City Lights at Night

Church and tokens and clocks, oh my!
December 17

12:03:54AM: Attended church. Odd topic, Thorn is painful. I could heal it with goblin fruit, but perhaps that is in bad taste. Spoke with Dr. Edmund Cruces about helping with Yule… he advised I speak with Mrs. Post.

12:15:34AM: must find a lost ornament. To the goblin market I go, perhaps some friends will want to come with me.

12:24:42AM: Found some Job’s wheat on way home. There must be sad dreamers by the church. Something profoundly sad about that… But musn’t put it to waste. Perhaps I can bring some cheer with Job’s wheat that grew from the misery of others.

December 18th

12:00:00 Goblin market. mission: find the ornament. The Fish merchant, or should I say the merchant that is a fish tells me to look at “the hole in the wall” Fredrick will show me where.

The merchant of “the Hole in the Wall” is a sad man. Ondrej barters with the man and trades him one of his fae-touched tarot cards for the ornament. I am in his debt.

I decide to barter with the dream merchant, Dr. Sinclair. He has a dream of Fredrick’s. Unexpected, perhaps I bartered too much… I musn’t forget… hat. What hat? The dream merchant’s hat? His hat is the old Dream merchant… is that it?

Must finish shopping for my friends. This is my first Christmas since I got back that I have people to give gifts to.

ForFriend Wren: a watch. Made from a feather of hers and Autumn’s leaf.

ForMr. Red: a watch. forged with his fire and my passion for the craft.

ForFriend Ondrej: a pocket watch with a pentacle backdrop. with the page, the knight the Queen, and the king of pentacles denoting the 3, 6, 9, and 12 position on the watch.

ForFrederick: a new sword and shield

ForFriend Jim: A slow, contemplative clock that reads all 24 hours in the day and whose chime is low and rich. I will need something of his so that the clock can truly belong to him

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Of Hearth and Hollow

Saul attended Friday night’s high roller game. It is intriguing that he can do so. I garnered that he acts as a sometimes attorney to the Mongrels. He should be able to arrange a meeting when the time comes.

The Hole in the Wall shop in the Market had a token of great import to the Winter court, Masa was charged with retrieving it, and of course the rest of us were happy to be of assistance. The hob behind the counter seems to be stuck there, he attempted to set the price as Masa watching over the store so that he could step out to run some errands. That is what he desired to do, somewhat. It seems it was not his store to begin with, and, indeed, he was merely watching it while another ran errands as well. I was able to convince him that it would be most pleasing to him should he run the shop well while its owner was away. I sold him the Knight of Cups in exchange for the ornament. He has nearly the entire deck, I may have to deal with him again some day.

Wren opened up to me a little about her durance, and I her, I did not pry. It seems our time in Arcadia was not so very different. What we did in our former lives was perverted there for their amusement. For her, I’m afraid it will be a cage that will stop her from enjoying what life we have made since our returns. She has avoided the season altogether and I suspect it may be because of her time there. I do not mind, what use have I for a God that has allowed such a thing to happen to us. But I worry for her.
We are becoming more like a family. Masa is a friend, and Red, though we are less close now than during our time at the Barnswollow is as well, but Wren is more like a sister.

I’ve completed some shopping for the season, even if I do not share in its traditional meaning, it is still a non-religious tradition of friendship and family, of hearth and home. And that sense of place, at home and in public is something worth seeking. If this service to a deity is the price, I will certainly pay it.

Wolfe: (?)
Charlie: Cash, Spring knows what it wants
Masa: Bottle of David Verbover’s Hedge Wine
Red: Photo Album, Empty
Rocco and Socco: Bottle of Wine
Wren: Journal with blank sheet music

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Mantles and Markets
In which the motley visits the Goblin Market for the second time

Been a while, en’t it?

A lot’s gone on, so I’ll make most of it short. We tied up the “loose end” that was Roy, and that was quite the experience. Scared the hell outta Mr. Finch, that’s for sure. I’m not sure how I feel about the whole ordeal— I’m complicit in an abduction, and a witness to a supernatural murder. I told Ms. Silver about the whole thing, like I have been. She seems so proud of me, and I guess for good reason.

Oh, and some not-so-good news— Pockets is walkin’ free. I don’t even want to think about what could happen because of that, and I want to know who got him out.

On a brighter note, I’ve been learnin’ things from Mr. Peyton. He taught me how to walk without leaving footprints, and how to leave someone else’s prints behind. Remarkable what can be done with a little effort.

