Mars City Shadowrun
Pro-Damon Salem Wiccan
Skilled combat mage, grizzled old man. Pro-Damon, but thinks the politics of it all is stupid, as Damon wasn’t really pushing anything on the Wiccans directly. Not a huge fan of the preachier pro-D groups, such as Children of the Dragon.
Worked as a pro-Wiccan international assassin and enforcer for many years, but based out of Salem, where his parents resided as prominent members of the community. Turned to running after being shunned from the Salem community due to a disastrously overcast fireball which killed his parents and many others while trying to prevent the CFD dragon from reaching Salem proper. It is unclear how he survived, but the event altered his aura.
Managed to rehabilitate his rep a bit by doing a bunch of runs for the community during the first months of the QZ, but gained a taste for the runner’s life, and has decided to leave Salem (for now) to pursue it.
Very cold and impassive, and given to brutally effective combat spellcraft.
The mana doesn’t come. Sitting with a novice runner at the bar in the continental, and looking like an idiot.
“No, see, the trick see, to this stunbolt, is to coooncentraate. You gotta be chill, ya compre?” The shaman couldn’t have been much older than 16.
I had never been more calm. More relaxed. Concentration and senses chiseled to the finest point; ready to pierce the movement of a fly from across the room. So why wouldn’t the stunbolt come? In this mindset, I could talk to spirits…become a perfect channel for them to enter into our world. So why not stun-fucking-bolt.
“Lesse, check out that rat right there on the sidewalk. Filthy, amiright? Let’s see how he likes this!”
I looked at him in astral space as he gathered the mana. The smugness of youth was centering him more than hard-willed concentration, but there was no point to bringing that up. He shaped the mana just fine, and I could see the shape of it. The smooth lines…the passiveness. I could see it arc from his aura straight into what was clearly a cat…a cat who was preparing to find it’s dinner with the rat.
“Whoops! Ha ha ha! Wellya look at that! Rat’s lucky day I guess. I blame the fine whiskey at this place? You drink whiskey? Just check out that selection! Did I tell ya…”
He droned on and on. There was a time where I’d listen, maybe share a story or two of my own. But there wasn’t room for that now. Whiskey was still enjoyable, but the endless rattle of others was of no consequence, compared to the world-ending perils around the corner…
Channel the mana…shape it. Smooth. Smooth. Smooth. SMOOTH!
The rat exploded, and the cat caught fire. You could practically feel the ferocity of the mana around the fallen animals. This wasn’t me…or it wasn’t always me. It’s like other hands worked with my own to shape the spells…making it stronger, but only allowing it a certain way.
The shaman sprayed whiskey over me. “Whoa-ho-ho! That’s not how you do it at all! Looks like you might need to work out some issues, chummer. Nothing Dr. Jack Daniels can’t fix, if you ask me. Here I got the next round. And let’s maybe start with the basics of spellcasting – here try channeling some mana in a little shape like thi…”
My hand itched. The hand that wasn’t there. The hand that was in some nightmare beast. Having the new hand didn’t help – it was like having something under your nail while wearing thick, winter gloves. On a cold Boston night.
Boston. Seems so small. A little need. Like a bath. How long had it been?
“…and you can see it swirl around if you move your finger like, heya where you going? You got yourself a prime runner showing you the ropes here, wrinkles. Plus you still got that whiskey!”
Kid was right about the whiskey. One heavy swig later, the glass was empty. It was good, though.
“Aw the heck with you, old-timer.” He turned his attention to an attractive orc sitting two seats away. “How about you? Have you ever wanted to explore the mysteries of astral space?”
Halfway to the bar doors, I look back, noticing he still had whiskey in his glass. He was already pretty intoxicated, and what if he had a run the next day? Channeling rough, barely containable energy, I lifted his glass, bringing it to my hands in the blink of an eye. Damn, if it wasn’t good.