Logs:Lost History - The Barrux Door

From NOLA: The Game that Care Forgot
Jump to: navigation, search


Lost History - The Barrux Door


Characters: Darcy, Etienne, Eva, Hawthorne, Stasya and Tristesse with Slip as ST
Date: 2020-06-15
Summary: Five lost and a werewolf step through a very, very old door.
Disclaimers:

The door on Barracks Street hasn't changed since the Lost (plus one) left it some time ago. Or since Tristesse and her sneaky spying ways had last witnessed one or more of the trio of local hobs slipping through. Which is to say that the black-painted gate stands locked in front of the door which serves as a Hedgeway, the light mounted in the brick wall above it currently turned off despite the gloom settling over the city. What's changed is how busy the streets are. Admittedly, there's not as much activity as New Orleans would see on most June nights, but music spills from the cafe on Decatur Street, just around the corner, where a few tables have been set out for outdoor dining. People, most wearing masks, cluster in pairs or small groups, at tables or corners, catching up on all that they've missed while sheltering in place. It will be nigh impossible to approach the door unseen this evening, but how much anyone might care is unclear.


Tonight, Darcy shows up wearing a pair of non-descript dark-blue denims, black Authentics, and a dark purple windbreaker with the hoodie yanked up, mostly obscuring his face. He's waiting near the door, with his phone out, texting or scrolling through Imgur or on wolf Tinder or something (Howler?) as he waits for the fairies to show up. He's tucked into the indentation to the right of the door, patient.


Coming from Decatur, Tris' keen eyes scan the crowds, looking for any sign of the hobgoblins amongst the outdoor dining crew. The dark hoodie she wears might look a little out of keeping for New Orleans but thanks to the health precautions, that, along with the dark scarf she has covering her face from the bridge of her nose downward, just make her look a little more cautious than the average joe. She gives Darcy an uptick of her chin when she reaches the door. "Kitten," she says, voice muffled a little behind the mask.


Tonight, Etienne has opted to walk rather than ride, going for the quieter approach. The usually black-clad Darkling is in his typical monochromatic wardrobe and armed with knives rather than his usual sword, given that they're more easily concealed among the crowd. There are no dark glasses in front of his burnished silver eyes tonight since it's dark enough for him to forego them. He approaches casually, wearing a mask just like all the others along the street, just one of the crowd.


Eva arrives, looking rather nondescript for her; the Lost is dressed in a pair of black jeans, a purple button-down shirt, and a lightweight, fitted black jacket, open in the front. Her hair is loose about her shoulders, a pair of rather plain black ankle-boots are laced about her feet, and she carries a black, microfiber satchel worn crosswise. She smiles warmly as she spies the others, raising a hand in greeting. She doesn't seem concerned about the crowds - at least not yet, anyways.


The impossible often finds itself being redefined when Changelings are concerned. While Stasya might not have been part of the first expedition to find the door, the Crimson Courtier wasn't going to let herself be left out when she found word of the adventure being formed. Once a few other Changelings have arrived, the cotton candy Wizened steps out of the shadows and just appears where surely there seemed to be nothing a moment before. Hopefully she was as hidden all the way there because walking around New Orleans with a sword on her hip normally attracts attention. She gives a head nod to each of the Lost and a cautious inspection to the werewolf as well. "I think this is almost all of us?" It's a whisper though so not as to attract too much attention from those diners across the street.


Some people dress dark for purpose, some people like Hawthorne just don't look good in colors, so he's in a gray shirt under a bulky gray jacket that has kind of that military surplus kind of look to it, black jeans, comfortable shoes. He's got a nylon sports equipment bag that's rather long, stowed behind one shoulder and holding the strap with his thumb and he gives a big thumbs up, because he knows like one person and doesn't want to embarrass himself.


While the gathering group garners some attention from the onlookers who've clustered around the cafe, their number inspiring both envy and concern from those keeping to twos and threes and fours, it's all passing curiosity, at best, though the sword does inspire some speculation about what exactly they're doing. LARP? Costume party? Surely something fun, right? A few people--only people, no hobs--flick infrequent looks their direction, but it's probably nothing to worry about.


