Impressive Hat (TM)

October 31, 2015:

Dark Magic detected. Heroes respond and find a guy in an Impressive Hat (TM)

New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Now that darkness has swept the city and night has long since fallen and the younger trick-or-treaters have finished their candy quests, the thick forests at the edge of the river, normally deserted at this time of night, fill with the lights of torches. Talk is muted of those who pass under the dense branches, but the tones are eager and excited: tension within those that creep through the forest. On trees, now and then going deeper into the forest, are red spray-paint marks. In the night, they are glossy red from the light of the torches. Many are in costumes, many of them choosing to be maroon-robed witches or monks.
The trail of the marked trees leads several miles into the forest, where something more than torchlight is sparking into the air. A circle of a dozen people are present, in a 30' ritual circle, in maroon robes: they are those who have started the main event of the evening, preparing for those who are coming now to observe and bask in it.

The sky above the forest starts to pulse with gathering magic, the clouds thickening with moisture as if ready to bleed on the forest below, yet they hold for now. The rips and tears are not yet open, but the fabric of the night is being peeled thin.

Rain is usually on a quiet patrol Halloween night. She knows it more as Samhain, something far more pagan and ancient even if the name is somewhat new. Nevertheless, it is a good evening to be out and about. And also a witch. Her senses are far sharper, more vivid after magic was gifted to her and something about the thin veil this night makes it doubly so.

It is also an evening of concern, as some souls (Jack O'Lantern bein only one) wish to push the boundary hard. There's something odd going on. Noises? Torches? Robes? Her broomstick takes her closer. Captain rides just behind her, in a suitably dramatic cat cape.

The start of a ritual of dark magic is enough to get Zee's attention. Concentrating for a moment on the location, teleports to a safe distance and then thinks through her Leyline Pendulum.

This is Zee, Dark Magic ritual, looks bad. To my location.

She also sends that message to the Titans… who knows who's around to help out.

Melinda May has no vested interest in October 31st in any direction, so she's getting caught up on paperwork while everyone else is 'celebrating'. Really, a pointless holiday in her opinion. But, when Zee's call over the leylines comes in, she responds promptly.

It takes May a few minutes to get to the nearest leyline, but then she's catching up with the magician. "What've you got?"

A closer glimpse at the people arriving would suggest this is some kind of concert or some other event: one that is family friendly. There are families heading over, some with sleeping children being carried. An astute eye would see that there is at least one robed person with each clump, and they're leading, but they aren't issuing orders to their groups. Whether the people are being taken willingly or unwillingly — it seems willing and fearless. In fact, at least one group of three teens are quietly laughing and joking with each other, as if this were some great game.

The ritual itself is in very deep cover of trees, likely intentionally hidden, and it will require a closer look to see much of it or what exactly is happening there. It might seem strange: it would be very hard for all of the arriving people to be able to see the circle together, but maybe that isn't the plan.

For those that sense magic? …Things are getting steadily worse. The clouds have blackened with unnatural energy, and have started to generate an unholy mist in the upper branches of the forest.

Rain is going to have to come in lower. She may or may not be in tune with the leyline stuff yet, which is an uncertainty. But she is innately magic and bad juju is a thing and she does have a Titans dealybopper, even if she is a bit of a fringe member. She will reply to Zee, « Captain and I are here. We're landing nearby. » And fortunately, travel via broomstick is very stealthy. She'll land near May and Zee, once she gets a better read on things.

"Black Magic, Agent May." Zee replies as the woman joins her. Zee has changed out of the elegant strapless ballgown she was wearing and is back in her /stree grunge/ look. "Hello Rain. Did you feel it too?" she greets the other witch as she joins them.

Looking at those arriving, seeing the laughing, joking teens, Zee shakes her head "Bet they think this is all some lark or something." So many mundanes make light of magic … "We need to get closer, shall we?"

Without waiting, the teen mage silently moves forward. If she can, she'll try to make the three of them look like they're part of one of the groups.

There is someone who generally concerns himself with dark summonings and black magic and also generally hears with Zatanna puts a 'call' out. A Way opens near Zee and a tall, lean faced man with a predatory aura about him steps through. He's wearing simple, if somewhat professional clothes and a long coat agaist the increasing cold of the eastern seaboard in winter.

