Rebecca maneuvers to make Weeks Tangled on the Ground and gains control of the grapple.
Weeks tries to regain control; Rebecca ends up with a Sprained Ankle but stays in control.
Rebecca launches fireworks to blind Weeks, and generally keeps him busy for a while scuffling. Jarvis seems faintly amused and not sure whether to step in.
Lewis looks a bit pale and asks Mike and Nevin for assistance, sitting down between them. He concentrates very hard, trying to pass it off as trying not to freak out. Writes with his book of living letters on Mike's eyes "Don't let anyone distract me" and on Nevin's "Stay quiet, keep an open mind." Starts working on an elaborate spell, drawing runes on the bottom side of the floorboards under him runes of "awakening", "channeling of power", "repayment of debts": the spell is intended to amplify the Majesty and channel his own power. Second drawing under Nevin with runes for "spring", "direction", and "cooperation", allowing Nevin to steer the spell. He sends runes behind each doorway charm he can see, invoking "mercury", "physical destruction", and "magical negation". Regarding the repayment of debts he invoked: he promises to repay Spring's Majesty and accrues some sponsor debt, invoking "Spring's Majesty", "Spring Court Knight" on Nevin, and, unknowingly, "A Source of Change". Makes a great effort to do all this subtly. Jarvis seems to have noticed something, but there's lots of confusion and he doesn't react immediately. The letters before Mike and Nevin's eyes change to "Now!", and Lewis stands up, opening the circle. There are small explosions above every door as the charms explode and melt, burning guards and creating chaos. The dispelling and power spike is very noticeable to practitioners in the form of a headache pulse; mana fallout disrupts magic devices and spells around. Lewis seems taller, with eyes glowing and runes flowing from his sleeves, and is very obvious.
Jarvis leaps to attack Lewis. Runes leap from Lewis's flower and draw silly looking characters on him, giving him Lolll, and Mike steps forward and blocks his leap.
Nevin Redcrosse steps forward, with a white and brown aura spreading from Lewis, particularly his back pocket, and enveloping him. He slams his sword hilt down towards Jarvis, and light streams down to the ground beneath his feet. White roots come up and bind Jarvis's ankles such that he is Rooted in Place.
Mike kicks Jarvis in the face.
Rebecca tries to get away from Weeks, but fails.
Weeks moves Rebecca into a Position of Vulnerability, holding a knife to her throat and telling Lewis to hand over the Majesty if he wants her to live.
Lewis takes a severe consequence, Involuntary Avatar, and musters his conviction. He looks furious. Runes encompass the entire room in crudely drawn, complex, overlapping diagrams, the light under Nevin encompasses the entire room, including balconies. Tendrils of white, underground-looking roots burst out everywhere, entangling everyone, knocking out structural supports of the building, and incapacitating Weeks's dagger arm.
Jarvis fails to escape the roots despite his inhuman strength.
Mike uses incense to hit the right root points to manipulate the element of Wood and get Rebecca free, invoking Weird Ancient Chinese Herbalism.
Rebecca goes and hides by the glowing translucent full of roots Lewis.
Weeks blasts some roots near him away with fire.
Santiago suddenly rolls in on the collapsing balcony, followed by Kate, who lands on him. "We need to get out now before reinforcements arrive!"
Lewis feels like he can't leave here while his roots are in danger. First, the roots push upwards, tearing the roof off the building above the great hall and dropping the roof somewhere else, revealing a dark night sky.
Nevin sticks at Weeks with roots; Weeks ducks.
Mike stays by Lewis and gets ready to act. "Kate, you might want to get over here."
Rebecca: "Don't let him [Weeks] leave! Re-enforcements are here already." Stays by Lewis. "Kate, really, come over here!"
Weeks gets hit in the chest by a glowing-slightly-red angry message arrow. Apparently, it's the time for that "Rendezvous".
Kate runs over, grabs Rebecca and Mike, and says "Grab on and say the word!" Santiago says, "I'll cover you." Two vampires stand ready to pounce where the collapsed doorway was, facing Santiago and his glowing shield.
Lewis holds action and says "Santiago, this is your second chance, take it and grab me!" Makes an effort to be persuasive. Santiago is Resolved to do What's Necessary, but Lewis uses "Sit Down, Young Man" to win him over. Lewis also notices that, contrary to his earlier expectation, he's pretty sure that that sword is not a Sword of the Cross.
Nevin constricts Jarvis with roots.
Rebecca darts over to grab the note from the arrow and gets back quickly.
