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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. Rhome Del Santo

    Just Another Day at the Office....

    Starts at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Same Time. His eyes drooped slightly, a soft wool blanket on his lap. The fire mage was often cold, and during the winter in his underground "lair”, the goliath labyrinths’ temperature hovered at a consistent sixty five degrees- it didn’t help matters much. He was too humble to ask for another place to stay. The rustic wool blankets in his simple lodging helped, at least a little. Thoughts were fuzzy, almost into the state where the vividness of his usual nightmares kept him from ever truly being rested. Even that sometimes was fleeting as his book began to slip unintentionally from his fingers. When something startled most people, they jumped, flailed, cried out, followed with sheepish laughter or a snarky response to the perpetrator. The sudden slap of the cover on the floor startled him back to the world. Unmoving. He didn’t jump, or flail... he simply became acutely aware. Years of ingrained servitude and deathbringing made him lethal, mercurial eyes sliding to glance at the book, the nearly silent phone ringing on the small side table next to the bed. He was a “ringer almost off” kind of guy. Relished his silence, his simplicity. It was all that seemed to keep him from exploding anger into a million different directions lately. Nothing was said as he answered; the least amount of words his Order mole could say gave him the exact situation. Something he could use and add to his hoard of growing artifact treasure. An arsenal with a purpose only he knew. Definitely useful, and the place was really close. The emergent Smaug answered with a simple “noted”, and returned the phone to its spot. He’d found out the hard way his amulet didn’t protect items that weren’t clothing, and several cell phones later he just decided to leave it in his room when he went out. Dark jeans, black Tims and a gray hoodie, the magus ghosted from the building to climb. Whether it vertical, or a flat out run, his training was formidable. He preferred cover and covert, but he could hold his own in a brawl; rough if he had to. There was an elegance to violence he preferred, not because he liked it, but because in his eyes death should be delivered quickly. Law of minimal motion. Painless. Efficient. His body moved that way. He felt the tremble even as he made his way across the rooftops, hopping to the fire escape and sliding effortlessly into a glass-less window. Cop and other cars were around it on the ground level. Pharos maybe. Nobody was looking up, or in the top area of the building. Serious, or contained. From the groan of the building, definitely serious and not contained. As he alternated between swinging from landing to landing and sliding down the railings of the emergency stairs, the dust was rising upward. Through shouts, sounds of concrete being broken, a hole in the second floor to the first, the occupants of the hammer’s hell suddenly found a silent new form in the middle of the dusty haze as he dropped though the hole. Silent landing most likely left him unnoticed for a moment as he surveyed the scene, eyes peering from under his hood found Seiko first. Not expected. Abandon ship. Time to leave. They could have this artifact. This cop was too good at being nosy and he didn't want to visually be on their radar a second time. People had died though. He could smell it, the wet iron against the dust a unique scent. Eyes narrowed slightly, he couldn’t leave people to die. He was going to regret this, deep breath increasing the heat around him until he could feel the pull of cold air rushing to his position, and he pushed it upward in a billow of flame. Heat rising through the break in the ceiling, it pulled the lingering dust in the air with it to clear the view slightly of how many people were actually in there, and giving him his first look at the thing that was wrecking the building. Hand snapped outward just in time, the standoff not something he was expecting so quickly, the hammer’s head almost to his palm and being held off by a small domed shield of flame reminiscent of the inside of a blast furnace. His feet were sliding backwards as he held it in place, simply because he himself wasn’t heavy enough to push against the thing’s momentum. He wasn't trying to. It gave him a second to get a good look at it before he let it go and snapped sideways to let it pass and sink into the wall. Why target him? Exposed? Attracted to heat sources maybe, that’s why it was attracted to people and not the walls? He didn’t move from his position in the open. Maybe it was attracted to movement. Sound? “Who am I talking to?” he said quietly, watching it angrily try to free itself but speaking to whoever was in charge in the room. "What have you tried?"
  2. Rhome Del Santo

    Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    ”Thanks, I enjoy breathing.” Brow cocked slightly at the response. Smartass; not a surprise given the responses thus far. There were far more thoughts tickling the back of the Italian’s brain however, plans that were unfolding even as they bantered back and forth- the multi-tasking giving him a moment to think. A thick tension wasn’t just lingering in the air, it was palpable and real even after he’d told the man he wasn’t going to be aggressive. Lack of trust, which was predictable and expected. It seemed though that his identity was still ticking in the man’s conscious or subconscious thought. If he put two and two together, this encounter could still go sideways very quickly. He debated just getting it out of the way, but was more interested at the moment in seeing how far from everyone's thoughts he had fallen. On the other front, cold was creeping inward. He wasn’t concerned about his friend upstairs, the fireplace and inner room would protect him until he solved this situation. In here? There was nothing except a boiler that refused to fire. Pilots were lit, still nothing. Gaze moved around the room, bucket next to a slop sink. Did it not get turned on at all before this? Or, turned on without prepping... which made a lot of sense given the lack of help all the religious institutions now seemed to have. The Vicar at St. Patrick's was one of a mere few left to take care of the place. This also obviously seemed to be the case here. ”All the good ones are either dead or chained to desk work now.” “Shame,” his tone echoed his companion’s. Was this guy now a desk jockey, or not good at his job…? Gut said neither. ”The blizzard caught me when I was visiting family and I thought it would be an adventure to go wander around for a bit.” He placed the panel back on the now lit beast, the clinking from the pipes confirming his suspicions. The pilots had gone out because the thing wasn't running properly. No water to boil, threw everything out of whack. He turned several valves and made his way to the slop sink. Knobs were frozen, so was the spigot. He could fix that... if the pipes hadn’t burst yet. ”And the booze, since my stockpile wasn’t exactly prepared for this.” Fantastic. One more problem. St. Patrick's wouldn't have been an issue... wine everywhere. Here, he wasn't sure. “Nobody was prepared for this,” he agreed quietly. Matches weren’t going to solve this issue unfortunately, the opening of his fingers eliciting a low burn of pale orange flame that he hovered underneath the knobs on the sink. His companion would just have to deal, there was no more time to tiptoe around their suspicions of each other. One knob started to drip water, it had been leaking. That was a positive thing, it might not be frozen long enough and far in enough to have burst any plumbing. He set to work on the spigot. “While I have your ear, Arma...” he started, glancing over at him before going back to the task at hand, noting there was no exchange of names to this point. “...coming back later to harass Avi about my whereabouts isn’t a good idea. This is a favor for a friend and I don’t live here. I get this place warmed up and I ghost.” Success. He turned the knob slowly and the water started to drip first, then stream slightly from the spigot. Bucket retrieved, he began to fill it. This was going to take a while. Arms crossed and he leaned on the wall. “I have a message I’m hoping you can deliver to the ivory towers though...” he started, watching the water a moment before turning his attention back to Arma. “Nobody seems to want to listen; they’re too busy trying to kill me. They won’t believe you at first, but they will when more magus start disappearing.” It was ominous, and unquestionably delivered with the impression he wasn’t responsible for the “disappearances”. “That’s only if you want to hear it. I'd rather talk business than stand here and bullshit while you decide whether or not to try and shoot me in the face.”
  3. Rhome Del Santo

    Let the Master Answer

    Heat surged over his skin. Not his terms… his brain didn’t want to do this, but his gut did. He needed it. The restraint he’d shown for over a decade was screaming from his subconscious to break the chains, tightening from his psyche like snapping cables. He had to remove himself from the situation before he couldn’t turn back. …but he didn’t know the guy, but the guy knew him. He didn’t know if this was the same people that had tried to kill him before. Or someone else entirely… It was unlike him to have been on someone this long; torturing them while strangling to death. Christ. “All you need to know about me is that I left you alive... follow me again and I'll kill you.” One last jerk made his point, whipping the cord from its mark in such a way it would draw blood, sting and disorient the person that their throat had been cut- long enough a diversion for him to disappear. He was a ghost. For his size, he could move, gracefully, blending in to a group just exiting the train. Stairs were taken multiple at a time, hands stuffed in his pockets, hood pulled closer around his features and he was up and out. He had to breathe. He had to breathe. The air too cold, breath to fast. Alley and he would disappear. The guy was fast after him, faster than he should have been, running up the steps and picking up speed. Following him. This was a hit of some kind, or a forced confrontation. Somehow the bastard could follow him, like he could smell him? Muscles were twitching, the cold, the frustration, the need to power up like a blast furnace and get the hell out of there. But he didn’t. He did the worst thing imaginable. He turned a corner and stopped, back on the wall. Waiting, the cold wind funneling through the alley, where the fuck his mind was churning he had no idea. It was violent. It was chilling, and the second the man turned the corner he was thrown back against a dumpster by the force of the magus’ fist. Blood, was everywhere. The punch, so uncharacteristic- he didn’t know he could even be so gauche. He had always been an elegant killing machine. This, was just rage. The man’s nose was broken, still… the magus pulled him up by the shoulders of his coat and slammed his forehead into the metal of the dumpster, taking the frustration out on someone he hadn’t even determined was a threat. Logic seemed incontestable. He was following him. He knew his name. He was a threat. Kicked onto his back, the Italian wrapped both hands around his throat and pushed. Skin was slippery. Blood everywhere. There was so much. On him. On the ground. On the dumpster. It’d never been like this… the blood almost, egging him on. He was going to choke the life from him and snap his neck… he wanted to. He HAD to.
  4. Rhome Del Santo

    Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    Why. Why was the world always provoking him. He didn’t know which way his psyche went anymore. Calm, was when he was truly most deadly. Calm, he was deflective and heartless. Agitated, he was catastrophic; a new feeling for him. Anger. Hate. He’d finally been able to focus it on something, and oddly enough it was the hand that used to feed him. It was a precarious balance, one that he kept balanced with quiet… and focus. Fixing something was focus, caring for someone was focus. This situation was not. To this point, he’d gleaned all the information he needed to know. Conversation, was just that. Keep someone talking, keep them guessing, flip tactics every few moments to keep another off balance. Keep them thinking the priest was still trying to figure the world out, trying to find something to use to gain the upper hand. He had everything the second the man had dropped whatever it was he was using to keep out of the assassin’s sight. The magus was a hunter, spending his entire end of the world hell being a ghost. He understood killers, and he understood bullshitters. This man was a lost fish trying to get out of the cold, and he’d walked right into the Italian’s barrel. "Well, looks like we're both wrong for first guesses.” Focus on the task at hand kept him quiet. He was never wrong, not about killing anyway. There were no more wheels turning at this point, this was second nature, a script. “I've been lucky enough to avoid the Order for the most part, being part of a bigger organization like the Silver Winged certainly helped. Dragon extermination wasn't ever exactly their top priority, so they left us alone for the most part." Dragon extermination. ARMA. Eyes blinked slowly, moving to look at the man quietly a moment in calculated contemplation, the mercurial silver deep in his black pupils catching the light of the pilot briefly before attention went back to the task at hand. If the man wanted to confirm the priest was definitely a threat now, it was fairly obvious. Dragon extermination. He'd figured the guy was something and not a rogue, it didn’t really matter to him who he was attached to, but the extra bit was enough to make him wonder if this wasn’t by chance. ARMA had been quiet with him for a long time. The fact he was being harbored in a relative “safe house” didn’t hurt, but it was highly unlikely this was a purposeful encounter given the frigid shitstorm outside. But… dragons. If they wanted to take him out, that expertise was definitely the most useful skill set. Again… doubtful it was on purpose. Maybe though, they were asking questions in all the religious places in the city. He couldn't figure out why he was on their radar again though if that was the case, loose end perhaps, there was no other explanation. There was no other explanation he would let himself believe. Nobody wanted to see him alive. The thought rocked his psyche slightly, he'd convinced himself a long time ago of the "nobody" part, it was too painful otherwise. Much easier to hate everyone. “I’m not going to kill you, if that’s what you’re trying to figure out,” he peered inside the pilot port again, eyes squinting slightly. There were two pilots. Of course there were two, because that was his shit luck of the evening. There had to be another access panel. Fingers were getting cold. “The 'fuck' you're talking to didn’t work in threes. I worked alone.” Voice was quiet, -didn't- being the key word. Past tense. The invisible heat that fed off his skin slowly billowed down his form like molten metal, coating the magus in the warmth that was always there unless he consciously turned it off. He was tired of being cold, and there was no need to fly under the radar anymore. The easy, delicate control of the mana pool around him without so much as a muscle twitch squashed any lingering doubts he wasn't just a threat, but a formidable magus. Hiding in plain sight. Fixing a damn boiler by hand. The man either recognized him by now, or had no idea who he was. Either way the guy would make the connection eventually… here, or back at ARMA headquarters. It was inconsequential at the moment, he would deal with the fallout later. Fingers pried at the second access panel, the metal groaning at being prodded to move. “Never met a Silver before,” panel popped off and he set it aside, peering into the port and striking another match. Lie. He’d killed one before. The guy didn’t need to know that… this encounter starting to feel like the Christmas Truce of world wars' past. "Long way from dragon territory."
  5. Rhome Del Santo

