Wonderland, Scene II (Daphne, Erin, Underwood)

Originally Posted by Erin
"I have seen how this ends," Erin said softly, "and it ends in her death, and your tears, and I cannot turn away from that. Outrun her for seven days, and we are free. If you use your magic to force us to go astray, she is not allowed to fault us for it. Do what you must, but we are safe for now. Just don't do anything that can't be undone!"
"It's long since too late for that." Othello whispered. He leaned in, and he kissed Erin on the top of the head. And as he did so, Erin felt the pledge binding her shatter, into so many tattered fragments. There was nothing left of her promise to Cinder but cobwebs and shadows, and Erin knew how much power this took from Othello. When he pulled back, his eyes were wilder, more manic. "I love you like my own flesh and blood, Erin. Don't follow me."

And then he was gone, into the Hedge and far away. Wherever the Cat's panicked madness and grief would take him.

Othello burns a willpower dot and 5 glamour, and breaks the pledge on Erin.


Daphne does not act.
Underwood whiffs gloriously.

I forgot, but Cinder would've healed 1B of Heather's damage last turn, so she starts now with 4B.

For all of Underwood's efforts, for all the acrobatics of Heather or the brute force of Sasha, the true battle was between Cinder and Mary Mack.

Mary Mack clung to her larger foe like a limpet, but limpets are rarely quite so bloody and brutal. Her eyes had gone a curious, slate-grey color, and they reflected the light like a cat. Mack peeled her lips back in an inhuman hiss, and as she did so, Underwood got an excellent glimpse of two dagger-like fangs, slender and sharp like those of a serpent. They slashed into Cinder's neck, and there was blood everywhere, most of it pouring down Mary Mack's throat, but plenty going astray as well. The feeding of a vampire is usually a delicate, gentle affair.

This wasn't. This was bloody slaughter.

Heather took the moment to deliver another kick to Cinder's mid-section, an acrobatic sort of kick that put both of her heels into Cinder's ribs. That was going to break a bone. Sasha Zmeyevich followed up, though his attacks were rather less elegant. Then again, Sasha was a mountain of a man, and his double-fisted blow across Cinder's back would have knocked the wind out of lesser men. Cinder was a monster, but four-on-one odds, when one of your foes is a maddened, blood-hungry monster as well, are not good odds even for a werewolf.

Four-on-two odds, however, was a different matter. Cinder's cloud of pain boiled forward, and it extended a tendril of incandescant light and sound towards Mary Mack. You didn't know what Mack felt. Pain, emotional, physical, pain beyond mortal endurance. Mack fell back, off of Cinder, with a sort of strangled sob, falling to her knees.

Cinder, her mind now wholly feral, was not one to question her good fortune in the sudden incapacitation of her foe. Moving on all fours, she loped back the way you had gone, into the Hedge and away from those who would do her harm. The cloud of boiling pain followed her soon afterwards.

Incandescant Pain delays its action.
Reynarde quietly buffs herself some more (Omen 2).
Isengrim uses Murkblur on Cinder, but fails.

Mack bites Cinder, dealing 5L damage.

Sasha hits Cinder for 4B damage.
Sergei keeps aiming.
Heather kicks Cinder for a further 4B damage. All of this wraps around into Lethal damage.

Incandescant Pain uses Pangs of Agony on Mack. Gets 6 successes on 13 dice (Mack does not do well with attacks that are penalized by Composure). This deals 9B damage, and Mack is knocked off Cinder. Mack is forced into a Frenzy check, which she willpowers, and gets 4 successes on.
Cinder has suffered a wound in one of her last three health boxes (quite a lot of wounds), which triggers the 'Flight' part of Death Rage's Fight-or-Flight instinct. She activates Father Wolf's Speed (doubling her speed and giving her +2 defense vs. ranged attacks) and scampers, also healing 1B damage.

Anyone who wants to chase the wounded werewolf into the Hedge is free to do so by rolling Stamina+Athletics. Incandescant Pain will follow Cinder as soon as its turn rolls around again.

Defense 3, Armor 1, Resolve 4, Stamina 6, Composure 3; Primal Urge 4
Essence: 11/13; Health 3B, 9L/13H

Incandescant Pain
Defense 3; Armor 4; Resistance 4
Essence 11/15; Corpuse 10/10

Erin stayed kneeling, looking towards the wagon, long after she felt him leave, long after the sounds of his footsteps had vanished into the Thorns. She was stunned, perhaps, by the feeling of the Wyrd shattering around her. She was stunned by Othello's words, more so. Othello was a creature of mischief and mirth, and much like their new Spring Queen, nothing serious was said, nothing serious was done. To hear words like "I love you" from his lips left her still and silent, sitting in the dirt.

