Widget found the dartboard. She also found the darts. She /hasn't/ found someone to tell her how to play so she's just hucking the pointy little eye-gougers at the board and trying to hit the middle bit. Or preparing to, anyway. She seems really invested in taping little rockets to them first.
Slipping into the Wayhouse is a tall, shadowy man with inky black skin and hair. He appears as part of the darkness, the shadows within the room seeming dawn to him, dancing and moving as he makes his way from the door deeper into the room. A wide smile brightens his shadowed features to show his ivory white teeth that seem to glow against the darkness of his features, matching the bright glow of his large eyes. One hand lifts in a wave of greeting as he says softly, "Hey there. I'm glad to see this place isn't empty." While low, his voice is filled with a deep resonance that can be felt as much as heard. Its alluring in tone and pitch and with it comes a sly smile that seems to hint at the speaker knowing the effect his voice can have. "Darts? Can I join you? Though sadly I'm lacking rockets to paste on mine." A wink follows as he approaches Widget with one shadowed hand held out in greeting, "I'm known as Shade..."
It's from the direction of the kitchen that the Moon Queen drifts in. The wildness of her hair suggests that she's just crawled out of whatever dark corner she was previously napping in, though her dress says she was giving her A-Game before that nap. A black velvet dress with slits nearly reaching her hip bones is coupled with spiked heels, the jangle of her bracelets. Coffee in hand, those solid black eyes take in the living room of the Wayhouse.
Lilith was up stairs, where the beds and probably the showers are, and from the looks of her, the latter is where she's come from. She's dressed incredibly casually, which is rare, and wearing next to nothing compared to what she's usually seen in. Still, she's got jeans on that almost fit, and a long sleeved thermal shirt with a pink t-shirt over it, which leaves her more than decent. Her feet are bare, though, and in her hand, she carries a small canvas bag, which she takes with her to the couch, the others in the room getting a little wave before she settles herself. She's not even freaking out a little, which is also a change. She's almost comfortable.
"Widget! Hi. Can join!" Widget shakes Shade's hand, clearly unused to doing that. Anything proper-like was a bit foreign. Like proper clothing! Unless one considers a filthy oversized mechanic's jumpsuit that. She seems comfy enough in it, greeting Shade happily. Her voice is high and quick, tinged with a Mexican accent and a healthy dose of mania. "Have more rockets. Yes." Little red-colored things made of pen cases and straws and other tiny tubes, firmly slapped against the very sharp darts.
Of course, Zillah's entrance turns her a bit pink, bedhead or no, and Lilith is greeted with a small hop up and a quick hug.
But the darts! They must fly! Where's her lighter....
There is a soft laugh as Shade looks from the darts to the rockets before giving the gremlin a firm, yet polite shake of the hand. His eyes are glowing, luminous from within the darkness of his face that move from Widget to the Moon queen and then to Lilith as the pair enter the room. A polite nod of the head is offered toward Lilith while Zillah gets a deeper bow of the waist from the Moon Courter. "It seems I picked the right time of the day to come today. I'm Shade of the Moon Court, newly sworn to the Freehold and out to see who if any I could meet today."
The first clue that something out of the ordinary is occurring is that, contrary to the standard pattern of walk-on-in the Changelings of the area tend toward, the latest visitor actually -knocks- at the front door.
It's an easy peppering of sound, casual and confident, but a polite warning nonetheless, before the outer door is opened and its owner steps into the mudroom to scrape off her snowy boots. She takes care to clean them, but doesn't remove them, and after a moment to study the space, expression vaguely bemused, she opens the inner door to step into the living room.
That would be where she stops, and that would be where she stares, manic young Mexicans with rocket-powered throwing darts garnering a wary caution. The cute redhead and tall dark and charming over there are positively normal in comparison. Slinky black velvet, at least, isn't holding weaponry, so it's toward Zillah that the stranger moves, though only a few steps, posture very carefully non-threatening.
Her accent is neutrally New England-esque, not easily identifiable, when she introduces, "Shanta Wilde. What's the best way to get in touch with the Queen?"
