2019-06-21 - Rule In Hell


Keiko and Piotr find themselves with an unwanted crown.

Log Info:

Storyteller: Koa Turner
Date: June 21, 2019
Location: Limbo

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Theme Song



Limbo: Year 1

Limbo is, make no mistake about it, a blasted hellscape. The sky is red. The ground is red, rocky and parched. What little water there is, is sluggish and ominously dark. What few plants there seem either wiry, fleshy weeds or else almost entirely composed of thorns. There is no sun. There is no day and there is no night.

At the center of Limbo lies the Citadel. It's a nightmarish mish-mash of castle elements that rises impossibly from the ground and looms over everything. The exterior makes little sense, though it seems fortress like. The interior makes even less sense, but on the ground floor near the heart of it there is a grand hall, filled with pillars and windows that look out onto the red sky. There's a throne here. Formerly the stronghold of Belasco this is the sometimes home of Illyana Rasputina.

Or… it should be.

Piotr and Keiko are brought in from separate entrances by the crowd of demons carrying them, probably the worse for whatever struggles. Both are dropped on the dais near the throne where a crowd of imps is hard at work chiseling a second chair out of a solid block of rock. There are demons of all sizes here. Small ones barely the size of a housecat and huge ones bigger than Piotr. Several of those. The cacophony of them is near deafening. There must be hundreds, possibly thousands crowded in here.

Weirdly, after dropping them, they don't attack. They stand there, chittering, jabbering, yelling. No order to them. Though they don't seem inclined to let either human nor mutant leave and even if they did get out… where would they go? Into Limbo? Neither of them have a way back to earth.

Keiko is worse for wear. She'd called her spirits to fight with her, two at time until they'd been defeated. Each and every one of their defeats had increased the spirit callers injuries until it was just her and her quarterstaff batting ineffectually at the horde that had come for her.

Back where she was taken there'll be a couple of carcasses and that quarterstaff. Too exhausted to fight when they finally they got her, she'd dropped it.

It's a battered and bleeding woman that slowly pulls herself to her knees, the mark on her chest pulsing dully, as her hair falls about her face in lank, matted, sections.

Where is Illyana? Usually, when she needs his attention, Illyana would just portal him into Limbo to ask him what he wanted. Getting kidnapped by her pets? That was never her way. Did he forget to get her ice cream or something?

What he's not doing is going peacefully. He's currently in his full-metal form. He tosses aside one of the demons as they set him down and is getting ready to get amongst when he notices the young woman.

"….Keiko, was it not?" he asks as he rises to his full height and looks around. And he calls out. "ILLYANA!"

If that doesn't get her attention, nothing will.

Piotr's voice echoes in the halls over the demons' chittering and chattering but the only result is to make many of them roar in what sounds like approval. There's a yell. An authoritative yell. It's perfect. Just perfect.

The crowd is getting a bit restless though. Piotr's strong enough and tough enough that the hordes are giving him some space but some of them are poking at Keiko's limp form. They look hungry.


It's the sound of rock being struck on rock and it echoes in the hall. The noise makes the demon quiet and on one of the pillars a small imp - a creature that looks sort of like a beaked cat - climbs up. It is holding the rock.

"She's not here." He hisses. "She's been gone for years. We waited. She's not coming back. That is why you are here. Both of you."

The murmur through the crowd is a word that might be a name, possibly. K'nert.

Piotr may be aware - though likely not Keiko - that Limbo's time runs differently. And that if Illyana's been missing for years (or longer) here, then it's probably only been a short time on Earth.

Still, perspective is everything, isn't it?

"Get away from her!" comes the response from the armored Russian. Wandering forward, he smacks the nearest demon out of the way as he storms towards the downed woman, and kneels next to Keiko, his expression softening as Piotr moves to touch her cheek. "Keiko." he prompts. "You need to get up." comes the urgent tone in his voice. "They sense weakness. And they will act on it."

He did listen to his sister on some things about Limbo, as he glares at K'nert. "She is not gone. She is on a mission. And when she returns, she will strew the entrails of those that have acted against her friends." he snaps at the imp. "And if she doesn't…" comes the ominous addition.

"I will." Is he bluffing? He's not even sure himself.

Keiko manages to stifle the winces as the demons poke at her, positioned as she is on her hands and knees. Her head hangs low, the effort to rise is taxing her but she's trying. And then Piotr is there, touching her cheek. She moves her head away - contact isn't going to help her, it will hinder.

