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(Gdoc log available here: Of Hats and Herberts)

0: Hat on the Line

[15m06s] Spark had been sunning herself on a crate when the song started reverberating teeth-and-emptiness lost through the far corners of her brain, a strong enough call that it set her to scrambling for a moment before realizing what it was.
[13m47s] Spark had muttered something obscurely threatening to the world in general and heaved herself off of the crate and followed the lost to the ratlines, which is where she is now. Lost, keens the hat tangled in the lines.
[10m59s] Spark narrows her eyes at it. What business is it of hers. But still the hat sends a growling velvet head of hair sudden wind rowboat impression. It is having a worse day than she is, is the hat.
[08m13s] Spark shakes her head and reaches to detangle the hat from the lines, brushes the worst of the dirt off. Lost. "Yes, I know," she snaps at it. "But who needs to find you." It snapsnarls at her hand when she tries to brush off its rim.
[05m52s] Spark gives it a light thop on its green band. "Nonea that," she chides, then tips it to read the name printed on the inside of the brim. "Silas Lews, hmh?"Lost. "Well, Silas Lews, let's see if we can find you." She closes her eyes.
[01m31s] Spark catches herself smiling as the trail springs up compass-needle clear and wipes her face expressionless. Not for an instant is this exciting. Not for a moment is this a welcome development. Greeneye bullshit, it is. "Hup, stop that."
[00m19s] Spark gives the hat a tiny shake as it again attempts to remove her fingers from her person. "Silas Lews would not approve of this, I imagine," she informs the hat sternly, and patters off to wave down a rowboat.

1: Lost

[03h01m] Clockwork Artificer Silas has a stack of papers in one arm and a box of tacks in the hand of the other. He is putting up Wanted Posters for something that (he hopes) only he actually wants.
[03h00m] Clockwork Artificer Silas smooths his thumb over the carefully detailed image of a Top Hat. A short top hat, with a green band, and a little plastic lion on the brim. Knowing his luck, Darius has been tearing them down in other Outposts the moment he leaves.
[02h53m] Clockwork Artificer Silas mutters something about it being his hat, even if it's a horrible hat with horrifying terrible things inside of it. "Not its fault." He pushes a tack in. "Just needs love and not being lost." He moves to a spot next to Shelia's.
[02h45m] Spark is drenched from knee down, evidence of her inattention towards proper disembarking procedures of the Failboat rowboats. She wanders into the Outpost, leaving a trail of wet footprints, attention squarely on a hat in her hands.
[02h43m] Spark pauses, closes her eyes. Readjusts. Opens them again and looks around. Guards, Elias, reinforcers, troubled times in Improbable Central. Amid the chaos, she can't pinpoint her target. "SILAS-LEWS!" she shouts.
[02h41m] Clockwork Artificer Silas is too focused and concentrating and not expecting that. He jerks, and his tacks go flying. It is raining tacks and he doesn't even have a hat to protect his head. Today is a terrible day, he decides.
[02h39m] Clockwork Artificer Silas's flyers scatter, most of them landing right in the middle of a slime trail left by a Mutant. Terrible day. Resigned, tacks in hair, he looks up for whomever shouted his name. "Yes?"
[02h39m] Spark peers around, and her eye catches a Wanted Poster. Tophat. Green band. Little plastic lion. "Ouh, you've been a bad hat," she says to the hat in her hands, which makes a tiny snarling noise. "Don't give me that you do not have a twin."
[02h38m] Spark has absolutely no idea if the hat is talking or not, but has decided to converse with it anyway. "What did you do that you are Wanted, did you hold up the bank."
[02h37m] Spark arches her head back and bellows to the sky again, "SIIIIILAS-LEWS!" Heads pop up all up and down the walls; is this some new battle cry? Have monsters breached the Outpost?
[02h35m] Clockwork Artificer Silas jerks again, but has nothing to drop this time. His eyes dart. People are looking at him, and that is not good. He does not want that attention. He will pick the tacks up, uh, later. Yes. Who is calling hi--ah. There.
[02h43m] Spark is not just calling; she is bellowing, she is yellerping, she is squawping. And making no other effort to find Silas Lews. She is standing in the middle of the Outpost, Silas Lews can come find her, dammit.
[02h42m] Clockwork Artificer Silas hops over the slime-trail and makes his way towards the raggedy-ann person holding a---is that his Top Hat? "You found it!" He doesn't even know who 'you' is yet, but that is secondary for now. Surprise (and hats) take precidence.
[02h40m] Spark halts the finding-cry of a wild Spark in its unnatural habitat mid-SIIIIL. She draws back, eyeing the newcomer suspiciously. "Are you Silas Lews."
[02h37m] Clockwork Artificer Silas stares at her, hatless and with tacks in his hair. His eyes drop down to his hat. His hat. "Yes, I am." His fingers twitch. "And you found my hat!" This is said with delight.
[02h36m] Spark continues to eye him, hat held back. "It is an awful hat it bites and it is wanted I-assume-for-crimes against, against hattatity." A pause in which the Wanted poster is pointed at. "You have tacks in your hair."
[02h39m] Clockwork Artificer Silas stares at the hat. Again? Again? "What did you do?!" he demands of the hat, horrified. "Again? Again? How do so many people not like you?" A tack trickles from his head to the ground. Silas does not seem to notice.
[02h38m] Clockwork Artificer Silas looks at the Hat-Finder. "I'm sorry that it's given you such a terrible time. It has apparently forgotten its manners."
[02h36m] Spark will never admit it, but she likes the hat just fine. Has moxie, it does. And she doesn't have manners, either. "Terrible hat," she grumps, even as her fingers curl protectively around its brim. "Why did you not keep hold of it."
[02h35m] Spark's hair may be too spoufy and wild to ever fit under a hat, but even she knows, "Hats are important." Why she thinks this, she couldn't say.
[02h34m] Clockwork Artificer Silas has also forgotten his manners for the time being, in the face of Crimes Against Hatattatity and wondering if said Hat is going to be put on Trial for said crimes and if the person in front of him is a Judge. Is this a test? he wonders.

