2020-02-16 - Trial By Combat


Another journey into the Dome and more … allies? Maybe

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Feb 16 22:07:32 2020
Location: Inside The Dome

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Theme Song



The dome over Staten Island hasn't grown any, which is something but the creatures inside are making forays into the 'real world'. It's something NYPD and SHIELD have wanted to minimise - and for the most part they're succeeding. However, they still need to work out how to bring the Dome down and they've two leads. The most solid is a Drow Matriach known as Amara - located in the mountains that have appeared to the South.

SHIELD has called in some Avengers to help out, as well as a SHIELD team and a WAND mage. As usual, Batgirl is heading with a team - she's been quite active in trying to solve this. Which makes sense, Staten Island is under the Bats protection. Batgirl might have some company today.

When the group entered the Barrier about an hour ago, the redheads Motorcycle had transformed to a horse. A tall black mare which is sort of slender - definitely not a warhorse, there's a sense of agility and speed about this one. "According to the information I picked up on my last journey, there's a encampment just in those foothills. Remember the amulets we have will protect our memories for several hours, but that's it. We can't afford to linger too long."

Just up ahead the foothills loom, casting shadows over the trail that they're following.

Curiosity killed the cat as they say, but the rest of the phrase is that satisfaction brought her back. Well, curiosity has brought Tigra here, acting as escort and scout for the expedition. Once inside, her minimalist wardrobe transformed to a billowy blouse with plunging cleavage, loose trousers, and something similar to boots, though her toes and heels are exposed, making movement for the feline easier. A red cloth is tied about her forehead, keeping her hair out of her face, and a rapier with stylishly swept hilt rides at her hip. "No lingering, got it," she says.

Helena Wayne may be at the top of her class, but that's not exactly enough to get in on this mission. Blackbird, on the other hand, is a little bit easier to slip in on missions. Oddly enough, the vigilante set-up isn't all that different when you go medieval with it. Hood, cape, mask. Reinforced leather rather than kevlar, but…otherwise, most things still work. The biggest change is in her eyes and her voice - without modern contacts and voice modulation, the usually bright-yellow eyes hidden deep in her hood are instead blue, and her voice…well, she tries to hide it, but mostly she ends up not speaking much to the non-Bats in the party.

Her horse is a match for Batgirl's, though the younger batling seems fascinated by the change from motorcyle to horse, checking on the horse's mane and patting its shoulder curiously now and then.

Dylan's motorcycle also transformed into a black horse though this one snorts flames and its hooves leave sparks when they strike rock. "Should I lose my memory, I wrote a parchment to my other self in a language he'll understand. He won't fully understand what's happening but he should understand enough and be willing to continue the mission." Most of his equipment is unchanged, given it's more fitting to this time period than the modern age.

Once again, Hisako seems to be clad in leather armor, buckled over a cloth tunic and trousers. She didn't bother bringing a motorcycle - very possibly she's not sure how to ride one, even in normal present-day New York - but then again, she can get around in a hurry with her powers, if she doesn't mind being noticed.

Batgirl's tacit leadership is greeted and accepted with a nod; Armor's been here before, and even made a few extra trips around the fringes. "We should see if mechanical pocket watches work here," she comments quietly, "just to keep track of the time." One of the few things she *hasn't* tested - but as long as they just don't linger too long, it shouldn't be a matter of worrying about precise timekeeping. Yet.

Maybe when they get around to trying to coordinate a raid of some kind, that'll be relevant.

Batgirl hasn't really taken a leadership position, but she really does care for the people she works with, so that extends to these people she's adventuring with now.

"That's a good idea, Agent Grey." The redhead murmurs, smirking a little at Helena's silence. It's a big issue for the redhead, the fact her eyes and voice are no longer disguised and she's wondering if someone she works with will work it all out. "Perhaps next time, you can do that Armour."

There's a rustling in the trees just up ahead and Batgirls horse gets a bit antsy. Dancing to the side and whinnying softly. There's something she doesn't like about all this.

Perhaps the volley of arrows that embed in the trees about them would be the reason for that. "State your business or the next volley will be through your throats." Comes a voice from the shadows.

Speaking of shadows, Tigra does her best to slip into them, herself, once the arrows fly. With one hand on her rapier to keep it still, she slips in amongst the trees and once out of sight, starts to climb to get a better vantage point. From there, she'll leap effortlessly from branch to branch, trying to see who it is that's opposing them, as well as to get to their flank. All the while, she has a broad, toothy grin.

