Repairing The Pillar

July 12, 2016:

With the ritual organised, it's back to China for Primal Force so May can repair the Pillar of Heaven



NPCs: Captain



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

There's a Pillar Of Heaven and it's damaged. NuWa the the Goddess credited with creating mankind in Chinese mythology has called The Daughter of Dragons to aid in repairing it.

It's taken Primal Force many long weeks to get the components and ritual together. Lots of reading for a raven haired mageling and lots of exploring for the others.

So it is, the team is now returning to the highest place in the old Shang kingdom, Mount Tai, a place also known as 'Jade Emperor Peak'. This time, May's had time to arrange their arrival and the Quinjet had landed on the slope, like the last.

Sure, Zee could have teleported them all in - but it's China and they need to be careful about arriving the with the numbers they have.

As they reach the peak on foot, Zee finishes explaining "With the stones responding to you as they do, May, and the hilt of the sword having spaces for them, you'll need to fit them first. Then smelt it. I've asked Fenris to help create a fire hot enough for that."

"The five stones each symbolize the essence of the five phases - wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. We've got fire covered for the smelting, Rain you've got the reeds so that cover the earth. Jes, you have the water bottles. The sword covers metal and that leaves wood."

"Once May begins the smelting, we will each in turn, add our components, with the ashes of the reeds being spread last. I don't doubt either, that we'll need our pendulums to contain the spell while it's cast."

It's going to be a matter of timing and precision, to pull this off - and Mays going to have to lead it.

As they arrive at the summit, there's a place that could have once been a forge, complete with a recepticle to melt down the sword.

"Any questions?" the young mage steps back gesturing for May approach the Forge, they'll get the fire burning soon… but while that's happening, she can prepare.

Jes had taken a very brief side trip to run and roll around in the woods as coyote the moment they landed. She couldn't help it, riding in a plane, even one as fast and safe as a quinjet had not been easy for her. She's still looking a bit.. wild about the eyes but quickly caught up and follows close to the others. The water bottles are safely tucked into a small leather satchel hanging from her side.
The native american is dressed more causually this trip, new blue jeans and a deep sunset orange cotton peasant blouse that flows out around the wrists and waist to hide her knives and gun. Leather belt and hiking boots complete the look. She shakes her head no and starts removing the bottles and carefully setting them near the forge. Her pendulum lies outside her shirt, also ready.

Erf! Captain and Rain will turn up. The two don't seem to mind exploring, though Rain is hardly the most adventurous types. She keeps her adventuring to video games, thank you. Life in a witch family has had her see the results of many ill fated quests. Uncle Phil being eaten by a nightgaunt in the produce aisle was just one of them. It's probably not wonder Rain is /cautious/.

Captain has on a silk shirt, which has likely amused nearly anyone passing him. Rain herself has on a sensible hoodie. Her charm dangles from a hook made on one of her relic guns. She has the reeds bundled up protectively, in a circle case - like one might transport giant pick up sticks. "We're last, got it." She nods. "I'm good. We believe in you." She does take a sip of water from a water bottle. Regular water.

May has seen forge work done, but she's never actually done it herself. At least she knows how to start a fire, and she brought honest to go lumps of coal to use. They burn hotter and take longer to exhaust. She looks at the others before setting the blunt practice sword they were allowed to take from the Shaolin Temple on a nearby surface that might seem to be there for this purpose. Next to it she sets the warded box with the stones inside. She has every intention of waiting until necessary before opening that box. The stones are … distracting.

Now would be the time to start fitting the stones. Zee moves towards the forge, eyes glowing and blue energy dancing around her hands … as she speaks, a stack of wood appears - chopped and organised for just this moment it moment.

"While I'm getting this set up, Jes will inscribe a circle around the area? Rain, as Jes does, please set up some wards - we don't want anything disturbing the ritual." the young mage figures this will be a good lesson for Jes - basic wards are always handy to know.

After stacking the wood under the forge along with Mays coal, she steps back as the blue energy forms once more … wrapping in thick cords around her wrists as she intones the words of a spell.

The fire spring forths, burning red, then blue … sparkingly with arcane streaks as it gets hot. It will be minutes only and May can start. Zee's thought this out fairly well.

