Follow The Way

February 07, 2016:

A message for four heroes … have them converging in Japan

Aokigahara - Japan

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

"Lalalalalala!"

It's something that plays over and over in the dreams of children. Read from the lips of teachers and parents, aunts and uncles who remember the tales. Like the dreams in which people fly, these disappear. The Earth that spoke in the middle of the night or when no one was watching falls silence as their essense disappears by a lone man stalking. Stalking behind a red cloaked girl who swings her basket not at night, not at day, but some 'time'.

The little girl reaches the cabin, drawing the hood from her head. The same tale as old as time, even as she knocks upon the door to her Grandmothers house. But yet, the door creaks open this time around. She was not greeted by warmth or anything that would resemble love or a sense of home nor danger. But a void that takes the air out of the room aside from the flickering candle that creates a dance of shadows in the background.

"Grandmother?" The young girl warily calls out. "Ar.. are you home?"

This wasn't right.

"M..my.. what deep voice you have?"

She didn't speak.

A crick of the rocking chair was the only thing heard save for the tha-thump of the young girl's heart. And as she enters into the lone cabin which would be her Grandmother's home, the door slams shut behind her.

Her gaze falls upon the chair that rock, a large man settling upon it. "Hunter? Is that you?" He says nothing, his movements were slow as eyes the glow of red soon surface from his dark spot, his hand reaching out to plant firmly upon the candle stick to blot out the light within.

*Szzzzz!*

And then she screams. An unholy scream that wrangles the forest and creates a shudder through the world. A shudder that was felt so deep it awakens the chosen four with a feeling of dread.

A shudder so deep that the letters that make up this fairy tale begins to fall from the books, one by one, like ichor that bleeds into the bookends and cases, dresser tops and floors into nothingness at all. A shudder so deep that the story itself, remembered, falls from memories to never be thought of again.

It's when the call came..

The man of the stars..
He who would eat the sun..
The Raven Queen..
And the Undying..

'Use The Way to Aokigahara.' - The Voice calls.

And it was urgent.


The Way. There's a certain audible capital to it. Way. Fenris knows at least where they're going. He calls to the others through the Ley Lines and trusts that Reese will get to Hal somehow. And then he's opening a portal. To Japan. The others, if he can find them, he'll reach with portals of their own.

Something is not quite right here. To understate it a lot.


Hal Jordan ends up getting tagged along with Reese. Quite literally, his ring hooking a line to her and being dragged in her wake like a puppy. He still has a burger in one hand and laments that he didn't think to use his ring to grab his onion rings, too. Still, his Dodgers shirt and his jeans are quickly replaced with the green and black costume of a Green Lantern.

"Well, isn't this a funky chicken shy of a disco…"


Awoken from her sleep, Astryd pushes her strawberry blonde hair back from her face, and quickly dresses. As Fenris calls, and the Way opens for her, the Valkyrie steps through, spear in hand.

Something is wrong …


The forest itself was massive and expansive. A thick fog rolling through their feet as they traverse. The being that calls to them was wise enough to lead the path, parting the fog so that none would become too lost within the forest and prey to the thoughts of those who had fallen in their times before.

Skeletons hung from trees unnaturally high from the ground, one would think that they managed to climb there, with the thought that if they picked the highest, most thickest branch that their minds wouldn't change in the aftermath. Though the trees could have easily grown in time from once the person chose to hang themselves some millinea ago.

Sure, Reese was leading the way for Hal, but who was leading her? Whomever it was, marked the path to where Fenris stood, and his presence was easily felt.

I mean, it's not ever day you feel that someone around you is trying to eat you just by looking at you. Try living with the guy when Hal was off on a mission. It stinks.

"I can sense Astryd." She says aloud, stopping where she was, her hand reaching out to grasp the line to give it a sharp tug in hopes that Hal would finally break it. It was hilarious in it's own right, but this forest and she had a history. She wouldn't be surprised if the rope she used nearly five decades was still hanging.. tethered..

Something was wrong, that was for certain. For a meeting called in this place wasn't something that anyone would expect. Perhaps this is what it meant. Use the Way to Aokigahara.


Fenris flicks his coat aside and draws a thick, heavy revolver but lets it hang down at his side. "I'd almost expect this to be Russia for all the ambiance." If a hut with chicken legs shows up, he's getting a lot of fiber in his diet right now.

The wolf starts to walk. There does seem to be only one way to go. And it's not that he's not worried. He just doesn't see any point to sticking around and voicing it.


