Fresh From the Hedge

Running Scared
The group hits the ground running

Three Changelings — Steve the Elemental Earthbones, Whistler and V. Just V — awake abruptly in an alleyway in a strange town. They don’t know where the alley is, or who they are, and before they can start asking questions, a chilling hunter’s horn echoes across the still afternoon. Terror strikes the three, and all they can do is flee in fear for their lives.

Running madly through a shipping yard, with the baying of savage hounds joining the hunter’s horn. V spots a container that seems to stand out silvery, and leads the group to it. Standing guard is an Ogre Stonebones named Will Do. After a brief string of questions (“The fuck are you? The fuck is this? The fuck?”) and hearing the baleful horn and hounds, he rushes the trio into the special container. Once inside, the doors swing shut and the sense of dread fades.

After walking a ways, the group finds themselves inside the Middle of the Road, the freehold of Rook’s Beach, CT. Their arrival goes unnoticed at first, as a raging argument between two of the freehold’s leaders, the [[:name-the-summer-king-npc | Summer King and [[:name-the-autumn-queen | [Name] the Autumn Queen]], is well underway. Will Do tells the freehold’s collective leadership of the pursuer, the Gentry’s Hunter. The freehold rushes into lock down, on high alert as battle plans are drawn and security measures established.

Bishop Tom approaches the group, offering an introduction into Court politics and its various members. Once determined that the trio has no memory of where they came from, or why they have Roman numerals tattooed on them, they receive a crash course on Changeling life.

The freehold is in a state of turmoil. Tradition dictates that with the turning of the seasons, the Court changes in kind. With summer coming to a close, the Summer King has presented sudden resistance. The Autumn Queen was once accused of Loyalist sympathies, and the Middle of the Road had had a number of its members kidnapped by the Gentry. Though she was cleared of all wrong doing, the stigma has long stayed. The Summed King hasn’t been shy in reminding the freehold of this.

After a night of networking for Steve, learning the lay of the land for V, and self tattooing for Whistler, the night came to a close.

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The Day After Yesterday
Two new arrivals

As Steve, Whistler, and V were nestled in their beds, two freshly escaped changelings clad in sackcloth arrived in a shipping yard with no memories to call their own. As the cry of a hunting horn and hounds echo through the air, Ward and Alan Thoreau hid about the shipping containers (with Alan growing to a tremendous size), ultimately to take refuge in a shipping container guarded by Will Do. The container proved to a be a portal that dumped them into The Middle of the Road in the middle of the night.

The new arrivals have an ignominious introduction — a surly Will Do, a curt Bishop Tom, and precious little else — to the freehold. In the end, they begrudgingly pledge a vague allegiance to the freehold. Given mismatched clothes and a cot to sleep on, they bring their day to an end.

The morning brings Alan and Ward into contact with Whistler. Down to the bar, they’re given a bit more of an education about changeling life. The remainder of the morning is spent with Bishop Tom, who regales the three with a barrage of Rook’s Beach, CT trivia. Mental notes are taken and quality maps are drawn.They travel to a rougher-still part of town to the apartment of Cyrus, who is able to provide barely-there IDs for the group; as Bishop Tom puts it, “the foundation of a new life!” The good Blackbird advises that the one to two week waiting period could be expedited should one wish to throw their lot in with the Bishopric of Blackbird, not to mention a modest stipend.

From there, the four go their separate ways.

V stays behind to chat with Cyrus. In a delightfully ham-fisted manner, V asks if there are any lockpicks to be had. Cyrus says it’s possible, and relates a story betrayal and violence. If V agrees to help with a plot of revenge, he’ll gladly pay him.

Whistler doubles back to a free clinic they had passed earlier. Understaffed and overworked, Whistler offers his help. The receptionist mistakes him for a medical intern, and with a bit of paperwork, puts him to work.

Alan Thoreau and Ward return to the bar. Ward goes about chatting up the regulars, ingratiating himself into their conversations. It doesn’t take long for him to be seen as a heckuvaguy, just a swell fellah. Alan hangs back, observing the scene.

With the motley having been filled out by two more, and plans and plots having been set into motion, only the fates know what’s coming next.

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Plans In Motion
A Filler If Ever There Was

Alan and Steve clean the basement and scavenge. They spend the afternoon food shopping, which Steve ruins. Alan buys Wade a gift.

Wade chats up Becky, the happiest of interns. Later, he chats with Lucien Thorne.

V wanders, seeking purpose. Offers his services to Thorne.

Whistler chats with Bishop Tom, then spends his day at work, healing the unwashed masses. He’s ever closer to throwing his lot in with the Blackbirds.

In-Game Date Sept 16, 2013
Total In-Game Time Passed: 4 days

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Giant Crab
A giant fucking crab

Giant.

Fucking.

Crab.

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A Crab a Spider and a Zomie Walk into a Bar
Alan's Tale: episode 2

It would be hard to say that I feel comfortable in my new home, but I had actually achieved dreamless sleep for the first time this week. Until, ooooh, about 5am. This time I can’t blame Ward’s snoring. He wasn’t even in the bed. There was a bustle downstairs though. I was ready as always with my clothes on in case of a sudden need to bolt.

