The Hidden Temple (of Doom)

August 06, 2018:

Magik and Magdalena travel to the Australian rain forests looking for the way to reach Watoomb dimension. (Continuing the events of the Strange Breakfast (http://cmbeta.wikidot.com/log:7552) Dr. Strange does the emitting)

Northern Australia

It is a jungle.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

So the Hidden Temple of Watoomb is in Australia.

Australia is a rather big place.

And the temple is not just hidden. It is HIDDEN. It took Strange all this time to find the approximate position by correlating vague hints in documents written several centuries ago. Scrying magics got nothing. Also, there seems to be a second temple under the Indian Ocean. Lets ignore that one for now.

Northern Australia is pretty nice. Unspoiled landscapes. Vibrant rainforest. And a ridiculous amount of poisonous critters. Hidden temples.

Strange teleported the women as close as he could to the likely location. Which was not very close because there is something preventing teleportation in the area. On the other hand it means they are close to a very well warded place. But it is still a pretty large, wild, chunk of rainforest here!


Thankfully, having spent a good number of years in the heat and humidity of southern Italy, the rainforest is not quite as unbearable as it might be. Still, the sheer fecundity of the place meant it was likely not to be easy going. Vivienne, as soon as they arrived and she was certain she wasn't suffering from any sort of supernatural motion sickness, being, after all, not that accustomed to Strange's magics, turned in a slow circle, taking in the area where they had been let out. "I am very much missing Lara right now." A glance to her two companions, "Do we have a solid direction to go on?"


Teleporting. That's really Illyana's schtick, but for whatever reason for this particular adventure Illyana allowed Doctor Strange to ferry the group on its way.

Perhaps it was distance or perhaps she was just feeling lazy, but whatever the case may be Illyana took a back seat in the traveling department.

It's only as the group arrives within the humid forest that Yana looks around herself, then upward at the canopy. When the other woman speaks, the blonde demoness automatically slides her blue eyes over to Vivienne. "Sure do." The demoness states blithely, then with a second glance at the area Illyana points a finger and says, "My mother told me to pick you." With each word of that sing-song rhyme Illyana points in a different direction until the very last word.

"There we go. That away." Then just like that the Yana steps in the direction she landed upon.

For this little trip Illyana has forgone any flashy attire and instead wears sensible attire.


For the first couple miles it looks like a normal and wild rainforest. There are a large, very large number of colorful birds. They stare.

Then the wind stars whistling. It is strange because one would say the forest is too dense for winds. Of course for Illyana's senses they left the natural world a bit ago. Magic is getting thicker. It is in the air.

A couple miles later the birds are gone, along with most animals. The forest remains, and the winds are noticeable… except they barely move the leaves of the trees. Instead they flow and whistle around Illyana and Vivienne. Distracting. It makes normal conversation difficult. And hearing anyone coming almost impossible.

But they finally arrive to the 'temple'. Or at least to the entrance to a large cave surrounded by craved stone rocks. The symbols almost illegible. And that is, of course, when the temple guardians attack them.

Pale, thin, humanoids wearing strips of clothes over translucent skin. They almost glide over the trees and stone, trying to stab the two women with thin, sharp dirks made of white stone.


Vivienne's magic, for what it was worth was something at all such as either Strange or Illyana possessed, and so, for her the world, as they traveled, was not a place she would have understood with any innate sense. It simply became a place to be endured, and guarded against. She kept the spear firmly in one hand and one of her swords in the other. That she had had to use the sword, on occasion to clear a path for herself did not seem to bother her. The feeling of that ill wind, though, did. It made her more wary and less trusting, even knowing that she had come in the company of two powerful sorcerers. And that cave, well, to hear the tomb raider tell, nothing good ever came from caves. Still and all, she moves to lead the way inside if it was required, though she did not make it more than a step to the side and right of Illyana, before the enemy fell upon them. And whatever they were, this was something she could understand. She twisted, attempted to parry and strike.


Illyana is always up for playing the flippant sort, but for the most part that's what it is.

An act. A facade, a mask even.

Calculation lurks behind her blue eyes and that emotion becomes evident once they go from the earthen plane to something not.

"We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto." Is the warning that's offered and while it's said lightly there's a serious cast to her features now.

It's only as they arrive at the entrance to the Temple that Illyana's mouth purses, but words aren't said. Not with the level of wind flowing around the two women. "Oh yeah." States Illyana, her voice rising above the howl of the wind, "This is great." Then the demoness waits for the guardians of the temple to come closer to the pair. Then, once Vivienne steps and twists to attack, Illyana makes her move as well as Eldritch armor flashes upon hand, arm and shoulder and her soulsword appears in that same hand. Once her weapon of choice is within her graps Illyana lunges forward to plunge the sword through the nearest guardian's torso.

Obvoiusly no quarter here.


No quarter is asked, the guardians are silent over the sounds of the wind. They are surprisingly agile, but not particularly sturdy, at least not against the Spear of Destiny and the Soulsword. They jump like monkeys, and stab with some degree of skill, but they break like glass against both artifacts, although Vivianne would notice his regular sword has very little effect on the translucent skin. Swallow cuts that don't even bleed. They don't bleed at all, they don't seem to have bones, they feel hollow.

But with each guardian shattered, the wind quiet down, yet a cloud forms by the entrance of the cave, as if the essences of the guardians gathered. When the eighth and last falls, the cloud takes shape as a large air elemental, lightning crackling around him.

Then it lounges forward, lightning and storm.


