2020-05-02 - Cwn Annwn


Unease in the air, a vision and another damn hound.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat May 2 05:04:36 2020
Location: Central Park

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With the weather turning warmer, there's more people out in Central Park of a day and late Friday afternoon is the perfect time for families to be wandering, as well as those starting to wander home from work. Or to work - sometimes it's hard to tell.

The crowds though seem to be avoiding one of the lesser paths in the area - to the observant, people turn to take it and then … seem to change their mind. For the magically aware, it's more than that though - something has laid a miasma down there and the general populace appear to be reacting subconsciously to it.

For the sensitives, approaching the area gives them blinding visions of bloodshed, mayhem and carnage.

It is here that a tall, dark haired woman with bright blue eyes is watching, a look of curiosity on her face as she approaches carefully. Zatanna Zatara is dressed in black leather pants, heavy biker boots and leather jacket over a t-shirt that says 'magic happens', something jangled her magical senses about fifteen minutes ago and she's been watching this area ever since.

"Miss Zatara."

Ambrose's own voice floats along to announce himself even before he's within proper conversational radius. Apparently, he was out enjoying the fresh air himself (read as: feeding the Bane now that the season is warmer and more folks are out on the paths as it stands). His hair, now moonsilvered, is nonethless composed like the rest of him dressed as any native might for the warmer weather. His field jacket overtop a sleeker long-sleeved cotton shirt might seem overmuch, along with the worn combat boots beneath his jeans, but these days, he's perpetually just a little chilled.

"As the good Bard once penned, something is rotten in the state of Denmark," the British demi-immortal comments as he pulls up not next to, but nearby Zee. He doesn't remove his sunglasses as he glances over at her; these hide the Bane-glow in his pupils as a courtesy (read as: not scaring away the prey). "This path has a distaste to it…"

Things were off for the reporter, so much so that she finally used some of her stashed away leave days from the Bugle. She needed time. She needed to think. She needed to shake off her fears. Life was changing in ways she had never thought they would. It was a queer sensation that something as simple as a stable relationship was more troubling than selling one's soul or obtaining powers. Priorities.

In that need, that pure desire to get away from it all, Betty is found less so jogging, but running, through the paths of the park. That is, until it hits her. Her sneaker covered feet skid to sudden halt as the foreboding visions assault her brain. Turning, pivotting, grabbing at the sides of her head, the dirty-blonde with partially braided and beaded hair doubles over. Crimson and chaos; she can almost smell the stinch on the air. Blank eyed with a soft glow, the woman looks off down the path, blind to the pair already waiting, watching there.

%rThe vision for Betty is fleeting but it's not ONLY Central Park she is seeing. It's a land of milk and honey - beautiful green bowers, lush grass and towers that shine like crystal reach for the sky of the deepest sapphire blue. A lake that shimmers silver and blue runs under it. Well, that would be the case - Betty can 'see' that except for her vision that has the river running with blood and sky stained with clouds of thick black smoke. Bodies of dark elves litter the water, as do knights in once shining armour. Atop the silvery tower, a tall gaunt man with a long flowing bears wears a diadem that shines even more brightly than the sun.

This is all overlaid on Central Park, as well - a portent perhaps of things to come? It's hard to tell.

As quick as it started, the vision ends - though the feeling of 'power' remains.

"Leuitenant Atherton…" Zee says politely, still frowning at the area before them but slowly turning to look at him. "Something has you … bothered … I think. And yes, it feels rather rancid doesn't it. I was about to investiga—-"

"Miss Brant?" Zee says to the younger woman, reaching out to touch her arm as she passes.

Ambrose is privy to none of the vision or its portents; merely the lingering feeling he's come to recognize over his many, many years as a presence of magic. He does, however, catch sight of Betty fairly quickly. Zatanna saying the young woman's name does help match a face to it — ah, yes, when he was in his jackal-guise and she was jogging in the Park. There is a tiny part of him that wishes to preserve his anonymity, but then there's his other devil-may-care inclination to —

"And to think, we meet again as such," murmurs the master-thief as he steps around in something almost circling. It's the manner of Betty's appearance which has him leery. He's seen Seers before and their reactions to visions triggered.

