Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 10:40 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Cormant House – Salem)
- After observing a moment of silence for Adam, Ogma continues his report on The Bulwark of Shadow.
Ogma: During their fight against the Goetic Spirits, The Bulwark of Shadow committed some minor violations of the Lex Magica. They at times violated the Precept of Secrecy. Okazo in particular was not careful enough when fighting the Spirit of Greed. The only other blemish that I can see is that the cabal has a tendency toward too many unfortunate encounters with the Seers of the Throne.
The Nemean (growing impatient): Fine. Fine. These will be entered into the Lex and we can talk later. By tradition of the Tetragrammaton, a minor Tetra will be assigned to repay the Consilium for these small violations. It’s always important to remain vigilant in maintaining the Precept of Secrecy. It’s dangerous for Sleepers to know of our existence. Dangerous for us AND for them. We can deal with this matter later.
Blanchefleur (looking toward Arachne): Do you Arachne have anything to say which might conflict with Ogma’s report?
Arachne (standing up): No. The Bulwark of Shadow gratefully accepts admission into the Consilium and have no disagreement with what has been put forward.
Blanchefleur: Then I ask that the Council render their decision after a short recess.
- The Council retire to a side chamber to deliberate the cabal’s fate. The rest of the assembled mages mingle with one another and use the opportunity to stretch their legs.
- Arachne briefly thanks Ogma for his report. Kronate joins them.
Ogma: You guys have done well for a starting cabal, but you definitely have to be careful out there. I’m sure whatever The Nemean decides for your Tetra, it will be something minor.
- Ferrum approaches Otsuchi and they exchange pleasantries.
Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 10:55 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Cormant House – Salem)
- Blanchefleur announces the Council’s return. Everyone returns to their seats.
The Nemean: The Council is unanimous in its decision to accept The Bulwark of Shadow cabal into our greater community. But, the Council is still divided about what to do with regards to the Abedju Cipher, and I have NOT been swayed by either side enough to render my final decision about the Cipher.
- Ahriman of The Ebon Noose rises to his feet. He is a tall bald athletic man in his 50’s. He’s dressed well, but looks haggard with a twisting mass of scars marring his left cheek. Part of his left ear lobe is also missing. Blanchefleur notices and bids him to speak.
Ahriman (with the hint of a British accent): An artifact such as the Abedju Cipher belongs in the hands of more experienced mages. It has had a long and conflict ridden history. I don’t believe that The Bulwark of Shadow have the knowledge or strength to care for it properly. Let us settle this matter using one of our oldest traditions – Through the Duel Arcane.
- Okazo once again can’t believe this undemocratic and barbaric method of settling disputes is still considered legitimate. Nevertheless, he feels confident he could win his second duel since joining the cabal and is not feeling inclined to give up the Cipher without a fight.
Okazo: So be it. Despite my objection to this primitive practice for deciding important matters, on behalf of The Bulwark of Shadow, I accept!
Arachne: Is it the opinion of the Council that this is the best way forward?
The Nemean: As it is my decision to make, since the Council is divided, I accept this time-honoured practice as a valid means of determining ownership of the Cipher.
Arachne: Very well.
- Arachne is suspicious of The Nemean’s ruling, since Ahriman happens to be a member of the Hierarch’s cabal, though she is not surprised by it.
Potestas: Well, the Duel Arcane is all well and good, but I’m sure we can all agree as Councillors and as a Consilium that a battle between a Master of Death and a Disciple of Space and Mind is not a fair way to settle a matter of such importance. I demand that Ahriman appoint a Second to fight on his behalf.
Ahriman (surveying the room): Then I request that (Sentinel) Eve of the Gravediggers be my Second. She has my full support to settle this matter on my behalf.
Eve (standing): Very well, I accept the honour of representing Ahriman in this dispute.
- Eve is a beautiful woman in her mid-20s, with a rich, coffee-colored complexion. She wears her black hair in scores of thin braids, and wears a leather choker, ornamented with pieces of bone. She is dressed simply, in clothing suitable for combat.
Blanchefleur: Okazo, as the challenged you have the right to set the terms of the Duel.
Okazo: My only condition is that should Eve, by some stroke of luck win the Duel, that the matter of the Cipher be put to a vote before the whole assembly.
