Screams and Shadows

June 11, 2017:

Strange meets Ripclaw and Elinor while they are looking for a lost ghost. They end up teaming up to stop an evil spirit.

Brooklyn Alleyway


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Magik Darkedge


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Nights ago Ripclaw mistakenly banished a helpful spirit. The Native American mystic-warrior admitted his magiks are weak in the city, weaker still due to lack of much use and claims that the entity 'Bobby' shouldn't have gone far. He has been canvassing New York to the best of his ability, speaking to those who have the sight, following trails of otherworldly. Tonight an old woman in Eastern Brooklyn informed him she knew of where a 'Drekavac' could be found, she called him a yeller and said he was very unhappy and a child. This is perhaps the best lead Robert has managed to find in several nights since he parted ways with Darkedge.
A phone call to Elinor earlier told her where in Brooklyn he is and what he had found.
"Don't get your hopes up though, I'm not sure it is Bobby but I promised you I would try."
Try he is. Has been. A sense of duty and honor compels the man. Right now he stands on the corner of a fourway by the last hotdog vendor of the night. it is late, dark enough out that the street lamps have come on. There are four tall apartments on each corner, his attention is fixed between two of them, down an alley and to the back of them. A messy street, littered with refuse and barricaded by a locked gate, the fence is bent but oddly enough there is no one around. No vagrants, no signs of anyone making that alleyway a safehaven. at least not recently. Likely spooked away or the cops pay more attention here than they let on. Which is even more unlikely than the other story.

A few days ago Doctor Strange found out a demon lord has been hiding under his nose, in his own city. And his own disciple, one ‘difficult’ lady of the House of Rasputin, had neglected to tell him since she was in her own little quest for vengeance.
It has been a busy week for Strange. And frustrating too. No demon has been found.
Finally he got a clue from a gnome that had heard a conversation at the Oblivion Bar between some elf and a large shaman-type with pale skin about some kind of attack near the door of New York. He investigated. He cast post-cognitive spells and saw the demon thralls. And how many genuine shamans are in New York nowadays? That certainly narrows it down.
So Strange came to Brooklyn, following a rather basic divination spell. He has little on the Ghost Warrior besides some second-hand stories. But it is very difficult to hide from the Supreme Sorcerer in his own city.
That is how he comes here, silent for a moment, and then clearing his throat when he hears the shaman’s voice. “Robert Bearclaw, I presume,” he greets.

Elinor hasn't gotten her hopes up, something is definatly going on with the ghosts in this city and she's barely had time to scratch the surface as to what is causing it. Still if Robert has a lead she isn't going to turn it down. The hour does not bother her at all, since she's a nocturnal person to begin with and she knows the area that he's referring to. So she arrives, dressed in black as always with a satchel over her shoulder. Robert isn't at all hard to miss, he is a very tall gentleman, so she slips out of the showdows further down the road but someone else finds him instead. Furrowing her brows, Elinor hangs back for a moment to see just who this other gentleman is. Normally she'd ask the ghosts her follow her, but she's told them to stay home for their own safety.

Robert is not the shadow creature that Darkedge is but he has learned to use them, his features and presence obscured largely in them as he stands near the one single lamp thats out. He isn't hard to miss, no, not for Elinor as he is awaiting her presence. It's while she is approaching that Doctor Strange makes himself known and Ripclaw is staring from under the edges of a bandana worn on his head, those gleaming red eyes locked on the Sorceror Supreme.
"I am him, yes. Who are you?" A cautious look is given to Elinor in regards to Strange.

Strange steps into the light. A tall and lean middle-aged man in an expensive, if old fashioned suit. He looks quite normal except for the golden amulet hanging from a gold chain around his neck, which only those attuned to the supernatural can see. “Doctor Stephen Strange, you might have heard of me,” he nods to Elinor, giving them a chance to introduce her. “I hope you aren’t too busy, I need to talk with you about an incident a few nights ago,” he explains.

Elinor looks Strange over, raising her brow as she spots that necklace. She doesn't know what it is, but it feels powerful which means he is potentially a dangerous man. Still she stands next to Robert and remains quiet. Strange would notice how even in the light, the shadows cling to her body, reluctant to let her go. "You seem to have the most interesting friends Robert." She says quietly, but doesn't seem keen to give her name just yet, she' more curious about the incidents.

