Here's a link to a listing of the Unspent posts, if you're a newcomer to this.
So, you may really need to recap, because now we're diving into the next big bit of the story. Also, I am terribly sorry I haven't been on the ball...my posting seems to have dropped to one post every week or week and a half. Oops. At any rate, the whole group was just about to head off and investigate the theater, and then--Leona showed some reluctance. She didn't want to go...
Perfectly Well-Adjusted Changelings? Hah!
When asked to come along (particularly by Jake, who noted that her shadow abilities would be "useful"), Leona clenched her fists and headed back towards the house, restraining herself. Despite the fact that she insisted she was "fine", Jake and Ivy both approached her, Jake with a far more, er...blunt approach. While Leona lashed out at Jake, her face literally growing dark, Ivy tried to take her more calm approach.
In a tense scene, Ivy started trying to talk down Leona, and piece by piece, the truth came out. Leona had plenty of reason to be a bit upset: they were going out to confront the Fae, the creatures whom Leona had seen kill, capture, and torture people. Most importantly, she was upset with Bryce, convinced that one day, his luck would run out, and the Fae would nab him again. In a powerful negotiation scene, Ivy put forth the following point: "But I do know that if we at least try and fight them we don't feel like sitting ducks, like victims hiding from the hunters." That's what convinced Leona, at long last.
Into the Theater...
They drove on down, letting Joel know that they were en route. Bryce expressed curiosity about what could be causing the cracks in the Fae prison. Giving a little background on the situation, he said that only a massively powerful infusion of Glamour could have enough strength to bust a crack in the Fae prison. At that point, obviously, the Fae would be free to start reaching through the cracks and feeding off of those unfulfilled wishes to widen them, but as Bryce put it, there would've been a lot of people hearing about it, if that much Glamour were built up in one place.
They got to the school grounds, and discussed how they were going to sneak in. Leona explained her vanishing act: changelings can use doorways as portals into the Hedge (the border of the Faerie realm), using it as a shortcut or escape route across the mortal world, bypassing normal boundaries. Bryce noted, though, that it'd make for sticky politics to enchant a mortal so that they could pass through the Hedge. Jake, however, readily volunteered to go with Leona, because he had a bit of Fae magic about him. And it worked. Leona and he passed through a gateway into the Hedge, and we left them for a bit.
Ivy and Sharon went with Joel and Bryce into the school, and they got past the front desk rather easily. From there, they went to the theater, and that's where things began to get a little crazy. They went up to the lighting booth (located by the main entrance to the theater auditorium), and switched on some lights. And Ivy saw something, along with the rest of them, written across the far wall: "Ivy, count the shadows". And she saw George, standing by the end of the inscription. They all piled out, Ivy shouted for George, and she pulled him their way. As that was happening, a luminous figure, glowing with Glamour and wielding a katana, started running down the stage, towards a female figure who had appeared.
When George re-emerged, I briefed his player on what had happened, along with the promise that Jake would get closure. Here's what George remembered: after getting called out for drinks by Bryce, he was drugged, and the last thing he remembers is being in a piercing white sort of limbo, with a crack in front of him, Bryce looking through the crack. Oh, and he remembers being present at a number of incidents, trying to communicate with Ivy. Like getting her to write stuff down during the Angel incident...
And the lights ran out. Everyone bolted. When they got outside, George had some things to say. He was not at all happy with Bryce. However, the changeling gave some odd but apparently honest explanations. (In other words, a ridiculously good Subterfuge roll, combined with a decent Empathy check against it.) So George's anger simmered, and he was merely puzzled. During the middle of their fight, though, Joel started panicking. See, he had developed two very solid shadows. And as the players watched, the shadows grew and grew, and he withered and died.
Everyone ran. And Ivy started seeing strange plant growths out of the corner of her eye, growths that faded away when she tried looking directly at them.
The madness pulls out all the stops...