"I know." Keiko croaks, her throat raw from the yelling she'd done during the fight. Screaming might be accurate, given her creatures were destroyed. How much pain had she experienced to draw that from her? "I'm moving."

"Years?" She manages to draw herself up into a crouch, before taking a deep breath and unfolding. Piotr can see now - the collar at her throat with gem in the filigree clasp, the dully glowing mark that peeks above her neckline and the travails of the fight she just had.

Blood runs down her arms, dripping onto the ground slowly, but she makes no effort to stop it - not yet.

"You have us now. What do you want?" She's trying to project, but her throat is so tender it's raspy.

"She's gone!" K'nert hisses back. "We have waited for centuries. We have been faithful. But she is gone. And Limbo… Limbo must always have a Darkchild. Who better, than one of the Darkchild's blood?"

Wait a moment. Do the mean for Piotr to take Illyana's place?

Keiko getting up has the demons stepping back. Or is it Piotr's seeming anger. Maybe that has them stepping back. Stepping back but not letting them go.

And again, even if they could get out, where would they go?

"You are both here to rule Limbo. And to ensure that we are never without a darkchild again." The imp hisses and the demons around it murmur, squawk and grunt in approval.

"Which means you'll have to make a child. So that the line can continue. There must always be a Rasputin in the Citadel."

"Then if you need one of her blood, you have me. You can let her go." Piotr starts to say, before K'nert lays out the rest of the plan. And that brings a raise of his brows. "We will /not/ be doing that." he rumbles, his metal form rippling as he stands up taller than he was.

It's not that Keiko /isn't/ attractive.

Just you know she's got that whole Agent Koa, tattoo weird attachment to Plokta thing going on.

Keiko would so would be so very confused if she knew that people were pairing her with Koa. All the Agent does, apart from giving her work, is tease and annoy her. They certainly aren't together like that.

Plokta. Well. Piotr might be a bit behind there but previously he would be correct.

"Centuries?" She's getting more and more confused. Time runs differently here, she understands that - but maybe demons have a passing association with what time really is.

"I'm not kidnapping anymore children. That's finished for me." she answers clearly. Completely misunderstanding what the imp is suggesting. It's likely her education on that all comes from the soaps and tv shows she's been watching for the last three years.

"Not doing what?" she ask Piotr, quite innocently really.

"We have all of the finest materials for baby making. Pristine. Fresh. Exactly what you need." K'nert says airily waving a hand. "But first… you must both take up your crowns. Bring forth the blade!"

There's the sound of dragging of metal on stone and several smaller demons drag what looks like a very large sword made out of jet black metal. It looks polished but it's so dark that there's no reflectivity. Indeed it seems to suck in light around it. K'nert smile grows into something wide and very, very unpleasant. Like the grinch. If the Grinch were a demon.

At the same time two other things happen. First, runes arranged in a circle around where the pair had been dropped start to pulse dark red one after the other, lighting up like some kind of arcane digital clock. Second, a large metal skeleton - something that looks roughly humanoid but has some kind of claws or spurs on it - pushes its way through the crowd nearest to Keiko and stands not far from her, ominously, hands flexing as it watches her unerringly with empty eye sockets.

"Go on, Darkchild. Take up your blade…" K'nert says in a soft, almost soothing tone. Or it would be if he didn't look like the cat that ate the canary.

As the runes light up Keiko's brand starts to hurt and the tightening sensation coming from the band around her throat gets tighter.

Why IS she wearing that?

Why is that Skeleton standing next to Keiko. And what happens if Piotr refuses?

"They mean for us to have a child. As in…" Piotr grits his teeth as K'nert interrupts him again, and he growls. "One more comment, and you will talk from your beak on the other side of your head, K'nert." he responds. But there's the hilt of the weapon standing there. He knows when Illyana has it, it was a staff.

But when he grabs it, there's a different form than that of what Illyana did.

Illyana was a youngin when she had to draw that weapon. When he takes it, it takes on something far more dangerous. The massive claymore is yanked from the ground. "Until Illyana returns. And we will find her." he growls.

Because you know, the alternative. His attention shifts to the skeleton, and sword points at the creature. "You /will not/ harm her."

