Campaign of the Month: December 2011
Dresden Files Dallas
Game 22 Transcript
Heat Makes People Crazy, II Game 22
In-game date 8/2/12
Actual Game date 9/13/12
The werewolves have just driven off with the cat in the bag.
Jamie looks at his pocket watch.
J “Yeah, we should probably get out of here before the cops show up.”
They all look back at the destroyed house and dead lycanthropes. All the ant corpses have dissolved into ectoplasm and evaporated.
Elena “Yeah, we need to go.”
Cody gets a call from his police radio and has to go immediately.
J “Nice seeing you, Ranger.”
Cody nods, climbs into his SUV and drives off.
Elena evaluates where she thinks they’ll be taking the cat based on her weeks of following them after Belle’s party. Carlos’ place? Or back to their main group place.
J “I suggest that we regroup at my house?”
Erica “My house. It’s closer.”
Elena “I was gonna take care of this now.”
Erica, voice low “Can we go to my place?”
J, reasonably “We can go to Lewisville, but I suggest we all just… They’re expecting us to chase them.”
Erica “No, I’m aware of that.”
J “And there are more of them than us, so we have to be smarter than them. Which we are.”
Erica “No, I know. My smart stuff is at home.”
J “I doubt they’re going to kill your cat. They want to have fun with him.”
J “So. Let’s get in Elena’s car, go back to my house…”
Erica “We need to swing by my place so I can grab some things.”
Erica and Jamie pile in Elena’s car. They swing by Erica’s house, she runs in, grabs some things and leaves a note for her aunt. Jamie goes in with her.
J “Does the cat have, like, hair?”
Erica shakes her head. “Not really. Creature of the Nevernever. Kind of perfect if you have allergies.” She thinks a bit. “But I have his favorite toy. And where he liked to sleep.”
Jamie collects the necessary things.
In the car.
Elena “I think I’m going to challenge Carlos to a duel for the cat. He’s Latino. One on one combat, a duel. That was my thought.”
Erica nods “I agree. I agree that’s exactly what needs to happen.”
Elena “I can take him.”
Erica shakes her head. “I need to do it.”
Elena, immediately, absolutely “No.”
Erica “It needs to be me.”
J “Let’s everyone just slow down. Besides the fact that the story you told me of blowing Carlos through a door. What have we really done to one another? You stole the cat, kind of. No judgment.”
Elena “He didn’t steal the cat. He gave it shelter.”
J “No judgment. They stole the cat. We steal the cat back.”
Erica “That won’t end it. They know where I live.”
J “Well, we can cause them problems with where you live.”
Erica “I’m… It’s… I thought about doing what we did with the KBZ and playing that angle, and that has merit.” Pauses. “We have to hit them in such a fashion so that they will never want to mess with us ever again.”
Elena “Well, let me tell you this. We cannot take them as a pack.”
Erica “No, we can’t.”
Elena “They fight as a team.”
Erica “We have to play it side-ways.”
J “Agreed. We’re not going to fight them as a pack.”
Elena “But if we challenge one to a duel, his honor will command that he accepts it.”
Erica “Well, maybe.”
Elena “I betcha I could get him to do it.”
J “There’s really nothing to bind them to it. They’re not Accord signors.”
Elena “Right. There’s nothin to bind us to it, either.”
J “True. But I don’t… I don’t know that I want to spill any unnecessary blood. We already have enough problems other than these guys.”
Elena “Doesn’t have to be to the death.”
Erica “So, every year, on the anniversary that I’ve gotten Hobbes… It’s been like six… I’ve drawn up a blueprint on acoustic warfare versus werewolves.”
Erica “Unfortunately, none of them involved Hobbes being inside the building at the time I was deploying the acoustic warfare. So there’s kind of that big hole there in all my plans.”
Erica “Why you laughing, Conor?”
C “Oh, it was just something I saw out the window. It’s all right.”
Erica “So there are a couple of ideas I’d like to run past you guys.”
Elena “I already told yall my idea.”
Erica “No, and I agree. That’s… I’d love to do that.”
Elena “I’d rather do it than you.”
Erica “I know, but… It needs to be me if it’s going to stick. I’m the one that had the cat.”
Elena “Didn’t you already beat him to a bloody inch of his life?”
Erica “Yeah, that’s why it needs to be me. If it’s you, he’s just going to target both of us.”
Erica “But if I can…”
J “This is what we don’t need. We don’t need any more enemies than we already have. We’ve already got the White Court.”
Elena “We can negotiate for the cat?”
J “Negotiation with werewolves. That’s funny.”
Elena “I have a friend who is a werewolf. He’s very reasonable. But he’s not in a pack.”
J “I don’t think we can reason with these guys.”
Elena “I think a duel is perfectly reasonable.”
J “It’s an option. There’s nothing that would really hold them to it. I mean, Latino honor?”
Elena “Well, the Latino’s machismo is more powerful than his quote-end-quote honor. And I know exactly how to play that.”
C agrees “It’s more powerful than his common sense, I’d say.”
Erica “So there is the social aspect we could play, where there’s the challenge to a duel. We could challenge Carlos, or someone could challenge Ramon.”
Elena “We don’t want to take out their pack leader.”
Erica “If we…”
Elena “Ramon’s not a bad guy.”
Erica “He is the alpha. If you take out the alpha, you put yourself above what an alpha is, so which at that point, if the other wolves play along with the pack, then you get the pack. It’s the Storm versus Morlocks tactic.” Tilts head. “No one else? Just me?”
C “Won’t the pack just break up into little packs?”
Erica “Not if you do it right. But it would have to be…”
J “If you take on the pack leader, all the sudden it’s against the pack. Right now, we’re just fooling around with one guy.”
C “They’re only partially wolves, right? They’re still people.”
Elena “Right. I think your thought that they’ll follow the person that takes out their alpha… They’re people. They’re still gonna get pissed.”
Erica “It would have to be after whoever beats him. They’d have to appeal to the pack, like this is in everyone’s best interests, me being in charge. Then show them what good they’ll get out of staying together as a pack. I’ve thought about this a lot, I’m sorry.”
Elena “Well, I don’t have any interest in being in a pack. I’m not a big talker.”
Erica “The other idea, and this is more physics stuff. I would put them in the hotbox.”
J “Put who in the hotbox?”
Erica “The whole pack.”
J “What’s ‘the hotbox’?”
Erica “There’s this thing, in physics, that’s called thermo acoustics.”
J nods. “Ok?”
Erica “It’s kind of a microwave oven, but using sound. And I know how to do it.”
J “So you want to microwave a pack of werewolves.”
Elena “And your malk?”
Erica sad “Yeah. That’s the hole in the plan.”
Jamie wonders about the ramifications of the First Law – Werewolves are mortals that know a spell. So…? They’re people, thus protected? Or monsters? He kind of thinks that they’re people.
Erica “But I was thinking that once the heat kicks on inside the building, they start exiting and then we pick them off.”
J “This is making one more enemy that we don’t really need. My point is that so far, we’ve just played a game of ‘steal the cat’.”
Elena to Jamie “So what do you have?”
Erica "Do we just keep playing steal the cat?
J “Well, in the short term, we can get the cat. I mean, come on. They’re werewolves. We’re spell casters.”
Elena “And we have someone that can do the Nevernever stepping.”
Erica “They’re pretty observant, but we’ve got a full wizard, so…”
C “In their den, they can step into the Nevernever, too.”
Erica “That’s if they know how.”
C nods “Very true.”
Erica “I mean, that depends on who’s teaching them.”
Jamie thinks back to his observations using the photo-tracking spell, he tries to recall if he’s ever seen them step into the Nevernever, but doesn’t think he’s ever seen it. Not that he’s noticed. Wasn’t something he had been looking for. The wolves have separate dwellings, but for the most part hang out at Ramon’s. Some of them do live there.
