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Magnus Rygaard

You can love a monster, it can even love you back, but that doesn't change its nature.

0 · 449 views · located in Brooklyn, New York

a character in “Strange Love”, as played by Caged Bird

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ETYMOLOGY: The name Magnus means 'great' in Latin and was one of the first names used among Romans. It is also a variation of Magus, which means sorcerer as derived from Magi.

HEX CODES: Mocha Latte #C9AF94, Cafe Americano #362819

INHUMAN APPEARANCE: His warlock marks are his amber "cat-like eyes" with vertically slit pupils that he conceals with a spell when out among mortals, and his sharp canines. Additionally he stopped aging in the 16 century.


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Being the High Warlock of Brooklyn can actually be sort of a cushy gig, when you've got the sort of reputation for magical prowess that Magnus Rygaard has. Unfortunately for him, his better side often drags his more practical side along for the ride, and he finds himself thrust headlong into the middle of big heroic affairs that are really not his style. This in itself is telling, however. As much as Magnus might prefer to keep from placing himself in the center of political scandal, he also has strong feelings about justice, and about protecting innocent lives. He's championed the cause of supernatural equality in his own roundabout way, trying to initiate peace through his nightclub. Behind his eyes there is a surprising joy always visible, and the truth is that for all he's seen, Magnus does relish life, and the world he lives in. His insatiable curiosity comes from a true interest in the world around him, and he quests for knowledge of the arcane world, and for new experiences.

Magnus can come off as aloof, but he's always ready with a witty or sardonic remark for any occasion. He enjoys being the center of attention, and as such, is a showman in terms of behavior, wardrobe, magical displays, and general living arrangements. Like many people who crave attention, a lot of this is in reaction to the rejection he faced as a child at the hand of his parents. There's evidence for this in the way he's made himself into the social hub of the city, but doesn't seem to have any real close friends. When you've lived as long as Magnus has, entertainment becomes a completely different sport. Much of what he does is motivated by the fact that he hates being bored: he likes being surrounded by energy, vivacity, and new things, even if he doesn't partake in the scene himself. He's had enough time to construct very elaborate ways of amusing himself, and greatly enjoys getting a reaction out of people based on his behavior or the way he looks.

The fact that he is immensely powerful means that he doesn't have to fear much. While he enjoys showing off all these powers, he also treats them with a certain amount of ennui, given that it's very rare he finds himself in a situation where he can't use his magic to gain the upper hand with ease. He does however, evince fear over upsetting political situations that will put at odds with entire groups. He enjoys being at the very literal center of supernatural culture, which means keeping on the good side of vampires, werewolves, fairies, other warlocks, etc- and it's a delicate line between not pissing them off and making sure that they respect him, while maintaining his own sense of status and power. Despite appearances, Magnus has the capacity to be immensely loyal to people who earn his respect or love. He might not always be willing to admit it, but he does care about what happens to them, and this manifests in his own unique way of lending aid when necessary. He's incredibly skilled at reading people, after all these years, and he can recognize when someone has a good soul and a good heart.

He also shows a cynicism with the idealism of doing good deeds just for the sake of doing good - rather, he'll do almost anything if the price is right, and he'll show no remorse for turning down aid to the 'good guys' if they're not willing to pay up. This doesn't really have to do with a sense of materialism - he actually admits himself to be happier when he doesn't own too many things, as too much wealth is simply 'boring'. Rather, his view of morality holds a lot more gray areas than most peoples, given that he's seen people with 'good' intentions do horrible things under the banner of righteousness, and he's seen 'evil' beings act in truly intelligent and heroic ways. He's learned it's usually best to simply do what's best for oneself, and let the rest sort itself out. Making certain that his services are well paid for allows him to not end up in anyone's debt, and it also does a lot to give him more of a reputation for his magic.


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Magnus was born to a beautiful Taiwanese woman named Lin, and the demon prince Asmodeus in the 16th century in Jakarta, Indonesia, back then known as Batavia of the Dutch East Indies. Her husband Jiro had come home from the fields possessed by the demon and laid with her, Lin having no idea he was not her husband. Nine months later Magnus was born seemingly healthy and normal, only with an unusual pair of amber eyes.

He grew up on their rural farm with his mother and Jiro, both of whom raised him lovingly. However, when Magnus' warlock's marks developed in adolescence and they realized that he was the son of a demon, superstition being widely supported in those times, they grew to fear him and Magnus began to despise himself. It was at age ten, not long thereafter being discovered that his stepfather subsequently attempted to drown him but was instead burned alive when Magnus lashed out with his newly formed and uncontrollable powers. As a result, in her fear, guilt, and grief, his mother hung herself in their barn. Magnus was brought up by monks in Madrid, Spain after that.

In secret, Magnus acquainted himself with his father, Asmodeus. Aware of his father's influence, Magnus occasionally brought up his power and notoriety and used this in his favor when he finally joined the supernatural community. Being a very skilled and powerful warlock, Magnus began charging for his services fairly young, even before his powers had fully surfaced. Though he was only less than twenty years old, he had already began lying about his age, claiming to be hundreds of years old, old enough to know historic figures such as Julius Caesar and certain oracles, to increase his clients' confidence in him.

He had money, success, and fame. He had surrounded himself with people who didn't find him an abomination but rather celebrated his gifts. However, immortality and magic isn't all it's chalked up to be. It is a lonely sort of cursed half life. At one point, Magnus had fallen in love with someone and had, for the first time in his long life, stayed with his lover for the duration of the girl's human life. But she had refused immortality, and so she eventually faded away much like the memory of his family. Even though thirty years had passed since, Magnus still has not moved on from the pain, though it has become tolerable. Recently, he's found himself in New York in the club business. It's lucrative and distracting enough...and it keeps him numb. And thusly, here begins our protag's journey.

So begins...

