01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead.   Posted by The Scene.Group: 0
The Scene
 NPC, 8 posts
Thu 14 Jan 2016
at 02:38
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
Derby Line once had multiple crossings, but most of them had since been barricaded--a testament to post 9-11 culture. The closest crossing to the stones was the Derby Line–Rock Island crossing.

The lineup to cross moved very quickly, all things considered.  They made it across with a minimal amount of interest from the border guards.  The Canadian side was mostly interested in potential firearm issues.  There was a white Chevy F-150 that had been pulled to one side and was being inspected while the driver--a young lady with a panda-bear hoodie--talked on her cel-phone behind a large plexiglass barricade.

From there, it was a short ho-skip and a jump to the Stanstead stones and the festival clearing.  There were three campgrounds within three miles of the site and several of the houses had tents set up.  The northern end of the field had a veritable tent city set out in three distinct districts.  Northwest was the Quiet Town, the Northeast was Party Town, and the middle was rather wider than it's name: Merchant's Row, which hosted all sorts of tent-city storefronts, blankets laid out with clothing and candles and occult symbols, necklaces, trinkets.

Signs were posted everywhere, helpfully in both French and English.  But both languages were being spoken openly all around them.  The atmosphere was vibrant and friendly, with perhaps five or six hundred people having set up to camp, drink.  It was a environment reminiscent of the early mornings of mardi gras.

The standing stones, themselves, were roped off with yellow and red ropes, set a sort of spiral to guide people in to the circle of stones themselves.  But there wasn't anyone specifically guarding the entrance.  Only a couple of young men that looked for all the world like hippy vikings, playing a board-game that looked sort of like chess on an old Mexican style blanket.
Matt
 player, 19 posts
 Potential
Thu 14 Jan 2016
at 04:18
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
Matt sits at a picnic table not even slightly convenient to any food trucks. It was the only one empty when he got there. He's got his jacket on the bench across from him, trying to save spots for the others. He peers intently at his smart phone, with both thumbs jabbing at the small screen.


22:12, Today: Matt rolled 0 using 4 Fudge dice with rolls of -1, 1, 1, -1.  Create Aspect: Lincoln Spohr's credit card records. Added to his Superb skill (which I thought I plugged into the dice roller), this gives Matt a result of +5.
Agnes
 Player, 130 posts
Sun 17 Jan 2016
at 19:37
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead

Agnes had clearly dressed for the site, down to the ancient honda civic with bumper stickers.  She was passed through the security without much interest.   It was a little cloying that she greeted the security with a cheerful Namaste, but rolling eyes see little.  Including The Marshall's six-shooters and palpable aura of menace.

Once they were parked in a muddy, fallow field, she took out a canvas shoulder back.   A potion, some granola bars and a bottle of water.  A bottle of sea-salt.  A spool of copper wire.  You never knew where you might need a defensive spell.   After a moment of thought, she put her warden's cloak in the bag as well.  Hopefully this was just a reconnaissance mission and no one would need to see it--but sometimes the authority saved a lot of time.

She tucked her iron wand into the deep pocket of her skirt. "Anything you'd like me to bring?"  Agnes asks politely before they walked through the site proper.   Once they were inside, Agnes was more watchful, but carefully did not act hurried.   She paused to admire the trinkets, trying to keep an eye out for real magic users among the people who were just there for fun or religion or romance.

It would be fun, if they weren't looking for a murderer.

"Do you want to see if there is any sign of him in the tent city?" She asked Marshall, and admitted "I wouldn't mind stopping for lunch either."
Sean
 Player, 115 posts
Mon 18 Jan 2016
at 08:25
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
Noting the barred extra legal entrances with interest Sean made a note of some of those that looked least secure for later, certain that at some point they might need them, and headed with Vanessa to the stones. Parking was something of a chore but Sean managed to claim a space that at least would not be completely walled in on his departure and strolled towards the event itself.

