Rhome Del Santo

Order of Light
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199 One of Our All Stars

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. 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.
  2. 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?”
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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."
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. By the Pricking of My Thumbs

    They just wouldn’t leave. Wouldn’t leave. Would. Not. Leave! Like a consistent, fitful buzzing of hornets around someone that was invariable deathly allergic, it was just short of prompting a lit fuse to get rid of them instead of just walking away. He’d already started to sequester himself mentally. It didn’t seem as if they were here to make a show, that was excusable at least, but it didn’t keep his skin from becoming a veritable hell of heat. Like a pressure cooker, once controlled with a tight lid- it was so close to splitting at the seams. "❅ Wait." A tick in his temple was visible as he stopped, allowing the Vicar to keep traveling on his way. He shouldn’t have stopped, the silver spindled eyes moving back to the woman with outward patience, but inward fury. To smash the buzz, or let it sting? "❅ You chose your role Del Santo. In this time of absolutism your kind is an unfortunate necessity. What did you expect would be the outcome of your decision? What happened to you?" Lashes lowered, hand coming to rest calmly on one of the pews as memories flickered through his consciousness like a 8mm film, his gaze fell to the polish in the floor. Polish over a hundred years of footsteps. An old penny, shined new over nicks, scars and weary time. [santo]Death,[/santo] was the answer to both her questions. It sprung up so easily. For someone not of extreme faith, it was difficult to understand. He was a pauper that had nothing, devoted himself and failed at his vows. In his failure, he’d become something so terrible that the only thing he felt he deserved was death. He trusted them to bring it to him, and didn’t fight when they demanded it of him. Accepted their punishment without complaint. Stockholm. The guilt, had been so thick. Lost his way. He could never atone for that. Now? The emergence from the dark was slow enough it almost kept the wounds from being ripped open. Almost. "…. I suspect….. you and your Order happened to him." Gaze moved to the Cavalier. It was stinging now, in that pain there was only silence. Words couldn’t be put together that would begin to describe what had transpired. A gentle ghost of what was trickled over his brow, bared soul for a moment, the quiet Italian before things went so terrible wrong- disappearing when his gaze shifted to sunlight twinkling through a window as the morning progressed. Fingers tapped softly in succession, about to leave without giving anything else. The stories he could tell. [santo]Death was what I chose.[/santo] voice murmured, incredibly quiet as he looked back at her. [santo]You speak of necessities. A soldier is a necessity. I was not a soldier. I was a weapon, a weapon the Order denied existed. Someone tortured, experimented on, beaten until they were malleable enough to become a sword. Something that didn’t question.[/santo] The edge licked into incredibly silent words spoke truth. Accusatory and angry. Even though he spoke past tense, it didn’t change the fact it was still embedded in him. It should have felt better to speak words never spoken, it didn’t. It made him feel sick, conflicting sides telling him to either step forward or pull back. Nothing good would come of this. What did he expect when he was plotting to bare the Order’s atrocities against him to the world? The Cavalier would hear his words if no other person could. It was apparent the Cavalier held no love for this woman’s cause, or the faux priest’s- an impartial witness to truths that may never reach public ears. [santo]If any of this is a surprise to you, then you have more crashing around you than you realize.[/santo] Pause was long, watching the woman for any sign she may have known. She knew him, knew who he was. Had it ever been her on the other side of the line telling him what needed to be done? [santo]I at least know what I am, and I have nothing to lose.[/santo] Cavalier was watched a moment with the attention of a keen predator, a nod at the tower door an invitation that he had previously withdrawn. Calm exterior or not, he was a killer. The Great Oz curtains had been discarded. It was pointless to try and hide now. [santo]You’ll find a scorch on the middle landing. When they couldn’t kill and bleed me here they tried to trap me in the tower and burn the entire church. I don’t know why that would have been an option. I killed one on the landing, scorched the evidence and incinerated him in the furnace in the sub ground level. The other disappeared as I said. Anything else I can do for you….?[/santo]
  13. By the Pricking of My Thumbs

