The King and Queen of Spring

October 11, 2014: Fenris hunts in Oracles and Shos' Dreams


A wretched hive of scum and villainy. You know. Gotham.



Mood Music:

The King of Spring has been enspelled and wanders in the Green. The Queen of Spring put on her Mask and walks the path unseen. The Knight of Spring is garbed in gold and guards a maiden's dream. The Knave of Spring, she stole the moon. Or so it all would seem.

Fenris is hunting. Ordinarily he wouldn't risk anything this blatant in the mortal world without good cause but here? Here he's a wolf the size of a tank with a coat of midnight black and eyes like lit coals. He runs through a darkening landscape. The details are unimportant because he's not focusing on them. He's following a trail to where he knows people have just entered this place. He's not worried about what they'll see when he stops.

After all, it's just a dream. Which is part of the problem.

You see something has been moving through the dreamscape. Something that feeds on people's fears, causing nightmares yes, but also magically marking them. The Old Wolf is convinced it came from Orboros but a relic of the Circle or not, he's not going to let it poach on his own hunting grounds.

It seems that in more recent days that whenever Jason finds himself drunk at a bar things go to hell fairly quickly. Tonight it was just supposed to be a quick trip to the Hanoi Hole, but about half way through the night something happened. There was a bright flash of light, and the next thing he knew Jason was standing in a seemingly endless plane moving off in all directions. While feeling completely alien at the same time this place feels like a home away from home, as he moves about unsure of his surroundings.

Oracle opens her eyes and finds herself… somewhere else. It is dark, one would say pitch black, but as her eyes focus she catches the glimpse of a….. Black Wolf? was that a wolf? as it weaves it's way in and out of the darkness. So, not pitch black as it is only the ambient light gleaming against its pelt that gives the remotest idea of what she is seeing.

Closing her eyes, calling on the meditative practices of so many disciplines, Oracle simply is … until her mind becomes a void. Opening her eyes, she sees streams and streams of 1's and 0's filling her surroundings. Again, she closes her eyes and lets the meditative practices fill her….

"You weren't gifted this power, your life was stolen and you didn't even know it. Can't you see it, can't you see what he's taken from you?"The man speaking, well lets cut to the chase and say he looks more or less like the traditional expectation of what a Samurai should look like. Save for the bright shock of red that is his mask, a tengu's mask. In one hand he clutches a sword, and in the other he holds aloft a paper lantern which is seemingly populated with some sort of crimson red lightning. "Put down your arms, and purge yourself of this dishonor."
Sho stands across with his left hand resting on his sheathed sword, and in his right hand he holds a scroll which weeps blood in great fat droplets onto the ground. His own dress is black, save the shock of bright pink Kanji script across his back and the mottled hues of that animalistic mask. "I regret to inform you master, that I intend to murder you where you stand."
"So it has come to this, hmm? You see how even now, Fujin conspires to rob you of everything? You serve, a wicked lord. This will be, your undoing my boy."

From a distance the nightmare watches. A creature of darkness that looks like - if one can focus enough - a midnight black horse with firy eyes and fangs. Lucky… Sho… Oracle… each of them a tempting target. It considers Lucky at more length for a moment. No. Too risky. Sho… perhaps. That dream, could be twisted more. Made into a proper feast. Slowly, the Nightmare approaches, concentrating on the two Samurai.

Through the curtain of code a dark, shadowy form blurs and then stops. A great black wolf stands before Oracle looking her over. "Come with me…" It says, the voice deep and resonant. "It is not safe here."

