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IC [Mage the Awakening] After the 2003 Hoax

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  • #46
    Scar took a seat at the table and immediately began arranging things into a neat ordered formation around him. The article Willow had simply tossed at him was straightened dead center and the other, yet to be looked at files he stacked neatly off to his left. A pen rested flat and exactly vertical to the folder beside it. Off to the right rested his glass of natural mineral water. Reaching over he took several large gulps, the stuff was called 10 thousand BC, imported from some remote buttcrack of Canada and cost about $15 for a mer 750mls. It was suppose to be some of the purest water in the world. Scar couldn't tell the difference.

    At last Scars attention moved to the article before him. "Oh yes, the car theft. Happened just yesterday. Some young punk stole a nice flash new car, lost control and hit a deer. For some apparent reason after that he felt an urge to end his life." The way Scar spoke it, Willow didnt think he was entirely convinced, and the truth was, nor was she.

    "Only the thing is, he wasn't some young punk," Willow said as she walked across the room to pour herself a wine, "Turns out he was middle aged, Had a well paying employer and enjoyed some of the finer things in life. So why'd he steal a car?"

    Scar tapped his finger against his chin, "Perhaps he sought a thrill, a joy ride, or," He paused in quiet thought, "maybe it wasnt the car he was really after. The gun however the police have confirmed was his."

    Joining him at the overly large table Willow swirled her glass before taking a sip. She had no idea what brand it was, but she had no doubt that it was expensive and therefore delicious. “Heres the thing, while I was building the character profiles on Tuesdays other associates, it turns out one of them drives the very same car. Ummm Mr Yates I believe.”

    Leaning back Scar folded his left leg over the right in thought. “Winchester… He didn’t show up either.”

    “Apparently because someone stole his car.” Willow snickered.

    “And then that someone turns up dead.” Scar stated tapping the newspaper image.

    “A mighty bold coincident don’t you think?” Willow enquired.

    “I do indeed. Willow find out whatever you can about our victim here. Games are a foot and I’d rather be the player than the played.”

    Comment


    • #47
      Willow took a seat at the desk again. Holding the newpaper she intently studied it, both the writing and the graphic photo of the car wreck. She kept at it for several minutes until she had it fixed perfectly in her head.
      "Time to see what all the fuss is about" she muttered to herself before opening a window to earlier in the week.
      Peering through her scrying window, Willow recounted Winchesters unfortunate encounter with the deer, and the subsequent demise of the other Awakened.
      "Turns out our friend had a little assistance in his suicide. Mr Yates for some reason decided he was overdue his lead injections."

      Scar stood up smoothly, his chair rolling back as he checked his watch. "Alright, I've heard enough. Let's go pay him a visit"
      "Who, Mr Yates?"
      "No...Not him." he replied, turning and casually strolling towards the door.
      Willow hurriedly packed the files away in to a large satchel before scampering after Scar, her heels clicking violently against the hard polished floors, and down to the Mercedes.

      Comment


      • #48
        Doolittle's phone rings, a tinny polyphonic rendition of 'ode to joy' blasting out of its speakers. It's Tuesday - she, the enemy's second, has called to tell her that Doolittle's duellist has decided to back his way out of the Duel. Guardians … pfeh! Do they even know the Lex Magica beyond the 'don't reveal the mysteries in front of Sleepers bit? Doolittle wrings her hands a little, strong swordswoman's fingers nearly crushing the phone, deep in thought, then hits upon a solution.

        'Eh bien. If Silencer withdraws from the Duel, the Lex declares him to have forfeited his case, and Oberon is deemed to be able to use 'all necessary means' to be able to secure his concessions, and can be targeted by our Free Councillor (and his fille) as an outlaw.

        'Perfectly reasonable, I would suggest, but he would probably teleport to Silencer's location and slay him with vulgar magic before a thousand sleepers. There has not yet been a formal time for the Duel set yet, n'est pas? As seconds, I believe we can both agree that the combat can be postponed, at least until the current business with Chess-pieces and whatever is handled. I shall advise my primary of this; could you apprise Oberon of the situation? I can handle any legal pressure that results from this - just direct them to me.'

        She hangs up, keys in a message to Silencer telling him she can legally bury the Duel (and the hatchet, for that matter) but that matters have come up - she won't be able to make dinner today. Score.

        Next call goes to Ammavaru, who merits an actual voice-to-voice call.

        'Ammavaru! I have some bad news for you! I have been a very, very bad girl, by keeping you from your plane - practically unforgivable. You recall the Libertine and the Veiler we were going to arbitrate a duel over? Well, they seem to have decided that no, they are now best of friends, and do not wish a duel, not even one presided over by Mumbai's foremost member of the Daksha!

        '...'

        I know! Unbelievable, is it not?

        '…'

        'D'ailleurs, I feel I must repay you in some way - and given how you are such a Mystagogue, always seeking out knowledge that Awakened-kind probably was not meant to know, I wondered if you would care to attend a summoning that I will be attempting this evening? There will be a taxi waiting outside the airport - take it to this address,'

        She gives the City on the Hill's address, treating it largely as she would her own sanctum.

