Under the Boardwalk

How Roland got his groove back

Roland and his companions made it back to the boardwalk with our makeshift door and bicycles. Once they returned to the boardwalk, Roland felt weak. It was then he realized he hadn’t eaten in a while and his stomach was growling. He wondered the boardwalk it was nighttime and the lights were beginning to shut down. Roland spotted a couple on a bench struggling to finish their garlic fries and hotdogs. The couple must have noticed him staring because they looked over at him. Roland felt a wash of shame

God, I’m probably making them feel so uncomfortable…i should go.

“Excuse me, sir?” Roland turned toward the voice. Man stood before him thin with black hair “Were you hungry?” The man offered his garlic fries and half of his hotdog. . Roland nodded he tried to be respectful as possible but still feeling ashamed. “We couldn’t finish and my wife hates to waste food so she suggested we give it to you”
Roland thanked the man. And the man wished him well. Once the couple were out of sight Roland devoured the leftovers like an animal and fell asleep on the beach….

Roland woke up in the sand just as the sun was rising. He sat up watched the sunset…and cried.

“Is this it?, will I always beg for food and sleep on a beach? Will I ever see Grace and Sam again? Would they even they recognize me If I did find them. Has Sam remarried??? How was Graces first day at school?”

This was the first time Roland had sat and thought about his old life since being reminded of it when he spoke to the Autumn Queen. He felt like a failure. He had failed his family in the biggest way possible by abandoning them. He had to find them.

Roland started walking to his old home. He didn’t quite remember where it was but he kept to streets that seemed familar to him. After a few hours of walking he was able to reach what looked like his old house. It was a little different, The paint was a new color and there was a satellite dish on the roof. His hand were shaking and the garlic fries were not sitting well. He had walked all the way over here, he had to knock on the door.

“_Would she take me back? What if a man opens the door? What if it’s her new Husband? _

Roland pushed those thoughts to the back of his mind and headed to the front door. He clinched his fists and knocked 3 times

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

“Just a minute”

The voice was male. Roland’s heart dropped. His greatest fear realized Roland thought to run, but he heard the door starting to open. A man in his late twenties opened the door he was tall about an inch higher than Roland and fit. He looked like he was in his physical prime.

“Can I help you?”

Roland took a deep breath.

“Is Samantha home?”

The man looked at him very strangely. He took a good look at the small brown trench coat Roland was wearing and made a turned his nose up at it.

“How do you know Sam?” The man asked not ready to admit whether Samantha was home or not.

“I’m an old friend of hers, I haven’t seen her in about ten years. I was just wondering if she still lived here, is she home?”

The man looked very puzzled. “I’m sorry that can’t be possible”

“And why not? She had a life before you came into the picture, buddy. Is she here or not?” Roland was getting angry.

The man put his hand on the door ready to close it “I don’t think you understand, sir. Samantha is-”

“-She’s here!” Roland felt overjoyed “Where is she? can i see her?”

“Im sorry but Samantha is my Labrador, I’ve had her since she was a puppy.” The man whistled down the hall and out came a Golden Lab whose tags read Samantha. Roland’s heart sank he was breathless.

“I see, I apologize for the confusion, sir. I’ll leave.”

As Roland walked away the man called out to him. Roland turned back toward him. The man was holding a business card. “Maybe this can help, He’s a private investigator maybe he can help you track down your Samantha.” The card read: Daniel Morrison P.I it was a plain card with an address on it. “The office is in Downtown it a little bit of a walk but i think you can make it there before he closes up shop” Roland thanked the man and headed out to his destination.

The building was falling apart not unlike the hotel. It looked like a apartment building. Roland opened the front door and saw a directory and found the name Daniel Morrison, Room B-1. Roland went up the stairs and found the office and knocked on the door.
A voice boomed from the other side

“You coming in or checking for studs in the wall?”

Roland walked into the office. Daniel was pudgy man he was wearing a shirt and tie with his pants held up by suspenders. He was in late 30s early 40s balding a bit on top. The office smelled like cigars and burbon. “_private dicks, their all just walking cliches”_

“Jesus kid, you look like you just ran up shit creek with no canoe. (sniff) GOOD LORD! and you smell like it too” Daniel reached for his bourbon.

“I’ve had a rough week, and I’m looking for my…some old friends.”

Roland gave Daniel their names and his former address in hope Daniel might have something to help him

“Hmm…I know that address just a second” Daniel stood up and looked through a filing cabinet next to his desk. “Here we go…yup, in 2007 that place burned down. Don’t worry
no casualties. Family of three makes it out just fine. Insurance covered the damages house was rebuilt in 2008 and the people you’re looking for moved out in 2010. No known address. Sorry kid trails gone cold.”

“Gone cold..? ever hear of a phonebook Dan?”

“Look kid, since no one is paying me to look, I aint lookin. If your so smart why don’t you look..OH WAIT. Because it’s 2016 and nobody uses the damn things anymore, you been living under a rock? Unless you got some money, there’s the door. I’ve up to my neck in shit and i gotta keep the lights on in this place”

Roland was getting angry. This pretender was no real detective, He had no interest in helping anyone just getting a check. Roland stood up.

“You’re a joke, I trained my whole life to make detective. and bullshit pretenders like you just want to play dress up and get paid. That’s not it works. Like it or not, you’re in this business to help people. You bring the justice to the unjust and seek truth in the darkness moments. You’re not a detective you’re a fraud!”