Darcy flashes Tris a smile and winks at her. "Drow." He spots Etienne and then Eva, giving them a brief little hand-wave. But this isn't his show; he's just coming along. Stasya's question gets a raise of his chin and he smiles at everyone. "We ready to do this, then?"


Tristesse's brows knit together in confusion at Darcy's greeting. She does *not* get that reference. But the arrival of others, including those she hasn't met, makes her look to each of the others. While she doesn't look nervous, exactly, there's an edge to her posture, like she's ready to spring into flight -- or fight -- at any moment. "I don't see any of the hobs around," she says, with a nod to the crowd on Decatur.


"Drow are black with white hair, aren't they?" the Frenchman asks as he approaches Darcy, coming to lean up against the wall nearby. "Ready as we will ever be," Etienne says as he glances toward the others. There's a glance toward the people that are watching them, but thus far none seem to be approaching, so he doesn't worry about it too much.


Eva glances to the others as they assemble; the people at the corners of the buildings are given a wry smile, even as she returns her attention to the door and the others. "We are. Hopefully this door works in both directions, or it might be a bit of a longer trip than we'd planned." Her expression turns wry, but she doesn't seem particularly alarmed.


"Even still, we should not dwaddle," Stasya gives another look over her shoulder at the diners before giving a nod of conrimation to the werewolf. As for Eva's joke about the door working both ways, she gives a little shrug. "If not, we'll figure something out." It's the quartermaster's job to be resourceful after all. Hawthorne's thumbs up just gets a nod of acknowledgement, most of her focus on the door in front of them now.


Hawthorne nods a little as he moves toward the door that seems to have been designated, and he takes up a bit of a 'guard the perimeter, look out for narcs' kind of attitude. Nothing remotely trained, but when one or two people start looking a little too closely, he kind of mad-dogs them a little with a little of the old 'crazy eyes' just to deflect the attention while somebody gets the whole 'opening it' situation done.


Darcy shrugs at Etienne and gestures at his own face: "Not a kitten." He rolls his shoulder along the wall and comes to step up next to Eva, bumping her shoulders gently. "Grr. Arrrgh," he says. "If I start getting a bit grouchy, let me know."


"I didn't manage to get a key," Tristesse says with some apology to Eva, "but I can try the same way I did last time." Lockpicking. She nods to the rest. "Block me, yeah?" While that many people is not great for being inconspicuous, they can easily shield the diminutive darkling from the eyes of passersby as she approaches the gate and crouches down to work at it with the lock pick she pulls out of her boot. It's harder this time, and just as she almost gets the tumblers within to click into place, the pick slips. She frowns, concentrating until time spins backward a few seconds, letting her correct that mistake. The lock clicks open and she stands up, turning the door handle to open it.


A laugh greets Darcy's remark and shoulder-bump, eyes twinkling with humor, then Eva nods. "I will," she promises. At Tristesse's remark, the Wizened shakes her head. "That's fine; there's no harm in doing things that way." The Winter's request is met with a cheerful nod, and she steps over to shield the other Lost from general sight, as best her petite frame will allow. She hums rather tunelessly as she waits, hands clasped loosely behind her; it's clear she has full confidence in Tristesse's ability to succeed.


"Ooh, ooh," Darcy says, once the gate is open. He flashes Eva a grin and then pops his brows up for the rest. "I wanna try. You guys get to do this all the time." If he sounds like an overeager and petulant kid, it's because he's definitely putting that on, on purpose. Darcy sidles over to the door and leans in a little bit. When he recites the nursery rhyme there's a little sing-song quality to it -- the same rhythm and tune that Tristesse had heard that other night:

"Bou-Cherie, Bou-Cherie, please don't take my hand. I've nothing left to give you. I hope you understand. Bou-Cherie, Bou-Cherie, please don't take my leg. I've nothing left to stand on. Be kind to me, I beg. Bou-Cherie, Bou-Cherie, please don't take my ear. The world is full of music I really want to hear. Bou-Cherie, Bou-Cherie, please don't take my eye. I hope to see my true love one last time before I die."

He takes a long, slow step back when he says 'eye', keeping his eyes on the door.


