Bad Medicine

May 16, 2016:

A chant comes along the Leylines … calling Primal Force to somewhere in Canada.

Canada

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

There's a 'song' filtering through the Leylines. Not a song that anyone can really hear, but those attuned to those magical conduits can /hear/ it … a haunting chant that cuts to the soul.

Of all the members of Primal Force, Jes might well be the one to recognise it best. It's a song of her people and if she's got the knowledge, it's one of very strong 'medicine'. For anyone else, the song is haunting and powerful enough that they know 'something is wrong…'.


Do Lichs dream?

The Restless Undead — the Unquiet — are forever denied true rest. So what might be said of those caught in between? Walker Beck, keeper of the Lich Timat — and fast becoming a Lich himself — seldom rests, but often dreams. Of late his dreams have been disturbed, like wind picking up sand upon the desert and hurling it into the faces of weary travellers.

"The Leylines again…" the man mutters to himself as his floating hands set about dressing him as a valet might. Upon taking up his staff and pendulum, Walker leaves Crotchet — the Familiar is busy marinating in a pint of ale on the kitchen bench, singing a song about thongs — and promptly vanishes. His destination…

Wherever the rest of Primal Force is.


Jes wakes from where she'd fallen asleep reading one of Walker's books and frowns, the song strong enough to rouse her from a deep sleep. Remembering what they've recently discovered, that the enemy is using loals ignorant of their real plans whever they need to put structures, the coyote demigod is enraged by the thought.
If someone is using her tribe for their own idiotic world ending dumbassery, when she find them, they're going to wish they'd never tried it, then they're going to wish they'd never been born. And then, maybe, maybe she'll kill them. Slowly. Horrificaly. Such thoughts help her to contain her temper and retain the ability to think about her actions rather than just charge in shooting, no matter how badly she wants to, she won't risk hurting one of the People by mistake.
In a hurry to arrive Jes is clad in her necklace, sandals and a midthigh length blue flannel shirt. Her laser rifle is slung over one shoulder. She moves to Walker's side without even thinking about it. The urge to protect him stronger than ever before with this new bond growing between them.

May isn't usually prone to earworms. Most especially ones she's never heard before. That's the first thing that tips her off that something's off. And as soon as she figures it out, she gets out her phone and sends a text message to the one person she knows will likely have the moset intel — Fenris.

May: Leyline Radio is a new thing. Redundant. SHould I be worried?


Fenris is already there. The Song is something that he's been dealing with. It seems to be something directed through the oceans at his slumbering brother and that is not a comforting thing when you consider who his brother is. He's standing on the shore edge, listening with ears that do not hear sound. Something is most wrong indeed.


This time the shore edge is the edge of a river, somewhere in Canada. Zee arrives about the same time as the others. This is Zee. I'm on site. she sends out through the Leyline network for those that haven't quite joined them yet.

When they get there, the 'sound' of chanting gets louder and appears to be coming from one direction and if those who arrived listen carefully, it's one of those odds beats that seem to be fed back into the Leyline and out towards the sea.

"Another one?" Zee glances around, smiling faintly at Jes and Lichbane before stopping beside Fenris and glancing up at him "Tapping the locals again."

Walker will feel the restlessness of the souls around the area, they're disturbed by that's for sure. Jes should be able to follow this and find the totem that's been tampered with.


As Walker approaches the rest of the group, a grimace passes over his face and a hand floats away from his wrist to massage his brow. "No one will find any rest in this place…" he mutters to himself, although it is loud enough for others to hear. "Fenris," he says in greeting to the Old Wolf. "Zee, Agent May, Jesana, good to see you all, despite the circumstances."


Jes's answer is soft growl. She recognizes the sound this time. "They won't get away with this. They've gone too far this time. My people's rites and cermonies are being subverted for this.. this.. Rrrrrrrrrrr!" Maybe she's not doing as good a job at keeping her temper in check as she'd like but her self control is still shot and its going to be slow in returning to a semblance of normal.
At least she hasn't switched forms yet, or gone completely feral and she'll never say it aloud but Jes is very grateful for Fenris's presence. It's much easier to keep her head knowing he'll just bat her aside if she loses it. That thought and the resulting image draws a tiny giggle from Jes, a rather rapid mood change to the others perhaps but she's just glad to be calmer.


