(2016-06-23) The Twinsouled Dagger
The Twinsouled Dagger
Summary: When the wards around a powerful, and fell artefact are broken, it calls out across the Planes to those who know to listen for it. Not everything that comes hunting is human…
Date: 2016-06-23
Related: None
Scene Runner: N/A
Social/Plot: Social

Fade in…

Something has the planes rattled.

Power, like ripples in a pond of evernight, flow outward from a single source, touching the astral plane — among other dimensions as well. They move against the 'skin' of reality altering its texture, its temperature — again, not unlike the caress of water against warm flesh.

And it comes from an object.

Although there may be many individuals across the world who might sense the 'ripples' caused by it, this object holds a special connection to one plane of existence in particular:


Now, within an old museum of ancient antiquities in the city of Moscow, Russia, men and women in dark clothing make their from an exhibit to their extraction point. Their attire is reinforced, they bear arms and strange relics of infernal power, they are in a hurry — and they are being watched.

Above the thieves — Russian mafia, from the looks of them — a single figure crouches in the rafters of the old stone museum. Blackness rolls off his body like ink spilling down a page, and he makes no sound. Whatever the object is, it resonates 'loudly', having been disturbed, and one thing is certain:

More will come to its call.

For Illyana her world is currently composed of loud and rhythmic music. The sound blaring from the speakers within the club blot out just about every other noise within. Conversation is clearly not very welcomed within this particular club and that seems to suit Illyana just fine.

While the majority of people are within the crush upon the dance floor, Illyana is not. Instead she’s at the bar, a drink held in her hand, as her cool blue eyes watch the moving bodies before her.

A man, quite handsome in his own right, approaches the black clad young woman. He’ll get close enough to offer a smile and a raised eyebrow to Illyana. For her, she simply turns her attention towards him for a silent moment. When she sees what she likes, she’ll offer a faint quirk of a smile back to the man. In fact, she’ll even go so far as to turn slightly, her body now angled towards the pretty boy before her stomach feels as if it all but drops from her body.

That half-smile of hers will be immediately replaced with a sharp frown as the glass held within her hand is set down with an inaudible clunk. A silent finger wave will be offered to the man now, as the blonde moves away, quickly.

The crowd parts like the Red Sea to Moses as Illyana moves and when she’s outside a portal will be called to her.


Like a bolt of lightning a portal appears beneath Illyana’s feet and the girl is whisked away. Once within Limbo, Illyana will take a moment to search for this disturbance. When her spell pinpoints itself to Moscow, Yana says, “What’s going on.”

Not that-that particular question seems to stop Illyana from making her move. WIth a snap of fingers, Yana’s form will now be clad in her black costume, her soulsword strapped to her back. Once she’s ready, the blonde will open a second portal.

Again there’s a crack of sound and energy as that portal opens beneath Illyana’s feet and the mate appears within the museum.

Perhaps shocking, to the would be thieves, that portal deposits Illyana right in front of their little group, her arms crossed, her gaze hard. Mystical energy all but bleeds off her figure as her stepping disc closes with a flash of light. Then there’s a lift of her chin as the demoness finally speaks.

“Hand it over.” And she’ll go so far as to extend a gloved hand outward to the group. “That’s mine.”

The figure in the rafters lifts his head at Illyana's arrival, and a ghost of a smirk forms upon his lips. Arcane energy glimmers all around her — muted, subtle, but very much 'there' — that only another practitioner of the Art would see. He recognises her — it would be hard not to, especially for one who has watched the mutant population grow over the last century — but does not address her straight away. The sorceress with the soulsword would have to wait.

<~ Limbo calls to its own… ~> the figure murmurs very softly in fluent Russian, as he continues to observe Illyana and the thieves. And the idol. It is possibly not what one would expect from an object of worship: it is a dagger of sorts, completely fashioned from a single block or chunk of unearthly black metal. Its hilt looks like two creatures of infernal nature — one beautiful, the other horrific — writhing together in either lust or rage. Their arms grasp at the blade which spirals away before flattening into a blade.

It rests in a warded case.

The case is damaged.

That would explain the pulsing of energy escaping it and bringing… other interested parties this way. The small group of men in masks turn in unison toward Magik. Up come their weapons as the leader steps in front of the case with the dagger in it, placing one hand upon the case while holding a semi-automatic pistol in the other.