"Ah, you are him. Good perhaps then you can help us." Ripclaw looks to Elinor and smiles, "Glad to see you have come. This man is… he can explain himself."
A loud scream escapes the dark alley across the street, a harrowing sound. One that echoes through ones bones and in to their very gut.
He will let them introduce one another while he hunches low and then springs, like some giant animal to clear the street and land on the fence, head craned to the side, perched oddly with such bulk on that chainlink barrier.
Another scream, this one human. A couple of teenagers walking by don't look like the care or possibly simply don't hear it. No, they cannot hear it. Only those 'gifted' can.

“I am a sorcerer, miss,” half-explains Strange. Screams only the enlightened can hear are never a good thing, so he won’t elaborate further. When Ripclaw charges, he sighs and follows at a more human speed. “I suppose it wasn’t the best moment to talk, after all,” he admits. “But perhaps I can help,” offers the wizard, managing a good pace despite his age.

Elinor holds back her sarcastic answer, mostly because there is screaming. Screaming is never good, unless you're on a roller coaster, so she sighs when Robert dashes into the fray and she is left with Strange. "I thought all good conversations were interrupted with problems." Not that Elinor is excited to be involved in problems, since she has her own, but Robert is helping her so she may as well help him. As Strange turns to follow, she does as well, bringing whatever shadows she can around her as they pass them by, obscuring her from view.

Ripclaw is not about talking right now, he is in predator mode. Silent, eager for the hunt and aware.
There is a thrashing sound down the alleyway, garbage flies in all directions and they can see what looks like a man, a man in his early 20s thrashing about wildly on the ground, clutching his face and throat, a seizure?
There is a rustle sound, then the popping of metal, what sounds like tapping and then a slide of leather on aluminum?
"Claws, something smells… old world." The best Ripclaw can describe it, he lurches off the fence, a *chak* sound and the lock from the gate is severed open by the mutant with a claw. The door swinging open with a creak for Elinor and Strange.

Strange slows down, shifting his sight to the spirit realms to try to determine what is going on. A hand clenches his amulet, which seems to glow with inner light. “What were you hunting today?” He asks quietly, approaching the thrashing man cautiously. Three steps forward, and he is not really touching the ground with his shoes, standing a couple inches the alleyway.

"Well that won't be any trouble at all." Elinor says with a shake of her head. Most of the time when something is old world, it's usually powerful and angry. When they get to the ally way and the man looks as if he's having some sort of seizure, she tilts her head. "That's a new one." Turning back to Strange she half frowns. "We were searching for a friend, who was accidentaly banished. He hasn't returned home yet." It's been several days and it's obvious from her tone that she is worried.

Closer inspection of the man shows it's not a seizure at all but that he is grinning ear to ear, eyes wide, bugged out and hes laughing silently. So much so that he has lost his voice. He is actually beginning to struggle for air. Doctor Strange will being an actual doctor see nothing immediately physically wrong with him other than hes put himself in to a state of hysterics, uncontrolled hysterics that are threatening his very life.
"A lost child." Ripclaw admits, not giving details on why or how this child is lost. "That, this… is no lost child."
Scrape, tap, something climbs over the side of the burnt out Arcade sign above them, its beady eyes latch on and it snarls, a chortle sound coming free of it's throat before it starts to open it's mouth, a scream escaping, a scream accompanied with what might be laughter? Madness. Madness is it's gift as it tries to cover all three of them in it's wail. A wail that inspires insanity.

Strange stares at the writhing man, and then reaches to him with a hand, muttering words of power to try to push him into a dreamless spell. He has little time to verify if it worked, however, as the creature appears. Madness strikes his psyche, and he steps back, gesturing a warding and struggling to reject the mental assault. “In the name of the Vishanti. Be silent!” He shouts, this time speaking with strong magical authority.

Elinor is used to dealing with the dead, and the almost dead, and the mostly dead. This is not something she's used to dealing with. When that scream hit her ears she covers them, but it does little to keep the maddness at bay. So for now she kneels, focusing on her will to keep herself from falling over the edge into maddness.

Fortunately for them Strange's spell silences the keen, the laughter, the mania. The small creature above them presents itself, staring down with malice at them all, human in shape is about as far as it goes, its fingers are long claws, it's lips are curled back to show off razor sharp fangs, wings jutting up from it's back, wings that are darker than the purple-black of it's full body. The creature stands no taller than a human toddler. It opens it's mouth as if to speak and nothing comes out, fear in'ts eyes it paws at it's neck. Looks at each one of them, Doctor Strange's amulet, the claws and red eyes of Ripclaw and then the supple slender neck of Elinor. That is where it dives. Aimed directly for the woman's pale, lovely throat. Soundless now.

