The Wayhouse stands open for the evening's gathering, guests seen to or, at the very least, forewarned that the living room will be occupied for an hour or so. Seeing as the intention is to keep this quick, a tray of rainbow funfetti cupcakes, some frosted, some naked, has been plopped casually down atop a coffee table, along with a pitcher of water and some glasses from the kitchen. See, health drink with junk food. Balance, right?
Coming down the stairs into the living room with her customarily long-legged grace, November, this evening, is neither particularly deific nor obviously a Changeling. Or... well. Okay. Someone with skin THAT smooth, THAT pale, and who has bone structure THAT perfect just can't be human. Seriously. It isn't fair. She's not -traditionally- beautiful, mind, but she's certainly exotic, and memorably so. Thigh-length hair is loose and free, somewhat unnaturally straight, in fact, and streaked in vivid rainbow hues which contrast with the snowy white of the very masculine suit the androgyne has chosen for the evening. Notably, despite the formality of the suit, she is quite barefoot. And, yes, her feet are perfect too. Fairests. Can't live with them, skin's too thin to make a rug.
Paige doesn't look nearly so perfect, dressed in jeans and a tee-shirt, with her hair (and feathers) done in two braids to keep it out of her face. She wanders into the Wayhouse, smiling and waving to November. "Hey! How's it--oooh, cupcakes!" She's unapologetic as she heads over to the table, snagging one loaded with frosting, licking at the icing as she finds herself a seat. "How's it going?" she finishes a moment later, grinning.
Nathania is already sitting in the living room, knitting. She arrived while November was upstairs. She's dressed in denim walking shorts and a white tee shirt that shows her patchwork skin through, except where she's wearing a bra. Cross-legged and with her tennis shoes beside her, she looks up at the Fairest. "November," she greets in her slow, quiet voice, smiling. "And... Paige." She nods to them both.
Logan trots in from outside -- he lives just down the road, though he drove here anyway, parking his gorgeous blue Porsche outside -- with a smile on his face, a spring in his step, and the light that always surrounds him shining brightly, a veritable beacon announcing his presence. He's dressed in a casual white blazer with a boat neck t-shirt beneath, deep blue on top gradiating down to white, paired with jeans and blue boat shoes. There's a white shopping bag in one hand, which he brings over to the table with the cupcakes, offering that smile to Paige and November. And Nathania! "Hi, everyone. I brought some juice to try." Several bottles of fresh, raw juice, in a variety of bright colors and flavors, are set out next to the water and the glasses. More healthy stuff to wash down the cupcakes.
Curiously enough, November's not the only one arriving in a suit. Statuesque even before adding the additional inches from a pair of heels, Amber saunters her way in like a cat on the prowl, eyes bright beneath the even brighter flames of her hair. Her lips curve up into a smile as she sees what's set up, stalking over to claim one of the frosted cupcakes along with a glass of water. "Evening, all."
Sid never looked afshionable, but somehow always looked perfect. Inappropriate, but Romancers were a cheaty lot in that area and the shirtless Satyr in the athletic shorts, laced up Vans, and the blackbird medallion was no exception. He wasn't late as he lived here, but he did sleep in (read pass out) and was runnign almost five minutes late as punctuated by hurried feet on the siars coming down.
"Mmmm. Beyond the sad news that the public safety commissioner won't allow me to attempt diving out of a hot air balloon into the lake, life is lively. Could be problematic if it weren't, I suppose." Answer thus given to Paige, the six-foot rainbow brushes pale digits -- icy cold, even through the Mask -- over Nathania's shoulder on her way toward the arm of an upholstered chair, hip perching sideways while she watches the mudroom door admit the new arrivals. Smiling readily to one and all, she waves toward the coffee table and cupcakes, urging, "Help yourselves. We'll start in a few minutes."
Paige smiles at Nathania, then hte other new arrivals, though Amber gets a curious look. "Hi guys. And sorry about that, November. Maybe you could go up and just sort of...accidentally fall out?" she suggests before nomming on frosting again.
Amber laughs warmly. "I suspect she could only get away with that if she hadn't asked for permission first. It sort of gives the game away to 'accidentally' do it now, shame as it is." Eyes twinkling, she finds a seat to claim for herself, one leg crossing artfully over the other before she takes almost inordinate care peeling the casing off her cupcake.