The size of it would be daunting if it were not for the fact that a lot of the people there managed to fit into the niches he had earlier had established for him. Whilst there were thankfully no nude vikings at this point the groupings were easy enough to identify thus making it a bit easier to navigate. Finding Spohr if he was anywhere near here would be trickier though. Rather than focus on that though for now Sean instead headed for the food area. If the others were here they would almost certainly be near there since after that long a trip to get here the next few days they would be fairly peckish. Pausing only at one of the traders to purchase some fairly pungent bottles of alcohol most of which went to his hold all, though half of one was poured out behind a tent to shield him from view, Sean meandered his way through the crowds like the average tourist, an easy going grin on his face as he investigated the various food options on offer.
Sayid
 Prospect, 54 posts
Mon 18 Jan 2016
at 18:24
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
With his antiquated garb, complete with aged leather duster and silvered authentic Marshal's badge, the local officers (uniformed and plainclothes alike) were no doubt inclined to dismiss him as an eccentric cosplayer of some stripe. The longcoat served well to conceal the six-shooters strapped to each thigh, and given that such drop holsters were well out of fashion in the modern age... most eyes would be trained much higher in search of weapons IF they caught the rare glimpse into the coats shadowy interior.

"Keen eyes, and an analytical mind." The Marshal quips in response to Agnes' question.

Inside he's far less distracted by the fair, ever the man on a mission. "A lap'd do good for sure. Let eyes and ears see what they see, no sense pulling on The Magic just yet fer a trail if skill alone will do.. Less ripples ta prematurely tip our hand that way. Wouldn't say no to something hot to eat either." As they walk, The Marshal studiously scans anyone and everything as they pass... Noting anything out of the ordinary, no matter how small the detail, and building a veritable map in his minds eye. Oldschool surveillance at it's finest!


==================
OOC:

Investigation roll of +3

13:00, Today: Secret Roll: Sayid rolled 1 using 4 Fudge dice.  + Investigation 2.

Matt
 player, 24 posts
 Potential
Mon 18 Jan 2016
at 20:00
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
When Matt sees Sean wandering around the food, he sends him a text message telling him where he's saved them a table.
Agnes
 Player, 131 posts
Fri 22 Jan 2016
at 02:03
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead

"Very funny," Agnes appreciates, and quips back in a good natured manner."I knew there was a reason why you came."   

They make a lap through the tents and merchant's row before spiraling off to towards the food court.  Agnes had a tendency to blend into the crowd--in part because the Marshall seemed to lurk where ever he went.   In part because she made an effort to dress to part.

She made an effort to passively act the part of a faire-goer, glancing at the merchants' wares, particularly if they seem to have a wisp of genuine magic about them.
Sean
 Player, 116 posts
Fri 22 Jan 2016
at 10:18
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
Shifting his travels as he received the mssage Sean soon ended up in front of Matt, taking one of the free seats with a relaxed manner, "Good to see you Matt. Safe trip in?"
Matt
 player, 25 posts
 Potential
Sun 24 Jan 2016
at 19:29
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
"Yes. Thanks, in part, to your usual impeccable work." Matt acknowledges, then turns his phone to Sean. "Take a look at this and tell me if anything catches your attention.

Passing to Sean my free invoke on the aspect Lincoln Spohr's credit card records.
Sean
 Player, 117 posts
Tue 26 Jan 2016
at 20:49
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
Settling down whilst he waited for the others to arrive Sean frowned briefly, "Mind saving me a full scout, what address has he been using for a replacement to be sent? Wizard's seem to burn through the electronic strips on their cards fairly often so I'm guessing he must have a drop location, let's see if we've got anywhere local."
Matt
 player, 28 posts
 Potential
Tue 26 Jan 2016
at 22:20
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
Matt looks again at the record, looking for a hint for where Spohr might be right now.

16:11, Today: Matt rolled -1 using 4 Fudge dice with rolls of 0, 1, -1, -1.  Investigation (+4) Tagging free invoke on the aspect Lincoln Spohr's credit card records. So starting with a 6 and rolling a -1 leaves me with a Superb success. What do I find out, if anything, Control?
Matt
 player, 29 posts
 Potential
Thu 28 Jan 2016
at 06:18
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
"All right. He's got a room booked at Maison du Granit, which is an eleven minute walk west of here. No signs of an car rental, so I suspect he's on foot, but he has purchased five tickets to see a show in the Haskell Opera House." Matt looks up at Sean. "I had some time to kill, waiting for you, so I found an odd bit of trivia. The stage of the Opera House is in Canada, but most of the seats are legally on US soil."

