It’s raining torrentially outside, first rain they’ve had in weeks. Moira is bustling along the simple boardwalk avoiding the occasional river that’s formed across them by leaping just a little too gracefully over them. Diego, unmindful of the rain catches sight of her from his post under the eaves of the local sheriff’s office and after a quick word to someone inside jogs to catch up to her. She nods at him companiobly and for several minutes he just walks beside her saying nothing.
Finally he catches her sleeve bringing her to a halt, “I know you and Siobhan are friends. I know you go shopping together – I need to know – has she ever spoken of me?”
Moira raises an eyebrow and after a long moment responds, “Well Diego certainly she has spoken of you, just as certainly as she’s spoken of her siblings.”
Diego gets stars in his eyes for a moment but says nothing and a moment later his face saddens. “Diego – Is there a reason you’re asking me this?”
“It has been so long that I have loved her. I am torn. When she is near I cannot, for the sake of her honour, speak to her as I wish. I know she has not the same feelings for me as I for her… I think I should go away. Stop being a thorn in her side. I have been so selfish, wanting to bask in her presence, putting myself in her way at every turn. Giving her no other option then to use me as her mount, her goat, her loyal dog. Loving how she sometimes forgets herself and strokes my …”
A choking sound comes from Moira, “Diego! Diego I’ve think I’ve heard enough. Now you listen here and you listen good. Have you ever asked her? Have you ever asked her to go on a picnic? Or church – have you ever asked her to some church function with you? Naw I didn’t think so. Thank God in heaven William had more sense then you do, because by God that woman has the patience of Job… I would have never waited this long. Let Auntie Moira give you a little advice. Ask her. If she says no then so be it, but you’ll have your answer. It surely beats sneaking away like a thief in the night. Now listen, I’m glad you came along just now cause’ I needed someone to help me with some of these here packages. When we get back to my place I’ll make you a nice cup of tea and I’ll loan you some of Williams clothes, no tellin’ how long you stood about in this rain waiting for me to walk by.”
She hands him her packages and as the scene fades a keen ear might hear Moira muttering under her breath, “We’re gonna have to talk a little bit more about just how you’re gonna ask her.”
The group is woken up in mid-afternoon and told they are to see the Queen. A few hours pass before being summoned proper, and they set out (Red, in his best, polished armor and scales, Eileen in her biker gear, and Zili in her slept-in-party-clothes. This time it is an faerie girl dressed in pastels and fluttery fabrics who leads them, not to the throne room, but to the back guest quarters. She makes small talk with the three but Zili manages to kick her in the shins when she insults Red. After being led into a lavishly decked out parlor the three see, not the Queen they were expecting, but Titania. Eileen makes a proper court greeting, Red salutes her with all his soldier splendor, and Zili is very unimpressed. After a single word command from the Queen, Zili is sent to her knees and forced to bow.
A few tense moments pass, which a handmaiden skillfully mediates, and Titania is much more cordial after. She starts to question the three about there reason for being in court, and their relationship to both the Marquis and other Queen. Very little is said, and only a few moments pass before the Marquis bursts into the room with a much changes demeanor. Different from his previous mien of stoic calm, is now very ‘devil may care’ and although has the pretext of being polite, has an undercurrent of hostility. After introducing Eileen as his “greatest folly” he kisses her soundly before whispering “Don’t tell her anything”, raising a few eyebrows in the room, and sends Titania’s face to stark white. Eileen returns the affection in kind. A few more words are exchanged on the means of the Marquis demotion and he kisses Eileen again, only to be interrupted by Queen Morgana. The tone changes much once the other royalty enters the room and with a few words, quickly has the party dismissed to be changed into court attire, save for the Marquis who is asked to stay. On the way back to their room Red surmises that the Marquis actions were to throw Titania off her game, which Eileen redily agrees. Zili hangs back to eavesdrop but unfortunately doesn’t get too much
The group is dressed in fine clothing, each having at least some black in their ensemble to represent Queen Morgana. The servant comes to fetch them again and suggests that they have their belongings packed, basically insinuating that they will be fleeing soon. The three are led down a set a stairs behind a secret door, which astonishes Zili and causes a rash of sconce pulling. Eileen lights up various parts of Red with magical light so he can see, and they are met by Sgt. Terina. Passed a complicated set of locks, they are met by Captain Locien who instructs them that they are to be taken to the Crane Court in secret as to not be used in a political struggles between the two Queens.
Sgt. Terina leads them through a series of underground tunnels, Red briefing her on what he knows of his people, and Eileen getting some information on the current state of the land and it’s people. It turns out long ago, the Unseelie were ruled by more than one Queen. Eventually they arrive at a door in the roof of the tunnel and the Sgt. bids them farewell. In the open air, Zili finds a signpost that directs them where to go and they head out towards the Crane court. The time is passed in much companionable silence and they finally reach a wet land with many footbridges. There are large, stone crane statues in various places heading towards the court, each with a goblin inside that Zili negotiates with to have passage. When they eventually reach a settlement of sorts, the houses are all on stilts and there is water everywhere. A crowd of people ends up joining them in their procession and the trio is led into town with much pomp and circumstance, especially when Zili takes out her fife. They are led to a large body of water called Gruhaven Lake, and take the path around it left.
The way is blocked by three guards and as Zili tries to get them through to see the Baron, Red steps forward and is taken for hostile. The next few moments are tense as Zili is taken forward by one guard to explain the situation and why a Lonks is with them. Red intimidates the hell out of the other two guards who nearly pee themselves. Eventually the Baron arrives, which turn out to be a very old goblin, and it seems they party was only announced an hour previous to him and he hadn’t had the time to tell the guards they were expected.
The court here is much different from the oppressive stone fortress of the Dubvcaille, and it very Japanese with sliding doors and low seating. The three are treated to a seafood centric dinner with the Baron. It takes some diplomacy, but eventually he warms up to Red enough to treat him without hostility. There is some talk of Zili’s age, which is put into question on how old she ACTUALLY is, but otherwise is very calm and pleasant. When the Baron leaves, Eileen tries to convince Red to drink sake, but is once again let down as he scoffs at the smell of it (which induces a fit of laughter from one of the servants in the room). When he breaths a small bit of fire, all the staff nearly cry, as Eileen explains that the structure here is mostly made of wood, paper and straw.
They are settled to their rooms, and then shown the hot springs outside. Zili disappears in the fray of getting changed and goes back to her old haunts to raid her stashes of pretties. Red is in heaven as he discovers what a hot spring is, and Eileen tries not to stare at his unabashed nakedness.
That night all three sleep in the same room, separated by paper dividers, but are woken up in the wee hours of the morning when a panicked servant wakes them with the news that they are being attacked by the Lonks.
Quotes:“We were in the kitchen! We made biscuits! The kitchen is where one makes biscuits!” -Zili to Titania
“But I polished my scales for three hours!!” -Red on not being “dressed properly”
“I throw Eileen into the tentacles.” -Pat
“The Marquis appears above her and says ‘Every time I turn my back!” -Kendra
“Oh…anime. Annie…May…” -Kendra
“Oh, he’s just a big softie!” – Zili about Red.
“Everything is made from paper? .....these people are doomed…” -Red on the Crane Court
“Red snakes his tail up Eileen’s leg.” -OOC Red
”....Not happening, Red.” -OOC Eileen
”...Red snakes his tail back down…” -OOC Red