Reidar's Prelude A Troll named Reidar arrives in Silver Woods, and accepts a job as a carpenter for the Avalon Theatre Company. Much to his surprise, he discovers that the company is populated by a number of Kithain.
The reason for this is revealed when he is summoned to meet with Anthony Darian, owner of the company. When he arrives at the appointed place and time, he makes a startling discovery. The Darian mansion is actually the freehold, Carterhaugh, seat of the duchy of SilverWood. Not only that, but Anthony Darian is in reality Duke Arislan, the Sidhe ruler of SilverWood, and the "meeting" is a session of Court.
After the ceremony, Baron Raymonde ap Eiluned comes forward with some startling news. It seems he has discovered a lost freehold that rightfully belongs to his family line, and wishes to claim it. This does not sit well with Gecko, Alan's oathcircle, or a recently-arrived Troll Wilder named Reidar.
After Court is adjourned, Reidar meets with the others, and expresses his concerns that the baron may be casting someone else out of a holding. Gecko and Alan concur, and our heroes begin to take steps to ensure that such is not the case.
In her investigations, Gecko discovers that the freehold Raymonde has discovered may be one of five: her own; Reidar's; the one belonging to Alan's oathcircle; a nearby Shinto shrine; or the garden of an old mansion. She passes the information on to her fellows, and the group decides to seek further information from Ysolde.
Ysolde agrees to keep her ears open and feed Raymonde disinformation, but only for a price. It seems she would enjoy spending time in Jamie's company again. Despite the fact that the Pooka is not present, Alan offers himself in Jamie's stead, and Ysolde reluctantly complies.
Meanwhile, Gecko continues investigating on her own. Using her ability to speak to the spirits of the departed in order to gain more information, she receives two unexpected visitors: Valeria's Sidhe mother, Lady Sorsha, and Raye's mother, the Eshu Akiko. Akiko reveals that Raye's shrine is a freehold, and gives Gecko a warning: "Beware the pale one who is clad in many colors." Puzzled, but glad to have the information, the Sluagh thanks her visitors and takes off to check out the last possibility on the list.
Upon arriving at the mansion, Gecko spots Raye and Rowan entering the garden. The conversation between the two confirms that Rowan holds the freehold in the house's garden. Then she pays a visit to Jenner, Val and Sigrid, and learns that their freehold has ever been held by Val's House. Armed with this information, Gecko returns to her fellows.
Meanwhile, Reidar investigates ways to protect his freehold. Learning from Evelyn that the Sidhe can ward their holdings from intrusion, he seeks out Countess Rhiannon of Darkwater with just such a request. However, the conversation is cut short by another visitor demanding an audience with Her Excellency. The Countess excuses herself, and Reidar attempts to find his own way out. On the way, he spies Baron Raymonde exiting the library. Upon questioning the librarian, he discovers that the book Raymonde was carrying is a record of the holdings awarded in the area during the nineteenth century.
Puzzled, Reidar returns and reports this information to his fellows. Determined to throw Raymonde off the scent, he and Gecko look for a run-down holding to lead the baron to. Discovering one which looks likely, they are startled to see the Sluagh guardsman Eric Stone leaving offerings of Dross at the edge of the foundations. When questioned, Eric reveals that the place was his childhood home. Determined not to cast anyone out, Gecko makes a plan with Eric to lead Raymonde to another run-down holding.
When Gecko and Reidar return to Carterhaugh, they are summoned to the ducal chambers, where they are met by Arislan, Alan, Jenner, Val, Sigrid, Rowan, and Raye.
His Grace explains that Elspeth had come to him on their behalf, asking if something could be done to allow them to keep their holdings. With a smile, he produces his answer: deeds for each of the holdings for each of their respective owners.
The jubilation is interrupted by the arrival of Raymonde, who requests that the Duke honor his claim. With regret, His Grace reports that such is impossible, for the holding in question has already been awarded to Raye. Deflated, Raymonde stalks out, and our heroes celebrate their victory.
