The Wayhouse is a warm and energetic place, more often than not, and tonight is no exception. Baked goods are scattered here and there on plates beside residents or guests, and the lingering scents of a rather eclectic evening haunt the air in memory of suppers past.
Not all of those present are Changelings, or, rather, not all are obviously Changelings, but of those who are, November is, indisputably, the most eye-catching of the lot. It's tough not to be when you're so brilliantly coloured and, well, a god. Also the one holding a plate of scones out for a one-legged Wizened with bloody hands. Scones are important.
No other Waykeepers are yet present. The rainbow keeps an eye on the door for latecomers.
Logan tends to be impeccably on time, but this evening, he's running a little late. Still, it's not his style to hurry. He comes in through the mud room, wiping his feet, then further into the living room, with his usual brilliant smile on his face, light shining out all around, corona of shadow ringing around him as usual. He's bundled up in a blue ski jacket, brushing snow off his shoulders as he walks in. He carries with him an artfully arranged bouquet of different flavored candy canes and swirling lollipops. Stepping up to the Waylady, he greets her with an increase of that smile and a slight nod of his golden head. "Evening, November. Sorry for being a little late. Something suddenly came up." The one-legged Wizened and other guests get smiles and greetings from his as well, and he offers his candy cane assortment to all.
Entering like a cosplayer going to the cafeteria at a nerd convention of some sort-- in other words, dressed funny and not particularly remembering that fact, just acting like everythings normal-- Captain Czcibor Kowal der Landeswehr comes in from the mudroom with absolutely zero snow on him, the multitude of roses that generally herald his Mantle's arrival suspiciously absent, bringing with him a fresh spring breeze, and...
...dressed like a pirate. All-black, like the Dread Pirate Roberts, but also sporting a large red-feathered tricorn hat which does make it through the door all right, and with unapologetic silver-filigree-style embroidery at the collar and down the front. He smiles at people as he limps in on oh my god he got a literal pegleg somewhere, and heads for where he sees Rainbow Goddess and Golden Boy, quite cheerfully--
--aaand then he sees Logan handing over flowers, and looks remarkably awkward, like, 'damn foiled by etiquette again, not good form' like he's Hook instead of Zorroberts. Which means, well, okay, he's got on him... a hat he was dared to wear all day so can't give away, and... a replica sword. And giving his toy sword to November means all kinds of things he doesn't want to imply, so he just sort of shifts his weight and lets his smile go crooked. "Hi. I was wondering if I might sit in tonight, to see what I should be telling people who should be looking for the lot of you. That all right?"
Nathania walks into the Wayhouse, nodding around once she's properly inside. She looks a bit sleepy. "Sorry," she says apologetically to November once she spots the rainbow trickster. "I... ended up... losing track... of time." A blush. "But. I hope I'm not ... terribly late?" She carries with her a messenger bag, from which she pulls knitting--pale blue silk and intricate lacework--once she finds a place to sit. With the delicate and easily stained nature of the yarn in hand, she eschews the pastries.
November is, alas, not luminescent, but Logan's pretty lights reflect nicely off of her ice and all that glittery 'diamond dust' snow she sheds, so Fairest-on-Fairest synergy is complete.
The rainbow lifts her wrist, checking an imaginary watch, and taps it, flashing Logan a smooth smile. "You're the first to arrive. Better late than not at all. It's a bit busy this evening, so I--" she cuts herself off as Czcibor arrives, colours shifting through vivid limes, azures and pinks in a lava lamp, then blackening with streaks of pale greys and transparencies in momentary echo of his filigree. She's back to an aimless drift across the spectrum two heartbeats after his arrival, and he, too, is greeted with a smile, as is Nathania behind him.
"As I was saying, we're a bit full up tonight, so let's hold the meeting in the den, shall we? Let them watch their game." The Ancient tilts her head, queerly fluid hair drifting in rippling echo of the motion, then gestures for them to precede her. "Logan, if you could show our pirate captain where it is, please..?" She will allow Nathania to go ahead of her.
Logan turns his head over his shoulder, flashing his grin at Czcibor. "Oh, hi Czcibor. Good to see you again." Nathania, too, gets that brilliant grin. "And you, Nathania. Would either of you like a candy cane?" He offers up the "bouquet." Then, after the others have gone into the den, Logan gracefully indicates the way with a sweep of his golden hand. "It's this way! Follow me." Whistling a little tune, he heads after Nathania, making sure Czcibor is following.
