Recalling the marked resemblance between Alan and Pol, Haunt pauses during his daily flower pickup to ask a few questions of the Satyr artist. He finds Alan sketching a picture of an Irish wolfhound, using a photograph from an album open in front of him as a model. When Haunt asks about the photo, Alan responds that the picture is of a dog that belonged to one of his friends from New York City.
Noticing that the dog in the picture looks very like Pol's wolf form, Haunt goes to his friend later, asking if Pol knows where his canine mother is from. Pol checks into it and later tell Haunt his canine mother was born in a kennel in New Jersey. It doesn't take Haunt long to put two and two together, but he is still not too sure about his conclusions.
Haunt visits Alan again and finds more out more about the photos. "I was about thirteen, and Misty belonged to my friend, George. I was staying at his parents' kennel in New Jersey." Haunt then finds out from Pol that that a dog named "Misty" was the mother of his mother.
Eventually, Haunt and and Pol go to see Alan. When Pol reveals their suspicions, Alan is rather shocked. Given the accumulated evidence, Alan has to admit that he is sure that he is Pol's grandfather.
Given Alan and Pol's relative ages, the only way to explain Pol's identity as Alan's grandchild is Pol's lupus Garou ancestry. As Pol does not want his Garou identity known, the three agree to shade the truth a bit. Pol will officially be known as Alan's son, rather than grandson.
At dinner in the great hall of Carterhaugh that night, Alan's "paternity" is revealed---much to the amusement of the Trolls, who start a betting pool on how many more of the Satyr's unaccounted-for children will show up. Many of the Sidhe are upset by this discussion, though His Grace seems amused.
That night, our heroes share a dream in which they are present at a border battle with Warlord Kellin, and Jenner in his Arcadian incarnation. Though victorious, the Scathach forces suffer heavy losses. Kellin is wounded in the fray, and the motley are responsible for driving off a persistent messenger from the forces of House Dougal---apparently Squire Wayland in his Arcadian incarnation. Then, the scene shifts, and the motley find themselves in the castle of Brandon of House Scathach and Aislinn of House Fiona, just as the recently-widowed Aislinn goes into labor. Remembering another dream, Alan briefs his friends on what they are witnessing: the birth of Deirdre of House Scathach. Aislinn bears a daughter, gives her the name "Deirdre," for "Sorrow," and dies. Ylanna is on the scene when Kellin arrives moments later, and reveals that his father, Lord Valorian of House Scathach, has agreed to raise the orphaned infant. "Watch over Deirdre," says the Fiona knight cryptically. "She's aptly named."
The next day, our heroes gather at Carterhaugh and discuss the ramifications of their dream. They vow to make certain that Val is always watched in case Deirdre decides to strike. That done, they take their ideas to a number of the Scathach knight's friends, who promise to watch over her as well.
Interim Session Twelve
Pol decides to become better acquainted with the Fae, and spends a good deal of time among the younger Kithain of the duchy. While he enjoys himself at Carterhaugh, the Menehune Susan Lulani works the Art of Chronos on the Freehold, unwittingly discovering Pol's secret in the process. When he is understandably upset, she soothes him by promising to keep his secret, and even gives him one of her own---unlike the other Fae, the Menehune gather Glamour from natural sources. This strikes the young Fianna as very like the activities of his own people, and he shyly befriends the mysterious Hawai'ian Changeling.
Sometime afterward, Pol is spending some time at Alan's when a vexed Valeria arrives. She complains to the two that she feels suffocated under her friends' constant supervision. Against his better judgement, Alan hints that there may be more to their watching her like hawks. With a sigh, Val calms herself and the three share an evening of more pleasant conversation.
Later that night, Val awakens with nightmares of battle and death. Alan does his best to soothe her, and as the conversation goes on he informs her of what our heroes have learned about Deirdre. When Val protests that she can handle the renegade Scathach, Alan offers a warning: "In a fair fight, you probably could. But Deirdre doesn't fight fair. And if you go off half-cocked and something happens, what will happen to Elspeth? Don't you think she ought to have someone from her own House around, to teach her what she ought to know when she grows up?" The Satyr's pointed words humble Val, and she promises him not to do anything too rash.
