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MAGE 20 - The Tomorrow Unknown - By Moonlight Pale and Blue

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Before and after, today, tomorrow, yesterday it was all the same to him. Sometimes it was a wonder he could keep it all straight in his head or maybe he just thought it was straight, after all how would he know.

 

He stepped onto the path toward the house and paused, opening the small box that he carried, he checked the contents again. Eight old fashioned Golden Keys sat nestled in blue velvet seven were burnished to a bright almost blinding golden color reflecting even the faint moonlight which peeked through the overhanging trees, the last was dull and unpolished. He closed the box, put it in his pocket and continued up the path to the dark house.

 

 

 

June 3rd 2015

 

Seven letters were delivered to seven very different people all were Mages of course not that the delivery persons would know such things and all were very surprised to receive the certified letters from a law firm located in New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

Porteous, Hainkel & Johnson LLP in big fancy script is what the letterhead reads followed by addresses and such, the letter was also written in script. It is addressed to each recipient with their full legal name and dated May 30 2015

 

Dear (Sir or Madam, whichever applies),

 

It is with deepest regret that it falls to us to inform you of the Legal Passing of Mr Anson Tramble Ledoux of New Orleans.

 

It is Upon the Declaration of his passing and subsequent examination of his last will and testament and at the Direction of the Executor of his estate, Ms Mia Veil of New Orleans, that you are being notified.

 

You have been named a special Beneficiary of the Estate of Anson Tramble Ledoux of New Orleans, as such you are invited to a Special Reading of the Will, detailing pertinent instructions and benefits of your inheritance. This special reading will take place on July 1st 2015 at the Hotel Convento in New Orleans, Louisiana the hour the reading is to commence is 8:30 pm.

 

Attendance of this reading is mandatory to receive full inheritance. By Not Attending it shall be construed that you, the above named party are renouncing all claim to your share of the estate to which you have rightful claim. By declining this Invitation, by word or action, You are stating that you will accept a one time benefit payment of $250,000, by Cashier Cheque, to be mailed by certified mail with in 30 days of the reading.

 

Enclosed with this letter you will find the travel arrangements and Hotel accommodations all provided by the Estate.

 

Sincerely, C. Gordon Johnson, Jr.

 

 

Each recipient of a letter had the exact same reaction.

 

What is this all about? Who is this Ledoux fellow? Why am I a beneficiary?

 

But slowly memory comes to the surface.

 

She was taller than he was but his strength surprised her on more than one occasion. Samurai Joe had always pushed her but Anson his old buddy. She had been sparring with him for two days now and while he didn't make her feel inadequate he was always just a tad better than her and then she would land a hit. He was good looking in a sort of rakish way and while older she didnt think he was that much older. It was funny Joe had always been protective around her but he had pretty much left her alone with Anson not that she minded. She was a bit surprised when she asked him to dinner and he excepted, surprised but excited. They had a nice dinner and she made it clear that she was willing for the evening to continue but he just smiled at her and took her hands in his told her how flattered he was kissed her on the cheek and said good night. She never saw him again he was gone the next day when she went to the dojo and soon gone from her thoughts.

 

Penny was an old friend of several years, a real old school VA and probably the closest thing I had to a confidant, so it wasn't just out of courtesy that I did her the favor of showing that Anson guy around town. That I had hit it off with the guy was a big surprise. He wasn't VA but he understood the lingo and the we seemed to share tastes in tv music and even food. Anson had said how impressed he was by my not accepting the traditional VA dogma and trappings and how I seemed to be open to alternate ways of doing things, How I thought outside the box so to speak. It had been a really great day but for the life of me, I can't figure why he would have put me in his will.

 

It had been over a year since she had been to the Podunk town, and when she walked up to the house and saw the new garden and the swing-set she knew even before she knocked. The young Mexican woman told her and said how sorry she was had even invited her in for tea. But she had refused, her friend, her only real friend, the old Crone, was gone died in her sleep. She wandered around town knowing she would never come back to this place see the places she had visited with the crone and ended up at the old bookseller itself under new management it's old proprietor had passed as well. She browsed not really seeing anything grieving in the only way she knew how. The he offered her a book It was the first book the old crone had shown her. When she told him she had read it he looked at the book and smiled and rummaged around and showed her one she hadn't seen before. They talked about the book and he revealed that he was a mage much like herself he had wandered around never wanting to settle till he found this place and thought the books needed someone to watch over them, so he had stayed. She spent the night there they had dinner and talked until the sun was pink in the east and he let her sleep in his room. Whn she left later that day he gave her the book and she never did return to that Podunk little town.

 

The little guy could hit but not hard enough to hurt me no that's not true I took a beating from him I just gave him a better one. Usually when I beat someone that bad there was grudge but not with this guy. When he showed up at work the next day still wearing the bruises of the night before he introduced himself as Anson Ledoux, and said he wanted to buy me a beer. One beer turned into many we both had a laugh when we realized we were both mages. We got pretty drunk ended up fighting again but for fun this time it had been a good night. Never did see him again, would have been nice to have another go around one more time.

 

The music was in her was her the beat propelled her the drugs fueled her the bodies pressing in all around gave her inspiration she danced she could remember it like it had happened last night fuck maybe it had. She had danced and danced then she saw him tall and willowy but very much a man. She danced right up to him wet with sweat and desire, he just leaned there looking at her seeing right through her...they were naked under the moonlight, the magic swelled around them as they fucked both led and both followed he was working some kind of spell she was lost in it but gods it was bliss she woke the next day a new understanding of the power she had and for days she could think of nothing but his touch his smell...If she closed her eyes she could almost catch that strong magical scent.

 

 

She had been fighting for three hours now against just about every other student in the hidden dojo her sensi sat next to the Gaigin never speaking but after each victory he would look at the white stranger and the stranger would give a non committal nod and sensie would call another to fight. The fights had grown harder she had had to use magick when the opponents became instructors but when all foes had been vanquished she stood alone and victorious. The man stood he was wearing boots the masters had let him keep his boots on. He came and stood before her. He reached up and touched her hair never taking his eyes from hers. “Thank You.†And he bowed deeply to her and then to Sensie. Later they came to her and told her she needed to learn more of the world and she forgot about the man named Anson as she prepared to go out to meet her destiny.

 

The vampire had me, I had been stupid had let myself be fooled like an armature and I figured I was going to pay the cost. I had always known that one of these bloodsuckers would do me in, I had just thought it would be some great and powerful vampire lord not some two bit creep passing through town looking for collage blood. Then the vamp had basically burst into flame burning from the inside out the light was blinding like being next to the sun. the ashes drifted down on me like snow when the mage walked up. I recognized him from Kandal's and before that at Adrian's before he died. “Hi Im Anson, your' Kandal's apprentice ain't you?†He had an easy New Orleans Accent the smooth one genteel and cultured not the cajun one the media loves so much. “Yeah I Am Thanks.†He helped me up and told me I should have learned not to hunt vampires alone like that no matter what, then he took and bought me a really good dinner at The Commanders Palace. It was one of the best dinners I ever had and while I can't remember much of what we talked about I know the conversations was good but not 250,000 dollars good and Akemi knew him too well Shit now I wonder if he knew I was a sucker for mysteries.

 

 

 

 

Summer in New Orleans, hot sweltering heat, the Humidity makes the air so heavy it hurts to breath. But still the people come, they come to forget their problems to have fun and live a life of excess even if only for a few days. All kinds white, black, Asian , Europeans and fellow Americans even a few from Down Under all looking for that elusive moment of joy all suffering from a sad sense of desperation. The French Quarter opens its arms 24/7 come party with us come drown your sorrows, come lose your souls.

 

The Hotel Villa Convento , the rumored House of the Rising Sun, nestled in the shade of the large tress overhanging Ursaline Ave. Had stood since the 1830s it wasn't a luxury Hotel in the standard of modern times but its was comfortable and very well kept. The Campo's have staffed the Hotel since it's opening in the mid 1800s. Arrangements had been made by the lawyers for the seven letter holders and for the meeting to be held on the 1st.

 

 

 

Game note.
Please post your characters arrivals at the hotel. Arrangements allow for arrival up to one day before the 1st.

For your information the Campos, the owners of the Hotel are White, there are two Maids who are el salvadorans. The Player characters are the only guests the Hotel has been reserved for your use alone. There is a small dining room in the Hotel but only breakfast is served.

Any questions please pm me or catch me in chat.

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Akemi read the letter and frowned, she didn't know... wait, now she remembered him, it was odd that she had forgotten, and she wondered if she hadn't been encouraged to forget.  The offer of money for not showing up was interesting, but of no major concern for her, she cared about a number of other things as a lot more important then material wealth.  Cade had received a similar letter and had memories of his own of this Anson, which was another interesting piece of information.

 

Still, she wanted time to consider the matter further, and so she chose to take a hour to meditate, to consider what she had remembered, and why it had been forgotten...

 

Her conclusions, Anson had to be a mage, or at least a supernatural being of some sort.. he had been known to her teachers, and welcome to watch in part of her testing.. before she had been sent out into the world, to learn and grow.  He had been involved in Cade's past as well, and the offer of money for simply choosing not to show up suggested his estate was something important.  How important, and what he was really up too, however, was what mattered most to her... her curiousity was aroused.. and she thought this suggested a quest of sorts, something that her avatar would be pleased for her to involve herself in..

 

Also, she knew Cade, there was no way a mystery like this one wouldn't get his interest, and there was no way she wouldn't support him, he would go, therefor so would she..  and so, she accompanied Cade to hotel in New Orleans.

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June 3rd, Burlington, VT

 

It took Aja a few moments to read the entirety of the letter and summarize the details. It took him another moment to realize this was going to require some thought. He stepped across the carpeting over to the desk to deposit the astounding missive and then back to the tiled kitchen section. He needed to have some lunch as he'd originally planned before grappling with the letter.

 

Leftover meatballs, spaghetti, shrimp and broccoli served as Aja's fare before the young man padded back to his desk. The apartment was moderately sized, with a bedroom, kitchen, broad living room space and a bathroom. The laundry room was conveniently on the same floor and Aja had been practiced in using these since Champlain College.

 

Living expenses were easily handled. Aja's primary ones were food, electricity, rent, water, laundry money, and the occasional indulgence in books, movies and games. He didn't feel the need for excess furnishings or paintings. And his TV and electronics worked quite well. No car. In short, he easily had his lifestyle covered, with a healthy amount of savings for safety's sake.

 

This, though, was... Aja adjusted his glasses, pushing it back up his nose for better magnification. He remembered Anson, but how did a good night, and even the respect given, translate into being a lottery winner of winners. There was no mistaking the lawyer's writing. Not showing only netted you $250,000.

 

The implication, Anson had a very very massive bank account, not unknown to Traditionalists, sure. But Aja had been green-lighted for clearly big resources beyond. Why?

 

It was a no-brainer really. Aja didn't want to have to worry and adjust for this sudden disruption of the routine, but there was something afoot, and he most certainly wanted to know why.

 

July 1st, New Orleans

 

A cab trip. A long plane ride. And another cab trip. Aja was exhausted, sweaty and peopled out. He had his gray duffel bag (clothing, medicine and toiletries), his black backpack (laptop, mouse, chargers for cell and computer, books) and a smaller black handle bag (the disassembled CPAP).

 

He could check into the hotel, take refuge in his room until 8:30, and learn what this was all about. A brief bit of observation concluded the presence of wi-fi and free newspapers, to his satisfaction. Aja stepped over to the counter, to check in and get it all wrapped up.

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The money was substantial, and to any aside from a Mage, might have been tempting enough to just take and be done with.  The memory of that night, that meal had become so vivid, it couldn't be ignored.  Money wasn't an issue for him, it hadn't been since Adrian adopted him, not that he was callous regarding it,  it had its uses, he just didn't feel the need to amass huge amounts to the exclusion of all else. 

