2020-03-21 - Lions Roar


It's confrontation time. Hercules meets up with someone he didn't want to.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Mar 21 22:17:50 2020
Location: Inside The Barrier 2

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Theme Song



It's taken several weeks to get to this point but this is it. The location of the central crystal has been found. Agent Dylan Grey had examined the wards and protection on the area and has developed / secured ways of defeating those.

During the ensuing week, the protective amulets have been recharged by the mages, and Batgirl and Samurai have been creating mayhem whereever they can. In fact, part of the barrier is starting to fail - due to one of their sorties a few days ago.

The trick now is to get back to the crystal room and keep Eurayles people busy to allow a small group to do what they must.

The scene in the Chamber where the passage to the crystal room is hidden is chaotic. Greer has posed as a merchant again, with a retinue. The trick was to keep the attention off the small group who had disappeared through that tunnel - and what better way, than with a pet tigress and a strong man.


One of the columns in the room has just been destroyed. Pushed over by Hercules to draw attention to himself. The centaurian guards are currently surrounding, other creatures are yelling - unsure of whether they are under attack or not.

Of Eurayle - there is no sign. Yet.

Strong is probably something of an oversimplification. The hard fact is that even in this era, Hercules is simply put, still a demigod of strength. He picks UP the pillar — well, part of it, as it fractured when it hit the floor — and thunders in a voice that's probably audible through the city, "THE JUDGEMENT OF OLYMPUS IS UPON YOU! HERAKLES OF THEBES IS HERE!" Swinging the pillar section like a normal man might swing a club, batting aside any centaur foolish enough to get too close. "Fools! You have truly forgotten the wisdom of Chiron!"

In contrast to her previous 'act' as a farmer/merchant worried about her group's wares carrying an unexpected curse, Hisako has been quiet this trip, content to let others be the center of the guards' attention. Pretty much *everyone* else, in fact, to the best she could deflect it.

So when the column gets toppled over by Hercules, Hisako smirks faintly and armors up, telekinetically-projected 'hands' scooping under one centaur guard's belly prior to trying to flip the half-man, half-horse onto his side when her armor enlarges further.

With Hercules drawing attention for the moment, Armor has a few seconds to take advantage of the confusion - and rather than simply try to clobber the guards, which might do more harm than she *wants* to do to them, she focuses on creating as much disarray in the guards' ranks as she can. Relieving them of spears or swords or shields, knocking over the occasional centaur or other guard, whatever comes to mind and hand. She's not being excessively gentle about it, but she knows how strong her armor is even at a fairly modest eight feet in height; keeping in mind that most of the barrier's inhabitants were probably normal people in Staten Island, she doesn't want to bring down the barrier only to have a bunch of crippled, maimed, or dead civilians on her conscience.

Please, Hunter. Do it for the people, Hunter. Play the giant tigress pet, Hunter.

Grumblemutterhiss. The recalcitrant, taciturn and laconic ranger - or so she keeps being made-over as when she comes into this realm - hated the idea. But she agreed. Besides, shifting to Amur Khatun is so ''easy'' here. No pain. No agony. It's quick, and it even takes her gear. It seems a shame not to accept the potential benefits one last time.

Amur Khatun, by comparison, does not seem to mind this idea at all. Tricking silly bipeds (and armored quadropeds) amuses her. And she does rather like this new biped; she looks and smells like People! The ginormous Siberian tigress is only too happy to stay close to Greer and play the contented pet.

But then the large biped male goes mad. Amur Khatun can tell this is play-acting; she can recall their words of the plan, if hazily. And that is the only reason that she sidles away from Greer, now, bristling, calling up the memories of her anger and intent, as her predatory aura clogs the very air around them, and is followed by a tremendous roar that shakes he very stone foundations.

Angry tiger, out of control. Run, you fools, run!