The touch pulls Betty out of whatever void she was in. Her nostrils flare as a deep gasp is drawn. Blinking, she settles her gaze on the dark lady in question. "Call me Betty." She murmurs at first before the haze fully slips away. "Zatanna? Hey! Long time." She begins with the hint of a smile on her features. "Um, sorry. Are you alright? Sorry I didn't notice you before." Then some man circles. Her brows knit and furrow before she speaks again. "Hello. He with you, Zatanna?"

"Do you know Miss Brant, Leuitenant Atherton?" Zatanna asks, watching Betty and the pathway equally and carefully. "With me, Miss Brant? Not … really. He is here, as am I. So in a way, you could say that we are together." She's teasing a bit - the pair of them.

"Are you alright? You looked like you were in a trance." The magicienne has seen the look as well. "There is something wrong here. A tear in reality, I think … but not a large o—-"

As she speaks a huge white hound with red ears steps into existence, the air around seeming shimmer and glow - like someone has opened a zipper or ripped a hole a piece of fabric. On seeing the three people standing nearby, the dog growls and then barks.

"Cwn Annwn…" Zatanna hisses. "It must be silenced before it barks a third time. Any who hear it bark three times will be terrified nearly to death … Please step back, Miss Brant so don't get hurt."

Betty might have other ideas, Zatanna is already starting to conjure … a blue glow forming about her fingers and crawling up her hands.

As for Ambrose - he might know of the Hounds of Annwn - the Welsh hounds of the otherworld - often associated with the Wild Hunt. The Bane? All it knows is that thing is full of magic.

|ROLL| Ambrose +rolls 1d10 for: 3

"Miss Brant and I have met." Yes, Ambrose is playing, but his smile isn't negatively sly, just amused. "I am Lieutenant Atherton," he confirms regardless and offers Betty a shallow courtly bow at the waist, fist held to his chest. "And while Miss Zatara and I are in the immediate vicinity of one another, we are not anything more than associates."

His face turns towards Zee now and he clicks his tongue teasingly. "Miss Zatara, such a thing to insinuate."

No time for further teasing, apparently, because now there's a Cwn Annwn on the path and it triggers a cascade of horrifying memories from a unfortunate run-in on the shores outside of Calais in the early 1950s.

"RUDDY FUCK!" And there goes a throwing knife, silver, out of one of his sleeves like some demented magic trick with its aim at the red-eared dog.

"Do you have to call me that?" Betty teases toward Zatanna. In truth, the pair weren't that different in age. But one couldn't fault another for manners. The talk of something otherworldly removes Betty's cautious look in Ambrose's direction. "I can't say I know him," she begins only to turn her attention to Zee.

"I'm fine. I just…had a vision and sometimes, most of the time, I can't control when they happen. I'm just glad I wasn't trying to cross the street this time." Hark, here comes the hound.

Betty may have had other plans, a push or need to silence the pooch, but it seemed that Zatanna was all over it. Novice of the trio, Betty takes one step back and nothing more. Her hand reaches up and pulls a beautiful decorative pin from her hair.

The bark from the hound sends chills down everyones spine. It reminds them of everything that scares them. For Zee that's the young woman who found herself all alone when her father disappeared - in a country far from home and no idea where to start looking.

"Betty then …" Zee answers before starting to speak to her spell. The words are untelligible as they trip from her tongue and glowing arcane runes start to appear in the air about the Hound, just as Ambroses knife hits it.

The knife penetrates, etheral ichor dripping down the hounds shoulder where it embeds. It snarls and turns to look at Ambrose but it judges Zee the bigger threat … and pounces at her, huge feet nearly hitting her shoulders as she tumbles to the side - the spell lost for the moment in the interruption.

That puts its back to Ambrose and its drooling maw aimed right for Betty and that decorative pin.

It barks again - the feeling of dread of rising.

"Cold Iron, Leuitenant Atherton …"

"R-Right, yes! Simple slip of the mind, simple slip!" he tries to console Zatanna, now knocked butt over tea-kettle by the stout and muscled white hound. He's still attempting to not let his teeth chatter in his skull even as he's pulling his revolver from its holster. "Bloody fuck, I need a silencer…!"

