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Tome, Tom Arch, Tomorrow's Architect
..:.::........ .::.:.:.:.......:.

in short
unite to repair the past in the present or there will be no future.

December 2008
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From Tome's personal records:

Each item of clothing pressed neatly and slipped into a suit bag. Passport checked. Flight confirmed. Private charter boarded. Lodging confirmed. Dates crossed on the personal calendar.

This time, I embark on a journey for a trial; not as a Lictor, but as a witness to my cabalmate. At long last, this petty matter draws to a close, one way or another. How pathetically shortsighted and feebleminded some within our Nation haven proven.

There was a time when could no wrong, it seemed, in Awakened society. She traveled and toiled endlessly in the pursuit of a resolution in the Second Abyssal Verge War of the 21st Century. There is even a rote that will likely bear her namesake in the years to come, one that battles the Abyssal manifestations itself.

And what happened?

She was found to have roots that were less than desirable. If I hadn't known any better, we'd be in some French castle casting her out for being too "plebian" for being from one of those families we considered pariah; that of a Seer proximus. But Orders? They are not something you can be born into, are they? Orders, like any consilium or cabal, are a contract with the Supernal, a weak but persisting link to the Bygone Worlds, a part of us that must be chosen as surely as our very Awakenings were, on some level.

I advised her to tell everyone at once, as dirty secrets are often considered some admission of guilt, but she would not. I understand why now, given the crazed psychopaths in the Visus that seem to have placed an ongoing death warrant on her head. Conundrum would have disowned these pale imitations of his Order long ago. Where are their vaunted investigative powers? Their fanatical attention to detail? Their aim to do what is necessary with full knowledge of the situation? This generation of Guardians is so lacking that they often appear to be society's greatest enemies. At the rate they're moving, will they even survive to see the next generation? Abaddon, Boris, One...none of them seem to have any control over their own people. I often imagine Algyz (I never refer to him as Moksha if I can help it) chomping at the bit, hovering the Sword of Damocles above the heads of most of these infidels...but there are few of him, drowned out in the babbling din of stupidity.

I wonder how long it will be before their actions are deemed criminal by the remainder of society.

I have a feeling that this trial will be a disappointment for the bloodthirsty; after all, so few understand the difference between Justice and Revenge, and they would rather punish the innocent than exonerate the guilty. Or, even moreso, lash out at someone else rather than address their own sins.

My advice to Miriam failed. She was justified in not disclosing her origins to these malcontent worms, given their zealous stupidity in response. However, in more isolated places, a trial will at least exhibit the evidence and testimonies under an umbrella of sanity...and that will stay the hands of some, but not all.

The rest are simply criminals, regardless of their personal mandates. That is a start.

effect: discontentdiscontent
muse: humming

Diary, 11/20/08:

Wisdom. Hubris. Downfall.

I see these words bandied about constantly, on the lists, in consilii across the world, in individual exchanges between mages. One would think the word had lost all meaning, with the way so many overuse it.

An entire order of the Pentacle is reviled for so often eschewing the Path of Wisdom. Were I to defend them openly, I would be seen as unWise myself. It has become a bitter popularity game, taking the "fun" out of politics that I once enjoyed when I, too, was less Wise...or so Jou tells me.

Hubris is a tricky word. So many exercise it while still purporting to be "Wise" ones. I've caught myself recently feeling the slant in multiple consilii against those who would place cause above consequence, results above the cost, ends before the means...and I wonder what happened. How long ago did the Visus Draconis lose their war? Why is it that so many of the most righteous people are either just naive or self-righteous? Why is Wisdom seen as the only way?

I am a member of the Vox Draconis. As such, I keep in mind, not what is, but what could be. I have to have the vision to include all Orders, to include multiple ways of thinking. The other Orders watch the world and greedily clutch to narrow slivers of view, often to the expense of the other Orders. I cannot do that. Unlike the others, my vision of the future, my hopes include them. Hope is the prelude to Will. Will is the fuel to the fires of Creation.

I cannot give up hope for world like so many of the Ladder and the Guardians have. My Will is my Way, but certainly not the only way...and I must make allowance to appreciate the myriad of paths one's soul can take through the cosmos.

I cannot, will not, forsake those who are not like me.

effect: contemplativecontemplative
muse: the waves of the ocean

He drove toward the location, along the foreign road that was now his home. There was something familiar about the sea, something that had called to him for years persistently. He was not precisely home, but he was close enough. Ocean instead of Gulf, sand instead of marshes, but this place felt closer to home than the rooftops of the world ever did.

The Aston Martin rounded the sharp turn easily as Tome mused. An island estate? Noxes laughed it off as the cabal becoming Bond villains, but he did not object too strenuously; after all, school could continue anywhere, but being closer to the rest of the cabal was an irreplacable opportunity. As few Libertines as there were here, there were at least more in the neighboring Consilium; Gypsy was evidence enough of that truth. Better a couple than none, as he told Noxes...and maybe, just maybe, there would be opportunity at the door.

Three cabals, once more...but these had a more vested interest in their Lex. Indeed, some of them were downright anal about its interpretation, making their stabs at personal agenda almost...vulgar. A Lex was supposed to be about community, the good of all, but these Guardians were overtly and unabashedly selfish. What's worse, they felt entitlement over the other orders and cabals in a way that simply should not be laid bare in such a state.

