5510/Disassembling an Icon

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Disassembling an Icon
Date of Scene: 09 March 2021
Location: Astoria Park
Synopsis: Someone is graffitiing elemental glyphs around Queens. Luckily they're getting them wrong. Unluckily, they might eventually get them right. Abcde meets a mage, Nessa, who makes ice, and invites Abcde to join the LBC.
Cast of Characters: Abcde Prescelta, Nessa Donovan

Abcde Prescelta has posed:
    Abcde has not been shy about trying to hide the wand she wears on her hip. She saunters around like an old west gun slinger, though her weapon of choice is not a gun. Mostly, she figures, people will assume it's a cosplay prop - or just ignore it like it's a thin mobile phone or the like.

    Astoria park is quite beautiful today. Between the playgrounds and courts and the big pool.. the sun is out, people are mingling, children are making high pitched squeaky noises of delight. Abcde though, is moving from wall to wall observing the graffiti that has been sprayed on them. Every now and then she catches glimpse of something that doesn't belong. A little bit of a sigil, a mystical icon, that has since been painted over. This is disturbing enough that it caught her attention.

Nessa Donovan has posed:
For a while, Nessa thought it'd be a great idea not to stick her nose into the middle of magical business. That lasted for about two days until she got bored, and once more began to spend a good chunk of her free time honing her magic and sorting through things. Magic brought her here, mostly because she'd felt some kind of traces in the area more than once.

That and it's a nice park. A nice day. Which naturally means Nessa's in a turtleneck and jeans, thin gloves so she at least doesn't look /quite/ as obvious. She walks with a pace that isn't quite hurried, but still seems to have a clear direction. Her eyes scan the area around her, however, occasionally causing her to stop and observe bits of the park more closely.

Abcde Prescelta has posed:
    Abcde leans down and picks up an abandoned spray can. She holds it up and squints at it. "Hmm," she muses to herself, then unclips her wand from its holster and brings it up. Her hands emit a glowing blue light as she says, "ipsum revelare"

    The spray can starts to glow blue from her magic and then intricate, almost like caligraphy, lines of tar appear over the can body. She frowns a moment and then points it to the wall and sprays. Black paint spreads across the wall, but it pulses with magic. "What are you?," she says to herself.

    It looks, for all intents and purposes, that someone with a magical wand is spraying magical glyphs on the wall right now. Such is the nature of first impressions.

Nessa Donovan has posed:
First impressions tend to be something Nessa's good at. Maybe not /good/ first impressions, but she tends to have memorable ones. As she heads in that direction, she stops nearby. Yes, that's magical graffiti... or what looks like it. She raises an eyebrow before resting a hand on her hip.

"You here for the Ladies Book Club?" It's worth asking!

Abcde Prescelta has posed:
    Abcde drops the spray can when suddenly someone is talking at her. She felt guilty enough as it was spraying the wall with paint, having never done it before in her life. Her other hand slips her wand away and she turns her hip to conceal it a touch.

    "Ladies Book Club?," she asks utterly perplexed at the question. "What?," is the best she can come up with that utterly cryptic introduction. The graffiti still glows with blue magic as it reforms itself on the wall in to the shape of a mystical glyph. It is revealing itself, as her magic requested. It has a distinctly 'fire like' quality to its design.

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"Rats. Clearly the LBC needs to go on a recruiting drive."

That mostly seems to be Nessa talking to herself for a moment before she gestures towards the glyph on the wall. "That's an interesting thing to be doing in a park. Can't say I approve of graffiti, but you've certainly got some interesting subject matter." She, of course, has no reason not to assume that Abcde isn't the one messing with the paint. The glyph itself in its firelike nature, however, makes her slightly uncomfortable but she stands her ground.

Abcde Prescelta has posed:
    Abcde furrows her eyebrows at Nessa as she then shrinks Ladies Book Club down to its initials. "You clearly want me to ask what the LBC is...," she says but then.. doesn't ask. She looks back to the wall and the glyph is starting to smoke even as her blue magic has faded away. Her eyes widen a touch.

    "I didn't do that... I mean I did, but it's not what you think. I was trying to see what did do that.. and now it's done it again, whatever it is," she says stumbling over how guilty she looks and feels at this very moment.

    It is then that the glyph bursts in to flames and from it leaps a person sized burning ember. It seems to morph and turn around, like there's a humanoid form with in it studying both Nessa and Abcde. Abcde for her part draws her wand back out quickly and takes several steps back. "Whoa, a fire elemental!"

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"What? I don't need you to--" Nessa tries to explain the LBC, but she's a bit distracted as soon as the woman says she's not the original creator of the glyph. That and there's a /fire/ elemental. Book clubs are certainly the last thing on her mind, magical or not. She, too, takes a few steps back.

"You're sure you didn't do that?" She moves her arm up as if to shelter herself from the light and heat. "Why is it always fire?" Her attention is firmly on the fire elemental now and she does her best to address it.

"Uh, you don't happen to just be here to go to the beach and roast some marshmallows, are you?"