Private party. Must be. Somebody clearly has the keys. Nobody heard the admission to the contrary. Curious as the onlookers might be about the nature of the party, they're not quite so interested as to actually ask, not when they could instead keep catching up with friends they haven't seen in months. Nevermind how there might be a few errant social media posts about the private party on Barracks Street that had some weird nursery rhyme as a password to get in. No, they couldn't make out the words, but there's at least one instagram video of someone humming a decent approximation of the overheard melody.

It's easy to imagine there's somebody on the other side of the door who opened it for the group outside when Darcy recited the rhyme in full. Why else would it swing open like that? While the onlookers see nothing out of the ordinary, the half-dozen in front of the Hedgeway, including the werewolf who unlocked it, see the impossible. For certain definitions of possibility. What should be an interior is instead an exterior, the door opening into a fairly gloomy alley way with brick and stone buildings on either side, thorny vines clinging to the walls and wrapping around corners. In the distance, it lets out into a greener, brighter area, though there are several side paths shooting in either direction before then. Nobody can be seen within the immediate vicinity, but a whole slew of activity can be heard, the bustle of a busy market around each and every corner. A sign attached to the wall to the left reads BARRUX STREET. A symbol that looks like a stylized W with arrows at its curled tips is spraypainted roughly below the sign, overlapping in places.


As the door swings open, Stasya's eyes widen a bit in surprise that things seem to be going so simply. Her finger runs over the golden ring on her hand as if just to ensure it's still there before she glances at her companions and the militia Lieutenant cautiously steps through the doorway, looking both left and right as she does so as if a child cautiously checking the street for traffic.


Hawthorne scratches at the back of his head through his hair when looking through the portal once it's opened up and he is satisfied none of the mortals are gonna hassle them. "Well. Nice to go where -something- knows how to spell properly," he says dryly and then he gives a shake of his head, leaves falling away a little from him, burning up or dusting to ash just as they scrape the pavement. Well, he did sign up for militia-ing, so he gives a little shrug and a breath and goes to assist Stasya with the 'going into another dimension, cautiously' bit, though does kind of shuffle through sideways to keep an eye on both directions as he goes.


"Still creepy," Tristesse says of the rhyme before peering inside the gate -- to the outside. She steps through, smirking a little at Hawthorne's words. "X marks the spot, I guess," she says softly, looking around like Stasya does, one hand curling in her pocket. Probably around a knife.


Eva laughs again at Darcy's insistence, eyes again sparkling with mirth; she stays back from the entrance enough to avoid impeding things should the door swing out and not in, then gives the street beyond an interested look. "Well, yes," she agrees with Tristesse. "But that's how this sort of thing is likely to be." She follows the others through the portal, looking about with definite interest - and equal alertness.


Etienne watches as the gate is unlocked and the rhyme is recited, lingering a little bit behind. But once the way is open and they begin to make their way through, he falls in with the others to slip in to the "private party" beyond, taking in the alleyway and the scrawled writing with some interest. The sound of the market ahead is heartening, but he says nothing for now, merely giving a nod to the others and slipping into the alley, remaining alert and attentive to their surroundings and those who might come upon them in the alley.


Darcy steps through the magical doorway without very much hesitation at all, for someone that has never gone into the Hedge before. He pulls his hood back once he's through, sniffing at the air and letting his senses stretch out to feel everything that's around them.


The right is easier for the Lieutenant to consider than the left, the turn off in that direction closer than the other. The alley thattaway is a bit narrower, like walking side-by-side might be uncomfortable. It's also shorter, offering a view of a busy market square where hobgoblins talk and haggle and share stories and meals. A sign hangs above a very tall and fairly wide door set in the brick building to the right, the stylized W on it matching the nearby graffiti. It's an odd place for a storefront, within the alley like that, seemingly the side of a building while the fronts look out over the market proper, but there it is all the same.

As the last of the group step through, the door closes. Not particularly dramatically, but certainly with a sense of timing. It's set within a brick wall that seems to be attached to the buildings beside it, an intentional dead end. Except, well, there's the door. Painted black, just as it is on the mortal side. Here, however, someone has painted the word PULL next to the knob. One might guess that the roughly shoulder-height dent where someone's tried very aggressively to push might explain why.

