- The number is wrong. Penalties will be imposed.
- 1 What the bloody hell just happened?!
- 2 Questions . . . Questions that Need Some Form Of Written Response
What the bloody hell just happened?!
Our Heroes make a mad dash out of Bedlam after witnessing The Pan and Smaug emerge from a Rabbit Hole in one of the old patient's rooms only to find that it's snowing outside. They have an idea to head to this "meeting" that the Blackmasks spoke to Dr. Elspith Glaistig about, but find that everything is frozen still, as it was in Bedlam proper. They hide as three little old ladies (one in all red, one in all blue, one in all green) emerge arguing about proper "dress composition and coloring." Nellie instinctually recognizes her keepers and hides until they head off in a seemingly crocheted car.
Percy calls for his horse which is strangely manifesting as a rather large motorbike with a sidecar. By chugging along about 10 feet off the ground, Our Heroes manage to cut through the dense fog seemingly eminating from dozens of doorways along the route. As they finally aproach the city center they are shocked to see that the bourough of the City of London now stands 500 feet above the rest of the city and is surrounded by castle walls like a Citadel or Acropolis. The bridges that once connected south London to the City now stretch upwards and sway precariously in the wind. They also see that Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament have relocated themselves into the boundaries of the City.
Our Heroes try to cross upward but are blocked by a Mome Rath. The Mome Rath insists that the characters are not on the "guest list" and when they try to give a false name (McKendry Cak) they are told that "Mr. Cak" is already in attendance. When Our Heroes try to go over his head (literally) they are confronted by minature dragons, angry living vines, and a 50-foot-tall Yeti-Squid. After asking the Mome Rath for advice he says they can go through the "Dark Lands" to the east or the "Never-Lands and Wonder-Lands" to the west. Our Heroes opt to head west (despite the recommendation of the Mome Rath to head east).
Our Heroes head west to find that the Hedge has spilled out into the real world fully on the west side. Every mundane person they see on the streets is frozen solid, and fog covers the ground fully. The Hedge continues to grow outward into the real world, spewing vines, branches, and brambles out of manhole covers, doorways, alleyways, and windows. As they head toward the "castle walls" of the Fortress London, they hear music and merriment coming from the direction of Forget.
Our Heroes head into forget to find the assembled hordes of The Court of Spring having a blow-out bash. Strangely this includes the recently defected members of The Modern and Wes Price. Gram has a fairly violent reaction to seeing Wes and attempts to murder him, only to find he seems unable to die. Queen Edane seems to be in high spirits as well and attempts to seduce Percy, only to be rebuffed.
Our Heroes decide to try a different tact and head to Imperial College to gain acess to The House and use its secondary connection to Martin's flat (hopefully up in Fortress London). When they arrive they find that The House is sitting on the corner of the street where their dorm once stood. They enter the House and decide to check on The Mirror finding his image startlingly changed. The basement is covered in splattered blood and so is the Man in the Mirror. The Man also appears to be carrying a severed right arm in his left hand. He seems panicked, asking many questions about what is happening. When asked about the condition of the room he response that "[the blood] has always been here." The Mirror seems to not know or understand what is happening to the city now.
Testing a theory, Percy tries to "create" food using his contracts of dream. As a result he seems to "summon" The Cat. The Cat explains that they are in the "In-Between Time," the singular moment in-between everything (Day and Night, Awake and Asleep, Dark and Light, Cold and Hot, Tick and Tock, Dead and Alive, Real and Imagined). That Cat insists that this "In-Between" is "his true realm" and that it has been constantly "invaded" by Mundane Mortals, Dread Arcadians, and foolish Changelings. He warns them against meddling in his realm (though he can't stop them completely like he could before The Anglo-Goblin War due to his "shattering") and says he may see them at the meeting, although he's never actually been invited to it since he's not strictly an Arcadian. He disappears.
Our Heroes discover that the passage to Martin's Apartment has become an actual passageway, lit by torches (flashlights to you Americans) attached to the walls. Along the way they are opposed by a series of Ray Harryhausen-style claymation skeletons. After Percy accentally turns them (the skeletons) invisible using his dream contract, Our Heroes manage to overpower them, discovering that the Portobello Road Market is now underground in fact as well as reputation. Mr. Information offers to show them the way proper way out if one of them gives up their favorite color, as he has never had one. Gram reluctantly agrees to give his up.
Our Heroes exit Martin's apartment to find that the center of London has become a Dickensian/Edwardian/Arthurian mish-mash. Real buildings co-exist beside horrid monstrosities of nightmare and wonders of dream. Castles and medieval shops exist alongside shops selling flat-screen TVs and smartphones. Our Heroes are shocked to find that the streets are lined with Blackmasks, hundreds of them standing "guard" over the streets. In addition their are at least five black zeppelins visible through the fog above the city.
