As usual with Convention of Alternate Belief meetings, there is a public part and a private part. The public part is where the people of the town...and lots of tourists...mill around learning about magic and buying novelty dreamcatchers and candles. It's obviously all fake.
Once the doors are closed to the public, there is the other half of the event. Where those who know it is very much NOT fake, discuss what has been happening in the world of Thaumaturgy. Four years ago, at this very event, three witches burst in with a threat to devour all those present with their evil. It was a big entrance but there doesn't seem to be much of a follow-through. And as the years have passed, a return to casual calm has returned. Or should that be laxity?
Lucian wanders the public parts of the events with a faintly amused expression, though he stops here and there to admire some faked trinket, purely for its aesthetic value. There's a vaguely occulty look to him with his long hair, leather jacket and silver pentagram pendant--but that's where it stops. Other people are putting far more effort into their Satanist bona-fides. Eventually, his path leads him toward the more private parts of the event. He's never been a very active member in the organization, but still, known by sight to enough people to probably get in.
Sarah is a good witch! And a very minor local celebrity due to her work on University radio. You haven't heard it? Neither have most people. Once the pandering to the public is done, she finds herself somewhere comfortable to sit and listen to whoever will be speaking tonight. Probably Isis Baxter. The Hedge Witch always speaks at these things.
Lucian tilts his head a little as he catches sight of Sarah, studying her from far for a moment before his steps turn her way. Finding a seat next to her, he flashes her a brief smile and says in a low voice "Hey there. Lucian. Not sure if you remember me."
Gemma has the poise and attitude of someone who thinks she runs the world...or at least should be given deference by most of it. There was much distaste for the ignorant savages of the public earlier, and it doesn't seem to have lessened much for the 'real' Thaumaturges that remain. Lucian gets a tiny smirk at his look - she is all about designer clothes - before she finds a table to sit at. Sweeping the chair clean before she sits herself down.
Sarah looks Lucian over for a moment, brow furrowing before it comes to her. "Oh! Yes! Hey, how have you been? It's been quite a while. We talked about witchcraft, right?" She will even give him a hug to show she remembers. "Everything been working out for you?"
Lucian lightly returns the hug "Well, I'm still around so I suppose I can't complain" he murmurs wryly. He glances to the side, eyes briefly lingering on Gemma, though it's hard to tell whether it's the woman's fashion or skilful air of disdain that draws his attention. In any case, he soon turns his attention back to Sarah. "What about you? Life been treating you fair?"
And here comes Isis! Of course she will be speaking. The Hedge Witch smiling and waving like she is at an electoral rally before standing on a small stage at one end of the hired hall. "Hello, everyone. Welcome to Convention 2020. Numbers seem to be a bit down on usual but hopefully that will change. I hope the world has been treating you as well as it can. Remember, we get three times back what we give out."
"I can't complain either" Sarah smirks. "Shyla and I are engaged...which is awesome...though the move to Miami has fallen through. Looks like another cold winter in Maine for us. Graduated...but doing a Masters now to fill in the time. For some reason, there aren't a lot of jobs for Anthropologists in Fallcoast. Unless you know how to say 'would you like fries with that'."
Lucian gives a soft, genuine smile as he says in a sincerely warm tone "Congratulations. And also my commiseration. I'm not in a position to comment: I went to art school and actually make my living with that, so I'm something of a freak of nature." he gives a slight grin, before turning his attention to Isis' speech. The mention of the Rule of Three gets slightly raised eyebrows--he doesn't seem entirely convinced of that particular maxim but is either open or polite enough to let it go, considering the setting."
"Commiserations for getting engaged?" Sarah asks with a laugh. "An artist? Cool. I'd love to see some of your work. Oh, we better listen to Isis." She turns her attention to the speaker too.
Isis pulls out that most witchcraft of objects, an I-Pad, and looks over her notes. "Happy Halloween to everyone. For witches, and probably the Apostles, it is a very important time of year. Just be careful with your rituals. We don't want anyone stumbling on something and being confused by what is going on...and calling the police. So, please, no animal sacrifices." She looks over at a plump woman who blushes and shrugs apologetically. "It seems that the barrier between worlds is especially weak this year. Please, don't try anything solo this year."
