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 Personal Inventory Journal

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Scipio Zelin

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PostSubject: Re: Personal Inventory Journal   Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:10 pm

I feel exhausted, old, with a splitting headache and muscles that ache that I wasn't even aware that I had, but can't help be giddy with excitement over my successful field test last night. My hypothesis regarding the transfer of magical spells into the netherworld within their shade representations was correct; I just have underestimated the amount of power required to upkeep their continued use. Perhaps I should start at the beginning as I'm not sure this will even make sense to me when I wake up tomorrow.

The longer I've spent in the astral plane, the more I've been able to will my form to appear. I no longer appear as some sort of nebulous blob like the many of the other shades that populate this realm; I can now see myself and more importantly, see everything that is on my person back in the corporeal world. I'm able to check my pockets and still find keys, a lighter, a smart phone, etc. Not that any of these things exist in the spirit plane anymore than my solid form does, but their repesentations are now appearing properly. I'm not sure if they possess an innate conceptual existence like Kant's concept of a priori, or if they are given form by the memory of my mind and the manipulation of the source. I suppose at this point, it really doesn't matter. It is what it is, as the annoying talking heads on Sportscenter would say.

Since my smartphone can't make any calls via the astral plane, probably due to a lack of ghostly cell tower (and frankly, I would hate to see the extra charges of making a call from another plane of existence; I doubt even the family's fortune could cover that bill), the question was whether something as abstract and more energy than matter, such as the source manipulated into a magical spell, would be able to make the transition into it's corresponding ghostly construct. I took a walk through the sewers once again to reach the spot that my divination spell had lead me to before. I wanted to be close enough when I astral projected this time to be able to detect the slightest differences in readings on the finding spell. When I did perform the divination spell upon my black mirror, I prepared my body and stepped back into the astral plane, mirror in hand this time, all the while keeping the energy of the source flowing into it. It worked perfectly, even in it's non corporeal form. I moved it from place to place, seeing if I could cut off the flow, but found that it appeared to be more tied into my physical form that, while walking outside my body, still can be manipulated to keep up the source energy projection into the item.

The one drawback, as I mentioned above, is the amount of energy it takes to maintain my astral body and an active spell on the other plane. I have confirmed that there is no way I can do this alone; at least not long enough to find anything useful. This will require the help of the circle. Placing my body closer to the source may help now that I've established this link is more based on energy as opposed to distance. Learning these new abilities in a different realm almost makes me feel like Christopher Columbus, without all the slavery and murder, hopefully. I'm not exactly going where no man has gone before; we all apparently pass through here into whatever consists of the afterlife. However, how many of the living have had the opportunity to take this journey and come back to talk about it? I supposed, with more exploration, I will find out.

I finally spoke with Keliah close by the sewers as to avoid meeting in public. I had avoided her long enough. She still doesn't understand and despite my actions with the new witches, I'm a retired teacher. I have no interest in explaining myself to a girl who is much, much older than I am. She did bid me to be careful of the worm, whatever that may be. I suspect it is some vampiric reference to their version of the devil, much like Tiamat or, ironically enough, Apep. Serpents certainly have a bad reputation in many cultures; apparently even in the Vampiric one. She also spoke of an alliance with the wolves to uphold the veil, asking that the witches would throw in with them. My opinion of alliances and peace treaties to the contrary, I told her I would speak with the other elders and see where they would stand on this. We've been down this road before and all it's gotten us is several attempts on our lives. Neither the wolves are the vampires can be trusted; I know that now. However, the more useful we can appear to them, the less likely we are to be a target. People protect their tools when they are valuable; even creatures that appear to abandon logic at every turn.

Why are Tylenol bottles so difficult to open?
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Scipio Zelin

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PostSubject: Re: Personal Inventory Journal   Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:10 pm

The march towards my goal of tracking down a lead on my daughter's disappearance continues at it's usual snail pace. However, considering the alternatives of walking into a plane of existence where I may just cease to be, I think a little caution might be in order. After a few false starts with a spell I modified from my research, I was finally successful in building yet one more component that should allow me to stay in contact with those in the corporeal world while I'm out of body.

