Changeling: the Lost
Venice: Broken Masks, Shattered Dreams
Episode 4 - Skin - part 3
Sonata, Else and Clio watched the strange, alabaster, insect. It strained against the bars of the gate in the public toilets, as Sonata jabbed at it to stop it escaping. Freki was still hurriedly running to the House of Autumn at the Teatro Fenice. Arriving there and using the correct knock to open the door into the Hedge, and into the House of Autumn.
Sat in the hollow, in the library, were a number of changelings, discussing the events of the Carnival ball. Looking up from his glass of wine, Chira, a bat faced member of Mad Dog’s motley, asked why Freki was in such as rush. She explained what had happened. Chira, and at his request, Byron – the poetic Cyclops Ogre – followed, offering his brute strength.
Back at the public toilets near St Mark’s square, the motley awaited Freki’s return. Else could hear footsteps and someone one approaching. She went to investigate, and found that it was two police officers. She quickly wove them a tale of a body being found, and that it was the work of the Rib Killer. She invoked her contracts and the police officers retreated to get backup.
Finally Freki, along with Byron and Chira, returned to the motley. They found that the creature had turned into a piece of masonry, and that this had happened when Else had tried to take a picture of it. Confused Byron and Chira helped the motley move the creature to a safer location.
Elsewhere, Stitches was trying to determine where he was and how he had got there. He was in a cage for an animal, and as his eyes adjusted, he realised that he was in a large, gloomy, warehouse, and that the warehouse opened out onto a body of water. Overhead he could see that the sky was stormy and lighting arced through the clouds.
Then there was movement in the water. Stitches watched a figure rise out of the water. Its shadow had spurs jutting out of its arms, and he watched as its gills flattened down on its neck. Stitches could smell the waters of the Venetian lagoon, oil, and mud. The creature pulled along with it a small boat, and lifted out a person. It opened a cage and placed the person inside. It then plodded off.
Stitches tried to reach over, but as he did so another creature descended out of the rafters of the warehouse. Stitches looked up to see two clawed feet gripping the cage. The creature was a crone like woman. She had tattered wings and cruel eyes and teeth. She screeched, and lashed out. Stitches noted the stone like skin that it had.
It then flapped away as a light began to glow nearby. In the cage the new arrival awoke. She introduced herself as Lady Midnight, of the Winter Court. She mentioned that she was at the Carnival ball, and that she had seen his motley. It was clear that she was a changeling, one of the Fairest, a Bright One, and her body radiated light. Above them they could see that were a dozen or so of these creatures. Harpies and strange insects. It was then that they spotted that there was another cage with another occupant.
The motley was taken to the Arsenale, the old ship yards of Venice. Here they entered the House of Summer, and Chira took them to Blackhand. Blackhand was a dwarf black smith. He skin was muscled and bronzed. His beard was made of gold and silver strands. Blackhand looked at the stone and explained that a strange magic flowed through it. Something primal and chaotic. After some experiments none could rouse it, but Blackhand revealed that it was similar essence he had seen when a man of stitches had passed through the area, and had been driven out.
Noting that Stitches was still missing the motley, led by Freki, went to find him. At his pharmacy they found his trail, his scent, and while following it Freki found that he was followed by something with the same scent as the stone creature. Following further they found that the trail ended near the train station at the edge of the Grand Canal.
In the warehouse the creature returned with three cups and a bowl of some dubious broth. It poured it into the mouth of the unconscious person, with them sputtering, vomiting and passing out once more. Lady Midnight and Stitches then watched as the creature, a man, with muddy and cracked skin, sat before them. It leered at them and explained that they should reach a good price. It made fun of them and the fact their soul is a ragged remnant of a humans. It laughed at their efforts to be human, and that in them a cancerous thing was growing. Stitches then could see the strange energy that animated this being, and that it had spread and caused the area to be devoid of life.
Then the monster took out the scalpel it had taken from Stitches, and lifting up its trouser leg, hacked off a pound of flesh. It took up the bloody flesh and gnawed at it too break it up into smaller chunks, which it then cast off to feed the harpies and insectoids.
Having fed the pack, the monster was then called to by a voice from within the warehouse. It was a woman, and she asked for him to bring the woman in the cage. He then grabbed Lady Midnight from her cage, and wit out much effort immobilized her and carried him away.
Outside of the train station the motley looked out to the mainland and could see the storm clouds over the industrial centre of Marghera. A humming sound grew, and Freki bristled and could smell ozone. Electricity arced around them, and forming a ball or crackling lightning, until forming a flame haired young boy.
The boy spoke, as if with the voice of an entire choir. He spoke that chaos was rampant and that they can act. He reached out and electricity arced out and struck the motley.
Each saw a vision. They saw a door with a number upon it,
then a view from above the industrial complex of Marghera, and then the ticking of a clock made of bone, and then finally the Verdant Duke, Ayther, leader of the House of Spring, and his neck being slit.
The motley came too and found that the being was gone. And so they went to get Else’s boat and make their way to the mainland.
Fearing the worst, Stitches used his contracts to open the locks to his cage and then the other, finding within the unconscious Tybalt, from Malvolio’s motley. Stitches attended to him, and after getting his bearings Tybalt opened a gate into the Hedge through the cage door.
Stitches and Tybalt fled into the Hedge, and they spent almost 2 hours in the hedge to find a door out, eventually returning back to the real world, through a door back to the industrial chemical refinery. It was then that Tybalt fled, rather than help Stitches recover Lady Midnight.
While the motley made their way to the mainland, Clio had gone to speak to Malvolio. She eventually found him and she told him she knew where the key was for. He told her he could not go with him as he is not liked by the House of Winter. Clio wanted a guarantee that Malvolio would not be screwing her over. So they made a pledge, made in the name of their keepers, and in return for a gift of stealth, Clio would bring the Book of Names to him and he would find the name within to help her.
Clio arrived at the hotel Danieli and used her contract of Vainglory to appear as a guest. She was eventually given a key. She walked to the room she was looking for, opened the door, and found that she was in the Hedge. The hollow was covered in snow, and was like the hotel.
Sonata used his contracts to summon the fog, and he, Else and Freki were able to sneak into the refinery. It was as they got closer to the warehouse in the abandoned part of the complex, and through the fog they could see three figures approaching. The monster with bone spurs, a lithe small woman, and some bird like man which screeched and called like a raptor. It was one of the Gentry.