Abcde Prescelta has posed:
    Abcde is transfixed by the dancing flames around this creature as it assesses the world. "Not usually...," she comments back to Nessa about hanging out at a beach. That's what the cool kids did. "You have a problem with fire? Miss.. not completely freaking out that she has just witnessed wild elemental magic?"

    What's particularly surprising to Abcde is how _stable_ this spell seems to be. Whoever crafted it knew their stuff. Whoever drew it the first time probably didn't.

    And then, the fire elemental is off and running away from the pair. Each of its steps leaving a little bit of fire on the ground, burning.

    Abcde stares in surprise and then says, "Oh crap.. fire elemental gunna fire." She frowns and says, "Think.. what do fires need? heat.. fuel.. oxygen. Not all fires need oxygen, does this fire need oxygen?" She makes a slightly concerned little noise and then starts running after it.

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"Uh, yeah, fire's not exactly my favorite thing in the world," Nessa comments, but the fact that the fire is /running/ from them is a little more alarming. "Wild elemental magic isn't that weird at all. What's weird is why it's here." But Abcde is off and that means that she, unfortunately, also breaks into a run to chase /fire/.

"Okay, right, I don't know you but you're clearly investigating this. If something goes wrong, don't let it burn me, okay? Me and heat don't do well." It's a bit hard to carry on a conversation while running, but she's doing her best.

Abcde Prescelta has posed:
    Abcde does her best to try and stamp out the foot prints of the elemental as she chases after it and she peers over her shoulder at Nessa, "Seriously? You're not freaking out about this so I'm guessing you're a witch?" Because if she's not a witch, then may be she's the one behind the glyphs...

    "I will... try," she says jumping over a barrier and on to concrete where the fire element is running down an alleyway. She keeps in pursuit, "To protect you from it." Or may be she's a reporter, they're always going places they're not meant too.

    A chance appears as she sees a cement mixer a floor up just ahead of the creature. Accidents happen. She holds up her wand and glow magic gathers in her palms, then spreads to her wand as she points it at the mixer and says, "obvolvunt illud!"

    Her magic leaps from the wand and hits the mixer. One of the wheels breaks off.. totally plausible, and the mixer tips and turns dumping its cement load down over the fire elemental. The elemental leaps out of the way, losing half its mass in the process. Now about a three feet tall flame Abcde exhales a sigh of exasperation. "Level with me.. can you do magic? because I could really use some help with this thing.."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"... I prefer the term mage, mostly cause when people think of witches they tend to assume potions and herbs..." Nessa scrambles to follow, avoiding any of the fire footprints herself. She does keep up, but her attention is mostly on the elemental. "Uh, yeah, sure, I just don't know how strong this one is, but I suppose we can find out."

She doesn't explain verbally, instead moving a hand as ice begins to form near the fire elemental. Ideally, she's trying to make a box to basically pen it in, but she's got no realistic way of knowing how fast it'll melt through. "Like I said, not a fan of fire."

Abcde Prescelta has posed:
    The short fire elemental stops suddenly as an ice wall appears in front of it. Turning, another wall.. and another. It appears stuck for the most part, though even in its idle state the heat is slowly melting away the ice.

    Abcde stops running too and catches her breath, "Well... that's a heck of a thing!" She grins though to Nessa as she reveals her apparent mastery over ice. "Good job.. I guess the fire elemental doesn't like you as much as you don't like it," she comments and wipes her brow.

    She offers her hand to Nessa, "I'm Abcde. Herbs and potions can be fun, you should give it a try some time."

    She looks at the fire elemental's glow behind the sheet of ice containing it, then lifts up her wand and free hand as the blue glows once more, "et fluere extinguit peccatum"

    Blue magic spreads around the ice and it melts.. on purpose, as it extinguishes the fire elemental down to a small clump of tar. Abcde leans back against the wall and resumes catching her breath, "That was.. a bit too exciting."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
Nessa seems relieved that the fire wasn't strong enough to break out, and she notes the trick to melting the fire. "Oh, that's clever. I didn't think of that. Nicely done." She makes sure to adjust her gloves--she never bothered to take them off. Not enough time to think about that. Given that her hands are gloved, she doesn't shy away from the handshake.

"Nessa. Herbs and potions are cool, just not exactly my realm of expertise. I haven't dabbled in them as much as I'd like. Plus people like to throw the word witch around like it's a bad thing, so I usually just say 'mage' and people fret less about it."

She takes a good moment to fully catch her breath before she continues. "Too bad it still doesn't explain why the thing was there in the first place."

Abcde Prescelta has posed:
    She smiles and with a twirl of the wand in her fingers, slides it back in to her holster. "Rather painless, really." A fire truck and siren flies down the road past them and Abcde's eyes widen. She steps out of the alley and looks back at the park where small fires are starting to spread. She steps back in to the alley and clears her throat. "It's fine. This is fine..."

