Argemone, Bloody Mary and Mr Fairweather

Several weeks passed. Blizzard had moved out of the flat and another changeling called Reed had moved in. Kyte wanted to visit a goblin market so Blizzard made the arrangements. The goblin market was held at Bayside Marketplace weekly from witching hour until dawn. I purchased a cold forged iron dagger for some life experiences, and got a cheese geegaw thrown in. I have no idea what one of those is but the trader said it would not go mouldy until it was eaten. Blizzard traded knowledge of Victorian science for modern science. Scarecrow bought a book and some spiders. Two weeks passed. I started practicing Aikido. Grandfather thunder summoned Blizzard and myself and asked us to investigate a story in the Miami herald about suicides. Scarecrow agreed to help, but Kyte was busy. We drove to the scene of the suicide and talked to some of the people nearby. Four teenagers had committed suicide, two were Robert and Sandra. Some cult paraphernalia was also found. Loud distorted music had been heard and a brown out of electricity had occurred. The policeman outside said they had slit their wrists and they had been friends. They had attended the local high school Hedgemont. We Drove to the school. As we got out a car drove off. It had a Miami Dade county plates and 3 occupants. At least one could have been a changeling. We got back in the car and followed them. They drove to a carpark by some warehouses and got out. They were all changelings. They started unloading a rental van which was parked outside. Scarecrow spoke to the foreman and found the warehouse was rented by a Ms E Scott. We then drove back to the school. We told the receptionist we were looking to enroll our children and wanted a tour of the school. She was reluctant at first but finally agreed. Blizzard steered the conversation to the suicides and she said the children had been involved with Ouija boards and named one of them as Karen. They had all been goths. We talked to one of the school counsellors who did not seem worried about the need to have metal detectors at the school entrance to detect weapons. She admitted one of the kids who committed suicide had been into witchcraft. She said witchcraft was legal and did not think anything was wrong with it. I pointed out in England we used to burn witches. Blizzard helpfully added that we also used to burn catholics. In the evening we went back to the warehouse and waited for the changelings to leave. At 2:30am two of them drove off leaving one inside. We crept up to the back door and I opened the lock. Scarecrow crept in and had a look. He reported there was actually two changelings inside, one upstairs and one downstairs. Scarecrow crept to the crates. There were some opened crates in which he saw ammunition, grenades and some form of handheld cannon. Blizzard phoned Grandfather thunder who knew nothing about the warehouse and told him to find out. I crept up the stairs but the changeling turned and drew a weapon. We exchanged fire before Blizzard started shouting about surrender and they dropped their weapons. We tied them up and searched them. They had sellfons and some fake identity cards. We then put them in the car and took them away for interrogation. The police were phoned and told the terrorists that set off a bomb a few weeks ago were operating out of the warehouse. We drove to a place called Andytown which was just outside Miami. Kyte joined us. I got some sleep while Blizzard shouted constantly at the changeling I shot for three hours until she broke down and started talking. Her name was Amethyst Dream. The wizened was called Edwina Scott, the ogre was called Eddie Spade, and the beast was called Faithful Tom. They were members of the spring court on a mission for their 'true leader' Rose Thorn. Blizzard then decided to let them go. The following evening we went back to the scene of the suicides to have a look around. Scarecrow went up to the front door to pick the lock. After five minutes he gave up and went round the back to try the back door. I then unlocked the front door and went inside to let the others in through the back door. Gouges had been made in the wood floor and they led upstairs. Kyte started sniffing the carpet on the stairs. He said it smelt of something bad. Not surprising really. I expect all old carpets smell bad. There was also mould and creepers growing on the wall which were probably adding to the smell. Upstairs one of the doorways had been smashed open. Scarecrow said there was a doorway to a trode nearby. I cast solstice revelation and by the power of its light I saw a tunnel into the hedge in the centre of the floor downstairs, where the gouges started. In the room upstairs were chalk outlines, an Ouija board and a small electronic device called a 'note book' which belonged to someone called Dell. It was obvious the witches had summoned something which had appeared downstairs then came up the stairs and ripped them to pieces. Clearly the policeman who said they had cut their wrists was lying. While the others were searching the room I heard a noise downstairs in the kitchen and crept down to investigate. In the hallway I saw a small figure which ran into the kitchen. I followed and spotted