[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky.   Posted by Storyteller.Group: archive 9
Storyteller
 GM, 30 posts
Wed 16 Nov 2016
at 07:41
[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky
Not one to heed the warning of Icarus, the Mastigos push themselves further into their passions, unwilling to let danger get in the way of discovery.

_____
It seemed crazy, but what didn’t these days? Claire sat on her bed with a pack of tarot cards in her hands, feeling the edge of the 78-card deck under her thumb. Her professor, like many, had his passions; it was a class on Eastern Philosophies, one that many people would take simply to write a short report on the Bhagavad Gita and take the credit. For some people, like Claire, it struck a chord.

It was hard to trace a line from there to here, however. At some point, what began as “eastern” philosophies simply became “unusual” ones, and bled into the esoteric. He had begun with simple conversation about ritualism and tribal belief, and had only begin to grow from there. For every challenge that Claire answered from him, he gave her another, almost testing her to a point.

That was where the cards came in. Her professor had rejected her thesis, but instead had simply claimed she was just “trying to play it safe. Have I taught you nothing?

[Private to Mnemosyne: Stretch out the legs and kick the tires of the character. I’m picking up just about where your RTJ left off in this case, but I’m leaving the professor generic unless you want to work with this teacher or have a different idea for your eventual mentor. However much you write, please end the post with Claire starting to lay out the tarot.]

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:58, Sun 27 Nov 2016.

Mnemosyne
 Mastigos, 8 posts
Tue 22 Nov 2016
at 16:19
[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky
Claire shakes her head slowly, looking down at the deck in her hands. "This is stupid..." she says aloud, but it's a half-hearted protest. Ordinarily she wouldn't have given a professor like this the time of day - what did some silly eastern mysticism have to do with psychology? Sure, studies showed that meditation has some real neurological benefits, but the rest was just hokey superstition! She was a scientist, dammit - no serious psychologist studied this stuff.

And yet...

She looks at the books spread around the corners of her bed - Carl Jung's Red Book, a worn, used copy of the Daodejing picked up from a secondhand bookstore, a thin volume on Buddhist meditation practices... and, of course, the tarot deck in her hands. It was stupid, but... there was something to it, wasn't there? Some little... spark of truth buried in that talk of "higher states" and "collective unconsciousness" Something that made sense in a way that made her entirely uncomfortable.

I could be working in a lab right now, she thinks to herself, doing EKG readings on sleep disorders. Good, solid science. The stuff that gets you tenure one day... But instead, she clears off a space on the bedspread in front of her, and, consulting the Pictorial Key open beside her, begins to lay a spread...
Storyteller
 GM, 45 posts
Thu 24 Nov 2016
at 08:46
[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky
The first card to be laid was the center, which was supposed to "reflect the present or the theme" of the reading. It seemed that there were no finite measurements for these things, so they could mean anything, couldn't they? The instructions described a five-card spread, which seemed just as good a place to start if any. She put the first one down in front of her.

   Temperance. A woman with wings pours water from one pitcher to another, looking mournfully at the ground. Reversed.

According to the sheet laying to her side, it stood for restlessness and stress, as well as imbalance. Perhaps it had fit, as her own studies had gone further off track than she had expected it to. She laid the second, said to "reflect her past influences."

   Temperance. A woman with wings pours water from one pitcher to another, looking mournfully at the ground. Upright.

That was strange. Why would there be a duplicate in the box? Maybe it was an error. She pulled the next card, which was meant to "reflect her future."

   The Tower. A stone pillar that was raised against a black starless sky, emblazoned with lightning. Reversed.
Mnemosyne
 Mastigos, 10 posts
Sun 27 Nov 2016
at 19:11
[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky
Claire frowns. A part of her is thinking what the heck? They sold me a defective deck? but another isn't so sure. A concept sprang to mind - one that she'd only recently learned, but that seemed (appropriately) to keep popping up to her -

Synchronicity.

