Alice Newcomb: Slips into her untidy apartment after a night out with the girls.

Alice Newcomb: She heads down the hall and listens at Adrian's door a moment. No snoring, he's probably out hunting poontang, or whatever it is he does when he's not protecting her from bad things.

Ravyn: The apartment looks completely normal. Nothing out of place...everything is as it should be.

Alice Newcomb: She makes some tea, then shoves a pile of art supplies over and settles on the couch, kicking off her shoes and relaxing as she thinks about recent events. The tribunal, demons, nephandi, the umbra, and strange foxes.

Alice Newcomb: And of course... the angel, Tom. He left hurt after their last talk. Lucifer's brother. How could he expect that to not bother her? Lucifer is a nice guy? Come on! ALL the books are wrong?

Alice Newcomb: And then there's the demon that gave her its true name. Why would it do that? This whole demon-angel thing has her confused.

Alice Newcomb: It's hard for her to imagine anything that feels and looks as holy as Tom could be bad, but Thoth's warnings keep returning to her.

Ravyn: As she moves around the apartment, she finds herself starting to grow tired. Maybe a little earlier then usual, but it certainly seems natural.

Alice Newcomb: Of course it doesn't help that Tom is sexy as hell and she's a hormone ridden teenager, either.

Ravyn: ((moves around the apartment = relaxes. :P))

Alice Newcomb: She sets her tea aside, and leans back on the couch, closing her eyes.

Alice Newcomb: She tries to just let it all drain away, and just quiet herself. There's too much in her head these days.

Ravyn: And fairly quickly, sleep overtakes her, plunging her into the blackness of respite.

For a moment. When she next is aware, she is in darkness. An incredible, inky blackness, indoors somewhere, it seems like. No...not indoors. Underground. The smell of earth is strong, and while there is clean air coming from somewhere, she finds the ground uneven, crumbling even.

Alice Newcomb: She's confused a moment. This does not feel like the couch. Dirt? She inhales deeply of the earthy scent. If she's dreaming, it's awfully realistic. She carefully feels around her surroundings, then pats herself down. Where's her backpack? She has maglight in it. Where is she?

Ravyn: She finds herself dressed not as she normally is...rather, she is dressed in what feels like ceremonial robes. As she feels around, she finds on the ground some items; her hands brush over the cool steel of a sword. Her other hand brushes a ring on her other side...and what feels like a torch lying next to it.

Alice Newcomb: Smoothes her hands over the robe. Is it a test? Would Thoth just toss her ... where ever here is? She continues feeling around and finds the sword and then... a ring? She runs her fingers over the surface of each item feeling for inscriptions or inset stones. What's this? A club? No... it almost reminds her of an old fashioned torch. Now all she needs is a lighter.

Ravyn: The sword has etching listed down the flat of the feels like a symbol. Likewise, the ring has one, as well on the centerpiece, with two tiny, smooth stones set on either side. ((Int+Alert to ID in the darkness))

Alice Newcomb: d10: : 9,7,2,9,5,8,

Ravyn: She easily ID's the glyphs. The sword holds the glyph for Ars Essentiae, the ring for Ars Mentis.

Alice Newcomb: Well, that's just odd. She starts to slip the ring on her finger then hesitates. What if it's cursed? Maybe a quick vis scan is in order first.

Alice Newcomb: d10: arete: 2,

Alice Newcomb: Of course she doesn't have her foci with her.

Alice Newcomb: Aww what the hell. She slides the ring on and then raises the sword up over her head. Yeah she's posing. But posing with a purpose, as she reaches as high as she can trying to determine if she's in a cave of some sort by finding the ceiling.

Ravyn: Not surprisingly, she doesn't manage to scan them. However, the ring and the sword seem somehow...right to her. Appropriate, as if they belong to her, or are even a part of her, in a spiritual sense.

Alice Newcomb: Today she's the superhero. Reaching out with the torch she starts walking, listening for any sounds and searching for light. If she finds a wall, she'll put it on her left and follow it.