Nathania smiles at everyone warmly before shivering, not unpleasantly, at November's cold fingers on her shoulder. She keeps knitting, working in black yarn with silver streaks in it, not making a sock for once. Something long and crescent-shaped, probably a shawl. She spots Sid's blackbird necklace and nods to him once, before looking down at her knitting once more.
Sid stooped to smooch Nathania on the cheek. Yes he lived here but last anyone knew he was off the roster? Something changed the Satyr's mind apparently. Or someone. It was to Logan he warmed a grin and offered a hand to. "Heeeey, Logan, you've still not let mt have a look in your garage, brah. How the havoc are ya?" He eyed the room, the cupcakes, November, back to the cuppicakes. he paused and went back to Logan, "Juice? Without anything in it? LIke naked juice?" This sounded sketchy already.
Logan pours a tall glass of green liquid for himself, at any rate. He takes a chair and crosses his legs guy-style, bright blue eyes moving to each new face. Some of them he doesn't recognize, and a few he's surprised to see here, but he simply continues to smile and wait patiently for the meeting to begin. He checks his white ceramic Apple watch a few times, at least until Sid comes over to greet him. Then he stands again, giving Sid's hand a hearty shake. "Good to see you again, Sid. I live just down the road from there. You're welcome to visit any time. How've you been?" A small sip of his own juice is taken and he nods cheerfully. "Yes, it's just fruits and veggies. Go on and try some, it's really good. You might like the beet-based one over there." He points to a bottle of reddish-purple liquid.
Maggie's been here, she's just quiet and off to the side for the moment. The Native American woman gives a nod of greeting to people as they come in, but for now she's here mostly to see what folks have to say about the Waykeepers. And yes, it's probably easy to tell that the woman is not showing a Mien. She's dressed in jeans, boots and a maroon jacket over the long sleeve shirt. She's removed the cowboy hat given they are indoors.
November lifts a finger to indicate Amber once that worthy speaks, agreeing, "It -would- be somewhat disingenuous...not that I haven't considered it. Or asked Yrrh to check the wind patterns over the lake." After a quick look around the room, amber-red eyes (surely contact lenses, right?) moving from face to face, the Fairest lightly claps her hands, keeping the palms pressed in a brief attitude of almost-prayer or I-do-yoga-a-lot before dropping one to her thigh, the other easing down into a pocket.
Her otherwise generic 'New England' accent touched with a hint of Irish lilt, the colourful androgyne begins, "Introductions are in order. Ava, our fearless leader, had a bit of a something come up, so I have been given the shiny hat." With a swift flash of a smile, she lifts a hand to tip an imaginary hat, then continues. "November an Nua, new Waylord. Dawn. I promise to be merciful where it is warranted."
She's kidding, right? Before that can be clarified, she moves right along to gesture at the others, requesting, "Name, rank, court, and something interesting about you, please, going around the room."
As an afterthought, she tacks on, "I have a deep and abiding love for frozen miniature gummi bears in my ice cream." Fair's fair.
Nathania gets a cheek kiss, and beams at her fellow Blackbird. Then November speaks, and she looks up. "Nathania... Winters. Hand. Winter. I... obviously knit, but... I do many crafts and... specialize in designing... and making clothing for... my mortal job. For Changelings, I... am a Bishop of Blackbirds." She nods once more, and then smiles around the room.
"Hi. I'm Logan Brenner," chirps the golden-haired, golden-skinned Golden Boy, standing next to Sid as he now is. "I'm a Waykeeper Recruit, but I hope to change that very soon. I'm of the Dawn Court, like November." He offers the new Waylord his dimpled smile, before continuing to glance around at the group. "And while I'm a successful entrepreneur, most people don't know that my very first business was selling candy and Tang in a franchise of street corner stands, when I was six years old." One more flash of that beautiful grin before he looks to whomever's next -- Sid, for example.