Lucian gives a faint grin in reply before focusing his attention to Isis. He listens with polite interest, his lips pursing just a little at her warnings--whether that's because such advice runs counter to his individualistic take on the occult, or because he's sensed something of that thinness of the veil himself.
"It's strange" Isis adds, looking a little concerned. "It's almost like time has been dragging for years, but at the same time, it has leaped forward as if nothing has happened. We have not heard from the Three Sisters in quite some time, but we have no reason to believe they have gone. Also, the infection of the surrounding vegetation by what has been called 'blue goo'. Has it disappeared? There have been no reports of further growth, but it certainly hasn't disappeared either. It is as if we have all been stuck in a frozen morass unable to react. That does not seem like a good thing."
Lucian soon seems to grow a little restless, letting his gaze trail over the assembled audience and listening to the speech with only half an ear. Although the mention of blue goo gets a faintly puzzled frown, as if he was not quite sure he'd heard correctly.
"It is like a pressure bearing down on us" Isis continues, "So we must be on our guard, even as we celebrate this time of year. Remember that this is both a time of treats and trickery. If in doubt, scry so as not to die." Suddenly she laughs. "I am making this sound all doom and gloom. I do not mean to do that. Perhaps I am being over cautious? But, please, if anything strange or unusual happens, let the rest of the Convention know. My number is on my card which I encourage you all to take."
Lucian gives a faint smirk "Anything strange or unusual. That's a good one" he murmurs softly. But for all his sarcasm, the hint of a frown remains lingering on his expression, even if he does his best not to look overly affected by the dire warnings or puns.
Isis still looks a bit stressed, despite the smile she wears for the crowd. "Is there anyone else who would like to mention anything? Happy news is just as welcome. Oh, one more thing. Would anyone like to investigate the blue goo to see what it is doing? We don't //think// it is magical, but it can't hurt to check."
Lucian keeps his eyebrows lifted for most of the speech. As silence descends for a moment, he gives a faint shrug and lifts a hand. "Uh... not much of a plant life expert, myself. But I can try and listen to... the whispers from beyond" he sounds vaguely uncomfortable at his own phrasing, as if the setting made him aware of how cliche that sounded. "If it's leaking from somewhere else... there should be some kind of echo."
Isis spots the raised hand, smiling at Lucian's bravery. "That sounds like a wonderful idea...I'm sorry, what's your name again? If you're looking for echoes in the abyss, I don't think knowledge of botany is a requirement" she laughs warmly. If you can ascertain the source...or discover that the source is not magical, that will certainly be a help."
Lucian gives a faint shrug, before replying "Lucian. Lucian Darke." which is a name that will either make people roll their eyes, or just possibly recognize from some semi-scandalous local art exhibitions. "I'll let you know if I find anything out."
"Wonderful, Lucian. Thank you." No mocking of names here. She is an Isis after all and probably didn't get that name from her parents. "Well then. If there is no more to discuss, please enjoy Marjory's cupcakes, baked fresh this morning, and stay alert."
Lucian sits back, his taste for the limelight more than sated by his offer. He glances sideways at Sarah, giving a wry little smile as he murmurs in a quiet voice, just a little too light-heartedly "/Especially/ be on the alert if you go near those cupcakes. They'll send you in a sugar coma before you can say a warding spell."
Sarah laughs at Lucian's comment, even offering up a high five. "Surprised she's using Marjory again. Didn't she change her name to 'All Seeing Serene Unicorn Princess'? Maybe she grew tired of being called 'ASS-UP'." A glance around. "Well, if that's that, I should get on home. If you need any help, let me know. Okay?"
Lucian smiles softly as he gives a light nod "Sure thing. My initial plans are pretty much by nature stuff I gotta do alone, but if I run into any trouble or mysteries, I'll give you a call."