Personal Journal: tsukara
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Other Characters Played: Anko (Naruto), Hinamori Momo (Bleach), Lin Beifong (LoK)
Are you 18 or over? yeeep
Canon: The October Daye books by Seanan McGuire
Character: October "Toby" Daye
Timeline: Last chapter of Ashes of Honor
Personality: The two most important things to know about Toby Daye, private-investigator and Knight of Lost Words, sworn to Sylvester Torquill, Duke of Shadowed Hills, former Countess of Goldengreen, and daughter of one of the greatest blood workers in Faerie and (as she only just found out) Firstborn of the Dóchas Sidhe Amandine, is that she's stubborn as hell, and is a Hero. Beyond that, she's your basic cranky changeling woman with a coffee addiction, a constitution of rubber and steel, and a bent towards sarcasm and common sense.
Stubborn is something of an understatement. Several times she has simply refused to die, because she hadn't done what needed to be done, not because she'd had any special not-dying powers. Combine this with a steadfast sense of loyalty, and you have someone that, once you are her friend, or at all important to her, she will stop at nothing to keep you safe. Because that's the other part of who she is at her core.
To put it simply, Toby Daye is a Hero. She neither asked for this title, nor wanted it, but ended up earning it by doing one thing after another considered heroic. Saving people, finding them, getting shot, nearly getting killed by a crazy Firstborn--and so forth. Of course, this has not made her life easy, by any measure, as the reward for doing well is oftentimes another thing to do. But Toby adapts. In fact, she's extremely adaptable, having enough manners to follow the often arcane vagaries of fae protocol, but street wise and savvy enough to know when to throw that out the window. On the other hand, she has a tendency to do things herself, and is not always good at being part of a family or team. She also has the tendency to react before thinking things through, and to throw herself into harm's way, especially if she has an excuse to do so. But she's working on those things.
Toby likes to find things, and find things out and, fortunately, she's really good at it. A licensed private investigator in the mortal world, Toby puts her stubbornness to work at finding out what needs to be found. Her unfortunate specialty has trended toward finding missing children in the last few years, but she is, if anything, even more determined on those cases. She had a little girl once, Gillian, and after Toby disappeared for fourteen years accidentally, grown-up, sixteen-year-old Gillian wanted nothing to do with her mother and, after Gillian's Changeling Choice, can never have anything more to do with her. Failing to find Rayseline and Luna also took its toll on Toby, making her more determined than ever to never let a missing kid go unfound. Everything she's been through in the past few decades or so have made her what some might call paranoid, but understandably so.
Playing Faerie bride once for several years has given Toby a caffeine addiction that borders on the epic. Never joke about there being coffee with her; it's a good way to find out just how angry you can make one changeling. She hates tea, comparing it to licking a lawnmower. Because of her fourteen years in the pond, she hates being submerged in water, from baths to swimming, but likes the rain. Partly due to her mother fucking with her head as a kid, Toby hates the sight of her own blood, which is occasionally a problem, given that her line's magic is based off blood almost entirely. She also has the bad habit of wiping her hands on her jeans, and shoving back her hair, no matter what's on her hands. She's ruined a lot of jeans this way. Toby's default response to just about anything is a healthy dose of sarcasm, though it can range in tone from genuinely amused to seriously pissed off. She's not mean, or cruel, and genuinely cares about the people she cares about, but that doesn't keep her from being sarcastic to them too. She's not always totally honest about her feelings, even to herself, and tends to put emotional things aside to deal with later, if she has any excuse to do so. But eventually she does come around. She loves Shakespeare, and can quote it off the top of her head, even in stressful situations.
One note, related to fae protocol: the fae don't say thank you. It's considered terribly rude to point out that you're in someone's debt, and to the fae, the term implies fealty. Toby will use it with humans, if the need arises, but doesn't always remember to.
