MAGE20 ST

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

258 posts in this topic

"Naturally"

The door he gravitated toward had a simple outline of a stone arrowhead.

 

It had no meaning apart from the object it depicted, but to Montrose, it represented a turning point. Indeed, he wasn't the least bit surprised to discover that the image was almost exactly like the gravel chip hanging from a leather thong around his neck. What started as a fist-sized chunk of roadside gravel had been smoothed by blood, sweat, water, pressure, and time into a smaller, arrow-like charm.

Past the door was the gym he was always going to have had. The persistent dream suddenly made a bit more sense.

"Anson," he said with a chuckle. "You shouldn't have."

In the center was a sandbox in a slight pit, about the size of a boxing ring. The heat radiated upward as he stepped the edge, promising a sweaty, uncomfortable time to anyone who spent more than a few minutes in its confines.

Past that was an array of weights as well as a jungle-gym like array of posts and bars that looked to be modular and able to be set up into any number of configurations to practice jumping, hanging, gymnastics, acrobatics, or pretending to be Tarzan. Close by were three heavy bags made of thick canvas, one filled with sand, one with gravel, and the last seeming to be inflated with nothing but air.

As he moved past the pit and gym, he encountered a small kitchenette with an old-style percolation pot and bags of coffee. In the small fridge were an assortment of fruits and vegetables and he gleefully snagged an apple and bit into it while he continued the inspection of his new digs (is that what the kids these days are calling it? gotta ask my godson).

Against the back wall, There were three small rooms. The leftmost held a cot and chair, and a few small creature comforts, including a small shelf with a few paperbacks. On closer inspection, they turned out to be bad mysteries and trashy romance novels. The side of his mouth came up in a lopsided grin. "Don't judge me, you all-seeing sonofabitch."

The second room greeted him with the quiet gurgling of water from a small pool. It was about the size of a dinner table and about six inches in depth. Water emerged at the top of an upper tier and flowed into a small drop into the bottom pool. The disturbance of the tiny fall seemed to give way to an unnaturally still edge, even as the liquid beneath flowed into a pump to go back up to the top level. It was surprisingly cool, seeming almost frigid in comparison to the flushed heat of the rest of the sanctum, and Montrose knew that this would be a place for stillness and contemplation.

Stepping into the third room was like walking into a solid wall of heat. Within was a wooden sauna, with the central rock oven giving off waves of burning, water-leeching heat into the small room. He dubbed it the purge room almost immediately and shut the door.

Finishing the apple, he looked around at the sanctum. He could train, fight, sweat, meditate, and think in this place. Indeed, this was a spectacular-looking and feeling place for safety and reflection. Anson was definitely buttering them up good.

Montrose was under no illusions that the piper wouldn't have to be paid. Perhaps sooner, perhaps later, but one of the most axiomatic laws of magick, however it was worked, was that nothing was free. Anson was setting them up as a cabal in New Orleans, but to what purpose remained to be seen. Based on the workings of Magick that Anson had apparently enacted and the lengths he had gone to, Montrose had no doubt that it was a very important Purpose indeed.

Abruptly, he stopped, blinked, and looked down at the apple core in his hand. It was a second before the significance hit him. "Forgot something, Anson," he said.

Grinning, he set off looking for a wastebin.

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They came down to breakfast in ones and twos, together and alone. They each had had a night to sleep and dream in contemplation. A young Latina girl, they hadn't met, woke them at 7:30 to let them know that breakfast would be served in one hour.

The dining room was as splendid as the rest of the house that they had seen and the table was stacked with plenty of good southern breakfast food, eggs, biscuits and gravy, loads of bacon and ham, toast grits, and seasonal fruits. But what caught everyone's attention was the box.

It was sitting there at the head of the table, the Black Oak Box from last night and it was open there were now two black Keys nestled in the rich blue velvet. The startled mages made quick assessments and discovered that indeed one of there number from the night before was missing.

Simon stepped from the corner where he had been standing and addressed the party.

“As you can see Purple Rose is no longer one of you. She chose to give up her claim and left last night. Things will become more involved moving forward, there is danger. What Anselem has offered and given has a price.” He pauses a moment looks to the west wall (which would be towards the front of the house) then picks up and closes the box.

“It will become more difficult to extricate yourselves from things once you have been to Atlantis,” he holds up his hand palm outward, “I am not advocating such just cautioning you if you are considering waiting just a little longer before leaving.”

At just that moment Mia Vail comes into the dining area and stops a big smile on her face it looks as if she is about to make a big greeting when she sees the box in Simon's hands and the smile falters somewhat and then returns full bore.

“Good morning everyone! Simon whats going on?' She indicates the box with a look.

“Purple Rose...”

“Simon, you mean Miss Li?” she looks around finally noting the colorful girls absence.

“Miss Li, decided against continuing in the night, I was on my way to returning this to the mantel from when I took her key last night.”

The two looked at each other for several seconds which seemed to stretch to infinity while the 6 mages stood uncomfortable trying to look anywhere but at the Small woman and the giant.

Then with a sweeping motion Mia turned back to them.

