Rhome Del Santo

Order of Light
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About Rhome Del Santo

  • Rank
    Nicely Seasoned


    Chris Hemsworth
  • RACE
    Human, Magus; Fire Elementalist
  • JOB
    Vatican Assassin; he does not exist
    Italy, wherever the Order sends him. Currently, the Vatican doesn't know his location.
    Order of Light
    Physically, Rhome has a darkly striking appearance. Light brown hair is sprinkled with premature grey licks throughout, giving the illusion of being sun-kissed. Short scruff is manicured and neat, defining a set jaw. His eyes are dove gray and oddly pale when caught by light, the iridescence and flickering of shadows beneath his hooded gaze unsettling when they finally make eye contact.

    His stature is six feet and formidable. Musculature is pronounced and carried well in suits and private casual wear. Clothes are always impeccably clean and pressed, with a favor for black wing tips and a well-fitting suit. He sometimes wears a watch. Privately in his own quarters, he prefers his casual former priest’s wear: simple white or black tee shirts with a black button up over them, black dress pants and casual dress shoes. He no longer wears his paper collar; he is no longer a priest, still holding a preference for the black dress shirts that accommodate the band.

    Up close, his skin is spattered with faint freckling; giving the illusion of melancholy, boyish innocence that couldn’t be further from the truth. Perhaps there once, it exists no more. He has a raven tattoo on his left shoulder, no knowledge of where it came from.
    Rhome is an exceptionally polite gentleman, surrounded by a smoldering kinetic energy that seems to seethe; he runs warmer than the average human. Skin feels feverish to the touch, caused by the continuous processing of oxygen that ignites the chemical reaction to create fire. It also means he is quite often cold, finding great solace in front of a fireplace with a warm blanket during the winter months.

    Highly intelligent, he is an avid reader with the inherited Italian penchant for great coffee. Even on assignment he will relax in a quiet café reading a paper or book, noting their affinity for the perfect cup of coffee to revisit later if he finds them worthy. Mannerisms revolve around neatness, simplicity and abhorrence for extraneous needs. He lives simply, and asks for nothing else.

    Formerly holding a religious position in the clergy, he is still deeply faithful despite relinquishing his vows. Rhome truly believes he has been given the power to eliminate those that refuse to follow the path of order, peace and secrecy for the greater good. When given an assignment, he is explosively sophisticated in his death bringing; only concerned with rogues that have been identified for him, otherwise he ignores them completely. If marked for death, he will fight to his last breath to eradicate their existence; fierce, unflinching and unforgiving. Rhome has forfeited his life to this purge for what he believes is a higher power; trusting he was meant to follow this path in penance for killing his love.

    He is however, not without devout compassion. Feeding the hungry, seeking assistance for the poor and sick; it seems the core of his passion still exists even though he moves to evil through hatred. He will also still respond to talk of Lisette with great silence and crushing pain; literally the only way to invoke feelings of guilt so severe it shuts him down completely.
    Very little; his vow of poverty as a priest only cemented an already pale need for material things. Two suits, two sets of casual clothes and basic needs are all he possesses besides his foci. He is capable of driving a vehicle or motorcycle and is well adept at daily housekeeping business items, just has no need because he owns nothing. Anything he acquires is either loaned or given to him. He has no qualms about giving extraneous items to someone else in need. The Order pays for his travel and living expenses, he asks for nothing else in return. He sometimes wears a watch or carries a cell phone when on assignment, but relinquishes them upon returning.

    Magic Fetish Items: Athame; a double edged knife with black handle in a custom sheath on the inside of his left wrist, silver coin talisman necklace on a chain with intricate carved knotwork of a wolf, and an iron ring with cut runes worn on his left forefinger. All items were found in the Matera tunnel caves when he was exploring as a child. He always wears them on his person.

    Enchanted Item- On a tight leather cord always bound to his right wrist is a silver medallion of the Archangel Uriel. Given to him by the Vatican, it is forged from silver and Black Volcanic Ash- protecting his clothing while using his abilities. It doesn't require any action on his part, as long as it's pressed against his skin it is effective. It he takes it off, his abilities at high temperatures will burn through any clothing he wears.


    Rhome was a broken man when he was pulled from the rubble of humanity, a cup waiting to be refilled. Torn, guilty, full of pain, there was virtually nothing that needed to be done in order to break his will. He was a perfect vessel: disciplined, alone and gifted, with nothing left to live for. Taken and transformed, he accepted every form of “punishment” on his way to what he believed was salvation; distorted into a suave and polite, elegant killing machine.

    Exceedingly intelligent with a gifted learning style, he has honed his skills to sharp control; focused with faith and bent on providing redemption through death for the simple crime of living altered without acceptance to the Order. Coupled with faith-induced lack of fear, he is an incredibly formidable opponent. He does not fear death or pain, fully accepting that he will die in the execution of his life’s duty.

    He has given each of his ability levels a Latin epithet; his simple fetishes focus Mana and his Latin designations serve as the incantation ignition for the spell level. Foci are then used to shape the spell into the sub-type; he is capable of using Will for his low and medium level spells, just prefers not to in order to increase their accuracy and control. If he loses control, he is not immune to searing his flesh at high temperatures.

    Fire: "A rapid oxidation process, which is a chemical reaction resulting in the evolution of light and heat in varying intensities, an exothermic chemical reaction that emits heat and light"

    Rhome’s ability centers on the manipulation of this oxidation process to produce the chemical reaction; after ignition, his oxygen output becomes the fuel and carefully manipulates the balance of backdrafting and flashovers. With lower level spells he can protect his physical clothing, higher level spells make it impossible because he is protecting his flesh. His skill is unique because of its elemental nature, unable to affect magic or other elemental skills unless they specifically can be manipulated by the chemical reaction or are vulnerable to fire. He is highly resistant to burn, but cannot escape injury if he pushes his limit to the brink of losing control. The fire he creates can literally start to use his flesh as fuel when he can no longer control the oxygen output.


    MISERICORDIA IGNES (Fires of Mercy): Low Level Spells, Iron Ring Foci and Will
    *Limited by duration and availability of Mana

    *Sanctuary- (cantrip)- low level burn of his skin to create heat without flame; used simply to warm himself up or travel through the elements without heavier clothing. He can also gently warm others or heat up something as simple as his coffee in a mug through heat conduction. Depending on the heat necessary, he can keep warm in cool weather for hours, or himself from freezing for a lesser amount of time. Increasing the temperature and Mana drain, it becomes his medium level “Solar Flare” and high level “Hellfire”.