Tigra is again dressed rakishly, something like a swashbuckler, and using her…charms to ease the way in once more. She cries out loudly in dismay when Hercules topples a column and swings it about. "Heavens above!" she yells. "The pixies clearly must have addled his wits! Why, they could be all around us! Don't let them get you or they'll drive you as insane as she is!" When the other feline roars, Tigra spins away. "And now they've gotten to my tiger! Oh, calamity!" She whips her hat off and flails about with it as she runs in a false panic, "accidentally" bumping into a centaur or two, perhaps hard enough to stumble them or knock them down.

Agent Sarah Black is also being careful of what harm she might do to transformed innocents, as well as conserving her combat magics for the potential of more serious threats. But that doesn't stop the WAND sorceress, concealed from sight by her glamours, from sowing disorganization among the centaurs through well-placed portals, interfering with their movements and sending some of the less wary — or able to turn in time — outside.

Mayhem, that's the only way to describe it. Hisako plays Centaur bowling, the results of which is amusing - as the cloven footed creatures stumble and start to bring themselves down. Of course, Armor ends up with a number of weapon in a pile as she so helpfully stops the Centaurs hurting themselves.

Greer is distraction enough herself with that hat and that getup. The other creatures in the chamber, the ones not running from Amur Khatun, are bumped into and knocked over. The feline woman is going to have to avoid tripping herself - particularly as the Centaur she's bumped into falls … onto her.

Sarah's portals are effective - mostly - Hisako knocks one of the Centaurs into one. It disappears. Only to appear with the one that Greer just knocked over. Now the cat-woman has two of the brutes to deal with.

What Centaurs are left near Hercules, encircle him and point spears in his direction. Clearly not too keen on getting close.
"I don't think they've forgotten the wisdom of Chiron … *cousin* …." Comes a sibilant voice from near the end of the room. "I do wonder though, what Herakles of Thebes is doing here. Have you come to join us?" Uh oh. He recognises that woman - it's … Eurayle.

Hercules forces the centaurs to give him a wide berth — spears or not, he looks capable of demolishing them. He punctuates it by driving one end of the pillar he's wielding into the ground with an earth-trembling thudding sound. "Unlikely, Euryale," he responds calmly. "There's the small matter of my great-grandsire killing Medusa, after all. I wasn't born -yesterday-." He sternly gives the centaurs a glare to keep them backed up. "But it is not too late, after all, to repent your actions."

So long as no one attacks her, the giant tigress is content to just keep creating chaos without hurting anyone. Oh, it looks all terribly painful, with massive paws swiping this way and that. But no claws are used, and she's not actually tossing people around with anywhere near the force of which is capable. Amur Khatun is play-fighting, if rather convincingly.

Once someone stabs a friend, though, all bets are off.

Not as planned, not as planned! is what Tigra thinks as she knocks a centaur off-balance, -exactly- the wrong way. She tries to scramble out of the way, but yes, she ges tripped up, the rapier on her hip tangling between her legs as she tries to avoid a centaur and dashing critter at the same time, and only getting a partial success on her skill check. "Whuff!" she grunts as the centaur lants on her legs. "How dare you try to ravish me!" she exclaims as she tries to wriggle free.

Armor turns her gaze - cautiously - upon Euryale; she's done some reading, and was Medusa the only one with a petrifying gaze? Then again, though, Hercules doesn't seem terribly worried about that.

She's not quite as casual about the centaurs who have Hercules penned in, though, and the mutant lays her armor's hands upon the haunches of two of the centaurs. "Get those pointy things away from my ally, *if* you please," says Hisako. "I imagine you'd like to keep all four legs in an unbroken state … do centaurs' legs heal any more easily than a regular horse's?" she appends, almost casually.

With this new development, Sarah ceases casting her portals, to avoid calling attention to her presence — assuming her glamour of concealment is even effective against Euryale. But if she can remain a surprise factor for her companions, she will for now.

Amur Khatun finds herself confronted by a BIG lion that stalks from out behind Eurayle. Hercules will recognise this lion, of course - the Nemean Lion. It's golden pelt catches the light as it moves, eyes fixed firmly on the Tigress. It roars, shaking the room and causing all but the centaurs, Eurayle and the group to flee.

