen workings of the unconscious and waits - often with fear and anxiety - in the hope of a new and better life." He took the few moments to slip the three cards back into the deck and started shuffling them. "All three cards," not mentioning the great odds of that alone, "speak of a sacrifice on your part, of giving up something to advance on your path of living."

"So they do." She leaned back in the chair, then shook her head. "As I said, this will take some thought on my part. I'm just not sure what it might be." It could even be the security of home to follow what she hoped for. She looked at her cousins and motioned to the cards. "Will either of you brave a reading?"

"I'm thinking you should not let it cause any worry or anxiety, Gemma.  whatever the sacrifice is to be, it will be for a worthy cause and you probably willingly do so." Turning a wink on Karina, "I think ladies should be first if she would like her reading done. I would but I can wait even if another night for the hour is late."

Took her a second for Liam's words to sink in and to realize he was talking to her. Turning on her barstool she looked over at them and gave a smirk. "Nah, don't waste your time on me. I don't believe in such things." She shrugged, then offered Mikhail a good-natured smile. "No offense."

It was late and Ciarán was making his way from the docks as if he had all the time in the world. He had gold in his pockets, and potcheen in his veins, the weather wasn't bothering him and they were firmly on terra firma though the trip back hadn't been bad at all. He did keep looking over his shoulder, wondering why he was hearing the sound of footsteps, even if the snow muffled them. When he reached the steps of the tavern, he made his way up onto the porch and turned to watch the streets.

"I take no offense, but it is only a curious thing. One never knows what will be but these cards are not of doom and gloom but the challenges along our path." He had shuffled them good and set the deck of cards in front of Evan.

Evan was just leaning back and enjoying his potcheen, when he saw the cards land in front of him. A blink as he looked up. "Me?" A glance to Liam, shrug and quick grin. "Alright, why not?" He was always game to try something new, even if like Karina he didn't usually take these things seriously. His glass was set down as he looked back to Mikhail. "What do I do?"

Something had him glancing out the window as snow still fell mingled with shadows. It was brief but it might have a chill run up a spine of any watching him. "Shuffle, then cut the cards three times. After that is done, put them back to one pile in whatever order you wish."

Karina just shrugged again, not angrily, just casually. She knew plenty of challenges along the path already; it didn't seem like pictures on cards randomly selected could tell much of anything. She'd let the others take their turns and enjoy her coffee at the bar for now.

After a moment more, he shook his head when nothing or no one showed. He headed on inside, removing outerwear and hanging it up. He glanced at the table where everyone but Karina was gathered with curiosity but a drink was needed.

Evan followed Mikhail's glance out the window, his gaze lingering there as it seemed like the man had noticed something significant. But when nothing was said about it he looked back, and nodded. Taking up the cards to shuffle them expertly, even with a bit of flair as he grinned briefly up to Gemma. Alright, so.... the instinct was still there. The deck was cut into three, restacked, and then set back down on the table in a single pile.

The knight of wands was turned over. It portrays an exuberant, flamboyant young man, wearing a scarlet tunic and gold armour and helmet. He rides on a winged horse. A quiver of arrows is slung over his shoulder and in his hand he holds a flaming wand. The white horse is flying upward through the air, while below, on the ochre colored earth, lies a dead monster which has been slain by the young man's arrow. This beast has the head of a lion, the body of a goat and a serpent's tail. "When this card appears it is time for the individual to develop the volatile, exuberant and adventurous qualities embodied in the figure of Bellerophon. Often on a divinatory level the Knight of Wands manifests as a change of residence, because the individual suddenly feels too cramped by his or her environment and seeks broader and greener pastures. Sometimes the Knight of Wands will enter one's life in the form of a charming, exciting and rather unreliable young man, full of new ideas, who inspires but who must be taken with the proverbial grain of salt least he lead one into a bad fall. But if such an individual enters one's sphere, it should be seen as an augury that these qualities are trying to emerge from within oneself. As stated before, nothing is written in stone and only you will know how the card fits that appears or may in the near future." He was always pleased to know if the card that showed touched accurately.

He nudged Evan, "hey, he looks like you.. " had a Casanova look about the knight.

A glance up as Ciaran came in and he called out, "Get your drink and come over Ciar, I'm having my cards read." He went quiet though when the first card was revealed and Mikhail began speaking. He let out a laugh at that flamboyance of the figure on the card. "Hopefully that doesn't mean I have to start dressing like him..." He quipped but then rubbed his chin when the man went on. Hmm.... The thoughtful look vanished though with a smirk when he shoved Liam back. "Shut up."

Which only had him laughing with the shove. "I can hope to get my card read maybe tomorrow." Liam would not keep the man up as it was getting late. He would not be staying up.

She listened quietly, a half smile at Liam's words. He was right and she wouldn't worry. She chuckled at the banter of the two wondering if it touched a chord at all.

"Looks like I'm too late." He was over with glass in hand to take up another chair. "Evening everyone." Green eyes shifted to Mikhail. "Ciarán Quinn."

"Well, to be honest I felt like getting here was adventure enough... and the only unreliable man I know is Ciaran here." Ha! That for his little brother being late.

"Hey." He tried to be indignant but just laughed. "Can't be helped sometimes." He was still wondering about those footsteps but then again, the snow muffled sound so badly, it could have been from another street. Yeah, that was a good explanation.

"Well met Ciaran and welcome all three of you to the lands. I can read the cards again tomorrow or the next when it is convenient." Meaning for all of them including himself. "The card may well reflect in that it confirms this is the move you should make. Possibly you had doubts in staying? I do believe the unreliable part is the extreme or something of the past, left where you have come from."

"Casanova Knight, has a ring to it," grinning like the devil he could be. "You left more than one broken heart behind." Smirking Evan's way for the words were true.

Evan glanced over to Ciaran and Liam both, reaching up to scratch his neck. He hadn't said much about his doubts, but Mikhail was right. A faint smirk at Liam before he looked back to Mikhail, brows furrowing. "What do you mean, the unreliable part is the past?" It could very well be true but it still seemed unclear.