In general, the Old Wolf takes a dim view of black magic and it's practitioners but he's been around long enough to know that even dark tools have their uses in the right hands.

Melinda May moves forward with Zee, and though she's completely Muggle herself, she been around Zee enough to tell when the magician is trying to help them stealth along. She nods to Fenris when he simply appears and moves in step with the rest of them. "There are an awful lot of people here. This could get ugly very fast."

There are two groups headed in near Zee, Rain, Fenris and May. One is led by a plump young woman, roughly twenties, in a maroon robe with the hood flung back, her red hair in pretty tumbled waves. She has a family with her (the youngest boy in a rabbit costume) and two young adult men dressed normally. The other is led by an older, 50-ish balding male with a quiet, reserved look; his maroon robe seems to not have met an iron recently. His group consists of eight college-aged people in various "I bought this at a costume store" witch or vampire costumes. Both are keeping an eye on their groups as they follow the marks on the trees. The older male leader looks at the quartet of new arrivals with a skeptical expression. "….Who's your leader?" he calls to them. "Take-me-to-your-leader," pipes in one of the college kids in an 'alien' voice, and two 'witchy' girls with him giggle.

Rain pauses and nods. "Yeah, I usually like to go out on Halloween. I felt it along the way." A beat. "Yes, I know, stereotypes." Some of them have some basis in truth. Rain is a /witch/. She likes Halloween. It's sort of her people's thing. Captain poofs a bit as Fenris arrives, then settles. The two wave, politely. She follows along, going with it. Rain is quietly with the others, and it seems that Captain now has a maroon robe, too.

"Hello Fenris," the teen mage greets her mentor when he arrives "I'm glad you're here." Glancing at Captain as he poofs, Zee smiles slightly "It's good to have Captain along as well, Rain." No comment on stereotypes from her.

It's a pity that Zee doesn't actually realise she do mind magic, this might not have to get ugly very fast otherwise. But … she doesn't. Instead, she looks at the older man and shrugs just a little and glances between Fenris and May "She is…" she gestures to May. Don't ask why! It just seemed the right thing to do. Just please… don't ask where the five of the group are.

Fenris quirks an eyebrow but doesn't comment. May certainly is often in charge and she does project an aura of being in charge. "Hello Zatanna." He murmurs, nodding in greeting to Rain and May as he looks over the group and senses about for the source of that taint he feels. These things can be annoyingly generalized, he's discovered. Downright unhelpful sometimes.

Melinda May takes being placed in charge readily enough and nods her agreement with Zee's words by simply nodding. The college kid gets a Vulcan-like raised eyebrow but no further acknowledgement. She'd love to ask why, see what they say, but she bets on the old adage 'less is more'. Like she usually does.

"I don't recognize you, I know all the leaders," the older gentleman accuses May, scowling. His group has stopped laughing, and looks on with obvious interest, a few with sarcastic smiles. They're the same kind of smiles people who ARE on the 'list' at a club might make at the 'trash' that isn't. Pity. Arrogance.

"Roland, they're mine," calls the redheaded leader suddenly from the side, approaching the four of them with a smile. "Stick closer with us, okay?" she says, hands on her hips. Her group looks curiously at them, but doesn't disagree with her.
"/What?/ No. You already have your allotment. That's too many, that's not fair," the man scowls at her. "I'll bring /twenty/ if I want to, Michael and I are tight. Just go on, you're holding the line up," she informs Roland in a cheery tone. Roland frowns but gestures to his group to follow. "Hurry up, our stop point is just up here," he says.
The woman that vouched for the four scans them with bemusement as her group draws up closer, stopping. The young boy exclaims and points at the cat. "Lookit, ma. Lookit, it's trick-or-treating too."

During this distraction, for those that can sense it: flickers of magic current pulse in the clouds above the ritual area, and the level of magic starts to get dangerously close to a breaking point. It feels like something is slowly forcing a gash in space to open. None of the group, including the 'leaders' seem to react or be aware of it.

