2019-05-16 - Hungry For Spirits


Taking Darques power in has had an impact on Koa. As Illyana and Keiko find out.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu May 16 05:09:00 2019
Location: Mutant Town

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Theme Song



The accumulation of power for it's own sake is one of the cardinal sins of magic. It was recorded thousands of years ago, immortalized in Herbrew. 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the Most High.' And as with that passage, the story very rarely ends well.

Koa is having one of those problems right now. He'd come to M-Town, out of the way, because here if you do strange things people don't often look twice at you. He figured he'd sit down with a cup of coffee. Watch people. Maybe meditate a little. And he tried to do that, he really did.

But at the moment the now Violet eyed agent is anything but meditating. Everything around him, every spirit, every person, every plant and bird and insect, the power within them calls out to him. And the temptation to reach out and take burns far more brightly than it usually does. Already the tree he's sitting under has half withered as he draws it's life away and he hasn't even realized it. Though people can see the little green motes flowing down onto him as leaves blacken and drop off.

And surely… it wouldn't be bad to just… reach out and consume that little wisp that just floated by. Koa reaches out one hand and cups it, shaking slightly…

Mutant Town isn't that big, and Koa's drawing on the magical energies around him, even the small sips he's been taking without really mean to, has attracted Attention. In this case, in the form of a certain blonde-haired sorceress that's stalking down the street.

People don't scatter, but they do suddenly decide they're ready to go home for the day, or that something on the other street really needs their attention. And some just take a look at the leather-clad woman with the chains and spikes and skulls and figure y'know what? Let's not get in her way. Illyana is sort of spoiled in that respect. Not having to deal with people.

Koa will likely 'feel' Illyana before he sees her. Her magical signature causes ripples around her. Not just from the strength, but because of the darkness that it carries. She's like a dark bonfire to his senses.

Poor Koa probably isn't going to be able to cope with the big juicy spirit in the form of a rune covered raven that perches in the tree above him. He might not be able to see it, but he'll sense it - he might even recognise something of it.

Bound to Keiko Kurita, it has a flavour about it.

As the Agent reaches out and cups the mote, the raven soars down … aiming for his hand to knock it aside.

The ripples from Illyana have him looking away from that wisp for a split second. His hand flexes. For a moment, the thought crosses his mind: 'I wonder what her power tastes like?'

This is of course a horrible idea and the newly purple-eyed agent knows it. He doesn't have time to dwell on it though as his hand is struck by a very large raven. In an instant Koa refocuses and reaches out on reflex to try and draw from that Raven's power. And of course since spirits are all power and no body…

He's rising to his feet, throwing off waves of Dark Domain-like energy when Illyana comes into view. It's almost poetic, really, when she sees him, tree to his back, framed by ash colored falling leaves. There's a metaphor there, probably, but it's not a good one.

And then of course he pulls. Neither of the two magical women can fail to notice that. Illyana because she's looking right at him when he does it and Keiko because that's HER spirit and she'll feel it when it happens.

Is… Koa shaking a bit? Like someone with delirium tremors?

That the source of the disturbance is Koa surprises Illyana a bit, but it doesn't show save for a tick of one eyebrow and the fact that she pauses as he rises to his feet. Her eyes close briefly, head turning to the side a bit as she feels the energy he's putting off and that causes her to frown.

When the blonde continues towards Koa, her stride is quicker. When he starts to pull on the spirit, her hand reaches out and closes around his wrist firmly. Almost painfully. Probably not the best idea given Koa's state of mind.

Keiko comes running around the corner as the raven swoops, backpack bouncing and ponytail swinging. "Don't hurt her …" she cries out.

Too late! The raven starts to 'melt', it's form loosing coherence. He can feed on at least some of it and it tastes good. Not just spirit, but dark dimension infused at that.

"Agent Turner. Remember what you told me …" The small asiatic woman slides to a stop as Illyana grabs his wrist, intoning some words and touching the tattoo on her upper left arm. The raven, what's left of it, dissolves to smoke … floating back to the womans arm. Hopefully, quickly enough.

Seeing Illyana, the womans eyes drop immediately. Looking at the Sorceresses toes.

