The Mage, the Monster, and the Rift

April 09, 2016:

Hax and company arrive at Rain Manor hoping to find a way for him to disappear from his assailant.

Rain's Manor




Mood Music: [* ]

Fade In…

The past few days have been hectic for Normand Shanks. Using Ways and leylines to bounce around the globe in order to throw an ancient, magic vampire off your trail takes a lot of work; especially when you don't want said monster to eat one of the nicest witches you've ever met. Or the many 'guests' that reside within said witch's house.

It's a bleak day an exhausted Normand and a mean Wolfgod arrive just outside Rain's perimeter. The winter weather didn't quite seem ready to be banished altogether by the budding of spring as is evident by the dark grey clouds threatening the surface below with the possibility of rain.

Normand turns to Fenris "Thanks for getting me this far. I know you are pressed for time so I won't ask you to stay if you need to be somewhere else" the mage quite sincerely. Without the Wolfgod and Mistress of Magic's intervention Normand might have been magic soup days ago.

"Welcome." Fenris doesn't intend to stay long, to be sure. But he wants to at least get Hax to the door. To that end he gives the rune mage a nudge and sets him going. Come on mortal. Into the witches hut. You know, most people avoid these, right?

Poor Normand. Born with the cursed destiny of being both delicious and nutritious. Rain is indeed at home, and she seems to be outside helping the staff plant flowers and pull weeds. Never abuse magic needlessly. Plus, they had to make sure that demonlord guy didn't leave more 'surprises' in the lawn. There's lavender, and various magic herbs. Plus regular flowers. "Don't forget the catnip!" Captain calls.

"Right, right." Rain is setting the catnip near some eucalyptus. Mosquito barrier. Even magic only does so much. Rain looks up, seeing their guests. She lifts a gloved hand. "Hello! How are you two? May we assist?" She ambles over to open the gate for them. "And uh, thirsty or hungry? I think I'm getting this hostess of the manor thing down."

Let's be honest here. Pepper has never had a reason to visit with Ms Moontree, and despite that the young woman has always been a kind and gracious host. Especially since she usually finds herself in the wine cellar without advance warning. Like right now.

Stumbling slightly at the abrupt change of locale, Pepper pulls her phone from her bag and uses it as a flashlight. "JARVIS? Could you please contact Ms. Rain for me and tell her that I've dropped in unexpectedly again?"

"At once, Miss Potts."

Zee arrives not long after Fenris and Hax. She'd been acting as decoy, leading things astray and once she was sure they were clear, had made her way to the Manor. It takes a few moments to get through the wards and join her mentor and friend.

"We're clear for a few, at the least." the raven haired woman murmurs "Hello Rain. Sorry for just dropping in." Blue eyes, not quite as blue as they once were, focus on the Manor for a moment. "I think you might have a visitor … "

Fenris's nudge gets Normand moving. Alright, Alright no need to tell him twice. Times wasting and the mage hunter could be anywhere. Normand waves at Rain "H-hey Rain. Uh, I have a, um, f-favor to ask."

He looks down at the wards and gates not wanting to intrude "M-may we come in?" gesturing to Fenris and himself.

The sudden surge of magical energy is felt by Normand and he begins to wonder if this is even a good idea. Hell all of his ideas have all been a tad… off (and thats putting it politely). But what he has planned could only be stupid it could be recklessly dangerous.

However given the circumstancess, Normand is backed into a corner and he needs to quickly vanish without being followed.

Normand sees Zee arrive and a visible sense of relief crosses his face and he waves at her. He knows Zee would risk her life to help him. She has on many occasions, but to act as a decoy for a near god-like creature to chase is not exactly any task Normand would wish on any of his friends.

Fenris doesn't appear to be inclined to go much further. He simply bows to Rain as she walks up. "I believe Normand here wants to use your rip in space." He means the dimensional locus down in her wine cellar. Yes, he knows about that. It'd be difficult not to.

"No trouble Zee?" Pepper's presence get's a quirk of an eyebrow but he's not going to ask right now.

Pepper Potts makes her way to the top of the cellar stairs and knocks on the door politely before backing down a few steps to make sure that she doesn't get hit by the opening door. And she waits patiently. It's not like she had a chance to call ahead, after all.

