What the morning tide brought

May 28, 2015:

A visit to the beach to welcome the new day becomes a time to meet new people.

South Shore - New York City

Comprised primarily of the Tottenville and Eltingville neighborhoods, Staten Island's South Shore is a largely residential area featuring suburban style single family homes and several small state parks and forests. The Atlantic Marina features eating and a rail line that runs the length of the island from the Marina all the way up to the Staten Island Ferry on the northern end.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

An early morning fog drifts in from the dark ocean as the first rays of light splash over the horizon as dawn slowly approaches. Soon the light spreads and deep midnight blue turn purple and then fades to grey. In this twilight the world seems to hold its breath as it transitions. Magic fills the air. Standing on the beach near the water's edge there is a dark figure of a woman of medium height. She is standing in a circle drawn on the sand; in the circle five runic symbols have also been drawn. She chants in ancient language lost to man, with every word she utters the sky grows brighter. Her arms are held up to the sky and as the last word on her lips die; the tide rushes in and seems to consume her, the circle and the symbols. Yet, still she stands. The waves seem to crash around her but do not cause her stumble or lose her balance. The wind merrily dances down the down the beach and wraps its self around her. In her hands flames appear. Sky itself brightens and the flames turn to sparks that that she releases to the newly born sun. The life and sound seem to rush in as the ritual is completed. The with a laugh the woman dives into the waves.

It's early. Way too early for work. John is half asleep in the back of the cab he'd taken from his Gotham door to get here, wearing sunglasses to ward off the pre-dawn sun threatening to burst into glory. The cab drops him off at the base of the marina pier, and with a yawn and a stumble he gets out, carrying a doctor's valise in one hand and a steaming cup of coffee in the other. Things are juggled, the cabby paid, and John shuffles off in the direction of the outcropping where Lynwen is performing her dawn ritual, his feet dragging on the ground with the gait of a man fighting a fairly stout hangover.

"Yes, I too can smell it." Ystin pats her winged horse, Victory, on the shoulders. "Magic. A magic we know well enough, too." The magic of Camelot. One of them, anyway. Ystin directs the horse down from the sky and they circle, gliding on giant, feathered wings until both horse and rider can land on the soft, almost clean sand of the beach. Ystin scans the waves, searching for the source of what they sensed.

Several yards from Lynwen, %n pursues a more modern ritual. On a white wooden picnic table, now drained with a blue and white cloth, he has placed a bowl of fruit and a short steel carafe, from which wisps of steam rise. Behind him, on a small rectangular box, sits an electric camp stove with a pot and a pan on it. A cycle rickshaw sits nearby.

He watches Lynwen, whlle she stands in her black swimsuit at the border between land and see, greeting earth with her bare feet and inviting fire, water, and air to join in the greeting. He pivots when he hears the flap of great wings behind him. He watches with wary curiosity when the mythical creature lights on the sand and its rider dismounts. For an instant, his blue tennis shoes glow with a faint blue-white light that fades. When a cab arrives and disgorges anther visitor, %n eyes that stranger as well. Then he returns his attention to Lynwen, as if pondering whether he should interrupt to bring her attention to the visitors.

With the cold morning bath of salt water had Lynwen emerges from the water walks to the water's edge. In the light of morning it can be seen she is wearing a black swim suit. She is also wearing heavy gold torque around her neck and gold armbands around her biceps. Her wet blonde hair has been bound up and held in place with gold clasps. Closing her eyes she stretches and yawns. Her back cracks and she sighs. The water laps against her feet like a faithful dog and the wind continues to whisper into her ear. She turns her head in the direction that John is walking and raises her hand in greeting. Then there is a waves of magic. It holds her and she calls out to him in Latin. "Vide corvos umbra alarum umbra super montem montium. Alis eiusque proelio. Gladii concurrere montes. Vos quaeritis an inquirat iterum incidat herbam umbra prterit? Habes electiones facere. Apparere, iter mutare, sed erit electio. Quod cohaeret bibendum contagio non abscondam et memorialibus. Five ut biberent aquam tuam in fluminibus. Quid enim exspectas?" Then she looks up into the sky waiting for the horse and rider to land. She blinks and shakes her head as if to clear what is in it.

Turning her attention toward the man at the picnic tables and her smile brightens. She calls out in ancient Welsh. "Yr wyf yn meddwl efallai y byddwn yn cael ymwelwyr." Then she says in broken English her accent is heavy. "We have more coffee yes?" She asks the man as she moves towards him. She goes to sit on the bench and wait for the man and rider to join them.

