Session Thirteen

While enjoying dinner at Alan's, Darius, Ylanna, Val and Jenner are interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Ysolde Nyx. Much to the surprise of our heroes, the Unseelie Eshu reveals that she wishes their aid on a matter of great importance. It seems that a friend of hers, another Eshu named Dion, recently arrived in town. When queried further, she reveals that he appeared as a Vampire to her Faerie Sight, and that he didn't remember her until he was Enchanted. This piques the group's curiousity, and they agree to help. Ysolde wishes Dion returned to his previous state, but our heroes wonder if such is possible. In return, the Eshu lets it slip that a silver prosthetic arm is arriving in SilverWood from the Kingdom of Grass, ruled by Queen Mary Elizabeth of House Dougal---perhaps a replacement for the one lost by the erstwhile Squire Wayland?

After getting some more information from Ysolde at The Asylum Danceclub, our heroes' search eventually leads them to the home of Rick and Chelsea Hunter, a husband and wife who are playing host to Galadriel (cf. Session Twelve). Our heroes soon discover that the Hunters are also Vampires, and in the course of the night end up revealing their faerie selves to Rick by Enchanting him (as, unlike Chelsea and Galadriel, he lacks the ability to see their auras).

The group learns from the three that there are a number of ways cited in legend to undo the Vampiric Embrace: to attain a balance between the human and the bestial nature; to slay the one who Sired (ie, created) the Vampire in question; or to use the magical Cup for which Galadriel is searching. Galadriel also directs them to a number of people who might be of assistance: a group of sorcerers headquartered in the nearby Washington, D.C. area. Among those mentioned is Aidan Ryan, the young man whom the group rescued form the Shadow Court on Samhain Night (cf. Session Twelve). Thanking the three for their aid, our heroes retire for the night, determined to take up their search again come the day.

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Session Fourteen

Retiring to their beds after their conversation the previous night (see Session Thirteen), Alan, Darius and Ylanna share a strange dream: as part of a coalition of Arcadian forces led by Duke Kellin of House Scathach, they rescue a Fianna druidess from an attack by Black Spiral Dancers. The group soon learns that the Garou, whose name is Niamh, is the bearer of a potent Treasure: a staff infused with such Glamour that it helped her in holding off the Dancers. Figuring that this must be the Staff mentioned in the tales of the Four Treasures, our heroes make certain that she speaks to Kellin, whose sword they believe to be another of the Treasures in question. This is confirmed when the Warlord reveals that the blade was a gift to his House by Scathach herself.

More odd things occur that evening: a man bearing the stamp of Sidhe blood, wearing a pentacle necklace that glows with Glamour, enters Niamh's grove, asking Alan who sent the call for help. When asked, he introduces himself as Elric, a Magus of House Merinita of the Order of Hermes. Alan conducts the magician to Ylanna, who in turn conducts him to Kellin.

Curious as to their whereabouts, Alan queries Niamh about where they are. He learns that it is medieval Britain, and that Niamh is a priestess of the Mother Goddess, whose sacred lake is nearby. "My people call her Gaia," the Fianna Theurge explains, "but the local folk call her Ginevra, and the black-robed worshippers of the One God wish her to be called 'Saint.'" She further explains that the Lady of the Lake is but one of three: Kyré, the Maiden; Ginevra, the Mother; and Scathach, the Death-Bringer---a statement confirmed by Kellin.

Alan reveals this information to his fellows, but before the three can act upon it, it is discovered that a number of the forces of House Dougal and House Gwydion have gone missing, among them Sir Wayland of House Dougal, the Arcadian incarnation of their erstwhile acquaintance. Much put out by this turn of events, Kellin dispatches his sister, Lady Janna, and our heroes to bring back the erring troops. As they set out upon their journey, Alan informs Darius and Ylanna that when he met Elric, he was attempting to use Hopscotch, and was amazed at how high he jumped.

Our heroes' first stop is the sacred lake, where they are met by a wondrous sight indeed: three women---one a nubile maiden, one a mature lady with long white hair, and one a forbidding dark-haired warrior woman in black armor---gathered there. Cautiously approaching, they discover that the three ladies are indeed the Three Who Are One. While Alan enjoys a brief tryst with the Maiden, Ylanna queries Ginevra about their quest. The Lady of the Lake replies that Wayland journeys to a place which bears the standard of the dragon. Correctly surmising this to be House Ailil, the Fiona knight urges Lady Janna to warn her brother of this turn of events, and the Scathach knight complies.

