FAO Schwarz Flagship Store, Tether to Children
“Frederick August Otto Schwarz, namesake of the world famous toy chain, founded the business in 1862, just six years after he arrived in America from Westphalia, Germany.
“He operated his shop in Baltimore, Maryland until 1870 when he moved to New York to open the Schwarz Toy Bazaar on Broadway. With the help of his three brothers who were in constant touch with Europe’s finest toy sources, his business prospered. In 1880, he moved to larger quarters in New York’s Union Square, which was then the fashionable shopping center housing such stores as Tiffany and other leading merchants.
“After moving to two other New York City locations, FAO eventually moved uptown to 745 Fifth Avenue in 1931. The flagship store remained at this location until November 1986, when it moved 93 feet across the street to its current location at 767 Fifth Avenue.”
Originally created in 1931, soon after opening, this tether was first attached to Stone. David gave it to Christopher when he became Archangel of Children in 1978. When the store moved in 1986, Celeste crossed her fingers, prayed hard, and managed to successfully transfer it to its new home. Some of the power of the tether was lost, but it quickly rebounded. It is still one of Christopher’s more powerful tethers, and much more successful under his Word than it ever was under Stone.
The tether locus is essentially the entire retail part of the store. The combined joy and dreams of hundreds of children triggered it, and continue to keep it strong. It is not completely immune from negative influences, of course — there is always a strong undercurrent of greed and covetousness that runs through children who want it NOW — but their wonder and delight more than makes up for that.
[It will be no coincidence that, when Right Start buys 22 of the FAO Schwarz stores in November of 2001 and closes down 17, they do not close down their flagship store on Fifth Avenue in NYC. Celeste will work hard to make sure of that.]
The tether itself is rather playful, and celestials who are not paying attention when they enter may find themselves transformed into toys. The toy is usually appropriate to the vessel, and the transformation somehow always happens when no one is looking. A dog vessel may be turned into a stuffed dog, or a human vessel into a GI Joe action figure. Will can be used to resist, if the celestial notices, although celestials who do so will get the idea that the tether is “pouting”. Demons are fair game, but most avoid the place, as they hate it when they are made to look like something cute and cuddly.
Celeste has two vessels: a small Chinese girl, and a motherly looking African American. She usually lets the tether do what it wants with her — an angel looking for the Seneschal is often surprised by the tug of a doll on the hem of a skirt or the voice of a Speak-n-Spell. But make no mistake, she is a very strong defender of her tether. She started out with Stone, and she is one tough Mercurian.