“Well then better now I suppose than later when we were counting on her. You go put that up and get the van ready.” Having dismissed Simon she pulls out the head chair and gestures to Cade to sit.

“Lets eat I am famished and we have a busy day ahead.”

 

Posting here isnt required but if you wish to have a breakfast scene we can if no one post today or tomorrow I will move us forward.

 

 

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Breakfast seemed strained with conversation almost nonexistent, when someone did speak Mia stopped and looked at them all smiles and then went back to eating without commenting. It was uncomfortable but soon over.

The party boarded the van driven by Simon, Mia said she would meet them there and got into a small foreign sports car and drove off. The drive lasted about forty five minutes and took them outside of the city,

Atlantis is a working sugar cane plantation of about 1000 acres the dominate feature is a built up area of approximately 100 acres situated in the center of the property. It is here that the Revivalist Greek Style Plantation Mansion is located standing on an artificial hill overlooking the entire plantation. One the 100 acre grounds are neat circular rows of Trees and shrubs and  large Canals creating moat like effects, the entire grounds of the 100 acres is laid out in a design created to simulate Plato's Description of the Lost City of Atlantis.

119pcec.jpg    The basic layout of the grounds in shape follows the design of Plato's Atlantis but not to scale each circle is made of a different type of tree and canals stocked with fish and crayfish it covers roughly 100 acres

 

2vb3hno.jpg   The mansion

 

Upon entering the grounds the passenger felt the now familiar surge of magic as the place recognizes them. Mia Vail awaits them at the door to the mansion and leads them inside. The mansion it self is even more resplendent than the Astrarium house. Mia explains the the Plantation is actually run by a corporate cent located on the north side of the Property and that this part, the Grounds and house are for tourists and residence. There is a small section of the hose located in an underground basement where only the Mages and Simon can enter. This part of the house offers access to the Large Node and vast Library or Rare and important volumes of Mystical Lore.

The Center piece of this Group Sanctum However is a single room which opens only to a Key Holder. This round room has only the one entrance a door which does not open but rather dissipates and reappears once the mages, in the company of Mia and Simon, enter. The walls are covered with symbols and formula from dozens of different traditions and craft and even things which look like Technocratic writings.

As the six mages look on in awe at the walls, a soft cough from across the room draws their attention and standing where a moment before had been no one is Anson Ladoux.

k2m4i.jpg

Everyone starts with their questions but the man they all were told was dead holds up his hands for silence.

“A moment please and I shall endeavor to answer your questions,” He looks to Mia and Simon, “Where are Miss Li and Mather?”

Mia steps toward Anson but stops after only a step a look of longing on her face.

“Mather is dead and the girl declined after first accepting the key, I'm sorry.”

The man looks troubled and a glance to Simon.

“Paradox?”

Simon cuts his eyes toward the mages and Mia but his expression remains the same.

“There has been no change as of yet.” he says as as he shakes his head.

Anson frowns and looks down for a moment then back at the Apprentice and the servant.

“Mia, Simon if you will excuse us I need to confer with My associates.”

The doorway opens and Simon simply leaves the room Mia stays a moment longer looking at him then departs.

As the wall solidifies he looks at them each in turn.

“Montros, Cade, Akemi, Aja, Kait, Triessa.” He smiles warmly at each of you.

“ It has been a while and as always plans have not survived contact with the enemy. Since we are here and I am the one speaking with you I must assume that Anson Ladoux dead. Furthermore the loss of Mather is a terrible blow. You six are now the only beings in all of Reality whom Anson Trusted and it is up to you to find his killer.”

 

Edited by MAGE20 ST

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Kaitlin was impatiently looking forward to learning where all the key locations in New Orleans were. She'd been driving since she was fourteen and small enough that she could barely see over the steering wheel and having to be driven around by Simon in his van was kind of irritating to her.

The grounds of the Atlantis Plantation were very impressive, the waters of the canals clear and the trees mature, if rather too cultivated for her tastes. And the plantation house itself was even more ostentatious to Kaitlin's eyes, so much so that she even more the small town girl than she already had since coming to New Orleans, while acutely aware of her size - she took special care moving, lest she break something.

Her arcane senses let her feel the powerful thrum of Quintessence flowing through the nexus below the House like a tingle on her skin. The tall, young woman looked around the extensive Library with mild interest. While she wanted to learn more of the Mystic World, especially after finding out that fucking vampires were real - and who knows what else?! - Kaitlin always preferred to do, to experience, rather than study and contemplate.

While she was as surprised to see Anson - or at least the thing that looked like Anson - as anyone else, Kaitlin thought she kept the completely dumbfounded expression from her face. After the quirks of Astrarium house and the things going on here, she couldn't help but grow a little immured to all the fantastic things she had seen since coming to New Orleans. It was one thing after another.

Kaitlin let the image of Anson finish speaking, then glanced back over her shoulder at where the wall had solidified after Mia had left. She folded her arms, strong shoulders straining the seams of the knotted flannel shirt she was wearing as she studied 'Anson'.

