Log:Last Court of Summer 2018

From Fate's Harvest
Jump to: navigation, search

Last Court of Summer 2018

Annapurna as Meredith Ryan (NPC). Damion, Tansy, Berry, Jacob, CB, Widget, Cerise,

1 September, 2018

Meredith Ryan hosts the final Court of the Summer season. Kidnappings and ensorcellments are discussed.



It's the beginning of September, which means that Summer is on its way toward its close. Trees in Vermont are already beginning to put on their colourful Autumn coats, the famous maples warming the mountainsides with hints of scarlet, flame orange and gold, the nights are often 50°F (10°C) or below, but the days are still bright and the lake is still warm.

Well. Warm for Vermont.

The Queen and Council are seated at their customary table, arrayed from left to right by the periods of the year or by personal preference. Queen Meredith and her flaming crown of iron and light are not quite in the centre, but she is close, dressed simply in an Aperture Laboratories t-shirt over a long-sleeved undershirt, Army-style trousers and heavy hiking boots.

On a table off to the side is a collection of local beers, IPAs or otherwise, some bottled water, and a few bags of potato chips. Who needs to be sober in the Hedge anyway?

Since it's probably not the smartest move to have a blind woman go scampering out in the hedge by herself, Cerise enters alongside of C.B. Still, she asserts as much independence as she can, guiding herself carefully through the room and to a seat with her cane. Her inky black 'eyes' seem to be a bit more active here in the hedge, swirling lightly as she moves, even though they still don't seem to offer her even the barest sight.

Widget doesn't need to be sober, which is why she's crounched under the table crunching and munching and drinking heavily. Mostly beer, but there's some water as well. Widget can remember things when she wants to, and not getting tectonic hangovers is something she wants. Or getting drunk less. There's always a sort of base panic that she feels here, like the worst pupil in the class who wants to be tip-top but will settle for being present and partially awake.

The barefoot and quite filthy woman perks up, having gotten here quite earlier to pester the hobs and generally make a nuisance of herself. Does she even know there's supposed to be a meeting here?



Jacob makes his way in on his own, craning his head around to check for familiar faces before venturing further in. He gravitates sort of naturally towards the beer, pausing to flash a bright toothy smile at the Queen before surveying the rest of the room and finding a place to park his butt off to the side. His attention shifts from face to face, spending more time studying the ones he hasn't gotten to know yet.

Berry enter the room, the monochrome wears a suit today, a new suit in an old style with the blackbird cufflinks and an autumn colored tie,

he step carefully through the wooden doors, his mantle flicker when moving near older or stronger faes, the feeling of someone who is just about to step through the door come and goes,

he looks to the table in the center of the room, giving meredith a polite nod of the head and making a mental note of who sits where and steps to the food table, grabbing a bottle of water, standing there and keeping a close watch at the door.

Yeah. C.B. Alexander is here. He looks thrilled to be here. Goddamn THRILLED. But yeah, he waits for Cerise, even though he looks like he would rather be literally anywhere else. He's dressed in a red and black plaid flannel shirt with the sleeves pushed up, jeans, and workboots. The beer is eyes -- definitely eyed -- but funnily enough, he doesn't go for it. Nope. He takes out a battered flask from his hip pocket instead, unscrewing it for a drink. And he hovers near Cerise as she sits, but he himself stays standing, staring daggers at the Council and the Summer Monarch.

The demons of rumor chitter in Widget's brain as she spots CB. She thought he got stolen! Somehow they got him back, though, she guessed.

"CB! Hi! Not stolen?"

Being about as socially tactful as she could, which was not at all, the gremlin takes seat. Everyone else was doing it, and she grabbed a bottle of beer to take with her. Seemed like the best course pf action.

Berry takes a seat, taking care after seeing the weird one sitting.

Meredith waits until the room is full (of absent attendees tonight, and NPCs) before she stands up and and raises her arm, elbow level with her shoulder, hand held high with her palm toward the crowd, and makes an easy fist in simultaneous salute and request for silence. Not a single Council member appears to care that CB is glaring at them. When isn't he?