The two men move in the same movement, the clatter of rushing sandals and the clash of steel before both men slide to a drop. It's the same dream Sho's had a million times now, until he rises to look back as his opposite slumps to the ground. Over in an instant, but still Sho can't quite pull his gaze away. Even as that mask cracks and shatters, falling away like dead leaves. Even as he lifts a hand absently to his face, as blood pools on the floor.
The realization dawns slowly, as the glove touches not flesh but bone. Fingertips trace over what remains, before his gaze finally falls to the shock of white bone peaking out of his glove. The sword falls away, as he rips free his glove to find only skeletal fingers. Shoulders heaving as he scrambles to tear open his tunic to expose the pearly whites of a rib cage below and a jet black heart oozing black ichor by the pulse. "oh no, Oh no no no! NO!"
Pulling his shirt free entirely, before slumping limply on the floor. Gaze twisting as he remembers the sword, theres still an honorable way to end this right? Theres still a way to please heaven, to free himself from the debt of whatever sins he may have performed. Theres still a way, right through the heart.

As Oracle opens her eyes again and the curtain of code still streams but a large black wolf stands before her. Is this what she saw before? The wolf speaks… and Oracle walks - WALKS - beside the wolf, following where it leads, trusting….

The code around Oracle bleeds into the shadowy forest that seems to be wherever the Wolf is. He turns and begins to walk, with intent. In dreams, distance doesn't matter. Story does. So the time and distance to Sho is irrelevant because the story demands the Nightmare get there first. It's subtle. A dark flashing at the edge of the eye, a voice whispering, urging the mind to do its worst. Already the Ninja is in the throes of a personal tragedy fantasy. Perhaps with the right push…

Sho cranes his head around, littered amongst the woods lie bodies. Blows which had been non-fatal, appear as though they had been killing blows. Perhaps fifty, maybe more bodies strewn about the scene in various states of decay. Like the remains of a vast battle field left to rot in the sun, as crows pick amongst the bodies. He remains otherwise motionless, before dropping his hand to the sword at his side. Head slowly bowing as he begins to chant. "Sixty two strands of silk, thirteen sacrifices of heaven, eleven ghosts, thirty three steps westward. Heaven beyond bear witness."A spell long lost to the common tongue, a holy incatation from before the arrival of buddhism. Words not spoken by mortal men in a thousand years, an invocation of power and clensing. The ritual chant of a noble suicide, things average mortals are simply not permitted to know these days.

Sho is not alone however, Fujin's power may not extend into this realm but other powerful magic is starting to churn. Orbs of foxfire begin to circulate amongst the grisly scene, leaving contrails of earie blue glow. Whispers in long forgotten language, staying the skeletal hand for the moment. The whole scene grinds to a halt, crows hover in mid flap and leaves arrest in mid air. Even as a sound rises, like the rustling of dead leaves amongst the dirty ground. Powerful magic is afoot here, old magic no less. Things men have supposedly forgotten, stir and writhe even here.

As Oracle starts following the Wolf, the streaming code fades to shadows. If she focuses, she can make out the form of trees, but whether they are really trees or something else she does not take the time to discern. Oracle WALKS beside the black wolf and her hand drops to the wolfs thick pelt and clenches in it. Trust is a finite thing, even in dreams.

The wolf chuckles, feeling that hand on his ephemeral fur. "We go to confront it. Don't worry. I won't leave you behind." That may or may not make much sense at all, but this is a dream…

More interesting is what's happening over near Sho which even Babs can see now as they draw near. Old magics, ancient secrets begin to make themselves known. The Nightmare steps out of the blackness and eyes Sho with a baleful gaze, seeming to judge him for the murder of his master, urging him silently to purge away his dishoner in a wash of blood.

It would be delicious, if he did, that's for sure.