Background: Once upon a time, since that's how all the traditional fairy tales start, there was a half-human, half-fae, that is, "changeling" girl named October by her (supposedly) Daoine Sidhe mother Amandine. This girl spent the first few years of her life with her fae mother and human father (who had no idea regarding the true nature of his faerie bride).Then, one day, a man came through her bedroom wall and asked her very seriously, whether she thought of herself as human, like her father, or fae, like her mother. The little girl Chose fae in this, her Changeling's Choice, and she and her mother were whisked away to the Summerlands, a place of eternal twilight and the only realm of Faerie still open to the fae. October never saw her father again, and her mother sunk deep into her grief, neglecting Toby.
But little October did not belong in the Summerlands, given that she was not fully fae and was a relatively weak changeling. So, sometime in her teenage years (when she looked thirteen and was nearer to twenty, because the fae age weirdly, and time is strange in the Summerlands), she ran away to a place in San Francisco called Home, run by a man named Devin, who thought of himself as a sort of cross between "Fagin and Peter Pan, with an eternal army of children to do his bidding". This man took kids in, gave them a roof over their heads, food to eat, a place to belong and, in return, used and exploited them in some very profound ways, October especially.
After many years of this, with the help of Sylvester Torquill--the man who gave her her Changeling's Choice and became like a second father to her--she got out. When pureblood Daoine Sidhe Dawn Winterrose was murdered, Toby found the killer and, while looking, found a knowe for the local queen, the Queen of the Mists. The Queen, being extremely bitter about a changeling solving the mysteries her people couldn't, was prepared to ignore Toby, but Sylvester insisted that she be given proper credit, and a reward. So Toby was knighted, and sworn as Sylvester's liege. On the human side of things, she got her private investigator's license. She also met a human man named Cliff, and played faerie bride herself, having a one-quarter fae daughter named Gillian.
With her work, and her lover, and her little girl, Toby was happy, and was on the case when Sylvester's wife, Luna, and their little girl Rayseline went missing, kidnapped by Sylvester's brother, Simon. Toby was able to follow Simon, all the way into the Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park, the domain of an old friend of Toby's mother, Lily. Lily was unable to help as Simon and his accomplice, the cruel and beautiful Oleander, transfigured Toby into a koi fish in one of the many ponds in the garden.
She spent the next fourteen years as a fish. Simon laid a spell over the Tea Gardens so that everyone fae forgot about them. Cliff and Gillian thought Toby had abandoned them, becoming a deadbeat mom through no fault of her own. Her friends thought she was dead, and couldn't find her. Sylvester went partway mad from grief, making life for his subjects miserable. Amandine, Toby's mother, slipped into her madness completely. Luna and Rayseline eventually found their way back while she was in the pond, but Rayseline, who had spent years in darkness, would never be the same. Lily knew where Toby was but could do nothing for her. But every dawn, which breaks down faerie magic, wore at the spell laid over Toby just a little more.
Until one morning, the spell broke, and missing-for-fourteen-years October Daye crawled out of the fishpond and was taken to a police station.
Her life was in a shambles. Wanting nothing more to do with faerie after that, she got a job in a Safeway on the night shift and rebuffed all contact with connections of her fae life, even old friends who tried to strike up conversations at her job. Until one day, the Call Left a Message. Evening Winterrose, Dawn's sister and one of the people who had taken care of Toby when she got out of the pond, left a series of messages on Toby's machine clearly indicating her life was in danger. In the last one, which Toby got hours too late, Evening laid a curse on Toby, to find Evening's murderers, and then left the phone on while she was shot and killed.
Dragged back into fae life by the curse, which would kill her if she didn't find Evening's killer, Toby rode Evening's blood, followed the clues, and the trail, to the secret Evening died for: a Hope Chest, rumored to be able to change the balance of a changeling's blood between human and fae. Not trusting herself with it, she gave it to a man she trusted because he hated her (it made sense in Toby logic...): Tybalt, Cait Sidhe and local King of Cats. He took it, putting her in his debt (a serious thing in Faerie) and she continued to follow the trail. She went Home, to Devin, trusting him to help her, meeting Dare and Manuel, brother and sister, two of Devin's kids. Dare thought she was a hero. She went to the Luidaeg, a super-powerful, scary Firstborn to whom Devin had gone for help when Toby was near death, and got more help from her, making a deal with her that left the Luidaeg in her debt. She went to Sylvester, eventually, who berated her for going Home first, and met Quentin, a pureblood Daoine Sidhe being fostered at Shadowed Hills.
