The Last Lion

July 23, 2016:

The Banshee is defeated but at a heavy cost.

Characters

NPCs:

Mentions: Fenris

Plot:

Mood Music: [* ]


Fade In…

The day is here. Today the Banshee will fall and the Goldmane family will be avenged. The trap is set. So much planning has gone into preparing for this moment. The mage is ready. Hax has asked Zee to help him with his ritual and to bring allies to help contain the monster.

With the circle of wards and rune stones all in place Hax waits with the prison book in hand waiting for his hunter to find him. But while the plan has been checked and rechecked several times over, Hax cannot help himself but feel nervous. Will the wards hold her in place? Will the rune stones dampen her magic sufficiently? All of this planning? if it fails it will mean the death of every person coming to help him. But the plan isn't the only thing on his mind. Looking from the circle of stones and wards to the book in his hand, "I'm… I'm not sure I'm ready" he says quietly to the abandoned fields around him. Hopefully the weakened ley line on this old farm will provide enough energy to catalyst the spell.

Zee straightens from a crouch, she'd been checking and double checking the wards and runes, to turn and face Hax, blue eyes glittering darkly. Eyes that are still not quite as blue as they once were. "That's good. That you think that." she speaks gently "It means you won't get overconfident. But you've done all you can do now and it's time to go to work."

It's meant to be reassuring but it's also meant as a slight warning.

"We'll be able to channel the power from the leyline through our pendulums and I'll add my own magic to it. It will be enough." she adds, sensing some of the other mages concern, as she slides her S'gian Dubh from her boot. If they need a boost, she knows what to do. She's done it before.

May stands off to one side, again carrying the Tengu katana alongside her butterfly swords, and watches the two mages prepare. Being the Muggle of the group, she is NOT about to step on the wards and things they're working on because she can't detect them. But she will help keep Hax's enemy under control while the… whatever they're about to do is completed.

Hax gives Zee a small smile. He looks at her for what feels like a second too long almost as if he's looking at her for the first time. Memories. Hax goes across to where May is standing and extends his hand for a shake. "Thank you for helping us prepare for this Agent May" and he offers her the warmest smile.

The moment of serenity is short lived as twigs and leaves begin to rustle. Something is coming. Something is here. Magical eddies begin to flow all around the circle of stones in billowing streams of blue and white which seem to be converging in the center of the circle.

Something akin to the crackle of lightning appears as something tries to force its way through the leyline. Hax clutches the book to his side and readies his hot-keys on the other hand "She's here."

Watching Hax watching her, Zee cants her head and smiles gently. At least he's stopped stuttering around her now. That's something.

"May." Zee walks over and hugs the agent, carefully of course. "You'll feel the wards activate, use your pendulum to help reinforce them. It likely won't be comfortable but if she gets out of the circle, we'll have problems." Taking a deep breath, the young mages eyes begin to glow and blue energy creeps up her forearms. "I may need your help more as time wears on. If I do, focus on your pendulum and direct whatever you feel to me, I'll do the rest from there." She'll turn herself into one big magic conductor.

As the power eddies, Zee turns with a nod to Hax. "Activating the circle now … " the blue energy now forms ropes around Zee's wrists and it snakes out to the circle. Air crackles as her power begins to power the wards. It shouldn't take long to do this - particularly with help from May and her pendulum.

May shakes Hax's hand and gives him a nod, then pulls her pendulum to sit openly at her neck to begin doing as Zee instructs. She starts by getting a feel for the ley line here. It feels … crumbly. She can't help but hope that when this is done they can also repair the ley line so it's not weak anymore.

And that's when someone or some thing starts forcing their way through. Decidedly unpleasant. May waits and calls on her pendulum to pool its energy in preparation. She wants to unleash the energy at the precise right moment to snare whatever that is arriving.

The portal continues to widen as clawed hands begin to push against the sides of the portal tearing it open. The Banshee steps through looking around and immediately sets her eyes on Hax. In a raspy voice, "There you are little one. I've been looking ALL over the world for you" she laughs "And here you are waiting for me."

She begins to confidently stride forward and then is stopped by a half dome of pulsing magic. Her eyes widen and looks around her and then she gives a shriek of a laugh "You really thought you could contain me!?" she waves her hand and the magic field begins to weaken "This. Is. NOTHING compared to me!"

Hax notices the decreasing magic levels of the trap "Zee, now!" he shouts as the Banshee begins to step through the containment wards.

Booted feet planted at shoulder width apart, Zee pours her own magic into those wards, uttering her spell and using her own will and intent. May will feel it, through the Leyline and through her pendulum and know where to direct her efforts.

