Boston Unveiled/The In-Game History of the Boston
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The following is an account of the public history of Boston that have developed during the course of the game.
BostonSMG Goes Live
On September 9th, 2005, M.I.T.-based cabal, the Special Media Group launched a mailing list named "BostonSMG", an entirely anonymous means of internet-based communication for the mage community. This appears to be timed with a sudden influx of younger mages into the city of Boston. The SMG and another (unaffiliated?) mage by the name of Gutterskin have since used the group to spread wild rumours, ridicule magi and spark rebellion against the Ebon Noose.
On December 17, 2006, following a flame-war about the arrest of prominent Libertine, Rat, BostonSMG is shut down by a party claiming to be "The Grey Pope".
Banishers have posed a continuous threat to local Mage community. Thought to operate out of Chinatown, Boston's Banishers have shown a fearsome cunning and willingness to engage the Consilium through both direct and indirect means.
In March of 2005, Father Nathan Montgomery was removed from his position within the Catholic church and created Operation: Repent, an extremely "Religious Right" organisation with violent undertones. The organisation was quick to find money and influence: Six months later it had 400 followers nationwide, and its headquarters comprised an entire floor of the John Hancock building. Believing that he recieved directives from Heaven, Montgomery lead his cult on a crusade to rid Boston of heretics, witches and unbelievers.
When investigation into Operation: Repent's protests revealed a magical influence, Pentecost of The Thresholders petitioned the Consilium for aid at the Pentacle on October 3rd, 2005. Provost Johnathan "Chain" Parris formed a War Cabal of volunteers, led by Pentecost and including Dazhdbog (The Lodge of Strela), Diomedes (The Thresholders), Nepthys (Spiritus Draconigena), Tyrson (the Pantheon Relinquished), and River (Solon's Witness), who was later removed due to Censure.
After four months of quiet on both sides, Montgomery announced his intent to move to Washington D.C. The War Cabal, supported by its members' cabals, dealt with the threat by laying siege to Montgomery's home later that month. They killed Montgomery and several of his followers, burned down the house, and escaped without casualties.
Montgomery's assassination led to violent public protests from Operation: Repent, including assault and attempted self-immolation. The Emerald Scroll was forced to close amid accusations of harboring a cult that planned Montgomery's murder, and the bar was almost burnt to the ground by protestors.
Solon's Witness ended the outcry two weeks later by implicating the leaders of the Operation: Repent in a child porn scandal. The arrests of its senior members, and a nationwide loss of public support, left the organization to fall apart. By the end of March 2006, Operation: Repent was a memory.
St. Michael's Promise
In March, Spiritus Draconigena invoked the Great Right of Nemesis against St. Michael's Promise, the presumed puppet master's behind Operation: Repent. The cabal was ill-matched, suffering hospitalisation, kidnap and finally outright destruction at the hands of the Banishers.
The matter spilled outside of their control repeatedly, one occasion involving River (Solon's Witness) and Muramasa (Senate Eternal), the Dead Wrens, and a car bomb outside of the Emerald Scroll, and its climax creating a serious breach of the Lex Magica. Since then, the War Zone has remained relatively quiet.
Things took a turn when a group of mages were approached by an elderly Chinese man, and working through a language barrier, The Guardian "Orochi" took it upon herself, with involvement from Aisling "Caillch" McCormick and Muramasa to bring the man's granddaughter, a member of St. Michael's Promise away from her cohorts. Orochi disappeared for a time and was thought to have been another victim of the banishers, but she returned to her coven after a month, unharmed. Her arrival was preceded by a large fire that broke out in the Chinatown area, leaving two people dead.
Red Word Murders
Rumours of the Red Word originate in Germany, circa the 14th Century, always connected to hideous, ritualised murders, frequently involving cannibalism. According to rumour, they have been present in Boston for at least 200 years. In 2002, a mage-friend of Davy Jones's burst into the Scroll, heavily wounded in both mind and body. He babbled of cannibals, "the Red Word", and how they 'took a whole sentence' from him, before striking himself dead with a Life curse.
In the Autumn of 2005, a series of ritualised murders perpetrated through Vulgar magic plagued Boston's sleeper community. The victims, all young women, numbering between five and eleven depending on sources, were asphixated through use of the Death Arcana in public places. Bite marks on the bodies, the absence of lingering souls, and occasional messages led some of the younger Awakened to blame the Red Word cult for the crimes, but these accusations were never substantiated.
By 2006, the murders had stopped entirely. Since any mention of the Red Word in front of the Consilium Counsilors was met with swift condemnation, the rumours of the Red Word ceased in Boston. Some cabals have implied their victory, but Consilium protocol denies any outright claims of success.
