Mages and Ghost-Mages

Mages and Ghost-Mages

Ashley Saunders (Legal Identity), Cassandra Rivière (Real Name?)

Type: Mage
Cabal: The Hierarch's Mercy
Path: Moros
Affiliation: Guardians of the Veil, Harbingers
Paradigm: String-magic / Ideation and sympathy
Born: 1983 (stopped aging in 2007)

Virtue: Ambitious
Vice: Lustful
Long-Term Aspiration: To become immortal (or specifically, to find a way to preserve her mind and personality indefinitely).

Background: For someone so seemingly young, Whim has done a very thorough job of cutting away all links to her past. Cultivating mystery as though it were rose-bushes, Whim draws a veil of silence and misinformation over anything to do with her life prior to arriving in Britain. Still, for a sufficiently dedicated investigator, a few facts can be learned.
  • Whim was born in 1983 in the United States, and lived most of her early life in the American South. She's of French Creole extraction and can slip from a vaguely generic British accent into a nigh-indecipherable Creole patois at will. Of her family or her parents Whim says nothing other than cryptic comments to the effect that they would not have approved of her current lifestyle.
  • Whim arrived in Britain in 2001 on a student visa to study drama, and stayed in the country after dropping out some six months later. These days, Whim lives under the name of Ashley Saunders, and mostly survives off of odd jobs (research assistant, bartender, tourist guide) and some help from her fellow Guardians of the Veil. Presently, Whim lives in a cheap tenement in Camden as Ashley Saunders. She lives alone, her only companion being a three and a half-foot long snake named DC, a Water Moccasin that serves as her familiar.
  • Already Awakened when she arrived, Whim sought out the Guardians of the Veil promptly upon coming to London, and has since positioned herself as a competent agent with a distinct lack of squeamishness. While still young and low-ranked, she's been noticed favorably by the Hierarch of London, one of the Guardians of the Veil. The day may come, not so far off, when Whim becomes the leader of one of the Guardians' Labyrinths.
  • Whim is heavily involved in the local goth and heavy metal scene. She works twice-weekly as a bartender at Lucifer's, a faux-Satanist club in Lambeth, and unless on a job for the Guardians she can usually be found there or at some other club in her off-time.
  • Whim maintains an on-again, off-again relationship with a brawny young man named Jayce Fortier, a fellow Creole expatriate, former Sleepwalker, and current Revenant who works as a bouncer at Lucifer's. Jayce died in a shoot-out when Whim was fourteen, taking a bullet to the jugular, and the Moros has been reviving and fixing him regularly in the years since. He's a comfortable presence, big, loyal, and not overwhelmingly bright.

Storytelling Hints/Personality: Understanding death, Whim embraces life. This is the key to understanding just what drives Whim forward. Like most necromancers, Whim holds a distinctly un-romantic view of death as a concept. It is The End, the end of pleasure, the end of vitality. It is rarely pleasant, usually messy, often frightening and painful. It comes without warning and without mercy.

This gives Whim a somewhat off-kilter perspective on what is important in life. For the time being, Whim wants, above all else, to enjoy herself. If life is so impermanent, why not take pleasure in it while you can? And so Whim parties the night away, losing herself in flesh, dancing to the music. She's young, she's pretty, and she's willing to try just about anything – or anyone – once. Whim is a social creature, and she revels in companionship.

This is not to say that Whim lives entirely in the present. On the contrary, Whim takes an unusually level-headed view of the future, impermanent and uncertain as it may be. God helps those who help themselves, after all, and so Whim plans out her life quite carefully, obscuring her past and securing her future with the Guardians of the Veil. She's ambitious, really, in that very pragmatic sense of knowing what she wants and fully intending to get it. She's quite protective of her body and her health, and takes full advantage of the fact that several of her friends are Life mages.

Likewise, it would be wrong to consider Whim completely immoral in her search for pleasure. She can be ruthless, certainly, and there is an under-current of power-hunger in her soul. But she's also a person who genuinely, truly likes other people. She's friendly and inimitably cheerful for a necromancer, with a piercing sense of humor. And life's just more fun when you have friends, isn't it?

Mental Attributes: Intelligence 3, Wits 4, Resolve 4
Physical Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4
Social Attributes: Presence 5, Manipulation 4, Composure 3

Mental Skills: Academics (Research) 3, Craft 1, Investigation 3, Medicine 2, Occult (Necromancy x2) 4, Politics 3, Science 2
Physical Skills: Athletics 2, Larceny 2, Stealth 2
Social Skills: Empathy 3, Expression (Music) 4, Intimidation (Control Ghost) 4, Persuasion (Make a Deal) 5, Socialize 4, Streetwise 3, Subterfuge 4

Merits: Anonymity 5, Contacts 5, Familiar (DC) 5, Language (Creole French; Native is English) 1, Resources
2, Sanctum 4, Status (
Well-Fed, Well-Paid, Support Group
Harbingers) 1, Status (
Where the Bodies are Buried; Disciplined; Pull; Tithe
Guardians of the Veil) 3, Striking Looks (Gorgeous Goth Angel) 2
Lair: Small Camden Flat

Willpower: 7
Wisdom: 6; +1 Support Group
Universal Banes: Paradox, Paradigm, Nimbus (Corpse-coloration & stitched lips and flesh)
Personal Banes: Blood Magic; Disruption (Salt)

Initiative: 9
Defense: 3
Armor: 5/5 (Mage Armor)
Mind Shield: 7 (Mind Shield+Disciplined)
Health: 9
Speed: 20

Gnosis 5
Mysteries: Flesh ●●●, Lore ●●, Mind ●, Passion ●●●●●, Soul ●, Space ●●●●, Twilight ●●●●●
Magical Tool: Wavy-Bladed Knife (Twilight 4: Control Ghost) 4
Mana/Per Turn: 15/5; +2 Starting (Sanctum 4, Tithe -3, Well-Fed +1)

Whim's FamiliarDC
Damn Cottonmouth

Name: DC
Born: 1992

Eye Color: Black
Figure Notes: DC is a Western Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma). He's about 95 centimeters long, just over three feet, and is rather muscular for a snake, with a broad body and a tapering tail. His neck narrows and gives the head a distinctive arrowhead shape, with a blunt snout. His coloration is almost entirely black, though close examination reveals a series of diamond patterns in dark brown. His head is a bit lighter, brownish and again with a diamond design, and his mouth is actually rather pale.

Mental Attributes: Intelligence 1, Wits 5, Resolve 4
Physical Attributes: Strength 1, Dexterity 5, Stamina 4
Social Attributes: Presence 4, Manipulation 0, Composure 3

Mental Skills: Investigation 2
Physical Skills: Athletics 5, Brawl (Bite x2) 5, Stealth (Ambush x2) 5, Survival 5
Social Skills: Animal Ken 3, Intimidation (It's a goddamn SNAKE x2) 5

Merits: Double-Jointed 2, Fighting Finesse (Bite) 2, Fast Reflexes 3, Hardy 3, Iron Stamina 3

Willpower: 7

Initiative: 11
Defense: 5
Size: 2
Health: 6
Speed: 17 (Species Factor 11)

Power Stat 3
Supernatural Powers:
As Obfuscate 1: Provided DC does not call attention to himself, no one notices him
Camouflage ●,
As Mystery of Lore 1: DC can notice magic, and goes into Clash of Wills against supernatural effects
Familiar Sight ●,
DC has a Toxicity 6 Poison that affects supernatural beings.
Venomous Bite ●●●

Attacks.................................Damage.....Dice Pool.....Special
Bite..........................................1L..............13.................Toxicity 6

Vincent Jeffries, 7th Viscount of Candlesby Hall

Type: Mage
Cabal: The Hierarch's Mercy
Path: Obrimos
Affiliation: Guardians of the Veil, Harbingers
Legacy: The Jeffries Family
Paradigm: Techno-Hermeticism
Born: 1975

Virtue: Courageous
Vice: Gluttonous (tinges of alcoholism)
Long-Term Aspiration: To get out from under Civitas’s thumb

Background: Vincent Jeffries is a man who has absolutely everything in the world. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, with two doctors and a professional midwife in attendance, and his name was put down for Eton within the fortnight. Vincent grew up with a succession of tutors and governesses, boarding schools and quiet vacations at his family's roaming pile of an estate, Candlesby Hall. He also grew up with a succession of strange sounds in the dark, with uncanny urges at school, peculiar accidents and the grim and terrifying visits of his great-grandfather, Rupert Havelock Jeffries, the Earl of Rawcliffe.

