The War of Summer's Ending

Chapter 1: Dwelling in Darkness

The Tale Begins

Act One
Time: Friday night, late August
Place: Miami, Florida

The story begins (as is often the case with stories) at a gathering. Not a formal gathering, nor even a very special gathering to those being gathered, but an important one nonetheless.

A motley consisting of five changelings arrives at the Miami nightclub known as Kim’s of South Beach. They gain admittance, and wait for the mortals to clear out and Rollo, their contact, to show up. After a while, he does, and leads them down a dark hallway and into the Hedge. From there, he leads them to a Hollow which belongs to Blue Jenny, who has invited the motley to join her underground revolution to overthrow the City of Endless Summer.

Jenny welcomes them in, and gets right down to business. She regrets making her guests swear an Oath on their Keepers, an Oath not to reveal their involvement with Jenny or her coup, before even seeing them for the first time, but such a drastic measure is necessary for the protection of the other cells. If the motley were to be captured, the Oath would prevent them from betraying Jenny or the other cells to Grandfather Thunder.

Before she can explain the nature of her coup, a visitor arrives: John St. Elmo, an enforcer for the Summer Court. he interrogates Jenny and the motley as the the exact nature of their late-night rendezvous, but Jenny and her new allies remain tight-lipped. Jenny apologizes to the motley for the interruption, gives them directions back to Kim’s, and asks them to leave John and her alone.

On the way back to Kim’s the motley finds their path blocked by two Ogres: Strong Matthew and Mark Stalwart, who are members of John’s motley, The Apostolic Knights. John catches up with them from behind, and begins to grill them for information, when the changelings are ambushed by Blackgators. A battle ensues, during which Mark Stalwart is wounded. The Knights make a tactical withdrawal after the fight, letting the motley off with a warning to “watch their backs.”

Act Two: Prophecy and Lies
Time: A few days later
Place: Miami, Florida

The motley was contacted by Rollo, who told them he had a mission from Jenny for them. They met him at his base of operations, a cramped office in a dive bar in Miami Beach, called Mustang Sally’s Bar & Grille. Rollo tells the motley that Quiet Luke of the Apostolic Knights has in his possession a powerful Token: a diary which tells the future. It is vital that the Resistance have it. The motley must acquire it by any means. Rollo makes them promise not to read it, but does not force them to make a Pledge, saying he is bound by as many Pledges as his Wyrd can support.

The motley follows Luke to his apartment, breaks in while he’s running an errand, steals the diary, and brings it back to Rollo within a matter of hours.

Act Three: Truth and Betrayal
Time: Late
Place: Blue Jenny’s Hollow

Once they arrive at her Hollow, Jenny eagerly grabs the book out of Jack’s hands without waiting for an explanation. Smiling with triumphant glee, she thanks the motley for returning her diary, and apologizes for misleading them: there are no other cells. There isn’t even a revolution. It was all a ploy to get them to return her diary before one of her enemies realized what it was. Suddenly, the motley feels the weight of her betrayal suck all the strength from their bodies; it’s as if Jenny has cored their hearts in their chests. Their souls fill with sorrow, their strength deserts them, and they find it difficult to even shout at Jenny, who pulls off her veil to reveal glittering tears frozen to her cheeks, marking her asa Duchess of the Icebound Heart.

Through the fog of misery and sorrow, Jack asks who Hannah-Jane Wells is, and Jenny’s face goes white. Trembling, she begs him not to say the name again. Jim repeats the name, and she drops to her knees, pleading for mercy, offering them rewards which are clearly beyond her power to provide (such as making
Jack King of the Autumn Court). The motley agrees not to say her name again, and make a bargain with her,
but Rollo (who has been watching from the shadows) speaks the name a third time.

Immediately, all the lights in the mansion are blown out, and all of Jenny’s mirrors begin to shatter
one-by-one, until the last mirror left intact begins to bulge and distend, disgorging a hideous woman
with long, steely claws and clad in strips of bloody rags: it’s none other than Blue Jenny’s Keeper. At
the sight of her, Rollo goes mad and flees into the Hedge, and Blue Jenny attempts to do likewise.

With a single swipe of her claws, the True Fae strikes Jenny unconscious. The True Fae addresses the
motley, and thanks them for finding the diary and leading her to “my dear, long-lost Hannah.” She tells
them to flee at once; she can only carry one changeling back to Arcadia at a time, but she’s not opposed
to making mutliple trips.

Rather than allow a fellow changeling to be re-taken by the Gentry (even one as despicable as Jenny), the
motley engages the Fae in combat, cutting off her retreat into the mirror, and striking a deadly blow
against her with a knife of cold iron.

As the motley emerges from Jenny’s mansion, carrying the unconscious form of Blue Jenny, they realize that
their initial motivation for joining with Jenny’s cause, to gain the respect and notice of the Freehold,
has been realized.

For good or for ill, they’re going to attract a lot of attention from now on.