[Ref: post by Oakwyse above]
There was a loud "POP" and the 3 wizards looked up.
"Quick, in here!" OakWyse called. He, Alferian, and Azrienoch ducked into the back yard at RavenOak and made for the safety of the Solar Garden. Once in side the Circle of Stones, Alferian took out his own wand and cast a protective circle.
"That was close," Oak said.
"Who was it?" asked Alferian.
"Everyone knows you and I wouldn't engage in such a battle against each other," Oak replied.
"It must be that She-Devil, Beith!" Azrienoch hurridly cast a second circle.
OakWyse opened his Crane Bag and began placing Ogham Staves around the perimeter, uttering a powerful charm . . .
"There, let's see her get through that" Oak concluded.
Azrienoch popped open a bottle of mead, and the three wizards sat down to tea.
"Sounds promising" smiled Alferian, the first flecks of saliva appearing on his moustache in anticipation of Breton mead.
"Err...that wasn't me. I haven't finished uncorking the bottle" replied Azrienoch, a little uncertainly. He fiddled with the lid of the flask but it still refused to budge.
"May I be of help with that?" purred a voice from over their shoulders.
"Oh certainly. Thanks" said Azrienoch handing over the bottle, which disappeared to thin air.
He spun around realizing neither Oakwyse nor Alferian had spoken.
"Who said that?! and where are you?"
growled Beith, manifesting behind a near-molten rock and disentangling beech, alder and broom from her flaming hair. "This bloody spindle is a right pain" she moaned, untwisting the knots. "Those ogham staves really hurt".
"EEEEK!" shrieked the wizards
"How did you get past my ogham charm?" asked Oakwyse, shocked.
"And the double protective circles?" inquired Alferian, suddenly losing his taste for mead.
"I just hopped over 'em"replied Beith "with these-"
She pirouetted on her cloven heels.
"Nice shoes" said Azrienoch, forgetting himself.
"Oh good! Glad you like them" smiled Beith, then coughed, wheezed and smiled again through the sulphurous flames.
"I was afraid they were a bit-y'know- "last incarnation" she whispered conspiratorially “- and I wouldn't be caught dead wearing anything from a former life. Do you like the wedge heel?"
She spun again.
This time her head went in the same direction.
"err...pardon the interruption" said Oakwyse, "but aren't we overlooking the fact that
(a) you appear to be a devil, Beith; and
(b) you managed to avert the power of 2 protective circles and my ogham staves ?" he mumbled gloomily. "I don't know whether to exorcise you or ask you how you did it?"
"oh Oaky, don't be so upset – circle hopping’s just a little trick they taught me down there
– annoys the hell out of ceremonial magicians when they try to banish their demons...- if you’ll pardon the pun?”. Beith grinned like a shark.
“and I’m not much of a devil. I just took that hellish Inferno test – and got sent below
. That’s the last time I give in to temptation” she pouted, "...unless I really can’t resist it”. A mischievous smile flicked at her lips. Alferian could have sworn he saw a forked tongue.
Azrienoch stared at her head.
“y…you...you’ve got horns!” he stammered “and they glow!”
“Sequins” replied Beith, inspecting a talon nonchalantly. “Winter collection 2004”.
“Very well Beith, glad you’ve got the outfit sorted” chipped Alferian “but that does seem to make you a devil and therefore an aberration of nature and the divine – and so I’m not sure we want you in our company, so if you’ll just be running along…..”
“Oh c’mon Alferian” sighed Beith “don’t be so literalist. Demons are people too y’know. Now gimme that mead, I’m on fire with this thirst.”
“yes and a hell hound is for life and not just for Christmas” snapped Oakwyse. “How the hell-oops!
- in God’s na-oops!
...How on earth did you get through the ogham charm?” sighed Oakwyse, thankful there was a non-blasphemous pagan way of expressing oneself.
“easy peasy” grinned Beith “it only works if you say it in gaelic”
Alferian pulled out a Dark Magic ™ blackthorn wand and began to trace an anticlockwise circle around Beith.
“Begone!” he commanded.
“Nope!” said Beith
“BEGONE! repeated Oakwyse, in his ministerial tones.
“nah-ha” replied Beith, shaking her head. Azrienoch quietly admired the sequins.
“GET THEE HENCE!” commanded Oakwyse
“I told ya- I’m going nowhere til I’ve had a drink” retorted Beith testily “My throat’s on fire”.
“I’ll bet” surmised Alferian, looking at her through the flames. She reminded him of his alchemist’s lab.
“ARE YOU TRYING TO TEMPT ME DEMON?” shouted Oakwyse
“No! I’m trying to get a bloody drink!” yelled Beith “and could you lower your voice a bit – they can hear you in Hades!”
The three wizards joined forces encircling her. Alferian took care to pull back his robe - velvet scorches terribly. They foraged for their weapons in their pouches. Oakwyse fiddled with his ogham set.
“Is that a wand in your crane bag or are you just pleased to see me?” grinned Beith devilishly.
The senior wizards raised a Dark Magic Blackthorn ™ wand and Banishing Birch Branch ™ each. Oakwyse clutched a rowan stave in his left hand for extra protection. His bell, book and candle were at home.
They began a chant:
“By the sacred power of three
of blackthorn and birch and rowan tree
by our command we banish thee!” they cried and looked towards the apprentice to complete.
“And Get thee hence to a nunnery!” chimed Azrienoch and instantly shut up again.
“Monty python? Now?” glared Alferian at his cowering apprentice.
“it rhymed” said Arzrienoch, blushing.
“Look boys” said Beith “I really don’t have time for all this pageantry. I’ve got 3 possessions scheduled for this afternoon, a quick temptation over lunch and I’m waaay behind in stealing of unbaptized souls….so if you’ll just pour me a drink …”
“We don’t do deals with the devil!” shouted Oakwyse
“Then you’re stuck with me!” replied Beith. “-you must be in torment” she giggled.
“What was that about banishing through gaelic?” whispered Azrienoch.
Alferian smiled and rummaged in his Crane bag. He pulled out a bottle and took a swig, then offered it to Oakwyse who did the same.
“Gimme a drink!” ordered Beith
“Cén deoch atá ag teastáil leat?” [which drink do you want?]
asked Oakwyse as Alferian furtively placed a circle of ogham staves around Beith .
“Mead!” said Beith “Gimme some me-“ she stopped as the light of realization dawned. “Oops!”
“Amach leat!” [Away with you]
yelled Alferian, pointing the blackthorn wand at her.
There was a a fizzle of quenched flames. A “POP!” and Beith was gone.
“What was in that bottle?”asked Azrienoch
“Tullamore Dew” grinned Alferian. “Irish whiskey will have you speaking gaelic in no time!”
….Somewhere in the furthest reaches of Level 2 hell where the lustful are damned………
“Just like that?” asked Cleopatra
“How rude” agreed Helen of Troy, stroking a small wooden toy horse.
“yes “ said Beith “and those staves really hurt I can tell you. I think I even broke a nail”
She filed her talons against the wall. On the far side some lost souls writhed in torment at the noise.
“And he never even offered me a drop of the rare stuff” continued Beith “That’s the clergy for you”.
“That’s shocking” said Nimue, reclining on a chaise-longue. “I thought Oakey was more pagan than that”
“Apparently not. And I hear he keeps his tabernacle wine well locked up” said Beith as she stood up.
“Where are you going?” the she-devils asked
“To get some damn whiskey!” replied Beith.
They nodded approvingly at the choice language.
“But this is den of the Lustful
” replied Cleo, “there’s no drink here”
“I’ll try Temptation
then” said Beith “I hear Old Jack Daniels is in the cell next door”.