Meeting with the Gizzard

Meeting with the Gizzard


The Hollow's main room




Tatters stops and stares at the newcomer blinking twice and then offering a wide armed shrug, "Hello. Are you lost? Do you need help?" He continues sweeping with his broom, trying to tidy up the Hollow as best he can.

Timothy looks over and wanders in. "Just coming in out of the cold for a while and seeing what's been happening." he says, not having been keeping up with the freehold for the last month or so.

The doll-man ohs softly and glances over at the proclimations posted by the door, "Just the usual. I see. Ships and sex and sealing wax. Cabbages and Kings."

Timothy nods and has a look over the proclamation. "So what's this about the pie man then. I'm afraid I've been too busy gluttoning on glamour and dealing with mortals to attend the courts."

"Simple Simon met a Piemon going to the fair. Said Simple Simon to the Piemon, I think I found a hair. Said the Piemon to the Simon, "Be glad it wasnt a thumb." Tatters blinks twice more, an odd gesture for someone without eyelids. Or eyes for that matter.

Timothy looks to him, a look of slight horror on his face. "I see then, well, are you going to stay for this parley?" he asks, looking over the notices.

Tatters sighs softly and nods, "I must. It seems the rest are sulking… And sniffling. For truffles."

Timothy nods and blinks "No one else feels like dealing with this?" he says with a frown.

Crispin slips into the Hollow on a slow, somewhat unsteady step. He is pale and his breathing shallow. Judging by the expression on his face he isn't pleased to be here. Although there is no obvious sign, you get the impression he has suffered some sort of injury which is why he moves so slow.

Tatters glances towards Crispin and offers an exagerated wave before explaining patiently to Timothy, "Hard times makes hard bread. And hard bread is hard to swallow. Without water. Or wine. And wine is just blood. Bad blood flows thick here. Thicker than water."

Timothy looks to Crispin and gives a brief wave to him, ignoring him as he looks to the other "I see, alright then. Hopefully the Pie man won't be averse to poetic phrasing."

Crispin lifts his left hand slowly and waves back adopting a polite if strained smile. "Good evening Tatters." His voice is soft. "I take it the envoy from the Hedge has not yet arrived?" He walks closer, clearly studying Timothy in the approach. "Hello. I'm Crispin." He extends a hand toward Timothy.

Tatters ohs softly to Timothy and asks curiosly, "Are you a poet? I am sorry if you are famous. I do not have a head for verse." He glances towards Crispin and then back towards Timothy, "Are we not all. From the thorns. Tattered and torn. And alone."

Timothy simply smirks and shrugs "No." he says before turning to the others. "Hi, I'm Timothy, nice to meet you." he says "I don't think I've seen you in court before."

Crispin smirks. "Nor are you likely to see me here." He says it cooly but it is clear the irritation isn't with Timothy. "I'm only here to meet the Hobgoblin envoy." He glances around. "And this place is hardly Court or much anything but a deathtrap."

Timothy nods and raises an eyebrow. "I see. Feel like telling a bit about yourself then?" he asks "It seems the envoy is slow to arrive."

Tatters frowns and wanders towards a door that is known to lead to the hedge. He looks at it carefully for a long moment and then turns the knob and pulls it open invitingly. He then takes a candle stub from his pocket, lights it with a rusty zippo and sets it on the floor in the doorway. "It lacked a certain warmth. No trick or treat tonight. Not without a light. To show the way."

From two doors off the main room, metal doors for a service hall, comes a hard knocking *BOOM*BOOM*BOOM* The sound reverberates throughout the Hollow, playing with the acoustics as if there were a dozen follow up knockings from accompanying doors.

Crispin softens and looks slightly apologetic, or perhaps pained. "Forgive my rudeness. I am Crispin Aris Taeber, knight errant of the Autumn Court." He says it formally. "It seems only Tatters and I care enough to represent our Court… or even the Freehold… and you of course." He glances twoard the sound and his brow furrows. "It seems they have begun to arrive."

