City Lights at Night

The dark and dangerous path to a dark and dangerous graveyard guarded by a dark and dangerous hooded man

One day the little clockwork man was joined by his friends: a little bird, a friendly flame, a sleazy spider, and a Frederick. They went on an adventure to find the three keys to a lost treasure. They would have to go through many adventures to get there, but they had each other. They set of on The Little Clockwork Man’s trusty clockwork locomotive. They traveled for many days and many nights until they came upon a dark and dangerous tunnel that led to a dark and dangerous graveyard that held the key. The dark and dangerous path had rough and hard to traverse and The Little Clockwork Man’s Trusty Clockwork Locomotive was not so trusty. It broke down. This was sad. So sad in fact that the Little Clockwork Man started to cry. The Little bird told The little Clockwork man

“No need to cry Little Clockwork Man, we will fix your Trusty Locomotive”

“yeah” chimed in the friendly Flame “We can fix it”

“This is Stupid” retorted the sleazy spider. “who cares about your stupid locomotive.”

“Sleazy spider, that’s not very nice!” scolded the little bird

“neither is calling me sleazy” muttered the sleazy spider

Despite the sleazy spider’s remarks everyone decided to fix the locomotive, it could even lead to more adventures. In order to fix the trusty locomotive, the bold adventurers needed some water, so they set out in search of a pond.

After a short bit of exploring and wandering down the dark and dangerous path, the little clockwork man and his friends found a dark and dangerous pond. The little clockwork man filled up his bucket while his friends killed a dark and dangerous and SLIMY slug. The little clockwork man was lucky he had friends that were so good at dispatching foes, he didn’t much care for dispatching foes.

After the Locomotive was fixed the little clockwork man and his friends made it to the dark and dangerous graveyard where they found the key to the secret treasure, but it was guarded by a dark and dangerous hooded man.

“In order to get the key” the dark and dangerous hooded man said, “You must first complete a task”

“Oh dark and dangerous hooded man, what ever could this task be?” inquired the little clockwork man.

“You must talk with me for I am sad and lonely” the dark and dangerous hooded man in a sad and lonely manner.

It turned out the the dark and dangerous hooded man was not so dark and dangerous after all. After a lovely chat with the not so dark and not so dangerous hooded man the little clockwork man and his friends got the key to the secret treasure. Now they could begin to search for the second key.

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Bishop to C4

I had lunch with Tremaine, she agreed to allow me to preview Dante’s before it opened, in order to get a feel for it should the Abbey start something. Unfortunately the tour was cancelled when the casino was the target of a ‘terrorist’ action, that is, some lovci began firing upon the casino, the security forces returned fire and a suicide bomber attacked. The FBI and LVPD are investigatinog, the attack was the effort of a group called The Long Night, they operate out of the True Revealed Word of God Pentecostal Church, which split from the Church Ms. Silver was affiliated with. I chewed Red out for communicating with the priest who lets us use his Church, but I went to meet with the Long Night anyway. Perhaps it was poor planning, but the casino read my mind when I played its giant slot machine and I can’t have that information out there for Tremaine, especially if she is controlling the Abbey.
Red somehow got a gun into Dante’s, it appears to have been made in the Hedge, this is quite intriguing. He must have purchased it at the Market.
We spoke with Galt, without Red and Pockets, they were getting themselves into trouble. But it may have been worth it; Masa copied an enormous pile of documents from in the presto’s office. Which brings me back to The Long Night and the Vicar. I see it now as a game of chess. As I told Peyton, I am in need of a Bishop in order to move against Tremaine’s computer. If I can get the plans to the Vicar I’m sure he would know what to do, I just can’t confirm he would do it. Brother Ben on the other hand would certainly try, but I have less faith in their ability to understand what must be done. I can’t move against Tremaine directly, nor can my Motley, or she will move against me and her position is strong. Once, I would have said she holds the high cards, now I see she merely holds the key board positions, but that isn’t to say she can’t be outflanked by a skilled player. Luck, they say, is better than being good. In this, I fear, I will need both, and Tremaine is not an opponent to be taken lightly.
To further complicate things, Galt and Wren want to ask the Leviathan questions, perhaps I should as well. Timing will be critical. Can I convince the lovci to do my work for me, or will I have to bring Tremaine’s ire down upon myself and my Motley…

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The little clockwork man meets Eugene

4/2/11 3:05:36AM. Some writing to do, just copying some notes
4/2/11 3:06:09AM. Done

Frederickis getting smarter. So proud.

