Sunday 12 April 2020

Mage - Breaking In

This is the story of our Mage game, told from the perspective of my character Ragna "Reagan" Halvorsen. Index here.
3rd March 2016
I invited Marcus over for breakfast. Partly to get some advice. Partly cos, better to get him to meet Mormor sooner rather than later, right? They got on well - think she was on her best behaviour. Think she liked him, respected him in a way she doesn't many people. No auditions until 2, and Marcus was also free. He was nice about how hard I was finding it - "Maybe it's a bit early for this sort of investigation, but learn on the job. It's how I did it" - and offered to come with me, help me out. Mormor glared! And he reassured her I wouldn't be out late. I wasn't so worried about that, so he reassured me he'd get me to my audition on time. Suncream on. Parasol up. LA is too sunny.
We talked as we travelled. He told me more about his missing friend. She went by Susie. They'd been at school together in New York, and now she was a stunt double and taught kung fu. Most of her students were kids who were often in trouble and needed help refocussing their energy. One of the kids got into new trouble and came to Susie for help, and now they're both missing. It's a bit mystical, which means he can't be seen to investigate because he's known. But I'm not, yet. I'm low enough level it doesn't mess with any Accord if I go meddling. That's why he asked me to help. Susie's one of us, a Mage.

The guy in the laundry didn't charge me for my uniform. Very grateful - had barely enough money to get the bus back after my audition. Marcus could sense the same disturbance I'd felt before, and got me to feel for it again. With no distractions, I could pinpoint it better: somewhere upstairs. Found a fire escape, but the window of the floor we agreed we wanted was locked. Carried onto the roof, where the access door was also locked but there was a lock on the outside, so Marcus showed me how to pick it. He did it in no time, locked it back up again and it took me more like 15 minutes, but I got it. That final click, so satisfying. His point was that sometimes we should use mundane means rather than always reaching for and relying on magic, on which note he wanted me to learn some fighting, maybe kung fu, if we can find Susie. It's developed from yoga, so I should pick it up well. But that doesn't mean I should slouch on learning magic, either: he stressed the importance of the Prime sphere, which I'd so far neglected. With the door unlocked, he found a brick to prop it open and told me to always make sure I had multiple exits clear.

As we crept down the first stairs, heard a bell sound, like a shop door opening, but no sounds inside so we felt hopeful the apartments were all empty and headed to the 3rd floor. I cast my runes to help pull on Correspondence to find the right flat. There were no sounds from inside and the door was locked.. I asked Marcus for his lockpicks and hummed to myself, calling a little Entropy to help me out - didn't feel we could wait quite so long this time! As I went to kneel by the door, I slipped slightly on the doormat, revealing a key. Much easier!

A 2-bed apartment, looking over the main street. Kitchen, shower room, living space and airing cupboard. That disturbance we'd felt seemed to be from the wardrobe in the second bedroom: it had a strong sense of Correspondence about it. I wanted to know how to find where it was linked without stepping through, and Marcus said I couldn't, yet; he wasn't even sure if he could. I looked around, hoping to find clues, but - faen! - my parasol caught on the shower sceen and shattered it. Which was followed by the sound of the apartment door opening. Marcus took a quick "look" and reported two people, one thin and nerdy in a sweater vest; the other an old man.

"Who wears a sweater vest in this heat?"

"Who wears a coat like that?" I countered, indicating Marcus's long leather trench coat, then realised how he manages the heat. "Oh dritt! They're Mages."

We started to discuss what to do, when I heard the others speak, and recognised Howard's voice, the weirdo from the night before. Stepping into the hall, the old man recognised Marcus. Introduced himself as Archibald. Like Mormor, turns out he's even older than he looks, and there's something unconsciously intimidating about his manner. They're investigating the same as us, though "Council business" rather than personal. 

Showed Archibald the wardrobe. He agreed with my assessment, and could tell more: it linked to a location to the west, not very far, and was keyed to a single person, so no one else could travel through. Howard suggested laying a trap for anyone coming out, which Archibald did with no visible effort. He instructed us on how to narrow our search: powerful magic suggests empty places, so look for large empty buildings: warehouses, homes, etc. They left, then, as Howard had a lecture to teach.

Marcus summoned a cab to take us to my audition, and we talked. He explained Archibald is the strong arm of the law for the Council of Traditions in LA. He's also the de facto leader of the Order of Hermes, which probably explained how come the nerd was his apprentice. He told me a bit more about Susie, too, like how she's very good at her job and very successful, but also a massive philanthropist who gives everything she earns to support her community and especially the kids she teaches. She sounded like one of the good guys, and this made me even more keen to help.

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