Section: 3 July 2019 Up Main page Section: 31 July 2019 

17 July 2019

On Sunday we met for lunch. The papers mentioned a gruesome murder in Grover Park, and Mac looked shifty.
Miss Yvette suggested that the blonde woman at the hotel, who specialised in fae events, might be a person to ask about Ascalon. But if the name were important, she’d surely realise its significance.
Mac took Miss Yvette to see her agent and report on her successes of the previous evening, and to check for any messages. There had been several enquiries, among them both the New Firehouse and the Tin-Tan, and she agreed to go for both – though he’d let them sweat for a bit. And a Mr Steiner was interested in a private booking, and might turn out to be the troll Stonefall. There was also a packet that had been delivered for her; out in the car, this proved to be handwritten notes from Dr Hüber, background and speculation on various matters, including the Wild Hunt, runestones, the sea, and Federwell’s wings. He also mentioned that Miss Thornton had been in touch, employed to look into a theft at the Hotel Arden…
When we got back together, we looked at the notes. The Hunt (or Hunts) hadn’t previously been recorded in North America, and not reliably in Europe for most of a century. It usually showed up in the stories as a major punishment for major offences… but more respectful of fey boundaries, concerning the area into which they’d been invited, than human ones. At least at first. There was also a time limit; the Master would appear on the seventh night after summoning, if the prey had not been caught. And the ways to deal with it were just to get the summoner to call it off, or to fall under the protection of someone more powerful.
In the matter of runestones: very simplified, they were portable and transferrable sources of magical power. Their origin was unclear, though there were persistent rumours that it was done by killing a powerful magical being. One Ephram Meier, a svartelf, would know more.
Federwell’s wings might also act like stones, partly because some of a sprite’s magic was stored there, partly because of the symbolism.
Taking an item through the sea wouldn’t destroy previous claims, but would limit them. People might still feel they had claims, but the metaphysical trace of ownership would be gone.
With some sense of time pressure, we went past the jewellers’ quarter; Mayer’s was closed, though there was some sign of movement (and clearly a common yard behind several of the shops).
Miss Yvette and I knocked, and offering Dr Hüber’s name got us into the shop. He was impressed by the case, and when we explained our interest in tracing its contents, he got one of his sons to fetch a friend. The case was certainly of a very unusual manufacture…
Asking about the contents revealed that such an item might be for sale, but the identity of the seller would be another matter.
His son returned, bringing with him Mr Blitzen, who seemed to be a manual labourer but dressed neatly and with style – with a silvery cast to him, and wearing a large iron signet ring.
He named the item from the case as the Helios, and was clearly aware of its importance. Many people were now extremely interested in it… and nobody was admitting to having it. Using it was not a task to be undertaken lightly, particularly given its fiery temperament.
When I mentioned hypothetically how one might go about tracing this item, he said that he’d ask someone who might know more about it, such as his cousin who was in such distress and was cluttering up the house… though he’d be rather unhappy with us for destroying his life.
In the matter of Ascalon… in the legendry it was the Sword of St George, and there was a Miss St George at the Hotel Arden…
Blitzen was tracing shapes on the case, which Miss Yvette was able to spot, magically, as overlapping orbits. He offered us a trade: the box, in return for introductions to Miss St George, his cousin, or others.
We spoke with the others, and returned to confirm that we’d speak with Miss St George; we’d call him at about four o’clock.
Mac offered to trade first-hand knowledge of the Wild Hunt, though Blitzen didn’t seem to take this very seriously until he heard the other side of the deal: protecting his vehicle against the Hunt.
We took our leave, and had a few hours to spare. Miss Yvette called Miss Thornton’s office number, and (though she was somewhat asleep, hung over, and surprised to hear from us) she agreed to meet.
She’d been employed to find out how the theft was done – which was obviously information that we could provide. In return of course we wanted help with finding the Helios… though Mr Rhodes, the parrot, pointed us at the dragon, which was another approach of course. Eventually she agreed to go back to her client and see if they’d make an offer.
We left; Miss Yvette called back to Blitzen, and Miss St George had agreed to meet us for tea at five, at his place (not far from Meier’s). After making ourselves presentable, we went there, and were greeted by a younger version of Blitzen and let into a very elegant room, clearly a showpiece for the family’s work as well as for showing off to company.
The blonde woman was indeed there, and we were introduced to Miss St George. She was willing to tell us a great deal… if we left Mr Blitzen’s protection. But he first wanted us to finish the tea, and meanwhile he spoke with Mac about modifications to the cab. I chatted with Miss St George about the inadequacies of the safe at the Arden.
We left with Miss St George, and she took us to an address on the edge of Torpenville not too far from the Arden…
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