        'And I'll meet you there.'

        '…'

        As she listens, she absently wanders across the street to the wrecker's yard across the street, and - Fate flowing from her fingertips - begins to root through the junked cars. She withdraws something the size of a large grapefruit, covered in engine grease, and grins.

        'Abyssal? No, no, not at all. You know me, Ammavaru, I am not so silly, not so arrogant. We're summoning one of the Lords of Old Thistle. One of the Gentry will be paying a call on us.'

        ~~~

        Limen, Morgenthau, and Serendip all accord the Daksha - who, naturally, is in zir unsettlingly beautiful androgynous form - a kind of wary respect. Though zhe may not be of their Order, Doolittle has made it quite clear that zhe is - wink - with her, and besides, Ammavaru is a third-degree adept, possessed of the kind of magical skill and talent rarely seen in Paris, TX. Spectacle was raised in a very reactionary Baptist family, and, though she's OK with gilded flirty sorceresses swanning about with swords in the spare room, can't quite bring herself to overcome her prejudices regarding the Daksha. Or she's just envious of the superior Obrimos.

        The six of them enjoy a short, only slightly stilted dinner, prepared by Limen using her Proximus Household's seven secret herbs and spices. Chewing the sinus-searingly hot food takes some of the burden of conversation off the Mages, who can barely speak after consuming it, and sets them all up for a long night of ritual casting. Limen, Morgenthau and Spectacle retire to the lounge, to marathon through a box set of 24, while Serendip, Doolittle, and Ammavaru begin preparing themselves for the ritual.

        The younger Acanthus and the Obrimos both ritually wash themselves, scrubbing all contaminants from their bodies, and emerge from the bathrooms wearing simple, white, woollen robes. Doolittle, for her part, takes four hours in the bathroom in preparation, leaving the ritual's observers to begin checking the clock in the hall suspiciously - is she having a joke with them?

        As it happens, she isn't. When the bathroom door finally opens, and Doolittle steps out, they find that she is most definitely taking this seriously.

        She is golden; a revenant of the dread Imperial majesty of the Awakened City, striding from the history of Atlantis into the present day. Every inch of her skin - and Ammavaru and Serendip are both fairly sure that they can see almost every inch of her skin - is gilt with an extraordinarily complex sigils and designs. A fractal bramble twines its way across her body, festooned with infinitely ramifying golden script-thorns. They're not just words, but sentences, paragraphs, declarations and treaties written in the High Speech. Her hair has been woven through with stiff gold and electrum threads, until it stands out from her head like a solar disk, while an orichalcum tiara - red-gold like a summer sunset - perches upon her brow. Her loin cloth - the only garment she's wearing - is an ancient thing, made of a heavy, mildewed fabric, and woven with the symbols of the practices and with the rungs of the Celestial Ladder. In one hand, she bears Durandal aloft, its blade juddering and humming with barely controlled Supernal energy; in the other, she carries the heavy cast-iron ball bearing from the junkyard. The rough sphere of iron may not be the unworked metal that is death to the creatures of Arcadia, but the iron is so very, very cold; and in the evening light filtering through the windows, it looks awfully lot like a regal orb.

        She looks at the two of them, cocking her head and grinning in a manner quite apart from her regal Atlantean appearance.

        'You did not think I would dress down for the occasion, did you? We are inviting one of the gentry, an Ochemata of a True Fae, or something much like it. I wish to ... comment ça va dire ... dress to impress.'

        Followed by her awestruck attendants, the hyperborean queen stalks through the Sanctum to the ritual room, and into the unlit ritual chamber. Serendip reaches for the light switch, but is stopped by a heavy-lidded look from Doolittle. Her eyelids, quite predictably, have complex patterns like astrolabes inked onto them.

        'Serendip; the lenses, if you please. Ammavaru, when I call upon you to do so, I would like you to call upon the Forces Arcanum; give it all you have. I would be grateful if this room was flooded with light at the conclusion of the ritual, when you receive my signal. If either of you wish to stay, and observe, you are welcome; I only request that you do not interfere with its progress, and suggest for your own safety that you do not try to engage our visitor in conversation, especially if they seem to be offering you something, or some sort of deal.'

        The other two - shocked into action by her imperious manner - both take their places, while Doolittle herself casts a postcognition to check that there has been no interference with the circle. There hasn't; she's ready.

        She stands, and begins chanting in Atlantean. For hours. Her words aren't the terse, jargon-filled words of High Speech, but a good approximation of the language of the Ancient City, delivering a long, rolling invocation to the Arcadian Oracle, to the Fae, to the Supernal realms themselves. In time, though, even her voice - trained, tutored by the best coaches money could buy - becomes hoarse, cracking over syllables that still pour out of her impeccably, as if they are themselves alive. Sweat begins to trickle down her bare back despite the cold, and the wavering of Durandal has more to do with the fact that he's kept it held out one-handed this whole time. Blood begins to pool around her feet as dozens of razor-fine slivers of broken glass, metal, and wood work their way through the soles of her bare feet. And still the hours roll on. She remembers Arcadia, and reaches out to it, the mana churning inside her solidifying, forming a very tenuous, very temporary bridge out into the Abyss. The other two mages continue to watch her, entranced by the ritual, and barely feel tired, such is the ambient energy in the room.

