Rising Waters, Session 6

Song: "Why Don't You Do Right," Carolina Chocolate Drops

(Honestly, the video is so awesome I had to include it, even though I usually just link. Fantastic performance.)

So after the group left Adelphia's lover's house, they went back to the garage to regroup. Uno was determined to go see the winter changelings trapped in cold storage by Mab as punishment and question his counterpart Ymir, the minor Winter Knight. Zeke agreed to go with him, as an angry Uno was not someone you wanted to see out on their own confronting enemies. (That Mab might be annoyed with their interference didn't really come up.)
Image copyright Inhabitat (www.inhabitat.com)

Dylan was very focused on making his diving bell, and neither Eldi nor Adia wanted to tag along to the cold storage facility so they stayed to "help" Dylan. Viktor got in touch with his contact on the White Council, but she needed more information before she could definitively help identify any monsters in the deeps of the bay other than "Chessie."

Zeke and Uno head over to the storage facility, about 20 minutes away. As they cross the 21st Street bridge, though, they feel a WHOMP. They don't see anything as they look back, but the sky is suddenly darker, almost like evening, and there's a chill to the air. They keep going, but the whomp keeps coming, now spaced like someone -- or something -- walking after them. Zeke calls Adia to request backup. Adia and Eldi interrupt Dylan, scaring him in the process and causing his Southie accent to resurface, and the three of them grab Viktor and head down to the storage facility, with Dylan using a bit of kinetomancy along the way to speed things up.

In the meantime, Zeke and Uno pull into the parking lot of the facility, and Uno jumps out of the car, fully pissed off. He issues a challenge to whatever is following them to show itself. It doesn't yet, but it addresses him, saying in a deep voice, "You are unwelcome, Summer Knight. Leave or pay the price." Uno refuses to leave, unsurprisingly, and then the creature unveils itself and steps forward. It's a 15-ft-tall, gray-ish green, ugly, rubbery, warty creature wielding a giant meat cleaver -- a bridge troll. Zeke takes a shot at it, wounding its hand and making it drop the cleaver, but that only slows it down. Uno slashes at it and does a goodly bit of damage as well, but that only seems to enrage it further. It flips Uno's car and knocks Zeke to the ground, concussing him. Uno slashes it again and some sort of strange black ichor shows, but it scarcely slows down. While Zeke gets to his feet, Uno and the Troll exchange a couple more attacks, but Uno's tumbling ability and speed keeps him out of harm's way.

Uno's managing to hold it off but just barely when the rest of the group shows up. Dylan's driving, and when they pull up they can see Uno's car on its side and a huge troll, but no Uno (behind the troll) or Zeke (behind the flipped car). Dylan decides he can just run through the fence and hit the troll, understanding all this physics stuff as he does, and rams through. He does a decent amount of injury to the troll, which is vaulted through the air over Uno to land behind him. It looks caved in over its ribs, and the skin is split open and blood is spilling out, but then it pushes up and reinflates, straightening out, and everyone collectively goes "oh, shit." It turns and attacks Uno, who vaults out of the way, and instead it hits the car, burying its cleaver in the hood/engine, which kills the car accordingly but it does not, in fact, blow up. Uno attacks it from behind, causing it to bellow in rage and pain and distracting it from the car full of his friends.

Adia takes this opportunity to leap out of the car, running over to the far side of the driveway behind the fence (a fighter she is not). Eldi leaps out as well, flying out of reach. She tries to glamour the troll's cleaver to make it think it's on fire so it'll drop the weapon, but she fails. The cleaver appears to burn, but it doesn't bother the troll. Viktor runs up and, using his kinetic ring, punches it in the knee to make it drop -- which does some damage, but doesn't inconvenience it as much as he'd hoped.

Zeke is up, but hurting. He asks Sauriel for help and feels his cross glow warmly against his skin. The pain fades and he can think clearly, feeling filled with divine joy and purpose but still in control. He shoots at the troll again, but misses. The Troll staggers, but takes another swing at Uno and misses again. Eldi is studying the troll and realizes that the blood is covered with a glamour, and it's not really blood -- it's little trolls, not much bigger than her. She cancels the glamour, allowing everyone to see (and be grossed/weirded out by) the composite troll. Adia starts looking for something to throw, based on her work with Dylan before, while Viktor tries to punch it again. Dylan decides to have the engine explode, on the hope that metal hurts it, and spray shrapnel at the troll -- he succeeds, doing damage and causing the troll to bellow in pain again.

