Logs:A History of Violence

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A History of Violence
Dramatis Personae

Arlene, Dora, Eleri, Enzo, Isrieal, Howell (ST)

17 July, 2016

Members of the Autumn Court gather together to inspect the corpse of Isrieal's attacker, in hopes of shining some light on the nature of the beastie and just how much of a future threat it may give warning about.


Autumn Hollow

Don't ask the questins but somehow little 5'3 Isrieal has dragged this 6'5, 300lb thing into the Autumn hollow. There's a huge gash in it where hay keeps spilling out and the whole time she just keeps shoving it back to keep from making a mess though there's probably some left behind somewhere. That's all its filled with is hay, and that creepy elongated smiling face with the yellow eyes. The creature has metal fixtures on its arms with sharp nails sticking out of it, probably what she got stabbed with. Once its in she stands there looking down at it. "Well...here it is."

Dora is already there waiting, perched atop one of the crates of books. She looks up with a blink at the sound of dragging coming from out in the mists, then winces in sympathy as she spies Isrieal dragging the huge body along. She hops up immediately to help -- though to be fair, even if she does loom over the scarecrow, she's not really what one would ever mistake as 'ripped'. Once they do get the thing into the middle of the clearing, she stares down at it for a while before just shaking her head. "Well, that was an ugly little bastard, wasn't he."

Eleri slips in shortly after Isrieal has dragged the thing into the clearing; for once, she /isn't/ dressed for work, instead wearing a fairly practical set of clothing - if one can consider worn, brown leather leggings with the occasional sear mark and a sleeveless top made of the same material to be practical. She does have her usual 'satchel of notebooks and books' and one has to wonder if the idea of a tablet has ever occurred to her. Maybe she's trying to build muscle. As she closes the distance, peering down at the scarecrow, she tilts her head. "Interesting," she says. "It certainly looks...cheerful." Hopefully she's joking.

Isrieal nods then sits down on the ground beside it. "He really was...is." She responds to Dora. "And no reason to be cheerful now really." She rests her cheek in her hand. "If he is then...thats just creepy." She stares at it for a moment. "Alright so this thing was after any fear related tokens, weapons, artifacts of ours. Other Scarecrows. I don't know what it is by looking at it but if anyone can read anything by touching it?" She looks towards the books. "I can look through some of those."

Dora shakes her head slowly at that. "If it were an...item? I could do something there. But I don't think..." She pauses then, and frowns. "Actually...well, maybe Smith's Wisdom /would/ turn up something if this were something /crafted/, despite it being basically animated. Worst case, it turns up nothing right?"

"There is plenty of reason to be cheerful; it is dead and you are not," Eleri says matter-of-factly as she peers down at it. Elementals, weird and literal since the beginning of Arcadia. "I cannot tell much about it by touching it, since it is dead, but I can help with the books." She tilts her head, then nods to Dora. "True. If it isn't an actual creature that was created in the...usual fashion." A wry look.

Dora shrugs briefly. "May as well try," she says, and drops down to the ground to sit next to the 'body'. She takes a deep breath, and that musty smell of old pages swirls up around her, along with the sound of skittering leaves scraping against each other as they're blown about. She reaches out, and plants both hands on the thing's chest as she concentrates, glamour spilling out of her as she does so.

Isrieal draws in a breath then nods. "Yeah, worst comes to worst we get nothing but it is worth a shot. Oh he did have a name too, he just had to introduce himself. Said it was Orville Kelly?"

Eleri tilts her head, studying Dora and the 'body' thoughtfully before she glances to Isrieal, distracted briefly by the other woman's words. "Orville Kelly?" she repeats, then considers. "Did it say anything more than that, or have any wallet on its body?" she asks curiously. "This was in the hedge, yes?"

One, two, three little changelings all in a row -- or sort of in a circle, at this point. Dora is on the ground, her hands on the chest of what seems to be the...thing...that attacked Isrieal, at least as she described it yesterday. It's taller even than Dora, nearly six and a half feet tall and bulky -- even if there is hay that keeps spilling out of the great gash across its belly. It's disturbingly stretched face is twisted into a permanent smile with yellow eyes that stare at nothing, and its wearing metal fixtures on its arms studded with sharp nails -- likely what caused the wound in the Scarecrow that Arlene helped patch up yesterday.