"Sure, come on in." Then a polite smile at Zee. Rain seems unbothered by wardpoking, since she's aware of the source. Rain opens the gate for them, and looks over her shoulder. "Captain, stop eating the catnip and help us fetch our visitor," She offers. She bows back to Fenris. "I see. I - use it?" Rain seems uncertain. "Well. We'll do our best. I guess at least the darn thing can serve a purpose," She muses.

"Let's go get our guest then. If you wish to come in, please feel free." Rain will let those who wish in in. Captain scrambles to the door.

Cats can open doors, after all. He batbatbatTUGS the door open. "Heeeeeeeeey. Wow, your hair is SOMETHING." He's high. His pupils are giving him away. Catnip'd. "How ARE you, darling? Please, come in. May we get you anything? Rain is coming back inside. She had to let visitors in."

"A bit, Fenris." Zee murmurs to the God-Wolf. "But nothing I couldn't handle." Indeed she is unmarked for a change - no bruises, no grazes. "We don't have a lot of time, Rain. Hax needs to be away, quickly."

Whatever happened in the time she seperated from the two men will have to be discussed later. For now, her attention is on the task at hand.

"How are you holding up, Hax?"

Normand's face says it all. Exhausted. Worried. Angry. Being hunted certainly does affect people. "I'm" he pauses "still here. That is what matters."

He gratefully accepts Rain's invitation and walks through the wards and protective spells looking over his shoulder one more time just to make sure SHE is not following. Walking up to Rain and Zee "It's just been a long couple of days."

Turning to the matter at hand Normand looks at Rain "What Fenris says is true. I want to use your rift to disappear. I currently believe that it works both ways. While people and objects can be sucked in from just about anywhere, my readings from our last meeting suggests that the path is a two way street."

Normand shrugs his shoulders as he reluctantly adds "But there is no way of knowing if going THROUGH the rift on this side is completely safe." Normand takes a couple of minutes to catch Rain up on the details of being chased by a god-like, magic vampire that tried to kill him a couple of days ago. Catching his breath "That's why I want to use the portal. If the portal's exit truly cannot be predicted than there is no way to track someone who uses it."

Pepper Potts smiles as the door opens and Captain is there. It's only a LOT of practice keeping a straight face that prevents her from laughing when he sounds TRULY catnip'd. "Um, Hello, Captain. Sorry to drop in unannounced. Again." She steps out of the cellar, making sure to move carefully around the currently altered feline. "Is Rain home?" At least she is here prepared — stashed in her purse is some tea she purchased just earlier today.

Captain beams brightly at him. "Hello! Yes, she is. They are - coming. Thisaway." He leads her to the door. "Seems kind urgent," The cat muses. "Why the rush, beats meeee." He is about to get the munchies.

Poor Normand. Rain looks worried. "I see. I'm sorry. I can give you a home rune to come back here through if you need." She considers. "It may well be a two way street. I -" She goes quiet to listen. Rain seems troubled, on top of worried. A stress sundae, if you will. The witch furrows her brows. "Well. I know you are no foolish wizard. So. Yes. You may."

Part of him wanted Rain to say 'no' that way he wouldn't have to jump into the unknown rift without any kind of experimenting. The scientific process is no joke. It saves lives. But those fears are quickly laid to rest as something begins to magically probe Rain's wards. Nothing physical is present in the area but a distinct magical power is trying to scry through the wards to see what's on the inside. Thankfully the wards appear to be doing their job as the magic is either redirected or blatantly stopped dead in its tracks like hitting a brick wall.

The magic presence soon fades appearing to give up or moving on. Normand's face becomes worried but a sense of resolve takes over as he looks at Rain in the eye, "Take me to it."

Pepper Potts is just walking away from said wine cellar with a particularly … gregarious Captain following alongside when the others approach from outside the house. "Oh. Rain. Hello, and I'm sorry. At least I didn't knock something over this time." She pulls a modest-sized metal tin from her bag. "I brought tea?" Her eyes flick over toward Normand as she speaks, clearly evaluating the young man but not saying anything immediately.

Rain look to Hax as he does his thing. "Sure. Did you want any supplies before you go?" She asks. "Going somewhere without food or drink would be - unwise." At least pack some snacks.

