Mystic Mashup

Summary:
January 17 2015: Jericho is cleaning up after some HYDRA witches, Illyana checks in on him and discusses disturbing trends.

Condemned Bronx Apartment

The apartment had been a wreck even before a coven of witches had tried some magic on Jericho with rather disastrous results.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[* None]


Jericho sighs to himself as he tosses a stack of documents. HYDRA hideouts are always stuffed full of them. That's often why he targets them. In this particular case though the most interesting thing handn't been the office which he's currently rifling through. It'd been the master bedroom which had been cleared out and had a pentagram engraved into the floor. He hadn't known about that one before the three now dead witches in it had… done something. He's fairly sure they'd been trying to do something fairly demonic in nature. He'd felt the power before they hit him with it. Very different from the way Illyana uses her magic. Not nearly as neat or controlled. If he had to guess, they weren't very good at it, which is probably why they'd needed more than one. And had been using a ritual site.

He's still cursing them just a bit through. He's got a fairly nasty burn on his right arm from warding off whatever it is they'd done. Okay. Hrm… this seems to be a demonological book here… one that is, rather disturbingly, written in actual demonic.

-

Illyana's sense of her familiar at distances mostly tends to be 'this direction, very/not near/far, alive' and if he's in serious distress. This isn't really tripping any of those, but what she also senses is when something pricks his magical nature.

A stepping disk flares to life and the blonde steps through, a glance around taking in the danger potential and to get some idea of where she is. Of course, the pentegram is the easy perception check. "Dabbling?" She asks Jericho, her tone that dry mocking as she starts to walk around the circle. She can tell a lot from how someone builds their ritual circles.

-

"Someone was." Despite the situation Jericho smiles and his eyes light up just a little. It's comforting on several levels to have Illyana around particularly when things like this are happening. And, truth be told, he likes having her around in general. The circle was etched into the floor and then inlaid with silver. The markings around the edge are all in demonic and have been made in blood. The markings on the inner edge of the circle, however, are all hermetic. It's the kind of thing intended to channel and focus power to a specific end. Jericho's fight disturbed the other ritual trappings, but an athame, a goblet and a skull and a few other bits are scattered around the room. The witches had guns, so they were fairly moderin in that at least.

-

The book Jericho's looking at - careful not to accidentally mouth any of the words in it - is old and heavy and the covers are two plates of black iron. The writing in it is all demonic and while the hacker can't read all of it, he can make out enough to know that it's related to the summoning and containment of a specific pair of very powerful demons. Brothers. Not names he recognizes, but he does recognize a sketch of Illyana's citadel. Or, something remarkably like

-

Illyana stretches an arm out as she passes Jericho, her attention on the circle, to let her fingers brush against his arm and lower back in an absent caress. "Mixing magics." She says with a frown. "Clumsily." She adds before pointing out for him, "Hermetic symbology. Very ritual-heavy. Controlled. Meticulous." She gestures over to the athame, goblet and skull. "Witchcraft. More… emotion driven. Intent. It leaves a lot more up to subconscious direction and for the magic to make choices, treating it like a living thing instead of a tool." Finally she partially traces out some of the blood script. "Demonic. Pulling power in from other planes." She glances over his way. "Always a bad idea. It comes with a Price." As Jericho well knows from his time with Illyana.

-

The blonde steps over to look at the book that Jericho's been perusing and she frowns. "Why do you have a picture of my citadel?" Which really means, why did *they* have a picture of her citadel.
Illyana has partially disconnected.

-

"I don't know…" The hacker murmurs. "But the names under it… look. Citadel-Fortress of J'one and Jod'e." He's deliberately translating to English rather than use a pair of names he doesn't know anything abou. He's learned a lot in his time with Illyana. One of those things is 'don't screw around with stuff you don't understand.' Sadly, HYDRA seems reckless and arrogant enough to do just that. "I've never heard those names but this book is old. It's printed on vellum, calf skin vellum I think, which hasn't been in widespread use since the developement of paper parchment vellum in the 1700s." Google fu is so handy sometimes. "Means that it's at least… three hundred years old. Maybe more. Bindings are low carbon iron, not steel, maybe closer to six hundred years old." He pauses and then looks up with some worry in his eyes. "Who had Limbo before Belasco?"