Jes has learned a few at this point, its just, they're in Egyptian and draw Set's attention. So she watches Rain rather intently while using the tip of one of her knives to inscribe a circle around the forge. Even if a magic isn't in her ability to do she's still interested in learning about it. There's always the chance she can modify it to work for her. Fenris teaching her to magically escape bindings led to some great magical experiments after all. Of course it also led to a very embarrassing and unfortunate incident but… such things happen.
Jes has seen and been around a few forges but hasn't really worked them. Her skills are with herbs and medicines and leather making, carving a bit even but not metal working. She won't be a lot of help there but Zee seems to have it all in hand. Jes pauses after getting the circle drawn to give May an encouraging smile.

Rain nods. "Sure thing." Rain's magic is a bit unorthodox, but she'll do as her mom did. The first few rituals are done with runes and gestures. And so, Rain sets down Captain. "Alright, Coyote Kid, we start with the right runes. Once you get ticking at it, you can ditch the runes." Like trainig wheels for magic.

Because really, you don't wanna fall off the magic. Rain's magic is drawn from an ancient tradition of witches - likely largely German and Russian, thus stoic and also probably full of booze. But she has no idea who or what her dad is. For now, she starts about her basic ritual. Wards. To reinforce the barrier of reality about them. Good ole generic pagans. Or are they purposefully generic to avoid unwanted attention? Regardless, the wards are tended to before any worry about reeds starts in.

Melinda May watches the others for a moment, then as Zee magically starts the forge fire she opens the box and sets the five stones into the voids in the practice sword. Without realizing, May finds herself placing them in an order that she can't really explain. It just … seemed the proper way. Damnit, Phil. She's quoting movies in her head again. She knows it's her own internal way of processing a stressful situation but … Dune? Really? But, it'll really be time to worry when she starts tossing out wisecraks from Big Trouble in Little China. Especially considering she HATED that movie. "Ready when you are, Zee."

"It's all yours May. I'll keep the fire stoked and burning hot. You three go ahead and do your things."

As May smelts the sword, Jes will add water. Rain will need to burn those reeds to be ready.

As to the wood? Well, Zee hopes that's covered by a deity but just in case, she's got a little something up her sleeve.

As they begin the work of combining the 'phases' … their pendulums start to glow softly.

It's a good thing Jes can't read minds, she'd be unable to stop the snickering at May's thoughts even though she entirely understands methods of distracting from stress. She has many of her own, and no, not all of them are entirely violent in nature. "Fenris uses runes too." Jes murmurs. She's learned a few, well, what they mean at least. She hasn't really practiced much magic on her own yet.
Jesana snags the water and moves into place. She's ready to add it at the proper time. When her pendulum starts to glow she doesn't pay it any mind. It usually doesn't do that true, but she can feel what's happening with it and isn't worried. She's never felt so in tune with a thing as she does her pendulum. It's the one thing she never goes with out and the rare times Jes needs to take it off for a moment are the only ones she's felt naked in her life.

Rain would be sympathetic. Feeling the pressure is nerverwacking. Captain nods, "Yeah, but I'm not a wolfomancer," He points out. "It's a different style from ours." Thank gods he didn't crack a dogomancer joke. "Sorry," Rain offers to Jes. The cat might be concerned, too. His tail flicks periodically, the end half wriggling more furiously. The snakewiggle. It's serious.

Rain is prepared, thankfully. The lid of the reed holder should double nicely, as reeds are slowburned, incense style. It's a bit slow going but they move into place.

Fenris steps through a portal just as someone says 'wolfomancer'. It's enough to get her a quirk-browed look. Why would anyone want to.

"Someone called? And needed me to do something with the element of wood?" There are other ways to say that which might have been awkward.

"We'd better hurry though. Pressure's building again."

Melinda May moves the sword into the magic-enhanced forge flames, making sure the part where the stones are resting is what gets the most direct application of heat. Letting it rest there for a moment, she reaches into the duffel bag of supplies she brought along and pulls out a pair of those blacksmithing tongs used to pull things from a forge. 'Cause there is NO way she'll be able to touch the sword after it's heated sufficiently. She looks over at Fenris arrives, just in time. "Good timing, Fenris. And long time no see."

"Did you bring it?" Zee bites her tongue, there's so many things she could say in response to Fenris' entrance - all them extremely inappropriate. "Char it in the flames and add the ashes to the mix, please." Eyes glowly darkly, she maintains the flames, keeping them hot.

The sword heats and starts melting - mixing the coloured stones with the steel as it drips into the recepticle below. As Jes slowly adds water, the mixture swirls and glows with an arcane light … what will it do when the other phases are added?

Rains reeds burn steadily, the pile of ash growing. She knows that once the water and wood are done, to sprinkle the reed ash on top.

