The Weekly Weird World, Part VI (Publishing)

Erin: Departing from the Maestro's Theatre, and still working the kinks out of her bones from Mary's hug, Erin headed out towards another destination. She didn't head for Oswald and Butterbug just yet, not directly. Instead she headed for a different changeling's stall, though she was careful to take a roundabout route to get there. For one thing, they were here, and they might as well see the sights the market had to offer. For another, best that Marie Tempest didn't know where she was headed. The Maestro and Othello were not on good terms.

The Storyteller: They made for an interesting entourage, passing through the Goblin Market of Picadilly Circus. Admittedly, there were stranger, but it was a peculiar show. Erin led the way, the little moth-fey, followed closely by two vampires. Mary was still more than a bit perplexed by the whole situation, casting confused-yet-fond looks at Erin and Caelan from time to time. Sasha and Sergei brought up the rear, occasionally talking in Russian, though Sergei kept a firm eye on Erin in case she had an attack of self-sacrifice again. For some reason, the lanky Russian did not completely trust Erin in this regard.

The Storyteller: The stall to which Erin led them was that of Othello, the cat-changeling, present seneschal, and all-around troublemaker. He was there, under a hand-painted sign proclaiming "Edgar Chesapeake's Solutions and Interlocutions, Problems Solved, Caused," a cat-eared fellow with dark skin, pale hair, and green eyes. He was looking into a mirror when you arrived, and didn't notice your approach.

Caelan: Caelan watched Mary and Erin with a mix of concern and awe. During their oddball stroll, Cae hung back with Mary despite the looks. "Doing all right, Mary?" she asked as nicely as possible.

Erin: "Good evening, Mr. Othello," Erin said as chipperly as she could manage, without being loud enough to potentially startle him. No one wanted a broken mirror.

The Storyteller: "Why is she doing this?" Mary asked, glancing at Erin up ahead. The vampire looked, on the whole, quite a bit like Caelan. Young, certainly no older than seventeen or eighteen, with dark eyes and a feverish, swiftly-moving gaze. She looked like she needed a haircut, and was dressed in clothing a bit too big for her, swinging a length of pipe she'd bent into a makeshift club. "I'm confused, that's all."

The Storyteller: "Why do my eyes decieve me? Erin!" Othello said, rolling off the desk on which he had been lying, and narrowly catching the mirror before it shattered against the ground. "No, no they don't. What brings the Terror of London to my humble shop?" The cat grinned.

Erin: "Aw, sir, don't you start too..." Isengrim had certainly gotten her back with his tales of terror. It was just embarrassing.
"I'd like to introduce you to Miss Mary Mack," Erin said, with a comforting gesture. "Miss Mary, this is Othello."

Caelan: "I suppose she's just a helpful person," Cae replied as diplomatically as possible. She tossed an absent wave to Othello with a pale hand.

The Storyteller: "Miss Mary Mack?" Othello said, raising an eyebrow at the vampire, who nodded and looked at him. "One of ours, I take it?" It wasn't an unreasonable guess, based on the name. And not all of the Lost were easily discernable to the eye.

Caelan: "Umm, no..." Cae muttered and tried to smile at Mary. "Not yours."

The Storyteller: Mary smiled, and when she did so she showed fangs. Long, sleek, and very, very sharp fangs. She winked at Caelan.

The Storyteller: "...Ah." Othello said.

Erin: "Yessssss..." Erin replied, rubbing her cheek pensively. "I'm seeking to find her good food and better company."

The Storyteller: "Quite the problem." Othello said, tossing his mirror up and down casually. "Tricky, tricky, tricky..."

The Storyteller: "We needn't if it's too much trouble?" Mary said, looking around a bit uncertainly. She was still having some problems processing all this.

Caelan: Cae raised a brow at Othello. She didn't like the scheming of the cat changeling overmuch, and like Mary, wasn't too comfortable with what was going on. "You could find yourself a donor," Cae muttered, more under her breath than audible.

Erin: "I am thinking, maybe we can run glamour through your stall to Mr. Oswald?" Erin began to posit, tilting her head to the side. She appeared remarkably deaf when it came to Mary's protests. "I think he has Bloodwort there."

The Storyteller: "I had donors... sort of..." Mary muttered. She turned away, not really wanting to talk about it. "That's why I'm here."