She turns to her Pictorial Key. The Tower, Reversed. Let's see... The Tower stands for a sudden Fall, a powerful event that destroys some truth or truths the querent thought was stable... but reversed, it carries darker meanings. Lies too big to be exposed, false builders who succeed in hiding the Truth...

What does any of this have to do with me? she thinks. But her hands are shaking slightly as she draws the next card. Her forehead was sweating - was it getting warmer?
Storyteller
 GM, 52 posts
Mon 28 Nov 2016
at 00:21
[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky
The temperature surely wasn't rising; it was still cold outside, with the rain slapping against her window as a fall wind chilled the earth to it's core. The movies always showed readings like these being done during a dark and stormy night, with the lightning crackling at dramatically appropriate moments. Here, however, it just seemed to be like a never-ending douse of cold water that made the windows condense at the corners. Claire thumbed the fourth card out of the deck, bringing it into the pattern. In a 5-card spread, the fourth was vaguely referred to as the reason for the cards that had already been placed in the reading, or to simply "throw light" on the fifth card when it was placed. She laid the card below the three, adding to the grouping.

   Death. A knight riding through a field of dead bodies, it's visor up to reveal a skull. Upright. [Private to Mnemosyne: A sign or endings, beginnings, change, transition]

There was only one more card to add to a ritual that, although it seemed dumb, also had just as much forbearing with each card that was overturned. She pulled out the fifth card, meant to determine what her future was, or how she could get to this path. Claire set it down above the others...

...and saw that it was blank. The paper felt as if it had been printed on, but it was simply white with no indication of picture or position.

[Private to Mnemosyne: If Claire draws another card, she will find it blank as well. If she turns over the cards and shuffles through them, they all have pictures, but the act of facing them down and drawing one makes anything on top disappear. They reveal nothing else, and as Claire gives up and tries to leave, she will find that her door is being forced shut as if something is attempting to keep her in...]
Mnemosyne
 Mastigos, 12 posts
Tue 29 Nov 2016
at 18:33
[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky
Claire stared down at the last card. Blank? She hadn't seen a blank card in the deck when she looked through it before.

She drew another. Blank.

A moment of panic almost seized her, but she tamped it down. There is a rational explanation for this. Everything can be tested. She took the deck and fanned in out in her hand, looking through at the elaborate artwork emblazoned on each. Normal.

She pushed them back together and drew again, at random.

Blank.

She leaped to her feet, sending the deck and a stack of books cascading to the floor. The floor was cold against her bare feet - was it her body that felt hot? Something wasn't right. She had to get out. She almost ran to her door, grabbed the doorknob, almost threw herself against it - but the door didn't budge!

A crash of thunder drowned out her quiet sob as she slumped to the floor, leaning back against the door. The scattered cards around her feet which landed upright are all blank.

"...O-okay," she managed after a moment, speaking almost at a whisper, her eyes wide. "What... What are you trying to tell me?" She reached down with a shaky hand to grasp one of the blank cards. She remembered what she read about the Tarot - that the power was in the act of interpretation. "Endings and beginnings, a transition leading to... nothing? Are you saying I have no future? Or that my future isn't determined?"
Storyteller
 GM, 59 posts
Thu 1 Dec 2016
at 06:47
[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky
The card didn't answer for obvious reasons, the blank expression of the skull looking back at her with hollowed eyes, a lightning bold in one hand and a rope in the other. It could mean nothing, as there were a million tarot sets in the world, each with their own variation on the major arcana; there had even been a Simpsons-themed novelty set at the same store she'd purchased these ones. What was left that was so sacred about them?

The meanings. Maybe she hadn't focused on a question to ask the deck, or maybe the deck hadn't understood.

When Claire looked on the other side of the pictoral key that had come with the cards, it had a selection of "popular spreads" for tarot reading. She had started with the five-card as it seemed the most common and best place to start, but there had been ones called a Tetraktys spread, a Celtic Cross spread, a Mandala spread, the Cross and Triangle spread, and so on. It seemed there was an answer for everything if you knew where to start, an innocuous detail that wouldn't be in a book.

