But Sister...

September 20, 2015:

Whilst one group goes to confront Darque, another group, including Sandria Darque hit from the other side (emits by Fenris)

Zeljava Airbase


NPCs: Sandria Darque, Plague


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Zeljava Airbase is a relic on the border between Croatia and Serbia. It had been built during the Cold War, a time when the world stood on the brink, waiting to see if it would all end in fire. Since then it's been left to rot. There's been some talk of repurposing it as a municipal airport, but the general disrepair of the area and the fact that there are mines leftover in it have prevented that.

Apparently, though, governments are not the only people who have been eyeing it. Or perhaps the mines are just an excuse. The tracking spells showed Darque here and that's where Fenris and Sandria have arrived. The God Wolf himself looked over the area briefly before conferring with Darque's sister and whisking off, leaving her to explain.

"My brother is holed up somewhere in that base, probably in the old command center. What he's doing there I don't know but I can already feel the arcane fluctuations. I can… help neutralize his magic, if you get me close enough, but the god-wolf believes that some of my brother's… fanatics may try to kill me. My brother probably wouldn't but… he's not always in his right mind." Or really…. ever. She sighs. "Well, shall we get going. The entrance is just up ahead." And so it is, a yawning man made cave of a hole in the ground.

Ryden had arrived early a few miles away and walked in. Better to be safe and he spared himself any embarrasment by arriving in his usual messed up or insane manner. He's dressed in jeans and hiking boots and pink knitted sweater.

There is a black and white goose wearing a lime green harness carefully fitted not to obstruct its wings waddling along at the Lorekeeper's side. Ryden has magicked that harness. No one meaning the goose harm will be able see it. It had cost him a broken two and two fingers to arrive at this compromise and his left hand has tape and a splint proving it. The ever present travel bag hangs loosely from Ryden's should and he smiles reassuringly at Sandria and gives her a courtly bow. "We'll keep you safe, My Lady."

Mines are bad. Lunair listens. "We'll do our best to protect you," She promises. "I can give you some armor." Lunair bobs her head. She has on an alarmingly artsy outfit, complete with flowing sleeves. At least until she needs to armor up. She does have a backpack with her. How Lunair got there - she likely followed along because that is how she do.

Audrey came with Lunair, though she's geared up in nondescript black BDUs and armor, with several guns and ammo clipped about her person. Because she can't make her own. "I can cloak you visually, but if he's got a sympathetic connection, it probably won't help much," she nods to Sandria. "If we take out the minions, he loses power?" Magic may not be her speciality, but she knows how to conduct herself on an operation, at least.

Sandria moves forward at a walk. "Our connection has been… clouded. He did that to prevent me from finding him but it works both ways. Thankfully, in this case. And his other minions won't have any such ability to detect me. Any advantage we can get will be good."

The entrance to the airbase is seemingly unguarded. Well, in that there's no men with machineguns at it. Of course that would rather give the game away and even if there aren't any right here there are probably more inside, along with whatever more powerful minions Darque has mustered. Ryden can sense a ward cast over the cave mouth. Nothing major, just a 'tripwire' spell that lets the caster know company has arrived. Audrey - and Lunair if she brought thermals - can see heat signatures moving further within. Seem like there's a small fire about 20 or 30 feet inside and around a bend. There might well be people there.

Ryden pauses and considers. "There's a ward at the cavemouth. Like.. a trip wire, but magic." He frowns. Zee would be able to dispel that in a second, he's sure. Ryden however will have to come up with a different plan. He grins suddenly and removes a book from his bag. "Alright, you all with the guns, be ready. I'm going to scare the holy hell right out of them and hopefully minimize their ability to get an shots off at us."

The pages flutter open and the lorekeeper summons an incredibly large and pissed off bear that is native to the area. It charges towards the cave waiting until its right at the edge before it roars a challenge. Ryden laughs softly. "Animal Encyclopedia for the win, bitches!" It'll trip the alarm and not seem out of place or like an actual attack like they're about to do.

