(2016-09-08) Advice from Morgan Le Fay
Advice From Morgan Le Fay
Summary: Pete Wisdom takes Amanda to Otherworld so he can request advice from Morgan Le Fay about what to do with the disc.
Date: 2016-09-08
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

It's been a few days to give Amanda time to recover. But Pete has politely requested the sorceress' help in this next endeavour.

"You see, I know plenty about magic from an academic perspective. And I just… Well. I want to keep an eye on you. And the person - if you can call her a person, she's more of an entity - I'm going to call on… I could use your help. Or at least a reassuring friend nearby. We're going to Otherworld. So I need to give you the rundown."

Pete then showed Amanda a series of slides. "These are faeries. Trolls. Goblins. Wizards. You know. The dross of England's collective unconscious. Don't kill anything. Don't marry anything. Don't pull anything from anything. Do not eat or drink anything, especially if they tell you in words or letters to eat or drink them. Understand?"

With the rundown, a big manila envelope full of reports, pictures, and other information, Pete then brought Amanda to where a big sigil was emblazoned upon one of MI-13's floors.

"Walnuts and cat's brains deployed in 3… 2… 1…"

FWOOSH. And there they were, a far green countryside, castles in the distance. A state of perpetual twilight, few clouds in the sky under a great crescent moon with glittering stars above. Dark, beautiful, and dangerous. "We're going that way," Pete pointed… well, due south. "It's a bit of a walk. But we're going to her castle directly. All the rules and etiquette will be followed. I don't like her," Pete didn't like many people, "but if anyone can really help us with this… I wouldn't discount her ability."

Wisdom very much made a point not to mention the lady's name.

Amanda has recovered quite well since her impromptu surgery and so is happy to help. She tolerates Pete's introduction about Otherworld with good grace and a smile then notes softly to Pete, "Gypsy magic is very closely akin to faerie magic, Pete. My mother taught me all about magical creatures. Otherworld may be more magical than I am used to but it's still magic. Just who are we going to see anyway?"

"I know you are, Amanda, but you must understand that I have to go through the process with everyone. Sometimes, people forget." That's why he married Oberon's daughter, in the Biblical sense. Pete frowned as he looked up at the dusky sky, and found a worn path. "Of course I don't trust this stupid thing. But it heads south. Do you have anything on you? Silver? Or gold? Or brass bells?"

See, silver is good for its purity in repelling evil in general. Brass, especially brass bells, are known to repel wickedness like the Evil Eye and whatnot. Traditionally used as cattle bells to keep them from falling inexplicably ill. And gold? Gold was to help frighten away nasty things like Dullahan.

Pete knew well enough to walk through the fire to climb into the pan, so to speak.

"We should be there in about two hours, if this path is anything to go by."

Pete also knew full well that he enjoyed the protections of the diplomatic accord between Material Britain and Avalon, solidified in his covenant with Oberon. And the mutual protection treaty. But those protections didn't extend to his friend, who was a self-identified Gypsy, and therefore had no home.

Boundaries, homes, old rules and laws. Pete despised this stuff. Still, on they went, walking in the dark along the footpath. "I swear if we run across the reflection of Cassidy Keep I'm going to go mental…"

The seasons in the Otherworld never fully reflect their mortal counterparts. Britain boiled under unseasonably warm summer temperatures and the landscape here is still emerald green, dotted by sharp cliffs and rolling hills in utter defiance of what passes for mortal geography. Peaks taller than Snowdonia stand off along the west, while luminous spires shift between stone castles and promontories carved from metals no human has yet discovered.

The clean scent of rain prevails when stars glitter in the sky by the handful, reflecting constellations as they never were, only as they are. Here lightning dances on the far horizon despite an absence of clouds, and the dells thrum with a capricious, shadowy beauty black-washed against the sublime landscape.

While the walkers wander on their pace, the realm doesn't exactly cooperate with providing them a path. Chalk and silver routes ribbon the earth, at times turning liquid for no reason, and then spanning broad rivers on gossamer bridges that look incapable of standing up to a pixie, much less a strong breeze. A slim figure stands upon one of those, tapping her fingertips against her forearms. How long has she been there? Don't ask. Time is purely relative in the Otherworld, and notoriously unpredictable. Physical forces aren't at play fairly here.

