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Welcome to Charming, the year is now 1894. It’s time to join us and immerse yourself in scandal and drama interlaced with magic both light and dark.

Where will you fall?

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Queen Victoria was known for putting jackets and dresses on her pups, causing clothing for dogs to become so popular that fashion houses for just dog clothes started popping up all over Paris. — Fox
It would be easy to assume that Evangeline came to the Lady Morgana only to pick fights. That wasn't true at all. They also had very good biscuits.
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Definitely Somebody's Origin Story
March 11, 1894 — Gladrag's
@"Daffodil Potts" Greer Owens

Look. It was not Protego's fault. Not really. There were always inherent risks in experimental items, and he couldn't account for every possibility. He'd be a paranoid mess otherwise, and while paranoid people were usually very good for business, that wasn't true when the paranoid person in question was himself. Ergo, he was utterly blameless in this.

Really, if you thought about it, the blame should be leveled at the chap who'd commissioned Protego to create a giant--and mechanical--guard spider. Relatively giant. It was still about the size of a particularly large rat. It wasn't really Protego's usual thing, but he'd give anything a try for the sake of a sale, so here he was playing experimental engineer, making a fake-spider that was intended to... scare off intruders? Honestly, he neither knew nor cared. Not his business what anyone did with the things he sold them.

The problem was, when Protego had come downstairs to his workshop in the back of the shop that morning, the spider wasn't there. It wasn't in the rest of the shop. It wasn't anywhere. And on the one hand, it might have been easy to think someone had stolen it, there was nothing else missing, and if someone was going to steal anything from him, a half-finished spider was definitely not the most valuable thing in the shop by a long shot. It was, however, probably the only thing in the shop that could walk out of its own volition.

So, Protego had been walking the high street, searching and looking down alleyways and popping into shops to discretely ask his neighbors if they'd seen anything abnormal. He'd started down near the Post Office, and was making his way west and had just reached Gladrag's. It was still quite early, when most businesses on the high street were opening their doors, so he entered the shop to find it still empty of customers. "Good morning!" Protego called, in his customarily cheery voice, to the shop attendant. "I have a bit of an odd ask."

What a weekend it had been. Fortunately Fortitude's wedding was over, she and Lorelei had found their own place and everything seemed to be much calmer. It would be a few weeks, perhaps into next month before she even thought about reaching out to ask about a dinner. The idea had seemed to be welcomed when she proposed it, so she would follow through. They hadn't been terrible after all and she and Lorelei were both thankful for their help during their first few months here in Scotland.

She was working, a little more casually on Miss Potts' dress, the base all done, a simple silhouette, very springy. It was the embroidery that Greer was working hard on, lots of little flowers on the sheet overlay that was taking time, but she was enjoying it. It was nearly done and she still had a couple of days before the final fitting. The snowstorm had been good for one thing, she'd been able to focus solely on the family wedding and alterations, if nothing else.

When the door opened to a blustery sort of wind and an a chipper greeting, Greer was a little caught off guard. "Ah, what is it that you need?" She asked, pausing in her needlework to peer at him curiously.

[Image: GreerSig.png]
Protego smiled brightly at the young woman. "Protego Lochrin," he introduced himself. "I've got a shop down the street. And, well," he had the presence of mind to appear sheepish, even if he'd hold that this was not his fault. He couldn't have known this specific thing would happen, after all. "I don't suppose you've seen anything... unusual... crawling around the shop this morning?"

Greer pierced Mr. Lochrin with a steady gaze, absorbing his words, but still not understanding. "I come from Australia where there are spiders the size of dinner plates, I'm afraid you'll have to be more specific." She was not one to beat around the bush and frankly, in an all-magical town that had just experienced a days-long supernatural snowstorm, unusual needed more of a qualifier than that.

[Image: GreerSig.png]
"Oh good!" Protego said. It didn't immediately occur to him that this might be an odd thing to say--clearly, he was talking to the best option, as far as people who might be affected by this went. "The object I'm looking for is a large, mechanical spider. About--" he held up his hands to demonstrate the size--"so big. Have you seen it?"

Greer's casual use of the size of spiders in Australia shouldn't have been foreshadowing for this situation. Mr. Lochrin seemed quite nonchalant about the whole thing, but Greer was more confused now than she had been two minutes ago. "Mechanical? Spiders?" Not two words she ever thought she'd be putting together.

At least she wasn't afraid of spiders, mechanical, magical or normal for that matter.

"Can't say that I have... when did you lose it?" She had far more questions than that; why? What was the purpose? Who needed mechanical spiders? Just what was it Mr. Lochrin was doing with them anyway. Surely her expression said she had a lot more questions bubbling under the surface— but that of course was when a bloodcurdling scream came from the back followed by a loud crash. "I might have an idea though." She supposed she shouldn't be surprised, but there was something about someone screaming that was alarming, even if she could figure out what the source was.

[Image: GreerSig.png]
Protego opened his mouth to answer--he was pretty sure it had only gone missing this morning, but it could have been any time since he'd gone to bed last night--when there was a shrill scream. "Ah, yes, that might be it." Well, at least that part was easy. He gestured toward the noise. "Shall we investigate?"

Oh yes, that was exactly what she wanted to do. Greer was not the adventuring kind. This whole moving continents away from home was enough of an adventure. It wasn't like she could let him in the back unaccompanied however, so she motioned for him to follow her and moved toward the back room.

Her coworker was up on a chair, obviously startled by the contraption that did indeed look like a spider. Greer was not amused, and so she looked at the owner of said mechanical spider and raised her eyebrows, as if to say, and now what?

[Image: GreerSig.png]
"There you are!" Protego exclaimed at the sight of the spider. He stooped down, barely mindful of the employee standing on the chair, eyes only on the spider. "Come here, you--Ow!" Protego jolted back as his hand, which had been reaching for the thing, got caught in... well, the gears that were currently in the place where mouth parts would be on a real spider.

Shaking his hand and grimacing, he turned to the pair of shop employees and asked, "Could I trouble you for something to put it in? A bag, maybe?"

Greer nearly laughed at the way that he spoke to the mechanical spider; then she actually did when it bit him. She was siding with the spider at this point. Which was definitely something she never thought she'd say.

Looking at Mr. Lochrin skeptically, eyebrows raised as she exchanged a look wit her coworker, Greer wasn't sure that a bag could cut it. Certainly anything she had in the shop would be torn through in a matter of moments by those mechanical little pincers. "I might have an old hat box in the basement." She offered, wondering if something more sturdy would suit better. "Will it be alright for a moment while I get it?" Greer said as she braved getting a little closer to help her coworker off the chair and out of the room.

[Image: GreerSig.png]

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