Previous New Avalon Quests: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=New%20AvalonWinter in New Avalon is full of fear. The city is, in a sense, always defined by fear - fear of losing one's job, fear of being turned out into the streets, fear of the unlucky bastards turned out to starve or to lurk, vagrant, in the subways - but December brings with it the fear of the cold, the fear of judgement and censure from friends and loved ones, and above all, the fear of being left alone in the Misty City. It may be Winter, but Autumn does well in the cold months of the city. You are Zoe Morris, called Zippo by most people with the pleasure or misfortune to know you, and one day, you will rule the Autumn Court. Today, though, King Raven rules as he has for nearly six decades, and you serve him not because you must, but because like all of Autumn, you love, respect, and - yes - fear him. So you spend your time serving the Freehold, advancing the Court of Fear, and preparing for the inevitable conflict with the other contenders for the throne - the backstabbing Wizened known as the Rook and the Rachael Reeds, the mad Elemental, as well as dealing with various, shall we say, more personal matters. Like the man tied to the chair in front of you now, actually.
>>955323His name is Mike Miller. He's a forty-three year old husband (of twenty years) and father (of three children) who's been working the docks since before he was actually legal to work there. You've been watching him for awhile now, ever since his daughter came to the Midway Shelter looking to escape her miserable home life. Her given name is Brittney Miller, but she was born Bradley, and that is, in essence, the core of the problem. It'd taken you weeks to get the girl to talk to you, and when it came out, it all came out. She'd come out to her family, and her father had started the beatings while her mother started the religious interventions. You really could give less of a shit who or what Brittney wants to be, but Mike? He's earned himself this little visit from the bad fairy. Fathers shouldn't beat their children, especially not wayward teens who need their love and understanding."Don't bother screaming, it's soundproof down here," you tell him, conversationally. You set a can of hairspray down on a little table near the chair that's holding Mike down - he's a big guy, which is why you brought the good cuffs - and then put your zippo down next to it. "You're a long way from the bar, Mike. You really ought to know better than to take drinks from strange women.""Fuck you," the dockworker snarls, before he spits in your face. You wipe your cheek clean, then backhand him. There's not much force to it - never were one for physical strength, sadly - but the insult is there, and it does its job in shutting Mike the fuck up. "Let me give you the short version," you tell him quietly. "A friend of mine owns this building. He generously lets me deal with troublesome people in it. Sometimes those are people who are, let's say, mutually troublesome, yes? But sometimes they're my personal projects. You don't want to be one of my personal projects, Mike. So let's talk about Brittney.""His name -"You kick the chair over - Mike lets out a surprised cry - and put your heavy boot on his neck. "Her name is Brittney," you snarl. "And you've got five minutes to convince me that -"Someone clears their throat behind you. You turn your head slowly, Mike quietly choking to death under your foot, and see a four-eyed raven standing atop the table that currently contains the hairspray and your zippo. "Reminisce," you say with wary respect. No one opened the only door in or out of here but the Autumn King's pet has never been one to respect things like locked doors or the laws of fucking physics. "How may I serve the Court?""His Majesty requests the pleasure of your presence," the raven croaks. "I'm in the middle of something here," you point out, digging your boot in. "You will do as you feel best, of course," the raven answers, cryptically. It takes off, shedding greasy feathers, and goes through the door like a ghost.
>>955368God. Fucking. Damn it all to hell. You can't just leave Mike down here or you'll upset your friend. Decisions, decisions.You look down at the man, who's turning a bit blue at this point, and take your boot off of his neck. > Let Mike go; you don't want to keep Raven waiting> Brand the bastard and make it clear what'll happen if you ever hear of him hurting the people that look to him for protection ever again> Burn him alive and ask your friend to dispose of the body in accordance with the usual arrangementWelcome to July at Christmas Quest, a Changeling: the Lost one-shot in the fictional city of New Avalon. This takes place after both King of New Avalon Quest and Scarred by Thorns Quest; however, you do not necessarily need to be familiar with either to play. You can find Zoe's sheet here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L4ooBZNZtcQF6cnMNmJ3K9LaVOQ2A1skP7ICv-Ff-NM/edit?usp=sharing
>>955377>Brand the bastard and make it clear what'll happen if you ever hear of him hurting the people that look to him for protection ever again
>>955377I'm liking this character sheet a lot, especially the small details referring to previous events.Before anything, I think we should invoke the power of> Tale of the Baba YagaInstill in this man a fear of fire that stems from his mistreatment of his daughter and his overall failure as a father. Craft them to be like the fires of hell reaching up to drag him down for his intolerance or something.After that, > Let Mike go; you don't want to keep Raven waitingBut also> Use Burning HypnotismTo keep him in a trance like state so he cannot trace the location of this building. And, perhaps when the trance recedes, he will catch a glimpse of the flames sputtering out. Might work as a good way to get his paranoia and fear engines churning, especially with all the fire imagery that'll be around this time of year.I hope that isn't too much of a vote
>>955377> Brand the bastard and make it clear what'll happen if you ever hear of him hurting the people that look to him for protection ever again.It ought to be interesting playing a character that isn't a White Knight or a Reluctant Hero.
>>955377> Burn him alive and ask your friend to dispose of the body in accordance with the usual arrangementTime's up, bye bye !
Huh. I notice she doesn't have a Virtue or Vice. Any reason why, or did you want players to decide?Considering how we started, I figure Compassion and Wrath would work.
>>955452...Wow, ignore the fuck outta me then.
>>955452No worries man, the formatting can make it easy to miss. Since everyone has one of each of those, do you think they should be moved higher up on the sheet, into the initial body of information?
>>955457Yes. At a quick glance, you'd be able to see a portion of the character's personality and how they interact with others.
>>955465It is done. I'm gonna go get some water or possibly make some tea, then call and write. >>955432Burning hypnotism distracts people but it won't alter their memories. Other than that the vote seems legit enough; you mostly wanna avoid if/then voting (as in, 'if this option wins, THEN do this bonus thing').
Called, writing. Winner: > Brand the bastard and make it clear what'll happen if you ever hear of him hurting the people that look to him for protection ever again.
>>955377"That bird, that, it -" Mike stammers, right up until you give him a vicious kick in the ribs. The wind goes out of his lungs - and a hearty thank-you to the inventor of steel-toed boots - before you crouch at his side and open his button-up shirt, exposing his hairy chest. Mike's an older guy, but beneath the layers of been-a-dad-too-long fat are the hard muscles his work gave him and that hard work keeps on him. You put your right palm flat against his chest and pick your Zippo up off of the table. "You have no idea how lucky you are, Mike," you tell him in a low murmur, your tone frank and earnest. "They call me Zippo. You're thinking you'll go to the cops. You're thinking you're gonna take this out on Brittney. Let me present an alternate course of action for you."You open the lighter and run your thumb through the flame, which dances and wiggles with a seductive little giggle in your ears. Just my hand you think at it. You got it, sugar the flame purrs. Mike starts screaming when the hand pressed into his chest ignites in crackling searing flame that burns away his hairs and blackens the skin beneath it. You press, making him shriek and writhe, before you lift your hand up and give it a dismissive shake to make Flame go back to behaving itself. "If you so much as speak to a police officer in the next year and a day, I will burn you alive," you promise the dock worker, raising your voice just a little so he can hear you above his whimpers of pain. "If you lay another hand on Brittney, I will burn you alive. If I catch you or your wife abusing her, insulting her, or so much as giving her a hateful look, I will burn you alive. I'll do it in pieces, Mike, from the feet up, so I can listen to you scream. You will die, and it will hurt the entire time that you're dying. Is there an understanding between us?""Yes," the man moans. "Just, just, just...""Just what, Mike?" you ask, toying with your lighter. "Leave my other children out of it," he begs. "They had nothing to do with it. They don't know, they don't know..."You soften, just a little. "They won't be harmed," you promise, quietly. "Brittney loves you, Mike. I have no idea why, but she does. Do yourself a favor and try to be the kind of man that's worthy of his child's love and adoration."You tie a blindfold around Mike's eyes and dig out the key to the cuffs. "I'm going to have you delivered back to the bar," you tell him. "You take this off when my driver says you can. Understand?"
>>955517Mike nods, desperately. You help him stand up (pocketing your Zippo with a certain wistful reluctance) and then escort him out of the room, into the greater basement that Ricky maintains. You nod to the Wizened on your way out - the bent, older man looks up from his hydroponic plants long enough to nod back - and take Ricky up the stairs and to the store the Ricky helps keep supplied in plants, growing supplies, gardening books, and the inexplicable good cheer of the niece of his that actually does the sales."Shirt," the young woman - Molly, right? - tells you. You look down at your own, then realize what she means and give her a guilty grin before you button Mike's back up to cover the brand you just got done giving him. One of your Down-And-Outs, kid by the street name of Rails, is waiting outside in a car that's seen better ages of Man. You open the door for Mike and force the bigger man into the back seat before you buckle him in. "Calmaceptrin will help with that burn," you tell him. "If you go to a hospital they'll report it to the police, at which point you and I have that understanding."Mike sniffs miserably and nods. You look over to Rails."Right back to the bar," you tell the young man. "Then you're good for the night unless Jill needs you for somethin'. She need you?""Nah," Rails says with a shrug. "Just you tonight, boss lady. That new girl joinin' up?""I imagine she'll go home when she's ready to," you tell him, nodding at Mike. "I think her dad's done a lot of, well, a lot of soul-searching tonight. Let's hope it sticks."You slam the door shut and tuck your hands in your pockets. Rails drives off into the evening mists, leaving you on your own. Raven needs you, evidently. You'd best not keep the ruler of Autumn waiting. You set off into the night at a brisk pace, after zipping up your jacket and pulling on a pair of gloves. Your head stays warm on its own; having locks made of lambent, gently-rippling flame will do that for a girl. It is not, technically, correct to refer to Raven as King outside of Autumn itself, but the colloquialisms have sway over the formalities. And it is, ever-so-technically, still Autumn; Winter doesn't begin until December 21st, and it's still just the 16th, though admittedly at this hour of the night it might as well be the 17th. Still, when your politics run on seasonal cycles, those hours and minutes can add up in vital and, more importantly, magical ways. The study of the Freehold's various oaths and magical pacts that influence and define its governance has been a more recent subject for you, but it's been a fascinating one.
>>955530Who the hell is Ricky? The Wizened? I can't tell
>>955530Reminisce didn't say where Raven was, but you've got a pretty solid idea regardless. Raven's been getting on in years - he's a bit over a hundred and ten, now - and he likes to keep himself accessible to new Freehold members, so he stays in the penthouse of the Juniper Building. The Freehold owns the Juniper Building lock, stock, and barrel. Legally, it's an apartment building, but the Freehold uses it to temporarily house new arrivals, host Court and political functions, and as an office, social area, and meeting place. Most of the services the New Avalon Freehold provides can be found somewhere in the Juniper Building, or at least people who can direct you to them can be. It's nearly ten at night, so the door man of the evening is one of the new Darklings. Jesse, if you remember right, that Razorhand that Winter picked up a month back. He's a lean little thing, with a razor-thin smile in a face that's never quite as fully lit as you could want it to be, but he's friendly enough, for a Winter Courtier. He gives you a wave, which you return with a distracted smile. Burning leaves trail in your wake as you make your way to the elevator and hit the button for the penthouse. The elevator lets out right into Raven's home, because security measures are for lesser people. The old man is expecting you, and sits with his elbows on his knees and his hands folded atop his black oak cane. The old Beast looks like a starved bird cloaked in dust and Autumn leaves more than anything else these days, but those eyes sunk into his skull are still sharp, and you aren't fooled by the frailty of Raven's limbs. You've seen the Autumn King put Ogres to the floor. "Do come in," your liege invites. You step out of the elevator and take your hands out of your pockets; your Zippo murmurs reassurances to you while you fiddle nervously with it. Raven isn't wearing the Crown. Why?"You summoned me, my liege?" you say, not sure of what you did. Your conscience isn't saying anything, which doesn't mean you haven't fucked up. "Will you kill me, girl?" Raven asks, sharply. "What? No! Never!""Truly?" the old Beast leans in, glaring at you from behind his cruel beak. "I promise you my title and rulership over this Court if you'll kill me within the next thirty seconds."You take a step back, afraid, and shake your head violently. "I could never," you protest. "Why would I ever kill you?""Youngbloods. You run around with your petty gang and your ambitions on your sleeve, telling my Court that you see yourself fit to wear my crown and sit in my throne, that you can rule the Freehold I helped to build, and you refuse to seize power when it's offered to you on a silver platter." Raven leans back and gives you a wicked smile. "Very wise of you, Zippo.""I -" you've lost control of the conversation, which is not unusual when you're dealing with Raven. "Thank you, my liege."
