Raw Log - Aurelia Sidequest 1
<jake>: All right! It is a few days before the cabal has embarked on their current adventure. It’s 9am on a weekday morning. What do we find Aurelia up to?
<ell>: Aurelia is at work watching tape of interviews
<ell>: has a coffeee
<jake>: Ok! Some time pases while she works, and then her phone rings.
<jake>: passes, even
<ell>: (my personal phone? My work phone? My cheap prepaid for MAGE USE ONLY?)
<jake>: (the third!)
<ell>: Aurelia frowns. “Hey Steve? I have to take an early lunch. Can you cover for me?”
<ell>: She lets it go to her answering sevice
<jake>: Steve’s brows quirk upwards once, then she shrugs. “Yeah, no problem. Everything okay?”
<jake>: er he shrugs
<ell>: “Yeah, everything’s fine, I just have to make a personal call.”
<jake>: He nods and goes back to his monitor, his attention already dropping off.
<ell>: Aurelia makes her way out of the office before checking the prepaid for messages
<jake>: “Aurelia. It’s Jude. I got this number from Finn. Erm, I hope it still works. I’ve been planning some field work and I could use an extra pair of hands. Give me a call at 778-555-1234 if you’re interested.”
<ell>: Aurelia calls that number
<ell>: “Hello. A note for future contact attempts: I have a day job.”
<jake>: “How dreadful. I recommend a rigorous course of dilettantism. To the point, then – I’ve an ongoing project in the city’s Temenos and two heads really are better than one for this sort of thing. Of course, I wouldn’t ask this of you as charity. I thought perhaps we could come to some sort of arrangement.”
<ell>: “Of course. I’m not really sure how this would work, but my… self-directed learning has been going somewhat slowly. Maybe you could enroll me in some sort of… apprenticeship program?”
<jake>: “Work study, eh? That will do nicely. No point letting the grass grow under our feet, then. What’s the earliest you can be free?”
<ell>: “This evening, around 6. Does that work?”
<jake>: “It does. I’ve a place near the UBC campus” – he gives you an address – “I’ll see you there. Oh, and this is important – wear something comfortable. You’re going to be sitting in one position for anything from one to eight hours.”
Ell>: Flash forward after work?
<jake>: Ok! You arrive at the address he gave you. It’s a town house in an upscale neighborhood near the coast; the streets are lined with planters, the cars in the driveway are Infinitis and Audis and Lexuses with the occasional Tesla or academic’s two-decade-old Volvo mixed in.
<jake>: The house is noteworthy for exactly how undistinguished it is. The lawn is trim, the paint job is a respectable drab, and the windows are covered with heavy drawn curtains. A short stone path leads from the driveway to the front door, which has a heavy brass knocker on it.
<jake>: As you approach, you notice the mailbox is a bit stuffed with envelopes. It looks like Jude or whoever else lives here doesn’t take in their letters very often.
<ell>: Aurelia goes ahead and picks up the mail. It bothers her. She’s arrived in her older but well-maintained civic, wearing a McGill sweatshirt and yoga pants
<ell>: (sorry, multitasking)
<jake>: (no worries, just thought mibbit was being weird to me)
<jake>: A quick glance shows the mail seems to be addressed to several different people, at least four. A couple of the envelopes appear to be pay stubs. The door opens inward a foot, Jude leaning out from behind it, barefoot and his shirt untucked. He eyes you up and down suspiciously. “…Yes?” Then shakes his head. “Oh, yes! My apologies, come on in.”
<jake>: He swings the door open wide and steps back into the tiled hallway. “You can put the mail on the stack.” He gestures languorously with one hand toward a hall table with a teetering pile of opened and unopened mail on it. “Can I fix you a drink? This sort of work, it helps to be ever so slightly unwound.”
<ell>: “Your mail.” Aurelia walks in and sets it down on the next available free surface. “So, what exactly is this project?”
<ell>: “And certainly. I’m not picky.”