Melinda May looks at each of the others, but then focuses on Jesana. "You'll be justified this time." The giggle seems out of place, but then the young woman is likely very stressed right now. So she'll let it slide. "Call it, Old Man." Yes, she's giving Fenris the lead to plan this particular little skirmish.


Fenris nods. "Yeah they are." He murmurs to Zee and then turns to everyone else.

"Well, this isn't good. They keep putting these up as fast as we can knock them down. It's a sure bet they've got more people than we do, so they can keep playing this game long after we've exhausted ourselves. Time to switch the game. We've got a fair amount of magical juice here. Rather than knocking down their music box, I want to take it over. Walker, Zee, that'll be you. May, Jes I'm sure this'll piss whomever they've got when we start."


"We'll try to remedy that, Walker." Zee murmurs to the man before glancing up at Fenris, as he answers her question and nods slowly before looking at Jes and that giggle. "Not subverted, I think, Jes but definitely used - and remember, likely by the Shamans theirselves." Which is troubling, just as Fenris points out.

"Take it over?" Zee's eyes widen at that, that's a feat of magic and then some. Looking to Walker, the young mage nods slowly.

The totem is not far from where they are, and just like the others, it looks fairly normal on this plain until viewed with magic - then it's /huge/ and based on non-euclidean geometry. And through it, those that can sense it, flows the darkforce as well.


The necromancer blinks at Fenris and then at Zee, tucking in his chin and pinching the bridge of his nose between a withered forefinger and thumb. "I… am uncertain as to whether I can control that many Unquiet," says he in a quiet murmur. "Even to channel them into a single feat." He looks over at Fenris in particular.

"They will not come willingly." Then Walker takes a breath and nods his head. "But they will come." Following that statement, he walks a few steps away and stabs his crooked staff down into the ground. The Sha-head upon it starts to glow in sickly green and gold, and immediately the activity of the Restless Dead in the area… quickens. The Dead are awakening.

"They will bend, and they will break…" murmurs the necromancer, his head bowed. Then to Zee he asks, "Tell me how, and the Unquiet shall serve."


It takes Jes a moment to realize May is talking to Fenris. Old Man is one of her Father's names and she looks around with a 'what! where?!' expression before it hits her. With a sigh of relief Jes nods and takes up her rifle, moving into a protective stance next to Walker. "Let the bastards come. I'm ready."
So ready, and she isn't even going to kill them all if the attackers are human. No, a few of them will make a nice dinner for someone. Jesana grins rather wickedly before whispering to Walker. "Draw on me if you need." Her power is returning though her connection to it seems a bit off.


Melinda May pulls her 1911 pistol and pulls one of her butterfly swords in her other hand. "Ready."


Fenris steps back. The moment Zee starts to probe the totem there's a screech and a rending of the veil that was not caused by Walker. Several nature spirits rise up and seem to wrap in thorns. Those must be bindings of some kinds. They resolve into large bears and start to stalk forward, growling warning.

"Mmmm, those don't look too bad…" One of them starts to grow. A lot.

"Nevermind."


Zee's eyes widen as it all happens at once. Trusting the others to look after the 'guardians', she glances to Walker, she shrugs just a little "I've not done this before. Normally, though, I manage to meld the magics, combine them to work together."

"Can the unquiet anchor the existing spell, whilst I work to redo it?" Eyes glowing, blue energy dancing around her hands, Zee murmurs the words of a spell. Walker can feel her magic reach out, taking that initial investigation and starting to work at the edges of the bindings, seeking to undo them but not let them loose … so they can be retied and warded for them.


Jes gives Fenris a 'seriously?! did you have to say that??' look and sighs. "You ever hear, don't poke the bear? Cause its a thing. A thing you don't do." She can't even eat these later. They're nature spirits. Not actual bears. She gives her laser rifle a dubious look. Will it even work on nature spirits? Well, time to find out.
Jes takes aim and fires several shots, careful that if they go through the nature beings they won't hit her friends, her God or her necromancer. Brown eyes flash as they quickly scan the area and she listens intently. Hopefully Set didn't catch that stray thought or the following 'He can suck it!' and winces as she realizes that's a different and much worse version of poking the bear.


