The Third Road

Session 3
Imaginary Fax Machine

Cut Scene – Zili Meets Raz

Zili is lost. She’s been wandering through a boring, cold, squashy swamp for hours unable to locate the stand of wise old oaks she’d set out to find in the first place. They were fun to talk to, and she was thinking of moving some of her shiniest of shinies to a hollow tree nearby. She had wanted to ask if they’d watch her things for her if she did. She’s never seen this swamp before and she’s starting to get worried. Zili never worries. She could have sworn she’d stayed on the path – besides even if she hadn’t she never gets lost! An hour or so later (give or take faerie time) a despondant Zili slouches in defeat and rubs her eyes tiredly. When she opens them a goblin much like herself is shimmering into view before her. His unnaturally red hair has streaks of bright, irridescent beetle carapace green. He’s a little taller then Zili with a sharp nose and chin and shining mischievous eyes with a hint of something a teeny bit darker in them. He grins at her cheerily from ear to pointy ear, “I got you!” He says joyfully!

As we pulls back from scene we can no longer hear what the goblins are saying to one another, but they both seem to be laughing together after Zili nods in respect.

From the shadows the weaver watches and murmers to her companions, “He has no idea.”

The girls and their companions head towards the mountain after a restful sleep in the muck. Kelly’s appearance is now milky white, more suitable for winter hunting than a trek through the bog. Instead of moving through to their destination, there is a faint cry for help heard in the distance. Kelly nobly decides it needs to be answered, despite Eileen’s assurance that it is most definitely a trap. Zili goes ahead to find out what’s going on, climbing through the trees, where upon she sees a gnome, stuck waist deep in the mud and sinking slowly. She is about to run back to the others to say they should just keep on, when K & E appear already in sight of the poor creature. Kelly tries to find a stick for him when she sees the gnome saying “help” but motioning “it’s a trap!”. The gnome suddenly is attacked by some kind of crocodilic monster and gets sucked under the muck. Turning to flee the scene, the girls don’t get far before they are accosted by two white, psychic swamp dwellers and their crocodile pets. During the fight, Eileen stays unharmed due to her summoned creature of iron, Kelly’s already shaken psyche is bombarded by psionic attacks almost causing her to lose her mind, and Zili gets chased up a tree by the two slimy white swamp dwellers and escapes largely in part to a well timed “Look over there!” which causes one enemy to attack the other. It seems these two have been sent by someone in the mountain (we can only assume Bres – The Watcher) to bring the party to them. After being overwhelmed by our heroes, the two slimy swamp dwellers flee for their lives, leaving the girls to fish the gnome out of the mud where he miraculously survived.

He introduces himself as Savore, a member of the Swan Court on a mission to find his lost love whom had been captured by the people of the mountain.

That evening Savore entertains them with stories of Faerie and songs on one of his many fifes. Zili is fascinated by his fifes so he gives her one to keep. He’s very interested in what kind of plant-thing Kelly is and they get on quite well once it’s discovered they both love gardening. One of the stories he tells is of a young woman who’s been frozen in the mists of Faerie nearby where they’re currently camping. As she’s in the direction they’re going he promises to show them on the way. Eileen keeps to herself for the most part.

Also that evening, Zili has a dream:

Young Zili dreams she’s in her own hidout. She found it herself – a hollow tree – still sturdy. She had been hiding things there a long time before noting the ground was soft inside the tree. So she began to dig. Hard work (unusual for any goblin) and steadfast determination finally paid off and she had a burrow of her very own. She spent a long time arranging her prettiest of irredescent bugs and butterly wings. She collected any and all things a girl such as Zili could fancy whether it was by tricks or honest trades. Here she is safe.

Here the dream changes.

Zili is in her burrow making mud pies to trick Raz with later that day when a small amount of earth falls from her hollowed ceiling between the sturdy roots of the tree above that make up the roof of her burrow. Shrugging she continues with her pies when all of a sudden she realizes she’s up to her knees in dirt. Soil is crumbling into her home in all directions. For a moment Zili freezes unable to decide – leave her beautiful collection (it’s taken her so long) or stay and lose her life. Instinct takes over and she’s climbing. Climbing up up up through the earth; up up through the roots and up through sand. Gasping for her life she reaches air and pulls herself out lying flat on her back. For a moment she thinks it’s all going to be ok – then she feels the hand on her shoulder and reflexively she opens her eyes and rolls away. Nearby a young girl in a dull grey clothing reaches her hand out and pleads, “Help me… please, please help me.”

