We Meet Again
Roleplaying Log: We Meet Again
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Magik comes to investigate the shadows.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: August 18, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 19 Aug 2019 01:29
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits: Dani
Associated Plots

The grounds of the Xavier Mansion are blanketed in thick tendrils of shadows.

It wraps around the trunks of trees, blades of grass, and the stems of flowers.

While it doesn't cover the school, or all of the grounds around the school, it does cover enough that the touch of winter can be felt wherever one stands outside.

A cold breeze drifts mournfully across the grounds and the shadows themselves ebb and flow slowly, like the sea. Waiting and watching for any thing or one to step closer.

Wherever those shadows touch crystalized frost appears and even the sun that shines so brightly will find it hard to melt those crystals away.

———

Above one of the patches of the lawn that the shadows have yet to annex, a point of light appears and quickly expands into a vertical disc of silver-white luminescence a couple of meters in diameter. If it wasn't for the shadows that really shouldn't be hanging around in the sunshine, this might seem like an unusual occurrence.

A couple of seconds later, a female figure steps through. Not particularly tall, blonde, and dressed in a black top with a prominent skull motif, shredded black jeans and heavy black leather boots, on the surface she's likely the least unusual of the three unexpected arrivals. A warm wind from the glowing portal accompanies her arrival, suggesting that wherever she's just been, it was hotter than here. And a LOT hotter than the area claimed by the shadow.

The portal winks out of existence behind her once she's through, which only makes the shadows look that much deeper and blacker. The young woman looks into the shadows with icy blue eyes, wary but not, apparently, overly intimidated.

"I can't turn my back for five minutes, can I Dani?"

Illyana Rasputin has returned, a bit belatedly. She takes a step toward the shadows, her boots crunching quietly in the frozen grass, and reaches out to her side with her left hand. Suddenly there's a shining silver longsword in it, and her left arm and shoulder are covered in polished armour.

"Coming out, Dani? Or do I have to come in there and find you?" She calls. She doesn't really expect an answer, but it's got to be worth a try.

———

There's no answer.

At least not verbally.

Instead the bite of chill that's in the air intensifies and the water vapor held within the air freezes.

Snow begins to gently fall on this hot summer day.

One supposes that might the shadows answer then, yes? Clearly, when nothing stirs within its depths, the answer is no.

No. Dani isn't coming out to play.

Nor the Bear.

Only the shadows and like their namesake the black mist surges forward. A wave that tries to crash into the partially armored and sword wielding woman.

To someone who knows warfare it's easy enough to tell this attack is only half-hearted. It's testing the blonde demoness, to see what she herself is up to.

———

Illyana's breath is suddenly visible in front of her, and ice crystals form across the surface of the armour sheathing her left arm, though if one was to look very, very closely they'd see that the geometric patterns those ice crystals form look more like… pentagrams… snarling demonic faces… and worse. Look close enough and Illyana can't hide what she really is, and she's a bit distracted to make much of an effort while she doesn't have an audience.

No ice forms on the sword, of course.

Despite the sudden chill, Illyana smiles, the expression equally without warmth. "You remember me, then?" She asks, almost tauntingly. "Or do you just remember this?" She points the Soulsword at the heart of the darkest shadow she can see.

And then the mist comes for her. Illyana's smile widens, showing teeth, and the canines look particularly sharp.

She doesn't call for the rest of her armour, or bring the Soulsword up defensively. Instead, a portal flares into life between her and the rolling mist, much larger than the one she arrived through, and it pushes forward, right into the wave of mist, and then snaps shut.

Illyana is trying to take a bite out of the shadows herself.

———

The portal, so full of light, appears in the shadows midsts and then like a shark, it slams shut.

Biting off a chunk of it and for a shocked second the shadows freeze.

There's absolute stillness from the bleakness that surrounds the mansion as it tries to understand just what happened here. To understand the fact that this woman before them and that sword just did bodily injury to them.

The 'wound' stays shadow free for those few surprised moments, but then with a rage that might be felt, the shadows roil about and fills the space with more.

Now the mass of blackness rises upward. At first it's a shapeless mass, just a bunch of the shadow clumped together, but soon enough it becomes clear that a silhouette is there. It's of the Demon Bear, and while it's not the *true* Demon Bear, it's still powerful. Dangerous.

The Shade of the Demon Bear opens its black jaws and roars and while it's not as large as the tallest of trees within this forest, it's still much taller than Illyana Rasputina.

Which causes it to lash out with confidence it possibly shouldn't have. Blackened talons of hardened mist lashes out to try and skewer the woman through.

