Storyteller: All in all, the meeting with the Chess Club and the delivery of their gifts seemed to have gone well. Anavel didn't like traveling with the Hedge-Beast -- too visible -- but they'd needed it if they wanted to move that large quantity of fruits and clothes. Later, if they went to the Home Coming, the group would probably meet new friends and people who could get them new ID's, ways to work, or access to information on their stolen lives.
They were doing well on their own though, she figured. There was a large enough quantity that they could even constitute their own Court, if it were a smaller freehold. In this freehold, that'd be a laugh of a thought, but... ultimately, she wondered how much help they'd need to adjust. How much they could afford.
She'd kept notes while dealing with them. They were strong, but still mentally kids she thought. Well adjusted kids, but kids. Most of them even had an almost fey look about them, like they may have been two, five, or even ten years younger than they actually were. But they adjusted better than many of the escaped who'd been trapped. Some seemed happy. Some seemed angry. Some seemed distant. And one seemed...
She breaths in, as they walk through the wet and murky terrain of the New Haven Hedge. To Amber, the Hedge might remind her of many of the elements of Elliot's Lairs. The most prominent feature was that it was wet. The ground always seemed to have about an inch of water or more to puddle through, which made light slapping sounds as you walked through it. There were areas about it where it was dark, even in the daytime - but most areas sparkled in daylight, that water shining like a sea of stars. The brambles were usually a dark, ebony color - like woods more than vines - but sometimes they became beautiful and vibrant, and other times the 'brambles' took the shape of fog or mist. She'd spent a lot of time in the Hedge in the last eight years, and learned by now that it was a dangerous place to walk alone. Amber had a sense for people - to be able to find them, no matter where they were.
But that sense didn't protect her, and the Hedge had been what taught her that, when it led her through areas and parts of it that could have killed even her, as she tried to use her powers to hunt her prey down.
It was to some, a horrific, eerie place. But to most, especially to people like Elliot, it's beauty was only second to Arcadia itself. Not that she'd ever been but...
"What did you think?" Anavel asks, looking to Amber as she broke from her own thoughts. Anavel is pretty, a very typical water elemental - which is useful in this hedge, because some of the locations here were underwater making it more difficult to traverse than say, the hedge in New York. Parts of her seem almost crystalline, like ice designed to make a girl who was liquid into something more solid. She had no mantle that Amber could deduce or see, which was probably a good thing in Anavel's particular case.
The Hedge-Turtle groans, like he's trying to communicate a thought. Or she. Who knew what it was? No one actually wanted to check, and even if they did, in faerie that meant little.
Amber: *The Hedge... to be honest, with its dangers and its wonders... The Hedge fascinated her, it was both a mystery because of its dangers and a puzzle, few things constitued this much of a danger, mean, there WERE dangerous things, but THIS much of a danger, few...so she did spend a time lookinng at it, how the colors changed how the shadows elongated and faded to appear again... it was a peaceful thought if she lingered there, the wonder of danger and peace that mixed and swirled...
So when Anavel spoke, she blinked, looking at her, her head tilting* of the group? *she smiled* they are cute, mixed little group of mishaps that could give you a headache if they don't find their footing... also I liked the Mouse ... *she looked to the Turtle as it groaned* you fine Mr. Shellabus? *YEa she had invented a name for it, itlooked like a he, and they had used him a s food bus, so!*
Storyteller: Mr. Shellabus let out a little snapping sound of approval. The advantage to being a Beast - Amber could easily negotiate and converse with the more... feral hedge creatures to get them on her side. It was both amusing and annoying to the people who actually -owned- those animals, especially when they weren't exactly her allies.
"Mindy?" She smiled softly, almost fondly and reminiscent, as she said, "Yeah. She did seem like there was a lot more to her than met the eye. Both in terms of her skill set as well as... other things. I think I'm... going to go ahead and ask Winter to speak with her."
Anavel looked to Amber, and then said, "There are some others who seem like they'd be good fits to certain courts, but... unlike her, I can't really be sure of a perfect fit. I want to get them an audience with proper officials, if not the Monarchs themselves, in order to see how amenable they are to joining some. Being Courtless is dangerous for them, after all. Do you have any thoughts on who should meet who?"