 

Of course he'd go, the mystery alone, though combined with his experience, and the fact Akemi had the same letter, and recently resurfaced memories regarding Anson, well, that just made it impossible to pass up this invitation.

 

He drove them to the hotel, finding parking surprisingly with ease, A first really given the normal state of new orleans parking.   Still it wasn't enough to make him paranoid.   After that he got the small cases they'd packed should this necessitate an overnight stay, as well as his laptop case to while away the hours, unless the decided to walk around.   There at the counter was another guest checking in, with Akemi walking behind Cade, carrying her own case at her insistence.     Dutifully he waited his turn listening, not so much to be nosy, but out of decade old habit.

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The stories he'd heard about it not being the heat, but the humidity were turning out to be true. Colorado was nice and dry. New england was more temperate. Washington DC was a swamp. But this was basically like walking through soup.

 

As the waves of heat radiated from the pavement, Montrose turned to look back the way he'd come. Maybe six or seven miles since the bus stop. The slick sweat on his back seemed to adhere to the mosquitoes and other nameless bugs that flitted through the Louisiana air. With a sigh, he reached into the bag over his shoulder, hissing as the rough canvas abraded his skin. The tanned surface of his arm was tinged pink with the beginning of a good sunburn as he pulled out a bottle of some energy drink he'd gotten at the station.

 

The lukewarm fluid hit his tongue and he almost wept with joy as the electrolytes from some nameless cocktail of chemicals joined the water and brought blessed relief to his parched throat. For a brief, eternal instant of no-time, his mind broke free of chronal procession and compared the sensation to the first orgasm he'd ever had, though reality snapped his thoughts back to the here-and-now before a final judgement could be rendered. The semi-carnal state of his senses dulled and he returned his attention to the trip.

 

According to the cheap travel GPS, he was still about five or six miles from Folsom. He still had a day and a half to get to Narlins and get to the hotel.

Ledoux. His last name had been Ledoux. Hell of a way to find out about it.

 

For perhaps the hundredth time since the letter had found its way into the PO Box he kept in Wichita, he thought back to that night back in New Mexico. It had been just another fight. Then genuine camaraderie, then another fight. Still, they both recognized each others' nature as drifters. When the irrigation channel construction had finished, they'd said farewells and parted company. Until the letter arrived, Montrose rarely thought about the time in question.

 

A few beers, a few punches and now... what?

 

Expanded senses told him that things were converging ahead. Perhaps the veil might part a little wider if he followed this new quest. For a second, he imagined himself as the avatar in some quest or another in one of those wierd online video games his godson played. The amusing notion passed as he caught sight of a car rounding the bend. Putting on his friendliest smile, Montrose stuck his thumb out, hoping for both the motorist was feeling generous and the car having a working A/C.

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June 3rd 2015

 

Kaitlin was grilling seasoned elk steaks for supper while looking over the documents she had picked up at the post office earlier after school. She almost burned the steaks, staring at the papers, considering what they were offering. It was way more money than she ever expected to see in one place.

 

With that much, she and her father could afford to fix up things around the house, get a new vehicle that would be easier for him with his injured leg, and consult a specialist in Cheyenne about her father's leg and afford treatment - she was learning to do a lot with her Magick, she was able to help him, but wasn't able to fix his leg. Yet. There would even be enough left to get herself something for graduating high-school and turning eighteen...

 

... All for doing nothing, thanks to a friend of Samurai Joe's she met two years ago and hadn't though of since. She'd been sixteen, half a foot taller than she had meant to be - the tallest girl in town now and taller than most of the boys - and still coming to own her sexuality. She sparred with him for a few days at the dojo, and unabashedly flirted with him. In a town of less than two thousand, with a single school that had fewer than three hundred students, everyone tended to know each other.

 

Anson had seemed extra charming thanks to being a stranger. Sure, he had to have been at least a decade, decade-and-a-half, older than she was, but with the new height and curves she had grown over the last two years had come extra confidence and the age difference hadn't bothered her. But he had turned her down, if smoothly, and left the next day.

 

And for some reason, he had left her in his will. She was kind of disappointed - maybe even sad - that he was dead, but she hadn't really known him. She wanted to take the cash and leave it at that, but her pride wouldn't let her. She had never had much, but what she did have, she had earned or fought for - she didn't accept pity, nor charity.

 

She'd have to go down to New Orleans and listen to the reading of the Will, to find out what this was about, if she was going to accept anything. She grinned to herself as she flipped the steaks, searing them evenly. Graduation was in a week in a half, and her birthday was on the same day as the reading of the Will. She deserved to treat herself once in her life. It wasn't like she was going to Prom - even if she was willing to wear a dress, she didn't have the time or money to find a nice one that would actually fit her statuesque stature, and she was sure the three salons in town were already solidly booked.

 

Kaitlin had been to Lander, Cody, and Jackson several times, even to Cheyenne once or twice when she was little, before her mother died. A vacation in a big city like New Orleans sounded like a sweet gift to herself for graduating High School and turning eighteen, even if it did end up delaying working as a Fire Lookout for a week or two and nearly wipe out her meager savings

 

She could refund the plane tickets and use the money to cover some bills, and drive down instead in her battered Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, listen to the reading of Will, accept or decline what was offered as she chose, then spend a few days in the Big Easy before driving back. I'll have to call the liquor stores to make sure Dad doesn't back slide while I'm gone. I'm sure Samurai Joe will check in on him if I ask. I'll prep some meals for Dad to make sure he eats...

 

She glanced over a firm shoulder as she heard her father's cane thumping on the wooden veranda surrounding their log cabin, followed by his slow, shuffling gait, all he could manage dragging a practically useless leg.

 

"Are those steaks almost done, Kat?" Reynold Vandussen grumped querulously. He leaned on the rail and pointed at the stack of papers beside her with the cane he had carved himself. "What did Bill have for you at the Post Office?"

 

Bill Harlowe had run the Post Office in Dubois ever since Kaitlin could remember. She flashed her father a bright grin as she slid the thick elk steaks onto a plate. "I'm going on vacation for Graduating, Dad. You see..."

 

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

 

June 29th-30th 2015

 

Samurai Joe had assured her he'd look in on her father every other day or so, but had seemed as surprised by Anson's last act as she was. Kaitlin was on the road for over a twenty-four hours, traveling the interstates from Wyoming to Louisiana, kept company by the faint rattle emitted by her aged Wrangler Rubicon, the music blaring from her iPod, and the occasional glimpse of Pantheris from the corner of her eyes.

 

She did stop at Cheyenne Mountain State Park outside Colorado Springs for a good run to stretch her legs and a few hours to meditate and rest at a campsite. It was a nice enough Park, but nothing compared to the Grand Teton or Yellowstone National Parks Kaitlin thought, privately amused.

 

Kaitlin thought she knew what to expect seeing a real city with her own eyes for the first time - she'd seen them enough on TV after all. But she had almost gotten lost cutting through Denver, and Dallas had seem like it was never going to end. But now she was in Louisiana, closing in on New Orleans, passing through small towns that didn't seem all different from the ones she was used to in Wyoming. They were far different in looks, but had the same feel.

 

Except for the humidity. Yeah, it got cold in Wyoming, but it could get damn hot too, especially in the badlands. But it was usually a dry, arid heat. This felt like breathing through a soggy towel. With focus and mental discipline, she pushed the discomfort aside, breathing easy, though her sun-bronzed skin still gleamed with a faint sheen of sweat.

 

Kaitlin was between towns - she thought there were called Parishes in Louisiana - Drowning Pool's 'Bodies' blaring through the speakers when she saw the man walking down the shoulder of the road right before a bend, his thumb held out. Kaitlin debated for only a moment before pulling to a stop ahead of him, and letting him walk up. Up in rural Wyoming, when you caught someone hitchhiking, it usually meant they had car trouble or got lost hiking or camping or hunting in one of the National Parks or Forests. You picked them up if you could (and felt safe) and at least gave them a lift to the next town, because next time, it might be you who needed help.

 

When the man caught up, Kaitlin gave him a neutral, if genuine, smile, her eyes hidden behind a pair of dark, polarized sunglasses. She turned down the music to something she wouldn't have to yell over. "I'm driving down to New Orleans, if you're going that far. Where are you headed?"

 

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon didn't have A/C. But the ragtop was down and stored and the doors removed. Montrose was a bit surprised at who the driver was, and contemplated her wisdom in stopping for a hitchhiker. The driver was a young woman, barely out of High School, if that, very pretty, model pretty even, her curves and great deal of tawny flesh shown off in a black crop-top with the white skull of the Punisher straining over her full breasts and a pair of denim cut-offs, pale blue, almost white, with age. Her brown hair, revealing hints of red and blonde under the sun, was tucked under a tan US Army Rangers cap, and pulled through the back in a pony-tail.

 

On the other hand, the girl's abs looked like they had to have been carved using a chisel, and the obvious muscle in her arms and legs was lean and taut, as if she had left the gym five minutes ago. It was hard to tell since she was sitting down, but Montrose thought she had at least a few inches on him, considering the long legs looked a bit cramped under the steering wheel. More tellingly, his experience prize fighting let him know this woman knew how to handle herself in a fight. Her every movement held a dangerous, inherent grace. Not foolish after all.

 

His friendly smile widened. "As far as Narlins', Miss," Montrose said, pausing a beat before adding on impulse, "I'm Montrose."

 

It was Kaitlin's turn to a pause a moment, something urging her to lowering her sunglasses to give him a sharper look with vivid, amber eyes. She took a breath, in through her nose, out through her mouth, channeling the Primal energy that ran through her and all things, focusing her thoughts as she looked at the man called Montrose, through meat and bone, to read his aura, and catching the sparkle to it, that revealed him as a Mage of one kind or another. Pantheris chuffed noncommittally in her mind.

 

"Funny," Kaitlin said in a naturally husky voice, lips curving in a wry grin. "Anson?"

 

"Anson," Montrose agreed.

 

"Throw your bag in the back and climb in. I'm Kat."

 

Montrose noted the stuffed military surplus tactical pack in the back as he swung his rucksack off his shoulder and put it next to it in the Jeep. Then Kat pulled back onto the road almost before he was settled in the passenger seat, turning the music back up, which was now some sort of hip-hop beat.

 

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

 

July 1st 2015

 

Kaitlin went for a run before the sun rose above the horizon. It wasn't forest and mountains, but she didn't mind climbing and jumping the obstacles in a real city like New Orleans, at least the ones she thought would support her weight - parkour could be practiced anywhere - and ignored the yells from the few people sharing the street with her that early in the morning.

 

She availed herself of the dining room and ate a huge breakfast, then took a shower. After that, she took some time to look up sights to see in the city on her aging smartphone and carefully plotted out a route using Google Maps so she wouldn't get lost. She could find her way across hundreds and thousands of acres of forest and mountain, but the sprawl of a city that was a thousand times more populous than the town she was from was still bewildering to her, even if she wouldn't admit it to anyone.

 

She left her room and was going to head out for lunch and to begin her tour, but when she passed through the foyer, she noticed some new arrivals and paused, leaning against a wall, arms folded, making no secret of giving them a look over. The Campos had mentioned the hotel had been reserved for the executor's use and Kaitlin was curious to who else had been invited to the reading of Anson Ledoux's Will.

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"Hooo!" exclaimed Triessa as she popped out of the air conditioned, dirty white Honda Civic that pulled up in front of the hotel. "You weren't kidding!"

 

The driver of the car, a college-age guy with dark hair and thick brows, rolled down his window and laughed. "I warned you."

 

She went around to the driver's side, into the street...a tallish young woman with a short ruff of wild blonde hair and wide blue-green eyes, in a T shirt with the sleeves torn off to make a sort of tank top and a pair of knee length denim shorts that had probably started life as a pair of jeans. She kissed her fingertips and pressed them against college-boy's forehead affectionately.