It's a pithy hiss even as Ambrose shoots at the red-eared dog's back, aiming a purely normal bullet at its major mass of innards and specifically the lungs. CRACK — a single shot for now, given Betty and Zatanna are so nearby.

It was such a sinking feeling. The gangs, her dead mother, losing time and time again to the will of others with no choice of her own. The growl is met with one of Betty's own, her hand flicking out as that pin turns into something different - a Dwarven staff complete with runes. Zatanna down, a shot ringing out, Betty starts to move.

Two barks down…Springing forward, the dirty-blonde shoes the staff into the hounds mouth. A hand on either side attempting to keep it in place, she starts to push back against, forcing it off of Zee's body.

The hound yelps as the iron of the bullet from Ambroses pistol stings its backside, a mangled sound as its tongue is shoved towards the back of its mouth with the staff.

The hound is strong though and Betty is having trouble budging it - but it's all Zee needs to roll to her feet, the azure energy leaping to her command and sigils forming in the air as the spell is begun once more.

The hound lunges towards Betty - the runes on the staff glowing brightly, giving Betty a little extra oomph to hold it. It can't turn on Ambrose, so firmly is staff locked behind its back teeth - the gentleman thief might be able to get off another shot as Zee finishes her casting.

The glowing sigils seem to fall about the hound, Zee's words - spoken backwards makes them hard to understand - forming the spell.

It's silent at least … but still locked in mortal combat with the young reported. "Now, if you will Leuitenant Atherton. One more bullet should do it."

The revolver's muzzle had been aimed up at the sky as Betty had engaged with her sudden staff-from-hairpin — Ambrose had to pause simply to appreciate the trick of it. "Ooh-hoo," he'd whispered to himself, still nervy even with the appearance of the tides rapidly turning in their favor.

A quick and smooth sideways sliding of steps places him in the correct and current position for a swift and somewhat merciful shot intended for the dog's heart. "Begone, cur…!" snarls the Jackal in purely Mundane defensiveness as he aims the gun and pulls the trigger once more. CRACK. Off goes the shot with a swift finality.

Betty Brant lingers in the fight as long as it is needed. Feet slipping, digging ruts into the path until her body flexes and she forces herself to push forward. Teeth baring, she glares at the beast eye to eye. When silence falls and the bullet flies, she waits for the hound to go limp before pulling her weapon away and standing back. A glance to Ambrose and then back to Zee, she shifts toward the woman. "Are you alright? It didn't hurt you did it?"

The hound yelps - silently … Zee's spell settling around it to keep it quiet … when the bullet hits. Betty will feel the pressure against her staff disappear and if she's not careful she may well stumble.

The hound doesn't go limp - it just … dissipates into the air banished by the power of cold iron.

Zatanna smiles brightly at Betty, brushing down her leathers and pushing her hair back from her face. "Just my pride. I mean, I like a tumble but I prefer to choose my partners." She chuckles looking at the staff in the womans hand. "That was very quick thinking, thank you. And to you Leuitenant Atherton. That is an interesting pistol you have there."

"Now, before we get anymore visitors, shall we see where that thing came through? The veil between the worlds has thinned here, like it's been stretched and pulled. I suspect that's what you and I sensed, Leuitenant Atherton. But Betty, you looked very preoccupied when we stopped you."

Away goes the revolver in question, one of a pair and its mate still hidden on the Jackal's body, as soon as he's certain that the red-eared hound is gone entirely, all but vanished like morning mist under sunlight.

"Thank you, Miss Zatara. They are well-oiled relics such as myself." He gives Zatanna a boyish grin, still moderately electrified by the Cwn Annwn's bark and its adrenaline-boosting effects. "We may thank modern ammunition nonetheless; the bullets contained a soft-iron core," he explains as he approaches the two women again, hands in the pockets of his field jacket now.

"Very well done, Miss Brant. Your staff is indeed a relic as well," compliments the master-thief to the reporter, being certain to include her in his span of dimpled grin.