The doll-man shrugs and scratches his head as he hears the noise, "And they brought cannons. Not a auspicious sign. To start a meeting with gun fire. That is sure to leave a mark. On the soul. And the proceedings.”

Timothy nods and shrugs "Well, I figured I'd been hiding out for too long and needed to come back out of the cold. But yeah, I'll definatly do what can be done to help." he says, turning to watch the incoming group.

Crispin starts to move toward the door. "I expect we have to let them in." He opens it.

Normally the doors open up into what could be considered a small room with doors only four feet away. These are already open, streaming in the twilight of the Hedge. The bird-hob, or hedge beast, or whatever, the Stork who worked out the terms for the parlay stands within the doorway. His lean tall stature is cock sure, chest puffed out with feathers spilling out over the collar of his vest. Behind him stand several manner of hobgoblin, large in stature and all looking like they talk with their fists. In the middle, directly behind the Stork is a round mass of flesh with a hog's nose. Two large snaggle teeth can be seen on either side of his thick-lipped mouth, covered in a sheen of slobber. His beady eyes peer in at the Hollow from over his Stork man's shoulder.

The Stork begins to clear his throat mightily, then suddenly blinks his eyes rapidly. "Ah, I see. Fewer this time than last," he mutters to himself, then clears his throat again. "May I introduce, the one, the only, the mouth that eats it all, the snout that sniffs out the truffles, the might and powerful Gizzard!" The Stork waves his feathery hands up in a flourish. He stares at the three gathered in front of him while the Gizzard behind taps his fingers impatiently.

Tatters leans down to blow out the candle that he lit in the wrong doorway, and pockets the stub of wax once more. The smoke from it's demise however lingers about his form, spiraling up his arm and forming an arcane symbol in the air before disapating with a sudden chill wind and scattering of leaves that shake loose from his coat. He nods in satisfaction and shuts the side door with a creak, "Not a man. Not a noble. Just a dream. A lullaby to sooth the hungry babe."

Timothy watches the scene, stepping back for a moment and getting the measure of the creature that stood before him, looking to him impassivly as Tatters spoke.

Crispin steps back and crosses his arms over his chest studying the arriving Hobs and Gizzard in particular. His face lacks much in the way of emotion but there is a glowing green light deep in his eyes. He glances briefly at Tatter's words and then looks back at the Stork and Gizzard and entourage. "I welcome you on behalf of the Court Of Fear." He is formal and the light in his eyes flickers from green to red and back again. "We are honored by your visit… Gizzard."

The Stork seems to be quite a performing, lithe and graceful. But the entire part doesn't quite match the majesty and power that radiates off of True Fae. The Gizzard mumbles something, his cheeks round and puffy, jiggling like jello. The Stork twitches his head, and leans back to hear the words with a nod.

The Stork swivels back to face towards the three. He tilts his head so that he can see them, looking out at them from one side of his face. A whistle blows out his beak nostrils. "The Gizzard would like to inform you that he is saddened the Freehold of New York has weathered so much turmoil and trouble, to be reduced to such a few number. The Court of Fear does us honor in meeting us here at the agreed upon time." There are more words than the few the Gizzard muttered, but the Stork does seem to function as the diplomatic mouth piece of the fat Hob. "We have a grievance to set before you, as one of your own has slain a hob of ours, this after we had shown good will in the form of gifts of protection and friendship."

Tatters shuffles to the side, more towards the conversation, but still not out in front to draw too much notice. He comments to himself as much as anyone else, "You can pick your friends. You can pick your nose. But you can't pick your friends nose. Napkins are nice. With lace. Or socks. But pies with feet. Not as welcome."

Timothy looks to the creature and nods, staring him directly in the eye as he does so, waiting and thinking for a moment, before he frowns. "Hmm, well now…what could we do to rectify this issue?"