Autumn Pentacle, 2005
The Nemean called a Pentacle to address the overwhelming influx of younger cabals and disturbing number of Solitaries in the city. He issued a dictate that anyone not in a cabal by Halloween will be asked to leave the area. This was later, reulctantly, revoked at the White Putnam's Halloween Ball.
Josh "Aeolus" McKale publically swore the oath of apprenticeship under to Simon "Dahzdbog" Kane of the The Lodge of Strela. There was some small amount of scandal and controversy over this due to Dazhdbog's status as the leader of a fully Adamantine Arrow cabal, and Aeolus' membership in the Silver Ladder, but no objections were raised.
Due to extreme incompetence during an investigation into the Red Word murders, Obsidian, Wordsworth, and Hugin were brought to trial. A policewoman, Faye Lee, had been uncovered as a Sleepwalker. The trio had told her almost everything about mage society, and suceeded in both scaring and alienating her.
Obsidian was deemed the most guilty party and was killed by the Ax. Faye Lee was entrusted to the care of The Thresholders, much to the public annoyance of Druantia. And the Nemean forbid any further mention of the Red Word.
The Tea Parties
The Tea Parties were a gathering of representatives from the newer Boston cabals.
Initially created and chaired by River of Solon's Witness, they ran through the autumn of 2005 with the express purpose of an apolitical sharing of information in light of threats posed by Operation: Repent, the Red Word, et al. The initial membership consisted of The Eyes of Cerebus, The Lodge of Strela, Senate Eternal, Solon's Witness, Spiritus Draconigena, Stilla Maris, and The Thresholders. When the Eyes grew reclusive, they were replaced by the Pantheon Relinquished. These meetings ceased at the end of 2005.
The Tea Parties were resurrected by Pentecost of The Thresholders in March of 2006, first as a public event for all of the city's Awakened, and then resuming the prior pattern of cabal representatives, now including the The Lodge of Strela, Senate Eternal, Silver Arrows, Solon's Witness, Spiritus Draconigena, Stilla Maris and The Thresholders. This iteration of the Tea Parties survived only a couple of meetings, first threatened by the disapproval of the city's elders, and then ended with rumours of the Hierarch's homicidal intentions, and Sleeper scandal surrounding its new location.
The Abyssal Demon
In November 2005, Menelaus of the Dead Wrens led a team of Mysterium and Free Council mages on a hunting trip to capture several magical "fish" spotted near Gloucester, MA. They were successful and, thanks largely to Muramasa, were able to capture several of them at once. Menelaus displayed one of the Cove Creatures at the Mysterium Caucus in December.
River of Solon's Witness led an investigation into the source of the creatures. The team included: Muramasa (Senate Eternal), Ophion (the Pantheon Relinquished) and Styx (The Thresholders). Together, they uncovered an Abyssal demon, Drummond, long-thought to have been destroyed by The Gravediggers. River presented her findings to the senior Mysterium at the January Caucus.
In March, the matter was transferred into the hands of the Adamantine Arrows. In April, the Nemean blessed their attack. In May 2006, The Exalted Knights of the Emerald Gryphon, the Gravediggers, and The Lodge of Strela banished the Abyssal Demon, and destroyed its Scelesti cult. Pereput, the Lodge's Banner Warden, was lost in battle. Reigna promoted Dazhdbog and Zemlya of the Lodge for their actions.
Spring Pentacle, 2006
The first Pentacle of 2006 was held at Cormant House, Salem on April 10th, 2006. All cabals were required to pay tribute to the Nemean.
The Nemean declared his support for an Adamantine Arrow crusade to remove Nefandus Drummond from the city. Sanctions against Solon's Witness were officially put to rest, resulting in muttered discontent from key members of the Consilium.
In June, the city's sigils began being marked by the Engravers of the Safe Path. Thusfar, all borders between neighbouring territories between the known cabals have been Engraved.
The Great Libraries
The Hierarch's most important announcement was the discovery of five libraries, each corresponding to a path and brimming with ancient lore. Cabals put in their bids to become Librarians of the Great Libraries.
- Monday, April 24th, Chain Parris announced that the Silver Arrows were appointed the Great Librarians of the Obrimos Library.
- Wednesday, 3rd May, The Thresholders were appointed the Librarians of the Great Acanthus Library.
- Saturday, 13th May, Solon's Witness were appointed the Librarians of the Great Mastigos Library.
- Saturday, 20th May, Tuatha De were appointed Librarians of the Great Thyrsus Library.
- Thursday, 25th May, The Lodge of Strela were appointed Librarians of the Great Moros Library.
- Monday, 25th September, The Senate Eternal was granted access to all Libraries free of tax or toll. All who bar them entry forfeit their possession of the Library.
