bitterguardian: (uncertainty)
Thanksgiving is over, but that's only the prelude to the holiday season. Now Christmas shopping is in full swing, the weather has turned very brisk, and the city is in full winter mode. Even on a weekday, the streets are crowded with shoppers, and the coffee shop is busy, too.

Horvath has proven easy enough to reach by email, and agreeable to meeting at the coffee shop of her choosing, offering to bring a few books along. Now, though, he's late, albeit only by ten minutes or so. When he does come in, he looms in the doorway a little, a tall, bulky figure made even bigger by a long winter coat and scarf. He's got a leather satchel, and his cane, and once he spots her he still has to get over to her table. Of course he could just bully his way through the crowd waiting to order their fancy drinks and get on with their shopping, but instead he takes the route of trying to make his large frame take up as little space as possible, squeezing through gaps in the massed patrons with mumbled apologies and a rocking limp. By the time he gets to the table, he's slightly out of breath and flustered.

So much for making a good impression.
bitterguardian: (Merlin circle)
(Continued from here...)

After tea, of course, and a quick trip home to collect what he needs, Horvath returns to Anna ready to make a trip to the astral plane. He's returned with a bag, and spends a few minutes puttering with dried things in jars and tins, making a sort of potpourri in a stone bowl that's already blackened inside. He does pull a heavy magic tome out of thin air, consulting it briefly with reading glasses perched on his crooked nose.

"All right. Chairs, or floor?" The book is gently vanished back to wherever it came from, and he looks for a good patch of open floor space for the ritual circle.
bitterguardian: (little smile)
After years of living in his subterranean home around the vault, Horvath is unused to being woken by sunlight. To fall asleep comfortably sunk deep in a plush chair is familiar, but the chair is not his own, and to wake with a cat sleeping on him, and another running around playing is familiar, but these are not his cats and there are more than two. Also he rarely has the foresight to pull a blanket over himself. To feel so much at home in a place that is not his home comes as a strange surprise.

Last night before he dozed off in the chair, however, he had a great deal of food and alcohol, and his body would urgently like to remind him of that fact. He's grateful for the new set of crutches in easy reach, and he hauls himself up on them and swings along off to the bathroom, letting the cats scatter in his wake.

Once he's tended to the basics, and ascertained that while he is hung over, it's not a bad one, he notices the note from his host conveniently stabbed through on a prong of the antlers around the bathroom mirror. She had some foresight, indeed.

Bonjour Max! I hope that your sleep was a deep, healing one and that you woke to a better day! I had an errand to run early this morn, and might not make it back in time to be there when you wake. So! There is food, coffee, tea - and I shall return with fresh eggs for breakfast if you sleep so long.
Mara


The towels from yesterday have been replaced with clean ones, his clothes are washed and mended on the bed, and there's the salve still waiting back on the footstool beside the chair in which he slept. Thanks to the ambient light of day waking him, it's not late by any means, so he takes time to wash, to put salve and a bandage over the blistered stump of his leg, and to dress in his own clothes once more. When he emerges to investigate the kitchen, Horvath feels more like himself than he has since his encounter with Shub niggurath sent him questing. Pantleg folded up and tucked neatly (a trick he learned back in the army hospital when he was first learning to adapt to the amputation), moving faster on the new crutches than he can with a cane, he murmurs to the cats, and seeks out a cup of tea to help drive away the vestiges of a headache that's not strong enough to dampen a good mood.
bitterguardian: (hurt)
((In the wake of this thread.))

While neither of them has been all that busy, per se, it's easy for two old hermits to fall a little out of touch. Thus the text comes completely out of the blue, on Balthazar's PINpoint, one evening.

needa frin k. nexuus bar won
t takw me.