"It had said to take certain ways with a grain of salt. As your brother implied you left a few broken hearts in your past. In their eyes, even if they were hoping over what was real, could not rely on you to fulfill their ambitions."

"See, it doesn't have to mean something bad. I would not live up to the expectations of others if they had this ideal I would end up their husband."

Gee thanks, Liam. His glance moved over to Gemma, the stranger in the group, rather sheepishly with a slight shrug before he looked back to Mikhail. "But you're saying,by moving here it is a sign to give up the unreliable aspect and become more like... the badly-dressed knight?"

He shouldn't be embarrassed. Gemma didn't judge others by their past. People did change, if they really wished to.

Which had him chuckling as he collected the cards to wrap up in the piece of velvet and slip away into the pouch he carried on his belt. Two reasons. "I think that will be up to you. That part may not apply at all except through your friends' teasing."

"It's probably a confirmation that this is where you are meant to be, where we are meant to be. That in being here, we shall find what we have searched for the last five years." He finished off his drink as he was up from his seat. "I think we may consider finding a place to stay than here by spring."

Stay? He hadn't thought of it before but if they found Fawn, they wouldn't want to be wandering. That wasn't going to be easy for him. He wasn't sure about his brothers.

"If I may see you back, Gemma?" He would have to head home and knew she lived a ways from here so he would offer. There was also the fact he didn't mind to be in her company longer. If she wasn't staying here.

He was too tired to think on it. Except they had a ring here and he could continue his boxing without his life being threatened outside of it. "I will see you all tomorrow." He had reached the hall and soon disappeared within heading for the steps. The sound there, if one had good ears, would grow distant too.

"Thank you, Mikhail." She had walked so the company would be welcome. As she stood, she looked at the three. "Grandmother would like to see the three of you at supper tomorrow, if you're not busy." Well, Ciar and Evan could pass on to Liam.

Hm. It would indeed bear some thought. He blinked out of it though when everyone began making their farewells. "Pleasure to see you again Gemma, and to meet you Mikhail. Thanks for the reading." One last half-grin and he was up to collect his hat and coat, and out the door.

Evan wasn't heading to bed? Ciar considered a moment, then once everyone was gone, he headed out too. There were still some games going on and he wasn't ready to sleep.

"As it was you. I hope you are here when Liam and Ciaran's cards are read." Fair was fair so Evan got to tease back. He would help Gemma with her cloak before donning his outwear, the door seen to then closed off from the cold. He would keep her close to help ward off the cold and a gait that would be easy for her to keep up with. On the way he would mention his own field, tactical warfare and helping the twins in Kildare. So being a warrior was something they had in common.

Karina had slipped out the side door some minutes earlier without so much as a wave. Not meant to be rude, it was just her way sometimes.



Date: 02-22-10
Poster: Mikhail MacKay
Post # 9

To Finish what was Started
(Tarot card reading on Liam and Ciaran)

Mikhail was back again, having had eaten his dinner here in the Thistle, a conversation with Alex to follow before taking himself off to the hearth to relax. The deck of tarot cards sat on the table in much a dejavu from last evening.

Ciar had been done at the job he had picked up again once he and his brothers and cousins had returned, earlier in the day. Instead of staying down at the docks, he came back to the Thistle and relaxed a bit. That included falling asleep, and missing supper. He had finally awakened and decided to see what was leftover, if anything. Though he had slipped his boots back on, his hair was standing every which way while his shirt was untucked. In other words, he looked like he had just gotten out of bed as he headed into the common room.

Liam had spent his time at the ring. Maurice was away they said, up to his tavern in the north for a few days but he had free reign of that part of the warehouse and any ideas in what was needed would be welcome. He went over the area thoroughly as well practiced his moves. A few younger males in their teens (not that he knew they were from the snowball gangs) came in all curious. Although not advertised, the fact someone had been going there got around and drew attention from certain ones. So he talked with them on defending themselves as it seemed the two had been victims of the bully called Billy. Evening came all too quickly as he closed up the place and headed for the Thistle, parting company with the lads. Snow was beginning to fall by the time the tavern was reach, the cold air coming in with him the few moments before the door was closed off. Seemed he arrived near as his brother. "Eve Ciar, have you seen Evan?" Then noticing Mikhail as he got his drink and headed there. "Can I see what Fate has to say about me?" Settling into a chair by the table with the Tarot cards.

"Uh ... " he squinted at Liam then shook his head. "Not since this morning." Alex had gotten the younger Quinn a bowl of stew and some brown bread, with plenty of butter. He carried the tray with that, and his ale over to the table, well, the one beside it. He didn't want to be sitting there eating while Mikhail did the reading for Liam.

"Come join me, cut the cards if you want yours read, Liam. You as well Ciaran after your brother." He sat up, glass of potcheen in hand with a friendly smile.

"One guess.." grinning his brother's way before taking up the cards, shuffling them a few times over then cutting them three ways like the others did last evening. Once done he put them back to one in a different order then sat back and waited.

Once Liam was done, Mikhail sat up and turned over the top card, it was the Two of Cups. The picture portrayed the wedding of Eros and Psyche. Standing on a rock surrounded by water, Psyche faces us dressed in a bridal gown, her hair decked with flowers. She holds a bunch of white lilies. Behind her is the bridegroom whom she cannot yet see - Eros, the radiant god of love, armed with his bow and quiver of golden arrows. Around them in a circle dance three ondines or water nymphs, each rising from the water and holding aloft a golden cup in celebration of the marriage. "The Three of Cups suggests the celebration of a marriage, the start of a love affair, the birth of a child or some other situation of emotional fulfillment and promise. But each of these situations is also a beginning, an initiation into deeper levels of the heart's experience, and the herald of further explorations in the future. Only you will know how this card fits in the events of your life or things yet to come in the near future."

Evan was feeling somewhat under the weather and had spent much of the day sleeping and lazing about his room upstairs. It was nothing lethal, just a bad cold the likes of which many of them fell victim to this time of year. It likely wouldn't have escalated to this point if he hadn't gone back to work yesterday and sweated away in the carpenter's shop all day with the freezing temperatures outside. And he planned to return there tomorrow after today's day of rest. He was snuffling as he came down the stairs, clothes rumpled and that bleary look creasing his face. He went over to Alex to get some tea first, glancing over his shoulder to hail the others with a wave.