    *Flashover (cantrip)- ignition of his palms and manipulation of the flames across his body. A party trick mostly, the flame is low temperature and does little damage but the theatrical effect is stunning. A snap of fingers produces an incredibly pretty controlled flame that can spread over his hands and move across his skin. It is however, still fire and thusly flammable incendiaries will still react accordingly. He can manipulate for no more than an hour, but practically it's not necessary for more than a few moments.

    *Pulse- small, focused and pressurized burst of flame from his palms or fingertips, similar to a “firebreather’s” short billowed puff of flame. He can also breathe it; something he finds particularly tacky so the use is rare. They are controlled and have a limited range of less than ten feet, duration of less than a few seconds before they disintegrate; limited by continuous bursts of no more than fifteen minutes.


    VIRUM IGNES (Fires of Honor): Medium Level Spells, Silver Talisman Foci and Will
    *Limited by number of castings, time between castings, duration, and availability of Mana. 6 Castings

    *Solar Flare- a personal shield of high heat burn projected beyond the skin, sparing his clothing, appearing as an aura that can stop a projectile by melting/burning it as it passes through. Stop effectiveness is relative to the size, speed and material of the projectile; unable to affect magic or other elemental skills unless they specifically can be manipulated by the chemical reaction or are vulnerable to fire. This is a fiercely quick spell cast and can either be done in short bursts or held continuously to protect from explosions/shrapnel or rapid fire. 6 castings; maximum 3 minute duration for quick cast, 3 minutes between castings or one 15 minute continuous burn before depletion.

    *Sword of Justice- high temperature, highly focused burn of his left hand in flame. Mimics a oxygen/acetylene cutting torch and can be used as a blade, manipulated to various shapes and weapon comparable lengths. Most used in close hand-to-hand combat when weapons have been lost or failed. 6 castings; maximum 3 minute burn, 3 minutes between castings before depletion. Continuous burn in training.

    *Vesuvius- creates a dome of fire in a ten foot radius, pressurizes oxygen and flammable particles within it and ignites the air with an explosive 40 foot circular outburst; essentially turning himself into a human “fire-piston”. Effective in clearing melee attacks or triggering confusion. 6 castings; each exponentially weaker than the first before depletion.


    PURGATONIS IGNES (Fires of Purification): High Level Spells, Athame Blade Foci/Blood or Compressed Oxygen
    *Limited by number of castings, time between castings, duration and availability of Mana. Requires His Blood or Compressed Oxygen to Ignite. 3 Castings.

    *Hellfire- physically engulfs himself and anything he touches in high temperature flame; limited to objects similar in size. Flammable items will catch fire, including his clothing. 3 castings; maximum 2 minute burn, 3 minutes between castings before depletion. Continuous burn not available.

    *Thunder of Ares- focused “Pulse” capable of burning hot enough to melt metal within a 100 foot distance. Electrical lines, eaves, and shingling are especially vulnerable and can fall as molten rain. It is also not a quick spell to cast due to melting points of metal, but is a successful diversionary tactic. 3 castings; maximum 2 minute burn, 3 minutes between castings, each a reduced distance before depletion. Continuous burn not available.

    *Archangel- internalization of combustion, giving the illusion he physically becomes fierce, blue flame. The resulting convection can lift him off the ground, rendering him airborne with limited height and maneuvering capabilities dependent on weather, etc. that would effect the build-up of backdraft. If a backdraft cannot be prevented, he will release the spell. The hotter the burn achieved, the higher he can lift himself through a controlled flashover, the shorter the duration. 3 castings; maximum 2 minute burn, 3 minutes between castings or five minutes continuous burn before depletion.


    IRA DEIi (Wrath of God); Spell of Legend
    *1 Casting, Full Drain, Risk of Death, Requires His Blood or Compressed Oxygen to Ignite

    Wrath of God- focused combination of “Vesuvius” and “Archangel”; pressurized buildup of flammable dust, debris and oxygen that ignite into a catastrophic backdraft that reaches several hundred yards. 100% drain, one time cast that causes extensive physical damage to the magus. Only used twice before, both times almost killed him; the force so powerful it seared his skin and caused aneurism. He is incredibly hesitant to use this, based on the potential collateral damage of innocents; he must be absolutely convinced his targets are clear of any unintended damage.
    Highly Educated.

    Speaks Italian, Latin, and English; rusty French and rudimentary Spanish.

    Fighting Skills; trained in the art of clean, quiet and effective assassination at close range.
    After the Resonance, he’d sought refuge, a place to pray out the horrid atrocities that had befallen so many. Finding himself on his knees in the courtyard of the Vatican with countless other cleaved souls, he seemed to pray the loudest with vicious conviction despite the fact he could barely stand, subsequently plucked from their ranks with quiet decision. He trusted wholeheartedly, followed without question and became something unthinkable.


    Rhome was the only child born to French parents Sophia and Georges Del Santo in the small village of Matera, Italy. At the time an almost empty ancient village, his youth saw the resurgence of his home into a brilliant tourist entity. Even though they owned a small cafe, they still barely made enough to make ends meet. Rhome grew up a poor but well cared for imaginative child. After his daily work in the cafe, exploring the ancient caves and tunnels of the picturesque hamlet were a beloved pastime; finding his carved coin, iron ring, and athame in their ancient halls. It was also where he met his childhood love, Lisette. Fleeting summers were spent with the girl, Rhome growing into a warm, compassionate and romantic young man; inevitably falling deeply in love with the woman Lisette had become.

    Parents tolerated their seemingly childhood infatuation until it was apparent they would have to face the unfortunate stereotype that their worlds divided them; Lisette to an affluent family with expectations, and Rhome to the simple life he’d inherited. When his mother became deathly ill and passed, his father was not long for the world; committing suicide shortly after. Unable to care for the cafe on his own and pushed away from Lisette by a family certain of his social climbing, Rhome searched for faith. Only after she married another man did he completely drown his bitter sorrow, taking a voluntary Vow of Chastity to become a priest.

    To his dismay, Lisette came to his abbey every Sunday to hear him speak in the tiny congregation. His duties quickly became an uncomfortable but necessary evil as he counseled her withered marriage that was expecting a child. Her husband knew nothing of their former relationship, though became increasingly suspicious of the “good Father’s” intentions the further the pregnancy progressed. Accusations were thrown as the fires of Hell began to engulf the world. Throughout the fallout after the Resonance, Rhome valiantly tried to save as many lives as he could, gathering them at the church and going out daily to round up more, all the while suffering mercilessly from his own change. Despite his better judgment, he finally went for Lisette. Upon entering their home, she was found bound and beaten with a frothing husband in the throes of a L-infection transformation; enraged and without control. Infuriated beyond reason by the priest’s presence, the man covered her with lamp oil and lit a match; fleeing with their child as his wife was branded in flame.

