Changeling: the Lost
Venice: Broken Masks, Shattered Dreams
Episode 4 - Skin - part 1
Christmas had been and gone and Venice was now cloaked in cold fog and dark skies. But hope was on the horizon. The festival of Carnival. And it was soon the time of year when all Changelings could feel safe from the Fae, and magic is turned upside down, master become slaves, mysteries and truth are reversed, and the Lost can cavort in the open as the Fae must hide from the world. Soon the Lost of the city would dance at balls and weave their glamour amongst the mortals as the Doge of their Freehold once more renews the vows to the festival. But before then there is a great amount of work to be done.
Since their return from the Underworld the motley had come to realise a great many things. They were in a race against time, and the clock which was ticking was unknown to tthem. The Rib Thief Killer, though sought after by the police of the city, had claimed the lives of 10 people in total and they were slowly inching closer to the meaning of it all. Else had figured that the riddle to do with the village of Marostica.
‘We all stand on the field of battle at Marostica. None can take first blood, such is our honor, such is our law. We are the armies of day and night.’
It had occurred to her it was a chess puzzle and that only 12 knights could stand on the board in such a way that they were not able to take each other. This, along with the clues about the clocks and the number of ribs taken made her realise that they were expecting 12 victims in total. They had also worked out the relationship between the clues to Titian and the other about those people killed. It was all biblical. The most recent clues were ‘The First to Die’ and the ‘First among 12’. They had worked out one was Abel, and then that the other was one of the Disciples of Jesus, St Peter. Looking at the works of Titian the motley found that there were two such paintings, and that the paintings were the clues themselves in some way.
Meanwhile, as the motley had investigated these leads Clio had discovered that the key that she had been given by Malvolio was in fact a hotel key. It was for a room in the hotel Daniele, one of the most famous of the city. She was now able to go there and take the Book of Names, that Malvolio had told her existed.
The motley followed their investigations and researched the paintings. The first was the ‘Death of Abel’, and the second was ‘The Death of Saint Peter the Martyr’. But there were complications. The original of the Martyrdom of St Peter was lost, with only copies existing outside of Venice. The other was in the church of Santa Maria della Salute. So they remaining painting was examined first hand and there was no hint of the Wyrd upon it, or any other sort of magic. But they did have a way of finding out more about the lost painting. It soon dawn on the motley that Clio would have been in Venice and possibly seen it before it was destroyed. That was in fact the case, but she could say little more about it since at that time she was just simply mortal.
In light of this fact the motley sought to track down the copies of the paintings that still were known about. Since many paintings, even if in private collections, were recorded for the sake of preserving their history, the motley looked at the House of Autumn records. They also paid a visit to those who may have seen some of these copies or the originals. They returned to the Casino degli Spiriti and the ghosts that cavorted there.
It turned out there were some copies of the paintings and that some should still exist in Venice. One was meant to hang in Palazzo Loredan Vendramin Calergi, where the Venice Casino makes its home in the winter. The other was in the Palazzo Benzon, where Contessa Marina Querini Benzon's famous salon was and Lord Byron attended.
The motley headed to the Casino that evening in the hope of being able to get close to the painting so that they might look at it. At the casino Sonata was easily distracted by the gambling and sat at a table play a few hands. The others lurked around, and tried to get upstairs to look for the painting. Clio then ran into Malvolio, and while things began well they were soon joined by Stitches. Stitches could not bear the presence of the Spring Fairest and in an act of aggression, and unprovoked, head butted the elf. A fight was about to break out, but Malvolio summon his command of the Contracts of Vain Glory. He called out for security and pretended to be a famous artist. In response Stitches was thrown out, and lightly beaten by the guards. Freki and Else joined him and they left for the House of Autumn. Stitches knew there would be repercussions for his attack, but after what he saw in the Underworld during his vision, he knew he was right to do so. Else however had been able to find where the painting should have hung. It was no longer there but the place marker was and the name of the artist.
At the House of Autumn, in the hedge reflection of the Teatro Fenice, the motley, witht he help of the Wizened Artisan, Tristan Titian. They went through the library and found pictures of the copies. Went looking at the photos of the copies Tristan explained that the copies were different in the manner that they were painted. The notes, written back in the 60’s explained that the paint strokes gave an unnatural sense of motion, and that the paintings even seemed 3d. The motley realised that they may mean the paintings have backgrounds which are in fact the Hedge itself, or even Arcadia. On closer examination of the photos they spotted something strange. In the copies in the background there was a stone sundial.