The Jeffries are one of the Britain's oldest magical families, and they are also one of Britain's most secretive. They are a Veiled Dynasty, men who have Supernal blood flowing through their veins. For ages beyond counting, the Jeffries have given birth to Sleepwalkers, men who can see the world for what it is, and to Proximi, those who can wield just a sliver of Supernal power by virtue of their blood. And every so often, one of them Awakens, to become a full Mage.

For most of his early life, Vincent grew up utterly unaware of his preternatural heritage. He went to all the finest schools, Eton and Christ's College at Cambridge. He was always considered something of a dandy and an eccentric, charming and likable but always a little odd. A better lover than a scholar, Vincent emerged from college with a degree in business, and in short order secured a position as a stockbroker in the City. He moved to London, took a fashionable flat in Kensington, made scads of money and slept with very pretty girls. No more inhuman faces in the window, no more spidery whispers when he turned off the lights. Life was good.

Then he Awakened. After six months of in London, Vincent Jeffries was dragged right back into his huge and terrifying family. Taking the Shadow Name of Seventeen, Vincent became the third living Jeffries Mage in the Guardians of the Veil, alongside his uncle, Dominic, and his great-grandfather, Civitas, the Hierarch of London. It is Civitas who has taken Seventeen under his wing, guiding the young man's life guiding the young man's political rise, establishing him as heir to the Jeffries estates (complete with the courtesy title of Viscount) and directing Seventeen's magical training personally.

Presently, Seventeen lives in a small but incredibly lavish apartment in Kensington, with irregular visits to Candlesby Hall, and a manifestly luxurious lifestyle, even if all the money belongs to his grandfather. He has a job as a stockbroker with a small but prestigious firm in the City, and is on the board of two charitable trusts and a museum, although in all four cases his job description can best be summarized as "look pretty and let us have a Viscount on the letterhead." Guardian business and twice-weekly training sessions with his grandfather occupy the bulk of Seventeen's time. In his remaining free time, he engages in coin-collecting, amateur fencing, and studying physics, which he is now capable of teaching at a college level, should the matter ever come.

Seventeen is someone who has been shouldering an immense weight of expectations to the point that he is all but crushed by it, but hasn't quite the self-awareness to realize the situation. The essential paradox of Seventeen is that he's someone who is good at understanding other people, but very bad at understanding himself, and at understanding that he doesn't really want the power and prestige that is being thrust upon him by virtue of his birth. After all, he's never known anything but expectations.

Seventeen can be a little schizophrenic in his actions. On the one hand, he does try to live up to the standards set for him. Noblesse oblige, the protection of the weak and helpless, the destruction of the work of the Abyss, so on and so forth. He's really very generous with his time and his energies. If anything, his flaw is that he's not able not to be generous with his power, to the point that he is willing to work himself into a coma rather than admit that something is beyond his power.

Path Obrimos
Order Guardians of the Veil

Mental Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 3, Resolve 3
Physical Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 5, Stamina 3
Social Attributes: Presence 4, Manipulation 4, Composure 4

Mental Skills: Academics 3, Computer 2, Investigation 1, Occult 3, Politics (London Consilium) 3, Sciences (Physics, Casting the Towers x2) 4
Physical Skills: Athletics 3, Stealth 3
Social Skills: Empathy 1, Expression 1, Intimidation (Quell the Crowd) 1, Persuasion (Fast Talk) 3, Socialize (Working the Crowd) 4, Subterfuge (Deception) 4

Merits: Dragon's Tongue 2, Fast Reflexes 3, Indomitable 2, Status (
Well-Fed, Well-Paid, Support Group
Harbingers) 1, Status (
Where the Bodies are Buried; Disciplined; Pull; Tithe
Guardians of the Veil) 3, Resources 5, Sanctum 4, Striking Looks (Aristocratic) 1
Lair: Highgate Flat (Shared with Chavez); Security 4, Warding 2

Willpower: 7
Wisdom: 6; +1 Support Group
Universal Banes:Paradox, Paradigm, Nimbus (Tracery of azure fire and lightning dancing over his form)
Personal Banes: Gone Horribly Right (Elements: Fire); Voidcaller

Initiative: 15 (18 w/ Glimpse)
Defense: 6/6
Armor: 9/10B (1/2B Kevlar Vest + Mage Armor)
Mind Shield: 7 (Indomitable + Mind Shield + Disciplined)
Health: 8
Speed: 11

Gnosis: 6
Mysteries: Elements (Air) ●●●, Elements (Fire) ●●●●●, Electromagnetism ●●●●●, Flesh ●●●, Foretelling ●, Lore ●●, Mind ●, Time ●
Magical Tool: Sword Cane engraved with the Jeffries Seal (Elements 4: Casting the Tower; Dice Pool +4) 4; Rune-inscribed 1914 golden Sovereign coin (Lore 2: Mystic Shield; Gnosis +2) 4
Mana: 20/6; +2 Starting (Sanctum 4, Well-Fed 1, Tithe -3)
Legacy Curse: Paradox rolls gain 8-Again

Attacks...........................Damage.....Dice Pool.....Special
Casting the Tower (Fire).......5A..............20.................Minus Defense

Ian Tait

Type: Mage
Cabal: The Hierarch's Mercy
Path: Thyrsus
Affiliation: Guardians of the Veil
Paradigm: Potions and herbs
Born: 1958

Virtue: Determined
Vice: Curious
Long-Term Aspiration: To understand the Other City

Background: Ian Tait was born in Glasgow in 1958, the son of a factory foreman and his home-maker wife. Ian grew up a relatively normal child, quiet but bright. Ian passed out of the secondary school in the top quarter of his class, and went on to get a degree in journalism from the University of Dundee. He got a position as a cub reporter on the police beat with The Herald (Glasgow), under the editorship of Arnold Kemp, and even married his university sweet-heart, Lilian Kelly. In short, Ian was on the rise in life.

Then came 1983, and the arrival of the Other City.

What is the Other City? No one knows, not really. But once every few months, starting in the 1960s, a few blocks of Glasgow suddenly find themselves elsewhere, in a city that is altogether different, and altogether more alien. Stay in your homes, and you're safe. But Ian was a reporter, and he heard sounds, and he was curious. So he left his house and went out into the street, and the Other City took him.

The Other City was a place-that-was-not-a-place, a strange splitting off of reality where faceless thousands go about their business to the squeal of impossible engines and the strange shrieks of thousand-faced things that flew overhead. It was a nightmare, a place where logic and reality bore only a tenuous connection. The laws were cruel, where a man may be taken and hanged and no one ever eplained why. The other dangers were worse.

