You have no idea where or when you are. All you know is how much you have lost – your humanity, your sanity, your soul and so much more, all torn to ribbons. Even as your consciousness slowly comes back to you, you have a hard time telling what is real or not. Despite your present circumstances, you remember what you once were, before all of this.Looking back at it, you had a pretty good life before you got into this mess. Nothing special, but pretty damn good. You were born at some point in the late '90s and your parents brought you up well in a decent part of town. You did well at school and managed to get into a prestigious university, you've even been through a couple of relationships. Sure, none of them ended well, but you learned something important from every one of them.But then you fucked up.That's where your memory becomes cloudy. You need to focus, to squeeze your eyes shut and push through all of the fog and horror. It happened during your last year as an undergraduate and you only had a few months of studying left – but what was it? What happened? What did you do?>You took something that you shouldn't have. It might not have even been your fault, but something precious found its way into your hands and that was all it took.>You went somewhere where you shouldn't have. Perhaps you stumbled into that place by accident or maybe it was intentional, but your fate was sealed as soon as you set foot in there.>You wronged someone who you shouldn't have. Maybe you scorned them intentionally or maybe you offended this 'person' without realizing it – either way, you made them angry.>You helped someone who you shouldn't have. You never thought that they would seek to repay your kindness but looking back, you wish that you never earned their gratitude.>You have a talent you wish you never had. There was (and still is) something about you that was truly special, which drew the attention of an unwanted admirer or envious observer.
>>5198441>You have a talent you wish you never had. There was (and still is) something about you that was truly special, which drew the attention of an unwanted admirer or envious observer.
>>5198441>You went somewhere where you shouldn't have. Perhaps you stumbled into that place by accident or maybe it was intentional, but your fate was sealed as soon as you set foot in there.
>>5198499Also guessing this is a changeling the lost game?
>You helped someone who you shouldn't have. You never thought that they would seek to repay your kindness but looking back, you wish that you never earned their gratitude. Hehe whoops
>>5198441>>You helped someone who you shouldn't have. You never thought that they would seek to repay your kindness but looking back, you wish that you never earned their gratitude.
>>5198441>You helped someone who you shouldn't have. You never thought that they would seek to repay your kindness but looking back, you wish that you never earned their gratitude.
Rolled 2 (1d2)To break the tie, I'll flip a coin and get to writing a response.>1: You have a talent you wish you never had. There was (and still is) something about you that was truly special, which drew the attention of an unwanted admirer or envious observer.>2: You helped someone who you shouldn't have. You never thought that they would seek to repay your kindness but looking back, you wish that you never earned their gratitude.
That's right, you helped someone. You never thought that a good deed would come around to bite you in the ass like this. You still don't know if your generosity broke some sort of ancient rule, or if that cry for help was nothing more than a trap. Perhaps now that you're free from their clutches, you have learned your lesson – you'll never help anyone but yourself, you won't make the same mistake twice.On the other hand, maybe you will stand by your principles. The one who stole you away already changed and twisted so much about you, so maybe you refuse to let go of the few parts of yourself that you can still call your own. It's too early to decide this however, not so soon after your escape. You're still piecing your shattered memories together.So you helped someone, or something – but who, or what? Your mind recoils and your heart flutters with contradictory emotions as you try to recall the terrible thing that stole you away, that you belonged to for so long.>The Tragedy. You were there when a horrible accident occurred. There was a car crash, or a house that went up in flames, or someone who fell in the river. Everyone else just watched but you had to be the hero and risk your life, a life that the 'victim' refused to relinquish.>The Buzzard. You stumbled across some sort of remarkable bird that you had never seen before. Yet when you saw that it had a broken wing, you made the decision to nurse it back to health. In return, it took you in its talons and brought you to its otherworldly den.>The Vagrant. It all started when you offered a little change to that tramp who begged on your street. With every coin you gave, you lost something. Your life fell apart around you and before long, you found yourself helpless and destitute, trapped in his world.>The Crone. It was only right for someone your age to lend a helpless old lady a hand, wasn't it? Out of the kindness of your heart, you offered to help her with occasional chores, only to find yourself unable to leave her foetid abode.>The Paramour. Alright, so maybe you didn't help them out of the kindness of your heart. You were helplessly infatuated with this beautiful stranger and you would stop at nothing to make them happy and earn their love. You willingly and witlessly became their servant.
>>5198868>The Crone. It was only right for someone your age to lend a helpless old lady a hand, wasn't it? Out of the kindness of your heart, you offered to help her with occasional chores, only to find yourself unable to leave her foetid abode.
>>5198868>The Crone. It was only right for someone your age to lend a helpless old lady a hand, wasn't it? Out of the kindness of your heart, you offered to help her with occasional chores, only to find yourself unable to leave her foetid abode.Baba Yaga time
>>5198868>The Buzzard. You stumbled across some sort of remarkable bird that you had never seen before. Yet when you saw that it had a broken wing, you made the decision to nurse it back to health. In return, it took you in its talons and brought you to its otherworldly den.
You've called her many things, sometimes out of anger and at other times because you had to, but the one name that sticks in your mind is the Crone. Looking back, you should have noticed how everyone else recoiled from her in disgust and done the same. Instead, you were foolish enough to take pity and help her back to her dilapidated home. When she insisted that you come inside so she could reward your efforts with a little hospitality, you refused at first but eventually caved in. You couldn't say no to such a sweet old lady.That was the worst mistake of your life.From the moment that the door slammed behind you, your memory is engulfed in an unpleasant haze. That was when you stopped being a person and became a slave. You recall the Crone's rotten nails and teeth digging into your flesh whenever you disobeyed, leaving ugly red welts in their wake. Sometimes you fought back but she always overwhelmed you – those wiry limbs of hers harboured inhuman strength. Whenever you had the sense to obey her, you were rewarded with noxious stews and fiery liquor that numbed your senses.You have no idea how long you were there for, as there was no way of determining the time of day inside of that endless labyrinth, and every clock was broken. Everything was broken. The more time you spent there, the more your body adapted for its work. You found that you could shift the Crone's mountains of festering trash and offal with ease and fix antique contraptions with a mere touch. Yet with these gifts came a curse – your skin became as leathery as your captor's and every wound that she inflicted on you left behind an ugly scar.It's impossible to recall any particular detail that happened in that place. In your mind, it's all just a blur of slavery of pain. Yet you can recall your prevailing reaction to the suffering inflicted on you by the Crone.You were...>... in denial. No matter how much she hurt you and no matter how she changed you, you refused to accept your circumstances. You knew what reality looked like, and that wasn't it. All you had to do was wait for the nightmare to end.>... furious. You rebelled against the Crone whenever you had the opportunity and you found joy in spiting her. Sure, the bitch could make you suffer as much as she wanted but eventually you would get your revenge, somehow.>... terrified. You quickly learned your place and did everything that you could to avoid punishment, yet this did nothing to alleviate your fear. Whenever you saw the opportunity to escape, you took it. You had to get away from her.>... melancholic. You wept for the life that you had lost and could never bring yourself to work as hard as the Crone wanted. She punished you frequently for your laziness, but your sorrow numbed you to any agony that she could inflict.
>>5198928>... terrified. You quickly learned your place and did everything that you could to avoid punishment, yet this did nothing to alleviate your fear. Whenever you saw the opportunity to escape, you took it. You had to get away from her.This sounds like hell
>>5198928>... furious. You rebelled against the Crone whenever you had the opportunity and you found joy in spiting her. Sure, the bitch could make you suffer as much as she wanted but eventually you would get your revenge, somehow.Fuck that old bitch
>>5198928>... terrified. You quickly learned your place and did everything that you could to avoid punishment, yet this did nothing to alleviate your fear. Whenever you saw the opportunity to escape, you took it. You had to get away from her.
>>5198928>... terrified. You quickly learned your place and did everything that you could to avoid punishment, yet this did nothing to alleviate your fear. Whenever you saw the opportunity to escape, you took it.Fight smarter not harder.
>>5198928>... melancholic. You wept for the life that you had lost and could never bring yourself to work as hard as the Crone wanted. She punished you frequently for your laziness, but your sorrow numbed you to any agony that she could inflict.
She scared you. She terrified you even, but she was never able to cow you into true obedience. Sure, you played along and did everything she told you to do. You carried her around on your back like a beast of burden, you picked the vermin out of her hair, you shovelled the mountains of filth that decorated her lair and you trimmed her warts and calluses. Anything to keep her from punishing you. Yet as soon as she was distracted and you saw an opportunity, you always tried to escape – and you failed, more times than you care to count. Each time the Crone beat you bloody and covered your back with weeping wounds, and each time you learned from your mistakes.That's why your escape was inevitable.The details of your flight elude you. All you can recall is an opportunity and a sudden burst of action. Suddenly you were running and all you could hear was the wind in your ears and the Crone's horrid, inhuman wailing behind you. You left behind her putrid domain and found yourself lost in an overgrown forest, an endless maze of brambles. Though you had no idea where you were going, you had to keep running – you would never let yourself fall back into the clutches of the Crone, no matter what it took.You paid no attention to the thorns as they cut into your flesh and your soul, nor did you pay attention to the roots that snagged at your feet. Perhaps that is what sent you tumbling off of your feet, slipping into the rushing water of a river. The last thing that you remember is the cold, the darkness and the silence, engulfing your senses and stealing your consciousness away from you.You have three points of glamour, out of a current maximum of three points. These can be spent on peculiar abilities that you acquired during your captivity.You may spend a point to grant yourself a burst of obscene strength and perform superhuman feats, but you cannot use this ability to harm others unless you spend three points instead.You may spend a point to heal the physical trauma of a target, but you cannot use this ability to heal any wounds that were inflicted with malicious intent unless you spend three points instead.You may spend a point to restore a broken object to working condition, but you cannot use this ability on any object that you have used or intend to use unless you spend three points instead.You may spend a point to cause a human or animal to flee or cower in terror, but you cannot use this ability on anyone that has wronged you unless you spend three points instead.
That brings you to the present. You have no idea where or when you are, all you know is that you're slowly, painfully regaining consciousness. The tattered, grungy rags that you wear are completely soaked through and somewhere in the distance, you can hear the cry of seagulls. Beneath you, you can feel... sand? You're no longer in a forest, you're on a beach somewhere.You try to open your eyes and immediately regret it. Though the sun is still rising in the east, the sky is so bright that you would rather just squeeze your eyes shut again. Your head is pounding as though you're recovering from the worst hangover in the world and to be quite honest, you wish you could just lie there forever.“Oi. You alright, my love?”Reluctantly, you open your eyes again. This time you spot it, the silhouette of a woman looming over you. The more you stare, the more she comes into focus and the clearer her features become. Dark eyes, brown hair, great big hoops dangling from her pointy ears. That's the part that alarms you – since when did people have ears that were so long and pointed? Ears are supposed to be small and round. Despite the condition you're in, she seems more curious about you than worried.“Bleddy hell, just look at you. You look like a dog's arse what's been stung by a swarm o' bees.” That coarse, grating accent of hers is completely at odds with her elfin appearance. “Oi, can you hear me? You better not have bumped your bleddy head, I don't have the patience to be dealin' with a spastic today.”The sensible thing to do would be to ask her where you are and who she is, but after everything you've been through, you're certainly not thinking clearly.>She's not human – what is she, some sort of minion of the Crone? Scramble to your feet, get away from her and express your defiance. You won't let her take you back. You're never going back, no matter what.>You've just escaping from a living nightmare and every part of your body aches. You can't bothered with her banter, not right now. Flip this pointy-earred stranger the bird and tell her to fuck off. >Honestly, you don't even care about her or the pain that shoots through your body and soul. You're free. You're free! Free to laugh and cry and scream your jubilation at the rising sun. You should celebrate!
>>5199206>Honestly, you don't even care about her or the pain that shoots through your body and soul. You're free. You're free! Free to laugh and cry and scream your jubilation at the rising sun. You should celebrate!
>>5199206>She's not human – what is she, some sort of minion of the Crone? Scramble to your feet, get away from her and express your defiance. You won't let her take you back. You're never going back, no matter whatHonestly, I wouldn't blame the poor lad for being paranoid after everything he's been through.
>>5199206>She's not human – what is she, some sort of minion of the Crone? Scramble to your feet, get away from her and express your defiance. You won't let her take you back. You're never going back, no matter what.
>>5199206>She's not human – what is she, some sort of minion of the Crone? Scramble to your feet, get away from her and express your defiance. You won't let her take you back. You're never going back, no matter what.Time to ask some questions from a safe distance
>>5199206>>You've just escaping from a living nightmare and every part of your body aches. You can't bothered with her banter, not right now. Flip this pointy-earred stranger the bird and tell her to fuck off.
Moments ago, you felt like you couldn't move a muscle. Yet in the heat of the moment, with the help of a little adrenaline, you manage to leap into action. Every once in a while, you saw others in the Crone's abode – terrified 'nieces and nephews' that she doted on in her own grotesque fashion, though they always disappeared before long. Maybe one of them has found you, maybe one of them wants to bring you back.“Get the fuck away from me!” You snarl the words as you haul yourself to your feet and stagger away. As soon as you make a little distance between yourself and the stranger, you plant your feet in the sodden sand and raise your fists in defiance, as well as to defend yourself. “You're not – you're not going to take me back!”If your actions cause the elfin girl any alarm, she manages to hide it. Instead, she just stands her ground and folds her arms across her chest, blowing a loose strand of hair out of her eyes while she squints at you. “Yeah, you're a fresh one, a'right. No wonder you caused such a bleddy ruckus in the Hedge. Listen love, if I wanted to do anythin' with you, I would've done it while you were out cold. Take a deep breath, get a grip o' yourself and maybe we can be civil with each other, a'right?”She makes no attention to close the distance between the two of you. In fact, she turns away from you and stoops to squat just above the sand, tugging a cigarette out of her pocket in the process. Tucking it between her lips, she shields it from the wind with one hand while she lights it up with the other. You use this opportunity to take in your surroundings – a flat, sprawling beach, surrounded by grassy cliffs and the sun rising above a rustic little town in the east. There's no one else around at the moment, except a couple of dog-walkers further down the beach and a handful of surfers out to sea.As for you, you're still wearing what's left the same clothes that you wore when the Crone took you. She never offered you a change of clothes. Your footwear and any top that you wore disintegrated long ago, all that remains are your jeans, stained with blood and filth and other foetid substances that you dare not identify. This leaves a great deal of your body exposed, and it's not a pretty sight. Every inch of your body is calloused and leathery, covered with ruined scar tissue from the wounds that your captor inflicted. It would be impressive if it wasn't disgusting – no human should be able to suffer that much abuse and live, let alone stand.“Where am I?” You drop your fists and adopt a more neutral stance. You still don't trust her, but you're not going to get anywhere without asking questions. “Who are you – what are you?” Though she glances in your direction, she doesn't get up from where she's squatting.
“Just call me Mabel, love. As for what I am, I'm just like you. I mean, I don't look like a half-cooked steak, but that don't change what we are. We're Lost.” She sticks out a thumb over her shoulder, gesturing to the town while she takes another drag of her cigarette. “That's Trebelwith, a little place in Cornwall. Fair few o' us wash up here, for some reason. You're just the latest. Now, you got a name or should I come up with one for you? I'm thinkin' Mincemeat, or maybe Shitface.”“What do you mean, Lost?” You're not going to answer her questions or fall for her provocation, not when her answers are so vague. The girl with the pointed ears lets out a huff of frustration.“I mean that I've gone through the same shit as you. All o' us have. You got stolen away? So was I. Had to go through some livin' hell for years? So did I. Came back to a world where you no longer belong? So did I. That's why we're called Lost, love.” She talks about it so casually. How could she possibly understand everything that you've endured? “Now if you don't tell me your bleddy name, I'm goin' to stick with Mincemeat.”>You'll tell Mabel your name, but now you're curious. Was she taken by the Crone as well? What sort of ordeal did she go through? How many other Lost are there? How do they all end up in Trebelwith? You have so many questions!>Sure, she can know your name, but you're not going to trust Mabel with more than that. You're still wary of her. She came out to this beach to find you, from the sound of it – so what does she want with you? That's all you care about.>Give Mabel a piece of your mind. She has the audacity to say that she went through the same nightmare as you, when the only change she has suffered is pointy ears? No, she doesn't get to know your name, she doesn't deserve it.>Turn around and walk away. You're done here. You know where you are and what you are, you don't need anything else from Mabel. You need to reclaim the life that you lost and you're not going to do that by standing around in the middle of nowhere.
>>5199900>>Turn around and walk away. You're done here. You know where you are and what you are, you don't need anything else from Mabel. You need to reclaim the life that you lost and you're not going to do that by standing around in the middle of nowhere.
>>5199900>>You'll tell Mabel your name, but now you're curious. Was she taken by the Crone as well? What sort of ordeal did she go through? How many other Lost are there? How do they all end up in Trebelwith? You have so many questions!
>>5199900>Turn around and walk away. You're done here. You know where you are and what you are, you don't need anything else from Mabel. You need to reclaim the life that you lost and you're not going to do that by standing around in the middle of nowhere.She said something about that town right? Maybe someone can tell us where to get out
>>5199900>You'll tell Mabel a fake name, but now you're curious. Was she taken by the Crone as well? What sort of ordeal did she go through? How many other Lost are there? How do they all end up in Trebelwith? You have so many questions!
>>5199900>You'll tell Mabel your name, but now you're curious. Was she taken by the Crone as well? What sort of ordeal did she go through? How many other Lost are there? How do they all end up in Trebelwith? You have so many questions!
>>5199900>>Sure, she can know your name, but you're not going to trust Mabel with more than that. You're still wary of her. She came out to this beach to find you, from the sound of it – so what does she want with you? That's all you care about.
“It's Saul,” you reply. While she spoke, the cogs in your brain slowly began to turn. By now, you've gotten a better grip of your senses and have shaken off that primordial instinct of fight or flight. In the place of that urge, you have questions. “So, wait a minute. You're telling me that there's other people like us here? How did they all end up in this place? What the hell happened to you, to make you one of these Lost?”That's the question that seems to get a reaction out of Mabel, and it's not a good one. Those big brown eyes of hers suddenly bulged with anger and she shot you a venomous glare. Rising from where she was squatting, she marches over to jab a finger into your chest.“Listen,” she snarls, “you've been through some shit and you're still wrappin' your head around all this. But that don't give you the right to shove your nose into my business, or anyone else's. Consider that your first lesson: There's not a single one o' us that wants to think about the time they spent in Faerie, let alone share it with someone as green as you.” It looks like you've made a bad first impression, judging from the scowl on her face.“Jesus, alright, I'm sorry.” Your apology doesn't sound very sincere, and it isn't. You didn't deserve an outburst like that. It's enough to make Mabel back off though, and turn away for another drag of her cigarette. “You said something about fairies?”“Faerie,” she snaps at you from over her shoulder, putting a little emphasis on that word. “It's the place where we were all kept, and the Keepers are the ones who kept us there. Now, I ain't gonna ask about your Keeper, but there's one thing that I can promise you – they're lookin' for you. Whoever you ran from, they're gonna want you back.”As soon as you hear that, your heart drops. Your face must reflect your horror, judging from how Mabel rolls her eyes at you.“No need to piss yourself, love. I've got more than bad news for you, I'm here to give you a choice as well. You can fuck off, try and manage on your own – I wouldn't mind that one bit, to be honest with you. On the other hand, you can join the rest o' us. There's strength in numbers and even though you're a bit fuckin' dim, I'm sure you could make yourself useful with those muscles o' yours. In exchange, we'd look out for you as well. How's that sound?”>It's a deal. You're completely out of your depth and if these people can protect you from the Crone, then you want them on your side. After everything that has happened to you, there's no going back to the life you lost – it's time to find your place in this new world.>No deal. You want nothing to do with Faerie, or Keepers, or the Lost. You want your old life back and that's not going to happen if you stick around in this strange little seaside town in the middle of nowhere. You'll manage just fine on your own, thank you very much.
>>5200238>It's a deal. You're completely out of your depth and if these people can protect you from the Crone, then you want them on your side. After everything that has happened to you, there's no going back to the life you lost – it's time to find your place in this new world.At least til we get our bearings. Also really hyped for this quest Slag, the last Changeling quest I played was Lost in The 70s with the old hobo hippie.
>>5200238>It's a deal. You're completely out of your depth and if these people can protect you from the Crone, then you want them on your side. After everything that has happened to you, there's no going back to the life you lost – it's time to find your place in this new world.Saul better learn as much as he can before SHTF, because it will.
>>5200238>No deal. You want nothing to do with Faerie, or Keepers, or the Lost. You want your old life back and that's not going to happen if you stick around in this strange little seaside town in the middle of nowhere. You'll manage just fine on your own, thank you very much.
>>5200238>It's a deal. You're completely out of your depth and if these people can protect you from the Crone, then you want them on your side. After everything that has happened to you, there's no going back to the life you lost – it's time to find your place in this new world.
>>5200238>It's a deal. You're completely out of your depth and if these people can protect you from the Crone, then you want them on your side. After everything that has happened to you, there's no going back to the life you lost – it's time to find your place in this new world.Going back to our old life looking like this wouldn't work out well, plus it may put us back into the proximity of the old hag as far as we know. That, and I'm sure the QM set the quest here for a reason.
>>5200238>No deal. You want nothing to do with Faerie, or Keepers, or the Lost. You want your old life back and that's not going to happen if you stick around in this strange little seaside town in the middle of nowhere. You'll manage just fine on your own, thank you very much.We're just some guy that got kidnapped by some sociopath grandma and beaten for god know how long. We just want our life back
>>5198441That's a spooky OP image.
It's not much of a decision at all. What chance do you stand against the Crone if she finds you again? You can't even recall how you got away, so you've got no hope of escaping a second time. If nothing else, the knowledge you can get from the other Lost will be a boon. If there's one thing you learned during your captivity, it was that you have to fight smarter, not harder.“I'm in,” you say after a moment's thought.“Thought so,” Mabel replies, flicking a little ash at the sand. “I better take you back to my crew, so we can see about sortin' you out – get you somethin' to eat and drink, maybe some clothes as well. The less o' your body I have to see, the better. Come along now, love.” With that, she turns around to saunter off across the sand, towards the town.“Wait, aren't you afraid of us being seen? I would've thought people would ask questions about the ears.” You can't imagine how the human population will react to the sight of your scarred, sinewy body.“Thank god they can't see 'em,” she replies nonchalantly. “Far as the muggles can tell, we're still normal. When they look at you, they'll just think you're a bit o' a bruiser. They won't notice the twenty types o' skin cancer.” You're tempted to ask if muggle is a technical term, but you decide against it. Sure enough, when you step off of the beach and into the streets of Trebelwith, the few people who are out and about at this time of day don't seem to notice you.The town itself is a bit eclectic. Old cottages with slate roofs and dry stone walls stand side by side with tacky modern tourist shops, selling all sorts of over-priced garbage. The first half of your journey takes you down a long, straight high street before you take a detour down a string of crooked and cramped little alleys that couldn't have been designed by anyone sane. Most of the time you're walking on even ground, but every now and then you find yourself staggering up or down a slope that feels as steep as a mountainside.After five or ten minutes of this, you arrive. The house that Mabel has brought you to seems pretty squalid, with a tiny garden that's mostly moss, cigarette stubs and beer bottles. The white render has started to flake off and a mangy-looking cat glares at you through a dirty window on the first floor. Mabel has to fumble for a few moments before she's able to take out her key and open the door, leading you through a hallway littered with unread junk mail, with a staircase off to the side. The elfin girl takes in a breath before she calls out, at the top of her lungs.“Oi, Sissy! I found the stray!”
There's a few seconds of silence before you hear the sound of Sissy's feet thudding against the stairs. From the neck down, he seems like another other middle-aged deadbeat – a wrinkly fellow with lobster red skin and a hefty gut thanks to alcohol abuse, dressed in jeans and a wife-beater that seem equally stained. From the neck up, he's something else. His unkempt beard and unruly mane seem to be made of ivy rather than hair, and a pair of antlers curve out from his brow. You can't help but gawk at him, long enough for Mabel to take the initiative.“Sissy, Saul. Saul, Sissy. I've done my bit so now you're out o' my hands, love. I'd say it's been a pleasure but that'd be a lie.” Without another word, Mabel skulks down the hallway and disappears through a door, slamming it behind her. As for Sissy, he just lets out a low chuckle and grins, exposing a row of crooked, yellow teeth.“She's bleddy somethin', ain't she?” The antlered man nodded in the direction that she went in before he focused on you, with eyes as green as his beard. “What do you think o' her?”>Keep your cards close to your chest. There's no need for you to share your true feelings with somebody you just met. Just say something vague and inoffensive.>Mabel's lovely. Sure, she's got a bit of a mouth on her, but that just adds to her charm. If you met under different circumstances, you might've even made a move on her.>Honestly? She's a bitch. If you heard one more insult come out of her mouth, you might have planted your fist in it. You have to ask, is she that much of a cunt to everybody?>You actually pity Mabel a little. Sure, she tries to come across as fiery but tough but if you had to guess, she probably does that to hide her insecurity and vulnerability.
>>5200425>Keep your cards close to your chest. There's no need for you to share your true feelings with somebody you just met. Just say something vague and inoffensive.
>>5200425>Mabel's lovely. Sure, she's got a bit of a mouth on her, but that just adds to her charm. If you met under different circumstances, you might've even made a move on her.
>>5200425>You actually pity Mabel a little. Sure, she tries to come across as fiery but tough but if you had to guess, she probably does that to hide her insecurity and vulnerability.this option will piss everyone off.
>>5200425>Keep your cards close to your chest. There's no need for you to share your true feelings with somebody you just met. Just say something vague and inoffensive."I have yet to know her."
>>5200425>>Honestly? She's a bitch. If you heard one more insult come out of her mouth, you might have planted your fist in it. You have to ask, is she that much of a cunt to everybody?
>>5200425>>Keep your cards close to your chest. There's no need for you to share your true feelings with somebody you just met. Just say something vague and inoffensive."Can't say much... But she's a good person, she actually helped me and bring me here"
“I haven't really gotten to know her,” you reply. “It's too soon for me to say.” It's the truth but it's also an excuse, so that you don't have to share your feelings with Sissy. You've only just met that man, so you don't see any reason to open up to him. Judging from how he reacts though, he disagrees. His bushy green brow furrows and beneath his beard, you can just about make out a frown.“Oh, you're tryin' to be all polite 'n proper, ain't you? Well, listen up, boy. You're one o' the Lost now. Stop thinkin' with your head 'n start thinkin' with your heart, 'cause that's where our strength lies. You ain't goin' to fit in this motley o' mine if you're scared o' people bein' offended by your words 'n deeds. So next time I ask for your thoughts, you better bleddy give 'em.”That's another first impression that you've screwed up.Despite that, you're still Sissy's responsibility, so he starts with a tour of the house. 'Shabby' would be a kind word for it. There's bits of rubbish and dirty laundry all over the place, and the sight of it is enough to make your stomach churn. This place reminds you a little too much of the Crone's den – maybe that experience has turned you into a germaphobe. Unfortunately, beggars can't be choosers so you hide your discomfort as best as you can.First of all, you're allowed to shower and borrow some clothes. Even though he's a large man, everything that Sissy has seems to be too small for you. Before you were taken, you were just over six feet tall but you can't help but feel that you've grown since then. Yet another change inflicted on you by your Keeper. Eventually, you settle on some tatty old jeans that stop just above your ankles and a several-sizes-too-small shirt that you're forced to leave open. You know for a fact that if you tried to do up the buttons, they would just pop off.While you went about cleaning and dressing yourself, Sissy cooked up a little breakfast. Some toast, a couple of fat little sausages, some streaky bacon, a fried egg and even a slice of black pudding, all resting in a little puddle of grease. “Here's somethin' to get your blood up,” the horned man remarks as he dishes it up for you. It's not the healthiest thing in the world but after an eternity of the Crone's stews and brews, it's a welcome change.Once you're finished with breakfast, Sissy finally sits you down on a grubby old sofa in front of some daytime television. With a can of Stella in one hand and a roll-up in the other, he begins your education.
According to him, all of the legends are real. Trolls, vampires, fairies and so on, they're all real and they're all related to each other. Keepers, that's what he calls them. Since history began they have been preying on humanity, stealing humans from this world and taking them back to theirs, the magical land of Faerie. That's where the Keepers feed on people, eating up all of their hopes and dreams until all that's left of them is dried-up husks.If you hadn't gone through this yourself, you would think that he's mad.Out of everyone that they steal away, only a few manage to escape. The thing is, when you got out, you took a fraction of your Keeper's power with you. The power fills the holes of your half-eaten humanity and makes you one of the Lost, not quite human but not quite Keeper. Sissy says that the Lost can be found all over the world, but most of them get reclaimed by their Keepers. The only ones who survive are the ones who band together and form collectives.The Duchy of Cornwall is one such collective.Sissy also mentions different courts as factions within the Duchy, but he doesn't go into detail. “It's too soon for you to get swept up in politics,” he says. Instead, he explains that the Duchy is split into several groups, each of which has a particular purpose. His 'motley' is focused on overseeing the town of Trebelwith and keeping an eye out for any supernatural happenings in the area. Another group patrols the Hedge – which is some sort of borderland between Earth and Faerie – while another deals with renegade Lost. There's plenty of other groups, too.“I'm callin' for a bit o' a moot,” he continues. “You see, if you want to be a part o' the Duchy, we need to find you a motley. So I'll be callin' some o' the other crews and see if they can send anyone to meet us at the Shipwright tonight, see if we can find you a good fit.”“Hold on,” you say as you rub your temples. All of this is giving you a headache. “You talk a lot about the Duchy, but how am I supposed to fit into ordinary society like this? How am I meant to get a job, or rent somewhere?”That earns a chuckle from Sissy. “Good luck with that, boy. You ain't a part o' society any more. Me, I sell weed and pay for this place cash in hand, no questions asked. That food you wolfed down? Mabel nicked that earlier this week. The law's loose around here, so long as you don't kill anyone, the coppers can't be bothered. You don't have a problem with that, do you, boy?”>You're not going to stoop to his level. You might not be human any more, but you're no criminal. No matter how difficult it is, you're going to try and make an honest living.>No problem at all. If this is how you've got to live in order to survive, then so be it. You've got bigger things to worry about than abiding by the law.>It's none of his business. By this point, you've learned that Sissy doesn't like it when you avoid answering his questions, but you don't care.
