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Lance "Elder" Mason

"I have the answers, but you lack the right questions."

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a character in “Blood & Fire”, as played by SugarNspikeS

Description

Name: Lance "Elder" Mason
Age: 65

Image
Lance Mason was raised in secret by an order of wise men known as the Dragon Monks high in the Cascade mountains. Since the Air Dragon Mage first set out to hide the Crystal tablet, the prophecy has been passed from one generation of the monks to the next. They foresaw the fall of modernity and the role they would have to play in training the Chosen One, helping him to realise his full potential and unlocking the secrets of the Dragon Mages. When he was just 16 the secret monastery in the mountains was attacked by vampires and he was the only one to survive by hiding in a secret passage. He made his way down the mountains and eventually found refuge with small colony in the Seattle wilderness.He has lived with them ever since and made himself useful to the colony as a hunter. Most just think he's a crazy old man and jokingly call him Elder, but a few believe him and the prophecy that one day the Chosen One will arrive and will save them.

So begins...

Lance "Elder" Mason's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Lance "Elder" Mason Character Portrait: Philip Harris

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“Year 80?! It was 2018 the before I… well whatever happened to me. So the years got reset about 80 years ago, I’m guessing that was when the cause of all this” Jayce gestured to the city. “Happened. So I was right, I somehow traveled into the future, but how and why?”
The two of them continued walking to the what looked like an overgrown mass of blackberry bushes and shrubs. That was until the gates opened and an old looking man came to greet them at the entrance.

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Lance was watching from one of the lookout points near the entrance to the colony. He had an old pair of binoculars that he used to see Phillip approaching the entrance and he had someone else in tow. The other person was wearing some strange clothes. He tried to focus a little better and he got a glimpse of the other guy’s face. He dropped the binoculars. “It can’t be…” he gasped. He went to his shack and grabbed an old looking clay cylinder from under his bed. He took the lid off and pulled out an ancient piece of papyrus and unrolled it. He looked at it and studied the picture sketched on it before he put it into his pocket. He ran down to the entrance of the colony and waited for Philip and the other person to come through the camouflaged gate.

“Well, now I see what was taking you so long. Since when do we take in strays?” Lance said trying to maintain his composure until he was certain. “So who’s the stranger in the weird clothes?”

“My name’s Jayce.” He replied before Phillip had a chance to respond. “Sorry if I’m intruding, I seem to be a little displaced and Phillip here generously offered to get me some food.”

“Yeah, about the food, where exactly is the food that you were supposed to be getting for the colony? Wildlife can’t be that hard to find these days.” Lance asked.

“That was partially my fault as well. He thought I was wildlife at first and almost killed me had it not been for his quick reflexes, and from that point I kind of distracted him with questions and that’s when he brought me here.”

“You said you were displaced, by any chance were you kicked out of your colony for being such a trouble maker?” Lance asked sarcastically.

“With all due respect, I doubt you’d believe me if I told you. Hell, I’m not even sure I believe what happened to me and the details are still a little fuzzy.” Jayce snapped back.

“Let me guess, you were thrown forward in time and have no idea what happened to the world you once knew and now you’re seriously worried about how you’re going to survive in this world?” Lance rattled off.

“What… How… How did you know?” Jayce gasped in shock.

“So it’s true you are the chosen one. The clothes, your face, it all matches perfectly.”

“What matches? What are you talking about?”

“This.” Lance replied as he pulled out the papyrus showing it to Jayce and Phillip. There on the ancient piece of paper was a sketch of Jayce, the detail was intricate and looked exactly like him right down to the parka and hair style.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Lance "Elder" Mason Character Portrait: Philip Harris

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“Year 80?! It was 2018 the before I… well whatever happened to me. So the years got reset about 80 years ago, I’m guessing that was when the cause of all this” Jayce gestured to the city. “Happened. So I was right, I somehow traveled into the future, but how and why?”

Philip raised an eyebrow. They were practically at the gates now, and he was still formulating an answer in his head when they were met by Lance at the door. The old man had an expression on his face indicating the two of them were in trouble, so Philip braced himself for the impact.

“Well, now I see what was taking you so long. Since when do we take in strays?”

He was ready for him, ready to bite back with a remark, but Jayce was quicker. Philip's anger dissipated when Jayce spoke, and he couldn't help to look at him with fondness. A lot of people would have left him to fend for himself, but despite his confusion, Jayce seemed adamant to make sure Lance knew the full story– even defending him when Lance questioned the lack of food. Even so, Philip couldn't help but to wonder if there was something else going on, though. Lance's questions had a certain edge to them. It wasn't unusual for him to scold Philip if he failed, but it seemed as though he'd expected Jayce to reply instead. As though he was trying to get information out of the man.

"By any chance were you kicked out of your colony for being such a trouble maker?"

"Lance, come on, man–" Philip started, but Jayce was having none of it.