    His words of confession were only because the Vicar was there, or so he thought. Where there had been no caring before, no thoughts to what others thought of him, there was something in the man’s irrevocable trust that made the torn magus want to do better. Not because of the pinpoint of his ire in front of him, but because he thought there was still a shred of something good that he’d brought to this world. What though, if his daughter was as damaged as he was? Then what? He was not surprised when his likeness was produced for them all to see. The Italian was absolutely aware of what the Order was capable of. It was that alone he wanted to expose for the rot that it was. "❅ But I don’t have all the answers." When she looked at him, though an overused and cliché adage- especially for him, his blood boiled. The molten silver didn’t back down, it never would. "❅ The blood of our kind is potent and more will spill. You’ve learned this. It’s why I’ve sought you out. Both of you." Knowing it was always on the edge of possibility, he absolutely was now a standing example of how this poison was trying to get the upper hand and no doubt exterminate them all. Oddly enough, it seemed from the very beginning he leaned more toward the Vanguard in those regards. He’d been conditioned, trained, programmed to view others with magic as either one of the fold, or tainted with the corruption that freedom without guidance created. Arma fell into that category. Every magic user had the potential to fall into that category, which was why he’d become so mechanical in his executions. There was a point though, the breaking point… when all were considered abominations. He'd been taught Arma was a fall from grace, this further dissolution- were just bastards. Dangerous ones at that. He was not expecting her next question, soft blink the first time her words were really allowed to penetrate under his skin. "❅ He is a devout member of his order and will do whatever is necessary but you Del Santo you have no allegiance to the First Light, to anyone, so I’ll ask; what would it take for you to help me fight this menace?" It would come to this then. The mere acknowledgement she wanted his help meant he was still valued as a weapon to be wielded by their hand, or one that would be eradicated if he so much breathed he supported this threat. He was very aware the cavalier was moving, but his attention was on the face off with the Order, as well as the tower he’d spoken of. The assassin didn’t miss anything, not even the candles that twittered slightly in the drafts of the halls. The pet was also moving, and something was happening. The stairs, the burnt landing. He wanted no secrets of his to be unearthed here. "…a precaution only… to be sure the devil has not left his mark in the house he is unwelcome within." Hackles raised, the defensive warmth once again lit from within. He did not need either of them to protect his charges. Two answers needed, one temper flaring. His eyes were still on Dacia though the Cavalier addressed him. "…allies…. in this time…. can be as dangerous as your enemies…. … I caution any…. to have either…." [santo]Get out of my house.[/santo] Voice was so quiet… such a calm before the storm. It was directed to both of them- to their demands and their wants, their intrusion. Eyes flicked toward the door to the tower, despite the danger of the hum within the confessional, the heated air rushing toward the stairwell was sucked upward into the cold stories of staircases, snapping the door shut with an echo in a stark second of defiance. This was his home, his peace, his sanctuary… and the “devils” were now crawling through every nook and cranny- inclusive of the wolves in sheep’s clothing. He would not be left in peace with what they found. They were not interested in whether he could help. They were interested in whether he was a threat. He was a threat. He was an earth shattering threat. A threat they’d created. The immediate world could feel the magus’ temper burst forth like a volcano, the room a wicked blast of piercing flared heat. Fierce to breathe in, flicker over his skin quivering before a light blue undulation danced merely centimeters from his flesh. [santo]Get. OUT![/santo] Dust and small bits of dirt were beginning to tremble on the floor, swirl patterns akin to the wisps of snow across a winter road that were pulling toward him. It was a catastrophic spell. One whose repercussions were unspeakable. It was not the fires of hell, it was the wrath of god. No violence here, the thought made his cheek twitch. A sanctuary… though uncertain he would not unleash the heavens despite who was standing near him. Was it a reaction to the question from the woman? Or the fact he knew the answer and couldn’t speak it. It was easier to force them out, to risk admonishment from the Vicar, than to admit he wanted something from the Order other than its ultimate destruction. As quickly as the world had trembled, it was gone, dust swishing over his polished shoes to settle in a grainy slide. Everything, suddenly silent. Eyes were watching something in one of the brilliantly colored windows. A twinkle of the sun through mosaic glass, a scene he knew. It didn’t take words or the touch of his Vicar, it was the sun… For those unable to read… think rationally, the colored windows were meant to convey the messages. Whatever path he chose, he could not win. It was not his place to choose the right side, so many sides… there was no right side. Exposing them would only lead to more fighting, more justified hate, but the world needed to know. They had chances to extend an olive branch, but it wasn’t until they were in danger had they even bothered. [santo]What would it take?[/santo] it came out quietly. [santo]To admit to the world why I exist.[/santo] He let it hang in the silence for a moment, the Vicar and the Cavalier witness to the tip of the iceberg. [santo]If you’ll excuse us, we need to prepare for mass. Do what you need, but be out of here within the hour.[/santo] That quickly. He could flip from vicious to a saint in less than a second, and it was the Order that was responsible for that, or so he assumed. Even he couldn’t imagine what secrets really lay inside his mind. Truths that he didn’t realize he knew. Memories he didn’t realize were false. Expression cast to the older man as he approached to finish their tasks was a sullen one. Apologetic. He’d lost his temper, but faith had saved it, like it had so many times before. Still, the embers burned, and burned dangerously.