It is Illyana that winds up preventing Koa from taking any more of the raven than he does. When she grabs him his, eyes eyes snap back to her and he lets out a reflexive kind of… almost a snarl. His eyes are almost completely purple. No white. no iris. The pupil is barely visible against the deep color.

The raven, gets away when Keiko calls her back into the tattoo, but that probably hurt the peruvian mage.

For a moment Keiko has a really good look at Koa as the 'I wonder what a Rasputina's magic tastes like' thought crosses his mind again. Then he shakes it, with visible effort and forces back his predatory anger at being denied a meal and also the burning need to take in more magic.

"Keiko? Miss Rasputina?" His eyes focus - though it's hard to tell that they do. It's clear that while he might have seen them when they arrived, he didn't register their presence as such until just now.

The hand relaxes, slightly, but he's still shaking.

"I'm…" He swallows. "Here…"

Beat. "What did I do?"

Illyana Rasputina doesn't let go that firm hold on Koa's wrist, her knuckles showing a bit white with the force of it, while her gaze flickers towards Keiko and then back to Koa and those wide, purple eyes.

"What did he tell you?" Illyana asks, her tone soft enough that Keiko will need to be fairly close to hear it and indeed, Illyana nods over to her side, presumably telling Keiko to come over. Though if the other woman can tell with her gaze slanted down isn't clear.

When Koa snarls at Illyana, her gaze narrows. "Down, boy." She tells him, like one might a dog, the tone holding some warning. When he gets ahold of himself and asks what he did, she shifts her gaze to the tree behind him so he can follow it.

The peruvian mage winces as the raven is harmed so badly. It takes a lot of damage to get that type of response. Illyana knows Keiko has a high tolerance for pain.

"Agent Turner. No…" Keiko nearly whispers, not meeting Illyana's gaze. Her … visit… with the demon queen has had an effect it seems. "That taking spirits changes him and it concerned him. He was meant to be trying … abstinence. He took from Master Darque in the fight the other day."

That probably doesn't mean a lot to Illyana, but she might get the gist of it.

Stepping closer to the Demon Queen, Keiko glances at Illyana before looking at Koa. "Your eyes have not returned to normal, Agent Turner."

Koa's eyes track back to the tree. And then down around him, at the piles of ashen grey leaves. The tree will probably recover… provided he doesn't keep eating from it. But he'd already taken quite a lot. He can feel the power burning within him, like a muscle after exercise. It hurts, and he knows it will physically leaved him bruised and scorched later, but it feels… so… goooood…

And so did that Raven. So very, very good.

At Keiko's comment a look flashes across his face. A combination of acknowledgement, fear and self loathing. It's a combination that Illyana might possibly have some experience with.

"I… no. No my eyes haven't come back to normal. The power I took is still mostly there. It's burning off very slowly."

Koa's finally gone still. Not tugging at that hand on his wrist. She might well draw a little blood. It comes out… darker than it should.

It is really a struggle to keep his predatory instincts in line right now, and he's not doing very well keeping that off his face.

Illyana Rasputina's hold on Koa finally relaxes. She looks down, where there's the slick feel of blood on her fingertips. Letting him go, she brings it to her lips and her tongue flickers out to taste it, lips pulling into a thin line as her own gaze flashes white as she glances back up to him.

"Darque. I ran into him once before but he left before I could do anything to him. What can you tell me about them?" Then she holds up a hand to stop any explanation. "No. Hold on." She lifts her hands and a stepping disk appears at their feet as she teleports them away. Unlike last time, the stop-over in Limbo is so brief all they see is a flash and then they're in a very… normal apartment. "Where's my chalk…" She says, moving to the kitchen to look through the drawers there.

Keiko actually starts as Illyana tastes Koa blood, seeming to be about to tell the woman to stop. She catches herself though and avoids eye contact. "It will keep burning off slowly if you keep doing this…" It's a grumble at Koa as she looks at the tree. "That's if you live long enough…"

She's not sure how Illyana will take a direct challenge like the one Koa presents. She knows how her magi would have responded. And it's not good.

"Darque…" there's sigh followed by a quick intake of breath as they're whirled away. "Where where are we?" An apartment. But her tattooes tingle - is that Koa or is there magic about?

