Origin: A Night to Remember

Magic is Real.

We fly over oceans, hold the sum of all recorded knowledge in our hands, and speak with relatives halfway across the world without leaving our chairs. Magic isn't just flying on broomsticks or calling down fire from the Heavens. Magic is limited only by your Imagination, and your Will to make it manifest. There's a battle going on over the nature of Reality and Mankind itself. Pretend it isn't there, or get involved and forge the Future you envision.

Welcome to the Ascension War.

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Hermit
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Re: Origin: A Night to Remember

Post by Hermit » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:36 pm

Strange, I see the image for the VISION card now. In any case, here's my post. Essentially embellishing what's already been described with a little more personal thoughts and reactions.
In the beginning, there was nothing. The vague tremor is casually dismissed as a phantom sensation, a byproduct of his inebriated senses playing tricks on him. And yet... An almost imperceptible sensation tugs at the core of his mind akin to the removal of an all concealing veil or lifting the scales from one's eyes. Though his other senses remain dulled, an oasis of disturbingly sober clarity has begun to emerge from within his psyche.

Interpreting the meaning of each card drawn onto the spread comes easily enough, but something is... different. Even as he tries to examine the card with jaded detachment nurtured from years of emptiness and disappointment, Dexter cannot help but experience an icy sensation permeate his entire being with a disconcerting mixture of awe and dread in continuous flux. As his eyes roam slowly across the ominous image of the Tower Arcana, the dread is immediately swallowed up by an all-consuming hollowness. An eternity seems to transpire in a manner of seconds, feeling as though he stands looking down from the precipice of a cliff with an agonizing impulse to take the next step that will surely send him plummeting... to what, exactly? The abyss? Or something else?

A bloom of heat blossoms across Dexter's face, prompting a hand to wipe at his brow as he looks up. It occurs to him that although this is San Francisco and he has been fairly liberal in his drinking this particular evening, the weather has been fairly temperate of late, not to mention the constant influx of AC throughout the interior of the club should be more than sufficient to maintain a chilled atmosphere.

It is at this point that Dexter realizes that his immediate surroundings beyond the periphery of the booth that he and June currently share has faded away like theater stage lights pinpointing some especially dramatic scene. Despite his fight or flight response screaming at him to stop, panic, or run away, some unfathomable... compulsion quells these knee-jerk responses and urges him to perceive and feel the moment itself.

His hand unconsciously draws the next card, another explanation spilling forth unbidden from his mouth. Whatever explanation he is giving is irrelevant however, overwhelmed by what can only be described as inhumanly sharp mental clarity. Dexter knows by heart the meanings and interpretations of each and every single card from years upon years of practice and instruction, but in this singular instance, even as the meaning of the Fool Arcana in Reverse is readily apparent, a startling epiphany pierces his very soul like a lightning bolt from on high. This... this isn't June... it's me.

Even as the young man struggles with this convergence of revelations, the table between them inexplicably loses its opacity, and it is with what can only be described as utter entrancement that Dexter beholds a blazing conflagration enclosed within a tarot card.

The submerged sense of horror slowly reasserts itself, his breath and pulse quickening at a maddening pace. The haze of intoxication burns away to reveal a panic-stricken expression, his body struggling to recoil and cope with this cascade of new sensations even as his hand, as if possessed with a will of its own, continues to draw from the deck.
''At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.'' - Lao-Tzu

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Re: Origin: A Night to Remember

Post by Hayabusa » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:15 pm

While oblivious to any unnatural elements happening right in front of her, she's not so unperceptive to see that something is going on. At first she figures that Dexter has just been drinking a bit too much as he seems to heat up as he puts down one card after the other.

She watches the nicely decorated cards being put on the table. Able of a few more things than just simple sleight of hand tricks, she sees nothing of true meaning behind the process of the laying out the pattern. However, when the third is being placed she notices a change.