“A FRAUD HUH?, Well buddy, if you think you can do better why don’t you try it?” Daniel got up and grabbed a case out of his filing cabinet and threw it at Roland. “Here, this case was already solved by one of my competitors after the client left our agency, what do you think?”

“Why did they leave your ‘agency’?” Roland asked holding up finger quotes

NEVERMIND THAT, JUST LOOK AT THE DAMN FILE

Roland looked at the case file. It was a missing persons report Female late 20s . Last seen, on the boardwalk. Case opened up by a greaving father. Roland looked over the file a few then asked “Where was the mother?” Daniel almost choked on his hooch.

“The Mother was always out according to the Father. Making arrangements for a funeral. She didn’t want to be around any of it. Too distraught.” Daniel went back to his bourbon

“…and that doesn’t sound odd to you? why would she plan for a funeral if it wasn’t confirmed that she was dead. Unless the mother knew that she was dead. What was her profession?”

Daniel thought for a second “…she was…a..ACTRESS! yeah thats it!”

Roland went back to the report. “According to the father the victim idolized her mother and wanted to be just like her.”

“A parents dream, right?” Daniel set the bourbon down and stared and Roland intrigued.

“Not all parents. Vanity can do awful things to a person. Looks like you went down to a local studio where she had auditioned and asked a casting agent about her?”

Daniel’s eyes lit up “Yeah! I did. Apparently she had just got the part in a upcoming sitcom. Truly a tragedy. The agent gave me the casting list since foul play was suspected.”

Roland let out a heavy sigh “….and you didn’t notice the mother’s name on the list? and didn’t think she was a suspect? You can’t be that dense” Daniel gave him a hard look “No I’m not, When i went to question the mother she insulted me like I was insulted a moment ago..by you she kept blaming a boy her daughter had been seeing. After that the Father left and went to another agency.”

“..So what happened?”

" I was right, the mother was seen at a nightclub where she was celebrating getting a part on a new sitcom and had a little to much to drink. There she openly admitted to the murder to one of my competing P.I’s…lucky break. The police found the murder weapon and after digging up the floor boards found the body" Daniel was very solemn having to relive a failure of his. He grabbed his bourbon again “Listen, this business is tough sometimes your right on track, but the client doesn’t want to hear the truth. The father came by and apologized but it’s doesn’t keep this place open. Lucky for me, I charge hourly so i was able to stay in business for the time being. But its getting to be a lot for me. I’m getting older and I can’t chase down perps like I used to. what I could use is partner. Someone to lighten the load ya know?” Daniel opened a folder "You really do have knack for this, you said you were training to be a detective? Well it just so happens I have a opening these cases are piling up and don’t want them to get picked up by my competitors or worse for the trails to go cold. I can pay ya, and from the looks of it you need a place to stay, you work for me you can sleep here. " This was the best thing Roland had heard in days. This was a no brainer. “Of course, As long as we can look for my friends as well.”

“You do that on your own time! You can use the resources here If you want but when I’m here you work for me, Now fill this out and give me some ID.” Daniel looked up at Roland expecting something but Roland had nothing. " I don’t have anything like that"

“Well whats your name?” Roland had to think hard about this, He couldn’t just tell him his name. If they did find his family it would be awkward seeing two Roland’s. So he spit out the first name that came to mind

“It’s Arin” Roland blurted out.

Daniel looked at him doubting that was his real name

“Ok Arin, Got a last name?”

“Oh yeah…its..uh.-” Daniel cut him off “Ya know what? I can tell your lying so why don’t i just fill this out for you, I can tell you’ve been through a hard stretch, and i dont know who the hell is looking for you but i don’t care, I need all the help i can get. I have a friend in the know he can get you some IDs and make a fake file for you. Nothing that can pass advanced FBI scrutiny, but enough to get you by and get you out of traffic stops.”

“Thank you Daniel, I appreciate this opportunity” Roland said

“Don’t mention it. To anyone. Ever. word of this gets out. Ill be out on the streets with you. And we’re partners now, Call me Danny”

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Taken Wonder by Wonder

The endless essence of destined extinction of everything you thought you ever were had hazily come to a halt. In the distance, wailing voices howled in manner I’ve never detected before – young, as if chasing giggles and colors. The lights danced in every direction, with no logical rhythm, yet made music of their own.

The sensing force that fish-hooked something in me that I have yet to come to terms with is pulsing.. pulling a part of me through the lights and in between the bustling shrieks. With my senses overloaded, I urged my Belahan up the cliff side, hoping to view this world closer without committing to total immersion. Belahan’s paws made intentional and dauntless steps along the ridges. My mirror of him made weary and rootless ones. His body swayed as if his senses were familiar to the area, though he has yet to give any insights to how or why. “Simply, because.”

Reaching the edge’s top, my back faced the dancing lights. A gust of coolness rapidly filled the air and the sweet and salty aromas ardently consumed every other sense. I took pause, darkened my watch completely, and recklessly took in the magnetism. Belahan pressed his side against mine and my eyes opened again as I turned to the aromatic affair. Beings of all aspects and builds. Mind-trickery raced from understanding reality or ruse. The facades flickered, some more far more frighteningly ghastly than the gentle chassis of others. One rippling radiance of frighteningly bewitching nature came flowing through the center. Everything around her blossomed divinely.

I observed the settings until my focus was captivated by the canine embodiment bordering my own coat. Why couldn’t my Wits be as stark as my Belahan? His watchers canvassed the scene stormless and forbearing. As hard as I tried, the eyes of my mirror could only see with apprehension and suspense.