And yet? Despite the strange difficulties and resistance, it was infinitely preferable to being ignored in Denver. Long hours waiting for the warriors and scholars to return, months of work disregarded just because the donation to the consilium had not been offered by the two more popular and populous local cabals. While service should have been enough, the feeling of negligence by the rest of the Denver Advocacy gnawed at him. A simple "thank you" could have sufficed, but even communication was not appreciated. Would they even know Noxes and I left if we didn't tell them? Tome half-joked to himself, immediately wincing at the sinking feeling that it was not as funny as it should have been.

The Builder was finally building a home. The Consistory was finally about to spread its wings and truly take flight.

The pace had changed...and the tempo increased in speed.

effect: hopefulhopeful
muse: I Alone, by Live

He slipped out of the well-appointed doors of The Oxford as soon as he politely could and strolled home with the ghost of that same, polite smile he'd kept plastered on his face whenever disaster seemed to be occurring.

The Arrows would make a fine Legion--assuming they didn't go the way of The Mad with their ill-followed instructions. No one had said anything about murdering these cultists, yet they did so as part and parcel of their duty; a duty that should have been reserved for necessity, not for...this. After a hundred cultists, the state of the local Arrows would be deplorable. This could not be allowed to happen.

He shut the doors, turned out all the lights and loosened his tie. A wind picked up outside in protest to what he was about to do as he assembled and lit numerous cinnamon candles and found his gilded straight razor in his jacket pocket. The warm glow around him diffused the strange gleam gathering in his eyes as he fingers and forearms worked over the straight razor and dripped crimson into designs in a circle of ancient runes around him, each droplet splattering in time with perfectly intoned chanting that echoed off the walls of his abode.

His mind girded against attacks, mental fatigue and the ordeals of guilt, he set himself into motion for a long period of casting.

Hours passed. Daylight flared and ebbed into sunset. Hours more passed. At dawn, the single symbol appeared in the gathering drops of crimson as he Tome stared down at it imperiously and raised the straight razor in a crescendo of chants, letting it hover like the Sword of Damocles itself.

Bringing down the razor, he jabbed it into the hardwood floor, defiling the symbol as tension through the link pulled all threads taut like a spiderweb that has caught numerous flies. Just as he released the spells, he narrowed the focus of his mind to a terrible, firsthand account he had borrowed from an innocent victim of much the same kind of evil he attacked now, placing them in the moment, violating their mind as the memory violated their senses. The other spells served to diverge their minds into rage and amplify it to inhuman levels. The residue of strong emotions could be felt along the taut strands that threatened to snap from the tension as he completed the work of many hours of ritual casting.

Immediately after, the next casting he evoked sliced away all threads and stopped up the sympathetic conduit that would undoubtedly be traced to him otherwise, and he waited.

All was silent for an hour. No response. The cultists that served the Scelesti were undoubtedly in chaos now, wherever they may be. The chiminage was complete, with nary an obligation left. Violence was had without death by his or his consilium's hands...and the a line of blood was drawn in the sand between the Consilium and the Nefandi.

If they wanted a villain to revile, he would give them one.

effect: indescribable
muse: Pet (remix), by A Perfect Circle

Tome's account of events that have taken place here.

Pacing back and forth, the Mastigos wringed his hands and pitched spell after spell at the wards until they finally shattered. His casting had become more and more extreme, until he nearly pulled out the scalpel...but for now, that little secret was kept under wraps properly.

Scanning about, he could not find the location of the captured Hierarch. He narrowed his eyes and turned to the others with a shake of his head and opened a scrying window in the pocket mirror he had with him, turning it to Old Lady Fate and nodding to her encouragingly.

He should have remembered her namesake.

Peering into the reflection, she saw it all...he could tell that much. The wizened, ancient Romani woman closed her eyes and shook her head slowly as she muttered, "He has passed on."

Pacing back and forth, Tome mulled over the possibilities and tried more castings. Anything could be forged--that was often the problem with magic and death--and so these situations could be faked.

The rumble of a motorcycle suddenly snapped the Ladder out of his reverie as Levi sped off. For a moment, Tome pondered the rudeness of leaving without some indication, but this was interrupted by the realization: Death leads to vengeance amongst the martial minded.

Tome retrieved his mirror from the old woman and peered into it. Blood began to trickle from his nostrils as his head pounded and his veins stood on end against his skin, concentrating on the identity of one Theodore Levi Rosenberg as the tug of resistance from numerous protection spells culminated to prevent him from trying to retrieve the emotionally distraught Arrow before he could harm himself. Supernal fists pounded at the barriers and pulled at the threads, ricocheting impotently against whatever impenetrable barrier Jericho's enraged mind had mustered.

All at once, the barrier shattered, but there was nothing to behold. No Jericho, no adversary...nothing. A horrible silence suddenly punctuated by a distant explosion was knowledge enough of what happened.

The ties of bindings had been cut away and frayed, letting the edges blow about into convoluted tangles. In his mind, Archibald struggled to retie them in a way that made sense and did not threaten to unravel his network of friends.

Lowering the mirror slowly, Tome looked at the remaining mages and wore his best grieving face. He knew that there was more to feel in the human condition than he often exhibited, but for now he felt the absence of old friends and the loss of the consilium's most stable foundations. He mulled over the calculations of what he would have to tell Lex, Zohar, Indigo, Olivia...everyone who he'd shared friendship with in common with Jericho--no, Camael.

There was much to do. Too much. He gathered the others together and drove them back to The Oxford, keeping his outward appearance as normal as societal expectations allowed while his mind whirled with plans and thoughts of what needed to be done in Denver to ensure these deaths did not cripple them.

It was the only course of action he knew for the moment.

place: The Oxford
effect: crushedcrushed

Watch closely, you shall see...there's something there that shouldn't be.Collapse )

effect: depresseddepressed
muse: pitter-patter of rain
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