Magnus Rygaard's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Magnus Rygaard Character Portrait: Robert DeWitt

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#3A7687 - DIALOGUE   #873A4F - THOUGHTSxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


          xxxEach and every one of us has a story, and all of them are love stories.

          xxxSince he was old enough to understand what love was, Robert had always thought his life would be a compilation of love stories that others told. His family would wax poetic about ‘the one,’ that someday he would find someone that was made just for him, and for a while that’s all he wanted. He coveted that desire for himself – craved to be someone’s ‘one’ – but he eventually grew to see it as nothing more than wishful thinking. Over time he moved on to wanting different things, the same way all children grow out of their aspirations, abandoning dreams of becoming a ninja or an ice cream truck driver in space for more realistic occupations. Coming to accept himself was more important than finding someone to date while he was in high school, and he spent the better part of his freshman year of college maintaining good marks just so he could keep his scholarships. In regards to dating, it was always hit and miss. Robert either wanted a relationship while the guy only wanted a fling, or his crush was completely one-sided and was shot down – however politely, on some occasions – whenever he took the risk. He can count how many boyfriends he’s ever had on one hand and the men he’s actively pursued on two, but none of it ever matched up to what his parents seemed to have. Suffice to say, Robert wasn’t really into dating. So when he comes home to hear that two of his friends were planning to take him out and get him a boyfriend, he was more than a little pessimistic.

          xxx“How could you let them do this to me?” Robert inquires, his voice as flat as the soda he has held precariously between his fingers. “I thought we were friends.”

          xxxJacqueline sat in the living room all bundled up on the couch, feet curled up beneath her as her toes peeked out from under the blanket. “We are friends, Robbie,” she insists, though Robert would argue the contrary. She’s known him long enough to see the negation in his stare, even if his displeasure was written clearly across his face. With a dramatic roll of her eyes, she shakes her head, but it loses all of its heat as a fond smile graces her lips. “If we weren’t friends then you wouldn’t have brought me that macchiato I asked for.”

          xxxHe had brought Jacqueline her macchiato. He’d even offered to close the store just to get away with making it without paying. It’s been trapped between his thumb and forefinger since he arrived, having needed the free hand to open the front door even though he still held his bottle of Mountain Dew in the same hand. She’d had to have seen it by now, regardless of the fact that he was still lingering in the foyer, and the sheer promise of it was already making her antsy. Out of spite he decided to take a sip, bringing the cup to his lips in a misguided attempt at retaliation, his nose deeply inhaling the strong, undeniable scent of the coffee he was about to devour. The bitter, yet invitingly warm aroma filled his nostrils, making his taste buds ache and his mouth water. Even after being trapped in a coffee shop all day for however many days he’s been employed there, he still loved coffee. One of Robert’s favorite things about Starbucks was coming home after a long shift and reeking of its succulent arbor, mulling over the taste of espresso lingering on his palate. He watched her pout as he took a hearty gulp, striding into the room at a leisurely pace while he downed a portion of its contents, his eyebrows waggling over the rim as he held her gaze.

          xxxOf course, he couldn’t keep it up for long. Robert handed over the cup as she reached out for it with full blown puppy eyes, almost spilling a little on his chin in the process. His resolve had quickly crumbled the moment she pushed out her bottom lip and batted her lashes, a method she’s used without fail since their childhood. Jacqueline sips at her drink gingerly, preening in her small victory, watching as Robert deposits his things on the end table and removes the layers he’d adorned to escape the chill of the outside. “So how was work?” she asks, striking up a conversation though she can predict his response.

          xxxRobert’s “fine” comes just as she thought it would, in the exact tone that it always does. His countenance doesn’t give much away to suggest otherwise, and that’s usually how she’d know to press further. Having an overly expressive face has been nothing short of a godsend for his friends and family since he was a child, if only because of his stubborn refusal to talk about himself or what he’s feeling. Every little thought could be seen in the furl of his mouth or the tilt of his brow, his eyes bulging or squinting depending on his level of surprise. Those that know him don’t have to wait for a verbal response before knowing what he’s going to say, and – more often than not – it always comes back to bite Robert in the ass. This particular conversation has him getting off easy, and Jacqueline let the subject drop so’s to tease him further about Catherine and Spencer’s ploy to get him laid.

          xxx“You’ll never guess where they’re taking you tonight,” she says, her smile nothing short of shit-eating, looking for all the world like someone who genuinely enjoys her friend’s suffering.

          xxx“God,” Robert groans, his shoulders falling, “Where?”

          xxx“The Cathedral.” Jacqueline knows he doesn’t know what she’s talking about when his brows furrow and his mouth pinches, his entire head cocking to the side almost like a dog. “You know, that new rave bar on the corner of Amity and Court.”

          xxx“Are you talking about the church that was foreclosed on?” he asks, his voice shrouded in just as much monotony as his face. “Someone turned it into a rave bar?”

          xxx“Better than turning it into a strip club, I’d wager.” she replies with a smirk, earning a rather unimpressed look from her friend. “So are you going?”

          xxxWith that Robbie lets out a defeated sigh, already resigned in his fate. “Well I don’t have much of a choice, do I?”
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          xxx“Come on, Robbie! Dance with me,”

          xxxRobert could barely hear her over the music resonating off of the walls, could hardly see anything more than her silhouette as the strobe lights flashed around the main floor. He was wedged between Spencer and Catherine, a shot of vodka clutched in his hand – his palm clammy from a particularly awkward conversation with the bartender just moments before. Ordering his drink nearly turned out to be the end of the world when he forgot the name of whatever alcoholic concoction he’d gotten last time, and watching the scantily clad woman get more and more annoyed with how long he was taking had him practically shaking by the end of it. The result was a shot of vodka on the rocks. He didn’t even like vodka. Having Catherine pull him onto the dancefloor was a lesser evil compared to having to remain at the bar at this point. And so he went, led by the wrist as the petite brunette dove into the throng of gyrating bodies, carving her way through towards the center.

          xxxThe music swelled, washing over them in waves as they whirled around between the other couples, finding their own spot amidst the fray. Everyone's bodies touched, like the silent dance of a mosh pit, constantly moving against itself and glistening with a thin veil of sweat. Most of the patrons had dyed hair as bright as the glow sticks strung around their limbs, with piercings decorating various parts of their face. Catherine lacked both of these characteristics and yet she still meshed with the horde, her attire consisting of a neon crop top and a leather mini skirt. Robert was different though. He was dressed in distressed denim jeans and a black button-up, both figure flattering while still giving him room to breathe. He even wore a matching tie, a tie that he tried to conceal behind a cluster of blue glow stick necklaces. His Converse sneakers were the only thing on him that glowed in the black lights, leaving him a shroud amongst the cluster of bright colors. It was strangely appropriate for how out of place he felt, caught in the middle of dozens of strange people with only his friend to hold onto. He put all his focus on Catherine, knowing that he’d have to if he was going to make it through the night.