It rises from the fallen, groaning low and loud as the leaves and viscera blend into shape. It isn't the real thing, the real witch has been dead for so long that it defies numbers yet still her form resolves. Face twisted with age and disfigurement, yet still a milky gaze settles on Nightmare itself. An echo, a dim reflection of a woman who once lived then. "Seven rats, the fifty six directions of heaven, three unholy arms, the will of heaven calls."Her hunched form extends a crooked hand, and the temperature drops instantly. "Three emperors called to a pauper's grave, ninety nine golden paths, the flow of still waters shall arise. May the lifted yet arise, may the fallen yet fall. May the will of heaven be done."It's a rush of wind, and her form simply drops back into the dreamscape from where it rose. Dark green motes of light begin to circulate, and the skeleton remains still as stone. Casting the shadows of flesh upon it, taking form and then the brilliantly multicolored hues of that very exotic ink.
It comes with a cough, and a groan. Arteries and veins begin to alight, followed by muscle and sinew and the subtle suggestion of true flesh. Sho doubles over instantly, tears bleeding down his cheeks as he coughs and wretches. Vomiting hair as dark as ink against the ground beneath him, a physical manifestation of the nightmare. Cleansed, effectively if yaknow…well it's pretty gross right?

Oracle watches the spectacle as it unfolds before her and the Wolf. Her hand still on the wolf's pelt, she looks down. "So, a demon for the two of us to face, I don't doubt."

Oracle ponders for several minutes, watching Sho as the transformation begins.

Babs… not Oracle… approaches Sho. Babs, places her hand upon Sho's shoulder. Babs faces the Nightmare, her hand upon Sho's shoulder and defiantly, she places herself between the Nightmare and Sho - on her own two legs.

The Nightmare glares at Sho and advances as Babs comes alongside him. The dream twists and warps with its presence as it attempts to dredge up more memories, more fears for it to make the two mortals live over and over so it can feet. Suddenly, though, Fenris is present also. He hangs in the background, a silent menace… or a silent support. Or perhaps both.

Slowly Sho rises, looking altogether pale but well he's not skeletal any longer. Armor bleeds into the dreamscape, a partial breast plate and an armored right arm. A masted flag affixed to the rear of that armor and holding the silken banner of Lord Fujin on high. The mask finally returns, albeit somewhat slowly. Even as a tall lean chinese fellow steps from the shadows near Nightmare and begins his advance.
A garish cream tuxedo, black carnation and a face twisted with disfigurement. Lifting his fedora to his head with one hand, as the other hoists that Tommy gun with an unearthly cackle. "Did you forget me -boy-, did you think the grace would stop me? I told you I'd never rest until I'd tasted your heart."The fellow glances after Oracle, and the wolf for a moment before his mouth contorts into a grin. Showing the blackened teeth behind those chewed lips "You brought friends, tell me boy. Do they bleed as sweetly as your last friends?"Click, goes the safety.

Babs STEPS forward and concentrates momentarily. Reaching behind her, she pulls forward two Escrima sticks and takes her stance. "I may bleed, but not before you do and" she pauses "We.Will.Not.Go.Quietly.Into.The.Night… Do you want to test this premise…."

"The Nightmare rears back from the roce of the attack and hides itself once more though it doesn't look pleased as it goes. The wolf continues to lurk in the background, no less concerned and more curious as to who these two are and what they were doing that got that thing's attention.

Sho exhales cooly "His name is Chou the Cannibal, he is dead. He will harm none here, just a wandering ghost."sweeping that sheathed sword out from his Obi and pointing it towards the Tuxedo clad fellow. "Fear not, the Disciple of divine wind has this well in hand."The Tommy gun begins to sweep upwards, before theres a -CLACK- from that sword. A pair of eight hundred pound springs compressed in the hilt are released, and it launches from that sword with an audible pop. It strikes Chou directly in the throat, vanishing in an explosion of glass fibers, fine iron filings, ground glass and pepper. Talk about an ace up your sleeve, amirite? The blow is horrific, sufficient entirely to send Chou's neck back with an audible snap-crackle-pop of bone before he falters to one knee. Tommy gun spinning onto the ground, followed by the rest of Chou. Exploding into cockroaches the moment he keels over completely. "I believe, it would be in our shared interest to depart. Would you agree?"

Babs sits straight up in bed, covered in cold sweat, panting. Was that just a nightmare or was it real? Glancing at her hand, she sees the remains of black hair, very similar to that of the wolf in her dream….

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