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Maldernato and a snowstorm

We rested a couple of days. Grandfather Thunder asked me to look into the story of Jarrod Wyatt, a cage fighter who went psychotic, killed, cooked and ate part of his friend thinking he was evil. We found where he lived from the phone book and went to visit. It was a fairly posh apartment but the security was not very high. I was able to pick the lock without any effort. We looked round the apartment and found some blood and hairs on the floor. Behind the medicine cabinet in the bathroom we found a box containing used syringes and more hair in the bath. Here was a piece of paper with PM and a mobile number written on it. Blizzard called the number sever5al times until the person stopped answering and it went to voice mail. It said it was the number of Philip Maldernato. We went to see the defence lawyer handling the case. He claimed to not know who Philip was but he looked a bit shifty. Kyte asked his contacts who said Maldernato might be involved with gambling or racketeering. Scarecrow went off to do more research. The rest of us stayed to stake out the lawyer so see where he went. After a while someone drew up outside on a bike with a large bag and went inside. Kyte put a lock on the bike and when he came out we moved to intercept him. He drew revolvers and a brief gunfight ensued. Kyte was badly wounded then the biker turned his gun on himself. I grabbed the bag and the other two dragged the body into the car. Then we fled the scene. The bag had some weapons and vials filled with something that looked like blood. He had a licence with the name John Neville. We went to the address on the licence but the lady living there had not heard of him. We then went to the autumn court to find out haw Scarecrow was doing. He was not there, having gone into the hedge to research demons for some unknown reason. He had left the vials which we found in Wyatts apartment but they had not bothered looking at them. As the autumn court did not seem interested in being helpful I made use of one of their labs to examine the samples myself. The blood was human but contained no white corpuscles. It had been taken from a corpse. The hairs were human but contained unknown DNA strands. The blood from the biker contained normal type AB positive blood and also traces of the other blood sample. It looked like there was DNA contamination between the blood types and the biker would probably die if he did not take regular doses of the blood. This reminded me of vampires who gave their blood to mortals and turned them into ghouls which they could control. I gave my report to Thunder who said it would be best to just kill it. In the evening I went to a cage fight which I won. Afterwards I was introduced to the patron. His name was Philip Don Maldernato. He offered me a job and I said I would think on it. He said to contact him at night as he was busy. Clearly he was a vampire. I took a peek on the way back and we were travelling South along I95 expressway, and were near a church called Greater B something. Blizzard looked on a map and found a church called Greater Bethel. I asked round in the normal fight clubs and found out people thought illegal fights were taking place near Orange bowl. I phoned up Larry and pestered him until he told me were the fights took place. It was at 17th North, 6th West in an old Power relay station. Blizzard went to have a look but did not see anything. Larry arranged for me to have another fight in the evening. I won the fight easily. The others were waiting outside to follow the vampire and I send Blizzard a text message to warn him when the vampire was leaving. They followed him to bell island and drove into the park there. The next day we went to the park to play ball and look around. There was an old hut. The tracks led inside and just stopped at the far wall. Blizzard opened a gateway to the hedge. There was a track leading to a mansion in the distance. There was a barricade of fallen trees across the track in front of the mansion. Kyte climbed a tree and saw a figure behind a barricade. The figure jumped on top of the barricade. He said his name was Greycap and was the gamekeeper of the mansion. He said a ghost who read books lived at the mansion. The ghost was called Jackabux and did not like people much. Greycap's master was called Kalle. When Blizzard tried to climb over the barrier he got aggressive. As we started walking away he shot me with an arrow and set two wolves on me. I stabbed one wolf to death and scarecrow shot the other. Blizzard shot Greycaps and knocked him back off the barricade. A few seconds later Greycaps appeared again, having transformed into a werewolf. Blizzard drained its anger and started talking to it. It quickly became apparent it would attack us again if we turned our backs so I used my Lords dread gaze contract and hit it with a hammer blow of pure concentrated sunlight, killing it instantly and setting the corpse ablaze. I climbed over the barricade. The others walked round. I heard a scream and when I looked round Scarecrow was dangling from the air having blundered into a trap. Kyte