2019-06-22 - Dream Battles


A confrontation with the Dream Queen

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Jun 22 05:27:02 2019
Location: The Disaster Zone

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Theme Song



The trail had led eventually to the Disaster Zone. In some ways that's no huge surprise. While the area is mostly devoid of life and activity - especially by the standards of the rest of New York - it is not deserted and the things that do live there tend to be the kinds of things that don't want to be noticed, not always for good reasons.

Koa Turner has, of course, contacted people but it's possible independent investigators showed up of their own volition. At the moment he's peering down at a ruined skeleton of a building from the second story ruined skeleton of another building. Inside the area he's watching is a crowd of people. There must be fifty or so. All of them are in neat rows, kneeling before a woman with pale skin, green hair and sweeping vertical horns. She definitely registers as magical. And she very definitely registers with the kind of power that was used in the riot earlier.

"Well I'd say we found our culprit." Koa mutters to no one in particular. "Now… what are you…?"

Koa might have tried to contact Paragon Investigation. It's one of the 'services' they say they over Dream Tracing. If he did, Isis doesn't know about it, she's been dream hopping, and day dream hopping, all day. She knows this woman's scent and she's going to find her.

"You looking for her too?" the feline-like mutant in too big clothing asks Koa as she walks up beside him. "Her name is Titania. She's bad." Koa will recognise her, they've met once by accident. The cats ears on the top of her head are kind of unmistakeable.

"She wants worshippers. Something to do with the Gates of Oak and … something."

The incident with the riot in the Bowery has left a bad taste in the back of Strange's mouth. Not only that, but discovering an incursion from a parallel dimension is no cup of tea. Nope. Those are best enjoyed at home. He sets his finished mug aside and sighs to himself. Taking the steps up onto the raised dias beneath the Window On the Worlds, he stands there and looks through the panes of glass out onto the city proper. With scarred hand neatly pressed together before his sternum, he closes his eyes and frowns.

One particular Mystical signature appears on his mental radar as he focuses upon it, that of Agent Koa Turner of WAND. Not only that, but…another signature that has deeper undertones of the Astral plant of earlier, far more vivid than the pale wash rapidly fading from memory. Stephen opens his eyes again.

A flick of his fingers and the crimson Cloak settles at his shoulders. A graceful etching of his influence on reality and the Gate opens in a fiery sparkling. Out he steps again not a dozen feet from Koa, dressed in the storm-blues of his mantle, and he looks over at the agent expectantly.

"I suppose I should thank you for indulging your curiosity in matters." Isis is noted and given an overtly interested flick of eyebrows. "A fellow agent?" he asks again of Koa, in regards to Isis.

"You must be Isis." Her name is on the website. Her picture is awful though. Like she couldn't sit still for it or something. Still he has seen her before, for sure.

"Doctor Strange. An investigator of a different sort. But she seems to have met our quarry here…"

He looks down at the gathering. It's almost like she's holding court. Worshippers. That makes some sense.

"I doubt very much her name is Titania. She'd look more powerful, I suspect, if she were. But gates of oak?"

Koa thinks. "Gates of Horn and Ivory. Greek reference to the two gates from which dreams came to mankind." Dreams. Interesting.

"Well, she's here. We're here. She's already responsible for the deaths of twenty five people in yesterdays chaos. Shall we put a stop to this?"

He's wary, this seems a bit easy. But moderately powerful beings from other realms are often like this. Unused to organized societies with dedicated protectors.

He gestures to the other two as if to say 'after you'.

Isis hisses when Strange appears, her claws extending from her nails for a moment. Slowly they retract when she realises they're not in danger. "Titania. That's the name she gave me when we fought in the Dream Dimension last night." She seems confident. Fought in the Dream Dimension? There has to be special about this feline-woman, she doesn't look she's able to fight her way out of a wet paper bag.

"She's the ruler of Liveworld" At least she's a fount of knowledge?

"Don't eat the seeds." Is all Isis says as she leaps to the roof of a car without setting the alarm off and then onto a roof. Nimbly she makes her along it, looking down at the gathered crowd. Maybe she can slip into one of those dreams.

Koa's conclusions as to the realm of dreams and Isis's own confirmations have the Sorcerer eyeing the gathering below with abject disapproval on his face. The emotion makes sharp cuts of his high cheekbones and a thin slash of his mouth.

"Liveworld, is it…?" he murmurs to himself even as he watches the cat-mutant make her way closer to the gathering. A few rolling steps bring him to the edge of the shadow cast by light falling into the burnt-out building's second floor. His eyes take on a glow as he bring forth the Sight into play.