The glimmer of a shadowed lid eclipses one eye in a wink to the blushing Widget, Zillah making her way deeper into the living room, all while staying clear of things like potentially rocket-powered darts. Lilith gets a friendly smile, without teeth, before the shadowsnake is finding herself a piece of furniture to lean herself against. Watching Shade, quiet for a moment. Starting to relax, like she might even get comfortable, before there's a knock on the door. Because really, no one ever knocks. Not anyone that knows they belong here.
Compared to others, yes, Zillah's mask makes her look harmless. Just another goth girl, stuck in an aesthetic that's gone past its day. She looks over Shanta, slowly, before memory clicks. "You work at Club Violet," she notes, pushing back up more fully to her feet. "What has you looking for royalty, lovely?"
Lilith smirks over at her Bestest Friend as she plays with darts, but quickly turns her attention to the coffee table nearest here, which is drug closer to the couch, close enough that bare feet can be put up on it, soles right on the edge. The Darkling digs into the bag then, and starts to pull out bottles of nail polish. Lots of them. Ten in fact, of varying colours and types. Picking the first is difficult, but once that's done, she shakes the bottle, and turns her attention back out into the room, and the very normal looking human woman that's entered. That's new. That's not something she sees every day, and so Lilith stares in her casual sort of way. She even smirks, finding the situation a little amusing, especially since she's not involved in it!
Widget stares at Shanta for longer than Shanta stares at her. Her eyes are wide, tongue stuck out in concentration, fingers causing little bits of impending chaos. Not somebody who gets things like other species of supernatual beasties. She knows fairies and ghosts. That's about it. But Shanta is different. She feels funny.
"What are you?" It's casual, hinting at potential excitement to come, and not from those darts getting lit up. The look in her eyes is curious, bordering on dense, but there's an intelligence ticking away behind them.
"Manage it, actually, and I have to get back to that," Shanta replies, smiling easily at the goth. "Night comes quickly, this time of year." A sharper amusement lights her eyes at that. Still, she's here on business. Getting serious again, she offers, "If she has an assistant, I'd be happy to get in touch that way. I'm not permitted to discuss details with others, without the Queen's consent. The Mayor said her name was Zillah."
Widget's blunt question receives a small frown and a polite, if short, "Not like you."
For his part, Shade slips into silent, watcher mode without any prodding. The darkling lets his expressive eyes move from Zillah to the newcomer, then to Lilith and Widget before looking back to the newcomer. When widget asks her question and gets the odd response from the newcomer, the darkling lifts one shadowed brow questioningly but doesn't speak. Instead he lets his gaze move between the others as he slowly starts to move to a darker portion of the room, prepping to slip from sight while watching the conversation go forward.
"It does," Zillah croons, "A fact that's absolutely glorious. I'm sure that your...boss...would agree." She looks over her shoulder to Widget, chuckling softly at the question. "No, darling, she's not like us at all. She's mostly human, still." Her fingers wiggle in the air, and lips curve into a grin. "The Mayor's right. But now you've got me wondering why the creatures of the night want to have a talk with lil ol' me."
Lilith's head whips from Widget when she speaks, back to the Queen and the unknown woman, and that's when her staring goes from just awkward and curious, to -really- curious. Like super curious. Enough so that she has her spider senses tingling.
The Darkling's eyes are always large and wide, but now, they go wider. She stares harder. It's less awkward and more intense. Any hint of a smirk or smile fade, her face finding that stoic mask she wears almost always. She also goes perfectly still as she sits there on the couch, hand still holding the bottle of polish.
There is movement from her little canvas bag, however, and very, very briefly, a little squirrel head pops out to see what's distressing her friend.
Not like...oh? "Really?" Widget's stare grows along with Lilith's, the rusty thing creeping a bit closer. There's a mad-scientist feel to her look, dangerous to see on most others. This one likely isn't. She's forgotten she's holding a lighter to a rocket-dart, after a-
Widget goes to get the dart out of the board and the wall behind it, temporarily distracted.
Zillah's emphasis on 'boss' prompts a momentary narrowing of dark chocolate eyes before the ghoul dips her head to acknowledge her status with a wry and crooked smile. "We don't look forward to Summer," Shanta agrees, then outright laughs when the shadowsnake's Super Sekrit Identity is shared. "Your majesty," she greets, "in that case: do I have your permission to speak freely before your court?"
