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

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  • LYNX
    Active Sight:
    Active Spells: Exorcist's Eye (Spirit 1;Potency 1; 1 week duration; Can see and communicate with spirits in the Physical World)
    Willpower: 1/5 (2/5 on Thursday, 4/5 at the end of Downtime). Mana: 6/10
    Conditions/Tilts: Steadfast
    Beats: 2 - Arcane Beats: 3



    TUESDAY EVENING - HOME

    Ewan's sudden departure leaves Lynx a little bemused at first, yet the solitude eases into him as he stretches and rubs his beard. Humming, he takes off his t-shirt - Oh, right, this is Mathias's shirt... I should give it back to him. Should tell him future shirts need to be a size or two larger. - and he heads to the bathroom for a warm shower.

    ...

    Lynx lies still in bed as he gazes up to the ceiling.

    Ragnar... He's good. His voice is soothing. And he's nice. And smart. And good with words. A good friend.

    Dr. Asphodel... What happened to her? I'm worried. I dragged all of us into... into what again? I remember being wet, and then ... pavement and Mathias? I feel like we were drowning. Were we? Why do I feel so... apologetic?

    Phoenix is... Fierce? Definitely fierce. Blunt. A little angry and bitter. A little self-righteous. And dangerous. Is that a bad thing, though?

    Moonstone... I have no idea. I don't think he's a bad man, but he smells of everything at once. Anger and sadness and happiness and regret and... Dangerous. Really dangerous.

    Binder... I don't know. Too quiet, I think... Didn't say much.

    Valentine... Handsome, but a little... disturbing. Educated guesses? I guess, but it didn't feel like that. Something feels off about him.

    Boomer... Definitely my favourite. Looks wicked. And she seems to like me. So does Ragnar. And the look Phoenix gave me...

    Mathias... I don't know why, but I can't bring myself to rely on him. Losing his temper and attacking Moonstone like that? I mean, people did get hurt, but he did apologise, didn't he? Isn't that good enough?


    He sighs as the front door is unlocked. Heavy footsteps follow with some panting and the smell of sweat and... something else?

    What is that...?

    Ewan's walk through their apartment is surprisingly quiet, though he's unable to muffle his heavy footsteps. Quiet profanity leads the way into the room opposite Lynx's, the door closes a little too angrily, and there is another sound of a door being locked.


    WEDNESDAY - ZOO

    His hackles on edge, the world of Twilight within the zoo has Lynx in awe with every step. Much like a child's first trip to the Zoo - and incidentally, this is Lynx's first visit outside of Twilight - he stares in wonder at beast and spirit alike. Mostly the spirits. It is when the lion speaks that he is overwhelmed with giddiness.

    "What are you seeking, little cub?"

    What am I seeking? It's all so new still... Ah!

    Lynx ponders for a moment as he studies the leonine spirit, and he takes a step forward. When he speaks, his voice is the same strange sound. "Ah, hello! Greetings, I mean! I was wondering if you might know of something like a... Great Lynx?" He puts careful emphasis on the latter words. "Or other... Great spirits? Are you the Great Lion? Or... a Great one?"

    Do spirits have titles? Can there be more than one Great spirit? Why does referring to a spirit as Great sound stupid on repeat?

    Lynx attempts to persuade the Lion spirit for information, and garners 1 success.

    Roll for Persuasion → 1 success.




    WEDNESDAY - FOREST

    Last edited by Kvitebjørn Kong Valemon; 10-23-2016, 10:49 AM.


    Character Sheet: Oscar "Lynx" Valewood

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    • Ouroboros Ophis
      Mage Sight:
      Periphereal, Active (Death/Matter) | Active Spells: Able to interact with Death Twilight
      Health: OOOOOO | WP: 5/6 | Mana: 9/10 | Wisdom: 7 (Understanding)
      Conditions: None | Tilts: None



      WEDNESDAY (LATER)

      Marvin waits a while after the last student leaves the classroom, he doesn't want to spoil a good start by developing the reputation of being out of his mind if any were to see him talking to what would look essentially like thin air.

      He packs his belongings quietly, keeping an eye on the ghost woman while doing so. He focuses on keeping his Sight on, despite the effort and channels Mana through his pattern to be able to interact with this misterious lady. She is his first ghost, and he is both excited and terrified of the posibilities.

      1 Willpower to keep Active Sight for the Scene, 1 Mana to activate Death Eyes Attainment to interact with Death Twilight


      "Who could she be?"-he wonders, walking slowly and hopefully not threateningly towards her in the back of the room. He makes a point of looking her in the eye, so she realizes he can actually see her before she starts to speak:

      -"Good morning, my lady, I am Dr. Bates (no point in not using his name now after sharing it with the whole class) may I ask you your name and if I may do something for you?"

      First, could I change my vague "Regain his life" Aspiration for "Helping Lady Ghost"? Second: Interacting with Lady Ghost= Presence + Perssuasion (9-Again) =0 Successes,Ouch!


      Last edited by Thorbes; 10-23-2016, 11:07 AM.


      I'm So Meta Even This Acronym

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      • Moonstone
        Conditions: Divergent (Passive), Guilty, Triumphant, Irritable
        Health: L
        OOOOO | Willpower: 7/8 | Mana: 2/10 | Beats: 3/5 | Arcane Beats: 2/5


        Yeah, Irritable is a lot more interesting than the mechanical penalty I suggested. I just wanted to introduce something a bit more arcane for a spellcasting problem.