 

"You sure did," the magess agreed amiably. "So thanks for the ride, and the motel room. You gonna be okay?"

 

He shrugged abashedly and grinned. "Yeah, I think so. Thanks for...for everything."

 

Triessa grinned back and winked, then went around behind the car and started up the stairs into the hotel, giving a wave back behind her as the Civic started pulling away. The shade of the trees was a welcome relief, but only comparatively. Even without the sun beating her like a drum, the air was like a blanket around her. She sighed happily and looked around, taking in the sights for a moment.

 

New Orleans...it was such a symbol, whether people knew it or not. A city all but destroyed, but here it was...not just surviving but thriving. People had had a really hard time, but they'd come back so far. Why had it taken so long for her to visit here?

 

"Excuse me," she said, catching a passerby's eye. "Do you have the date? Today?"

 

The stranger, a mocha-skinned man in distinguished clothing, gave her a surprised look and consulted his watch. "The thirtieth."

 

Triessa rewarded him with a dazzling smile that he somewhat dazedly returned, but before he could think of something else to say, she chirped, "Thanks!" and cruised on past into the hotel. Normally she might have stuck around to chat, but there was a big city to see and not much time to go before she had to go to this meeting.

 

That brought a laugh to her lips. A meeting. Her. Who'd have thought it?

 

"Oh, Ledoun...you crazy guy," she murmured to herself as she headed for the desk. Once there she rang the bell even though there was a clerk right there. The clerk stared at her woodenly.

 

Then at the bell.

 

Triessa grinned, "Sorry. I just had to do it. I've never been somewhere they had one of these before."

 

The clerk didn't return the grin. Tri took that as a personal challenge. "Can I help you?" asked the clerk.

 

"Oh, yeah! I'm uh, here..." Triessa started rummaging in her pockets. "...there's a thing I have to go to tomorrow...and they said I could stay here the day before...ah! Here!"

 

She handed over a slip of paper. A well-folded, crumpled slip of paper. The letter from the lawyers.

 

The clerk read it over, then handed it back. "Just a second."

 

Taptaptap on the computer.

 

"So," said Triessa, trying for companionability. "Pretty hot here, huh?"

 

"It's New Orleans." It sounded like 'nawlins.'

 

"I love your accent," she enthused, shifting gears.

 

The clerk finished with the computer and turned around to take a card out of a drawer. "I'll get your key ready for you."

 

"You're an awesome person!" Triessa tried calling as the clerk went away to where the encoder was, farther back. "Thanks!"

 

Damn. Tough nut to crack!

 

Finally, with her key in hand, the mage went up to her room and took a few minutes to throw herself on the bed and bounce around a bit. Then she sniffed the curtains and hunted around the room curiously. Did they have cameras? She didn't find any. Then she made sure to put the keycard in her satchel's strap...it had a split seam in the shoulder strap that she could fit credit card-sized stuff and it was pretty secure. Then she headed out to see some sights before the big day!

 

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3 June 2015

A swank note had arrived for Purple Rose - 'Jenna Li' to the people who sent her her mail - at her parents place. Her mother and father was somewhat necessary. She used it as an impromptu PO Box. She could get food, shower, and bed there too. Not like the man and woman who gave life to her cared about what she did. As long as she didn't need bail. That was the only tether keeping this place tied to her.

Purple Rose opened the note and read it. Anson was not a name that she remembered. Ever since she was absorbed into the crime-soaked party scene that was New Orleans, it was a blur. The people she kept as close friends she had names for. The rest were just another night. But then the memory of that night came into her head like a shot of the good stuff. She remembered how they impressed upon each other in different ways. She stood there happily remembering, with embellishments as usual for her, but there was nothing she could put there to make their time together any better. The smell of that night was something she didn't want to make go away. It was something of a magical memento, meant only for her... them?

And now he was dead. Apparently he had bank to pull this kinda stunt. She wondered why in the world he would want her to have anything of his. She grinned, as she thought of the obvious low hanging fruit explanation. She fucked like a beast. Then again, he had her tied up in knots too. The hotel - always some place in the French Quarter here - was upscale ritzy. The type her father would take travelers to meetings with. Not that she minded.

1 July 2015

Last night was a blur. Sound, movement, bright lights all merged together into one chaoticly sensual blast. Technically the party was still going - New Orleans was like that, You never stopped a revel, you just put it on hold. your fun bumps into others fun and they make fun babies - but she had to be a 'responsible adult'.

Of course a responsible adult showered, brushed her teeth, ate breakfast, got dressed in their finest. That last one is where Purple Rose stopped. She had foo foo dresses that were for formal events. Long red and form fitting. But a will reading? Nah, she was going as is: work boots, multi-colored stockings, long baggy knee shorts that fit well enough on her hips, a midriff tshirt with the word "Dikfore" in red on it and a pair a purple shades. Cleaning up and being awake was something she owed the man who was paying her a quarter million for a night of ecstasy.

That smell though. The closer she got to her destination the more it whelmed her. The memories of that night played in her head, complete with her version of what music and lighting that should have been.

Other people were arriving. Sure, the Hotel Villa was busy, but passing inspection of the spirits made it easier to spot who was who.

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June 30 New Orleans

 

Three guests were at the Villa Convento this night, two had arrived together and were as different as any two people could be. One, the very young, very attractive woman stood over six feet tall and had a physique that could have graced any muscle magazines cover and the beauty to make many glamour models green with envy, the other a short lean and wiry man looked to be in his twenties to early thirties and was not very memorable in any case. The one thing they had in common was the way they moved. Both had an easy cat like grace, aware of their surroundings and giving off a sense of impending explosive action.

 

Warren Campo was at the desk and greeted them, informing them, with apologies, that the hotel was booked for a special event and offering to recommend another hotel. When both of the newcomers had explained that they were here for the Ladoux Reading, he confirmed their reservations and called for one of the boys to show them to their rooms. “It will be a few minutes for Miguel to come to the front,†he explained with a smooth cultured voice with just the barest hint of an accent, “in the mean time, we are a small hotel, really more of a bed and breakfast but you know how that is.†He smiled broadly as he came out from behind the old fashioned counter, handed each of them a key with attached to a fob in the shape of Louisiana. “Now while we have a kitchen for serving breakfast, we don't have the staff for lunch or dinner service and with all the fine dining Establishments in the area, never saw any need for it. If your lookin for any type of food or just want some recommendations we will gladly point you to the right directions an if you let us know where ya want to eat, I'll personally make a reservation and get you a little discount.†A young Hispanic youth in his teens comes up and takes the bags for the two guests. “As for Lunch if you really don't feel like going out we can provide cold sandwiches. We are expecting more of your group to arrive today and tomorrow if you would like we will notify you, now if you will excuse me, Miguel will show you to your' rooms and I believe that I see another of our guests arriving right nowâ€

 

As Campos walks back behind the counter the two mismatched guests who had stood through the rapid fire spiel just looked at each other and then followed the casually dressed bellhop up the narrow stairs as the third guest a young blond short haired woman came into the quaint lobby with a big grin on her face. Kait and Montrose both smiled as Campos prepared to repeat his routine but kept their thoughts to themselves.

 

The woman who came into the hotel lobby looked vivacious and full of spirit, as she walked up to the desk Campos began his rehearsed speech but had barely uttered one word when the blond rang the desk bell even with him right there, shocked he stopped talking and stared at the woman.

 

The clerk stared at her woodenly. 

Then at the bell.

 Triessa grinned, "Sorry. I just had to do it. I've never been somewhere they had one of these before."

The clerk didn't return the grin. Tri took that as a personal challenge. "Can I help you?" asked the clerk.

 "Oh, yeah! I'm uh, here..." Triessa started rummaging in her pockets. "...there's a thing I have to go to tomorrow...and they said I could stay here the day before...ah! Here!"

 She handed over a slip of paper. A well-folded, crumpled slip of paper. The letter from the lawyers.

 The clerk read it over, then handed it back. "Just a second."

Taptaptap on the computer.

"So," said Triessa, trying for companionability. "Pretty hot here, huh?"

 "It's New Orleans." It sounded like 'nawlins.'

 "I love your accent," she enthused, shifting gears.

The clerk finished with the computer and turned around to take a card out of a drawer. "I'll get your key for you."

"You're an awesome person!" Triessa tried calling as the clerk went away to where the encoder was, farther back. "Thanks!"

 

“Here you are ma'am, the reading is scheduled;led for 8:30 pm tomorrow.†He hands her a key.

“We serve breakfast from 6am until 11am, we can also provide cold sandwiches and such for lunch and dinner but will gladly provide recommendations for local restaurants. We can also arrange tours and shopping excursions just talk to April in the morning and she will get you fixed up. Miguel will show you to your room.â€

 

Campos stood somewhat rigidly as he watched the strange woman follow Miguel up the stairs when movement at the corner of his eye made him turn and look toward the entrance. Just outside the door stood a short well muscled black man with long dredlocks pulled back and tied up, his face was scared and on prominent display on his neck a tattoo of an upside-down gothic cross. He was watching the woman go up the steps but when Campos came around the desk he pointed his finger at Campos like a little gun and made a shooting motion which stopped campos dead in his traks with shock. While Campos caught his breath the man turned and disappeared from the door, by the time Campos got outside he was gone.

 

Going back behind the desk he pulled out a cell phone instead of using the hotel phone. “It's Warren, let me talk to her. Now please.†He waited watching the door then she was on the other end. “I saw one of Gault's boys I think he was following one of the guests. Yes there are three here now. I would like some security if you don't mind I do not want any trouble here. Thank you.†he disconnected and put the phone back in his pocket and picked up a paper and hoped this would finish off his debt.

 

 

 

 

 

The ether twisted and turned writing like some great animal struck with the vicious stings of a hundred angry wasps, reality pulsed and blinked space, time, dimensions within and without all reacting to stimulus non proportional to the all of being.

 

 

JULY 1st

 

Kait showered and dressed after her run, the old, thin Pantera T-shirt straining across her full chest and strong shoulders. She stepped out onto the balcony to breath in the fresh air before heading out to tour some of New Orleans, the snug hotel room too confining for her tastes.

 As she stood there, looking up and down the street, she saw two men, one tall and one short, both black. Even though the number of African-American here was unusual compared to what she was used to, it was something else that ringed in Kaitlin's head.

 A semi-shadow of smoke curled around her legs and Kaitlin focused her personal Magick to heighten her senses. Yes, she had seen both men before, both last night and this morning while she was running, and now here. This was too much of a coincidence.

 As she watched them, a late model town car turned onto the narrow street. Both men tensed. The taller looked like he might bolt, but the shorter, bulkier one stilled him with a hard look. As she watched the car slowly roll up the street, Kaitlin couldn't get a good look inside, the windows tinted too dark.

 The car slowed to a crawl as it came abreast of the two men, the taller still looking edgy but the shorter gave off a cool demeanor and even showed his empty hands to the car. The car kept rolling pass them rolling past them to the end of the block, where it turned toward the river.

 Kait kept her amber eyes on the two men, who both watched the car until it was out of sight, before the shorter of the pair turned back toward the Hotel and looked straight at her. Kaitlin glared right, her hands tightening on the black iron of the balcony railing.

 "What the fuck do you want?" Kait shouted at the man, chin tilted at a bold angle and her whole body tensed, ready to leap right off the balcony to the ground one story below to confront him.

The short man smiled a broad grin showing perfect white teeth gave her a wave and slapping his companion on the arm then they walked on down the street disappearing around the corner.

 

 

Pics
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Shorty

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Tall and Nervous

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They sat in a semi-circle on dark wooden straight back chairs which looked uncomfortable but were actually kind of nice, they faced a small table with folding legs on which the legal papers and such had been placed, a legal aid/clerk sat to the side of the table while the old lawyer who had introduced himself as C. Gordon Johnson Jr. sat behind it looking over the papers and consulting with the young female clerk. They were waiting for the arrival of one more person as indicated by an empty chair sitting off to the right of both the desk and the semi circle of the seven inheritors.

