Our group finishes their introductions and have their first visitors…
"Relying on knowledge from other sources can be dangerous."
Picking up where we left off, the three Kithain are theorizing as to where "Little One" may have come from while they soothe its injuries with aloe and put it to sleep. Sophia expresses her desire to want to invite more Kithain into The Spark in order to make it more welcoming. It already has a reputation as "Zistor's Freehold", but shouldn't it be a place of magic and Glamour in its own right?
After being teased by the Keypad, Patches heads up to the offices with Braum and Sophia to check out their workspace. A completely empty room greets them behind their office door, prompting Patches to joke about maybe setting up sex swings for them. This brings Kyoko out of her office to join in, using the opportunity to poke fun at the nobles.
On their way through the Exhaust, where they find Claude passed out (Kyoko noting only that "It's Friday!"), the group heads out onto the balcony. A balcony sticking straight out from the building houses a lush garden with rose bushes along the outside and a deep pool that, if one stares into it for long enough, becomes translucent, showing the city below. Waiting for them is a formal satyr with a mechanical arm, Talus, who detaches sections of a mechanical tree to provide stump seating for the group. He is very glad that the Freehold is under new management, at least temporarily, believing that the three guardians will be able to bring "peace" (i.e. more Kithain) to The Spark. Patches, in particular, is a crafting genius who should be given free reign to create in Zistor's workshop. Talus also tells the crew that one night shortly before Zistor left, he came home bleeding and beaten, dragging Little One. With little else to go on, the motley vows to get to the bottom of the mystery of the dragon's appearance.
At that moment, an unknown woman arrives in the Exhaust, dressed in a dark shawl and cloak, with constellations in her eyes. The woman introduces herself as Fala El'Ahib of House Eiluned. She has arrived from the Kingdom of Willows with a summons from King Meilge to investigate and retrieve Zistor Flexx, wanted for crimes of theft, impersonation of nobles, and murder! She pulls out an intricately-crafted sword sheath, holding a flute, inside of which is a small amount of powder which, Fala explains, is a very powerful drug that seems to inspire obsession in the holder. Fala demands they reveal Zistor's whereabouts, which Sophia politely explains are unknown. When Patches hears a gun cocking, she snaps at Fala, telling her to show her hands. The Eshu does as she is told, but insists on being given access to The Spark so that she can search it thoroughly for clues about where Zistor went. Patches wants to let her, just to get her out of the way, but Braum insists that Fala return with the proper authority from Duke Granville.
It is at this impasse that the door behind them is kicked open by Incisor, a Redcap badass with baseball bat, studded boots, blue dreads, a "Titz" jacket, and of course a mouthful of jagged teeth. Incisor threatens to rip off Fala's head and kicks her out of the freehold, though the Eshu vows to return. The Redcap tries to scare the motley, and is threatened by Braum, but finally shut down by Sophia, who manages to impress Incisor. The group also sees that the Redcap is fearful and respectful of Claude, who has re-awoken to serve drinks. Incisor promises to guard the freehold.
The three Kithain go their separate ways: Patches rushes out to trail Fala, who disappears into a trod in a vending machine nearby. Patches almost rushes in after her, but decides that a fight in the Dreaming would not be in her favour. Sophia returns to Kyoko, who provides her with information about the parking attendant and advice: Sophia needn't run the Freehold; she needs only to lead others to work for her. Braum, left alone with Claude, asks the boggan to connect him with someone skilled in Oneiromancy, although he is reticent to explain why.
Braum takes Sophia aside to impress on her the importance of defending The Spark, even if that is at the cost of her desire to make it more welcoming. Sophia sticks to her guns, insisting that a free and open freehold will attract less suspicion than one that closes its doors. When Braum evades her point by mentioning that he is a bit paranoid, she tries to get him to open up about his past. Braum admits that he used to live in the Kingdom of Apples with his renowned motley until something happened, now wiped from his memory. Having lost the Red Branch in this unknown but devastating event, he came to Cross' Shadow and is now worried that his past may have caught up to him.
As Patches returns to the Freehold, she stumbles across a teenage nocker in the lobby of the building, awkwardly trying to fix a small mechanical car. He introduces himself and his car as Cog and Skag, and hopes to ask Zistor for help in fixing it. Informing him that Zistor's gone away, Patches takes a chance, inviting Cog up to the freehold and offering to help him. Arriving in the Exhaust, Cog is bowled over by Sophia's beauty and by Claude's (fake) alcoholic drink. Patches helps Cog fix an over-excited Skag, and he tells the group about "the others" that were with Fala before she came up to the freehold. The eshu had been accompanied by a sidhe, a troll, and twin clurichaun, and they were apparently none too happy to learn that Fala had been turned away….