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[IC] [Mage: the Awakening 2E] The Supernal Suburbia

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  • Ragnar
    "Those are excellent questions that need longer answers," Mathias replies, "but I'll try to do my best.

    "I joined the Silver Ladder because I wanted to be a part of something that helped make the world and mage society better. I realized that if I could dedicate my life to helping others Awaken, and help new mages find their way, that it would give me a sense of fulfillment and meaning,"
    Mathias shares. "Our Order tries to expose Sleepers to kernels of Supernal truth. The theory is that it helps nudge them towards seeing the truth and Awakening."

    "I actually think we've seen you before, Binder," Valentine chimes in. "Mathias came and dropped off some books at your store that had some rituals and theory about Supernal magic."

    Mathias chuckles. "Yes, that's right. Valentine insisted on coming because he wanted to make sure I didn't expose anything too serious or let anything into the wrong hands."

    Valentine shrugs. "The Guardians are tasked with keeping magic secret and safe, and ensuring that it is used appropriately. Anyone can make a mistake and overreach, potentially releasing a Paradox or even allowing an Abyss to enter into this world. Anyone." His eyes focus on Mathias for a moment. "The Silver Ladder have been guilty of this often, but they are usually well-intentioned and I trust you, Mathias. The Guardians make sure people use magic responsibly, for the safety of all. And they work to find and stop any who might intentionally cause Paradox to further the Lie or their own means."

    Boomer sits up straighter and chimes in. "I actually joined the Arrow because I was told I couldn't," she smirks. "I came up with my Shadow Name shortly after I Awakened and I was...a bit of an ass, honestly. My mentor at the time said it would be a terrible fit, but something about the challenge made it seem fun." Her smirk becomes softer, almost nostalgic. "When I tried to join, I was really stubborn. I wanted to prove that I had the perseverance and courage, the strength. But what I actually learned was discipline. The Arrows have an incredibly important calling, to safeguard not just our societies but our truths. By mastering ourselves, we master the Supernal, because they're so intricately linked."


    Boomer
    You will your Imago into place, drawing on Prime to unlock the Truth of each mage here. You feel and visibly see the connection each has to the Supernal, and put a personal experience to each of the verbal descriptions you've heard from the mages here. The Shields of Dawn seem equally skilled in their raw mastery of magic, all quite stronger than the other new mages whom you met today.

    As you cast your spell using your tattoos, Boomer leans forward and looks at you curiously. "Whoa, did you just use your tattoos to power your magic? That's wicked," she grins.

    At your question, Mathias frowns and shakes his head slowly, then looks to Valentine, who also shakes his head. "No, I haven't heard of anyone by that name. But plenty of people have their secrets, and some might use another name or identity for safety reasons. Why do you ask?"

    Paths all match as described above. Mathias, Valentine and Boomer are all currently Gnosis 3. Everyone else is Gnosis 1.


    My Games
    Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller

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    • Moonstone
      Peripheral Sight | Spells: None [Wards and Signs, Potency 5, scene]
      Conditions: Divergent (Active), Fabled, Guilty, Abyssal Backlash (+1)
      Health: LL
      BBOO | Willpower: 0/8 | Mana: 1/10 | Beats: 1/5 | Arcane Beats: 0/5



      Valentine seems to have been stymied by Moonstone's ward. "If I may ask, where did you find that staff?"

      Moonstone turns it over in his hands. "On the ground in a dark alley. It's probably filthy. Tch." He glances up at Valentine. "It's from the Highstorm."

      Boomer studies him. "I feel like I've seen you before," she says. "Do I know you from somewhere?"

      He gives her a little professional smile. "Seen, but not heard. I'm Moonstone, Hakim's Sleepwalker. I used to serve the Knights of Alhambra. I was hoping you would say something, Boomer." Because I'm super vain.

      Intelligence+Politics (Consilium), 5 dice: 1 success.

      That should be at -1 from wound penalties, but it would still succeed. I assume Moonstone's bashing damage recovers over the next while.


      He knows of the Shields of Dawn, but he's never been their guest like this. Much as he wants to process his grief by getting blackout drunk, this doesn't seem like the right time. He just requests a mixed drink from Valentine to be polite.

      "I would've brewed a pot of coffee if I had known Mathias was preparing a lecture," Valentine jokes. Moonstone fake-laughs, also to be polite. That's the closest he comes to acknowledging or making eye contact with Mathias for the next hour or so. He just sits in a big comfy armchair, closes his eyes and lets his aches and pains recede. He doesn't add anything during the explanation of The Truth About The World, just sits quietly and enjoys the experience of watching other people learn. He doesn't have a cat to pet, so he runs his fingers along the warm rune-carved staff instead. It feels good.

      ---

      Well, he does say one thing. After Mathias explains the nature of the Fallen World, Moonstone (eyes still closed) speaks up in a quiet voice. "Here's a brain-teaser for you: the Supernal World is the source of the Fallen World. All true things originate in the Supernal. But the Supernal can only act by manifesting in the Fallen; for example, by the Awakening. The Fallen World contains good and virtuous things, but it also contains evil and impure things. Does that make the Supernal World complicit in evil?"

      It's a riddle Hakim taught him years ago, in circulation among the Diamond Orders for centuries. Sort of a koan, although it derives from a Neo-Confucian philosophical problem rather than Zen. There is no right answer, but debate and reconsideration of the question is meant to increase Gnosis and cultivate Wisdom.

      ---

      He's calmer and in less pain by the time Boomer chimes in, but he's still worn down to the bone. "There's been a lot going on here in Chicago lately. We could fill you in on some things that have happened very recently," she offers.

      He's still quiet when he answers her, but direct. "I heard Cielo and her sisters made a play for the Hierarchy. What does that mean for us?"

      ---


      Question from Phoenix:"Do you guys know about a mage named Anubis?"

      Thinking out loud: "How many mages named Anubis do you think there are in the United States alone? It has to be up there with like, Loki. Or Shadow. Actually- how do you know a mage, Phoenix? Were you part of this world too?"

      ---

      Question from Ragnar: "When you introduced yourself to us, you called yourself an Arrow. How did you know about them if you were newly Awakened?"

      Moonstone smiles with nostalgia, the bittersweet variety. "My soul is precious to the Oracles. Because of them, I could see and remember magic since the day I was born. People thought I was crazy."

      Completely deadpan pause, uncomfortable silence. "That's a joke, you can laugh."

      "There are other people like me. Walking in our Sleep. Many of us are drawn to the Orders, if we discover them. Some of us Awaken, but we're very useful regardless. Someone has to chalk the summoning circle, translate the grimoire from Classical Chinese, boil the eye of newt, deal with the cops. It's worth it to be around true magic. You can't go back to a normal life once you've seen it. I know many other Sleepwalkers in Chicago who feel the same, but everyone's experience is different."

      "I'm older than I look. I've served mages...probably since before Ragnar knew how to read. My master was Hakim, a Thunderbolt Guardian of the Adamantine Arrow. He, um, seems to have been killed in the Deathstorm."


      ---

      Rapid change of topic before that settles in. Valentine said earlier, "There's also the matter of the Highstorms, and the objects they provide."

      Moonstone lifts the staff. "I'm familiar, but you may want to edify the others. Hakim had a shadow-cloak from a Highstorm, but this weapon is new to me. I don't remember anything that happened in the other world. How does one learn to...activate it? What's the approach? Is there a spell, or does it have to be Scrutinized with Prime? Is it cursed? Did it exist somewhere in the Fallen World before it appeared in the alley, or did it just spontaneously pop into being?"