He just gave Liam a closed mouthed smile and dug into the food that was waiting for him though he was listening while the cards were read. He was nearly finished when Mikhail finished up and used the rest of the bread to clean up the last of the broth. Blinking when he saw Evan, he looked at Liam. "Don't look like he was anywhere."

"Holy mother of god," under his breath as he sat up straight. "I was only joking about taking over Evan's title of Casanova. He should be getting this card." Although Liam knew it didn't really work that way. "Speak of the devil," muttered before laughing. "You look like hell warmed over, Evan. Come get your card of love and marriage."

"That's your card, Liam." He took a gulp of the ale as he stood and moved from his table to theirs. "No getting out of it." He'd carry the dirty dishes over as soon as he had his reading.

"Huh?" Evan blinked between the both of them, in the dark since he'd missed Liam's card reading. Taking his tea in hand, he shuffled over to join them. A glance down to the table, that card depicting marriage in front of Liam and he understood. Evan began chortling. "Aye, you can't undo a card reading Liam..." His voice somewhat echoed from congestion as he snickered. A sip of the tea had him sighing as it soothed a sore throat. "Had yours done yet Ciar?"

"Not yet. I just came downstairs meself." He grinned at Evan. "Though I fell asleep reading, not because I was sick."

Mikhail chuckled listening to the brothers. "Doesn't necessarily mean a marriage but something you love about to become a realization." He shuffled up the deck good and set it in front of Ciar so that he could do as the others had.

"Well, in that case I'm married to the Ring but I wouldn't mind some romance as long as it doesn't lead me down an isle."

Which could mean Fawn found. He picked up the cards and shuffled them again, cut them in three piles, then put them together again. He snickered as he glanced at Liam but then he slid the cards over and watched Mikhail. Just a touch nervous about all this.

Evan smirked at Liam as he reached for a chair and eased his sore self down into it. "C'mon. Marriage can't be all bad." Not that he was ready to walk down that aisle any time soon, himself! It was a daunting prospect for any man. Though maybe with the right girl.... his thoughts wandered elsewhere a moment, only to return when Ciar set the cards down upon the table. He'd curiously await the younger brother's reading.

"Then I shall leave that to you and watch you closely in the months to follow, years." Grinning before stopped short with a thought. Yes! That is something that would be a celebration, her return to us.

He was smiling to himself for the rapport between the three. A priceless gift few possessed. The card turned over showed the Eight of Pentacles. The picture portraying Daedalus at his workshop in the precincts of King Cocalus' palace in Sicily. On either side of him, richly laden vines clamber up wooden posts. Behind him can be seen a verdant vista of green mountains leading to the sea. On the ground at the craftsman's feet lie seven golden pentacles, all in an unfinished state and awaiting future work. On the wooden table before him lies a single golden pentacle, around which Daedalus engraves an elaborate border. "The Eight of Pentacles augurs a period when the individual plays the role of the hard working apprentice who is struggling to acquire a new skill. This card can suggest a talent which the individual has recently discovered and which is worthy of development and effort, or it can imply that a hobby could be developed into a profession. The individual may experience great enthusiasm and interest in some new field of work which requires him or her to become a hard working trainee, often at a time of life when one 'ought' to be firmly established."

The reading had him blinking somewhat sheepishly and avoiding looking at either of his brothers. Of the three of them, Ciar was one who had no established profession nor an idea of one. He rubbed his neck and chuckled. "That certainly could be me."

"So, what have you been about we don't know about?" Teasing his brother. "You find a profession, perhaps being a merc will become some kind of real profession?" About the only thing he had seen his brother do at all in the line of anything resembling work. "Another card that could have been yours Evan, a new profession and a new wife."

Evan was getting it tonight which had him chuckling again. Though for himself, he shook his head. "I think the only thing that might be a new profession is maybe a knife thrower in some show." He wasn't good enough to be a professional gambler.

Evan hacked out a laugh or maybe it was a cough. "Oh aye, that must be it." The sarcasm was there clearly in his rumbling voice. A punch to Liam's shoulder was the only other response he could come up with at the moment. "Maybe you're just about to stumble upon somethin' Ciar." He suggested, though the image of knife thrower in a show brought about visions of carnivals that had his grin creeping. "Or maybe you are cut out to be a carnie...."

"Fate can surprise us at any given moment, any corner turned. As the card suggests something new coming up or something that had been a hobby. It also implies that you will work hard to learn this new skill as it also implies you will be successful."


"Eh, I'll just work at the boxing ring with Liam. Keep things in order, or something." He looked at Mikhail and grinned again. "That would be a surprise."

"Maybe you'll find you are good at becoming a Private Investigator for certainly I am going with them to find our sister and I would be shocked if you don't do the same."

Speaking of which. "When are you thinking of going?" The idea of hitting the road once more wasn't an appealing one, but if it was to find Fawn, there was no way he wouldn't be joining them.

"Wasn't sure we'd be welcome, but yeah, I was planning on going." He motioned toward Evan since he had the same question and Evan had asked it first. Oh, and he looked at Mikhail. "And thank you. Isn't often I get something to
think about in a serious way."

"I am hoping by the end of this week. We have to first meet with Joe McDonough and he is going to get back to me on a good time now that we are back."

"That soon." He ran a hand through his hair, considering. "Means I'll need to repack all me clean clothes." He didn't look at Evan. The man was miserable enough with having the cold and probably would look worse at the news.

Yeah, he wasn't thrilled but as was his way, didn't say a word. Just nodded, sat there with furrowed brows and sipped his tea. Finally he pushed himself forward to stand. "Let me know when we'll be meeting with Joe. For now I'm goin' back to bed." And tomorrow morning wouldn't want to crawl out of it, but duty was duty and he didn't want to lose the job he'd procured for himself with this new carpenter. The man had a knack for the trade, and some new methods Evan had never seen before and was interested in learning. He brought the empty mug back to the bar then nodded his farewells. "Mikhail, a pleasure. 'Night." A bit short and abrupt for him, but formalities weren't easy when one feels like hell.

