Queen Meredith, contrary to popular belief, does not spend her casual time eating the heads of babies or punching holes into people's heads -- unless they are video game heads. This being a casual court, the folks wandering the Hollow are casual, too, and she's currently mid-discussion with an Autumn fellow, bookish, owly, over the merits of a token he's been working on to generate a steady electric current. In effect, a magical battery, into which, as he is enthusiastically explaining, she could plug her video game consoles.
Everyone has priorities.
There are a few other Summers around, some laughing, some joking, some drinking, because seriously, TGIF, and the overall atmosphere is one of convivial energy just waiting to explode into potentially violent action. Hi. Welcome to Summer.
Of course, it being court (casual or not) means that Kip is present. He often is for the casual ones. It's the larger ones he has trouble with and is forced to send someone in his stead or meet with the Monarch separately. And though it is casual, he is wearing Nice Clothes. In this case, a pair of black dress pants with an ivory dress shirt, though as always he has on those rather beat up black Converse. At least he lacks the tie and suit coat he wears for non-informal things. The sleeves of his shirt are rolled up and he's got his ever present brown leather messenger bag slung diagonally across him. His back leaned against the wall and has a spiral-bound notebook in his hand, the kind with the spiral at the top, and has a very fancy fountain pen that he's using to make notes in. Maybe he's already done with the Queen, maybe he's just not there in any capacity other than just to say he was there. Guess the Custodians haven't been overly busy for him to need to actually take an active role in anything. He seems content to remain there, not too far from where Meredith is. His hair is down fo once and not in that ridiculous manbun, so his shoulder-length hair is flopped into his face as his head bends to pay attention to whatever he's jotting down.
Erebos hears of court and arrives alone and seemingly appearing from the darkness of the nearby shadows. The darkling stays back away from the groups of people and simply watches for a while, his strange silver-golden eyes sparkling from the darkness until he makes his way into the court proper. He's a tall man that seems to float more than walk. Clothed in writhing darkness that looks like a robe which flows behind him as he moves. A polite nod of his head is given to those he passes, his Autumn mantle adding a chill to the warmer air of Summer and tugging at the life of vegetation as he passes to leave plants withered and brown.
Both hands are slowly clasped behind his back as he moves, smiling as he finds a place to stand in ready for court to begin. The queen herself gets a long, studying look from the darkling as he listens to her conversation on magical batteries, obviously curious of the use of magic to that end.
In the midst of all that Summer energy, the potential for violence, in walks a woman that is decidedly Spring. Red hair, dotted with foxglove and graced by curving horns. She's wearing a pair of wedge heels with straps that wrap around her thin ankles, and a pencil dress that fits close to her curves. The dress picks up the shade of red her foxglove is dotted with, and the heels are a complementary black. There's a small satchel at her side, and woven through the strap is the sash that marks her as a Sacred Messenger. She looks...radiant. Exhausted. The sense of someone returned, from a journey longer than expected.
Today's Court has been relatively uneventful. Point in fact, the entire ruddy SUMMER has been relatively uneventful, much to Meredith's often-expressed frustration. It's as though all of the big, "fun" baddies are just staying home. Sure, there have been a few noteworthy hunts, large Hedge beasts rampaging about and giving the Custodians something to scribble in their books, but the great battles, the things legends are made of...no.
Needless to say, when a Sacred Messenger walks into court, Mina has Meredith's attention.
The Queen's black/white gaze is calm, but intrigued, and she lifts a hand to stop the flow of words from the owly Autumn as she straightens to face the crystal cavern's entrance. There's a brief pause before memory provides, "Messenger Mina. Been a while."
There have been things for Custodians to scribble in books, but not even much of /that/. And that is Kip's frustration. He assumed that being Custodian-Elect as well as the acting Librarian would keep him busy to no end, but instead it's mostly manageable with only a few bouts of late nights here and there. Certainly not enough to occupy his mind as much as he wanted it to. And speaking of reasons why...
Kip is standing off to the side a little but is in a perfect place to be when his nose catches a hint of something. He goes perfectly still for a moment before sloooowly turning his head toward the new arrival in all her Spring glory. He doesn't say anything, but his lips part as he spots Mina and he looks like he's /almost/ breathing out her name for a moment before his head goes back down and he lets his hair fall a bit into his face again, this time making no attempt to even try to push it back out of his eyes. Though his green and blue sparks and zips of lightning had been encompassing his body, for a moment even they freeze and dull, like they're trying to help him blend in and not be seen. The pen is capped again and stuck inside the notebook as he closes it, though.
Erebos doesn't move other than to blink. The darkling simply stands with his hands clasped behind his back, hidden in the inky darkness of his robe. Tilting his head to the side he lets his gaze flick away from the Summer Queen to the messenger, then over to Kip as he moves before looking back towards the queen once more.
"Hail, the Summer Queen," Mina offers with a dip of her head. And while her voice is not a loud thing, there is something about it that cuts right through the din of other conversations and sounds of a small gathering. She does not have to raise her voice, to be heard, to draw one in to hear her words. In fact, it's incredibly difficult to do anything *but* listen to what she has to say. "It has been some time. And I wish I was here on happier business." It's difficult to tell exactly where she's looking at any given moment, due to the solid blue of her eyes. Until her attention is actually felt. It pauses on the Autumn shadow that stands out in a crowd of Summer - not the owlish man, but the other. And then Kip can feel it as well. A heart beat later, she's in motion.