"Are you going to put me in another circle?"

"I think she's going to put me in a circle." Koa says quietly. He hasn't moved. He suspects he knows what Illyana will do next. Well, he suspects he knows in broad strokes. His blood tastes like… well, wine, actually. Kind of. It tastes sweeter than it should. It tastes like power from the Dark Domain.

It's got that sort of wild taste that those who are not already steeped in magic tend to find irresistable. Illyana herself, she's probably fine but it's an indication just how saturated Koa is right now.

"He was powerful. Very powerful. Necromancer. But he wields some kind of… fey magic that alters perceptions. He was attacking one of our agents. He's way out of our league but I sucker punched him. Then I started… drawing from him. Draining him."

Koa shudders. The memory both repulses him and tantalizes him at the same time. He swallows again. His voice is shaky. He doesn't want to show this much weakness in front of Limbo's Splinter Lord. His instincts scream that it's dangerous. But… well, he can't help it at the moment.

"I know, Keiko. I… it's just sitting there. And the feel of it makes me want to add to it. Just take in more and more." Beat. "Is… your bird okay?"

He doesn't apologise. Not here. Not now. But he does feel bad about the raven.

By the time Illyana finds the chalk, he still hasn't moved. He is watching her though. And he looks… hungry. Given what he just said, that probably makes sense.

"What? No, that's silly." Illyana replies to Keiko as she rummages around, and then nods as Koa figures out it's him she plans to put in a circle. "And this is where I live. Well, when I'm here on Earth. It's not my place, so don't go breaking things, hmm?" Which means that Illyana… rents a room from someone?

Picking a spot between the kitchen and the living area where there's a lot of room, Illyana sets a chair down. Looking at Koa, she points to it and then starts to inscribe a circle around it. To Keiko, it probably looks like any other magical circle, but Koa can probably tell that she's building something specific to the magic he's holding on to.

"Being a necromancer is easy. You just work with dead things. But I figure he's the full-bore drag-the-soul-back-into-a-rotting-body sort, and that tends to require tossing out the nice parts of your own soul."

"Oh. That makes sense …" That Koa is going to be put in a circle. What she's going to do, Keiko has no idea - the Nightfall magi wouldn't be … nice about it.

"I won't touch anything. It's a nice apartment. Your landlord lets you do that…" she nods to the circle that's being drawn. "My landlord … " she shakes her head. She doesn't live anywhere nice, really. Just where she can afford to.

"Darque. I don't know much of him. Our Magi told us, when we were training, that we had other allies. Powerful allies. But they never told us who. He must be one. You said there was another, Agent Turner?"

At the question of the bird, Keiko looks a little stricken. "Mirlo will recover. It will take time." Yes. She called her bird - blackbird.

Koa sits in the chair when it's pointed out. He figures it is either sit in the chair or be made to kneel in the circle. Or possibly be in a very funny and somewhat awkward pose in the circle. He suspects the blonde sorceress has a wicked sense of humor.

"Good to hear. Did it… hurt you much?" Keiko might not want to admit how much it may have hurt with Illyana so close but Koa asks anyway. The spirit, well spirit deaths don't break him up very much but the connection between Keiko and her bound spirits is a close and personal one, so it's likely she would be. And more to the point, physically hurt and quite upset. Fortunately he didn't get to finish eating Mirlo.

Thanks to Illyana, ironically.

"You're building a containment circle…" He murmurs. Well it will rather effectively contain HIM at the moment. And probably his astral form if he tried to get out like that. "I've never seen anyone layer incantations like that before. But at any rate, given my experiences with him, I rather doubt he's a very nice person."

Koa sighs and shakes his head. "Though he's not the problem right this second." Koa is.

"Is this the place you were trying to garden?" Keiko will remember that. Illyana had left something and it had died. Koa doesn't think it was a plant.

Illyana Rasputina listens, and lets Keiko and Koa talk back and forth while she works on the circle with her attention turned downwards. So it's almost like giving them a moment of privacy when Koa asks after Keiko's spirit.

