symposium! [attn: margot/ned/nicholas/pen]
Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
-- Ernest Hemingway

It is through Nicholas Hyde that the orchestration or the dinner they'd discussed at the holiday staff party occurs. So far as their mentor is concerned after all the stunts they've pulled insofar as appearing unannounced or calling in the middle of the night to introduce some fresh hell to his life neither Margot nor Ned have much say if the adults plan something and it's at a certain time and they already have something going on.

The date the adults settle on is one set far enough in the future the people in the equation can arrange their schedules accordingly but not so far enough away that it will interrupt Important Hermetic Business.

Symposium, said the text message he sent Margot and Ned. Two of my Colleagues are coming. Comb your hair and prepare to drink a lot. Address incoming.

As for location: this venture had been Sepúlveda's bright idea so he volunteers his home. A blue-gray two-story three-bedroom Victorian in the Baker neighborhood. With a single-story home and a low brick building on either side the thing looks hemmed in. A weary wrought-iron fence stands out front. A small yard containing a sidewalk and of all things a pear tree. The directions the medical examiner gave his guests involved parking out back.

There the yard is huge. A bit creepy at night what with the lack of lighting and winter killing everything that needs warmth and light to live. The dead grass crunches under their feet as they approach the house.

Once inside the floors are hardwood. The layout is brighter and more open than one might expect of a Mad Scientist. Utilitarian and sparse and clean. That they could expect from him. The appliances in the kitchen are stainless steel and gleam with newness. All of the bedrooms live up a flight of stairs. It is cold inside. Hard to tell if he doesn't have the heat on or if the place has already started to absorb his resonance.

He does not offer anyone a tour. He does offer wine.
Look. I have school. And RP. And all my other time is taken up by sheer, unreasoning panic. I don't have time for Reddit.
-- ixphaelaeon
More drinking?  I have to wake up for class in the morning, you know.

Margot had protested at first-- work and school were stressful enough for a girl on her own to balance without having to throw all of the rest of her baggage into the mix-- magical and familial alike.  But the date was set out far enough that she had to accommodate-- she kind of owed it to the Doc anyways.

She may have shown up on her own, driving a nondescript four-door sedan that was forgettable-- like her own little Arcane-mobile.  She may have had Ned in the passenger seat as well-- Margot was always game to play driver on their escapades.  She could empathize with reasons he may have for opting not to drive them himself.  On the day that they were meeting Margot arrived about ten minutes early (as was her custom, she liked to be timely to places [but ironically lacked any sense of Time itself]) and parked around back as the lot allowed.

When she arrived she was dressed more neatly than usual, having taken his comment about combing their hair to heart.  She'd come in a navy blue skirt that hemmed above the knee and a matching cardigan over a gray shirt.  Black nylons blended with black boots, and though the two inch heels built into them helped her appear a little taller that still only brought her up to 5'3". 

She didn't look old enough to drink, but carried a driver's license that said otherwise and carried the wine glass without acting too suspicious about it.  She was meeting strangers, but they were magic strangers, so they probably didn't give much of a shit about drinking age either.  She sipped and looked back to the front door for the fourth time since she was introduced to the kitchen space.

"Who are we meeting, anyways?"
"...Stupid thing..."

The Tie he was fiddling with, hung in a brutal knot around his neck, loosened enough there was a spare few inches of space and slackness. Black, simple and thin, he'd opted for it over the light blue shirt plucked off a sales rack that screamed 'This is what adults look like, isn't it?'. Dark jeans with no holes (professional as far as he was concerned) and hair held into place, swooped back from his brow by an industrial strength gel. The long wool coat was the only thing about his appearance that would have suggested formal and that illusion would go when they arrived.

He'd taken Margot up on her offer to drive, hanging in the passenger seat with a careful sort of nervousness, one might attribute to the evening...or the driving. Or both. He's grateful for the ride but quick to get out of the vehicle and slip the door shut behind him. A glance up at the landscape of the house says all it needed to say. The Doc lived well.

The Wine glass offered when they enter the house is taken with a cursory nod and minor smile of appreciation though he is hesitant, even dismissive of taking a sip, letting it hang in his grip like some sort of purse or accessory. When Margot glanced behind them at the door, he did as well, a brief bout of paranoia making this entire meet and greet, somewhat charged with expectation.

More Magic People his fellow apprentice had called them and it had brought up a frown in Ned. He doesn't say much. Hasn't said anything actually since they arrived, other than a vague 'Hey Doc' at the door. Distracted, for all intensive purposes. Waiting and content to let Margot take the questioning lead.
Griping about class in the morning is answered by an emoji of a violin. Welcome to apprenticeship, Margot.