 

It wasn't quite 8:30 yet but all seven of the inheritors had made their way into the room and taken their seats over the course of the last half hour. Several of them had shown surprise as they came in contact with one another. Triessa, Montrose, and Kaitlin had had brief contact the day before but as everyone had made their way into the room for the event, Kaitlin recognized the wildly inappropriately dressed Purple Rose whom she had seen at the wild bar that she had finally made her way too the night before. Like wise Montrose recognized the Asian girl and the older man whom he had seen the night before in the sports bar he had found. That they recognized him was apparent by the looks all three exchanged. The only one no one had seen before aside from the legal team was Aja Klarfeld who had arrived late that afternoon and had gone unnoticed by any of the others until he had come down stairs and joined them in the converted breakfast room. Among them only Cade and Akemi conversed in low voices and then only briefly.

 

That each was a mage had been ascertained by each in turn and none of the seven were used to the being in the presence of unknown mages. While none of those present had been old enough to partake in the Ascension war of the last century all of them were aware and had heard the stories. Not knowing who they were with kept each guarded within his own counsel. Each mage could feel the manifestation of his or her Avatar, and those with keenly attuned magickal sense could feel the stirring of the ether that static tingle along the nerves as magickal energies seemed to flow into the room were before there had been none.

 

At precisely 8:30 pm the doors opened and a woman walked into the room pausing as each of the inheritors turned to look and as Mr. Johnson stood to acknowledge her.

 

She was young or at least looked that way, probably in her early to mid twenties but in the right clothes and makeup could pass for a teenager easily. Slender and short at only 5', with hair so black it shined blueish in the light, she was dressed in a subtly elegant dress also black , her features were quirky and as a whole attractive but it would be a stretch to say she was pretty unless you were blinded by love or some other powerful force.

 

Magickal senses told a far more detailed tale than what the eyes could see. She was surrounded by a ward of complex casting those with experience could assume she must be bearing some sort of wonder of a magickal nature but aside from that the senses were drawn to the dark oaken box she carried in her two hand.

 

The box was about a foot long and maybe half as wide it had silver hinges and an ornate clasp, a raised cursive L adorned the lid, and it was, to the right eye, so obviously magickal one had to wonder what kind of fool wold bear such a thing openly.

 

The woman looked impassively at the Inheritors when Mr. Johnson's voice broke the silence. “Good evening Ms.Vail, punctual to the second as ever, if you would take this seat over here we can get to the reading. I know you have much more to go on about after I'm done with legalities.†He indicated the lone chair which she moved to and sat crossing her legs and placing the box in her lap hands clasped on top of the lid.

 

 

Mr. Johnson
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C. Gordon Johnson Jr. had been a lawyer for going on 52 years, retired now he had come to this reading not only as a favor to the firm but because of the debt he owed the deceased. The Firm had served the Ladoux Family since the mid 1800s and he had been Anson Ladoux's Lawyer for over 40 years. His position in the firm had made him privy to certain secrets, things only select members of society were allowed to know and keep on living. Things you learned early on not to repeat and to just overlook as if they didn't exist. Mr. Ladoux had been one of those things and now as he looked at this Assembly before him he reasoned he was experiencing another. With a deep breath he picked up the documents and began.

 

 

“Beth has certified that you are who you say you are so we can fogo that process again.â€

 

He hefts the thick document so everyone can see.

 

“Now while we call this a reading in fact what we will b doing is simply cover the saliant point of the will which covers you all as benificiaries. A few nessecary points for legal purposes. I also ask that you hold any omments and questions until I am done, thank you.â€

 

 

Johnson puts the will down puts a pair of glasses on and picks it back up

 

“We are gathered her tonight to perform a specified reading of certain portions of the last will and testament of Anson Tramble Ladoux. This will was written in August of 1995 and has been revised six times the final revision was made in December of 2005,â€

 

He looks around the room his eye settling on the obviously youngest person in the room, Kaitlin.

 

“This is the version of the will, that after the Declaration of Mr. Ladoux's Death, in accordance with Louisiana law on April 19th of this year 2015, seven years after the initial report of his disappearance in August of 2008, again in accordance with Louisiana law, that has been properly Probated and implemented out to the best of our abilities as directed by the will.†Johns son sips some ater and nods toward Ms. Vail.

 

“Ms. Mia Vail serves as the Executor of the will and has called this meeting gathering you seven as the sole named beneficiaries in the will, as the last action of the will as directed by said document, that being the Last Will and Testament of Anson Tramble Ladoux.â€

 

Lowering the document he again gives each of the inheritors a stern legal look.

 

“I inform you now that the contents of this will and the specifics of the inheritances are private and confidential, and as such they will not be displayed by me in such a public setting. I further inform you that in accordance with the directions of the deceased in his will, each of you, the named beneficiaries, are bound by certain terms, requirements, and obligations to be set forth as follows. If you decline agreement of these terms, requirements, and obligations at this time or at any time tonight prior to receiving your inheritance you will be removed from the will as a beneficiary and will receive a one time payment from the estate in the sum of one million dollars to be paid this night. I do have the cashiers checks with me if you are wondering. Accepting this payment acknowledges your putting aside any future claim on the estate.â€

 

Again he pauses to look to make sure everyone is following him.

 

“Furthermore, if you accept your place as a beneficiary and then fail to meet the aforementioned Terms, requirements, and obligations your status with the estate will be severed with no further recompense save that which the estate has already provided and that which the custodian of the Estate wishes to add if anything.â€

 

He takes another sip and flips the page looking at Ms. Vail again, who gives a little nod.

 

“All right then, Each of you as the sole named beneficiaries in the document, will receive equal share in one portion of the estate which has been divided into three portions. The Ladoux Estate has an approximate worth of close to 11billion dollars American, spread through property, industry, cash, and investments. These holdings include but ar not limited to the Atlantis Plantation, one of the remaining working sugar cane plantations in Louisiana, the Astrarium House here in Nawlins, several small commercial properties also in the city and some properties in other states and abroad details of which are in the hands of the custodian who will release those details as deemed necessary.â€

 

“Each of you will be required to spend a minimum of six months during each year at the the Plantaion of the Astrarium House. This time can be spread out or consecutive how ever at least half of that time must be spent with all seven inheritors present. The estate which is considered under law to be an entity will fall under the custodianship of Ms. Mia Vail and her named successors. Ms. Vail as per the instructions of the will will also continue in her role as executor and it is she who will administer the distributions of your inheritances. The custodian has full power of attorney to use distribute and act in the stead of the estate She and her successors have final authority in accordance to guidelines set forth by the will. However The custodian can be vetoed if all inheritors are in agreement. In any dispute over decisions concerning the estate any inheritor may call for a vote. Each inheritor has one vote the Custodian has a number of votes equal to the number of inheritors minus 1. In the case of there being only one inheritor remaining the will sets forth other means of settling disputes. In this manner any decision of the Custodian may be overturned by a unanimous vote of the inheritors.â€

 

“Only you, the named beneficiaries, may benefit from your inheritance. None of you are married nor do any of you have children. If in the future you acquire either they will not have any right to your inheritance nor will they be allowed access to any of the properties of which you have inherited.â€

 

He puts down the will takes off his glasses. That is all I have to convey if you would please turn your attention to Ms. Vail she will continue.†He sits.

 

Mia Vail
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Ms. Vail stands before the table in front of the semi circle of mages holding the box.   

 

“Anson Chose each of you to Inherit his fortunes but they do come with a price.†She has a soft voice but it carries and her accent is southern but not of Louisiana.

 

“Unfortunately That price gets called before I can really let you know what it entails. But I can tell you this, I know who you are I know that Anson saw something in each and everyone of you something that is strong and powerful and great. I will answer any questions I can but first you have to pay that price. Mr. Johnson told you what it is. Y'all can take some money and it's a lot of money for most of you. Or you can accept your inheritance.â€

 

She unclasps the box and opens the lid. Inside nestled in blue velvet are seven Golden keys and one black.

 

“Take the money or come up here and tell me your name and take a key. If you take a key I'will answer your questions but if you decide after taking the key that you don't want your inheritance, you can go on your way empty handed.â€

 

Game Note
Assuming your character takes a key the following will occur to each mage in his or her own way of course...

As you contemplate the box with keys you will feel the magick coalescing before you reach for one your avatar will maifest warning you away from teh black key and will point out the key you should take

Identifying the magick is Awareness DC 6 one sux lets you know that it isa complex spell 2 sux Ids the spheres involved (Entropy, Prime, Life, And Mind) 3 sux will revel that this is a spell which has been cast upon you before,

note: you can only identify a sphere of makick in which you have at least one dot.

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Aja had always had no issue pouring through legal documents and getting salient details. Or in the case of listening, which caused him to be extra quiet and appear somewhat distant once a certain distinct line in the beginning of the recitals. A will last revised in 2005, when Aja wasn't even yet starting high school. One that by implication, had his name, and the others present, put on.

Anson Ladoux, an unbelievably Forbes 500 qualifier, who had disappeared seven years ago. A mage, and extra eccentric. Why not just take the trademarks to Doctor Strange from Marvel if he was going to name his houses like a Hermetic who longed for the Wizarding Britain of Harry Potter?

Aja hadn't broken through to his Awakening for somewhere on the order of twelve and some more months yet. Penny had been a friend definitely before then, and it had been a pleasant surprise to find someone close to him who knew and understood. But it was through her that he'd met Anson that night.

The dinner at Asiana Noodle had been a couple years prior. All of this seemed impossible. But not, this was the sort of thing that meant less when reality hacking, or magick, if you chose to say - was a fact of your existence. Certainly, manipulation of time, and precognition, divination, and the like were well accepted in the Traditions. The conclusion seemed to be answered by Mia Vail herself already: Anson had quite the interest in them.

To say this was with hindsight, all planned out in advance was like suggesting fish preferred water. And Mia Vail had the keys to it all, literally. A unanimous vote between beneficiaries whom barely know each other? No dice.

So was Aja prepared to uproot his life on a spur this way, for resources probably beyond even his immense imagination? Just to get an answer to this whole mystery? Because this young man wasn't going to take the key and then just walk with nothing. If he did this, it would be thoroughly upheld.

Oh, who was he kidding? For something like this, he just had to know. Aja finally rose, and walked, hands in pocket to Mia. "Okaay. Aja Klarfeld."

His head felt like it was twisting a little.... *Nae the black.*

Durkon's voice. Then the dwarven cleric himself, appearing just as in the webcomic, sitting on the box, holding his hammer and shield. Then quick flickers of lightening as Durkon vanished and reappeared next to each golden key.

*Any of these, but nae the black, lad!*

Well, such manifestations of his Avatar subconscious in such detail was a rare thing. The hidden part of his mind was sensing something bad - so heeding the warning, he took the farthest left golden key.

2 sux.

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Kait folded her arms, bunching biceps straining the sleeves of her shirt, and crossed her legs, the powerful thighs emerging from her cut-offs rippling, as she leaned back in her chair, the dark wood creaking, trying to affect a nonchalant expression. But her amber eyes were wide and her mouth hung open in shock.

The Ledoux estate had initially offered her two hundred and fifty thousand, if she walked away, and she had founded that almost inconceivable. Now that she was here in New Orleans for the reading, they were now offering her a full million, with no strings and no obligations. She just had to take it and walk out the door, and give up any further claim on the Ledoux estate. A million dollars was more than she ever considered having at one time, having a piece of an eleven billion dollar estate was almost beyond comprehension to the small town Wyoming girl, and she knew Magick existed, could even use it herself.

She didn't know why Anson had included her in his will, she had just flirted with him some, when she was an oversized sixteen year old, but if he was going to give her anything, she wanted to earn it. Even more bewildering to Kaitlin was that Anson had apparently put her in his will, when she was only eight, an undersized girl, taking care of herself and her father, shoplifting from the Super Foods, never imagining Magick was real, never even considering it.

