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In the sleeping woods... [Open to Schmendrick]
Titania was, rather unusually, not sure of her next move. She'd left the company of Lu back at Lake Raienia and started heading back towards her bower. Seelie weren't the only ones dying. Three were dead now, two unseelie and only the one seelie she'd found. And left everywhere were traces of that magic she knew she should recognize. She was going to have to start an investigation, perhaps, or have one of hers look into it. But something about that stayed her hand, as if she were loathe to get a member of her own court so deeply involved when she had no idea what these fey were being killed for.

So lost in thought was she, she didn't notice a strange formation in the trees near her, something that looked a bit like a green face erupting from leaves. At least she didn't notice, at first. She'd likely notice later when she saw another, and more so when she wasn't so intent on trying to determine just what was happening in her woods.

But green faces in her woods weren't her concern just now. What was her concern was solving the mystery of the deaths and strange magic in the Sleeping Woods before it got even further out of hand.

Tags: schmendrick, titania

From: [info]what_we_dream Date: 04/14/2007 13:27:07  

The Sleeping Forest was normally a place that Schmendrick preferred to linger in. It was pleasant, and the magic that pulsed regularly through the land was a comfort to him. He avoided the roads, taking what would be considered the fool's route and going straight through the Forest itself. Schmendrick was familiar with the atmosphere of the land - enough that for him, such a route was far from foolish action - but today, the Forest was... not itself.

There were eyes, faces that watched the Forest. They were not following him - not that he could tell - but the casual observation felt amiss. The thread of strange power that was woven through the trees. The land had a quality of trepidation, as though it were all holding its collective breath.

Schmendrick was quickening his pace, moving through the trees, when he saw the movement of another. Recognizing the fae queen at once, Schmendrick bowed in respect. "Your Majesty," he said, head still inclined to the ground.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/14/2007 13:42:26  

Titania felt him coming only a little before he arrived. His magic she recgonized; she'd met him before. A small smile broke onto her face. "Ah, Schmendrick the magician, isn't it? It has been some time since I saw you last. How do you fare?" She waved a hand at him, as if both acknowledging and dismissing the bow. The display wasn't necessary at the moment.
From: [info]what_we_dream Date: 04/14/2007 15:51:10  

Schmendrick straightened, and gave her a smile. "Aye, my lady. I am well enough as can be expected for a mortal. Which is to say, quite well." He had experienced immortality before, and had decided once it had been shaken off that he wouldn't wish to experience it again. No matter how tempting it might seem.

His voice took on a note of concern as he continued. "How does my lady Titania?" he asked. "I hope you'll pardon if I'm speaking out of line, but something doesn't seem quite right."
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/14/2007 15:56:00  

"Good to hear," Titania responded. And she was ready to continue in light-hearted fashion, even despite her clouded thoughts, until Schmedrick mentioned his feeling of unease. "Ah, so you've noticed as well. There is something pervading these woods, my good magician. Would that I knew what it was."
From: [info]what_we_dream Date: 04/14/2007 16:29:12  

Schmendrick arched a brow at her response, surprised. The fairy queen didn't know what was happening in her own wood? That was... disconcerting.

The magician didn't like to meddle. He avoided it whenever possible. But 'meddling' was different from offering aid. Molly had explained the difference once as simply being asked for help, and offering to help. There was a bit more than that, but Schmendrick knew reason when he heard it, and hadn't argued with her on that point.

He shook his head lightly. "Something isn't right if it's hidden from your eyes as well. I know your people prefer their own counsel, but if you have need of non-partial assistance, I am willing to aid how I can."

Titania was a good queen. Surely she wouldn't be offended by his offer.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/14/2007 19:46:53  

Titania seemed just as surprised. She hadn't expected that offer. "Have you developed a power to know what I wish as well? Come with me, my dear magician. Let us speak of this in private."

She moved then, noticing the clutch of the green face and leaves, and frowned in confusion. That bore a trace of magic in it as well, nbut not the one she'd become concerned about. That would come later. For now, more pressing business, Titania thought, as she led Schmendrick to her bower.
From: [info]what_we_dream Date: 04/16/2007 00:32:55  

Schmendrick only smiled lightly, and followed. He tended t trust his instincts, and if you made a decision, and people thought it was magic, you stayed quiet and looked wise.