"Hey, Logan," the pirate says with a quick smile, and then blinks. CANDY. He only has the briefest of 'r-really??' expressions, startled and delighted, before he nods and takes a candy cane. "Thanks!" He tips the front of his massive hat to Nathania with a wink as he unwraps it and strengthens his mask, then follows after Logan and November with the candy cane end in his mouth. Easily pleased, it seems.
Nathania grins at Czcibor and nods greeting to Logan, declining a candy cane. "Thanks... but no... thanks. Stickines.... won't do on this project." She siles.
November waits until everyone is settled, however they intend to be settled, before leaning back against the door and crossing her ankles, careful not to unduly wrinkle the crisp lines of her ice-white suit's trousers. "Thank you all for coming," she begins, accent as New England-meets-Irish as ever. "I don't have much on the agenda, so this should be a fairly swift meeting."
A finger lifts, transparent, at least until she floods it with emerald greens to make it more obvious. "Item number one is our dearth of members, some of which may readily be laid at my own feet. I intend to push for a recruitment drive, and encourage any existing members to seek out those they believe would have the patience and endurance required." Crystalline lashes briefly lower in a slow blink, though with transparent eyelids, it does seem rather pointless. "Have you any suggestions?"
Logan takes off his parka, revealing a blue sweater with a lighter blue collard shirt over it and jeans. Casual today. He drapes the parka over a chair and takes a seat, depositing the candy canes on a table. (He had, of course, rewarded Czcibor with a gratified smile for taking one. They are dang good canes!) Then he nods gravely at November's mention of lack of members. "I think part of the problem is that it isn't easy to become a Waykeeper, at least compared to some Freehold groups." His tone is as cheerful as ever. "Perhaps we can somehow show people that the advantages are worth the work. As for member suggestions, someone even-keeled and impartial would be ideal, don't you think? Perhaps someone like Isolde Garreau would do, though I know she's much involved in the Greenies."
Nathania considers the question, knitting away. She glances, subtly, toward Czcibor--perhaps a good member. Otherwise, she shrugs, silent.
Czcibor's silent for a moment, until he realizes that a) Nathania's looking at him, and then b) that nobody else is answering, and c) November didn't specify who 'you' was when she asked. "Um," says the Captain, taking the candy cane out of his mouth and looking rather on-the-spot. "I would, but I'm already splitting time between the Harvestmen and the Greenies," he says, chagrined. "But-- maybe Haruki Nakamura? I mean, I will admit right out of the gate that I'm not entirely familiar with what one needs to become a Waykeeper, but he's very polite and he seems to know everyone..."
"It isn't often as exciting a life as rushing through the Hedge after a new discovery, no, or avoiding accidental poisonings in the greenhouse, or finding records of an ancient token," November agrees, "but the others aren't as likely to end up hunted and spread-eagled on their lawns with their internal organs decorating the outside of their bodies, either. There is always that. The dangers of visibility."
The rainbow shifts her regard toward Czcibor, head tilting, though it's impossible to tell exactitudes of where those eyes are looking. "One must be capable of handling strangers with care and respect, maintaining Hospitality for all. An intercessor. A diplomat. Politically and socially sensitive, preferably, educated to avoid putting one's foot in it with touchy guests. One mustn't be easily frightened; Hospitality applies to the Fae as much as to our kind, or to humans. If your own Keeper walked through that front door, you would be obligated to treat it kindly and offer it a nice cup of tea."
She pauses there, irony flavouring her words when she continues with a murmured, "Understandably, that detail can prove problematic. Beyond that, the goblin contract Hospitality's Hold is a mandatory requirement to be promoted beyond being a recruit, as it is the means by which we -enforce- Hospitality on the premises. Last, but certainly not least, one must have each and every bylaw and ruling of the Crown and Council tucked away inside one's head. We, above all others, must know to an exactitude precisely how much we may and may not share with the strangers who visit our House."
Logan's eyebrows raise very slightly as Czcibor suggests Haruki. His brilliant blue eyes turn towards the Waylady next, nodding his head in slow dips that make the light that surrounds him sparkle briefly off the room's reflective surfaces. "I agree, November, which is why I suggested someone already in the public eye, like Dr. Garreau." There's a brief pause as he tilts his head. "Given all of the things you've mentioned, perhaps it would help to educate some of the Freehold's public on the shareable aspects of what we do. The right sort of personality might emerge from the right sort of teaching."
