Last week on the Tuesday game...
With Squibbles leading the way, the party heads out of the Goblin Market. At the edge of the market, however, their goblin guide makes as if to go off the path into the surrounding wilderness, but Alistair and Serrano - having heard stories about what happen to people when they go off the path in the Feywild - are hesitant and insist that Squibbles stay on the path. The goblin tells them Titania has her men scouring the world for them, and that staying on the path is tantamount to suicide, but the party is insistent and so, with a world-weary sigh, Squibbles leads them "around the long way".
True to their guide's prediction, they are quickly accosted by a handful of steel-clad knights about a hundred heartbeats away from the accorded neutral territory of the Goblin Markets. There is no other way around the knights, and with Robert's warning ("don't trust Titania!") still ringing in their ears the party decides to attack the knights and make a run for it.
For all their fearsome appearance, the knights prove easy enough to kill, but Squibbles warns them that this will not be the last they'll see of them. "Their lances have tasted your blood! Whichever King or Queen commanded those goons has your scent now, and they'll be after you. Now can we please go off the path?!" The party stubbornly shake their head, and Squibbles throws his hands up in despair.
"It's your funeral, but you're not dragging me down with you. I'll see you guys at the Summer Court if you make it. Just keep heading Summerwise and you'll eventually get there. Hopefully." Saying this, Squibbles leaps into the tall grass around the path and disappears from view.
The party continues Summerwise as instructed, and for the space of about three thousand heartbeats the journey was uneventful. They moved from one set of scenery to the next without any memory of the intervening moments, and every time they looked to see if they could catch the moment when the world changed, the background simply remained static: perfectly balanced between the verdant desire to grow and change and flower, and the vegetative impulse to stay and rot and fester.
However, the world did not remain that way for long. When the party next blinked and looked up, they found themselves accosted by a large contingent of knights, this time lead by a certain sidhe lady. Crowned in wood and gold, she sits regal atop her charger with a staff in her right hand and a large, perfectly frozen sunflower in her other.
Serrano loses it. Deciding that it was better to go out in a blaze of glory than to die with his blade unsheathed, he charges the knights, and they take him out in a rain of arrows. Gabriel goes down next, and Fenrir quickly follows as the knights loosen arrow after arrow. Seeing how fast they cut down his allies, Alistair decides to surrender, and the party is bound and transported to a frozen keep on the outskirts of Winter.
When the party awaken, the lady introduces herself as the Queen of Wands and examines the party curiously. "You don't look all that interesting to me," the Queen says. "Nonetheless, the Lady Titania has asked to see you, and all things considered, I should deliver you straight to her... unless you can give me a good reason why I shouldn't."
Lia steps up and begins negotiations on the behalf of the party, and after a short discussion they strike a deal: in exchange for freeing the Queen of Wands from her position and her obligations to Titania, she will let the party go but render no further aid. The bargain made, the party is then unceremoniously tossed into the snow outside the keep and given nothing but their freedom, the clothes on their backs, and a portal to the border between Summer and Winter.
With the roads clear of the Queen's men, the party make their way to Summer with little trouble, and Squibbles greets them delightedly. Bringing the party by the hand, he introduces them to a lieutenant of the Summer banners and asks that the lieutenant introduce them to court. He does so willingly, and the party find themselves in the presence of the second most powerful fey creature in the world.
Lord Oberon tells them that he wants them to go into Titania's court and steal, from the heart of Winter, a small child's rag. In exchange for this service rendered, he will not only clear the large debt that Fenrir has incurred, but will also arm them in feysteel and grant them safe passage back to the Prime Material Plane.
Deciding to push his luck, Fenrir asks for more favours to be taken away, but this infuriates him. "I am Oberon," the monarch growls. "king of all sidhe and master of the Wild Hunt. I am not a goblin bartering for favours at the Market, and I. Do. Not. Bargain." Waving his hand, he strips the party of the feysteel arms he had bestowed upon them and tells them to leave before he really loses his patience.