Back at Jamie’s house. Ridiculously late, like 5am.
J “Help yourselves. Get settled. I’m going to go tell Alice we have visitors, and I’m going to make some breakfast. So, yall discuss.”
Elena settles on the couch for a nap. Erica doesn’t nap or rest at all.
Jamie makes breakfast & returns.
J “So. What did you guys come up with while I was gone?”
Elena was asleep in the corner, but upon Jamie’s entering the room she snaps awake. Erica is plucking a guitar.
Elena stretches then “Why don’t we check ’em out on your picture?”
J “Sure. Be right back.”
Jamie goes into his secret room, the gallery, and gets a few of the pertinent werewolf pictures and brings them back out.
Erica “How strong is that threshold? The one at their house?”
J “Which house?”
Erica “The werewolves.”
Elena “I never tried to go in.”
J “It’s a house, but there’s not much. Decent, but beatable. It’s more like a clubhouse than an actual home.”
Erica “I’m just uh… Yeah. I just wanted to tell you guys that I really appreciate helping me get my cat back.”
Elena “We’ll get him back.”
C “It’s been two hours…”
Elena “Let’s look at the picture. Bring out Carlos.”
Elena “If the cat’s dead…”
Erica “If the cat’s dead, I’m gonna go into that building and blow everything up.”
Elena “I’ll go with you.”
Jamie pulls out an old style photo. Does his thing. Takes about half an hour for him to gather all the things, etc.
When Elena realizes it’s going to take a while, she takes another nap. Elena is a soldier, she knows how to cat-nap.
Jamie sees that Carlos is asleep. Carlos is nekkid and not alone; the redhead is there with him. Jamie also sees the malk in an iron box, looking miserable.
Jamie comes out if it and describes what he saw.
Erica urgently “So you saw him?”
J “In an iron box.”
C “Oh, that’ll be uncomfortable.”
J “Steal the cat, go to war?”
C “So, what was the blond doing?”
Elena rolls her eyes.
C “Far be it from me to recommend tactics, but um, what say we just go knock on the front door?”
Elena “And say ‘we want our cat back’?”
C “Don’t ask me what I think. I’m always gonna say go knock on the front door.”
Elena “That’s what I was gonna do! I was gonna knock on the front door and say I wanna talk to Carlos.”
Erica “So, I have a theory.”
Everyone looks at Erica.
J “This should be good.”
Erica “I don’t think that they’re all that keen on the spooky side of the street. Like, I think they know stuff well enough to hit a malk nest if they find one. But just from the stuff that I’ve heard from you guys, I don’t think that they have like a mentor, or someone that knows a lot of the stuff ‘in the know.’” Pauses. “I’m not saying they’re not in the know, I just don’t think they know much.”
Erica “The reason I bring this up, is because they may not know about the invitation of things. They may not know about the oath side of things. Make sense?”
Elena shakes her head. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Erica “You know about oaths? About how they have power to them? You make an oath and you swear it and then don’t keep it? Then really bad things start to happen.”
J agrees “If someone ever asks you to swear by your power, be very, very careful.”
C “Yeah. Don’t ever break a promise, especially to the fae.”
Elena “So does it only work with the fae?”
Erica “The fae are really bound to it, but it works across the supernatural world.”
Elena “Even them?”
Erica “The thing is, they would be bound by it, but they may not know about it. Yet. I mean, they have a territory, and everything in that territory they try to take out. I don’t see them trying to do a lot of diplomacy things. I don’t really see them talking a whole lot, at least, not about that.”
J “You bring up an interesting point, about them maybe not being maybe in the supernatural know.”
Elena “So are you suggesting that I keep with the duel thing? Cuz that’s what I keep going back to. I challenge him to a duel and make him swear by his power that he will leave us in peace with the cat, then…?”
Erica “I think that it will stick, and if he breaks it, it will screw him over.”
Elena “Like maybe his power will leave him?”
Erica “Yeah, like Nature will take away his power.”
C “I like it.”
J “Me, too.”
C “So are we gonna go knock on the door now?”
Elena “That’s my vote. Any other ideas?”
Erica “I think if we’re going to call anyone out on a duel, it’s going to have to be Ramon. Because he’s the alpha. He’s the top dog. You have to take down the top dog to..”
Elena “No, we just make him promise, too.”
J “This is just between you and meathead.”
Erica “So I could pull personal grievance on Carlos, that would make sense to them.”
Elena “Then have Ramon say I agree to this duel. It’s settled between you two, whatever happens.”
Erica “There wouldn’t be any way to make him do that.”
Elena “Just have him say he swears by his power that he agrees to it.”
Erica “But then that only stops one person, not the whole pack. If you take the alpha and have him swear, and put him in a position where everyone has to agree with him…”
J “Does anyone else in the pack care about this cat?”
Elena “No, when they took the cat, they were just backing up their pack mate. Everyone was pretty much surprised.”
Erica “And this was six years ago. The only reason Carlos is so pissed is because that’s who he is.”
J “And the only reason they rolled up on us tonight is because Montfort trapped us in their territory. Obviously intentionally.”
Erica “The other idea I had was pull Montfort in, but I don’t know how to get hold of him. So, I know we just beat him down, he’s going to be really not keen to talk to us.”
C “Yeah, I’m thinkin he holds a grudge.”
Erica “But I also think he’s an opportunist. So, you guys said he got kicked out, right? He’s on the bad side.”
C “That’s not gonna help you. You’ve embarrassed him twice.”
Erica “That’s not what I’m talking about. He keeps getting embarrassed in front of the Duke, but he has control of the Invictae. He keeps getting punked by everything. Right?”
J “Like we did tonight.”
Erica “Right! A handful of people punked him completely. If we can get him to lend us the Invictae and we don’t mention the punking and have him side in with us as an ally to take down the werewolf territory, Montfort would get that territory, putting him in higher standing with the duke.”
Elena “Um. Doesn’t Ramon do some good in that territory?”
Erica “I don’t know, does he? I don’t watch him.”
Elena “Yeah. He like beats up criminals and effectively keeps the streets pretty clean. Ramon’s not a bad guy.”
C “The only way you’re gonna get control of Montfort is to direct him like a missile. I don’t think you’re gonna get him to listen to you. You’ve pricked his pride now. Twice.”
J "Her idea is that we basically blackmail him. I’m not sure if that’s the way to go, though.
Erica “I would hope that he sees the opportunity he would gain on it, over the vengeance. But I don’t know. Because I know he wants to get back into court.”
C "No, we’ve embarrassed him publicly. And then you hit him with iron last night. Neh. No, you and me both.
Elena “Not only that, but I wouldn’t want to consign a territory to any fae’s control voluntarily.”
Conor looks hurt, then shakes his head. “I can’t disagree.”
J “The only other thing I can think of to do here would be gaslight them?”
Erica “What do you mean?”
J “You said they don’t know much about the supernatural. I tend to agree. Illusions, entropy. Freak them out. But that’s a long game, and I don’t know how much time we have.”
Elena “Not a lot.”
Erica “If we could roll up and just try to talk to them. Then if that doesn’t go down, have a contingency plan. Some massive ritual of some kind that puts them in a position that they never thought possible.” Looks at Jamie. “I’m pretty sure that since you’re the most solid wizard in DFW, that they haven’t really had to deal with that level of powers before. So they’re not gonna be prepared for that.”
J “Well, yeah. The four of us cannot go knocking on the front door without a backup plan.”
C “Oh, right.” Stands up. “I’m gonna go get some breakfast. You let me know when you have a backup plan.”
Elena “Burn the house down. Throw your microwave.”