Nathania coughs politely at the mention of Haruki. She smiles a little at Czcibor, patting his arm if he's close enough for her to do so, and then returning to her knitting.
Getting his arm patted for the suggestion, no less. When November says 'not easily scared' that literally answers every single potential 'why not' about the excitable kid, and the Captain tries his best to suppress a smile, rueful as it is. He nods to Logan's last: "There are also enough new people in the freehold-- I still count myself among that number-- that there may be more than a few people who don't even know what to ask." A beat, as he turns his candycane over in his hands a couple of times, feather fronds gently waving with every wind-causing movement in the room, and Czcibor asks, as if weighing time-share options, "How difficult is the Contract to get?"
November nods, and, being a polite creature, makes no mention of the mom patting going on between Nathania and Czcibor. The Captain's question is answered with a light, "Not terribly, if you don't have an aversion to the Market."
She claps her hands together, ice clinking. "Well. We'll work on that. Ashe hasn't given me any new information to relay, but I have heard rumours of a second member of the Soundless in the area. We'll want to keep a closer eye out on any newcomers stopping here in the Wayhouse." Looking between the three, she asks, "Have you heard anything of particular note in the past month?"
"Sadly, no," Logan comments, with more of a smirk than his usual grin. "No sign of Sam Whittaker, either. It's like she's completely vanished, but I know that can't be the case." He glances curiously to Nathania next, his hiking booted foot bouncing a touch as he folds his ankle atop the opposite knee.
Nathania nods. "I agree with Logan. Totally... quiet," Nat voluntees before looking at November. She's about to say more when her phone rings quietly. The life of a Bishop. So glamorous.
Kowal fishes in his pirate belt man-purse for a moment and produces a small black notebook with a little pen clipped to the spine, and he flips through pages until they're blank, then goes back a few. "Of note, though presumably common knowledge: the Ashen Hunt killed a clutch of Hunters that were camped out on the East Bank-- the ones who had killed Anne Marie Tennyson, multiple others not in this area, and had been holding another Lost woman captive and torturing her. An associate of Teagan's, Alonso? Helped her out of there, and then again after she was healed of her wounds." He flips a page, then glances quickly in Logan's direction before going back to reading, "Privateers kidnapped a couple of freehold members and a couple of non-freeholders, and the surviving privateer was turned over to the custody of Captain Henner of the Harvestmen; the kidnapped were all rescued and treated." He flips one more and hesitates at what's on the page, then glances up at November. "And Isolde's appointed a new Master Healer."
November moves aside to allow Nathania access to the door, opening it for the shorter woman and closing it again after she has left. With a tilt of her head, she lifts a hand in a graceful gesture, fingers and palm uncurling to face the ceiling in mute ambivalence. "She has her duties, I'm sure, to her own Freehold, and as we all know, there are many ways not to be seen. We'll keep an eye out for her, nonetheless." Flashing a smile toward Czcibor, she nods, acknowledgement of his thorough little notebook there. "All useful information, thank you. It will be well to be able to reassure newcomers of the Hunters' eradication."
There's a brief pause before she smiles again and offers, "I've nothing else to put forward at the moment, and our quorum is dwindling, so let's call it here. We can follow up later on progress, see if we can all snag ourselves a few likely recruits."
Logan's smile grows just a touch as Czcibor reads off his long list. "I figured November already knew about all that stuff. It's common Freehold knowledge," he points out with a light shrug. "As for the issues the Waykeepers are directly involved in, there's been far less activity on that front. The Harvestmen have certainly been overactive." He laughs a little. "It may not be a good thing. I wish we had fewer threats."
But, he's happy to stand when November says she wants to call it there. "Certainly. Good to see you, November. And you, Czcibor." He smiles to each of them in turn, and leaves the bouquet of candy canes on the table for others at the Wayhouse to enjoy -- though not before selecting a blue and white swirling lolipop for himself.
The tin soldier pockets his notebook again, and as he stands-- carefully-- he gives Logan a sheepish little shrug. "I can be a little too literal if no one's telling me to shut up," he offers by way of apology. Then he turns to November and flourishes a sweeping (and cautiously balanced) bow, doffing his immense hat in the process. "Thank you for allowing me to sit in," he says, straightening up and replacing his hat. "My apologies for not offering any new information; I'll continue to point people this way, and be on the lookout for opportunities to point indomitable diplomats this way as well." The last is accompanied by a wink for godsake, and then the Captain, piracy and all, dissolves into the air and leaves the scent of roses and gunmetal.