Silence is admittedly a rare treat when working with Blackbird. She's a sassy little bat-bird. When the arrows fly, she flips her leg over the side of her horse, crouching in one stirrup to use the horse as cover. It's technically just a motorcycle. Probably. Even if it seems like it has feelings right now. This is a moral quandary she'll have to work out later.

Peeking over the horse's shoulder, she tries to get a glimpse of the source of the arrows. Her mouth opens, and then the closes it, grimacing behind her mask and looking to Dylan. Apparently the man who shares his brain with an ancient knight gets dibs on social commentary in her mind.

The rustling draws Armor's attention towards the trees - and as soon as the arrows start flying, the shmmering energy of Hisako's mutant power enfolds her, the layer of telekinetic force protecting her against incoming attacks. She's staying alert for more than that just in case - for instance, in the unlikely event that the arrows actually pass through her armor. It's not *likely*, but she'd rather not discover they can do that by having one embed itself in her heart or something - but then again, the leather armor she's wearing should help with *that*, if it happens, at least a little.

Dylan reins in Hengroen expertly, holding a hand up to halt the others, not that they need it. "We seek audience with the ruler of this land." he replies, looking in the direction the arrows came from, as determined by the angle of them in the trees. "We mean no harm to you or to anyone who does not mean harm to us first."

Tigra manages to fade into the shadows. She can see shadows moving - they're good but they can't hide from her senses. They smell … different. Earth, musty and old. Like something that might have lived in the depths for a long time.

As Helena slips from her horse, an arrow lands in the earth beside her.

Hisako can see two or three shapes shift in the branches above and to the right of her. Helena gets a glimpse of two shapes to her right. They're flanked and there might be a lot of them.

"You're human, mostly, except for the cat-woman. Is she your prisoner? Funny meaning no harm, coming in here armed as you are." beat "Which ruler do you seek? There are many rulers, some we don't recognise."

"We already know this realm holds its dangers," Armor points out. "And we've an interest in not being easy prey for anyone, no matter if they're bandit or brigand, or servants of a lord or lady like Amara. What do you know of that sorceress?"

It seems to her like a decent ploy - make it clear the group is ready to defend themselves, rather than coming looking for trouble, and try to fish for information without aligning themselves specifically with one of the local 'rulers' whom they're probably, in the long run, here to cast down. Even if that 'casting down' is mostly by dint of undoing the barrier.

Tigra's tail flicks as she continues to maneuver. She tenses briefly at hearing 'cat-woman,' and hopes they know her presence from before she slipped into the trees. She continues to maneuver carefully as she tries to eyeball them, frowning thoughtfully at the smell. Very earthy, hmm. Something from the ground. It's difficult to speculate, not having any context here. her first thought is undead, but no smell of death or decay about them.

Helena leans down to retrieve the arrow at her feet, flipping it between her fingers as she inspects it. Fletching, arrowhead, workmanship. Blue eyes flicker back toward the source of the arrows, then to the flanking shadows. She sees them. She's not ready to upset the apple cart here yet, but she's counting the odds as she listens to others speak.

"She is no prisoner nor servant. Some humans recognize the worth of non-human allies." Dylan counters. "I hight Dylan, a knight of Powys, a land far from here. These are my comrades and only a fool rides across a land strewn with strife unarmed. Declare yourself, if you are bold enough to step out of the shadows."

If the group has been watched as they progressed to this point, Tigra has likely been noted. "I think you've lost her … didn't take her long to disappear on you, did it?" Does the speaker really think that or is it a ploy?

"Amara!" The speaker spits the name back at Hisako. "If you come looking to parlay with her, then you are our enemies. It is because of she, we are here - disenfranchised from our families." That gets a narrow eyed look from Batgirl, who's more than happy to let the others do the talking for a bit.

Greer can see someone now - crouched on the ground just ahead of her. Their skin is ebony and their clothes designed to blend with the shadows. This one doesn't have a bow - but a cruel looking scimitar, it's blade as dark as the mans skin.

Dylans challenge gets a harsh laugh. "Allies while it suit you, human." The speaker steps from a tree to the left and in front of Dylan. A Drow Male. "Hywin." It's unusual for a Drow to not announce a House. Even more unusual for a Drow Male to not be accompanied by a Female.