    She burned in his arms, oil coating Rhome as he tried to save her. His skin lit but didn’t char, the blue flames engulfing them both as he held her; his final transformation feeding the fire to burn so hot it eviscerated the house. Wood was vaporized, stone melted, leaving nothing left but his naked and sobbing form in blanket of ash and rubble.

    The warm and compassionate man had been purified in flame, adopted by those he still serves, and converted into a numb and merciless soul. Rhome now cares nothing for his targets, his belief that if he was cleansed through fire and pain then those that are worthy can withstand the same. Deep seated hatred for anyone but recognized Order Magi is unshakable, Lycanthropes at the very hotbed of his hatred. He is the one they send when the talks, invitations, and attempts to speak have failed. Though he kills without question, his humanity will not allow him to forget the monster that killed his love, a special kind of Hell reserved for the man if he is ever found. He is unafraid at his own prospect of death; already through Hell and reborn from the ashes of his own making.

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  1. Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    The cloak dropped. Bingo. Gray eyes finding the intruder’s without hesitation. All his senses were still serving him, maybe even better since he’d been looking over his shoulder lately. Paranoia wasn’t paranoia if people were really out to kill you in horrible ways. He supposed he should have feigned fear, or at least looked surprised, but it wasn’t in him to play along in that way. The magus was calm, always calm in the face of anything, except when he wasn’t. This man had done nothing to trip that switch. The switch was quick lately, cracks in his self-control; allowing a viciousness that ran so deep it would send ripples around the world. He was still fighting to keep it down. Blink was soft, his mind had been wandering while the man spoke, attention still keen on everything that was around him though. Training was training, engrained until you died… or were killed. In his mind there was a difference. Dead man’s switch? Wasn’t there the last time he’d come down, but that had been hours ago. Realistically the man could have been telling the truth, didn’t take long for someone who knew exactly what they were doing to create something like that. But why? Could he have been down there before? Doubtful, the guy would have seen a definitely "not mortal" priest lighting pilots with his abilities. He was giving no indication he’d seen him light up the boiler with magic. Or, he was down here before and got confirmation he was dangerous- this could be just one huge bluff to get him in the basement to kill his ass. Hm. Instincts. Mage. Waiting out the cold. Had sensed something about the fire magus that led him to believe he was dangerous. Pulled a bluff, or maybe not, but didn’t recognize the Order assassin from a hole in the wall. Couldn’t be ARMA, his face was plastered everywhere until a year ago when he broke his shackles. New ARMA? Rogue? Order? Definitely not Order, he’d have engaged him already. "I can't get out right now, but neither can you or you would have done it already. Can you fix the boiler, or would you like assistance so all three of us don't become popsicles by the end of the night?" Blink again was soft, hands coming up quietly to show that he too… had nothing in them. Fingers touched the paper collar and returned calmly to his sides. “Came out from a church down the street to check on the Rabbi and make sure his heat was on. I can fix the boiler.” Half of it was true. Down the street… he wouldn’t give up that he’d come from across town. He knew better. “Food also in the pantry upstairs, help yourself to it. You can huddle here until you need to leave, or you can get some food and join us by the fireplace upstairs. We don’t talk much.” Aka… he wanted the guy where he could see him- not wandering around the building. With a cloak like that however, it would be a hard sell. Voice was low, quiet with a dark hum and an accent that couldn’t be placed. French, Italian… Spanish. Something laced his words in such a subtle fashion it was hard to pick out. The collar, the suit, accent, the calm. He screamed Catholic to those that didn’t know otherwise. “Or we can stand here and freeze to death.” He waited quietly for the man’s next move. He could simply just fry the room. Dead man's switch was doubtful. He also knew ways to keep someone conscious and completely incapacitate them within seconds in case he'd made the wrong call. He was armed... but he didn't do firearms. He didn't need them; the knife on the underside of his forearm all he needed to do catastrophic damage without invoking any of his abilities. This man though might belong to somebody, and might be missed. So he played the priest, for now.
  2. Let the Master Answer