She was free. She was lost. He'd shattered himself to shatter the Wyrd, so that she could go. So now what? Did she gather up her friends, and leave the other guides to go on, and leave Cinder to die and Othello to weep?

Erin slowly stood up. With the pledge broken, she was no longer safe from Cinder and the Venatores. It was definitely to her benefit to delay them from realizing that.

She plucked a thorn from the Hedge, wincing as it pricked her finger, a bead of blood running down the stem. Within an instant, her vision narrowed in on a large, fleshy hedge fruit, hanging in the trod. Those things stunk like menthol and aniseed when split open. But Erin couldn't afford to come back smelling like that fruit. It would blow her cover.

She moved back a few paces, to where her picnic basket had fallen in the chaos. Reaching in, she pulled out an opaque mason jar, filled halfway up with with honey, and something else. Unscrewing the lid, she fished out a golden hand, with three bat wings unfurling from the severed stump. "Hey Digit," she said, as the hand began to get up and dance about on her palm. "I need you to do something, alright? Grab that fruit and crack it open, and get the smell all over this trail. Then hide the fruit, and hide any footprints or tracks left on the trod. Then I'd like you to come back to me, but only if Cinder, Isengrim, and Reynarde aren't around, alright? Otherwise, go back to Mary, or hide out in Othello's wagon. Ok?"

The hand alighted into the air, flying as only a severed golden hand with three wings can.


By the time Erin picked her way back through the wagon, Cinder was gone. "Is everyone alright?" Erin asked, looking to start a silent tally of who was present. "Oh... Mary..."

Erin went to help the poor schoolgirl, but there was nothing her powers of Spring could do to help those already dead.

Underwood cast a vaguely annoyed, question-markey glance at Heather for a moment, but decided to make nothing of the last few seconds. Instead, he straightened up, hands on hips, and watched Cinder go with a somewhat resigned air.

“…Well. Not touching that. Dame’ll be halfway to China before I can get a good wind up. I guess she’ll run herself out and come back more human-like? I don’t know how this works.”

Erin’s exclamation brought his attention to the casualty of the fight. With a noise that sounded like a sewing machine being crushed under a car tire, Underwood’s metallic extremities collapsed back into his torso under his skin, leaving only his left hand and forearm covered. He took a knee beside Mary.

“Did she get you, Miss?”

Daphne did not join the fray. Whether this was to her credit was up to everyone else. In her mind, this was completely acceptable.

In fact, she was rather surprised by the verocity of the defense that came to hand.

Cinder was by no means a friend, but Othello was. He had said he loved Alice. Why then, did he flee in the midst of such violence against his daughter, whatever the lack of resemblance?

The beast was strong, but what about the girl inside? She had no control, and thus, no, she could not take care of herself, Daphne decided.

She would have to ask Othello about this, once it was all over.

Yes. Daphne watched Cinder flee in the opposite direction and shook her head in amazement.

So she stood with arms crossed, a little ways away, in the vicinity of Reynarde.

"Penny for your thoughts?...Don't take that literally, I don't have any pence on me."

Originally Posted by Erin
Erin went to help the poor schoolgirl, but there was nothing her powers of Spring could do to help those already dead.
Originally Posted by Underwood
“Did she get you, Miss?”
Mary Mack, just at the moment, looked very little like the bloody killer of barely a minute prior. She looked small, and vulnerable, and very young. Of course, the fact that her mouth and fingers were covered in werewolf's blood rather neatly put lie to that image of innocence.

"Hurts." Mary said, pulling her knees up to sit on the grass of the Hedge, shivering. She was dead, had been dead for decades, but she shivered with remembered cold. "I didn't... I let him in. He was so cold..."

Mack cradled her head in her arms, the remembered pain more mental than physical.

Originally Posted by Daphne
"Penny for your thoughts?...Don't take that literally, I don't have any pence on me."
Reynarde turned her head towards Daphne. She was beautiful, but it was the beauty of a fine porcelain doll, somehow inhuman. Alien, perhaps, in that the thoughts that went on behind Reynarde's eyes were closer to that of the True Fae than those of Daphne or her friends.

"The cat remembers." Reynarde said, her voice soft and oddly musical. "He remembers too much. He remembers too painfully. He fears his memories more than he fears his daughter, or the killer he takes under his wing, or the actions he will take."