        The golden rays of dawn are just beginning to seep in through the crack in the curtains when she feels it. She was reaching towards Arcadia across the Abyss, across nothingness - and she's just felt something reach back, latch onto the questing feelers of her Awakened soul. It might be the Abyss - she's been feeling things gnawing at her defiance of the Lie all the time she's been casting this spell - but she has a good feeling about this, and the sword in her hand ought to fend off any intruders. She feels the entity's touch, out there in the Abyss - and after seven hours pushing out into the void, finally begins to pull.

        The last few words of her invocation are in English, not Atlantean. At this stage, the Arcadian gate has already begun to form; anything she does will inevitably be incorporated into the spell and made Supernal, made meaningful, by its presence. As she talks, words slither from her mouth in the forms of Atlantean runes; each one the symbol of a Watchtower, the symbols of human dominance over the Supernal.
        'Through shattered mirrors in the dark, I call a way across the Abyss to you.'

        Serendip anxiously starts forward, thinking to check the mirror/lens arrangement one more time, but catches himself before he can get fully out of his chair. He doesn't want to see the sort of backlash this ritual could unleash if he interfered, and, besides, it's probably best to leave this to fate now.

        'Through a briar circle, I make a place for you, a Supernal binding in a Fallen world.'

        She kneels down, rubbing two fingers of her sword-hand over the soles of her feet, wincing slightly as she brushes against splinters of glass and wood. Withdrawing her fingers - now sticky and red - she anoints the tips of the thorns around the circle with her own lifeblood.

        'Through Iron, the Exarchs subjugated the True Fae, and through Iron, I bend you to my will now.'

        A single ray of dawn's light pierces the curtains, striking the orb in her hand, and causing it to glint with a ruddy, infernal light. Ammavaru is deeply uncomfortable with the fact that Doolittle just invoked the Throne in her incantation, but doesn't move beyond shifting anxiously in zir seat.

        'Through Gold, through the Unconquered Sun that sweeps away the silvery glamours of the night, I claim regency here.'

        A minute nod to the Daksha, who leaps into action. Zhe grits gleaming white teeth as zhe channels an enormous amount of mana into the spell, guarding against paradox, and calls down the Aether. The shaft of light seeping into the room erupts, and goes wild. The restraints of its Fallen prison loosen, and it leaps through the ritual chamber like fire, suffusing the entire room in light at bright as the noonday sun. The mirror shards and lenses capture the light, binding it and redirecting it on the Arcadian portal growing at the ritual's centre.
        Last edited by Winnersh 3; 01-16-2014, 10:29 PM.

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        • #49
          The gold-leaf brambles on her skin coil and writhe in the sudden light, as Doolittle adopts a regal posture, and strides forward - careful all the while not to break the ritual circle.

          'And through a skin of thorns, I show you that I am of Arcadia, and may speak with you.'
          And she releases the spell, smiling all the while. She smiles when the world lurches and jolts, letting through a wafting breeze carrying impossible perfumes and unearthly screams of horror; that's just the Abyssal water's breaking on this new birth. She smiles as the gate irises, causing space and fate to shudder and spasm as a supernal being is released into the Fallen world.

          And as the being - one of the Moirae, a recondite entity hailing from a world of pure Platonic Fate, quite possibly and entity-shadow of one of the True Fae, looks up, the first thing it sees of the Fallen World is Doolittle, arrayed in the raiment of the pre-fall queen, sword of perfected iron in one hand, orb of cold iron in the other. And smiling.

          'Bonjour, Arcadian. I have a few questions for you.'

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          • #50
            There have been many Dragons throughout history. The ancient inhabitants of Atlantis were taught by entities that called themselves dragons. The Ordo Dracul imitate dragons as symbols; beings of power and self-mastery that serve as icons for them to follow. The Tremere worship Dragons, and the Lambton Worm – one of the Greater Lilithim, beings of sickened and guttering Pyros and creative energy – is a creature of dark legend among many Prometheans. With so many mythic

            But the being trapped within the circle is definitely a dragon.

            Smoke curls from the corners of his red-gold rakish moustache, and his matted mane of hair cascades down the back of his neck like a coat of scales. His eyes are red-orange, reptilian-slitted, and his suit is immaculate. His fingers end in manicured, polished talons, the Mask barely able to contain his volcanic fury – and amusement.

            Doolittle makes a circuit of him, leaving bare bloody footprints on the floor around the circle, Durandal scrapes along the floor, tip raising sparks as it strikes against nails in the board floor.

            ‘What is your name, Fae?’

            Slowly, lazily, the Moira draws itself up to its full height – a full eight feet. It leans insouciantly against the wall of supernal force thrown up by the circle. And begins pushing against it. Pushing through it. Doolittle falls to one knee, blood beginning to drip from her nose, and gasps in pain. Ammavaru leaps to zir feet, celestial fire springing to life around zir hands, but dares not interrupt.