"That's the base, yes." Illyana glances up when he comments on her handiwork. "You're drawing from everything around you even without trying. So first we need to cut you off, so to speak. And then I need to see about the energy you're carrying, so I need to be able to have a channel through the Circle." As she finishes, she stands up, dusting her hands and walks around slowly, double-checking her work. "I'm not a 'born' splinter lord. I started human and learned magic the hard way. Ruling Limbo is a… new thing."

Pushing out a sigh, she sets her hands on her hips. "Eh, 'landlord' implies I pay rent. And yeah, he kinda lets me get away with whatever I want, within our negotiated boundaries. So, this in no way counts as a party, alright?" The blonde glances over to Koa and shrugs slightly. "Before he put in the makersomething downstairs, he'd brought in some gardening trays. I'd made a comment about herbology and he thought I wanted to take it up as a hobby."

Keiko's face turns impassive as Koa asks if it hurts and takes a very long while to answer. "It always hurt, Agent Turner. We're trained to ignore the pain but destroying the spirit like you tried to do … hurt more than I could bear." If Koa had managed to eat it, would she have lost Mirlo? She really tries not to think on that. That would have severe repercussions, she's sure.

It's a sign of trust that she shares that. Koa has to know it. It's interesting that she doesn't try to hide it from Illyana either.

"Can you take the energy he's holding, Miss Rasputina?" She frowns at the 'new splinter lord' and cants her head. "How long ago would say is new?"

"Do you have the trays still? Do they need … help?" The idea of Illyana with a hobby has her inwardly amused at least.

"Probably best that you did." Koa says quietly. Learning magic the hard way, putting in the sweat and the tears and sometimes the blood, is the best way to avoid blood sweat and tears later. Power like that always bites back, and hard, when it isn't earned. That's one of the reasons what Koa is doing is so dangerous.

The WAND agent flexes his hands as he feels himself cut off from any other sources of power and for a moment both women can see a look of panic cross his eyes. His breathing speeds up. It takes an effort for him to force it down. Down. Down boy.

"Good thing I didn't do that, then." Didn't eat Keiko's spirit. He can't help the hungry look he gives her tattoos before he shakes himself and looks back down at the floor.

Can she take the energy he's holding? Koa keeps looking down as he waits to see if she'll answer that.

"I take it… the herbology didn't quite work out." Denied magic, Illyana can see a 'void' forming. A place where there isn't any power within the circle because Koa has pulled it all into himself. What is she going to do with that?

"Uh… no. This is not a party. If anyone asks."

DEFINITELY not a party.

What constitutes 'new'? "Less than a year, Earth-time." Limbo time is really too relative to bother using.

"'Can'?" Illyana snorts. "If I take him to Limbo then I can rip it right out of him. But let's try for something a bit gentler, hmm?" She's still pacing around the circle, but this time she's watching what's going on inside. "Is that just your autonomic pull on the magic around you?" She gives one of her thoughtful frown. "Is it uncomfortable to be in a magical void like that?"

The bit about the herbology gets a smirk. "Yeaaah, no. I tried to get Sifror's demon to do it for me, but apparently it needed food or something." Illyana's apparently not good at keeping pets, either. "I'm not sure where Doug put the trays when he repurposed the space."

Seeing the look of panic cross Koa's face as he enters the containment circle, Keiko moves forward and kneels at the edge. She doesn't try to cross it but holds the Agents eyes, willing him to calm as if she could. It's like … she's done similar before. "Fear is the mind killer." She smirks a little, seeing if either of them get the reference.

"That would be an experience." She murmurs to Illyana. "Having things torn from you so they can be examined. It's something I recommend everyone try."

No, no she doesn't.

"A year … " Keiko frowns. That is new. "And the lord that ruled there before you? What of them?"

Nosy nosy spirit caller.

"This is not Dune." Koa mutters, definitely getting the reference and wondering why Keiko knows it when there's so much she doesn't know. But then he's quite used to her knowing odd things… and then not knowing the next thing that goes with it.

"It's not comfortable. Stifling. There's a feeling in the back of my head like I can't breathe." Hence the panic, or momentary panic anyway. Koa's hands flex again, like he's trying to grasp something that isn't there, or that won't come. Koa takes a deep breath as if steadying himself again.

