Firstly, I really need to get one making a video opening "credits" for our tv show. This is really just for me to remember to do it than to share that detail with you. All right.
The session starts with an opening montage of everyone waking up the following day, July 15th. And it is a blistering 127 degrees. That is Arizona-like high temperatures. The group (sans Eric Vale, who is still at the Hyatt) meet up in the dining hall. They find a letter telling them that there is a Summer Banquet this evening, at which point they can make their final pleas and the freehold will decide if they can join. Their hear a strange tapping that becomes language they can understand, telling them to come outside. Outside is Roach and Taps, Roach's co-worker for the DC Sewer system. They tell them that they have the day off and they are to help take them around until 7. Crump very much wants to figure out his life, and for the first time decides to check his pockets. He finds a business card for Slatemore's Marble, Slate, and More, a stone company in Springfield, VA. Taps says he'll take him there. "Maddy" says she wants to go to the aquarium because "she is hungry" (she's a cat, you see, and having a hard time coping) so Roach agrees to take her there.
Meanwhile, Eric Vale tries calling his contacts in local gambling group (which he has dots in Allies, huzzah!) and gets a spanish guy, Manuel, who asks him for the password and proof he is Eric Vale. Eric says there is no password, and talks about Jacob Odds. Manuel agrees, and tells Eric to grab a cab and head to the Black Cauldron, a bar.
At the aquarium ... goodness, it is just ... the number of failures was just endless. Roach pulls up and "Maddy" wants to take Hobcat in with her, but Roach eloquently puts it that they won't let a house cat into an aquarium. Then Maddy tries to lie her way in and fails. Roach buys tickets. Inside, Maddy tries to steal a key from a worker to get back into employee access, and fails. Roach laughs. He explains a bit about the Summer Court, and Maddy immediately likes what she hears and asks how she gets in. He tells her to go make a mortal angry with her, and it'll be easy. Maddy is unequipped to make people angry, it seems, as the same woman she tried to steal from earlier she tries to make angry by hitting on her (the woman was wearing a wedding ring and a WWJD bracelet). Instead, the worker just smiled and felt bad for the poor homeless girl. Roach just laughs and tells her she should look into other court options, probably Spring.
Taps and the rest pull up to Slatemore's Marble, Slate, and More ... to find it in liquidation. This did not make Crump very happy, as he was only stolen in the mortal world for 2 weeks. So he bursts in ... and finds his fetch ... staring back at him. His fetch runs, and Crump chases after him. Crump tries to tackle him, but the fetch dodges out of the way. At this point, Turnip, Yo-yo, and JJ all run after Crump. JJ uses some Judo to throw Crump to the ground and keep him grounded. Crump is a strong fella, though, and gets up and runs to the office, where his fetch has locked himself inside. But barriers are nothing to Ogres, and he just cuts through it like paper with his Contract of Stone's Ogre's Rending Grasp clause. Crump scares the crap out of his fetch, who just runs, leaving behind everything, keys, wallet, ids, everything, for Crump to collect ... well, after an argument and some problems with Turnip Husk who was holding a grudge from Crump hitting him earlier.
Eric gets to the Black Cauldron, and he and Manuel actually have a very pleasant conversation. He catches Eric up on the group, on the fact that Jacob Odds has been gone for exactly as long as Eric has (13 years) and that Manuel is the only supernatural still gambling. He also says he will introduce Eric to the freehold and vouch for him, as tonight is a big Summer Banquet to see if the freehold will accept new Changelings. They drink to that. Roach and "Maddy" continue having a decent time at the aquarium, before Roach realizes they need to start heading back for the Banquet.
Crump, trying to get things in order, learns the truth about his fetch: he was a terrible business man that ran his life financially in the ground in just two weeks. A worker for Slatemore's told them that the place is sold and they have until September 22nd to get out of the warehouse. Crump found the contract, and saw that it was signed by Jacob Odds. Yo-yo used his Contract of Reflection to look into a mirror in the office, and saw it happen ... revealing that the Leprechaun Baron is Jacob Odds. They do not have long to deal with this information, but it confirms for Crump that while he may have his life back, he isn't done with all this fae crap, so he agrees to go along to the banquet.