Quiet conversations and speculations from the other Councilors cease when Meredith rises, however, and both Katie Jones of Dusk and, in lieu of the departed Ashe, August Bordeaux of Autumn pay especial attention to the Summer Queen.

Meredith waits, then nods, dropping her arm. "Thanks for coming. This is the last Court of my rule, and we all know I don't hold with long nonsense. That's Pook's corner."

Reginald Pook of Spring, his hair and beard immaculately coiffed and oiled and curled as always, lifts a lacy handkerchief to flutter in the Summer's direction.

Meredith rolls her eyes, casually flips him off, and turns back to the assembled freeholders with a wry smile. "We'll be quick, and you know the drill. I'll take any new pledges, anyone with a grievance to air can request a duel, we'll talk about the shit that's gone on in the past month, and then anyone else with questions or comments can speak up at the end."

C.B. frowns down at the yank on his flannel, but he sits -- after a substantial eyeroll. He whips his head around to Widget and says, quite loudly and deliberately, "Apparently /not/, Widget. Quick on the uptake." He taps his forehead. Then he's back to glaring at Meredith as she starts things rolling. Everyone can glare at each other. It's super fun.

Cerise gives C.B. a pat when he sits finally, but then she's standing up, a steadying hand kept on C.B.'s shoulder. "I would like to pledge. I have spoken to Logan about it."

      Leave it to Tansy to be fashionable... and Fashionably Late. The quite posh looking Fairest has arrives a bit late with her usual bright smile wide on her face as she is escorted in. This is an important day! It seems she's gone with fancy for it too. She walks in with dignity, making her way to somewhere near the back, but Widget and CB are noted too, and each in turn offered a smile should they see her. All the same, she seems to have chosen a place to be out of the way, but also very visible to any who might be looking.

Widget smiles sharply, the theme of that response whizzing over her head. "Good! Yes. Someetimes it's hard. To know." More beer. Beer would fix /everything/. Especially this beer, which tasted much better than what she usually stole. It didn't taste like the shelf it was sitting on, for starters.

Seeing that Cerise appears to have some issues with vision, Meredith doesn't force the Seer to come up to the front: she comes to her, speaking while walking between the tables and chairs. "And we'll be glad to have you. Tell everyone your name, please, and a bit about yourself. Then we'll get started." To Cerise, and CB for that matter, and everyone within five feet of the Summer Queen, it's a bit like being smacked upside the head with the heat at the heart of a forge, dry and heavy. She is Summer, she is Wrath restrained, but that fire is ready to explode at a moment's notice. Also really hard NOT to notice, but that's Summer for ya.

C.B. is muttering something to Cerise at his table, but when Tansy makes her entrance, he is definitely distracted. He watches her come in the entire way until he forces himself to look in the other direction, back at Meredith. And speaking of Meredith, she's right up in his grill, now! Doesn't stop him from glaring at her.

      Tansy has a way of being able to even relax in such a way as to look like she's in a photoshoot... and make it look completely natural and probably accidental to begin with. Stupid Fairest! Because she's definitely doing it now. Even sitting down at the table is pretty relaxed and fancy all at once.

Cerise whispers something quickly to C.B. at their table, but she cuts it off as Meredith approaches. Even unseeing, Cerise's head swivels in the direction of the queen, her voice lifting loud and clear as she speaks. "I'm Cerise Hodgson, I came from the hedge just over a month ago now. Since then, I have discovered that I can peak into the future or past, and I have been having visions. Apparently, I have lived here for quite some time before taken to the hedge, but my own past is a little jumbled. Being able to peek into the future, I have not been able to discern anything negative from joining the Freehold, nor do I find the laws as explained to me oppressive, and so I wish to join."

Once Cerise has introduced herself, the Queen nods, then rolls her eyes at herself -- nodding is cleeearly going to work SUPER well when talking to a blind woman -- and verbally acknowledges the seer instead.

"More seers are always good to have around, Ms. Hodgson." Spotting Tansy, another unfamiliar face, she nods at the woman, then gives Cerise her full attention. "I'm going to recite the pledge, phrase by phrase. You repeat after me, 'kay?"

And so she does, reciting the following:

"I pledge my time, my talents and my fealty to Fate's Harvest.