Erica “I can throw a Tessla resonation… Um. Housebreaker.”
J “You realize you may kill people doing that.”
Erica “I know.”
Elena “I’m a one trick pony. Ok, two tricks. Guns or claws.”
Erica “They’re very good tricks.”
J “Yeah, they are pretty good tricks.”
Erica “I don’t suppose you can snipe them…”
Elena “Oh, yeah. I can snipe.”
Erica “But that takes away one of your tricks.”
Elena “Well, yeah. Up close.”
Erica “Maybe… I can’t think of anything that I can throw down on them that won’t break the First Law. I mean, I’m already having a problem with that, so… Not that I really have a problem, I’m just…”
C “Worse comes to worse, I rip a hole in the Nevernever and they can choose to follow us or not.”
Elena “But we won’t have the cat.”
C “No, that would pretty much mean we’d have failed in that.”
Elena “Guess we could come back and microwave them.”
C “Doubt they’d still be around. I mean, they’d know we found their den. I think they’d be gone. No offense, but I think they’d be scared of you two.”
Erica “I’ve worked hard to become so.”
Elena “Well, rather than have yall kill them with magic, I can just follow them… if IF the initial plan fails and we have to retreat. I can just pick ’em off one at a time.”
C “I don’t think we’ve got much longer so while you guys are talking, I’m gonna go see if I can find a pathway there. But I need to know where to go. I can get us to Grapevine, in general, but…”
Elena quickly scribbles down the address and hands the slip of paper to Conor.
C “Oh, ok.”
Elena “Does that help?”
C “You already know where they are?”
Elena “I tailed them a while back…”
C “You know, I don’t need to know. ‘S alright. I don’t need to know. Scary.”
Elena shrugs. “I’m not as scary as yall. Two trick pony here. That’s me. Two tricks.”
C “Really, really deadly tricks.”
Elena nods. “Ok, I’m a little less afraid to kill people who deserve it.”
Mumbled agreement from Conor & Jamie.
Elena “To be perfectly honest, I don’t like the idea of me following them around and killing them all.”
Erica “Really? Cuz I really like that idea.”
Elena “I can do it.”
Erica “No, no. I hate to throw this into geek speak, but we have a ranger and two mages. We’re all kinda ranged.”
Elena “And a tank. And I’m a tank and a ranger.”
Erica “Well, you’re the back-up tank.”
J “The ranger/wizard bit I get. Is the tank a fighter?”
Elena “Don’t underestimate my melee when I’m in my cat form.”
Erica “No, no, I’m right there with you. But you’re back up tank. If ranged starts failing, that’s when you switch to melee. You prefer ranged.”
Elena nods “True. Not my preference. But I am as good with my claws as I am with my guns.”
Erica “Oh. Well. That is also scary. I’ll remember it, um, next time. Cuz I don’t think I’ve ever heard you miss. Um.” Silence for a moment. “Ok, so the other idea I had was putting out a call to the relay. Because there’s four of us, versus thirteen or more of them.”
J “That’s actually not a bad idea.”
Erica “I know Belle doesn’t have a whole lot of power, but she’s got decent range.”
Elena “Yeah, but how many of them will actually come if he’s coming along?” Tilts her head at Jamie.
J “That’s true.”
Elena “Isn’t there like drama there?”
Erica “I’m not saying they’d come but maybe they’d lend a hand. I mean, Claret’s got some of the best potions I’ve ever seen-”
Elena “I don’t wanna be on a team with Claret.”
Erica “No? Why not? She’s fine. She’s good.”
Elena “She. Makes. Drugs.”
Erica “Well, yeah, but…”
Elena “I’m not gonna be on her team.”
Erica “Well, ok.”
Erica “Maybe Barbara? Well, she’s got that…” mumbles. “God I wish Matthew were here. Wish Ren were here, too.”
Elena “Yeah, Matthew’s good at the strategy thing.”
Erica “Ren’s got lots of useful tricks, too.”
J “He’s also the best talker.”
Erica “Matthew has a lot of power. A lot of power. It’s hard to argue with God.”
Elena “Even if you ’don’t believe in Him’. Oh, I don’t believe in God! Oh, yeah, see this!”
Erica “Yeah, God gave me hand lasers so you’re gonna believe something!”
Erica “So another idea I had was a mass nauseator spell. Which is kinda what I hit Carlos with toward the end of our little skirmish back in the day.”
J “That’d be funny.”
Erica “Yeah. And I can hit them with that. We’d be through the threshold, so it’d have to be a little stouter than that, but I could hit them hard enough and correctly enough to where if we suited up, you guys wouldn’t be affected.”
Elena “Suited up?”
Erica “I have some industrial grade earplugs that would be really good for cancelling out that lower herz range. Not subsonic, but the lower acoustic range. It works really well.”
Elena “Okay. Cool. I definitely want some of that.”
((Rules discussion re Thaum rules and key words/actions for usage, etc. Jamie wants to do a sleep spell “weapon grade.” Also Erica points out that she could enhance a sleep spell with delta waves, that can help induce a resting state. Then more OOC discussion about sonic stuff and magic rules.))
So Jamie preps a spell.
Erica “You know, that’s another idea I had. Get their true names. Ask them outright what their full names are. I don’t think they know enough to not say it. Like Carlos. And if he says it, then I own him.”
((more rules discussion. comparisons to Storm Front’s 30 shift spell, vs. the 18-ish shift spell Jamie wants. Time crunch, though, so no time for that now.))
Erica “So we go in, ask them. Try to work something out. If that doesn’t happen, then we leave-”
Elena “Are you going to challenge him to a duel? IS that part of the ‘work something out’ phase of the plan?”
Erica “Yeah. That’s part of the plan.”
Erica “I still think we should challenge Ramon. But that’s just me. From what I’ve read on wolves, that’s what makes sense.”
Elena “We just need to make sure he abides by the promise.”
Erica “But how will we do that?”
Elena “Just ask him, do you swear by your power that you agree to the outcome of this duel?”
((More discussion re escape plan through the Nevernever, etc. Elena takes another nap while Erica and Jamie discuss.))
Erica “I have another idea. What if we pinpoint one and pull him into the Nevernever and interrogate him?”
J “I thought we were just knocking on the door and challenging.”
Erica “I’m just throwing ideas out there.”
Elena “We better get moving cuz they’re gonna be waking up.”
J “We’re gonna wake them up anyway.”
C “They were prolly dead tired at three in the morning to worry about killin a cat, but it may not take them long.”
Erica “Another idea is maybe we could bribe them. They don’t know a whole lot about what is going on…”
J “Is Ramon a thug?”
Elena “No.” Pauses. “He’s kinda like a cop. He keeps the streets in his neighborhood clean.”
Erica “I mean, maybe we could just trade info with him. Provide arcane support of some kind.”
Elena “So, let’s try that first, then the duel next.”
Erica “It would up his power. If my theory is correct, he doesn’t have an arcane backer. And if he is this much of a threat at this point, then what he could become once he has legit information.”
Erica “I got a couple of spare rings. I could tutor him without even being in the room with him. It would be completely at my own beck and call as to when I did that. I don’t have a problem with Ramon.”
Elena “Well, you won’t have a problem with Carlos if he gives your cat back.”
Erica “Yeah, exactly. I don’t think he’ll do it, but if we go through Ramon, Ramon can make Carlos give the cat back.”
Elena “And then if that doesn’t work, then we can try the duel thing.”
C “Ok, so we’re bribing with magical knowledge, and then beating the shite out of Carlos if the first one doesn’t work.” Nods. “Ok, so there’s the plan and the back-up. So now can we go knock on the door??”
Everyone agrees. Discussion of who should do the talking. Erica is decided upon, since it’s her cat. Conor is distracted by the blond werewolf.