Dora's fingers splay against the thing's chest with a frown, shifting here and there until she ends up brushing against what looks to be a necklace of dried harvest corn cobs -- kernels in reds and browns, blacks and yellows -- all strung on a burlap string. Her eyes go huge then behind her broken glases, and the swirl of dead leaves around her actually briefly manifests physically, not just the sound of it, before fading away again. She shudders as she pulls her hands back, and stares up at Isrieal before she says very quietly, "It's...not a thing. But this necklace? It's some...charm, twisted hexed token of some sort. Any hob that wears this thing, if they're scared off in any way? Five nights later, it allows that creature to reappear under the bed of whoever scared it off. Unarmed, stripped of glamour to pay for the trip -- but there are plenty of ways to be lethal without that. And even if one of /us/ could get the thing to work similarly? It strips the sanity from whoever uses it as well. It's...purpose-built to aid one hunting the Autumn Court, and likely the Scarecrows in particular."

Arlene enters and listens to Dora's speech, even as she walks up. Hopefully everyone sees and hears her approach; she doesn't try to keep herself secret. She just isn't sure what to say, face grim, tiny mouth in a thin, disapproving, mildly frightened line.

If Isrieal had eyes they'd be wide right now. She just stares at the necklace for a long moment before pointing at it. "Well burn that damn thing, what the hell would make something like that?" She certainly doesn't want anything else getting ahold of it at the moment, and thats plenty more reason to not sleep.

Eleri waits patiently as the darkling focuses on the odd, scarecrow-like body; the fire heart is distracted briefly by the swirl of dead leaves, smiling for whatever reason, at least until Dora speaks. A frown greets that explanation, ending in the dancer making a face. "That is not good. Most likely where there is one, there is more. I would say it is important for us to discover what we can about this." A glance at Isrieal. "Perhaps not burn it yet; is there some way to find out who its maker was?" She looks to Arlene, then, smiling in greeting before giving both the wizened and Dora an inquisitive look.

Dora shudders as well, and flashes Isrieal a sharp smile. "Exactly my sentiment. And I'd say...well, the Hedge is full of terrible things, and so is Arcadia. More specific than that...I say we hit the books and find out." But she doesn't get up; instead; she shifts on her hip, digging into her front pocket before pulling out a well-worn leather pouch. Tugging loose the strings, the pouch actually folds out into a flat, rough circle, with a good heap of elaborately carved knucklebones piled in the center. She carefully gathers up the bones in both hands, shaking them vigorously before letting them spill out from her hands, landing in random patterns all cross the leather. She frowns down at them for a good long while, then nods to herself and gathers the whole bag up again. "Right. Now: where are those books?" Not that they're hard to find, with the crates just behind her.

Isrieal reaches for a pile of the books, leaves dancing around her momentarily as she does so, and starts to flip through the pages.

Over the course of a few hours, the Autumns read through dozens of tomes, grimoires, and treatises penned by others of the court and some outside. Taxonomies of hobgoblins, and bestiaries of the mid-western hedge help focus things up a bit. Eventually they find a few moldy looking missives from the Scarecrow Ministry, however, which start to shed light on things. Orville Kelly, it would seem, has been a problem for the Ministry and for the Autumn court for some time, across the continental united states. Over the past ninety years, in fact. He's a hobgoblin, of a particular type called a Strasilo - an old Macedonian variety. How he ended up here is anyone's guess. Strasilo are an old type of bogeyman that hide under beds and in closets. Orville, in particular, had an obsession with relics, artifacts, tokens, and any other sort of item associated with fear. He'd hunted down at least two dozen Autumn courtiers, half of whom were scarecrows, to take what tools they had. There's little explanation in the way of his necklace, though it's known that Orville Kelly was frightened off more than once by powerful Autumns, only to appear in their hollows at night and strangle them while they slept and were unarmed, before they had time to react. Other Strasilo have been documented by the court, and they're rarely pleasant creatures, but they're also rarely so hostile or purposeful. However Orville got his hands on that necklace, it's a safe bet to say that others might as well - an uneasy thought.