    Just after Dark February 11, 2021 Alley near the old Western Union building Blood was hot. So was his breath. As it quivered in and out of his chest, in came the frigid air… out came the anger of a devil. A thousand devils. Cerberus. Hell, Satan himself; in every tradition, in every faith, every level of purgatory and hell tangled tightly into a frayed knot that was breaking free. He was a ghost whose presence would reverberate across the globe, the building pressure finally bubbling to a volcanic tirade, one small droplet of blood from his finger splashing on the broken asphalt. Thera. Santarini. Vesuvius, the tales from his childhood, his home and corner of the world. A man that had played as a boy in what was left of dormant volcanic caves a harbinger of what would inevitably come when the world broke apart and skinned the callus from a man that had been made into something unthinkable. A man that needed to cleanse the world of the evil that created him. He finally blinked, lifting a palm to look at the red peppering his fingers that everyone always assumed was so bright. It wasn’t. Hot, sticky… leaving yellowish smears as it ran from skin and dried. The assassin was always so clean, meticulous, humane. This was just, just brutal. Hand was shaking. He’d never stayed, never longer than to whisper a gentle last rite over those that had been marked and he’d taken without question. That was a lifetime ago, a life that required of him total conformity and discretion. Now, one last cough from his target curdled stringy blood from the man’s lips, then crackled wheezing as he watched him die. It had been ragged, vicious, unrefined and effectively violent. Water magus unprepared for a magus that didn't need his power to kill. The same bloody fingers curled tightly into a fist, a signet ring so fragile against his burgeoning heat on cue threatening to cave entirely molten as he pressed it against the side of the man’s throat… leaving the brand of the Order in a scalded bubble of flesh. A conundrum for the law that would find the murdered Order magus; the third in as many weeks. Credentials were always left scattered over the magus' chest. The Order signet branded into skin above a throat so deeply cut it was almost severed to the spine. Starting with the "army", the foot soldiers, to flush the generals out of their offices and onto the streets. Out of the Long Lines and into his fire. For a moment, his soul felt at peace until the vitriolic rush of native tongue hissed forth... È la fonte della mia energia e il mio legame con tutti coloro che così toccato Noise woke his senses from the rush of justice, the ghost in the gray hoodie moving suddenly with the agility of a gymnast to kick off a dumpster and catch the bottom of a fire escape- the vertical leap almost impossible, but made with the ease of a trained killer. Up the fire escape, to disappear onto the rooftops and into the urban tangle that was New York. This was only the beginning... ((Translation/Italian- the third line of the Oath of the Order of Light; "It is the source of my power, and my bond to all those so touched."))
  3. Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    Nostrils inhaled slowly. The temperature suddenly leaking through a slivered open door was shocking, brittle, needling at the sensitivity of a man consumed by fire. To some, cold, to him it felt like electricity being breathed in; the discipline of the Order’s favorite weapon keeping his internal core from firing up to stop the shivering that was going to come after. Calm and sleeping, but hairtriggered on all cylinders. He wasn’t supposed to be making waves. He was supposed to be playing nice in his own sandbox while the “adults” decided how much they were going to hate each other… and decide his fate by proxy. The fire magus was getting tired of waiting, thoughts had been drifting lately… Snap. He was ready to just snap. Eyes flicked open the moment the door was closed and the wicked cold stopped bleeding into his sanctuary. Likely someone waiting out the cold? How did they get in? He knew how he’d gotten in, the Vicar’s key. He’d locked up everything. Broken in or already here? Not likely already here, which opened a whole other mess of options. Form rolled up silently, pausing when the older man’s snores sputtered a bit then returned to normal. Door opened quietly and he stepped out, softly closing it behind him and locking it. No need to hide, but no need to call out either. The cold was like a punch to his gut, pulling his dark coat closer around him as gray eyes cast long glances in both directions, intent on checking doors and windows. They would avoid him, or confront him. Either way he would find out what was going on. Front door first. Locked. Eyes wandered over the door, arm extending a palm toward a floor vent at the sputter of heat that was barely oozing from it. The boiler was still kicking, but it was sparse. Barely above freezing. Windows. Perimeter slowly “paced” under the guise of “checking” all the heater vents for some kid of drifting heat. He’d become keenly aware of the sounds from the old pipes in the building. Clicks, pops, echoing rhythmic clangs like a distant bell were voices in a symphony of an almost century old building that was wheezing to keep breathing its heat. It was fighting, but the fading sounds signaled it was losing again. The pilot lights were either going out or the pumps were dying. This favor was going to kill him. Silent footsteps moved their way downward, the service hall claustrophobic with an almost dirt-like floor,. Old, shallow and abandoned coal pits to either side. Pumps whirred, it was the flame. Pilot lights were going out again, best to light them manually until he knew who or what he was dealing with. Lovely. A dying boiler, an intruder… and trying to figure out how to light a pilot light by hand again. This was the set up for a bad joke.
  4. Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    Tired. The word didn't begin to describe the weariness in his bones. Hunkered down and vigilant, those within their walls had circled closer and closer to the interior rooms of the building. A goliath host of sanctity slowly freezing to the core- and he along with it. For such a vicious and deadly being, it was inconceivable something so simple could bring him down. Cold, time, and someone with the patience to wait him out, was his only weakness. He struggled daily to light the candles, keep as much normalcy as possible, but nobody was coming anymore and he was beginning to think that when the frigid blanket lifted, the aftermath of the great freeze may just be as devastating as ten years prior. The church was dark, except the very inner rooms, and quiet as a tomb while everyone conserved energy waiting for this to pass- if ever. *npc* "Rhome," voice was soft, fragile in his old age. The Vicar desperately needed something. Rhome knew he'd been standing in the doorway for some time, watching the tired magus seek the warm confines of the few rooms that were left heated by the fireplaces and the steam radiators. The boiler was struggling, and he'd just beat it into submission. It left him exhausted. Heating himself, and jumpstarting the boiler.... It was taking its toll. The Vicar was weighing the fatigue of the "sleeping" magus, his premature silver plinked hair resting on the back of the chair, form as close to the fireplace as the others were comfortable with. Some still had not settled with the fact he was indeed, human combustion. Chair was warm, blankets were warm, he was finally warm after delving into the bowels of the building to force the boiler to keep firing- but very much awake despite his appearance. Eyes opened quietly at the elderly man, who cleared his throat. Something was wrong. *npc* "I have no right to ask this of you." A brow quirked over dark grey eyes, closing the book that was dormant in his lap. *npc* "Avi, I lost contact with him yesterday. Again, today... nothing. Shabbat, and I am deathly worried. He's... deeply traditional. I'm afraid, something has happened. I cannot make it there." It was the Vicar's oldest companion, an odd couple. Synagogue, upper west side. If the man had gotten sick yesterday, or was unable to light a fireplace, the Vicar was concerned even in the emergency he wouldn't do so today. The magus stood, nodding, not a second thought to what he had to do. He could tell the Vicar felt guilty, but... It was the right thing to do, if he didn't freeze first. +++ Breath was finally returning to normal, between the over a mile hike and getting into the locked building using an old particular set of skills, searching the place to find the old friend, and quietly controlling his own shivering before he'd gotten the nod to save the man's life.... he'd almost frozen to death himself. A call to the Vicar to communicate all was well, after several attempts, was finally able to get through. Now he sat, much like less than 24 hours before, Avi in the chair across from him, wrapped in blankets by the fire, he almost back to feeling somewhat normal, room flooded in firelight. He would stay with Avi in the Synagogue until he was certain the man was okay, and he himself could make it back. Not many words had passed between them, there was no need- simply content to rest and read in silence. A priest in black with his collar, a Rabbi next to him. The Vicar's friendship with Avi had peaked his curiosity, but it wasn't the time to discuss. Soft snores indicated the older man was comfortable in his sleep. The magus' eyes almost closed to his own nap when they opened again. He could see the door to the comfortable, older style office just beyond Avi's chair. It was closed to keep in the heat. He never ignored his gut, lashes lowering as the warmth from the fire continued to press against his skin. The world was alive, even beyond what mortal eyes could see. Killers, hunters, predators... knew it could speak without magic. A gut feeling, a world moving beyond what normal people paid attention to, because they were trained to notice it. Too many years of being a predator. Eyes closed again, conserving energy. They were not alone.
  5. Fugitives and Firefights