It is a similar scenario as to the plant: tendrils radiate out from this 'Titania' to each worshipper and lodge at the base of their skull. She herself is something shy of a safety flare; her aura speaks to enticement and a promise of succor, but with a sickening sweetness like antifreeze.

"Agent Koa, I will be enacting the same procedure that you observed yesterday. I ask that you keep an eye on proceedings," he says quietly to the man. A centering sigh and after closing his eyes, he forms a specific pairing of mudras. Strange then breaks his wrists one up and one down and rotates them counter to one another to enact the spell. This time, the flecks of amethyst-hued magic drift down like ash in a forest fire and attempt to burn backwards down each tendril once more, starting at the contact points of each worshipper's skull.

The crowd is all dreaming of her. Dreaming of being in a kingdom. Dreaming of swearing fealty to a powerful queen. Blame Game of Thrones but they all seem prime for it. Isis might be able to confront her there but this being is likely to remember her and have something to say about that.

Koa swings out a chain rather like Indiana Jones' whip and uses it to swing over to another, closer girder. If Strange is going to cast, he may need some cover.

And he probably will. No sooner has he started than the woman looks up and locks eyes with Strange.

"Ah, someone with real power. Welcome to my kingdom. Are you trying to take my subjects from me? That's not very nice. Shall we try again?"

The magic is still burning, albeit slower than the last time. Slow enough that there's a bit of time for… chitchat.

Though who knows if that'll continue when Isis does her thing.

Finding a nice ray sun, Isis curls up on the roof top, cat on a hot tin roof has got nothing on her, and falls asleep almost instantly. It doesn't take long to find a sleeping mind she can use and she's in …

The rampants of a castle rise about her, the dais with the throne sits in the distance. This mind is in the back and this is how they perceive the dream she's put them in. Isis thinks. Planning more than a step or two ahead really isn't her thing.

She'll change the dream to wake this up and slip out before the Queen can attack her. Easy.

It takes a bit of concentration but the sleepers dream starts to shimmer and change …

When Titania narrows in on him unerringly, the Sorcerer feels the fine hairs on his neck rise. An electrical current of adrenaline courses through him even as his own aura shivers like disturbed water. He separates his focus and continues holding the slow-burning spell alive in one palm, visible to the Sight as a comet-like circling about his fingers. The Cloak lifts him from his feet and mantles behind him in silent threat. Now hovering above the floor by a foot, Stephen stares right back into those eerie eyes despite the gulf of space between them both.

"By all means, burn through your stores. You will find us less than appreciative of your efforts. Cease, now," he replies, voice stentorian as it carries. For now, he's not yet daring to succumb to the subtle siren call of her influence — not until more of her followers are released. His divided focus is still weakness.

Isis finds herself waking up in a sunbeam in that throne room. It's marbled white and black, checker-board style. The people who were kneeling there are kneeling here. The woman is standing, looking upward. Where Strange would be if Strange were here in this dream world. She's splitting her focus and somewhat distracted and much like Strange that makes her vulnerable.

Strange himself finds the woman reaching up toward him and then… just…

The scene around him shifts. He's standing on a dark plane. Facing Dormamu, an immensely powerful being. Power comes in from all sides. It pierces him. Burns him. Kills him.

And then he's back. Still on that dark plane. Still with Dormamu who is about to kill him again.

He hasn't in reality moved. But he might not know that.

With insidious ease does the dream-weaver slip through his mental defenses, given his divided attention meant a thinning of walls placed up against such intrusions.

Oh gods below, it's the Dark Dimension. He knows the bubbling, roiling, incandescent wrongness of the only sources of light and —

The looming figure that haunts his nightmares appears in a colossal striation of bruise-purple and baleful, hellfire eyes dripping contempt.

He has time to look up at Dormammu, stare, and then collapse into darkness.

And arrive yet again, voiceless, unable to demand that the god ceases his assault on Stephen's world.

And suffer.

And suffer.

And suffer.

The Cloak catches him as he goes blank-eyed and dazed limp, sucked into the shift in mental reality. He's laid prone upon the dusty concrete floor of the gutted building, twitching in reaction to his repeated deaths, and the garment then slips free of his shoulders. Up it flicks into the air between the buildings and then higher yet, almost like a dog searching for aid. Lassie the cloak, ahoy!

Well that was unexpected. Isis knows Titania can shape dreams as well, if not better, than herself. When the dream shifts around her, she lets out a feline growl.

