The War of Summer's Ending

Chapter 4: Questions and Answers

Time: Mid-October
Place: The University of Miami

The motley makes the ruins of the Slender Man‘s face, as well as some of the vegetation which composed the fetch’s body, to Prof. Hannibal “the Lecturer” Braxton, of the University of Miami. He agrees to do some research on the plants, but he can tell them right off the bat that the Slender Man’s face is actually a Bugbear’s Mask, a Token used by members of the elusive organization known as the Scarecrow Ministry. He recommends that they petition their issue with Queen Naamah, while he performs his research.

They gain an audience with the Autumn Queen, and she politely but firmly refuses their petition for declaration of a formal Ash Run. They lack concrete evidence, and are unwilling to produce the target of the Slender Man’s depredations (fearing to expose the fact that José possesses the True Sight to the entire freehold). Naamah tells them that Summer has become belligerent of late, and she cannot devote the resources necessary to the Ash Run, especially when Summer may interpret such a move as an act of war. The motley makes similar overtures to Winter and Vichy Spring, with similar results.

After their meeting with Maria Espina, Caden gets a text message from an unrecognized number. The messages say they’re from someone named Jay, a twentysomething film student who says he’s Jose’s after-school mentor. José told Jay about his bad dreams recently, and Jay suspects that he himself s the reason why the Slender Man has been targeting José; Jay was the Slender Man’s first target.

Jay sends Caden a link to a YouTube channel called Marble Hornets, which documents over the course of 26 entries (and several video responses by an unknown entity called “totheark”) his friend Alex’ run-ins with the Slender Man, and later, Jay’s own run-ins. Jay asks that they watch the videos (“They’ll explain everything better than I can,”) and asks if the motley could meet up with him in person. He suggests a neutral, highly public area: the food court at the local mall. The motley agrees to the location, and sets a meeting for the next day, around 4pm.