The Lady of the West, Kenna, is turning 18.
To celebrate, the Duke is throwing a celebration the likes of which have not been seen in the region in a long while. Due to the actions of the heroes on behalf of The Duke, involved in the rescue of The Marchioness to restore the balance of The Accords, invitations are sent far and wide.
About two weeks before June 21st, small invitations, printed on an emerald green leaf of paper (no really, a leaf, a pecan leaf actually) inscribed with what appears to be 24-karat gold writing, invites the guests to the celebration. The invitations are brought personally by Reginald, the Sidhe Butler of the Duke’s household.
After June 21st, The Lady of the West will no longer be a minor within her father’s household, but a full High Noble and Lady of the Fae.
Not only that, but June 21st is The Summer Solstice.
The guests arrive at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens George Beggs Jr. Garden building, which has been rented out. Amusing signs within the Gardens entrance announce “Kenna Summers – Birthday Party.”
Once inside the Beggs Garden building, the entire place is packed to the gills with Dallas’s movers and shakers (big business, big money). Barbara is like a shark in bloodied waters until she’s reigned in. After a few minutes Reginald the Butler of the Ducal Household brings their attention to a curtained archway. After checking the invitations, he motions them through the arch. There another Fae opens a pathway to the Nevernever and the guests step through.
The Fort Worth Botanical Gardens are just over 100 acres in the physical world, at least that much has been given over to the Ducal Palace and Grounds.
The Grounds have been turned into the greatest medieval tournament and Faire … ever. There are colorful tents with streaming pennants and the smells of foods of all kinds from mundane to fantastic, Fae dressed in everything from nothing-at-all, to peasant clothing, to full armor, to draped in wisps of cloud and fog. There are also rings of competition in both archery and melee and the thundering of hooves for a joust.
A mortal Renaissance Faire will never be able to approach the spectacle of a Summer Court birthday bash for a pampered Duke’s Daughter that loves Arthurian mythlore where even the laws of physics bend to the whim of the Fae.
A “guide” arrives quickly, verifies their invitations, and tells them a few basics (including the fact that all the tents in the color crimson feature food safe for mortals – many Fae actually prefer mortal food it seems, in addition to more esoteric Nevernever fare).
On their way to the Ducal Palace (a fantastical interpretation on Moorish Spanish Architecture of the Alcázar Royal Palace of Seville) they pass by the melee list, and witness a battle using hammers between Sir Hamhock the Fat and Sirof the Wyld. Trouble Hammer wins and is given a pony keg sized mug of what smells like Creme Soda and gummy bears.
The Audience Hall
Within the grand audience hall, there are lines of various creatures giving gifts and paying their respects to the Birthday Girl. Erica is shown to the stage that has been set up for her while the rest of the guests stand around. Before Erica can even tune a single note, Kenna excuses herself from the High Dais and comes over to chat and greet everyone (she’s eventually wrangled back to the High Dais).
The guests get in line to give their gifts and discover something… in addition to giving, they’re given a gift as well (perhaps a custom so as to create no debt twixt Fae).
- Matthew & Barbara give a collection of classic mortal perfumes (Barbara’s doing) and a 1904 first edition printing of Lady Gregory’s Gods and Fighting Men, which includes the Children of Lir story (Matthew’s doing)
- They’re given a week long all expense paid trip to the Caneel Bay Resort on St. John in the US Virgin Islands on the occasion of their upcoming honeymoon.
- Ren gives a Japanese bamboo quiver that she’s decorated herself with various images (including a Bluebonnet)
- She’s given a pen and inkwell set dating back to Japan 1870, right at the beginning of the Meiji Modern era. It features a fountain pen that represents one of the very early attempts at modernizing Japanese traditional handicrafts with modern technology.
- Cody (a dad himself) gives an inscribed Purity Ring and and a Young Lady’s Diary
- He’s given a real 1873 Colt ‘Peacemaker’ and an ancient Mexican silver peso Texas Ranger badge in a satin lined oak case.
- He also gets a very subtle nod from The Duke regarding the ring.
- Elena gives a single Texas flint arrowhead, hung on a deer hide cord.
- She is given a bow that Kenna crafted herself, to be as close to a Hopi Indian bow as her skills and research allows. She also enchanted it to be able to retract into its own handle and be small enough to drop into a pocket.
- A couple of other NPCs are also there
- Nate gives a Daikyu Bow and is given an antique Japanese calligraphic scroll with the Code of Bushido on it (Rectitude, Courage, Benevolence, Respect, Honesty, Honour, Loyalty) and the characters for “Ronin Are Still Samurai” at the bottom.
- Midori gives a jar of her best and favorite coffee blend and receives in return a gold and platinum cloisonne Sakura (cherry) blossom.
- Claret arrives much, much later (after the rest of the guests have already left to enjoy the evening tournament celebration) bringing her gift, a bag of her best weed. What she gets back she doesn’t tell anybody… but she stars wearing a platinum Fleur-de-Lis on her chokers and she has matching Fleur-de-Lis earrings.