Lavished with both views, a presence jarred my attention. An unshaven specimen chose to take seat in close vicinity. I sat breathlessly still, hoping my facade remained unglitched, unlike the ones I had just been surveying. He made no notions of threat or acknowledgment. Perhaps the allure of the lights gathered more than just my meager essence. This stranger’s essence was familiar like Belahan, but far from the same. Though, when he turned to leave, I found myself watching the same rippling nature surround his trails. Not as radiant, but enticing, still.

He turns a corner only to be followed by a click of a door. I round the trail only to find a humble and untouched domain. In the windows I see undisturbed belongings, seeming unaltered or affected for quite some time. The door is peculiar unlike the rest and it begged for a watchword or token in which I had none to offer. Belahan actioned as if I should have, but I know not how or what. He paws his senescent nails against the door three times. Granting his salute, the door glides open. A foot inside and the room is an illuminate picture, even the walls came to life.

My gaze is critically butchered as a clangor came from the wired metal. Had I seen this before? The sound, THE SOUND. Pierce, echo, repeat. Pierce, echo, repeat. I move down the hallway, away with the echoes, and find myself in a room. This is no Bastille. This is no cage. A plush surface invites me guiltlessly and again, I recklessly accepted a new magnetism as I fell upon the delicate plane, lulling me into an unaware and benumbed trance.

View
Marble floors and makeshift doors

My companions and I were hot on the heels of a supernatural child abductor, or so we thought. This is the only thing that feels natural to me in this unnatural world i find myself in. The work of my old life seems like all i can hang on to. Octavian, Eddie and I decided to head to library in the Autumn court to find some answers about a old legend in our area. The Queen greeted us and granted us access to the library. My companion shifted through the tomes while I made note of my surroundings. Octavian seemed to find the book but the page he needed had been torn out. I had decided to be the brave one and ask her highness about the missing page. She agreed to help but only if I shared some information with her about myself. This was the first time I had spoken about myself in some time, It was difficult. Earlier that day on the boardwalk i had been reminded of past life..of my family. It was very hazy, but i did the best i could. I talked about our current mission and my previous employment as a police officer in Santa Cruz. One thing I had not mentioned was my name which the Autumn Queen seemed to already know.

Once i had told my tale, The queen agreed to help us. We were told about a Red Witch who was the center of these legends we had been chasing. The Queen made note to tell us that the Red Witch had been speculated to be the cause of these occurrences but it may not be the case . The real cause could be much more sinister. We were told to investigate a forest which my compatriots know the location of. With this knowledge we set out hoping to find answers in the forest.

Octavian had the bright idea to try and bring a door to the hedge for a quick getaway. My companions are more akin to hiding that fighting as i am. If the worst were to happen to me I would want them to be able to escape. I agreed with the plan and suggested a place where we may find one, Riff Raffs Junkyard.

Before we made our way to the junkyard we would need the help of another lost, Lelia. She had the most money out of all of us and would be able to buy us the thing we needed. So we went to see her at the bar she worked at. Unfortunately, We made quite the scene discussing matters the average populous should hear. Once she agreed to help we made our way to the Junkyard. Eddie and I stole some bikes to give us an edge in transportation and we all rode to the junkyard with Octavian and Lelia riding on our handlebars

Riff Raffs was closed and we would need to sneak in. We were able jump over the fence guarding the area and sneak past the worst guard dog ever. My first priority was garments for possibly concealing weapons or other items while Octavian looked for the means to make a door. I found a coat that would suffice a little small but it got it the job done. It was then i noticed Octavian was gone. We tried to look for him but saw no trace of him. Lelia suggested finding another door to get him back. I looked around and felt an odd sensation coming from a refrigerator door. I opened it, and Octavian fell right out of it. With our merry band back together we left the junkyard and went out into the night…Roland “Jack” DeMarco

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A mythology of doors
Autumn leaves and shady sea creatures

I think we underestimated the undertaking of clearing our thorny base camp. I also think we’ve now stumbled upon a nest of secrets long buried under the weight of time and the mysterious Miasma. This building, a crumpled forgotten mess in the real world is an intersection of treasures and lies hastily thrown against itself. As if stories bleed from the real world and this world so less so were stitched together much like Frankenstein’s monster. It is good we Lost have gathered around one and other as we have,

It is more then just a Freehold’s fraternity. And now as Octavius admits his want for a place within it I realize it is more then just a shared attendance to the Leaden Mirror. I know he is new but I see Roland cataloging shadows out of the corner of my eye. I think his wry humor will bend in time and he too will embrace the Fear both within himself and without. I see regardless that we share something closer we few, this motley band. So this night our story starts en route to Queen Grier’s nest. Here we seek the answers intertwined between the straw and thread lined walls and something in ourselves too I think.

After Octavius made his wishes plain to my Queen. Roland too was called upon to pay a price to the harvest leaves. I think it may have been the first time since he’s been back he has had to face what was striped away from him in that other place. I wonder if my Queen peeled away a layer of ourselves to better prepare us for the truths we edged closer to within the dusty pages of the library walls.

I had assumed some cult locked away in that room echoing in dull chants. Which is why when we set upon claiming the top floor I scratched away the likeness to remove any power upon my home I did grasp. Secrets not understood are dangerous. And I would rather wrestle the unknown then accept it blindly. Perhaps in this case my pride overtook my prudence.