For over a year, Ian lived in the Other City, until for its own inscrutable reasons, it let him go. He emerged different. He was tougher than he had been, and perhaps a little brutal from surviving in this mad place. Certainly he'd put on muscle even as he lost weight. But his mind was fragile, and on his side was a perfect ring of pale, frostbitten flesh.

Ian spent the better part of two years bouncing between psychiatric assessments and the divorce courts, and it was only through sheer willpower that Ian managed to avoid being committed. He lost his job and he lost his wife, however, and he fled Glasgow. He got a new job in London, and some years past he married again, a paralegal named Elizabeth Drummond. For a while, it was almost as though Ian had escaped his past and the horrors of the Other City.

Then he stumbled across a spirit. It was just a small thing, really, a lesser crow-spirit that had pushed itself through the Gauntlet to feast on the energies of this world. It was found and banished by a werewolf twelve hours later, but for Ian Tait, the sight of this cloud of floating feathers, ripping the flesh from a dead squirrel without any claws or beak, was a sign from the Other City.

If Ian couldn't run from it, then he would fight it. For the next few years, Ian Tait was a man possessed. He managed to lose his job once again, and it strained his marriage almost to the breaking point. He followed up leads in obscure books, searched the tunnels beneath London, and met with the stranger denizens of the world he lived in. And mostly, he killed them.

Ian was a hunter, and the year of survival in the Other City had hardened him. He educated himself on the plundered libraries of mages and vampires, joined circles of dabblers and cultists. He found a great many frauds, but he found some who were real as well, and if he found them to be evil or harmful, he disposed them. Ian didn't have supernatural powers, but he was smart, he was tough, and he was paranoid as hell.

But fate was not done with Ian Tait. It was while reading the poached library of a vampire of the Ordo Dracul that something clicked in his mind. In that moment, Ian was transported into some place very, very far away, where for just a moment everything, from the monsters to the Other City, could be understood. Ian Tait signed his name in his own blood on the walls of a stone tower in that distant land, and when he returned to his body some days later, on the floor of that blood-bought library, he had Awakened.

On the whole, Cuchulainn has adapted to Awakened life admirably well. He joined the Guardians of the Veil, finding their dogma of separation of supernatural and mortal appealing, and in turn they helped order his life into something resembling sanity. Presently, Cuchulainn lives with his long-suffering wife, Elizabeth, in a nice house in Waltham Forest. He is a freelance reporter, and has made something of a name for himself disproving the many frauds he encountered in his hunting days, with the approval and fiscal support of the Guardians of the Veil (by means of the Jeffries Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts & Sciences). He owns two cats, Rebecca and David, and has no children, though several nieces and nephews are spoiled rotten.

Cuchulainn is an old hound, battle-scarred and tired, yet still fearsome enough to put fear into those who'd threaten what he holds dear. Cuchulainn tends to come off as gruff in his interactions with others. Some of that is due to the things he's seen, but more of it is simply a deeply-hidden shyness. When writing, Cuchulainn can be flowing, eloquent, passionate in his prose. But in person, he's all taciturn looks and short phrases. He opens up more with people he likes, and he can be at ease when talking about his work, but Cuchulainn does not do small talk.

It would be wrong to misinterpret this as coldness or indifference. Cuchulainn is a passionate man, though that passion's been weathered down a good deal over the years. He's a family man, with a wife, a good career, and a strong desire to keep it. But it's that basic spark of passion that started him as a crime reporter in the first place, and that's propelled him through life as a Hunter and as a Guardian of the Veil. Threaten what is truly important, be it his family or the ideals of the masquerade which he upholds, and Cuchulainn shows all the berserker rage of his namesake.

Path: Thyrsus
Order: Guardians of the Veil

Mental Attributes: Intelligence 5, Wits 4, Resolve 5
Physical Attributes: Strength
4+Perfected Form 1
5, Dexterity
4+Perfected Form 3
7, Stamina
5+Perfected Form 2
Social Attributes: Presence 2, Manipulation 2, Composure 3

Mental Skills: Academics (Research; 9-Again) 4, Investigation (Crime Scenes; 9-Again) 4, Medicine 2, Occult 4, Politics 2
Physical Skills: Athletics 3, Brawl 3, Firearms (Heavy Revolver x2) 5, Stealth 3, Survival 4
Social Skills: Expression (Written; 9-Again) 4, Intimidate 3, Streetwise 3, Subterfuge 2

Merits: Allies (Media) 4, Allies (Police) 4, Enhanced Item (
Heavy Revolver with +3L Damage
Erin-Made .44 Magnum) 3, Fame (Debunker) 1, Fast Reflexes 3, Professional Training (Journalist; Academics, Investigation, Expression) 5, Quick-Draw (Heavy Revolver) 1, Resources
4, Status (
Well-Fed, Well-Paid, Support Group
Harbingers) 1, Status (
Where the Bodies are Buried; Disciplined; Pull; Tithe
Guardians of the Veil) 3
Combat Merits: Fighting Style (Firefight) 3
Lair: Suburban House; Security
2+Wizard's Tower 1
3, Warding
0+Wizard's Tower 3

Willpower: 7
Wisdom: 6; +1 Support Group
Universal Banes: Paradox, Paradigm, Nimbus (Racing blood and distant battle cries and howls)
Personal Banes: Disruption (Rowan); Avatar (Warp-Spasm)

Initiative: 15 (16 w/ .44 Magnum)
Defense: 5/5 (6 Base, -1 Kevlar)
Armor: 6/7B (Kevlar + Mystic Shield)
Mind Shield: 2 (Disciplined)
Health: 12
Speed: 12

Gnosis: 4
Mysteries: Flesh ●●●●●, Health ●●●, Hearth ●●●●, Lore ●●, Time ●
Magical Tool: Bag of Herbs (Flesh 5: Perfected Form) 4
Mana/Per Turn: 11/2; -2 Starting (+1 Well-Fed; -3 Tithe)

Attacks..................................Damage..,...Dice Pool..,...Special
Erin-Made .44 Magnum............6L..............20................ Range 35/70/140, Clip 6

The Hierarch of London, Rupert Havelock Jeffries "III", the 14th Earl of Rawcliffe (previously the 12th and 13th Earls as well)

Type: Mage
Cabal: The Order of the Seventh Seal
Path: Obrimos
Order: Guardians of the Veil
Legacy: The Jeffries Family
Paradigm: Ceremonial Magic (Enochian)
Born: 1798

Virtue: Pragmatic
Vice: Arrogant
Long-Term Aspiration: To ensure that Seventeen becomes Hierarch after him.

Background: The history of Rupert Havelock Jeffries is the history of London, and the history of London is the history of the Empire. And the Jeffries lived through all of it.

R. H. Jeffries was born on September 22nd, 1798, a Proximus of the large and powerful Jeffries clan. There was never a time when R. H. did not know what he was. He was one of the Jeffries, and by dint of bloodline and willpower, he had powers that others never would. He would live longer than mortal men. He could trigger fear or lust with a glance. He was stronger, faster, better, and this was drilled into him by his family from the very first day.

But it wasn’t enough. A Proximus is a frightful thing, more than human, but it is not a Mage. Though R. H. was the most potent Proximus born in a generation, he was still only a tool to the Awakened elders of the family. This was something that R. H. could not stand. And so, when he was eighteen years old, he left.