Lunair listens. She doesn't know a whole lot about magic, but she does know that bullets to the throat tends to shut wizards up pronot. She will armor up. Depending on if Sandria wishes armor, she can grant that, too. She will have thermals on her HUD because copyright infringing armor (oops). She will prepare a flamethrower and a plasma rifle. "Yeah," She nods. "I will do my best to help mop them up."

Audrey just stares at Ryden for a long moment. "And a squirrel wouldn't have accomplished the same thing without putting an angry bear in the tunnels we're about to go into and putting everyone inside on high alert?" She doesn't wait for an answer, sighing and rolling her eyes before reaching out to put a hand on Sandria's shoulder and hide the two of them behind a reflective veil. "Luna, you want point?" her voice asks out of the emptiness.

Ryden can hear the 'alarm' go off. It's more of a tingling sensation as the magic is discharged. Well, that's one way to get rid of a ward. There's the sound of shouting in what might be Serbian or Croatian as several men come running out and, perhaps a bit surprisingly, a trio of large dogs, barking furiously at the bear. Yes, this does happen every once in a while but they're usually not so big and angry.

"Runners." Sandria whispers to Audrey, hidden in her light bending field. "My brother's 'cult'. I don't think they've seen us."

Indeed, they haven't seen Lunair or Ryden either. Big angry bears tend to focus attention, leaving them wide open.

The bear will take out several of the people in the cave before they can get there and then it will disappear. It's no danger to him or his companions and alot more help than a squirrel. That would just set the alarm off and have people jumping up armed and suspicious. Squirrels don't generaly run into places with people in the wild like this. A hungry or maddened bear however..

Quickly he replaces the book and withdraws another, pulls an invisiblity cloak from the pages and drapes it around Sandria just in case she doesn't want to waste magic to hide herself. "This will hide you from their sight but we can't see you either so take the hood off when it's safe and stay right behind me." Ryden murmurs softly. Dropping that book in the pack as well he unhooks a metal tube from his belt and starts forward behind Lunair and Audrey. He could do guns but he's only an average shot. Not the best for this situation. The goose is remaining quiet and at Ryden's side. It does look exicted though.

Lunair looks to Audrey. She pauses, then nods. "Sure thing." Best for her to go first, with her power armor and all. She can likely do some camouflage with her armor, but it may be best not to go full Laughing Octopus with it. Still, she will lead them forward accordingly.

It's probably for the best that no one can see Audrey at the moment. Or her itchy trigger finger. "I'll still be able to see you," she murmurs to Sandria, though she pulls her hand back from the other woman's shoulder as the cloak goes over her. Audrey, though, stays invisible on her own. Benefits of light-based powers. "At your ten o'clock, Luna," she murmurs as she steps into position, readying a weapon and moving down the hall.

It may be for the best, yes. The bear rampages just a bit, getting shot and mauling people as the group moves forward behind it. Just as Lunair is getting close enough that it might be uncomfortable, though, it vanishes. Leaving a couple of very confused Runners looking about as Lunair, Audrey and Ryden and Sandria sneak up on them.

"What's going on back here?!" That's a womans voice. And it's in English no less, though the demanded question gets repeated in both Serbian and Croatian as someone slightly more important looking strides up with another couple of guards. There is of course, no bear and no bear corpse, so the mauled men may be kind of hard to explain.

Oh look, she has keys. And no, no one has spotted them yet though Lunair is close enough that her Camo will probably stop working any moment now… there's five of them, plus the woman - a dark haired, severe looking officer type. She's not in a uniform though her clothes are practical and sharp. She's got a sidearm but more importantly, she's got keys and some kind of talisman hanging from her belt…

The goose can't be seen and he knows it. Damnyou screeches and honks like a bat out of hell as he charges the woman and pecks at her belt, hopping and waving his wings about to reach it. Ryden rolls his eyes. You can't be seen, but you can be felt you bloody goose! He doesn't mutter the thought aloud though, just bends picks up a rock and throws it at the woman's face. Man's gotta protect his goose somehow and he doesn't want to give them away a moment sooner than needs be.

