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IC [Mage the Awakening] After the 2003 Hoax

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  • #61
    Sunday April 6th, 2003
    Auckland, New Zealand

    Miss Watson whispered into a tiny microphone hidden and pinned between the folds of her summer scarf.

    “Loud and clear?”

    The sound vibrated into electric currents that ran down a thin cord and into her necklace. The fat amulet hanging around her neck housed a program that translated the signal into its own binary syntax. It then transmitted the encrypted radio waves into the air, which was then received by multiple camouflaged antennas sticking slightly out of a backpack. The signals were decoded back into electric wavelengths and traveled up to an earphone tucked in Hei’s left ear, covered up by a tight hoodie. The words trickled out with slight static. Hei stretched back with her arms out, gave two thumbs up to particularly no one, and wondered out loud.

    “Yes God. I hear your voice and its wicked scratches descend from the DJ board.”

    The remark was caught by a headphone wrapped around Hei’s neck and the process was reversed. The signals were caught by an antennae protruding out of an mp3 which then traveled up Miss Watson’s earphones. The feedback quieted down and she could hear Hei’s sarcastic tone at the end. Miss Watson felt her heart swell with pride; its functions weren’t military grade, but it came close. Because of the encryption, anyone without their translation program tuning into this frequency would only hear gibberish. And who would expect a mage use primitive, inconvenient Sleeper technology? Even if Hoplite knew Matter sight, the electronics was rendered invisible to Awakened snooping. Miss Watson closed her eyes and recited the plan in her head.

    The procedure was simple, or at least seems to be: scrutinize him for any signs of Mind brainwashing or paranoia while Hei distracts him with normal conversations. Miss Watson would be following behind anonymously, guised as a Sleeper, and record any spell cast and emotional fluctuation. He would most likely have a spell to prevent anyone from snooping in his head, but she planned a rote for that. It utilized Mind to help her cast three Prime spells in simultaneous harmony: unravel, cast, and falsify. She would have Hei to ask him to cast spells and read his signature. Then she would unravel his control over the protection, cast the same spell, and falsify it as if it was his own. He would only detect the anomaly if he found out he could cast a number of spells beyond his limit or notice an attack not registering to his senses. If this held up, then she could guide Hei in pulling Hoplite into a subtle interrogation, testing his emotional reactions to prying questions.

    The goal wasn’t actually about proving anything; it was about gathering enough proof to make a believable conclusion. If she and Hei could provide evidences that this mysterious stranger lacks the behavior of a saboteur or a sleeper agent, then the Consilium would consider before turning him away outright. Maybe. Miss Watson’s credibility wasn’t something to be easily questioned. She was under the Pentacle ever since she was Awakened, so there was hardly any doubt that she wasn’t a Seer. Also, her position held enough merit to give her report substantial weight.

    Miss Watson pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. In truth, there were many ways that this could end badly for Hoplite. The methods she came up only tell her if he was undeniably innocent. If even one part of her plan went wrong or uncertain, they would need to include inconclusiveness in their report. This particular rote puts a tremendous amount of mental strain on its practitioner, even a Master. It is practically like trying to change someone’s clothes without the person noticing. His protection could be too complex for her to crack. He could avoid the questions altogether. He could do something too suspicious to pass on. And if he genuinely was a loner, unassociated with Seers or anyone else, he would have most likely grown distrustful. It wouldn’t matter if he is innocent if he was paranoid.

    A voice in her ears interrupted her train of thought, “Ok, I’m ready to go. Tell me when you are.”

    Miss Watson looked down at her hands, crossing fingers. She felt her words stuck on her throat.

    “…hello? Don’t tell me you got kidnapped already.”

    “No no. I’m fine.” Miss Watson quickly replied. “I’m just … afraid.”

    Miss Watson could hear Hei’s frustrated groan mix in the white noise. “Uggggh. Now? Come on. Spit it out. It won’t matter that your plan is genius if you’re can’t put your heart into this. What’s holding you?”

    “Remember what we talked about yesterday night? We have to collect enough evidences to be absolutely sure if he’s a Seer or not. If we can’t convince the others, he would no longer be in protection of reasonable doubt, and some of them could hunt him down and interrogate him” Miss Watson shuddered at the idea. “And I explained to you, there are so many things that could happen and we wouldn’t be sure. Then whatever happens to him afterwards would be on our hands.”