After Alan returns from his tussle in the weeds with the Maiden, Scathach grants the trio a guide on their quest: a raven named Macha. Thanking the Three for Their aid, our heroes take their leave.

Their guide leads them to the castle of Countess Rhiannon of the House Eiluned, where they learn that Wayland has been passing himself off as a Duke on the advice of one Count Sean MacNevin, ostensibly of House Eiluned. After informing the Countess of the error of Wayland's information, our heroes locate the errant troops, and Ylanna confronts Wayland and Sean, determined that the Dougal should suffer for his insubordination. Shortly thereafter, Kellin arrives on the scene, and demands satisfaction for Wayland's actions. Thinking quickly, Ylanna offers to take the matter off the Warlord's hands, and soundly trounces Wayland in a duel. After she does so, it is revealed that Count Sean has disappeared, but a note in his quarters reveals his true purpose: "Thank you for the diversion. We shall meet again---Count Sean MacNevin ap Ailil."

Upon waking, our heroes gather in the kitchen of Carterhaugh to discuss the ramifications of this dream. While they are doing so, they are interuptted by the arrival of Valeria, who wonders aloud what they are speaking of. They fill her in, and remind her that it seems likely that her daggers are what remains of the Sword.

Recalling Pol's stories about a magical staff given to the Garou, and that Niamh bore a striking resemblance to Alyssa Tull, Alan invites the nurse over for dinner. During a conversation with our heroes, Alyssa reveals that she has come into possession of the Staff and that she vaguely remembers the incidents of the dream. She further reveals that Elric was an ancestor of hers---and, thus, Aidan's---on their father's side. With their suspicions confirmed, our heroes wonder about the whereabouts of the last Treasure...

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Session Fifteen

On Midwinter's Night, our heroes are summoned to High Court. There, for heroic service to SilverWood, Darius, Ylanna and Haunt are inducted into the Order of the Silver Lion, and Sir Raphael is created a Baron. Also, Squire Wayland returns, wearing a new silver prosthetic arm in place of the one severed by an Ogre (much to the chagrin of our heroes, who had thought their erstwhile associate dead).

During the Yule Festivities that follow, our heroes make the acquaintance of a Sluagh poet named Victoria Blackwell. While observing the partygoers from a distance, Victoria meets a darkly handsome young man who bears the unmistakeable stamp of Eshu blood, but who appears oddly pale to Faerie Sight. He confides in her that he wishes to return to the Wheel of Rebirth---by ending his current existence, for he can feel the Mists encroaching upon his knowledge of his Changeling self. Before she can query him further, the young man disappears into the crowd.

Meanwhile, little Elspeth confides in Jenner and Darius that she had a dream about "a tall man with antlers, and a pack of big dogs." Knowing that the Childling's dreams have proved prophetic before, the two Trolls decide that perhaps the Guard ought to be discreetly placed on alert. A few moments thereafter, Valeria receives a phone call that a friend of hers, Aidan Ryan (cf. Session Twelve), has been shot and taken to Georgetown University Hospital. Justifiably worried, she bids hasty goodbyes and leaves for the hospital.

Intrigued by this turn of events, Ylanna wonders if perhaps there might be more to these events than first appears. Her suspicions are proved correct when Victoria reveals her mysterious conversation to the motley. Deducing the gentleman in question to be Dion, Ysolde Nyx's erstwhile friend (cf. Session Thirteen), and recalling Elspeth's dream, our heroes make a phone call to Valeria. She is well, but hears dogs howling in the distance. Ylanna, Alan and Darius recall stories of Gwyn ab Nudd and the Wild Hunt---a pack of monstrous black dogs, led by an antler-crowned man, who collected those who were destined to die---and the group proceeds with all speed to the hospital.

At the hospital, our heroes note that the area grows steadily colder, and that it is the night of the new moon---no light, as Ylanna observes. Then, as Valeria hears the baying of the hounds draw ever closer, she abruptly leaves. Ylanna follows, and observes the Scathach knight go outside, where she draws her sword in salute to some unseen entity, calling out in Gaelic. One word is recognizable: Scathach.