The arrow is well made but not of a wood that Helena recognises. The fletching not feathers but something else she doesn't recognise. For all her experience, she's not seen anything like this. It's the arrowhead that might her attention though. There's a faint green sheen about it.

"We can't let you pass these mountains."

Tigra's second thought was dwarves, but alas, that proves not to be the case. Nope, she recognizes them for drow, and grows more still in her hiding spot, watching, waiting, and listening to the process of parlay. If someone rolls poorly on their reaction check, she'll be ready to leap into action. Otherwise, she waits.

"If you don't want to be here, we're more than happy to help you go back where you came from," Blackbird pipes up at that, raising the arrow slightly in her hand. "Super appreciate it if you didn't poison us in the process, though." She leans against her horse, arms crossed over the saddle in a posture meant to look casual. But it gives her access to weapons stashed beneath her cape, and the ability to vault back up if she needs to.

"I didn't say we're here as friends to her!" Armor retorts. "But you've told us nothing about who *you* are, except to threaten us if you don't like what we tell you about ourselves. What would you do, or say, if we were the ones hiding in the brush with arrows drawn and ready to loose, and you the travelers we'd accosted?"

"Well met, Hywin." Dylan gives the man a polite nod. "There is an enchantment on this land, as you probably know. Perhaps the same one that brought you here, away from your families. We seek to have it removed and everything returned to how it was. It is not parlay with the sorceress that brings us here. We seek information on her and the enchantment so that it may be undone. From what you say, we may assist each other." He glances back at Armor a moment but just looks back to Hywin.

"You're joking right?" Hywin answers "Go back? There's *nothing* for us to go back to. It's *much* better here and as much as Amara caused our disenfranchisement, her actions have unwittingly given us somewhere else." Red eyes turn to Hisako and the elf shrugs. "Get used to it. You already said you knew about these lands."

"We don't want your assistance." That's to Dylan. "But if you want ours … you have to prove yourself …."

The drow that Tigra is watching leaps at her - scimitar flashing for her midriff. There's a smell to the blade - something astringent. She should probably be careful about getting sliced by it. Helena finds her peppered with arrows. Volleys of three hitting the ground about her. Hisako is set upon by blade wielder who's so much taller and broader than her (even armoured) and her retreat cut off by a wall of arrows.

Dylan is confronted by Hywin who draws two curved blades and comes at him. It's more than that, for out of the trees comes a half man / half spider, wielding a bow. Things just got serious….

Welp, her hiding place wasn't as hidden as she had hoped, Tigra realizes. She flips out of the tree she's in to get some distance, and draws her rapier. Once on the ground she lunges forward with all her speed, aiming for the drow's shoulder, hoping to wound and disable him before this has a chance to get ugly. On seeing the drider emerge, she calls out, "Who brought the Raid?"

"Worth a try," Helena mutters under her breath as Hywin turns down the offer to go home. Before she can go any further, though, it's time to roll for initiative.

As the arrows start to fly, she vaults back onto her saddle wheeling her horse directly at the giant man-spider coming out of the woods. Biggest problem first! And hey, maybe if she's lucky they'll be less likely to shoot at her for fear of hitting it. Or maybe they'll just hit it. Those are chances worth taking.

'Taller and broader' are relative terms - as Hisako sets about demonstrating. At least she can see who's trying to fight her, now.

But as the swordsman charges at the Japanese mutant, Hisako's armor grows rapidly in size - ten feet tall, twenty, twenty-five, with her human form still suspended within the glimmering red armor. She has to be careful not to push her allies (or their horses) away as she scales up, and she's equally careful about her *opponent* - trying to merely scoop him up in one armored hand, and lifting him up, up, up off the ground with her own continued 'growth'. Forty feet is probably *more* than enough, though, and she stabilizes her armor at that size.

"From all I've heard, Amara is our enemy," Hisako snaps at the swordsman, keeping him hemmed in between her armor's hands. "We'd rather have a few allies than keep adding to the list of enemies. If you'll agree to help us, I'll set you down safely. Refuse your aid - however much or little you can actually give us - and I'll be interested to see how well you can land when I throw you."