"Um... yeah, so, are you some sort of interactive Last Words Video Magick Doohickey that Anson left behind?" Kaitlin asked uncertainly, then added bluntly as she jerked a thumb over her shoulder, "And from what you just said, does that mean you - he, whatever! - believe it just might be possible that Mia has some connection to your - I mean, Anson's murder?" Kaitlin snorted as she folded her arms below her breasts. "And what the hell do we call you? Anson just seems... weird."

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He stops and looks at Kaitlin a blank look on his face.

"I am a Magickal Construct created to function as a stand in should what has obviously happened happens. I was never given a name for now lets just address me as AL. I contain all of the knowledge of Anson but none of his magickal ability and i can only manifest in this room. As for your first question Yes, It is possible that Mia Vail could be involved, Doubtful but possible. He Trusted only the eight Keyholders of which there are only six now."

 

Edited by MAGE20 ST

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"Interesting." The jolt should have been more heavy, but Aja was looking forward, lips pursued and assessing. "And why, may I ask, is it that we are the few trusted ever, AL?" This did explain at least in some sense Mia's lying. Either involvement or something else relating to the matter of his death. In any case, why had Anson really been that determined to secure these would be acquaintances?

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AL turns his attention to Aja.

"This is a very good question and relevant to the situation. I can explain a little but not indepth for reasons some of you will be able to appreciate."  he begins pacing.

"Anson was a master of time as you may have already surmised and he was a rare thing among mages he was a time traveler. Anson played with Paradox in his travels, he had theories which some have proven out some are still to be judged. At a time in the future the Eight keyholders, unfortunately now down to six, and Anson where engaged in a task in which the very fate of reality was at stake. I am not referring to the Acension war, but something much much worse. You Failed. Anson however managed to escape and concocted a plan. This plan has been an ongoing process for almost two hundred subjective years, its culmination would have been the bringing together of the eight Keyholder and the ensuing training and preparation for the oncoming threat." AL look solemn.

"It was a very risky undertaking one fraught with the perils of Paradox. And now may be doomed to failure with his death. which is why his killer must be uncovered. only someone who knew Anson intimately could have gotten close enough and only someone in his very small circle of acquaintances may have known the truth of his plan."

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Once more, she remained quiet listening to the others ask their questions, allowing herself to gain a sense of the dynamics involved before saying anything herself.  She was content not to speak as she thought over what they had been told, and what questions the others asked.  She considered what had not been asked, what would be most useful to know, and what thoughts of her own it would be useful to share.  "It seems unlikely that Mia would be directly involved and then would go ahead and gather us anyway, unless she is playing a deeper game.  Still, something that we should consider, I'm more concerned about this task and what it might involve, since you hold his memories, did Anson have any suspects with regards to who might be involved in his death?"

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"Anson over his long life studied with many diverse groups and crafts, it is quite possible that he was the most learned of all mages even if he was not the most powerful." AL stops his pacing.

"There is a group of what the traditions call the Nephandi, while not directly related to any group of Naphandi and in truth they follow an agenda all their own. One of their members did stumble onto his plan but he committed suicide by stupidity many years ago and while he may have left some clues it isn't likely. those sort don't share their secrets much." 

He shrugs.

"No it is most likely that the killers Origins is from Bart Mather. His death which must have occurred either immediately preceding Anson's or soon following it leads me to surmise that something or someone Mather was dealing with is the cause. I come to this conclusion due to the fact that my final update occur on the same day that Anson was going to meet with Mather and finalize the spell creating the Keyholders. Mather was fully involved in the Process and even helped Move the Astrarium house."

Edited by MAGE20 ST

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The wonder of the plantation was amazing, even to one, like Cade, who was quite used to it all.    Still seeing the construct, hearing the words of the others, questions and suppositions all,  he considered.   "We will certainly need to know more, I choose not to suspect anyone here, else the plan is lost before it has a chance to mature.   All of this makes a sort of sense, but at the same time, there are mysteries I'd like to unravel.
 

His Icy blue eyes narrowed.  "What can you tell us about Mr. Mather?   Anything regarding his life as a mage, his known acquaintances..."   It wasn't much really, but a start, and could produce some leads.  It was likely that Mia had already looked down this path herself, but fresh minds with no connection might be of use here, to not discard anything out of hand. 

"With the number of keyholders already down to six, is there risk in a unraveling of the spell itself?"  his tone made it clear this was purely academic, not so much out of fear, but to know where they stood.

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"No, Cade, the spell itself will last as long as there is even one KeyHolder still Bound and alive. As for Mather,"

A gesture and an image appears in the air. 1yptlz.jpg

 "Bart began as a Hermetic  in the middle of the last century. He and Anson crossed paths several times but it wasn't until the turn of the century after Bart left the tradition and struck out on his own that he and Anson became associates. The Hermetics branded him a Marauder and well you probably know how that goes."

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"Bart is, or was, by any standard of common sense insane. He believed that there was, is, a tenth Sphere of magic, that in itself is not the reason because there are many who also believe this same theory. No he was branded insane because of what he believed that sphere was. You see Bart was convinced that Paradox was the tenth Sphere and that it could be mastered."

