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Thistle and Thyme [IC]


alderwitch

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Date: August 1st, 2010

Taylor was never certain what favor exactly she did owe or would owe Eldrich when he contacted her to inform her of this conclave and the duty of MCing it. A duty that he was passing on to the Chosen of Heshem, apparently. Clearly, it was good to be Eldrich. Fortunately for Taylor, much of the mundane preparations had taken place already. A conference room at the luxurious Pyramid Plaza was already booked and to each invitee, a mystical message was sent:

You are cordially invited to a summit of mystical minds in Freedom City. Pyramid Plaza, 8 o'clock in the evening on August first, 2010. Dress costumed or casual and meals to be provided.

~E.

A small and discrete sign in the lobby would direct the individuals to the meeting room in question, a large conference room, with a buffet table in one corner along with various drinks. The room was empty until the first guests to arrive showed up. Phantom was running just a touch late.

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Eric had looked over the invitation, contemplating whether to go with flash or substance. It did say "costumed or casual," so the whole thing was obviously going to be held in trust. Likely a few wards on the room keyed to the invitation, maybe the odd geas or two... would it be better if he went as Eric LaCroix rather than Nick Cimitiere?

Then he'd realized that most of the spellslingers in town hadn't even run into him in costume. As long as it was going to be a professional meeting, he might as well go in business clothes. Nick Cimitiere it was. Obviously, the fates had agreed with him -- he even managed to find a parking spot within a block of Pyramid Plaza, which in this town was on par with the lower class of miracles.

Nick decided to enter the Plaza in costume. Sure, walking into a major business center with a skull painted on your face drew attention, but it was a bit safer than going into the bathroom and getting caught on camera changing. Besides, it was Freedom City. They'd seen weirder.

Nick entered the assigned room, and cast his eyes over the gathered. "I'm not late, am I?" he said. "Bad habit of mine."

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As soon as she got the invitation, Robin started flipping through her mental Rolodex looking for someone to watch the shop. It never occurred to her not to go; she'd been waiting for an opportunity like this for awhile. She also didn't waste any time wondering about her wardrobe. If this was going to be a meeting of Powers, then it stood to reason that she'd go in full garb.

The sorceress arrived fairly early and paid off the cabbie. She stood there for a moment in her red overcoat, white tee-shirt, and dark slacks, glancing around with her other senses to try and get a feel for the situation. The room was heavily warded to prevent intrusion, so much so that she barely needed the signs pointing the way, and she strode through the buildings of Pyramid Plaza with confidence in her step. As soon as she opened the doors to the room, though, her eyes focused on a side-table laid out with coffee, juices, and finger food. Her stomach growled quietly, reminding her that she was missing lunch for this, and she stepped up to fix herself a sandwich.

She was just finishing layering the meats and cheeses when the doors opened again and a young man with a skull painted on his face -- Stars, I hope it's just painted on. -- entered the room. Robin gave him a cautious nod, holding her plate in both hands while her staff stood upright next to her with no apparent aid.

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Siobhan was sitting curled up on her sofa, reading a book about boggarts and how best to deal with them, when the invitation arrived. In a puff of smoke and a pop of powder, a piece of card appeared on top of her book, leaving a ring of ash around it. Siobhan sighed as she turned it over and read the message. Taking the card in one hand, and the book in the other, she shook the book until the ash was left on her carpet instead of on her precious literature.

Turning the card over, she read what was inside and then she sighed. "Eldrich," she tutted. "Still not willing to pick up a telephone or something?" Tossing the card aside into a pile of rubbish (underneath which was an overflowing wastepaper basket she'd yet to empty), Siobhan picked up her book and kept reading.


A few streets down from the hotel, Siobhan leaned against the wall, a Marlboro in hand. Glancing around to make sure noone was watching, she held a fingertip up to the cigarette and muttered a few words.

"Fire, fire, heed my plight,

Want a smoke and I need a light."

A brief burst of fire flared from her fingertip, lighting the cigarette, which she promptly dragged upon. Leaning there, and pondering, she decided to go in costume. If you're going to keep a secret identity, you should keep it, Shiv, not just reveal it when Eldrich invites you to a meeting. Besides, he likes mystery and showing off, I can't see him disapproving.

