(2018-03-26) Return to the Village
Return to the Village
Summary: Lost are drawn once more to the Sleeping Village, which isn't quite so sleepy anymore.
Date: 2018-03-26
Related: None
Player Characters: Audgrim, Eddie, Mr. Quiet, Scorse, Puce as ST

Puce pages: You both felt compelled to come here, separately though. Almost as if some string is tugging you and pulling you here. You each use a different gate than the one Eddie used before. Just like before the Hedge only opens up like a bubble around you as you make your way to the village. If you try to veer off the path it's an impenetrable wall. You left at night time and the whole time in the Hedge it was night, now it's day.
To (Eddie, Scorse), Puce pages: Like you walk into the field around the village and suddenly daylight.

It's a nice clear late summers day. The fields around the village are growing nicely, not yet ready for harvest. The breeze blows through the trees, and the road in to the small town is really just a path. People are going about their daily activities; women are hanging laundry outside, some gossiping. The children are running around playing games.

Suddenly a shout goes up as one of the children see the strangers emerge from the woods; close but obviously not together. One of the boys breaks away and runs towards the Woodsman, waving his arms. "Strangers!" He calls out, almost excited, like he knew to expect people today. "They're here!"

It's about this time that Scorse look over and notices Eddie coming in close from a different direction, his head tilting a little to the side. This must be the village he was told about, but what would bring him here? "Eddie?" He stage-whispers as he draws close enough. "Anything we need to worry about?" He's smiling side and waving as he talks through clenched teeth.

The Woodsman, as he is known to the village, is a big man. Strong and sturdy in a rustic sort of way, but not necessarily a fearsome monster he might have been in another life. When the boy comes running, he looks up from his current chore of splitting logs, of which there is a significant pile already done. Lifting a hand to wipe at his brow, he peers towards the young kid. "They?" He asks, waiting for the boy to approach before he puts a hand on his shoulder. "There is supposed to be one visitor, Pete. How many did you see?" He asks, but he's already tightened his grip on his axe and ready to go meet these multiple strangers.

Eddie looks like a lifetime junkie after three days locked up away from anything stronger than Flintstone's Chewable Vitamins. The Hedge isn't a great place to be by yourself these days, and he's fed up with all these weird compulsions telling him where to be and not to be, so when he felt the itch this time he handcuffed himself to a radiator and promised himself he'd wait it out this time. Now he's here anyway, sweating and miserable, with a sore wrist and a couple of damaged lockpicks he's going to have to replace. "Always," he answers Scorse, taking a puff off the cigarette he's lit up to calm his nerves. "But at least it looks like they're in more of a talking mood this time."

The boy huffs and catches his and looks a little less excited now, unsure. "There were two of them, they came from the woods. One of them is dressed really funny. Both of them are, really. But one has this really funny bracelet." Pete explains.

It's because he's so lazy and hates working, that's why he's later than everyone else. He dragged his feet, literally. But eventually Audgrim stumbles into the area, looking quite befuddled and not a little panicked; this reminds him a bit too much to being Taken all over again. Entering sudden daylight he puts a hand over his eyes momentarily, blinks and looks around.

Jasper moves from one of Scorse's shoulders to the other, chittering in his ear, he looks over to Eddie and gives a little nod of his chin, noticing another figure bringing up the rear. "We got company. I think it's that savage boy. I forgot his name…Go grab him?" Scorse sighs but keeps his face neutral. "Alright, well, stealth is not an option, so let's go be friendly neighbors?" Scorse dials up his most warm and humble smile as the Woodsman approaches them while they draw closer to the beginning of the village proper. "Good day, there, friend! Well met! What a lovely day it is! We mean you folks no harm. Just passing through."

The Woodsman huffs at the boy's explanation. "Take me to them, Pete… but you stay behind me, in case they're not friends." He points a thick finger at the boy, before letting him to lead the way while he follows… with his chopping axe in hand. The Woodsman's cottage is not far from the edge of the woods, so it doesn't take the pair long to come up the village trail… and sees the emerging group from afar. His steps slow, and his eyes narrow as if to peer. Scorse's greeting, friendly as it is, doesn't put the big man at ease, but the sight of the others… "…Bugman Brundle? All-Grim?"

Pete really isn't all that interested in the strangers. His message delivered he runs off to play with the other children. He's not worried with the Woodsman around, laughing off the thought of trouble as he heads off to play, not a care about adult worries.