<jake>: He steps into the sitting room on the right, which has a small bar on the opposite wall. With surprising deftness or a great deal of practice, he produces a pair of bottles and begins mixing something in a tumbler. "Cataloging the city’s Temenos. It’s…well, it’s something we – the Maaseh Merkabah, my cabal – used to do much more frequently.
<jake>: “Between this and that, it got neglected. I’m beginning to think that was a mistake.”
<jake>: He steps forward and hands you the tumbler. The drink inside is a rich amber. “So many newcomers in recent years. Newcomers means new dreams, new histories, new ideas – new ways for us to be blindsided, if we’re not careful.”
<ell>: Aurelia takes a seat and a sip of the drink. “It’s a growing city.”
<jake>: “Just so.” He leans back against the bar. “And the Pentacle still treat it like it’s our little cozy rural refuge, far away from the rest of the world. The world is here. Quite beyond anyone’s ability to predict, this stretch of coast from here down to San Francisco has become one of the axes upon which this century seems to turn. And we’re not ready.”
<ell>: “Every day new people come to this city. From all over. Trust me, I have to audit their refugee interviews. So what exactly does cataloguing the Temenos involve? I’m rather new at all of this still. Hopefully I can have that fixed.”
<jake>: "It’s taxonomy, really. The first stage of any science. We don our figurative pith helmets, grab our butterfly nets and go out into the collective unconscious, looking for telltale signs of new archetypes, new concepts and beliefs.
<jake>: " If there’s, say, a Star Trek convention in town, you might encounter a thirty-foot Captain Picard stalking the environs of the convention center. It’s happened."
<ell>: Aurelia smiles. “I always enjoyed anthropology. I suppose the concepts roaming about would provide insights into my more mundane field… and vice versa.”
<jake>: He smiles. “Applied anthropology is a useful way to look at it. It’s a job that rewards quiet and patient observation.” He leans forward. “That said – baby steps. How much experience do you have with your own soul?”
<ell>: Aurelia looks up “I…” her mouth open “uh… I’ve not really had much free time for introspection. I’ve certainly never done anything like this.”
<jake2099>: He sets down his glass and peers at you. “No….no, I suppose you haven’t. You’re a goal-oriented sort, aren’t you? Always looking ahead toward the next task, the next obstacle. Nothing wrong with that. But if you proceed down this path – my path – you’ll learn things about yourself. Important, true things, but not always nice. Will that be a problem?”
<ell>: Aurelia hesitates
<ell>: “I suppose that even if the things aren’t nice, it’s important to know yourself. The truth is more important. I’m a scientist at heart, Jude. I want to know, I want to explore.”
<jake2099>: He smiles widely. “That’s the stuff. If you’re willing to risk your very self-identity for the truth, then I, as your senior, can hardly do less than to help however I can.” He steps away from the bar and into the hallway. “To the chamber, then! I’ll show you some tricks of the trade.”
<jake2099>: He opens a door in the hallway that leads downstairs.
<ell>: Aurelia follows “The chamber?”
<jake2099>: His voice becomes dramatic. “The Chamber – of – Secrets!” He snorts. “I hasten to add that that was B- Minerva’s name for it.” He leads you down into a finished basement. The carpet beneath your feet is plush and springy, the furniture is comfortably overstuffed, and the walls are dotted with scalloped shapes in some sort of soundproofing scheme.
<jake2099>: There’s a leather recliner, a love seat, a chaise-lounge, and a yoga mat all arranged in a vaguely circular formation around a squat coffee table covered in ashtrays and incense holdres.
<jake2099>: *holders, even
<ell>: Aurelia looks around, biting her lip. “Wow, our very own padded room. Before we start I do have a question for you. About trust, and secrets.”
<ell>: “You know the names of your cabal members. Why? Is that common?”
<jake2099>: “Stay together long enough and it’s inevitable. Your cabal comes first, Aurelia. Always and forever. Even the Guardians know that. They forbid their members in mixed cabals from spying on or undermining their fellows. You have to have someone, somewhere you know you can rely upon, both to help you and…to rein you in.”
<jake2099>: “Otherwise you run the risk of ending up like Gerard.”