  14. By the Pricking of My Thumbs

    The Vicar’s hand was grounding, a simple human’s touch keeping the monster of a magus from going after the Order with pure fury. Catastrophic. The touch was cool even through his immaculate suitcoat; he couldn’t imagine how warm he felt to the older man. The man knew when the fire magus asked for sanctuary there was a history to follow, a potentially dangerous one. He’d said yes anyway, out of duty… but in this new world he could just have easily turned him away. When the Order bitch moved to the Cavaliers’s side, his fate in the Italian’s crosshairs was sealed as well. The normally “gentle” and reserved assassin was spiraling out of control, in the larger sense. Even his thoughts were becoming more and more violent. His words callus. His actions reflex and unyielding. The influx of information was overwhelming; from the attack several nights ago, to the gathering of information from his mole and leaving information where ARMA could gather it, to now two seemingly different factions converging at the same moment to investigate an altercation he’d not shared with anyone but ARMA. This was a spin outward that was close to being unstoppable. Why did he care? His only goal was to find his daughter, if she even was still alive… and to split the order open and expose the rotted viscera for what it was. What happened to him after that was inconsequential, his will would be done. ❅ You know who I am?" He also knew exactly who she was… ❅ What’s behind there?" …and what was behind the door. The second her eyes moved to the Vicar, a muscle flicked in his neck under the collar, under the bandages… Protectiveness. He would keep his mouth shut and let the woman find out for herself even though someone he respected urged him to help. He would not help. Features calm, eyes shifted to simply stare at the light beginning to stream through a colored window into the haze from the candles. One might see the zipped lips as a petulant child; but he was pulling into himself. Silence before the storm. Every sense on alert. Every spell to the ready with a flick of his lashes in any direction. It was in that moment to a trained eye he was truly dangerous. Aloof and distant, the calm settled around him and he simply waited… a nagging thought glimmering in the back of his skull. *npc* Rhome. His head lowered as if in prayer. He would not, could not, answer. "You are most welcome to look for yourself, Dacia Setgrave. Far be it for me to keep you from your answers." The edges of his eyes narrowed slightly as the stranger invited the face of the Order to see for herself. Curious. Seems there were three sides on this issue… ARMA made four, and the fire magus was the only one that had seen it firsthand. The garrote, the nagging itch had become a word. Where was the garrote? What had happened to the thing? The man that had nearly killed him for THIS sigil was covered in his blood, never dropped it as he fled up the tower. The magus had burnt through the wire enough to free himself, but the handles, the rest… he’d never found. Not only had he bled on the one upstairs, which was scrubbed and burned from existence by his own hand… but they had his blood as well. Water he’d used to clean his flood of lifeblood on the stones here… hell, it could have reformed, been collected. Who knew what spells they already had access to? He had bled, a lot. The ass that tried to kill him was also covered in it and had escaped because he had the mage’s blood to power his spell. He could not be here every moment the cathedral was open, he could not feel his enemies. Even the trained senses could not track the constant movement in a building this big, and he’d been gone a great deal the last few days. He didn’t know about this sigil until now. Were they stupid enough to come back and try again? Of course they were, they had enough to jumpstart the car. Now they were trying to drive the car into the crusher. The humming, was not because of the tower, it was because… he was so still, eyes on the door, the thoughts raging through his skull a million miles an hour. …it didn’t matter which car. He could start the war here. Stay silent, stay still, let the woman tangle in her own fate. Let the unseen bastards get what they wanted. Watch them pummel the Order, and potentially ARMA to the ground. It would serve one purpose, but not another. He could demand to know where his daughter was in exchange for help… but that would give the Order the upper hand, a chance to crowbar him, an opportunity to force him back into the folds and kill him to cover his existence. ARMA could potentially get the pointy end of the stick, and nothing would change. Eyes lifted slightly to the Cavalier. He was the wild card, two and two put together. Vanguard. He felt the Vicar’s hand squeeze his arm gently, the man had felt his tension… the heat radiating from the magus that causing the hidden sigils to thrum back from behind the door like an echo. He had to make a decision. [santo]This house is a sanctuary. There will be no violence here,[/santo] words were calm as terms were laid out. It was obvious, at least to the two that if he came across either of them outside the walls, there would be no mercy. The father’s hand let go of the magus, he seemingly approved. Rhome reached up and pulled the paper from his collar, unbuttoning it slightly to allow the bandage to be fully seen. It was a jugular cut, the reason for the injury to his hand obvious at that point. [santo]They came to kill me two nights ago. Garrote.[/santo] Collar was put back into place without effort. The Cavalier had doubts, he could sense that. Before he was a magus.. a killer, he really had been a man of faith. He still was, though words he believed before, were merely a form of ritual comfort now. [santo]No warning. No familiar sign of magic. Forced me to the tower,[/santo] the magus did not have to be forced into anything, but they didn’t need to know that. [santo]It had already been covered in sigils. They disappeared there. I broke the sigils in the tower.[/santo] It was mostly true. They didn’t need to know the ash in the furnace was one of them, they didn’t need to know he collected everything and gave it to ARMA. [santo]It seems that’s why there were two of them. One above,[/santo] he paused, fingers opened slightly, the low burn of blue hovering above his palm allowing whatever was in the confessional to reverberate stronger. [santo]One below.[/santo] Palm closed and the polished wood fell silent. Their intent was clear. They wanted everything and had made a back-up, not just to get enough to power an engine… but to completely make him 'good to the last drop'. How many before him had fallen into this trap before they became powerful enough to make the Order take them seriously?
