Out sick today (really shitty POTS day yesterday = muscles sore and unsteady today), so here we are!
Last time, the motley began and ended by bringing a Thallain captive to Duke Kelodin. This time, though, when they got there they found Kelodin on the ground in his gym, getting pummeled by what looked like a gang.
The characters charged in! Krysa Unleashed Sovereign to force them to "BEHOLD THE RAT QUEEN!", and they stopped and stared. Thaia crept through a window and snuck up on them, preparing to jump. Zulkis took a more trollish approach, grabbed fire extinguisher off the wall and knocked one of them right the fuck out. Sander took a "let's not give the GM opportunities" and stayed with Fetinus to make sure he didn't run.
Ambrose, meanwhile, took a more "raving psycho" approach, drew his sword, and sliced two of them open but beheaded a third. That was about all it took; the others ran.
They tended to Kelodin, who was injured but not horribly. Ambrose used Chronos to look back in time, and saw that these guys had come in and caught the duke off guard - but they could apparently see him for what he was. Kelodin invited them all back to the Ducal Seat, which had a balefire, in case they wanted to rest and absorb some Glamour.
They went with him, bringing Fetinus and the unconscious thug (Kelodin called in someone to clean up the body at the gym, probably a redcap), and at the Seat, Zulkis noticed that he didn't any of the staff. It was late, though; they might have been sleeping. The changelings went to the balefire to soak up some Glamour, and Thaia, Krysa, and Ambrose indulged (neither Zulkis nor Sander had spent any). They didn't get Glamour, though...they got Nightmare. The balefire had been poisoned. It felt like something corrosive, something that hated and wished to destroy the Dreaming - not Banality, which is numb and fairly neutral, but something actively hateful.
They heard a noise upstairs, and Thaia and Zulkis went to investigate. They found a boggan, one of the staff, in bed, deathly ill, talking about chimerical bringing illness. Thaia, of course, recognized this as the plagues that they had dealt with earlier, and put in a call to Kara, but then...
Meanwhile, downstairs, Sander decided to use Pyretics to cleanse the tainted balefire. The balefire swelled, and then belched forth some icky black magicky stuff, but then started burning again. Krysa used her rats to search the house, and found someone hiding in the corner. She sent the rats after it, and an eshu stumbled forward, brushing rats off of herself.
Anyway, it looked like an eshu, but something was definitely wrong with her. She was broken and hateful, magically speaking. Sander, on a roll Unleashed Pyretics to burn in the infection out of her, just as the other folks ran downstairs. The woman was engulfed in magical flame, and a brand on her arm began to glow; Thaia, recognizing it as something definitely bad news, Unleashed Infusion to add more power to Sander's magic.
The balefire flared up, and everything went white, and the changelings were standing on a silver path...in the Dreaming. And then they heard a roar, as though a tornado mixed with screams and wind chimes and other weird noises were coming - the Firchlis.
They huddled together and collectively bolstered themselves (Glamour rolls, and they made exactly the number of successes they needed). They heard a scream as the Firchlis ripped the broken eshu away, and then there they were, back in the house, in front of the (now low-burning) balefire. The duke was alive, the Thallain was gone (probably sucked up into the Firchlis, though who really knows), and all was...well. If not right, then better.
Meanwhile, at the theater across town, Branziah is rehearsing. "Now the hurley-burley's...um. Line?"