The Storyteller: "Osy the Clockwork Maitre d'! Good man, has his head screwed on properly." Othello said, grinning briefly. He tapped his chin. "And he does, though he may need to plant more trees if it comes to that."

Erin: "Well... worth asking him for?" Erin tried, shuffling her feet a little bashfully. "Might cost a little more than it usually does... better glamour than my hand, though?" She gave Othello an anxious little smile.

The Storyteller: "Erin, darling, beautiful, precious, terrifying, I'm reasonably sure Oswald doesn't want your hand." Othello said. He paused. "Though Butterbug could make a soup with it, I suppose."

Erin: "Do you think it'd taste good?" Erin asked.

The Storyteller: "Butterbug's a very good chef." Othello assured her. Sergei was giving Erin a look. Mary... looked a bit unsure of what was going on. Sasha was whistling and staring at the sky.

Caelan: "Butterbug? Hallo?" Caelan looked confused, obviously.

Erin: "Well, I'd prefer to keep it," Erin replied. She shifted her wings, making some calculations. This would likely be expensive.
"He's a butcherbranch. A very good chef," Erin explained with a smile, for Mary's sake as well. "We could go over and I could buy us all a snack, if you like? You could see for yourself."
"If you like, Miss Mary, I could probably find a key to the Market for you," she added, still smiling. "You could come here whenever you wanted, then."

The Storyteller: "I'd appreciate it?" Mary said, looking out across the vastness of Picadilly Circus. It was intimidating, even for one of the dead. "Thank you. You're... nicer than I deserve." [To Oswald & Butterbug?]

Erin: [sure] As they walked along, Erin lagged behind to walk next to Caelan, standing on tip-toe to whisper in her ear. "You know, something about her reminds me of you, miss. Not just... hmm..." The moth-girl scratched her head to try and put her thoughts into words.

"Like, me and Mr. Hammond, we're not related. But we're family. Like that," she finally tried. "I dunno."

Caelan: Caelan sighed. "I don't know if she's much like me... was I like that? Am I? Maybe I would be if Rakesh hadn't found me." She looked away to the crowds and stalls.

Erin: "Not like that... though she's close in age too... I meant, well, like I said. Family." Erin screwed up her mouth in consternation at the attempted explanation. She didn't really know a lot of vampires to make reference to.

Caelan: "Family," Cae repeated, and smiled to Erin. "What you think about her, really? I mean beside family."

Erin: "I think she's been alone for too long," Erin said seriously.

The Storyteller: Oswald's miniature resteraunt was around the corner. A cozy enough place, consisting mostly of a large number of parasols and awnings arranged around a central cart, with chairs and stools gathered haphazardly around it.
The Storyteller: Oswald himself stood by the chairs, escorting customers this way and that, while the massive butcherbranch, a hobgoblin monster as big as a horse, was merrily sizzling something in its mouth, stirring the soup in the hollow in its back. It waved one spatula-like limb at you in welcome.

Erin: "Hello, Mr. Butterbug!" Erin greeted the pig-thing directly, as Oswald was busy. "Have you got any Bloodwort today, sir?"
She looked back at the pair of Russians, pondering what they might like. Something alcoholic enough to stun a moose, probably.

Caelan: Caelan tapped her fingers against her arms. "Mary..." she hesitated. "Can I ask you something?"

The Storyteller: "Hmm...?" Mary said, distracted by something. Her eyes darted across Caelan's face, before moving towards the overgrown animate kitchen nearby. "Sure?"

The Storyteller: Butterbug, meanwhile, was showing Erin a glass bottle with something very red in it.

Caelan: "I'm curious, you know, I don't talk to many...of our people. What kind of stuff do you dream about?"

Erin: "Ooh, that looks lovely," Erin was saying to the pig-kitchen. "Say, do you have anything with dream-a-drupes that isn't too sweet?"

The Storyteller: Butterbug reached into someplace and brought out what looked like a wooden tin of jam. After a moment, it spat out a loaf of hot bread from its prodigious, and oven-temperature gullet.

The Storyteller: "Nightmares, mostly, when I do dream." Mary said, looking at Caelan curiously. "Blood, hunger, my sire... the few other vampires I've met..."

Caelan: Cae frowned and nodded. "Yeah, yeah. Sucks."

