Perchance to Dream

Working for a Living

Almost a week later, the Motley has been chasing down personal pursuits. Jack attempted to cozy up to the Summer court, where he failed, and then moved on to the Autumn court, where he was more successful. Jonathan and Peter spent time hanging around the Summer court. Jason acquired Ornithine’s journal, which was heavily encoded. Jana began her week of labor for Satrap Shadow, which was going more difficult than she expected.

Jana had just been given a pair of boots, with no explanation for how to use them. She spent the greater part of the day trying to activate the boots. While she attempted to activated the boots the majority of the Motley was focused on decrypting Ornithine’s journal. Once the journal was translated a group effort began to research the boots on Jana’s feet. No concrete clues were found, but a method was uncovered that would allow Jana to turn those boots on. A small investment of Glamour turned the boots on and she became acutely aware of Jonathan and his vitals. She lunged at him, clawing and slashing for important points on his anatomy. As Jonathan ran out of the yard everyone tried to force Jana down.

The final verdict was that these were Boots of Ogre Slaying, and all haste was made to return them to Satrap Shadow. Upon removing the boots Jana immediately began to feel drained of energy, her fairy glamour was practically bleeding from her body. As Jana suffered the rest of the Motley began their own separate activities. Jack requested Peter’s help in running a con, which Peter made a point to refuse loudly. Jason was nose deep in the journal and Jonathan was nursing his wounds. Jack’s con made a little over $200, which he spent quickly on Roses and Chocolates, which were then sent to King/Queen Jackie Snow, with a poem signed by Peter Southwind.

Jana, suffering from the Glamour withdrawals, sought to sate herself at an all night diner. She was barely able to keep her spirits up until Jack arrived on scene to help her out. Weaving lies like a politician, he created an aura of sorrow withing the diner, which allowed Jana to feast. Several cups of coffee later, Jana survived her 24 hour burden and Jack drove her back to the freehold.

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Story Time

With some time on their hands the Motley decided to do some research to find out more about the “Hedge Explosion”. The Motley went on a trek through the courts for more information. At Jack’s request Jason took the Autumn Court, which Jack derogatorily called “Creeps”. The motley’s efforts lead only to realizing how much the Autumn court relied on Ornithine for their research. It was at this point that Jana recalled a fellow Winter courtier, Mr. Walter Splithorn. Walter is regarded throughout the Winter court as a master of old stories and hedge tales.

Walter lives alone in a gnarled old house on the outskirts of the freehold, his only visitor being Jana and her baked goods. Jack came off as disingenuous to the older changeling, as was locked out of the conversation. He, after being snubbed by Jana, and waiting for a while climbed into the car and attempted to change the registration. He failed in this endeavor and was caught by Jana and Jason red-handed. The group had gained a small amount of information thus far, but had run down every lead they had available.

During the course of the day Peter and Jonathan had hung around the Summer court, making friends and learning to box.

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Serving Time
Let's go to Prison!

Jonathan, surrounded by police and SWAT is arrested and taken to the State Police Station. Meanwhile the rest of the Motley try and come up with a daring plan to rescue him. Jack, feeling a little guilty for getting an acquaintance arrested, volunteered to try and spring Jonathan from the Police Station. Neither party was prepared, however, for what they would find in waiting for them at the Station. There, standing at the doorway was a cop, who just so happened to be Jonathan’s Fetch. A flicker of recognition crossed the Fetch’s eyes and the Motley had to act fast.

As soon as Jonathan had been booked, Jack entered the police station. He assumed the identity of the Castle owner, and tried to use charm to bust the big guy out of jail. Jack failed, and badly. A few moments later Jack was tossed into a holding cell and Jonathan was pulled into an interrogation room. After a brief work over by his Fetch, Jonathan was left alone, but not for long. Jack was tossed into the same room, and the observation camera was turned off.