      ---


      He's been listening carefully when Valentine talks about the Guardians and Paradox. He's heard it before in broad strokes, but it makes more sense after today. He leans in and speaks carefully to him: "Listen, Warlock to Warlock...I have some questions about the Deathstorm. Burning questions. Don't apologize, just be frank. Do we know how many mages died? And...when that many people die, all at once, all from the same thing...does Sympathy arise from that spontaneously? Or did all of them die alone? I feel this need, the idea is in my mind, but I only knew Sympathy academically until now."

      Trying to advance my Obsession here, if possible.
      Last edited by Caladriu; 10-08-2016, 04:09 PM.


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      • LYNX
        Active Sight: None
        Active Spells: None
        Willpower: 0/5. Mana: 6/10
        Conditions/Tilts: Inspired
        Beats: 1 - Arcane Beats: 0







        Lynx has settled on the floor, leaning on a wall, in the mood of a flat surface to rest upon. He closes his eyes and keeps his ears on the conversation. He draws it all in.

        Orders. Paths. Arcana. Cabals.

        So tired...

        Hakim. Anubis. Cielo. Arrows. Exposing people to magic. Protecting mundane folks - Sleepers, was it? - Building discipline. Sympathy. Highstorms. Deathstorm.

        "Ah..." Lynx sighs as he opens his eyes and looks up. "Mathias, and Valentine, and Boomer...what do you think of the other Orders? I guess you wanted to give us an objective overview, but... what do you think when you meet a Libertine? Or a Mysterium member? What about another Mastigos? Or...or a Thyrsus?"

        "Oh! Right, you mentioned Highstorms and objects!" His voice perks up as he reaches for his pocket. There, he pulls out the round pebble. "After we woke up, I had this in my pocket...whatever it is. With Mathias finding us and all the chaos around that... that Gulmoth thing, I forgot about it until now."

        He holds it up to the light, studying it for the very first time. He then glances at everybody expectantly, though something else washes over him - not a chill, more like... ... He rubs his beard quietly, and when he speaks his voice is softer.

        "I don't suppose you also have a Thyrsus nearby? Only I can't relate to anyone of you in that... well. That way, I guess? All about the Time and Mind and Prime and... Here I feel more like a ... dog. Or bear, or...any animal, really."

        He glances down at the floor for a moment, looking vulnerable and weak.



        Last edited by Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon; 10-09-2016, 07:24 AM.


        Character Sheet: Oscar "Lynx" Dalgren

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        • OOC: This scene will last long enough that your bashing rounds will all heal. Go ahead and mark them as healed as of now.
          Moonstone
          Boomer's face falls at the mention of Hakim. She has a look of recognition on her face as you describe yourself, though, and a look of surprise blends in with sadness. "I thought your name sounded familiar...Despite what the théarchs say about Sleepwalkers being closer to Awakening than Sleepers, I can't help but be surprised when I hear of one Awakening. Hakim was a skilled willworker and respected colleague. I know he had...complicated relationships with his cabal recently, but he was a member of my Order. His death is a great loss."

          Valentine has a different reaction; he now gives you a measuring look with furrowed eyebrows. He says nothing, however.

          Mathias interjects to provide more context. "As I was explaining earlier, the Hierarch is the highest ranking official in Mage society among a local Consilium. In a very unorthodox move, Cielo garnered enough political leverage to convince the previous Atlas, a Mystagogue Obrimos and then Hierarch, to step down in favor of her."

          Boomer nods and continues, "I'm not sure what impact it will have yet. Consilium politics aren't exactly my strength," she smirks. "But I do know that it has drawn a lot of attention to the Adamantine Arrow. And Cielo and her cabal, Medianoche, have personally led raids on half a dozen cabals engaging in unsavory practices...things like summoning Abyssal entities," she scowls.

          Turning to Moonstone specifically, she says, "Just to be blunt, but you need to know that you're not technically an Arrow, even though you have served Hakim. You still need to pass the formal initiation tasks. Everyone does. I'm sorry."

          After Boomer answers more of your questions, Valentine speaks up. "Well, if you ignore the possibility of the curse, you can experiment with it by trial and error. But it is indeed safer to Scrutinize with Prime, or an Unveiling Prime spell. But the latter tends to be difficult to work consistently because of the nature of the objects; the spells sometimes just...fail," he shrugs. "The items do seem to come from another dimension. Mystagogues believe that they come from another dimension from a time before the Fall, but most have no memory of their time in the Highstorms, or perhaps a few fleeting images at best.

          "What I do know, though, is that whoever finds them seems to have some kind of sympathetic connection to the item. Which is why I'm confused."
          Without looking, Valentine points over to Lynx's pocket, just before he pulls the pebble out and reveals it. "That young man has a sympathetic link to that item. Ragnar has a link to another one on his person." The corner of his lips twitch into a hint of a smile. "But that staff has a sympathetic link to Phoenix. It's not really my business -- Cielo has made it clear that artifact recovery and claims should be at the discretion of the mages involved, preferably by Duel Arcane if not by verbal agreement -- but I find it interesting.

          "As for the Deathstorm, Cielo announced that there were 32 deaths. Including a few Masters."
          He pauses to let that sink in. Boomer and Mathias shift uncomfortably. "I...actually believe that what you suggest could be possible. And there is some rumor that that might be true, that the deaths are somehow all related. But the Council is still investigating the deaths, and even outside of them, many are...uncomfortable discussing the Deathstorm." From his tone, you can tell that he is one of them.

          I will still award the Arcane Beat because you're doing everything you can at this moment to learn more.


          Lynx
          The Shields of Dawn look relieved for a chance to change the subject. Mathias is the first to reply. "It's a great question, but a pretty broad one that's hard to answer quickly or exhaustively. In short, I think the three of us have a little more positive opinions of the other Orders, because our cabal was built on collaboration across Paths and Orders. Obviously, there are stereotypes and tensions between the groups, and it's different in every Consilium around the world. I think you'll find that the Mystagogues are still upset about their Hierarch being pressured to step down, and the Free Council have been struggling with some of their humanitarian efforts downtown due to lingering fears about the Deathstorm. The Silver Ladder and Guardians have been at odds with each other a bit more, but some of us still get along just fine," he grins at Valentine.

          As soon as you ask about a Thyrsus mage, the three experienced mages all stop talking or moving. There is a long, awkward silence, and Mathias looks overcome with grief. Valentine leans towards him and tries to whisper to him, but Mathias shakes his head and briskly walks from the room, with Valentine right behind him.

          Boomer is quiet, and she looks choked up. She coughs to clear her throat. "We...We lost two of our cabal members in the Deathstorm. Our Thyrsus and Moros mages. I'm sorry." She seems at a loss for words.


          My Games
          Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller

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          • Moonstone
            Peripheral Sight | Spells: None [Wards and Signs, Potency 5, scene]
            Conditions: Divergent (Active), Fabled, Guilty, Abyssal Backlash (+1)
            Health: LL
            OOOO | Willpower: 0/8 | Mana: 2/10 | Beats: 1/5 | Arcane Beats: 1/5






            "I thought your name sounded familiar...Despite what the théarchs say about Sleepwalkers being closer to Awakening than Sleepers, I can't help but be surprised when I hear of one Awakening. Hakim was a skilled willworker and respected colleague. I know he had...complicated relationships with his cabal recently, but he was a member of my Order. His death is a great loss."

            "Believe me, no one is more surprised than me. We gave up hope years ago."

