Saturday, July 30, 2011

II - The Call to Adventure - Part One

Lady Songbird learns from Sir Real that the trod in The Patrician does not seem to work. They know it leads to the Huntsman's Game in the Dreaming, to an exit point close to Tara Nar, and to somewhere in the Kingdom of Willows, but they are uncertain if there are other locations nor why it cannot be controlled.  They consider locking it closed in cold iron.   She also receives an open-invitation from the Kingdom of Willows to visit, good for a year.   The Lady then meets with Doctor Coma and Thortal, both of whom seem unwilling to be in the presence of each other.  While Thortal searches for Miles and investigates on Marcus, Coma introduces Lady Songbird to the existence of the Unseelie Houses and to the infamous Vlad Rogvodov, Unseelie member of the Parliament of Dreams.  They discuss making Songbird part of the Parliament as well, as the Advocate of Goblin Town.  That, however, means finding a way to dispose of Cadmium Redd, whose grip on the Freehold and her own sanity seems tight yet slipping.  Perhaps it has to do with her dabbling with banality and her creation of an iron cage.  Just when things were to be quieter, the missing Miles resurfaces, arriving at the Freehold with little memory of what has happened and the ability to see Kithain seemings!

Flynn Wordweaver has been with Sir Lleu Ardwyad and Faerylith, struggling to make sense of his strange memories of having survived... or rather, been reincarnated from the infamous Night of the Iron Knives.  Helping them is a Sir Ashley of House Eiluned, a psychologist among the fae.  The memories refuse to surface clearly after weeks of trying.  Taking a breather, Flynn heads to the Trod Away From Home and there re-encounters Duke Dray.  However, far from the bumbling fool he was in their first meeting, the Duke reveals to him how he had rescued the orphans, especially the two Dreamers, from the Autumn people that managed the Orphanage.    The Duke reminds him of his duties to the Escheat.  Flustered, Flynn visits the children and finds them under the care of a Dr. van Noceti.  However, when the real doctor emerges, the strange one seemingly vanishes.  Arriving home, Flynn finds no respite as Lleu returns with Thortal and the two use their combined Arts and skills to pull from Flynn a "passive Dictum" that was lying in wait.  The command was given by one of the Shadow Court, and to Thortal's horror, that person who cast it was Faerylith herself.    Finding sleep, Flynn dreams and sees the Night of the Iron Knives unfold.  He sees his friends murdered in the mist-filled room that Beltine night and realizes in this dream, he had seen the faces of Duke Dray and Queen Mab herself.  He also witnesses himself die, stabbed once in the stomach and another time through the throat.  How could he have returned from a death dealt by cold iron?

Sir Felix Southpaw sadly was also to be denied a quiet night.  His dreams speak of a massive wall that stretches from horizon to horizon.  Here, where green fires illuminate the night and vast armies camp beyond the wall, waiting for the call to war, Felix sees a goat-legged queen of ice asking him to reconsider.  However Felix bids her farewell and tells her their love is over.  He awakens in The Seven, the freehold once owned by the Crystal Circle, now under his care from Master Seamus, and has a short chat with Lenore (Sparrow).  Morwen, the High King's sister, comes to visit, offering him resources, trod access and a treasure in exchange for swearing an Oath to be Lenore's guardian.  He considers.  He meets Rowena the Just, Leader of the Riders of the Midnight Trods, and learns they function as a messenger system through the many Kingdoms.  After a near encounter with a strange man that seemed to be obsessed with scissors, Felix and Lenore make their way back to The Seven after her heartfelt admission of her jealousy towards her father's attentions towards Faerylith.  In the Freehold, Felix once more dreams of his former life in the Deep Dreaming, of a time when Joseph van Noceti III was his friend, the Gray sword was his weapon, and Thortal was but a squire.  He learns he is of a Noble House:  Scathach and wakes up confusing an open trod as the door leading out of the freehold.  He steps through and the Trod closes behind him, leaving him somewhere in the Dreaming.  Alone.

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