Logs:The Color of Time - Autumn Crowning 2017

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The Color of Time - Autumn Crowning 2017

"Farewell to Summer, hello to Autumn, and long live Sentinel Rock!"

Dramatis Personae

Dina, Wish, Vesna, Isrieal, Reiz, Nemo, Beatrice, and Cacoethes as ST

29 September, 2017


The Lost of Sentinel Rock gather for the Autumn Crowning. A hob delivers a mysterious message. The Lost begin to realize something is most definitely not right.

Location

The courtyard of New Redoubt has been decorated for the occassion. Dirt has been brought in and four trees have been planted, growing enthusiastically and at about ten feet each. Between them, small plots of vegetables and flowers have been planted - Summer flowers and Autumn harvests. A hay-stuffed scarcrow hangs out amongst them with a grin. In addition to the flora, there are tables laden with food of all sorts - roasts and burgers, salads and fruits, pies, cakes, and a wide variety of ice cream. Some tiki torches add atmosphere to the oddly hued evening.

Both Horne and Bixby are present, Horne lurking in the background, holding a several pieces of paper clenched in one hand, and Bixby (who had been AWOL until tonight), mingling enthusiastically with the crowd, dressed in his usual casual sports wear. Horne catches Bixby's attention, shoving the papers at him. Bixby accepts them reluctantly, skims over them, and lets out a sigh.

Turning towards those gathered, he clears his voice and booms, "GREETINGS, LOST OF FALLCOAST!" He beams at them. "Tonight is the night that the Crown will shift from Summer to Autumn! It seems that, ah, our neighbours have declined to join us this evening, as they have in the past." He ruffles the papers, then reads.

"Lost of Sentinel Rock - Please forgive our absence as we would be delighted to attend what is likely a mediocre and likely vulgar celebration, but be sure that we send you the best of wishes and hope that we can continue our mutual association! Best of wishes! - Whispering Sands Freehold."

Bixby frowns a bit, then moves to the next. "Sentinel Rock. Good luck. Don't come calling on us when everything falls apart. Oh, and enjoy that Crowning. - Gray Marsh Freehold." Bixby frowns a little more, then pushes it aside, crumping up the letters, and tossing them aside, offering a large, beaming smile to those gathered. "Let's not let all of that get us down! Tonight is a night for celebration! Enjoy the feast! And get ready to celebrate the coming of our new Crown!"

It's a fancy occasion so Wish dressed up a little. Nothing formal. Just a white button blouse, newish jeans (she rarely wears jeans, see, so it must be a special occasion). Wild hair under a bright flower-print scarf. You know. Presentable. Not that she's a slob normally, just, y'know, cargos and/or athletic-wear isn't for all times and places. So anyway, yep, she's here. Mingling, goddamnit, cuz the wolfgirl doesn't wallflower.

Dina wallflowers. She's good at it. She's dressed as she usually is out in the Hedge, in her blue leathers with her satchel slung over her shoulder. She has ice cream, because of course the Snowskin has ice cream. At her side is an adolescent white frost wolf. He's grown out of being a puppy and there's frost shimmering on the fur on his back. This is Volk. He is still being socialized. He does not look friendly.

It's a party! And Vesna is dressed for that. Sure, there will be some formal stuff, but she isn't dressed for that in the least, showing off plenty of skin in her outfit. She frowns at the various announcements, glancing oever to whoever happens to be standing next to her at the time "Why does everyone dislike us so?" she asks in a not whisper, but low enough not to disrupt the proceedings if more are to come. She is in the center of things as much as she can, the opposite of a wallflower in nearly every regard.

Reiz is here, he's about the refreshments table--he's dressed in a white dress shirt, knee-length leather skirt along with black tights and a pair of shiny black leather boots, silver buckled, like biker boots. His long dark hair is down around his shoulders and he seems to just be enjoying a bit of the food-particularly the barbecue. Well, he was a beast--more appropriately a chimera, and the majority of said parts of his mien liked meat. He couldn't help it, really! He was just trying not to get any unfortunate droplets of sauce or grease on his practically brand new white pressed dressshirt.

"Oh, it was not just me, thinking that was rude," Dina tells Vesna, tucking a spoonful of ice cream between her lips. "I never know. Hello. You are looking well. And there is Visnja. And the other gentleman who worked with you with..." and Dina trails off. With the rainbow haired lady that got absconded with.