Hal Jordan does, indeed, withdraw his binding tie to Reese, moving up to stand beside her as he takes in the forest. "Which means the…yup, yup, there's the other side of the coin, " he says in regard to Fenris. The ring begins to take an assessment of their surroundings, searching out energy signatures and generally pinging the radar to see if anything big, nasty and toothsome was lurking (besides present company, of course).


"I am here… " Astryd pauses moment, choosing her word carefully "Reese. Greetings to you Hal Jordan." The Valkyries grey eyes scan the forest, eyes lighting on the skeletons that hang there, she can feel the spirits, the souls lurking in the shadows - but those are not hers to collect … yet.

Spear held loosely in her right hand, the tall strawberry blonde turns to walk beside Fenris, keeping her silence as they move down the path.


Deeper..

Deeper into the forest the fog begins to rise, building a wall that was as tall as Hal and Fenris together, that easily towers over Reese and possibly comes close to clearing the top of Astryd's head. "Russia is actually prettier." Reese comments, but says nothing else. Her hand reaches out to nervously grip upon Hal's elbow as she nods towards Astryd, the path marked before them nearly becoming obscured as something kicks up the fog to disturb the path in which they travel.

A screech is heard within the sky, along with the beat of wings, circling overhead until the loud landing allows for a crack to ring out and a fall of a tree nearby. Upon approach, it stands.. two legs and a tail that lashes out, the pointed end thin and sharp enough to slice through the wind to cut the air.

Its scales were glorious, some matted with gold and a serpents tongue that reaches the ground, yet snapped up as it's head twists back and forth to gnash at the air. The webbed ears fan out to listen, its snout sniffing towards the air; the wyvern taking a few scrambling steps forward to unleash a growl of hot breath, threateningly at first. And then not.

They've came. They've actually came.

Wyvern's weren't known to speak, but something deemed this important. Something gave this chosen, wyvern the voice it needed to convey the message that needed passed on. And it was an odd sound. Half growls and shrieks in the backdrop of a voice that carried a rich baritone. That baritone was mixed and mingled with something of a childs softness as well, right before a little girl sprouts and hits her puberty. It made Reese's ears nearly bleed.

"You've came! You've all came!" The wyvern steps to the side, then back again, it's long neck lifting and head shaking as it tries to get used to it's.. collective. "We're in terrible danger, and we need your help!"


Fenris is known to occasionally deal with mythical wildlife. And normal wildlife. Hell he talked to most every mamallian predator in upstate New York the other day to get them to watch out for certain things for him. But wyverns? Not in a dogs age, as they say.

The tone of the voice, or rather it's pitch, makes Fenris wince and he glances first to Reese and Hal and then to Astryd. "Ow."

"You're in danger?" Mostly creatures like this A) Eat things that threaten them and B) like to stay hidden. The fact that it's reaching out to people such as the ones here? Speaks to some urgency. "What's happened?"


Hal Jordan really wishes he had his soda now. This is definitely a time to sip on a straw and look pretty while the magic people figure out what the fuck is going on. Hal really was out of his league with this stuff. Give him a giant spaceship or a talking planet or a rampaging intergalactic despot and he was a-okay, but the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual was firmly out of his wheelhouse.


Astryd levels her spear at the Wyvern as it stands. See Fenris' Note A on the creature. The spear is soon lowered as the creature speaks, but there's a careful wariness about the haughty goddess.

A tick starts, just behind Astryds' right eye as the Wyvern speaks. She's never truly been the maternal type, and it's been a long time since she's had to even listen to girlish tones. "Tell me about it, God-Wolf."


'Ow' was an understatement. It was one thing to get used to the way Fenris' sounds, or when Hal is snoring in his drunken sleep. At least Astryd had a soft tone so it would be easy to carry a conversation with her but this? Reese wanted to tear out her eardrums and set them on fire. She wasn't going to ask questions, she only turns towards Hal to press her forehead against his chest, grasping down towards his wrist to plant them firmly upon her ear. It was a serious cry for help and she was about to be driven mad from the noise.

Which the wyvern senses.

It hisses in Reese's direction, pounding it's two paws upon the ground, wings flairing defensively and head shaking yet again, it's maw opening to let the collection of voices out to answer Fenris.

"God Wolf." There was a shriek in there somewhere. It wasn't intended.

"Our Protector has abandoned us. And has turned on us. And he kills us."

It snaps his maw shut, then smacks again, opening his mouth. It was getting dry.

"The first of us has perished by the hands of our Protector. The wolf."