        I figured this kind of petty theft would count as "innocent bystanders are affected by your spells or actions," which is only a sin at higher Wisdom, but let's run with it. Act of Hubris, 4 dice: 1 success. Moonstone continues to enjoy "beginner's luck" with this whole Wisdom thing.[/url]


        It does feel good to be unseen and untouchable. But there's a moment when he's turning over an antique watch, and the old woman who runs the shop looks at him, about to say something...and then immediately forgets that he's there and returns to her work. He thinks about the trouble she must have gone through to acquire the thing, and the whole thing feels exploitative.

        Not enough to return the things he stole from her shop, of course. But he turns the matter over in his mind and resolves to be more considerate of the livelihoods of Sleepers in the future, if not necessarily their property.

        When he goes to bed on Wednesday night, he tries to give himself better dreams, meditating before bed in an attempt to induce lucid dreaming.

        Meditation roll to enter lucid dreaming (p.248), Resolve+Composure-2 from Irritable: failure.


        Only on Thursday morning does he realize it didn't work.

        ---

        He's still pissed off and edgy about his failed Divination, and it's affecting his cool. Erica is clearly picking up on it. Performance anxiety is buzzing in his mind, but he's feeling refreshed and whole. It doesn't overwhelm him. He stretches and warms up, tests the pole, centers himself, loads some unobtrusive club music on his phone and goes through a condensed routine. He circles the pole and lets his fingers trace it, sidles up against the unfortunately cold metal, hops up and mounts it, climbs like a spider. Soon he's inverted, holding on with just his thighs, bicycling in the air, or gripping the pole with one hand and one knee and holding a pose, reaching his whole body out towards the heavens (or just the nightclub ceiling.)

        Dexterity+Athletics+2: 5 successes! That should open 2 Doors. I'll take the Informed Condition related to Rumors, and perhaps draw the attention of a ghoul or some other vampiric agent...Also taking a Beat for resolving my Social Maneuvering Aspiration. New Aspiration: formally join a cabal.

        Minor point of order: Sympathy and Sacrament are two different types of yantras, and I was using the photo as the first one. You don't need to destroy a Sympathy item to get its bonus, although you can choose to destroy it and use it as a Sacrament as well. I'll say that Moonstone deleted the pic and used it as that.


        He didn't actually intend for it to be an artistic performance, just a purely athletic demonstration of his skill level. But the new atmosphere of a modern nightclub rather than a Supernally-charged ritual space, this thing that caused him so much fear at first, instead leads him to bloom. His style is graceful, controlled, unique- he's adapting his movement to the pole, but he's channeling something otherworldly and ancient. As he dances, the generic club music and the atmosphere of the club and Erica and the dishwashers, they all melt away and become one with him and the pole becomes a line extending infinitely, and everything of consequence is a single point in Space. In the middle of the performance he visualizes exactly what his Correspondence ritual the next day will look like. Maybe there's something real when the Free Council talks about Supernal truth arising from human craft.

        He follows his own imagined rhythm after the music ends, climbing higher and corkscrewing around the pole, letting his bangles clatter and his veils hang low, and finally he inverts and grips the pole between his knees and slowly lowers himself backwards into a handstand on the floor, holds it, and somersaults into a standing position. He breathes hard as he comes down from the unexpected intensity of it. "So...you know, that kind of thing."
        Last edited by Caladriu; 10-23-2016, 06:26 PM.


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        • [duplicate post]
          Last edited by Caladriu; 10-23-2016, 11:31 PM.


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          • Moonstone - Thursday Night

            As soon as he gets back to the sanctum, Moonstone uses his spark of inspiration and writes out a detailed ritual plan for tomorrow. He checks the star charts, sketches out the choreography, picks out the proper candles and incense from his collection, and stops by the old apartment to get what few Space-related icons and sigils Hakim had. He's done this many times before, with Awakened help, but it's the first ritual he's designed for himself. He instinctively refers to himself in the third person in his plans, as if this "Moonstone" was some other mage he now served.

            Li'l Intelligence+Occult (Awakened Magic) roll to justify Moonstone performing an all-day extended ritual casting for the first time: 4 successes

            edit: keep forgetting that I get 9-again on Occult rolls, and that's a lot of 9s. Rerolls: 2 more successes. That makes it an exceptional, I'll take Steadfast related to the Correspondence ritual.


            With that taken care of, he has several less complex spells to cast. So he polishes his trusty mirror, goes to a quiet place, and gets to work.

            First, my praxis Divination with a Space requisite. Withstand 2 for Medium sympathy to subject. 1 reach for instant, 1 for sensory range, 1 for detailed answers. Going to contain any paradox, 1 die: 1 success. Wisdom 7: 4 successes, 1 bashing damage for Moonstone.

            Gnosis 1, Time 2. Yantras: path tool (+1), speaking the unspeakable name of Alux (no bonus). -2 to raise Potency to 3, +3 for spending 1 willpower. 5 dice: 1 success. 1 Mana from the Cloak (now at 4/10) to cast sympathetically. Moonstone loads a street map of the Chicago area and asks: Exactly when and where will Alux rematerialize?

            Next, going to try to use Mind 1 Perfect Recall for things that happened in the portal. 1 reach for instant casting, 1 for advanced potency. Gnosis 1, Mind 2, path tool +1. 4 dice: failure. Per your rules, I'm gonna "take 1" and assume Moonstone tries again until he gets it right. With Potency 2, trying to recover 2 memories: how exactly did I summon Alux? And: how did I get back to the real world? I don't know whether this will be more difficult because of the magic of the portal, but here's a Clash of Wills roll (Gnosis 1+Mind 2+advanced potency 1) in case one is required: 1 success.