"Normally I only pull magic when I will it, and from where I will it. But right now it's… it's like I need a trickle of magic at least. I can't stop. It's like being hungry, thirsty and panting for breath all at the same time."

Koa is aware that he doesn't need it. But it sure as hell feels like he does.

"I think she defeated him, Keiko. We have some… writings on him. He had an apprentice…" Koa leaves off there. More for Illyana to explain really, if she will, but drawing the line between apprentice and present master isn't hard.

Also yes. He said 'defeated'. Not 'killed'.

"Graceful transition of power isn't really a 'thing' with Limbo." Illyana notes, answering Keiko's question in a very vague manner. Most of her attention is still on Koa, so at least she's too distracted to make cutting commentary, right?

Illyana moves to one portion of the circle, where she's prepared it for a controlled access between what's within and what's without. Reaching behind her neck, she takes off one of her necklaces. This one has a natural crystal held in a setting of silver. Holding it before her, she stretches a hand out towards Koa and her eyes kindle to bright white.

Koa will feel a tug on the magic within him as Illyana tries to draw it out and place it in the crystal, since it needs to go *somewhere*.

"That's how my tattooes feel when they perform the ritual." Keiko says quietly, still on her knees, hands on her lap as she watches Koa. "There might not be oceans of sand outside, Agent Koa, but I bet the magic feels like Spice does … the buzz, the high you get from it."

There's a sharp intake of breath as Illyana pulls that magic from Koa, and flinch of the peruvians shoulders. She doesn't show pain under even some fairly extreme circumstances. So … why now? That is pain she's exhibiting.

"You were the apprentice?" Her voice is a just little strained as she asks the Limbo Queen that question. "It's rarely graceful, the transfer of power. Most times I've seen it, it's ended up poorly for one of the parties involved."

Koa grunts on the chair, but it doesn't take long for that pull to become physical. There's resistance here. Illyana would expect that, people naturally resist having energy pulled out of them to some degree, the same way dirt resists having the weeds pulled out. Eventually the tug has his back bowing forward and not long after that his astral form starts to separate from him, pulling from his body in the same pose while his physical form remains suspended where it is.

The power is all over him. Suffused within him, making his astral form deep violet - like his eyes were. Slowly that too starts to leech out and gather in a ball but the very nature of this operation means that as careful and gentle as Illyana may be, it takes bits of other things with it as it comes loose.

There's quite a lot of it as it gathers there, the orb growing to the size of a fist, then the size of a softball, then the size of a soccer ball. After reaching critical mass it starts to drain INTO that crystal. Which is important because otherwise it'd probably just go right back into Koa.

There's a growl from the circle. Pained. Koa's astral form has managed to right itself and he's watching the power drain away. He looks… smaller without it though still large enough that he's got a leg half phased into the chair.

"You and your odd pop culture knowledge." Beast-Koa grumbles. There's a predatory sense about him when he's like this. "Various gods this hurts…"

The orb starts to drift, moving toward Keiko though it remains in the containment, and steadily being drawn into Illyana's crystal. This will probably only take another ten to fifteen seconds unless something unusual happens.

It might occur to Illyana that if it's this easy to draw power out of Koa… well, she might be able to do it 'in the field' if she ever wanted to.

"Our records… nnnnngh… they don't say when Belasco… fell. We didn't even know it had happened until she mentioned it to me in an earlier conversation. I gather… nnnnnnnnngh… that he's still out there."

There's a short pause. "How… how close?" How close to done. Even on his bestial, fang-mawed face the pain is evident.

Illyana Rasputina gives Keiko a quick glance, frowning. "Is something wrong? Speak up. I expect this might hurt him. It *shouldn't* hurt you. I'm not doing anything to you." Illyana's tone is short and sharp. She's kind of got a lot of dangerous balls in the air here, and so the mocking humor she usually affects is notably absent.

She's usually mocking so she can treat it like a game. It has to be a game, because if it's real then she might need to kill someone. And she really doesn't want to kill someone again.

As the power finally comes free of Koa, Illyana's free hand slowly closes into a fist and the ball of energy condenses, getting smaller but also more concentrated. A crook of her finger and it starts to unspool, like a ball of yarn, with that 'thread' of power crossing the Circle and entering the crystal.

