During a night on the town, our heroes make the acquaintance of a pretty young woman named Michelle Waters. She proves to be Kithain, but of a sort none of them have ever seen before: in her Faerie form, her eyes grow larger, more liquid, and more mysterious, and she seems to be dripping Chimerical water wherever she goes.
This mystery must wait for later, however, as two female Sidhe and a female Troll enter the club and proceed to begin Ravaging the patrons. When Gecko and Alan notice this, they attempt to inform the group of the error of their ways, aided by another Kithain, a female Sidhe. Much to the dismay of our heroes and Ylanna of House Fiona (the other Sidhe), the apparent leader of the group, a red-headed Wilder Sidhe named Rahne, scoffs at the group's sensibilities. "Glamour is free, after all, and they'll recover, so what's the fuss?" When Gecko and Ylanna persist, Rahne's Troll companion glowers, and Alan offers to buy the group drinks in order to avoid an ugly scene. Rahne sarcastically promises the group that she will mend her ways, and sweeps out with her companions in tow---though not before our heroes notice the other Sidhe in the group stopping to assist a patron one of her compatriots has shoved to the floor.
The ugliness averted, the heroes invite Ylanna and Michelle to Carterhaugh. After the latter individual summons her friends, Susan Lulani and Alex Tallsky, the group departs for the Duke's Freehold---with our heroes wondering about the true gender of the androgynous-looking Alex along the way. When they reach Carterhaugh, it is discovered (as Alex, Michelle and Susan present themselves to His Grace) that Alex is a Nunnehi, or Native American Changeling, of the Nümüzo'ho family; Susan is a Menehune, or Hawai'ian Fae; and Michelle is a Selkie.
Our heroes also take the time to inform the Duke of the Ravagings taking place, and he promises to discover what he can about them from Countess Rhiannon. The motley thanks the Duke, and bids farewell (at least for the time being) to Michelle, Alex and Susan.
As our heroes take their leave of His Grace, they are met by Elspeth, who tells them she has had a dream that Niall of House Fiona, who had been her love in Arcadia, is coming into the mortal world. This information is most interesting to both Arislan and our heroes, and the motley decides to aid in the search for Niall. With Elspeth's help, they discover that he will emerge in a nearby suburb, and Gecko and Kyle head for that location in order to scope out the area. While there, they discover a woman with dark hair, clad in black and gray, closely observing the house. This makes them uneasy, and they make certain to take note of her appearance. They try to follow her as well, but when she turns her motorcycle into the bad part of town, Kyle fears for their lives and his car and refuses to follow any further.
Meanwhile, Ylanna and Alan spy one of the Sidhe Wilders who had been Ravaging. To their astonishment, the young Sidhe is acting as Muse to an artist, and even giving him gifts in return for his work! Intrigued, Ylanna initiates a conversation with the startled Wilder, who shyly introduces herself as Seline of House Eiluned. Seline reveals that Rahne "wasn't so bad, until she came." When questioned further, she reveals that a mysterious Sidhe in black and silver recently arrived in Darkwater, and encouraged Rahne and Moira (the Troll) to engage in Ravaging and more violent behavior. Then, as if fearing she has said too much, she hastens to leave, but nearly falls as she gets out of the chair. Ylanna notices that there are bruises on her wrists and that she appears to be quite weak, and gently convinces Seline to stay at her place. Weak and somewhat disoriented, the young Eiluned complies.
While Ylanna takes care of Seline (in the process receiving visits from Kit and a Childling Redcap---two of her charge's friends), Alan learns from Lita that Raye has suffered another nightmare and is displaying the same bruises and symptoms of weakness exhibited by Seline. Justifiably worried, he passes this information on to Gecko, who, recalling the conversations she had with Domini and Lindy, suspects that it must be the Malkavian Paul attacking the two. With this in mind, she summons the rest of the motley, as well as Lita, Jenner, and Val, and the group heads for the nightclub strip. There, they are met by a mysterious Romani woman who offers cryptic clues as to where to find their quarry. Her information, though cryptic, proves accurate, and the group sights their quarry in the club.
Determined to put a stop to Paul's attacks, Gecko decoys the vampire into an alley. There, he is struck from behind by Lita's hammer of Thunder, and Gecko finishes him off by shooting him in the head. All is well for our heroes...save for Kyle, who was forced into an involuntary change by the battle and has now been seen changing forms by the rest of our heroes, who now wonder just who---or what---their friend is.
At an SCA event given at Carterhaugh and sponsored by His Grace, our heroes make the acquaintance of a young boy named Neal O'Rourke who seems to be more than what he appears. Faerie Kenning reveals him to be an unawakened Sidhe, and Ylanna surmises that this may be Niall of House Fiona, of whom Elspeth has dreamed. Her conversation with the lad, in which he shyly admits that he enjoys tales of knights and great battles, seems to confirm Ylanna's suspiscions, and she resolves to keep an eye on him until he can be introduced to Elspeth.