>>955540"I have summoned you here to teach you a lesson about power, youngblood," Raven explains. "About leadership in a Freehold, in point of fact. Would you care to guess why you're here and not the Rook or Lady Reeds?""It's beyond hoping that you actually support my bid," you reason."Correct," Raven answers, frankly. "None of you three can ever replace me. You can rule in my stead, but my shadow will sit long over this Freehold for decades, if not centuries, to come.""They already know this?" you hazard. "...No, the Rook will already know this, but not Reeds.""Good," Raven praises. "But that is not why. You are here because you, alone of the three contenders for my throne, have chosen to investigate the mystical underpinnings of our Freehold. The Rook considers them a concern for later. Reeds is, of course, insane. You thought them a concern for the now, and so you are here, about to be concerned with them. What do you think of the young king of Summer?""He's bold, chooses his friends well, and has keen advisors," you answer, honestly. "He'd make a powerful ally."Raven nods in approval. "Excellent. King Arthur of Summer has publicly discontinued the July at Christmas celebrations held annually by the Summer Court. He feels that in this time of war with the Others, the tradition of mocking Winter with the festivities is pointlessly antagonistic. He gives up the festival as a peace offering to the Court of Sorrow.""That's pretty wise of him," you reply, but you're not so certain. Something about the way Raven is looking at you tells you -"Persuade him to reinstate the festival and provide him your full and comprehensive aid in arranging, then celebrating, July at Christmas," Raven orders, in a firm tone. "It must be held on the day of the Winter Solstice."You groan. "I knew that was coming.""And yet you sat there and took it from me," Raven crows (god damn it) in glee. "Hazard a guess as to why you must do this thing.""It's part of Summer's pacts and without the festival the Court will be weakened," you answer. "I don't know it for sure but that's the only logical reason.""You are absolutely correct," your liege confirms. "The details of the festival are simple. Summer hosts a party, to which all and sundry not of the Winter Court are invited. Those present partake of food, drink, music, entertainment, and work themselves up into a frenzy. The room or building must burn with Summer's heat, and all who let their wrath loose in the celebrations are rewarded by Summer itself for their faith in it during the time of Winter's ascendance. You can research the specifics in the Freehold's library at your leisure.""Essentially four days is not leisure!" you snap. "...You Majesty," you add, in a small voice. Raven laughs. "So tell me girl. Where do you start in convincing a wise, just King to retract his gesture of peace?"
>>955568> Hit the books> With the Winter Court; if they can honorably reject the gesture, Arthur will be easier to persuade> Talk to Arthur. He has to be talked around to the festival's importance before anything else can happen> Get Spring and Autumn's support. They can pressure Summer and Winter into falling in line> Write-in?
>>955533Yes, Ricky is the Wizened in question. My apologies.
>>955570>> With the Winter Court; if they can honorably reject the gesture, Arthur will be easier to persuadeWho the hell is ricky?
>>955572>>955574Thank you vox That bit wasn't superbly written it's late I know
>>955574He's the guy that owns the room Zoe uses for torturing and/or murdering people. I coulda been more clear on that score but TL;DR soundproofed room in the basement of a hydroponics store, and he takes the corpses and grinds them up into fertilizer. Autumn, yo.
>>955578I can't tell what that has to do with Autumn, the wiki has revealed very little.
>>955570> Hit the booksPower is knowledge of the details
>>955580Well, brief rundown follows then. Autumn, the Court of Fear, called the Leaden Mirror and the Ashen Court, concerns itself primarily with two things: fear and sorcery. Autumn favors indirect solutions to problems and to fight its battles with deceit, assassination, fear, unease, and misinformation. Autumn's Courtiers use fear both as a weapon and a tool; they spur themselves on by working with their fear and spread terror and rumors to help keep mortals safe from harm. Autumn is an easy Court in which to turn into a bona fide monster. Being asked to consistently frighten and terrorize others is part of it, but Changelings join Autumn because they're in love with magic, and the magic of Faerie is, for all the other things that it also is, definitely not human. It can be easy to lose yourself in wonder not of this world and end up drifting away from your proper perspective and doing things like, say, burning an abusive father alive and then selling his ground-up corpse to potheads as fertilizer. I could keep going on but the idea is to let you see the Court through Zoe's eyes in addition to the bits of it you got to catch in Arthur's quest via Inky Jennie.
Alright folks, I gotta hit bed. Votes remain open. As in my previous New Avalon one-shots, this will run until its small plot arc - in this case, the attempt to get Summer to reinstate July at Christmas - is resolved. If I have to do a second thread for it I will, but the hope is that it can remain contained to this thread. As always, your questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated.Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>955570> With the Winter Court; if they can honorably reject the gesture, Arthur will be easier to persuade.
>>955517>"If you so much as speak to a police officer in the next year and a day, I will burn you alive,"Cue a policeman stops Mike because he is in a random police checkpoint, questions Mike if he witnessed some random event/crime, or some other situation where Mike _has_ to talk to a policeman. Whooosh.>>955570>> Talk to Arthur. He has to be talked around to the festival's importance before anything else can happenThen have the Winter Court reject.
>>955570> Talk to Arthur.The more people know your involvement, the harder it'll be to convince anyone that you're not up to something.
>>955628True. Gotta keep in mind that Zoe is an Oathbreaker, and she still has a while before people let that go.Which begs the question; what was the oath she broke, and why?
>>955570> With the Winter Court; if they can honorably reject the gesture, Arthur will be easier to persuade
>>955570>> Talk to Arthur. He has to be talked around to the festival's importance before anything else can happenNot sure how much Zippo's heard about Arthur, but there's a good chance she'd have heard that he's a reasonable man.Let's try and reason with him.
Will call and write in about an hour.
>>955570>> Talk to Arthur. He has to be talked around to the festival's importance before anything else can happen
>>955570>Talk to Arthur. He has to be talked around to the festival's importance before anything else can happenI mean Summer's all about the direct approach he'd probably appreciate us just giving it to him straight.
>>955936Well I lied horribly there. Give me twenty to get some coffee.
>>955605As you may recall, Changelings have to go out of their way somewhat to seal promises in the Wyrd. If Zoe'd been dealing with another Lost that phrasing would have been much more dangerous, but in that one-on-one setup she was safe to exaggerate menacingly. Called, writing. Winner: > Talk to Arthur. He has to be talked around to the festival's importance before anything else can happen
>>955570You give the question a bit of thought. You throttle the overwhelming urge to play with your hair; not even your Keeper had managed to get that one out of you (and oh, how She had tried) but you will be damned and double-damned if you make yourself look like an indecisive co-ed in front of the Dread Monarch. Your burning locks laugh at you in the high, shrill voices of the fire sprites you used to dance with, and you suppress a shudder that Raven is kind enough to ignore. "I should start with King Arthur himself, I think," you reason. "He needs to be made to understand his duty, and Summer will appreciate that I brought this difficulty to them first, without threats or allies."The King of Autumn nods, thoughtfully. "I will send Reminisce with you," he decides, before whistling sharply. The bird wings in from the next room and lands on your shoulder. The four-eyed raven is heavier than you might have expected, and his claws far sharper. "Reminisce will watch your efforts for me and provide a comprehensive report," your liege goes on to explain. "In the event of regrettable violence, he will assist in preserving your life. While I hope you appreciate these services, they are not optional.""I...understand, my liege," you agree formally, bowing your head. "December 21st. After sundown," Raven reminds you. "Go forth, my faithful vassal. Serve the Freehold you would see yourself rule."You bow - taking some small pleasure in the surprised flapping and cawing of Reminisce - and get back into the elevator. The raven settles on your shoulders once more, and you hit the button for the ground floor. "Bitch," the bird croaks, the moment the doors are closed. "Cry me a river, you overblown drumstick," you reply, sweetly. Contacting your fellow Lost can be an interesting proposition. Some make their information public in the form of an emergency contact list - people you can call if you're in trouble, or if the Freehold is under attack - and while Arthur is on that list and his number is in your phone under that heading, it's also somewhat rude to exploit that information for lesser purposes. And you have no way of knowing if that number is his house number or a phone he keeps solely for such emergencies. Thankfully, you have the personal number of his majordomo. You give Jesse a smile on your way out, and the Winter Courtier returns it with a raised eyebrow. You can't quite keep the spring out of your step. His (completely accurate, if you're being honest) words about how you'll never escape his shadow aside, Raven chose you for this. Even if he's not necessarily backing you, he sees potential. And if the Autumn King can envision you as Autumn's Queen, then you're on the right track. You walk down to the street corner before getting out your phone. You scroll through your contacts, wondering which of your Down-And-Outs would still be both awake and sober right now, before settling on Vanessa.
>>956223"Boss lady!" the girl answers enthusiastically, making you laugh in spite of yourself. "You would not believe how much schoolwork I just finished. I'm, like, just kill me now, y'know, just kinda kick me outta window, and - hey, didja need somethin'?"Ah, Vanessa. Nineteen and at the start of her journey to become a doctor. People don't tend to think of that sort of thing when you describe the Down-And-Outs as a gang to them but, then, the Down-And-Outs aren't exactly any of the things you use to describe them. "Afraid I do," you admit. "I'm gonna need a pickup, just down the road from the Juniper Building.""Boss," the girl whines. "Make Rails do it.""Rails already played my driver tonight," you answer, in a firm tone. "Now come and get me.""Yes ma'am," the doctor-to-be squeaks, before she hangs up. You dial Jennie next. "I thought I told you to lose this number," the Wizened answers, by way of greeting. "What the fuck do you want, warlock?""It's been too long, Jennie," you reply diplomatically. You take out your Zippo and toy with it, rolling it over and around your knuckles with casual finesse. "I have some business with King Arthur tonight, and -""Go fuck yourself, Zippo," Jennie interrupts. "Arthur's staying out of Autumn's succession and he doesn't deal with warlocks.""Is that really how you're about to be about this?" you ask in a low tone. "That's really how I'm about to be about this," Jennie answers, hate edging her tone. > Threaten (Persuasion against difficulty 10)> Bribe (Politics against difficulty 12)> Name-drop the Autumn King (Persuasion against difficult 9)> Fuck it, go home and get some sleep> Maybe Spring or Winter will be more receptive (which?)You suffer a -2 penalty on this roll from your Oathbreaker disadvantage. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L4ooBZNZtcQF6cnMNmJ3K9LaVOQ2A1skP7ICv-Ff-NM/edit?usp=sharing
>>956239>> Maybe Spring or Winter will be more receptive (which?)(Spring)
>>956239>> Threaten (Persuasion against difficulty 10)
>>956239>You suffer a -2 penalty on this roll from your Oathbreaker disadvantage.So this means it is impossible to make any DC over 8? Does Zoe know where Arthur lives? Perhaps she could knock on his door. It would be rude but this is an important topic.
>>956260The penalty is factored into the overall roll. You still have your skill bonuses, your bonuses from Rested, your Autumn mantle, and the option remains free to spend anywhere from 0 to 4 Glamour to boost the roll (see Fairest of Them All on your sheet). Even at a disadvantage, this is your element.
Forgot to mention:If you want to spend Glamour for any reason - activating Contracts, Seeming or Kith bonuses, etc - please include it in your vote. I didn't mention it here so feel free to make an additional post for or against spending a given amount of Glamour. If there's a tie between two options with regards to spending, I'll go with the lower amount.
Gonna call and write in approximately an hour, both so I can finish updating DLQ and because I need to eat dinner.
>>956239>"This isn't /directly/ related to Autumn's succession. Just want to discuss July at Christmas."At least I don't /think/ it's directly related. We're supposed to manage the festival and the power of the Court, and the succession stuff is based on how and how well we can do that.
>>956239>> Name-drop the Autumn King (Persuasion against difficult 9)>>"Yeah yeah, buuuut according to The Dread King, Arthurs recent actions affect it."
>>956239>> Name-drop the Autumn King (Persuasion against difficult 9)> "I am not here as my own agent, but on behalf of King Raven. He has serious concerns about one of Arthur's recent policy changes, and has sent me to treat with him regarding them."
>>956239> "That's really how I'm about to be about this," Jennie answers, hate edging her tone. So is Jennie the one we broke an oath to? Or does she have some other reason to hate us?Or is Oathbreaking really Just That Bad among the Lost?
>>956576It's that bad. You can rightfully refer to someone as an oathbreaker or synonym for such (forsworn, warlock, waerloch) for as long as the penalties of the broken Pledge lasts and for a year and a day thereafter. While the Wyrd serves as its own enforcement tool by penalizing faithless promises, the fact remains that the Lost have collective trust issues that are only alleviated by Pledges. Being a known oathbreaker is telling a society of people with extremely justifiable and violent trust issues that you cannot be trusted.
>>956239> Threaten (Persuasion against difficulty 10)>>956586I understand that, and it makes sense. But why? Why did she break her oath?
>>956609You will find that out. At the moment the why doesn't matter, as Jennie either doesn't believe you or doesn't care. I'm still eating dinner here; my apologies for the delays. I'm currently seeing no votes to expend Glamour.
>>956638True, and since fear seems to be abundant, we should be able to recharge soon. I'm going to alter my vote here >>956609> Threaten (Persuasion against difficulty 10)> Expend 2 GlamourIs there anyone that /would/ believe what Zoe has to say? Someone close? And not one of her little gang of misfits either, another of the Lost who might sympathize or at least understand her reasons for..whatever the hell she did.
>>955517Fuck that tranny. Shooting him would be worth it just to spite the shit.
Called, writing. Winners are > Threatenand> Expend 2 GlamourYou expend 2 Glamour. Give me two rolls at 1d10+5
Rolled 3 + 5 (1d10 + 5)>>956852
oh for fuck's sake someone else roll
Rolled 5 + 5 (1d10 + 5)
>>957052it wasn't that bad...maybe? 18 is a good number right?
>>9570525 + 5 = 10; Success. Writing.
>>957070Oh thank god...how close was the failure?
>>957078The difficulty was 10. In general you get degrees of success or failure by margins of 2 to 3 depending on the challenge in question. So in this case an 8 or 9 woulda been success at cost, 10-11 is straight success, and at 12 and up you start getting bonus swag for nailing it.
>>957093So I just barely cut it? Than god.
Good thing you reminded me to vote for the expenditure. FUCK.We should go find somebody to spook some we can refill Zoe's Glamour before we meet with Arthur. Unless its an immediate thing. In which case, we might need to make another roll with Glamour cost just to avoid getting punched in the face by the King of Summer.
