Already, the meeting space that is The Broken Hearth is half-full. Various lost, a few mortals, those various ensorcelled and enchanted towns folks that are part of the Freehold. There shy of a dozen tables set up in no particular order, with no real indication of seating arrangement. Sit wherever you desire. The room has been decorated with crisp white table clothes, chairs wrapped in white, ribbons about the chairs in alternating grass-green and violet. There's center pieces at each table. Really, it looks like this might be a wedding reception.
The council, those men and women that serve as representatives for each of the courts, have just finished assembling. They are sitting at a long front table, which, not surprisingly, looks every bit like the head table at a wedding. Missing, of course, is the Queen.
Music suddenly starts overhead, and surely, that must mark the meeting is to begin. It's faint, it's lyrical, it's modern, yet with that 80s vibe. Queen Pook's choice, of course. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl9tcrIeJ48 )
Billy Ray arrived early enough to bring some refreshments. From Hazel's restaurant, it must be noted - a big cooler with tons of ice and Budweister, bottled water, soda. A table that was folded into a bundle and set up, and next to Billy as he finishes working is an automaton - a table on four articulated legs with spindly small arms that help adjust this or that item as he arranges pies - several kinds - whipped cream - on ice, ice cream - amongst dry ice - snacks and sandwiches, plates and napkins and all that. "C'mon now y'dadgum blasted thing, careful wit' that. That's one prime pecan pie," Billy says to the table, who opens and shuts his drawers several times - drawers line the four faces of the table. "Corner. C'mon. Corner an' pause," Billy tells the table, who tottles to the corner and sinks down onto it's legs until it's a low, low table. Billy doesn't have on a baseball cap - that's a rarity - and he looks like he got a recent haircut and beard trim. He has on a button down shirt even and fresh jeans and comfortable shoes. He finishes arranging the food, eyes it, grunts, and pads his way over to a table. He has a rapier on his left side, set for a crossdraw and a heavy pistol to his right side. He drops into a table, wiggling on the seat to get his small frame comfortable.
Kind of a rare sight lately, the obsidian gargoyle appears a little before the music begins, lumbering his way a step or two behind an Ashe shadow-monster, and craning his head around to see who's already made their presence known. With a thoughtful look, he finally bends down to give his fellow courtier a curious look and a raised eyebrow - although it might nto be that audible, its probably a good bet the question pertains to where asses should be parked, though it's finished with a waggle of eyebrows and a faint smile, before they DO finally angle towards a place to sit.
Eden steps in through the many-wooden door.
Doll wanders into court quietly and dimmed by the shadows that seem to follow her. Her pale skin has hairline cracks in it and green eyes of glass. She's eerily symmetrical and perfect in that uncanny valley sort of way. Dark hair spills in soft, large waves over her shoulders and those wide eyes look around for a seat. Her head tilts as she spots the cat man and she heads over in that direction. "Mind if I sit here?" She gestures to his table then folds her hands before herself again. She's dressed in a black summer dress with thick shoulder straps and sandals laced up her legs.
Billy Ray sits down at Table 1.
If this is the wedding Court, then Tom O'Leary is the wedding crasher; and it might be downright suspicious that the fluffy Moon is all dressed up with somewhere to go, in what looks like finery recently borrowed from someone else's closet, an all-black suit. He saunters in like he owns the place, throws himself into the first seat he sees, and -- when approached by Doll, he grins with too many teeth, moon-shine eyes masked by sunglasses. "Sit if you want to, pretty darlin'. It's a big table and the night is young, and between you and me --" Hushed: "This is where the fun will be." Well, perhaps.
Wandering into the area, Max blinks a few times at how decorated everything is. There's a part of her that wonders if it's normally this fancy, because the Lost can be odd sometimes. A lot of times. As she doesn't own a single article of fancy clothing, the enchanted mortal is dressed in her usual casual attire - an unbuttoned dark green flannel shirt with a black tank top underneath, denim jeans, and boots, her messenger bag hanging from her shoulders, her hair worn down and groomed lightly into loose curls. Those bright blue eyes of hers gaze over those already gathered, making note of who was there. Since there's already a group forming around the first table, she drifts that way. The sword at Billy's side is easily noted with a curious expression. "I would have thought you'd carry a rifle with you," she tells the redneck with a chuckle. Glancing up, she makes a wave to those hovering around table one.
Pale, quiet, but appearing as smile-y as usual, Andromeda waltzes in with light and easy steps. Eyebrows lift curiously as she takes in the decorations, with an inqusitive glance focused toward the seated council. She gives them a polite bow of her head before searching for a seat to settle into, fingers lightly clutching the skirt of her crisp white sundress as she moves.
Ashe gives a look to Byron and a smile to the Gargoyle when the look turns to where they are sitting. The Shadowsoul reaches out to tuck her hand into the crook of his arm when they angle towards a few seats and take them quietly. There's a look to those that she knows and a nod of greeting. Then she leans in to whisper something to her other half. Once that's done she settles back against her seat and watches. That's when she notes Max...and no one with her. There's a squint at the mortal.
The Shadowsoul smiles and sinks into a seat across from Tom. "I like fun." Doll chimes and scoots herself in on her seat. She looks over cursiously to Billy whose joined them as well and dips her head in a nod. Those eyes don't seem to betray an ounce of emotion even if her lips may beg to differ with the small smile here and there or whatever lift of her voice. "Doll." She greets.
Paige wanders in with a smile on her lips, glancing around for a moment and waving to familiar faces. But it's toward a table she does, half sitting, half flopping into it with a big grin. Harpy's here!
