The Third Road

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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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 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 4
60 Years of Dead Space

Still trapped in maze, some party members blinded with acid, they small group pauses in their trek. Horribly lost, frustrated, injured, and exhausted, they decide their only course of action is to let the boar go first and hope for the best. While Kelly tends to a still-blind Zili, Eileen hears the sound of footprints coming from behind them. The boar quickly moves to protect the group, blocking their view of a human male with shaggy dark hair and clothes in fatigues.

Eileen, shocked to recognize the voice of her long lost brother William May, reacts with exuberantly. Introductions are made and William tries to digest not only the appearance of his new companions, but also the fact that he has been gone from the mortal realm for over 60 years.

Eventually deciding that the middle of a be-trapped maze is not the best place for a long reunion, the group retraces William’s steps in the hope that they will find the dungeons he was kept in. While not ideal, the general feeling is that dungeons will be an improvement over this blasted maze.

Eileen and will catch up as they walk, while Kelly and Zili keep an eye out for traps. Fortunately Zili is able to spot a series of trip-wires before anyone stumbles over them. After considering how they might be able to disarm the trip-wires, the group decides instead to simply avoid the trap and head the other way. Their pragmatic cowardice is rewarded when they come to a throne room, where the minotaur, Genlonaris of the maze, is waiting for them.

The minotaur seems perfectly cordial, and invites the group to dine with him. In return he asks that they tell him stories, with the caveat that not all the stories come from “the goblin”. Zili, undeterred, tells a long rambling tale that seems to sputter out with no purpose. Will shares the story of how he won a sailor’s shoes from his feet. Eileen tells a story of the May sibling’s past. Kelly, more melancholy than the rest, tells the story of how she came to be in the world of the faerie, and what trials she has faced on the way.

With the mood of the room significantly lowered, the minotaur announces that it is time for bed and invites the women to join him with the rest of his harem. Eileen and Kelly decline, and are shocked to watch Zili happily follow the other women into the minotaur’s bed chambers.

In their guest quarters, the rest of the group talks about Will’s lost time, and how the girls came to be in the otherworld. Will asks his sister how she came to be traveling with a goblin, and whether the strange creature is to be trusted. The women end up telling Will how they came to meet Zili, and how awesome she is overall.

Their story is interrupted when Zili comes running out of the minotaur’s bed chambers, completely naked, carrying her clothes along with the clothes of several other women. Completely unphased, Zili sits down and starts going through the clothes she has collected in search of shiny things. Eileen tales Kelly to have a heart to heart and explains some of her past to her friend. In the end, Eileen gives Kelly her true name.

Eventually the group goes to bed. Each has vivid dreams, none of which they share with their compatriots. They wake to two concerns: Kelly and Bran have vanished, and Zili is acting stranger than normal. Despite Zili’s urgings that they leave the caves immediately, they pause long enough to have breakfast with the minotaur. Eileen ruminates over the note that Kelly left behind which reads “I had a dream.” and eventually decides that her friend has gone on her own quest.

After breakfast the minotaur agrees to escort the group – now lacking Kelly and Bran – back to the entrance of the maze. He also promises to make sure there is no dragon waiting for them, although he seems quite amused at the idea that there would be a dragon at all. Much to Zili & Eileen’s surprise, there is no evidence that a dragon ever existed in the lake. Before leaving, one of the harem girls approaches the group an gives them all packages that Kelly left behind for them. To Eileen the tea, To Zili some dog food and to Will a stash of pot. Bidding the minotaur farewell, they push off with the boat and head back across the lake.

Emerging back into the open air, Zili seems significantly calmer. Having asked the minotaur how to get back to the lands of the Marquis, Zili confidently leads the party West. Shortly thereafter, the group is set upon by beetles.