-

Illyana's lips pull down in a frown. "Before my time." She admits. "And 'history' isn't really a thing in Limbo. Most of the demons don't have great memories for things like that, either." You have to want to preserve history to have one, and most of Limbo's rulers have no plans of ever stepping down or creating something so transient as a 'legacy'.

Illyana reaches over to carefully flip through the pages. She's used to dealing with both old and dangerous books. "My citadel did inherit a lot of its appearance from Belasco's. It's what I was used to as a child, so it stayed even when I took over." If she'd been someone coming in as an adult, it would probably have changed more, to suit their idea of what a fortress should look like.

-

"I'm not sure why this particular page is illuminated…" Jericho notes, tilting his head so that Illyana can see the book better. As she touches it the pictures shift slightly, depicting more the Limbo that is and less the Limbo that was. That makes the hacker's brow raise up just a bit. "Well that's interesting. Just what the hell is this and where did HYDRA dig it up?"

Letting the blonde sorceress have the grimoire for the moment, Jericho turns to dig through one of the file boxes. "Let's see, I thought there was… yes, here. Okay, they found it under the ruined keep at Atanas, in Serbia." They've apparently been digging a lot. "Old library, file says. They hadn't turned it over to their superiors yet. Guess they wanted to field test it." Badly.

-

Illyana accepts the heavy tome with a small grunt, her frown matching his as she looks at the image. "I'm starting to like this group less and less. And I was already pretty damned unhappy with them." She notes. Going after mutants, Jericho, and now apparently messing with her home? They're seriously going to raise the demon queen's ire.

"So they figure they've found a way to summon some powerful demons, but then to do… what? Demons are too volitile to want to keep sitting around for long." Like ticking time bombs.

-

"I can't read all of that, so you'd have to tell me. It sure looks like they want to summon demons, and we know that they know how to summon something from somewhere." Jericho doubts it's from Limbo. Illyana would likely have felt that and he's not sure it's even possible to summon Limbo demons without her consent, though it's possible that these dimestore occultists don't know that.

-

The book itself is a history of two brothers, J'one and Jod'e. They were warriors of some kind who fought their way through 'the gate of the Elder Ones' (Limbo is never mentioned by name) and at the end of a long time there, decided that they'd rather 'rule in hell' as it were. They supposedly subjegated the fiends around them and built a kingdom there, though what happened to them is unclear. The last bits of the book focus much more on Jod'e - the more intelligent and magical of the two - and hint at a falling out and a conflict between the two. The last pasages warn that calling up either of the 'Lords of the Hell-Gate' will invariably incur the ire of the other.

Illyana has found a place to stick the heavy book as she reads through it. Even being fluent with the language, demonic can be tricky in its meanings. "It could be that the citadel in Limbo is a… copy of one seen elsewhere. Maybe by Belasco, maybe by whoever he took the place from. Definitely seems like some links to Limbo though. It mentions 'the gate of the Elder Ones', which are probably the Elder Gods. And Limbo's kinda like the lock on their prison, so the connection is easy. Looks like they might have been from another Hell realm. Could even be why Limbo's so demonic." That thougtful frown lingers and she glances at Jericho. "Couldn't keep one alive to make 'em talk, hmm?"

-

"I didn't think of it." Jericho admits, holding his arm up. "By the time I'd figured out they were there they'd tried to hit me with some kind of demonic binding. Maybe they some how detected the magic in me and figured I was some kind of free agent that could be snapped up and compelled." It had hurt. Quite a bit. Like chains of fire in his head and aorund his body. Nothing that actually kept him from moving or doing what he wanted, just pain.