Above all else, the Spring Waterborn known as Ting around these parts makes time to stop whatever it is she doing - swimming, travelling, surfing, baking - to partake in the pomp and circumstance of Court. She has a friend with her, a blond Valley Boy flavoured godling that looks like he just stepped out of an 80's teen mag to join Vermont's finest. She is murmuring to him, pointing toward people as she explains who they are, what they're like, why he should care. Smiles and waves are offered to a few people, but the bulk of her attention is on the new guest to the Freehold. She leads him toward a table, a cake held in both hands ushering the way. Strawberries and cream with a golden crown made of gold leaf chocolate flakes. Only the very best for the Queen.
AJ slips on in, dressed, perhaps surprisingly, for the weather. Or maybe she's going for modest? Whatever the case, it's jeans and white tee tonight, with an old, orangish cardigan over it. Maybe she's just trying to look a touch more respectable? She is, afterall, Sheriff Fox face now. Then again, her shirt reads 'Alright Alright Alright,' and she probably smells faintly of weed (and also delicious flowers and summer fruit). So, really, who's to say. Once inside, she glances around, looking for a seat. "Oh, Andy!" she calls out, when she spots Andromeda.
"Miss Max," says Billy as he pops up, gesturing to a seat. "Nah, since ah moved back ah ain't got a permanent long gun. Plus, ah was gonna be bringin' the food an' whatnot," he says. "Ah loaded up wit' food fr'm Miss Hazels joint an' it's dadgummed good." he says as he drops into a seat. "Billy Ray," he says to Doll and Tom as he settles into his seat again, scratching at his bearded jaw.
Eden comes in not terribly long behind Paige, a scarf of flickering flames worn about her neck, and a little grin coming to her face as she scans the various tables and seating about the hall.
Paige sits down at Table 3.
Max sits down at Table 1.
Logan appears to be here with Ting, yes. He is a new face in the Freehold, and an attractive one at that. He knows no one but his friend, but offers an easy, dimpled smile to anyone who may look in his direction, and a few interesting ones who may not. He has great posture, but not too stiff -- just someone who is aware of his body. But not too aware. "This is quite an array of Changelings," he comments blithely to Ting, followed by, "The Queen is going to love your cake. It's beautiful."
"You can call me Tom, just don't call me late for dinner." The cat man stands up, sniffs the air, circles his own chair, then sits down again. His ears perk up and swivel a little, all his attention on the gathering as it, well, gathers. There's a sense he's looking for all the places he can cause the most trouble, given the moment of study of the food, especially Ting's cake, and Andromeda's pristine white clothes, and and and. It's a wealth of targets, but for now, at least, he kicks back in his chair after the traditional feline circling ritual. "Who brought beer? Somebody had to bring booze to this, right?"
Paige totally brought beer earlier. Honest.
Andromeda sits down at Table 1.
"Hey AJ," Andromeda lifts her chin in the fox's direction, offering a quick smile in response. Fingers then wiggle at Tom in recognition, and she gravitates that-a-way to perch onto the edge of a chair.
Grillo steps in through the many-wooden door.
AJ sits down at Table 3.
Eden moves to find a seat at the Harpies table as well, "Heya Paige." she says, flashing a toothy little grin at the tiny ogress as she settles into a chair, "This should be fun yeah?"
Eden sits down at Table 3.
AJ smiles brightly at Andromeda, then turns, and heads towards a particular table! She makes a detour to grab a beer, and then heads for Paige's table. "Hey," she says, with a smile, as she pulls out a chair and scoots it annoying close to Eden. Fox sits next to cat.
Max sits down in the seat that Billy Ray gestures to. Her bag is slid from her shoulders and set down by her feet, where she figures it's safest. "I'm sure everyone will be super appreciative of you bringing Hazel's food. I can't think of a single person that doesn't love her cooking. Except maybe those robbers. But who cares about them!" The mortal chuckles lightly. As she takes a brief glance around, she notices a certain head Custodian squinting at her. An innocent look appears in her eyes and she offers Ashe a friendly smile and a wave. And one to Byron as well. There's a brief, but curious look between them, then she looks back to those gathered at her table. "I'm Max," she introduces herself to those sitting around her.
"I only make beautiful cakes," Ting counters in a sing-song tone toward Logan. She settles the confectionery delight at the table's center, then glances toward the Tomcat who looks a bit too mischievous for his own good. The cake has a glass carrier with cover, so it is at least protected from passing paws dipping into it. Pouncing that topples tables, something else all together. The Spring points toward Tom and leans closer to Logan. "Tom is a musician. And a cat." Yes. Yes, he is. She begins to go around the room and names people for him. Then she lowers her voice to something more appropriate for a room with so many in attendance. There must be twenty separate conversations happening.
Grillo is fashionably late. Fashionable! Actually, the cricket looks a little bit harried, just the slightest bit...well, not mussed. He's rarely mussed. But he comes in on his usual winds-of-change Dawn mantle looking a little more like 'tornado season blowing things over' than 'wafting inspiration' as he often might. It means he falls into a table chosen for convenience and a good observer's station above all; the Lord Echo means to wallflower, and thus, his greeting is set at a chin-tip acknowledgement to any others who look his way.
Grillo sits down at Table 5.
Paige happily chats away with her tablemates before something said makes her laugh. Then a finger is held up in a signal to wait before she bounces up and goes to grab a few beers, bringing them back to the table and setting them out for people to grab. While she opens one herself.
Byron sits down at Table 4.
Logan glances in Tom's direction, blond eyebrows raised in vague amusement towards his hairline. "I see that." Well. The cat part, at any rate. He is a new face who appears to be with Ting, as the two of them have just sat down at a table together. He crosses his legs guy-style, fingers of one hand splayed around his chin and cheek in a thoughtful gesture as he listens to the Waterborn's intel, engaging with her in quiet conversation.