We identified the symbol as a mark of sacrifice enacted by the first European settlers to some entity called the Red Witch. The stories make me question if it is Kindly one, Loyalist or something we have yet to stumble upon before. If the source itself is even real or just the figure of worship for some mad hobs holed up in that sealed room. Even as we learn I remain unsure but I am without a doubt it is Autumn duty to further investigate even if no personal profit is to be gained.

Here we qualify the title of my tale. A plan is hatched by Octavius to import a means of travel that we can carry into Big Basin, territory that hide our Witch. Although I am dubious at its merit we agree to try out the measure of an octopus’s cunning. To steal a door we first need a place to steal it from. Roland, compatriot in the semi-undead recalls a place he often had to visit on patrol, Riff Raff’s junkyard. Without any real coin we also have to find a way out there.

Our best hope lies in our sister in shadows, who while we fucked around with forces we don’t understand sang for her supper at the Seabright brewery. Since in the hedge we watched her spin song into gold for the dastardly Flynn’s we assumed she was also rich in the real world. When we found her we learned despite her talent she kept herself eclipsed. So our next problem was transportation.

Roland and I went to go trick r’ treat a little early and stole some bikes while the others made their own preparation. We made our way along the coast and to rusted fence of the junkyard. The guard dog provided as much barrier as the fence and we were well on our way to find out if we could carry magic that might well save us if stuck our heads too deep in the darkness. Then something strange, a interruption of the Wyrd and I found myself out of place and time with the others. When I started to come too I was greeted by shouting and the loud celebrations of conflict….How successful were we? Or did we merely snag a lure left out by the forces of Fate to which we now forever intertwined?

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A Tale of Mischief and Mayhem

(This adventure log will include the game on July 29th)

Our heroes present today are Red Eddie, Octavius, Monty and Roland. The day begins with the group heading to the Santa Cruz Library in Downtown Santa Cruz. The building is tall, and ornate with gargoyles on the corners, and six pillars in between which a long set of stairs runs up. Inside, having decided to research the Hollowed Hotel they use a computer, and the magic of Google.

They find out some of the Hotel’s origins, and the many tragedies that occurred there over the years. Beginning in 1858, the Hotel’s birth was not something greatly celebrated or revered, as it was just another Seminary, where a half dozen acolytes lived. (1) The village already boasted the Mission Santa Cruz, and generally kept to their religious affinities there, as this was an auspicious time in California. However, as the Mission was destroyed in 1857 by an earth quake, this new wooden church grew to have more use as time went on as the Native People, called Ohlone, inhabited parts of this church’s smaller buildings.

The city then was not a great bustling city like today, but rather a small village who grew some crops, and generally kept to themselves in the rough wild of these mountains, not that they had much choice. They were a practical group, growing things like corn, wheat, apples primarily, with a few small crops for other assorted vegetables. They kept goats, as cows were too hearty and difficult to traverse the mountains, as goats were known for their sure footing, if a bit stubborn. As for this particular time in the Hotel’s long reputation, there isn’t much to go on, except that a handful of people went missing, and the Ohlone were accused of some misdeed, which lead to harsh judgment.

The Ohline molded into the city’s ways as the new generation grew and the old generation forgot, and wanting to incorporate themselves in the lives of the Spanish, who seemed grand to this new generation, began growing grapes for wine. They were allotted a small basement area in which they could store their prizes, which stood for many years. (2) Another section of the Church was used as an orphanage as the natural disasters in the area left many unattended.(3) The orphanage was kept in one of the only original surviving buildings upon the lang, a small house almost, with only three rooms, one of which has a long bay window. Nearby the first jail is built, in a low stone building, where only arrow slits allow light into the cells, and a front office area sees more use on a day to day basis.(4) Some argue whether or not this building had a basement level, as they were not incredibly common during this time period. There was.

The main building sat, for many years, in degradation as the village grew, and the Ohlone disappeared slowly. The site of the church, once allotted to many acres, also slowly became smaller. Other buildings, in more modern styles, were built on the existing land in an increasing fashion. One of these buildings was a school, granted to the city upon the death of a former black slave named Reader. (5) Though Reader himself could neither read or write, he appreciated education with vigor, and enjoyed seeing small minds grow large with information. Though he was often absent from daily life, sometimes to the point that people began to talk, he kept his word and left a heritage to the children of Santa Cruz that was largely ignored, and credited to Louden Nelson.

The city grew and grew, like a virus, though many of its original buildings and architecture no longer exist due to earthquakes, fires, and lack of upkeep. In 1866, the first railroad is connected to Santa Cruz, allowing for the economy to grow, and a railway station, tavern and keep were built upon the old lands. (6) Another building is built about the same time upon the Seminary’s original land, this one an enormous dance hall, and tavern, built by local socialites Ashley and Marie Del Azero. (7) They hosted many community events, ranging in different styles and gathering types in this hall, and were known for their artistic endeavors. They often filled the dance hall with statues Ashley Del Azero carved, though reactions to these were not always positive, he was still respected.

As some of these buildings became lost to time, more stereotypical buildings were created as the years went on and the Industrial Era hit its peak. A factory was built upriver, causing an increase in housing to be built for those commuting to and from. No less than three apartment buildings were built in the late 1890’s to accommodate for such growth. (8,9) As the village was now a City, it was expected to keep certain standards- and it did. The economy bloomed, the Boardwalk was built, and with it Neptune’s Casino. (10) In the heat of the roaring 1920’s, the Rispin Mansion was built, as were many other local haunts. Surfing grew and grew, after the Hawaiian Princes introduced the sport to the locals in 1885, and has not reached staple status within the City. Big Basin Forest is declared the First California State Park, in hopes of protecting the precious redwoods there.