Sure, Magick was capable of all sorts of impossible things, but her style of Magick was very physically oriented. Seeing into the future or through time or whatever was as incredible to her as to anyone who wasn't aware of the wider Nature of Reality. She wasn't even sure she believed all this, yet she was here.

And if she wanted her part of the inheritance, she had to accept the price, which included moving to New Orleans for half the year. She love her home in Wyoming, in the midst of mountains and National Parks and Forests, had never even thought of living anywhere else. On the other hand, she had been taking care of herself and her father since her mother died when she was six. She was enjoying her trip to the big city. She deserved something for herself, and it would let her in some way feel like she earned what Anson had left to her, to them.

Man, oh man! It will be such a change! But I'll be able to take care of Dad, get him all the help he needs, without having to scrape by... As much as Kaitlin loved Dubois, having come to New Orleans, she couldn't help but admit she wouldn't mind seeing more of the world. And she wouldn't have to keep coming to New Orleans forever. She had always gotten by with very little, she wouldn't have to keep subsisting on the inheritance from Anson.

It was her choice.

Kait wasn't much one for introspection, but once she made her decision, she kept to it with a stubborn will. She straightened in her chair and closed to her slack jaw into a tight grin, and gave a sharp nod. She glanced at the box of Keys again and looked. She could sense the tendrils of Life, Mind, and Prime coiling about the Keys, and more she couldn't identify.

She stood up in a quick, fluid motion and glided over to Mia with a feral grace at almost odds with her amazonian physique. Kaitlin couldn't help a crooked quirk to her lips as she loomed over the Gothy-looking woman. Not even four years ago, Kaitlin had been even shorter than Mia.

"Kaitlin Oksana Vandussen," she said in a low, firm voice. "I accept the deal."

Kaitlin could feel coarse, silky fur against the back of her thighs, her avatar stalking around her, the ethereal smoke of his breath a cool tingle on her flesh. As she reached for the Black Key, the darkness of night never holding any fear to her, Pantheris giving a rumbling, warning growl only she could hear. Kaitlin looked down, meeting his glowing, golden eyes - almost a match for her own - then sighed, rolled her eyes and picked up the Key next to the black one. Her Avatar chuffed, apparently mollified.

Holding the Key in a strong hand, Kaitlin gave it a small wave at Mia and arched a brow. "I picked a Key. So, what's up with the Black Key and how long do we have to keep living in New Orleans for at least half the year? Just wondering, is all."

Edited by Kaitlin Vandussen

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Mia caught as she was in  the overflow of the spell being conducted in her hands smiled as the second mage found her way to the box, they all start for the black sensing its uniqueness willing to take any chance for more... Kaitlins voice startled her from her reverie, a question. she looked up as if seeing the towering woman for the first time, so young, so physical, so bold.

 

"The black belongs to the one Anson was going to see when he died, its cursed now." She smiles oddly as she leans a bit to the side and looks at those who haven't chosen yet. "Might not want to touch it, if you come up. As for how long you stay in New Orleans, well that is completely up to you darling."

 

 

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So this is what that dream will mean.

 

He blinked, trying to sort out what was with what was to be and focus on the here-and-now. Gripping the small, nondescript hunk of gravel mounted on a thong of brown leather, he forced his attention from the various probabilities and might-bes from the people around him.

 

Around sleepers (what the hell kind of a stuck up prat thinks like that oh look at me I'm so enlightened ah wait till the 70's), the sense of possibilities was muted and simple. People's thoughts and dreams rarely peeked through their own patterns. But around the Awakened, it was different. The raw potentiality in any willworker caused ripples that confused his temporal perceptions and their thoughts, powered by such raw determination to See It Done sometimes sounded like a shout. The strange sense of Purpose that had surrounded Anson on that night that was both yesterday and a hundred years ago was quite at odds with the grouping of people around him.

 

Over the course of the drive, he'd read the primal, almost primitive fierceness of Kaitlin's thoughts in the movement of her body and cadence of her voice. The raw predatory movements made the thoughts she growled sound like the growl of a hunting cat. He'd had less time to get a sense on the other beneficiaries, but the sheer tumult of mental echoes from past and future marked them all as extraordinary individuals.

 

As the lid of the box opened, he saw the keys and exhaled slowly. The sense of Purpose surrounding them was nearly palpable. Almost involuntarily, his grip tightened around the stone on the thong. The tiny slivers of pain from the edge of the rock creasing his fingers was sufficient to loosen his senses as he cast his mind out past the chronal procession to see around the corners of spacetime and through the ephemeral markers of intent and action.

 

[Rubio] 8:39 pm: meh, whatever, assuming that the Roll is Perception + Awareness, that's 7 dice.


Rubio *rolls* 7d10: 8+9+10+10+6+7+2: 52
[Rubio] 8:40 pm: Oh my. Witness?
[Asarasa] 8:40 pm: Damn!
[Asarasa] 8:40 pm: 6 if you don't have an quality/specialization that applies, 8 if it does
[Asarasa] 8:40 pm: Witnessed
[Jeremy] 8:41 pm: Nice Rubio
[Rubio] 8:41 pm: You know, I never did any of my specializations...

 

Sure enough, the keys were a working of magick.

 

So. Anson wants to form a cabal.

 

Shrugging, he stood and moved up to the table where the box was being presented. Quirking one side of his face up in a lopsided grin, he nooded jovially to Ms. Vail.

 

"Montrose Deleon. Atcher service. Such as it is."

 

His hand dropped to the leftmost key and pulled it out.

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The meetign was kinda boring. Then again, any time Purple Rose had to sit down and wait was boring to her. At least there was some pretty people in here. Specifically the well muscled woman. Purple Rose never thought that was her type, but that girl was put together like something out of one of her good dreams.

Time flew as Purple Rose was pretty much on mental autopilot. She got what she needed out of the reading. Take money or take a key. A million dollars would pay for a lot of things. She could buy her own house and make it her own own party station. Maybe she would invite the pretty girl. Even if she didn't get it, it was well worth the trip.

Her avatar, however, was screaming (and all sorts of other noises) for her to take the key. Purple Rose was too busy thinking about what she and the woman could do. She looked the type that could snatch her up and slam Purple Rose against a wall and have her way with her.

And now she was getting up. Kaitlin, her name was Kaitlin. Not that Purple Rose needed to know her name, but it would make conversation a little bit easy. Kaitlin took the key. Now Purple Rose had to make the choice. Stay poor and shack up with the Amazon for six months. Or become rich and possibly throw awesome parties forever. No more couch surfing or need for mom and dad. But then again, she and Kaitlin could make some pretty sweet noise together.

"Fuck it," Purple Rose expressed her frustration. Walking over to the keys, she picked one. It didn't matter which one. "My name is Purple Rose," she smiled at Kaitlin, "and I"

"Your actual name, ma'am," she heard from one of the officiators. She looked over at them with a stern look. She sighed with disgust. "My name is Jenna Li and I accept this deal." She mumbled, "fuckin contracts." She smiled, looking at the rest of the group that took keys, "this is gonna be swank huh?"

No Successes

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Cade rose next, knowing Akemi would follow him shortly, and walked over to Mia once Jenna took her seat again.  Ares warned him off of the black key, and as he tended to do Cade obeyed.  His hand was drawn to the one that was furthest from the black key, and that is the one he took up.  "Cade Michael Allistaire, and I accept the stipulations of this Will and Contract."  He nodded once, and then took his seat once again.  He had questions, but nothing so pressing as to keep the others from making their own decisions.

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Cade was correct, she was going to follow him shortly, in fact, she might have proceeded him if her mind wasn't caught in the past, to what her teachers had told her many years ago.  "We have looked into the tapestry of your destiny, since you took your first step along the road to enlightenment, your avatar is exceptionally powerful, and your destiny is a strong one.. but the future is never quite fully written, be aware, but do not look for it too strongly, it will come to you.:  She couldn't help but think that this was part of that road, no doubt there was more too it, and she was sure Cade was part of it, or she was part of his.. destiny was a funny thing. 

She blinked a moment when Cade stood, pulled back to the moment at hand, she let her awareness slow down slightly and took a moment to assure herself of calmness, there were many forms of meditation, and she moved her mind into a meditative state even as she stood up, stepping forward just after Cade, extending her mystic senses even as she followed him, her movements showed the unconscious grace of a martial artist, but her manner and bearing were of a deep calm, and she felt her Avatar rise within even as she moved forward.  She wondered what the golden dragon would have to say to her, but she heard nothing this time, only felt it's regard and approval.

"Akemi Ryoko Kimera, and I accept the terms of this contract."  She reached out to take one of the keys and bowed Mia Vail.  "Thank you, Ma'am."

 

Krul *rolls* 3d10: 7+6+9: 22

3 successes I believe

Edited by Akemi Ryoko Kimera

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"Well shoot, now I feel like I'm just the last one on the boxcar outta town," Triessa commented amiably. She got up and ambled over to the box to peer inside. Funny little world. Seven people. Will amended six times. She wondered to herself...had it been originally written for the first, and then updated for each in sequence? Seemed like Anson had been planning this for a while now.

The money was less than nothing. A million dollars, zero dollars...she was a mage. What was money? But answers...information...that had her attention.

She felt a phantom cold breeze wash over her as she looked at the black key, and rolled her eyes. "I get it. Cursed. Like I was going to..."

Triessa grasped the last golden key.

"Triessa Elrich," she said.

With that she turned to give the others a big, broad grin.

"Looks like we're roomies."

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The last key taken the spell complete the seven lives altered destinies entwined Reality buckles and writhes and adapts

 

Mia Vail closes the lid and smiles innocently at the seven beneficiaries or roomies as Triessa named them. “I'm sorry,” she drawled in her smooth voice, “I fibbed seventh key ain't really cursed.”

 

She turns back and addresses the Lawyer. “Mr. Johnson, if you have no further need for signatures and what not I think that's all I'll be needing for tonight. I really priciate you and Beth,” she gives the young clerk a sweet smile, “coming out to take care of this for us.”

 

Turning back to the seven mages “Would you all care for some refreshments.”

 

A tall incredibly fit bald man comes in as if on que, takes some orders for drinks from everyone as the lawyer and clerk pack up and say their farewells.

Simon   24y30xd.jpg

After the man returns and drinks are handed out Ms. Vail tells him to fetch the van around front then back to the seven.

 

“We are going to be heading to the Astrarium House tonight, to get you all settled in. Simon has already seen that your things have been collected and taken over hope you all don't mind.”

 

The imposing bald man, Simon, comes back into the room a moment later. “Vans ready ma'am.”

 

o6xmol.jpg  Astrarium House

 

A drive of only about twenty minutes brings the Mages to the Garden District and a lavish old style house. From the street its 8' wrought iron fence covered in ivy and vines hide the house making it appear overgrown and possibly ill kept but once inside the gate on the drive. The oppisite is true the grounds even in this cramped neighborhood are large and spacious and very well kept and the house while old is in excellent condition.

 

Upon entering the grounds each mage in his own way can feel the power of this house and it speaks to each in a unique almost intimate manner. Each of the seven mages, none of which had ever been here before, feel as if they are coming home from along absence.

 

As Ms. Vail leads them up a walkway bordered by aged magnolia trees the air fragrant with their blossoms, Simon pulls the van around to the back of the house presumably to unload their luggage. Stopping at the door to the house Mia once again faces the seven mages smiling.

 

“Well welcome to Astrarium House, you alls new home. The Keys you drew and the magick involved have bound the house too you seven and you alone. Mere possession of your key regardless of where it is kept will allow you entry to the house. There are also servants who work for the house as well as Simon who can come and go so as to tend to the house and your needs.”