Quotes:

“Make a perception check to see if your DM is lying to you.” -Kendra to Bootler
“But you have to use Bootler’s stats.” -Carly

“I’m doing it right now! I’m an environmental scientist!” -Will

“I ain’t angry… and that was piss poor logic, Zili!” -Eileen

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The Children of Lir
Session 5

Happening at the same time as the players combat with the swarms of scarab beetles, yet in a very different place, The Chronicler turned Bard settles himself in front of his most esteemed audience. Once they’ve settled and all eyes are upon him – he begins…

Out of the world’s thread, fates’ fingers spinning. Some lives are shot with gold, others with shadow. This is a tale of enchantment and exile, of four lives woven together by white swan’s feather, storm and ice and the sound of a little bell.

Long ago, when the high gods and goddesses known as the Tuatha de Danaan lived in Ireland, before they were driven into the hollow hills to become the faery folk, there was a great king whose name was Lir. And this Lir had four lovely children – Fionnuala, Conn, Fiacra and Aodh. Fionnuala was the eldest, and she was as fair as the young rowan tree; her brothers Fiacra and Conn were swift and strong as running water, and Aodh was a little bright-eyed baby boy. Everyone in Lir’s court on the Hill of the White Field loved them – except their stepmother, Aoifa, who was jealous of their father’s love for them. And her hatred pursued them as the wolf pursues the fawn.

One day, she took them in her chariot to the lake of Darvra to bathe in the waters. But as they played on the shore’s edge, laughing and splashing, catching rainbows of mist and light between their fingers, she struck them with a rod of enchantment, and turned them into four white swans. “You will swim on this lake for three hundred years,” she said, “then three hundred years on the narrow sea of Moyle, and three hundred years on the isles of the Western Sea. This only will I grant you: that you shall still have human voices and there will be no music in the world sweeter than yours. And so shall you stay until a druid with a shaven crown comes over the seas, and you hear the sound of a little bell.”

The swans spread their wings and rose up, circling the lake, and as they flew they sang their sorrow in the voices of danu children. When the king found out what had happened, he banished Aoifa from his court for ever, and he rode like the wind to the lake and called his children to him. “Come Fionnuala, come Conn, come Aodh, come Fiacra!” And there they came, flying to him over the lake: four white swans, and they huddled sadly around him as he knelt by the water’s edge.

King Lir said through his tears, “I cannot give you back your shapes till the spell is ended, but come with me now to the house that is mine and yours, dear white children of my heart.” But the swan that was Fiacra said, “We cannot cross your threshold father, for we have the hearts of wild swans. We must fly into the dusk and feel the wave moving beneath us. Only our voices are of the children you knew, and the songs you taught us – that is all. Gold crowns are red in the firelight, but redder and fairer far is the dawn on the water.” The king reached out his hand to touch them, but the swans rose into the air, and their voices were lost in the sound of beating wings.

*            *             *              *             *              *              *          

Three hundred years they flew over Lake Darvra and swam upon its waters. Many came to listen to their singing, for their songs brought joy to those in sorrow and lulled the sick to sleep. But when three hundred years were over, the swans rose suddenly and flew away to the straits of Moyle that flow between Scotland and Ireland. A cold, stormy sea it was and lonely. The swans had no-one to listen to their songs, and little heart for singing on the wild and chanting sea. Then one winter, a great storm rushed upon them and scattered them far into the dark and pitiless night.

In the pale morning, Fionnuala fetched up on the Carraig-na-Ron, the Rock of Seals. Her feathers were broken and bedraggled with salt sea-water, and she lamented long for her brothers, fearing never to see them again. But at last she sees Conn limping towards her, his feathers soaked, his head hanging, and now Fiacra, tired and faint, unable to speak a word for the cold. Her heart gave them a great welcome, and she sheltered Conn under her right wing and Fiacra under her left.

“Now,” said Fionnuala, “if only Aodh would come to us, we would be happy indeed.” And as the first evening star rose in the sky, they caught sight of the little swan that was Aodh paddling valiantly over the waves towards them. Fionnuala held him close under the feathers of her breast. As they huddled together, the water froze their feet and wing-tips to the rock, so that when they flew up, skin and feathers remained behind.

