The team heads to the Morning Hearing and is contacted by Kendra dos Santos, Arleesh’s voice, about potential collabs. She proffers a Tarot card in good faith, and implies that Arleesh has teamed up with Schwartzkopf to work together against risks to metahumanity, and could use the team’s assistance. Ashokasundarai Rai asks for info to help her close her investigation into the Nightwatch Phantom. There was also another mysterious death involving an item called the Circle Sword. The Children of the Dragon show up looking for info on Ghostwalker’s origins, and get a few days approval to do research and seek assistance, but dragons seem to be ill thought of in general here. And Jonny Silver is announced to be the target of the Wild Hunt for a year and a day for his disruptive Faithe Faillan performance.
The team begins prepping for the Geocache raid, and spots some Hermit members keeping an eye on them. Test compiles a massive sprite, and shunts the damage to Aylin, who regenerates it quickly. Test remains in Geocache with 6 Cyl and Carol guarding to keep the sprite registered, and the rest of the team gets some cyber and gear upgrades from the Zhigul makers to use the next day. They rest up again and Test gets his mind read by Nuada the Dreamer, the slumbering ancient head of Hermit faction. He seems to get, essentially, everything while giving Test a weird dream. Carol decides to try to make peace, and reaches out- Nuada contacts him and they make a deal that the team will leave Hermit alone, damage another Earth faction on their mission, and then leave the Court soon.
The rest of the team heads to the Morning Hearing again, and Xoc announces another faction, revealing another Tarot card: Karma. The team has a feeling this reveal was rushed by something, possibly their having been mind-probed, but Avocado is unsure how. They also see a presentation of further Tarot cards, which strangely vanish out of his hands. The Executioner petitions for more capital crimes and is denied. Eclipse faction petitions for some special dispensations given the Dawnseeker’s Arch showing a rare eclipse today. They plan to host a ball that evening at Hakari Marama, and the team will be expected to attend as affiliates. There are also rumors of strange green vines appearing near Void Doors and elsewhere in rarely traveled areas of the astral sea. The team is worried about a Null connection…
Aylin checks on her mom, all good so far, and they all meet up in Geocache. The raid goes amazingly well, with Test, Hotkey and the sprite changing off taking lead while Kinnie supports using his newly installed skillwires. Avocado gives leadership where possible, and Aylin soaks Tests’ damage. They place an anchor in the easier to access Fuchi/NN structure, and then hack into the AZT temple, and make another anchor. They figure out the paradigm, and manage to retrieve the Ashen Mirror just as the system notices them. They get out, sacrificing the sprite to hold off the pursuers, and exit through the connected anchors, barely escaping the NN node before that also turns on them. Kinnie’s first time in the Foundation! Wild. The team also finds the 3 Tarot cards from the Morning Hearing in their pockets when they exit the Foundation. They return to their suite and look into the Mirror. They spot the Ebon Queen, imprisoned on the blood/shadow crossing plane of Fauth-Doshgoi by none other than Alachia.
They debate who to contact about the Mirror and decide to go with Old Crow. They meet again in the Labyrinth, and also find Niall O’Connor and “Lord” Gwyn in attendance. Niall makes a deal to trade help for Aylin’s mom, a settling of the team’s debts, and a Tarot card to use for transit back to the material plane for the Mirror, and then leaves, after giving them some tips for using the card. Old Crow intro’s Gwyn, and he explains that he is the Eiolai or Guide of the Unseelie Court, and is dying. Having read the Tarot he knows that the Ebon Queen, who he ID’s as Aina Dupree (explaining a lot re: Harlequin), is to be his successor, but he needs the team’s help in rescuing her. He will be going along, and he and OC suggest talking to Harly about potential distractions for Alachia for when they plan their prison break, and aim to go soon to prevent Alachia getting tipped (given the Hermit mind-reading, etc). They also suggest using vials of Aylin’s mom’s blood to try to bypass or confuse some of the security systems of the prison, since her mom was residing on the plane before coming to the Seelie Court.
The team pushes for a big payday, and Gwyn agrees- he offers knowledge, contacts, power, artifacts, money, whatever. They retreat to their suite to discuss terms, but are told time is of the essence and also have to attend the Eclipse Ball that evening.