            Then, going to try a similar approach with a different Arcanum. Time 1 Postcognition to review what happened during the scene he and Phoenix were in the portal. 1 reach for instant, 1 for scene duration. Spending 1 Mana from the Cloak to activate (now at 3/10). Gnosis 1, Time 2, path tool +1, generic sacraments (memory-aiding incense and crystals) from my starting equipment +1. 5 dice: 1 success. Again, Gnosis/Time Clash of Wills if necessary: no success.
            Last edited by Caladriu; 10-23-2016, 06:23 PM.


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            • Moonstone - Thursday Night, cont.

              After taking a break to cook some dinner and walk around outside for a while, he returns for some more magical mystery. He's going to attempt some Scrutiny across Space and Time. He opens his Sight fully to the Supernal World, peers into his mirror, and reaches into the past.

              Turning on Active Mage Sight with Mind, Space, and Time (spending 1 Mana from my own supply). Then casting Postcognition, also with 1 Mana from my own pool. 1 reach for instant, 1 for scene duration. Moonstone is reaching to the moment he, Phoenix and Alux returned to the physical world. That gives him 3 turns worth of Scrutiny by my count before Alux discorporates.

              Gnosis 1, Time 2, tool 1, generic sacraments 1: 1 success. Going into Focused Mage Sight, centered on Alux. Spending 1 willpower to do Scrutiny using Mind, Space, and Time. That means I get 1 roll before my failures start getting dangerous, normally I would get 3 but my additional Arcana lower that by 2. Let's do this.

              Turn 1 Scrutiny, spending 1 Mana. 1 success +1 from Mana.

              Turn 2 Scrutiny, spending 1 Mana (Cloak now at 1/10). no success. I'll turn that into a dramatic failure for...a beat? An arcane beat? Nothing? IDK. But the Mystery gains 2 Opacity and an entity from Pandemonium takes notice and can affect me with its powers as long as I maintain Mage Sight.

              Turn 3 attempting Revelation. Gnosis 1, Arcanum 2, Willpower 3, 6 dice minus whatever Opacity: 9,9,1,4,9,5

              Following whatever magical experience surely ensues, Moonstone closes his Mage Sight. If he's somehow being tricked or trapped or enticed or something, he'll at least close it after 1 minute when he'd have to spend WP to keep it active.


              Before he goes to sleep, he reads the stranger's dream journal that he wrote out on fine paper, then neatly folds it up into a paper crane to carry him into dreams and places it on a bedside table. He loads the picture of the defeated Mathias on his phone, studies it for a few minutes, and meditates on the image as he drifts off to sleep.

              Another attempt at lucid dreaming, Resolve+Composure-2: 2 successes.


              Moonstone's Dream

              He's sitting on Santa Monica Beach in LA, the spot he used to go when he was a kid. His toes are in the uncomfortably cool wet sand. The other people on the beach are a mix of faces from high school and the Shields of Dawn. He's aware that he's dreaming.

              He looks different in dreams, or rather, he looks different when he's awake from how he imagines himself to look, and in dreams he matches his self-image. There should be a beach-house near here, and indeed, there is. He climbs up the quaint little stairs cut into the cliffside and enters through the side door. He has made it look like a Scooby-Doo style hallway with dozens of doors on either side. He wants to feel the familiar weight of his dedicated mirror in his hand, and so there it is.

              Time 2 Choose the Thread to improve my chances. Spending 1 Mana from my own supply. 1 reach for instant, 2 reach to affect spellcasting rolls. +1 paradox dice for risking earlier in the scene. 3 paradox dice, gonna contain: no successes.

              Gnosis 1, Time 2, path tool +1, environment +1, 5 dice: 3 successes.


              The doors all lead to the same place, but in different ways. This is going to be a difficult working, so only one of the doors will lead to success. Looking at their reflections in the mirror, like a lens of truth, helps him identify the right path. He picks a black oaken door with an ornately carved brass handle and steps through, and now he's in the room where he dueled Mathias. The Acanthus is on his knees, exactly as he was in the picture Moonstone meditated on. He picks up the folded paper dream-journal-crane from the floor, sets it on balefire with a thought, and blows the smoke from the sacrament into Mathias' nostrils.

              And finally casting Mind 2 Dream Reaching on Mathias sympathetically. 1 reach for instant, 1 reach for sensory range, 1 reach to change primary factor to Potency, 1 reach for scene duration, 1 reach for casting a spell beyond my spell tolerance. +2 paradox dice for risking already this scene. 6 paradox, spending 3 of my own Mana to get that down to 3 dice, going to contain: no successes.

              Alright. I have to overcome Withstand 4 (Composure 3+1 for the lower Sympathy Withstand), so I need Potency 5, and I'm using one of my yantra slots on the Sympathy itself. Base Potency is 2. Spending 1 Mana from my supply for the sympathetic range. Gnosis 1, Mind 2, sacrament +2, willpower +3, Potency -6. 2 dice, and I roll it twice with Choose the Thread: first roll fails, second roll succeeds!


              He chose the right door. Moonstone rides the sacrificial smoke into Mathias' mind, leaving his own dreams and entering the Other. He's not going to interfere or even embody himself, but he will try to subtly shift Mathias' dream to focus on prophecies and fates that are on his mind. He's not interested in spying on the mage's personal life, he wants to learn about the things that concern him magically, and especially what the prophet sees over the horizon.