    Miss Watson began to feel regret as the silence dragged, but the voice came back.

    “The way I see it, sure, we might screw up and get our hands dirty because we decided take the job instead of letting some other dude take cares of it or keep him away. Clean and free of headaches. But I know we are qualified - yes I know what that means - and care about this more than the ones wetting their beds thinking if their own roommates are going to stab their backs. I don’t know why he asked now, but I’m not going to let someone who has nothing left to go back to never get a chance because we’re too afraid to be responsible for our mistake. Now I know I’m being selfish for asking this, but could you please stop worrying?”

    Miss Watson listened carefully to each of the words. She couldn’t help but feel shame that she didn’t realize before why Hanne was so insistent about this mission. Of course Hei would feel obligated to help someone who would feel alone and didn’t belong in the Awakened society. Hei empathized with Hoplite, or at least his story. Perhaps to a fault, but she was right; they couldn’t back down now. Miss Watson sighed.
    “I’m the one who’s selfish you duffus.”

    Hei laughed on the other end. “Hey, besides, if he does turn out to a Seer, we have first dib on teaching him a lesson on our special subjugation protocol.”

    Of course, subjugation protocol was last resort.

    “All right, I’m going in.”

    Hei showed a picture and said a name at the reception, taking some considerable time arguing with someone who was apparently stoned. With hard-earned information, she walked up to the designated door and knocked.

    Ooc: still happened to be 1000 words but oh well.
    Last edited by egreham; 02-01-2014, 02:27 AM. Reason: spelling


    • #62
      Saturday April 12th, 2003
      Napier, New Zealand

      "It is true that I have the white knight," Portumnus told the Tuesday and the others assembled in the study of his lavish sanctum. "I might even consider giving it to you. As an Arrow, I am more interested in a weapon than a game piece. So I am a mood to offer a trade."

      At this point, Portumnus held up a hand and looked at Doolittle. "Do not fear, dear lady. It is not your blade I seek, fine though it is. I seek one of the swords once yielded by the famous Zodakin - the sword Zodakin used to slay the lovely but evil Jarnsaxa. Find this sword, and the knight I will freely give up. I have information that weapon that I seek is somewhere in Auckland."

      "So you are saying you want this sword in exchange for white knight?" asked Tuesday.

      "Actually I want you to give the sword to my mentor, the Adamant Sage of Auckland," replied Portumnus. "If you find the sword and give it to him, I will give you the chess piece."


      • #63

        Doolittle is a little more terse than usual, and a little more grim. The lacerations on her face - from pitching face-first into a drift of broken glass and splintered wood - are healing up, but there's still a network of thin healing cuts across one cheek. One eyelid twitches, and she's leaning rather heavily on the sheathed sword of Roland as a crutch.

        'Swords are symbols of rule - of authority. Men and women of the line carried spears and bows, and your forebears in the Ungulae Draconis carried Celestial Fire into battle. But it has been monarchs and champions who bore their one-of-a-kind blades into battle, even if only because only they could afford them when high quality metal was scarce. That kind of thing has significance - supernal significance.'

        She taps her way over to the window, looking out over Hawke's Bay. Her dress - a short A-line number made entirely out of green, black, and pale shards of mother-of-pearl and abalone, riveted together like scale mail - clatters softly as she walks.

        She turns, regarding Portumnus carefully and casting interconnections on him as she does, gaining four successes, looking for his degree of sympathetic connection with the Knight.

        'What I am saying is, swords tend not to lay idle in people's hands. If this Zodakin's sword is somewhere in Auckland, I suspect that it may well be possessed by someone meaningful, not just mouldering away in some Atheneum somewhere. Or plunged into a sword somewhere, waiting for someone to withdraw it.' She pats Durandal affectionately.

        'Off the top of your head, can you think of anyone fitting that description? Is there anyone from the Ministries known to be operating here - from Praetorian, perhaps? While I appreciate that your Order know a lot about arms, if there's anyone who knows about imbued instruments of murder, it would be the servants of the General.