Jamie comes down from his office with a wand in his hand.
Conor sees the wand. “Where’s the staff?”
J “Doesn’t come in staff size.”
Erica “What doesn’t come in staff size?”
C “He’s got a magic wand.”
Erica fascinated “You got a wand!? Really?! Like Harry Potter?? Does it have a core of lightning-felled oak?”
J “It doesn’t work like that.”
C “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Erica “Harry Potter?” Incredulous. “Conor, have you not read Harry Potter?”
C “Who’s Harry Potter?”
Erica groans. “Just give me a second.”
J “Let it go.” To Elena “You driving?”
Elena “Sure. Wait, no way. Conor?”
They head out. As they travel…
Erica “This is worse than Dune. This is worse than Dune.” To the room at large. “Is this worse than Dune?”
Elena shrugs. “I haven’t read them, but I saw the movie posters everywhere for the last ten years.”
Erica “I have all the books.”
Group makes a pit-stop at Shipley’s Donuts on the way.
C “Ramon is like a cop, maybe we should get one for him, too.”
Elena laughs “I was thinkin the same thing. But I don’t know how well that would go over.”
C “Maybe the one with the sprinkles?”
Elena “Not sure how much of a sense of humor he has…”
Erica “Have you seen the movies? There are movies.”
C “Is that the one with the wizard kid?”
Erica “Yes! Yes! That’s Harry Potter!”
C “Well, I was there in the theater with my date, but I wasn’t really paying attention to the film at the time…”
Erica shakes her head. “Conor! You made out at a kids’ movie?! Conor?!”
Elena is laughing.
C “I don’t think there were any kids there. It was like a midnight show.”
Erica pinches the bridge of her nose. “Oh, sheesh.”
C “If there were any kids there, they shouldn’t have been!”
J “Which one of you guys is challenging Carlos?”
Erica “I think it should be me.”
Elena “I think I have a better chance of beating him.”
Erica “I don’t disagree. I may-”
They step through another wrinkle and suddenly the ground begins to rumble and shake.
Conor looks concerned. “It wasn’t doin this a minute ago. It wasn’t this way when I came through before-”
The ground erupts and TONS and TONS of giant ants come bursting through the ground. At the head of the ants is an… ant-centaur. ((There are enough Invictae that they comprise four full zones))
It sees the group and shouts “There they are! For the Queen!”
Erica “Oh, balls.”
C “Right. Remember what I said about Montfort?”
Erica “Oh, balls.”
J “Remind me to talk to the Duke and tell him how we beat this guy EVERY TIME!”
Elena, matter of fact “We’re going to have to find him and kill him.”
Erica “If we find him and kill him, can we take his Invictae? Cuz that would be kind of cool.”
Elena “No. I hate fire ants.”
Elena aims at the ant-centaur.
Ant-centaur advances. “For my Queen and Lord Montfort!” Lunges with a spear at Conor, who gets slashed across the chest. Silver light gleams from the wound.
Jamie summons a whirlwind to toss some ants away.
Erica steps in towards the group and throws up a big (8 shift) barrier.
Conor steps up to the ant-centaur and punches it, cracking its carapace.
Ants climb on top of each other, climb over the barrier, and swarm. Chomp, chomp all over Jamie. They also move towards Erica, but Elena grabs Erica and shoves Erica behind her.
Elena shoots the ant-centaur with a very solid hit in its cracked carapace and the creature slumps to the ground.
Jamie calls up a rain of orange oil that drenches everything, including the ants, and kills them (orange oil is a neuro-toxin to ants).
Now everyone reeks of orange oil.
Erica thinks that orange oil smells like victory now.
The area is littered with ant corpses and parts.
J looks at the corpse of the ant-centaur. “So should we send the head of this thing to Montfort? And send him a message?”
C “At this point, em, I’m a little pissed. So I say we just track him down after we’re done with the werewolves.”
Erica “I agree.”
Elena “Finish him off.”
C “That’s my thought.”
Elena “Take a piece of that big ant to track it back to the lair?”
J “Good call.”
Conor pops its head off and tucks its mandible in his belt. “I’ll carry it.”
Erica “Ok, well that was… Anyway, we need to get going. Nevernever time is weird.”
They tromp through the Nevernever and show up near the werewolves’ den.
The group can smell bacon, breakfast sausage, etc. Yeah. They’re awake now.
Knock, knock. Erica is up front, but the rest of the group forms a tight semicircle around her.
The redhead chick opens the door.
Erica “May we come in?”
Brief silence, then “No.” Pause. “Wait right here.”
She closes the door.
The group hears her yell “Ramon!!”
Shortly later, the door re-opens and they all stand in the doorway, with Ramon at the front.
R acknowledges “Alright. I should have expected you to find the den. What can I do for you?”
Erica “May we come in and talk business?”
R nods “Yeah.”
The group comes in and are escorted into a front sitting room.
R gestures “Sit there. Right next to your friend.”
Hobbes is in the iron cage, looking out with huge, pitiful eyes. “Mraowr.” Quietly.
Hobbes, very quietly “Mrr. Yep.”
Erica “Ok. Are you alright? Ish?”
Hobbes whimpers an affirmative.
R “So talk.”
Erica turns to Ramon. “So…” Even though Erica can’t see, she can feel the heat radiating from the werewolves surrounding them. She can feel their irritation, smell the cooked meat, testosterone, all the icky high school jock-like smells.
Erica “I apologize for interrupting your breakfast. Would you mind if we spoke alone? Or at least in a bit more privacy?”
R “Whatever you say, you can say in front of my pack.”
Erica shrugs. “Ok.” Pauses. “I would like my cat back.” Pause. “I’m willing-”
R “Why would you want a malk back?”
Erica “Because he’s my friend.”
R “You’re friends with flesh-eating fae?”
R “So you’re alright with the two women and the kid that den murdered and ate, that your malk was part of?”
Erica “No. But this malk doesn’t do that.”
R “It’s a malk. It’s fae. It can’t change its nature.”
Erica “I would still like it back. And I’m willing to trade for it.”
R “I’m listening.”
Erica “Are you familiar with the White Council?”
R “Know the name.”
R “I mean, you hear stuff in Atwater’s.”
Erica “Do you know who they are?”
R nods “Wizard cops.”
Erica “Yeah, kind of.”
R “Doesn’t really bother us, since we’re not wizards.”
Erica “Did you happen to notice that house where you picked up Hobbes last night?”
R nods. “Yeah. I noticed the lycanthropes, too. What was the deal?”
Erica “That was one wizard.”
R shrugs. “We’ve killed wizards before.” He looks over at Jamie. “No offense, Harper.”
J “None taken.”
Erica “There are ways to deal with wizards that would mean you don’t have to lose members of your pack.”
R shrugs “Still waiting for you to say something interesting.”
R “Cut to the brass tacks. You want the cat. What do I get out of it?”
Carlos lunges forward, yelling expletives. Ramon calmly backhands Carlos, who thumps to the ground moaning.
R “So. You have until the birds stop chirping,” gesturing at Carlos, “to make your case.”
Erica “I offer knowledge.”
Carlos is lying on the ground groaning and cursing.
Erica “I offer knowledge. I am not shy about… Well, I am well trained in the art of arcane lore. I can teach you-”
R “You’re the one that put him in the closet, aren’t you?”
Erica nods. “Yeah. Sixteen year old girl.”
R looks over at the redhead, who says “Yeah. That’s her.”
Erica “With no prep.”
J “Blind, sixteen year old girl?”
R “We’re werewolves. We see with our smell. Fact that she’s blind, never considered that a handicap. I mean, come on.”
J “She’s not a werewolf, though.”
R shrugs “She’s a wizard. We kind of assumed that you can do things different.”
