2019-03-30 - To Kill The Servant


There's a great big portal open in a park in Salem. So what else is new?

Log Info:

Storyteller: koa-turner
Date: Sun Mar 31 06:43:39 2019
Location: Salem

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Theme Song



Salem is used to strange things happening in and around town at least on a small scale. Odd strangers don't occasion quite the same suspicion or curiosity that they do in other places and odd events are judged really only by people hurt and things damaged rather than for the sheer oddness of them.

Or at least, that is usually the case.

The portal is in the middle of a public park not far from the downtown area of Salem. It is a jagged, ragged edged disk about ten feet around and solid crimson. What is on the other side is not clear as the portal is entirely opaque.

What IS clear is what came out of them. Demons. Two of them. One big and four legged and looking like a cross between a flayed dog and an angry bull and one of them slightly smaller than man sized, hunched over. Covered in spiney 'fur' more reminsicent of porcupine quills than anything else.

Koa Turner was not here FOR this. He'd been coming back from a trip to Albany and had decided to stop for gas and a bite to eat. And wouldn't you know it the moment he does…

The agent brings his fist up, a pendulum wrapped around it. Several steak knife sized quills shatter on a shield made of mystical energy.

"Well… at least the park is empty…" Koa mutters mostly to himself as he considers his options. He's got to get rid of the demons. And close that tear to… wherever. He's not sure. Feels wrong, though.

All of the Xavier's kids know Salem very well. It's the closest thing to the School and so it's where you go when you want to do something. Occasionally, the High School kids at Xavier's attended dances at the local high school, because otherwise they were pretty sad affairs. Downside to such a small school.

Harry's Hideaway is an old favorite, even if you aren't old enough to drink since y'know, small town. It's from there that Illyana's coming out of when the tingle of magic plays over her senses. "Never a dull moment…" Summoning a stepping disk, one moment she's on the street and the next…

The park's not so empty anymore. Illyana appears behind Koa, sandwiching him firmly between her and the demons. "Hmm. Hoggoth's Defense? Why not the Seven Rings of Raggadorr?"

A glow in the air might distract the two on the ground. So might the thundering shriek that accompanies it.

It takes a moment for the form to coalesce as it drops at speed on the bigger creature, talons outstretched to try and grab it.

"Bwah!" Koa's startled sound is manly. Yes. We're going with that. He is not used to people just dropping in on him. Given time he potentially might be but it's fairly outside his normal experience and he was already pretty tense.

"Wonderful spells, both of those. Difficult to channel through this pendulum though." Koa says as he peeks out from behind his cover. "Fancy seeing you here Miss Rasputina." He'd wonder if this is her doing but he has seen her portal in action at least once. This is the wrong color and shape. And it's not neat either. It's a big jagged hole in the air.

"We need to close that thing and get rid of these demons before they hurt someone. They haven't tried to leave the park yet but they've been fairly determinedly trying to skewer me."

The mage reaches out to the grass nearby and some of it just withers as green motes come off it and flow into Koa. An aura - a fairly dangerous one - surrounds his left arm.

Keiko's creature does find itself at least momentarily the focus of the hostile attentions of the two demons which ARE surprised by the sudden attack from above. A shower of quills misses it by a fair bit and it gets its meat into the other demon which shrieks and twists, trying to bite and claw at the legs and talons which now have it.

Illyana Rasputina's attention turns skyward at the glow and winces a bit at the loud shriek. "Hope no one's trying to sleep." She mutters, as though that's the most important thing going on here. The blonde woman starts to walk towards the demon that's left at the portal, passing by Koa and his cover. Glancing over at him, she asks, "Can you handle the other demon while I get the portal?"

Between one step and the next, a staff appears in Illyana's left hand. Probably about six feet tall, the entire thing is black. Kind of like those super-blacks they've been advertising online that manage to suck up almost all the light that touch them. The top breaks off into two arms that angle out and then back in towards each other, but don't touch and those 'arms' seem to have razored edges. More, Koa can feel it's arrival as a throb of power pulses through the park.

The dragon in the sky is enormous. There's likely to be reports to the authorities about this. The shower of quills cause it to dodge, making its grab of the larger demon somewhat precarious. It hovers near the ground, fighting for a grip, smoke starting to curl from its nose. Just a little longer and it might be able to lift the demonic creature …

"Be thankful Glydril didn't try to flame you." Comes a voice with a heinz variety accent. "You seem to have this under control, Agent."

And the blonde. Who's name Keiko doesn't know.

Keiko can likely feel that power too. Koa certainly can. Emanating from that staff. Koa deals in artifacts but that is an ARTIFACT. He looks sidelong at Illyana and then nods.

