With spots swimming before his eyes, Crow used the last of his strength to flap up to his perch in the rafters. Once there, he rubbed the 10 indentations on his feathery neck and was silently thankful for the interruption that had likely spared his life.
If there was one thing Beith liked better than railing against abuses of power, it was talking about Celtic history. Unless, of course, you considered her penchant for spike-heeled shoes, which ordinarily eclipsed every other thought entirely.
From above, Crow watched as Beith held center stage. Wolf Spirit, Seeker and Lorraine listened as the redhead warmed to the task and spun a fantastic tale:
"Yes, it is absolutely true that the first Amulet of Administrative Power was found by archeologists on Tara Hill, and this should come as no surprise to anyone, since as everyone should know, the first pumpkins were grown by the ancient Irish after being given a gift of gourd seeds by the Tuatha de Danann. It was my ancestor, Seamus MacLoafer, who learned to turn some of the gourds into the most marvelous shoes -- that was before he was corrupted and started to make them from pooka hides. But other types of gourds were found to be richly imbued with magical properties, and the pumpkin was found to be the richest, most powerful of all the gourds. And so quite naturally the people of those times began to discover the ways of the pumpkin, and time passed, and as their knowledge grew, they learned to make fantastic amulets and other types of jewelry and pass the pumpkin powers into these works of art ..."
Lorraine, who was starting to doze, jerked awake at the mention of jewelry. "You say that jewelry really was inspired by pumpkins?"
"Shhhh, don't interrupt," said Wolf Spirit.
Seeker loudly banged his staff, Heyoka, on the bar to restore order, earning himself a glare from Gladys, who had just set out a bowl of salted slugs.
Beith continued: "Yes, as I was saying before being interrupted, the people found that they could not easily carry pumpkins around with them, and so they learned to pass the powers of the pumpkin into the jewelry. Unfortunately, this art was lost many centuries ago, but it survives in the two known examples that were discovered years ago on Tara Hill, the very pumpkin medallions that are worn by Kernos and Selene."
Wolf Spirit had a question: "If the medallions were discovered by archeologists, why weren't they placed in a museum? How did Kernos and Selene get them?"
"I'm so glad you asked that," said Beith, "because I DO have an answer! You see, the medallions of course were really the property of the Irish people, and it was felt that tokens of such power should not simply gather dust in a museum, but should be used for the betterment of all people, but especially the Irish. And so after much debate, they were turned over to OBOD, and my understanding is that they were then in turn loaned to Selene and Kernos. But now it seems there is a problem, because one of the amulets -- as we all clearly saw -- is floating around without an owner. And ... where is he?"
Crow gulped painfully as Beith turned and glared at him in the rafters. "There he is," she said. "Clearly he lusts for Administrative Power, and is trying to obtain one of the amulets, though I admit I don't know how the amulet has fled its proper owner, though I suspect fowl play."
Crow wondered about a lot of things. He wondered how the amulet had gotten away from Selene or Kernos. He wondered if Beith had any idea what she was talking about. He wondered why everyone assumed that he had something to do with all of this. He wondered how it was that everybody's voice turned orange whenever they said Administrative Power.
But mainly he wondered what would happen next ...