It seemed the sword was never as effective, and that was a true shame. She'd aways liked her swords. But the Spear was as it was, and Vivienne turned to that, moving seemingly tirelessly, though, having not had to use her gifts yet, that was possibly understandable. Each enemy seemed to bring some sort of calm, but in a place like this? And with that cave still looming, it seemed rank foolishness to imagine this would be the only threat. And so it was proved, as the storm gathered, and Vivienne turned to face it. She freed a hand from the Spear, reaching down to her belt for the spikes there, grazing them along her palm, drawing her own blood, radiance blooming from her palm. Whether the thing was truly evil or not, she could certainly try to turn it.


When the last guardian falls and the wind quiets, Illyana's voice can clearly be heard as she says, "Morons."

But, of course, when that last guardian falls something bigger and obviously much worse appears. Straight white and even teeth are briefly shown as Illyana smiles at the oncoming creature of magic. Her soulsword rises once more, raised in a somewhat classic guard position and while she readies to attack, her steps pause.

The radiance from that drawn blood pulls her attention off of the creature and straight onto Vivienne. The duality held within Illyana Rasputin has her feeling both revulsion and curiosity, and those two emotions hold any further attacks from the demoness.

Now she simply waits to see how the lightning creature handles the blood from Magdalena.


It is an elemental being. For ancient alchemist and mages of less sophisticated ages, it is the equivalent to a death robot. (And Illyana might notice, it is a very well-crafted death robot).

In fact the eight guardians were also the elemental, in a more complex shape they disrupted with their weapons. It is not a malignant being, only very strongly enchanted. But the blood of the Magdalena is not anathema for it, and so…

Hurricane strength winds grasp the spear-wielder, and she will be lucky if stray lightning does not shock and burn her at the same time. On the periphery of the elemental attack, Illyana might escape the worse, but is likely tossed to the ground by a gust of wind of unearthly force.


Vivienne's face hardened as she saw the creature continue on, growing in strength and power, the light she cast having no effect at all. She had idea, of course, if it would have even been successful, as such things were well outside of her bailiwick, but she had little time to consider that, or the regret that before the storm gathered her up, voice rising in a scream as crackles of electricity struck, tightening her muscles, a sharp, almost blinding pain. A living, human version of the frogs children played as dissecting in science class. That it had the benefit of causing her hand to clench against the spear so that she would not loose hold of it was not, however, something she had the presence of mind to add to the tally of pro versus con.


The lack of a reaction from the elemental is shuffled away for later perusal, for now Illyana refocuses her attention on the elemental.

That gust of nearly inhuman wind does bowl her over, and when the woman rises up from the ground she'll find her body covered in more of her silver Eldritch armor. Protection against that slam to t he ground and now protection against the crackle and hiss of lightning.

"I suppose I'm up." She says very much to herself, even as Vivienne screams from the lightning that strikes her.

There's the stray thought of hurling her sword into the being, but soon enough that idea is abandoned. She'd hate for a gust of wind to knock it off course and so, with a lunge Illyana strives to land in the heart of the Elemental 'machine'. Once close enough to the creature her sword is brought up and then slashed into the creature.

"Time to calm the storm."

Her sword cuts through the lightning beast and with an ear-popping change in pressure the creature is dispersed by the touch of Illyana's soulsword.


Although the elemental seems focused on Magdalena for a moment, it has not forgotten Magik. When the sorceress moves, the creature tosses the spear-maiden away and turns to face the blonde and her sword.

Lightning peppers the eldritch armor, but it is magical energy and the armor holds well. But the wind blasts furious, and that is what almost makes the attack fail, for a second it feels it will wrench Illyana off her feet and throw her into the sky. Only the anti-magic protection of the Soulsword saves her from the worst of the mystical force and allows her to reach the heart of the elemental.

A stroke is all it needed to break the enchantments. The wind dies down almost instantly. And Vivienne plummets down. Fortunately the rainforest makes for a (relatively) soft landing.

The entrance of the cave seems ungarded now, even the winds have quieted down to almost nothing.


The sudden loss of the force of the wind around her, the electricity sizzling through her muscles was almost a relief. Until her back hit the ground and she momentarily lost her breath. Not a situation to which she was unaccustomed. Seeing the guardian brought down by Illyana's sword, Vivienne remained on her back, all of her attention, momentarily, turned to the healing of the redskin and burned flesh where the attack had caught her. She would have to pay the price for that later, but for now? She simply put her trust in the Demon Queen to watch over her. "Just a 'mo."


"Sure." Illyana says, as Vivienne calls for that moment, "Take all the time you need." She continues in a conversational tone of voice, even as her hands reach up to push wayward strands of blonde hair from her face. "I'm pretty sure there's a thousand and one traps just waiting for us in there so I'm in no rush."

And as the Magdalena heals herself Illyana does keep a watch on the surrounding area, as well as the injured woman. It's only after Vivienne is finally back upon her feet that Yana strides for the cave opening.

If there is darkness. to be found within the cave both women will find Illyana's soulsword flaring with silver light.


The cave opens into a large chamber, with paved floor, cracked and eroded after millennia of use and abandonment. The light of the Soulsword is rather unneeded, since through clever artifice or maybe a little magic, the sunlight reaches the chamber through crystal and mirrors on the ceiling.

There was a time the area was painted with bright colors, but right now there are barely hints of geometric designs and glyphs in the walls, ceiling and floor. If they were magical, they are long faded.

It is hard to scan for magical traps and tricks, though, because at the end of the chamber, between twin, steep staircases there is a cascade of bright water. The magic is almost blinding. On the waters there are flowing words in Russian (for Illyana) and French (for Vivienne) only they can see.

They read:

** Whosoever bathes in the waterfall shall possess the power of the Winds of Watoomb.
Henceforth, you who read these words, shall become forevermore a human Tempest. **

Sustained by the vast energy of the waterfall, and just past the staircases, there is an oval of white light. Much like Magik's stepping disks, but this one quite permanent, it is a gateway to another realm.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License