Strange’s eyes narrow, rejecting the madness with some effort. “Now, creature…” he starts. Ah, but it looks like the little monster is not going to talk. Or at least listen, since the sorcerer was not going to let it talk much.
When it jumps to Elinor, Strange reacts quickly, words of powers coming to his lips and raw magical energy to his right hand, which he forms into a cyan-hued bolt of force. Aiming to intercept the malevolent critter and send him sprawling against the far wall of the alley.

As that madness fades, Elinor takes a moment to get her sight back to normal. When that creature dashes toward her, gunning for her throat, she brings her arms up in front of her. Tendrils of Shadow Magic flow out from around her and reache out to wrap around the creature. They find nothing though as Strange's magic has already beat her to the punch.

A fast creature, too fast for Ripclaw to respond to while recovering from it's initial assault on them. The winged monster actually twists away from the arcane bolt Doctor Strange has unleashed upon it a narrow evasion only to wrap up in the tendrils summoned forth by Elinor.
Doctor Strange's mystic bolt hitting the wall with a loud 'thoom' as Ripclaw straightens up to observe, his ears still ringing but more so his mind feels 'shaken' unraveled. His focus is upon the creature Elinor has now fully entrapped in the air before her, it snaps, hisses silence and thrashes at the air. "It's almost adorable if we didn't know what its capable of. Almost. Can you hold it?" The feral mutant snarls at the little winged beasty which snarls back. Only it's sound cannot be heard. Strange's 'hush spell' still in effect.
"Unfortunately this is not Bobby. "Ripclaw says quietly, "I am sorry, Elinor… I will find him." The blades on Ripclaws hands extend, sliding out as if prepared to lop the head off the demonling. He will if none of them stop him from doing so.
That man on the ground is example of what it can do, Strange may have placed him in a dreamstate but it is clear his mind has become /scrambled eggs/.

Strange concentrates, narrowing the silence spell around the little demon and stepping closer to Elinor, this time to shield her if the creature escapes. “Skrzat,” he notes. “They are very rare in America. And about to become even rarer,” he decides, unclasping his amulet and preparing to open the Eye of Agamotto. He will attend the victim of the demon later, if at all possible.

"Sounds like something that isn't redeemable and can easily be disposed of." Elinor says as she flexes her power to squeeze the tendrils on the creature tighter. She doesn't like creatures coming for her neck. Turning to Robert she nods. "I have a feeling he might have gone home. If he was as confused as you say he was than I would not be surprise that he would have gone some where safe. Granted, I feel bad for the young married couple who live there now, but he's pretty good at not haunting people too much." She takes a few steps back while keeping the creature held, because it appears that both men want to have their shot at killing the thing and she isn't daring to get into the middle of something like that again.

Ripclaw pauses as Strange declares a name for it. The Eye of Agamotto will get its opening to take the demon where it belongs, even a vile beast like the Skrzat gets a chance at mercy on a good day.
"Perhaps that is the place we should look next then. If he is indeed over the banishment by now… " Ripclaw goes quiet, a hand raking up over his forehead to take off the bandana leaning down to wipe the man on the grounds face off tucking it in to his top pocket. He is lost and beyond help, its no longer magic or supernatural that afflicts his mind but its own madness at best he can be delivered to a home or somewhere prolonged work can be put to the front.
"Thank you, Doctor Strange. "

The light of Agamotto is no mercy for any demon. But perhaps banishment to one of the Hells is better than utter destruction (if it can be destroyed for good). A flash of holy light and the creature is gone. The sleeping man is given some attention, as Strange studies his current plight. But an alley is not the place to perform psychic healing magic, so he decides to call for an ambulance with his cellphone and see to him in the morning.
Then he turns to Ripclaw and Elinor. “No. Thank to you for hunting down this monster. In truth, it seems the walls between worlds have become like water. Incidents like this are becoming all too frequent.”

