The Cloak of Night and Daggers: Outline
SCN 1: Holly Kendal -- a big girl: 5'10", 180 pounds, red-honey hair to the backs of her knees loose, makes a thick braid to her hips; pale freckles, brown eyes, aka Lady Fiametta of the Danelaw, SCA -- is at Selenecon, a December convention at the Manningtree Hilton in Manningtree NY, she is rooming with Carol Goodchild, a librarian from Twisted River Idaho (who is planning to visit her friend Ruth Marlowe afterward) and Margot Reasoner, a fantasy writer from Shelbyville Indiana. Holly has all her SCA stuff with her, as she is planning to go on to a camping event in New Hampshire.
We should establish in this scene that Margot is intending to attend the Sunday Night masquerade, an event which she always wins.
What the reader will also later find out is that Holly suffers from bipolar disorder, controlled by medication. No lows, but no real highs either, but safe. They have just checked in, and are unloading, in the suite, their not-inconsiderable wodge of baggage, including Holly's armor and Lady Fantasy III, some of the last work Stephen Mallison ever did. Holly goes off looking for Registration, which is somewhere in the New Wing -- aka the Transdiminsional Corridor.
As Holly is walking down the corridor she sees a man whom she later christens Macgyver (for his escape artist abilities) wandering dazed through the halls.
MacGyver is downright skinny, about an inch shorter than she, with a spiky mop of hair the color of new butter. He has one green eye and one hazel; harlequin eyes, and he looks sane enough.
But he must be crazy. Nobody sane would have plastic surgery on his ears to make them pointed, would they?
SCN 3: Holly talks to him a little and realizes that he must be an escaped psychiatric patient -- dazed, drugged, in a hospital gown and robe, and on the run. Suffering as he is from beatings, drug abuse and electroshock-induced amnesia, there is little he can tell Holly, including his name. Holly realizes that there is something very wrong going on here, extending even beyond "normal" patient abuse. She takes him back to her room.
SCN 4: Frank is at the convention. Frank is looking for Mac; Frank is on a punishment detail having lost Melior in Book #1. Frank feels he would like to take a new approach: kill everybody who isn't Mac and choose from among the survivors.
SCN 5: Later. By the time the other three are coming back from dinner several hours later, they have the sense that something is very wrong with the normal Selenecon atmosphere. There are MIB everywhere, and they're not with the con.
They return to the room, where the drugs have worn off and MacGyver is able to convince them that he may be partially amnesiac, but he's sane. He tells them that he is from a place called Chandrakar, that the people who have held him prisoner are trying to get him to read something called The Book of Airts. Though we do not yet discover this, The Book of Airts is the Regalia Catalogue, describing each of the Twelve Treasures and the protocol for the Coronation, and it's written in Elvish. Beyond that, he knows very little. (McIver is an elf librarian. He can tell you almost anything about a book just from picking it up. He can repair books, too, as good or better than new.)
Holly, however, has seen those ears before. She's seen Frank, too, running around Bellevue looking very suspicious.
SCN 7: Holly considers Mac's condition and realizes that Mac must have been held at the Half Moon Psychiatric Facility in Half Moon NY, just north of Ippisiqua.
SCN 8: (Still Friday) The MIB around Selenecon are starting to get really scary, so Holly and Mac drive upstate to the place of a friend she knows: Rook, a black stick- jock and Rottweiler-breeder who lives in Half Moon. Rook knows very well that something really odd is going on over at the psychiatric facility and is surprisingly willing to help them.
From there Holly and Mac break in to the facility and get Mac's glasses back,
Holly picked up the rectangular glasses. The frames seemed to be made of lead; some soft silvery metal she'd never seen. The lenses were of antique glass, not even optical glass; green and bubbled and ripply with an oil-slick iridescence on the surface. She stared into them.
"They are not for looking in," McIver said. They are for looking Out."
proving that Mac is indeed a magickal elf. They are driven off by people who are trying to kill them, but The Book of Airts is still inside, and Holly decides to make a second assault on the place in full armor the next night. Stephen Mallison made her armor when he was still working, and she's got Lady Fantasy III, one of his Sword and Sorcery swords, that cost her almost a year's wages and worth it. When Holly heaves 25 pounds of broadsword through the air, people back off.