IF Damnyou can get that belt.. maybe bringing him along wasn't such a bad idea after all. Ryden glances at his bandaged hand. Little fucking bastard. Maybe it'd be okay to let him get kicked just a little.. He shakes those thoughts away and focuses. That guy is backing up way too close to them. Ryden kicks him in the ass and attempts to boot him forward into his fellows.

Lunair nods at Audrey. She will do her best. And then… Oh dear. Goose. Lunair pauses. She pulls a few golden looking marbles out of nowhere, and rolls them towards the group. They will go *poof!* into sleeping dust. No sense in being given away just yet. She remembers the sleeping dust from Cal's insistance on nonlethal weapons. Hopefully the people and their dogs(?) will get some sleep now.

This…is not what Audrey is used to in an op. Clearly she's been spending too much time with Deathstroke lately. Not quite enough time to go directly to shooting everyone in the head, though. Which is for the best. Instead, she takes a deep breath, reaching out to give Lunair's shoulder a squeeze with a whispered: "Flanking." Steps silent, she pulls a rebreather up over her mouth and nose and wades into the enemy. Anyone who isn't falling asleep is soon subjected to a flurry of blows that should send them to dreamland on their own.

A couple fall asleep and Damnyou of course, pecks the woman until that happens. The couple that Lunair does not get are subjected Audrey's tender loving care. Military training does a long way for being to disable people non-lethally. Rear necked choke for the win.

The keys and amulet secured - Ryden can tell the Amulet will pass them through any further wards, the four of them move down a wide tunnel a good hundred or so meters. It's slower going than just running down it of course. One has to watch out for traps. Or for other guards and there are other guards though being sneaky and invisible helps to avoid them. Mostly they're wondering what the hell is going on. A series of booms from another entrence signals that Fenris is being distracting as well.

"Feel that?" Sandria whispers, mostly to Audrey who happens to be the closest. But the others can as well. Up ahead. There's a larger room that was probably a mess hall or something. Just about twenty or so feet ahead. And something is pulsating in it. There's a lot of power coming from there.

And then suddenly, darkness blankets the area. "Well well. Visitors?" A man's voice says. "I can't see you but I know you must be here…"

Ryden's hoping the God-Wolf is being careful. He kinda likes that guy. Even tried to flirt with him once. Oddly enough it was the scary asian Lady that shut him up and kept him from trying again. Damn, the looks that woman can give. She's got a helluva magic force behind those eyes for sure.

The lorekeeper bites down on his lip to keep from making an enraged noise. He really really really hates this bastard. All those lives, the rare magical beings and gods and Ryden doesn't even know what else.. all of it taken away, ended. Because this selfish sick and twisted little punkass wants to be a god. And not just any god, the god of nothing. Which is all that would be left by the time Darque was done if he gets away with this. They have to stop him and now that they are finally here… Ryden will do whatever it takes.

Lunair is normally pretty violent in and of herself, generally opting for explosives of some sort. There's no problem if everything is leveled, right? No evidence, no problems! But today's theme is quiet. She nods, smiling faintly at the shoulder squeeze beneath her black visor. "Sorry, normally I'd just blow them up but…" Well. She is not a distraction today. At least they have the keys and amulet secured. "Someone pick thsoe up…?" She whispers. She has thermal vision, and will grab them to bring to Audrey or Ryden. For now, she says nothing to the man's challenge. She's instead just keepin herself well armed.

If it's shadows Darque wants to play with, then he's come to the right place. With the mortal attackers disabled, Audrey turns her attention to the darkness he casts over the hall. Light and dark are her elements. She doesn't reply to the words in the air. No, instead she slowly starts to pull on the darkness around them. It's subtle, at first. Like finding a loose thread in a tapestry. But once she has hold of a trickle of it, she starts to draw at the rest of it, compacting the darkness into one corner of the hallway. In balance with every bit of darkness she pulls away, the light glows brighter.