Amber arches a brow curiousy as she listens to November start things off; by this point, she's peeled back enough of the wrapping to tear her cupcake off bit by bit, popping a mix of cake and frosting into her mouth with each morsel with obvious relish. She's about halfway through when timing gives her space to speak up herself, flashing a slow smile around the group. "Amber Watson, hopeful recruit -- I spoke to Ava just before she stepped down, and she suggested I come tonight to make things official with our new Waylord. Spring, and Hallowed Gardener." She lifts one hand, wiggling those green-tinged fingers as if to undersign her membership in her entitlement. A moment's pause, and she adds, "I once spent a month sleeping every night in a different time zone. With repeats, obviously, but."
Paige cocks her head. "I hadn't thought of that. I'll have to try that in my ice cream sometime, November," she says with a grin. "I'm Paige Holland. Waykeeper and Iron Adjutant for Summer. I'm also apparently now Captain of the Harvestmen. I have decided I like business, of a sort, and so in addition to owning a bar, I'm also a merchant at the Market," she says brightly.
Maggie focuses her attention on November when she speaks to the gathered and when she identifies herself as the new Waylord she gives a nod, "That makes sense now." she murmurs to herself. When it's her turn to introduce herself there's a look around the room followed by a little wave to everyone, "I'm Doctor Maggie Locklear. I'd like to join, but had little success contacting the former Waylord. I spent some time in Arcadia. I have no court. As for something interesting...I can possess animals." she offers. Because that's not the most ludicrous thing that they'll hear tonight!
Sid chuckled and grinned to Logan, "Dude we should totally do that again for chutes and ladders." The censored Satyr might not even recognize he's still being attacked by the FCC. "Hey, sup" he greeted the room, neither shy norbad to look at and he took both in stride. "Sid Sullivan. Sid Spokes to some. Yes I'm the guy." He shrugged not seeming to play up his celebrity in the least, "I'm a Dusk Courtier, Bishop of Blackbirds like Mzzzz Nathania with a focus on grief councling, and ...huh..." His brow furrowed seeking something something not on Wikipedia. "I recently returned from Israel." He pointed to Amber "That's ... awesome and I would totally party with you cause that trip sounds like a blast." Hepointed to Maggie warily, but not unkindly, "Please don't possess me. My room's a mess."
Amber flashes Sid a broad grin, the coal fires of her eyes flashing as she does so. "Was a little more business than I wanted here and there...but I definitely made sure it wasn't all we did." Those eyes turn curiously on Maggie then, expression curious. "Now that's a new one. Learn something every day, like they say."
November listens to the introductions, and for the sake of those less familiar, mentions, "The Hands are the Freehold's diplomats, and my seconds in command." While she does flick a sideways glance toward the stairs along one wall at the prospect of Maggie possessing Sid and seeing his messy room, she doesn't comment on it, sticking to business with a brisk and energetic air of effortless authority. See: Fairests. More to the point, see: currently-Masked-but-ordinarily-Way-Too-Fae-November.
"With the appointment of Samantha Whitaker as an envoy from the Soundless, ladies and gentlemen, our role is all the more important. We are the Freehold's public face. -We- are the envoys. -We- are the diplomats, and -we- are the hosts and hostesses who do our very utmost to politely, friendlily and ever so helpfully pry every possible detail out of our guests to share with the Custodians for record-keeping of Freeholds beyond our own."
She's quiet a moment to let that sink in, then glances at Amber, Maggie and Sid. "It is not a safe position we maintain. It is not always comfortable. If a True Fae walks through that door, we are constrained to offer it every effort of hospitality and comfort, as IT is constrained by hospitality in turn. One of us is always here. Always. We -must- maintain the spell over this house." The rainbow falls silent, affording opportunity for others to offer commentary, but her attention remains on the trio of prospective members with an eloquently lifting brow: do they still want in?
Nathania knits quietly for a long moment, before adding, "It's worthwhile, though. Very worthwhile. Not... easy, not... by a long shot. But always, always... worthwhile." She looks to the three as well, before looking down at her hands once more, smoothly working thin metal needles with thinner yarn.
Paige wrinkles her nose slightly at the mention of Samantha. "Just be careful with Samantha, because she'll try to pry every detail she can out of /us/," she offers before finally biting into cupcake, finishing with the icing. But the rest she doesn't chime in on, just glancing around at the other faces, familiar and not, watching reactions.