"No one likes it when people speak in riddles and mysteries, luv," John rebuts with a hoarse grumble, schlepping to within comfortable speaking range. "Least of all, wizards. I should know, I'm a bloody expert at it."

He drops his valise at his feet and settles his hand in his trenchcoat pocket, collar turned up to protect against the chill saltwater spray. "I'm just here because some blighter said a barmy lass was standing in the water chucking bloody fireballs at the sunrise. Supposed I ought to find out if it was a newcomer or the local coven trying to find new ways to entertain themselves." He looks at Josh with curiousity, eyes hidden by his dark sunglasses, and ducks his head a bit to keep the sunlight from beating directly on his face. "What's your angle here, mate? Here for the show or just passing by?"

A worried frown speeds over Joshua's face when he sees the stranger approaching. He glances at the stove and leaves the picnic table. With quick strides, he moves to stand beside Lynwen. He nods to the man and then says to her, "Mae'n dweud, 'Nid oes unrhyw un yn hoffi pan fydd pobl yn siarad mewn posau a dirgelwch, luv. Lleiaf oll, dewiniaid. Dylwn ei wybod, rwy'n arbenigwr gwaedlyd arno.'" Looking to the man again, he questions, "Aut quæ est angulus? Ego amico eius, et protector eius cum illa indiguerit."

She looks at Join as he gets closer and she shrugs her shoulders. "Would you like coffee or more coffee?" The words are carefully chosen. "Not what you said." She frowns a little and continues to try and speak. She points to Joshua. "He is professor, teacher." She nods her head. Then she switches to rapid ancient Welsh. "Dywedwch wrtho fy mod yn golygu unrhyw niwed a fy mod nid Dewin, mae'r rhan fwyaf ohonynt yn disgyn yn galed ac yn gyflym at y staen y tywyllwch. Ofyn iddo faddau i mi, ond roedd posau i gael ei siarad."

"Pass, thanks. I'm set," John says, wiggling his coffee at her in demonstration. "My name's John. John Constantine." He looks from Joshua to Lynwen, face unreadable behind the wise-lensed glasses. Among anyone with associations with the Fae courts or the infernal regions, his name is practically a byword as a sentinel for humans- though, whether that's for right or wrong is a matter of some debate. "What are you two doing here this morning, anyway?"

Joshua inclines his head when Lynwen adds a facet to his own explanation of their relationship. "She is a foreign student. She is here to learn English, among other things. I am her guardian and teacher." He turns to Lynwen and speaks to her in the ancient tongue, to translate the man's words and then his own. "As for our presence here, this is a public beach. We are here to enjoy it and share breakfast." He nods to the table before he again translates for Lynwen. Finally, he fixes his eyes on the stranger, and adds, in English with a distinct British accent, "She asked me to relay these words. 'I mean no harm. I am not a Wizard. Most of them fall hard and fast to the taint of the dark.' She also said, 'Forgive me, but riddles had to be spoken.'" While he speaks, the faint blue-white light flickers over his shoes, but it is so quick that it has come and gone in less than a blink.

"Greeting the dawn, I am Lynwen." The woman responds back to John, "Please come and sit with us." The name means nothing to the woman who is out of time. She frowns a little and rubs the back of her neck. "How can we help you?" She asks. Exhausting her limited vocabulary she switches languages. "Rwy'n credu ei fod yn gweld y ddefod, er nad yw wedi niweidio ni, ond yr wyf yn meddwl ei fod yn chwilfrydig am y ddefod. Eglurwch iddo ei fod yn cyfarch y wawr. Mae'r nos a dydd yn gyfartal yn yr hyn y maent yn dod fygythiadau ond rydym yn fwy effro yn y dydd. Yr wyf hefyd yn cyfarch y ser a'r lleuad."

John shakes his head in apology at the couple, but accepts the invitation to join them. "Thanks," he says, swinging a leg over the bench seat and resting his elbow on the tabletop. "Didn't mean to interrupt anything," he informs the duo. "Just keeping an eye on what's going on in the city. I didn't recognize your descriptions, so…" he gestures vaguely with one hand. "Playing things on the safe side."

Joshua remains beside Lynwen, but he nods when she invites the stranger to join them. "Our … descriptions?" Joshua questions in English. "I was not aware that we were so … illustrious," he remarks. He watches cautiously while the man settles on the bench. Again, he turns o Lynwen and translates for her. Returning his attention to the man, he explains, "She believes that you are curious about her and her … greeting." He nods toward the tide that swirls around their feet. "She greets the dawn. She said that the night and the day are equal in what threats they bring, but we are more alert in the day. She also greets the stars and moon at night. She is … very fond of nature." Then he adds, "Too many in the city forget that, and how much they depend on things that they do not understand."