The Nemean: Using the usual voting method, of course.
Okazo (resigned): Fine then.
Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 11:10 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Cormant House – Salem)
Blanchefleur: Otsuchi, as this contest involves your cabalmate, would you like the honour of Squaring the Circle?
Otsuchi: I would.
- Otsuchi casts Squaring the Circle [Prime 2].
- Eve uses Life as her Sword and Spirit as her Shield.
- Okazo uses Space as his Sword and Mind as his Shield.
- The combatants enter the Circle and everyone gathers around.
- Eve gains the initiative. Her taunts unnerve Okazo a little [+ 1 attack for the rest of the fight].
- Eve unleashes a swarm of birds [Life] against Okazo and he partially deflects their attention [Mind], but still suffers cuts from some of their sharp beaks [-2 Willpower].
- The crowd murmurs about Eve’s greater level of experience. “This might be over soon.”
- Okazo decides to bet everything on one overwhelming strike. He uses Willpower and the full force of his Destiny to tear Eve apart with portals [Space] as spirits wrap around her, trying to keep her from being torn apart [Spirit].
- The crowd is shocked. It is so crushing an attack that Eve loses her nerve [-5 Willpower, Loses her + 1 bonus].
- Eve is nearly finished, but tries to ensnare Okazo with vines and he unsuccessfully attempts to fool her mind into thinking he is further away than he is [-1 Willpower].
- Okazo’s portals pry the spirits off her and pull her metaphysical form apart [-1 Willpower].
- The Duel ends and she is on all fours at Okazo’s feet, panting and looking away, ashamed. Eve, the Banner Warden of the Gravediggers, has been defeated.
- The crowd is impressed by the efficiency with which Okazo has defeated her [+1 Willpower, Envy – embarrassing a rival].
- Okazo merely walks away.
The Nemean: It is decided then. The Bulwark of Shadow will retain possession of the Abedju Cipher. Enter it into the Lex!
The Nemean (bringing his gavel down): I would like The Bulwark of Shadow to meet me in my chambers. This meeting is over!
- Mages begin filtering out. The Gravediggers are pissed. The Ebon Noose are annoyed. Arachne senses that Ahriman is not approachable, but she looks for Eve only to find Kronate consoling her already. “I guess that fairy thing works for him after all.”
- Arachne commends her for well representing her cabal and then leaves Kronate to his flirtations.
- Agdos sees this and comes to congratulate Kronate, distracting him long enough for Eve to make her exit, but not without casting a lingering glance his way.
- Chain Parris takes a moment to congratulate Arachne and the others, before following The Nemean into his chambers. “Don’t linger too long. The Nemean can get impatient.”
- Kronate leaves Agdos and joins the rest of the cabal as they make their way into The Nemean’s chambers.
Sunday, June 21st, 2009, 11:25 PM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Cormant House – Salem)
- The Nemean’s office is nicely furnished and his shelves are lined with interesting books. Arachne notices his spirit friends, but they seem bored and uninterested.
- Cuchulainn and Chain Parris are present. Surprisingly, as he missed the assembly, Geb is there as well.
- Everyone sits in nicely upholstered wooden chairs.
Chain Parris: Now seems like the appropriate time to collect the Consilium’s customary tithe.
- Arachne hands 60 Tass to Chain.
The Nemean: This meeting concerns the settling of two matters. Let us consider something that’s been weighing on my mind for some time now that you may have an interest in, and that you might also find to be a suitable vehicle to repay your Tetra to the Consilium.
- Kronate rolls his eyes.
The Nemean (turning to Chain, insistently): Chain, I DEMAND to know what is going on with The Big Dig. It’s fucking everything up!
Chain Parris (annoyed): It’s interesting that you would bring this up now, but as you know there is a considerable amount of red tape at city hall that needs to be dealt with. We had the judges and councillors onside and everything was proceeding according to plan, but now these guys are filibustering and nothing’s getting through city council. I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on. I think someone might be blackmailing them.
Geb: You may be right.
Cuchulainn (reporting to The Nemean): I have been doing as you asked Hierarch and I have found that there are Ghosts that have visited certain men and women of influence within the city, and as you requested I did trace the origin of those ghosts. They originate from Danvers Asylum.