<ell>: “What happened there? With your cabal?”
<jake2099>: He thinks about it for a moment, gazing into some invisible middle distance. “We were young once. …And then we weren’t anymore.”
<ell>: Aurelia sits on the love seat. “Oh. Well I’m sorry.”
<jake2099>: He shrugs. “I don’t mean that in some evasive way. But getting older is like a centrifuge that only ever speeds up. Everything that isn’t put together absolutely correctly ends up coming apart. The little cracks and fissures just get bigger.
<jake2099>: “And we were scholars all on different tracks and after a while we all but needed an interpreter to make sense of one another.”
<jake2099>: “Minerva and I made the transition. We focus on different things now, but…we’re friends. Gerard was just lost to us, though. To both of us.”
<ell>: “I’m really sorry, honestly.”
<ell>: “So how does this work, exactly?”
<jake2099>: He smiles. “Don’t be. You’re asking questions. That’s what we do.” He settles into the recliner. “We’ll start today by trying to penetrate into the Temenos. Lie back, meditate, and turn your Mind arcana inward. This all sounds very Jedi, I know, but it works in a very real and practical way.”
<jake2099>: “I’m going to establish a one-way link. If you can’t penetrate the bottom layers of your soul, or if you overshoot, you can ring me and I’ll try and help.”
<jake2099>: Your temple tingles sightly as you feel the sensation of something gently touching your mind.
<jake2099>: “If you need incense or music or anything, let me know. Everyone’s approach is different.”
<jake2099>: (does she need anything? and now you roll composure + wits + 3 for being in a dedicated meditation room.)
<ell>: “I’ve never been good with incense. Something slow and soft and meditative I think would be best.” Aurelia lies back and tries not to try to meditate, but simply do it. It’s harder than it sounds.
<critical>: Ell, 7d10h8: 2 [7d10h8=[10,4],2,7,5,1,4,[10,5]]
<jake2099>: He pulls out his smartphone, touches a couple of buttons, and something faint fills the air. You think it might be Jean-Michael Jarre.
<jake2099>: Time passes very slowly and you feel acutely conscious of the sound of your breath inside your head, but the room isn’t melting away or anything yet.
<critical>: jake2099, 9d10h8: 6 [9d10h8=9,[10,1],3,7,[10,1],[10,2],9,7,9]
<jake2099>: Jude’s breathing has become very steady and still, although his eyes are open.
<jake2099>: Another roll!
<critical>: Ell, 7d10h8: 4 [7d10h8=6,8,[10,10,1],5,8,3,6]
<critical>: jake2099, 9d10h8: 5 [9d10h8=3,4,[10,5],[10,10,6],[10,7],8,7,1,5]
<jake2099>: You feel something beginning to take hold – a feeling of drifting lassitude without drowsiness. The album loops round to the first track. Has it been that long already?
<jake2099>: Another roll!
<critical>: Ell, 7d10h8: 4 [7d10h8=8,[10,4],9,9,5,3,6]
<jake2099>: The ceiling of the room seems to turn transparent. Beyond it, Aurelia sees the last swatch of sunset. A shadow falls across you. Looking up, you see Finn standing overhead and smell the distinct whiff of pot. “Oh hey, lady. First time, huh? It’s a doozy, man!” He laughs from one side of his mouth while his joint stays firmly clamped in the other.
<jake2099>: “I, uh – I had a message.” He pats around his pants pockets. “Where’d I…? Oh, right. The owls are watching. Just, you know, fyi.” He wanders off.
<jake2099>: Another roll!
<critical>: Ell, 7d10h8: 2 [7d10h8=4,7,7,1,9,2,8]
<critical>: jake2099, 9d10h8: 2 [9d10h8=8,5,2,[10,2],3,3,7,3,2]
<ell>: Aurelia shakes her head. “The owls? Minerva?”
<jake2099>: There’s no reply. Somewhere far away, you hear Jude’s breath whistle noisily. And now you’re in somewhere white and stainless, somewhere you’re not supposed to be, creeping down a tiled hallway past a medical gurney toward the sound of voices.
