So everyone but Zhou has been bodily assumed into some kind of mysticky source-of-the-shadow-on-Plato’s-Cave super-Ireland. The sun is warm and the landscape is full of green rolling hills and it’s all very green and pleasant and just feels so right in all the ways the “real” world is not. There are some beautiful, stately buildings kicking around, built by people who were really good at making beautiful and stately buildings. Yes, they’re in Tir Na Nog. Raahi is taking notes as fast as he can write.
Lugh: “You called!”
Casey: “I’m really glad that worked. That wasn’t too overdone, was it?”
Dayna: “You’re talking to a guy who just descended from the sky on a beam of golden light.”
They enter one of the buildings, some kind of unspeakably lavish yet tasteful ur-Cottage. It’s totally awesome. Casey beams. Dayna is a little annoyed at the unreality of all this and is scowling. Lugh gives them a fifty euro tour, offers them food and/or rest, and draws Casey aside to go talk in private. Everyone else pretty much sits and chills out; Raahi makes more notes and lazily sketches the local architecture; he also samples some of the food and beer, which is predictably just unbelievably delicious, and the beer is equally amazing and alarmingly strong. Molly is remembering that it’s unwise to eat anything in a fairy dwelling and this seems like an analogous situation?
Lugh opens up his conversation with Casey by saying that he can’t always come and help his son; Casey counters that while the extraction was really great, all he’d been asking for was advice or something. Lugh apologizes for letting things get so far out of hand on the mountain; he’s been terribly busy. Unfortunately, he can’t just do something for the kid and not expect anything in return, so after a lot of hemming and hawing, Lugh basically drops it on Casey that there’s some geas action coming up.
Lugh:“Since I have taken you into my home, I lay now the geas upon you that any in need must be taken into yours, and any who ask.”
Casey:“I don’t really have a home, I have a dorm room and then there’s mom’s house in Boston—”
Lugh: “The geas I place upon you is that you take any in need into whatever serves you as a home at that time, and to give them no worse hospitality than you would give yourself.”
Casey asks some awkward questions, and Lugh boils it down to: “By request or by need shall your guests be known.”
Casey: “Damn it, Mormons too?”
So Casey is all geased up. The two of them, father and son, come back into the main room where the remainder of the party is waiting.
Lugh: “Now, what happened out there, and weren’t there five of you?”
Casey gives his father a quick, confusing version of the story so far: the box, Virgil and Homer, Molly’s kidnapping, Ken, the Titan’s prison, the frost giant, Molly’s escape. Lugh had no idea that Virgil, Ken and Homer were out there, and asks them who they serve. Virgil is a scion of Artemis, so he was adopted; Homer is the scion of Apollo. Lugh also comments that none of the gods will be in the city of Seattle at the moment. “It was hard enough being in one place for a few days. So, the lock of Tlaloc and the lock of Vulcan were all intact?” The party tells them that the locks are, in fact, intact, and that the key to the cabin is back in Seattle, in Zhou’s possession.
Lugh: “This sounds difficult. I should return you before too long, there are conversations I need to have.”
Casey asks if Lugh can tell them anything about Ken, and Lugh declines, whether from ignorance or not. “Casey, go to my desk, the upper left drawer will be open. There’s an object in it, you should take it.” Casey does as he’s told and finds a small jewelry box, containing a simple, cheap ring of Celtic knotwork. It’s pleasantly warm to the touch.
Lugh: “Keep that, wear it. I will be in difficult places for the next little while, you won’t be able to reach me the way you did, but if you wear the ring, I’ll be able to reach you. […] You have a long walk ahead of you, and I… have things I should be doing. Walk until you reach the bank of a river, turn right, and walk to the bend. At the bend, drive your spear butt down into the ground and follow the path back to Seattle. For now, I take my leave of you.”
He steps into the same room where he spoke to Casey.
Everyone basically rests and eats for awhile; Homer is busily chowing down, Virgil isn’t eating much of anything. Molly samples some of the fruit. After awhile, they ready themselves and leave Lugh’s house, walking through the heavenly landscape, to the bend in the heavenly river. When Casey puts his spear into the ground, the world just sort of opens up weirdly, and there’s a golden staircase descending into a faintly glowing nothingness. Everyone descends, Casey and Dayna arguing over the merits of heavens as the stairs turn into stained concrete lit by bad fluorescents. They’re in a utility stairway at the hotel they were staying in back in Seattle. Casey calls Zhou and there’s another confused conversation, but the important information is conveyed. As it turns out, they’re all less than a hundred meters away from each other.
