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The Twin Goblets of Arratus - an epistolary Mage game set in 2009

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  • #16
    Hi everyone,

    I think Phoenix has mentioned me in the past but if not my name is Pisces, a member of the Mysterium and one of Phoenix's cabalmates. I know he's been writing to you all about the Goblets of Arratus, and I've been happy to help him with the investigation here despite it being against a senior of my order. As for why I'm writing instead of him, things have happened here in Cardiff - Morgana's been murdered and Phoenix's been arrested by the Arrows as the main suspect! I know the Silver Ladder are working on sorting things, and I really hope they realise he's innocent. But he's asked me to let you all know in the meantime what's happened since his last letter, and so here you go.

    As you all know, Morgana challenged Phoenix to the Duel Arcane on the grounds that he's been investigating her without any official approval and he accepted. As he asked me to be his second, I've been talking to her second Caradog about arranging it. Thankfully it didn't take much time to organise, and it was arranged for Tuesday the 24th at the Consilium's duelling arena in a traditional duel. It was agreed as well that if Morgana won then Phoenix will no longer investigate her and should Phoenix win then she would have to truthfully answer his questions. Phoenix seemed pretty confident he was going to win, and we didn't think anymore of it.

    On Sunday though, I was told that Morgana was found dead at her home. From what I can gather talking to the others of my order it seems that she didn't arrive at the Coiling Stone for her shift, and when one of the other curators of the cabal went to check on her they found her dead. I haven't seen the body, and from what I've heard it's a horrible sight. She was almost torn in half! The order is in mourning for her, and the gossip about what's happened from an Abyssal deity to vampires (vampires and mages here in Cardiff have had some... difficulties). But there were "suggestions" that Phoenix was involved, wanting to kill her before the duel in case she won.

    I don't know what evidence the Sentinels had, but whatever they had was enough for them to arrest Phoenix under suspicion of murder. I was just going to visit him after lectures just when the Sentinels were escorting him away. He's already stated his innocence, and I had the opportunity to speak to him briefly while he was in 'the dungeon' as we call the prison rooms the Arrows use. Apparently he's the main suspect because of the duel, and no one seems to be able to find out what has happened no matter what arcana has been used. I've told him what I've heard about her death, and he's told me that how she died was the same way that Blaze's hierarch Astella did.

    Phoenix asked me as well about the man Zeal, as no one has mentioned him yet considering he was supposed to be staying with Morgana. So I've asked around myself after seeing Phoenix, and no one's seen him and or even really heard of him! So I can't help but find it suspicious that this mage, who obviously knew Morgana and was staying with her, has been staying quietly with her without anyone knowing about him and has disappeared about the same time she's been murdered. I have of course spoken to the sentinels about this missing person and they said they will look into it.

    Otherwise there's not much more that I can tell you all I'm afraid. Me and Banshee have tried to research more on Sigurd and Ageth Kur, as well as anything regarding this strange legacy that Ariadnos has encountered. But with so many books and scrolls in the archives it will take a while. I'm hoping that Phoenix will be released soon when they realise the truth, but I'm still going to see him when I can and keep him up-to-date with your letters.

    In the meantime, for what it's worth I hope things go well with you all with your investigations and that you remain safe.

    Regards,

    Pisces
    Last edited by warrior angel; 02-26-2015, 01:04 PM.

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    • #17
      Glad tidings to all who read this letter,

      I am writing this before Deidre and I set off for Mag Mell, to serve as explanation and introduction in case one of my Cabalmates needs to take over this correspondence briefly should it either take longer than expected to make the trip or the side effects of visiting make it impractical for me to write myself.

      To explain, Mag Mell can be reached from any location in Ireland by desiring to find it, possessing a ‘virtuous heart’ by the standards of its ruler(s) and travelling ever westward until you find it, which takes three days at minimum and quite often weeks or months. A boat is also required quite often. Since we’ve been more or less told to pay a visit I’m confident we’ll find it with relative speed but even if we find it in three days there’s no telling how long we’ll be there. Meg Mell can be roughly split into a physical location and an astral one, though it is more complex than that. The appearance of the physical location varies but has distinct properties that make it almost impossible to miss. It is effectively a demesne, but no sign of soul stones has ever been seen there and it is aligned with Life and Time rather than any of the paths. The physical part is a timeless place well suited to rest and recovery and can be visited without consequence by those who find it. It is the astral location however that holds the real rewards. Those who meditate within the demesne undertake an unusual astral journey in which they must pass through their Oneiros and face challenges within to reach Mag Mell, which is best described as straddling the Temenos and the Anima Mundi, but is not usually reachable from either. The consequences of visiting Mag Mell I mentioned are similar to Ecstatic Stigma, though both much harder to avoid and much less harmful. They also last exactly a Lunar month after the recipient leaves.
      The Morrigan

      [The handwriting of the letter changes here, becoming much less careful and consistent. It looks like it has been written by a child making their best attempt to copy the flowing script the letters are normally written in.]

      Hi, still The Morrigan here. Deidre and I have returned successful from Mag Mell and I am still just about capable of continuing to write. Deidre and I left An Túr Geal on my motorbike on the dawn of the 21st and arrived at Mag Mell very late on the 23rd, which may well be a record speed. Quite how we drove west from Belfast for three days without the Atlantic getting in the way is unclear but we did it somehow. As to how we didn’t notice I can only say we were enjoying the journey and the company. We found Mag Mell in the form of a homely house, standing alone at the end of a long promontory into the ocean. When we arrived at the house an old couple was outside despite the hour and they offered us their hospitality before the next step of our journey. It is bad form to refuse hospitality and also they made certain references I shall not expand upon that made it clear they were allies of An Bard an Craobh Rua, so we gratefully accepted. I hope they were allies of his at least, since if he’s been spreading that particular story widely I’m going to end up challenging him to a duel that will go badly for me, though perhaps not so badly as letting every spirit, ghost and god in Ireland hear about that incident without objecting.

      In any case once we entered the house we knew we’d found Mag Mell. I still cannot describe the feeling properly, but it was unmistakable. Our hosts insisted in feeding us before we slept, and on providing breakfast and a bath once we woke, but when we began meditating that morning it took us no time at all to get on our way. I shall not describe what trials I faced in my Oneiros as much of it is far too personal to share. What I encountered in Mag Mell itself well stay with all my life and I will share the broad strokes gladly. I arrived on a rolling green plain beneath a clear sky and waiting there for me was my namesake, The Morrigan herself. She greeted me by both my names, congratulated me on my arrival, and then, saying “Impress me”, attacked.

      I have never had a fight I enjoyed more and I suspect I never shall. I don’t know how long we clashed in that timeless, deathless place, but eventually The Morrigan called a halt and congratulated me again. We then went to her hall, which like all such places in Mag Mell was full of food, drink and music, and there we spoke of many things. None of it was relevant to this investigation, so I shall not relate most of it, save to mention that she told me to go forth bearing my shadow name proudly. To my surprise we talked about some surprisingly mundane things as well and I remember thinking that it felt like talking to a combination of talking to my mother without her regrets and the few female friends I’ve had without the knowledge we’d soon be parting. We also spoke a lot about Oaths, and that discussion resonated strongly with the Arrows teaching on Oaths and left me with a much greater understanding of their importance.

