Bloodless Retribution

May 17, 2017:

Elinor Ravensdale tracks down the creator of the phylactry used to terrorize the bank building, and decides to offer a unique brand of justice.

The Bleeding Eye, Gotham City

It's not the worst area of town in Gotham. Honest.

Characters

NPCs: Razor, emitted by Jessica Jones

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Elinor's efforts to trace the maker of the phylactry require a mix of various efforts: an exercise of magical senses, a few words from the ghosts.

But eventually she gets a location. It's a small occult store in Gotham called The Bleeding Eye, a run-down old place that looks like an old pawn shop. It's in that part of town that is stuffed to bursting with Payday Loan operations, liquor stores, and run-down old buildings. The little building squats like a toad, ringed in with burglar bars and peeling paint.

On the door, she'll see a symbol of a bleeding eye, hand painted in a way that fits right in with the seedy exterior. A red neon sign in the window declares the following offerings:

Palmistry
Tarot
Mystic Volumes
Inquire Within

—-

Elinor hasn't had to do a lot of tracking this way in a long time. It was a great exercise in using her powers and resources. Though seeing the neon signs on the outside she tilts her head to the side. This is going to be a very interesting evening. She has her satchel over shoulder and her signature black on black outfit. She opens the door, keeping her senses open and waiting to see what is in store before her what is on the otherside. "Hello?"

—-

There is a pale woman standing behind the counter, perhaps in her mid-to-late thirties. Half her head is shaved, and the other half twists and rolls down her shoulder in a waterfall of curls that have been dyed bright blue. The shaved side has been tattoo'd in various occult symbols from the darker traditions, a mishmash of different ones, but all speaking to a practitioner of the Left Hand path. She has ice blue eyes, and regards Elinor thoughtfully as she enters.

She lights a cigarette, takes a deep, long, inhale. Flavored cherry tobacco. One might expect her voice to be smoke-roughened, but it's a pleasant, soothing thing. It's the kind of voice that makes babies instinctively want to fall asleep, something that wouldn't be out of place in the office of a skilled psychiatrist. It's also touched with magic in its own right.

"Well, well. A Sister of the Craft," she says by way of greeting. She takes a long drag on the cigarette. "You didn't come looking for the usual baubles."

—-

"Indeed." Elinor says politely as she adjusts the satchel on her shoulder. The Phylatary is inside, but she doesn't pull it out yet. "No I'm not here for baubles, I have more than I need at home. Honestly I was looking for information and I was wondering if you could help." After all she offers oh so much according to all of her bright and gaudy signs. "Do you deal much with ghosts? I didn't see that as part of your advertised signed, but I figured I'd ask."

—-

The woman takes a long drag on the cigarette and studies Elinor with eyes that have suddenly gone a trifle hard, though her magically-enhanced dulcet tones are quite mellow indeed, as if she's not concerned about anything at all. "I don't deal much with ghosts, no. There aren't too many truly good ectomancers out there, and I wouldn't really count myself among them. I'm not unfamiliar with the spirits of the dead, however. I try to get a little basic familiarity in pretty much everything. Why do you ask?"

—-

A smirk twitches on her lips while she listens. "No I cannot say there are many good ectomancers out there, they are very rare indeed." Reaching into her satchel she'll pull out the phylactery and let it tunk on the counter between them, before she tilts her head at her. Her voice is low and quiet and there is a dangerous edge to it. "But no, I would not counter you among even the least of ectomancers. Care to explain yourself?"

—-

The woman tumps out her cigarette in an ashtray that sits on her counter, and lights another one. She looks at the phylactry and arches an eyebrow. "My explanation is that some woman has walked into my shop and dumped some magical garbage on my counter?"

She's lying, of course. The magical signatures resonate with hers; they vibrate in the air between creator and created thing in a sort of discordant song. But it's the first defense of someone who is used to dealing with those who are far less sensitive than they profess to be; many hedge wizards and focused practitioners don't really have enough skill to get a read on those sorts of traces.

It's also the first defense of a cool customer who is used to being interrogated over various dark deeds, and slithering out of said interrogations with her skin and her business barely ruffled.

—-

It's easy to feel the connection between the two and it is much stronger now that the master and the artifact are now so close. It confirms everything for her, but seeing her reaction she lets her face go smooth and even. She's used to dealing with difficult people, mostly the dead. The room darkens around the both of them as she drags the light out whatever light sources there may be. Her face appears more pale and gaunt as the shadows cling to her face, making it appear pale and stark.

"Magical Garbage indeed. I'm sure you just want to broaden your horizons, perhaps pull on all of this dark magical energy around you and bend it to your will. Perhaps you want to dip your toe in ectomancy to see if that really is the gateway you need to take it further, to take it some where darker? Either way you're doing a piss poor job of it."