>>956239You give Reminisce a bit of side-eye and decide you're not dealing with this shit. "Fine," you tell Jennie, mildly. "I'll mark you down under 'treason' and step up to the rude version of this plan. Enjoy your -""Hold up," Jennie interrupts. "Where do you get off? Treason against what, Autumn? You're not Queen yet, warlock.""Against the Freehold, Jennie, try to keep up. Now, I could jot you down under 'deliberate inaction' but I think with everything that just happened we can upgrade that to 'deliberately obstructing the safety and health of the Freehold'. Should it be Jennie or Jennifer in my report?"You stop with a savage grin when you hear Jennie's snarl of frustration. You can just imagine her tattoos seething. "What is this about?" she asks, tersely. "I need to discuss July at Christmas with King Arthur," you tell her, reasonably. "And it is vitally important that I do so. I would prefer to do so now.""You're a bitch, you know that?" "We're Autumn, Jennie, it's an occupational hazard. Look, I know you don't like me but I've got no beef with you. I'm not asking you to be in my corner, I'm not asking you to talk me up to Arthur. Shit on my good name all day and all night if you like, just arrange the meeting. That ain't so much, is it?"There's a long silence from the other end of the phone. When Jennie speaks up again, she's calmed down somewhat. "Fine. You'll have a table at the Willow in forty minutes. It's your meeting, so you're buying the drinks.""I'm given to understand that your liege is a bourbon man," you agree, pleasantly. "Thank you for your assistance, Jennie. Are you drinking as well?""...Vodka," the Wizened answers."See you there," you tell her before you hang up and pocket the phone. Reminisce caws and adjusts his perch on your shoulder. You open your Zippo and stare at the flame while you wait for Vanessa. You aren't waiting terribly long. She pulls up on her - well, to be honest, her shitty moped. Which you helped her buy, and which she maintains with loving care. You're pretty sure by the time she sells this thing it's going to work better than when she bought it. But, well, beggars, choosers, you know the drill. "Where to, boss lady?" Vanessa asks cheerfully. She tosses you a helmet, which you put on before climbing aboard. "Heading to the Willow," you tell her. "I'll walk home from there.""You got it boss," Vanessa acknowledges, before she takes off into the misty streets. "You know you've got a fuckhuge bird on your shoulder, boss?" Vanessa asks. "I hadn't noticed," you drawl, sarcastically. "A friend of mine loaned him to me.""Bird's fuckin' huge, boss," the girl comments. "No shit, Vanessa. What's the rule?""Don't comment on the weird shit the boss does," the girl says faithfully. "You can't blame me for bein' curious, Zoe!"
>>957194"I can, I will, and I do," you correct. "You knew when you signed up that my friendship isn't unconditional, Vanessa. Are you unhappy with what I've given you?""No ma'am," the doctor-to-be answers, quickly."Do you want out?""No!""Then follow the rules," you remind her. "As far as you're concerned, there is no bird.""What bird, boss lady?" Vanessa pulls the moped into the parking lot of the Willow. You step off of it and hand her the helmet she'd lent you."I know you mean well," you tell her, gently. "These rules don't exist for no reason, okay? The good things I give you start at the rules.""You got it, boss lady. I'm sorry," Vanessa says contritely. You clap her on the shoulder. "Get some rest. You did good."You head into the Willow without waiting to watch Vanessa leave. The girl can take care of herself. You've always liked the Willow. It's not just the stage where you can perform when the mood strikes you, though you do like that, it's the history of the place. The Willow was an inn, back in the day, and though the interior's been renovated over the years the building still has an old, comfortable feeling. It's been a house of hospitality for longer than anyone that runs it has been alive, and you can feel the air of loving welcome that comes from inside. The bar downstairs is packed with Changelings and mortals in the know, and none of them pay you much heed. You're far from the only Fairest in here tonight, and everyone's busy with friends, family, the poetry slam going on at the stage, or - enticingly - politics. The seasonal transition is always a time of intrigue, and you can taste the ambition and fear mixing in the air. If you weren't Autumn, you'd probably be Spring. There's something delicious about all of it. Inky Jennie is waiting at a table already, with her massive liege sitting next to her. King Arthur's more than six feet tall, with stony features accented by the noonday light of his Summer Mantle and a well-cut suit. A lot of Ogres you know have suits that barely seem to fit and are strained by their massive muscles. Arthur prefers to cut a sharp figure in red and gold, with his blade - Excalibur - in a sheath on the table. You approach and offer a bow, not too deep, but full of genuine respect. He may not be King now, but Arthur still rules Summer, and he's owed the respect that implies. "Please, sit," the Lord of July invites. "I understand you have business with me?""I do," you agree. You snag the attention of a passing waitress. "I need a glass of bourbon, neat, for Lord Arthur, vodka on the rocks for Jennie, and..."> Order a drink for yourself> Don't
>>957237>> Order a drink for yourself
>>957237> Order a drink for yourselfI see no possible way getting a drink could go bad. No siree. Intrigue? Potential adversaries out and about? Nope, totally not a thing.
>>957237> Order a drink for yourself.So what would Zoe's poison of choice be? Rum? Tequila? Wine? Mead? Fermented cider? I don't have a wide range of experience in the eternal battlefield of alcohol, but I've had a few. You can never go wrong with Jim Beam or Captain Morgan.Also, we should speak plainly and truthfully. No buttering up to the liege of Summer, it'll just come across as disingenuous. If he (or Jennie) asks about Zoe's ambition to be the next Queen of Autumn, she should tell the truth. It'll only serve to make a better impression on Arthur and Jennie.
>>957237> Order a drink for yourself
Well that's fairly unanimous. Called, writing. Good read of the situation.
>>957237"And two shots of Fireball in eggnog," you decide. The waitress giggles until she sees the long look you're giving her. You brush a smoldering leaf from your shoulder, and the young woman swallows and goes off to get your drink orders to the bartender."Eggnog?" Arthur asks, curiously. "The cream and spice go well with the cinnamon of the Fireball," you explain. "And it's seasonal. Plus, well..." you play with a burning lock of your hair. "Laugh it up if you need to," you continue, with a faint blush. "I developed a thing for spice after, well, after my homecoming."You can't meet Arthur's eyes with that sympathetic look on his face, so you look over towards the bar. Your drinks are coming - Whiskey Jack works fast, and you make a note of the terrified glances he keeps sneaking at Arthur - and you allow yourself a little grin. When they're brought to the table, you look back to Summer's liege. "To the Freehold," Arthur proposes, raising his glass. "And our continued freedom," you agree. The three of you touch glasses and take a drink. The mixer is thick, with a sharp and spicy edge beneath the creamy flavor, and the taste is comforting. You set your glass down and wipe your lips with a napkin before you start. "I'll be blunt, my Lord. The Freehold needs you to proceed with July at Christmas."Arthur laughs - Jennie sneaks a scowl at him and then at you while he's busy - and sets his own glass on the table. "Please, I think I may have lost your point in the intricate subtleties of your language," he jokes. "Why the concern over July at Christmas?"You take another sip of your mixer and stir the eggnog; these things settle fast. "King Raven has informed me that without the festival, your Court will be derelict in part of its pact with Summer," you explain. "He, and I, have concerns that this would weaken Summer in a time where we need your strength the most.""It is not Summer, Zoe," Arthur points out, reasonably. "Misery Monroe is to be King, and open warfare is not Winter's way.""And?" you ask, blinking. "That's never stopped Summer before.""It does now," Arthur tells you, frankly. "My predecessor's Summer Court was mighty but aloof. When we had our time of need, others were reluctant to stand with us, and though we emerged victorious we lost our King and with him our sense of purpose. My Court will not ignore its allies or its Freehold. Strength alone is not enough and I won't be the fool who acts like it is. I am well aware of what July at Christmas will cost my Court. I feel peace with Winter, and acknowledgement that will not let our pride come before our duty, is far more important than the power we can gain from the festival."You stare in disbelief. "My liege, in lieu of this month's paycheck, can you commission a statue of the precise look on this warlock's face for my home?" Jennie asks.
Huh. I wonder if this is all a test from Raven to see if Zoe will put the Freehold before her ambition's? I mean, it should be obvious, but people (and by extension, the Lost) can be stupid like that.
>>957585"Fuck off, prophet," you snap at Jennie. She laughs, and you fume as you realize she's gotten one up on you. "Your mind is made up?" you ask Arthur, in a somewhat pained tone."I have firm reasons for the decision I've made," the Ogre answers, leaning back in his chair. "But they aren't carved in stone. Wow me."You take a deep breath, then a gulp of your drink. The idea that Arthur knew what he was doing in the first place hadn't passed through your mind, and it's got you on the wrong foot. > Make a mystic argument [Occult at difficulty 14; you may spend for Fairest of Them All]> Try to make political arrangements [Politics at difficulty 12]> Play devil's advocate [Persuasion at difficulty 11]> Write-in?Zoe's Sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L4ooBZNZtcQF6cnMNmJ3K9LaVOQ2A1skP7ICv-Ff-NM/edit?usp=sharingCurrent Glamour: 11/13
>>957611>Make a mystic argument [Occult at difficulty 14; you may spend for Fairest of Them All]Spend 4 Glamour
>>957611>> Make a mystic argument [Occult at difficulty 14; you may spend for Fairest of Them All]
>>957611> Play devil's advocate [Persuasion at difficulty 12]> Maybe instead of July at Christmas, we could have a Christmas at July? Summer can have its day, and then Winter can have theirs. Could be a win-win!> Also, expend 2 more Glamour, just so we have a bit of buffer in case the rolls are shite.
>>957630>Add in that the power gained could also be used to aid in Winter's efforts.+1 for this suggestion. Spend 2 Glamour, as I'm sure we're going to need it.
>>957611> Make a mystic argument> Fairest of Them All 4>>957677please quote your vote
>>957611The Autumn king might know that Arthur knows what he's doing and be watching how we react and/or adapt to see our suitability as the next ruler of Autumn. Are we sure we want to continue arguing for the festival?Also, we still have a few days to look into it more. We could simply tell Arthur that.> Write-in?>"...I honestly hadn't considered that. Mind if I take a few days to check if this will work and make sure I'm not missing anything else?"
Mystic argument, adding the Christmas in July arguement, amd 4 glamour in fairest of them all.
>>957898Aight, I'ma count it this time 'cause I forgot to mention it earlier, but in the future, please> Greentext your votesCalled, writing. Our winner is > Make a mystic argumentYou expend 4 Glamour. Roll me 2 dice at 1d10+9
Rolled 5 + 9 (1d10 + 9)>>958055>>958063You have to put it in the options bar.
Rolled 2 + 9 (1d10 + 9)>>958055>>958066Yeah I figured that out
Rolled 10 + 9 (1d10 + 9)>>958055I got it, I got it, no need to get your panties knotted and stolen by the 8th John this week.
>>958066Oh wow, literally exactly what we needed
>>9580665 + 9 = 14; Success.Writing.
>>958096dude, crit success though >>958078
>>958168best of two
>>958191AH, thank you for letting me know. In which case:Holy crap I am glad we are still alive.
>>957611"My Lord, forgive me, but I believe your perspective on this matter may be..." you search for the words to express your meaning and let the Glamour flow through you, sparking your mind and tongue. "Insufficiently broad," you finish. "You have expressed this to me as a fairly straightforward trade; you improve the political position of your Court and promote cooperation in the Freehold at the expense of your power. But I would argue that you are giving up more than mere mystical prowess."Arthur leans in and puts his elbows on the table. Good, you have his interest. You keep the Glamour flowing, sparking it off of the fragment of Wyrd in your soul that makes you Fairest. "Go on," the Lord of July invites."The pacts that help empower and define the Summer Court are not referenced solely to that Court," you argue. "They are part and parcel of the agreements and oaths that define the Freehold itself. In weakening your Court you weaken the whole not only in the immediate, temporal sense, but in the abstract, magical sense, fraying at the promises that help confuse and confound the Others. Additionally, it strains and threatens your other oaths to Summer. You might see this as a minor festival, but does your Season? It's a promise, a troth with which you have been entrusted, and to set it aside so lightly does not speak well of your Court or its respect for its duties. Your goal is noble, but surely we can find another path which satisfies both politics and pledges, can we not?""Are you offering your services to make that happen?" Jennie asks, sharply. "That's the job with which I've been entrusted," you answer, pleasantly. "Autumn's responsibility to the Freehold doesn't end on the 21st, you know. Keeping tabs of lore on vows and Wyrd is one of our duties."Arthur rubs his chin and takes a sip of his bourbon. The Ogre sets the glass back down with a thoughtful look. "My majordomo says you're forsworn," he states, at last."Inky Jennie is the best kind of correct, yes," you hedge. "Tell me your side of the story," Arthur invites. "What happened?"You let out a long breath. "...I was stupid," you admit, softly. "That's the long and short of it, really. You know the Sacred Couriers?""Isn't that the Fairest-only messenger guild?" Jennie asks. "They blacklisted us, as I recall.""Yeah, that's my fault. One of them came through town, boy by the name of Fletcher. Handsome guy, a Dancer, I think, though I never did ask. Had a thing for older men."Arthur winces, but doesn't interrupt. You take a slug of your rapidly-dwindling mixer. "My dad caught his eye, and Fletcher got him to cheat on Mom, then broke Dad's heart. Left them divorced. Dad tried to commit suicide. My Fetch is still in a coma from stopping him, and now he's only alive because he thinks he nearly killed me. I challenged Fletcher to a duel over it, then cheated to murder him."