Eugene is troublesome… He sees too much. Spends too much time in the hallow. Puts things together that my friends hadn’t. My secrets aren’t safe. and he is scratching and shedding everywhere. Goblins are much cleaner and lower maintenance creatures.

Friends found out about the telescope. Not good

Took the copies I made to Cruces. Can’t read ancient Latin, perhaps the Reverend, or Kelfidich.

Should probably talk to Jim, he was on the construction crew that made the Casino, he might know about the doorway to the hedge in the basement. Perhaps we can use that to figure out how to deal with the computer in the belly of the beast.

The tale of the little clockwork man and the Evil Eugene

The little clockwork man was older than sin, and his beard could grow no whiter, he wanted to die. Ever since the cathad come to visit, his life had been in ruin. The evil Eugene the Fur Shedder had attacked the little clockwork man’s abode. Eugene the Post Scratcher had scratched his posts. Eugene the annoyingly observant had observed too many of the little clockwork man’s secrets. The little clockwork man tried to be nice the the Evil Eugene but the Evil Eugene kept on destroying the little clockwork man’s things. When the little clockwork man scolded the evil Eugene for ruining his things, Eugene decided to destroy his happiness instead. The little clockwork man’s friends scolded him for being so cold to nice Eugene. But they didn’t know that nice Eugene was really the Evil Eugene the manipulative. The little clockwork man was sad, and the light faded from his eyes, and his demeanor was no longer cheerful. His clocks were ruined and all the joy in his life had been taken away by Eugene, the talking cat.

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Galt and Gambling
in which the motley attends the opening of the Inferno

The wolves went all out with the whole “hell” thing. The Inferno’s got it all, down to the claimin’ of souls…

Everybody who’s anybody was there— all four monarchs (plus attendants, of course, though Ms. Silver was sittin’ with Christina rather than Peyton… odd…), Mr. Jackson, Ms. Wolfe. Everybody was decked out in their finest. (I owe Mr. Steiger for the beautiful pieces I’m wearin’, the man is a marvel.) Galt was in attendance, and the Ashwood Abbey. I did a little bit of surveillance before we met with Galt (with some help from Dirge, he is after all very… distracting), keepin’ an eye on Jean Lunask. She texted Pockets multiple times, and I found out a little about what they know. (’Course, they outright told us what they know a little later on.)

Patrick Talamh cleared up quite a few things, and now there’s more questions than answers. That seems to be the way things are a lot of the time. Anyway, seems it’s Neon that’s behind the Helsings troublin’ Ondrej. Before things got to be how they are now, there were two sides to Spring in Las Vegas. John (Galt, I guess) liked vampires; the other side (Neon) liked wolves. After things got shaken up, John skipped town and Neon’s still (technically) on the throne.

I hate politics.
I hate ghosts even more.

Masa says a gambler upstairs dropped dead at the table; Ben Fitzsimmons dropped dead in the auditorium, and Mr. Kemp confirmed it before he got himself dragged off by security. The dead stick around here.

Maybe I ought to ask the Leviathan how it works, how it managed to kill them. I really can’t see it happenin’ any other way… Patrick says if you can ask it in person, it’ll answer any question. Or maybe it has somethin’ to do with Cray. Maybe prestos can kill you without touchin’ you?

I have more questions than answers again.

“If I ever get off this killin’ floor
I’ll never get down this low no more
No, no, no- I’ll never get down this low no more.” (SJ)

—Wren

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The casino and the clockwork man's nightmare

my fetch is losing his grasp on reality. I don’t know what course of action to take, he had been fine before… what happened? I need to preserve him as long as I can, if there is no other option then I will have to stop my other half.

