Kitten Caboodle aka Kit
and a guest appearance from: Foghairal ke’Coille
The team has one last hurrah in Chicago- at Kit’s suggestion most of the surviving members of the Shadow Chapters meet at the under-construciton Memorial site for a Masquerade, in order to break down the differences between roles etc. It goes well- finally a big meeting in Chicago that goes to plan! Creature breaks off from the group and accidentally destroys xyr clothes when xe decides to test xyr new power out and turns into a Sea Drake. Xe discovers some strange new abilities but seemingly can’t stay in this form for overly long without injury, so switches back, and reports into the team about being mostly nude in the Shattergraves and also now having a shapeshifter ability. Kit is a little skeptical, not being overly jazzed on dragon’s at the moment.
The team decides to keep Ahabitat for the moment, but give up the Bolthole, and sell some of their vehicles and drones. They order some gear, and use the environment in/around Ahabitat to get some training in space stuff from Kit. They call in their “free ride to space” chit with ARES and Kit navigates the sub to one of the equatorial Skyhook space elevators operated by the Corp Court. Kit rejects an offer from the Sea Dragon to receive her patronage in exchange for his contributions to a rigger collective she is funding. She seems somewhat affronted, and Kit says they’ll think on it. They dock at the Skyhook platform, and secure a docking slip with Carol’s ARES contacts. They leave some weapons and other illicit gear in the sub, and head out of the gravity well. Kit feels like they’re coming home, but it’s a strange experience for the rest.
At the orbital transfer station, they meet the Seelie Court rep they’d been told about: Foghairal ke’Coille, who Carol recognizes as being amongst the Queen’s retinue. They all agree to go to the moon first, and Foggy says she’ll assist them in their other missions if they help her on hers first. They board a shuttle and head to Luna, docking at Artemis station, owned by ARES. Carol calls in some favors from his brother, who seems surprised he’s in space but gets him a buggy and some other gear. They head out, relying on Carol’s memory of the Hakari Marama room at the Seelie Court and his conversations with Al’Farabi there, to try to track down the mysterious mana signs she spotted.
Aradia makes good use of the quicksilver camera to assist with this, and also take a photo of space (distressingly empty of mana) and Earth (a strong glowing mana orb with a hard cut to nothing around the edges). They fairly quickly uncover a rusted metal skeleton key, which Foggy ID’s as the Turnkey of Rust, an item that it is rumored can open any door the lost First Expedition to the Seelie Court entered. Searching some more, they find a mana web, which when photographed reveals it’s recorded signature- a door, seemingly on the moon, with some figures stumbling away from it, seemingly asphyxiating.
They continue searching, and find a small bone rod at the third and final site Carol recalls. This looks to be a Spirit Key, and the camera confirms something resides in it still- whether or not any services are left owed, who can say…. Extrapolating from the 3 points, the team realizes that they look like ejecta from a common point at their center, on the dark side. They head there, and Aradia manages to find a small bubble of mana which somehow exists there. Aradia and Foggy enter, and a strange spirit immediately jumps forth from the bone rod. None of the team has ever seen this type of spirit before, but it appears to be some sort of Trader.
IT starts talking to Aradia and Foggy, who somehow understand it inside the mana bubble, while those outside cannot make sense of the language transmitted on the TacNet. The spirit tells the 2 in the bubble that it will answer them 3 questions, after which they will use the key to open the door. They say “what door” and the spirit sweeps his arms and reveals the door they saw in the mana web. The team agrees, and the spirit insists one of them stay in the bubble with him while the team converses on how best to phrase the questions, and what to ask. They settle on their formulations, and ask away.
Inquiring what’s behind the door, the spirit ID’s it as the cityplane of Dis, which the team has heard of from some of 6Cyl’s ramblings of dreams and lost memories when he returned from the 9 Gates portal through Kadath. Although the Trader seems surprised at how much time has passed, he says that the time hasn’t come yet, but that perhaps their relative planes will align soon. The team decides they probably shouldn’t go through the door with the spirit since the only way 6Cyl and Aylin got back was via a bargain with Tohu Wa Bohu…..
For the second question, the Trader fills them in on the fate of the First Expedition, who apparently stumbled into Dis while trying to find the Seelie Court in the 2030’s, and the tried to bind the Trader to the spirit key to get back, but made a bad bargain, and ended up going through a door they shouldn’t have, and ending up on the moon, where they went mad and were dying, so the Trader calmly explains that he had to consume them to sustain himself, and then hid himself in the key and blew all 3 objects out, hoping someone would eventually retrieve and free him- and here they are! Foggy is delighted- this info will be hugely valuable at Court upon her return, and hopefully make up for her losing one of the Queen’s tarot…
3rd, they ask for the connection between outer space, astral space, and the Tarot. The Trader tells them that mana and space are anathema to one another, but that the Tarot does tie to both, and tells them to seek the words of their Prophet, who though mad, sees truth, and understands the constellations. He will not say more, and insists the team open the door. They offer to trade first, and Foggy gives up her tiara in exchange for the Comet Tarot card- huge deal at Court also! Aylin trades some spidergland silk for a strange grub from a jar, and Aradia swaps some novacoke for a potion of strength.
The Trader then insists on leaving, but says to look him up next time their planes align- Foggy uses the Turnkey to open the door, and Aradia manages to get a blurry pic of the chaotically sprawling massive cityplane of Dis as the Trader walks through, the door slamming shut and the mana bubble collapsing behind him. The team all feels pretty satisfied with how this first space mission worked out, and agree to keep working with Foggy for now, even though Foggy insists on keeping all the recovered artifacts. They negotiate a payment from ARES in exchange for Foggy boosting ARES’ corp rep at the Court.
They also decide they need to see if Hansu has dropped any new prophecies, and Carol begins wondering if Dis is some sort of strange fantasy equivalent of the cityplane of Zecorporatum.