Author Topic: A cracked, leather-bound journal  (Read 867 times)

BioSpark

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Re: A cracked, leather-bound journal
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2018, 12:23:16 PM »
Erasmus has been working hard.  I stepped out of my room this morning and was met with what can only be described as an industrial nightmare.  He hasn't modified the pub, no, he has infected it.  I respect him, I truly do, he has a very well developed work ethic and a decently logical approach to life but good lord, he loves his toys.  I am quite afraid to approach once he's truly engrossed in a task.  This one I do not approve of, however.  He could have asked prior to installing the beating heart of a fully automated delivery system right outside of where I sleep.  Thankfully whatever magic has created my tiny piece of heaven also would appear to suppress the worst of the noise.

I suppose I did threaten to practice my craft upon his wife in the same way that he's practiced his here.  A fair trade, maybe.

More chat.  We had a meeting lined up with a representative of the Isaacs.  Can't say as I trust them particularly but then neither do the others.  I cannot tell if they are becoming better judges of character or are slipping further into their fey selves and naturally mistrusting humans.  I am sure that if it's the latter, it will only serve to further drive the wedge that separates us socially.  I went to the appointed meeting place with Al to "case the joint" as it were.  Quite how Al can discern any details about an environment through his near-constant inebriation is a question that would thwart the finest minds of a generation.  I would surely love to see how even a few days of sobriety would affect him.

The park was pleasant enough.  The meeting was to be in a public place, probably as safe as could be hoped for, so Al took his position and I mine in the guise of a failing artist.  Thinking on it, actually trying to look deliberately like a failure, like a social leech who believes in the strength of words and expects society to compensate him for his meaningless craft, maybe such things would better single me out as a fey.  Very little happened, nothing suspicious was witness although I do believe that the park is home to some nature spirits.  Childlike, innocent things.  Rather like those abominable poppets we saw a while back.  Explains where they're being harvested from, I suppose.  It might do to alert the fey authorities (ha!  Authority...) and tell them of our findings, arrange some protection but I rather prefer the idea of letting them roam free and possibly following their trail should they get kidnapped again.

We got a call from Erasmus.  He'd found Xander and brought him, broken and bloody, to his lab.  He needed medical attention quickly, attention only I and Al could provide.  But no, dear friend, trouble yourself not with this trifling matter.  I shall attend to his needs with all haste as, after all, I have spent a short time at this lab and remember its secret location.  Whilst not formally qualified, I am profoundly learned in the ways of medicine.  He will be in the surest of hands, receive the best of care.

The leprechaun still trusts me.  Bless.  He's a shocking judge of character.

As I stepped through the door, the poor lad was quite the sight.  A man-sized squirrel, barely breathing and lashed to a chair.  I would have to hope that pooka biology in animal form resembled the familiar layout of a human's.  But what of an alternative?  After all, first aid can be a tricky business at the best of times and these were hardly ideal conditions.  A malfunctioning device span on the floor, emitted steam, made a whistling noise rising slowly in pitch.  Who could say if it was stable?  Why, it would be terrible, surely, if the nosy little rodent were to perish here and now.  "I did everything I could", I would cry, "I feared that one of the machines would certainly combust and was unable to move him in time!".  Plausible.  ABSOLUTELY plausible.  And yet, as I drew the blade and prepared to relieve myself of one more inconsequential burden, something stayed my hand.  Ah.  That blasted oath.  I KNEW it folly to commit in such a way!  This contract was necessary, unfortunately, if I wished to retain my newfound abilities.  And surely, had I let him die, the others would know.  They would suspect, without evidence of course, and things would be... difficult.  No, now is not the time.  He will make further mistakes, of that I am sure, and like so many of life's little problems, this one may well resolve itself if left alone.

He will live.  I have seen to it.  But know this, my sweet patient: you'll have a much harder time trying to work out what I'm up to from now on.  We'll see how you react once you realise, shall we?

I waited a short while in the hopes that the device would do the job for me then contacted Erasmus.  Informed him of the state of the device but bumbled over the details to feign confusion and worry.  That would provide an alibi but it wasn't necessary, the machine held.  As the others came back, I learned that Xander had been poking around where he didn't belong (the revelation of the century), and had found a store of demon traps.  Presumably trying to take one, he'd set it off and nearly cooked himself.  They say he wasn't acting of his own will, that he was being coerced.  I believe none of this.

The others have set off in search of this premises.  They are welcome to it.  I, for one, am unwilling to leave Xander alone.  If he dies due to poor treatment then as the most qualified medical practitioner present, the responsibility may be seen as mine.  I have ensured his safe return to the Carp's Tongue and am providing further care.  Jake believes that the "magic pub" will heal him because it hastens the progress of recovery through a hangover.  He is unconscious, he is bleeding, he may have a concussion.  I am not going to rely on fey magic, unpredictable and treacherous at best, to heal this.  I find Jake's attitude quite disgusting, to be frank.  He even suggested that the ravens would be able to inform us of any developments.  The ravens!  If they were able to diagnose a severed arm, let alone any degradation in a potentially complex cranial injury is laughable in itself but even then, the wretched things would only get distracted by seeing their own reflection somewhere and forget what they were doing.