2mq20pj.jpg this is representative of the interior

She opens the door and ushers you into the resplendent old world foyer. The house is quite simply beautiful and elegant. To the side of the door is a large half-mirror with a small table underneath it on the table is an antique vase with a stunning arrangement of local wildflowers. There is also a guest book and seven small folders one bearing the name of each mage and the Logo of the Whitney National Bank.

 

“These folders are yours. Inside you will find some documents and account information for separate personal accounts created for you at our banking institution. While you are not required to use Whitney it would make things more convenient for money transfers and what not. You will also find Louisiana drivers licenses, debit cards and other useful cards” She lets out a gentle infectious laugh.

 

“Now if you will follow me on into the living room I will introduce the staff.”

 

Mia leads the group into a large living room even more elegantly attired than what they have seen so far. The room is dominated by a large Fireplace located on the north side of the room. Mia crosses to the Fireplace and places the Box on the mantel piece before turning back and acknowledging the staff lined on the east side of the room. She quickly makes introductions and dismisses them. Her manner with the staff is somewhat abrupt and dismissive very much at odds with her manner up to this point.

6zwoww.jpg Tareena the Cook      2jcy2cn.jpg  Dora, housekeeper    19uxbq.jpg Lucille, housekeeper

25iu4qx.jpg George, groundskeeper.

 

“Well, I know you all have lots of questions but I have one more thing then we can settle down and i'll answer what I can. As I said earlier the Keys you took today allow you to enter the house they are also the keys to your personal rooms. Only your key can open the door to your room and only you can invite someone into your room. The rooms that belong to those keys are your and yours alone while you share the hose those rooms are sacrosanct.”

 

She sits on a nice sofa and crosses her legs. “ Ok I am ready for your questions.”

 

 

 

 

 

Each of you receives free of cost the following back grounds.

 

Resources – If your character has no resource back ground he/she now has a resource of 3 if you had resources of 1- 3move to 4 dots if you had a 4 or  5 add one dot.

 

 

 

Sanctum – Each of you now has a sanctum in the house this is a two dot sanctum which can be improved during play with xp at double the cost of xp. If you currently have a sanctum you have bought you may add it to this sanctum or keep it separate but you need to decide that before moving forward. The sanctum already is fully equipped and supplied AS IF YOU HAD BUILT IT YOURSELVES. Please give me a description of this sanctum when you can you can simply add it to your Sheet submission in the Character Pms.

 

Node – each sanctum has a 2dot node associated with it. This node supplies 3 q per week in free quintessence per dot and 1 per week per dot in Tass. This node may be improved for double the xp cost.

If you already have a Node background it is separate from this Node and cannot be combined.

 

Each of you also has access to the Atlantis Plantation Node which is a 4 dot node supplying 4q per dot per week in free quintessence and 2 per dot per week in tass.

Edited by MAGE20 ST

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Well, it was a tour meant to impress. And to an extent it did, an example of easy access to wealth and other resources - to what end though? Anson had a reason for this - and a plan of some kind. The homecoming feeling, he had already determined, was a consequence of the key-linked spells, given the explanation Mia described of them.

When Mia finally wrapped up, and opened the floor to questions, Aja was already pacing on the side, back and forth, showing no sign - or wish - to stay still. "So the obvious - what did Anson want for us to do?" And the emphasis on 'us.' After all, the particulars of the residence clause emphasized all seven of them together for most of it. So it was as a group, and something for which he sought the group to accomplish or act on.

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Just as Aja finished asking his Question, Lucille entered the room pushing a cart loaded with Coffee, Tea, and several bottles of Soft-drinks of various brands, a bucket of Ice and on a second lower shelf cups and glasses. She stopped next to Mia's seat and poured and handed her a cup of tea, Mia said nothing her gaze still on Aja Klarfeld.

"I won't interrupt further I'll just leave the cart if'n Y'all don't mind serving your selfs."

"That will be all for tonight, Lucille, if we need anything we will have Simon fetch it. Tell the others please."

"Yes ma'am." Lucille gives a furtive look around the room at the seven new residents and quickly leaves the room.

"You will have to excuse Lucille and the rest of em as well, aside from Simon they ain't used to having people around."

She sips her tea and sitting perfectly ladylike looks back at Aja.

"Well, straight to the point young man, but i guess that's to be expected. I figure you all are wondering pretty much the same thing."

She takes another sip then sighs.

" To be honest, I don't know.”

She leans over and places the cup and saucer on the table, then sits back smoothing her dress.

“I was 22 when Anson found me and I became his apprentice. He taught me for twelve years right up until his death but he never confided in me what his goals and motives for things were. I know he died trying to find the person that last key was meant for, I know that all of you were important with what he was doing. But what that was, I am sorry but I do not know.”

I made secret rolls for every one of perception + Subterfuge only Aja gleaned anything from the rolls

Aja something make s you feel that she is holding back or knows more than she is letting on

 

A note for every one for this scene i am treating I am treating These posts in real time. so feel free to build one the posts before incorporating them into your own
 

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Kaitlin tapped the golden key against a muscular thigh as she read the documents Mia had provided them. She snorted when she saw that they had her exact - and not inconsiderable - weight on the driver's license, then tightened her jaw to stifle a gasp when she saw what was in her new bank account and what she could expect to be deposited each month.

The statuesque, young woman wasn't sure how she was going to explain the new income to her father, other than saying she got some sort of job down here in New Orleans, one that paid as well as some sort of white collar job. Kaitlin was pretty sure telling him the truth wasn't a good idea, though maybe she could say a man sweet on her left her some money. Maybe she could say she was modelling or something - she'd been told she was pretty enough to be a model, though less often now since she grew over six feet and had filled out with even more muscle - or was doing some cam-girl shit. Maybe just say she won a lottery... she wasn't very good with lies.

The house was very nice and impressive, she liked all the wood decor and foliage on the grounds, though to her rustic upbringing, it was almost ostentatious to her eyes. And the in house servants made her a bit uncomfortable - back home, she was the cook, housekeeper, and groundskeeper. Kaitlin gave Lucille an awkward nod of thanks when she stood and got a bottle of water, before the woman fled the room.

Never having lived with anyone else - except her father - Kaitlin was glad they had private rooms only they could get into, while wondering how magic like that was even made. Kaitlin glanced up,listening when Aja asked his question and took a big sip of her water. So even the mysterious Miss Mia doesn't know why Anson chose us for... whatever he chose us for.

"Okay, I got a few questions to add," Kaitlin said in her low, rich voice, amber eyes intent. "Do you know who the person Anson died trying to find is? And do you know if there are any... well, 'supernautral' dangers in New Orleans and what they are?" Kaitlin made air quotes then folded her strong arms beneath her breasts, a fierce, tight grin on her lips. "Back home, there was a werewolf problem. I don't like werewolves. But I really don't know much of what all is out there."

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At the young woman's, girl really, questions Mia shifted her position to give her full attention to the Amazon.

"Yes I do, as a matter of fact his name was in the will, Bartholomew Mather, unfortunately he seems to have gone missing as well presumed dead but his estate hasn't been settled, he had no heirs nor will apparently. I believe he was a hermetic, but no one has stepped up to lay claim. Rest assure i am following the legal proceedings and when the estate goes to auction  I intend to grab it for Anson, um... for you all. I have his address and some further information about him in my office at Atlantis. We shall be going there tomorrow I can pass it along then. But i can tell you He was one of the long time residences of New Orleans from way back and a close friend of Anson's. I had met him socially and was surprised to find him in the will*. He was a slovenly sort and not a gentleman, hate to speak ill of the dead but some you just get that feeling, that they deserved it. Do you know what I mean." 

She pause for just a moment and sips her tea.

"As for your other question, oh my lord where to start. Yes New Orleans is a mecca for our kind as well as other supernaturals. Luckily since the Backlash the war has gone cold and New Orleans is what mages are calling a neutral city. No one is laying claim to it and any faction is free to pass through. The most prevalent though is still the Choir at the Cathedral, but there are probably fifty or sixty mages living in the area most are distinct like me, with no affiliations, but several crafts, traditions, and even a few Technocrats do make their home here."

She sips again.

"As for others supernatural creatures, there are many even a few werewolves, but what you really need to watch out for are the undead. They are the most numerous and they still believe that they own the world the fools, but they are dangerous. I'm sure Mr. Allistaire can attest to that."

She smiles in his direction.

"Until your used to New Orleans i would advise not going out alone.  Of course once your  known among the rabble you will be relatively safe. The Leeches and others dont prey on residents they generally stick to transients."

* for those who wish to make an awareness roll make Perception+ Awareness  difficulty of 5, 2 successes required minimum. PM m with number of Successes before posting.

Edited by MAGE20 ST

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Aja quietly kept walking and listened, for there was suspicious matters afloat. While reading social cues had never been an innate strength - it was a more difficult process, he had done his best to learn. The Awakening, and the development and use of hyper-focus aided him in this regard. Even now, not employing it directly, he still could pick up on the little hints.

Little bits of intonation, pauses, stress. Mia Vail knew more than 'nothing' on the question of Anson's plans, but wasn't going to be honest about that. And then Kaitlin asked about dangers and the eight heir.

In the moment of that response, Mia Vail's eyes flashed blacker than they already were, if that could be believe, to match the hint of bitterness in her voice. Mr. Mather has more than a feeling in your history, doesn't he?

And finally, her use of the word 'rabble' raised an eyebrow from him. Elitist much? Six other mages, all in the dark, a vanished benefactor with an unknown plan, and his executor/successor choosing to withhold information. Not a promising start.

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Cade had been impressed with the tour, though no stranger to money, he lived in a far less austentatious home than this by choice, not means. So much the better to hide things by his reckoning.   The idea of a second driver's license made him chuckle but it wasn't unheard of really, he knew a few who had them replaced often enough.  The dramatic increase in wealth was something, but in the end it meant little to him.  Anson's intent with this, what he wished to do, why he gathered this specific group of Magi together, that was the enigma he wished to solve.  He'd been largely oblivious and unresponsive up to that point, seemingly lost in his thoughts about the new changes this would force.

When Mia said something about a hermetic, his eyes narrowed and he turned his attention back to the others at the table and their discussion.   He would ask Kandal about Mr. Mather, and see if perhaps Adrian had left any notes.  If he was a local mage, there was a good chance there might be something.

At Mia's comment regarding the undead he nodded.  "They will always be a problem here, especially as the media continues to romanticize them.   They used to hunt residents, and anyone foolish enough to pursue them too vigorously.  Thankfully both sides have backed away somewhat, though you should all be careful wandering certain parts of town at night."

"I'd be happy to show you all some of the sights, if you like, day or night."  That they'd not be the same was fairly clear by his tone.  

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Akemi didn't say or ask any questions, instead she silently listened to the questions and answers everyone else was getting, this entire set up was somewhat strange, but mages were the sort to forge their own paths generally.  She wasn't entirely sure what to make of the dismissive attitude toward the staff, but she didn't quite like the attitude, she wasn't sure if it was because of the present circumstances or something more, she would have to watch and wait.  It was interesting to know that there were other supernaturals in the city, and she knew that Cade had issues with vampires in the past, she would have to watch his back if he decided to follow that particular thread.

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The past twenty-four hours had brought about tremendous changes in direction. Far more than he was used to. Being a drifter ny nature, the fact that he had just agreed to stay tethered to one city had started to stick in his craw more than he would have guessed. 

Nonetheless, events would transpire just as they were always meant to.

"Okay. So neutral ground, but with an undead problem. We have untold wealth but no real dir-I'm sorry please tell me I'm not the only one bothered by the notion of being waited on by a staff of black maids like Scarlet friggin' O'Hara here?"

The rush of words came out a bit more forcefully than he'd intended. Exhaling, he tried to calm his irritation.

Montrose was used to doing thongs for himself and the notion of... servants offended his sensibilities.

"Ugh. Anyway, Anson seems to have formed himself a new cabal. And I've never been overly involved in much of the Ascension War- hell, I don't think I've ever been at cross purposes with another Willworker- we all seem to be excluding the Technocracy. I think. Assuming I haven't read you wrong, kid." He nodded to Aja.