"Why don't you see if Alex has some kind of tincture or tea that you can take for that, Evan?" Might at least help him sleep as well as get through the day tomorrow.

"You should take a cup of that herbal mixture Alex has to help you feel better." He was rising to his feet as it had been a very long day. "Thank you for reading my card Mikhail. Perhaps you'd be interested in stopping by the boxing ring sometime soon. I hear you are a very accomplished warrior. You have many a fan amongst the teens."

"I would enjoy that." The latter part of Liam's statement took him by surprise. "Interesting, I would like to meet them to show them I am but a man, as they can accomplish things in their lives too if they set their minds to it. I should have my protege stop by with me if he is available." Taking up the cards to fold into the black silk then into the pouch attached to his belt. "It is a good time to be going. I wish you all good fortune in finding your sister."

Evan just waved off his brothers' suggestions. He could be a stubborn old Bear just like Ciaran when he wanted to. Besides, he'd already gotten a couple remedies from Alex and didn't want to overdo it. Leaving the others to finish their farewells, he trudged up the stairs to get what rest he could.

"Good night, Mikhail. Thank you again." He stood and gathered up the tray with the dirty dishes and silverware and carried it over to the bar for Alex to take to the kitchen. Then he was back to finish his ale.

"I'm heading to bed," giving Ciaran's shoulder a thud as he passed and was in Evan's wake. He worried on him at times.

Well, with everyone gone, he wasn't really in the mood to venture outside. So, a few minutes later, ale finished, he too, headed up the stairs though he'd likely read until he fell asleep.



Date: 06-30-10
Poster: Mikhail MacKay
Post # 10

At the Thistle
(Tarot card reading on Eliana and Maggie)


For the love of all that's sacred. She had no idea why her ship landed in Heathfield, save the fact that she directed it this way. She was mystified, unsure of herself, and quite ready to crawl back to her Castle and stay there! What on earth was happening to the world? A slight clear of her throat, a nod of the chestnut head to the tender at the Thistle, before she drifted inward. When Eliana felt lost she often wandered the halls of d'Estrees Castle, tonight, she found herself in the place she always felt was a home. Heathfield. Still wearing the Midsummer's gown of white and aqua, the sleeves belled, the bodice tight, she stepped lightly through the Thistle, touching furniture, sweeping fingertips over cushions. The new gift since the disaster on Salaria left the Queen with more than the normal amount of the paranormal. Ignoring it, for the most part, she found a seat.

Mikhail was here by himself, lounged out in a comfortable chair near the hearth. No real fire but there was peat burning low that added to the welcoming scent the tavern has to offer. There was also the scent of cooked apples, pies, tarts and dumplings. Mik was attired in a loose fitted poet's shirt of wheat tucked into dark brown pants. Usual wide belt had a hunting knife and a few pouches. His sword was not attached this evening. He found little need of a sword in these lands but was sure to take it with him when he wandered, there was the gypsy blood in him and that calling from time to time. Dark eyes held depth to them, the kind that was hard to read for most. The soft step, and perhaps the scent that told him a fine lady was near, had him gain his feet as he turned, dark eyes piercing that split second before a warm smile followed. "Good evening m'lady, it seems it has been a long night for you, perhaps a refreshing of your feet?" Seemed to be the thing to say although certainly not of the norm!

Her own eyes were a crystalline myriad of colors. Green, yellow, brown, and amber. Wide and seemingly naive, they were the essence of the lady's very soul. She was just taking it upon herself to find a seat when the voice cut through the silence. She had to laugh, it came in a melancholy song. "A refreshment of my feet? Ah, but it seems just the thing..." As she lowered to the nearest seat, finding it did indeed bring a measure of comfort, she glanced about the room. Years of memories assaulted her. She was not old, by anyone's measure, but she certainly felt her years tonight. As her back inclined to the sofa, a hand reached up to brush at her cheek, the clear eyes looked to the one who spoke. " A long night it has been, my good man. And were I one to ponder upon such things, I would think you gifted. Though knowing how my countenance droops, I would rather count you perceptive."

"Then by all means, I am at your service," although he hadn't given his name it lent to the mystery of it all still. In time, things were far better coming at the right moment than rushed. He was over to the bar with a request of Alex. A pan was brought with warm water, not cold nor hot. He took some herbs from one of the pouches to add to it, lavender was one of the more predominant scents as well mint. At least Mikhail was one of the older residents and had been around for many years for that matter. He carefully brought the pan over to set on the floor as he went to a kneeling position. A glance up of dark eyes was the way of taking permission as he cupped one dainty foot in the large callous hand of a working man.

It took her completely by surprise. She was leaning forward and protesting. "No, it was but a transient complaint.." Her hand encircled her own ankle, her eyes pleading as he spoke. "Were you to proceed I would be forever in debt, and while I see what a noble man you are by your actions, it leaves me fraught with guilt at my own superficial complaints..." She smiled, the wide eyes shimmering pools of understanding. "I see now why your Queen is such a content one..." Her fingers grasped his at her ankle and she could not help but remember the story of the Christ and his washing the feet of those he loved. Her eyes squinted. It was one of many reasons why she so loved this land. "I beg you, give me leave of this, for there is no joy for me in seeing another humbling themselves ..."

There was a glint in dark eyes as she protested far too much, "you are indeed overwrought but I will respect your request. If I was to say I had a foot fetish and would love taking care of your tired feet would you relent?" He didn't really have a foot fetish but he would never offer to do something he didn't mind doing. "I shall leave the pan here that you may soak them at your leisure." Which was an alternative solution and one that would appease both perhaps. He set the towel on the cushion next to her as he stood. Silence hung a moment as he studied her in that way but didn't seem to really delve. "It is said a friend is but a stranger away so at least let me introduce myself in such a step. I am Mikhail MacKay of these lands." Stepping out of her personal space in a discreet way at the same time.