it was hiding in the fridge. When I tried to look it tried to stab me with a small dagger. I trapped its arm in the fridge door then started questioning it. It said it was Hob called Jim Hayes and had found the tunnel and came through looking for shiny things to collect. It had a bag containing cutlery, broken plates and goblin fruit. He said if we went through the tunnel we would be easy to find by the fay and we should hide our auras. He explained it could only bee done in the hedge and involved concentrating and using glamour. He also said the tunnel led to many tunnels and that he could show us to a library in the hedge where we could find answers to our questions. We went into the tunnel which went into the hedge but underneath it. After a while we climbed up out of the tunnel into the hedge itself. We were in a clearing. There were seven other Hobs sitting round a camp fire. We all practiced hiding our auras before heading out further into the hedge. The Hob said the library was in a mountain and moved round. We kept walking until we came to the bank of a river. The Hob said we would have to pay a ferryman to get across. The ferryman agreed to take us across in exchange for goblin fruits. We went and found some nearby and paid him. He took us across. On the way he warned us not to take any books out of the library as the hobgoblins would be upset. On the far side I spotted a swath of crushed vegetation. The Hob said it must be caused by the mountain moving. We followed its trail and finally found what looked like a hunched over owl moving ahead. The Hob said the mountain was called owlsback because of its shape. We caught up with it and jumped on. At least Scarecrow and myself did. Blizzard and Kyte fell off. Kyte made it on his second attempt but Blizzard had to try twice more before finally getting a grip. The entrance to the library was higher up. We all climbed up except Blizzard who decided to wait outside. Inside it was pitch black. The entrance was blocked with books. Kyte pushed through. I picked one up and the words started moving up my arm. As I brushed them off a voice from nowhere spoke the words as I touched them. Inside was a hobgoblin putting books back. He welcomed us and asked if we were members. Scarecrow said he wished to join and was directed to another hobgoblin who asked if he wanted a permanent or temporary membership. To be a permanent member he should bring them back a mortal to eat, preferably a young one, though a kitten would do. For a temporary membership he would need to bring something for them to read. Scarecrow agreed to a permanent membership and was given a library card. He had to bring 6 kittens within a week which would pay for his first years membership. Scarecrow then spent hours looking through the library, though he did not find much of use. We left just before nightfall, when the library closed, and found our way to our hollow where we could rest for the night. The following day Scarecrow went to a pet shop to buy some kittens then went with Blizzard back to the library to finish Scarecrows research. He took the kittens with him but did not have them when he returned. I lounged round the hollow and Kyte started making furniture. Scarecrow found out about a creature called Argemone which had been a pet of a gentry but had escaped when the gentry was killed 10 years ago and believed it had been the creature which attacked the witches. It is resilient to damage but vulnerable to extreme heat and cold. Blizzard started looking at Mr Dells notebook. Although it did not have pages he was somehow able to get text to appear which read like it was a diary belonging to Karen Hall. It told of buying a Ouija board from Clements genuine antiques and curios in North bay village near island park. It then told of their attempts to use the Ouija board. There references to words the Ouija board spelled out including Argemone, keeper, faerie garden, hungry and Carol. The local paper had reports of cattle mutilations in Carol city and the head of the red badge was the sheriff there. Blizzard spoke to Grandfather Thunder who did not want to antagonise the red badge. Kyte and Scarecrow spent some time doing stuff for their courts. Whatever it was resulted in some argument between them and accusations that Scarecrow betrayed Kyte. Something about Spying and Scarecrow knowing things he shouldn't. We drove to the shop in North bay. When we went inside Kyte sensed five supernatural sources, some concealed, some just nearby objects. He then dragged us out of the shop. While we were outside I saw the shop assistant looking out the window at us so we went back inside. Kyte spoke with the shopkeeper who made comments suggesting he knew about changelings and invited him to see special items in the back of the shop. We started questioning him. He would not answer our questions and made threats about us not wanting to meet his boss. He all but admitted working for a fae. Scarecrow set off the fire alarm and I grappled the shopkeeper as he tried to run to the rear of the shop. As I held him I felt he was covered in slimy feathers and smelt terrible. Kyte shot and killed the shop assistant. I summoned the power of the sun, striking him with its raw power, then I