"Keiko keep handling the big one. I'm going to get Quills."

Glydril has his hands full. Talons full. Whichever. The creature is snorting smoke of it's own and lashes out, bucking and biting. It doesn't have quite the leverage it needs but it doesn manage to twist enough to get the dragon's leg. A bit. Bitting. Chewing. Trying to make it LET GO.

Koa keeps his shield in front of him as he runs toward some more substantial cover which in this case means a thicker tree. And once he gets there, deflecting another shower of quills along the way he just… collapses. He wasn't hit, seemingly.

Wait. Why is the grass around him withering?

Either way the demons aren't paying attention to Illyana and she can deal with the portal. There is POWER behind it. The kind of power that doesn't come from earth. And it does not feel nice.

With the demons otherwise occupied, Illyana has the time to take a good look around the portal to see if it's being anchored or it's tied into something that would indicate it had been opened from this side. She doesn't think so, since there'd likely be someone (or the remains of someone) here looking to cash in on having opened a portal to some nasty otherdimensional space. But there's not, which suggests that someone opened it on the other side.

"If you can keep one alive, you might want to interrogate them. Odds are you're gonna see more of these." Illyana calls back to Koa before thrusting her staff into the portal. It *should* disrupt the spell, but it won't give her any information on what effect that'll have on the other side.

She. Glydril is a She. Not that anyone can tell just looking. She doesn't have long lashes or shapely curves, after all.

The dragon shrieks again as the demons jaws clamps over its legs, powerful wings beating down to raise them up and make the creature loose purchase. That's all Glydril needs in the process, her powerful jaws clamp over its back. The crunch and the snap is audible … as she throws her head from side to side.

Is it dead? Maybe. If not, it sure as hell is wishing it is.

Keiko frowns as the grass withers about Koa, she takes a short 'rod' from backpack, with shake the thing extends into a staff as she follows him. Though she's not sure he's going to need her help.

If not dead, the demon that dragon just chomped is going to wish that it was. But that's a funny thing about demons that Keiko might not yet realize. Dead… is not the same kind of set back that it is to other beings.

Something pulls itself out of Koa's body. It's made of magic, Keiko's stinging Tattoos tell her that. It looks like a seven foot tall bipedal cross between a shark and a wolf or dog. But not quite either. More 'were thing' than anything else. It phases THROUGH the tree and makes right for the quill dmeon and proceeds to just beat on it with claws and fists. It takes only about ten seconds before that demon too is unmoving. Well. Mostly unmoving. Shark-wolf-thing has a foot on it's back.

There is the familiar sensation of magic unravelling for Illyana. Her staff does take the spell apart and no it doesn't give her much indication on what was on the other side. But she does get a sense of the magic. It feels a bit like a place she's familiar, but only in a passing way. Defintiely not the same. But something in the same category, roughly speaking.

"Is that all of them?" A rough voice snarls. Oh. That's… Koa? Or something?

There's a short pause. It does seem to be all of them. Koa snarls something at the demon who just stares up at him. "Great. Either it doesn't speak what I'm speaking or it's not very bright."

Once the portal unravels and disappears, and Illyana's sure it's gone, she turns back towards the others. Planting the butt of her staff into the ground and wrapping both hands around the shaft so she can lean a shoulder against it, it's Glydril that has her attention. Not the mangled mess of the demons.

"That's a dragon." Illyana says with an 'OK then' sort of tone. Demons? Portals? That doesn't phase her a whit. A dragon? This is clearly unusual.

Glydril tosses the now limp body of the demon on the ground where … Koa's form is standing. She lands on the ground not far from where Keiko is staring at whatever that hell that form is, a curl of smoke coming from her nose.

The dragon is certainly torn up with glowing ichor oozing from several wounds.

"Good girl…." Keiko croons to the creature. It's glowing and not entirely all corporeal. "Rest now and recover. I'll try not to call on you again soon …" A sketched symbol in the air, a murmured phrase has the creature dissipating - the vapour pouring into the image marked on Keikos arm.

"Indeed it is a dragon. Her name is Glydril." She says calmly to Illyana. "Agent Turner?" The enquiry is made of the glowing wolf - shark thing. Where's his body? Is it ok?

"Yes…" The creature, whatever it is, drags the demon over mostly so he can keep an eye on it and stops near both Keiko and Illyana. He's got a wild look in his eyes. Both women might know it for differet reasons. It's the look of a predator that's 'always on'.

"That's a dragon." He nods in Glydril's direction, something he is also curious about but hasn't asked yet.

"And that… is an Artifact." The capitalization is almost audible, and the way he nods toward the staff the blonde is leaning on indicates he is aware on some level of how dangerous it is.

