2019-07-28 - Don't Touch Any Papers


Into Ry'leh the Rasputins, and others, go. They get answers they don't like and some unasked for.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Jul 28 22:26:30 2019
Location: 46 Willow Place

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Theme Song





The name isn't much known to the common person on the street unless you happen to run into someone with a very specific love for the C'thulhu mythos and while that's more widespread than it used to be, it's still rather rare. Whether or not the city that WAND calls R'lyeh is indeed the same one that Lovecraft spoke of is hard to say. But there it sits, at the bottom the south pacific at the center of a circle of empty ocean 3200 miles cross.

The city is dark and its planes are angled and jagged in disturbing ways. Some kind of dome of mystical energy holds back the ocean. When Koa and the Rasputions (and demi Rasputin) arrive, its to an antechamber staffed by WAND magi. The only light this deep is provided by glimmering blue-green luminescent algae, or possibly moss. Koa made sure to provide anything anyone thought they might need, most pertinently thick clothing for the cold weather.

Out in the distance the occasional gurgle and wet slapping sound can be heard.

"Right, well. Here we are." Koa says as he produces his pendulum and checks his pistol. The whole place feels wrong and those magically inclined will know that it is. "The area we're looking for is roughly that way but the geometry of the city isn't consistent. And, as you can hear, it's not uninhabited either. Toss a coin whether or not the locals run or attack when they see us. Could go either way. It's not teeming with them, most of the city is empty, but they're definitely out there."

Illyana Rasputina lifts a hand and a small ball of light swirls into being. It's a simple spell that even the twisted eldritch energies around this area shouldn't be able to warp much. Illyana is used to dealing with volatile magics. It casts things in a light a bit more comforting to those used to living above ground. Hopefully, at any rate.

The blonde is dressed for the cold of the depths, fur lining the leather of her attire. Her staff is set across her back, keeping her hands free for the moment. "I'm surprised you haven't set the place up for tours to make some money." She jokes.

The sorceress will wait to let Piotr take the lead. That's where you put the Tank, right?

"Is this where Amelia Earhart is kept?" Piotr's question is meant a bit as an ice breaker as they arrive. He should be surprised. Even knowing about secret Soviet-era cities and what they discovered with being an X-Man, his eyes are still wide at the idea of a city like this is the middle of the ocean. Then he notices that Illyana is not so subtly nudging him forward.

"Saw review on Yelp. Sushi so fresh it eat you." he rumbles, shifting into his metal form, and as the right arm shifts, he grits his teeth for a moment as the Eldritch fires consume the arm and warp the armor into it's more twisted and angular form. "What are we looking for? Know it when we see it?"

Keiko had spent the last few days getting ready. She's wearing her backpack, as usual, which contains at least her staff, flashlights and a field first aid kit. There's probably power bars in there too - given how she likes to eat. Fresh water too. Who knows what else? It's Keiko, there could be anything in there.

The place makes her tattooes crawl - not just itch or sting - but she doesn't say anything about that. She knows most of the others can feel it too.

Taking a moment to draw the rod from her bag and extend, she waits. "Do you want Cullen or Mirlo to hunt?" Either could do it, but they might cause as much as stir if not more.

"Maybe Bella to guard us and the spider to crawl on walls and watch our backs." Koa suggests to Keiko. "If the city shifts around us we don't want to be cut off from one of your spirits."

The WAND agents in attendance open a warded door for them to get out and then close it behind them.

"The rental agreement is a little iffy on tours, Illyana." Koa chuckles darkly. "And no, we keep Amelia Earhart with the other cognitohazards, in a dark room with no video surveillance." That's a joke, right?

"So, as for what we're looking for, it'll look like a library, but with no books. Just shelves and shelves of etched stone. If you DO see anything that looks like a book or a page from a book, don't touch it and for God's sake don't READ it." Of all the people here, Illyana might have the best idea why that may be.