Eddie looks back over his shoulder, relaxing a little when he sees it's just Audgrim. "Right," he mutters, "friendly. That's your department." He tosses his cigarette onto the ground and stomps it out on his way to fetch the Nightsinger, but stops and looks back when he hears the Woodsman, narrowing his eyes. "That's right," he says, caught between suspicion and recognition, "but I don't recall making introductions, last time I was through town."

Audgrim is trying to cling to a bush or a tree, something, in a stubborn effort to not go anywhere, but it's only for a few seconds here and there. So when he comes upon the others, he looks almost stupidly relieved, even if he doesn't know the big one. "Eddie, Scorse - I was sleeping, then I wanted to go here. Where is here?"

The Woodsman frowns in absolute confusion. "How are you real?" He lifts his axe and points to Eddie and Audgrim… and by association Scorse. "What sorcery is this? Where did you all come from?" He shakes his head skeptically at Eddie's words. "You have never been here before, and you cannot be real."

"Well, I'm as real as they come, my woodsy friend. I can also attest for the other two, who are friends of mine. My name is.. Jim. We're just as confused to be here, as you are to be seeing us, but hopefully we can take a minute or two to figure out what's going on?" Scorse keeps that smile pouring on like warm maple syrup, his voice just as sweet and harmless. "So, you had a dream about Audgrim and Brundle here? Dreams can be strange things, friend. Tell us a little about how you remember them?"

"That town full of sleeping beauties I was talking about," Eddie says quietly to Audgrim, adding after a moment: "Some Prince Charming must have awfully tired lips, right now." At the accusation of unreality he looks down at himself and pats his chest, just checking, to be sure. He seems real. As real as he's ever been, at least. He looks back up at the Woodsman and shrugs, letting Scorse do most of the talking. "I get that a lot. Must have one of those faces."
Audgrim pages: What does the woodsman look like, in short?
[
There is a scowl of annoyance at Eddie's denial. "You /don't/ have one of those faces: I remember you, Bugman Brundle. From my dreams." The accusation is extended towards Audgrim. "And you, All-grim." He turns his attention on Jim/Scorse, since the man is directly addressing him. "I know your faces. A different place, a different life. A dream I had for years, and you people were part of that life." He pauses and repeats himself. "Where did you come from?"

Audgrim isn't the deceptive type most of the time, but eyes the Woodsman suspiciously. "All-grim?" he says, because as far as he knows, only one person ever called him that. He pinches his arm to make sure he's real, nodding at Eddie - no longer panicky, but definitely not at ease either. "One person call me All-grim - that was not in a dream. It was in Port Angeles. Unless Port Angeles IS dream, and this is real. You don't look like person who call me All-Grim so maybe we are in his dream and this is a dream." He rubs his temples and wanders in front of Eddie in a protective gesture.

Scorse nods his head, looking over at the others and then shrugging his shoulders a bit. "I'm from here, actually. Just a long ways from this village. There is or was.. a thriving market filled with all the things you could ever think of." Scorse opens his arms in an expansive gesture and then lets them fall to his sides. "Now if you want to get technical, we're all from the same place, the real question, friend, is not the where but the when? As you determine dates on your calendar, what year is it?"

"I don't know a Port Angeles." The Woodsman growls, but even as he says this, his left hand comes up to rub at his forehead as if the words themselves confuse him. He manages to shake off the thought and refocuses his gaze on the trio. "Even your questions are strange; it is the year 1865, in the year of our Lord." Beat. "How can this be a dream? I have lived here all my life." He lifts his axe and points it back in the direction of the village. "These people are under my protection; always have been. I have a family, here."

Audgrim gives Scorse an encouraging tail-swish at his questions. "Smart," he murmurs, because he didn't think of asking about the year, at all. He begins to study the village itself, slowly turning around and pacing about nearby. "Port Angeles. The Theatre. Bea, Eddie, Penny." He throws out familiar words to the Woodsman, what few things he and Mr. Quiet talked about a few days ago. Good thing it was recent, or Audgrim might've just forgot already. BUt then he stops, and asks quietly of Scorse and Eddie: "Maybe not remind him of real world."

"What is your name, woodsman? I hate to have a civil conversation with a stranger and you seem to know us already, which is a bit unfair, don't you know?" Scorse walks all the way over to the man and holds out his right hand for customary hand shake, something common even in 1865. "I can say uncategorically that we are all real and all from the same place. Let's start there? Whatever dreams or visions you have had, perhaps there is some relevance to our visit now and we can sit down somewhere and discuss that together?"