Piotrs answer does nothing to clear up Keiko's confusion. That's likely compounded by K'nerts extra comments. She doesn't respond to that - if she was taught one thing, it's that questions are weakness and to appear weak here is death, or worse.

Keiko watches as the obsidian sword is drawn forward - she doesn't connect it to Illyana's soul staff, why would she? Her knowledge of the Darkchilde and the staff is very, very spotty. "Piotr, don't. We can fight…" she grates out, turning to face that metal skeleton - putting her back to Piotr's side at the least.

That's about all she can do as that brand burns again and the collar starts to become uncomfortable - not enough to restrict her breathing, yet. It's the skin around it though, that stings.

"Nnnngggghhhh" She won't cry out in pain. She just won't. Her eyes flash dangerously though as her anger rises, that tattooes on her arms start to writhe. "Leave us alone." comes the growl. Piotrs protectiveness makes her frown … he'll see the outline on her back start to glow faintly.

The skeleton steps away when Piotr takes up the sword. There seems to be no need now that he has. When he does the runes at the edge of the circle they're standing in flare brightly. Keiko can feel the magic crawl over her. Over that collar she has. Over the blank tattoo on her back. And maybe in other ways as well.

Piotr. Well, he feels something different entirely. There's a painful ripping sensation and that isn't physical but is all at the same time and then… numbness. In an instant he knows what has happened. His soul has been drawn into the sword and left a void behind it. A void that the magic of Limbo - the demonic corruption that seeps through the whole place - will slowly but inevitably fill.

Keiko's in largely the same boat, really. Just different circumstances.

"All hail the Darkchild and his Consort. All hail the Rasputin!" K'nert calls out.

"Rasputin!" The demons croak and roar and squawk and bellow. It's deafening.

A coronation. That's what this is. And Keiko and Piotr have just accepted the crown to hell. Is it really better to rule in hell than serve in heaven? They're going to find out.

There is… more clattering and something pushing up from the back of the crowd but it's hard to see just what it is yet.

With Keiko finally starts to stand on her own, Piotr hisses as he feels his essence pulled into the sword. His uniform changes to reflect the change in his demeanor, the armored form fitting with the leather and cloth of the X-Uniform as he turns his attention to Keiko.

He will hold. He has to hold. Not just for himself - but for her.

But he can't say that. He can't let his new queen seem weak in front of the demons. They would tear her apart to find a new one.

Keiko's changes are … interesting. Numbness - she's used to that. The Nightfall had beaten so much out of her, she finds it hard to feel compassion normally.

It's the other changes that matter to her. Her pupils narrow slightly, the outline on her back becomes a little more defined, her tattooes take on a caste of something more dangerous.

The collar around her throat seems to 'melt' into her skin. It's impossible to tell where the skin ends and the collar starts now. It's become part of her.

The last of the changes manifest in her clothing. Normally her choice seems to be cast offs, singlets and jeans. Those morph into a tight fitting black crop top, the jeans changing to leather that sit just on her hips. She's athletic to be sure, that much is obvious but what's more obvious is the elder god brand that starts just below her neck and ends just above her waistband, wrapping nearly to the edges of her waist. And it's pulsing still.

She knows she has to hold. She's been trained for this sort of thing. In fact … this feels so very close to the last trial she undertook.

K'nert looks over the changes with approval. He knows he has gotten pretty much exactly what he wants here. Now it's only a matter of time.

The clattering, squelching and jostling turns out to be demons bringing piles of things forward. Bones. Raw meat - best not to ask what kind - leather. A cow, for some reason. They all get pulled to the front of the crowd and arranged in front of the dais. Behind them the crowd of imps has finished working on the second throne and scampers off into the crowd.

"And here is everything you need to make a baby. The cleanest bones. The freshest meat. The most tanned, toughest leather. Milk - well you'll have to get the milk from the cow, it had to be fresh. And gl-" His eyes narrow.

"They'll need glue for all of this. I told you to get a horse." The catlike imp sighs.

"We'll get a horse for you so you can have fresh glue. Now, everyone, the Darkchild and his Queen need privacy to make this baby. And a romantic dinner. Get the dinner ready."

Those words have the demons exiting the hall. K'nert himself bows from his perch and scampers away. The skeleton though, it walks out to the front of the great hall and blocks the only outside exit. Apparently… they can go into the citadel. But not leave it. Not until Limbo has had its way with the both of them.

And also, they've finished gluing their child together.

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