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The story of Pandora's Box is well known...created by the gods to punish man for the folly of Prometheus and gifted with a beautiful box she was told never to open, Pandora's curiosity doomed mankind when she disobeyed and unleashed all the world's evils, locking away Hope alone in order to save it from destruction.
The story is true...but it doesn't end there.
The evil Pandora unleashed was an entity so old and so corrupt its name remains unknown. The evils of the world are a result of its very existence...a myriad of hardship and pain all existing simply because the creature, known as the Darkness, lives and breathes. To complete man's punishment, Pandora was cursed as Hope's guardian for all time. Forced to take the virtue into her very flesh, she became bound to its power...and a target for the Darkness. All the magic and mysteries of the universe in all its beauty became hers to command as weapons and protect for future generations, ensuring balance in the mortal world for all time.
And so it was she served...as did her children on through history...
|THE FRATERNITY OF LIGHT|
|They live and breathe under a historical veil of secrecy, thrive on theatrical artistry and public spectacle. They pass off real magic as illusion, feats of human creativity with glimpses of the "tricks" and how they're done to perpetuate the facade. They are the children of Pandora's line, true practicioners of magic...keepers of Hope itself doing battle with the Darkness. In public and private, they fight, preserving balance for the sake of humanity's survival...conducting a secret war in the public eye and calling it a parlor trick.|
They are the Fraternity of Light, and they are true magicians. They wear top hats and entertain at children's parties. They dazzle in the bright lights of Las Vegas. They do card tricks to entertain at the office, and some do no open magic at all. Levitation, vanishing, restoration of that which is broken...the power is real, and the gifts are more than power, they're weapons.
The magic is the tool...but the use of it gives light where there is darkness. Wonderment, awe, joy...these are the children of Hope, and this is the true purpose of the Fraternity's existence: to keep Hope alive.
|More than once, Ben has been accused of entering the Fraternity through nepotism alone. More than once, others have been right.|
And more than a dozen times, Ben has proved his worth anyway.
Nephew of Martin Mackenroy, one of the top illustionists in America and leader of the Fraternity, both of Ben's parents were faithful servants of the order. His mother delivered him just after being wounded by a Bringer's weapon, forged by a Face of the Darkness. Though she survived the injury, Ben was not so lucky as to come out unscathed. His spirit wounded just as his mother's was, the infant grew into adulthood, carrying the gift of Hope in his blood. He was, however, left without the ability to call on its power...a normal human man carrying a virtue that made him more than just a normal human man.
What he lacked in power, however, Ben made up for in skill and knowledge. Vowing not to let his handicap keep him from his destiny, he became an expert in all things pertaining to magic, power, and combat. He honed his skill at stagecraft, studied his friends and his enemies, and found his own ways to harm those with power. By the time he was twenty five years old, of age to join the order, he petitioned for initiation and won the approval of not only his uncle, but of all the Fraternity's senior members. As a resource of information, he stays at the top of his game, and as a technical magician he is unparalleled.
His tongue is sharp and his hands are quick...but like any avatar of hope, his heart is as open as the sky, and his nature as joyful as they come.