The song changes, something with a beat. A little more energy. And that markets it is time for the Queen to make his entrance. Some people stand, some remain seated, and a moment later Queen Pook enters. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_KfnGBtVeA -- video might be a touch NSFW I suppose! )
It would be impossible to mistake this man as anyone but Pook. He wears a suit, entirely dapper, with a jacket of lilac and a shirt beneath of pastel pink. On his head, the Spring Crown, a delightful trellis of green branches with fresh buds, not yet blossomed, rising from his neatly kept blond hair. There is also the man himself, who would rather adoringly be described as possessing a big personality, and a great appreciation for the delicacies of this world, the other world, and any world. Which is to say, Pook is short, and round.
Pook walks over to the center seat, in the big table. It's a touch taller, and covered in blooming spring flowers. "Oh, please, everyone. Grab a drink if you haven't - Thank you, Billy Ray - and sit! Sit, sit," he says. Then with a flourish of the hands, Pook takes his seat.
Primordial creatures operate on their own schedules, but today, November's does appear to have at least -slightly- converged with reality. The soft, inevitable prickling of palpable power teases at the hindbrain as the all-too-Faerie Ancient enters, colours promptly shifting toward greater harmony with the decorations. Assuredly, the sleek and slippery near-fluid sanguine of her sleeveless Hedgespun gown, not to mention the sheen of pure gold-amber flames over its bloody 'fabric', are not particularly likely to show up on a Spring fashion catalogue, but her shoes are Cinderella-ready! Scarcely distinguishable from the icy transparency of her own inhuman flesh, the four-inch heels boost her height up to a slim six-four, starlight twinkling from the surface of their glassy waters.
Something else Ancients operate on: their own priorities. Sure, eclectic styles are "in" lately, but... tsk tsk tsk. November takes one swift glance at the room, alien eyes lingering briefly here and there -- until they stop, fixed on Max, and promptly narrow in mild displeasure. She strides across the floor to stand nearby, studying the mortal from head to toe without the slightest evidence of attention toward whether, you know, Max -wants- to be studied by someone who looks like a living ice sculpture bred with a lava lamp and high-end CGI.
With a decisive nod, she circles a single delicate digit above Max's head, and, true to fairy godmother style, sparkles of blue and white swirl prettily about the petite young woman before blossoming into a faintly luminescent illusion of an elegant ball gown, complete with tiara. Also radiant. Granted, the skirts are silent, but hey, Max can feel them! Pook, now that he has arrived, is offered a polite inclination of her head in greeting, the rainbow's colours shifting briefly to match his.
Billy Ray bows his head in deference as the Queen arrives, a reverential nod. He'll keep an eye on the food - as the long necks and tallboys are removed he'll shift the beers around to make sure they are covered well, along with the soda and water, so on. Otherwise he's quiet, but those sitting near him, like Max, can see his left foot going rappityraprappityraprappityrap on the ground silently.
The Queen of course first catches Max's attention first. There's a smile at the welcome greeting he gives to everyone present. The mortal is definitely a fan of Pook! Then she notices November start to near her. A brow is raised as she moves even closer and the expression on November's face is noted. Max is about to give a warning about not getting too close, because she doesn't want to be stealing people's luck, but before she can say anything... Well, some magic is being performed on her! It takes her a moment to realize what's happened and she blinkblinkblinks! The mortal can't recall the last time she's worn a dress, or even anything so fancy! It's apparent that she looks uncomfortable for a moment, but she forces a polite smile as she glances up at November. "Um. Thanks.... You didn't make my actual clothes disappear, did you? I really liked that shirt..."
Doll nods to the two. "Tom, Billy." She greets. "I kind of want to call you Cheshire." She says to Tom then looks around at the others as they gather. When the Queen enters she falls quiet and watches before she is distracted by the tapping of Billys foot near her. Her gaze does shift to focus down upon it.
Grillo, in his own corner, cannot help but take notice of November; when Max, somewhat his charge, gets noticed through the Cinderella factor and the intervention of his fellow Courtier, well, the cricket's antennae seem to visibly dance, almost as if he's not sure what to feel. It's in distinct contrast to Grillo's otherwise placid poker-face, and only his attention pausing there rather than rotating to try to record and catch everything to memory gives it away to anyone most observant.
"Alright, ladies, gentlemen, every absolutely lovely creature I see before me that finds use for neither of those terms, let us begin. First, we've news to review! Well... not much of it. We've had some deaths in the funeral, and as I understand it, funeral rites are being handled. I'd like someone to take the lead to host a proper remembrance party," he says. Because of course, it needs to be a party. "Fortunately, I've been informed that the serial killer was dealt with. I am waiting on more details, but... I will take victory where it can be found. A great thanks to all that aided in that matter!" Pook declares, and even comes to rise, and give a light applause. He sits again, and continues.
"On the top of our list of topics... the Soundless. Those Lost that come to our Freehold and claim... it is their Freehold. Custodian Elect Ashe, have you news for us?" he asks, with a gesture out towards the woman.
Rorschach was late. It happened though he might have been early. No one keeps track of vermin. Not unless one was shooing them out of one's kitchen. He was not dressed for the occasion and in his usual fashion shadows that stretched like tentacles desaturated every colour around him like the new moon blanched and buried all colour. He was just as tall as ever, lanky, and like the other members of his Order wore enough layers that he might pass as the king of Hobo Nation. There was something to be said for ROrschach that he was like his smaller kin that today he was keeping to the corners and keeping an eye on the room. The issue of the SOundless though got his full attention like TOm when a red light appeared somewhere on teh planet. Dark, glittery sockets fixed on teh Autumn for the report.