"Did you name it? Or did it have a name when you found it?" The dragon that is. "And…" Now to Illyana. "How were you able to dispel that thing so quickly?"

Illyana Rasputina's gaze narrows, watching as Keiko dismisses the dragon. It might look a bit ominous, even if Illyana is just taking mental note of it to look into later.

Once the dragon is gone, Illyana turns her attention over to Koa's manifestation, taking her time in looking it over.
he question calls her attention back up to it/Koa's eyes. "The Soul Staff dispels most magical spells or effects." A small smirk curves her lips. "Comes in handy." She doesn't say what effect it might have on magicians. Maybe she doesn't think she has to.

Keiko glances around and frowns as she sees the Agents body, collapsed on the ground behind the tree. Surely that isn't good. She doesn't mention it though, something tells her that to point out weakness right now isn't a good thing.

"It is, yes, a Dragon." Her attention drawn back to the astral-creature. Oh yes, she recognises that look - she's experienced similar herself over the years, not 'always on' but often enough

"It is Her name that she told me when she and I were …" the dark skinned woman gestures a bit, lacking the word to use there and gesturing to the very lifelike tattoo on her arm.

Illyana's scrutiny, staff and words all get their own attention. That Keiko is discomfitted is obvious - but why? Because the staff may mess with her creatures? Or because the blonde has an unnatural in her dragon?

"What are these …" the demons she means.

From the way Koa is keeping his distance it's pretty evident she doesn't have to. This particular form does not have any protections against something that can dispell magic that easily and he's not about to roll the dice with what would happen to his consciousnes (or perhaps, soul?) were it to come apart. He MIGHT just snap back to his body.

But then he might not.

"Soul Staff. Can't say that's one I've heard of." He muses.

"Well, that's a demon Keiko." The beast-thing that is apparently Koa half growls. "What kind though I'm not quite sure. They're like thirty one flavors except stabby. And I am admittedly not an expert on the realms below." Maybe Illyana can answer Keiko's question more.

Speaking of demons the one beneath him starts to squirm and hiss.

Darkchild. Darkchild. Why do you help these humans? That's in a hissing, raspy voice. It doesn't ask about Koa or Keiko. They apparently count or something akin to it. But why she would…

Koa quirks his brow and looks between Illyana and the demon. "Darkchild?"

When Koa says he hasn't heard of it, the blond just gives a slight shrug. She's not terribly surprised, given she only made it a short while ago. Especially in Earth-time. Limbo time, it's been a bit longer.

The rasping call of one of Illyana's other names has her turning her attention down to the half-mauled demon, stepping over to it and dropping down into a flex-knee crouch. Forearms resting on her knees, the shaft of the staff balanced against her shoulder, she looks down at it with those pale blue eyes. "You show up without gifts or asking permission… are you really surprised?" She jerks her chin towards where the portal was. "I'm guessing you were the sacrificial scouts. Question is, from where?"

"These are not demons that I am familiar with." Keiko answers quietly. Clearly she is familiar with demons, or a particular sort. "Glydril did not appreciate how it tasted." There's a feral smirk as she adds that.

The rasping call has her frowning. Too many things she's unfamiliar with here - if Koa's body wasn't over there on its own, she might be inclined to get the hell out of dodge.

"Demons are generally bad to eat…" Koa-thing says, looking down at the creature with some distaste but there is a sense that he means more than just physically not savory.

The lack of answer from Illyana has Koa quirking a bestial brow and glancing over to Keiko before he takes his foot off the demon and 'floats' back where he'd come from. A few seconds later he's floating back dragging his own body. Which seems to be just sleeping.

This place… not your realm… The demon protests. That may or may not have been a mistake. Sent from the Lifeless Realms, domain of lord Sifror. That might be a name Illyana recognizes but it won't be for the other two.

You… made common cause… with the servant of the Dark One… THAT clearly means Keiko. The demon thinks she serves someone?

"Yeah, demons are nasty eating. I don't advise it." Illyana says offhandedly to Keiko's observation. Her gaze flits over to watch 'Koa' head over to his body, bringing it back so it's closer to hand. Presumably to make sure it stays safe, before it snaps back to the demon with a scowl. "Sifror? Why that sleezy…" She says something very uncomplimentary in demonic. The comment about Keiko has the blonde's brows going up as she looks to the woman in question. "I have, hmm? Is she why you're here?"

Keiko watches as Koa retrieves his body. Now might be a good time to leave. Collapsing her staff and stuffing back into her pack she's about to turn when the creatures speaks again.

She's not sure why Illyana is looking at her like that. Koa's here too - and look at what he turns into.