Zili is in a box of sand. There is brown grass outside this box of sand, and beyond that concrete and iron as far as she can see. The wind picks up and a thick smoke envelopes her and a moment later she begins to wretch.

Next day Party encounters a woman frozen in time whom Eileen recognizes.

After some travel party the party encounters the backend of Fomor Mountain. Through a narrow crevis in the rocks the party finds an underground lake so smooth it resembles black glass, with a rowboat conveniently left on the shoreline. At Kelly’s insistance the group votes democratically (and anonamously) as to whether or not to take the conveniently abandoned boat or to go in the front door. Several people vote to take the boat, one person votes to leave entirely, and someone else votes for carrots.

Halfway accross the lake Zili spots an island mounded with something giving off a soft golden glow. Instincts take over and she leaps into the water and begins swimming to the island when Eileen refuses to row there. A moment later a young black dragon pokes it’s head out of the water near the boat and begins spitting acid at them (Zili has quickly made her way back to the boat once Eileen tells her on no uncertain terms that if she doesn’t get back in the damn boat she’s getting left behind). After some confusion someone in the boat asks the dragon what it wants. Grinning widely it proposes that it’ll leave the party alone if they’ll only trade the unconcious halfling Savore for their safe passage. Eileen hesitates briefly for Kelly’s sake but ends up horrifying Kelly anyways by tossing Kelly’s newfound friend into the water.

Party travels the rest of way across the underground lake unaccosted. On the other side they beach the boat and follow the only path available to them into what rapidly appears to be a maze. After the party sets off a firetrap (some of them getting quite hurt in the process), they stumble into an acid trap (some of them getting quite hurt all over again). Game ends with a small group of disheartened people unsure of which way to go. Thanks to Zili having the forsight to mark some of the doorways as they went, there’s a good chance the party won’t wander in circles forever… or will they?! Dun dun dunnnnnnnn…. tune in next game to see if they all starve to death!!

Quotes:

“Wtchr,
Am on way!
Heart,
-E

“You signed it with an “E” and not a “K”, hm?” -Kendra
“I…it’s an imaginary fax!” -Carly

“I don’t believe in sarcasm.” -Bootler
“I believe that in itself was sarcastic…” -Carly
“Whoa… meta.” -Bootler

“So Eileen wants to see what’s in the boars’ bag huh?” -Kendra
“What?! I uh… No! No, nooooo… nooo.” -Carly

“There’s a crack in the mountain.” -Savore
“Hehehehehehe..” -Kelly and Eileen
”...I don’t think the boar will fit.” -Savore
“HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!” -Kelly and Eileen

“Oh God, I’ve reached the end of the world!” -Bootler
“Yup, falling forever.” -Carly
“At least I have my fife… PFFFHHHTTTTTEEET.” -Bootler

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Session 2
Saved by Bacon

CUT SCENE – Siobhan

The room is dark and close and the Mother Superior is passing from this earth. Her children and theirs have all gone and the nurses have left her to her troubled sleep. Unbeknownst to the sisters and nurses of the convent, William and Eileen slip into the room, to say goodbye. They stay for awhile, speaking softly, holding her wizened old hands in their own for a time – mindful of the rosery they hold, before Siobhan in her characteristically practical manner motions that it’s time for them to go. She couldn’t possibly leave with guests you see. Though they protest, her iron will prevails and acceding to her wishes, they leave her to her God.

All is quiet after they leave, and true to form Siobhan wastes no time. As her last breath is leaving her body a tall, middle-aged woman steps through the wall at the foot of her bed. Her face is proud, and more striking then beautiful. Her eyes are kind and the laugh lines around them crinkle pleasantly even when there are tears in her eyes, as there are now. Walking softly forward, Annie Effie May places a gentle kiss on her eldest daughters brow and clasps Siobhans hands more tightly around the rosebead rosery she presented her with so long ago. In an irish brogue as thick as midsummer’s day is long, she speaks, “I am so proud of you.”

At the very end, Siobhan smiles.