The Seminary’s lands are now covered, with the main site holding the Hallowed Hotel, and the rest of the acreage the same and not the same. This, in fewer details, and more laughs is what the group learns. The attention brought to them is nothing they haven’t experienced before, and will likely continue to experience, as their curiosity is something others are drawn too, and will speculate upon. Or maybe it’s because Octavius wanted to have Roland look up “Leather bondage.” Either way…

Having learned this new information, the group then travels to Red Eddie’s Nursing home (Nursery Home). They intend to question “Oah” about Oah and Olly’s deaths, and his potential involvement with either. What they find is far different. An old man lays in bed, covered in many blankets in a dim room, a soft “ping!” indicating a heart beat, and a slow “whoosh!” of a breathing machine. “Oah” seeing them becomes afraid as the door closes. They realize that he can see them for what they are, and he tells him how he loved Olly, even as Olly drew away from him after that fateful day in the 1960’s sun where he nearly drowned during a Surfing Tournament. He had nothing to do with either Oah or Olly’s deaths, and is often visited by Hana. They leave feeling worse for wear.

Upon their return to the Hallowed Hotel, they beeline right to the Chanting Door on the 8th level, where Red Eddie, declares them Evicted, and slips a simple note under the door reading “Eviction Notice.”

They then head to the Seventh level, the Nursery, where each door has a single name upon it: Ruby, Lisa, and Elenora. Upon entering each room, they find a similarity in that if they touch a specific item, they are shown a blink of the past, a singular important moment in this room’s particular history, much like the event they experienced in Olly’s Room. For Ruby, this event takes place upon sitting in the Rocking Chair, and is experienced by Roland. He is shown a woman in the Rocking Chair, sobbing quietly with a small bundle in her arms, as her husband comforts her, and says, “It’s not your fault, maybe it’s just not time.” The event causes the other’s a curiosity in what the other rooms may show. In Lisa’s room, upon touching the mobile above the bassinet, a soft tinkling is heard, and a woman says, “Not again! Not again! This is the third one…please…no…” This room is less made up, still in the works, compared to Ruby’s room. The last room, Elenora’s, is more developed, and seems to belong to a toddler. In the small bed, which stills hold a teddy bear, a small child is seen sitting up in the night to a figure standing at the end of her bed. She sighs a sigh too old for a small child, and says, “Not tongiht, Boogeyman! I told you- Mommy and Daddy will be mad if I leave. I don’t want to! I DON’T WANT TO!” She cries, and the door flies open as her tears fade, when the mother bursts in and begins screaming, “SHE’S GONE! SHE’S GONE!”

Three days pass, thirteen since the beginning of this chronicle, where the other’s take time to process all this information and try gather more of their own. Today our heroes are: Red Eddie, Octavius, and Roland- later joined by Leila. The first three begin their journey today with the sole expectation of learning more. This desire is a driving force in Octavius’ want to join the Autumn Court, and so the heroes go to see Queen Greer..

(TBC…)

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Come Together
Right now, over me

We began game with the group separated. Z was off in her shop, sleeping the day away in the glorious sunbeam drifting into her garden; when she was awake she gardened, and read her new book’s secrets. Octavius found himself interested in the Miasma, and its properties, trying to bring together details in his observations. Leila sung at her bar, and met a fan, which inspired her to offer lessons in hopes of having further interaction with him. Monty looms in the UCSC library, researching something unknown. Red Eddie ensures his promise is kept. Three days have passed since the group was last together at the Hollowed Hotel.

Monty, Red Eddie and Leila all meet up and decide to continue investigating their new property. They’re concerned there will be Miasma as there was last time, and they are all out of Tingle Moss. Knowing the Freehold’s laws about Tingle Moss, they reach out to the Court Wizard in hopes of receiving some. They venture to the Spring Commons and find he is not there, though there is only large immaculate trailer, on which they knock. Dudley emerges, half clothed, and increasingly confused. He informs the group that George, the Court Wizard and one of the People, owns a real world apothecary shop just off of Pacific in Santa Cruz. The group continues to the shop, and find it in a small alley way with a single chalk sign that says, “Apothecary.” They venture inside, but no one is there. The bell rings each time the door opens, and coincidentally soon the phone begins to ring. It is an old fashioned phone, and George speaks with Leila, telling her they may each take a Tingle Moss Candy from the Halloween bowl on the counter (a small tag says, “Take a candy”). He sounds busy, and explains he is away doing business. The group, armed with their Tingle Moss continue to the Hotel.

They take the Dreadknaught to the same location they did last time, Pleasure Point. The light indicating the Miasma level is solid, meaning there is no Miasma currently in place. The setting is vastly different. While still dilapidated, and empty, the streets seem to glow a bit more. There appears to be life around them basking in the afternoon sun. The shadows, angles, and other things are still unsettling, but overall it is much more welcoming. The Hotel too, seems brighter, as light leaks through the broken windows on the ground floor. The group heads to the basement after taking down notes and a general map of the building.

