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GM

 

Either the brutish cultist were too out of it from the beatings to react, or otherwise he simply didn't care for Ronin's attempt at scaring him. Still leaning heavily on the doorframe, he took the blast of splinters head on. For a moment, he seemed like he would tumble and fall over, then he let out a loud groan, like he was about to stand up properly again. His robe was torn at the front from the blast, splinters and shrapnel stuck in his chest, but otherwise, he seemed none the worse for wear. "God provides..." he groaned, though he still seemed ready to topple if hit with a properly strong attack.

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With magic in the hands of someone who actually knew a thing or two about it, Lady Horus looked at the cowering cultist and zipped over to his side. "Sssh, ssssh, it's all right, mortal man," she lied. She leaned close, so no one else could hear, and whispered, "The Lady is with thee." It was hardly the first time she'd pretended to be on someone's side, even another villain's, to stop a fight; and if the Helm didn't like it much, well, Lady Horus had ignored the Helm before. She couldn't lock eyes with the man, her face covered by her mask, but went on, "The colors are running, and the ink is clear. What can I do?

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GM

 

The woman looked up at Lady Horus. This close, her eyes were clearly all black, swirling and twisting. Like they were filled with ink. She seemed to hesitate, even as ink swirled around her hands. "Yes... the ink is clear." it seemed to be just the right words that Lady Horus had spoken. "But, if you are with God, why did you attack?" She didn't seem to fully believe Lady Horus yet, but she was confused, at least.

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"Thy people are spilling the blood of mine," replied Lady Horus with authority. "Get them to stand down, and we can talk. I can show you power like you've never seen..." Outside, Wadjet stepped back from the startled target of her knifing and put a shot into his midsection, pausing for consideration now that both her main attacks had failed. 

 

"Gonna try the eyes!" she called loudly enough for her mentor to hear, not particularly caring if anyone else heard - after all, the code word didn't actually indicate what she was going to do. 

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GM

 

The large man groaned from the hits. He seemed dizzy, but still standing, blocking those that had not yet passed him from entering. The woman was staring at Lady Horus. Was she falling for the ruse? Maybe...  She still seemed defensive, ink swirling around her hands, still backed into the corner, but she barked an order to the man. "Stop! Stop attacking! They say they are with God..." She turned her glare at Lady Horus and Mr. Strix. "Prove it! Stop your attack! Submit to the ink! Submit to God!" She stretched her arms out towards Lady Horus and Mr. Strix. The ink that swirled around them moved forward, through the air. It was thick, and dark, twisting and stopping in front of the two, giving them a choice to make. "Submit!"

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Posted (edited)

The man in white hissed defiantly. "My soul was already stolen from me, by monsters far greater than you clumsy amateurs."

 

Strix caught a flicker of movement in the corner of his own coal-black eye. "HORUS!" the man in white growled. He still couldn't bear to look directly at her. "Behind us! The books! More ink!Try not to burn the entire room down this time.

 

Glaring at the cultist cowering in the corner, Strix let his talons slip free from his fingers. Superhumans. No need to go easy. He weaved under and around the ink clouds hanging in the air and slashed at the robed woman.

Edited by Grumblefloof

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GM

 

The cultist almost hissed as the man in white refused her. She might have evaded taking a hit so far, letting her companions do the actual fighting, but now she had no fight. As Strix cornered her, claws at the ready, she tried to back away, only to find the wall in the way. His claws reached her quickly, scratching across her robes, yet meeting unexpected resistance underneath. It seemed that he had been right about not needing to go easy.

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Liam Conner

Liam was not a complicated fighter, he didn’t fight like a superhero, but he was a competent warrior that he’d learned on the battlefield. It helped that the calming voice of Rosa was keeping him focused, though she wasn’t a calm presence.

 

Still he picked his moment and struck a powerful punch sending the large cultist sprawling. He allowed himself a brief moment of pride at the blow, but only that there was still more weirdness to deal with and Rosa had a mystery she was biting at the bit to solve.

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Ronin

 

Curtis felt the shells click into place in his gun, felt the sliding mechanisms adjust. It felt cool, no doubt, but somehow bullets weren't getting him anywhere and sometimes you just wanted to kick someone in the face. When you gut frustrated, it felt much better. 

 

No doubt his Karate teachers would admonish him for such base instinct, but hey, they weren't here. And this was the streets of Bedlam. 

 

He spun forward, giving a quick feint and then turning his back, launching a powerful reverse kick at one of the cultists!

 

Felt good, too...

Edited by Supercape

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GM

 

Ronin's attack came rushing past his allies, towards the only cultist still standing. He was fast, and the cultist was already Mr. Strix and Lady Horus. The kick hit home, directly to her face, but she only smiled and gave a light laugh, while muttering something: "The master protects me still." She was only barely audible. So far, she'd avoided or shrugged off whatever they had thrown at her, despite having had little luck hurting the heroes herself.