And thus, pulling out a thin length of oak from her pocket, all engraved with silver sigils, she snapped her fingers. In a flash, her eyes had gone white, leaving her without even a pinprick of a pupil. Her brown hair turned jet black even as her clothes transformed too, turning into a white shirt and pants, complemented by a black trenchcoat. On the shirt and the back of the trenchcoat was the logo she'd devised for her Equinox identity, a circle split down the centre into a white and a black half.

Waving her wand, Equinox flew up on spectral white wings, soaring across the buildings and landing outside the hotel. Walking up to the room, she tucked her wand back into her belt and pushed through the doors trying to pretend like she owned the place.

"Greetings!!!"

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Nick was about to head over at talk to Robin when he heard a flutter of wings outside. He turned to the doors of the room and saw a woman in a black threnchcoat with white wings landing right at the entrance. The wings folded back under her coat as she entered.

Damn, he thought. And here I was worried about being too flashy.

As the woman in the black trenchcoat walked towards the room, Nick turned to Robin. "You're Robin Cross, aren't you?" he said, offering his hand. "Name's Nick Cimitiere. Ran into a guy in New Orleans who kept talking up your store. Gonna have to stop in one day."

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Robin gave Nick a bright smile, offering her hand to him. "Glad to hear about a satisfied customer," she said. "Must've been a mail order, though. I don't get down to New Orleans too often." Or ever, she added to herself.

The sorceress's attention was briefly diverted when a woman in a get-up similar to her own, only color-inverted, barged through the doors like she owned the place. Robin briefly flashed back to her few dealings with the Fair Folk, and defaulted back to those tactics. Namely, she gave the other woman a cool nod and turned back to Nick. "I'd love to see you there," she said. "What kind of magic do you use?"

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Robin gave Nick a bright smile, offering her hand to him. "Glad to hear about a satisfied customer," she said. "Must've been a mail order, though. I don't get down to New Orleans too often." Or ever, she added to herself.

"I think he came up for a visit. You ever run into a guy by the name of Chevalier? Big, bald, ridden by Ogoun..."

The sorceress's attention was briefly diverted when a woman in a get-up similar to her own, only color-inverted, barged through the doors like she owned the place. Robin briefly flashed back to her few dealings with the Fair Folk, and defaulted back to those tactics. Namely, she gave the other woman a cool nod and turned back to Nick. "I'd love to see you there," she said. "What kind of magic do you use?"

This could be awkward...

"I'm a necromancer," Nick said, and just as Robin's mouth opened, he continued, "but not a binder. I don't raise the dead, and I don't force ghosts or corpses into my service. I just picked up the death sight when I touched the other side, and everything else came after that. I've got some talents, yeah, but if a ghost's going to help me, it's out of their own will, not mine."

He picked up a beignet from a nearby dish and took a bite, then brushed the ensuing cloud of confectioner's sugar off of his jacket. "If anything," he said, "I help to liberate spirits who're still tied to this world. I'm not the one who tightens their chains, and God help me if I ever become that guy."

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JJ smiled at the ostentatious display of the mystic missive, Eldrich certainly had the dramatics down. Of course JJ was the child of Avenger and Phantom he understood the usefulness of dramatics all to well.

In that vein he opted for a more dramatic look than the utilitarian he would utilize while actively on duty. He dressed in a ceremonial robe of deep purple with crimson scroll work around the sleeves and hem and a sufficiently deep hood to hopefully disguise the more obvious tells of his nature at least until he knew the crowd wouldn't over react.

With a word and a gesture a bright white line of light sliced through the air and spun open to reveal the conference room as he stepped through. He surveyed the gathered notables with care before folding back his hood and approaching the group, "Greetings."

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Nick turned to the new guy, the one in the purple robe. Seemed pretty okay, but... something was flagging the part of Nick's head that reacted in the presence of necrotic energy. It wasn't the palpable wave he got off a necromancer, nor the innate, soaked-to-the-bone quality he got from one of the undead...

That cloak's gotta shield him from sunlight... could be he's... well, if he tells you, he tells you. Besides, people make assumptions when you tell them what you do; hate to put this guy in the same situation.

