Walled Gardens & Hidden Paths

Chapter 16: Thanksgiving Dinner

Monday, October 12th, 2020

Write-up to be forthcoming.

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Chapter 15: Applications

Thursday, October 8th, 2020

The Motley came back from the Hedge and had a discussion about what had happened there.

Concord went to go spy on Heather’s Fetch, and got spotted by her – and interrogated her.

Mara went off to do science.

Hammer went to craft.

Friday, October 9th, 2020

Hammer met up with his grandfather to apply for a job.

Amanda went apartment shopping and managed to get a basement apartment she could move into on Sunday.

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Chapter 14: A look in the mirror

Thursday, October 8th, 2020

The Motley showed up at Donna’s office to fill her in on the presence of the weird plants in the area – and, of course, she tasked them with investigating further. She also received their report on what they found on Valdes Island – missing a few details, and mostly overshadowed by the news about the plants. She told the changelings they’d soon receive an invitation to be inducted into the Freehold, and also told Mara where she could find and item that might please Count Glimmergleam.

They went off to retrieve the present for Count Glimmergleam, finding it as promised at the bottom of an old mineshaft in a park near Victoria. Inside the leaden box was an antique handmirror. There was something supernatural about it too.

Mirror retrieved, some of the Motley went off to their own business (Hammer had a ring to keep working on, and Amanda headed over to Fluffy Paws ), as some of the others stopped by the university to show the strange plant to Donna.

Mara then wanted to head back towards the Northern Junk Warehouse to enter the Hedge from there and head out to find Count Glimmergleam. But on the drive there, she started acting…strangely. She almost blew up at the sound of Concord typing on their phone – and then Concord’s phone lit on fire. By the time they arrived at the warehouse, Mara was in a rage and Concord and Heather were not too sure she should go on ahead – but Mara was not about to be stopped, opening up a portal to the Motley’s Hollow. As she headed into the Hedge, Concord followed invisibly and Heather lingered behind, texting Amanda for help.

Mara and Concord soon saw they had a third companion when they entered the hedge – a vaguely translucent teenage girl, who didn’t even seem to immediately realize Mara was speaking to her when she addressed her. Mara cared little though, charging recklessly forward through the Hedge with Concord invisibly following behind.

Amanda stole some drugs from her work – including some tranquillisers – and made it to the warehouse, marshalling Heather and Hammer to come with her to head into the Hedge after Mara. They intercepted her at the entrance to Count Glimmergleam’s mines, trying to talk Mara down but Mara was not in a being talked down mood. Amanda lept forward and shot the strange girl following Mara full of tranquillisers, but it didn’t immediately do anything and Mara charged off into the mines.

Hammer tried to run after, but tripped and fell into an open pit. One of the hobgoblin overseers came to investigate the commotion, but before he could do anything with him Hammer shot him twice. Heather and Concord found Hammer and pulled him out of the pit.

Mara found Count Glimmergleam and made her trade with him – exchanging the mirror, which the strange girl followed, for the Count’s tiara, which shrunk down to a ring when handed to Mara. Amanda caught up with Mara, who suddenly seemed significantly less angry. Amanda and Mara slipped out just as a wounded hobgoblin came stumbling into Glimmergleam’s chamber.

Not long after the alarm was raised and the Count’s men started pursuing the Motley, who managed to lose their pursuers in the Hedge – but not before one of the traps Hammer laid in his footsteps managed to catch Concord in it’s wake, badly injuring his Motleymate. Soon though, the entire crew was back in their Hollow and safe…

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Chapter 13: Out of the Closet

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

Upon return to Victoria, Amanda met up with her young friend Samantha for coffee and to talk about apartment hunting. Samantha asked about Amanda’s other fairy friends, and asked to be introduced to them – Amanda seemed hesitant, and when she got Samantha to promise not to look into fairy stuff independently, she sealed the promise.

Hammer returned to his workshop in the Hedge – after taking some time to distribute a bounty of goblin fruit to his friends. He started working on a watch to show as part of his portfolio to his grandfather when they met on Friday.

Mara met up with her friend and co-worker (and the woman who slept with her fiancee), Madeline. They talked a fair bit about work – including Maddie bringing up the destroyed boat – but really Mara was trying to put Madeline at ease, since Madeline still seemed pretty awkward about the whole having slept with Eric thing…

Concord, for their part, had dinner plans with Ivy. They spent some of their hard-earned cash on some hostess gifts and showed up at Ivy’s place. Ivy was busy getting supper ready, leaving Concord to examine Ivy’s place. Concord definitely felt the place seemed familiar – especially the aquarium, with brightly coloured fish and silky black ferns that had little eyes on them, which Ivy later confirmed Concord had given to her. Concord messaged a picture of it to Mara, who said it was the plant she was studying at work – though she didn’t remember it having eyes. Concord also realized where they recognized Rowan from, even before Rowan emerged for food…

Food was ready shortly enough, and they all sat down to dinner – Concord using the whole exchange as a chance to try and gather information about Ivy and Rowan’s lives. After supper, once Rowan had slunk back to their room, Concord continued to try and gather information – asking Ivy about what happened “before”, and getting Ivy’s version of the story.