The entire city seems to be made of some kind of black stone and the layout makes little sense. Sometimes they proceed down broad boulevards, sometimes through passages narrow enough that they have to squeeze through. The buildings rarely look like such. Some of them MIGHT be dwellings but often they look like monuments, or just geometrically carved stone. Navigating this place has almost as much in common with negotiating a boulder field as moving through New York. A boulder field with massive looming rocks the size of sky scrapers.

It doesn't take too long, though, for their forward progress to be halted. As they're moving down one of the wider avenues there's a rumbling sound and then a large obelisk crumbles and falls behind them, blocking the way.

"City's in a mood today." Koa mutters. Then, a hundred feet up, another one falls. It cracks on an overhanging ledge and scatters debris in front of them.

"Lovely. Piotr, if you don't mind?" Those will have to be moved. Right around that time the eyes appear in the darkness. Large, luminous orbs, such as might belong to, say… fish.

Illyana can feel the regard on them. Not like a mind is watching them. More like this whole place has some kind of consciousness, be it ever so rudimentary. It does not like the intruders. Not at all.

"I think Cullen may be better. But there should be map?" Piotr is asking Keiko as he glances over his shoulder to give her a reassuring smile. Though his own nerves are on edge. He's got a thing with claustophobia, and the whole city is feeling like one large snow globe waiting to be shaken to him. Perhaps it was one too many viewings of '20000 Leagues Under the Sea'. Or 'Captain Nemo and the Underwater City'. Being with Keiko has got him started on liking some of the classic films he used to watch in his youth.

When things start to collapse around them, Piotr grunts, moving back immediately to prepare to protect the others as a living pillar, but when it stops, he calms down. There's a glance around. "Think it doesn't want us here?" he asks the others. As he starts to move to lift one of the pieces of rubble to clear the way - that's when the eyes show, glowing in the darkness - observing them.

While his first idea is to throw the debris at them and scream. He doesn't. Instead, he sets down the rubble. "Keiko. Give me a bar, please." He's hungry?

No, when the bar is offered to him, he unwraps it and steps forward. Holding out the granola bar, he wiggles it a few times. "We come in peace?" Then he pauses. What was those words… Oh right. "I remember this from movie. Worked with shark like creatures." After a moment, he clears his throat and announces "Bah weep granah weep nini bong?"

"Well. This place is definitely not a fan." Illyana observes as bits of the city come crashing around, and the way she can *feel* the city watching them. "I love semi-sentient places." She complains. She really, really doesn't.

"How many times have you been here before, Koa? And looking for what?" The blonde hangs out in the center of the group, letting Piotr deal with the debris and the… "*What*?" She looks at him, perplexed. That's not any tongue she's at all familiar with.

Keiko calls Bella and Arananet. The giant demonic looking wolf snuffling at each of the party members before Keiko gestures. "Lead, Bella. Work with Piotr." With a chuff, the wolf stalks off with the big mutant, alert and scenting the air.

She doesn't like it.

Arananet is less affected by the changes than many of Keiko's other spirits. She's still changed though, the hairy legs looking more leathery. She doesn't introduce herself to the group - for obvious reasons. "Behind us…" The spider scurries off, climbing the wall and following behind. For Keiko, she has to adjust to the double vision this give her. It's disorienting at best.

"You know, if they get cut off, I just dismiss them and call them again, right?" She tells Koa as she falls in line, joining the procession.

As the oblesik tumbles, Bella ranges wide. She wants a look at what might have caused that. Natural or otherwise. The eyes bring a low growl but she's well enough trained not to do anything, yet.

Wordlessly, the tattooed woman takes a bar from the pack and hands it over.

Piotr just gets a look for the language. No idea what that is.

"Five or six. I've been called on to examine things that they find here, being an artifact specialist." Koa says, glancing behind them at the blocked passage. "It's usually pretty quiet. Until it isn't."

The eyes do turn out to belong to very fish like creatures. Or at least, that's probably the easiest way to describe them. They have thick scales and large heads. Their jaws jut forward like a anglerfish and they have bone protrusions that might be fangs. They're only vaguely humanoid though and their hunched over gait means that even if they could be taller than Piotr stretched out, they're barely taller than Keiko or Illyana as they normally stand. They don't come far forward. Just a little bit out of the shadows. One of them eyes Piotr and the bar he's holding.

