2020-06-07 - Enchanted Messages


The search for the Crown continues

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Jun 7 07:26:11 2020
Location: Shadowcrest

Related Logs


Theme Song



Fenris might have troubles of his own to deal with but the issues with Otherworld still need looking at.

The search through Zatanna's archive is taking its time - her ancestor had hidden it well and as both the Asgardian and the Magician are beginning to suspect, the House itself isn't helping.

"Refreshments for you, Zatanna." Richard, the Shadowcrest Majordomo, enters the room where the pair are working. There's a tray with sandwiches, an assortment of cheeses, some fruit along with jugs of water, orange juice and a bottle of scotch. The majordomo eyes Fenris, giving the man a slightly disapproving look.

"Thank you, Richard. Leave them there and we'll get to them." Zee says absently. "Fenris, look at this entry. It's got an enchantment on it."

That's what they've had to resort to. To look for subtle magics instead the Crown of Command itself.

Fenris looks at Richard with a look that says 'bite me'. He's used to the disapproval of mortals. And it just barely registers to him anymore. Two thousand years will do that. He reaches over and picks up some of the orange juice and a bite of cheese as he looks.

"Hrm…" He runs a finger along the words. Then he breathes on the passage by leaning close. Then he dips his finger in the orange juice and runs it along the words again.

"Subtle. Just barely there. Which of your ancestors wrote this and how long ago was it?"

Richard sniffs and Zee looks between the two men. "Thank you, Richard. That will be all." She barely manages to suppress the smirk at the behaviour. After the Majordomo leaves, the magician shakes her head "You'd think I'm consorting with the devil. I mean, I've consorted with devils before and he hasn't been quite so … put out."

"Hmmm. That would be Selim Zatara in 1753, so 270-ish years ago." As Fenris tests the words, they shimmer a little. "A visitor arrived today and took delivery of their order. I told them they would need the essence of family and one who fights their lot to activate it." Zee shakes her head. "Selim, like most Zatara's made trinkets and enchantments for people. It could be that, but why hide it behind an enchantment? What do you think it means, Fenris?"

She has her suspicions but Zee has learned not to jump to conclusions.

"Well it could mean anything. Certainly it's an odd description of a trinket. Doesn't sound like something I'd much care to have nor something a responsible mage would make." The God Wolf says. He taps the enchantment. "That is… if it's truthful. 1753… I don't suppose you have any iron gall ink about do you?"

Iron gall, Zee may or may not know, is probably what this book is written in. It was the main writing medium of the time. It is sliiiiightly acidic and doesn't always do good things to the paper it's on over time, though this book seems to have held up just fine.

It could and Zatanna nods in agreement. "It doesn't, no." The magician smiles and heads to a cabinet along one wall of the archive. Opening it, Zee shuffles the contents and finally brings out an old fashion ink well with a dip pen. "As it stands, yes I do. It's a common component of my ancestors workings…. well, some of them, any way."

"What are you thinking, Fenris?"

"Iron has a muting property on magic. This magic is extremely subtle. I think you might be able to use the iron content of the ink to dispel the enchantment and see what has actually been done to this passage." It might be a very subtle illusion spell. Fenris is leaning that way. But either way it should be possible.

"If I'm right about that all you'll have to do is 'ground out' the page with a few marks in the margins. That's if you don't mind marking up your ancestor's journals."

People might get a bit squeamish about that, he does understand.

"What other workings did your ancestors attempt with that ink?"

"Would you believe scrolls?" Zatanna answers without cracking a smile. Hard to tell if she's joking she's or not. "Hmm, that's an interesting approach and I think it will work. I'm assuming, Selim knew that one of his descendants would find this, so I don't mind some minor markings in the journal."

"Shall we then?" With Fenris holding the book, Zee dips the pen in the ink and writes in a practiced hand in the margin of the page. It's in English, but backwards - just like she says her spells. Not that she *probably* has to do that for this.

The words shimmer again when she touches the page, and as she puts the words down, slowly rearrange themselves.

//If you are reading this, you have been searching for that which the Tuatha made and gave to the Emrys. To be reading this, you must be of my blood and have one who is seeking to the bonds of destiny with you.

I Saw this last night when I had finally reconciled to do away the Gift. I can not destroy it for it will be needed and it will be for one of my line to expose its powers to the world again.

Instead I trust its keeping to that which is unnamed on the tree of life. If you must seek it, be sure you must and seek it for there.//

"No but I would believe broadsides. Scrolls would have been too obvious in 1753." Fenris says with a small smile. He leans forward and cants his head slightly, turning over the oblique nature of the passage in his mind. Riddles. It's like that one movie with Nick Cage…

Actually that was a pretty good movie.

"The Gift is probably the Crown. That which is unnamed on the tree of life." Fenris makes a face. Trees. Imagery. The first and most common explanation will be Christian but the tree of life in Eden doesn't have any names on it. So. Norse? No. The World Tree is a cosmological system. Not much is named there either and there is no safe guardian to entrust it to. Sefirot…

Now there's an idea.