"I swear that I no longer serve the Fae, nor will I while this promise stands; that while I am under its protection I will obey the principles and bylaws of the Fate's Harvest Freehold as ratified by Monarch and Council, in return for the support and safety they provide.

"May I perish in exile, should I be forsworn."

C.B. seems surprised that Tansy's alighted at their table. He nods to her a little -- then stares around, squnting, at the others who have joined them -- but then the Pledge is going on, and he sighs. Loudly. Arms folded, he flumps back in his chair.

Cerise lifts her chin upwards. She can't see the eyes on her, but she must know that they're there and her demeanor changes to reflect that. "I pledge my time, my talents, and my fealty to Fate's Harvest.

"I swear that I no longer serve the Fae, nor will I while this promise stands; that while I am under its protection I will obey the principles and bylaws of the Fate's Harvest Freehold as ratified by Monarch and Council, in return for the support and safety they provide.

"May I perish in exile, should I be forsworn."

      Tansy smile as she is noticed, bowing her head to the current sovereign. Her smile not fading a bit. Oh, she does make CB's eyes again, and there's a momentary increase in her smile's warmth, and another glance to Widget complete with another similar look. But then there's the real gravity of the situation, those words are said, and she listens carefully, letting CB go through those words. There's a little bit of nerves in her as she hears it. But she takes a deep breath that is then held in carefully as the original oath is finished. "Your Ladyship. I, too, have come to swear fealty. If such is alright." A brief pause, "My name is Athanasia Tanner, though I go by Tansy Skye every since my escape." She introduces.

Meredith isn't known for being patient, or having a long temper. Said temper spikes, right there, right then, the flames of her crown flaring with blue-white hearts, and as soon as Cerise is finished, as soon as the weight of fate has bound the two of them together, she states a curt, "Mr. Alexander, I don't give a flying fuck what you think of me, but this young woman deserves your respect. You can take the attitude and walk on out that door-" she points at the exit, staring CB down, "-or you can treat everyone in this room with the courtesy they're giving you. We stand together or we fall. We'll be getting to your and Ms. Kraus's captivity after pledges and duels are completed. Speak then. Not now."

She turns to Tansy then, flames easing back to close to their original heat, and briefly closes her eyes. Someone's counting to ten, it seems, to calm herself down. The Summer manages a smile, albeit a serious one, for the very well-dressed young Fairest, and nods to her. "Thank you, Ms. Skye. Repeat after me..."

The Summer Queen runs through the pledge again, taking her time to make it easy on Tansy and avoid any misspoken words.

C.B. outright laughs at something Meredith says. Not only Summers have tempers, and his is clearly flaring in that moment -- electricity spikes and his cheeks turn bright red. "Oh, don't worry, /Your Majesty/. After tonight, I will never walk through those doors again." But yeah, for now, at least, he is quiet again, back to drinking from his flask.

Jacob arches one fuzzy brow when Meredith pops off, pausing mid-pull on his beer, and glances between her and CB. Listening to the exchange, he downs the rest of the bottle and sits back, actually looking more animated. Or maybe he just realized he should have brought popcorn. There's a floor show after all!

Widget climbs into her seat, having sought cover under the table. Then the CB keeps talking and she finds a soft patch on the floor again. There's being a gremlin and sowing chaos, and then there's whatever this is gonna turn into. The gremlin didn't survive being /her/ for so long without knowing when to get some furniture between you and everything else.

Cerise's pledge finished, she lowers herself back down into her seat. Her lips purse at the quick rebuke to C.B. and her head swivels towards the chair that he's sitting in as if she could read his body language.

Berry seem to relax at last, he looks at C.B. and the queen, and at a complete disintrest in the argument he seem to fix his attention at the door, preparing himself for something.

      Tansy takes a glance over towards Alexander with the big scene that's being played out. It causes her to raise her eyes a bit but then she looks right back to Meredith, and stand. She bows her head and even dips into a perfect courtly sort of curtsey that looks very out of place in the modern age - especially with the obvious practice she executes it with. As she holds said genuflection she repeats the words again, exactly as said.