November's frosty lashes catch the light as she regards Max with a slow, almost feline blink of transparent appraisal. Unreadable as the statue she resembles, utterly motionless, the Ancient considers the mortal for a smidge too long to be conversationally appropriate, then flashes a swift, sharp grin, mercurial emotion echoed in the sudden vibrancy of the rose-violet and teal-green-gold swirling throughout her flesh and aurora. "What will you do if I have..?" Her attention never shifts, the sharp weight of that alien focus intent and -- interrupted. Ah, Pook. Ruining her play. Alas. The others at Max's table are cast a smooth and impish smile in greeting, collective existence finally acknowledged.
Billy Ray grabs himself a beer, settling down into his seat. As he settles down the effect of November's uber-mantle hits him and much to hid disconcertion roses begin to flower around the small redneck, the scent of a rose forest and bright spring air. He tries to focus on the Queen, listening intently.
Paige shoots her tablemates a quick curious look before she listens to Pook. She doesn't interrupt because hey, she's not Ashe! But when she notices the bug she smiles and gives him a little finger wave before motioning that he's invited to join.
Oh look, it's a sweet bug boy. Ting pauses long enough from her quiet conversation, and attention on Court proceedings, to rise up a little and wave to Rorschach when he arrives. That done, she sints back down and murmurs something to Logan when the Soundless are brought up.
Dielle slips into the meet. She stops to one side, then sees several people that she knows. They all get smiles, but she goes to sit with CJ because it's a Court thing, for now. It's just a fast bit of work.
Dielle sits down at Table 5.
Logan listens intently to court business -- although November's entrance does draw his eye, as it will -- but he, too, glances at the bug boy when Rorschach enters, smiling faintly. He speaks in quiet tones with Ting as she fills him in on various news.
"I guess I'll buy new ones," Max answers, quietly. Then she falls silent as Pook speaks, obviously not wanting to speak while the Queen is addressing the Freehold. A faint smile is offered to November, then she turns her attention toward Pook. While doing so, she notices her cricket-y mentor and offers CJ a bit of a wave. Then she settles into her seat, glancing curiously at Ashe when she's questioned.
Ashe hears her name called and there's a moment she pats Byron's arm and then stands up. A bow is offered to Queen Pook, "Your Majesty." the shadowed woman states. "We've gathered some information about the Soundless, or what we suspect is the Soundless. I went through the library to see if we could find mention of another Freehold and we found two instances. The first was in September of 2015 a few locals had mentioned another Freehold nearby in passing but know one knew exactly where they were. The second was in January of 2016 Jake Cohen had and if his report is correct, it's a good thing we haven't met the neighbors. From what his source would say, they have a tendency to shoot first, and ask questions of the wounded. The source either couldn't or wouldn't give up the freehold's name, but it is large, larger than we are, and it has been in the area "a long time." she states.
"Recently we just recovered more information that a few older residents have given, they spoke of a second Freehold formed shortly after the Troubles sixty years ago, a hidden land, secretive, protected. Family who joined it was never heard from again." she offers. "Next is field recon. I am hoping to hear back from the Waylady when she would like to head out with a few of us. We're going to take a few of the Harvestmen as well." she states.
Aaron arrives to the show late. Or at least later than most. Dressed in casual attire under a wool top coat. Accompanied with him is a young woman that looks pale and on the lithe side. Both are quiet--as to not want to interrupt any formal business spoken. He casually makes his way to the food table looking at the variety of tasty treats.
Rorschach cracked a faint, skeletal grin to Paige and tokked Ting a wink. He was taking careful inventory at a glance. At the notion of taking a few harvestmen on recon he gave a slow upnod in agreement. Eeeeeexcellent. Still though he stood. Being a local boy it was something that concerned him. The paranoid and cautious Moon liked knowing these things. Kept us all ahead of the game. Still though, no notes from teh Cockroach.
Paige nods in agreement at the talk of Harvestmen going with recon. She's down. And seeing Rorschach's similar response, she smiles at him and gives him a thumbs up.
Byron falls quiet as he listens to Ashe, listening but casting his eyes down as he does so. Catching Aaron's entrance, the gargoyle liftstwo fingers enough to catch the man's gaze, then nods at the table they've claimed. With that done, he finally does look up at Ashe and over at Pooj, while lifting one large hand to touch Ashe's back.
Queen Pook focuses his eyes on Ashe, and he listens with an encouraging smile. He nods along as Ashe speaks. He devotes his attention all to her. Someone practiced their active listening! Of course, somewhere along the way there, the words have started to sink in. Slowly, a frown creep across the Queen's figures. "Oh, dear... Well. Thank you, Custodian Elect. I will... look forward to hearing what next you find. I will speak to my Council later... to see if our decision to wait on meeting with them, formally, needs to change," he says, with a look left and right.
"Moving on. I'd like to hear from our Courts. We'll start with... well. Spring, of course!" he says, with a smile. Then he looks out over the gathering. Oh, yes, you'd better believe he knows the Springs in the group. "Does anyone wish to speak on behalf of Spring? Someone besides me, of course!"
Billy Ray catches Andromeda's eye, and an eyebrow raise - as in, 'Hey, you outrank me and whatnots!'. He takes a long draw from his beer, watching the conversation float around. Otherwise he's quiet, eying the roses blooming around him every now and then, a bemused glance at November.
Aaron catches the gargoyle's fingers and eye contact with the necromancer. He nods and after collecting a plate for himself, along with a craft beer. He along with his ghostly companion, makes his way over to where Byron is; joining him.
Aaron sits down at Table 4.