As I dashed downstairs I managed to catch a glance of the creatures through the cracked door as Whislter slammed it. My new home was in trouble.

As the adrenaline and blood pumped through my veins, I barked orders to my shocked friends in the dining area. Even our mentor Bishop Tom was in tears, paralyzed from action with fear. As the door nearly rattled open I threw my back against the door. Out of my peripheral, through the window, I took a closer look at the invaders. Easily hundreds of these mutant crab spiders the size of dogs at the door. After several minutes of this silent tug of war by new companions proved resourceful. Molotov cocktails rained on the creatures from the second floor.

After a few minutes we were able to properly barricade the door. Whistler and I formed a plan to try and preserve our new found home and friends. We would attempt a surprise assault and, at least take down as many of the creatures as we could. As we charged out from the side door the spiders fled before us.

The creatures were shocked, and panicked as we charged towards them. I told Whistler to see to the defenses of the Freehold. I chased the pack to see what foul agent was responsible for their creation. As I cut a sharp turn around the corner I saw them join with another group of the creatures to from one 20 foot tall monstrosity. I know the Freehold would be in trouble so I needed to lead it somewhere else.

Unfortunately it had other plans. As it charged past me I leapt on its back trying to stop it before innocent people got hurt. It employed its magical defenses, surrounding its shell with gouts of flame. As it charged for Whistler I knew it was up to me. I scaled its back and just before it stampeded through my friend I reached its head and stabbed my trusty Pen Knife through it’s brain, bringing it crashing and skidding to halt just in front of my friend and the freehold.

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Big Changes

While in Bridgeport, CT, MacTavish abruptly finds himself in the company of Nix, fresh from the Hedge and a complete amnesiac. Fleeing from Hedgehounds and a baying hunting horn, they’re rescued by a dapper stranger named Benjamin Hassan. Benjamin provides sanctuary for Nix for a time, and charges MacTavish with returning in two weeks time. When he does so, Nix and MacTavish stumble and abruptly find themselves in Times Square. After slowly making their way back to Rook’s Beach, they learn it’s been a week since they stumbled.

They arrive at the freehold just after a terrible battle with a giant crab, and after meeting the others, call it a night.

From here, shenanigans ensue.

Alan and V take interest in a jack in the box Nix arrived with. The Librarian offers to identify the nature of the box, though she needs to see it first hand. After a series of machinations, which involve the old Indiana Jones bait and switch, the box is acquired.

Early on, Silus had given V the job of getting vengeance on Vinnie, a former client who didn’t pay up. While V was putting things into motion, Nix was also pulled into things, seeking out Vinnie as she thought he had her jack in the box. At the end, between the child pornography and the fake IDs, Vinnie was set to go to jail for a long, long time.

There were some misunderstandings that led to Steve thinking Vinnie had been released from jail and returned home, as well as Nix telling MacTavish that Vinnie the child molester had had his way with her, which led to MacTavish tearing Vinnie’s house apart, which ultimately resulted in V returning Nix’s jack in the box to her.

The Librarian reveals the box likely holds the memories of the amnesiacs, though it can’t be opened without the assistance of goblins that reside within the depths of the Hedge. The problem is that the Hedge is swarming with wicked beasts since the arrival of the amnesiacs.

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Step Right up! Step Right Up!
Fun on the Fairway
A three day block party has been set up to bid adieu to Summer’s rule and usher in Autumn reign. To the mortal world, it looks like an fall carnival, complete with contests of skill and feats of strength. The characters enter into a variety of challenges.
  • MacTavish tries his hand at a mallet-and-bell game, and wins. A competitor, and fellow ogre, is enraged at his defeat. A brief mêlée ensues, ending with the ogre unconscious.
  • Alan sets up a caricature stand, and finds himself doing brisk trade. His skill and business acumen garner him the attention of the local Courts.
  • Nix enters into combat in an open sewer in an alleyway. After a valiant struggle, is defeated.
  • Steve enters into combat (I think?) with some manner of result (probably).
  • V entered into a knife throwing contest and was victorious.
  • Hayward did what Hayward does, mostly an assortment of stuff and things.

The victorious characters then went on to the bonus round of dreamscape combat!

  • V was pitted against MacTavish. The darkling blinded the ogre, and then threw knives at him until “dead.” Though defeated, MacTavish was so impressed with V’s skills that he spoke glowingly of him to the Summer Court. The WInter Court, too, had taken notice of the darkling’s tactics.
  • Steve fought a creepy creeperson, until a particular outcome was achieved.
  • There may have been another battle, but my current food coma has clouded my memory.

The next day was more subdued and far less violent. The characters took a trip to the local goblin market, and sought out someone who could answer questions about Nix’s memory box. This resulted in the group learning of a factory in the Hedge that makes them. After some discussion, the group elated to gear up and head into the Hedge to find the factory.

Armed, armored and given an accompaniment of four soldiers, they set out the following day.

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