Snail's Trail

Fort Wayne

Today’s session started at the Ball

Adam asked for his boon from the court, a complex identity with dual Russian and American citizenship, then faded into the background to watch his fellows and the changelings of the court. Uffe and Vivienne both asked for their boons to be deferred, held in trust for a later date. Uffe then went to speak with the scholars and Vivienne mingled, tasting the snacks and wines. Hank had a glossy photo, torn from some sort of magazine. A giant truck, with a back seat and a bed large enough for even Hank to lay in glowed from the page. “I want to be the legal owner and operator of this truck” he said, and the Summer King handed the photo to one of his assistant’s, a slender tentacled and tailed woman with odd blue markings on her skin and very sharp teeth.

Uffe talked the scholar’s into showing him their library. While it was not lacking in any respect he was somewhat disappointed. Comparing what the scholars in Fort Wayne were doing to the hints of the goings on in South Bend that he had gotten from Booker’s notes and Library Uffe determined that while the Court at Fort Wayne had more in the way of traditional, real world wealth, it was South Bend where the cutting edge research and thinking were occurring.

Seeing Vivienne’s interest in the wines, a mangy, rabbity man with giant buck teeth under his tattered mustache approached her. His name was Roger, and he supplied the wine for this occasion, and most such occasions. He sent a moth eyed young woman running back to his rooms for some of his more experimental vintages, and showed them off to Vivienne with every sign of delight.

A cowgirl cowgirl wandered up to Hank and walked her finger up his arm to his shoulder. “Hey there big boy, want to dance?” she asked, and he said yes. Hank spent the evening dancing and drinking with Honey. They made quite a pair out on the dance floor. As long as they were alone (and they often were) It was easy to forget how large the pair of them were. His arms looped easily around her waist and her head rested against his shoulder. It was only when something else entered the scene to give perspective that you remembered the fact that most men’s heads don’t reach Honey’s titties.

Vivienne turned her attention to Charles later in the evening. She didn’t find it hard to get him to talk about himself, and with very little prompting he wandered into tales of his glory years, waxing poetic about the exploits of his former motley. For him his adventures as a knight were ‘the good old days’, back when Michael was his trusted second in command rather than a traitor planning nefarious things. He wouldn’t go into great detail about Michael’s current plans, telling Vivienne that she didn’t need to worry about such things. “Michael will never get the last piece of the artifact from me, so it doesn’t matter what he plans to do with it” the king told her.

She redirected the conversation back to his days as a knight, and managed to get more information about the artifact from him. Thomas the runnerswift, his motley’s spy, was the first to come to him with reports of the strange changeling wizard tearing things up at Mississinewa Lake state park. Candice the Manikin was their researcher, and she determined that the Jeffery Wagner was a changeling that had gotten a hold of (perhaps inherited) an artifact that gave him powers that one usually only saw in True Fae or mages. The fighters in their motley: Allen the Soldier, Sara the water dweller, Michael the Fireheart, and Charles captain and Venombite, staged an ambush for their enemy, distracting him long enough for Candice and Thomas to steal the crown from him. Once Jeffery was defeated Candice broke the artifact into six pieces. Each member of the motley took a piece to hide or otherwise protect in order to prevent the artifact from falling into the wrong hands again. Charles believes that all of his former motley member besides Michael are dead now, and holds Michael responsible for their deaths.