        'In addition, I am afraid that I know little about - sniff - the politics of the Awakened of the New World or Southern Hemisphere. Zodakin, Jarnsaxa? Who are they? If I could get access to any of other effects of the two mages - something of Zodakin's, perhaps - then I might be able to pull up the thread of sympathy between them.'


        • #64
          Doolittle uncovered a strong connection between Portumnus and the white knight. Unaware of this, the Arrow said, "The first thing you should know about the local scene is that Psychosis, the Hierarch of Auckland, is most likely the most powerful will worker in all of New Zealand. I think. As to the Praetorian, there does seem to be some sort of Seer plot taking placing in Auckland. Indeed, I have heard that my own mentor, the Adamant Sage, is quietly being investigated as a seer spy...."

          "What?" exclaimed Silencer. "You want us to find and give a magic sword to a possible sleeper agent?"

          Glaring at Silencer, Portumnus retorted, "My mentor is not a seer! On my very soul, he is not! The reason I want you to arm him with Zodakin's sword so that might defend himself from what ever vile mischief that our enemies might have planned for him."
          Last edited by Cire; 01-24-2014, 11:11 PM. Reason: Typoes. I am terrible


          • #65
            Hoplite was busy sorting through the messages stacking up in his mental warehouse when the knocking at his door shattered his concentration. He watched sadly as one by one the lights went out, leaving him with the imago of a much-used oak desk and a wooden clerks chair. He sighed and finally let that fade as well as he fought to re-assert himself back in reality. Looking around groggily he wondered if his roommates had finally made their presence known. Glancing down at the other undisturbed bunks, he gathered that they didn't often show, and when they did it was to burn out atop their sheets.

            He clambered down while muttering and reached for the handle to open the door, before stopping himself.

            "Hoplite," he thought to himself. "You are possibly in hostile territory. You are mostly unarmed, you are not a gifted fighter, and you've stupidly checked yourself into a place with one exit and bars over the windows. Time to get your head in the game, son."

            He hastily plastered himself in a thin invisible sheen of bent space, (Untouchable spell, +3 Armor - M:tA Pg 235), and neatly re-arranged his aura in a suitably jaunty fashion (First Impressions - M:tA Pg 208).

            He held his breath, closed his eyes, and put his forehead to the door, trying to get a sense of the emotional state of the person on the other side.


            • #66
              As Hoplite prepared to answer Kei's knock, Mouse, a man known for stealth even among the Guardians of the Veil, tried to watch unobserved from a hidden perch. He approached invisibilty by mundane means, hoping to avoid betrying himself by any use of magic. Failure was to be avoided at all costs. He had been ordered by no less a personage than Psychosis himself to keep a mindful eye on Hoplite. Mouse was used to Psychosis and his marked distrust of the Free Council, but something about Hoplite seem to have especially concerned him. Whatever, thought Mouse. He had so many better ways to spend a sunday than watching some foreign Free Counciller.
              Last edited by Cire; 01-24-2014, 11:38 PM.


              • #67
                Lar drove the shovel into the ground. The slumbering spirit groaned as Lar displaced its corpus. Once he finished digging a shallow grave he examined the layer of soil in the spirit. In topsoil he saw evidence indicating that there was a wound in this spot for an incredibility brief period. Lar shoved the seer's body into the grave and began filling it in. The still sleeping spirit began to feed off the death resonated essence radiating form the body making grunts of pleasure as it did so. While Lar was burying the seer his thoughts turned to the wound. He wonder what could have caused the wound to disappear and if it had anything to do with the rook that was thought to reside in the shadow. When he finished disposing of the body he cross the gauntlet through the locus paying special attention to anything unusual as he did. Lar did feel something weird about the locus ,but wasn't quiet sure what to make of it though. On the other side of the gauntlet he inspected the hole he had dug before he was attacked. Just like in the shadow the dirt persevered a record of a short lived wound. Then an idea popped into his head.

                " No it couldn't be that impossible." he dismissively thought to himself.