Balthazar could be forgiven for assuming the Nexus bar won't take him because he is already, in fact, shitfaced. There's not much they turn people away for. Horvath so drunk he can't type seems wholly out of character, though, and when Balthazar PINpoints to him by following the signal of his own device, he finds Horvath sitting quite rigid on a Nexus bench, as far from drunk as it is possible to be. What he is, instead, is deathly pale and sweating, shaking like a leaf, stiff and tense as a cord stretched taut to the breaking point. He's breathing a little fast, wheezing softly, but there are no visible injuries or any signs of blood, although he is slightly damp.
A stench rolls off him, though, something like rotting milk and afterbirth and raw, primal fear. It scrapes at every sense of Wrong a sorcerer could have, and worse than simply Wrong, it's Eldritch.
bitterguardian: (Merlin circle)









The Obvious
Maxim Horvath is both tall and broad, 6'3" with a build that's a strange mix of stocky and lanky. He's barrel-chested and definitely overweight, but he's also got very long arms and legs, and a generally big frame under the extra padding. He has a rocking limp and uses a cane to walk, but it's more for balance than actual support and unless someone is very observant it's hard to tell that it's his left leg he's favoring.
He appears to be somewhere in his late forties to early fifties, with a hint of grey in his beard and at his temples. More than once he's been mistaken for some kind of professor, and he tends to dress in slightly outdated three-piece suits, or at least slacks, oxford shirts, and a vest. His clothes are tailored, but a little bit threadbare just because they're old. He also has reading glasses, which he'll pull out if needed, so that contributes to the professorial look. The most striking thing about Horvath's wardrobe are his rings; On most days there's one on every finger except his wedding ring finger. All of them are on the heavy side, mostly ornate, and have some gemstone or another. The least he's ever seen with is two, one on his right hand set with a blue translucent stone, maybe a sapphire, and an additional ring of one kind or another. He wears no other jewelry, as a general rule.
Horvath has a deep, expressive voice and a British/European accent (True Brits will hear hints that he's traveled). He's an eloquent speaker and he likes to talk, and has a slightly sarcastic, dry wit. On the surface of things, he's usually friendly and easy to have a conversation with, but he also doesn't like to go into emotional topics or the details of his own history. Horvath can be dour and serious, if he's not on a cheerful topic. He doesn't deal well with overly emotional people, tending to flounder and/or retreat in a hurry.



The Less Obvious
To those sensitive to these things, Horvath is a sorcerer of not inconsiderable power. He was a student of Merlin, and is over 1,450 years old. There is a spell set on him by Merlin which keeps him from aging (mostly) until Morgana is destroyed, but he's not invulnerable or impossible to kill. His rings are (yes all of them) magic in nature, but some have different uses than others. The ring on his right hand with the blue stone is his personal talisman, and he usually has at least a couple of rings that store quick-use magic shield spells.
If it comes up in a fight or some other action sequence, Horvath is missing his left leg from just a few inches below the knee. The prosthesis is fairly modern, metal and plastic and made to match his other leg realistically, but it doesn't bend much at the ankle. He can't feel it, of course, and his balance is a little iffy because of that, but he can walk a short distance without the aid of a cane.



OOC Permissions, etc.
Important note for those expecting the movie version of Maxim Horvath: This Horvath is an AU version! Please see the Au info link below for more. Horvath is also played as familiar with a multiversal nexus ([community profile] dear_multiverse from back on LJ) and has continuity from that, including a friendship with a pre-movie canon Balthazar Blake.
I am generally down for action/fight scenes as long as there is no god-moding involved. Mun and muse are over the age of 18 and then some. If you have any OOC questions, just send me a message!



AU Info ~ Character Survey of Doom


Additional Links:
Ambient sound environment of Horvath's Library.
All artwork copyright Rey 2014 Larger version here.
bitterguardian: (glasses shadows)
What keeps you going? Somewhat maudlin of me, perhaps, but it's a question I've found myself asking all too many times.
bitterguardian: (1800s thinking)
A few hours of rest, room service tea and sandwiches; These are all Horvath allows himself before resuming the trail of the last of a group of Morganians set on an assassination plot. He's come this far only with help, and the recent battle with the sorcerer Gautier and his two apprentices could have gone far worse. As it stands, there will likely be questions raised. The sorcerer's bodies lie charred in the home of one Lord Phelps, last to purchase a poison chalice the Morganians seek to use. Lord Phelps himself, Horvath suspects, will also be discovered dead in the manor, since Gautier was impersonating the old man to lure Horvath into a trap. In the wake of their deaths, Horvath found only a decoy chalice, a simple cup cloaked in illusion.