As of December 2006, the Five Great Libraries appeared to be in some state of flux. Entering the libraries, in particular the Mastigos, was hazardous. Eventually, it was learned by the majority of Boston's mages that the Libraries had all transformed, and all the grimoires and other books inside were vanished.
At the Spring Pentacle of 2007, the Nemean announced the recovery of the Library books. He congratulated the five Library custodian cabals. Ironically, that very same night, all five of the Great Libraries were discovered by their custodians to have been ransacked. Every single book disappeared completely, despite all the magical precautions that should have prevented the thefts.
Davy Jones and the Free Council
For a long period of time many of the Free Council felt that they were being treated as second class citizens, a major affront to an Order that felt it had contributed to the preservation of the Mysteries.
This resentment came to a head at the Emerald Scroll, when owner Davy Jones retaliated against members of the Vox Draconis by instituting a rule whereby any mention of the Silver Ladder would result in a fine. Initially, the move was considered a joke, but eventually it resulted in escalated tension between Jones and the Thresholders (who were largely composed of Silver Ladders). Simmering animosity boiled over in a verbal conflict between Jones and a member of the Thresholders which resulted in the cabal being banned from the establishment and the Free Council from the Acanthus Library.
The ban against the Thresholders was repealed the following October, and the cabal was welcomed into the pub once again.
Autumn Pentacle, 2006
The Autumn Pentacle was held at Cormant House on the 25th of September. The introduction of new cabals to the Hierarch was stalled when Sadie (Xandra) Frank, of the Sisters of Discord declared that she had seriously wounded Sam "Zeitgeist" Keaton, a Guardian of the Veil. A row erupted when Xandra and Constance "Styx" Grey, of the Thresholders argued that Xandra's actions were justifed. The row ended when Ferrum challenged Xandra to Duel Arcane, on behalf the Adamantine Arrows. Xandra faced Ferrum's second, Archer, and was swiftly defeated.
Cayce "Atropos" Seoirse, of Solon’s Witness and Simon "Dahzdbog" Kane, of the Lodge of Strela were appointed the office of Sentinel. Ethan "Pentecost" Claremont, of the Thresholders was nominated for the position of Herald. Open debate ensued with the majority opposing the nomination. In the end Pentecost was rejected, partially due to the actions of his cabalmate, Styx.
The Nemean granted The Senate Eternal access to each of the Path Libraries, without tax or toll. Pentecost and Atropos protested the decision and denounced The Senate as criminals. The Nemean seemed to not regard the accusations until Atropos threatened The Senate Eternal with The Right of Nemesis; asserting they had violated the sanctity of the Manray Treaty Zone. When Edmund reluctantly apologized, Atropos then demanded reparations. Amused by her resolve, the Nemean plucked a single hair from Senate member, Andrea "Oligopoly" Zane, then reiterated that no violence was to take place within the Treaty Zone.
Potestas introduced Scarlet Silence, a cabal visiting Boston to present a lecture on artifacts to the local Alae Draconis.
The Time Arcanum Weakens
In late November 2006, various Bostonites of the Acanthus Path [Sunjata, Hellawes, Delphi, Taliesin and Delight] independently reported feeling various disturbing symptoms of what could be termed a magical disease. One claimed it was as if she had momentarily lost her connection to Arcadia. Others reported feeling that Time had become frozen or stonelike, or that they had become seasick.
It soon became clear that this curse was not limited to Acanthus mages. Every mage in Boston with skill in the Arcanum of Time found that Arcanum perceptibly harder to use. Studying the phenomenon, Delight discovered that the curse affected only Greater Boston. It did not affect Time manipulations beyond that rough boundary. Time magics cast within an Arcadian Demesne were also unaffected.
- excerpted from the Episode of Chronal Malaise written by Delight
Various cabals and unattached mages investigated this strange weakening of the Arcanum of Time. In mid-December of 2006, part of the uncanny sickness dissipated. The malaise was finally eradicated in early January of 2007.
Less than a week after it dissipated, Delight of the Thresholders began transmitting the following message to every known cabal of the Boston Consilium. By now the message has reached the majority of PC and NPC cabals, and even some cabal-less:
The Thresholders, Solon's Witnesses, and Trimurti Al-Hikmat were responsible for removing the taint on the Arcanum of Time in Greater Boston.
The problem is unlikely to recur.
Spring Pentacle, 2007
The Spring Pentacle meeting of the Boston Consilium was more ordered but no less interesting than the last year's Autumn Pentacle. As the Nemean decreed, almost all of Boston's cabals attended, as did a large number of Solitary guests of those same cabals. The only exceptions were the Dead Wrens and SMG.
Grudgingly, the Nemean announced that the Dead Wrens had chosen the thearch Hellawes to manage their bar, the Emerald Scroll, while they were away on some unspecified vacation overseas. Some Free Council mages in the audience were seen to disapprove, but they did not voice dissent over the Dead Wrens' pick.