Meanwhile, another young Kithain is seen wandering about: a small Childling Pooka who refers to everyone as "Daddy" or "Mommy" depending on gender (except for Kyle, who is surprised when the little one calls him "uncle.").
As the event draws to a close, neither Neal or the young Pooka are anywhere to be found, and Ylanna calls together the rest of the motley, enlisting their aid in finding the boy. The search is made more urgent when Ylanna reveals that Neal admitted to her that his father does not approve of his fascination with faerie tales and things such as the SCA.
Wondering if perhaps the house he and Gecko found a few nights previous (cf. Session Six, above) might be Neal's residence, Kyle heads for the suburb, with Alan in tow. The two find the house with little trouble, but a new complication rears its head: it seems that Neal's father is extraordinarily Banal, perhaps even an Autumn Person. Kyle scopes out the house, and then Alan does some searching of his own, and finds the lad's bedroom. Waking the sleeping Neal, he calls upon the Wyrd and reveals his Satyr form to the startled youth. As the boy's father calls up the stairs, asking if his son is still up, Alan hastily takes his leave, but not without feeding the youth some of his own Glamour in the hopes of sustaining Neal's Kithform, which seems to be dissolving into his Human Seeming.
The next day, Jenner arrives at Ylanna's with the information he has managed to glean about Neal O'Rourke's background. Upon discovering that Neal's father's job is to put small boxes into larger ones, she wonders aloud how the boy's Kithform has survived this long. Her desire to rescue the lad is heightened when Jenner reveals that Elspeth dreamed the previous night that "Niall was being eaten by a monster." When she compares notes with Alan, Ylanna concludes that the "monster" must be the Banality of Neal's father, and enlists the aid of Jenner, Val, and the rest of the motley (minus Gecko, who is off on business of her own) to rescue him.
Our heroes arrive at the O'Rourke residence, where Jenner and Ylanna put their knowledge of private investigation to good use. Using the story that a crime has occurred nearby and that they wish to question the neighbors, they are immediately admitted by Mr. O'Rourke, who is most cooperative---though the two feel distinctly uneasy, almost ill, at the Banality that permeates the house. Wishing to accomplish their mission, Ylanna requests that the two have the opportunity to speak to Neal. "After all, perhaps he might have seen something." Mr. O'Rourke reveals that his son has not been feeling well, but Ylanna manages to obtain a few minutes with the lad for herself and Jenner.
Ylanna and Jenner find Neal somewhat disoriented, but awake, and (seeing no choice but to do so) reveal their true forms to him. Jenner then hurriedly bears the semi-conscious boy out of the house, as Ylanna uses Sovereign to distract the lad's father. The group then hurries to Cartherhaugh, where Neal's Chrysalis takes place, and he becomes Niall of House Fiona.
Having aided Niall through his Chrysalis, those at Carterhaugh ponder what will now happen to the lad. Returning him to his mortal father seems out of the question, but things are complicated by the fact that Mr. O'Rourke will certainly be looking for his son. A number of ideas are discussed, including forcing the mortal's silence, but cooler heads prevail, and Niall is brought to discuss his own destiny. He reveals that he does not wish to return to his old life, and the decision is made to create the story that Neal has run away.
A bit later, Ylanna accompanies Seline to the archives in order that the Eiluned noble she has adopted might engage in some research. While there, they come upon the campaign journal of Duke Kellin ap Scathach. Ylanna advocates informing Valeria of this, but when Seline pleads that she is frightened of the Scathach knight, Ylanna reluctantly agrees to keep it a secret. However, as she and Seline are leaving the library, a number of strange coincidences gnaw at the Fiona knight, causing her to wonder if her promise was made too hastily. When the young Eshu, Raye, has a vision of two black-clad warriors dueling, this proves to be the clincher, and Ylanna seeks out Valeria. During the conversation which follows, Ylanna is intrigued (and shocked) when Valeria reveals that she remembers previous existences in the mortal world, some of them in which she fought with modern weapons. Leaving the journal in Val's care, Ylanna returns to Seline...though not before Eric Stone informs her that a woman matching the description given by Kyle and Gecko a few nights previous (cf. Session Seven, above) has been hired by Mr. O'Rourke to help find his son.
Meanwhile, Kyle takes some time for himself in the wooded area near Virginia beach, and spots Alex Tallsky and Michelle Waters cavorting in the water. A bit later, two young women come by and head into the water, leaving behind a curious notebook which Kyle steals a chance to read. He soon discovers it contains data on some sort of scientific experiments, judging by the curious code in which the pages are written. When the two young women return, he joins them for a pleasant evening in town.