"Traaaaaaaaaaade." The word is a bit… gurly. He holds out what looks like a rolled up piece of parchment in one hand, offering it out for the bar. "Traaaaaaaaade." The word is repeated again and he points at Koa and Illyana.

That paper almost radiates wrongness to Illyana's eyes. In fact, it feels a lot like something she's seen earlier. Something that affected a certain cajun friend of hers.

Araranet can see further. She can see that behind them there's nearly a hundred of these fishmen, behind that barrier. Did they push it over? Before she can look though, Koa rolls his neck slightly, as if pained and rubs his hand on the right side of it.

That tooth, that filled in tooth, just started to bleed.

"Trade." That's a good idea, yes. They needed information, maybe they were being nice and bringing it. With the others behind him, Piotr can't see what's happening. So he listens to offer of the trade - "The bar for the parchment?" he asks as he hands over the power bar for the parchment.

The trade is done, but he's turning to look towards Koa and Illyana after the creature gestures at them. "They're with me." he says, turning his attention back to the creature. "They are not for trade."

"There's a lot of them back there …" Keiko starts to say.

The words are cut short though by the pain in Koa's neck has Keiko wincing and touching her own collar - the black leather that's now part of her skin. It's worse though, as the brand on her stomach starts to crawl as well … it's a good thing she's trained to deal with discomfit, because none of this is great.

"Piotr. No!" Her staff comes round trying to know the parchment away, a moment to late. The large man has already taken it.

Illyana Rasputina starts to push forward when Piotr trades out the bar for the parchment. "Piotr! Nyet!" But it's too late. The blonde is reaching back to pull her staff over her shoulder, her eyes gone white-hot with power. She'd tell him to drop it, but it's likely too late, and in his armored form, there's no way that she's going to be able to smack it out of his hands.

Power. That's the first thing that Piotr feels when he touches it. Power such as he hasn't felt since he left Limbo. It flows into him like electricity through a wire. It's beautiful. Glorious. Perfect. There's more, he can tell. All he has to do is open up the parchment and read it. And doing just that is so very, very tempting. What could he do with power like this?

Could he protect his family? Could he even right the wrongs that have been done to them? Stop K'nert from kidnapping them? Even… save Illyana from Belasco?

It's within his reach.

"Uh, guys?!" Koa's arm lights up as he draws on the magic of this place - that is SURELY not good for him - and he throws up a semi-circular barrier as fishmen begin to close in from the sides and behind. That'll hold them off for a moment. He doesn't dare barrier off the side Piotr is standing at though. It's their only way out for starters.

"Piotr. Piotr! Snap out of it big guy! Keiko, Illyana…"

They've got to get that thing away from him. He doesn't say it but they all three of them know it.

"Darkchild…" The Fishman who handed Piotr the page gurgles. It points to Koa. "Finish him."

Finish him. She's not even fighting him. What is it talking about?

Trapped in the illusion.. the want of power. There's so much that Piotr could change. There's the ideas, all there. He could keep Illyana from ever being Darkchilde. She could be his twelve year old sister again. And maybe.. he could go back and redo what happened in Limbo. Maybe this time Keiko would fall in love with him - that more classical feeling..

He stands there, holding the parchment, feeling the pull of the dreams, the wants. All he has to do is open it. His hand moves - reaching to unroll it. A peek. It's all it would take really. He could peek and be okay? Then he realizes that it would be a corruption. He's been corrupted so much as of late. His soul taken from him. His life changed. He stands there, holding the parchment in both of his hands, but he's not opened it yet - the seven and half foot tall metallic golem torn, perhaps for a few seconds longer. "I could help, Illyana.. I could finally be something other than…" he rambles, unsure of what he's saying, but sure, that with this power, he could finally do what's right. What's good. So what's stopping him?

