Changeling: the Lost
Venice: Broken Masks, Shattered Dreams
Prologue - part 3
As the evening became night the motley left the Winter Market, heading back up to the upper levels of the cavern, and through the tunnels, our into the back streets near the Doge's prison. Sonata's Cocorange was now just a simple football to mortal eyes, and the other's hedge fruits and tokens were also equally mundane in appearance. It was decided that they should head to Stitches' pharmacy and leave the items there and go to the Teatro Fenice and speak with those of the House of Autumn.
Having left the pharmacy and now in the streets of the Frezzeria, Clio and Freki could hear something down one of the alleys growling. A bin was knocked over and on the roofs above a number of people moved, apparently armed. From the alleyway something like a big dog burst out and ran past, and the people above gave chase. One, armed with a spear stopped and with easy dropped to the streets and approached the troupe. She was dressed for combat. Her spear tipped with a battered iron blade, and she burned from within with fire. She introduced herself as Cinder Belle, and that her Watchmen were on a hunt. She offered to lead them forward since it was dangerous. The motley learnt that the Watchmen were a group of predominantly Summer courtiers who kept watch at night. They hunted all manner of things, even Vampires who strayed from the shores of mainland Mestre.
In a courtyard Cinder signalled for the motley to stop, and she hurried off with her spear down a side street leaving the motley alone in the courtyard. Soon enough something stirred, and the motley watched as two wolf like beast crawled down the side of the buildings towards them. Their jaws were wide with teeth and saliva dripped from their fangs. They were Briarwolves, and they rushed the motley.
Acting quickly Sonanta drew the shadows about him, calling on his Contract of Darkness, and he moved to make a sneak attack on the beasts. One lunged at Freki, tearing into her side with it's claws, as the other failed to strike the nimble Wizened, Else. Stitches called out for Cinder while Clio drew on her voice, and sang and enchanting tune to distract the wolves. Sonanta grabbed the one briar wolf, but was easily thrown off, but Freki struck back, claws grew from her furred hands and she racked the beasts back, causing it to howl out in pain.
Above Cinder and her motley appeared, her mien burning and melting the snow about her. She unleashed her spear and it impaled one fo the wolves, it's form collapsing into nothing but gnawed bones and rotting meat, while another of her motley let loose an arrow that struck the other beast.
Safe once more, and having thanked Cinder, the motley headed to the Teatro, where they were let in via the back entrance by the bookish Wizened, Codexial. She shed dust as she moved, and her skin was aged and thin like paper. She led the motley upstairs into the very rafters of the theatre, and through a door into the Hedge and the true House of Autumn. The Hollow was a massive library come attic, lit by animated candle sticks that offered their light to those changelings nearby. Freki and Stitches headed to the infirmary where they could get bandages and Hedge Fruit based salves to repair Freki's wounds, as the others sat about. A candle stick tried to give Sonata some light, but he blew it out and the candle stick, upset, walked away. A growl rumbled from within the library, and a large man came out of the shadows. It was Mad Dog, a fearsome member of the House of Autumn, a gangster and trafficker. He looked like a cross between a man and a Doberman dog. He barked at Sonanta for hurting the candle stick's feelings before explaining to them that he had heard of their run in with the Briar Wolves, and that for their own saftey it was about time they considered forming a motley pledge.
Upon leaving the Teatro, and heading back to Cannaregio and their squat, Freki and Sonanta spotted a commotion going on near the church of Santa Maria Maddalena. Outside was gathered police and locals. A man had been found, dead. His stomach was ripped open and on his forehead in blood was the letter 'V'.