In the meantime, Gecko makes the acquaintance of a mysterious individual at The Vampire Lestat. While he seems at first to be a young man, she soon discovers that he can change his appearance to that of a young woman. Under Faerie Sight, he appears much as a Changeling, but with a curious paleness about him that puts her in mind of the Vampires she has seen. Nevertheless, she is intrigued by this individual, and the two share a pleasant interlude, though he is gone by the time she awakens, leaving her to wonder just who---or WHAT--he was.
At Court at Carterhaugh, our heroes make the acquaintance of some new friends: Sir Darius Stormfront, a Troll guardsman; Haunt, a young Nocker bicycle messenger; and Weyland Smith, a Sidhe of House Dougal.
After Court, Maya, the Eshu bard of SilverWood, relates the story of four mighty Treasures that were created by the Tuatha de Danaan and given to various races for safekeeping: a Cup, to the Children of Lilith; a Staff, to the Changers of Shape; a Pentacle, to the Awakened Dreamers; and a Sword, to their children, the Kithain. It is further related that the Sword was given to the greatest warriors of the Kithain, and that the Treasures were scattered to the four corners of the earth during a great battle, and forever lost. To Ylanna's surprise, this tale fits with information that Seline had discovered in the archives, and so she files this away in her mind to ponder it.
The festivities are interrupted by the unannounced arrival of Ysolde Nyx, who tantalizes the audience by relating that all is not well in DarkWater; there is a war going on between a number of rival gangs, both Kithain and Prodigal. Not only that, but Ysolde intimates that Countess Rhiannon is expecting a child. This information leaves His Grace and the rest of the attendees stunned, allowing the Unseelie Eshu to make her exit in grand style.
That night, Ylanna, Darius, Haunt and Weyland share an interesting dream: in Arcadia, they are present at the wedding of Brandon of House Scathach and Aislinn of House Fiona. Also present are Duke Kellin of House Scathach, his wife, Lady Sorsha (née Lady Sorsha of House Liam), and their baby daughter, Princess Valeriana, as well as Kellin's lieutenant, friend and oathbound companion, the Troll knight, Sir Jenner Rainwater. The next morning, Ylanna seeks out Darius, who confirms that he did indeed have the same dream.
Meanwhile, at the Avalon Theatre, Haunt is present when Raye once again has a vision of two black-clad warriors fighting. The experience leaves the young Eshu somewhat weak and disoriented, and a concerned Haunt quickly finds help in the person of His Grace, who takes Raye to Carterhaugh in his car, the Nocker following with all speed on his bicycle. Leaving Raye in Ciaran's care, our heroes ponder the significance of her vision. Concerned that this may mean trouble for the duchy, they relate what Raye has seen to Jenner. Much to their astonishment, he storms from the room and proceeds to the salle, where he turns a pell into a mass of splinters. Wondering what could have set off the usually stoic Troll knight, the motley accepts when he calms a bit and offers to relate the story behind his reaction. Over drinks in the kitchen, Jenner tells the group of an adventure in Arcadia, wherein he and Val stopped a renegade Scathach named Deirdre from murdering both Elspeth and Niall in their previous incarnations. However, Val was nearly killed in this altercation as well. Jenner also reveals that Deirdre was the daughter of Brandon of House Scathach, who was killed in battle with the Shadow Court---something for which Deirdre blamed Kellin, many years later. When his tale is done, Ylanna realizes that the mysterious lady in black and silver, whom Seline called "Dee," must, in fact, be Deirdre. Her idea is confirmed by the information Seline gave her that "Dee" is looking for another female of her House. The Fiona knight relates this information to Jenner, who takes his leave to prepare for the possibilty of an attack on the duchy---or on Val.
Our heroes become better acquainted at a party given by Alan and the rest of his oathcircle, held at the home of Val, Jenner, Sigrid and Elspeth. Alan makes pleasant conversation with the newcomers, and he and Jenner make certain the guests are well fed. While enjoying the food and the company, Darius notes that he is being watched adoringly by Lita, a young Troll Wilder. Flattered by the attention, he escorts her home at the end of the affair, and soon afterwards decides to initiate the young lady into the arts of Courtly Love.
Returning to the university after the party, Weyland is taunted by a rough-looking young man on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, who makes fun of the Dougal Sidhe's Suzuki Samurai, "Akira." Stung, the Sidhe agrees when the young man offers to prove which of them is the better, but when Weyland is led into the bad part of town, he feels the cold hands of Banality tearing at him, and leaves for safer territory, though not without suffering the catcalls of his opponent.
Meanwhile, Haunt begins setting up his bicycle messenger service. To his surprise, he receives requests from a number of the local Kithain. Alan hires him to deliver flowers, Darius to convey a package to Lita, and Duke Arislan to carry flowers to Countess Rhiannon. This last startles the Nocker when he realizes that the delivery is for the heart of DarkWater, but he performs his duty admirably.