Ashe's gaze is pure black for the moment. But there's a tick of silver that registers once the Queen doesn't throw something at her. The woman gives a low bow, "As you wish, your Majesty." the woman states. She was agreeing with him, waiting might be over. She then takes a step back, her hand reaching for Byron's hand that's at her back. She links her fingers with his as she takes a seat and there's a look over to him with a gentle nod of thanks. The Paladin of Shadows then looks to Aaron and there's a smile to their other friend, quietly inviting him to the table as well.
Ashe sits down at Table 4.
Tom starts signaling wordlessly at Rorschach, animatedly a 'you? Me? US?' kind of shorthand that might bear only the barest resemblance to actual signing. He seems confident the bug will hear him, and seems not to register whether this will interrupt other Courts.
Andromeda stands and leaves Table 1.
After a moment's silent interaction with Andromeda, the small framed redneck rises. "Er, y'majesty," he says in his thick drawl, Billy Ray clearing his throat. "We ain't got much t'say; things're quiet right now. If'n folks are gonna go out on a recce, jes' let us know - we got medics and whatnot, paramedics and healers an' all that jazz. Got some new faces 'round, like m'self. Sorry, y'majesty, that's 'bout what ah know - ah'll make sure ah got a better report next time, y'can bet yer bottom dollar on that, y'majesty." Billy Ray finishes.
Ian steps in through the many-wooden door.
"Adorable and informative," Pook says, to Billy Ray. He smiles brightly to the man, and gives a nod. "You all heard. If you are in need of medics and... whatnot... please do not hesitate to speak to my Court!" he declares, proudly. He stares at Billy Ray for a moment longer, then looks back over the gathering. "Summer Court?" he asks.
Rorschach looked back to Tom and arch an eyebrow. There was a whole entire conversation sans gestures there. and considered something and then nodded to him sagely. Oooookay then. Still there were things to be heard and , ya know he was not one to adhere to protocols as much as he was one to adhere to walls and climbed the one he was leaning on and sat on his heels up there to watch. Lionel Ritchie would be so proud.
Paige shoots AJ a quick look, brow furrowing, even as she gets to her feet. "Things are a little more active for us, Your Majesty. We've had a few meetings and even one brawl." She grins. "Just to keep ourselves sharp. And we plan on doing more of both in the future. It should be noted though that recently AJ," and she motions to the fox, "was named Constable, meant to police our court, and Eden," again there's a motion, "was named Sun's Tongue, so she's the diplomat for our court." She draws in a slow breath. "And I've been named Iron Adjutant."
Max gives Billy Ray an encouraging smile and a brief thumbs up once he sits back down. The mortal continues to remain silent, watching and listening to the Lost around here. Occasionally she has to pat down the skirt of her dress or her hands try to smooth it out. A hand reaches up to momentarily take the tiara off, study it over briefly with a raised brow, then put it back on so that she doesn't insult November somehow.
Ian slips in, quietly moving off to one side and making his way over near to where Rorschach has made of himself a wall sconce. He leans up against the wall nearby after giving the bug and Tom nearby a small nod in greeting. His attention then moves over toward the reports of the other courts, quietly attentive to the goings on. There's a little smile over in Eden's direction when it is mentioned that she's been named to a position, and AJ as well.
"Oh, my, well, thank you. And congratulations to you all!" Pook declares, to the Summer table. He watches them all for a moment longer, then makes a small gesture. "Autumn Court?"
When Autumn is called upon, Ashe stands up again, the Paladin of Shadows for the court giving another bow to Queen Pook. "Your Majesty, the Autumn Court has welcomed new members over the last month and others with Goodwill. We are currently working on a bit of a Hedge mystery as we found the diary of a deceased Autumn speaking of a legendary hedge beast. There are pages missing, so we're going to find them and see if it's just a wild goose chase or something that we need to find and catalogue." she tells the Queen. "Other than that we have been working to make sure that we helping in research and assisting in gathering knowledge when asked." she states.
November doesn't appear to be insulted by Max's examination of the tiara, though the mortal can feel something writhing against her hand when she moves to put it back on her head. See, illusions don't NEED to stay the same...and this one doesn't. Metallic golden serpents, now, as vaguely luminescent as before, and the blue ball gown becomes a glittering Cleopatra-esque white pleated cotton affair with beaded pectoral collar and all. It's difficult to tell whether or not she's even -watching- the nearby human, but she does seem disinclined to move elsewhere. This IS a perfectly fine place from which to observe the Queen's court, after all.
Paige sinks back into her seat and picks up her beer to take a drink, glancing at her tablemates for a moment, then around the room, smiling when she notices Rory /on/ the wall.
"Fascinating!" Queen Pook declares, his eyes alit as he listens to Ashe. "That's wonderful, my dear. Do please let me know how it goes? Wild geese are the most fun to chase," he declares. He gives Ashe a nod, then looks around once more. "Winter Court?"
Once again (it must be noted, after finishing his beer, getting another and getting a slice of pie in) Billy Ray rises again. A low bow. "Beggin' yer pardon, y'majesty, Miss Hazel Hatter of th' Winter Court asked me to pass this missive along." he says. His pockets are emptied - pack of cigs, battered lighter, tin of Copenhagen, spare magazine, multitool then he carefully pulls out a letter that has been carefully folded and kept intact. He walks forward to offer it to the Queen with a low, respectful bow before heading back to his seat.
Eden spots the Ian, over nearby Rory, and she lifts a hand gesturing lightly towards that area, waving one, or both of that two over towards the table of Summer Courtiers.
Ashe gives another bow and then settles herself back down with her fellow Autumns and leans in to speak quietly to them.
Ian sits down at Table 3.