There's no warning when it leaps at Amur Khatun, massive claws extended from its huge paws. This is going to be interesting - it doesn't care about hurting bystanders. Does Amur Khatun? Or is she too far gone in her mind?

The Centuar who's fallen on Greer struggles to get up, kicking her cruelly as it flails. "Madam. I am not." He says rather indiginantly. "Please remove your hand from that part of me…." As they struggle, two more surround them, making sure that Greer can't escape when they rise.

The two centaurs that Hisako assaults go down with the bonecrunching sound. "You're about to find out…" one growls. It's not them that barrel her from behind - something large - larger than her for certain - takes her in the back, knocking her forward.

"And here you are, *cousin*, making a mess of what I've built here. Do you really think that even *you* can defeat what we've built here? Repent my actions? For what? Giving our people somewhere to live?" The Centaurs part to let the Olympian through. Eurayle … moves forward in a flurry of 'smoke' to end up right in front of the hero, to knock him backwards into another column.

Sarah might feel she's avoided detection so far - until she hears the voice behind her. "What pretty little thing you are. You'll make a lovely part of my collection." A bolt of arcane energy arcs at the Sorceresses back, intent on wrapping her in bindings.

Hercules is deliberately averting his eyes from looking -directly- at Euryale — god or not, he doesn't want to turn into a lawn ornament. And so he's caught off guard when Euryale goes right to brawling and belts him into the column. More startled than hurt, he slams into it, leaving a Herc-shaped crater as he drops down. When he hears the growl of the Nemean Lion, he swears softly. "Euryale, if you're dragging things out of the Underworld, you're going to wish Perseus had cut your head off. You KNOW how angry Hades gets about that!"

Indeed, the attack of the Nemean Lion is unexpected by Amur Khatun, but she is by no means 'gone'. Still and though, her mind is not the mind of the Hunter; her mind is that of the incredibly smart tigress, and her reactions are the same. These bipeds with her are her bipeds, and she protects those that are hers from all threats. She is not, however, nearly as careful of innocent bystanders, especially armed bystanders.

The lion's leap gives it the opening, but Amur Khatun is fast, and a cat in mid-air can twist, but cannot bleed off momentum. The lion thusly leaps to where the tigress was, but she has since sprinted towards the lion's prior spot and come out from under that landing. She whips around sharply, then, and charges into the lion aggressively, slamming into the creature to drive it through where the centaurs dare to threaten her friends. She does not know the legends of the lion, cannot know its resistances. But she is unlikely to care until they are proven, anyway.

Okay, now Tigra's getting angry. She snarls as the centaur kicks at her, and she twists and squirms as only a cat can. As for that part of him? Well, she's more than willing to squeeze if it gets him to let her up. She doesn't notice the other two closing in, but even if she did, she, well, has her hands full at the moment.

The impact doesn't knock the wind out of Armor's lungs, but it DOES send her flying, and her armor actually flickers briefly from the sheer surprise of it. Her armor stabilizes again before impact, though, and Hisako rolls with the landing, trying to twist around to face her new assailant. And larger than her …

Well, that's relative, isn't it? Or at least temporary. She's on-guard now, whatever came after her, but for the moment she stays in a defensive posture while sizing up her opponent - and possibly while sizing up her armor to match.

Sarah's attacker might have done well to 'act first, gloat second' — because by taunting her first, they've given the WAND agent the warning she needs to defend herself before the binding spell lands. Say what you will about MI-13's manual of combat magicks, most of the spells it teaches share one defining quality — they're fast, compared to the more elegant incantations of some other schools of sorcery. An ancient word of power and a snap of her hands into a gesture, and Sarah's shields flare into being, limbed in golden light and traced with arcane symbols and geometries. She whirls, taking a spellfighting stance, her glamour dropping, revealing the brunette Englishwoman in her rather attention-getting transformed outfit.

The impact of the lion landing where Amur Khatun was shakes the room. It's roar is deafening as it stalks the Tigress. It certainly wasn't expecting the charge that it gets. The two creatures go tumbling into the Centaurs, sending them flying. What the tigress will notice is that the lion is unharmed as it rolls to its feet and swipes at her.