———

Quite what Illyana wants with a chunk of the shadow, and quite what she'll find when she visits the spell-shielded chamber in Limbo that her portal opened onto will have to wait. In the stillness that follows the portal snapping shut, Illyana grounds the tip of the Soulsword between her feet and rests her hands - one armoured, one still flesh - on the crossguard.

"Shall we try that again?" Illyana asks the shadows calmly. "You know what I want. You know WHO I want…"

Illyana stops talking. She can feel the rage and the hate wash over her like a physical thing, even before the shadows start to take on a corporeal form. The wave of negative emotion breaking over a not particularly imposing and apparently mortal figure should be terrifying, magic sword or no magic sword.

Illyana finds it invigorating. Maybe she's just a little overconfident, too?

She tilts her head back as the bear rears up, and up, the blonde hair spilling down her back almost as bright as her glowing silver sword against the gathering shadows.

"Hello again." She says quietly, and her greeting is swallowed up by the earth-shaking roar of what purports to be the demon bear.

It's fast, and Illyana might have forgotten that she didn't have things all her own way the last time they danced. Light flares at her feet and the blonde sorceress drops through, a few inch-long strands of golden hair all the bear's claws manage to slice of her… but even that's too much.

She reappears further back, dropping from a portal in mid-air to land in a three-point crouch, and opportunistically snaps her first portal at ground level shut. She doesn't expect the same trick to work again, but nothing ventured…

A lock of hair, chopped short, falls past her shoulders, and Illyana plucks at it with her fingers, getting a look at the ragged slash that's replaced the almost laser-cut straight line of her usual hairstyle. Too close.

"That's just rude." She tells the bear, and jams the Soulsword into the earth. A streak of silver-white witchfire burns across the ground and then splits around the bear, trying to encircle the shadow-construct.

———

The Demon Bear is intelligent and so too is its shade.

Illyana falls through her portal and arrives behind him. The Bear turns, excepting something like that to happen, and its crazed eyes search for the Eldritch armored woman. When it finds her the Beast's maw crinkles back to expose jagged teeth.

It would lope forward only Illyana's witchfire zigs and zags at it. For a moment it only watches and then with a snarl of outrage the Beast raises its front paws and then slams the claws deep into the earth. Apparently two can play at this game -

As that silver fire hits the midway point it meets resistance, resistance in the shape of shadow fire. Or perhaps a more apt descriptor is shadow ice. The zig and zag of those dark streaks hold a crackle of ice to them, a coldness that when it hits that burning witchfire only the hiss of melting ice might heard for the first few seconds.

And while that shadowed ice melts it barely gives an inch of ground as it PUSHES back against Illyana's magics. Striving to push its own blackness back at the woman.

But the shadows don't stop there, for as the two struggle against each others might, the shadows nearest Illyana Rasputin shiver and then take form.

Danielle Moonstar.

"Yana, you need to go." Says the Cheyenne, her shadowed form looking rather worn around the edges, "If it gets your power it'll be unstoppable."

———

Illyana doesn't have much of an inherent sense of fair play, and she'd have been quite happy dealing with a dumb Demon Bear.

Sadly, no such luck.

The sorceress lets out a quiet 'uff' when her witchfire meets the bear's shadow-fire, as if she's just slammed into a physical barrier. Her boots even slide an inch or so backwards on the frost-slick grass before she can dig in. Both hands are around the hilt of the Soulsword now, and while her lips are still drawn back from her teeth, now a grimace of effort has replaced the mocking grin from before.

She calls out, words from a demonic language not meant for human vocal cords, and the silver-white fire flares brighter, vying with the shadow-fire for mastery, the strobing of light and darkness making her image, and her own shadow jump and flicker like a badly edited film, and in some of the cuts it almost seems that she has… horns. And… is that a tail?

The shadows gather around her, as blue eyes - or, in those flickers, blank gold - stay locked on the bear. If what's coming for the demoness was unfriendly, it would have been her undoing. She sees the figure at the last moment and half-turns, her focus dangerously split, her left hand coming away from the hilt of the Soulsword, armoured fingers clenching into a fist…

But she doesn't try to deck Dani. Not this time. And she even manages a smile, despite the lines of tension in her face.

"Hi Dani." She says, unable to keep the strain from her voice. "Sacrificing yourself to your demons never helps. You've watched me try it enough." A thread of wry amusement manages to reach her words, but the shadow-fire is still burning and she's down on one knee, now. "Help me get you out of there."

But do it fast. She's going to lose, and soon.

———

Those demonic words burn the air around the coldness that is the Demon Bear and with a growl, the Beast starts to chuff out its own words of powers.

Cold. Ice. Death. A sundering of souls.

