The Cycle of Spectra Illuminos: Introductions: 1.3: Alonzo’s Conclusion
When I began writing the introduction for Alonzo, I had asked Mundy what he wanted to see within it. He wanted surprises; he also wanted romance and couple of carrots leading to possible love interests. Tom could be a possibility; another NPC character could prove to be another which will be expressed at the end of the conclusion.
As Alonzo opens his eyes from the reverie of the Diamond Realm, he finds that he is in a soft bed. Cords extend from his body into monitors that are tracking blood pressure and oxygen levels, and he suddenly feels an ache running through his body, making him cringe. Though blurred as his vision is, he can make out two forms standing near the door to the room he is in.
“Are we cloaked?” Uncle Roman
“Yes,” Aunt Miranda says in response. “We need to take him away from here as soon as we can. Seers will know what happened and will be seeking him.
“I can’t believe this,” Uncle Roman continues, “Clavian was right all this time. I just thought he was having visions of grandeur.”
“Divina believed him too. The date of birth, the birthmark, it is all coming together,” Aunt Miranda comments. “They died making sure he wouldn’t be found.”
“When he wakes up he will know. There’s no stopping the Cycle of Spectra Illuminos. If we want any chance to rebuild what was lost in the Fall, he will need our help to find the others.”
“Miranda? Roman? What’s going on? Where am I?” Alonzo asks, sitting up in bed.
Aunt Miranda jogs to Alonzo’s side, placing a delicate touch to his forehead, smiling warmly.
“You’ve been in the ICU for three days now. Oh lord, we were so worried about you.” – Aunt Miranda
Uncle Roman closes the door to the room.
“I’m sorry we have to rush this, kid, but there is much to tell you and little time.” – Uncle Roman
“What happened to me? How did I get here?” – Alonzo
Miranda looks to Roman with concern. Uncle Roman steps up to the bedside and grips Alonzo’s hand.
“The last time you were seen was at that club, Lucifer. Witnesses say you rode off on your bike after a tussle in an alley. You disappeared and have been missing for six months. You were found lying in an intersection and were rushed to the hospital after a woman almost ran you over.” – Uncle Roman
“Six months?” – Alonzo
“It’s safe to say I think we will be fine here for the night. Tomorrow we need to get you out of here and into a safe place. A lot of people are going to be looking for you and you will need a place to hone the Mysteries.” – Aunt Miranda
“But six months? How could I have been gone that long? It feels like I just left the club a few hours ago.” – Alonzo
“What do you remember after you left the club?” – Uncle Roman
Alonzo explains what happened. At first he is reluctant to divulge the things he experienced in his dream in the Diamond Realm, but Roman and Miranda do not seem surprised at what he says and even appear thoughtful to the hardships he experienced.
“So you’re trying to tell me that everything I experienced wasn’t a dream?” – Alonzo
“That’s what we’re saying.” – Aunt Miranda.
Alonzo presents question after question without waiting for an answer from his aunt and uncle. He is confounded by what he is realizing, but deep within he knows something that he did not know before, an aspect of the world that was once hidden from him now made known. He feels that he has finally woken from the clutches of a blinding slumber. He feels grateful yet frightened to step out into this new world. When he stops rambling, Roman and Miranda answer his questions to the best of their ability, starting at the beginning with Alonzo’s parents.
“The Petrovsky bloodline is a constant in magic. If a child born into the family does not awaken, then he or she will more than likely become a Sleep-Walker.” – Uncle Roman
Roman and Miranda begin to detail the history of the Awakened society form its origin to present status. Alonzo stares and listens in silence, especially at the thought of Atlantis. The notion that Exarchs are controlling the world and that a small group of Oracles are at battle with them is almost too fanciful to believe.
“Divina, your mother, was the first from her family to awaken. Even though a mage, your mother made it a point to remain faithful to her sleeper family. A lot of your mom and dad’s arguments revolved around keeping ties to outside family. You mother thought it would be good for you whereas your father figured it would just prove disastrous for your future, a weakness that could be exploited.” – Roman
“Your parents actually led a very happy life together before prophecy began to interfere.” – Miranda
“You mean me?” – Alonzo
“Your father and mother suspected what you were at birth by the birthmark on your back.” – Miranda
Alonzo has a weak pentagonal birth mark in the center of his back. Since his time in Spectra Illuminos, it has become darker and refined, less of a blotchy mark and more in tune with his sympathetic connection to the Supernal Realm.
“Your father took it one step further, cloaking you from the Awakened world and by creating a life within the Sleepers. Even your fallen name has been hidden and only a few know of it, not even you are aware of your real name. With his cover of law, he traveled to several continents in search of lore based on the Cycle of Spectra Illuminos. Your parents died protecting your secret.” – Roman
“They died that night because of me?” – Alonzo, forlorn.
