So the entire room is silent for a long moment. The woman in charge has just been kidnapped as part of a coup by her eldest son who had just recently been pronounced heir. Her husband is unconscious and badly injured. The eldest son had then been attacked by his own troops and kidnapped as well. No one knew what to do ... or say. Tara looked absolutely lost. She'd been closest to Daniel and obviously had no idea what would come to pass. Michelle looked astonished. Cameron had absolutely no idea what to do.
So Dante (Nico in boy form) tells Cameron that he is in charge now and that he should get everyone to arm up and be ready.
Dante then notices a faceless man with grey skin come out of a nearby door and go over to where that strange door had been opened which remained open for a short while after they left. The Faceless Man crouched down and picked at some of the sand on the floor.
Dante ordered some of the locals to apprehend the Faceless Man, bringing him to their table, forcing him to sit while others went and grabbed the handcuffs to bind him in place. Dante interrogated him, expecting answers, but the Faceless Man insisted he lacked authority to reveal anything. All he revealed was that he had been sent by a monarch to track a group of Loyalists who had been hidden for a time but who had revealed themselves by stepping into that other world. The Monarchs had some vested interest in keeping this community safe and would likely soon send an emissary to speak to the settlement. When Dante inquired if this was the realm of thorns (recall the cupboard that led into such a place, the only other world he's entered), the Faceless Man seemed quite shocked. He slipped the cuffs, ducked the settlers, and disappeared through another doorway.
Now knowing these creatures could enter or leave by any doorway, Dante ordered Cameron to get the settlers onto the roof with their weapons so that they could at least see the enemy coming. Dante sent Johnny and Ruby (Rochelle) to fetch Jack and the weapons so that they could be properly armed themselves. They then retreated to the rooftops with some food and drink and set Ruby up with the sniper rifle from the highest point.
It was a boring couple of hours so Dante decided to head down with Jack and Johnny to try to lure out the bad guys. And to loot Mother's bedroom for information on those big rubies.
On the way to Mother's bedroom, they were intercepted by the Faceless Man and a woman wearing gleaming golden armor and beautiful golden blonde hair. The woman introduced herself as a claviger who worked in service to the Spring Monarch. Apparently some Raven Queen had a vision that Nico Chetaine (who the claviger had identified was Dante's true identity) was necessary for the assault on the Loyalists. If Nico didn't go, then a disaster was assured. Nico was invited to speak with the Monarchs.
Dante wasn't having any of that. Some supernatural demonic somethings-or-others wanted her to step through a doorway into some strange thorny place? A ridiculous idea. Besides which, Dante's upbringing had very much instilled the following belief: "If a demon has taken a loved one, accept that they are dead".
The Spring Claviger, shocked, left with the Faceless Man and the group headed into Mother's room. It seemed to be all above board and normal so Dante asked if Johnny could get a ghost to search about the place. Johnny did so, warning it may take a bit of time since the ghost would have to shove its head through every wall.
They found a trapdoor beneath the bed that led to a little cache of books and paperwork. They had just finished bagging it up when Dante noticed a figure dropping down behind him. Whipping around he shout out a foot, slamming it into the crotch of a short figure wearing grey camouflage nina-style garb whose face was covered with a ninja-style face mask.
Dante took a moment to be surprised by the now writhing on the floor ninja, and then placed a shoe on his chest and pointed his carbine at his chest. Dante demanded answers but, rather than give any, the ninja merely reached out to grasp Dante's ankle.
Dante sighed and shot him in the arm (two lethal). No way was he going to allow body contact!
The kid's fresh set of writhing knocked off his face mask and Dante saw a face that was both familiar and yet unknown. Some fresh-faced sixteen-year-old in this place should have been readily identifiable but Dante just couldn't recall who it was.
In that moment of confusion, the kid grabbed Dante's ankle. Panic, confusion and self-doubt swept through Dante (halving all my dice pools). Dante staggered away, too shocked to think, and tried to protect himself by using his shotgun to parry the kid as he reached for Dante again. Jack got in the way in a sudden burst of full werewolf fur and teeth, leading to a series of swipes that knocked the kid to the wall. The kid squirmed away, only to nearly get knocked down. Dante ordered Johnny to do something, and Johnny queried whether he should try to stop the kid or the big raging wolfman. Johnny settled on trying to stop the wolfman, using his Marionette powers to try to control the wolfman's arms, only managing to slow the big man's swings.
The kid made the sensible decision to scarper and leapt a window, turning it into a gateway into the Hedge as he went.
Dante turned away to the mirror and saw Smiling Jack gesturing for him to follow the kid but Dante just shook his head, too flabbergasted to do anything. The portal slowly closed behind the kid and Dante flopped down on the edge of the bed.