Crispin nods. "I'm aware of your grievance. I was a witness to the murder of of one of yours." His voice is cold and his eyes flash. "And I wish I'd had a chance to stop it. But before we get to that… let's talk about your gifts of protection and friendship." He uncrosses his arms. "You mean the pies." He frowns slightly. "And as my associate Tatters here says… some unexpected gifts are not welcome." He brings his hands up to push his hair back and hook it behind his ears. "I have no doubt your intentions were good toward us…" he pauses. "But the Lost… at least under this Season… do not take kindly to the shedding of innocent blood."

Two side metal doors stand open, to normally what is a service shaft. Four feet in is another doorway with the Stork standing in the middle of it. Behind him, within the twilight of the Hedge is a fat hog-like hob standing in the middle of a bodyguard entourage. Crispin stands about 15' feet back from the doors, while Tatters on one side with Timothy on the other side.

The Gizzard mumbles something anew. The Stork leans in again, as well as a small cat-like hedgebeast that crawls up on the Gizzard's wide shoulder. The Stork stands up right again, and turns his head to look at the three gathered with his eye. "We do confirm that you were there." A croaking noise to clear his throat. "But regarding the pies, do not look a horse in the gift's mouth. The protection shields you from the Keepers while you are too weak to defend yourself. And how do you know that these homeless were innocents?" A pause as he pulls down his vest. "But this is not the reason we call parlay. It is for the spilling of blood. If you wish to negotiate the ceasing of the pies as a part of terms that may be established anon. The Gizzard wants the one named Chill."

Tatters stops and scratches his head, and then lets out a simple laugh that sounds more like the barking of a frog than any sound made by man. "Gifts to bribe us. Words that we are free. And safe. A watchful eye of the fat father. A stern hand when we stumble. And a culling of the herd when a turkey is needed for the feast. We do not. Give over one of ours. That is the way of Gentry. Not of free folk."

Timothy looks to the man and frowns. "Indeed, blood does not seem the appropriate response for the death of a mere hobgovlin." he says, frown turning into something of a mean smirk.

Crispin frowns and glances at Timothy and then Tatters before looking back at the envoy from the Hedge. "We need to understand the terms. What happens if we do give him over… and what happens if we don't?" His voice is soft and his eyes glow with a low red light. "My associates speak too soon… I expect among your own you speak of us as mere Changelings." He pauses. "So try not to take offense at their words. I need to know the consequences of either choice."

Speaking of the devil has a nasty way of making the devil appear. This situation is no different, and Chill comes in from a side entrance. He looks to be in a rather foul mood, sign-axe resting on his shoulder and frown set on his lips. He sees the Hobs and the other Lost already gathered and pauses to spit on the ground. A few moments of him listening pass before he pats his axe, voice raised slightly above conversational tone. "Somebody order take out?"

Apple wanders in after Chill, giving him the cold shoulder, though she seems to be following him in. She listens quietly for the moment, slipping into a shadow near the others and biting her nails in worry.

The Stork pivots his eye over at Tatters, "We are not suggesting a 'trade' of Chill. We want compensation for the lost of one of our own." The Stork narrows his eye at Timothy. "We mourn over Puck Bucket's life. Some of us would say that a Hob's life is worth more than any Changeling. But then, we try not to insult others at a peaceful meeting." He bows his head towards Crispin, "Thank you for your graceful words." Though the Gizzard does not look as happy, his beady eyes glinting.

The hog hob grunts at the question of terms, and more words are exchanged with the Stork. "If you turn over the criminal Chill, then we will be appeased. And we can cease any and all deliveries of pies…" The Stork's words trail off into a wheeze at the entrance of Chill, the hob simply turning to look at his lord and gesturing. The Gizzard sits up from his carrying chair, and licks his round, greasy cheeks with a long tongue, never taking his beady eyes of the Winter Ogre for a second as soon as the Gizzard realizes who the Ogre is.