Rain is okay, happy enough to follow May. Captain meows cutely at the young boy. Trick or treat? Pet meeeeee? He knows how to work the humans. Which is why he is MVP SHIELD Morale Officer (read: Office cat). Rain is quiet, although some might notice she's tuning herself to her magic senses more, opening herself to the ebb and flow, to its origins, to its feel. It's one of the small perks of being a witch.

She is just quiet and shy, and given her build, it might make sense. Why not?

Zee glances to Fenris and Rain, letting May lead them on. This might be why she put May to the front, leave them to address the magic… "There must be a circle or something… we need to get closer." She can feel the magic building and she's not used to /not/ doing anything. If Fenris suggests they run for it, she will.

Fenris isn't sure they need to yet. He's sensing, with the rest of them and has noted the lack of reaction. He also knows that Rain isn't helpless in a fight. So he'll wait. And see what happens. "Careful what you take for granted on Hallows Eve." He murmurs softly. The world-barriers are already dangerously thin and that makes nights like tonight very, very touchy.

Melinda May nods her thanks to the red-haired woman and risks a smile. Probably something that would make Barton run for cover under other circumstances. "Thank you." She looks toward the epicenter of this mess, mostly knowing where to look by watching Zee and the others in her peripheral vision. "It's nearly time, isn't it?" she asks of the leader that vouched for them.

"Yes, but we're twelvth, so we still have a wait even after it begins," she answers May, after trying to make sense of the smile May wore. "I'm Krista, so if you are asked who your leader is—-" Krista stops and turns.
There's a sudden lunge in unnatural energy that makes the trees cringe. A big spell was just cast. Even the 'Muggles' sense it, and pause, trying to make sense of the feeling. Something has come, something with a weight to it, a frenzied heat that feels like an uncomfortable hot flash of fever prickles flesh. Many of the 'muggles' shiver when it fades, and the chatter stops for a time. A few children cry in the quiet (including the boy that wanted to pet Captain).
To more advanced senses, a portal ripped wide, a sudden gape, as if the fabric between planes vomited on the ritual zone. It's unstable: involuntary spasms of magic, edges fraying. And now, this portal gags and draws ragged breaths, as if recovering. As if a summoner were, perhaps, letting the portal ebate for a moment to deal with whatever just happened.
"Did you FEEL that, everyone? It's power. Soon you will have a taste of it of your very own. Real, true abilities," Krista says in a hushed voice to her group (and the four additions), with an open longing in her voice. "Just like I showed you."

"I see," Rain offers quietly. She winces, furrowing her brows at the portal. Oh boy. Not good. Deep breath. "…" Not good. Captain breaks off a little, to let the boy pet him. Circle legs, tail up, circle circle, headbutt. Cats: Sometimes great for cuddling.

Like Krista showed them? Rain furrows her brows a bit, perhaps trying to read Krista's aura.

Fenris is correct of course. Zee shouldn't make assumptions … and she knows there is trouble with the walls between worlds.

"Fenris, can we get them out of here?" Zee murmurs through the wince caused by the feel of that magic. Maybe taking these people will weaken the results of the spell. That or something has detected the spell and was trying to subvert it…

Now, the teen mage focusses her senses, trying to determine what's happening.

"Maaaaaaybe." Fenris murmurs. "Hang on…" The God-Wolf puts out a hand. If they want to feel real power… let's see how this work. He focuses on tearing a Way open under the 'waiting' muggles. They may want to taste power but this isn't something they want any part of. He's fairly sure. There are all kinds of reasons this might not work though and he can't just power through it. Tear too hard and he'll end up tearing something he doesn't want to. If it works though, well, they'll be waiting in Neverwhere for him. "Rain, May, Zee, look sharp."

Even May felt that, and it felt WRONG. When Fenris says to look sharp she nods to him and seemingly just because, she picks Captain up. Probably so whatever is about to happen, he's not at the mercy of the small boy in Krista's group.