Illyana Rasputina doesn't want to bring her demons here, to this place steeped in the twisted magics she's been avoiding accepting most of her own life. She knows that temptation that runs through Piotr. She knows it so well. "You are exactly what you are supposed to be, Piotr. The strongest person I know. Power like this comes with a *price*, and that might well hurt Elena." Illyana's pretty damned sure it would, knowing the Elder Gods as she does. "Let it go, Piotr."

The fishman teases her attention over towards him, and he gets a glance and a frown. That he recognizes her is a small surprise. She points at it with her staff, holding it in one hand. "I do not take orders from you."

Or maybe Keiko wouldn't. She might but that's the danger of 'redoing' things. Not that Piotr can think about that at the moment.

"Other than what?" Keiko spits the words in Piotrs in direction as she calls one last spirit to her. Onyxia. The Harpy Eagle. In the time it takes for the bird to appear, Bella is leaping at Piotr's chest and arms, trying to knock the parchment loose and the man over. "A father to your daughter? The daughter who loves you." For the first in a very long time, Keiko lets her emotions loose. "Stop being such a damn fool. You are wanted and loved just as you."

Seconds later, Onyxia stands before him, screeching like a … Harpy. If that racquet doesn't draw his attention from the parchment, the quarterstaff that comes swinging at his hands might. Her Gossamer infused Quarterstaff.

Keiko only just hears the Fishmans words to Illyana, her catseyes cutting to the blonde for a second. Those eyes are no longer the dark brown they usually are, they're turning yellow - again.

"Koa, pin him when he falls."

Koa can try but it's not going to be easy. Piotr is immensely strong and he's big like that as he is. Keiko is going the route of trying to physically knock him over and that parchment out of his hand. Illyana is trying to reason with him. The Fishmen haven't attacked yet, interestingly. Koa had said they were either cowardly or aggressive. What's making them talk? Does it have something to do with Illyana?

The one that Illyana points her staff at scuttles back into the darkness. It has no interest in angering the Darkchilde. The power continues to flow from the paper into Piotr. It suffuses him. It turns his shiny form dark and causes sigils to appear on his muscles. Dark blessings. But they're not fully formed. Not yet. When he is hit, does he lose his balance?

Either way Koa sketches a ward and powers it, sending a band of force to hold Piotr down. Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully.

As they struggle, Illyana and Keiko both hear a laugh. A deep, male voice. It's ghostly, as if it's not all here. But it's a voice both might know. Belasco.

"It's no lie Piotr. On that parchment is power overwhelming. You could undo every sorrow that has ever befallen those you love, if you are strong enough to take it."

The fishmen have scattered, and it's a good thing too. Now if they can just get a handle on the larger Rasputin…

The armor morphs, changes. It's much like the changes that Keiko observed when he gave up his soul for the blade that would be his to command for the next seven years. Belasco calls out to him, and the large mutant looks up to him, and his silver eyes turn to liquid black as Keiko strikes his arm with the gossamer staff. The armor ripples and bleeds - broken by her strike.

"I could stop you /here/, Belasco!" he growls suddenly. "You would never hurt my sister again!" With that, the massive mutant drops to a knee and slams a fist /hard/ into the ground of the city street, rocking it and crumbling and cracking the street beneath him.

Which helps Koa force him down and hold him in place. He struggles, pulling against the binds. "I /can/ stop him.." Piotr growls, straining to his upper limits against the bonds. But he's no longer looking to open the parchment or accept the contract - so they have that going for them. He can keep him from hurting Illyana. From trying to take Elena. It could all end.. here. Damned and drowned.

They have a moment only to figure out what to do before Piotr starts to push back harder. His life to save Illyana's? Perhaps.

"It's not him!" Illyana calls out, dropping to a knee before Piotr's bowed form. "Belasco is bound and cannot leave Limbo. There is nothing here for you to fight!" She doesn't mention it *could* be a projection, but she's not betting on it. "Look at you, Piotr! Drop the page. Don't let it change you like this!"