2: We Must have a Trial

[02h37m]Clockwork Artificer Silas fidgets and twists fingers and stares at the hat, longingly. "We were trying to help someone who had limpets in her hair," he explains, somewhat defensively, and looks up. "Hats are important. I love my hat. I have missed it."
[02h36m]Clockwork Artificer Silas speaks nothing but truth and hopes that such arguments will convince a Judge person to release the hat in his custody. Maybe with community service.
[02h36m]Spark studies him, her eyes giving off a gleam. "Yeah? How much." She ignores the lost lost lost lost thrum that beats at her mind in waves. This is business, this is.
[02h39m]Clockwork Artificer Silas stares. Fingers still for a moment. He takes in the gleam and thinks, Oh no, oh dear. Followed swiftly by, But I didn't plan on paying bail! Plan or no, he has to try. "What charges, exactly, are you holding my Hat on?"
[02h34m]Spark cocks an eyebrow and looks at the hat. Charges? The hat has nothing to contribute to this new, strange twist in the conversation. "Uh," she says, thinking fast, "failure to appear, in uh, the Court of. Haberdashery. Judge Deimos presiding."
[02h32m]Spark chews her lower lip in a thoroughly unbaillifish manner. "And uh, there is a fine of. A. Story, and and dinner."
[02h30m]Spark holds out the hand not already engaged in the business of keeping the hat in makeshift custody. "Payable now." She gestures expectantly. Go on, give her a story. Also food.
[02h30m]Clockwork Artificer Silas blinks, narrows eyes, and is about to demand why his hat needed to appear in Court in the first place, but stops when told what bail is. Story? Dinner. Well then. He can do that and not watch a Joker Judge abscond with his hat.
[02h31m]Spark couldn't abscond, not with that lost beat pounding a headache into the forefront of her mind; the hat must and will be found. But Silas doesn't know that, does he.
[02h30m]Clockwork Artificer Silas clears his throat, presses a hand to his chest, and executes a shallow bow. "That is agreeable." He straightens. Storytime. "How would you like to hear about the time that my Uncle Herbert braved the deepest depths of the ocean abyss?"
[02h29m]Spark is seated before he reaches the end of agreeable, hat in lap, eyes sparkling. Story.
[02h29m]Trotsky smiles up at Silas, as in mutual assent.