          xxxEver since Robert was born he could see the things that hid in the corners of everyone else’s eyes. It left him with a scattered focus, pulling his vision away from the board at the front of all his classes towards the movement at the back of the room. Whether it was a kid stifling a cough or bending over to pick up a pencil, Robert would notice, and that led to years of being falsely diagnosed for attention deficit disorder. Needless to say, an entire crowd parting like the Red Sea at the convenience of one patron did naught to escape his notice. Regardless, his gaze remained on Catherine, trying to mimic the sway of her hips to no avail. Robert knew he hadn’t the talent for dancing, but his ridiculous floundering was a talent in its own right. With every endeared eye roll and rolling laughter he pulls from his companion, he becomes all the more shameless, content with making a fool of himself if it means entertaining friends. The room lights up with the transition of the next song and his thrashing intensifies with the beat, bringing him eye to eye with a man he’s never seen before.

          xxxThe stranger had a face like the fire-gold glow of dawn, lifting Robert’s gaze, drawing him in. He had a tanned complexion, smooth and tawny and utterly delectable. His eyes were aaeneous in color – the kind of eyes you avoid meeting in a gaze if you can, if only for the lingering heat you’d feel in its wake. His mouth was annoyingly perfect, the kind of mouth that was part pout, part smirk, and outright licentious as a whole. In one suspended moment in time this man had become the axis of Robert’s current existence, and with one smile, he quickly became the epicenter of his destruction. “Oh, fuck me,” Robert said on a sigh, wistful and hopeless, though there was no way he could be heard over the music blaring overhead. The stranger was perfect, obnoxiously so. There was no other word to describe him. He looked as if he was made of cold sparks, the red part of a flame. Robert wanted to reach out and touch him, the threat of being burned only fueling his excitement. Anyone with eyes could see that Robert wanted to sleep with him, but the knowledge that this man was excruciatingly out of his league kept him cemented in his spot.

          xxxHe found that he could only tear his gaze away once the man turned to leave, only then did Robert break away from the mass of writhing bodies to get another drink. With his attention captured by the man’s retreating back, he stumbled his way across the dancefloor, holding the stranger in a longing gaze until he was no longer in sight. Lost in thought as he ordered his next drink, Robert tossed back another shot the moment it was placed in his hand, catching a stray drop of vodka on his bottom lip with a swipe of his tongue. He still hated the taste of vodka, but he was too off kilter to order something different. Then again, he probably wouldn’t have made a fuss anyway. He’s always missed out on a lot of things because of his social anxiety, like a drink he might actually enjoy or a chance at getting a date with an incredibly attractive stranger. Robert could only hang his head in a passable impression of shame, hiding his face in his hands. He tore his fingers through his hair as a larger glass was placed in front of him, and it came with a sympathetic look from the bartender before she made her way to the other end of the bar.

          xxxDrowning his embarrassment at the bottom of the glass, Robert prepared himself for a long night.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Magnus Rygaard Character Portrait: Robert DeWitt

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#C9AF94 - DIALOGUE   #362819 - THOUGHTSxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


          XXXThe streets of Brooklyn were cold and dark that night, the only pedestrians out being the sort that knew how not to lose themselves in a twisting labyrinth of ever narrowing Stygian alleyways. Utopia was waiting for them right around the next bend, forever roaming; the only constant in its surroundings being the fat, impregnated moon peeking through thick cloud cover hanging overhead.

          XXXMagnus Rygaard's smalt hair reflected the neon colors of a mundane sign: the words The Cathedral glowing in a pavonated shade as he entered the building. This sacrilegious nightclub consisted of a tightly packed space that's bare bones resembled that of an ancient church, this was because it had once served as one, until said church was foreclosed on and snatched up by a hungry entrepreneur with high aspirations and a low budget. Stained-glass windows rose high up on the walls, painting everything beneath them in hues of rose. There were no pews, only an open floor. Darting colored spotlights picked out the blissed faces of dancers in the churning crowd, the glare absolutely dazzling. The room was hot with the press of bodies and the smell of sweat and smoke and liquor. There was a DJ booth along one wall, and trance music blasted from the speakers. That music pounded up through his feet, into his blood, vibrating his bones.

          XXXHe propelled forward through the congregation, the mortal crowd seeming to part like the sea around the hull of a ship. People looked up to glance at Magnus then dropped their gazes hastily, backing away out of instinct though they knew nothing of his power or otherworldliness. Something was to be said about mankind and their intuition. He had almost had cleared the gyrating mob before he locked eyes with one of the dancers in particular. Donned in a massive amount of blue glow sticks, he flailed about ungracefully, simply swaying back and forth with occasional lunges toward the floor as he was jostled too hard and lost balance. Human beings could be so awkwardly adorable when out of their natural element. Magnus had lived long enough for there not to be an element unknown or of ill ease to him. He was almost envious, missed that rawness to life...to be young. Which was odd of course as he oft pretended to be more ancient than he truly was. The boy halted in his motions as soon as they connected sight, gazing at the warlock curiously. He did not shy away as the others had. Perhaps he was just hammered, his dancing sure seemed to suggest as much.

          XXXMagnus couldn't help but grin. He was beautiful. He had creamy leucochroic skin, a dark thick tangle of hair, and a perpetually pursed set of delicious lips that begged to be bitten. He looked down right cherubic with defined yet rounded features but had to be at least in his early twenties because the club was notoriously scrupulous in checking I.D.'s for authenticity. His iridescent doe eyes appeared innocent initially but as soon as they raked over his body, he saw he obviously wasn't everything he appeared at first glance. He mouthed an exciting expletive that had Magnus hesitating in his path, intrigued. He almost wanted to strike up a conversation or invite him to flail over this way, but he knew better than to collect mortal playthings. It was only asking for trouble. Were they compatible, it couldn't last very long before it became dangerous.