            ‘Well, really now, you really haven’t done very much to endear me to you, to encourage me to give you my true name of my own free will? But since you ask so nicely – and since you force me to do it – I think I will give it to you – in exchange for something equally treasured. How about your own birth name –‘

            The dragon reaches out to the kneeling Acanthus, enjoying the sense of submission to him. His talons stretch out, curling towards her forehead – but they never make it all the way there.

            Dropping sword and orb, Doolittle’s hands flick through a dozen mudras in a single second. She surges to her feet, spoiled fates, foul luck, and missed chances boiling from her nimbus, and ascerbic words of High Speech spitting from her mouth.

            'WHAT IS YOUR NAME'

            The Shadow of the True Fae coughs, and a trickle of viscous, iridescent oil spills from his mouth. Her falls to his knees, gagging and retching, looking at the upstart Mage with alarmed eyes.

            ‘I am … I am Dzarûmazh, Conqueror-Worm, All-Hoarder, the Deathless, the –‘

            Now, Doolittle is standing. She sways a little, and it’s not just from the strain of throwing an Unmaking of Fate at one of the Ochemata. Blood is beginning to dribble from her ears.

            ‘Thhhat is enough, Gentry. Et non in Arcadia ego, and all that. You have not come here through the Hedge, through the Wyrd, through whatever mmethod you usually make your way here. I called you, do you understand? You are here by the authority of MY Arcadia, by the authority of MY Arcadia, by the Watchtower of the Lunargent Thorn! So, sid’daarn …’

            She picks up her sword, and resumes her place before the summoning circle.

            ‘I understand that calling down a Supernal Being gives you a ban, or sorts, a trial or requirement that I must observe or carry out while you are here. I also understand that you are a being of fortune, of acquisitiveness, and so I understand that your ban in particular is that you must constantly work to obtain ‘treasures’, deals, and obesiance from me, to add to your hoard in Faerie. But I am not asking for deals from you – I have bound you here for service, and I I am …’

            Her eyes momentarily unfocus, and she stands there, completely still for a second. Ammavaru begins to pace anxiously in the background, and Serendip gives her a worried look. Even Dzarûmazh looks a little taken aback, although the fact that the expression on his face looks exactly like the one on Serendip’s suggests that he’s just copying the younger Acanthus to fit in.

            Doolittle continues, unfazed, slurring slightly, as if nothing has happened.

            ‘But I am not asking for deals from you – I have bound you here for service, and I intend to ask you a few questions before I let you back to Arcadia.’

            ‘You are a being of fortune, and I am sure that there are few treasures in the Tapestry that you are not familiar with, that you have not lusted over at one time or another. And, as such, I would like you to tell me about one of them.’

            ‘The Set of Fortune. An artefact. Supernal in origin, I believe? From Arcadia?

            A contact of mine has proposed retrieving them, and I cannot say I entirely trust her, or her motives. Knowing the others currently seeks these artefacts, I cannot say that it would be in the interests of your people, or mine, to retrieve the pieces of the set. And so, I would like you to tell me about the set. Information about them – about how they work.’

            She ticks off her questions on her fingers.

            ‘The pieces of the Set are currently scattered, it seems, across the Fallen World, and other parts of the Tellurian. What happens when the pieces of the set are reunited? My contact said something about playing a game with it – what would be the result on Fate of winning such a game? Of losing it?’

            ‘What do the pieces do on their own? I suspect that each rook, pawn, knight and so on may have their own powers – what are they? If you find it easier, and possible, please produce worthless phantasms that possess the same resonance as each piece, so that my consort –‘

            A drunken wink to Ammavaru. Zhe smiles uneasily.

            ‘- may identify them zirself.

            ‘Finally; the game itself. Chess requires two players, does it not? One player uses the artefact – who is their opponent in the game?’

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            • #51
              "The last question I shall answer first," replied Dzarûmazh. "The opponet who Tuesday may face will be the one who is not expected, and one who can never be trusted. One of my kind? Perhaps. That is still unwritten. As to the powers of the pieces, you are both wrong and correct. Powers they have, but those powers must be earned by service to the pieces. To own a pawn, one must serve another. To have a rook, one must give shelter to another. To have a bishop, one must grant faith to another. To have a knight, one must protect another. To have a queen, one must give and receive love from another. To have a king, one must command many. As to their powers, those can be learned only after they are won. I also advise you that I am saying that all these pieces are among those lost in the fallen world and elsewhere. I am just answering one of your questions. To answer another of your questions, to fate, winning and losing is one and the same thing. Consider: Fate is like water, or rather it can be. Why should she care to what path the river takes? Finally, I would advise you to rest faith in Tuesday only lightly. Love has made her as blind as your ambtion has made you."
              Last edited by Cire; 01-24-2014, 12:28 PM. Reason: Typoes

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              • #52
                Saturday April 5th, 2003
                Auckland, New Zealand

                It had taken Hopelit not long upon reaching the famous City of Sails to discover that the city's consilium strongly frowned upon the Free Council. Even so, he had received some welcome from Lilly, a young Adamantine Arrow of maybe not even twenty years. "Listen," she told Hopelit. "I have been told that two American women are looking for you. One of them is of Asaian descent and calls herself Hei. The other calls herself Miss Watson. I have no idea why they are looking for you, but they are. But never mind that now, there is a lot for you to see."