"You are a damn fool." Keiko growls as Koa gets Piotr restrained. Bella and Onyxia are still trying to get his attention. "Your sister loves you. Your daughter loves you." That it's Belasco just makes her squirelly. That man, if you can call him that, has needled Piotr from the time they got to Limbo.

"I love you."

No one has heard Keiko say those words. Give voice to any feeling beyond anger and … hate.

"It gives me no pleasure to do this …" But you hurt the ones you love most, right?

The staff swings again, whistling past Illyana's ear to connect with armoured mans wrist. That … might break it. There's enough force there to do it.

Koa makes a sort of displeased grunt and begins to channel power again. His eyes light up, as does his arm. He has to take in a fair amount of magic to project himself and project he does. That canine-shark form flies out of him as his meat body collapses and dives for Piotr's wrist as Keiko brings her staff around. He picks up a piece of debris along the way hoping to use it to pin the parchment in place. He knows exactly what that thing is. A page of a very old, very very evil book. They take many forms. But they all do the same thing.

"Oh for Pele's sake! Let go of that damn thing!" He grunts. Illyana can still hear Belasco laughing. Is he watching, or is that just the page trying to tempt and anger them?

There's that sense again, for Illyana. That sense that something is 'plucking at Limbo's heartstrings.'

At least it isn't 'Pete's sake'.

Piotr is struggling - he can use it. He can control it. It's the classic Siren's call of this kind of power. The promise that he could use it for good. And then Illyana is demanding him look at himself. He can see the blackening armor, the runes appearing. His grip loosens, just to give Keiko a chance to strike at the wrist.

He cries out in pain as he feels the gossamer staff strike bone. The paper falls away from his hand, out of his reach as he's disrupted and breaks into his human form again, giving Koa a chance to seal it away.

Was it Illyana? Keiko? Who knows - but at least the page is out of his hands.

Illyana Rasputina backs up as Piotr lets it go, giving her the opening to comfort him. A gesture towards the parchment blows it further away from her brother, but she doesn't want to touch it herself. She glances up to Koa. "Do you have anything to contain that with on you?" They haven't even managed to get very far in yet.

And then there's that Sense of something going on. Her head lifts and she looks around, as though it were something she could see, but of course it isn't. Normally she'd jump back to Limbo, but she can't. She can't leave the others here with her and they need this information. She grits her teeth in frustration. So much of her life is choosing one back choice over another.

Has Illyana realised what happened to Koa when he opened the Heart in Limbo? If Keiko could sense what the blonde does, she'd be giving Koa a very hard look, right now.

Bella and Onyxia back away at Keiko's gesture. The wolf presses her head into Keiko's hand.

"His wrist needs seeing to. Is it safe to do that here?" She's back. The strongly controlled woman that everyone knows. And possibly loves. "If not, we need to move to where we can. I have a kit in my bag, it will see us through this journey is done."

Koa flows back into his own body and picks himself up. "Yeah. I was expecting to have to take some things out of here, just not this. Hang on." He walks over to the piece of parchment under the rock and pulls out a small bag that seems to just turn it to mist and draw it in. Yes, that's a bag of holding. No, it was not invented by Dungeons and Dragons.

"There…" He sighs as he walks on over, pausing to dab his still slightly bloody neck again. "Ow. I must have fallen on something."

Two of his teeth are filled in. Not that he can see them.

"I said don't touch stuff that looks like pages, big guy. You okay? Other than the obvious? Do it on the move Keiko, I don't think we should stay here for too long. I'd hate to see what the next travelling salesman has to offer."

From her angle, Illyana can see the little piece of gauze that Koa was using to dab his neck clean. The blood on it is very dark. Not black but also definitely not the usual color of red.

"Are you guys good to keep going deeper?"

Because if so they need to hurry.

As Keiko looks over Piotr Koa gives Illyana a concerned look. "You look like you just bit into a lemon."

There's a glance between the others. Koa's scolding has Piotr frowning - but not at him. Mainly at himself. "I can walk. She broke wrist. Not leg." he points out to the others as he rises slowly to his feet.