The blue sparks are seen and Lynwen reaches for Joshua's hand. "Heddwch, nid wyf yn meddwl ei fod yn golygu niwed neu y byddai wedi ymosod arnoch yn gynt. Mae'n cael ei hyfforddi i fod yn sicr ond mae'n staen sy'n dod o'r tu allan nad o'r tu mewn. Mae angen ddefodol glanhau da." She looks to John. "Yr wyf yn newydd i'r ardal fel y mae ef, nid ydym yn gwybod pa le y mae yma ac nad yw'n. Mae amser yn beth rhyfedd." She says to him and hopes Joshua will translate. "Yr hyn yn dod a chi allan y bore yma, ac woudl chi'n hoffi cael y wisgi neu win purged gan eich system. Ni fydd y pum afon fod yn eich diod y dydd hwn."

John reaches into his pocket for a battered-silver cigarette wallet, flicking it open and fishing for a single hand-rolled smoke. "It's all right, really," he assures Josh. "You don't have to justify it to me any. I'm just a curious bee who wanted to see what the fuss was. Guess I'm up too bloody early, and for no reason, now," he grimaces, cupping a match with his hands and taking a few quick puffs to stoke the cigarette up.

When Lynwen clasps his hand, Joshua nods and they stroll inland, to the table that he left to be by her side. He glances to her, and then looks to John while he translates, "'I am new to the area as is he,' she says. 'We are still learning, who is who, who does what, and what is unseen in this world. Time is strange thing.'" He nods in agreement. "She also asks, 'What brings you out this morning, and would you like to have the whiskey or wine purged from your system?' She says, 'The five rivers will not be your drink on this day.' She is offering to help you, if you wish." When they reach the table, he gives Lynwen's hand a squeeze before he adds, "Curious bees find nectar and pollen. If they are careless, they might lead the bear to steal honey from the hive."

Moss green eyes watch Joshua and John as the they walk towards the table. When they reach it she goes to wrap a brightly colored wrap skirt around her waist. She looks between the two waiting. To hear John's response to the translation.

"I hate metaphors," John replies, puffing merrily on his cigarette. A nicotine bliss fills his eyes, and he relaxes a bit under his trenchcoat. "Also, what's the point of drinking if you just flush all that delicious poison the morning after? It's natures way of reminding you how good you felt the night prior," he says with a wan smirk from behind his sunglasses, gesturing vaguely around with the cigarette-wielding hand.

The thing about horses… is often then need to make water. And so, Ystin, after landing, went with Winged Victory while the white horse did just that. Only now does the Shining Knight return, a slim one - either boy or woman in golden armor of ancient design with a sword that radiates power even more ancient. "Or," Ystin says in Welsh, "You're a piss poor drinker and you deserve your hangover."

Once Lynwen has settled on the other bench, Joshua busies himself, first by pouring steeped tea into two cups. He sets one before Lynwen and then places one beside her for himself while he translates John's comments for her. He looks pup when he hears the knight's wry jest, he notes to Lynwen in English, "We have another guest." He inclines his head toward the stranger. "If you are in need of food, you have come at the right time," he offers. Again, for a instant, that faint blue-white glow envelops his shoes only to disappear before anyone can be sure that it is there.

Moss green eyes move to the woman and the horse, she then responds back in ancient Welsh. "Aye Gallaf arogli ef milltir i ffwrdd. Pwy ydych chi? Pwy yw eich ceffyl, yr wyf yn gwybod beth glynu atoch yn dda." She rubs a hand over her face. "Os ydych yn gwybod iddo dylech wylio hyn y mae'n yfed. gallai syrthio i cysgod oherwydd hynny, ond nid wyf yn meddwl y bydd yn cael ei ganiatau i golli atgofion hynny." The sense of natural magic from days gone by still lingers here. The wind whispers in Lynwen's ear. She turns her head to Joshua. "Heddwch Sunstone, pob yn dda. Yr wyf yn dal ddim yn deall pam y byddai ef eisiau i'r poen yn y pen, yfed yn amser da yn y gorffennol ie a gall fod yn lanach nag y dwr mewn rhai mannau. Mae pob un at ei hun, bydd yn dysgu mewn."