Dora leans back after sharing the last little bit found in the books, and frowns for a long time. "Well. That's...unsettling, to put it mildly. Though nice to know you may have put down a long-term threat." She offers Isrieal an uneasy smile at that, then shakes her head and looks over at Eleri. "You...asked about who made the thing? No way for me to tell. And really, I don't think we have proper archives to dig up much detail on the history of obscure goblin charms and hexes, sadly -- or even tokens. If we want to see /who/ set Orville on this path, or where he may have got the necklace? I think we're going to have to try prognostication."

Arlene frowns softly. "Is there anything more I can do? My magical abilities aren't too good yet, but--" She flushes and shrugs, embarrassed, before looking between the other three women. "What do you need me to do? I'll do it," the junior member of the Court says, fervently. "If it's within my skill set, that is."

Eleri's expression turns somewhat pensive after all of the digging through the various books, but at Dora's response to that previously-asked question, she blinks for a moment in confusion at the seeming non-sequitor before she nods. "I was thinking more of someone who was able to see the history of things rather than book research as to the type of thing that it is." She nods again at the comment about prognostication. "Although to be fair, that is assuming that this Orville was sent and not motivated by his own desires. Still it would be important to not assume it was simply him alone."

Isrieal chews on her lower lip for a moment. The fact he'd been tormenting so long and that she took it out without even knowing is..impressive. "Well, I'm glad I decided to kill him then. For sure. And to keep an eye out for anything with those necklaces." She nudges her foot at it. "Creepy ass things." She mutters. "I'm not sure I can help beyond the research, I don't know progno...tician."

Dora looks toward Arlene, and gives her a very small smile. "You've /been/ helpful. Not all of us can do everything, and...it would be kind of boring if we could." She shrugs then at Eleri. "Maybe? I don't know the tricks Rhys does, to know just how far back what he can see goes." She grins then at Isrieal. "Same goes for you: there's a reason we have different things we focus on. Eleri and I can possibly split up things to look for in the warp and weft of Dreams, if the Wyrd wants to share. Aside from being very careful? You and Arlene may want to try finding Rhys, and seeing if he can learn any more about the specific history of this necklace. And /then/ burn the damn thing."

Isrieal pulls out her phone and takes a picture of the necklace before she reaches out to take it. "Alright, we'll look for Rhys and have him burn it. In the meantime I don't want this falling into the wrong hands."

What are a group of four Autumns called when they're all surrounded by piles of books? A Library? A Card Catalog? In any case, Dora and the others are standing near the opened crates that are currently storing Autumn's library while proper facilities are in progress -- with the creepily grinning 300 pound corpse of a hob stretched out behind them in the middle of the clearing. "I'd say you should seal the ashes up and drop them off a boat, too -- but maybe I'm being paranoid there," the Second says, even as she starts carefully putting books back in the crates. "Eleri? Where do you wanna focus, trying to find anything else out through visions? So we don't overlap too much."

"That is fair; I had forgotten that he had done that before," Eleri says wryly to Dora, then nods at the suggestion of looking through dreams. A grin at burning the thing afterwards. "I can certainly help with that, if need be," she says, eyes twinkling. "And I would agree that it is too dangerous to leave lying about." A nod. "Even the remnants." The fireheart tilts her head consideringly. "His motivations, perhaps? Although that may prove slippery, as far as subjects go." She chews her lower lip thoughtfully.

Arlene remains silent, just considering the books. Actually, once she's confirmed they're done with all the reference-checking, she carefully starts to put things away with her good hand.