Looking back down, he remembers what Sean asked him, "Oh, and to answer your question, the address they have on file for him is a Post Office box in Boston."

Matt leans back, takes his smart phone's battery out, and places it in a different jacket pocket than his smart phone. "What I don't know, is what the guy looks like. He could be sitting the next table over, for all I know. Any chance you have a photo?

Edit for consistent speech colour.

This message was last edited by the player at 06:21, Thu 28 Jan 2016.

Sean
 Player, 120 posts
Tue 2 Feb 2016
at 10:56
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
"Crazy counties."
 Sean muttered after the trivia of the Opera building having seats in a different country to which it was based. Borders often had issues but that seemed to be excessive.

"Photo, no. Whenever I was in a position to get a shot of him I was too close to be playing with a camera without him noticing or it just getting fried by wizard stuff. He looks roughly like," Sean provided a brief yet fairly accurate description of the one they were after, making a mental note to point him out to Matt first if they did encounter Sophr, "As regards the room that's likely the best place for us to start. The opera might also be worthwhile though I am cautious about the fact that he has multiple tickets. Allies are something we had hoped he would be short on."
Vanessa
 NPC, 27 posts
Fri 12 Feb 2016
at 04:13
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead

So, one thing I can't help wonder... Vanessa had come with Sean, but remained fairly quiet, looking around.   She wasn't wide-eyed, but she did seem uncomfortable.   Our big concern is that Spohr's going to try to corrupt one of the rituals.  But if these rituals really do generate that kind of energy, how come nobody's done it before?
Matt
 player, 30 posts
 Potential
Fri 12 Feb 2016
at 04:34
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
Matt raises an eyebrow towards Sean, "Shall we head there, then, or wait for your other friends?"

He shrugs in response to Vanessa, "I don't do the bibbety bobbity. Maybe this is a 'planets in conjunction' type of thing. Or he'll amp up the power by killing a lot of people."
Sean
 Player, 121 posts
Fri 12 Feb 2016
at 10:32
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
Replying to Matt's query about moving on Sean just gave a slight shake of his head, "Let's wait a while longer. I'm hoping we'll end up running into them but there's been little word from them in a while. If the world is operating conveiently for a change they will have found, subdued and effortlessly interrogated our target leaving us free to enjoy the rest of the festival. But I doubt we're that fortunate." Idly sending another glance across the crowd, looking for the figure of the Marhsal that would stand out most places he pondered Vanessa's point.

"I'd assume a few possible reasons off what I know, which I hasten to add is not much. I'd prefer to have those of our number that can actually perform magic provide their opinions when they arrive." Nodding to Matt's remark first he continued, "As you say, this might be simply the right time. Planets in alignment, anniversary or a similar event. Alternatively it mighht be the right time because he needed allies that he has only recently managed to gather. Or there are dangers to it that had disuaded him until now."

"Another possibility is that prior to now he was following the old supernatural tendency not to want the mundane to get too close a look at the world. In all honesty the popularity of this festival might even have been started as a defense measure against that. It might even have those who act in opposition to anyone wanting to use the power for themselves."

Sipping lightly from a bottle of water Sean concluded, "The last likely one I can think of is that the rituals have no power to them but, this time, Sophr or some other party is putting measures in place to actually imbue them with that bit of real magic. If something is different to it in previous years that might give us a hint about the matter but if there is then the right changes could potentially make a major difference."
The Scene
 NPC, 9 posts
Sun 14 Feb 2016
at 07:20
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
There was a surprising amount of real magic in the area.  Most of it manifested in little expressions--wards and seemings, mostly.

There was a portly old man with a long grey beard braided down to his belly selling charms that had the feel of truth.  The Indian woman doing henna patterns that seemed to seamlessly integrate classic kabbalah and angelic script into her designs seemed harmless.  The dour-faced teenager who obviously didn't want to be at the stall selling dream-catchers and other vaguely Native-American talismans.   She didn't appear to be Indian herself. And she quickly stepped back into the tent behind the table displaying her wares.