    Soft blink met her stare. He could only imagine what was going on behind it. Attacked, injured, assisted by someone that openly admitted was of the Order. Awareness of what he’d done was shifted back to the carnage when she looked at it. Did he feel anything for killing them? Not a damn thing, except… satisfaction? A taste of revenge? He had to be careful. Purposeful. He’d made a plan not long ago to take this rage out in a very focused path. The Order would hurt for what they did to him, to what capacity had yet to be seen. He wanted to tear the whole thing down with his bare hands. "The statue itself shouldn't be too hard to replicate with the right materials. A slab of Marble would be the hardest to acquire I believe." He nodded, “not necessary really. You did what you had to do to survive. There’s a few pieces in the courtyard but nothing that size. Now the flashing?” Eyes looked upward a moment to the edge of the roof he’d used, “that’s probably something I should fix soon since it’s the structure of the building.” "Afraid I can't really trust anyone these days... Just seems like a good way to get stabbed in the back and thrown to the wolves." Gray eyes moved back to her, then noted the state of the ash, looking thoughtful. "As I said Father. I don't quite trust you, so that information is not something I'm going to divulge easily. What I shall say, is I am no longer an ally to the Order of the Light, and will do anything to keep myself alive. I recall you offering sanctuary... does it still stand?" “When our eyes open, most no longer find themselves allies of their keeper,” long breath pulled in, air around him visibly quivered and the temperature of the alley flushed slightly; the resulting updraft lifting the ashes up and away from both of them into the dark. Expression was somewhat foreboding as it traveled over what looked like scorched metal buckshot littering the cracked cement, a quick glance back up to the roof several stories up. He would have to clean that up later. The blood, the remaining ash, Mother Nature would take care of, rumbles of some kind of rain brewing not far off. Anything hmm? Abilities like hers could be useful to hurting a lot of people that really needed to be hurt. He nodded in response to her question. “It still stands, and requires a certain level of trust on both our parts.” Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a small set of keys. “I won’t tell anyone outside this building you are here, you can stay as long as you need. Place to sleep, food, medical care- the Vicar is actually a very skilled doctor if you need him. A bit long winded when he gets you to sit still to listen, but he’s harmless.” smile was soft, a stark contrast to the brutality of what had just transpired. He truly was a terrible creation. “In exchange for that, you don’t tell anyone what happened here.” Not his name. Just what happened. A priest that spits fire. Those were the two details anyone needed to put people on his doorstep. His relationship with either group right now was tentative. Frying several members of the Order would make them think he'd chosen a side. The only side he was on, was his own. A wrought iron gate was unlocked, the decorative door led to the side courtyard he’d been taking care of since he’d come. Still a little worse for wear. “Even without my name, they would know who I am,” the wrought iron door would swing shut and lock itself once she went through. Purposeful footsteps were deathly silent toward the door on the facade side of the building within his courtyard. Several slabs of marble sat near a rear wall, possibly at some point a garden or fountain. Now, they just lay bare. Hers if she wanted. “Left is the kitchen, help yourself… right is the rectory, far rooms on the right are empty but stocked with blankets and pillows, bathrooms are down there as well. Stay if you like, leave if you like, sleep if you like. What we have is yours.” He was going to leave her to it, sanctuary didn’t mean babysitting and well… it wasn’t as if they were concerned with getting ripped off either. “I’ll be upstairs if you need anything,” keys were slid into his pocket again. “Lighting candles the old fashioned way. I’ll make my brothers aware you've sought refuge and they will give you your space.” He paused a moment before heading upstairs. “The Order will not hurt you here,” grey eyes watched her for a long moment, a single nod welcoming her within their walls before he moved upward to finish changing out the candles. “The worst they could send, was me. I would not have given you the insult of pain before death. You know my face, therefore I'm no danger to you." It was ominous, but true. "My name is Rhome, like the city. With an 'h'," smile quirked slightly, then disappeared. He nodded and went to make his way up the stairs.
  6. Fugitives and Firefights

    "Don't beg? You do realize this big motherfucker could eat me alive right?" He blinked at her, slightly quirked brow. "Not so tough now are you fuck face?" If he hadn’t been under the strain of concentration, he would have blinked at her again. He was one of the few that didn’t need incantations or a foci to cast, but it still took a hell of a lot of focus. Somewhere along the way he lost himself in the anger, in the satisfaction that he was hurting everything that had hurt him. In the aftermath, he felt he needed more, telling himself there were no more in front of him, except her. Was she Order? He didn’t know. ARMA perhaps, but they afforded ARMA at least a mercy death. This was an example. Rogue. Rogue from the Order? "I can stand well enough. I believe thanks are in order." He shook his head, surveying the damage in the alleyway as she seemed content to help herself up. The former assassin understood that at least, he was self-sufficient as well. “No thanks are necessary.” "I can easily replace that statue, I am an artist as much as I am a manipulator of statues... and if you are The Order, then you must forgive me when I say I can't fully trust you Father. I was never a holy woman myself, so your robes mean as much to me as the lives of those men." Hand remained at his side for a moment, a lot of ammunition in her many words that prodded answers. He didn’t owe her any, the magus could simply turn and go back into the cathedral without another word- this situation though kept him from doing just that. The oddities that had sent ARMA and the Order into a tizzy these last months had been incredibly quiet, except this. Full out sloppy aggression doing “Order of Light” business against someone. It was his business to know. He would throw every wrench he possibly could to make life living hell for them and theirs. If they were also hunting others with motley assassins, he needed to know why. Gray eyes looked down at his clothes, a simple pair of black dress pants and his black shirt, reaching up then to touch his collar. He’d forgotten he had put it on today, the same fingers stretching outward a moment before falling back to his side. The bodies started a dim burn of near white smokeless flame. They had to be reduced to ash. Eyes moved back to her, he was not a social person when he hadn’t prepared to be, especially facing someone that was under ire from the Order like he was. “I would like that, if you could make another. I can get the things you need,” he said quietly in reference to recreating the statue. Right hand fingers flicked as if flinging water off, his outer burn actually, reaching to shake her hand. Skin was unusually warm, it always was. “Distrust is understandable, and faith is a choice that I’m not offended people do not make.” Hand was pulled back within his own space and for a moment he watched the incredibly hot, low light fires cave bones to ash. He was truly a terrible creation. “They were sloppy, ill trained, but strong. Arrogant. Those who they mark for death outside the Order are afforded quiet mercy. ARMA. They sent me. To send thugs, they were making an example of you.” Gray eyes returned to her. He’d spilled secrets nobody knew except for the inner circle that made him, and the use of “they” in past tense made it clear “they” no longer sent him to do anything. Either defected, or “lost”, he didn’t specify. “So why were they after you?”
  7. Fugitives and Firefights