Nemo is not, alas, accompanied this evening by her daaaarling husband. More's the pity. In lieu of Elmo, the little bug is flanked by a pair of peacocks who honestly aren't that much shorter than she is. On the left, she has a handsome hunk of a fellow, slightly taller than the other bird, who nonetheless seems to be sunk in a deep depression, crest wilting, head low. On the right, more slender and less muscular than his brother, is a piebald fellow whose head is high and alert, taking in everything and everyone. This being past the season of molt, both birds are absent their lovely tails.

Predictably, the Summer sparkbug is not smiling, and does her utmost to avoid being seen by Bixby, wings tucked close against her back as she edges along to try and find someone taller to slink behind, antennae flat against her blue-black hair. Hard to hide when your skin's iridescent blue/violet/teal/black, though. Insect problems.

Isrieal is pacing slowly around the place, admiring all the decorations with her hollow, bleeding eyes of course. She's in a black corset dress, thought he back is torn apart and frayed and her ribs can be seen through that large hollow hole in her back where bits of hay tend to fall from every now and then. Though now there's smaller holes in one of her arms and legs where hay can be seen winding about the bits of exposed bone here and there. Even her moon white hair is laced with strands of hay and bits of autumn leaves throughout it. She's about as Autumn as Autumn gets. She smells like hay and smokey corn husks and that mien of hers radiates an intimidation all of its own.

She lingers by the Scarecrow, staring up at it for a long moment with that silly grin on its face and patch body. She does 'not' look like 'that'. But somewhere down the line scarecrows got turned into something silly but still...close enough. She lifts a brow but then turns away to look over the people now.

Her wyrd tends to twist the hedge around her, warping healthy things into temporary decay or springing up twisting vines of hay here or there, wherever it feels like.

She spots Dina and Volk and offers a nod that spills blood tears from those eyes. She waves to Vesna and Wish and Reiz gets a glance but then she laughs as the letters are read.

"It amuses me that they think we even so much as care what they think. Burn them for all I care." She nods towards the letters. "Sticks and stones may break my bones..." She laughs. "Not really. But words? I much more appreciate when people can just say things to someones face. That just proves how cowardly they are." She twists her lips into a smirk. "Fuck that shit and have fun."

She almost bumps into Nemo during her rant but the glitter catches her eye. "Oh hey, long time no see. The decorations here are just wonderful. Whoever thought of these." Her head briefly looks in the direction of the scarecrow but she doesn't comment.

Aaaand perhaps a little detour via the food. Because everyone likes meat. Technically everyone is potential meat, so to like meat is to like ev no that's just a wrongminded train of thought right there. Let's shut it up with meat. And some bread. Because BBQ in bread is a great way to keep one's self relatively clean, innit. INNOVATION.

Greetings delivered, Bixby goes about mingling with the crowd. He visits the food table, smiling and clapping a few folks on the back. He /almost/ catches sight of Nemo and peers in her direction for an uncomfortable amount of time, then is caught up once more in his enthusiastic greeting. He booms out to the room, "Help yourself to refreshments! The Crown will be passed in half hour! Exciting, isn't it?"

Horne, on the other hand, seems less enthusiastic. He doesn't mingle. He just kind of lurks in the background. He picks up those crumpled letters, tucking them into a pocket, scowling a bit. Bixby might just shrug it off, but it seems to have left an unpleasant taste in his mouth. He watches Izzy's words, however, and his lips twist. "Perhaps thre is a /reason/, hmmm? Normally, they are more than happy to crash our little celebrations. Why not now?"

Vesna nods to Dina "No, don't think anyone could think it's not. I just don't know why." she gives a little shrug that causes her wings to shift, unfurling slightly before settling again, mostly hidden behind her hair. "Maybe I should look into it some time. Oh well, not tonight, tonight is a party!" she smiles brightly at Isrieal and gives her a wave "You like them?" she asks, gesturing to the setup "Trees are harder to grow that quickly." she complains with a little frown.

Isrieal tips her head in Hornes direction and lifts a brow. "I don't know, why not now? Are they planning a fucking ambush?" She moves her head as if glancing him over. "Well we'll just have to kick their asses then and show them not to mess with us. Won't we?" She nods to Vesna then. "You did these? Yeah, they're perfect." She touches her finger and thumb together.

Nemo glances up at Isrieal, antennae briefly flicking forward, and quickly shakes her head. "Not -my- fault." Still, that's more attention than she would prefer, and -- meep! Quickly zipping behind the nearest taller body, dark glitter glinting in her wake on its slow drift toward the floor, she shushes the peacocks with a hissed, "Don't let him see me. If he sees me, he's gonna give me -another- fucking job. AGAIN." Low Summer on the totem pole clearly doesn't appreciate the results.

