Urban Shadows: Detroit
Ageless and feckless
Cob didn’t mind so much when the Channel 7 van came to Bell Isle. He even stood in the crowd while the reporter broadcast live about the “sightings.” Even though Cob hardly ever watched television (there hadn’t been much worth watching since I Love Lucy went off the air) he did like Kristen Bell (her hair amused him) and wished she had been the one to come to his home instead of the smiling man with the boring tie.
No, the reporter wasn’t the problem. He gently mocked the thrill-seekers and the curious who plunged around the trees looking for “the creature.” The problem was the serious-looking young man with the laptop who sat in the gardens checking his notes so carefully. Cob would have dismissed him too until he spotted the ring on his finger. It bore an ancient symbol used by The Order of Orion to identify its members. The Order was a band of mortals that called themselves “Monster Hunters.” In theory, these hunters only targeted “dangerous” beings. Cob didn’t think of himself as dangerous, but he didn’t trust the man with the laptop to agree.
Ordinarily, Cob would have simply left the area for a while and let things die down. He liked Bell Isle well enough, but he was not bound to it. In this case, however, it wasn’t that simple. Cob had gone to a fair bit of trouble recently to get rid of some interlopers on his territory. Trouble that had put him in debt to a powerful spirit. Abandoning the Isle would mean that was all for nothing. Then there was the matter of the child.
A young boy (Matthew) and his family had come to the island a few weeks ago. The child had wandered off and stumbled upon Cob in the gardens pondering a predicament. The fae had dropped his phone through a storm drain’s iron grating. While the fae could have moved the bars, it would have been extremely painful. He might have left the phone and just asked Nathaniel for another, but he’d just gotten a high score on Barrel Blast and hadn’t taken a screen shot yet.
Such was the tragic tableau that young Matthew stumbled upon.
The boy offered to get the phone if Cob would explain his “shimmer.” Apparently Matthew was a sensitive and could see the fae’s unusual aura. Cob agreed to answer three questions in return and the bargain was struck. Matthew fished out the phone but the boy’s parents came into view before Cob could answer his questions. Cob told him next time he came to the gardens, he would fulfil the pact. He had to stay close to the gardens, at least during visiting hours, until after Matthew returned. But how to avoid the man with the laptop? He didn’t look like he was going to dismiss the rumors as quickly as Channel 7.
Cob knew a woman in the city who fancied herself a hunter. He had once saved her from an angry river spirit; confounding it with glamors as she escaped. Sarah knew she owed him. Perhaps she could help somehow with the other hunters?
Cob has dwelt in the mortal realm nigh-continuously for the last twenty-odd decades. For the bulk of that time he has rattled about the Great Lakes region, most especially in the area that is now Detroit.
Cob has made his home on Bell Isle for over fifty years now. He ventures into the city proper on his ancient Vespa whenever the mood strikes him, but generally he is found wandering the trees or in the botanical gardens.
Most of the magical community knows of Cob and know he is largely benign, but they also know that it is unwise to cross the fair folk. Whereas wizards and the like might cast a spell, the fae are spells.
Like all fae, can look more or less as he wishes. Nowadays he appears like a young man of indeterminate ethnicity (possibly native american or latino). His hair is dark and unruly. His manner of dress is somewhere between the mission barrel and hipster vintage.