>>958200Silence reigns at the table. You finish your drink and stand up, with a sigh. "Thank you for your time, my Lord. I'm sorry to have -""Sit," Arthur orders, quietly. You sit back down, a guarded expression on your face. "July at Christmas has to happen after sundown on the 21st, on the first night of Winter's reign," the King of Summer continues. "We should have been preparing for it for months. It will be...a bit of a rush job.""You've changed your mind?" you ask, leaning in a bit eagerly. "I am open to it," Arthur agrees. "I have conditions.""I'm listening," you tell him. "One, I don't want my efforts with Winter to have been in vain. Autumn is a neutral party between the two Courts. Secure Winter's blessing for me, or we don't proceed," Arthur tells you, firmly. You nod. "The next?""Someone is going to have to plan the party," the Ogre tells you. "I would like you to secure the services of the Spring Court in that regard. Jennie can research the requirements for me, and I can arrange the funding, the venue, and the security. I leave you, and whatever allies in the Spring Court you can persuade, to plan the affair and get those plans to me in time.""What about Autumn?" you ask. "...Is Autumn's cooperation in doubt?" Arthur asks, a little confused. "Yes," you and Jennie say at the same time. "Raven's quite clearly seeing how the girl handles responsibility," Jennie tells Arthur. "He'll need to be appeased.""That is troublesome," Arthur admits. "...I'll leave it to your decision, then. Would you prefer to seek the cooperation of Spring, or make arrangements with your own Court?"> Spring> AutumnRemember: you're being watched
>>958214>> AutumnWe have the bonuses to help us here
>>958214I'mma go with:> AutumnJust because I DARE Rook or Reeds to interrupt or interfere in our plans.Also, that backstory was fucking heavy. I'd break an Oath over that too.
Just out of curiosity, would the Christmas in July thing have worked? Or would it be something that would need to be discussed between the crowns of Winter and Summer?
>>958310Investing the Winter Court in a mortal celebration would be a bit difficult but it's an interesting angle to take. I would suggest you remember it for later. Winter, as a Court, is very...clannish. They act selfishly but, importantly, expect others to do so as well. The idea of being 'paid' with their own no-Summer-allowed holiday appeals to their basic sense of mercenary propriety.
Alright folks, I need to hit bed. I'm gonna leave this open overnight. Questions, comments, discussion, feedback (esp. mechanical feedback) and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. I'm curious as to how the setting is coming off as well, and how much the previous one-shots feel like necessary reading vs. nice stuff to know. Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>958214>> Springgotta prove we can wrangle errybody else, not just our own courtiers.
Called, writing. And our winner, by a narrow margin, is:> Spring
>>958214You frown while you think it over. Reminisce adjusts himself on your shoulder - thank God for your jacket because those talons fucking hurt - and gives you a curious look with two eyes. But after some contemplation, you make your decision. "I'll handle Spring," you decide. "You, obviously, have the support of my faction of Autumn without condition or question, but things may be less...complicated, if you approach my rivals rather than having me try to play peacemaker. None of the three of us particularly like the other two, and even if the Rook and I agree that Reeds is a psychopath I don't trust him and he won't trust me.""However could he arrive at that conclusion," Jennie mutters. "That's quite enough," Arthur warns. The Wizened holds her hands up in exasperated surrender and nurses her vodka. "I understand you have some history with Spring," the Lord of July continues, mildly. "I mean, the idea is that I'll eventually have a history with everyone," you point out. "...But yes, Princess Natalia and I had that...spat...when she started dating one of my boys. I said some things I've come to regret saying. She drank some blood I hope she regrets drinking, since I went and lit her hair on fire for it.""Are you sure you're Autumn?" Jennie asks. "I seem to recall someone at this table being told to shut up," you shoot back. Arthur taps his glass on the table with an ominously deep thud. "Anyway," you continue, clearing your throat. "I think I can handle Spring, and to be honest I could wish I had better relations with that Court. I don't see why I can't handle both concerns at the same time."Arthur nods, then pulls Excalibur from the table. He lays the sheathed blade across his lap and meets your gaze. "I am not going to bind our agreement," he says with quiet solemnity. "Jennie believes I can't trust you, but I find myself unable to blame you for what happened. So either I can trust you, and no Pledge is needed, or I cannot, and no Pledge will save me from treachery.""There's some that would advise you not to trust the Fairest," you answer quietly. "I think you and I both know better than cheap prejudices," comes the serious answer. You stand and offer your hand out. "I won't let you down, Arthur. I'll handle Winter first, once I've gotten some rest, and then work on Spring. How can I get in touch with you?"Arthur shakes your hand, firmly, and then lets go. "Vickie Reeds handles the Court's logistics at the Juniper Building, in the Summer office. She'll pass things along," Arthur tells you. "Is she...?""Related to Rachael? Good question, but the two of them don't seem to like each other much," Arthur says with a shrug. "It won't be a problem."You nod and leave the money for the drinks on the table. "Thank you for hearing me out, my Lord. I'll be in touch." You meet eyes with Jennie - the Wizened actually holds your gaze, which is a little surprising - and then turn to go.
>>958744The night outside the Willow is cold and misty, but then, it always is. The only time New Avalon seems to be free of this cursed fog seems to be when snow makes the ground too damn cold for it. Your hair sizzles and steams in the mist, and both it and the fog whine incessantly at you. "Shut up," you mutter, shaking your head violently. "I didn't say anything," Reminisce snaps, sharply. "...Not you," you apologize, with a sigh. "I used to love nights like this, you know. Everything seemed mysterious and intriguing, back then."The bird says nothing, but for once it doesn't feel like he's judging you. You tuck your hands into your pockets and finger your Zippo. Your thumb feels the engraving, with the words you've read a thousand times and will so many more - Congratulations Zoe!. "So...do you eat?" you ask the raven, to break the silence if nothing else. "You will not need to feed me," Reminisce replies, stiffly. "But yes, I eat.""You're about to be a guest in my home. Can I provide anything for you?" you ask. "...Leave the television on," Reminisce requests, in a small voice. "Animal Planet, please."You let the conversation lapse into silence, because there is nothing you can say to a request like that which ends in both of you retaining your dignity. You live in a duplex, as many in New Avalon do. You could have chosen an apartment or even a house if you wanted to use Pledges to get money, but you prefer the home-like feel and the option for roommates. Your neighbors are asleep or, at least, have the lights off, but the light is on in the upper window of your place, so chances are that Brad's awake.At some point you're gonna have to decide if you're letting Brad in on things or not. Among other things. You unlock the door and step in. You can smell hot chocolate, and sure enough, there's a carafe full of it in the small but well-kept kitchen, with a little note next to it. You smile and shake your head, then read it. Zip,Made a casserole if you're hungry. Hot chocolate's for you. Feel free to pop in if my light's on.- BradThat guy. You pour yourself a cup of the rich hot chocolate, sprinkle some marshmallows into it, and turn the lights out on your way upstairs. You consider going right into your room, but you think better of it and tap on Brad's door. "C'mon in," he calls. You crack the door and lean on the frame. "That's a big fucking bird," your roommate comments, raising his eyebrows at Reminisce. Brad's mortal. You don't like saying 'human' because that implies you're not, but he's, well, he's normal. Short, dark hair, brown eyes in a lean face, fit but not Ogrishly huge. He'd caught your attention when he brought some of his cooking to the roommate interview, along with his promise that as a student chef he'd be doing a whole lot of that.
>>958784That was a month after you'd gotten back home, when you were still scared out of your wits and needed something to ground you at home, and he's been, he's -Brad's been a very good friend. When you woke up screaming, he was there without smothering you and without running away himself. When you couldn't handle your shit, he listened, and forgave you when you inevitably took it out on him, and - he's -Anyway. "A friend of mine asked the bird to stick with me for awhile," you answer, with a shrug. "Thanks for the cocoa. I don't think I can eat at the moment but I'll probably kill that casserole for breakfast.""It reheats," Brad promises, with an easy nod. "Long night?""Busy night," you answer, with a shrug that makes Reminisce ruffle his wings. "I'm going to be out of the house for the next few days. I need to help prepare a party on short notice, and I really can't ask anyone else to do it.""One of those things for your private club?" he asks, with distressing insight. "Look, I'm - just - yes," you finish, lamely. You brush a leaf off of your jacket that you know he can't see in the first place. "I've got my part of the rent paid up, money for the bills is in the jar.""Got it. Sleep well, Zip.""You too." You shut the door behind you and go into your own room. It's small, but it's home, and what it lacks in size it makes up for in comfort. Soft bed, silk sheets, nice television, shockingly comprehensive porn collection - shit."Nice DVDs," Reminisce notes, wryly. "Laugh it up, Kentucky Fried Chicken," you tell him, with a sigh. You turn on the television and get it turned to Animal Planet. "I'm going to take a shower and then go to bed. Busy day tomorrow.""Interesting, that friend of yours," the raven presses, tilting his head at you. "Bird, I will wring your neck," you growl."Good. Night."* * * *All Changelings are lucid dreamers, but there's a sharp difference between 'I know I'm dreaming' and 'I have any say in this'. You hear Her voice, your Keeper, the Candle Countess, promising you endless rewards. "Don't you want it?" she whispers, from the thousands of multicolored flames that flicker and shimmy around you. "More than anything," you plead, your voice full of longing. "Kill him," She whispers. "And I'll let you have it for an hour. A whole hour, with no rules.""I shouldn't," you murmur, biting your lip. The man in front of you hasn't changed yet; he's still human, or mostly human, and he strains against his bonds and his gag beneath the coating of oil. "If you don't want it, I suppose you don't need it again," your Keeper murmurs, indifferently. "No!" you shriek, in desperation. You strike the match, and practically hurl it at the poor man -You bolt upright with an agonized scream that tears your throat raw, tears streaming down your cheeks. You hear the thud of Brad rolling out of bed, and then his feet crossing the hall. "Zip?" he asks, his voice full of concern.
>>958796"I'll be fine," you croak, unconvincingly. Reminisce gives you a steady look from his perch. Somehow the bird got the remote near him. "...Want me to reheat the chocolate?" Brad asks, patiently. "Please?" you take the change of subject with relieved gratitude. "I'll get the casserole back in the oven to reheat too, but then I've got class," your roommate tells you. You draw your knees up to your chest while he goes back to his room to get dressed, and cry yourself out while he pads downstairs. After about an hour, you manage to wash your face, get dressed, and head downstairs to have some chocolate and eat the casserole Brad made. You need to get busy. You have some options, when it comes to Winter. Access to Misery Monroe would make getting their agreement a lot simpler, but getting in touch with Winter's king-to-be isn't something you can do with a phone call. You can always name-drop Raven, you suppose, but are you ready to justify that to Autumn's ruler later?On the other hand, you can always trade favors with someone higher placed in Winter. You could probably get a hold of Luscious Lou or Moira without much effort, but they'll want payment for sticking up for you. You put the rest of the casserole away and tidy up the dishes while you think. > Name-drop Raven; this matter is important enough that you're okay with using the perception of royal orders even if they aren't strictly there> Contact Luscious Lou; as a fellow Fairest you've got some common ground, and he's one of the more gregarious Winter Courtiers> Get in touch with Moira. She's going places in Winter if the rumors are right, and if she's got ambitions she'll be more likely to take a risk on you
>>958805> Get in touch with Moira. She's going places in Winter if the rumors are right, and if she's got ambitions she'll be more likely to take a risk on youIn this era of new people moving up the ranks, newer blood should try and stick together so negotiations in the future have more ease associated with them.
>>958805>> Contact Luscious Lou; as a fellow Fairest you've got some common ground, and he's one of the more gregarious Winter Courtiers
>>958805>> Get in touch with Moira. She's going places in Winter if the rumors are right, and if she's got ambitions she'll be more likely to take a risk on you
>>958805> Get in touch with Moira. She's going places in Winter if the rumors are right, and if she's got ambitions she'll be more likely to take a risk on you
>>958805> Name-drop Raven; this matter is important enough that you're okay with using the perception of royal orders even if they aren't strictly there
Called, writing. Winner:> Get in touch with Moira. She's going places in Winter if the rumors are right, and if she's got ambitions she'll be more likely to take a risk on you
>>958805By the time the dishes are done you've decided to treat with Moira. She's more likely to take a risk on you, and when 'risk' tends to be a synonym for 'stupid' in Winter's vernacular, 'more likely' is a valuable commodity. You throw your jacket on and fill your pockets and are halfway out the door before you realize you don't have Reminisce with you. You go back to the foot of the stairs. "Turn the TV off please, we're going!"The bird squawks and is soon flying down the stairs. You know you left your bedroom door closed, not that Reminisce cares or has ever cared about details like that. You tilt your head so he can settle down on your shoulder and get turned the right way 'round, then leave the house, pausing only to lock the door behind you. The morning air is crisp and clear, and you can taste the bitter, frustrated Glamour of the morning commuters on your tongue, tempting you to stop and partake. You get lost in the desperate longing of a young student for a cup of coffee and have to stop to shake it off. You're jonesing bad. You suffer a -2 penalty to all rolls from your Glamour Addict disadvantage."Something amiss?" the bird asks. "I'm fine," you snap. "I need to go talk to Moira, and she'll be abed soon if she has the usual Darkling sleep schedule."Reminisce gives you a long, four-eyed look. "Don't you give me shit, they're demonstrably weaker during the day," you hiss at him. "That's not prejudice."The bird caws dismissively and shifts in place on your shoulder. You bite your lip. Do you really want to meet Winter like this? You could, y'know, stop for just a sip of something, it might be fast -You try to shake it off and think. > Stop by the Midway Shelter (tap your Harvest advantage for the week); you can deal with Winter later, right?> Press on. You need to see Moira now, not later, not tomorrow.> Try to harvest something from a mortal on the street, just to take the edge off [Athletics at difficulty 9 to still make it in time to catch Moira]
>>958965> Try to harvest something from a mortal on the street, just to take the edge off [Athletics at difficulty 9 to still make it in time to catch Moira]I'm sure we can spook someone pretty bad along the way
>>958965>> Try to harvest something from a mortal on the street, just to take the edge off [Athletics at difficulty 9 to still make it in time to catch Moira]
>>958965And I forgot the sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L4ooBZNZtcQF6cnMNmJ3K9LaVOQ2A1skP7ICv-Ff-NM/editYou'll note that your Athletics is fairly low. While she's likely to fall back on her Fairest talents (fire/dancing) to get the quick hit of Glamour, that's still at best a +2 - 3 for the skill with specialties, 1 for a good night's sleep, and -2 'cause you're jonesing. Keep that in mind.