"Who are you?!" he demands angrily. "What are you doing here? The idol comes with us little girl. You are in the wrong place."

"That's… that's…" stammers one of his men, trying to speak Magik's name but finding his tongue a little too awe-stricken.

"Forget her, let's go!" exclaims a third, who instantly opens fire on the girl, startling his comrades into doing the same. In the rafters above, Shroud lets out a hiss of reproach, and prepares himself to join the fray.

After all, he wants that idol as well.

The words the leader spews are mostly ignored, in fact, the only reaction they earn from Illyana is boredom. Her expression clearly shows disinterest as he reveals their ‘master plan’.

It’s only when the second man stutters over just /who/ she is will the girl finally show a new emotion. Amusement. She’ll even go so far as to offer a smirk edged smile towards that particular black clad man.

“Oh. I think you’re going to have a hard time forgetting me.” Begins Illyana, even as the third man raises his semi-automatic upward and opens fire. “A really hard time.” She calmly says as the bullets come flying at her.

That extended hand of hers will be casually waved now and with a noise like lightning, a portal will open up in front of her. The wave of bullets will be neatly swallowed by the stepping disc and behind the small group of men a second portal will open with a loud SHRAAACK.

From the depths of that second portal that first wave of bullets will now find their way slicing back through the air towards the Russians.

For Illyana, she now takes the opportunity to unsheath her soulsword. The dimly glowing blade will seem to brighten once in her hands and with a smile that’s definitely edging toward violent, Yana will lunge towards the leader and that somewhat warded box. She’s aiming a quick jab towards the man’s torso, a testing to see what he might/could be capable of.

Only the Russian who reacted in fear of Magik escapes the 'folly of his comrades' unscathed. He is already diving to the side when his team-mates' own bullets rip into the very ones who fired them. He lands with a grunt of pain behind another exhibit and quickly pulls in his legs to better hide himself, while…

The first of the thieves looses a cry pain, his back arched and arms flung wide as a bullet first tears into the small of his back. It is followed by another that embeds itself in his spine. Landing on his knees, the man drops his rifle (a P90, military-grade), cries out again, and falls sideways.

One other thief takes a bullet to her right elbow, rendering her arm useless, while a fourth member of the team shoots himself in the back of the head. He is dead before he hits the ground.

This leaves only two of the thieves left who might pose any threat — a second woman, nursing a gunshot wound to the leg, and the man who hid himself away. The idol-dagger is now in his hands. Frantic murmuring can be heard through the gasps and moans of pain, coming from behind the exhibit:

"Hail Mary, full of grace. Blessed art thou among women…"

And suddenly… darkness falls upon the room. Impenetrable night. It takes only a couple of seconds for the flood of inky blackness to cover everything and everyone, and for the briefest of moments the edge of the 'cloud' appears to have a million grasping hands — greedily 'eating' all the light.

<~ Little lambs… ~> whispers a voice in the night, speaking Russian. It does not come from wherever the Shroud is hiding, but instead it changes its point of origin with every sentence spoken. <~ Thus astray. The Blessed Virgin cannot hear you… Not in the shadows… But I hear you. ~>

There is a slight pause.

<~ Magik, ~> he whispers, seemingly in the girl's ear. <~ Little Kitten. The night is impressed. But the Twinsouled Blade is coming with me… ~>

“Silly boys and girls. You should never take something that isn’t rightfully yours.” States the demoness, even as she turns her attention towards the man muttering his prayer and who’s also holding the box. Her box.

“Now ha - “ Hand it over. That’s what she was about to say. Her words, however, are cut off as that blackness rolls all around them. While the others voice their surprise, Illyana doesn’t, instead her grip upon her sword tightens and with that movement the blade of the sword brightens with each passing heartbeat of hers.

That whisper of Little Lambs causes Illyana’s gaze to flick up and around, as she tries to pinpoint exactly where it’s coming from. When the location seemingly changes from word to word, Yana says, “Interesting.”

One hand will release its grip upon the hilt of her soulsword and with another flick of her fingers, Illyana tries to manipulate the darkness around her. It’s a subtle flex of magical prowess, as Illyana attempts to get the darkness nearest that moving hand of hers to match movements with it.