—-

The woman finally abandons the tactic. Her icy eyes flash with sudden anger. She traces a warding sigil in the air between them. This, at least, looks like a talent that she has; her ward ripples with strength. The magic she wields feels as icy as her other motifs.

"I wanted justice," she hisses. "Do you know what happened when those fuckers took my brother's house? He killed himself. He worked hard his entire fucking life. Did all the right things. He was just a normal guy, you know? Programmer. He worked his ass off. I was the family embarrassment, but Cliff? Cliff never treated me that way. Their fucking balloon mortgage whatever the fuck. Tanked his marriage; he didn't get to see his kid, and he popped himself right in the head."

She leans forward. "And they did that to a bunch of other families too. Now you tell me why I'm such an asshole. Tell me why the people who suffered shouldn't get a little god damn revenge."

—-

Elinor is very good at listening, and she listens often so of course when another story comes her way, she assess what is being said and rolls it over in her mind. "Revenge for loved ones is always a temptation. To hurt those who caused your brother so much pain is commendable. However you may find that what you've what you dish out may be come back to haunt you." That edge is still in her voice, but her shadows slowly move up against the ward, testing it, and finding it solid they slowly recede. "You may think that all of those people wanted revenge, and perhaps some of them did. However I believe you may have forced some of them into that, and that's why I am here."

—-

The woman is surprised to find Elinor backing off from her ward. She is, as it must be said, more than used to more law-abiding types, the more pure-of-heart, so to speak, showing up at her establishment to try to warn her off this or that. Some do it just because of the path she's chosen. Others, like Elinor, come to more specific purpose.

"Are you planning to beat the crap out of me? Exact some sort of punishment?" she asks. "Or do you have something else in mind, Ectomancer?" She's gotten the idea, now, of just what sort of practitioner Elinor is. She crosses her arms, cigarette dangling from her mouth.

—-

"No I believe your punishment will find it's way to you on it's own time." Elinor says darkly, as her hands fold behind her back and she regards the woman again. She doesn't seem phased by being called out for what she is, she simply shrugs. "I am what I am, and my purpose is to guard and shepherd the dead. When that is disturbed is when I get upset. Now I don't think you are the sort to react well to violence, so perhaps I should do something else instead." She knows that there is some low level ectomancy skill in there some where, maybe she can fish out with the ghosts from her past, or perhaps Cliff himself. Someone to be a fly in her ear.

—-

The threads are there. This woman has had family. She's had family that she loves. There is Cliff, but his rest is uneasy. He's a tormented spirit, and he was one of the ones that was at the high-rise making a mess.

There's a beloved Aunt though. Aunt Marilyn. The spirits whisper that the woman who calls herself Razor was actually named for her, that they were close, that Razor fled to her when things got too bad at home. Marilyn died when Razor was thirteen. The young woman was devastated. And this was long, long before Razor got wrapped up in the magical community at all. She didn't even have any talent then.

In the meantime, the woman herself arches black eyebrows and lights up another cigarette. "You can't do anything to me," she says, seeming to relax. "You're just issuing threats."

—-

Since Cliff appears to be a very poor choice Elinor moves on to someone else. Finding the Aunt however causes her to pause, and a smile crosses her lips. "Am I Marilyn?" She says casually as she reaches out with her magic to pull Aunt Marilyn forward, bring her into view of the wayward niece. "Now if I am not mistaken, you two know each other very well, but your parting was very painful. What I am going to do for you, is to give you the ability to spend some lost time with your dearly departed aunt. Aunt Marilyn, this is your niece." She says by way of introduction since she probably doesn't look the same.

—-

"Jesus Christ!" Razor yelps. "Jesus Christ!"

It is not exactly a tearful reunion, but different people react in different ways. It's enough to shatter the woman's ward, killing her concentration entirely. She's not afraid, but neither is she joyful yet…it's just pure stone cold startlement. Now she darts Elinor a look of fear that's born more of respect. That is a feat most practitioners could not duplicate, and it makes her revise her mental estimates.

Marilyn, for her part, closes her eyes. "Oh Mari, what has life done to you?"

Razor's face crumples a little bit, and she looks away from them both.

A long talk is probably eminent.

Time will tell as to whether or not it produces change in the hard heart of this particular woman.

—-

Elinor watches the reunion and watches both Marilyn's as they see each other for the first time in a long time. She whispers a spell, binding Marilyn to the plan of the living for a time. Hopefully long enough to help 'Razor' find her way. At that look of respect, she simply nods her head, pulling her shadows back and returning the room to the proper lighting. She says nothing as she leaves the shop, knowing that what the two women need to say to each other, should not have an audience.

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