"Oh?" Pook asks, as she looks back to Billy. He then watches, as the items start to come from pockets. His eyes go wide. Spring, yes. Wizened, certainly. It's as fascinating as he just claimed Ashe's project to be! "Oh, yes, of course, let me see..." And he rises up, and leans forward, over the table, to accept it. He takes the note up, and unfolds it, then eyes it. "Oh, well, let's see. The lovely Miss Hazel Hatter says... 'Tell them to be discreet in public'. I do believe I was supposed to yell that, from how large it was written. She continues, 'The Court of Winter is well and wishes you well otherwise, not that we intend to share further details at this time. Thank you, Your Majesty.' ... Charming. As ever. Simply charming," he declares, then leans forward, to look down the line of councilors and to eye Charlie. There's a little huff, and then Reginald Pook resumes his seat. "Dawn?" he asks. Try as he might, he can't not look right at November.
Dielle glances at November, too, and then stands up herself. "Well, Dawn's had a few get-togethers, a few new members, and some planning. Gisa keeps washing dead bodies and I'm glad to hear there won't be any more, so she don't crack. CJ here is doin' research and will be doin' some recon on the Soundless when that happens. Jon's workin' on a plan to help some Lost earn their G.E.D.s, so if you want some kind of official thing sayin' you got somethin' as good as a high school diploma and you're willin' to do the work, go talk to him. I think that's about it for us." She sounds as Southern as Billy Ray, although from a different area, and what's with all these Southerners so far north, anyway?
Queen Pook's face is a roller coaster of emotion. Pleased, mournful, contemplative, delighted. He's left nodding along. "Thank you," he declares. Then his eyes shift, to Grillo. "Please do make sure you coordinate with Custodian Elect Ashe. Duplicative efforts should be avoided, if possible," he says. "Thank you," he adds. "Are there... any of the Dusk court?" he asks, with a quick survey of the room.
November smiles across the room toward Pook, colours shifting to a blithe, pastel rainbow which the Queen's white decor makes ever so much more visible than it would otherwise have been. Standing behind the Cleopatra-bedecked Max, she gestures toward Dielle with absentminded acknowledgement when the unicorn looks her way, but otherwise seems content to remain an icy statue clad in blood and fire.
Gisa sits down at Table 5.
Logan gets up, after a few moments, as Ting has excused herself to go powder her nose. Since the Dawns have introduced themselves, he moves over to join them, and gestures to an empty seat as if to say, 'Is it taken?'
Logan stands and leaves Table 6.
When her outfit magically changed, Max had a similar reaction as the first time. She blinks a few times, momentarily distracted from the various information being offered by the various court representatives speaking. After she's done studying over her new appearing, she grins. This is something that she doesn't seem too uncomfortable. Glancing over to November, the enchanted mortal offers her a friendly smile of approval and interest. She quietly mouths 'this is cool', not actually saying anything as she doesn't want to interrupt anything going on.
Dielle gestures to a chair, with a smile at Logan. "Come join us." Then she lowers her voice to talk to Logan, gesturing at her table mates.
Logan sits down at Table 5.
Grillo points at himself when the Queen comments, then looks at Ashe as if to say 'what?' before shaking his head and simply sitting back. The neutrality he fixes over his features after this moment of confusion betrays a dignified not-dignifying-that-comment better than a strong reaction might. He's most deliberately playing neutral recorder, but the flattening of antennae tell a different story once he regathers himself.
Speaking of the golem, she's been here all along. Standing guard somewhere, perhaps. Not cracked. Sober, today, anyway. Gisa moves quietly over to the table full of Dawns, and quietly sits down.
"Alright, does not look like anyone from Dusk is ready to speak. I'll get a brief from Katie," Pook says, before looking down at his councilors once more. His attention goes back to the gathering. "I do not see any of the Sun Court jumping for joy to speak, either. So..." He gives a sigh. "Moon Court?"
Rorschach sat perched on the wall and started writing a note and with that ripped the note from the notebook and what was written was more of a sketch. The Moon's mantle wrapped thick on the Roach watching. He was a curious infestation; a virus corrupting colour and luminosity near him... damn the Wyrd has not been kind to that boy. He looked down at Ian passing beneath and gave him a wink too before continuing. There were words written in the margins and down the page more like prose than a report. Fucking. Moon. Court. It was balled up in a wad and then whipped at Tom's head. Always trust a cat to catch a ball of paper. The note was read by his fellow courtier:
'Visions dancing in the dreaming; Dark
inside a prison of a winding park rose
Trees tall; walls. The prison sky a canopy
Beauty trapped. Dreams enclosed.
Tall stretching thorns, and razor leaf-
Cutting hands and feet, beneath grows.
My eyes open, to the day awoke with
Bloody hands, and bloody toes.'
The Roach extended his hands out where there were the faint scars that have healed where there were wounds from this dream, apparently that they woke up with. Of course that could also be from a forgotten weekend bender. He looked to Tom and rolled a finger like 'tell them the rest' Oh yeah Moon Boyz get their claws dirty in crazy shit.
Gisa shakes her head at something Grillo says at their table; the golem looks confused, mildly, by something as well.
Tom catches the note, reads aloud -- he's got a nicely musical voice, and it only gets more so as he provides the color commentary and translation for Rorschach, the Teller to his Penn, the Silent Bob to his Jay, the Harpo to his Other Marx Brothers. "So, like, it's an actual real vision, vetted and shit like that? That we bring here to, uh, share to you, because shit like 'woke up bloody after dreams of entrapment under open sky' is serious. We also have to tell you some other important things! The Wild Roses are kicking the ass of anybody who's not sanctioned to sell to them at their Market, and running 'em outta town on a rail, so Market manners and opportune moments, everyone. The winning lottery numbers are going to be 42, 3, 10, 19, 28, and 22. Also, we would like to cordially invite the totally absent Winter Court to come conspire with us in the near future at, uh, a shindig to be arranged later. Did I miss anything, bug-man?" he asks Rorschach, as he liberally interprets past gestures in this manner.
