The Larder! That is where they must be keeping the children. You race across the Mossy Court, the spongey ground adding spring to your steps. You quickly catch up to the servant as she navigates though the bed tree forest. The forest grows darker, the tree branches blocking out the sun’s light. From the shadows you see a group of creatures with glowing eyes track the servant as she walks purposefully though the forest. The eyes blink in unison and the lone creature stalks away. You shiver, glad that you cannot be seen by the multi-eyed creature.
“Svante!” You almost yelp when you hear Captain Shen call your name. The air elemental continues its message, heedless of your circumstances. “Sasha is worried about you. Wanahton said that you went after the barge alone. Saving the children was brave – I would have done the same thing in your place – but confronting the Fair Folk alone was very stupid. But since you are already there, what can you tell us about the Fair Folk? Are any of the children still whole? How many Fair Folk are there? What defenses does the barge have? “ There is a pause in the message. “It may take us a few days to track you down, so Sahsa says do not do anything rash. Don’t worry, Svante. We are coming to get you.”
A few days! The Air Elemental waits by your ear for a return message. You were hoping to break the children out of the Larder and lead them to the Valiant Hummingbird for a quick get-a-away. Now you need to find a place to hide everyone until help arrives. And to be honest, the whole float creeps you out. You have no clue how you are going to stand being stuck here for a few days.
You look around and see that you lost track of the servant. Shit. You didn’t want to wander around a dark Wyld forest looking for a Fair Folk larder, but what choice did you have? You couldn’t let the Blue Lady eat one of the children. You follow the trail and hope that it will lead you to the larder. The trail starts to descend and grow even darker. Animals with too many limbs scurry though the bushes. You try not to look at them and focus on the goal. Find the Larder. Save the children.
You come to a stream. The water flows crystal clear, but you instead take a drink from your canteen. You silently thank Wanahton for telling you to pack food and water in your bag. You do not trust the water here.
After crossing the stream, you come to an ajar door set into the ground. Peaking inside, the servant lies on the ground twitching. Dark crimson blood flows from the servant’s torn throat. Bloody fox prints lead away from the dying servant and deeper into the cavern. The Desert Fox is here. You step over the body and hug the wall and cautiously move forward. You briefly wonder if going into a dark cavern after an anathema is considered doing something rash. Might be a good idea not to mention this to Sasha… or Akachi. Maidens, he’d be pissed that you are risking yourself. You hear sobbing ahead and pick up your pace.
The cavern opens to a dimly lit cave. A small group of four children, no more than seven or eight years old, are huddled in one corner, whispering to each other. They stare at the children at the other end of the cave.
These children are different. One is slumped against the cavern wall, not breathing at all. Most are seated on the ground of the cave, eyes closed, covered in their own excrement. A few are standing upright, staring blankly forward, a vacant look on their faces. Walking deeper into the cave, you stand before one of them. You meet one of their eyes and quickly look a way, shivering. There is nothing left in the girl to stare back at you. Whoever this girl was is gone. The Fair Folk have already gotten to her.
The Desert Fox sniffs around the vacant children and stops in front a boy with dark hair and skin. You move closer to observe the interaction. “Koray!” She changes forms and gathers the boy to her chest.
“Koray?” the Desert Fox brushes the matted hair away from the boy’s face and looks him in the eyes. “Baby, it’s Mama. “
“Mama.” Koray parrots the Desert Fox’s last word, not with recognition, but without meaning. The concept of “Mama” was now foreign to him.
The Desert Fox embraces the child again and closes her eyes, tears falling down her cheeks. “They got to you. All the power of the moon and I was too late to save my son.” She opens her eyes and calmly wipes the tears from her cheeks. “They will pay for what they have done.” The Lunar bares her teeth and hard look comes into her eyes. It is the same look you saw on Sasha when Trailing Sorrows was beating you. The same look on Akachi when he punched the Lunar that injured you. To see it on a Lunar’s face….
Even monsters must love their children.
Ignoring the cries of the other untouched children, the Desert Fox picks Koray up as if he weighed nothing more than a toddler and begins to leave the cavern.
What do you do?
- Let the Desert Fox go. Do not let her suspect you are onboard. Return the Messenger to Captain Shen and tell him about why the Lunar was interested in the children
- Confront the Desert Fox and gain her assistance. Sometimes to fight a monster you need a monster
- Find Rory’s cup and gain his assistance. He seems to have a bone to pick with the Blue Lady
(( Lots of options for this one. Feel free to mix and match what you guys want to do. ))
(( Ex3 is rather distracting, but I managed to tear myself away from the forums. Don’t worry, I’m not changing/ending the quest. We are stuck with 2nd Edition until the Sidereal book comes out. I just hope our little quest doesn’t get lost in all the Ex3 topics or get moved to Play by Post. ))