Meanwhile, inside, Aidan's fiancée, Black Fury Shakti True-Strike (cf. Session Twelve), takes Crinos form, and despite Darius's attempts to deter her, bolts out into the night, leaving a number of Delirious mortals in her wake. Knowing full well that something is happening, Alan and Victoria hurry to Aidan's hospital room, where they spy a Chimerical raven perched upon the head of the bed. Alan attempts vainly to get the creature to leave, but the Dark Lady's messenger proves implacable. "I must return with someone, or my Lady will not be pleased." Thinking quickly, Alan determines to offer himself in exchange for Aidan...

At the same time, outside, Ylanna and Darius are astonished to see the sudden appearance of a tall, black-clad man, his head crowned by a rack of antlers, and a pack of huge black dogs---with Shakti in Hispo form among them. Valeria and the Master of the Hunt converse for a few moments in Gaelic, and then in a tongue the Fiona and the Troll can understand. Valeria pleads with the Huntsman for Aidan's life, but Gwyn shakes his head. "Once called, I cannot return to the Dark Lady empty-handed." Valeria nods gravely, and falls to her knees, sweeping aside the thick fall of her hair as she bows her head...

Just as Darius struggles to make his way to Valeria, Dion appears from the shadows and calls out to the Master of the Hunt to take him instead. Agreeing with the Eshu Vampire, Gwyn holds out his hand, but not before giving Valeria a cryptic prophecy: "Your time is not yet come, child of my Lady. You have things yet to do."

Before leaving with the Huntsman, Dion works a ring from his finger and gives it to Darius with these instructions: "Give this to Ysolde. Tell her I will remember her always, and may we meet another life." His farewells said, the once-Kithain steps joyfully into the tender embrace of Gwyn ap Nudd. Then the Master and his pack vanish, leaving behind the body of a young Middle Eastern man, a smile playing about his lips.

Inside the hospital, Alan and Victoria start as the raven disappears. Moments later, Ylanna enters the room, and soberly informs them of what happened outside. As she explains the events of the night, Aidan wakes, musing groggily of curious dreams. Ylanna soothes him until the arrival of Val and Shakti, and then our heroes repair to Carterhaugh, leaving the young man in the care of his fiancée.

At Carterhaugh, Darius soberly delivers Dion's message to Ysolde Nyx, who takes it with as much grace as she can muster. Meanwhile, our heroes go their separate ways for the night, wondering upon its events as dawn slowly breaks over the horizon.

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Session Sixteen

Determined that Dion's sacrifice (cf. Session Fifteen) should not go unremembered, our heroes attend a wake for the Embraced Eshu.

A day or two later, the motley discovers that there are a number of rumors flying about the Seelie Court. The two most concerning them are allegations that Valeria is pregnant by Baron Raphael, and that there is a traitor in the Court (the latter allegation put forth by Squire Wayland of House Dougal).

Passing by the barracks on his way to attend to other business, Darius witnesses Jenner's outrage at the allegation that Valeria is carrying Raphael's child. Determining that if the rumor is true, that Valeria must have been seduced by Raphael (not the other way around, as the ladies of the court are insisting), the Troll knight prepares to meet the Fiona on the field of honor (or, in this case, the practice field) and take satisfaction for Raphael's cavalier treatment of Valeria's affections and the stain upon her honor. However, cooler heads prevail and Darius convinces a calmer Jenner to query Valeria before taking action, while he confers with Raphael on the subject.

Determining to do something before matters grow out of hand, Darius offers his services to Raphael as an investigator into the "traitor" rumor, and also tells the Herald of the other one. Much astonished, Raphael reveals that, if the rumor is true, he has no knowledge of it. "I assume that if she were pregnant, Lady Valeria would tell the prospective father..." Agreeing, Darius takes his leave, mentioning that Jenner has promised to speak with Valeria on the subject.

That night, Darius, Ylanna, and Alan share a dream taking place in Buffalo, New York during the Accordance War. Fighting on the side of the commoner Kiths, Darius is chosen to escort a Sidhe prisoner, Lady Melisande of House Gwydion, to the freehold of Janna of House Scathach. Arriving at the freehold, the Troll is met by Baroness Janna herself, and her 14 year-old niece, Valeria (a past incarnation of Val).

