Almost nobody in Philadelphia knows that Layla lived in Qatar before she moved here, but that's true for many of the Guardians in the city, who relocated from elsewhere after passing the Crimson Veil. When she arrived she promptly came under the tutelage of Gardener, and even before she was a Redactor in her own right, she spent time helping the more experienced Guardians clean up some of the supernatural messes in the city. Like her origins, though, few of the mages in Philadelphia are aware of that history, either.
The truth is, Layla can be hard to get to know.
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- Accipiter: The only person in Philadelphia who remembers Layla from her time in Qatar, which means they're a liability, but one that Ellie accepts. They support each other, and that's important.
- Gardener: Ellie's Master, and someone whose talents she admires and respects. Ellie pretty much aspires to be a lot of things Gardener is.
- Hearth: She's someone that Ellie regularly looks up to, and when she has cake, also someone Ellie looks forward to.
- Weaver: Someone Ellie finds surprisingly delightful, despite the body-horror oddities that she has come to find fascinating.
Other Cool People
- Nevermore: Someone that Ellie runs into a lot in Artist's Alley at cons, especially the horror ones.
- Sledge: Made you look :)
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Redactor: It isn't common knowledge that Portia is a Redactor, but she is. Gardener is by her far her senior, but she's working hard to develop skills in areas where her Master isn't as strong. At the moment that's primarily with Spirit, which is her current focus of study after reaching Mastery of Mind. There are still a lot of problems that Gardener's wide range of capability will be required for, but Layla is working to become a solid fallback plan.
Masques: Sometimes Ellie isn't Layla Eaves, but actually Elizabeth Moore, who is Managing Editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer. This isn't something that anybody outside of the Guardians of the Veil knows, and most of the Guardians might not necessarily know it either, but she does have some ability to make sure stories get told, or that certain opinion pieces and letters to the editor get published, or that some stories don't see the light of day.
Artist: Layla is one of those artists who seems to manage to more or less scrape by on the art that she makes, which is a variety of both digital and traditional mediums depending on what ideas she has right now and who her client might be. Some pieces with her name on them show up on the walls of coffee shops or restaurants that display work by local artists for sale, and she spends a lot of time sketching out ideas or wandering the city looking for inspiration.
Cosplay: Even Guardians of the Veil need hobbies, and this is one of hers. If you're a frequent attendee at various cons, you might have actually run into Layla in one costume or another over the years. She has been doing it for a while, and many of her cosplays are pretty good. It's also possible you've run into pictures of her in cosplay on the internet if you're one of those people who follows the hobby on social media, but it would largely by through photos taken by other people since Layla has no digital presence herself, so there's usually no name attached, and it might be hard to recognize her.
Needlework: Related to her cosplay habit, Layla enjoys doing various needlework crafts. She's not the best at it, but it's not uncommon to see her knitting or doing crochet or similar when she's out in public by herself.
Horror: Layla is a frequent attendee at screenings of old and new horror movies alike, and she often shows up at author events for writers in the genre as well. Not only that, but she's also a regular at a few different conventions around the United States. If you're a fan too, there's a good chance you've seen her enough times that you might recognize her and come strike up a conversation.
Faith: Few people would expect it of her but Layla was actually raised Muslim, by Muslim parents, and still holds to portions of her faith. How much she puts them into practice varies, and the Esoteric Tenets are woven through her personal beliefs, but that's not uncommon among the Messianic faction of the Guardians of the Veil. Of course, nobody outside of her Order gets talked to about those variances from the Sleeper version of her faith anyway.
Hard to Pin Down: Sometimes it's really hard to pin down just who Layla is. It seems like her personality, temperament, and interests can even shift from day-to-day, and it can be hard to tell what's an act, what's her just honing her skills as a Guardian of the Veil, and what's the real person behind all the masks and misdirection. One common thread that seems to run through her array of personalities is a generally supportive nature, contrary to what is often expected of Guardians, though some days that might mean harsh truths and other days gentle words of encouragement.
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- 23rd May, 2020: The Informant
- 24th May, 2020: Muffins and Emotions
- 2nd June, 2020: Cinnamon Rolls and Comics
- 8th June, 2020: Pens, words, and conversation
- 14th June, 2020: The Tree in the Mists - Part 1
- 22nd June, 2020: Art Talk with Kindred... Spirits
- 25th June, 2020: Infuriated Gay Spider Art
- 30th June, 2020: Show Your Pride
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - O Children
- Pass me that lovely little gun
- My dear, my darling one
- The cleaners are coming, one by one
- You don't even want to let them start
- They are knocking now upon your door
- They measure the room, they know the score
- They're mopping up the butcher's floor
- Of your broken little hearts
Thrice - Doublespeak
- There's a jackboot toe tap keeping time
- While the children dance and play
- Honey, if you think you’ve seen a crime
- You just look the other way
- I slowly carve my soul away
- Piece by piece I sacrifice
- To comfort and peace of mind
- I keep my toes on the party line
- There’s nothing wrong dear, don’t think twice
Phantogram - Cruel World
- I'm putting you out of your misery
- 'Cause darling you're dragging me down
- I wish I could say that I'm sorry
- But I'm over that, now I'm taking you out
- It's a cruel, cruel world
Jinjer - Pisces
- Step forward and meet a new sunrise
- A coward is shivering inside
- Today I'll be a friend of mine
- Who swallows suffering with a smile
- I drew a different reality
- With unconditional loyalty
- Ego hardly can be piqued
- 'Cause I'm selfless
Dead Sara - Whispers & Ashes
- Well it's my mistakes that comfort me
- Mysteries lead the blind, guessing to explain
- While I'm safe from the wreckage, my memory's torn
- On what is worth fighting for
- Then I'm safe from the wreckage, I don't feel safe anymore
- Just floating above the earth, alone
Sturgill Simpson - Sing Along
- A single strand of spider's weave
- Just dancing in the sun
- Please don't turn around and leave
- You are my only one
- Compromise is made out of peace
- But history's made out of violence
- After the war of the words has ceased
- All that's left is the deafening silence
Note: Definitely not that *@#$ Eric Clapton song —Ellie
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||March 1, 1996
||Guardians of the Veil
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Full Title (As Recognized by the Consilium)
- Master Portia, Guardian and Warlock on the Path to Pandemonium, Supernal Realm of Mind and Space, and abode of Demons, Master of Mind, Adept of Life, Prime, Space, and Spirit, Apprentice of Matter
Full Title (As Recognized by the Guardians of the Veil)
- Master Portia, Guardian and Warlock on the Path to Pandemonium, Supernal Realm of Mind and Space, and abode of Demons, Redactor of the Guardians of the Martyr's Tree of the Lesser Convocation of the Northeast, Master of Mind, Adept of Life, Prime, Space, and Spirit, Apprentice of Matter
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A pervasive sense of jamais vu, like everything that should be familiar is unknown, and frightening, and being experienced for the first time, including the self.
A rippling fractal cascade of mirrors that reflect an uncountable number of different versions of the viewer, but nothing else. (Tilt: -1 Wits, -1 Composure, -1 Empathy and no 10-again)
A strong sense of depersonalization.
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