Erica “I’m actually not.”
R “Whatever. Semantics.”
Erica “It makes a difference in certain circles.”
R “Maybe with the white council. Not really here.”
Erica “It makes a difference to fae.”
J, reasonably “What she is offering, though, is knowledge.”
Erica “And I have a lot of it. You have a pretty good territory, but not to put too fine a point on it, and not to give away our cards, but you let us in your house. Do you understand what that means?”
R “I imagine that has some kind of supernatural implication?”
Erica nods “Yes.”
R “Lemme guess. Lemme guess. We’re probably gonna need a new den now because you guys can just come in whenever you want, like vampires.”
Erica “No. Not at all. You invited us in. There are ancient laws that govern the laws of hospitality within supernatural circles. Because you invited us, the threshold that is around this place, we can now completely use all our abilities.”
R “You mean, you couldn’t before?”
Erica “Correct. If you had not invited us in, we would have been hampered. I have hundreds of nuggets like that one.”
R “And this is what you’re offering in exchange for the cat?”
Carlos starts yelling curses again. “No way, Ramon! That cat blahblahblah!!”
R “That’s one vote no.”
R shrugs “I’m ok with your deal. But let me put my cards on the table. Alright? Cuz that den of malks ate, ate, leaving bones behind, a fourteen year old girl, a twenty-two year old mother of two, and a seventeen year old boy. Ate. Them. They’re dead now. And one malk got away. I have a problem with flesh eaters. You can understand that.”
Erica “No, no. I understand.”
Erica “Had I been in the situation, I’d have done the same.”
R “So if I give you back the cat, this is gonna be under the assumption that the cat is as you describe. Not a flesh eater. That you are vouching that this fae is different than every other malk we’ve encountered.”
Erica “The cat as it came to me was a baby.”
R “I understand. What I’m saying is this agreement will hold until that malk,” points at Hobbes in the iron cage, “eats somebody.”
Erica “Understood. I will agree to that.”
Elena “Ramon. I will kill the cat personally if it eats an innocent person.”
Erica nods. “Yeah.”
R “As far as I’m concerned…” Pauses. “Hey, cat. Did you partake of that meat?”
Hobbes is notably silent.
R nods knowingly “Hm. No answer. Ok, cat. But maybe you should know more about your little supernatural friends.”
Erica quietly “I know. I know what malks are.”
R skeptically “Alright. So when’s our first lesson, coach?”
Erica pulls a ring out of her pocket and holds it out to Ramon. It’s a Cracker Jack ring. He takes it and looks at it skeptically.
R “What is this? Other than a Cracker Jack ring?”
Erica “This is a link.”
R holds the ring out to the blond woman. “Marissa.” She takes it from him.
Marissa “What am I supposed to do with it?”
Erica “Lesson one-”
Elena interrupts “Now, wait. Has the deal been agreed to? Officially?”
R shrugs and gestures at Hobbes. “You can open the cage if you want.”
Elena “Yall won’t harass her at her home anymore.”
Erica “Ah. I agree to abide by our agreement. Trade information for non-harassment over this malk issue, both for me and mine.”
R “I hear what you’re saying.”
Erica “And I’ll have your word on it.”
R “You have my word on it.”
Elena “By your Power?”
Erica “His word is good.”
R “Carlos, you heard that, right?”
Carlos sullen “Yeah.”
R insistent, stern “You heard that, right?”
R “You’re gonna leave the girl and her cat alone, right?”
Carlos “Yes, Ramon.”
R looks back over at Erica “Is that good enough?”
Erica nods “That works.”
R “And if one of them has a problem, I’ll deal with it.”
Erica “Ok. So if one of them comes and harasses me-”
R “You let me know. I’ll take care of it.”
Erica “Alright.” Pauses. “Ok, Lesson One-”
Ramon, to the others “Hey, yo. Yall go eat your breakfast.”
Everyone leaves, except Marissa who has stayed to listen.
Erica “So that ring is a link. What I’ve done is I’ve taken a piece of plastic from that ring and melted it into this ring.” Holds up a nearly identical ring. “What that allows me to do? I am a Sonomancer. What that allows me to do is wield magic-”
R “With sound. Yeah.”
Erica “I can project sound and receive sound, when I choose, from that ring to this ring.”
R “It’s a Morse code ring?”
Erica “Yeah, walkie-talkie.”
R skeptical “So you turned a Cracker Jack ring into a walkie-talkie?”
R “Can you show me?”
R “Please do.” He looks at the blonde. “Marissa?” She hands him the ring back.
Erica “Go to the other side of the house.”
R “Who goes to the other side of the house?”
Erica “Whoever has the ring.”
R hands the ring back to Marissa. “Go to the other side of the house.”
Marissa heads off.
Faint voice from the other side of the house “Alright!?”
Erica mutters in Latin, then says “Speak.”
Everyone hears “Uh, what do you want me to say?” from Erica’s ring.
R “Lemme see that.”
Marissa comes back, hands the ring to Ramon. He inspects it.
R “Interesting.” Pauses. “This has been an educational day. You have to understand that we’re going to have a pack meeting after this to work things out.”
Erica “No problem.”
R “Where would you like to have a neutral meeting place to-”
Erica “Oh, Atwater’s.”
R “That works. Now, can I uninvite you and the threshold goes back into place?”
Erica “When I leave, I am automatically uninvited.”
R “Ok. But you guys know where the den is. Is that gonna be an issue? Do I need to worry about you guys? Are we cool?”
Erica “You know where I live.”
J “It doesn’t look like we have a problem now. Do we have a problem?”
Elena “Ramon, I respect what you do. You won’t have a problem from me.”
R “From what I hear about you, lady, I don’t have a problem with what you do, either.” To the group. “I don’t have a problem with yall. Never did.”
Erica “I have a question.”
R “So you have a question? Go ahead and ask it.”
Erica “I’d like to ask Carlos something.”
R shrugs. “Ask it.”
Erica “Carlos, what is your full name?”
Carlos “Kiss. My. *.”
J “One thing I’m curious about. When you rolled up on us last night, did you know we were going to be there, or was it just the disturbance?”
R shakes his head “Naw.”
J “Anyone tip you off?”
R nods. “Yeah. A little fairy told us.” Pauses thoughtfully. “We got played. Do you know who it was?”
J “We do.”
Elena “We’re gonna go after him. Wanna come?”
J “You interested?”
R “Who is it?”
Elena “Montfort. The little pony.”
R is still puzzled.
Erica “The centaur. He was at Belle’s party.”
R “Oh. The short one. So what’s the story there? Give me the skinny. How bad is he?”
J “He put a group of white supremacists in your domain.”
R “Lycanthropes, right? Full moon night just crazy SOBs, right?”
J “Then he summoned a bunch of fire ants that are bigger than German shepherds to wreak havoc.”
R “The world is about to get a lot weirder, I assume. Did you just say fire ants?”
Erica “Jamie, show him the-”
J “Oh!” Pulls out the ant-centaur’s head. “I picked this up on the way here. We had a little… He sent them after us for a second helping.”
Ramon, kind of excited. “Alright, let’s go. Let’s go! I’ve never seen giant freaky fire ants before. I mean what else am I gonna do today? Let’s go kill some fire ants!”
Elena “You might have noticed our ‘orange’ smell?”
R laughs “Uh, yeah. I wasn’t gonna say anything, but man. It’s strong.”
Elena laughs too. “Yeah, well it’s really effective against fire ants, ya know. Have you ever seen what orange oil does to fire ant mounds?”
R scoffs. “I don’t do yards. I got people for that.”
Elena “You gonna smell a lot more of that today.”
R looks at Elena suddenly. In Spanish “You and me. We good?”
Elena nods, replies in Spanish. “Yes. We’re really good.”