"What is it? Don't tell me there's nothing I can do... or did you see something worse?" June asks but does nothing to stop his draw.
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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

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Re: Origin: A Night to Remember

Post by Hermit » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:32 pm

Just going to insert a quick blurb as he's drawing the third card.
"I. I. I." Desperately scrabbling for some rationale to explain... whatever this is, the only thing that Dexter can manage between lungfuls of air seems directed more towards himself than anyone else. "Am I... am I going mad?" he asks tremulously, eyes darting about frantically to look at anywhere else but this impossibility unfolding before him, and yet they remain transfixed between June and the third card drawn forth from the deck.
''At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.'' - Lao-Tzu

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Re: Origin: A Night to Remember

Post by ManWithDoor » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:19 am

Dexter's hand trembles as the third card is drawn from the deck. His speech stutters as he doubts himself, doubts his very sanity. But something drives him onward. He thinks he hears something, perhaps simply crackling from the Tarot of Fire. "The third Card represents The Past, what has come before." He places the next card beside the other two, showing The Hermit, inverted.
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Wisdom and Prophecy, subverted. Exile. Sadness. Knowledge, rejected. This feels especially harsh, coming right on the heels of The Fool. But there might be something there that is more than just condemnation. Wisdom to be gleaned. What has Dexter rejected, that might have worth? What knowledge and wisdom have been left by the wayside, hidden Pearls of Great Price. The noise from the Fire seems to ululate in response, although the meaning is still imperceptible. The strength of the noise drowning out the interpretation.

Still his arm moves as if it must, as though fate has ordained it to be so. "The fourth Card represents The Future, what may yet come to pass." What is revealed is The Moon, inverted.
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A deceptive trickster, foiled. Secrets revealed. Illusions pierced. Mysteries unveiled. There almost seems to be a fog in front of him that he never noticed before. Like a deeper reality than what he has lived for his entire mortal existence. The future promised is revelatory, full of learning and wonder.

He wills himself to see through this fog, and the table fades away completely. The Tarot Cards float in emptiness, the Fire behind illuminating their artistry in unfamiliar ways, highlighting icons and symbols Dexter never understood before. Something moves in the Fire itself, and a golden circle emerges, surrounded by energy and majesty and power. The Wheel of Fortune.
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After the first sounding, the sound finally resolves into a voice. A clarion call as pure and strong as the mightiest trumpet blast. "WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DO YOU WANT?" The words shake you to your very core. It is not some pithy question or simple query, but a cry to enlightenment from some other realm.
June gets another stab at Perception+Awareness, TN 7 this time as the feeling is getting stronger: 4,8,8. 2 Successes. June clearly feels something Magical is going on, although she never thought Dexter was a Mage before now ...
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Re: Origin: A Night to Remember

Post by Hayabusa » Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:37 pm

Having an all too familiar feeling coming from Dexter and his rather sudden turn to what seems panic-ridden confusion. There's been times when her more than casual acquaintance was drunk and had his depressive streak. But it was never connected to a real panic or something similar to it as she thinks she's seeing. Her eyes look past him for a moment and towards the empty space beside him.

"Is there something I am missing?" She asks incredulously, certain that there never was something like what she's feeling enveloping him. Her eyes wander from his side back to him. Is it him or is something just focusing on him? "I don't think you're alright. Maybe we should continue this later."
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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

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Re: Origin: A Night to Remember

Post by Hermit » Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:32 am

Utterly bewildered by the phantasmagorical spectacle transpiring before his very eyes, Dexter becomes dimly aware of the fact that whatever force had compelled him along this path like a hapless marionette has vanished, the intangible strings cut the very moment that voice... wherever it had come from, had spoken, relinquishing control of action and speech to its rightful owner once more.

Were it a chair and not a booth, Dexter would have sent his seat sprawling as he tried to distance himself from... whatever THIS was. Out of his peripherals, the half-Romani sees June attempting to communicate with him, a look of concern etched upon her pretty face. Dexter finds himself unable to hear whatever she's saying however, and stranger still is the fact that she appears to be completely oblivious to the fact that their table (and pretty much the whole damn club for that matter) has disappeared and in its place a giant golden wheel wreathed in flames surrounded by floating Tarot cards has roared into existence. So whatever this is, it seems only I'm aware of it. muses some vestige of Dexter's mind that isn't awestruck or consumed with absolute terror.

Several agonizingly long seconds pass, and something on an instinctual level seems to alert Dexter to the fact that a call has been sounded, and that an answer was expected. Wading through a sea of potential choices with which to react to this development, one part tells him to run, another tells him to laugh, another to simply weep. One even suggests to do all three at once. These and numerous others come under the lens of consideration. To the outside viewer, all signs of panic have ceased and an eerie almost catatonic calm has descended upon the young man.

Eventually, for reasons that Dexter imagines he will never quite fully grasp, he answers. "Drabarno," he states calmly. "I want... to see."

