- The cabal have increased security at Hathorne Manor [Sanctum is now 8 dots → Size (2), Guardian Spirit of Justice (2), Security (3)].
- The security is mainly in the form of heightened electronic surveillance and network security.
- Okazo is still Warding the Sanctum against the use of Space and Sympathetic magic.
- Arachne has increased the Gauntlet by +3 to hinder hostile Spirits.
- Otsuchi is tapping into the justice ley line for redundant power, should the need arise.
Thursday, June 18th, 2009, 5:00 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Hathorne Manor)
Blanchefleur (addressing them all): So I’d love to hear your story: How you’ve come to the Consilium, and what you’ve been doing since.
- Arachne remembers that Blanchefleur is a Skald (a bard), so it’s not an unusual question coming from her.
- Kronate, having forgotten his true reason for coming to Boston [looking for Little Cedric], unconvincingly says that “Fate” brought him here.
- He then relates how the Cabal came together, including a basic rundown of Adam’s story and the Vice Spirits he unwittingly released that they were forced to deal with.
- Arachne politely asks Blanchefleur what her story is as well.
Blanchefleur: I’ve been in this area all my life with the rest of my family and cabal: Sanguine Laurel. We are a line of Willworkers that have persisted for hundreds of years.
- She seems somewhat forlorn about her past, but does not discuss it further.
- Kronate breaks the silence by telling her about their run in with the Shinje [a Tibetan cannibal spirit of reincarnation] and the Matrix Tappers [Ley Line researchers].
Blanchefleur (turning to Okazo): Your Destiny is as bright to me as a New England lighthouse beacon.
Okazo (smiling): Yeah, my future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.
Blanchefleur (addressing the group): From what I’ve been told, much to the consternation of some, you’ve also come into possession of the Abedju Cipher?
Okazo: There’s a fine line between “coming into possession” and “earning”.
Blanchefleur (to Okazo and casting an improvised Fate spell): Fair enough, but be warned, and I would appreciate it if you didn’t repeat this to anyone, for some may not see it this way, but it is very important to your Destiny that you retain possession of the Abedju Cipher.
Blanchefleur (still engaged with Okazo): I see also that you have a Fae Title as well.
Blanchefleur: It’s interesting. Some may not acknowledge such things, but Kronate can verify it if he wishes.
- Kronate casts an improvised Fate spell and confirms it: Bane of the Seal of Unity.
Blanchefleur: Tell me about the Legacies you’ve joined.
Okazo: I haven’t joined one just yet, but I’m working on it.
Arachne: For my part I’ve recently joined The Coven of the Summer Ash – a Legacy concerned with assisting souls with their transition from The Fallen World to Summerland in the Supernal realm. I’ve been helping some souls I’ve encountered along the way.
Otsuchi: I’ve joined The Perfected Adepts in order to perfect my body and mind using the Mysteries and to grow stronger in my martial capabilities.
Kronate: I’m a member of The House of Ariadne. We concern ourselves with the threads of the tapestry of life and how they relate to each other.
Blanchefleur (rising to her feet): Thank you all. I have everything I need. Just a word of advice: The Consilium can be an overly political place at times. Stay true to yourselves and the ideals of your Legacies and you should be able to successfully navigate the trials ahead.
Arachne: We’ll see you Sunday then.
- Blanchefleur reaches into her hand bag and retrieves coins – one side has The Bulwark of Shadow sigil and the other side the shadow name of the Mage she hands it to.
- Each cabal member receives 4 coins for being a Disciple in one or more Arcana and 2 coins for having Consilium Status 1 (ie. 6 coins each).
- Blanchefleur heads back to Boston.
- On Friday night Otsuchi and Kronate go out and indulge their Vices with no real consequences [+1 Willpower].
Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 6:30 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Hathorne Manor)
- The cabal are preparing their attire for the official gathering of the Boston Mage Consilium.
- Arachne dresses in traditional witches garb with a pointy hat and even brings a broom.
- Okazo has some fun with things and wears suspenders, a bow tie and horn rimmed glasses.
- Otsuchi is wearing a simple white gi.
- Kronate opts for voodoo makeup and tribal attire.
- Arachne’s phone rings.
Cuchulainn: There’s been a change of plans Sarah. Chain Parris will not be sponsoring your cabal’s entry into the Consilium.