<jake2099>: (welcome to the Oneiros!)
<ell>: Aurelia looks around, her breathing hard through her teeth. “Oh no…”
<jake2099>: Slowly, as if through cotton, you recognize this place as the Asclepius Clinic. Everything’s a bit bigger and at odd angles, though.
<ell>: Arelia presses forward. Maybe she can find herself in here…
<jake2099>: The voices get louder. It’s two women, and they sound like they’re arguing in a room to the side of you. Ahead is a pair of double swinging doors, like the ones stretchers are always bursting through in hospital TV shows.
<ell>: The urge to burst through the doors is too great.
<jake2099>: the double doors, or the room to the side?
<ell>: double doors
<jake2099>: Ok! You smash through, leaving the arguing behind. Before you is a somewhat familiar place – your “day job.” What does that usually look like, by the way? Is it a cubicle farm, or institutional, or something else?
<ell>: Institutional. It’s an office for the CBSA
<ell>: Aurelia looks behind her, where the double doors were
<jake2099>: The double doors are now a single door with your nameplate on it.
<jake2099>: (What is Aurelia’s real name, by the way? It’s not on her OP or dalines page yet)
<ell>: (she has a desk, but not her own office)
<ell>: Lily Chow
<ell>: (but this is aspirational!)
<jake2099>: Dream office, yo. In fact, everything here is subtly different – the way she would prefer it to be, with her druthers. Her office is in the corner, away from the noise of the bullpen – or where that noise would usually be, since right now everyone seems to be leaning over their desks, working with a passion she’s never seen in waking life.
<jake2099>: The flickering fluorescent tube in the corner appears to finally have been sorted out, the carpet is something actually pleasant to walk on instead of that millimeter-thin grey stuff – Lily’s done good work with this place.
<ell>: Aurelia smiles and sits at her desk, checking for the cases she has lined up for today.
<jake2099>: She moves her mouse and the screen saver vanishes, replaced with something ENTIRELY INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE WORKPLACE. Some dick has messed with her desktop!
<ell>: “I… huh… uhm…” Aurelia blushes, looking for a bit too long… “Yeah, work time.”
<ell>: She doesn’t replace the desktop image
<jake2099>: ( )
<ell>: ( might be best if said dick didn’t make a facetime appearance)
<jake2099>: “Hey, boss, why’re you hiding out in here? It’s Ginny’s do in like thirty minutes!” Steve’s waiting at the door, looking at you oddly.
<jake2099>: (follow the talking figment of your soul, or pursue work?)
<ell>: Aurelia looks up and smiles. “Was just checking the cases. I’ll be out in a few.”
<jake2099>: Another roll, then!
<critical>: Ell, 7d10h8: 1 [7d10h8=6,1,1,1,4,[10,5],4]
<ell>: Aurelia checks to see if anything else on her computer has been messed with… just in case, before heading out of her office.”
<jake2099>: Lots of things, in fact. Her files have all been vandalized. Instead of her careful notes and annotations, some joker’s been writing dirty limericks and pasting jpgs in the comments field of every single entry.
<jake2099>: Weeks of work just gone.
<ell>: Aurelia shakes her head and turns off the computer
<ell>: and heads back out
<jake2099>: With not much ado, she finds herself entering the bar around the corner from work. Laughter is coming from a large table to the left, and she sees her coworkers sitting and joking with Elithora, Sinon, and Blackjack.
<jake2099>: “…and then she was like, tell me who the buyer was! Stared into his eyes, and then /nothing happened./ Absolutely nothing!” As BJ tells the story, Steve and the table die laughing. Then they notice you.
<ell>: Aurelia walks up and grabs a seat. “Hey everyone!”
<jake2099>: “Hey, Lily!” comes the chorus from the table. “Wow, you actually made it! We were taking bets on whether or not you’d show.” “All caught up, boss?”
<ell>: “Yep, everything’s looking great! So what’s up?”