Stalking forward in the Dream, she hopes to catch the standing woman unawares. Again.

She leaps. As she flies through the air, her claws extend from her nails. If she hits, Titania is going to get her face scratched … Again.

Thor has been restless. An extreme level of restless. Unable to go to Asgard to clear his mind or troubled heart, and disconnected from most everyone (possibly mostly due to his own actions and feelings about it) has left him adrift. He wouldn't be able to describe his problem in words, likely.

The thunderer does feel the urge to seek out something that does make sense, that makes him feel more like himself: a place where he might find someone in trouble, or a rough baddy to lay low: to come out of his self-reflection and dwelling, at least for the duration of a fight!

It hasn't worked out. All Thor has managed to do is walk through damaged buildings and kick a few pieces of concrete. He's not dressed heroically, just in the clothes he wore yesterday - blue zipper hoodie, jeans, and similar. Nothing special. His gaze is internal, until his Asgardian eyesight picks up on the red dot of fabric zooming skyward and he immediately looks over at it, with a squint, as if trying to decide what exactly that even is.

It is an odd sight that the Thunder God happens upon. A woman is kneeling over Doctor Strange. She's got a vicious grin on her face and the good Doctor. Well… he seems to be in some distress. Though distress probably doesn't cover it. Stephen's mind can invent a lot of ways to be killed and it's running through the list. And this woman? Well she can invent even more. If he can't break out, somehow, she might be here for a while.

And then she suddenly seems distracted. In the dream realm Isis attacks and her first attack scores a hit. A row of bloody cuts across the woman's otherwise pristine white face. She snarls in anger and recognition and summons a sword from nowhere to swipe at the cat woman.


"I don't have fur, so I guess it's a pet you'll want." Isis is quick as the sword blade swipes. It takes a bit of work to shape a dream when you're fighting in it, but that's what Isis tries to do this time.

It's not the whole dream. It's just that blade. She wants that blade to change into a bouquet of flowers.

The crimson Cloak is quick and Lassie-like indeed upon sensing Thor nearby. It flutters down in a sleeking of fabric and hovers before him. Its hem gestures in a come-hither motion and then darts back towards the abandoned epicenter of disaster. It intends to lead Thor to its master, who is still lying there in an enraptured state of horror.

In his dream, Stephen doesn't remember dying like this. Not this slowly. It was always so quick, his brain unable to process it hap —

And another method, this time stretched out into increments of time that make him shudder in the real world where he lies back-down on the cold concrete flooring. His silver temples are greyed out in sweat. He's fighting to escape from the cyclical nightmare with tooth and nail, but it's slow, like climbing up a muddy hill, and sometimes the creativity in agony is enough to set him back.

Thank god Isis distracts Titania. The pressure of the dream-state upon him begins to lessen and cold surgical logic begins taking apart the enforced state at the seams. He'll still need someone to shake him from the horrid state!

When in doubt? Throw something. Lacking a hammer means whatever is nearby can suffice for throwing purposes. Thor will need something to throw. In this particular case, the most mobile looking heavy object is a half-demolished motorcyle. Thor grabs at it — and ends up with pulling the seat off. Sometimes his strength does not work with him. He drops that and picks up the bike more properly at the center.

With several quick bounding strides, Thor follows the eager little Lassie-cloak. "Lead the way, magical tablecloth!" he commands of it.

Soon enough, Thor does get into sight of the viciously smiling woman and the sprawled, tortured strange man. "CEASE YOUR ASSAULT," roars Thor, in top volume. There might have been people on the street that needed to be included; his voice carries. He follows his demand by hurling the motorcycle across and sideways over the body of the writhing man, with the intent to force the foe to dodge backwards and allow Thor to close the distance and physically intervene.

Poor motorcycle. It had a rough life and its final resting place is disturbed to turn it into a projectile. It works though. It hits the woman full on and gives Isis a hell of an advantage since she goes sprawling in the dream world as well with a bouquet of flowers instead of a sword. That may release Stephen too though… it also might not.

Either way a man with a chain in his hand drops down from above and lashes out at the woman, getting his chain around her legs.

"Thunder God…" He grits. "She's gonna be up again in a moment. Could use a hand."

Whether or not Strange is okay he'll have to see. That's if the man doesn't get up and take terrible vengeance.

Speaking of which, her worshippers are moving. The spell that Stephen used earlier has not quite freed them and they rush Thor with… some kind of glowing seed in their hands that they seem intent on stuffing into his mouth.