Nobody has to print the rules for Enzo to follow them; he just knows what they are by heart. With the ongoing concern of one of his employees being endangered making the rounds, it fell to him to have the proper, restrained response. So, he powered up his golf cart, took a drive to the mainland, then made his presence felt. With a baseball bat in his hand, he made a beeline to the Redoubt, off to begin his search for his endangered employee, Isrieal. Not too long later, he found her, and some others. As bosses go, trust in the one who carries a bat like he knows how to use it.. especially if he does know how to use it. "Pardon me," he begins, looking from face to face. "While not invited to the party, I do hope I'm not intruding. One hates to be a bother." He gives a curt, on-point nod to Isrieal; he made no promise, but a concierge does not relent until released. It wouldn't be civilized if he did.

A nook of Autumns maybe? "I'll let you burn it if you want." Just as long as it isn't her. "And we can sprinkle the ashes wherever you see fit. Thank you for the help with this." Isrieal looks up once Enzo enters with the bat and can't help but laugh. "Enzo I thought you should see this, don't worry its already dead." Scythes work way better than bats after all. She points to the creature with the straw spilling out of it on the floor. "Oh and if you ever see something wearing this?" She holds up the necklace with the corn cobs. "/Don't/ scare it. It'll reappear under your bed in five days and strange you in your sleep." She nods to Dora for confirmation on that bit of info she pulled up.

Dora nods slowly to Eleri. "If you want to dream about our friend Orville here, I can try focusing on the origin of the necklace...and maybe see if we should be worried about any of his friends coming to look for him, as well?" She looks up then when Enzo arrives, and flashes him a tight smile as she shakes her head. "No, no intrusion at all. We've just been looking into Isrieal's new...friend, here, and working out where to dig next." She gives the Scarerow a confirming nod, then adds, "That, or /do/ scare it -- and just be prepared five nights later when whatever you scared off crawls out from under your mattress. I do think that's definitely a warning worth sharing; Isrieal, want me to put it up official-like?"

Eleri is distracted from her contemplation by Enzo's arrival, turning to face him. The baseball bat is given an interested look, as is his general bodylanguage. A glance from Isrieal to Enzo, then she nods at that particular bit of information before turning her attention back to Dora and nodding again. "I think that seems wise," agrees. "Regarding his friends, and regarding the necklace. Of course, I suppose one could set up an ambush based on understanding its effects."

Arlene smiles faintly to her boss and gives a little wave, before carefully returning to librarian-esque duties.

Isrieal hangs the necklace off the little chain belt wround around her dress where she usually attachs her mask token if she carries it. "I think its a good idea to make an official post about." She tells Dora. "We were just talking about how we should keep everyone alerted about things going on in the Hedge."

Pursuant to ancient laws that bound his people, Enzo does as he must. "Excuse me," he says politely, then ensures there is a clear swath around the stuffed corpse-doll-thing. Winding his arm back, he swings for the bleachers, connecting against where the head joins the shoulder. Anything alive, it'd have some objections, providing it didn't just die from the impact. Seeing no physical response, he turns back to the group, bat lowering at his side. "It did something wrong, I did something back. It knows better now." He regards the group with his concierge smile, then says, "If this thing is brave enough to wake up in the same bed as my wife, it's officially fearless. I've been married to her since God-knows-when, even I'm concerned about the concept." Ahh, that dry Italian wit. "The warning is appreciated." He looks from Isrieal to Arlene, then approaches the latter, handing her the baseball bat. "an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. You should keep this close." He then narrows his eyes at the body. "Anyone thought of checking its feet? Where it's walked, if Vidocq is to be believed, is carried with it everywhere." He holds it out to Arlene on both of his palms.

Arlene takes the bat, blinking. "Um, thank you, Enzo," she says, startled. At least she knows how to hold the thing, but defending herself with it? Although the Star Wars reference has her grinning once she's processed through it. "One-armed baseball batting sounds like it'll be a fun trick." She winks at him, amusement in her eyes. Then she blinks again. "Feet?" She looks to Dora and Eleri then...

Dora blinks slowly at the swing taken to the corpse, then laughs shortly. "Better safe than sorry, I always say," she says cheerfully. She then arches a brow curiously, and shakes her head. "Afraid I'm no forensic specialist, I'm afraid; magic items and burying my nose in books and prophetic dreams, sure. I do believe it mentioned having followed Isrieal's contact here all the way from...Nebraska, was it? When it attacked her? But I didn't check its feet." She looks to Isrieal then, as if for confirmation.