Gautier's compatriot, a younger man named Don Chevelle, was not in the fray, yet Horvath's information gathering had the man sighted in town. The sorcerer Chevelle is, for the moment, the only lead he has left.

Revisiting Lord Phelps' manor in town is risky, and Horvath takes pains not to be seen. It's a wise move, since he sees a number of carriages and a car out front of the house. The bodies have clearly been found, and the authorities are on scene. Out of sight, he stalks the house, pulling at fading traces of power. The chalice was here. Chevelle was here. The thread he has to follow is thin, but it's there, illuminated in his mind weaving out the back of the house and up a broad alley, stretching toward the edge of town.

He's taken on a single Morganian alone before, but the fight earlier today has left him at a disadvantage. The power is there, rebuilding after a short rest, but he's tired still. Unfortunately, time is of the essence. Fortunately, he has an ally in Dr. Evangeline Nix. It's dark, when he returns to the library and knocks politely on the door to her lab, but he's rested and cleaned up a bit, and he's too restless to let it wait any longer.
bitterguardian: (tea & books)
(Continued from here.)
Some artifacts are lost to the mists of time for good reason, and this holds even more true for items surrounded by myth and legend. Those relics built up by false legends, which only fall apart under the scrutiny of modern reason, spread disillusionment in the world. Those surrounded by real magic, on the other hand, are even more dangerous uncovered, with the inherent risk of falling into the wrong hands.

The eldest of Merlin's apprentices has been around more than long enough to know the difference, and it is the latter kind he seeks. He did not set out, long ago, to become protector to an ever-growing vault's worth of dangerous magical items, but his master entrusted him with two objects that must be closely guarded, so what difference does it make to watch over a few more? Maxim Horvath was raised to use his magic to protect humanity, from themselves, if need be. The artifact he is chasing down now he would destroy if he finds a means to do so safely. Some items have their redeeming qualities, and thus are stored and guarded, but this object can be used only for ill. It is a cup, more properly a chalice, enchanted to accept a ritual that marks a specific human target and will deliver a poisoned drink to them alone. That anyone else may drink safely, and examine the chalice without finding any trace of toxins, makes it the ideal weapon for an untraceable assassination. The design is archaic, now, but to illusion the chalice into appearing as a more modern drinking vessel would be the least of tasks for any sorcerer of merit. The chalice only came to his attention involved in rumors of a Morganian assassination plot, and while he'd prefer to keep out of world politics, Horvath feels a duty to keep the Morganian influence out of them, as well.

There are three separate reports of the last sighting of the chalice, and each one more or less rules out the other two as being plausible. With the Morganians spotted poking around two of these possibilities, and the third option out of reach, Horvath is forced to pursue all avenues. He is not without allies, but they are fewer than once they were, and he has left a handful to guard the crypt that may contain the chalice. Alone he's come to race against his enemies down the other path of possibilities, and found an unexpected assistant in Dr. Evangeline Nix. Her curiosity strikes him as both dangerous and useful, but as long as she is of aid he can hardly turn down the offer. Thus far she has gained him access to a library with some very helpful resources, and offered to use her own contacts to research the auction houses the chalice may have recently passed through, unrecognized. Horvath can only hope the Morganians have not been so lucky. A day or so later, he's agreed to meet up with Dr. Nix in a teahouse to discuss what she may have turned up. He's chosen an out-of-the-way table, and wrapped it in a subtle sound-shielding spell to prevent any potential spies overhearing, but it still makes him nervous to meet with her in public. By being seen with him, she may be put at risk, and he knows it.
bitterguardian: (encantus portrait)
((This is so stupid, I'm having an insomniac night for no particular reason, but then my brain prompted me with a horrible, terrible, glaring continuity issue in the Sorcerer's Apprentice movie;
When Horvath and Morgana busted into the keep, she told him to fetch the page from the spell book for The Rising, which implies she basically needs that page. Horvath rips it out of the book, retreats. Morgana gets sucked into Veronica/the Grimhold before she can rejoin him.
Fast forward to the climax of the movie, Horvath releases her from the Grimhold, and Morgana immediately starts doing the spell. Soooo... did she not actually need that page, or what? Am I supposed to believe there was some cutscene where Horvath goes 'oh hey, been carrying this around a thousand years and had it on my person when I got sucked into that urn and all' and hands her the page? If he's been carrying it all that time, you'd think he'd be just as capable of doing the damn spell himself, frankly, which begs the question of what he needed Morgana for at that point anyway... unless what he was really after was the hope that Veronica survived in there. I'd buy that at least, after her comment about how he looks at her. That still doesn't explain why she claimed to need a page from a book that she never got and then did the spell without.

