2019-06-21 - To Summon A Beast


Another attempt to escape is foiled for Piotr and Keiko

Log Info:

Storyteller: Piotr Rasputin
Date: 21 June 2019
Location: Limbo

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Limbo: Year 1

"Keiko. Keiko, wake up." It's been months. Has to have been. Nearly a year. Holidays are hard to celebrate in Limbo, but for Piotr, he imagines it has to be close to Christmas time. They had gotten in the habit of sharing the bed - just not doing anything that would make K'nert happy. And now he's roughly jostling her awake.

His uniform is long since destroyed, he's dressed in cloth, furs, and leather pants. The only functional part of his uniform left is his boots. The soul-steel sword is on his back, held there by a leather strap.

"Come on, I found another way out of the Citadel." He'd been exploring for weeks. Mapping the place, learning it. And he's finally found a weakness.

Keiko generally sleeps on the edge of the mattress, curled up to take up as little room possible. Right now, the covers are pulled up to the top of her head and she's sound asleep. Or at least she was. "Piotr? ty che, blyad? I was sleeping. I didn't get to sleep till late, go away, let me sleep."

She's turning over and pulling the bed clothes over her again when his words start to register. "You've done what?" It's still sleepy and she's an amazing ability to ignore his jostling.

"Come now, solnyshko." Piotr tells Keiko, using the light term of endearment he's decided to use for the young woman as he jostles her again. "I have found a way out of the Citadel. It is unguarded." he tells her as he pulls the blankets back to expose Keiko fully. "We do not have much time. I have packed some provisions."

"You can sleep when we have gotten out of here." He uses the same tone that she used on him so long ago, when she was urging him to break free.

Keiko grips those sheets like her life depends on it but Piotr manages to draw them clear. It's a short t-shirt and underwear that's she wearing. "You're a beast…" she grumbles, turning her legs to edge and sliding to the floor. "Where are my clothes… Tell me more while I dress."

Piotr has to wait while Keiko dresses. Her clothing has been replaced as well. Still leather pants that ride low over her hips. The crop top is more like a bikini top and there's straps everywhere. Ones that frame and highlight her … assets. Like her waist!

The boots are all her own though, she takes care of them but they're not going to last forever.

Finally, she settles a fur about her shoulders and nods to the big man. "Alright then. You got me out of bed, show me." Provisions. Those are valuable - food doesn't last long here, not unperishables.

He doesn't linger on her too long, they've seen each other by now in various states of dress, and once Keiko is ready, Piotr pushes himself to his feet. "Uz'gaun showed me a spot in the citadel where there are no guards, and we can get access to a stepping disk." Months of bribing and whispers to the demon most likely to go against K'nert finally paid off.

Opening the door to their chambers, he looks around and steps out of the door, into the hallway and heads towards the stairs that will take them — up?

"He did?" Keiko rolls her neck and wishes not for the first time that she had some coffee. Of all the many things she misses about 'home' it's that. "I can't believe we got something." Her boots sound a solid thud on the floor as they walk.

In hallway, Piotr leads them left to some stairs that look like they're leading down but they're not, they are indeed going up.

She wonders if they can really trust Uz'gaun at this point. It's taken months and in many ways the spotted ear demon has led them a merry chase.

"Can you call this stepping disk? I seem to remember that Illyana had to do that and no one else had the skill to do so." she asks as they make their way towards the ramparts of the building.

"I can try. Even if I can't.. it will be at least.." Piotr frowns. He's not sure. But he's got to try. For them. "It's the same one that he said K'nert uses when you demand ice cream." Anything to keep the Queen happy, though even K'nert is impatient these days on why there is no heir running around yet.

As they head up, they end up in a part of the Citadel that Illyana had yet to put her influence on. The Belasco touches are still heavy in this area as they walked down the hallway, the rug that runs the floor long rotted, and the paintings upon the wall molded and ruined.

Reaching up, Piotr rubs at his arm with a frown. "We are close." he tells Keiko as they come to the large door at the end of the hall. Reaching up, he pulls it open - and the rampart here has been blasted away - the stairs are in ruins and crumbling, a skeleton of its former self. And in the middle of the room is a large white disk. Is it the way home?

"I like ice cream" Keiko says simply. Maybe next time she'll demand coffee. Though knowing the demons as she's getting to, they're likely to go to a hole in a wall dive and get her burnt stuff.

The corruption of Limbo touches everything eventually and that's seen as they walk through this area. It's not just that the paintings are molded and ruined, the paintings have been changed to something grotesque.

"What's wrong with your arm? You've been doing that a bit lately…" the woman murmurs, pitching her voice so it doesn't carry.

