Yet More Planning

Eos is settled in with a big bowl of stew, a cup of tea, and a book, apparently borrowed from the library.

Layla breezes into the diner with a brace of squirrels in hand. She waves and disappears into the kitchen.

Eos waves after Layla with her spoon.

The sound of heavy chopping can be heard from the kitchen.

Barely a moment after she disappears, the front door opens again, this time admitting the massive form of the smith, a notebook and sharpened graphite in one hand, a mass of wild onions in the other, a distracted expression on his open face. He vanishes into the kitchen, and after a beat there is a grunt of surprise, followed by some murmured conversation.

Eos cocks an eyebrow after the second arrival, but continues to slurp stew affably. She turns the page carefully.

Lucas returns from the kitchen, the notebook under one arm, the graphite in his teeth, the onions having been evidently exchanged for a tray of tea things, which he sets down at a teble next to Eos, since she is the only other person here. "Er, tea?" he offers, once he's taken his pencil out of his mouth.

Eos looks up from her book and smiles. "Sure thing. Mine is nearly empty." She extends her mug and sets the book down. The title on the dilapidated paper cover -- recently laminated -- is _Mary Poppins_.

Lucas pours tea for Eos and then himself, and then picks a nearby table and plunks himself and his notebook down.

Layla, wiping her hands on a dishtowel, peeks into the dining room.

Eos peers curiously at his notebook and pencil. "So what's up with you these days, Lucas?"

"Going to Battle Plain," he replies, "finally. I think I've done about as much prep-work as I can. Next rising of Our Lady, my lot and a couple of volunteers are heading out."

"Fabulous!" the galliard exclaims. "I need good story material! I expect a full report. Are you questing for something in particular?"

"I've got a list of possibilities," the smith says, tapping a thick finger on one of the open pages of his book. "A handful of rumors about things that might be of use to us." He looks down at his list, but it's obvious he has the particulars memorized, and isn't really seeing words on paper anymore. "Mostly things to gaurd us from the madness when we go in, but there are a few more... offensive things I'm planning to keep an eye out for."

Eos sits up -- one could almost see the wolf ears pricking, if only she were in that form. "What sorts of things?"

Layla keeps half an ear trained on the pot bubbling behind her as she listens to the conversation in front of her.

Lucas says "Well, there was a smith named Domenic who apparently hung out with a bunch of particularly frenzy-prone Garou, and so made a lot of stuff for keeping your cool, protecting your will, your mind, etc." Lucas pauses and leans forward conspiratorially. "But he's also supposed to have made some kind of polearm that does *hella* damage." He leans back again. "There are a couple other clear-sight type pieces, but Ah have to say -- just as a smith -- what Ah'd really like to find -- just to *see* them -- are a couple of Starsfire pieces that are supposed to be out there." He shakes his head. "Of course, half of any of this is probably smoke. Anything anybody ever made that they don't know where it is now is supposedly on Battle Plain somewhere.""

Eos nods sympathetically. "The Domenic pieces sound intriguing. And Starsfire... Starsfire..." Eos taps her chin, straining her memory. Then her eyes widen. "Oh. *That* Starsfire. Ah. Wouldn't that be a handy piece to randomly find laying around the Plain? And, really, anything else she made, I suppose." She sighs. "Well, even if half of it is smoke, then there's still half of it that's not. One has to stay optimistic." She grins.

Lucas grins, his blue eyes alight with what may just be boyish anticipation. "There's some really sweet stuff out there, but boy, am Ah torn. I really want to get mah hands on some of the off-the-wall pieces, but Ah know they'd like as not be too dangerous to ever actually use." He sighs. "I should concentrate on the straightforward stuff, like the stay-sane stuff. Or this Wendigo Cloak, for instance--" he jabs at a scribble in the notebook. "Lets you ignore any wounds you take in battle and dish 'em out later one at a time so they don't kill you. Sweet, eh?" He grins. "Ah bet it's all too easy in the heat of battle to let yourself suck hits and forget that you're going to be feeling it all for the next *year*."

Eos winces at the thought. "Yes. Yes, indeed. I can imagine. And I bet Mother's Touch won't work on the wounds when you *do* take them."

"I wonder if you could get more than one. Hmph. Don't know what the Plain will allow these days." Eos chews her lower lip. "I've heard stories about folks raking up out there when they need it most. O'course, that was thirty, forty years ago. Don't know whether the climate, so to speak, changes."

Lucas says "One of Starsfire's pieces, though," the smith continues. "Did you ever hear of the Moonsilver Circlets?"

The pause is shorter this time -- apparently, Eos has managed to dig up the bits of stories related to this -- and Eos blinks in response. "Yes. Indeed. One story I heard said the Circlets were lost before the Night. You heard something different? They're... er... fascinating work. The results of a group wearing them for a long time, or a great deal... or even the 'right' group at the 'right' time... There's at least one story about the pack not being able to get out of each other's heads."

From her countenance, Layla had not heard of the Circlets.

Lucas looks oddly crestfallen. "Mah sources claim 'at least four' were definitely lost before the Battle," he says, "but seemed pretty confident there were some *at* the Battle." He looks away. "But Ah don't want to saddle this Gumi with a new curse in place of the old." He pokes at the page of his notebook with his pencil. "Some of these things would be worse than the Hive, if we didn't use them properly, and some would be almost as bad even if we *did*."

Eos cocks her head thoughtfully. "Yes, well, it would be somewhat more... limited in scope, I think, than the Hive." She sips her tea. "I know other stories that suggest that the Circlets were things that bonded packs together beautifully. At least one love story. Of course, that story was a tragedy, considering the era before the Curse was lifted."

Layla disappears briefly into the kitchen and, after a bit of clash and clanging, returns with a dish of stew. She joins Eos and Lucas at the table.

Lucas nods, not entirely convinced, and sits back with a sigh, crossing his arms. Abruptly, though, his face clears, as his bicep presses against an object buttoned into his shirt pocket. He smiles softly to himself, a light in his eyes, and says clearly, "No, we'll be okay, Ah think." He turns the smile onto Eos, and there's the warmth of reflected moonlight in it. "Did you hear? She came to us here, and gave us Her blessing." He reaches into his pocket and pulls out the little golden compass, now protected by a padded hard leather case. He shows the treasure to the Elder.

Eos starts to her feet and cranes her neck to see. "Really? No! No one tells me these things!" She gazes on the compass. "This place is really amazing," she says softly. "Goddesses walk into the Diner and give out tokens of their esteem. The undying storm comes by for a visit. What next? asks the bard. That's... I can't tell you how wonderful I find it, Lucas. Thank you for showing me." She settles back into her seat.

Lucas simply smiles happily -- making him look suddenly years younger -- and tucks the treasure safely away again.