Zeke takes another shot, doing damage again and causing a head wound that bleeds little men... but then closes itself up as the tiny trolls pull the skin of the wound shut. Eldi decides to convince the troll that the engine is continuing to spray shrapnel, since that seemed to make it unhappy, and her trick works, but only the troll can see it. Anxious to get out of the way, it comes around and tries to flip Dylan's car -- that he's still in. It fails, though, unable to get a grip on the car and only rocking it threateningly. Dylan yells to Adia -- "throw the hammer!" since she had it in her purse from the diving bell. Adia throws it toward the troll, but doesn't hit -- that's okay, though, as Dylan "catches" it kinetically. Viktor, in the meantime, creates a gravity well on the troll to crush it, and it seems to suck it inward, collapsing it in places along with tiny screams. Eldi does not cope well with this, triggered by the realization that she's not much smaller than the tiny trolls that are dying, and goes to hide in Adia's purse, traumatized by the eldritch screaming. Dylan then sends the hammer at the troll, trying to disrupt its "surface tension" and collapse it into its component parts. He hits it and its boundaries seem to wobble a bit as a new "rent" in its skin opens up, but it resolidifies. Seeing that, Zeke comes over and, holding up his cross to it, commands it to depart and go back from whence it came. There's a flash of light as the cross touches the troll, then the wound starts smoking and burning, and then the entire creature collapses into countless tiny trolls who run back toward the bridge en masse.

Still pissed off, Uno manages to capture one. He insists on questioning him, asking why the troll attacked, while Viktor starts inscribing a binding circle (at least partly as a show). The troll freaks out and points out that he's Winter affiliated and thus bound to protect this place against the incursions of Summer -- particularly the Summer Knights. Uno demands the creature's name, saying that he only wished to talk, and the troll says, "What?" The conversation comes to a standstill, before the troll volunteers that he is called "21st Street." He says if Uno swears an oath on his lady that he has come only to talk, he will act as a go-between to parlay and give Uno access. Dylan, suddenly disgusted that his car got cleaved over a misunderstanding AND that he missed valuable crafting time, gives up on this whole process and takes a seat, waiting for it to be over so he can get his car towed.

Uno doesn't want to give his oath at first, but he finally does. The troll swears back by air and darkness that he accepts the oath and will act in good faith so long as Uno does. Uno releases the troll and it scampers into the building and disappears, only to have the door open soon thereafter.

Zeke feels his divine aura fade and some of his pain returns, but his head is still better than it was. He decides to go inside with Uno, while Viktor, Dylan, Adia, and Eldi stay outside -- Eldi doesn't want anything more to do with the winter court than the summer court, Adia is calling tow trucks, and Viktor and Dylan are both kind of annoyed. Uno enters the facility with Zeke at his side, a place he hadn't been in two years. He sees the storage compartment and opens it, revealing a circle of human figures, all completely encased in an inch and a half of ice, like trees after an ice storm -- and at their head, Ymir, Winter Knight. He tries to determine how to move them, but they're frozen to the floor. Just as he thinks about getting out his sword and using it, he feels a warm glow in his pocket -- the chess piece. He places it next to the ice from the Winter Knight and it glows more brightly, the ice melting out from around it. Rapidly disappearing and turning into slush, the Knight finally surfaces from his icy prison, shivering but aware.

"Uno," he said, sneering. "To what do I owe the honor?"

"I want answers. I'm apparently engaged to be married against my will, and I was told to ask you why," Uno said.

"Congratulations," Ymir said sarcastically. "You'll pardon me if I don't attend."

"Fuck off," Uno replied. "I freed you. Tell me what I want to know."

Ymir shuddered as ice fell to the floor. "Free the others."

Uno shook his head. "No chance. You can do it when you've got the time."

Ymir shook his body, ice crackling as it fell to the floor. "I don't know about an engagement -- I've been out of touch for a while."

Uno said, "Fine, but someone in Winter's got an interest in there. Who is it?"

Ymir smiles. "Why don't you ask your mother?"

"What's she got to do with it," Uno asks, a sinking feeling coming over him.

Ymir takes a moment, gloating, then says distinctly, "let's just say she's got a Winter vacation home."

And that's it for this session! I'll be putting this game on hiatus until I finish my exams, but then we'll pick it back up. Stay tuned!


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