R. H. Jeffries travelled first to France, still recovering in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars. He studied at the Sorbonne, learning rhetoric and grammar, but more than that, R. H. studied in the occult circles of France. Paris had always been one of the souls of the world, and there was no shortage of petty sorcerers and secret societies that offered to teach a young, wealthy English nobleman. R. H. sought them all out, and learned from every one. He travelled the catacombs beneath the city, and spoke with the white-robed priests who cast offerings of meat to the dead. For four years, he supped at the wrist of one La Charpentière’s childer. When Paris had given him all that he felt he could offer, he left it as well.

For the next eighty years, R. H. Jeffries made a slow pilgrimage across Europe. He went to Italy, studying for a time in Rome and gaining access to the Vatican archives. He studied old legends in Serbia and Montenegro, and spent nearly fifteen years in Constantinople. He had money enough, after all, and he never needed to worry about age. By 1890, when R. H. Jeffries finally returned to London, he was 92-years old, looked about 40, and had experienced more magical studies than most living mages. He had also Awakened.

R. H. Jeffries knew a good deal of the theory and mechanics of the Awakening, and he tried to force it in every fashion he knew how. Vision quests are frequent components of the awakening, and R. H. tried hypnosis, narcotics, ascetic self-denial and hedonistic indulgence both. Sharp stress was a common trigger, and R. H. tried an increasingly fool-hardy series of experiments in self-flagellation and near-suicide. He had himself nearly drowned twice, and one of his legs is still seared with the scars of a hot iron.

When the actual Awakening came, it was, of all things, an accident. R. H. was out riding in Syria when his horse reared, cast him off, and he hit his head on a rock. Brains thoroughly stirred about in his head, R. H. spent the next day and night in a coma, walking the Path of the Mighty and signing his name at the Golden Tower. When he awoke, he had gained two very valuable things. He gained the Awakening, and he gained a sense of humor about the caprices of the cosmos.

When R. H., now going by the Shadow Name of Plautus, returned to London, he was feted and welcomed into the Consilium, and soon joined the Guardians of the Veil due to his experience with secret societies and obscure religions. But the Edwardian era was a dark time for the Guardians of the Veil. The Mysterium was in command of the city, and in their casual approach to secrecy (or so the GotV saw it), they had let too many mortal occultists run rampant in London. This was the era of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Aleister Crowley, of Theosophy and the Golden Dawn.

For years, the Guardians of the Veil watched and waited, and when World War I erupted, they made their coup. The details of that shadowy night in mid-October of 1914 are lost to history, but in a way of extortion, assassination, and political maneuvering, the Mystagogues were cast down and the Guardians of the Veil took their place as rulers of London, with the Silver Ladder at their right hand. As the orchestrator of the coup, and with the potent backing that the name of Jeffries brought to the table, Plautus, now renaming himself Civitas, ascended to the position of Hierarch.
Path Obrimos
Order Guardians of the Veil

Mental Attributes: Intelligence 6, Wits 4, Resolve 5
Physical Attributes: Strength
2+Perfected Form 1
3, Dexterity
4+Perfected Form 4
8, Stamina
4+Perfected Form 3
Social Attributes: Presence 6, Manipulation 6, Composure 5

Mental Skills: Academics 5, Craft (Control the Foundations x2) 6, Investigation 3, Occult 4, Politics (The Art of the Possible; 9-Again) 6, Science (Casting the Towers x2) 6
Physical Skills: Athletics 2, Brawl 2, Larceny 1, Stealth 3, Survival 3
Social Skills: Empathy 3, Expression (9-Again) 3, Intimidation 4, Persuasion (Making a Deal) 6, Socialize 5, Subterfuge (Deception x2; 9-Again) 6

Merits: Indomitable 2, Languages (German, French, Greek, Latin, Italian; Native is English) 5, Professional Training (Politician; Expression, Politics, Subterfuge) 5, Resources 6, Sanctum 5, Status (
Where the Bodies are Buried; Disciplined; Pull; Tithe
Guardians of the Veil) 5, Striking Looks (Distinguished) 1
Lair: Candlesby Hall; Warding 4, House Rules (vs. Fire, Thieves, Abyssal Beings, Werewolves, and Demons); The Hall is a ramshackle white elephant, falling apart, but it does have significant occult protections. Civitas commutes via Portal.

Willpower: 10
Wisdom: 3
Universal Banes: Paradox, Paradigm, Nimbus (Photo-negative tendrils of coruscating black lightning)
Banes: Gone Horribly Right (Elements: Air); Disruption (St. John's Wort); Avatar (The Plotter in the Shadows)

Initiative:17 (21 w/ Glimpse)
Defense: 8/8
Armor: 8/8 (Mage Armor)
Mind Shield: 9 (Indomitable + Mind Shield + Disciplined)
Health: 12
Speed: 16

Gnosis: 8
Mysteries: Lore ●●, Elements (Air) ●●●●●, Elements (Fire) ●●●●, Elements (Earth) ●●●●, Elements (Water) ●●●●, Flesh ●●●●●, Foretelling ●●●, Mind ●, Supernal ●●●●●, Time ●
Magical Tool: Staff of the Hierarch (Supernal 2: Counterspell) 6, Jeffries Signet Ring (Elements (Air) 4: Casting the Tower) 4
Mana: 30/8; -2 Starting (Sanctum 5 + Tithe -5 + Daily Flesh 5: Perfected Form -2)
Legacy Curse: Paradox rolls gain 8-Again

Attacks...........................Damage..........Dice Pool.....Special
Counterspell..............................N/A..............21...............costs 1 Mana, Dodge Action, if the successes exceed those of the caster, negate the spell
Hurricane Blast............................5L..............25................Minus Defense, costs 1 Mana, Knockdown (Roll Dexterity, on failure knocked Prone)
Fireball...................................4A..............20...............Minus Defense, costs 1 Mana
Icicle......................................4L..............20...............Minus Defense, costs 1 Mana, -2 to all Physicals for the Scene
Tremor...................................4L..............20...............Minus Defense, costs 1 Mana, Stun (Roll Stamina, on a failure lose next action)

Magister "Aleph"
Albert Higgins

Type: Mage
Cabal: The Order of the Seventh Seal
Path: Thyrsus
Order: Adamantine Arrow
Paradigm: Western Alchemy
Born: 1890
Apparent Age: Somewhere in his 60s or 70s -- Old but healthy

Virtue: Courageous
Vice: Pessimistic

Background: Albert “Al” Higgins awakened in 1908, at the age of 18, while he and his fellow Irish navvies were digging a tunnel for the expansion of the London Underground. As near as anyone else could tell, Al Higgins had a fit or stroke of some sort, but the young wizard remembered something altogether different. He remembered being led down a subterranean path by a chthonic entity of black soil with eyes like flaming pits, all horns and scales and curious nodules. He went beneath London, through the ruins of a dozen cities and empires – the empire of Elizabeth I, and of Richard Lionhearted, and of Arthur, and of the Emperor Claudius, and of long-ago peoples who left no names or kings to know them by. There, beneath the twelve ruins and the one living city, stepping over the bones of the ages, Albert Higgins signed his name into a book of stone with his own chisel, and his mind Awakened to the universe.