Pook watches the antics unfold. The ball of paper, the exchange between the two, and then his eyes lock on Tom. A poem! Read in a lovely voice. Well, that gets the Queen smiling. Of course, when the 'translation' comes, the smile fades. "I... see," he declares. "Well... do you need assistance, Tom? Or are you all already handling it? I'd like if you'd reach to the other courts, beyond to invite them to shindigs. Or share lottery numbers," Pook says. "Though, a reminder about Market Rules is appreciated," he decides. And then he does wait for Tom's response.
Rorschach rubbed the bridge of his nose with a sigh. Antennae dropped slightly and he looked to Tom with a head wobble. One antenna moves, then the other. As for the question of did he miss anything, the Roach considered it and made a gesture as if giving Tom his all mighty buggy blessing. Nope. That sums it up! There was a look to the Winter Councilor with a skeleton grin and a waggle of eyebrows. Oh boy. Planning with them would be... a thing.
"I could extend the international signal of cat friendship to all courts, your Majesty," Tom offers with such violent innocence that you gotta know he's up to something. Either he's going to show his tummy and maim somebody or he's going to moon everyone. Two guesses which. "It is a vision, though. Do you ever have visions? Mostly you get this little glimpse of something important and you have to stalk more information like it's the wiggliest goddamn chipmunk -- and you gotta sniff out where it's been and all that?" Perhaps he's monologuing to give Rorschach room to gesture to the Winter Councilor and otherwise do his own thing. "Long story short, if anybody else sees the sign of the chipmunk, we're on it and will help you hunt the little bastards down. You feel me?"
Charlie O, said Winter Councillor, lifts a single brow in response to Rorschach's brow-waggling grin, but wisely chooses not to say a word.
Billy Ray stands and leaves Table 1.
"A positively feline explanation, Tom Cat," Pook declares. He'll ignore Rorschach and Charlie. Mostly because if he doesn't, he might have to start giggling, and that would not be regal. "If anyone wishes to aid the Moon Court, seek out Tom Cat," he declares, aloud. "Now! Moving on... Introductions! Is there anyone present who was not present at our last court session? If so, stand right up. State your name. Tell us your court, if you have one. Tell us if there is anything that you'd wish the Freehold to know about you, particularly anything that could aid us. And finally, tell us your favorite animal."
Logan stands almost immediately when Pook asks about new members, but he doesn't speak right away. He waits to see if anyone else is standing before launching into any kind of introduction. It's only polite, right?
-> >> November to Here << <-==========================================
Rolled 1 Success
< 1 1 2 2 3 5 5 6 6 6 7 7 9 >
===============================-> >> Wyrd + Subterfuge 9-Again << <-
"Becuase you've never-!" AJ blurts out, then seems to realize she's talking way, way too loud. Her eyes go wide, and she does a quick look about to see who might have heard that. Yeah, probably everyone. She goes perfectly still, save to sink a little lower in her chair.
GAME: November spends 1 Glamour
Aaron stands and leaves Table 4.
Max raises her brows lightly as the Queen requests any newcomers to introduce themselves. As Logan stands, her bright blue eyes quickly turn over to him. Although this is the enchanted mortal's first court, it's apparent that she's unsure if she counts enough that she should stand. So, she remains sitting for now, but glances around to see if anyone else does rise to the occasion.
"Oh, please now, dears... just speak up!" Pook declares. "No need to wait your turn."
When it doesn't seem like anyone else is itching to introduce themselves, Logan steps forward from his table a little. In a room full of scenery-eating Changelings, he is still another one, all golden-skinned, golden-haired and Prince Charming-handsome, an interplay of light and shadow. "Thank you very much, your Majesty." He offers a small, gallant bow. "My name is Logan Brenner of the Dawn Court. I've had a house here for quite some time, but I've decided it's finally time I joined the Freehold properly and made myself useful. I'm eager to solve problems and lend my resources, financial or otherwise, in any way that can aid our kind. Oh," and a beautiful, blinding grin bursts out over his face. "My favorite animal is the golden retriever." Not just any old dog, nope.
Ashe gives a nod to Aaron and Byron and then she looks back to the gathered when Queen Pook asks for new people to introduce themselves. When she sees Max look about she gives her a nod and a 'go ahead' motion when she catches her eye. Max was technically new!
A pimply, red-headed teenager nervously clambers to his feet at the side of the room, trips over his chair, and almost topples arse over teakettle before catching himself on the table's edge. Blushing fit to match his hair, he glances toward the changeling nearby for reassurance, then takes a deep breath, thoroughly intimidated, to introduce himself as, "I-I'm J-jacob Barnaby," he stammers, voice breaking. "J-just pledged earlier this m-month. I-I'm, um, the third paper boy on the mountain route? I like soccer?" He hastily drops back into his seat, then springs up, squeaking a rapid, "I-like-short-beaked-echidnas!" before attempting to melt under the table, out of sight.
Rorschach looked to Tom for a long moment and jsut hung his head and fished for a pack of smokes from his pocket and a lighter before crawling across the wall and ducking back outside the room. He could say a few things but really lacked a means in a crowd. But hey there was the upside of being vermin. You could just pass quietly behind all the things. And out he crept.
It's not that the golem is slow, it's that she's, you know, very certain. As if she's considering the halachic implications of standing up and introducing herself. Maimonides might have an opinion on the matter, she has to think about it, you know? So she eases herself to her feet. "Gisa Cohen, Custodian and Golem of Dawn. I am a founding member but was not here last month because I was visiting Israel." Pook did say 'anyone who wasn't here last month,' not anyone NEW. "I read the Talmud for enjoyment, so if assistance with pledges is required, I have the skills to help. And I am convenient to stand behind when things are attacking." Even if she's only five and a half feet tall. Her forehead wrinkles up at the end, and she says, "... my best friend is a cat?" So that must do. And then she slowly settles back down again, moving like tectonic plates move.