Oh the gypsy most definitely identifies some place as home. It's just not any one given location and these days is not often a place she inhabits… the precise location of one Kurt Wagner. So definitely not anywhere in Britain for sure.

But if there's one thing Margali Szardos taught her daughter everything about, it is defensive magic. She knows how to protect herself without trinkets. Of course she doesn't say any of that to Pete. Instead what she says is, "No. I thankfully left the bells behind in MI-13. I am not anxious to hear bells ever again after a week of hearing them every time I moved." When the path vanishes she just keeps walking as if that were perfectly normal.

Lifting up a hand to ensure his sunglasses were firmly over his eyes, Wisdom looked… annoyed, as the path vanished. One's senses couldn't be trusted, here. "You can feel which way is south here, right?" Pete asked. "We're going to an old associate of Merlyn's." That should be enough of a clue. Though Wisdom stopped at the crossing of a river, where one of those slim little bridges lay. Pete took a few steps down the river, to try to get a good look under the bridge.

Satisfied, he started to cross it. "Think we might be near the borders of her lands, now." Considering how time was freaking weird in Otherworld, it could be so.

But then there she was, watching them, her arms crossed. Pete didn't freeze. He just looked at her for a long moment, before he announced himself.

"I am Peter Wisdom. Director of Her Majesty's agency designated MI-13. Protected under the treaty between our people and yours. And friend to Brian Braddock, former King of Otherworld. This is Amanda, and she is under my watch. An assault on her is an assault on me."

Diplomacy. If there was one thing Pete knew how to handle better than his hot-knives, it was bureaucracy.

"I seek an audience with Her Greatness," he then dipped his head in not only customary, but genuine reverence to the annoyed-looking woman. "And I beg your help. I have already sacrificed my dignity to another. But to you I admit my faulty knowledge. It is why I am here."

The bridge could be a country mile. It could be forty-five years away. Again distance is a relative matter, and not stable in any sense. At one point the ground simply falls away, jagged hexagons formed over a chasm gushing with briny water shimmering with a weird green glow like someone poured out a chestful of emeralds and flames into the tide.

Life is omnipresent here, every inch of the realm thrumming with energy. Jeweled insects escort the breeze in the zipping tattoo of their wings, darting and turning in ways ominous to Euclidean geometry. Briars and hedgerows fletch various directions, and the once soft countryside might be well impeded out of the blue by something ten feet tall that wasn't at a distance, though even the foliage is gorgeous by moonlight, silvered and psychotropic; it responds to proximity, flowers blooming open and their seductive perfume wafting lightly over the clean sage and pennyroyal.

Lights shine in some of the distant, changing castles, winking out or on, a lure to the tired traveler. Too far for the current pair to reach fast, or the solitary one on the bridge. She doesn't have a horse, sadly; on the other hand, Britons get around by all forms of vehicle nowadays, so she might as well have the Otherworld model of a Tesla. Maybe a Mini, with a distinctive flag of the dragons of England or Wales? So sorry to disappoint; she has her hands in her black belted trench. And the moonlight adores her, glancing off her hair in a halo, drizzling down over her thoroughly contemporary clothes.

"I am aware." Three words, three to strike down diplomacy on its knees and acknowledge it; a trio to match the triangle they make. Morgan's gaze passes to Amanda, and carries that unimpeachable weight of assessment many find uncomfortable. "For your name I grant you the rite of passage, so long as you do no harm and violate no bounds of hospitality."

Amanda Sefton doesn't allow strangers to see her discomfort if she feels it. She may not be British but her magic is very much in tune with the magic that lives and breathes in Otherworld. On the other hand, the mystic aura about her that other mystics can discern does have the tendency to simply hold and attract the loose magic floating around her. She nods graciously to Morgan showing respect for the other woman in that way. It is a genuine respect. Since she's not entirely sure why they are here, she keeps her mouth shut for the moment and lets Pete do the talking.

The Yd Draig Goch would disconcert Pete if it decided to stop by; last he checked the Red Dragon of Wales was incarcerated after it came about that it was a drug-snorting gang lord.

Nonetheless, once welcomed by the Morgan, Pete nodded her way. "Thank you for allowing us within the borders if your land, Madam Le Fey."

Well, that was obvious as to who Pete intended to see.

"I bring for you information. Something is trying to come through into our world. I dare not risk naming names. But my first guess has two names. S and G, respectively. Sort of iconic tentacles and whatnot, you understand. But this is for you," and he quite courteously offered the manila envelope. "In there is a report of what we found, the attacks we witnessed. And the types of runes and marks that are on these individuals."