She stops as the door opens, just barely stepping into the room. "Is that it?" she asks even more quietly, starting to move again, across the floor to that floating disk. The itch in her tattoos getting worse.

"Yeah, I think so." Piotr responds as he takes in the disk. "Now comes the hard part, right?" he asks her, as he starts to reach for the soul-steel blade on his back. As he does so, he glances aside to Keiko. "You know, I never did ask you what your favorite ice cream is." A King should know that about his Consort.

But as soon as his hand touches the hilt of the blade, there's a loud howl - it's a howl of pain from Piotr, before there's another - more ominous howl. Leaping from above, a massive creature leaps down between them and the portal.

It's a dog. Not just any dog, though. It would be a Russian Bear Dog were they back on Earth. But here in Limbo, twisted and corrupted as it is, it's a massive half-bear, half-hellhound as it rises back on his hindlegs and howls loud enough to attract all the attention before it snaps it's jaws at the pair to try to drive them back.

Piotr has /no/ clue that it was just summoned by him.

"Chocolate. Just chocolate. Not with all the fancy stuff." Keiko answers distractedly, circling to see how they reach that portal. "You didn't answer me about your arm…"

Then Piotrs howling and something else. To her credit she doesn't jump, but the fur falls from her shoulders, leaving Keiko dressed like that, preparing to fight. What with? Her quarterstaff is back on Earth, hopefully found by someone, and nothing here has given her the balance that she needs.

When the Bear Dog lands, Keiko looks between it and the big man, brow creasing just a little as she thinks. Her fingers brush the tattoo on her upper right arm as she mutters some words. A few seconds later, Cullen stands beside her.

Cullen, the glowing spirit of a Barghest - already a fearsome and horrifying creature. Now warped by her adventures with Siffror and nearly a year in Limbo. He's terrifying, eyes glowing red, huge fangs protruding from his mouth and his body covered with chitinous scales and not fur. He howls in defiance at the Bear Dog, sliding in front of Keiko.


Piotr clutches his arm, as if it's not even working as he grits his teeth. It's clear that something's hurt him - Keiko may notice the slight glowing of the glyphs on his arm. There's no answering her at the moment on his arm as the bear hellhound roars and barks at Cullen angrily. However, it is not attacking. The massive creature just seems to be trying to keep the pair from the stepping disk.

Even as the stepping disk is starting to fade out, the creature steps forward, snapping and barking as it tries to convince Keiko and Piotr to withdraw, his teeth pulling back in a snarl at Cullen. It will not bend to the woman's threat.

Keiko is not really combatant. She's trained in hand to hand and some weaponcraft, like her quarterstaff, but her main strength is her spirits. It are these that do her work for her. Right now, she's only the one and summoning a second is something she'd rather not do. Exposing the spirits directly to Limbo is having an impact on them.

One she doesn't really like, but even that's fading as the months turn into a year and more.

Cullen lunges at the Bear Dog, seeming to try and bite at his throat but it's a feint, as the Hellhound steps to the side, forcing the snapping and snarling beast to circle with him, keeping its attention as it exposes it side.

"Piotr!!" Keiko's voice is stronger, more authoritative. Trying to snap the tall man back to attention. "Pain and fear are the mindkiller." She'd said something like to Koa, what seems like a long time ago, and she'd meant it. Push it down, focus on what needs to be done in the now.

She casts around for something in the debris she can use as a weapon. That … sort of … looks like a piece of rebar.

Fight through the pain. He's never felt a burning like this before - /underneath/ the armor. Piotr hears Keiko's words, and his mind returns to the here and now as he growls beneath his breath. His voice lets out a string of curses as Cullen lunges at the Bear Dog. The massive tattoo creature moves to the side, falling for Cullen's feint, but it's not Cullen that the creature is focused on - it's Keiko and Piotr.

As the creature rushes towards Keiko, opening it's massive maw to snap out at her - Keiko will notice the movement from her side as Piotr lunges at the creature, slamming into its side and trying to drive it back. "You will /not/ harm her!" he roars.

But as soon as he pushes the creature to the side, he's reaching to grab Keiko's hand and start to pull her up the stairs.

Every other time they've tried to escape, he tried to send her away by herself while he tried to hold them off. Now? He's trying to take her with him. Perhaps what she said is finally rubbing off. Maybe he doesn't really want to be here. Maybe he just wants to be by her side, damn the consequences. But they are fighting together now.

Or maybe it's something else. Limbo has a way of corrupting ones base nature. What is it doing to the solitary, self sufficient, tattooed woman. What is it doing to the man who has the soul of an artist?