Eliana had to laugh. A foot fetish indeed. It was a pleasant distraction for what could have been a most uncomfortable situation. Her laughter filled the tavern, the melody sweet and the tone pleasing. "I would not relent, good sir, but I would be most obligated to your sense of the chivalrous." She stood then, her gowns falling naturally around her small frame, the cant of her head, the smile on her lips coming most naturally. "Mikhail MacKay, I am most pleased to meet you. I am Eliana of Salaria. Myself, and my tired feet, are very grateful to you." She was instantly captivated by yet another of Heathfield's rich tapestry of citizens. She knew she would stay here this night if only to find herself a safe respite from that which constantly harped at her peace.

Foot fetish? Those were the words that Maggie caught drifting on the air as she stepped out of the back hallway, and it had an amused look of curiosity upon her features. Fresh from a bath the waitress wore a light muslin gown of pale green, half covered by a crisp white half-apron which she was now tying about her waist. Dark hair with its reddish streaks was pinned back at the nape of her neck, though several rich strands were free to fall about her face. A smile appeared when she recognized one of the guests here tonight, "Hello Mikhail, good to see you again." The smile then turned over to the lady stranger. "I'm Maggie, you can let me know if you need anything here tonight." She'd noted the woman's fancy gown and took her for a noble of some sort... and Maggie certainly knew how to interact with ladies and gents of that class.

"Eliana of Salaria, your name is known here and by me," stepping back in a bow as a hand moved to his chest with the lowering of his head before lifted again, "you are known as friend by many.  Although we had not the pleasure of meeting before. Now that is remedied and I'm honored." He was just about to introduced the rather spunky tavern waitress but she was right on top of that as she should be. "It is good to see you again Maggie. This is Lady Eliana," which he wasn't sure if she wanted her title given or not, "of Salaria, allies of ours."

Oh she remembered Maggie. She gave a salute of her fingertips to her forehead and a smile that was said to captivate the sailors of the high seas. "Maggie, it is good to see you again." Ever grateful to Mikhail for keeping her identity smothered, she inclined the chestnut head to him, curls so silken they shimmered visibly, fell about her shoulders. She retook her seat and found the dense of the cushions a great relief. A brush of her fingertips to her brow, "All is well in the land of Heathfield, I can sense it, like a nourishing meal it imbues the soul." The gown, the evening, the sense that she was meant to be, at all times, royal, forgotten, she relaxed into the chair.

Kynan was whistling as he made his way to the Thistle, though he paused when he felt a slight tug at a lock of his hair. A hand lifted to brush whatever it was away, but ... there was nothing. He muttered something under his breath before continuing on. Dressed comfortably, he wore a brown leather vest opened over a maize colored poet's shirt. Brown pants and boots were also worn and he wore a sword at his hip, peace knotted of course. He was getting used to the weight of it. A giggle had him growling again. "Behave, Lralii, or I'll glue your wings together." A moment later he was stepping through the door of the tavern.

A moment taken to give the woman another glance, and she did indeed seem familiar. Maggie's smile dimpled her cheeks, recognizing her now, and inclined her head towards the lady Eliana. "Forgive me for not recognizing you, I believe we first met when I had a hundred new faces to remember!" Turning then towards the door to greet another familiar face. "Hello Kynan, it has been awhile." Long time since she saw either MacKay brother.

"All is better in fact, your senses don't deceive you. The King and three of his horsemen were missing for nearly a year, taken by forces unknown in the forests between Luneberg and Kildare. It is recent of their return, seems Andrew's Wards drew them out from wherever they were taken. They were lucky to be alive for wounds suffered. The king is still in the care of his queen. The others are still mending but have shown their faces on the king's field. King Leoric has been in with his knights to see to his mother and were here for the good happenstance. So, the lands have a healing that goes deep and all feel the uplifting and joy this has brought." Catching sight of his younger brother. "This is Kynan, my brother, he has joust in Solurius a few times along with our other brother, Trevet." Whom he wouldn't be surprised if he showed up too being Kynan came out of hiding.

"Nothing to forgive..." given to Maggie with a smile, her eyes turning back to Mikhail as he spoke of the situation in Heathfield. It was as it should be and Eliana gave a deep incline of her head. An act of understanding and respect. "Healing in a land is something I am intimately familiar with..." The large, clear eyes shifted to Kynan, as the introduction was made she again bowed her head briefly. "Kynan, well met, good sir...." The effects of the evening already dissipating. In her mind she was chiding herself Bloody hell, Eliana, an evening out, it is not something foreign to you. Aloud she said, "I trust it is no inconvenience that I find rest here tonight?"

"Not at all," Maggie took it upon herself to answer with a ready smile. "We'll be happy to set you up in a comfortable room, and I can get a hot bath ordered for you, if you wish it."

"Eve, Maggie. It's good to see you. I've been in training." He looked toward the lady, and bowed to her, just as he had been taught. "A pleasure, milady." He straightened then looked at Mikhail before he looked back to Eliana. He had no objections of course!

"No inconvenience at all," he took up a seat near the couch where she sat so conversation could flow smoothly, easily. "There is some very good food tonight if you are hungry.." which he was realizing he was. A  handy menu was soon taken up as he went over the offerings for this evening.

Eliana was right at home, and was soon leaning over the arm of the chair to peruse the menu with Mikhail. She nearly growled. "The stew sounds amazing..."

He had to hide a grin as he settled into a chair. "How are you this eve, Maggie?" And he made a come here motion, whispering when she came close. "Who is she?" Hopefully low enough.

"I shall not hold your absence against you, then," she teased Kynan with a light smile before crossing to the bar, letting Alex know that the Lady yonder would be wanting a room this evening. Then she caught Kynan's motion from the corner of her eye and went to him obligingly, leaning over enough to hear his whisper. And would answer quietly in his ear, "She is the Lady Eliana, of Salaria. I believe she is its Queen," added on a whisper. Even though that title had not been part of the introduction, Maggie tended to learn things being on staff here, and the name had struck a chord of recognition.

"If there is any of the chicken and dumplings left along with a tankard of ale? A normal helping." Being Mikhail could eat quite the meal. He set the menu away as he looked up with a smile Maggie's way.  Then with a teasing low rich laugh, "please hurry or my arm will be gone..." for that growl from Eliana sounded like one that would eat an arm if they could.