In the morning they turned westward towards the island of Glora in the Western Sea, and settled on the Lake of Birds till three hundred more years had passed . At long last the Children of Lir soared homeward to the Hill of the White Field – but they found all desolate and empty, with nothing but roofless green raths and forests of nettles: no house, no fire, no hearthstone. Gone were the packs of dogs and drinking horns, silent the songs in lighted halls. And that was the greatest sorrow of all – that there lived no-one who knew them in the house where they were born. They rested the night in that desolate place, singing very softly the sweet music of the sidhe.

At dawn they returned to the island, and it was about this time that blessèd Patrick came into Ireland to spread the faith of Christ. One of his followers, Saint Kemoc, built a little church by the lake-shore on the Isle of Glora. In a break of day, the saint arose from his heather bed, wrapping his rough brown robe around him to keep out the chill, and rang the bell for morning prayers. On the other side of the island, the swans started up and stretched their necks in fear. “What is that dreadful thin sound we hear?” said the brothers. Fionnuala said, “That is the sound of the bell of Kemoc and soon our enchantment will be passing away.”

They began to sing gladly and the sweet strains of faery music floated across the lake and in through the reed walls of the cell. St. Kemoc rose in wonder and walked down to the shore’s edge, and saw them, lit by the morning sun: four white swans singing with the voices of the fae! They came to rest at the saint’s feet and told him their story and he brought them to his little church. Every day they would hear Mass with him, sitting on the altar. Their beauty gladdened his heart and the heart of the swans were at peace.

Then one day many days hence Fionnuala asked the saint to baptize them. But no sooner did the holy water touch the swans than their feathers fell away, and in their place stood three lean withered old men, and a thin withered old woman. In a cracked whisper, the woman that was Fionnuala said: “Bury us, cleric, in one grave. Lay Conn on my left, Fiacra on my right, and on my breast place Aodh, my baby brother.” So they were buried, a cairn was raised above them, and their names written in Ogham. And that was the fate of the Children of Lir.

The Bard sits back, noting that many of his listeners have tears in their eyes before continuing: Now some would say that their conversion to chrisianity is the only thing that saved their everlasting souls. Others however would see this story as an allagory for what began to happen to all the irish people when the Tuatha refused to fight for what was theirs, instead choosing to hide within the mists of time. A shocked silence follows as what he’s just said sinks into his Danu audience. Before they’ve recovered he stands and bows, leaving the Queens throne-room in thunderous silence. Just before he’s left he hears in his mind a voice comprised of air and darkness, “ Well said Bard. You’ve given them much to think on this night.”

View
Session 5
James, Jim and Jerry

It is a seemingly much easier time defeating the beetles from last game (after the stats reset, basically) with Will and the Boar double teaming the bugs effectively, Eileen bombing them with magic, and Zili… basically running in circles. They team barely has time to catch their breath when they hear a rustling behind one of the giant rocks. Zili and Will very silently sneak towards it to discover a large, dragon-like humanoid on top of the rock. The group is wary of the new stranger, especially when he tells them he is there to retrieve a bag of goods that are meant for them. He wins over Zili by emptying the bag and showing her something shiny. Also in the bag is a compass, some clothing, armor, weapons, potions, a rod and a letter with (as Will figures out) co-ordinates to somewhere.

The dragonman’s name is Red, and through the conversation they have with him, they discover that there is a race of dragon people, The Lonks. It seems they are massing in large numbers and formations similar to the ancient Roman legions for what can only be assumed is a war against the Danu. Red doesn’t think along the same lines as his war minded and implicit-order-following brothers, preferring to gain knowledge of anything he can get his hands on, from philosophy to poetry. He informs them that a friend of his (who we find out later is an honor bound Danu) gave him instructions to go on a quest which led him to the party. Further talk and the eventual decision to follow Red and his co-ordinates ensue. That night Will and Red talk of poetry, Eileen gives him an Anne Rice novel, and Zili… fakes being asleep so she can spy on the conversation Will and Eileen have later about the amassing army.