Al Higgins, calling himself Aleph now after the fashion of the time, joined the Consilium of Albion and became a foot soldier in the Adamantine Arrow, the only Order interested in accepting him. That was a different time, and the cold fact was that neither the Mysterium, nor the Guardians of the Veil, nor the Silver Ladder showed much interest in a poorly educated Irish laborer. And the Free Council? Well, Aleph considered them a bunch of nancy-boys, and precious little has happened in the last hundred years to change his mind. Anyway, the Arrow always needed warm bodies, and the young Al Higgins had the kind of build that logically develops from digging ditches since one is eight years old.

Compared to most of his contemporaries, and indeed compared to most wizards, Aleph had two notable advantages – he knew when to keep his head down, and he knew when to take a risk. The first meant that despite being in a career that tends to see one murdered by Abyssal horrors or mad Left-Hand mages, Aleph kept surviving his assignments, largely by having a very good instinct for when to duck and always preferring to hit the other guy when they weren’t looking. The second meant that when the Guardians of the Veil staged their coup in 1914, Aleph took a chance and joined them. He was still a young wizard then, but he’d seen the kind of havoc that wizards without limits could cause, most notably when he was part of the group that put down the ‘angel’ or whatever-it-was that Councilor Sandalaphon of the Silver Ladder summoned for his private cult.

After the coup, Aleph stayed in the Arrow, and over the years he slowly rose in the ranks, mostly by virtue of being the last man standing when the dust settled – Aleph was a very good earth mage, and while earth magic wasn’t flashy or exciting like shooting fireballs or lightning bolts, there’s something to be said for constructing an instant rampart of rock two yards thick. Since his Awakening, Aleph fought renegade mages, rabid werewolves, manifested demons, German mages in both World Wars, things from the Abyss… he dueled a Scion of Itzpapalotl in Central America once, still has the scars from it, or that time in Syria when a pack of ghuls took offense and tried to carve his thighs for steaks, still limps a little from that.

Really, if two words can summarize Magister Aleph today (he was named Magister in 1952), it’s scars and service. In his prime, Aleph was one of the Adamantine Arrow’s greats. He was a hard-driving, intensely pragmatic man well-suited to cutting Gordian Knots by means of broad-spectrum destruction, who subsumed himself in his work. There were always things that needed doing, and as Aleph grew older, work seemed a way to ignore the flow of time instead of a way to rise in the ranks. Aleph could always tell himself that he was doing valuable work, and he was. It eventually consumed him.

He’d married, back in the twenties, and been happy then right up until Margaret died in 1971. There were two children, both now dead of time, and there were grandchildren and great-grandchildren who know Aleph only as the vague figure of family lore. Most think him dead. Aleph prefers it that way.

Nowadays, Aleph is simply damaged. Compared to entire generations of his contemporaries, Albert Higgins survived – but not without marks. Some are purely physical. He limps in wet weather, his face looks faintly melted as a result of an obsidian butterfly’s venom, he’s half-deaf from a lifetime of being at ground zero of earthquakes and explosions. Other marks are mental. He sleeps uneasily, and watching so many others die has left him both profoundly lonely and severely paranoid. He’s been embroiled in the arcane world for so long that he’s sometimes forgets that magic isn’t normal – he can make his kettle boil by looking at it, he mutters in Enochian, any place he lives in tends to become seismically active.

Aleph retired from active duty following a particularly brutal Paradox backlash in 1988. He brought half a mountainside down on an open portal to the Abyss, and absorbed the magical energies rather than risk bringing the rest of the mountain down on himself and his team. The effort burned countless tiny holes in Aleph’s brain and smashed his psyche into atoms. Despite the best efforts of some very skilled mind-mages, Aleph suffers from low-grade aphasia – his ability to use language seems to come and go, with common words being the hardest to use, paradoxically – and reduced ability to form short-term memories. He can recall in perfect detail an assignment in British Palestine during WWII, but struggles to remember what he had for breakfast.

He’s usually good at remembering people, though, and his bluff friendliness causes people to think of him as a loveable old duffer, which actually suits Aleph fine. Better an object of fun than an object of fear, after all. He putters about mostly, letting other people do the actual work, though the truth is that while Aleph is a bit mad he is far from senile.

In person, Magister Aleph is an old, doddering man who shows every one of his hundred-plus years. He’s a broad-shouldered man who had once been enormously physically powerful, but has mostly withered away from the years. He still has all his hair, which forms an enormous white mane, and a grey, drooping walrus mustache that combined with his sagging skin gives him a rather melted look. Aleph stopped caring about fashion when his wife died, so most of his clothing consists of ratty suits, ratty robes, and ratty mackintoshes. He always has a large collection of vials containing all manner of alchemical concoctions for his magic, and tie-pin with a seven-legged symbol that has a distressing tendency to writhe in public.
Path Thyrsus
Order Adamantine Arrow

Mental Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 4, Resolve 7
Physical Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity
8+Perfected Form 4
12, Stamina
8+Perfected Form 4
Social Attributes: Presence 6, Manipulation 2, Composure 6

Mental Skills: Academics 4, Craft 4, Investigation 3, Occult 5, Politics 3, Science (Casting the Towers x2, Engineering) 7
Physical Skills: Athletics 3, Brawl (Elemental Strike x2) 4, Larceny 1, Stealth 4, Survival (Underground) 4
Social Skills: Animal Ken 1, Empathy 2, Intimidation (Quell the Crowd) 4, Persuasion 2, Socialize 1, Streetwise 2, Subterfuge (Scrutinize) 2

Merits: Familiar (Roger) 5, Indomitable 2, Resources 4, Sanctum 5, Status (
Where the Bodies are Buried; Disciplined; Pull; Tithe
Guardians of the Veil) 4
Combat Merits: Fighting Style (Street Fighting) 1
Lair: Quaere Cottage; Secrecy
0+Wizard's Tower 4
4, Warding
1+Wizard's Tower 4
5; Innocuous (-8); House Rules (vs. Fire, Fae, Spirits, Ghosts, and Demons); Hallowed; Aleph uses a Portal established by another mage to commute to Highgate.

Willpower: 13
Wisdom: 4
Universal Banes: Paradox, Paradigm, Nimbus (Earth tremors, howling winds)
Personal Banes: Avatar (I am Albion); Unearthly Sight; Technophage
Conditions: Madness (manifests as Aphasia that causes minor but persistent social penalties)

Initiative: 26 (19 in Elemental Form)
Defense: 16/16 (8/8 in Elemental Form)
Armor: 10/10 (Mage Armor)
Mind Shield: 8 (Indomitable + Mind Shield + Disciplined)
Health: 17
Speed: 19 (20 in Elemental Form)

Gnosis: 8
Mysteries: Lore ●●●●●, Elements (Earth) ●●●●●, Flesh ●●●●●, Health ●●●, Hearth ●●●●●, Mind ●, Nature ●●●●●, Shadow ●●●●●, Time ●
Elemental Transformation: Due to his high Gnosis and high Elements (Earth), Aleph is able to transform into a variety of earth elemental forms, distributing (Nature) dots among Damage, Armor, and Size.
Magical Tool: Tie-pin of the Cthonians (Elements (Earth) 4: Casting the Towers) 6; Impenetrable Hat Band (Lore 2: Mage Armor) 4
Mana: 30/8; -1 Starting (Sanctum 5 + Tithe -4 + Daily Flesh 5: Perfected Form -2)

Note: Aleph's usual elemental form (used when Mana conservation and Paradox minimization is important) grants him a 4L attack and a +1 Size bonus, and moves 7 Dots from Dexterity and 1 from Stamina into Strength.

