A charming vagabond that is looking for a place to belong in this world...
- Seeming: Fairest
- Kith: Flowering
- Court: Spring
- Position: Legate of Spring
- Glory- the glory of music especially performance thereof
- Love- the love of one’s close friends
- Safety- having the sense of personal safety while being out in the world
- Intelligence: 2 Wits: 3 Resolve: 2
- Strength: 2 Dexterity: 2 Stamina: 2
- Presence: 4 Manipulation: 2 Composure: 2
- Crafts: 2 – Specialty: Sound Engineering
- Occult: 1
- Science: 1 – Specialty: Acoustics
- Athletics: 1
- Brawl: 2 – Specialty: Bar Fighting
- Firearms: 1
- Larceny: 1
- Stealth: 1
- Weaponry: 1
- Empathy: 2
- Expression: 2
- Persuasion: 3
- Socialize: 5
- Streetwise: 2
- Subterfuge: 3 (2); Blessing, Medial (3)
- Norm: Tasks – Ensorcellment (-2); Alliance, Medial (-2); Boons – Favour, Greater (1, Resources 1 dot); Sanctions – Poisoning of the Boon (-2, Favour); Duration – Year and a Day (3)
- Ned: Tasks – Alliance, Greater (-3); Forbiddance, Medial (-2, cannot go to sleep with me); Boons – Blessing, Medial (3)
- Invocation – 1 Willpower (both)
- Motley Pledge
- Type: Vow
- Floyd: Tasks – Alliance, Medial (-2), Dreaming, Lesser (-2), Forbiddance, Medial (-2); Boons – Adroitness (3)(resources), Blessings, Medial (3)
- Ned: Tasks – Alliance, Medial (-2), Dreaming, Lesser (-2), Forbiddance, Medial (-2); Boons – Adroitness (3), Blessings, Medial (3)
- Mal: Tasks – Alliance, Medial (-2), Dreaming, Lesser (-2), Forbiddance, Medial (-2); Boons – Adroitness (3), Blessings, Medial (3)
The time was so long. Endless repetition of being brought out into the sunlight and fresh air. Then moving back into the greenhouse for the night. At least in winter. In summer, many warm nights would be spend outside under the stars. If I had bloomed well, I would be adored and pampered and cared for well. But sometimes, if my blooms weren’t so full, the neglect was not so pleasant.
The music was the greatest part of it all, though. Every sunrise was accompanied by the most elegant and divine of music. I can’t even begin to describe it in a way that people could understand. The majestic overture as the sun crossed the sky. The epic grandeur of the sunset and clouds. The serene calm of the night. It was all like the greatest of symphonies played unending. But it wasn’t just like some sort of classical orchestra, it included everything else. Blues, rock, jazz, ska, reggae, bossa nova, electro, you name it, it was there. Wood flute sounds reminiscent of the Asians, delicate metallic plucking of middle eastern strings, and deep, resonant vibrations of the aboriginal didgeridoo. Everything. It was as if the world were playing music of itself. And it was the most wonderful of music. If there is anything I miss from my time there, it is the music. Yet through it all, for the endless days and nights, the seasons and years, I remembered one thing… my guitar. But, a gilded cage is still a cage, no matter how beautiful. The details of my escape and return are a nightmare that I don’t wish to recall any time soon. It was not easy. And what I lost will never be found again.
It was February 13, 2002 when I returned from the hedge and found that the world had moved on without me. Or rather, with a different me. My parents had died, my fetch had taken over my life with aplomb, and I had nowhere to go and no one of which I could ask for help. Or so I thought. As I sat outside of the house that I had called home, realizing that almost 40 years had passed in my absence, a woman walked up to me. As she walked, the brisk winter air seemed to warm slightly and the grass and flowers almost seemed to turn towards her as if waking up from their winter hibernation. She seemed to know exactly who I was even though I had never seen her before.
She was a red-haired woman of slight build dressed in a black coat and tall boots. She walked with purpose and grace. And as she got closer, I realized she was something more. Her skin was pale. This was in stark contrast to her bright red hair, which moved as if a winter breeze was blowing. Her ice-blue eyes seemed to glisten, like snow-flakes. As she drew next to me, I could see the snow-white complexion of her skin.
“Hello, friend,” she said as she stood next to me. “Welcome home.”
“Home,” I said. “What home? My parents are dead, there is someone else living my life, and I have nothing and nowhere to go.”
“I understand that the return is both shocking and often disappointing. But perhaps we can help you.”
“We?” I asked, because there clearly was no one else around.
“Yes,” she said calmly. “We are like you. We’ve all returned to find that our old life is either gone or forever changed without us. If you come with me, I can introduce you to more like us. It will help you find your way.”