    Blasphemy and Sacrilege

    The man’s brain was ticking, and whatever he’d thought he’d figured out, or actually figured out was probably not in the priest’s best interest. It never was. "All else being equal, I'd prefer us both not stand here like morons until us and the old guy upstairs freezes to death. I also think it would be fucking pointless to fight and die like an animal underground when we could just agree as mages to hold off at least until we're off of holy ground." An eyebrow had lifted faintly at the calm tirade, hands at his sides. He’d killed a lot of people on holy ground, there were no safe spaces in his mind… but the guy didn’t need to know that. There was really no urge to draw anything from the air around him to charge up for an impending conflict. People who were paranoid usually popped off at the first sign of mana movement, so he didn't bother. That’s why he was so effective; he didn’t need his magic to kill. There was also no reason to even consider it unless the guy proved himself to be a threat. "What I don't understand, though, Is I thought you fucks worked in threes." Or maybe reconsider. “I wouldn’t know.” was all he said for a moment, voice calm. Neither confirming, nor denying, he’d at least acknowledged he understood the reference. He knew he could raise hackles, his ability to stand still and look indifferent for ridiculous amounts of time was particularly off-putting. Mix that with his an unshakably pleasant demeanor, he’d set off this guy’s radar. Of course he had, because this was the perfect night of all nights, of all times in the world to be fucked with by someone… Long breath was drawn in to stop the aggressive spiral of thoughts. The cold was getting to him, he could mana up and keep himself warm, but it didn’t seem prudent. Expressive brows pursed down a moment, then relaxed. “I’m going to light the pilots,” he was quiet, expression warm. “You’re still conscious, so I should be good. Then I’m going to make myself coffee.” Tone though, seemed to not be pleased he was mistaken for Order thugs. He did remember somewhat the outer workings of the scuttle, but he was so tucked into fold after fold of secrecy he never interacted with any of them. Nobody got to pet the prize pet, and he never got to talk to them in return. Never was in a place long enough to even attempt it. Regardless, he was undaunted, turning quietly and pushing open the old door he’d been through several hours back. The magus didn't need prep, if something blew... he'd react. The room where the boiler was located was and honest to goodness packed dirt floor. The first time he’d come down, there’d been an inkling of old memories. It reminded him of the small dirt packed caves he’d scuttled through as a kid in a never ending game of hide and seek. This time though, the guy's presence dashed any fond connection now that could have been made, fingers reaching up to flick a vent above the burner. Chilly air drifted down. This part sucked. Pilot out, he couldn’t restart it if there was a buildup of gas. He’d blow them both up. He might survive, the other guy… probably not. After a few moments, he closed it, picking up a dusty box that was sitting on one of the concrete supports. He actually had to strike a match. To make fire. It seemed, ironic. “Had one too many encounters with the Order I gather,” half because he was interested, half because the guy talking would give him his position as he pulled off the access panel and turned off the gas, peering in to find the pilot. He really didn’t want to blow shit up on accident, or maybe he would just do it on purpose to get rid of this whole conversation. Then he would have to deal with a dead body. He actually pondered which was more work… Light the boiler. Strike a match and hold down the pilot light button. At the same time? This was… irritating. He snapped the match to life and placed it in ever so gently. It started, then sputtered out. Seethe was audible, adjusting the knob again for gas flow. Jaw twitched slightly as it clenched, he was cold. When he was cold, he was irritated. He didn’t have to be cold… but this fucker seemed ready to snap at the first quiver of mana in the air. “You’re still alive… either they’re not effective or you’re better at terminating the threat.” Again, sputtered out. Eyes narrowed. Tried again, catching. He kept holding the button to make sure it opened up everything, releasing and stepping back. If it didn’t spring to life and start warming up the place, he was going to have to do it himself the "nose-twitch" way. “Or you’re running…” he left the comment open ended. Or Vanguard. Or ARMA. Or those bastard fucks he was just waiting for so he could melt the skin from their bones after what they tried to do to him. Small talk as he watched the beast fight to fire up. He really didn’t want to have to kill anybody, but dealing with this guy was like having a hornet sitting on the back of your hand. Not a threat, if you didn’t move.
  6. Rhome Del Santo

