The conflict with Broken Flight comes to a head!
"In a way, you're deciding to go into the game with a perceived disadvantage in order to gain advantage later…."
Having lost Mazer in the Dreaming, Patches, Sophia, and Braum take stock of their surroundings at the Castle in the Sky. Kyoko is still apologizing profusely for having told Broken Flight the secret location of High Queen Lenore, and even though the motley now understands that she is lying, she keeps up appearances in front of Boli. The five rush out of the Dreaming, past Abbess, and head back to The Spark, where the effects of Sophia's Dictum wear off — just after Braum knocks Boli out, asking Incisor to bring him to the dungeon. Patches' father Malcolm is shocked by this turn of events, causing Patches to snap at him: "Why don't you just leave then?" Malcolm retreats to his room, sadly.
The motley learns that the location named by Kyoko is Sybil's Tenderness, a freehold in Quebec City. Braum reaches out to Sybil and to Alnek to warn them of the impending conflict, then the motley are summoned downstairs by Queen Laurel. "I hearby charge you," she begins, "as vassals of the Kingdom of Nothern Ice, and defends of the Spark, to cripple Broken Flight's plans and the destroy the group from without or within by any means within your power." This she commands them to do, with rewards upon their victory, but preventing them from returning to the Spark before it's done using a Geas! Sir Xaeron will remain to defend the Spark and the Queen, as will Cog, who presents Patches with a small chip engraved with SK4G-MKI, a component of his first design that he created with Patches' help.
The motley and Kyoko Flicker Flash to Sybil's Tenderness! It would appear they beat Broken Flight here, thankfully: only Sybil and a gentleman reading a newspaper in the corner are present. Kyoko throws her hands to the sky and yells "Ascend me!", and then transforms into the High Queen Lenore herself! She asks Sophia to create a fairy ring around her to keep up appearances, and the motley quickly try to figure out their best game plan. At that moment, they hear banging coming from outside. Looking out, it appears that a couple of members of Broken Flight are hammering iron spikes into the ground in a circle around Sybil's Tenderness, creating an anti-fairy ring of iron, which would force cantrips to fail if their target crosses through the circle.
At that moment, the telephone in the pub rings: Braum answers, pretending he is the last of High Queen Lenore's guards. He speaks with a woman, who calls herself only One, and who wants to parlay with the Queen. She asks him to swear an oath to prevent him, his companions, or her representatives from bringing about violence or restraining the others until they (the representatives of Broken Flight) have left the pub once more. Braum agrees, and the three representatives enter the pub: a satyr, a troll… and Mazer. He wants to speak directly to Lenore, and instructs her to dissolve Parliament and renounce her crown. Mazer, like the rest of Broken Flight, just "wants a chance to hold off the Long Winter"… but "Lenore" tells him in no uncertain terms to "fuck off"! Patches doubles down, trying to pick a fight with the satyr, and eventually squawking chicken noises at him. But Mazer resists the urge to fight and leaves, vowing to escalate the situation.
As the phone rings a second time, Patches manages to slip out of the pub unseen, making her way towards a parked bus that nearby Changelings seem to be guarding. Braum picks up the phone, and hears One demand that Lenore be delivered to them. He asks for a few minutes, and consults with Kyoko and Sophia. They decide that, in order to give Patches enough time to succeed on her mission, they should invite One's group into the bar to claim her, and spring their trap.
As Patches crosses the Iron Line and makes her way towards the bus stealthily, Braum walks out of Sybil's Tenderness with Sybil and an effigy close behind. He takes up a position near Mazer and waits for a signal… while an Autumn sidhe, a selkie, and a boggan step down off the bus and make their way towards Sybil's Tenderness. They step inside and instruct "Lenore" to leave, and then destroy, her Fairy Ring. As she moves to sign the proclamations proffered to her, the sidhe draws his rapier and goes to strike! In that instant, Sophia begins to bunk, Braum charges Mazer, and Patches shoots a clurichaun and an eshu in quick succession on the bus.
The autumn sidhe strikes Kyoko in the back of the head, but Sophia's Oakenshield absorbs the blow: "That wasn't nice," the pooka breathes, as she drops her disguise in order to bunk. Sophia unleashes her powers of Primal to have the floor "swallow them," burying the three assailants up to their necks. They Hopscotch out of the quicksand-like floor, and the sidhe attempts to order Sophia to aid them with a Dictum. "That's cute," the Baroness scoffs, conjuring fire with her hands. As she begins to burn the three assailants, Kyoko ends her bunk with a huge Hollystrike, finishing them off!
Outside, Mazer insults Kay in order to provoke Braum, causing the troll to sucker punch him. Patches, alone on the bus, creates an Effigy of herself to rush out the door and down an alley, causing other members of Broken Flight to give chase. She then slips out the side of the bus in order to assist Braum, firing at Mazer, who the troll has up over his head. She manages to shoot off part of his horn before the satyr vanishes!
As the other members of Broken Flight rush back on to the scene, Braum manages to strong-arm (or perhaps inspire) Mazer's two friends into listening to the recently-appeared Sophia. The sidhe, standing on the roof of Sybil's Tenderness, begins to declaim the prophecy for all to hear. "Maybe Concordia has cast off chains already," she tells the crowd, "will you give our Queen a chance?" There is a pause, and in the silence, someone says that they must at least listen to Lenore.
Meanwhile, Patches dashes around the pub, looking for the vanished Mazer. And while he is nowhere to be found, she at least has part of his horn to try to use to their advantage….