Shade keeps quiet as the newcomer, and more so as he's watching the Queen speak with some odd stranger. The darkling is slow, moving with the conversation to circle around in a hopes to place himself closer to the door to block the exit should it be needed while everyone talks.
"You do, Shanta," Zillah confirms with a certainty to the nod that follows. "They're my Court, after all. Is boss the wrong word? I was lead to believe that was usually the way of things. And like most relationships of that sort, the terms can...vary." She looks very interested, indeed, in Shanta. And whatever message she might have.
If there was ever a time Lilith wished she could read a mind on command, this would be it, but she's still not entirely sure what makes it work. Staring usually helps, and she's doing that. She tries narrowing her eye a bit, and that doesn't really seem to be doing anything either. She tries, though, and the more effort she puts into it, the stranger she probably looks. And the more she worries Octavia, who's extracted herself from the bag and hopped into her lap. Comfort Squirrels are totally a thing.
"Regnant is more common, but boss is accurate." Being in service to said regnant doesn't appear to bother Shanta in the slightest. "In a nutshell: someone is supplying Kindred with tainted Bloodroot, and the party I represent, due to her ties to you and yours, is being blamed for it. She would surely never suspect her beloved neighbours of being the cause of these troubles, but as attention is being directed on this valley by those considerably older than she, she feels that it behoves a certain degree of mutual action, lest all of us, and your kind in particular, find ourselves nocturnally inconvenienced."
The ghoul is still relatively near the door, but it's easy enough to block the exit. Just difficult to do so unnoticed, given that the room is mostly open space.
Widget opens the basement door, stepping into the darkness for a bit before triumphantly padding back up with her bent-up and still smoking dart in her hands. It/ worked/! Now if she could juuuust...
Widget sits down on the floor, fiddling with her whatever-those-are. She's not /trying/ to get between the ghoul and the door, but she is. Her head pops up, canting in confusion. "That bad?" She looks at Zillah from around Shanta, blinking.
There is a look given to everyone in the group, one after another before Shade gives a soft grunt. It isn't difficult to start connecting some of the dots in a broad sense to figure out some of what's going on. Looking closer at Shanta he lifts one shadowy brow and then looks back towards Zillah to see what comes of the conversation.
Zillah's arms fold under her chest, and her lips press together in a thoughtful line. "Of course. I do so hate to be inconvenienced, and having to do so in return. It's much better when everything between us is...quiet." She glances to her people in the room, and their positioning, before her gaze returns to Shanta. "I'll see what I can find out, and perhaps she and I can have a little chat of our own, so I can get more details."
"What's a Regeant?" Lilith asks, because clearly, she doesn't know, "And what is Kindred?" Her head cants to the side ever so slightly, and she does indeed seem confused. But she's moving again, which is good, going perfectly still is a terrible response to stress, most of the time. She gently pets the squirrel on her lap while she stares at the Ghoul, and the Queen. She's not part of any court, but she's allowed to ask questions, right?
"Much better," Shanta agrees, and reaches into a pocket to slide out a business card. Club Violet's, as it so happens. She came prepared. Stepping closer to Zillah, she offers the Queen the dark cardstock between two fingers. "My number is there. My regnant, for reasons she chose not to disclose to me-" a flicker of mild irritation and a tightening of her jaw, for those attuned to such things, hint at her displeasure over that lack of disclosure, "-is unable to meet with you in person. I am to be your contact."
Head turning, blue curls bouncing, the ghoul stares at Lilith, blank, then breathes a tight sigh and explains, "The Kindred are Vampires, and I serve one of them. She is my regnant. I am her ghoul." Visibly unhappy to be explaining it, nonetheless, she does, clarifying, "-We- do not hunt your people, and your people do not hunt -us-. My regnant has worked to preserve this town for a very long time, and it is not in her interest to see outsiders tramping in and disturbing it." She waves an arm in an expansive gesture. "Hence, this. Me, being here."