While she looked over the different pictures used for examples, the strange thing that stood out to her was a familiarity with them. They were done on a spread the same color as her sheets, and seemed to be in the same inconsistent light that she got through her bedroom window. When she looked closer, it even seemed that the example pictures had hands with freckles on the wrists that matched her own, but that might have just been exhaustion setting in.

Before she dismissed it, however, there was also the example picture of the five-card spread that she had done earlier. It might have been the poor printing on cheap paper, but it looked like the fifth card laid down in that one was blank as well...

[Private to Mnemosyne: Claire's trigger for her Awakening will be diving hard into her obsession, one that she has already been doing, but it's time to go over the edge. While she's reaching a breaking point, we want to see her just about cross the line before snapping on. End the post with either her reaching a manic or obsessive point in trying to understand what the cards are telling her (which will be blank from here on out), and feel free to really spell out Claire's breakdown...]
Mnemosyne
 Mastigos, 13 posts
Sat 3 Dec 2016
at 19:26
[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky
Claire's shoulders shook slightly as she looked at the pictures in her book. What was the line she'd read earlier? As Above, So Below. The absurdity was as comical as it was terrifying.

She looked back down at the blank cards strewn around her. Something about their... emptiness scared her. She crawled frantically over to her desk, knocking over piles of books and notes as she searched, finally pulling a black felt marker out from somewhere underneath. "Here!" She grasped a card at random - what did it matter? They were all blank - and, hunched over on the floor, started scribbling on it. She was no artist, but still she began scrawling out her own drawings across one, then another, then another of the cards strewn around her. First the ones from her reading - Temperance. The Tower. Death, rendered in shaky fat black lines. Then a few more she remembered, vaguely - The Magician. The Fool. The Lovers. Judgement. The Hanged Man. The Devil. After that, she just kept... drawing. The house she grew up in. Her parents. Herself as a child. Her first boyfriend. Getting her undergraduate diploma. Anything to fill the... voids sprawled out around her.

But none of it worked. None of it seemed to mean anything. Her body shook as she hunched, frantically scribbling, unable to tell if it was from sobs or laughter...

[Private to GM: How's that? :3]
Storyteller
 GM, 67 posts
Sun 4 Dec 2016
at 14:44
[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky
Claire covered her face with her ink-marked hands, the pandemonium of her frantic desperation hanging over her like a noose. The ink didn't seem to stick entirely; some of them became smudged, but others seemed like the drawing itself would slough off once the card was moved. Perhaps fortune was not in her future. Her eyes blurred as they filled with tears, either from rage or desperation, maybe even from guilt itself; however brought to the surface, the tears managed to well until the world was a series of blurry shapes and lines of the world in front of her.

...or was it. Claire moved her hands away from her face, observing the marks on her hands and noticing that they were perfectly clear. Her bed, the carpet, the walls, the desk, the doorway...they were all a mash of swirling colors, but she could see every line in the palm of her hand.

It was almost as if the world had started melting around her, every color and line bleeding into one another. The white of her coffee cup shared it's ceramic with the wood grain of the desk below it, both seeming to become the same. She watched as the colors began to swirl, it seemed as if there was something pulsing below them. It was as if every surface was a sheet with a figure behind it, moving their limbs slowly and creating the ripples that pushed every color into one another...

[Private to Mnemosyne: The world has gone completely askew. Please end the post with Claire trying to push against or cut through any of the surfaces (wall, bedspread, window) to break through the "bleed." Once that happens, I will begin her next post in Pandemonium.]
Mnemosyne
 Mastigos, 16 posts
Sun 4 Dec 2016
at 21:03
[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky
Claire gasped, clambering to her feet and staring wide-eyed at the room around her. Even after blinking the tears from her eyes, everything was still... blurry, indistinct, unreal. As if something just beneath the surface was trying to get in - or out? She wanted to hide, to curl up and cry and ignore everything until this horror went away...

But yet... in the midst of her fear, something else was beginning to emerge.