>>5200965>No problem at all. If this is how you've got to live in order to survive, then so be it. You've got bigger things to worry about than abiding by the law.
>>5200965>No problem at all. If this is how you've got to live in order to survive, then so be it. You've got bigger things to worry about than abiding by the law.>"I wasn't trying to be rude, I'm just a little out of it since... Well, you know. You both seem like good people.The shit we've been through will make a bit of shoplifting seem like a pleasant afternoon at church.
>>5200965>You're not going to stoop to his level. You might not be human any more, but you're no criminal. No matter how difficult it is, you're going to try and make an honest living.
You know I just thought of this and I'm not changing my vote which was "no problem at all" but we could open a repair shop. Of course we could at most repair three items a day and we won't be able to get any permits so it'll mostly be a cover
>>5201066I like it, but maybe we already learn to repair stuff without our powers to some level, maybe that's something we have to ask to Slag.
“Sissy, I just got out of a living nightmare. I'm not going to cry over a little shoplifting. Besides, we all do what we gotta do to get by, right?”“That's the spirit, boy!” The ivy that makes up his beard rustles with his wheezing laughter and he sets his beer down to clap a meaty hand on your shoulder. “Here I was thinkin' that you might be a proper fusspot, but you ain't so bad after all.”“Yeah, you and Mabel seem like decent people as well. Sorry if I rubbed you the wrong way, I'm just trying to get my head around all of... this.”“Don't you fret, boy. You're better than a lot o' the others I've had to put up with. Tantrums, hysteria, depression... Sometimes handlin' new Lost is like workin' in a loony bin. If it weren't for my vices, I would've lost the patience for this shite long ago.”Sissy carries on with your education and dives into the minutia. After a little back and forth, you figure out that you were trapped in Faerie for over three years. The United States has a new president, there was a health crisis and now there's war in Eastern Europe. It's a bit much to take in. When you ask if anyone would have tried to find you after you disappeared, the green man smiles ruefully. He explains that your Keeper likely made a doppelganger to take your place and live out your life in your stead. A fetch, he calls it.After that, he instructs you on a little bit of Lost etiquette. No talking about Lost affairs where normal people can hear you, no sticking your nose into the history of other Lost, no open abuse of your newfound talents – anyone who draw too much attention to themselves doesn't last long in the Duchy. When you inquire about these gifts, Sissy explains that the Lost draw their strength from humanity, just like the Keepers. If you want to wield the power of Faerie, you'll need to feed on the hopes and dreams of mankind – but you've got to be exercise restraint. The Lost can become just as bad as their Keepers and when that happens, they get put down.You may regain a lost point of glamour whenever you are responsible for making a normal human experience a significant emotion without using any supernatural abilities to force that emotion. Keep those four rules in mind:You must be at least partially responsible for the emotion that the subject experiences.The subject must be a normal human. It cannot be an animal or supernatural being.The emotion that the subject experiences must be significant. I will be the final arbitrator of this.If you used a supernatural ability to force the subject to experience that emotion, you do not regain a point of glamour.
The lesson goes on for some time, and you have to ask Sissy to explain a few things more than once. By the time that he has moved on to more practical information, it's already afternoon. He gives you the addresses of Lost safehouses scattered throughout Cornwall, as well as a battered phone that was outdated even before the Crone took you. You're told the easiest places in town to shoplift and a few charity shops where you might be able to grab a couple of free handouts. Once that's out of the way, Sissy excuses himself to make a few calls, to organise that meeting of his.You're left to your own devices for the rest of the afternoon, but there's not much to do other than flick through tedious daytime television while you wait. Every now and then, a member of Sissy's motley wanders through. There's a sickly-looking runt with a mouth full of dagger-like fangs, a hunchbacked woman around Sissy's age with frog-like features and some poor bloke who seems to literally be made out of tar. None of them stick around long enough for you to share more than a handful of words with them. There's also Mabel, but she pointedly ignores you whenever she walks by.Eventually, Sissy returns to bring you to the Shipwright. The two of you get into your battered old Honda and begin the drive through town to the pub. At this time of day, Trebelwith is a bit busier. Workmen are hustling home, parents are collecting their children and retirees are taking one last gander at the shops. You try to prod Sissy for tips on how to carry yourself during this meeting, but he laughs you off. “Just be yourself,” he says. “No need to fret, boy.”You were right, the Shipwright is a pub – one that takes full advantage of its name. All sorts of old-fashioned nautical equipment has been bolted to the walls to give the place a bit of rustic charm. Though the evening has just begun, there's dozens of people already milling around and the air's filled with their hubbub. With surprising ease, Sissy navigates his way through the crowd and gives a nod to a man behind the bar – an ordinary human, at first glance. He returns the gesture and with that, your guide leads you through a door into the backroom.There's four other Lost waiting there, sat around a tacky conference table that couldn't seem more out of place. They're certainly an eclectic-looking bunch – a cold and imperious elf of the male variety, some upper-class woman covered in writing, a burly bloke with lion-like features and a squat fellow with gangly, stick-like limbs. And now, they're all looking at you.How do you introduce yourself?>Duchy makes you think of nobility. Try and be courteous – a bow should be appropriate.>The atmosphere's a little chilly, you should warm it. Try and crack a joke to break the ice.>Keep it simple, stupid. Give them a plain greeting and your name, no need to be fancy.>No need to say anything at all. Keep your mouth shut and let Sissy do the talking for now.
>>5201343>The atmosphere's a little chilly, you should warm it. Try and crack a joke to break the ice."Hey, nice to meet you, my name's Saul. Sorry if I don't dress for a meeting like this, but between some rags and wearing a somehow tight shirt and pants, I guess this is the best option."
>>5201343>No need to say anything at all. Keep your mouth shut and let Sissy do the talking for now.We've been playing the silent type so far might as well keep it consistent.
>>5201343>The atmosphere's a little chilly, you should warm it. Try and crack a joke to break the ice.>"I guess now that I'm here we're a proper freak show, you guys and Mr. Ground Meat. Could make a bit of change setting up a carnival sideshow."
>>5201343>No need to say anything at all. Keep your mouth shut and let Sissy do the talking for now.Watch and learn.
Fuck itChange my vote >>5201356 to >>5201370
>>5201343>No need to say anything at all. Keep your mouth shut and let Sissy do the talking for now.
Do we really want to make another bad impression with these changelings? People clearly don't like it when we clam up, there's a difference between being stoically silent and coming off as dim and cowardly because we refuse to talk straight with people.
>>5201343>The atmosphere's a little chilly, you should warm it. Try and crack a joke to break the ice.You know, a Comedian lost would be pretty broken (assuming they were actually funny)
>Some people want to be social and make jokes>Suggestions are bordering on ofensive or cringeah, yes, 4chan."So, six Lost enter a bar and, tell the last one to shut up."
Sissy told you to be yourself and the truth is, you don't want to say anything at all. You're new to this world, you just want to stand back and let the green man do the talking for a bit.This is clearly not what anyone expected. What follows are several seconds of awkward and uncomfortable silence, with all eyes trained on you.“Sissy, you told me this one had potential. Seems like more like a mouse in the body of a giant, to me.” That's the lion man speaking. His nose is broad, his lips are black and his eyes are amber, but the most striking feature about him would be his dirty blonde hair and beard that frame his face like a lion's mane. He's built like a beast too, with thighs like tree trunks and the broadest shoulders you've ever seen, all rippling beneath a rugby shirt and shorts.“The boy's just got a case o' the nerves, that's all.” Sissy forces out a laugh to lighten the mood and jams an elbow into his ribs, making you flinch a little. Clearly, this isn't what he meant by 'just be yourself.'“If the boy just came out o' Faerie, then we can all sympathise with that.” That's the strange, long-limbed fellow speaking. He's certainly an odd one to look at, with a flabby body that could almost be described as obese but scrawny, emaciated arms that are almost as long as he is tall. The sleeves of his hoodie don't even reach down to his elbows but thankfully, his legs are mostly covered by his jeans. Those tiny black beady eyes of his are a bit unnerving though.“Indeed,” say the elfin man. “I dare say that he expected you to speak on his behalf, as the one who introduced him to us. There is logic in that, and a respect for hierarchy. Both of these are admirable traits.” His voice is surprisingly soft and reassuring, though those colourless eyes of his seem sharp and almost predatory. He's dressed in an immaculate black suit as though he just came from a funeral and most of his greying hair has been shorn off in a burr cut.“Oh, you'd love it if the rest of us were bootlickers who stuck to your rules, wouldn't you?” That's the lion man piping up again, glaring daggers at the elf from over the rim of his pint.“Certainly. If it kept you from going on your ridiculous crusades and getting good people killed in the process then yes, I would love it.” The black-clad fellow takes a sip of his tepid water, even as the leonine brute pushes himself to his feet, with fury on his face and looking like he's about to flip the table.“Each and every one of those lads gave their lives for a cause, to defend this Duchy with their blood! It's more than you'll ever fucking do!”“Oi, boys, boys! That's enough o' that!” “You're like this every bleddy time!” Sissy and the gangly man are both trying to restore the peace before a fight breaks out, leaving you standing on your own by the doorway with no idea of what to do.
“It's all a bit petty, isn't it?”You're surprised by the voice that comes from your side. It's the woman who was previously at the table, with writing etched all over her body. In fact, at this distance, you're able to get a better look at her skin – it appears to actually be made of paper, as though she's a living book. Her greying hair has been bound in an elegant bun and most of her body is hidden beneath a long black winter coat that might have been fashionable – and ludicrously expensive – a few decades ago. She takes a sip from her gin and tonic before she continues.“For what it's worth, I think that remaining silent is often the right thing to do. It is better to observe and determine the best course of action than it is to thoughtlessly act on a whim. This is rather difficult when you are the one in the spotlight, however.” Another sip of her beverage is taken before she looks up at you, cold blue eyes taking you in from behind her spectacles. “You may call me Lady Welby, or Lady if that strikes you as too formal. I assume that you have a name..?”“It's Saul,” you reply. You think you'll stick to your real name, rather than the moniker that Mabel proposed. “Lady isn't your real name, is it?” You just can't imagine someone calling their child that.“How astute of you. Names have power, Saul. Even ones as insignificant as the ones we are given at birth. So, I chose to adopt this nom de guerre instead.” Another sip. “But let us speak of why you are here instead. I represent the Antiquarians, you see. Your good friend Sissy would no doubt call us a 'motley' or a 'crew,' but I would say that we are more of a society of like-minded individuals. A collaboration, if you will.”“Sounds civilised. I take it that you don't just collect antiques though,” you reply. A ghost of a smile curves Lady Welby's lips.“Certainly not. We collect power, Saul. In particular, the power of Faerie. There are countless Lost who came before us and in their wake, they have left behind all sorts of texts and artefacts, knowledge and weapons to be used against our Keepers. Some of us even study the secrets behind their power, so that we might use it against them. Tell me, how do you feel about that?”>You're never going back to the Crone. You'll do whatever it takes to remain free. If that means wielding the power of the Keepers against them, you have no problem with that.>Sissy warned you about Lost becoming just as bad as their Keepers. Using ancient knowledge and relics to your advantage is fine, but what she suggests is a step too far.>It doesn't sound like the Antiquarians do anything useful. In fact, it sounds like they just hoard dusty old books and antiques. What do they actually contribute to the Duchy?>Shrug. You don't feel comfortable sharing your thoughts with her. Keep them to yourself and just say something vague and neutral to keep Lady Welby satisfied.
>>5202142>You're never going back to the Crone. You'll do whatever it takes to remain free. If that means wielding the power of the Keepers against them, you have no problem with that.Knowledge is power afterall, these guys don't sound too bad assuming they aren't using these texts/artifacts/weapons for ill purposes
>>5202142>You're never going back to the Crone. You'll do whatever it takes to remain free. If that means wielding the power of the Keepers against them, you have no problem with that.Just like with the crone, learn the best times to obey, and the best times to disobey. This is just another kind of learning.
>>5202107>offensive or cringeyep that's me.
>>5202142>>You're never going back to the Crone. You'll do whatever it takes to remain free. If that means wielding the power of the Keepers against them, you have no problem with that.
>>5202142>You're never going back to the Crone. You'll do whatever it takes to remain free. If that means wielding the power of the Keepers against them, you have no problem with that.
“Sounds like the right way of going about it,” you reply. “I'm not going back there, no matter what. If we have to give the Keepers a taste of their own medicine to get them off our backs, I'm fine with that. I'm not going back, Lady.”“I share that sentiment, Saul. Even if you aren't interested in becoming an Antiquarian, I shall keep you in mind. I might have a business proposal for you in the distant future, should you show promise.” Lady turns away to peer at the others. Sissy and the spindly creature are both trying to console the lion man while the elf in the suit sits on his own, quietly enjoying his water. “Next, I would suggest speaking with Owen Crowson. That would be the fellow with the pointed ears. Do tread carefully around him, the man lacks any sense of humour.”You exchange farewells with Lady and she leaves the room to have her gin and tonic refilled. While the three men across the room are busy talking, you make your way across to Own and gesture to the chair beside him.“May I take a seat?” It's more polite than you would normally be, but you decide to take Lady's advice.“Certainly,” he replies, setting down his glass of water. The man seems utterly devoid of any sort of colour, from his clothes to his skin to his eyes and his hair. Even his lips are grey. “Owen Crowson, at your service. I am here on the behalf of Carnwennan. Now, might I know your name?”“Thanks,” you reply as you sit beside him. “The name's Saul. You said something about Carnwennan. That sounds Welsh – is it someone you work for?”“It is the name of a blade given to King Arthur by God himself, according to Welsh mythology. It is also the name of the organisation I work for, though those who consider the word a mouthful simply call us the Dagger.”“So what is it that Carnwennan does?” The name is a bit of a tongue-twister but at least while you're in Owen's company, you'll try and stick with it.“We protect the Duchy from itself,” he explains. “Each of the Lost possesses great power that can be used for good or ill. Those who use it foolishly may draw the attention of Keepers or mortals. Neither of these bode well for the Duchy. Not only that, but there are those who let the power go to their heads and mistreat the mortal herd. It is our duty to find these deviants who misuse their talents and discipline them.”>You can't help but agree with his words. The Duchy wouldn't last long if it's discovered by Keepers or the government. Someone needs to keep the Lost in line.>Protest a little. You take issue with Owen's tone. He calls normal people 'mortals' and speaks about them like they're cattle. How can he be so dispassionate?>Stand up for your rights. Who let Carnwennan decide what is a step too far and what isn't? The Lost should be free to use their abilities as they see fit.>Just pay a little lip service and say that you'll abide by the rules. It should be enough to keep Owen off your back.
>>5202646>Just pay a little lip service and say that you'll abide by the rules. It should be enough to keep Owen off your back.No need to piss off the local lawfag autist yet
>>5202646>Protest a little. You take issue with Owen's tone. He calls normal people 'mortals' and speaks about them like they're cattle. How can he be so dispassionate?>"Not so long ago I used to be one of these mortals. Seems a little cold."
>>5202646>Just pay a little lip service and say that you'll abide by the rules. It should be enough to keep Owen off your back.Our boy is shaping up to be a pragmatic opportunist, I like it.
>>5202646>Just pay a little lip service and say that you'll abide by the rules. It should be enough to keep Owen off your back.
“Well, you can trust me not to make any trouble for you,” you insist. “I already heard all of the rules from Sissy and they seem simple enough.” Though from the sound of it, the Antiquarians might already be breaking a few of them. Maybe the Dagger doesn't have as much influence as Owen says, or maybe they're more lenient than he's letting on.“Excellent. It is nice to meet a newcomer who understands the importance of discipline, for once.” Owen's attention shifts away from you as the gangly man approaches. The other two men left the room while you were talking with the Daggerman. “Ah, Jack. I assume that you would like a word with the man of the hour?”“Yeah, that's what we're all here for.” Spindly Jack has the same local accent as Sissy and Mabel, though his seems a lot more gravelly. “Just one thing, Owen. Try 'n avoid goadin' Lionel. Ever since the last fuck-up, he's been bleddy close to snappin'.”“Wait, that guy is seriously called Lionel?” It's not the most pertinent question, but you can't stop yourself from asking it.“Yes, well, you have seen him. He is not the most intelligent sort.” Owen lets out a sigh. “Very well, Jack. I shall try to be the better man.”“Good. Anyhow, I suppose we should get acquainted.” The squat creature thrusts out a stick-like arm towards you, which ends with a scrawny mockery of a hand. His beady little eyes unnerve you, but the smile on his face actually seems genuine. “Jack Webber. I'm here on behalf o' the Neighbourhood Watch.”“Call me Saul,” you reply as you shake his hand. Despite his emaciated limbs, he's got a pretty strong grip. “With a name like that, I guess you guys help out Carnwennan with the whole law and order thing?”“Nothin' o' the sort, boy.” Jack grins and shows off a row of pointy little fangs. “It ain't this neighbourhood that we watch. No, we look after the Hedge.” The borderland between Earth and Faerie, Sissy mentioned it. “There's more than just Keepers out there. There's a whole bleddy ecosystem, goblins 'n all sorts. We keep 'em from causin' trouble, but we lend 'em a hand when they need it too. In the end, they're people just like us.”“And some of them serve the Keepers,” Owen adds. “If you were wiser, you would avoid becoming so familiar with the Hedge-beasts, Jack. They are not our friends.”“Yeah, you've told me this a hundred times already.” Jack somehow rolls his black, insectile eyes. “Saul, was it? What do you think?”>Cooperation should always be encouraged. The Duchy should make allies out of these goblins.>Keep it professional. The Watch should only work with the Hedge's denizens when it's necessary.>The Lost should avoid these creatures. If they were never human, how can they be trusted?>They sound far too close for the Keepers to your liking. Shouldn't the Duchy be wiping them out?>Hey, you're staying out of this. Come up with an excuse to avoid taking a side.
Antiquarianzls sound kinda good for our skillset. Never know when some old broke thing needs fixing and we're going to be support rather than combat oriented. Just my thought, let's see who else is on the list
>>5202800>Keep it professional. The Watch should only work with the Hedge's denizens when it's necessary.
>>5202800>Hey, you're staying out of this. Come up with an excuse to avoid taking a side.
>>5202800>A cautious cooperation should be fostered, you never know if one of them may be a spy or opportunist, but if they are kept to a mere business-like relationship then we'll get little help from them that isn't paid for. Plus, making friends tends to encourage them to avoid going against us in the first place, though it may make the opportunities to do so easier.
So are we wizened or ogre? Our abilities seem like a mix of both so I'm not sure. Also what court are we gonna join?
“Since you're asking for my opinion, I don't think you should get too close to them. Keep your distance and work with them when you've got to. Otherwise, keep your distance.” It just seems logical to you and surprisingly, both Jack and Owen seem to agree with your words – just in thoroughly different ways.“Well, it turns out that we've got to work with 'em an awful lot,” the spindly man says. “There's a whole heap o' things that the Duchy can't do on its own in the Hedge. If we want to have a presence in those parts, we need some o' the natives on our side.”“That is simply your preference,” Owen interjects. “You let your fondness for goblins cloud your judgement. Cooperation with the likes of them can be necessary, but only in the most dire situations. Despite this, it seems that the Watch pursues diplomacy at every possible opportunity. All that I ask is that–”The elf's lecture is interrupted by the opening of the door. Looking up, you see that Sissy has returned. The green man ambles over to pull out a chair and join the three of you.“Well, that's Lionel sorted,” he explains. “I had to offer to pay his drinks for the rest o' the night, but it's worth the cost if it keeps him from makin' a scene.” Owen scoffs at this, but Sissy doesn't seem to pay him any mind.“I've been thinkin',” Jack says, eager to discuss a topic that the elf won't moan about. “Sissy, you called all o' us here to find a good fit for Saul, but have you though about bringin' him into your own crew?” The antlered alcoholic scratched as his beard as he considers how to reply. Eventually, he offers a helpless shrug.“Honestly? I ain't sure that he would be a great fit, but I suppose that we could take him in if no one else will.” Sissy turns to face you. “Here's the pitch then, boy. Me and my motley call ourselves the Locals. We're the ones who keep an eye on Trebelwith and everythin' within a dozen miles o' it. We keep a look out for weird shit from Faerie or the Hedge poppin' up where it ain't meant to. Think o' us as the eyes on the ground. If there's trouble afoot, we're the first ones to find it 'n we send word to the right crew for the job.”>Butter Sissy up. It seems like the Locals perform a vital role. If it wasn't for them, you would still be lost and confused with no idea of where you were. You owe them a lot.>You don't really see the point. As far as you can tell, all of the other groups perform vital tasks while Sissy's motley gets to laze around and avoid contributing to the Duchy.>They could do a lot more. If the Lost are as powerful as you've been told, then why do they live beside humans instead of ruling over them? Direct control over the town would be useful. >Call Sissy out. You've seen how the Locals operate. They're leeches who take advantage of the human population, there's nothing noble about them at all. Let him know that.
>>5203727>Butter Sissy up. It seems like the Locals perform a vital role. If it wasn't for them, you would still be lost and confused with no idea of where you were. You owe them a lot.At the cost of seeming like an asskisser, they done a lot for us. I would like to talk to Lady again and see about getting with her crew, sounds more our speed at this point.
>>5203727>You don't really see the point. As far as you can tell, all of the other groups perform vital tasks while Sissy's motley gets to laze around and avoid contributing to the Duchy.
>>5203727>Butter Sissy up. It seems like the Locals perform a vital role. If it wasn't for them, you would still be lost and confused with no idea of where you were. You owe them a lot.They literally give a helping hand to any new Lost that appear in this part and of course, any thread from the Hedge or who knows, maybe vampires or any other weird shit he confirmed that existed. Saying they don't do nothing after taking those things in consideration and how they helped us is being a dick.
>>5203727I don't think what we know of our abilities suits the Locals, nor do I really think we have a good affinity for the purpose of their group, but I do think what they do is important.>Butter Sissy up. It seems like the Locals perform a vital role. If it wasn't for them, you would still be lost and confused with no idea of where you were. You owe them a lot.We do kinda owe them, that much is true. I don't want to join them, but how they operate is probably valid. If you are spat out of the Hedge with your identity taken and don't legally exist it is kinda of hard to operate like a normal person within the law, a little shoplifting isn't too bad as we agreed earlier.
>>5203727>Butter Sissy up. It seems like the Locals perform a vital role. If it wasn't for them, you would still be lost and confused with no idea of where you were. You owe them a lot.
“You might be right, I'm not sure if I would suit you guys. What I know for certain is that I would still be lost – actually lost – if it wasn't for you. If you help every Lost that gets out of Faerie like you've helped me, then you're more important than you let on. You do a lot of good, Sissy.”For once, the green man actually seems taken aback. He scratches under his beard and lets out an awkward chuckle. He's not used to praise. “Well, uh, I'll take as a 'thank you.' You're welcome, boy. Though it ain't like I do this out o' the good o' my heart. Without fresh blood, this Duchy o' ours would fade away.”“While there is truth in your words,” Owen remarks, as he is wont to do, “I would argue that you are a bit careless with who you recruit.” Sissy turns his head away so that elf won't see him rolling his eyes while he's preaching. “You should consider a more rigorous screening process–”“Well then, let's get this over with!”Lionel has returned, barging through the door with a new pint of lager in hand. Thanks to the big guy's entrance, all eyes are on him and all conversation has come to a stop. He quaffs a good third of his drink before he speaks again.“Get over here, rookie. Let's have a look at you.” At the lion man's request, you push yourself to your feet and go over to him. He's the first man you've met since your escape who seems as tall as you are, looming over everyone else. As soon as you're close enough, he reaches out to forcefully clap a hand against your shoulder. “Lionel West, founder of the Duchy's Finest.”“Call me Saul,” you reply, a little less gung ho than he is. “I've gotta ask, is that really what your group's called?” It's a little egotistical.“Absolutely. Out of everyone in the Duchy, we're the only ones who are fully committed to killing the Keepers.” You're taken aback by that. Lionel must have noticed because his grin only widens. “Don't believe me? Since I first made the Finest, we've put down two of the bastards and sent far more back to Faerie with their tails between their legs. If you want to join us though, I'll need to see proof of your strength. Come at me, lad.”“I'm sorry, what?” You're a little bewildered when Lionel steps back and sets down his pint, creating just enough space for you to swing a good punch.“Talk is cheap. If you want my respect, show me what you got!”>Give him your best. Show him the strength that the Crone afflicted you with. (This will cost three points of glamour.)>Throw a fist at his jaw. There won't be any supernatural strength behind it, but maybe it will be enough.>You'd rather ask questions instead. Can the Keepers actually be killed? Before now, they seemed unstoppable.>This isn't the time and place for violence. You're better than that. You refuse to punch Lionel, even if he is asking for it.>No thanks, you're not interested. He might be offended by you snubbing him, but you might impress others.
>>5204220>Give him your best. Show him the strength that the Crone afflicted you with. (This will cost three points of glamour.)If the man want's a fight, we'll give him a fight. Once it's over though, win or lose we gotta ask for the details on how they've killed keepers, that's legendary tier shit.
>>5204220>First throw a punch to his palm without any magical thing, then>Give him your best. Show him the strength that the Crone afflicted you with. (This will cost three points of glamour.)I don't have any problem with showing our strenght, but it's better if he knows how actually strong we are, and how hard we can hit with Glamour
You have spent three glamour points. You have zero glamour points remaining.Clenching your left hand into a fist, you bring it back and take a swing at Lionel's jaw. There's a decent amount of weight behind the punch but it's nothing special. The lion man knows it's coming too, so it's no surprise that he catches your fist before it strikes its target. A taunting grin spreads across his face.“Come on, Saul! Is that all you've got? I expected more–”That's all he manages to say before your right hand connects with his gut. All of the air leaves Lionel's lungs in an audible wheeze as you unleash all of the monstrous strength that the Crone imbued you with. The impact is enough to launch the leonine brute off his feet and flat on his back, with such a heavy landing that the floorboards splinter beneath him with a thunderous crack. Spindly Jack goes rushing over to Lionel's side to help him, while Sissy laughs his ass off. Somewhere off to the side, Owen pinches the bridge of his nose and shakes his head in dismay.“Bleddy... Lionel! Oi, Lionel!” A worried Jack Webber leans over the lion man who clutches his gut, wheezing and croaking for air while his bulging eyes stare up at the ceiling. If it wasn't for his inhuman resilience, you get the feeling that you could've crippled or even killed him with that punch. It takes him a good minute or two for him to recover, during which you go over to help him and an alarmed Lady steps back inside.“What on Earth is going on back here? You made such a racket that people are starting to ask questions out there.” Upon noticing Lionel still struggling for breath on the floor, the Antiquarian buries her face in her free hand. “Oh, for the love of all that is holy, is that man incapable of going a single day without starting a fight?”“Part of the blame lies with Saul, I am afraid.” Owen doesn't sound particularly amused or impressed. “He indulged Lionel's lust for senseless violence.”“I-I bloody... I bloody well commend him for it, too!” A ragged laugh follows those words as the lion man finally rises to his feet, though he leans heavily on you and Jack in the process. “To think t-that – that I had the nerve to call you a mouse, hah!” Despite the obvious pain that he is still in, Lionel seems genuinely pleased. Several of the floorboards have visibly been broken and bent where he landed, forming a small crater.“You did ask for it,” you reply, unable to keep a grin of your own off of your face. “You did get me wondering though – how did you manage to kill those Keepers? Everyone else has made them seem unstoppable.” With Jack's aid, you guide the winded lion man over to a chair so he can recover. Owen takes advantage of his breathless state to explain.
“The truth is that one of those instances was a collaboration with the Antiquarians and the Dream Catchers – a group that you have yet to meet. The other instance was the result of the entire Duchy working together, it just so happens that one of the 'Finest' delivered the killing blow.” Owen glances down at Lionel, whose good mood has evaporated. “You also failed to mention the number of soldiers that you have lost, in the four years that your private army has existed for.”“Don't you fucking dare, y-you...” The lion man trails off into a hoarse wheeze. Though Jack shoots a warning look at Owen, the elf continues.“Thirteen. One year, the disastrous hunts of the 'Finest' were responsible for the majority of deaths and disappearances in the Duchy. Yet despite the fact that you have led over a dozen Lost to their ends, fresh-faced fools still flock to you, seduced by promises of revenge against their Keepers. Their blood is on your–”“Owen! That's enough!” Sissy's mirth has evaporated and his brow is furrowed in a deep frown. “We ain't here to bicker. We're here to find a place for the newest among us. We're all here now and Saul's heard from each o' us, so let's hear it – who would be willin' to have him?”“Despite the barbarity he has just exhibited,” Owen begins, “I believe that he could be of use to Carnwennan. He would be welcome in our ranks.”“I'll say that you seem like a decent sort,” Spindly Jack says, talking to you directly. “A bit rough around the edges, there ain't anythin' wrong with that. If you're up for it, there's an openin' for you in the Watch.”“He would make an adequate Antiquarian, should he wish to join us. At first I believed that he would make an excellent one but now, I am uncertain.” Lady Welby purses her lips in a tight, thin line.“I-If... If you want a place in the Finest, you've got it,” Lionel grunts. “You might be a quiet one, but y-you... you let your fists do the talking for you. I respect that.”“Guess that leaves the Locals. You said it yourself, Saul – you wouldn't work out as one o' us.” Sissy shrugs his shoulders – there's no hard feelings involved. “So, you'll have to go with one o' the others. Where do you feel like you belong?”>Carnwennan. This group is focused on identifying, subduing and punishing renegade, radical and traitorous Lost. Expect subterfuge and intrigue.>The Neighbourhood Watch. This group is focused on exploring the Hedge and handling its bizarre inhabitants. Expect whimsy and weirdness.>The Antiquarians. This group is focused on the collection of occult knowledge and arcane artefacts. Expect mysticism and moral quandaries.>The Finest. This group is focused on taking the fight to the Keepers and their minions, no matter the cost. Expect a lot of violence and loss.
