The Merlyns are a Wizgang based around South Lake Union in the Seattle Metroplex. Their leader is Venus. They meet at the Wizard's Hat bar.

MMFEC antagonized the Merlyns in Ep 1. This arc lasted until Ep 4 when an unconscious Merlyn left behind by the Venus-led group that had almost managed to wipe out MMFEC was delivered to the Merlyns at the Wizard Hat bar by Cromwell's butlering services, tied on the back of Elsie's bike with a note attached that just said: No hard feelings. MMFEC. A less lucky comrade of his had ended up in a dumpster after dying under the blows of a berserk Cromwell[1].

The Merlyns returned in Ep 61. When Elsie did not come back after taking her GED, MMFC asked every person they could think of about her possible whereabouts: the place where she had taken the exam; Willam[2], who had helped her prepare and was expecting news himself; and Iberis's Lei. They even enlisted Sharky to track her astral signature.

When Ma1nfram3 found evidence on footage from outside the exam place that Elsie had been abducted by the Merlyns, MMFC started looking for help. Nimwe[3], Miss J's sister and leader of the Shasta Shamans, couldn't or wouldn't intervene. They were more successful with Lance Pendelton, who did what little he could now that he had retired from the force.

It turned out that the Merlyns had seized on the opportunity that MMFEC no longer had support from the Draco Foundation[4] to take their revenge.

MMFC went to the Wizard's Hat where Mordecai, the new Face of the group according to Ma1nfram3, confronted and tried to parlay with Andromeda, the apparent leader among the six gang members in the bar at the time (2 AM). It didn't go well, a battle ensued, Ma1nfram3, Fang and Cromwell blew up the top of the building and intervened. The Merlyns, despite the superiority their four mages could have given them, just fled.

In a strange twist, Cromwell ran after them and essentially surrendered, in the hope that they would take him with them to Elsie. He let Andromeda stunbolt him, and was taken on their van. MMF[5] could track them to Discovery Park, a dismal place at all times and especially dangerous at 3 AM.[6]

Cromwell berserk blood sheliloquy

Miscalculation, or The Death of Venus.
Picture posted on twitter by Shelley Low.

Cromwell woke up in the same room as Elsie and a group of Merlyns headed by Venus. Elsie was kept restrained by her wrists and ankles a chair. Her vigilant captors didn't hesitate to stun her when she tried to wriggle free.

Cromwell soon realized that Venus was taking control of his body. Her nefarious plan for revenge was to force him to kill Elsie while conscious and unwilling to do hit. She ordered him to crush her skull. This backfired, and badly so: Elsie, seeing Cromwell on the verge of punching her to death, burnt a point of edge to escape an otherwise inevitable, gruesome death by helping him break free of Venus's spell. Cromwell, who had turned berserk after being dealt damage, proceeded to punch Venus instead and snap her neck[7].

The fight had barely begun, Venus was already dead, her henchmen were intent on avenging her, Elsie was still to free herself... and Cromwell had blood on his clothes.

Cromwell kept turning berserk after sustaining minor damage, which cost a mage first a dislocated arm and then his life. Turn after turn, the remaining Cutters, mages and spirits took and dealt damage, which resulted in Elsie's restrained leg being hit by a bullet. When Mordecai was set afire by a spirit and subsequently stripped of his burning clothes-cum-armor by the always helpful Cromwell, it became clear that the reunited MMFEC had to book it before reinforcements converged on them.

Mordecai, carried naked by Cromwell; Sharky following them with Elsie, still attached to her chair by her bleeding leg, riding him; Ma1nfram3 sharing Dynah's coordinates and Fang, protecting the group from behind with her shield, all made it to the van and successfully left Discovery Park.

They regrouped in an Aurora motel's room and then their real troubles began...

Mordecai, short in beard, long in outrage over his lost armor, and draped only in his dignity, extinguished his rancor at Cromwell by briefly levitating him before smacking him down. He didn't cause him any damage, though.

Mordecai also confronted Cromwell over his recklessness. By surrendering to the Merlyns he had endangered not only himself but also Elsie and the whole group.

Ma1nfram3 and Fang supported Mordecai in their own, more measured terms. Elsie, however, clearly sided with Cromwell and pointed out that neither she nor Cromwell ever made a fuss of getting MMFEC out of trouble they had not caused[8]

Anyway, the conversation eventually switched to the role that Akshara Nundry[9], whose whereabouts were unknown since she was no longer in Knight Errant custody, must have played in bringing the Cutters and the Merlyns together to avenge the damage MMFEC had separately caused to both groups and to the odds that they keep coming after them after another confrontation that had cost them dearly,

Right after Elsie had apologized for being cranky[10]Cromwell reopened a fresh scar: when there is no plan I use what the Bear God put in my head. His forging ahead without consulting them looked like a lack of trust to his companions. Ma1nfram3 tried to end this discussion on soothing terms:

We just wanted to help... That's all. That's all...
Instead, Cromwell took umbrage:
I'm through with this!
and smashed the door. Unbeknownst to the group, he just went to a bar nearby.

The night finally ended for MMFEC, without further incidents, and thus concluded the episode, with MMFE bunkered down in an Aurora motel room, Cromwell by himself in his neighborhood, the party both split and divided[11].[12]

At 4AM, with Cromwell away, Fang pursued her quest for hot water in their two motel rooms: she could only drown her problems in the hottest of water[13].

Elsie needed to go home to check in on her dog and retrieve her weapons. She was ready to go alone, despite Mordecai's objection, but ended up going with Fang. They would meet Cromwell there[14].

After discussing curtains and the need (or lack thereof) for these and other creature comforts, Ma1nfram3 and Mordecai also returned home, with Dynah.

Back home, while Fang and Cromwell rehashed the night's events, Elsie activated security, which involved lots of gesturing in the war room. She got in touch with the Seattle Street News after seeing a report about the attack at Discovery Park.

Around 9 AM, Pendelton reached out to Fang. They agreed to meet at the Rapid forty minutes laterRabbit[15] to discuss his findings.

  1. See Cromwell's comment.
  2. Thanks again, Tony.
  3. Spelling?
  4. Which had saved MMFEC the first time.
  5. Not too many letters were remaining at this point.
  6. See Ep 61.
  7. Lauren received 50 thumper dice right after this. What would she have done, had she had them at this time? She also realized that she could have saved Venus the same way she had let Elsie save herself, by burning edge. But the Red God didn't really want to turn Cromwell into Cronus, did she?
  8. Personal note: I had the definite impression here that Tony and Jeannine were purposefully paving the way for an eventual split of the group. While watching this heated discussion I pictured Elsie and Cromwell riding their bikes into the sunset, leaving Mordecai, Ma1nfram3 and even Fang, behind.
  9. To whom, Elsie reminded the group, Fang had been reckless enough to disclose her identity
  10. After all, as she remarked later, this was her second all-nighter in a row because she had not slept before taking her GED either.
  11. Like never before?
  12. See Ep 62.
  13. Which apparently involved lots of grinding in the shower.
  14. Jeannine had mentioned during her intro that Elsie's home was in Fremont, just north of Aurora Bridge. Assuming that Cromwell, who had spent his time with Murk, had met him at Beth's Cafe, all the places mentioned here are close to one another.
  15. Allowing for time to go to SoDo.