>>958965> Press on. You need to see Moira now, not later, not tomorrow.The time pressure is real, we can't afford to be wasting minutes.
>>958965> Try to harvest something from a mortal on the street, just to take the edge off [Athletics at difficulty 9 to still make it in time to catch Moira]It'll be okay.By the way, how did Zoe come to be a Glamour Addict? Was it her Keeper, or did she just indulge herself too much for too long? Maybe that could be something to look into, at least for the future.
>>958965>Try to harvest something from a mortal on the street, just to take the edge off [Athletics at difficulty 9 to still make it in time to catch Moira]Worst that happens is that we fail horribly right?
>>958965> Press on.
Real Life(tm) is eating me here so I may have to leave this open while I'm at work; I'll do my best to field questions from my phone but we've been kinda busy.
>>958965>> Press on. You need to see Moira now, not later, not tomorrow.it would be stpuid to make an appointment with MOira and then just blow it off
>>958965>> Press on. You need to see Moira now, not later, not tomorrow.Let's eat the penalty, brave it out, and get to Moira on time.
>>958965> Press on. You need to see Moira now, not later, not tomorrow.
>>958965>Try to harvest something from a mortal on the street, just to take the edge off [Athletics at difficulty 9 to still make it in time to catch Moira]We have been spending a lot of Glamour, and we should restock anyway.
>>958985While it's not beyond the realm of possibility for a Changeling to emerge from Arcadia as a Glamour addict, most develop the habit on Earth. For some, it's simply a consequence of high Wyrd; when you become more fae than mortal you develop a dependency on Glamour, among other difficulties. For most, like Zoe, the addiction has other roots.Harvesting Glamour is a powerful event in many senses. As a sensation in itself it's a powerful rush flavored by vicarious emotion, and Changelings can and do get addicted to the sensation itself. But there's a host of other factors around Glamour that influence this as well. Harvesting from emotions or dreams can in itself give a Changeling a feeling of power or control that they crave; by manipulating others they can feel strong, cunning, or even desired, feelings many crave after the powerlessness and abuse of their Durance. Others, especially those that rely heavily on magic, can't bear to feel weak or vulnerable by lacking in Glamour and over-harvest to assuage their fears of being caught out while vulnerable. Like a drug addiction, Glamour addiction first affects and can come to define the addict's life. They find excuses to expend Glamour so that they can harvest, use magic even if a more conventional solution would be better and can, if left without help or truly iron willpower, damage or destroy their human relationships as they manipulate and abuse those close to them in order to get their high, or ravage the psyches of dreamers to keep tapping them for Glamour.Like any addiction, it's possible to treat a Glamour dependency, but it's complicated by the fact that Changelings have very good reasons to seek out consistent supplies of Glamour and make sure they don't run too low. The issue remains fundamentally complex and without easy answers.Zoe is in the early stages of her addiction and like most addicts at this point, she doesn't believe that she has a problem.
>>960886Fucking ouch. Do we have any control over whether she actually seeks out help?
>>961082That may be beyond the scope of this Quest, but, I mean. This vote now is pretty [subject related], is it not?
Okay, I can't update. Work beat the shit out of me and I gotta be up earlier than usual tomorrow morning. I'm hittin' bed, votes remain open. Thank you for your patience.
>>958965>that imageI can never look at Moira the same way ever again.The same image was used to portray a character is a lewd quest on Akun. (some of the best smut I've read on there)
>>961998give us a name, dammit Anon
>>962011Quest - The TribeBe warned though, it has been dead for months while being nowhere near finished.
>>961998To be honest, Darklings can be some of the most surprising folks for that, as they can be some of the most surprising folks for many things. La belle dame sans merci, no?Okay so I intended to wake up like, two or three hours ago and that did not happen even a little. I gotta hit work and will be back at approximately 6 PM, at which point the work on updating properly will begin.
And our vote is tied. In the interest of actually getting to the long-delayed update I'm gonna call it for Press On on the basis that it isn't gonna make me wait for rolls. Writing.
>>958965You take out your lighter to give yourself something to focus on and press on, walking faster down the street while you play with your Zippo. The hand tricks take up almost all of your concentration, which keeps you from thinking about Glamour, even if the fire dancing and flickering from your prized possession won't stop crooning and pleading with you. You have a promise to keep. You won't be forsworn again. Not ever again. You've got the (admittedly pleasant) burn of vigorous exercise in your legs by the time you get to the Juniper Building. You close your lighter and pocket it, as a courtesy to others, and approach the receptionist to -"Zippo!" You know that voice, furtive hiss or no.You stop and turn, and sure enough, it's the fucking Rook, standing up from the waiting bench. The little Wizened bastard is dressed sharp, as he always is, in black and orange, with just a faint bit of red (for Summer) and white (for Winter) trim on his jacket. You're pretty sure the jacket is actually a part of him. The headphones he's never seen without definitely are; he smashed them at a party once just to prove it and they were back on his head the moment anyone looked away from him. His eyes are flat, like screens, and they play a live feed of the annoyed look on your face. "I don't have time for you right now," you tell him. "Zippo, it's not -""No, I mean I literally do not have time for you right now," you insist. "If I wanted to insult you I'd do it directly. I need to find Moira of Winter before she goes to bed.""That's racist," the Rook points out."See, now you're just being an asshole," you say flatly. "I believe she's in the Winter office, filing some paperwork for the seasonal transition," your rival for the throne tells you, honestly. He tucks his fiber-optic hair behind his ear. "And I have her number, so I'll text her to expect you. Okay? This isn't politics. Not directly, anyway.""...Alright. We'll talk. After Moira," you emphasize."I'll wait in the kitchen," the Rook agrees, with audible relief. "Best of luck to you.""...Thanks," you reply, a little dubiously, but you shake the Rook's hand and head for the elevator up while he gets out his phone and heads towards the stairs. The Winter office is easy to mistake for literally any other office in this building, which is sort of the point; only the snowglobe on the desk, which never quite seems to need winding, gives it away. You find Moira behind the desk, and the black-eyed Darkling looks up with an interested expression. "What body did you bury to get the Rook doing any kind of favors for you?" Moira asks, curiously. "If I said I honestly don't know, would you believe me?" you ask. "And last I knew, you don't like him much either, which -"
>>963743"Hide You Love And Hate, yes," Moira interrupts with a sigh. "I work well with him, and that's more important than the fact that I think he's a used car salesman but for people. And he's not all bad, which I think you already know.""Politics," you answer, with a shrug. "Yeah. Can I do something for you, Zoe? Or do you actually prefer Zippo?"You wobble your hand. "I'm okay either way. Which reminds me, actually, I need to refill my lighter before I forget. May I?" Moira nods, and you sit down opposite from her at the desk and start the process with delicate care. "Here's my situation," you explain, frankly. "I've been instructed to ensure that Summer's July at Christmas celebrations occur in accordance with their pacts. Arthur is unwilling to proceed without the blessing of the Winter Court, and I...don't have the connections with Winter that would let me just make that happen on my own.""We're hard to manipulate," Moira says wryly. "Not that we have a particularly low opinion of you, Zoe, but you've focused your resources elsewhere. That makes it somewhat difficult to pay us.""Yeah," you agree. "But, I mean. I love King Raven but he could go any month now. I need people to support my bid, connections in the various Courts, working knowledge of how to actually run a Freehold -""Which you're gaining during this exercise," Moira comments. You nod, with a little grin. "And that means I haven't had time for friends I can only make if I pay them.""There's a lot of ways to pay someone," Moira answers quietly. "Jesse and I have...arrangements, you know? But, then, I don't like you well enough to give out free advice."You laugh in spite of yourself, and Moira gives you a goblin grin. "You want me to get you access to Misery and back your request to him," Moira hazards. "I could do both, honestly. But why should I?""I don't suppose I can persuade you to name a price?" you offer, hopefully. "Oh no," the Darkling woman answers, that wicked grin just broadening. "Make me an offer."> Money. It's crass, but everyone needs it [Persuasion against difficulty 10]> Offer to teach Moira one of your Contracts; it'll be time-consuming later, but it's attractive [Occult against difficulty 11]> Blank check a medial favor. Nothing that'll make someone die, but definitely leverage [Politics against difficulty 10]> Write-in?
>>963780https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L4ooBZNZtcQF6cnMNmJ3K9LaVOQ2A1skP7ICv-Ff-NM/edit?usp=sharingCurrent Glamour: 7/13
>>963780>Blank check a medial favor. Nothing that'll make someone die, but definitely leverage [Politics against difficulty 10]"Winter always loves to have control over what it really gets, doesn't it?"
>>963780> Offer to teach Moira one of your Contracts; it'll be time-consuming later, but it's attractive [Occult against difficulty 11]Let's make a friend
>>963780Roll to seduceSeriously though go with:>> Offer to teach Moira one of your Contracts; it'll be time-consuming later, but it's attractive [Occult against difficulty 11]Given magicy stuff is our court's specialty I'm guessing it'll be a rarer and therefore hopefully more tempting prize. Also training time later will give us more opportunities to get to know/befriend her and if we're planning to rule every little contact helps.
>>963780> Offer to teach Moira one of your Contracts; it'll be time-consuming later, but it's attractive [Occult against difficulty 11]
>>963840> Roll to seduceI realize this is a joke and I'm not implying that it doesn't or cannot work, but if you asked your average Freeholder if you should try to seduce a Winter Courtier they'd ask you why you hate yourself.
>>963780> Roll to SeduceJoke vote, but if it actually worked I'd laugh my ass off.> Blank check a medial favor. Nothing that'll make someone die, but definitely leverage [Politics against difficulty 10]I don't see why this would be a bad thing. Like, legit, sharing power with each other and the other Courts can only make them stronger and more unified. Arthur has the right of it.>>963891Oh, but could you imagine the scandal if it actually /worked/? The gossip?Also, I'm pretty sure that there'd be a flock of Spring members stalking the seducer in a desperate bid to find out just how in the hell they did it.
>>963780>> Offer to teach Moira one of your Contracts; it'll be time-consuming later, but it's attractive [Occult against difficulty 11]
Called. Winner:> Offer to teach Moira one of your Contracts; it'll be time-consuming later, but it's attractive [Occult against difficulty 11]Give me 2 dice at 1d10+3. This mighta been a good roll to spend Glamour on but ah well.
Rolled 6 + 3 (1d10 + 3)>>964352What could go wrong?
Rolled 8 + 3 (1d10 + 3)>>964352
>>964406Well fuck my ass and call me a lich. Writing shortly.
>>964406Should have rolled to seduce.
>>963780You lean back in your seat. "What if I taught you what I know of Separation? It'll take time, sure, but what I know could and would be very helpful in Winter's line of work. Leave less, or no, tracks, escape shackles and bonds, breach doors without touching them...""That's a Fairest Contract," Moira muses. "You sure you won't get into shit with your people over it?""We have preferential treatment, not exclusivity," you answer, with a shrug. "It's not much different than if I were to ask you about pacting with Darkness. Which I honestly might do at a future date but we can cross that bridge when we come to it.""You understand that I'm going to want a Pledge backing this?" Moira asks. "Go for it," you invite. Moira clears her throat and offers a hand out, speaking clearly and precisely. "I, Moira of the Winter Court, swear in the name of my Court to escort you into the presence of Misery Monroe, soon-to-be King of Winter, secure you an audience in his presence before midnight tonight, and argue on your behalf in the matter of July at Christmas and peace between Summer and Winter. Do you, in exchange, vow to teach me the Contracts of Separation for a year and a day or until the limits of your own pacts with Separation are exhausted, with the Wyrd to bless our tongues and minds?""I, Zoe Morris of Autumn, do so swear," you agree, clasping Moira's hands. "And let the faithless one suffer beneath the sorceries of the betrayed."Your heart races as the Wyrd seals the Pledge, and Moira subtly, but visibly, relaxes. You gain the Knowledge for Favors Pledge. It provides Adroitness in Persuasion and Occult."Would you like to handle this now-now?" Moira asks. You frown. > Yes, you shouldn't delay> No; spend some time at the Midway Shelter to top off your Glamour> No; see what the Rook wants first> Write-in?