    "Stay out of this priest. This is Order of Light business." Lashes blinked softly, hands still folded calmly in front of him as he watched. He himself was wrong, as he was so many times of late. Lighting candles, reading in silence in a threadbare room… the priest wanted to think they calmed him. It was violence. Violence made the anger go away. Violence at one simple word, Order. Order of Light business. He felt pity for a moment, then it was gone. He was art personified when he worked. Now they sent this garbage of arrogance and steel, circus of floundering aggression. They deserved to die just for that. She would finish them, or he would, and he felt no more need for quick and painless. He really was losing himself… or finding himself? He drew a long breath, mana flowing in with it. Along the way so far as the tit-for-tat continued he’d been casting the entire time. Heat quivering in the air too far above to be noticed, an invisible firestorm building along his flesh making the Uriel amulet against his skin tremble to hold together his outward appearance. Serene expression watched her surprise attack. She was trained. Passion with raw skill and fearless of a beating, seemed to be some sort of animator… small sigh when the statue tumbled to the ground. Shame, that was one of his favorite angels. "You're dead little girl. You better run back to your sanctuary, priest, or you'll be next for distracting my men." Blink again was soft. "Listen, buddy.... Can't we just- work this out?" “Don’t beg,” his voice was a quiet hum, speaking to her as if they were the only two in the alley and there was no blood and death, broken marble or injured agony. The others, didn’t exist. Brow came down for the first time and he shook his head. He listened to the banter for another few seconds, but was finished waiting patiently. The first flicker of something caught the wind, like ash that’d floated too high from a bonfire and was returning to earth as it refused to burn out. Heat from above felt like the sun though dark, hands releasing their relaxed clasp to let his palm face the hurt woman, a shear of blue light separating her from him, her would-be killer and the sky above. White-hot. It began to rain, the molten droplets hitting the shield protecting her with sizzles before they liquefied further and dribbled to the ground. The spell he’d released several moments ago had melted the metal flashing on the cathedral roof edge, it was now raining molten metal. Stone shell or not, it was beyond scorching, yet the priest moved forward through it unscathed toward the last thug. Closer proximity, and a final push with his free hand ignited the axes to red hot metal, changing the burn direction to pull heat away from her. Everything his side of the shield to the wall of the cathedral was melting, scorched or on fire. The thug staggered backward, covered in metal, without weapons, unable to gasp in sizzling air to scream, death was inevitable. “I am the Order,” breathed out quietly, unsheathing of a blade from the underside of his left wrist quick as he kicked off the stone wall to gain height and plunge it directly into the man’s eye. Land was quiet, followed by a thundering crash of a falling body. It was still raining, the shimmering shield in place as he retrieved his blade and wiped it on his sleeve to return to its place, looking upward into the sky as the last of the metal fell. Heat shifted, cooler air pulling into the alley. Steps were quiet, oddly moving to each fallen pile of ash, small whispers and cross gestures, a fogged haze hanging in the air as the world ceased to be an inferno. Sigh was soft, looking to her as the shield protecting her from his hell dimmed and left them both in the silence and dark of the alley. “Can you stand?” He stood at a distance, it would take a moment before his skin was a tolerable temperature. “You are welcome to stay as long as you need, the Order will not harm you here. If you wish to go I can arrange transport to a hospital,” lip quirked slightly, unfazed by any of it. “But, I will miss that statue.”
  8. Fugitives and Firefights

    There was nothing that calmed him quite like lighting candles. Mundane for some, easily and happily passed off to the low man on the totem pole. For him, he requested it. Could he light the entirety of the room in one sweep? Yes. One at a time? Also, yes. It was the creation of fire not by his own hand, but the old fashion way that kept him grounded. Calm. Calm was not a word that he could describe of himself often. He needed this. Flame paused right before it touched the wick, feeling the waves of mana shifting like a stone had been thrown in a pool. It flushed against him once, normal. He was not the only magical being that existed in this world. Again. More agitated. Flame was blown out and he listened carefully to the silence of the cathedral, focusing on the melee beyond it. Footsteps were silent, down the steps and out the side door to the courtyard. Beyond the high stone wall topped with wrought iron, chaos, eyes on an angel that was missing. Sounds of violence, for once not directed at him. Gate was unlocked quietly, mana beginning to peel back like water creeping off the beach in preparation of an incoming tsunami. In truth, it was more of a warning... those that could feel it would do one of two things. Quit, or fight. He really hoped it was the former. Stopping at the opening to the alley, scene surveyed, the quiet priest's hands folded quietly in front of him. "I hope you'll return the statue when you're finished." He could have been seen as a fool. Nothing was further from the truth. "I think you're finished. Please leave. The lady will come with me if she chooses." The eerie calm, wasn't. It was the height of his skill. The drawn mana was tremendous, and he had prepped to rain down hellfire if they didn't stop ruining his evening. Literally.
  9. Fuck Mondays......

    Pupils narrowed to pinpoints, then flared after the duo as he came to the edge of the alley to “confess”. They were startled, afraid of him, the odd feel of an attack dog wanting to chase overwhelming his senses. He’d never let anyone run away from him before. Nobody ever feared him; they never knew he was there before he slit their throats. It bothered, and relieved him at the same time. The thrill of a potential chase though, that was unexpected. Yup…probably should have. Side glance to her perched form on the bench was not amused. She had no idea. He had to remember that. He also needed to remember he needed to stay under the radar. Being seen by a cop following and setting people straight was one thing. Talking to one, sticking around for one to get a good look at him after he’d terrorized two kids was another. He snorted slightly, taking the muffin out of the bag and crunching up the paper. Looking after them, he enjoyed his muffin, tossing the bag into the nearby trash before nodding to her and moving back down the alley toward his subway drop. “They keep harassing people, maybe they need to be taught more than just a lesson. You're a cop, right? Protect and serve.” Not snarky, just... obvious. Tripping people in cafes that ended up leaving and causing more trouble wasn't exactly the best plan. Of course following them with intent to... maim wasn't either. Thank goodness he still had some shred of self control.
  10. Fuck Mondays......

    "Dude, what is your fucking problem?" He kept walking. Was irritating to be annoyed by someone you didn't want bothering you wasn't it? "Sergeant Pepper, I'm talking to you!" Eyes narrowed slightly at the jab about his hair. He flipped up his hood. Somewhere along the way he'd decided to just get on the subway and go "home" in peace, maybe... it had crossed his mind, the distance he was putting between himself and the street behind him cooled a bit more. "Hey!" There it was, the unintentional reflexes. Intent to harm the priest, and the hand that was supposed to grab his shoulder to ready him for a punch was twisted up behind the guy- his face on a brick wall. It could have become a brawl, it should have, but it wasn't. The lunge of his friend to help staved off as effectively as pointing a gun. Except, fire. It didn't go anywhere, but the palm held up swirled in a blue flame so hot it made the partner flinch and fall back a few steps. "Stop. Annoying. Women." It was the only thing he said before letting the offender go and yanking him back off the wall to shove toward his friend. They both looked at him incredulously, backing up. "Fuck you buddy!" Saving face, of course. Fingers flicked at his side, skin of his hand lighting up again. They took off. Sigh was light, looking at the offending palm at his side before snuffing it out and picking up his muffin that had been dropped. He stood a moment, blinking after them. It felt, strange. Strange he wasn't running to hide his kill. "I wasn't go to kill them," he said to the gum he could smell being chewed not some forty feet away. "Should have bloodied a nose or two though."
  11. Fuck Mondays......