As that sinks in he gestures and the image changes to a stately house located somewhere in a dense swampy marsh the house is connected by a long drive stretching some distance to a two lane blacktop all cracked and littered with potholes.

"Anson thought him a valuable ally and trusted him with many secrets, Mather was the first Mage to join him in the original battle, and he along with each of you collaborated in creating the Keyholder spell. Anson contacted Mather upon arriving in this time and putting the spell in motion he was the first Key holder. The nature of the spell Should have required Mather to be rebound last to activate the spell fully."

He pauses a moment his eyes looking off into a distance none of you can yet fathom.

"Something must have been changed with the spell that I was not made aware of. No matter I have very little information on Mather's activities beyond that which was involving Anson and the project, a little bit about the Hermetic cabal he was originally with but most of them have fled to Horizon and they would not have known about Anson regardless. No, I believe that if there are any clues they will have to be uncovered by you and the first place you should start looking should be his home and sanctum."

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Oh boy! Murder mystery time!

"Okay, that make sense. So then I guess your next series of statements involves where his home and sanctum are."

Inhaling, Montrose ponders, letting his senses encompass a greater idea of now than typically considered. They will fail which means they will have always failed, which means that this act of magick was one of desperation. Desperation could fuel Will like few other things aside of fear and perhaps insanity. That Anson was enacting this magic indicated that the sense of danger in the constant-now of temporal senses must be impending indeed.

"On another note... how many times will this conflict been fought and lost?"

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"As far as I'm concerned, we haven't fought and lost the fight yet," Kaitlin asserted stubbornly.

She didn't much faith in Destiny and predestination. The future was what you made it. Admittedly, her knowledge of the Time Sphere was... vague at best - all the timey-whimey stuff didn't make much sense to her - but she believed those that 'saw' the future only saw possible futures, saw probabilities. She gave Montrose a narrow-eyed look with her odd amber eyes, then shot AL a sharp glare as she huffed a lock of hair from her face with a breath.

"And if there is some sort of Groundhog Day shit going on, I don't want to know 'bout it."

Then she nodded at Montrose in agreement. "But I'm with Montrose. Tell us where his home is and any detail you know, and lets get moving, but the longer I'm here, the more questions I'm gonna have. Then we'll never get anything done."

She might not be sharp on Magickal Theory, but her senses were keen, she could make them even sharper with careful use of Magick, and she was a pretty good tracker, she might be up to pick something up at the scene. But mostly, she wanted to move, to act, instead of just talk.

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"Indeed, Both of you have points and Ms. Vandussen is somewhat correct." The simulacra says.

"While there is no such thing as alternate timelines and other trappings of science fiction there are other realms and conditions of reality. But as for this battle no it is the battle for reality itself that is being waged. While you ," He indicates each of you  with a sweeping gesture, "have fought and failed, the battle it self is not lost, it has merely been halted. Thus our concern with Paradox. But I am am delving to far ahead of where we should be concentrating. I will instruct Simon to turn teh VAn over to you for your use. Cade you being more familiar with the area may wish to do the driving let me give you instructions for how to get to Mathers Home."

AL gives Cade the instructions and Simon reenters the room and turns over the keys.

"If you have no further questions you should begin your investigation. I will await your return."

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Cade nodded, he knew the area, and finding his way to Mathers' home wouldn't be anything difficult.  He wasn't so used to driving a van, but if everyone wished to go together, that was the best way.  His jeep would suffice otherwise.

"Who all would like to come with me?"

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"I'm in too," Kaitlin added right on top of Montrose. Yes, she preferred driving herself, but she wasn't used to driving in a city as large as New Orleans - she'd taken two wrong turns in Denver and she had just been trying to drive through it. She didn't want to spend the afternoon trying to find her way in New Orleans instead of checking out Mather's place - she'd do some driving around tonight, if nothing else.

Kaitlin rolled her shoulders, stretched her arms above her head, her stomach rippling, then started for the door. "Let's roll."

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Once the group has gathered and loaded onto the van, Cade at the wheel takes stock of where they are in relation to where the Mather house is according to AL's directions. Taking a few shortcuts they reach their destination in about two hours.

The house itsefl cannot be seen from the main highway and the van turns down a one lane drive which seems to meander through the thickly packed moss draped oak and cypress trees. Their overhead canopy making it so dark that the headlights have to be used.

Each passenger feels a sense of foreboding and a strange feeling of Deja Vu, as the van makes one last curve revealing the old house.

1984lw.jpg

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.

You are all here i am assuming, the house is old and not at all cared for the grounds show neglect and seven years of over growth. There are no trespassing signs posted in plain view. there is light here as the tress are sparser but it is still dark and gloomy. please feel free to post and make sure you place in a spoiler what your character is doing and any preparation she/she may have made. you may also post trip conversations and the like.  I will answer any alertness/awareness/other rolls you wish to make in a pm to the player. I will not post in the thread until i have received at least one post from each member of the game here. note my posting may change dependent on your posts.

as i said I am assuming that all remaining players are present for the trip, please inform me if i am incorrect and if you are not with those going to the Mather House tell me what you are doing in a post. Thank you

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Just as Triessa is on her way out from their meeting with Anson-Lite, as she thinks of it, she fails a Will save to resist and darts over to the construct to push a finger against his shoulder.