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              • Moonstone - Friday

                Friday is ritual day. He gets up at 5, shreds the dream journal, makes a spinach-and-pomegranate smoothie (the perfect mix of sympathetic power and healthy flavor), stretches and warms up, purifies his body, puts on makeup and silks, and enters the ritual space he prepared in the sanctum's utility room last night. At exactly 6:26 AM, when the sun first shines through the east-facing window, he rings a singing bowl and begins.

                It's a grueling, 12-hour ordeal that involves him traveling to various points in the room assigned astrological correspondences, dancing in place and in motion, ringing the bowl, reciting verses of Japanese death poetry, lighting carefully chosen candles and incense, symbolically wearing and removing the Cloak of Night, that sort of thing. He allocated time for a 5-minute break every 3 hours to rest his muscles, but he never leaves the room. It's not his first all-day ritual, but it is his first as the primary actor. Actually knowing the Truth of the occult correspondences he set out, feeling the rush of power as he draws his own performance into his Imago- it's completely different from everything he's experienced, even beyond what he imagined in his inspiration on the pole. When he reaches 3:33 PM and begins a prolonged waltz with Hakim's cloak, the sensation of magic is so strong that he doesn't realize how hard he's crying.

                At exactly 6:41 PM, after walking backwards from the edge of the room in a clockwise (symbolizing growth and perception) vertex (symbolizing privacy and secrets) spiral, and finally a vertigo-inducing dervish dance at the very center, he declares his Imago into the Fallen World by whispering: "show me Lamont Torres-Wilson." The room warps and shatters like a mirror, Time stands still, and his awareness expands throughout the universe. The only thing he perceives is Hakim, shrouded in the Cloak of Night, and the Deathstorm rumbling in the distance. There are threads to be followed.

                Broke out my Ars Magica books to get in the ritual symbolism mood, haha. Space 1 Correspondence! Subject is Hakim. 1 Reach for sensory range, 1 Reach to follow a trail of connections, 2 Reach to specify the type of connection. 2 paradox dice, gonna contain it: nothing on first die, 1 success on second die. Wisdom 7: 3 successes, 1 bashing damage.

                Moonstone has Strong Sympathy to Hakim, so it's Withstand 1. Using one of my yantras on Sympathy using the Cloak.

                Gnosis 1, Space 2, generic sacraments +1, four ritual casting intervals +4, willpower +3, raising Potency -10. 1 die: no success. Resolving Steadfast to make that a success and gain a Beat.

                I have a final total of Potency 6. Specifically searching for those sympathetic links created, strengthened, or modified by the Deathstorm, and wanting to learn the strength of those links. I should learn: Hakim to A, A to B, B to C, C to D, D to E, E to F.

                Moonstone has four theories about what he might discover, to give this some structure.
                • Every person killed in the Deathstorm has Sympathy to every other victim.
                • Every victim has Sympathy to one other victim, possibly the next or previous person to die.
                • Every victim has Sympathy to one single subject that represents/embodies/caused the Deathstorm itself, and that subject has Sympathy to every victim.
                • Null result; the Deathstorm did not uniquely create Sympathy. If this were the case, he would expect to discover Hakim's connection to Moonstone (the nature of which was of course modified by the Deathstorm), Moonstone's connection to Hakim or some other connection (perhaps to Mathias or Alux) that was created or changed by the mundane fallout of the Deathstorm, and so on.
                His ideal outcome from this Obsession would be using Borrow Threads to gain Sympathy to other victims via Hakim, compiling a complete list of everyone who died because of the Deathstorm, and then using that knowledge. It could tell him whether someone died in the storm that no one else knows about yet or was covered up. It could tell him whether a death that appeared Deathstorm-related was actually for unrelated reasons (because the victim wasn't part of the Sympathy web), like an assassination using the storm as cover, or the supposed death might not have happened at all.
                Last edited by Caladriu; 10-23-2016, 03:12 PM.


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                • Lynx
                  You make sure to wait for other people to wander past you before you try and speak to the lion spirit; you know that others would give you strange looks if they saw you talking to no one, especially uttering sounds and phonemes that don't exist in any human language.

                  At your questions, the lion spirit seems to sit up and puff out its chest. It replies, "I may know of this spirit of which you seek. But you will not find it here. Few of our kind traverse to your world." The lion spirit does not explain, however, why it chose to come to this side of the Gauntlet. "I am indeed a Great Spirit." Despite its words, you sense that this spirit is not being honest with you. He doesn't seem particularly "great" under your scrutiny, anyway.

                  No need to make a social/perception roll of any kind to detect that it's not being fully honest. The lion spirit does a poor job of lying to you.


                  ---

                  The woods are dark this evening, but there's enough light shining down from the waxing crescent moon to let you see that there is a dark bird, some kind of raven or crow, staring at you. It fixes its beady eyes on you and quietly hops from tree branch to tree branch above your head as you move through the woods. When you watch it more closely, it looks away as if averting eye contact, then slowly turns its head back towards you.

                  You may roll Intelligence + Science or Animal Ken to discern more about this creature, if you like.


                  Ouroboros Ophis
                  The woman turns towards you, facing you when you speak to her. But something is not quite right about her gaze. Her eyes don't quite look into yours, giving the impression that she doesn't comprehend who you are or what you're saying. "Henry? Where are you?" she asks. "I'm so cold. Henry?" She wanders aimlessly, moving in your direction. You notice that she has a name tag clipped on the front of her blouse, which reads "Mrs. Parks."