3: Sentence First, Verdict Afterward

[02h27m]Clockwork Artificer Silas grins and finds a least-dusty place to sit. Story! He affects his storytelling voice, and begins. "My Uncle was Herbert Sebastian Lews, and he lived in the mid-1800s. He didn't go by that name, though."
[02h26m]Clockwork Artificer Silas smiles at the newcomer, and remembers that he knows neither of thes peoples' names. Names. He'll ask after. Story now. "He called himself 'Herbert the Dashing Daring-Do, Adventurer and Dirigible Privateer."
[02h24m]Clockwork Artificer Silas grins. "And he was. He would hunt after anything and everything, just for the sake of adventure and excitement. One time, he obtained a map from a travelling merchant, and it showed something strange."
[02h23m]Clockwork Artificer Silas reaches for his hat, for props, except it's not on his head. He finds a tack instead. Oh well, it'll do. "The map showed a lost peak of the Himalayas. The highest peak in the world. Gone. Missing. So of course, he had to find it."
[02h21m]Spark is tranfering attention liberally back and forth between Silas Lews, Loser of Hats, and the new arrival. People come and go so quickly here, echos a line from a book amid the thumping cries if loss.
[02h20m]Clockwork Artificer Silas draws something akin to a map in the dirt with the tack. It is a terrible map. Terrible. But it gets the point across. He gestures with the tack and focuses on the JokerJudge. She wanted a story. She'll have a story. And then dinner.
[02h20m]Spark thinks this a perfectly reasonable move on the part of Herbert the Dashing Daring-whosamawhatsit. Lost things need be found.
[02h18m]Clockwork Artificer Silas points to a bit of dirt that is supposed to be a landmass. "The peak was supposed to be here. But it wasn't. So Herbert went to his trusted friend, a powerful Sheik whom he'd done several favors for in the past, and delved in his library for clues
[02h16m]Clockwork Artificer Silas grins. This is where the story begins to get Interesting. "He found, after days of searching, where the peak had been lost to. Where else in the world could it hide save for the Darkest Depths of the Deepest Ocean Abyss?"
[02h16m]Spark nods and makes assenting noises at the winecork. Yes, winecork, where else could it be?
[02h13m]Clockwork Artificer Silas nods. See? Makes perfect sense. She understands. "So my Uncle, not to be deterred, went to his laboratory and built a bathysphere specially for this expedition. He made it of arcadium and indurium, the strongest metals in the world!"
[02h12m]Trotsky only smiles quietly. Marker, pen, scar, and monocle declare this is his type of story. The top hat does not declare as much as all else does- its a bit silly to wear them on mountains, after all.
[02h11m]Spark accepts Silas' large-word usage with the same level of aplomb with which she accepts the extremely posh winecork's smile. Strongest metals in the world, yes. If he says it and the winecork smiles, it must be true.
[02h09m]Clockwork Artificer Silas doesn't seem to think anything of a wine cork smiling. He is glad that his story is appreciated thus far, by Jokers and corks alike. "The descent took nearly a full day. But, it was worth it, because when he reached the bottom..."
[02h07m]Clockwork Artificer Silas has also maybe not noticed that a wine cork has smiled. That is equally probable. "...he found a vast underwater city! It glowed! It fluoresced a myriad of vibrant colours not even found in the deepest heart of the Amazon."
[02h05m]Clockwork Artificer Silas says "Uncle Herbert was greeted like an alien from outer space, which he might as well have been, by the denizens of this city. They were merpeople. Merpeople with wings, most notably, and that was strange, because what use are wings in the ocean?"
[02h07m]Spark has the sorts of questions rising in her thoughts that ordinarily only show up when she spends time in NewHome; but why wings? Where did they come from? She does not interrupt. Probably the merpeople would just say the Drive did it.