stabbed him with my knife. Kyte then shot and killed him. I then summoned the power of the sun to reveal all. The light revealed three items of power which Blizzard grabbed. The shopkeeper was revealed as a disgusting birdlike creature but the assistant was human. And there was a trode in the back of the shop. I was covered in black slime so started cleaning it off. Blizzard took the till to make it look like a robbery, and Scarecrow opened a gateway into the hedge. We fled into the hedge, dragging the bodies with us. I knew how the police operated having watched CSI Miami with Reed and wanted to remove as much evidence as possible. I dumped the birdman in the thorns and we fled to our hollow. Kyte tried to carry the assistants body but dropped behind so he dumped the body. We got back to our hollow and rested overnight. The items we got from the antiques shop were a gas lamp, a trunk and some Victorian coins in a case. The following morning we returned to Miami. Blizzard phoned Ember and got him to drive us to Kyte's homeless shelter as he had promised Scarecrow we would help him find someone called Bloody Mary. Charming was there and Scarecrow asked him about Bloody Mary. He said the Miami herald had written something about her and we might find out more from homeless shelters in downtown Miami as there had been some recent murders. Kyte wanted to see Sister Abigail to apologise for something he had done, so we had to go buy flowers and take them to her. Blizzard looked on the Internet and found a newspaper article about a murder in Saint James town. The victim was called Shawn Wilson and the skin on his face had been ripped off. The body was found by a Marla Bates. There was a homeless shelter in Saint James town so Blizzard decided we should pay it a visit Ember would not go into Saint James town as he was scared of the gangs, so he dropped us off in the outskirts. There was a small group of gang members who tried to intimidate us, but when we stood up to them they ran off. Kyte then started chatting to some prostitutes. They said the murders were being committed by a new gang called the face boys. Trevon, the leader of the crips gang was scared. Apparently crip stands for 'cowards run in packs'. Finally we got to the homeless shelter and met father Gonzalez. He said Shawn had been a member of the crips and if we wanted to know more a Detective Braund was handling the case. He described Marla Bates and Blizzard recognised the description as being one of the prostitutes Kyte spoke to earlier. Kyte asked round the shelter and found someone who claimed to have seen who attacked Shawn. It was in the North East side. The woman had dark hair and pale skin. It looked like there was blood seeping from her eyes and she was wearing a rotting blue dress. We went back to where the prostitutes were to speak to Marla. She told us where she had seen the body. We went to the area to investigate. There was no entrance to the hedge nearby. While we were investigating Kyte spotted some flashes of light from the roof of a nearby building. We rushed over. Kyte and Blizzard climbed the fire escape while I went inside. There were two reporter from the Miami herald taking pictures in a flat. Kyte decided to try to summon Bloody Mary. He found a candle and mirror in the flat, lit the candle and said 'Bloody Mary' thirteen times. Nothing happened. The reporter and cameraman left. We headed back towards the murder scene. There was a kid which Blizzard spoke to. He knew about Bloody Mary and said it was a girl at the school called Anna and a boy called Mark that summoned Bloody Mary. She wanted to get rid of bad men and summoned her in Marks bathroom. The kid told us where Anna and Mark lived. He had heard there was a gate to hell in the Colony hotel and the devil had paid the owner to be able to lair there. The kid was Marla's son. He claimed to be able to see ghosts and also seemed to be able to see past our masks. He said we should not look at Mary or let her touch us. We went to Anna's house. She was playing outside with some other kids. She was rude and played up to the other kids but Blizzard started shouting at her. She admitted being able to summon Mary. She believed Mary was a fallen angel and had to collect faces of bad people to be able to get back into heaven. She said Mary only came at night and she met Mary by the water. We arranged to meet Anna the following evening so she could show us where she met Mary. Scarecrow went to the university library to research Bloody Mary. He found out how to summon her. There was a long list of requirements like not wearing masks and standing in front of a mirror in a dark room. To be honest I got bored listening as he rambled on about her. Kyte and myself went to investigate the Colony hotel. We had a drink at the bar, and when no one was looking we snuck into the basement. There was two sub levels and the stairs continued down until they stopped at a brick wall. Kyte tried to open a gateway to the hedge but instead a strange sign appeared briefly on the wall. As we started back up the stairs some guy stopped us and accused us of snooping around. He said he would call the police. When we pushed past he grabbed us and turned into a pillar of flame, and