2019-05-05 - Ritual Investigations


A scrying in the WAND offices is anything but usual. Keiko particularly doesn't enjoy it nor the answers she gets.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun May 5 10:43:57 2019
Location: Triskelion

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WAND Medical is not like a standard medical office and it isn't meant to be. There is a medical office in SHIELD, and it works perfectly well for the usual medical issues. No, WAND Medical is for those ailments that can only be treated by supernatural means. Or diagnosed by supernatural means.

Getting an examination there is… involved. For the scrying slab - which doubles as a medical table - to get a good read on someone, you have to take a bath in the ritually purified moonwell, change into a special robe. Have a particular censer swirled about you with particular incense. It's a production.

And then after that you get to lay on a cold, stone slab and let Magi work divination spells. Koa had dropped Keiko off here about half an hour ago. She is just finishing the process when he comes in.

"Hello Doc. Keiko. How's everything going?"

It's taken a day or so for Keiko to get here, the effects of the brand … starting to show, slightly. Not all the time but during that fight with the Nightfall, she'd become rather angry and the scar had pulsed a dark under red.

The production here hadn't done her temper any good, she'd grumbled and sulked more than she usually does. Not to mention the smoke from the censer had made her eyes and nose run. She might have a slight allergy to whatever was used.

For now, she's laying on the tablet, with the technician? Doctor? working over her, eyes turned up to the ceiling. "Agent Turner. You'll have to ask her. I would very much like to get up now though."

"Well she's really fidgety, Agent Turner." The Magus, Aislyn Sykes says. "But I did manage to get a reading on her."

Koa holds his hand up. "Can she get up?"

"Oh, yes of course Miss Kurita. You can get up now. Your clothes are behind the screen if you want to change." There's a paper screen not very far away.

"Now, what did you find?"

"Oh well in short the magic is intended to anchor to the brands she's received and generate a continual internal qlippothic field that sends certain moral and emotional impulses to the chakra located in-"

Koa holds up his hand to the red headed, Irish sounding woman again. "In layman's terms."

"The magic is intended to align her soul with a particular set of behaviors and ideals. But it's gone wonky because it's interacted with the magic in her tattoos. I'm not sure we can safely remove it. But we may be able to mitigate it."

"I am not." Keiko grumps at Aislyn. Koa must know that's not true. Each time he's asked to look at her, she's been incredibly still. "I just did what she told me and it wasn't it good enough." It might have a been a problem with Keiko's translation of phrases. She can be rather literal, at times.

"Thank you…" she does remember her manners as she slides from the table to the floor. The gown rides up a little but it doesn't bother her as she heads to the screen to get changed.

"Qlip-what?" beat "Oh… my soul. Agent Turner already told me that. So you don't know anything more?" It might be just a little bitter.

Dressed, she emerges again and looks at the Doc Sykes. "Are you going to tell us how, or do you need more tests?"

"Qlippothic." Aislyn turns to Keiko with a smile. "It means that they channel the mystical emanations of an outside source. The term was first inspired by a magus of a Kabbalistic bent studying the effects of-"

Koa holds up his hand to stop the babbling magus again. "If we could keep on topic, Doc. What else have you found out?"

"Oh, yes, sorry. The spell is of a Cthonic nature, the writing on the tablet you secured confirms that. Despite having been in the hands of a magus associated with a Splinter Lord, the nature of this spell is Elderitch rather than Infernal. In short, it's connected to one of the Elder Gods. I believe it was originally designed to make someone a more suitable metaphysical host for… something from Outside. However it seems to have been somewhat modified in the hands of the Nightfall and now the alignment is more extra-planar than anything else. In our reality, just not from here."

"And counteracting it?" Koa presses on Keiko's behalf.

"Ah yes. Well. The alignment needs to be sort of… spun, if you catch my drift."

Keiko peers Aislyn, then Koa, then Aislyn again. "Do you have to train to spout such mumbo jumbo. I swear not even the magi's of the Nightfall talk such nonsense and they spout enough for a year."

She falls silent though, without needing Koa to hold his hand or finger up to her, and listens carefully as the mage explains. "So … you're saying that the brand was supposed to make a vessel for an Elder God but now … I'm a host for something of … here?" The words are so hard to follow, it's making Keiko dizzy. Oh no, that's the smoke from censer.

"An no, I don't catch your drift … I see no water here."