>>5204719>>The Neighbourhood Watch. This group is focused on exploring the Hedge and handling its bizarre inhabitants. Expect whimsy and weirdness.>>The Antiquarians. This group is focused on the collection of occult knowledge and arcane artefacts. Expect mysticism and moral quandaries.I’m stuck between these two, so count it as a half vote for each.
>>5204719>The Antiquarians. This group is focused on the collection of occult knowledge and arcane artefacts. Expect mysticism and moral quandaries.I think this fits most with how we made Saul be, a pragmatic, patient and observant lad with a strong will and the mind and fists to back it up.Also, the idea of a beast of a man being the smart one of the group is funny to me.
>>5204719>>The Antiquarians. This group is focused on the collection of occult knowledge and arcane artefacts. Expect mysticism and moral quandaries.Really, any of the Motleys except the Finest appeal to me. While I can see the appeal at getting back at those that tormented us, it doesn't really seem like the Finest are actually better at that than anyone else, killing Keepers seems to be more of a community effort. At worst we just garner their attention and endanger the Duchy, tangibly worsening the quality of life for others for our own whims.
>>5204719>The Antiquarians. This group is focused on the collection of occult knowledge and arcane artefacts. Expect mysticism and moral quandaries.I really liked Lady, but>"Honestly, I really liked all of the options you're giving me, each has it's charm. But I feel keen with the Antiquarians. Still, if you need some help from me I would be willing to help... There might be some exceptions of course, but still">Laugh a little and hope that the joke is actually good for atleast one
>>5204719>The Antiquarians. This group is focused on the collection of occult knowledge and arcane artefacts. Expect mysticism and moral quandaries.
>>5204719>The Antiquarians. This group is focused on the collection of occult knowledge and arcane artefacts. Expect mysticism and moral quandaries.>"Honestly, until just now I had no idea just how strong I really was. Too bad Lionel had to be the one to find out with me eh?"Whimsy and weirdness seems right up my alley but I'm down for getting into the really weird and fucked up shit.
>>5204719>The Neighbourhood Watch. This group is focused on exploring the Hedge and handling its bizarre inhabitants. Expect whimsy and weirdness.
>>5204719I'm in the same boat as >>5204746
I'm also torn, the Antiquarians does seem like the best fit for our personality, but Jack is a true lad and it seems like it would be fun as fuck. Fuck it, I'll switch to >The Neighbourhood Watch. This group is focused on exploring the Hedge and handling its bizarre inhabitants. Expect whimsy and weirdness.
>>5204719>>The Finest. This group is focused on taking the fight to the Keepers and their minions, no matter the cost. Expect a lot of violence and loss.
“It's hard to say,” you begin, trying your best to be diplomatic about this. “I can see myself working each and every one of you but if I have to follow my heart and choose one above the rest, then I've got to go with the Antiquarians.” You glance towards Lady. “If you'll still have me, that is.”“But of course.” Though she doesn't smile, you get the feeling that Lady Welby is rather satisfied with this outcome. Everyone seems alright with it – except Owen. You doubt that he would have been happy unless you joined the Dagger. “I happen to have a loft where you can stay for the night. In the coming days, I shall see about finding you employment, lodgings and more suitable attire, as well as familiarising you with our methods.”Now that your motley has been chosen, the atmosphere becomes a lot more casual. There's still tension whenever Owen and Lionel share words with each other, but Jack manages to keep them from coming to blows. You get to enjoy a solid twenty minutes of chitchat, much of which doesn't even concern the Lost. You have a chat with Lionel, Jack and Sissy about the rugby, while Lady and Own both express an interest in your university education.When Sissy opens the door to get another pint for the lion man, you're greeted by the sound of men bellowing at each other. Unable to contain your curiosity, you step outside of the conference room to take a look.“The fuck did you say about me? Come on, fuckin' say it again! Say it again, you fuckin' pussy!”A pair of obviously drunk men around your age are shoving each other. The offended party is a sweaty, dishevelled mess in a tracksuit while the other guy seems to be well-groomed and dressed up for a night out. “Are you fucking deaf? I told you I didn't say anything! Keep your fucking hands off of me, you stupid arsehole!”“That ain't what you told me, love!” That's a third voice, piping up from a stool at the bar. It's none other than Mabel, with a shit-eating grin spread over her face. “You told me he was the dumbest-lookin' cunt you'd ever seen!” The fancy gent gives the elfin girl an incredulous stare, only to stagger when the bloke in the trackies shoves him again.“Come on then, say it to my fuckin' face! Say it to my face you fuckin' pussy 'n see what happens!”Others are starting to join in. A couple of men are trying to break up the fight while others are egging them on. All the while, Mabel just sits back and watches the show with rapt attention, wetting her lips.>Go over and scold her. What sort of sick kick does she get out of starting a fight in the middle of a crowded pub?>Try and break up the fight. You're a big enough bloke that they might pay attention to you, where others might fail.>Join in. If there's going to be a brawl, you want a slice of the action – knocking Lionel on his ass has gotten you in the mood.>You're staying out of this. In the end, this isn't any of your business. Why should you get involved?
>>5205482>You're staying out of this. In the end, this isn't any of your business. Why should you get involved?Eh, we don't know these people and this isn't our fight. Let them let off some steam. I imagine she is just collecting glamour or just doing it for fun. Trying to stop the fight will either get them or Mabel mad at us, probably.
>>5205482>Try and break up the fight. You're a big enough bloke that they might pay attention to you, where others might fail.once they see our giganigga proportions, everyone will quiet down. plus we'll get our first taste of glamour by scaring the shit out of them.
>5205482>>You're staying out of this. In the end, this isn't any of your business. Why should you get involved?
>>5205482>You're staying out of this. In the end, this isn't any of your business. Why should you get involved?
>>5205482+1 >>5205522I know we are going for the pragmatic opportunist of course, but there's sometimes where we need to be in the spotlightJust go to one of the dudes that are yelling and shit, give a friendly but slightly strong palm in his arm and try to calm down the thing, just be near the drunk guys, talk a little smooth and offer a drink for those two. Maybe being so fucking tall and shit might scare them being that near and going personal with that physical contact
There's no point in getting involved. This isn't your fight. A couple of the others step out of the conference room to have a look at the commotion but when punches start being thrown, all of you retreat back into the privacy and safety of the room. The last thing you hear before you shut the door behind you is Mabel whooping and cheering, revelling in the chaos that she's caused.“Owen, you saw that, right?” The elf nods in response to your question. His distaste is obvious from the frown etched into his face. “How come you didn't put a stop to that? Isn't Carnwennan supposed to keep the Lost in line?”“While her methods are vulgar, I am afraid that Sissy's subordinate did nothing wrong. Her actions do not draw any attention to the Duchy, nor does she directly endanger any mortal or Lost with her actions. Yes, she might have intentionally provoked that man for the purpose of harvesting his fury, but she is not responsible for the actions that he committed once he surrendered to his emotions. If anyone will punish her, it is the mortal police – provided that she is not long gone by the time they arrive.”“Well,” butts in spindly Jack, “I don't know about the rest o' you, but I find the whole harvestin' business a bit sick. Love 'n hate 'n the like are more than just food, they're sacred parts o' the human experience. Me, whenever I need the power o' Faerie on my side, I bite into a goblin fruit.” You don't know what that means, and it's obvious. Owen explains while the Watchman fishes about in his pockets for something.“The strength of fey magic isn't consistent throughout the Hedge. In places where Faerie has the most influence, there are plants that grow magical produce. These 'goblin fruits' can empower the Lost in the same way that mortal feelings can. Most of the Duchy would gladly feed on them instead of having to harvest emotions, if they were not so rare or expensive.”“Oi, that ain't the Watch's fault! We need some way o' makin' cash and these fruits can be bleddy hard to find sometimes. What's worse is that the goblins love 'em too, so we often have to fight with 'em over the stuff.” Finally pulling an apple out of his pocket, Jack chucks it over to you. “Here, boy. This one's on the house.”Upon examining the apple, you're shocked to find that its skin is as blue as the sky on a clear day. Though you're a little hesitant, you decide to take a bite, only to find that the flesh of the fruit is actually soft, powdery snow. It fills your mouth with a refreshing chill and melts on your tongue immediately. Unbidden memories return to you of winters past, of chucking snowballs at your childhood friends and cursing the weather as you drove down icy streets.Whenever you consume a goblin fruit, you may choose to regain a lost point of glamour or gain a unique benefit.You have regained one glamour point. You have one glamour point remaining.
The meeting of the motleys doesn't last much longer, only another half an hour. Owen is unsurprisingly the first to leave but Lady Welby departs soon after, taking you with her. After ten minutes in her Mercedes, you arrive at the old-fashioned furniture shop that serves as her home and her workplace. You shouldn't be too surprised that someone who calls herself an Antiquarian is in the business of selling antiques. Lady shows you to the loft where you will be sleeping, which you will be sharing with another member of the society – Brock. He's a short, dapper fellow with a well-kept beard and gaping holes all over his body, exposing clockwork where there should be flesh and blood. You only exchange a few words with him before you settle down to sleep for the night.The following day marks the beginning of your education, during which Lady Welby goes into much greater depth than Sissy did.For example, the Keepers go by many names, such as the Others, the Gentry and the True Fae. Those last two are particularly apt, as they are the most powerful fey beings to exist – the apex predators, so to speak.As for the Lost, they are better known as 'changelings' – though even that name is somewhat misleading. In folklore, changelings are the fey offspring that are left in the place of stolen human infants. In reality though, changelings are the humans who have returned after being stolen away. Somehow, the legends got it back to front.These are just some of the many things you learn from Lady.However, you also have to discuss more practical matters, such as your living arrangements and how you will earn a living. Though you are one of the Lost, you still have to live in the human world and do all of the things that humans do.So, where will you live?>The dusty and unfurnished loft of Lady's antique shop. You'll need to share the space with Brock and it's very spartan, but at least Lady doesn't charge any rent.>A flat that you can rent cash-in-hand, no questions asked. You'll need a decent source of income to afford this, but it's private and it's yours.>Once you've made a bit of cash, you'll buy a cheap old banger that will serve as both transport and a place to sleep.>Rough sleeping is the way to go. You won't have to worry about any significant expenses or rely on anyone else, in theory.And how will you make a living?>As an assistant for Lady. She could do with a bit of muscle to help with some of the heavier items. Your abilities might help too.>As an independent handyman. You don't have much experience in the trades but you can compensate for that with your magic.>Use your gifts as a springboard. See if you can advertise yourself as a miracle worker who can fix literally anything.>Petty crime. A little shoplifting and a little dealing on Sissy's behalf won't hurt anyone.>Why work for anyone at all? You should live free of any responsibilities – and without any source of income.
>>5205850>Once you've made a bit of cash, you'll buy a cheap old banger that will serve as both transport and a place to sleep.>As an independent handyman. You don't have much experience in the trades but you can compensate for that with your magic.I'm tempted to go for the miracle worker angle but that could raise unwanted questions and attention. And I think getting as independent as possible as quickly as possible is the way to go.
>>5205850I'd say either starting by living in the loft before moving out to live in a flat after we earn some cash or perhaps just moving out immediately if we feel we can earn enough money quick enough with confidence.I think working for Lady is best for now, I'd love to be more independent or to gain some experience, but we aren't going to be able to do that as an independent trades person, as there will be no one to learn from and we'll be relying on our glamour to fix things, the upkeep of which may be too expensive to maintain a regular schedule of jobs, let alone have some in reserve for personal use. Acting as a miracle worker sounds like it could attract a lot of attention as well, but I suppose it could work. Crime also works.>The dusty and unfurnished loft of Lady's antique shop. You'll need to share the space with Brock and it's very spartan, but at least Lady doesn't charge any rent.>As an assistant for Lady. She could do with a bit of muscle to help with some of the heavier items. Your abilities might help too.
>>5205903I just don't want to be completely dependent on lady, because who knows what could go down in the future. Having a car and a job outside of her would at least allow us to not completely flounder if our relationship ever goes flat.
>>5205850>Once you've made a bit of cash, you'll buy a cheap old banger that will serve as both transport and a place to sleep.>As an independent handyman. You don't have much experience in the trades but you can compensate for that with your magic.
>>5205850>The dusty and unfurnished loft of Lady's antique shop. You'll need to share the space with Brock and it's very spartan, but at least Lady doesn't charge any rent.>As an assistant for Lady. She could do with a bit of muscle to help with some of the heavier items. Your abilities might help too.
>>5205939I get you, that is why I did mention that I'd love to be independent, but that is easier when we have some breathing room in regards to savings or whatever. I don't intend for things to stay this way for forever, or even longer than a month or two. I just think that doing a job we have little to no experience in isn't likely to work out even with glamour, at least not without some time to learn or someone to learn from.
>>5206044We can still learn how to be handyman on our own. All we would need is a smartphone or a local internet cafe and we can get all the learning we need for free. Manuals, tutorials, tips and etcetera will be more than enough when paired with our ability, and before long we'll be able to fix basic problems even without glamour. It's not as difficult to pull off as you make it seem.
>>5205850>Once you've made a bit of cash, you'll buy a cheap old banger that will serve as both transport and a place to sleep.>As an independent handyman. You don't have much experience in the trades but you can compensate for that with your magic.>Petty crime. A little shoplifting and a little dealing on Sissy's behalf won't hurt anyone.
>>5205850>A flat that you can rent cash-in-hand, no questions asked. You'll need a decent source of income to afford this, but it's private and it's yours.>As an independent handyman. You don't have much experience in the trades but you can compensate for that with your magic.
A flat and a miracle fixer!
Though you might be one of the Antiquarians, you'd rather not be reliant on their generosity. You have always valued independence so you only stay in that loft for as long as you have to. You put your name out there as a handyman and a general labourer and although there is a lot of competition, you get a few calls every week. For the more finicky aspects of plumbing and wiring, you're forced to look up a lot of guides. You have an easier time with less technical jobs that involve a lot of gardening or heavy-lifting. Whenever you really screw up a job, you always have the Crone's magic to fall back on. A light tap and a bit of magic is all it takes to make something broken work again.After a bit of saving and a bit of borrowing from other Lost, you manage to scrounge up enough cash to buy a second-hand car. It's not much, it's a banged-up old Volvo that's broken in a dozen different ways, but that hardly matters. There's no chance of you making it as good as new, but at least it will always be in working condition. It takes you wherever you need to go and whenever you need to sleep, you've got the backseat to lie across. Every couple of days you have to stop by Lady's place or Sissy's for a proper shower, but you try to avoid bothering them too much. Independence is key.When it comes to your responsibilities as an Antiquarian, you don't need to do too much – yet. For the most part, it seems to involve a lot of reading. Lady Welby has an almost endless amount of material for you to churn through, from dusty old tomes to cheap and tatty paperbacks to obscure websites you've never heard of it. Your task is simply to internalise what you read, for later analysis.Another important part of Lost life is the harvesting of human emotion. You don't earn too much as a handyman and you have a car to keep running, so you can't afford to buy goblin fruits off of the Neighbourhood Watch. So, how do you gather the glamour that empowers your abilities?>You don't. You find the idea of 'harvesting' people reprehensible. So once you run out of glamour, that's it – you're no more useful than any mundane human. (You will lose one glamour point.)>You're an opportunist. If you come across anyone who is close to an outburst, you might push them over the edge and drink up their emotions. However, you don't intentionally seek out people to harvest.>You engage in charity. During your spare time, you help out at a local food bank or some other initiative. Every now and then, someone is truly thankful for your help. (You will gain one glamour point.)>You provoke people. Mabel had the right idea. By starting fights in Trebelwith's pubs, you'll have plenty of anger to gorge yourself on. (You will gain two glamour points.)>You have found a victim, someone frail and vulnerable and alone. You regularly make their life a living hell and feast on their fear.(You will gain three points of glamour.)
>>5206349>You engage in charity. During your spare time, you help out at a local food bank or some other initiative. Every now and then, someone is truly thankful for your help. (You will gain one glamour point.)
>>5206349>You engage in charity. During your spare time, you help out at a local food bank or some other initiative. Every now and then, someone is truly thankful for your help. (You will gain one glamour point.)No need to go full hardcore yet.
>>5206349>>You have found a victim, someone frail and vulnerable and alone. You regularly make their life a living hell and feast on their fear.(You will gain three points of glamour.)
You have regained one glamour point. You have two glamour points remaining.Despite the time that you spent with the Crone, you refused to let her change who you fundamentally are. Helping people remains important to you, especially in a sleepy seaside town like Trebelwith. For every picturesque summer home owned by a millionaire who only lives in it for six weeks a year, there are a dozen struggling locals who can only afford to pay the bills when the sun is shining and the streets are teeming with tourists.That's why whenever you aren't working or studying, you do your bit at a Methodist church that doubles as a community centre. From cleaning up the night shelter, to delivering food parcels, to volunteering at the soup kitchen, you try your best to contribute to the local community. Every now and then, your efforts are rewarded with gratitude. Not just a polite smile and a 'thank you,' but genuine relief from someone who didn't know where their next meal would come from. Sometimes there's even tears. You draw power from these rare displays of appreciation and use them to fuel the magic that you stole from the Crone. Sometimes you feel a little dirty, like you're exploiting the desperation of the helpless, but you remind yourself that you're doing this to help them. The glamour that you extract from their feelings is just a bonus, isn't it?That's what the first three weeks of your life as a Lost are like – dividing your attention between making money as a handyman, studying the literature that Lady gives you and doing charity work on the side. You sure know how to keep yourself busy, so busy that you can barely find any time for yourself, but you're fine with that. You'll rest when you're dead.You do save a little money to spend on yourself though. First of all, a visit to the barbers to get your overgrown mop of hair clipped short and made more presentable. Next, you buy some clothes that actually fit you. Nothing fancy, just some cheap black trousers, a plain shirt and some dress shoes. You even get some wireframe glasses, since the time that you spent in the foetid darkness of the Crone's lair had an impact on your sight.This is what you're wearing when you join Brock in the back of Lady Welby's car one night, to meet the rest of the Antiquarians for the first time.“So, who is it that actually leads us? I don't believe you've ever told me.” Once you're on the road, you can't contain your curiosity any longer. “I haven't,” she replies over her shoulder, keeping her eyes on the road. The sun's already down and twilight is beginning to set in. “The Antiquarians are a society of collaborators, you see. Any decision that are made are done so democratically. We are not a military unit or a political party, so there is no need for one of us to have power over the rest.”
“She's technically right,” Brock chimes in, “but most of the decisions are made by the senior members – Lady Welby, Mr. Sampson and Aidan. They have the most experience and knowledge, so the rest of us tend to rely on their guidance.”“While I appreciate such respect, if we did not value the input of junior collaborators such as the two of you, we would not have invited you to become Antiquarians. Have a little confidence in yourself, Brock.” Despite her attempts at reassurance, Lady does sound a bit condescending. “Let us move on to the subject of our studies. Saul, were you able to notice any connection between the texts that I gave you?”“There's a recurring theme of male royalty.” It was difficult for you to not notice how every story and article had something to do with kings and princes, from all across Europe, both fictional and historical. “None of it had anything to do with the Lost though.”“The magic of Faerie is built on names,” Brock explains, turning a little to face you. “Everything has a true name – or a soul, if you want to think of it like that. The magic that we use is like... contracts, between us and our Keepers. Little bits of their names that they have given to us so that we can invoke their power. If we're able to figure out the true name of a Keeper in its entirety, then we have an advantage over it.”“So you're hoping that the name of a Keeper might be connected to one of these kings? That sounds a little far-fetched.” You're still having a hard time wrapping your head around some of this.“It's actually rather likely, dear. The truth is that the Gentry are rather unimaginative beings. Our working theory is that they draw inspiration from human history and literature and use them as the foundation for their identities. More than once, we have discovered a Keeper's name by figuring out which historical or fictional individual it sought to imitate.” For only a moment, Lady takes her eyes off of the road and peers over her shoulder towards you. “Humour me, Saul – if you happened to discover the true name of your Keeper, what would you do with that knowledge, hm?”>You would have your revenge. You still don't understand the details of how this works but if it is possible, you would use the power of the Crone's name to kill her once and all.>You wouldn't try to fight her. In this hypothetical scenario, you don't want to risk being reclaimed. Instead, you would convince her to relinquish her ownership of you.>You would seize her power for yourself. If the Lost draw their strength from the names of their Keepers, then couldn't you theoretically seize all of her inhuman strength for yourself?>You wouldn't use it at all. You have moved on from her and refuse to let her have any power over you or influence over your actions. You don't want to even think about the Crone ever again.
>>5206693>You wouldn't try to fight her. In this hypothetical scenario, you don't want to risk being reclaimed. Instead, you would convince her to relinquish her ownership of you.This is probably the safest option to get her off our back. I'm also tempted to choose revenge but the Lady seems to have a distaste for violence and she's our boss now, might as well stay on her good side.
>>5206693>You would have your revenge. You still don't understand the details of how this works but if it is possible, you would use the power of the Crone's name to kill her once and all.
>>5206703by "her" I mean the crone BTW
>>5206703It seems like she doesn't like senseless violence, which is understandable. But what's more sensible than killing the person who tortured you, turned you into a literal monster and ruined your life? Besides, the Antiquarians have helped kill a True Fae, so it's not like they're pacifists or anything.
>>5206693>You would seize her power for yourself. If the Lost draw their strength from the names of their Keepers, then couldn't you theoretically seize all of her inhuman strength for yourself?The pragmatic middle ground between the first and second option.
>>5206693>>You would seize her power for yourself. If the Lost draw their strength from the names of their Keepers, then couldn't you theoretically seize all of her inhuman strength for yourself?
not complaining how the votes going, but if we did hypothetically steal all of the crones power we would in turn change into a true fae and completely lose our connection to humanity, essentially becoming just as bad of a mindless monster as it was. it's probably not going to happen but it's an interesting choice nonetheless.
>>5206693>Use as much as I need. If she tries to come back for us, then we'll make sure that we're not going to be the only Lost to know her Name>"I don't know if it's the wisest choice, or what can happen if I do that... But I would take care on who i'm going to tell about the Name. I'm sure that the fear of her name not being a secret anymore for anyone is grater than dead, and if that make her stay at bay, well... I think that's good for me"
>>5206693>You wouldn't try to fight her. In this hypothetical scenario, you don't want to risk being reclaimed. Instead, you would convince her to relinquish her ownership of you.With her no longer having a connection to us we'd be free from targeted danger as we'd ever likely to be, going after her carries more risk to it.
>>5206693>You wouldn't try to fight her. In this hypothetical scenario, you don't want to risk being reclaimed. Instead, you would convince her to relinquish her ownership of you.
The possibly of stealing the Crone's strength for yourself is tempting. Awfully, awfully tempting. In the end though, you decide that it likely isn't the best course of action – or at the very least, it isn't the best thing to say. “I would try and make a deal with it,” you say after some thought. “I'd swear not to use its name against it, as long as it would swear to leave me alone.”“You catch on pretty quickly.” Underneath his tidy little beard, Brock smiles at you. You try not to look at him for too long though, as it's a bit disconcerting – through a hole in the man's temple, you can literally see the brass gears turning inside of his head. “Most of the Gentry are surprisingly open to negotiation, provided that you have something that they want in exchange. So that's the course of action that we tend to suggest, whenever someone comes to us seeking a solution to their Keeper.”“Of course,” Lady interjects, “there are certain caveats. The Keeper will try to look for a loophole in the deal that will allow it reclaim its subject despite the promise it made. In addition, the majority of the Duchy is opposed to any sort of communication with the Gentry, let alone bargaining with them. Finally, the process of discovering a Keeper's true name is rather arduous. More often than not, we fail to uncover this knowledge before the entity has taken its prize back to Faerie.”“That sounds like a lot of trial and error. Besides, don't you need to know about a changeling's time with their Keeper if you're going to figure out their true name? Without that, you don't have a lot to work with.” The more that you think about them, the more flawed the Antiquarians' methods seem.“That is another issue.” A little sigh leaves the parchment mouth of Lady Welby. “The client that we are currently working with is rather tight-lipped. All he has given us is the title of his Keeper and a basic description of their domain in Faerie. We are looking for the true identity of the 'Shining Prince,' who rules over a castle made of crystal. I wish that we could learn more than that but unfortunately, the Duchy denies us the right to demand that information. It's a bit of a bother, don't you agree?”This conversation continues throughout your journey, until you finally arrive after half an hour of driving through the moonlit Cornish countryside. When the car has come to a stop and the three of you get out, you stand in front of an impressive farmhouse that has been converted into a mansion of sorts. Though you can't see much at this time of day, its stony exterior certainly adds to its rustic charm. After Lady raps her knuckles against the door, you're surprised to find that you're answered by a well-dressed human rather than a fellow changeling. The valet leads you inside, through the modern and minimalist interior to your final destination.
The dining room looks rather sleek. Immaculate white walls, a shining hardwood floor and a huge table that looks like a single slab of slate propped up on steel legs. There are oddly shaped chairs arranged around it, but no one seems to be sitting in them – they look hideously uncomfortable. As for the other occupants of the room, there are four of them and they are all Lost. Lady Welby introduces you to each of them and exchanges a few pleasantries before the meeting begins in earnest.First of all, there is Mr. Sampson, the owner of the farmhouse. He is an elderly man who seems rather austere and reserved. He's dressed in an old-fashioned grey tweed suit and surprisingly, he actually looks pretty good in it. However, you cannot ignore the fact that you can literally see through him, as though he is some sort of spirit.Next, you meet Virginia, a quiet girl who is roughly your age and doesn't have much to say. For some reason, she seems to be perpetually damp. Her pallid skin is wet and clammy and her drenched black hair hangs around her face, like those ghosts from the Grudge and the Ring. Even her clothes are soaked through, but at least she's got a nice smile.The next Antiquarian has the opposite problem. Aidan, a man in his thirties dressed in a plaid shirt and jeans, is continuously burning. His skin is smoking and streaked with ash, while his hair has been replaced with smouldering flames. When he grins and suddenly seizes your hand to shake it, you're relieved to find that he is simply warm to the touch.The last of them is Sita, one of the few people who you have met in Cornwall who isn't white. She's an Indian woman in her late thirties, dressed in plain office attire. She's nice enough and seems to lack any accent, though you can't help but notice that her hands are back to the front. There's a strange fire dancing in her eyes too.Together, the seven of you are the Antiquarians.Once introductions are out of the way, you gather around the table and the meeting begins. The purpose of the gathering is determine the true name of the Shining Prince, the Keeper of a changeling called Alfie. One by one, the assembled Lost are called upon to discuss the literature that they studied and to highlight any possible matches that they discovered. Everyone has at least a couple of suggestions – even you – but they are unceremoniously shot down by other Antiquarians who point out the holes in these contributions.
“... Mansa Musa might have been the richest person in history, but at no point was he ever referred to as a 'prince.' I also find it hard to believe that this castle of crystal could be a reference to salt. Furthermore, Alfie shows no sign of Malian cultural influence...”“... It's true, there was a connection between Prince Albert and the Crystal Palace in London. However, that structure was made out of plate glass and could hardly be described as a castle. I would also like to add that there is no connection between Prince Albert and the elfin features that Alfie possesses...”“... Your theory is certainly novel. The crystal castle and the 'shining' aspect of this Keeper could refer to diamonds. However, to suggest that this Keeper was inspired by suit of playing cards is absurd. We would need far more evidence in order to make such a leap...”They go on like this for a good forty minutes. This method of investigation is tedious to say the least and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Thankfully, you're not the only one who has grown impatient.“Look, we ain't got enough to work with,” Aidan pipes up. “Alfie barely told us a bleddy thing. This is a waste o' time – unless the boy's able to give us more information, we'd be better off droppin' this and findin' a new project to work on.”“We can try to push the subject but ultimately, the decision lies in his hand. It is not our place to force him to recollect the trauma that he experienced in Faerie.” Mr. Sampson speaks calmly, seemingly unphased by Aidan's irritation. “Besides, Alfie seems to believe that the Shining Prince is actively hunting him. If he is correct and we abandon this undertaking, we damn him to being reclaimed by his Keeper.”“We've left Lost to their fates before, Sampson. Ain't anythin' wrong with doin' it again. Instead o' tryin' to figure out the names o' one Keeper at a time through trial 'n error, we should be lookin' for a more universal solution.”“Aidan, I believe that eliminating the Shining Prince would have a greater impact than you think.” Heads turn towards Lady Welby as she butts into this argument. “The elvish traits of Alfie are not uncommon among the Lost. There is a chance that others might have been abducted by the Shining Prince – so I would have us question them as well.”“That would be an excellent way for us to earn the ire of the masses,” Mr. Sampson retorts. “We cannot afford to alienate the rest of the Duchy more than we already have.”You grow tired of standing back and listening to them to quarrel. You long to join the debate.>You have to keep trying. That's all you can do, unless Alfie can share more information.>This is a waste of time. If Alfie refuses to cooperate, then there's no point in trying to save him.>Cast the net wide. Any changelings who share traits with Alfie should be questioned.>Resist the urge. The other junior Antiquarians have remained quiet and so should you.