Just outside of the station a panic had set in. Jana and Peter made a call to the King/Queen of the Spring Court, begging for help. A handful of minutes passed before the Satrap Shadow arrived, ostensibly to help. After a quick deal, which left Jana owing the Satrap a week of her time, a new rescue plan was hatched. Using Peter’s electrical proclivities the trio would release both Jonathan and Jack by shorting the computer system out, and erasing all evidence.

Jack and Jonathan were dealing with the angry Fetch as the Motley plotted their rescue. The Fetch,roiling in emotion, was manipulated, though with considerable effort, by Jack. He tricked the creature into compliance using a bizarre mix of tactics, which allowed Jonathan to beat some sense into the Fetch. Jana and Peter, masquerading as Department of Homeland Security agents, slipped into the building and successfully shorted out the computer system, while the Satrap helped Jonathan and Jack escape. The entire group headed for the Freehold as quick as possible.

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Everything Changes

After the groups got separated (Peter having been left in the real world with Jack and Jason), Jonathan and Jana began to explore the Hedge House, only to discover that various trees, plants and other landmarks had been removed wholesale, and that the door to the tower where they had initially discovered Nuada was completely gone. They began simply searching for a way out, but had very little luck in that regard for some time.

Meanwhile, Jack and Peter began to explore the Mundane House. After a bizarre incident where Peter’s electrical armor began to power a lightbulb (which, in fact, bled through to the fae realm and caused Jonathan and Jana some sincere discomfort), the two discovered Ornithine—who was no longer Ornithine. She had been taken apart and reconstructed into a creature just like Nuada, and now went by the name Carol Lewis. She was destroying the supports for the house, and demanded that the two help her. They politely refused, deigning simply to watch and question her. In the end, Jack called the police and told them he had heard explosions.

In the Hedge House, Jonathan and Jana eventually discovered Nuada, who told them they needed to leave and led them to a door—from whence they could clearly see Carol. Jonathan promptly attacked Nuada, demanding to know what he had done, and stopped only when he realized Nuada was not fighting back with his full strength. Jonathan and Jana crossed back into the main house and Nuada closed the door behind them.
Jonathan had a gut feeling that things were not as they appeared; the wyrd in Erie Castle was far more active than it had been previously, far wilder than was natural. When the rest of the group made to leave, he insisted on staying… And Jack and Peter failed to inform him that they had called the police.
It wasn’t long before police and a massive SWAT team surrounded the house, demanding that everyone come out with their hands up. When Nuada and Carol simply continued with their work, Jonathan surrendered in an effort to buy them time. It was not, however, enough. The team went in, guns were fired, and Nuada staggered outside before collapsing to the ground. As he died, plantlife burst into bloom all around him and the castle quickly became covered in vines. Jonathan watched, helpless from a squadcar, as what looked like a massive part of Hedge grew into the mortal world before his very eyes.

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Perchance to Dream 7/8/2012
The Storm after the Calm

After the group ate their fill and rested for the night, they set out on various tasks. Jonathan attempted to find a token that would allow him to locate his fetch and, when that proved fruitless, decided to pool his money with Jana in an effort to purchase a car. Jack agreed to help them get a good deal if he could get a free month’s rent (although there was some negotiating before the price got settled upon). At the used car dealership, they found a vehicle that was in surprisingly good condition for the price the dealer was charging. Jack helped to negotiate the price down further, and got them some free perks into the bargain.

Jason, on the other hand, decided to visit Ornithine. When he couldn’t find her at the library, he checked her house—where the door swung open when he knocked. He walked inside, concerned for her safety, and discovered that while most of the house was in pristine condition, the kitchen table looked as if someone had been strapped to it and either tortured or butchered. He searched upstairs and found an address scrawled near her bedside. As he prepared to call for assistance, Nuada entered the house and strode toward him, practically emanating an aura of menace and intimidation. He told Jason that things were not as they seemed, and that Jason should leave without interfering. The implication was that if he did not, he would come to serious harm. Jason ran, and Nuada left for other parts….