Rain smiles, waving to Pepper. "Hello Miss Potts. It's okay, it's not your fault. The tea would be lovely. I am sorry for the moment, I have an urgent need to poke at the thing in the basement. The staff can help warm us up some water after, if you like." But it seems to be worrying Rain, and she will lead Hax and friends to the basement. The heart of the anomaly.

Feeling the probe, Zee's attuned to the magic at the moment, her blue eyes widen and she gives Hax a shove. "Go and go now. My decoy is nearly at an end."

Pepper gets an apologetic smile from the mage "Hello Pepper. Sorry for the rush, but we have to get Normand out of here. Quickly."

Normand nods to Pepper "Ms. Potts"

Turning to Rain "I would hate to impose, Rain, but I would appreciate some supplies. I wasn't able to grab much before I went on the run."

Normand nervously looks over his shoulder as the same magic presence appears beyond the wards. This time there seems to be something more tangible behind the magic. "And the sooner I leave I think the bett-"

A raspy, inhuman voice is heard beyond Rain's wards "Where. Are. YOU!?". Nothing can be seen but a distinct presence is lurking just outside.

Happily, the golem and goat headed demon are on the case. The goat headed man wields strings as weapons. "My, my. We'll help you pack and deal with that fellow if he's trying to get into the wards. Fret not." A clap. Two women with horns. One has a TANK GIRL shirt on and looks like she could break someone's neck with her thighs alone. "Righto. Supplies." The demons and golem will pack food, water, spare garb and a sleeping bag for Hax. ANd maybe a rune of Teleport to Rain's Haus if Needed(TM). It's actually enchanted to be a good deal lighter, and with 5 entities packing, it takes but moments.

Rain furrows her brows, and hands it over. "Here you go. Some stuff you won't need to cook, vitamins and stuff. Good luck. If he tries the wards, it'll dump him out. Like mac address filtering. But more proactive. I don't know how long it'll hold. Good luck."

Pepper Potts blinks and looks after Normand. "Hurry. Go." Without hesitating, Pepper offers the phone in her hand to Hax. "Here. JARVIS, please reconfigure this phone for a new user. Mr. Shanks, JARVIS will help you with anything you need, including getting in touch with any of us, regardless of the hour, all right?"

"Phone reconfigured," the British-sounding voice emits from the device. "Mr. Shanks, when you have a moment, we can discuss the personalization settings you might wish to place."

With any luck that phone will work where Normand is going. Fact is, none of them really know where that is. Looking over her shoulder as the power culminates, Zee pushes Normand again. "You have to go. I'll act as decoy again, once you're through."

Before he goes though, Zee murmurs some words and pendant appears. Made of a green stone with small runic carvings on it. "Take this, and speak the words teL eM kaepS oT eeZ and you should be able to communicate with me. But … only if it's truly dire. Your nemesis will be able to track the magic, I'm sure."

With a final shove, and placing a quick kiss on Hax's cheek, the Mistress of Magic encourages him to go.

Rain does offer a shy farewell smile. Nod.

Rain winces. She had the wards set to alert her. She hisses low under her breath. Steven, the goat headed servant and David the Golem are already rushing outside to see what's going on, and if they need to deal with an intruder.

"Respectfully, we refuse to allow you in," She remarks. "Shoo! Go on, shoo! BAD MAGIC ENTITY!" She's got this. "Be well," She wishes Norman well. There's an unease as he /uses/ the rift.

There's a deep breath. "I'm gonna check my wards and watch things a bit. You're - welcome to stay for tea and lunch. The more eyes the better, I guess." Rain frowns. "I am sorry, guys." Captain is on his back, eyes wide. HE CAN SEE FOREVER.

Rain's wards begin to go crazy as violent ripples of magic appear by the front gate. Lightning and fire crackle together back and forth like an epileptic seizure.

The same voice is heard "YOU CANNOT RUN! LET. ME. IN!!!"

Normand knows his time is up he looks at his friends and nods"Until we meet again" and without hesitation the mage throws himself through the rift. The moment Normand's presence disappears the monster lets out a banshee like scream of frustration and anger. The monster disappears evidently trying to follow wherever Normand went. All is quiet once again within Rain's wards, but will it last? Only time will tell.

The pieces are set. The mage. The monster. The rift. Now it's time for the game to begin.

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