“We know of another cause of Divina and Clavian’s death. It was caused by magic, but has been so heavily guarded that we cannot discern who did it. We think that Seers or Banishers may have been the cause; some people are not happy about the Realm of Spectra Illuminos’ Watchtower being active. It means changes are coming and faster than can be handled.”- Miranda
Alonzo has a breakdown moment, sobbing for the real cause of his parents’ demise. He just can’t fathom that all of this is happening, wishing everything would go back the way it was. After wiping away tears and controlling the sobs, Alonzo looks to his uncle and aunt.
“I know what Spectra Illuminos is; I was there. But what is the talk of this Cycle?” – Alonzo
“The Cycle of Spectra was prophesied after the Fall of Atlantis, Three cycles have already happened and have failed. If the Cycle were to be complete, more awakenings would happen, paradoxes and disbelief would weaken, and the walls surrounding the Abyss would strengthen. It is even surmised that the realms’ major arcana would be easier to access by mages.” – Roman.
“Five more people will now awaken to the corresponding realms, scions to the Oracles in the Supernal Realm. They will have greater capability over their ruling arcana. Once together, they can complete a ritual that will lend to the ascension and final key of the Realm Walker, or the one of the Watchtower of the Diamond Lens. Once he ascends, the Oracles will have another warrior in their ranks in the war against the Exarchs.”
“That’s me isn’t it?” – Alonzo
“You are the Realm Walker, yes. That explains why you were gone for so long. Normal Awakenings happen astrally or through Mystery Plays. You happened to Awaken through physical form. You sensed and experienced things unknown to other mages.” – Miranda.
“I still don’t get how I was gone for so long.” – Alonzo
“Time works differently within the Supernal Realm, that’s for sure. More than that, you were touched by your realm through body and soul. I assume the loss of all of your body hair is because of what you experienced on Spectra Illuminos?” – Roman
Alonzo gazes into a mirror on the wall. Uncle Roman is right. The hair in his head, his eyebrows, facial stubble, chest hair, and other areas were left bare from the flames of the watchtower’s beacon. Alonzo goes on to tell his aunt and uncle what happened to him in the Diamond Realm. They listen intently as he finishes his detailed story. Once finished, a long, drawn-out pause creeps between the three of them until Alonzo breaks the silence.
“How am I going to be able to handle all of this? You guys obviously had teachers to help you learn. If what you are saying is true, then there is no one else like me in the entire world.” – Alonzo
“True, to some degree you are alone.” – Aunt Miranda
“There is one person still alive from the last Cycle of Spectra. He was a mage of the Watchtower of the Diamond Lens who separated his soul into several pieces to hide who he was. He will be the one to help guide you and your cabal once it is started. He may not be able to perform magic now, but he still knows what to do.” – Roman
“So what about everyone else? Esther, Phillip, Clayton? What happened when they found out I went missing? Did Tom contact you? What happened to Oscar?”- Alonzo
“Tom is a sleeper and you will probably not see him again unless you make it a point. Same with Clayton. Phil and Esther have already awaken to their paths; that’s why you have seen so little of them as you have this last year. Their family and ours have been connected for generations in the ways of magic. Oscar is fine; he’s still at the house.” – Roman.
Though intrigued by everything he is hearing, Alonzo stifles a yawn.
“Listen, you need to get your rest. We’ll be back in the morning to take you home with us. We have much to discuss about the future. Don’t worry though; we have you shielded so no one will be able to find you with magic.”
“But there are still more questions I have, Roman.”
Uncle Roman smiles.
“Another thing to remember. You can call us by our given names when we are alone, but try to remember to use our Shadow Names when you can. I am Dionysus and Miranda is known as Persephone.” – Roman.
“What do I have to go by?” – Alonzo
“Your Shadow name will come to you with time. It’s up to you to choose it if you want. But for now, get some rest. We will see you in the morning.” – Persephone
They both kiss Alonzo on the forehead and take leave of the room.
A couple of hours pass by and Alonzo hasn’t been able to sleep since Dionysus and Persephone left. Midnight comes and goes, and with the arrival of 2 am, he sees the moon shining brightly through the window. Beyond, the stars twinkle in the clear night sky, a reminder of the beauty seen within Spectra Illuminos. Alonzo stands to gain a better look limps to the window to take in the scenery, soaking up the atmosphere with a sigh.
Mundy makes and succeeds on a Perception check.
Standing in between two trees within a park area of the hospital campus is Cairo looking up to Alonzo’s window. His expression seems thoughtful, almost as if asking to have him up. Alonzo nods to him and waves. Within moments, Cairo is standing at the door to the room with a concerned smile.
“You’ve turned up most unexpectedly, but I had a feeling you would return.” – Cairo
“I almost forgot about what happened outside of the club. So much has happened.” – Alonzo
“I suppose you are still expecting an explanation on what happened that night.” – Cairo
“I don’t think there’s anything you could say that would surprise me. I figure vampires to be the least of my problems now.”