After doing some research in the attempt to decipher what was going on (and discovering that the address he had found was that of Erie Castle), Jason called the Saints and informed them of what had transpired. The group was mutually horrified by such dire new, and drove out to Erie Castle with all due haste. Once there, they discovered that the entrance to the house seemed to reflect the Hedge state of the house and its normal state simultaneously. Everyone entered… and Jason and Jake found themselves firmly grounded in reality, while Jana and Jonathan found themselves standing in the Hedgehouse with no doorway to retreat through.

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Perchance to Dream 6-10-12

As the Spring Court came into its own, a game-playing scoundrel named Jack McQueen approached Jonathan to see if he’d be interested in fighting Enkidu as part of the Spring Festival. Jonathan agreed, and Jana volunteered herself to fight as well (although she was very insistent that she get a high percentage, and tried to talk Jack into giving her a solid 40% of the take).

Peter helped run a booth at the fair, and Jack oversaw many of the games; the others played the games until it was time for the fights to start. Jason took second place in a contest, and won a pair of glasses (the winner won a memory of a trip to Hawaii).

Peter was invited to watch the fights with King Queen Jackie Snow; he accepted, although her interest in him had begun to leave him wary. He witnessed Ornithine fight another changeling who was far larger than her. She won the fight handily, and came out of the ordeal with only broken glasses to indicate she was any worse for wear.

Jana was paired against a changeling with distinctive canine traits. Jana was strategic in her fight. She fought defensively at first, but began to take the offensive when she discovered she had an edge on her opponent. She hit harder and more often than her opponent, and indisputably came out the victor (although she did not, in fact, win by knockout).

When Jonathan’s fight came around, Jack patted him on the back (and enabled a contract of Hearth in order to give him an edge). He had good reason to do so; he had bet all of the money he’d earned thus far on Jonathan. Despite the aid, Jonathan seemed to have difficulty in his fight; his skewed perceptions caused Enkidu to seem bigger and more intimidating with every blow she landed. Although they initially took defensive postures, by the end of the fight both were going all out.

Enkidu finished the match with a massive blow that well and truly staggered Jonathan, although he managed to remain on his feet. Enkidu was declared the winner, and told Jonathan that if he learned to fight he’d do better next time. Many members of the Summer Court seemed less tense around Jonathan after seeing him get trounced by their champion.

As the evening’s events concluded, King-Queen Jackie Snow asked Peter why he seemed so uncomfortable. He explained, as politely as possible, that he wasn’t comfortable with the idea of them being more than friends. When Jackie asked why he kept accepting her invitations, he said he wanted to be polite. Needless to say, she was less than pleased.

The group decided to get a meal, and to treat Jack McQueen as well, since he’d lost $1200 betting on Jonathan and had been gracious enough to organize everything in the first place. Jack pickpocketed some people on his way out.

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Perchance to Dream May 27th 2012

The group debated on what to tell the Spring and Winter courts, now that they had allowed Aurora to escape. In the end, they carefully crafted a tale: the Fae had killed Aurora and subsequently stolen her body in order to sow discord between the two courts.

When Queen Iolian was informed, she was livid. Absolutely L I V I D. King Warden was not pleased, but insisted that a peace accord be reached before they went seeking the Fae. There was a great deal of debate over who would marry whom, as there was no true successor to the Spring Court.

Jason suggested that Queen Iolian marry Todd White. She almost refused, but Jana pulled her to the side and pointed out that Todd White would be easily manipulated and therefor easily controlled. Iolian agreed, much to Todd’s dismay, and the rest of the wedding went smoothly. The Saints were VERY pleased to return home in the wake of the celebration.

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Perchance to Dream 5-13-2012

Before the group returned to the ballroom, two things happened, one of them very important. The first is that Jason Spectre stayed behind in order to attempt another conversation with Persimmon; he attempted to pretend that he was not with the group, but was unable to convince Persimmon otherwise. He simply could not get the old man to budge on the subject.

The second, and more important, thing that happened was that the group returned to Aurora’s room only to discover that her body was no longer there. A number of her valuables had been taken—enough to fit inside a suitcase.