Nick extended a hand to the man in the robes. "Name's Nick Cimitiere," he said. "Bit new in town. Gotta say, that's some good scroll work on your arms. You put that in yourself, or...?"

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Cool nods. Some people just don't appreciate having the ability to run around dramatically without looking like a complete idiot...

He picked up a beignet from a nearby dish and took a bite, then brushed the ensuing cloud of confectioner's sugar off of his jacket. "If anything," he said, "I help to liberate spirits who're still tied to this world. I'm not the one who tightens their chains, and God help me if I ever become that guy."

"Hmmm," wondered Equinox, as something flashed into her head. "Have you ever worked with the zombie who calls himself Dead Head?" Equinox thought back to the various gossip and rumours and documents she seemed to spend half her time going through these days. "From what I've heard, he appears to share a similar motivation to yourself."

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Ouroboros suppressed a smile, wouldn't do to flash the fangs too early, "Its mostly soemthign I wear for ceremonial work." he explained, "I only wish I could take credit for the craftsmanship." He extended a hand to the necromancer, "I call myself Ouroboros when working." he introduced with a small nod. He turned to look towards Equinox when she spoke and agreed, "Yes Dead Head has spent quite some time aiding the restless dead of the city."

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"I've worked with Dead Head before," Robin offered. "Dealing the restless undead really isn't a calling for him. It's more like going around to a noisy neighbor and getting them to turn down their stereo, I think."

She turned back to Nick and continued their conversation. "Yes, come to think of it, I did deal with Ogoun once. He needed a never-ending bottle of rum and I needed help with, well, a project." She brushed distractedly at the red leather of her longcoat, threaded through with silver.

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For those who could feel such things, there was a ripple of magic before the shadows in one corner of the room lengthened into the boiling folds of Phantom's cloak. She was semi transparent and ghostlike even when fully materialized. After glancing around the room, she floated over and through the assembled chairs, making a non-too-casual beeline for the group surrounding her time-displaced off spring.

"My apologies. Eldrich sent me in his stead. I am Phantom," She twisted slightly, shifting to look at the clock of the room, "We have some time yet and there are more due to arrive."

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James appeared outside the closed doors. He was running a little late, but that couldn't be helped. He shrugged his shoulders, settling his long coat into place. His slacks, shirt and long coat were pretty much all he had by way of costume anyway. One of these days, he thought to himself. Not that it mattered much as he didn't have a secret identity anyway.

He shrugged and opened the doors. Stepping into the room, he immediately began looking around, checking out the magical talents. He knew Phantom and Ouroboros instantly given how much time he spent working with his partner. The rest were unknowns to him. It was impressive the number of magic users present. Nice turnout.

He slowly headed over to the groups, smile on his face. "Apologies for being late. I had to help this lost fellow get home." To his own dimension. But James left that part out. It was nice when the incidents were so minor like that and didn't involved massive explosions, invasions or imminent violence.

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"Yeah, I've run into Dead Head," Nick said. "He seems like he's got it together. Well, that might not be the most appropriate way of putting it, but he's got the beat down and the ghosts trust him. He's good in my book."

He slowly headed over to the groups, smile on his face. "Apologies for being late. I had to help this lost fellow get home." To his own dimension. But James left that part out. It was nice when the incidents were so minor like that and didn't involved massive explosions, invasions or imminent violence.

Nick extended his hand to the new guy. "Nice to meet you. Nick Cimitiere. Man, at this point, I think we're gonna need name tags."

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"Ah, the Chosen of Heshem," said Equinox in greeting. "I understand, Eldrich is often busy! Practicing his dramatic intonations in the mirror, I usually presume." She spun her wand casually through her fingers impatiently. "How many of us are due to show up? And, yes, name badges might be a good idea."

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"Or preserving the fabric of reality." Ouroboros said with a lazy laugh, "Six for one half dozen the other."

He glanced to Phantom with a vague sigh, he had expected her to be here of course but leading the meeting was different than reluctant attendance. "Greetings Phantom." he said steadily the last thing he needed was to be seen by all here as less than an equal if he wanted to network at all.