Mina moves like the dancer that she is. Every step holds a grace and purity of purpose. "News from our Neighbors. Of the Soundless, and two of the True Fae with their attention on Fate's Harvest." Making her way towards the Queen, as she withdraws a wax-sealed envelope to hold it out in offering.
The mention of the Soundless sharpens that black/white gaze, and the monochromatic Queen's Mantle, already a simmering haze of heat and the scent of sun-scorched stone, quite overwhelms that of the Spring before her once Mina passes within range. Meredith accepts the envelope, but doesn't open it immediately, studying it first, then producing a fine blade from somewhere up her sleeve with a slight motion of her arm and hand, a sheath no doubt concealed beneath the cloth, wax deftly lifted from the paper beneath.
Considering the letter within, knife tucked back up her sleeve with casual confidence, she drops the envelope and scans the page, then narrows her eyes and lifts a hand to beckon Kip closer. "Looks like you get your wish, bookworm." She flicks a look toward Erebos as well, Autumn that he is. "Not sure how much excitement this is going to be for us immediately, but we've got ourselves some guard dogs." Her lips twist, vaguely disgusted. "The Lover and some other Fae seem to have taken it upon themselves to 'preserve' us. Fuck." She closes her eyes, running a hand through her hair and, as it so happens, through the ring of fire and light crowning her brow, then opens her eyes again to command, "Go through the library, ask around, do what you do. We need to figure out who that Fae is, and what the price of this is going to be, other than the obvious."
The obvious, of course, being that Fate's Harvest is already known for being a nest of dangerously close-to-Fae Changelings, with a questionable reputation: too dangerous to trust, but too tough a nut to kill.
"But they've been quiet as of late," Kip mentions on the cusp of Mina's announcement of why she is present. When he speaks, his own voice is quiet, but very much unlike Mina's. His voice is a thin whispery thing as if he's trying very hard to not distract anyone or bring attention to himself. The notebook is flipped through, back several pages, eyes scanning intently as if looking for something. "The last we heard of them was-- I don't know. It would be in the history ledger back in the Library." It's not necessary information and he knows it, but it gives him something to say in order to look like he has reason to be involved in the conversation. At least, that's how it starts. But when the Queen speaks his face shifts to a hardened expression as he moves closer. "The Lover," he mutters, almost spitting out the words. "The only thing The Lover is interested in perserving seems to be my perpetual headaches." He stops his momentary bitching to look over toward the messenger. "Thank you for bringing this. I'm sure you have places you'd rather be."
Mina watches, her gaze on the Summer Queen. Don't shoot the messenger is a phrase for a reason. And that is likely why it's one of the Guild that's been sent with this particular message. Her attention slides to Kip when he speaks, and there's an arch of brow as the Librarian begins to protest on the Soundless. "They are...well. Fate's Harvest is dodging a bullet, so to speak, and the Soundless are the meatshield currently in the way. I'm sure that the Queen will explain what she sees fit to do so." She closes her satchel back up, musing as she does, "I'm afraid I have little information on the potentially male True Fae, myself." She slants her gaze to Kip, and those sweet lips press into a smirk. "Always so eager to be rid of me, Kip. And it used to just be because you liked watching me go." Her gaze returns to the Queen, then. "I'll stay in the area, to do my duty as needed of me, of course."
Tapping the letter on her opposite palm, Queen Meredith considers, then nods once, decisive, and beckons over another Summer. "Get Clarice. Have her set up Harvestman patrols on the west border, just in case." Toward Erebos and others, she instructs, "Spread the word. Keep an eye out, and watch out if you head toward Stowe. May be wise to wear our symbol somewhere, or carry tamarack sprigs. That helped us before." She frowns, tapping that letter again, and turns her head to tell Mina, "Give me a few days to chat with the rest of the Council, Mina. I'll have a message for you to deliver to the informant, and one for our little hippy-dippy friends up north. For now," she raises her voice, to be clearly heard, "Court is adjourned."
Fascinating token gadgets, sadly, are lower priority than potential Fae emergencies, and the owly Autumn slumps as the Queen strides out toward the mouth of the cavern and disappears from sight around the corner.
Though his jaw locks into a hard set when Mina speaks to him, Kip doesn't snap at Mina in response. Oh, he for a moment clearly wants to. The way the lightning around him sparks brightly and the glow of his eyes increases, he definitely wants to say /something/. But he refrains. At least for the moment. He looks away from Minna and back toward Meredith as she speaks. His eyes veer toward Erebos a moment and he seems to nod slightly as if in agreement with something. He also gives a more defined nod as Meredith adjournes the proceedings. The pen and notebook are quickly shoved into the back pocket of his pants and now his attention is on Mina. "You're a distraction," he says to her as if explaining why he's ever so impatient to be rid of her. "Besides, I can't stick around all day. I have to get to the shop and reopen it in case anyone comes by." Oh, excuses excuses. It's very easy to see them for what they are, his excuses. He is a terrible liar, especially for a Bey.