As with Cerise, Meredith accepts the pledge with all due solemnity when Tansy repeats it, and, when a glance about the room doesn't reveal any other unfamiliar faces, she tells both women, "Thank you, ladies, for your oath."

Turning to head back to the Council table, she asks over her shoulder, "For parties who have been unable to resolve disputes without violence, the Freehold allows for public duels. Do we have any challengers this evening?" A pair of members toward the back grumble under their breath, and one of them looks like she might jump up, but two of her friends, including her fellow grumbler, bodily lean in to hold her in her seat. Meredith lifts an eyebrow, but doesn't comment, waiting for any responses.

Considerably late, Damion slips into the hall. He glances around, then finds a seat towards the back to quietly observe what's happening.

berry seem a bit starteled by the entrance of the giant, but he then recognize the man and seemed please that the harvestman decided to join, he keep watching the door with intent.

      "Thank you, Your Ladyship." Tansy responds to Meredith as her pledge is accepted. The fairest girl arising from her curtsey and then sitting back down in a prim and proper sort of fashion that still seems far too natural. She has fallen back into silence now.

Widget migrates under the table to where Damion is sitting, putting the very large dragonman between her and the potential mushroom cloud. She leans in, whispering to Damion not nearly quietly enough to not be heard. She's a little too nervous for volume control. "...maybe fight....not gonna...see...listens to her..." Widget's grasp of the situation is poor enough that she points to Meredith rather than Cerise.

Jacob glances over when Damion enters, studying the new arrival but doesn't seem to recognize the large man at the moment. Instead, however, the grumbling at the back of the room draws his interest. A fight? Maybe? Damn, it WAS a good day to come be social.

Damion leans down a little to listen to Widget while she whispers to him, raising a brow slightly as he considers things. He rests a hand absently atop the girls head as he murmurs back, "I'm sure things'll be fine." He does keep an eye out for potential violence though. It seemed like something that might need to be headed off.

When it seems no duels are in order, Meredith nods, leaning forward, and rests her weight on her hands, supported by the table's edge. "Good. Now on to the bad news. We burned out some of the hobs who've been attacking us, but whoever's paying the buggers is still sending more." She tips her head toward CB. "He and Calliope Kraus, along with Laurel and Mayberry (NPCs), were kidnapped while traveling in the Hedge. The danger is still present. Do NOT go unescorted."

After a serious, lingering look toward everyone in the room, black/white eyes sweeping over those gathered, she exhales a slow sigh, the corners of her lips tugging down into an irritable frown. "Kip and Mina, who couldn't be here this evening, discovered that the four of them were being held captive at the White Hand market, discovered during Charlie's-" she waves toward the Winter Councilor, "-reign."

Her lips tighten into a deeper frown. "The Watchers were unable to find you, and the Harvestmen, unfortunately, have been suffering from lack of leadership. Messages which should have carried through the ranks failed to do so." Despite her earlier outburst, when she looks at CB this time, there's nothing there but solemn sincerity. "In short, we fucked up, and while groups were sent out to find you all, you got yourself out before they could get there to help you. As Queen, I apologise for the freehold's failure to reach you in time. As Summer, I invite you to join me in beating in the faces of any hobs involved."

She looks up across the room again, noting that, "This isn't finished, people. We need to find the ones paying these buggers. If you've got any luck to spare, share it with your local seers, and stay sharp."

"Yep. You people fucked up," C.B. says plainly. The Wizened looks angry, but not livid. Like this is something he's just come to accept. Or maybe he appreciated Meredith's words on some level? Doesn't stop him from being pissed, but -- he could be a lot /more/ pissed. "You were unable to fulfill the one goddamn thing Freeholds are supposed to be good at, so I won't be renewing my Pledge. And I know that doesn't mean shit-all to anyone, but I hope everyone in this room gives their repledges a second thought." He swigs from his flask and adds, "I, personally, could give a rat's ass about finding the hobs and beating on them. It doesn't take away from the fact that Clio and I, and those other people, were locked away for weeks with no other options but to rely on our own fucking wits." C.B. lets out a sigh and clambers up to his feet, seeming rather tired all of a sudden.