Dina raises her spoon hand to wave to Isrieal. Volk's nostrils flare, and his ears press back against his skull. Dina murmurs something to the ice wolf, petting him between his ears. The wolf eases slightly. Dina waves her spoon hand at Wish as well. A bit of ice cream falls on the ground. Volk eyes it.

"Thanks!" Vesna says cheerfully to Isrieal, then winks "Of course, they aren't truly finished yet. Give them a bit of time." she says, then blinks as she notices all the pets running around, tilting her head at the peacocks "Maybe you'd be harder to spot without giant birds following you around?" she mentions, then turns to the wolf and crouches down to be closer to its height "Hiya doggy!" she says in light tones, holding out a hand for the wolf to smell, seemingly careless with it.

Waves! Wish likes being waved at and will return them, though without sacrificing her snackwich to the effort. The bread seems freshly baked and everything. Very nice. Anyway, for someone who doesn't wallflower, perhaps she is slightly at the moment. But only because she's eating. Still looking around, though. Admiring outfits. Seeing what people are doing.

Isrieal wanders nearer to Dina. "How have you been?" She gives the wolf a look but is still afraid to get to close to it in case she spooks it. "How are the slumberberries doing? The amaranthine is growing nicely." She tells her. "I'm sure it'll all turn out amazing." She says to Vesna.

Beatrice is sort of hanging in the background. She is cloaked in shadows. Well she is wearing more than that, but the shadows that seem to follow her everywhere do drift over and obscure her clothing now and again. She smiles a bit, glad to be here, but she is on the quiet side tonight.

"So it's just us tonight," Reiz shrugs a little and doesn't seem bothered by the 'well wishes' that are read out, and instead chomps on a pulled pork sandwich--it's sorta like catering food, he realizes, but a bit better. He keeps a handle on it as he wanders over to try and find--there she was, Vesna!

"Hey girl, looking fabulous tonight," he gives her a wave, he'll hover about if she's not currently already busy talking with someone else, just sort of enjoying the event. "You heard if that lost we rescued is okay or not yet? Last time we saw her she seemed to be stable, but," he shrugged, unsure.

Nemo, being Nemo, refuses to dignify Vesna's entirely logical response with a reply. She does, however, hsst to the birds and mutter, "Hey, Biku. Take Parmu over there-" she points to a different side of the area, "-and loiter conspicuously. Maybe he'll like some of the food? I'll totally get a library book for you if you tolerate the lecture on how the oils will react with his feathers."

The piebald peacock cocks his head, eyeing his buff, handsome and droopy brother, then nods and chivvies the other bird toward the refreshments table while Nemo slinks off to find another hideyspot, sequined short-shorts glinting and glittering even more brightly than her skin.

Dina's hand immediately falls to land on the ice wolf's back again as the hedge beast bares his teeth at Vesna. She snaps something in Russian to the wolf, who settles back. "Apologies. He is not good at being petted, Vesna. This is Volk." Reiz asks about Luna, and Dina's brow furrows. That. Aw. She glances sidelong at Vesna, certain she'll explain, and nods to Isrieal. "Ah, Isrieal. The slumberberries are doing well. I am glad the amaranthine is taking. You will let me know if you need help, yes?" Now the ice wolf is eyeing the peacocks.

Vesna glances up at Reiz and gives a little frown, shaking her head "You hadn't heard yet? She woke up and... well, she got captured. Some weird things, maybe privateers, grabbed her. I couldn't stop them..." she says, her frown deepening. She's quite for a moment, then gives a little sigh and continues "Isrieal and I are working on tracking her down though." She reaches her hand closer to the wolf to let him smell "It's okay." she smiles up to Dina "Hiya Volk." she says, her voice still tinged with sadness for a moment, but quickly recovering "Are those Goblin Fruit? I really need to learn more about them."

"Yes of course!" Isrieal tells Dina. Over from the food table a little imp like creature in a small black tunic comes running towards Isrieal. He has long floppy ears and a face that resembles a goats skull with glowing blue eyes within. "Tippy is happy that Miss Fear invited him to the Autumn party." He says while nodding his head sharply and reaching up to cling to the bottom of her dress as he looks around at the others. Horne particularly scares him.

