The sort of pretentious “art for art’s sake” weirdo that you met in college and absolutely loathed, the kind who does things just to “make a statement” but won’t disclose what the hell that statement is or means. Despite his family history and the particulars of his craft he gives off the impression of the sort who believes that art is about getting a reaction rather than creating something beautiful.
His manner towards others is curt and professional but rarely inviting, and were it not for his humor he would likely be described as cold. Nevertheless he is a reliable acquaintance who can be counted on to return favors within reason, even favors he did not ask for, but a somewhat lacking friend who has little desire for non-professional contact. As such his standing in the Mage’s Association is genuinely a matter of talent, as his own reach and desire for upwards mobility through politics is practically non-existent.
Whether from a lack of trust in others, refusal to show that basic weaknesses inherent to being human, or perhaps simply wishing to seem aloof and mysterious, his public face prevents him from finding deep companionships. Even in times of great stress his outward manner towards even his closest associates is to claim everything is fine and act with a calm and pleasant demeanor. Despite interest from other parties both sincere and political he has made no attempt at courtship, a fact no doubt also related to his unwillingness to open up to others.
His approach to things other than people could be described most simply as “meticulous yet passionate”. He is fastidious and measured in most actions he undertakes, but prone to impulsiveness in ‘correcting course’ when things don’t line up with his plans in an effort to force things into working out. He is sensitive to setbacks but generally unable to appreciate successes, the sort who is too busy moving forward to stop and smell the flowers.
This refusal to show weakness or vulnerability to others and the unrelenting drive in his work are most likely both rooted in a prodigal childhood and the fear of having plateaued early. His status as the celebrated next great genius of the family in this most pivotal point of their great pursuit no doubt greatly exacerbates this complex.
Maurius is a prodigal level genius of not only musical magecraft but of music itself. There could be no doubt that if he was not born into the world of mages that he would instead merely be collecting a fortune as a concert musician of some worldwide renown for his ability to both play and compose at an almost unheard of level.Amateur Calligrapher:
A skill born of boredom during the writing and titling of sheet music, a petty distraction to make rote-work beautiful. He is self taught and while he cannot create calligraphy on a level that one would call truly beautiful the flourish to his inking has a definitely pleasing flair to it. Expert Sommelier:
A discerning taste for wine, especially that which would be considered rare or valuable. Maurius’ tongue is capable of the most accurate appraisals when it comes to alcoholic beverages, often down to the vineyard. Definitely not the result of stress induced alcoholism and expensive tastes.High Speed Aria(Pianist):
A result of his prowess with the Piano. Since Maurius is able to play in double or even triple time and he substitutes music for chanting for his particular brand of magecraft the implication is obvious. Spells can be completed much faster than by a normal magus, so long as he has a keyed instrument to perform them with.
: The current form of the Oscuro family craft takes its inspiration from the baroque period of music, where it reached its height as a balance of practical and mystic before the sharp decline in mystery that came with more publically accessible forms divorced from the church. It is a tradition steeped in a particular cultural and thematic idea of both music and faith, bearing an inherent connection to multiple strong foundations.
Deep hypnosis and lasting mental interference can be set into motion in listeners that are nigh impossible to resist as long as they remain in audible range, and may continue to have a prolonged effect well after the fact. He utilizes both the themes and motifs in Baroque era sacred music and the ability to comprehend the unspoken language of the heavens to compose his spellcraft as the song of angels, thus anywhere his music can be heard is “a sanctuary where Angels watch over him”. With the proper tools he is able to express sounds that near true platonic perfection by mimicking the tones of heavenly bodies in motion, an evocation of vice and virtue in an almost primal yet utterly civilized form.
Maurius is able to induce forced mental states to cause intense and overwhelming awe, dread, fear, piety, calmness, obedience, and other similar effects. It is even possible to compose music from powerful ideas and symbols which can then be conveyed and enacted directly within the minds of listeners. Prolonged exposure can lead to complete brainwashing and hallucinations across multiple senses beyond just the auditory and destruction of the ego or even the spirit itself is possible with sufficient volume.
In a less subtle vein of course Maurius can simply use that same attribute to produce sounds that rend the life from his listeners. Such methods care nothing for the target’s strength of mind in favor of simply maiming the body with sheer volume, circuits be damned! In fact, the scale of this application can go beyond merely breaking fragile living things, any material that is poorly equipped to handle intense vibration can be destroyed with enough volume and extended exposure.