Tom is perhaps equally perplexed, in his own fluffy way, of being put in charge of -anything-. He rolls a shrug towards the bug for whom he was translating, but Gisa's answer gets him to turn around and give the double thumbs-up, easily distracted. But it's always worth making nice to cat appreciation.
Meeting Ashe's gaze, Max smiles a bit at her encouragement. So, she momentarily waits while Jacob makes his introduction, an amused smile touching her lips. She always likes watching the awkward ones for whatever reason. Once he's crawling out of the spotlight, and after Gisa's introduction as well, Max slowly rises to her feet. She smooths the skirt of the Cleopatra dress that November has adorned her with, then glances around the room. A hand lifts to raise as she begins to speak. "I'm Max. Obviously not one of you guys, but, still part of the Freehold just the same." There's just a brief pause as she considers what to say. "I've recently joined both the Watchers and the Custodians, so, while I'm still a recruit, if you need that sort of assistance, feel free to come to me. I have various abilities to help out." Then she considers her favorite animal. "Admittedly, I'm not really an animal person, but, I guess I like dogs the most." She nods then sits back down.
November, being November, amuses herself while newcomers speak by making their favourite animals appear upon nearby shoulders, translucent, ghostly dogs, a cat, and, in Jacob's case, a short-beaked echidna. It would likely be slightly more entertaining and less ominous if the creatures didn't all have pinpoints of demonic red light glowing in their illusory eyes...
Paige looks unhappy as she gets to her feet, moving away from her table to head toward the buggy.
Paige stands and leaves Table 3.
"Make sure to take notes," Pook stage whispers aside, to Charlie O. "About the animals," he adds, just in case she was uncertain what needed noted! He then looks back over the gathering, and watches. "Welcome, the Radiant Logan who loves Golden Retrievers. And the nervous Jacob, who enjoys... whichever animal that was you said," Pook says, with a warm smile. "And Gisa, who seems to have taken my words literally. As I would expect. I am assuming cats are your favorite...?" he asks. "And Max. Who likes dogs, she guesses..." Pook's eyes catch on something. "Oh, is that an echidna?" he asks, pointing at one of the illusory animals that November has conjured up. He smiles. "Right then... Thank you all. Be welcome in your Freehold!" he declares.
Queen Pook pauses, and then moves on. "Our next topic... Declaration of challenges." He pauses, and looks about. "Anyone have any?"
Logan sat down again at some point, casting a wondering gaze at the red-eyed golden retriever standing behind him. He's still smiling, even if his eyes are just the slightest touch wider. But he doesn't startle easily. He turns his attention back to his tablemates and the rest of the court action.
Byron stands and leaves Table 4.
Ashe gives's a smile of encouragement as Max gives her introduction and there's a little clap once the new arrivals are all done. She then settles back and talks with Byron while other business is discussed.
"Yes, Kyle is my favorite animal," Gisa answers Pook, taking the question literally. Because of course she does.
Moving a sleepy Damion.
"Well, good! No fights to be had..." Pook declares. "And as a reminder, if anyone does decide they need a matter settled, challenges are encouraged... especially over less civilized means of settling disputes." He's quiet for a moment, then he finally stands back up.
"Onto the last piece of business! I am arranging a game for the month of May. It is not complicated in it's rules. Every member of the Freehold will be sent a playing card. One card per Freeholder. Over the coming weeks, I will encourage you all to trade, and deal, and do whatever needs doing to create a playable hand, per poker rules. At the date I fix - likely just before our next court session - I will find who in the Freehold has compiled the best hand. Whomever does... will be awarded with a trinket, from your Queen. As well as a favor," he says. "I will be posting up the rules shortly," he adds. Then he makes a sweeping gesture. "Thank you all for joining me tonight! Thank you all who helped prepare, and all who spoke, and all of you," he says, with a warm smile. And then, without further ado, the Queen turns, and exits.
Logan's grin lights right back up again when the Queen mentions a game. He talks excitedly at his table for a moment.
Once the Queen has given his final statement there's a look to Byron and a smile as she nods gently to the door. She gives a nod to those that she knows and departs with the Gargoyle not long after the Queen has. She was a tired shadowmonster.
Max glances over to Gisa when Kyle is mentioned, a light smile appearing on her lips as she studies the golem for a moment or two. Then her attention is back on the Queen, apparent interest growing in her eyes at the mention of a game. She's curious to learn more. A wave is given to Ashe and Byron as they head out. Then she glances to November. "Will this wear off when I step back over to the other side?" she wonders, simply curious.
Sighing softly in audible disappointment, November shakes her head at Max, the hoary frost which crowns her brow all that keeps a few puddling strands of drifting, oddly weightless hair from swaying too far forward. "No." Alas. MORE people crushing her fun with logical things. The illusions, each and every one of them, disappear as she pivots on the ball of one heel-clad foot, transparent hand upraised in a gesture of effortless authority. Things do things because she asks them to, and that is the natural order of the world, or so her posture says, though said posture is retreating, now, into the distance as she idly strides out in the Queen's wake.
The Dawns appear to be making plans, or moving on to something new, almost as soon as Court is closing. Surprised? Could anyone be? Gisa leans toward Grillo and nods her head once, twice. She raises her hand, apparently waving a hand to dismiss something he said, or to do that 'no, no, it's cool' thing. The golem does give a respectful enough nod to the Current Crown-Wearing Boss.