Isrieal looks over at Reiz for a moment. "Hello, have we met much before?" She does look to Vesna when Luna is brought up and gets quiet.

Beatrice does drift forward and over towards the others, "I give the greetings." comes her enchanting voice. She smiles a bit, "It is a pleasure to see you all again." she says, not that she has met more than one or two of them and not very often.

AHA! Bixby spots the peacocks first. He beams, heading in that direction, and booms out, "NEMO! IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU!" He runs a hand through his mullet, primping himself a little bit, and pats down his rumbled athletic outfit. "I'VE BEEN WANTING TO TALK TO YOU!" Oh god. Even Horne rolls his eyes, then goes back to watching the others. He seems a little more subdued these days, a little more introspective, which may or may not be a good thing.

Bixby heads towards Nemo, "I was JUST thinking you! I'm opening a new community center and I need someone who can help manage the place, you know, help the kids out. Poor kids! They NEED someone, someone like you!" He absently scratches his junk as he beams, still trying to find her.

It's Nemo's lucky day, however! About then, there's a hob, a little Gremlin of a thing, hopping forward. Where it came from isn't exactly clear, and it doesn't look all that thrilled about being here, but it spots Bixby (it's hard not to) and heads in his direction. It holds up some sort of golden case, with a numerical lock on it. "Please! Take it! I don't want it! The combination is the exact time the Crowning takes place, to be opened by the new Crown. A gift." It shuffles around a little, holding that little case out. About six inches long, two inches wide, spherical. "Please take it. I deliver good! Could I... could I have some food?"

Volk looks back at Vesna, then swings his head up to peer at Dina. She gives the ice wolf a little shrug. The wolf swings its head back to Vesna and exhales a frosty little breath that frosts the Spring's hand. It'll melt, of course, but it's still not friendly. "Maybe best to be leaving him alone. And yes, we are speaking of goblin fruit. I would be happy to talk more about it; it is my specialty." She nods to Beatrice. "Hello. I am Dina. This is Volk." The wolf has gone back to watching the peacocks, though it did take a moment to size up Tippy.

Isrieal isn't big on hugs but if Beatrice gives her one she lets her. "Beatrice! Well I shouldn't be surprised. It is our night, glad you are here either way." Tippy tips his head at the new hob that has run up. Isrieal in turn watches the exchange and just stares at that case for a long moment before looking towards the hob with a furrowed brow. "Uh...excuse me? ...sir?" She asks the hob.

"Oh, well--no, I hadn't heard, huh," Reiz seemed surprised at that, nearly letting his sandwich slide out of his fingers before he caught himself--jumping a bit when Isrieal addresses him.

"Oh, we haven't--hi there, I'm Reiz," his spring mantle flares a little, reaching over with a free hand to shake with Isrieal. "I love your dress by the way, it's very on point," he nods with casual good-natured politeness, but he still looks as if he's preoccupied with the news he just heard.

"I guess I'll have to keep in touch with you two, if we can find her, well, we can get her back," he says matter of factly. Of course that meant finding them--which could be tough.

Vesna gives a little yelp of surprise as her fingers get a layer of frost on them "I guess my charms don't work on animals." she says with a little giggle, popping back up to standing height. She tilts her head a bit to watch the Gremlin approach and the conversation. She can't help but grin at it's request. She moves over to the table and makes a plate of food before moving over towards it "Promise no computer trouble for a year?" she asks, holding out the plate for the creature, not really caring if it actually agrees or not. It's worth a shot though. "I need to learn about them, best ways to grow them and whatnot. I can grow trees fine." she says, gesturing to the four that decorate the square. She nods to Reiz, but seems to not want to dwell over much on the topic right now, and so doesn't say anything else on it.

Beatrice dips her head to Dina, "A pleasure, I appologize for not meeting you before. I am Beatrice Abernathy, Grand Magus of the Epochs of the Balefire, Shadow Elementalist." she offers and then smiles. She doesn't hug Isrieal, but she does give a polite bow. "I wouldn't miss it. Have to support your own." she smiles a bit, "I am sorry the research didn't bear more fruit, though there was some curiousity about it. If there is anything else I can help with, please let me know. I have been a bit distracted of late and for that I appologize, been some changes of late."

Firewolf may well go see what the icewolf is doing. Well, the icewolf's mistress. Wish isn't sure what to do about wolfish pets. So, lo, Dina gets a Wish, still sucking a bit of BBQ sauce of her finger (bread was not complete successful and keeping her hands clean). And Dina's talking so she won't interrupt or anything. Just linger in the anticipation of having the right thing to say at the right moment.