            Moonstone nods along with the rest of Boomer's words. "Thank you. And his cabal...Wisdom is relative, and that is all I will say on that for now. I want to break the news to the Knights personally, if they'll meet me. I would be grateful if you would mention me to them."

            The news about the political shakeup makes him pensive. "I respect Cielo's decisiveness. I know I'm speaking above my station, but I think this is a mistake. The third precept of the Adamant Way: 'Service is Mastery.' An Arrow should not sit in the Hierarch's seat. There are different ways of being a strong leader."

            "Just to be blunt, but you need to know that you're not technically an Arrow, even though you have served Hakim. You still need to pass the formal initiation tasks. Everyone does. I'm sorry."

            That stings. But he just doesn't have the energy to argue, and it's not Boomer's decision anyway. He bows his head. "No, I understand. I'll prove my worth along with everyone else."

            As for the magic items, a bit of intrigue. "But that staff has a sympathetic link to Phoenix. It's not really my business -- Cielo has made it clear that artifact recovery and claims should be at the discretion of the mages involved, preferably by Duel Arcane if not by verbal agreement -- but I find it interesting."

            Oof. That's disappointing. Moonstone looks over at Phoenix, keeping the staff jealously close."Well- I thought I wielded it well. Let's start by learning what it does, and decide on the details later."

            The Duel Arcane. There's an idea. He's been a spectator, even served as a courier to deliver a challenge or two- Hakim was a somewhat infamous duelist- but to compete himself? He never imagined. Hell of a way to avenge an insult. Hmm.

            "I...actually believe that what you suggest could be possible. And there is some rumor that that might be true, that the deaths are somehow all related. But the Council is still investigating the deaths, and even outside of them, many are...uncomfortable discussing the Deathstorm."

            Talking about the Deathstorm with someone who knows, rather than just turning it over and over in his own head, fills him with purpose. It's a rush. He's obsessed, but he's getting somewhere with it. "It hurts me, too. But it's not going anywhere. I Awakened to Pandemonium when I couldn't hide anymore. I'm not going to turn away now."

            ---

            Muttered: "Let's hold off on the magic pebble for right now, Lynx."

            Tension. Death. Mathias is overcome, Valentine leaves with him. Moonstone is...stressed the hell out. Am I supposed to feel sympathy for you? You think you're like me because you've known death too? He was able to keep the water of his mental pond still over the last hour, but now it's freezing and boiling and churning, and he can't keep his mind straight. He hadn't really thought about other people being victimized by the Deathstorm, left behind as survivors. Even if it is the logical next step from his Obsession.

            He doesn't say a word to Boomer, he just locks up and pulls his cap down over his eyes and digs in his messenger bag for his mirror, and gazes into the cracked reflection. It's half honest spellcasting and half nervous tension, obviously doing anything to keep his mind occupied.

            Two questions: The next time I fight the Duel Arcane, will I win? And also: Will I comfort Mathias in his grief?

            Praxis, Time 1 Divination. 1 reach on instant casting. Yes/no/irrelevant answers. Gnosis 1, Time 2, path tool +1, concentration +2, 6 dice: 1 success.

            Except I misused the Concentration yantra, so this is actually a failure. I'll make it a dramatic failure and take an Arcane Beat, because Moonstone (like Phoenix) is falling apart and just keeps striking out with Divination today.

            Also, I restored 1 Mana from hitting my Obsession.
            Last edited by Caladriu; 10-09-2016, 07:11 PM.


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            • RAGNAR
              Mage Sight: Peripheral
              Active Spells: None
              Conditions/Tilts: None
              Health: OOOOOOOO I WP: 0/4 I Mana: 6/10 I Wisdom: 7
              Beats: 2/5 I Arcane Beats: 2/5



              Ragnar continues to listen to the conversation, interjecting where he sees fit.

              "I joined the Silver Ladder because I wanted to be a part of something that helped make the world and mage society better."

              "I understand that," says Ragnar. ​"Looking at all those people, knowing they can never understand what I can see, what I can do..." He thinks back to the first few days after Awakened, and was coming to grips with the fact that he was virtually alone in a crowded world. The thought threatens to bring up memories from even further back, memories of college and frightened self-discovery and home, and Ragnar pushes them aside. He looks Mathias in the eye. "All of the Orders sound like they have valid methods and noble goals. But I hate the notion of allowing people to be ignorant when I can teach them. I taught Lynx how to use his Mage Sight, and what's the Lie but a form of ignorance that pervades the whole universe? I respect whatever decision you guys make," he says to his fellow Nameless, "but me? I think I favor the Silver Ladder."

              --

              "The Guardians make sure people use magic responsibly, for the safety of all. And they work to find and stop any who might intentionally cause Paradox to further the Lie or their own means."

              "I've risked Paradox before," he says. "I didn't understand what I was doing at the time, but today I've seen what Paradox can bring about. You're right, we Mages need to work our wills within our limits."

              Ragnar is going to make a Perception role to see if he can get any meaning from Valentine looking at Mathias when he mentioned Paradox and Abyssals. Wits 2 + Composure 2 = 4 dice -> sheesh, I just cannot catch a break.


              --

              When Phoenix casts his spell, Ragnar also leans forward. "Whoa. Are your tattoos your dedicated tools, then?" He produces his silver knife and holds it for everybody to see. "This was lying on the ground next to me when my Awakening ended."

              --

              Moonstone sits there and listens, until he speaks up and throws his riddle into the mix. "Well, isn't that the question of evil all over again? Except where theists have to answer it without proof of a higher power, and atheists have to answer it without allowing for a higher power, we Awakened know for a fact that the Supernal is real." He tilts his head a little and stares at a spot on the floor as he considers the crux of the question. "The notion that the Supernal is "complicit" in evil assumes that it's sentient, and not some sort of impersonal force. If it is sentient, then mustn't the Supernal permit evil to exist so that good may, too? One is the absence of the other. Everything in the world can only be truly understood, even defined, in the presence of its opposite."

              --

              The discussion of the Deathstorm deeply disturbs Ragnar. ​"During today's Highstorm, we," he gestures to himself and Lynx, "noticed that the hail had some sort of magical quality to it. I didn't know it then and I can't confirm it, but I think the hail may have been tainted with the Abyss. Did anybody notice similar phenomena during the Deathstorm?" 32. My god. Assuming there were a hundred mages in Chicago at the time, that's a one-in-three mortality rate. If work on unraveling the mystery of the Deathstorm hasn't already begun, he's going to make sure it does when he's more fully integrated into Chicago's Awakened society.

              --

              Valentine's words throw him off. No point lying about it. He produces the black-bladed knife from his pocket. "It looks like obsidian, but it's probably not. I was meaning to try and study it when things quieted down. I figured a life-and-death situation wasn't the best time to wave a strange artifact in people's faces and ask if they knew what it was." It's not really a lie; he really was going to try and figure it out on his own, and then bring it to somebody else if he got stumped.

              --

              Lynx's question brings a sudden stand-still to the conversation. Mathias becomes suddenly very upset, and walks off, and Valentine tries to comfort him.

              "We...We lost two of our cabal members in the Deathstorm. Our Thyrsus and Moros mages. I'm sorry."

              Ragnar looks at Boomer, and he no longer sees a romantic rival. He just sees a woman- a fellow mage- suffering from deep emotional pain. He suddenly feels like an ass- for the second time in a couple hours, after figuratively biting Moonstone's head off.

              He looks over at Lynx and touches his forearm in consolation. "Don't beat yourself up over it. How could you have possibly known?"
              Last edited by Haberdasher; 10-09-2016, 10:33 AM.


              Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

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              • Phoenix
                Peripheral Sight | Armor: None | Active Spell(s): None
                Health: LOOOOOO | WP: 1/5 | Mana: 3/10 | Wisdom: 7 (Understanding)
                Conditions: Grieving [Guilty] | Tilts: None




                "Whoa, did you just use your tattoos to power your magic? That's wicked,"

                "Whoa. Are your tattoos your dedicated tools, then?"

                "Oh! Um...yeah," I jolt a bit at the sudden words, then I gaze at my palms, "Uh, they burned in during my Awakening."

                I flashback to that moment. My death, the tattoos, my dead comrades.

                "How many mages named Anubis do you think there are in the United States alone? It has to be up there with like, Loki. Or Shadow. Actually- how do you know a mage, Phoenix? Were you part of this world too?"

                "Uhhh, kind of..." I trail off.

                Another flashback. Mom and dad. They loved each other so much. But they could never agree. Magic was good! Magic was bad! Magic was bad, bad, bad!!! Good magic didn't exist. Good magic had to leave...

                Answer the damn question, fuckwit! Wait, was that me, or-?

                "I was born with my eyes open to magic. I poked my nose here and there." Certainly the truth, just not the whole truth.

                -----

                "My soul is precious to the Oracles. Because of them, I could see and remember magic since the day I was born. People thought I was crazy."

                Magic is real! Oh yeah? Prove it! You're so stupid. Do you believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny, too? I can see it. What's it look like? Your mom? Punchs, kicks, bloody noses, black eyes, but none on me. You're suspended. But they-? Doesn't matter. Just stop pretending you can see magic and they'll stop picking on you.

                What...?

                "That's a joke, you can laugh."

                "Doesn't seem all that funny to me..."

                -----

                Everyone tries to solve Moonstone's riddle, but they seem to miss the point.

                "It's irrelevant," I answer, "The whole thing is based on an appeal to emotion. You want to believe that the Supernal is good by default..."

                Magic is good! I've seen it heal, bring people together, even create miracles.

                "..So when someone suggests the Supernal might not be, you wanna prove them wrong..."

                No, it isn't! Magic drives people crazy. It kills the people you care about, it maims everything you have, and leaves you a wreck without hands to pick up the pieces! Even if you try to use it for good, there's always a price! Always!!!

                "...But you can't, because the Supernal isn't good. Never was..."

                Good magic isn't real. So good magic had to leave. For you.

                It's always for you, isn't it?


                "...However, the same can be said for the Supernal being evil..."

                You were born of magic.

                "...It's only in how one wields it." I end my little rant.

                The dragon is but a mirror.

                -----

                "But that staff has a sympathetic link to Phoenix. It's not really my business -- Cielo has made it clear that artifact recovery and claims should be at the discretion of the mages involved, preferably by Duel Arcane if not by verbal agreement -- but I find it interesting."

                "Well- I thought I wielded it well. Let's start by learning what it does, and decide on the details later."

                "Wait, if it has a sympathetic link to me," putting two and two together from my earlier pep talk, "Then can't it be used to target me or something? I mean, that's how one's birth name works, doesn't it? I think it might be best if I keep it. Not saying you'd do anything bad with it, just...I'd feel more secure."

                Considering his track record with the Abyss, I don't want him having something connected to me if it's at all contagious. That, and it's generally unhealthy for me anyways I realize as I put a hand on one of the few remaining wounds.

                -----

                "We...We lost two of our cabal members in the Deathstorm. Our Thyrsus and Moros mages. I'm sorry."

                Flashback to my dead comrades. I died too, but why am I still alive? I wanna rest with them! WHY!!!? I failed them. I betrayed them, I was supposed to fight it, but I didn't. Dad didn't want this. You betrayed him, too. You made your mother leave, your father weep, and you killed your friends. You promised them you'd succeed, instead you died and turned yourself into a monster.

                HOW DARE YOU!!!


                Phoenix is trying his damnedest to keep his grief from showing

                Composure 2 - 1 Untrained Subterfuge = 1 die → 0 successes

                Make that a dramatic failure. He's breaking down.


                I can't help but let it out a little in the form of a sudden gasp and biting my fist. I stood up, I had to leave. "I just...gotta be alone now," I state as I quickly walk off to some other room. I let it all out there, screaming and punching the walls. Couldn't help myself.

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                • Moonstone
                  Boomer glances down the hallway to where you can all hear Mathias and Valentine quietly talking to each other, but the words are muted. She changes the subject in response to your questions, looking grateful for a chance to do so. "Moonstone, look...About the Arrows. Perhaps this is an opportunity. As a Sleepwalker, you fell in with an Order because of Hakim's influence. But as an Awakened mage, you have finally uncovered your true self. I think that truth may help guide you towards a greater mission, and while it's possible the Adamantine Arrow will still be the best organization to help you along with that...it might not be." Her words seem genuine, but you've come to expect that of many Arrows; the Knights of Alhambra, at least, seemed very open about many things -- during conversations you were privy to, anyway.

                  As you disengage from the others and withdraw into the comfort of your mirror, you attempt to dip your mind into the stream of Time. But the mirror shows nothing but a cracked reflection of your face, and dark clouds swirling around you. Your failure at learning the truth again is maddening.

                  Take an Arcane Beat for the dramatic failure. As a result, I'm giving you a custom condition:

                  Irritable. Like a lion lashing its tail and looking ready to pounce, your character is feeling on edge and thinking about lashing out. Small things that you might normally ignore or brush away have a tendency to get under your skin. Take -2 to Composure rolls.

                  Resolution: This Condition is resolved when your character's anger causes you to do something that you might later regret about yourself or someone else, such as saying or doing something that might cause harm to a significant relationship (e.g., spreading a negative rumor, breaking something you or someone else owns).

                  Beat: N/A.


                  Ragnar
                  You don't glean anything meaningful from the interaction between Valentine and Mathias before they leave. It seems like something anyone in this cabal might say about the Abyss. Valentine was most likely just trying to remind everyone of the risk of hubris for overreaching when casting spells.

                  I'll go with the suggestion for engaging in the Supernal riddle/philosophizing, as it's a neat idea. Take an Arcane Beat.


                  Boomer gives a small smile and nods at you as you reveal the obsidian knife in your pocket. "Wow, three items from your first Highstorm. Granted, most of the things people pull out of those portals aren't true artifacts in the strictest sense. Some are kind of like artifacts but much weaker, but they can still be handy as spellcasting tools." She looks around at the three objects and offers, "If you'll allow me, I can try to learn their function. It would take more effort to determine if they're cursed, and like Valentine said, it's an inexact science. But learning what they do may help you decide what to do with them. We didn't bring this up yet, but the Mysterium collects and catalogues these things. No one can force you to turn them in, but anyone who lets the Mysterium borrow the item for a time can receive some knowledge or a small favor; if you give it to them outright, you can get a bigger favor. Lots of mages use them as bargaining tools, even if they're not Mystagogues."

                  Boomer waits for permission, and then arranges the items in a small semi-circle in front of her. She holds her hands out with palms facing up and closes her eyes. You each sense a spell on your Periphery, and she tilts her head as if listening to something you can't perceive. After a moment, she opens her eyes and smiles.

                  "These each work like artifacts, but with fairly weak spell effects. This knife," she gives the blade carefully to Ragnar, "can be used to shape shadows. It seems like you need to draw the blade tip along some flat surface and 'draw' what you want to happen, and they'll animate. A Moros mage could also use it as a tool for casting."

