The Big House
Roleplaying Log: The Big House
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Illyana Rasputin walks the halls of the Mansion alone, as the Shadows ravage the land without. Yet is it truly empty?

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: August 19, 2019
IC Location: Xavier's Mansion
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 20 Aug 2019 00:03
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

The house is so huge. Emptiness only makes it seem larger, and the very walls creak with years of children, and life. Now nothing, empty halls with signs of having been left in a hurry. Things left behind, toys on the floors. A doll in a corner.

The front door creaks open; housekeeper needs to get some oil on that. Oh wait, she left too. And the outside is a warzone. Pool, gone. Grass, dead from the cold. People, missing.

Even the lights are out, the power turned off. The place has never been so dead, but it's still home.

A footprint on the floor, difficult to see in the dimness. Not human. Fresh. There might be someone here. Someone who tracks in mud, on otherwise clean floors.

Oh, mansion. What have they done to you?

*

The mansion's dead, the power's off. But dead doesn't mean empty. Not quite.

And if there's no power, where's the light coming from?

It's faint, seeping under a closed door, cold and silver-white. Not really enough to illuminate, but enough to give some texture to the shadows. The light flickers, as the front door creaks, as if something shifted position, briefly blocking the illumination. A moment of stillness, and then a chair scrapes back. Footsteps, light but not stealthy, cross to a door and open it - this one having enough lubrication not to creak so badly - and the witchlight floods out into the corridor.

A figure steps out, an orb of cold white fire hovering above one upturned palm. Details are lost in the dimness, the figure's unrelievedly black clothes not helping the situation, but long blonde hair, chopped raggedly short at one side, almost glows in the spectral illumination.

Footsteps move confidently toward the foyer, and the light lowers as the figure crouches next to the muddy footprint.

Illyana Rasputin looks up, blue eyes scanning the foyer and the corridors leading from it. "Come out, come out, wherever you are." She calls into the semi-darkness.

Long distance to Carmilla Black: Rahne Sinclair totally humble about it.

*

Nothing responds, at least for the moment. There is something in the house with her though, and the footprint does look animal. Canine, large. Too large, this was never a dog. It seems that Illyana has a mystery on her witchfire-laden hands.

It's not a shadow though. Solid, real, and not really supposed to be inside. The trail leads off down a hallway, the mud becoming less as it goes, until it's merely pawprints in dust.

Then a noise from down the hall; it's still here? Not too far. Perhaps a short walk is in order.

*

A smile slowly spreads across Illyana's lips as her words are eaten by the darkness, and no response comes. No verbal response, anyway. Remaining in her crouch, Illyana cocks her head to one side, listening - though she wrinkles her nose when that chopped-short lock of hair falls past her shoulder and tries to get in her face.

When a sound finally comes, Illyana rises noiselessly to her feet, brushing her hair back into position, and sets off. This time her steps, despite the heavy boots on her feet, are nearly silent - although if she wanted to be sneaky, she'd have doused her light. Maybe she's just doing it for effect.

More footprints, revealed as the unnatural light passes. At least she's going the right way.

*

The sort of house you never seem to come to the end of, and the trail pads throughout, meandering and seemingly aimless. The first few doors lead only into spare rooms, as expected. Soon there opens up a long room full of pictures, and a suit of armor. Then a room with a piano in the corner, chairs strewn about and lesson sheets on the chairs, as if left there during class.

Then stairs lead to a little upstairs hall, and then a library strewn with books - most of them very old, and quite large. The intruder seems to have taken great care not to walk on the carpets - decent for a mindless animal.

Shortly afterward the trail leads into a room that seems empty, save for a fireplace and a dog. Nothing else in the room, the window open to the night.

The dog…too large to be a dog, the flickering fire of the witchlight showing what would be red fur, likely not so red in normal light. Wolf. Sitting by the fireplace, as if guarding it?

She has an aura about her, her body language clear. This is the house's last guardian, when all else have left, and there is a soft growl from her throat, merely a warning. Not yet a threat. And yes, female.

*

There's something about sprawling old houses that seems to hold true no matter how many times they've been blown up and rebuilt: When you're alone and exploring in the dark, the house is always much larger and stranger than it is in the light. And you'll always find something you never knew was there.

For Illyana, who's known this mansion in two lives, and knows every inch of her own realm, that takes some doing. And yet, here she is. Looking into eerily abandoned rooms, stealthily creeping up three steps and then down five, trailing her fingers along the spines of books that really shouldn't have accumulated that much dust by now… and finally finding the culprit who tracked mud all over the Professor's expensive, polished wood floors. That's going to take some buffing out, and Illyana's not about to volunteer.

Illyana stands in the doorway for a long moment, the hovering, ever-burning silver white flame making shadows dance across her features. There's not much that surprises her. The Demon Bear coming back didn't do it. But this… this she didn't expect.

But then the big, red wolf growls and Illyana's habitually guarded expression breaks into a smirk that looks just this side of delighted. "You remember me, then." It's not really a question, as Illyana takes a step into the room and to one side. Leaving the doorway clear. Just in case.

*

The growl turns into a whine, the wolf tilting her head slightly. Then it pads forward, offering to scent at the witch in a way she's never done before. Simply sniffing at her hand. To be fair, she was always more laid-back in her canine form. But yes, it is clearly Wolfsbane.

Named after the herb used to drive away her own kind, but not the real person within. That one appears shortly after, the wolf slipping away.

And a second shock for Illyana's system: Rahne Sinclair, eighteen now, still looks the image of their last meeting. She has no curves, no hair to speak of, freckles, and looks…eleven if she's a day. Sitting on the floor, looking confused and far, far too young. She's not aged?