Nemo winces at the sound of Bixby's voice, shoulders hunching as she scowls a reflexive reaction to her King's presence. She's shaking her head before he even opens his mouth, and lifts her hands the moment he does, waving them in front of herself as though warding away something unwanted. "Nuh uh. Nooooo way. I build shit! I don't do charity for fucking orphans. Find a Dawn! They're all about self-sacrifice." From the gentle scorn all but dripping from her tone, the tiny Summer sparkbug disagrees with the concept.

The odd hobgoblin and his cylindrical case, however, provoke a narrowing of luminescent, faux-compound eyes in thought.

Isrieal shakes Reiz's hand, her own skin is slightly cooler than normal to the touch. "I'm Isrieal." She tells him in return. "Pleasure to meet you, and thank you." She says with a big grin about the dress. "If you want to learn more about fruit then Dina is the lady to talk to." She points towards her then looks back to Beatrice. "No,no. The research was great! We learned a lot, have more pieces to put together now. I'll let you know some more things soon. Don't worry about distractions, just take care of what you need to." Another tip of her towards that intruding hob.

Dina's ice cream stays solid. It's one of the benefits of having very cold hands: your bowl stays chilled, and your ice cream doesn't get soupy. "Well met, Ms. Abernathy," Dina greets Beatrice. She says, in general, "I grow several varieties of goblin fruit and am always interested in finding more. I have been working on some gifts, actually. For the Courts. Oh! Hello, Visnja. Isn't the meat good? I had some earlier." Volk, the ice wolf, regards Wish with witchlight-blue eyes. The ground at his feet is gathering frost.

And smokey Wish, with her coal-black eyes, regards the ice wolf for a few moments. "Very good," she will state, offering affirmation to Dina's question of things meat. Volk would probably enjoy some, but it isn't her place to be feeding someone else's companion. There's hiearchy and stuff. Dina's talking to a Beatrice, so Wish will listen for a bit. What since there's a polite conversation happening here. About fruit, it seems.

Bixby looks a bit uncertain about the hob. That wasn't in his plans! Well, not that he planned this - Spring is much better at planning and he had soccer coaching, community centers, and other more mundane worries to deal with. He accepts the case, however, a bit awkwardly, "And, ah, who is the delivery from?" But the hob's already off, moving towards the food, pausing a bit when it spots Tippy. There's a shy smile, which comes off as a sharp, crooked toothed, rather horrific grin. But that's hobs.

Bixby's left holding the case, which he pockets so he dosen't have to actually think about it until after the Crowning. He looks over, still searching for Nemo, and booms out, "I'll get back to you after the Crowning!" With that, he's moving towards the center of the gathering, clearing his throat loudly. He checks his watch dramatically. It doesn't actually work in the Hedge, but he's proud of the waterproof, athletic-banded contraption, right out of the 80s. "Attention, Lost of Sentinel Rock! The time has come for Summer to pass the Crown to Autumn! Exciting, isn't it?" He runs a hand through his mullet, beaming. "Farewell to Summer, hello to Autumn, and long live Sentinel Rock!" He's not really sure those all go together normally, but he likes the sound of it.

With that, he's reaching up, to that Wyrdly Crown he wers, and lifts it. Glamour swirls around it, like bright sunlight, too bright to look at, and then fading into darkness, too dark to see into. It disappears from his grasp.

A second passes, and then another, and then ten, thirty. Bixby holds his breath. Horne watches from behind, perhaps also holding his breath. Even the messanger hob watches, although more out of curiosity than anything else.

And then there's a surge of magic, a bright flash of light and darkness, an increased smell of of the plants, of the scarecrow's hay, of the food on the table, and then it's all solidifying back into a new Crown, dark and intimidating, and resting on Isrieal's brow. Somewhere during this all, that hay-stuffed scarecrow's dopey grin turns into something more menacing. The leaves of the trees recently grown being go grow gold and brittle, even while the crops seem to grow plumper, ready to harvest.

"Oh, I'd love to help you find some sometime. I've really been wanting to explore the Hedge some more, and going on a search for some Goblin Fruit sounds like just the thing to get me out there. Let me know if you plan an expedition at all." Vesna offers Dina, then turns to watch the passing of the Crown. She blinks as the Summer crown disappears, and after a few moments starts glancing around to see if it had reappeared somewhere particular "Is it supposed to..." she begins, just before it appears on Isrieal's head. "Ooo, neat!" she says, lifting the plate she had tried offering the Gremlin and picking up a bit of shredded pork and popping it into her mouth, no sauce seeming to stick to her fingers or ruby lips.

