Maon leads the way back towards civilization—somehow making his way easily back out through the woods, and you know, there's some things you just don't ask about.

It's a little longer walk back than it was getting there—you'd ended up popping out in a slightly different location. The sun isn't quite up enough to be causing any adverse side effects, and somehow as you walk, you find any fatigue or pain or chill drifting away, leaving you feeling rejuvinated rather than exhausted. The really happy archangel might be partially to blame for that.

The cottage soon comes into sight. Siùsaidh is sitting on the porch waiting, and Tristan's car is once again parked outside.

"Tis about time ye got back," she says firmly. "Tis been three days, and I can only mind an incubus in my home fer so long. Step inside for breakfast, now, won't ye?"

[we will continue to pick at threads in the Endgame but feel free to hit up anybody anywhere in the Epilogue! thanks for the game, see you again in three years soon ♥]
There's a really uncomfortable few minutes after Lucifer vanishes with the trumpet. A hush settles down over the group, and most likely that awful moment of doubt. I mean, you did just make a deal with the adversary, the Prince of Darkness, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Father of Lies

. . .

Then there's a soft popping sound, and someone appears midair, about twenty feet up, dropping fast.

"AH. Oh, come on, Luci—"

The newcomer is wearing a black hood, and abruptly catches himself with not one, not two, but three pairs of wings, skinny legs pinwheeling only sort of elegantly as he catches himself in a little stumble, landing and dropping on his knees in front of them with a sharp gasp, legs splayed to either side.
You're led down a hallway that more resembles the size of a freeway lane. The fae in front of you drifts slightly as she walks, and does not speak, her hands clasped behind her back politely.

As you ascend a wide staircase, you can hear music, growing gradually louder—the sweet strains of a violin. The song ends as you approach and enter into—

Something partially, it seems, between an amphitheatre and a throne room. Half the room is roughly hewn out of glittering rock, polished and segueing directly into the side of the mountain. A wide, dark entrance leads off into a cave, wide enough to drive a truck through. In front of this stands a pair of lithe fairy guards, dressed in blue and silver livery.

There are small doors that leave this area as well, most likely leading back into the main area of the mansion. As you enter, the fae that had been playing the violin is escorted back out through one of these, away from the wide stage they'd been playing on. Deep blue curtains are pulled back to expose a platform fit for any kind of entertainment, and in front of it—

Well, he's human-sized, and human-shaped, mostly, lounging sprawled across an elaborately comfortable-looking "throne." His eyes are narrow and slit-pupilled, gleaming like gold coins. He has silver hair swept back from a high peak, coiling around a heavy pair of twisted horns and pointed ears, though it's hard to tell where the hair starts and when the iridescent blue scales on his forehead begin, lining his nose, his jaw. His eyes are lined with a swipe of gold and black—fine scales, or careful application of makeup, it's hard to tell—and he's wearing an elaborate set of robes embroidered with enough riches to buy an entire second castle, or mansion, or both.

More notable, likely, is the distinctly non-humanoid, heavy tail curling out and draped on over the edge of the chair like a scarf, or the cruel hooked claws as he lightly taps two long, elegant fingers against his lips. There is a thin silver ring near the corner of one, attached to a chain that connects to a sapphire glittering in one ear. His smile is full of teeth, and his voice is like liquid, low and coaxing.

"This is a sssurprise," the dragon Mianythoth says. "I haven't gotten sssuch interesting visitorsss in a long time. Let'sss not stand on ceremony, however. Unlesss you've got sssomething else to sssay, all I want is that music that I heard in the foressst. Where did it come from? Give me that, and you can leave. Unlessssss," he draws that one out, looking the group over, "You have sssomething else you'd like to offer?"
You're led inside, the gates shutting behind you with a particularly resounding clang.

The interior is gorgeous, with white walls and marbled floors, gold gilt on every ornamented surface. For those who are overly sensitive to such things, it may be a slight affront as the interior is very Rococo, in contrast to the Gothic exterior. But it's still really nice.

The high, arched ceilings that pick up every sound perfectly—sorry, superhearers, the acoustics are amazing.