                That thought however kept resurfacing from back of his mind ever time he tried to banish it. Finally when he could no longer ignore his nagging suspicion he took action to find out for sure. Lar cautious approached his car for he didn't know if it had been rigged by his would be assassin. He checked under the car for any signs of tampering. When he found no evidence of tampering he turned his watchful eye to the hood. After carefully inspecting it for even the slightest signs of tampering he felt safe enough to popped the hood to check the engine. After forty five minutes of careful examination the paranoid mage felt safe enough to go about his business. From the trunk of his car Lar retrieved a duffel bag and cross over into the shadow.

                Once he was near the locus he tapped his foot while saying "takug " authoritatively.

                With that act he sealed off the area around to locus for the rest of the shadow. Now that he was safe from any unwanted interruptions he began preparing for his ritual cast. He would need to do this spell ritually to reduce the risk of paradox, for one of the arcana he would be channeling was foreign to him. Lar removed a tarp from his duffel bag and placed in under him. He rummaged through the bag until he found what he was looking for an barn owl mask craved from cottonwood and an eagle's talon. Lar put on the mask removed all his clothes and sat in front of the locus. He thrust the eagle talon into deep his right forearm and began craving a devil's tuning fork
                into his flesh.He did the same to his right arm. As he bled he began chanting suzidgur murubalad over and over again.

                As he stared into the locus he saw a blurry tangled mess of thread. Soon however the image became sharper and more defined. What Lar saw was a repulsive hellscape frozen in time. The ground was covered in smoldering ashes littered with blackened teeth. From the accursed earth rose twisted mockeries of trees render in flesh. Their trunks was made several human torsos fused together their flesh flayed in such a way as to give it a bark like texture. Their branches were made form limbs and digits weld together skin ever so slightly seared to give it a shinning pink coat. Sprouting forth from these branches were veins the supported and ran through leaves composed of flesh. The trees weren't the only corrupted spirits in this place. There were monstrously malformed spirits of mutilation. Spirits of fire with a range of soul damming pigments from infernal green, to sickly pale grey, to darker than the blackest shadows ebon. A pack of Bale wolves and their branding iron totem spirit attendance were in as well.

                Looming above them all was obsidian spire covered with faces in utter agony. From their eyes ran tears of oil that ran down the spire and into the lake of oil that surrounding the spire. Atop the tower like the sun seemly resting on the a mountain top was a white rook writhed in streams of essence. Lar could see the rook presence is what was causing and sustaining the pocket dimension that this wound was trapped in. The rook was even siphoning off negative resonated essence form the wound and converting it to plant resonated essence. Unfortunately the wound had been absorbing all the negative essence of northeastern Texas , southeastern Oklahoma, northwestern Louisiana ,and southwestern Arkansas. The accumulation of this essence far outstripped the rook conversion and expulsion rate. Someday the pocket dimension would fill with so much negative reasoned essence that it would pop like bubble spilling all it content into the shadow. He noticed something interesting apparently there where entrances to this place the other appeared to be another locus just outside Napier New Zealand.

                Lar removed his mask dispelling his spell by doing so. He placed his forearms into the air and force all the blood he had spilled back into body. When all his blood was back in his body and his close his wounds closed; he began scouring the area for any that could be used as a sympathetic link to him. Once he was confident there was none he put his clothes back on and placed the objects he had used for his conjunctional spirit and space spell back in his duffel bag. With the snap of his fingers the barrier he had put up and cross the gauntlet was no more. He made his way to his car and removed anything potential sympathetic links. Lar then for the final time cross through the locus into the shadow. On the other side of the gauntlet he began the tedious task of removing the locus permanently. From Lars lips came haunting tune that reverberated through out the shadow forcing an aircraft spirit from the heavens down to the earth.

                "mesekaskal zae." the spirit bellowed intimidatingly

                Lar unfazed responded calmly"kaskal zae gilbilabaya arali gadalair."

                Lar and Gesubkak climbed into the spirit and made themselves for a long trip.
                Last edited by VectorFox; 01-25-2014, 02:25 AM.


                • #68
                  Meanwhile, in a hidden sanctum somewhere in Sovata, Romania, Panblurt, a mighty demon of gossip, answered the Seer Violet's magical call and took shape before her. The infernal spirit had big ears and an even bigger mouth. Violent demanded that it tell her what was going on in Paris, Texas. The demon happily complied, sharing all it knew. She took the news about Winchester slaying Ponte fairly well. However, when Panblurt related that Lar was in pursuit of the white rook, she swore and raged. "He needs to die," she fumed in Romanian. Then she asked, "What of Oberon? You've said nothing of him."