                  Next, she turns to the small pebble and hands it to Lynx. "This is attuned to the Primal Wild, young Thyrsus, so you can use it as a basic Yantra -- a tool -- to fuel your casting. It also can mimic a Life Knowing spell that reveals living things nearby by speaking to it and setting it on the ground."

                  Finally, she holds the staff in both hands and gently returns it to Moonstone. "This staff is attuned to the Aether. It seems well-crafted, perhaps a little better than a normal staff as far as a weapon goes. But it also can allow the user to pierce active deceptions -- hear lies as they are spoken, or see through illusions -- by planting it on the ground with your hands."

                  She adds, "Honestly, the items are weak enough that the spell effects probably won't be that useful or reliable, but they are convenient at the least."

                  Here are the stats/descriptions of the items, now revealed to you via a Prime Unveiling spell:

                  Knife of Shadow (Artifact 1)
                  This small ritual knife has a hilt of steel and a blade of obsidian. Retrieved from a Highstorm by Ragnar. Contains the spell Shadow Sculpting (Death 1).

                  Gnosis: 1
                  Effective Arcana: 1
                  Mana: 2/2
                  Path Tool for Moros mages
                  Effect: Mold and shape existing shadows in the area of effect into any likeness of your choice. Activated by holding the knife and tracing the blade tip on a solid surface (e.g., wall, floor) to “draw” the desired effect (requires an instant action). 2 dice before spell factors. (Shadow Sculpting, 1 reach spent on instant casting.)

                  The knife can be used as a weapon with the same stats as a normal knife: +0L damage, -1 initiative, Strength 1, Size 1.


                  Living Stone (Artifact 1)
                  This is a small, round pebble that fits into the palm of your hand. It feels slightly warm to the touch. Retrieved from a Highstorm by Lynx. Contains the spell Web of Life (Life 1).

                  Gnosis: 1
                  Effective Arcana: 1
                  Mana: 2/2
                  Path Tool for Thyrsus mages
                  Effect: Detect the presence of any living things nearby, which can be specified by a category (e.g., “humans”, “insects”). Activated by speaking the desired target to the stone and setting it on the ground. 2 dice before spell factors. (Web of Life, 1 reach spent on instant casting.)


                  Staff of Truth (Artifact 1)
                  This long staff appears to be made of a pliable wood that is deceptively resilient. The surface of the staff is covered in intricate geometric runic carvings and feels slightly warm to the touch. Retrieved from a Highstorm by Phoenix. Contains the spell Pierce Deception (Prime 1).

                  The staff can be used as a weapon with the following stats: +1L damage, -1 initiative, Strength 2, Size 4. Special: +1 Defense bonus against opponents who are unarmed or wield weapons of Size 1; two-handed (+1 Strength required if wielding with one hand).

                  Gnosis: 1
                  Effective Arcana: 1
                  Mana: 2/2
                  Path Tool for Obrimos mages
                  Effect: Reveals “active” untruths that you can perceive (e.g., see through illusions, recognize fraud or lies). Activated by holding the staff with both hands and planting one end on the ground. 2 dice before spell factors. (Pierce Deception, 1 reach spent on instant casting.)


                  At the mention of the hail, Boomer nods slowly. "It's different with each storm, but many of the Highstorms we see have very odd weather patterns. And some of them carry that quality you're talking about...Something that reminds you of the Abyss. It tends to send spirits scattering, but some of the darker ones -- hate or violence spirits, or shadow spirits -- seem attracted to it. At least, that's how...that's how Orca, our Thyrsus friend, described it."


                  Phoenix
                  Your grief washes over you, threatening to drown you with sorrow. It's too much. You stand up abruptly and leave the room. You head down a hallway in the same direction as Mathias and Valentine, and find yourself in an empty sitting room. There are large bookshelves covering the wall, with hundreds and hundreds of texts that have old, worn binding. There are two more large, leather arm chairs and a padded footstool beside a small glass table with a vase of irises and lilies. You feel anger boiling inside of you along with the grief, and it kind of makes you want to just smash everything.

                  Take an Arcane Beat for the discussion on philosophy. You, too, gain the Irritable Condition described above, as well a a normal Beat for the dramatic failure on a mundane roll.


                  You hear Valentine and Mathias' voices drift into the room from an adjacent hallway. You can't quite make out all of the words, but you catch a few.

                  "...not your fault, Mathias." Valentine's voice sounds sad. "You warned..."

                  "Umbra at least should have..." Mathias sounds bitter, and his words are broken by long pauses. "Why? I told...storm coming...How did...?

                  You can roll Wits + Composure for a perception roll to see if you hear more. Everyone in the other room can attempt as well, but at a -2 penalty due to the distance.
                  Last edited by rwknoll; 10-10-2016, 08:32 AM.


                  My Games
                  Mage 2E: The Supernal Suburbia (IC / OOC) - Storyteller

                  Comment


                  • Moonstone
                    Peripheral Sight | Spells: None [Wards and Signs, Potency 5, scene]
                    Conditions: Divergent (Active), Fabled, Guilty, Abyssal Backlash (+1), Irritable
                    Health: LL
                    OOOO | Willpower: 0/8 | Mana: 2/10 | Beats: 1/5 | Arcane Beats: 2/5







                    Moonstone smiles at Ragnar and Phoenix's replies. Feels good to be the mentor for once. "There's no right answer, but approaching it helps. You think on it more as you develop Gnosis. It's like a pearl forming around a grain of sand."

                    "That being said- I've been considering it for years, and I feel like Phoenix right now. Maybe it helps to have a head start on magic." Playfully smug, preening, examining his nails.

                    ---

                    "Moonstone, look...About the Arrows. Perhaps this is an opportunity. As a Sleepwalker, you fell in with an Order because of Hakim's influence. But as an Awakened mage, you have finally uncovered your true self. I think that truth may help guide you towards a greater mission, and while it's possible the Adamantine Arrow will still be the best organization to help you along with that...it might not be."

                    Boomer is honest and frank, and it goes a long way toward making her words more palatable. "Why do the Awakened always say true self? Who was I until now? I thought I was free from the Lie."

                    It's rhetorical, the kind of thing Sleepwalkers debate after their duties. But he listens carefully. "I'll remember that. Thank you for your candor."

                    ---

                    He willingly passes the staff over with the others, lost in his reflection. Part of his awareness catches what Boomer says: (a tool for the Aether, of course it would be useless to him, but being able to see what's true and false would be very helpful...) He can always return to this memory if he wants more details.

                    Regarding the Highstorm and the Abyssal taint, he chimes in: "The hailstones burned out my Mana until Phoenix weather-warded me. And his ward disappeared when he passed through the portal. Physical contact with the black ice did it, not some ethereal curse- I could avoid it by hiding under an awning. But I was also resonant with Paradox at the time, no one else lost Mana. I'm fairly sure that sparked the reaction. I'm not a scientist, but maybe the source of the Abyssal taint was within the storm clouds themselves, where the hailstones formed. In the Fallen World, clouds are just cold air and water stuck together, but they also represent a Supernal symbol of storms and bad omens. Maybe the symbol of storms, itself, has been tainted in Chicago. The Chicago symbol for storms is clearly unique, I can promise you they don't have Highstorms in Los Angeles. What if the Highstorms (if they are a Supernal phenomenon) have caused Paradox recently and are resonant with the Abyss, as I was?"

                    ---

                    Man, you just set me up for a layup with that Condition. I've been waiting to do this since Mathias went off on Moonstone, now it makes much more sense.

                    Perception-2: 1 success


                    Phoenix leaves. He can't stand it either. Moonstone hears voices and things breaking. Good.