    Her worried eyes look back to Nessa. It's not an elemental anymore, it's just fire. Still... "Well, capitalists and the patriarchy wanted to dominate us in to submission and we wouldn't - so they turned to vilifying and burning us at the stake. Pick your poison, those monsters are still doing the same tricks today as they did back then. But we persist. I'm a witch and proud to say so."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"Good on you," Nessa notes, glancing down at her hands. "Mage mostly works for me because my magic doesn't really fit in the box of witchcraft. I've got family of the potion-and-herbs variety, but I've always been a bit different." She does, however, grin at the suggestion of patriarchy dominating witchcraft.

"LBC. Ladies Book Club. It was something I had been joking about one time when I showed up somewhere investigating something magical and I was trying to suss out if people were doing the same thing. It kind of stuck, so I know if someone claims to be from the book club, they're more likely friend than foe. You'd be welcome to join. It's sort of an informal thing, to be honest."

Abcde Prescelta has posed:
    Abcde smiles, "Well it's a pleasure to meet you Nessa. Are you a Master? if you're running this club?" She has a particular understanding of the way magical societies work, given she's part of a familial coven. She's new to this whole meeting of other kinds of magic users thing.

    "So.. people just say they're part of the Ladies Book Club to indicate they're friend not foe?" She raises an eyebrow and says, "Well. I suppose it could be a useful thing to avoid unwanted recrimination. We don't have to read trashy books do we?"

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"Oh no, it has nothing to do with books or ladies. Certainly more like a codeword so you don't have to just blatantly be like 'oh hey, you a magic user investigating this really scary stuff'? Keeps things low-key," Nessa does, however, laugh at the suggestion of the term 'Master'.

"Eh, I wouldn't put myself /that/ high in terms of magical ability. I'm skilled, but I've still got some shortcomings. And I'm sort of limited in what I know. If you want to know about ice, though, I am definitely someone to ask about that."

Abcde Prescelta has posed:
    Abcde smiles with a touch of amusement, "Right.. well. I guess I'm in the Ladies Book Club now." Her bemused look expresses how strange she finds this concept, "You know we just call it a coven where I'm from."

    She nods her head at Nessa's acknowledgement of skill and says, "But you were out investigating the glyphs too? they're all over the neighbourhood. Someone has been trying to summon elementals."

    "The designs are impressive, but the execution by whoever is doing the tagging is subpar. I seemed to have accidentally given the spell a touch of power, enough that it could complete. But fire elemental is not the only kind of icon I have seen drawn on walls. I'm still really new to this town, do you have any ideas on where to look next?"

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"Sure, but if you go around asking someone if they're a member of a coven, they're gonna know you're a magic user without you knowing if /they/ are," Nessa points out. "No one's gonna have a clue what the Ladies Book Club is unless they're in the know. Good cover for people who don't want people to know they've got magic. Not that I really hide it, it's just useful."

She shrugs a bit. "I've noticed that there were some magical signatures but I haven't seen exactly what they are. This is the first time I've actually gotten to see one up close. The glyphs, I mean, I've seen plenty of elementals before." She frowns. "My guess is that someone is either unknowingly thinking the glyphs look really cool and copying them from a book or they're someone new to magic and are just doing an awful and unsafe job of practicing."

Abcde Prescelta has posed:
    She folds her arms and hmms, "I doubt it's a novice. They're so well designed. And if it's from a book, it's a heck of a book. Let's hope they remain incompetent then. I have a bad feeling about someone randomly trying to summon elementals. My aunties aren't going to believe my last two days..."

    There's a small laugh and she says, "So.. do we have a secret handshake? snapchat group? instagram account?"

Nessa Donovan has posed:
Nessa chuckles. "Yeah, I don't bother telling half of my stories to my extended family back in Ireland because they wouldn't believe half of it." She seems thoughtful. "I mean, they could be trying to finish something their teacher started and is doing a really crude job of copying it. But summoning elementals isn't exactly a great hobby, purposeful or not."

She seems to think for a moment. "You know, I never thought of actually making something for that. It's a bit of an informal thing, really. Besides, having a public instagram would mean people would find out we're not actually a book club. Unless it's some clever way to hide it."

Abcde Prescelta has posed:
    Abcde grins, "Hash tag then. That's easy." She pushes off of the wall and says, "So.. you seem like you know what's going on in this city. I'm glad I met you. I'm still trying to get the lay of the land. New York is a lot bigger than Huntington. But it seems like this city has been growing magical problems for a long while now and no one is doing much about it..."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
Nessa can't help but grin. "Well, I wouldn't say no one's doing much about it, but it's definitely getting worse over time. There've been some really serious run-ins in the past year, but I can't say that anyone's really got a handle on things." She does, however, nod. "I've been here a couple years now. It's a big city, if you've never been in one this big before."

She smiles broadly. "But hey, you're in luck. I can point you to some shops that sell useful products and people who have knowledge. We've got some real variety in New York."

Abcde Prescelta has posed:
    Abcde nods her head, "Thanks. I'm going to take you up on that." She takes out her phone and adds a new contact, "Nessa..." and holds it out for Nessa to add her number. "I'll be seeing you around, I hope."

Nessa Donovan has posed:
"Of course, more than happy to," Nessa replies as she types in the number. "If you get in over your head, let me know. Safety in numbers. That's why the LBC exists, after all. Especially with how crazy things can be these days."