Hairs prickle on the back of necks, where appropriate. Flakes of brick fall from the corner of a nearby wall where the clinging thorns have grown a little longer, sharper.


As the door so quietly but dramatically shuts behind them, Stasya turns and stares, the hair on the back of her neck definitely prickling. "We should probably try to pull just to see if it works while we're here?" She'll suggest to someone that had followed through the door at the tail of the party. No sense trying to squirm her way through the tight quarters. "Definitely seems like A goblin market." She tilts her head to the right side of the alley and the view of the hobgoblins haggling and eating. Whether it's the right market remains to be seen.


Hawthorne checks his bag once they're all through, but doesn't like, produce his various armaments, because who knows what the rules are here. He does glance back at the door, trusting someone will check it, and then starting to try to make sense of the mercantile geometry of the place. "Should we... Ask?"


Darcy opened the door once, that's enough for him! Someone else can check it if opens the other way. He moves onward, checking the weird geometry with wide eyes that absorb the sights. He walks at a slow, easy pace, making sure he's not rushing through anything nor bumping into anyone as they all start to squeeze and edge through.


Though she doesn't say anything, Tristesse's eyes dart around; there's something birdlike in her motions and like a bird, she seems ready to dart or even fly away at a moment's notice. She turns to tug on the door at Stasya's suggestion.


Eva gives a small shrug at Stasya's suggestion; seeing as how she's closer to the back, she also leans back and gives a small tug at the door, just enough to pull it ajar. The door doesn't budge, unfortunately, and she gives a small shrug. "I suspect we may need to either use glamour or the rhyme again," she says. "Do we want to sort through this now, or see what the Market has to offer first?" Her expression is inquisitive as she looks at the others in the small group. Giving Hawthorne a wry look, she says, "Asking may cost, so as long as we don't get lost in truth, it's likely better to avoid it."


"And if we need to navigate our way out, I can help with that," Etienne offers, as a last resort if the door does not, in fact, open when they try to leave. Beyond that, however, he nods ahead and says, "We came to see the market. We may as well go and see what there is to see." Though he doesn't push his way to the front, either, remaining somewhere in the middle of the group, his suggestion offered.


The door, when tugged, does not budge. Neither does pushing seem to accomplish anything. Trying to turn the handle also fails, as if it were locked. Eva may well have the right of it.

Around corners and down alleys, hobs are starting to notice the group. One with a particularly reptilian mien, with too many teeth to seem as charming as its smile might aim to suggest, straightens to an impressive height as it brushes crumbs from its meal from its chest and sets yellow eyes upon Stasya, first, then the others it can see past her. Its clawed hand crooks and beckons, encouraging them out of the shadowed alley where they're clustered. "Come now, come now. Don't be shy. Ain't nothing you could want you can't find here. You need a friend? A guide? Let ol' Lafitte show ya round."


Stasya frowns a little in disappointment when it seems that it isn't so easy to get through the door as just pulling, but Etienne mentioning he has some tricks up his sleeves gets a nod. She blinks as it seems they have drawn the attention of a rather large and toothy hob and she mutters to the rest of the group, "Is anyone particularly good at negotiations?" Because the fiesty Summer might not be the best choice if you don't want it ending in some sort of confrontation.


"I'm all right at them, though more at getting people to see each other's points of view," Darcy tells Stasya with a quick smile. He isn't a Changeling, though, so probably not the best person whose basket to be putting their eggs into. At the moment, Darcy's looking all over. "It's like Christina Rossetti shoved her head across the gauntlet and had an idea," he murmurs.


Hawthorne's eyebrows lower a bit as he looks at the group of hobgoblins. He chews on the corner of his mouth a little, his ember-bright eyes alert and the leaves falling off of him start rustling around his feet rather than burning up as he stays more wary. To Darcy, he says "Just remember when dealing with hobgoblins that each of them is actually two goblins stacked atop each other, in some sort of suit. So you will need to address both to make a good impression."