While the playing of an instrument or the singing of song are the most effective methods to access his magecraft any manner of forming audible notes will suffice for this purpose due to his attribute of amplification. Musical magecraft uses soundwaves as a vector, meaning that while a Magus would normally be nigh immune to similar hypnotic effects they are affected exactly the same as a normal human being without circuits, and therefore must be counteracted directly. Astrology and Divination:
The knowledge that forms the basis of the “Angel Song” magecraft is rooted deeply in Astrology, the study of heavenly bodies through the cosmos playing an obvious role in their calculations of the music of the spheres. Since such intimate knowledge of the system was already required for their calculations the art of divination was already handily within grasp.
While once they were beholden to star charts or the night’s sky for making their predictions that is no longer necessary since they have calculated, recorded, and reproduced the tones of the heavenly bodies, eschewing traditional methods for their own brand of divination. A divination can be made by cross-checking the resonance of those sounds against each other to determine the positions, and from there a divination can be made simply by ear. The result is ultimately identical, despite the unconventional approach, since it is ultimately the same data.Gem Magecraft:
The storing of magical energy into a physical form utilizing the conversion attribute (namely and obviously a gem or crystal) for later use, thus allowing more force to be brought to bear more quickly than normal channeling… Or that is the normal use. For the Oscuro family it has been used to record and store their musical magecraft, storing and then releasing formulated sound or even whole songs upon the release of energy from the gem. This is the basis of their grand work as a family, and is used extensively in the creation of their mystic codes.Stairway to Heaven:
An array of eleven thin rectangular crystals each of a different color, sans one that is entirely transparent and one that is jet black and speckled with silver and gold, all polished to a near mirror shine. When not otherwise contained they will naturally approximate themselves in the shape of a keyboard with an amount of space between each colored crystal that displays a clear but non-obvious pattern and a series of projected “ether crystals” filling in the gaps. This keyboard shape will even defy gravity to maintain itself, allowing for the assembly to float, and has some level of malleability to be rearranged as to be ergonomic as long as the basic form is maintained. Laying dormant the keys emit a dull almost inaudible hum and when struck even lightly both the true and false crystals emit a clean sound, each different than another, with the volume of that sound directly proportional to how hard they are struck… But these are just the obviously observable qualities of this mystic code, not it’s actuality.
No. Thus this is not merely some pretty flying crystal piano, it is a beyond priceless item financed by nearly a millennium of resources and the combined efforts of every family head dating back over four hundred years, when it was converted into its current form, and then another few hundred before that as it’s raw crystal predecessor. Even more than their crest, this mystic code is the true sign of the Oscuro family’s magecraft.
Each of these keys is the work of a previous family head and is the mathematically perfected “sound” of a heavenly body inscribed on a gem of the highest possible quality to forever preserve that sound. The true geniuses of the Oscuro line provided the planets and stars of import as their magnum opus, an entire lifetimes work of intense genius on a single colored crystal, while the various lesser stars between were filled in to the speckled black crystal, aka the Empyrean Key, several at a time by their less talented in-betweens.
By invoking the song of heavenly bodies a near bottomless font of possibility can be tapped, affixing great meaning and import to the magecraft cast by using the instrument and amplifying it tremendously by its perfect imitation of “an angel’s song” and establishing the quality of “this is the sound of heaven, thus angels exist here”, a step well above the paler imitations possible with lesser instruments. Familiar music becomes unheard of and unhearable sound borne of the air in heaven, a transcendent form of magecraft that exceeds any and all others in it’s class. Even when played without purpose the sounds of heaven in motion can be heard cleanly and clearly, their unstoppable movements through the cosmos speaking a quiet yet deafening tale of the future and the unstoppable march of time which can be understood by those with an ear for it.
The final incomplete key, the heavenly body of “The Sun”, is the final step in its completion that will allow the Oscuro family’s musical magecraft to reach [ ]. Velvet Spacetime:
A large black leather suitcase with metal reinforced edges and a soft velvet lining with a star print. The case is sound proofed which prevents its contents from being influenced by, or influencing, others by way of sound. Due to this fact it is the primary container for Stairway to Heaven, as the dull hum of the keys trapped inside of the soundproofed box creates a space that is “heaven”, which serves to preserve the quality of mystery possessed by the other mystic code.Black Sun:
A coal-black crystal that matches the shape of those from the mystic code Stairway to Heaven, though its surface seems to reject light wholly. Originally it was a part of the other mystic code hundreds of years ago, but with the coming of the heliocentric theory and the shift in belief in the order of the cosmos the plan for the “final key” was changed from Earth to The Sun. As such the existing Sun key was decommissioned, a massive setback both financially and intellectually for the Oscuro family.