>>5207590>Cast the net wide. Any changelings who share traits with Alfie should be questioned.Feels like what our character would do, there's no harm, especially if it's for the sake of a fellow changeling.
>>5207590>Cast the net wide. Any changelings who share traits with Alfie should be questioned.I actually have a little theory if we're allowed to make write-ins to try and help>"If you think about it, "Crystal" for me it has a wide range of options, it sounds like a term for any kind of precious rock or even a transparent and shining object... There's for example Quartz, diamond, ice... What if it's name is linked to some work of fiction? Is that possible or the Gentry only uses names of historical figures?
>>5207590>Cast the net wide. Any changelings who share traits with Alfie should be questioned.While it seems obvious that some will be reluctant to share their trauma, risking their ire and brief mental agony will still be worth it if we succeed in gaining more to go on, and it is their choice to share or not, we aren't forcing anyone, just asking.If giving up regularly on cases with not much to go on is the common then the Antiquarians will probably lose face because most Lost are gonna be reluctant to share by default, pursuing this more doggedly could do a good for the community and boost our reputation. At the very least we can use the opportunity to improve our Motley's coordination and find standards of how to go about starting these investigations from scratch beyond mere guesswork and book-reading.I also support a more "universal" solution, but I have no idea what Aidan has in mind. Anything to create a proper descriptive theory about how to categorize Keeper and correlate their descriptions with the legends they take their names from would go a long way to making us more effective.
>>5207590I also agree with >>5207615We need not be too literal, a lot of the dismissals of people's theories on who it could be in the prior discussion seem to be at least partly based in personal incredulity rather than a complete lack of merit. A castle of crystal could absolutely be a reference to salt, glass is an amorphous solid but is still often referred to as a crystal and we have no idea how much the Keeper's name care about human scientific definitions, and while we certainly do need more evidence there is no reason why the Keeper couldn't have something to do with the suit of cards instead of a mineral or something.
>>5207635The reason behind of the write-in is because I remembered the first movie of The Chronicles of Narnia and the White Witch palace. It's a fucking huge castle made of ice with snow everywhere and petrified statues.And yeah, there's a huge gap between "The White Witch" and "The Shining Prince", but the mention of the castle was the one that clicked something. After all, if we're actual, living fairy tales beigns, who says that the Gentry doesn't take inspiration of human-made histories and tales? Either inspired by them or out of the authors imagination
>>5207590>Resist the urge. The other junior Antiquarians have remained quiet and so should you.
>>5207658Ah, I was agreeing with you, the part about not needing to be so literal had to do with responding to the other Antiquarians dismissal of the possibilities they had already discussed. It makes sense that the gentry would take inspiration from fictional works.Also, Prince could absolutely describe just any generic royal, noble, authoritarian figure, not specifically just a male heir to some throne. In academic and perhaps actual historical literature to be a prince or of "princely" stature or whatever is just a generic term for someone of a noble nature or someone at the head of a manor or principality, it described anyone from literal princes in charge of independent principalities to king and queens to "manorial princes" (generic nobles) or whatever, at least I think. So the gap between the White Witch and The Shining Prince may not be that huge.
>Cast a wide net, but TACTFULLY. Se need to talk properly to these people in order to convince them to share their past.
“No, Lady Welby is right.” Heads turn as everyone looks at you. Some of them seem surprised that a junior Antiquarian is speaking up of his own accord. Mr. Sampson even looks a little irate. “If the Shining Prince is responsible for the suffering of more than one Lost, we would be doing the Duchy a favour by discovering how to keep him at bay. If we can convince his victims of that, then they might be more willing to help us. As it stands, we don't have enough to go on. For example, crystal could mean quartz or salt or diamonds or ice... Anything, really. This name could even be inspired by fictional characters, rather than historical figures. We need more to work with and other Lost might provide the knowledge that we require.”Mr. Sampson seems unimpressed. “You assume that any knowledge they have is relevant to this project. I highly doubt that the Shining Prince is behind all changelings with pointy ears. Yet it is evident that you back Lady Welby's proposal so I must ask, does anyone else support her suggestion?”In response to that question, Brock raises his hand. A few seconds later, Virginia meekly does the same. Together, that makes four of you who are in favour of casting a wider net. The ghostly Mr. Sampson deflates, while Aidan just grins. “Well, it ain't quite what I was hopin' for, but it's better than carryin' on the way we were.” The fiery Cornishman dusts himself off with a chuckle. “So, what's the next step? I suppose we better start draftin' up a list o' elves for us to interrogate. There's plenty o' 'em, so we'll need to do a bit o' delegation.”You ask for more information about Alfie first, so you can make the selection process a little easier. Apparently he is a lonely vagrant and Carnwennan informant who isn't even your age, who tries to evade his Keeper by always staying on the move and feeds off of the pity and sympathy of well-meaning humans. Based off of this, you settle on four candidates who live in or around Trebelwith. Lady Welby will question one pair, while you shall handle the other. Brock, who claims to be inept in these sorts of situations, will study twice as hard while the two of you are preoccupied.So, who will you end up questioning?Pick two.>Owen, of Carnwennan. A solemn and refined fellow who will do anything to prevent the Lost from attracting the unwanted attention of the Gentry.>Todd, of the Firestarters. A troubled and paranoid young man who was recruited by an extremist motley that doesn't acknowledge the laws of the Duchy.>Mabel, of the Locals. A petty criminal with an absolutely vile mouth and an abrasive attitude, known for starting fights and generally causing trouble around town.>Harmony, of the Woodstock Crew. A seedy woman who spends her days selling alternative medicine and spends her nights in Wet, Trebelwith's sorry excuse for a night club.
>>5208056>Owen, of Carnwennan. A solemn and refined fellow who will do anything to prevent the Lost from attracting the unwanted attention of the Gentry.>Harmony, of the Woodstock Crew. A seedy woman who spends her days selling alternative medicine and spends her nights in Wet, Trebelwith's sorry excuse for a night club.I'm picking the latter since 'alternative' medicine can consist of crystals if I remember correctly, which might be a clue. I might also be a rambling schizophrenic so who knows.
>>5208056>Owen, of Carnwennan. A solemn and refined fellow who will do anything to prevent the Lost from attracting the unwanted attention of the Gentry.>Todd, of the Firestarters. A troubled and paranoid young man who was recruited by an extremist motley that doesn't acknowledge the laws of the Duchy.Owen seems the most likely to cooperate from the jump and Todd reminds me of Alfie. With this little to go on, any of these four choices are just as likely to be correct.
>>5208085+1If I understand correctly, the way each Lost change it's body depends in the Keeper and his origin, having some distinctive appareance. If my correct (And I hope QM can respond to this because I know nothing about CoD or the lore of Lost)Also, Owen apparently it's an important figure in his motley because he was in the reunion seeing if we could be recruited by him, so that means he might have a administrative role in the Carnwennan and might know other members, surely being capable of saying if there's any Lost with some physical trait like the one of Alfie
>>5208056>Owen, of Carnwennan. A solemn and refined fellow who will do anything to prevent the Lost from attracting the unwanted attention of the Gentry.>Harmony, of the Woodstock Crew. A seedy woman who spends her days selling alternative medicine and spends her nights in Wet, Trebelwith's sorry excuse for a night club.
>>5208140afaik, you change based on your role within the keepers fairytale world. so even if your keeper styles himself as a violent horrible warlord, you can still be a fairest(a ethereally beautiful changeling) if he say, kept you as a sex slave instead of as a soldier. but generally if your keeper is a forest treant or something, you will be changed in some way to resemble a plantman, which could differ from the ogre or wizened type to fairest and beast depending on what he did to you during your time in faerie. the true fae being called the shining prince and his domain being a crystal castle makes me think we should be looking for crystalline type elemental changelings, but who knows.
You will have a talk with Owen and Harmony, while Lady Welby will be responsible for questioning Todd and Mabel. The rest of the Antiquarians will be speaking to candidates in the other two towns that have a plethora of Lost – Saint Keyne and Blackabbot. Once that's out of the way, the discussion towards possible reading material and the date of the next gathering. Mr. Sampson tries to push for a month's wait, but he is outvoted by a majority who want to meet in a week instead.With that settled, there's not much left to do at the Antiquarian gathering other than exchange pleasantries and engage in a little small talk. Before long, you are back on the road again with Brock and Lady, heading back to Trebelwith.The following day, you're able to arrange a meeting with Owen at the Shipwright, later in the evening. Though the Daggerman didn't give you his number or any other means of contacting him, Lady Welby is able to put in touch with him and he seems open to a discussion. You don't tell him much, just that you want to ask a few questions and that it's got something to do with Alfie and his Keeper. It's enough to get him to agree to meet you at the pub.“Are you sure that I can't get you anything stronger?”You set down a glass of lukewarm tap water on the table, just what Owen asked for. He chose a spot by the window of the pub, a safe distance away from the bar and the door, where the two of you can speak without worrying about being overheard. Not like that's any chance of that in the first place, not with the rowdy regulars chattering away.“No, thank you. At the very least, not yet.” The colourless elf is dressed in the exact same clothes as last time – probably not exactly the same, but they look like. A formal black suit, fit for a funeral. Once he has taken a sip of his water, he folds his hands together on the table. “So, what can I help you with, Saul?”“I heard that Alfie is a part of Carnwennan,” you begin, pint in hand. You can't really afford to waste cash on lager, but it would just be bad manners for both of you to drink nothing but water at a pub. “I also heard that he is being hounded by his Keeper. He's turned to the Antiquarians for help with this, so we're trying our best. It's difficult though, he's not given us much to work with.”“Yes, well... If only he was more subtle, he would have never earned that attention,” Owen says. “Now that he has drawn his Keeper's gaze, it's too late to help him. We have cut our losses and I would suggest that you do so as well, unless you want to be dragged down with him.”
“That seems a bit heartless.” After a small sip of his water, Owen shrugs at your reply.“I favour the perspective of the Winter Court, as does most of Carnwennan.” You're not quite sure what that means and you use a blank expression to convey that. The Daggerman elaborates. “The safest course of action is for the Lost to elude the attention of the Gentry. Unfortunately, Alfie failed at this, so he shall have to pay the price. It's a shame.”“Well, we haven't given up on him. Not yet. We're trying to learn more about his Keeper but it's proving difficult. So, we've decided to question Lost with similar traits to Alfie about their time in Faerie. That's why I called you here, to see if you would be willing to share your story.”The greying eyebrows of the elf shoot up as you mention that and he takes another long sip of his water. “Well, that sounds like a rather effective way of becoming unpopular. Since it is for a good cause however, I would be willing to tell you of the time that I spent with my Keeper – provided that you agree to a particular deal.”It's your turn to raise an eyebrow as he holds out a hand towards you. “So what's the deal then?”“Allow me to introduce you to a gift that our kind has stolen from Faerie,” Owen explains. “The art of the deal. With a little magic, we are able to forge bonds with one another, bonds that must be respected unless one party is willing to suffer the consequences of breaking their promise.” His cold, steel grey eyes stare into yours. “So, this is the pact that I want to make with you, Saul. From now until the day that you or I die, I shall answer your questions truthfully. In return, I ask for the same from you – any question that I ask, you shall answer honestly, from now until the day that either of us passes away. Let the man who breaks this pledge be known as a breaker of oaths.”“So,” he continues, his hand still out-stretched, “what do you say, Saul?”In addition to your other abilities, you may spend a point of glamour to create a pact with other willing parties of fey nature. If any party fails to uphold their part of the pact, it is nullified and that party is supernaturally marked as an oath breaker. In addition to suffering from a dismal reputation, bad things tend to happen to oath breakers.>Agree to the pact. You might have to be honest with Owen Crowson from now on, but he is a respectable man. He won't pry into your past or unearth your secrets – he's too professional for that. (You will spend a point of glamour.)>Refuse the pact. You'd rather not be beholden to the Daggerman. You barely know him and being forced to tell him the truth until the day you die sounds like a bad idea. This is a perfect gateway to blackmail and exploitation.
>>5209104>Agree to the pact. You might have to be honest with Owen Crowson from now on, but he is a respectable man. He won't pry into your past or unearth your secrets – he's too professional for that. (You will spend a point of glamour.)We could make use of this as much as he could, he's changeling FBI so of course he has things to hide.
>>5209104>Refuse the pact. You'd rather not be beholden to the Daggerman. You barely know him and being forced to tell him the truth until the day you die sounds like a bad idea. This is a perfect gateway to blackmail and exploitation.NOPE NOPE NOPEThis is obviously the most dodgy thing ever. If he wanted his personal info private he could have offered a deal swearing us to secrecy or something similar. As it stands now it just looks like he's trying to get a permanent snitch on our faction. There isn't even a guarantee that his information will be useful.
>>5209206+1>"From my view, your asking something so big, while actually I ask for something so little like your story with your Keeper, that by the way, i'm sorry... But i'm not willing to take your offer... But let me see if I can read you, even a little.>"I say, that from your point of view i'm just a fresh, maleable and inexperienced Lost with the only ties being with the Antiquarians... Maybe you see me as someone that would be willing to take such a deal for a little information, seeing how i'm trying to help Alfie with his problem that from your perspective is his fault and should be cutted out before being dragged with him">"I don't even know if your Keeper is related to Alfie's, or any other elfs in this city, so that information is a 50/50 to actually being useful. But at the end you could have a little snitch from another motley, being able of giving you any info, while I honestly don't know if I could have some useful information, or even cooperation once I need some more physical help">"So hear me out... If you're willing to help, if you happen to know any elf Lost that have crystal or ice elemental traits and are willing to tell me, I would appreciate it... And if you want a deal">Offer our hand>"You answer thruthfully to one question when asked upon, when asked on behalf of the pact, and in return I offer you the same. This pact will be done once it fulfills one of the two conditions, the first condition being that once you and I ask for that question of the pact, and the second condition is once four months have passed the pact is no longer activated...">"Think about it, I have a short-term reward, and you have a full four months spam of time to ask for anything I know, surely enough time for giving you something juicy that's going to be worth... What do you think? I see it like fair game, and something secure for both of us."I don't know if my wording is ok, i'm an ESL, but I guess it's clear enough which is my intention with this counter-offer. Also, for me this could work with our idea with our boy Saul
>>5209304And yeah, if my wording is not correct then please try to change it for something that doesn't have any loopholes for Owen to try and have an advantage
>>5209104>Refuse the pact. You'd rather not be beholden to the Daggerman. You barely know him and being forced to tell him the truth until the day you die sounds like a bad idea. This is a perfect gateway to blackmail and exploitation.
“No, thanks. I happen to value my privacy.” You don't know much about Carnwennan, but from what Owen told you, they sound almost like the Duchy's secret police. You're not about to volunteer to become an informant for them.“In that case, I'm afraid that I will be keeping my history to myself. I have given you my terms and if you refuse to agree to them, then I shall do the same thing as you, Saul – I shall value my personal privacy over your investigation.” His voice remains gentle and soothing, yet the look in Owen's eyes is anything but. The desaturated elf withdraws his hand and takes another drink of his tap water, while you construct a retort.“Look, let me try and see it from your perspective. You think that just because I am fresh out of Faerie, you can convince me to become a mole for you, but you're not really offering much in exchange. All I'm asking for is your story and in return, you want a lifetime of truth out of me? Owen, if you want a deal, you have to ask for something smaller than that. Maybe if you limited it to just one question...” Before you can say anything else, Owen interjects. For the first time ever, he seems to have a smile on his face, though it is a grim one.“I am offering as much as I am asking for, Saul – I cannot think of a deal more balanced than that. I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear and I would have thought that you could say the same. This could have been the foundation of a cooperative partnership, an open and honest exchange of information and ideas. Instead, you have revealed your fondness of secrecy. Now that I know what sort of man you are, I won't settle for anything less than these terms.”“All I want is your story about what happened to you in Faerie, so I can try and save the life of one of your own. I'm not asking for much and if this works out, then your crew will reap the benefits. The whole Duchy will!”“You talk as if you're not asking for much,” Owen replies. “Stop and think for a second. You're asking Lost to recall and relive all of the horrors that they experienced in that hellish place. If you think it is such a simple thing to do, go ahead and share your own past.”>Appeal to his emotions, pull on his heartstrings. Surely he must feel a little guilty over betraying Alfie and abandoning the boy to his fate? It's cruel, he's got to be a better man than that.>It's time to resort to intimidation. Even without the Crone's magic, you're still the bigger man by far. If Owen wants to keep his teeth, he'll tell you what you want to know.>Go ahead and tell your story. Owen makes the Lost sound like a bunch of snowflakes. They need to learn how to overcome their fragility and you will lead by example.>Try to end this meeting amicably. It's obvious that Owen isn't going budge no matter what you say or do, but if you're going to part ways with him, then you want to leave on good terms.
>>5209472>Go ahead and tell your story. Owen makes the Lost sound like a bunch of snowflakes. They need to learn how to overcome their fragility and you will lead by example.
>>5209472>Try to end this meeting amicably. It's obvious that Owen isn't going budge no matter what you say or do, but if you're going to part ways with him, then you want to leave on good terms.All of these options suck. We didn't take the deal and there's nothing we can do to convince him and Owen knows that. If we tell him about or time in Faerie then at best Owen knows a lot more about us and our abilities with no guarantee he'll help us out, and at worst we have an episode. We didn't take the deal so that's that.
>>5209472>Go ahead and tell your story. Owen makes the Lost sound like a bunch of snowflakes. They need to learn how to overcome their fragility and you will lead by example.“A fair deal. Very well, I’ll tell you.”
>>5209472What a fucking asshole holy shit, did we accidentally encounter the Changeling equivalent of Judge Dredd? This guy is certainly a high level sociopath at least for trying to con someone clearly new and having the gall to pretend it was anything but.>Go ahead and tell your story. Owen makes the Lost sound like a bunch of snowflakes. They need to learn how to overcome their fragility and you will lead by example.
>>5209472>Go ahead and tell your story. Owen makes the Lost sound like a bunch of snowflakes. They need to learn how to overcome their fragility and you will lead by example."I survived because no matter the fear, I lived and learned and did not let her get in my head."
“Alright.” Owen's words made it sound like a challenge. If it was, then you accept that challenge. “I've always tried to be a good person, all of my life. I was studying at university when it happened, doing my last year. There was an old lady who stumbled in the street, on an open road. She just laid there and no one helped her, no one even looked at her. I should've taken that as a sign but I went over and gave her a hand.”You hesitate as you are struck by the first time that you saw her face. The sagging flesh, the innumerable wrinkles, the jaundiced eyes and rotten teeth. You were disgusted, yet you were stupid enough to take pity on her. Your stomach churns. “I... I accompanied her home to make sure that she was alright. I was going to leave it at that but she insisted that I should come inside for some tea, as appreciation for my 'good deed.' At the time, I thought that she must have been lonely and was desperate for company, so I decided to humour her. I stepped inside and... and the door slammed behind me.”That was the first time that you heard her wretched laugh. That horrible, shrill sound that stabbed into your eardrums and left them bleeding. Even the memory is enough to make you cringe. And oh god, the smell... You can remember the smell so vividly. You can't stop yourself from gagging as you recall the pervasive stench of rot in her lair. In an effort to get a grip of yourself, you grab the table's edge.Without a word, Owen observes you. He no longer stares as if you're some sort of prey animal, he just... watches. You can't tell what he's thinking.“E-everything... I-it's all a blur after that. She... The things she made me do...” You recall the rancid mountains of waste that the Crone discharged and how the filth clung your skin like glue, clogging your very pores. You can't stop yourself from imagining the dried pus that encrusted her decrepit form that you had to scrape off with your bare hands. You remember the sensation of teeth and nails gouging into your flesh and can feel them even now, sinking into your skin and exposing your innermost meat to the putrid air. The worst part is how real it was. Ever since you came back to 'reality,' everything has felt so hollow and sterile. Everything feels like a lie. The only truth is the Crone and there's no escape from her, no matter how hard you struggle, no matter what –“Saul, it's alright. You can stop. I've made my point.” The sound of Owen's voice snaps you out of your trance, if only for a second. You're trembling, your breath has become ragged, you can taste blood in your mouth and if you said anything in the past couple of minutes, you can't recall what it was.>No, you can do this. You mastered your fear of the Crone in order to escape, you can do it again. You refuse to live like a frightened animal.>Alright, you get it. You understand why that rule is so important now. You've learned your lesson and you'll try to be more considerate.
>>5209633>No, you can do this. You mastered your fear of the Crone in order to escape, you can do it again. You refuse to live like a frightened animal.fuck it
>>5209633>No, you can do this. You mastered your fear of the Crone in order to escape, you can do it again. You refuse to live like a frightened animal.
Actually I'm gonna change to>Alright, you get it. You understand why that rule is so important now. You've learned your lesson and you'll try to be more considerate.you can't really act like spending literal years of endless torture and humiliation isn't a big deal and that you're over it, especially when you just got out a month ago. If we push it we'll probably just have a public freak out.
>>5209633>Alright, you get it. You understand why that rule is so important now. You've learned your lesson and you'll try to be more considerate.
“Yeah, I think I get it now.” You're not going to push yourself any further, you don't want to risk melting down in a public space. A part of you is embarrassed since you thought you were stronger than this, but you can't just shrug off all of the things that your Keeper did to you. None of the Lost can, you get that now.“Good. I am afraid that my terms remain the same however. If you refuse to accept the deal that I offered you, then there is nothing left for us to discuss.” The elf finishes the last of his water and sets down his glass. “Come on, Owen. There's got to be some way that we can find a middle ground. I'm willing to reach a compromise if you are.”“All I can give you is something that I learned over the course of five years of freedom.” The Daggerman rises to his feet and pushes his chair in. “The more that I think about the time that we spent in Faerie, the more it seems like our Keepers were trying to teach us something. There were lessons hidden in our suffering, if we just take the time to consider them. In my case, I was taught the importance of integrity. I will not see my principles tarnished, Saul. I refuse to lower my standards or make concessions, so I am afraid that unless you are willing to agree to my offer, we are done here.”Owen isn't willing to budge and you're not willing to agree to a deal like that. With no compromise in sight, you say your farewells to the black and white elf and the two of you part ways amicably, with a relationship as tepid as the water he drank.The next couple of days are busy for you, so you're not able to pay a visit to Trebelwith's esteemed night club right away. When you finally find the time to seek out Harmony, you make your way to a shabby-looking concrete cube on the high street, that sticks out like a sore thumb among the rustic architecture of the town. The club is found on the first floor above a pharmacy and the only sign that it exists from the outside is a single word, emblazoned in hot pink on each of the blacked-out windows: WET.Your expectations were low going in, but you're still appalled when you step through the door. The entire club is lit with tacky blue lighting that hurts your eyes and the floor is covered with strange felt carpeting that sticks to your shoes. Big dance hits that went out of fashion ten years ago are being blasted on repeat through a tinny speaker system and the air is filled with this pungent odour that reminds you of the Crone, far too much for your liking. The entire club is an assault on your senses and to be quite honest, it seems shit. There's nothing redeemable about this place, but it's only eight in the evening and it's already packed with people crowding around the bar and trying to talk over the awful music.
You have to spend a minute or two pushing through the crowds before you eventually find what you're looking for – a pair of pointed ears that belong to a woman past her prime. Harmony has taken great pains to make herself seem younger, only to end up damaging any appeal she once had. Her grey hairs might be hidden by cheap blonde hair dye, but the result just looks tacky. Her wrinkles might be covered with several layers of makeup, but it just makes her look artificial. She might try to compensate with the little black dress that she wears, but it just gives you a better view of her sagging, discoloured skin. Her only redeeming features are the ones that mark her Lost – those delicate pointed ears, the shining diamonds in her eyes and the fresh flowers that seem to be growing out of her hair.Normally you'd introduce yourself to her, but she already seems to be preoccupied. She wears a disinterested frown on her painted face while she listens to an admirer of hers, who seems to be begging for her to take him back. He's a runt of a man, short, fat, balding and stinking of desperation as he whines and wheedles at her, his chubby face flush thanks to a little liquid courage.So, how are you going to introduce yourself to Harmony?>Wait for your turn. She's not going to waste her time with the runt for long. As soon as she has dismissed him, you'll take your chance before someone else gets interested in her.>Time to butt in and compete for her attention – make yourself seem like a rival vying for her affection. Hopefully that will be enough to get the sad little man to leave her alone.>Get her admirer out of the picture with as little effort as possible. Use a little glamour to fill the poor man with terror and send him running. (You will spend one point of glamour.)>You don't even need to use magic to terrorize him. Just walk up to the poor bastard and berate him until he scuttles off and leaves you alone with Harmony. It shouldn't take too long.
>>5210127>Wait for your turn. She's not going to waste her time with the runt for long. As soon as she has dismissed him, you'll take your chance before someone else gets interested in her.No need to fuck around with her business
>>5210127>Wait for your turn. She's not going to waste her time with the runt for long. As soon as she has dismissed him, you'll take your chance before someone else gets interested in her.
>Support the man in seducing Harmony. Vouch for him.It's important to help people in need.
Rather than disturb Harmony and her suitor, you get something to drink just to keep the staff from haranguing you for loitering. At least the beer is cheaper here than it was at the Shipwright – perhaps that's why Wet is so popular, in spite of the gummy carpet and the sweet stink in the air. While you wait, the elfin woman has to slap away the man's hands a few times and chastise him. Eventually, he says something that makes her to howl with incredulous laughter, causing heads to turn as she proceeds to disparage and mock the poor man. It's too much for him to take. Blushing furiously, he turns and staggers out of the bar as fast as he can without running, radiating humiliation and heartbreak. Harmony got a good harvest out of him.At least you have an opening now. Before anyone else can get the jump on the changeling woman, you sidle in to take a place at her side. Her head swivels to face you and she gives you a once-over with those glittering diamonds where her eyes should be. The sight of you makes her scrunch up her nose in disgust. If you had to take a guess, it's probably all of the scars and lesions that cover your body. Faerie wasn't kind to you.“Are you Lost, love?” Her tone of her voice is surprisingly low and creaky, with significant vocal fry. It's almost impossible to hear over the thudding bass.“Yeah, you could say I am. Call me Saul. Do you have a moment to talk?”“I suppose, though we better take this outside. You know, just in case. I need a smoke anyway.” Finishing the last of her colourful cocktail, Harmony pushes herself to her feet and saunters towards the door. The sway of her hips is so exaggerated that it stops being sultry and starts being absurd. Despite this, she somehow draws a few hungry stares from the men in the club, and you draw a few envious ones as you give chase. She stops outside of the staircase that leads up to Wet, where she leans against a lamp-post and rummages about in her purse for something – no doubt a cigarette.“I'll cut to the chase,” you explain while she fishes out a packet of fags and sets about lighting one. “There's one of us called Alfie who is on the run from his Keeper. My crew is looking for anyone who might've had the same captor. You came up as a likely candidate, so I'm here to ask if you'd like to share your story – about what happened to you in Faerie.”“Seriously? Saul, honey, whoever brought up my name must have been a complete idiot. Do you have any idea who I am?” She takes a drag of her cigarette. “I'm Harmony, one of the Woodstock Crew. You know, the Spring Duke's personal motley?” She takes a pause to let that sink in, expecting some sort of reaction out of you. When you offer none, she is left gawking. “Holy shit, how new are you? Were you really thrown into the deep end without being told how the Duchy works?”
“The guy who taught me the ropes didn't want to get me involved in politics.” You're starting to wish that he did. Sissy didn't tell you half of the shit that he should have.“Well, let me lay it out for you then, love.” Harmony's heels click against the pavement as she makes a little distance between the staircase and your conversation, just to avoid being overheard. “There are four Dukes and Duchesses that rule over the Duchy, one for each season. During each quarter of the year, the Duke or Duchess tied to that season gets lifted above the other three. It's March right now so that means the Spring Duke is in charge, honey.”“That's great. What has this got to do with your story?”“I'm getting to that. You see, the Lost of the Spring Court live by a certain philosophy and I'm no exception. We believe that our time in Faerie should be left behind and forgotten. We're free now, Saul. Free to do whatever we're want and live however we like. Our Keepers only have power over us if we let them have it and if we obsess over them. So tell me, why should I dredge up my past when I'm so much better off leaving it in the dust where it belongs?”“I've already told you. You'd be helping the Antiquarians save another Lost from being dragged back to his Keeper. Would you really damn this kid to a fate worse than death because you're scared of your past?” In response to your words, Harmony tuts.“Honey, the only one who can help Alfie is himself. He couldn't let go of what happened to him and now he's let his Keeper into his heart. Nothing I can say or do would help. It's up to him to leave behind his past and push it out of his mind. Once it's forgotten, it can't hurt him any more.” She takes another drag. “Anyway, I'm not going to tell you anything. I'd be turning my back on everything that Spring stands for and it's not like it would make a difference.”God damn it, does everyone have to make this difficult? You hope that Lady Welby is having an easier time with the candidates she has to chase up.>Well, you tried your best. You're not going to push her any further. It's time to cut your losses and say goodbye. Hopefully the other Antiquarians have done better than you.>It's time to crack your knuckles and resort to good old-fashioned intimidation. No amount of makeup will be able to hide the bruises you'll give her if she doesn't start talking.>Would she be more willing to talk if you swore fealty to the Spring Duke? You don't know what you're getting into but if she shares her story, you'll join the Spring Court.>Make an oath that she will have a hard time turning down. So long as she shares her story with you, you will owe her a favour. (This will cost a point of glamour.)