And, eventually, all roads lead to Home. It was Devin who had had Evening killed to get hold of the Hope Chest. In the final stand-off at Home, Devin killed Dare, who had been relying on Toby to save her. Toby killed Devin because she had no other choice. With Sylvester's help, she burned down the place so no one else would take Devin's place and continue what he had been doing.
A Local Habitation
Now back in her old role as a PI, Toby is tasked by her liege, Sylvester, to check up on Sylvester's niece January, the Countess of Tamed Lightning and head of ALH Computing (they specialize in Summerlands compatible technology), who hasn't been returning his calls. Quentin (the page she met in Rosemary and Rue) is sent along with her, and it soon becomes clear that missed phone calls aren't the only problem at ALH. An eccentric group of people (which, given faerie, is saying something), ALH includes January O'leary (half Daoine Sidhe, half Tylweth Teg, all techie), Jan's adopted daughter and techno-dryad April (she lives in a server tree now); Alex and Terrie, seemingly siblings who turn out to be two people in the same body, and sort of a psychic vampire (Gean-Cannah; for more, see Keats' poem "La Belle Dame Sans Merci", it explains a lot); Gordon, 3/4 Cobblynau and all attitude; Elliot, the county's seneschal and cleanliness obsessed Bannick. The bigger problem? Is three dead bodies, all of them still looking fae. Which is in itself a problem: fae flesh does not decompose. The only other thing that gets rid of a fae body is fire, and they can't burn all the bodies. The solution is the night haunts, creatures that take the fae dead (and any changeling with enough fae blood in them) and leave manikins in their place that do all the normal things like look human and rot. And the blood? Is empty. Toby's getting no answers from that.
There are several false leads and red herrings, like the local Queen of Cats (the first body) having been a spy for the Duchess to the south, Riordan (who'd love nothing more than to take the county over), which brings Tybalt down to help. There aren't any disgruntled employees, and so forth. Toby even asks the Luidaeg how to summon the night haunts and speak to them herself, to ask why they hadn't taken the bodies (because they take the 'self' to have form and live, and the bodies are empty of that). Jan is killed far more viciously that the others. When Terrie is killed at night, the next morning Toby is able to bring Alex, their day self, back to life, which seems to unnerve Tybalt immensely. Someone has a gun, and manages to shoot Quentin (but only in the arm). Eventually, Toby figures out that it's Gordon, with April's help (though April was still basically a child and did not understand). ALH had been working on basically digitizing faerie, and those who had been killed (with the exception of Jan) had been 'saved'. That's where their self went. April realizes that Gordon was lying to her about being able to wake January back up eventually, and helps Toby to defeat Gordon. Toby feels she failed to save Jan, but goes to the funeral anyway, Tybalt disappears for a while and for a few months, things go back to normal.
An Artificial Night
Normal is pretty well shattered when Toby's Fetch (basically her own personal death omen who looks exactly like her, but is indestructible and perky as hell) shows up at her door, and two of Toby's best friend Stacy's kids (practically nieces and nephews of hers--they call her Aunt Birdie) go missing in the night, and a third won't wake up. It's not just Stacy's kids either--Quentin's human girlfriend Katie and five children from the Court of Cats, both changelings and the pureblood Prince of Cats Raj, are missing too, bringing Tybalt back into her life. Toby goes to Lily, the Lady of the Tea Gardens, who sends her to Luna for answers. Luna informs her that this is Blind Michael's Hunt, stealing children for his retinue--fae children for riders, mortal children for ridden, being changed into horses. Luna sends Toby to the Luidaeg, who agrees to help, for a price.
