Closing onto Christmas we held this early session. I felt worried at times putting forward some consequences that removed agency a little too much, but the players expressed their joy at the consequences and found them to be interesting twists!
The trio are being “escorted” by the goblins through the fairy lands. Rolling hills, fields of golden wheat, forests. All the while the stars swirl and grow larger. The sky turns from black to a gold. They finally come to a grand citadel of stone and silver atop a snowy mountain.
The palace is full of tall colourful beings. Not the tiny fairies expected by Lilith, but a mishmash of styles and people. From elegant nobles in feathered and jewelled finery, to beast-people with fur and spines. Frog-men in butler’s suits and mice sweeping the corridors. The throne room is a huge mirrored hall with silver chandeliers and glowing gem-stones. Queen Mab sits on her throne in a midnight cloak surveying the dancing courtiers with obvious boredom on her face.
The goblin-guards explained the prisoners to Queen Mab. Then Nihal turned the tables with an eloquent appeal to the laws of hospitality. She explained how the goblins ambushed and captured them. They only wanted help from Mab herself. The Queen grew furious that her own servants had cast shame on her good name to these three guest. She transformed the Goblins into porcelain miniatures, and placed them in a small display case. She then turned to the trio, rocking a small babe in her arms. “Please take some refreshments while you explain how I may aid you.”
Politely they took the offered cakes and cordial, but used the cover of talking to avoid actually eating anything.
They asked for their lost Aunt – help in retrieving her. Autumn offered a bargain, they they would help the queen as payment for the aid.
“I will give the lady Castaldo back into your care. Once you have retrieved my fallen star from the clutches of Captain Hook.”
The Castaldo sisters did a double take as they understood that the babe in Queen Mab’s lap was their Aunt Mayda. The Queen then waved her hand at the trio, who found themselves back at the Garden Hill in Neverland.
They stood at the fairy-gate as the chimes faded into silence and night began.
Lilith took the lead. Captain Hook and his pirates lived on the Jolly Roger, at the west cove of Neverland. The trio tramped westwards through the jungle, the sisters in awe of the fantastic surroundings. They heard a piteous squawking in the trees, and came across a fairy-dragon nest. Nihal climbed up for a closer look. She found a handful of recently hatched dragonlings. Their rainbow scales wet and gossamer wings still furled. She offered food to one of the hatchlings and enticed it into her satchel.
They came to a great river, rushing down to a waterfall in the distant south. The only crossings visible were a web of vine-bridges. Both the sisters were careful trying to cross the ramshackle bridges. Their care paid off as there were no accidents of problems crossing the swaying vines.
In the darkest hours of the morning they heard clanging sounds echoing through the jungle covered hills. Lilith knew they were coming closer to the pirates, and alongside Nihal they crept towards the sounds. They saw a cleared area covered in makeshift huts and muddy paths. Leading to mines dug into the mountainside. Autumn chastised the younger pair. She pointed out that every minute they wasted here was less time they had to return home.
But sneaking away wasn’t so easy, as the trio stumbled upon a pair of pirates bringing iron-ore back to their ship. Everyone stood still, surprised by the side night time encounter. Nihal tried to entice the pirates. It proved very distracting, and both pirates turned to try and take Nihal captive. Lilith smashed one across the back of the head, leaving him unconscious. Autumn shot the other as he turned to attack Lilith. But he fired off a single shot from his pistol as he fall to the ground.
Knowing that other pirates would soon come to investigate, the trio stripped the pirates of their clothes and weapons. Then ran into the jungle again.
The horizon grew brighter as they reached the beach-side harbourage of the Jolly Roger. A last group of pirates stood on the beach. They saw the approaching dawn, and ran for the small collection of ramshackle buildings near the jungle. They left their rowboat on the shore. The sisters decided to dress up as pirates and pretend to be returning with a captive (Lilith). They sauntered to the boat and rowed across the waves to the Jolly Roger.
The sun rose on an empty pirate ship. Everything was stowed, sailed furled, ropes wound. In the silence they explored the deck and went into the main cabin at the rear of the ship. This room overflowed with loot taken from all manner of places. Paintings, ornate furniture, plates and cutlery of gold and silver, expensive wines and luxurious fabrics. But they were surprised by a seated skeleton – dressed in pirate clothing and slumped in a chair. Nihal found this suspicious. She inspected the area with magic, and finds a curse placed on the pirates. This began to effect the sisters (as they are portraying pirates). Lilith watched in horror as the sisters lost their flesh and fell into two piles of bones.
Lilith collected the bones and lay them out on the cabin floor. Carefully aligning all the bones to be in their correct positions. During her work she hears an ominous sound: snoring coming from the next cabin. Curious, she creeps into the next room to find the Captain’s quarters. Captain Hook himself. Sleeping with the opalescent fallen star hanging from his neck!