Santiago makes one last mighty effort to hit Jarvis as he joins the party, listening to Mike's advice on Jarvis's fighting style (he Directs From Behind; he's not used to doing his own dirty work). He puts his all into it, and with the shield negating Jarvis's Inhuman Recovery he leaves Jarvis with a Broken Collarbone, "That Bastard Cut Me!", and the impression that he's Not So Scary Now, which is probably interesting to the other Malvora vampires watching from the balcony remains above.
Lewis draws roots in in a tidal-wave-like rush, converging on Lewis, making him look bigger than the space he'd fit in. This results in him looking Ent-like with solid leaf-green eyes.
Kate takes a step sideways. She does not hit anything. The room vanishes.
The party ends up on a windswept plateau with short dry grass in late afternoon. Kate: "You're very obvious. Where should we go, Right Now." Quick argument about where to go, Lewis wins with "Kate, you know somewhere safe." End up in a cave lit by glowing blue smooth crystals embedded in the walls as the only source of light. Rebecca thinks there's no way to the surface, but is wrong.
Spring's Majesty is a large, warty white turnip simultaneously organic and glowing crystalline. It's on a leather thong. Lewis: "I believe Nevin has dibs." Kate: "I was promised some consideration in exchange for your extraction." Rebecca: "Redcross, Kate, I think we should sit down and figure this out." Lewis hands the Majesty to Rebecca. Rebecca, Kate, and Redcross go off to work this out.
Lewis taps Santiago on the shoulder. "Good job, but I need to have some words with you." (Lewis trusts Rebecca to make a good decision.) Lewis: "That initial attack was bold, but that's all it has going for it." Criticizes lack of planning. Santiago, severally: "I did not particularly expect to survive this evening." "I'm beginning to realize that it's not as easy as in the legends." "The shield passed down for generations." "I have sinned and let down those who depended on me, and this, I thought at the time, was my path of atonement." "I trusted to God to guide me down the path to atonement." Lewis: "God helps those who don't make a total botch job." Santiago, severally: "I do now see that God has more planned for me than a dramatic death." "Your mysterious friend showed me there's more to courage than slaying vampires without thought to the consequences." Lewis: "What did Kate say to you?" Santiago: "She said that risking myself to protect my friends was more brave than risking bystanders to attack unprovoked." Mike approves. Lewis: "Oh. That's… well put." Santiago: "I didn't go in with no thought whatsoever. I took measures such that my order could retain the shield. If one not on the path of God tries to hold the shield, it returns to the last sanctuary it has been contained in." Lewis talks up what he did accomplish. Santiago: "I do hope I managed to accomplish something." Asks what they were up to. Lewis: "I hope that whoever gets their hands on it isn't so disruptive to Boston that I can't sell books any more. I'm just a simple tree man; I'm not sure how much more used to Boston weather I can grow." Lewis: "Kevin Weeks seems to be quite a powerful fellow."
They ask Wilczek, who doesn't know about Weeks. "I focus on what I can reproduce, which does not include draconic warlockery." Lewis: "At least you aren't /all/ like DeVore." Wilczek heard about the incident. Wilczek tries to separate tradition and trappings from what is essential. Mostly talks to minor practitioners; Wardens don't want to talk to him. Lewis took a lot of shortcuts and thus he's become a root net. "Presumably this artifact has reshaped be in order to be a better conduit for its power. It's probably temporary in some sense. Probably there is some residual spell." Mike: "It's easier for Fae magic to transform permanently than human magic." Lewis: "Reversing the outward effects might be simpler; fully reversing the effects will take more time and effort. Doesn't seem to have harmed me now; my mental state doesn't seem to be too affected, though I can't guarantee about the future. There's a lot in spellcasting that might be like the repayment of debts." Wilczek: "I do things in a calm and controlled manner, with proper equipment." Wilczek hands Lewis his thing (wedge to go intro ground + metal cage); Lewis spends some time examining it and talking to Wilczek about it. (It gives Liquid Courage to the scene.)
