Scene 4. Back at Mack’s
The characters return from the Hedge back to Mack’s Tavern, and decide to wait around and lay low until next week after a brief phone chat with Lucianus in which he said little aside from telling the crew to stay away from the MargravateOfTheBrim. During this downtime period: Leigh gathers goblin fruit, Phineas practices his gunmanship skills, Mack tends to the bar, and Dico gets in touch with ChandaniShah (her mentor) and her partner GiovannaDaSilva (“Sundown”) and fills them in on all the recent details. Chandani and Sundown are generally supportive, but are nevertheless a bit taken aback at the “trouble” that Dico has gotten herself in. However, the two FatBottomedGirls agree to accompany Dico to the Goblin Market.
Scene 5. Meeting with Grumpleschnacky
When next Saturday (June 5, 2010 in-game) arrives, the party of eight (four PC’s plus Cheese, Mr. Fifi, Chandani, and Sundown) arrives at Purse State Park to re-visit the Goblin Market. The other characters get a chance to meet Sundown and Chandani, who soon afterwards go to Elsa’s Fine Linens with Dico in search of fashion-forward Hedgespun raiments. Tom looks into purchasing a new gun, and instead finds that a mounted goblin head who only wants to part with his old-fashioned guns (including a Civil War musket and an original Colt .45) in exchange for a truly prophetic plastic 8-ball, or for magic bullets. Tom has neither item to trade, and exits the gun shop.
Leigh peruses the goblin fruit market, and buys a pomegranate fruit. Mack looks for odd trinkets, and instead is approached by an old knock-kneed hob named Grumpleschnacky, who incidentally opens up conversation with information about the Fair Damsel. Grumpleschnacky lets Mack know that the dragon gem is being guarded by a dragon back inside the Grand Mural (see previous chronicle notes), and hands Mack several maps to help navigate to the Mural. Furthermore, the old hob offers to give Mack a valuable treasure to help slay the dragon in exchange for Adilene’s diary. (which is consistent with Fyedra’s story of a hob wanting a diary). Tom asks a few other questions, which are met with evasive answers on how Grumpleschnacky needs to watch out for the Damsel and his oaths of secrecy.
Scene 6. Retrieving the Diary of Adilene
After the conversation with Grumpleschnacky, what else can the PC’s do but get their hands on the diary? After finding out Eltiana’s whereabouts (she has an antique home on the outskirts of Baltimore), the characters plan on doing a little breaking & entering to retrieve the diary. Tom scouts the place out and finds a back window that can be propped up. Cheese jumps through the window and finds a safe with protective runes, and procceeds to crack the code by the time Tom and the rest of the gang arrive on the scene. The runes lead to an illusory secret passageway to the Marionette Room, wherein the PC’s find two pinkish-colored books that, after a few glances, seem to contain the daily musings of a high-school girl who knows that she is “different” without knowing exactly why, but copes with this fact anyways. However, police start to arrive on the scene at the time Dico finds the books, leading the changelings and their Hedge companions to escape via the Hedge, which leads them to…
Scene 7. Hedge Landshark!
…a clearing in the forest with a Stonehenge arch. Cheese leads the party through the forest, then through plains, to a sea of shifting sandy rock that becomes eerily more shifting as they advance toward the distant hills. Eventually, two bright purple shark-hobgoblins appear from the sand, “swimming” aggressively towards the changelings. When the sharks appear to be clearly hostile, the changelings retaliate with Contracts: Leigh armors herself in bramble thorns, Tom reduces their resistance to fear, Mack readies a vat of napalm, and Dico performs a Glamour-infused song and dance routine intended to scare away the sharks — and performs the song and dance at such a virtuoso level that it works! (despite them being sharks and all). Leigh shoots one shark and causes it to flee. Mack wards the party off with a circle of flaming napalm, but the other shark charges after Dico quits the song and dance, and eventually snatches Mack in its powerful jaws. Mack is nearly skilled from all the chomping, but the shark eventually dies thanks to Leigh’s thorns and a lucky knife throw from Tom that hits the shark in the eye. Leigh heals Mack from near-death, and the PC’s thank their lucky stars that none of them died in the landshark fight. (The session ends after the fight, with the PC’s still in the Hedge.)