          XXXHe forcibly resumed his journey to the far side of the room with a sigh, disappearing into a throng of indistinguishable people. There, there was an archway that all of the human club goers seemed not to notice or pay any heed to. Through it a set of stairs led downward, curving away into darkness. He descended steadily, graceful and sure-footed, not worried about slipping on the age-smoothed stones. The air grew cooler the further down he traversed, and the sound of the pounding music faded. The only noise left was the sound of his own breathing, devoid of company save for his shadow thrown, distorted and spindly, against the walls.

          XXXThe new music bled into his hearing before he ever reached the bottom of the staircase. It had an even more insistent beat than the music in the mortal club. A small devilish grin stretched across his face as he entered his Utopia.
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          XXXOnce inside, he drew over to the bar out of habit before ordering something strong. The scenery was as elaborate and indulgent as ever, especially when in comparison to the mortal gathering above, but utterly boring to the conjurer. It had all been done before and done to death, if not in this century than in the one prior. It was hard to imagine any sort of tedium residing in such mystic and lavish settings such as these but one man’s Nirvana was another man’s Limbo. He decided to remain there and study the moving crowd for a short while, watching couples of twos and threes vanish into the shadowy alcoves that lined the walls. There were dozens of these circular recesses, some armed with small loveseats in a lovely deep shade of royal blue, others with round velvet beds but they all provided the clubers with a heavy curtain that could be pulled closed to provide a modicum of privacy. It also succeeded in discreetly muffling the pounding music outside, though by no means did it make it inaudible.

          XXXHe felt a pang in his chest, a stab like a knife being drug against the insides of his rib cage. How many years had it been since he had taken a lover? How long had it been since he slunk away to the nearest hiding place so that he might just steal a second alone with someone? A warlock’s curse was, you either outlived everyone or they lived just long enough to distort themselves into something unrecognizable. He thought back to that boy upstairs again before quickly disabusing the notion. It was not of his character to obsess. In fact, it was not of his character to be romantically inclined at all. Magnus had taken many a ‘lover’ for a mere night or two or week even, but it was always simply because of his physical, lustful nature. He was part demon after all. He was not one to dream of trysts no matter how enticing they might first seem on paper. His upbringing did no better to inspire thoughts of romance, he knew how those things ended…with one lover swinging on the other end of a noose...

          XXXOne of Magnus' older acquaintances filtered into the room with a Banshee companion, looking all to the world, quite vainglorious. Magnus was eager for the distraction and took this as a sign to approach, after all, Vampires were creatures of tradition and the higher clan members might've seen it as disrespectful if not greeted by the host. His skin was as pale as untouched fallen snow and his hair shone like freshly reaped wheat, like threads of gold, brighter than any halo; and almost too perfectly highlighted to be natural. He possessed a terrible beauty, one not comparable to a certain human he had laid eyes on earlier…the human being the one in favor. Magnus took the Vampire leaders hand and bowed deeply, moving to brush his lips across the cold pallor skin. His eyes remained fixed on the vampires own though, never blinking or breaking contact. This was all a formality, an indulgence if you would, for Warlocks really bowed to no one other than the greater demons.

          XXX"Ah, my old friend, how are you? Might I offer you a drink?"

          XXXThe pleased party accepted, shooing away his lady in a tasteful fashion though Magnus would have gladly offered her one as well. It just went to show you how his kind in particular enjoyed monopolizing the time of important individuals. The bartender, a prepossessing Satyr with a jovial smile, served Magnus’ partner a typical vampiric cocktail before hurrying off to tend the other side of the bar. The vampire grinned before sipping at his glass and posing a question Magnus didn’t quite expect to hear.

          XXX"Have you seen Moira this evening, I heard rumor she was out and about."

          XXX"She’s in town? What’s it been, a few decades since she last graced the city with her presence? What brings her here?" Magnus asked with thinly veiled disdain, they weren’t exactly friendly. Where he kept peace, she wrought destruction.

          XXX"I’m not sure but undoubtedly we will find out." He offered in foreboding, knowing full and well her penchant for chaos.

          XXX"Do you really thinks she’d come here? Whatever for? Despite the general grandeur of all my parties, by and by, she doesn’t really seem like the type to enjoy a good carousal such as this…she strikes me more as the debaucherous sort."

          XXX"Magnus, honestly, your club is teeming with debauchery. Besides, It’d probably prove to be a fine hunting ground. Or perhaps she’d just enjoy the attention? You know how Slaugh’s revel in fearful admiration." He laughed.

          XXXMagnus resisted an eye roll at the ever incorrigible vampire given that vampires themselves tended to have a flare for the macabre and dramatic as well. He quickly changed the subject to a lighter note and entertained him for a socially acceptable amount of time before moving on. But conversation after conversation he shared with various fair folk, the vampire’s words continued playing over and over in his mind, like a broken film reel that just kept spinning. Moira was in New York and that did not bode well for business.

          XXXThe night bled into day as all the creatures intermingling in the underground club partied well into the morning hours. Exhaustion weighed heavy on him, more so than it had in a millennium and it had nothing to do with his vigorous entertaining. Unwelcome news coupled with time spent reflecting on his solitary life style did not make for too fond an evening. That reflection in particular felt as if Magnus was made to poke his tongue over a hole where a tooth had once been, reminded of its absence in a sore fashion. It was so out of his character that he had to wonder at what could have inspired such longing. Certainly not some attractive human he only managed to make eye contact with for a moment? No, it had to be something else. Perhaps he was just getting old. He ushered stragglers out the door before collapsing the ignis fatuus that was his club before stumbling, himself, out into the cold morning air with bleary eyes and an iresome temperament. The vicious rays of dawn had yet to sprawl over the landscape but would soon in another hour or two. It was time for him to vanish as well.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Magnus Rygaard Character Portrait: Robert DeWitt

