Appearance: Summer Phoenix, more often referred to as Phoenix (a name he uses now even among sleepers, and attributes to his parents being hippies when asked), is a scruffy young man of indeterminate Caucasian origin. Much of him is indeterminate, actually--he looks somewhere between twenty and forty, has a perpetually vague expression, and speaks with a television-standard Midwestern accent (that occasionally switches out to a British one when he wants to pick up chicks). His hair is dark, somewhere between brown and black, eternally rumpled, and falls in scraggly locks around his face and into his eyes. He's thin, but not overly so; of average height; and dresses in a fashion like the hundreds of other skinny hipster kids that infest Oregon's cities, going more for the ragged jeans and hoodies look and frequently sporting a pair of chunky black-framed glasses he doesn't actually need. He could be good-looking, if he bothered to dress up or take care of himself, but his air of dishevelment, sleepy eyes, and vague expression of indifference tends to offset that. The only notes of interest that stand out are his eyes, a bright, piercing blue hooded by long lashes, and a crooked mouth often quirked up in a wry smile.
Nimbus: The air around him shimmers and warps, like heat-distortions over a road on a hot day; it's subtle at first, but as the manifestation grows stronger, so does the warping, until everything within twenty feet of him appears to roil and twist in a nauseating way. At the worst levels, the distortions seem to form an invisible face just behind him, made visible only by the way in which the scenery warps around it; it looks like it's screaming, at a pitch audible only to dogs and other animals with super-human hearing.
Magical Tool: His preferred tool is his laptop, which sometimes doubles as an Arcana Tool (given as he can use it as a personal journal when working with Mind, or set up measurements and rulers in 3D programs when working with Space). A battered but sturdy item from a few years back, bought just before his Awakening, it was top of the line at the time and is now just decent. Given as he already did many things on it--writing, chatting, wasting time, programming, research, etc.--it seemed logical to make it his magical tool as well.
Unseen Senses: His thumbs prickle, ranging from a slight pins-and-needles sensation to feeling like a small animal is gnawing on them. For particularly severe manifestations, he mgiht actually bleed from one or two tiny spots, like pin-pricks.
Virtue: To many, his Virtue of prudence seems to be more an off-shoot of his Vice than a particularly virtuous aspect of him. While he indulges in a little recreational drug use, he rarely takes it overboard, and has never gotten mired with the drug-runners he knows; he's had opportunities to gain control over quite a few influential public figures, or even take his own career into success. All such opportunities, he's passed up, largely (as he claims) because it would be too much work.
This is only partly true. He does have a good head on his shoulders and aims to do good in the world, and can usually tell when a tempting opportunity would be a bad idea in the long run. It's just a plus that such opportunities also usually involve lots of hard work.
Vice: His Vice is the first thing most people think of, when they think about him. "Lazy," they might say, "but an okay enough guy." He's never managed to hold down a job, though he's run through scores of them, usually only for days or weeks at a time. He tends to rise late (noon is a little early for him). His room, when he has one and hasn't been kicked out of his latest apartment for not paying on time, is a disaster zone. And don't ever expect him to work out or volunteer. Perhaps the only time he consistently exerts himself is when he's trying to help someone or something else--taking care of a stray cat or returning a lost child, arranging a date for a lovelorn friend, ensuring that an acquaintance's concert goes off without a hitch and impresses the signing agent who was supposed to be attending that day.
Describe your character’s Mentor, from her perspective. This is the person (not necessarily of the same Path) who brought you into the Order, and taught you the Order’s magical Praxis.
I first saw Meng Zhang at a show my band, the Three Stripes, were playing at. She stuck out immediately from the crowd--not only because she was hot as all hell, but because she didn't look anything like the crowd of tattooed, bepierced twenty-somethings our usual shows were made up of. Tall--for an Asian woman, at least--with black, black hair down to her knees and eyes of a really strange, haunting grey, she was dressed like she'd just come from a corporate office day job and had no intention of being here, if it weren't for what was on stage.
I tried to find her immediately after, but she'd disappeared, and then I got invited to an afterparty by some other hot chick and forgot. But she showed up again at another show we did the next week, and then again, two weeks after that--pulling the same disappearing trick every time afterward.