"That is a very good point, luv." Isengrim said. The wolf-fae leaned against his trusty rifle, an elephant gun capable of stopping a charging horror. And yet, he was the brains of the pair, and much less dangerous than his wife. "Best settle loose ends. Kill the vampire, would you?"

"I thought you'd never ask." Reynarde said, smiling coquettishly. She surged forward, gathering fire in her hands as she did so. Normally, the gumi-ho used claws, but for this, her own burning nature would serve her best.

Mary Mack moved instantly, springing to her feet and then jumping, straight up nearly fifteen feet, to land on top of Othello's wagon.

Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"Hurts." Mary said, pulling her knees up to sit on the grass of the Hedge, shivering. She was dead, had been dead for decades, but she shivered with remembered cold. "I didn't... I let him in. He was so cold..."
"He's not here now," Erin said, tenderly. She let her hands hover by Mary's shoulders, though didn't touch her. She knew that Mary hated that.

Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"Best settle loose ends. Kill the vampire, would you?"
"Back off!" Erin snapped, fanning out her wings. With them spread out, it was easier to see the ragged, thin split in one of them, running up from the bottom of them. "We're sworn not to interfere with Miss Cinder and Othello, but the way I see it, this has nothing to do with that."

"Why don't you go make sure your client is alright? All alone, wounded in the Hedge?" Erin raised her own hand, in mirror to Reynarde, though she had no magic upon it yet. "Lay one finger on Mary, and I'll bind my life to hers. That would put you in a terrible mess, now wouldn't it?"

Dice Roll: 10d10s8ez
d10 Results: 8, 8, 3, 3, 6, 9, 6, 2, 10, 4, 1 (Total Successes = 4)
Int(4)+Intimidation(1)+Reputation(2)+Willpower(3) (4)

Reynarde regarded Erin as though she was something small, bite-sized, and entirely edible. The burning fox-wife was not impressed by threats, and not impressed by the danger of breaking the pledge, inconvenient though that would be. Her husband, however, took a more a measured view of the situation.

"Easy, Rey." Isengrim said, no longer leaning on his gun. If it came to that, the job would be to put down the vampire fast, faster than Erin could bind her life to it. "Alright lamb, I'll make you a deal. We'll go and find the client, and when we come back, the bloodsucker is either gone, or willing to swear nonviolence to me, the missus, and Cinder. Can't offer more, lass."

"Why don't you go, then," was as close as Erin came to agreeing.

"That was obnoxious," Erin said, after the pair had left. She didn't care to mention it was a wholly empty threat, with her pledge gone. "Well, it is your choice, Mary. Just keep in mind if you swear, you won't be able to help even if you really wish to."

"I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel like I could use a mug of that faerie wine," she added, clapping her hands together. "How about it? Wine and stories, until they come back. Who knows when that will be? And tea for anyone who wants a clearer head. Though, Heather, we'd better move that barrel of poison away from the other four if we're going to drink from them. I don't know why anyone would want it, anyway." She glanced over at Daphne.

"Digit!" Erin called out, like one would for a dog. "Digit, it's safe to come out, now!"

Daphne watched impassively for a moment, blinking inhumanly at the incredible sight of the vampire's agility. And also Erin's wings.

"Let us remove ourselves." The flowering changeling quickly placed herself by Erin, but turned toward her. Clearly, Daphne would remain by her, not the Venatores.

"Come," she said formally.

"We will find him," she whispered so the others couldn't hear.

Another expression came to her face, almost like a smile but there was only a sort of vague glow. "Faerie wine might be a good idea," she replied simply. She did not comment on the poison. "But I don't want to stay if the Venatores are coming round. Pray Cinder comes alone."

Underwood glanced back and forth between the moth and the Venatores, but didn’t cut in – it becoming progressively more clear, despite initial appearances, who had the situation most in hand. And then he watched them go, with a mildly incredulous expression on his face, and then:


Erin was propelled several inches forward by a very enthusiastic back-pat: not from Underwood’s armored hand, thankfully, but he was still a big guy. Still shaking his head slightly, and with a bemused expression on his face, the reporter trundled over to the hedge wall to pick up his hat, coat, and Sparky.

“Geez Louise…I haven’t been hauled out of that tight a spot since the San Sebastian job, and that was the Latin Kings and a Venombite on meth. …Needed some hair of the dog after that one, too. Pour me a double, folks, and I’ll drink the first one to the little lady with the wingspan."

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