Cerise is silent still. She listens attentatively to Meredith as the queen speaks. Unlike others may, she doesn't swivel around and try to identify people. She does, however, drop her head slightly when the queen says that watchers were unable to find the captured changelings, a look of guilt washing over her features.

Berry keep watching the door, ignoring the wizened ranting

      Tansy's eyes widen a bit more at CB's response to this, grimacing a bit too. Even looking down to the table in front of herself. Her attempt to find some security here at least being called into question now. So that's worrisome. Still, at this point she's staying quiet and observing.

Even Widget is nervous, keeping close to Damion and looking at everyone and everything. Eventually something in her brain fizzles to life, and she raises her hand. "Can...help?" The gremlin likes building, shooting, and not being grabbed and whisked off to some sort of fairy prison. Seems like a win-win...win to try and get something out of this. She's got her grubby homemade booklet, scorched and stained and taped-up. It's crumpled from where she folded it into her jumpsuit, but there's still a sense of pride burning behind her eyes. Or the oncoming intoxication.

Meredith's weight shifts as she lifts a hand, fingers spreading in nonverbal acceptance of CB's decision. "That's your choice. It's always a choice. Unfortunately, much though Pook would like to believe otherwise, nobody is perfect." Councilor Reginald Pook of Spring does, indeed, sniff once, nose tilted into the air in mild offense. Meredith ignores him, and continues. "It's a shit fact, but it's the truth. I'm just sorry it had to dump on you and the ladies."

The Summer looks around the room. "Does anyone else have something to report to the group? I've heard from the Waykeepers that contact was finally made with the northern Freehold, but the relationship is still in question."

Hearing Widget's offer, she lifts a brow, but beckons for the gremlin to speak. "What's that?"

Damion tilts his head as Widget speaks up to the Queen, rubbing along her back encouragingly as she fishes out her little catalogue. He keeps silent, shifting his gaze between the two of them and letting the imp get out her words at her own pace.

Widget isn't clear on where she's supposed to go, so she hops off of her seat and stands by Meredith. There was something comforting about the forge-like heat she was giving off, even nostalgic. Hopefully the chemical fumes the gremlin was giving off wouldn't catch fire. There's a moment of awkward shuffling as Widget tries to get herself in order, opening her booklet and holding it out for the assembled Lost to see. It's completely illegible.

"Made stuff. When people got taken. Not that Taken. Yes. Um. Like this." Uzipping a portion of her jumpsuit, silence starts to creep into uncomfortable territory as she fishes out a trio of odd...cartridges? "For hunting bad things. Keeping them away. Magic! Um. Other stuff. Traps, food, ...stuff. Can give them. Teach? Useful things!"

Damion crosses his arms over his chest as he listens to Widget, glancing around the room. He clears his throat a little. "I'l be helping her mass produce her catalogue. I'll do the text, and she'll do the illustrations." He doesn't come out and say 'So you'll actually be able to read it.' But the implication is there. "It seems like the main things she came up with are some trifle bullets with interesting effects. They could certainly be useful, once she gets them working properly." He smiles over at the tiny rusty inventor. "And an assortment of other things. She's quite inventive."

Queen Meredith looks down at Widget, only a few inches, given her own 5'5" height, and lifts a brow at the enthusiastic gremlin's explanation. Thankfully, Mantles are purely illusory effects: nothing is ACTUALLY set on fire.

When the catalogue, illegible as it is, is better-explained by her fellow Summer, she nods to Damion and suggests, "Try taking her out with the Harvestmen some time. Run a patrol with her weapons. If they'll do more damage to the enemy than our own side, it's worth the effort of stockpiling bullets and never getting the taste of coupnettle out of your mouth."

To Widget herself, the Queen asks, "Just what do these things -do-? Please, no demonstrations," she holds up a hand, forestalling potential kabooms. "Just words."

      Tansy is... still quiet. This is definitely a good chance for her to learn about some of the politics and other bits going on in the freehold she's just sworn to. Mostly, it's quiet and simple. She seems pretty good at just being such too, the fact she's sitting there with her hands folded in her lap.