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xxxxxxxxxwritten in collaboration with Caged Bird


          xxxDawn broke through the stained-glass windows, swathing the desolate dancefloor in a kaleidoscope of multicolored hues. A choir of clinking bottles and swift brushes against hardwood floors filled in the spaces where hems were once sung, bringing life to the hollowed out walls of the chapel. Employees worked to clear off the bar, washing glasses and putting away barstools, all left unoccupied now that last call had come and gone; all except for one. There at the end of the bar sat one lonely figure, his head buried in the folds of his arms as he slept through the beginnings of his drunken stupor. One bartender stood opposite him as she worked, having treated him to several shots of vodka throughout the night. Curls of wild flame tamed to one side by a Dutch braid sat against her bare shoulder, stray wisps of hair framing the heart shape of her face. Hazel eyes lined with kohl flitted from the beer taps to the dark haired patron in front of her, narrowing in annoyance at the knowledge that she’d have to wake the unconscious man eventually. With a put upon sigh she does just that, reaching over the bar to vigorously shake the man’s shoulder with a curt,

          xxx“Hey dude, get up. We’re closing.”

          xxxRobert is immediately roused by her actions, wavering only slightly as he abruptly sits upright, his face pinched in utter discomfort. The first thing he sees when he opens his eyes is the sleeve of ink adorning the woman’s arm, and Robbie – despite the copious amounts of alcohol sitting in his belly - recognized her immediately. Hard to forget a face that’s associated with the mortification of social ineptitude.

          xxx“What time is it?” he asks, his voice hoarse from sleep.

          xxx“Five minutes before my shift ends.” she says in response. It’s as cutting as her gaze, waking him even further with the sheer discontent of the situation. Through her nose she heaves another sigh, reaching into the pocket of her skin tight jeans to hand him back his phone. She’d confiscated it the moment she was sure he wasn’t going anywhere, sparing the young man from getting it stolen, losing it, dropping it, or sending any text messages that he might later regret. “Just call someone to pick you up, alright? I want to go home, and you’re fuckin’ plastered.”

          xxxEven groggy and inebriated, Robert couldn’t help but agree. He unlocked his phone and nearly blinds himself just to read the numbers, forcing himself to squint past the initial ache in order to see more clearly. It’s nearly four in the morning, according to the time, and his inbox is void of any new messages. Looking around to see if he could recognize any of the faces mulling around the establishment, it quickly becomes very apparent that his friends had already left without him. They were nowhere in sight, neither of them having answered any of the nonsensical text messages he’d sent before he passed out, leaving him to fend for himself in his inebriated state. This would’ve inspired feelings of betrayal and anger from anyone else, but Robert was far too drunk to be bothered by it. He simply paid his tab and wandered out of the bar, phone in hand, eyes downcast as he sent a text to Jacqueline. He had taken a cab to get here so he figures he’ll do that, and that’s the thought that runs through his head as he’s staggering out of the door. Above him the early morning sky is saturated in deep navy blue, utterly cloudless and illuminated by the distant amber glow of the streetlights. A cold breeze passed through him, sending a shiver down his spine, and Robert briefly lamented over having not brought a jacket with him as the hair on his arms prickled with the chill.

          xxxHis thoughts, much like his gaze, shifted from one thing to another. One moment he’s complaining about the biting wind in a nonsensical inner monologue, and the next he’s contemplating his destination. He’d take a cab – that much was already decided – but to where? His parents’ home was closer than the apartment he shared with his friends and his father would be closing up the bar in an hour, if he could make it there before his father went home he’d have a warm bed to fall into and a hot meal when he woke up, both of which seemed favorable to going to his apartment and crashing on his living room couch only to be woken up and chastised later in the day. Even plastered he knew that he’d much rather be teased than nagged.

          xxxScrolling through his list of contacts, Robert perused each name until he came to ‘Cab Driver,’ hitting the button with an otherwise unwarranted sense of accomplishment. It was while he raised the phone to his ear that he noticed someone walking out of the bar, his wandering gaze fixating on a familiar set of shoulders.

          xxxIt was the hot guy from before – the bronze skinned Adonis in glitter and eyeliner – but now Robert went unnoticed. This in itself wasn’t surprising seeing as that had become a habit for him over the years. Moreover, it seemed that the man had much more pressing matters on his mind. He appeared more haggard than before, however flawless, with a certain bitterness to his features that only comes when one is lost in thought. Had he been more sober, Robert wouldn’t have considered going up to him. As it happens, there was nothing stopping him from simply going up and talking to the stranger. At worst he'd face rejection, and that was nothing he hadn't experienced before. At best? Well, that was just too good to pass up. It was pure liquid courage that drove him forward, despite his doubts, and even then he had no idea what to say. His mind was an emblematic writing desk, and there he sat, scribbling inanely on metaphorical sheets of paper, transcribing a script for himself only to scrap each one before they really began. Simple introductions gave way to corny pick-up lines and then back again, but none of it seemed right. He was nervous, that much was certain, but he was also steadfast in his determination to at least speak two words to this man. All potential humiliation aside, he knew he’d regret it if he didn’t at least try.

          xxxRobbie finally reached him as the man rounded a corner, his mind going completely blank the moment he reached out and touched the stranger’s sleeve. Suddenly he’s somewhere else, in this extravagant loft that he’d never seen before, and the abrupt change in scenery hits him hard. He’s dizzy with it, almost losing his balance as his alcohol addled brain tries to catch up. As a result he grips the stranger’s arm tighter, unwittingly seeking comfort in another person’s presence. He doesn’t say anything for a long while, crippled in his critical thinking thanks to his inebriated state, so he just stands there and takes in his surroundings.

          xxxThe first thing that registers is that he’s standing on carpet – drab carpet – carpet the color of crimson, just soft enough in its palette to be aesthetically pleasing. His first thought, besides the not-quite-blood-red carpet, was that this was definitely not an alleyway. If he could wager an educated guess he'd say it's a living room or a lounge or some sort. Whatever. The point is, there are chairs. Chaise sofas, to be more precise. It all harkened back to his high school days, his mind immediately comparing it to something he's seen out of a video game, a room straight of the Golden Cat. There's an epiphany in that connection that sparks an apt description of the place. With soft maroon walls trimmed with glistening gold and extravagant accents as far as the eye could see, he couldn't help but think that this looked like a brothel. Tapestries and throw rugs covered as much as they possibly could without being tacky, giving off a sort of Middle Eastern semblance. It was a place brimming with luxury, exhibiting a sort of ‘show room’ elegance that left him feeling as though he had walked into a photo from a magazine rather than someone’s home.