Outside the circle the wind picks up, slamming against the edges of the smithy. There's a strong smell of ozone in the air too … there's another storm brewing - and this one a doozy. Fenris wasn't wrong when he said the pressure was mounting.

The pendulums continue to glow, getting brighter and the effects of the ritual begin … Just outside the shelter where the Forge, the air shimmers - and something starts to become visible. Is that the leg of a tortoise?

Jesana griiiins and snickers. She's been being so good but.. Fenris has wood. Oh and she can't even say it aloud cause May would probably pull her tongue out. At least it wasn't her that summoned him this time, and she isn't being scared half out of her skin. Definitely learned her lesson about saying her God's name without thinking about it though… probably. "He's always got the best timing." Jes mumbles and blushes, thinking about the trip to the Faerie world.
It hasn't been so long since she saw her God but she leans over to kiss his cheek anyway. She's always happy to see him. Her attention quickly returns to the sword though. This is giving her ideas. Things to try someday in the future when she's more skilled. It's also very interesting to watch, not the kind of thing you see everyday after all. Her restless and mostly innappropriate thoughts begin to settle as she focuses on the working, intently aware of the scent of the wood and coal in the air, the tang of the metal being heated, and so much power filling the area. All o fit a vast array of scents that she couldn't decribe with human words if she tried. Zee and Rain and Fenris all have different magic, different kinds of power from herself and none of them smell the same.
And then there's May, and the faint humming of the stones in the box that Jes doe sn't hear yet through their warding but knows and remembers. She's aware of the coming storm and the pressure growing outside, ozone on the wind. And something.. something else. Slowly Jes turns her head from the forge and looks towards the shimmering. "Uhm.." She squints.

Fortunately, Captain knows better than to rile up Fenris himself. Captain was the speaker, but if Rain catches the look, so much the better. Happily, neither of the two giggle at the mention of wood.

Rain is watching, appreciating the goings on as her pile of ash in the lid grows. It's deep enough that wind won't catch her reed-dust. The two feel small, strange and tingly in a sea of magical energy. It's like being wrapped in silks and forests all at once. It feels very primordial, and more than a little overwhelming.

Captain is keeping watch, as he can't really participate in this ritual. "Uh. I really hope that's not a teenaged or mutant," He comments about the leg of a tortoise. Of course, it's not /ninja/ because this is not Japan. Obviously.

In the past, being the 'Muggle' has insulated May from the more subtle magical sensations around her, but not this time. And it's honestly bordering on overwhelming. She can FEEL the metal of the practice sword heating in the magical flames, the stones resonating where they sit againt the metal practically adding musical sounds to the air. She's so close to completely entranced by the stones and the metal that she doesn't notice her own Pendulum start glowing, much less the increasing indications of a storm just outside the warded circle that Jes and Rain created.

"I do." Fenris hands over 'it', it being a piece of very, very, very old oak. It had been a spear shaft for a greek hoplite. It's soaked in blood… metaphorically. Spears didn't tend to survive battles, so probably not literally.

The hilt of the sword is now fully melted and fills the pan in an oddly glowing mix. As Jes adds the last of her water and Fenris the … wood … Zee murmurs "Now Rain. Spread the reed ash over the top."

As the lavendar eye Witch adds her component, the mixture sparks brightly - like burning magnesium.

Outside, the air shimmers and clears, displaying a giant turtle leg. All of them can see it and the cracks and fissures that were wrought by the fitful slumbers of the Midgard Serpent. The worst though is at the base, within stretching distance… It's clear that's where May should start.

"It's ready… " Zee murmurs. Did the completion of the solution make the Pillar appear or was it something else? "Let's go…"

As the group steps out of the shelter, the wind howls around them and lightning arcs through the sky. This is no natural storm - wrought by the injured Pillar, but there's something else behind it, driving it, a dark energy. "You three go…" Zee instructs "Fenris and I will contain this, give you time to work." She looks to mentor, worriedly.

Jesana looks around at the storm and smiles. Darkk energy or no, she loves a storm and wishes there was time to simply run about in it but not right now, there's work to be done and so she resists that temptation and nods at Zee. Stepping into the gale without worry or fear, Jes offers one arm to May and one to Rain. If the winds keep up they might need her strength.
"You can do this May. We're here with you, you aren't alone and you'll be fine." The native american pitches her voice loud and clear. She's determined this rite doesn't end in a sacrifice. Not when all of them are there to lend their power and May is the one doing the work. She isn't willing to let another person she cares for go so easily. It's probably her greatest weakness, and also one of her strengths.

