“Zoe, Zoe wake up!” Zoe feels herself being shaken urgently. “Zoe we gotta go they’re onto us – .”
Blearily she opens her eyes and for a moment is unsure of where she is. She’d been having the most amazing dream. She and Razzik were far away in a wonderous land full of magic & opportunity – they didn’t have to hide what they were there, they could be themselves. Her whole family was there and… and… there was more to it, she knew there was but it had already begun to fade even as she clung to it.
Looking around the small room she catches sight of Razzik tossing a bunch of their stuff hurriedly into a bag – his red hair standing in messy spikes. “I think I was just dreaming about America,” she says as she tosses the blanket off of her and slips her feet into her shoes by the cot they’ve been sharing. Quickly she twists her long black hair into a braid.
Raz looks into her beautiful eyes incredulously, “Zoe – we got more important things to worry about right now then what you were dreamin’ about last night.”
Grabbing their bag in one hand and her hand in his other he heads for the door just as the pounding starts.
“Too late. I was too late!” Razzik desperately puts himself between Zoe and the caravan door as it bursts inwards, shielding her the only way he can. The uniforms enter and a struggle ensues. Zoe loses sight of him as she claws and bites drawing blood. The man she bit backhands her sending her flying into the wall above the cot in the corner. “Gypsy bitch,” he growls, undoing his pants as he approaches. Dazed she looks deeply into the eyes of one of his companions, “Stop him” she commands. A moment later a shot rings out and the soldier falls onto her, brains and blood leaking onto the bedsheet… onto her. His companion drops his gun and backs away from her in fear while
several others rush in holding her down and shoving a bag roughly over her head, binding her wrists.
Moments later she smells perfume and a cultered, femanine voice speaks. “Young lady, we have your lover outside and you will never see him again if you don’t lay still now.”
Zoe stops struggling then, the life seems to go out of her. The perfume grows stronger as the woman approaches and she feels a warm gentle hand on her arm. She feels a sharp prick and something cold enter her system before everything goes dark.
Zili is dragged into the forest screaming, a bag over her head and reality shifts from her ‘vision’ to what is actually happening around her. A slow, deep voice brings her back to herself, a she recognizes it as one troll, Zandali, that she attended court with. He and his allies tell her that it’s pay-back time… and attempt to scrub her clean, washing away years of cultivated filth. It turns out some time back, Zili played a prank on the troll as he was about to go out with a lady-friend which turned his matted hair into curly tresses and cleaned his skin and teeth to a bran new shine. Zili uses a power to have the others release her, hurting an elf in the process, and runs back to camp with a “Sorry!”.
Red, and a short moment later Eileen, wake from a very unnatural sleep to Zili bolting her way back to camp. Red hides himself away and Eileen blurrily looks around in confusion. Upon seeing the Lanx, a small Pixie woman of Zindali’s group, shrieks and runs back into the forest, only to reappear behind Red with a small blade pricking his calf. A few tense words are spoken before Eileen uses a cantrip to have the woman move her blade from the dragon man. The troll emerges from the forest trying to reassure Zili that it was only a joke, and the elf follows not far behind. Eileen finds this very amusing, and conspires with Zindali to help him clean the goblin, much to Zili’s dismay. Eileen nudges her brother awake with her foot, only to find that his bed is empty. Some panic and glaring at the newcomers later, it is found that a sleep spell was cast on the party, but didn’t work on Will, whereupon he ran into the forest. Eileen looks dubious that her brother would just leave like that but it seems that they are being told the truth. She is assured that a search party will be sent for Will. The Pixie woman, Sgt. Terena, orders Red’s rod to be taken and Red can only oblige, but tells her he will have it back when he is cleared of suspicion. The elf, Captain Locian, leads the group to their new destination. The forest turns from dense with no marked path to an eventual thouroughfare and small clusters of fae. The group is surrounded by their guard, as the Valde Lanx Bellicus is attracting some unneeded attention.
Finally, they arrive at a large, stone fortress with high guarded walls and are lead up stairs to a courtyard. Upon entering the structure they are lead to a throne chamber and told to wait. A herald emerges and announces their names and deeds before introducing the The Marquis of Dubvcaille, the once Duke and Eileen’s former faerie boyfriend, Caleb. He is changed, now with shorn hair and missing horns, and he cooly welcomes them to his court and after a few brief words, leads the to their private chambers. Zili immediately goes through her treasures, Red is amazed by the luxury he is provided with (immediately using the call bell to ask for boiling water to wash in and looking for any indication of surprise on the servant’s faces), and Eileen, after a tense exchange with the Marquis, is left on her own to tirade and rant out all her frustrations.