The next morning the group sets out towards the compass barring and they end up near a sea. Red bluffs his way through a guarded checkpoint and gets the motley crew down to the shore (with some thoughts that go unfulfilled on how to blow a few of the war shipped docked at the harbor). After intimidating a poor fish monger woman, the group manages to procure themselves a merchant ship to travel across the ocean in the direction of the compass. The captain, David, seems unwilling at first, but after being figuratively slapped with a wad of cash, he concedes. The boar is loaded onto the boat with Eileen trying her best to keep it calm. Will is sent to shore to grab the rest of the crew who are sent for by means of a series of flags on the ship’s mast. Will meets them on the beach after a time and they introduce themselves as the three brothers’ James. Finally all are loaded on the ship and they set a course towards the mysterious co-ordinates. Will and Red offer to row, Eileen takes a post by the boar trying to keep him calm, and Zili does as Zili does by inspecting everything and telling stories of herself. Red finally tells the name of the man that sent him on his quest, Teslan.

Time goes by and the next day arrives only to bring a large and ominous shape in the water that causes the Captain a great deal of worry.

Quotes:

“I hope that doesn’t happen every day.” – OOG Bootler
“Oh, it’s Thursday, time for a-” – OOG Aaron
“Minotorgy!!” – OOG Carly

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry you have a dumb stick.” – Zili to Red.

“Is THAT what it’s for!” Red (upon learning about ‘the birds and the bees’.)

“Truth is not necessary.” Zili Proverb

View
Session 6
Just when I thought it was safe to go back in the water...

Opening Cutscene:

It’s a warm night outside and Eileen is leaning back against Wyatts chest, one of his arms wrapped around her waist. Theres a full glass of whiskey they’re sharing in her hand and a half bottle left still on the the table beside them. They’ve been cheering on the bats as they snap up the mosquitos. It’s been years since Eileen has felt such peace. She twists her head around to look up and smile at him, and the corner of his mouth quirks up in return before he tilts back his hat and leans down kissing her thoroughly. In the midst of this Eileen feels a shiver run down her spine and the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. Breaking off the kiss she turns, facing the darkness where there’s an almost tangible shadowy shape at the foot of her porch stairs. In an instant it flows up the stairs towards her and she before she realizes she’s reached out to it. She steps away from Wyatt as it envelopes her – filling her in it’s familiar way – “My rabbit – My Eileen” She hears whispered softly into her ear. She feels a solid hand roughly take ahold of her arm and she’s forcibly pulled back to Wyatt who’s dropped the whiskey and drawn his gun.

“I don’t think so you sonofabitch” he utters before he shoots. A gaping hole is torn through the Darkness and still it stays – motioning for Eileen to come.

A feeling builds inside her then and she realizes to her surprise that it’s Anger, “You left – you left and you never came back – what did you expect?”

Wyatt steps forward and empty’s his colt into the Shadow. There are only tendrils left and they are disappearing quickly but clearly she hears, “Not this,” before the last of them swirl away dispersing into the night.

Wyatt turns then and misunderstanding, gently wipes a tear from Eileens cheek, “It’s alright Katherine, it’s gone.” Burying her face in his shoulder, he doesn’t hear her whisper “I didn’t mean for this.”

Game:

It turns out that the ominous shapes in the water are three massive great white sharks, who have taken issue with the presence of the ship. Working swiftly and viciously, the sharks rip into the boat and its passengers. With seemingly impossible strength, they even come close to ripping the boat in two. During the battle, one of the crewmembers, Nick, loses his kerchief revealing that he is in fact Nikki, a woman.