Once there, every character had enough time to speak to 3 different NPCs of the whole Freehold, who were all there for the vote that evening. I'm not going to mention all the NPCs in the freehold, just the ones that each player talked to (and I actually have to have two more conversations with one of the players who had to leave). I'll just mention the ones I remember, because it was a lot of character talking.
- Eric Vale talked with John Hearth, Chuck the vulture, and Roach, trying to get a group together to help him with his quest to kill Jacob Odds.
- Crump spoke first with John Hearth about feeling the need to join the Freehold, which Hearth agreed was wise, and made vague mentions of changelings losing Clarity if they don't. Crump ended up talking with all the Ogres, who told him that "Ogres are for Ogres" and that they liked him. He also talked with Flint, and learned the heartwrenching truth that every stone he crushed in the Leprechaun Baron's realm was a human, a person, destroyed and killed. Flint was lucky to escape, and now has a chip on his shoulder about Crump.
- Yo-yo talked about, looking to the psychic healer Reba, who told him she wasn't really psychic, it was just an act. But when asking about fetches and help, she pointed him to Big Bad, though warned him he might not like what he heard. In Big Bad, a Hunterheart Wolf, he found a ... comrade maybe, who hated fetches.
- Turnip Husk talked with the Robbies, Robbie D and Robbie P, two Jersey Shore bros who were turned into pets (D was a dog and P was a parakeet) by their keepers. They just had a good time and Iced Turnip, which he very much liked being forced to drink alcohol. He then had a very long indepth conversation with the Sarge, a Wizened Soldier from Vietnam who was actually trained in the Courts of the Orient, and didn't follow the Seasonal Courts. It was a very long, and surprisingly good conversation, considering Turnip's personality.
- JJ spoke with everyone she could to learn of the courts. She spoke with Pidge, a homeless changeling dark and covered in brown that had a pet pidgeon, about the Summer Court. She spoke with Calvin Hobbes, who refused to join a court and just wanted to start life again. He had nothing good to say about any of the courts. She moved to Sweetheart (Darkling Illes), one of the Winter Courtiers, who told her not much about the Winter court, but that all of the changelings here today were in the freehold. Whether this was politeness or actual misdirection, JJ was not sure. She finally moved to speak with Scissors-Jack, who seemed very quiet ... until speaking of Court politics, which he rattled on and on about, seeming to love the politics. He also made reference to the fact that he had some ... clarity problems.
- "Maddy" immediately hit on Hank some more, who was both gorgeous and without any guile. She spoke with Manuel Santos, the Brewer, wanting to learn more about the Winter court, and in the end getting a job and place to stay, if she wants it. She then had a conversation with John Hearth, where he called her on her bullshit and lying, telling her he knew she was Elizabeth. They talked a lot about family and she learned that Changeling cannot have children. It was sad, and touching. He pointed her to Sophia (Darkling Nightsinger), the Snow Queen of the Winter Court, and she learned that the Winter Court runs the most like a medieval court, with the Snow Queen and Trinidad, the Norwegian troll, as the Night King. Elizabeth made a good show and impressed Sophia, who told her to "find a pristine snowflake" and if Elizabeth did, she would be in the Winter Court. Thinking quickly, she found Layla, a Fairest Shadowsoul, and cut a deal with her: Layla would give Elizabeth a diamond if Layla could at some point in the future, give Hobcat a task he must complete, as long as it does not directly hurt him and she sends her best protection with him. Layla agrees, giving Elizabeth a diamond ring. Upon showing this to Sophia, she was impressed and agreed, dubbing Elizabeth "Lady Elizabeth of the Sorrow-Frozen Heart".
The session ended there, with next session picking up with the final rounds of them joining the Freehold (maybe) and from there ... well, we'll see.