This is also a good point to add that if anyone comes up with any prompts that are better than what I have to offer, yes, I do accept write-ups. Just don't make them too lengthy.
>>5210596>It's time to crack your knuckles and resort to good old-fashioned intimidation. No amount of makeup will be able to hide the bruises you'll give her if she doesn't start talking.>Spend a point of glamor and smash the lamp post as hard as you canTime to lean into our fucked up appearance, and with this display of strength she'd be stupid to not comply. Doesn't matter that we can't actually hit /her/ that hard.
>>5210596>Make an oath that she will have a hard time turning down. So long as she shares her story with you, you will owe her a favour. (This will cost a point of glamour.)
>>5210596>Make an oath that she will have a hard time turning down. So long as she shares her story with you, you will owe her a favour. (This will cost a point of glamour.)>>5210605intimidation isn't a great idea considering we don't know about politics and that she's with someone big
>>5210596>Make an oath that she will have a hard time turning down. So long as she shares her story with you, you will owe her a favour. (This will cost a point of glamour.)A favour for info is fair. I'm more comfortable with this than being completely open with someone until death.
>>5210683It seems to me that she is pretty low ranking in her court just based on how she's been acting, trying to make us think shes some hot shit. And I don't want to enter into an oath to do whatever this chick wants, it seems to me it would probably be something unsavory at the least. At worst she doesn't buy our bluff and tells us to fuck off, I doubt we'll get into any serious trouble for merely having a disagreement with another Lost, it's not like we're going to actually hit her or anything.
>Ask her if her keeper was The Shining Prince, who ruled over a crystal palace.
You have spent one glamour point. You have one glamour point remaining.“You talk a lot about this Duke of yours. You're pretty fond of him, aren't you? You look up to him, want to prove yourself to him, right?” Harmony purses her lips as she listens to your words.“He's the best man I've ever met. So sure, you could say that. What's it to you?”“You'd be a lot more useful to him if you had connections,” you explain, “if you had resources throughout the Duchy that you could exploit. If you tell me the whole truth about what happened to you in Faerie, I'll owe you a favour that you can call in whenever you want. If I fail to repay this debt, then may I be known as a breaker of oaths.” You do your best to speak with the same wording and gravitas as Owen did. You're not sure if it's required, but it certainly makes your offer sound more impactful.Harmony falls quiet as she weighs her options, wetting her painted lips and puffing on that cigarette as she weighs her options. What's more important to her, the principles of the Spring Court or the power over you that you're offering to give her?“Honey, you've got a deal,” she says at long last, extending her hand towards you. Taking it in your own, you grip it firmly and shake on it, your eyes locked with hers. “I'll tell you what you want to know, but I'll hold you to your oath. Don't expect me to forget this favour any time soon.” You don't experience any physical sensation, but you feel something change. It's as if an invisible burden is weighing down on you as this contract is written into your very soul.“You want to find somewhere more private for this? I'm not going to make you go through this right outside of the club.” She seems to appreciate that offer. Together, the two of you saunter off of the high street and into the darkness of the night, towards the beach where you washed up.Harmony stops by a weathered old bench near the edge of a cliff. overlooking the surf. Beneath the light of the gibbous moon, you can clearly see the waves rolling over the sand below you. Even if you couldn't, the ceaseless noise of rushing water is impossible to ignore. The diamond-eyed elf lights up another cigarette as she takes a seat, her hands shaking.“Hey, Saul – your name's Saul, right? It's not too late for me to pull out of this, is it?” The swagger and confidence that she had before has evaporated.“It isn't,” you reply. “But if you do, you brought me out here for nothing and I'm not going to owe you a thing. Remember what I said, Harmony – the whole truth. Tell me everything or the deal will be meaningless.”“Shit,” she mutters. “Shit, shit, shit. Alright, let's just get this over with.” After a long drag of her cigarette, Harmony begins her story. “I've never been much of an academic. I tried going to college, but I dropped out after a year. I'm more of an emotionally intelligent kind of person, you know what I mean?”
Honestly, you're not that sure. You sit back and wait for her to continue, once she's calmed her nerves with a little more nicotine.“So um, I went into sex work and that paid the bills. Judge me if you want, but it meant I could raise my daughter without worrying about her going hungry. I did the right thing. Hell, if you were in my shoes, you would've totally done the same thing.”“Sure I would've. So, where does your Keeper come into the picture?”“I was getting to that, you impatient prick.” Another drag of her cigarette as she stalls for time and hopes that she'll get a magical burst of courage. “He... God, I don't know what I was thinking. When he pulled up, I thought he wanted a couple of hours with me. I thought all of the cryptic bullshit he said was just some weird attempt at flirting. Promised to change my life forever, shit like that. In the end, with that fancy car and the way he just dressed, he looked like he was made of money and I wasn't going to throw away an opportunity like that. So I got in and...”“And..?”“I don't fucking know, okay? Suddenly it wasn't a car any more, it was some sort of fucking... carriage or something. I tried to get out but there were these fucking shackles, I don't even know where they came from! Even the chains were fucking gold and silver. The more I struggled, the more they bit down. That asshole, he just fucking smiled at me as I screamed! He said that he was going to help me, to make me a better person... God, the shit he did to me...”“Harmony.” Your voice is firm as you grip her shoulder and try to ground her in reality. She's already quivering like a leaf in a breeze. “Did your Keeper have a name? What did you call him? Where did he take you? Focus. You can do this.”“I-I... I called him Prince Charming.” A prince. That matches up with Alfie's Keeper. “I came up with it to try and spite him. He was a self-righteous monster, always acting like he was helping me. I saw through his fucking smile and his pity though, I could see the joy in his fucking eyes. He was a fraud, a fucking fake!” After a sob, Harmony tries to take another drag of her cigarette. It's already burned down to the stub and she hasn't even noticed. “He took me to... It was like some fucking Victorian palace, I don't know, but everything was made out of diamonds. It was blinding.”“Keep going,” you insist, even as you note the similarities between this palace and Alfie's crystal castle. “What did he do to you?”“He tried to turn me into a... a 'proper lady.'” She spits the phrase. “He taught me how to speak properly, how to walk properly, how to behave properly, even how to eat food properly! I had to be fucking perfect for him and every time I wasn't, he... He came up with new punishments every time. There were knives and burning metal a-and... and...” Another sob. She's babbling at this point, pulling her knees up to her chest and losing her grip on reality.
“Harmony, you got out. You're free now.” Your grip on her shoulder only tightens. “How did you manage it, how did you escape?”“I-I... I did what he wanted,” she says tearfully, her face pressed into her knees as she folds in herself, her dignity forgotten. “I did everything he wanted. I learned every twisted lesson he has teach me and let him do whatever he fucking wanted with me. Anything to escape his fucking blades...” She takes in a ragged breath and squeezes her eyes shut. “A-after he had remade me into a perfect little doll, he showed me off in an... an 'exhibition,' to show off how he made a lady out of a beast. That's what he thought I was, a fucking animal! I smiled and curtseyed and did all of the stupid things he demanded and all of his royal friends, they just fucking clapped! When it was all over, I thought he was going to let me go but he just smiled and took his knives to my eyes a-and...”“Hey, enough of that – it's over now. This prince can't hurt you any more. How did you escape?” Suddenly she looks up at your, glaring hatefully at you with those tearful diamonds that dwell in her sockets.“I don't know! I don't know how I got out, alright?! I don't even know if I am out! How do I know that I'm still not fucking in there, how do I know that this isn't another one of his games?!” At this point, she's shrieking at you, her gemstone eyes bulging with hysteria. “It's just what he would do! Nothing he says, nothing he does is ever fucking real! He's a walking, living, breathing lie! A fucking monster pretending to be a gentleman, a sadist pretending to be a teacher! It's all fucking fake! He's a fraud! He's fucking fake! This is all a fucking lie!”She's completely lost it. It's up to you to bring her back down to reality and drag her out of the memories that she's trapped in.>You don't need to do anything. You've learned everything that Harmony was able to share. Just walk away and leave her to her hysterics, she'll calm down eventually.>Console her as carefully as possible. You'll need to handle her as gently as you can if you want to avoid upsetting the poor woman any further. You don't want to exacerbate the situation.>Let her know you're here for her and that isn't alone. Hold Harmony in your arms and reassure her that she's free from Prince Charming. You won't let him hurt her or anyone else again.>Smack her until she snaps out of it. There's nothing like a little pain to bring someone back down to earth. Her Keeper isn't here, you are. If there's anyone she should be afraid of, it's you.>Harmony can't call in that favour you owe her if she's dead. Even if she could fight you off, she's in no condition to and there's a cliff right there, only a dozen yards away. Take this chance to escape from the pact you just made and throw her over the edge.
>>5211742>Let her know you're here for her and that isn't alone. Hold Harmony in your arms and reassure her that she's free from Prince Charming. You won't let him hurt her or anyone else again.Damn that last option is some cold shit.
>>5211742>Console her as carefully as possible. You'll need to handle her as gently as you can if you want to avoid upsetting the poor woman any further. You don't want to exacerbate the situation.
>>5211742>Console her as carefully as possible. You'll need to handle her as gently as you can if you want to avoid upsetting the poor woman any further. You don't want to exacerbate the situation.that last option escalates things a lil bit
>>5211742>Console her as carefully as possible. You'll need to handle her as gently as you can if you want to avoid upsetting the poor woman any further. You don't want to exacerbate the situation.>"Harmony, look at me and breath, ok? What have you done today? Or yesterday? Or any other day since you escaped? Do you really think such a control freak like him would let you do everything you did in all this time?">"You're free because you can feel the sand between your feets, you're free because you can breath the fresh air, you're free because you don't let anyone to touch you more than what you want, you're free because you're the one who marks the limits...">"So please, just breath for as much as you need and think about everything I said... You have the control of your life now, and now you have to make sure you keep having it by calming down."
“Harmony, just breathe and try to focus, please.” Your hand remains on her shoulder but you don't get any more intimate than that. You don't want to risk her freaking out at you. You're going to be very, very careful with her. “Your Keeper, this... Prince Charming, he wouldn't have let you live like this. Everything that you've done today, you've done because you wanted to. You've made your own choices and drawn your own lines in the sand, no one's forced you to do anything. Don't you see? You're free. He would try to control every aspect of your life but he hasn't, because he's not here. You're the one in control now, Harmony. It's alright.”Yet logic and gentle reassurance doesn't seem to get through to Harmony. Whatever she's going through is far more visceral than the kind words that you have to offer her. Every time that you try to console her, she just babbles something hysterical. It doesn't matter how you refute it, she just latches onto some other paranoid possibility and raves about that instead. Before too long, you become the target of her irrational outbursts.“Fuck you, Saul. Fuck you for making me remember this! I had moved on, I had pushed him out, left my past behind! But you had to come along and make me dive back in and now... Now he's going to come for me again and it's all your fucking fault! He's going to drag me back there and it's all because of you, it's all your fault!”“That isn't fair,” you say, in an effort to defend yourself. “We had a deal, remember? I didn't force you to tell me anything. I offered you a favour if you could share your story and you agreed–”“I wish I fucking hadn't! This was a mistake and now he's coming, he's coming... Get the fuck away from me!” Though she isn't able to muster much strength, Harmony furiously shoves at you. “Leave me alone!” Once she has shrieked those words at you, you capitulate and stand up, leaving her alone on the bench. She slumps back against the weathered wood and just bawls her diamond eyes out. Having decided that nothing you can say or do will help her, you give her the solitude that she asked for and leave her there, to overcome her hysteria on her own.The next day comes and you stop by Lady Welby's shop, shortly after she has closed for the night. Owen has shut you down and Harmony has told you everything you wanted to know. You only hope that your mentor has had better success than you.“I am shocked you got anything out of Harmony at all,” Lady confesses as she pours herself a glass of wine, having led you inside of her eclectic flat above the shop, which is furnished with all sorts of antiques and curios. “I cannot tell you how relieved I was when you chose to question her yourself. I loathe speaking with that woman even on the most casual basis. Such a tawdry, boorish strumpet... Then again, I was left with the pleasure of speaking with Mabel and she is no less vulgar.”
“Did you manage to get anything out of her?”“Of course not. She was uncooperative from the start and when I told her what I wanted to learn, I don't believe she said a single word that wasn't some sort of unimaginative insult. As Mabel is under the protection of the Duchy, I thought that it would be unwise to force the truth out of her. Todd, on the other hand, was foolish enough to join the Firestarters. As such, I was able to... extract a great deal from the poor boy.”“So, what did you learn from him?” You decide against asking her about her methods. Lady Welby never struck you as the type to resort to brute force, but she makes it sound like she was anything but gentle when she interrogated Todd.“He called his Keeper the Teacher,” she begins. “Not a perfect match for our Shining Prince, but Todd did mention that he lived in some sort of giant greenhouse – that was close enough to a crystal castle to pique my interest. Apparently the boy was a delinquent before he was stolen away and in the beginning, the Teacher was interested in making a gentleman out of him. Unfortunately for Todd, he was quite the rebel, so his Keeper's punishments became more extreme. Eventually, he started treating him like a beast instead of a man and sought to train him as a hound instead.”“The first part of that matches up with Harmony's story,” you comment once Lady pauses to quaff more wine. “The second part, not so much. He never tried to turn her into a dog.”“According to your retelling, she did as she was told by her Prince Charming. Perhaps this is a punishment that he reserved for his most rebellious captives? In any case, this explains why Todd has so many canine traits. Those ears were the only elfin thing about him. He wasn't able to tell me exactly how he escaped, but he insisted that he never let go of his humanity.”“In any case,” she continues, “I think we have enough to satisfy our collaborators. If they have discovered a third story that corroborates yours and mine, then I think it is safe to say that Prince Charming, the Teacher and the Shining Prince are one and the same.”“What about Mabel and Owen? Isn't there more that they could tell us?”“Potentially, yes. None of it is guaranteed to be useful, Saul. If you really think that you could learn anything from Sissy's wretched pet, you are welcome to try. As for Owen, well, I suppose that I have an understanding with the man. Perhaps I might be able to get his story out of him without agreeing to such an absurd pact. The question is, is it worth it?”>No, you have learned enough. It's time to move on.>You won't waste your time with Mabel but if Lady is able to get anything out of Owen, you'd like her to try.>Owen is an immovable object, Lady won't be able to get anything out of him. You want to give Mabel a shot though.>Leave no stone unturned. You will question Mabel, Lady will question Owen. You need as much information as possible.
>>5212367>Leave no stone unturned. You will question Mabel, Lady will question Owen. You need as much information as possible.Might as well be thorough. Let's turn down any offers of pacts or favors this time, though. We don't absolutely need their info now.
>>5212367>Leave no stone unturned. You will question Mabel, Lady will question Owen. You need as much information as possible.
>>5212367>You won't waste your time with Mabel but if Lady is able to get anything out of Owen, you'd like her to try.As she said, they have an understanding and she is more experienced than we are by far. However, one of our very first experiences with Mabel was her teaching us one of the typical lessons of the Lost to keep our personal business to ourselves and expect the same of others, people do not want to share these traumas. Prying now so soon after she told us to fuck off about her past would only worsen our relationship, there are plenty of others from our Motley who haven't reported back yet, we need not resort to desperate actions or causing more people to have panic attacks yet.
>>5212367>You won't waste your time with Mabel but if Lady is able to get anything out of Owen, you'd like her to try.
“Mabel isn't worth the time or the energy,” you say. “When she found me on the beach, I screwed up by trying to pry into her past. If I tried again despite knowing better, she would be furious with me. Owen, on the other hand... If you're on good terms with him, I guess you could give it a shot. You don't need to go out of your way though, we've already got enough to work with.”“I'll see what I can do, Saul.”You stick around for a bit longer, so you can chat with Brock about his research. After that, you take your leave and spend the next few days focused on your work. Slowly but surely, you're getting the hang of this job. The more tricks of the trade that you learn, the less you have to rely on the Crone's magic to get you out of sticky situations. It's not the cushy career that you were expecting when you were still studying in university, but there's something fulfilling about it.The next time that you meet with Lady Welby and Brock, it is to pay a visit to the farmhouse again and exchange notes with the other Antiquarians. You're pleasantly surprised when Lady reveals that she managed to get Owen to spill his story.“How did you do it? Wait, you didn't agree to one of his daft deals, did you?”“Of course I didn't, but I hope you will forgive me for not disclosing my methods.” Her papery lips curve in a coy smile. “What's more important is what he told me. Apparently before his durance, Owen Crowson was a police officer – a rather corrupt one, according to the man himself. His crooked antics drew the attention of the White Warden, who clapped him in irons and dragged him to a fortress of ice.”“The title doesn't match up,” you remark, “but there's similarities between ice and crystal. It sounds like he was targeted for his immoral lifestyle, just like Todd and Harmony.”“However, his torment was rather different. The White Warden chained Owen to a podium in some sort of courtroom. There, he was forced to judge countless accused that his Keeper brought before him. He was forced to witness every punishment administered to the guilty and if he made the mistake of declaring them innocent when the White Warden thought otherwise, he suffered their fate alongside them.”“Jesus,” mutters Brock. You're starting to understand how Owen ended up so heartless.“Similarly, if he declared that the accused was guilty when his Keeper thought they were innocent, they would both suffer the same sentence. The White Warden's favourite forms of punishment included flogging, branding, mutilation and all manner of execution. If Owen ever expired due to the injuries he sustained, then he simply awoke the next day, chained to the same podium.”“If he went through all of that, then how come he didn't end up covered in scars like me?” You can't help but feel a little jealous of Owen. Lucky bastard, escaping from Faerie without looking like he went through a meat grinder.
“Apparently Owen came to understand his Keeper's peculiar sense of justice. He learned how to avoid punishment by passing the correct verdict, time and time again. In fact, he believes that he never escaped from the White Warden. He thinks that he was released as a reward for having learned his lesson. Yet Owen admits that he cannot remember the circumstances of his departure, so it's impossible to say whether he is correct or not.”The three of you spend the rest of the journey mulling over the meaning behind Owen's story and discussing any potential links between the White Warden and the other Keepers. Brock cites a few historical figures and fictional characters that could have inspired these Gentry, but none of them are perfect matches.Once you arrive at Mr. Sampson's farmhouse-turned-mansion, you find the other Antiquarians discussing the same topic. They're all sharing their findings with one another, discussing the similarities between the stories and noting all of the differences. Out of a total of nine candidates that you had selected for investigation, your motley has managed to get six of them to reveal the truth of their history. All things considered, it's a rather good haul. For the next step, you need to determine which of these Keepers are actually the Shining Prince, and which of them have no connection to Alfie at all.This is a multiple choice prompt. Select all of the Keepers that you believe match the Shining Prince, who kept Alfie in a crystal castle. I will go with all of the options that are voted for by a majority of the voters.>Prince Charming, who kept a prostitute in a palace made of diamonds. He tried to teach her how to act like a proper lady and took a knife to her whenever she didn't meet his standards.>The Lord of the Dance, who kept a musician in a forest of silver trees. He forced her to provide music for his endless revels and had his servants flog and flay her whenever she stopped.>The Philanthropist, who kept a crippled soldier in a glass mansion. They subjected him to all sorts of cruel and unusual experiments in order to restore his health and make him fighting fit again.>The White Warden, who kept a corrupt officer in an icy fortress. He made him pass a verdict on countless accused and subjected him to the same punishment whenever his verdict was incorrect.>Little Light, who kept a thief in a endless cavern of shining jewels. They ordered him to search its bottomless depths for a perfect replacement for the gemstone that he had stolen from them.>The Teacher, who kept a delinquent in a giant greenhouse. When he failed to train the boy how to behave like a true gentleman, he started to train and treat him like a hunting dog instead.
>>5212970>The Philanthropist, who kept a crippled soldier in a glass mansion. They subjected him to all sorts of cruel and unusual experiments in order to restore his health and make him fighting fit again.>Prince Charming, who kept a prostitute in a palace made of diamonds. He tried to teach her how to act like a proper lady and took a knife to her whenever she didn't meet his standards.>The Teacher, who kept a delinquent in a giant greenhouse. When he failed to train the boy how to behave like a true gentleman, he started to train and treat him like a hunting dog instead.These three are most similar to Alfies story, but I'm a little fuzzy on what Alfie said the exact nature of his keeper was. Did he tell us at all what he was like or what he made him do other than he's called the Shining Prince and that he lives in a crystal palace?
>>5212970>Prince Charming, who kept a prostitute in a palace made of diamonds. He tried to teach her how to act like a proper lady and took a knife to her whenever she didn't meet his standards.>The White Warden, who kept a corrupt officer in an icy fortress. He made him pass a verdict on countless accused and subjected him to the same punishment whenever his verdict was incorrect.>The Teacher, who kept a delinquent in a giant greenhouse. When he failed to train the boy how to behave like a true gentleman, he started to train and treat him like a hunting dog instead.
>>5212970>Prince Charming, who kept a prostitute in a palace made of diamonds. He tried to teach her how to act like a proper lady and took a knife to her whenever she didn't meet his standards.>The White Warden, who kept a corrupt officer in an icy fortress. He made him pass a verdict on countless accused and subjected him to the same punishment whenever his verdict was incorrect.>The Teacher, who kept a delinquent in a giant greenhouse. When he failed to train the boy how to behave like a true gentleman, he started to train and treat him like a hunting dog instead.I'm certain these are the ones. Prince Charming shares the "prince" aspect. All three have homes that involve things that could be crystals.However, the most telling similarities are that the abductees are all people who had moral failings, (arguable in the case of Harmony depending on whether you consider being a prostitute to be wrong) and then were taken by Keeper that wanted to teach them to improve upon said moral failing. Harmony doesn't remember escaping, same as Owen. Owen believes that as a reward for improving he was allowed out, I believe the same happened for Harmony, I think if you fail to improve then you end up like Tod. That makes sense, as Tod was a delinquent from the beginning, but Owen as a police officer and Harmony as a hapless kidnapped prostitute would probably be more amenable to authority.It is also worth noting that the choices I've selected happen to be the three backstories that we've been relayed specific details about, so it would make sense from a meta perspective for these to be the ones. I think the QM laid out a bunch of hints too with Lady Welby noting the possibility of Tod suffering a different fate owing to it being a punishment and with Owen saying that he thought he was released as a reward for performing well.I suppose to could fret over the lack of prince title for all of them, or the greenhouse not seeming as similar as a palace of diamonds or mansion of glass, but Prince charming holds most of the similarities to Alfie's Keeper, and he holds similarities to the ones I voted for. I almost thought the Philanthropist was one too, but there is no moral failing to correct.
What we know about Alfie is that he was captured in a Crystal palace and that he has Elfin features. All we really have to go off is what we consider to be a "Crystal Palace"I definitely think Prince Charming was the Shining prince, he was the only one whose realm was described specifically as a "palace." >Prince CharmingI also think the Lord of Dance is the Shining Prince since (assuming I'm right about Prince Charming being the Shining Prince) there was a theme of him being a noble and a theme of him liking exhibition or parties.>The Lord of DanceAnd I also think the teacher is the shining prince since it has the common theme of lessons>The Teacher
>>5213369 Actually never mind this guy makes more sense+1
>>5213369+1, same. All the same theme of finding fault and abuse in correcting it.I completely get where Owen was coming from now... Being forced to differentiate between truth and lies for who knows how long, and being punished for when he believed the lies? Having no option but to know the truth from someone, tied to the very soul, makes perfect sense. It's no wonder.I'm deeply sorry Owen, I was perceiving you poorly. If at any time we can apologize for being so crass, I'd like to.Good stuff QM. I feel actually really bad now
>Prince Charming>The Philantropist>The White Warden>The TeacherAll sound like they have a similar modus operandi of trying to "improve" people who are in a bad state of affairs.HOWEVER,we should also check if this also the fate that befell Alfie: being of in a reproachable state and having his Keeper trying to make him "better."
>>5212970Charming, philanthropist and teacher.Warden doesn't fit with me because he seems to have these aspects and power regarding particularly the law, although it seems like he was trying to form his changeling to a particular image like charming (who I think we all agree is the most likely, and the base of comparison). Also strongly think the Lord of the dance isn't the same as the building the person into the image they want isn't present
>>5213527I feel like we earned anything we lost back by at least trying to speak about our experience, and having that moment of understanding Infront of him
Apologies for the delay.It's obvious to you. Prince Charming, the White Warden and the Teacher are all interpretations of the same Shining Prince. While only one of them shares that princely theme with Alfie's Keeper, they all ruled over some sort of crystalline domain. More importantly, all of them seemed to be obsessed with correcting the moral failings of their abductees. You're almost tempted to tie in the Philanthropist as well, but there is nothing immoral about having a body that was crippled by war.You try to discuss your conclusion with the other Antiquarians, but all of them seem to have their own ideas. All around the table, they are trying to talk over each other and make their voices heard.“... I still think that the Lord of the Dance is connected to this somehow...”“... Sita, you're only saying that because you don't want your findings to be irrelevant. In any case, I think that the icy aspect of the White Warden is at odds with the more luxurious nature of the other candidates...”“... If you think about it, the durance that was suffered at the hands of Little Light could be considered an opportunity for the subject to right the wrongs of their previous lifestyle. From that perspective, could it not be said that it is similar to...”“This is goin' nowhere!” The din of the debate is silenced by Aidan raising his voice once more. You swear that you can see a little burst of flame from his mouth as the Cornishman speaks. “Yes, we've gotten more material from others source, but none o' this changes the fact that we're workin' with a bad foundation. Sampson, we need to know Alfie's story, in full. The title o' his Keeper and the place where he was kept just ain't enough.”“I have come to the same conclusion,” Mr. Sampson replies, his translucent face locked in a frown. “I wanted to spare the boy any further trauma, but it seems like there's no other way. Jasper!” The same valet that led you inside of the farmhouse appears through a doorway, after a moment's wait. “Fetch our guest, if you would be so kind.” With a polite bow, the manservant departs.“Are you telling me that you have been keeping Alfie here, for all of this time?” You can hear Sita's incredulity in her voice, while she stares at Mr. Sampson with wide, fiery eyes.“I insisted that it wasn't safe him to roam freely. Even while the Duchy is under the protection of Spring's blessing, there are certain individuals who might try to capture him and sell him back to the Shining Prince. So yes, I have been keeping him here. I hope that all of you understand that Alfie is in a rather fragile state of mind, which is why I did not disclose his presence. I didn't want to risk less considerate Antiquarians causing the boy undue stress.” With that last statement, he gives Aidan a pointed look.
While you wait for the valet to return with Alfie, you murmur a question to Brock, who is standing nearby. “What does he mean by 'Spring's blessing?'”“It's the reason behind the court system,” the clockwork man replies. “So long as someone sworn to a certain season is in charge during that particular season, then the Duchy is granted a blessing. I don't really understand how it works, which is why I haven't joined any court.” You really wish that Sissy didn't skip over the politics talk. “Since it's spring and the Spring Duke rules overs the Duchy, we're blessed by Spring. I don't know how, but this prevents the Gentry from hunting Lost – unless they're the one thing they want above all else. Spring won't protect a changeling if they're the 'heart's desire' of their Keeper.”“Doesn't this mean that Alfie is safe from his Keeper then? Unless he's the Shining Prince's favourite, or something.”“Yes, but only until summer's started. Then it's open season.” Brock falls quiet when the manservant arrives with Alfie in tow. When you were told about an elfin vagrant, you didn't expect this. The boy looks like a spoiled little prince. A pair of shining sapphires sit in his eye sockets and his skin seems to be made out of flawless porcelain. His most noticeable feature is his grotesque obesity, despite his best efforts to hide it under baggy, grungy clothes. Alfie is morbidly, extraordinarily fat, to a degree that you're surprised he can even walk. Yet walk he does, and with surprising grace and quickness. Beneath that dirty blonde mop of hair, he looks rather nervous – maybe even scared.“Alfie,” begins Mr. Sampson, “allow me to introduce the other Antiquarians. We have all been trying our hardest to find a way of protecting you from your Keeper. Yet we are struggling. If you could give us more to work with, we would have a better chance of helping you.” The ghostly gentleman speaks as gently as he can, seeking to reassure the elfin teenager with every word. “I know that I am asking a great deal of you, but would you be able to tell us your story?”“I... I don't want to...” Alfie flinches when fiery Aidan lets out an exasperated sigh. You even catch a glimpse of Lady Welby rolling her eyes. “I-I can try, if there's really no other way... My mum, she was a single mother. We didn't really have a lot of money coming in. Some of the day, I didn't get to eat anything except at school. We just didn't have enough, she didn't have a job and the benefits were... It just wasn't enough. That's why the Shining Prince took me in, h-he pitied me, he...”
That's all that the over-sized elf can tell you before he dissolves into breath blubbering, his entire body shaking like a leaf. Mr. Sampson tries to console him by resting a reassuring hand on his shoulder and murmur comforting words, but the rest of the gathering doesn't share his caring attitude.“For god's sake,” Aidan calls out. “We stuck our noses in the business o' half a dozen other Lost to try 'n save your skin, boy. The least you can bleddy do is be as straight with us as they were! Get it together!”>Alfie doesn't need to say anything else. You've already got enough to work with and even if you don't, you'll have to make do. It's not your place to force another Lost to relive his past.>You're with Aidan on this one. If Alfie wants your help, he's going to have to tell you everything. Otherwise, this is a waste of time and the fat bastard should just be left to his fate.>You've got enough pieces of the puzzle that you think you can put this together. Take an educated guess at what the Shining Prince did to Alfie, and why he did it. See how he reacts.