I feel that for the most part, I am in the company of dependant children.  Their attitude will be their undoing and not, this is certain, by my hand.
Bless the children of the world
Give us all a chance to grow and live
Give us all you've got to give
Bless the children of the world

Bless the children of the world
We're the one's who'll have to carry on
Even though all hope is gone
Bless the children of the world

-Don Henley

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Re: A cracked, leather-bound journal
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2018, 02:44:52 PM »
Spectre seemed stable enough.  I am hardly any real judge (I taught myself barbershop surgery through personal experimentation and library books after all) but the more obvious wounds seemed to have stopped weeping and there was no degredation of pulse so it seemed safe enough to move the body.  Rather an ordeal, considering my physical ability to lift anything larger than an average dog so there was an element of dragging involved.  I may have left a terrible mess but I am quite sure that Yanni would rather have a living member of the party than a clean bar.  He claims to be concerned about his premises' hygiene rating, that it would not have been appropriate to operate in the kitchens.  What better place for meat?  I would argue that were he truly concerned about the public opinion of his bar and its level of cleanliness, he would do well to have Jake, Penicillin's greatest foe, out on his ear.

Spectre floated in one of the more shallow pools in the bath house, the water slowly turning a warm pink.  Chlorine probably shouldn't enter an open wound but... well, he'll live.  I have made sure of that.  The water was important, it allowed me to examine the body properly without the burden of having to manhandle it around like a drunken seal.

Whilst unconscious, it seemed like rather a fine time to test the spoils of this little endeavour.  Quite effective, they are, and certainly simple to operate.  Or rather, would be simple if they fit on my diminished cranium.  I am actually surprised that there were no layers of bizarre security wrapped around the damnable things.  I took a short look at the body, most things internally appeared to be in basic working order.  Nothing leaking, at least.  I then turned my attention to his equipment and, discovering nothing to cause undue concern, left it at that.  Mostly gadgets, a few tools of the scallywag's craft that I do not completely understand.  Odd little collection of knives, though.  That the others think that I am the one to be wary around.  I never would have thought that the little snake had it in him!

As usual, we were to have another lovely party.  I was brought up to believe that there are words for people who solve all their problems with drugs, promiscuity and alcohol.  The unseelie lot came out in force, goodness only knows how they all fit, but so far it appears that none of them have infiltrated my room.  I am thankful; it would have taken weeks to get the stink of fey out of there.  I established a small corner away from the shrieking extravagance and mirth for those of a calmer disposition to have an adult conversation.  The quiet folk and the sluagh seem to get on well enough though I cannot say I trust the sluagh as far as I could throw any of them.  God help me but I think they may be my kind of people.  I am a little worried that I find myself thinking like that.  Just the thoughtful ones, though.  Not the back biting, snide, gossiping sort.  Seems that rather too many of them are given to sipping absinthe and writing poetry about how much they like to sob in groves of dead trees.  Their privileged, financially secure and socially unchallenged plight is ever, EVER so tragic, of course.

The unseelie queen took some time out of her busy schedule to honour us with a conversation.  I previously found myself enjoying her grace and tact but, as she stepped away from the mortals in the pub and flared off her glamour like a flamboyant incendiary device, I came to realise that she is as much of a peacock as any of the others.  Naive to assume otherwise, of course.  She stripped and entered our shared bath.  Unnecessary.  I believe her to only be baiting the others (excepting Erasmus who seems to be above such things).  To summarise our discussion, the current owner of Ganesh's tooth would appear to be the person possibly responsible for us all awakening at the same time (give or take, quite how my years of torture fit into this I do not know) and also the one trying to force us to project into our past lives.  All of this for their own personal gain.  There was discussion about handing Reynard into my custody for a little intimate tete a tete, something I am quite keen on, and with any luck this other individual will also be treated similarly.  I cannot say I care for the feeling of being manipulated over such a long period.  I shall certainly have a few choice questions as, I suspect, will Mr. Patch who is rather gifted in the arts of manipulation of a different kind.

Our guests mostly left.  A few hangers on.  I tried to force myself into a few physical encounters if only to probe the depths of depravity that these beasts are capable of but was, alas, not to find success.  Could have been excellent blackmail material there, more's the pity.  Morning came, bringing sore heads, upset tummies and mild amusement.  Suddenly, without warning, every one of the blighters pricked up their ears and fled like scalded cats.  While this was hilarious, I felt the rush that they obviously did, the familiar wash of energy from another demon trap but on an enormous scale.  We now stand on the roof of the Carp's Tongue.  Police are gathering to the south.  This certainly seems to have shaken up the community.  There are fair folk running in all directions, diving into the Thames, screaming and wailing as far as the eye can see.