The original spell involved clay tablets and interesting ingredients of plants that I'm quite sure have been extinct for at least a millenium or more. It was developed as a sort of ancient telegraph system; considering it's apparent use during the Old Kingdom in Egypt, I figured it could use an update of sorts. I'm sure something already existed, but, as usual, I'm operating with the tools at hand, not the ones I wish I had. Combining this enchantment into an existing enchantment, a black mirror primarily used for divinatory purposes, was a bit trickier than even I would have seen. In fact, I think I'm due another 21 years of bad luck; I just hope breaking enchanted mirrors doesn't carry over into the afterlife, considering it's very unlikely I'm still here in another 21 years.

After further research, I was able to track down an ancient rune that contained the mirror enchantments and kept it from, well, shattering into a thousand pieces in the middle of my room. Walking barefoot on my floor is probably out for the time being. However, I was able to finally stabilize the mirrors enough to accept the vibrations that the communication required. Of course, this was hardly a one man job, so I enlisted the assistance of Lexie and William Puck, our up and coming divinator.

Now, William still remains a walking Lifetime movie channel victim in need of his own superhero to follow him about to extract him from the trouble he's always in, but he seems to becoming far more adept at magic. It's a pleasant surprise, considering how unsure we were about his actually surviving, let alone continuing to study on his own. With his and Lexie's help, and an even bigger nod to both of their artistic abilities for the rune tracing, we were able to make the spell work. Ironically, these magical communication devices may come in handy as none of our cell phones were working at all when we attempted to use them up at the circle. I don't know if a cell tower is down once again, or if it's something more sinister. Considering it's Ravenhurst, I would assume the latter.

Our enchanted mirrors now allow direct communication between the two persons linked between; I think it's almost instantaneous, but we've hardly gone more than a few hundred yards apart as of yet. What I'm more concnerned with is actually communicating from the spirit realm. I know now that enchantments can be carried over from one realm to another, but I have no idea if this one will continue to operate the same way. That, combined with my actual communication problem while out of body is an even bigger problem. While I continue to become more solidified as I take my walks, I have yet to make much more than a whisper.
Lexie has promised that we will do some field testing this weekend. she says that with Samhain around the corner, the walls between all the realms are at their weakest and that it should give us some leeway in what we're doing. It does seem like that would make our tests more likely to occur, but by the same token, probably open up more complications with these spirits that will be closer to our world than at any other time. Thankfully, the spirits are still not talking and generally avoid me like the plague, save two I have encountered. One is a small greenish blob that follows me everywhere I go like a puppy, and another darker shape that I've passed several times. That one doesn't follow, but it does seem to be curious about me, as though I'm a strange anomaly. I would venture to guess it's probably right, whatever it is. They probably don't get too many living taking a holiday through their world.

On a personal level, I had another unfortunate exchange with Keliah over the phone. I'm not sure why, but she seems to bring out the worst in me as of late. Then again, that's probably due to the fact that I've been drinking again. I really shouldn't talk to her while I'm drinking. No, scratch that, I really shouldn't talk to anyone while I'm drinking...or as my sponsor would yell at me right now, I really shouldn't be drinking at all. I have a feeling things will resolve themselves one way or another. I have a sneaking suspicion my expedition into the other planes may be a one way trip. As long as I'm able to share what I find and it helps lead to finding Susan, it will all have been worth it.
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Scipio Zelin

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PostSubject: Re: Personal Inventory Journal   Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:11 pm

The fog is back. Somehow, for some inexplicable reason, this malevolent force of chaos has rolled back into town. I can't fathom how this is possible considering the history of it's previous visits. It seemed to show up ever thirty years or so, and now it's showing up every few months. I can't help but wonder; is it because the circle of mages has become much weaker and incompetent? Have we lost much of the power that the ancestors of people like Tabitha used to wield with the intelligence and skill that we can't possibly muster? Is it because it's getting stronger due to outside influences completely beyond our control? Once again, all I have are questions and poorly supported theories. We always seem to be playing behind the eight ball; simply reacting to the machinations of forces far beyond our control. It's enough to make a man start drinking heavily. Or, you know, continue with the drinking.