The group returned to the ballroom and reported their findings to Iolian, the Queen of Spring. She attempted to talk Jonathan into unwittingly accepting a pledge for her favor. As soon as Jonathan realized what was happening, he walked away without another word. Jason noticed her men watching them closely, and attempted to warn the group. (His attempt at being subtle was incredibly overdone, and he likely ended up attracting MORE attention to the group.) He suggested that they go somewhere private to talk, and the group left for another room.

They discussed the situation behind a closed door, and even turned out the light at one point. They realized their conversation was being eavesdropped upon, and were about to throw open the door and pull in the listener when Iolian burst into the room—literally, she sent most of the group flying. She demanded to know what they’d done with Aurora’s body, then ordered them to report any further findings only to her.

After the group left her presence, they attempted to report their findings to the Winter King as well, but he and his men were presently in the middle of a loud argument at the gates, as they wanted to leave, and weren’t allowed.

At this point, the group decided to find Aurora’s motley; they searched the entire grounds, and eventually discovered something odd as the night drew close to its end. Two people were waiting at the edge of an isolated area of fence while Aurora’s motley approached with a ladder. One of the people who was waiting was a large, Stonebones Ogre.

The other was Aurora.

The group approached, ready for potential combat, and confronted the two. Aurora claimed that Iolian had forced her into a lifelong pledge without her knowledge, and that her near death was the only thing that had allowed it to be broken. She was in love with the Stonebones, Micah the Tall, and neither of them wanted any part of her prospective marriage to Todd White. Their intention was to run away together and escape the dangers of the court entirely.

The group was rather divided in their opinions about how the situation was resolved: Eric Bloom firmly believed that they should return to the court and work things out there. Jason Spectre was willing to let them go once he heard their story. Jonathan Stone was inclined to allow the group to leave but recommended that Aurora pen a “suicide note” that detailed her distress; Aurora and Micah talked him into believing that the note was a bad idea. Tim Peter Southwind, on the other hand, firmly latched onto the idea and wouldn’t let it go. When Aurora and Micah went to climb the ladder, he moved forward in order to attempt to stop them.

It was at this point that Jonathan tackled Peter. Peter had an electrical shield up, which meant that Jonathan came out of it more injured than Peter did; Jonathan, however, showed no signs of caring. He verbally berated Peter for getting in his way at every turn during the course of their investigation and attempted to egg Peter into a proper fight, but Peter just walked away…

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World of Darkness 4-29-12
The Wedding, pt 1...

At the end of the Winter season and the beginning of Spring, the Saints attended the wedding King Queen Jackie Snow had invited them to attend. Some of them took the more fantasy-oriented clothes she provided them, although Peter settled on a suit. When the group arrived, the atmosphere held a certain amount of tension—Jonathan felt it especially, with an intensity that implied an ongoing storm.

The group attempted to socialize over the course of the next two hours. Through their discussions, they found out that the wedding was between Todd White (a member of the Winter Court) and Aurora (a member of the Spring Court) in an attempt to lessen the bad blood between their respective Courts. Balor, a Cyclopean Ogre, thought that Aurora was a slut and Todd “deserved it”; most of the other attendees thought that Aurora was sweet and didn’t understand why she was settling down with Todd, as they rarely spoke. Many of the party-goers didn’t think that Todd was ready to settle down. (One of the Saints also overheard the fact that Parsimmon and Iolian hate each other, and don’t talk to each other.)

After two hours, the doors were thrown open and the glass windows of the ballroom shattered. Iolian, the Spring Queen, announced that Aurora had been murdered and that whoever could discover her murderer would be rewarded.

Jonathan, Peter, and Jason rushed off to the room of the murdered girl. The room stank of death, although there were no visible wounds on Aurora’s body. There were a number of romantic books, including a copy of Romeo and Juliet (which was bookmarked at the scene of Juliet’s suicide). Jason began searching the room immediately, much to the consternation of Aurora’s motley-mates, but they were somewhat mollified when he discovered her journal, a goblin-fruit beneath her bed that was the source of the death-stench, and a note begging the Queen to reconsider her decision. One of Aurora’s motley-mates named Parsimmon, the changeling responsible for the growth of local goblin fruits, and accused him of killing Aurora.