Aside from that, some of us (Ondrej abstained) went to Church on Friday. Mr. Masa‘s Hedge-thing (he finally gave it a name) has room for four now; he was kind enough to give me and Mr. Red a lift. Quite the adventure, that. We got there safe and sound, though. The Rev. gave a nice sermon, about the “spirit of the season” and bein’ anti-violent and leavin’ the dark… anyway, we rode back through the Hedge and Masa picked up some kind of plant. Stank like rotten fruit, but it was dead…

Saturday we went to the Market. I got to open the gate—rather proud of my “performance”, I even got some applause. Inside, we had a mission to go on. Masa needed to fetch a token for Dr. Cruces. We helped him find it (ran into the Ambassador on the way). It seems humans aren’t the only ones can get caught and have to stay—the hob runnin’ the stand wanted one of us to stay and mind the shop. Said he’d been there since the last one left to run errands… if that didn’t make me feel like flyin’ away, nothin’ will. Anyway, Ondrej made quite the sacrifice and got the ornament for Masa.

I’ve got something of a newfound respect for that man, he traded away a tarot card that he’d had since his time on the other side. He says he dealt solitaire for a long, long time when I asked about it. He asked why I hadn’t decorated for the season, so I told him about her song. I might make the apartment a little more festive, since it’s only the one thing I don’t like ‘bout the whole season. Speakin’ of, I found some decent presents— I found a geometric Hedge plant for Mr. Masa, a comic book for Mr. Red (I know he’s got a thing for the Flash) and a mob movie for Mr. Gmeur (I figure he’d like a movie about John Dillinger, bein’ an up-and-comin’ mobster and all.)

The Yule Ball is comin’ up, and won’t that be an adventure. I haven’t a thing to wear… I’ll need to get somethin’ nice. Wine-colored velvet, maybe. Yeah, that sounds nice.

“Pick a number between one and ten

He’s gonna be your very best friend

He’ll take you down to the track awhile

You’ll spend all your money but you’ll still leave in style…" (ST)

—Wren

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Drug Craziness and Dead People

I don’t usually consider myself an expert in our particular field of business. That’s best left to the rest of those fucking animals that left the Real Capital of the United States a long time ago. Too many voices, they said. Too many angry, hungry people.

But I stayed here, and as I write this, dictating into my recorder while swerving down Paradise at 91 mph, the Mojo wagon reminds me why. It’s more than the pure, unadulterated fucking sin of the place, but that’s part of it. The Wild Turkey soaking into my crotch as I make this turn is another. But more than that. This town is a place for those with real character. Real grit, and goddamn it there’s a few people left with it.

Jesus God! I need several more paragraphs of this shit, and I’ve done nothing but philosophize! My editor would be better off with some hack at the Sun, if he could pry them away from sucking each other off in some sort of Nazi orgiastic ritual for five minutes. They aren’t all swine, naturally. And one in particular probably doesn’t know quite what to think about all that went down at the E String. If he’s thinking at all. If he’s got any wisdom at all the poor bastard should be knee-deep in an ether binge by now. Speaking of…

(There is a pause of about an hour and a half in the dictation at this point)

Well, that was unproductive, and this typewriter is still squatting here like some perverted gremlin, demanding sustenance. The two at the bar are interesting types, I realize now. Special folk. Like that bitch that owns half the town. The big white trash one has a serious case of the Fear, no doubt about it. Knee-deep in it. Principled in that simple kind of way but there’s no escaping the fact that he’s a very crude man.

David Verbover has been written about in this column at some length, as have his associates in the Most Honorable and Mysterious Club of Retired Jews that Like to Make Money and Quietly Murder People. The new woman at the bar is something different, though. The type of femme that knows that she’s the best looking one in the room and doesn’t use it much. Dangerous.

As for me? I have continued to live by my axiom that dead people shouldn’t trouble you overly much as long as they stay dead and I stay crazed. The Fear and Loathing among the Special Cases of the Capital of America remains at its constant fever pitch, and I ride with it.

A final note: Morse, now greatly reduced in its presence on the streets, has given way to a scourge of the mind. More so now than before, the slogan of the FREAK KINGDOM of Las Vegas has been cropping up. Why does Dante’s Inferno want to know who John Galt is? Who is Galt? What is Dante? How the fuck did this blood get here? Christ Almighty, this city is crazed.