After the party, while everyone was sound asleep an Invisible intruder tried to steal the flower. Adam was the only one who perceived the stealthy movements of this midnight visitor, but when he wrapped his hands around the flower it shrieked a claxon like alarm. Vivienne screamed and pulled free, terror lending her abnormal strength. Loosing his grip on the flower caused the intruder to fall to the ground. Still invisible he managed to bolt through the door before anyone could grab him, shoving Uffe out of the door way so that he could escape into the larger sitting area. Adam was hot on his tail, and practically tripped over him, grabbing the intruder on the way down to keep the scrawny, undersized man from getting away. The intruder managed to break free and whistled briefly before everyone lost track of him again. Uffe moved closer to the door leading into the entryway to the suite, and cast a spell to fill any intruder with terror. Adam moved into the entry way and closed the door to the hall, hoping to trap the intruder inside the room so that the party could deal with him. The door did not stay closed for long, a heavy weight struck it from the other side as one of the thorn hounds violently forced the door open. 6 thorn hounds pour into the room to menace Uffe and Vivienne. One remains in the entry to confront Adam. Uffe intimidated and terrified the dogs into backing away from him. The white collared dog went for the flower, knocking it out of Vivienne’s hands and to the ground. Uffe leaped over the sofa to grab the flower before any of the other dogs could get to it.

Adam fought the dog with the yellow day lily collar, while Uffe tried to frighten the rest of the dogs into fleeing. Vivienne stood blankly, staring of into the distance. She too was using her court’s emotion to sway the battle, but her target was the invisible opponent’s desire for the flower. She accessed his mind and discovered that turning his desire for the flower into something else was surprisingly easy. Like a wire that has already been bent once, bending a desire back into its original shape is easier than warping its shape the first time. Vivienne sent the attacker running to the flowering woman who was his true desire… even though that desire was also false- a creation of a type of magic she did not recognize. When their master fled most of the dogs followed. The exception is the dog with the white carnation collar. It who wouldn’t leave without the flower. With a lunge and a leap the dog managed to steal the artifact from Uffe.

Adam chased down the fleet little thorn hound and killed it, listening to the woman cry for a second time. Vivienne leapt upon the fallen flower to prevent any of the other dogs from grabbing it from the floor, but none of them seemed intelligent or perceptive enough to realize that they should not leave without the artifact they came for. Adam, Vivienne and Uffe chased the dogs through the halls of the freehold, following the dogs. Adam caught and killed two as they ran. The dogs seemed different than before, and it occurred to Uffe that whatever magic had been suppressing the flower’s aura at the mound had also interfered with the hound’s ability to manifest themselves there.

Vivienne realized that the halls they were running through were both familiar and strangely deserted a few steps before following the dogs into Alfred’s parlor. A small door at the back of the left wall led to a bed room. An empty mirror frame stood opposite the bed in the back of the room, and it was around this the last three dogs grouped themselves as invisible hands picked up a bowl from a nearby table and traced glowing runes on the empty space within the tarnished silver with its contents. Adam attempted to engage the last three dogs while Uffe used his stab apples to harm their invisible nemesis. Despite the blood that splattered the floor where he was standing before the glowing runes, it seemed that he escaped, vanishing with those runes and leaving his dogs behind to be slaughtered. Uffe reclaimed the two stab apples he threw at the invisible man and the party licked their wounds while looking around.

Investigation of the room revealed nothing that a finicky old man wouldn’t be expected to have. Everything was old and worn, in many cases nearly worn through. Rather than replace anything he‘d simply taken REALLY good care of it. The shelves we full of binders detailing schedules and events. The closet was full of boxes of the same, neatly labeled and chronologically organized. There was a single picture on the walls- a black and white photograph of an early town… it looks as though it was taken with one of the earliest model cameras ever produced. The sort where the operator would have been holding a flash pan. Behind the picture is a safe with piano keys rather than a combination. Taped to the back of the picture frame is a note. There was a letter on the coffee table. Monica compared the font to other letters the party had collected and determined that it was written by Booker’s Queen.

The note on the back of the picture:
The RIGHT way to open the safe is

A silent ring,
A small shade of red,
A point unsaid.
Clumsy at last,
Or you’ll be dead.

There are five white piano keys set into the front of this safe. Each has a picture on it, but I can’t draw, so use your imaginations.


The note on the table:

My servant,

It is of the utmost importance that we retrieve the flower from those who stole it. It will be dangerous for you to confront them directly, others among the Lost may come to their aide believing them to be in the right. This is not so, you well know that the flower belongs to me. Return my property to me and your rewards will be great.




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