The War of Summer's Ending

Chapter 2: The Slender Man Cometh

The Phantom Menace

Place: A small restaurant in the barrio
Time: Early October

The motley (still nameless) meets with an Autumn courtier, Miguél Iglesia, who has gotten in touch with them through Jack. His cousin, Jose, has been tormented for weeks by dreams of a horrifying entity known as El Pallido (“The Pale One”, or “The White One”), whose description matches the mysterious True Fae known as The Slender Man, who has been attacking both muggles and changelings all over Miami-Dade County. The victims are stalked for a few days or weeks, in the dreamscape and the real world, and disappear suddenly, only to turn up days later, with all their internal organs contained in ziploc baggies inside their chest cavities. No motive or pattern in the killings has been established, and both fae and mundane law-enforcement are baffled.

Jose’s parents are deeply concerned about their son’s nightmares, but are unable to take him to a psychologist or the police, due to their status as illegal immigrants. Miguel asks for the motley’s help, but also their secrecy, because Jose is gifted with the rarest of supernatural gifts: the True Sight. Jose is able to see through all manner of magical concealment, disguise, and misdirection. Such an ability would make the boy an instant target for any number of people, if it were widely known he possessed it, a situation which Miguél would like to avoid at all costs.

After some deliberation, the motley agrees to keep the secret, and help Miguél and his cousin.

Miguél takes them to his uncle’s house near Orange Bowl Stadium, where he introduces his associates to the ten-year-old Jose Iglesia. Three things are immediately clear: one, the boy can see right through their Masks; two, he is deeply disturbed by the nightly assaults on his dreamscape; and three, he is a complete Star Wars nerd.

A search of Jose’s bedroom reveals a tiny, faceless white doll, which El Pallido has been using to facilitate access to Jose’s dreamscape. The motley decides to destroy the doll, and confront the creature in dream-combat. Sure enough, El Pallido appears in Jose’s dreams that very night, taking the form of Darth Nihilus. The motley adopt personae from the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and participate in one of the most epic instances of Oneiromachy ever witnessed in the Trident. Eventually, El Pallido‘s will is exhausted, and he is forcibly ejected from Jose’s dreamscape. Having acted in line with their Virtues by defending Jose, each member of the motley feels deeply-fulfilled (though exhausted), and ready to face the inevitable sequel: El Pallido Strikes Back!