"I was six or seven when Belasco got ahold of me and made me his apprentice. I escaped when I was in my teens, but he found me last summer. It was another six or so years of him punishing me before I managed to overthrow him. It's been… I dunno. Maybe a year for me? Months for folks here. Nearly done." Illyana says, the last bit for Koa as the power finally finishes transferring, leaving the crystal glowing like Koa's eyes did.

That energy Illyana is unspooling seems to try and wend it's way to where the tattooed woman is kneeling. In the containment circle, Illyana might not sense it, the way Keiko - or something about her - seems to respond to the energy that Koa had been eating.

"Well it does …" Keiko swallows. "The tattoo on my back … " Her other ones might as well, but that one is enough for her to react.

"Six years … and only one." Keikos thinking about that. Well as much as she can, it's rather distracting at the moment.

Finally released from the grip of Illyana's magic - the last of Darque's power has left him - Koa slumps. His body sags back into the chair and his astral form dips and hangs there. He shakes himself - well, the glowing Koa does - and looks up, watching as Illyana draws all that power into that little crystal.

"That's a lot of ju-ju." He mutters, frowning as Keiko says the half finished tattoo on her back is hurting.

"That doesn't make sense. In order to be affected by what she's doing it'd have to have resonance with the power she's affecting. And it can't have resonance with Darque." He pauses and his frown deepens. "Well, unless your tattoo somehow has a resonance with Plokta himself…"

The story of Illyana's 'difficult childhood' draws his attention back. "Seven years of pun-."

Koa breaks off and just sets his jaw. The easy thing to do - the human thing to do - would be to say he's sorry. Not because he did anything but to express sympathy. He doesn't. Not because he doesn't sympathize, but because of what she feels like. What she looks like when her eyes are white like that. One does not apologize to a shark.

Or a Darkchild.

"You're convinced he's not a threat anymore, though. Yes?" After a moment Koa adds half to himself, half to everyone in general. "What could you do with the power in that crystal, I wonder?"

Illyana Rasputina was going to say something about Keiko's reaction, but Koa beats her to it. "More knots to try to tear apart. Later." The blonde says with a frustrated sigh.

With Koa free of Darque's power, or at least looking like he's free, Illyana sets the crystal aside and starts to study Koa again. "You know, it's a lot easier to see what's going on with you magically when you're like this." She says with some of her usual levity.

Illyana pauses when Koa asks about Belasco being a threat. "Anyone can be a threat. But he should only really be a threat to me. He's still trapped in Limbo. The Elder Gods did that, and he's tried for centuries to slip free."

Keiko just sort of stares at Koa, like he's grown a second head or something. "Of course my tattooes resonate with Lord Plokta. It is how the spirits are bound. All of us are marked that way, we can touch our God if the need is great." She shifts again, watching the tendrils of magic as they seep into the crystal. Once they're gone she relaxes, but doesn't get up from where she is.

"Six years is indeed a long time, Agent Turner." She doesn't say 'sorry' either. That was beaten out of her, years ago.

"What are you going to do with the energy, Miss Rasputina?" With the pain gone, it's easier to concentrate now.

That Koa hasn't reverted to his normal form is noted but Illyana seems happy enough to examine him. Better him than her, this time.

"Thanks?" Koa's not sure it's good that it's easier to see what's going on with him magically when he's projected. It looks like it's re-whetted the blonde's curiosity and she might want to do this again. And she knows where he lives. And consequently, also where he sleeps.

Still he doesn't try to climb back in his body. Not yet. He's still hanging in that magical vacuum. He's… an odd duck, even from the other side of the containment to Illyana's eyes. Swirling arcane energies wrapped around a soul. Not the sort of thing you'd really do willingly most of the time. More a flaw than an ability. A detachable soul.

Koa's eyes drift back to Keiko, specifically toward her back, then he looks back at Illyana. "It has a direct line to Plokta. A weak one probably but…" There's got to be something they can do with that. The gears in his head are turning. Both of them can see it. The question of Belasco gets left aside for a moment. This might be useful but if it is, it's not directly useful to Koa. Whatever Keiko's got, there's no way HE can make use of it.