cut him down. Kyte then started eating goblin fruit. When he refused to stop I had to physically restrain him to stop him from climbing back up the tree. After a while he fell asleep, so I punched him in the stomach and made him throw up. We continued up the drive to the mansion. Outside was a large tree. As we approached a mouth appeared and said "What can't be kept until it is given". Surprisingly Kyte replied immediately "A promise" and the door to the mansion opened. Inside the mansion appeared empty and the whole place echoed. We found a room that had a harpsichord which played by itself and a room full of mirrors. Upstairs we found a library, and inside there was a small balding ghost. We talked with him for a while. He said vampires did not exist. When I asked about ghosts he said they did not exist either. He seemed to believe he was still alive. He was not being helpful so we left. As we went downstairs we saw a figure by the door which ran off. It looked like a mortal that had been skinned. We followed it round a corner and it went into a maze that was made from the hedge. Shortly afterwards it reappeared with two others. We retreated back into the house and they followed. Two more appeared. One was larger than the others and said to me "What are you doing here". It was Maldernato though his appearance in the hedge was much different. I pretended that I did not recognise him and said we had come to see the ghost. He identified himself and doring the conversation he said he had once been a changeling but was now far more powerful. He ate other changelings to gain their power. Blizzard used a contract to make him angry with the ghost and they started fighting. I summoned the lords dread gaze to sear Maldernato and he turned on me, and slashed me. I hit him with another blast which slowed him a little. He used some supernatural ability to move incredibly fast and struck me again but I managed to hit him a third time. The others killed the ghouls with the help of the ghost then started shooting Maldernato. He finally collapsed and died under the onslaught. I left the hedge with Blizzard. Scarecrow and Kyte stayed to explore the maze. When we got back into the mortal realm and found Ember he pointed out dark clouds in the sky. He said it had started snowing half an hour ago. We asked him to take us back to freedom tower, but on the way the traffic was slowed by the weather. It got so bad that Blizzard and myself got out to walk the rest of the way. I used my son of the hearth contract to keep myself warm, Blizzard did not mind the cold at all. We finally made it back to freedom tower. Kyte phoned Blizzard, they had just got out of the hedge. Apparently they had been attacked by more ghouls and chased out. We met thunder. He was concerned the weather might be a prelude to fey activity and asked us to go and investigate. The bad weather was localised over the winter court and their king Sleet. We met with Kyte and Scarecrow on the way. Kyte said all the snowflakes were the same shape and Kyte said the snowflakes were a Germanic symbol of Jack Frost. We finally got to the winter court. Kyte knocked on the door and found it was open but there was something blocking it. He was unable to open it further so I put my shoulder to it and pushed the door open. Behind was a dead body frozen in ice. Further down the corridor was another. In Sleets throne room was a small weasly figure who said his name was Eddie Stark and he was the new winter king. He was wearing a crown. He wanted us to tell Thunder he was back and had deposed Sleet. We went outside to call Thunder and warn him. Thunder said Eddie had worked for Sleet in the 1970s before being banished. Thunder asked Kyte to join the winter court and spy on them. Kyte went back inside to do so. When he came back out we left. We were on the underground when we spotted another changeling following us. We called him over and started talking to him. He admitted to following us. His name was Brother raven. Eddie did not fully trust Kyte. He was scared at what had happened and felt trapped as he swore allegiance to the winter king and had to serve whoever had the position. Eddie had appeared in Sleets throne room and challenged him before dragging him into the hedge. We went back to freedom tower to warn Thunder. Thunder asked us to go to the red badge to get their help. I stayed behind to heal myself. The others went to speak to their leader Billy Blood. When they got back they said the red badge would stop a mission from Eddie to recruit Rose Thorn that Kyte had found out about. They needed to know where they would be though. Raven was still hanging about so we asked him about the mission to Rose thorn. He knew about it and told us what we knew, and that was passed on to Billy Blood. Eddie sent some changelings to attack freedom tower overnight but Blizzard shouted at them and they ran off. I spent the following day healing myself and Kyte. Scarecrow and Blizzard went to the library in the hedge to do more research. Stark had told Kyte he got his powers from Jack Frost. Scarecrows research revealed Jack Frost was a spirit and could lend his powers in