“You’d be shocked to learn that more than just vampires roam the night.” – Cairo
“Like what, werewolves?” – Alonzo, almost laughing.
“Werewolves, fairy-folk, demons, ghosts- just about anything you can pull from a fairy tale probably has some factual pretense to it.” – Cairo
Alonzo’s smile turns to a frown.
“Sounds fun.” – Alonzo
Alonzo sits down into his bed while Cairo walks to the window and peers out to the light of the moon.
“You aren’t what I expected a vampire to be like.” – Alonzo
“Were you expecting luminous skin and bright hazel eyes? We are more in tune with the Anne Rice version on vampires. I particularly liked the story of Lestat. I always wanted to be something of that nature, but never had the heart to consider humanity the way he did. The Vampire Diaries are pretty close as well.”
Cairo’s previous statement was a small jest at the evolution of vampires from monster into love interests. I personally like the Vampire Diaries and Ann Rice’s version of vampires.
Silence blankets the room. The time for small talk is over.
“You have learned the reasons surrounding your parent’s accident I assume?”- Cairo
“Yes.” – Alonzo
“What other questions do you have?” – Cairo
“Who are you really? Why were you working with my parents?” – Alonzo
“My real name is Acacius Vitalis. Your father came to me about two years ago, explaining what he had learned of the Cycle of Spectra Illuminos in an old tome. I told him I would give him anything he wanted if he would retrieve something for me. This stone.”
Cairo holds out a translucent quartz stone.
“The night he and your mother died, he had given me the stone. I gave him my diary from the time of the Third Cycle. We had also agreed to meet regularly to, well watch you and guide you once you awakened. As for the diary, someone wanted it; it wasn’t found anywhere on your father or mother’s person at the crash site, or even in the vehicle. We even looked into Twilight and the Shadow Realm to no avail. When scried, we realized it is being cloaked with very powerful magic. Someone is working either against us or with us, but until we know who stole the diary, we are in the dark.”
“Why would a vampire know about the Cycle of Spectra?” – Alonzo
“My Shadow name is Cairo, at least when I was alive. I was once a mage before I was turned, a Walker of the Realms, the same as you.” – Cairo
This surprises Alonzo. Questions start to flood his mind. Cairo must be the person that Persephone and Dionysus were talking about, the one that would help him learn his Path.
“When was the Third Cycle?” – Alonzo
“Well, I am very old to many standards. I was born in Ancient Greece when man still prayed to Mount Olympus. I was born before the Christ. Give or take a few hundred years, I’m over 2000 years old. I found myself at the Watchtower of the Diamond Lens as a late teenager, the son a poor farmer and wine maker.” – Cairo
“So you knew exactly what would happen to me when I found Spectra?” – Alonzo
“In a manner of speaking, yes, but I was just assuming. Other mages from other Paths
experience Awakenings in varying ways. I did not have a mentor who could teach me the intricacies of working the Path of Clarity and Concentration, so I was not for certain our experiences would be similar.” – Cairo
“You never had support through all of that?” – Alonzo
“That is the reason why I assumed what you might have experienced within Spectra; I did not know if the Path of Clarity and Concentration was the same for the four of us. Did my advice find substance for you?” – Cairo
“The four of us” is in reference to the Realm Walkers, including Alonzo.
“Yes.” – Alonzo
“That is good to know. Many Awaken speculate the notion of a lone watchtower with the Supernal Realms. Those speculations are correct. You are the bringer of the Fourth Cycle of Spectra Illuminos. I was the third Awakened to light the Beacon at the Watchtower of the Diamond Lens. As you can see, my cycle and the two before were doomed.” – Cairo
“What happened?” – Alonzo
“My Cycle of Spectra was nearly complete. The Scions of the Realms and I found one another and had what we needed for the spell of Ascension. We were headstrong and thought we could push the limits of our abilities to access Ascension before we were ready. Things went horribly wrong and we were decimated. It was not an outsider who interrupted the spell and destroyed our cabal, it was someone from within. Our Obrimos mage, and I still do not know why, led dozens of other mages, Awakened, not Seers or Banishers, into our Demesne for an attack. I was the only one to escape, and when I could no longer run, I found friends within the night who were willing to turn me into what I am now.” – Cairo, somewhat saddened by the retelling of event.