Pete then looked to Amanda, "My associate here," he didn't call Amanda his friend; that'd be giving Morgan leverage he wasn't willing to give, "knows more about the subject than I do. And she'll be happy to share with you to what she feels is important enough knowledge. We come to you as you love England like I do. And through loving England, we love the world." The whole of the Empire. "And I know that your wisdom is vast, and your willingness to lay waste to things that don't belong is legendary." And admirable, but Pete didn't want to lay it on too thick.

With that presence like treacle, Morgan likely has a very different definition of 'laying it on too thick.' If she and Amora ever end up in the same room, people will probably have promised them the moon and every kingdom from here to the Kree Empire as a matter of habit. She takes the envelope, holding it lightly in long, gloved fingers.

"They call it Cthulhu today," she muses. "That poor American never was right in the head, but the excess of rain and mist in a Puritan state has a nasty way of getting to someone. His writings were never purely to my taste, though he appears to be having a renaissance among the public bored of drivel and fantasy."

She then falls silent and turns her gaze towards Amanda anew, after measuring whatever she will from Pete, gemstone eyes altogether too bright in her face. An invitation if there ever was one.

Curiously not a hint of magic seems to dance around her, other than the sheer essence of what and whom she is.

Amanda Sefton wrinkles her nose at the mention of Cthulhu. Of course she's heard of Cthulhu, but that doesn't mean she has to like the fact that she has. "I suppose that might fit the facts of the situation." The more she thinks about it, the more the notion produces a faint grimace. Whatever this thing is as touched her twice and marked her flesh once. That's just disgusting.

Wisdom stood there, under the shining stars and the halo of the moonlight that made all three of them glow. The ladies more intensely. Probably because they're magic. But also probably because in comics, women tended to be quite attractive regardless of the setting.

"Well, Amanda, as I said, you know more about this stuff than I do." He cleared his throat. "We intercepted a delivery. A disc with engravings, set to bond with an individual with similar markings tattooed upon his chest, to release something supposedly stored inside him. It's… well. We didn't want to poke it with any more sticks than we could risk, and we already nearly lost someone in the process." It was Amanda, but Pete wasn't going to say that, either. Sentiment for individuals is weakness, sentiment for the whole of things could be strength.

When one has the name and legend of the figure who brought down Camelot, indirectly or not, the comic art doesn't much matter. Cleopatra wasn't stunning but achieved more in her day to help Rome along, and others, than sheer beauty would do. This is a strange sisterhood all the same, though her level regard holds very little overt. "Vague terms rarely assist in such matters as these." A warning, as much as a suggestion. Ones as old as the Otherworld's kin don't exactly mince words when they do not need to, having dealt with centuries of BS from elsewhere. Oratory and direct speaking are something of a lost art.

"Cthulhu unfortunately caused all manner of near destruction the last time he decided to awaken from his vexed sleep. Lovely hammers and, of course, that business about death. Rebirth is becoming almost a certainty for heroes nowadays, isn't it?" Her fingers curl lightly around the envelope and she breaks the seal, though she still isn't reading it quite yet. "The facts of the situation, the evidence for it in particular. Has not the Sorcerer Supreme arisen? Usually this is his customary business. He and Cthulhu have a terrible history, and his predecessor… ah, well, that is fairly classified and self-explanatory, I'm sure. Penetration points known yet? It's clearly from somewhere, and if a trail of dead stars weren't showing the way, I'm sure the chaos and the source of this disc might."

Amanda Sefton tilts her head as she considers her words. "It seems to be testing the barriers between the dimension it inhabits and this one. When possible opening breaches between them. The disc is contained in a warded box to keep it from infecting anyone beyond the intended victim who as far as we can tell was supposed to undergo the process voluntarily to summon whatever this is into the world. I have been able to seal the majority of the breaches before there was obvious evidence of them but I do not know what has happened in my absence in New York City."

"And my guess of Cthulhu was merely that, a guess. We have no solid evidence to suggest it. After all, so many things have tentacles," Pete added. "But yes. We have the disc contained, boxed and warded. But we would know if you know more. If you recognize the symbols, or whathave you. We did take photographs, as shown in the envelope. Please do not read them aloud. I beg you." Sure, Morgan may be powerful. One of the most powerful beings in this world, and the material. But Wisdom didn't want to take any chances.