                OoC: I hope this serves to get our two new players started. Thank you for joining!

                Last edited by Cire; 01-19-2014, 08:33 AM. Reason: Used Hannae Li instead of Hei

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                • #53
                  The young man in Lilly's car was handsome enough, in a rakish way. He wore a (weather inappropriate) hooded leather jacket, jeans, and a pair of Doc Martin boots that were starting to wear at the ankles. So far his only comment had been to say "Balls" when he had approached the incorrect side of the car to climb into the passenger seat. He'd then introduced himself as "Hoplite".

                  Hoplite squinted up at the sky, half disappointed that it didn't look any different in the antipodes. Lilly had been kind enough to give him a ride to downtown from the airport in her beat-up car. Something about her seemed strange to him. She seemed confident and comfortable, where most of the folk he'd met had ranged from furtive to outright paranoid. He pondered what the plural of mage was. Mages? Magi? He would have to ask about that, he'd only ever met one at a time.

                  Hoplite dug into his pocket to examine the small wad of bills he'd changed out his dollars for, marveling at the bright colors. He'd always found American money to be drab and utilitarian, almost aggressively so. He lifted the bills to his nose and delicately sniffed them. These ones held the same emotional residue, despite the appearance. Though there were notes of despair, he had always liked money. It was a creature that existed because an awful lot of people believed in it. From what he had been told, belief and expectation were a big part of doing magic. Maybe that's why he felt it easy to imbue it.

                  He took out all the coins and several of the smaller bills and closed his eyes, focusing his will. A lot of his teachers had hand gestures and Awesome Words of Obvious Power, but Hoplite for whatever reason felt he hadn't earned the right to use them yet, or even make up his own. He delicately wove a skein of space and mind together around the money, with a touch of prime, swearing at his clumsiness after the first few attempts. Finally he felt he had it right and let it settle. He wondered if the long flight had made it difficult to do something he'd done dozens of times before.

                  He rolled down the window, and once every block he passed, he threw a coin or a small bill out the window, until all he was left with was a disappointingly small bundle of larger bills.

                  As he closed his eyes and concentrated, he envisioned himself in a large warehouse. He threw an electrical switch that would've brought Igor to orgasm, bringing up the lights. Hoplite smiled as his mental clerks and porters began their workday. He walked to the desk in the center just as the first vacuum tube delivered a message.

                  "Katie Porter just found 50 cents on the street! Maybe mum will lend her more for candy."

                  "Alec James Johnston found a dollar under the edge of a dustbin. Only 200,000 more like this and he could quit his shitty job."

                  Hoplite's wooden chair creaked as he leaned back in it and waited for an interesting message. Raw spikes of jagged fear. Disbelieving wonder. The tingle of someone with a Nimbus.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    The week before Saturday April 5th, 2003
                    Auckland, New Zealand


                    "Hey Hei. Wake up."

                    Hei slapped away the cold fingers that invaded the back of her neck and rubbed furiously to recover body heat. It was no use. The shock blew away all comforts of near slumber, and she sat up grumbling and rubbed her groggy eyes. Hannae let out a grudging yawn and glared at the smirking lady whose gloved hand steam off fresh freezer air.

                    Damn it

                    It was nothing compared to having water splashed on your bed, but hell it was still annoying. Hei let out a sigh.

                    "Look. I worked my ass off running around yesterday going everywhere your majesty wished me to go while you were having sitting in front of a computer checking off possibly-Seer-stuff as not-Seer-stuff."

                    Miss Watson gave her a bored look.

                    "I know you watched a Doctor Who marathon while I was sleeping, and don't tell me you're trying to study up on Time. I already told you, time isn't some wibbly wabbly timey wimey stuff. And besides, you wouldn't know the trouble of trying to pry apart a magical firewall. MAGICAL. FIREWALL. Now get off the bed. I know you can wake up far earlier than this."

                    Hei rolled her eyes. It wasn't her fault that she got addicted to the rubbish in the first place. She rolled off of bed and went to get changed and ready for the day.

                    10 minutes later, Hei was pouring herself a bowl of cereal when Miss Watson brought down her computer down and sat down next to her.

                    "I have a new assignment for us."

                    Hei groaned. "They got a new lead already? Can't they give us a break already? I mean, it's nice that they're cracking down on business, but geez."

                    "No. It's something else. There's someone who's coming here to join the Free Council"

                    Hei's eyes widened. "Well shit. Isn't it pretty bad timing for that?"

                    Miss Watson nodded solemnly. "Yes. Apparently he was promised settled down protection by a Free Council member a week ago, here no less. According to the report, he developed an exceptional control over the Awakened arts while homeless and without proper mentor. He asked now because he was recently hospitalized by a Demon attack."

