The Beyond loomed before him; without hesitation, he unfettered his mind and plunged into its depths.
The currents that immediately seized his thought-form threatened to shred apart his identity, the eddies pulling and twisting at every fiber of his being, like a million fingers plucking away at loose strands in a sweater. It was not a sensation he was unprepared for; rising through enumerations of thought, he flexed his will and steeled his existence, becoming a bulwark in that cosmic maelstrom. The Empyrean raged on, but his mind was inured to its adverse effects, and at its current state it could no sooner erode him away than a true storm an island. He knew not to dally, of course - beings far greater than he patrolled those metaphysical waters that could undo him with a stray thought. Beyond the unthinkable predators that swam that infinite ocean, he understood the perils of familiarity, and how glimpses of distant, untold futures could draw him away from his path, ripping his subtle body away from its present tethers. With a metaphorical roll of his shoulders, he began his work in earnest - he projected his will outward at first, dredging deep to grasp the threads he sought. He perceived it as taking some time, though understood that sensation to be a failing of his mortal limits - time was a conceptual joke in the Empyrean, which was partly the reason it was possible for him to engage in his current task.
With each passing Fateweaving he performed, the manner in how it manifested changed. The Empyrean was a realm built on metaphors, or at least insofar as his mind was capable of perceiving - even with its current changes. He grounded himself as well as anyone could for all matters Empyreal, using himself and a specific object as the loci of his delving - a peculiarly-shaped skull totem, marred from countless years of burial and a distinct, trepanning-esque hole at the center of the forehead. The foci alone allowed him to sift through epochs in the blink of an eye, disregarding subject matters so far flung that their apotheoses would only come after the stars in the sky guttered out like banked furnaces. The threads he grasped thrummed; no, writhed, as he reached the destination of his scrying. His mindscape shifted, a whorl of indescribable color, until he stood before a vast, withered forest. The trees bore neither leaf or fruit, and in their masses they shuddered and shook, as though huddling close from the cold. The bark was intersected with veins that pulsed and sluiced with viscous liquids, terminating with branches that wriggled like the feelers of a sea anemone. No memory surfaced of this flora, despite his myriad journeys through spacetime, and he briefly wondered just where that totem had been peddled in its spanning history.
His thought-form dwelt among the withered forest for a time, his senses reaching out to brush against each tree he came across. Visions rushed before his sight, speaking of potentials that his alien mind devoured and sublimated, sifted through for meaning and purpose. They were furtive glimpses, but were sufficient to know he had pulled forth what he needed - a cathedral housed within a primeval woods, impressions of individuals he sought, a broken and insectile ouroboros. The stench of the Outer Dark clung to these phantasms, but his surprise was not at that revelation. An image had surfaced in those moments of scrying, a familiar face that he had not expected.
It was curious; he had only met the man once, barely interacted beyond a fleeting conversation with the mage. He had assumed he would never interact with the Mutant again, but his current endeavor swiftly disproved that assumption. His gifts were not the equal of a true seer, though, and his Fateweaving was limited to impressions and potentialities. The Church of the Broken Circle was fixated upon the existence of the Mutant, integral to some conspiracy that portended something dire. He had intended to deal with the Church in its totality in due time - their existence a blight upon all realities - but knowing of what loomed in the future, his plans had to be changed. His mind coursed through the forest, seeking paths and courses through the analysis of every tree it brushed. Each alteration within the bark and veins, each twitching branch, represented potentialities to be disseminated. His subtle self raged through them in swathes, processing them faster than any human mind could hope to match. In each he glimpsed horrid fates for the Mutant and those associated with him; had it not affected his own path, they would have been discarded. Yet, should the Church prove successful in their plans centered around the Mutant, then his own goals would fall to dust through his fingers. This new development was a burden he would normally never allow, but his hand was forced. It risked further immersion into the Empyrean, throwing his life almost needlessly into unthinkable danger, but he had paid such costs readily in the past in pursuit of his plans, and would continue to do so until they were complete.
With a spark ignited in his mind, he burned the nearest tree to cinders with prismatic fire. Before long, the mindscape was in the grip of a shimmering inferno, and would not stop burning until all paths he desired were found.
As the evening wore on, his initial concern of being early slowly transmogrified into wondering what was making his compatriots late.
Fortunately, Hastus was a patient individual; wholly dedicating oneself to the Ars for decades was a necessary byproduct of such endeavors. It was with earned wisdom that he understood that some things simply took time to come to fruition, and he knew better than to question what could keep the members of the Noose at bay. For all he knew, they could have been stricken by a detour of whimsy, plunging themselves into an island tomb that had suddenly risen from the very sea. Perhaps they could have been assailed by pirates, or some yet more nefarious force, and currently were locked in an epic struggle for their very existences. Their vessel could very well have sprung a leak, and he held some reservations on whether or not nautical repair was a skill learned by any of them. A veritable host of possibilities were arrayed before their lot, so who was Hastus to judge for such tardiness?
No, he would not judge or condemn. He was more than satisfied with his current status of patiently waiting, even as his ears discerned some trouble afoot in the revelries behind him. That was none of his business as well. He was sure that whomever was back there would resolve their disagreements amicably in the end. Everyone present were responsible adults, were they not?
That brief distraction served to trigger his mind, his eyes widening slightly as he recalled the nature of the event. Hastus was not one wholly enamored by the pleasantries of such gatherings; while they didn't necessarily grate upon his choler, he much preferred the solitude of his study to the bustle of socialites. Still, his presence this night was a stringent requirement, as Arthur and Xartia both informed him, and he perused his attire for what he felt was the seventh time. His three piece suit consisted of a fitted umber frock coat, framing his six foot even, one hundred and eighty pound self almost perfectly. The silk waistcoat beneath was a shade deeper, matching the gold-and-brown patterned ascot tied about his neck. His dress shirt was a simple, white cotton button-up, his trousers matched his waistcoat, and wore black leather congress gaiters for his shoes. He nodded astutely after analyzing the attire, confident that he had picked a wardrobe appropriate for the event. He'd take criticism in stride, though he felt such doubters would simply not appreciate more anachronistic choices. He didn't have a mirror on hand to check his features, but he doubted anything would have changed dramatically so soon after cleaning up. He appeared as a venerable gentleman of an indeterminate age - clearly past his fifties, but aged impeccably-well.
Hastus pursed his lips as time wore on, now procuring a gilded pocket watch from his coat's pocket. He hummed in thought as he noticed the hour, surmising that the members of the Eldritch Society of the Surreptitious Noose clearly must have been occupied with a truly vast distraction. He recalled the gifts he had prepared for the evening's hosts, and frowned, realizing that his offers would likely pale in comparison to his fellow guildmasters. The Society losing such face, so early on, would be most unfortunately. Hastus clicked the watch shut and returned it to his coat, his hands clasping in front of him. The sea air that night was refreshing, and with a hearty breath, he placated his worries. His friends would undoubtedly be here shortly. There was no room to compromise on this event, and as such he put his faith in the abilities of his comrades to meet their nearing obligations.