Interim Session Nine
Alan invites Alyssa Ryan-Tull over to dinner, and learns that she is pregnant with his child (following a night at a Fianna moot). He also learns of the Garou's ability to go into the Umbra (as demonstrated by Alyssa, a Fianna Theurge).
More startling information is revealed: it seems Alyssa has been to a realm in the Umbra that may very well be Arcadia itself. This is too exciting for Alan to keep a secret, and so the next day he reveals the information to his oathcircle.
The others react with the appropriate excitement, but Jenner offers a caution: "Remember what happened the last time a bunch of the Sidhe came over from Arcadia: the Accordance War." This comment touches off an impromptu night of reminiscing, and Alan is startled to learn that Jenner fought in the Accordance War as a young Wilder, shortly after undergoing the Chrysalis. As the night goes on, the oathmates reveal their own experiences with their respective Chrysalises.
Our heroes are invited to a special performance of Henry V by the Avalon Theatre Company two nights hence. Much to his chagrin, a returned Jamie learns from Gecko that he is expected to attend.
As the company prepares for the performance, His Grace learns that the lead has suddenly taken ill, and is in the Intensive Care unit of a nearby hospital. Luckily, the understudy is enlisted to take the part.
More strange things seem to be happening: Alan receives a call from a friend informing him that another friend, an artist, has committed suicide. Not only that, but a friend of Val's, an SCA blacksmith, has also passed away suddenly.
Meanwhile, Jamie attempts to apologize to Lady Melisande for his absence at the Investiture (cf. Session Three, above). The seneschal is less than impressed, and a sympathetic Gecko takes Jamie out to a coffee house to recover from the tongue-lashing. While there, the two notice a blond Sidhe and his dreamer, a young female poet who seems to be bursting with creativity. The two soon learn that his name is Peter Tempest, and that he is a musician. He takes the young lady away in a limo, and Jamie and Gecko also retire.
On the night of the performance, our heroes arrive in full regalia. Things go off quite well, though Alan's attempts at seducing an attractive Sidhe Wilder are rudely rebuffed. Later, she is seen going off with a curious individual: a large man with a hint of the Trollish about him---an unawakened Changeling, perhaps? Jamie, Reidar and Jenner give chase, only to discover that the two have disappeared. An inspection of one of the sides of the building reveals the marks of Portal Passage. "Sometimes, I really hate Wayfare," grumbles Jenner.
A few days later, Reidar and Raye are at the Avalon Theatre when the young Eshu prophesies, "Beware the Harp of Thorns." This piques Reidar's curiousity, and he attempts to discover what it means. His search eventually leads him to Jenner, who offers the younger Troll a few details about the Shadow Court, and about Rhapsody in particular. Putting this together with the recent accidents involving artists, Reidar wonders if perhaps there might be a Rhapsodizer in the area.
When Reidar brings his suspicions to the rest of the motley, Gecko informs them of her encounter with Peter Tempest. She and Reidar return to the coffee house to look for him, taking Jamie along with them. Their search is unsuccessful, but they do eventually meet with Peter's band, all of them Sidhe. Gecko learns that the band members believe their leader to be a member of House Fiona, though our heroes aren't so sure.
Wondering if their target might be at the Blackwater Country Club, the three head there. With the unwitting aid of Siva, an Unseelie Satyr and a would-be member of the Shadow Court, they discover the young poetess composing in one of the rooms. However, her patron is nowhere to be seen. Gecko takes the young lady in for her own protection, and the group heads out of the club. While on their way out, they spy an individual who looks like their quarry, only somewhat older. Reasoning that this could not be he, the group instead fixes their sights on a young man who bears a striking resemblance to their target. Jamie takes this individual into custody, only to discover that he is a mere mundane. "The older guy," exclaims Reidar. "He must have been Peter!" However, their foe has taken the time to make good his escape.
Our heroes next head for Mr. Tempest's residence, pausing to pick up Alan, Val, Jenner and Rowan on the way. After Reidar takes care of the gates, the group searches the house for their quarry. While he is not present, they do find a number of works of art resulting from various Rhapsodies. They take these into custody, and retire to Carterhaugh to plan their next move.