There's a look towards Keiko for a moment - but that is something to be addressed later. As is most things with them, when she goes back to being Keiko, he returns to himself as he rubs the arm. "Can still function."

With that, he's back on his feet. "They know now. Will not be trifled with. There's no need tio withdraw, we continue." At least, that's his thought on the matter.

Illyana Rasputina shakes her head at Koa. "It's nothing that can anything can be done about now. Piotr's right. Let's press on and try to get the information that we need so we hopefully don't have to come back here. I can feel the place breathing down my neck." And her eyes still haven't gone back to blue, one of the small signs her darker side is still close to the surface.

The blonde looks over at her brother with some concern, but nods to Keiko. "Alright. Keep an eye on him." Illyana will watch the back so Keiko can bind Piotr's wrist. That's where all the Fishmen are anyhow.

"We continue." Keiko answers drawing the first aid kit from her bag and dismissing Onyxia. "You will let me see to you, Piotr. With no arguments." She's a bossy little thing when her mind is set.

It's going to be awkward but she'll manage. It might hurt Piotr a bit though.

Koa didn't fall. She knows that much, her own collar aches like nothing else. Not that anyone will know that because Keiko doesn't show pain often.

"Shall we move on?"

Arananet scurries off to watch their backs along with Illyana. Bella roams ahead, as an early warning.

"Right. Let's move, then." That leaves Koa in the front and once Keiko is done with Piotr's wrist his pace goes from quick to very quick. He can feel this place breathing down his neck as well. The place doesn't get any more sensible and several more times it throws up roadblocks though no more fishmen approach them.

At length they do at last arrive at a room that looks like Koa described. A library with no books. There's shelfs with writing on them and walls with writing on them and stone tablets with writing on them and all of it writhes and sort of hurts the eye.

Koa glances around. It would take a long time to search this place for the information they're looking for. It's cavernous. So instead he motions for the others to follow. "Best to ask the librarian."

The Librarian appears to be an obelisk near the front of the room. As they approach it lights up with a dark light. As if it were somehow possible for light to be black.

"The Rasputins approach. Welcome, Illyana Darkchilde of Limbo. Welcome Piotr, Knight of Limbo. Welcome Keiko, life-bound to Piotr." It's a deep, deep voice. Almost like a rumbling of an earthquake.

"You come desiring that which is hidden. Speak unto me your desires and I shall reveal to you truth, if you would bear the cost of knowing."

Is it curious that it doesn't address Koa? The Wand Agent stands slightly aside and lets them get onto business while he peers at a stack of tablets that seem to have been left near the corner of the great stone spike.

Illyana Rasputina brings her staff in front of her, setting the butt of it against the hard stone floor and wrapping her hands around the haft. She leans a shoulder into it as she considers the 'Librarian' with a frown.

In fact, she's been frowning or serious this entire trip. None of her usual smirking. Because unlike most of her life on Earth, she dare not consider this a game. This, this is real. And deadly serious.

"The Elder Gods have an interest in the ritual of Silence. I want to know what they're looking to accomplish with it." Illyana knows their overall goal is freedom, but there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Keiko manages to tuck the first aid kit away before Koa picks up the pace. She still hasn't said anything to Piotr directly or, since they started moving, to anyone else.

As they approach the library, Bella falls back and presses against Keiko's leg. All the writing, gets the barest of glimpses from the peruvian. She knows she can't read it. If there's something here for her, it will find her.

The way the librarian addresses her gets a raised eyebrow, as does it not addressing. "Why does it not address you?" beat "How do we know the cost before we ask?" that's said quietly.

The answer probably is you don't.

"Because it knows that I don't have any important questions to ask it." Koa says as he peers over the tablet. "Illyana is the one most capable of understanding the answers. Interesting that it addressed you, though. That typically means it knows something that it knows you want to know."

Or something like that. This city is somewhat incomprehensible and WAND isn't even close to fully understanding any of it. Rather carefully the WAND agent goes through the tablets, clearly looking for something specific.