You are quickly shuffled off to the right, through a gold-gilted door to a slightly-less-opulent-but-still-disgustingly-rich-looking area. The redcap seems to pass some sort of security to lead through here—though it's hard to say if it's meant to keep someone in or out. Once through this door, you pass doors to rooms along the hall—a few are open and you can see that inside are medium-sized bedrooms, comfortable and well-decorated. Others are closed, as if the occupants are currently inside.

You are ushered into the door at the end. Inside is a very large, circular sitting room, with plenty of cushions and seats, a piano set up in the center next to a softly burbling pool of water. Musical instruments are displayed on accessible racks and hooks around the walls. There's also a small library of books, CDs, and vinyl in one corner, alongside a sleek black speaker system.

A set of glass doors leads outside to an enclosed area that looks to all the world like a pleasure garden, with more cushioned seats, a swing, and fountains. Several people are out there—fairies and humanoid alike—apparently oblivious to the cold weather. There are more people inside as well—probably about seven in all.

The Eastern end of the room is just completely dominated by an enormous set of doors, about twenty feet high, and twice as wide.

"Please, wait here," says the redcap(tain). "We will inform Lord Mianythoth of your arrival." All of the guards depart and leave you to your own devices—at least, for now.
After talking with the traveling group, Maon leads you some ways up the path again to regroup and talk without being overheard. You all got some information from the party—they aren't from here, they're on the move, and although of course they'd love to give up their sweet camping spot so a Daoine Sìth like Maon could help his good friend Vincent have a birthday party, unfortunately the dragon that lives in the nearby mansion hoards music and musicians, and any group here having a proper revel is likely to get snapped up.

You may have noticed that you're missing your shadow again, along with your fussbird and Elluka. Those with superhearing had heard a brief burst of hearttuggingly beautiful music box music, quickly cut off.

Oh, and now those people with superhearing are hearing a voice distant in the woods, "Were you the source of the sound we just heard? Or should we be looking further afield?"

It sounds like there's no signs of a fight. What do you try to do?
Sariel, Elluka, and Cys snuck off into the woods earlier to try to take advantage of the distraction of the fairy party to get out the music boxes. Unfortunately, they were surprisingly loud—not so much that the other group could hear them, minus perhaps those with superhearing, but enough to get them in a bit of trouble.

They have barely had a chance to put the music boxes away and get Sariel's warning—someone's coming—when a group of armed guards surrounds them. They are all wearing some sort of uniform in silver and blue, but other than that, the only thing common among them is that none of them are Sith. Some are covered in leaves and mud, some are wearing blood-soaked hats with the still-wet blood trickling down their cheeks, some have no skin, veins and muscle showing. They aren't even all humanoid—you see a large green dog in a blue and silver bandanna among the lot.

What they all are is armed, however.

Sariel raises his arms immediately, palms out. Elluka looks between him and the group in a frantic what-to-do gesture and then raises their own, trying to hide mouse-Cys behind their raised arm and the fall of their hair.

"Were you the source of the sound we just heard?" one of the blood-hatted fairies asks, in a surprisingly lovely voice. "Or should we be looking further afield?"
You've all eaten, digested, rested, and—well, whatever else you got up to as the afternoon progressed. As the sky starts to get dimmer and it moves towards sunset, Sariel gets up.

"Well. We should go now. Unless you're intending to drag this out and make us go and try this again at sunrise instead."

"I think now is better," Luka agrees placidly. "I think at least three of us wouldn't want to do this during the day. Also, it's sneakier."

Kieran calls out, "Last chance for bathroom breaks or equipping ourselves, I guess. Consider this our save point, need anything before we hit the dungeon?"
You hardly feel the change as you slip between worlds—no jolt or jerk or sudden awakening. You ease gently into a new reality, a lingering warmth on your skin.

It's a bright and sunny day—a bit nippy, mind you, hopefully you're wearing at least a light jacket—as you find yourself not in a summoning circle, but rather, in a pleasant looking field with a truly breathtaking view:


Down a rocky path, you can see a pleasant-looking three-story cottage, smoke pluming and spiralling into the crisp air from the brick chimney.

"See," says Sariel, brushing his gloved hands together and looking smugly over at Elluka, who is sitting perched on a high rock and looking bored. "I told you I could do it."