                    For all the power of his magic, he sees nothing in the mirror. It just reflects his own ideas back at him, until they congeal. Much like Ragnar's dating divination, he's going to have to make his own answer to the questions.

                    He gets up suddenly and says "I'm going to check on Phoenix."

                    Still gripping his mirror tight, he leaves in the direction that the Obrimos warrior went, and hums a little tune. When he gets to the sitting room with the library and the fine accoutrements, he picks up a book at random off the shelf. There's an incredibly sharp contrast between the austere intellectualism of the sitting room, and the openly emotional rage and regret of the man inside it. Two minds in one place. It's inspirational.

                    Casting "One Mind, Two Thoughts." 1 reach for instant, 1 reach for advanced duration, +1 reach to perform 2 instant actions at once. +1 paradox for Abyssal Backlash, 2 dice, going to contain: 0 successes. Resolving Abyssal Backlash for 1 Arcane Beat.

                    Gnosis 1, Mind 2, path tool 1, environment 1. 5 dice: 2 successes.


                    He's holding the book in one hand, opened to a random page, and his precious mirror in the other. The book is an old botany journal: this page happens to poetically describe how leaves sprout from branches. Moonstone visualizes a tree and lets the Pattern of his Mind bloom outwards, one trunk splitting into two branches, with the leaves of his thoughts scattered between them. One of the branches is assigned to deal with his grief and indignation and fury, and it rocks in a harsh Deathstorm wind. The other branch is assigned to focus on the task at hand with grace and poise, and it remains still in a light breeze. The leaves are across two branches, but it's all one tree.

                    Moonstone looks down at his mirror and realizes that the person looking back is someone else, a different fork of his consciousness. One smiles serenely, the other wails and shouts, but they're together.

                    Serene Moonstone puts the book away and looks up at Phoenix, steering well clear of his fists if necessary. "It's okay. I feel it too. I also lost someone I love. Sometimes when I'm around strong emotions, I can't stand it. I feel it too much, and I have to do something or I'll go crazy. I think we're a lot alike. Maybe."

                    Without offering anything else, he slips past Phoenix and into the hallway where Mathias and Valentine are arguing. He clears his throat for attention.

                    "Mathias." It's the first thing he's said to him since they came to the sanctum. "I can see that you're in pain. I think I understand now."

                    He puts his mirror away in his bag, and takes off his ballcap too. He touches his hand to his cloak. "You think because I'm soft, you can hurt me, and expect me to tend your wounds after. But you don't get to hurt me because you're in pain. No one does! Never again!"

                    He keeps talking, even if he's interrupted: "If my master were alive, you would pay in blood for laying a finger on me. Since he has passed, I will rectify his name and honor instead."

                    And then there's a rush of Pandemonium as his Nimbus flares in the Fallen World, and Space warps in the hallway, and Moonstone is alive with magic and talking backwards and growing ten feet taller and smaller and upside-down with every word: "I, Moonstone, Apprentice of Mind, Apprentice of Space, Apprentice of Time, Nameless and sworn to the Iron Gauntlet of Pandemonium, challenge you, Mathias, to the Duel Arcane. Here. Now. Immediately."

                    In which Moonstone responds to grief in an unhealthy way. Just to make it completely clear that he's 100% serious, Moonstone spends 1 Mana from his Cloak (now at 7/10) to flare his Immediate Nimbus (page 89). It's visible even in the Fallen World. Not intending to apply his Nimbus Tilt, but here's the roll for Nimbus Strength just in case: 1 success

                    I want to use knowledge of the Code Duello to incite Mathias to respond to the challenge in the same format Moonstone used, listing his Arcana ratings (Adept of Fate, etc). Manipulation 2, Politics 3 (Chicago Consilium): 1 success.

                    Resolving Irritable, I don't believe I get an Arcane Beat because I already did this scene. I would like to count this for my Bold Virtue. Moonstone was wronged by Mathias and he cowered before, but now he's standing up for himself and demanding justice, even against unlikely odds and very much against proper etiquette. And really, challenging someone to the Duel Arcane in their own Sanctum is pretty bold.
                    Last edited by Caladriu; 10-10-2016, 02:34 PM.


                    2E Legacy Updates
                    Brotherhood of the Demon Wind
                    Choir of Hashmallim (plus extra Summoning content)
                    Storm Keepers

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                    • LYNX
                      Active Sight: None
                      Active Spells: None
                      Willpower: 0/5. Mana: 6/10
                      Conditions/Tilts: Inspired
                      Beats: 1 - Arcane Beats: 0




                      "Here's a brain-teaser for you: the Supernal World is the source of the Fallen World. All true things originate in the Supernal. But the Supernal can only act by manifesting in the Fallen; for example, by the Awakening. The Fallen World contains good and virtuous things, but it also contains evil and impure things. Does that make the Supernal World complicit in evil?"

                      How...naive. If evil didn't originate from the Supernal, then it wouldn't be complicit; if it did, it's part of the world as a necessity, isn't it? Besides which, what is 'Evil'?

                      Lynx holds his tongue, however. His eagerness and inexperience doesn't lead him to raise his voice much, not with the force of Moonstone and Phoenix and Ragnar dominating the conversation, at least from the side of the Nameless. He glances at Binder, pondering what the silent man must be thinking.

                      -

                      "Primal Wild, huh..." Lynx mutters as he retrieves his pebble from Boomer and pockets it. "A Yantra's neat, at least."

                      He paces around the room a little, keeping his senses peeled while he keeps to his own thoughts. He looks over at Ragnar during the man's declaration of Order preference.

                      "I respect whatever decision you guys make, but me? I think I favor the Silver Ladder."

                      "I'll have to think about it. I don't think I have an inclination right now, one way or the other."

                      So much at once. I'm lost. And... Faen da, why do I feel so misplaced?


                      -

                      "I'm going to check on Phoenix."

                      They go from 5 to 4. Lynx looks at Boomer, at Ragnar, at Binder. "I'm not good at expressing myself. I have so many questions, but I don't know where to start."

                      Then he bristles, his nose turning to the door, a distortion of footsteps in his ears at first. "Did anyone else feel that? That's what you called Periphery, right? Only, there's something..."

                      I don't like that...Nimbus, is it?

                      "I know I'm more of an... animal compared to you lot," Lynx says as he closes his eyes, "And that, as a Thyrsus, I'm inclined to go with my gut, but does it mean anything that I sometimes have a gut instinct to something that hasn't quite yet..."

                      "I, Moonstone, Apprentice of Mind..."

                      Aaaand there it is.

                      Lynx doesn't think twice. He hurries down the hallway, dread washing over him momentarily. Moonstone scares me.

                      "...Apprentice of Space, Apprentice of Time, Nameless and sworn to the Iron Gauntlet of Pandemonium, challenge you, Mathias..."

                      Faen da...

                      "...to the Duel Arcane. Here. Now. Immediately."

                      He arrives only ten feet from Moonstone, staring at the warped world that unfolds around him. The dread raises the hairs on his arms as he takes a step back. Do I... Do I interfere? Only, it's Moonstone...
                      Last edited by Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon; 10-10-2016, 04:02 PM.


                      Character Sheet: Oscar "Lynx" Dalgren

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                      • RAGNAR
                        Mage Sight: Peripheral
                        Active Spells: None
                        Conditions/Tilts: None
                        Health: OOOOOOOO I WP: 0/4 I Mana: 6/10 I Wisdom: 7
                        Beats: 2/5 I Arcane Beats: 3/5



                        "There's no right answer, but approaching it helps. You think on it more as you develop Gnosis. It's like a pearl forming around a grain of sand."