Attacks...........................Damage..........Dice Pool.....Special
Malachite Blow.........................4L..............20................
Cthonic Spell............................5L..............32................Minus Defense, costs 1 Mana, Stun (Roll Stamina, on failure lose next action)
Blast........................................5L..............15................Minus Stamina, costs 1 Mana, optionally 1WP to deal Aggravated

Aleph's FamiliarRoger the Cat

Roger is a tiny black-and-white tuxedo cat with very large yellow-green eyes. He's small, fuzzy, and generally lovable and playful, though he does feel a compulsion to shashay in front of people's feet and trigger any bad luck superstitions or compulsions they may have. He also has a serious rivalry with Kore's familiar Lucifer, who bullies him constantly.

Mental Attributes: Intelligence 1, Wits 5, Resolve 3
Physical Attributes: Strength 1, Dexterity 5, Stamina 4
Social Attributes: Presence 5, Manipulation 0, Composure 3

Mental Skills: Investigation 2
Physical Skills: Athletics (Climb) 5, Brawl 1, Stealth (Hide)
5+Small Framed
8, Survival 1
Social Skills: Animal Ken 3, Empathy 4, Persuasion (Kitten Eyes x2) 3, Socialize 3, Subterfuge (Innocent Kitten x2) 3

Merits: Double-Jointed 2, Fighting Finesse (Bite) 2, Fast Reflexes 3, Fleet of Foot 3, Small-Framed 2, Striking Looks (Adorable) 1

Willpower: 6

Initiative: 11
Defense: 5
Size: 1
Health: 5
Speed: 17 (Species Factor 11)

Power Stat 3
Supernatural Powers:
As Obfuscate 1: Provided Roger does not call attention to himself, no one notices him
Camouflage ●,
As per the Mage Mystery, and Roger is able to use Cantrips and Hexes
Mystery of Fortune ●●●●

Attacks.................................Damage.....Dice Pool.....Special

The Councilor for the Silver Ladder, Lady Evelyn Manning

Type: Ghost Mage
Cabal: The Order of the Seventh Seal
Path: Mastigos
Order: Silver Ladder
Legacy: Bene Ashmedai
Paradigm: Ceremonial Magic (Ars Goetia)
Born: 1865 (stopped aging in 1929)

Virtue: Confident (Evelyn has a very bad habit of overestimating her capabilities. That she is in fact, intrinsically very capable makes it all the worse when she overestimates things.)
Vice: Corrupt

Background: Lady Evelyn is older than the British Empire. Lady Evelyn was the victim of Saucy Jack who escaped. Lady Evelyn called the Great Beast Aleister Crowley a fatty and made him cry. Lady Evelyn had a torrid sapphic affair with Tallulah Bankhead that was barely kept from the papers. Lady Evelyn only tells the truth. Lady Evelyn lies like a dog and you don't want to play poker with her. Which of these statements are true? All of them? None of them?

Lady Evelyn isn't telling. In fact, when confronted with questions about her past, her usual answer is a sweet sort of smile, the kind a grandmother gives before a gentle scolding, followed by "When one reaches my age, having a past that's multiple choice is a fringe benefit one grows extremely fond of."

What is known for certain however, paints a rather interesting picture. Before the October Coup, she was barely a blip on the radar. After the October Coup, she was the Councilor of the Silver Ladder, and Civitas was in power. If these two events are related in any way, no one's been exactly brave enough to mention that relationship near either magus.

For now, the "Lady" makes her living as a Grand Dame of London high society, equal parts Queen Mum, and Betty White dropping the F bomb because old ladies swearing like sailors is high comedy. Of course, when she isn't busy being wealthy because she's wealthy, she's busy as one of the premier rumormongers, scandalmongers, and blackmailers of the London Consilium. Despite running the local Silver Ladder with an attitude that can only be described as laissez-faire, she's the sort who remembers every little indiscretion, every slight slip that she was kind enough to let by. And if she should need a favor, she's also kind enough to politely remind you of it, and collect on that favor with interest.

Despite letting things slide usually, she can be rather conservative in her mindset. With age comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes knowing when something is a terrible idea. Of course, her ideas are never quite as terrible as others, but she hasn't quite hit the point where being "promoted" to the Magisters is in her future. Yet.

For right now, Lady Evelyn, or Kore as she prefers in "interesting" society is content with what she has, with a great many of the Ghosts of London, old and young both bringing secrets to her ears. Should waves be made, she'll work to calm them.

Unless of course, they benefit her.

Description: To all appearances, Evelyn Manning is a short (5'5'') woman in her early sixties, an austere, icy woman in whose face one can see the remnants of what had once been a great beauty. Her face has a kind of aristocratic grandeur to it, her features sharp and elfin, her skin like finely-aged parchment stretched over a skeleton of steel. Her once dark hair has gone silver, though her hazel eyes continue to flicker with life and joie de vivre. She is always dressed immaculately, in exquisitely tailored gowns and with her hair elaborately coiffed, with a somewhat ecletic collection of jewelry made of human bone and spent bullet casings. Only periodically does there seem to be something off about her appearance, a whiff of ashes, or a glimpse of a dark eyes burning with blue fire out of the corner of one's vision.

The truth is that while everyone knows that Kore stopped aging sometime in Interwar Period, few know that she actually died, committing suicide as part of an immortality ritual (she drank hemlock, it's not something she cares to do again). Her present appearance is partially illusory, and under certain circumstances (if pushed onto holy ground or confronted with a holy symbol forcibly presented, under the light of the full moon, or under powerful magics) one can see her true appearance -- that of pale, translucent woman with eyes burning with blue balefire, smelling of ash and hemlock. Revealing Kore's true appearance, or even hinting that one knows of its existence, is an excellent way to get an enemy for the rest of your life -- brief as it is likely to be.

Kore is usually attended by her valet/bodyguard/rumored lover/undead slave, a blond man named Dietrich who's face is always in shadows, and by her black cat, a lazy, malevolent beast she calls Lucifer.

Rank: 4
Mental 5; Physical 3; Social 7
Willpower: 1
Gnosis: 7
Notable Powers: Necromancer; Blackmailer; Tallulah Bankhead Stole My Lines
Banes: Unearthly Sight; Arcane Bond (Lucifer the Demon Cat); Magical Tell (Cold and Ash)

Farid Kala

Type: Mage
Affiliation: People's Republic
Cabal: Collective Action
Path: Thyrsus
Paradigm: Animism

Virtue: Ambitious (for the Cause!)
Vice: Cold

Background: The system has not been kind to Catesby, and so Catesby wants nothing less than to tear down the system. Born the son of Bengali immigrants in the Estates of Tower Hamlets, Farid Kala had nothing to look forward to in his life. School seemed unpromising, the teachers foolish and the lessons pointless, so Farid went looking for better tutors, who could give him useful knowledge. By the age of nine, Farid was shop-lifting, by twelve he had joined the Tower Cobras Bengali street gang, and by fifteen he was supplementing the income he earned at the local grocery store by jacking cars and selling them for spare parts. His long-suffering family kicked him out of the house when he was sixteen. More by luck than by judgment, Farid managed to survive till adulthood, though he managed to pick up a half-dozen scars and two jail sentences (fifteen months for stealing a car, three years for mugging) by the time he was twenty-seven. Then he Awakened.

If people ask Farid how he Awakened, he says that he was in a gang war and lets them draw their own conclusions -- so most of the Consilium figures that he awakened in some modern-day street battle, a soldier's Awakening. The truth is a bit more embarassing. Farid and a gang of the Cobras beat up some rivals, the gang went and got drunk, and then Farid had the brilliant idea of driving back to his flat. He crashed, and in the moments between hitting the tree and when the EMT's cut him out of the wreck, Farid wrote his name into the Stone Book in his own spilled blood, standing above the wreckage of a million incomprehensible machines.