I do not say this very often but I am quite sure that today will be a GOOD day.
Bless the children of the world
Give us all a chance to grow and live
Give us all you've got to give
Bless the children of the world

Bless the children of the world
We're the one's who'll have to carry on
Even though all hope is gone
Bless the children of the world

-Don Henley

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Re: A cracked, leather-bound journal
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2018, 12:40:51 PM »
I looked through the dust cloud to the scene of the incident.  Absolutely swarming with police.  Quite the enigma; the explosion had only just occurred and yet here were London's finest already on site.  Either they'd been tipped off or they were all Isaacs, hard to tell.  No matter.  We think we have identified the source of the explosion, the group suspects it may have something to do with a glamour capacitor being stored beneath a nearby tower.  There's fey thinking for you.  Bottle up and store one of the most unstable energy sources available, something which is the raw stuff of literal magic, and hope that nothing bad happens.  You may as well build a nuclear reactor in a major population centre.  It'd certainly be more useful for the community at large...

We sent the ravens to see what they could find at the ruins.  Nothing much.  If I had my way we'd have culled the wretched things already.  I do not like how they appear to be able to enter rooms without the need of doors or windows.  That smells a bit of pooka to me.  Ah, but hark at the judgement of the boy in the shadows.

Time to talk to some contacts.  I took a different form, today, that of an exhausted 30-something nurse.  If only this illusion physically altered me in any way.  A few extra feet of height would be invaluable at times.  We set off in search of the Nightingale or the Raven or some other bird-themed individual.  I sincerely elieve that all this alias nonsense is unhealthy.  I use my human name, it is unique and identifies me.  To refer to one's self by an invented pseudonym seems terribly egocentric.  "Nay sir, I shall refer to myself as Reginald Holt no longer and shall instead be known to all as the Silver Starling".  They all have delusions of grandeur, aspirations to be perhaps a gentleman thief or a villain from a radio drama.  It all stems from this over-appreciation of art.  Too much fanciful thinking, not enough damned logic.  And some of these people fancy themselves superior to humans?  Laughable.

The premises was guarded.  Jake and Al wanted to talk to the guards posted outside, stood next to an unmarked van.  I looked inside; 10 men armed to the teeth.  I suspect that glamour and longevity are no defence against ballistic trauma.  It would almost have been more entertaining to let this situation play out, to watch from a distance and had it not been for that promise perhaps I would but no, no blood would be spilled today.  Al tried to start a fight for reasons known only to him and his lager.  Buffoon.  The rest tried to talk their way in.  To talk their way past armed guards that their friend had tried to fight, that had told them "no, come back later" repeatedly, that were clearly in no mood to negotiate.  Then a wave of magic blew past us, all anger and fearful emotion tied into it which brielfy removed some of the tension.  It seemed to make them want to enter all the more but I took cover behind the... ugh... "Feymobile" and looked inside.  A woman in Victorian dress, wild black hair, maid's uniform, clearly beside herself with fear and concentrating absolutely on the closed door which I now felt was heavily warded against magic.  There would be no opening that door without being very badly hurt.  So yet another glamour-addled shut in, unable to cope with a reasonable society and choosing to live, instead, in the comfort and safety of a world of her own creation.  Glamour is a foul thing, really.  It seems so corrupting, plugging itself directly into one's ego before dragging those in its grip down to the lowest depths of depravity and decadence.  Will this woman ever be rehabilitated, get the help she needs?  No, I suspect she'll be served wine and have songs sung to her.

Onward again to ask Reynard a few questions.  He was genuinely stupid enough to remain in the same location as we'd found him last.  He must have expected us, surely.  He tried to do his disappearing act, changing to a fox and bolting.  It went as well as last time.  Worried that he would expect the hole in the floor trick, I tried something a little more subtle.  The illusion of a broken neck slowed him down quite nicely but when that did not serve to completely stop him, we instead took his eyes.  Mr. Patch is good at eyes.

For a brief moment, I felt the shape of his fear, all jagged and stinking.  It was exquisite.  Not for a moment would I worry that I had surrender to my Unseelie nature, no, but to see justice delivered unto those that truly deserve it?  That has nothing to do with glamour, dreaming and the like.  Simply schadenfreude.

Outside again, in an alley.  We prepared to drag Reynard into the van for a quick chat.  The van came around, we shoved him into a lidded bin until we were ready and the devil vanished.  I think he can teleport.  Disgusting, I was so, so close!  I could have learned so much about fey biology in such a short span of time and taught one of those worthless pooka a valuable lesson in the bargain!  If we ever lay our hands on him again, he will be very sorry.  Unfortunately I am quite certain that even by fey standards, we have now committed several crimes so perhaps it would be better to let this dog lie for a while.