Isrieal nods back to Dora. "Right...somehow." She muses. "I didn't look at its feet either, I was more concered with those." She points to the self made claws of nails on its arms. Then she stands up. "Thank you guys for helping, if you come across any dream stuff let me know. What do you want to do with the body? I can dispose of it somewhere."

With a smile, Enzo says in response to Arlene's comment, "In Las Vegas, the spring of 1952, two hitmen worked as a team. One of them, he was one-armed and loved a Louisville for the small-scale hits." He chuckles softly, then gestures lightly to Arlene's new baseball bat. "The bat is designed off of one of the oldest murder weapons in the world: a club. Two hands make it sweet, but if you're looking to make a sour impression.." He taps the end of it, where the ball meets the lumber. "Put the bad guy's face on this, he'll be headline news in the morning." A look to Dora, then he nods. "If it travels, it has to have company. Nothing that looks like this is operating alone. Follow food, money, and sex, sooner or later, you find out why something or someone is running. Anyone know about it's motives?" He regards the group with his calm, crisp demeanor in place. He's done his Mobster thing for the day.

Eleri blinks as the baseball bat connects with the hobgoblin, tilting her head to see if anything does, in fact, happen. She only looks faintly disappointed at the expected result of bat-meets-head before giving Enzo a bemused look as he offers the bat to Arlene. Apparently someone isn't particularly familiar with Star Wars. At the comment about feet, she looks thoughtful, then also looks to Isrieal. "We could see if anyone else wishes to poke at it, but I can think of a few ways to dispose of it."

Arlene just blinks at Enzo, smiling crookedly, and looking a little lost. She's not a fighter, but okay. She puts the bat to the side and finishes putting books away.

Dora tilts her head sharply, then notes, "I'm not sure food, money and sex are all that easy to track when distances are as skewed as they are in the Hedge. Take the right trod, after all, and you could cross half the world in a day. Maybe by just skirting the edge of Arcadia, but...that's hardly going to bother a hobgoblin much." She taps the side of the nearest crate. "According to everything that's been recorded about this thing? It was obsessed with collecting artifacts and items with connections to fear. Hence following the guy who brought out the scythe Isrieal now has, along with trying to collect a sample of a toxin she helped create." She looks toward Isrieal then, and adds, "I'd suggest checking with the Springs, seeing if they could use it to fertilize any of the hollow gardens. And we'll absolutely be in touch if the dreams turn up anything."

"Then it was looking for money, and all it found was sex," Enzo says, summarizing the problem in his unique fashion. To further clarify, he pats it on the chest, then says, "It wanted a physical item, essentially, a type of money. And it got fucked, so .. sex." He looks to where his hand is, then opens up a small tube of hand sanitizer, applying it briskly as he walks away from the corpse-doll-thing. "As for disposing of it, we sure we want to get rid of something this old, this interested in fear itself? If we parted out the corpse, we could use it to make protective measures for the Redoubt, couldn't we?" He regards the group, not fully vested in the notion, but also not dismissive of the idea.

Isrieal lifts a brow. "I didn't fuck it! --oh." Once he finishes his sentence. "It asked me for the scythe so I gave it what it wanted." She shrugs. "I don't know what these parts can do, it mostly just a bunch of hay and leather. If you all want to do something with that then go for it, otherwise I can keep it somewhere safe too."

"Bodies can be helpful for certain kinds of Goblin Fruit, although I am not entirely certain that dead hobgoblins count as bodies for that purpose," Eleri offers to Isrieal. "I am fairly certain a gardener could tell you, however." She gives Enzo a puzzled look at his initial statement, but then seems a little more understanding after his explanation. At his question, she tilts her head. "Do you have a specific thought in mind as to how the corpse could be turned into protections?" she asks curiously.