Tatters shakes his head and murmers softly. "A lost was once a man. A hob never so much. I can make a new hob. But a man cannot be made. We do not condemn any of ours to your justice. Or laws. Or gifts. Chips at a table of cards. But a man is more than a chip. This dip has gone sour." He looks pointedly at Crispin and shrugs, "You have lost my support. Bargain with the lives of enemies. You will find you have no friends. These hedge fiends must return to their abode. Empty handed." He turns from the 'delegation' and begins to walk away.

Timothy looks to them and nods "Some things must not be born." he says "And it is not our place to give over those who do not wish to be given.", moving slightly closer to tatters as he watches the reactions of the rest.

Crispin looks disgusted more at the reaction of Tatters and Timothy than anything else. His breathing is shallow and his movements stiff as if he is in physical pain. "Very well. If you don't even wish to find out the consequences… and make assumptions about what I would and would not do." This appears directed at the pair who just moved off. "I will withdraw from this entirely. You can speak for Autumn Tatters. I have a bottle of aspirin with my name on it." He looks back at the envoy. "It seems you can continue this parlay with Chill himself and these others. It seems this Freehold has no interest in tradition or etiquette or manners. They cleary want to skip the formalities and get to the fighting." With that he turns and starts to walk toward an exit.

The big ogre in question pats the haft of his axe and tilts his head slightly, regarding the Gizzard. He studies the fat Hob for a few moments, appraising it. Then he's walking forward, not readying his axe but not letting it go either. "Uh… these negotiations would matter, uh, if me and you didn't know the truth, Gizzard. How'd you like, uh, the pie I sent you?"

Apple continues to listen quietly. She looks as if she'd like to follow Crispin, but she resolutely stays, sticking to Chill's shadow.

Oh, don't mind Sydney. The Good Doctor is watching from a distance at the proceedings. She does pull out a handgun from the interior of her jacket, but, hey, this is New York! Chicks pack heat these days; they'll fuck you up. But seeing as how Tatters, Timothy, and Crispin seem to be backing out of the negotiation, she steps forward, and clears her throat. "May I ask somethin'?" This question is directed (presumedly) towards the Stork.

The Gizzard snortles in anger at Tatters words, finally taking his beady eyes off of Chill and pushing himself to stand on stubby little feet. "Arrrg*snort* Why insults be given," a slobbering noise as he pulls in saliva that hasn't been spittled across the room, "when, arrg, talk we, uh, uh in terms open!" Tears stream down his face from running boar-like eyes. He tosses his head, blowing out air. The Stork's back is the Hollow now, slowing backing up into it from the Hedge. "Sir Gizzard, it is merely the Changelings each speaking in turn. We may speak with the ruling Court, and hear their words." The Gizzard stays standing, breathing hard, his entourage of bodyguards staying out of reach. The cat-like hedgebeast on his shoulder is no where to be seen.

The Stork smoothes back some feathers on his head, tugging at his vest again, ruffled. "Ah, well, if you understand the nature of the Hedge so well," he states glancing at Tatters, "then maybe you can form us a new Puck Bucket. Our experiences tell us you won't be a successful as you think." A deep breath. "Ah, yes, so other terms may be negotiated if you wish, and that we agree to, other than turning the criminal over. We are willing to speak of challenges, or trades, or pacts." He sadly watches Crispin stomp off, but not too clear is if he sad to see Crispin go or that he is left to deal with the rest of the members of the Freehold.

At Chill's question, the Gizzard snorts loudly. "Good, good, I eat all dead *snort* Honor them." The words seem to ease him a bit and the hog sits back down on his carrying chair. The Stork watches the Gizzard, then turns his eye to Chill. "Well, that is the truth, but I see not how it matters on the issue that you killed Puck Bucket in cold blood. If this Freehold of York deems it wise to shelter criminals, nor offering compensation, I am not certain what good continuing this parlay does any of us." The Stork swivels his head to face his eye towards the new comer Sydney. "Since this place does not seem capable of electing a ruler to speak for you, of course."