Tomorrow we shall split up, cover more ground.  I am to take Al to see the Unseelie court by the reasoning of my being affiliated with them.  He says he would like to get to know me a little better.  This must be the first time he has shown an interest in anything he cannot imbibe or mate with in some time.  I am quite sure that I feel honoured.  All I can hope for is that he keeps his mouth shut and doesn't try to let his fists do the talking again.  Or maybe it would be better if he did.  Maybe a few days in the caring but forced custody of the dark ones would do wonders for curing his addictions.  Dry the little imp out a bit, then we'll see how cheerful he is.  Rest assured, my friend, if you make an enemy of these people, I absolutely will not support you.  Cursed by a promise or not.
Bless the children of the world
Give us all a chance to grow and live
Give us all you've got to give
Bless the children of the world

Bless the children of the world
We're the one's who'll have to carry on
Even though all hope is gone
Bless the children of the world

-Don Henley

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Re: A cracked, leather-bound journal
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2018, 12:41:28 PM »
Double post, this week.  This was originally intended as a supplement to one of those recalled memory scenarios but seeing as we're close to the end, it probably works as a dream sequence.



October 5th, 1915, Mrs O'Donovan's classroom

Frederick looked down at himself.  This was new.  He was in his fey form, Persistence Clearwater, rather than taking the form of one of his past selves.  This setting was familiar, a place of tiny tables and tiny chairs, a place of learning for enquiring little minds.  He has fond memories of this place.  Suddenly, a commotion from outside, the ringing of a bell in the distance.  Children begin to file in and he still recognises them all.  Alice Taylor, Jerry Parker, Pete O'Toole, all of his old friends from back in the days where he made friends rather than accumulating indebted resources.  At the back, the most familiar one of all.  A 5 year old Freddy Connor.  He felt a lurch.  What was this meant to mean, if anything?

The children took their places, said their morning prayers (as was the fashion) and sat down to learn some basic science.  Mrs O'Donovan was a kindly soul and reconigsed quite quickly that Freddy really couldn't be taught anything from the current syllabus that he didn't already know so she tended to turn a slightly blind eye to him talking in lessons.  After all, he was often helping the other children and teaching them, she suspected, more effectively that she was.  She'd frequently change Freddy's designated seat to give some of the struggling kids a little leg up.  Today, Freddy was talking to Susan Holmes, a very friendly little girl but not destined for academic greatness.  Persistence moved to his former desk, an apparition in a presentation that he himself was to star in.  Very peculiar.

"I really like your pencil case, Susie."

She looked over.  Freddy was a strange child but well liked.  Being young as they were, it hadn't occurred to them that a pale, slightly sickly looking peer should be the subject of ridicule or intimidation.

"My mummy bought it for me in the summer.  It's my favourite colour."

"I really like it.  Would you give it to me?"

That gave her pause.  This sounded like a bad thing.  She wasn't sure why.

"No.  Not for anything."

"Not even if I do all your sums for the next week?"

Susan, already proving to have an abysmal grasp of arithmetic, looked into her future.  In one scenario, she had a pencil case.  In another, she didn't have a pencil case but could instead have a perfect 10 out of 10 for her maths test on Friday.  That would be perfect leverage with her parents to get something better than a pencil case.  She silently pushed the case over to Freddy.  Persistence remembered now, this was his first trade.  This is where his life of dealing and social manipulation started.  Both parties satisfied, he'd lost nothing of substance, she'd gained much.  It was so innocent.


February 4th, 1918, playground
Persistence, suddenly, found himself in the open.  A gravel floor surrounded by plenty of grass with a red brick building nearby.  Children ran and played.  Behind the building, two very large boys stood over another, much smaller boy.  One of the larger boys remained silent while the other, obviously the thinker, did the talking.

"Heard you've been telling lies, Jim"

The small child began to shake visibly.

"I never told nobody any lies, Johnny!  Who says I have, then?"

"Dun't matter.  I'm not a grass, Jim.  I'm gonna tell you one truth fing, though.  You keep doing what you're doing..."

The silent child punched the smaller one in the kidneys.  He fell to his knees in tears.

"... and there's gonna be a lot more of this.  You'd better learn your place quick, mate."

On the other side of the playground, hidden in plain sight in a crowd of children, Freddy Connor shook his head slowly and turned away.  Jim didn't tell lies.  In honesty, the boys who had beat him had no idea who he was.  Jim barely spoke to the other kids which made him an easy target for a little social experiment.  Freddy would soon go to a member of staff, tell them there'd been a nasty fight, bring a teacher over.  Jim would see that Freddy, too small to intervene himself, had done all he could and brought someone to help.  He would see Freddy's concern, his willingness to help a friend and would, in turn, owe him a favour down the line.  To think, those ignorant Miller twins had been willing to physically beat someone for the cost of not letting on about their mother's drinking problem!  Persistence smiled.  This was a significant moment, too.  It was the moment he realised that he didn't need to hurt people when he could twist others into doing it on his behalf.  It would be the first in a long, disgraceful chain of arrangements which would lead to him, despite appearing pale and emaciated, being feared by every soul who truly knew him.