<jake2099>: One of your interns, a Hmong girl named Fran, leans forward. “Your friends are fantastic, Ms. Chow. But if you don’t mind my asking – Aurelia? That’s Latin, right? Is there a reason you didn’t pick something, you know…” she shrugs. “From home?”
<jake2099>: Steve slides a beer over to you. “Her home’s Toronto, kiddo. I’m surprised she didn’t name herself after a Blue Jay.”
<ell>: “I thought it fit… You know, better than being all fobby.”
<ell>: Aurelia covers her mouth. That was candid.
<jake2099>: Fran laughs. “It’s cool, Ms. Chow. I know what you mean. My mom still thinks I don’t date.”
<ell>: “How do you guys know that name anyhow? Did you tell them Eli?”
<jake>: Elithora smiles. “It’s the only name I’ve got for you! I told them it was your secret identity.”
<ell>: “I guess it is. And who has time for dating? I have work work work then weird superhero work… I don’t”
<jake>: Fran sighs. “If I couldn’t date I’d literally die! I don’t know how you do it.”
<jake>: Sinon smiles from behind dark shades. “She’s a mystery, our Aurelia. And coming from me, that’s saying something.”
<ell>: “Yeah, I don’t even know if the face you’re wearing is the real one.”
<jake>: He shrugs. “Me neither! That’s the fun of it!”
<jake>: Steve leans in and whispers sotto voce, “For real, though, Lily, isn’t there something you’re supposed to be doing right now?”
<jake>: (ignore work and hang out in the oneiros with your subconscious, or roll and try to penetrate the temenos?)
<ell>: “There is, I’m sorry. I’ll catch you guys later, ok?”
<critical>: Ell, 7d10h8: 0 [7d10h8=7,6,7,3,6,4,4]
<ell>: Aurelia walks back out the door
<jake>: You find yourself in an alleyway in a bad part of town. The bar door behind you is now a heavy, barred back entrance from some retail shop. There’s litter everywhere.
<jake>: A woman’s voice from behind you says, “Not yet. You’re not going further down until we’ve talked.” It’s a very familiar voice but you can’t quite place it.
<ell>: Aurelia grits her teeth. “Shit.”
<jake>: “Look at me.”
<ell>: Aurelia turns around. “What? I need to keep going!”
<jake>: Aurelia is standing before you. She’s taller, though, or seems to be. Fitter. Better-dressed. Impeccable, in fact. She frowns at you. “You’ve got that part right at least – you do need to keep going. But your mind keeps wandering. Why can’t you get it together?”
<ell>: Aurelia rolls her eyes. “I don’t know, why don’t you tell me?” She stops herself and shakes her head. “No, I don’t want to play id to my superego. Can we just keep moving?”
<ell>: “If we keep going forward, just keep pressing on maybe everything will sort itself out.”
<jake>: The other you frowns. “It doesn’t work like that. You’d have an easier time of this if you stopped every so often to take stock. They call it conducting a fearless personal inventory in AA. Fearless is the key word. What are you so afraid of, Lily?”
<ell>: “I don’t know… failure, the disapproval of my mother, losing momentum”
<jake>: You shrug at yourself. “Hm. Well, at least you’re thinking about it now. Look, I’ll help you out, but you need to come down here and sort things out sometime. You’re running on denial and inertia and there are things down here that need addressing. Nasty things.”
<ell>: “Can I just say that this is ever so slightly completely nutso? Talking to myself and making agreements?”
<jake>: “What, don’t tell me you don’t do that every single time you want an extra scoop of Rocky Road or to sleep in ten more minutes?”
<ell>: “Actually no, it’s not really, is it. Everyone does this shit, they just don’t have the benefit of having the… uh… visualization options here.”
<ell>: “Alright, deal, but I got an old geezer in a ridiculous 60s sex lounge waiting for me. I’ll be back, so to speak.”
<jake>: “Here. Hold still.” She steps behind you and puts her hands to your temple. “Close your eyes – yeah, I know it’s redundant here – and concentrate. Really concentrate.”