                    "Must be pretty smart and tough. Not that I would know." Hei chuckled. "So what's his name?"

                    "Hoplite. It's a shadow name."

                    "What kind of name is that?"

                    "It's a title for an Anciet Greek spearman."

                    "Well that sounds boring. Kind of dorky too."

                    Miss Watson raised an eyebrow, "And this is coming from someone who named herself after an anime electric batman?"

                    Hei looked up from the swirling spoon in her bowl. "Hey, don't judge. The only reason nobody seems to know that you picked up a fanfiction name because you're not partner with some genius crackhead detective." Hei relished the glimpse of red on her cheeks.

                    "I was Awakened far earlier than you, and it's not a fanfiction name." Miss Watson glared intensely at Hannae's smirk. She coughed loudly. "Anyway, that's definitely, definitely not important. What's important is that I was told by a friend from the Free Council about this, and he was worried. Obadiah wants me, no us, to look after this."

                    "What, he wants us to host a welcome party?"

                    "No, he wants us to screen him."

                    A silence hung heavily as the implications began to dawn on Hei.

                    "... you think this new dude could be a Seer?"

                    "No higher ups in the Consilium would trust the Free Council right now to handle a job like this, not after one of them turned out to be a Seer spy. And his profile is too unusual. A mage who's not just competent but skilled turning up out of nowhere to join an Order? With no discernible mentors? Obadiah believes the other Orders is going to refuse ANY tests and turn him away, or even hunt him down. I'm the only one with the position high to qualify for an assignment like this that he trusts."

                    Hei tapped her finger on the table in contemplation.

                    "What happens to the guy if we don't?"

                    This question surprised Miss Watson. But then again.

                    "Well ... he said Hoplite spent all his remaining money to get here. That's why Obadiah was worried. He would have nowhere to go. It could be a pity ploy, it could be not. Even Obadiah wouldn't have risked letting him in if it weren't from a request from a dear friend of his."

                    Hei stared at Miss Watson's casted down look. She sighed and said, "Well, what's stopping you?"

                    Miss Watson nervously darted her eyes. "I could fail. Then we would be responsible for letting a traitor leak in."

                    Hei smiled. "Kate, you won't fail. I'm really dumb compared to you. Hell, even my younger siblings were smarter than me. But that doesn't mean I don't know that you are incredible at this. Not just the best mage I know, but one of the best. Besides, if you could pry apart a MAGICAL firewall, you could pry apart his firewall too."

                    Miss Watson stifled a chuckle at the last comment. She couldn't help but feel like her nagging worries was lifted from her chest.

                    "Ok then. He's coming next week. We'll get Lily to pick him up. I have an idea on how to do this..."


                    Ooc: I may reference some things that was made after 2003. Sorry. Just noticed that.
                    Ooc: May I change my Virtue/Vice? Now that i've written this out, I feel like I understand my character better.
                    Last edited by egreham; 02-19-2014, 11:02 PM. Reason: didn't like "Master of Prime" as reason.

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                    • #55
                      Doolittle smiles at Dzarûmazh.

                      'I am not ambitious at all,' she slurs, utterly unconvincingly. 'I am but a humble servant of the Awakened Nation and the Sleepers that it serves.

                      'But your advice, your statements, have the ring of truth to them. Veiled truth, en-riddled truth, truth that - due to your nature - I am sure that you cannot avoid hiding under layer after layer of obfuscating metaphor and rhetoric. I am, quite frankly, too tired to continue questioning you while maintaining my good senses, and stopping you from tricking me into making a deal with you. I know enough that asking for clarification of a prophecy would be a bad idea, even if you could do so - it would only begin to corrode and unpick the information that you have given me. The information is sufficient.'

                      She shifts tone, her voice subtly suggesting that their business is coming to an end.

                      'And so … you have performed your service commendably, Dzarûmazh. I will not thank you; to do so would be to imply a debt, an obligation, a favour owed from me to you, and you would only turn that into another way to steal my soul, or some similar frightful fairytale fate. Instead, let us just say that you have fulfilled your obligation to the Watchtower of the Lunargent Thorn by coming here and offering information to me, its proxy.

                      'And now … I give you leave to return to Arcadia.'

                      She concentrates, trying hard to push past the fuzz of mental static that's crowding in around the edges of her vision. This is the hardest part of the spell. She has broken the world to allow the Gentry here, and that seems to have been fairly successful, but now she'll need to seal the wound, allowing Dzarûmazh to return across the abyss, without letting any of it in again. She makes a shoo-ing gesture at the draconic fae, to his great annoyance, gesturing him to the middle of the circle, and then begins to close the gate. It doesn't want to close - she can feel a conscious pressure from the other side trying to arrest her progress, to turn it back, and re-open the gate, but she manages it, with an expenditure of mana and at the cost of a splitting pain behind her eyelids.