Later, Gecko discovers an aged Peter at the coffee house. She and Reidar manage to keep him there for a time, but when Rowan brings in Lady Melisande and he is confronted with his misdeeds, he uses Wayfare to beat a hasty retreat. Foiled again, our heroes determine that next time, he won't get away.
Meanwhile, Rowan consults the archives, and discovers that the crest of House Leanhaun of the Shadow Court is a golden harp, entwined with black thorns, on a green field. With the subject of Raye's prophecy now clear, he informs the motley of his discovery, and they hurriedly head for the Avalon Theatre, guessing that Peter Tempest wouldn't be able to pass up a feast like the performance, especially in his weakened and aged condition.
At the theatre, our heroes discover an immensely aged Peter Tempest in the audience. Determined not to alarm the mundanes in the audience, they decide to wait until intermission to put their plan into action. During intermission, Alan climbs to the battlements of the castle set, and a bolt from his Chimerical crossbow does its work.
Interim Session Ten
While working for the Avalon Theatre Company, Sir Raphael, the Duke's cousin and Herald, helps Val to come to terms with the death of her friend and Dreamer, an SCA blacksmith (cf Session Four, above). Val finds herself attracted to the handsome Fiona knight, and accepts his invitation to dinner and the theatre. At the performance, the two spy a number of familiar faces: Alan and Evelyn; Rowan and Raye; and Darian and Serena.
After dinner, Val confides in Raphael, and discovers that she is experiencing strong feelings for this one with whom she seems to have much in common. Worried about Alan's reaction, she requests that they hold off on the relationship for awhile, and Raphael complies.
A few days later, Alan soothes Val's fears by revealing that he has no intention of curtailing her relationship with Raphael. "How can I, when you have such great taste?" he affectionately chides. Her fears allayed, Val seeks out Raphael and confesses her feelings for him. In order to celebrate, he invites her to dinner with his cousin. Clad in their finest Chimerical raiment, he two take their seats at the high table in Carterhaugh with His Grace...an event which does not go unnoticed by some of the more conservative factions at Court.
A few days later, Raphael is approached by Countess Aeslinn, one of Arislan's nobles, who expresses concern at his choice of partners. Despite her veiled hints at Val's unsuitablity, the Herald remains oblivious, and Aeslinn finally gives up in disgust.
Noticing that Raphael is spending time with Val, Evelyn slips Warlord Kellin's campaign journal into a stack of books for the Fiona knight. That evening, after reading some of the journal, Raphael has a dream of his past in Arcadia, wherein Kellin provided security for a peace conference implemented by Arislan, and foiled an assassination attempt on the Duke.
Later, Raphael has another dream in which he met Val in her Arcadian incarnation. The two were involved in an altercation with another warrior of House Scathach named Deirdre, whom Raphael found attractive, until she attempted to slay a cousin of his, Baron Niall, and his bride, Lady Elspeth (a previous incarnation of Val's Childling ward). Valeria foiled Deirdre, but nearly lost her own life in the battle. Raphael wakes, stunned by these revelations and wondering what they may be indicating...
Interim Session Eleven
Intrigued by the warning she received from Akiko, Gecko goes to The Asylum Danceclub in order to seek out information about the mysterious "pale one who is clad in many colors." Ysolde directs her to The Vampire Lestat in Washington, D.C., where Gecko makes the acquaintance of Cat Ryan, the Toreador bartender, and Lindy Lopez, a young Malkavian. Once the Sluagh gets over her shock at discovering that the two are Kindred (due in no small part to Lindy's indelicate explanation of how a Nosferatu friend of hers made a Ghoul of a large reptile), she queries if they have seen a person matching Akiko's description. Lindy reveals that Paul was her Childe, but that he has not been seen of late, because "They told him he could walk around in the sun if he drank from Faeries." Taken aback, Gecko hastily excuses herself, asking the two to contact her if they should see Paul.
A few weeks after their previous adventure, our heroes are attending to their mundane lives when another adventure decides to find them.