The blue 'ropes' of energy hit the first rune and can be seen running around the edge of the circle.

There's a lot of pushback, to be sure… this is going to be a battle and then some.

May does indeed feel where the power she had pooling needs to go — the whole ordeal with the giant turtle leg taught her a LOT. She even tries to put a little twist in it, asking the pendulum to try and make 'hooks' to further restrain the being they're corralling.

The magic seems to spring to life as chains and barbed hooks materialize from the stones to enwrap the Banshee and drag her to the floor. The Banshee screams in frustration at the bindings and Hax calmly steps towards the larger rune stones and activates them. The stones begin to thrum with power and glow as they begin to sap magic from the Banshee therefore weakening her magic potential. Hax smirks down at the Banshee "You're not going anywhere or eating anyone today."

The Banshee's eyes grow defiant at the sound of that "You DARE to think you can challenge ME!?" Banshee's magic power begins to grow exponentially and she releases a pulse wave of disruptive magic that shatters her chains and begins to knock some of the stone out of alignment. "YOU DARE try to capture ME!?" she levitates herself up and steps on one of the stones crushing it entirely. "I am the shadow. I am the powerful. I am the DEVOURER!"

The Banshee raises her hands and begins to build a dark orb to launch at Hax "DIE."

"May…" Zee grits out "… your weapons should breach the wards. They're there to hold magic in, not projectiles." As she speaks, the ropes of magic are dividing between her fingers and she's murmuring another spell. As the last of the words leave her lips, the ground beneath the Banshee rattles and shakes - forcefully enough to unbalance her and hopefully interrupt her casting.

And still Zee casts, taking the next thread of her magic and building the next spell.

May hastily moves around to where the Banshee is starting to break through, swords in hand, and puts herself between the thing and Hax. She slashes at the Banshee viciously to try and make her recoil back into the circle. She's still also trying to send every spare dram of energy from her pendulum toward Zee.

The broken earth causes the Banshee to stumble and just before she perfects the orb May's swords flash steel across the Banshee's flesh causing a scream to erupt from her mouth and her spell hand to clench. The orb collapses but instead of dissipating the Banshee glares at Zee and redirects her hand towards Zee. Instead of a solid orb of dark energy, a black flame erupts from the broken orb and streams its way towards Zee.

The Banshee recoils from May's swords and finds her balance once again. The wounds seem to be closing on their own at an alarming rate and May can feel the distinct cold feeling at the back of neck of a predator staring at her. Regaining her composure "Why don't you play with my puppets little swordsman" and the Banshee animates the broken stones into small two foot tall golems that charge May.

Hax taking the chance to strike unleashes several hot-keys worth of spells at the Banshee attempting to keep her distracted while Zee gets the containment spell back under control.

Whilst Zee has been getting a lippy in some conflicts lately, this isn't one where she'll quip. Her concentration is needed to maintain the power she's channeling … grateful for Mays swords at this time.

The flash of black flame is met by a short, sharp, burst of Zee's own power - a single, backwards spoken word triggering that. She's parrying the flame, diverting it, just like she would a normal blade. And then another spell is spoken, sending three missiles of pure blue magic at the Banshee.

The Mistress of Magic can keep this up for a short while yet, she's grown in power and stamina over the last year, but she's victim to her body - and it's simply not possibly to channel this much magic for an extended time. Hax needs to move.

May being preoccupied with the Banshee's puppets flashes her swords and begins a beautiful dance of death until the puppets are nothing but rubble again.

Hax's and Zee's spells strike in perfect synchronization hitting the Banshee from two sides and knocking her back into the center of the circle. With the Banshee stunned for a brief moment Hax rushes towards two of the remaining rune stones and activates them with a pulse of magic. As the stones thrum to life the magic sapping effective is tripled which cause the Banshee to collapse and grasp at the dirt in agony.

Sensing that now is the perfect time Hax nods to Zee letting her know that the trap is in full effect. The writhing Banshee is temporarily restrained by the massive magic being channeled by Zee. "Guess it's time for Fenris' trick."

Using the cantrip Fenris gave him, Hax approaches the Banshee until he is mere two feet away from her. Setting the book down he draws a stone and a knife, "It's time you and I settled this once and for all."

The Banshee snarls a laugh at Hax "You really think you can beat me? Hahaha! I'm almost free and you are much too close for your own safety-" Fenris' cantrip begins to take effect "I. WILL. KILL. YOU. DEVOUR YOU. END YOU!"

May wipes her swords with a fresh layer of holy oil and steps up alongside Hax, using the tip of the katana to 'encourage' the Banshee to stay still or feel its slice again. And with the butterfly swords in her other hand, she's ready to add injury to insult on this creature if necessary.