Constantine bares his teeth at Ystin in a toothy grin. "You'd be hard pressed to find someone who can drink me under the table, mate," John assures Ystin. "A hangover is the red badge of a bloke who's put some serious effort into his drinking." He washes his words down with another heavy sip of coffee, eyes flickering to the woman babbling in Welsh. "I'm not going to take up your time then," John says, getting to his feet and ashing his cigarette to the side. "I look out for this area- but I don't protect people from their own stupid choices. Lovely day to you all," he offers, with a casual wave of his hand, before he gathers his valise and prepares to leave.

Ystin laughs at the boasting. She's heard it all before, of course. Hundreds of times. Thousands through the ages. From soldiers and farmers, conquerers and slaves, Amazons and wizards. They all think they're the pinnacle of the drinking art.

Of course, they aren't. Ystin is. Duh.

"My name is Sir Ystin of Camelot. I am also known as the Shining Knight." This time, the seeming youth speaks in English. He pats the winged horse. "This is Winged Victory, my steed and companion."

Not the Shining Knight of Arthur's Camelot, however. Sir Justin was larger and blonder.

"Then you are not alone, Mr. Constantine," he declares, speaking in Welsh with a strong British accent. "We are new to the island as residents, but we, by nature, tend to watch out for those around us who are in need." When John signals his sudden decision to leave, Joshua's eyebrows flick. "If we said, or failed to say, something that gave offense, then we ask your forgiveness. If you must depart, then we hope that the remainder of your day will be more pleasant than its beginning." He looks to the knight and plucks an apple from the bowl of fruit on the table. "A companion of such nobility deserves reward, Sir Ystin, if you and he will accept it." He offers the fruit. "We have tea, and I brought the provisions for a reasonable breakfast. If you are hungry, we would be glad to share with you."

"I only understand part of what you said." Lywen says to Ystin and there is confusion on her face when she speaks in Welsh. "I think you said your name is Sir Ystin and that is your horse Victory?" She looks to John and then in Welsh she says. "If you are leaving may you be well and may you have blessing from above and below. May the sun warm your back and the winds fill your sail." She looks back to Joshua and he is given a curious look and she continues to speak in Welsh. "I do not know if he understand that can you translate it to be certain, I would not want him to think we are so far gone we have no manners."

"I understand. Fair weather and safe harbors," John tells Lynwen, in heavily accented but very passable Welsh. He looks to Ystin and nods, once. "John Constantine," he says. He doesn't give much more explanation than that- but anyone with connection to the Fae courts would recognize his name. "It was good meeting you three. I'll be around." With that assurance, he waves and shambles back towards the base of the pier so he can flag down another cab home.

"Constantines. They walk like a plague." Ystin mutters in Welsh, and sticks with the language. "Winged Victory and I have supped but he's a greedy guts and he won't mind another apple. Nor I tea. Thank you." He bows to Lywen. "Aye, lady. I am Sir Ystin of Camelot. The Shining Knight. This is Winged Victory."

Joshua tosses the apple toward Ystin, so that he in turn can deliver it to the great winged horse. "I am Joshua, and this is Lynwen," he replies in Welsh, introducing himself and the young woman beside him on the bench. "We welcome you and you steed. Lynwen is a foreign student here to learn English, and to acquaint herself better with Modern American society. I am a teacher. I have studied various renderings of King Arthur's tale well enough to know that not all of them can be true." He turns to fetch a third cup from the box beside him. He fills the cup and passes it to Ystin. When john staggers toward the parking lot, Joshua sighs and shakes his head. Then he looks to the right. "Do you know each other?" Lynwen suspects that the man might be in some danger without knowing it."

A bow of her head is offered to Constantine as he moves away. "It would depend on the time, and when, time moves differently where I am from." She says gently in welsh as she studies Ystin with green eyes. "I am one of the Lady's, I also knew others, where is here now is not what was then, but time moves differently for me." She tries to explain and most likely fails. She rubs the back of her neck. Green eyes continue to study the knight, taking in the knight's armour and weapons. She also looking at the magic this attached to them.

"King Arthur is a great man." Ystin says as he feeds the apple to Winged Victory. The horse gobbles it up happily in two bites. "But he is not the King of Camelot under whom I served. You are from the Camelot of Arthur and Lancelot. I am from an older Camelot, conceived of by Merlin in a time when barbarians roamed, after the sinking of Atlantis but before the rise of the Greeks. Still, I greet you, Lady."

"Both are … times of the distant past," Joshua comments. "Much has changed, although I doubt that men themselves have changed as much as some might fancy." He sips his tea, glances to Lynwen, and then questions. "How did you come here, if I might ask? How also do you come to speak the modern language, as you did when you first arrived?"