"Emery," Eddie answers, before the Woodsman gets a chance. He steps out from behind Audgrim, seeming faintly annoyed at being protected. "It is Emery, right? Look, can we all agree that nobody's a dream? It's a little insulting." He looks around from face to face, pretending to seek consensus before going on without waiting: "Look, I've had my own dreams, you might call them," it's a lie, but only kind of, "about this place, and you, and a ring somebody dropped off. What's this place called, anyway? I never could figure that out." He gestures his empty hand in the direction the Woodsman gestured his axe.

Everybody was so intent on trying to figure out if they were real or not, that no one noticed the man approaching from the direction of the road. A man, dressed in the style and time of the woodsman, but very clearly a fox comes up to the conversation and clears his throat before the Woodsman can answer. "Emery, my boy! You didn't tell me there would be more of us! Did someone mention a ring?"

The Woodsman can't be blamed for being suspicious about all this, and Audgrim's barrage of names and places seems to confuse him even further — confuse because he seems to know them. He eyes Scorse's offered hand, and quite reluctantly steps forward to take if, after transferring the axe to the left hand. "I am…" He starts to speak his name, but Eddie preempts him, and the Woodsman just looks even more surprised. "..Yes, my name is Emery. But in my dreams I am called a strange name, Quiet. This village is called… it's…" Oh, look! A new person. And someone the Woodsman clearly recognizes, who is greeted with a wave. "You're late! And yes, this man here just mentioned a ring."

"Do I hit him?" Audgrim whispers to Eddie as the fox-man comes up. BUt since violence isn't imminent, he asks it more on rote than with any real intent. He leaves the questioning to the other two, instead staring at the fox-changeling with ovious distrust, eyes narrowing. Unknown element, and all.

"A pleasure to meet you, Emery." Scorse grasps his hand in both of his and shakes it firmly before letting go. His attention is then fully pulled away to the Foxman as he comes up from behind Emery. "Another new face and one who looks a bit more… expected. Name's Jim. How are you, sir? I didn't catch your name?" He just steamrolls his words now, going into fullblown Salesman mode to keep things moving. "Yes, my friend mentioned a ring that he saw here in a dream. What does that mean to you? I think dreaming of a ring would be more of a Freudian sexual reference myself, but who knows, right?"

Eddie shakes his head at Audgrim, unbothered by the question, by now. He looks the new arrival up and down, his mouth tightening into a momentary frown. "Glad Bea's not here," he mutters, "or maybe not." He remembers her thing about foxes, but somebody with an axe on their side would be nice, just for symmetry. "Yeah," he says, "I'm a terrific fan of jewelry." Then, quietly, as an aside to Scorse: "Freud's a nine year old in Vienna, around here."

The Foxman's ears twitch briefly as he looks confused, especially at whatever Scorse is going on about at the end there, but he quickly recovers. "That's because I didn't give it." He says with an enigmatic smile. "But if it's rings you want, I will do business with anyone!" He proclaims as he opens up his jacket. It's like he has a shop inside his coat with everything dangling from it. "Trading is my game, after all!" He proclaims jovially.

HE becomes suddenly serious as he pulls his hand out of his pocket and offers a ring to Emery. "Speaking of rings, can you still keep this one safe for me?"

"Maybe you two are related," Eddie says, looking back and forth between Mr. Fox and Scorse, leaning in as if to inspect the Fairest for any hint of a family resemblance. Under his breath, he murmurs: "That's the one."

The Woodsman looks quite confused at all of this, but as he steps closer to the Foxman, it's clear that the shady character is, in fact, the most familiar to him. And possibly the one he trusts the most… in his current life.

"Another trader! Well, then, that we have in common. I am also a merchant and trader, though i keep my wares in a shop a ways from here." Scorse leans over to look at the assortment of jewelry on display in the man's jacket. "Quite the inventory there, my vulpine friend. What do you suggest for a fellow man of the coin and con? I'm always looking to add to my own collection."
"Think he is like us, - a Lost," Audgrim murmurs to Eddie, eyeing the fox with doubled suspicion. In fact, he doesn't like any of this: being pulled somewhere, dreams, people that he knows not being like they are normally. So it's with gritted teeth and a straight back so he's at his full height, he watches the proceedings. His tail is flicking behind him in agitation and his hands flex. "Emery, what is the ring?"

