Lion's Heart Dispatch: 4/20/20

Our solar power bank is now up and running!

We can theoretically stockpile a few more hours of power every day (this is all used and hand-me-down technology, so not the most efficient). Still, we haven’t had spare power because we’ve all been reaching out to loved ones, catching up on world news, and lighting up the unexplored corners of the castle (when exploring things like underground tombs, it’s much more comforting to use electric light than creepy old flickering candles.)

Port and Yuri have been continuing their work, and they feel confident about the following senses Port has found as well as the “calls” Yuri feels from whatever is really in these four locations. They don’t speak French so can’t tell the difference in dialects, but with Yuri’s help, and some people using English in the senses, they think they’ve been able to separate them:

  • Port senses things like coffee, later feeling jittery and caffeinated, and hearing lots of muffled voices. Her vision becomes blurred as if looking from behind a window or glass. Golden light. Feeling reverence when sitting in a particular spot while waiting to go to the shrine.

  • She senses walking down a broad, open, tree-lined street. Singing. Nothing Port recognizes. Old, or perhaps a genre she doesn’t know. Upon entering through a door, the smell of old paper.

Now that they think they have the cities separated in their minds they think they should have more concrete clues soon.
Hope you’re all staying safe.
Love from Lion’s Heart,
Eaves

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Really glad to hear things are coming together on your end! Also good to hear that the adept abilities are still continuing to develop further.

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So, based on the clues that Port has given us, I would say that the broad, open, tree-lined street clue refers to Paris. Both cities have tree-lined streets, but they’re everywhere in Paris (mostly as a result of a giant public works project in the 19th century under Napolean III to make it more difficult to blockade streets during riots and revolutions). The most famous of these is the Avenue des Champs-Élysées which is the huge street that leads towards the Arc de Triomphe and its famous roundabout. That’s the most famous of the streets, but many of them are like that in the city center (see reasoning above). I tried researching bookshops around that street (they’re called librairie in French), but I didn’t find many (Librairie Biret looks more like a gift shop, though the store simply known as Librairie might be an interesting lead. It’s a rare book shop and is right off the main thoroughfare).

Cafe culture is popular in both places, but if the second clue is for Paris, then the first is for Montreal. I know significantly less about Montreal than Paris (thank you eight years of studying French in the US for not teaching me more about the major Francophone city on the continent), so I guess I’ll leave that to everyone else to dive deeper into!

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If the first clue is for Montreal, perhaps it refers to St. Patrick’s Basilica. It’s a lesser known church, but it’s stunning. The interior is very golden, and it has some gorgeous stained glass windows. One cool trait is the marble columns have a white bark tree core - and that speaks to my little Balimoran heart. Plus, there’s a Tim Hortons catty-corner to the Basilica, so… caffeine?

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Spooky places definitely need electric lighting, good call on that. I’m glad that everyone’s able to check in with their loved ones. :eaveshug:

As for these senses, the first things I thought of in regard to streets (not sure if they’re tree-lined or not, or how wide) were Boulevard des Capucines and Rue de Liege. Both were pretty solid leads on clues in Paris, though there is a Rue de Liege in Montreal as well.

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The clue we’re associating with Paris—the “tree-lined street”—is leading to someplace with “the smell of old paper.” These are supposed to be spaces associated with reverence or sacredness. While I may feel reverence in most old bookshops, it seems like we should be looking for a particular kind of bookshop, or possibly a museum or some place where old texts are kept or displayed?

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It’s good that you’re all doing well! For Port, you could try using some type of focus/something to allow her to focus.

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I’ve been looking into libraries associated with monastries in Paris, there actually aren’t that many left and the biggest hit in terms of reasonable place to smell old paper wasnt a hit for the trees (Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève)
I’m gonna make a list of shrines in Montreal, catholic or otherwise and maybe some people with more knowledge of the city could corroborate.

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We probably need to keep a broader eye out than just literal shrines. The one in St. Petersburg was in a church, but the Mexico City shrine was in the basement of a grocery store (thanks google translate!).

With the singing, I was leaning toward one of the operas/theaters in Paris. I know we had one that used to be the Salle Favart as one of our actual clue points, but Boulevard des Capucines is right by an opera as well.

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Is now far more deeply aqquainted with Catholic travel guides then I ever thought I would be
@Fox whats the light like in St Josephs oratory? Apparently theres a cafeteria there close to the shrine and the masses mainly take place in french but there are some held in english. It appears that its quite a popular spot and has like 2 million visitors a year, so that woild explain having to wait to visit the shrine. Which seems unusual in the twentieth century.
@Ashburn I adore that the one in Mexico was in a grocery store, very cool. I’ll have a bit of a brainstorm.

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I’m not sure about St Joseph’s - the pictures I found online didn’t show the golden glow that St Patrick’s had (picture below).
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I was looking through the pictures and I agree, they dont appear to be as unilaterally golden as St Patricks. I’ll try look around on google maps.
Food for thought, to keep options open:
This is the inside of the basillica at St Josephs

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…you think this could be a coffee shop at a mall? There’s a pretty big one right next to the building with ties to Bersimis-1 (one of the clues)

Honestly, the coffee is tricky, there’s at least one within range of just about anywhere nowadays. A place that could have linked to one of our very confusing clues has at least three coffee shops nearby. :joy:

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As always, the Mounties are on the right track. Port says that a bookshop in Paris “feels” right. She can’t explain it, but the books in the shop where the shrine is hidden sometimes give the person she’s connected to “butterflies” in her stomach, and she can feel the person humming when they pass through to the secret place.