                  Somehow looking ashamed despite being almost nothing other than big ears and a mouth, Panblurt replied, "I fear I know nothing about what he is doing. I cannot say why."

                  Subduing her anger, Violet dismissed the demon. She shook her head and ran a hand through her long, dark hair. Concern haunted her cold green eyes. Could Tuesday really find the six pieces? Even if she could, Violet knew it would take her former lover time to get all the missing pieces. Violet would use that time to prepare her defenses. She had no intention of losing the magical chess set she had taken such pains to obtain for herself.
                  Last edited by Cire; 01-26-2014, 11:36 PM. Reason: typoes


                  • #69
                    The drive was a long one and one not entirely pleasant. Willow had hired the wrong sort of car, and Scar was certain it wasn't the accidental mix up she claimed. He'd wanted a professional, sleek, modern BMW. Not the open topped two door, clearly made for a woman, sports car they ended up with. On top of that, the conversation was mind numbing. Sure Willow was a smart, savvy, businesswoman, but apparently her flatmate was not. And Scar was privileged to hear the entire life story, from the very moment Willow first meet her. Joy.

                    By the time they arrived at their destination. An old run day looking farmhouse, they were late for their meeting with Tuesday. Fortunately they'd already foreseen this and taken steps to resolve the issue. And thats why Scar left Willow sitting in the car. To anyone who might happen by she appeared to be starring intently at her cellphone, likely texting someone, in truth, she was watching Tuesdays briefing via a scrying window. Scar paused a moment to straighten his tie before approaching the house, briefcase in hand. Noticing an absence of door bell he banged solidly on the rickety door.


                    • #70
                      Doolittle cocks her head at the Arrow, looking almost … through him, for a second. She abstracts the sympathetic connection, rendering it into a string of High Speech fragments and syllables, and etching them indelibly into her brain. There's no way she's not recalling a Fated connection to the set later, for her own purposes.

                      'Psychosis - what a Shadow Name! Order? Path? Any foibles we should be looking out for?

                      'As to Seers, and as to your mentor - well, I feel that I would need to reserve judgement. I am a newcomer to the Consilium, and though it is the Claviger's place to root out sources of discord and disagreement among the Awakened wherever she finds it, I will not lend my assistance to clearing your mentor's name unless,'

                      She raises one eyebrow - so sharp it could gut glass - in questioning invitation.

                      'I was called upon as a neutral lictor and investigator from outside the Consilium …'

                      'D'ailleurs, this Zodakin. As it stands, we have no way of tracking them down, or locating their effects on this island. If you can locate something of his, I ought to be able to obtain a sympathetic connection from it, and from there - with the collaboration of someone skilled in space - we might be able to begin looking into the location and current disposition of the sword. Do you have any idea of where I might find such an object - and, maybe, a Théarch who I could ritual cast to help me track it?'


                      • #71
                        "Zodakin was actually a woman," interjected Tuesday. "She lived centuries ago, in the early days of New Zealand colonization by the English. From what I understand, she was very remarkable."

                        "True," agreed Portumnus. "As to a sympathic connection, Zodakin had two swords actually. As I said, one is somewhere in Auckland. Sadly, from what I understand, the other is held by a Tremer in Dundein. I should also point out that the Silver Ladder in Auckland has a good number of Zodakin's effects and papers. They might be able to supply the connection that you might need. Psychosis should grant you access since you are both are Silver Ladder."

                        "Be that as it may, we have still yet to establish that we should find this sword for your mentor." Silencer said this with his arms crossed.

                        Portumnus glared at Silencer. "I say again: the Adamant Sage is no agent of the Seers. You, sir, are starting to offend me."

                        Last edited by Cire; 01-25-2014, 11:06 PM. Reason: Text Missing Somehow


                        • #72
                          While waiting, Hei vocalized a passing thought.

                          “Wait, this is a hostel, right? So he’s probably sharing room.”

                          “Yes, probably.” A voice crackled in her ear in reply.