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A surprised yowl alerted Sarah to the appearance of Edlrich's missive as her cat darted past her and under the bed. A gathering of mystics actually sounded like an excellent idea to her, hopefully she's at least be able to gain some more contacts to ask advice from.

At the meeting room, a knock on the door proceeded a blonde woman in a three-piece suit poking her head through the door.

"Oh good, I'm at the right place. I'm not to late, am I?" she asked as she entered. "I'm Sarah Prescott, by the way, since I don't think I've met anyone else here."

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James shook Nick's hand with a grin. "Name tags? That might ruin the whole 'mysterious' ambiance thing but I'm game," he said with a grin. "Phantom and Ouroboros," he said, greeting them with a grin and a nod. He glanced over at the latest arrival. "Welcome Sarah. I'm James. James Prophet, or Hellion if you prefer the whole 'code name' bit."

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Robin noticed Nick's reaction and studied the latest arrival cautiously. There were enough wards, charged auras, and items of power in the vicinity to make her nose itch and her head ache, but apparently one of these individuals was setting off alarms. For the guy who paints his face like a skull, she thought, and wears the name of a loa of the dead. The sorceress put her half-eaten sandwich down and took her staff in hand. She took a few steps down the long table piled with finger food, until she could watch the growing gaggle of mystical types without turning her head.

"If Eldrich isn't showing," she said, her tone carefully neutral, "who's emceeing this party and when are we getting started?"

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One several of the tables were small gift boxes, very colorfully wrapped, which radiated faint amount of magical energy. Necromantic energy, to those able to finely discern such things. The energy suddenly spiked, and four boxes popped open, revealing two crawling hands and two hopping feet! They moved toward a large table in the back of the room, darting under the hanging tablecloth. A moment later, the table -- actually two tables pushed together -- split apart as a decayed headless zombie in a dingy dark blue janitor's coveralls arose from under it. It shambled about blindly for a moment before grabbing a wrapped box on another nearby table, which it placed atop its shoulders. It reached up to undo the bow, and the box fell away, revealing a head with a permanent rictus grin and flaming green eyes.

"Howdy, folks!" Dead Head said cheerily.

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Nick smiled. "Hey, Dead Head!" he said, shaking a hand that had just seconds ago been crawling about the floor of its own volition. "Good to see you show up. And I see you brought along some party tricks."

He took a look at the now-disheveled pile of presents. "So, uh... you have any trouble getting in?"

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KC huffed and puffed as he flew towards the Plaza as fast as his wings would take him. He had just came back from his classes and received the invitation late. As he touched down in front of the building, he cracked his knuckles and waved his fingers around.

Jerry, his shoggoth told him that he had known mystics in the past, and they love flashy entrances. As KC strolled through the building, the Elder Sign visible on the back of his cape, he knew what he would do.

He threw open the doors and said at the top of his voice "CTHULHU F'HTAGN, MORTALS!" and summoned an Elder Sign in mystic fire. The after-effects of this caused the room to shake and the lights to flicker.

"Uh, hey guys. Do I win a prize for that one?"

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"Well ..." Ouroboros begins to explain his guess as most likely only Eldrichs insistence could get Phantom here he had certain assumptions about Robins question. He was however distracted by the rather comical arrival of Dead Head a small smile playing under the hood flashing fangs that would not retract, "Welcome Dead Head you always did know how to make an entrance." he greeted good naturedly.

As if on cue with making an entrance Kid Cthulu arrived in a blaze of eldrich fire. Ouroboros drew back a hand arcane power crackling in one fist as a shimmering field of blue green light surrounded him. Once the Elder thing revealed itself to be at least ot he moment non-hostile he dismissed the energy from his palm but retained his protections, Servants of the Elder Gods and he would have conflicts in the Future-Past.

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James nodded and grinned at Dead Head's arrival. "Hey DH! How's it going," he said in greeting to his teammate. James wasn't surprised in the least at the comedic corpse's entrance. It certainly fit his style. James just chuckled and shook his head in amusement.

Of course the next arrival's entrance was foolish to the point of suicidal. Flames sprung to his hand in an instant only to be quickly dispersed as he recognized the Claremont student. He shook his head and frowned. "Why exactly haven't I banished this idiot yet," he muttered half to himself wondering. Elder Beings and their taint had no place here.

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