"Stop talking." Zee almost snarls the words at Hax. This amount of power is taking it's toll and her body is limned in a blue light. "Do it." The energy around her flares and they feel the Leyline being tapped. How she's still standing after expending so much of her own energy is the question they might ask - if they weren't so preoccupied at the moment.

Once last push of magic to hold the Banshee in place and Zee's spells slowly start to unravel.

The bindings begin to fail but not before Hax cuts his hand and drops blood onto the stone. As the blood trickles over the stones surface it glimmers with a deep, dark power that radiates a blackish-red aura. Hax looking the Banshee dead in the eyes slams the stone into her face as she breaks free of her bonds and begins her leap towards Hax. The bloodlust caused by Fenris' cantrip seems to have effectively shut out everyone else except Hax from the Banshee's sight. Even after being slammed in the face with the stone she slashes a clawed hand at Hax who reflexively takes the book from the ground and prepares to use it.

"From the Void I open this gate. From this realm I open the way. Emptiness. Nothingness. Pour forth and devour all." Upon reciting the spell an unseen force begins to erupt from the book. "See you hell, Banshee"

May backs off quickly when Hax starts the last part of the banishing procedure, knowing that there's nothing she can do to help there. So instead she puts herself next to Zee. Just in case.

Zee power might be faltering but she takes her S'gian Dubh and draws it down the inside of her left arm, letting blood drip and pool on the earth by her feet. It will give her one last boost.

At the same time, Mays and Zee's pendulums glow brightly - both women feeling an influx of magical energy … which Zee directs along with her own power at the Banshee. Lightning arcs and sparks as the Cantrip takes effect.

The Banshee strikes true and rips into Hax's gut with a furious grin of satisfaction "I'M GOING TO EAT YOU NOW, LITTLE, PUNY MA-" and Zee and May's final resort traps the Banshee once again. The force begins to full on the very fabric of reality but only the Banshee and Hax seem to be affected by the pull. The Banshee's form begins to contort as she is forcefully being pulled into the book. Realizing what Hax has done "NO!!! I'm not going there! You CAN'T make me" she grasps at stones and earth trying to resist the pull.

Hax who also is slowly being affected glares at the Banshee "Welcome home, bitch" and the Banshee screams as she is pulled completely into the book.

It's over. The monster is defeated but Hax doesn't look so well. He falls to his knees as blood spills from his gut wound. Hax breathes deeply and heavily savoring victory for the moment.

May rushes forward the moment the Banshee is gone, dropping her swords to the ground and reaching into her pocket for that small emergency military-esque bandage pack she usually carries. "Shanks. Damnit." She doesn't get Zee's attention beause the magician is either already aware and preparing to help, or she's got problems enough of her own to deal with.

Zees head is reeling, that was an awful lot of power she just channeled. Stumbling, keeping herself upright by sheer will alone. At Mays comments, her blue/black eyes snap to the man and she makes her over. "Let … me…" The cut on her arm is still oozing, blood slowly mixing with the the dirt.

Her eyes glow one last and she speaks … in that backwards way of hers… and healing energy flows through Hax. There's no finesse. It's not gentle. It's like a sledgehammer approach to doctoring.

As the spell finally fades, there's a pale dark haired young woman barely able to hold herself upright.

Hax is stabilized thanks to Zee and May, but as he comes through there are only tears. "I'm so sorry" Hax says in a weak voice. The book erupts once more and a portal appears blacker than the shadows of night. Hax looks to the weakened Zee and turns back to May "Look after her will ya" he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a stone and clasps it into May's hand. "It's for her. It'll explain everything" he smiles "Goodbye"

The portal's force draws Hax in just as a figure of a man stumbles onto the ground in confusion. The man looks around him and speaks in an unknown language and blinks away from the scene. As Hax is drawn in the portal closes and the book goes dead. Whatever power it held it no longer has anymore. The wind sweeps through the scene and the rustling of leaves and twigs are all that is heard once again.

May frowns faintly. "What? I… wait!" But of course there's nothing she can do, and a stranger stumbles through as Hax disappears. She mutters a faint curse in Cantonese, then moves to check on Zee before she collapses. The stranger will just have to wait a moment.

"No.. Hax." Zee has nothing left to draw on though. The stranger has gone, they arrived and blinked out … when she's recovered, Zee will have work to do there but for now…

For now, she leans on May "Can you get us a ride out of here?" Her tone is emotionless. Whether she's numb because she's drained or whether she's supressing her feelings - only time will tell.

Maybe 'Zatannas' curse on Jes had hit Zee anyway. Die Alone. That's another friend the young mage has lost.

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