Logs:Blood Under the Black Moon... at the Ritz-Carlton

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Blood Under the Black Moon... at the Ritz-Carlton


Characters: Buster, Jules and Tris
Date: 2020-01-06
Summary: Buster performs Blood Magic in his hotel room while two look on.
Disclaimers: {{{disclaimers}}}

Tris' amazing harmonica music

'If you want to understand who I really am, come to my hotel room on the night of the Black Moon.' That was the text from Buster.

His hotel room is amazingly pristine -- he doesn't sleep there -- and it's lavish, since he stays at the Ritz-Carlton. The furniture has been moved around in the main sitting room to clear an empty space, and it's dark, lit only by the guttering flicker of candles -- ordinary tealights, arranged on plates in the shape of a five pointed star.

Buster is dressed only in a pair of slacks and his shoes, and he's quietly going through the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, rhythmically working a razor sharp dagger through the motions of the ritual. "Mahl-KOOT. Vih G'Boo-RAH. Vih G'Doo-LAH. Lih-Oh-LAHM, Amen..."

A table in the center of the room has a caged white dove on it, a large bowl full of water, and a bottle of ink. A single red candle burns in front of it, wax dripping down its length.

<spend> Buster spends 1 point of their Willpower pool, for +2 dice for Auspice skills..

--

.oO( Tris rolls 9 Dice )Oo..................................................o.
 Roll: Presence + Expression + 2
 Result: Exceptional Success! (6) -- (10 6 1 8 10 10 5 10 4 5 9 1 7)
.o......................................oO( exceptional success! (public) )Oo.

Given Tris' history being a fearsome predator for many, many years in a magical land thankfully far away (one can hope, dream, wish, pray), he doesn't actually need a chaperone for safety's sake. Probably. Good sense, on the other hand? That may be in far shorter supply from the impulsive Beast. The knock on the other side of the door is colorful, and then... there's the most ominous, superb shrill but somehow melodious trill of a harmonica. Ian's Christmas present is being put to great use... right outside Buster's door. Jules isn't ashamed, is he? If he is, it's really too bad, because those are some sick beats by Tris who leans on the frame of the door playing his sweet, Summery heart out.

--

If Tris did need a safety chaperone, Jules would--well, he's got the ogre physique going on, but in a world of magic creatures, that doesn't mean anything. Just suffice it to say that Jules, out there in the hall, looks like he's here to be responsible, not here to be dangerous. "Is that really necessary?" he asks of Tris, voice low, but otherwise he's just hanging around. He, surely unlike Tris, looks more like he should be about to ask about whether he can have a look at a TV on the fritz than like he's a legitimate visitor to the sort of person who legitimately stays at hotels like this.

--

<spend> Buster spends 1 (-1 points) of their Vitae pool.
<OOC> Buster says, "Discipline activation roll, Cruac, Pool of Infinite Truths. +2 for Dead Wolf 'Auspice Bonus'. +2 for Area of Expertise 'Cruac'. +1 for an elaborate ritual setup/extra time."
.oO( Buster rolls 12 Dice )Oo...............................................o.
 Roll: Manipulation + Occult + Cruac + 2 + 2 + 1
 Result: Exceptional Success! (6) -- (9 1 3 5 3 4 7 10 8 9 2 10 5 8)
.o......................................oO( exceptional success! (public) )Oo.
<OOC> Buster says, "I will choose to take the 'Ecstatic' condition for an exceptional success on the roll to use the ritual."

The ritual pauses. The door opens.

Buster looks up from inside the doorway, and then puts his finger over his mouth, before he returns to his previous position and goes through the formulation of the pentagram, his motions smooth and practiced, gesturing with that razor-sharp blade -- not a dagger, no, Buster uses a Roman gladius, with its three-foot, leaf-shaped blade, both hands on the hilt as he goes through the motions with the air of a man with long practice. "Yud-Heh-Vahv-Heh. Ah-Doh-NYE. Eh-Heh-YEH. AH-Glah."

His arms are taut, muscle standing out in sharp relief, as he holds his arms out to the sides, legs straight and together.

"Before me, Raphael. Behind me, Gabriel. On my right hand, Michael. And on my left hand, Auriel. For about me flames the Pentagram..."