The nightmares started up last night; horrible visions half remembered as I awake, covered in sweat, thankful that I've activated a silence ward to separate my nighttime sounds from my young roommate next door. I rarely remember the dreams completely, but the most disturbing thing as ever is that they are full of violence and torture that I seem to be inflicting on others, delighting in the pain and mutilation as though appreciating a fine symphony. I haven't reached out to the fog myself this time because I'm afraid that it won't feel as evil and wrong as it had before. Ever since it touched me and left that lasting scar in my ankle, it's aura seems to have changed. I can't help but wonder if perhaps it's changed me on a deeper level. I'm hardly the same man that showed up here months ago, but even at my worst, I was never the type of sadistic beast that appears in my dreams.

Lexie had decided that the shop needed a little more exposure and that we needed to have a fun celebration that didn't involve running from something trying to kill us, so we threw a small Halloween party up at the barbeque pit in our little neighborhood up on the hill last night. Meatloaf was completely wrong; 2 out or 3 is definitely not acceptable, especially when you're running for your life for the umpteenth time in the middle of a foggy night. The beginning of the party seemed to go well; we were able to meet some of our neighbors and, despite Lexie wandering off at the start to get high in her room, leaving me alone to distribute the libations, it was actually a rather fun event. I haven't been keen on parties ever since the worst night of my life, but it was nice to forget about my hairbrained plan of stepping into the spirit realm to track down my daughter's location to uphold an ancient prophecy, the strained and painful relationship I find myself in the middle with the ex-sheriff Keliah, or even a murderous fog that seeks to destroy the source and, quite possibly the world. As Paul the apostle so eloquently put it, 'let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.' Here's to hoping he's correct about the whole ressurection and afterlife.

Once the crowd had cleared out, there were a handful of mages, both elders and completely inexperienced. It seems that Tabbie must have planned it out this way, as she was ready to set up a seance to summon an ancestor's ghost to speak with. She played it off as sort of a Halloween joke, just a bit of fun to be had with the new potentials. However, as we began her fake spell, I could feel her manipulating the source towards just that end; it didn't appear to work, but it's made me wonder about her motivations once again. She is a bit of an enigma and tends to make rash decisions without thinking. Perhaps she was thinking that same thing I was about the fog and our inability to send it away as our predecessors had? Most likely I'm projecting; I'm not entirely sure she thinks further than her next drink of Jack Daniels. However, as if summoned by the failed spell, we were suddenly set upon by some sort of beast.

It happened so quickly that we hardly had time to react. This pale, feral, heavily tattooed topless woman burst from the underbrush and set upon one of our new potentials, a police officer by the name of Derrick. Considering he was the biggest man there, it's possible this thing assumed he was the most threatening and sought to eliminate the most dangerous threat. She badly misjudged our group. Lexie was already summoning her wind element as Tabbie and I instinctively began to send the source her way. As quickly as the beast had pounced on Derrick, the wind struck her in the chest and sent her tumbling into a boulder far across the street. We rushed back to the cottage, worried that whatever it was might continue the attack, but it had apparently had enough for one night. All we could hear was it's disturbing, ferral cry as it bounded into the night. Is this connected to the fog, or just yet another random misanthrope in a town seemingly populated by them? It knows where Lexie and I live now, so we'll have to be extra vigilant from now on. I'm debating whether to bring this to the sheriff's attention; I'm trying to keep my distance from a self professed hunter, but then again, this is supposedly the type of danger she's supposed to be hunting as a more enlightened, righteous hunter. Well, if she shows up at our doorstep with an angry mob carrying torches and pitchforks, telling Keliah "I told you so" won't make the death any easier.
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PostSubject: Re: Personal Inventory Journal   Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:11 pm

I'd be much more delighted about the successful test of the charmed mirrors working between planes this morning if it weren't for this raging headache. I don't even have the excuse of drinking last night. Of course, the proximity of the fog hasn't been helping my sleeping patterns. I rose early the other day to check on the wards I placed down in the mines to keep that evil from taking root once again under our noses. They were completely intact, so unless it's found another way into the bowels of Ravenhurst, we should be safe from a zombie invasion. Besides, if the fog was going to pull a stunt like that again, Samhain would have been much more appropriate.