      Eventually we finished talking and then I got my next surprise when I found myself suddenly much younger, which The Morrigan explained by saying that Mag Mell was after all a place of endless youth, and that as young as I am I shouldn’t be shocked by finding myself younger still there. At that point I suspected that this transformation was to be my price for visiting, so I chose not to object, since there were far worse options – such as spending the next lunar month as a hound or part plant, just to name two.

      After this The Morrigan picked me up and said it was time for me to meet the Enchantresses. The first thing I saw when we got to the Enchantresses castle was another aspect of The Morrigan, carrying a girl I knew at once to be Deidre, though like me she was much younger than she should be. I’d say it’s unusual that we should both pay the same price but I’m beginning to suspect that nothing about this whole sequence has gone how it usually goes, and I am almost certain that it has been engineered in opposition to something’s plan. I was not discouraged in this by the fact that a third aspect of The Morrigan was waiting for us when we entered the hall. Again I shall not include all of what was said, partly as it is not relevant to our joint investigation and partly because I have sworn not to reveal it until the right place and time. The relevant points we learned are as follows:
      • Balor’s plan for using the Goblets couldn’t reach barking mad with a fifty foot pole, never mind being reasonable. It is also almost certain not to work.
      • The end result of the various plans in place to merge souls will be the same, regardless of what those carrying them out think, though it may not be the immediate end result from some of them.
      • The ultimate result of this merger will be capable of changing the world massively, almost certainly for the worse, though it could theoretically be capable of improving the world.
      • They would not give the name of the resulting being but said that we could call it ‘The Perfected’ without risk
      • There are certain individuals/entities that are key components of The Perfected, though it will contain many other souls.
      • Deirdre is one of those individuals.
      • The creation of The Perfected is almost the opposite of being destined to happen and those who oppose it will find many allies in all sorts of places.
      Obviously Deirdre wasn’t happy to learn what that various cult-y types would be looking use her to build their god but she was reassured that it would not be allowed to happen easily, especially by my promising to do everything in my power to prevent it. After I said that the three Morrigan asked one by one if I was committed to that path, and after the third affirmation said together “Then go forth boldly, you who bear the mantle of the Phantom Queen. Fight always with courage and fear no foe, but beware the Son of the Sea God.”

      We left Mag Mell not long after that and awoke on the 25th, the night of the new moon, to find the house we were in had vanished, along with the physical part of Mag Mell. We also found that the cost of our visit had indeed been to spend a lunar month at the low end of childhood, but as I said it could have been much more inconvenient. Getting back could have proved tricky, given that I could hardly have driven like this, but it is for circumstances like this that Sleepers created mobile phones, Mages created portal spells and the Oracles give young mages masters who can be called on one to use the other. Admittedly Manannán mac Lir brought Aífe with him and I could happily live the rest of my life without having the second in command of my order pick me up, swing me around, and declare me “so cute” again, but that’s a minor issue. In any case we were soon back at the tower, were my Cabalmates confirmed that neither they nor Balor had set Belfast on fire in mine and Deirdre’s absence and the two of us passed on what we’d learned. They’re going to check various highly secure libraries to see if they can confirm any of it.

      Ariadnos, the legacy you have inadvertently joined is not known to any of my Cabal, though both Ogham and The Dagda say it sounds vaguely familiar. Given the lives those two have lived this could mean anything from ‘a bloke in a dodgy Belfast pub mentioned it last year’ to ‘it was carved on a pillar in a hyperborean ruin upon the plains of Leng.’ Do you have any names or descriptions to narrow it down?
      Blaze, it’s good to hear that you’re okay. Nuada assures me that the Guardians of the Veil do not murder Hierarchs, and would not do so in so vulgar a manner as Astella’s death. He’s going to double check that the Guardians were not involved on the general principle of assuming that the Seers are lying until proven otherwise, but this apparently involves a ridiculous number of dead drops so it will take a while.
      Cobalt, the runes you’ve sent are provoking some debate amongst my Cabalmates, since they seem to resist conventional magical interpretation. This has prompted bet on who will find an unconventional method to interpret them, I’ll let you know if it produces any results.
      Pisces, thank you for keeping us informed. I’m not sure if I’ve previously mentioned that the third attainment of the Daksha allows them to enhance their physical capabilities similar to how vampires can, and Balor has in the past demonstrated this by ripping a vampire in half. In any case we shall try to account for his whereabouts on the 21st and 22nd. Also Aengus has asked me to pass on that he will lend his services if you find yourselves in need of a Lictor.

      May this letter reach you with fair waves,

      The Morrigan

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      • #18
        To My Fellow Travelers on the Road of Discovery,

        I feel as though I am chasing after Ngalyod, and I do not know if it is his own path or the one he laid out for pursuers. Regardless, I believe I have made some progress.

        On a hunch I reexamined several of Ngalyod's old sanctums. As I had suspected, the Sight I have gained revealed many things which had previously been hidden. No, not hidden... That implies intent. It is like the old trick with the vase and two faces, there was much that required a changing perspective to see.

        Ngalyod's most recent sanctum, the one that I described in my last letter, encodes in its structure an occult pattern independent of the Art. Certain similarities to the song lines suggest that Ngalyod had unlocked some of the principles which the Free Council is even now struggling with. How did he gain such insight? Regardless, it appears to be a trap of some sort, at best analogous to a summoning circle. However there was no resonance for summoning. I can only describe it as something like a prototype, or proof of concept. Cruder variations in other sanctums suggest I am correct. Even the office sanctum was old though, as such things apply to Ngalyod's constant wandering. I therefore suspected that a more realized version could be found somewhere else. Several weeks of fruitless searching and the answer was given to me, quite by accident. Or so I thought prior to reading the Morrigan's letter. My partner offhandedly asked me if I had enjoyed myself in the Outback. In the few seconds of putting together a polite nothing of a reply I remembered the shifting map.

        It took some convincing on the part of the field teams, but I was finally able to reconstruct most of the altered lines at the time of the Verge Incident. Sure enough, the web of power resembled the pattern in the sanctum. But why? It was obvious that the verge had been the end result of the shifts and that it had been a test. What would a pattern of entrapment have to do with the Well?

        Taking inspiration from the rest of you, an Astral Journey seemed the best way to proceed. I freely admit I was growing frustrated by the increasing number of dead ends. Indeed, my own efforts were also dead ends, quite literally. My astral journeys ended as soon as I took my first step. My mentor agreed that this was unnatural. During my training I had been capable enough, but this phenomena was new. A rather uncomfortable period of testing later, he sent me to an Aṉangu friend of his, a Dreamspeaker of some note. It is not for matters of privacy that I do not relay his name, but because it is the place where he resides. He was familiar with my difficulty, and consoled me to return to the sight of the verge. He lent me an item to allow Astral Journeys regardless of the presence of a hallow as I departed.

        With my new vision I saw several aspects of myself impressed in the environment. When I attempted to enter my mind I had even less success than before. It seemed the artifact was non functional. Faced with the prospect of several days before an associate returned for me I spent a lazy evening examining the symbols and memories around me. On a whim I got up and followed a line of Ngalyod's resonance, and my own for they had become all tangled. I don't know how long it was, though I passed without greeting other travelers and native spirits along the way.