To Eleri, Enzo says, "Putting the body in a glass-like case and displaying it would be pretty productive, as far as making sure anyone who saw it thought twice about being the bad guy," then looks to the body again. "Restart its heart, have it power an automaton to patrol the grounds. Maybe use the skin as a flag." He pauses, then looks around. "I'm not as ghoulish as the suggestions sound, but they are all reasonable means of putting the body to work for the Court first, at least. The innards, well, those can get turned into fertilizer, if nothing else. Handing it over whole, without keeping some of it? That doesn't sit well with me." He must have been a fun guy before he got Lost. Really a fun guy.

Dora arches a brow at that, then shrugs. "I don't have any talent hedgecrafting, I'm afraid. If there are ways to safely put the thing to use? Then certainly -- but they're outside my expertise." Arlene considers. "I think," she says softly, slowly. "I think it's Isrieal's right to choose what to do with the body. Her kill, and all."

Isrieal furrows her brows. "Let me just keep this somewhere until I talk to some gardners and we decide what some of it may be useful for. If we want to display it we can do that but I think that's more than just my call alone." She wraps her arms around it to drag it out again. "Just keep in touch, I'll have it for a while until then." That little thing that she is can sure move more than she looks like she can. "Enzo I'll meet you back at the hotel in a bit? And thank you guys."

Eleri tilts her head at Enzo. "Summer would most likely be quite excited at the thought of a display, I suppose," she says, then looks back to body. "I do not think it has a heart, and I am not certain how long its skin would last, but as Dora said, those skilled in hedgecrafting may be able to turn it into something useful." She looks over at Isrieal and nods. "I think that makes sense." A pause as Isrieal starts to tug on the body. "Do...you need help?"

Glancing to the corpse a final time, Enzo nods to Isrieal's words. "As always, Isrieal," he says, then pauses before he leaves the company of the corpse. He opens his switchblade, raises his hand, then stabs it in the crotch, smirking to himself as he says, "Oops." With a snap, the blade is retracted and he continues to depart, nodding to one and all as he passes them. "Ladies, the term for a group of Autumn women.. is a murder." He says nothing else, just turns into footsteps receding into the distance.

Dora smirks at Enzo, then arches a brow curiously at the final statement, but only ends up calling after, "A pleasure, again!" She smiles as she watches Eleri go to help Isrieal with the corpse, then stuffs the last of the books back into the crates before sealing them back up.

Isrieal shakes her head. "No thats okay I've got." She says quickly. Stubborn one. What the cat dragged in it can certainly drag back out. "I'll see you later, for dancing or whatever any of you need me for."

Both of Eleri's eyebrows raise at Enzo's slip of the blade; she does look somewhat amused at his assessment of the Autumn ladies, however, nodding as he departs. Another nod is directed at Isrieal, not touching what the scarecrow has claimed as hers. "I will certainly see you later, yes, and thank you," she agrees with a warm smile before looking back over at Dora, sighing at the crates. "Soon," she says philosophically, likely with regards to the books.

Posted in the Autumn Hollow, and the gist of it shared around via word of mouth:

"Members of Autumn,

For those who were at the gathering of the Autumn Court yesterday, you may have noticed the wounds that Isrieal was nursing during the meeting. Today, a small gathering of us were able to examine the corpse of the hobgoblin that attacked her, and thus able to put some information of note together:

Good news: this creature, calling itself Orville Kelly, was responsible for the death of at least two dozen Autumn courtiers over the last century. Obsessed with artifacts associated with fear, it has hunted any number of us down across the United States in that time -- only to finally and thankfully be put down by Isrieal's own hand.

Bad news: We do not know if this creature, known as a Strasilo, was truly working alone or not. Somewhere along the line it came into possession of a curious goblin hex; a necklace of dried harvest corn. If you see any other hobs wearing such a thing, BE WARY. Driving such a creature off through fear, magical or otherwise, will allow the necklace to transport that creature to the space beneath your bed five nights hence. They will be unarmed, and stripped of glamour because of the trip, but a good number of the deaths Orville Kelly was credited with were mysterious strangulations.

If any more is learned about this thing's motivations and possible compatriots, they will be shared with the court. In the meantime, though, simply be wary -- and glad that a member of our own survived her own encounter with this serial killer.

Dora Skinner