On Samhain Eve, our heroes attend a Halloween Ball at The Vampire Lestat, a trendy Washington nightclub. While there, they make the acquaintance of Gaza Amiri, an Eshu who is performing that night as a bellydancer. While the rest of the motley observe the performance, Wayland is approached by Ysolde Nyx, who informs him that she has information on the whereabouts of his motorcycle. This proves to be too good for the Dougal to pass up, and he heads outside, only to see the vehicle driving off into the distance---ridden by a huge Troll. Much distressed, he returns to the club and alerts Darius to the event. The Troll policeman calls in the theft, and a flustered Wayland follows the thief in a taxi. However, when the cab is attacked by a pack of gangers on motorcycles, the cabbie returns to the Lestat.
Meanwhile, Alan makes the acquaintance of an Asian woman clad in a formal kimono. He recognizes her as the adoptive mother of his friend, artist and mage Jared Church, and reveals that he knows of her "condition"---vampirism. However, he is surprised when her presence causes him no discomfort. He is even more astonished when she reveals that she wishes to become human once more, and that a friend of hers may have discovered a means to that end: a magical cup that is said to cure vampirism. Alan replies that he knows of a similar artifact able to cure madness (the Cup of Dreams, said to be a cure for the final stages of Bedlam), and offers her the use of the ducal archives in her quest. She thanks him, and the Satyr politely takes his leave of her after sharing a dance, pondering whether or not the cup that she mentioned may be one of the Four Treasures in Maya's story (cf. Session Nine, above).
After his conversation with Jared's mother, Alan makes his way to Val, and is startled when the Scathach knight goes rigid. "She's here..." Val gasps. "Deirdre's nearby---I can feel it." Before the two can alert the others, however, a returning Wayland is accosted by Ashe Draven, the leader of the motorcycle-riding toughs who attacked his cab. Requested by Darius and the host of the party, Louis de Valmont (the owner of the Lestat), that they take the fight outside, the Sidhe and his opponent do so. Before Wayland can even make a move, he is knocked into oblivion by one blow of Draven's fist, with all the force of the vampire's supernatural strength behind it. Only the timely intervention of Raphael and Victor Donatelli saves the unconscious Dougal squire from a worse fate. The Unseelie Troll uses Heather-Balm to heal Wayland just enough to return him from death's door, and Raphael sends the still-injured Dougal back to Carterhaugh for further healing.
Meanwhile, back inside the club, one of the attendees has gone missing. Since the person in question is the mage Aidan Ryan, a friend of Val's, the motley is even more concerned. Gaza uses the Art of Soothsay to scry where the young mage is, and has a vision of him lying unconscious on a stone slab, surrounded by megaliths. Our heroes correctly assume this to be a recreation of a European circle of stones in nearby Virginia, and take themselves there with all due haste, especially after Jenner reveals to them that the Shadow Court has kept alive the practice of the tiend, or Tithe to Hell, on Samhain Night---often using captured humans as sacrifices.
Accompanied by Val, Jenner, and Aidan's fiancée, the Black Fury Garou Shakti True-Strike, our heroes arrive at the scene to see a group of Unseelie Kithain (and even some Thallain) dancing around a huge bonfire, as voices chant in an unknown tongue. Rushing into the fray, the motley's warriors engage the enemy, aided by the timely intervention of Sir Raphael and the raging Black Fury, who tears into the opposition in Crinos form.
Sighting Jenner, one of the Satyrs in the opposition offers a cryptic taunt: "Would they be so willing to stand with you if they knew what you really were? More than likely, they'd kill you." His next words are cut off as the Troll knight engages him. At the same time, Ylanna spots Rahne among the opposition, and closes with the Unseelie Sidhe, determined to make her pay for her crimes.
Fighting his way to the altar, Raphael protects the unconscious Aidan. Seeing a terrified Kit trying to make good her escape, he uses Sovereign to force her to free the unconscious mage, then airlifts him to safety, incidentally compelling Kit to accompany him.