April 1

Went to the opening of that new casino, things did not go as planned, but the outcome wasn’t horrible. I played poker and a man who was cheating died of a heart attack! It is as if the casino knows and punishes those that it isn’t pleased with. There is some magic involved, I don’t want to know about it unless Ondrej is in danger… Other supernaturals are nothing to trifle with. The ghost whispering nixon man was chatting with the ghosts of the dead people, the dead seem pissy, but perhaps I would be pissy too if Mr. Kemp was the only conversation partner I had in death. Anyways Ondrej seems fine, one of the hunters chasing him was killed by the casino so that is a plus. I wonder what he will do now.

The clockwork man’s nightmare

One night, after a long day’s work, the little clockwork man laid his head down for a good night’s sleep. But tonight would bring him no rest. In his dreams the little clockwork man saw a man who was him but not him: a double. This double had been living his life and no one, not even his own family, had noticed that he had been replaced. In his dreams the little clockwork man could watch his family and see how they were doing with his double. Normally the double was leading a normal life and the little clockwork man was glad to see that his family was happy, even if it wasn’t with him. But today the double was not acting normally. The double was starting to lose his grip on reality. The little clockwork man wept to see that his double was not alright and that his actions might even harm his friends and family. His double was going to do bad things and all he could do was watch from afar.

Then the little clockwork man woke up, and he realized that his nightmare was a reality. His double was going insane, and there was nothing he could do.

The little clockwork man felt useless and gave into despair as he watched the last remnants of his former life get taken from him. The little clockwork man was left alone with nothing left to live for. He was a shell of a man

The end

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Towers and Telescopes

March 26, 2011

5:18:03PM: Telescope completed

5:43:36PM: Sextant completed

6:12:41PM: Astrolab completed

27:94:145HM: I viewed the tower through my telescope… It was grand. Beautiful and sad, ancient and untouched. Perfect. I can feel myself being pulled to it. I must know more.

March 27

12:01:39AM: Pow-wow. Others questioned Neon’s unchallenged rule… not good. If other special people are questioning the stability of the lost in Las Vegas then they could perceive us as weak and less able to maintain order. I will have to wait and see how public opinion changes. It may be wise to avoid any vampire stomping grounds, or even their remote borders; at least until we have monarch whose rule is unquestioned.

I spoke to Dr. Cruces after the pow-wow. The transition from power has not been kind to him, it’s sad really. He also prophesized about Ondrej. he foretold that he will need to choose between liberty and safety. In preparation for the worst I have arranged it so that Ondrej can be protected by the armor of anonymity that only winter can provide, but he didn’t seem too keen on the idea.

April 1st is rapidly approaching. It seems that much will be decided then. In true winter fashion I have helped Ondrej by helping things that indirectly benefit him. I have forged a fine blade for Mr. Red, we even sealed it with a pledge. I craft and maintain arms and armor for him in return for me being able to get a guard while I travel the less savory parts of the hedge. I however, wash my hands of his actions taken with the sword. I hesitated in putting my makers mark on it. I hid it right where the pommel meets the handle. I hesitated because I don’t know what kind of a blade it will be: the kind that falling leaves glide past or the kind the glides through falling leaves. Red’s actions will finish the forging process and determine the nature of the blade.

At any rate I have armed Ondrej with two forms of defense, I hope it is enough for the 1st.

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Casinos and Curiosity
in which there is a pow-wow

I’ve been back half a year now. It didn’t occur to me, really, until the ceremony yesterday, watchin’ two folks just come back take their place in the freehold.

I suppose you could say I’m doin’ well. I’ve got a steady job, a family (and all the accompanyin’ troubles), and I’m seein’ a very fine gentleman name of Dirge. ‘Course, on the other hand, lookin’ back over what I’ve written about my time back, I start feelin’ a little manic. Flippin’ through this book, apparently I only write about the highs and lows. Though, now that I think about it, who writes about the everyday normal things? (It occurs to me I might, if I had any normal everyday things…. hm.)