Captain will keep watch, taking some cover. He is a cat, after all. And he's not one to rile up whatever is out there. Cats are ambush predators. For now, Rain accepts an arm.

"Right." Nod. She seems - moderately certain. Maybe dating a cute lawyer boosted her confidence a bit. Or she's trying not to worry May. Whatever the case, Rain and her magic seem to play well with others.

Melinda May nods to Zee and steps forward, accepting the stability and support of Jesana's arm. She looks at the cracked turtle leg, and then has a sudden moment of doubt. How is she supposed to get MOLTEN metal from the forge over to here? She can't stick her hands in the stuff if she wants to continue HAVING hands, and she doesn't think any other sort of vessel that she thought to bring along would be suitable for conveying molten metal either. She glances at Zee again, her expression one of faint concern, which for her means she's THIS close to panic

The fires on the forge die, leaving the dish sitting there - cool to the touch but the metal still molten. Hey. It's Magic.

As May reaches for the dish, the air around it shimmers and a jade trowel appears. That will answer how she's to apply the mixture. But she's also the pendulum to guide her.

As the group approaches the pillar, their pendulums tug and pull … It's going to be a group effort. May can apply the mixture but the others … feel an urge to channel their power into it, as she does.

For Fenris and Zee, the winds rage at them and the lightning strikes out. The young mages hair is whipped every which way, elemental magic isn't something she's overly strong in and the best she can do is cast a shield around the others, which leaves her open as a lightning strike arcs and hits right at her feet, causing her to stumble backwards. "Uh, close too close."

Jes turns her face to lookat May, surprise lighting her eyes. May is one of the rare people its hard for her to read but its not easy not to scent or sense the growing fear. She has to take a moment and look at the situation through someone else's eyes to even see what could be frightening. She loves the storm herself and the giant turtle leg only makes her realize she's hungry.
"It'll be okay." Jes smiles again and joins her power to May, sending a wave of reasurrance and support through her earth magic. She's far more adept at channeling tht power to others than she is using it so far and it's not a hard task. She keeps her focus on keeping May and Rain upright in the storm so that they can work. It's tempting to look back and check on Fen and Zee but she doesn't, trusting in them to be able to do their parts despite the danger.

Okay, so that's how. Useful. It doesn't totally resolve her unease, but it sure helps, almost as much as Jesana's spoken and channeled reassurance. She takes the dish and trowel with care and trusting her Pendulum to guide her, she reaches to start applying the molten concoction of metal and magic to the turtle's leg where her 'gut' feels it's needed the most. Please don't be wrong. Please don't be wrong. Plese don't be wrong.

Magic is as much about as intent as anything. With Jes and Rain adding their focus to the magic and May doing her thing, the solution glows even more brightly, filling the deepest 'wound' and then spreading upwards.

It must seem like hours to May. It must seem like hours to Jes and Rain. The work is tiring. Channeling magic and focussing it. Eventually, the glowing liquid looks like veins, reaching up as high as the can see and then further.

There's a resounding crack in the air, and the storm abates. Of course, the magic build up in the Leylines is still there and that will need work before they leave.

On the top of the shelter, two little Mushu's appear on top of the smithy - one red and one green. "You did it!! Nu-Wa said you would. She said that the Daughter of Dragons would bond with her crystal and be able to fix the Pillar."

Zee drops the shield she was maintaining, looking rather mussed - the static electricity build up in the air making her hair stand out. "Well done, May, Jes and Rain. There's a little more clean up and then we can go." The little mushu's get a faint smile, but she's already onto other stuff.

Jes eyes the little dragons and sighs. No eating food that talks back. She's so hungry… Their excitement is cute though and the demigod smiles. "I knew you'd do it." She turns and hugs May tightly before taking a crosslegged seat nearby and closing her eyes to help with the leylines. She is so not taking the jet back home. Hell, she's not even going to go home first after this. She's going to go hunt and then find a fight or six and after that, maybe. Or maybe she'll just sleep for a few days and then do all that… Jes yawns before bending her will to this last task.

Melinda May actually accepts the hug from Jesana and really only spares a glance toward the little mushu dragons before she again asks the Pendulum for help, this for a slightly more familiar task: siphoning off the excess power built up here to relieve the 'pressure'. She tries to remember exactly what they did last time, but it's just… not the same. So again she follows her 'gut' on what to do.

The little mushu's hang around, annoying May for the duration as Primal Force finish the tidy up. After an hour or so, the work is completed and they depart.

The only ones who know what truly happened - themselves and the little dragons - but disaster is averted, once again.

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