Isis tumbles back, snapping the head of a rose off with her sharp little teeth. Now the quick feline-like woman flips herself up with that rose head held by the stem in her mouth.

She's a smart ass when she wants to be.

She leaps again, slashing at Titania, trying to keep her off balance.

Another push at the dream and Isis tries to bring bars down round the woman as she turns. It wouldn't surprise her if the dream changed on her as well. She'll try to be ready.

The surface of consciousness that Stephen reaches for shatters as the battle-cry of the Thunderer aids in finally shaking him from his suspended state of hallucination. A sharp inhale and choked shout are proof of him fulling awakening — that and a backlash along the fading connection between himself and Titania from the dreaming.

The Cloak stoops to slip beneath him and drag him bodily away from the fray like a blanket beneath a sofa. Zzzzzip! He works on getting to his feet, still panting and wild-eyed, only half-certain that he's back in reality proper. It leaves the others to concentrate on the influx of followers and Titania herself.

"Does she have another weakness, aside from vehicles?" Thor asks the main with the chain who is grappling the woman, quickly. Perhaps she is also weak to punches, since that's plan B right now. He had already been in motion to move to get between Strange and the entangled lady, which likely means the followers flood after him. That the cloak move Strange helps a lot, and frees Thor for his next action.

"I have eaten; no thank you," Thor replies to their bizarre outstretched seed-food-thing. He isn't overly surprised about it, either way: he's been fed grapes before by servants. Lacking a weapon won't stop Thor, he scans the floor quickly and adjusts, stomping with a heavy, deliberate use of strength, to destabilize more of the floor under the rushing followers. They don't seem like people he should directly crush, but perhaps he can assist by keeping them busy with falling through the patchy, broken floor.

Titania is on the floor now. Being attacked both in the real world and the dream one. To Isis, her subjects are scattering. Panicked. She shifts the dream. Brings the bars down. The Dreamqueen fights back. They both wind up in the cage. Which sort of looks like an 'Octagon'. The arena for fighting. There's a crowd now.

It's roaring for blood, encouraging Isis to strike and strike and strike until her opponent cant fight anymore.

Oh yes, she's off balance when Isis leaps again.

"Probably being punched. She's magical but not super tough." Koa says as he struggles to get the horned woman tangled up.

"Doctor Strange if you c-WATCH OUT!

People are trying to get to him. TO stuff that seed in HIS mouth too.

Thor finds himself… well not really threatened. He's too strong. Too tough. But these people are innocents and it'd be too easy for him to kill or maim them.

"I think if we can put her out, her servants will be done for." Koa says. He's got her partly wrapped up but she's grabbed him by this point and is trying to wrestle. She's got four cuts on her face for some reason. Odd. No one has hit her with anything that cuts.

Oooh cat fight. Something Isis kind of loves. The rose is gone, disappeared in dream shift, much to the feline-like mutants chagrin.

But the crowds cheering drives Isis' feral nature. She wants to fight… even if she shouldn't. Nick will be so disappointed.

Her claws flex and she leaps at the green haired woman.

With a flurry of people running at him, it falls upon the Sorcerer to defend himself. He's able to stutter out an incantation for a lesser formula of the Shields of Seraphim. It erupts around him in a full orb of turqouise mandala-patterned shielding. The Cloak is able to slip through it and begin to crack its hem against the face of anyone encouraged to continue engaging. That is one enraged magical garment! Eyes beware — noses, you were warned — cheeks, you will be welted.

"Once she'd dropped, I'll bind her!" How Strange manages to find the voice to shout this is probably magical in itself, but there he goes, depending on both chaos and Cloak to defend him as he shifts into another prepping of Words that will allow him to attempt to gag this Titania's powers.

It has fallen to Thor to entertain the group of followers. Which is difficult, actually, because he doesn't want to harm them. However, Thor's a quite decent 'tank'. He's loud and big, and can hold attention. "Truly, I don't want any," Thor scowls, keeping his jaw locked away from the seed-offerings, surrounded by the entranced minions, but trying to keep their attention by moving away, to draw them out of play, and allow his new allies to stay on the main villain without distraction from the servants.

Between Isis in the dream realm and Koa's chain the struggles get less and less and less. Finally she does go down. Time enough for Doctor Strange to bind her. As the struggles grow less and less the attacks on Thor (and Stephen) also grow less and less. When the binding finally lands she slumps.

And Koa does slump also. But they have her.

Hey. Where'd Isis go? Koa doesn't know she can slip into the dream realm so…

"Well… everyone okay? I'll get her contained."

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