The most frightening moment comes with Myron (a loyal member of the crew) and Will fall into the water. Will – both courageous and foolhardy – manages to distract the sharks from Myron’s unconscious body long enough for the crew to haul the two of them back on board. Fortunately, when it seems there is no hope left, the remaining sharks are distracted by the corpse of one of their brethren. Lured by the scent of blood they abandon their attack of the ship. Those healthy enough to row move immediately to the oars, and steer the group away from danger.

After achieving a safe distance, the crew stops to tend to their various wounds. While doing so, Zili tells Will how foolish he was for jumping into the water (blissfully ignoring Eileen’s reminder that goblins sometimes jump when they shouldn’t). As the day wears on, various conversations occur. David, captain of the vessel, asks Will how trustworthy Red is. When Will and Zili mention they are going to the Marquis, David seems surprised and asks if the Marquis knows Red is coming. Checking the map, it does appear that they will be landing in an area near Marquis’ lands.

Meanwhile, Red and Eileen chat about the newcomer’s mission. Red mentions that his people serve the Queen, at which point Eileen alerts her brother. The Mays admit that they both owe favours to a Queen, which they are not keen to pay.

Zili chats with Nikki, and shares the story of how they came to meet Red. Although it resembles reality in general theme, the story contains significantly more bravery and life-saving on the part of a particular goblin than the rest of the party hitherto recalled. During the conversation it becomes apparent that Nikki knows quite a lot about the Lanx, more than any outsider should.

The rest of the journey is calm enough, although this only results in Zili becoming bored. The crew is lucky to experience Zili’s pranks at their gentlest, with treasured possessions moved between bags, daily staples hidden from view, and pointy fingers prodding from beneath hammocks when trying to sleep. Eileen and Will, both of whom have saved Zili’s life several times, appear to be safe from the jokes. Red, however, is not so fortunate. While going through his morning ritual of itemizing and cleaning his armour, he finds one of his bracers missing. Acting distressed, for the benefit of the goblin, he proceeds to search the ship from stem to stern for the next several days. Only when Nikki looks in her bag, the one place Red refrained from searching, is the bracer found. It is returned without incident, much to Zili’s disappointment.

Eventually, the ship reaches land and the party prepares to depart. Will takes the captain aside and gives his name, promising to be come if David is ever in need of help. In return, the captain gives Will his true name – Kade – and welcomes him to travel on the Eagle’s Shadow any time.

On land, Zili sets out confidently, as usual, in a completely random direction. As they walk she begins to recognize where they are and remembers that the Crane Court is on the coast. Heading down the beach, she turns into the discussion behind her in which Red is declaring they should go immediately to report to the Queen (as we find out, Red is actually working for the Queen). As this is counter to her orders (and would decrease, yet more, the likelihood that she will get to keep the pretty silver frame the Marquis promised her), Zili argues that they should go to the Marquis first. After all, she points out, they know perfectly well where the Marquis can be found, and not at all where the Queen might be.

After which Zili decides against heading to the Crane Court, as it will only further delay them. Making several (extremely subtle) course changes, Zili eventually leads the group into the forest and, with any luck, the Court of the Dubv Cail.

At camp that night, the group splits their watches. The first two pass without incident, but on the third watch Zili is dragged into the night with only a squeak of protest.

Quotes:

“He has a vulnerability to fire and lightening.” -Pat
“And he feels badly about himself.” -Aaron
“And remembers that his mother never loved him.” -Carly

“What’s that land called?” -Eileen
”...T…t…Twathadelandmass.” -Kendra

“That’s right… cuz things usually go our way.” -Eileen
“There’s a first time for everything?” -Will

View
Session 7
Conspiring to give a proper clean

Cut Scene:

“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.

Game:

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.

Quotes:

“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

View
Session 8
Underdressed

Cut Scene

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.”