    Lashes had lowered slightly, the world warping. He was dangerous. Literally, figuratively. All magus were dangerous to their own extent. Trained and untrained. Then, there was him. Something else entirely. His danger didn’t come from that, it came from the fact he was now so unpredictable. A bi-polar shift that almost was becoming more effort to control than to just let go and deal with the catastrophic It was through that, he knew exactly the second the cop had stepped out the door. He could kill her. In a second. Nobody would ever be the wiser, thoughts spiraling deeper, senses becoming honed to focus on a pinpoint. Strides became more and more silent as he effortlessly wove around, through, over, and under every obstacle; becoming invisible to the general public. So normal, so smooth, so slick he could slice a throat and walk away… disappearing before anyone would ever realize what had happen. Reality rushed back against his senses with frightening speed, pulling him from the dark spiral, and he stopped. Two. Three? One? He wasn’t phased that the thought of killing them all had passed through his brain… or that he thought it was okay to do so. Hand adjusted on the worn bag strap as he seemed to be a pedestrian just figuring out his surrounding and finishing his coffee before hailing a cab. The ones before him were his interest, but the one behind was his target. It aint worth it you know. Soft snort exhaled through his nostrils, finishing the last of his coffee. He could move in another direction and leave the whole issue alone. He could. Some shiver of a spark deep in his gut though wouldn’t. Agitation. The about face as he turned in her direction to throw his cup into a trashcan was purposeful, casual glance at her disinterested, a twitch to his cheek as he took several steps backward away from her calmly before turning away to continue the momentum and close the distance between himself and the idiots. Skin had been humming at its normal low burn to this point, and literally sprung to life at that moment into a heavy heat. It was brazen, blunt, and screamed of not giving two fucks she was there. Did he care anymore that he stuck out? Perhaps. He was already a dead man if whichever side decided he wasn’t useful got to him first. He would go out swinging… and bring half the world with him. This? This was just his contribution to the whole while he still had the means to do so. Muffins seemed interesting at the moment, standing unusually close to them both as he was “selecting” a few to buy and take back to the church with him for the Vicar. *npc* You… you were at the coffee shop. “Mhm” came from his lips quietly as he waited patiently for the young lady to be ready to take his order. *npc* You follow us here? The under breath hiss brought the girl’s eyes to him, nervous. *npc* It’s okay… they’re fine… Her shrug pissed him off, the whole situation pissed him off. Unwanted attention… it brought the edge of his memories to a boil. He passed her the total for his stuff and took the paper bag from her, nodding once. His look toward the “wonder twins” however, was anything but kind. Challenging… “I just pissed on your shoes” unkind, shoulder brushing the larger man’s enough to agitate them both. He would take a shortcut. A shortcut through the alley courtyard to the subway drop. A shortcut away from the bustle of streets and attention of passersby. They followed him off the street into the alley. To kick his ass. Good.
  12. Fuck Mondays......

    He was being watched. Briefly. Not just a passing glance, the intent was almost palpable in the air, then released as he was dismissed. Mana… more specifically him, he couldn’t turn off. He was unique. As quickly as the attention disappeared, his eyes were up at the top of the paper, peripheral scanning again. It was probably time for him to leave. Shame. Of course, it could be just a tail from either of his two fan clubs- which had happened more than once lately. Or, the fan club that nobody wanted to talk about. He’d just finish his new cup and move on to the library, eyes up again at the door. The force the two guys used to pull it open changed the pressure of the room, warmth whooshing out to be backwashed by the still cold spring. His skin shivered a moment, soft eyes following toward the counter and their behavior. Paper was folded and tossed on the table, scalding coffee downed like a shot as he moved to “return” the cup and saucer. One thing he knew a lot about was running a café, and dealing with asshole customers. His presence at the counter drew their attention. He wasn’t huge, but his stature was formidable, eye contact lingering and a soft shake of his head as he set the cup on the bus counter and slid it toward “Rachel”. Seems it was enough to get his point across and they left with their shit attitudes, attention off them as he smiled softly at the barista. “No mind,” he said softly. The mask was easy, the urge to follow and slit their throats was harder to suppress. It was heavy in his limbs... like withdrawal. The crack of a wood chair and skin hitting the floor knocked him out of the tumble toward violence and his assuring smile, quiver of the air over his skin hushed as the badge flashed. Whoah he didn’t need that. Rachel brushed past him with a towel to clean up. He reached over the counter and grabbed a damp and another that was dry. Ya ok Rachel? His dropped to the floor and he knelt next to the hurried girl, taking care of the sticky mess it would become as the cop calmed her. She was flustered, and flustered people tried make things go away as fast as possible to return to normal- not necessarily always in a good way. He knew the drill; in his old life cleaning up coffee spills was normal. Silver flashed briefly to the cop as he stood to toss the towels into the sink behind the counter; there were more discreet ways to take care of idiots. “I should just hire you,” Rachel said quietly. “You’re always here in the morning anyway.” Smile was soft as he shook his head. Eyes were on him again. Time to leave. “Gotta get going, take care,” he returned to the table to snag his things, pausing a moment before slinging the messenger bag over his shoulder. He was not shaking the urge to punctuate the cop’s “lesson”. He needed to. Slipping out the door, keen eyes found their path and set after it. Just a fat lip. Embarrassment often brought retaliation, and the cop wouldn't always be there to flip a damn chair. They needed to know there were consequences, with a dash of paranoia that someone was always watching.
  13. Fuck Mondays......

    Spring. It still chilled his bones. Good coffee helped. Always. Paper was being read meticulously as the delicate clink of the cup made contact again with the saucer. The college look again, doctorate perhaps, the glasses actually something he needed. He had been a bit like a hibernating animal finally waking up, the newfound stalemate with his presence in the city something that was allowing him to be in the open a bit more. There was a target on his back, a price on his head… most likely there always would be, but it was giving him the freedom to do as much as he could clearing up his existence before the axe finally came down… and feeding the growing aggression bubbling in his gut like molten. Perhaps a suppressed character trait that had been controlled all this time by the discipline, he had no clue. It still hadn’t taken away the razor sharp attention to every detail in proximity to him. The eyes, the ears, the intuition. It was always on. Beaten into him. Over, and over, and over. He didn’t miss her, paper only shifting slightly from its open position in his corner seat as his peripheral confirmed suspicions. Law. Military perhaps. Her presence was mentally written onto the long list of things he was keeping tabs on while in the café. Always ready at a moment’s notice. Murder. Mayhem. The paper was always focused on the same thing. He scoured it for anything else, a sign, signal… something that would give him another lead to chase. The rogue trusted no one. Arma wanted him dead, but he was useful. Order wanted him dead, but he was useful. The rogues wanted him dead because he was useful. Sigh soft, the paper folded in half and he lay it on the table, picking up his cup and saucer to retrieve more coffee.
  14. Sit down, Shut up, and Stop Talking Telepathically.