Tristesse actually snorts a little at Hawthorne's words, grinning up at him, despite her obvious tension at being in the Hedge. "I, uh, was actually sort of a courtesan in my first Durance, but I might be a little rusty. The second one lasted much longer," the petite darkling says, dipping her head in a polite nod to the reptilian hobgoblin. "Good evening," she says, politely enough, in a voice more meant to carry than her small confessions to her group. She glances at the others. "Et tu, Etienne? Are you our charmer?" she wonders.


Eva gives Darcy an amused look at his comment, then smothers a snicker at Hawthorne's remark, shaking her head. It's clear from her expression that she doesn't consider that useful advice at all. "You're terrible," she informs Hawthorne, then offers, "If you'd like to take turns, just let me know," as Tristesse makes her own offer. The Wizened then falls silent, clearly waiting to see where things go from there.


Etienne looks at Tristesse and raises one brow slightly and answers with a quiet but very definitive, "No." Charm is definitely not his strong suit. He remains behind, letting those who are far more charming have the front of the line to address the hobgoblin. For the moment, he watches, though he at least doesn't reach for any of the knives on his person at this point in time. No, he just watches the exchange from a little bit back.


Lafitte watches the group with those keen yellow eyes for a moment, bouncing from face to face as they talk among themselves, as at least one of them acknowledges his presence. With a shifty consideration in one direction then the other, he steps forward, his tall frame blotting out the light from the market square as he enters the alley. His sharp-toothed smile widens as his focus settles on Tristesse, the only one to acknowledge him, and he croons out, "Good evening," with all the reptilian charm he can muster. Which, really, is a good deal, especially given the way his clawed hand sets to his midsection, how he bows... how he brings that toothy smile so much closer to the group. For a second, at least. Straightening, he says, "Now, this is a first. I ain't ever seen anybody come by the Barrux door that ain't leave by the Barrux door, and you all have a newness boutchou that says you ain't ever been here before to leave here before." He looks the lot over and offers, "How boutchou tell ol' Lafitte here what it is you want, and we'll see bout getting it for you, hm?"


As Stasya watches the darkling greet the reptile hob and Lafitte step over to greet the group, she's still wary despite the seeming charm. Without a word, the quartermaster steps forward, just a half step behind Triestesse taking up a fairly recognizeable position of 'bodyguard' in case anything should happen. No weapons are drawn, and her hand isn't even on the sword she carries, but the summer heat around the Wizened grows noticeably thicker.


"Sorry. Hi." Darcy glances at the hob and does a little double-take, before smiling at the creature. "Long time fan, first time roamer." He scratches at his cheek. "How long as Barrux been around?" Darcy asks, idly, in a tone that almost doesn't expect an answer.


Hawthorne's countenance remains calm and kind of placid except for his intense gaze on the greater pack of hobs, but when the snickers and commentary come, he does lift and lower his eyebrows in a very Groucho Marxist fashion without betraying a whisper of a smile on his lips, though it is at the corners of his eyes. He then studies Lafitte, letting Tristesse and possibly Eva and Darcy do the talking, and tucking his hands into his pockets to give them occupation.


The small darkling takes a breath and then puts on a bright smile, showing her fangs but in a way that seems somehow sweet and charming rather than feral and dangerous. "Lofitte. Enchante." Tristesse dips a little bob of her head, that birdlike gesture somehow reminiscent of a curtsy. She turns to look at the door, then back at him, eyes wide and wondering. "It's an interesting door. You seem like you don't miss a beat," she says, twisting her hair around a finger. "Why is that, I wonder? That no one seems to come through?" She looks past him, curious eyes curious. "What is it you're selling?" That's more to flatter him. She might not really want to know, after all.


Eva smiles warmly at the lizard hob, even as she slips around those between her and the front of the group; at least the Wizened is small enough to make it less awkward than it would be otherwise, depending on the width of the walkspace. Those oddly colored eyes flicker from Darcy to Tristesse, then she gives Lafitte a brightly attentive look and a wink, clearly interested in his response to the already posted questions.


Etienne focuses on Lafitte, studying the hob now that the group seems to be addressing him directly. There's a slight sidelong glance toward Darcy and then back toward the hob, as though curious how that question might be interpreted. He's not particularly comfortable with the way that they're all gathered up in the walkway standing there in front of the door and so he murmurs, "Perhaps Monsieur Lafitte can show us the Market, and perhaps, he can show us some of the more interesting places and vendors there, whom he might recommend?"