She sighs as the questions continue, she should have left much earlier. "I am no ones servant." It's strong enough but quiet, dark eyes watching the vile creature. "Can I kill it?"

"You know that name?" Koa asks before that big form flows back into his body. His eyes open a second later and he slowly picks himself back up, wincing slightly. He hadn't been struck during the fight but he appears to be hurt or impaired in some way.

Here to find the servants of the Dark One before they take the children…

"Why do I think?" Koa says picking himself up. "That they're not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts?"

Children are OURS! The Thirteen are prophesied…

"No, you can't kill it." Illyana says, looking up at Keiko with mild exasperation. "Because necromancy is mess business and they stop talking once they're dead." It's like teaching Interrogation 101!

The blonde waves off Koa's question. "Sifror's ruler of the Lifeless Realms, it's one of the Splinter Realms." A pause and she looks between them. "Are you both familiar with the Splinter Realms?"

Illyana's attention is called back to the demon with a frown. "Well, maybe you should have lead with that." She says, a mocking echo of Eve's words to her the other day. "I'm not keen on letting the Dark One have any children." She's not keen on letting *Sifror* have any of them *either*, but she doesn't have to mention that.

Keiko fishes through her backpack when she see's Koa wince, bringing out a bottle of gatorade, bright pink colour, and handing it to him without saying anything. There's a degree of familiarity in the action - not with Koa but with the situation.


Those dark eyes snap back to the demon, a small growl coming from the small asiatic woman. "I am not taking the children, you blundering idiot." The Thirteen? That has her frowning and looking at Illyana. Not a term she's familiar with. "Say so again and I'll have Bella tear your throat out and Glydril roast you."

Um. Illyana's 'lesson' just went to waste, didn't it?

As to Splinter Realms, it's hard to miss the shudder from Keiko. "I may well be." And yet she doesn't know the name 'Sifror'.

That makes the demon really really confused. It turns to stare at Keiko. It's less the threats. Demons live fairly horrible lives. They're used to being threatened. They take it seriously, mind you. They have to. But threats are just the usual way of living life and doing business. No, it's the notion that she's NOT here to take the kids.

But. The Dark One. Commands that the Children be taken and given the Marks of the Mindless Path.

It's confusion quickly melts though when Illyana says she doesn't want the Dark One to have the children. Good. So. You kill her, then?

Koa sighs. He doesn't say anything quite yet but this sounds bad. And Sifror… the name sounds a bit familiar even though everything the blonde says about him is news.

"Splinter realms? I've heard the name. A bunch of dimensions the chipped off a larger one like shards of rock when a boulder shatters. Each ruled by its own not so petty king. Not really my area of expertise though."

Illyana Rasputina rolls her eyes heavenward with a sigh. As if there's any help going to be coming to her from *there*. "No killing the demon." Which has her pausing, looking down at said demon. "You have a name?"

And then the demon is back on the kill-Keiko thread again and she shakes her head. "Noooo, we're not killing… uh, Lessa there. No one is killing anyone right no—why am I the one calling for the no-killing??" She demands, looking at the other two humans. Human-appearing… beings.

Another sigh. "Look." Illyana says to the demon. "You tell me about the Dark One and these Marks and I'll try to make sure they don't run off with any children."

Keiko pushes the bottle of Gatorade at Kao. "Drink it." No it will make you feel better or the like. Just an instruction.

Keiko sighs. Whether that's at being able to kill the demon or for the name that's used - Marks of the Mindless Path - isn't clear. She's heard that before though, clearly.

"I am not here to take the children. And you won't be taking them either." She opens her mouth to correct Illyana about her name but closes it again. Best to let the demon talk before she gives away too much herself.

"Why do you have this?" Koa says. "And is it poisoned?" He does take and drink it though. And no it doesn't seem to be poisoned. It will probably help but he's got a burn on his neck that wasn't there at the start of this.

No help is forthcoming from above, but the demon does keep talking. This one is called Sk'orra.

It looks confused again at the no killing but it really, really isn't in a position to argue the point. Being on the ground. After having had it's ass handed to it. By a mortal. Or something close enough.

"Because you're sensible? Don't look at me. I'm not asking for anyone to be killed." Koa replies, looking down at the demon. He HAD thought about absorbing it but that's generally a court of last resort for him for a reason.

The Dark One rules the realm of the mindless. He is the lord of desires, and the master of mortal hearts. It wants the children. They belong to the Lifeless Realm. It sends its servants to take many children. We hunt those servants, and take back what is ours. It gives the marks of the mindless path to those it takes. Markings of power seared into the skin with ink. Dominion over the creatures of the darkness. It RUINS them.