I was finally able to corner Lexie to complete the test late last night with the surprising assistance of Caleb. He's been making himself scarce around here lately, so it was good to see the most absent of elders in town working with us. Once in my astral form, Lexie and Caleb tried something novel; they both used their blood to activate the communication link within the mirror. I had always assumed that it would be locked into whoever initially created the mirror, however, it appeared to let Caleb in just as easily as Lexie. I always have to remind myself to think outside the box, especially in dealing with source magic. Sometimes, it appears the only limitations are those that our minds place on it.

We were able to communicate through whatever mystical wavelength is set open through the spell and quite clearly, I might add. I would have been more excited had not that little green blob of a ghost been spinning about me like a mad thing, trying to distract me from the task at hand. I'm not sure who or what it is, but it's been my constant companion whenever I step into the spirit realm. As I haven't been able to communicate with any of the spirits, I'd always just assumed it was just curious about me. Last night, it appeared as though it was trying to tell me something, and when I was ignoring it, the damn thing repeatedly began to fly through the astral projection of the mirror in my hand as though it wanted to cut off my view. I do believe it felt I wasn't giving it enough attention; do we need any more evidence that it's most definitely a woman? I quickly returned back to my body after the experiment was successful, although I carried with me a frightful migraine. I've had this buzzing in my ears ever since I awoke this morning and it seems to be getting louder. It's not as though there is a warning label attached to this particular spell, but it's hard to predict what will happen when you play with forces you don't understand. I sure hope I'm not developing tinnitus.

I've been so busy the past couple days with the shop; Lexie hasn't been feeling her best ever since the encounter on Halloween with the ravenous beast that appeared out of nowhere and attempted to turn our new potential Derrick into a late night snack. Of course, her binge drinking combined with those brownies she bakes up with that special ingredient probably didn't help. It's actually a wonder she made it into work last night at all. She was late as usual, full of stories that resembled the dog ate my homework variety; something about being stalked and rooftop shingles attacking her. Well, they say marijuana makes people paranoid, so I shouldn't really be surprised.

Speaking of illicit drugs, another potential found her way into our shop the other night by the name of Katerinka. She was just as jumpy and paranoid, although getting accidentally roped into doing the calling with it's unrelenting drumbeat forcing you from one rune to the next was technically designed to make one lose their mind should they not complete it. Even normal, well adjusted people find themselves slowly cracking under the pressure. We danced around the issue because of others in the shop, but I think we'll be hearing from her soon enough. Well, that or hearing about her on the news; one or the other.

An even more interesting potential showed up the previous night and I'm kicking myself for noticing it sooner as we've crossed paths several times before. What makes it important is that this girl named Finn happens to be the cousin of who I believe to be the lead shifter, or alpha, of the wolves that run the Thirsty Raven. I'm not sure how this will turn out; she made herself appear as neutral in the situation as possible, but blood is thicker than water. I don't know that she can maintain the secrecy necessary to truly be one of us. The pack she's related to seems destined to butt heads with Keliah's slowly emerging alliance between leech and shifter now that she's being seen around town with Kione. Aside from that last conversation I had with Keliah about it, nothing else has been said to the circle, which is just as well. I want no part of any alliances with any of those groups. It's equivalent to Germany and the Soviet Union making a treaty; it's sure to end in betrayal and bloodshed. Judging by their past dealings with us, neither can be trusted. Considering the help we've lent to both groups over the past year, you would have thought that would have kept them from trying to murder us repeatedly. No, I'd prefer the circle maintain it's own; if we have to be the Switzerland of Ravenhurst, so be it.