Alice Newcomb: d10: per + alert: 4,6,3,8,6,7,2,

Ravyn: She does find a wall. More importantly, when she raises the blade into the air, she feels her magic flow naturally from it. The torch in her hand lights up, as well as a line of torches along the wall, illuminating the tunnel. There's a sense of familarity about it, though she knows she's never been down here before. The tunnel continues along, curving ahead and heading down, out of view. With the torches lit, Alice feels as if her senses have extended somehow, become more in focus. ((Per+Awareness))

Alice Newcomb: d10: : 9,4,7,5,2,7,2,3,

Ravyn: She has an incredibly familiar sense, and it all falls into place. Around her is a residual energy that she knows very well, strengthened by the feel of the Calming Presence of the Four Element's node, very nearby, and above her somewhere.

Alice Newcomb: It feels like home, but how could that be? Didn't the technocracy take over the chantry grounds? The wouldn't ignore the presence of a node. She notes the tunnel cants deeper and looks the other way to see if it leads towards the surface in the opposite direction.

Alice Newcomb: ((can we pause and pick up from here next time? I'm passing out. *s*))

Ravyn: She makes her way along the tunnel...her feet, sandaled, landing against the crumbling, soft earth of the tunnel. It doesn't seem to make sense that the tunnel should be holding up this well, as weak as the ground and walls are, but somehow, it is. As she walks along the curve, she finds herself coming to a widening of the tunnel, opening into a large room. The node is directly above her, and she feels it's calming influence spreading down to her...the floor here has a large Seal of Solomon inside it, on the floor, with the names of four of the Archangels around the edges...Michael, Gabriel, Raguel, and Remiel.

Ravyn: ((We can, absolutely, yes.))

Alice Newcomb: She walks around the circle reading the names. If angels are demons and demons are bad, then why would anyone use their names? Moving to the center of the circle she peers up at the ceiling holding the torch high.

Ravyn: The ceiling is approximately fifteen fight high...and there, on the top of the room, is another seal. This one is...harder to make out. Something about it blurs every time that Alice tries to see closer...every time that she tries to catch the image, it shifts a bit.

Alice Newcomb: She looks from the floor to the ceiling a couple times, then tries to focus on the ceiling again, this time attempting to tap into ars conjunctionis. It's harder without a foci but she shouldn't suffer any shortage of vis, being right at the node.

Alice Newcomb: d10: ( quint) arete: 10,

Ravyn: The image becomes Alice's horror, perhaps, or maybe's a perversion of what a Seal of Solomon should be. Somewhere in her mind, she recognizes the image, perhaps from the book Ishaq gave her. It's infernal.

Alice Newcomb: Ooookay, that's not good. Although she's not surprised the techies are infernal. She recalls how that demon sucked her into the underworld. Is that what happened? Has she been sucked into this place by something? She moves around the chamber to see if there are any other openings besides the one she came through.

Ravyn: As she moves around the chamber, Alice finds herself getting a little bit dizzy. Perhaps it's the power of the node, just above the infernal seal, up there somewhere...perhaps it's the oddity of the situation. She doesn't see any immediate exits. ((Per+Invest or Alertness, whichever is higher))

Alice Newcomb: d10: per + alert: 10,3,9,9,8,5,10,

Alice Newcomb: d10: per specialty: 9,7,

Ravyn: She very easily picks up the feel of air flowing from a wall. Going over and checking it out, she sees the faint outline of the door. A spot on the wall seems faintly depressed, where people have pushed it open before.

Alice Newcomb: Puts her ear to it and listens for any sounds behind it.

Ravyn: It's dead silent on the other side.

Alice Newcomb: Well, here goes nothing... or everything, and she tucks the sword under one arm to free her hand and pushes.

Ravyn: The door pushes open...and on the other side, she NOW hears sounds. Perhaps a ward or something...but she hears gunshots. Screams. The scent of blood is heavy in the air, coiled with something more metallic. She's looking up a staircase, one she never knew existed, and into a hallway on the first floor of the Four Elements.

Alice Newcomb: She has no idea how this could be. The place was burned down. A replica, like the movie theatre? Either way, she's sprinting up the stairs, but will slow before bursting into the open and exposing herself. Sword in her right hand, torch in the left.

Ravyn: Up to the top, and she hears the sounds of heavy footfalls, down the hallway. The cocking of guns. As she comes up to the opening, two men walk along...but not men. Men don't have chain guns sticking off their backs. The guns take aim at something down the hallway, and open fire, sending a deadly barrage that is answered by screams.