"Lancelot, who is that?" The woman asks. "I know a merlin and I know the lady, I was there for the forging of the blade." She shrugs her shoulders. "I greet you as well." She says gently but there is still some confusion upon her face. "Time is a strange thing. I am of Avalon." She looks to Joshua next then her gaze goes back to Ystin. "Does he still sleep? Is Avalon still hidden in the mists?" She looks to Joshua as she goes lean against him.

"I have been to Avalon. During the war with Hell." Ystin says. "That was after the fall of the second Camelot but before the rise of the age of Enlightenment." He considers for a moment. "I do not know exact dates. Arthur was awake when I was there, fighting on behalf of the fair folk with Merlin's aid against Lucifer and all his minions." She leans back against his horse. "To answer your question… I have drunk from the Holy Grail and therefore I live long. I came to be here as any do, one step and one day at a time."

Joshua sighs and shakes his head. "I have studied old tomes and legends but nothing of this," he admits. "I do know that the ones who set such tales to paper wrote little of Avalon, but I have faith that it exists, and that it might lie somewhere between the great Isles that are now Britain. What I know thus far of its language suggests that." He shrugs. "Sir Ystin, you must attract no small attention in such … finery, and with such a steed. I regret that I failed to notice, but such is the lot of a scholar, to miss one great thing while pursuing another."

"Rome had left, the sword was forged. Then he fell as darkness swept the lands. He was brought back to the island. We laid him to rest. The Saxons then rose, and from what I have read they fell, to Normans. Perhaps this is limbo or times move differently for both, in visions we see what, was, what could happen and what is. Perhaps when we see what was those are possibility for different paths that do exist but do not exist. Honey, cream and coffee. That would make sense for all that I have seen. Everything has a place yet not a place, everything is fluid." She offers a bow of her head. "It is pleasure to meet you and a pleasure to know you. I am honored. Or perhaps we do know each other and I have lost much comeing through the mists."

"Merlin." Ystin explains, as if that says it all. "Merlin seeks to build Camelot. He has done some before. He will do so again. My Camelot came before the Romans were a twinkle in the eyes of the gods. Before the Greeks or the Egyptians. Ruled by Artur the Bear King." Ystin unsheathes her sword. It is Excalibur but it is not. It is the sword forged by the Ladies. But it is not. It is far older. As if a prototype. Or perhaps as if the sword itself can be reborn, over and over, again and again for the Once and Future King in every incarnation.

"This is his blade, Calibern. I hold it in stead until the King rises once more. I slept during the time of the second Camelot, when Arthur reigned and then died. I fought at Arthur's side in Avalon and he knighted me. I am the knight of Two Camelots and I hold her in my heart until it can rise again as a shining beacon of hope for all mankind."

"Do you expect that he will return in this age?" Joshua wonders when Ystin unsheathes the gleaming sword. "Others have appeared recently, even one who wears the name of Merlin. Whether he is that Merlin I cannot say. I am certain that if he comes in this age, he will face strange challenges." He looks to Lynwen, and then he asks, "Would you permit my lady to examine the blade? I am sure that she will not harm it."

There's a soft 'pop' sound and a raven haired woman, just shy of 20, wearing black leather trousers, white leather corset laced at the front, black biker boots, fishnet sleeves and a black shrug top, all topped off with a diamond encrusted collar and a cracked emerald pendulum hanging on her hip, appears out of nowhere.

Her eyes are drawn to the gleaming sword and then to Lynwen and Joshua and slow smile appears on her face "I should have guessed it would have been you… I …. sensed something and thought I should check it out."

Zatanna Zatara, or Zee to her friends, member of The Titans and Primal Force has taken the duty to safeguard the worlds magic… along with a handful of others … and she's finding herself a little busy of late.

It is early morning and the day is promising to be bright and warm. Waves crash into the beach and sitting on picnic table not far from the water edge are three figures and a winged horse. Two of the figures are seated the third is standing with her hoarse.

Lynwen quiet and thinking continues to sit as she lists to the flow of conversation that is in Welsh flow around her. She nods her head thoughtfully as she digests the conversation. "I would like to see it if you would allow? My oaths are to Avalon and the Lady, they are to the gods and the natural world." She says to her. "I would like to see your blade and you have done much for your king." She turns to Zee and looks at her when she appears. She offers her a smile and waves her over.

Winged Victory winnies. Ystin tilts her head, frowning. "Aye?" She says to her horse. "Aye." She nods, once and sheaths the blade. "I must away. Winged Victory tells me that bandits seek to harm others as we speak. I will teach them the error of their ways." With that, the small knight in the shining gold armor leaps astride the winged horse. "Another time, friends."

And with that, they are off to enforce the King's Justice.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License