                      She rocks back on her heels in glee. That … that had been an audacious ritual, but it had worked damnit, it had worked. Now who was going to call her hubristic, who was going to scorn her -


                      - and then, without warning, she just goes. A searing paint shoots through the inside of her skull, and her legs buckle underneath her. She's unconscious before she even hits the floor. Durandal clatters to the ground, and her orb goes rolling off into a darkened corner of the room. The last thing she remembers before falling into a fitful, troubled insensate state is Serendip and Ammavaru, wreathed in the ties of fate, rushing to her side.

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                      • #56
                        Scar pulled his car over at the scene. Today he drove himself. He always preferred to drive when he was doing serious buisness. It suited his character, his meticulous nature. Slamming the car door closed he observed the scene. He was in the countryside, birds could be heard chirping in the distance, broken glass still littered the road and the blood stains from the deer impact were still visible, even if the carcass had already been moved. Scar took a moment to confirm the absence of any prying eyes before focusing on the arcane, activating his primal sight.
                        Things where as expected. The majority of the arcane energies had long since faded, leaving behind a few lingering traces. It seems likely that the deer was influenced, that space perhaps was manipulated. Neither were forties for Scar, his knowledge that they were manipulated was the extent of information he was likely to gleam from his mage sight.

                        Fortunately for Scar he had other methods. He focused his attention and brought the imago to bare in his mind, he felt the supernatural rush as his vision pierced through the vial of worlds. The Twilight was not far removed from the material world, but it was distinctly different as well. It was the realm of death, of spirits and most importantly, ghosts.

                        Scar walked across the road to where the car now sat, in full repair, as if the accident had never occurred. It was ethereal of course, a ghost of the machine, it was uncommon for new things to leave ghosts, someone must have loved it very much Scar supposed. What was more important to him was the occupant. A groggy looking Seer who still clutched a gun in his hand, while a small hole in his head continued to ooze.. fluids.

                        The ghost glanced up towards Scar with annoyed scrawl “what the fuck do you want, cant you see him busy here?”

                        “Clearly. If dying was your main aim then I’m proud to say you achieved it.” Scar opened the car door before climbing in beside the ethereal corpse. “Now you and I are going to have a little chat.”
                        Last edited by MysticJackal; 01-20-2014, 03:17 AM. Reason: Double post

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                        • #57
                          Willow sat in front of her computer, dressed down in plain blue jeans and a short sleeved shirt, muttering quietly as she browsed airline website after website. They needed to be in New Zealand and couldn't afford to delay. She gave the wall beside her desk a solid thump as the volume of her room mates stereo increased.
                          As far as her room mate Elizabeth was concerned, Willow was a legal secretary, spending long hours in the office and being stuck working weekends. Willow had also subtly hinted about more then just a working relationship with her boss. The things she did in order to keep the sleepers out of her business.

                          "Can you keep that down please?" Willow called out.
                          "But it's their new album! I simply HAVE to listen to this full volume or it doesn't feel right!" was the muffled reply.
                          A lack of Force arcana was the only thing stopping her frying the stereo right then and there...and definitely made her considering finding a Master in the near future.

                          Fishing out her credit card, Willow quickly booked in, and printed off the two tickets for Scar and herself. Shortly afterwards she booked out their rental car. A black 2 seater soft top BMW. Scar would probably complain about her choice of vehicle, but when he does the booking, he can choose.
                          Picking up her phone she flicked a quick text away to Scar, detailing their flight plans. They would have to drive several hours to get to their destination after they landed, but apparently the scenery in New Zealand was worth admiring.
                          At least she had a connection to her apartment. If the desire for Taco Bell was ever overwhelming then it was only a portal away.

                          "I sure hope these chess pieces aren't a hoax. I'm sick of chasing those" she complained under her breath before packing a travel bag.
                          Last edited by Ashreyel; 01-20-2014, 03:17 AM.

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                          • #58
                            The combined sea and and city smells were intoxicating as Hoplite brought himself out of his mental warehouse. Lilly had rolled down the window and he was startled to find that he had done the same on his side without being conscious of it. After driving in circles downtown to find parking she pulled up in front of a hostel downtown with an orange sign that helpfully said "Backpackers". Lilly smiled brightly at him as he climbed out of the car onto the curb. He didn't need any kind of special sight to feel the curiosity emanating from her. Not quite certain how to handle the pleasant young mage, he leaned over and returned her smile.

                            “I don't have much to pay you with. I don't suppose you take blood sacrifices or declarations of vassal-hood, do you?”

                            Lilly's smile took now looked slightly worried.

                            Stellar, he thought.

                            Then, he remembered that Blood Sacrifices were Actually a Real Fucking Thing, and that there were groups where being a vassal was considered a meaningful moniker of office.

                            Lilly politely shook her head. “You can owe me a favor. I'll let Miss Watson and Hei know where they can find you.”

                            Hoplite watched her car putter off into the distance, while he considered what he was going to do next. He was in a brand new city, with next-to-no resources of any sort, an empty belly, and close to exhaustion. The hostel suddenly went from looking adequate to downright amazing, in his opinion. He picked up his duffel bag and strode inside.