Attention stolen by the elder MacKay brother, she returned Mikhail's smile. "Normal for you or normal for me?" She'd found that men around here tended to have prodigious appetites! Though some women did as well, notably that Karina girl who scarfed down heaping platefuls every time she came in. Leaving Kynan for a moment to go to the kitchen window and pass on Mikhail's order to Hazel.

She was tempted! Salivating already, she cast a hungry glance to Mikhail's arm in a tease then shifted her glance to Kynan. Every young man reminded her of her Philip. She saw the possibility of her son in them all. She smiled watching him, then settled into her chair again and curled up with a satisfied 'hmmm'. "It is the summer now, summers used to mean fun and antics. Is it still that way in Heathfield?"

"Would you like a stew then, m'lady?" Maggie asked Eliana politely as she stood by the kitchen window. "Anything else for you this evening?"

"M'lady needs a diversion." Waggle of dark brows came with the sleight of  hand as cards were now in them. Not the usual playing cards and ones that were twice the size. Still, he was able to fan them out, twist and flip them about and never one to be lost as they would end up in a stack. Briefly, fanned out again back and forth like waves upon the ocean then shuffled before finally given rest in the middle of the small table. "Aye," was given in response to her question.

He gave Eliana an almost sheepish smile then piped up as Maggie walked away. "Could you see about the same for me, please, Maggie? And maybe a slice of whatever pie there is?" He had eaten earlier of course, but he had a normal teen's appetite and at the sound of his voice, he heard his aunt calling. So, of course, he had to go say hello or be in trouble!

She was fascinated by the cards. She answered Maggie however, "If it's not too much, the stew would hit the spot tonight, my sweet..." Large hazel eyes moved with the cascade and fan of the cards. Captivated already, she twisted in her chair to be more fully attentive to Mikhail's actions. When they came to a rest in the center of the table, she was fixated. Her chestnut head canted first one way then the other, before looking to Mikhail. "A distraction, a diversion, you say. It is true, this is what is needed." Her focus was drawn back to the cards even as she heard Kynan's aunt calling, and Maggie tending to the orders for food.

Maggie parted her lips to pass on Kynan's order, then laughed when Hazel's voice rang out instead. "Be careful in there," she teased the younger MacKay as he passed by her on his way to the kitchen. Eliana's order for stew was given and since there were several orders up, she stayed near the kitchen window, busying herself a few moments with polishing the front of the bar.

"Have I read your card, Maggie lass?" Called out to her in curiosity. He had been in to see his aunt earlier. Dark eyes dipping back to lock with Eliana's unusual colored ones. "Have you had your card read before?"

"Oh no, never. Alexander was frightened of such things, and after his...." she paused. "Well suffice to say, I have ever been interested."

"Nay, you have not," she called back to Mikhail, dark brow arching briefly before she turned back towards the kitchen. Several dishes were placed onto a large serving tray, which was lifted and balanced on one hand deftly. Despite the weight she moved with her usual sinuous grace as she crossed the room. "Chicken and dumplings for you, and your ale," she set these down by Mikhail along with a fork, knife and napkin, "And your stew, m'lady." Setting down the bowl by Eliana, as well as a basket of rolls and dish of butter, which came with the stew. Utensils and a napkin offered as well as she tucked the now-empty tray beneath her arm. "Do you need anything else at the moment?"

"This is a one card calling, as with any of such tarot readings it is to help a situation and there is never nothing bad on one's path if they realize it is all a learning experience of good and bad. The card can help one with insight if they will, sometimes it will make no difference other than a curiosity. It is amazing at times how close they come to a particular time along a person's path. One card is only a glimpse, if it is confusing, up to two more cards can be drawn to clarify the first. If there is time, a full reading can be done. If you wish your card read, then shuffle the deck, split it into three piles then bring them back to one in any order, even the same they had been divided. It is said it will not matter, the right card will always appear," one reason the person being read was to handle the cards. "Nothing is ever written in stone and I do not advise one living their life by how the cards fall but I do believe insight is useful on one's path."



Date: 06-30-10
Poster: Mikhail MacKay
Post # 11

Eliana smiled, there was even a sigh of contentment as she looked up to Maggie. "Nothing at all, my sweet. Thank you so much." Then she was listening to Mikhail, her chin dipped, eyes intent on his face as he spoke.  Eliana shuffled the cards quite adeptly, after all her best friend for years was a pirate! She shuffled, split the deck into three piles, then let them flutter expertly into one pile. She put the pile on the table and looked to Mikhail. "I understand it is merely a guide, not the determination of my life..." With that, she put her hand on the pile and awaited him to say for her to pull one. As she did, a mirage of images, memories assaulted her. Green eyes, laughter that mingled with braided beads, her life upon returning with a young son, the marriage that the Kingdoms celebrated, and now...the emptiness of her heart only filled by the sounds of the merriment of her children. She was not yet thirty, but she felt ancient at times.

"Very good, let me know if that changes," and with another smile Maggie was back across the room again. A bit ballerina-like, she stood on her toes to peer through the kitchen window, curious whether Hazel still had Kynan hostage in there.... and whether he might appreciate an escape diversion!

When Maggie peeped in through the window, he popped up, grinning. Hopefully he didn't scare her too badly!

A gasp, and a jump, and almost simultaneously, a burst of laughter at the way Kynan had managed to startle her.

"Thank you Maggie. I feel I should sweep you away and marry you but I fear Alex and Hazel would be beating down my door to drag you back for you are so efficient. Pretty and efficient." Wink came easily with the complimentary tease then he was back to the deck that had been shuffled and cut to turn over the top card. The Four of Wands showed. Nothing earth shattering but a light announcement of what was probably obvious to Eliana. Maybe it was a confirmation the cards were in tune to the hand that turned them. The picture portrays Jason celebrating with his shipmates after the building of the ship Argo which will carry them on their voyage to Colchis to find the Golden Fleece. The ship, decked with scarlet sails and bearing the emblem of a golden sunburst, waits on the tide. Around the scarlet-clad figure of Jason stand five of his heroic companions: Hercules, wearing his lion skin and bearing a flaming wand; Theseus, King of Athens, crowned with the gold and robed in crimson and bearing a flaming wand; Castor and Polydeuces, the Warrior Twins, both clad in silver armor and each bearing a flaming wand and Orpheus the Singer clad in a blue robe and holding his lyre.