Erin: Erin thanked the butcherbranch cheerfully and gave it, well, something. It almost looked like a puff of faerie dust off her fingers. She shuffled over and presented the red fluid to the vampires. "Bloodwort," she said with a smile.
She then scuttled over to offer the bread and jam (?) to the two mortals.

The Storyteller: "What about you?" Mary said, looking at Caelan with interest. "You also owe me a werewolf story."

The Storyteller: The vampire looked at the cup of red stuff. It looked mostly like blood, if a bit thinner. Carefully, she picked up the glass and daubed her tongue at the bloodwort, tasting it.

Erin: "I have no idea what this is," Erin said entirely too cheerfully, as she presented the Russian pair with the snack.

The Storyteller: "It's a sandwich." Sasha said, taking the bread and jam and biting into it. "A good sandwich."

The Storyteller: Sergei gave Erin another look, but took the bread as well. He smiled at her.

Caelan: She shrugged. "Oh, weird dreams. Sometimes I'm not sure whose they are," she smiled. "But what do you want to know about the werewolf---drink up, it's not too bad," she added with a gesture to the bloodwort.

Erin: "We could get a table if you like," Erin suggested. She blinked at the smile, and smiled back.

The Storyteller: "Not sure whose they are?" Mary echoed, drinking the bloodwort, her eyes lighting up. "...What do you mean? Oh, and how did you catch a werewolf. Or get caught by one, exactly?"

The Storyteller: "That would be wonderful." Sergei said with a nod, smiling back at Erin. Sasha rolled his eyes and ate the sandwich.

Erin: Erin did so, then. She curiously dabbled a finger in the jam-like-substance, tasting it out of curiosity, and watched the market go on around her.

Caelan: "Oh, I didn't catch one. He, um, found me." (tea)

Caelan: Caelan completely barreled over the first question. "

Caelan: "I was wandering around, you know, and he ran across me on one of his spiritual investigations. It was a tough time," Cae said, a bit more at ease now.

The Storyteller: Mary nodded in commiseration, but she didn't say anything that might disrupt the flow. She was curious, really.

The Storyteller: Oswald had finished with his customers and approached now, catching Erin's eye.

Erin: "Hi, Mr. Oswald," Erin greeted to the side, trying not to get in the way of the other conversation. "How is business?"

The Storyteller: "Greetings and thank you, it goes well enough, Ms. Lamothe." Oswald said, the clockwork man precise in speech and manner alike. "And yours?"

Caelan: "He's a bit of a paranormal investigator, so he took me in. That's all," Cae finished and looked to Mary, knowing she expected more.

The Storyteller: "And feeds you." Mary said, nodding sagely. One had the feeling that there was a world of implication behind that simple verb.

Erin: "Um..." Erin wasn't actually sure. She was good with crafting and bad with administration. "I wished to speak upon that, actually. I am wishing to procure a steady supply of your friend Mr. Butterbug's excellent bloodwort."

Caelan: Cae pursed her lips. "Yeah, he does. I think at first it was...a scientific endeavor."

The Storyteller: "That could be done, that could be done." Oswald said, ticking his head forward a degree, much like a metronome. "We do much of our business from standing orders such as that. How much upon a monthly basis are you needing?"

The Storyteller: "A scientific endeavor?" Mary asked, her eyes dancing. "And later?"

Erin: "Mmmm..." The moth changeling ticked off her fingers. "Thirty pint minimum, ideally double or more that amount," she said after some thought.

Caelan: "Uh, later? It's a matter of, you know...keeping me maintained. I suppose it's for the greater good."

The Storyteller: "That could be done, after an initial start-up period of six months." Oswald said, nodding.

The Storyteller: Mary cast a glance at Erin. Is she serious?

Caelan: Cae shifted and pursed her lips.

Erin: Erin blinked a bit and looked over, having not really paid much attention to the other conversation. She looked at the pair, raised her eyebrows, gave Caelen a cheeky grin, and turned back to Oswald.

"Hmm... bit longer than I had hoped... still, large volumes required... other sources may have to be investigated in the interim..." she mused over the logistical problems. "I can send glamour through Mr. Othello's stall. Other payments... equipment for the kitchen, perhaps?"

The Storyteller: "That would be..." Butterbug waved a meat-cleaver enthusiastically. "Acceptable."