At the mention of weapons, Cerise's head cants to one side, her expression curious.

berry keep to himself

Demonst- Oh. Well, she could still talk about. She tried to practice with some of the hobs in the kitchen, until the very insistent application of a wooden spoon. Widget held up a pistol cartridge, a spiral carved onto the bullet itself. It turned slowly, the glint of the brass slowly shifting in turn. "Makes things bleed. Very loud and bright. Yes. Spins! But more. Than other bullets. Yes." The shotgun shell comes next, dusted with yellow powder and scratched with the crude image of a flower. "Makes things go puffy and red and birght yellow and sticky. Doesn't hurt. Much." She sniffles, a silenced-gunshot sneeze *pew*-ing out before she safely stows it away. "And this one..." A rifle bullet, painted with nose art and olive drab. It doesn't do much except look like it should rumble angrily and to Meredith, does. "Chases things. Very hungry. Yes."

"Um... Good? Yes?"

Damion nods up to the Queen, "I'll do that soon." He listens ot the explanation from the gremlin as she holds up the shells. He smiles a little and finally says, "A bullet with greater penetration that also causes the wounds to bleed more, a weapon that causes allergic reactions and is more meant to incapacitate than kill, and a homing bullet. I think all of them could be useful, myself." Not that she was that unclear that time. But still! Best to make it as clear as possible when talking to Meredith. Because she was the one in charge, not because she wasn't able to uderstand... nevermind.

Needless to say, while Meredith does listen to Widget, it's Damion she looks to as the Official Gremlin Translator.

Explanation clarified, the Summer laughs, and claps Widget on the shoulder, heedless of the grime no doubt being left upon her hand in doing so. "Good job, Widget. Keep up the good work." She looks out over the rest of the members in the room while giving the gremlin a little nudge to push her back Damion-ward. "Anyone who wants to help out, please do. We need every edge we can get against these people."

She waits until Widget is on her way back, then asks, "Anything anyone wants to say? Announcements to make? Marriages? Ensorcellments?"

Cerise quirks an eyebrow as she listens to the bit about weapons, but doesn't look like she has anything to add.

Damion motions for Widget to come back to him as well, and once she does rubs the little imps back. He frowns slightly as he considers the words of the Queen. Finally he says, "Your Majesty. There was a... incident with a mortal, and a hedge beast. She heard it speak. Sadly, she seems unwilling to rationalize it away. So I've talked to her, and at least temporarily, she's been ensorcelled. Incidently, I also added a clause to the pledge that will erase her memory of our kind of she tries to tell somebody not already in the know."

Jacob slowly shakes his head in the negative when Meredith asks around, but he's watching Widget with a new look of curiosity. Or maybe a perk of a tail. Something. The Hunterheart is interested.

Widget pipes up, looking to defend said mortal. "But is making a forge! Crucible! Can smith. Already can make armor and blades. Lives away from others. Could use her. Yes."

      Tansy is still silent, looking between everyone as they speak. Her face mostly impassive other than that never fading, all too memorable smile that seems permanently plastered on her face. She's still sitting prim and proper as can be too, even somehow not looking uncomfortable despite how it seems like it should be!

berry turn his head to the two as he knows a mortal who fits that description and wait to hear more

Raising a brow when Damion mentions his mortal problem, the Winter Councilor looks pointedly to the Queen, some past subtext underlying the Look.

Rolling her eyes at Charlie O's eyebrow and Look, Meredith tells Damion, "Whether or not she stays ensorcelled is up to her, Damion, but you'll need to get her into a longer-term pledge of secrecy. You know the laws. We can't take the risk, and neither can she." Her turn for a raised eyebrow. "The moment you brought her into our world, she got a big fat target painted on her back. We're all pledged to protect the ensorcelled, but it's your job, especially, to keep her safe."

Looking to Widget, then to Damion again, the Summer Queen, poorly concealing a wry smile, suggests to the gremlin, "Why don't you help him convince her? Uh. Bond over burning things."

She shakes her head, then looks around the room again. "Anything else? If not, we can call it quits for the night. Remember, Crown will be changing heads on the equinox. Autumn or Dusk can speak for themselves when the shift occurs."