The basement is unnaturally dark, and as Leila uses her light, they come upon boxes, and a small doorway through which is the wine cellar (empty). They come around the corner to find a small rolltop desk, a fireplace, and a grate. Through the gate, a voice whispers, “Hello?” and though Red Eddie responded, the voice scuttled away before anything else was said. The group ventures back up to the ground floor.

They go up one flight, to the second floor, where there are five doors. Numbers one, two and four are locked, as is three though they have a key. Room number five is open though. The room is large, and has an enormous bay windows, which has many broken panels, and a series of beds. There are thirteen beds, six on each side, and one under the window. Searching the room, they find a locket with hair that has a picture. The picture is old fashioned and is of a child with their eyes closed. There is also a sealed envelope addressed to “Elenora.” The group continues to room number three. The key works and seems to unlock the door itself. Inside is a small bed and bath combo. There is a suitcase peaking from under the bed, and the bathroom door is locked. Unable to open the suitcase they find in the bathtub a skeleton which has a note pinned to the scraps on him, which reads "“I came here for peace after so much misery. My peace was a lie. My life was a lie. And now, my death, a lie.” Inside the mirror is a small bowel for shaving cream with a brush and a small key is knocked into the washbin when opened. The key is being retrieved when Octavius notices the mirror does something strange. As long as it is closing and in motion, the mirror reveals a scene. There is something standing in the shower, and then a streak of blood high up on the curtain. It does not show this scene when opening, only when closing. The key that was found opens the suitcase, which holds letters from Oah to Olly. Hundreds of them, spanning several years, and a few blurry photographs. it appears Oah was a surfer. The letters look new in the mirror, though some are still unable to be read. They are private, intimate letters of two men who were lovers. The suitcase is left in the room, though the key is taken with the group.

The next floor, number three, is a large open room, perhaps a lounge, with a bunch of broken furniture and a fireplace with an attached grate.

The groups continues to floor four, which looks very different from the others, and only requires four stairs to reach, though they appear longer and more intimidating than the other sets so far. This floor shows a t-shaped hallway with four doors without doorhandles in the colors: red, white, blue and green.

The group continues to the fifth floor, which is similar to the second in the square hallway and has door numbers: 61, 62, 64, 65, and 66. They go to room 66, as they have this key, and open it against boxes and other debris stacked against the door. There is newspapers, and other scraps taped to the walls in which a breeze ruffles them, and long red strings tied form one item to another, intricate and looming. The is a bed against the wall, and in the corner rocking slowly is a person. When the person turns around, you can see the vast madness overcoming him, and while he is sated with Leila’s lullaby, his madness overcomes it as he begins to shut the door. Immediately upon seeing this, Octavius leaves, and Monty too backs slowly away, leaving only Leila and Red Eddie with the door shut, locked, and rattling with howls and banging against it. This is where our intrepid heroes were left.

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The House that Built Me

Today I find myself at the Goblin Market with Monty and Edie. What we are doing here, I am not certain. But I am okay with this. Sometimes, it is not the end that matters but the route we take to get there. And our route was quite an adveture. After a few moments of discussion, we as a group decided that a hollow in the form of a hotel was something we could all get behind. So off we went in search of a land realtor, if such a thing did exist within the Market. And, to my surprise, it did in the form of the Flynn’s. The meager treasure we had found was our initial bargaining chip. I knew that it would not be enough before the 3 hobs even examined what we offered. So, once they were done, I offered what it is I do best. A song. For them alone. They did not seem to think that this would be enough but they had never heard my song. To make the deal even more tempting, I decided to write a song just for them.
So I found a quiet corner and shooed Monty and Edie off. Before I knew it, the song I wrote became an epic saga, very accurately giving the feeling of finding your forever home. While I wrote, I attracted the attention of a warcher, Z. They were quite enraptured by my performance. Monty and Edie also brought back with them Octavious. So the three became five. At Octavious’ urging, I returned to the Flynn’s and gave them a sneak peak as to what they would receive if they would just agree to my offer. Two were enamoured, of course, while one was merely impressed. I will have to try harder with him. But they did agree to my terms. So soon I shall perform this epic saga once. I find I can not wait. While some may lament that it will only be performed the once, I find I am not. Something as grand as this could never be repeated, it’s message only meant for one. Monty, Z, and I looked over our contract and it was found to be solid, nothing sneaky hiding in wait. So we signed. We have found our home.
We left the hedge, the five of us, together. A tree, an octopus, a darkling, and two of us existing in two worlds. I stayed with Z while the other three slept out under a bridge. The next morning, we met up to go and see our new home. And it was a fixer upper sitting in the depths of the miasma. We have our work cut out for us.

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Come and see, a song about the future.
I don’t think any of us had any desires in the market when we decided to go. I think it was just there and silently, we all agreed it was a point of duty. Seeing how smoothly we all came to the same conclusion I wondered how predetermined Court was when you stumbled back bloody through the thorns. Monty seemed to be taking to it pretty naturally after all.

I thought about the Miasma city, the Dreadknaughts , all the strange things creeping in the corners. And how little we actually knew. I looked over at the Gargoyle and I could see he was thinking it too. I glanced at Leila but honestly she remains a mystery to me. I’m sure I looked thoughtful when I blurted out, “We should buy a building, set up a hollow.” under my breath. It was a relief to see the group agree.

We discussed various details about what we wanted. I feel like maybe somehow we stumbled through a wrinkle in time because the conversation was saturated with deja vu. And as we finished our chat the grind and hiss of the Dreadknaughts sounded behind us. A man wrapped in layers of discarded clothing, not unlike myself lurched forward carrying a sack slung over his shoulder. And a person I almost didn’t notice, they moved with the cautious stride of an Autumn courtier and looked more back then flesh. With a shrug we all made our various ways. Into the market we went.