His hand reaches out to touch the fiery Wheel of Fortune.
I was going to add much more embellishment to this part, but it's been a long day and I think I'd like to avoid writing a novella's worth of details describing all the errant thoughts and whatnot currently running through Dexter's head at this moment. Suffice it to say my intention was to convey that in his mind's eye he found himself standing on a precipice and was contemplating whether to take a step back or take the proverbial "Leap of Faith". Clearly he chose the latter. Now we see if it was the wise decision, heh.
''At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.'' - Lao-Tzu

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Re: Origin: A Night to Remember

Post by ManWithDoor » Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:24 am

The flaming Tarot Card pulses in response to the first word spoken, as though accepting the answer. FORTUNETELLER. SEE THE TRUTH. Dexter's fingers touch what would be the wood underneath the cards, but he only feels smooth warmth, as though he were touching the comforting brass of the Wheel of Fortune. At first, he waits for further revelations. Perhaps bursts of understanding, or a revelation, but the Card sits there, watching, waiting.

The Romani's eyes return to the Tarot Deck, to the unfinished Reading. His thoughts ring loudly, whether from his own volition, or encouraged by an outside source. Of course, it is incomplete... His left hand turns over the next card, but placing it off the cardinal coordinates, no longer making a perfect Cross. The Vision strengthens in his mind, a low hum coming from the Wheel as the next Card is turned over. "The fourth Card represents what is Above ..." He pauses. It doesn't feel right, the words turning to ashes in his mouth. Whatever this Reading is, it is something new, not following the established Path. His gaze returns to the caring, concerned gaze of June, and it clicks in his mind what this Card is. "This Card represents you." Visible on the table is The Lovers.
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Affection. Partnership. Trust. Love. Dexter looks at June, and it is as though he can see through her physical form, seeing who she truly is. Vignettes of the past flicker through his Sight. A small child, barely older than a toddler, wandering an empty house, alone. Delinquency, theft, isolation, all just from her teen years. As always, a Foundation being made, but to what end? What would she decide to build upon such dysfunction? He sees images of two influential men, neither of which she knows - one is a white-haired elderly man, the other a well-dressed Brit with a top hat, cane, and pencil-mustache. You see her life change, to become the woman she is. Delighting the public on the stage, bringing joy or even just catharsis in an otherwise dreary world. Dressed plainly, tutoring a child at a school Literacy Program, giving them an opportunity and friendship she never had. And finally, just being here. Reaching out to a friend, regardless of the outcome. Sharing her heart, giving unconditional love, even if the other person isn't capable of receiving it. Because that is who she is.

Dexter's eyes tear up, the emotions piercing the armor he has placed around his heart these many years. A single drop falls to the table, splashing on The Lovers. The light of the Wheel of Fortune intensifies, and he can now see a deeper truth, hidden underneath The Lovers. A deeper Truth, ready to be revealed. The wisdom the Wheel has to share about June is not just The Lovers, which Dexter already suspected, but The High Priestess.
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Mystery. Divination. Spiritual Insight and Guide. Truly looking at June with enlightened eyes for the first time, Dexter sees power and glory. A master of Fate, not a victim to it. He sees the Webs of possible Futures in front of June, and instead of simply being tangled in it, she can choose her Path. And not just for herself, but for people and friends. Perhaps even some day, Nations. And the World. To reach out, and change Reality itself.

The voice of The Wheel of Fortune again resounds in the vaults of Dexter's mind, louder, more resounding. "WHO ARE YOU? WHAT DO YOU WANT?"
June Perception+Awareness, TN 5: 2,8,10. 2 Successes (no applicable Specializations). There is definitely magic actively in the room. Some of it is absolutely coming from Dexter.

Dexter Perception+Awareness, TN 7: 2,6,7,8,8. 3 Successes. The power you feel in June is almost identical to the power you feel from The Wheel of Fortune.
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Re: Origin: A Night to Remember

Post by Hermit » Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:51 am

I'm going to start this post by skipping up to the drawing of the High Priestess and proceeding alongside the narrative described leading up to the second sounding of the Wheel.
In the back of his mind, Dexter swears he can hear the sound of glass fracturing under some immense strain. The cracks spread infinitely in all directions, forming patterns both intricate and chaotic all at once. Then, like a conductor signalling the climax of some masterful performance, the glass simply shatters. In that singular moment, Dexter sees the world and the people around him (in this instance June) with eyes no longer clouded by despondency and ignorance, but gleaming with knowing and foresight.