"Why am I going there in full armor? Because it's stupid. And the cops won't stop me, and a sword isn't illegal to carry. But Ive, honey, my armor's 90-gauge sheet steel lined in Kevlar, and Lady Fantasy III is almost thirty pounds of carbon steel and every inch of her is sharp. I can cut them to pieces before they realize they have to stop me."
On their second pass, Holly and Mac get the book. Holly kills someone with the sword: now they're really in trouble. They lose it almost at once, but Mac reads enough of it to know that (a) he has to go home at once and (b) The Cloak of Night is here in the World of Iron. If MacGyver can get his hands on The Cloak of Night And Daggers he can get The Book of Airts back, because the Cloak gives its wearer both invisibility and clairvoyance, providing it is used at night. So where is it?
"Where would you hide a book, Mac?"
"Why would I want to hide a book, Holly?"
"In a room full of other books. Where would you hide a weird-looking thing?"
"I don't under--"
"In a room full of other weird-looking things. Come on, we're going back to the convention."
SCN 11: In Chandrakar, Fox, Ruth, Nic, and Jausserande are following Ruth's link to Melior. This is not a happy crew: Jausserande hates Fox, who killed Guiraut-her- squire, and wants her Treasure back; Nic has only a month to live until Ophidias repossesses his life, plus he remembers nothing since he was 22; Fox faces death by torture as soon as they've recovered Melior; and Ruth isn't sure she likes elfland. They've been following blind, but now they're reaching the Western Marches and starting to get an idea of Ruth's destination: Castle Mourning, seat of Hermonicet the Fair and her rogue wizard Amadis. After much additional trekking, they're within sight of it. Melior's in there, all right -- and they have no way in. SUNDAY
SCN 12: Back in the World of Iron, Holly and Mac are back at Selenecon. Holly has seen a lot of evidence that Mac is attracted to Magic like iron to a magnet -- there was no reason for him to go into the Manningtree Hilton unless the Cloak was there. They arrive in the late afternoon -- the masquerade is in a couple of hours.
SCN 13: Holly sees Frank, and knows that the elf-hunters like the ones after Melior are out in force.
SCN 14: After dodging around the hotel for several hours staying out of the hands of the MIBs, Holly and Mac risk ducking back into their room -- and find Margot with the Cloak What the readers do not know, though they will find out later, is that many years ago -- over 20 -- Margot was maid to the Cloak Treasurekeeper. The Treasurekeeper was attacked, and fled with Margot. She died on the Iron Road and Margot came, with the cloak, all the way to Earth. The Cloak provides both invisibility and clairvoyance providing it is used at night: all Margot knows is that it is gorgeous and fascinating (its other setting), but Mac can make it work.
SCN 15: Now that he has the Cloak, Mac has to get the Book. Holly fingers Frank for him, so all they have to do is get close enough for Mac to read Frank's mind -- which means Frank has to be thinking about the Book.
SCN 16: Mugging him in the bar during the Masquerade, Mac gets the information he needs. Holly tries to talk the other two into not being involved, but it doesn't work: Margot feels she owes her former mistress something, and Carol is a cop's widow who feels that all that is needed for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. They both insist in being involved in the burgle-back of the book.
SCN 17: At Mourning, the other four try to sneak in, and are caught. This is when Jausserande discovers that Ruth has the Cup -- though, being no longer a virgin, Ruth cannot use it any more. Jausserande uses it to heal Melior. They all bring each other up to date on things -- apparently, once Amadis has they all together, she doesn't care what happens to them any more, and here she's got three Treasures for the price of one. Of course, they're all going to die...
SCN 18: New York City, a week later. The Monday before Christmas. It's taken them a while to locate the actual whereabouts of the book -- since Mac refused to read it for them and is now lost, they're trying to decode it themselves, having farmed it out to Helicon Hornbook, a place into which the adventurers cannot get. Margot has gone to see her publisher (she writes a series, The Quest For The Phoenix Throne, for DAW books, and has currently gotten Prince Perigord and Azure Bowl into real trouble in the Goblin Market and can't figure out how to get them out) and hears about a rare books auction from her editor, who is able to pass along two passes to the pre-sale viewing. An auction would be of little interest except for the fact that Helicon is running it. Mac and Holly go.