Quickly, before she could convince herself it was a bad idea, she grasped the arms of her desk chair and pulled, separating its wheels from where they had begun to melt into the carpet. It was only logical. If something was beneath the surface... then she had to break the surface to see it, right?

With a shout, she rushed toward her window, hurling the chair with all her strength toward the slowly pulsing glass...
Storyteller
 GM, 72 posts
Sat 10 Dec 2016
at 20:15
[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky
The room stuck to the chair like mud in a swamp, forcing Claire to pull with all her might as she freed it. Even once it was in her hands, it was as if the chair itself was flowing over her skin, like wax bleeding down from a candle.

It didn't sting; if anything, it was a surprisingly warm sensation.

As she hurled it at the window, there wasn't the sensation of the chair leaving her hands as much as them extending outward, feeling as if it were connected to her the whole way. When the chair maid contact with glass, both seemed to tremble, the pane flexing against the wooden leg for what seemed like an infinity before giving way.

When it gave way, the glass shattered, carrying the colors along with them as they flew from the point of impact. However, it didn't stop with the glass; the chair broke a hole through the entire wall as if it were all made of glass or something more fragile, spinning off into the room and around her like deadly snow. More and more of the room flew away to reveal nothing but darkness, a rich black void that had no discernible beginning or end, and absorbed the light as quickly as it was made.

Even as the chair splintered into shards and fell into the blackness, even more seemed to go; cracks formed along the walls and floor, chunk after chunk breaking off and tumbling into the void until she could see it no longer...

[Private to Mnemosyne: First, I would like to apologize for letting this scene sit dormant for a week. Considering the pace of the group thread, there really isn't an excuse for me not to have been more on top of this. Second, post up until the room crumbles and she is tumbling in the void. My next post after this will be the arrival of the watchtower...]
Mnemosyne
 Mastigos, 19 posts
Tue 13 Dec 2016
at 16:55
[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky
Claire scrambled back away from the... hole she created. She tried to grasp at her doorhandle, but it just seemed to melt under (or, worse, into) her fingers as the door itself melded into its frame...

She pressed herself back against the far wall as more and more of the room dissolved and spun away into the whirling void beyond, until there was no more floor left for her to stand on, and she tumbled forward into the dark, screaming.

[Private to GM: No worries - it's not like I've had the greatest posting rate to date either lol.]
Storyteller
 GM, 75 posts
Sun 18 Dec 2016
at 20:34
[1.2] - (Mnemosyne) - Spirit in the Sky
She must have fallen for years if it'd been even a minute, tumbling through a void of nothing. Both time and space seemed to stretch out like water spilling from a glass, racing to spread as far as she could sense. direction lost it's meaning, leaving her trapped along with her mind to watch the universe unfold. The pieces of her room surrounded her, one-dimensional planes like painting that held their depth within a pocket.

It wasn't until everything shifted that there was change; she felt a splintering pain in her side, changing direction for the first time since she'd begun falling, passing through the shards. They raked her skin like glass, cutting without leaving injury but burning as if a blade.

Claire could feel her arm pass through one of the shards, a paper object within her grasp. It stuck to her fingers as she continued to tumble, a familiar picture on the front that hadn't run together like everything else; a stone rise against a black sky, the tarot for the Tower she had pulled earlier. As she looked closer at the card, one of the stars in it had form; more than just a yellow speck, she could see the outline of arms and legs as a small figure dangled in the sky just alongside it's walls. They were just shy of the white and yellow lines that emblazoned it with painted lightning, seeming to tumble away.

As her eyes moved from the card, they landed on the tower; large and gray, stretching in a long arc and disappearing from her vision both above and below her. It had appeared without a sound as if it had always been there, hidden from view. Even as she watched, Claire slowly drifted towards it, as if being reeled in by an invisible force...

[Private to Mnemosyne: The post should end with her signing the watchtower; there are still shards in the air she could wrestle, use blood, or whatever fits. This will also be the last post before returning to the waking world, so dial up the weirdness as much as you like.]

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:35, Sun 18 Dec 2016.