The little boy tries to hug Captain and pet him; his father interrupts by bending to pick the boy up, instead, much as May picks up Captain. Krista, as Rain focuses on her, does have a bit of minor magic aura. She possibly could do a very minor spell of some kind, but harmless. She feels like a very low-power witch.
"Move it or lose it, Krista," calls another female leader from behind their group, annoyed. Krista herself seems to get control of herself more, and holds her hands up to gesture, moving in front of the group. "Okay let's get into our position, follow me quickly! We want to be on our mark to be counted!" Krista turns and leads, hurrying now. The ritual site looms ahead, as does a number of marked trees and the other eleven groups in front of them. Everything is going how Krista expected!
But a Way opens under her, the family and two guys. She doesn't react in alarm, but entirely accepting, as if unusual things were meant to be embraced. "We are chosen!
-" Krista started to say in rapture, before she and the group were wisked away to Neverwhere. There is another group behind them, but they aren't moving fast, they have some slower elderly….
The Way Fenris opened trembles a little, as if something else was trying to seize it and adjust where it is pointing to…. the mist seems to darken in the vicinity, and the torch in front of them fades out, making the forest chokingly black.

A soft sigh. Rain hates to pull out magic like this, but the witch furrows her eyebrows. Time to do a bit of conjuration. Blue and white will 'o wisps appear, bobbling to counteract the shadows. Captain even glows a bit. GLOWCAT(TM). He merps softly as May picks him up. He was pretty okay with being hugged and petted. He might be snarky and sassy as all hell (read: a cat), but there's a good heart somewhere in there.

Rain hms. "… I see," She murmurs. She offers to the group, "Krista is not the summoner," The barest whisper to the group near her. "She is not strong enough."

"… all of the 'leaders' are. Very minor ability," Rain is quietly concerned. Something bigger and badder is at hand or they teamed up to rustle up something beyond their imagining.

"No…she wasn't" Zee's attention is caught for the moment but she nods to Rain "There's a gate open .. I can't tell to where, but something has come through it… " Glancing up to Fenris and then to May "It feels like it's weakened the area more, watch out for other portals. " beat "We should get to where the ritual was performed if we want to know more, unless you can sense it, Fenris."

Ah. There's someone else out there with a mastery of portals. Or something else. Fenris has dealt with such before. It's not pleasant and the best thing to do is usually just… what he does in this case. Close the portal. As the group moves he breaks into a run. There's a ritual circle up there. With each step his shape changes until he's a large wolf the size of a semi truck. Sorry Captain he's really not trying to make this uncomfortable. "Black magic?" He rumbles. "What are you people doing to my hunting grounds?"

Melinda May sets Captain down again the moment that Krista and her group are taken to Neverwhere, so she's free to race after Fenris. Sure, she can run with the best of them, but it's simple physics: Even in squishy human form Fenris is WAY taller than her. But of course, becoming giant rumbly wolf kind of gives him even more of a speed advantage. She just settles for catching up with him and looking as displeased as possible. SHe's not drawing her weapons. Not yet.

The robed leaders and people don't know what to do with the ENORMOUS wolf, it appears. The leaders shout to keep control of their little groups — everything is fine, that sort of thing. Someone yells that Michael will take care of it, stay to the marks, keep to the plan.

The ritual circle is a glowing red mass of light and energy, most of the trees in the vicinity now charred to twisted horrified husks of skinny branch, as if the portal peeled their insides out.
There are currently six maroon robes around a tear in the air, a jagged rip. A circle of runes is on the ground, long furrows dug about a foot deep into roots and ground alike create the symbol. Six big heaps of earth, presumably the earth that was in the trenches, are at each tip of the broad circle, between each of the robed cultists.
At the far end of the circle, there is an Important Looking robed male with an Impressive Hat (TM) of bone and a raven feather mantle. In his hands is a spiraling black staff, at least six feet long, with two long hooked black horns at the top which hold an emerald gemstone. He is clearly invoking something with the portal, his staff extended at it, and there are bundles of little demons starting to climb out of the tear. They are each the size of a fat toddler, except with pointed faces and very long talons and teeth. Impressive Hat guy is focusing and busy right now, but there are more cultists to turn and react to tresspassers - meaning, giant wolves. Other 'normal' people are not going to be noticed at the moment compared to that!