Toward the north end of the clearing there were two groups of people, a couple of dozen in each, some seated, some lying down.  Informal classes, it looked like.

There didn't appear to be much in the way of active displays of magic. certainly there was nothing overt.  This looked entirely benign.

--
Should you wish to open Agnes' third eye...   or provide me some narrative to explicitly show how she's looking for it, I might be able to provide more.  I'm not interested in this as a roll, just narrative to push things forward.

I'm also wide-open to suggestions.  If you can tie something into a compel on one of your Aspects--any of you--we can run with it... and you'd get a fate point for it.

Sayid
 Prospect, 57 posts
Sun 14 Feb 2016
at 18:21
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
In reply to Agnes (msg # 7):

During their sweep, aside from the occasional discreet acknowledgement of local law enforcement (clothed and unclothed), the only thing of note to The Marshal are the dreamcatchers. Not due to any pertinence per say so much as the harmonic ties to the twinned magic coursing through his own blood.

"Nothing feels out of place. There's some realness to more than I would have thought... But nothing yet that I can see." He says to Agnes with a hint a disappointment. "If he's here, he's pretty well hidden. Among the classes maybe? Weaving inroads with those likliest to participate in his ritual?" The Marshal wasn't evidencing any frustration yet, but Agnes knew the colder a trail got the liklier that was to change.
Agnes
 Player, 137 posts
Sun 14 Feb 2016
at 21:12
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
Agnes fanned out from the Marshall as they cased the Faire grounds, she was aware of his location, never so far away that she couldn't sprint over if she had too.  Agnes was sure that the Marshall was equally aware of her, even when he seemed turned the other way.

When they met up Agnes had a little wrinkle of concern on her forehead, and had made a small purchase.

She answers the Marshall's question with a shake of her head. "There more magic around than the usual camp site.  But I haven't picked up anything that is out of place--especially considering what Will mentioned.  I brushed a couple of real auras, but they weren't anything that familiar or instantly worrying.  There are a couple of merchants with real charms.  And honestly I don't know if the teenager selling dreamcatchers is noticing me as a wizard, or just tired of being lectured about cultural appropriation."

 She reports quietly, "I spotted some spells, but most if it is just 'keep my tent from leaking' and a subtle theft deterrent.  There is a generally well know spell that works both on chipmunks and people to deter theft.  I spotted it on a couple of tents."  She shrugs, "It was super popular back in the 60's, so it's not a huge surprise to find it here. "

Agnes feels the sensible urgency of finding something soon.  A little of it was Marshall's underlying impulse to hunt and track.  She couldn't blame him--looking around aimlessly and waiting was really frustrating.  It was difficult to look not know if you were looking in the wrong place.  She isn't entirely out of ideas yet, but both were more 'risky'.  "I could try to join a class, but I'm not sure you want me to spend an hour learning about some basic herb craft. If I can find an excuse to stick around them longer, I can get a better read off their aura, but they'll probably feel mine as well.
       Or I could try to flush some people's cover with something noticeable.  if I grab my violin from the car I can put a magical charge on my tune.  Unless they're devoted to staying unnoticed, they're probably react."
  She offers, in case the  Marshall was sick of subtly. "It might be better meet up with Sean before I do something that obvious -- and have as many extra sets of eyes as possible."

Biting her lip for a moment, "One thing that does really bother me is this."  She pulls a pair of light bracelets out of the bag.  They were hammered silver and were elaborately etched with a tree-frog design.   It would clearly appeal to someone who liked frogs and rain-forests, but it was a hand-made quality that was a little above the usual grade of trinkets.  "I'm sure they belong to someone I know, and I don't know how they ended up at this faire."

This message was last edited by the player at 22:29, Sun 14 Feb 2016.

Sayid
 Prospect, 58 posts
Sat 20 Feb 2016
at 17:57
Scene 01.03: The Standing Stones of Stanstead
"Her Dreamcatcher's are legit, so she might." The Marshal shrugs regarding the teenager Agnes mentioned. "Let's find Sean then." He acquiesses, eyeing the bracelets. "Maybe you're friend is tied up with our quarry somehow?" He posits as they walk. "I could likely grab a scent off of them for tracing, but it could just as easily be coincidence... Or a trap."