It was a long recovery -- six broken ribs, a broken arm, a concussion, and more bruises than Farid cared to count did not heal quickly. Farid spent the time reading, something that he hadn't done in a serious sense since he was in primary school. The local library was woefully short on occult texts, but it did have an impressive collection of Marxist literature, the bequest of a leftist university professor from the 70s. Maybe because Farid's life had been one long trip through the gears of the police state, or because he'd seen how fragile the capitalist-industrial-technocratic society was, but Marx clicked for Farid in a way that little else did. He became a convert, and he had a convert's fervor. He abandoned his gang and his old way of life -- being a member of the lumpenproletariat failed to appeal -- and sought out something different. He found the London Consilium, and the Free Council.

Since his Awakening in 1995, Farid's served the Consilium and the Free Council as a Sentinel, a Provost, a Councilor, and a Provost again -- the position he holds today. The Libertines could always use a skilled thug, and more than that, Farid (or Catesby, as he became known now) had both the passion of a convert and the charisma of a former gang leader. It sometimes bugs Catesby how similar mages (and the supernatural in general) are to a bunch of a juvenile gangs, but there's nothing he can do about it. At least the Free Council is the best gang -- the Guardians, the Ladder, and the Mystagogues are all lead by honest-to-god aristocrats. In the twentieth century. He's not sure if that's tragic or farcical.

Today, Catesby is a serious, no-nonsense kind of man, who speaks with quiet passion and who is a very self-aware observer of supernatural society -- all of which he considers a little ridiculous. He tends to consider himself not the smartest man in the room but the sanest one, and though he hides it well, he's not actually all that fond of other mages, whom he usually considers either frivolous or insane. They have so much power, why aren't they doing some good with it? Beneath the surface of the idealistic, only-sane-mage-in-London facade lie darker impulses. Catesby remains a bully at heart, a dangerous thug who defers to those more dangerous, and is a complete bastard to those weaker than him. Nothing gives him quite as much joy as delivering a verbal or physical beat-down. Catesby tries to defy his own nature, but it's hard, and especially when he's stressed, the villain in him shines through.

Catesby remains a dedicated Marxist, and he's stayed at the edges of the criminal fraternity, operating a small bookstore-cum-pawnshop in the East End and acting as a mentor and teacher to the gang members that he collects as an entourage (it helps that even at his age, he can still beat them in a fight -- magic is nice that way).

Description: Catesby is a tall, wiry man in his early forties, with dusky skin and piercing, light brown eyes. His fellow gang-members called him "lean and mean," which is a good description. His body is covered in hard, dense muscle, and his skin bears the signs of a life hard-lived. He keeps a tattoo of a striking cobra on his forearm as a memento, though he's magicked the other tattoos away. Usually, he dresses in neutral tones and unexceptional clothing, jeans, t-shirts, and brown or beige jackets. His black hair is usually cropped close to his skull.

In combat, Catesby shapeshifts into supernaturally-powerful animal forms, favoring the Kodiak Bear for power, the Siberian Tiger for speed, and the King Cobra for toxicity (and sentimental reasons)

Rank: 3
Mental 4; Physical 5; Social 3
Willpower: 1
Gnosis: 5
Notable Powers:Shapeshifter; Dedicated Marxist; Ex-Gang
Banes: Avatar (Vengeance); Heavy Hand of Fate

Melissa Westly, M.D.

Type: Mage
Affiliation: People's Republic
Cabal: Collective Action
Path: Mastigos
Paradigm: Psychic
Born: 1973

Virtue: Kind
Vice: Curious

Background: Melissa likes to joke that she's essentially a well-adjusted Carrie. Like the heroine of Stephen King's novel, Melissa grew up in a single-parent household and she was a psychic, blossoming into high-level empathy and occasional, uncontrolled telepathy during puberty. Since Melissa had read Carrie, she decided to keep her powers quiet, at least until she met a wizard named J. Ilkin Aylesworth while studying psychology in college. One brief romance later, she was a Sleepwalker, and not too much later she Awakened.

For Melissa, Awakening was a gentle thing, a smooth transition from one state of being to another, a slow metamorphosis. She had been a psychic first, then a Sleepwalker and a psychic, and now a Mastigos, and so she never had the experience of having her entire reality upended quite as violently as other supernaturals (whether wizard, vampire, fae or werewolf). Which meant that when she encountered the Awakened Orders of London, she was... not impressed. A compassionate soul, her feelings upon Awakening could be summarized as 'Now I have the power to help people'. Then she met the Guardians and the Mystagogues, who seemed to think that since they had Awakened, what they should do is... try and recreate an ancient society of mages who had been wiped out from existence. For that matter, from what Melissa read about the Atlantean world of Awakened, it didn't sound like a very nice place. Sure, being a Mage was fine, but what about everyone else? All the mortals, all the people whom Melissa had wanted to help? Did they have a place in this Atlantean order? Between that and Ilkin's influence, Melissa soon joined the Free Council.

Once among the Libertines, Melissa quickly settled in as a local voice of reason, as well as one of the Order's diplomats. Most supernaturals tend towards extreme ideologies, since once one's life has been turned upside down, awakened to the supernal truth of reality or simply to the occult world, the word 'impossible' doesn't have quite the same heft to it. Compounded by group dynamics of getting a bunch of far-left types all in one place, and the Free Council as a whole tended towards the radical. Melissa, with her smoother transition, did tiptoe to the left, but she remained a relative moderate among the Libertines, as well as a voice trying to clamp down on the more outrageous ideas of her colleagues.

In person, Melissa is a sweet, compassionate woman, partially as a result of her empathetic powers growing up. When Melissa says that she feels your pain, that is not a metaphor. Thus, Melissa always tries hard to see things from the perspective of others, to analyze why they feel the way that they do, and to respect that. Not everyone enjoys being psychoanalyzed and devolved to a bundle of neuroses, but Melissa is also blessed with extremely good people skills -- she always knows just what to say, just what not to say, and which topics to avoid.

Of course, the people who do know about her Mastigos nature tend to not be entirely comfortable with it. Melissa is a Mastigos and a psychic, and she has a very lax view on the privacy of one's mind. She's not hurting anyone, she's trying to help them (the irony of the fact that she reviles the Guardians of the Veil for their Big Brother antics is somewhat lost on her). Melissa is aware enough not to trumpet her casual psychic intrusions, but plenty of people in the Free Council give her a wide berth all the same, finding her just a little too on the ball.

Rank: 2
Mental 4; Physical 1; Social 4
Willpower: 1
Gnosis: 3
Notable Powers: Psychologist; Mentalism
Banes: Gone Horribly Right (Mind)

Brendan Elliot

Type: Mage
Affiliation: People's Republic
Cabal: Collective Action
Path: Moros
Paradigm: Alchemy
Born: 1981

Virtue: Determined (It's not an easy task by any means. And it's not as simple as black and white. But someone has to, and Root somehow keeps his passion.)
Vice: Shy (Is there a point in trying to convince those who don't agree? Root doesn't bother - it's easier to just do things without bothering to ask.)