Greer's squeeze gets a rather high squeal from the Centaur, who would have thought such a sound could come from the beast? She finds herself thrown back into the hands of more centaurs, who scrabble to grab her and try and hold her.

Hisako finds herself face to face with a giant. Face to face, now she's sized her armour up. A massive club swings down on the womans head as the giant doesn't wait. It's going to club and wrestle with her.

"Besting Circe is not that easy, little girl." The other sorceress purrs, looking at Sarahs shield with derision. With a gesture and a spell, the stones beneath Sarah's feet start to 'melt'. The WAND mage slowly sinking into them - before she knows it, she's ankle deep and sinking fast. "I can always have you mounted in my display room."

"Who says Hades isn't onboard with this?" Eurayle sneers. "It's taken years to put this in place, do you really think we act alone?" The snakes on her head hiss and snap out at the Olympian, trying to bite him. "Won't you look me the eyes when I speak with you?" Her claws rake at the mans chest as she continues to bear down on him.

Suddenly, Herc -moves-. It's easy to underestimate him — the bumbler, the fool, the target of Hera's wrath. Easy to forget he developed pankration from things he'd learned at the hand of Autolycus, Odysseus' grandsire. Easy to forget he'd killed giants and wrestled secrets from gods. As Euryale brags, slithering closer to Herc, his hand shoots out and clamps onto her face — blocking her visage. "Euryale," he growls. "You /talk too much/." With that, he whips around and slams her head into the pillar, ignoring the wild biting of her serpentine hair. While he's systematically beating some sense into the Gorgon, he yells to Amur Khatun, switching to Allspeech to make -sure- she hears him, «The Nemean Lion's hide cannot be cut by any claw or weapon! I had to strangle it when I killed it!». The pillar cracks as Herc bounces Euryale's head off it rhythmically.

She almost feels guilty about hurting the centaur like that, but Tigra needed to get clear and, hey, there it was. The other centaurs grab at her and she drops to the ground, twists about and scoots forward on all fours, trying to get underneath one where it will be harder for either of them to grab her. She'll stay there for only a couple seconds before flipping up and onto the back of one of them, intending to rapidly smack it about the ears to disorient it before leaping away.

So far unharmed herself, the tigress Amur Khatun is not trying to hurt the lion, just keep it very occupied and protect her bipeds. But soon enough one of those mighty swipes from the lion will connect, and when it does it scores through her flesh and rage flows freely. Their roars make the air feel like an earthquake in process as they are almost sure to end up in a diving, twisting, roaring dervish of claws and teeth and rage.

The tigress' flesh is strong, and does not yield easily, but it cannot hold against the power of the Nemean Lion. Yet her own claws are not those of mortal weaponsmiths, and they are powered by a strength surely equal to the lion himself. Yet the one thing that keeps it all from being a pointless bloodbath is that both are so incredibly resilient; for as her hide is scored, and scored deep, so too it heals quickly and well.

The fight will be a messy one indeed, but Amur Khatun has heard the voice of the brawler, and will heed that wisdom when she can.

"Oh, are you ki—"

Armor's arms snap upwards - both her own arms as she hovers inside the psychokinetic construct, and the projected armor's own as though mimicking her movement; it's the latter, of course, which actually *catch* the club's descent, although on crossed forearms rather than within the upraised hands. The impact makes the Japanese girl wince, but she pushes back with a loud yell, the hue of her armor shifting from yellow straight to red.

And Armor fights *dirty* as she gets back into the flow of the fight. The giant's big, but its size is fixed; Hisako's armor, however, is limited only by her reserves and her surroundings - and Hercules already put a dent in the architecture. If Armor has to punch through the ceiling itself to gain the upper hand against the giant, she has few qualms about doing so.

But it's not all going 'up,' either; one psychokinetically-projected, detailedly-articulated knee rams in between the giant's legs before Hisako brings her armor's elbows down on its shoulders, followed by a double-fisted blow over its head.