"If you wish to remain after the enchantment is broken, I have no objections." Dylan tells the Drow. Though if that's even possible, he has no idea. Nor is it really his decision either. Aaaaaaaaaand it's trial by combat. How unsurprising. Hengroen rears, striking out with his hooves as Dylan draws his sword. "I shall try not to gravely injure you or your companion, friend Hywin, but I make no promises." As Hengroen keeps the Drow occupied for the moment, he watches the spider thing, prepared to slive the arrow out of the air.

"It might still be." Batgirl answers as she sends several arrows fly towards the Dryder, one arrow intercepting one as it flies towards Dylan. That's a fluke right? Helenas horse lurches forward, aiming directly for the Dryder. The creature turns and sends a spray of webs towards her, tangling the horses legs and holding it tight. The youngling Bat finds herself the focus of the archer now as her horse struggles under her to free itself. It's not easy.

"Work to disable, not kill. They're testing us - and I don't think it's just for our ability to fight." Batgirl calls to the others, though they all seem to have the same idea. "I think we *are* the raid." That's to Tigra.

Tigra knocks her opponent flying, they both crash into the trunk of a tree. It shudders with the impact, the Drow is winded and drops his scimitar - he'd not expected that. Now it's Feline against Drow in hand to hand combat. Or claw to hand, perhaps. The Drow is muscular for his build - he tries to the toss Tigra back and put her on her back, anything to get the upper hand here.

Hisako finds her opponent is still quite strong despite the size difference. She can scoop him up but he twists and tumbles to the ground, pulling back into the thick of the trees hoping it will hinder the armoured woman and make her change.

Hengroens hooves cause Hywin to fall back a step. "Do you worst. Our band doesn't work with those who are less than us…" His sword flashes out, aiming for Hengroens legs, trying to bring the horse down, then he vaults over his neck to try and bring Dylan down.

Normally there's no need to tell Bats not to kill. They famously avoid it. But it's been weeks now that these damned fairies and their like have been inhabiting Staten Island and Helena has had just about enough of their crap.

As her horse gets webbed up, Blackbird hops up onto the saddle then vaults from there toward the Dryder, staff in one hand and cold iron claws popping out of her gauntlets in the other. "I don't like you," she informs the creature in a low growl, staff striking out at one of the spider leg joints where it joins the fat body, using it as a springboard to try to vault herself onto its back.

Tigra's opponent isn't the only one who's stronger than they look, and she'll readily accept his challenge for hand-to-claw, moving in and trying to fightin closer than he wants, where she can use her speed and flexibility to out maneuver him,s lashing here and there with her claws, aiming for his clothes, not his body. She lets him toss her, but is ready for it, rolls with it, lands and leaps forward again, leading with her shoulder into his stomach, hoping to smach him up against a tree adn knock the breath from him.

Admittedly, Armor *was* trying not to squish her opponent (much as the temptation to crush him, just a little, crossed the back of her mind). Still, they're just people - human or drow or otherwise - and not the ones the group is trying to stop, either.

She shrinks her armor back down, keeping it about ten feet tall, and attempts to part the foliage in search of the swordsman. That's still plenty for dealing with relatively-human-sized opponents, after all, and unless somebody's been hiding adamantium weaponry, she should still be fine.

Hengroen backs up to avoid the slice, the combination of horse and fire elemental letting it react without Dylan's instruction. Grabbing the pommel with his free hand, he ducks and slides half off the horse, swings his sword upwards at the airborne Drow. Enchanted armor is lighter than it looks. "I don't recall inviting you to work with us but once we defeat you, we'll consider your request."

"Allies infer that …" Hywin grunts as Dylans sword hits him. It slices and blood starts to flow from the wound. Not quickly, but it's got to hurt. That doesn't stop the lithe, strong Drow from trying to drag Dylan to ground. "And if you aren't with us, then you're against us. We like it here and don't want to move. Though finishing Amara ranks right up there." This Drow is trained but not used to fighting horses - mounted warriors sure - and definitely not horses that seem to have a mind of their own.

Hisako finds the swordsman easily enough. Or he finds her as his blade 'clangs' against her armour. It sends a shock up his arm and he stares for a fraction of a minute before just trying to shove her into a tree.

Greers tactics weren't expected. As the Drow throws her, he moves quickly. Which is how her 'pounce' knocks the man into a tree and leaves him gasping for breath. She has an opening her thanks to that surprise.

Helena manages to vault onto the Dryders back, which makes it difficult for Batgirl to keep targetting it. The Dryder rears, throwing itself against a tree and then starts to rampage. Helena better be good at riding a bucking bull - in a forest - cause that's what this is.