4: Be Careful what You Wish For

[02h04m]Clockwork Artificer Silas points out, as is proper for the story, that his Uncle was able to leave the bathysphere because of a breathing mask and a dome of negative pressure around the city. Otherwise he'd have been squished, and what kind of a story ends like that?
[02h03m]The sort nobody tells, that happens all the time.
[02h03m]Indeed. But that is not this kind of story, most thankfully. It does not end with tragic and untimely squishing of the hero.
[02h03m]Spark would have not thought it tragic or untimely, merely deserved. Who doesn't bring a breathing mask on their bathysphere, honestly.
[02h02m]Clockwork Artificer Silas's Uncle is far too sensible to go unprepared like that. It is one of the only things he is sensible about. Preparedness. For anything. "So my Uncle asks them, 'why the wings good folk?' And so they take him to see their Archivist."
[02h01m]Spark perks. An explanation? For improbable and purposeless wings? This story is getting better and better. Unless, of course, the Archivist tells Silas' Uncle that the Drive did it.
[02h00m]Clockwork Artificer Silas goes on, gesturing with the tack in hand, and more trickling off of his head every nowandagain. "And the Archivist tells him that once, long ago, they lived in the sky itself. But, according to legend, a Yeti wizard had tried to conquer them."
[01h59m]That would be terribly silly if 'The Drive did it' had been the explanation. Terribly silly.
[01h58m]Spark is wide-eyed and jouncing a bit in place. Damn those Yeti wizards! They are almost worse than terribly silly Drive explanations!
[01h57m]Clockwork Artificer Silas says, "The wizard, long long ago, had cursed their mountain when he had failed. If he couldn't have their mountain, then no one could, and a mountain it would no longer be!" He grins. Storytellers love when their stories are appreciated.
[01h56m]Trotsky smiles.
[01h54m]Clockwork Artificer Silas says "So the wizard's curse sent the merpeople and their mountain to the Darkest Depths of the Deepest Ocean Abyss. And it changed the merpeople, too, so that they could breathe underwater and therefore endure the curse for all eternity."
[01h53m]Clockwork Artificer Silas blinks, pauses for a moment. Did that wine cork just smile? No, it couldn't be. "Well, my Uncle is and was an honourable man. He declared that this simply could not be! He would restore their shining city to the surface world!"
[01h50m]Clockwork Artificer Silas nods decisively and points with his tack at nothing in particular. "And when my Uncle declares something, he gets it done, for good or for disaster. So he scoured the city, searching for anything that might tell him how to reverse the curse."
[01h50m]Spark would point out that the wine cork is always smiling, were she aware of Silas' confusion.
[01h46m]Clockwork Artificer Silas thought he saw the smile move. He must be mistaken. He must be. There is a smiley face drawn on the cork, of course it didn't move. "So he searched and searched until he stumbled upon a rare vision, a beauty to break hearts."
[01h44m]Clockwork Artificer Silas says, "The fairest maiden Uncle Herbert had ever laid eyes upon, whether in skin or scales." He sighs. Uncle always went on about the description. Silas skips over it. "She professed to know something about the curse, and said she could help."
[01h43m]Spark makes a vaguely disgruntled noise. Oh. Love story. She bets there's going to be kissing at some point, just you wait and see. Just you wait and see, winecork.
