Alandriawas at a karaoke bar at an open mic night, singing with her “band” when she felt a tug at the back of her neck as Higginsrang for her attention. She finished up her rendition of Crazy Train, and then took five, allowing her morose, gothy backup singer to take lead for a few. She found an out of the way spot, and stepped into the Nevernever, arriving in her demesne.
Once home, she spotted Nikkipeering out the window, both paws up on the glass, tail lashing back and forth as she watched Higgins detain a drowned one down by the beach trail. Sensing Alandria’s return, Higgins escorted the drowned one up to the house. His stench was so bad that Alandria suggested they sit outside and talk.
The drowned one had come seeking information and Alandria agreed to trade him information for information. He mentioned something called Fomor who had been killing his people and taking his land, and agreed to tell her about them in exchange. Finding it a fair deal, Alandria told him that his Champion had died at the hands of Ian Branneal. She offered to tell him why Ian had done it, explaining that Ian had done it in a fit of rage, provoked by the Autumn knight,Jack Belmont. They were arguing, and Ian got mad and killed the champion. The Drowned one proclaimed that the “wizard sound like big asshole.”
Meanwhile, Jack had heard about some killings done by alligators. Odd, since the most recent killing was down at the docks and gaters are freshwater critters. Strangely enough, fitting though. The deaths had all been members of the Matranaga crime family, so far, and they were known for taking people out to the swamps and feeding them to the gators.
Jack attempted to investigate the crime scene, but was unable to find any useful information, so he went home to wait till later. When he got home, he found that his puppies, newly granted to him by the Erlking, had destroyed his computer desk while he was gone, and knocked over his TV. He was given half a dozen of the puppies as a reward when he turned some souls in to the Erlking.
Alandria called Jack to attempt to sell him information about a really strong type of Fae in need of a king. The ruler of the Fomor had perished long ago, and their leader was renown as being nearly equal to the Erlking in might. If Jack could bring them into the court, it would be seen as a boon to the Erlking, and further his standing in court. In return.. All Alandria wanted was some cash (10k) and a favor. Jack didn’t have the cash, so Alandria offered him a month to get the money, and then she would offer the info to the Winter Court. She really should have shortened that time to a few hours.
“Oh, and by the way, remember that scene outside Nevarres’ home with the drowned ones? Yeah.. They are looking for revenge against Ian and you for killing their champion.”
Jack went back to investigate late at night, around 2am, when there wouldn’t be so many dockhands around. He shifted to his dog form and was able to pick up an astringent scent trail leading him to a shipping container. He turned back to human and fetched a crowbar from his car, oddly enough, drawing no suspicion from the heightened security on the docks. When he popped the lock on the shipping container, he found an assortment of guns and drugs. Jack, being rather fond of weaponry, was dumbstruck by what lay before him, and was quickly trying to figure out how he could load up as much of that as possible into his car.
Then a boot planted itself firmly on his spine, and the shipping container door slammed shut.
Jack quickly regained his balance and shouldered his way out the door, spotting three nearly identical men. Push came to shove, and the hulking men, somewhat unnatural in form, all revealed long bone like spines that jutted from their wrists. The tips leaked some fluid, and when Jack dodged an attack, the spine scored the metal of the shipping container, leaving a smoking gouge. Jack was able to wound one of the men, but unable to avoid getting gouged by one of the others as he attempted to make his escape. The poison seared at his flesh as he made for his car, but he was able to endure the pain long enough to call Nevarres and ask for help, then drive out there.
Nevarres’ idea of help was to very slowly and steadily, cut the rotting, poisoned flesh, out of Jack’s body after sterilizing it with some liquor. He also informed Nevarres that the drowned ones might try something since they had caught word about who killed their champion.
After this, Jack enlisted in the aid of Alandria and Nevarres to further track down the Fomor. Alandria agreed to help because ultimately, it was best for the city. The three again went down to the docks and to the shipping container, to find it gone. Alandria suggested they ask the dockmaster where it had gone, but Jack waved off the idea, wanting to get in touch with his canine side instead. Alandria however, was curious about where the container of weapons went off to, and made note of the numbered containers around them, and deduced the number that might have been on the container there, to ask about later.