Meanwhile, Eric talked with King Warden, the ruler of the Winter Court. He is pushing for peace, and doesn’t believe that anyone in the Winter Court is involved with this killing. He “has his own investigators”, but didn’t name anyone. Jana attempted to discern more from the crowd, but her attempt was unsuccessful. The two left the ballroom and met up with Jonathan, Peter, and Jason just as they left the room. Jana went inside rather quickly in order to gather up Aurora’s cellphone, and also attempted to access her computer, although the attempt failed.

The group as a whole followed the directions they had been given to Parsimmon’s hollow. It was a massive garden, filled with vast, unmarked patches of goblin fruits. There were various Trinkets (so, minor Fae items) dangling from the trees. Jason walked through the garden while the others attempted to locate Parsimmon; Peter tried knocking at a toolshed, while the others tried knocking at a shack. Parsimmon was in the shack, but refused to let anyone in. Jonathan and Eric attempted to talk him down, and almost succeeded… until Peter threatened the man, saying that they wouldn’t leave if he didn’t give them the information they wanted. After that, no amount of coaxing could convince him to open the door, and he threatened them harm if they didn’t leave his property. Jason quickly stole a goblin-fruit that he believed to be similar to the fruit he’d found under Aurora’s bed and stuffed it into his pocket as they fled the scene. The group reformed at the ballroom, intent on telling the rulers of the Courts what they’d discovered, some of them filled with anger and frustration due to the setbacks they had encountered.

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Perchance to Dream 4-15-2012

Upon the Saints’ return to the Freehold, they turned Blind Alice and the bizarre creation she had brought to life over to the Court. They were asked to testify and help to decide the fate of both individuals. Everyone but Eric wanted to allow the creature to live; Jason and Jonathan even volunteered their home as a potential place for it to be kept.

Blind Alice claimed to have no memory of the events that had led to the creation of the creature. As they had previously experienced something similar when Jason offered the temporary use of his body as trade for the manufacturing of a weapon, the group sympathized with her (some of them reluctantly). They felt it be best that she be allowed to stay at the Freehold, but to be kept under surveillance until such time as it was felt she could be trusted. They even offered to help watch her, but Lady Miss Pity felt it would be better for them to leave themselves open for other tasks.

In the end, the Courts decided to follow through on both of their decisions. King Queen Jackie Snow pulled the group aside afterward and asked if they would be interested in attending a wedding in a few weeks’ time, as “she” could not attend and it would give them the opportunity to gain more contacts (and, potentially, allies) with Changelings from other Freeholds. The group accepted, although some were more enthused by the prospect than others; Peter and Jonathan, specifically, seemed less than comfortable with the idea.

Over the next two weeks, the group worked on settling issues and falling back into something akin to routine:

Jason tried to pawn off the golden apple he had stolen, but the assessment was far too low for his tastes, so he decided to keep it.

Peter asked around the Freehold about nature activists and someone who would be willing to teach him to fight. He even asked King Tom of the Grotto and King Queen Jackie Snow, neither of whom was very receptive to either question. Peter also gave his apple to King Queen Jackie Snow, who was flattered, to say the least. In the end, Jonathan volunteered to help Peter learn to fight.

Jana felt guilty about having taken her ruby, and talked with Jonathan about it. He recommended that she talk with Blind Alice about it, as she might not remember it existed, but then again she might very much want it back. Jana decided to keep it and think on the matter, for the time being.

Jonathan attempted to search out information regarding his fetch, but in the end he discovered that the person he had been doing copious amounts of research on had no relation to him. The Jonathan Stone in question was, in fact, Asian. He also confronted Enkidu in an attempt to help work past their bumpy starts and her dislike of the way they’d helped to fulfill the Childrens’ Contract. …He ended up starting another fight with her, instead. She soundly trounced him, and said that doing the wrong thing for the right reasons didn’t justify the wrongdoing.

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