Ten minutes is a lot of time to someone who is versed in the Sphere. They have to wait another sixty seconds after arriving for Sepúlveda to finish whatever the hell it is he's doing inside to prepare his house for guests and when he throws open the door he takes in the state the apprentices are in and chases it with a deep breath.

He's wearing part of a suit. Charcoal paints and waistcoat with a gray shirt and a black tie. The sleeves of the button-down are not cuffed. His intent is to roll them up so they survive his attempts at cooking. His hair has not been combed by anything other than fingers. It appears as if it has been that way since he got out of bed. Whenever that was. He's wearing black-rimmed glasses. No watch. Wedding band on his left hand. They're familiar with his fashion sense by now.

"Damn, you two clean up," says the Etherite and lets them inside.

So: Wine. Offered and taken. They're early. In the kitchen Sepúlveda rolls up his sleeves and starts pulling bags of marinating meat and vegetables out of the refrigerator and piling them up on the counter.

Who are we meeting, anyways?

"His name--" He claps the refrigerator closed and starts to pour his own glass of wine. "--is Nicholas Hyde. He's a hospice counselor. We 'met' at work, for given values of 'met' and 'work,' about a month or so ago." Quick swallow of wine. "He belongs to the Chakravanti, which is a tradition of folks who deal with Fate and Death and so on and so forth. I'm sure he'll be thrilled to discuss his Work with you." Hard to gauge if he's being sarcastic or not. They are beginning to learn how dry is the Doc's sense of humor. "As for Pen--"

A beat. He sighs through his nose and takes a thick swallow of wine.

"Pen, if she is who I think she is, is a Hermetic of House Flambeau." Another thick swallow of wine. "We've met, before. Years ago." He sets down the wine. "She and Nicholas are married." His fingers wiggle as if trying to remember what they were doing, and then he remembers something that happened weeks ago and points between the two of them. "If you have any Hogwarts analogies percolating, get them out of your brainpans now."
Look. I have school. And RP. And all my other time is taken up by sheer, unreasoning panic. I don't have time for Reddit.
-- ixphaelaeon
"That sounds pretty dark," Margot mused aloud over the rim of her wine glass. Her summary of a Chakravanti was apt, if not very limited, but then who was she to talk? Her magic was strongest when rooted in blood and came from a Goddess who brought rivers of blood and had war drums for a pulse.

As for the second person they were meeting, his wife, Margot didn't know what any of her titles meant or what to make of the fact that she married a Death Dealer. She creased her brow a little at her mentor, their host for the evening, and scoffed a little

"Come on, not everything has to be a Harry Potter reference."

She set her wine glass down on the counter in the kitchen, someplace out of the way where it wasn't likely to be knocked over, and asked: "Can I help with something?"

And then, to follow after that: "What is a Hermetic? Or a Flahm-boh?"

She wasn't exactly taking notes as she probably preferred to be able to do when talking Traditions and Magicks and Paradigms and what-have-you, but her curiosity was something that was hard to extinguish. Where Ned was taking a stance of quiet anticipation, Margot, it seemed, opted to chirp questions to fill the quiet instead.
"....So Gandalf can marry Galadriel afterall sometimes..."

Ned murmurs it over the table on the heels of Margot's 'Not everything has to be a Harry Potter reference', proving her and the Doc's point simultaneously. He doesn't look apologetic about the joke, merely leans back in his chair, untouched glass of wine sitting on the table infront of him, contents dancing and swirling gently while Margot played at helpful and question.

"Hospice Worker, huh?" Ned's obviously had some interaction with them before, in some capacity though what he doesn't seem willing to expound on. He merely nods at the information, followed by a brief look of confusion at the Hermetic and House moniker. Unfamiliar words and the Doc hadn't explained anything about the tradition even in brief, like he had the Death and Fate Mr. Hyde.

"...And what do they Deal with?"
"Who? House Flambeau?"

A deep frown in the Etherite's brow. Prominent because he has such prominent facial features and half of his face is occluded by a beard anyway.

"They set things on fire, Edward."

Look. I have school. And RP. And all my other time is taken up by sheer, unreasoning panic. I don't have time for Reddit.
-- ixphaelaeon
((Sorry, I'm going to post us in soon. The apprentices are just so adorable.))
220 Bannock Street: it has some of the echoes of the place they recently left. The scaled siding on the house, the single window in the center of the front peak peering out like a third eye, is reminiscent of New England in a manner that surprises Nick as he and Pen pull up in front of the house. His car is a small sedan, appropriately black (this makes it much much easier to clean and less likely to show salt stains in winter, but they don't have to know that), and he leaves it parked on the street a stride or two away from where the fence begins.