- Arachne remembers Danvers Asylum. It was closed over a decade ago due to reports and proof of patient abuse at the facility. Political pressure instigated by powerful families of abused patients finally forced it to close after years of controversy. Arachne suspects that the White Putnams might have been behind the closing. It has since been turned into a historical site.
The Nemean: That’s interesting information Cuchulainn. Chain, I need you to get those judges and councillors BACK onside.
Chain Parris (protesting): I assure you that I’m doing everything I can!
The Nemean (standing and raising his voice): Have those heritage sites declared unsafe and demolished!
- Arachne and Kronate are familiar with the political situation: The Big Dig can’t proceed until several Boston historical sites are demolished and right now everything is tied up in red tape.
The Nemean (now pacing behind his desk): And I want you to get the ball rolling on demolishing the Asylum too! You know what that place used to fucking be! We can’t give the Liches ANY quarter.
Chain: On what grounds though?
The Nemean: I’m sure you’ll think of something.
- Arachne, reading between the lines, guesses that Danvers Asylum must have been a gathering place for Tremere Liches – Mages who feast on Souls to maintain their power. The soulless and the mentally ill are often indistinguishable to Sleeper psychiatry.
The Nemean: Cuchulainn, I’d like you to work with The Bulwark of Shadow and find out what’s going on at the Asylum. Something there is getting into our business.
The Nemean (addressing the cabal): I want you to go with Cuchulainn and find out what’s happening there. Do so and all of your minor transgressions will be forgiven, and moreover, the Council will recognize you all as Liegemen.
Cuchulainn: For my part, I’d be honored to work with The Bulwark of Shadow in this endeavor.
Arachne: We’ll do our best to look into it and take care of it. It’s a fair and useful way to settle the matter of the Tetragrammaton.
Kronate: It makes sense to deal with Danvers. My only beef is that we may be destroying important historical sites before trying something else.
Geb: Unfortunately Kronate, I’ve looked at the landscape and getting The Big Dig completed is the only thing that’s going to untangle the knot in Ariadne’s thread and restore the resonance of the city. It’s regrettable, but it has to happen. Most of the sites aren’t even that important. They’re just being used as an excuse by our enemies to tie things up in red tape.
- Arachne is concerned that following through with The Big Dig might somehow impact the ley line of Justice flowing into Hathorne Manor, but decides to discuss it with Kronate at a later time.
Geb: I’ve been following some leads of my own and there may be some other strange shit going on in Roxbury that I need to investigate. I’ll let you know how that turns out.
- Kronate is curious about the Asylum, but doesn’t feel like he owes the Consilium anything after dealing with Adam’s problems. Nevertheless, being made a Liegeman seems worth the effort of doing as The Nemean asks, so he doesn’t voice his concerns.
- Otsuchi feels that dealing with Danvers is a worthy service to perform for the local Mage community.
- Okazo, still buoyed by his recent victory, goes along with the plan without a fuss.
The Nemean (glasping his hands together): I’m glad you’ve accepted my proposal. It’s definitely going to make things go more smoothly for you.
- Kronate and Okazo exchange quick glances at that last comment.
Cuchulainn (standing): Well, I suppose we should get going then. It’s been a productive evening.
Geb: I’m gonna get going too. Talk to you later Kronate.
- Geb makes a quick exit.
- The cabal exchange goodbyes with Chain Parris and The Nemean and then head back to Boston.
Monday, June 22nd, 2009, 12:15 AM – The Bulwark of Shadow (Outside Cuchulainn’s Lair)
- Cuchulainn exits the SUV parked near the back entrance of his sanctum and bids everyone farewell. Arachne accompanies him to the rear grade entrance.
Cuchulainn (enticingly): One more thing Sarah. From my studies I have reason to believe that there is evidence of a powerful Death Demesne still in place at Danvers, and you know that where there is a Demesne, there are other things of interest as well. .
Arachne (smiling): That IS interesting. Thanks again for sponsoring us.
Cuchulainn: It was no bother. I was happy to smooth the way in any way I could. I’ll call you about Danvers
- Arachne watches her mentor open the basement entrance and hears Malpheus inside, excitedly asking questions of its master about the evening’s activities.
- On Otsuchi’s suggestion, The Bulwark of Shadow heads south to the Emerald Scroll in Roxbury to celebrate their victory.