Cuchulainn: The Nemean has asked that I do so instead. Can you pick me up on your way through town?
Arachne: Are you sure? Are you ok with this?
Cuchulainn: I’d be happy to sponsor the four of you. You’ve comported yourselves with dignity in your pursuit of the Vice Spirits and you deserve to be inducted.
Arachne: The Nemean called you himself?
Cuchulainn: No. Chain Parris informed me of his decision earlier today.
Arachne: Very well then. We’ll see you soon.
- Okazo drives the cabal in his SUV, heads north into Boston and then to North End to Cuchulainn’s brownstone sanctum. He is outside waiting and gets in the back with Arachne and Otsuchi.
Cuchulainn: Everyone ready for the big meeting on this fine Summer Solstice?
Arachne: I think so. I’m sure there’ll be some questions concerning the Cipher, but the way I see it we’ve earned just as much right to it as anyone given the work we’ve done dealing with the Vice Spirits, among other things.
Okazo: They better not have anything to say about the Cipher.
Cuchulainn: Well I hope your good works haven’t gone unnoticed.
Arachne: Thanks again for coming. I didn’t realize you normally attended these gatherings.
Cuchulainn: I haven’t participated much lately. All this political nonsense was keeping me from my studies – the only thing that truly matters.
Otsuchi: How much of it goes on in the Consilium here?
Cuchulainn: Far too much for my liking. The Nemean is powerful and the Ebon Noose and White Putnams control much of what goes on in Mage society around here. Most of the time everyone just goes about their business, but occasionally The Nemean implements unfair and brutal solutions to certain problems. He is not so much liked as feared. I have a working relationship with him that affords me more independence, but I like to tread lightly.
Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 9:00 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Cormant House – Salem)
- Okazo makes his way north east from Boston to Cormant House in Salem. The circular driveway is packed with cars and Okazo is forced to park further back up the long wooded lane.
- They approach the gathering of Mages on foot.
- Twenty or so Mages are milling about the grounds, engaged in conversation and displaying the attire of their Legacies, Cabals and Orders.
- Many more are gathered inside.
- Chain Parris [a Steward of the Celestial Orrery] is dressed in white priestly robes with gold trim, looking as though he belongs at the Vatican.
- Sentinel Anacaona de Xaragua [a Dreamspeaker] is attired in native shaman cloth and catching more than a few glances.
- Notably absent are any willworkers from the Dead Wrens or The Special Media Group. They do not attend out of protest to the undemocratic nature of the Consilium.
- In addition to Otsuchi, The Perfected Adepts are represented by Ferrum [with his sword Tanshien’s Thorn] and Apollonia. Other non-Legacied members of the Exalted Knights and The Brotherhood of Ineffable Truth are scattered about.
- Otsuchi recognizes The Gravediggers cabal, including Hydra [a Councillor with a grandmotherly bearing] and Reinga, both Stygian Heralds dressed in the deathly garb of pure black robes. Seraphim is also there.
- None of the main Guardians of the Veil cabal – Shadow Chorus – are present.
- Potestas, Aurem, and Numa [a Councillor, Thor-like in appearance with his axe Imadrillan] are congregating together. All are members of The Eyes of Ain Soph Legacy.
- Kronate looks for Vision, Mercy and Tyrhennus, but none of The Company have bothered to come.
- Altogether there are over 50 Mages present with almost half represented by Mages from the Ebon Noose and White Putnams.
- Although each of the cabal members have attended smaller gatherings of their own Orders, this is the first time they have been invited to the larger meeting.
Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 9:30 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Cormant House – Salem)
- The bell is rung and the assembled willworkers gather inside the main hall of The Cormant House.
- The hall is a large wooden room with rafters, almost barn-like in construction. There are wooden tables and chairs enough to seat a hundred and the seating is preassigned.
- The Bulwark of Shadow are in the second row of tables off to one side, perhaps more prominent than usual given that they are on the agenda.
- Cuchulainn spends some time talking with Chair Parris and Blanchefleur before sitting with The Bulwark of Shadow.
- The Councillors enter and take their seats at a long head table. The Nemean is at the center with Chain Parris to his right and Potestas to his left. Numa sits next to Potestas and Hydra sits next to Chain Parris.