Invited to stay the night by Lady Janna, Darius accepts, and discovers that the Scathach baroness is sheltering a group of Childlings---among them a young Ylanna. He also meets Janna's associate, Sir Jenner Rainwater (a younger incarnation of the Troll knight he knows in the present).

After leaving the Freehold, Darius meets with a number of the local commoners---Alan in a previous incarnation among them. Hoping that Jenner will be able to convince Janna to give up her neutral stance and aid them, they are disappointed when the Troll arrives and reports that the Scathach baroness will not compromise her neutrality due to her concern for the children she shelters. She has, however, released Jenner from his oath of fealty to her.

The meeting is interuptted by the sudden arrival of Valeria, Ylanna, and a number of other young Fae. Determined to prove themselves, the youngsters refuse to obey the adults and seek a safer place. Suddenly, the argument is cut short by the arrival of an exhausted Eshu, who reports that the Sidhe are on their way in force. Reluctantly, the adults accept the aid of the youngsters.

A battle royal ensues, with the commoners putting forth a noble effort as the Sidhe relentlessly pound away at their defenses. In the midst of the fight, Valeria is brought low from behind by one of the Sidhe. An enraged Jenner returns the noble's blow in kind, and cradles Valeria against him as her Fae mien dissolves, leaving only a black-haired teenager. Taking her daggers and handing them to Alan, Jenner requests quietly that the Satyr take them to Janna. "These were once part of a mighty sword that belonged to her family. I want her to have them when she comes back again." Then he turns to Darius, asking that the other Troll witness his taking of a new oath. Having failed to fulfill his oath to protect Valeria, Jenner swears to avenge her death, or die in the trying. With the affirmation of Darius, Alan, and Ylanna, he hurls himself into the fray, against what seem to be hopeless odds. Yet, when all is over, the tide has been turned, and the Sidhe retreat. The price, however, is high---many of the defenders have suffered Chimerical death, including Jenner and Valeria.

Darius, Ylanna and Alan return to Janna's freehold and report the news of Jenner and Valeria's deaths. Janna takes the news with as much grace as she can muster, promising that she will keep Valeria's daggers safe until her niece has need of them again. On this sad note, our heroes awaken, feeling an odd sense of loss as they ponder what the dreams might portend.

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Malcolm's Prelude

After being surprised by the return of his latest conquest's husband, Satyr Malcolm McGrath makes the acquaintance of two lovely ladies, a Sidhe name Dee and a large human woman named Lynnette. While in their company, he notes that the two accept a mysterious package from an Eshu called Messalina at the Blackwater Country Club. When asked, the two prove evasive about the package's contents, but they do entrust the Satyr with a task: to direct them to the Seelie Court.

The three soon discover the Avalon Theatre, where Malcolm determines to join the cast of their upcoming play, Romeo and Juliet. While he converses with the young Eshu, Raye, the secretary for the theatre company, Dee and Lynnette slip away, leaving him to wonder on their whereabouts...

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Session Seventeen

A Satyr named Malcolm McGrath appears at Carterhaugh and makes the acquaintance of our heroes. When asked his business, he states that he wishes to join the Avalon Theatre Company. Permitted to do so by His Grace, he takes time to familiarize himself with the duchy in general and Carterhaugh in particular.

While giving Malcolm the grand tour, our heroes come upon Baron Raphael and Sir Jenner battling with wooden practice blades on the salle, with Sir Darius spectating. Only after Raphael suffers an inadvertant injury do the two combatants cease. As Jenner uses Heather-Balm to heal the Sidhe's broken arm, Raphael queries why the Troll started the rumors about Lady Valeria. Astonished, Jenner returns that it was not he who started the rumor, and he thought only to defend Valeria's honor. With the truth of the matter revealed, the two of them decide to take the matter up with Val as they meant to do in the first place. They take themselves off to find the Scathach knight, Darius following in their wake.