"That's a good question, I think." What is she going to do with that power?

Illyana Rasputina pauses in her circumnavigation of Koa's 'containment', her gaze sharp on Keiko. "He's not a god!" Her tone is equally sharp, chastising the other woman. "He's not even the top of the demonic food chain." Illyana's eyes are still glowing, all-white, and they seem to burn the brighter with her anger.

Blowing out a long hiss of annoyance, Illyana twitches a bit before she goes back to what she was doing. "Yes, that link can be followed back to him much as any sympathetic link." Finishing her trip around Koa, she uses a foot to swipe a line through the circle. "Tell me if you're still feeling that hunger." As to Darque's energy? She lifts a shoulder in a shrug. "Not sure. I could let you hold onto it for a rainy day."

"He's my God, Miss Raputina." Keiko says quietly, eyes not meeting the blondes. It's a quiet sort of steel, the same sort that Keiko has used to deal with the pain. Resolute and almost unending. "I was raised to revere him. It's possible that Keiko just doesn't know how to question it.

Or maybe something ties her more closely than anyone realises.

If Illyana's interest is whetted in Koa, Keiko hasn't seemed to notice.

"You want to sow distrust between the Nightfall and their God? Show them one of his lieutenants has defected."

"It's… back to normal. I… always want it a bit. Want to gorge myself on the life around me. It's like the world's worst drug." Koa shakes himself. "But usually I can handle it."

Keiko's chastisement gets a small smile from the Koa-avatar and he shakes his head to the question of whether he should hold onto it. "No. Don't. I'd be tempted to take it in and then we'd be back where we started or worse. You should keep it."

Keiko's suggestion has him sighing thoughtfully a little. "I don't suppose you want to use it and Keiko's link to blast Plokta with a taste of his own medicine, mmm? I suppose one Splinter Lord doing that to another would start a war…"

And a war in Limbo is probably the last thing Illyana needs right now.

Not to mention the ordeal would probably be quite painful for Keiko.

"Why do you still worship him again?"

Illyana Rasputina shakes her head at Keiko, not looking disappointed. It's something more. Perhaps something worse. Disgust, perhaps? "He's hardly even aware of what all of you are doing. Like gnats. All he cares about is that you feed him souls."

A wave of Illyana's hand, and an unseen wind blows away the chalk lines into nothing. "Yeah, I have an idea how that feels." For Illyana, it's not feeding on the life force of things around her, but it's the rush that her magic can give her. The thrill hurting people can give her. "It's a lot of power, but it wouldn't amount to much more than a slap to the face and would likely burn out the conduit." In case you weren't paying attention at home, the conduit is Keiko.

The blonde frowns over to said conduit. "Use an illusion? Think we could trick your magi?"

That look is probably something Keiko is used to. Perhaps not for the same reasons but disgust for being weak? For not being devout enough? That's about right.

"My Magi? They know who Darque is…" she says quietly, slowly thinking. The look of disgust hasn't helped her thinking process much.

"What if you could start a war though? One that you weren't involved in? Set two Splinter Lords at each other throat and let them go at it? Would that work and could you do it?"

Koa finally climbs back in his body and stands up from the chair. He flexes his hands a couple of times but there's no sense of power flowing into him. It looks like he's under control, for the moment at least.

"I'll bet you do." He says quietly to Illyana. Knows what that feels like. Knows the rush of power and how damn addictive and tempting that can be.

"There's how many Splinter Lords? Forty or fifty. None of them much like eachother from what I understand. Most of them won't ever have seen the others though, nor know what any of their servants look like. They'd judge it entirely from the 'taste' of the magic they were dealing with…"

He muses, which is partly covering up the fact that he still aches.

"Is… is it possible?"

Illyana would know best. And if not, she may have an alternative.

Illyana Rasputina walks over towards where she'd put the crystal down, lifting it up to eye-level and narrowing her gaze at it. Her own eyes have gone back to normal, and the purple glow of the crystal turns the pale blue lavender.

Her gaze shifts back to the other two, a smirk curving her lips but it's not the usual excuse-for-a-smile. This one is as chilling as her eyes, those windows-to-the-soul. "I have an idea."

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