Ryden and Lunair need targets. And Sandria isn't any help here. Which makes it a good thing Audrey came along. The darkness starts to slowly 'move'. It's not noticeable at first but as the light-mutants powers draw faster and faster, the room gets lighter and lighter. Soon the only dark part of the room is that little place over in the corner. Which is granted really dark. But not so much that no one can see.

And what a thing to see. The entire room up ahead has five massive interlocking pentagons with some kind of dark purple crystal pillar floating in the middle of each. There are lots of runners and a number of necromancers there. And the man they've come to know is 'Plague' looking shocked and rather suddenly annoyed that his darkness spell seems to not be obeying him. He pours more darkness in… but all it does is go to it's corner.

"Oh my god…" Sandria forgets for the moment that she'll give them away. "That… that's a void spell. They're turn this area into pure darkness. That's madness! It'll kill everyone within a thousand miles." And as she speaks, perhaps predictably, the spell starts to power up. "I… I can dispell it. But you have to delay them!"

Ryden gives her a grim smile. He'd kiss her too for luck but that kinda thing died out a long time ago. He's only an average shot, and not carrying a gun. Just that odd metal tube that if anyone looks closely at might seem strangely familiar. Certainly once he hits the button and a bright pink beam of energy forms from one end of the tube. Ryden is a lot better with a sword than a gun. Swords were still being used in his own world and during the time he arrived on this earth. He's no swordsmaster but he's pretty good and a lightsaber is a lot more dangerous than a regular sword anyhow.

When it comes to battle Ryden kills without mercy. In the quickest and most efficient way he can think of, which doesn't always turn out to be such but this time its going pretty well. If they're dead then they can't kill you. There's a thousand innocent lives riding on this moment. He will not let this happen! Not while he's still breathing at least. Breathing and dancing and twisting and darting about with that lightsaber, stabbing, slashing and burning at every asshole necromancer he comes into contact with.

Lunair is the heavy weapons user. She bites her lower lip. She appreciates Audrey's darkness powers, offering a soft, "Thank you." She is duly grateful. While she lacks magic senses, she knows what's going down is BAD NEWS. And so she rolls a grenade in towards the main crystal and pulls her plasma rifle. Time to start picking off bad guys. "We'll do our best," She promises. Time to explode and melt some cultists like it's the Ark and Audrey is Indiana Jones.

There is a prodigious amount of darkness being poured into the room thanks to that damned spell. And while existing light or darkness cost Audrey less to work with than creating them does, it's still something that requires a good deal of concentration. Too much to stay invisible. Letting the invisibility around her fade, she sets a rifle up against her shoulder, guarding the others while her focus centers on keeping the darkness at bay. "What are they afraid of?" she asks Sandria in a lower tone.

"Light." Sandria whispers back to Audrey as she concentrates. "It sounds cliche, but they've been fighting light wielding heroes for as long as I can remember. Light directly counters their abilities and, as much as they may say otherwise, the darkness is not stronger. They're terrified of the light." Usually it's magical light but hey… magic, mutant powers, sometimes hard to tell the difference. "So light, beings of light, any of that." Bullets ping off of the wall near Audrey as the runners open fire.

A lot of them are distracted of course. Ryden is doing his best pink Luke Skywalker impersonation and already there's several down, Jedi style. Lunair opens up. The crystels themselves seem to absorb the energy from Lunair's weapon which… may not be a bad thing. Certainly, it makes Plague suddenly turn and try to drain the crystal that Lunair just shot. Too much, too fast and that may upset the balance of this spell. Clearly he doesn't want that. Which means the most powerful necromancer isn't in the fight.