That was the most of wizardry. Watching, learning, deciding. The rest was all technique.

He followed her silently, eyes taking note of the green faces they passed. Her frown had been enough to let him know they were worth keeping note of.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/16/2007 07:11:24  

Titania dismissed the green faces for now, and once they arrived at her bower, Titania made no preamble before speaking. "I'm sure I have no need to impress upon you the disturbance I feel at this magic in the woods. It had killed already, at least three fey, two unseelie, one seelie. Why I am not certain. Whoever is behind it seems to care not for its kind, and yet I feel these deaths are not indiscriminate. They are gruesome, ghastly, and entirely deliberate. This force, whoever is behind is, it dangerous."
From: [info]what_we_dream Date: 04/19/2007 14:46:14  

"Where were the fey killed?" he asked. "And in what way?"

Even if the details were as she said, it would be necessary to know. Fey had their own magics to protect themselves. The ways they could be killed were not few, but they were still harder to harm than an average human.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/19/2007 14:59:23  

To have to repeat the details of the deaths was unpleasent, but Titania steeled herself and did it anyway. "They were found over varying parts of the woods, no one place collectively. The seelie was crushed, as if it were no more than an insect in a giant's fist. The two unseelie... One seemed literally torn limb from limb, and the other was frozen and shattered into sizeable chunks."

She sat, eyes on Schmendrick. "It seems more than a little personal, full of rage, and possibly instability. No normal mind would do such a thing." And it went without saying it took great, great magic to perform such deeds on these creatures.
From: [info]what_we_dream Date: 04/19/2007 15:08:20  

Yes. Very great magic indeed. And a mind that held no manner of empathy. The thought of using his own magic in such a way... no. It could not, would not ever happen.

"Did the fey have any connection to one another? You say it was personal. Not random. What did they have in common?"
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/19/2007 15:13:09  

They did. And she knew it now. "They were all council members." But what had the council done, what had these fey in particular done, that someone would hunt them so? There was a niggling in the back of her mind, like she should remember, but again, it was gone, like a fish slipping through the hands of an inexpericed fisherman, to dive beneath the waters of memory, until someone else could call it up. "Why they have incurred someone's anger... of that again, I am not sure."
From: [info]what_we_dream Date: 04/19/2007 15:17:09  

Schmendrick frowned. "My lady, are there any other council members what should be warned?" He didn't know how large the council was, nor how long their terms were. Lifelong? He didn't know.
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/19/2007 15:29:39  

"There are four others," Titania replied, "But they likely know of their comrades' deaths by now. Word travels fast. Likely they themselves know why it's happening. I do not. I want to know who,a nd I want to know why. And why now. I want to know what sparked this sudden, pardon the trite term, killing spree, here in these woods, now. These fey have been council members for hundreds upon hundreds of years."

She looked at Schmendrick, one eyebrow rasied. "Are still willing to lend aid?"
From: [info]what_we_dream Date: 04/19/2007 15:46:16  

Schmendrick smiled lightly at her question. "Of course. If I let something like fear of death stop me, I'd never get anything done."

His words sounded playful, but Schmendrick understood the severity.

"Do I have your permission to speak to the remaining council members?" he asked. He wasn't sure what they would tell him - if anything - but the threat of a gruesome death was usually good incentive. "Particularly any who served on the council as long."
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/19/2007 15:53:09  

She smiled at the light-hearted humor in the tense conversation. It needed it.

And then she frowned, back to business. "It's not easy to get an audience with them. Perhaps I should do so. Do you think you might be able to trace the magic through the woods, and find where it might be concentrated, see who is behind it?" She laid a gentle hand on his. "I would not want you getting too close, dear Schmendrick. Be safe in this."
From: [info]what_we_dream Date: 04/19/2007 16:27:28  

Schmendrick smiled lightly, and nodded at her request.

"I can do that, milady. Fear not. All shall be well, Schmendrick is with you."
From: [info]no_common_fae Date: 04/19/2007 16:36:49  

Titania smiled again, a broader one this time. "Thank you Schmendrick. Perhaps soon again we will meet and it will be under far more pleasant circumstances." She stood again then, and glanced at him once more. "if you need me, Schmendrick, you know how to find me." And somehow he did. Titania didn't ask how. It was part of his gift. There were things he could do she didn't stop to consider.
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