Oh geez. Not good. Rain takes a deep breath. "Okay. Uh. You may need to borrow my channeling pistols and hop onto my shoulders." And Rain mumbles something, to compliment the blue and white will 'o whisps dancing around them and the wolves. Better light. « Remake the beast, » And then with an eerie roaring sound, Rain becomes an immense Siberian Godbear. The bear big and terrifying enough to make a Dire Bear double take and give Siberian villagers hereditary bear related trauma.

Her violet eyes glow faintly. Captain hops onto Rain, glowing and all. "Right. Time to play demon goalie." If any of them get close, it's baby punting time.

Well, here's a to do… Zee's /not/ wearing her body armour but at least she's wearing her holy oil soaked combat boots. She doesn't need to get close to fray - at least not yet… the problem is, what should she target.

Rain seems to have the demons sorted out …. Does Zee try to close the portal… or target the male in the Impressive Hat (TM)? Closing the portal by disrupting the ritual seems to be the way go. "Watch your footing." The teen calls to her three companions and calls her magic to her, focusses and with a murmur, she speaks the words of her spell (backwards of course). The earth beneath the feet of the six robed people starts to tremble and shake… hopefully sending them tumbling to the ground and breaking their hold on their spell.

Fenris growls and advances forward. The demons are… small compared to him but he knows that size isn't all that counts in a fight. They might be more potent than their stature suggests.

Which is why he throws his head back and howls. There's power to it. His howl is one ofh is more underrated weapons. Also, in this particular case, he's howling loud enough to shatter glass and shake the ground.

Melinda May accepts the pistols from Rain, takes about a second and a half to check them over, then … well, this is new. She's ridden horses before (and she hates them), but actually emplying a mage-bear to get to and from places in this fight more quickly? Definitely something to tell Coulson about over a drink or three.

Fenris' howl is downright disconcerting, but she's going to trust Rain-Bear to keep them moving and clear of the worst of these creepy toddler-things while she's trying to get a bead on the staff-wielding man. Magic or not, there aren't many creatures that can easily walk away from a bullet to the forehead. … if these pistols fire bullets and not something else. Like a flag with the word 'BANG!' painted on it.

The man in the Impressive Hat (TM) swings the staff away frm the portal and waves it once over the circle. "Guardians, rise!" he snarls. "Defend!" Those heaps of dirt? They begin to twist and move, and darkened hands burst from the earth, even as it rumbles at the feet of the cultists from Zee's spell. Two of the six cultists lose their grip on the spell, one falling fully, the other stumbling, while the other four manage to maintain despite the rumbles. Two more lose it to Fenris, and the other two aren't in good shape. However, the portal twists, and two large arms reach out through it.
An enormous demon begins to physically peel the rift open, two arms with only three scythe-like fingers each, holding it like a curtain as it starts to step through. It is fat, like the small ones, a lot more wide than it is tall. The whole of the demon is aflame with bright red fire, the 'skin' of it patchy with decayed skin and flesh. It is at this time that the little demons scatter, breaking out of the circle that the cultists cannot hold, and start to run amok into the groups of waiting people. A few of them rush Fenris to try to bite and claw at his feet, dancing around and annoying at him more than actually being damaging. The screams and chaos is suddenly everywhere. The cultists that weren't holding the portal rush to throw dark energy bolt spells at the obvious front target, Fenris, and the giant incoming Rain. They are not powerful but would still severely wound a normal person.

** Location summary: There are 6 zombies climbing out of the piles of earth at the ritual circle. They have 4 cultists near them which are casting bolts; 2 on Fenris, 2 on Rain. 6 of them on the portal (4 of which are interrupted). There is a big fat fire demon climbing out of the portal. Warlock (impressive hat) is near the portal. The little demons (a few dozen) are now all over the place, mostly amoung the Groups, but 3 are by Fenris, nipping. No enemies have targeted Zee or May yet.

Rain takes a deep breath at the howl. Bears do not howl, but it is still disconcerting. Rain's guns are modern, clip having pistols. They work as normal pistols do or they may channel Rain's magic. But given Rain cannot share her power in this form, well. Bullets still work, yes?

Rain roars deeply, swatting, and stepping on any demon babies in her way as she takes May into a good shooting lane at the man with the staff. Any offending baby demons getting too close? STOP! A nearby cultist is backbearpaw'd to stop his dark energy bolt. Another gets a good bite as she has to shuffle out of the way. Bears move fast over short distances, after all.