July 10th, 1920, a middle class residential area, Horsell
Another place.  The most familiar of all, his childhood home.  Unfamiliar feelings of joy welled up in the shriveled heart of Persistence as he saw his parents again, alive and well.  He never learned how they died.  He'd never had their deaths confirmed but it was foolish to assume them living at his age.  After all, they'd aged normally.  A great number of children stood in their large dining room, laughing and singing.  It was a celebration, his tenth birthday.  A mundane affair compared to the revelry he'd witnessed among the fey but for a ten year old boy, it was the grandest social occasion imaginable with guests and presents (mostly books) beyond his wildest dreams.  On one corner of the presents table sits a stuffed bear, newly unwrapped, a present from a distant Aunt who didn't really know how old Freddy was but had quite kind intentions.  Persistence saw a tag on its ear: "Edward T. Bear, comforter and pyjama set".  Ah yes, the day he received the bear with the hollowed out body.  Mr. Patch had aged terrribly.
Detached from his previous perception of the experience, Persistence freely wandered the crowds, unheard and unseen.  He eavesdropped on the conversations of those he'd considered his nearest and dearest.

"I didn't want to come either but you KNOW what would happen if we didn't."
"You won't believe what I heard about the skinny man.  He's done horrid things."
"They say his mum didn't give birth to 'im.  Say they found 'im in a Dracula's castle.  He's not 'uman, 'im.  He 'in't one of us."
"Somebody should hurt HIM one day, see how big he thinks he is then."
"Just lucky he has all his big mates, that's all I'm sayin'..."

So.  That's how things had always been.  Nobody truly wanted to be near him; they were just afraid.  Well, good.  False friends bought with threats, wasn't that only way of life he'd known?  The skinny man, indeed.  The kind of name children would reserve for a monster to justify their fear of the dark or a noise in the night.  Ha, perhaps he'd been Sluagh in his heart all along!  Perhaps he wasn't born fey, he'd merely been TURNED into this monstrous, inhuman thing by a filthy, entitled society that simply couldn't accomodate him!

No... not couldn't accomodate.  No, correct the terminology, correct the intent: "wouldn't".  Prejudiced, simple minded, spoiled wretched brats, the lot of them!

This vision lasted some time.  He saw the cake come out, more singing, extinguishing of his ten candles.  He made his wish.  THAT wish.  The wish which had robbed him of his future by eternally prolonging his past.  He tried to clap his hand over young Freddy's mouth, prevent it from occurring but alas, he had no influence here.  He howled in frustration as he heard his young self utter the words "I wish life could be like this forever".  He wept.  It was so bitterly unfair.

Evening came.  Time for a big boy to go to bed.  His heart leapt.  Perhaps, from this unique vantage point, totally unseen he could stand outside the house and finally see what had paid him a visit this night.  A clue at last!  He waited impatiently, eyes darting nervously from his sleeping self to the window, back and forth.  One hour passed.  Two hours.  He strode to the window, looked out through the night and realised that due to his ethereal nature, he could pass freely through the wall.  Gravity had no hold over him.  He stood outside the room, fully one storey up and waited, looking in through the window.  He felt a warmth in his hand, the hand which even in the dream still held Mr. Patch.  He felt a compulsion, impossible to refuse.  He leaned forward and, against his will, whispered quietly into the room.

"Little Freddy?  Freddy my love, wake up.  I've come to discuss something very, very important."

No.  No, no, no!  Not like this!

"You enjoy bargains and deals, do you not?  Sweet little Freddy, a boy on the verge of becoming a man, give me a trifling gift.  Grant me the innocence that you are so tragically close to losing and I shall grant you everything that your bright little mind could ever dream of."

Persistence wanted to vomit but his body, no longer under his control, wouldn't allow it.

"You want power?  Social status?  Control?  These are all very easily obtained by a thoughful person who knows how to use his words correctly."

This wasn't happening.  It was a trick, an illusion, he was being toyed with by those art-obsessed mongrels yet again!  He casually reached out with the hand holding Patch, its lone button eye shining with a faint red light in the dark.

"All easily obtained by someone who knows how to make a trade...

He focused the smallest of cantrips toward a nearby tree, bent its branches, formed a contract, written in simple, childish language in the shadows on his bedroom wall.

The fey did this to him.  Not he, no.  This was a false memory, an implanted dream, foul manipulation of his subconscious, vulnerable mind.  If he ever discovered precisely who was behind this, those who had prolonged his foul life would BEG for the release of death.

The bear's head turned to face him.  He heard his own voice, the tone mocking, speaking from its sewn mouth.

"What's wrong Freddy?  Didn't you like your birthday present?"



Frederick awoke to a rank smell, laid in a puddle of... well, at least he'd witnessed the others do things far less dignified...
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 02:41:56 PM by BioSpark »
Bless the children of the world
Give us all a chance to grow and live
Give us all you've got to give
Bless the children of the world

Bless the children of the world
We're the one's who'll have to carry on
Even though all hope is gone
Bless the children of the world

-Don Henley

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Re: A cracked, leather-bound journal
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2018, 12:53:40 PM »
Spectre has woken up.  He is talking, he is aware.  This poses a problem.  I would prefer he did not know of my efforts to prolong his life, more as a matter of personal pride than anything else, but he has started asking where his things are.  He is looking, poking his nose all over the freehold.  It would perhaps be folly to retain his little treasure for much longer lest one of my comrades let slip something that they should not.  I had not truly planned to retain them for the long term so it makes no difference.  If I cannot store them in Patch for fear of them being scratched, they are a burden.