Alice Newcomb: d10: arete (wp): 9,

Alice Newcomb: Holy Hannah! What are those?! She has to do something! What? What? She has sword and a torch. They have guns. There's no time. The runes on the sword and ring flash through her mind. Essentia and mentis. She tries to call upon both spheres as she charges the monsters!

Alice Newcomb: ((for some reason the post didn't go first))

Ravyn: The two cyborgs' heads turn in Alice's direction, but they are surprised by her presence. Completely unexpecting of her, they are momentarily helpless before her.

Alice Newcomb: She had rather hoped in the sound of gunfire, they wouldn't notice her before she stabbed them. She swings the blade around, aiming to decapitate the one her right, the torch waving in the face of the one on the left. Maybe the fire will dazzle its eyes if she's lucky.

Alice Newcomb: d10: dex (no melee): 2,3,6,

Alice Newcomb: She is SO dead if the Essentia doesn't trigger something in the sword.

Ravyn: It seems that the magic does indeed carry her through, and the HIT Mark on the right falls headless, the flames of the torch charged with Forces jamming into the face of the other. She's moving in an almost comic-book, Matrix-like speed as she springs into action.

Alice Newcomb: There's no time to think about it as she swings the sword around, continuing the arc through the first monster, right towards the second one. (slap me if you want init or anything)

Alice Newcomb: d10: dex (no melee): 5,2,6,

Ravyn: ((Nope. This isn't exactly standard combat. *S*))

Alice Newcomb: ((Figured, but I almost felt like I was cheating. *L*))

Ravyn: And the blade comes up, entering the large man in the shoulder, and the arts carry it all the way through. Collarbone, breastbone, ribs, metal infrastructure...they part like butter to her. The top of the thing slides off to the ground, the rest of the body falling soon after.

Alice Newcomb: Stares wide-eyed at what she's done, then looks up the hall in the direction the screams came from.

Ravyn: Down the hall, she sees the remains of shredded, bullet-ridden bodies. Acolytes. People she knew, passed in the halls, sat across in the library as she studied. Ate in the kitchen with.

Alice Newcomb: Her emotions tangle. Fear, anger, loss. They were all killed before. How can she be living this now? Can she change the past? She moves on past the bodies, searching for survivors even though one part of her brain is telling her she should leave before the place goes up in smoke.

Ravyn: ((Is she going somewhere specific, or just following the hallway?))

Alice Newcomb: ((Following the hallway, unless something catches her attention))

Alice Newcomb: ((Opening doors along the way, checking rooms, etc.))

Ravyn: She makes it over the bodies and down the hallway of the first floor...everywhere she sees is death and destruction. Everything she sees...destroyed. Fires burning. People dead. She opens the door to the library, and she sees the library, and a sight which may well confuse her...Abbey Randelle and her former Pater, Ishachus, dead on the ground. It looks as if they took out an incredible number with them...the bodies pile around them. Their bodies are broken and tiwsted, though not by seems as if Paradox itself may have taken them down, after too much fighting.

Alice Newcomb: She's growing steadily disturbed. She doesn't want to remember her friends this way. Kelton! She flees the room and races for his office. Maybe its not too late for him!

Ravyn: She races her way back to the stairs, running up it, past the body of Travis Kennedy. Wait...he was dead already, right? Whatever. She makes it up the stairs, rounding the corner into Kelton's office. The Deacon is there...and he is busy packing. He moves along, limping with his cane, as he takes down ritual tools, placing them quite calmly in a box on his desk.

Alice Newcomb: "What are you doing? Everyone is dead!" This is wrong! He wouldn't be like this.

Ravyn: "I am aware." He nods, sighing, looking to the door. He seems almost...bittersweet, looking outside to where the death is. The release the others have. Then, his gaze goes back to the Practicus. "The wand, please, if you do not mind."

Alice Newcomb: She's still holding the sword, although she seems to have lost the torch along the way. She takes down the wand and turns it in her hand, scowling fiercely. Her own thoughts turning against her. She doesn't want to believe. "YOU did this?" she whispers.

Ravyn: He looks like he expected that, and chuckles a little bit. "No, Alice. I did not do this. If I had, I would feel better about it."

Alice Newcomb: "But you're dead. You died when the Union blew up the chantry."

Ravyn: "I know." He nods. "That is because I knew, and still know, what needs to be done." He reaches out for the wand.

Alice Newcomb: She gives up the wand to him. "What needs to be done?"