Amber: *She smiled to Mr. Shellabus, and reached to pat his head fondly, she was making her mind that turtles were actually cool, having him been the first one she met, that is* That is a good turtle...
*And a nod to Anavel* I -was- serious, I could keep her, teach her a couple things... I bet she'll be much better inside her own sin soon too...*and a humm. as she thought on that*
You are going to have a hard time selling those kids one Court, they are one, they are not going to so easely separate... although maybe they will...*thinking bit more* If they are Chess, and feel like that still... get the knights and bishops with the Angry, I wagger, the Queens... one looked quite Joyous, the other quite Don't tell your mom... and most of those pawns... who knows.... they are certainly... diverse...*she looked to her, with a sudden impish smile* I can certanly take one of one meetins to get a feel....
Storyteller: She smirked and said, "They are a motley, even if they haven't made their oaths yet. It'd be foolish to try to rope twenty different individuals into one box. Really, I doubt we'll be able to get all of them into a Court - but I hope they all join one or the other."
"I take it you didn't take note of any one person over the other, except for Mindy?" She smirked and said, "What if she didn't take the ice cream though?"
Amber: *She looked to Anavel* oh I took notice... they are shiny little pieces, but they have to find their raw diamond *she winks*.. and Mouse did... *she shruged* she is scared, and she hides, but that does not stop her from being herself despite the danger... thus far... one one other showed me... individualism enough to call my attention.. but is only day one... day one can show you nothing or all, you should not just wait for everyone to show their colors on the go... you want to know... sit down and watch
Storyteller: Anavel considered and then said, "There actually WAS a Diamond there. Sort of an Odd Ball out, along with Victoria. She doesn't talk much either. I tried to get a read on them, though some were definitely harder than other.
"... They remind you of him. Don't they?"
Amber: *She thought a moment, thinking on the face she had seen today* Many of those kids *ha, she was probably younger than them!* don't know where they are standing, or who they are anymore... is easy to lose track...
*and a pause, as she thinks back* yes... and no...*she looks to Anavel, but she left it at that, she was not going to tell her... neither of those kids looked as Broken and Lost... nor as Whole and Complete as him... and then, well there was the part that did*
Storyteller: Anavel considered a moment, and said, "Have you told him? About them being a set of Chess Pieces and all that?"
Amber: *she grins to Anavel* I have yet to develop telepathy... *with Faes at least* or time traveling... THAT one would be incredivibly useful though.... just imagine the fun *smirking a tad*
Storyteller: Anavel smirked and then said, "Don't you have that whole 'I can communicate via Whispers' thing that the Prince does?"
Amber: *She grinned* maybe... maybe not...*she smiled* then again...you -think- I'm a Succubus... so how would a Succubus have that?
Storyteller: "It is incredibly easy to believe that a Succubus would be able to leave little whispers and imprints on them and be able to whisper sweet little things from a distance," She smirked.
Amber: *That.. made her laugh* point!... like the caress of lips behind your ear... alas... not a Succubus...*she made a pouty facE* sorry... can't tackle you to the ground and turn you into an empty husk while you twist in pleasure asking for more.... would you forgive me?
Storyteller: "Oh I forgive you, I just don't -believe- you," Anavel smirked and then said, "Sides, its not like it's a huge secret what you actually are, but I did want to give those kids an excuse to excuse the way you were."
Amber: *She.. just laughs, not going to deny that, not going to confirm it... then shruges* it COULD have been fun... all of them suddenly shiny eyeing seeing who was the first to rub... the lamp...*she winks* to get a wish down.... hum....
Storyteller: "Oh my god," She laughed and rolled her eyes, and said, "You were going to freak them out with that kind of talk. We don't know what happened to them. For all we know, they could all have been former slaves to an evil chess playing genie who used them as sex slaves and made them sleep with turtles."
Mr. Shellabus let out a groan, like, "Mrr?"