          xxxOnly a few seconds had passed since Robbie first began note of his surroundings, his mind working swiftly despite his vices, and now he sought to remember how he’d gotten there. He could recall everything up to the point where he’d grabbed the stranger and then… nothing. Just a big, fat cut to black. Though he felt as if they had simply teleported here directly from the alleyway, logic dictated the contrary. Much to the dismay of practically everyone, teleportation was a scientific impossibility. There were only two solutions Robbie could come up with as to how he arrived in this man’s apartment without having any memory of it. Either he was taken to the man’s apartment after he’d gone up and talked to him, losing time in the process, or he was so drunk that he simply blacked out and this is all a dream.

          xxxIt really reflects poorly on Robert’s love life when the latter seemed more likely.

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━


          xxxNo sooner had he opened a portal to his living room was he taken by the arm. Any half-wit would have known to never make physical contact with a warlock if the warlock wasn't initiating. It was a warlock's nature to pop in and out of scenery without much warning, and if you weren't careful, you'd be taken along for the ride. But when he looked down to see just who clung to his side so naively, he realized all at once why this particular set of hands was blissfully unaware of widely known warlock truths...it was a drunken mortal, the one from before. He met his wild eyes, far more intricate than any snowflake, they were the heart of an ice-born planet; the event horizon of a white star… Strong and steady as a glacier moving ever onwards, drawing into itself that which it wishes to know, and pushing aside all else without argument. Magnus should have been more aware of his surroundings, it did not bode well that he could be snuck up on with so much ease; but he couldn't find it within him to be displeased at this turn of events. He chuckled deeply through a neat rack of teeth, the sound rolling around low in his chest. The universe seemed to be offering up a solution to his fowled mood, and he was nothing if not mercurial; adaptable to any sort of fun that may present itself no matter how challenging.

          xxxHe gingerly detangled the boy's claws from his crushed velvet suit jacket, taking them into his own and patting them in a consolatory fashion. "Well aren't you a lovely surprise." He purred. His voice had an even, calming tone, but his eyes were frighteningly alive, the curve of his mouth savage and pleased. "Welcome to casa de Magnus, I suppose. I'm Magnus...obviously, since we didn't make it to introductions back in the club." He released his hold of the boy's hands and gestured grandly to a plush divan immediately to their left so that his strange guest might sit down. This situation was going to only continue to overwhelm, and he might fare better if he wasn't, at the very least, vertical. Admittedly, this was a first for Magnus as well, which were hard to come by these days when you had seen and done so much. This left him certain that the adventitious occurrence was meant to be enjoyed to the fullest. He would be no good to him hysterical or unconscious.

          xxxHis laughter was like ripples in a still pond after a stone had been thrown in. It radiated outwards through the room which – up until that moment – had been quite silent, bringing Robert softly out of his reverie and drawing his attention toward the man himself. Robert’s body went still as the man pulled his hands off of his jacket, and Robert became painfully conscious of the fact that he’d neglected to let go. When the stranger spoke, Robert couldn’t find his voice. He felt his cheeks flush hot and his stomach become heavy, dropping like a lead weight. His heart pounded in his throat, threatening to break out. And despite wanting to avoid the man’s gaze and hang his head in embarrassment, Robert found that he couldn’t. He was transfixed by the stranger’s eyes, not for the first time that night; eyes which resembled sun baked soil, pale even though they were brown. Their eyes lock in mutual interest and Robert is once again left to wonder why no one ever romanticizes brown eyes. When this man looked at him it radiated a fierce, uncompromising confidence… and his smile was no different. It was a Cheshire grin of sorts, the kind that was so wide it gave the impression of wanting to eat someone rather than say hello; it wasn’t a smile of a cat who’s got the cream, but rather a fox covered in the blood of someone else’s chickens. For a moment, Robert though he should be wary – intimidated, even – but he wasn’t. If anything he was intrigued by the other man, even if he was a little anxious.

          xxxIn the time it took to lose himself in the stranger’s smile, he’d gotten a name. Magnus, the man was called, and Robert only had a moment to consider just how well it suited him. All the while, his body moved on its own accord, following Magnus’ gesture to the divan sat close by. Robert slowly sat down onto the cushion, thankful now that he didn’t have to rely on his own two legs to support him. His eyes lost focus for a moment as he was absorbed in thought, trying in vain to recover any memory of coming here after approaching Magnus outside of the bar. There were none. Not one scrap of recollection. Hell, he doubted he even knew what Magnus’ front door looked like. All of a sudden it occurred to him – perhaps a little too late – that he’d yet to give his own name, and he immediately sought to remedy that. “Oh–… Robbie! I’m Robbie,” he blurted out, his voice tremulous as he introduced himself. He visibly cringed at how loud he was, his face scrunching up in embarrassment before he cleared his voice and tried again, “That’s not-… Robbie’s short for Robert. My friends all call me Robbie.”

          xxx"Robbie..." Magnus tested, trying the name out on his tongue, rolling it around as he joined his companion on the couch. The soft cushions devoured him gratefully. He swung his arm indolently over the back, boxing Robbie in like they were on a movie date, fingers a breadth away from his collar. His legs crossed and his spine slid down and curved to form a relaxed and unfazed a position as was possible. He made the simple act of sitting look somehow luxurious. "Why not Rob? Don't mistake me, I am rather fond of Robbie now I think, but curious as to what that names says about you." Magnus cocked his head to the side, examining the person before him. The panic hadn't set in just yet, leaving him to wonder just what was going on up there in Robbie's head. "Were you out tonight all alone? Or did these moniker awarding friends simply leave you to your own devices? No judgement, sometimes a party of one can be quite liberating...but if someone's out there looking for you then I wouldn't want to worry them?" This statement said any other way would have sounded vaguely threatening, 'Who knows you're gone? Will anyone know to be looking for you?' Like Magnus was going to tie him up in his basement or something. Don't get him wrong, tying Robbie up was an alluring concept, but not in the way that wasn't consensual.