                            A Dude awaited him.

                            Fortunately, it did not appear to be a particularly dangerous Dude. Just, very Dude-like. The Platonic Ideal of a Dude.

                            Hoplite smiled tiredly.

                            “Names Hop. $35 a night sounds nice. I've got a sheet. Cheap Beach Vacation. I don't smoke.”, he said.

                            The Dude blinked owlishly at him for a moment, and shook his blonde dreadlocks, before responding “Hey man what's your... it'll be thir... uh... no laundry.... why...no... smoking?”

                            Hoplite smiled and pushed the bills across the desk.

                            The Dude reached behind himself and handed him the key to a room, never taking his eyes off him.

                            Hoplite took the key and retired to the room he would be sharing with three other strangers.

                            He opened his duffel bag and looked inside sadly. His meager possessions barely filled half the bag. He had a change of clothes, a small diary full of drawings, a deck of cards, and a brass letter opener that had taken no small amount of trickery to get through airport security. He pulled out the letter opener and began cleaning under his fingernails with it as he thought. It had become something of a meditative habit for him. He started making a mental list of things that he knew.

                            There were Free Councilors here in Auckland, ostensibly they would give him some sort of proper induction into their ranks. He'd quite liked the attitude of the ones he'd met so far.

                            There were other groups of Mages. They ranged from mysterious to terrifying. The Free Councilors had some sort of loose association with some of them. They could be dangerous, but they were still people, not Gods. Hoplite felt capable enough that if it became problematic, there were few people on Earth that could trap him or run him to ground. Still, he had survived this long through what he called Judicious Application of Courage. He didn't see any great reason to change that tactic.

                            His monetary breadcrumbs hadn't turned up any major hidden dangers or threats, which was pleasant, though a dockworker felt some sort of existential unease while unpacking large crates from a cargo ship. He should probably look into that.

                            He climbed onto his bunk and lied down, closing his eyes and opening his mind, making sure he left it unshielded. It was a Judo trick he had adapted. Rather than wasting a lot of energy blocking people, he had found success in drawing them in and redirecting them in the direction they thought they wanted to go. He knew it was just a trick, however, and that he'd have to work on a proper shield someday.

                            He hoped that Miss Watson, Hei, and the road ahead were nice.

                            The road behind hadn't been, so far.

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                            • #59
                              As Hoplite pondered his future, Psychos, the powerful Silver Ladder Hierarch of Auckland, was meeting his city's sentinel in a secret meeting rooms. The matter was urgent. A Seer had been captured, When his apartment was searched, evidence exposing many members of the Consillium as sleeper agents for Seers of the Thrones was found. Psychos listened to his sentinel silently. After a moment, he said, "We must deal with them at once."

                              The sentinel cautiously replied, "Sir, the evidence might be false. After all, I can hardly believe that the Adamant Sage is a Seer agent! And some of these other names are only slightly less fantastic. No, this could all be a trick to cause our Consillium to fall apart."

                              Psychos grunted. "There is a slim chance this might be the case. I will have to ponder what should be done. I expect complete secrecy on this."

                              "Of coarse," promised the sentinel before leaving Psychos to his thoughts.
                              Last edited by Cire; 01-22-2014, 08:34 PM. Reason: Linking

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                              • #60
                                Ignoring Scar's complaints about her choice of vehicle, Willow set off through the streets of Auckland. Her goal was to get out of the city as quickly as possible and on the open road. She had been having a long and interesting discussion with her Astral selves and come to the conclusion that Napier sounded like a lovely place to visit. Unfortunately having landed in Auckland meant a wee bit of a drive. maybe she should stop for some music, and lunch would be good...wonder what the coffee's like he...

                                She snapped out of her daydream just in time to avoid a taxi pulling wildly out on to her side of the road. Flattening the horn against her palm she considered going for the handgun stashed in the glovebox. Shooting a look at Scar, daring him to make another snide comment she smoothly accelerated past the taxi and on to the busy highways, making her way out of town and in to the countryside.

                                She had to admit, It was a surprisingly relaxing place to visit. A lot less cars, far less people, and the air was so much cleaner, fresher even. Maybe once everything was sorted out here she'd see if she could get transferred over permanently. Unless everything went to shit of course.

                                Pulling off the main highway, Willow drove down various side streets at Scar's direction. The houses on either side getting more and more disheveled as they continued. Eventually stopping in front of a run down state owned house, with a large steel gate and growling rottweilers.
                                Willow watched as Scar walked in past the gate carrying nothing but a large leather briefcase, completely unfazed by the dogs, and up to the main door. Knocking and waiting for a minute before gaining access.
                                Returning a few minutes later he handed Willow a small pendant. Gold with a tiny ruby set in the center, on a fine gold chain, and orders to keep it on, and safe. She noticed the missing briefcase, but something in the back of her mind strongly suggested that inquiring about it may not be the wisest move.

                                Following yet more instructions from Scar, Willow started the car up again, and continued on to their next destination. She realised, and mentioned, that Napier was in the complete opposite direction, but apparently Scar had some business to attend to first.

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