Beatrice cocks her head to the side and watches for a moment and then does applaude softly, "Well done." she says with a smile. Her tail swishes back and forth in the shadows behind her.

Isrieal looks tears her gaze away from the hob with a bit of a sneer and looks to Bixby as he starts speaking and she too gets quiet. The crown manifests perfectly amoung the white strands and hay and leaves that wind through her hair, almost looking natural. She can't see it at the moment but she can feel the wyrd respond to her at least. She locks her hollow gaze quietly with Bixby, knowing he has that thing in his pocket and then she looks back towards the others while drawing in a breath. She smiles to Beatrice and nods.

"We'll do this now. We'll learn everything we can to protect the Freehold." She'd be more excited but she's a bit concerned of that hob and that box at the moment.

Dina inclines her head to Vesna. "Yes, I will keep that in mind," she says. She also glances around when the crown disappears, and then lets out a little sigh when it reappears on Isrieal's brow. "I see. My condolences," she tells the scarecrow solemnly, speaking in Russian. Volk the ice-wolf licks his chops. Dina asides to Wish, "He also had some meat earlier. He is very hungry. So much growing." Indeed, he's larger than when Wish last saw him. "Perhaps I should get him more. It is very... cooked, though. For his liking. He much prefers raw."

Reiz shakes firmly but gently with Isireal, not mind the cool Autumn touch she has. At the moment it's a nice distraction from the sudden news he just recieved.

And then the crowning occurs.

"Well, I guess we have our new queen, congratulations," Reiz bows his head as Isrireal is crowned, stepping back a bit from her to give her room.

Nemo sidles a bit to the side. Then a bit more. Theeen a little bit more. See, there's a fine art to being ignored by teachers. You just have to get out of sight, slowly enough that they don't notice you're escaping. The little Summer's reaction to the fact that the season's power has shifted is a little shiver at the change and a quick glance toward Horne. Then... not-Horne? She blinks, eyes widening in mild surprise, when it appears the crown is on -Isrieal's- head instead of the accustomed monarch's. "Oh. Fuck. That's weird."

Wish is the same size as when Dina saw her last, though she's distracted at the moment by the crown. This part of things is Very Dramatic isn't it, and she'll give a little clap at the end of it. It seemed the thing to do. It's sort of why everyone's here, right? Besides the free food. Free food just lifts the event. "Raw is chewy," she'll note absently, perhaps a quality wolves enjoy. Um. Icewolves. Yeah. Does Dusk every get the crown? Probably if the world's about to end. That would seem appropriate. If probably a rude shock if that's the case and it actually happens. Well, for everyone except Dusk Courtiers, who'll probably just be relieved to be done with the waiting.

"Why do I feel like I should get a weapon before she opens that?" Vesna asks, glancing around for a moment before heading back to the tables with all the food. "Let me see..." she murmurs to herself quietly "Ah!" she says, shifting a few things off of a silver serving tray and adding her own plate to it, along with a hard drink, before picking it up and carrying it with her. Thus armed she moves so she can see Isrieal again, head tilted a bit as she waits for the case to be delivered .

That Crown changes places, alters to fit the season, the Wyrd itself stepping in to help nudge it to the new King or Queen. Even Bixby's quiet for a moment, a little awed by the process. That's one thing they all have in common - no on really knows how it works. And then he's lunging forward, reaching out to shake, or attempt to shake, Isrieal's hand enthusiastically, even clap her on the back. "Congratulations! I'm sure you will make a great leader in this time of need. You know, let me tell you about this community shelter I just opened, you might want in on that."

Oh, right. As protecting the Freehold is brought up, he remembers that it's not /all/ about the mortals. He reaches into his pocket, pulling out that cylinder, and offers it to her. "Anything I can do to support you, just let me know. I mean, not on Sundays because there's Bible camp, and not on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons because of football practice for the kiddos. And probably not too early, because I work out in the mornings, but any time."

Horne, meanwhile, watches the proceedings. He inhales as that Crown disappears, and then closes his eyes, as if both dreading and expecting what's to come. But then he doesn't feel it. He opens his eyes, and sees that Crown on Isrieal's brow. He looks... surprised. Irritated, and yet... slightly relieved at the same time. And then irritated again.