[01h41m]Clockwork Artificer Silas shares the pain, he would promise if he knew. The face he made at Uncle Herbert, seven years old and uninterested in waxing eloquent about moonbeams. "Naturally my Uncle didn't question this windfall as much as he ought to have done."
[01h38m]Clockwork Artificer Silas winks at the wine cork--because why not?--and waggles a finger and tack. "So he follows her to her wing of the palace and to her laboratory. She dabbles in sorcery, she tells him. White magic, of course, and nothing sinister at all.
[01h37m]Spark mutters, disgusted, "Uncle Herberts." Suckers, ever last one of them. Never mind that she has never encountered an actual Uncle Herbert. She has enough to go on.
[01h36m]Trotsky gazes intently.
[01h41m]Clockwork Artificer Silas nods sagely at the JokerJudge. Being prepared is the only thing Uncle Herberts are sensible about. "She claims that she can raise the Yeti wizard's spirit and bind him so that they can force him to remove the curse."
[01h40m]Clockwork Artificer Silas gives both JokerJudge and Posh Wine Cork a look that clearly says 'Have you ever heard of white magic that raises vengeful sprits from the grave? I thought not.'
[01h39m]Spark has not, in fact, heard of white magic that raises vengeful spirits from the grave, and were Uncle Herbert here in front of her, she would have Words for him. Very stern Words indeed.
[01h38m]Uncle Herbert would shrug his shoulders and give the JokerJudgeLady a sheepish smile. Without the actual sheep.
[01h37m]Probably because he used to have sheep but then some pretty piece of tail came along and fed him some cock-and-bull story about having lost her sheep and the next thing Uncle Herbert knew? She was gone, and so were his sheep.
[01h38m]Clockwork Artificer Silas goes on, looking terribly exasperated. "She tells him that while she can bind the spirit, only Herbert can destroy him, because he is not of the city. Naturally, he agrees, as this makes perfect sense."
[01h37m]That never happened. Lies. All of them. Terrible lies.
[01h35m]Clockwork Artificer Silas says "So she sets up the circles. Magic circles. Lots of them, all over the room. And Uncle Herbert doesn't pay much attention because clearly she knows what she's doing and he doesn't know any magic. Of course."
[01h34m]Clockwork Artificer Silas says, "And she begins to encant, large magic tome in hand." He gives his audience a look. "And this, of course, is about where everything starts to go horribly wrong." Of course.
[01h33m]Spark thrusts her arms out in triumph. Yay! Horrible doom!
[01h32m]Clockwork Artificer Silas sighs. Neither of you, JokerJudge or Posh Wine Cork, would ever be so foolish. "Indeed!" JokerJudge got it in one! "She had known exactly what she was doing, of course. She'd trapped Herbert in her circles!"
[01h31m] Trotsky was trapped in a bottle, once.
[01h30m]Spark got suckered by a ghost, and really stands in no place to judge. But judge she shall. Oh yes. Uncle Herbert is a sillyhead. Silas' hat agrees. That is why it is trying to eat her knees off. "Quitit!"
[01h29m]That must have been horrifying. Unless it was a very comfortable and posh bottle. A bottle as posh as you, Posh Wine Cork.
[01h28m]Clockwork Artificer Silas naturally assumes that his audience consists of Sensible People. Of COURSE it does. He gives his Hat a Disapproving Look. Behave, the look says, I am trying to save you. This is your bail, you got yourself into this.
[01h28m]There is no such bottle. Have you ever seen a bottle with a monocle? Doubtful.
[01h27m]Very doubtful. Improbable, even.
[01h27m] To coin a phrase.