reward to a good deed. It was decided finding Sleet would be a good idea if he was still alive. He following morning Kyte showed up in the hollow. He said Stark had asked him to go into the hedge and check up on Sleet who was imprisoned somehow somewhere called the crystal caves. Kyte was somewhat unclear of the details. He asked the rest of us to go with him. He also mentioned having told Stark that Raven was a traitor to divert any suspicion from himself. Kyte gathered some survival equipment then we set off into the hedge. I saw some buzzard creatures with arms in the treetops. Kyte asked if they could get him some goblin fruit. They agreed if he pruned them. After 20 minutes we got bored and left Kyte to it. A while later as we were walking we heard some sounds above and saw the vultures drop Kyte. Kyte glided down to the ground. He pulled out a fruit and when he went to eat it a goblin appeared from thin air and accused him of stealing 'his fruit'. After a brief argument Kyte agreed to buy the fruit in exchange for a cold forged iron dagger. We continued on and walked for hours until we came to what appeared to be the edge of the hedge. I spotted something moving in the hedge and pointed this out to the others. They started running then two figures stepped out onto the path and blocked the way. They were large and their skin seemed to blend with the hedge. They said we were trespassing. Blizzard told them we were going to the crystal cave and they said we could pass. We continued towards the edge of the hedge and saw mountains ahead. As we got to the edge of the hedge we could see a cave. When we went into the cave I heard a voice saying 'I think they are waking up' The others could not hear it. Scarecrow said he could hear a horse. Helpfully Kyte decided this was the time to tell us Stark had said we would experience weird things in the cave. We walked towards a white light until it surrounded us. We found ourselves lying in beds. There was man sitting in a chair. The ban in the chair said his name was Jennings and kept calling Blizzard Colonel Blimp, and he called me Arthur. A doctor came in and told us we had been suffering from a brain fever. He kept asking questions about whether we thought we had special powers. I started remembering parts of my previous life before I became a changeling. I tried to go downstairs but collapsed at the bottom. It seemed something was trying to keep us from leaving the house we were in. I rested for a while then tried again, getting into the street before collapsing. The 3rd time I was able to hail a cab to take me home. I got to my house but collapsed on the doorstep. When I woke up I was back with the others. The following day we were feeling better and got given some clothes which we were told were ours. When we were left alone we left the house and got a cab to a train station where we bought tickets to Wales. When we arrived in Abersyonan we got off and hired some horses. We then rode north to Partrishow. We spent the night in the inn. In the morning we rode out to the Hardwick estate. It was empty so we continued up into the mountains until we came to a narrow path leading to a grotto. We had a feeling of being watched was we rode there. In the grotto was a 6ft high figure made of branches and twigs. A curious stone was at the base of the structure. As Fitzpartick went to examine it a beautiful female figure appeared out of the mist with two figures in chains. One looked like Sleet. The woman said she was our keeper Helen, and suddenly everything that happened in the last 120 years came flooding back. Blizzard and myself started edging towards the stone. Helen said to keep away from the stone and shouted 'kill them'. Some figures appeared on the ridge above and started throwing javelins. I grabbed the stone and heard a voice in my head saying 'what do you want' I thought of a portal to take us away and poured glamour into the stone. Blizzard did the same. Kyte shot the chains from Sleet and Blizzard shot the chains from Jennings. Helen said we were hers and Scarecrow did not have to fear the man with the ergot smile any more. Kyte got badly wounded by Javelins and jumped through the portal that had appeared. Scarecrow was also badly injured and followed him. Sleet jumped after them. I grabbed Jennings and carried him through the portal with a departing comment 'cya later darling', and Blizzard followed me. When he stepped through the portal closed. We were in Thunders throne room. Scarecrow was collapsed on the floor. We told him what had happened. He promoted myself and Blizzard to his iron guard. He also gave Kyte the position of the vishi spring court which he had previously promised to him. Jennings was now called Lattice. We organised a raid to kill Stark. As soon as I approached him with the stone he lost all his power and Blizzard executed him. A week later Thunder held a meeting to interrogate Scarecrow about Helens statement that Scarecrow was involved with the fay called the man with the ergot smile. After a long discussion Thunder decided to give Scarecrow the opportunity to kill the man with the ergot smile.

Last updated: February 27, 2014