>>964740>No; see what the Rook wants first
>>964740> No; see what the Rook wants firstSomething is up, let's take a looksie
>>964740> No; see what the Rook wants first
>>964740You shake your head. "But here soon," you tell her. "Like, don't bother going to sleep or leaving the building soon. The Rook helped with our meeting because he wants to talk to me for some reason, so I'm gonna, y'know, handle that."Moira raises her eyebrows. "I know, it's strange to me too," you admit. You scoot your chair back so you can stand. "I don't suppose you have a phone number I'm allowed to text?""Phone," the Darkling requests, holding her hand out. You hand her your phone, and she puts her number into it before handing it back to you. "I'll be waiting."You nod and head towards the kitchen. Calling it "the" kitchen is somewhat misleading, but one of the many renovations made to this building during the Freehold's ownership of it was converting one of the apartments into a kitchen big enough to feed Freehold functions and, during Spring, operate daily as a surprisingly affordable diner. Autumn and Winter, on the other hand, don't want people crowding the building and causing a need for complicated explanations given to nosy mortals, so here during the transitional days, it'll be mostly empty. And it is. The Rook is there, waiting for you on one of the stools, but he hops down once you arrive. "Thank you for coming," the Wizened says earnestly. "I didn't know what to - look, it's - I - it's Rachael," he says at last, with a deep breath. "She's gone off the deep end.""What else is new?" you ask, flatly. "This." The Rook starts setting down pictures, on the counter top. A comb made from a yellowing substance you recognize as bone, decorated with lapis lazuili. A set of obsidian scalpels, chipped slightly at the blades. A stone bowl, stained an uncomfortably brownish red color. An altar, with grooves on it. "...This is Mesoamerican symbolism," you murmur. "Like - oh Christ, like her Keeper favors.""Yeah. Like her Keeper favors," the Rook says softly. "I had my people start looking into Rachael when a kid went missing in her neighborhood. The police filed it as a noncustodial kidnapping, but I had my doubts. And it turns out, Dad doesn't have the girl either. I was afraid of privateers or one of Them at first, but...well, but then someone told me Rachael'd gotten a new hair comb. Bone, they'd said. Beautiful gem accents.""Jesus, man, you know what you're accusing her of here?" you whisper, leaning in. "This isn't something you can just play games with, Rook. Where's your proof?""That's the problem. All my proof is through Contracts or, well, these," he gestures to the pictures. "Which I can say were snapped in her apartment, but you won't be able to fully believe me, and I won't be able to go and prove it, and then we're right back here, aren't we?""You're a cynical little bastard," you point out.
>>965059The Rook holds his hands up. "Look, we both know Rachael's been getting...worse. She hates me because I thwarted her plans but I'm pretty sure she hates you just because you're kinda fire-y and she's mostly watery, and honestly I think she might start gunning for you next. There's been...other events, that have me worried. That little cult she started? It's gone underground. Her worshipers quit their jobs, gave their notice to their landlords, and up and vanished. That's six mortals and her second-in-command off the grid, plus Rachael herself having been out of contact for, what, a week now? And it gets worse."The Rook digs into his jacket and sets down folded papers, which he unfolds to reveal missing persons reports, truancy slips, and even a couple of pink slips. "Two children reported missing. They never came home from karate," the Rook says quietly. "Mickey Wheeler never shows up for work one morning. Three juvenile delinquents from different schools just stop showing up to get in trouble. This girl here -" he sets a finger on the final report, "this girl? Her name's Andrea Mitchell. Four of her teeth were found marking the location of a fresh Hedge gate. It opens up into a river.""Fucking God." You pull up a stool and sit, with a sick feeling in your stomach. "But...why? If Rachael's doing all of this, why bother? Blood sacrifice doesn't really...I mean...it doesn't really do much in normal circumstances.""She thinks she's a demigod, Zoe. She's got that old-time religion." The Rook takes a shaky breath and lets it out slowly. "Look, I'm not gonna ask you to treat me like your bosom friend here, but, okay. My beef with you? All politics. End of the day, you're Autumn and you're a fellow Changeling and that means something. So I'm proposing a truce. We call off our shit with each other until or unless Rachael is killed, or her innocence is proven, or she is otherwise prevented from further harming or threatening the innocent. We don't hurt each other, we don't attack each other's power bases, shit, we can stop campaigning if you want. As long as we get this handled.""How do I know I can trust you?" you ask, dubiously. "I'm proposing an alliance with a warlock and she's the one with trust issues," comes the deadpan reply. > Accept the truce> Raise it to an active alliance [Politics against difficulty 9]> Refuse> Ask for more time to think
>>965062> Raise it to an active alliance [Politics against difficulty 9]Let's try and unite Autumn real lickity split>Spend 2 Glamour
>>965062>Raise it to an active alliance [Politics against difficulty 9]"We have to bring her down fast and hard. We are Autumn.">Spend 2 GlamourJust as a note, we are going to really need to harvest some Glamour soon.
Alright folks, I need to hit bed. A few things before I do. First, the sheet, which I shoulda posted in the update: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L4ooBZNZtcQF6cnMNmJ3K9LaVOQ2A1skP7ICv-Ff-NM/edit?usp=sharingCurrent Glamour: 7/13Second: the Rook and Rachael are their own allies; that is, you don't get your Mantle bonuses against them (see Strife in the Court)And third, make sure to look over the sheet when it comes to your decisions in addition to thinking about Zoe's ambitions and situation. Questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>965062> Raise it to an active alliance [Politics against difficulty 9]> spend 2 GlamourThis'd make it, what, 50/50, if success at cost is treated as an unfavorable outcome?
>>965062> Raise it to an active alliance [Politics against difficulty 9]> Spend 3 GlamourWe'll definitely need to go harvest some more energy after this.
>>965062>> Raise it to an active alliance [Politics against difficulty 9]>Spend 3 Glamour
>>965062>> Accept the truce...Um...should we let the Rook know about what we're up to right now? 'Cause it's arguably actively advancing our claim to the Autumn throne...
>>965305> 'Cause it's arguably actively advancing our claim to the Autumn throne...Only in the sense that it's something King Raven told us to do.
>>965391It's "arguably" because the implication was that success at this would make him look favorably upon our claim, possibly even make us heir if we crit.
> Plan for eight hours of sleep and updates before work> Work calls me four hours into it to ask if I can come in early> Can't get back to sleep> The house is out of both coffee and food I know how to cookNow that last part is more or less my own damn fault and there will be a great Youtubing here shortly so I can get some fucking breakfast but god damn. There's days that are my day and then there's today. I'll update before work if I can. If I can't...well, I can only thank you for your patience. We're open for Q&A and feedback at the very least.
So, for anyone else that's floating around: what parts of society do you want to see more of? I think it wouls be interesting to be in the position of a regular human "in the know", maybe like one of Zoe's Down and Outs or something similar. How does being "in the know" work? It's been implied that there can be boons involved depending on who a person works with, but how does that work?
>>965417Would be interesting to find out about people who know, I also don't really know anything about fetches.
Called. Winner: > Raise it to an active alliance [Politics against difficulty 9]> spend 2 GlamourGet me 2 dice at 1d10+5.
Rolled 7 + 5 (1d10 + 5)>>969186
Rolled 9 + 5 (1d10 + 5)>>969186
>>9692299 + 5 = 14; Great Success. You expend 2 Glamour, bringing you down to 5/13. You have LOW GLAMOUR (-2 on all rolls until you hit 7 or higher again). Writing.
>>965062On the one hand, you don't really like the Rook and you don't have a lot of reasons to trust him. On the other hand, all of this is incredibly plausible, and the last thing you need is him on the table while you're dealing with both Rachael and July at Christmas. And now that you think about it, you haven't seen Rachael in awhile. Why not? She should be more active than ever during the seasonal transition. Rachael's crazy, sure, but stupid? You don't get followers in Autumn by being stupid. "I'll do you one better," you offer. "Why not work together instead of just not against one another? You've got a solid reputation in a scrap, and with our resources pooled -""What?" the Rook takes a step back, blinking in surprise. "There's still the succession, I'm not really backing your claim. Alliance would make that a tad awkward, don't you think?"You spark Glamour, letting your tongue ride the flow of power and listening to the subtle cues offered to you by the Wyrd. "If we prove that we can work together now, we'll have an easier time later when it's time to bury the hatchet. Whoever wears the Crown will need the other one on hand to help out and support them, and this is the perfect chance to show the Freehold what you just said to me - that this is all politics, nothing personal.""Or that I'm weak and leaning on a Fairest to back my rule," the Rook snaps. His flatscreen eyes show your surprise and hesitation before you manage to cover it up. "Deal with Rachael on your own, I won't be tricked!"The Rook storms out, and your attempt to protest is drowned out by the sudden blare of videogame music from his headphones, loud enough to startle you. You look down at your hand, where it's brushed one of the reports that the Wizened left behind. You pick it up, worry and confusion wringing their way through your chest. It is no longer a missing person's report. It is the minutes of a Bird Watcher's Society meeting. "What the fuck?" you murmur, to yourself. You look at the others. The pink slip is a school permission slip, signed and dated by the same name as the supposed 'executive' that approved it. The truancy reports are papers (looks like English papers) by the students in question. You pick up the pictures, comprehension dawning on you, and see that the 'bone' comb is gold, or maybe brass. That little bastard was trying to set you up to assassinate Rachael. You put everything back precisely where the Rook had left it and leave the kitchen. He'll be back to collect his phony evidence the moment he gets over his Seeming prejudice long enough to remember it's fake, and you want him to think you fell for the bait. That little goblin fuck -Hell, you're doing it too, aren't you? You're the elf that's racist against other elves. "Fuck me," you mutter, resting your head against the wall next to the elevator. "Birds aren't sexualized for a reason, Zippo," Reminisce drawls. "We're saddening lovers."
>>969419"Not now," you plead. You can feel how low you are; the world seems just a little grayer, and you feel weak, listless, from the lack of Glamour. You shoulda gotten something before you arrived. Jesus, what if -You force the thought from your mind. "I just realized I'm a mild hypocrite, okay?" you explain, gently. "And that I have. Something to work on, with myself.""Aside from the pyrophilia?" the four-eyed raven asks. "More the kind of thing King Arthur spent Summer crusading against," you answer, politically. "Ah." Reminisce ruffles his feathers. "King Raven will be pleased to hear you've made this self-realization. He has commented on your attitude before.""Just kill me now," you moan. "That would be in contravention of my orders. May I suggest that we get a move on?"> Text Moira that you'll be delayed; you need to harvest, right now. > Ask Moira to come with you to the Midway Shelter. It'll be good for her to see it and you can harvest while you're there. > Just proceed to your audience with Misery Monroe. You can do this. You're just...a little low, that's all. You don't need it. > Write-in?Sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L4ooBZNZtcQF6cnMNmJ3K9LaVOQ2A1skP7ICv-Ff-NM/edit?usp=sharingCurrent Glamour: 5/13
>>969424> Ask Moira to come with you to the Midway Shelter. It'll be good for her to see it and you can harvest while you're there. Oh look, he was a sleazy, manipulative bastard
>>969424> Ask Moira to come with you to the Midway Shelter. It'll be good for her to see it and you can harvest while you're there. might as well refill, we did piss of a glorified tv screen to the point his illusion broke.
>>969424> Just proceed to your audience with Misery Monroe. You can do this. You're just...a little low, that's all. You don't need it.
>>969424>> Ask Moira to come with you to the Midway Shelter. It'll be good for her to see it and you can harvest while you're there.
>>969424>> Just proceed to your audience with Misery Monroe. You can do this. You're just...a little low, that's all. You don't need it.
>>969424Ask Moira to come with you to the Midway Shelter. It'll be good for her to see it and you can harvest while you're there. Our best tactic so far is having all of our cards on the table. No flattery, no dancing around what we want, no lies and bullshit. Truth.Well, except for the whole bumping our rolls with Glamour, but I feel like that is acceptable in this Magical Realm.>>969468I think it was because he was expecting us to be as Machiavellian as he is. Genuinely shocked and angered that we weren't going to be his patsy.Maybe we should find some time to talk with Rachael as well. I mean, sure she's a psychopath, but she's one of us right? We don't need to be besties, but we can try to make peace for those we care about. Plus, I'd really prefer to point all that crazy in the direction of the real enemy; the Fae.
>>969610Jesus Christ.> Ask Moira to come with you to the Midway Shelter. It'll be good for her to see it and you can harvest while you're there.
Called, writing. Winner: > Ask Moira to come with you to the Midway Shelter. It'll be good for her to see it and you can harvest while you're there.
>>969424>Ask Moira to come with you to the Midway Shelter. It'll be good for her to see it and you can harvest while you're there.
>>969424You stay there for a minute, forcing down the nausea that's bubbling in your throat. It's all in your head. You don't need Glamour to survive, just - you know, to avoid being murdered. Hideously. Or taken Back. You snap upright, startling Reminisce, and wince at the bird's glare. "I'm sorry, I'm - I'm on edge, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be rude.""I am aware," the bird answers, haughtily. You glance at him, but Reminisce's expression is unreadable. Fuck it, you're not doing this right now. You get in the elevator and head back up to the floor with Winter's office, where Moira is waiting. "I need to take care of something before we head out," you tell her. "It'll be about an hour and a half if we walk, little over an hour if we drive. You in?""What are we taking care of?" Moira asks, skeptically. "I..." you clear your throat, then shut the door to the office behind you. "I volunteer at the Bisophric's shelter," you continue, in a low voice. "Like. Constantly. At this point the only person there more than I am is Bishop Emma and that's because she runs it." You scowl at the look on Moira's face. "You don't have to act so fucking shocked about it, Moira.""I'm sorry, am I looking at the same woman who burned a privateer alive just to make his partner talk?" the Winter Darkling asks, in tones of disbelief. "I'm not heartless," you protest in quiet, pained tones. "...And it's not like I get nothing out of it. The people I help can be...very grateful.""And you'd rather the Court didn't know you're promoting such a fear-reducing endeavor," Moira reasons. "Which is why you shut my door." You fidget, then nod. "While you're carrying around the Autumn King's raven.""Ms. Morris can trust my discretion in this matter," Reminisce speaks up. "I'd like to go put in some time," you say quietly. "It's...it's good for me. The Bishops helped me a lot, right after my homecoming, and, well, I haven't forgotten that either.""Hell, why not," Moira agrees. She stands up, picks her coat up off the back of her chair, and throws it on her shoulders. "I'm driving. Whatever happened to your car, anyway?"You open the door out of the office with a goblin grin. "I, ah, I rammed a pair of briarwolves with it and it got totaled on the Thorns. It's still there, near the Twin Oaks gate.""Right, right! Hot damn, I'd forgotten that was actually your car?""Whose car did you think it was?" you ask, while the two of you head for the stairs; you're not surprised that Moira doesn't want to take the elevator. "Would you believe me if I said I'd thought you were driving Raven's car?"You think about it, then laugh. "Y'know, I could see it."* * * *You text one of your subordinates to bring you flowers for Misery in a bit more than an hour and get an affirmative from the girl, so it's with high hopes that you and Moira step into the Midway Shelter's modest accommodations.