"...And within me shines the six-rayed star."

He completes the Kabalistic Cross, and then straightens up, visibly relaxing, before he looks at the two of them. "I wanted you to see who I really am, Tris. And then you can decide if you still want to be my friend."

He takes the gladius, and walks up to the table, ceremonially gripping the blade in both hands. Blood, thick and black, runs down the blade, dripping into the water in slow, heavy drops.

"Et sit cruor in virtute. Sanguis enim eorum pro anima est. In potentia enim est sanguis. De vita et sanguine."

Something is happening. All the candles start guttering, as if a wind is blowing on them. The darkness in the room somehow gets... more. And the shadows cast by those flickering tea-lights all seem to be reaching for Buster.

--

The brow that arches at Jules, harmonica still to Tris' lips is the answer to his question. Is it really necessary? This is Tris. So. Yes? It would be rude not to put Ian's gift to good use. The Beast's eyes are bright with mischief as they look at the Ogre and the music plays on, only to curtail in a trill after Buster has opened the door and put a finger to his lips. There has to be a sigh, but the harmonica gets tucked into the pocket of designer jeans before Tris moves within - before Jules.

Though Tris is always some kind of predator, even when it's the friendly kind, with Jules near him, there is something keener in his focus. If he didn't trust Buster at least a little, the Winter King would surely not be here, regardless of any protests that might have been made. But they're here, and a sharp gaze takes in the room, the set-up, the vampire doing the ritual. He steps far enough into the room that the door can be closed behind himself and Jules, though he remains ever so slightly in front of the Ogre. At least now that there is not harmonica in play, the hunter is silently watchful, taking it all in. The glowing scars on his body have shifted from green-blue when they were in the hall to soft yellow, gold and twinges of red. The glow is not great enough to light anything in turn, just enough to glimmer in a way that there can be no doubt where the scarred man is in the open space of the room.

When the gladius comes to hand, Tris tenses, not in fear nor in panic, but in simple readiness. There are very few who could pick up a weapon near him and not have that instinctive response coil muscle and flare the already intense heat of his mantle just a touch more. Steam drifts off the skin of his arms in small twists, but as yet, not flame.

--

Jules comes into the room and shuts the door behind him, but there is definitely no move to advance further into the room that would require that Tris actually shift any further forward. He's totally fine with hanging back here like some goth teenager's dad looking on with distinct wariness about this particular hobby. But on the up side, no immediate denunciations of the vampire as either a Satanist or... who knows, a communist or something? Sotto voce, to Tris: "You sure this is the sort of friend you want?"

--

<spend> Buster spends 1 point of their Willpower pool.
 <OOC> Buster says, "Second part of the ritual roll, + 2 for Dead Wolf 'Auspice Bonus', + 2 for Area of Expertise (Cruac), +3 for Willpower."
.oO( Buster rolls 13 Dice )Oo...............................................o.
 Roll: Wits + Occult + Cruac + 2 + 2 + 3
 Result: Exceptional Success! (6) -- (8 2 1 3 2 7 5 8 4 9 2 8 10 8)
.o......................................oO( exceptional success! (public) )Oo.
<OOC> Buster says, "Condition: Primeval Truths. Secrets of the Covenants 184. Your character has gazed into the abyss, and it gazed back into her. She suffers an uncanny angst and melancholy, having seen truths her Earthly self could not hope to comprehend. She cannot regain Willpower, and must spend an additional Vitae to rise each night."
<OOC> Buster says, "Resolution: Face the darkness. Risk Humanity Detachment, or otherwise take a significant action where your character briefly faces the void."

When Buster looks up, his eyes are wide, and his expression is exultant. Oh yeah. Feel the power.

The gashes on his palms visible and still bleeding, he grabs that white dove out of its cage and ignores its frantic flapping, as he grabs the sword and *pierces* it, before he squeezes it, its blood flowing between his fingers and into the pool of water. Then he takes a bottle of ink off the table, and adds a few drops into the water, swirling it with the blade before he sets it aside. He grips the bowl with both hands.

All of the candles around him suddenly flare to life, flames straight upward.

"Show me the true face of my foe." He says, as he gazes into the blackness. Show me its secrets. I command them forth from the darkness."