"Sorry," she says with an unrepentant grin. "Had to know."

Then she hurries out to join the others.

 

On the drive to the house, she concentrates on a spell...forming a visualization in her mind, like creating a mold in reality. Then into that mold she pours Will...determination strong enough that it crystallizes into something that was that had not previously been. Under her clothes, her skin began to change subtly, thickening and pushing slightly out as keratin formed in pockets underneath. The resulting armor wouldn't be too obvious unless she was touched or hurt, but should give her a fighting chance if whoever they were on the track of had someone waiting for them. The destination was far too obvious to be safe.

As they neared the old house, Triessa cast another spell...though a much simpler one. Reaching out with her mind to feel for other thinking beings nearby, other than her companions.

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Kaitlin called shotgun for the drive to the Mather house. Not only did sitting in the front give her more leg room, she was also in a better position to talk with Cade. During stretches of the two hour drive, she asked about landmarks and directions on how to get around New Orleans, focusing her mind, focusing Mind, to help her memorize the information. She wasn't usually much of a talker - having lived as mostly an outsider for most of her youth, but while she loved exploring, especially the mountains and forests surrounding her home, she hated getting lost.

The trees lining the drive were old, hoary with moss, but their verdant gloom didn't bother, the tall, athletic young woman. On the other hand, the sense of Deja Vu upon seeing the ancient and weathered house was disquieting, if for no other reason than occasions of Deja Vu were growing entirely too frequent since she'd come to the big city. For someone who prided herself on both physical and mental discipline, it was teeth grating.

When Cade brought the van to a stop, Kaitlin smoothly slid out and swung her small pack onto her back. She hung on the open door with an arm as she looked up at the house, running through a breathing exercise as she focused her vision deeper. She couldn't see spirits - and if any place looked haunted, this place did - but she could sense the ebb and flow of primal energies about places and people and the Resonance of lingering magic.

After a long moment of study, she glanced over her shoulder at the others, a wry smirk on her lips as she bumped the door closed with her hip.

"So... any of you guys virgins?" she asked unabashedly as she gestured at the house. "'Cause, you know, Rules of Horror Movies and all that."

Kaitlin took a survival knife and a small pack of hiking gear with her - tightly packed blanket, a few power bars, matches, a canteen of water, first aid kit, that sort of thing.

Using the first rank of Prime to enhance her vision to see the flow of Quintessence and any Resonance or Synergies in the area.

Possible Rolls

Arete Roll (3d10): Asarasa *rolls* 3d10: 3+6+5

Perception + Alertness (5d10): Asarasa *rolls* 5d10: 5+4+9+2+7 [Kaitlin has the Acute Senses (All) merit, which reduces difficulties by 2]

Perception + Awareness (4d10): Asarasa *rolls* 4d10: 2+5+1+6 [Kaitlin has the Acute Senses (All) merit, which reduces difficulties by 2, if the merit applies]

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"Yes." Aja didn't bat an eye or feel the least bothered about mentioning this. "And I'll be fine, thank you very much." With a breath and a brief closing of eyes, he visualized a blank opaque steel wall rising, the representation of the psychic barriers he began to set around his mind. With another breath and an opening, he entered Hyperfocus.

Everything Sherlock and the other classic Great Detectives could pick out, he could too. Aja would be ready.

Mind 1 effect, to create mental shields for himself.
[Jeremy] 12:34 pm: Arete
Jeremy *rolls* 3d10: 5+10+2
Assuming standard level + 3, no mods, that's 3 succ.

And a Hyperfocus effect... Mind 1 + Matter 1 + Life 1 + Data 1 + Entropy 1
With Sherlock-level awareness, or beyond, Aja is able to recognize everything about the people and things around him. Sensing their presences, their health, their mindset, possessions, their locations and more.
[Jeremy] 12:40 pm: Arete
Jeremy *rolls* 3d10: 4+4+4
Again as before above, that's 3 succ.
 

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"Hey," Triessa said, glancing back at the van. Her voice was uncharacteristically quiet.

"Someone followed us. They're back a bit from the van...not sure exactly how close. Probably in a car though."

She looked at the house and added, "No one inside though."

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Speaking of... Aja felt something pressing, very wrong. Despite the presence of the immediate house, the wind was not moving through the tree. There were no sights or sounds of insects or birds. In fact, there was little to no sound altogether. Only the cooling of the engine and that which the mages were making. Even that was muffled. Everything was... stagnant.

"Kaitlin? What's wrong?" Aja had suddenly turned to the teen, whose breathing and pulse was going towards pure panic, even as no one else reacted.

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At the wheel of the van, Cade's eyes were mostly on the road, trying to avoid anything beyond the ordinary.   The foreboding feeling from the house wasn't unusual, most homes like this in New Orleans had a "History" and he sometimes made use of his more esoteric skills that involved that history in his investigations.