R nods. “Alright then. So let’s go.”
Jamie thinks for a minute. Then “Ramon, do you have a phone number we can contact you? There’s some prep work we need to do first.”
R “Hey, Marissa?”
Erica “We can do it through the ring-”
Conor raises his hand quickly “I’ll take care of that. You can bring that phone number right over to me, Marissa. We’ll, eh, trade numbers.”
Marissa smiles “I’m alright with that.”
Erica opens the cage and gets Hobbes. “Was it torture?”
H shrugs, already looking much happier “Just uncomfortable.”
Erica “They didn’t cut you or anything?”
H “Just some kicks and stuff, but I’m ok. Let’s um get out of here.”
Erica “Whatever you do, just don’t make me break my oath.”
H “Oh, no. I heard the oath quite clearly.”
Erica “Ok, thank you.”
The group starts to leave.
R “So, do yall want some breakfast? We got sausage, bacon…”
Elena “I could eat.”
Erica sends Hobbes out. The room is kind of tense because of Carlos and such. But everyone eats. Finishes up and leave.
((OOC marveling about how that exchange went))
Get to Jamie’s house. Just outside the door, Erica throws up then curls up into a tiny ball and cries. Conor takes her inside, then she falls asleep on the couch curled up into a little ball with Hobbes.
J “So, are we going to kill Montfort? Or just embarrass him so bad that-”
J “We could just tie up his little horsey feet and like send him to the Duke and just make him look real bad. Or we kill him.”
C “He’s immortal. He never forgets. He never forgives.”
Elena “We gotta kill him.”
J nods. “Ok.”
C “If we send him tied up, to the Duke, we’re not insulting Montfort. It’s more like a declaration of war.”
J “Oh, ok.” Thinks a moment. “So, I’m thinking orange rain from the sky on this one.”
Elena “SO who do you think the queen is? ‘For Montfort and the Queen’?”
J “I don’t know.”
Elena “An ant-centaur like we saw?”
J “There must be a queen for these fire ants and he’s just kind of in charge of it?”
J “Ok. So we’re not on a time crunch anymore. Let’s get some rest and regroup.”
Elena to Conor “You might call Marissa and let her know it may take a day or so?”
C “Oh, I can do that. I’ll send her a text.”
Tap tap tap of the keys.
J “Ok. Meet back here tonight. I gotta get some sleep. I have some spells I’ve got to cast.”
Elena “Ok, so regroup in eight hours?”
Erica “How about twelve hours?”
J “Ok, sure just come back around dark.”
C “So let her know it’ll be around dark, then?”
J “Yeah. That or a little after.”
C “You know. I just want to give them a rough time frame. So, em, I’ll see you guys later.”
J “You have a date with someone.”
Elena “Erica do you need a ride home?”
C “So you all take care and I’ll see ya tonight.”
They go their separate ways.
Regroup at Jamie’s house. Jamie’s done some spell prep work, with some orange oil theory, longer duration, massive zones, etc. 16 shift spell six zones for two rounds, etc. Uses Montfort’s picture to do more recon. Sees that it’s definitely in the Nevernever. His house is just the top of the mound, as it were. He can’t really see the Nevernever side, assumes it’s the ant tunnels.
J “So what is the plan for Montfort here?”
Elena “Kill him?”
J “A little more tactical?”
Erica “I want poetic justice. We find out whatever it is he has control over the queen and turn that against him, so that she eats him.”
Erica “If he has control over a whole bunch of monsters, the best way to kill him is to turn those monsters against him.”
J “He probably has some sort of item.”
Conor walks in “Top o the mornin to ya!”
J ironic “Have a good afternoon?”
Conor grins “Yeh.”
J “So, Nevernever expert.”
C “I do ok. What ya needin?”
J “How do we…”
C “You’re not gonna ask me my recommendation for strategy, I hope? You already know the answer.”
J “Just go in the front door.”
Elena “We don’t know where the front door is.”
C “Make one.”
Erica talks about the Aliens movies with all the tunnels and stuff.
J “We theorized that Montfort probably has some kind of compel over the queen, maybe an item?”
C “There is no tellin. There are as many ways of binding the fae to you as you can come up with in your own mind.”
Erica “We could ask.”
J “Who could we ask?”
Erica “Who do we know that would know? Who in the Summer court would know, that we could ask?”
C “Well, anyone in the Summer Court would know, right? Everyone I know in the Summer Court doesn’t particularly like him.”
J “All our encounters have been violent.”
Erica “We could ask the little folk maybe. Would they know?”
C “Well, they’d know something, but it would be the outsider’s point of view.”
J “They might be able to find out?”
C “What about the satyr?”
Elena “Isn’t he kind of a merc?”
C “He gave me the merc vibe. Did he give you the merc vibe?”
Erica “The one at the diner?”
Elena “The one holding the lycanthropes in thrall with the music.”
Erica “Oh! Yes. The one that kidnapped me. Oh, yeah, totally a merc. It wasn’t personal at all. And he told me his name.”
J “The little people could probably find him.”
C “Oh. I know where he is. Yeah, follow me!”
J “I don’t really want to go through the Nevernever again.”
C “Well, he’s usually at the head shop, over on Belt Line in Carrollton. He’s always there at the head shop.”
Erica “If he’s a merc he’ll want equivalent payment.”
J “He’ll want favors, but we’ll deal with that later.”
C “He’s a satyr. Get him shagged and he’ll be fine.”
Erica blushes. “I’m not shagging him!”
C “I wasn’t saying actually… I was just giving an example. I mean, satyrs are famous.”
Elena & Jamie laugh.
C “He’s a druggie. I mean…”
Elena “So his price isn’t very complicated?”
C “He’s not a difficult sort. We get on grand. I’ve never had a problem with him until the previous evening.”
J “And plus, Montfort almost got him killed, so…”
C “Well, the risk is part of the job, I think.”
J “Ah, ok.” Pause. “So, head shop in Carrollton?”
C “Yeah. Easy to get to.”
They drive there.
C “Hey Erica, do you like comic books?”
Erica “They have comic books here?”
Elena “Not at the head shop. There’s a comic book store just down the way.”
J “We’ll hit that after.”
C “Comic books, action figures, dice of all shapes and varieties.”
They go into the head shop. Smells like weed concealed by tobacco concealed by incense, concealed by air freshener.
Clerk drawls slowly “Hey, man. What can I do for ya?”
Erica “Um. Hey. You’re Claret’s friend, right?”
Clerk “Yeah. Do I know you?”
Erica “I’m one of her other friends.”
Clerk “You look pretty clean cut for one of Claret’s friends.”
Erica “I’m a little bit more, uh, production than consumption.”
Clerk “Ok, fair enough. How can I help?”
Erica “I’m looking for… Ok, I can’t tell him what he looks like. Someone else? I’m looking for a guy, hangs out here all the time.”
Clerk “Oh, yeah. O.R.”
Clerk “In fact, I’m surprised he’s not already here.”
Erica “Ok. Do you have a way of getting hold of him?”
Clerk “Oh, yeah. Just call him.”
Erica “Mind if I have the number?”
Clerk “Eh, since you’re Claret’s friend, it’s fine by me.” Scribbles some numbers on a piece of paper and hands it to Erica.
Erica “Um, could you just tell me?”
Clerk “Oh, dude. Sorry.” He passes his hand in front of Erica’s eyes. “Oh. I totally couldn’t tell.”
Erica “Thanks. I work hard on that.” She puts on her Jordie LaForge eye glasses.
Clerk “Wow. That’s awesome. And I’m not even trippin right now.” Stares. “Oh. Yeah. The number.” Tells Erica O.R.’s phone number.
Clerk “So, um. What are you doing tonight?”