"I get the rather distinct feeling that it didn't work out the way they expected but by the time I found them I was kind of seeing red…"

-

"As in part of your HUD or bloodlust?" Illyana asks, turning the focus of her attention over to Jericho now. As she recalls, Jericho isn't prone to rages of any sort. The sight of his injuries has her eyes narrowing and it's probably best for the witches that they're dead now, else she might have something to vent her annoyance upon.

"I really don't want to have to try to raise their shades to get information out of them." One of those things that Illyana can do… just the price might be pretty high to her already stained soul.

-

"Bit of both." Jericho says quietly. It had pissed him off that they'd try something like that. HYDRA is one of his hot buttons to begin with and their use of magic on him seems to make things worse. It's a safe bet that his traces ate part of the energy from the spell and he probably absorbed whatever the intent was, considering the witchcraft component. "I don't think you'll have to raise their shades. This is the third group of ritualists I've seen doing this kind of thing. Pretty safe bet I'll find more and then you and I can have a little chat with them."

The way he says it - a low growl in his tone - it's pretty clear he doesn't mean for it to be a pleasant chat.

-

Illyana steps over towards Jericho, fingers hooking his beltloops to drag him closer to her so she can slip her arms around him. "I felt it. I wasn't sure what I was feeling, but I felt it. They were likely trying to redirect what they had in progress your way." She gives a humorless chuckle. "Silly witches. You're not a demon." But there's concern in her eyes. That it could touch him at all likely means that there's dregs of the demonic in him. Which would be because of her.

-

Jericho is quite easily drawn closer and his arms slip around Illyana. He sees that concern, knows even why it's there. She's been worried for a long time that her association with him might be altering him in some way. And, honestly, it does seem to be though he's not particularly objected to any of those changes yet. Okay, the eye thing is a bit odd. He can't see or sense what's going on in his soul, but so far it doesn't seem to have hurt him.

"I'm okay." He murmurs. He's not badly hurt, or maybe he means more that whatever she's done he's okay with. Maybe both. "I am thinking, though, that maybe we should start hunting them rather than the other way around. Particularly since the both of us want some answers."

-

Illyana gives a small nod at his reassurance, even if she knows that no. He's probably not 'okay' as most would define it. But it is what it is. The suggestion gets a chuckle. "My wolf wants to hunt?" She teases. "You do the data crunching and info gathering to try to track them down. If you can get something with a sympathetic link, I can try to scry them."

She's quietly thoughtful for a bit, and then mentions, "I could send my critters out, looking for the scent of this mixed magic."

-

"It seems to be a theme running through all the times we've encountered it. Magical trappings pulled from multiple sources." And given that Illyana's said repeatedly that it's clumsy - and hasn't been the only one - Jericho's starting to suspect that it's a sign of an incomplete or dangerously radical method of magical training. "Safe bet that anyone we can find in the area or in Central America using it is one of theirs. And if they're not they should probably be told to knock it off anyway."

He takes a deep breath and looks around the apartment. "I'll get us something solid to go on. Your wolf would very much like to go snake hunting." Now Jericho flashes the blonde an almost feral grin. It's not the small, genuine smile he uses all too infrequently. It's a lot more… dangerous.

-

Illyana doesn't normally turn her demons loose without a lot of oversight. Usually with her standing over them to direct their often destructive tendencies.

Something flickers across Illyana's expression, like something occurred to her. "I'll see about contacting the local magic types. There's usually shamans, hedge witches and the like. Folks that might sense what's going on even if they can't really tell details or have the power to stop it. If we can narrow down an area, I'll see about sending out my hounds but I haven't had them hunt off the leash before." And she doesn't trust demons. Not even hers. Maybe especially hers.

The grin gets a low, wicked chuckle. "I see." She says, amused. Then she quirks a brow at him. "You done here?" She'll give him a lift, so he doesn't need K'nert to find him a way out.

-

"Yeah, nothing more here." Jericho takes one last look around and then steps a bit closer so that Illyana can disk them out. Well, okay, not just so she can disk them out.


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