The calls from the bog continue as all of a sudden a black shape steps into view. He is flanked by what looks like two knights, two water witches, and six other beings on either side. After bidding welcome to our party, he orders them to kill the new arrivals. During the battle, it is revealed what the three girls actually look like here in this realm.

Zili: Gone is the strange, naked human that appeared in the Mid Realm. Standing in her place is a four foot, 45lb goblin, all angles and sharp edges with a shock of spikey, violently purple hair. Her ears are long and pointed, each studded with at least a dozen piercings from which hang various rocks, lengths of string, and even the odd insect carapace. She is dressed in a mish-mash of animal pelts, decorated seemingly at random with difficult to identify sparklies. Her left eye is brilliant sapphire blue, and her right is a deep emerald green, the colour filling the entire eye with no white or pupil.
Kelly: (Kendra put your description here)
Eileen: Still donning her over sized motorcycle jacket and worn blue jeans, Eileen is looking much more like she is remembered appearing to the children of the various orphanages she visited long ago. Her skin has darkened to an ashy purple and it’s surface is marred with runic scars ranging from small, delicate ones on her arms and wrists, to larger, more primal looking ones on her back and thighs. Her hair has lengthened from a short pixie cut to long, flowing, impossibly red tresses. Her eyes glow with unnatural green, her pupils lost in the light from them. While, on her back, like heat waves from a fire, the shape of wings wavers through the air.

The shadowy-man takes his position high up in a tree branch to watch the proceedings, while his lackeys take on the offensive. Zili, with a wicked gleam in her eyes, taunts their enemies and treats the threat like a cosmic joke. At one point she even convinces one of the witches to attack a fellow knight by merely pointing her dagger in their direction. Eileen laughs in glee as she sets three of the attackers on fire and watches them waft away like a piece of tissue paper in a lit hearth. She then turns her eyes to a separate group whom she sends sinking into a pit of bogged acid. In the meantime Kelly is challenged to dual by one of the knights and set upon by numerous other creatures. In spite of the odds she accepts the challenge and acting as one, she and Bran hew into their enemies with tooth and axe. The two water witches take great glee in continually attempting to ‘drown’ Zili and Eileen, and things don’t look good – when crashing through the undergrowth and trees of the bog comes a Giant Boar, goring the second knight as it charges. With the strange boar seemingly on their side, the odds are evened somewhat and the party rallies. Shortly however, a few things happen almost simultaneously. The knight that challenged Kelly strikes hard and true, running her through her chest with a sword covered in sharp vines. With the magic of the sword preventing her from any movement other then one of attack, Kelly arcs one of her axes around in desperate retaliation. O’Fortuna is smiling and a moment later the knight whose sword is still plunged deep inside of her falls to his knees gushing blood from a wound stretching from xyphoid to windpipe. Eileen, meanwhile, is struck with a series of blows by the two water witches that knock her onto the ground unconscious and bleeding; and as their gazes shift to poor Zili, she realizes she has been left alone to defend herself against their next onslaught.

Seeing the quarry he was meant to merely capture, one of the knights stabs his sword into the ground and tells Kelly that he submits. After being assured that he will uphold her word, Kelly turns her attention from him to the witches who are laughing in glee. Kelly runs to Eileen’s aid and stabilizes the girl. The altercation doesn’t last long now, as when the witches actually start to take a beating, they flee, turning into water and vanishing. After a few words on honor with Kelly, the solider picks up his fallen comrade and always takes his leave. It is known by Zili that the Danau (sp?) that fought for the Formorian were probably his slaves. Eileen squeels with glee at finally being back in Faerie and manages to grab hold of Zili’s hand and starts to swing the goblin in endless circles until they both get sick with dizzy.

Eileen, with the boar never far away from her side, is approached by the shadow-man who introduces himself as Bres – The Watcher. From far away he looks handsome enough, but up close half of his face is that of a cat, slit pupil and all. The group is unimpressed, and wary by the time he invites Eileen to his castle as his personal guest…and also to see “James”. At this, Eileen goes slightly pale, but is also untrusting and tell him so. He leaves with a flourish, seeming unalarmed that his invitation was denied.

Is is trusted to Kelly to lead them now, as she is trying to come to terms with what is happening, and maybe if she has a little control over their course it well help to have her control over her life. They start to walk and Eileen tries to explain some of what is going on to her friend, and a little of her own life. Saying the names of her siblings once again, though, finds her choking on the words.