>>969882New Avalon combines high rents and property taxes with pitiless city ordinances that can take a struggling family and turn them out on the street without much warning or recourse, and a result your beautiful Misty City has a staggering homelessness problem that it works harder to keep off of the news than it does to solve. The hand of fate deals misery without much discrimination in New Avalon; teens, adults, even young children end up turned out onto the streets and hounded into taking shelter in the subway system, or in the alleys and discarded spaces created by the city's forced aesthetic. The Midway Shelter, run and maintained by the Bishopric of Blackbirds, is a finger in the dam of human misery. Bishop Emma runs it personally, and it's her face you see when you step inside and hold the door for Moira. Emma's getting on in years, but she moves with the grace of a teenager when she crosses the room to give you a warm embrace that you return with a genuine affection. "Still Autumn, I see," Emma says by way of greeting. The feathers that trail from her skirt shed without ever really going down in number; sometimes a mortal even finds one. "And this must be young Moira. Emma, Blackbird Bishop. It's a pleasure."Moira shakes Emma's hand with a curious look. "You knew I was coming?""I've heard of you," the Bishop answers. "The Bishopric pays attention to those of...like goals."You'll have to mark this one on your calendar for later. You just saw a Winter Courtier blush. There is, as always, plenty to do. You briefly show Moira the building before the two of you set to doing such mundane but necessary chores as taking inventory of the shelter's food, checking the insulation for the winter, sweeping, refilling the coffee pot, helping with job applications and, in one case, singing a baby to sleep. His young mother takes him back from you with a grateful expression and tucks him into a bassinet before curling up for her own much-needed rest. You tap your Harvest advantage. You gain 3 Glamour. You no longer have LOW GLAMOUR. You cease JONESING."Your name shows up an awful lot on the volunteer records," Moira comments. The two of you stand outside the front door. Moira's smoking; you're not. "You weren't kidding.""Yeah, well...they're good people," you say, a little lamely. "Emma's good people," you continue, a little softly. "Things were bad for me, for a long time. She reached out to me when I was...well, I was a complete fucking cunt for awhile, let's say. She recognized it for what it was and helped me deal, you know? And when my debt was paid out I still wanted to help, so...""The Blackbird don't have any kind of grudge against Autumn. What's Emma's deal?" the Darkling asks. "She left Autumn. For Spring," you add. "More or less specifically because the Court was bad for her Clarity, as it is for...more or less everyone's. Autumn's not where you go for that.""Mm."
>>969965"They also help me out with my personal projects. Like, that girl Brittney in there? Her dad was hitting her. So they've been putting her up while I gave him a visit from the bad fairy. She'll be able to go home soon."Moira points instead of replying. You look up and grin - your subordinate's here. They call her Hemlock, and she's a Woodblood, an Elemental affiliated with plants and growing things. Her poisonous name is an affectation; Hemlock's a sweet girl, slow to anger, who seems to be in Autumn because she's in love with magic. In her arms in a bouquet of white lilies, a fitting gift for the King of Winter. You take it with a grateful smile."Do me another favor," you tell Hemlock, in low tones. "Tell my supporters that the Rook is making a move. Don't go after him, don't hit first, but keep sharp and stick together or with your motleys.""Yes ma'am," Hemlock answers, obediently. You clap her on the shoulder - she beams, shyly - and let her scurry off. "Eager," Moira comments. "She's new to the Court. We've had a surprising number of youngbloods lately," you add, thoughtfully. "Times of turmoil tend to do that," Moira notes, evenly. "Mm," is all the reply you give her. "Are we ready to go, then?""I have Misery's location and his blessing to call upon him with you," the Darkling confirms. "...You entrusted me with this secret. And sure, it's not the sort of thing people traditionally hide, but still. Why?"You nod your head at Moira's car and lace your fingers behind your head, thinking while you walk. "Look," you say at last. "Rachael's bid to the throne. What's it based on?""She's your strongest sorceress," Moira grants. "Which, for the Court dedicated to sorcery, is a pretty good argument. If she's terrifyingly insane, all the better.""And the Rook's?" you ask, pointedly. "He says he can play the political game better than either of you two and that he'll promote a more merit-based Autumn, whiiiich sounds a whole lot like accusing Raven of nepotism but that's your Court's damage, not mine.""I mean, if we didn't have a vision for how our Autumn would look like we wouldn't be trying to sit in the fancy chair," you admit. "Wanting to do it different isn't the same as thinking Raven does it wrong, necessarily. But yeah, the old guy can be a bit disposed to people he's known for awhile. But so can everyone else. Anyway, the point is," you get in Moira's car and buckle yourself in, then wait for her to start it up and get moving. "The point is, my vision of Autumn is one where we're more like advisors than we have been. We know a lot of stuff, sure, but we hoard it. We treat our fellow Courts like supplicants, not allies, and I get why but I don't agree. And if we want you to trust us, we have to trust you.""Which definitely doesn't have roots in the fact that now almost no one will trust you," Moira comments.
>>970155"...That was a low blow," you mutter, sullenly. "Look, I don't think it's too much to ask that we have a more even mix of being the old British guy in an adventure movie versus cackling madly while we push children into ovens. We're a little too much oven and not enough tea and crumpets right now.""I suppose," Moira comments. "So, what, trusting me with the whole homeless shelter thing was a gesture of good faith?""More like I know that you know I can back my shit up already, and I'd like you to know that I don't go full gingerbread witch twenty-four-seven," you admit. You give the air a sniff. "You don't smoke in this car.""How can you - yeah, nah. Jesse doesn't like it.""Are you two -""He's married," Moira cuts in, sharply. "We're roommates and motley mates, nothing more.""Loud and clear," you agree, turning your eyes away from the angry grip of Moira's fingers on the steering wheel. She is definitely bad at the whole Hide Your Love And Hate part of the Icelaw, that's for sure. You're starting to get nervous. Moira stops the car just inside the unofficial boundaries that mark Freehold territory and indicates an apartment just above a barber shop, whose windows are decorated with Christmas lights and cheap, faintly peeling plastic stickers. "You first," the Darkling instructs. You get out of the car, shut the door behind you, and smooth over your jacket before you head up the stairs - they creak, loudly - with Moira behind you. Misery himself opens the door. The soon-to-be King himself answers the door. Misery Monroe is a tall man, thin in a way common to both Darklings and Fairest, and is dressed sharply in a charcoal suit with a sky-blue tie. His Mantle is most evident by its absence; though you cannot see anything in particular coming off of the King of Winter, the air near him is a good fifteen degrees colder than it ought to be, and the result is like a blow. "Come in," he invites, before heading back into the apartment. Misery sinks into an easy chair, his spidery fingers steepled together, and regards you as you step inside and stand in the middle of the living room. Like Misery himself, the home is lavish but somewhat dark; the paintings on the walls are done in layers of blue, black, and grey, and with the curtains drawn and the shades down, the lights are just a touch too dim for easy sight. Your hair flicks lambent color into the shadows of the room, which attend to Misery like fawning Courtiers. "I understand you are here on the behalf of the Summer Court," Misery Monroe says at last. "Rumor has it that you wish my blessing for July at Christmas.""Rumor is accurate, my Lord," you answer, formally. "King Arthur does not want to offend the Onyx Court, but he also does not want to be derelict in his pacts and duties. He has asked me to come as a neutral party, one unrelated to the...traditional hostility, between Summer and Winter."
>>970227"Wise," Monroe comments. "Traditional hostility or no, I have little interest in seeing Summer forgo its oath. I appreciated the gesture for what it was, and the young Lord of July intrigues me as his predecessor did not. However, this situation is not so simple as to be resolved by mere mutual interest."You nod. "Your Court was offered a gift, which the giver now wishes returned. It has become a matter of respect.""Even so, Miss Morris," Misery agrees. "I will offer you a choice. You can have the blessing of Winter, word unspoken, now. I have a formal letter drafted to that effect, in the next room, and am prepared to make a public statement saving Arthur from further embarrassment in this matter - for your promise of a favor, a favor which, in the spirit of full disclosure, will involve violent and extended death."The cold words, spoken with casual, calculated disdain, hang in the air for a long while before you speak up."Or?" you ask, your voice barely a murmur. Misery smiles, and the shadows that were attending upon him peel away, recoiling from the King of Winter like children from the raised fist of their father. "Or you can make me an offer."> Take the trade> Make an offer (what?)If you choose to make an offer, the difficulty of the resulting roll is going to depend on the offer made, including and especially how it addresses the difficulty of this being a respect-based issue and if it offers Winter anything Winter actually wants. Sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L4ooBZNZtcQF6cnMNmJ3K9LaVOQ2A1skP7ICv-Ff-NM/edit?usp=sharingCurrent Glamour: 8/13
>>970241> Take the tradeJust in case anyone else feels like being a crazy bastard
>>970241I think we need to figure out an offer. It would be nice if we knew more about what kind of things Misery would want
>>970370Of the four Courts, Winter is simultaneously the most grounded in the mortal world (Spring is their closest competitor there) and the most mercenary in nature. Their MO generally involves being paid for their services, because even public goods need to be funded and you're asking them to take their Courtiers out of the private, new lives the Court promised them in order to deal with your problems, and that's not nothing. When a big part of Winter's appeal is being able to move on with your life and form mortal friendships and connections again, getting a call at 3 AM to go do magic shit for people with television screens for eyes can be more than a little awkward to explain to your friends, family, loved ones, neighbors, and/or the guy in the Batman costume jacking it into your sprinklers. So, whatever you offer you'd best either A. be able to provide yourself or B. be prepared to persuade, cajole, threaten, and/or murder someone else into providing for you. An anon above mused at the idea of establishing an equivalent festival during Summer, which would be a hard but somewhat appealing sell. Other ideas might include scaring off business rivals, offering your services as an occultist for the Court, or pushing for a deeper relationship between Summer and Winter. Or, y'know, whatever you come up with.
>>970440are there any assets that Autumn has that Winter has wanted or would be interested in? The idea of Christmas in July seems like a pretty good thing to push for , so I'll put my support behind that>offer to help establish Christmas in July
>>970490Secrets are a mutual trade between the two Courts, especially magical ones. Winter policy is to know dark shit but ask Autumn's advice before it uses it. Autumn's policy is to know dark shit and give you legendary, society-altering levels of horrific fucking suffering if you abuse the knowledge and leave even one survivor. Both trade in more mundane secrets because they prefer to avoid head-on conflict whenever they can.
>>970490yo, I'll back this>offer to help establish Christmas in July
>>970241> Make an offer.> Christmas in July.The idea has merit, and it could become a new bond between Summer and Winter.> Offer to teach some of the new (and old, if they'd like) one of our Contracts.This is a valuable commodity we can offer, and it furthers the goal of bringing the Courts closer together, of sharing power, knowledge, and understanding. We can even mention our deal with Moira, in this regard.
>>970227> Jesse doesn't like it."> "Are you two -"> "He's married," Moira cuts in, sharply. "We're roommates and motley mates, nothing more."> "Loud and clear," you agree, turning your eyes away from the angry grip of Moira's fingers on the steering wheel. She is definitely bad at the whole Hide Your Love And Hate part of the Icelaw, that's for sure. Ouch.
Okay, I'm gonna call this and open it up for a roll while I A. take the dog out and B. update Dungeon Life Quest. Winner: > offer to help establish Christmas in JulyYou've offered a political solution. Base difficulty 12.Politics 3 + 1 (Freehold specialty) - 2 (Oathbreaker) + 4 (Moira) = 6Roll me 2 dice at 1d10+6 against difficulty 12.
Rolled 2 + 6 (1d10 + 6)>>972374Hoo boy, 50/50, here we go!
Rolled 2 + 6 (1d10 + 6)>>972374It's not like this is a big deal or anything
>>972544Because you didn't speak up with an alternative.
>>972547Y'all coulda blown for Glamour.
>>972564Oh, not me, I voted for the batshit insane alternative.
>>972564I KEEP FORGETTING ABOUT IT
>>972582also fwiw not knowing the DC beforehand didn't help with knowing whether or not spending glamour would have been a) worth it or b) even necessary
>>972374Can we use glamour for this?
>>972804...Y'know what, I'll allow a vote for it. You'd have to burn down all 4 of your Glamour/roll on it, and it'll put you right back into LOW GLAMOUR. So, greentext it:> Spend 4 Glamour> Do not
>>972374>>972804also question- we get -2 from the oath breaker only if the changeling doesn't believe us or wants to drag us through the mudwould the king of winter really be meeting with us and saying that he needs us to do some dirty shit if he didn't trust us to stick to our word already?
>>972813That's the question, innit?