As if caught in rays of moonlight, gossamer threads begin to form an elaborate and byzantine web before June that Dexter's newfound insight intuitively perceives to be strands of Fate, that most grand of Tapestries. At first it seems as though she is but a helpless fly trapped in its weave, but a closer inspection immediately rectifies that misconception. Not a fly. A spider! Able to spin, untangle, and cut the threads on a whim. And not just the threads connected to her, but to others as well, he muses, potentially further even than something as simple or concrete as people or objects.

Even as he contemplates these staggering implications and seeks answers from the young woman herself, the Wheel begins to turn once again, sounding the same thunderous refrain as before upon completion of its revolution. His gaze breaks away from June to focus on the Wheel's insistent call with a look of slight puzzlement. But why? Was my answer insufficient? Dexter's brows furrow, clearly deep in contemplation over the Wheel's deafening inquiry.

He looks back to June again. "Who am I? What do I want?" he says, simultaneously directing the question at himself and the stage magician across from him.
Really enjoying the prologue so far. I'm curious though, as I'm doing all this, is there some roll I could be making that will help solve the current matter transpiring as of this moment, or should I just keep playing along for now?
''At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.'' - Lao-Tzu

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Re: Origin: A Night to Remember

Post by Hayabusa » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:10 pm

With the magic becoming stronger June realizes that is not something that might be directed at Dexter but it is Dexter himself who's the source of it. Ever since the first magic coming from him, her focus is anywhere but on the cards being put down between them. Instead it was all on Dexter. Certain that he was not someone who has possessed this before and was just very good at hiding it. In an instant her playful attitude is displaced by confusion and a search for help herself. "Me? I am no guide, I'm just an apprentice myself!" She says but her words are not directed at Dexter. Her confusion holds for a moment and changes to a sour look and then to one of determination a moment later. "That's no help at all, Richard," she adds and puts her focus on her friend as she picks one of the paths that might not end up in disaster. Hopefully, she thinks to herself.

By now she's standing up and leans against the table to reach across though she stays clear of the cards already on the table and his hands, instead she barely puts her hands against his lower arms with a gentle, almost intimate touch, as she does not want to hinder him in any action he might want to do. Although in truth there is something she wants him not to do. To go hay wire and fight against himself.

"I do not know what you want," she says softly, unsure how clear his senses are at the moment even less so what he actually perceives. The young stage magician who is capable of much more than mundane tricks has her own voice beside herself. Or rather across from her, a grin across his face. However, her own blue eyes switch from either of her friend's green and back several times. What she would give to know what he's seeing... "You already see because you sleep no longer. If I said you can do whatever you like right now then what would you want to do, Dexter? It is not the world that shapes you but it you who shapes not just the world but the reality she inhabits." I'm afraid you have missed quite the calling of a poet, my dear June, the amused voice tells her.
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Re: Origin: A Night to Remember

Post by Hermit » Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:33 am

Unaccustomed to having his personal space breached in the manner with which June has just done so, there's a moment where Dexter expresses a questioning look colored with reticence over the intimacy of the young woman's gesture. No matter how cultured or disinterested in base pleasures as he professes himself to be, there is no denying the flicker of excitement that causes his body to tense, even as he quickly realizes her actions and intentions as purely platonic.

Dexter can only listen intently, attempting his damnedest to suppress the millions upon millions of thoughts running through his head, to merely acknowledge the madness and surrealism of this entire moment, and home in on June's face and words. Though the struggle and uncertainty lingers still in the half-Romani's eyes, it is no longer the dominant aspect. Perhaps akin to a siren's call or the mischievous glimmer of a Will-o-Wisp, a certain shift begins to emerge. Of curiosity? Hope? Perhaps both?

At the end of her rather calm yet stirring speech, Dexter is once again assailed by a mental barrage. How odd that I haven't devolved into a gibbering wreck from all this. Musing on that grimly humorous thought alone seems to comfort and encourage Dexter strangely enough. Softly disengaging June's hands from the ruffled sleeves of his dress shirt after a few seconds, he centers himself with a calming breath before gracing June's impassioned performance with a grateful nod.

Turning his gaze over to the deck and the blazing Wheel, Dexter mulls over both It and June's words before licking his dry lips to speak. "I am Dexter Armitage and," his eyes are downcast and reflective, then harden with willful conviction as he stares back at the Wheel and declares resolutely, "I want to truly live."
''At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.'' - Lao-Tzu

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