                  At one point she passes directly through you. You feel a chill pass down your spine, and then she continues walking around the room and towards the classroom door.

                  Let's say you go with the Aspiration "Attempt communication with a ghost," which I'll say you resolve now and earn a Beat. Pick a new one as a replacement. Also, can you indicate on your character sheet which you intend for your long-term aspiration? I'm assuming it's the one about your wife? Just want to make sure I know for purposes of storytelling and giving Beats.

                  You may also roll Wits + Composure for a perception check.


                  Moonstone
                  I agree it's kind of in a gray area here for the act of hubris, but you're using magic to let you actively prevent someone from interfering with an action they would otherwise want to prevent out of self-interest (i.e., stealing their stuff they would rather sell). The innocent bystander would be if the Gulmoth you summoned killed someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

                  Sorry about the sympathy/sacrament yantra, I misread that when reading over your post. We can say you still have a photo of her, it's easy enough to snap another any time.


                  You excel at your dance routine. You hear a shattering of glass followed by muttered curses as a boyish looking bartender ogles you in awe and accidentally drops a martini glass while you're performing. A woman next to him laughs and pokes him in the ribs, teasing him for getting distracted, and he blushes.

                  You know long before you finish your routine that you nailed at your performance. To her credit, Erica manages to not go slack-jawed in awe like the bartender; that wouldn't be professional. But she does whistle in pleasant surprise and offer a genuinely warm smile. "You're hired," she says simply. "How soon can you start?"

                  ---

                  I'll allow the Steadfast condition from the exceptional success on that roll, but I do want to point out that in scenes like this when you're taking an idea and running with it, especially when I'm not asking for or implying a need for a roll, rolling isn't necessary. By extension, getting extra beneficial conditions by opting to make a roll you're very good at seems inconsistent with the spirit of these mechanics, which is to provide a way to quantify your success in the midst of struggle during a dramatic scene. So, unless I'm missing a rule suggesting that a roll is needed, or if you could clarify why you think a roll is needed in a certain situation, these kinds of rolls seems unneeded to me.


                  You focus your mind's eye on Alux, close your eyes while you prepare your Imago, and snap them open as you stare into your mirror. You see an image of the sun and the moon flying across the sky repeatedly, then snap into place. He will return on the evening of Saturday, September 17. Its location eludes you.

                  You make multiple efforts to summon forth your memories of the events that occurred within the Highstorm. You comb through your mind, and try to read the past, but continually find yourself at an unexpected and maddening impasse. Even for memories that you vaguely retain -- like the knowledge that you somehow summoned Alux from the Abyss through your hubris -- seem imperturbable when you attempt to investigate them.

                  Unless I'm missing something, because your spell is Potency 3 and it is Withstood by 2, you only have 1 remaining question. "When" and "where" are two questions, so I answered the first question.


                  Next, you focus on the spells necessary to review the fight with Alux. The stream of Time around you pauses, and then you feel a dizzying sensation as everything spins around you...and then you're back in that street, facing down the horrible monster you inadvertently summoned. But this time, you don't need to focus on fighting it or even surviving; you just need to study it. You intensely scrutinize it with your Sight, pouring out mana from your soul and your Cloak to study the way your Arcana flow around this Gulmoth.

                  But you push too hard, study too intensely, and it gives you a terrific headache that dazzles your Sight. When you try to glean something useful about the Gulmoth, the arcane "glare" is too strong, obscuring your view. At the same time, you immediately have the sensation of being watched, and the hairs on the back of your neck rise.

                  Opacity was 4, became 6 upon your dramatic failure. You take a regular Beat because it's not a spellcasting roll. Your Revelation roll is reduced to a chance die, so you get no successes.


                  ---

                  You settle into a peaceful slumber, and quickly find yourself in a dream of your choosing. However, you have a strange feeling still of being watched. You scan your eyes along the crowd at the beach, and see nothing unusual there. Old friends, Boomer, Valentine --

                  And then Alux is there. The Gulmoth roars in fury and leaps towards you, shadows threatening to engulf you. The crowd laughs as Alux swallows you, teeth ripping you apart --

                  And then, suddenly, everything flashes back to normal. No Gulmoth in view. Everything is how you want it to appear. But you occasionally see unbidden shadows on your periphery, and still have an unsettling feeling of being watched.

                  Still, you move on. You have a mission here. You seek out your connection to Mathias. The older mage is not hard to conjure up here; having lost the Duel Arcane to you, you sense a Strong sympathetic connection to him. You throw all of your will and mental force into your Imago now, driving yourself past his supernatural defenses. And, to your glee, it works.

                  You silently slip into Mathias' dreams. Like you, he appears to be dreaming lucidly. When you first arrive, you're shocked to find that the mage is in the thick of battle against a supernatural being -- a Gulmoth that rises up from the ground like a large wall or tower of unholy fire. Matthias appears to be fighting with all of his strength, weaving Imagos that appear like he did in his Duel, causing him to sidestep the creature's attacks and create a Doom hanging over its form. You hear two screams, belonging to a woman and a young child, and suddenly Mathias collapses to his knees. When he does, the Gulmoth vanishes, and the entire scene before you is replaced with nothing but an endless sea of white light.

                  Mathias draws a ragged breath and then stands. You notice a tear on his cheek, which he wipes away. And then he watches silently as an image of Chicago appears, starting as a dot and then rapidly expanding with vivid colors to fill your vision. The sky is pitch black, even though you somehow know it should be midday, and the scene now appears apocalyptic. Pillars of swirling fire rip across the streets, causing abandoned cars to explode along Lake Shore Drive and near the city streets. Lightning streaks across the sky, over and over again. Mathias just stands there and watches, shaking his head as if refusing to believe what he sees. The scene repeats again and again, and Mathias paces, rubbing his forehead and ignoring the tears streaming down his face.