    Didn’t make sense. Didn’t make sense. He listened carefully to her question from the safety of his hood, slouching back into the seat, finger tapping on his chin at the answer. It totally made all the sense in the world, but when applied to him, it didn’t make anything even close. Why teach him incantations in Latin? Someone was talking to him. Silver eyes looked up, the young woman had turned around to whisper to him. *npc* See, I told you to ask the question, it was a good one. Charming smile pursed at her, you were so much more eloquent. The blush from her was palpable as she turned around. Gentle mask was immediately replaced with the stern expression of twisted somethings… anger? Resentment? Confusion? If it was true, which he’d concluded it could be or he wouldn’t have come, why in the hell had they used him as such a weapon without teaching him in his native language? He was Italian. He was born in Italy, grew up in Italy, spoke Italian. He’d been trained in Latin. The Order knew more than anyone ever could. Arma was a break from their power, young in the eyes of a goliath; the secretive cult was a long reaching, far reaching, ancient conglomeration of power. They knew things that would never come to light in this world, and it was doubtful any living magus except for those deep within the inner walls of the Vatican knew all the truths of it. If he was to be this mechanized thing, this easily fed automaton capable of what he’d done- needing to be stronger, faster, lethal… why Latin? What if he wasn’t Italian at all? Then what the fuck was he?! Who the hell spoke Latin as a primary language? Middle fingers of both hands massaged the bridge of his nose between his eyes. It was becoming more torturous than the panic attacks, the eruptions of rage, outbursts of magic when people irritated or threatened him… the ghosts, literal and metaphorical, were pressing in on him. How long would the Order let him stew in his own questions? Was this part of the big plan? He was a fucking Trojan Horse. Sigh was long as he heard the discussion and urge for more questions. He had to get out of there before he exploded. Sliding the strap over his messenger bag criss-crossed over his should he got up, hands in his pockets to make his way out without disturbing anyone. He’d come for answers, perhaps he’d gotten some, but was leaving with more… *npc* Hey... you want to go get some coffee later? The whisper was a bit louder than it should have been, the young lady turned around again in her seat. He blinked at her, truly speechless for a moment before the charming smile returned. She'd rocked him out of his thought process, and a dark one at that. Wish I could, thanks though, take care... he whispered back, softer than her own invitation. He had to get the fuck out of there.
  15. Sit down, Shut up, and Stop Talking Telepathically.

    He was at the back of the rustling hall… jotting down a few steps within the crowd of chatters to find somewhere in the back to sit. Seems the subject was a popular one by the amount that had turned out. Hands were unusually relaxed in his loose black coat pockets, gray hood to the zip-up hoodie he used to line underneath the coat pulled up from being outside in winter hell. Worn leather messenger bag slung over one shoulder was grad school scholarly… well-loved Levis… his glasses. A day or two worth of scruff. The volatile magus was virtually unrecognizable, save for the premature peppering of gray in his temples. Hood never would get pulled down anyway. Students had a habit of that, which he was fine with, actually helping him not stick out as an oddity. Dressing down was not something he liked to do, but it was tolerated for the sake of information gained by moving through the world unnoticed. Libraries, even “tailing” leads. It was in fact a library where he had seen the posting for this. Not here for the posting, though definitely that could be questioned. The unbreakable rock seethed lately with cracks, one moment the calm priest he’d always been… the next a viciously antagonizing force. He was trying to do the right thing, but even in that voices whispered at him in the dead quiet of his thoughts to set the world on fire. Some uncontrollable need to inflict pain. On who? No idea. It ended up then being what. If there was no who, it wanted to destroy everything else. It. He didn’t know what the “it” was. Eyes blinked slowly, the obsessive whisper pushed away again. Not the stalker type, he didn’t do those jobs anymore… he was here for the crowd. Ashen gray eyes watched the podium as it began, settling back into his seat, ankle over his knee. Thumb rubbed absently at the scruff of his jaw. Lip curled upward slightly at “ye old sweet shop”. He didn’t know much about the magus, but he was clearly an educated one like himself. He blinked at the first image, then immediately scanned the audience from his vantage point. He was a master at this, at being visibly invisible. In that… he could be incredibly useful here. Admittedly, attention moved back to the stage at the demonstration, a crease in his brow. Had he ever used a language? Latin. He’d learned in Latin. Latin was not his native language. Why then… thought lost as his eyes drew back to the audience and murmur of questions. Magic was an everyday word on people’s lips, but to see it in action, with explanation had definitely perked interest amongst the hall. Eyes narrowed slightly at a first man’s questions. Interesting. Equally interested in the answer. Pictographs and the like were also languages… only older, closer to the original beginning of the sentence so to speak. Lips pursed and he tapped the knuckle of his pointer on them, settling further into his seat to discourage his educated brain to engage. He wasn’t here to engage, he was here to watch those that were engaged. Speak or write. Hm. What if the language wasn’t the key… what if it was the impulse of understanding that triggered the “brain spark” to initiate a spell. Less understanding meant less “spark”. What if magic itself was the tapping into that spark, a section of the brain that truly wasn’t being used unless engaged by higher intelligences? Could then… magic be learned by “mortals” without the aid of occult practice or capturing a mage’s “spark”? Energy was only transferable, it could not be destroyed. Holy shit. That mortal occult crap could merely be only to jimmie that spark from a magus like a crowbar. Lower lip was rolled through his teeth to keep him focused. Watch. He was here to watch. ….then why the hell had he been taught in Latin? He no longer needed to verbalize any of his power if he didn’t want to. Was Latin really his first language? How could that be? What would happen if he tried it in Italian? Why had he never thought of that? [santo]What if the root of magic can be traced by the languages that produce the greatest effect for each magus? Practice brings familiarity, what if a magic family tree so to speak could be built by examining the strength of each mage's primary language? Could it possibly trace back to endangered and root languages, then perhaps pictographs like the questions about the tattoos that guy mentioned? The very act of understanding and self realization?[/santo] he said under his breath, pretending to think out loud to himself. The girl in front of him leaned back slightly, turning her head. *npc* That's a really good idea. You should ask that. The charming smile quirked at her from beneath the hood. [santo]Nah, not good at this stuff. You go ahead.[/santo] ..and she did, standing up in front of him and clearly articulating his question almost verbatim, leaving the magus with his thumb under chin and tapping his top lip thoughtfully as his human shield between him and the podium asked the question for him. It was a legitimate question, one that might help the cause... albeit a bit selfish in nature personally.