Lafitte's tongue peeks out past his long jaws to touch to the tip of one sharp tooth as he looks over Darcy. "How very peculiar." Yellow eyes dip over the werewolf before getting caught up in Tristesse's sweet words. He follows her attention toward the door. "Oh, that ol' thing's been round forever." One clawed hand lifts to scratch at the back of his scaly neck, above the collar of a well-tailored, if shabby, suit, as his reptilian attention resettles on the charming darkling. "What I sell, mon petite opale, is information, access, the very finest services of direct and immediate benefit to the uninitiated and unfamiliar. Reckon I could answer all sorta questions--"

A loud clatter resounds from inside the building to the group's right, Lafitte's left, earning a tip of the lizard's head toward the sound. On the other side of the door, indistinct shouting rings out followed by mutters of what might be apology and more clanging. The arguing voices grow louder the longer the group lingers, threatening to spill out into the alley. Those with particularly keen senses might catch an oddly sweet, soporific smell coming from the other side.

Lafitte turns and gestures down the alley toward its exit, toward the open space beyond. "As you say, mon amie. Tumbledown is yours to explore, and Lafitte is its finest guide." As he starts back toward the open space, he asks, "Now, where'd you all come from tonight?" as if the answer weren't obvious.


Darcy sniffs at the air, and while he can definitely smell it, and pinpoint its provenance, and probably find it faster than anyone -- he does not have a single fucking clue what it is. Huh. The werewolf glances at Lafitte and flashes the hob a wolfish smile. "Weird, right?" He starts walking towards the market place proper, keeping himself within distance of the others.


It wouldn't be wise to just focus on the single hob in front of them when there's a whole crowd and who knows what all else might be prowling about waiting to strike. Stasya's on full alert, her eyes glancing this way and that but the sound of the clanging from the building next to them is drawing a good deal of her attention as well as a sniff of that strange scent in the air. "Whatever we do, we should move." She won't give any particular reasoning, especially not in front of Lafitte, but the Cotton Candy Wizened is given some very uncomfortable looks to whatever is going on to their right.


Hawthorne moves to back up Stasya as they start to move, kind of forming a point of the triangle. He isn't sure if that's really a thing or more just in basketball, but he keeps at it, figuring to give the others a little space to move around and keeping an eye out for things, and mostly will just continue to do that sort of thing.


Tristesse's head swivels in the direction of the clanging, that tension gearing up a few notches, but she manages not to fly away -- and as. a Changeling it's likely she might. Stasya's suggestion draws a nod from the darkling and she beams back up at Lafitte. "Do show us the way, then," she says, boots taking her into his shadow to follow. "Do you know why no one else comes through the door? Are we the first non-hobs you've seen here in... how many years?" she asks, like she's just the most curious tourist.


Eva smiles at the hob's remark. "You sound like a particularly good person to know," she replies, then glances at the door before echoing the others suggestion, "Why don't we move along? I don't think we want to end up between the fight and the field of poppies, as it were." Her eyes twinkle with humor, even as she puts her words into action, moving towards the open space and after Lafitte, although she's certainly keeping an eye out for any additional...complications.


Etienne starts to move, even if the others don't, fully intending to continue on down the alleyway to make his way toward the market proper, sliding in between people and the wall if he has to. He's listening to the questions and the answers given, but since everyone has asked what is on his mind, he moves along.


"I seen plenty of your kind," Lafitte clarifies, looking back at Tristesse. And then to Darcy. "Not a single one of your kind." He continues on is way very much out of the alley and away from the door, hoping the lot will follow. "Ain't ever seen your kind come through the Barrux door, is all." Once he's far enough out to give everyone room to spill out into the open, he turns and stretches his arms wide as if showing off the market. Really, it's a sprawing place with clusters of long-standing buildings serving as anchor points amid what otherwise looks like a great big flea market. Even the ground underfoot is asphalt. Mostly. This is the Hedge, and greenery can't help itself, pushing out through cracks. Swampy puddles dot the ground here or there while flowering vines cling to table legs and signposts. Several of the hobs look up from their stalls, piquing at the prospect of unfamiliar business, fresh faces. Some shoo away other hobs to make room for the newcomers while others just get back to their bartering and gossipping as if it were no big deal.