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Anna moved to the center of the room, ready to put on a show and tired of pretending to side with these monsters. Lady Horus raised her ankh high, the ancient symbol blazing with brilliant arcane power. It was a little hard on the vampire-man, Anna supposed, but they really had to get this job done. "By the mystic light of Amun-Ra! I will turn this poison ink into Thoth's tool, not a weapon of enslavement! But who will stand with me? I cannot do this alone!" The light from her ankh glowed, brighter and brighter, seeming to cast everything in the room into sharp shadows, producing a distinct boiling bubble from the nearest drops of falling ink. 

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"GRRRAAARRRR!" Another tiger's roar echoed across the room as the man in white snarled and raised his claws to shield his eyes from the ankh's light.

 

"The unholy power..." He growled through clenched fangs.

 

"...which chains what's left of my soul to this body..." He plunged his talons into his own forearm. "HHHNNNGGGG!" No blood bubbled up to the surface of his skin.

 

"...the glue holding together this mockery of Life..." He dragged his claws through his own flesh, shredding his jumpsuit and flaying himself down to the bone. Still, no blood leaked from his arm.

 

"...it can't be part of the natural world." He raised his flayed arm outstretched toward the pile of books. At last, the blood appeared, not a trickle or even a splash upon the floor below him, but a torrent blasting directly through the air at the books and their ink. His shriveled, blackened heart forced the blood out through his veins with inhuman strength. Liter after liter of black syrup, with highlights of scarlet if the light hit it from just the right angle, sprayed like a fire hose from his tattered arm.

 

"I'm no sorcerer...but I am sorcery." He collapsed, his hands and knees preventing him from falling completely prone, a puppet with half but only half of his strings suddenly cut. "Raw material...fuel for your fire."

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GM

 

"No!" The panic was clear in the woman's voice, as she raised her hand. Still blocked in by Ronin, even as Mr. Strix aided Lady Horus, she tried to push past. Raising her right hand, ink seemed to pour from under her nails, before shooting forward in a stream that passed by Lady Horus.

 

Her final gambit failing, the powerful light from Lady Horus' seemed to start boiling even the ink still left on her fingers, like the ink from the books. It seemed all that was left for her to do was see what Lady Horus' would do.

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I don't know if that's how it works! thought Anna Cline as Mister Strix poured out his unholy fluid. A voice in her head, however, told her that this was in fact better than all right. No, no, this is good - let the night creature give you his blood and his power! Goooood, gooood! Okay we really need to have a talk about your priorities Nephthys because you are not normally that excited about this sort of thing. These were the thoughts that passed through the mind of the sun goddess, faster than an eyeblink. 


She dropped to one knee as the ink passed over her head, her heart racing in her chest. She smashed the ankh against the ground, long end first, and with a pure war cry began to glow with an impossible brightness that seemed to fill the very room, sweeping over the ink and sending it seeming to roll backwards up the walls, forming itself into new shapes of a distinctly Egyptian bent - scenes of a warrior goddess wielding two curved blades, battling a mighty, caped figure in gold. They were strange signs, but they were not whatever it was the cultists wanted. 

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GM

 

The cultist recoiled, her body starting to make a sizzling sound. While she tried to shield her face from the light and holy symbols, the ink that had been pouring from the books started to evaporate, eventually simply going up in a puff of very dark smoke. The same seemed to be happening to the cultists, both the overly large one and the one that had been able to pass through doors. For both, the effect was startling. The large on seemed to shed excess body mass, becoming much smaller, though still a large and muscular man. The other actually seemed to gain some mass. 

 

The last cultist still standing groaned as the black of her eyes seemed to disappear into smoke, while she fell trembling to her knees. It seemed clear that the fight had left her. "Who are you? How can you spit in the face of God?"

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The man in white cracked a half-grin for a moment when he glanced up in time to watch the last of the cultists fall to the floor to join him. Then he dug his claws into the floor and dragged himself back toward the hallway, crawling to the brute who wasn't quite so brutish anymore.

 

So thirsty...last time...blood...last time it was this bad...someone almost died...here's hoping...the taint...has left their blood...not sure it would even affect me anyway...monster...like dumping spoiled food into a lagoon of raw sewage...

 

Strix heaved himself up onto the unconscious brute, letting his massive white cape fall around them, obscuring them from the room behind him. Then his lips found the man's throat, and he sunk his fangs in, and he drank.

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Doctor Rosa Thorne

As the other magic user's cast their spell Liam shifted back to Rosa to aid in the ritual as well, she cast sigils in the air to help channel and hopefully boost the effectiveness of the ritual. She couldn’t help but feel that the others were doing all the heavy lifting but it was important that she at least tried to give a hand.