  15. By the Pricking of My Thumbs

    " Numquid non hoc est deduci ante omnia certamen…. " (Have you not already deduced this is all our fight….) He was met with silence, the 'urge to protect' sliding away. At first it was an itch to the agitation already there, then calm. The fierce calm. World slid away, muscles resolved to silent lucidity and senses that were beyond the training of a normal mortal grew wider until the entirety of his surroundings were absorbed in their subtleties for a second time. Something had changed. It was the most dangerous realm for his existence to slip into, the calm before a raging tornado would appear and tear apart a mile’s wide path of destruction. Premonition perhaps, or just the sense of being watched in a terse moment before the voice and visage broke the silence and confirmed every suspicion in the trained stillness of his bones. The wall of candles just over her shoulder became the focus of his gaze, a trained soldier listening… not responding, normally waiting for orders before a nod of compliance. Instead it was the ooze of ultimate controlled rage before all hell broke loose, and the world would suffer for it. "❅ Still in love with the sound of your own voice Del Santo. Never thought you’d meet your match." Her first sentence was a quandary to him, producing an itch in the back of his skull where it seemed he couldn’t reach beyond. The second however… [santo]I still haven’t.[/santo] Eyes moved to her finally. Nobody knew what he was truly capable of... he'd moved so far beyond the realm of control he was a danger even to himself. He didn’t know her from Adam. Hell, he didn’t know half the time which High Arch was calling him to give orders unless he was specifically at the Vatican with them. Her voice though, was not one he recognized. The fire magus knew WHO she was, he just didn’t care. He couldn’t care at the moment, or the world would burn. "❅ I believe we all must fight." Her words echoed the stranger’s. So this was it? Tortured, ordered to kill for on command, then shunned by everyone including those he sought help from, and then valuable enough to ask for help? This was no accident. The Cavalier here, maybe… he was a hunter; the magus knew the fight several nights earlier would undoubtedly attract attention. But she? She was an opportunist. Arma was scared, whomever this man represented was scared, and apparently the Order also seemed scared enough to ask for help, a truce. What was the old saying… ‘the enemy of my enemy, is my friend’? No. It was their turn to feel fear. [santo]There is no we.[/santo] Both hands had lowered some time ago from their once ‘protective of the stranger’ position. He knew so much he could tell them, but he wouldn’t. If Arma wanted to, that was their prerogative. [santo]You can find your chicken scratch and cryptic nonsense left behind by a nameless threat, but once you’ve thoroughly found even more questions than answers, you can get the hell out of my church and live with the consequences you deserve.[/santo] The hand startled him, calm on his forearm, pulling him from the cruel yet composed tirade. Damn him. Damn him! *npc* Rhome. Tell them what you know. Lashes flickered a moment, the gentle Vicar’s hand refusing to allow him to retreat and leave the two to their fates. The older man always did have an ulterior motive, one… finding out what exactly had happened to the priest even though he refused to share it. Two, heal him. He may have sought sanctuary, but the magus had found out quickly that it came with a price. He’d tolerated it to this point, even took it to heart…but this seemed beyond the Vicar’s reach. It was a horrible place where he didn’t want to go. Still, the magus didn’t move until the older man gently urged him back away from the confessional door to allow the other two access. …yet, he didn't retreat to leave them to find the horrors he'd experienced first hand. With the Vicar’s soft pull he stepped backward away from the door, eyes on the wall of candles, waiting patiently for the two to rummage through the archaic harbinger of the end of their world. ...and maybe, just maybe answer their questions.