                  ---

                  You feel utterly exhausted and exhilarated at once as you complete your ritual. The day is brutal to you, physically, mentally, and spiritually draining. But everything is worth it when you finish that last step and the world warps around you in tune to your personal rhythm.

                  This is the most potent spell you've created since your Awakening, but for being a simple Knowing spell, you find that you have to throw your entire will behind the Imago to obtain anything from your efforts. Something you can't perceive tries to push against your spell, stripping away its potency, but you persevere.

                  You instantly learn the Correspondence to a single subject, but have difficulty understanding what it could mean: The Destroyer. Hakim never spoke of this term or name. And yet somehow, for reasons you cannot fathom, the link to this symbol or being is metaphysically Connected. It's stronger than any link you've seen or studied yet. You believe, based on your research about recent events, that this has to somehow be related to the Deathstorm and Hakim's death.

                  Gain an Arcane Beat for making significant headway towards your Obsession. The name can be used when invoked as a Symbolic sympathy yantra, but does not count as the sympathetic name.


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                  • Ouroboros Ophis
                    Mage Sight:
                    Periphereal, Active (Death/Matter) | Active Spells: Able to interact with Death Twilight
                    Health: OOOOOO | WP: 5/6 | Mana: 9/10 | Wisdom: 7 (Understanding)
                    Conditions: None | Tilts: None | Beats: 1 | Arc. Beats: 0



                    WEDNESDAY

                    Marvin doesn't know what is more shocking, the freezing sensation of ectoplasm going trough his body or the pitiful remarks of "Mrs Parks" before that. It is really sad to see how lost and confused this poor soul is, despite the momentary rush of discovering his first ghost. He inmediately decides he is going to help her.

                    Perception: Wits+Composure =5 Successes!


                    He leaves the college grounds and contacts other Libertines, perhaps the Lorehouse has anything about ghosts that might be of help. Anything will do at this point, given his total ignorance on the matter.

                    Using my Status 1 to get access to a Library 1 (ghosts) is feasible? If it is: Ghost Research (Intelligence +Occult/Investigation+1)=1 Success


                    He keeps building rapport with his new students, taking notes of the strengths and weaknesses of the class overall. He is quite pleased to see most of them are actually interested in the matter besides the graduation requirements.

                    His mind is other place though.

                    As soon as the classes end he goes to the library, looking through old archives of students and teachers looking for a Mrs. Parks or a Henry (Henry Parks, perhaps?)

                    Research Intelligence + Academics + 2 (I'm assuming a bonus for the college library) =4 Successes
                    Last edited by Thorbes; 10-24-2016, 04:12 PM.


                    I'm So Meta Even This Acronym

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                    • Ouroboros Ophis
                      Your keen eye picks up several other helpful pieces of information about Mrs. Parks. With your medical training, you notice facial drooping on half of her face, suggesting that at some point in her life -- perhaps the very end of it -- she suffered a stroke. You also notice an obvious mole on her left cheek, which provides a defining feature to help you identify her in pictures. Combined with her fashion and age, you can reasonably estimate the apparent age of this woman at about 50-55 years old, which will help you narrow down a search for her obituary.

                      You can gain a beneficial condition of your choosing (e.g., Informed, Steadfast, Inspired), or suggest a custom condition relevant to this roll.


                      When you follow her out into the hallway, you notice sometime else startling: There are actually several ghosts, about 5 or 6, all walking up and down these hallways. They vary in approximate age, attire, and gender. You've never heard any rumors about this university or academic building being haunted, which makes you wonder what this means about the common occurrence of ghosts here. Perhaps there are many more ghosts than you thought? Regardless, none of the ghosts really seem to interact or converse with each other.

                      You have met two mages so far since your Awakening, and they've both been eager to offer knowledge about Awakened society and encourage you to consider joining their Order. Mathias, a théarch who found you shortly after you Awakened, doesn't answer your call when you try to reach him; you assume that he's busy. But you are able to contact Dante, a Libertine man who is glad to meet you at a café not far from campus.



                      Dante draws more than a few stares and eye rolls from people around him. But despite his classic Goth attire, he's a surprisingly excitable man. He clasps your arm with both hands in a warm handshake as you meet. "Well met again, my friend, well met indeed!" He suggests ordering to go, so you can find a place with more privacy, and he orders a lavender and chamomile tea ("It's deliciously refreshing").

                      While you walk towards a more secluded area of campus, Dante quickly falls into a story, using vague enough language that there is no harm in Sleepers overhearing him, about his recent efforts to find Supernal truth in music. "I have been exploring some fascinating genres, and mixing them to see whether anything resonates with the Undead when I transmit it to them," he shares. "Many of our kind believe that most of these beings lack initiative of thought, but I wonder if they are simply missing the wrong stimulation. I have seen some very surprising results that my colleagues have not been able to explain...but perhaps more on that some other time."

                      Once you find an empty park bench a little removed from busy streets or sidewalks, Dante asks, "You seem as if something pressing is on your mind. How can I assist you?"

                      ---

                      FYI, the class is only held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, so I'll assume you're either doing this research on Thursday or coming back in on Friday to check out the facility.