Of course, I got curious. I started asking around, and stuff. People at the shows remembered seeing her, so it wasn't just me, but no one could tell me anything about her; she'd show up at the door, pay cash for her ticket, come in and watch, and then leave without talking to anyone. No one remembered if she walked somewhere else or drove or anything.
This frustrated me all the more, of course, and I started having some really weird dreams--like, ones where she was standing across a wide abyss. Sometimes I'd walk right up to the edge and try to shout across to her, sometimes she'd be the one shouting at me, but neither of us could understand the other. Once there was even a bridge across the way, but broken halfway across, and too wide for me to jump.
Then, after a really bad trip on LSD, I Awakened. Coming out from the iron tower after inscribing my name with blood taken from my thumbs (an alleyway where I'd graffitied my name on the walls), I saw her again, standing across the chasm (the street)--but this time there was a bridge, a whole one, that I could cross (a crosswalk). She watched me approach, but didn't speak until I stood before her and hesitated, unsure of what to say. "Welcome, Michael Harper," she said. "I was wondering how long it would take you to Awaken. I am Meng Zhang."
And that was when the mystery play ended, and I found myself on a rainy Portland street with a woman who refused to answer any more questions. At least, not until I got in the car with her and went to her apartment. That was when she explained to me--well, not everything, but close. What I was, what I'd just seen, and what was going to happen next. She laid it all down like there was no doubt that I was going to do what she said, and that she wasn't going to enjoy it much--a trait she displayed pretty much all the time, as I found out in the next few years. "There aren't any other Mastigoi among the Free Council here," she said, looking me up and down, "and I'm the only one with any particular skill in your Arcana, so I'm stuck with you."
Of course, I rebelled--I'd never taken to being told what to do all that well, especially not in that kind of tone. I sneaked away when she was asleep--or at least, I tried to. She was waiting for me at the bus station, even though I'd stolen the keys to her car and taken it to get there.
She didn't say anything, just marched me back to the car and drove back in silence. The next day, the lessons began--and I think she was harder than necessary.
While I hate to admit it, though, I think it helped that she was so hard. She wouldn't take any excuses, would browbeat me into doing the mental exercises and readings that she assigned for me, and kept me from running away from the Awakened life back to the comforting mundanity of Sleeping. Truth be told, she scared--well, still scares--the living bejesus out of me. Maybe it's the way she's always so confident; it's a trait that most Obrimos share, I've found, but she has a steely-hard certainty about her that shines through in everything she does. Maybe just the fact that she almost never smiles; I've only gotten her to crack a smile once or twice in the years I've known her. There's no way I'd hang out with her for fun times, but I can't think of anyone I'd trust more with an important task or people's lives.
Actually, I chose my name partly in honor of her--her shadow name was taken from the human name given to the Azure Dragon of the East, a mythological Chinese being that ruled, among other things, the season of Spring and the element of Wood. The next in line was the Vermilion Bird of the South, associated with the season of Summer and the element of Fire. (She told me later that to call it a phoenix was to oversimplify and push it into my own Western framework, but she was touched by the idea, nonetheless, even if it had gone wrong. I couldn't win.)
Mage Sight: Phoenix uses Supernal Vision the most often, mostly because it's the most wide-ranging and potent of the types of Mage Sight, and most easily detects the use of magic itself. He sees things in webs of light and color, each with a slightly different color and weave that forms its identity; he can differentiate the magic of his mentor from his own by their differing colors and the fineness of the weave, while the actual pattern of the weaving tells him--once he's familiar with the pattern, anyway--what kind of effects it has. An additional 'sense' tells him what Arcanum it correponds to--things that deal with Death feel somber and, well, dead, things of Forces crackle with an electric feel, Mind feels whispery and feathery, and so on.
Where did your character grow up?
Does your character have any family?
Your character has, at some point in his life, had something to do with the Hotel Regina. Tell me what the Hotel means to your character.
Describe your character’s Awakening.
How has the Awakening changed your character, other than the obvious kewl powerz?