Anyway… there was a pow-wow the other night. Down in the tunnels again. Everybody but the prestos present and accounted for (surprise, surprise). Victoria Tremaine did most of the talkin’, tryin’ to smooth over some concerns about the new casino. The ‘squitos still aren’t happy about bein’ banned from it, and the wolves wanted assurance that there wouldn’t be a shift in power in the freehold to worry about. I assume she’s talkin’ about Galt, and I guess for the time bein’ Galt is lyin’ low. They’re still around though, they leave their mark in graffiti.

Went and talked to Ms. Silver about a couple of things, too. (I don’t like to see her in such a state, Peyton says her eyesight goes in the Spring- most opposite of Autumn, I guess.) She told me a fair bit about Lincoln Cray. He used to be one of the most powerful prestos in Vegas, or so she says. He targeted the wolves once, and Tremaine wanted him dead- he went underground. (He’s gone by a couple of other names, but ‘Lincoln’ is always in it.) So it’s awfully funny that Tremaine wanted him to be involved in the Inferno. This whole business is very, very strange. Even Mr. Kemp says so, and he’s master of the strange. He says he got into the Inferno (who knows how), and that the folks who’ve died during construction are still hangin’ around.

I wonder if it’s one of them Red ran into in the computer?

Hell if I know.

Oh, Ms. Silver also said somethin’ about our Helsing problem. She says someone in the court doesn’t want Ondrej helped. That’s awfully troublin’, if you ask me. It makes me wonder if it’s one of ours that’s got them huntin’ him.
Aside from that, I’ve just been gettin’ myself into more trouble, bein’ too curious for my own good. I asked Dirge about his bird back in Milwaukee. I ought not to’ve done that. Says he broke her heart, she saw somethin’ in him he didn’t see in her. I really ought not to have asked about that, because now there’s a little naggin’ voice in my head wonderin’ if that’s true now, too, with a different little bird.

I’m bein’ silly. I’ve got no reason to think that.
Right?
Right.
I really shouldn’t have asked.
I’m really doin’ better than I might elsewhere, I think. Who can say?

“Well, have fun while you can
‘Cause fate’s an awful thing
You can’t tell what may happen
And oh, that’s why I sing.” (B.B.K.)

—Wren

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Coming Attractions

One of the main reasons Mr. Red had washed out of the U.S. Army was the boredom. Once you got through basic, it was mostly just sitting around and janitorial functions. At least this life didn’t have those problems.

They’d learned a little more about the Hunters, but just a little. Tremaine had actually been helpful there, but she knew more than she was letting on. Red didn’t even mind that Ondrej had brought him along to be the Snyder to his Tremaine, he knew the Wolves expected and were more comfortable dealing with hierarchy. And to be honest, he was more comfortable executing orders than issuing them. At least now they knew that the Abbey liked to play with their food, and that they weren’t in immediate danger. Whatever their game was, Red was sure that Galt was involved, there was no way that was a coincidence. Baz and Coyote had told him basically the same thing as regards to target priority; take the Galt down if the opportunity arises, but combat in the real world was a pledge violation, in addition to being very bad for the Motley and the Freehold if the wolves found out who ruined their big opening with a duel. The hunters, however, were fair game for any amount of retaliation if they took offensive action, but whoever was protecting them was good ont he pledge unless they actually killed a changeling. Red wanted to see Neon or whoever it was go down legally more than anything, but it wasn’t worth that. As bad as that combination seemed, Ondrej was a pretty smooth operator, they might be able to swing that situation to their benefit yet.

The induction ceremony was nothing special, one more courtier for the weepies and another outside the courts, just another opportunity for his majesty to be an ass. It was a good opportunity to confirm with Kemp that the whole new casino was fucked, and that those 9 dead workers were still around. Maybe it was one of them in the computer, maybe it was something built of them, but it wasn’t right. Tremaine had a lot of power, but that had to be stopped, and depending on how far it went, she might have to pay.