The area in which the red-eared hound appeared is given a vastly suspicious and distrusting scrutiny. "…perhaps it might be best if this veil were simply closed for the moment? That creature is familiar to the Wild Hunt. This need not spill onto the shores of America."

Or threaten him and Kent yet again, marked as they are.

"Something I understand." She smirks and steps away from Zee. Looking form her staff to Ambrose, she studies him and peers. "Thank you. It was a great gift." A beat. "Are you sure I know you? You seem…familiar, but…" Where had he met her?

Talk of the tear. Then her vision? "I-sorry. As I said, I had a vision and I couldn't control it. I saw a very beautiful place. Sprawling green lands, clear waters and a tower. It was like a glitch then, the vision shifted and became dark. It was full of smoke with rivers of blood. I saw dark elf like figures scattered about, dead, unmoving. There was a gleaming figure in the tower, though. Look out over it all."

"That sounds like a splendid idea to me and it is something I can do. Now, would you please call me, Zee? Miss Zatara is so … stuffy." She might be teasing the Victorian era gentleman again. "Yes. The Wild Hunt that is lead by Malekith, no less. That's the not the first time one of his ilk has arrived in my presence. The Dark Elf is looking for something that I supposedly have."

There's a glance at Betty as the blonde speaks of her vision. "Towers … dark elves… beautiful green lands …" She says slowly, thinking. "The dark elves once tried invade Avalon, in Otherworld. I'm told that they are trying to do again and that the Zatara's are in possession of a 'crown' that confers great power."

The crown might sound familiar - the diadem the figure was figure was sort of like a crown wasn't it?"

"What do you know of the Hunt, Leuitenant?" Zee summons her magic again, the blue glow covering her hands as she murmurs the words to yet another spell.

Ambrose's smile emerges again at Betty's line of questioning. Behind his sunglasses, the Bane in his pupils warmly glows at the reporter unseen, unaffecting in turn.

"We have met before, yes, Miss Brant. I would not forget a face such as yours." Such the charmer. "It was here in the Park as well. I was…not myself at the time," he explains, not wishing to give away his bejeweled collar's trick just yet.

Returning the conversation to the Hunt has his brows noticeably meeting and the smile dimming into a thin line. "The Hunt sought me once, on the shores of Calais. I was able to escape onto hollowed ground and outwait the twice-mangled tossers until the sun rose. No doubt they would recognize my person if they were to find me again. I would not bring their shadow to fall upon my home and family. That being said…"

Ambrose gives the path and immediate vicinity another surely flat look. "I must return to my home and let my other half know of this debacle. He will not be pleased. Miss Brant, a pleasure to meet you again." Betty gets a deep nod. "And…Miss Zee, you as well in far better circumstances than last." After all, it had been troublesome when wolf-like creatures had attempted to abduct him from Zee and others' presences.

"Be well, gentle ladies of staff and spell alike," he says by way of final farewell. And then there goes Ambrose at a…brisker pace than before, as if skirting away from the spectre of the Cwn Annwn might spare him any further interest and thank god for it.

Silent, for the time being, Betty watches Ambrose as she speaks and eventually leaves. Sighing, she glances down the path and then back to Zatanna. It was killing the woman that she couldn't place Ambrose in her memories.

"I've only had a brief time with anything Gaelic and supernatural. I don't know too much, but I can always learn. I want to help you if I can." With a tap of her staff, the weapon shimmers and shifts back to its more stylish form. Tucking it back into her hair, she continues to linger by Zatanna.

Zee works quickly and Ambrose can feel the shimmer of her magic as she quite literally stitches the rend in the veil together. Eventually the glowing runes fade and things settle back to normal. "Mmmm. Then you should becareful, Lieutenant. Do tell your partner and should anything occur, please let me know as soon as can. I would not put it past Malekith and his Dark Elves to harm those near me in order to get what they're looking."

As the man walks off, Zee glances at Betty - cocking a brow as the staff transforms. "Where you going somewhere, Betty? If you like, we can get a drink and talk a little more. I would prefer to know that you are ok, after that."

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