Clerk “You wanna go grab some pizza or something? Some tacos? There’s an awesome taco joint.”
Erica fumbles terribly and awkwardly.
Clerk “Whoah. Are you sober?” Laughs. “It’s alright, it’s alright. I’ll go eat the fish tacos myself. Maybe next time.”
Erica is totally uncomfortable.
Clerk “So can I show you guys something? Something in a pipe or… tobacco or scented tobacco?”
J “No. Good for now.”
J “Do you know where we’re going?”
Erica fumbling still “Gimme a second.”
Conor looks at all the bongs.
Erica calls the number.
O “Who is this?”
Erica “We met, last night. Tied to a chair. Picked me up in a parking lot…”
O “Ah. I’m actually quite happy to know that you are ok.”
Erica “I appreciate that.”
O “No hard feelings, I hope?”
Erica “No, no. I get it.”
O “How can I help?”
Erica “Um. Well. The hard feelings aren’t with you. You were just doing what you do. Hard feelings, however, are with Montfort.”
O “I can understand that.”
Erica “So, I was wondering if I could possibly purchase service of some kind from you?”
O “Where are you? We can discuss prices.”
Erica “I am at the head shop on Belt Line in Carrollton.”
OR laughs. “I’ll be there in about ten minutes.”
Erica “Excellent. Thank you.”
Ten minutes pass. A decked out Chevy Impala drives up. The license plate is KBRIT0. He’s wearing all black leathers, with a big cigar. Walks with a gang-banger swagger, but it’s because his legs are what they are.
O “Let’s go into my office.”
O to clerk “It’s alright, man. We’re just gonna go back into my office and chill out a bit.”
Clerk “It’s all good. Which one do you wanna smoke today?”
O scratches his chin. “Eh… Let’s talk about it later. I’m thinkin the Honduran stuff.”
C “You alright, Elena?”
Elena “Yeah. I’ll be alright.”
Erica, Oreamnos, Jamie go into the back room. Elena stands outside and listens. Conor steps outside.
Erica “So, Oreamnos, or do you prefer OR?”
O “If you know Oreamnos, then that’s fine.”
Erica nods “Oreamnos. Ok. So we’re looking for some information.”
O “I’m happy to sell information.”
Erica “The information I’m looking for is how Montfort is controlling the Invictae. What his link is to them that allows him to give them orders and then they do it.”
O “This is a trivial piece of information, but I’d like to hear what you’re offering for payment?”
Erica “Uh, what would you expect for this kind of information? It’s important to us. Trivial for you.”
J “Do you like comic books?”
O “Not particularly.”
J “Oh, ok.”
Oreamnos reaches out and caresses Erica’s hand. “You’re a very attractive young lady.”
Erica panics “Uh…” Stammers. “Oreamnos, you’re a very interesting person and uh I’m not saying that uh…”
O “A kiss. That’s it.”
Erica “Oh.” Pauses. “Uh, ok.”
Oreamnos lays a big-time luscious, seductive kiss on Erica, who at first was doing the chaste closed mouth kiss but then totally gets into it, too. Jamie looks away, looks at his watch.
After a moment, Jamie interrupts. “Ok, that’s enough.”
Oreamnos pulls away with a smile. Erica is totally dazed.
J “You might just want to tell me.”
O “Ah. Ok. Well, the short of would be Montfort…” Pauses. “We’ll call it the… father of most of them.”
Erica “Whoah! Whoah!”
O “Not the only father. There are other males involved. But he’s the only one that lives past the coupling.”
J "That’s with the queen that everyone keeps talking about.
Erica “So he’s…”
O “She’s quite lovely, when you ignore the egg sack.”
Erica “And he just commands them because he’s their father?”
O nods. “He’s their father.” Shrugs “The horse body, the ant body… They kinda work well together. I don’t really ask about the specifics.”
Erica shudders. “Uh, yeah.”
O “Like I said, the queen is quite an attractive fae when you ignore the egg sack.”
O “Is that payment met?”
Erica “Uh, yeah. That is fantastic.”
O smiles “It was. It was quite lovely.”
Erica “I’m gonna…”
Erica flushes beet red “Uh, go, now.”
Jamie takes Erica’s elbow and escorts her out. “C’mon Erica.” To Oreamnos “Nice doing business with you.”
O is still smiling. “My pleasure.” Suggestively “See you around, Erica.”
Erica “Yes, as much as I can… see… hear you… is what I was… I need to go.”
Jamie drags her out.
J “Can we skip the comic book shop?”
Erica “Yeah. I’m not really thinking comic books… right now…”
Out in the car.
J “So I guess there’s really no turning the ants against Montfort.”
C “Wait. What’s goin on?”
J “Oh. Montfort is the, uh, father.”
Erica “Of the ones coming after us, anyway.”
C “Oh. Arg. I’m gonna have to scrub my mind.”
J “I’m sure your new blonde friend can help you with that.”
Erica mumbles “Wow. I didn’t even feel that one. Huh. That was a good kiss.”
C “Wait, what? What happened in that back room?”
Erica “Nothin happened at all.”
J “So, I guess if we’re gonna wipe out the mound…”
C “Jamie, good call going in the room with the virgin and satyr. Good call.”
Erica wistful relief “Yeah, thanks.”
C “You are like crack to him.”
Erica dreamily “Yeah. Kinda works the other way around on that one, too.”
J “So, while she’s getting over that, we’re really not going to be able to turn Montfort against the ants or vice versa. Looks like it’s just going to be a fire ant extermination.”
Erica “Yeah, I’ll go with that. But what would it take to get the queen to eat Montfort? Or for Montfort not to survive a coupling?”
C shudders “I really do not want to hear this conversation.”
J “We could just get rid of the fire ants all together and probably save a lot of people in this town some trouble.”
Erica “Do you think the Duke would take offense if we just wiped out the Invictae?”
C “Yeah, of course. We’d be reducing his power. But, you know, it happens. Montfort started it, didn’t he?”
J “And the Duke doesn’t even like Montfort, does he?”
C “Well, there’s not liking the fella, and acknowledging the resources he brings to bear.”
Erica “Do we still have the head?”
C “Oh sure. It’s right here on the seat.”
Erica “Oh. Ew. Can we use it to trace it to the mother?”
C “Well, it’s been disolvin, so not sure how useful it’ll be.”
J “I can pretty much wipe out the ants. Just get me in the middle with the queen and I can wipe them out.”
Erica “If we could just get her to eat Montfort.”
C “I’m gonna go sit up there with Elena. You two can talk about the details.”
J plaintively “How did I get stuck with the ant procreation detail?”
Erica “I just don’t want to piss off any more fae than we already have. If we want to go with the extermination, I’ll go with that, I just… I don’t want to piss off any more fae.”
J “What does everyone else think? Trick or do we just get rid of the ants. It’ll piss off the Summer Court a little.”
Erica “But less, if we just take out Montfort.”
J “True. But then the fire ants are still running around.”
Erica “Yeah, but maybe give them to someone who will be more responsible with them? Or someone we can… Or someone who’s not mad at us? It’s still a win?”
J “Conor, what do you think?”
C “Personal preference?”
C “Find a neutral, loosely affiliated member of the Summer Court worth a thing or two, tell him what the deal is and how to keep control of the ants, and transfer their allegiance, as it were.”
J “So just off Montfort.”
C “He’s a tosspot. He’s never gonna let it go.”
C “So find some other Summer fae that we like and give him a promotion. Then the Duke can’t complain about his fire ants being gone. Maybe we pick up a significant favor, in the process.”
J “That’s much better, actually.”
Erica “I like that.”
C “Or we just wipe them out. They’re giant fire ants. It’s not like they’re nice or anything.”