Tatters sings softly, "I'm Henry the 8th I am. I'm Henry the 8th I am, I am…" He glances after Crispin and shakes his head, "Tradition of tyrrany and double crosses. Tradition of slavery and torture. I reject tradition… And inject common morals. We do not barter with men like pigs. With pigs like men. We do not entertain such thoughts. This is not entertainment. It is life. Live or die, we do so together. Against that which we escaped. Thorns, shackles, and bird man chattel." He turns back to the bird man and shrugs wide, murmering in a soft trembling voice. "I am Autumn. I speak. And I order you to leave. We do not deal. In lives of men. Or baking of pies. Criminals are we all. That is neither here nor there. Leave this land, or you shall be the meat in the mince. You have been warned. You knock on our door with cannons. Expect the fire to be returned."

Timothy nods "I must agree. Matters of justice don't seem to apply given the situation, and I would not trust that I wouldn't end up as pie some day." he says, stance quickly moving to something more agressive.

"You're, uh, forgetting a few things, Gizzard. One, uh, Puck was a mercenary and, uh, would have turned on you, uh, to help us if we had bribed him. Two, uh…" Chill pats the rib-bone that is inside his belt-loop. "Uh, you're kind of, uh, portly, and, uh, soft. If I went with you, uh, I'd be more likely to, uh, eat you." He licks his lips at the thought of Pigman on the barbecue. "Third, uh, I did you a favor by doing it." He stops a few feet away from the Stork and scratches his cheek. "How many of you, uh, know where our Hollow is anyways?"

Apple mutters in response to Tatter's monologue, "I don't see cannons, and only smelly regulars make good ingredients, I've been told." She stammers it out, wringing herhands and looking like she'd rather flee than stick around for this. She even begins inching toward the door, "But Chill can't go with them. You want him, then it is not a matter for Autumn, but for Winter."

As Chill gets closer to the Stork and the entourage, Sydney uses a hand to suggest that he keep his distance. "Hey." She had a question, and, so, she directs it to the Stork, since he's the one that seems best-equipped to talk. "Why is it that you deliver these pies in the first place?" And, like a good Spring Courtier, she puts a mild tone behind those words. It's too bad she's also a Wizened. It's like seeing a Middle-Earth Goblin trying to be friendly.

Some of the bodyguards look at each at Tatters's words, as if asking 'what cannons?'. The Gizzard stands again, his thick fat torso looking so much like a neck since there is no differentiation between the two. "Then fight! We kill any we see in Hedge. Uh, Market *snort* we run no good for you!" The Stork looks nervous as Chill approaches, not wanting to turn his back on the Ogre, yet trying to calm his liege down. Luckily, birds have an eye on either side of their head.

He motions for the Gizzard to be at peace. "We are creatures of the Wyrd, all of us. Words may bind us as one, under the influence of Fate. Are all you so wet behind the ears not to realize this? We came in good faith to negotiate? Do you want a war, when so weak? We can establish trade, be of help to each other. Are you all feral?" In the heat of the moment, he is hard pressed to answer a question answered earlier, and croaks out at Sydney, "We were trying to protect you from the Keepers! Homeless pies, make one harder to find, the blood makes the goblin contract strong! We were offering help - didn't /anyone/ read the notes we sent along with them?" His eye rolls about at the closeness of Chill.

Tatters shakes his head and murmers to Apple, "It is a matter for the Freehold. We do not deal in slaves. They cannot have our people. Winter or Spring. Snow or Rain. We all suffer the pain." He timidly steps forward and frowns in thought at the bird man and the fat hob. "We do not want a war. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. We do not want trade. We do not want pies with people in them. Sugar and spice, and everything nice. Not frogs and tails. We will not give you a life in return for one of yours lost by a fool. We will do else to make peace. Make love. Not war."

Timothy looks to him and nods, thinking quietly as he listens to the other "I agree with the man there." he says, indicating Tatters.