                          Noting the confirmation, Hei place her hand on the door. She closed her eyes and focused on sensing vibrations, imagining the scene where Toph from The Last Airbender showed off her famous blind vision, or “tactile seismic sense” as Miss Watson would say. The visuals undoubtedly helped Hei get the grasp of the spell considering Physics weren’t her strongest forte. A lot of academic subjects weren’t her strongest forte; but best avoid the subject unless you want to piss her off.

                          Hei sensed footsteps about 3 meters in. Knowing that this could be a sleeper, Hei heightened her supernal sense to detect anything extra magicky about the person. He wasn’t even being discrete about it.

                          ‘ Casting spells are we? Yup, definitely the guy.’

                          Hei could feel the door being touched ever so slighted. As she processed the information that he was physically leaning against the door, she suddenly began to feel very cheeky. She used to do this to her brother whenever he backed up against the door to prevent her from entering his room. Before the memory lingered long enough to haunt her with nostalgia, she to a step back and reared back her hand. Then like a spring, her behind leg propelled her body mass forward while her hip turned to provide full torque of her torso. The maximum velocity achieved drove her palm into the exact spot where Hoplite was presumably leaning against. The impact rattled the door considerably.

                          “Hey dude! I’m the gal that Lily talked to you about yesterday. I’m Obadiah’s friend. Ok well, technically I’m Obadiah’s friend of a friend. I’m here to take you out and stuff.”
                          Last edited by egreham; 01-27-2014, 07:41 PM. Reason: people posted picture so why don't i put a gif in just so people understand what I mean


                          • #73
                            Doolittle's eye twitches again, in response to the angry conversation between Portumnus and Silencer. God, she cannot take this Guardian anywhere. She's standing by the window, and so when she catches Little Rock's eye over Portumnus' shoulder, the Arrow doesn't notice the slight shake of her head, and the single resounding emoticon that thunders into his head.

                            ; )

                            She wanders round the room, trailing gloved fingertips over the various display cases, waiting for something to set her unseen sense off.

                            'The other sword is held by a known Left-Handed mage, whose location is known to the Arrow? And the liche yet lives, and carries Zodakin's sword? Is there some reason we are not pursuing this blade, which is carried by a known individual - or would the first sword work better for protecting your mentor from the Seers? The blade possesses some sort of unique defensive property - hmm?'

                            She smiles sweetly, encouraging Portumnus to open up a little.

                            'Oh, I am not unfamiliar with the lore of many mythic blades, and know that often, . Excalibor, Masamune, Chrysaor … even my Durandal has been a stalwart defender. I am just a little curious to know more about this particular weapon, and how it would be of benefit to the Hierarch - but it is a personal interest, nothing more. We will find this sword - do not worry on that front.'

                            After waiting to receive a little more information, Doolittle makes an exceedingly courteous exit, and begins to gently frogmarch Silencer and Tuesday out of the Sanctum. Once they're well away from Portumnus' sanctum, Doolittle leans into Silencer's ear, and whispers something to him. He raises his eyebrows, then shakes out a combined spell of ruling forces and perfecting life. For the next few minutes, the three mage's voices are nearly silent, the noise dampened to inaudibility (especially to anyone scrying on them), but their senses augmented enough to hear each word clearly.

                            'Honestly, Silencer, I think I agree. This entire situation is deeply suspect. I do not believe that he plans to cheat us on the matter of the Knight, but the sword alone would not protect his master from an attack by one of the Seers - not an Arrow puts that much faith in his own sword arm. There is more to this, and though I might be a little more circumspect about voicing it, I would support your caution in handing over an artefact of unknown power to one under investigation for his allegiances.

                            We will find this sword in any case - it gives us a bargaining chip, and hold over the Arrow and his Adamant Sage - but we will not hand it over until we have had time to carefully examine it and its nature. We should also look into the possibility of there being Seer involvement here - while the search for the Set is important, we should not allow ourselves to be caught up in what may be a years-long treasure hunt while the Followers of the Lie run rampant.