5: A Scout is Trustworthy, Kind, Considerate, Cheerful, Thrifty...

[01h25m]Clockwork Artificer Silas resumes. "It turns out that she was in league with the Yeti wizard, who was not dead, but rather extremely long-lived. He had gone with the cursed city and claimed it as his own from the political shadows, ruling it from behind the scenes."
[01h24m]Clockwork Artificer Silas's Uncle really should have guessed that. Silas did, first time he heard the story, and he was seven. And you, Dear and Sensible audience (whom would never be so foolish) certainly guessed.
[01h23m]Trotsky reveals nothing but positive reinforcement.
[01h22m]Spark's wide eyes are testament to the fact that she may have suspected, but had been distracted by her scorn of romantics. Never see her acting like that over...over anyone.
[01h21m]Clockwork Artificer Silas loves positive reinforcement. So do outpost walls, in unrelated news. Silas firmly ignores the loudspeaker, speaking of. Stories are not to be interrupted, monster alert or no. The monsters can darn well sit down and listen with everyone else.
[01h21m]Just another hunter named Will strides into the Outpost.
[01h20m]Spark always ignores the loudspeaker.
[01h25m]Clockwork Artificer Silas grins, here, because as he has not mentioned (but ought to be evident from the non-forgotten breathing mask), his Uncle is sensible about being prepared.
[01h24m]Clockwork Artificer Silas says ""Well. Herbert was not one to be held down by symbols. He had come prepared. Unbeknownst to the mermaid and the Yeti, Herbert always carried around a stone he'd discovered in a Lost Mayan Underground Upside-down Pyramid Temple."
[01h23m]Trotsky does not smile at the Contestant moving toward them. He cannot turn, stuck in the mud as he is.
[01h23m]Spark is jittering. What does the stone do, what does it doooooooo.
[01h23m]Just another hunter named Will spots Spark and approaches her. "Hello there!"
[01h22m]The mud is a terrible place for such a Posh Wine Cork to be! At least rest snugly upon a handkerchief!
[01h21m]Spark's hand flaps in the air at Will. "Shh-shh-shh storyyyy." Her hand then claps down onto Silas' hat to prevent it from either escaping or gnawing her shirt to ribbons, she is not at all sure which it is trying to do.
[01h20m]Just another hunter named Will sits down. yay story time!
[01h20m]Clockwork Artificer Silas is telling a story and it is nearing the climactic conclusion. How exciting! He nods to the newcomer and continues, not missing a beat. "The stone was the Gem of Spiritual But Not Physical Shielding. So he was immune to the spell."
[01h19m]Clockwork Artificer Silas thought, at seven, that this was terribly convenient, but the name was nifty, so he forgave it. "This was, for two point eight seven seconds, a bit of an awkward shock for the sorceress."
[01h17m]Clockwork Artificer Silas says "She had promised the Yeti wizard that he would have a dirigible privateer for dinner that night, and that it was all perfectly safe. So the Yeti Wizard, who had chosen that moment to appear, was totally unprepared."
[01h16m]This be a lesson: never be unprepared when going to fetch potentially dangerous dinner that has been promised to you.
[01h16m]Spark thinks it likely the namers of a Gem of Spiritual But Not Physical Shielding probably did not stay awake too late into the night trying to think up that one.Lazy day at the Magic Item Naming Studio.
[01h15m]Just another hunter named Will listens. he reaches into his satchel and draws out a ham sandwich that he noms
[01h12m]Clockwork Artificer Silas's stories go well with snacks; he approves, though he says nothing. Story. "So my Uncle, prepared for this sort of thing, attacks. He draws a small trebuchet from his Infinit Pockets. The Trebuchet of Unyielding Splendorous CatFish of Horror!"
[01h11m]Spark shifts a bit. Now there is a name that took some effort.
[01h11m]Clockwork Artificer Silas smiles innocently, jabs the tack into the dirt, and sketches a rough (very very rough) picture of the catfish in the dirt and mud. It is a CAT that is also a FISH. Of course it is.
[01h11m]Spark is not entirely certain, but she is willing to bet that Dan had her fetch something not entirely unlike the Trebuchet of Unyielding Splendorous CatFish of Horror.
[01h09m]Clockwork Artificer Silas would not doubt it. Not in the least.
[01h08m]Just another hunter named Will keeps listening
[01h12m]Clockwork Artificer Silas shrugs merrily and smiles. It's that kind of smile. "And well, you know...cats and fish... The mer-sorceress was thoroughly distracted for long enough that Herbert could finish the Yeti Wizard off with his Indurium Fork of Horripilation."

