A Learning Experience: Interlude Seven

(occurs after Chapter One, Turn Six [Part Two])

Valeria waits just outside room 107, occasionally waving to people she knows who walk by.

After Emmet arrives, Val knocks lightly on the frame of the open door. "Mr. Ravenscroft? Can we talk to you a while?"

The English teacher sets down his pen with a nod. "Certainly, Valerie, Emerson." He gestures to the two to come in.

Val waits for Emmet to join her in the room, and then closes the door softly. "Sir Dariun..."

The use of his fae name gets the older Scathach's attention. After a moment, he scrutinizes the two younger kithain. "I assume you haven't come to ask about Monday's fencing tryouts."

Val gives Emmet a look that plainly says, "OK, what now?"

"Not even close." Emmet takes a breath, gives Val a quick look, then plunges on. "Recall the chimera in the rafters at the assembly a few days ago. Lady Janelle asked us - and a few others - to do some looking around, talk to the students, see if we could shed some light on the weird crap that's been going on the last few days. Maybe even find out what the fu - ah, fur - dammit! - what the hell is going on."

It's obvious that Emmet is making an effort to curtail his language, perhaps out of respect for the Scathach knight. He pauses, slightly flustered by his mediocre success.

"We've discovered some interesting things - not the least of which is an infestation of furking HUGE chimerical rats in the school basement...

"Valeria and I were wondering what you could tell us of the local folklore surrounding this site. We, ah, sort of noticed you've been publishing papers in various academic journals on the subject for the last 30 years or so."

Sir Dariun steeples two fingers at chin level. He gets up and moves over to pick up a book from one of the shelves in the classroom. When he speaks again, his voice is lower, obviously not meant to carry beyond the room.

"The local Native American tribes have many tales of people disappearing into the woods where this school now stands on certain dates," he says, pausing now and again to point some of them out and give a brief precis of each one. "It sounds very like the stories the Europeans have of people being stolen by the faerie host, does it not?" He gives them a crooked smile before he continues.

"There are also stories among the local tribes of an enchanted lake with great powers of healing, that could only be found under certain conditions." He levels his gaze at Emmet and Valeria. "I assume you're familiar with the healing powers of Glamour?"

"Theoretically, yes. Haven't seen it myself." replies Emmet.

Sir Dariun gives a slight nod. "The stories seem to indicate that there was -- or is -- a concentration of Glamour in this area." His finely-drawn brows draw together. "However, those tales have no connection to things like the nightmare chimera at the assembly or the rats you encountered." He grins wryly. "They sound more as if as if they were inspired by films from the 1950s!"

Emmet's face darkens a bit as his brow furrows. "How can you be so bladnabit certain there is no connection?"

"Point to you, Mr. MacDougal," Sir Dariun returns dryly. "Perhaps what I meant to say is that there is no mention of such things in those stories." The crease between his brows deepens. "The fear of the destructive power of the atom is a relatively recent phenomenon, as such things go..." He taps a finger against his chin, seemingly lost in thought.

"Excuse me, sir," Valeria breaks in, "but Emmet found out that there might have been a freehold here before the Shattering. Could that be what's causing these manifestations?"

Sir Dariun turns to look at the younger Scathach sidhe with an odd expression on his face. "So it is true," he says, more to himself than to Emmet and Valeria. He seems to come back to himself as he continues. "In the Tuath of Shadows, there are stories told about how some fae established holdings in 'the lands beyond the great sea,' but were never heard from again." His expression turns thoughtful. "But there is no Balefire here, nor a sacred stone -- if there was a freehold or glade, it must be long dormant." His brows draw together again. "And yet, someone is dreaming here -- and those dreams are taking on physical form."

Emmet makes a few notes on his handheld as Sir Dariun speaks.

"How much do you know of the school's layout? Records indicate a bomb shelter was constructed in the basement. We - " a nod here toward Val "tried taking a look, but were chased out by chimerical rats the size of dogs. Mean little bastards... oh - and do you happen to know anything about a group of nomands called the Dhy'zhonn?"

The sidhe instructor looks as if he's turning things over in his head. "Elzbieta -- the librarian -- has a number of papers about this school in her private collection. She's been kind enough to allow me to view them." He pauses a moment. "There was a bomb shelter in the basement, but it was walled up sometime in the 1980s, if I recall correctly."

He closes his eyes, murmuring, "Dhy'zhonn...Dhy'zhonn..." thoughtfully, varying the pronunciation of the name slightly each time. After a few more times of pronouncing the name varying the inflection, his eyes snap open as his expression changes from contemplation to astonishment. "Dhy'zhonn...Dixon! Larry K. Dixon!"

Emmet smiles at the older fae's sudden connection.

"We noticed that, too. Do you think there's some sort of connection, or is this just a meaningless coincidence? Who was Larry K. Dixon, anyway?"

"The name 'Dhy'zhonn' sounds as if it could be a corruption of 'Dixon,'" Sir Dariun says. "Larry K. Dixon was an artist; he is rather well-known in some circles for his fantasy and science-fiction pieces." He pulls a book from the shelf and flips it open, showing the page to Emmet and Valeria. "Here -- this is one of his paintings."

The painting Sir Dariun shows Emmet and Val is drawn in a style similar to Art Nouveau, with intricate border designs. It shows a beautiful woman mounted on a white horse, surrounded by a crowd of other beings, a number of which bear strong resemblances to members of the various western kiths. The group is standing in a forest glade, with small golden lights in the trees around them

Val gasps, her eyes going wide with wonder as she looks at the painting. Her mouth forms a little "o" of astonishment.

Time: After school on Friday, September 6, 2002

[Previous Interlude][Turn Summaries Page][Next Interlude]

This web page copyright 2002 by Midori Hirtzel-Church.
This page first posted -- June 13, 2003

Back to [A Learning Experience][The SilverWood Homepage]

This website copyright © 2000 by Midori Hirtzel-Church. All characters © 2000 their respective creators. Changeling: The Dreaming is copyright ©1997 White Wolf Game Studios. No copyright infringement is intended.