Amber can't help but grin, almost toothily, at the talk of prying details out of guests with a kind word and careful timing -- but that joviality fades at the mention of the True Fae. She glances briefly at Paige, and murmurs in that low purr of hers, "Of course. I suspect she wouldn't be doing her job properly if she weren't trying." She glances back then toward November, and asks, "Can you sketch out the rough details, at least, of this...spell?"
Maggie gives a look to Sid and there's a smile, "I can't possess you. So don't worry on that." she tells him. Then there's a bit of a look to Amber and there's a nod, "Been able to since I was a kid. Sometimes comes in handy when people need to be watched." she muses. Then when November speaks she draws her attention back to her and there's a bit of a nod at her words, "I think I can do that. Except for the spell, don't think I have the right mojo for that." she admits. "That doesn't rule me out of joining automatically, does it?" she adds with a look around.
Sid looked to Maggie sympathetically, "I once possessed a bar for threeee days. It's okay. So long as you give them back eventually." He swiveled his head to November. Hey he tried to play things cool, but the Satyr for all his earnest charm was too earnest and lacked guile utterly. The attempt to play it chill were transparent and his heart was on his sleeve. That one caught him like a left hook and he gave this whole thing some serious though. Resigned he nodded to November. "The house kept me safe from myself, I only want to help it do the same for others. I'll abide it."
Logan has been fairly quiet thus far, but he finally pipes up. "Who can become Waykeepers, November?" he asks the rainbow Fairest with a smile. "I was never too clear on that myself. Is it only members of the Freehold, or can any interested party /be/ a Waykeeper as well? Come to think of it, a crash course not only on being a Waykeeper but on all of the rules and regulations we're expected to uphold and maintain would be very welcome. Knowledge can only improve our situation, especially for us recruits."
Maggie gives a Sid a smile, "I run an animal sanctuary and have more than a few horses...and a bear." she muses. "You can come up and visit them if you like." she tells him. Then she looks back to November after Logan asks about who can join. "I think only members of the Freehold can be in the subgroups of the Freehold. Or that's what I was lead to understand, I just didn't know the specifics of each other than that." she admits. Then she quiets again.
"Well part of what we do is helping people join the freehold, so I think it would be kind of odd for people who aren't members to be Waykeepers, too," Paige says, after nodding to Maggie's words. "And yeah, you're right," she tells the woman, giving her a quick smile.
November shakes her head at Maggie, oddly heavy strands of vivid, thigh-length hair sliding over the ice white of her suit in echo of the motion. She looks to Amber next. "It is a goblin contract. Hospitality's Hold," is the rainbow's initial clarification, elaborated upon a moment later with a light, "Makes us better hosts, makes it harder for violators to break hospitality, and marks them for it if they do, for all to see. A mark made by breaking MY hospitality would differ from a mark made by breaking, say, Nathania's. They tend to relate to our own aspects somehow." Not that anyone can SEE hers at the moment. "No matter what form the mark takes, any faerie creature who sees it, our kind included, will immediately know precisely what it means." There's no levity about breaching hospitality. The model-slim young woman is utterly serious.
The rainbow flicks a glance between the psychic and Logan, then Sid and Amber before assuring, "Those were some of the very things I had in mind for this evening's meeting. For one, all recruits ought to have mentors, but I have never been entirely clear to whom Ava assigned you, Logan." Red-amber eyes linger on the golden boy before looking to others as she continues. "Any member of the Fate's Harvest freehold may attempt to join us. Those who are unable to maintain the contract on their own are certainly not precluded from membership, but they will always have a partner who -can- when they are here."
With a mercurial shift, the energetic woman springs up from her seat to stand behind it, leaning forward. "Let's play a game, shall we? How well do you know the laws we -all- should know better than the backs of our own hands..?" Game, sure, but behind the impish smile, those eyes are still quite serious.
Logan smiles around at those who answer him. When he does so, his light shines out brighter. Of course, there's always a little bit of shadow eating away at that light, though it's faint right now. Then he nods at November, blue eyes bright. "I'm not aware whether or not I have a mentor, November, but I would welcome one. I'm eager to be an asset to the group." He follows her mercurial shift with ease, too. "A game sounds like a great way to learn!" That big grin again, such shiny white teeth.