"As to what it will cost, that's the thing with this kind of magic. There's always a price, but you rarely know what it is ahead of time."

"The Gods of the Beyond watch through the bars of their prison. They see the lock to their cells, and the keeper of that lock. They shift their plans. Those who would Silence the Earth try to supplant Limbo, to put their realm in it's place. But the Heart is not so easily denied. A ruler connected to his realm might be suborned were he to connect to the Heart. And once so taken, might compel the Darkchild to complete her destiny."

Koa looks up sharply at that. "Wait. Did it just say that the Silence will merge a splinter realm with Limbo on the way to Earth? And that doing so will allow the Elder Gods to influence it's ruler to try to make Illyana do what they want her to do?"

"Or that he won't pay the price for whatever he *does* want to know so… same effect." Illyana murmurs to Keiko before returning her focus to the obelisk.

Its news has Illyana's lips pressing into a thin, unhappy line, and nods over to Koa. "It certainly sounds that way. So likely not just looking to come *through* Limbo." Which is information about the Silence they didn't have, but that's certainly useful and definitely explains why they're going to such lengths to mess with Illyana and those close to her.

Keiko looks between Illyana and Koa. The latter sounds more the speed for Koa than the former. Though she does wonder what price he wouldn't pay.

"I don't know that I have anything beyond The Silence that I want to ask about." That's an interesting point for her. Keiko generally always has questions but most of those answers can't be answered here.

She squints though at the information. "A ruler connected to his realm might be suborned were he to connect to the Heart" She really doesn't like the sound of that. "Who is he." She's not sure who she's asking at the matter. Probably Illyana and Koa but it was a general question.

Koa seems to find something. He picks up one of the tablets. It looks from a casual glance like a depiction of stars or constellations, though it's hard to tell and what writing there is on it Keiko can't read.

Though right now his attention is on Illyana and the Obelisk. "No. That's not just tunneling through Limbo at all. That would be a massive undertaking. You'd literally have to convert Limbo away bit by bit and somehow prevent it from being just changed back the next time you, Illyana, figured out something was amiss."

There are probably ways to do that, but they'd take time and effort.

"His names are many throughout the years. But you know him as Siffror the Lifeless." The Obelisk answers Keiko.

Koa swears. In several languages.

"He has harnessed life to bring death. A great conclave of those whom the earth has shunned and feared. They shall wreak vengeance in the name of justice, for in Silence all are equal."

Answers that just bring more questions. But that way, as they say, likes madness. Illyana looks to the others. "Time to go." They know who is pulling the strings of their opponents, and they know the larger plan they're trying to achieve. Hopefully, once the cost comes due, they'll feel it was worth the price.

Illyana glances to Koa. "Are we likely to be OK teleporting out of here?" She opens her senses a bit wider, searching for Wards that might keep them from taking the quick way out. Often there are wards to keep people out, but they don't care about them leaving once they've gotten in. Like a reverse prison.

Keiko doesn't need to read to be able to understand pictures or images but she's not looking at the tablet, she's looking at the obelisk. That it had answered her … well, that was a mistake, wasn't it?

She looks between Koa and Illyana "Why do it one bit at a time?" That's not a general question. "What if that spell … was designed to do it all at once. If the stars were in alignment or something?" beat "this has to do with the Heart and connection between Sifror and that, right?"

They messed with Sifror and Plokta and now … they're that price. This is probably a never ending loop for them now.

"Oh…. we need to go. OK." No arguments from Keiko.

"You could." Koa nods to Keiko. "But the power requirements would be immense. I'm not sure even a splinter lord with the full weight of a realm has that kind of power. 'Cause if they did, they'd just eat eachother until there was only one left."

"You'll have to ask Illyana more about the heart. But later. Not here." Koa is also curious about that. But… later. This is a bad place for extended conversations. When Illyana asks if she can teleport them out Koa nods. "We should be fine. Let's go."

The Obelisk falls silent as the disks open. But just before they're gone it imparts an unwelcome truth to Illyana.

"You're going to kill him."

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