I tensed nervously realizing now that I was at the center of more Hobs then I’d ever seen at one place before. I caught the courtless fisherman out of the corner of my eye drifting to barter with some vendors. I could not tell you what happened to the tree. We tried to stay together as we navigated the packed marketplace. Booths and barkers leaped up erratically, without warning making the walk ways between them a jagged mess. Eventually near the back we found the Flynn’s sitting at their table smugly drinking something from a burnished copper cup.

The plan was simple enough. Monty found the most treasure, Leila would work her charm negotiating and I..uh would watch I guess? The Flynn’s however were not impressed with our loot. Leila haggled but the Hobs seemed to be playing with us once they saw the cut of our coin. I shot a dumb look at the Gargoyle when Leila stormed off not realizing right away it was a tactic.

She shooed us off and sat down cradling her violin. “I’ll trade ya some goods for some cash money.” my fellow hobo chimed in, “or maybe like a sandwich? You guys look like you have sandwich money.”. The three of us chatted away when I saw the mysterious tree watching Leila. It was curious to see so few Lost when we heard it being talking about so much at the Commons. I felt compelled to introduce myself but I think we startled it. The tree circled around while Octavious and Monty chatted. I really wanted to say hi but I didn’t want to startle the tree again so I shadowed behind. My mistake, I am awful at first impressions.

Before I could be chided too much Leila revealed her coin, a ballad she had written. Something unique and exclusive. It was enough for the wine soaked bankers. She plucked her instrument to give them a taste and they handed us a contract. Octavius and Z swarmed it for loop poles. I playfully elbowed Monty and whispered, “We hired our legal department, Lost Resources.” with a snicker. The deal was done and we went our separate ways for the evening. A welcome respite after what seemed like one of the fullest days I’ve had in months.

The next day we all met up in Dreadknaughts closet port to our new home away from home. The Miasma seemed to finally catch up with us as it swooped down from the horizon giving us just enough time to gobble our magic candy. We locked hands and went through the muck. Leila called up a light but the refraction was agonizing. At least to me.

Eventually we found the property. A hideous burnt umber thing stretching the thirteen floors we required. The door akimbo slightly as we peeked inside. Three keys laid on hooks behind a counter, many more room numbers painted on the wall. And glimmering weakly behind us something beckoning us back towards the fountain. “We did say fixer upper.” Leila said with a smirk.

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The Hunt for the Goblin Market
"Let's hit all the buttons!"

Red Eddie, Leila, and Monty are all within the Crow’s Nest, having just learned what the Thrice Cracked Mirror does, and are deciding what to do next. Nix and Nox begin skipping around singing, “We’re going to the market, the market, the market, we’re going to the market, we’re going there today!” The group isn’t really sure how to respond, and so leave in succession. They leave The Crow’s Nest and head towards The Carosel and the doorway nearby.

Inside the scene is drastically different compared to The Spring Revel. There are little to no people left camping inside, instead there are only a few picking up trash, and generally cleaning up. When the group goes to look for a member of the Winter Court, to purchase identification papers, they instead bump into Czarikov, the King of Summer. The King begrudgingly helps you reach a member of the Winter Court known to Red Eddie as Deirdre. To get her a message Red Eddie throws a bottle with her name wirtten on it into the sea. Eventually she will reply. Leila and Monty remain behind talking to the King a little longer. After Eddie returns the groups continues on. During this time, the group learns the location of the Goblin Market, the Conrete Pier.

They decide they need to find some items for trade at the Market, and decide to navigate the Hedge with a Dreadknaught. However, they are not entirely sure where to go or even where all of these places are, as some of them are noted as real locations in Santa Cruz, versus seemingly made-up places. As a local, Red Eddie manages to pick four locations that he does not think are in the real world. All of the buttons are pressed, and the Dreadknaught sputters and moans, realeasing a huge amount of soot and smoke. During the shaking, there is a knock on the door. It’s Deirdre, and she asks exactly what the group thinks they’re doing, as it appears as though the Dreaknaught is about to break, and she litterally just finished fixing this one. Once apologies are received, the group asks her about papers for Monty and Leila. She agrees to exchange a favor for this favor, and informs them that it will take a week.

The first stop for the group is The Bottom. Here they are unable to explore as they have no way to breathe underwater.

The group presses a button called The Sallow Cavern. There they fight the Enticer, and collect a small bloody swatch of what feels like waxy elbow skin. Inside the cave, having collected seven berries they eat three, saving four, and return to the Bottom. At the Bottom, and once outside the Dreadknaught, they see an enormous shark swimming past them above. Monty and Leila use combined forces to retrieve a bottle, a key, a skeleton, and a swatch of fur. Monty also finds three small coins, who are so worn their faces are worn off. They return to the Dreadknaught, and inside they travel past a lighthouse like building in the middle of the ocean, stamped with Czarikov’s seal.

They now head to Tree Knot Lagoon and having found themselves underneath the tree after it rolled into the sea, Leila and Red Eddie hid to catch their surroundings. Monty stays above to investigate. Leila and Red Eddie attract the unwanted attention of Babd, one of the Morrigu family, who talks briefly with them before informing them that her father would need to know of their presence. Papa comes thundering out, and is unwilling to hear out the group, as Monty dove into the sea and found himself flying into the bubble. Leila attempts to convince him to let her sing, but his outburst prevents her from doing so. They leave peacefully, having not collected anything from the Lagoon.

