Third session in our second season! Let's go!
Last time, Briar, Genesis, and Skylar were at Briar's house when they heard the growl from outside. The others (Cassi, Austin, Rook, and Dora) were approaching from outside and saw the paw prints. Briar gave Genesis a big club, gave Skylar a hairspray can and lighter, and grabbed some fire pots and headed out to battle.
But outside, the Shade Tiger had attacked! Rook shut it down, and gave it the tamed condition, so it kind of flopped over and waited. But then the others rounded the corner and Skylar yelled, "Look out!" The tiger jumped up and ran to attack Skylar. Briar tried to take the blow, but failed, and it just wound up clawing both of them (Skylar did use mimicry, though).
Dora ran over and tried to use a binding hex on the tiger, but failed. The hex inverted itself and Dora sat there shivering. Genesis lashed out physically with the club, but failed, and the tiger clawed her. Skylar tried to use the hairspray can to burn it (lashing out physically), but failed, and the can exploded, doing a bit of Harm to almost everyone.
Briar lashed out physically with her fire pots, and did some Harm to the tiger, but also triggered her Darkest Self. Rook, again, shut it down, and gave the tiger the passive condition, but picked up feral for himself.
Briar told everyone to leave, and stormed back to her armory to gear up for a hunt. Rook refused, and stayed with the cat (as did Dora, who was treating it more like a pet at this point; she held steady to clip a bit of the cat's fur). Cassi followed Briar, hoping to talk her down, and Austin followed Cassi.
Briar, in her armory, heard a noise behind her and saw a spectral, icy woman - the White Lady. She flung a knife at it...
Cassi arrived at the armory and saw the door ajar. She opened it, and saw the White Lady there. She gazed into the abyss but failed, and the White Lady reached up and stroked her cheek. And then she looked down and saw a knife sticking out of her chest - Briar had successfully lashed out physically.
Austin, a second behind Cassi, saw her fall, caught her, and berated Briar. He called out for help and the others loaded Cassi into her car. There was some talk about taking Genesis to the hospital as well (she was pretty badly injured, too), but they talked too long and Austin left.
Skylar took Briar's car (Briar tossed him the keys) to get Genesis to the hospital. Genesis held steady, but wound up with the terrified condition and didn't want to go - she was afraid she'd dry out or be dissected. Skylar instead took her to the beach.
Meanwhile, at the house, Rook, still feral, turned Briar on. Briar, in the throes of her Darkest Self and ready to go after anything - the Emissary, the White Lady - gave in, and the two of them went back to the armory. Dora, meanwhile, called Miguel for a ride.
Post-sex, Rook asked Briar to promise that she'd never go running off by herself after danger again. Briar promised, which is awesome, because she's one Darkest Self away from breaking that promise.
Dora, waiting for a ride, was approached by the White Lady. Keeping her cool, Dora asked to have the tiger remain, pet-like. She manipulated an NPC, and the White Lady agreed, if she got to mark Dora. Dora agreesd, and the White Lady stroked her face, much like she did to Cassi.
Skylar took Genesis to the beach. Genesis soaked in the water, and gazed into the abyss, wondering how they can get out of this alive. She realized that she could just swim home, but she didn't want to do that yet. She saw the book that they found, the one that keeps adding pages, and saw sketches of her and her friends. But only Rook's was finished; everyone else was just rough sketches. She got out of the water and talked with Skylar, and they decided that going to the hospital was unwise - Genesis didn't have a legal ID, and they weren't sure if they could make all this work. They decided to head back to Briar's.
Rook left Briar's house and walked through the woods. He gazed into the abyss, looking for answers about what was going on, and saw Dora with the chilled mark on her face. He got the sense, though, that someone else was happening, something larger and more important than the White Lady and her mark. He emerged from the woods at a 7-11, and went in to buy an Icy, as police cars zoomed by.
At the hospital, Cassi was taken into surgery and the knife removed from her chest. After it was out, the police - in the personage of Detective MacKenzie - came in to talk to her. She told MacKenzie that they'd been at Briar's, they'd heard something outside, gone to investigate, and she'd gotten stabbed by accident. The detective thanked her and left, and when the door opened she saw Austin talking to the cops. She used her gaze into the abyss (of Austin's mind) and saw that he was still angry and scared, and worried what he might be saying.
The cops arrived at Briar's. She'd remained behind, knowing that the cops were probably on the way. The arrived and arrested her, and took her in to Perdido jail. She told them more or less what happened, omitting the bit about the ghost. Her father's lawyer, Jonathan Schmaltz, arrived and told her to stay quiet; he was doing what he could.
Skylar and Genesis, seeing cops at Briar's, turned around and saw Rook walking down the street. They picked him up and headed back to his place, and Rook, still feral, wound up having sex with both Genesis and Skylar. Rook asked Skylar for a promise never to fade away, and from Genesis to take him to the ocean someday.
Next day, the only one in school was Dora. She gathered her coven and tried to explain what was happening, but just managed to sound crazier and crazier.
Cassi's father arrived at the hospital and was clearly angry about what had happened, but Cassi manipulated an NPC to get him to let Briar off. He agreed, and left. Cassi gazed into Austin again, and saw him at the police station.
Austin was there visiting Briar, as it happened. They talked - Austin, recall, was one of Briar's fellow monster-hunters, but he said that she wasn't thinking clearly and had nearly killed someone. Briar claimed that these folks shouldn't be following her, but Austin said after Homecoming, we were all in this together. And she needed to check her backdrop. Briar agreed, and Austin forgave her, and Briar got released.
The characters got together at Briar's house again after school to talk this through. Briar had an epiphany talking to Austin - she'd been looking for a fight, and she found one. Maybe they needed to not look for fights, but to try and swing the story in some more positive way? Genesis figured this was all down to semantics, then. Dora gazed into the abyss, trying to find her title, and saw her picture in the book, with a blank spot - could she write her own title, then? Genesis grabbed the book to look; Cassi tried to shut her down, but failed. They found Rook's entry - helpfully titled "The Rook" (well, in German), and it said that the Rook was one of "the Chosen Seven," the people who could put the Winter-Heart back to sleep and prevent the onset of Endless Winter. The Rook, though, was easily distracted and wasn't to be trusted - and it warned against making promises to him.
They flipped through and found the rest of their titles. Briar was The Rose, Skylar was the Lost, Genesis was the Stranger, Dora was the Witch, Cassi was the Chosen, and Austin was the Blind. Their descriptions made it clear that the Heart could start beating, and they could prevent it, but the Rook would die, the Chosen ran the risk of being subsumed, the Stranger might vanish forever, and the Witch might be seduced by its power. And so on.
They decided to go out to visit the Emissary. He talked to them, as usual, and was just as enigmatic as he generally was. Briar repeated her theory that they could write their own story - could they write in the book? Suppose they just burned it, or the Heart? Wouldn't that be easier? Genesis asked, "Who says the story can't be easy?"
The Emissary responded, "if you ask that again, I'll have to tell you."
Rook tried to ask, but Briar shut him down but failed (and the Emissary took a String on him). Cassi actually did shut him down; he took the unsure condition, while she took quiet. They talked with the Emissary a bit more, and decided to close the book for a bit. There was a dance coming, after all. Briar asked Rook to go, and he accepted.