Narrowing that down helped her and Yuri narrow down more about Montreal. Wherever she smells coffee and feels jittery is also a place of work. But not solitary. It feels communal to her, like Lion’s Heart she said.

From what they can tell, Port’s power is becoming more refined when paired with Yuri’s. For the first time, she can sense beyond the traditional five senses, to more ephemeral, emotionally connected sensations, butterflies in her stomach, the energy of an open workspace. And Yuri’s powers are changed too when paired with Port’s. Wherever this place is, Yuri can sense its energy, that it used to be something else. A different kind of workplace.

At dinner last night, Yuri was telling us that the new age requires a different way of thinking. In the Book of Kings, adepts’ powers were decidedly on the wrought side of magic. They consumed magimystic energy to perform their feats. (Gavril said it sounds like a combustion engine.) But now, it feels more like borrowed magic, lent magic, to lesser effect, but they don’t upset the balance of magimystic energy. Sort of like an electric car, I guess?

Yuri says using their power requires a complete mindset change. Oddly, it was much easier to “break magic” to make their abilities work. Now, they have to work with magic to make it happen, and they’re just beginning to understand how to do that. All that, in addition to “adept pairing,” which is what she calls the empowering/changing effects they’ve experienced.

It’s nice to write to you all without some big send-off because I can just hop back on, sketchy-satellite-internet-and-solar-power-willing. We’ve had a few gray days, but I will follow up as soon as I can. As soon as Port and Yuri know more.

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The evolution in how magic works is fascinating, especially the move from “breaking magic” to something more cooperative. It sounds like magic has a flow, or tendency, or tide, and one can either flow with it or try to swim across it.

So we have some more interesting details on the two locations.

  • Paris: This sounds there is a secret room or hiding place within a bookshop, and the books are something that would give our shrine-keeper butterflies.

  • Montreal: The place the person is looking out of—jittery, coffee—sounds like a co-working space or a shared working area that was retrofitted or renovated from something else. Here in Washington, the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria was once, well, a torpedo factory, and is now an artists’ collective. Maybe we’re looking for something similar in Montreal? But the “hidden place” is not in there, just nearby.

I think both of those give us pretty solid leads to start with our collective map-fu.

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Mindlessly playing a free puzzle game may have come in handy! :deirdreexcited:
One of the puzzle sets focused on Paris, and at least one featured Shakespeare & Company. I’ll need to poke around a bit, but the current location isn’t super close to any definite clue points (though probably within sight of Notre Dame, which was a possibility).

I poked about for other bookshop options and came up with a couple. Abbey Bookshop looks super stuffed with books and has a basement filled to the ceiling with more. Further from any clue points on the old map.

Then there’s Passage Jouffroy, which is technically a street/alleyway, but supposedly has a number of bookshops (street view says two, but one has a sign that makes it look like it’s named for the fact it’s in that passage. And it feels right that Port mentioned the individual "pass"ing through to the secret place. Also, the south end of the passage is accessible from Boulevard Montmartre, which is tree-lined, and who knows what sort of music the Paris Hard Rock Cafe plays (happens to be a door or two down from the passage).:deirdrexd:

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I’m also finding the shift in the manners fascinating. Back in the Book of Kings, “material” magic was the least powerful of the three manners. I guess I never realized that adepts’ powers were a form of wrought magic. I wonder, now, with the rules changing, whether there even will be “wrought” magic at all anymore. Maybe the process itself was an artifact of the creation of the Book of Kings all along, and was never how magic was meant to be: having to destroy in order to create anew.

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I thought about Shakespeare & Company as well, it’s known as a legendary place and the article I was reading said an ultimate Frisbee player could hit Norte Dame with a good throw. So there very well could be a secret passage that leads to a shrine either underneath the shop or underneath Norte Dame. However, Passage Jouffory seems like a good idea, too, from what I could see there’s 2 bookshops down it, Librairie Gribaudo Vandamme and Librairie Le Petit Roi but the last one doesn’t seem like a place to get “butterflies” more like a place to be worried about getting kicked out. Although if we’re looking at passage ways there’s a shop Librairie Farfouille down Passage Verdeau, from what i can see there’s a language classroom nearby but no place that would have singing unless they have singing classes there.
As for Montreal, Crew Collective & Café could be a possible place, it used to be the corprate headquarters for Royal Bank and there’s a café that’s public but the rest of the office is invite only where someone can find experts in their fields to help with new projects. That community seems a lot like Lion’s Heart with the secrecy involved beyond public eye and people helping each other to be able to accomplish bigger things. With it being a landmark and an old building with all kinds of energies and big workplaces, it seems like a good place to have a shrine or some place you can use to lead yourself to the shrine.

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I also wonder, perhaps giving us too much credit, how much the Aliquary and Saberlane’s sacrifice caused this.

The Book of Kings was a book about hoarding dwindling magic. It was about clinging to what little there was for good or bad. Saberlane shared the Aliquary’s magic with everyone instead of locking it in some vault like the Silver. An incredibly powerful artifact and he just…lent it out to anyone who needed the magic. On top of that the items we made from it we just gave away ourselves, amplifying his example.

Maybe the Book of Briars is now built around magic being stronger when it’s shared because of Saberlane. I still think we’ll see him again one day, but until then, that’s a heck of a legacy.

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I’m not crying you’re crying.

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