Another day of interrogation.  We split up to make better use of the day.  Seeing as our ultimate goal is to find, apprehend and question Mordred, it would seem unlikely the the secret of demon traps is likely to be revealed to me in a timely manner.  Perhaps once we have extracted all of use from Mordred, I will be permitted a short while to play with him.

We had a variety of approaches, all based around the questioning of different parties.  I decided to ask the great unwashed about him since surely any fey of reasonable power would be unable to resist flaunting their glamour but alas, few recognised his physical description though I was eventually directed to a few watering holes which may have played host to his group.  The Snooty Fox was among them.  I will admit to apprehension about entering, whilst a confrontation with Reynard always brings a certain shine to my day, I am no fan of personal confrontation.  Should he decide to make our meeting a little more physical, I would not fare well.  Alas, the bartender knew nothing of Mordred and I confess that something got the better of me.  Curiosity?  Reynard certainly looked sorry for himself and learning more of what ailed him could prove a moderately useful, if small, boon in time.  Was it hubris?  Being around the fair folk seems to be bringing out a misplaced sense of confidence in me.  Regardless of the reason, I pulled up next to him.  Even my presence is terrible to him, it is quite plain to see, and I find that terribly satisfying.  Perhaps after all this is over with, I shall see about including Reynard in my personal retinue of special friends.  I am sure that Gerald would enjoy the company.

I did learn some things of interest.  He certainly fears me and also, almost as much, Al.  It makes sense, Al has physically beaten him before.  I explained that Al does not represent our group, that he often acts upon rash impulse and is something of a dangerous, volatile element.  A dual benefit there, seperate myself from Reynard's perception of our group while fostering his fear of Al.  I also learned that yes, he can teleport but at the cost of moderate injury.  He deserves it and I am pleased.  Alas, our conversation did not bear fruit that would aid our motley's greater goal.  I was loath to mention Mordred by name for I fear that Reynard has a number of dubious social connections.  He seems the sort.  Having to lie about what I knew and about why I was seeking information hobbled my progress but there was a certain look in the pooka's eye which gave me cause for immediate concern.  Too hungry, too eager to exploit my need.  Yes, he knows something alright but will he ever tell us?  I feel that even if faced with the prospect of actual death he would continue to weasel his way through any line of questioning.  Terrible shame that it would be so very obvious were I to carry an iron tool about my person.  Surely iron would convince him.  If he cannot be tamed through pain, perhaps prolonged wasting illness...

A phonecall.  Mordred is visiting the sites of our contributions to history and harvesting fey nonsense.  Wood shavings which might have a trace of blood from a druid slain by his own hand hundreds of years ago.  This sounds like homeopathy to me and beneath our concern but the others, more gifted with kenning than I, think this an omen.  I was sent with Yanni to the Unseelie court to inform the gentry.  The trip was uneventful and we quickly gained audience with the Queen.  Short and to the point, that meeting, though Yanni did add rather more flair to the telling than was necessary.  We have been provided thimbles which will grant us a degree of safety or identification through travel.  At this point, I wonder if I could present any future fey sentry with a pencil eraser and a knowing look.  It seems confidence in knowing that you have had authority granted to you is more meaningful than any identification if a damned thimble is to grant us passage.

I left the glasses at the Unseelie court.  The Queen may send them back in time.  It seemed the most plausible thing, leave them in a den of thieves, cheats and liars.  It's funny how far things that are lost can travel, isn't it?

After some discussion, it would make sense to investigate the only place that Mordred does not, in likelihood, know about.  He has forced us to remember our past experiences barring one in particular, the day we met for the first time at the fight of Gog and Magog, the death of the broken King.  Mordred would seem to be making a move to seize control of the land, somehow, using the power of our historic exploits and what they represent in approximately two weeks at Beltane.  Perhaps simply not believing in the power of our actions would be enough deterrent.  Weaponised banality.  Still, we shall investigate the site of the battle, try to prevent him from achieving anything of worth at the site of perhaps our most significant memory.  Hopefully our travelling there in person will not be exactly the clue he needs.

We have been given vehicles for use in finishing our great task.  Quite handsome, they are.  I shall have to retain my elder form for a while, it seems, as Yanni in his blessed state of trust believed me when I told him I know how to operate a motor vehicle.  Should my disguise slip, quite how we'll explain a prepubescent driver...