Cullen roars and rushes the creature intent on knocking the Bear Dog off balance, just Piotr hits it from the other side. Cullens jaws clamp around the creatures throat and the massive hellhound shakes his head. It will slow the Bear Dog a little at least.

Keiko was already swinging that rebar when Piotr rushes in. She doesn't argue when he grabs her hand and starts to tug her up the stairs. The glowing glyphs on his armour get a growl from the woman. "Calm your mind. And think what you want that creature to do …"

The brand on her torso is glowly faintly - a sure sign her anger is rising.

The bear dog howls in pain, and Piotr feels it himself, as he cries out in a sharp pain. Is this what she goes through when her own creatures are in combat? Is this the way that it works with her? He grits his teeth, his hand tightening in Keiko's, but he's listening to her - his breathing slows, taking long, cleansing breaths. "Keiko.." he growls, as he glares towards the creature.

The bear hound turns towards Piotr, struggling against Cullen before ripping away. But it's not her creature she attacks - instead, it turns and lunges, slamming into the stairs ahead of himself and Keiko, collapsing them, cutting the pair off from the stepping disk. It is /not/ what Piotr wanted to do. "Chyort voz'mi!"

Keiko learns a new Russian curse as the large Russian releases Keiko's hand to try to grapple the massive creature and drive it back down to the floor as the stairs collapse ahead of them, the whole tower starting to crumble.

It's not quite what Keiko experiences now but it's close. Simple injuries to her spirits generally do not transmit to her, larger ones may and if the spirit is mortally injured, all of its injuries transfer to her. It's a trade off.

When Piotr lunges for the Bear Dog, it's not just the physical fight he faces. In his mind, the spirit also fights him. This is what Keiko experienced as part of her trials. She had to master the spirit and bind it to her - if she lost, she would be destroyed.

Koa had suggested she make 'friends' with her spirits to alleviate some of the ongoing battle.

"Cullen, back." The woman's voice cracks out and the spirit hellhound backs off, snarling at the pair now wrestling on the floor.

With the stairs crumbling, Keiko moves lithely ending in a tumble on the floor not far from Piotr.

"Focus. It needs to know that you are the Alpha."

Slamming into the floor with the creature, Keiko may realize exactly how powerful Piotr is in this form as it shakes the entire tower, sending rubble tumbling to the ground. It will surely attract the attention of most of the demons nearby as the large metallic man rises. The bear hound grabs Piotr and flings him against a nearby wall, slamming into it, but instead of slumping, the large mutant rises from the rubble. "YA KOROL'!" comes the rage of anger and control.

The mutant's eyes are bright steel, the glyphs on his arm flared brightly as the bear hound rushes at him again, and this time, Piotr steps into it, the eldritch arm slamming into the creature's jaw and rocking it backwards. Then in what may surprise Keiko, Piotr snaps from his metallic form to his human one. And he rushes at the creature, catching it in the side, and lifting it over his head. "YA AL'FA!" he roars as he slams the hound into the ground and then grasps it by the throat, holding it down, the Russian's face contorted in rage and anger, even as the bear dog's claws rake over his chest, drawing blood from the Russian. It only feeds the massive Russian's anger as he slams the dog down again. "TY PRINADLEZHISH' MNE!" he calls out before he slams the dog down one more time and it gives a loud whimper of pain.

Releasing it, the creature moves back, but then lays down at Piotr's feet in obedience. There are demons gathered around, and Piotr is bloodied and battered. But he grabs the Soul-Steel sword from his back and thrusts it high in the air. "YA KOROL'!" he roars at the creatures again, and he turns his attention to Keiko. "And /you/ are /my/ Queen."

Keiko is edging along the area, trying to get an angle in case she sees an opening, gripping the rebar still. Cullen moves with her, keeping his body as buffer for the woman. Not that either of their precautions are necessary.

If she could, Keiko would facepalm when Piotr becomes flesh again but she doesn't have the luxury. "Piotr, control it…" It's almost as if she knows what he's experiencing right now. She doesn't gasp or show fear for his safety - that's dangerous. The demons that are gathering would be on them in seconds.

In his mind, Piotr can feel the Bear Dog yield as well when the creature lays before him. This isn't over, he knows that. But he's won this fight.

Cullen howls as the big man bellows and Keiko lets out a slow breath, her eyes flashing with the light from within as he claims her.

He might think for a moment that she's going to challenge him. The way her face sets and eyes gleam with anger. She doesn't though. Instead, the small woman drops to a knee. "You are my King." The demons will believe that.

Piotr will know though, that battle has only just begun.

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