FLASHBACK: It is the early 1900’s, and we are inside a small room in a convent. There is an aged woman laying on a bed, a rosary clutched in her hands which are folded over her chest, and it is here that we learn that the woman is Siobahn. People go in and out all day, but when there finally a lull in the evening, Will and Eileen appear before their sister. Will, strong and brave, watches as Eileen sits on the side of her sister’s bed, tears welling in her eyes. Siobahn, with her last effort, lays her hand on the top of her younger sister’s head and tell her not to be sad, that it was her wish to live her life out as a normal human and that she has to regrets. Tears spill down Eileen’s face as she says her final goodbyes to her only sister.

BACK TO THE PRESENT: The group travel on, through swamp and bog before finally spotting some mountains off in the distance and a thin line of smoke heading into the sky. Kelly says they should press on, but Zili assures her that there is no rush and promptly curls up for a well deserved sleep. Kelly looks to Eileen for either support or explanation, but Eileen as well says it’ll be fine in the morning and proceeds to climb on top of the boar for a makeshift bed. Kelly and Bran retire onto the ground, all three girls getting some rest. Awakening in the morning, Eileen kicks Zili awake, and goes to find Kelly, finding it nearly impossible to know the whereabouts of her friend if Bran wasn’t sleeping beside Kelly. It seems that another added feature of Kelly’s new transformation is the ability to camouflage with the nature around her. When Kelly awakes, the seemingly endless night that lay before them before sleep, has faded away to a brisk morning. They solider on towards the mountains, but before they reach their destination, the pass by a cottage with a sign outside advertising a mug of ale. Deciding to go in (Before Kelly killed them all due to lack of coffee), they discover the shop is being run by what looks like a swamp hag. Kelly tries to describe what coffee is, but ends up getting ale, Zili foils Kelly’s coffee dreams when she actually gets the stuff, and Eileen trades some hot rods for Faerie clothes. Trying her hand in trading in this new world, Kelly negotiates the payment of one of her first memories (which ends up being the loss of her first tooth) for some caffeinated tea and one healing potion in the for of brewing leaves. Eileen inquires on the nature of Bres’ place in this world, and the gang finds out he is actually the prince of these lands.

They take their leave of the shop, The Shop Hag telling them to bring back anything interesting they find on their journey in trade for gold. Walking, Eileen suddenly remembers the bunny on her back, and excitedly grabs for Wyatt. It turns out Wyatt is finally able to speak, and looks like something that is half rabbit, half brownie, full creature from a Miyazaki film. Kelly, using her keen nature senses, manages to rummage up some rabbit food for the animal.

In the mountain, The Wyr Sisters are scrying with a magic orb, and promise Bres – The Watcher that ‘the girl’ will no doubt make her way to him.

Quotes:

Kelly: “You led us here.”
Zili: “I did!”
Kelly: ”…which got us attacked.”
Zili: “Yes, and it was grand fun!”

Kelly: ”...you’re kidding me. Is that a thatched roof cottage?”
Eileen: “I don’t think Trogdor is around.”

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Session 1
Advanced Driving Techniques

As a servant of The Marquee, Zili has to complete a great many tasks. Some are quite enjoyable: from spying on visiting nobles to putting strange potions in their drinks. The most enjoyable of all are when Zili can watch the results of her trickery, and see the embarrassment of her victims. Zili loves a good laugh.

Sadly, not all tasks can be so enjoyable. Zili is summoned to the Marquee’s presence, and shown a beautiful silver picture frame. Immediately lusting after the frame, Zili only notices the painting of the human woman after the Black Boar says she is to fetch the human woman back to court. With no choice to disobey, Zili agrees and promises to return quickly, spurred on with a reward of keeping the frame.

The Marquee tells Zili she will travel in the company of Vinespeaker, a massive troll who is far too intelligent for Zili’s liking. She finds the troll in the castle’s dungeons, staring at a small halfling-like creature locked in a cell. Vinespeaker wishes the captive farewell, echoed by Zili, and they leave via a back door to the keep.

Zili follows Vinespeaker into the hedge maze – a grand place where she has had great fun getting others horribly lost. Vinespeaker appears to know the maze much better than Zili, as they wander into strange and unrecognized areas. Eventually they come to a wall, which Vinespeaker parts magically, thanking the vines with a drop of his own blood.

