Walled Gardens & Hidden Paths

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…


Looking around the island was okay, but I hope Donna never sends us out there again. That lady did NOT believe me when I said we were with a ghost show. What if she had called the police? I don’t think the Autumn court would have broken us out of jail, nevermind that I’m not sure if Concord is actually wanted by police around here?

Anyway, thank goodness we found Jack. She’s not in a good state at all.. I can’t believe she’s been in that cave for two years already. It’s going to be hard to explain to Donna about that weird staff we found without talking about Jack, but we did promise we wouldn’t…

I think I’ll try to make it back up there soon with some more supplies. It’s just not right that someone should have to live like that when there’s enough to go around.

Chapter 12: Down in the Deep

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