Evan enters Syrenia’s large, modern mansion. He tries to avoid the stare of her mute manservant, knowing that Syrenia is likely looking at him through the eyes of her pawn. He is lead into his former mentor’s office; Syrenia enters at the same time through a side door. Her face is beautiful, imposing, and as usual a complete cypher, giving no clue to her emotions or thoughts. She offers Evan a seat, and they both sit in leather wingbacks, not at the desk, but around a small round table. The manservant returns with a tea service. Stirring milk and sugar into her cup – she offers Evan neither of these – Syrenia gets straight to the point.
“So, you wish a favor from me? After you spurned my teaching during the last half of your apprenticeship for that dusty old relic-hunter? Tell me, what do you have to offer that makes you think that I’ll teach you this rote?”
If Evan tells Syrenia that he’s obviously a pawn in her plots and that he can’t continue to serve if he’s dead, turn to page 15
If Evan tells Syrenia that the cabal is headed to Tibet and asks if there is anything he could “retrieve” for her, turn to page 17
Evan’s player turns to page 15.
Evan feels his sixth sense go off – a dropping sensation in his stomach as if he’s falling – and feels magic slamming into his mind. He knows that he’s locked something away in there; something important, something dangerous. Still, the Memory Hole in his mind holds – the hours he spent in ritual casting were not to waste.
Syrenia’s expression and body language change not a bit.
“You must think highly of yourself, to think that you would be important to me. Furthermore, the rote you ask for is dangerous and valuable. Still, I am not unreasonable.
“The price for this knowledge shall be this:” she switches her legs, left now crossed over right in her cocktail dress, “accompany me and assist me as you did during your ‘apprenticeship’, for one day of my choosing. To be sworn in front of the council.”
If Evan accepts this deal, turn to page 23.
If Evan bids her farewell, turn to page 25.
Evan’s player, always a risk-taker, chooses page 23.
Saturday, July 14, 1934
Jonah corrects Evan’s hand positions slightly as they finish going through the rote for Finder. The older Mystagogue’s version of the rote is arcanely named “Loci Correspondentiam”.
“I think you’ve got it,” Jonah nods approvingly as he motions for Evan to take a seat. He has to move two piles of dusty papers and a book from the davenport to find enough room. Jonah pours coffee for the two of them and pours a healthy dose into his own cup from a small flask.
Offering the flask to Evan, he shakes his head, “I still can’t believe you went anywhere near that woman, never mind making her any sort of promise. You didn’t swear an Oath or have a Gaes laid on you?”
Evan shakes his head as he adds a stiff shot to his drink. They both sip, and the older man again shakes his head.
“Next time, son, come to me first, or others in the Mysterium. If you don’t keep your promise, she could challenge you to the Duel Arcane – and that would be trouble!”
Evan finds a small notecard slipped under the front door of his shop when he returns. He turns it over and reads as he enters:
I know you felt me hit your mental wall. Rest assured, I will find out what you are hiding, Evan Radmonovich.
Whatever your true name is.
“Is everything ok, hon?” a woman’s voice asks. Evan realizes that he’s stopped midway through the door. He hastily pockets the card.
“Josephine! Yes,” he hastily remarks, “just business.”
He gives the young woman a peck on the cheek as he heads into the back room; she leans into it with affection and smiles.
Dun dun DUN (for the 3rd time). The name ‘Evan Radmonovich’ doesn’t work to establish a connection for Sympathetic spells (spells at a distance – and this is not that surprising of a revelation given that he was memory-wiped and smuggled from Russia into the US as a teen) – good to keep Syrenia out of his business (without quite a lot more effort on her part), but it also means that his friends and allies will have a harder time too, unless he can discover his true name.