Background: There is a saying in academic circles that to leave college without becoming either very liberal or very conservative is to have wasted one's time. Brendan Elliott was the former: born one of four siblings, his father had been the first of his family to go to college, and impressed the importance of his education on all of his children. Brendan, who had always had a fondness for BBC documentaries as a child, decided to go into ecological studies. He found it brilliant, and soon was doing research on Earthships and hydroponics and ways to extract fuel from plastic bags. Unfortunately, he also got into a specific manner of health kick, and also wound up heavily into veganism and gluten-free diets and the importance of all organic foods to society.

His family treated this with extreme skepticism.

Brendan took it in stride, even if he had to bring his own dishes to family dinners. So long as he didn't talk about it at the table, his family didn't take issue with it, beyond the relentless teasing of siblings. At night, he would dream of visiting all the places he studied, walking across the land with bare feet and feeling the echoes of a dying earth. He dreamed of dust from the land rising from his footsteps, following in his wake. He dreamed of crossing the world, a single step at a time, and when he finally dreamed of reaching home, he Awakened.

It was a maddening epiphany. He could turn an oil slick into clean, fresh water. He could make plants grow even in inhospitable conditions. He could turn plastic bags into a wedge of fine cheese. He went mad with power a little bit, wrapped up in the sheer joy of his sudden potential. It was, quite literally, a magic solution to the world's problems. Pollution, hunger, the energy crisis, natural resources... utopia seemed within his grasp.

Of course, this quickly caught the attention of the London Guardians of the Veil, who caught up with the newly Awakened mage and told him to settle down. Brendan accepted their explanation on why what he was doing was a terrible idea, though this has mostly resulted in him doing things a little more quietly. He joined the Free Council - also quietly - in what was probably a snub to the Guardians, though he is not terribly outspoken politically. Instead he tends to commit guerrilla acts of magical conservation - what good is power if you don't use it for anything useful, and what point is saving the planet magically if it just dies ecologically? There's rumors he's trying to recruit other supernaturals into his environmentalist group, and sometimes strangely unfortunate things happen to companies, slaughterhouses, or other polluting bodies. No one has managed to catch him at anything more dodgy than turning his grocery bags into groceries and drinking unpasteurized milk... at least, not yet.

He also continues his mundane work in conservation, and maintains a lovely rooftop organic garden. If anyone asks, he tends to attribute his Awakening to healthy living and a lack of pesticides.

Description: Born of mixed (English/Sierra Leonean) heritage, Root has extremely dark, curly, and unruly black hair that he keeps heroically trimmed to about an inch from his head. His skin is a light umber, and he has brown eyes, and very strong features. He wears outdoorsmen shirts or polo shirts, and thick pants suitable to working in the field - he prefers pure cotton or other fiber based clothes, and eschews anything made from animal products. He has a yellow bead bracelet from a trip to Africa, and usually sports some manner of cheap plastic wristwatch. He tends to smell vaguely like herbs. His familiar, a red squirrel named Sky, can usually be found clinging to Root's clothes or curled on his shoulder during Awakened business.

Rank: 2
Mental 4; Physical 3; Social 2
Willpower: 1
Gnosis: 3
Notable Powers: Eco-Geek; Direct Action
Banes: Technophage

Maat, Vera Connolly

Type: Mage
Cabal: The Flying Aces
Path: Acanthus
Order: Adamantine Arrow
Legacy Mystery: Flesh, Transmutation; Legacy Curse: The Uncrowned King must have a calling -- something that involves both mind and body (alchemy is traditional, but martial training, auto-repair, book-binding, hand-crafting furniture, and so forth are all acceptable). The mage must work at his calling for at least twenty hours a week, or else suffer a -3 penalty on all Mystery rolls for one month.
Uncrowned Kings
Paradigm: Mixed Martial Arts
Born: 1985

Virtue: Confident (Beliefs must be strong enough to stand up to conflict. A weak conviction is a worthless conviction.)
Vice: Greedy (Vera is the best. It's not enough. She needs to be stronger, more powerful, in all possible ways.)

Background: Might makes right. That's how it is and always will be. Even as a child she tended to bully her way into getting what she wanted - and it always worked, because no one likes a victim, and confidence is always more important than "fair." She was quickly encouraged towards sports as a place to channel her aggression, and Vera quite eagerly agreed. She was always a physical sort, and she got into mixed martial arts and kickboxing, taking to them very rapidly. Losing many of her matches also taught her a bit of humility... of a kind. She rarely took losing well, but there was no point in throwing a tantrum over it when the solution was clear: get stronger, get to the top, and stay on the top. And she was determined to stay on top. This has lead to a few not-so-wise decisions, such as continually taking on opponents out of her weight class, or getting into street fights with random chavs. She has an impressive number of hospital visits and police reports on her record. But it taught her a lot of important lessons - straight up physical strength wasn't enough. She needed power, in every form it came in. Money, political clout, fame... she needed it.

Her only distraction from this was her bizarrely incongruous fascination with ancient Egyptian culture. Her parents joked she could have become a historian if she'd wanted, and they weren't too far off. Vera never took any classes, but she never missed a museum exhibit and she even studied Middle Egyptian on her own. She did, however, have a rather unfortunate kinship with Set - the storm lord who killed Apep every day. Fortunately, none of her friends or family knew anything about Egypt, and mostly just nodded along if she got into it.

She didn't slack off on her physical power, however. She competed in several championships and won, trying to get some measure of fame - her name was starting to get even outside of local London sports. It wasn't enough. But in one particular tournament, she found herself facing down mythic, beast headed gods instead of fellow athletes. She beat them, one by one, and at the end of the matches, she stepped up to be judged. She won the tournament that day, and won something even more - the Truth.

She joined the Adamantine Arrow without much question, and she climbed the ranks fast. She was young, in the prime of her life, starting to gain fame, and she threw herself into magic with the same intensity she threw herself into martial arts. In 2009, she was named Provost. It was an unconventional move, given her youth, but she definitely had the presence the position needed. Some mages vaguely wonder if someone else pressed for it - the Arrow is one of the weaker factions, and someone might have made a political play, hoping to have a volatile Arrow provost as some manner of pawn or decoy.

Since her promotion, Vera has turned her eye on the Consilium as a whole - might makes right, and the mages need more might. They are not, currently, the undisputed power in London. This is a situation that Vera needs to change. Either by converting the other supernaturals into solid allies, or by cowing them into submission with the Consilium's power. If Vera has her way, preferably both. Cooler heads do their best to deflect her or reign her in, but she has already attempted to kickbox a few werewolf alphas.

Since the younger mage has shown up, Vera has developed an unfortunate friendship with Kiiroe, and they are known for causing trouble.

Description: Vera is a highly distinct individual, with her dark brown hair shaved very close to her head. Her skin is tanned and usually flushed from exercise. While she little makeup makeup, she always wears very thick eyeliner, traced out from her eyes in a mock Egyptian style, and sometimes powders her face to give it a goldish sheen. She has some interesting scars on her arms (knife fight), left cheek (broken glass), and left ankle (broken bone through the skin). There are two cartouches tattooed on her upper arms, as well as two more on her feet. A full colored scarab with a sun-disk is tattooed on her back, an ankh on her left index finger, and an Egyptian style picture of Set down her right thigh. She wears no jewelry or anything that could be caught easily by an opponent. For clothing, she sticks to tank tops and shorts or tight, sturdy pants, as well has heavy steel-toed boots. Her wrists are usually wrapped with cloth sport wrist supports.

Rank: 2
Mental 3; Physical 4; Social 2
Willpower: 1
Gnosis: 3
Notable Powers: Egyptomaniac; Mixed-Martial Arts Star and Really Good At It;
Banes: Avatar (Shade of Set)


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