The Woodsman shakes his head as Audgrim asks him about the ring. "I do not know. Something… about time." His hand comes up again, covering his eyes as they squeeze shut, as if some sort of mental pain. "I promised to keep it safe." Beat. "Where is my wife? Where… Princess. Somewhere…"

"I take offense to that!" The foxman proclaims, but he's grinning and doesn't seem offended at all as he talks to Scorse after he holds out the ring for the Woodsman to take. "I suppose I might suggest this coin I found recently. Seems to give a man a golden tongue. No speech can fail, so long as you take the appropriate steps." He doesn't seen to notice the woodsman acting odd and still talks to Scorse. "I have to say, that is a mighty fine watch you have there friend. I still use a pocket watch myself. Seems a little extranvagent to wear it on your wrist." He grins again. "I could make a tidy profit off of that. Would you be up for a trade?"

Audgrim resists an urge to punch the fox-man in the face. Thankfully he doesn't feel the same about Scorse - Scorse is a friendly entity. Instead, he focuses on Emery now and walks over to him, studying the big man thoughtfully while his tail does figure eights. "A ring about time. Do you know this fox-man?"

Scorse eyes the gold coin and a smile spreads over his face. For the moment, the village, the lumberjack and all of that is conveniently forgotten as he unfastens the watch around his wrist and looks up into the fox's eyes, as if silently daring him to deal dirty. "Sounds like a fair trade to me? One thing for another, as is our way." Scorse holds out his left hand with the watch in his open palm, reaching with his right hand for the coin so that it can be done almost simultaneously.

The Woodsman seems so distracted now, he almost misses the offer of the ring by Foxman. But he does reach for it and clutch it in his hand. "What?" He casts a sidelong glance at Audgrim when he hears the question. "Yes. Yes, he is my friend. One of the Lost, like Mr. Quiet. Like… you all." And then he groans, hand cover his eyes again, cold sweat starting to break out on his forehead.

Eddie watches the deal go down and rolls his eyes, but he doesn't interrupt. Sharks need to swim, Scorses need to deal. "He's already got a silver tongue," he says, "More tasteful than gold, if you ask me. How much for that?" He jerks his thumb as the ring the Woodsman's just took hold of, furrowing his brow when he notices the man's distress. "Hey, buddy, you alright? You look like I feel."

"It's a deal!" The fox agrees to Scorse, eyeing the watch appreciatively and easily makes the trade. He's very distracted by the watch and how different it is, but not so different he doesn't hear Eddie's question. "That I'm afraid is not for sale. I need it hidden for a time, and I know Emery will keep it safe." He doesn't seem all too concerned about it though as watch in hand, he starts to wander off back towards the road without even a wave or nod goodbye as he takes the anachronistic timepiece with him.

Audgrim is eyeing that ring like he thinks it's the cause of all this, and the cause of the Woodsman's anguish. He growls after the fox-man and seem tempted to run after him, but then he's hit with this nauseous feeling, that tug of wanting to leave. "Tired of being pulled here and there," he grumbles, fighting off the pull for now, but barely. "Emery - Mr. Quiet - what is it you need to do here in the village. Why are we here?"

"Fine." The Woodsman hears someone asks him how he's doing, but doesn't seem to zero in on who it is. "I am fine. I am just…" He opens his eyes and glances back in the direction of the village - everything is fine. Villagers are working, the children are playing. And then Audgrim addresses him, and he turns to the horny devil. "I am a woodsman. I cut wood. And I protect the village." Beat. "Why? Why are you here?"

"Everything's fine, Audgrim. An oddity, for sure, but nothing to worry about." He rolls the large gold coin around in his hand, smiling to himself as he pockets it inside his coat and watches the foxman leave. Unable to stop himself, he calls out to him. "So, does the sleeping help them keep it safe or just a nasty by-product of whatever this ring of your does?"

"Oh, fuck me," Eddie says, wobbling on his feet and gripping the side of his head. He looks even worse than he did a moment ago, like he must have before he gave up and followed the call through the gate that brought him here. "I, I gotta go—" he says, and he starts back down the road the way they arrived. He stops after a few steps and turns back around, but it obviously takes him some effort.

"We get pulled here. We don't know," Audgrim says, throwing his hands out. "But when we go back to Port Angeles, we talk to Mr. Quiet." He turns about. "Everything is fine?" He looks at Scorse, not quite sure about that at all. But when Eddie starts to walk off, he trails after him, more concerned about his friend than anyone else. "Maybe we can go now, I don't like it here. Too… dreamy."

As for the Woodsman, he seems otherwise disconnected from the interaction between Foxman and Scorse. And the conversation at large when no one is directly addressing him. He just stands there now, axe in his right hand and staring down at the ring in his left.