Horne clears his throat. "Well, then. Congratulations. Or, like the woman said, condolences."

The delivery hob has, at some point, disappeared back from where it came from.

Isrieal stands there in shock for a moment but then she curtsies. "Thank you." She tells those who have offered their congratulations. "Tonight let us have no fear, but let it empower us. To show that our enemies cannot break us and to harness the season to our fullest capabilities." Bixby's best bet is to shake her hand since her back isn't really there. She takes his hand with a nod and then takes the cylinder from him. A few people standing around the freehold begin to feel the wyrd creeping around them, infusing them with bold courage. No intimidation can touch them here tonight.

"I'd really like to know where the fuck this came from." She says while looking to the item.

Vesna grins a bit as she watches the goings on, idly wondering what might actually be in the case. It looks like a scroll case, but around here, who knows. Still, at least she has what she needs at hand as she takes a sip from her drink, careful not to drink too much too quickly, her small frame not the best at dealing with alcohol. "Well, are you going to open the present?" Vesna asks, head tilted a bit, then her smile freezes a bit as her eyes widen "Time. Isrieal, time. They said a real exact time for being opened. Think it is connected to Luna?"

"What has been done?" Dina asks as the magic spreads. Vesna's comment about Luna piques her interest, and Dina leans to put her bowl of ice cream down. Maybe so her hands will be ready for any incoming attacks from whatever's in the case.

What, a weapon? Wish didn't bring a weapon. It's a formal event... sigh. That's how it is, isn't it. Shoulder sag. Left it in Luna's room. You'd think she'd learn, this is the second time... Well, whatever. What comes will be what comes.

The scents of Autumn continue to grow stronger, winding and twisting their way about everyone standing around and slowly extending their reach. "I have no fucking doubt that this is related to the Luna incident." She responds to Vesna. "I don't know if I want to open this thing if its going to potentially put everyone in danger. Just so you all know this 'is' linked to whatever this is. It's obviously meant for me to open but we could just chuck it away and forget about it. You all can run off and I can open it alone....or we can all see what this is together but I'm putting it out there to let you decide if you want to leave now or stay. You 'know' what has been going on and I cannot promise what may or may not happen."

Beatrice doesn't say anything, but she also doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

Vesna sets down the drink and then, rather casually, reaches -into- the silver serving tray she is holding. She frowns as she reaches around for a moment, and then pulls her hand back out from the reflective surface, a hard plastic case coming with it. She nods and sets down the tray on the ground next to her, then the case on top of it, opening it to reveal a compound bow tucked inside, along with a compliment of arrows. She quickly dawns the firing gloves inside and slips the small quiver around her hips. "I'm ready." she says, still wearing her party outfit, the combination odd with the weapon.

"Oh," says Dina, blinking at Vesna. "That seems very useful." She backs away from Isrieal. "I am staying. Just... not as close." Volk remains at her side. Picking up on the tension, he bares his teeth and gives a low growl. Dina keeps her hands at her sides, loose and at the ready.

Nemo wrinkles her nose, or, well, she makes a face which, on any other ordinary person, would certainly result in a wrinkled nose, but having skin that's on its way toward being carapace-like does mean certain subtleties of mobility aren't there. "Just open it already. If we all die, we all die. People'll learn something from our bodies." Ah, and there is the barely-Summer Autumn-leaning inventor at her finest.

The anticipation of imminent bad gets the blood going, it does, and Wish's Mien reflects it. Her smokey wolves' ears and tail start to glint with sparks, her coal-black eyes reddening to dull ember. She pulls off her headscarf, wild black hair... well it doesn't do anything special, it's just messy hair. The wolfgirl absently runs her fingers through it a few times to put it to some sort of order. Yeah, should've had the spear.

The little hob runt at her feet breathes in deep, affected by the amounting boldness that is swarming the place and empowering all. "If Miss Fear opens then Tippy stays!" He salutes. Isrieal looks to everyone with those hollow eyes, the presence of Autumn strong and steeling them all. "Alright, you know whats in store. Let's see what they have to say." She holds her arms out and opens the damn thing, if war be declared then so be it.

And so Isrieal opens the case. Are there even clocks in the Hedge? Probably not, but they can guess. And it might take a couple attempts to figure it out, but the group of them will be able to figure it out.

And when those numbers call into line, just right, there's a little 'snick'. The top of the cylinder flips open, and, as it does, color leaps out of it. It swirls around them dramtically, with a hiss, each of them growing brighter for a moment, and then it's dispersing.