"So we don't have a purpose... How about a plan?"

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"It is somewhat antiquated, I admit, but they're paid a fair wage I would think, they do not seem unhappy with the work they do, but this is the Deep South, and such things are not really uncommon.  I'm not personally used to such a thing, but it honestly doesn't surprise me."  To be honest, it didn't bother him at all.  Skin color meant nothing, and if the staff were good at their work, discreet, and by all appearances they were, then he was fine with it.  There was no need to change their lives because of some modern day notion of their work being demeaning.

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"Ugh. Anyway, Anson seems to have formed himself a new cabal. And I've never been overly involved in much of the Ascension War- hell, I don't think I've ever been at cross purposes with another Willworker- we all seem to be excluding the Technocracy. I think. Assuming I haven't read you wrong, kid." He nodded to Aja.

"Virtual Adept, no offense taken." Aja replied, with a hint of snark in his voice and a slight roll of the eyes, more for show than genuine offense. He did have some thoughts about the next step, but really, with Mia Vail around, he wasn't sure about voicing them yet.

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"Wait, wait, wait!" Kaitlin exclaimed, standing up to her full, impressive height and gesturing at the others, golden Key still in hand.

Her folder of documents fell to the floor unheeded. Kaitlin was vaguely familiar with some of the various affiliations and factions among the community of Mages. and the Ascension War thanks to Samurai Joe, at least she knew some of the names, but she hadn't thought about them much. But it was something else that was mentioned here during their conversations that really caught her attention.

"I never spent any time in a big city before, so I'll take you up on a tour of the place," Kaitlin said, pointing at Cade. The big woman nodded at Montrose. "And we can come up with a plan for... whatever, when we need one, I guess. But are you guys telling me vampires - fucking vampires! - are real?!" Kaitlin demanded, eyes wide with shock, taut muscle tensing powerfully. "I've run into a werewolf - I think it was a werewolf - before, but vampires?! Are they, like sparkle vampires or the stupid vampires with superpowers and Lilith and all that crap in True Blood? We are in Louisiana after all. Or more like Bela Lugosi Count Dracula and Nosferatu shit?"

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"HAHHAHA!' The laughter bursts out sounding out of place and everyone focuses back on Ms. Vail who continues to laugh for several seconds before standing and walking over to the amazon who towers over her offers a hug, after a moments hesitation Kait accepts the hug.

"Oh sweetie, all those and worse. The Kindred are the very scourge of the earth but you don't need to fret over them just stay alert and stick with a more experienced  mage when you're out and about."

She unclasps from Kait and looks of at Montrose.

"Honey, I never said there wasn't a plan just that I didn't know what it was. Anson will reveal his plan to you all tomorrow when we go to Atlantis. And as for the servants, their families , except for Tareena, have been working for Anson since he acquired them in 1827 and subsequently freed them. They are as much a part of this family maybe more so than I am. And we brought Tareena on specifically to run the kitchen she is  a Culinary institute graduate and we went to great expense to hire her. As for them being black, well this is Louisiana it would be much much odder if they were white."

A pause as she takes in all the rest of the assembled mages.

"I forget that you all are really so very young and your life experiences are dictated by this age. So please for give me if i sound old fashioned but i have lived in different ages as did Anson. I will try to take care so as not to offend your sensibilities."

She walks around the room waif like almost fairy like.

"I am very good at reading people and mages are my specialty, so i am aware many of you have studied time, and those of you who have will at least have an inkling. You all  can remember meeting Anson and i know you all notice the oddity about the dates on the will. But I will also tell you all that when you remember meeting Anson was not the first time Anson met you"

Edited by MAGE20 ST

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"Oh sweetie, all those and worse. The Kindred are the very scourge of the earth but you don't need to fret over them just stay alert and stick with a more experienced  mage when you're out and about."

Kindred. That was a new one. He'd heard the terms "massassa" and "leech" when he was learning a few things from a Hermetic magician out in Austin, but never "kindred". Clearly, he had a great deal to learn about the city and its inhabitants. He suddenly felt rather foolish at the rather flippant and reductive tone of calling it an "undead problem", especially considering that he'd never met a vampire, whatever they happened to be called. 

That'll learn you to listen instead of talking. Still, sounds like a euro-trash wannabe band name

"I am very good at reading people and mages are my specialty, so i am aware many of you have studied time, and those of you who have will at least have an inkling. You all  can remember meeting Anson and i know you all notice the oddity about the dates on the will. But I will also tell you all that when you remember meeting Anson was not the first time Anson met you"

"Huh. Figured it was something like that. Stranger things have happened." Supposedly. He'd heard of seers sending their minds and spirits forward and backward along the strands of time, but what Ms. Vail was describing sounded like time travel. Full-on Dr. Who shit.

"Well," Montrose said as he stood and stretched. "If, ah, if we're going to meet Anson tomorrow, it'll happen tomorrow. I think I'd like to take some time and get my new home town under my feet."

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Triessa nods eagerly, setting her dossier down. Ugh...homework.

"I'd go for that too! Cade, as long as you're doing a tour is there room for one more?"

 

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Cade nodded, barely restraining his own chuckle at the disbelief shown about vampires.  Was it truly so hard to believe when they themselves could work wonders with the fabric of reality?   "Of course, my jeep will hold four comfortably, and five if we're very friendly.  If everyone wishes to go we can run the circuit twice, I've no issue there.   Worst come to it we could always rent a van to take everyone if it's more than that, though that's abit more conspicuous."

He smiled  "There's also the time honored tradition of walking pretty much everywhere as well, though with the heat and humidity such as it is, that isn't always a favorite."

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Mia gives another look around at the group as Cade offers to play tour guide. As soon as she has their attention she points toward a door on the east side of the room next to the door the servants used. “Well the tours will have to wait I'm sure everyone will want to get started unraveling this mystery first thing in the morning and it is getting late.”

The servants door opens and Simon enters the room and stands by the indicated door.

“Simon will show you to your bedrooms on the second floor and to your private rooms down that hallway. I have along drive ahead of me but ill be back in the morning say about 9:30 and we'll all go out to Atlantis. I'm looking forward to working with all of you, you all have sweet dreams now.”

And then with out another word she walks out the room thru the door the group had entered thru.

“If you would come this way please” Simon speaks his voice a deep bass the accent not southern at all but with maybe a hint of some unnamed European country...maybe. He opens the door and lets each mage go through be closing passing through and closing the door with a distinctive click of a lock.

A wide hallway stretches away from the door, it's length seems too long though for the size of the house. Immediately to the left is along curved stair which leads up to a landing with a door. The hall way itself is in the same decor as the rest of the house and exudes a comforting warmth it also sends shivers through each of the mages present as the k of the house seeps around and into them.

Avatars are manifested with excitement in the flow of Quintessence and each one is prancing unseen by any but its charge, the avatars, sail, leap, slink, soar, and flow down the hallway which is lined by eight doors. Each door seems to be made of gold and is etched with a symbol except for the eighth door which is made of Black Iron and bears no symbol. Each mages avatar pauses at a certain door seen only by the mage to whom it belongs. At the very end of the hall is a ninth door this one made of what looks like brass.

“Down this hallway you will find your private chambers. Up these stairs to your left you will find the second floor where you each have a bedroom I have already placed your luggage from the hotel in your rooms up there.”

He begins to lead the awed Mages down the hall.

“Entry to this hallway by the door we came thru and the door on the landing can only be made by a bearer of a golden key and myself. Only the key made from the material of the door to which it belongs can open that door and it can only be used by the one to whom it is bound to.”

He stops and turns to face the mages.

“I reiterate no one but the key bearer can open these doors without destroying the Magick within and probably the house and a good portion of the Garden District along with it. Within these rooms each of you are supreme.”

He turns back before anyone can say or ask anything and moves further along the hallway pausing at the black iron door.

“Make no attempt to open this door.”

His flat instruction sends chills of warning as he continues to the final door the one of Brass.

“And finally we come to the Heart of this house, the room of possibilities. Only a Key holder can open this door. If one of you would be so kind.”

The Mages exchange looks until Montros steps up and opens the door revealing a thing of wonder.

Inside a vast octagonal room stands an Astrarium made of Brass, Gold, Silver, and Crystal. A thing of absolute beauty and infinite value. A domed ceiling reveals the cosmos, while the floor is of tiled ebony marble shot through with veins of gold and silver.

“This is your inheritance. The culmination of Anson's life work. Everything else is mearly a trifle, the money, the properties. They are nothing this is what he has given you.”

He reaches in and closes the door before anyone can enter the Astrarium.

“You will learn more of this when you travel to Atlantis tomorrow, now let me show you to your bedrooms.”

Simon leads the mages upstairs ignoring there questions showing each mage to his or her room.

“Breakfast will be at eight o'clock. Sleepwell”

 

 at your sanctum when desingin the sanctum keep in mind that this sanctum completely reflects your mage character it is the sanctum your character always wanted. this section ends the scene the next scent will begin after breakfast the next morning. so yu  may write anything up to that point I will respond if needed. as always any questions or anything pm or ask in chat if i am there.
the symbols on the door are basically fundamental symbols reflecting each mage sort of your symbolic name if you will. describe your symbol for me and even better find a pic or draw it keep in mind that it represents you just as your avatar is. But its is Symbol.
I am still looking for the right pic of the astrarium so bear with me
Edited by MAGE20 ST

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Time-wise, Aja noted briefly before he put his key in the lock, it wasn't really late, about an hour or so before midnight. So a bit of computer simmer-down, prep for bed. That would work. And the door was worthy of a look and a chuckle.

psi2.png

Psi, huh? Someone knows me well. Of course, given the hints, and Anson and all this, he'd probably had had all the time in the world to prepare. The key turned, the lock clicked, and Aja entered.

The room itself was not particularly furnished. No paintings, plain wall colors, a desk and bookshelves. That was fine. Aja did not have stuff purely for the aesthetic show of it. However, it was very well stocked with items of substance. The bookshelves were lined with extensive titles, of various subjects, non-fiction and fiction, mundane and magickal, a trove indeed. On one of the walls was mounted a flatscreen TV, below more shelving held up a DVD player, Playstation, speakers. On the parallel end was a similarly mounted radio that at a first glance also incorporated the functions of an alarm clock.

And of course, the desk mounted multiple flat screen monitors, a desktop tower and various assorted computer accessories.

After taking the time to go through everything, Aja was even more impressed. FM, AM, XM radio bands, all the cable and bluetooth - the computer was Trinary, and loaded with hordes of terabytes, RAM, strategy and rpg video games, also a number of V-Adept derived programs, as well as extensive other noted regular world software.

Much more configured towards information and information manipulation in one sort or another, rather than outright hacking (excepting some surveillance tools), which fit Aja's style after all.

And if he really was going to appear at the Atlantis plantation - there would be many discussions to be had.

Edited by Aja Klarfeld

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Cade noted the symbol upon his door, It wasn't the most traditional version he'd seen for Ares, but it didn't bother him overmuch, He wasn't a traditional mage either.

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Turning the lock, he spared Akemi a glance, then a reassuring nod before opening his door and entering the room.   His things were laid beside a couch that was made of the same faux leather his one at home was, as were the two recliners, and in one corner, a small computer desk sat in front of one of the chairs, which after a test showed to be capable of swiveling as well.  There was a small closet, as well as a dresser and wardrobe, unsurprisingly stocked with the clothing he preferred, ranging from casual to the work oriented armored gear used when expecting real trouble. A gun cabinet was against the wall, containing the same types of weapons he used often in his work, pistols, a pair of rifles, and the autoshotgun that had taken an act of congress seemingly and some very loose gun laws in the state to acquire.   A variety of knives were there at the bottom, and next to the case was a workbench, meticulously maintained, containing the tools to service the weapons, and even his armor, should he require it.  