Right. Gonna try sleeping again.))
bitterguardian: (frownyhat)
Interesting conversation... any student of Mammy Pleasant is one to watch out for.

Evening drinks, on a client's recommendation.
bitterguardian: (firefingers)
From the time Morgana took on her first apprentice, Morganians and Merlinians have fought each other. The Grimhold didn't start the conflict, it simply upped the stakes.

For Maxim Horvath, there's a definite air of the endless repetition of history as he trades plasma bolts with another Morganian sorcerer. This time there are two of them, one to distract him while the other works at some ritual he hasn't quite puzzled out yet, but knowing Morganians it's bound to be trouble for him if they complete it. It's taken time to track them here, to the empty cargo hold of a decaying freighter ship. The docks this rusting hulk sits at are quiet at night, even though it's an ideal place for shady doings. Maybe the sorcerers have scared away all the usual drug dealers and homeless vagabonds. Or maybe they have the sense of self-preservation to avoid a decommissioned ship that crackles with dark electricity.

He's slow on his feet, these days, but he's been at this game longer than any Morganian left alive. When he falters, it's an act, and the underhanded spell he throws while his opponent is gloating slams the man against the metal wall with a sickening thud. Horvath winces, but this is the price of a sorcery battle, and there are big things at stake, here. Already inside the Morganian pentacle, the very air seems to be warping and it hurts to even look too long at it. Violently interrupting the ritual now could be even more dangerous than whatever their end goal originally was, so instead Horvath hobbles close and cuts through to the remaining sorcerer with the power of his own voice, magically amplified. "This ends now. Back down, before I have to-"

Even that distraction, it seems, was too much. The Morganian in the pentacle twitches at the first words, startled, then gives Horvath a momentary look of sheer panic. His concentration is already broken, and it's too late. That much becomes pretty clear when the Morganian's head begins to stretch and twist, roughly five seconds before the spellwork implodes. The shockwave flings Horvath backwards, and the entire hull of the ship bows and dents outward with a warning creak. Of the Morganian, there's not much left at all, but the pentacle etched into the metal floor is not empty...

For Jelani

Mar. 30th, 2013 08:41 pm
bitterguardian: (Merlin circle)


Balthazar Blake doesn't always answer his PINpoint texts right away, but when more than twenty-four hours go by with no reply, that's worrisome. The Arcana Cabana sits empty, doors locked from the inside, but of course he's not the most tidy person so it's hard to tell if there's any minor signs of struggle. Nothing seems terribly out of place, though, at least no more so than usual. The nearest thing there is that could be a sign of abrupt departure is the coffee left in the pot, but that's not reliable either. Sometimes he just forgets.

Upstairs, Saint is sleeping on the couch, but slithers off and hobbles over to slurp on Jelani's hands, tail wagging. There's still a little food in his bowl, and water. Not much, but the bag is sitting on the floor. If he's gone another day, the dog will be able to knock it over and feed himself, but he's apparently well-behaved enough not to do that when he doesn't need to.

It's while Jelani is upstairs investigating that a sound comes from downstairs. It's a thump, impossible not to notice. Impossible to mistake for nothing.
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