                            'Together, we represent the three Diamond Orders not involved in this dispute, and we are from outside the local Consilium. I suggest that we each go to our respective orders, and offer our services as independent, non-partisan agents who are certainly not involved in this, and put together a group to look into this issue. We can operate discretely, look into exactly what this sword is, find out why the Adamant Sage wants it, and see if giving it to him would be negatively impact Pentacle operations in this region. I presume that - between the Guardians and the Mysterium - you should be able to research any leads? Here is my card - we can get in contact when we have something.'

                            Doolittle gestures vaguely, and, summoned by a far more powerful force than fate - by her platinum credit card - a limo pulls up, Proximus driver staring ahead impassively.

                            'My ride is here. May I offer you a lift to your local Athenaeum? The nearest Veiler safehouse?'

                            Without waiting for the assistance of , she pulls out her future-stolen iPhone, and begins composing an email to her mentor - Karolus Magnus. The ordinary encryption will foil most non-technical mages, and the recently-updated Silver Ladder ciphers probably shouldn't be broken yet - she gives it another couple of weeks before either the Free Council or the Panopticon Ministry finally get their acts together enough to break the one-time pad and start reading their mail. But still - it's not perfect. They still might crack it, though - nothing's perfect, and if they had a Sphinx working their crypto, they could certainly get through. So that's why she writes the whole message in Old High Atlantean.

                            'Hail Karolus Magnus, Hierarch of the Langue d'Oc Consilium, Master Fourfold, Threshold Seeker, and Magister of the Silver Ladder,'

                            Once she's written that, she pauses, licking the tip of her typing finger. Hmm. Translation into High Speech ain't easy, and she spent twenty minutes just composing that address. Karolus taught her to be a proper lady, to always comport herself well and to make her every. But there's just no time - writing this message in formal long-hand could take weeks. Chewing on one mother-of-pearl nail, she deletes the old address, and shifts mental gears into Atlantean Demotic. It's not perfect - frankly, it's decadently low-class - but even the lowest High Speech is infinitely higher than any of the languages of the Fallen world.

                            'karol -

                            hope youre well. currently in nz, tracking down dangerous supernal/arcadian artefact - 'chess set of fortune'. pieces scattered across world. may offer +++ fate control on a large scale, afaict. dzarumazh has more information, or we can chat tomorrow morning (your time).

                            intend to reclaim for ladder - please advise regarding whether id have official sanction for a retrieval op??

                            + would be a big win for thearchy. get the impression that this would benefit the consilium/broader order/awakened nation, give you a significant political advantage,
                            + can probably pull it off - especially with support of local/int'l ladder resources.
                            - might need to annoy a few orders (mysterium, arrow, maybe seers) to do this. wld/be blowback.
                            - general risk of any op like this. w/rather not be disavowed over this - but this would be like any conflict.

                            additional issue - local politics - possible seers in arrow (sanction to investigate/expose?). local thearch, SN= 'psychosis'. do we know him? trustworthy?

                            to address these issues -will soon uploading 2x sympathetic connections to locate pieces of artefact (currently in arrow/seer (?) hands) to Pygmalion along our legacy connection. time+mind -> -> -> she can use mind+space to have a go at strengthening symp. connections and scry for their location? thanks - ill owe her v. much.

                            will chat live later. hope this is what you want. will stand by, not do anything hasty yet (besides, we need to find more pieces). i serve the ladder.

                            doolittle xx

                            The car's been driving round and round town while she sends the email; she waits to see if there'll be an immediate reply (it's very early in the morning in France, but sometimes he's up) before going to meet the local Théarchs.


                            • #74
                              After Doolittle and the others left, Portumnus sighed. He was still reeling from the embarassment of having admited that he knew nothing of the powers offered by Zodakin's swords, not to mention the embarassment of having confessed that all the efforts to stop the Dundein Tremer had thus far failed. How lame he must have seemed! That would change, and soon. An unspoken, second reason that he wanted to ensure the Adamant Sage had Zodakin's other sword was so he might finally find and defeat the troublesome Tremer. If only Doolittle and her retinue could understand as well he did how flawless was the Adamant Sage's character. He was no agent of the seers. Of that, there could be no doubt.