At the Midnight Sun club in Washington, D.C., Gecko makes the acquaintance of a mysterious man, a musician named Kyle McConaughey. Intrigued by him, she invites him to spend the rest of the evening at her place.
Meanwhile, Alan has also ventured to the Midnight Sun. To his surprise, he spots Jenner and Val in the crowd. Wishing to avoid the censure of his oathmates, the Satyr makes pleasant conversation with a pretty dark-haired young woman named Kit. His Faerie Sight reveals her to be a cat Pooka, and, intrigued, he continues his attempt to pick her up. She seems amenable to the idea, until she spots Jenner at the bar and becomes decidedly uncomfortable. When Alan questions her, she intimates that she had a run-in with the Troll knight in the past. Leaving Alan to wonder, she hastily leaves, stating that she needs to meet a lady who is expecting her.
Sitting down next to Jenner, Alan chides the Troll for scaring off Kit. Jenner returns with the information that the young Pooka is a thief, and that he caught her stealing from Baroness Janna, Val's Fae aunt.
As the conversation goes on, Alan discovers that Val and Jenner are at the club on a case: it seems that one of Ysolde's Dreamers was injured leaving the place, and she has hired Raven Investigations to discover and apprehend the culprit.
In the meantime, Gecko enjoys an evening with the mysterious Kyle. The next morning, she receives a summons from Arislan, and, excusing herself, bids him goodbye and reluctantly takes herself to Carterhaugh. There, she is met by Alan, Val, Jenner, and Sigrid, as well as His Grace.
The Duke explains to the group that Countess Rhiannon was attacked by a mysterious assailant. When questioned, Her Excellency provides a description that fits the mysterious individual seen at the Avalon Theatre on the night of the performance (cf. Session Four, above). His Grace requests the aid of the motley in apprehending the individual, either dead or alive.
Some time later, Gecko awaits the arrival of a returning Kyle. Answering the door, she discovers that it is not her date, but Alan, who gives her a copy of the sketch he made of Rhiannon's assailant. Shortly thereafter, Kyle arrives, and the two set out, Alan following behind in order to board the subway for his trip home. Just as the three leave the building, a shot rings out, narrowly missing Gecko and Kyle. Our heroes quickly discover that the shots come from the building opposite Gecko's, and the Sluagh fires off a shot of her own as Kyle heads up to the roof to deal with their assailant.
Alan speeds up the stairs for cover, but feels a wave of Banality emanate from the roof, and turns back. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the Satyr, Kyle (a Ceilican Bastet), takes cat form and attacks the gunman. Leaping at him, the great cat knocks the attacker off the roof, and the two fall to the street below, where the assailant is revealed as the one they have been seeking. Faerie Kenning reveals him to indeed look somewhat Trollish, but the Banality virtually pouring off him indicates he is no ordinary Kithain. Stymied by this turn of events, our heroes head to Carterhaugh, taking Kyle along with them.
At Carterhaugh, the group is met by the Duke himself, who expresses his appreciation for Kyle's help by bestowing a medallion upon the Bastet, thereby enchanting him. Just as Kyle gets his head wrapped around the true appearance of his hosts, it is revealed that the mysterious gunman is, in fact, a Changeling---or, perhaps more accurately, had been one. Now, he is one of the Dauntain, who seeks to slay all Kithain for the injuries he received in a night of "fun" with Siva, the Unseelie Satyr dominatrix.
With the Dauntain taken into custody, Gecko and Kyle take some time to enjoy one another's company. While in a cemetery, they make the acquaintance of two Kindred: the Toreador Primogen, Louis de Valmont, who is remembering a lost love; and the Malkavian Primogen, Domini, who is simply dancing in the cemetery.
Domini reveals to the two that she is seeking her "grandson", Paul, who has not been seen of late. Recalling her conversations with Akiko and Lindy, Gecko queries the strange woman whether or not Paul has a habit of wearing many colors. Domini answers in the affirmative, and Gecko and Kyle are left to wonder on this as she whirls away, her skirts swirling in the moonlight.
This web page copyright © 1997, Midori M. Hirtzel
Last revised -- July 6, 2011