<ell>: Oh god my logger is picking up everything you say in the ES game
<jake>: hahah whoops
<jake>: 1 sec, I need to grab a drink
<jake>: With your daimon helping you, you can roll again with 2 extra dice
<jake>: you’re just 3 successes away from breaking through
<critical>: Ell, 9d10h8: 2 [9d10h8=2,6,1,1,3,7,9,[10,3],7]
<jdarksun>: gang’s all here
<ell>: Aurelia is still not through but so close…
<ell>: She turns the corner out of the alley
<jake>: (hey jdarksun!)
<jdarksun>: hi jake
<jdarksun>: ( ack, is game playing? )
<ell>: (no worries though)
<jake>: You find yourself in the Chamber of Secrets, looking down at your and Jude’s sleeping forms. He shimmers faintly, his nimbus active.
<ell>: “Oh hey, out of body experience.” Aurelia looks over her shoulder, to see if her superego is still there.
<jake>: It is, yes. “Reconstructed from your supernal senses. Jude snores like a fiend. I bet he used to smoke.”
<ell>: “filthy habit.” Aurelia floats down and pokes herself sleeping. “God those yoga pants were a bad choice… hellooo, look at my fat ass”
<ell>: (incidentally: currently searching news for “Gay three way” <3><jake>: (hahahahaha)
<jake>: The other you snorts. “Well, if you used them for something besides going out for the paper in the morning….” she shakes her head. “You’re so close. We shouldn’t get distracted. He’s probably staring at his watch and tapping his foot ostentatiously….”
<ell>: “Right. Focus inward, breathe…”
<critical>: Ell, 9d10h8: 7 [9d10h8=9,[10,10,9],5,8,8,7,2,6,9]
<ell>: (Blow right past him)
<jake>: ahahahahahaha holy shit
<jake>: You’re on a flat dark plane that stretches from horizon to horizon, limned with crisscrossing patterns of glowing light like tiny roadmaps. You hear distant chanting and feel the “ground” rumble beneath your feet in time with it, as if the chanting was coming at a great distance with the force of thunder.
<jake>: You’re now in full command of your faculties rather than a dream-state. You’re “awake” in the Dreamtime rather than asleep inside yourself.
<ell>: Aurelia looks back over her shoulder again, but her other self isn’t there. “You out here Jude?”
<ell>: She shouts into the distant darkness
<jake>: There is no answer. It’s just you. Your voice echoes, but the echoes of the echoes come back as faint music.
<jake>: (you can use the spell Jude cast whenever you want though, just mention specifically that you’re doing it)
<jake>: There’s a great rhythmic rush of air behind you.
<ell>: Aurelia tugs on the mental string. “Jude? I’m through. Where are you?”
<ell>: Aurelia turns around
<jake>: There’s a giant owl behind you, six feet tall easily. Its wings are folded up and it cocks its head at you inquisitively. ANOTHER ONE?, you hear somewhere. ANOTHER STRANGE FACE AND STRANGE SKIN? WHERE IS THE OTHER BROTHER? WHERE HAS THE LONGHOUSE OF OLD GONE?
<jake>: It looks away, somewhere in the distance behind you, and takes off with almost perfect silence.
<ell>: Aurelia nods. “Ah, the owls. I do not know, Uncle.”
<jake>: “Who was that you’re talking to?” Jude says.
<ell>: “An owl. a six foot tall owl, asking for a brother and a longhouse.”
<jake>: Jude’s lips quirk up. “Fascinating. There are things in the Dreamtime – very old things. Dreams that have outlived their dreamers. Sometimes by millennia.”
<jake>: He offers you his hand. “I was worried something had happened. I’m…gratified to see that it hasn’t. Are you ready to join me in the Temenos?”
<ell>: Aurelia nods. “Finn told me they’d be watching. The Owls.”
<ell>: “Yes, let’s go.”
<ell>: Aurelia takes his hand
<jake>: The dark field around you dissolves into light. (want to keep going? I totally can but if you have something to do or need a break this is a good stopping point. but if not we can knock this out tonight I think)