15. Betrayal at House on the Hill

In the aftermath of the attack on the Duchess Eloyse, the motley tries to reassert control over the situation.

Betrayal at House on the Hill

Changeling: The Streaming Episode


Episode No.: 15
Original Air Date: December 31, 2017

In-Game Date:
Sunday, November 5th, 2017.

Locations:
Chateau Frontenac.

NPC Appearances:
Fala, Duchess Eloyse, Baroness Akanthea, Jacques Durocher.

Play of the Game:
Kate, as Patches, for putting the "screws" to Fala.

YouTube Archive: Changeling:TS Day 15
ReCapt: ReCapt 15
PodCast: Podcast of Day 15

In a role-playing game, that's pretty much all we have: creativity.

As the masked man and his lackeys disappear, there is a brief pause in the Duchess Eloyse's court. Braum steps up to calm the crowd of courtiers, who begin shouting for Fala's blood. Sophia rushes forward to Eloyse's side, and, realizing that the Well of Life won't be enough to save her, unleashes Spring. Hibiscus plants grow out of the marble, with vines wrapping around the Duchess, sealing her wounds. At the same time, Patches moves towards Fala and discovers dozens of scrolls beneath her cloak, each pressed with a different noble seal; it would appear that Fala's campaign of misinformation goes well beyond the Duchy of Many Rivers!

As the Dreaming stabilizes the Duchess, Braum dismisses the courtiers outright, intimidating another knight enough that he leads the rest of the court out of the hall. Patches and Braum advance on Fala, tying her hands and stringing her up on a sconce. Braum calmly threatens Fala with incredible pain if she doesn't provide all the information as she knows, and Patches idly starts cleaning her screwdriver, prepared to use it to "encourage" the eshu. When asked about the masked man, Fala tells Braum that he "won't be confortable with the answer", and that he would never believe her. Her goal, she tells them, was to destabilize the Duchy of Many Rivers, and that eliminating the Red Branch became a necessity. When Fala earnestly tells Braum that the Fae Death of Kay was necessary in order to avoid bloodshed, the troll stalks off, suppressing his Unseelie impulse to tear her apart. Patches discovers a warm scroll in amongst the others that seems to confirm Fala's orders, with one additional directive: "Find Jacques". The scroll bursts into flames, as goblin parchment does in order to protect the writer's secrets.

Fala tries to get to her feet, and Patches stabs her wound with the screwdriver to keep her down. When Braum asks one last time for Fala to tell him who sent her, she gasps out: "Meilge", the King of Willows. Shocked, Braum is saved from having to make a decision about her fate by the arrival of the Duchess' guards, and Eloyse suddenly waking up. She commands that Fala be taken to the dungeon, and "prevented from escaping"; one of the guards kills her with a chimerical dagger, leaving only a young woman, barely out of her teens, devoid of her Fae soul. Eloyse, still weak, nevertheless commends the motley on their actions, thanking them for saving her life.

When the three return to their quarters, they are greeted by a knock on the door: a kindly boggan bearing pork buns! When she bustles inside and tries to command them to sit down, Braum is suspicious, until the woman introduces herself as Eloyse's Steward, the Baroness Akanthea. Akanthea wants to hear all of the details of the attack on the Duchess, and is particularly interested in why Fala would have been left behind by the other assailants. "If I hired an assassin, I would want to protect my investment." She also hears about Fala's instructions, as discovered by Patches, as well as the extent of Fala's forged signatures (including a blank paper "signed" by Queen Laurel!).

After Akanthea leaves, Sophia spies a mortal down on the street moving a heavy mailbox as if it were as light as a feather and disappearing below ground through a trapdoor. Her curiosity gets the better of her, and she convinces the other two to accompany her outside and through the trapdoor, although her reason to them is to "not let ourselves be surprised by any other strange happenings".

Beneath the street, the motley uncovers a finished tunnel (even down to some hardwood floors), leading down to a door equipped with a security camera. They hear a man and a young woman inside, drinking wine, waiting for something. Knocking on the door, they discover the young woman is an (intoxicated) satyr, Mandy, but the man is an unenchanted mortal, Mark. He is understandably suspicious of the three showing up out of the blue, until Patches quickly uses Metamorphosis on her driver's license to make it appear to be a police badge. She explains that they are looking for clues about a disappearance, and Mark explains that he is simply looking after this "exclusive restaurant" for his employer until night-time. He hands them his employer's card as the motley registers the name: "Jacques Durocher, entrepreneur". Sophia tries to charm Mark into allowing her back later that evening to meet Jacques, but Braum's incredibly poor lie gets all of them thrown out. Mark is a little nervous as he asks whether "she" sent them, telling them that he doesn't "want to start a war". Sensing some political strife between Jacques Durocher and the unnamed woman, they are forced out… but not before Mandy tells them that they're "all his type".

Sophia, putting the pieces together, deduces that Jacques must be a vampire, potentially hunting changelings in order to offer an exclusive "taste" for other vampires in his establishment. Patches is unimpressed with Sophia for having risked their safety to only plunge them further into a dangerous political situation; she calls the Baroness to report a possible vampire lair, as well as berate her for doing a poor job keeping tabs on the freehold's surroundings.

It is at this moment that Braum's phone rings: Kyoko is calling to check in on them, and make sure that everything is OK. When Braum tells her that the Duchess Eloyse is now safe, Kyoko implies that she really only cares about Braum's well-being, an insinuation that goes well over the troll's head. When she tearfully hangs up, Braum quickly texts her a last question: "Should I bring you your tunic?" When his phone rings again, the voice on the other end softly tells him to "bring it home… please."


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