The wyvern shifts, then continues. "The grandmother. Then the child with the 'rot' cloak. Their deaths mark the beginning of the end of us all."

If Reese could hear what the wyvern was saying at this point, she'd laugh at the irony.


"Who, and where

"Who and where?" Ordinarily Fenris is a bit more talkative than that. But he doesn't actually want the wyvern to keep speaking. He wants the information sure and absent a telepath this is the only way to get it but… he's got good hearing. Really good hearing. He can pickout an engine knocking in New York traffic at rush hour. This? This is painful.

The God-Wolf gives his companions one more glance and begins to shift. Grow. He's assuming his natural form even if he keeping it to the small stature of a very large van. If something is about that murdered Wyverns he might need to not hold back.


Hal Jordan just conjures up a pair of large, green headphones. And subtitles the Wyvern. Literally, whenever anyone speaks now, the words will appear underneath their face in green energy. Really, Hal, Comic Sans? C'mon, dude, take this seriously.


Astryd has the tone of a warrior. None of this high pitched tonality. Of course she's easy to converse with.

She's heard the term - the wolf - and slides a look towards her companions. Reeses distress draws a wince from the woman, but then Hal conjures those gaudy headphones, complete with Comic Sans subtitles … it will do.

As Fenris shifts to his wolf form, the Valkyrie steps to the side "I believe, God-Wolf, they are talking of fairy tales. And the wolf is the aggressor here … Lead on Wyvern."


There was a slight hackle within the air, the wyvern was laughing. At least in dire times it still retained its nature. Though it's nature was being put upon, forced to mingle with the powers that be, so this.. what Hal did, considers it to be a 'fuck you' to those who made the wyvern approach people this night.

And it's too bad Reese can't read. But there was a good thing that she couldn't hear anything either. Still, the comfort of those around her was just enough to get her to relax to turn to face the wyvern, or at least where she heard it previously.

As Fenris begins to shift, the wyvern screeches highly, twisting it's head and backing up, not seeing it as a form of attack but not moving an inch there after.

"NO."

The voices raise, then back down again. "You must hear the story before you attack."

It scrolls across the screen.. comic-sans..

"What you people believe and what you've learned from us is instilled in childhood. All around the worlds those stories are told in their own rights. Their own manner and makings. It forms morality, entertainment, imaginationnnnnnnnn…" The wyvern hisses out that last word, gacking.

"The memory of these stories fade and imagination and lessons with it. Morality. See a world without those key things, see the children that lack those and what they turn out to be within their lives. The stories we tell were protected by the man who hunts usssssss…" The wyvern shakes his head.

"We do not know why he now hunts us.. but he hasssssssssss the power to be rid of usssss.."

The wyvern makes a circle, a turn in the rotten earth and back again. "Annnnd it starts with them.."

The powers that be that inhabit the wyvern draws upon the fog, covering the mythical creature, obscuring it from view. What is left is a flash of pictures. Pictures and depictions of fairy tales of old. Sleeping Beauty. Hansel and Gretel. The Golden Goose. Little Snow White. The Two Brothers and The Old Man and his Grandson.

The final image is of the Protector; a man of epic size by most standards, seven foot tall, black hair. Dressed in modern clothes, a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Along his arm is the form of a dragon, one that constantly moves and swirls along the image, ejecting itself from the mans skin to snap its small neck towards the image. And then it roars.

Funny that. The roar seems to echo through Aokigahara; trembling the trees within that perimeter to the point they begin to crack and collapse inward. The man slowly turns his head, looking over his shoulder, his red eyes upon the lot as a smirk curls his lips.

"I see you."

They've been found out. It was time to run.


Fairy tales have power. Fenris should know. He is one. And he's confronting this one in the seat of it's power. So yes. Time to run indeed.

"Astryd. Reese. Go. Hal and I will be right behind."

The God Wolf sets himself, draws up his power and howls. The force of it is physical. The blast of it goes out before him. He doubts it'll hurt the thing but it might slow him down long enough for Hal to get a barrier up and for them to both leg it. He just hopes Hal gets that. There wasn't time to explain.


Hal Jordan isn't sure exactly what's going on, even with all that he just so. Those images all seem unfamiliar - he can't even really remember them very well now - and he feels a bit sluggish. But he knows threat when he sees it and, whatever price he's paid, he's still Hal Jordan. His ring begins to glow, his silly accoutrements and the words in the air disappearing as he just reaches out and unleashes a blast of pure will, firing back towards the thing like a magic missile from hell, then forming a shield as they retreat, just a simple, smooth roundness to prevent them from being followed.