"Just another minute…" Sandria starts to glow. Which makes her more of a target. Audrey's job isn't going to be easy…

Ryden growls in frustration. Too many of these bastards and none of them look to be Darque, dammit. At least his goose is staying out of the way for the moment. Ooh boy there goes Sandria glowing. Some part of his mind either heard them talking about the light or worked it out on his own and he drops down and scoops up his bag and another book from it. Mutiple balls of magelight pour out of the pages and start flying around and around the cavern and diving at the necromancers in response to Ryden's muttered command. Then he's back on his feet and fighting his way to Sandria's side. He promised to keep her safe the night they met. He means to do it or die trying. Sky blue eyes scan the cavern to check on Lunair and Audrey. He'll help them too if he can.

Audrey laughs despite herself at Sandria's answer. "Well. This is about to suck for them." With so much darkness pooled into the corner, what's left of the balance of light in the room is significant. And to add to it, Audrey takes a deep breath, feeding energy into the light like feeding kindling to a fire. She doesn't light up. But the walls themselves and all the air in between start to take on a white-hot glow, like being under stadium lights, if the stadium lights were all clustered ten feet away. Slowly, she sidesteps in front of Sandria, returning fire with pinpoint precision. She's wearing kevlar, so short of a headshot she should be all right. And with all of the light flooding the area, getting a clean shot is about to become difficult.

Light is good. Lunair can dig that. But she's going to keep firing her plasma rifle at the bad guys and crystals. And maybe take a laser weapon in her off hand. Pewpew! She looks grateful, and will move to cover Audrey a bit better. For now, no grenade follows up. Just lights of light and plasma. So much plasma.

Even with body armor, getting shot hurts. It feels like someone punched you. Hard. High energy rounds can bruise or break ribs, too. Audray takes two hits to the chest. The SAPI plate in her vest stops it but… yeah. She feels it. The return fire puts the cultists down for the count. She's too got a shot to miss, especially at these ranges.

Ryden fights his way back. He's got a lot of people on him, having to turn to fight htem off every so often. He may well be wounded by this point too. There's just so many of them. But he's still up. With Lunair who is pouring fire and light into those crystals. As Audry adds to that, filling the entire area with light so that the walls and the very air glows the attacks slacken and the cultists and necromancers actually cry out in fear of some unnamed judgement…

And then Sandria releases a wave of golden energy that shatters the crystals one by one.

"NO!" Plague shouts out as the magic in the crystals is relased uncontrolled and coalesces into a huge purple vortex that begins to draw everything in. The necromancer struggles to control it as the wounded and even some of the runners and necromancers who aren't fast enough get sucked in and vanish.

Ryden is hurt and he isn't sure how badly. He just knows his side is on fire and there's blood running down his right leg and maybe the side of his face. AT least it's not in his eye. When the necromancers and runners start crying out in fear, it makes it easier to catch up to his companions. They're suddenly focused on.. probably Darque's pissedoffness. Then Ryden notices the vortex. "Uh shit!" He can try to trap it in a book but its going to take everything he has to attempt that and it still might fail. That's… that's a lot of power. Where did Fenris get to?! Or Zee?! this kind of thing is not his specialty. Finally making his way to Sandria he pants "What.. how do we stop it?" He kicks a guy away from them and straight towards the vortext just as Damnyou drives another into it and then just barely manages to get away and back to Ryden. "Damnyou!" It's a name and an oft uttered curse apparently.

Lunair is trying to cover them, though her power armor mostly makes it feel like pinging and bruising. Any straglers will get shot in the foot. She's going to keep out of the way of thevortex, trying to look to the others. "I have not a clue."

And then a portal gun. "Oh right!" She'll drop the necromancer in towards the portal. Or something.

Oh, it hurts all right. Especially the second shot, when the plate's already broken. Audrey grits her teeth hard to bite back a cry, but the force of the shots pushes her back into Sandria. Still, she's not giving up her cover. "Luna, you got anything that can un-portal something? Inter dimensional duct tape?" She's still not one hundred percent sure how Lunair's power works, but it was worth a shot.