6: Horripilation is Rendered

[01h12m]Spark is rapt. Horripilation? What is horripilation? Who cares?
[01h10m]Clockwork Artificer Silas doesn't know either, but it's a nifty word. He imagines it's something terrible. Like his Hat's teeth. "The Yeti gives an otherworldly shriek, and is dissolved by the water, leaving no trace behind." Grin. "No proof."
[01h10m]Spark comments, "Rude."
[01h09m]Clockwork Artificer Silas nods with agreement. Terribly rude indeed. "The room was a shambles by this point, and the noise had alerted their Majesties. You see...the sorceress was their daughter, the Princess of the Lost Merpeople."
[01h08m]Trotsky is speechless.
[01h06m]Clockwork Artificer Silas would be stunned were the Posh Wine Cork not speechless, truly. "They barge into the room, seconds after the catfish have swum out the windows to their freedom, all of their guards in tow, and take in the scene."
[01h05m]Clockwork Artificer Silas clears his throat. He has to keep a straight Storyteller Face here. "And what do they see? Herbert, flushed and disheveled. The room an utter mess with furniture turned over. Their daughter, with her clothes torn up." Indeed. Well then.
[01h05m]Just another hunter named Will chcukles bow chica bow wow!
[01h03m]Spark is silent, imagining how Aloicious would react to a similar situation. Not at all well, is her conclusion. Quite badly indeed. She feels badly for Uncle Herbert, even if he is a bit of an idiot about the ladies.
[01h03m]Clockwork Artificer Silas points his tack at Will and nods, solemn and sage. "Which wasn't," he assures his audience, "what had happened at all of course!" But really, it served Uncle Herbert right for being sensible only about being prepared.
[01h01m]Clockwork Artificer Silas's Uncle is a complete idiot about the ladies. But he is, at least, a good-hearted man who is always prepared. "No amount of talking, he knows, will get him out of this one."
[01h00m]Clockwork Artificer Silas says "There is nothing for it but to pull out his Quintuple-Bladed Quantum Propulsion Propellors of Not-Quite Infinite Acceleration out from his pockets and flee to his bathysphere."
[01h00m]Spark knows what to ask for for her birthday, if ever she discovers when her birthday is.
[58m57s]Clockwork Artificer Silas links his fingers together and smiles. This is near the end of this part of the story. "The mer-people, of course, give not-so-merry chase. They follow the bathysphere as far as they can, but Herbert is faster."
[58m26s]Clockwork Artificer Silas would suggest, if he knew to do so, that JokerJudge simply pick her favouritest day and pick that as her birthday.
[57m36s]Just another hunter named Will waits for the next bit of the story. he pulls out two more ham sandwiches and passes one to spark as he noms the other.
[56m55s]Clockwork Artificer Silas shakes his head, a knowing smile there, and says, "Now, Uncle Herbert has a lot of enemies. But he has never had the King and Queen of a flying merpeople who used to live in the Then-Not-Lost Peak of the Himalayas as enemies."
[56m33s]Spark's reaction to the suggestion that she posesses a favouritest day would not be at all positive, so it is best that conversation continue to exist in the nebulous possible.
[55m36s]Clockwork Artificer Silas leans a little bit forward. "They'll follow him. They can fly. There is nowhere he can hide, not from the Darkest Depths of the Deepest Ocean Abyss to the Tallest Grandest Peaks of the Himalayas."
[55m35s]Spark makes the sandwich vanish with a speed that might, just might, have involved her feeding it to the hat. But that is ridiculous; she hates the hat, the hat hates her. So probably she just pocketed it.
[58m23s]Just another hunter named Will keeps listening...
[57m21s]The Hat, curiously, rumbles. Quietly. And not-angrily. It is almost a contented rumble, but that would surely be ludicrous.
[56m53s]Just another hunter named Will eyes the hat...he briefly wonders how hard it would be to steal.
[56m17s]Very, very hard to steal. Thieves would lose hands, and possibly other things besides.
[56m01s]Spark has surely not been administering pats to the hat this whole time. Surely not. That would go completely against her character.
[55m21s]Just another hunter named Will looks at his hands...both metal...so tempting....
[55m11s]Clockwork Artificer Silas winds up his story. "So my Uncle rightly figures that if there is no place on Earth he can hide, there is only one place he can flee to." Lean. Grin. "The moon." Leans back. Wait, what? That's the end?
[54m45s]Spark pauses. Waits. Looks up. Waits some more. "He went t'th'moon?"
[54m08s]Just another hunter named Will raises an eyebrow. "Seriously?"
[54m01s]Clockwork Artificer Silas smiles innocently. "Yes, he did. But that is the sequel. I gave you the first story."
[53m33s]Just another hunter named Will groans. he stands. pokes the hat then runs from the outpost
[52m58s]Spark's eyes dart back and forth, trying to find a loophole. She demanded a story; she has received a story. "But I want t'hear the rest." Her hands remain on the hat. What was it Will made off with, one may wonder? Will is probably wondering that, too.
[52m21s]Just another hunter named Will made off with nothing, he mearly poked a hat with teeth that rumbles.
[49m48s]Clockwork Artificer Silas smiles. He is sure that JokerJudge wants to hear the rest, indeed. "Well...I suppose. Maybe." If hats are given back. "I owe you dinner as well, do I not? And then my Hat back."
[48m19s]Spark startles a look down at the hat. She had forgotten, in all the hurly-burly of the story, that the hat would have to be returned. "A'course." It's a stupid hat, anyway. What would she do with a biting hat? Lost, keens the cry.
[47m42s]Spark blinks, then reluctantly offers it forth. " 'sa terrible hat," she mutters. Lost lost lost.
[44m33s]Trotsky will wait patiently for the rest of the story, for as long as the knicknack-minded and flash floods will allow.
[42m42s]Clockwork Artificer Silas will tell the rest of the story, he would promise the Posh Wine Cork if he knew. The waiting will not be in vain. In the meanwhile, he accepts the hat and hugs it fondly. Hat! Silas has missed you.
[41m22s]Clockwork Artificer Silas does not forget the second part of the deal, though. He reaches inside the hat and pulls out a couple of chocolate dice that he'd bought from The Harp before the Hat had gotten lost. He offers them to Spark.
[40m58s]Spark relaxes slightly as the thudding whine in her head shifts to a high note of found, then fades off to nothing. The headache, she assumes, will follow. Eventually. She rubs a knuckle against her temple. " 'anks."