- Conor gives his gift last of the physical gifts (Erica is playing music) and he presents Kenna with The Bluebonnet (the one he was tasked with slaying its Summer Court Centaur Guardian and bringing to The Marchioness nearly 2 years previous).
- Kenna then presents to him a Sidhe that has been waiting to see him… his mother. No disguises this time, her true shape and form. They then spend the rest of the day talking.
The Duke then announces a special guest that has come for the occasion of his Daughter’s Blooming Day… Lily, The Summer Lady and her attendants (including Fix, The Summer Knight though he’s not specifically mentioned or introduced). Needless to say it causes a bit of a stir.
She is there to receive the Feal Oaths of the newly Ennobled Lords of the Fae from Dallas, Lord Invictus and Lord Dallas and present them with their coats of arms (which are then displayed in The Duke’s grand hall amidst all the other arms of his vassals.
Then Kenna calls Erica up to the High Dais. Apparently she gets a gift from The Summer Lady as well and she wishes to give it to Erica.
She asks the Summer Lady to give Erica back her sight.
And, after a few very private words, including a brief warning that was probably not heard in the emotion of the moment about a dark power that she cannot remove remaining still… The Summer Lady herself kneels down, has Erica lay her head on her lap, and she sings a lullaby while stroking her hair.
For everyone else in the Court, it’s maybe 15 minutes of gentle song, for Erica, she was enchanted to sleep.
When she’s awoken by Lily she opens her eyes, and sees with eyes of golden hazel.
The guests stay for the rest of the day enjoying the sights, sounds, and foods of the Faire.
The joust is particularly thunderous, full of violence and pageantry.
Pixies provide special enjoyment. During the day with their “bubble antics” (as giant soap bubbles are being blown, they zoom into the bubble and float away until it pops) and once the Nevernever sun goes down… they all band together to create fireworks, by BEING the fireworks (formation flying up into the sky and then ‘exploding’ into various shapes, providing sound effects as they do so).
At the close, the girls (Barbara, Ren, Erica) invite The Lady of the West to The Lizard Lounge to go dancing. As an “adult” now, Kenna agrees and learns about night clubs and at last learns what in the world ‘the dougie’ aka ‘cat daddy’ dance is all about.
They feel fairly safe after Matthew notices that they’re being watched by “The Sidhe-cret Service” who are quietly guarding the Daughter of the Duke from a distance. The groans and laughs from that particular pun cause Kenna to declare that shall be their proper title from this night hence (judging by the looks on the faces of said Sidhe when they overhear it… they’re less pleased).
Two members of the Winter Court are also there, and they pay their respects to The Lady of the West on the occasion of her Blooming Day (and then get out of there quick).
Erica Side Scene – An Owed Apology
Friday Night, May 17th, Erica, Midori, and Claret are at Atwater’s Speakeasy enjoying their evening talking freely about recent events (and Erica giving Claret what-for for missing the recent Winter Court ‘Beginning Our Summer Seclusion’ Party). They’re enjoying themselves when suddenly, Erica feels a tapping on her shoulder and hears a familiar (and disliked) voice.
“Erica, could I talk with you for a moment… please?”
She turns around and, sure enough, it’s Marisa. A werewolf of the (now gone) Fort Wolf Posse pack. The events of several days ago have now filtered throughout the more aware supernatural community – the betrayal by the FWP by one of their own and her recent elevation to a noble of the Winter Court. On a personal note, it was Marisa and Carlos that had, all those years ago, forced their way into Erica and Auntie Em’s house and tried to take/kill Hobbes (at the time called Growltiger). Then there was that whole… "dating Conor" … thing. It would be an understatement to say, Marisa was not one of Erica’s favorite people.
So they adjourn to the upstairs in the Speakeasy, a quieter place for meetings than the main area. At that point, Erica is rendered speechless by the topic.
“Erica, I just wanted to apologize to you for everything that’s gone on between us. I’m sorry. I was wrong and I never meant for it to go down the way things did. I know this doesn’t mean much to you now, but … I just wanted to apologize. I’m a different person than I was then, and you are too, but there it is. I’m sorry.”
Since Erica was standing there saying nothing, just staring at her, Marisa turned to leave. At which point Erica throws her arms around her in a big snuffly hug. They then talk, Erica invites her to go drink with them at the table (to which she agrees, made slightly uncomfortable by the fact that Erica has basically been badmouthing Marisa to Claret and Midori for… a while). They then adjourn to The Fortress of Estrogen for more drinking and a movie (Sneaker) where the evening devolves into tears (Marisa hasn’t had a chance to really vent about losing her pack) and gossip (Claret and Midori are absurdly curious about Conor… Erica pretends to not be), booze, and pastries.
- Game Date: 8/8 (In game June 21st)
- Milestone: Significant (this is the last of 2 “epilogue games” involving the Winter and Summer courts and they collectively, along with the Erlking’s Daughter story arc conclude the midseason) – this should be the 48th skill point for Jamie, Conor, and Elena so it upgrades to Major for them (15/48).
- Ending Bennies
- Matthew 3
- Jamie 3
- Erica 4
- Elena 8
- Ren 0
- Conor 13
- Cody 2
- Not Playing
- Chrys 1
- John Wolf 2