        As you may have guessed, though I did not at the time, I was indeed in the Astral. It appears that I see into it in some fashion and that is the source of the "new" information I perceived elsewhere.

        I met Ngalyod at the far end of the Temnos, near the Anima Mundi though the transition was so seamless it was only apparent in retrospect. He was pleasant enough, though he was busy weaving allegories and untrue truths into books for instruction
        . The Sigurd Chronicles was visible at one end of the fabric scroll. Here is a list of such answers as I had from him, reconstructed as best I could manage.

        A: Who Are You
        N: The Answer you did not want to the question you did not ask.

        A: You look like Ngalyod. Are you him.
        N: Only in so much as you are him. Part of him is part of the land that is you.

        A: Can you tell me anything about the Goblets of Arratus or why they were taken?
        N: You already know all that is to be known, what more can I add?

        A: But I know almost nothing.
        N: Then either there is nothing to be known, or you and the knowing have not reconciled.

        A: Did I used to know?
        N: You used to know before you were born. If you wish to draw the lines that way.

        A: This isn't helping. Why am I here... (this was not directed at him)
        N: To receive an Answer you did not want to a question you did not ask.

        A: What is the question then?
        N: You just asked it.

        A: What is the answer?
        N: You have been getting it.

        A: So I have been asking the wrong question?
        N: Or expecting the wrong sort of answer.

        (There was a break of some time here. I felt as though my journey was rapidly approaching its end when I asked the last question.)

        A: What can I do to stop it?
        N: Why would you want to? The five of you are nearly done scoring lines for the fracture. Or did you think so many died for the sake of your typewriter?

        That was the last I saw of him, and I have only just returned to the city.

        Yours in trust,
        Ariadnos
        Last edited by Exthalion; 03-04-2015, 12:12 AM.

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        • #19
          To all who read this letter, and any to whom they may come greeting, know that I, the Mage named as The Morrigan, Banner Warden of Ulster do swear, freely and with great joy, my service to Acolyte Deidre of the Belfast Consilium. I vow that if by my life or death I can protect her from those who seek to use her, control her, or harm her, as a sacrifice to form the entity named to us as The Perfected, or in any other way, then I shall fight with all my skill to do so and will shrink from nether foes nor trials in my guard as long as my soul endures. I shall not abandon this charge until there exist none who seek The Perfected’s creation, even if this lasts all they days of my life. Thus is proudly given my oath beneath the waxing half moon of March in the 253rd Year of the Belfast Consilium, upon Madagán’s peak and before all the World.

          Right, formalities out of way I hope this letter finds everyone well. As you might guess from the opening part of the purpose of this letter is to declare my newly sworn oath to you all. It’s been pretty busy here since Deidre and I returned from Mag Mell, though because of the stigma it left the two of us have been mostly on the sidelines, as much due to difficulty of travel as anything else. I have to admit that I’d barely noticed how much my Cabalmates used their mastery of Space in getting around since I could make good time on my bike, but that’s not currently an option and it’s surprising isolated the tower actually is. So you’d better believe that I’m going to be deepening my studies of space until I can portal myself around.

          I mentioned in my last letter that unexpected allies could be expected in this matter, and I saw that first hand the evening after our return when a Seer of the Throne showed up at An Túr Geal to offer their ‘assistance’ in preventing the creation of The Perfected. He managed to call parley and claim hospitality before Master Manannán decapitated him by reflex, so we were obliged to he him out. He didn’t provide much information besides confirming that at least some of the Exarchs are opposed to the creation of The Perfected. Other than that it was pretty standard Seer bluster about how the Exarchs alone had the power and knowledge to stop The Perfected, so the offer was predictably turned down. This wasn’t a surprising outcome, which makes his response all the stranger. I still can’t understand it – he obviously knew of An Túr Geal and its nature – he can’t of expected to break hospitality here and survive and he must of know how low the odds of his attack succeeding were, but he still chose to try and kill Deidre rather than leave peacefully. Even with the Time spells he’d prepared Manannán mac Lir blocked his first strike easily and the guardian Spirits made sure he didn’t get another. I think he must have counted on the vigour of the Spirits response since it meant he couldn’t be questioned alive and he’d taken steps to ensure we couldn’t question his ghost properly – the fanaticism it take to not only go on a suicide mission but ensure your soul will torn apart if you die doing so is shocking.

          Other than that meeting we’ve made no appreciable progress with our investigation, though the Consilium’s politics are beginning to heat up. The Council of Free Assemblies met in full for the first time since the attack, and The Dagda was able bring the majority round to the idea that Balor was lying when he convinced them to vote for her as Hierarch, which apparently manly involved reminding them of the fact Balor views the Free Council as being worse than Scelesti and has demonstrated this often in the past. Additionally The Dagda has been convinced, with some reluctance, to finally take up the position of Chair of the Assembly and therefore the role of position of Libertine representative on Consilium council, which is a good thing, since he’s know as being one of the strongest and wisest mages in Belfast and it will reinforce confidence in the council. On the Mysterium front Ogham has lost patience with Balor’s refusal to inform the other members of the order who the new Mysterium councillor is and has given him until the 7th to name them or duel Ogham for leadership of the Mysterium caucus.

          Phoenix, you will be glad to know that we a have finally heard from some of the missing members of the Silver Ladder. A couple of Acolytes who fled to other Consiliums have returned at last but the major news is that Claviger Brigid is safe, along with two more Acolytes and a majority of the local Ladder Proximi. During the attack they took refuge in the order’s main safe house, which had an emergency defence that took them out of normal time for over a month. They were obviously upset to learn of all that has happened but Brigid recovered quickly and she and Aengus have been keeping the others busy. The two of them are also going to confront Balor about the identity of the Silver Ladder councillor since it’s still not been revealed and at this point there’s no one it can possibly be who has a legitimate claim on the seat.

          Deidre was reasonably distressed by some of what we learned at Mag Mell, and the fact the Seer was willing to die to try and kill her didn’t help. Even Aengus declaring she had officially completed her apprenticeship failed to cheer her much. Thankfully I was able to offer her something she could take heart in. I’ve spent much of my time since our return in meditation and contemplation on the nature of oaths and tonight I was finally ready to offer mine to her. We went out into the old fort near the Tower, and there I offered her the oath that began this letter. She was immensely glad to know she had one certain ally and accepted joyfully. What happened next was beyond unexpected. While an Arrows oaths a sacred to them and should be important to the one they are sworn to that’s it, they have no power beyond the honour of those involved. The swearing of an oath should therefore only be accompanied by changes in the soul of the one swearing it. Certainly not the moon growing many times brighter, aurora filling the sky, and the brief, approving appearance of an entity whose nature I cannot even begin to understand but shone brighter than the sun. The lightshow was visible all over Belfast and no doubt further, though apparently not by Sleepers. It also brought half the Consilium running, though Balor and its allies where conspicuous in their absence. Investigation failed to turn up any clues as to what happened, though it did reveal I have apparently picked up a Destiny in the last two weeks. Having half the Consilium turn up did make publicising my oath straightforward and Scáthach formally made me a Banner Warden and bade me focus on Deidre’s protection at the same time, so that’s good.