Jack leads them on a scent trail to a large 60 foot boat, full of Fomor. Brave beyond words, Jack asks to be taken to the leader of the Fomor, along with Alandria and Nevarres. They are led through the boat, down to a diver launch hatch in the bottom. Nevarres and Jack are given some Aeriemoss, which Nevarres promptly eats, then jumps in the water and tries to breath.
He gets lungs full of water, and comes up sputtering and coughing up buckets of polluted seawater. Jack actually asks how to use the stuff, an is instructed to chew it. Doing so produces a mouthful of air. Nevarres gets some more of the moss, then the three descend into the depths with the sharkmen.
They get ushered into a waiting room, and are shortly joined by The Devourer of All, a Fomor with a long tongue that dangles down past midneck. A translator is required to understand him, and during the translation, one translator gets killed, and a second one gets assaulted, but they come to understand that the Fomor are attacking New Orleans right now because it is weak and they want land. The land has a lot of good things on it. Jack can’t argue with such logic, and offers them a place in the autumn court. The Devourer of all declines, saying that they cannot accept such an offer without a satisfactory show of force to prove the strength of the Autumn Court.
Alandria offers to host the demonstration in her demesne, and again, The Devourer of All declines, stating that he doesn’t know her well enough to accept her home as the place of contest. Alandria then invited him over for tea, tomorrow, to get to know her better. She assured him there would be delicious tea as well as a casserole made by her butler, Higgins. The Devourer of All accepted the offer, and come lunch time the next day, he showed up for a meal. Alandria cleverly kept his plate full at all times. The glutton ate till his chair broke and his belly was distended. Happy and sated, he agreed to have the duel at her place. Alandria pressed him for a bit of information about why his people were attacking people in New Orleans, and he explained that the land had many things that the ocean did not, like good food and satellite TV. When asked if they would leave New Orleans alone if they were shown an island full of cattle, The Devourer agreed that they would, so long as cattle remained on the island. Alandria decided to give that some thought, as Cattle were quite expensive. Still, it was an option.
The contest of strength was to be held the next day and Jack managed to persuade Alandria to help him out by making it easier for him to move in the water. Wit some reluctance, she agreed. She filled Jack in on the contest rules: Contestants must stay in the water, and if someone gets thrown out of the water, they are allowed to renter the water to continue the fight. The fight will continue till one contender is dead. The winner must eat the heart or liver of the loser, raw.
The day of the contest, Alandria had Higgins make sure there was plenty of food available for the guests so that the Devourer would stay in a good mood. There were chips and wings and potato skins as well as a whole cow roasting out back.
Jack arrived with his litter of puppies, and Alandria assigned Nikki the task of puppy sitting. She obliged by playing chase with the puppies. Well, they chased her around, anyway. One wall of Alandria’s living room was nothing but a TV screen displaying the underwater fight. As the puppies noticed Jack on tv, they all lined up to watch the fight with everyone else. Everyone except The Devourer of All.. Who was devouring all he could see at the moment.
The champion for the Fomor was a giant squid and proved to be more than a handful for Jack. He did his best trying to cripple it, and then finally shifted to his dog form and tore the shit out of it as it grappled him. The fight ended with Puppy Jack in the squid’s tentacles, missing circular patches of fur, clawing and tearing out it’s center mass. It died, and Jack continued to tear at it, devouring it’s innards till he thought he might have got the heart and or liver. The rest of the squid, he drug up on shore for his puppies to eat.
With the fight over, people milled down to the shore to congratulate Jack, but The Devourer of All was nowhere to be seen. Finally, they found him laying by the BBQ pit, again stuffed to the gills. He tried to claim he hadn’t known the fight was going on, and how could he know for sure that Jack really won and the puppies didn’t do the work for him? A live pig was enough of a bribe to get him to accept the results and agree to join the Autumn Court.
Jack laid out the ground rules for him, explaining that his people would e allowed to hunt whatever and wherever they liked, unless the Erlking said otherwise. When the Erlking summoned them for a hunt, they had to answer. They couldn’t attack any other Autumn Court. Jack led the Devourer out of Alandria’s demesne to explain how to tell who was Autumn, and despite Alandria’s attempts to listen in, she was spotted.
Jack then escorted the Devourer to see the Erlking, and the Erlking was pleased, stating, “My hound fetches me the most interesting sticks.”