The vortex has eaten into the roof of the chamber, giving a view of a pale, strong looking man with veins of darkness running all over him. "Brother!" Sandria calls out as Audrey stumbles back into her. And is shot again. At least the armor is still protecting her. That's three times now Sandria would have been killed by Darque's minions if not for the light wielding mutant. Who is still making everything glow, it must be noted.

The portal gun rips Plague off his feet and drops him right into the vortex. And he vanishes. The roof starts to crumble and the rocks begin to gave in but the vortex is shrinking now. What little remains of Darque's cult and supporters are scattering. The ones closest ot the vortex are already gone. And there weren't many that Audrey, Ryden and Lunair didn't deal with already.

There's a great shaking of the chamber above them… this… might be a good time to move, if those rumbles are any indication. At least no one's attacking them anymore.

Ryden's lightsaber snaps off and he pockets it. "Time to go, Ladies!" He traces symbols and words rapidly into the air to throw up a protective forcefield over their heads. "I can't hold this for long but itll keep us from being crushed." Ryden is covered in sweat and blood and bits of, well, necromancer. Damnyou is actually giving his pet magi an impressed look. It's too bad Ryden doesn't notice. He's never impressed the goose before. At least not in a good way. The ohmygreatgooseygodscouldyoufailanyharderifyoutried?! way, sure. Usually on a daily basis. Damnyou charges forward to lead the way out or at least to somewhere safer. The magi keeps close to the women to keep the shield up but spares a second to give Darque the finger. "Asshole."

Aw, goose. Lunair looks worried about Audrey. "I don't think so. I have a portal gun," She waves it. "We should go," She remarks. "LEt me help you," Lunair moves in front of Audrey to help her move and protect her with her own power armor. She'll take pot shots at any stragglers, but she is protecting and helping people move.

That last shot may have made it through. Or else some of the plating in the kevlar has broken through the fabric, because Audrey is definitely bleeding now. "Thanks," she says to Lunair, short of breath, as she sets a hand to Sandria's shoulder to guide the other woman out. She still keeps the rifle to her shoulder with the other hand, but if Lunair offers a shoulder, she'll lean on it.

Sandria helps too and the three women and Ryden make it back outside with no further resistance. They can hear more rock crumbling behind them and what sounds like the thunderous cry of Darque get cut off. When they reach the exit Fenris arrives to greet them.

"He's gone." He tells them without preamble. "Sealed away in a place where he's cut off from his power. He won't be coming back. Not for a good long time anyway." He looks at each of the three heroes seriously. "You saved the world today, and you have my deepest thanks. Don't hesitate to call on me if you need anything. Now…" The God wolf extends a hand and opens a Way. "Let me offer you a ride back. And healing, if anyone's hurt." If they want it that is. He knows that sometimes warriors are stubborn and insist that they'll 'be okay'. Which is their right.

They did, after all, save the world.

Ryden lets go of the shield as soon as they exit the cave. He's wavering on his feet and his vision is blurring with the budding migraine but he does hear Fenris. Sighing in relief, the magi stumbles forward and hugs the God-Wolf. Blood and gore and rock dust and all. "Thank you." He turns and squints at the women. "Lunair, Audrey. Thank you for keeping me alive. Lady Sandria.. I'll see you soon I'm sure." He's sworn himself to her after all. If she needs him, he'll come. "D-damyou? wh.." Ryden's hand goes to his head and looks about to vomit. The goose waddles forward. "Qwek Qwek. Quack." "Yeah yah. I'mma quack, your a.." theres ladies present. He doesn't use any of the words he usually does to describe his companion. "Goose." He stumbles through the Way and to find a safe place to take his meds, pass out and clean up. Maybe check out how wounded he is. Saving the world is gross and painful dammit.

Lunair will indeed give Audrey a shoulder. She cares about the other mutant. She also can just drop explosives out of the air if it really came to it so she doesn't need her hands. "I think my friend Lux is hurt," She looks to Audrey. Lunair is thoughtful enough to use codenames for now.

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