And if there's any fight left in the giant after that combo? She's not going to let up, not going to let her adversary recover or recuperate or even have time to breathe. She's learned from some of the best there are at what they do, after all …

Sarah's facing an opponent well above her weight class when it comes to magic, and she knows it. She has an approximately zero chance of winning any extended fight with Circe — she'd run out of juice well before that.

No, if she's going to survive — never mind win — she needs to move fast, and she needs to place things on her terms, at least for however long she can. Being mired in the floor in front of the sorceress doesn't work well with that.

And so Sarah opens a portal to her right and dives into it, wrenching her feet free of the sucking muck of the ensorceled floor as she goes. The other and of the portal? Behind and to the right of Circe. From where the WAND agent looses a full-force attack spell, electicity mode. And an eye-searingly blue-white bolt of lightning streaks toward the other spellcaster.

Eurayle snarls as Hercules grabs her. The snakes ramp up their attack as the woman gets angrier. "Says the drunkard…" she hisses just before her head meets the pillar for the first time. Hercules is strong, no doubt. Eurayle isn't a light weight though and even as bits of stone crumble around them … she scratches and kicks, trying to get her claws into the mans hair and drag his eyes to hers.

The Centaurs have clearly not had experience with cats. Greers movement stuns them for a fraction of a second. Two of the brutes stare under the third and they look at each other … just as she pulls herself on its back and beats it. They … leap at her - just as she leaps away. Now its a Centaur pile on.

Amur Khatun can hold her own for the moment. The Nemean Lion is strong and she can't pierce its pelt but neither can it get a good hold on her yet. Another swipe or two of those claws though … The lion rolls, trying to get the Tigress on her back and pinned there.

Hisako's giant grunts as her knee rams up between its legs. The look of surprise on its face as she both protects against its blow and does that is almost comical. It's dazed …. but that club rises again…

Sarah's attack takes Circe by surprise. The Witch relies on her magic attacks a lot. Circe is sent sprawling forward as the electricity courses through her …

It's then a wave of azure blue seems to ripple through the tower, like a wave of water, washing away the enchantment and leaving … Staten Island. They're in an apartment tower on the East side of island.

Eurayle screams before hissing to Circe "We need to go …" She manages to take the amulet hanging from her neck and snaps it. Dissolving from Hercules hands into shadows.

Around the heroes, the centaurs are drawn into the shadow, Circe too. Leaving the heroes and some very confused humans who are now wearing what they were before this all happened.

Hercules grits his teeth, struggling with Euryale. In his anger, he's growling at her in ancient Greek, "You may be immortal, but I'm pretty certain there's a rock big enough to -bury- you with!" Then the blue flash, and Herc pauses in his metronomic head banging, startled. When Euryale dissolves from his fingers, Herc looks tempted to put his fist into the wall… but doesn't. He sucks in a deep breath, looking around at the other heroes. "Well," he says, with a slight grin. "Looks like the others broke their toy. I'll have to lay in some stuff for a proper celebration."

Amur Khatun is not so foolish, stupid, slow or wounded as to allow herself to be pinned on her back, and her fight with the lion rages thither and yon around the entire space unbridled, slicked with her blood. The tigress is ready to try getting her jaws around the lion's neck for strangulation when the surge of blue-white magical energy erupts through them!

In its wake, Amur Khatun is left without an opponent. Her wounds slowly work on closing as she circles where her opponent once was, batting at the air with her paw in frustration. She is smart enough to realize it is gone; that does not mean she is happy about it. She growls a bit and then pads over to butt her bloody head against Tigra, checking on her bipeds one at a time.

"Bloody hell," Sarah mutters, as she reverts to being dressed more in Donna Karan than Boris Vallejo. "That actually worked. And I'm alive to tell about it."

Armor glowers at the giant as it hefts its club again, "What does it take to -"

Azure washes through the area, and Hisako reflexively drops her armor's size; just in the nick of time, too, considering that there's a *ceiling* where she might have been when the flash of blue fades away. Of the giant, there's no sign.

Hisako looks around briefly, regaining her bearings, then de-armors full, letting out a breath. "Hopefully that was it. Everyone okay?"

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