“With all due respect, I doubt you’d believe me if I told you. Hell, I’m not even sure I believe what happened to me and the details are still a little fuzzy.”

"He's still confused, and he's had a rough day, can we just not–" but Philip's remarks fell on deaf ears once again.

“Let me guess, you were thrown forward in time and have no idea what happened to the world you once knew and now you’re seriously worried about how you’re going to survive in this world?”

"You what?" How the hell had Lance known about Jayce's time travel theory?

“So it’s true you are the chosen one. The clothes, your face, it all matches perfectly.”

Chosen one? Philip facepalmed with a groan.

"Oh God, not this again. Lance, seriously."

He'd heard Lance speak of the prophecy before. Though Philip was never personally interested in the scrolls that the old man surrounded himself with, he still had to admit that the idea was sound enough. It kept hope among some of the people in the colony, that the world wouldn't remain the way it was for all eternity. Philip knew better than that, though. The only way to defeat the vampires was through hard work and a unification of colonies– something they couldn't expect to get done for at least another eighty years. Letting someone think they were the chosen one was just a step too far. Looking up at the scroll, though, he had to admit there was an uncanny resemblance between Jayce and the old drawing. But it was all too impossible.

Even vampires had a reasonable explanation. This? It was like believing in magic.

"Can you chill for like, fifty seconds? What, did you draw that as you saw us coming up the hill or something?"

He looked between the two. Jayce looked about ready to believe the old man, but then Jayce probably would have believed that it rained frogs on Wednesdays at this point.

"I can't believe you," he said. "Did you spot the first tired, confused stranger you've been able to get your hands on for a while and decide to confuse him even further? Unbelievable."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Lance "Elder" Mason Character Portrait: Philip Harris

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"Can you chill for like, fifty seconds? What, did you draw that as you saw us coming up the hill or something?" Phillip accused.
“And how could I have done a sketch this detailed so quickly, and with these hands?” He asked holding his right hand out and sticking it in Phillip’s face. It was old and gnarled, posed into permanent claws by decades of arthritis.
"I can't believe you," he said. "Did you spot the first tired, confused stranger you've been able to get your hands on for a while and decide to confuse him even further? Unbelievable."
“No I assure you this is not the case.” Lance said, his tone calming as he realized that his shouting and arguing were not helping his cause. “This sketch is older than I am, it was handed down through generations of the monks from the great mage Draco Avalon. All monks were required to study it until the face was memorized. It is the face of the chosen one, your face.” He said as he turned to Jayce.
“Okay, look, I’m willing to believe that I was thrown forward in time by some sort of cataclysmic event that I don’t remember. But I highly doubt that it was foretold by someone who, judging by the paper you got there, was long dead before I was ever born.”
“Wait, you don’t remember what happened? How you got here? Any of that?”
“Nope. The last thing I remember from my time is packing my clothes to go on assignment to Antarctica, after that it all goes kind of blurry.” Jayce scoffed.
“Well perhaps I can help you to recover your memories, and maybe then you’ll see that I’m right.”
“Okay, if you think you can help, we’ll do it, but I believe I was promised a meal. Surely, this can wait until after we all eat.”
“Yes.” He replied calmly. He then turned to Phillip “I’m sorry for losing my composure, I was excited by the prospect of having the chosen one in our midst and forgot that it was going to fall to me to educate him on who he was and what kind of power he possesses. I know you don’t hold any stock in the legends of the dragon mages, and you think it’s all just a bunch of nonsense, but there was a time when humanity thought the same of vampires, now look at us. We cower in fear of them, is really so wrong to believe there is a way to destroy them? To fight back? Is it so wrong to have faith?”

Later that evening, while they were eating around the fire, Lance explained the legend of the vampires, how they almost destroyed humanity, how the first group of mages gathered from around the world to find a solution to the problem and how they became the first dragons. While Phillip seemed unimpressed by the story Jayce payed attention to every detail.
“But what happened in 2018? What caused the vampires to rise to power again? What reduced humanity to hiding in the woods like nomadic cave people?”
“Oh, you mean the flare.” Lance spoke with a hushed reverence. “A long time ago man thrived, the power of lightning was our slave and we were dependent on it, all of us, even the vampires. They had learned that it was easier to live in secrecy alongside humanity provided they were able to get their blood elsewhere. They had places set up that used the power of lightning to keep the blood fresh, and the humans were safe. But then the flare hit. A massive burst from the sun itself that engulfed the planet and destroyed all things that used this power. The vampires began to hunt again with no supply of fresh blood, and soon their blood lust kicked in and they went feral. Man reverted back to the dark ages before the power and we’ve learned to survive or be killed.”
“Sounds interesting.” Jayce replied. “Although we called it electricity, not the power of lightning.” He snickered. He caught a glance of Phillip’s expression in the light of the fire and it seemed like in that moment he might have finally believed Jayce about being from the past, but he couldn’t tell for sure.
“It’s getting late, and we must all rest.” Lance spoke followed by a yawn that looked like a lion’s roar.
“But what about helping me with my memory?” Jayce asked.
“We’ll work on that tomorrow, I must rest and prepare mentally to help you.”
Jayce looked over at Phillip by the fire as Lance walked off in the direction of his shack. He couldn’t read his expression, but he also couldn’t help but notice the guy’s face now that he had washed the paint off of it. There was a subtle innocence behind the rough expression and a glow of gentleness in his dark eyes. He walked over and sat next to him. Jayce stared into the fire, his green eyes seemed to go blank and expressionless. It was a lot to take in.
“What do you think about all this?” Jayce asked without looking up. “Is any of this real, is any of it possible? Maybe I’m just some nutcase imagining this whole thing. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and none of this will be real, just a dream, a sick, twisted, gut wrenching dream. Part of me hopes it is.” He turned looked up into Phillip’s eyes “Well, maybe not all of it. So, where am I sleeping tonight?” He asked fighting back a devilish grin. He was still unable to get a “read” on Phillip and didn’t want to scare the poor kid off.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jayce Ericson Character Portrait: Lance "Elder" Mason Character Portrait: Philip Harris