"I'm not, uh, going to kill you. Not, uh, here. I said I wouldn't and, uh, I won't. But I can't, uh, let you take me just because, uh, you want to avenge, uh, some Hob who was gonna, uh, sell you out. If you want, uh, violence? Fine, uh, I can kill every Hob in the Hedge, uh, but I hate violence. Don't, uh, start a war you can't win." Chill grumbles out towards the Stork. "But no, uh, I think. You didn't answer my, uh, question. How many more, uh, of you know where the Hollow is?"

Apple falls silent and continues inching toward the door, though she goes slowly, seeming just to be trying to make sure she's in a good position to bolt.

Sydney used her hand to persuade Chill to step back; now, she uses it to ward Tatters away, to stay behind her or away from the negotiations. Or, maybe, to keep it down. Doctors: always acting as if they know everything. But then Chill speaks, and her eyebrows furrow. "Hey — hey. Just — " Just shut the fuck up for a second, that's what she clearly wants to say; she gives Chill an irritated look, before resuming to speak with the Stork. "Okay. So, you need blood. Is that all?" she asks of the bird-man.

The Gizzard motions to his entourage as he sits back down, snorting loudly. They lift the hog hob up with heaves and grunts. The Stork is still out in front, pulling at the neck of his vest. "If not the criminal, if not through trade, how wish you to strike peace between us?" A large rock like thing stomps up behind the Stork, and nearly knocks the bird fellow over with a thump on the Stork's shoulder, motioning that it is time to leave. The Stork frowns mightily. He looks at Chill. "How in the Wyrd do I know that, you bloody brute!" he whips out, frustrated with this whole evenings business. The rock giant starts pushing the door shut, and the Stork stares back out at Sydney. "What? The goblin contract was protecting /you/ fools! All the Gizzard wanted was to set up a Goblin Market with you - now there'll be blood!"

Tatters mutters softly and sighs, "A wise man lives to fight another day. A fool… lets his enemy walk away to prepare. A pig that bakes men into pies. Is not a man to dine with. Tonight we dine in hell. Oh hell. Do we have any cannons?" He turns his empty gaze to Chill as if to say, 'Go get em, boyo.'

Timothy nods and looks to Chill and tatters. "Looks that way." he says with a shrug, taking one step forward, being agressive, but not violent as he does so, smiling a little and balling his hand into a fist.

Chill doesn't make a move towards the door. Instead, he holds out his arm to urge the others to stand back. "I, uh, promised they wouldn't be hurt during, uh, this meeting. Anyone who, uh, doesn't let them go home gets, uh, punished." He turns his back to the door now, facing those assembled. "This isn't, uh, worth killing for. There is still, uh, room for talks." This he says after practically threatening to commit genocide on all hob-kind. "Does anyone, uh, want to dispute my decision?"

Sydney rolls her eyes. "Go ahead and try to enforce your will, Ogre. No one cares what you have to say or threaten." She makes another gesture for Chill to move. "We would be talking if you would get the fuck out of the way. Actually — " She sticks a finger at herself. "I would be talking with them. On my own. Here. On home grounds." Her attention goes back to the Stork. "Shall I ask for another time to parley? /I/ would still like to discuss things."

The door shuts with a slight slam and puff of ash (from opening up in the Central Park Hedge), the twilight of the Hedge bleeding around the edges, then fading away. One dingy white feather off the stork hob flutters in the air in front of the door, drifting towards the ground.

Tatters shakes his head and sighs at Sydney, "In Autumn, let Autumn lead. In Spring, you may parley as you wish. For now. We must seek defenses." He turns to Chill and scowls, as if such a thing were possible without eyes. "You. Should be punished for impulsiveness, but that falls to your court. For now, seal this door. Make sure it can never be opened again. Cannons or not. Let the rest of Winter hide the homeless away from pies. Spring go forth and find hobs to join our cause and give warning. Summer stand guard and sharp your blades. While Autumn still reigns, we will work together. The court of leaves will find the magic this hob holds. And we will shatter it." He leans down and picks the feather from the ground and tucks it in his pocket.

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