For this outing, he brought only a single pistol, a second clip in one pocket and a knife he kept in one of his boots.   He figured they'd all seen guns before and was licensed to conceal and carry, and open carry was legal, so his hip holster was acceptable.

He gave some attention to the others, but looking back saw trash on the road he knew he'd run over and seen blow to the side of the road back on it again, and blow to the side once again as if another car had gone past.  "Alright, something's very wrong."

"First, Louisiana is NEVER this quiet, there's always bugs, birds, or at least the wind.  Be on your guard, I can't see another vehicle, but there's definitely someone else here.  I really don't like this, but we have no choice but to press on."

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In response to the question about being a virgin, Akemi smiled slightly, inclined her head in Aja's direction, then shifted her gaze to Cade with a hint of mischief in it..  "While there are certain aspects of Magik I know that can make use of sexual aspects, I'm must answer yes to that question as well, but like our friend here, I'll be fine."  She hadn't brought a weapon, but she didn't view herself as needing one, her body was a weapon if she needed it be be.  "I'd say we shouldn't let ourselves get separated, this is likely to be dangerous."

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He gave some attention to the others, but looking back saw trash on the road he knew he'd run over and seen blow to the side of the road back on it again, and blow to the side once again as if another car had gone past.  "Alright, something's very wrong."

"First, Louisiana is NEVER this quiet, there's always bugs, birds, or at least the wind.  Be on your guard, I can't see another vehicle, but there's definitely someone else here.  I really don't like this, but we have no choice but to press on."

"Oh, I don't think any of us are destined to live very quiet existences. Something will always be wrong. Thank Anson for getting us involved, eh?"

Stepping out of the van, he scanned back toward where they'd come from searching for signs of something amiss, but knowing that whatever was happening probably involved magical concealment. With a sigh, he turned back to the mansion, then back to the road.

"Should we determine who's following us? I'm thinking that it's rude to eavesdrop and we should, yanno, ensure we have privacy."

Edited by Montrose Deleon
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Kaitlin was unaware of her joking question about people's virgin status going over Aja's and Akemi's heads or Cade, Montrose, and Triessa talking about someone following them. The ominousness of the complete stillness was missed. Her heart pounded, breath coming in ragged gasps as she experienced a terror she hadn't felt  since she had encountered the werewolf when she was thirteen.

The manor was a study in decay and neglect to her Magesight, that wouldn't look out of place in a Tim Burton film, spreading out to encompass the dead trees and brittle foliage. But it was the apparition standing on the porch of the house that her amber eyes were locked on, its dull, black, enveloping cloak flapping in a phantom breeze, its hood revealing nothing but a depthless, devouring darkness. Jack Skellington the spirit was not - only the hissing bulk of her Avatar bracing her from behind stopped from backing away.

"Does... does, anyone el-" Kaitlin rasped, then swallowed and wet her lips before trying again. She pulled her eyes off the apparition with an almost physical tearing sensation and looked at the others, then nodded at the porch. "Does anyone else see the embodiment of the place standing there on the porch, glaring at us. I presume, because I can't see it's fucking face. It looks like the damned Grim Reaper and I don't think it's happy to see us... I wouldn't try tapping the Node here at the moment."

kaitlin had been trying for a brash, confident, dismissive tone, but failed, her voice rising and falling unsteadily as she tried to suppress her terror.

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Triessa looked at Kaitlyn curiously, and immediately went to the other woman's side on seeing how upset she was.

 

"Are you okay?" she asked. "I don't see whatever it is, but we're with you. We won't let it get you."

 

"Seems like the situation here is pretty...fwoom..." she made a little 'explody' gesture with her hand. "People behind, and weird invisible death-ghouls ahead, and...what are we supposed to find here anyway? Clues?"

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"Does... does, anyone el-" Kaitlin rasped, then swallowed and wet her lips before trying again. She pulled her eyes off the apparition with an almost physical tearing sensation and looked at the others, then nodded at the porch. "Does anyone else see the embodiment of the place standing there on the porch, glaring at us. I presume, because I can't see it's fucking face. It looks like the damned Grim Reaper and I don't think it's happy to see us... I wouldn't try tapping the Node here at the moment."

"Huh. Assume that I don't." Casting a glance back to the manor, he gave it another once-over. His magical senses were probably ill-suited to seeing the resonance of the place. "All the more reason to make sure we're not being followed in." Seeing through concealments, on the other hand, was something he could do. He reached for his stone necklace, squeezing it to unlimber his senses and expanding his awareness.

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The six key holders gather around the van Kaitlin, Aja and Triessa are focused toward the house and what ever has frightened Kaitlein so much both notice visual manifestations of their own avatars now seeming agitated and focused toward the house.

Cade and Akemi are both watching Montrose who works magick and focused toward the road. Neither of the two can determine what Montros is doing but they see a wide smile grow on his face.