>>5214673>You're with Aidan on this one. If Alfie wants your help, he's going to have to tell you everything. Otherwise, this is a waste of time and the fat bastard should just be left to his fate.We really need this detail. Sure, we can find similarities between the backstories of the Lost we interviewed and we may even be able to determine that it was the same Keeper who abducted some of our subjects of interrogation, but that doesn't get us any closer to actually finding out if they are the Keeper of Alfie specifically. We only have the name Alfie is familiar with and a very basic description of his domain and the fact that he is hunting Alfie. Really all we've done is note the similarities between some of the backstories, that Keeper may very well have taken all of those Lost while still not being Alfie's Keeper. While all of them have the crystalline aspect, only Prince Charming connects any of them to The Shining Prince via the "princely" aspect.It is hard to take a guess about what happened to Alfie without knowing if Alfie had some kind of moral failing that the Keeper tried to correct or what sort of punishments he was subjected to. Really, we shouldn't have to try to provoke a reaction out of him to get him to talk, either he is willing to share in order to save his own life or not, provoking him may not make him relay coherent info so much as have a panic attack.
>>5214673>You've got enough pieces of the puzzle that you think you can put this together. Take an educated guess at what the Shining Prince did to Alfie, and why he did it. See how he reacts.Alfie was always hungry as a kid, because his mother was poor and couldn't afford the food. And since he was poor, he lived in squalor and never got any of the toys he wanted. The shining prince took him in and decided to fix that, by feeding him as much as he could every day. If alfie couldn't eat all that the prince gave him, he would torture him horribly. I'm pretty certain it's something like that, anyone else got something they want to add in?
>>5214673Or instead of torture, maybe the prince did thisAlfie eventually grew able to put down what the prince fed to him, but the prince kept increasing the size of the meals. Eventually, the prince started feeding him other people. Alfie feels horribly guilty for this, which why he is so shy around others and unwilling to speak on his durance. and the reason I said that the prince fed him during his durance, beyond alfies obvious fatness, he also made particular mention on that he wasn't able to eat everyday as a kid, and that the prince took pity on him. These two things mentioned together makes me think that the prince took him in to right that and feed him as much as possible, and perhaps when alfie wasn't able to eat everything the prince would force him to eat disgusting slop or even other people.Thoughts?
>>5214673>You're with Aidan on this one. If Alfie wants your help, he's going to have to tell you everything. Otherwise, this is a waste of time and the fat bastard should just be left to his fate.😀
“I'm with Aidan,” you call out. “We had to go through a lot of drama to get to this point and we're still no closer to finding any answers. The least that Alfie can do is tell us about the time he spent in captivity. Without it, we can't help him, plain and simple.”Others voice their support for the questioning of Alfie. First Lady Welby and then Brock, though he looks somewhat guilty. He's likely just following his mentor's lead. Sita does the same as a show of loyalty to her senior, Aidan. Even quiet Virginia, who usually defers to Mr. Sampson, has chosen to take your side. In the end, it's six against one. The exasperated spectre has no choice but to concede and step aside, while Aidan takes control of the interrogation.“Well now, you're not leavin' this room until you've told us the whole truth, boy. If you do, then you forfeit the privilege o' our assistance.” Alfie's eyes widen at the fiery Lost's words. He glances towards Mr. Samspon, but the old ghost just averts his eyes.“B-but... No! The Shining Prince, he'll find me! He'll take me back, please, you can't let him take me back! Y-you've got to help me, please, please!” Some of the Antiquarians look guilty. Brock cringes and bows his head in shame, while Virgina averts her eyes, looking out of the window as though there is something out there that might distract her from the boy's desperation.“We'll help you if you tell us what we bleddy want to know, boy!” Where Mr. Samspon was gentle and coddling, Aidan is borderline abusive. “Start with how you that the Shinin' Prince is comin' for you at all, then tell us why you call him by that name. Don't go skimpin' on any details either – if we fail, it's on your head!”“I-I... It was freezing cold and raining a-and...” the boy snivels. “Look, I try to take care of myself. I don't want any charity, I-I hate it! But I had nowhere to stay and there was nowhere else for me to go but this homeless shelter a-and... The moment the lights went off, I heard... I-I heard him. Laughing at me, shouting at me how I can't look after myself, how I need him but I-I don't! I don't want to go back! But now he's hunting me, he told me he is! He wants to be bring me back, h-he... he...”“Enough of that – focus.” Lady Welby speaks in a colder tone than Aidan, authoritative without brimming with anger. “Answer my collaborator's other question, regarding why you use that particular sobriquet for your Keeper. After that, I think we could all appreciate it if you continued your story.”“H-he... He always wore jewels, so many golden chains draped over his shoulders and his chest. There were medals too and other things... Even his clothes had all of this golden thread sown into them. He looked like royalty a-and everyone treated him like it, too! All his servants, they all bowed and said things like 'your highness.'” Alfie shudders involuntarily as he says those words. He almost seems to gag.
“The Shining Prince, i-it's just something that got stuck in my head, but he... H-he wanted to help me, 'lift me out of poverty,' he said. He made me wear these weird clothes a-and the food... There were these butlers and maids a-and they just stuffed my face with food, hour after hour and whenever the Prince came by, I-I had to thank him. I hated it, I hated him! But I had no choice, they beat me e-every time I refused, again and again a-and..!”“Focus.” Lady repeated that word sharply, just when it looked like Aidan was about to bellow again. “Focus and keep going. Did your treatment change at any point? Do you recall how you escaped?”“There... There was this big show. He showed me off with a whole bunch of o-others, to show people how kind he was.” Alfie grimaces at the memory. “He made me smile a-and thank him in front of them, for giving me a better life, e-even though I felt sick, like I was gonna burst... After it, my eyes, h-he... He's not kind, he pretends he is but he's not, he's a monster, it's all an act, h-he... He's fake! He's fucking evil!”“Answer her bleddy question, how did you get out o' there?” Yet despite Aidan's urging, Alfie only becomes more hysterical, squealing and shrieking, tears flowing down his pudgy face.“He's fake! He's fucking fake! He's a fucking freak, a monster, a-a fake!” The obese elf is overcome by a sudden fit, convulsing and writhing. Mr. Sampson and his valet both rush over to his side to try and help him, while he wails and thrashes. “H-he's not nice! He's evil, pure fucking evil, it's all fake!”“... Well,” says Lady Welby once the boy has been escorted out of the room and his shrieking can no longer be heard. “I take it that we can all identify the obvious links between the Shining Prince and Prince Charming. There is no doubt that they are the same Keeper. The question is whether any of this will help us figure out the true name.”Mere moments after she is finished speaking, someone takes issue with her words. Seconds later and suddenly, everyone is talking over each other again, as they suggest all sorts of sources of inspiration for the Keeper's true name.>Solomon, the ancient king of Israel who is renowned for his wisdom, morality and strong sense of justice.>Pygmalion, an Edwardian play in which a professor tries to make an elegant lady out of a flower girl.>Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria renowned for his support of social reforms and the sciences.>Oliver Warbucks, a fictional industrial who considered it his responsibility to create work for the lower classes.>King James VI and I, a king who often presided as a judge and considered it an important part of his kingship.>Spitballing like this isn't going to work. Even if it wastes time, you should reconvene another day after more research.
>>5215470I knew it. >>5215470>Pygmalion, an Edwardian play in which a professor tries to make an elegant lady out of a flower girl.
>>5215470>Pygmalion, an Edwardian play in which a professor tries to make an elegant lady out of a flower girl.
>>5215470>Pygmalion, an Edwardian play in which a professor tries to make an elegant lady out of a flower girl.While this doesn't seem to have many of the princely elements, nor is there an obscene amount of wealth displayed in the play as far as I know, this probably fits the best character wise in terms of modifying a person's character.Honestly, though we've taken the initial necessary steps it seems like we need more research to tie everything down to a more likely name, but I doubt we'll get more actual new information rather than just corroborating info.The whole "he's fake" thing could be an indication that he takes his true name from a fictional character, or it could just be commentary on his conceited, false paternalistic goodness.The royalty aspects probably mean that his true name is some royal, but I dunno. Although the royals listed so far don't seem to fit to me.
>>5215732This Pygmalion fits well with the behavior and the "he's fake" aspects but not with the royalty aspect. Also there's the whole crystals thing, the palace and the eye replacement seem like big aspects to overlook.
“Have any of you heard of that film, My Fair Lady?” You wouldn't be surprised, considering most of the Antiquarians are a good deal older than you. “It's a film adaptation of Pygmalion, that stage play about phonetics. The whole concept of correcting people who are improper... It seems like a good fit.”“It's not a perfect one though,” Brock pipes up. “What about the castle, or the fixation with jewels? Neither of those appear in the film or the stage productions. There's no connection with elves, either...”“A lot of that could be the Keeper viewing its source material through a fey perspective.” Sita gesticulates quite a bit as she speaks. Her backwards hands make it rather unnerving to watch. “If the Shining Prince believes itself to be noble and superior, then it makes sense that it would choose a form and a dwelling that it associates with that aspect – an elf living in a palace is the perfect choice. What we need to focus on are the core principles, not the minutia.”“With that in mind, Pygmalion is an excellent suggestion,” Lady Welby comments. “However, the name itself could be anything. It could be that of a character, or a place, or even an idea associated with that particular story. When we select a final candidate for the true name of the Shining Prince, we must be absolutely certain that it is correct. If it isn't, then lives will be at risk.”“Before we get to hashin' out what it could be 'n couldn't be, I think we should have a chat about how we'll use the name.” Aidan rests his hands on the table as he lays out his pitch. “From what I've heard, this one don't sound like too much o' a fighter. I could have a bit o' a chat with the Finest 'n see if we can get any volunteers from the Summer Court. Together, we might stand a chance o' killin' the bastard – if we get his name right, that is.”“Absolutely preposterous!” Heads turn to see a furious Mr. Samspon stride back into the chamber. “Have you forgotten how many Lost died, the last time that we slew a Keeper? Five – and two of them were Antiquarians! There is no need for us to throw lives away, when a pact with the Keeper would have the same result!”“Oh, so you're happy to just let the Shining Prince do his thing?” Aidan is standing his ground. “To let him steal folks away, to bleddy torture 'em until they become 'better people?' So long as he stays away from the Duchy, he can do what he wants, is that it?”>Side with Mr. Sampson. The true name of the Shining Prince should be used to strike a deal with the Keeper and protect the Lost who escaped from him. Killing him just doesn't sound practical, considering the risks attached.>Side with Aidan. The true name of the Shining Prince should be used to strike him down, once and for all. If you succeed, no one will have to suffer at his hands ever again. Any Lost who fall in this battle will have died for a good cause.
>>5216015>Side with Aidan. The true name of the Shining Prince should be used to strike him down, once and for all. If you succeed, no one will have to suffer at his hands ever again. Any Lost who fall in this battle will have died for a good cause.Even it's suicidal, I think it makes sense in-character. Plus I (think?) we're a Ogre, so we would be the most cut out for it, even if we haven't used our UNGA BUNGA gift other than the test of strength.
>>5216015I'm torn, doing the standard Antiquarian thing of making a deal is safer, protects all(?) escapees, doesn't cause a political hassle in the effort to organize the duchy into partaking in a crusade, and is a procedure our Motley is familiar with among many other legitimate reasons I can't think of right now.On the other hand, killing the Shining Prince is dangerous, particularly if we don't get the name right. It will be a hassle to convince the rest of the duchy to participate, may even cause severe divisions within the duchy. However, killing the Keeper would save all those future people who may have been taken, it would be a service to humanity as a whole, not just escapees. It could also be used as a political tool or as clout for the duchy in regards to interacting with other Lost polities or communities.Making a deal with the Shining Prince gives him wiggle room to abuse loopholes and doesn't prevent him from taking new captives, merely from pursuing escaped Lost that are members of our community, if I understand things right. Also, even if our community is the size of a small medieval hamlet or something super small, five people dead to kill a True Fae and save countless others in the future is a small ask, it would be a salve on the mental wounds of seemingly quite a few in our community, probably many more than we've met and many more worldwide even.>Take the middle road and play it by ear. What we should do depends on the realities of how much political will there is to wage war. If people are willing to fight or can be convinced to fight, we should kill the Shining Prince. If they do not have the will to fight, we must make a deal.From a moral perspective we ought to kill the Shining Prince in order to save other human lives in the future, this would be for humanity as a whole, not just us. However, we also have a responsibility to our community first over others, we cannot do this unless the community is united, as that would both endanger the duchy as well as the project to deal with the Shining Prince through lack of strength and unity. We aren't all robotic rational actors, some may not want to risk their lives or go through the trauma of losing friends or whatever, that is fine, there is another course of action.
>>5216015>Side with Mr. Sampson. The true name of the Shining Prince should be used to strike a deal with the Keeper and protect the Lost who escaped from him. Killing him just doesn't sound practical, considering the risks attached.
>>5216015>Side with Aidan. The true name of the Shining Prince should be used to strike him down, once and for all. If you succeed, no one will have to suffer at his hands ever again. Any Lost who fall in this battle will have died for a good cause.:PepoG::koiwaiwave::konata:
It's a difficult decision to make. Of course the world would be a better place with one less Keeper, but from the sound of it, killing one is nowhere near as easy as Aidan wants to pretend. “There's no point in trying to kill the Shining Prince if we all end up dead in the process. But if we get the rest of the Duchy to lend a hand, it might be possible.”“I'm afraid that won't happen,” says Mr. Sampson. “The last time that all of the Lost in Cornwall were mobilised, it was under the command of the Summer Duke, to prevent the Ancient of Days from dragging him back to Faerie. Over a dozen of us died and he has been immensely unpopular ever since. So I hope you understand that there is no chance of the Duchy mustering its forces in order to protect someone as insignificant as Alfie. All we can hope for is 'volunteers,' such as Lionel's Finest and a couple of other Summer stragglers.”“It's the unfortunate truth.” Aidan grumbles as he concedes this point to his spectral rival. “But there's no chance o' anyone lendin' us a hand if we try to bargain with the Keeper instead o' slayin' it. If we get the name wrong, then it'll be just the seven of us against him 'n all his minions. That's why we should go for the kill instead, you see? Safety in numbers.”“If the Duchy lacks the will to fight, then we've got little chance of actually killing the Shining Prince, even if we get his true name right. I'm with Mr. Sampson on this one, we have to make a deal. It's the only realistic option.” Shortly after you have spoken, Lady Welby voices her agreement and so does Brock. Quiet Virginia takes your side as well. Sita tries to back Aidan up, but it's too late – it's five against two. The charred Cornishman slams his fist into the table but ultimately concedes defeat. He'll stand with the rest of the Antiquarians, even if he thinks you're making a mistake.The final hour of the meeting is devoted to guessing the name of the Shining Prince, based on all of the knowledge you've gathered so far and his potential ties to Pygmalion. This isn't your final choice, but more of a first draft, that you might revise further down the line. In the end, you settle on...>Higgins. It's the name of the professor of phonetics who tries to train the flower girl in the play. It's an obvious choice.>Covent. An important location in Pygmalion, also home to a produce market sheltered by a glass roof – like a giant greenhouse.>Noblesse Oblige. The idea that it is the responsibility of the nobility to uplift and care for those who serve them.>Professor. A title often used by haughty academics who believe they know better than the common man.>Fake. The Keeper's supposed benevolence is a lie. It is nothing more than a cover-up for his sadism.>Pygmalion. It is also the name of a character from Greek mythology, who fell in love with his own sculpture.>Hauteur. There is no better word to describe the sort of arrogance that the Shining Prince exhibits.
>>5216515I'm stuck between>Coventand>Noblesse ObligeSort of leaning to the latter, but the glass roof is a big connection.
>>5216515>Fake. The Keeper's supposed benevolence is a lie. It is nothing more than a cover-up for his sadism.
>Noblesse ObligeIt feels like the most fitting for someone who percieves himself to be in the right.
>>5216515>Noblesse ObligeThis does seem to be the main running theme for all his victims
>>5216515Like >>5216521 I'm stuck between Covent and Noblesse Oblige but >>5216965's Fake also makes sense to me
>>5216515Yeah, I dunno, I guess I'd go with either Covent or Noblesse Oblige as well.If I remember what I read earlier right, then it was raining near the beginning of the play just like the beginning of Alfie's story, but that is probably incidental as it doesn't seem to have happened in the other backstories.>Covent. An important location in Pygmalion, also home to a produce market sheltered by a glass roof – like a giant greenhouse.>Noblesse Oblige. The idea that it is the responsibility of the nobility to uplift and care for those who serve them.
Noblesse Oblige is the motley's favourite, though you keep Covent and Fake in mind as alternatives. Should the first guess fail, you will need others to fall back on. If all of them are wrong... Well, there's no telling how many of you will die before the Shining Prince grows bored of the carnage.The next time that the Antiquarians will meet, it will be the night of the bargain. You will discuss any other possibilities for the Keeper's name and make your preparations. After that you shall make the journey into the Hedge, where you will summon the Shining Prince. There is no telling what the outcome will be but these are the risks that you must take, in order to protect the Duchy from the predation of the Gentry.The following days are a blur. It's difficult for you to focus on your day-to-day life in Trebelwith, knowing that lives will be on the line in a matter of days. When you left that meeting, you were given a single order: You must gather your strength. You can't go into this with your tank half-empty. All of you need to be at your best, in case anything goes pear-shaped.For you, that means you can't rely on the scraps of glamour you harvest from charity work. The occasional nugget of true gratitude is barely enough for you to break even, considering the magic that you have to work to make up for your lack of training as a tradesman. Your relative lack of charisma only makes matters more difficult. You're not particularly inspirational and you'd have a hard time seducing anyone, thanks to the scars that the Crone gave you – even from a mortal perspective, you're not a looker. You'll need to make some difficult choices if you want to be at your best for the big event.>You'll just have to make do with what you've got and hope you get it right the first time around. There's no need for you to change anything about your lifestyle – you've got this. You won't need to fight the Shining Prince, you're sure of it.>You'll have to save every last drop of glamour for that night. Sure, a couple of botched jobs might hurt your income and your reputation as a handyman, but it can't be helped. (You will gain two points of glamour.)>See if you can get in touch with spindly Jack of the Neighbourhood Watch. He seemed like a generous guy, surely he can lend you a few goblin fruits. However, you'll be in his debt. (You will gain two points of glamour.)>You'll start some fights at the Shipwright, or maybe Wet. You might get in trouble with the law, maybe spend a night or two behind bars, but you'll have plenty of anger to harvest. (You will gain two points of glamour.)>Out of all of the emotions, you're best suited for inspiring fear. Find someone vulnerable to torment in secret. There's no downside, unless you count the trauma you'll cause. (You will gain two points of glamour.)
>>5217667>See if you can get in touch with spindly Jack of the Neighbourhood Watch. He seemed like a generous guy, surely he can lend you a few goblin fruits. However, you'll be in his debt. (You will gain two points of glamour.)I don't like debt but he seems unlikely to really screw us over
>>5217667>See if you can get in touch with spindly Jack of the Neighbourhood Watch. He seemed like a generous guy, surely he can lend you a few goblin fruits. However, you'll be in his debt. (You will gain two points of glamour.)
>>5217667>You'll start some fights at the Shipwright, or maybe Wet. You might get in trouble with the law, maybe spend a night or two behind bars, but you'll have plenty of anger to harvest. (You will gain two points of glamour.)I don't want to owe more people favor's.
>>5217667I'm not sure what to pick. We apparently value our independence quite highly, so damaging our rep as a handyman is right out.We originally got into this whole Lost shit by being too generous and even after we escaped we continue to do charity work, but on the other hand we are an opportunist so I could see us bullying someone since you could argue that perhaps we've become more selfish and cynical, only doing charity work out of the comfort of familiarity or because of a warped morality where we want to do good but don't care if we do bad to further our standard of living, or if we put a higher emphasis on the Lost than normal humans.Getting in trouble with the law may damage our ability to move as freely in normal society or get better normal job opportunities, and assuming we aren't actually playing out the starting of fights the "maybe" part of spending a few nights behind bars is more like "for sure".I don't wanna have debts but this is probably the least damaging thing we can do long term. It's not like this is a contract to be forced to do literally any favour like going on suicide missions or something, if Jack wants a suicidal favour we can just decline and accept a reputation hit.>See if you can get in touch with spindly Jack of the Neighbourhood Watch. He seemed like a generous guy, surely he can lend you a few goblin fruits. However, you'll be in his debt. (You will gain two points of glamour.)
>>5217667>Out of all of the emotions, you're best suited for inspiring fear. Find someone vulnerable to torment in secret. There's no downside, unless you count the trauma you'll cause. (You will gain two points of glamour.)
>>5217667>You'll start some fights at the Shipwright, or maybe Wet. You might get in trouble with the law, maybe spend a night or two behind bars, but you'll have plenty of anger to harvest. (You will gain two points of glamour.)
You gain two points of glamour. You now have three points of glamour to spend.In the end, you decide to give Sissy a call. He's able to get you Jack's number and the two of you have a chat. You explain as much as you can about the situation, about Alfie and the Shining Prince and what you're planning to do. The Watchman doesn't approve of the risks you're taking, but he appreciates that you're doing it for a good cause. In the end, he agrees to grant you a few fruit in exchange for a favour.“Listen,” he says as he hands over a paper bag, “you don't have to worry about a pact or anythin' o' the sort. Trust is stronger 'n more precious than any amount o' magic. Just see to it that you put a bit o' cash in my pocket later down the line, yeah? Or if you can't manage that, I'll think o' a way you can return the favour.”You save the goods until the day arrives. So long as you keep them near your person, they'll never spoil, or so Jack told you. Something to do with ambient glamour. When the time finally comes to eat the fey fruits, you find that they're a little less pleasant than the last one that Jack gave you. A clump of wrinkly black mushrooms that stink of wood ash, a pale papaya full of teeth instead of seeds and a head of garlic that contains wriggling, maggot-like cloves. In spite of their appearance, you put your faith in the gangly Watchman and force them all down. None of them make you feel anything good – just disgust and dread and bitterness. It's a wretched experience but you come out of it feeling stronger, brimming with magic stolen from the Hedge.For once, the car journey to the farmhouse is relatively quiet. Lady Welby comes across as cold and focused, where Brock fidgets nervously and seems a bit anxious. You can't blame him, considering what lies ahead. There's a good chance that some of you might die tonight.As soon you walk into the dining room where you usually meet, you can tell that the atmosphere is different. Instead of books and research notes, the table is covered with all sorts of bizarre items. A pile of rusty fence posts lies beside an odd-looking knife and a pair of shotguns. There's a sack full of stinging nettles and a couple more full of white, fragrant flowers. You can even see a stack of horseshoes, all of which look a bit old and battered. The last item of note is an ornate wooden lock box that remains carefully sealed.“Ahoy, you three!” Aidan gives your trio a wave as you step through the door and gestures to the eclectic items scattered across the slate surface. “Grab your weapon o' choice and tuck a flower in your shirt collar, belt loop or wherever you fancy. You got a choice between blackthorn 'n white heather. Oh, 'n don't forget a horseshoe for a bit o' extra–”
“Damn it, Aidan! You do not get to act like you are in charge here, especially when I am trying to talk to you!” As always, Mr. Sampson is butting heads with the Cornishman. “The last time we met, we had a plan and we're going to stick with it. We're going into the Hedge and I am going to summon the Shining Prince. A drop of Alfie's blood is all that is necessary. We do not need to put the boy at risk by using that god-forsaken bell of yours!”“What are you two squabbling about this time?” Lady Welby nonchalantly picks up a fence post and turns it over in her hands, testing its weight.“See, Sampson never gave anyone an option to disagree when we discussed how we would be doin' this. So, I brought in a second option. If we come to blows with this Keeper, I don't want to fight him in the Hedge where he'll have the home advantage. This ritual won't work in our world – but I have something that will.” He leans over the table to tap the top of that ominous lock box.“Need I remind you how the Chime is supposed to work?” Mr. Sampson is fuming. “It calls to the being that the ringer is most strongly attuned to. Alfie will have to ring it and the Shining Prince will no doubt view it as an invitation! The blessing of Spring will no longer protect him and nothing will stop the Keeper from dragging him back to Faerie!”“Look, if we get it wrong while we're in the Hedge, he'll just kill the lot o' us,” Aidan replies. “If we get it wrong in this world 'n he's got a fat juicy changeling he wants to take back home, he won't waste time wipin' us out. He'll just drag Alfie back to this crystal castle of his instead o' waste his time with us. It's a better worse case scenario than the one you're proposin'. So, that's why we should use the Chime.”Who do you side with?>Side with Mr. Sampson. You refuse to use another Lost as bait. You won't stoop that level. You will go to the Hedge and summon the Shining Prince, without putting Alfie at risk.>Side with Aidan. If everything goes to shit and he ends up taking Alfie, there's no reason for him to stick around and finish you off. This gives the Antiquarians the best chance of surviving.And what weapon do you choose?>A fence post. It's a sturdy rod of wrought iron that's over three feet long and is capped with a fleur de lys. You suppose that it could work pretty well as a bludgeon, or even as a makeshift spear.>The knife. The blade is about six inches long and its handle is twisted in a spiral pattern. Its iron is unpleasantly dull and almost seems... dead. You feel uncomfortable just looking at it.>A shotgun. As a town boy, you've never touched an actual gun in your life, but you respect their destructive power. For some reason, the contents of the shells seem to be a little rusty.>Everything. A shotgun, that knife and a couple of fence posts for safe measure. You'll look a little silly if everything goes to plan, but you want to be ready for anything.
>>5218426>Side with Mr. Sampson. You refuse to use another Lost as bait. You won't stoop that level. You will go to the Hedge and summon the Shining Prince, without putting Alfie at risk.>Everything. A shotgun, that knife and a couple of fence posts for safe measure. You'll look a little silly if everything goes to plan, but you want to be ready for anything.Fucking with humans is one thing, but the whole point of this adventure is to save Alfie and the other Lost. If we just give him up after all we've done then why did we even bother in the first place?
>>5218426>Side with Mr. Sampson. You refuse to use another Lost as bait. You won't stoop that level. You will go to the Hedge and summon the Shining Prince, without putting Alfie at risk.>Fence post & knife.Let's focus on the melee
>>5218426Supporting >>5218541Better to stick with a weapon more intuitive and compatible with our glamour abilities.I actually think Aidan makes a good point this time, we aren't robots following perfectly executed deontological moral principles or something. We should think about the balance of the cost of all our lives versus Alfie's, is whatever we are being paid or the good we could do worth us all dying? The duchy could lose seven lives versus just one and all our value to the community with it. If Alfie was taken we could potentially still redo our research and make a deal to save him now that we have gotten this far.That being said, this whole thing is to help Alfie, we've already traumatized the guy, using him as bait at this point seems more like using the idea of helping him as an excuse for the actual purpose of killing a member of the Gentry. We knew the risks of our occupation, and we'd be shitty people to force the people we are ostensibly trying to help to act as bait. Not to mention using these sacrificial tactics puts the point of all and our credibility as a group in question, we'd be risking the life of a client and if we cannot even succeed at what we are supposed to be good at then why even form this group and act with the methods we do stuff like this.So, I'm tentatively siding with Mr.Sampson.
>>5218426>Side with Mr. Sampson. You refuse to use another Lost as bait. You won't stoop that level. You will go to the Hedge and summon the Shining Prince, without putting Alfie at risk.>A fence post. It's a sturdy rod of wrought iron that's over three feet long and is capped with a fleur de lys. You suppose that it could work pretty well as a bludgeon, or even as a makeshift spear.