“The stone your father found for me is one of my soul stones from that period. The soul stones are something I plan on using to prove a previous theory. I had always planned on being turned if things had gone wrong. With the soul stones, I may be able to regain humanity once again. Life as a vampire has given me many gifts, but I long for the mortal hold to live out a life to a true death. I want to find happiness, and even love again. I have found two stones so far; I am trying to locate the other four.” – Cairo
“So why are you willing to go through all of this again?” – Alonzo
“I was just a boy and a fool at the apex of my Cycle. I had high hopes and hubris, and my child-like trust was taken advantage of by other Awakened. For the sake of the Awakened society, the Lie needs to be countered. The battle must be taken to the Exarchs and the beacon at the Watchtower of the Diamond Lens must remain illuminated for that to happen. Magic for a Realm Walker is not as simple as it is for other mages in some ways. Our access to magic is solely achieved through the doorways opened from within the five other Realms. A Realm Walker can make certainly greater strides within the facets of Gnosis and Arcana, but this cannot be achieved until the Scions of the Realms awaken and allow you access to their own Watchtowers. Each Arcanum within the Supernal Realms is a Ruling Arcana to the Diamond Realm. Spectra Illuminos opens a conduit to each of the corresponding Realms and concentrates the power of each Ruling Arcana from that said Realm. The Realm Walker cannot take his or her role into Ascension without the help of the Scions. The Scions make the Realm Walker an avatar of magic in its most concentrated and clean form. A Realm Walker can achieve magics within the Fallen World that mages everywhere only dream about. You could possibly master each branch of the Arcanum. Like I said, you are the boon and bane to the Awakened world. Many will feel the need to help you, others will be scared of your ability and try to stop you, and others will covet your power for their own.” – Cairo
Alonzo takes all this information in with stride. He is scared and confused. Never has he felt such weight placed on his shoulders.
“What do I have to do?” – Alonzo
“Magic is not readily available to you. You have only tasted the lure of the power you can learn, but you must first sculpt your soul to handle it. Realm Walker is more than just an idea or title; it is more akin to what the Awakened call Legacies. Your legacy will allow you greater access to the Supernal Arcana. With enough training and practice you could also walk the Realms at will. I was unable to achieve this mastery in my time, but with help you may. That is another reason for the soul stones. They will allow you access to my memories of the Legacy and allow you to learn from them. You can gain only the basic understandings of being a Realm Walker through just the two of the soul stones I have though. The rest you will have to learn on your own, or help locate the missing four as to serve for greater insight. Unfortunately, I never achieved what I should have within the Legacy. My help will only keep you afloat for so long before you have to pave your own path.” – Cairo
“This is an awful lot to take in.” – Alonzo
“Fear not, for you have more support at your side than your three predecessors did. The Fourth Cycle must succeed, for each time a cycle fails, the Realm of the Diamond Lens is once again shrouded, giving the Exarchs and the Abyss more power over the Fallen World. The Oracles were no fools. They have provided the Awakened a means to a possible end. Willworkers must find the passion to fight for that end.” – Cairo
“I’m not sure I am the right person for the job.” – Alonzo
“I think you will do fine. You have already proven that you have the drive and ingenuity to seek out lies and to do what is right. I think Maria and Maximillian would be proud of you for what you did for them.” – Cairo
“Thanks.” – Alonzo
“For now I must be going. Tomorrow will bring a new life for you. You are the panacea for the Awakened world but also a bane of change. You will find many proponents for the cause once you are presented to the world of the Awakened, but you will also be a target.” – Cairo
Cairo steps to Alonzo’s side and caresses the human’s face with his hand, a gaze of compassion and sincere interest from his eyes.
“I plan on keeping the promise I made to your parents for as long as it takes. I will protect you in any way I can as long as it is in my power. I know all too well what your struggles will be.” – Cairo
Cairo reaches down and kisses Alonzo on the mouth- not a small peck, something more.
“For now, sleep, I will see you tomorrow.” – Cairo
There seems to be a lot revealed in just this one introduction. There are still more twists and turns to what the Cycle of Spectra Illuminos is and does. More antagonists will present themselves as well as people who wish to aid the Realm Walker and Scions. I read recently from the Tome of Mysteries the relationship between the Awakened and the Kindred (vampires). With Cairo, I was seeking a way for someone from a previous Cycle to give insight for the PCs in their quest. A mage who had separated his entire soul into stones who then became a vampire is an idea that could essentially create a greater bind between Mage and Vampire.
An ancient vampire in this capacity may be a bit unbalanced, but Cairo will not be as prominent outside of the introduction; he has his own life to live as well and is still searching for the rest of his soul stones. And why the kiss? More will be entertained on why Cairo has feeling for Alonzo. Most of the players wanted a little cross-over between systems as well. I know the romance between a vampire and human is overdone in television and the big screen, but I try to give the players what they want.
I am currently waiting on two other players to submit their character information so I can begin the stories for the Scions of the Realms. Once the PCs meet and create their own cabal, I may throw them into a pre-generated adventure from Mage: the Awakening to help learn the rules. There are a couple of other people who expressed interest in the game as well. I just need to send out more feelers to get some answers. Let me know what you think so far. I love constructive criticism and feedback.