"The absence of other indicators could be a starting point." Morgan smirks anyways, and she ventures to take out the photographs from their concealment with all the fanfare of a girl debuting a new, long-lost painting from an Old Master. A dash of the wrist and the showmanship gives her the data they ask her to look over, and she surveys the first of them with a murmur of caution. That very sound probably means nothing, but the ambient light around her brightens a magnitude. Moonlight reading is so very romantic, surely, if not bound into the defenses presented by the very realm she occupies. "Young man, you may be assured I do not make a point of reading out loud when it comes to runes, sigils, or mail of unknown provenance. It's a very charming habit of modern education to require children to sound out words aloud, but once one has any form of literacy and linguistic facility, the practice is best abandoned. It's rather like practicing squeezing and isolating muscle groups with a loaded gun. Not the wisest course, especially if that gun is pointed at your face."

She gives a faint gesture with her hand, and taps her fingers. "These precautions are wise. I would add another few bans against the ethereal and not discount anything semi-phased." Stickler for detail there. "The lady's work, I will assume. You have made a solid little prison for this, as much as any of them can be. Have you evidence of any more of these disks, or attempted to scry if there were several?"

Amanda Sefton shakes her head, "The box was not my work. That was how the disc came into our possession. Peter intercepted a case containing the box which we believe was intended for the man who was volunteering to host that which seeks entrance. I have not yet had the opportunity to scry for the presence of any more discs."

"Scrying is also dangerous," Wisdom added. "Establishing a connection with those discs has proven that they are at least semi-aware. The language itself seems cognizant, and able to try to defend itself," Pete said gravely. "So, we held off further investigation, noting the dangers, and hoping to find individuals with the requisite power to handle such things." Meaning, of course, Morgan. Or Strange. "Perhaps a Shield of the Seraphim could be of assistance, but that sort of magic I'll never achieve." Few could.

"Ah, that explains a great deal. And the average scrying can be." Morgan's unspoken validation there might be safer ways to do it goes unsaid; she's not explaining how, naturally, as an engineer doesn't elaborate when he says a bridge is structurally sound in most cases. Another photograph is looked over. "Ah, I suppose it was too much to hope someone would demonstrate the capacity for such wards. So precious few can do it, what with the popularity of summoning and the rest taking over." Her appraising smirk lingers for a moment. "These pieces are, naturally, prone to avoiding detection and anything that would inhibit their purpose. It is a chilling thing to see done properly, though not impossible to… what's the term? Hack. They have to obey rules, after all. Parameters. Augment them and they react differently." They can also blow up, but no one's saying that. Because what could an extradimensional blowup of a slant extradimensional terror possibly involve other than excitement for all?

Well of course they can explode. Anything that has that much energy pushed into it can explode given the right conditions. That would be why Amanda agreed that coating the box in nanominum was a good idea. Never can be too safe.

Amanda approaches by a single step as she speaks, "I can usually track these intrusions down but I cannot yet predict where they are going to occur. A rather strong one happened when the man and the box containing the disc were in the same location."

"Yes, it seems proximity is a catalyst for these things to occur. I will not lie," Wisdom told Morgan, "part of me wanted to wrap the disc in Adamantium, slip that into a box full of warding prayers, the box made of yew or white ash, and pour a layer of lead over that, then a layer of silver. Then a layer of brass. Then a layer of magic-resistant nanominium. Slip that into cast-iron box, and then dump the sodding thing into the Lady's lake. Hacking it sounds almost, if not more dangerous, than simply throwing it into the sun or the Negative Zone."

"They have a nasty way of coming back. When one doesn't work, send another. It is doubtful any entity or practitioner would stop simply at one, for why ever would it work?" Her eyes narrowing, Morgan says simply, "Do not taint the lake with that object. If you were to do so, I will take it ill." The only answer she gives on that front is the one spoken, smooth and silken, with all the implicit threat of someone who literally raised the entire city of London dead. … and possibly transformed the entire world into Medieval Times.

Amanda Sefton presses her hands together, "I am close to isolating what dimension the intrusions are coming from, I think. I have not encountered one since coming to Britain so I have not made progress on that front in a while."