Scorse nods to Audgrim as he walks off to check on Eddie. Scorse, himself, not feeling any such calling to leave the village and due to that, he walks past Emery to catch up with the Fox Changeling. "Hey, I'm talking to you! Alright, one more trade?" Scorse grins, knowing his own self and how those few words can stop him even on his busiest days.

The fox is pretty determined to leave and take his new and weird watch with him. He shakes his head to Scorse and just keeps walking as quickly as he can without it actually being a full run.

Eddie seems to shake off whatever's got hold of him, at least for the moment. He looks between the fleeing fox and the woodsman, trying to decide something. "I think I'm going to follow our new friend a little while," he says in a low voice to Audgrim, "you stick around and help Scorse with Paul Bunyan. Quiet knows you, maybe that'll help." He puts on a show of doing another wobble, and turns to go as if following the call. He's following something else entirely, but he tries to hide that.

Scorse watches the Fox's back for a second as Eddie slips past and he pivots on his heel and runs the few feet over to Emery and brings his arms back and down and then goes to slap at the Woodsman's hand from below to send the ring soaring toward Audgrim. "Aud! Incoming!"

Eddie follows after the fox, picking up the pace when he realises how little attention the man is paying his surroundings. He has another bout of the sickness along the way, veering off briefly toward the woods, but he grits his teeth and fights it off again. He reaches into his coat as he walks, and comes out with that new pistol he had Scorse look over a while back, all gleaming in the summer sunlight.

This… is not a good idea. As dazed as the Woodsman is, the sudden burst of movement seems to partially shake him out of his befuddlement. His gaze suddenly sharpens; his left hand curls around the ring that he promised to protect, and tries to swing that hand out of Audgrim's reach.

Eddie whistles a high shrill whistle, and he lifts the gun to point it somewhere past the salesman. "Hey, pal, let's stop a minute and chat. Didn't you know it's rude to ignore people?"

Audgrim is nodding at Eddie - he has a mission, so he'll try to do it. He turns about abruptly and walks after Scorse, but isn't expecting that direct action, tensing up as Scorse tries to get that ring off of the Woodsman. As it fails, and the large lumberjack holds on to the ring, he calls out: "Hey. Try to remember, what does that ring mean."

"Fine. Then we do it the hard way." Scorse moved to stand in front of Emery now that the Woodsman is a bit more alert. "You and your people are stuck in a magical pocket of time and space. It is really 2018 and you relics are trapped here because of that ring! SO, if you want your wife and family to be eternal hostages to that Changeling, then you just keep that damned ring safe and go back to your pretend little world and sleep for another decade! And when the dreams come true and you are all slaughtered, that will be on YOU! See you in 2028, Emery! If you're still alive then!" Scorse growls out the last few words and turns on his heel to walk back into the woods towards where he entered from.

The attempt to seize the ring from the Woodsman may not have gone as planned — and the Woodsman lets out an angry shout at Scorse. But his eyes squeeze shut again when Scorse proceeds to snap at him, his very thoughts all a jumble. Then he lets out a bestial roar. The axe is dropped. The RING is dropped. And the Woodsman rushes past the others, straight towards the woods….

Aren't people supposed to do whatever you tell them, when you have a gun in your hand? Eddie scowls and raises the pistol up in both hands, the way they taught him to do at the academy, staring down the sights and taking aim, like he's really going to do it. His finger even makes it about halfway to the trigger before he looks back over his shoulder and considers what all that noise would mean for Audgrim and Scorse, not to mention the kind of dreams he'd have tonight after shooting a guy in the back. He makes a disgusted noise and spits on the ground. "Hey buddy," he calls to the man he almost shot, "fuck you." He turns to rejoin the others.

"Wait!" Audgrim calls after both Scorse and the Woodsman, utterly confused. But he bends down to pick up the ring, tail curling uncertainly. "I think we should leave. This place, only more questions."

"Sounds like a plan to me," Eddie says, once he makes his way back over to Audgrim. His hair is matted and he looks even thinner than usual, and he spits again in the general direction of the village before he turns to follow Scorse and Emery into the woods. He pauses before he goes, deciding to scoop that axe up after all, mostly out of spite. "Maybe Bea will like it," he muses to the Nightsinger, slinging it over his shoulder like the Tin Woodsman as they leave.

"Why does Emery have Mr. Quiet's memories, or Mr. Quiet have Emory's memories. Is Emory Mr. Quiet in the past?" Audgim keeps holding that ring in his palm - if it's still there.

He makes a wheezing annoyed sound as he suddenly finds himself right back in Port Angeles and it's dawn.

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