          It has just occurred to me that the above means half the Consilium has seen me and Deidre in the bodies of children and therefore no one is ever going to let us forget about it but I can’t bring myself to care. If anyone is too annoying about once the stigma wares off I shall just have to kick them until they stop.

          Ariadnos, if you can make any sense of what that astral entity told you then I salute your wisdom. That’s one of the most opaque sets of answers I’ve ever seen and my master is master of Time and Mind who dabbles in Zen Buddhism.

          It’s becoming apparent that powerful forces are moving on all sides of this matter. I wish everyone the best of luck in their continuing investigations.

          May this letter reach you with fair waves,

          The Morrigan

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          • #20
            Hello friends,

            First of all my apologies for not being in contact with you all last week. It was quite the surprise to find myself accused of murdering Morgana I can assure you! Pisces has told me that she had spoken to you all regarding what had happened, and when I've caught up on your letters I was amazed about the events that have transpired with you all! Astral journeys, visiting Mag Mell - the wonders we have the opportunity to experience as one of the Awakened!

            For its worth, I also bear witness to your oath Morrigan. I have some understanding of the importance of oaths to Arrows such as yourself, and pray that keeping it shall not require any sacrifice. It is good to hear Morrigan that more of my fellow Therarchs are safe. Should they need any help, my fellows would be happy to assist them. Also, although his services are no longer needed can you thank Aengus for his offer for me?

            Also Ariadnos, I hope that you can make sense of that entity's words as they seem beyond my understanding. At most, based on my limited understanding of the astral realms, I can suggest that perhaps you found yourself in the realm associated with this mysterious legacy you have had forced upon you. If you are able to make sense of those answers then please let us know.

            As you all know, I was arrested at my sanctum by the sentinels of the consilium for Morgana's murder. I knew that any attempt to run or fight to defend myself against the arrest would only make myself seem guilty, so I went willingly and asked for a member of the Silver Ladder to attend my case. I hoped it would not be necessary, because as a factotum, with a good understanding of the Lex Magica, I felt confident that I could defend myself against the charges.

            To cut a long story short, it seems that the sentinels were unable to gain any insight into what happened in Morgana's home using magical means, much in the same way that Blaze mentioned with regards to Astella's murder. I was considered the main suspect due to my upcoming duel with Morgana as well as there being some video footage from a shop camera nearby that showed me nearby at the supposed time of death. Through a mixture of postcognition showing what I was doing that day, as well as getting a member of the Free Council who owed me a favour and had an interest in computers to hack into the public camera records and find 'me' to be instead Zeal using Life magic to change his appearance, I was able to prove my innocence.

            The Hierarch, a mystagogue and in my experience a decent man by the name of Owain Glyndwr, instead of sentencing me has instead empowered me with finding this mage known as Zeal and bring him in for questioning. So in a more official capacity than before I continued my investigation. First I spoke to her cabal the Stone Masons, who understandably were wary considering the accusations I faced earlier this week. They know that Morgana had a friend from London staying with her recently, a man who they presumed she was working with when she visited the city. They didn't say much more, although I suspect more out of loyalty towards her than anything. But they know that Zeal is not a member of the Mysterium.

            This Tuesday just gone, my cabal and I were allowed (accompanied by a sentinel of course) to search Morgana's house for any clues regarding Zeal or what had happened. Firstly Banshee attempted to use Time magic to see what happened, but wasn't able to see anything as we expected. She says though that it doesn't feel like a typical Shield of Chronos is blocking it, but she can't describe it better.

            The house itself had already been searched by the sentinels for anything pertaining to Morgana's murder, and I know that they had turned up with very little. However in our investigation we uncovered more due to the information that my own investigation has revealed as well as the information you all have recovered. In Morgana's study we found several books on Poland and eastern European mythology, as well as books that Banshee & Pisces believe come from the Atheneum. Nothing seemed unusual for the most part considering she was a curator there. It was only when I noticed using a Unveiling spell of Prime that a small section of the wall seemed different compared to the rest of it. After a few minutes of examination I found that there was a solid phantasm over it that was solid to the touch and appeared like the rest of the wall, obviously cast by an Adept of Prime. After examining it for a moment more, after a couple of attempts I managed to eventually dispel it.

            It was protecting a hidden space with a safe that proved ineffective against Banshee's skill with Matter, and upon opening it we found several notebooks hidden inside, as well as a broken rod of metal carved with runes on it written on it and some letters. Reading through them, it seems that Morgana was looking into the background of the Iatromantoi that Cobalt mentioned previously, as well as the times in history when the Goblets of Arratus have appeared and their many properties. We are still continuing to read through them and will let you all know what she had found. Most importantly though for us is the broken runic rod it seems. Morgana identified it as part of an "apokalyptí̱ria alí̱theia" or "Unveiling Truth", an Artifact that was capable of translating and decoding ancient scrolls by using it in a similar way to a scytale. Perhaps Cobalt this is the scytale that the astral entity Ageth Kur told you to use?

            We also have an address in London for Zeal, after going through some private letters between the two of them. Without any need to go into detail what they actually said, it seemed obvious that she was in love with him while personally something seemed... off about his replies. I had the impression it was more for what she wanted to hear more than anything. Maybe she was being used and wanted to believe otherwise, I do not know.

            So at the moment I have organised a visit to London in order to track down this Zeal on his home territory. Baron, my mentor, had been kind enough to help me go through official channels for the time being. I should be arriving there this Sunday and staying as a guest of my fellow Thearchs before being introduced to the Hierarch on the Tuesday to explain my reason for coming. I don't hold much hope with having any official help, as I understand that London is strictly controlled by the Guardians and tend to not want to get involved, but I want to bring this Zeal to justice and find out his role in all of this.

            I pray that whatever plot is happening will soon be revealed to us. So many plots in this web, it is hard to keep track.

            Be careful out there,

            Phoenix

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            • #21
              TO: ARIADNOS' CORRESPONDENTS
              FROM: A CONCERNED PARTY
              SUBJECT: A PUSH IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

              MESSAGE BEGINS:

              YOUR PENPAL IS AWAY AT THE MOMENT. DON'T CONCERN YOURSELVES WITH WHERE, HE IS SAFE ENOUGH. THIS MESSAGE IS WRITTEN WITH HIS BLASTEDLY OBSOLETE TYPEWRITER TO ENSURE THAT IS PASSES YOUR SCREENING PROTOCOLS BEFORE YOU BURN IT. HOPEFULLY YOU WILL PROVE WISE ENOUGH TO AVOID DOING SO BEFORE YOU READ IT. NEVER A CERTAINTY WITH YOUR TYPE.

              IN YET ANOTHER MARVELOUS DISPLAY OF THE RIGHT HAND AT WAR WITH THE LEFT, IT SEEMS YOU HAVE ALL FAILED TO CHECK BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES OF YOUR LITTLE CASE. DON'T GET ME WRONG, PLAYING DETECTIVE IS FUN. DO IT ON YOUR OWN TIME. TO SAVE MYSELF THE ANNOYANCE OF WATCHING YET MORE OF YOUR FLOUNDERING, CERTAIN ASTRONOMICAL AND TERRESTRIAL PHENOMENA HAVE BEEN TRENDING TOWARD THE EXTREME ENDS OF THEIR CYCLES. SIRIUS IS ASCENDING, THE SUN IS WEAK AS IT HAS BEEN IN A CENTURY, THE OCEANIC MULTIDECADAL OSCILLATIONS ARE NEARLY SYNCED, AND YOUR FALSE PROPHETS ONLY KNOW HOW MANY OTHER THINGS OF THE SORT ARE GOING ON.