You're not surprised when Sita sides with Aidan. As a junior Antiquarian who accompanies him to these meetings, you have no doubt that he serves as a mentor figure for her. You're a little more shocked when Lady Welby takes his side as well, but you suppose that she is a pragmatist above all else.“Aidan,” you begin, “you've got a point. It would be better if the Duchy lost one changeling instead of seven. We'll be putting our lives on the line for the sake of a singe Lost.”“So, that's another vote in my favour? Fetch the boy, Sampson, we're goin' with my–”“No. I'm with Mr. Sampson.” You interrupt the charred changeling before he can go any further. “We have principles. I only joined the Antiquarians recently, but I assume that all of you went into this project knowing the risks involved. All of you knew that your lives would be on the line, yet you volunteered to help Alfie anyway. We have a reputation and our word to live up to – it might not be an oath bound by magic, but it still means something. We're doing this to help him and everyone else who suffered because of the Shining Prince. What sort of Lost are we, if we use the people we're trying to help as bait?”“I agree,” murmurs Virginia, her mouth barely visible and her words barely audible behind that swath of sodden black hair. She doesn't say anything else, but she doesn't need to. With three in favour of Aidan's plan and three in favour of Mr. Sampson's, that leaves Brock as the tie-breaker.“... Well, if you've got to do something, make sure it's the right thing, eh?” The clockwork man lets out a nervous laugh as he is forced to take side. “I'm sorry, Lady, Aidan – but Saul makes a good point. We can't in good conscience use Alfie as a lure when he came to us for help.”Aidan's nostrils flare and for a moment, it seems as the fiery fellow is about to lose his temper. Yet instead of erupting in a furious tirade, he suddenly deflates with a great big sigh. “... Well, there's no use in bein' a sore loser, especially when the lot o' you have the bleddy moral high ground. Alright, Sampson, it's my three 'gainst your four. We're doin' this your way. May God have mercy on our souls if we bugger this up.”With that debate out of the way, preparations continue. You pick up a couple of the white flowers – you can't really tell the difference between white heather and blackthorn – and tuck one into the breast pocket of your shirt and into the loop of your belt. According to Sita, legend says that their scent is supposed to ward off evil spirits and that according to her practical experiments, the legends are actually right. Next, you collect your weapons of choice. No need for a shotgun, especially when you don't know how to use the bloody thing. Instead, you go with one of those hefty fence posts and reach for the knife –
“Not with your bare bleddy hands, Saul!”Aidan narrowly stops you from picking up the knife by grabbing your shoulder and yanking you away. You're about to ask him what his problem is, when he shoves a pair of sturdy gardening gloves into your grasp instead.“Fey folk ain't fond o' iron,” he explains. “There's dozens o' theories why, but we ain't sure which one is right. The point is, any bein' that comes from Faerie or the Hedge or was influenced by those places, they're vulnerable to iron. That includes us. Now that,” he says with a gesture to the ominous knife, “that's another sort o' iron entirely. Cold iron. It's a single lump o' metal that was dug up 'n forged by human hands into a weapon. You can't even touch the thing without your fingers burnin' up. So if you're goin' to use that, you better be careful, boy.”Noting his advice, you don the garden gloves and wrap up the knife in the kitchen towel it was resting on. “Thanks,” you say, “though there's one more thing. If this goes sideways and we get the name completely wrong... Do we have any method of escape? I assume that we're not going to make a heroic last stand and get ourselves all killed.”“Whenever we perform any rites in the Hedge, we always do 'em near the Dubglas. It's a big river that's tied to the Duchy somehow. Anyone o' human birth who dives in it ends up washin' up on the shores of Trebelwith, Saint Keyne or somewhere in between.” That must be how you ended up in Cornwall. “If everything goes tits up, just run for it and plunge right in.”After a few more minutes, everyone seems to have prepared themselves. All that remains is to go over the selection of names one last time. A few more suggestions are made while some less popular choices are eliminated. In the end, the Antiquarians settle on a selection of three names to try – three attempts to get it right before you should give up and run for the Dubglas.Choose three options from this prompt. These will be your first, second and third choices for the true name of the Shining Prince, with the first at the top and the third at the bottom.>Noblesse Oblige. The idea that it is the responsibility of the nobility to uplift and care for those who serve them.>Covent. An important location in Pygmalion, also home to a produce market sheltered by a glass roof – like a giant greenhouse.>Fake. The Keeper's supposed benevolence is a lie. It is nothing more than a cover-up for his sadism.>Sapphire. You cannot ignore the Keeper's connection to crystals, and this one is closely tied to royalty.>Magnanimous. An adjective commonly associated with a noble sort of generosity and forgiveness.>St James. It is a posh region of London where Pygmalion debuted and where the Keeper might have been inspired.If you have any other suggestions or questions, now is the time for them. Otherwise, the Antiquarians shall make their way to the Hedge to summon the Shining Prince.
>>5218900>Fake. The Keeper's supposed benevolence is a lie. It is nothing more than a cover-up for his sadism.>Noblesse Oblige. The idea that it is the responsibility of the nobility to uplift and care for those who serve them.>Covent. An important location in Pygmalion, also home to a produce market sheltered by a glass roof – like a giant greenhouse.
>>5218900>Noblesse Oblige. The idea that it is the responsibility of the nobility to uplift and care for those who serve them.>Covent. An important location in Pygmalion, also home to a produce market sheltered by a glass roof – like a giant greenhouse.>St James. It is a posh region of London where Pygmalion debuted and where the Keeper might have been inspired.
>>5218900>Noblesse Oblige. The idea that it is the responsibility of the nobility to uplift and care for those who serve them.>Covent. An important location in Pygmalion, also home to a produce market sheltered by a glass roof – like a giant greenhouse.>Sapphire. You cannot ignore the Keeper's connection to crystals, and this one is closely tied to royalty.
>>5218900>Noblesse Oblige. The idea that it is the responsibility of the nobility to uplift and care for those who serve them.>Covent. An important location in Pygmalion, also home to a produce market sheltered by a glass roof – like a giant greenhouse.>Fake. The Keeper's supposed benevolence is a lie. It is nothing more than a cover-up for his sadism.The first two are to try out the theory that this Keeper took his name from the Pygmalion play or the idea that he is the Keeper of all those lost we guessed there was a connection between. The third is to go with what the only two people we know for sure were taken by him said about him in fits of hysteria. I was pretty certain of my theory, but since only Alfie and probably Harmony were taken by him for certain it is good to have at least one option more focused on the aspects only Prince Charming and the Shining Prince had, like the crystal or fake aspect.I have a feeling we are about to get slaughtered, even with our research I don't think we've narrowed it down enough, but we have an okay shot and I guess it was better to do this than sacrifice Alfie and our principles.
>>5218900Could a bag of iron filings be used like an AOE weapon?
I'll lock the vote there. I won't have time for a proper update until much later today. The names you have chosen and the order in which you will try them are:1. Noblesse Oblige.2. Covent.3. Fake.>>5219716Bursting a bag of standard iron filings on a fey creature would likely cause significant irritation and serve as an excellent distraction, but it wouldn't do any meaningful damage. If these metal filings were cold iron, that would be a different story, but unless they were individually hand-forged, they wouldn't count as cold iron.If you're interested, I could add a bag or two of iron filings to your inventory retroactively, but nothing cold iron. The only cold iron object that the Antiquarians had to offer was the knife.
>>5219781Yeah a bag of iron filings would probably be good thing to have as a "throw over your shoulder while booking it" type weapon
>>5219781May as well, it could act as the more effective version of throwing a bag of flour at someone.
>>5219781Why not, could be useful if we need to book it.
This is a bit long-winded, so if you want to skip to the relevant bits, just read the last post.The first guess shall be Noblesse Oblige. The second, Covent. The third, Fake. These are the names that Mr. Sampson shall call the Shining Prince, in the hope that at least one of them is correct. God help you if they're all wrong.Once that decision has been made and the final preparations are concluded, you take your leave of the farmhouse with the rest of the Antiquarians. You have everything that you need – a wrought iron fence post, a cold iron knife, gloves so that you can wield the blade without suffering, sprigs of blackthorn and white heather tucked into your clothes, a horseshoe that hangs from your neck by a loose strap and a pouch full of iron filings, stuffed into your pocket.From a human perspective, you look ridiculous. From a Lost one, you look ready for battle.Your convoy sets out from Mr. Sampson's home and makes its way through the Cornish countryside. Normally you would admire the scenery, but there's not much to see now that the sun has set. The journey takes the best part of an hour and leads you through all sorts of narrow country lanes, but you eventually arrive at your destination: Dartmoor.Aidan leads the way through the moorland with a torch in his hand – as in, a big stick with a fire burning at the end of it. In his other, he holds a fence post. Mr. Samspon and Sita are also armed with those wrought iron rods, while Lady and Brock carefully cradle the shotguns. The odd one out is quiet Virgina, who seems to be lugging around a gallon bottle full of water. When you point this out to Brock, he laughs nervously. Then again, everything that he does seems to be nervous tonight.“I wouldn't worry about her,” he says, his voice trembling ever so slightly. “She can do more damage with a few litres of water than I could ever hope to do with a shotgun.” Brock laughs again, but the sound is hollow and mirthless. If Virgina has noticed your commentary on her weapon of choice, she doesn't show any sign of it. The girl just keeps her down and keeps on walking.Before too long, you come across your destination. Sheep Tor, Mr. Sampson calls it, an outcrop of granite stone that juts out of the moorland haphazardly. Some of the stones have formed a natural arch of sorts, just large enough for an ordinary person to walk through. Taking the lead, the elderly spectre places a hand on the granite and passes through the gate, disappearing into the night. One by one, the other Antiquarians follow him. You need to duck to avoid hitting your head but sure enough, you step through to the other side.And just like that, you're not in Cornwall any more.
In the Hedge, the moon seems so much brighter. So do the stars. Every colour seems brighter and every shadow seems deeper. It's as though you have just stepped out of a lifeless, dreary wasteland and into the real world. Great trees tower all around you, looming far higher than any that can be found on Earth. Their leaves are as green as emeralds, while their wood is darker and richer than any that you have seen before. Even the sprawling thicket of brambles that surrounds you is far more beautiful than it has any right to be.Aidan takes the lead once more, carefully navigating his way through the undergrowth. You're warned to stay away from the prickly shrubs that seem to surround you on all sides, but you feel like you don't need to be told. The countless thorns that decorate these bushes gleam ominously beneath the moonlight, like daggers eager to sink into your flesh.Somehow, the burning Cornishman seems to find a path through the tangle where you could see none. The endless maze of the Hedge doesn't confound him so easily. Perhaps with time, you will come to recognise the hidden paths as well as he does.Occasionally, you see glimpses of the native fauna when the foliage is disturbed. A startled hare with majestic antlers bounces away in search of cover. A badger wearing the habit of a medieval monk stirs from its slumber and grumbles under its breath, while it hobbles away on its hind legs in search of somewhere else to sleep. A pair of naked pixies gasp as their lovemaking is disturbed, only to soar off into the night when Mr. Sampson tries to apologise. The insults that they sling at him as they depart are rather inventive.Eventually the undergrowth thins out and you find yourself in a clearing with the rest of the Antiquarians, near the bank of a great rushing river. That must be the Dubglas. Even beneath the light of the Hedge's moon and stars, its waters are black and ominous, concealing whatever dwells in their depths. This glade is where the ritual shall be performed and the Shining Prince shall be summoned.Before you can do that though, a little setup is needed. Aidan shoves a sack full of stinging nettles into your arms and tells you to spread them on the ground in a 'great big bleddy circle.' Apparently fey-born beings hate passing by nettles, it makes them itch like mad. While you're busy with this, the ghostly Mr. Sampson lays out what looks like a tea set in the middle of the circle. A pot of water is left to boil on a camping stove while some peculiar herbs are mixed in a cup with a few drops of blood, taken from a syringe. You're not quite sure you understand what is going on, but the old man seems to know what's he doing.When the circle of nettles is complete and everyone is ready, Mr. Samspon takes the pot and pours into its boiling contents into the cup, to mingle with the mixture. The concoction emits a deep and bloody red steam that rises into the night sky, higher and higher.
The seven of you wait in silence, tense and with your weapons at the ready as the signal rises further into the night sky. You don't have to wait for long. Within minutes, you hear the harsh keening of a hunting bugle and mere moments after that, you see them.Three bizarre figures step out of the forest – the first short and rotund, the second tall and gaunt and the third with mismatched limbs of uneven length. All of them are dressed like caricatures of Victorian gentlemen, with dapper suits, dashing moustaches and ridiculous top hats that do little to hide their sharp elfin ears. Each of them holds a firearm in one hand – Fatty has a pistol, Skinny has a rifle and Odd has a shotgun. In the other, each of them holds four leashes, each of which is tied to the jewel-encrusted collar of a fierce hound. There's twelve dogs in total, snarling and snapping at each other as their fey handlers lead them along.“I say, the rabble are rather unsightly today,” pipes up Fatty in an absolute mockery of an aristocratic accent.“Right you are, old bean,” chimes in Skinny. “I can't imagine how they live with themselves!”“Stiff upper lip, lads!” Odd's grin seems rather malicious. “Let's not put on a bad show before His Royal Highness!”Along with the other Antiquarians, all you can do is stare as the Shining Prince emerges from the undergrowth. He sits on the back of a horse bigger than any animal you've ever seen, with a hide as white as driven snow. Yet its beauty is nothing compared to that of its rider. His skin gleams like polished porcelain, his sapphire eyes shine so brightly that they make Alfie's and Harmony's seem like dirty rocks in comparison and his impossibly dark hair is groomed with perfect precision, disturbed only by pointed ears. The military uniform he wears is utterly immaculate and decorated with jewels and medals beyond number, their gold glittering so garishly in the starlight that you're almost blinded. A sense of awe fills your heart at the mere sight of him, along with a sense of shame. What right do you have to look upon such majesty? You're forced to avert your eyes – you can't even look at the Keeper without your resolve being shaken.“It would appear that I have been deceived,” the Shining Prince begins. Again, your heart quails. He speaks with such power and authority, with such grace and presence. His voice demands your respect, your obedience and it takes all of your strength to deny him these things. “I came here expecting a beloved subject of mine, one whom I lifted out from the depths of poverty only for him to spurn my generosity. I sought to grant him a second chance, yet all I have found is a band of villains. What do you have to say for yourselves?”“Child of Faerie,” Mr. Sampson begins, his voice brimming with magical power, “I offer you your true name – Noblesse Oblige! In return, I demand your boon!”
… And nothing happens. There is no change in the air, no sign that the name Noblesse Oblige had any impact.“Oh dear,” Skinny chuckles. “The old boy's made a fool of himself.”“The rascals are done for now,” Odd gleefully adds.“I see. You are naught but common brigands, seeking to extort favours from your betters.” The Shining Prince smiles. Between his pale lips, you can catch a glimpse of his pearly, needle-like teeth, each one honed to a dangerous point. “Gentlemen, I would greatly appreciate it if you could put these highwaymen in their place.”“Jolly good!” Releasing the leashes of his hounds, Fatty raises his pistol and fires. With an ear-splitting crack, a diamond sours out of the barrel and through the air, smashing into Sita's head. The changeling's face is reduced to a crater and she topples to the floor, lifeless. Where there were once seven Antiquarians, there are now six.Everything around you dissolves into chaos as all of you dive for the floor, narrowly avoiding a second bullet and a spray of buckshot. You have more than gunfire to worry about though – a dozen slavering dogs are rapidly closing in on you, and you're shocked to find that they cross the ring of nettles without any trouble. The closer the beasts come, the more details you're able to see. All of them have at least some sort of humanoid feature, whether it's a man's face or a pair of hands or a woman's figure. Horror bubbles up inside of you as you realise what these animals really are.Every single one of these hounds is a changeling, a human stolen away by the Shining Prince and twisted by his magic.Aidan lets out a furious roar and points his wrought iron rod at one of the men-turned-beasts. A burst of fire erupts from the torch that he carries and engulfs the creature. A blast from Brock's shotgun sends another crumpling to the earth in a heap. Swinging that gallon jug wildly, Virgina manages to catch the side of a hound's head and knocks it to the ground, leaving it stunned. But what part do you play, with a fence post in one hand and a cold iron blade in the other?>Unleash the Crone's strength and carve a path through the beasts. Slay them without mercy and wipe out as many as you can with a burst of inhuman strength. (You will spend three glamour points.)>The real threat are those three goblins, who are free to shoot you down with impunity. Break formation, unleash the Crone's strength and punish them their hubris. (You will spend three glamour points.)>Hold the line. Patience is key. You can hold your own against these beast-men without supernatural aid, what matters is that you save your magic for when it is truly necessary. Your time will come.>Fuck this. If Noblesse Oblige failed, you doubt either of the other two names are going to work. The Dubglas is waiting for you. Make a break for its water and abandon the Antiquarians to their fate.
>>5220393Should have taken Sapphire, this has gotten so obvious. I say we leg it
>>5220393>Hold the line. Patience is key. You can hold your own against these beast-men without supernatural aid, what matters is that you save your magic for when it is truly necessary. Your time will come.>"HALT, SAPPHIRE!" and then play it from there.>>5220432Good point, if we can shout out Sapphire real quick then we should do it.
Also I really doubt it's fake, that's so shallow that it has to be bullshit. Like anon said, now that we've seen him Sapphire and St. James seems most likely to me at least.
Also here's a battle theme. Possibly a swan song.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89jOPAGJq-M
>>5220393>Hold the line. Patience is key. You can hold your own against these beast-men without supernatural aid, what matters is that you save your magic for when it is truly necessary. Your time will come.
>>5220393>Hold the line. Patience is key. You can hold your own against these beast-men without supernatural aid, what matters is that you save your magic for when it is truly necessary. Your time will come.Defend our comrades for now we've only tried one name so far
You hold the line. Even without the magic of the Crone, you're still strong enough to hold your own against these bestial changelings. One of them takes a leap at you, fangs bared as it launches itself towards your throat. Swinging your fence post like a club, you smash the fleur de lys on the end of it into its face and knock the beastman back. While it's still staggering, you bring the knife down in an arc as you try to hack at the creature and ward it off.The cold iron finds its mark and carves a bloody line through the creature's shoulder. The changeling lets out a scream unlike any you've ever heard as the wound seems to blossom and expand. The flesh touched by the knife seems to evaporate into technicoloured smoke, turning a simple cut into a deep, gory rift across the beast's chest. Your assailant writhes in agony as it collapses to the floor, the life rapidly leaving its body. To your horror, you suddenly realise that you have just killed someone. Their mind and body might have been twisted by a Keeper, but that was still a person, a human being.You can't linger on the consequences of your actions for long. While the rest of the Antiquarians defend themselves from the onslaught, Mr. Sampson gives the next name a shot. The men-turned-beasts that try to assault him find no success, as they glide through his ethereal form and collide with one another.“Child of Faerie,” he tries again, infusing his voice with the power of glamour. “I offer you your true name – Covent! In return, I demand your boon!”Nothing happens. A second failed attempt to name the Shining Prince. To your side, you hear Lady Welby swear. The papery woman raises her shotgun, pulls the triggers and finds her mark. Skinny shrieks as his lanky body is peppered with iron shrapnel and almost comically flops to the ground, ruby blood oozing from his many wounds.“I say, how rude!” Fatty, having reloaded that ornate pistol of his, takes iron and lets loose another shot. This one finds its mark as well, causing Lady to shriek as a gemstone bullet embeds itself in her shoulder. She crashes to the floor and is immediately set upon by a pair of hounds.“Good show, good show! Show them what for, old–” Odd's commentary is suddenly cut short as a stream of water jets through the air and smashes into his face. His screams of protest are muffled as the liquid seems to force its way through his mouth and his nose, down into his throat and his lungs, causing the poor fool to slowly drown on dry land. It seems like Virginia is finally working her magic. The other Antiquarians are hard at work as well – Aidan is in the process of reducing another hunting dog to ash, while Brock is struggling to bludgeon another into submission using the butt of his shotgun.
>>5220897>Reveal your true strength and save Mr. Sampson from the hounds that swarm over him. He is the one leading the naming, he knows what he is doing better than any other changeling. He must survive if this is to work. (You will spend three points of glamour.)It probably is fake. I think you anons were overthinking it. The word fake was mentioned several times over the course of the quest and it's pretty clear his "noble intentions" were just an excuse for him to torture people.
Mr. Sampson is about to make a third attempt at naming the Shining Prince, when he suddenly cries out in pain – one of the Keeper's hounds has seized Sita's fence post and buried its pointed tip in the spectre's back. Even though he remains translucent, the elderly Lost has suddenly become quite corporeal, as is evidenced by how a trio of hounds begin to savage him with their fangs and claws.“Sapphire!” You blurt out the word as soon as you have dispatched a second dog-man. Your arm aches from where it managed to sink its fang in, but you rewarded the beast with the bite of cold iron. “Your true name is Sapphire!”Nothing happens. The Shining Prince looks ever so smug as he sits on the back of his horse, watching the carnage from afar. The Keeper does not even deign to join the fray, as though he sees himself as above the chaos. Yet that doesn't stop his face from being split in two by a foul grin, revealing his mouth full of shining daggers for teeth. There is no denying that he is getting a sadistic kick out of this, despite his best efforts at appearing noble and aloof. He's playing with you, like a cat with mice.If you don't do something, more of you are going to die.>Reveal your true strength and save Mr. Sampson from the hounds that swarm over him. He is the one leading the naming, he knows what he is doing better than any other changeling. If he dies, this might not work. (You will spend three points of glamour.)>Unleash the Crone's might and slay the beasts that assail Lady Welby, before they kill her. She is your mentor and the most pragmatic of the Antiquarians. She is too useful to die here, at the hands of these beastmen. (You will spend three points of glamour.)>No matter how desperate the situation is getting, you can't afford to waste your power. You will need to bring it to bear if the Shining Prince joins the fight, or to mend a comrade's wounds once this is over. Do what you can to help, without expending your glamour.>This is over. You refuse to die here with the rest of the Antiquarians. Run for the Dubglas and dive into its depth before the Shining Prince kills you along with everyone else. This was doomed from the start. The only sensible thing to do is to flee.
>>5220908>Empty the bag of fillings on the beasts swarming Sampson before using the knife to deal with the beasts attacking Lady Welby
>>5220906I guess you're right.>>5221006+1 we gotta save that glamour, if we keep fucking it up we're done for without it.
won't not using any glamour here just end up with both of them dying
>>5221221Not necessarily, we are pretty strong without it and we have a cold iron sword which is kind of a big deal. The fillings should ward off the dogs long enough for Sampson to recover and it shouldn't be too hard to kill the hounds on Welby with our sword and strength.
>>5220908I don't know. I don't think the QM would make both the options for saving them require 3 glamour points if it didn't require it. Can we atleast focus on saving one person? If we try to do both I'm pretty sure they'll both end up dying.
>>5220908>Unleash the Crone's might and slay the beasts that assail Lady Welby, before they kill her. She is your mentor and the most pragmatic of the Antiquarians. She is too useful to die here, at the hands of these beastmen. (You will spend three points of glamour.)
Let's throw the fillings at Sampson's hounds and use our superstrenght on Lady Welby's
Locking the vote in favour of >>5221006's suggestion, with two votes:>Empty the bag of fillings on the beasts swarming Sampson before using the knife to deal with the beasts attacking Lady Welby
>>5221881Everything alright Slag?
A burst of monstrous strength could change the tide, as could the use of your healing touch. You can't afford to waste your magic here and now. No, you need to get versatile. There's only a few paces between where you're standing, where Lady Welby is being assaulted and where Mr. Sampson is being overwhelmed, but you don't have the time to save them both, even if you augment yourself with glamour.That doesn't mean that you won't try your best.Throwing down the wrought iron fence post, you tug that bag of iron filings from your pocket. With all of your strength, you lob it at the three beastmen swarming over Mr. Sampson. You don't have time to watch it burst. Instead, you rush towards the side of Lady Welby, where one of the changeling hounds is savaging a leg of hers and the other has its teeth sunk deep in the parchment woman's arm. With no time to choose a target, you hack at the back of the nearest one with your cold iron knife. The magical flesh of the dog-man provides no resistance and it lets out a guttural scream, falling back on the floor. The one with its fangs buried in her calf is dealt with, soon to expire.Yet in the seconds it takes to dispatch that beast, the other manages to yank at Lady's arm and rip away a great mouthful of meat. She screams – where there was once papery skin, you can now see a gory mess of blood, muscle and bone. With its mouth stained red, the fey beast turns to face you, only to rewarded with cold iron thrust in its chest. A bestial wail bursts from its lung as it falls back to the floor, colourful smoke blossoming from its chest as the stab wound expands into a bloody pit.Lady is still alive, though with the blood gushing from her several wounds, you can't tell if she'll stay that way for much longer. She's in no condition to fight though – it takes all of her strength to clutch at her mutilated arm and stem the flow.Instead, you turn your attention to Mr. Sampson, a few yards away. You're glad to see that one of the beastmen is busy scratching its mouth and nose, hacking and coughing as it tries to expel the iron filings stuck in its throat. You're just in time to see a second changeling get struck by one of Aidan's fireballs, falling to the earth and shrieking as fire engulfs it. Yet that still leaves the third, which has its jaws locked around the fallen spectre's throat. With a sharp yank of its head, it rips away a great portion of the ghostly Lost's neck and is sprayed with his translucent blood as a reward, straight from the jugular.Aidan lets out a cry out of outrage and rewards that bestial changeling with a fiery blast, knocking it away from its prey and leaving it squirming on the earth, trying to put out the flames that threaten to consume it. This has all gone pear-shaped. One of the Antiquarians is dead and two are close to death – with one of them being the man who was supposed to lead the naming.
“Child o-of Faerie,” cries out a familiar voice, full of fear and anxiety. “I offer you y-your true name, Fake! Your name is Fake! I... We demand your boon!”Brock has finally managed to subdue his bestial foe and he is the one who has named the Shining Prince, in the place of Mr. Sampson. With those words, everything changes. The malicious grin on the face of the Keeper is suddenly replaced by a look of astonishment and then, a hateful scowl. His porcelain flesh no longer looks half as beautiful as it once did – the sheer charisma that Fake once exuded has evaporated, as though the mere mention of his name was enough to strip him of his power.“Stop! Cease fire, all of you!” Though almost all of the hounds have been slain, those that were merely stunned or subdued suddenly cease their struggling and snarling. Just like that, the fight is over.“Goodness me,” says Fatty, the last of his surviving hobgoblin henchmen. He has reloaded his pistol and was ready to fire a third shot, only for the conflict to come to a standstill. “Your name is Fake? Why, that's rather daft, isn't it?”“Die.”Clearly, Fake hasn't lost all of his magic because as soon as he gives that order, the obese elf obediently brings his pistol to his temple and pulls the trigger. His brains spray all over the soil and his body falls to the ground in a heap. Now that the fight is over, you crouch by the side of Lady Welby and do your best to staunch the flow of blood from her ruined arm. Virginia tries to do the same for Mr. Sampson, though her efforts are doomed to fail – he's lost too much blood and too quickly.“Hear me, brigands. By giving me my name, you acknowledge that you shall never speak or write it again. In return, I am... compelled to grant you a favour in return. Tell me what you wish for and if it is within my power and in accordance with my nature, I shall grant it. I must.”You can hear the disdain dripping from Fake's voice, even from such a distance. He remains on horseback by the forest's edge, glowering across the clearing at the few of you left standing – at Brock in particular. The man stammers, not knowing what to say.Should you step in?>No. Lady Welby and Mr. Sampson might not be in any condition to make a deal, but what about Aidan? As the last senior Antiquarians left standing, he should be the one to speak for you.>Fake must relinquish his ownership of Alfie. He must leave him be and never seek to reclaim him ever again. You're not asking for much, but you want to avoid earning this Keeper's ire.>Fake must never take action against the Duchy or anyone under its protection. This Keeper will not be able to hurt any Lost who belong to the Duchy – now, or in the future.>Fake must relinquish his ownership of all changelings that have escaped from him. This doesn't just protect Alfie or the Duchy's Lost, but everyone that has managed to escape from him.
There's also the matter of your remaining glamour – and the two Antiquarians that are bleeding out. You can help one of them, if you're willing to expend your magic.>Use your magic to heal Lady Welby. You're closest to her and to be honest, you value her more than Mr. Sampson. She has done more for you and she seems far more practical than the old ghost. (This will spend three glamour points.)>Use your magic to heal Mr. Sampson. He's more important to the Antiquarians, his wounds are more severe and there's a small chance that you might be able to get Lady some medical attention before she expires. (This will spend three glamour points.)>This could still backfire. What if Fake doesn't agree to the deal and he just decides to try and kill you all? You need to keep your glamour in reserves, even if it means sacrificing the lives of two Antiquarians. They would understand if they were in your position.
>>5223701>Fake must never take action against the Duchy or anyone under its protection. This Keeper will not be able to hurt any Lost who belong to the Duchy – now, or in the future. As a token of good trust and a sign of your strong character, you say, use a small bit of your great power to heal the Paper Woman just enough so that she stops bleeding. Do those two things, and we swear to never bother you ever again nor to reveal your name to anyone else.>>5223702>Use your magic to heal Mr. Sampson. He's more important to the Antiquarians, his wounds are more severe and there's a small chance that you might be able to get Lady some medical attention before she expires. (This will spend three glamour points.)To be honest I'm a little shocked it's fake, but I guess it's been foreshadowed enough. I just wish I had the brains to write in saying it ourselves before this post so we wouldn't have to try and wring this Fae for all it's worth, but oh well, we did it and I'm happy regardless.
>>5223712And if it's not clear, this part:>As a token of your good trust and a sign of your good character, use your great power... etc.Is asking/telling fake to save Welby.
>>5223712You're right when you called Fake shallow, but this is the first thread of a quest that was very open-ended from the get-go. A lot of it was made-up as I went along, so I wanted to go with something cheap and easy and didn't require much thought for this first puzzle. Since most of the variables are set in stone at this point, I could probably write more complicated and in-depth problems if I continue the quest.
>>5223701>Use your magic to heal Lady Welby. You're closest to her and to be honest, you value her more than Mr. Sampson. She has done more for you and she seems far more practical than the old ghost. (This will spend three glamour points.)I think we need to stop trying to have our cake and eat it too. There is absolutely no way both of them are coming out of this alive, asking Fake to heal one of them is sure to have unintended consequences and affect the bargain too if it does save her.We tried to save both at last time too while ALSO not using our glamour and we ended up in a worse position because of it now. If we used our glamour to save Welby or Sampson last time they could have made the deal with Fake since they have much more experience, but now it’s been relegated to us and now we have to make a decision between saving them or saving glamour for the deal.
>>5223789As Brock was the one to initiate the deal-making by naming Fake, he is the one who will be spending the glamour - so you don't need to worry about that. I intended to include that detail, but I must have cut it out when trimming down the post. Apologies.However, you are correct when you say that you can't turn to Lady Welby or Mr. Sampson for help right now. If you want to defer to a senior, your only choice is the warmongering Aidan. Do you trust him to speak on the behalf of the Antiquarians, or will you do it instead?