A few minutes later, the three return, accompanied by a much put-out Valeria, who confirms that the rumors of her being with child are false. With that cleared up, she takes a moment to speak aside with Victoria: "I understand you know much of the occult. Can you banish nightmares?" When the Sluagh poetess asks for more information, Valeria reveals her dreams of previous lifetimes, and of one incident that recurringly haunts her---of a time in Arcadia when she was imprisoned in the dungeons of House Balor, and abused by Thallain Ogres. The Scathach knight tersely reveals that the nightmare recurs whenever she is intimate with another for the first time. Inwardly puzzling over this, for she knows Sidhe do not normally reincarnate, Victoria offers what advice she can.

That evening, when Alan invites his friends to dinner, Victoria reveals to them the details of Val's dreams. Alan reveals that such an incident did happen in Arcadia, for he helped rescue Val from the clutches of the Shadow Court. Upon hearing this, some of the motley contemplate asking Valeria further about this, but Ylanna offers a caution---"Remember what happened in the last dream that we shared that had her in it...she died." (cf. Session Sixteen) Acknowledging this, the group instead determines to question Valeria's aunt, Baroness Janna, who is at Carterhaugh on business with His Grace.

The motley finds Janna working out on the salle with Jenner, and after the two break off their practice, Janna is amenable to speaking with the group. When questioned, she reveals that her House is indeed unique among the Sidhe, for the Scathach reincarnate, even as do the commoners. Janna further relates how, in ages past, Scathach grew angry at the other Sidhe for looking down upon her descendants, and thus refused their souls entry to the Cauldron of Rebirth. In revenge, the other Tuatha de Danaan took away the ability of House Scathach to learn and use the Art of Sovereign.

Later, Ylanna is accosted by Squire Wayland, who reiterates that he has heard of a traitor in the Seelie Court. Determined to discover once and for all whether or not the Dougal is telling the truth, Ylanna suggests he bring his grievances before His Grace or Lady Melisande, instead of relying on hearsay, "which isn't even accepted in mortal courts."

Stung, Wayland brings his evidence before Lady Melisande during a party held in his "honor" by Darius. in a private audience chamber, with Ylanna, Jenner and Darius in attendance, Wayland reveals that he believes the traitor is Valeria. Outraged, Jenner demands satisfaction, and is only stopped by Melisande's insistence that there be no dueling between the Troll knight and the Dougal squire.

When Valeria hears of Wayland's slanderous accusation scant minutes later, she challenges him at once to the Dragon's Dance. Despite Ylanna's cautionary advice, Wayland accepts the challenge---"After all, she is not even a true Sidhe."

As Valeria and Wayland square off, the would-be duel is interrupted by His Grace, who makes good use of Grandeur to avert a potentially hazardous situation. He then queries both of them what is going on, and Valeria swears that she is no traitor---a statement affirmed by Melisande, who uses Gwydion's boon to ascertain that the Captain of the Guard is telling the truth. The crisis averted, our heroes return to their enjoyment to the festivities, while a defeated Wayland withdraws.

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Session Eighteen

While helping out at the Avalon Theatre, Darius meets an attractive red-haired woman named Dominique Destine, and discovers that she works as a bodyguard for one of Arislan's business associates. His Kenning reveals her to be somewhat Troll-like, but with a pair of batlike wings sprouting from her shoulders. Intrigued, he exchanges business cards and makes a date for coffee at some unspecified occasion in the future.

Meanwhile, Malcolm trails the attractive female lead to The Vampire Lestat. Bluffing his way in, he makes the acquaintance of the club's owner, Louis de Valmont, then makes a hasty retreat at the hands of one of the club's patrons.

The night of the performance, two of Malcolm's erstwhile friends make their appearance---Dee and Lynnette. After the play, Dee asks the Satyr to convey their regards to Jenner. When he does so, Valeria demands to know where Dee is. Malcolm leads the Troll and Sidhe to the ladies in question, and Dee tauntingly remarks that "Deirdre sends her regards."

A confrontation nearly breaks out between Jenner and Val and the two women, but suddenly a transformed Dominique---now revealed as a blue-skinned, red-eyed, winged fury---lands squarely on Lynnette, her claws gouging deep furrows. Not even Lynnette's transformation to a mangy, diseased-looking werewolf saves her from Dominique's claws. Frightened, Dee uses the pandemonium to make good her retreat. Following the altercation, Dominique's associate, one David Corbin, helps dispose of the body, and Darius takes statements from those present to calm any mundane investigations.

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