- As The Nemean enters, seen only by Arachne and Cuchulainn, he is flanked on either side by two Spirits. They appear as ministers of the state from colonial times observing the proceedings from their Twilight state. Arachne believes them to be conceptual spirits of governance. Arachne whispers to Kronate and Otsuchi about the ethereal bureaucrats and Cuchulainn informs her that they rarely leave The Nemean’s side.
- The proceedings begin with a report from the Sanguine Laurel about their grand Mage census project. Blanchefleur leads the discussion and indicates a desire to also catalog any Seers of the Throne that may be active in the Boston region. The Consilium at large generally agree that the project should continue with little dissent.
- The Brotherhood of Ineffable Truth announce that they are organizing an expedition to Central Africa to explore a potential Atlantean Temple that may have been discovered. Agdos will keep everyone updated as things progress and give other worthy members of the Consilium a chance to participate.
- Khumeia of the Illuminated Pentad warns the assembled mages that Harvard is still rife with Seer influence and should be mostly avoided by Pentacle mages.
- Other minor business is discussed before attention finally turns to The Bulwark of Shadow.
The Nemean [Hierarch, a Keeper of the Covenant]: So, we have a new cabal in our midst that wishes to join us. Let’s get on with it!
Blanchefleur (rising): Yes. I am pleased to announce that The Bulwark of Shadow have petitioned to join our Consilium.
The Nemean (inquisitively): And just who ARE The Bulwark of Shadow?
Blanchefleur (indicating each one):
Arachne of The Coven of the Summer Ash, disciple of Life, Death, and Spirit.
Kronate of The House of Ariadne, disciple of Time and Fate.
Otsuchi, Perfected Adept, disciple of Forces, Prime, and Life.
Okazo, disciple of Space and Mind.
Blanchefleur (mischievously): Moreover, Okazo has a Title among the Fae.
- Much murmuring from the gallery ensues. “What is this nonsense?”
The Nemean (bringing his gavel down): Such things have little bearing here, but we may as well hear it.
Blanchefleur (anticipating their reactions): He is known among them as the Bane of the Seal of Unity.
- The crowd goes wild. “It’s ludicrous!” “The arrogance of it all!” “Don’t put that in the records!”
- The Seal of Unity is one of the Exarchs, the dark gods that rule over the Fallen World according to legend.
- Arachne and Okazo are amused by the commotion.
- The spirits flanking The Nemean are scribbling furiously on parchment paper with quill pens. Arachne is unsure of whether or not they are actually writing anything.
The Nemean (pounding his gavel loudly): Silence! Enough of this nonsense! Continue my dear.
Blanchefleur: The Bulwark of Shadow are the Stewards of Hathorne Manor and its considerable Supernal resources. They are vanquishers of the Seven Goetic Vices of Paul Kreshman and are the Keepers of the Abedju Cipher.
- Some members of the Gravediggers begin grumbling about this last point. They are seated three tables away close to the center of the room. “We’ll see about that!”
Blanchefleur: I shall now call upon a sponsor. Who here will vouch for The Bulwark of Shadow?
Cuchulainn (standing): I will. I hold this cabal in the highest esteem and vouch for them as loyal adherents to the Pentacle against the Lie of The Fallen World.
Blanchefleur: Thank you. Let the record show that Cuchulainn, Master of Life and Death of The Coven of the Summer Ash has sponsored The Bulwark of Shadow to be inducted into our Consilium. Does it please the members that The Bulwark of Shadow be entered into the Lex Magica?
The Nemean: Ogma, first tell the rest of us about all that has transpired recently with The Bulwark of Shadow and also of Paul Kreshman.
Ogma (standing up in the front row of tables): Paul was practicing Goetic Magic beyond his ability to contain. The Bulwark of Shadow was effective in containing the threat, but Paul was unfortunately killed by Banishers whose whereabouts remain unknown. It is a shame what happened to him and I hope that those of us that remain can learn from this lesson, not to go too far when plumbing the depths of the Mysteries.
Blanchefleur: Let us now observe a moment of silence for Paul Kreshman, known to us as Adam, killed by Banishers, an Apostate, lost to the Pentacle, but never a Seer.
- Everyone observes a moment of silence for Paul Kreshman.
… to be continued …