"Those cultists and the guy in the hat isn't holding that portal open. But they are trying to bring things through." Which means, if Zee's not detecting anything else on this side - it's either really cloaked OR the portals being held from the other side. "I'm going to try and work this out… " which means the others get to deal with what's here.

Eyes glowing bright blue, the teen mage focusses her will and speaks in that backwards way of hers… sending her magic probing the portal, seeing what she can sense on the other side …

Fenris is going to have to trust at the others have this. He snarls and charges forward right at the big demon tearing the rift open. That? That can't be allowed here and the god-wolf charges every fiber of his being with primal power in the instant before the impact. This is probably going to get all kinds of messy. Dog fights are not known for being… well they're known for sprawling a bit.

Hanging on to Rain-Bear's scruff as she lumbers and roars and swats and stomps and chomps and basically goes grizzly on their surroundings, May waits until they're close enough for her to get a shot at the staff-wielding and hat-wearing Warlock. Waiting for a moment of not-lumbering…. NOW. The pistol in her hand fires cleanly enough, even if she's gotten spoiled on the minimal recoil from the pistol Partisan made for her.

But then, one of those zombies comes after rain, and she has to sacrifice her grip on Rain-Bear's fur to pull one of her butterfly swords and swipe at the vile thing. Her sword is — as is now habit — coated in oil consecrated by a Rabbi in Jerusalem, and she can only hope that that will help here.

A zombie had unearthed itself, and moved for Rain. It isn't fast or spry, but looks pretty sturdy, with an aura of undeath floating about it, that seems … ugly to touch, possibly dangerous. May, however, cuts it apart, and with her oily sword, it moves no more, and the aura fades away. Rain launched one cultist flying into a tree where the cultist crashes with a scream, out of the fight; the other is missing a chunk of shoulder to a big bite, and tips over, still trying to cast with her other hand at Rain's side.
Three zombies move towards Impressive Hat, physically forming a barricade with their bodies. The other two look at Fenris, and start to shamble his way. …until he rushes past them. Then they decide Rain is better, and start that direction.
Fenris, who decided to assault the big demon head-on, definitely has the upper hand, because the demon hadn't finished climbing through: his tail and leg are still in the portal. He can't dodge, but he does brace, and shriek in defiance. Fenris will slam into him full in his fat body, forcing him partially sideways, the portal slices deeply into the demon's side, nearly cutting him in half. He lurches powerfully back at Fenris with both limbs, trying to twist him aside, so that he can get through the portal completely. A few toddler-imps chew at Fenris's tail and feet ineffectively. A few toddler imps are very effective on the other people, there's lots of death in the forest.
On the other side of the portal, that Zee is inspecting, is a group of three succubi. They are trying to wrest control of the portal, and are impatient about the big demon getting his big butt through. They are succeeding in taking it over from the cultists in the front.
As for Impressive Hat? He jolted the staff up, and blocked the bullet with it. However, the cultist that was still on the portal saw this, and shrieks at Impressive Hat, lunging forwards and grabbing onto the staff. The two start to have a tug of war with it.

Rain is in tank mode, not thinkymysterysolveyscooby mode. Anything in her path is getting mowed down. She grunts softly. Captain is holding on. She doesn't seem bothered by the scruff holding. It takes some work to pierce a godbear's hide. The bitten cultist seems to have a death wish and is summarily stepped upon. « Yield, or die, foolish mortals. You are but a sacrifice to be fed to a demon. Power comes with a price, » She reminds them.

She's keeping a somewhat clear path for May as she can and barrels forth, to deal with the zombies and let her shoot while the tug of war goes. Stomp, slash, lumber, pause. It's all an ancient, powerful rhythm. There is a deep grunt of pain now and then. But she is in the thick of combat. Regeneration later. Death now. A deep bellow. « THEN PAY THE PRICE FOR YOUR FOOLISHNESS. »

"Succubi…" Zee calls out with a shudder. She's had a bad experience with Succubi lately, so she's careful about how she approaches them. Focussing her power, drawing as much magic as she can too herself, the teen mage thinks quickly …. "Fenris, incoming." And then she speaks ….