"This card augurs a time of reward for efforts made, which I sense there have been many of late. A creative idea has yielded early fruit and the individual has every right to celebrate the concrete results of his or her efforts. But," and there was usually a but! not to let one go floating away, "this is only a stage, a step on this journey and soon the ship must set sail and you to face the hardest challenges before the final goal is reach. It tells me that you have a goal set even if all of it might not be totally clear, you are not moving aimlessly. The challenges to face, if you conquer you will reach your goal. This is a good thing but as with all goals, once accomplished, new ones are set and so the circle continues as long as we live."

He had an impish grin as he returned, carrying his own tray. A sheepish look was given Maggie, and then his brother and Eliana. Making his way to a table nearby, he sat and said a quiet thank you. Before he started to eat though, he snatched something from the tankard, and tucked it into the pocket of his shirt, under his vest. "Stay there."

She was still laughing some as she glanced over her shoulder to Mikhail, "Why thank you. I shall be certain to keep an eye out for other pretty, efficient girls whom you might wish to court," a wink.

It was so appropriate that her card was turned just as the laughter of Maggie came at Kynan's surprise pop up. Eliana smiled as she listened to Mikhail. Tears misted her eyes, usually clear and penetrating, they blurred with emotion. The card itself held so much meaning for the Queen, but hearing Mikhail's words underlining it was so powerful. She put her fingertips to her mouth, an attempt to compose. Finally she spoke, "Salaria has ever been my first love. That love has cost me, dearly. Yet now I see it is not in vain, just as it is not the end." She took a breath and glanced to the younger of those in the tavern to revel in their energy before looking back to Mikhail. "It is confirmation that my life is not in vain, and that which I seek to accomplish benefits not only those given to my care, but myself as well. I thank you, Mikhail for your generosity in sharing this, despite my aversion to your foot fetish." Winks were plentiful tonight, so Eliana gave one. Rare.

"First you startle me, then you take my job." Hands on her hips, she watched Kynan move off with his tray, giving a tsk-tsk. She was only teasing, of course, a smirk upon her lips as she turned back to polishing the bar. Which meant she missed Kynan's odd actions a moment later.

"Sometimes when you are overwhelmed and feel you have sunk into the situation, it can seem all there is and not just a piece of a bigger puzzle. It seems to me you needed this card at this moment on your path when you may have had doubts or discouraged." And then he smiled. Such a contrast for his darker skin and the white of his teeth. He was pleased the cards helped her out. That was why he did this. The last had a deep rich roaring laugh. "Maybe sometime if there is a need, and you call me friend, I can wash your feet and enjoy the enjoyment you receive from it. So the giver is the receiver too."

Eliana burst into laughter. She shook her head, but gave a fist to her heart, that extended to Mikhail. "May that day come for the enjoyment of us both." In her mind she was saying, 'eek,no', but her smile was genuine.

Good! He dug into his meal with great enjoyment and the lump in his pocket stayed still for the most part. He glanced over at his brother and Eliana briefly but, well, the food was a stronger attraction at the moment.

He lifted his hands to wiggle his fingers. This coming from a renown warrior too. So he had this other side besides all fight. "Maybe it is your feet are far too ticklish to be touched!" Chuckling as he lowered his hands so that he could eat. He dug right in, it was so good as a bit of heaven could be seen in his expression that he didn't bother to hide.

"I shall never admit it!" Eliana said as she dug into the lovely stew and bread before her. She ate like a man, heartily and without apology. For one so small it was odd to see, but she had no idea of it as she spooned the stew into her mouth competing with the hunks of buttered bread.

Watching the others tuck into their food made Maggie a bit hungry, herself.... and she leaned in through the kitchen window to sweet talk Hazel into passing her an extra roll, slathered with butter. This she would nibble upon while the other hand kept busy with its dusting.

"Maggie lass, would you like to shuffle, cut the deck three times and see what a card might say to you tonight?" He had time for one more as he was already half way through his meal.

A pause given to turn about and regard Mikhail a moment, and in the end curiosity won out. "Aye, why not?" Pushing her dust rag into her apron pocket, she daintily finished the last bite of her roll, then crossed the room. Taking a seat across from the others, she reached for the cards with an eager smile. "I have never had my cards read before..." Taking up the deck, she divided it into three piles, then stacked these atop each other at random before placing them down upon the table once more. "Tell me my fortune," said with a light smile Mikhail's way.

Eliana's spoon faltered as Maggie shuffled the cards. Her utensil lowered and she tilted her head, forgetting her meal to listen to the results of her draw of the card. She felt the power of it, the reality of how a life could reveal itself in the hand that pulled the card.

He set his plate aside as he adjusted in his seat to get comfortable. The card turned over had him raising a brow, for there was the Five of Wands, the chances so slim if one were to calculate the chance. The picture portrays Jason's battle with the dragon which guards the Golden Fleece. The Dragon, huge and covered in greenish scales, belches fire from its mouth while it clutches the precious Fleece in its claws. Jason battles it with two flaming wands. Beside him stands his lover and helper, the sorceress Medea, daughter of King Aeetes of Colchis in whose possession the Fleece has lain. She is beautiful and black-haired, garbed in a flame-colored gown and carries the three flaming wands. His finger remained resting on the top of the card as he stared at Maggie a moment, perhaps seeing far more than the merry, pleasant waitress seen to all.


"This card augurs a time of struggle where the individual must battle with the dragon of material reality to achieve the goal. Mundane matters may begin to go wrong and more attention must be paid to the demands and limits of concrete reality; or the individual falls into the grip of a depressive or apathetic mood. Compromises must be made while still retaining the integrity of the original vision. This is the symbolic answer to what this card means but, I feel in this instance the picture is telling more directly of a real challenge as big as this dragon to face and defeat."