Darcy is walking around and looking at the things; he doesn't notice the big-ass burly hob until they almost run into each other. With a step to the left, he dodges the swinging bulk and looks up at him. "Damn. You're a big'un, ain'tcha?" If Darcy understands that he is perhaps the most unique curiosity in this place at the moment, he's hiding it well.


Stasya follows along, still basically shadowing behind Tristesse, but the door bursting open has her hand itching to that gold ring once more and she jumps forward to tug at the back of the werewolf's shirt. "Rule number one of the Hedge... See a mystery cloud, don't breath it!" She might not know what exactly that pink stuff is, but she's very, very sure it's not something she would want to be consuming even if it might match her mien. She'll be hurrying over towards the more opened air section, trying to drag Darcy with her and hurry the rest as well.


"No, you said that everyone that comes through it was coming back - meaning they'd all started here," Eva says wryly to the hob. "Sounds like nobody really comes through starting from our end, at least." A tilt of her head. "Do you know much about the owner of the door, then?" Her gaze flickers back towards the door and the pink smoke and she moves a bit faster out of range. When it's clear Stasya's watching out for the werewolf, she nods agreement, but doesn't belabor the point, shifting her attention back to the hob - and making room for everyone to get clear.


Tristesse pulls her black mask back over her nose and mouth when she catches a scent of that strange-smelling sweet cloud, taking a couple of quick steps with shorter legs to keep moving. "Pardon. I misspoke. I meant why you don't see any of our kind come through the the Barrax door." She nods to Eva's question as well, while also glancing over at the quieter fellows, making sure all of the group that came in is still among them.


"Hey, now," Darcy says, looking at Stasya and then over at the smoke. "Shit. Everything in here's so distracting." He flashes her a grin and then follows her, not wanting to get -- gassed, basically, on his first trip to the Hedge. "Thanks, darlin'."


Etienne is fascinated by the giant flea market and while he stays within earshot, he spends some time exploring the various stalls, taking a look at what they hold and avoiding that pink cloud very pointedly. He'll be way over ---> there. Where the pinkness of it all won't interfere with his monochrome aesthetic. He studies some of the hobs as well, as he passes, curiously. As he rounds back toward the group he inquires of Lafitte, "How long has it been since our kind have come to Tumbledown? And where do they usually come from when they come?"


When their tour guide hob is looking forward, Tristesse turns to her fellow tourists, tipping her head in the direction of the two hobs coming out of the building. "Those are the ones I saw," she mouths, tapping near her eyes.


The large hob, who might be the 'Thump' the other mentioned, mutters, "Sorry," in the same pitiful tone to Darcy as he'd offered to his 'boss,' though there's an intrigued, "Hey..." which follows when he looks up in time to see Stasya urging the werewolf along. "Lookit that, boss." Said 'boss' is a bit too busy shooing everyone with a, "Why's everyone in my alley? Giddout! Go!" to actually lookit that as instructed.

Lafitte offers a polite, "Pardon us, Monsieur Brigadaceous. We're just passing through," which seems to appease the rotund hob trying to steer himself clear of the dust cloud and catch his breath. The reptile gestures to beckon the group closer before drawing one hand in to tap a claw to his alligator nose as he nods at Eva. "Precisely right." A second nod follows for Tristesse and her correction. Yellow attention shifting to Etienne, he notes, "Reckon we get a whole lotta ya on the regular. Every few days, depending on your counting. Through all different doors into all different places. Just ain't ever through that one." He looks 'em over again, straightens a bit and offers, "Now, I got plenty of stories if that's what you're here for and can tell you all about the Tumbledown and her doors, but I do hope you understand that such services don't come free." One clawed finger comes up to point to Darcy as he poses, "I think just one of that one's teeth'll do nicely," as if it weren't a big ask. Maybe it isn't. Werewolves regenerate, right?