                        Ragnar smiles a little at Moonstone. Okay, rocky start, but first impressions aren't permanent. The conversation is edifying, and Ragnar almost feels like his understanding of magic has increased a little bit from the conversation. "Well I guess that's the question, isn't it? Is the Supernal a conscious entity, or is it simply a neutral force that we can manipulate to good or bad ends?"

                        He hands the black knife over to Boomer.

                        "No one can force you to turn them in, but anyone who lets the Mysterium borrow the item for a time can receive some knowledge or a small favor; if you give it to them outright, you can get a bigger favor. Lots of mages use them as bargaining tools, even if they're not Mystagogues."

                        "It belongs in a museum, huh?" Ragnar smirks, and watches as she casts her spell. He assumes, based on his new knowledge of magic, that she is using a spell from the Prime Arcana to analyze the items.

                        "This knife can be used to shape shadows. It seems like you need to draw the blade tip along some flat surface and 'draw' what you want to happen, and they'll animate. A Moros mage could also use it as a tool for casting."

                        Ragnar examines the knife with a mixture of caution and curiosity, like someone looking at a spider or snake. "Death Arcana, I take it? I don't think I have any talent for it, but this might be useful in a pinch. I might let the Mysterium have a look at it one of these days so they can catalogue it."

                        --

                        "It's different with each storm, but many of the Highstorms we see have very odd weather patterns. And some of them carry that quality you're talking about...Something that reminds you of the Abyss. It tends to send spirits scattering, but some of the darker ones -- hate or violence spirits, or shadow spirits -- seem attracted to it. At least, that's how...that's how Orca, our Thyrsus friend, described it."

                        "The hailstones burned out my Mana until Phoenix weather-warded me. And his ward disappeared when he passed through the portal. Physical contact with the black ice did it, not some ethereal curse- I could avoid it by hiding under an awning. But I was also resonant with Paradox at the time, no one else lost Mana. I'm fairly sure that sparked the reaction. I'm not a scientist, but maybe the source of the Abyssal taint was within the storm clouds themselves, where the hailstones formed. In the Fallen World, clouds are just cold air and water stuck together, but they also represent a Supernal symbol of storms and bad omens. Maybe the symbol of storms, itself, has been tainted in Chicago. The Chicago symbol for storms is clearly unique, I can promise you they don't have Highstorms in Los Angeles. What if the Highstorms (if they are a Supernal phenomenon) have caused Paradox recently and are resonant with the Abyss, as I was?"

                        Ragnar sits forward, suddenly eager, just as he does whenever he thinks there's a potential breakthrough on a topic, or when somebody puts forward an intriguing hypothesis. "Well, between the lightning and wind, storms would probably fall under Forces. So I guess we could have some Obrimoi and other mages skilled with Fate and Prime take a look the next time there's a Highstorm."

                        --

                        First Phoenix leaves, then Moonstone. He's now left with just Binder, Lynx, and Boomer. He looks around and tries to dispel the tension. "Um, anybody got cards?" He looks around at the others, sees that none of them seem receptive, and sighs."Look. Boomer. I know this might not be the best time for this, but I think I want Mathias to take me on as an apprentice. So far, he's the only other Acanthus I've met, and he's a member of the Silver Ladder. And I think I want to join them. So..." he stands from where he was sitting, and walks out into the hallway-

                        - Where he's greeted by a very irate Moonstone shouting at Mathias. "You think because I'm soft, you can hurt me, and expect me to tend your wounds after. But you don't get to hurt me because you're in pain. No one does! Never again! If my master were alive, you would pay in blood for laying a finger on me. Since he has passed, I will rectify his name and honor instead."

                        Then the fabric of space goes wonky, like the effects of a funhouse mirror made real, centered around Moonstone.

                        "I, Moonstone, Apprentice of Mind, Apprentice of Space, Apprentice of Time, Nameless and sworn to the Iron Gauntlet of Pandemonium, challenge you, Mathias, to the Duel Arcane. Here. Now.Immediately."

                        Oh Merlin's beard, you have got to be fucking kidding me.

                        Ragnar immediately rushes forward, and places himself directly between Moonstone and Mathias. He immediately allows his Nimbus to flare in challenge to Moonstone's: the floor around him becomes covered in a century's worth of dust in a moment, the walls stain with mildew and age, the wood begins to rot.

                        "Moonstone, please! Think about this for a second. Yes, Mathias may have acted inappropriately, but given what happened today and what he's been through, I'm sure it wasn't intentional. Are you really going to throw away the only source of information and help that the rest of us have?! Please, stand down. Or if you're not willing to, then allow me, Ragnar, Apprentice of Fate, Apprentice of Time, Initiate of Life, Initiate of Space, Nameless and sworn to the Lunargent Thorn of Arcadia, to duel you, Moonstone, in his stead, in this time and place."

                        I'm going to attempt Social Maneuvering on Moonstone to try and persuade him to abandon the duel, or fight Ragnar instead. Moonstone's Resolve and Composure are both at 4, so that's four doors. Manipulation 3 + Persuasion 2 = 5 dice -> 3 successes.
                        Last edited by Haberdasher; 10-10-2016, 07:25 PM.


                        Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

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                        • Moonstone

                          I would venture 5 doors, because backing down would involve acting against his Virtue, Bold!


                          A challenger! Moonstone trembles with rage, raises his mirror at the resplendent Ragnar and says: "Does my dignity offend you? Where were you when he struck me and screamed in my face? Laughing. But my grievance is with your master, proud Ragnar, not you."

                          Casting Mind 2 "Psychic Domination" on Ragnar. 1 reach for instant, 1 reach for sensory, 1 reach for scene duration, 1 reach for a complex command. Paradox is 4 dice, -2 from using my dedicated tool, -1 for spending 1 Mana from the Cloak (now at 6/10). 1 dice: 0 successes.

                          Gnosis 1, Mind 2. -2 to raise Potency to 3. +3 from spending a Willpower (which I presumably regain from Bold.) 4 dice: 2 successes.

                          Moonstone instills the command "Step aside, be still, and remain silent."


                          The Imago forms. "Your student is loyal. Accept my challenge and I will break the enchantment."


                          2E Legacy Updates
                          Brotherhood of the Demon Wind
                          Choir of Hashmallim (plus extra Summoning content)
                          Storm Keepers

                          Comment


                          • Phoenix
                            Active Sight: Prime (Peripheral after 1 turn) | Armor: None | Active Spell(s): None
                            Health: LOOOOOO | WP: 0/5 | Mana: 3/10 | Wisdom: 7 (Understanding)
                            Conditions: Grieving [Guilty], Irritable | Tilts: None





                            I take my anger out on the more durable items in the room. Hope I don't damage anything too awfully bad. I mostly end up punching a wall anyway. A few minutes of that and I'm leaning on it, my head pressing down on my crossed arms. I can't help but catch a few words from Valentine and Mathias, but I don't wanna eavesdrop, so I ignore it.

                            "It's okay. I feel it too. I also lost someone I love. Sometimes when I'm around strong emotions, I can't stand it. I feel it too much, and I have to do something or I'll go crazy. I think we're a lot alike. Maybe,"

                            How long was he there? Y'know what? I don't care, they could probably hear me yelling anyways. He doesn't do a very good job at comforting me, but at least he's trying. Gotta give him credit for that.

                            "Thanks," I reply simply, not turning to look at him.