I have been entrusted with the care of a sports car.  Hardly a sensible conveyance but it runs well.  Too well.  At least if things go truly awry, I shall have a means of escape.
Bless the children of the world
Give us all a chance to grow and live
Give us all you've got to give
Bless the children of the world

Bless the children of the world
We're the one's who'll have to carry on
Even though all hope is gone
Bless the children of the world

-Don Henley

BioSpark

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Re: A cracked, leather-bound journal
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2018, 02:33:11 PM »
We may be nearing answers.  Whether we will find them to our liking, that has yet to be determined.

Yanni would prove to have not taken complete leave of his senses.  The Jaguar will be left in the safe hands of Sultan.  More's the pity, I shall have to strike it off the list of emergency escape plans.  A passenger again, as the others drank themselves insensible in the back I was left with time to think.  These people, my alledged family, I cannot understand any of them.  At times, they prove themselves capable, trusting, cooperative and socially adept creatures.  Dull witted, for sure, but not without their charms.  Yet at others, they show another side.  There will be a comment in jest, a callous misuse of language, an act of blithering irresponsibility.  Every time I think that perhaps, in time, I could come to adapt to this new life I am reminded of the inherent mental instability and two faced nature of this entire species.  Is that prejudice?  Certainly it is.  Is it lacking justification?  Hardly.  We shall accomplish our goals.  Our motley will make a name for itself.  In time, we will drift apart as we have in previous lives and once again I shall walk thr streets alone.  I look forward to it, truly I do, to spend my time in trusted, worthy company again.

The Unseelie court, this time.  I fancied that you could practically taste the angst from a mile's distance.  We met with Erasmus' wife, still no more respectful than before, and secured passage to the court.  This time her vehicle was less powerful, less dangerous, less likely to result in the death of us all, her supposedly beloved husband included.  Perhaps in years past she had Erasmus install safety equipment in her vehicles but "Safety first" does not strike me to be his modus operandi...

Now there's a sobering thought.  We all knew each other in other times and places?  Has there always been an Esme?  Have I, in some previous life, been married?  Presumbly our parents have not remained constant, seeing as they would by and large appear to have been human, but what other family members have followed us through time?  And what of our parents?  Was I left with an expecting Mr. and Mrs. Connor 107 years hence?  What of the "real" Frederick?  Probably eaten by the Unseelie lot...

The conversation was short.  I saw to that.  Yanni was clearly about the launch into his usual tale of grandeur and embellishment.  You can damn near see the glamour radiating from him once he gets into his stride.  We were presented with dice by way of identifying ourselves to be upon a mission for the Unseelie court.  And I thought that my idea of carrying around an eraser had been sarcastic.  Gods, I'm THINKING like them...

So, the White Hart and the Wild Hunt.  We were right on the site of that day, within striking distance at least, so we decided it best to investigate.  The king was abroad on said hunt.  I told his wife that, in all honesty, he was likely in grave danger and should be informed post haste.  We then, still remembering the way to the Hart (roughly), made our own way there.  While I do remember the route clearly, the landscape has changed dramatically in recent years, no doubt as a result of modern society's impact on the natural world around us, so my memory was of no use but Jake, thankfully lucid today, lead us.  Our rings proved useful in opening a more direct path, a previously unseen trod, so we took a short cut.

Queer place, the trod.  We had travelled the silver path before, of course, but I remember more about it this time.  It runs adjacent to the Umbra, a place of werewolves.  I am supposed to fear what lies beyond the paths well trodden, that beyond the mists lay worlds unknown even to the fae.  How are they not fascinated by that?  Yes, the wolves that reside within are a savage, brutish lot but I feel that a coordinated effort and liberal application of silver and flame could be most effective in culling the reeking fiends and from there, the possibilities... I would love to conduct some independent research.

We arrived at the Hart's lodging.  It was now a stone cairn with an iron gate, rusted but firmly locked.  All but Erasmus immediately began wailing about their fear of the iron, that it made them weak and sick.  I will grant you, iron certainly interferes with magic but sick?  We all had lives before our awakening.  Normal, well adjusted lives.  That a power awakening within would bring about an allergy to metal?  That we had, perhaps, avoided iron for our entire adult lives?  This is pure hypochondria!  I do not fear the stuff, as much as it mutes Patch's cantrips.  But then, I suspect that as fae go, I am not much of a fae.  More mundane than the others, for sure.

A gate was opened in the side of the cairn.  Jake entered, as did Erasmus and I.  At the heart, the Hart, now reduced to bones and encased in crystal which reacted to our rings.  He had been buried with his staff, a rather grand affair, so we seized it whilst Jake became increasingly concerned about respect for the dead and proper decorum.  That he is so concerned with his conduct in the presence of what is no longer even a corpse yet sees fit to parade around like an intoxicated child in the land of the living... ah, I'm looking for meaning in the madness again, aren't I?  I like Jake around graves.  He is entirely more manageable.