The Luidaeg gives Toby the warnings (she's probably going to die), the rules (go alone; you can't ask for help but you can take any offered; you fight with what you have or what you're given, no buying or stealing a weapon), and a candle (made of blood and silver and saltwater and wax) to lead her to Blind Michael's Land and home again. She also changes Toby (physically) into a 9-year-old, a sort of 'you must be this tall' requirement, and puts her on the Children's Road.
In Blind Michael's Land, she finds Raj, avoids the Lady of the Woods (Acacia, a Firstborn and Blind Michael's consort), and winds up in Blind Michael's Halls. There, Toby makes a deal with him: he lets her go and gives her a head start, with the candle that hides her, and if she can get the children she seeks and get out, she wins. Transported back to where she started, she finds Quentin there too. The riders attack, Acacia saves Toby, and cures her of the poison she was hit with when Toby lets her know about her daughter, Duchess of Shadowed Hills, Luna Torquill. Toby meets up with Quentin again, they get to Blind Michael's, and Toby rescues all of the fae children and Katie--even the ones she never bargained for--but Karen still won't wake up. Because of this, Toby is attacked by Blind Michael's hunters twice, in the mortal world. She is put on the Rose Road by the Luidaeg and Luna, rescued by Tybalt (who dies to get her there but gets better--it's a cat thing) and finds Karen's self in Blind Michael's Land.
There, she makes another deal with him: drop her candle and stay with him, and he will let Karen go--but not Katie. Toby agrees (better to save one child than lose both), and spends the next two months being brainwashed into Blind Michael's new bride, with an interrupted rescue attempt by Acacia. Halloween comes, and Toby rides with them. But Blind Michael wasn't counting on a re-enactment of the breaking of Maeve's ride recounted in Tam Lin, Toby, and the other children she had claimed that Blind Michael had stolen back rescued, including Katie. After returning everyone to their parents, and a brief stop at Shadowed Hills to get un-naked, eat, and mocked by Rayseline, in that order, Toby goes back to the Luidaeg, who puts her on the last road open to her: the Blood Road, the deadliest. Either Toby dies or BLind Michael dies, and the road works by opening little cuts all over Toby as she goes. Despite the odds being stacked against her, Toby beats him, and cuts his throat with a knife of silver (Dare's) and a knife of fae-burning iron (Acacia's). She comes back home, but may always be partly his, with a brand new dislike of candlelight.
The next April, Toby gets countess'd up by the queen (who is plotting something, Tybalt informs her when he kisses her as part of a ploy to make everyone think they hate each other) But Lily is deathly ill--Undine shouldn't be able to get sick.
But life goes on, and while at the Beltane Ball at Shadowed Hills, Toby catches as whiff of the magic of the woman who laughed when Simon turned Toby into a fish: Oleander de Merelands, an adult's terror in faerie, bounties on her head and assassinations on her hands. All she finds is Luna, who faints, seemingly poisoned. Sylvester starts to lose it again in grief. Though there's no proof, Rayseline is more than happy to point the finger at Toby... but with no backup yet. Toby goes to check at the Tea Gardens, and instead chases an illusionary Oleander through half the park, Tybalt showing up after. Toby meets Walther, a chem prof at UC Berkley and one of Lily's subjects.
Lily dies. May, who had settled into her own personality and look, is syncing up to Toby again, a sign that Toby is likely dying soon. Manuel (Dare's brother) shows up to demand Dare's knife back and Toby kicks him out. Someone poisons the meat at the Court of Cats. Several have died already, including Raj's mother. Toby comforts Raj as best she can, and then chases another illusion of Oleander that convinces Toby she's going mad and doing all these things herself, unknowingly. Calling Tybalt to her, she makes him promise that, if she really is going mad, he'll kill her before she can hurt anyone else. Upset about it, he agrees anyway.