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This thing of Ours

I got a call from Neha Rafsanjani to meet with nNeon at a private meeting at the Mirage. He told me not to look into the Satrapy. I begin to question his standing as the monarch, more than once someone has let slip that he may not be, I hear of the 5 monarchs and the Spring monarch referred to as she.
Saul Jackson has joined my Monday night game, this should prove beneficial. More beneficial still, however, should be my arrangement made with the Corporation. Socco set up a meeting and I was able to convince the Jews that it was in everyones interest for them to recognize my standing. Besides, there is no overlap between what they do and what I do.
Saul has informed me that Roland “Joe Pockets” Checkers is to be released. I pressed Bethany Wolfe and my poradce for information on how the court proceeds go, this provided valuable information. I believe one of the monarchs has interceded on behalf of Pockets, but I do not know how I could discover the truth of that matter, perhaps another of my friends can determine whodunnit.

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Mission Complete?

He had done his job. At least according to the General. And Red knew that he had done as instructed. His orders had never been to identify and destroy the sources and causes of Morse. And he was just smart enough that trying to kill something as complex as narcotics was more complicated than that, required something with more finesse than a military strike. And his friends had certainly proven themselves useful there, he owed them. The assignment had been completed. He had furnished the Summer court with valuable intel that the other monarchs certainly wouldn’t have been eager to share had it been acquired without him, and that was valuable. He just didn’t feel like it was done. Maybe it was the damn ghost, but Red wouldn’t feel at ease until he could put a face on the problem. And then put a bullet in that face.

Maybe “Joe” would be able to help him with that. In addition to being a lowlife drug dealer and stabbing Red, now he had tried to betray Wren and the others to a goddamn squito. That crossed a line from understandable enemy to pest that must be destroyed with no mercy. Maybe the Vamp could even help there, he seemed a solid enough guy for a corpse, and Pockets had screwed him over too. Besides, it was win-win: Red eliminated an enemy without having to worry about the police or Wolf, Costas eliminated an enemy and got a free meal.

But as much as it bugged him, that was one mission. Small potatoes in the big picture. Two huge things had happened today. First, he swore the motley pledge, and now that he did, he couldn’t be happier. Everyone brought a different skill and perspective to the table, and everyone had proven they could be trusted, to one degree or another. Even Ondrej had listed him as a protected man in his deal with the mob, part of his family, and that meant a lot more to Red then he was willing to let the shady bastard know. Second, and just as importantly to Red, Coyote had told him that they were officially bringing him into the Court as a Knight. Finally, a sword, a general, a goddamn good unit, and something to fight for. Things might turn out after all.

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Dreams, Hobs, and Vampires

4:56:58AM: Contacted my other self. Awkward. I will need to keep on working on this. My family must be safe. I have to help him as he inevitably starts to lose himself. Also the watch. Must find it. Good closure.

8:00:00AM Made our pledge. I think friends liked the wording.

3:09:21PM Friend Wren needed to experience another’s dream. Thought I could provide a safe place in the hedge for her to dream. A surprise was waiting for me. I named him Fredrick. Negotiations were tense but I think we came to an agreement. I feel that Fredrick will serve as a boon to my endeavors.

3:15:59PM Finally friend Wren’s was able to do experience her dream. Friend Red was a gentleman looking after friend Wren.

7:02:42PM the August Motley dropped off the package. Squito named Costas Petrakis came to pick it up. Joe Pockets tried to double-cross friend Wren. Glad that our entire motely came. Information gleaned: mixer was goblin fruit as suspected, I know that I’ve seen that color before. Pearl Satraps are the lost who are involved in making it. Vamps use their blood. complicated, I can only imagine what it does to a person. We have almost all the information, now we need to solve all the problems. Many loose ends. I will start one plan in motion tonight.

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Doors and Drug Busts
In which the Hollow gets a new door and Joe Pockets gets busted

Mr. Masa‘s Hollow— our Hollow— has two doors now. That man is a marvel! He made an entire door-sized clock out of Mr. Gmeur’s monster truck hubcap, and now it’s a door into the Hollow. ‘Course, the door en’t exactly… right… the door in the wall opens into the floor in the Hollow, so gravity goes funny for a second but then straightens out. Almost comical, really. A door’s a door though, and I en’t complainin’.

It’s kinda funny, I came to Vegas lookin’ to forget about family, and here it’s startin’ to look like I just found a new one. I found myself tellin’ Mr. Pockets earlier, “what concerns one of my motley concerns me”. And so far that seems to be true.