"Vampires are real!?" The voice that pipes up is reedy with surprise and fear, the gremlin quickly ending up mooshed against Lilith's side. It was for mutual protection and not because she was pretty sure vampires were like ghosts that could bite you. Not that at all. At least she's dropped those darts.
Still listening silently, unmoving other than the subtle movement of his chest rising and falling with his breath, Shade seems shocked as any other about the news of real vampires. The shock in his case though is a moment where his expression changes from neutral to quizzical and then quickly back again. That curious look though is still within his gaze as he looks between Zillah and the ghoul. Lilith's questions get a nod as if he were thinking the same before he smiles at Widget's reaction to the news of vampires.
Zillah's long fingers reach out, taking the card that is offered. Pay no attention to the shadows that deepen when she comes closer, the way that her fingers look like they're black as pitch for a heartbeat. "I'll give you a call, then. I'll have to consult with a few of mine, first." Since her dress doesn't exactly have pockets, she instead slides the card into the safety of her top, likely into her bra. "Yes, Vampires are very real," she confirms over her shoulder to Widget. "Not everything weird in this world is one of us, after all." Her lips quirk, there.
Widget says what Lilith is clearly thinking, so she at least doesn't repeat those words, instead letting something else not entirely appropriate leave her mouth, "I really did not want to know that." She looks to Shade, then to Zillah, to Widget, and then finally back to Shanta, each movement quick and mechanical and not at all subtle, but she does want to gauge their reactions as best she can before she speaks again, "Wait. Are you making a joke? I'm terrible at jokes. People here like to...to tease? Are you teasing?" Her eyes narrow again. She's not sure if she should be terrified, or feel embarrassed, and it shows. And then Zillah confirms, and so terrified it is, "Yeah, I wish I didn't know that..." Yeah, she might never leave the way house again. All her attention is on the Ghoul now. That one's never leaving her sight.
No, no. Pay -close- attention to the shadows and pitchy fingers. Shanta sure does, and smiles at Zillah with a dip of her head when the Queen says she will call. "Nights are best to reach me," she relays, eyes on Zillah's, amused. Of course nights are best. "But I have been put at your disposal as a go-between.
"And," she turns her head here, looking at Lilith, mildly offended on her regnant's behalf, "Faerie folk can't even -look- human without magic to lie for you. At least the Kindred are honest-" ha! "-about it."
Yes. Honest and faithful and NOT a back-biting tangle of hissing political snakes ready to quite literally suck the blood out of the competition are sooooo totally things Vampires are. Totally. 100%.
With a slight bow for Zillah, the ghoul turns to head toward the door, ignoring the self-appointed door guards. "Thank you, your majesty, for your time, and your hospitality. I'll report to my boss and await your call."
Well, Widget loosk like she's about to try wiggling under the couch and not come out. Vampires? Vampires were /not good/! Even she got told about vampires and they sounded dangerous! Granted, most of these tales were from squeeze-blind crazy hobo-people around a trash fire, but maybe that made everything worse.
Waiting until the conversation is over, Shade looks between Zillah and the ghoul before asking softly of the queen. "Should we investigate on your behalf? Perhaps look around this club, the grounds and potentially watching the ins and outs a few days to see if we see anything that could be a lead into this issue with the bloodroot?" One shadowy brow lifts as he looks back to the ghoul, "Though, we've been told we're safe from being hunted by the vampires... correct?"
The snort that Zillah gives is far from delicate. "The only reason we bother, darling, is to save the delicate minds of humans. Much like the Kindred put on the guise of life, to keep them from ranting about walking corpses." She lifts her hands, spreads her fingers. "Not that I have anything against the Kindred. I find them absolutely delightful." There's a truth to that. She watches as the woman moves towards the door, and lets her conversation shift.
"Yes, Shade. Please do start looking into it. The local vampires don't hunt us, but from the sounds of it there's a larger faction at play that wants answers." She lets out a breath, then she's in motion again. "If you'll excuse me, I've got to meet with my Viziers, now."
Shanta nods to Zillah, ignores Lilith, and tells Shade, "Come by the club tonight. It's..." she waves vaguely at the room, as though indicating the whole building, "...a place like this. Neutral. They won't be there; we have a week to answer them before they move."
And with that, she steps out into the mudroom to depart.