As the battle rages, Val charges straight for Deirdre. The two Scathach battle furiously, both lost in the curse of their House: once a battle is joined, it cannot be walked away from until it is over. As the two trade blows, Alan desperately tries to get in a shot at Deirdre with his crossbow, but is foiled by her close proximity to Val. However, as he moves in for a better shot he feels the tell-tale emanations of Cold Iron coming from Deirdre's sword. "Val, watch out! She's got Cold Iron!" Alan cries. Hearing those words, both Darius and Jenner hurry to Valeria's aid. Before they can reach the battling Scathach, however, Valeria's Chimerical sword shatters under the onslaught of Deirdre's Cold Iron blade. Sighting the two Trolls bearing down upon her, Deirdre decides discretion is the better part of valor, and vanishes.
The battle over, Ylanna approaches with a bound, gagged, and filthy Rahne in tow, just in time to hear a pale and shaking Val whisper, "If a knight is true...her sword never breaks." Mindful of the traumatic blow to her spirit as well as her sword, Alan and Jenner gently convince her to return home with them. Before they leave, however, Darius takes a moment to talk with Jenner about the unnamed Satyr's mysterious comment. "Sometimes, it's better to get things out in the open where they won't have major repercussions." He allows the other Troll time to consider this statement while he and Gecko spend the rest of the evening doing mop-up duty at the battle site, his rage slowly growing...
As Alan drives Aidan and Shakti home, Ylanna notices that the young man's pentacle necklace radiates even more Glamour than he himself does. Wondering if this might be the Pentacle of the four Treasures, she queries, "How old is that?" Aidan replies that the necklace is a family heirloom, given to him when he became a full mage. As he and Shakti disembark from Alan's van, the Fiona knight files the information away for future reference.
The next day, the motley is summoned to an audience with the duke, who wishes to know what happened the previous night. Our heroes relate the story, with Ylanna adding that Aidan's pendant radiated a great deal of Glamour---"He put out a large amount of Glamour, but his necklace even outshone him." She further speculates that the pentacle might be one of the Four Treasures, to which Arislan concurs.
His memory jogged by Ylanna's words, Alan recalls Pol's stories of a magical staff used by the Fianna Garou, and his conversation with Galadriel, Jared's mother. He puts forth the idea that these objects may be two of the other Treasures, adding that he offered Galadriel the use of the archives in her quest. While His Grace feels he cannot risk the safety of the Freehold, he does inform Alan that he can allow some of the works she needs to be delivered to her.
Noticing that Valeria is absent, His Grace inquires after the Captain of the Guard and is soberly informed by her friends of her duel with Deirdre and the subsequent fate of her sword. Alan tersely informs the rest of the motley and Duke Arislan that Val's father, Duke Kellin, died in battle when his sword shattered in his hand. This jogs Gecko's memory, and she inquires of Arislan, "Was not Duke Kellin acknowledged as one of the finest warriors of our people? The remnants of his sword were reforged into Lady Valeria's daggers---if she learned that they were parts of one of the Treasures, it might lift her spirits." Arislan agrees, and Jenner brings Valeria to the audience chamber. Informed by her friends that her daggers may in fact be part of one of the Treasures, Valeria is astonished, but hesitant about them being left to the care of an untrue knight. Both Ylanna and Alan soothe her worries by reminding her that Deirdre cheated by using Cold Iron. Their words bring Val out of the wallow of self-recrimination, and she shakes off her depression, Dreaming a new Chimerical blade into existence.
With Val back on her feet, our heroes turn their attentions to their captives. Ylanna reveals that she has been holding Rahne at her apartment, and offers to bring the Unseelie Gwydion to Carterhaugh. However, she is overruled by Darius, who states curtly that he will bring in the prisoner. Wary of his darkening mien, the Fiona knight cedes the right to collect Rahne to the Troll. Darius returns shortly afterward with a much-abused Rahne, whom he hurls into one of the dungeon cells with little regard for her well-being---much to the shock of Ylanna, Raphael, and a frightened Kit, who cowers in the cell next door. Having delivered his package, Darius stalks to the salle, where he demolishes a pell. After that, he goes to the police station, where all his pent-up frustration is poured out in a barrage of hot lead on the firing range.
With a multitude of questions and few answers, our heroes ponder what to do next...
Interim Session Thirteen
Puzzling over the events of Samhain, Ylanna approaches Darius with a plan to discover more information on the night's disturbing revelations. After she dresses him down for his treatment of Rahne and he apologizes, she unveils her plan: to query Jenner about the revelations, but first making sure to ply him with alcohol in order to avoid any undue violence should she mis-speak.