"Which is why I only think of it in passing, Madam Le Fey. I would not do such insult. Who knows what havoc something like that could wreak if left to fester in the collective unconscious?" Wisdom sighed. "Perhaps the Negative Zone. Destroying it sounds risky, if it's even possible. What do you suggest we do with such an artefact, Madam Le Fey? I do not wish to overreach in asking your assistance." Though every single British superhero has been conscripted to work for him, it doesn't necessarily include entities like Morgan Le Fey, the Green Knight, or Merlyn. He nodded to Amanda. "Here's to hoping it isn't the Dark Dimension."

Merlyn is probably too busy reading books in the background to be of much help. And this one answers to absolutely no one short of an even bigger power. One that she might idly reach out to even now, a wordless prayer sent to her patron goddess with all the wordless affection that has borne her through the centuries. If there's any one thing that Morgan loves, other than herself, it may well be the very green earth they stand on outside this dimension. "Mm. Yes. Some might be discounted quite readily, I think. The movements and actions would be telegraphed in other ways. For the moment, I would simply put it out of time. That would be a short-term method at least, until better answers are had."

"We, of course, do not wish to inconvenience you in any way, Morgan. Would putting it out of time be traceable?" Wisdom asked. "You see the current security measures. Effective, but altogether mortal." Wisdom swallowed. "We need your help, Madam Le Fey. England needs your help. Earth needs your help." He then bowed his head again, a gesture on the behalf of his people, that they were not too proud to beg for such assistance from a being like her.

"This has nothing to do with you, young man, and it has very little to do with England, Cymru, Alba, Andion, Ellan Vannin, Orkneyjar, Eire, or even sad, forgotten Doggerland." A wave of her hand opens up a shining portal, a haze lined in the faint scent of violets and torn earth. "I know well what this means. An offense done, and that is simple as that." She shrugs at that, her trench coat shifting a little at the motion, even as the moonlight bleeds into the gateway she created. "Deeper preparation would be helpful but this will stand if it needs to."

"If deeper preparation would be helpful, then by all means, we will allow you the time to do it. We will guard the artefact, establish more wards to protect against the ethereal and technological. We don't want teleporters getting through, after all," Wisdom admitted. "I wouldn't dare demand a time table from you. So I humbly request an estimation of how long we should give you to prepare?"

Wisdom almost shifted uncomfortably. Twice now she's called him, 'young man.' He wasn't sure if he disliked it, or if he liked it too much in certain ways.

"Soon. But you know well as I time means nothing here." And words being that, she steps through the portal. Time melts around her, collapsing inwards on the realm in twilight as the summer lands of the Otherworld so frequently tend to be. The collapsing magic vanishes in a heartbeat, leaving nearly no trace and no scent to mark it by. They are there, and she is not, leaving nothing behind but a tiny hourglass of the sort found at Ikea. A healthy supply of white sand runs through the neck. Upwards.

Amanda Sefton sighs as Morgan vanishes then looks at Pete, "I am going to have to go back to New York and check on things there. If things have been trying to break through in my absence that could be very bad."

"Yes. Yes, it could," Pete told Amanda. "I need to seriously establish more layers of protection around the artefact. Is there anything MI-13 can give you to help protect you? i dunno about you, but carving off part of your boob is something I don't ever want to have to repeat."

Amanda Sefton rubs at the area in question at the mention of the incident, "Nor do I have any desire to repeat that. Unfortunately anything you have that might help me prevent a future incident might also interfere with my magic. Unless you have something I don't know about."

"We can give you technology to help you against… mundane threats? Weapons against those tentacles? Armor? Something?" Worth the ideas, anyway.

Amanda Sefton reaches over to grasp his hand briefly. "An effective weapon I could use while attempting to seal a breach would be nice, yes, but I often have to use both hands so I'm not sure what would meet those criteria."

"Uhh…" Pete wondered. "It'd be cumbersome, but something we could strap around your neck, or over your mouth, so you could yell really loud and it'd blast those nasty things? I heard one of Apocalypse's descendants used something like it after he told us, and Clan Akkaba, to piss off."

Amanda Sefton nods, "And therein lies the problem. I cannot carry something cumbersome around with me all the time, but if you show me something non-magical I could potentially conjure it when I need it." Of course conjuring items when in an magical encounter already is problematic at best.

"Yeah. We can actually do that," Pete confirmed.

Amanda Sefton nods, "Then I think we should go back to MI-13, yes?"

"Yes, let's, Amanda," Pete said. "Been here long enough."

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