The Coldest War

Preparing for War

Smith came to Mizz Stockton to press “her” petition to be made a Regent. Stockton had the other regents meet with Smith, and ultimately inducted her into their ranks as “The Sorceress” but not until after officially granting Silver the title of “The Entertainer”. Smith indicated her commitment to looking after the sorcerous and supernatural health of the tower.

In the Supper Club, Beckett and Mice entered, with Amy skidding in their wake. The crazy-eyed little girl didn’t stay, however, running off to find Puck of Trouble&co, who she decided was her boyfriend and she would marry him and have children, and they would all dance and enjoy the King’s party all the time…

Puck was having none of it. He and his bolted, leaving Amy in tears. Cass found her and attempted to comfort her to a certain degree, ultimately sending her off to find Navarre in the market.

Navarre and Sunny were shopping for marijuana, imported from Discovery Park by the strange man named Hurricane who had helped them return from the Needle. Amy ran up and insisted that Navarre beat up his “little brother” Puck for being mean to a girl. Navarre demurred. Eventually her child-like ravings insisted that Navarre “dance with her.” He humored her only to receive a vision of a grand ball-room, and Amy, as a beautiful young woman, dressed in satin with a mask… The vision ended, and ultimately Amy wandered off. The incident provoked Navarre to converse at some length with Hurricane, though, wherein it became clear that Hurricane was a man with a vision… a vision of “closing all the doors” and keeping the mad beings who plague the world out, leaving the world for humans. Navarred decided that Hurricane and Rhyme needed to talk further. Navarre and Sunny bought a brick of hash, though, as did Firestone who proceeded to get stoned with Team Badass.

Rhyme was sitting with the ghost of the piano player in the Supper Club when Navarre found her. He told her about his conversation with Hurricane, and Rhyme did that crazy-eyed thing Rhyme does, and became suddenly convinced to do so, and furthermore, that the Refined in the Needle needed to die, as they are the sorcerers “holding open the doors” in Seattle, with their tendrils and hooks in all manner of groups and factions. Slowly, a plan of action began to form.

Rhyme, Hurricane, and Cass gathered up a now-stoned Navarre and Sunny, along with a thoroughly stoned Firestone and Team Badass, and engaged in a dead-of-night expedition to the Gasworks. Notwithstanding their impaired states, they managed to wander past a momentary encounter with a strange man and woman in yellow wielding blackberry brambles as weapons and into the Gasworks, a promontory out into Lake Union characterized by tall, rusting refinery towers surrounded by a thick maze of blackberry brambles. They encountered Kettle once more, the old man who proselytizes on behalf of the leader of the Gasworks, Monk. They all were taken to Monk where Rhyme, Hurrican, and Monk shared their visions of the fall of the Refined.

Monk indicated that he and his growing army had boats with which to cross the lake, notwithstanding the potential of creatures from the deep that may have infested it. Monk indicated he and his people would attack from the water in coordination with an assault over the Aurora bridge, and, hopefully, a simultaneous sorcerous assault directly into the heart of the Needle.

Having reached this resolution, all that remained was to see what resources from Mount Safeco could be rallied.

The next morning, Rhyme, Hurricane and Cass approached Mizz Stockton and the Regents. Mizz Stockton was clearly hesitant, but Cass produced an action plan and a timetable. There was much debate.

Ultimately, Mizz Stockton and the Regents realized that the Refined, having just effectively destroyed the Academics, having their hooks in the Cygnet Committee, having spies and agents in the Tower itself, and everywhere else, were a very imminent threat. Mizz Stockton brought out the strange book in German that the ex-Academic-turned-Refined Visage had given her and the Sorceress along with Rhyme, determined it to be a powerful occult tome, a potent gift that forged a mystical bond of obligation and hospitality that the Refined could use against Mizz Stockton and the Tower.

They all realized, with some trepidation, that the Refined really were the biggest threat the ongoing survival of Mount Safeco. They may not have armies, but their insidious power could strike at any time for any reason. The Sorceress indicated that she could, certainly, use the power of the Hoard to once more send a strike team into the Needle, especially if, as expected, Rhyme’s blood was still there.

All parties prepared, then, for war.

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