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Philip frowned, slapping the old man's hand out of his face. He had to admit it seemed impossible for Lance to have drawn up the picture of Jayce on their way up, but for now it seemed the only possible explanation. He looked at Jayce, who was at the very least a little sceptical. When he heard about his memory loss though, he mostly felt like pulling the guy close and giving him a comforting hug. However, Lance was speaking again:

“I’m sorry for losing my composure, I was excited by the prospect of having the chosen one in our midst and forgot that it was going to fall to me to educate him on who he was and what kind of power he possesses. I know you don’t hold any stock in the legends of the dragon mages, and you think it’s all just a bunch of nonsense, but there was a time when humanity thought the same of vampires, now look at us. We cower in fear of them, is really so wrong to believe there is a way to destroy them? To fight back? Is it so wrong to have faith?”

He wanted to say yes, yes it was. Faith was debilitating, it let people believe they could sit back and wait for problems to fix themselves. It took the action out of those who had the ability to fight back. But the glimmer of hope in Jayce's eyes, that he might not be thrown into this world by chance, might have a purpose although his life had been turned upside down, that kept him quiet. "You know very well what I think about faith," he mumbled. "I'm having a bath."

With that, he left Jayce in Lance's hands for a while as he washed the paint off his face, and changed into a simpler costume.

Later, as evening fell, he joined the other two by the fire where Jayce was finally provided with the meal he'd been promised. Lance was explaining the history of something, but Philip hardly paid attention as he ate. Once he finished the meal, he sat working on a spear he'd started before leaving on the hunt earlier that day. He picked up on Lance talking about the flare, and the way people had subdued the power of lightning to their will some eighty years before.

“Sounds interesting. Although we called it electricity, not the power of lightning,” Jayce said. Philip looked up, meeting his eyes over the flames of the fire. Though he still couldn't see how, he supposed some of it might be true. The way Jayce acted, it had to be some sort of complicated mental illness or he was really from the past. He couldn't think of anyone who'd make up a word like 'electricity', especially not someone not in possession of all their faculties.

“We’ll work on that tomorrow, I must rest and prepare mentally to help you.”

"The old man needs his beauty sleep," Philip mumbled, then looked up and said aloud, "Goodnight, Lance."

And then Jayce was next to him, and suddenly the fire seemed a little warmer than before– particularly on his face. He cleared his throat, putting the spear aside so the two could talk.

“What do you think about all this? Is any of this real, is any of it possible? Maybe I’m just some nutcase imagining this whole thing. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and none of this will be real, just a dream, a sick, twisted, gut wrenching dream. Part of me hopes it is.”

Philip didn't. He wished very much for Jayce to be real, but he knew he couldn't even imagine how this entire ordeal must be to him. Sick, twisted and gut wrenching was a good summary, probably.

He shrugged. "Like Lance says, before the flare they didn't believe in vampires, and that didn't exactly work out for them. I don't think you're a nutcase though, if that helps," he smiled at him. "I don't know how to explain it. Lance has always been talking about that order, telling us stories about how the Chosen one is going to free us. It's great when you're a kid but at some point I think you have to grow up, you know? But then you're here, and I can't explain how."

He sighed, shaking his head. As he looked up, he found Jayce looking straight at him. He swallowed.

“Well, maybe not all of it. So, where am I sleeping tonight?”

"Uh, well, you could sleep at my place? I mean if you want. We could probably find somewhere else if you'd prefer, but I mean it's not much but my place is pretty comfortable. It's got," he tried to think of what comforts Jayce would have been used to in his time, but his mind went blank. "Furniture," he finished weakly.

He picked up the spear, fighting the blush creeping across his face again. "Maybe I should just show you."