Wolfsbau

Title: Wolfsbau
Time Period: June 3, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Dina seeks the advice of the militia's consultant on the subject of her house guest.

Ruth Schroder has appreciation for many things. Good wine, tailored clothes, talented musicians and smooth cigarettes. Fresh air and the green of the Scottish highlands in summer do not appear on the list, largely because their accessibility causes her to take them for granted.

Inviting her on a ride through the vale might seem a waste to Lady Ross if Dina didn't intend to do more than enjoy the countryside in full bloom and the company of another woman with a level head on her shoulders.

There are important matters that require not only their attention, but isolated discussion as well.

"When we asked for you to come here, hire you to aide our Militia and ourselves, with regards to the more magical variety of creatures and how to defend against them, Ms Schroder, what did you imagine that the job would be?" Dina's a resonably good rider. It's her preferred method of travel truth be told, to get around town and it's not uncommon to find her when she's not devoting time to the actual town and the people within it, on the back of this particular dark brown equine, with a bodyguard in tow.

There's no bodyguard this time though, feeling confidant in Ruth's protection should it actually be needed, and wanting the privacy of a conversation with the woman and with her alone.

"As you say, Frau Ross," answers Ruth without taking her eyes off the treeline as the pair skirts along the top of a hill dusted with wildflowers. Both her gloved hands grip her horse's reins, fingers relaxed, for although she isn't holding her pistol it's still within easy reach in the holster at her hip. Even in summer, she wears a long wool coat and riding pants paired with a high-collared blouse, which might be uncomfortable in this weather if it wasn't for Dornie's proximity to the water and the breeze spreading waves across the sea of grass ahead of them.

"No more," she says. "Many times less. I am hearing your home is der Wolfsbau."

"Indeed, it seems that we do have one. Washed up on the shore. I took him into my home before I knew what he was. WHether that was smart or not, is why I have asked for you to ride with me" There's a shotgun tucked into Dina's saddle, ready to be used if needed. "I have come across another creature too, that resides with our guests and am hoping that you might enlighten me if possible. But first, this… Wolfsbau" She brings her own horse to a stand, shifting it to look at the other woman.

"What threat does he pose to Dornie?" Overhead, flying high above the pair of them and quite lazily, is Greets The Sun, doing just as his name says.

"Nein," is Ruth's quiet (if curt) correction. "Wolfsbau is place. There are many names for your guest. Vlkodlak. Farkasember." Their pause gives Ruth the opportunity to shift her attention from the trees to the valley below, and although neither woman can see it from this particular vantage point, the wind carries with it the music from the faire-ground.

She's been on edge since the travellers arrival. The dangers the Rosses hired her to help protect Dornie against are not always as obvious as sharpened claws and flashing teeth.

"I am in Estonia, once," she says. "Small village, proud people, but very frail children. They say to my husband: Wolves kill our daughters, our sons, they are in our homes and dragging babies from our cribs. Please, you help us."

Ruth sets her horse back into motion with the expectation that Dina will follow. The forward momentum makes her feel more at ease. "I say: Wilm, the shepherd of this village, he is very fat, and do you see his many lambs? Why would these creatures take a child when there are so many little sheep?"

She does follow, a nudge sending her horse back into motion at it's sedate pace as she listens to Ruth, brooking no argument at the correction from the other woman. This was why they had hired her. "What did your husband say?" Obviously, it wasn't a run of the mill wolf.

"He says to the shepherd: Give me your arm. And he takes his knife, and he cuts into this man's arm so we can see if there is fur beneath. Sometimes this is how you tell, but not always. Sometimes it is a rough tongue or too much hair. One vlkodlak is not another vlkodlak. This time, though, yes — there is fur, and when he is hanged and his belly opened, the mothers and fathers have the flesh of their children to bury."

Ruth leads the pair down a shallow slope covered in rabbit droppings, a telltale sign that there's a warren nearby. Dina might even glimpse a blur of chestnut brown as a pair of newly-weaned kits dart into a nearby blackberry bush for cover. "This vlkodlak is not your vlkodlak, maybe," she concludes. "But if you love this place's children, you tell me shoot him."

If she loves this places children. Dina cares. But she doesn't love. Many people mistake the one for the other with regards to the woman. She leans back as she lets her horse follow apace with Ruths. "And if shooting him at this point is not an option. I have contacted a blacksmith, to make manacles of silver, should the need to contain him be a valid thing. So far, he has remained passive and attacked only two people. The first was a man who kidnapped him to hie off with him at the behest of our French visitors in the harbor"

She tugs on the reigns to force her horse around a hole. "The second was involving the French individuals who decided to use magic to turn him before my very eyes." There's a brief description of Deckard in his form, fur, upright and all. "He has, outside of those two incidents, remained a docile and respectful man who tends to the garden and keeps to himself"

The corner of Ruth's mouth ticks up into a rare smile. "I shoot the French also if you ask it, Frau Ross."

That's a joke. Probably.

"Vlkodlak with collar is still vlkodlak," she says. "You see a man, but he will never be a man. One day he takes your throat."

"Would that we could shoot all the french" Dina murmurs. Likely loud enough to be heard by Ruth. "They say, he is afflicted by a curse. Is there a way to break such a thing?" That one day he'll take her throat, of that she has no doubt. Some day, anyone in this town might take her throat.

"The french have in their retinue, a man in full armor" Her hands tighten on the reigns as she speaks of him, disgust colors her voice. "I touched it, while I was trying to evict them from my sitting room when they decided to start a fight there. The man inside is dead. Decaying and rotting, kept at bay by the ones magics. She used a spell to trap his soul inside. What have you heard of those creatures?" Creatures she says, not a man. Dead men, stay dead. Should stay dead. "They pitted him against Mister Deckard. I say pitted because they turned him into this Vlko-" She can't say it right, the word doesn't slip off her tongue as easily as it does Ruths. "And then the creature in the suit rushed forward to attack." She looks at Ruth. "Would you really, dispatch these french if I asked you to? They and their… creature"

"Alone?" asks Ruth, and she doesn't wait for Dina's answer before shaking her head. "Your feelings for the Rowntrees you must put away. This thing, it cannot be done without the militia. First make Herr Duncan your friend."

Which might be harder than dispatching with Isabelle d'Sadonne and her people. Ruth doesn't sound very optimistic. Of the Hermetic Order's 'creature', she says, "I have my husband's writings still. We read again and see."

"If I asked, I am sure Herr Duncan would do so. Given that he approached me and we discussed the French." Make friends with Duncan though. There's a major hurdle to doing so. One that no one else really knows save perhaps the man's mother, Adler and Dina herself. "We must be wary of the French who sit in our harbor. I trust them not, they have proven to be arrogant and not above hiring those to carry out that which they will not want to do themselves. What do you know of magic, of things imbued?"

"In specific?" Ruth wonders aloud.

"Of letters, written in one color, that read, turn a different," Dina supplies.

"Better question for a mage," Ruth replies, tone firm but not without some small amount of apology. "Or many mages. Do as these French do, gather your fellows close. Maybe there you find your answer."

"Perhaps" Dina will think on it. Of that, she always does. "I do not trust them" Stated again, a shake of her head. "I'd rather the werewolf over them" Which is likely saying a great deal. "Come, we will carry on with our ride. Then I will return you to your day, minus a bothersome old lady. So that you may study your husbands words with regards to soul trapped undead creatures"