              TO SAVE YOU THE TROUBLE OF ACTUAL INVESTIGATIONS, THE LAYLINES REFLECT ALL THIS. GREAT STANDING WAVES OF FATE AND TIME ARE RISING EVER HIGHER IN A PATTERN OF OCCULT SYMPATHY. THE MOST POWERFUL SIGILS OF POWER ARE DRAWN IN TIME AS WELL AS SPACE AND THIS ONE IS NEARLY COMPLETED.

              ALL THE INSECTS YOU ARE CHASING HOPE TO USE IT AS A SIEVE, SORTING THE FALLEN FROM THE TRUE, AFTER THEY GATHER THEIR INGREDIENTS OF PERFECTION. THE LEAVINGS OF THE PROCESS WILL BE THE KIND OF MONSTERS THAT DO ALL SORTS OF TERRIBLE THINGS, SAD FOR YOU AND BUSY WORK FOR ME. THAT'T RIGHT, MULTIPLE PLANS, ALL READY TO CRASH INTO EACH OTHER. YOU HONESTLY COULD PROBABLY WAIT FOR THEM TO DESTROY THEMSELVES WITH TOTAL CONFIDENCE. IF YOU DO, A HOLE INTO THE ABYSS WILL BE THE LEAST OF YOUR PROBLEMS.

              PLEASE TRY TO BE LESS OF A DISAPPOINTMENT, YOU HAVE NO IDEA THE WORK REQUIRED TO GIVE YOU BREATHING ROOM.

              Last edited by Exthalion; 03-12-2015, 07:54 PM.

              Comment


              • #22
                Greetings.

                Again I find myself needing to apologize for how long it has been since my last letter. Matters not directly related to our investigation have occupied far too much lately. Indeed, I also almost feel as if I need to apologize for even having written all of you in the first place. All of his has been plagued with trouble since this has begun. I fear also fear that a few of those I originally wrote letters to have come to a bad end, not even counting the unfortunate will worker that the Morrigan has kindly replaced. Yet what can we do but go on?

                Since my last letter, I think I have again been approached by Seers of the Throne. This time American ones, I think. They advised me to forget about my investigation, saying that what was going on was far beyond what any member of Pentacle mage could handle. In other words, what we are facing is a job for the Seers of the Thrones. Now this “encounter” happened in my dreams, so I was not entirely sure that it was not just a regular dream. After some reflection, I decided that it was real. I really wish I knew more Mind.

                Now deciding that this encounter was real, makes me wonder about this letter we received from Ariadnos’ typewriter. At first blush, it seems to have be written by a Seer. However, it seems to be urging action, but also makes clear that it is not needed. I knew that the Seers of the Throne have thier own political divisions, even as we do. Maybe we do not know the half of it.

                I also fear that I have made little headway into my investigation here in Rochester. None of our consilium stand out as a suspect. While I will not give up, I am more convinced than ever that answers lay outside of my town. My hopes lay in all of you. Given the things we have discovered thus far and the claims made in the mysterious letter, maybe all of our hopes lay with each of you.

                May the Oracles be with us all.

                Sincerely,

                Blaze, Sentinel of the Rochester Consilium

                (6)
                Last edited by Cire; 03-08-2015, 11:01 PM. Reason: formatting

                Comment


                • #23
                  Hello friends,

                  I am glad to hear from you Blaze, as it has indeed been a while. I understand the strains that the position of a Sentinel can place upon someone's shoulders, and can only hope we come to a resolution soon. Speaking of long absences, my prayers are with Cobalt as we have not heard from her for some time and given the enemies we have all faced I begin to fear the worse!

                  Before I continue with the status of my investigation here in London, I would like to share my own views on this mysterious letter from Ariadnos' typewriter. At first I would have agreed with you Blaze regarding the possibility of it being written by a Seer, given their involvement with several of us. But after thinking upon it I wonder if it was written by an Archmage, one who has continued along the road to the Imperial Practices? The implications it makes about seeing more of the bigger picture, as well as working behind the scenes suggests such knowledge. Although I shudder to think about the implications of what is going on that one of the Ascended feels it necessary to intervene. I have sent word to one of my fellow Therarchs, a member of the Thrice-Greats, to ask her about the planetary alignments and any celestial signs to watch out for coming up soon.

                  In the meantime, compared to some of my previous.. setbacks these past few weeks I have met some success here in London. But allow me to explain the events of the past few days. I arrived originally in London with Pisces as the guest of Adolphus, a Claviger of the Silver Ladder who barely tolerated our presence and I suspect was forced to be my host. Barely one night went by before I could take no more and found a hotel room for Pisces and myself to stay for our visit. On Monday then we presented ourselves to the Hierarch Civitas (it seemed I was originally misinformed to the day in my last letter, so I do apologise). I explained my reasoning for coming to London due to investigating the deaths of Morgana and possibly an American Hierarch at the hand of a mage called Zeal and am after his arrest.

                  It took some persuasion, and I was thankful that I had the foresight to cast Willful Process to improve my already skilled powers of persuasion before meeting with Civitas (a risk I know doing so with a Hierarch, but I felt it was necessary) , but I was given permission to bring Zeal in for questioning in London before the decision can be made to extradite him to Cardiff to face his crime there. I was assigned a Sentinel, an Arrow called Colt to ensure I followed their procedure and so that Zeal knew it was official business.

                  So that evening the three of us arrived at Zeal's address, a reasonable looking home in London's east end. Upon arriving, I checked the area by casting Sense Consciousness only to find that in Zeal's building there were three consciousnesses rather than just the one we were expecting. We were further surprised to find the door ajar with the lock rusted. Upon using Postcognition, Colt warned us that three men have made their way inside after casting a spell on the door to enter.

                  We made our way slowly in, trying our best to not make a noise. The place looked in disarray, while voices came from the ground floor near the back of the building. We crept closer to the door where the voices were coming from, and heard them speaking in foreign accents say this:

                  Voice 1: "... f*****g shame he died before we got what we needed."
                  Voice 2: "Yes, well looks like we are going to have to find it the hard way. Bloody Daksha bastard, it has to be somewhere around here. Keep looking"
                  Voice 1: "Can't stand them, all their talk of being the superior race. Obviously didn't do him much good now."
                  Voice 3: "Who cares. He did what it was supposed to do. So let's just find it so we can bring it to the master."
                  Voice 2: "Yes, Legion will be pleased with our dedication to the rising"

                  I was curious as to what Zeal was supposed to have done, and what it was they were after. As I moved slightly to hear more though, I accidently knocked a picture with my elbow for it to smash on the floor. My hands tingled as I sensed a spell being cast before hearing the second voice shouting "We're not alone, get them" followed by me sensing several more spells being cast. With that we rushed the door and Colt took the lead. I had a moment to see someone lying on the floor of the living room before seeing a spell being thrown at me barely giving me time to counter it.