                            He leaves and then says something to Valentine or Mathias, don't know which, don't really care. But then I sense his signature magic, and that does get my attention.

                            "I, Moonstone, Apprentice of Mind, Apprentice of Space, Apprentice of Time, Nameless and sworn to the Iron Gauntlet of Pandemonium, challenge you, Mathias, to the Duel Arcane. Here. Now.Immediately."

                            Okay, this is...interesting. On one hand, it's pathetic. Mathias gave you a dose of what you needed. But then, this'll give me a chance to see what a Duel Arcane looks like, so I swivel around my back to the door frame, watching it all unfold.

                            "Moonstone, please! Think about this for a second. Yes, Mathias may have acted inappropriately, but given what happened today and what he's been through, I'm sure it wasn't intentional. Are you really going to throw away the only source of information and help that the rest of us have?! Please, stand down. Or if you're not willing to, then allow me, Ragnar, Apprentice of Fate, Apprentice of Time, Initiate of Life, Nameless and sworn to the Lunargent Thorn of Arcadia, to duel you, Moonstone, in his stead, in this time and place."

                            Enter Ragnar, the plot thickens.

                            "Does my dignity offend you? Where were you when he struck me and screamed in my face? Laughing."

                            He didn't laugh Moonstone. No one did.

                            "But my grievance is with your master, proud Ragnar, not you."

                            Wait a minute, he's casting something. I open my senses to what, and...

                            No. This will not stand. I can forgive a genuine mistake, but that is a deliberate act.

                            Improvised casting

                            Dispel Magic (Prime 1, Corebook 166)
                            Reach: 2 free; 4 used for instant casting, sensory range, and Lasting effect
                            Paradox: Overreach 2 - 2 DT = Chance die → 0 successes
                            Containment: None.
                            Yantras: DT for Paradox penalty
                            Factors: PSF Potency 3 (-2)

                            Gnosis 1 + Prime 2 + 3 WP - 2 Factors = 4 dice → 1 success


                            After I destroy the spell, I rush the caster to put him in a lock.

                            Grappling Moonstone. Would this count as an ambush? I mean, sure Phoenix isn't hidden, but it would still be a surprise to Moonstone, right?

                            Just to settle things easier, I'll simply have Phoenix make the grapple an All-Out Attack.

                            Strength 3 + Brawl 4 + 2 AOA - 7 Defense = 2 dice (ignoring last 5) → 1 success
                            Last edited by crapcarp; 10-10-2016, 09:32 PM.

                            Comment


                            • Moonstone



                              Aaaaand there goes the Mind spell, easily torn from his grasp by Phoenix's magic. Unexpected complication. Moonstone grits his teeth and quotes poetry:

                              "Though I die and die again,
                              though I die one hundred deaths,
                              Long after my bones have turned to dust,
                              whether I have a soul or not:
                              My one red heart, forever loyal to my Lord,
                              will never fade away."


                              And Phoenix goes in for the body check! Moonstone slows down Time at the sight of physical danger, giving him a precious moment to turn away.

                              Spending 1 Mana from the Cloak (now at 6/10) to activate Time Armor reflexively.

                              Clearly I'm biased, but I think Defense applies here. Moonstone talked to Phoenix 10 seconds ago, he's totally aware that he's present and just broke his spell, and it's clearly a tense situation so he'd be on guard. Moonstone has Defense 7, or 9 with Mage Armor, so Phoenix would either fail or roll a chance die for the grapple, depending on how rwknoll handles it.
                              Last edited by Caladriu; 10-10-2016, 09:26 PM.


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                              • Moonstone
                                Boomer nods at your observations. "There are a number of mages who have researched the Highstorms, including Mathias, and they've made some similar points. But their research suggests this is all deeper than any one mage or event; they believe that the Highstorms reflect the war between the Exarchs and the mages of the time before the Fall. The portals go back, they believe, to times and places of significance in the war for Ascension."

                                While you listen, you make out Mathias' voice distinctly from the other room. Although it's faint, he made a strong negative impression, so your mind focuses on his speech with speed and clarity. "Umbra at least should have known better," you hear him say sadly. "Why? I told her that a storm was coming. How did I know? The spells have never seemed to work for that purpose, but if it did, it meant a storm of terrible proportions. I should have convinced her..." His voice drifts into obscurity once more.

                                You feel emboldened by your Mind spell, which allows you to focus on two distinct actions at the same time. You draw upon your inner magic and flex your will, causing your Nimbus to flare as you challenge him to the Duel Arcane. Mathias hears your challenge issued like a thrown gauntlet, but he shakes his head. "I apologize for striking you earlier," he begins to say. "Valentine is right, perhaps I--"

                                His words cut off abruptly as you cast your Mind spell and attempt to coerce Ragnar into obeying your command. Although Phoenix quickly intervenes and counters your spell as you cast it, your intentions are clear. Phoenix lunges at you, but with Time on your side, you just barely manage to slow down time around you enough to sidestep his grapple. Mathias looks at you with shock and anger.

                                You can gain WP back per Bold Virtue, yes. There's more at stake here and it fits much better in this situation than earlier.

                                Although your spell was quickly dispelled, you attempted to use magic to coerce another person against their well. Make a roll for an Act of Hubris at the Understanding level (3 dice).

                                You can apply Defense here because you're angry and in a combative mood. Because you used Time Armor, you have Defense 9, reducing Phoenix's attack to a chance roll that fails.


                                Ragnar
                                Boomer grins at you. "Honestly, I think Mathias would be glad to hear that. He's been thinking of taking a pupil lately, and I think it would be good for him. He is a good man and a fair mentor," she shares.

                                Commotion in the distance, followed by spells on your Periphery, cause Boomer to stand and roll her eyes. "For fuck's sake, this drama is really getting old fast." She and Lynx follow shortly after you get up to check on Moonstone and Phoenix.

                                Moonstone's spell settles on you, and before you know what you're doing, your mouth snaps shut and you start to move out of the way. But then Phoenix reaches out and casts away the spell, and the fog surrounding your mind burns away.

                                Phoenix
                                You see the magic around Ragnar burst apart as you rip through it with Prime instinctively. But when you try to grab Moonstone, he somehow spins out of the way with supernatural speed, evading your grasp.

                                Everyone
                                "ENOUGH!" Mathias yells over the commotion. Boomer crosses her arms and frowns at Moonstone, while Valentine shrugs and smiles knowingly.

                                "It was wrong of me to hit you, and I let my anger interfere with my judgment," Mathias admits. "But you must learn control and discipline, over your magic and your emotions. You have witnessed magic all your life, Moonstone, but if you do not learn restraint, your experience will lead you down the path of hubris and ruin," he warns. His tone hardens. "If you so demand it, very well. I, Mathias, Adept of Fate, Disciple of Time, Apprentice of Forces, théarch of the Silver Ladder and sworn to the Lunargent Thorn of Arcadia, accept your challenge to the Duel Arcane."

                                Boomer throws up her hands in protest with a muttered "Fuck this noise," and Valentine merely shakes his head. "I will second for Mathias," he chimes in quickly.

                                Boomer sighs. "I'll second for Moonstone. Just so it's fair. I'm not going to stand up for your honor or anything," she explains to him, "but I promise to make sure the rules are followed." She turns to Mathias with a questioning look. "You're serious, aren't you?"

                                Mathias nods. His eyes never leave Moonstone's face. "We must set the terms. If I win, I want you to complete a private lesson, once with me and once with Valentine, to impress upon you the importance of discipline. I also want you to apologize to Ragnar for attempting to coerce him with magic. What are your stakes?"


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