7: ...that is Another Story, and for Another Time

[43m57s] Spark takes the dice with a grin; food-food-yes-food.
[43m07s] Clockwork Artificer Silas places the Hat atop his head, where it ought to be. "Mm, thank you for finding it and putting up with it long enough to find me."
[41m47s] Spark gets to her feet and says, "Was a pain inna tail, 'at hat." Still she reaches up and gives it a farewell pat before looking to Silas. "That was a really good story," she delcares. Declaratively.
[39m56s]Clockwork Artificer Silas's hat is always a pain to those whom are not Silas. And it certainly isn't fond of Spark either. Not a whit. Because no sandwiches were fed to it and no pats were given to it, of course not. Never. Lies.
[38m30s]Clockwork Artificer Silas beams, delighted, as (almost) any Storyteller would be upon receiving such praise. "Well! Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it. And there is a part two, I promise. And you shall hear it, if you like." At some point.
[37m30s]Spark peers around, then bellows, "ALL Y'EAVESDROPPERS TELL'IM HOW GOOD 'IS STORY WAS." Guards glance over and hrumph to themselves. Busy Outpost! Monsters! Danger! They didn't have time for stories! But eventually, "I liked'a bit abou th'trebuchet.
[36m12s]Murmurs of agreement go up and down the walls. "Yeh, annat bit abou' th'daughter," "Cor, yeh, bet she was a looker, wann'she?" "A yeti mage, I'onno about no yeti mage," "Yeti mage came 'ere we'd give'm what-for wouldn'we?"
[35m44s]Clockwork Artificer Silas is tickled! Delighted! He doesn't know how to respond! Maybe he will tell stories more often. He tips his Hat (does not let go of the brim until it is back in place), and bows to his audience, wherever they might be. "Thank you."
[34m02s]Clockwork Artificer Silas almost forgot, son of budget horse. He looks at JokerJudge. Her name cannot be JokerJudge, he just made that up in his head. "I'm sorry, I've been remiss. Might I know your name?"
[32m41s] Spark is smiling even as she rubs at her head. Found. " 'm Spark, Spark Murphy." A pause. "Niceta meetcha." Another pause. "I'll come find ya, or you can stop by th' Barikade."
[29m49s]Clockwork Artificer Silas's Hat is indeed found and content. "A pleasure to meet you as well, Spark." Silas hasn't found someone to appreciate his stories since...since...since that incident with the Admiral and the stolen airship. He headtilts. "The Barikade?"
[28m39s] Spark handwaves in the general direction of Kittania. "'saround cat-town, knows how t'find me. Probably it'd like yer stories too." She has no idea if the Barikade likes stories, but it's a safe assumption; the Barikade likes everything.
[27m24s] Spark carefully stoops and picks up the cork, gazes at its posh monocle and friendly smile. "You get lost a lot, probably you'll end up there too." She carefully puts the cork on the edge of the fountain, that it may not be tranpled into the dirt.
[26m51s]Clockwork Artificer Silas nods, genuinely intrigued. Silas likes places/people/things that like stories, because stories are fantastic, so surely a place that likes stories is also fantastic. Like libraries. "Well then, I'll keep that in mind. And one place or another-
[25m16s]Clockwork Artificer Silas says, "You will hear the second part." He smiles at the posh cork, now safely above street-level. "And I will make sure that you hear the second part, too, if you like." He will take the smile for an answer. A positive one.
[23m53s] Spark raises a hand to them both, then ambles away hands-in-pockets, whistling a seeking-adventure sort of song. The moon. What in the name of all Audrey's hedgehogs will he do on the moon?
[23m12s]Be stupid about women, probably.
[26m44s] Spark finds that probably she can accept that.
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