2019-03-20 - The Sorcerer's Apprentice


Illyana Rasputin, new Queen of Limbo, arrives at Doctor Strange's doorstep with a proposal. Cypher is brought for emotional support.

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: 3/20/2019
Location: Sanctum Sanctorum - Greenwich Village, New York

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Theme Song



Last June, Xavier's School graduated it's latest class of mutants and those former students went off in all sorts of directions. Some kept in touch but others, they didn't. And when they're sort of antisocial with a history of up and disappearing for periods of time, no one really notices when they go missing for longer than intended. Such was the case with a certain Illyana Rasputina. Shortly after graduation, Belasco showed up to drag her back to Limbo, and while another seven or so years passed for her, not even a year has gone by on Earth.

Still, it's unlikely that Douglas Ramsey is expecting the sudden circle of light that shows up at his location that a too-old Illyana steps out of. "There you are. Come on." She says, with her usual almost clipped manner, as though she's been waiting on *him*. Putting a hand on his shoulder and teleporting them away without even a please.

Well. Let's be honest. Illyana doesn't *usually* say 'please'.

At least Doug is familiar with the quick shift through Limbo and back to Earth, and the alley they reappear at near 177A Bleecker Street is obviously still in New York. The blonde heads for the sidewalk, just expecting Doug to tag along as she heads for Doctor Strange's front door. Her nature is undoubtably going to set off a few warning bells even before she gets to the doorbell.

When Illyana teleports into his apartment, Doug is fresh out of the shower with a big fluffy towel knotted about his waist. He's standing in front of a disinterested looking tortoise, holding two knitted shell cozies up. "What do think you'd like to wear for your walk today, Hercules? Spiny?" He holds up the knitted red spiky shell cozy, "Or Zaratan?" This one's a little mountain with knitted palm trees on it.

Then he looks up and manages "Wha?" before, one quick detour through Hell later, he's standing outside the Sanctum Sanctorum and trying vainly to cover himself.

"*It's nice to see you too, Endora," Doug says, and if he had a speech bubble icicles would be dripping off it. "Could you conjure me a pair of jeans?"

Somebody wolf-whistles at him, and he turns scarlet. "*Please*?"

Doctor Strange was just enjoying his meditation. Earlier, he had just come back from Cyttorak's dimension to make sure the personification of raw, chaotic strength was kept in check. This was supposed to be his time to rest and relax, but…then he feels it.

Not many people are bold enough to step out of a magic portal just outside of Stephen's door. They should be happy Wanda isn't home, otherwise they likely wouldn't get a friendly welcome. But, before they are even inside, before Illyana's knuckles rapple against the wooden frame over and over again, Both a naked Doug and the mischievous Illyana will find themselves in the welcoming room, with Doctor Strange standing there, looking…unamused. "And to what do I owe the pleasure of having you two come and visit me in my home? Especially…" he looks to Doug. "Someone who apparently takes maybe too much pride in their physical form." but his eyes shift back to Illyana.

"What brings the newly christened Queen of Limbo into my home."

Illyana Rasputina looks back at Doug, unruffled by his icy tone as she raises her hand to knock. Which has her hand falling forward as it doesn't meet any resistance and the scene behind Doug changes. This gets one of Illyana's frowns. It's one of her default expressions. "I could." She acknowledges, not responding to the implied 'please' there. Despite the frown, there is a bit of a glint to those cold eyes.

The blonde turns forward again as Strange greets them, taking a moment to look the Sorcerer Supreme over, and then arches a brow as he calls her by her title. "News travels fast. That's going to make any appeals viewed with some suspicion, hmm?" Still no explination on why Doug's here. Maybe he's an Emotional Support Mutant.

And then Doug's teleported again, into the middle of Doctor Strange's living room. He turns, and looks around, exposing a long ugly scar running from his back along his side on his right, curving under his ribcage. "Healthy mind in a healthy body. This building is a tesseract, larger on the inside than it is on the outside. Furthermore, it has specific rooms but… no set layout?"

