The Giant's Causeway
(http://www.geographia.com/northern-ireland/ukiant01.htm) is one of Northern
Ireland's most popular tourist sites and one of the world's most unusual
geological sites. The Causeway proper is a mass of basalt columns packed
tightly together. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead
from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Altogether there are 40,000
of these stone columns, mostly hexagonal but some with four, five, seven and
eight sides. The tallest are about 40 feet high, and the solidified lava in
the cliffs is 90 feet thick in places. Local legend has it that the feature
is all that remains of a bridge built by the giant Finn McCool to travel to
the islands of Scotland. Finn could pick thorns out of his heels while
running and was capable of amazing feats of strength. Once, during a fight
with a Scottish giant, he scooped up a huge clod of earth and flung it at
his fleeing rival. The clod fell into the sea and turned into the Isle of
Man. The hole it left filled up with water and became Lough Neagh.
The Causeway is, of course, a Tether to Stone. It actually was part of a bridge connecting ancient Ireland to Britain - built by Servitors of Stone to allow their Grigori collegues to more easily travel among the celtic tribes of the time. When the Grigori were outcast the same Davidians destroyed the Causeway to help isolate, hunt down and slaughter the 'fallen' choir. In time the truth became legend and then myth among the area's human populace, but none could deny the physical reality of the rock formation and the Tether became stable quickly.
Its current Seneschal is Torlan, a Mercurian Master of the Granite Hand. His prefered role is as Tom, an elderly local hill walker. He can usually be found walking near the Causeway talking to tourists or bus-loads of school children. His tales centre more on the geological aspects of the monument than the folk tales published by the official tourist board, but he always gains the audience's interest and most go away thoroughly impressed by the natural marvel. Torlan is currently investigating two main threats to his Tether.
First is the unwanted help of local environmentalists. A concerned group with the backing of Duncan McMullan, a local businessman and councillor, are petitioning to prevent tourists from climbing on the rocks or even walking too near. Their fear is that wear and tear will damage the Causeway and speed up its erosion. To Torlan this is nonsense. Stone endures. A little erosion can't hope to destroy the basic nature of the geological creation. And it is when people get onto the rocks that they most appreciate the Causeway and help increase the Essence flowing through the Tether.
The second threat is from the very minor Ethereal spirit of Finn McCool. Much as Torlan hates it, every time people visit the Causeway a little bit more Essence drifts into the Far Marches. It wouldn't normally bother the angel, but the same councillor trying to stop people climbing the rocks is leading a publicity campaign featuring the giant and his legends. Given Blandine's view of David it is difficult for Torlan to discover exactly what is going on in the Ethereal realm.
One other thing is occupying Torlan's time. Northern Ireland recently got its first ice-hockey team in the form of the Belfast Giants (http://www.belfastgiants.com/). There is a lot for an angel of Stone to admire about the team. Beside the fact that most Stone angels love the sport, the team have the biggest fan base of any team in the British ice-hockey league. In fact they are the only local club team in any sport to have strong support from both sides of a very divided community. Unfortunately the use of 'giants' in their name always raises Torlan's suspicions. Many of David's elder servitors are quick to think of the Grigori when giants are mentioned, and Torlan has the extra threat of Finn McCool, who is featured a lot in the team's promotional material. The fact that Duncan McMullan is one of the team's main sponsors doesn't help matters.
But above all, Torlan can't help wondering why the team's mascot reminds him so much of the preferred vessel of certain broad-shouldered, long-haired, normally-naked archangel.
How do angels go about persuading the environmentalists not to interfere with the Causeway? Most genuinely want to protect the landmark and any action that becomes too public may damage the reputation of the tourist site.
Does Duncan McMullan have some agenda in the War? Is he a demon or Soldier of Hell? What if he is a Child of the Grigori seeking revenge against David? What if he is a Child of the Grigori seeking reconcilliation with David?
What is going on in the Far Marches? Could anything caus the Tether to fork between the Catacombs and the Marches? What would happen if Finn McCool built up enough Essence to generate a vessel and return to the Causeway?
Who stands to gain most from the arrival of the ice-hockey team? Duncan McMullan, Finn McCool, the Grigori or the Word of Stone?
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