nick_garou: (Bring it)
At the new moon moot, I shared some information I'd gathered from my recent phone conversation with the Hanford mage about The Queen and her forces. And I withheld information about The Nothing. Too much info all at once is just going to confuse them, and the Queen and her forces do seem to be the more immediate threat, although not the most significant one.

Later, Nolan and I went to spy on the Spirals at Edgewood. He can apparently scry from afar any place that he's physically visited. Thankfully, this seems to be a very, very, very rare gift. Just another reason to not invite any garou over to my place. I gave him space to scry and went to scry on them myself, specifically looking to superficially touch their minds to determine if they were loyal to Renegade or The Queen, as we were not certain which Spirals were working for whom. There was an incredible pull of addiction coming from the four Spirals' minds I briefly touched. I've sensed addiction before, and this addiction was unbelievably powerful. So these Spirals at Edgewood are definitely working for The Queen. I reported the information to Nolan and then promptly went back to my cabin and wrangled my two Portland apprentices into the Winnebago for a road trip, Shade's Mistubishi 3000GT in tow.

First stop for the road trip: Seattle. We bought souvenirs, baubles, and an assortment of coffees. Then we went to chat with Raul Marquez (Euthanatos) and Joey Patterson (Akashic Brother). Introductions were made with my apprentices and I filled in Raul and Joey about my plan for dealing with the vampires that'd taken to tailing Shade and Briar. They liked it, suggested a few things I'd overlook, and joined us on the trip to Portland. (Greasing palms with a large offering of tass didn't hurt, either. Fortunately, having learned how to quicken magical effects on a more permanent basis instead of a temporary one, I'm not using so much myself anymore.)

Raul and Joey are an item now. I did not see that coming. I knew Joey was gay, but I had no idea about Raul. But hey, good for them both. Shade let slip that I had close ties with the garou out in Saint Claire. (I had to explain why they were not allowed to tag along when I used Correspondence magicks to extend Brings-the-Pack out to the caern. Aaaaaand they convinced me to let them pet the cougar illusion, too. Kids.) Both Raul and Joey said I was insane to associate with the garou as they have a well-deserved reputation for turning on people--even allies. I didn't disagree too much, because I know they're telling the truth. I've already given Shade and Briar the "Do as I say and not as I do" lecture about garou. But Shade and Briar are in Portland in the city. There seems to be a wealth of vampires and not so much garou to worry about in that situation.

The trip to Portland was about as uneventful as you can get with 5 mages crammed into an RV, which is to say it was eventful. We made an appearance at the local chantry, more gifts of tass and some esoteric books I had no further use for were made. The plan was discussed to make sure no toes were being tread upon, and we were given a green light--and a thanks for being open about what we were planning to do. One of the chantry's mages, Jill Stein (Daughter of Ether), asked to come along as an observer who could report back to the chantry afterwards. (We'd met earlier, back when Vlad, the now-deceased member of Shade and Briar's cabal, fell to the Nephandi and caused problems between them, myself, and the local chantry. Jill was one of the ones who spoke up for me and the two Hollow Ones--outsiders of the chantry.

Long story made short? Shade and Briar posed as having come back to their apartment, which they knew the vampires were watching, from a trip up to Seattle. The next night, the quartet of vampires tailed them to their usual nightclub haunt (it was goth night after all). Briar and Shade went down an alleyway were waiting for the vampires when they rounded the corner. Funny thing about ritual magick? When Raul, Joey, and I work together (and Jill even pitched in), we can make it look like the combined will of four competent mages is coming from just two mages, who were doing nothing but defensive magicks. Those vampires are all alive (as much as dead things that still move are still alive), and they're now scared shitless of mages--little realizing it was six pre-prepared mages they were up against instead of just two they were going to jump. Correspondence allowed us to track them home where we skimmed thoughts. Retaliation was not very high on their minds, and the one that was most inclined to talk about retribution I helped to subtly influence away from that course of action with some Mind magicks paired with his fellows' arguments. The "leave us and all other mages in the city alone, or we won't leave you alone" rhetoric seems to have worked.

When the sun came up, Briar and Shade moved their stuff out and into their new digs as guests of the local chantry with the option to work towards becoming members. I gave tips on how to avoid tails in the future--such as not sticking out like sore gothic thumbs and not going to the same nightclubs on the same days.

Tempting as it was to be a part of a chantry again, I've got things to do in Saint Claire. Plus they'd taken a vote within the chantry's membership and I was barely over 50%. I'd prefer to be wanted than just squeaking by. I did, however, take advantage of a guest room at the chantry to take some time and let the paradox wear off. Vulgar? Oh yeah. Vulgar magick happened for sure. Plus I had a chance to give some pointers and suggestions to a few other chantry mages. I might not be immensely popular with a number of mages at the chantry, but it never hurts to just be nice to people. And maybe they'll change their minds about me eventually in the future.

I feel like I'm letting two of my apprentices go out on their own into the big, wide world. But they're capable and will do fine. Even if I did pay their "rent."
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Nick "Nicodemus" Dalton

July 2017

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