The ground cracks open in other places; this time every abyss leads directly to the Endless Deserts of Set — a corner of the Underworld. Walker gives Zee a nod of his head, eyeing the strange vines and the bears with some incredulity.

A bony hand appears out of one crevasse, followed by another…

And another…

And another…

More hands appears, all around the feet of the allies assembled to calm the leylines and end the threat — and all of them seemingly drawn like bees to honey to the Staff of the Sha while Walker floats in the air beside it. "Have you tasted Undeath?" he asks of Zee, somewhat ominously, and he shares his power with hers. The hands of bone and rotting flesh claw at the enemy magicks in the area, holding it, binding it — tearing and rending it.

Jesana will feel the drain of life-energy, even though Walker does not turn to look, or make any gesture in her direction. His mind is focused entirely upon the Undead in his tenuous control.


Melinda May looks at Zee and Walker a bit askance, because giant spirit bears… SO beyond her pay grade. But, she has to try. One thing's for sure, the 1911 won't cut it, and she is not getting anywhere near close enough to those things to use her butterfly swords. Thus, a hasty weapons change. Now she's got a length of rope with weights tied to one end. Sidling to draw the things' attentions away from the spellcasters, she launches her modern version of of a meteor hammer at the nearest bear-thing. This had better work, or she's seriously lacking in firepower.


Fortunately it appears that May's weaponry will interact with the bears. The muzzle of the one nearest her snaps away and it roars in rage. The one Jesana shoots does similar but it follows up the roar by charging the demigodling. Bear vs. Coyote round one.

The big one lunges at Fenris who ducks, letting it sail over his head and into the brush behind him. "I'll be right back."

And he will, though from the sounds of what follows after he vanishes into the brush, no one is going to want to interrupt him until he gets back.

Has Zee tasted undeath? She can answer that, but the magic in the area is focused into that totem and there's a lot of it. Changing the 'flavor' is a good start, but they have to change the form and purpose of what it's doing, from waking the serpent to something else. Then the two mages have to give it permanence.


Zee shudders as Walkers power combines with hers. She's been on the receiving end of a necromantic touch several times. She didn't like it. More importantly thought, as Walkers power touches her, something dark within stirs, responding to it. Anyone looking at her eyes will see the black flecks gather and coalesce.

The noise and the general chaos seems to flow around her - she trusts those around them to keep them safe as they work the spell to turn this /music box/ to their purpose.

What will change the form and the purpose? With the edges of the spell undone, the young mage works as quickly as she can changing the spell to work with nature, channeling the magic to bind it to the elements - in all things, there is balance, life and death … surely their combined power can do this.


"Hold…" Walker whispers intently, speaking to the souls under his command for the moment. How strong the urge — the compulsion — is to twist everything wrought here into a mockery of itself, just as Undeath is a mockery of Life. How easy it would be to fall, to take, to lay claim… and with the Old Wolf distracted, perhaps…

"No!" the man yells through clenched teeth, as green-gold flames erupt from his hands, his eyes and the Staff of the Sha. The draw of power from Jesana intensifies dramatically, and tendrils in the shape of many tiny grasping hands reach out toward May, and Zee…

And stop short.

"Death is a part of Life," Walker mutters to himself. "Death is a part of Life. Balance and not Corruption. Balance is not…Just a little longer…" And for now, the necromancer holds his own.


"Oohh fuck me." Jes curses. It took the hit but now it's just pissed off and charging her. She might be bigger than a coyote or even a wolf when she shifts but she is not bigger than that damned bear. Jes braces herself and waits til the last possible second to shoot directly into the bears face before tucking and rolling aside. She comes back up in a crouch, rifle at the ready to shoot again if needed.
Meanwhile she's very happy to find her connection to the earth is open and working at the moment so she can draw energy to restore what Walker is taking. It also gives her an idea but it's something to think about later, not here admidst the chaos of a battle and major magical working. "You can do it, Walker." Jes murmurs softly when she sees him struggle and then grins as he gains control.