Zili shows both of her companions her collections of… stuff… but leaves out the explanation for one pile in particular that is comprised of some rather fine things. When an awkward silence falls over the three, Zili makes her get-away while Red and Eileen go for a walk. Red questions Rabbit on her relationship with the Marquis, but Eileen spares very little detail merely to say that she knew him long ago. Changing the subject, Eileen mentions to Red that they may find more information about his people in a library or records room and they set off to find one.
During this time Zili is up to no good, switching labels on various spices in the kitchen and planning various mayhem when she approached by another small Goblin girl named Nraxy. She quickly gives Zili a letter, who brandishes a knife at the girl thinking she was stolen from, and the younger girl takes off. In very short hand, the letter explains that Raz, Zili’s companion, has left, he is sorry, but he has gone to fine “you” (referring to Zili herself). Zili is confused.
Meanwhile, Red and Eileen track down a servant, Abellarch, who leads them to the record room. There, the recordkeeper Helen says she has no information to offer on the Lanx, but gladly takes quill to parchment as she picks Red’s brain on any information he can share. A new entry on the Valde Lanx Bellicus is added to the records, as Red offers his services to her each day.
While Red is kept busy, Eileen goes to the kitchen and talks the cook, a hobgoblin named Minouette, into letting her use the kitchen to make biscuits (a pasttime of Eileen’s when she is feeling particularly wound up). Chalking it up to a “Rich Woman’s Hobby”, the cook sits back to let Eileen do her thing. After a few dozen biscuits later, Zili enters and attempts to help. Just then the servant that helped them to find the record room comes in all a-tizzy and exclaims that the ropes for the pull bells have been all mixed up and none of the guests are receiving the attention they have called for. Eileen looks to Zili who whistles innocently. During the next few hours of straightening the mix-up, many servant’s come into the kitchen and Eileen plies them with baking and gets all the gossip of the palace and gets in their good graces. The most interesting to her being that the Marquis had never married and that he was demoted from Duke because he fell in love with a human girl. Eileen looks a little abashed. Some misunderstandings ensue after the possibility of bringing the Marquis a basket of biscuits and Eileen ends up looking like a newly arrived consort. Eileen, in frustration, asks one of the servant’s to fetch her when The Marquis wakes.
Outside, Red pays a visit to the boar who is very reluctant to leave him. All the stable hands are taken aback by it’s affection for Red, and it is explained that the Boar has ridden into battle many times before, and that Zili knew him previous. Eileen and Zili finally join Red and the three start to play with the Boar and finally relax a bit. A while later Eileen is fetched to see the Marquis to which she washes up beforehand.
To summerize the conversation:
It’s awkward, she gives his some biscuits that he liked years back, more awkwardness, right before leaving she yells at him, they talk, he was demoted because he left against the Queen’s wishes to see Eileen in the human world, Eileen never knew that Wyatt had killed him when he last came, they are both not free to do as they wish (but it’s clear from her outburst Eileen stills feels for him, though she’s unclear as to his feelings – she never was terribly insightful). He will personally attend to finding Will and will send a party to track down Kelly, Eileen finally cracks a smile in front of him, He tells her he is “Not a nice man” to which she responds she knows that only too well, and she is invited back for breakfast the next day to which she says she will be calmer.
That night Eileen gets Red, Zili and the Boar dolled up and they head to a revelry where Zili gets pissed drunk and eventually Red has to carry her back to her room, Eileen dances the night away and looks much cheered compared to her previous disposition and Red dances like a very white man before giving up and making friends with everyone in the circle. On the way home there is almost a fight due to some drunken soldiers and the presence of a Lanx, but the group scurries out before any harm is done.
Early the next afternoon it is announced that the Queen is due to arrive shortly.
“Well… maybe tomorrow I’ll leave behind the hysterics.” -Eileen to the Marquis.
“There was a maid at the outside the door, I told her leave.” -Zili to Eileen after being caught eavesdropping.
“Eileen peaks.” -Referring to a naked Red.
“It’s Shrondinger’s…uhh” -Bootler
“Shrodinger’s Penis!” -Carly, referring to Red’s previously undefined genitals.
“You’ve seen a naked dragon person and naked goblin all in 5 minutes! Hooray!” -Kendra