Ravyn: He takes the wand and puts it in the box, then moves to the desk. He opens the desk drawer and pulls out a small, ornate box, passing a fond hand over it before he places it inside as well. "The chantry must be destroyed. Someone must sacrifice themselves and all the knowledge and power contined herein so the Union does not gain it all."

Alice Newcomb: "But the chantry was destroyed."

Ravyn: "Yes. It was." He nods. "And it will be."

Alice Newcomb: "You destroyed it?"

Ravyn: "I did."

Alice Newcomb: "You knew about the seal, right? The infernal one above the real one? In the ceiling?" He had to know, didn't he? He's the Deacon. She gets a chill up her spine as she considers that it might still be there under the wreckage of the old chantry.

Ravyn: "Ahh, yes." He nods a little bit. "That is new. It was not there when the Chantry was destroyed."

Alice Newcomb: "You don't think it's still there do you?"

Ravyn: He nods. "Yes, I do. It will always be there, Alice...until it is removed."

Alice Newcomb: "How can it be removed?"

Ravyn: "It is simple, Alice. One must decide to remove it."

Alice Newcomb: "Yeah, but. How? Even if you could get past the union and under the ground to find it... how would you destroy it?" Frowns, wondering if it could simply be unwoven.

Ravyn: "it is deceptively easy. But far trickier then you would believe." He limps his way to the bookshelf, pulling a couple of books out and making his way back to the box. "It is about Faith, my dear. It is about belief."

Alice Newcomb: "Belief in what?"

Ravyn: "That is the question that we all must ask, Alice. What is your belief in?"

Alice Newcomb: "You mean like, my spiritual beliefs?"

Ravyn: "Take it however your first instinct to answer was?"

Alice Newcomb: "My first thought was... I'm not sure what I believe. I've been talking to angels and demons and... I just don't know. But I have faith in Yavah."

Ravyn: He nods slightly. "And that first part is why it will be trickier then one might think to remove the seal."

Alice Newcomb: "Tricky, but not impossible?"

Ravyn: He chuckles softly, transferring more books into the box. "Nothing is impossible, Alice."

Alice Newcomb: "Am I dreaming?" she asks suddenly, as though someone she dreamed would know the answer.

Ravyn: "Yes." He nods. "The question, however is, 'Is this real?'"

Alice Newcomb: "It feels pretty real to me."

Ravyn: He nods. "That's because it is. In a fashion." He sighs, and takes a seat on the edge of the desk. "I believe that will be enough packing for now."

Alice Newcomb: "I have to go back and try, don't I?" A rush of adrenalin flowing through her at the thought.

Ravyn: He looks at her for a long moment, and nods. "Yes, Alice. That, you must do."

Alice Newcomb: She knew it of course. Yavah would never approve of her leaving something so tainted in her dreams. She rolls her lips and heads resolutely back the way she came.

Ravyn: "Alice," he calls out to her, and then reaches into the box. He pulls out the wand, and hands it to her. "Here. You may need this." A warm smile is sent to the girl, fatherly.

Alice Newcomb: She pauses and takes the wand looking up at him a long moment then suddenly hugging him. Closure of a sort, even if it's just a dream.

Ravyn: He smiles and hugs her back. "I'll be here for you, Alice. We never truly leave." A squeezing of his arms around her, and he kisses the top of her forehead. "Now go. There is not much time left."

Alice Newcomb: She finally releases him, and hurries down the stairs without looking back.

Ravyn: Down the stairs, she finds nothing to block her way. The bodies are even gone. She seems to be totally alone inside the chantry...yet somehow, she has the sense of someone else. Something else. Malign...dangerous. Where it is, Alice can't quite place. She finds the stairs down quite easily, and makes her way there.

Alice Newcomb: She moves to the center of the seal, and looks up, feeling that dark presence. This is her dream, her mind. She's not letting the seal or anything else tainted live within her. She runs her fingers over the wand. She's never used one before. It feels almost Harry Potterish. She lays the sword across the seal, making it a part of the pattern. Her mind plays over the book she recently read as she considers how best to go about this.

Alice Newcomb: d10: Int + neph lore: 4,7,8,8,

Ravyn: Alice figures out the best way to go about it...requiring use of the wand, sword, and ring. Ars Essentia...the Hermetic Order. Ars Mentis...her mind. Ars Manae...her soul. Combined in one effort, unifying her in her deed.

