June 18th, 2009
Waking up in the Hedge with only vague memories of what the hell just happened, the five changelings introduced themselves.
Impatient to get moving, Johnny started walking down the path, with Sour Gerkhin following close behind. Charlotte and Surat trailed a bit farther back.
After walking for a little while and getting to know their new friends better, the group heard shrieking noises from up ahead. Johnny sneaked forward, while Sour Gerkhin climbed a tree to get a better look.
Johnny saw two huge glass spiders attacking someone or something in a tree, while Sour Gerkhin could see that there was a small hobgoblin shaking and scared on the branches.
Johnny raced forward to attack the spiders, figuring they were dangerous enough that they were a threat, and Charlotte and Surat joined in. Meanwhile, Sour Gerkhin worked on convincing the goblin to leap in to his tree, which the goblin eventually did.
Badly wounding one of the spiders enough that one of its legs broke off, the first spider ran quickly into the Hedge. The second spider stayed and fought, but was swiftly dispatched by the group on the ground, with Charlotte getting in the last swing.
Sour Gerkhin and the goblin slowly climbed down the tree, and the goblin introduced himself as Thinnose. He was looking for a rare goblin fruit – he pulled out a rose that smelled like rotting meat at this – and he had been set on by the spiders. After a bit more conversation, it came out that he’d actually killed a baby glass spider right before he was attacked.
Thinnose agreed to do the motley a favor in return for saving them. He didn’t know how to get to the human world, but thought he knew someone who did.
Thinnose led them to a forest clearing that had one huge tree in the center, and convinced an ugly dryad to come out. The dryad agreed to a pledge to show the motley the way out if they’d take his sapling offspring to someplace the sapling could grow.
The motley agreed, and Thinnose thought the place he got the goblin fruit and met the spiders might be best. He agreed to lead them there, now firmly believing they were all friends.
Thinnose refused to go in the clearing itself, but pointed the way to Johnny, who said he’d go alone. He sneaked forward and could see a large house-like structure in the center of the clearing, with the wounded glass spider from before sitting in front of the door. He continued to sneak to hopefully avoid detection, and put the sapling in to the ground. However, before he could get back, another spider, this one smaller, approached.
The spider seemed curious about the sapling, and in trying to touch it, knocked it over. Johnny carefully eased forward, and when the spider didn’t respond, helped the sapling right itself. The spider, curious, touched Johnny with its leg, but didn’t attack him, and eventually wandered off.
The motley returned to the dryad, who told the trees to point the way. Thinnose left them at a well-traveled road, giving Sour Gerkhin a small piece of bone and fur to remember him by.
The motley followed the road and the trees to a gate, which they opened and stepped through. It was only after entering that they realized that they were in a library, and they weren’t alone.
The girl in there with them eventually introduced herself as Trinket, and left to call someone. During this time, Johnny learned how much time had passed since he was taken, and Charlotte learned how little it had been since she had been taken.
Emily set them up with some clothes and cots to sleep in at The Center, and explained more to them the next day. She also made them the offer that the could join the Freehold, if they were willing to do something in return for the Freehold’s protection. They’d be asked for their decision at Midsummer.