"You're Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme. Sometimes you consult for WAND." Doug looks to Illyana. "Queen of Limbo? It was hard enough getting her to give up the bathroom in the morning *before*."

Stephen continues his deadpan expression, ESPECIALLY as he looks upon Doug. "Someone's smarter than he appears to be." A snap of Stephen's fingers, and yes, thank god, Douglas is wearing pants. "There's your prize for your intelligence."

His eyes now look at Illyana. "But I'll question him about why he knows that later. As for you, yes it does. In case you missed it, it's my job to moniter all dimensions for beings that could be extremely hazardous to the earth's safety, and…no surprise to you I imagine, you have now become one of those beings. Yet I suspect your visit is not without purpose."

Gray eyes narrow.

"That said, would either of you like some tea?"

Because Stephen is nothing if not one who offers hospitality when it's desired.

When the Sorcerer Supreme saves Doug from doing this visit in a towel Illyana pouts, though the corners of her mouth quirk upwards a bit. The pout gives way to a real smile, if a small one at the Doctor's offer of tea. "Tea would be lovely." That Strange is giving her a lukewarm reception doesn't seem to bother her.

"ALL dimensions is a tall order. Better you than me." Illyana notes in her usual (to Doug) dry manner. "And while I don't plan to *be* a hazard, I can understand that I might be one." She's always been one, but certainly she's moved up the list of potential threats recently. "I'm Illyana. This is Doug. He knows things. Doesn't drink. Too young." That's a slight mishmash of popculture that might be too mangled for anyone else to get but it amuses the blonde, keeping a small smirk on her lips.

Don't fret Illyana. Doug winds up dressed in a pair of slippers, some poofy harem pants cinched around his waist with a sash, and a silk, patterened robe worn open.

"I'm a Mutant, Doctor, a Hypercognate with super-developed pattern recognition abilities." He looks over to Illyana, and crosses his arms over his still-bare chest. "…I'll take tea, sure."

Then he glances up, and says, "Wait—" He walks over to a bookshelf on the wall. "These are the Nemedian Chronicles, in the original Hyborian script." He pulls one down and flips through it. "Robert E. Howard committed suicide before he auto-wrote even half of them. But they're *all* here. Where did you get these?"

Stephen nods and suddenly Wong just arrives as if he was always there, giving Illyana some wonderful Oolong tea. "Thank you Wong." The resident manservant of the house gives a bow of his head, before heading off to parts unknown in the mansion. That said, Starnge returns his attention to Illyana. "A pleasure to meet you both. "Well, if you don't wish to be a wizard, you've certainly come to a very interesting place."

Then to Doug.

Oh Doug.

Stephen simply takes a seat in what is clearly HIS chair, and he crosses a leg over another, his elbows on the arm rests. "They are, in the flesh. How did I get them you ask?" he doesn't seem to be joking, but he even gives hand gestures. "Magic." but then he smirks.

Illyana Rasputina accepts the tea from Wong with a nod before she takes a seat as well. Sipping at her tea with manners more Victorian than Demonic, she rolls her eyes a bit as Doug gets distracted. "He never likes that answer." She asides to the older sorcerer.

As to why she's here? With a mild sigh, Illyana sets her cup down. "It's recently become clear to me that my… former teacher had a very narrow repitoire of magical knowledge." As in, Belasco had extensive knowledge of black magic, and was rather gifted at tweaking that magic to do what he wanted. But that was pretty much all his magical library offered. "I'd prefer not to follow in his footsteps. In more ways than one."

Doug puts the heavy text back, and then turns, before he raises his eyebrows and then says "Only because it dismisses the principles, the *pattern* of whatever it is you're doing that achieves the desired change to reality. But where Illyana here was Sorcery, I guess I always did tend toward Science. I never take anything on faith except my friends."