Amber: *She blinks at Anavel* well... I didn't... did I? come on... even I know sometimes shellshock is shellshock... sides.. I was asked to play it nice *she shrugs, and reaches to pat Mr. Shellabuss again* don't worry pal.. no one is making you sleep with chess pieces
Storyteller: "You didn't. But you could have. We gotta be careful with those fresh from the hedge, you know?"
A crow flew in their direction, and landed on the Turtle, looking at them. A messenger?
Amber: *She eyes her* really? because I have deal with my freshmates... you know? *well point she was also younger and less brass... and a blink to the crow* hi..*offering her arm if it needed it to talk better to them*
Storyteller: "Nevermore," The raven said, looking to the two of them.
Anavel smiled as the crow moved to perch itself onto Amber's arm.
"Seems one Monarch wants to know what's taking us so long," She laughed.
Amber: *She tsed at the CRow* do it right... Once upon a Midhnight Dreary while I pondered weak and weary...*she stopped to look at Anavel* you lot should teach more poetry ...*and to the Raven* well unless you can give us a ride... just a tad more, kay?
Storyteller: "The Crow isn't supposed to say the entire poem. It literally just says Nevermore the whole time," Anavel said, "Probably how they were made."
She smiled to the Crow, and said, "Let him know there is a girl there that he is going to want to meet. Her name is Mindy."
The Crow cawed, and said, once again, "Nevermore."
Before moving off of Amber.
Amber: Names ARE a surprise *she tsked at Anavel, then srhuged* also... you could STILL teach them, you know? mean... it would be fun...*watching the Crow go* what did YOU think about them?
Storyteller: "The Chess Pieces, or the Crows?" Anavel said with a little smile.
Amber: hum .... both!
Storyteller: "The Crows are a secret," She said with a little smile. "They like to gossip, so them being only able to say one thing is useful to us."
She chuckled and then said, "I've had a little bit more time to assess them than you have. I was there when they escaped, and when they learned about fetches. And just now. Not a lot of time, but enough. They are very organized, and yet not at the same time. Most of them could enter into any court they felt a connection with, and some will likely make friends with a lot of folks between the courts. Ross, for instance, seems like he'd be a good Spring or Summer individual - but more Summer than Spring, as the reasons for his interest in the Springtime would be less about the ideals and more about the women. Damien seems like he'd also cross into the Summer, but may also feel a connection with Autumn. Diamond may end up a Winter with Mindy. Lily and Victoria... well, Victoria is almost impossible to read. Lily though... Spring might entice her, but not with any physical pleasures. Of course, if one of their members were more influential and could seed the right emotions in, I could also see them all joining Summer or Winter."
She shrugged and then said, "Sometimes, with big groups, that can happen. Your peers all join a group, and the rest go 'that's a great idea' even if they'd fit better elsewhere."
Amber: *she hmmmed, nodding as she heard her... making a note to ask about the Crows, why hadn't she asked about them before!* Well then... is even a better idea now to have a one to one wtih them.... just to at least give them a feel for it...
Storyteller: "Indeed. That's one of the reasons why I think them joining the Homecoming is important. Well, that, and there is a good chance for them to meet the Spring King." He paused and said, "Maybe even the others too, if they are coming. Can't say Winter will."
Amber: *she blinks at her, blink blink, then she shakes her head* oh... I think they'll be coming... you just might not see them coming...
Storyteller: She smiled softly, and said, "Some members may, especially those who want to keep their eyes on a certain little mouse and ensure she isn't collected by a certain little genie to add to a certain King's little harem." She smirked.
Amber: *She gasp, in shock! Then just shrugs* Mouse will go where she goes
Storyteller: You couldn't at least assuage my concerns and tell me you wouldn't do that?" Anavel said, smirking to her.
Amber: *She looks to her* Well... on my behalf... I might not *she smirks* but then again... I'm a creature of wishes... you never know what she might wish for
Storyteller: She laughed and then said, "Ok. Fair." They continued to walk through the muddled waters as they neared their destination. They did have a report to give...
What do you choose? A poisoned rose, or a knife in the shadows?
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