Nathania starts. "There are... Year Laws and... Seasonal Laws. The difference..." Her phone goes off, just a regular old fashioned ringtone. She checks the caller ID. "Excuse... me. A prospective... member." She sets her knitting aside and heads upstairs with a quiet, "Hello?"
The rainbow posits, "A pair of Freeholders get into an argument. They fight. One nearly kills the other, maiming him, and he will never walk again without aid. Is this in violation of the Freehold oath?"
Maggie gives a look to the others and then back to November when she asks the question. She gives a moment of thought before answering, "Murdering a Freehold Member is a violation. Even though being maimed and never walking again is a horrible situation, the member is still alive." she answers. "Now I'm not sure if a Monarch can override that or not." she adds.
Sid warmed a grin to Maggie, "Never rode a bear before. I'll have to ask and see if they'll let me. And yeah. I had to join to serve the house." Apparently his own priorities were in reverse order for whatever reason. He did break and try the juice even though it was gin free. Scandal I tell you. He dropped onto the arm of a chair to Logan's left and thought about it, "When I read through them the bylaws stated to murder, not to maim though there are also dueling laws, and bigger question, did it happen in the living room or off property?"
Amber lets out a low whistle of appreciation as November explains, and nods slowly. "Very clever -- and handy." Seems she, at least, isn't inclined to change her mind about joining up. AS the question is asked, she doesn't speak up, but does look curious toward those offering answers and asking questions -- perhaps she had similar queries.
Paige nods a little to Sid. "Nothing was said specifically about maiming, though the crown and council could vote to see if it was declared severe enough to warrant punishment. Three quarter's vote, I think it was," she says, nibbling on her cupcake now. Perhaps trying to make it last.
November lifts a finger, indicating Maggie first, then flashes Sid a sharper smile, approving, "Good question. Injuring each other is NOT forbidden. Only murder is. If someone comes up and slices your hamstring, you can challenge them to a duel, of course, and try to do all manner of horrible things to them in return. Legally, they or a champion they choose are obliged to fight you."
The rainbow holds up two fingers to indicate her second question is coming. "What is the difference between a Loyalist and a Privateer? Is one more dangerous than the other, for our purposes..?"
Amber pops the last bite of her cupcake into her mouth, and is in the midst of licking her fingers clean of little bits of frosting as November asks her next question. She pauses, clearly considering, then finishes the next lick before she offers, "Equally dangerous, at the end of the day. Loyalists actively serve one of the True Fae; they're true believers, as it were. Privateers sell out others to save their own skins."
Maggie gives a nod to November when she points to her, then she looks to Amber as she lists off the difference between a Loyalist and a Privateer. She gives a nod to that, liking the way she worded it. Because she couldn't have answered it better.
Sid shook his head actually having a serious, or at least analytical side to party mode, "Eh I'd say the Privateer is more dangerous to me, but any unknown quotient is bad. With a Loyalist you know what to expect. A Privateer can be bought and bought back and that's the rub. I can respect an enemy, but not someone who can sell out their mama for a nickel. I mean there's arguments both ways but does the degree really matter if there's blood in the water?"
One of November's fingers lowers, the other waggling momentarily at Amber's response. "Yes and no, regarding Loyalists. This Freehold makes the distinction that they may be entirely unknowing, yet still be serving their Keeper. If this is discovered to be the case, of course, efforts will be made to sever the connection, but it is nearly impossible to tell...and it is -our- job, as the front line of the Freehold, to make those decisions. Do we introduce a prospective member to the Crown to make their pledge, or do we turn them away..?"
Nodding to Sid and Paige, the rainbow points out, "In addition, it is worth noting that the pledge is season by season. It is entirely possible for someone to pledge for a season, learn our secrets, then take them out into the world; we have no way of stopping it. We have to trust that they won't do that, or discover their intentions early enough to stop them -from- doing that. We, the entire Freehold. That one isn't only the purview of the Wayhouse, thankfully."
Lifting three fingers now to indicate her third question, she asks, "How often do Seasonal laws change?"