Zhou decides to just begin his day; everyone else sleeps until noon or so; Homer and Virgil bed down in Casey’s room. Zhou calls his driver up on the mountain and just tells him to go home. At noon everyone gets together and compares notes; Casey doesn’t tell the party about his geas, but otherwise everyone is filled in.
Zhou points out that the party has basically carried out its original job, and now what? Molly decides to call the number that Hephaestus gave her; Paul Allen answers. Paul hasn’t seen Hephaestus for a couple of weeks, but promises to have his people send a phone number to Molly, and says that he’ll actually be in Seattle shortly.
Homer and Virgil decide they need to take off and report back to their own people. Zhou asks them to give the party a call and let them know how the reporting went. Everyone swaps phone numbers and email addresses.
At this point Dayna realizes the MESSAGE light on the phone is blinking, and the front desk tells her the room has a package. Zhou and Casey collect it; it’s a small cardboard box about the size of a paperback. It has their room number on it, no postal labels, it was just left at the desk. Inside, there’s a set of tacky souvenirs, protected by tissue paper:
- a pin with a stylized koi-like fish on it
- a stereotypical BFF heart pendant with a crack in it
- a faux-ivory keychain
- a charm in the shape of an anvil
They look like they could have been bought in any souvenir store in Seattle. Raahi turns his archaeological eye on the box of trinkets and finds them, unsurprisingly, extremely ordinary. Dayna tries some Radda’s Eyes on the box, but fails; it feels like something is just shutting her out. When Casey holds up the crappy ring his father gave him, it suddenly seems obvious that these objects are gifts from Lugh — each one feels sort of warm and special in the hand of its intended recipient — Molly the anvil, Raahi the ivory, Dayna the heart, and Zhou the koi.
Molly does in fact get a whole bunch of phone numbers emailed to her smartphone — including some numbers she can call if she needs, eg, some workspace. She calls the latter number and is promised a car will pick her up in the morning; in the meantime, she starts working on turning her camp cot into a fold-up hang glider. Raahi starts writing up some kind of reasonable, not insane sounding set of notes of his experiences in the PNW. Zhou does a bunch of business shit.
In the morning, Dayna goes to church and makes some excellent contacts. Zhou does more business shit, burning up the lines between Seattle, Hong Kong and LA to keep things moving along smoothly. Molly finds herself with sole access to a large machine shop, awesome! Casey goes and does some martial arts practice. Raahi visits a college campus, makes some contacts and wangles some space in one of the grad student offices. The next day or two is spent in this way; life shows some signs of actually returning to normal, with nothing untoward.
Raahi gets an email, or rather, he’s brought into an ongoing email exchange; Professor Sato has arranged for him to transfer to UW and do some work there; all the bureaucracy has been taken care of already. Molly gets a similar email from her school, congratulating her that Vulcan seems to want her to help them out in Seattle and assuring her that everything is taken care of back at home, someone will be filling in for her, etc. Casey gets accepted to UW. His email, along with Raahi and Molly’s, have the same somewhat alarming quality of revealing that their lives have been artfully managed for them behind their backs, pushing them along a course that leaves them studying and/or working in Seattle.
Molly goes and buys an old rusted-out VW microbus and fixes it up to a completely reasonable vehicle. She also finishes the hang-gliding cot; it’s very cool but a liiittle short of what she really had in her head.. Raahi buys a motorbike. Zhou buys a Norinco AK at a gun shop in Bellevue.
Virgil calls back. He and Homer are still trying to find the people they work for; he lets slip that they’ve been traveling and are currently in Texas.
Dayna is well tied in to the local church, and she makes herself available to help out with the ceremonies of the Day of Our Lady of Peace. She notices a stranger hanging around the celebration, and approaches her. The woman knows her name. She says things are rather complicated and confused at the moment, but Dayna could do something for her.
“There’s this boy got killed. Stupid, drugs. He wasn’t even carrying. And he was with this girl, real faithful, real serious. And I just don’t want to let it stand like that. The funeral is tomorrow… we’ll be talking soon.” She gives Dayna a card and steps away.
4xp by default, Casey and Zhou get an xp each for the 5 AM phone call. Dayna gets an xp for scowling. Molly gets an xp for the hang-gliding cot. Raahi gets an xp for God Beer. Then everybody gets 5xp more for end of story and resets their Willpower and Legend.