                  Simply put, the fight between us and the three intruders went in our favour and we managed to knock one unconscious (of which I am proud to take credit for despite my lack of fighting experience), while the other Colt subdued and the third managed to escape through a portal of some sort. I was hurt protecting Pisces from a fraying, but otherwise we were lucky. Colt then informed the other Sentinels that we had some prisoners and they have since been taken by the Guardians

                  I was allowed off with a warning of sorts for some of the more vulgar spells I had to use during the battle, as it seems London's Consilium frown upon anyone using vulgar magics without permission. But given the circumstances it was understandable. And while there was some noise, I was quick to silence the room so no Sleepers heard the fight occurring.

                  So for the moment I have asked to be allowed to eventually question these mages, as they have been found to be Seers and have had their magical tools destroyed. There is some information I can give you all if it helps. The one I fought is originally from Prague according to his licence, and I would guess a Moros from the spells he used against me. He is also part of a legacy, as is the other captive although they are both different from one another. The legacy marks I have been told under Soul Marks are not anything seen before.

                  Ariadnos, can I ask for any information that you might have about this legacy that you have 'joined' so to speak? I hazard a guess that this Polish mage may be part of the Cryxard Masquerade based on his place of origin. But it seems a coincidence that you have encountered this legacy whose members seem to mainly include Seers and we have one involved here. In the meantime, I have been given permission to search Zeal's home for any clues, and will be doing so when I can over the next couple of days under supervision of the Guardians. I have also been fortunate that Colt has agreed to my request to introduce me to the Fate Arcana, so I hope to improve myself.

                  The only other thing I can offer is the name of someone who may be involved in all of this, this person called Legion. Apart from things such as the ancient roman legions, in the Bible it speaks of I know in the Bible it states in the Book of Mark about a man possessed by many demons who was cast out by Jesus, and is known for answering when asked for its name "my name is Legion, for we are many". Perhaps this will be of help, should any of you come across the name.

                  Otherwise I will let you all know when I have questioned these Seers and examined Zeal's home. I hope we find more about what is going on.

                  Luck to you all,

                  Phoenix

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Glad tidings to all who read this letter,

                    I have to admit my week has been surprisingly quiet. No one has attacked us, no strange entities have dropped in to be mysterious at us and there’s been so complete a lack of ominous portents that it’s almost ominous in itself. We even made it through Saturday’s impromptu Consilium gathering without anyone being arrested, accused if being left-handed or challenged to a duel, though very narrowly.

                    Balor named the two missing Councillors, having put it off until last possible moment, and to say they were a bit controversial is putting it mildly. The Mysterium Councillor is Cethlenn, a Daksha and Balor’s long time right hand and lover. He’s a skilled mage and relatively respected in the Mysterium but she’s equal at best to Achtland, Balor’s former Provost, as a candidate and Ogham eclipses them both completely. Cethlenn’s appointment prompted a good amount of muttering and eyebrow rising, but the identity of the new Silver Ladder Councilor nearly started a battle there and then. The mage in question is known as Elatha and they are unquestionably junior to both Aengus and Brigid, so given only one other Thearch was in hiding with them it’s a blatant power grab for them to be named as the Silver Ladder Councilor. Additionally Elatha is a Daksha as well so it looks like (and probably is) an attempt for Balor to assert control over the Ladder.

                    Both of those appointments are going to be challenged and it is near certainty they’ll be overturned, after which Balor’s days as Hierarch are numbered. The question now is not so much if Balor will be deposed but why he bothered to seize the position in the first place. She’s gone to a lot of effort to get the seat, using tactics that will anger most of the Consilium and couldn’t have been expected to keep it in the position in the long term, but he hasn’t tried to exercise the positions power or indeed do much of anything in the role. We’re sure she has something planed but we have no idea what. The Guardians have been maintaining surveillance of all the Daksha but they don’t seem to be doing much of anything – they appear to be preparing for something but what and when are unclear. Then again we’d previously had no idea that Elatha and Conchobar were in contact with Balor so they could be running rings around us, which is a discouraging thought.

                    Blaze, Phoenix, I’ll freely admit I have no idea what the entity who hijacked Ariadnos’ communication is, but from the way it phrased things I suspect it has lived quite a long time, there’s just something that makes me think that it’s not thinking on human timescales. From the research I’ve done it seems like it is correct in saying that various cycles are tending to their extremes, but there’s so many things you could look at for that it’s hard to tell if, why or when they would be meaningful – for example Sirius is ascending but as I understand it’s been doing that for a while and the most significant point in that cycle is still around three years off.

                    Phoenix, congratulations on your capture of those Seers. As to this Legion they mentioned I wish I could provide some information on it for you but there are so many things that use the name it’s impossible to narrow it down from that alone. That said the things which use the name start at highly unpleasant and get worse from there so I highly doubt it will turn out to be anything good.

                    May this letter reach you with fair waves,

                    The Morrigan

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      To my fellow Travelers along the road to Truth,

                      It seems the apologies for a late letter are somewhat misplaced. Judging by your own, you received something from "me". I would appreciate a transcript with your replies as, while I can make a guess at the contents, no copy was left with me. For reasons I will explain in this letter, I think it would be best, at this time, not to return the original.

                      To answer a question that many of you have asked, I have uncovered something about my Legacy. This too I will relay below.

                      As you know, I had more or less run out of leads. Faced with a choice between discretion and progress I confided much to my mentor and with his help accomplished much. Before you begin informing the local Guardians, I held back everything concerning 'The Perfected', and presented this in terms of the murder investigation. With the help of other mages skilled in time we were able to trace Ngalyod's recent movements. The picture we built up was fragmentary, but many of the gaps were easy to fill in. One thing soon became apparent, Ngalyod was avoiding Uluru with a persistence that could not be anything but deliberate. (Uluru is what most people call Ayers Rock, a large block of sandstone roughly in the middle of Australia and very sacred to local people) We, and a quickly conveyed Free Council expedition, found nothing at the site that the arcane archaeology of previous decades hadn't. However, my legacy again proved advantageous. Lines of resonance wrapped Uluru in patterns reminiscent of those in Ngalyod's sanctum, though to obviously different purpose. We followed the pattern to a site roughly twenty miles away.

                      What we discovered was... unbelievable. It was a city, a very old city, which is like nothing local cultures ever produced. As we approached a powerful sense of unease came over us, quickly growing into dread. Our magesight unveiled no Awakened magic, yet the power of the place was obviously supernatural. Even the prospect that humans had done such things in their Sleep did not drive away the awareness that we were unwelcome. Much of the city was mundane, to the degree that anything could be mundane that should not have been there. We cataloged much, but it was obvious to all of us that we were avoiding the central palace. The structure appeared to be a truncated pyramid, and proved to have a central courtyard arranged around the remnant of a large pillar. The above ground portion was the usual storerooms, living quarters, etc. At once though, I saw that a large statue before the pillar, a man with the head of a beast I do not recognize, concealed a hidden path. Our initial probes quickly dissuaded us from attempting to force the way open, so we diligently translated the inscriptions.