Fairy Tales, as many have forgotten have their origins in reality. Normally a very dark reality and Astryd is more than old enough to have confronted many of the originals.

Giving the God-Wolf one look, she reaches for Reese, hooking the womans arm through hers, drawing Reese to her side as they start back down The Way they had come.

The Valkyrie is, after all, a soldier and Fenris had given an order. It's unlikely she could face this foe. But if need be, she can stand and fight … let's hope it's not needed.


"Huh?" Cue Reese. "What's going.."

One of the advantages being blind is that she could feel the earth beneath her feet shifting. The trees around them were collapsing, not that she could see it. But she could hear the loud cracks and the roar just as the headphones she wore were ripped asunder and possibly dispersed with the energy they were made from. This wasn't good. What wasn't good was the order that was given and the way she was gripped and put to Astryd's side. There was no resistance there. No hesitation, she moves when Astryd moves and keeps an arm to shield her face just in case Astryd could not, and had to stand and fight.

Trees bounced. It was an odd thing that. When Fenris threw his howl it blasted everything that was meant to fall right atop of them forward. Right towards the illusion that was slowly beginning to solidify, his howl breaching that magical barrier which draws the dragon back into the arm of the man who suddenly turns and brings his arms up in a criss cross shape to shield himself from the blow.

But it only does so much. He slides back, foward knee bent, head ducked low until he slams into the wall with a fall there after. It doesn't knock him out, but it does daze him enough for the four to get away unscathed.

Behind the figure, the wyvern was already within the air, thankfully out of blast radius, but the wind that carries with such force knocks him into flight faster than expected, his own roar the sound of annoyance and an 'I told you so' to the powers that be. Fenris packs a punch!

But the forest was a lost cause. At least in that section. The sea of trees was vast as it was dangerous, for the ground begins to crack beneath their feet as the earth shakes, nearly parting and collapsing in on itself which heads right for the lingering two.


Fenris doesn't think they'll be able to fight him here. So he bolts when Hal does, catching up with Astryd and Reese quickly. "Powerful. I might be able to match him if I let it all go but he's in his own realm. Ideas?" As he asks Fenris is already reaching for the magic around them. He's a font of primal power and nature resonates with him. He should at least be able to get an idea of what the limits of this things powers are if they're confined to an area.

Protector turned wrong. A fairy tale. Perhaps they need to just… change the story.


Hal Jordan stares blearily at Fenris, "What?" he says. The mortal seems more affected than they are in some ways. "Fuck off, you…you…thing!" he yells back at the Protector, unleashing another potent blast of his pure will. No shapes, no constructs, no clever quips, just a furrowed brow, obvious confusion and straight up violence, the Green Lantern's power wrapping around them in a protective, instinctive bubble.


Astryds magic is so very different to Fenris's. She can't really influence things like that. Wings unfurl, towering above her head and nearly trailing on the ground, great grey/black things … as her own power manifests. "I don't know about changing the story Fenris… "

The spirits she sensed in the forest start to gather around her and with a push of her own will, start to converge on The Protector "Is that enough of a new story, Fenris?"


They were clearly clear of the blast radius, but the image of the Protector was still there. He slowly stands, the dragon snaking from his arm to unleash a roar right back, until it was caught with the green energy that fills the entire screen of the image which was soon clouded with the spirits that beat down into the green to attack the Protector as he nearly fires back.

That particular way was closed almost immediately, the man left to deal with the spirits and the lingering green lantern energy, the four 'warriors' (quotes cause Reese) left to their own devices and out in the open.

The man was gone, as well as the wyvern. All that's left is the lingering cracks of the earth and the trees that bend and hang over the cavern that they've all created. Reese had no words. No ideas. But her ear was turned and attuned to Hal with a slight frown.

"You swore." She states. "You never swear like that." But, she was going to let it go for now. For changing the story.. it could be dire. But then again, it could not. As it stands, this fight could go either way. And it obviously wasn't finished.

"Hal, we're staying at Fenris' tonight." Something was clearly wrong with the man. Maybe them all.


"Let me just…" Fenris opens a Way. If Reese is concerned about Hal the man is more than welcome to stay at his place. Astyd too if she likes. Whatever that was he gets the feeling they may not have heard the end of it.

"Yes. I like that ending myself. 'And all their enemies were defeated and they feasted on the bones of the fallen.'" His tone is wry as the portal opens. "I think we have guests for dinner anyway, Astryd. Maybe breakfast."

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