A recap of the last night’s events for those who were not there.
Jill plays Caecilia. A falcon Beast tracker.
Desiree plays Elbereth. A flowering Fairest who does not remember being human. She also has.. well, you’ll see.
Max – the unofficial leader of the changelings in Auckland, he is the head of the gossip chain. He summons all changelings with Hollows to the pub for an emergency meeting. This is highly dangerous, as it us understood that when changelings gather in larger than 6, they tend to start dying.
Caecilia must bring along Elbereth as the last time Elbereth was left alone, it almost turned out into a disaster for that poor door to door salesman.
Max reports that solitary changelings have been disappearing. At the rate of 1 per day. It has been happening at dusk. The hollow keepers agree to take in solitary changelings into their hollows. He also requests volunteers for finding what is behind this.
Elbereth volunteers eagerly. Caecilia is unable to talk her out of it, and reluctantly agrees. They are teamed with Leeroy and Kivana. Leeroy is a ogre who is obnoxious and has gotten into a fight with Caecilia before. Leeroy promptly declares he is in charge of their investigation. Caecilia works out a deal that he can be in charge of the fighting. After a bit of bickering, he agrees.
After finding the locations of the missing changelings, Caecilia takes her group to the last disappearance. The last one was a darkling, and her path took her through a park. She leaves Leeroy with the order of watching Elbereth. He is thrilled that he gets to be in charge of watching the pretty lady. Much to Elbereth’s annoyance, he never looks away.
Caecilia goes to a nearby tower that looks like a good perch. She discovers that there is a trail of thick trees through the forest and returns to the group. They investigate, Kivana uses her earth elemental ability and the group discovers a darkling trail. They also find where the darkling took her last step. Around it is no indication of anything with a soul touching the ground since then.
Elbereth talks to the trees and discovers that a squirrel finally ran away, and that nothing has disturbed them.
(I should mention that up to now, the conversation is filled with much discussion about Elbereth’s desire for human flesh. Caecilia begins to start working on a contract with her that will result in Elbereth limiting herself to gummi people. Elbereth resists the idea.)
Caecilia demonstrates how a flying creature could stoop on a person standing in the middle of the trees without touching a tree or the ground.
They go to another location that Caecilia knows about in the vicinity of the larger cluster of attacks. It is a place she has visited often as there is a good perch which overlooks both the college and a perfectly round circle of trees.
More discussion about the potential contract for not eating people. Caecilia is willing to dig up a dead person so Elbereth can try it and then Elbereth can stick to only gummi people. Elbereth still resists. dead people do not taste the same as fresh people. Vampires only eat live people, she points out. She also reveals that she knows what human flesh tastes like. Caecilia is only slightly relieved to hear that that experience happened while in Arcadia.
When they get there, they split up again. Caecilia goes to the perch and the other three follow the Wizened woodwalker’s trail to the edge of the circle. Kivana refuses to enter, but Elbereth boldly walks into the direct center. Leeroy follows closely.
Elbereth talks to the trees who urge her to stay. They love her and they miss the meetings. it has been 5 summers since the last meeting.
Caecila shows up and drags Elbereth from the trees. Elbereth who was enjoying the attention protests that she wants to be with the trees. Caecilia says they should be destroyed. Leeroy says he can do that. Elbereth protests and something is said that could be taken as Leeroy was unable to do that. He is happy to prove them wrong and he uproots a tree and offers it to Elbereth. She is horrified and insists he put it back. He does, but it unable to return it to the way it was, so it lays on its side where it once stood.
He sits so he can watch Elbereth closely in the car. Elbereth protests that it isn’t necessary anymore. Leeroy declares he is in charge. He amends to just being in charge of fighting and watching Elbereth when Caecilia reminds him of their jobs. Caecilia offers that be the trade to get the contract focusing on only gummi people. Elbereth refuses the contract and topics quickly deteriorate to the need to lock Elbereth up in the basement that night.
When they get home, only three changelings wait at the door. It turns out that the brother of the Fairest didn’t show up. He was coming from his job.
Caecilia gets the fire elemental to keep an eye on Elbereth and she determines to leave on her own. Elbereth fights with her about leaving on her own. She points out that Max had said no one should travel alone. Caecilia locks them in the house and leaves.
Elbereth, now locked in with three changelings b-lines for the darkling. The darkling, Alexander, is standing in a corner trying not to be noticed. Elbereth discovers he can see ghosts. She wants to talk to the ghosts. After the bribe of a tootsie roll, he finally admits there is one standing next to her jar of candy on the counter. She discovers the ghost wants candy and she offers it if there was a way for the ghost to get it. The ghost takes the spirit of the candy. All the time Alexander looks as though he wants to run away. But he also can’t fathom that this beautiful creature wants to be around him.
She convinces him to come up to her greenhouse on the roof with her.
Meanwhile… Caecilia tracks the beast changeling who never showed up. She finds where his trail ended and it is close to one of her favorite perches. She goes to the top of the perch, and finds how the abduction happened. Just as she is about to leave, someone grabs her and pulls her down.
To be continued next Tuesday….