Finished, he pushed the food away and took to drinking the ale while he listened. He had grown up with their mother reading the cards, and then passing it to Mikhail but it never failed to amaze him. The lump in his pocket had disappeared, his hair stirring briefly as if a breeze moved it. He ignored it though and yawned, the meal and long day starting to make him sleepy.

Hands clasping together atop her knees, Maggie perched on the edge of her chair and leaned forward to peer at the card which was drawn. Large blue eyes raked across the image portrayed there, and a sudden tingling sensation ran down her spine as the smile faded from her lips. Suddenly she was not seeing flat illustrated flames on a card, but all-too-real flames engulfing a thatch roof... the screams even echoed in her ears as her eyes lifted to Mikhail. In that moment their eyes met, the fortune teller might see that there was indeed, much more to this waitress than met the eye. Something darker and deeper lurked behind her easy smiles. That solemn gaze held, tinged by uncertainty and fears and for once... the bouncy barmaid was silent and wordless.

The power of it all rested in Maggie's eyes. Eliana watched with fascination as the girl's revelation came, and the acknowledgement of it rested in her eyes. She caught her breath, feeling the energy lingering on the air around them. It was almost as if one could taste the potency of it. Eliana pushed away her food, wiped her mouth and quietly sat while Maggie absorbed what was said. She knew it was a time of acceptance for Maggie, acceptance that there was a battle to be waged, one that she could win.

He saw it, the warrior in him knew such battles. A hand shot out to take hers up as he engulfed it between both of his. "You have my help if needed. I am battle born, worn and trained." He was also trying to reassure her. "If the card tells right, the battle will be hard, maybe the hardest in your life but Jason won his with the help of a friend. You can too."

Mikhail's words echoed the offer Matthew had made, as well... to help her in some battle to come. And her response this time was the same. Her features relaxed as she gave a soft laugh. "I am hardly about to don armor and go fight dragons, but thank you for the offer, Mikhail." Her hand slid free of both of his as she rose back to her feet, shaking some stray strands of dark hair from her eyes. "It's funny, isn't it, how a game of chance such as these cards can sometimes be perfectly matched with the person... and sometimes not?" There was a smile which flitted between them all as she turned to go back to her cleaning at the bar, but her heart was pounding.

Eliana, exhausted from the past twenty four hours smiled. "Sweet Maggie, the hardest battles are those not buffered by armor, oui?" She rose and gave a bow to those within, ready to find her rest. Her guards outside the Thistle were in a tizzy, the Queen never did this, and it made guarding her impossible. Little did they know within the lands of Heathfield she was ensconced in safety. She disappeared up the stairs, feeling her heart stir for Maggie and making a mental note to speak to the beautiful girl if she had the opportunity.

She was still in the first stages of whatever was to happen. Something that would not relent and force her to face the dragon. If she did it alone, she might perish, maybe that was part of this lesson to trust another with her life, that not all things can be done alone. Why there were others on this earth, sometimes we needed to learn to help others and sometimes one needed to learn to allow another to help oneself, helping the other on their path at the same time. Usually when all was said and done  and one looked back, they saw how perfectly it was set up if they followed the logic of learning. All that went through his thoughts when she pulled her hands away. "If it was poker than I would agree," slight smirk as he gathered up the cards to shuffle then slid them back into the pouch where kept. "So, Kynan, when are you going to introduce me to your new friend." If he did so here, it would be possibly a step in an awaking for Maggie too.

He stood when Eliana did, bowing to her as she took her leave, then he sat again, covering a yawn with his hand. He blinked, then looked at Mikhail a moment, confused. "Oh! It's Lralii. Remember... she used to watch over me when I was a babe."

He gained his feet with a bow to follow. "It has been a pleasure to meet you Lady Eliana, I hope our paths will find each other's again."

Maggie was back to her dusting but her thoughts were leagues, perhaps dimensions away. Still she focused back in to her surroundings long enough to glance up and offer Eliana a soft smile as she departed. "Sleep well, m'lady."

"Here I thought you had found a new friend. There are a few around." Ones that got attached. He'd almost forgotten about Lralii. With his meal finished and that of Eliana, he gathered up both onto his tray to bring over to the bar to set. There was more to the cards than he would admit and doing them drained the rather healthy, muscular warrior. "I think it is time for me to find my pillow, that one calling to me right now."

She was a tiny Fae with white blue hair and eyes as blue as a sapphire... if one could see her. She kept tugging Kynan's hair to keep him awake and it was annoying him to no end! "Are you riding back to the manor?"

"No, I think I will stay the night here. That sounds far more appeasing." And perhaps if he was needed. Things were afoot.

"Thank you," spoken to Mikhail when he brought over his own dishes, saving her a trip, though it was a short trip. "Do you need anything in your room this evening?" Blue eyes shifting then to Kynan, "Would you like a room as well?"

"I will too then." It was a far piece to travel when one was extra sleepy. "Yes'm, I would." He carried his tray over as well.

Which had him chuckle, "that is a dangerous offer to make coming from a beautiful woman to a virile man but no, I will be fine. Although if ever needed.." although not along the first thought but certainly the one from earlier. If she needed help from one well trained in battle. Enough that King Leoric called him into service and the King of Ballicastle charged him with his son to teach. "I think I will sleep well tonight." Then with a pause, "you're very welcome, Maggie." Smile was warm one, comfortable and gone as he stepped away and eyed his younger brother. "We can talk more tomorrow."

Alex of course would pass the keys across the bar which she then would pass off to each gentleman. Blinking at Mikhail, her thoughts were distracted enough to give her a pause before she could absorb his words and gave a laugh. Yes, she realized now how a man could have taken her offer another way. "I bid goodnight then, to you both."

"G'night, Maggie." He blinked and looked at Mikhail with an uh oh expression but quickly changed his expression to a neutral one. "After breakfast?" Hopeful.

He clapped a hand against Kynan's back... strength behind it as he tended to forget that Kynan didn't have the girth of his older brothers yet but treated like one. "Nothing to worry on little brother. Goodnight Maggie," having collected his key it was time to head up to their rooms and get some sleep.

Which had him near stumbling but he laughed as he picked up his key and joined Mikhail in heading up the stairs.



Page 1  2  3  4  5      Main

Hit Counter