                      The language, like the architecture, is not like any other in the historical record. It is pictographic, though the things it depicts cannot have shared the sunlight with man. There is a wrongness to it that is hard to express. Merely looking at it calls to mind scenes of a world that never was, a history best forgotten. All of us had these same visions, dreams of stars dying amid screams and the smell of blood. For all that, the instructions were relatively simple. We waited until nightfall, placed a proscribed mixture of incense into the bowl the statue held, and spoke words whose meaning we did not comprehend. If you are already filled with thoughts of how fantastically stupid this was, I assure you we realized this in retrospect. Yet there was something about that place... Merely approaching it had sapped our strength of mind. The command of the hideous words spoke with the same voice that even still told us to be gone. We descended into the lower chambers.

                      ​The Labyrinth was not the work of Space, but of a mechanism of unreasonable complexity. We crossed and recrossed the same rooms dozens of times, surrounded by the grinding of stone and the chittering of insects. There were traps there, of a kind that now seems monumentally impractical. Falling ceilings, poison darts, a pit of scorpions… I don’t think the species was even native to Australia. One of the mages with us was killed by them and my mentor injured. Why we did not leave at once is still a mystery to us.

                      When we reached the central chamber, the heart of the tomb (for that is what it was), something stirred. I cannot describe it, some magic binds me. It expected us, speaking words we did not know though understood. It greeted me as “Witness”. It asked why I had returned so soon.

                      I could not answer. The fear it imparted drove words from me. Just as it began to grow angry, something in me moved and I answered, “I am an answer you did not want to a question you did not ask.” That seemed to placate it, though it looked no happier.

                      “There is power in names, power to rule and power to deceive. We are, each and no more, the names written on the body of the god. Each name is this: what we have to live for, who we are, what we want, why we are here, and where we are going. Do not again mistake these for allegory, that is a fiction of little worth you insist on clinging too for all that Fate does not care for it.”

                      With that it bid us go. When we emerged, the city we had so diligently explored was gone, along with all our equipment and records. We have since had the memories extracted and reconstructed, after which the Adapt of Mind deliberately removed her own recollection of what we had seen, so disturbing was it. Apparently there was much we did not know that that she learned in the process.

                      She left us a note, written before she did so, that stated that the ‘god’ mentioned was the world and that every action taken was writing upon it. Based on what the astral image of Ngalyod said, I think that the letters we have been exchanging constitute an instance of such writing.

                      As for “Witness” it felt right in my soul, and so I suspect it is the name of my legacy or those who are part of it.

                      In Trust,
                      Ariadnos
                      Last edited by Exthalion; 03-15-2015, 02:35 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Greetings.

                        It is relief to hear from Ariadnos again. Now if we could just hear from Cobalt and the others who I initially wrote about this matter. It is hard to not fear the worst.

                        Carrying on as we must, I am certainly astonished by what Ariadnos reports, and I fear that I have no idea what it might mean. All of your letters remind about how much of what our kind deals with is well beyond my understanding. It is clear to me that I have been too narrow in my studies. I never noticed this before because I was never in the position before where I have been so constrained in who can consult nor faced events so exotic. This makes me all the more grateful to each of you.

                        Like the Morrigan, I had a quiet week. I am more and more sure that the killer or killers I am seeking are not from Rochester. However, I do have something that may be of help. A couple of weeks before the murder, we had will worker calling himself Legion visited my city. I do not know much about him, but he claimed he came from Hanoi, Vietnam. It seems that he is of the Mysterium. Of course, this might not be the same Legion. Sadly, as the Morrigan wrote, Legion has been used in many different contexts. I will see if I can find out anything more about him, just in case.

                        May the Oracles be with us all.

                        Sincerely,

                        Blaze, Sentinel of the Rochester Consilium

                        (7)
                        Last edited by Cire; 03-16-2015, 12:00 AM. Reason: formatting

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Hello friends,

                          It is good to hear from you Ariadnos, and your adventures with this city and entity are quite extraordinary. As you have requested, I have included a copy of the letter I received from this other while keeping the original if you feel it is of any benefit. I thank you all for your help as well regarding this figure known as Legion I previously mentioned, and hope to enlighten you all with what I have learnt from these Seers.

                          I have to admit, despite my belief in the necessity of the Guardians and what they do it is still.... disconcerting how effective the interrogation techniques of the Guardians can be against the foes of the Pentacle. I was also careful to keep a Mind Shield upon me the entire time once I was introduced to a Bearer of the Eternal Voice, as I have heard of their abilities with manipulating memory. But after the Guardians were through with them, I was able to get the following information from them before they were killed.

                          The Polish Seer from Prague goes by the Shadow name Weles, and I can confirm that he was both a Moros and a member of the Cryxard Masquerade albeit a recent member of the legacy. His companion was called Augustine, a Thyrsus and apparently the member of a legacy called the Chrysalides, although the name is not familiar to me. They were sent to retrieve this item by someone called Legion, a powerful mage of some description. Worryingly when the Guardians tried to question them on who Legion was and what this item was, they couldn't answer. You could tell they wanted to but something was stopping them. When they tried to though, something happened to their minds. It was almost like... their minds were destroyed leaving nothing but a husk. We tried to question them further but they were gone. So the decent thing to do was to end their lives quickly. I personally shudder to think what could have done this to them.

                          Meanwhile, searching Zeal's home did not really turn up anything that I believe useful for our investigation. Whatever this object was that he had stolen from Morgana, it no longer seems to be here. The only thing that might be of use in finding it was a certificate of postage for a parcel dated on the 24th of February to Canberra, Australia to someone called Chrishan Martin. As you are a resident there Ariadnos, could you perhaps look into this? I have included the address on the certificate as well with this letter for you.

                          In the meantime I have since returned to my home consilium of Cardiff in time for the Grand Divination taking place on the equinox this month. As a city with a high proportion of Acanthus, divinations and prophecies are fairly often occurrences, it is tradition on the spring equinox for the Acanthus and those experienced with Time to perform a grand ritual to prophesise the fortune of the following year for the consilium. It is also a good time for personal divinations, so I will be asking for some guidance into this investigation, as well as chase up my fellow Therarch about any celestial phenomenon. I also have been lucky to find a teacher to improve my studies into the Arcana, so will be starting tomorrow.

                          Be careful all of you.

                          Phoenix

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Glad tidings to all who read this letter,

                            I am glad to hear that everyone’s investigations are bearing fruit as my own have mostly stalled. Between the need for everyone to be on hand to deal with the political situation and the degree that Mag Mell’s price restricts my actions it’s been almost impossible to further things here.

                            Things are moving towards a resolution on the political front, so hopefully things will calm down there soon. Aengus has been formally promoted to the rank of Deacon and been placed in charge of the Silver Ladder in Belfast, so unless Elatha decides to be very stupid then by this time next week Aengus will the Ladder Councillor. As for the Mysterium, opinion is steadily turning against Balor and Cethlenn. Ogham’s work as an archaeomancer may have meant he wasn’t heavily involved in local affairs before now but it has gained him much renown within the Mysterium, so he has a good claim to being better suited to lead the caucus than Balor. It will apparently be decided through some top secret method next week, and if Ogham is victorious he will plans to make Achtland the Councillor, which will go down well as she’s very popular amongst the Consilium and did an excellent job as a Provost. Once Cethlenn and Elatha lose their seats the only question is who replaces Balor as Hierarch – none of the reasonable candidates especially want the job.