          xxx“No, I don’t think anyone’s looking for me,” he says, ignoring all of the advice ever given to him about strangers he met at a bar. He winced, visibly flinching as he mentally berated himself for his slip up. Robert knew the risks of being in the home of someone he barely knew, and he’d only made it worse by saying he wouldn’t be missed. Maybe it was all the alcohol in his system loosening his tongue, making him speak without giving him much time to think over his answer. Nevertheless, regardless of how charming this man seemed, Robert still didn’t know much more about him than his name. If things went well he could indulge in a quick – amazing, his mind supplied – fling and be on his way, but if not… well, he could expect an interesting view of this guy’s basement for however long he chose to keep him. With a resigned sigh, Robert dug himself a deeper hole, throwing caution to the wind in order to make conversation. “My friends wanted to take me out and get me laid but I think they had better luck than I did.” he supplied, using self-deprecating humor to making himself feel more content. “And my father’s Rob, actually. He’s my namesake even though I’m not a junior. They just called me Robbie growing up to avoid confusion.”

          xxxRobbie was...captivating. And Magnus Rygaard was not so easily captivated as someone who knew how to be quite captivating himself. But Robbie, he was captivating in an unintentional way which was endearing. Young people rarely used words like namesake, well young as by comparison to Magnus anyways. He was an odd, handsome little thing. "Some friends you have there, you should think of investing in new ones." He replied without malice. "But the night's still early, so perhaps luck will still be on your side." He tossed a devilish wink with the innuendo in his direction, standing on the ledge of Robbie's gaze and looking over the edge. He kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for that question with an inexplicable answer to be posed. How long could they go on like this? But Magnus was all too aware of the effect his home had on outsiders. You didn't so much visit his roaming palace as get absorbed. Besides, humans were constantly glossing over things they couldn't find explanation for, best not to poke and prod least you find something you couldn't wrap your fragile mind around.

          xxxRealization of what Magnus had just said caused Robbie’s train of thought to come to a screeching halt. He’d been hit on before, however rarely, but not by someone like Magnus – someone who was very clearly out of Robbie’s league. Wearing an expression of utter bewilderment, Robbie felt the heat rising to his cheeks even further and prayed it wasn’t noticeable. "Who am I kidding?" he thought "Of course it’s noticeable. I couldn’t be more red if I were a ripe tomato." Robbie coughed and then dragged a hand through his hair, pushing it away from his forehead even though it was already there and leaving it sticking up in odd angles. “Oh-… my God — okay — uhmm… I’m going to have to hit the pause button on this for a minute.” He held up a finger to gesticulate as such, speaking with his hands as he is so wont to do in situations where he can’t quite catch his bearings. “Just a minute though, ‘cause you hitting on me is doing wonders for my self-esteem and I’d definitely like to revisit this and see where this could go. Uhmm…” he paused to arrange his scattered thoughts, “I do have a couple of questions though, before we get the ball rolling, and this one is probably the most important…. How did we get here? Exactly? I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty drunk – not drunk enough not to give my consent, by the way, just throwing that out there – but uhmm… I don’t actually remember how we got here? I remember walking up to you, ready to embarrass myself and get shut down, and then all of a sudden it’s like… we were here... in your… apartment? Is this your apartment?”

          xxxMagnus wore a smug sort of pressed smile as Robbie squirmed, admiring the color in his reddened cheeks. Magnus himself didn't have the complexion for being flushed, but even if he had, there wasn't much out there that could make someone like him blush. He could have easily brushed over his question, it wouldn't have been difficult-distracting Robbie by pulling focus to the state of his esteem, but he wanted to see how this would play out. It wasn't as if he'd have to face any consequences...warlock perks and whatnot. A little memory altering and it would all be swept under the rug. "We teleported." He replied in a very calm and self-possessed manner. The sheer nonchalance of the statement seemed wildly absurd, surely Robbie would have to suppose he was joking. He continued, "Really, it's not you. You're verily quite inebriated, but you didn't black out. You just have fabulous taste in men, or rather, in warlocks." Magnus teemed with nervous energy, locked in an unseeable battle. His devilish curiosity at war with his lack of schadenfreude, his longing to know what Robbie would do versus his very human instinct to not cause any undue suffering. Magnus had a bit of heart, after all. None of this was reflected on the surface of his demeanor, however.

          xxxMagnus’ comment was such a shock, so far from what Robbie had expected, that all he could do was just stare at the man with lips parted in amazement. His brain formulated no thoughts other than to register his disbelief, completely flat-lining for an immeasurable moment before he closed his mouth and finally came to his senses. “Warlocks,” Robbie echoes, “You’re a warlock.” There’s a minute where he seems to consider this and it ends with a single clap of his hands, his face lighting up in good humor as though he took this all for a joke. “Well you know, I’m actually a paladin myself. Not exactly the coolest class in D&D but you know… if the shoe fits. So how’d you get your magic? Did you make a pact with powerful faerie lords, demon lords, or eldritch alien beings? ‘Cause I’m not going to lie, there’s a part of me that wants to know what kind of moral alignment I’m dealing with here. God, what am I even saying-…?” Just as suddenly, Robbie appeared distressed again, struggling to discern this new reality while his mind struggled to keep up. He stood up just to have an excuse to move, pacing and running a hand through his hair out of anxious habit, “Moral alignment,” he huffs, “This isn’t Dungeons & Dragons. Sorry, I’m an idiot. I swear I’m generally a lot more astute than this; this is just the alcohol talking. Alright. So-…” he paused, takes a breath, “We teleported.” This he says with finality, as if he were trying to convince himself that this were all true. He can’t help the nervous laughter that bubbles up in his throat.

