It's funny how something as little as a refusal can send everything straight to shit.
Oh sure, the Council made a name for themselves alright. Their little gambit killed, what, a few dozen of those puppet-strung Seer bastards? Great. Good job.
Now, tell me what their plan is for the hundreds more of those rat-nosed finks that scheme put on the Pentacle's trail.
Yeah, that's what I thought.
It's gone bad, kid. Real bad. Not even the Ladder was able to keep it together once the Seers opened fire.
The Sleepers called it gang warfare in the papers.
Well, they wasn't too far off the mark. There's war, alright, but those hack writers best be glad they don't know the half of it.
Any wonder the Hierarch stepped down once the Paradox hit the fan? They weren't up for that.
None of us really are. So we survive the only way we know how, kid.
Same as it was from the start, maybe the natural way.
We keep our heads low, and hope they don't come a'sniffin. If they do, we don't have the firepower to even hold 'em back, much less match 'em. We pack up, move shop, and hope they lose the scent.
It's a nasty way of life, yeah.
But it's livin'.
-Robinson, Guardian Epopt, NYC Local 407.
Ever since The Great Refusal, the local Pentacle mages have gone into deep cover.
Without any proper leadership, at least not in the traditional sense, a few devout Guardians took it upon themselves to maintain order as best they could.
That meant putting a modern-day Underground Railroad into effect, so to speak. Clandestine gatherings, off-the-books Consilium hearings, thoroughly encrypted correspondences, all par for the course.
Still, it doesn't take a whole lot for a new Willworker in town to know where to go for the local dirt.
One of the few jazz clubs still open, The Speakeasy
isn't known for being either high class or high profile.
Anyone with a smoking jacket worth more money than their car knows not to stop by here to get their faces in the papers.
Known less for fine dining and charming conversation, The Speakeasy's known more for under-the-table dealings, smoky rooms, all manner of recreations(both legal and otherwise), and the occasional body riddled with more holes than a front page headline's facts.
Sleeper or Mage, one and all are welcome.
How easy visitors find their way out, well... that all depends, don't it.
It may be late in the evening, but the festivities are just getting started.
The lounge singer performing on stage doesn't seem a day under her late 20s, she could even be in her 30s.
The lady sure puts her heart into it, no one can deny her that, but it still doesn't get her much attention.
She's not there to turn heads or even to keep the money rolling, though.
This early in the night, the ambient backdrop is enough. No one at the scattered round tables pays the woman or the lone pianist any mind, shy of the occasional, obsessive drunk. Some have cards to play, others have deals to make, all of them have some kind of business to tend to, often of the illegitimate kind. If it was meant to be on the books, it wouldn't have any place at this club.
Despite being low-profile compared to the bigger name clubs, Speakeasy still has some standards.
The big man at the door is there to both regulate the dress code, and security, not necessarily in that order.
Not to say that exceptions to both rules haven't made it by him. All depends on the price, or who's asking.