his mere tough burned. We tried to flee but he kept up with us as we fled up the stairs, drawing an axe and attacking us. The mortals in the hotel did not seem to notice his blazing form. When we got outside we split up. The figure followed Kyte, who jumped off the sea wall and glided out to sea. I got a bus back home. Later I saw a news report about a flying man seen earlier at the beach. Sister Abigail was not happy with him revealing his powers to mortals and threw him out of the safe harbour society. All his privileges were revoked and he was thrown out of the homeless shelter where he lived. He as then summoned before Maria Thorn to explain his actions to his court. Scarecrow tried to defend him. Her decision was that he should fight her champion in a hedge duel. If he lost he would be thrown out of the court in disgrace. On his way home Scarecrow was abducted my a Mr Fairweather. He wanted the Colony hotel and offered to explain rituals to close the gateway and defeat the creature. He also said he did not want grandfather thunder to know. The following morning Kyte showed up at my flat asking to be healed. I spent the day tending too him. In the evening I had to do some cage fighting as funds were getting low. Scarecrow, Kyte and Blizzard went to sort out Bloody Mary. Apparently (according to Blizzard) Anna summoned Mary who was only interested in her children. Kyte diplomatically pointed out she had killed her children and was attacked for his trouble. Blizzard had to use one of his contracts to calm her down and agreed to look after the children so her work here was done. Some time later after he had recovered, Kyte had his hedge duel. It was a rather embarrassing affair, and needless to say Kyte is now courtless. There was also a meeting with Mr Fairweather which I did not attend as I had another fight to attend. Mr Fairweather offered help to close the hell gate, which was some kind of trode, in return for the hotel itself. His only condition was that the hotel should not be damaged. Blizzard said he did not think Fairweather was a mortal and that they had come up with some plan involving firemen to gain access to the hotel. It all made little sense to me and I am not so sure it is a good idea to be trusting this Fairweather guy. A couple of days later Fairweather supplied a fire engine and a couple of goons. We drove to the hotel and burst in shouting that there was a fire. I triggered one of the fire alarms. We burst into the general office where Blizzard claimed the avatar would be. There was an individual sitting behind a desk and four more standing in the corners of the room. The figure behind the desk said "kill them" then stepped through the window behind him into the hedge. I stabbed one a couple of times and killed him. Kyte shot two others but got shot in return. One of the goons killed the last after he surrendered. We then followed the avatar through the window and found ourselves in a cave. I used a contract to summon light. There were several briar wolves and the avatar standing in a ring of mushrooms. The wolves attacked. I killed the one that went for me and Kyte killed the one attacking him. A 3rd impaled itself on Blizzards spikes. The avatar had turned into a fiery form and was advancing on us. When the 4th wolf was killed he stopped advancing towards us and started talking. He said he would let us go and said his brother had deceived us. Kyte shouted get him, at which point he attacked Blizzard. We stabbed him a few times. I landed the killing blow which caused him to explode, blowing me backwards and knocking me unconscious. Kyte brought me back round. We found that the gateway had closed and we were nowhere near the mortal realm. Scarecrow started navigating us back to our hollow. After an hour we reached the surface and a while later found a sign saying 'to the mortal realm'. I tried turning it round and an eye appeared and it said what were we doing? Blizzard told it we were fixing the signs as the mortal realm had moved. We continued on and finally found our way to our hollow. I spent the day healing Blizzard and the following caring for myself. In the evening Scarecrow went off to meet someone he had dreamed about and Kyte went with him.. He said it was someone he used to know, but he could not remember him. Very strange if you ask me. A day later I had finished healing myself and Blizzard. The other two had not returned. We went to inform the Autumn court of Scarecrows disappearance. We figured no one cared about Kyte. A couple of days later I got a phone call from Scarecrow. He said he needed medical help. He said he was coming to my flat but when I then spoke to Blizzard he said we should meet him at the university as it was the Autumn court headquarters. I borrowed a 20 from Reed and took a taxi there to meet Blizzard. He arranged to meet the queen Namaah who suggested seeing Scarecrows and Kytes true form would reveal whether they were fetches or not. She offered a room where I could use a contract on them to reveal their true forms. When they arrived they were led to the room where I used a contract to call forth the power of the sun to reveal their true forms. They were still changelings. They had a story about having being captured