                      You eagerly search through the library archives, both the electronic and printed databases. You initially struggle to find what you're looking for on the computer, because there are too many hits initially. "Parks" accidentally hits searches related to the school park, and parks in Chicago, and Henry was a common name for that time.

                      After a bit of digging, you find mention of a Mr. Henry Parks, who taught statistics at this university. A widower, from what you can find, he passed away in the late 1990s after a long and successful academic career. His wife, Margaret Parks, worked as a secretary for the university. You find mention that she passed away suddenly due to a fatal medical condition, which you presume was a stroke based on her appearance.


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                      • Moonstone
                        Conditions: Divergent (Passive), Guilty, Triumphant, Irritable, Informed (Rumors)
                        Health:
                        LBOOOO | Willpower: 5/8 | Mana: 6/10 | Beats: 1/5 | Arcane Beats: 3/5

                        bookkeeping: updated my resource stats based on sleep and pattern scouring for the past couple days.


                        Despite everything, the first thing Moonstone thinks of after his Knowing spell is a quote from Ghostbusters: CHOOSE THE FORM OF THE DESTRUCTOR!

                        Or rather the Destroyer. Apparently someone chose the form of a Deathstorm. Whatever this baleful thing is, the prospect of it being so intimately connected to Hakim on a mystical level feels like lead in his stomach. He leaves the ritual space, paces around the sanctum, digs his fingers into his hair, narrowly averts a panic attack. After the serenity of the ritual, he feels himself spiraling into thoughts of Alux and Hakim and the Destroyer and what he's done to Mathias. It's a sense of not only being in way over his head, but drowning the other swimmers with his panicked flailing.

                        He does what he's quietly done almost every day this week: turns his frustration inward. There's one thing he can do to take control, and that's purge his guilt and fear by scouring his own Pattern for pure Mana, the same way he purged the taint of Paradox. His muscles burn as he fires the internal athanor, much worse than they hurt already after the ritual. He knows intellectually that this really isn't healthy, but it's hard to resist the allure of Mana blooming within his Pattern. As long as he doesn't tell anyone, it should be okay.

                        Pattern Scouring for 3 Mana, -1 Strength until Saturday evening.


                        No, no, hang on, that doesn't sound right.

                        Who could he even talk to? Not Binder or Ragnar or Lynx or Phoenix, or any of the Shields of Dawn, certainly not, he's burned his bridges with them and they want nothing more to do with him. Maybe...Ace?



                        Of course, Ace! Another Sleepwalker in the service of the Adamantine Arrow. Formerly a professional athlete, now working as a physical trainer for Arrow mages and others in their net. Before he and Hakim split from the Knights, he used to assist her with training sessions, and he's occasionally come to her for honest talk when things were really bad with Hakim. He's pretty sure he still has her number...

                        Using my Contacts (Sleepwalker Servants) to get some info. Manipulation+Expression: 2 successes


                        Still sitting on the floor in ritualwear with his makeup runny, he folds his legs and puts on a sunny disposition and gives Ace a call. He briefly catches her up: ("i'm awakened now! wild, right? also hakim died"), and gushes about defeating a more experienced mage in the Duel Arcane and how amazing it felt and so on. But he's finding it difficult to get to the actual reason he called. He asks two big questions:
                        • "What should I expect from the Consilium meeting tomorrow?"
                        • And after much hemming and hawing: "I'm feeling a huge amount of guilt and dread and grief I haven't processed properly. Possibly related, I'm having trouble distinguishing between the ritual sacrifice of Pattern Scouring and mundane self-harm. As you know, this is a problem for me. Are there Awakened mental health experts in the Consilium? Is that a thing that exists?"
                        Last edited by Caladriu; 10-25-2016, 02:07 AM.


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                        • RAGNAR
                          Mage Sight: Focused (Time; ended this turn)
                          Active Spells: None
                          Conditions/Tilts: None
                          Health: OOOOOOOO I WP: 2/4 I Mana: 5/10 I Wisdom: 7
                          Beats: 2/5 I Arcane Beats: 3/5

                          The quandary of the Mystery before him makes Ragnar tilt his head in puzzlement. No Signature Nimbus? What is going on here? He zeroes in on the Mystery, feeling an effect as if a pair of lenses have been placed over his eyes, and he feels as if Time stops around him as his focus zeroes down to the echo of magic.

                          Ragnar spends a point of Willpower to enter Revelation. Gnosis 1 + Arcana 2 = 3 dice. 0 successes, 1 success, 2 successes. Opacity has dropped to 2. 0 successes. Opacity is back up to 3. 0 successes. Opacity is now at 4. Ragnar's going to quit while he's behind disengage Focused Mage Sight.


                          Ragnar grits his teeth. He knows he was starting to zero in on the truth of the Mystery, but he got lost somewhere in the puzzle and not only undid all his progress, but now the Mystery is even murkier than it originally was. He glares at the magic for a moment, but then takes a deep breath. This Mystery won't be going anywhere. And he doesn't think there are any other mages in the area who could possibly interfere with it the Mystery and increase its Opacity further. He has time. And hey, he's an Acanthus, he can make time if he needs to. He leaves, resolving to return once his understanding of Time or his Gnosis increases.


                          Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

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                          • Moonstone
                            The act of scouring your Pattern for mana causes not just physical pain, but emotional and mental pain; at the same time, it partially fills the well of mana within your soul, helping you feel satisfied. You're nervous about admitting how much you like this feeling, so you justify it as a necessary action to replenish your magical fuel. You need to find mana somehow, right?

