Luna Ascendant

Game 20 (Gaiden)

Raven of Winter found the Red Scars tribe, and rejoined his Lunar friends.

On the night of the full moon, the Red Scars feasted with their leader. Late in the evening, after the feasting, Varg noticed a silver rabbit in the forest, and gave chase thinking that it might be Lakota. He, Raven of Winter, and Silver Star followed it to a great iron-ore boulder, under which the rabbit ducked into a small rabbit hole. Varg dug it up and followed into a small cave, which gave way to a deep stone-lined pit. The heroes found a ladder and descended into a curious chamber, containing nothing but a locked iron door with a small hole rusted through the bottom of it. Raven of Winter picked the lock.

The doorway led to a beautiful wood-paneled hallway. The heroes found a tea party in progress, where the participants changed positions and roles to the sound of a deer-scare. Varg introduced himself, and asked the whereabouts of the silver rabbit; the tea-partiers were not very informative, but were not successful in convincing Varg to join them for tea. He noticed rabbit tracks leading through the garden, and saw a mouse following the tracks. Varg followed the mouse through the garden, and out into a forest. At some point Silver Star realized that this was a Freehold, and all they were experiencing was the doings of a raksha.

In the forest the heroes found a patch of flowers, which grew to surround them in a forest of giant flowers. A massive caterpillar questioned them, and tried to poison them into stupor when he learned there were Lunars among them. The heroes endured many blows from his many limbs, but Varg managed to tear him in half.

The heroes spent a day navigating the forest, which was attempting to get them lost. During their journey they encountered a mysterious great cat with a huge rictus grin that could change into the crescent moon. It questioned Varg about Lakota, and helped to give him a vision of her fighting mercenary companies in sight of Nexus. Varg asked whether it was a vision of the past, present, or things to come, but the grinning cat would not say.

The heroes followed the rabbit tracks to a giant hedge-maze before a mighty castle. Palm frond-wearing guards demanded to know who they were; they said they were with the rabbit. So they were allowed into the maze, which the Lunars flew over. Raven hopped along the top of the hedges, dodging the branches which tried to snare him. The heroes came to a courtyard, where a mad Queen of Palms was holding court and hearing petitions, randomly assigning punishments to various talking wildlife and flowers and bushes. The Lunars, too, were sentenced, but Silver Star distracted everyone by calling for tea time, which the tea-partiers were only too happy to provide.

The silver rabbit was present, but the Lunars found that it was merely an illusion. At that moment, Lakota appeared, crucified on the battlements and screaming for help. Silver Star noted that the crescent moon was hanging in the sky despite it being day, and Varg decided to leap up to it and grapple it. He managed to catch the grinning cat by surprise and piledrive him into the courtyard. The cat begged for mercy, dispelling the various glamours and revealing himself as the noble raksha holder of the Freehold, the Moon-Faced Cat.

The Cat explained that he wished to give Varg and Silver Star “what they wanted” by showing them Lakota and by helping Varg receive a Wyld vision. What the Cat wanted was to be released from the confines of the iron door; he claimed the rock was a meteorite that the gods (or maybe the Sidereals) had sent to punish him, possibly for loving Luna too deeply. The Lunars set the Cat free, extracting an Oath from the Cat that neither he nor his servants would harm Creation. The Lunars also agreed to mention him to Luna if and when they ever saw her. The Cat thanked them and gave them a love letter he wrote for Luna, then fled into the East.

(Credit to Lewis Carroll).

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