To safely remove it from the cycle and prevent it from inadvertently remaining a part of the system its power was inverted. It is symbolically an un-sun, a center of a universe that contains nothing and gluttonously seeks to be filled, Its interior is an endless silent vacuum that eats sound and light and gives back nothing. To be touched by it is to be rendered deafeningly silent and silently deaf, though with direction it can also strip away other qualities. Those under its effect are barred from all outside sound to the point that your own heartbeat is deafening and maddening in your ears, though with some finesse and the proper knowledge of celestial music its power of silence can instead be directed and controlled.
It is most commonly used in the maintenance of Stairway to Heaven, stripping away any collected noise or other unwanted adherents, and to establish a “true silence” in the area before it is played. It is usually carried in the breast pocket of his suit.Music Boxes, seven count:
Music boxes powered by a mana-filled crystal capable of producing standard notes. They can read a specially prepared music disc and in so doing enact any musical magecraft composed upon the disc. The crystal stores enough mana to play a maximum of roughly twenty four hours of music at 'a standard volume expected of a music box' but may be prolonged or shortened by tweaking the volume. After being expended the crystal must be recharged.Fucking Wine Glasses:
A set of twelve high quality crystal wine glasses. Everyone knows the vessel influences the drink, for maximum enjoyment pure crystal is a must.Oh, right, I suppose this isn’t really a mystic code is it? Well, let’s just insist that it’s important to the Oscuro family magecraft.
A Near Complete Lack of Defense:
Outside of a few specific compatibility clashes that go in his favor Maurius has no effective way to deal with the attacks of a magus with anywhere near his own destructive potential. In an open confrontation if he is not able to win decisively with his alpha strike there is very little he can do to stop most forms of retaliation. As such he relies pretty much completely on his offensive power to invalidate the need for a defense.
The Oscuro family of mages was born to Italy in the year 1196, when well-to-do musician Maurus Oscuro discovered and was summarily indoctrinated into mage society through contact with a well connected patron who recognized his potential as a magus. Rapid upwards momentum through that same society followed due to prodigal talent and freehanded capital, and their status within the modern Mages Association remains firmly in the upper echelons to this day.
Given his pre-magus talents it should come as no surprise that for over eight hundred years the Oscuro Family’s specialization is musical magecraft, and their primary pursuit in search of the root through sacred song harmonizing with heavenly bodies. The original pursuit of this end was through the vocalized singing of sacred music as its own form of aria.
In this pursuit a series of guide crystals were created to measure and contain the sounds of the planets and stars in heaven, as a sort of tuning aid for these specialized aria, and act as a model of heaven with the singer standing in the center (the location of the Earth in this model).
Vast fortunes were poured into obtaining crystals of a high enough quality and hundreds of years worth of accumulated wealth gone towards their procurement. As such only the most talented of family heads were allowed to inscribe their work upon them. This left those in-between un-geniuses dedicated wholly to rote maintenance work and filling in less important star charts while they sold their services to try and recoup the costs of the project.
Unfortunately due to the inconsistent ability to produce a family head with the proper vocal talents for three successive generations the family practice shifted away from this with the advent of keyed instruments (IE the harpsichord) roughly four hundred years ago, and this form was emulated in their restructured pursuits as they created the “Stairway to Heaven” from the old system’s components.
Within the same century they would be forced to decommission the sun crystal, as the advent of the heliocentric theory and its increasing traction would render the extant model of the cosmos incorrect, further setting their pursuits back a second time.
Where it not for the efforts of the most talented magus in the history of the family, a man who would no doubt hold the rank of Brand in the mages association had he ever been anything but the rudest and least political man on the face of the earth, the family’s pursuit of the root would likely have had to more or less start over completely. This was, incidentally, the same man who would inscribe the crystal of Venus and Mercury, the only head to produce two crystals within one lifetime and arguably the two of most import as well setting aside the now un-created Sun.
Since then little noteworthy progress has been made. Though the charting of lesser stars has been completed the family has stalled, and they eagerly await the coming of a second once in a millenia genius to complete their great works and complete the “Stairway to Heaven” so that they may play the song that reaches the root. In fact the stall in progress was demoralizing enough that the family head sought to consult the blindingly bright Mozart to attempt to breakthrough late in the year 1971, only to lose the chance when his appointment fell through due to Mozart’s early passing.
With the vain and ironic idea that things start where they end the most recent son of the Oscuro line was named Maurius, after the first son of the line, with the hopes that he may close the circle. So far he has shown every mark of excellence possible, a true child prodigy grown into a man of determined purpose and capable mind.