Lastly, the group decides to visit the Dusty Heels, HMS just in case. It being surrounded by the Miasma prevented the group from investigating further until they had more time, and no risk of missing the Market. They finally decide to return to the Market, where game ended.

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The Spring Revel
Opening Game

She sits in a huge round room, and the walls appear to be made of the Spring night. A thicket of stars, and honey smell are the first things you notice. There are dark tables and chair strewn about the room, where a kind of dining room is almost made. It is a picnic scene, think Alice in Wonderland, where cakes and pastries, and sandwiches, and tea are covering the tables.

There are so many people here. There are hundreds of people, lingering in the soft grass, upon woolen blankets. There are all relaxed, and some have even made camp. You see tents- not just ordinary ones, no but great huge colorful ones! There are palaces made of tents, some like pyramids, some like castles, though comparable to a tent inside, when you walk past, you can hear the singular moans of pleasure, leaving you to assume there are many, many more within.

The are campfires that smell of jasmine and juniper berries, leaving a woodsy flower scent as they burn. There is the smell of pies, and tasty treats, so sweet you mouth waters. You can hear children running around. There is an entire hasty made community inside this pseudo room.

If you should ask someone who they are they will tell you they are The People. They are travelers from all over the US who come here each Spring Revel. “This celebration is well known across the many cities, where we, The People, make our homes.” A man tells you, “We come here once a year to celebrate, and to keep Those who Linger at bay. We come in RV’s, in motor-homes, and ragged cars. We come here to live just for one night, as we celebrate another year of our lives to come, and to bring peace among those who are not peaceable. We make love, for days and days at a time, just to feel another’s heart beat with our own, and we celebrate. We fulfill our gluttony, with wine and beer, cakes and meat, fruit and mead, until our bellies stretch tight against our ribs, we eat and we celebrate. We live, dear friend, and we do it tonight!”
As you make your ways through the maze, it smells heavenly, of sweet sweat, of wine, and the fruit! Oh the fruit, it smells so much of fruit, the very air is sugar. Towards the center, the tents are closer together, more jam packed, right on top of each other, and you hear music. In the middle is the throne upon a dais. The throne itself is an old one. It is made of leather and has grass growing through it. It is incredible ornate. Upon it sits the queen. To her right is Dudley, her knight. She is laughing, and clapping, drinking wine from a chalice of bright gold.

There is a dance floor, where many dance. It is not a new style of dance, and seemed so organized and coordinated you wonder if they have done this every year. There is a band of misshapen men with lutes, and horns, and drums. There are fiddles, and violins. It is a loud raucous song that is playing, so fast it blurs the air. You smell sweat from the dancers, who are as joyous as can be. Every now and again, you see Dudley whisper in the Queen’s ear, where she closes her eyes letting the whisper breath into her. She has a soft smile, and will nod. Every now and again, though is is in obvious pleasure being so close to him, she will frown, changing her features rapidly into something dark. She will shake her head no. Then a changeling will approach and she will speak with them, quietly, and seemingly private for all the people around. After a while, though who knows how long, she stands, and the music drops. She turns and nods to the musicians who bow, and then turns and nods to the dancers, who bow and curtsy in turn.

She says in a high, clear voice, “To those of you who are here for the first time, We bid you welcome. To those of you who have been here before, We bid you welcome back. We thank you for coming, and we know what a long journey it has been for this night to arrive. This year has brought Us many things.” The crowd murmurs.

“Tonight we will celebrate not what has happened, but what will happen. The things that have happened before are before, and tonight we will focus on the new things the tides bring Us. For while we are together, we once again are undivided. We once again are safe as we renew the traditions of old, as they are renewed again, just know, my dear ones, We are not alone. Tonight will bring Us many things, of that I am sure, and so I ask you all to play a game. It is a game we play every year, and it brings Us unsurpassed joy. I am told it is referred to as a Scavenger Hunt now. And so, if you please, as I know it please Us, play the game for the winners shall receive a gift of my own design.” She smiles, and crowd roars, and with that, she seats herself delicately back upon the throne. The music begins again, though this time it is soft and sensual. The dancers leave the dance floor, and the crowd begins to hum with excitement.

There are then butlers who appear, some maids, who begin handing out small scrolls. The People dutifully wait their turn, and open the scrolls with care. The scroll reads:

“Only two back bones, but a million ribs. Never set in stone, my glory hangs in strips. My future has always flown, but in this earth I do grip. I am well known, but now my meaning is glib. Come find me alone, where I still dance a jib. (Giant Dipper)

I am two-faced but bear only one, I have no will but have meaning unbidden. Men spill blood over me, and those who win imprint me as I am spun. The poor cannot keep hold of me, and of the rich I am overrun. I am easily found, but am more rare homespun. Find me silver, in the pocket of the music done. (A coin)

I am a window, I am shining. I am clouded, I am blinding. I am hidden, I am pining. I see nothing, as the breath left dying. I am soft, I am trying. I have no words, come release me from this binding. (An eye from the “dead”)

Return to us soon."


Upon your return, you are gifted with The Thrice Cracked Mirror, a token of nefarious history and means. It is Dudley who halfheartedly gifts you this item on Queen Bess’ behalf, though he couldn’t be bothered to tell you more about it. After asking another “winner”

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