by a hobgoblin group called Grubs legionnaires. Scarecrow said the Hobgoblins held them a few days before beating them up then letting them go. He also claimed Fairweather had contacted him and offered to fix him up. Queen Namaah said she believed him. We rested for a week an I healed Kyte and Scarecrow of their many wounds. Then in the evening I got a call from Scarecrow saying Mr Fairweather wanted to see us. He was pleased with us and wanted us to do other jobs for him. Blizzard and myself turned him down but the others seemed more keen. On the way back Blizzard and myself got a call from Grandfather thunder. He asked us to go to the university of Miami immediately to investigate a supernatural incident. We diverted to the scene. We found a house with a broken window. Closer inspection revealed the frame was broken and had been smashed outwards. Inside was half a blackened body in a chair and a computer monitor which looked like it had exploded. We searched the room and found an id tag for someone called Larry James who worked for Graves software. Kyte found something called an ibook which he used as a screen to see what was on the broken computer. He found something called "Crystal compendium vol 1" It had options called Horoscope generator, byorythm tracker and new age encyclopedia. We took the stuff and left when we heard police sirens. We went to the university where Scarecrows court resided. Scarecrow started examining the computer stuff we had. Kyte wandered off to a bar opposite the university. Kyte sent a message to Scarecrow saying he thought he was being watched. Scarecrow asked me to go and find out what the problem was, so I started walking over to the bar. As I approached I heard the sounds of gunfire and then saw Kyte being chased from the bar by someone that looked like Larry James but who had several holes which were radiating a blue glow. I intercepted and attacked the figure. Kyte carried on running in front of a car which ran him over. I got several good blows on the figure with my cold forged iron dagger but it did not seem to slow it at all. It bit me several times causing grievous wounds and because Kyte did nothing to help I was forced to run. It followed me into the university but I managed to loose it briefly. I found Blizzard and suggested that because it seemed immune to physical weapons and had electricity inside we could try using water to short it out. We confronted it. Blizzard drained anger from it and it stopped and looked confused. The water had no effect on it so we opened a gateway and fled to the hedge. On the other side were a group of other changelings including the autumn court queen hiding from the creature. The queen took us all to her hollow. From there we made our way back to the freedom tower. Grandfather thunder questioned us as to what happened then asked us to investigate further with some urgency. I spent some time healing myself then we looked up Graves software. I got Reed to look them up on the interweb. They sold stuff which made computers work apparently. The company owner was an Arthur Graves and got the address of the company. We then went to Graves software. They refused to talk to us and asked us to leave. We then went with Scarecrow to the Owlsback library so he could research the creature further. He read about a demon called a doppelganger which could take the shape of other things. They could only be summoned by a practitioner of magic. They needed to devour sentient beings constantly and were driven mad by being in the mortal realm. They would return if they consumed enough sentient beings or if their summoner was killed. Scarecrow also looked up Graves on the interweb and found he had been a suspect in four murders seven years ago but released without charge. The victims had been killed, their hearts removed then buried in a shallow grave outside the city. We decided to rest overnight and then stake out Graves software in the morning. I borrowed a rifle from the summer court. We waited all day but Arthur did not arrive. In the evening after most people had left Kyte and Scarecrow decided to pretend to deliver pizza. Blizzard and myself stayed in our vantage point on the opposite roof to provide cover. Kyte was let in. I saw him draw his guns and there was an exchange of fire with the security guard. Blizzard then fired his rifle and shot the guard in the head. I scanned the building and saw a figure in a room on the 2nd floor. He was reaching for his phone, so I shot it. He dived under his desk and cowered there. Blizzard went down to help the other two. I stayed on the roof to keep watch. I saw a pedestrian who had a cellfon, so I shot it out of his hand. He cowered on the floor. The others started exploring the building. I saw police cars in the distance heading our way. I warned Blizzard and then made my getaway. In my rush to climb down I slipped and fell, but was able to slow my fall somewhat. Ember was waiting at the bottom of the ladder and I instructed him to take us away. The others would flee into the hedge. I met up with the others in our hollow. The others said they had killed Graves and a dog. They had found another CD, a laptop and a book about demons in his office.

Last updated: February 27, 2014