Toby takes the meat and Luna's cup to Walther for testing. He swiftly figures out the meat was laced with almost pure, deadly oleander, and sets to devising an antidote for the cats. He also informs Toby she's been poisoned, with a blend meant to confuse and make the subject more malleable, explaining the illusions she'd been chasing. She goes back to Shadowed Hills and Rayseline tries to have her arrested--but without a direct order from the Queen or Sylvester’s consent, they cannot take her from there. Spike, the rose goblin, not waking up, gives them the clue they need to save Luna: salted earth around the rose bushes she's so intimately connected to. She gets another half-illusory/half-real phone call and runs for Luna--and then gets elf-shot.
Instead of dying like she should, Amandine shows up, making Toby take, essentially, her Changeling's Choice again. Choose human, and she goes to sleep and dies. Choose fae? And she lives. Toby chooses Fae, and lives, because her mother changes the balance of Toby's blood more toward fae. Toby wakes up looking more like her mother than before, with a shocking new revelation: October Daye is not Daoine Sidhe. She's Dóchas Sidhe, and Amandine, Toby's mother, is their Firstborn.
Shortly thereafter, Toby gets arrested by the queen's men, including Dugan Harrow, for the murder of Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens. They take her to the Queen's court, the Queen holds a kangaroo court of a 'trial', and sentence Toby to die in three days, by iron and fire. She's taken down to an iron cell, bound in iron.
And then her friends break her out: Tybalt for the Shadow Roads, Quentin to cast the illusions for a diversion, and Connor to touch the iron of her prison (after leaving his Selkie skin in Tybalt's Court). After two days recovering from near-death from iron poisoning, Toby returns to Shadowed Hills by way of a taxi driven into the Summerlands. Manuel tries to kill her, she disarms him, convinces him to make a Heel-Face Turn back, and they save Sylvester from getting poisoned by Oleander AND Rayseline--his own daughter. A manhunt through the knowe ensues. Toby and Connor catch up with Rayseline and Oleander, only for Raysel to teleport away on borrowed magic, leaving Oleander--poisoned by her own brews--to die.
Eventually, Toby has to face the Queen's Court. But she is pardoned of killing the one pureblood she really did kill--Blind Michael--by the High King and Queen of the westlands. She also offers the knowe that came with her countess title to those from Lily's Tea Garden, as a place to go.
One Salt Sea
Two months later, things have once again settled down. Sylvester is teaching Toby how to swordfight. Quentin is named as her squire, Raj pretty much acts as her unnamed squire, and Toby and Connor have picked back up their paused love affair from decades before (before Rayseline was married to him). But Toby's next case involves stopping a war, and bringing two kids home, and it would cost her dearly.
But soon, Toby is tasked by the Luidaeg to find two children from one of the Undersea kingdoms in order to stop a war between that kingdom and her own. Along the way, Toby deals with her Thing about water (somewhat) by visiting the undersea court, and her own daughter, Gillian, is kidnapped too. It turns out it is Rayseline behind it all. Toby manages to find the children, including her daughter, and has to give her daughter her Changeling's Choice. Though Gillian chooses human, Toby is able to use her Dóchas Sidhe powers to change the balance of Gillian's blood all the way to human, instead of killing her. Toby not only loses her daughter, but loses her long-time friend and lover Connor to an arrow through the heart.
Ashes of Honor
Almost a year later, at the start of the next book, Toby is mourning by throwing herself into dangerous situations and all her friends are worried that she won't bounce back, one of these times. She also has to deal with another missing child case, this time Ettienne's changeling daughter Chelsea, a rare changeling that gets all of the power and none of the limits that even purebloods have, who is ripping holes between worlds, even those closed off by Oberon when he, Maeve and Titania disappeared over 500 years ago. Tybalt, who had been giving her space to grieve, comes back, and becomes even more involved when Chelsea knocks Raj into a place where the Shadow Roads can't reach him. And it turns out Chelsea is being held by blood charms by the Duchess to the south of Tamed Lightning, Riordan.