Maggie seems to let the Loyalist versus Privateer talk go on and she doesn't comment, she does give a nod though. Understanding what they each say. Then she looks to November when she speaks again and the question she asks makes her brain try to rewind to when she joined the Freehold. After a moment of thought, "Once added to the archive, Seasonal Laws are in effect only during their creator's reign, unless subsequent Monarchs choose to reuse them." she offers with a bit of a wary look. Was that right? Was she taking the SAT again?!
Amber nods thoughtfully at the arguments and corrections offered, even as she finishes licking her fingers clean. Once done, she settles back in her seat again, then nods toward Maggie. "What she said."
November shakes her head, lips tugging leftward in a crooked quirk of a smile. "Trick question. They -change- as often as the one who made them wants them to. You are correct, however, in that they only remain in effect as long as that Crown is in office, unless subsequent Crowns choose to maintain them, at which point they could change them any time -they- liked as well."
Straightening, the tall, white-suited woman steps around the chair to drop onto its arm again with a spill of pin-straight hair. Not a hint of frizz on that, no. Perfectly glossy, perfectly smooth. "It is our job to know these sorts of questions, silly as some may seem on the surface, inside out and backwards. Rules lawyering is a bit of what we do, in that we need to know precisely how far we can push without breaking the pledge. Secrecy especially. We tiptoe along the very edge of it nigh daily."
With a gesture toward the door, she adds, "Before our next meeting, find some friends or otherwise allied persons in the Freehold and try to find loopholes. Challenge each other to discover imperfections. The more you find, the more you will know to guard against. As for the remainder of -tonight's- meeting... I would like to begin hosting more regular open house gatherings. If anyone, recruits included, would like to play host or hostess for one of these, don't hesitate to volunteer. Casual game nights, parties, volleyball outside, burgers on the grill just because you can, anything to get people together and cooperating. Frankly, we want good PR, and we want non-members to have that one internal hair of hesitation about betraying us to someone who asks them nicely."
"I'd be happy to close Cyclone down one night to have one there," Paige offers, getting up to toss her cupcake wrapper. "Well, sort of close it down. Just freeholders, which means we'll have a couple people working the bar anyway," she says, head tilting as she considers.
Maggie gives a nod of her head to November's words, but for the moment she doesn't interrupt the tall woman. Once she's done she gives a look to the others and then around the room, "I could host something up at my place. It's a large property, lots of privacy so no wandering ears." she states. "If that's alright." she adds.
"Suddenly, I'm glad at all those corporate contracts I didn't just leave to the company lawyers to sort through," Amber purrs with a little grin. As Paige and Maggie both offer to play hostess, she adds, "I'm happy to help with either or both of those -- catering, supplies, that sort of thing."
Maggie gives a look to the others and a smile, "I don't mind help with things like that. I'm not much of a party thrower, but I can drag out the grill." she tells them. There's a look to the clock and then a soft sigh, "I sadly need to get going for the evening, still need to do the rounds up at the sanctuary. It was lovely to meet all of you and get some traction with the Waykeepers though." she tells them as she puts on her hat.
Sid considered and said, "Havoc, I'd be happy to just assist around the house. You missed the pool volleyball last week. Rule was you can't leave your kiddy pool. We got attacked by ducks but it was pretty great. WOuldn't be bad to host a grilling to get some folks heping with some of the repairs and maintenance on the Wayhouse too. Manual labour is kinda nice after a lifetime of strange and terrible thing. Let people do something to make a tangible positive difference that benefits all of us." He shrugged. Limiting it to the freehold though wouldn't that belay the idea of opening it up as goodwill?"
November nods, assuring, "We'll work out who does what when, and where. The goal -is- to invite non-pledged Changelings, mind you... We are the one group which can, and, frankly, -should- do so, if only to keep in contact. The fact that -we- exist is immeasurably dangerous to -them-. We are a very large, shiny target in their vicinity." Hearing Maggie, she nods again and breathes a single laugh. "I'll work out mentoring and get in touch. Getting some new members is a high priority." She glances at the others, then eases up from her perch upon the chair arm with a wave toward the cupcakes. "Eat, pilfer, have a sugar high. We can close the 'official' business here for the night."