Leaving the maze, Zili has no idea what part of the forest they have come to, or whether they are still within the lands of the Black Boar. She tells herself not to anger Vinespeaker, as only he knows the way back to the castle.

They walk a ways further until they come to a hill, at the crest of which two massive trees have formed an archway. Vinespeaker, a dangerous twinkle in his eye, instructs Zili to go through the archway where she will find the human woman she has been sent to get.

Meanwhile in the human world, Kelly O’Riley (Fimbrethil) is driving home along an expanse of cliff sided road when she has to slam on her breaks, performing an impressive Formula 1 inspired maneuver, to narrowly avoid hitting a small, naked woman standing in the middle of the road. After a quick physical check on herself and her Irish Wolfhound Bran, she gets out of the car to make sure the nudist is alright only to have a large kitchen knife pointed at her. Things get even more bizarre when the small girl brandishes an elaborate antique photo frame with her current roomate’s picture in it. A cell phone call later to her house (consisting of “Hey Katherine, so, I’m on my way home now and I’m bringing a naked homeless chick with me who knows you.”) and Kelly manages to get the girl into the car and wrap her in a blanket from her trunk.

Back at home, Eileen Annie May is staring quizzically at the phone, a well of nervousness and feigned “Ah, I’m sure it’s fine” building in her chest. Just in case, she packs her suitcase.

In the car, we find out the strange naked girl has been sent to bring “Katherine” back home with her. Kelly is surprised when all of a sudden the girl looses her… lunch(?) all over her front seat, and it smells really odd. Zili, having just come from Faerie, finds herself incredibly nauseous being in a strange chariot made completely of cold iron. She spends most of the car ride with her head of the window, muttering “I’m a faerie, I’m a faerie, I’m a faerie” under her breath to make sure she won’t accidentally turn into a human.

Finally arriving home, they come in to see Eileen looking incredibly chill on the couch (which she is not at all). While Kelly (forseeing possible tensions) goes to fill a pipe, Zili is excited that she’s found her quarry and Eileen acts non-plussed about the whole thing. Eileen tries halfheartedly to protect Kelly from the conversation that is to come by appealing to her munchies side. Kelly, recognizing that Eileen wants a moment alone with the newcomer toddles off to the kitchen for the suggested cake only to return a short time later to find Zili brandishing a knife at Eileen while the redhead tries to take the photo from her (which turns out to be a expertly done painting of a late teenage Eileen with long hair). Calmly she convinces the two to chill out (offering them cake), and Eileen manages to figure out that this strange vagrant is actually a faerie come to take her away to someone named The Marques. Zili is confused when Eileen starts to ask about The Seelie/Unseelie, and Eileen is confused that Zili is referring to courts like the Boar Court and the Crane court. Kelly finally comes to the conclusion that her friend is a member of some kind of reenactment group and excitedly goes to get her samurai outfit so she can join in the fun. Eileen tries to explain to her that if Kelly goes, she may never return. Kelly tells her she needs to stop being so uptight, and with that the argument ends and Kelly continues packing.

Eileen goes to consult “The Oracle” with Zili following hot on her heels as to not lose the redhead. “The Oracle” ends up being a pet rabbit named “Wyatt”. Kelly explains to Zili that ‘Katherine’ often talks to the rabbit when she seems stressed out. After a few unresponsive stares from Wyatt, Eileen makes up her mind to get the hell of out dodge and take the path to Faerie while she still can. Zili is very excited that she can quickly finish her mission and get out of her benign human body. Kelly packs up many things, along with tons of food for Bran, and they all pile in her puke-stained car to drive back to the spot where Zili appeared. Recognizing the gateway first, Zili shoves the two girls in and they find themselves standing in a grove, where everything looks… unworldly. No responses were able to be heard from he three though, as they watch on down a path where an 8 foot troll sits. It seems they’ve arrived just in time to see his head slide off of his body and many ‘yips’ and ‘howls’ echo from the forest around them.

Quotes:

Kelly: (laughs in confusion)
Zili: (robotically) “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.”

Eileen: “Hey. Hey, hey, Kelly. Focus, no, look at my eyes.”
Kelly: “Katherine only gets this way when she’s angry or serious…”
Eileen: “Fucking pothead…”

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