"If he's there that means he is far away from what's going on here, and maybe, just maybe he'll be safe and not be shoved into a dead body again." That seems to be the things that distrubs Elinor the most, that her oldest friend was used as a pawn in someone elses game. While she is glad she took a step back, it appears to not nearly be enough space between the holy light, and Elinor. Her magic, being weak to that sort of light, disolves around the demon and travels up the shadowy tendrils to Elinor herself. She yelps and takes several stumbling steps back until she can find a dark and shadowy spot to linger in. "You don't fuck around do you." She says, reaching into her satchel and pulling out a pair of sunglasses.

"He is not dead?" A question about the Skzrat that doesn't need answer. Ripclaw didn't exactly sense it's death by means of his spiritual empathy, "A better alternative I suppose."
"Let us hope for the best." He doesn't assure her again he will find Bobby. His word is his bond. As Elinor yelps Robert's clawed hand extends out to offer her some stability amidst the stumble, "Are you all right?" As she composes again he smiles slightly then looks at Doctor Strange, ""That sounds like a lot of work for one man, even the Sorcerer Supreme. My mentors often spoke of you and your predecessor and what it is you do for this realm. Should you ever require assistance in your tasks I am owed you at least one now."

“Most demons when killed merely return to their place of origin, their ‘afterworld’ so to say, which is also their dwelling,” explains Strange. “Utterly destroying a soul or a spirit is no simple feat and usual a deed of very dark magic.” Which he tends to avoid, for obvious reasons. Ultimately imprisonment of exile are often better options.
Ah, back to the business at hand. “If you are looking for someone, I can perhaps assist. But I came here to talk to you about a conflict a few days ago. Some demon thralls of Bal-Pteor you had to fight,” an address is given, an alleyway near the door to the Oblivion Bar.

It takes a few minutes for Elinor to recover, but she finally gets back to her feet and leans against the wall. It's rare that she comes across light that pure, and she doesn't look forward to doing it again. Note to self, stay on Strange's good side. When he offers to help, she shrugs her shoulders. "It's a ghost who follows me around often. He went missing a week ago and Robert found him bound to a body of a corpse and controlling it. Necromancy at it's finest." She makes a disgusted face before she continues.
"Robert banished him, he didn't know who was in there, but he hasn't returned yet. It is my hope he went into hiding, and if he did, it would be very hard to find if you don't have the ability to see ghosts. If he didn't…" Elinor shrugs her shoulders. She's come up with several worst case scenario in her head and she is doing her best not to dwell on them.

Robert lets Elinor cover that side of the conversation, reserving himself to silence as he picks up his cellphone the light glowing on the screen and he types a response with the tip of his thumbclaw, "The demons that attacked Darkedge and I? Bal-Pteor… yes. That was several days ago. We were able to survive the encounter. " He wont say win, he was having a bad day. "What about it?" A look sidelong at Elinor. Perhaps Doctor Strange can indeed help them with her lost friend, he is willing to accept it if they are.

Strange listens to Elinor explanation. The shadow–manipulator woman is also a medium? There must be a story there. Not his business, except for the necromancy. Necromancers are his business. It gets only better.
Sighing, Strange nods to Ripclaw. “The master of those creatures is hiding within the New York area. He is a very dangerous being, an ancient, fallen god. I expect he will try to bring ruin and pain to the city, if not the whole world. And I know little of his plans at this moment.”

"Darkedge was fighting with demons?" This is news to her and it makes her shake her head, with his shoulder still not healed from the last one she has no idea what shape he'll be in this time. Turning back to Strange she purses her lips together. "I might be able to help with that. Unless he has a way to ward off ghosts and spirits, I could put those who still linger here on the look out for him, and try to give you a better idea of where he's hiding."

"We were attacked by demons, yes, they sprayed a mist of iron in to his face. I imagine he is still in some recovery, I did what little I could for him." Ripclaw signs and pushes the cellphone away, "A mundane… worldly issue for me has shown up. A friend of mine is in need of bail." Doctor Corben it appears has been drunk and rowdy. Good thing his false identity is holding up but its best he doesn't stay in a cell long to be found out. "I am call away should you need me, Elinor, I intend to continue our hunt later tonight, oncce I finish this."
"Doctor Strange, I will be in touch as well."

Strange studies Elinor and considers her offer. “He is hiding from my scrying, and also from the Queen of Limbo. But he might have overlooked ghosts.” The sound of an ambulance approaching pulls him out of his current mindset, though. “Ah, we should meet soon, and talk about this problem. But for now it looks like my services as a doctor will be of more use. Have a good night.”

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