"The tree if life is a metaphor used in Kaballah to describe the metaphysical beings or concepts that reveal the nature of Ein Sof. There are ten in most schema. But… one of them uses an eleventh…"

"Maybe it was broadsides. Formenting discontent and educating the masses." Now Zee grins, totally teasing about the last.

That was an excellent Nick Cage movie but hopefully the won't be required to steal the Declaration of Independence to do this.

"The Ein Sof? That's abstract and possibly only the most learned would have known of it in 1753. Of course, few not of that persuasion would understand it now." Zee muses, canting her head as she thinks. "One uses an eleventh? That eleventh would Da'at, yes? Knowledge? He hid the Crown in a place of knowledge?"

"Or entrusted it to someone or something very knowledgeable. Someone or something he felt he could trust." Fenris muses as well, taking the orange juice to drink this time.

"I doubt he is claiming he actually entrusted it to an angle since Da'at isn't widely held to be an actual being even among those who hold to that particular branch of Kaballah. Where was Selim tutored in the arcane arts?" And by whom? Magicians don't just spring out of the ground and even well established magical families have to teach their scions. Even Zatanna is not self taught. She has a lot of resources but Fenris is sure she had teachers who influenced her.

Zee makes a face and pours herself a scotch before taking a sandwich. "If that's the case, we're going to have to search further. It's possible whoever he gave it to isn't alive anymore. Or if they are, they've changed names several times. If indeed they've ever made any registers."

She's thinking though, going through her list of contacts. "There's one person who … well, they've been around for a bit and are one of the people I studied with. If it's not them, then they might know who it might be."

"That sounds like a lead. Who is it?" The Old Wolf knows a lot of the longer lived players in the arcane world. Those relationships are not always good or even pleasant but they are known factors and in the magical world that counts for a lot. Long lived beings frequently come into contact but they will always prefer the devil they know. One way to catch out an immortal is to put him in a situation he's never been in before. That just gets tricky the longer they've been around.

"What else do you know of Selim? Seems like your family has fairly complete records about its members."

"He's known to me as Gerard. He might be a demi-god or some such but he's never been really forthcoming. I'll take us to meet him, if you like - and warn him that I'll have a guest." Because Zees aware that taking someone like Fenris to visit another could be problematic.

"Complete? Not really. We have some records, its true. An accomplished Mage with a touch of the Sight from what I remember. There's rumours he had a steamy affair with a British Duchess."

"Gerard. Not Butler, I take it." Fenris nods. He will meet this mysterious tutor and they can have a discussion about what he may or may not know. That's not a name he recognizes but people change names. He's done it frequently.

"How scandalous." A Colonial mage consorting with English nobility? Or was he colonial. "Do you happen to know which one?" This would be near twenty years before the revolution but that was a very unsettled time in world history. A VERY unsettled time.

"Pity we can't just eat people until they decide it's not worth looking for it anymore."

"Not Butler and he doesn't look anything like it. Much, much better looking." Zee smiles again. "Maybe you know him. I'm aware there's not many of you on Earth but it doesn't necessarily mean you all know each other."

"Um. Northumberland, if I recall correctly. Selim had been travelling the world from his home in Turkey. Most unusual but he's rumoured to be a bit of a rebel."

Not a colonial but perhaps something worse. An infidel!

"Well you could try that, but you're just one being and if I'm not mistaken, this isn't the only thing you're working on. Question is, what will I do when I find the artifact? Should I give it to the Tuatha or should I … hide it again."

"A Turkish lover, hrm? I didn't realize your family was so cosmopolitan." Fenris chuckles. "Don't tell me that the modern Zatara line is descended from that forbidden affair?" He is slightly teasing now, but she has asked quite a serious question.

"Well. That is a bit of a problem. If you keep it Malekith will certainly bend considerable effort toward trying to acquire it and not particularly care who is in the way. If you send it off again we just wind up back where we started, with the Tuatha and the Dark Elves both wanting it and looking for it and causing mayhem all the while. We need to convince one or both groups to back off. Unless you want to trust the Tuatha with it."

"I don't think so but who knows. Maybe one day, I'll have an estate in England and retire to my English Country Garden." Zee chuckles.

"What would be the harm in giving it to the Tuatha, Fenris? They made it after all, didn't they? They made it to protect Otherworld didn't they? Isn't that what we want to do? Keep the balance between the two and give Malekith a bloody nose?"

"If we knew we could trust them, maybe no harm at all. But the Tuatha are wracked by internal divisions almost always and it is never quite clear whom among them is working against whom and how far they are willing to go to get whatever it is they want. So yes we want balance. But if you give it to the wrong person then balance is exactly what we won't have."

After all one of their number have already been involved in something nasty.

"The other potential problem is that by giving it to the Tuatha we may provoke a full on war between them and Malekith and that will almost certainly spill out here onto midgard."

