Winter Raged on.
From fitful sleeps and cramped coffins arose the Kindred once more.
Plagued by nightmares and horrors the followed them into their waking. They were all on edge and worried, frustrated, exhausted.
The life (what semblance of it there was within them) was drained out of them. Shying from fire and light best they could they stumbled about stumbling to the stairs noisily.
All apart from Joffe, who had taken to sleeping in one of the upstairs quarters, roomier quarters but might not be so safe from light in the later months when summer would come.
The kindred debated whether they should attend an evenings tea with the enigmatic “Mme Toulouse” who had invited Lydia and her friends. Though Lydia found herself otherwise engaged with the left over lingering effects of her nightmare.
Still they chose to go, all of them, Jerome and Charles watching the exterior, while Antonio, Joffe and Celestina to take the Lady up on her offer of hospitality. After an interesting and rather bewildering tea session. Revealing the Lady had an uncanny mastery of languages and a desire to keep learning them.
The situation escalated until Antonio felt so uncomfortable he just had to depart and leave Lydia and Joffe and Mme Toulouse to their discussion. Which resulted in Celestina power walking back to the Haven and a conspicuously absent Joffe.
This rest of the night was more routine, which is a first since their arrival, familiar patterns of behavior developed.
Antonio ardent at attending early mass while the other Kindred preferred the later Mass.
The priests’ magnetic personality still worked it’s charm across the crowd and our ‘heroes’. Pressing them on once again to purge the Sloth from their midst. Yet held them back at the edge of such direct action.
Antonio took Charles with him to go see the Raggedy Man at the bridge1 Which once again exacted a Toll upon them, shiny belt buckle and a singular boot. Which was promptly torn by over sized feet.
The rest of the evening was whittled away with personal endeavours, sprinkled with surprising incidents, Jerome being healed by the magnanimity of Mme Toulouse, which rid him of not only his horrific burns but also of the other scars upon him. Later in the night Joffe was returned to them looking bemused and unable to explain what had happened to him.
The group is left with no clear understanding of what “Mme Toulouse” really is, for she looked drained and exhausted after performing her miracle.
To their great relief, as they settled to slumber the day away, the nightmares did not return.