Concord realized that Ivy didn’t entirely believe in the supernatural, only that something “unexplainable” had happened. Concord took Ivy into her room and dropped the mask to let Ivy see their true form – and opened up a dormant door to the Hedge in the hallway, which led into a dark cobblestone ally with a moonless sky overhead.

Suffice it to say, this worried Concord and soon they were redirecting the doorway towards the Motley’s hollow and getting Hammer to come out and look at the problem. Concord also contacted Amanda and Mara, and soon the whole crew was on site ripping apart Ivy’s hallway closet, bustling her off to a hotel, and packing up the aquarium.

Soon enough the aquarium was safely in Professor Deem’s lab, with Hammer watching it and making notes while Mara, Amanda, and Concord borrowed Eric’s boat and looked for live samples of the plant Mara had been studying. Soon enough the found some of them clinging to the rocks near the shore…whole lines of little eyes opening up and looking at them…

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Chapter 12: Down in the Deep

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

Amanda, Concord, Hammer and Mara headed out to Valdes Island to help the Autumn Court complete their census by investigating what supernatural might be going on on the island – and hopefully prove the Motley to the Autumn Queen, Donna, in the process.

The Motley interviewed some of the islanders and poked around for clues, before eventually following a path to caves in the interior of the islands. Legends had tied the caves to both First Nations practices as well as to the Brother XII cult from the early 20th century, so if the island was haunted it seemed like things leading back to here might be logical.

Inside, Mara found a place where someone had been seeking refuge in a cave hollowed out by the water – not easily accessible – as well as a strange stone block – an altar? – with a huge grinning face done on it in orange paint and a circle of stones around it. The rest of the Motley clambered down to also investigate, except for Hammer who couldn’t easily climb down the rocks. Something strange seemed up in that area, producing weird feelings of weight and expectation – and a cedar staff wedged in a crack in the rock seemed to vibrate as if for attention…

But while Amanda, Concord and Mara investigated, Hammer had a confrontation of his own – seeing a creature with black hair and skin and eyes like coals emerge from the darkness coming down into the cave. It jumped on Hammer and scared him before running off.

The others returned to Hammer, except for Mara who went back in by the waterway and found the creature – a Changeling – in the cave she’d found earlier. She talked to her and managed to lure her out to meet the others. They talked for awhile, learned the Changeling’s name was Jack or Jacklyn, and they were extremely wary of other Changelings – assuming at first they were from her Keeper, sent to recapture her, making them promise not to reveal her presence to others.

After a little bit more poking around the cave (including Concord ferrying Hammer down so he could examine the rock with the face and the like), they trekked back to the boat and headed back to Victoria…

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Chapter 11: Trinkets

Sunday, October 4th, 2020

The Autumn Court census came for the Motley in the form of Zhi, who first visited Mara and Amanda (who had been staying occasionally at Mara’s place), and then sought out Concord and Hammer. Concord wasn’t happy to be found at their place of employment and put a bit of fear in Zhi, but Hammer took the opportunity to ask some awkward questions and learn about the Autumn Court.

Mara decided she wanted to retrieve her engagement ring from the Hedge, and asked Amanda along. The two sought out aid from the Cartographer – a Hob that looked like a crow with protractor needles for legs, well-known to the freehold – paying the creature to help them find where Mara had originally traded away the ring. Unfortunately, the ring wasn’t in the possession of the Hobgoblin she’d traded it to – it’d been taken by someone called “Count Glimmergleam”. Mara and Amanda sought him down in his mines, but he wasn’t prepared to part with the ring(which had metamorphized into a glittering tiara) without a fight – or payment.

Monday, October 5th, 2020

Hammer was investigating what little he remembered of his old life, and eventually came across Flowers by Nathan. He spied on the employees before finally approaching the owner, who seemed very strangely familiar. He tried to get a message to the owner’s grandfather, trying to get in on the family business. The owner – Nathan – seemed very weirded out – but the next day Hammer did indeed get a call from the jeweller who told him to come by the shop on Friday.

At around the same time, Concord was trying to help by trying to track down jewelers – but ended up in a sketchy pawn shop, only to be spotted by Ivy who seemed very wary that Concord was returning to their own ways by frequenting such a place. concord ended up spinning some explanations, and eventually they arranged to do dinner at Ivy’s place on Wednesday.

Amanda, for her part, was trying to find

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

During the census, Zhi had checked in with Mara to see if she had access to a boat – and Mara figured there must be a reason. Mara, Amanda, and Hammer headed to St Anne’s to speak with Donna and she what she wanted with a boat, while Concord waited outside. Mara originally proposed she could do something in return for something she could trade to Count Glimmergleam. Donna instead suggested the Motley could do something to prove their worth to her – and thus gain opportunity to swear to the Freehold – and then she could give Mara something to trade away.

They reached an agreement, and Donna said she’d asked about the boat because there was a whole in the Autumn census – there had been some reports of strange goings-on on Valdes island, pulled off something called “reddit”. Could be haunted, could be a changeling, could be something completely different. But either way, it’d be something to investigate and show they could gather information and solve problems independently, something the Autumn Queen valued.

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