>>5223701>Fake must never take action against the Duchy or anyone under its protection. This Keeper will not be able to hurt any Lost who belong to the Duchy – now, or in the future.>>5223702>Use your magic to heal Lady Welby. You're closest to her and to be honest, you value her more than Mr. Sampson. She has done more for you and she seems far more practical than the old ghost. (This will spend three glamour points.)
I also vote for keeping Fake away from the Duchy and healing Mr. Sampson.
>>5223701>Fake must never take action against the Duchy or anyone under its protection. This Keeper will not be able to hurt any Lost who belong to the Duchy – now, or in the future.I think we ought to protect our community first, Alfie and many others that have escaped from him are in said community, asking for him to relinquish those that escaped from him leaves us personally vulnerable.I also think we ought to get more than just Alfie's life, we lost one of our own and may lose more.>>5223702>Use your magic to heal Lady Welby. You're closest to her and to be honest, you value her more than Mr. Sampson. She has done more for you and she seems far more practical than the old ghost. (This will spend three glamour points.)Tough choice, Sampson seems like the most prominent leader and the one that balances out Aidan the most, losing him changes the character of our group substantially, but Welby just seems more important to us and more likely to vibe with us in the future, and she is our mentor. While there is said to be a small chance to save Welby through conventional means, whereas Sampson is missing his throat, realistically Welby is gonna bleed out no matter how much we bandage her, we have to trek through however much moorland to get to a hospital or Lost with a healing ability when she is missing a fucking arm.
Rolled 2 (1d2)This option seems to be taking the lead:>Fake must never take action against the Duchy or anyone under its protection. This Keeper will not be able to hurt any Lost who belong to the Duchy – now, or in the future.With three votes for Lady and three for Sampson, I'll roll a die to decide who gets your healing touch.>1: Use your magic to heal Lady Welby. You're closest to her and to be honest, you value her more than Mr. Sampson. She has done more for you and she seems far more practical than the old ghost. (This will spend three glamour points.)>2: Use your magic to heal Mr. Sampson. He's more important to the Antiquarians, his wounds are more severe and there's a small chance that you might be able to get Lady some medical attention before she expires. (This will spend three glamour points.)
“Stay away from the Duchy,” you bark. “Brock, come and help Lady, I need to give Sampson a hand.” The two wounded Lost are only a handful of yards away from each other but every step that you must take in a precious moment lost, as more blood gushes from the spectre's throat. Almost skidding a halt by his side, you clamp your hands around his throat, nearly pushing Virginia to the side. Normally this would do nothing to staunch the flow, but you will that wound to shut.“I require more than that,” Fake replies. You can almost hear his teeth grind as you refuse to meet his eyes and treat him with the respect and authority that he desires. The clockwork man is busy trying to tend to his parchment mentor, while the perpetually soaked Virginia lingers at your side, worriedly watching over Mr. Sampson. As for Aidan, the Cornishman's teeth are bared as he defiantly stands there, fiery torch in one hand and wrought iron rod in the other. He is still ready for violence, still ready to give his life in battle against this Keeper. Yet somehow, he overcomes his yearning for battle and lowers the fence post.“You heard the boy,” the ever-burning man calls out. “Leave the Duchy o' Cornwall alone, now 'n forever more! Neither you nor your minions will not harm or hunt anyone under the protection o' the Duchy!”“None of you possess noble blood or bearing – you do not speak for this Duchy of yours, so you cannot bar me from it forever. You do not have that privilege.” You glance up, just in time to see the hand of Fake drops to the jewel-encrusted hilt of his sabre. Those crystalline eyes of his now brim with hate and bloodlust. “I suppose that I should not be surprised that louts of low birth are unable to offer legitimate terms. I consider this parley to be at an–”“Wait!” You cry out that word even as Mr. Sampson's blood wells up between your fingers, yet the flow gradually subsides as his ghostly flesh knits itself back together. “Wait. We speak for ourselves, the Antiquarians. So long as we live, the deal will be upheld! We'll never speak or write your name again, just like you ask. In return, you'll never hurt or hunt anyone in the Duchy, nor will your servants. This deal... This'll last for as long as the Antiquarians will.”“Are those better terms then, Fake?” Aidan spits the name with disdain and the mere sound of it is enough to make the Keeper flinch.“... So be it. So long as a single member of your order yet lives, I shall uphold this deal. Should any 'Antiquarian' name me again, knowingly or otherwise, they shall be branded an oath breaker and this bargain shall be annulled. Should I – or any servant of mine – take action against the Duchy and those under its protection, this bargain shall be annulled and I shall cease to be, in accordance with the laws of Faerie. I take my leave of you, brigands – may we never meet again.”
Every word is laced with magic, a power that binds you to this pact. The Shining Prince lets out a piercing whistle and the few changeling hounds that weren't slain rise back to their feet, limping back to their master. With a tug on the reins of his majestic steed, the beautiful Keeper rides off into the forest, with a handful of his beastmen trotting after him.This allows you to focus on Mr. Sampson. Your fingers are covered in his blood yet even as your healing touch compels his flesh to mend itself, you find that the reserves of glamour are not being expended. In fact, something about this situation feels right – you're saving a man's life. This is what you were made to do, this is what your magic was meant for.You have discovered a loophole. Most of your magical abilities have loopholes – very specific situations that allow you to use them without spending any glamou. You will have to discover each ability's loophole for yourself.You have discovered the loophole of your ability to heal the physical trauma of a target. If the target suffers from mortal wounds and you have not inflicted them yourself, you do not need to spend any glamour to use this ability.Unwittingly, you made the right choice. If you had helped Lady Welby first, then Mr. Sampson would have died of blood loss by now. Instead, the spectral figure of the old man is lying there, gasping for breath and staring incredulously up at the night sky, as though he cannot believe he is still alive. You don't spend too long by his side – Lady needs you as well and thanks to this strange proviso of your magic, your glamour remains unspent as you tend to her wounds The bullet embedded in her shoulder even pops out on its own.Unfortunately, there is nothing that you can do for Sita. She was long dead before the battle was even over. Aidan and Sampson are already squabbling over where she should be buried, while Brock is horrified by the carnage. Eight of the Keeper's changelings lie dead, some of them charred while others are drenched with blood He's particularly worried over a ninth hound, the one which he clubbed into submission with his shotgun.“It's still alive,” Brock says, “I mean – she's still alive.” If you look past the matted fur and the warped skeleton of the unconscious beast, you can tell that it was once a woman, probably in her late twenties. She's emaciated and scarred yet still alive, despite everything she's gone through.>Put her out of her misery. She's not Lost – she's still a slave of the Shining Prince. She can't be allowed to live.>Leave her be. Her Keeper abandoned her. When she wakes up, she can either try to return to her master or try to survive in the Hedge.>Take her with you. She's a changeling, just like you. Surely together, the Antiquarians can restore the humanity that she's lost.
>>5226243>Take her with you. She's a changeling, just like you. Surely together, the Antiquarians can restore the humanity that she's lost.It’s not like she can take any action against us.
>>5226243>Take her with you. She's a changeling, just like you. Surely together, the Antiquarians can restore the humanity that she's lost.Aye it all worked out in the end. Turns out we can have our cake and eat it too sometimes.
>>5226243>Take her with you. She's a changeling, just like you. Surely together, the Antiquarians can restore the humanity that she's lost.>>5226441>Aye it all worked out in the end. Turns out we can have our cake and eat it too sometimes.Well, the keepers have their loopholes as well so it's nice we found one of ours
>>5226243>>Put her out of her misery. She's not Lost – she's still a slave of the Shining Prince. She can't be allowed to live.
>>5226243>Take her with you. She's a changeling, just like you. Surely together, the Antiquarians can restore the humanity that she's lost.Making an alternative pseudo name we can use to refer to Fake for when we need to (probably just one of his regular Aliases) would be wise, since we are probably gonna wanna advertise our latest feat. Retaining a healthy number of Lost in our Motley is also a priority, since should our little book club ever perish the duchy and its constituents will be vulnerable to this guy again.As for this girl, may as well try and do some good with her. It's not like she is any more dangerous to us than any other changeling.
Whelp, looks like we're the EMT, which seems to fit how our guy is altruistic by nature. We should encourage some kind of medical training for the Duchy so any of our people who get screwed up like this can hang on long enough to get to us. And maybe put some part time in with the Finest since they get beat all to hell so often.Kinda funny how we're a tanky, ugly, scarred up musclebound lunk but we're in the book club, good at fixing things and get glamour by saving lives. Kinda the opposite of how others in the Duchy get their glamour from fucking with mortals.>Take the dog girlI suspect a trick, but if we heal her she will technically be under the Antiquarians protection, in the sense that she would be a Prisoner of War. The ethics of fair treatment of prisoners are quite broad and therefore Fake couldn't touch her or bother us by contract. She isn't technically part of the Duchy, but as a prisoner she has rights *as we interpret and agree upon as members of the Duchy.* Besides I don't think our guy would stand for leaving her to die and definitely not for putting her down, so it stays in character.
>>5226788I doubt she'll be a prisoner of war, we all know that she had basically no control over her actions and was completely under the thrall of Fake. Once we get her fixed up and rehabilitated as much as we can she'll just become a regular member of the Duchy, meaning she'll be under it's protection like everyone else.
“She's one of us, Brock. We're taking her back.” Crouching by the side of the battered changeling, you carefully lift her in your arms. She's shockingly light, but you suppose that shouldn't be a surprise. It helps that she doesn't appear to be wearing anything except for that shaggy coat of fur and the ostentatious collar around her throat. It's a tight-fitting band of pure gold, studded with dozens of little diamonds and pearls. You can't see any sort of lock or buckle – somehow, it has been permanently sealed around her neck.“Whoa, whoa – hey! What do you think you're bleddy doin'?!” Aidan puts his argument with Mr. Samspon on hold as soon as he sees you with the bestial woman in your arms. “She's a slave o' the Shining Prince, boy. All you can do for her is put her out o' her misery.”“We were all the slaves of our Keepers once,” Brock retorts, horrified by the Cornishman's disregard for the woman's life. “We're free now though. Why shouldn't we try to help her, so she can be free too?”“The difference is that we escaped from our Keepers because we desired to be free,” Lady Welby remarks, her voice soft. She seems a little harrowed by her close call with death. “We chose to be Lost. If she has no desire to escape, then she is an enemy. If she is incapable of escape, then she is inept. We stand to gain nothing by helping her.”“I'm not doing this for our benefit.” You almost snap those words as your temper rises. “What should I do instead – leave her to die out here, maybe send her back to her master? Helping her is the right thing to do.”“Oh, Saul.” A wistful sigh floats from Lady's lips. “Mr. Sampson, what do you have to say about this?”“His heart in the right place.” The old spectre sounds a little hoarse and feeble. It's not surprising, considering that half of his throat was missing a few minutes ago. “It is possible that the Prince has broken her, that she has lost her humanity forever. Yet we would be just as inhuman as he is if we didn't give her a chance.”“I agree,” mumbles Virginia. Just three syllables, nothing more.“Bleddy hell,” grumbles Aidan. “That's four to two in your favour then, Saul. Guess we're takin' the girl back, but where are we goin' to keep her?”>Give her to Sissy and the Locals. They have the most experience with helping fresh-faced Lost acclimate to life in the Duchy, they'd do a better job than any Antiquarian.>Mr. Sampson's farmhouse. Judging from the old wraith's treatment of Alfie, he has a kind heart. He might be a bit soft, but he'll always value this changeling's well-being.>Lady Welby's antique shop. Brock has the heart, while Lady has the discipline. She might not be fond of this idea, but she'll give it a shot. She owes you her life, after all.>You'll take care of her yourself. Her durance in Faerie was a lot like yours – a whole lot of humiliation and agony. You have a better chance of helping her than anyone else.
>>5227261>Give her to Sissy and the Locals. They have the most experience with helping fresh-faced Lost acclimate to life in the Duchy, they'd do a better job than any Antiquarian.
>>5227261>You'll take care of her yourself. Her durance in Faerie was a lot like yours – a whole lot of humiliation and agony. You have a better chance of helping her than anyone else.How can we pass this up? First companion get!
>>5227266It’s me posting from phone, but to add to this: We’re the ones that decided to save her, nobody else really wants to take care of her, and with our altruistic nature it’s both in character to take her in as well as the best fit for the situation. Not to mention that having a changeling in our debt that owes us for saving her can only be a boon to us, especially if we start hanging out and working together often.
>>5227261>Lady Welby's antique shop. Brock has the heart, while Lady has the discipline. She might not be fond of this idea, but she'll give it a shot. She owes you her life, after all.
>>5227261>You'll take care of her yourself. Her durance in Faerie was a lot like yours – a whole lot of humiliation and agony. You have a better chance of helping her than anyone else.I'm a little taken aback that anyone at all is against taking her in. I can buy wariness regarding her still being loyal to Fake, but aside from that it just seems odd to want to kill her. I'm pretty sure most changelings except the absolute most mind-raped want to be free but just don't attempt it due to classic 'better the devil you know than the one you don't' and other abuser related stuff.I also don't buy that failing to escape means you are inept, I get that the Lost are more violent than most members of human society and that they form their own independent states or communities, but it isn't like they manage this due to a surplus of competence and unique intelligence and skill, they have supernatural abilities, a common background of trauma, and their appearances are hidden via magic bullshit. Our Keepers get a say in how easy it is to escape and some may be more competent and vigilant than others, nor due I buy the idea that if a Lost were taken again that they could escape through sheer will and competence, luck plays a considerable role.More members for our greater community means we are stronger as a whole assuming she isn't still loyal to Fake or excessively parasitic.
>Introduce her to Sissy and the Locals.Maybe we should also tell Sissy to prsent her to Todd, who suffered a similar fate to her.
>>5227261>>You'll take care of her yourself. Her durance in Faerie was a lot like yours – a whole lot of humiliation and agony. You have a better chance of helping her than anyone else.
QM? You alive?
“Don't worry about it. I'll keep an eye on her.”At your words, Aidan bursts out laughing. “You? The green boy who just came out o' Faerie a month ago is play the part o' a mentor for an even fresher Lost? Where are you goin' to bleddy keep her, in that banger o' yours?”“Though I do not agree with his choice of tone, I am afraid that Aidan does have a point.” Mr. Sampson's exasperation is obvious as he rubs his brow. “She needs somewhere secure, where there's no danger of her running away and hurting herself – or someone else. You cannot provide a safe environment for her, Saul. Surely you can see that.”“I said that I'll keep an eye on her.” Your cheeks darken. The wraith's concerns are something that you hadn't considered, yet they fail to change your mind. You can't help but feel some sort of connection with the woman. Maybe it's due to the cruelty that she suffered at the hands of her Keeper. The torment that she's gone through seems more like yours than anyone else's. Regardless of the reason, your course is set. “I'll manage. Have you decided how you'll handle Sita–”Before you can finish speaking, the ragged changeling in your arms suddenly begins to thrash. She writhes around madly and snaps at the air, her bestial teeth narrowly missing your arm. Despite your strength, holding the snarling woman still is a difficult task. The other Antiquarians stagger away from you while you try to desperately try to keep her under control.“Saul, hold her head still! Brock, the collar!” Lady Welby has taken charge of the situation and is already barking orders. After a moment of hesitation Brock anxiously makes his way closer, while you try to find a way to restrain the changeling hound's head in addition to the rest of her. Thankfully, you have size and strength of your side, while the poor woman is scrawny and starved. Once you have her skull locked in place, the clockwork man reaches out to touch his fingers against that collar – and a touch is all it takes. The golden band crumbles and disintegrates, falling away from the changeling's throat.While you have the power to restore broken objects with a simple touch, it appears that Brock has the ability to destroy intact ones just as easily.With the destruction of the collar, the changeling suddenly transforms. A great deal of her bestial traits suddenly dissolve and the woman's humanity return. Oh, her ears are still long, pointed and end in furry tufts, her teeth are still as fierce as a pit bull's and compared to a normal human, she is rather hirsute. Yet her furry pelt is gone, along with her canine paws and her warped posture. Her appearance is not the only thing that changes. Her squirming suddenly comes to a stop as she freezes, hit by the realisation that she is free...… And she starts bawling her eyes out.
Any efforts to console her fail but that's no surprise – she's just been liberated after years of being tormented by her Keeper. You weren't exactly at your best when you first emerged from the Hedge either. Lady explains that the collar served as a symbol of the Shining Prince's ownership of the woman and that now that it is gone, she is free to become more than one of his many hounds. You don't quite understand the technicalities of it, but that will come with time. Fey magic is still rather new to you.It would be a bit demeaning if you carried the woman around everywhere, so you set her down on the earth. You remain close by though, just to make sure that she doesn't run off. The rest of the Antiquarians eventually settle on burning Sita's body, along with the Prince's dead hounds. They'd rather not leave their remains for the Hedge's denizens to amuse themselves with and burying them in the mortal world would come with all sorts of repercussions. Their bodies are gathered and once they are set ablaze by Aidan's gift, the six of you bid farewell to the departed Antiquarian and the changelings that you were forced to slay. The silence only broken by the crackle of Aidan's flames.None of you talk much as you make your way back through the Hedge, to that portal that you came through in the first place. The natives seem much more evasive than before – not surprisingly, considering the violence that you wrought in their realm. Stepping through the same archway that brought you to the Hedge in the first place, you emerge in the mortal realm. It seems so lifeless and devoid of colour, in comparison to that fey land.Even the journey back to the farmhouse is a quiet one. By this point, the changeling woman that you have rescued has stopped crying and fallen into a despondent silence. You try to talk to her and console her, but you find it hard to get anything out of her. Hell, you consider it a victory that you manage to learn her name: Jessica.The sombre atmosphere is only broken after you arrive at Mr. Sampson's home, long after midnight. Everyone else has changed out of their blood-stained clothes and gathered around the familiar table, to discuss how tonight went. Some Antiquarians are absolutely furious, while others are pleasantly surprised that there weren't more casualties.>Voice your displeasure. This was a complete shit-show and you're lucky that more of you didn't die. Surely there has to be a better way of doing things than this.>Voice your relief. Honestly, this could have gone a lot worse in so many different ways. Now that you look back, this whole undertaking went surprisingly well.>Remain quiet and neutral. If anyone does ask for your opinion, say something non-committal. You're not going to take sides with anyone just yet.>Jessica needs your attention more than the other Antiquarians. While they're busy bickering about the future, see if you can get anything else out of her.
>>5231625>Jessica needs your attention more than the other Antiquarians. While they're busy bickering about the future, see if you can get anything else out of her.One death isn’t all that bad all things considered
>>5231625Quickly say>Voice your relief. Honestly, this could have gone a lot worse in so many different ways. Now that you look back, this whole undertaking went surprisingly well.and then spend the rest of the meeting>Jessica needs your attention more than the other Antiquarians. While they're busy bickering about the future, see if you can get anything else out of her.I mean, we went up against a fucking True Fae. And we fucked up three times with its name, it's a wonder we aren't all dead or enslaved. One death is pretty lucky considering we saved all of Fake's victims in the Duchy and are preventing him from fucking with us in the foreseeable future..
>>5231625And welcome back Slag, was getting a bit worried for a minute there. Next time you have to stop updating for a while, let us know beforehand so we're not worrying whether you're dead or not.
>>5231625>Jessica needs your attention more than the other Antiquarians. While they're busy bickering about the future, see if you can get anything else out of her.If someone asks our opinion then quickly respond with...>Voice your relief. Honestly, this could have gone a lot worse in so many different ways. Now that you look back, this whole undertaking went surprisingly well.It's clear our methods work, going face to face with a member of the Gentry plus his retinue and coming out with most of us alive and rescuing another person is not something almost any other group or individual can claim to have done. As already mentioned previously it took basically the entire Duchy to kill two of these fuckers one at a time, sure we didn't kill him but we basically secured our community from the predation of this fake prince while securing both Alfie's future and that of anyone escapees from Charming that join up with us for as long as they stay in our community.We should still focus on Jessica unless someone prompts us to speak though, the after action discussion isn't that important, if our motley wants to take a more cautious approach or avoid confronting the Gentry directly at all in the future then that is up to them.>>5231638I'll second the warm welcome back and the request to let us know before seemingly vanishing.
>>5231625>Jessica needs your attention more than the other Antiquarians. While they're busy bickering about the future, see if you can get anything else out of her.
>>5231625>Voice your relief. Honestly, this could have gone a lot worse in so many different ways. Now that you look back, this whole undertaking went surprisingly well.
“Listen,” you begin as you try to voice your own opinion, “I know we lost Sita but considering the risks, that went pretty well. I mean, the thirteen of the Finest have died over four years of fighting the Keepers, and they've only ever killed two. The life of one Antiquarian for one less Keeper that the Duchy has to worry about isn't a bad trade.”“There would be plenty more o' us dead if we weren't so bleddy lucky!” Aidan is back to his bombastic self. “The Shinin' Prince was arrogant enough to let his servants do all the fightin' for him. If he got stuck in, we'd be lucky if any o' us got out alive! Hell, if it weren't for your talents, we'd have lost Sampson 'n Welby both! That's what I'm sayin', we got lucky and we can't afford to keep on guessin' at names like this...”Your attention drifts away as he starts ranting about finding a weapon to wield against the Gentry. Normally you'd listen and contribute a little more, but you have Jessica on your mind.Apparently Mr. Sampson regularly uses his home as a safehouse for troubled changelings, as he had a change of clothes lying around for her. Nothing special, just a cheap tracksuit that hangs loosely off of Jessica's figure. Though you offered her a chair when you arrived, she opted to sit on the floor instead and that where she can be found now, resting on the floor behind the doorway, hugging her knees to her chest.You're able to get a better look at Jessica now, to take note of more than just her supernatural features. Her skin is surprisingly dark with an almost Mediterranean complexion, while her dirty blonde hair is a tangled, wild mess that's yet to be washed. She's pretty tall for a woman but like everyone else, she's tiny compared to you. As you approach her, she doesn't seem to take much notice of her – her big brown eyes are far too occupied staring into space, while a puzzled expression rests on her face. She doesn't seem to be listening to the ongoing debate.“Sorry, they usually get carried away like this,” you say, trying to break the ice as you crouch down beside her. She doesn't react. “I'm Saul, by the way. I know I already introduced myself on the way here, but I figure I'd try again.” No response. “We're on your side. You're one of the Lost, just like us. We've all gone through hell, just like you have. We're here to help.” Nothing. “I'm pretty new to this whole thing myself. I only managed to get free about a month ago and–”“This is just a dream, isn't it?” Her voice is so small that you barely manage to hear her. It's also surprisingly posh, for someone who was condemned to be a hound of the Shining Prince.“... No, this is the real world. You're free now.”
“Do you know how many times I tried to escape? How many times I tried to get that collar off? I lost count. There was no way out, I gave up, I hunted and tracked and killed and did whatever Master wanted and... and now I am supposed to believe that it's all over?” She sounds incredulous, hysteria slowly bubbling to the surface. “There's no way this is real.”“Well that's too bad, because it is.” You're a little put off that she isn't more thankful. You just saved her from a lifetime of slavery. “Don't call him Master either, he's got no power over you now. We call him the Shining Prince.” The Antiquarians have fallen back on that old name, since you're incapable of using the real one now. “Pinch yourself if you still don't believe me. This isn't a dream, Jessica.”“The Shining Prince,” she repeats, mulling over the title. “It suits him. So, I really am free then. There's no going back.”“Not unless you go running back into his arms,” you grumble. “Listen, there's a lot of Lost like us in Cornwall. Together, we're the Duchy and we look out for each other. So long as you remain with us, you're safe from him.” You pause to think for a moment. “Though uh, I hope you're not looking for revenge or anything like that. We won't be able to help you with that.”No matter how much you talk to Jessica, her demeanour doesn't seem to improve. She's not overjoyed now that she's free again, she's not terrified of being reclaimed and she's not even hungry for revenge. She just seems solemn, but you suppose that every Lost reacts to the trauma of their durance in a different way.While you were busy with your new charge, the other Antiquarians came to a decision. The next time that you meet, you will discuss potential artefacts that could be used against the Gentry and how you might be able to acquire them. With that out of the way, you part ways and head back to Trebelwith in Lady Welby's car.By the time you arrive in that sleepy seaside town that you call home, light is starting to leak over the horizon in the east. You part ways with Lady and Brock and lead Jessica to your home – that shitty little Volvo that you've been living out of for the past week or two. It's not much, but it's yours. There's no complain from the other changeling as you let her lie across the backseat, while you doze off in one of the front. Your back will hate you in the morning, but it's the least that you can offer Jessica. She deserves whatever comfort you can give her, after the hell that she has lived through.
And with that, I'll conclude Hopelessly Lost: A Chronicle of Darkness. At the very least, this first thread is over. The end might be a bit rushed but I was running low on inspiration and due to a multitude of factors, I don't have the time to give this quest the attention that it deserves.If there's interest, there is the possibility that I might pick this back up in the future, once I manage to work up the inspiration again, sort out my real life responsibilities and get a few solid ideas in my head. I've already got a few ideas for Saul's first dive into politics and exploring the courts.If you've got any criticism, feel free to share it. In addition, I'll allow for some character progression and let you guys to upgrade one of Saul's abilities or gain a new one, in the event that I do pick up this quest again.Choose one of the following.>Your ability to perform superhuman feats of strength is enhanced. This burst of strength now surpasses that of other changelings and goblins that have the same ability.>Your ability to heal the physical trauma of a target is enhanced. This ability can now be used to cure the target of any toxins and pathogens.>Your ability to restore a broken object is enhanced. Instead of restoring it to working condition, it is restored to mint condition.>Your ability to cause a target to cower or flee is enhanced. You can now use this ability on changelings and goblins as well.>You may spend three points of glamour to render a non-Keeper target helpless as they suffer from intense vomiting. You may spend one point of glamour for the same outcome if you consume some of their hair, blood or dead skin as you use this ability.>You may spend three points of glamour to animate any handheld object for a few minutes and make it do your bidding. You may spend one point of glamour for the same outcome if the object is a gift that was genuinely and generously given to you by someone else.
>>5233868>You may spend three points of glamour to render a non-Keeper target helpless as they suffer from intense vomiting. You may spend one point of glamour for the same outcome if you consume some of their hair, blood or dead skin as you use this ability.This could be pretty useful in a fight, and I'd say we're strong enough as it is. I am pretty tempted for the upgrade to repair, but whatever. Also I'm loving the quest so far Slag, hope you come back soon as this was my favorite on the board.
>>5233868>Your ability to perform superhuman feats of strength is enhanced. This burst of strength now surpasses that of other changelings and goblins that have the same ability.
>>5233868>Your ability to cause a target to cower or flee is enhanced. You can now use this ability on changelings and goblins as well.I think when upgraded our ability to make people flee is better. While the other ability is good for incapacitating people and keeping them in range to attack them it is costly and I think it is harder to get the point reduced version. Alternatively if we got stuck in a fight with 3 glamour points to spare I'd rather have our insane strength now upgraded to just overmatch them.The 'make people flee' ability is useful if we have the initiative or even when reacting as long as we haven't been wronged yet. If we stumble upon an encounter where someone is mugging someone else we can non-violently solve the situation for cheap or even use it on multiple opponents. Good for solving other peoples problem that we are intervening in and good as long as we haven't been 'wronged' yet.Thanks for your honestly and giving a heads up on the quest coming to an end/hiatus. I don't really have any criticism that comes to mind, every choice felt either meaningful or like it had some character expression behind it. Without rolls I guess you could say things were very deterministic but I honestly prefer it the way things were done rather than using anything to do with World of Darkness's dice systems.Hope to see this quest back soon, or failing that, another quest from you sometime in the future.
>>5233868>Your ability to heal the physical trauma of a target is enhanced. This ability can now be used to cure the target of any toxins and pathogensMedic Saul. Maybe we should get that apartment now that we've got dog ladyIt's a real shame QM, this one was really good, I'd love to see it pick back up. Thanks for running.
>>5233868>You may spend three points of glamour to render a non-Keeper target helpless as they suffer from intense vomiting. You may spend one point of glamour for the same outcome if you consume some of their hair, blood or dead skin as you use this ability.
>>5233868>Your ability to cause a target to cower or flee is enhanced. You can now use this ability on changelings and goblins as well.
>>5226242I can see several loopholes in this bargain with Fake, even ones that the Duchy can exploit, but I'm not sure trying to make one member of the Gentry that's been functionally defanged kill itself is worth it or not.
>>5234394agreed, the True Fey are still living beings with goals and ambitions so killing one would mean lots of masterless goblins and changlings and many defenseless estates. The potential power vacuum is not worth it
Rolled 2 (1d2)With two votes each, I'll roll a die to break the tie between these two options:>1: Your ability to cause a target to cower or flee is enhanced. You can now use this ability on changelings and goblins as well.>2: You may spend three points of glamour to render a non-Keeper target helpless as they suffer from intense vomiting. You may spend one point of glamour for the same outcome if you consume some of their hair, blood or dead skin as you use this ability.
Forgot the signature blue font colour for out-of-character stuff, but it looks like we have a winner:>2: You may spend three points of glamour to render a non-Keeper target helpless as they suffer from intense vomiting. You may spend one point of glamour for the same outcome if you consume some of their hair, blood or dead skin as you use this ability.In addition, your maximum amount of Glamour points increases from 3 to 4.Though I have a few ideas rattling about in my head for the next thread (a deep dive into changeling court politics), I doubt it'll be for another couple of months at the very least.In the meantime, if anyone wants to suggest anything that Saul should try doing in the downtime, like >>5234099's suggestion about renting a cheap flat, feel free to post it. It would give me something to launch off when/if I start the next thread in the distant future.
>>5238967Go about seeing how we can repay those favors we owe
>>5238967Yeah, this >>5238970I can't think of anything else at the moment.