There was a flatscreen television, not overly ostentatious, but large enough to be able to read from anywhere within the room.   A set of shelves contained many of his favorite films and shows,  and another  several game systems with what few games he felt the urge to play.


The wall behind the couch was a solid bookshelf, an eclectic library of his favorite authors, and of course an entire section that pertained to the occult, tomes he knew were also in a vault back home, but thanks to the magic of this house, were here as well.  The middle of the room was ioen enough that he could work through a few meditative exercises should he wish, and all in all the room was his own perfect little mancave.   It would seem mundane to most, but in a room like this, he felt at home.


Two pictures were on his desk, the only two he cherished.  One was of himself, Adrian and Kandal, many years before when he was a youth, It was taken during one of their fishing trips, and for all the life of him, he couldn't remember who it was who had taken the picture.  The other picture was of himself and Akemi, he'd told a joke and it was the first time he recalled hearing her laugh and smile as she had.  Kandal had captured the moment perfectly, both of them smiling and laughing, and it was oriented so that it could be seen from the couch, just as he had it at home.  So many nights he'd woke in a cold sweat, haunted by nightmares, things that he knew were likely half true revelations, memories best forgotten, but they drove him forward.  Still seeing that picture, her smiling face calmed him, and reminded him there was always light to be found even in the depths of darkness.


As he did each night, Cade opened his laptop, powering it on, and accessed a file he updated, a journal of sorts, limited to a single sentence each day.   "My Investigations move forward, yet further layers of enigma remain, I will see this through, to whatever end." were the words he typed beside the day's date, saved the program, and then shut down and closed the computer.   Selecting a book that made him chuckle, not just because he liked it but because its choice seemed fitting and perfect, He sat back down in the recliner that served as a desk chair and opened a Time worn, and much-read copy of "Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett, and read.

Edited by Cade

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The symbol on the door for her  was simple and direct, and too the point, she recognized it and it's purpose instantly, there would be little question that this was for her, it was even done in the same gold as her avatar appeared to her, it was also a very well known symbol, so the others would know it was her's fairly easily.  Like the others who took a look at the symbols on their doors, she thought to herself that Anson must have known her rather well to have made this particular choice.


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Returning Cade's glance with a smile and a nod, she used her key and opened the door, passing into the room beyond she paused, it was perfect.. almost too much so, the quiet essence of a series of rooms designed to be in perfect harmony, to aid in serenity and meditation, as well as continuing to practice her skills.. it was not just one room, it was several counting the entrance, which was just a place to take off one's shoes before entering what was the most welcoming place Akemi had ever imagined.  It felt like a homecoming, to a home she had never seen.

Once past the entry room, the first room was clearly designed upon that of most Dojo's, the soft floor and the walls built for practice of the martial arts, it had plenty of room, and contained a weapons rack on one of it's walls, with a number of traditional martial art's weapons already waiting for practice.  There were two more doors leading from this room, one of which lead to another room that she found just as much of a draw as the first one.

The centerpiece of this room was a small octagonal pool, made with black and white marble, the ying-yang symbol set into the floor of the pool, and at each of the eight sides of the pool were a set of wind chimes, where as at each corner of the pool was a red lantern, hanging as the wind chines.. four beautiful bonsai trees were in each corner of this room.. she would have to tend them some, she thought to herself..  All four elements in harmony, she could feel the quintessence flowing in this room, this was a node, one attuned to her in particular.

The other doorway lead to a bedroom and bathroom, as the pool room was for reflection and meditation, not for bathing or any other such purposes, she was pleased, but not really surprised that had been considered and taken care of.  The rooms were fairly simple functional in nature, there was a bookshelf on one wall with some of her preferred choices in reading, and there was a closet to hang her clothing.  Nothing here was overly luxurious it was designed for comfort over luxury, but luxury would have have made her uncomfortable, so she was quite happy with what she found.

 

 

Edited by Akemi Ryoko Kimera

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Kaitlin glanced into the room Simon indicated he had delivered her bags. The bedroom was decorated much like the rest of the house, lots of tasteful, dark wood. Kaitlin grunted - Her stuffed hiking pack and shoulder-bag were sitting on the bed. A bed big enough to let her stretch out fully with space to spare. A four-poster bed, with a heavy headboard and footboard. And a canopy. Her feline Avatar slinked by her and prowled around the room.

Kaitlin gave Simon a nod. "Thanks, this'll do, Simon." She looked at the tall man. Simon stared back, silent and unblinking. Kaitlin rolled a muscular shoulder. "So... uh, do I tip you or something?"

Simon narrowed his eyes slightly. "No." The short word was said in a deep, forbidding, and emphatic tone. "I will take my leave."

"Cool," Kaitlin replied with a shrug as she watched Simon walk away. She had never stayed anywhere before where she had people waiting on her. It felt... weird.

Pantheris circled around her and padded towards the stairs. Her Avatar looked over its shoulder at her with golden, lambent eyes, then slipped down the stairs, obviously expecting her to follow. Kaitlin sighed and followed after her Avatar with a smooth, athletic gait. With her hand on the railing, she took the stairs three steps at a time.

Kaitlin strode up next to where the shadow-wrought great cat was sitting expectantly and studied the gold door, a sigil deeply incised in it. It looked tribal to her, though whether Arapaho or Shoshone, or some more exotic tribe - maybe not even American - Kaitlin didn't know. The symbol seemed to convey energetic movement and a primal ferocity to her - she liked it.

Kaitlin%20Symbol.jpg

Despite looking like it was made of solid gold, the door opened easy and smooth under the lightest pressure, swinging open silently. Kaitlin stepped into her private room and came to a sudden stop, staring with her mouth agape. She seemed to be doing that a lot, lately, though considering the eldritch uncanniness of Astrarium House, could anyone blame her?

Stepping into the Sanctum, if felt like Wyoming, like home, only moreso. And it looked almost exactly like the glade - outdoors and all - in the mountains where she had confronted her mother's killer and her life had changed forever. She looked over her shoulder. Behind her was a doorway of rough hewn wood, through which she could see the hallway of Astrarium House.

Behind the doorway, towered the Wind River Range of the Rocky Mountains, taller and sharper than they should have been. There was no sign of the faint track she normally used to reach the glade back home - in this place, the glade was completely isolated. The sky was painted in hues of orange, pink, and violet of an eternal dusk, the glade shaded by a ring of shaggy-barked pine trees. The hard-packed dirt ground was softened by layers of fallen pine needles. Kaitlin could feel the heat of a late summer day, but there was a soft breeze that hinted at autumn in the air.

The glade was still centered on a still, roughly circular pool, lined in natural stone, though a wisp of mist rising from the surface suggested it was heated by geothermals instead of being bracingly cold, like she was used too. Kaitlin wandered around the glade, so like, yet unlike the glade where she had faced the werewolf. It was... older, or rather, felt like it was from an older time, an ancient time, though it clearly wasn't.

Two of the trees had several wooden spokes sticking out of them and parts of their trunks wrapped in coarse cloth, turning them into a pair of Mu ren zhaung, wooden training dummies. By their bases were several metal kettlebells. Kaitlin picked up one in either hand, the heaviest - ones Olympic powerlifters used. She smiled as a thick vein in each arm stood up in stark relief as she lifted the kettlebells in smooth, controlled motions - it had always amused her that she was stronger than anyone on the football team, by a considerable margin, and no one at school had known. Just once, she wished she had gone to the gym when the football team had been there and shown off just how much she could lift.

Behind the doorway, Kaitlin found a pile of musky fur blankets. Underneath them, were a pair of large, iron-reinforced wooden trunks, embellished with some simple carving along the edges - it looked like her father's work. One held a number of ranging from various knives and swords, to a Louisville Slugger and a double-recurve bow, even something that looked suspiciously like a double-bladed battle-axe. The other held her small collection of books - mostly on human physiology, kinesiology, and physiotherapy, and some about Bruce Lee and Parkour, and a few Samurai Joe had suggested. There was also a rolled up, woven mat and a few other odds and ends.

Kaitlin stalked over to the far edge of the glade, which ended in a sheer cliff, and looked over the valley, taking a deep breath of the fresh, crisp air. She could see the twisting line of the Wind River glinting silver and gold under the light of the setting sun, but there was no sign of Dubois. Instead, the valley was almost entirely covered in pristine forest, broken only by the occasional natural clearing. Kaitlin sighed in contentment, then gave an exuberant shout, her voice echoing off the mountains and across the valley.

She didn't know how Astrarium House was doing this, but however much time she might end up spending in New Orleans, she'd always have a piece of home just a step away.

 

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Purple Rose followed along behind the group of mages not really paying attention she was focused on those long legs and the fabulous ass in those nice shorts... She paused as she went through the door a surge of nausea washing over her , the high from the ecstasy she had taken earlier, blown away by the power of the hall she found herself standing in. She was a little confused not haveing been paying attention earlier in the other room as the giant spoke in that deep bass voice, droning giving information that didn't mean anything to her. These guys are mages. I'm a mage, she thought to herself a ball of fear and anxiety hardening in the pit of her stomach, but i'm not like them im not them.

The cloud comes from behind it flows from one to the other of these people shes been thrust among revealing the shackles and chains binding them the sounds calling her to the door but then the loors all turn bland dull and fade to gray the fear rushes into her throat and she fights the urge to vomit.

I'm not them, she yells and scream silently at the cloud as she some how manages to keep up until she gets to the black door. There she stops. This is her life in a nut shell Gold all around then cold black dead iron this is how life ends. She follows along behind not hearing not seeing even the sway of Kaitlin hips as she follows up the stairs do nothing for her...

Purple Rose stands beside the giant as he opens the door to her bedroom she sees her little ragged overnight bag on the bed, she can't bring herself to enter the room she is frozen. Simone crosses the threshold and picks up the bag he comes back out and hands it to her. she takes it not knowing what to say not meeting his eye. She jumps a little when his voice softly penetrates her reverie.

"Follow me please."

Feeling hollow she does they go through a different door at the end of the hall and to another staircase that leads back to the front of the house , she follows him into the living room where they had been earlier and he approaches the fireplace. He takes down the Black Oak Box and returns to her.

"You have power girl untapped, raw. Mather would have apprenticed you, made something of you." He speaks matter of factually, knowingly.

He opens the box holding it out to her. She looks at the seven empty places in the velvet and at the one remaining black key, tears start to well up in her eyes she looks at Simon standing emotionless, waiting.

The Key is in her hand  weighs a ton, two tons a million the tears roll down her face and she places the key in the box. She can feel the power the magic around her and through her . The key turns black in its place in the velvet and in the hallway beyond the door only they key can ope a second golden door turns black as it's symbol fades. The Spell binding her to this place is broken.

She realizes as she is lead to the door and out into the night that the weight is gone so to is the fear and anxiety. Simon leads her past a jeep and a car that hadn't been there when they arrived to the gate at the road. As he opens the gate he speaks again.

"Anselem's Failure has cost two lives now. Mather is dead and you will not become who you were to be. The Contract is binding you excepted the Key and have given it up. You have no further claim. But this was not foreseen when the contract was written. This creates a debt of Paradox. I will not send you away to face such without something"

Simon leans down and whispers a single syllable into her ear her eyes widen as she hears and understands what is given to her.

"What should i do?"

"Make the most of your life, this path is closed find another but beware some paths are false. Go now and be well"

She steps out onto the street and he closes the gate which locks she watches him as he walks back to the house never looking back at her. After a few momnet she turns and starts walking up the street she fishes in her pocket and draws out a small packet inside are several small tabs. before she can take any a car pulls out a of a driveway she had just passed and pulls up beside her, it is an old camaro, the window rolls down and reveals a good looking black man with dreds pulled back.

"Whatchu doing out here in de Garden sha, You need a ride?

 

BD has dropped from the game  so this character has become an NPC and may make a future appearance (s)

 

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