ben vandgrift · on living the dream


said the sire to his childe, as they were expecting one mr. frost:

"xavier frost is generally referred to as 'the old man', not because of his appearance, but rather since most of those who know the name xavier frost learned of him as 'the old man' in their youth - which may have been sometime ago. for as long as anyone can remember, mr. frost has been a passenger through occult circles, a mediator between warring factions, judge of the Laws of Shadow. he can be counted upon to take a neutral stance when employed to do so, and to be a thorough and potent ally (or enemy) if the cause seems just. he does not respect any order more than the last, vampire, demon, magus - they are all his kin, all fellow denizens of twilight, and his rapport shows no favor, and never has.

"do not be so bold as to challenge him: he commands the power primal, a raw and ancient force that defies the form of hermetics or language, so intense that its use scars the astral for decades. he is a chameleon: many faces, any places, but ever the same emetgis in his forehead, placed there by ancient orders or long-lost gods:

"protected, untouchable.

"to violate this would incite vengeance from the most influential in the shadow world - not to mention whatever divine or fell force placed the seal there in the first place. and while his heart beats, and he may even appear to die, he will not remain so - he will find you again, if time and your own foolishness do not exact their price before he exacts his.

"he is not someone you call. he is someone who, if you are in need of his services or counsel, may call upon you. always face to face, always when you least expect his help. a fortunate few know how to find him, a secret they guard closely, and use judiciously. you may know someone who can call upon him, but ask for that favor with your hat in your hand, and be prepared to pay the piper when he arrives.

"his price is always the same, his payment a matter of tradition from eras beyond memory: you will tell him something he wishes to know, but doesn't. this task can be daunting. do your homework. my offering tonight is a true name, i will not say whose.

"despite his long years, his enemies are few - those who make themselves known as the enemies of xavier frost find their eternity cut short ruthlessly. by the same token his allies are few - few wish to declare themselves openly in support of the name frost lest they seem to be currying favor. instead, most regard him with a certain amount of respect, a camaraderie for the long nights, and a certain amount of professional distance. he will be there if needed, and expects his token."

written: May 29 2006