The electricity in the air stirs, swirls, gathers to her will and bolts of lightning arc through the ajar portal door….

Fenris will take the pain. And it does hurt. He puts his considerable bulk to the task of stuffing the demon back from whence he came. The chewing doesn't bother him so much but the wrestling match is dangerous. The portal might slice into him as easily as the demon if it's not careful. "Deal with the others! I have this…" He thinks…

Melinda May tucks the pistol in her hand into her jacket then pulls her other butterfly sword and trusts that Rain-Bear isn't going to turn abruptly or stand up on her back feet or similar and throw her off. As the zombies try to attack them from either side, she swipes at them viciously with her swords, both to put them down and to make sure they don't gets any hits in on Rain. The kid doesn't deserve it.

The zombies on Rain get flung and smushed, but keep on going. It's a zombie trait. Their auras are sapping at life, spreading pain and suffering. And they're clingy, trying to slow and hamper the bear. Fortunately for Rain, that sword is quite effective, and the two zombies won't last long if the sword is brought to bear on them. The last three zombies, which are near Impressive Hat, just watch the tug of war blandly, lacking orders, it seems.
Electricity arches over the demon and Fenris as they battle for the gateway. The fat demon seems an effective blockage in the portal, there hasn't been opportunity for more to come through. Big gouts of black blood pour from the side of the cut demon, and it doesn't want to give way to Fenris, naturally. But as the electricity arcs past it and finds a mark on something just beyond the portal, the demon suddenly flinches, and Fenris is able to smash him back — as the portal clips closed, slicing off one of the fat demon's horns. The horn falls to the ground and bursts into flame. But the portal has closed, the air shuddering, stressed and nearly ripping again, but closed.
"Unworthy!" roars the cultist at Impressive Hat, but Impressive Hat casts, and a fireball erupts from the staff into the cultist's face.

It's weird how things blur. Amazing how well razor sharp claws that rend metal and sheer weight and power work. But she's definitely glad to have May there. Once Rain gets a feel for things a bit better, it's easier to work with May on her back.

« Man in hat. » She will kick away the zombies until there's barely enough, between her and May's bladeworks. « His servants seem idle, » The bear notes. Captain snorts softly at that. Nevertheless, Rain is going to make her way steadily, so the man in the hat and Cultist can get sworded or shot as needed. Still, she likely won't get out entirely scratch free. But it's better than what would happen if she stayed in nerdform.

Also it's best to have someone with opposable thumbs grab that staff. Rain is a bear. Grabbing a stick would have to involve a good ole chomp.

With the portal now closed, Zee turns her attention to what she perceives to the be the last threat on the field. It's been a long day for the teen mage and she's really quite tired and cultists and guys with Impressive Hats (TM) are keeping her for Kane and her bed… She should have known that Halloween would have been busy.

Eyes glowing bright blue still, she redirects that spell, pulling more electricity from the air … and sends the bolts of lightning done on Impressive Hat (TM) and that staff of his…

Fenris snarls again. Angrily. At least the big one is gone. He glares down at the mix of imps and mortals. "If you run now, I might forget about hunting you down later." Or maybe not. Seriously, he's not pleased about people messing with this right now. His hunting grounds, his rules. Or at least, you know, when he's around.

Rain and May make short work of the zombies that only move to engage when they actually appear to threaten the Impressive Hat. They were told to defend, after all, and they do it when the threat becomes really obvious.
Impressive Hat himself was in the middle of turning his underling into a headless ash-lump, when the electricity arcs down and slams into him. He was too busy with punishing his underling, he left himself open… and as the electricity spikes him he contorts and collapses, the staff falling aside and tumbling into one of the trenches of the ritual circle.
The toddler demons scatter when Fenris tells them to. Every which direction, they escape, although they hiss and mutter profane things in their demon tongues. Most of the cultists and other people (at least, the ones not too chewed up by toddler demons) that also haven't already left are in the process of fleeing too.
The piles of corpses and death are everywhere, the forest trees burned and peeled of life in this area. But the darkness has stopped, and the sky is clearing.

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