"Nonsense? No that's all basic arcane history and mystical theory. Have you not been trained in-"

"Doctor Sykes." Koa interrupts again, seemingly used to having to do this. "The question?"

"Ah yes, sorry. No you're not a host for anything. The spell was originally intended to make you a host for something, but the Nightfall modified the artifact in some way, and now instead of preparing you to be a host, it's aligning you for some other reason. If I had to guess, it's used to make recalcitrant members embrace the values the Cult believes to be important."

Koa just facepalms. "That's not… nevermind."

"Trained?" Keiko eyes flash as the Doctor starts in. It's unusual for her to even get remotely angry but she is at the moment. The other two will see the brand, glow dully.

"I am trained Doctor to call my animals and have them do my will. I am trained Doctor to fight hand to hand and with my staff… " Koa's already interrupting and Keiko grinds her teeth, setting her jaw to stop herself saying anything more.

The rest of the information gets a curt nod. It's likely the Magi bought the artifact here for her, then. No surprise, really.

"And what did you mean by spun?"

"Well the alignment spell is going to point you at something. But it might be possible to change what it's pointing AT. That's tricky though. There's an element of genuine belief and a desire to change oneself that's inherent in the process and…" Aislyn shrugs and blushes slightly. "We haven't quite worked out how to do that yet. What I am sure of is that trying to remove them risks the same thing as trying to remove her tattoos. Which is to say, it'd be very painful at best and possibly lethal at worst."

"Lovely." Koa mutters.

"You aren't removing my tattooes, Doctor." Keiko answers firmly. Nothing of what the woman is really making sense to her but that she got. Clearly.

"So you're saying that you don't know anything except that the brand is Eldritch and is going to try and … change me." The tattooed woman sighs, picking her bag up and putting it over her shoulder. The anger still there but under control. The brands glow dying out.

"Are you going to be able to work it out? Or should I seek help elsewhere?" Poor Aislyn isn't being cut any slack.

"Well, no." The woman says. "I am also telling you it can be changed. We could probably align you with Koa if we had to."

Koa rolls his eyes. "Realistic goals, Aislyn. No one wants to be aligned with me spiritually. Have you seen what I do to spirits?"

"Oh, good point. Um, well we can destabilize the brand and make it possible to alter what it does but in order to do that… well, a lot depends on you Keiko. You'll have to find something you really, truly believe in. With all your heart. The sort of faith that, well, usually comes once in a lifetime."

What does Keiko believe in? Koa isn't sure he knows. Plokta, perhaps. Or perhaps that's just habit. Maybe she'll break it. But at the moment she seems to be getting rather… short.

"Do you need something to eat before you go, Keiko?" Koa says. "And Doc, what will it take to destabilize the brand."

"Oh well, it'll be a ritual. I can get the circle ready once I've done some reading. Um, come in day after tomorrow, perhaps?"

Koa looks to Keiko. Does that work? Or does she want to seek other help?

Keiko just stares at Aislyn as she mentions Koa and Koa clarifies what the woman was saying. "Probably isn't definitely and you'll excuse me if I don't feel confident in accepting that."

What does she believe in with all her heart? Keiko isn't sure she knows herself. Plokta? Perhaps, but that seems to be more an automatic response rather than anything she's really thought about.

And she knows her temper is brewing. She doesn't like it.

"I'll think about it." That's to Aislyn "It seems I have a bit of that to do." The truth is she has nowhere else to turn but she doesn't know if she has the 'faith' the woman speaks of.

"I … think I want to just go, thank you, Agent Turner."

"Well I'll keep working on the problem then." Aislyn says. "We might discover something else that doesn't require so much of… you." She knows the ask was a big one. But it's the best solution she's got right now. The magic is really anchored into her and anchored in some bad places. She saw that glow. She just didn't want to point it out to Koa and have him put her in containment.

Maybe Koa didn't want to do that either.

"Let me walk you down, Keiko." Koa says getting the door. "Doc, we'll talk later."

He has an idea. But he gets the feeling that neither Keiko nor the Doctor will like it.

It takes Keiko a moment to respond. She has to take a few deep breathes and let them out slowly before she can. "It is fine that something should be required of me. It is expected. It was when they bound my animals to me, it should be now. It is the … balance."

She doesn't say anything more as Koa leads them out. Maybe she doesn't trust herself or maybe she really doesn't have anything to say.

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