GAME:

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
“Ugh…” -Carly
“Oh…anime. Annie…May…” -Kendra
“Groan.” -Carly

“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

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Session 9

Cut Scene

Some time ago near a small hamlet far to the south and east, where the sands blow wildly across a large and lonely desert – lived a dragon. She wasn’t old as dragons go, and young yet to have had her first brood but times have changed. Man was growing more numerous and more vigilant in keeping their flocks. Hunting was getting nigh impossible as game thinned and moved on. A few more days and her young ones would be able to move deeper into the wilds. A few more days, it turns out, was too much to ask. They came for her and the children in the night. Spells to bind and steel and iron to cut. Chains burned into flesh and she struggled to no avail. They took her last living child away. They dragged him through the hamlet. She saw it through a mothers eyes. A man in shining metal high on his white horse stuck her son through and was lauded for it. Was sainted for it.

Present Day:

In the darkness one eye opens, and still chained, she remembers.

Eileen jumps up and helps red into his armor, and they declare that they should leave before the battle begins. Zili, horrified, refuses and runs out to fight while Eileen and Red go in the opposite direction. Zili encounters a villager fighting a group of Lanx, hitting them with an impressive power, but they manage to kill the villager anyway. Just then Will charges in, mounted on King, and they kick some dragon butt. After defeating the first group, another arrives on a boat , separating Zili and Will on the boardwalk. In the water appears a large ship from one way, then not long after another from the opposite. Will allays some fear by reporting that one of the ships is an allied vessel.

Meanwhile Eileen and Red are hightailing it out of the chance of battle, Eileen summoning a shadowy serpent to scout ahead to avoid danger. Unfortunately at one point after the serpent disappears, they are spotted and quickly put an on act. Eileen tries to run away and Red backhands her, fooling the guards that spotted them. They journey further and Eileen uses her Animal Messenger ritual to send word to Zili. Red commands a Lonks soldier that happens upon them to report and averts him from the hiding Eileen. A little further the two hunker down to wait for their companion.

Finally, when the battle ends, Zili and will are led to the Baron, who is glad to see they are unharmed. The bird reaches Zili and tells her where their other members of the party are. In the background, Queen Morgana descends off of a ship and informs them that they will talk later. The two head to the north where Red and Eileen are to have been, Zili chastising them for running away. Red and Eileen try to explain they were protecting the Queen’s investment in Red.

Back in court, red is very disturbed at the sight of so many bodies, especially his fellow Lonks. Eileen is sympathetic towards him, Will is slightly blase as the war worn soldier he is. They are taken to a room where the Queen is with her ladies and the Baron. She has a talk with the party in regards to the plight her people are in. She thanks them for their loyalty and asks them to go on a journey across the sea to the Northeast. A warrior woman named Skathash is there and the group is to take a letter to her and train with her as well. The “Eagle’s Shadow” will take them. In return, the Queen will have the Marquis look for Moira. Eileen inquires on the concept of death now in the land, and it seems the rules have changed greatly since the Mays were last there. They give their words and are led to the record room to report anything they can before they leave for the island of Skye.

Red and Zili leave before the Mays and have a conversation on Red’s feelings towards the death of her fellow Lonks. The Queen’s assistant finds them as well and tells them they are requested by Morgana once again. Red and Zili go to her chambers and the Lonks is given an amulet that will prove he is a servant of the Unseelie Queen.

Before setting off, Zili checks out her old burrow-home to make sure her stash is alright, Eileen and Red have a talk, Eileen feeds the boar, and Will takes in the burning of bodies from the previous battle.

Quotes:

“Ka-chunk, ka-chunk, kachunk…..silence….” -Red trying to sneak.

“Do you think we could attack someone if they happen upon us?” –Eileen
“…I think it would be better if we didn’t attract attention.” –Red
“Aye… I’m just so bored!!” –Eileen

“Quick, what’s the most terrible smell for a Lanx?” –Kendra
“The smell of joy?” –Aaron
“The smell of children’s laughter?” –Carly

“…..We’re going to need a bigger boar.” –Aaron on the amount of Lanx.

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