The shove doesn't do very much, even though it takes Armor by surprise. She retaliates quickly and efficiently, smacking the sword to one side - either disarming the man or actually breaking the sword, she doesn't care right now - and follows up by just pushing him down on the ground, a shove that would do pride to most (low-level) sumo wrestlers.

"Let me make this simple: we aren't *looking* for extra fights. Doesn't mean we'll roll over when we're set upon. If you have a beef with Amara, great; help us, or get out of our way. What's your choice?"

*WHAM* Tigra drives her drow hard into a tree, driving the breath from his lungs and possibly bruising a rib or two. or three. or four. She won't complain. She dances back a couple steps to see the results of her work, sees he's stunned, and slashes with her claws, slicing open his clothes on his torso, and then the other hand, with claws extended, resting on his neck, with gentle pressure suggesting that it could become rather less than gentle if he doesn't surrender.

Helena has no intention of riding this thing for long. Or even really riding it. A soon as she flips up onto its back, she stows the staff on her back and launches herself onto the torso of the creature, legs wrapping tightly around his waist, one arm tight around its arms…and the other hand poised at its throat, claws pricking the skin.

"Do you want to ask yourself if you're the only one who knows poisons around here?" she growls into its ear. "Or what other strange tricks the world outside your little bubble might have? Or if I even need any of them to rip your throat out? Usually I get along well with spider-people, but you're not on the right list right now."

It's a precarious position to begin with and the added weight of a Drow causes Dylan's grip to slip on the pommel. He falls to the ground but twists to put Hywin below him. Hengroen rears again then comes back down, one of his hooves aiming for the Drow's head. Dylan knows that maneuver and quickly says 'Don't kill him!' turning a direct blow to the center of Hywin's skull into a glancing one.

"Enough …" Hywin manages to roll as Dylan stops Hengroen's killing blow. He's going to have a horseshoe shape mark on his temple - when the cut heals. A nice reminder of the battle, surely. "… they have proven themselves…" Not that he really needs to say it. Most of his men are down, bested by the Raid party. "You have proved yourself, Knight. We won't stop you progressing through here - we will even give you tokens for safe passage further on."

The cold iron doesn't seem to affect the Drow but Helena has the advantage. With one more attempt, he slams them both into a tree and may well try to continue fighting if weren't for the command from Hywin. Settling unhappily, the Dryder hisses venomously but doesn't try to move again.

Greers Drow grins ferally as her claws press against his neck. "If you ever fancy a rematch, cat-woman, I'm for it. It's been a long time since I had a good tumble." Maybe he's not so familiar with 'surface' speak.

"Our choice." Growls Hisako's drow "Is to make sure those who pass aren't going to bring Amara's wrath down on us. You pass…"

With the exception of the Dryder, they all seem to be pleased with the fight. "Come. We will get you those tokens and you can be on your way."

Tigra steps in closer to the drow, loosening her grip on his neck. "The name's Tigra," she says huskily. "And I don't think I'd mind a…tumble," she murmurs, giving him a slow look over and then a flick of her tail. Witha sway to her hips, she steps over to retrieve her rapier, giving it a casual flip in the air, and catching it in its sheathe.

Helena grunts as the Dryer catches her against the tree but only clings tighter, claws starting to dig in until the truce is called and he eases off. "Douche," she mutters, leaving a nick along its jaw when she lets go and hops over his back and the injured leg down to the ground to return to her horse. Luckily, she does know a thing or two about removing webs, setting about freeing her mount from the sticky stuff while favoring the drow in general with a few dirty looks.

With that, Hisako backs off, her armor shrinking down to just surround her normal, five-feet-and-change frame, and she offers her opponent a hand back up. "We'll do our best *not* to draw her attention to you, or to anyone else who means well and is just trying to get by," she promises. "Hopefully we can figure out how to take her down in such a way that she never has a chance to hurt anyone else."

Dylan Grey stands back up then holds a hand out to Hywin to help him up. "You fought well and with honor. We'll gladly accept your tokens and whatever information you're willing to tell us about the sorceress." Turning to Hengroen, he pats the horses neck. "I like you as a horse. I'll have to think about how to give you the form of one as well." Maybe a very focused enchantment that duplicates the effect of the dome.

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