The following day, the Childlings bring a strange dog---a wolfhound with little horns---to the kitchen of Carterhaugh and feed it. Shortly after this, a young teenage Satyr wearing a long battered t-shirt appears in Weyland's work area. Giving his name as Pol, the young Satyr watches Wayland work, compliments the smith, and requests permission to return later and watch him at work again.
A while later, Weyland returns from business in the Freehold to discover that his motorcycle, "Akira," has been stolen. Upset, he immediately rouses the Guard to look for it. He spends a good deal of time trying to convince an unsympathetic Jenner (who is occupied with other duties) to help him, but meets with little success. It is only after Weyland brings in Baron Raymonde and reveals to Jenner and Darius that he had an heirloom blade in the motorcycle that Jenner agrees to put Darius on the case. Upon discovering which of the guardsmen were on duty, Darius collects them and presents them with new orders: "You will report to Sir Jenner immediately---in full gear." This accomplished, Darius begins his investigation, aided by the Sluagh guardsman Eric Stone. Meanwhile, Jenner puts the erring guardsmen to sparring and forced marches on the salle.
The next day (Monday), the Childlings and their new canine friend are outside the grammar school at lunchtime recess. Seeing the Childlings feeding the dog, Haunt comes over to pet it, and notices that it has horns. The dog decides that it's time to leave. Haunt moves to follow, but the dog has darted aroung the corner of the school and disappeared.
Riding home, Haunt notices a fellow student walking his bike. Haunt stops and fixes the broken chain on the other fellow's bike. The student, whose name is Pol, thanks Haunt.
On Tuesday, the strange dog shows up again and is fed by the Childlings. Haunt follows the dog when it leaves. The dog goes around the side of the school and then the back, with Haunt following. By the time the horned dog scoots under the bushy undergrowth in the back of the school, Haunt has almost caught up. Determined not to loose the dog again, Haunt performs a magical leap over the top of a huge bush and lands on top of the horned dog. The Nocker grabs the dog, which grows larger and escapes his grasp. The dog takes off and Haunt follows with a burst of magical speed. Eventually, the chase ends in a wooded area when the when the dog decides he can't shake Haunt. The dog transforms to an unquestionably male Satyr. As Haunt recognizes his the satyr's voice, and the nude satyr transforms into Pol. Pol agrees to meet Haunt after scholl at the bicyle rack. Pol transforms back into a dog and they return to school. There Pol recovers his clothes from the rest room by the back door.
They meet as planned after school at the bike rack. After Haunt finds out that no one will miss Pol if he doesn't go home, they start out for Duke Arislan's freehold. They stop along the way so Pol can go behind some bushes. They figure that if Pol goes in his satyr form, they shouldn't attract any undue attention. Just before they get there, Pol takes off his clothes, with the exception of his oversized t-shirt, and puts them in his backpack. He explains to Haunt that the clothes won't change with him and he doesn't want to ruin anything.
The Nocker and the "Satyr" enter the Duke's freehold together. There, the two youngsters meet Alan, who is thrilled that there is a new Satyr in the vicinity. Pol is also thrilled to meet someone like him. While the two are conversing, Haunt notices a marked resemblance between the two. Haunt gives Pol the whirlwind tour of the Freehold (which the Nocker is also new to), during which the two meet up with Elspeth and Niall. Pol is enchanted with both Elspeth and her Chimerical companion, the unicorn Amaltheia. Learning that Pol is interested in stories, the two Childlings invite him and Haunt to listen to one of Maya's. The two youths agree, and Haunt is struck with amazement at the subject matter of Maya's tale---a battle of Duke Kellin of House Scathach against the Shadow Court.
That evening, Weyland is returning home from Carterhaugh when he is met by an unexpected visitor: Ysolde Nyx, accompanied by her Troll bodyguard, Victor Donatelli. Ysolde offers the Sidhe information about the whereabouts of his missing motorcycle, but Weyland declines the offer. With a shrug, the Unseelie Eshu takes her leave of him, Victor lumbering in her wake.
A bit later, Darius meets with Victor and Ysolde at the Asylum Danceclub, and learns that the Unseelie Troll Wilder Moira, a member of the Black Rose, had been seen with Weyland's vehicle about half an hour before Darius's arrival. The Eshu also dispenses a few other choice bits of information: the members of the gang have been Ravaging a new band she discovered; and the gang is definitely in the employ of the mysterious "Dee," who seems to be egging on the opposing factions in the ongoing gang war, apparently for her own purposes. Thus armed, Darius thanks her for her aid, and takes his leave of the Asylum.
This web page copyright © 1997 by Midori M. Hirtzel
Last revised--July 6, 2011