After being crudely outfitted in bronze arms by the lieutenant, the party make their way back to the boundary line between Summer and Winter, where they eventually come upon a creature that calls itself the Morrigan. Presenting initially as an eyeless creature weeping over the dead Summer soldiers, she suddenly stands and, in a song-song tone of voice, speaks a prophecy in Sylvan that nobody in the party understands.
The party come across her (or someone very much like her) a few hundred heartbeats later, this time washing the face of a dead Summer soldier in a half-frozen stream before violently wrenching his head off from his shoulders. As before, the Morrigan suddenly stands and prophecies, but this time Alistair is prepared; through the power of the Comprehend Languages spell, Alistair hears her prophecy and shares it with the rest of the party.
"The Morrigan sees you," she says, staring at Serrano with her empty eyes. "The Morrigan sees you, and the Morrigan knows your name. The Morrigan will see you again on the other side of the ravine, and the Morrigan will have her death." Saying so, she falls to her knees again and, oblivious to the world once more, continues washing the face of the new soldier who has magically appeared in her lap.
Unnerved but otherwise unharmed, the party continues Winterwise, and they eventually come across the prophesied ravine. With no other way forward, the party squeezes through the ravine one by one, but when it comes to Serrano's turn to squeeze through the pass, he finds himself stuck. The crow circling above the party's head lands on Serrano's shoulder and, in a loud caw, addresses him in Common.
"Kdaavweuly!," it screeches. "Kdaavweuly! The Morrigan knows your name, and the Morrigan will have her death!" Serrano becomes perturbed and tries to chase the crow away, but with his arms and legs stuck in the ravine, he finds it almost impossible to do that. Alistair approaches him and tries to help, but Serrano tells him that everything is fine and shoos him away.
In a harsh whisper, Serrano agrees to give the Morrigan her death, and the crow flies away, satisfied. With some help from Alistair, Serrano wriggles free of the ravine, and the party eventually make their way to Titania's Court, where they are personally received by Titania herself.
The Queen of the Sidhe makes the party a deal: if they agree to betray Oberon and give this false rag to him, she will not only grant them everything that he has promised them, but will also grant them three wishes on top of that. The party agrees, and Titania uses her influence to send them back to the boundary line, where they find that the road to the heart of Summer to be smooth and unobstructed.
Back in court, Gabriel presents Oberon with the rag that he had asked for... and as he stretches out his hand to receive it, the rag suddenly turns into a snake (or has it always been a snake?) and coils around the monarch's arm faster than sound or thought. Before anybody could react, Titania's curse - crafted in her time and place of power, delivered by mortal hands and poisoned by mortal deceit - leaps for Oberon's throat and tears it out.
As the party stare at the cooling corpse of the Summer King, the world freezes around them, and they find themselves back at Titania's court. The Winter Queen laughs a cold and bitter laugh: a laugh that she has spent season after season cultivating. It is done. It is finally done. Her husband is finally dead, and she is now the sole monarch of the entire Feywild.
Stammering and confused at what has just happened, the party ask for their three wishes: first, for the Queen of Wands to be freed from her service; second, for all of their items to be returned to them; and third, for Lia to become a drug kingpin, that she may rule over a duskstone empire. All three wishes are granted, but there is one condition: if the Queen of Wands is to be freed, Titania demands that someone from the party step up and accept the mantle, that she is not deprived of a Queen.
Seeing how it was her wish in the first place, Lia steps up to accept the title, and as she does, Titania smiles and whispers into her ears, "Now that you are my new Queen of Wands, all that belonged to the previous Queen of Wands - including your precious mortal possessions - now belong to you, to do with as you wish." The third wish, Titania says, will come to pass as well, but it will take a little longer. If Lia is patient and does as she is told in the mean time, it will eventually come to fruition.
Their wishes granted, Titania waves her hand and sends them back to the Prime Material Plane. As the Winter Queen's terrible laughter echoes in their ears, the party thinks about what they have done and collectively repress a shudder. Summer is dead. Summer is dead, and it was by their hands that Summer is dead.