He looks around, then realizes no tea for him, and so he stands there, actually looking quite fetching, since the robe is in a pleasant shade of gold over white pants.

"I'll just… be over here until I'm needed." He turns back to that bookshelf.

Strange never DID like pure scientists. It would be like showing God to an atheist…and the atheist continuing to believe that God did not exist. So to, what would science say in the face of magic? In many ways, all magic is? It's simply manipulating the energy of the universe. the one thing that unites all.

Regardless of how Stephen views science, he simply nods as Doug turns back to his bookshelf. And yes, Stephen almost had EVERY book that Doug might find himself desiring. Though Stephen's eyes shift back to Illyana. "Belasco was a master of the dark arts, but his view, as you say, was narrow. He was obsessed with a particular kind of black magic, if my memory serves correctly." then, Strange lets out an exhale.

"You wish for me to show you a different path? or to simply provide you with other knowledge not of Belasco's obsession?"

Doug does look quite fetching. He should really hope that he doesn't need Illyana to conjure him clothes in the future. He's likely to end up wearing much the same. Though unless Illyana does manage to pick up a few more 'tricks', it's likely to be a lot more black. And leather. And some skulls.

At Strange's question, Illyana spreads her hands a bit in a vague sort of gesture. "I don't think completely changing paths is an option for me. Not now." Not now that she's responsible for Limbo, which is tied to dark beings. "But having some other options would help me to be less of a… hazard." There's a brief smirk at that. She's playing off of his Purpose, but she's not trying to be coy about it. She's also being truthful. She doesn't want to *be* a 'hazard'.

Well the bathing suit was normal enough, if EXTREMELY snug.

He looks up and then says, "Back in the day we got used to the dribbly candles and the random demons popping up in places. I used to fleece a trio of imps at Poker…" He pulls down another book, and then says, "The Chronicles of Amber, Volume… eleven and twelve. 'In the Gardens of Memory' and 'In the Palace of Dreams'. …Can I borrow these?"

He looks up and then says, "Nobody ever decides what Illyana will use her powers for, except Illyana, Doctor. I know you didn't ask for my opinion, but I trust her."

Stephen looks at Illyana, and eventually, he nods. "I see. Well, that said, I'm happy to accept your proposal." That was a proposal? Must be some kind of secret wizard speak for that conversation to have made any kind of legitimate sense.

Alas, his eyes now shift to Douglas. He seems amused. "I would not mind if you borrowed them, but only with the guarantee that you will return them. As for Illyana's power, well..I do not seek to decide what she uses her powers for. Much like one can't control the current of a river, one can't control the decisions of another. It's just how we're built. Free Will, and all."

His eyes settle then on Illyana.

Bonus points for bringing Doug! Or… was that the reason Illyana brought him along to start with? The world may never know. The blonde's habitual smirk eases into a smaller, but much more genuine smile at Doug's show of support.

Clearing her throat slightly, Illyana then offers "Just out of curiosity, does Witchcraft really have any actual benifit to it? With the herbs and the potion-making and whanot? Because I really seem to suck at identifying plants…" See? She's been trying. Really. But there's a reason most sorcerers don't bother with hedge magic.

Doug thinks about this. "Witches are sort of like druids, classically speaking. They learn magic by attuning themselves to the world around them, feeling its ebb and flow, learning the secrets contained within plants and animals—"

"In terms of nomenclature, you're more of a Sorceress. You get your power by tapping into the energies of another place or being. In your case, Limbo."

"A wizard would…" Doug pauses, and then clears his throat. "I played a lot of D&D before I became an X-Man, and I read everything I can get my hands on. I always wanted to do magic, but I guess my talent ends at card and coin tricks."