J “Well, it could be viewed as an assault on the Duke. We have enough problems already. We don’t need to piss off the Duke if we don’t have to. And I kind of like the idea of having an ally down the road…”
Elena “I like the idea of having someone owe us a favor.”
Erica “Yeah, me too. Especially someone in a fae court.”
J “Do you know a guy?”
C thoughtfully “Hm. Has to be the worst idea ever…”
C “Well. We could hand em off to the Winter Court. I’m not saying hand them off to the Marchioness, but it would sure go a ways to evening the playing field.”
J “I think the Duke would rather have us light them up than hand them over to the Winter Court.”
C “Well, yeah. He would.”
Erica “What about the Hammer?”
Erica “The eating guy?”
C “Oh. That guy from the cafe?”
Erica "He’s Summer Court, isn’t he?
C “I guess. I don’t know. Is he gonna want to do the nasty with the ant queen?”
Erica “Oh, that’s a good point.” sighs
C “I mean, if we give it to a satyr like…”
Erica “Wait. Wait.”
C “We could give it to a satyr. He’d do anything, really.”
Erica “He already finds her attractive.”
J “Do we need to turn the car around?”
Erica “Maybe… Ok. So go over it with me one more time? The politics involved, Conor?”
C “Well, if your goal is to not piss off the Duke, then all the Duke needs is someone in the Summer Court to be in charge of the Invictae. As long as that resource is still accessible, he’s good. Now getting to Montfort, that’ll be the hard part, although we’ve killed about a hundred of his offspring already.”
J “We can deal with more.”
C “And we’ve got the queen. She’ll need to be dealt with. She’ll still need her payment. I’m thinking anything male will do.”
Erica “So how will we broach that to the satyr?”
C “I have no idea how we’re going to bring this up.”
J “Would you like to run the ants and screw the queen?”
C “I imagine he’d have to come with us into the mound. Fae are pretty simple. Old pacts are consummated…”
Erica “Oh, right.”
Erica (gets it) “Oh. Oh. Ew. Do we have to stay for the whole…?”
C “Probably not.”
J “Turn the car around?”
The group heads back to the head shop.
They go back in.
Clerk “Oh, hey. Uh, you’re back. Nothing’s changed, man.” He sounds very uncomfortable. “Would you, uh, like some tobacco?”
Oreamnos is hanging out up front with the clerk.
J “So, we have something we’d like to discuss with you. Shall we go back into your office?”
OR, looking at Erica “She coming?”
O “Sure, I guess.”
Jamie and Oreamnos go back to the room.
O “So what do you need?” Pauses a sec. “Gimme a minute, gimme a minute.” He shakes his head, concentrates. “Alright. My head’s a little better. What can I do for you?”
J “We were talking it over.” Pauses. “Think you can get past the egg sack?”
O “The queen’s egg sack?”
J “Yeah. Do you think you could, ah… Well, you said she was attractive.”
O "You will think she’s attractive in spite of the egg sack, too. Trust me.
J “But can you get past the egg sack?”
O smiles. “Yeah. Why?”
J “How would you like a nest?”
O “What are you offering me?”
J “We off Montfort, you take care of running the nest.”
O “In exchange for?”
J “A favor down the road?”
O thoughtfully. “Yeah.”
J “We’d like to have a friend in the Summer Court.”
O looks out the room at Conor. “What about him? He’s a changeling, near fae himself.”
J “I don’t think he’s interested.”
O shakes head “I don’t think he’s ever seen the queen either.”
J “I think his destiny lies in a different direction.”
O “This is because of Montfort and that whole ‘My Little Pony’ thing?”
J “You know, he started it, and then that whole incident you were involved in, and then he jumped us when we stepped into the Nevernever.”
O “So this is personal.”
J “Yeah. He’s just gonna keep coming after us.”
O “And in exchange for you handing me the queen and all its associated power, I leave you alone? The ants won’t attack you anymore? You, your group.”
J “And a favor down the road. This is a significant amount of power we’re turning over to you.”
O “What I can promise is, because I can’t promise I know what the Duke is going to use the Invictae for, but I can promise you that I will never order the Invictae to attack you, your friends directly. If I am ordered by my Duke to interfere with Dallas mortals and it affects your friends, you understand that puts me in a bind that I can’t get around.”
O “I can give you a warning, though.”
J "Ok, sounds good.
O “Then yeah. I think we can do business.”
O “When are you going? Because obviously I’ll need to go with.”
J “Fairly soon.”
O “Fairly soon as in within the next hour?”
J “You might want to get settled up, or not depending on how you roll.”
O smiles again, knowingly. “You just wait til you see her.”
Jamie shrugs. Jamie & OR come out.
J “K, let’s go.”
Erica nods toward the clerk. “The bubblegum flavor has gone bad.”
Clerk “What? Oh. Thanks. I’ll, uh, get on that. Um. In the next few… Yeah.”
Elena just ignores him.
Clerk dubiously “Thanks for comin’?”
Oreamnos goes with them. Gets in Elena’s car.
Elena “Man. I need to get a new car.”
((The assault on the mound is narrated. Everyone loses some stress, takes a minor and/or moderate. The wolves go with them, they’re messed up, too. It was a nasty, brutal, long fight. A massive tunnel fight/dungeon crawl of epic proportions against formians. Whee!))
They make their way and find themselves in the chamber of the queen. There are eggs everywhere. There’s an enormous egg sack pulsing. Reminiscent of Aliens. Ew. Ovum depositor, etc. Everything is centered around a throne. Seated on the throne is an absolutely beautiful solid white woman. WHITE, like crayon. Her skin glistens as if it were chitin (it is), shiny and smooth like larva. White eyes, white lips, white hair. Can’t tell if she’s a centaur or anything as she has a draped cloth across her lap as she sits in the throne. Waist up, she’s naked.
((Incite emotion in males. Lust. Ramon has to reign in his pack, barely keeping them back through his pack link))
Oreamnos looks at the group quizzically.
Elena “It’s all you, man.”
O with a laugh “Oh, don’t throw me in the briar patch!”
Montfort bursts in with several of his giant ant-centaur daughters.
Conor “With thy permission, Queen of Ants?”
The queen merely shrugs.
((Narrated fight, nasty brutal etc. The queen merely watches impassively. All said and done and Montfort and his kids are dead. Everyone takes a moderate to reflect the difficulty of the battle. Quick discussion to make sure players are ok with this; they are more than satisfied with the narration vs. rolling literally a hundred dice.))
((Most of the werewolves’ moderate consequences are ‘Completely Ooged Out By Everything’))
Queen looks at the victorious group expectantly “Why?” Her voice is sultry, raspy and has a deep reverb through the whole chamber.
((Erica may have gotten a hard-on with that one. Sucker for a middy voice.))
Jamie gestures at Oreamnos, who bows courteously.
O “My queen! I have displaced Montfort to take his place, with thy permission.”
Q “Knowest thou the terms of thy throne?”
O “I would accept it willingly, in exchange for all the power that it brings.”
Q “It will be thine. Come to me…”
Erica “Uh, let’s go!”
J “Go, go!”
C “With thy permission, Queen of Ants?”
Q “Go in peace.”
Jamie signals the werewolves. They head out.
J to Ramon “So, life getting a lot weirder for you?”
Ramon nods. “In a good way. We’ll see you around, Scoobies.”
Erica “This is going to work out, right?”
R nods again “I think we’ll be friends.”
The wolves head off, the group heads off, too.
C “This has been the most surreal two days of my entire life. So, uh, what’s next?”
Erica “Uh, I have a paper due for my applied physics class. But that’s just me.”
J “I have a warlock to investigate in Oklahoma.”
C “I’m gonna go take a shower.”
Erica “Oh, yeah. That’s definitely first. Definitely, definitely first.”