Whether she was successful or not, Illyana will drop all attempts at that manipulation as the voice whispers her name.

Cocking her head again, Illyana will say, “Kitten? Buddy, you got the wrong idea here. That dagger is mine.” And while she speaks, her blue eyes will flicker upward, towards that hovering cloaked man that she can’t quite see, but can sense.

“You know the whole saying - finders, keepers and all that. I found this first.” And while she speaks, Illyana will reach out with her mutant powers - no, she can’t see anything, but she can sense everything magical - and as such, that portal comes alive wherever that dagger can be sensed from.

She’s aiming to have it open beneath the dagger, to allow physics to work with her here so that she can secure the warded box for herself.

Something in the Darkforce enveloping the room… moves. Wherever this energy comes from, there is definitely a measure of 'magic' in it, and it responds — if only a little — to the demoness' command. Darkness swirls around the room, growing just a fraction smaller…

Until the silhouette of a man in a cloak and cowl appears out of the inky night, then vanishes again. Indeed, as the blackness moves, the silhouette rises out of it over and over again, each time making a reproving gesture at Illyana.

<~ These shadows belong to me, precious one… ~> he tells her in yet another sibilant whisper. <~ This is not Limbo. ~> The sound of a grappling line splits the air, aiming straight for the Twinsouled Dagger, only to miss as the portal causes the blade to fall seemingly through the floor.

The grappling spike ALSO fires straight through the portal, to emerge spear-like where the portal-exit may be. The thief who had been holding the dagger gives a yelp of surprise and goes back to his prayers. His female comrade — one with an injured limb — scrambles for one of the P90s with the intention of shooting another spray of bullets around the room.

There is a 'THWACK!' followed by a 'THUD!' as a booted foot moves in the evernight, connecting with the thief's skull and sending her sprawling across the floor… to Illyana.

<~ Hell has come for you, little lamb, ~> Shroud tells the thief. <~ Now, look to the queen of Limbo and confess your sins. You may yet be spared the torment of the Dark… ~> He says that last word right in the woman's ear. To Illyana he adds:

<~ A fine trick, Highness. ~>

Now, why is the master of darkness NOT trying harder to get that dagger off of her…?

“The shadows belong to whomever can control them more.” She says, with a flash of teeth, as her gaze flicks to the multiple reflections of the man.
The Twinsouled Dagger falls through the portal quite easily and as it drops toward the stone floors of Illyana’s throne room, a second portal opens within that Hellish realm of hers.

This particular portal leads right back to Earth and into the waiting hands of Illyana.

As soon as her fingers wrap around the corrupted box, Illyana will smirk. “Mine.” She says simply, even as that grappling spike of The Shroud’s slices through the air and shadows and then neatly through both portals. While some might be surprised at the appearance of the grappling spike, Illyana is not. As soon as it entered Limbo, her attunement to the realm allowed the blonde to track the moving object.

As such, when the spike reappears through the second portal, Illyana is already reached for it with her other hand. Even as she reaches for that spike, Illyana’s arm and hand are quickly being enveloped by dark black armor. Protection against any possible injuries from that weapon of The Shroud’s.

Once that spike is held within her hand, she’ll give it a hard yank, still keeping those portals of hers open, so she doesn’t lose the connection to The Shroud.

When the body of the would-be thief slides towards her, Yana will only spare it a brief glance, before she’s reaching out with her more infernal senses to see where The Shroud is.

Shroud is… everywhere.

And yet… not.

The man's grasp of the mystic arts is… firm, for what it is, but it does not encompass the broader array of powers at Illyana's command. The 'reflected' sense of his presence flickers and shifts, flickers and shifts, each time becoming more and more apparent through all the arcane trickery. He is there. He is here. He is close. He is…

Behind her!

In the moment that Magik — whether due to some assistance from Shroud or not — yanks on the grappling line, it snaps tight around the arms and neck of the female thief, dragging her partway through the still-open portals…

And into Limbo. Partly.

The portals are not large enough to admit an entire person, but there is enough room for the would-be thief to receive a seriously close-up perspective into the hellish dimension under Magik's command. The thief screams — her voice echoing more inside the extraplanar dimension than in the museum.

