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October 21st, 2006, 18:15
Part Two

Quickly I cast “Moonshadow” on myself and its powers of invisibility faded me from view.

“Hark unto me initiate.” Continued The Sponsor. “I have the forth tome which thou seeks, art Thee ready to begin the ceremony? To drink in the wisdom from the faded pages of the book of the table and to imbibe of the life changing brew contained in yonder flagon?”

“Well yes.” Offered Baurus holding up a hand. “But is there supposed to be something in this flagon? Only it’s empty you see.”

“Empty?!” Stuttered The Sponsor and then slapped his forehead irritably and bellowed, “Dawn Guard!!”

Leaning over the edge of the bridge, one of the two figures shouted down. “We’re up here!”

The Sponsor sighed. “Yes I KNOW where you are! Who was supposed to bring the Life Changing Brew for the flagon?”

The two figures looked at each other sheepishly, or at least as sheepishly as I could tell past their dark helms.

“We thought you were bringing it!” Shouted the man closest to the edge. “Didn’t you?”

The Sponsor crashed his fist sharply down on the table. “NO! I didn’t bring it!” He snapped. “That’s the job of the honour guard and that’s you two isn’t it??”

No reply came from the two watchers who proceeded to stare wordlessly at their mailed boots.

“Never mind!” snarled The Sponsor struggling to regain his composure. “The flagon is purely symbolic, we shall have to do without it.”

As the hooded figure turned back toward the table, Baurus raised his hand again. “Excuse me, but don’t I know you?” He asked.

The Sponsor paused for a moment before replying. “I hardly think so! I am The Sponsor and I dally not in the affairs of initiates.”

“My apologies” Baurus offered. “please continue.

Clearing his throat The Sponsor continued in a chanting monotone. “Place your right hand on the book of the table.” He sung.

“In so much as you have ventured to this place to become one with the brotherhood,
So must you learn the ways of the dawns soft light,
Shunning the harshness of the hated noon sun
We keep low to mother earth and suffer no man to learn our secret ways.”

At this The Sponsor clicked his heels together and span three times on the spot, glaring momentarily upward at a suppressed snigger drifting down from above.

“Has our master not told us.” He continued. “That though the Rat stands lower than the soaring Eagle, lo he is far less likely to be sucked into a jet engine………”

“Wait, I’m sure I know you!” Interrupted Baurus suddenly. “Aren’t you Raven Camoran the butchers assistant?”

“No!” Snapped The Sponsor. “I am The Sponsor and I know not the name you have mentioned!”

“Sure, sure I’ve seen you!” Baurus persisted. “I’ve seen you hanging around outside the transvestite place in the Temple district in that tight little red dress!”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Choked The Sponsor. “You threaten to soil the ceremony with your unfit outbursts!……… Would you say that it was too tight? This Red Dress.”

“No, I thought it looked alright.”

“Silence!” Barked the hooded man. “We have wasted enough time already.”

“Excuse me Raven?” Shouted the brother closest to the edge of the bridge. “How much longer do we have to stand up here?”

The Sponsor placed his arms by his side, his fists clenched and shaking. “You stay up there.” He breathed threateningly “Until the ceremony is concluded. You stay to ensure that none intrude upon the proceedings!

“Well I know that’s normally the case.” Replied the leaning man. “But it’s just that I’m really uncomfortable in this armour. It’s chafing my armpits something rotten!”

“It’s not supposed to be comfortable!!” Shrieked The Sponsor. “Its dark and deadly malevolent armour!!!”

The leaning man stood upright again and huffed to his colleague. “Well was there any need to get nasty about it? I was only asking.”

The other man placed a commiserating hand on his friends shoulder. “My armour is virtually dropping off me.” He admitted. “You know what? I bet we’ve accidentally swapped this morning!”

Now all the while my friends, I have been safely observing the unfolding scene surrounded by my cloak of Moonshadow. But the big drawback to Moonshadow is that it doesn’t last forever and if it’s going to give out then the chances are that it’ll do it at the least convenient moment you can think of.

This was that moment!
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