          xxx“This is my life now. I’m actually at a point in my life where I think teleportation is a more likely alternative to someone playing a role-playing game. Which, to be fair,” he says, turning to Magnus, “is an accurate assumption. I mean, I’m usually not one to judge a book by it's cover, but you’re ridiculously hot and the only people that do that sort of thing are people like me… and I got beat up a lot in high school.” Disrupting his own rambling with a vigorous shake of his head, he exclaimed, “That’s not the point. Okay. So you say we teleported… and that you’re a warlock. Alright, noted. I think — for right now — I’m just going to suspend my disbelief for a second and fuel my curiosity… if that’s alright.” Whether it is or not, Robbie doubts he’d be able to keep his mouth shut. And as his mind struggles for questions, he stood there practically vibrating in his skin, a restless ball of nervous energy. “Can you do other magic?” is what he asks in the end, “Destruction spells? Alteration? Illusion? Conjuration?”

          xxxMagnus had no clue what D&D was, nor just about anything else Robbie was effusing about, but he did like the enthusiasm with which he was speaking. How had humans become so aware? There was something to be said of the half assed brand of accuracy they impossibly tangled up with their own fates. His resulting expression was one of indulgence. He also didn’t mind all of the compliments he was being paid, sure lushes and drunks were made for flattery, but he purred silently with private satisfaction anyway.

          xxxIt was a veritable crime that anyone could punch a face like Robbie’s, children were oft the cruelest of creatures, but before he could comment, he was off again launching into a new frantic line of questioning. Magnus would really have to address this later, with or without Robbie’s knowledge. He had a certain distaste for bullies, despite his demonic lineage, and he was quite skillful with finding just the right punishments that would ironically match the original crime. He was no superhero, but braggart antihero for cute boys? Perhaps it was to be considered…at the very least it would bring a mild bout amusement.

          xxxHe squared his shoulders, trying to pin down the conversation from spiraling. “Alright.” He announced by way of opening. “First, I made no manner of pact. No aliens or fairies involved, but I am half demon.” He resisted the urge to flash a set of slitted pupils, after all, the goal was not to frighten. “I can perform many sorts of magic, all of the above and more…Would you like to see?” He posed, hoping to ease him into it and also to provide sufficient proof of claim. The trouble was just figuring out what sort of magic would amaze and impress, but also not overwhelm and startle. This ruled out a great deal of Magnus’ favorites. He leaned forward expectantly. Even sitting, he remained eye level with his standing guest.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Magnus Rygaard Character Portrait: Robert DeWitt

0.00 INK

xxxOnce Robbie, timorous and fervid, swallowed his hesitation and nodded; Magnus cracked a blazing grin. It's funny, but in the future were Magnus to think back on this moment, he'd probably realize that this particular point in time, as he sat there blinking up at the boy with blue eyes, was the one point at which he might have chosen to do something very much different from what he actually did. But of course he couldn't see this crucial moment for what it actually was; did anyone really ever? Instead, he inched forward to the edge of his seat and stretched out his hands before proceeding to dazzle his guest with forbidden magic...Multicolored sparks like that from a firecracker popped softly along his finger tips as trails of light skittered along the lines of his palms. It was like a pyrotechnics display on mute, condensed but not underwhelming. The glimmer of it's light reflected in their mutual gaze. There was no smoke or heat, just light.

xxx"Here, would you like to try touching it? It won't hurt, pinky promise."

xxxPerhaps it was the ‘pinky promise’ that had the final sway — urging his hand forward without much forethought, his fingers outstretched towards the popping lights. Robbie held his breath, waiting for the inevitable heat… but it never came. It wasn’t for lack of trusting the stranger that had fueled his doubt, but rather the complete defiance of everything he’d grown up to know. Fire meant heat. Even with a sparkler you’d run the risk of burning yourself. So why was this any different? His mind struggled to process the absence of sensation as tendrils of luminescence weaved their way through his fingers. He was mystified, his gaze wide with the same unabashed awe of a child at their first firework show. Twiddling his fingers as the magic pulsed and flared, he let the lights dance across his skin. He felt nothing except the throbbing of his own head, his mind quavering under the onslaught of impossibility. Even so, Robbie kept his hand where it was, pale digits fluctuating with every shift in the lights’ path. It wasn’t until his fingertips brushed against the skin of Magnus’ palm that he felt anything tangible, and the sensation that came was a shock to his system – something akin to a small spark, the kind you only hear about in stories.

xxxIt pulled his attention away, his gaze caught in the snare of Magnus’ own, and all at once he was captured again. Robbie was quick to shake it off this time, pulling his hand away and tucking it into his front pocket. “That’s one hell of a party trick.” he said, clearing his throat, “Can I... Can you show me more?”

xxxMagnus smile flashed conspiratorial in an instant, looking as sharp and hooked as a cat's claws. He wanted more, and reservation was not of Magnus' character. "The room, what do you think of it?" He queried, seemingly at random, already fast at forming literal parlor tricks to trot out and astonish. Robbie's honest opinion darted across his face abruptly, and it was not in the Warlock's favor, though he did immediately appear appropriately apologetic for his his lack of restraint. (INSERT ROBBIE'S COMMENT HERE?)

xxxMagnus waved him off with a flick of his wrist, unfazed. His eyes crawled over his design of the room with it's erratic layout unsatisfactorily. It was quite a bit of gold and red, though he had been in a bit of a red mood when he'd designed it...and gold was always a necessity in his living spaces, makeup, clothing, clubs; his life in general, really. Who would he be if he didn't reside in an atelier of gilt? He couldn't be mad at the Persian rugs or the dozen or so majolica cats, but was the extravagance of it tasteful or over indulgent? He pulled himself to his feet which deposited him squarely in Robbie's personal space, nearly chest to chest, before he took hold of his shoulders yet again and spun him around with lazy aplomb. Magnus was sanguine Robbie didn't mind all this physical contact, the boy dressed as introverted as they came.

xxx"Let us remedy that then shall we! What color would put this space more in your taste?"

xxxHe crouched down by Robbie's side, a panther poised to pounce it would seem, as he gingerly picked up the corners of the rug just in front of them that stretched to cover a good portion of the vast expanse of maroon carpeting. "Color?"(INSERT ROBBIE'S CHOICE HERE.) With an effortless heft, he snapped it tautly, and from his movement a new color filled the print as the wave he had created rolled out more generously than was natural for the size of the gesture.