We left, staff in hand.  Mordred shan't have it.  We now travel back to the Unseelie court.  Werewolves are descending on the cairn behind us, no doubt Mordred has a hand in that, and Yanni has demanded we turn back if we have any interests in the safety of the realm.  Honestly, I do not.  It is a rotten, corrupted, decadent place and a change in leadership could be just what the doctor ordered in my humble opinion.  Who are we to say that Mordred would be worse?  It is arrogant to assume that we know what is best for the political future of an entire people.  Still, safety in numbers.  I shall keep with the herd for now.  Besides, if Mordred remembers my assassination attempt...
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 02:45:11 PM by BioSpark »
Bless the children of the world
Give us all a chance to grow and live
Give us all you've got to give
Bless the children of the world

Bless the children of the world
We're the one's who'll have to carry on
Even though all hope is gone
Bless the children of the world

-Don Henley

BioSpark

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Re: A cracked, leather-bound journal
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2018, 02:05:37 PM »
I grow increasingly concerned.  Throughout the course of our travels I have had the privilege of bearing witness to a world I never knew.  A lifetime of research into the unknown only to have proved that everything I secretly hoped was real was, indeed, real but hidden.  When I finally find what I was looking for, it's an entire nation, somehow able to hide themselves despite their flamboyant lunacy.  That does not concern me.  No, what scares me, deep down in my heart, is that through prolonged exposure to this world, this society, this fractured and dysfunctional culture, it is all beginning to make sense.  I catch myself in weaker moments joking with them, relying upon them, contributing my power to theirs.  Powers?  Not 6 months ago I was a homeless waif wandering the streets and now I can talk to rocks.  I accept this, it feels natural and comfortable like an old pair of gloves.  I am beginning to take such marvellous horrors for granted, without question, without seeking a rational explanation for their inner workings.  I used to question these things, I used to pry and experiment.  I fear I am losing what makes me myself.  If I do not exercise caution, perhaps Frederick Connor will die and give way to Persistence Clearwater like in so many other lives.  That thought is deeply upsetting.  My identity is all I have left and I will not offer it to whimsical fairytale beasts.  Not again.

These people are blinded to the true way of things, they understand nothing of how the world works and yet through their denial, their insistence on the power of tradition and story, they force their strange, sad way to work.  But how?  They produce naught but art, they refuse to learn, they have no interest in adapting, overcoming, evolving!  The same ways, the same beliefs and outdated, ancient ways of thinking which simply do not apply to a modern world!  Industry!  The dread iron!  Industry is crippling them, robbing them of their magic and they simply stand back, they watch, they force their creativity into other outlets, try to fight back the march of banal progress through art despite their obvious failure!  Arrows against the lightning, a loose band of artists trying to defend the little they know and hold dear against a future which has no place for them.

No.  I will not ally myself with these folk for long.  I will not back a side that clearly cannot thrive, that should long ago have consumed itself.  My grip on my humanity is stronger than that of the others; happy as they were to cast aside their identities for hope of something better.  Can a sluagh live as a man?  We shall see in time.  I will outlive them all, I have certainty of this fact, as I shall outlive this entire generation and many others to come.  It was folly to make a social connection such as this but I am deadened now to the pain of loss, would that I gave even a modicum of a damn about the lot of them.  Perhaps I shall live until their next incarnation.  Will they still remember little Freddy?  I shall have to remind them.  It will be a touching reunion.

To Wales by cover of night.  We sought the lady of the lake.  She was not difficult to find.  Another goddess along the way, rambling and insensible like the rest.  These things are what passes for authority figures to the fey.  Storytellers driven by ancient, dying, senile fables.

We claimed Excalibur.  Of course it was Excalibur.  'tis but a mercy that we have yet to find Longinus or Glamdring.  The others saw fit to taunt Mordred once he reached our location.  Always a keen idea, that, to offend a dark sorceror.

We are home again.  The ravens have fled.  Let them.  Filth that they are.  The group thinks this is a portent.  It must be, in light of everything we've witnessed this year.  To think it anything other than a herald of Mordred's advance upon our position would be foolish.  Let him come.  Let him wallow in fey blood, dance a jig to the merry tune of their despair.  They could use a good shaking up and frankly, if he offers us mercy in return for allegiance, I am very much inclined to accept depending on his true intentions.

We seem to be close to an ending now, don't we Mr. Patch?  Time to say goodbye to the storyteller, time for good boys and girls to go to bed.  Almost time for this little tale to come to an end.  I wonder what will become of us?  I think some of us have earned a happy ending.  I think those who haven't will have to take one for themselves.  Don't these fairy tales always end with a moral?


This casually threatening tone continues throughout the rest of the last page.  Eventually the writing becomes less neat, more a hurried scrawl as Frederick struggles to convey the full force of his emotions and repeated denial of his own self through the primitive constraints of language.  Eventually the passage ends, several pages later, in a series of jagged lines, all words abandoned and replaced with a language of absolute hatred.  This is the last entry in the diary
Bless the children of the world
Give us all a chance to grow and live
Give us all you've got to give
Bless the children of the world

Bless the children of the world
We're the one's who'll have to carry on
Even though all hope is gone
Bless the children of the world

-Don Henley