<Boogie Jackson (a name he hated with a passion) stopped the old camaro a good thirty yards back. He really hated this kind of shit job but he was the only one who could drive he car when it was invisible without freaking out. Fuck! His thoughts shifted to the here and now, there's six of the motherfuckers and just me, ran through his brain. He shifted the binoculars taking a good look at each of the six emerging from the van. Good that Vail cunt ain't here but damn look at the trim that is. I wonder who's banging who, fuck that slant eyed bitch would be a nice piece to plow and fuck I want that long legged cunt i'd fuck that ass all night …>

Montrose pushes past the thugs puerile thoughts deeper focusing on the invisible car he peels back layer upon layer of stupidity until he locates what he is looking for.

<Tobias Gaunt, tall, Hairless and white, skeletal, freakishly scary looking in Boogie's mind there is fear and respect. Boss. Voodoo Lord. “Boogie, I want you to follow them I shall mask the car and yourself get close find out what Vail is upto and then kill them. Use this, ( a thin long fingered hand places a flat octagonal medallion into Boogies hand) just hold it in your hand and think die, it will do the rest.” The smile on Gaunt's face reveal unnaturally sharp teeth and lend him a cadaverous look.>

 

Text in italics and blue are what Montrose reads in the thugs mind with his awesome mind spell. Montrose he is an open book and you can basically have free range with this guy. if there is anything specific you wish to know pm me. Right at the moment we are not in initiative turns. Boogie is unsure if he should wait or just get out and use the device to kill you all he is afraid that if he kills you before knowing what you are upto Gaunt will be angry. But without Vail here he doesn't know if he will find anything out any way. Either way he does not like the six to one odds. Those looking to the house your avatars are very agitated at something only they and Kait can see

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With a smile he didn't quite feel, he turned back to the van, shrugging.

Quite at odds with his nonchalant manner of his actions, he began to share his senses with the rest of the burgeoning cabal. His mind brushed the outermost layers of theirs with a tremendous impulse of caution.

"Don't look back at the road to hard," Montrose said, his voice hard and in stark contrast to the smile on his face. "He thinks he's hidden. He's here on the orders of someone named Gaunt, and he's got a magical knicknack of some sort that he is convinced can kill us with a thought."

What the hell have I gotten into? Although he'd fought many, many times, and quite of few of them had been dangerous affairs, it was the first time he'd ever come to contact with someone actively wishing to kill. It was... disquieting. Inwardly, he examined the sensations caused by the slowly-erupting sense of fear that was simmering just below the surface of his thoughts.

"We can either try to rush him or proceed inside and pretend we don't know he's there."

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"I'm... I'm okay," Kaitlin said to Triessa, her voice still a bit shaky, but her breathing was steadier. "It's not actually doing anything other than just standing there being creepy as fuck." Kaitlin pulled her eyes away from the manifestation to glance down at Triessa. Her wry grin looked more like a grimace. "I figure we're here to see if we can find clues about what Mathers was looking into and what got him killed. Something that got Anson killed and fucked up his plans... Plans involving us I guess."

Feeling Montrose's pulse of caution, Kaitlin glanced over a stronger at him - absently petting the empty air where her feline Avatar was standing. The tall woman didn't typically fear for her life - when freeclimbing in the mountains, a fall could kill you instantly - but the spirit-thing was on another level entirely, full part because it was something she didn't have experience with.

"We can try to get inside, maybe circle around the house and break line of sight with our watcher. But I don't know what that spirit thing is gonna do. I doubt it'll just step aside." Her lips turned now in a tight frown. "I can see it, but I don't know if it can hear me or if it'll respond. I've never encountered anything like this before." Her hands balled into a pair of tight fists. "I might be able to pull on the primordial energies, chi, quintessence, whatever you all call it and be able to hit the fucker, but who knows what that will do, right?"

Kaitlin turned back to the mansion and pointed to the side of it with her chin. "I say we check the back, see if the thing follows or not. If nothing else, it'll force our watcher friend to follow and we'll only have to worry about one of them at a time, for a bit."

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Boogie Jackson stopped the old camaro a good thirty yards back. He really hated this kind of shit job but he was the only one who could drive he car when it was invisible without freaking out. Fuck! His thoughts shifted to the here and now, there's six of the motherfuckers and just me, . He shifted the binoculars taking a good look at each of the six emerging from the van. Good that Vail cunt ain't here but damn look at the trim that is. I wonder who's banging who, fuck that slant eyed bitch would be a nice piece to plow and fuck I want that long legged cunt I'd fuck that ass all night. Fuck Boogie Focus man. I hate this Voodoo shit.

"Fuck me, six a dem motherfuckers." he snorts loudly and shifts to his right digging a hand into his pocket bringing out the flat weirdly shape medallionall covered in symbols and shit he had no idea and less desire to know about.

"What the fuck did he mean just think die..."

 

Twenty yards back down the road from the van a swirl of mystical energies draws all six mages attention as a shimmer appears and a old '98 camaro z28 shiftsinto view as the forces spell obfuscating it unravels. Everyone stares as the camaro which is rocking back and forth and then the screams reach them. screams of agony and terror sends chills down spines.

Suddenly the door opens and a tall black man lurches from the car wreathed in tendrils of magickal energy, before their eyes he grows to twice his height and width and his from changes into a grayish rock like substance. The mages are stunned by what they see.