                            When you contact Ace, she seems surprised to get your call. She hasn't spoken to you in a while, and definitely not since the Deathstorm. When you blurt out that you have Awakened, her breath catches and her voice falters for just a moment, and you catch it. "Wow," she replies awkwardly, "I can't believe it! Wow." Whereas before you and Ace shared an odd bond, now you're a mage. You can tell that she tries to stay cool with you, but she sounds jealous. That much is clear when you share about your recent "adventures" and successes. She does seem genuinely impressed, but as an Arrow servant, she doesn't know Mathias that well, at least not personally.

                            The more you talk, Ace starts to slip into her servant role, the position that's the most natural for her when talking to an Awakened mage. By the time you're ready to ask your questions, she is speaking more as an advisor and less as a friend.

                            "It's the first Consilium meeting that's been held since the emergency meeting in which Cielo assumed the role of Hierarch," Ace explains. "My guess? Everyone's going to want to keep things feeling as normal as possible. The council seems like it wants to play things cool, make sure everyone is still doing well with the transition, and move on with more important matters. Cielo will speak, for sure, and then...who knows? Probably some of the Councilors. Might be a few more newly Awakened mages to talk about, so they might encourage them to form a cabal or something. But I definitely think everyone's been awkward around each other here lately, so I expect it to feel awkward."

                            There's another awkward pause after your second question before Ace replies. "I...can't say it's an area I'm really knowledgeable about," she admits, "but I do know of some Mind Disciples who have worked with the Arrow to help them cope with the traumas they've seen. One or two seem particularly interested in understanding how to facilitate long-term mental health recovery. But I'm sure they'll require a favor of some kind, or artifact or service, as some kind of payment."


                            Ragnar
                            You initially try to be careful with your scrutiny of this odd spell, but the more you study it, the more you crave the information hiding behind this Mystery. You get eager, and it makes you sloppy. The magic seems to wind tighter, obscuring your view even to your Sight.

                            You stand straighter as you challenge yourself to uncover the meaning behind this magic, and what it is doing on this door in this apartment. The craving to uncover this Mystery leaves you feeling hungry for more.


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                            • Moonstone
                              Conditions: Divergent (Passive), Guilty, Triumphant, Irritable, Informed (Rumors)
                              Health:
                              LOOOOO | Willpower: 5/8 | Mana: 9/10 | Beats: 1/5 | Arcane Beats: 3/5

                              He nods along to Ace's counsel, and makes a note to talk privately with this Mind Adept that Rose of Sharon mentioned, as a potential source of help- or would it be better to find someone unrelated? Possibly he and the Nameless will be publicly highlighted during the Consilium meeting as new Awakenings, so that's something to warn them about. Mathias fulfilling his terms is probably going to be even more uncomfortable than he expected, which only wrenches his guilt over Alux harder, especially after he observed the thearch's dreams. But would "showing mercy" by asking him not to speak be helpful, or just a further insult? And doesn't Hakim deserve to be honored and recognized somehow?

                              He's been Irritable all week, and the alienation and deference in Ace's voice grates on his aching nerves. He's wrapped in the Cloak, cheeks flushed, ears hot, voice gravelly and hoarse. "I hear what you're doing, Ace. I'm not a different person. Do you think I wanted- no, of course I wanted to Awaken. We all do. But not like this! You know that if I could undo all this, if I could have him back for a day by going back to Sleep, in a heartbeat I'd...you know..."

                              Dead air. He'd what? He can't actually bring himself to say it honestly. He knows he wouldn't.

                              You traded the life of the man you loved for power, and all the magic in the world won't let you take it back. [yes, loved, we can say it here, it's just us.] Choked to death by the Ironic Gauntlet. That's what happens when you make a deal with the devil. Utter Pandemonium, baby!

                              Facing his own selfishness and hypocrisy only makes him more angry. Even without the mirror handy, he can't stop seeing his reflection.


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                              • Ouroboros Ophis
                                Mage Sight:
                                Periphereal | Active Spells: None
                                Health: OOOOOO | WP: 5/6 | Mana: 9/10 | Wisdom: 7 (Understanding)
                                Conditions: None | Tilts: None | Beats: 1 | Arc. Beats: 0



                                Ouroboros Ophis listens carefully to everything Dante says, one could never known which detail could be of use later. In the end, he is pleased, it seems he is the right man for the job.

                                -"I think our objectives align. I wanted to see you because I have discovered that there are a large number of ghosts roaming the campus. One in particular, a certain Mrs Parks, is in one of my classes. None of them have been an actual problem, mind you, they limit themselves to walk around in their own solipistic universes. I do not think any of them is even aware of the existence of the others. It was... a rather pitiful sight, to be honest. Is that everything there is after death?"-he pauses and thinks of Melissa, he feels a sudden weight on his chest-"Maybe you can help me comunicate with them, if that music treatment of yours can actually make them aware"-he takes a long sip of his cofeee-"I will try to find out more information about Mrs Parks, hopefully that help us reach her and maybe solve his atachments. It is posible to help them move on, is it not?"

                                FRIDAY

                                Ouroboros meets again with Dante the next day, now knowing more about Mrs. Parks (Margaret) and her late widower, Henry. He figures he can help the ghost lady if only Dante can manage to put him in contact with her, he deferes to the most experience mage to take care of that detail.

                                -"Good evening, Dante"-he greets the younger mage with a firm handshake-"I found a couple of things that may be useful"-he shares his findings regarding the dead couple-"Are we ready to proceed?"
                                Last edited by Thorbes; 10-25-2016, 05:29 AM.


                                I'm So Meta Even This Acronym

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