When we landed at Masyaf, we thought we were in trouble, again. We had just lost our disguises, and here we were, surrounded by angry looking men, who probably have never seen creatures like us. But to our surprise… a man came from behind and explained he recognized Yu Gwai. And that I looked familiar too. Turns out… uncle Verroak was walking around them in his true form.
A lot has changed since Verroak’s visit to this place. The Assassin’s leader, Rashid, has died and was replaced by a new leader called Abu Mansur. This man came from outside and didn’t know us but another assassin, Altair, recognized us. So… they let us stay. And we did stay. Looking around their libraries for a way out.
It was only then that it hit us just how screwed we were. The whole plan hinged on Hyperion, being an immortal Titan keeper, either helping us regarding the rift, or sending us to the world-soul Gaia for help. Finding the place ransacked, the Keepers dead, and these “angels” coming after us threw us off. For once, I was as clueless as Yu Gwai was, but Satiah was not giving up. She buried herself in books, including those forbidden by the Assassins.
It only then hit me just how magic-phobic Earth was. Any and every book on magic was forbidden by the Assassins’ religion, Islam, and they tell me the same goes for Christianity. They believe all magic must come from the Devil, that Lucifer guy, the ruler of local demons. Explaining arcane and fel and life magic to them was for naught. They just said what I was saying was blasphemy and if I wanted to stay on good terms with them, I’d stop. I think they were more tolerant during Rashid’s time.
Eventually Satiah found something. She was studying the books about the local places of power and important cities. Apparently one of the greatest magical foci was the city of Jerusalem, where something over 50% of the planet’s leylines crossed. That made Jerusalem very powerful with magic, but also the draw for many of this world’s religious prophets. Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, now all these crusaders, people were drawn to Jerusalem for reasons they couldn’t even understand. Perhaps in that place, we could have enough powerful to do something – and certainly find mages that could help us get away, even if it’s only in small steps, hopping slowly back home. The books also had enough information about it to give us an exact geographical location – and therefore ability to create a portal.
We reapplied our disguises and went through the portal. But to our luck, we landed in the middle of something called “Dome of the Rock”, apparently some kind of temple. And it was in the middle of a religious service. Needless to say, people arriving through magical means in the middle of it was not well received and we had to fight through a few of the locals to get out. We ran out quickly and did our best to hide ourselves with magic.
It took us a bit to find an inn that would be willing to accept people with different… magical inclinations. Priests apparently have real power, healing the sick and wounded and multiplying bread, but pretty much any other kind of magic was shunned. Including resurrections, which were some kind of taboo. Eventually, we did find a place somewhere in the seedy outskirts of the city, oddly smelling from its unusual visitors, but seeing as we had few other options, we stayed there.
Overall Jerusalem was… certainly something. I could feel the latent power in the air, and how much people neglected it. This city could be Earth’s Dalaran, but instead they let all of this power flow free. And so few people even try to use it? From the patrons, I heard about the Hermetic Order, a secretive order of mages who lives all around the world and practices arcane magic, but even that is just a fraction of what it could do.
Finally, one of the patrons claimed to know a member of the Hermetic Order who lives in Jerusalem and, for a small price, agreed to lead us to him. Unfortunately, that was another disappointment. The man was a simple charlatan. Just a provinicial crook, clad in garments he had no idea of using, claiming to peer into the future through a clear, glass ball. A completely unenchanted one. At this point, I had enough.
I simply had a breakdown. I used my Light magic to trash this man’s fake implements, and send him scurrying out. Our companion was furious and tried to attack me… so I lashed out again and burned his face. I was tired and angry at this whole useless planet. Preferring to beg others for some small sliver of magical help, while unable to grab any power for themselves. Letting all this power flow around them and do nothing but marvel at the invisible, imperceptible, nameless god. I thought, “you’re afraid of magic? I’ll show you real magic.”
So I kinda… dispelled the disguise and flew up into the air and started… flinging holy spells down at the city. I set some buildings on fire. I broke the roof of some temple. I’m pretty sure I blinded some people on the streets. Through all the light, they couldn’t even properly see me. All they saw was wings and light and they jumped to the only conclusion their superstitious, primitive minds could: it’s a wrathful angel coming down to mete out Allah’s judgment.
I realized I’m doing nothing but helping enforce their superstitions and… calmed down enough to realize I should not be doing this. We quickly fled back to our inn, although half of its denizens have left, fearing the repercussions local rulers would have against magic users after my unwise exposition. There was, however, a new patron.
A bald man of pale complexion, clad in black robes, approached us and began with a simple “That was not in history books.” I quickly inquired how would he know that, and explained who he was. “My name is Aleister Crowley, and I came from the future to search for something. But that… that was not in anyone’s plans.”