A whisper comes from the device, although it appears to be empty now. "What is the color of time? Is it the change of leaves, the slow decay? Is it new birth, the creation of things? Material things, life and death. What are their colors?" The words could be male, female, it's hard to tell. Whispered, from out of nowhere, and then fading off.

After that, the room changes. Everything starts to dim, except... it's not the light. Things /fade/, right before their eyes. The bright flowers grow pastel. Vegetables and fruits become distorted, lackluster. The whole world becomes infused with gray, as if the color were being sucked right out of it.

the effect is short, it lasts by 32 seconds. And then, when color was so muted it was starting to feel black and gray, life is breathed back into it again, those colors returning like a flush to a cheek.

Dina stays very still for that half-minute-plus-two-seconds. Just her eyes move, flicking about, taking in the changes. The fading. Volk's growl is low and constant. And then everything's brightening to colour again, and she blinks. "...That's it?" Volk stops growling and makes an inquisitive sort of noise.

Vesna remains ready, arrow resting gently on bow string, though leaving it unpulled as she waits for a threat to appear. When the dimming effect ends, she tilts her head, frowning a bit as she glances down at her compound bow "That seemed... anticlimactic." she says "Did I miss something?" she asks, still glancing around for some hidden threat, then focusing harder for a moment.

Nemo scratches her head as the odd colourlessness goes on, glancing around the gathering, and, being an engineer, promptly asks Isrieal, "What happens if you open it again?"

Isrieal stays still for those 32 seconds as well, watching the colors warp and fade and listening to the mysterious riddle. Only when everything is breathed back to life does she tuck away the case for now for future studies. "I don't know about you guys but I'm sick of these colour nazis." Tippy looks around after everythings back to normal as well. "Wow! That was weird."

Isrieal looks to Nemo. "You want to do it again?"

Staring at Isrieal in blank incomprehension (wouldn't EVERYone want to experiment with eldritch mysteries??), Nemo doesn't answer immediately. When she does, her tone is exasperated and incredulous, not to mention impatient. "Fuck, yeah. Are there any buttons on that bugger? How do you set the timer?"

Beatrice cocks her head to the side, "More than weird that should have been impossible." she has a disturbed look on her face, "Arcadia is timeless, the Hedge doesn't operate on normal time, more chaotic time." she shakes her head, "There shouldn't be anything that can predict or create a formula for figuring time here."

Well, that was freaky. And possibly unnerving if not for a little Queenly magics. So that it was quick seems to be a Good Thing, right? No one died, no exploding, no poisonous ooz, no Hollows suddenly attempting to consume its occupants. Good Things. So what did it mean? Wish looks around, hoping someone has an explanation, cuz she sure as heck don't.

Dina frowns, her pale brow furrowed. "...What do colour and time have to do with each other?" she asks, one hand falling to rest on Volk the ice wolf's head again.

Isrieal tosses the case to Nemo for now. "Have at it. Life? Death? I don't know...something really isn't right." She nods to Beatrice. "It feels like a threat but...how is it possible indeed. Are they even 'from' here? Last I saw they were cracking open dimensions like some rift in space. Can dimensions merge? Is this even Arcadia we are dealing with at this point? Or time itself..how do they 'always' know our specific dates?"

Vesna shrugs at Dina as she lowers her bow at last "I don't know. Isn't there something about colors changing if you're moving real fast? I don't think that's what they're talking about though. This is frustrating. Be nice to just know what they want."

Nemo blinks at Isrieal, surprised, and quickly snatches the case out of the air with segmented digits. Were those fingers that length a moment ago? How many knuckles do they -have-, anyway? Fiddling with it, she turns it this way and that, inspecting its configuration.

Beatrice nods, "There are similarities with the arrow we examined. I do not know what it is." she doesn't like being at a loss.

Meanwhile, Bixby and Horne confer briefly. It's mostly Bixby, a little disturbed, begging off to go deal with his mortals, which makes him feel a whole lot better. He'll check in with the new Queen, later. Horne, on the other than, just watches, frowning. More subdued than he's been in the past, more brooding, but who can really blame him considering all that's happened?

The log of Sentinel Rock, therefore, are left to talk amongst themselves. The case itself seems devoid of magic not, other than being a magical contraption of some sort. Its magic has been spent. But what does it all mean? It seems the new Queen has her first task.

And who is contacting them? Who has singled them out? Are they a threat? That's up for the Lost to decide.