                              As Portumnus slowly recovered his lost dignity, Doolittle received a fairly prompt answer from Karolus. After giving premission to try to claim the Chess Set of Fortune for the order if the chance presented itself, he wrote that Psychosis had his full confidence and stood high indeed in the international ranks of the Silver Ladder. He asked Doolitle to meet with Psychosis when she had the chance and see if she can be of any help to him in combating the Seers of the Throne threatening his city.

                              Last edited by Cire; 01-27-2014, 11:28 PM. Reason: Double Post


                              • #75
                                Scar walked into the dusty old house. The place represented organized chaos at its finest. A coffee table littered with various newspapers, an actual dinning table covered in computer print outs, a barely holding itself together desk supporting an old CRT monitor and desktop PC, disks, so many disks all over the place. And that wasnt starting on the numerous pizza boxes all over the place. A bookshelf on the far side of the room housed an impressive and old collection of books, which included such tittles s "Witches Brew", "One Thousand Curses", "Werewolves of Berlin", and "So you think your girlfriend is a witch?". This one part of the room seemed almost like a shrine, tidy, clean, not an ounce of dust.

                                Sitting at the kitchen table, hunched over some surprisingly modern looking book, was a pale skinned, dust bowled eyed, fuzz faced middle aged wreck of a man. He glanced up as Scar entered, glancing at his watch with a look of concern.

                                “Your early,” He stammered. Clearly phased by this sudden change of events. “Your not suppose to be here yet.”

                                “I like to be early. It throws people off if you know what I mean?” Scar dusted some papers off one of the old wooden chairs and carefully sat down. It creaked annoyingly under his weight.

                                The mans hand twitched on the table as he pondered Scars words, then scratched nervously at the side of his face, just below the ears. “They didn’t see you did they? Their watching you know, of course you know. You brought it didn’t you?”

                                “Of course I brought it,” He tapped his jacket not far from his holstered gun, “But first.” He motioned with his hand.

                                “Of course of course,” The man picked up a worn leather bag from the floor, knocking a pizza box to the side he dropped it down onto the table. He unlocked the clasps and pulled out fresh vanilla folders jammed packed full of papers, handing some of them across to Scar.

                                Leaning back, though only slightly as he didn’t trust the chair to support his true weight, Scar flipped through some of the papers. It was a collection of old news stories, book photocopies and internet printouts. Most of it revolved around a mysterious chess piece, a Knight and its supernatural myth.

                                “Who are these people?” Scar enquired, noting there was more than he expected in here.

                                “They are them!” He cried out, “I know. The stories, the backgrounds, they are magic workers, they try to hide it, but we know, we’ve it, its all there!”, he nervously bit at his nail.

                                “Very good, very very good. I expect you wont be putting this on your website, as we agreed. Now about your payment-.” Scar started to reach into his jacket when the man cut him off.

                                “I want triple what you wear going to pay me.”

                                Scars hand withdrew from his pocket. “Come again?”

                                The man scurfled through a wud of papers before fishing out a large colored photograph. He flung the thing towards Scar, but its weight just flipped over the table before flopping face up on the floor. None the less the image was clear. It showed Scar, talking with Dolittle and Tuesday in a café.

                                “The girl talking, they say shes a witch, and shes talking to you and another woman, don’t know her. And they say a man appeared out of thin air!”

                                Scar found his fingers clenching violently into a fist, the knuckles bleached white and the joints audibly popped, not that the man appeared to notice.

                                “Your one of them. Or at least your involved somehow. I want triple… no quintuple times the amount. That or I post it all on the internet.”

                                “I see,” Scars hand slid slowly into his jacket pocket, “I can see there’s no way I’m gong to talk you out of this, it just so happens that I brought something along for this very such situation”, his fingers slowly coiled around the object.

                                In one swift motion Scar drew the object out of his jacket and throw it onto the table before the startled man. It was a thick bundle of rolled up hundred dollar notes, New Zealand currency. Scar let the startled man take a moment to gather up his thoughts before he threw several more large bundles onto the table.

                                “Now as I was saying, I don’t expect to see any of this on your website. If you happen to find out anything new, please call me.” Standing to his feet Scar took the brown bag off the man, who was now busy clambering up all his new money, and walked towards the door.

                                As he passed through the doorway he turned back with a smile, “Pleasure doing business with you Mr Whyte.”