Then, using a dialect common to some demons, rather than anything upon this earth, Shroud hisses something in Magik's ear:

<~ Can you keep it safe? ~> he asks her, his breath hot upon her neck. <~ Can you, She-Demon? ~> There is a heartbeat before the man adds ominously: <~ They are coming. ~> And all the while, the prayers of the uninjured thief, hiding behind another exhibit, echo throughout the vast room…

"…yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear…"

Behind her.

While she wasn’t necessarily expecting that, all Illyana does to show her surprise is turn her head to look over her shoulder. Those blue eyes of hers narrow dangerously, as she keeps a tight hold upon the grappling spike.

“You’re playing with fire, my friend.” She states, teeth clenched slightly as she pulls upon the spike to keep the dangling woman balanced. Well, as balanced as one can be when they’re hanging from a too-small portal.

The TwinSouled Dagger is still clutched within her other hand, as Yana turns her attention away from The Shroud and back upon her portals. While there’s nothing overt from the demoness suddenly, the portal that holds the woman widens quickly. It’s large enough now that the would-be thief easily falls through the depths and lands hard upon the stone floor of her Throne Room.

The woman’s screams of fear are ignored by Illyana, as she closes that first portal, which neatly snaps the chain of the grappling hook in half, which allows Yana to know control the broken portion. Tossing the spike back into Limbo, Illyana will seal both it and the thief into her Infernal Realm.

Then she’s turning upon her heel and reaching out with her free hand to try and grab something of The Shroud.

“I can and will.” She snaps, in regards to whether she can protect the thief. “Now. Show yourself. I was never a fan of hide and seek.”

<~ I mean the dagger, ~> Shroud clarifies in the same demon-tongue, shifting his position just slightly to avoid the demoness' grasp. "Tsk," he adds a moment later in English. "And in a 'look, but don't touch' exhibit. Look out."

In that instant, the sound of the other thief praying becomes completely drowned out by shattering glass and diabolical howls. Four demon-hounds — easily as large as a small pony, and boasting six legs instead of four, with curved talons — burst into the museum through four separate windows.

This sets off the alarm.

Each hound leaves sizzling pawprints on the ground wherever it treads, and they lose no time in converging upon Illyana and Shroud. The thieves, for now, are ignored.

The Darkforce in the room instantly billows and moves, reforming itself as it rolls back to reveal most of everything it had previously hidden. Certain places, however, such as where the praying thief hides, remain in complete blackness for his own safety. In other places…

The darkness divides into eight identical silhouettes of the Shroud. As two of the hounds leap at Illyana and the dagger, Shroud's silhouettes all appear to draw a sword each — with inky blackness trailing off of the blade like oil. Only one silhouette has any substance, and that one — the real man — waits for one of his decoys to be attacked, before stabbing the hound in the neck.

As Illyana finds herself under attack… the Twinsouled Dagger bursts into flame (without harming her), almost as if it were deliberately trying to attract the demon-animals to it. One hound goes straight for her wrist with blinding speed, while the other snaps and slashes at her legs.

These demons are definitely NOT from Limbo…

When her grasp comes back empty, Illyana allows her annoyance to show, “You can’t hide from me long.” She snaps, even as her hand tightens upon the dagger.

The dagger will be protected.

While more sarcastic remarks could have been easily said, her words are stalled for a moment, when the various panes of glass explode inward. Immediately, Illyana’s gaze snaps towards the sound and when she spies the demonic dogs, her mouth twists.

"How surprising."

It’s only when the dagger bursts into flames that Illyana will drop her attention to the would-be weapon. "YOU." She hiss-yells, "Be good. Stop teasing them."

Of course, she can’t quite continue yelling at the dagger, as two of the dogs make their way to her and quickly, too. The snaps and slashes at her legs are neatly danced away from, but that bite to her wrist? It’s fast enough that the teeth of the demon dog will find purchase upon her wrist with an audible *cru-clank*.

Illyana, however, doesn’t scream. Instead she just growls at the demon dog and while it tries to savage her wrist and arm more, all the demon dog does is gnash its teeth against something that sounds metallic.

For those off to the side, they’ll easily see the black armor that now cloaks Illyana’s hand. As the demon dog continues to bite upon it, small spikes and sharp points begin to grow upon the surface of the black armor.