There is a distinct presence of... something around Buster, as if he has opened an invisible door to something and is gazing through it, via his reflection in the bowl. His fingers tighten on the rim of that heavy ceramic, and go white. He is visibly struggling not to tear himself away.

--

"Reminds me of pledge week back at uni." Tris murmurs in response to Jules. Maybe Tris didn't hear his monarch just right, or maybe he just doesn't want to answer the question right now. His body is tight in its readiness for a need to act. For all that this is undeniably some weird ass shit to the uninitiated, Tris doesn't move from the stance he adopted when he came in, dark gaze tracking every move the Kindred is making. He doesn't flinch at the death of the bird, he doesn't move to help Buster when his fingers tighten. Maybe Tris does have more common sense than it might initially appear. "What do you know about vampires, Jules?" The question is quiet, but out of a wish to not interrupt, not actually a wish for secrecy. Still, his eyes only flick back to his partner, just to make sure that whatever's going on over there hasn't somehow come this way to affect the leader of the freehold behind him.

--

"I know," says Jules, no louder, "that this isn't my business and it isn't yours." He does... maybe flinching is the wrong word. He averts his eyes, rather, from the business with the dove. Not an inability to bear watching, but a choice made to not.

--

"We live in a city where this is part of our reality, Jules. It's dangerous to be blind, worse if it's willfully so." Tris' voice is quiet when he replies to the Winter. It's not rebuking, merely sharing the truth as this Summer sees it. For all that Tris is more pretty than he is smart, he can be awfully wise on occasion. It is, perhaps, moments like this that let people like Jules and Miles see the man in this Beast.

When Buster finally pulls himself away, Tris studies him. Exultant. Haunted. For some, that peculiar pairing might be concerning, or anxiety-inducing. Maybe to Tris, Buster just looks like a Lost just tripping out of the Hedge for the first time in time unknowable. He studies the vampire a long moment before speaking a reply.

It's the same matter-of-fact tone as he took with Jules, only at a more widely conversational volume. "If you want decent, don't look at me. Decent is Jules." He tips his head toward the Winter. The Winter who doesn't want a part of it. "I'm just a monster." The timing for when Tris' arm finds the light switch and flicks it might have been unplanned, or it may have been dramatic flare, because his scars suddenly-- well, not flare, but they change from the yellow-gold glimmers with flickers of red into a riot of orange, purple and neon green when the new light hits them. Tris' words are the simplest possible explanation, that much is obvious; the truth distilled into a single sentence.

"If you want to share, when you have it sorted out, I'd like to know. I'm trying to protect what's worth protecting now." Now that he can? Now that he has a choice? Just, now. He'd take Buster's help with that. "I'd like your friendship. You should decide if you want mine." He can't change what he is, and frankly, he's probably not trying too hard from the way he seems unconcerned about it. Take him or leave him: Tris is Tris. That's how it goes.

--

"Mm," is all Jules says, about his own decency, or presumably so since that's when the noise emerges. On anything else, apparently here and now he is intent on keeping his own counsel, but his face is clearly lined with concern as he takes another look at Buster over there and then back to Tris. His hand goes to the door, but he doesn't open it exactly, just rests fingers against the doorknob. The most impatient kind of patience.

--

Buster looks up at the two of them, and then says, "I will." To what? Who can say? He looks at the two of them and says, "I have to go out." His eyes still have that wide eyed stare, passion and horror reflected in them in equal measure. "...Thank you. I owed you--" He says, "...Some honesty."

.oO( Buster rolls 5 Dice )Oo................................................o.
 Roll: Manipulation + Persuasion
 Result: Success (1) -- (3 8 4 5 1)
.o...................................................oO( success (public) )Oo.
<OOC> Buster says, "Making a +hunt roll for post-scene to resolve the Ecstatic condition and gain a beat."
<regain> Buster regains 1 point of their Vitae pool.
<regain> Buster regains 1 point of their Vitae pool.

--

"Let's go, Jules." Tris waits for the Winter to open the door and go through before Tris, himself, will follow. "Good luck," he wishes the vampire perhaps because accidents can happen. He'll keep himself between the Kindred in a state and his partner, perhaps in hopes that if something suddenly went sideways, it would be the heated blood of Summer rather than the chill brew of Winter that met dead lips.