When May sees the bear spirit focusing on Jes, she takes advantage of that and skirts around a bit before launching the meteor hammer again. Of course, that leaves her open to the one she originally targeted. That… might be a problem.


The spirit bear /roars/ in Jes' face and goes to maul her … until it's hit by Mays hammer, knocking it out. May though has other things to worry about as the bear that was targetting her, rises on its back legs and moves towards her. If Jes is quick, she might be able to return the favour.

Walker will feel Zee create that balance between Life and Death - melding their power with a gentle touch. He'll also feel the darkness within her respond, small as it might be, it's still got teeth … and the young mage is working to funnel that and not succumb to the 'easier' way of doing things.

As she works, they'll feel it … the tenor of the power in the earth around change. Shoots start forming on trees, grass grows, flowers bud … nothing unnatural, just perhaps a little accelerated.

"Now Walker, anchor the spell… I'll ward it." she grates out.


The floating necromancer nods once to the Mistress of Magic, and gestures with two broad sweeps of his arms to the Unquiet still clawing their way up from Set's dimension.

"Hold," says he, in tones much more firm now that Zee has found the balance between their two forms of magic. "These forces are not supposed to be at war," he tells the souls. "Bind it. In the earth you remain. Beneath the sands you sleep. Bind it to the earth, bind it to yourselves… and then rest."

He glances aside at Jes and May, wishing in a fleeting moment that he could help them, but he is forced to turn his mind to this single task… and when it is ready, the Unquiet loose a collective moan in a chorus and their master nods again to Zee.

It is now or never.


Seeing that May's weapon is more effective, Jes growls at herself for leaving her daggers behind and teleports behind the bear going for May, shooting right at the back of its head over and over, hoping to drop it before it figures out she's back there. If not, she'll have to be fast moving away.
Still she keeps one eye on Walker and occasionaly Zee to make sure they're okay, flashing the Necromancer a reassuring smile when he glances her way. "Never go anywhere without a knife." Jes mutters to herself. Iron is great againt a lot of things.


Melinda May sees that Jesana's rifle seemed to be less effective than her weapon, so she chances sacrificing another shot at the bear thing to pull one of her mithril butterfly swords and tossing it to Jess. "I'm going to want that ba—" And that's when the bear spirit takes a swipe at her and sends her tumbling several yards away. And she's down for the count.


Jes shooting at the bear is effective, it drops to the ground and dissipates, leaving May and Jes on their own, with Zee and Walker engaged in their own 'battle'.

As Walkers power snakes out to bind the spell, Zee's eyes glow even brighter highlighting just how dark they have truly become, and sets the final wardings on the spell.

The 'song' fades slowly, but eventually all is at peace. The small clearing where the totem sits is burgeoning with life, accelerated for the moment as the spell takes effect demonstrating the balance, the wheel of life.

Turning slowly to face the others, Zee doesn't smile, the strain of that working has taken its toll. "Jes, get May and take her back…" she says quietly "I'll be leaving in a moment …"


"Please…"

"Please let us go…"

"…let us rest."

"Please…"

Voice after voice makes the same whispered plea, once the spell is complete. Walker's shoulders slump and he slowly sinks to the ground, lays hold of the Staff of the Sha and uproots it from the riverbank. He speaks no words, but merely nods his head several times, his eyes closed. There is a sigh, like a breath of wind, from the souls drawn to serve and gradually the hands of bone descend back into the ground; the earth closes up around them as if they had never been.

"I'm sorry," Walker murmurs, and shakes his head.


Jes catches the sword and then resheathes it for May, and then will help her to Fenris's house to recover in a moment but before she does… "You did great Walker. You too Zee." Apparently she decided not to comment on Zee's eyes, trusting that the mage knows what she's doing. Jes quickly moves over to her friend and ducks to kiss the top of his head. "Don't be sorry. It's okay. I'll stop by after I get May settled. And she'll be bringing him someone..er.. something to eat. "Take care Zee." Jes collects May and disappears.

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