                            Being largely confined to An Túr Geal has done wonders to remind me why I was so eager to have a home apart from my Cabal that I moved into a cave. The tower is very well appointed and quite large, but it would need to be much larger to fit my Cabalmates personalities in comfortably, not helped by the fact the period since the attack is the first time since before I started my apprenticeship that they’ve all been in residence at the same time for more than a few days. Plus as a Cabal we’re all pretty much defined by wanderlust and other than my trip to Mag Mell there have been no opportunities for any of us to indulge it and might well not be for some time yet. The situation is complicated further by the stream of visitors and temporary lodgers we’ve been receiving, which has been much higher than usual since the attack. It used to be that the only people outside the Cabal who were here regularly were Scáthach and Aífe, with the occasional meeting of the Guardians of the Veil that the rest of us politely left for. Currently, in addition to Deidre, Brigid is staying here full time and a number of other Thearchs and Proximi are staying some of the time, two Libertines whose sanctum was damaged are currently sleeping here until the repairs are complete and there are at least four Guardians that Nuada has borrowed for the crisis staying somewhere in the building, possibly hanging from the eves. Add in the various visitors and the occasional meeting and the Tower of Light is feeling pretty crowded.

                            Other than the politics things have remained quiet here, to the point where Nuada has gotten suspicious and detailed some people to find out if our supernatural neighbours are plotting something. The local Seers haven’t done anything beyond a few token efforts but they lost Belfast, and most of Ulster, long before the Great Refusal and they know even if they drive the Pentacle out completely they won’t be able to succeed here. We had a few Seers run into the reason why this week, but they weren’t locals and the only trouble they gave the Consilium was the request from the King in Red to send their heads back to their allies with the Kings compliments and some insulting letters. You can tell they weren’t local because they both entered the Shadow in Belfast while Seers and because they tried to bind members of the King in Red’s court to serve them. We’re pretty sure that the reason the King in Red has a grudge against the Seers is they tried to press him and his court into service. The attempt apparently failed badly and he’s been a vague ally of the Diamond and later the Pentacle against the Seers for at least two centuries now. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, especially when he’s a horrendously powerful sprit of conflict and leadership.

                            Ariadnos, congratulations on your successful expedition, it sounds like it was quite challenging. According to the two old Archaeomancers in my Cabal ruins of impossible complexity that spontaneously vanish are one of those things any Archaeomancer encounters sooner or later, as are inexplicable compulsions and indescribable entities. Apparently you did quite well in dealing with the situation – you may shortly get a letter from The Dagda inviting you to join the Free Council Crazy Archaeomancy Club, which is apparently a thing that exists and has club fedoras and ancient ruin bingo cards.

                            Phoenix thank you for letting us know what the Seers revealed. I must admit I don’t like what it implies about this Legion that they both had something like that protecting their identity and that it was apparently hidden well enough the Guardians missed it, they’re incredibly good at spotting that sort of thing normally. The Chrysalides are a Seer legacy, one which focuses on the creation of an ideal self. It seems to be a fairly superficial sort of idealization, rather than anything spiritual, so whether or not it’s a coincidence that one is involved in this case, and all its talk of perfected souls, is an interesting question.

                            May this letter reach you with fair waves,

                            The Morrigan

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Greetings.

                              I must confess that my concern for Cobalt and the others who I initially wrote about this matter but have not yet hard from grows by the day. Alas, there is not much I can do at this point. It seems we can but hope for the best.

                              Phoenix's letter revealing that one of the Cryxard Masquerade being a Seer of the Throne got me to thinking that perhaps Moonlight is also a Seer of the Throne. Setting my personal like of her aside, I think that she might well be a seer. After all, she directed me toward the Guardians of the Veil. Is that not what seers so often do, trick of us into fighting each other? Then it occurs to me that I was abducted by the seers not long after I started to have doubts about any wrong doing by Prague's Guardians. Could this to have been to keep me from discovering the truth about Moonlight? Sadly, it seems to fit quite nicely.

                              If Moonlight is a Seer of the Throne, could it be Astella was one too? That too makes sense. I have always puzzled by why she came to live here and how she came to be our leader. Yet, as I said, many in city have a real gift for Life magic. Maybe the Seers wanted secret access to that pool of talent. Also there are rumors of rare treasures being lost in our area, mostly famously the Accursed Necklace of Amordci. Enough speculation. In truth, there are any number of possible reasons why the Seers of the Throne would want to control my city. I will have to somehow work out if this true or not.

                              Speaking of working this out, I fear I have not been able to find anything more about the Legion who visited Rochester. However, I will keep at it. I will also try to reach out to Moonlight, and see what I can learn about that. I suppose I should also look into Grace, our new hierarch. I looked at her as a possible murderer, but not yet as a possible seer. I need to rethink everything that I that I know about my city. Again, thanks to each of you for your help, and stay safe.

                              May the Oracles be with us all.

                              Sincerely,

                              Blaze, Sentinel of the Rochester Consilium

                              (8)

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Glad tidings to all who read this letter,

                                And so, not with a bang but a whimper has Balor’s tenure as Hierarch ended. Things on the political front played out as expected and after considering the mood of the Consilium the Council decided that no Hierarch was better than Balor as Hierarch. It’s still an open question who the next Hierarch will be, and unless someone can be persuaded put themselves forward it will probably come down to a general vote of the Consilium, simply to convince the new Hierarch that they have a mandate. As to Balor himself, she is now under house arrest, ostensibly while its actions in seizing the position of Hierarch and what he did while in the role are investigated, though it seems like the whole Consilium knows she’s suspected of more than that. It wouldn’t be hard for Balor to escape from house arrest but we’d know if it did, which is enough.

                                I mentioned that the Guardians were investigating to make sure the other supernaturals of Belfast weren’t plotting to take advantage of our weakness and that investigation has produced disturbing results. Every single supernatural fraction in the city has suffered similar troubles to those the Consilium has suffered, starting at about the same time. We may well have been the least affected and are certainly the most recovered. It is obvious that these problems must have been manufactured be some entity or group for their own advantage but who, how or why remains frustratingly unclear. Even looking back to the time immediately after the attacks there are no signs of anyone taking advantage of the situation to achieve anything.

                                The new moon is tomorrow night and I am beyond ready to be back to normal. In a less fraught situation it might have been possible to find some enjoyment in a temporary return to childhood but as it is I’ve mostly been feeling useless. There’s been so much going on and so little I could do that sometimes I thought I’d start screaming with frustration. About the only thing I’ve been able to do is provide comfort and support to Deirdre and while I do not regret that, and am glad of the friendship we’ve forged, it seems very small in the face of the challenges my Cabalmates have overcome.

                                Blaze, the possibility you raise of Seer infiltration is worrying, but I would caution you not to let it come to dominate your thinking. It’s a very deep rabbit hole to wander down and one that rarely ends happily. I strongly suspect that if the Seers had enough influence in your Consilium to make two infiltrators Hierarch consecutively they would act much more openly. Humility and caution are not common virtues amongst the Seers.

                                May this letter reach you with fair waves,

                                The Morrigan

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