To complicate matters further, Raj's father, Samson, is trying to assassinate Tybalt so Raj can take power early, because Samson is an arrogant, power-hungry pureblooded asshat, basically. They find Raj in a sealed-off world called Annwn, and get him out. Samson almost succeeds, at one point, injuring Tybalt badly. This prompts Tybalt to tell Toby about his first wife (back in the 1800s), why he hated changelings for so long, and that he's kind of in love with October and has been for a while now. There's no time to discuss all that, since Chelsea shows up again, just in time to rescue them from Samson and set them on the chase again. Toby, Tybalt, Quentin, Ettienne and a human cop who had been investigating Chelsea's disappearance are all captured and taken to Annwn, which Riordan is attempting to colonize using Chelsea, with Samson's help. Fortunately for everyone, the gang manages to free Chelsea and get back to the mortal world (though without the human cop, oops), where Toby narrowly escapes dying, gives Chelsea her Changeling's Choice (Chelsea chooses fae, and Toby basically turns her pureblooded in order to give her the limits she should have had to begin with), and they deal with Chelsea's human mother by bringing her 'into the hills' (there's precedent, and she believes in faerie anyway, and that's why you don't get involved with a folklore professor...). Toby and Tybalt also work things out, and she decides to give him a chance. For whatever time they have, anyway.
When casting a spell, Toby uses everything from nursery rhymes, to lines of Shakespeare, to commercials and TV intros or whatever else comes to mind.
- blood magic: the true base of Toby's magic, much to her chagrin. She can do a lot with blood:
There's 'riding' it (by tasting it, she can experience the memories, viscerally, as if she was the person whose blood it is, up until the point the blood is shed).
She can detect blood--her mother was famous for being able to find a single drop of blood in a field of love-lies-bleeding, and Toby is nearly as good. Blood lights up like neon for her, up to the point where she can follow a blood trail on black tiles through a dark knowe.
Blood, both the scent but especially the taste of it, focuses her and her magic. Any spell she has trouble casting she can make easier by shedding blood for it. The Luidaeg makes Toby bleed for her spells a whole lot and, whenever Toby gets hurt, there's at least blood to keep her going.
Magic detection is another neat trick she has. In faerie, each and every magic caster has their own unique blend of scents, or "taste", serving as a sort of signature. There are ways to muddle this (borrowed magic smells like dust and cobwebs, etc.) but not to change it. Toby's magic smells like freshly minted copper and cut grass. She can also taste the balance of another person's blood just by breathing in, up to and including what kind of fae they are (if she knows it), and how much of each race, including human, they have in them.
- Accelerated healing:
After the balance of her blood was shifted, Toby went from being made out of freaking rubber to being able to survive getting shot twice in the belly and once in the shoulder (with non-iron bullets) after a few minutes. She still has her limits--pretty much no one in faerie will survive getting a head cut off or extreme exsanguination, and it takes energy to heal--but they're much further than they once were. She still pushes them. She also doesn't really age, since she's so much closer to pureblood than she ever was before. She was born in 1952 and at 60 (give or take) still looks mid-thirties or so.
- Illusions: How have the fae stayed hidden all these centuries? Illusions. Baby magic, instinctual and uncontrolled, hides fae and their changeling children until it fades, anywhere from three years old to late teens. Beyond that, there's a basic set of illusions that the fae use when interacting with humans, to make them appear human. Toby's "face" adds blue to her otherwise colorless eyes, blunts the tips of her very pointed ears, and smoothes the planes of her cheekbones to something approaching human. Beyond that, there are bigger illusions, such as don't-look-here's, which hide the caster (and/or what they cast it on), hide-and-seek's, which work much the same, but don't disappear you until you turn a corner or otherwise disappear from sight, and so forth. Toby can cast these, but the harder the spell the mroe she sucks at it. Toby's illusions beyond her "face" suck, frankly. Titania is the lady of illusions, and Toby isn't her's.
- Wardings: Toby can do basic wardings on her home, usually using red string and nursery. They really aren't strong enough to keep anything big out, but they do let her know if anything's come in. Really basic magic.