It wants all of Illyana's powers and it will take what it wants.

So now, the Demoness and the Demon vie for control of everything.

Illyana's forestalled punch and nonchalant greeting prompts a response from Dani, a smile that holds a similar undercurrent of amusement. "Well." Begins the Cheyenne, "I've learned from the best, right? Figured I'd give it a try again. Second times a charm and all of that."

However, seeing the strain on Illyana's features causes the Cheyenne's expression to flatten to seriousness. "You know the rules of this game better than I do, Yana. Breaking them is a pretty hard thing to do -"

Not that it stops Dani from trying, especially as a tendril of shadow rises up from the mist and lashes downward at Illyana. Moonstar, for her part, reaches out and grabs that tendril before it hits the blonde. "Though no one ever said I couldn't bend the rules."

But flaunting of the rules always have consequences and with that grab of hers, the Bear's attention shifts momentarily. Its piercing eyes turn to its formal herald and it growls. That rumble of sound seems to do something to Dani as she staggers forward, her free hand going to her chest.

"Listen." She gasps, "Find Rogue and Kitty, Rogue especially. She absorbed some of this, you might be able to use that to figure out where the real Demon Bear is."

Because this really isn't the true beast.

"I can't hold the shadows back for much longer, but I'm glad I got to see you, Yana. It's been too long." Blood seeps from around her fingers that clutch at her chest, "Best to run now."

And with those last words of Dani's the Bear turns its gaze back upon Illyana and with a bark of darkness, it stomps one paw forward and then another. It's coming for the Demoness.

———

How's that working out for you? Illyana wants to say, but with the effort of holding back the Demon Bear she might not be able to inject quite the amount of sarcasm she wants into her voice, so she holds her tongue. The head-tilt she does manage asks the question eloquently enough, anyway.

Breaking the rules, though. That demands a response. If rules couldn't be broken, Illyana would still be dead. And defeatism doesn't sit well with the sorceress. But then the shadow strikes at her, and the Soulsword comes out of the ground, coming up in a two handed grip, one foot planting back to brace herself to absorb the attack…

It's not needed. Illyana looks at the tendril of shadow writhing in Dani's grip, and something fierce comes into her eyes. This isn't like before. "Rules were made to be broken." Illyana says with a grin. They can fight this - and then the Demon Bear shows that right now, they can't.

Illyana, cold, standoffish Illyana, takes a step forward and catches Dani when she stumbles. She listens to the other woman's pained words, her eyes going cold and hard, but the promise she makes is… possibly not what Dani might have expected.

"If you let this thing kill you, I will find your soul in whatever afterlife you end up in, whatever the rules of death allow, and I will kick your butt, Dani."

A fierce, feral grin, and then something that might actually be regret in her ice-blue eyes. "And I'm sorry." For what? Dani's about to find out, as Illyana's hand tightens on her shoulder, stronger than the slender fingers have any right to be, and she pushes her magic into Dani. She's a demon sorceress, not a healer, and it burns through the Cheyenne's blood like silver fire. Illyana can't purge the Demon Bear's taint, but maybe she can push it back a little. Give Dani - and herself - a little more time.

Pulling away from Dani without another word, Illyana faces the Demon Bear once more. "You're not going to win." She tells it, and drags the tip of the Soulsword across the grass in a swift semi-circle before her. Silver flame springs up where the blade passes, and surges toward the bear.

It's all just to dazzle the eyes in the shadow. As the bear takes another heavy, ponderous step toward her… it'll find a stepping disc closing around its ankle. Bear trap. A last, spiteful farewell from the Queen of Limbo as she takes a step backwards through a portal of her own, and vanishes.

———

"You were the best rule breaker." Dani chokes out between spasms of pain, "No one could do it better than you."

But then comes the apology, as the Demoness' grip upon her shoulders tighten. There's enough time for Moonstar to start to ask sorry for … before the power flows into her.

Illyana isn't a healer and her magics (or maybe she herself) are never a soft thing, and so that Eldritch fire that burns through Dani’s body hurts. It causes the Cheyenne to stiffen and a sound of pain leaves her throat and when the healing ends Moonstar sags down to the ground, her breathing ragged.

"I won't let it kill me." She promises and then her form fades into the shadows, as the Bear comes closer to the two women.

Only it stumbles as a portal appears beneath its foot and it finds itself sinking down into it, up until that portal closes around shadow bone and shadow flesh, neatly nipping it off.

The great Shade of the Demon Bear falls to the ground and its only response to the now gone Demoness is a roar of both pain and rage.

That anger is such that snow begins to fall upon the ground with a silent hiss.

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