Oh, and I’m makin’ myself useful. When Mr. Pockets came by to collect, I had more’n a few words with him— stalled him. I kept him occupied while the rest of the motley pulled some strings, and now he’s behind bars courtesy of Ms. Wolfe. That’s one helluva load off my back, with that out of the way I can start pursuin’ Mr. “Dante”. Costas said his name is Mike somethin-or-other, and I need t’ go find him. Roy is startin’ t’ cause more trouble. David called me and Mr. Red to the back earlier, as it turns out the missin’ kitchen equipment was stashed in the women’s bathroom ceiling and it busted right through. I ought t’ be able to tie this up soon, assumin’ I can get Mike in here without much trouble.

I need to call Ms. Silver in the mornin’, but for the time being, things are lookin’ up. I don’t dare be hopeful just yet, but at least I feel a little less like singin’ the blues all the time what with my motley to lean on and Mr. Pockets in custody. That doesn’t mean I feel much like singin’ Christmas carols… but I’m not goin’ to think about that right now. Right now, I need to find a way to get to Mike and a way to figure out just what Leah Rexpin’s playin’ at. The cogs are startin’ to move, so to speak.

“Oh we got the blues now, surely ain’t got a thing to lose

Oh we got the blues, surely don’t have a thing to lose

And these are the people, all ready to make a move." (ST)

—Wren

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Wolfe's Order

We‘ve created a new door to the hollow, it is another clock, though it is made with a face that is part of a hubcap, I am unsure why Masa would use something like that? The clock however, is acting as a doomsday clock when used as the door, but what does it count down too? Morse has largely been dealt with, the plant Gardemorse seems to come from the southeastern United States, likely New Orleans, Miami or perhaps Havanna. I should take a trip out to Havanna, incidentally.
I’ve stumbled upon The Broken Tower in the hedge with Masa while prepping to raid Joe Pockets hollow. I’ve heard of this city in the sky, though only in hushed tones. They say it was a city built by the Lost in the Hedge to stand vigilantly as protector of the American freeholds. It would come to the assistance of any American freehold under attack by the agents of the Fae. It was a symbol of our unity and our power, and our pride. The pride of the lost led to its downfall, to think we could stand against the Fae, it is better not to take their notice. They laid siege to the tower, none survived. The Duchovní was there, had us look at it, it was disturbing. I’m unclear why he would subject the two of us to that, we had done nothing to him. More and more I question this thing called religion.
The gardemorse is fertilized with salt and blood, both in great quantities, it is cut with cocaine and the blood of a lichvar. I could replicate it, but I believe it has benefitted me far more to buy favor with Bethany Wolfe. She arrested Pockets, it did not appear to be something I hope to do. She put on a badge in order to do it, it may be a token, without it she may be unable to vzývat the pledge which bound him.

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Tick Tock... Find Your Clock

8:51:16AM Hallow secrecy compromised, offered it as our Motley’s hallow. Seems the pertinent choice. Perhaps a more secret hallow is in order. Friend Ondrej wants his house to be the other entrance. Must finish the “manwich” clock.

9:04:44AM Never had to work this fast. Very tiring, yet exhilarating. Ondrej: no memory of giving me the hub-cap, nor the 500 dollars… Strange.

9:05:32AM Door successfully added to the hallow. Next time I will endeavor to make the door open so that gravity is pulling in the same direction on both sides.

9:30:09AM Fredrick brings me a mysterious leaf, the same leaf that is used in Morse. Teaches me about Gardemorse. “blood makes the grass grow” or so I’ve heard; in this case animals’ blood and salt. Fredrick informs me that Joe Pockets has a farm near here. May have to traverse the thorns…

10:10:16AM Take Friend Ondrej to go gathering for Goblin Fruit. Not very good at it. But I am confident in his ability to learn…with practice…lots of practice

11:06:42AM Spot The Broken Tower disturbing. Reverend Silas joins us. Powerful changeling. Much can be learned from him

11:07:13AM Ondrej shows an impressive lack of tact

11:45:54AM Plan is decided. Ondrej and I will traverse the thorns… must prepare

7:15:52PM “go time” inconvenient time, so uneven. Traversing the thorns with the tower watching us… ill fated journey at best. Shouldn’t go. Slow and steady wins the race, but risks must be taken for our motley and my court. Yes, this must happen. Perhaps fate will not be insulted by our brazen actions despite the warnings.

Tick tock… the ticking isn’t mine, I shouldn’t be here. Must press forward. My ticking is here too, just need to find it.

8:20:39PM Wolfe arrests Roland “Joe Pockets” Checkers. This bodes well.

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