Following a heated public debate between the Nemean and Mysterium Councilor Potestas, the law against violence between mages was rescinded. The Hierarch also exchanged some nasty words about turf with the libertine Black Mary, of the Franklin Hills cabal.
Adamantine Arrow Councilor Hydra resigned, and with the apparent blessing of both Hydra and that of Provost Reinga, Khumeia of the Illuminated Pentad cabal replaced her as Councilor. She chose as her Provost Aglaia of the Thresholders. Both women received much applause from the assembled mages.
With evident pleasure, the Nemean announced the recovery of the Path Library books. He congratulated the five Library custodian cabals. Ironically, that very same night, all five of the Great Libraries were discovered by their custodians to have been ransacked. Every single book disappeared completely, despite all the magical precautions that should have prevented the thefts. All attempts, both magical and mundane, to trace the books or any perpetrators failed completely.
At the Nemean's invitation, Taliesin of the Thresholders gave a brief description of the magical disease that infected the Arcanum of Time in Greater Boston, and how various sorcerers worked together to end it. For their service to the Awakened community, the Nemean commended and elevated the following mages: Taliesin and Delight of the Thresholders, Delphi and Orochi of Solon's Witness, and Hellawes of Trimurti Al-Hikmat.
Senate Eternal: Disbanded
On the Fifth of July, 2007, The Nemean issued a decree that was delivered to all cabals in Boston stating that The Senate Eternal had been officially dissolved for trafficking with the Abyss. One member, Edmund, was banished from territory administered by the Consilium of Boston. All territory belonging to the cabal was turned over to The Ebon Noose or The Thresholders.
Autumn Pentacle, 2007
The Autumn Pentacle meeting of the Boston Consilium was notable for two major topics of discussion.
The first topic was that of the Free Council's imminent decision to create a governing body they called an Assembly. To the surprise of some, Chain Parris, the Nemean's Provost, supported the Free Council's decision to do so, even though it would put the new polity outside the Consilium and thus the Nemean's control.
Newly appointed Councilor Khumeia supported the Free Council's right to self-governance but rejected the idea that the Assembly be created immediately, since at the time the Consilium was in a slowly heating cold war with the Seers of the Throne. She declared that the move was no less than a death sentence, since it would put the Free Council at the mercy of the slaves of the Exarchs.
The heated discussion was punctuated by remarks by various mages in attendance, including Aglaia, Baker, Delight, Diogenes, and Zoeker. Nothing came of it, however, as the Free Council itself could not seem to agree on what precisely the Assembly would be, if it were to be a body governing only the Free Council of Boston (and thus only a caucus of an Order) or a body independent and separate from the Consilium. The solitary Baker supported the former opinion, and the solitary Diogenes supported the latter.
The second topic, closely related to the first, was the progress of the conflict with the Seers of the Throne. Black Mary and Ibeabuchi of the Franklin Hills cabal, the solitary Wagner, and other Libertines declared their willingness to engage in a war of total annihilation against any Seers who messed with them or harmed any more of them. This conviction may have been strengthened by the presence of the recently recovered Libertine called Babbage, a member of the SMG cabal, who had ostensibly been kidnapped by the Seers of the Throne. After Black Mary departed the meeting in a rage at mages of other Orders, another Libertine, one alternately called Gregg, LDC, or Living Dead Cat of the Trimurti Al-Hikmat, cabal stood and revealed that the Seers were impinging subtly upon the Franklin Hills cabal's territory, using influence over Sleeper society there rather than brute force or magic.
Chain Parris asked if any new cabals wished to declare themselves before their peers. None did. He remarked on this lack, as well as the large number of solitaries present. Chain then asked if anyone wished to engage in the Duel Arcane, again before their peers. None did.
Forvalaka, ostensible leader of the The Proverbial Fire cabal, then stood up and made a public apology to the entire Consilium, and especially the Adamantine Arrow, for her actions in the autumn of last year. She and her cabal also promised to do better in the future. Ferrum, the public leader of the Adamantine Arrow order in Boston, stood and accepted her apology, commending her for her humility. Neither warrior made public mention of what exactly Forvalaka was apologizing for.
Following that, the Nemean dismissed the Autumn Pentacle meeting of 2007.
Also of note was Potestas, Councilor and leader of the Brotherhood of Ineffable Truth, who made his first appearance before the Consilium after regaining a measure of his youth. The aging mystagogue, once believed to be at least 80 years old, appeared as a hale and spry 50-year-old man. Potestas and all of Boston's mystagogues have remained silent regarding the cause of this new development. The Councilor, however, briefly declared at the beginning of the Pentacle that the Mysterium's latest find falls under the protection of the Great Rights.