Jenner is amenable to an evening of drinks, and the three spend much of the evening at a local pub. After a few hours of exchanging pleasantries over alcoholic beverages, Ylanna queries the Troll knight, "So, Jenner---what did happen to Val's father?" With a sigh, Jenner relates the story of Warlord Kellin's death, his sword shattering in the battle against King Ironheart. Jenner gathered up the shards, but they were only enough to create Val's daggers; some of the pieces were never found. Curious, Ylanna wonders aloud if the missing shards might have been embedded in Ironheart, and if Deirdre might perhaps have daggers similar to Val's, forged from the pieces that were not recovered. She also wonders if it might be Ironheart who sent the renegade Scathach, and warns Jenner that he may be one of Deirdre's targets.
As the night wears on, the three adjourn to Jenner, Val and Sigrid's home, where Jenner and Ylanna spend much of the night sharing stories of their respective pasts. Due to the sensitive nature of both stories, the three swear never to reveal the details. As the sun begins to peek over the horizon, Darius conducts Ylanna home, while all three ponder the revelations brought up that evening.
Interim Session Fourteen
While riding his bike, Haunt is nearly run over by a rather slovenly Troll riding a motorcycle that appears to be Wayland's. Intrigued, he takes off after it, ending up in the bad part of town. He attempts to be stealthy, but is noticed by another Troll, a female who proves to be Moira, a member of the Black Rose. Luckily for the young Nocker, the male Troll is unable to rouse himself sufficiently to give chase (much to Moira's disgust).
Returning to Carterhaugh with the tale of his encounter, a tired Haunt falls asleep in the freehold. He then dreams of a night in Arcadia where he was captured by the Shadow Court. After freeing himself with Portal Passage, he was witness to the rescue of Valeria (in her Arcadian incarnation) by Jenner, Eric, Alan, and a pack of Garou. Awakening, he ponders why the manacles he was wearing in the dream burned him. When he questions Pol about this, his friend answers, "Well, maybe they were Cold Iron." At this, Haunt informs Pol that the Banality inherent in the Cold Iron should have made him unable to use any Arts. Pol replies: "Well, I always thought that Cold Iron burned the Fae, but didn't affect their powers. At least, that's how it always is in the stories." Frowning, Haunt ponders this. As he does so, the Sluagh Evelyn Wickham comes upon the two youths and listens to the tale of Haunt's dream. "Perhaps the Dreaming is trying to tell you something," she says quietly. Acting on this, Haunt goes to see Alan, who reveals that he, too, remembers Valeria's rescue, and tells the young Nocker a little about House Balor.
The next day at school, Haunt sees a mysterious (and extremely Banal) man trying to get Niall into his car. Worried that this individual might be trying to kidnap the young Sidhe, he summons Sir Raphael, who takes the lad into his custody.
After school, Haunt and Pol walk Raye, Serena, Lita, Amy and Mina home. When they reach Raye's shrine, the youngsters are startled to discover that the Balefire has been stolen. They manage to rekindle it with their own Glamour, and then begin searching for the thief. Through lucky circumstance, they discover that a Trod leads from the shrine to Carterhaugh---more specifically, to the private chambers of Countess Aeslinn of House Eiluned, one of the duke's nobles. Assuming that she is the guilty party, Haunt informs His Grace of the incident, after which the teens confront the Eiluned noblewoman. When presented with the evidence gathered by the young Kithain, she admits she "liberated" the Balefire from Raye's freehold. When His Grace hears this, he takes her into his audience chamber to dispense justice.
The happy mood is broken by the news that Elspeth has gone missing; she didn't return home after school, and no one knows where she is. Justifiably worried, Haunt, Pol, and the five girls accompany Jenner and Valeria on a rescue mission. Their search leads them to the same spot where Haunt encountered Moira, and the group bursts in to find the male Troll---now revealed as a Thallain Ogre---chewing on an arm with three metal fingers...Wayland's. Jenner makes short work of the Ogre, and our heroes press further into the building. While Valeria engages Moira, the others rescue a frightened but otherwise unharmed Elspeth. With the Childling safe, they return to Carterhaugh with their two prisoners in tow.
This web page copyright © 1997 by Midori M. Hirtzel
Last revised--July 6, 2011