SCN 19: While they're gone, Carol and Margot discover that the borrowed apartment is under surveillance, when some fake cops come to the door and Carol realizes they're fake. They take off, snagging Mac and Holly on the run.
SCN 20: Mac has the book and reads the book. But much of Mac's memory is gone forever, and so, rather than bring the Book back to Chandrakar and possible danger, he hides it again in the World of Iron -- in the New York Public Library. Now all he has to do is get home.
SCN 21: They bolt back for Half Moon NY, since the four of them are rapidly running out of places to go. They arrive Christmas Eve, but Rook's trailer is burned, he's missing, the dogs are dead.
SCN 22: Carol suggests that they go see her good friend Ruth Marlowe, who recently got a job at the Ryerson Memorial Library in Poughkeepsie, both for a place to hide and for help -- Carol thinks Ruth knows more about elves than she's telling.
SCN 23: But when they reach the Ryerson on Christmas Eve, all they find is Penny Canaday and Katy Battledore, who are searching wildly for their friend Ruth and their library director Nic Brightlaw, who have just vanished into thin air. Penny says it's probably time to call the emergency number that Nic left her, and would they like to come home and eat Christmas dinner, since it is otherwise going to go to waste?
SCN 24: With the aid of his glasses, Mac quickly discovers the gate to Elphame in the basement, and he and Holly pass through. Once on the other side, Holly discovers that her medication is left behind -- she is about to become an uncontrolled bipolar.
SCN 25: Mac heads for the place where the largest number of Treasures are gathered together, thinking he will reach the Court. What he reaches instead is the Western Marches, where the other four are now prisoner in a castle which has magically been transformed into a really big maze.
SCN 26: Mac and Holly are attacked outside the castle by armed guys, but Mac magically triggers Holly's manic phase. In Chandrakar, Holly Kendal isn't bipolar . . . she's a berserker. They fight their way in to Mourning and find the others.
SCN 27: Hermonicet confronts them, promising them that six out of seven of them can leave freely, so long as one promises freely to stay behind. Whoever stays will have something happen to him that will make grendelhood look pretty. (Why does she let them leave with the Treasures? Because that's Baligant's obsession, not hers.)
SCN 28: They get out and beat feet to Citadel, where the Twilight Court is meeting, where Melior must be confirmed as The Rohannan, head of Line Rohannan, and publicize Baligant's treachery by unbinding Ruth Marlowe's soul from The Sword of Maiden's Tears.
SCN 29: At the Twilight Court Melior summons the wizard Ophidias, who reminds him of the promises he has made (in the previous book) to gain Ophidias' aid and works the sorcery that returns Ruth's soul to her. Once that much is settled, other loose ends must be disposed of.
SCN 30: But before Ophidias can agree to the deal -- if he had any intention of doing so -- a spearcarrier enters and announces that the peasants are storming Citadel. Unknown to Fox, his lieutenant Raven has raised the countryside on his behalf.
SCN 31: Raven is admitted, to demand a pardon and freedom for Fox. Fox makes a counterdemand: the elves can have him, but in exchange, he demands a Free City for humans, where no elflord may go. Jausserande suggests The Vale of Stars: it's on her cousin's land, after all.
SCN 32: At Melior's urging (and through his willingness to site the city on Rohannan land) this is granted, and Fox charges Holly and Ruth to make sure the elves treat the humans right. The revolt is over.
SCN 33: Ophidias goes back to dickering. If he takes Philip in Nic's place, he'll have to take Philip's life instead of Nic's. Philip reiterates that he thinks he's getting a good deal, but Ophidias says he has plans to use the rest of Nic's life (sold to Ophidias in Cup of Morning Shadows) in the World of Ophidias' agent. Free, then, says Philip. A gift.
SCN 34: And it ought to be happily ever after. Mac and Holly will settle down, once they figure out who to give the cloak to, and so will Ruth and Melior. Jausserande has the Cup, Melior has the Sword, Baligant's meddling has been proven to the elphen barons. But the Seven Houses, exhausted by centuries of war, are more inclined to make excuses for Baligant than condemn him. They decide to prove Melior wrong by appearing here at the Twilight Court with the Treasures one month before the Kingmaking. It is the best Melior can hope for, and he has no choice but to agree, while privately attempting to forge coalitions among the various Houses. He does not yet know that the High Magic has chosen him to be the next High King.