The Pow-Wow, however, had been pretty much all bad news. The sucks were still making noise about access to the new place, and Red liked them a lot better quiet and divided. If they knew as much about what was going on in that place as the Freehold did, or more, feeding grounds might not even be the only thing they’re after. Even worse, them and the pelts both knew about the weakness in Spring. That made Red extremely nervous, and that expat sweeping in like the prophet of doom made it worse. Sure, the lost weren’t exactly balanced, but these things were predators. If they smelled blood, they’d go for the kill even if they got bloodied in the process, they wouldn’t be able to help themselves. Something needed to be done about that. Summer was there, sure, but they weren’t organized, not really an army, and Coyote was pledgebound from striking where he needed to, his lack of orders to Red had shown that much. To stop the other specials from going to war, and to fight that war if it comes, something else was needed, something outside the courts and those directly bound to the Pledge of the Four Suits. It would have to be all people who could take care of themselves, represent all four courts, and only known to those who could be trusted to put the freehold before themselves. Red wasn’t the most social animal in the world, but off the top of his head he would think Cassandra, Charlie, Enrico, Rodney, and the ambassador would all be perfect fits. Big Jim, Ondrej, the new guy, and the Sister could certainly handle themselves, but Red either didn’t know them that well, or knew them well enough to know that this might not be their kinda club. And of course they’d need someone to run it, and Red could think of no one more equipped than Jess, baring one of those Iron Wall Legionaries he’d heard of miraculously rolling into town.

He knew there were more changelings willing to do what was necessary, but they’d show themselves when shit started to approach the fan. For now, job #1 was surviving the 1st and coming out with as many opportunities, allies, and limbs as possible

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Masa's Big Day Out

Once upon a time there was a little clockwork man who was curious, a little too curious. One day, he made a telescope and looked at things he ought not to look at and went just a little crazy. This made the little clockwork man sad (and crazy) so he went to the store and bought some empathy and tried to make himself feel better

The little clockwork man went to town with some vegetables from his garden and visited his friend Gepetto, a kindly man who always made the little clockwork man feel nice. Gepetto thanked the little clockwork man for the vegetables and gave the little clockwork man a spring to his step.

The little clockwork man, feeling good about himself, decided to go on a grand adventure and meet new friends. He ventured to the town and saw some people playing a game that looked absolutely fascinating. The game was called “stare at a card and be boring” and while the name sounded fun, it was in fact a boring game the the little clockwork man didn’t much care for at all. Then the little clockwork man tried a new game, but this game was for tall people and the little clockwork man was little, so that didn’t pan out.

Finally the little clockwork man tried a third game and this game was just right. He found someone else playing this game who was sad. This made the little clockwork man sad too, so he tried to cheer up the sad man. The little clockwork man started talking to the sad man and just kept on talking and saying whatever came into his little clockwork head until the sad man was so confused he was no longer sad. The little clockwork man left contentedly knowing that he had removed a little bit of sadness from the world that day.

The End

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Things That Should Not Be

Red hated the hedge. Every time it showed him something new, especially if that something was suddenly indispensable to him and his friends, he hated it more. It might not be advanced enough for an agenda, but it certainly had its whims, and he didn’t trust them at all. There were days when he thought the whole thing would be better as a pile of thorny ash… But as much as he hated to admit it, it was useful.

But as useful as the Hill and its ‘guardian’ had been, they made Red more uneasy than the rest of the hedge. He had given up on privacy long ago, between the closeness of a barracks and the dozens of different powers he’d seen, he knew that was a pipe dream in his world. But at least his thoughts had always been his. It was useful intel to collect on necessary targets, but the personal spying the rest of the unit gave him pause. He understood the temptation, he’d done basically the same thing for his daughter only a few months ago, but even that had felt voyeuristic. Besides, he wasn’t ready to let the rest of the motley in on them yet, the only person they both knew that he could look for would be Jess, but Red liked to believe himself a gentleman. Besides, he couldn’t imagine any Changeling, especially a Summer courtier, having any differentiation in their unfulfilled wishes.

Whatever, it was done now, they had some useful, if not quite actionable, intel, and they were on their way out of the goddamned thorns. For now, it might be a waiting game. If the Hunters played their next card on the first, Red was ready, and he was sure Ondrej was too. And whatever response to that play needed to be done, Red was ready for that too. These guys had their chance

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