 

Once the magic was done her focus was again on the source of the Ink, she needed to make sure the problem was actually completely contained. There was a smidgen of guilt how easily she was use to Strix feeding, but only for a second the mystery took up far more of her attention.

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GM

 

The blood did not appear tainted. Whatever the ink in the man had been, it was gone now. Pure, red blood, rushing to the vampire as he fed. The man groaned, and weakly tried to struggle.

 

The woman was still conscious, fighting to stay up, she supported her weight on the table. She stumbled, leaning forward, pushing a book off the table. It landed in front of her Doctor Thorne, flipped to a random page. Already, the words on the page were moving, the ink shifting and changing into other words than what had once been. "God... God will smite you..." She struggled to stay upright still. 

 

I AM THE INK GOD was all the pages said.

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"So many have said," spat Lady Horus,  full of righteous fury, "and yet here I am, gone from queen to god!" She grabbed the cultist by the back of the head, keeping her ankh in her free hand. "Didst thou think it funny to make an old woman think she had gone mad? Well thou know nothing of madness!" And with that, in a burst of fury, she smashed the woman's face into the table she'd been balancing on. 


"Hey vampire," hissed Wadjet at Strix. "You want to do that somewhere else, man? We need all hands on deck here!" Standing next to Dr. Thorne, she looked curiously at the mystic investigator before reaching into her jumpsuit pocket, pulling out a hotel fountain pen, and offering it to Thorne. 

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The young vigilante couldn't tell if the man in white didn't hear her admonishment through his half-starved blood-soaked haze, or if he was just ignoring her. He sliced his tongue with one of his elongated canine teeth, willed a drop of his blood to rise from the wound, and licked the cultist's throat. The punctures vanished from the man's neck, and with them, any sign that Mister Strix had fed upon him. Strix slowly rose to his feet. His sleeve was still shredded cloth loosely hanging from his arm, but his pale flesh mended itself seamlessly in a matter of seconds. His eyes were completely black, as were the veins bulging from his arms and neck. His shoulders remained hunched over as he trudged over to the next nearest cultist. He knelt back down onto the ground, grabbed the cultist's robe, pulled them up off the ground, and sank his fangs into their neck, drinking from them as well. He seemed oblivious to all else.

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GM

 

The woman looked up, struggling to move. Her nose was clearly a broken mess, some of her teeth seemed loose. "You're a false god. Not worthy of the title. Who cares what God do to mortals? If the woman believed herself mad, then maybe she is!" She struggled away from Lady Horus, or at least attempted to get away, raising an accusing hand towards Strix.

 

"And look! Is that what the ally of God should do? Feast on their fallen enemies?" Her voice was strained. She was fighting to stay conscious. "This will not be enough. One day, you will see the face of God!"

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Doctor Rosa Thorne

Cautiously Rosa approached the book her mystical senses looking for any clue about its true nature, she knew enough to be cautious about the potential powers involved.

 

“Could you all clear a space and get everyone away from this area? Also if I start acting weird quickly take me out, I’m not sure how powerful this object is right now.”

 

She quickly sketched out a circle of protective runes around herself before leaning in close, but not too close to examine the book.

 

 

“So what exactly are you supposed to be?”

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Ronin

 

Gods and men and magic. Bedlam sure was a strange place. 

 

Curtis was a man of men, not Gods. All that really mattered was your will to act, and what you did with it. Whether Gods did, or did not, grant this will was, to his mind, both unfathomable and redundant. 

 

"Just be careful" he muttered to Doctor Throne, stepping back and keeping his eyes open. 

 

He couldn't deal with Ghosts and spirits. But this was Bedlam, and there were plenty of bullets and knives in every corner, and even mad cultists wouldn't say no to a Glock or a Machete if it came down to it. 

 

And so he reloaded the Street Special without taking his eyes of the woman. 

 

 

 

 

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GM

 

The ink written on the book shifted. At first, they simply formed the word GOD in a standard sized font in the middle of the page. Then the word started appearing all over the two pages, until they eventually grew completely black, covered in the words. It almost, but not quite, seemed like the book was moving with the force that caused the words to appear.

 

The ink on the pages shifted again, twisting into the words I WILL REMEMBER YOU. The words lingered for but a moment, before being replaced with the words ROSA THORNE. They in turn faded, the normal text on the page appearing once more. Whatever magic or otherworldly power had been in the book, it was gone. The text in the book itself now seemed concerned with gardening, of all things.

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Doctor Thorne

“Doctor Thorne!” she hissed at the book with a frown, she’d spent long enough studying that her titles mattered.

 

“The book should be safe now, and if we’re lucky then the threat has been dealt with, I need to check the thaumatical field first just to be sure.”

 

She stood up and brushed herself down, before delivering the downside of all this.

 

“Whatever it is survived however and retreated to whatever dimension it resided in if it gets a chance it's going to want revenge on at least myself and probably everyone that stop it.”

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