Thursday, April 21, 2016

Changeling: Mysterious Strangers

So, it's been a good long while, but Monday we were back in the Dreaming! (Well, not literally. Still in New York.)

Last time, the characters helped a temporarily chimerically dead nocker come back. This time, they figured they should track down a few of the other motleys that had rat-writing in their territories and see if they could learn anything. They spent some time regaining Glamour, first, through their various kith-related means (Revelry, you see. Easter egg!), and then met back up.

They visited a motley of changelings that works out of a Chinese restaurant, and talked to them about the graffiti. They said that they hadn't read it as a threat or a call-out so much as a call to arms. The motley, of course, was concerned about who might benefit from starting up a conflict between nobles and commoners (or Seelie vs. Unseelie), and looked at the wall. While they were investigating, they felt a burst of Glamour, equivalent to a Dream Dance. Zulkis zeroed in on it - the theater where Thaia's friend was rehearsing. But on their way there, the Dream Dance just kind of died. Fearing the worst, the motley arrived and found about a dozen other changelings waiting outside.

The folks were confused; they'd felt the Glamour and then the lack thereof. Thaia entered and found Branziah, and asked him if anything was wrong. He said all was well, they were just rehearsing. The motley followed Zulkis' nose (Kenning, really) to the stage, where they learned that Jeralyne, one of the actresses, had just been taken offstage because she wasn't feeling well. Krysa and Thaia went backstage to try and find her, and overheard a couple of actresses talking about it - Jeralyne had collapsed and been led offstage by a strange, "intense," attractive man.

Ambrose, meanwhile, checked backstage, and smelled something foul. He opened a big trunk and found the body of Rista, the Beastie they'd fought here, stabbed in the throat.

Meanwhile, out by the stage, the others noticed a monkey up in the flies, cutting the cable on a light. Deciding that wasn't a good idea, Zulkis headed up the backstage stairs to the catwalk, and Ambrose followed. Zulkis found the thing - it was indeed a chimp (which isn't a monkey, but close enough) carrying a knife. They squared off, Zulkis attempted to grapple it, and it shrank to half its size. He attempted to stomp it, and it cast a cantrip and tangled him up in cables. It jumped off the flies and turned into an owl, but by this time Ambrose was up here. He used Hopscotch and jumped after it, grabbing it and landing on the stage. Sander, covering of this obviously magical feat, started clapping and saying "wow! How'd you do that!?"

Meanwhile, Krysa and Thaia followed Jeralyne's scent, and it took them to the theater office. Thaia noted that the doorknob had been magic'd. Not wanting to touch it (which was wise), she told Krysa, who squeezed under the door in rat form, and saw Jeralyne. She had a fae mien, but it was strange - beautiful, but not like a sidhe's, and it looked like she'd put on someone else's soul that was too big for her.

Outside, Thaia called a redcap over (remember the other changelings) and had him kick open the door. Jeralyne shot at him, but Krysa used a cantrip on her shirt to jerk her arm, and the shot missed. They rushed over and Thaia used an Oneiromancy cantrip on her to snap her out of the daze she was in, and she told them that Fetinus, the changeling who'd been with her, had gone out the back. They found the door he'd drawn on the wall with a marker to use a Wayfare cantrip. Jeralyne, now free of his influence, took on her true mien - a sugar glider pooka.

The motley went back into the theater and found that Ambrose was wrestling with the owl. He pinned it to the floor with his sword (the mundane folks had been cleared out by now), and it turned into a humanoid figure. Zulkis recognized it as a skinwalker, one of the Thallain. They questioned it, and it told them that what Fetinus (and the other Thallain) wanted was...war.

They decided to bring this dude to the duke and see what he thinks, which is where we'll pick up next time.