You all have one free turn of action before initiative..... sorry got bored

r8b86u.jpg

Edited by MAGE20 ST

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Triessa's eyes widen in shock at the horrifying, self-immolating transformation she saw. Who would do that to themselves? Or...had he intended to? Maybe someone else cast the spell on him from hiding, turning him into a weapon!

Could it be undone?

She focused, trying to perceive the Pattern of the spell as something distinct from the Pattern of his mind, soul and body.

 

(OOC - Can Prime magic determine the spheres of the spell, and perhaps attempt to end it prematurely?)

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OOC

 

you must have at least one dot of a sphere  to identify a certain sphere. Prime can manipulate the patterns of anything. To unravel a spell you need to use counter magick page 545 of the core book    note detecting/identifying magick spheres is a perception - awareness roll difficulty 4 - it is a free action.

Edited by MAGE20 ST

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Seeing the spectacle before him and hearing the less and less human screams coming from the poor individual who had been watching them, Cade reacted with a practiced efficiency.  He was probably trying too much at once with this rote, it was a thought he always had when he cast it, but it worked well enough most of the time, doing what he wanted, needed, it to accomplish.   It was one of the rotes he'd made his own, a variation of Kandal's Slow Purge, which struck an enemy and altered time around them, slowing them considerably while infusing the medium of delivering the strike with arcane damage.  He put modern concepts of firearms to work form him, and added a small "firey bit" as he jokingly called it, an explosion of magical force that mimicked the effects of explosive or incendiary ammunition.

Casting done, The Louisiana native aimed at the target, knowing he really needed to hit with his first shot.  The pistol thrummed in his hand with invisible arcane energies, this was far from the first time he had done this, and it seemed ready to aid its master as it had so many other times.

Cade's enchanted the rounds in his gun to have the effect of causing aggravated damage, halve the target's speed, and a small explosive bonus to damage

spend 1 quintessence, 1 willpower

  
Long6 *rolls* 3d10: 1+10+9: 20

3 successes, +1 for damage from forces  effect works as planned

 

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Okay what how that wasn't supposed to happen what holy shit

Montrose had never been quite so dumbfoundedly terrified in his life. He'd gone cliff diving, polar-bear bathing, and faced down a mountain lion naked just for the experiences. This was on a whole new level.

Move! What Do something! Be an action movie cliche! Do holy shit what the hell did that guy do to himself

Distantly, he will be aware that he needs to have done something but his mind, shielded from external assault, falls prey to something far more prosiac: confusion.

Rather than "action movie cliche" it, Montrose is going to spend the surprise round gathering his wits, because this is something wholly new.

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Aja's surprise was momentary for the man-no-more. Montrose's description suddenly made sense. Like the villain's mooks turned into twisted monsters by serums as disposable muscle. It was a twisted use by the man's employer. A Hulk type being sent for them... Aja backpedaled while trying to focus. Take all his own helter-skelter surprise, turn the disorienting factor up to eleven, and then broadcast it into the not-man's mind.

Hard to be a threat when your spatial awareness was all askew...

Mind 3, illusions effect to throw off this brute's ability to target and hit.
I believe the difficulty is this fella's WP + 1 (for Aja fast-casting). Add an additional +3 if he counts as 'another Mage or one of the Night-Folk.'

Jeremy *rolls* 3d10: 9+10+9: 28
I was not expecting a roll this good. Probably means all 3 are sux.

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Kaitlin was as shocked as all the other Mages at the sight of the hulking granite black man, but her surprise was tangled with a curious sense of relief. Regardless of how big and dangerous the... thing was, it was a physical threat. She could deal with physical. This fucker creeped her out far less than the ephemeral apparition watching them from the veranda. Besides, he didn't even have teeth or claws, and seemed far slower than a werewolf, or herself.

The tall, young woman drew a wicked, solid, modern-looking survival knife from her belt, then rolled her broad shoulders. She bounced on the balls of her feet, moving in a mobile, flowing stance, gliding ahead of the others in eerie grace and breathing in a precise rhythm to manipulate the flow of energy running through her. She focused on the magic of the body and mind, to best adapt to the flow of adrenaline she forced through her veins.

The giant man-statue seemed to move languidly as her thought processes sped up. Kaitlin's athletic physique rippled powerfully with every movement she made, her taut muscles seeming to flex and grow harder and larger right before the eyes of the others. She would start with a purely physical beat down, but if Rock-Hulk didn't oblige, she'd shatter his Pattern if she had to.

"Bring it asshole!" Kaitlin growled, her amber eyes bright and fierce.

Using a Life 3/Mind 1 effect to increase her Strength and increase the speed of her thought processes (ie, I figure reduce the Multiple Action penalty) by making her body increase the flow and potency of Adrenaline going through her.

Instruments: Movement and Bodywork/Breathing Exercises

Looking at the book, I think the Difficulty of the effect is 6. Kaitlin is spending a point of Quintessence to reduce the difficulty to 5.

Asarasa *rolls* 3d10: 10+8+8: 26 = 3 Successes I believe
Edited by Kaitlin Vandussen

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