Perhaps he will meet the apprentices' expectations of a Chakravanti, based on what they have so recently heard. He is a tall, slender figure sketched dark against the grey backdrop of winter, in spite of his best efforts at color (a light grey tie and pale pink shirt, the top button left undone beneath the knot.) Nick's hair would be a lost cause even were he inclined toward neatness in any way; dark and thick, it spirals out of control and lends him a sort of ethereal, fey quality.

He has his jacket folded over his arm (the door isn't too far, one just never knows if the car might break down) and a bottle of Scotch in the other hand. It's good Scotch; this is polite.

There is a moment in which he fiddles with the gate, opens it, strides through after Pen, and walks up to the door to knock. This is a bizarre converging of his worlds, meeting a magus he met at work outside of work, for a Responsible Adult Dinner at his house (with his apprentices!) and Pen. He, while not normally a man given to anxiety, in fact spent some time waffling over whether or not a tie was appropriate, and this may be in fact part of the reason they are late. No one in the house knows that.

He knocks, and when invited, he enters.
Ladies and gentlemen! The mo-ment you've allll been waiting for. The Hermetic of House Flambeau. One of them, anyway. Denver has three right now. (Bright Day, Red Sun, Black Night? Baba Yaga's three horsemen?)

The Portrait:

Pen's hair is a deep and bloody red with that rich shadow-bright quality burnished things have and worn tonight in a loose tangle of curls and wavelets Maenad-wild the thick bangs swept (an Elegant Swoop of Rakishness) to the side. Between car and front door, she is wearing a coat. The coat's got sweep, too. It's got swoop. It's royal blue. Under the coat is some long raw silk silver jacket, the colour of a sword-light on gray dawning, fog gone to smoke from heath-fire day, fog in with sea-witchery dragging in its wake. The royal blue coat'll come off in the warmth but not the sword silver jacket, which is part of the dashing ensemble, and underneath which is a neckline that leaves a lot of breastbone naked and plunges right on down past where the jacket is fastened. A lot of naked breastbone is a perfect frame for a dramatic necklace. Metal rings on every finger.

Penelope Mars looks like a Pre-Raphaelite painting, right. Modernized. Updated. Archaicism, the Golden Age - given new shift. 

The Atmosphere:

Daring (not to be - but often is - confused with Recklessness. Daring is different. Bold, not careless.) is what Andrés Sepúlveda will remember from Years-Ago. Ardent (Passionate, Burning [Archaicism, again], A-Smouldering, Wholehearted [which connotes Heart]) and Resplendent have joined it. The notes of Pen's resonance balance one against the other.

The Action:

"Look, Nickelungenlied. The Tower." The 't' is capitalized. The nickname: worthy of a championship nicknamer. The tone of voice: alert, reflective. The comment: made when Nicholas is still parking the sedan, and Penelope is peering out the window at Supúlveda's home. She flashes Nick a glance and a half-smile when the car is fully parked, but remains with her elbow on the window-sill near the lock for a moment before dispelling languor to get on out. 

It hadn't taken her very long to get ready, and she'd spent much of Nick's agonizing over to Tie or Not to Tie reading a book and, whenever quiet fretting seemed to be reaching a boiling point, helpfully saying such things as He's with the Society of Ether, they're notorious for their disheveled mode of dress - I mean, Mad Science! Exclamation mark! One cannot care about ties when one is being an Exclamation Mark!! You should wear a lab coat, I can wear my robes and You look hot like that (with the tie) and You look hot like that (without the tie) and Why don't you try a cravat? …I AM being serious! 

Knock, knock.

If the invitation to enter comes in the form a hollered 'Its open!': Pen opens the door for Nicholas and follows him in after casting a glance over the street. Fishing-line kind of glance, a hook attached to it. What's hiding in the deeps, hm?

If the invitation to enter comes in the form of a certain Society of Ether man opening the door his ownself: well, she lets Nick speak first - shaping her own response to the Etherite's presence while Nick does so.

If the invitation to enter comes in the form of an apprentice: a smile like a spark goes flit-flying up through the eyes - reserved without being cold, a(n rather earnest) thoughtful cast to her eyes. "Hey. Where should we put the Scotch?"

All of these reactions are going to occur. The moment taken to shape a response to Sepúlveda's presence, let Nick sweep in to cover that - not hide it, just cover it. The smile like a spark, the where-should-we-put-the-Scotch, the Hello. But they're cards for now, shuffled at random.

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