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: (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...
bitterguardian: (concern)
Balthazar is not himself... or perhaps more himself than ever.
bitterguardian: (skeptical)
At a Carnival:
The Tunnel of Love with a... very vocal young lady.
Running into Drake Stone at the petting zoo.

And bizarre text messages from Balthazar.

A lost girl, and Dave wandering
bitterguardian: (Merlin circle)
It's funny how quickly Balthazar and Horvath have become fast friends again. They were almost brothers, once upon a time, and without the nasty complication of being on opposite sides, or Balthazar being insane, they've fallen straight back into old ways.

So it's not all that unusual for Horvath to be visiting the Arcana Cabana, leaning casually against a counter and playing with a little stone statue of a bird while Balthazar rummages in a stack of cardboard boxes nearby, regaling him with stories of his travels, punctuated by the occasional sneeze from the dust he's stirring up. Horvath's hat and coat are still on, but only because he's just gotten there a few minutes ago, and they haven't moved to the back room for tea yet. Both the old sorcerers are looking forward to a peaceful afternoon of nostalgia, tea, and cookies.
bitterguardian: (wary bw)



It's been a very long time since Horvath celebrated any kind of holiday at all. Apprentices, friends, anyone who'd give him a reason to recognize one day of the year might be different from any other have all fallen by the wayside a long time ago. He's never had a very good track record with either, anyway.

Now that he's found the Nexus, and both an informal student and a very surprising friend through it, Christmas has come to his attention at last. He's badly out of practice. All the traditions seem to have changed and he trained himself to 'bah-humbug' and generally ignore the shopfront decorations that seem to get more garish with each passing decade, or even year. Affording gifts are no problem, he has plenty set aside and continues work as a researcher, which gives him an active income he doesn't even really need. Gifts themselves don't really seem the spirit of the thing, though. Somebody was speaking out against the crass commercialism of the holiday not so long ago, Dickens, wasn't that his name? He said the true essence of the holiday needed to be brought back.

In that spirit, Horvath offers Balthazar Blake the best gift he has to give; trust. It's also been a very long time since he let anybody into his home, which is tightly warded and concealed into a magical masterwork of a fortress. Altering the shields to let him in is enough work in itself, but he's also laid out a nice formal tea, with two cups and little cakes and finger sandwiches. The books are cleared away from a table, and two large comfortable chairs set up at it, facing each other. Next to all that effort, the little box in neat gift wrap with real fabric ribbon is merely a trifle.

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Maxim Horvath

March 2016

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