Alice Newcomb: d10: arete (wp): 7,

Alice Newcomb: She recalls the description from the book, glad she uses mentis when she reads so she remember everything. But she also recalls Thoth calling upon the Archangels at the tribunal. She thinks of Tom. His power, nobility and purity she senses in him. They must be real. How else could he be. She steps into the center of the seal and lifts the sword. Turning in a slow circle she points the wand at each symbol for the angel and calls out their name, asking them to lend their power to her effort as she concentrates. She's giving this her all. (burning 3 quint)

Ravyn: ((Gah. Oh, yeah. Roll me an Int+Enigmas roll. Any success subtract the difficulty from the WP roll you need to roll after. Base WP roll diff 6.))

Alice Newcomb: She presses her will against the dark forces and lifts the wand and sword, crossing them over her head. Her word foremost in her mind. "I am the Passage, the word and the way. BEGONE!"

Alice Newcomb: d10: Int + Enig: 8,4,9,5,

Alice Newcomb: d10: wp: 10,4,9,10,4,9,

Alice Newcomb: ((WOW!))

Ravyn: ((NICE.))

Alice Newcomb: The final word, spoken in Enochian.

Alice Newcomb: (staples tag back on)

Ravyn: The seal goes away, and in that instant, it all becomes clear to Alice. The symbolism, the point...all of it. The Four Elements was her safe haven, after a fashion...the place it was okay to be who she was, and learn that she wasn't crazy. This was home, and she needn't be worried for herself here. She is inside her mind, yes...and no. More in her soul. And within her soul, there were a couple things that were becoming dangerous. One of them was that she was holding onto too much anger at the loss of so many, close to her. All of her friends, all the people at the 4E who died. Their death was a tragedy...but in the end, they are moving on to their next incarnations, and they will fight again some day. Her grief was causing her to make mistakes in judgment.

At the same time, she was finding her beliefs muddled. Angels, demons, whatever they called themselves...they're dangerous. To be destroyed? Maybe. Hard to tell, and that's not something her avatar can decide for her. But trusting a demon is never wise, even if it has pure intentions. Road to Hell and all that...and they went to Hell for a reason. She has a new world opened up to her, but it is a dangerous world. She needs to be very careful about opening herself up to the wrong sorts of creatures, as it may be her death or worse, damnation. Thus is the way of the Order of Hermes. Infernalism is the highest of sins, and it doesn't matter what the creature who was in Hell calls itself, or how good they may feel.

Alice Newcomb: She lets out a long, slow breath, her thoughts clearing, grief fading. She has a new pater and there will be another chantry to call home in time. Of this she is certain.

Ravyn: And with that, everything fades away, and she wakes up. She finds, oddly enough, that there is a box resting on the floor in front of her. A very familiar looking one, with a note inside of it. ((Per+Awareness))

Alice Newcomb: d10: : 9,5,7,4,5,1,3,1,

Ravyn: ((Used up all your successes on the important roll. *G*))

Alice Newcomb: ((I think I used up all the good rolls. *L*)) She catches her breath and sits up straighter, then looks down at the box.

Alice Newcomb: Lifts out the note and reads it.

Ravyn: To Alice:

These, I have no longer any use for. I present them to you, to use or not at your leisure. I am sorry that I did not have the opportunity to help you is my hope that this will help you in what I am sure will be a long and prosperous career within the Order I loved enough to leave once, and loved even more to come back to.

Your Deacon, Mentor, and Friend,

Kelton Kelton Michaels ben Lakshmi, bani Ex Miscellania, Ambassador of the Wheel, Master of the Spiral Bone, Weatherer of the Chaos Storm, and Traveller of the Shadow Path, In Caligine Abditus, Ilya Kharima Oscillatia

Alice Newcomb: She sets the box on her lap and smiles. "Thank you, Kelton. For everything."

Ravyn: And inside are Kelton's foci, and those exact books that he placed inside in her dreams. A couple of basic Hermetic Theory books, and a copy of the Hermetic Code, as well as the Peripheral Corrigenda.

Alice Newcomb: ((And fade?))

Ravyn: ((And Fade. *S*))

Alice Newcomb: ((Thanks so much for hanging in there. It was a great scene!))

Ravyn: ((Glad you liked it. :) Updating Alice's character sheet now.))