>>972813He's the king of winter. Perpetual mistrust is part of the job description.>>972810> Spend 4 Glamour
>>972810>> Spend 4 Glamour
>>972810> Spend 2 GlamourSuccess at cost yo.
>>972810Yeah, I'm gonna have to go with the roll.> Spend 4 Glamour.We are very definitely going to need to collect some more. It's been an..interesting day.
Well, that's fairly clear. You expend 4 Glamour. You have LOW GLAMOUR (-2 on all rolls). Writing.
>>972810>Spend the glamour>>972381>>972395NO ROLLING FOR EITHER OF YOU!
>>970241You give it some consideration before you decide that you don't want to do Winter's dirty work, though you file the request away for later in this conversation. Right now you have to play political poker with a man you know is cheating. You let the Glamour roil through you before you even open your mouth. "Humor me, your Majesty," you begin. "Are you familiar with the Ice Maiden's Embrace?""I am," Misery agrees. He leans forward, elbows on his knees, all interest. "It is a duel founded by Winter Courtiers. Winter, of course, discourages dueling, but when we must or when certain parties," his gaze slides to Moira, "find them unavoidable, it is one of our favorites. The participants are lowered into lethally cold water, kept from freezing with salt. The first to tap out or die loses. Falling unconscious is usually, but not always, considered a sufficient yield.""The idea," Moira adds, "is to make your hated enemy suffer as much as they've forced you to suffer."You nod. "I can see the appeal in that," you agree. "I bring it up because I believe a comparison can be made with my proposal. What if Winter had its own, equivalent festival on the day of the Summer Equinox? Obviously such a festival does not currently exist, and Winter's rites and rituals do tend to the quiet and the sparse. However, you are not a stranger to the power of celebration. The Winter Market, as well as the Winter Formal, speak to this."Misery Monroe raises an eyebrow. "An eye for an eye?""And a tooth for a tooth," you agree, with a crooked smile. "Think of it like this. You announce your blessing on the condition that Arthur permit a similar festivity on the day of the Summer Solstice. Now the peace talks, once framed in the sense of Summer extending an olive branch, are framed to make it seem like you've asked for - and received - your pound of flesh for the insult that July at Christmas inherently represents. Summer remains true to its pacts, for which no one can fault it, and Winter gets to save face and have a ceremony of remembrance and sorrow before Summer's reign really kicks in. That ceremony can be used to help remind the Freehold of the cost of war and the solemnity of the duty ahead of them during the hot months.""And unlike Summer, we're not bound into it yet," Moira points out. "If it doesn't work out, we can say, 'Hey, thanks for doing this. We're going to set it aside on our end with no further ill will.'""Precisely," you agree, riding the Glamour. "More importantly, the precedent established opens the door for further negotiations between your Courts. The distance between Summer's reign and yours is wide and that means you have little reason to actively cooperate the way you do with Autumn and Spring, or Spring does with you and Summer. No one has ever accused you of being a fool, my Lord. Opening the discourse will further your reputation for cunning and subtlety."
>>973312Misery's smile widens, and the room's shadows cower in the corners, leaving behind a thin, joyless 'light' that is, you think, more the absence of darkness than anything else. "Thus neatly implying that people will begin to doubt my cunning and subtlety if I fail to make peace," he muses. "My Lord, I -""Quiet." You close your mouth. "Do not take my observations for objections, Zippo," Misery continues, his tone still light. Amused, even. "I, of necessity, must view you as a potential peer. It is of interest to me, then, to see how it is you choose to play the game of politics. Mutual self-interest backed up by manipulative, yet vague, threats is a classically Autumn approach, and you field it well. Raven and I have sat down to many a deal on more or less the same terms.""...Then you approve?" you ask, almost hesitantly. "I believe I do. The gesture is important - I want peace more than punishment, but if it can be taken that way, then Arthur can indulge in his need to be noble, and I can be seen as cold and cruel. It does not hurt for others to understand us both as these things." Misery leans back in his chair. "Explain the situation to Arthur - frankly. With it, pass along my request for the pleasure of his company at the Camelot, ten-o'-clock on the dot. Miss Moira will be with me, and the Lord of July may expect his expenses to vanish into my rather generous checkbook. Is this to your satisfaction?""Most definitively, my Lord." You bow and then, in the fine tradition of heroines and fools everywhere, decide to open your mouth. "I will confess to some surprise, both in that you've accepted an offer lesser than a life, and that you were willing to entrust an outsider with business so often seen as Winter's forte. If I may be so bold, who did you need killed?""Come closer," Misery invites. You approach, tentatively, and stoop so that he may whisper in your ear. "It was a test, oathbreaker," he murmurs. "And if you had been stupid enough to accept, you would find yourself smothering your Fetch in her hospital bed, and leaving your poor father heartbroken."Your blood turns to ice in your veins; your heart races, both at the implication and at the vivid mental image. "Trust is a rare commodity," Misery continues, raising his voice so that Moira can hear. "If I cannot trust someone's word, then I must know their nature, so that I may trust their behavior. I believe I have acquired insight into yours, Zippo Morris. Be on your way, thou good and faithful servant."You leave the apartment with the shadows of the place flooding in behind you and close the door a little harder than you meant to. You get down to Moira's car without a word, the Darkling in tow, and get in. "Okay, you are clearly not alright," Moira says at last. "What's wrong?""...Anyone ever tell you that your King is a sick fuck?" you whisper.
>>973351"We're well aware," Moira murmurs. "But he does his job, and he does it for the good of the Court and the Freehold. He's...he's an excellent King, even if he's a shitty person.""Yeah...I know that feeling. God..." You put your head on the dash and take some deep breaths. "I need to - no, you've delivered on your end. Can I impose on you for a ride?""Sure. Free of charge, even," she teases, warmly. You dig gas money out of your pocket anyway and distractedly slap a ten down because you cannot be assed right now. "Where to?"> The Juniper Building. You need to tell Vickie Reeds and pass the message to Arthur> The hospital. You need to check up on...well...yourself. How fucking dare Misery?> Rachael's house. Maybe she's there, or someone who knows how to contact her. You could head this off before it starts.> Ask Reminisce and Moira for their advice. You're not thinking straightYou went to great lengths to secure Winter's blessing in accordance to their beliefs and values. You gain your VIRTUE BONUS (+3 on one roll; include it in your vote to cash it in)Sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L4ooBZNZtcQF6cnMNmJ3K9LaVOQ2A1skP7ICv-Ff-NM/edit?usp=sharingCurrent Glamour: 4/13
I gotta hit bed. I'm not likely to update over Christmas; however, there's a long car ride or two in the offing, and that'll give me the chance to answer some of the questions upthread as well as any more that appear. Votes remain open in the meantime. Questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>973354> Rachael's house. Maybe she's there, or someone who knows how to contact her. You could head this off before it starts.
>>973354> The Juniper Building. You need to tell Vickie Reeds and pass the message to Arthur
>>973351Wow...what a dick.
>>973354> Rachael's house. Maybe she's there, or someone who knows how to contact her. You could head this off before it starts.We did good, mates. AND A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
>>973354> The hospital. You need to check up on...well...yourself. How fucking dare Misery?
>>973354> Rachael's house. Maybe she's there, or someone who knows how to contact her. You could head this off before it starts.If rook is telling tales to us he's likely trying the same thing with Rachel
>>973354Don't we have a contact number for someone in summer because whatever we do we should at least let them know about the deal.
>>973719We do have Inky Jennie's number. Don't now how cooperative she'll be though.
Could this be another test? To see if we'll put personal issues ahead of freehold issues?
>>966472So! Sorry for taking so long to get to this, but I've been kinda busy. At the moment I've got little better to do than field questions and feedback by phone, so here we go. At its most simple, a mortal in the know has been told about Changelings. Most are made aware of the circumstances that cause the Lost to be made, for a variety of reasons including but not limited to: having a Changeling loved one, needing or wanting to understand their potentially erratic behavior, and the Lost trying to keep the mortal safe and away from a fate as horrific as their own. Not all or even most mortals that associate with the Lost are clued in; it is to the Freehold's advantage to remain cloaked against the mass of humanity, and in any event their story sounds completely insane to rational people, a suspicion "confirmed" by the signs of serious physical and emotional abuse present in most Changelings.Most Freeholds encourage or require that their members seek permission from the reigning monarch or a duly appointed official before informing a mortal, with Spring generally being the most permissive and Winter the most conservative. In nearly all cases, such a mortal is ensorcelled - given the ability to pierce the Mask that conceals the nature of fae creatures. This is a godsend to a Lost trying to prove that his story isn't insane; being able to show a loved one your Seeming and that others like you exist can help persuade them to trust and believe you, which makes it much easier to keep them safe.Ensorcellment is achieved with a Pledge, which generally obligates the mortal to secrecy and, at times, to loyalty or service. Like in all Pledges, they gain the blessings of the Wyrd as long as they keep the promise, which can include riches, athletic ability, contacts, and more. There are dangers in ensorcellment, chief among them being that when you notice fae things, they tend to notice you back, which is complicated on the best day and quite possibly lethal. The Glamour invested in an ensorcelled mortal can influence their dreams and attract the things that live there as well which, while admittedly less consistently horrible than fae attention, still complicates matters.The ensorcelled are a vital part of most Freeholds. Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to have mortal friends with which they can be honest and open, the ensorcelled have the advantage of a real legal identity, conventional sanity (usually...), a lack of potentially murderous mind duplicates, and a lifetime dealing with the mortal society that the Lost no longer wholly understand. For both practical and emotional purposes, the ensorcelled form an irreplaceable bridge between Changelings and the world they lost and never quite got back.It's not all roses for the ensorcelled. Living with or loving the Lost has a lot of similarities to having a friend or loved one with post-traumatic stress disorder, to say nothing of the scars and changes particular to each Seeming.
>>974006Even a Changeling with all their shit together has urges, habits, and survival tactics that can be hard to understand, or even disquieting. Changelings can and sometimes do react violently to seemingly innocent stimuli, and people get hurt. Ultimately, to be ensorcelled is to be given a rare trust and insight into the magical world in which Changelings live, but the price of the wonder and blessings is danger and horror. Each mortal invited into this world has to decide for themselves if the risks and prices are worth the rewards.Were there further questions on this subject?>>968673What would you like to know about Fetches?
>>974027>What would you like to know about Fetches?What they are exactly, I gather that they replace a person who has been taken? Just some general information is fine.
>>974042When the fae steal someone away, they leave behind a doppelganger called a fetch made out of random junk (if a fetch is killed, it will collapse into a pile of things like leaves, twigs, garbage, whatever) that has memories taken from the kidnapped person. The fetch sometimes doesn't even know it's a fake, and goes about living the person's life none the wiser. Until the changeling escapes from Arcadia and returns to the real world, anyway. Then the fetch gets an intense sensation that something is very wrong and that something out there is stalking it. Some changelings do go after their fetch to kill it and reclaim their old lives. This is usually a very bad idea, since the changeling isn't fully human anymore and fitting back into a life that they've been absent from for years would be tricky even if they weren't suffering from horrible PTSD. The changeling is also being hunted by the very things that put the fetch there in the first place, making the changeling's old life an easy starting point for any fae looking to reclaim an escaped changeling.Of course, even if the changeling leaves their fetch alone, the fetch's mental health will sometimes deteriorate after the changeling escapes back to the mortal world. The constant feeling of being stalked that persists as long as the changeling is free is very unnerving, and on top of that the fetch and the changeling share dreams. And since the changeling usually dreams of being horribly abused in Arcadia by the fae, this means constant terrible nightmares.
>>974042A Fetch is a simulacrum made by the Fae to replace a mortal they have stolen. Not all Changelings have or had a Fetch but the vast, overwhelming majority of them do. When made, a Fetch has the memories of its original's life. Most Fetches will never meet their other half; after all, the majority of the taken never return.A Fetch is artificial, made from detritus and material representative of the mortal it's made to replace and held together with a shard of the Changeling's shadow. A hastily or sloppily made Fetch will collapse into sociopathy and solipsism after a variable period of time, and many such Fetches fall into Fae-like habits such as kidnapping, serial murder, and theft. Most are convincingly human. Your "average" Fetch may have no idea it's the fake until its other half returns. Others, like Jesse's, are heartbreakingly human and genuine.The mimicry of a Fetch is nearly perfect, but even the most flawless is missing something about what made the original who they were. One, made to replace a university student, retains the drive to succeed but lacks scruples, and falls to blackmail and sexual favors to get ahead. One replaces a bitter revolutionary that finds himself "cured" of his cynicism; another, a mother, can no longer bring herself to love her children. Whatever it is, these subtle clues can be among the only things that help the Lost pick out their Fetch, for only the original sees the fake for what it really is. For obvious reasons, the Lost hate and fear Fetches, and in many Freeholds having anything but loathing for your double is looked down on or even punishable. New Avalon has a complex relationship with Fetches; legally, they have no rights or protections except for the ancient decree laid down by Raven that no Lost shall disturb the Fetch of another without their express permission, or in self-defense or the defense of one to whom you have a Pledge. This was later revised to require the "owner" of the Fetch to be a Freehold member in good standing; other Fetches are fair game for all manner of violence and torment, if discovered.
>>974088Small correction - the Changeling or Fetch needs to deliberately enter the other's dream.
>>974088>>974089Thanks! That's kinda fucked up.
>>975759Oh yeah. Fetches are a complex issue that the Lost simplify for understandable, but still bad, reasons. That the True Fae invented and practice them is held up as one of the more compelling arguments that the Others are a universal evil.
Called, writing new thread. Winner: > Rachael's house. Maybe she's there, or someone who knows how to contact her. You could head this off before it starts.Thank you for your patience.