- Trouble magnet: whether it's a consequence of her heritage (as her line seems to be claimed by Oberon by default, since neither Maeve nor Titania have put in a bid) or just one of Toby being Toby, she has an almost magnetic draw for trouble of many kinds.
- fighting. Toby is what you might call a scrappy fighter. She learned to fight to survive, not to fight fair. Though she now has a bit of training with a sword and carries it in the car, she's more comfortable with things like knives, baseball bats, lamps, or whatever the hell she can get her hands on. She knows how to use a gun, but doesn't carry one. She's also skilled at what one might call 'combat driving', having been almost killed in her car a number of times, and wrecked a few too. That aside, she's a good driver...
Iron: this is the big one. Iron burns the fae, and it poisons them, kills the magic, the mind, and finally the body, in that order. Death by iron poisoning alone is slow and painful, and simply being near too much of the stuff for too long can do it. And the stronger one's fae blood is, the more it burns and hurts. Humans aren't affected by iron, fae can't even be near it without burns, blisters, and so forth; changelings, in this as in all things, are somewhere in between. Toby used to be quite a weak changeling, susceptible to iron poisoning, but able to handle and use an iron knife, or iron bullets. These days, she can't carry an iron knife without it hurting her, and she it far more susceptible to iron in general. (There are a few fae species that aren't fazed in the least by iron, Toby isn't one of them.)
Other traditional charms against the fae are pretty likely to work against Toby: juniper berries, rowan ash, ropes of human hair, so on and so forth.
Dawn: dawn belongs to humans. When the sun comes up, strong enchantments are weakened, and weak enchantments fall apart entirely, including wards, personal illusions, etc. It's also pretty damn painful for the fae, incapacitating them while also inducing a fight-or-flight instinctual response, for a few minutes.
(Elf-shot: Not likely to come up, but happens in canon. A common-ish poison in faerie. Purebloods, when hit with elfshot, sleep for 100 years. Changelings and humans die.)
Sample Journal Post:
What the-- Where am I? It's not San Francisco... Tybalt?
[A woman's voice from off-camera, which is pointed straight at the clear blue midday sky.]
May? Quentin? ....Anyone? Root and branch, what happened...
[A moment of silence, then the crunching of sneakers on gravel, and a woman in a black shirt, jeans, and a beat-up leather jacket appears on the feed, crouching down to pick up the PCD, muttering to herself just audibly.]
A cell phone or something?
[She brings it closer, revealing gray-blue eyes and unusually sharp, but still basically human, features. Interesting, rather than beautiful. Some few might see a shimmer of illusion about her, but not through it, over the PCD.]
If anyone's out there listening... I'd kill for a cup of coffee right now.
Resting a moment on a crumbling brick wall, I took stock of the situation quickly: I was stuck in a place that matched none of the known worlds of Faerie, even the ones sealed off, there were a whole bunch of other people stuck with me, I had nowhere to live, I was having to deal with yet another new and different cell phone, and, most pressingly of all, to my mind at least, there was no coffee at all.
Normally when I threatened people until they gave me coffee, it was exaggerated for effect, and their mocking was generally good natured and, more often than not, ended in actual coffee. Mostly because they'd never seen just how cranky I got without my chosen artificial stimulant.
The headache starting at the edges of my temples--unrelated to magic burn, for once--said that things might get real ugly real fast if I didn't get answers, coffee, and a nap, not necessarily in that order.
I was distracted after a little while by the cell phone I'd picked up and stuck in my jacket pocket beeping at me insistently. Someone must have answered that plea I'd thrown out on the local network. Plastering on grin that I could only hope wasn't as much of a grimace as it felt like, I answered it (I hoped, anyway--this was way more complicated than the simple Summerlands compatible flip phones people kept giving me at home). "Adstringendum? Oberon's balls, just how far down the rabbit hole are we?" These answers weren't making any sense. Just one more mystery thrown my way. Lucky me.