Stephen looks at Doug. "Now if only Dungeons and Dragons was were written by a practicing mage." Hoever, Stephen does seem slightly impressed with Doug's knowledge. "Doug speaks correctly. Though he forgets to mention that many a time, the difference between a witch and a druid is that witches often confer with demons of various sorts for power, ALONG with gaining their power from their environment. Druids tend to befriend spirits, rather than make deals with darker ones. But, that is neither here or there."

Stephen looks upon Illyana. "But to answer your question, yes, witchcraft has it's benefits, but also flaws. As doug has so helpfully interjected, you qualify more as a sorceress."

Illyana Rasputina gives Doug an amused sort of look as he gives Stephen Strange of all people the definitions on different types of magic users. "Probably for the best. You speak so many languages that you'd try to get to Hel and slip up and add an extra L…" Illyana's teasing always sounds like she's mocking someone, but Doug should be used to that as well.

"I meant more is it worth *me* putting the time in to learn something so… different." It's unlikely she's going to get much use out of the actual effects that most witchcraft can manage. Sorcerery tends to be faster and easier, it just takes having the knack to tap into those forces. But sometimes it's the journey, and Illyana is trying to learn that. But plants are so booooring.

"That's not really a fair distinction to make!" Doug says, "What're you classifying as a demon? It could just as easily be a greek Daemon, or rather a spirit, than a spirit in service to an infernal lord. You can't just dismiss an entire tradition of magical and faith-based practice as malicious satanists—"

"That's ridiculous, I would never do that." Doug mutters, a little bit stung. "…Would totally never do that."

He picks up a lid on a dish, and then stares at the wobbly abomination on it. "That looks like Nana Ramsey's tuna aspic, with mayonnaise." He takes a taste of it. "That *IS* Nana Ramsey's tuna aspic with mayonnaise. I'd know the dish I used to spit into a napkin on the sly every Christmas and Easter *anywhere*."

Stephen looks upon Illyana and he seems to nod. "Well, if I am being fair, likely not. Sorcery is far easier to learn and more versatile. I suspect learning something other than Black Magic would benefit you, and aid you in ruling your dimension wisely."

Then there's Doug questioning the Sorcerer Supreme. Stephen gives him a looooong look. Then when Doug manages to catch up to himself, Stephen just smiles. "And now you know."

The feeling of it? Heh. Stranger Things have happened.

But, he looks back to Illyana. "But, should you wish, I have mystic tomes that can help you. Or I can have Wanda teach you. She tends to be more precise about that sort of thing and she enjoys witchcraft more than I."

"I'm not sure what kind of student I'll make these days." Illyana admits. Hell lords. They can get touchy about people telling them what to do. It takes some care to pull of that relationship. "But I'm… willing to try. I'm a passingly good study on my own, but I realize I might need." There's a pause, as if the word is difficult to say. "Help."

The blonde stands suddenly, as though that admission has disturbed her more than it should and gives Stephen a quick nod. "So. I appreciate you speaking with me." She rubs at the back of her neck a bit. "But I need to… get Doug back. I think his turtle is trying to escape. Let me know when would be a good time to go over things in more depth?" Because she figures he's got a pretty packed schedule that she's already intruded on.

With a few quick steps over towards Doug, she loops one of her arms through one of his and tips another nod Doctor Strange's way. "If you'll show us the way out…" She figures trying to teleport out of here will just have her slamming against his Wards. Once he lets them go through, she'll jump them back to Doug's apartment.

"…You just need a study-buddy. It's no different from high school. I'll teach you how to properly comma splice the names of extradimensional beings and you'll be good as gold." Doug looks up as Illyana hooks his arm and he rubs the back of his neck. "Aheh… heh. Well, I don't know if the salvar are really me, but I like the slippers and the robe, Doctor. It's been a pleasure."

Stephen rises as well, and offers a bow of his head to both. "The pleasure was mine I assure you. And I hope you enjoy the books, Douglas." With a circular motion of his hand, he opens a portal back to…the Xavier Institute? "Have a good day." to Illyana, he nods. "Of course, Illyana. Safe travels to you both."

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