"Why be ye here?" Not 'hello', not 'it's good t' see ye' in her Scottish accent…which also is still strong. But at least she's not looking daggers at the blonde.

Just not a smile. As she clearly tries to work in her brain how to handle this meeting, not ready for it at all!

*

Well. It's better than 'get thee behind me, Satan', which once upon a time Illyana might have expected. But that was a long time ago. So Illyana allows herself to be sniffed, reaching out slightly with the hand that's not occupied with her witch-light, but she doesn't presume to touch.

Her scent, though. It's Illyana Rasputin. Mostly. But there's something else, too. It's not exactly fire, smoke, ash or brimstone, but those are the easiest comparisons. And there's the faintest touch of whatever residue those shadows that aren't shadows leave behind, too.

Illyana has a pretty decent poker face, but she can't prevent the slight widening of her eyes when Rahne transforms. She's not exactly who she used to be - but somehow, impossibly, it seems that Rahne still is.

If she was dealing with anyone else Illyana might cast a quick spell to verify the evidence of her own eyes. But it isn't anyone else, and besides, the question is too perfect to have come from anyone else. Of course the Scottish werewolf wouldn't start with pleasantries.

"I don't know if you've noticed…" Illyana begins, "But most of the team is missing, the school is under siege from shadows, and there's a giant Demon Bear in the woods?" There's amusement in her voice, and a hint of mockery, but it fades to nothing with her next words.

"Dani's in trouble. Where else would I be?"

*

This…is hard, clearly, for Rahne to adapt to. She wrinkles her nose at the scents, still clear even in her human form. She was always strong in that way. At the scents, but mostly at the thoughts she's forced to handle.

"Ye were outside. Ah saw through th' window," the redhead says, looking toward the window as she mentions it. She was never one for hand gestures, it seems that she's still much the same in that fashion as well. "Ah saw…"

Then her head turns to Illyana's in a jerk. "Dani sent me out. Tol' me tae stay here. So ah be stayin!" And nothing you do will drive me away, her body says, though she isn't saying it with words. Brow furrowing, she might as well be growling.

Though if she's here, alone, there's likely a reason.

Illyana leans back against the wall, keeping her eyes on Rahne, who's clearly struggling to process what's going on. For a moment, impatience touches her, but she pushes it away and, a moment later, slides down the wall to thunk down onto her butt, legs drawn up before her. With a flick of her fingers, she sends the orb to hover, unsupported, at the centre of the room, and loops her arms loosely around her knees.

And waits. That's the hard bit.

Illyana snorts quietly when Rahne finally breaks the silence. "Thanks for the help." She says, although there's no malice in it. Just Illyana being Illyana. "At least you didn't let me pretend I kicked the bear's butt and then told me you saw the whole thing."

Rahne's sudden flare up makes Illyana's eyes narrow a little, her lips compressing a bit. "Rahne." She says, calmly. "Stay. Go. I don't care." Not true, but she's always been a good liar. "Dani told me to run, too, and I'm only listening to her until I come up with a better idea."

Illyana looks at Rahne in silence for a few seconds, then sighs. "Why are you here, Rahne? Not 'Dani told me to stay', why are you here, in the dark?"

*

The first bit from Illy, til now her darkest person to deal with? Not…sure how to respond to it. Never sure, Rahne often does as she does now: she stays silent when berated, when confused. Lets others speak themselves out, until asked a direct question.

Damnit, she asked me one. And the two are both sitting on the floor, on equal footing. And if there's anything that a wolfling knows, it's dominance games. Illyana gave up that by joining her on the floor, so…Rahne supposes she needs to at least try to be civil.

"Ah couldnae help," she says, though it's an answer to both. Why she didn't help Illyana..and why she isn't helping Dani, right now. She taps her skull with a fingertip, then points toward the heart of the forest. "Ah'm too easy for et, th' shadow bear. Because ah'm linked tae Dani. But ah cannae leave either."

She pauses, perhaps a bit too long, almost to where it seems she's waiting for something. Then more words spill out, almost accidentally. "Been probin' at it. In m' dreams. Et cannae get ye if thaur be no emotions. An when ah'm wolf…ah'm simple."

So she's able to duck in, perhaps not for long, but she can go unnoticed. As a simple animal, no strong powers, no strong feelings. And she'll always be linked to Dani.

"An…thes is home."

*

Illyana Rasputin, the Darkchilde, Demon Queen of Limbo… sitting on the floor of a dusty room, trying to get a part-time werewolf to talk to her properly. She looks less than imperious, it's true. Good thing S'ym can't see her now.

But it got Rahne to answer, so it was worth it… except the answer makes Illyana's expression tighten. Rahne couldn't help? Well neither could she… and she made a lot more sound and fury accomplishing pretty much nothing, too.

"We're all too easy for that damned bear." Illyana says, quietly, because her tone's absolutely dripping with hate. "I've been in there before. Last time it came to this dimension." Illyana grits her teeth. She hates admitting weakness. "I didn't do any better that time, either. Not really." She snorts. "It sounds like you're doing more than I can." She's just slightly bitter about that, but she holds it back as best she can, glancing away.

Until the last thing Rahne says pulls her cold blue eyes back to the impossibly young looking Scot. "Yes." She says at length. "It still is."

Pushing back up to her feet, Illyana beckons her witch-light over to hover at her shoulder. "Dani gave me a job to do. I'm going to try to do it." She takes a step toward the door, hesitates, and looks back with a smirk.

"I guess I'll know where to find you when I need you."

She steps through the doorway, leaving Rahne to the darkness once more, until her fading voice calls back just once more.

"But I'm telling the Prof you messed up his floors!"

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