Not ideal, not at all. Fenris knows the options are limited and the problem they have here is almost certain to require a solution that will leave no one very happy.

"So I find it and tell them I have it and if they don't behave, we'll tell Daddy?" It's said dryly as Zatanna sighs. "It's never easy is it, Fenris? I thought Midgardians were supposed to be the ones who needed watching."

It's not a a nice feeling, really, being caught up in the cross fire between two much more powerful … factions.

"What if someone was to use the Crown, do you think? It's supposed to, what did Brigid say? Enhance someones magic. What if we threatened to let one of ours use it to protect Earth?"

"That doesn't even work for me…" Fenris chuckles. "You do need watching. Very careful watching. But to be honest you don't live long enough generally to get up to this kind of trouble. To really mess things up like this requires a few centuries." And no, it is never easy. It's never, never easy.

"If they thought the threat was serious, and if they thought you could actually manage to find someone like that then that is probably the least bad solution. Of course it puts a giant target on whomever is going to use it and it is entirely possible that a show of force will be required before they take it seriously." This is why Earth has a sorcerer supreme, who is a bit… busy or something at the moment, so Fenris understands.

"Do we now?" Zee smirks and gestures to the orange juice and the scotch - would he like another juice or scotch this time? "I suppose as we start to live longer and longer, that becomes more of a challenge."

She's quiet though as she considers the threat she just proposed. "I don't know if there *is* anyone that could do that. The Sorcerer Supreme, of course, but he's not been heard of in a while. Not that that's unusual. I was wondering if I could do it and would be enough of threat …"

"I don't think humanity should view that as a challenge." Fenris snorts. "The universe has enough problems without another race of long lived people determined to tangle it up."

The Old Wolf gestures toward the scotch. That's the one he'd like now. Maybe later he'll mix the two. Sometimes odd flavors are good.

"It might be but you're young as mages go even if you are quite powerful. I think you'd have to demonstrate that you were capable of carrying the threat out. It wouldn't go amiss to have some help too. My father, for example. I don't especially recommend giving him the crown though. Just as backup, maybe."

If Fenris wants a mixer, Zee will get a proper one. He'll shock her by mixing good Scotch with orange juice. Pouring the drink, the magician gives the God Wolf a cheeky grin. "What is they say? Challenge accepted?" Somehow she thinks that humanity will rise to the occassion without any prompting, though.

"I'm not sure I'm powerful enough, Fenris and I know that power used … inappropriately … can affect the caster. I've had my share of run ins even at this age. I'm not sure I'm all that serious about it. If I failed, it would have far reaching consequences." She blinks when he mentions Loki. "Loki …. is considered about this. It is true. There were Otherworlders on Earth the other day, they handed out 'boons' to people - for Loki and I, they implied we would have to work together."

"I'm not sure I trust him, Fenris."

That makes Fenris snort. "You should not. He is not trustworthy. It is not in his nature to be so and Loki is very in tune with his nature. However, he is not evil. He is perhaps somewhat self interested but as long as he can be presented a case for why he will benefit from something I would say you can count on some level of support from him."

That is a rather direct assessment of his father but Zatanna could probably figure that out for herself if she did enough research.

"Our options are rather limited but if you can think of another spell slinger who might suit more I am all ears." Fenris can't, at least not at the moment and he can't think of another god he trusts to handle it either. Bast? He likes Bast but giving it to her is asking for trouble.

No, this will have to be a mortal. Someone prepared to make sacrifices for sacrifices it will surely require.

"I will not. He seems amiable enough towards me, even if I did … express … that I was happy with my current relationship status." Zee knows that Loki would be an asset to have on their side. She also knows that Loki could be persuaded to change sides with suitable enticement.

As to another spell slinger, Zee isn't sure. Mortal mages of sufficient power and will are … rare. "I've thought long and hard, Fenris. Lady Sigyn maybe however, I think that might just ignite an inter-pantheon war."

If it has to be her, she'll need to train. So many people don't realise how much work goes into being as good as she is.

"If the Tuatha or the Dark Elves attacked her - which both ARE indeed stupid enough to do - then yes an inter pantheon war would be all but inevitable and that would be a bad thing." How bad? Most mortals aren't even capable of imagining the scale of destruction races like that can unleash.

"Relationship status? He's married. Or was he offering to set you up with someone else." Because Loki cannot resist meddling long term. Fenris is fond of his father, more or less, but both are fairly clear eyed about what the other is. Loki is a trickster, and Fenris is a monster.

Honestly, what a family.

"Well, for now, first we have to find the damn thing."

Zatanna snorts "No, not someone else. I'm sure he was just teasing and I did remind him of that fact."

"Then I shall keep thinking about who I might ask to wield the Crown. If my father were here, I would ask him." But he is not and Zee won't dwell on that matter.

"Let me send a message to Gerard and we shall head over if he is available … " Until then. There's sandwiches to munch on.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License