    Let the Master Answer

    The next morning ++++++ “These ones,” his smile was easy, calm. Choosing fresh bread and produce was always something he enjoyed. Weirdly simple. The older woman behind the counter returned the smile and nodded. He truly was a peaceful soul. If he’d had a choice, the small café in the south of Italy would have been his home for life. Nothing but familiar faces and happy tourists, a small place, a few employees. Cooking. Coffee. He shivered slightly as he stepped out onto the sidewalk to go grab a coffee across the street and wait for the small grocery store to pack up his things. And no winter. Matera got cold, but not like this. This was hell. Some feared fire and brimstone; then there was salt, the scent of brackish car exhaust against dirty slush and frigid air to hammer it against his skin. His hell. Torture to another level. Hood was pulled closer to his features as he trotted across the street to make the already blinking crossing light, ducking into the bustling coffee corner to sigh softly at the line. Seems everyone else had the same idea at the exact same time. Hands slid into his hoodie pockets and patience took him through the wait, not ignoring the prickle on the back of his neck that had begun the second he stepped out of the grocery and onto the street. He was being watched. It was always a concern. The odd stalemate between the two giants quiet for some time, his recent bloody extracurricular activities had made him certain they wouldn’t leave anything a stalemate for long. He was systematically killing Order members. Their rekindled aggression toward each other wasn't his intention, but they would probably start blaming each other soon… or looking for the bastardized scuttle that had been haunting them from some other corner of the world; the ones that had almost drained him within a drop of his life. They had been quiet as well. Order checking in on him perhaps, or maybe they already knew what he was doing and were trying to confirm. Order and Vanguard knew where he was, at least the top of the food chain did. They would come knocking on his door sooner or later, he wanted them to. This, wasn’t that. It was an observer, someone that was actively following. Quietly. At a distance. He smiled and thanked the guy at the counter, but eyes had already scanned the crowd- a familiar face catching his attention, not sure of from where. Nothing recent. Had he drawn them out of their high tower already? It was a memory from a different place, from mind bound in another time… enough familiarity to be uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable put him on alert. Cup clicked softly on the counter, the magus picking up few napkins and a coffee stirrer, popping the top off to stir in something that had never been put into his black coffee in the first place; a moment to pay attention to everything around him while doing a useless task. Heat rifled up his skin the second he placed the face, top clicked back on the cup as he tossed the stirrer, making eye contact over the cup as he took a first drink of the scalding liquid. Back hit the door to push it open on the way out, cup held up over a shorter woman as she entered and he ghosted out into the street. It could have been a foot chase, then a showdown, but he wasn’t a brawler. Everyone made that assumption because his job was to kill. Coffee tossed into a trashcan as he turned the corner, the zip of his hoodie tie snapped from the hood and was wound around his hand in oiled precision. Hood was pulled up. He didn’t like being pursued, and it never ended well. Street was crossed, making a quiet beeline for the subway drop. Someone was closing the distance. Trotting down the steps, he vaulted over the railing at the bottom and stepped aside almost underneath, watching the passengers board a train and it whoosh away. His pursuer slowed toward the bottom of the steps, the magus still to the side of the stairs. The guy might just leave, thinking he was on the departing train… “Rhome Del Santo.” Before the entire phrase had been uttered, the cord was around the man’s neck. The large magus was ruthlessly agile, torquing his pursuer over the railing and effectively slamming him face down onto the ground to the side of the stairs. He had moments before the next train, the garrote pulled so tight it had cut off air and was drawing blood. This wasn’t his terms. Choke the man to unconsciousness… or kill him…. ...he pulled harder, hearing the next train less than a minute out, the weight of his entire body focused pushing his knee into the middle of the man's spine. He was a fighter, the guy still trying to reach behind him to grab hold of something to make him let go. This wasn't on his terms...
  7. Rhome Del Santo

    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.
  8. Rhome Del Santo

    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."))
  9. Rhome Del Santo

    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.
  10. Rhome Del Santo

    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.
  11. Rhome Del Santo

    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.
  12. Rhome Del Santo

    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?”
  13. Rhome Del Santo

    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.”
  14. Rhome Del Santo

    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.
  15. Rhome Del Santo

    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.


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