The next bite that the dog will do will find its mouth now be savaged, thanks to those pointy projections upon it.

If that doesn’t stop the demon dog, Illyana’s other hand will raise upward and then swing sharply down. She’s intending to slam it between the eyes. "Get off!"

Demon-hounds do not yelp like regular dogs.

When Illyana cracks the infernal beast between the eyes, it lets out a gurgle and a growl… before sliding off her arm, leaving a smear of gooey saliva behind. When it hits the ground, the drool from its mouth pools on the floor, spreading out from the beast much quicker than anything like drool should. As her second demon-attacker prowls back and forth, watching her, it's forepaw comes into contact with the drool…

And sets it alight as if it were oil or gasoline.

The first demon erupts into flames — flames that leap up toward Illyana's arm, the one covered in the same goo.

Across the room, the last of the demons leaps at silhouette after silhouette of the Shroud, claws slashing, jaws gnashing. And then it catches on. Instead of charging the next most obvious target, the hound turns about and lunges for the 'silhouette' standing behind it.

Shroud raises a hand, palm facing his adversary.

The next torrent of Darkforce to be projected by the undercover-crimefighter hits the demon directly in its open maw… with force. The demon lurches mid-leap — colliding with Shroud, but only just — as a veritable flood of energy fills its belly…

And then every cavity inside the awful creature.

It lands on its side, skidding into a wall, darkness pouring out of its mouth, eyes and other orifices… until it wheezes, twitches… and dies. Shroud looks over at Illyana and the only hound remaining — and the flames threatening to engulf her. He cannot help her; he cannot be the hero, nor even quite the ally.

But that does not mean he has to quite be the enemy.

So instead of attacking the outnumbered sorceress… he observes. Perhaps she will recognise the gesture for what it is? Perhaps not. One thing is certain: more demons and worse will come if they do not end this quickly.

When the first demon dog goes down, Illyana simply smiles, even if there is sticky goo covering the spiked black armor that’s upon her arm and hand.

The dagger, the one that calls to the other demons like a siren, will be quickly tossed into a small portal that just opened near Illyana - and while Illyana could have widen that portal to step through and escape herself, her movements stall as the floor lights upon fire.

The flames easily leap up towards her arm and with a curse, the blonde woman snaps, “By the Eternal!” The flames move from floor to hand as while she can feel the heat from the flames, it’s severely blunted thanks to the protectiveness of her armor. That doesn’t stop her from pulling forth more magical energy.

At first it seems like nothing is happening, as the flames quickly make their way up from hand, to wrist to forearm, but finally as the flames playfully lick at her shoulder, will that hand begin to glow another color.

Gold swirls within the depths of those flames and as the yellow light makes itself known, the flames begin to recede. It only takes a few seconds more before the flames are completely out. Then she’s turning her gaze is turning towards the pacing dog and with a baring of her own teeth, Illyana will making a grasping motion at the demon dog.

There might be a sound of pain from the demon dog, but it’ll be short, as the body of the dog is simply crushed.

Then she’s turning around, her gaze seeking out everyone and everything else within the room. Eventually her blue eyes will land on The Shroud and with a glower, she says, “Thanks for the back-up there.”

<~ Go, ~> says the cloaked and cowled man in low, urgent tones. He motions toward the corner where the sole remaining thief still prays fervently in a cloud of impenetrable Darkforce, and then to the remains of the demon-hounds in the room.

<~ The shadows know your name, ~> he tells Magik as more Darkforce fills the room, its edges clawing at surfaces like a million tiny, grasping hands and talons. <~ And they will find you. We will speak again — for we must speak again. It is beginning. ~>

Darkness consumes the museum — every square inch of it, every nook and cranny, covered in unrelenting, unforgiving night. The last image to vanish into the great black is the suddenly-glowing symbol of Kali upon the Shroud's face and hood.

<~ You fought well… ~> he adds as a parting comment, and then… he is gone. Doubtless, Magik will make her out egress via her portal-discs, and the surviving thief… If the Dark has not driven him mad (which is very likely), he may either return to his comrades with a tale of demons, darkness, and horror… and failure.

Of course, he may also disappear and find a new life for himself.

It would be wise.

Magik and the Shroud will meet again.

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