Meanwhile, the negotiations. Rebecca: "So, guys, Redcrosse, are you planning to reinstate the Spring Court?" Redcrosse looks at Kate suspiciously, asks Rebecca: "Is she safe to talk to?" Rebecca: "I would trust her with my life, and I think we've all trusted her with our lives now." Rebecca does introductions. Nevin: "Yes, when the time is right and it won't get instantly overrun by the other courts, I will reinstate the Spring Court." Rebecca: "We'll outlive you, we can wait." Kate: "As long as I retain a stake, I will gladly follow the path of wisdom." Rebecca confirms Nevin is the knight and asks what the path of wisdom is. Nevin: "We must keep our power hidden until we have enough power, territory, and followers to defend ourselves and we can ensure Summer and Winter will not unite against us. What you have is the first seed of true power we have for Spring." Nevin: "May's Tear has less power than you or I. It is nice to have in certain situations, but it is not important." Nevin: "The only sources of power for Spring I have solid leads on are the majesty you hold and myself." Rebecca asks Kate about territory and followers. Kate: "I myself have little territory and no true followers; however, I have much experience with fae negotiations, and I have many contacts who will gladly join a side with real power if we prove ourselves and give them something the other courts will not." Rebecca: "Redcrosse brings power and K helps with… The lance is still there and it has power, at least social power for Winter. I can help get things for negotiations but I can't act as Kate does; I don't have power like Spring's Majesty. Redcrosse, you can't do this alone." Redcrosse is grateful for help. Redcrosse, on how he know's he's the Spring Knight: "It's something I've always known. I remember being born. I've always seen nature and fae magic like this. I didn't realize what it meant until graduating and doing research." Rebecca asks Kate her truthful opinion of Redcrosse. ("We need to trust each other.") Kate: "He is the Spring Knight. He seems like a decent person. He is out of his depth. Working against him would be folly. Working with him has much potential." Asks Redcrosse what he thinks of Kate. "I don't know much about her. The friend of my friend is my friend. Of course you're my friend, Rebecca. I don't know what you are, but I sense much power in you, which suggests you have some connection to the Fae." Rebecca: "I'm 1100-1200 years old." Neven: "How confident are you?" Rebecca: "I could be older." Nevin: "The fall of Spring was in something like 788 AD, like 1250 years ago." Rebecca: "Kate?" Kate: "Yes?" Rebecca: "Is this what "born at the fall" meant?" Kate: "Could be?" Rebecca: "Nevin, one more thing you should know about me: I am a source of information I forget, sometimes about the future." Nevin: "So you're a seer. That's useful." Rebecca: "You and the stone shouldn't be in the same place." Nevin: "I'm in a bind. It's dangerous for any of us to take the Majesty, but it is also dangerous to leave it unattended." Rebecca: "Hide it in plain sight? Maybe in my basement?" Nevin: "It's too powerful to reliably disguise. Five stories underground doesn't mean much to the fae. Disguising its power signature seems tough." Rebecca: "The only other option is the center of the earth. Or what if Kate carried it? She's an unknown, she already has a fae signature, and she's good at being evasive." Kate: "I feel like that would cramp my style of getting rescued by Mike regularly. Nevin with it would be very obvious." Lewis comes over and is an avatar; should he protect it? He doesn't think that Kate or Redcrosse would be safe keeping it, and he couldn't protect it fully without it in his possession. He knows this means abandoning his lifestyle for now. Asks Kate where to go. "Has to be contested ground in Fae where we haven't been recently, or somewhere outside your normal stomping grounds on Earth." Rebecca: "Live in a cabin." Nevin: "What's your plan from there? Live there for an arbitrary length of time?" Lewis: "Anywhere that's a stronghold for Sentient Plants?" He thinks for a minute. "It wouldn't be easy, but we could hide in the Trackless Forest. Its property is that it strongly resists tracking; no one could find us there. The only problem would be getting out." Kate: "The Trackless Forest is a bit of a challenge, even for me, but with you and Nevin I'm sure we'd be fine." Nevin, when asked: "I don't know about any living queens." Lewis knows enough lore to knows the historical queens' names and Satyrane's description. Maybe they stored their powers in magical artifacts?
According to Kate, the Trackless Forest is far north of Pine Hill. It's full of bestial wyldfae surviving off other lost travelers. Ghost Rail doesn't take you all that close to the edge; it's not a tourist destination.
Wilczek gives a lock of hair to Lewis and goes home. Everyone else comes along.
Rebecca: "Tom!" Kate: "He knows where to find you. Though the Trackless Forest might even give him some trouble. Mickey G'll be fine on his own."
Rebecca still needs to read her note. "I see you have failed to execute the plan. Get back to base on time, and I will only severely chastise you. ~T [in very fancy handwriting]" R: "Weeks was working for someone else." K: "His master knows how to make a point." Rebecca still has his journal, too.
And with a major milestone, we're caught up to the present, just in time for tomorrow's session.