The Crimson Courtier is practically itching for a fight at the moment and while Stasya won't draw first blood, she's really in no mood to be dragging a werewolf away from possibly poisonous cloud of who knows what only to see him give his teeth over to a hob for even more who knows what. The heat eminating from the summer's eyes is literally palpable as the candy wisp of a woman stares down the much larger Lafitte. "His kind is off limits. Don't want to anger the spirits." Or the summer either. She seems a mite protective of them all.


Darcy blinks a little at the notion that he would be giving someone one of his teeth. Even though they _do_ grow back, it elicits a quick, sharp snarl from him and a look that suggests that would be a bad idea. He's not very intimidating, mind you. He's too pretty. Tsk. When Stasya goes _off_, Darcy glances over at her and makes a little, 'huh', face. "That was pretty hot."


There's a pause as the Wizened waits for the impact of the Summer's words to sink into their guide, but then Eva smoothly suggests, "Perhaps I could make you something instead. Yellow, perhaps, to set off your eyes?" Her expression is inquisitive. "Or we can find something else. Clearly, a tooth is going to be more trouble than it's worth."


Etienne glances between Stasya and Lafitte and over to Darcy, his lips pressed into a thin line, but the Summer has the situation more than in hand, it seems, and so he remains on the periphery, observant but not interfering. He nods to Lafitte when the man suggests that there are many of their kind that come here but not through that particular door. He studies Eva when she offers up making something for the lizard hob instead, lips twitching faintly into a smile when she mentions it setting off his eyes.


Lafitte, all scales and teeth and reptilian manners, leans in toward that heat Stasya radiates like he might want to creep closer still and open his jaws and try his luck against the cotton candy lost. Again, his tongue peeks out to touch to the tip of one sharp tooth, giving it a little wiggle. A thoughtful wiggle. When he bows lower still, it is, indeed, a bow, a gesture of respect, of concession. "Of course, mon feu. Wouldn't wanna anger anybody." Especially not her. When he straightens, smoothing down his suit, he looks to Eva and allows, "Something yellow would be mighty nice." A claw picks at the frayed tie he wears. "A new cravat, perhaps?" Looking behind him, the other hobs who have been paying Very Close Attention to the goings on, what with the summer courtier staring down one of their own, all suddenly find something else to do, the hush that had fallen over the crowd suddenly breaking into a nervous bustle again.

With an indignant sniff, he looks back to the gathered group and smiles a slightly tighter--but no less toothy--smile. "Now. What I can tell you bout that door's that it's been here since the beginning. Oldest in all of Tumbledown. Never seen much use cuz the Queen didn't want it, but the Wayward--" He gestures toward the pair in the alley, toward the door which has now been closed with the W-sign above it. Bragadaceous and Thump don't seem to be paying much mind to the group at the moment, in no small part because the former has slumped against a wall and is snoring while the latter is prodding him with concern. "--has always had leave to trade in the local city. Few others, too, time to time, case by case. Lots of things been changing since the Butcher Queen went and died, though. You all are a fine sign of that."


As the other Changelings defend Darcy's teeth, Tristesse looks off to the two hobs, murmuring a few words under her breath. The flurry of snowflakes and dark sky in her eyes becomes an opaque white but only for a few seconds, before she blinks, a frustrated little huff escaping through her sharp teeth. Still, Lafitte's words draw her eyes, back to their normal if strange hue, return to the hob. "How did she die?" she asks curiously.


Hot is what Stasya does, although she takes it very literally and there's still waves of heat coming from her mantle reaching those nearby. "That's Summer." And with the Solstice being only a few days away, she can feel it. But Lafitte does back down without any need for violence and she gives a gracious head not, accepting his concession and she'll leave the rest of the talking to Eva and Tristesse for the moment, although she does give a glare to any of the more curious onlooking hobgoblins just in case.


Eva considers the hob with a rather professional eye. "That would be perfect, I think. We can work out specifics with regards to patterns and colors later - or I can surprise you." For whatever reason, the Wizened looks rather pleased at the challenge, although she does fall silent as he begins to relay what he knows. "I've wondered about that. Do /you/ have any idea how it is that our kind ended up barred from the city? And what relationship that had with the Butcher Queen?"


To be continued...