“I don’t even know your name,” I said, still confused by it all.
“Sorry, I’m Clare. Clare Standish.”
She put out her hand to shake mine. I took her hand, cautiously at first. It was so cold. Much colder than the weather should make it. But there was warmth and compassion in her heart. I could tell that she was like me. Or rather I was like her. Or, we were like each other. I had found my first new friend.
“What’s your name?” she asked me.
“Floyd,” I said, almost unsure of my own name.
“Floyd what?” Clare asked.
“Floyd Rose, I guess,” I said with a shrug. “But I guess I’m no longer the Floyd Rose that anyone would know.”
“No, definitely not,” she replied with a grin. “Besides, roses are for the dead. And you are from from dead, Floyd.”
Through Clare, I learned about the Boston Freehold. I joined the Spring Court and started to acclimate to my new life. I had to find a way to earn some money to make my way. And it just felt better to do “normal” things. I would get odd jobs around the area. Very often I would take care of people’s yards and gardens because that just seemed to come naturally to me. I saved up to buy a guitar from a pawn shop. It was an Ibanez hollow-body electric with, ironically, a Floyd Rose locking bridge. I got a small amp with it.
I started playing at any and every open-mic or jam session that I could find. And in April of 2002, I attended a show with a band that really caught my eye. They were called The Birthday Massacre. And their sound was nothing like I’ve ever heard. So different from the music of four decades ago. I spoke with them after the show and it was at that time that I realized that I could probably work this to my advantage.
Through my subtle persuasion, I convinced them to hire me on as a guitar technician and I would work with them at every show and in the studio. Then, late one night in the studio, I made them an offer. I knew that if I invested in them, I would be able to earn enough to improve my lot in life. So that night, I made my first gainful pledge with mortals.
Later that year, in July 2002, The Birthday Massacre released a limited edition CD entitled “Nothing and Nowhere” and kicked off their first real tour. The resources this pledge gave to me weren’t huge, but they did allow me to start looking for a place of my own. Which is how I met Norm.
Norm was the owner of Caer Bannog, a run-down dive in that part of town which isn’t quite Roxbury and isn’t quite South End. Norm was the owner and business was bad. He just really didn’t have the knack to run a business. Which is too bad because the place was great. This bar had potential. I could see it. Norm had spent his life savings on the place. He had quit his career as an accountant and figured this would be a good way to spend his days. I had played at Norm’s place a few times and I had gotten to know him rather well. He was a good guy, he just needed some help to really get the place going. So I came up with a plan. I told Norm that I could make this place be all the things he wanted it to be, but he had to trust me. He had to trust me completely. After a night of talking over a bottle of scotch, Norm Claven and I made a pledge:
“On our friendship, Norm, if you keep my secret and keep a little more aside for me, I will, in return, show you the sight so that this next year may go well for the both of us.“
I gave him what he needed to keep the bar running. Granted, he didn’t become a better business man, but the bills always managed to get paid, and in return, I got a place to stay, to play my music, and to hold court meetings.
Now, for a little over 6 years, I’ve had a good thing going here. Norm, through my help, has managed to keep Caer Bannog a success. He has earned back his initial investment and now lives a comfortable life with his family. And he enjoys the place as well. The great thing is that he still enjoys working behind the bar. Nothing really makes him happier than serving drinks and seeing his regulars keep coming back. And I get to hang out, listen to music, play from time to time, and I get enough cash to get the things I need out of it all. I have continued to increase my standing in the Spring Court and we hold our regular meetings on the second floor above the bar.
And now, I wait to see what the Wyrd will bring my way.
Things I should never be before 6 AM: 1 – Awake, 2 – Going to Cleveland (Floyd’s favourite quip about mornings)
The nightmares have begun again. They plague me nightly. Dreams of horrible, unspeakable things. Things that wait for me, just beyond the hedge. But in my dreams, they come out. They reach from the shadows with claws and teeth made of mists and fear. In my dreams, there is no place I can hide, nowhere I can run, no one that can help. Even my motley cannot stop the nightmares for they are just as much victims to these things as I am.
I have been complacent too long. I have allowed too much to go unchecked. I must take a stand. My court dances around me, unaware of the dangers that are lurking just beyond. They are oblivious. I have led them along this golden path of fancy banquets and cocktail parties. I have failed to keep them mindful of the dangers that we have all escaped and which will forever be waiting just beyond the thorns. If we are set upon now, I will lose those that which I value most. Worse, I will bring misery and despair to many, many more that don’t deserve it.
I must take a stand. I must find what it is that sullies my sleep and torments my mind. I will not wait idly by for these things to consume me. I will seek and find them. I will face them. I will beat them.
And I will start with the one who last stood before the Jaberwocky… Uncle Longshadow.