When passing The Eccentric Club, Our Heroes see Sir Roderick Bassett firing an elephant gun into a mob of Goblins assembled outside of the building. This mob is led by Shaitana who demands to be let in. After a brief altercation with Shaitana where Percy tries to "dream" him into the building (with fairly disastrous results) Our Heroes are let into the Club by Sir Roderick. He is, shockingly, awake. He keeps repeating himself over and over and muttering about "cages within cages within cages." He says the Trouble Aheaders should say with him at the club since "they can't come in." Our Heroes instead decide to roof-hop away from Shaitana's horde.
Our Heroes try and blend in with the dozens of presumed Arcadians heading into the newly relocated Houses of Parliament. On the way, they see to mundane children who seem to be awake being followed by an interested group of Arcadians. Our Heroes distract The Pan long enough for the children to run crying into an alleyway, narrowly avoiding them being "claimed" by him.
In the crowded entry hall of The Palace of Westminster, Our Heroes bump into the recently deceased McKendry Cak. After a brief altercation, it seems that Cak is actually Mr. Black. Black/Cak threatens Our Heroes to stay quiet while the meeting takes place.
Our Heroes take seats in the visitors gallery to watch as the room divides itself between the gentry wearing bright colors and the gentry wearing dark colors. Glastig, Cak/Black, and Sir Rowland Widdershins take places at the head of room and call the assembly into order. Our Heroes notice the room is surrounded by Blackmasks, but only Glastig, Cak/Black, and Sir Rowland seem to notice them.
Dr. Glastig calls for "old business" at which point the entire room turns into a cacophony of screeching, screaming, hollering, and yelping as the assembled horde of Arcadians vent their millennia-old grievances against one another. Just as quickly as the din began, it ends. Glastig postpones new business till the next meeting and tells Cak/Black to finish the notes for "The Meeting Inbetween the Light and the Dark, 1998."
Before Glastig can gavel the meeting to a close, one of the Blackmasks appears behind her and announces that "The number is wrong. Penalties will be imposed." When Glastig attempts to object, the Blackmask simply repeats itself and insists "Removal will not be carried out. The number will be rectified. Penalties will be imposed." The Blackmask then repeatedly stabs Dr. Glastig with a fairly large sword.
The assembled Arcadians sit in shocked silence before The Pan whoops and announces "That's never happened before! For the first time in 443 years, that's never happened!" Chaos regins as the Gentry suddenly start attacking one another. Our Heroes try to follow Cak/Black but he quickly disappears out the back dragging Sir Rowland behind him.
Our Heroes dodge the recently unhinged members of the Gentry as they try to alternatively murder one another and escape from the rapidly collapsing Fortress London. Dragons fight krackens and gigantic glowing lions as sounds and concepts push and shove, running for their existences. Fog and vine rapidly are sucked back into gaping Wounds in the Hedge while the city rearranges itself back to its "normal" condition.
Our Heroes stand in the center of London as the city starts to move and the clocks all restart. There are no signs of the Gentry.
Our Heroes return to the party at Bedlam and find that no one had the experiences they did. Gram violently screams at several Imperials to attempt to reassure him, and Percy flips a table to block Dr. Glastig (very much alive) from approaching him. Nellie starts screaming after hearing Constance George refer to her as "Pretty, pretty, pretty." Gram panics again as Glastig winks at him, giving him flashes of Mab.
Questions . . . Questions that Need Some Form Of Written Response
For other questions see- The Master Question List
- What was that? How did London . . . transform?
- What is The Cat up to? Is he still in league with Shaitana? What is the cat?
- How did the The Membership Committee know about what was to occur? What role do they play in this meeting?
- Why did they say the meeting was in 1998? What did the Pan mean when he said "that's never happened before"?
- Is Glastig dead? What about Constance George? Have they been . . . replaced?
|The Book of Spring: Chapter One: Black Masks and Coronation Cake • Chapter Two: The Illuminated Texts • Chapter Three: The Good Fight • Chapter Four: A Little Drop of Poison • Chapter Five: Games of Fortune • Chapter Six: For Everything|
|The Book of Summer: Chapter Seven: War Aeterna • Chapter Eight: War Plan Red • Chapter Nine: Trust No One • Chapter Ten: Best Laid Plans • Chapter Eleven: The Quest • Chapter Twelve: The Saber Arch • Chapter Thirteen: The Diary of Prince Martin • Chapter Fourteen: Sacrifices • Chapter Fifteen: There Is A Season|
|The Book of Autumn: Chapter Sixteen: Black Holes and Revelations • Chapter Seventeen: The Last Magic Mirror • Chapter Eighteen: The Final Terrible Fate of Elizabeth Chandler • Chapter Nineteen: Treason, Sedition, Heresy • Chapter Twenty: Iron Sacrifice of Body, Will and Soul • Chapter Twenty-One: Time For Every Purpose|
|The Book of Winter: Chapter Twenty-Two: Pax Hiems • Chapter Twenty-Three: The Diary of Mrs. Thistle Sept-Dec 1888 • Chapter Twenty-Four: Choices|