"It's like an infernal turf war." Koa mutters. This seems like it might be realted to the matter Keiko brought to his attention earlier and he looks in her direction to confirm it.

She lies! You lie! Sk'orra insists, looking wildly between Keiko and Illyana. She bears the Beast-Mark of the Mindless Path. The great beast with wings and claws. She has dominion over the darkness. Kill her Darkchild. Before she challenges you!

Oh dear.

"Hey. She said no killing there, Captain Underbite."

Illyana Rasputina pushes up to her feet, the shaft of the staff sliding along her shoulder until she can wrap a hand around it again while the other pinches the bridge of her nose. "OK. OK. Let's all calm down. How about we take a break." She looks over at Keiko and snaps her fingers as though to get her attention. "Give me something of yours so I can find you later." She looks down at Sk'orra. "You're gonna be my guest for a bit. Earth's not actually my turf, but I grew up around here so you're sort of on my stomping grounds. Also, I *do* know the resident Sorcerer Supreme and we're on good terms." Which might be exaggerating a bit but it's not a *lie*.

The bottle Keiko hands to Koa says Gatorade and the Agent gets a flat look from the tattooed woman. "I wouldn't have requested you work with me, Agent, if I was going to try and kill you. I would have had Conner take care of that." Conner, Bella, Glydril. So very … mundane, really.

It's interesting how Keiko can still be somewhat polite and yet not appear … helpless. Like she's spent a lifetime of doing this.

"We are not mindless, that's a lie." Keiko says quietly, dark eyes fixing on Illyana at the demand. The impulse to refuse, to stand against it, is so very, very strong.

Eyes sliding to Koa, there's a question there. Should she? Regardless, she removes the band that holds her pony tail, her dark hair falling down her back.

Something personal to this Sorceress, they call Dark Child. Keiko doesn't know what to make of that.

That band probably inevitably has some hair stuck to it as well.

The mention of the Sorcerer Supreme has Sk'orra stilling and looking at Keiko with hatred in his eyes and then at Illyana with… it's not respect. Fear, perhaps. Being her guest is gaurenteed not to be a walk in the park.

He does not… need to be involved. Unless he wants to kill her.

Okay he had to say it one last time didn't he.

Koa snorts and when Keiko looks at him he nods. Give it to her. So far the worst she's done to him is drop one of her friends on him. Literally. Which hurt but it could have been worse. Still… he'll be looking into… all this.

"Good of you to drop by and help." Which is not a thank you. Koa still has that sense that he shouldn't say that.

"You as well, Keiko." Even though this thing was apparently looking for her. He'll speak to her more at length later.

"Should I be especially careful if things happen around here, Miss Rasputina? You got here fairly quick." Meaning… is this her neighborhood? He doesn't think, at least at this point, that she was watching him specifically. She must have noticed the portal some other way, the theory goes.

"I'm going to have questions for you." Illyana tells Keiko as the blonde accepts the hairband. One hand is held up in a placating gesture. "I'm not accusing you of going after kids, but you obviously have some of the pieces to this puzzle." A gesture is made to Keiko's ink, which the demon brought up. Illyana can totally buy that Keiko's not mindless. She's too grumpy!

Illyana can't help a bit of a smirk as Sk'orra gets in his last 'kill her!' argument, reaching down to haul the demon up by the scruff of its neck. "I happened to be in the area visiting a friend." She assures Koa. "And I felt the disturbance in the Force. Just treat the town gently. I've got a soft spot for it."

The ruler of Limbo looks down to the demon. "You wouldn't happen to be any good at gardening, would you?" A stepping disk opens at her feet, moving upwards to whisk herself and her 'guest' off to… who knows where.

The look Keiko gives Illyana says she knows exactly what that band can be used for but right here, right now is not the time to start an argument. Or even protest.

The blonde must be aware though, that it was Koa that tipped the balance. Trust isn't something the tattooed woman finds easy.

With the demons gone, Keiko shoulders her pack and turns back down the path. "Get some rest, Agent. You'll need it after what you just did." And she disappears into the gloom.

Presumably her bike is there, somewhere.

Koa watches Illyana go, then Keiko, leaving him in a park that is at least thankfully not ruined by the fight. Rest? No, he's got several things to snoop in on before he's permitted to do that. So he starts walking back toward the diner where his car is stashed. The place he'd been at where this mess started.

Humming to himself.

"Oh there ain't no rest for the wicked. Money don't grow on trees. I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed there ain't nothing in this world for free. Oh I can't look back, I can't slow down though you know I wish I could. But there ain't no rest for the wicked, until we close our eyes for good."

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