I'm sure I've written this before, but seriously; why are Tylenol bottles so difficult to open?
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PostSubject: Re: Personal Inventory Journal   Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:11 pm

This buzzing in my ear has become more incessant as time passes. This unrelenting, droning noise combined with the horrific nightmares I've been experiencing with the fog creeping about the edge of town has made sleep a fond memory. I'm afraid to look in the mirror; if I look anywhere near how I feel at the moment, I'm quite sure I'll be hunted down with said torches and pitchforks. This isn't a normal illness; I'm not congested or developing a cough, a fever, anything of the sort. I'm completely at a loss. Lexie headed out on one of her Seattle adventures, so I have nobody I trust to properly diagnose my problem. The thought of heading to the clinic and home to the sociopathic Dr. Hodges makes my head pound even more; I think I'd sooner stick my head in the microwave than trust anything that comes out of his mouth, should it even be coherent.

Getting through the day at the shop was pure torture, although I was grateful that it wasn't as busy as it has been in the past few days. After our comically incompetent employee Amanda finally arrived, I was able to slink out and get some fresh air. I headed for the bridge so that the ocean waves and stiff, sea wind would blot out the buzzing in my ears and I could enjoy some peace and quiet. Note to self; there is nothing peaceful or quiet about standing on the mainstreet Ravenhurst bridge.

After a strange encounter with a girl who claimed to be an ordained minister, I about jumped out of my skin when Kione approached me out of the blue. He certainly moves about rather quietly for someone that looks like he should be swatting at airplanes on the top of the Empire State building. Aside from almost giving me a heart attack, the short discussion was mostly painless. In fact, I think I received an apology for the whole trying to murder Lexie and myself that harrowing night a few weeks back. He asked that we go back to the way things had been, which is fine with me. While I don't trust him farther than I could throw him, there is absolutely no reason to maintain animosity with someone as dangerous as he is. It's best to remain useful and on their good side as we try and maintain our neutrality. I just hope Tabbie has gotten the message by now.

He left the bridge in the company with Ravenhurst's newest retread sheriff's deputy, Keliah. Apparently, she feels the need to engross herself back into the day to day actions of the puny humans she so recently shunned in favor of taking up the position of prince. She gave me a cold stare, barely acknowledging my existence with a curt nod as she walked off to continue her machinations with her former enemy, Kione. I may have been particularly cruel to her as of late, but it can't be helped. Either I support her on the path to ruin, or I separate myself and let her make her own choices. It's been established long ago that there is no other option; she has never heeded my advice on anything. At least I know she'll avoid dragging me into one of her foolish and impulsive plans if she's angry. I have enough foolish and impulsive plans on my plate as it is.

The new potential Fin flagged me down shortly afterwards looking a little worse for wear. She had a nasty looking wound running down across her eye, but otherwise seemed rather chipper and as hard to understand as ever, with that thick Irish brogue she speaks. I wanted to revisit the importance of secrecy with our kind, considering all the dangers that constantly surround us in town. She insisted she was her own person and that she would be sharing nothing with her relatives or kin, as she likes to call them. I can only hope this is the case; Lexie is very wary of her because of that wolf connection. I have to admit, I can appreciate her strength of spirit, but I'm a bit worried myself. LUckily, she still hasn't finished the calling, so there is time to make plans about what to reveal to her, should it come to that.

Our conversation was interrupted by, of all things, a ghostly apparition of a grandmother who had mistaken Fin as her grandchild. after admonishing her choice in clothing, she quickly disappeared into the darkness, leaving us more confused than anything. While Ravenhurst seems to specialize in strange events, this seems to be suddenly occuring more and more often. Just last night, we were visited by what looked like a child that also dissolved into the night air when Lexie and I approached it. I'd like to blame this on the fog, but these spirits seem harmless enough so far. That's not really in line with the murderous intent it has demonstrated in the past. It's probably something we should discuss with Caleb; he does have a knack for dealing with spirits. At least when he's not being possessed by them.

I'm definitely going to need something stronger for this headache; the buzzing has started up again. I can only hope Lexie finishes up whatever or whomever she's doing and gets back soon.
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