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Author Topic: The Barker Street Irregulars case 2 A vision in pink  (Read 9055 times)
MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #225 on: October 10, 2015, 06:02:08 am »

Dodging thrown lightning bolts was easy enough; he'd had an encounter several years before with an iron Zeus automaton that had nearly flash-fried him where he stood; his quick reflexes were the only thing that had saved him in the magic-damping field created by the thing's built-in generators. He dodged Greeneyes' lightnings, but the ones that he stabbed away at Marley with were a bit of a problem; handheld lightning at the best of times was a random kind of weapon, the arcs and sprites stabbing and crawling wildly all over the place. That might seem to be a disadvantage for the wielder of such art, but in practice it made it very difficult for one to fend off the randomly-striking energies. Thus it was that Marley was zapped several times; the defensive field of his badge, which he had pulled from his pocket and put on during a brief lull in the combat, was all that saved him from a hot and sizzling death. He did smolder in a couple of places, however.  In a flash of investigative panache, Marley had managed to land a naming cantrip on the fellow, and learned that his name was "Luis." The surname was garbled, however; the lightnings' field, like that of the Iron Zeus's generators, had frazzled the trailing edge of the spell and made it indecipherable. Too, Marley's magic was, though not flagging yet, rather taxed; he could summon quite a wallop at the outset in a pinch, but that surge often faded all too soon if the fight became protracted. He needed to break off, his purpose of giving the others a chance to escape having been successful, but he was having trouble slapping back at Luis.

The shield's effect gave him an idea, however; standing back as if to catch his breath, he inhaled in truth, but instead of merely air, he pulled in energy from the wildly-surging magical field created by the sorcerer's wholesale dimensional flux manipulation (a dangerous ploy; dependence upon such feeding, often leading to a temporary condition of psionic vampirism, was a side-effect of such a tactic if used too frequently by people other than Balllasts like Celia, who had means of mitigating such addiction).

"You fight well, Luis...?" he let himself gasp, as if in exhaustion (not entirely a ruse), and then let himself sag as if his strength were failing. As the Sorceror cautiously (no fool he, it seemed) came closer to press his perceived victory, Marley let loose with half of his acquired power, coupled it with the shield's field, and created a Giant fist of the shield's effect, blasting Luis back through the flux matrix of the watercolor's existence field. Hastily risting a bindrune of travel in the ocher yellow wash of the painting's depiction of waterside soil, he then poured the greater part of the other half of the stolen magic into it,and disappeared, casting spells of disruption and forbidding as he flashed through the myriad dimensions, trying to find and finally locating a thread to find Celia and her party - only to come face to face the Spirit of Ramses.

"Er, hello, old fellow," Marley said. He'd met the monarch in an investigative misadventure in which he had met up with Celia for the very first time, learning about his access to the land of the dead in the process. He wasn't sure if the being would remember him or not, but he was sure he would help Celia. "Knights Temporal business; I'm afraid Celia and perhaps reality itself is in danger; can you help me get to Milady Ballast? It's somewhat urgent, as I'm nearly spent and the villain's probably on my trail even now. Sanctuary at the very least would be a boon...?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 03:04:09 am by MWBailey » Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #226 on: October 10, 2015, 10:01:49 am »

The king looked Marley over and then in a reedy voice that did not fit the body at all he spoke. "You owe me at least a dozen books for for this.  Keeping her safe from location spells will be that much harder. You time things shine out almost worce than she does. I expect them by the end of the week if you make it out of here alive."
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #227 on: October 10, 2015, 04:03:54 pm »

"Done!" Marley said, too pressed and desperate to haggle much; the Order's Hidden Library dealt with all manner of tomes, and the barter of scrolls and books by divinity and temporal agents was a busy trade therein; he'd have no trouble securing the price of his sanctuary. "Name the subjects you prefer, and  and I will get thee tomes to make the hours fly swiftly." Marley knew the poor fellow had to be bored beyond all endurance; 'Eternity,' a long-lived captive werewolf kept in the catacombs beneath Whitehall for purposes of study had assured him, 'is a monotonous thing, once you've done everything thrice over.'
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #228 on: October 10, 2015, 06:29:24 pm »

"I always like stories of detectives and your electric magic."  He had been hopelessly enamored with electrics ever since they wired the gallery.  "Welcome to the land of the dead knight. May your stay be pleasant."
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walking stick
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« Reply #229 on: October 10, 2015, 06:36:40 pm »

"Yes I remember him." Verity told Celia "I was twelve and in the pantomime.  He was one of those bohemians who's a poet an artist and a musician but can't make a living as any of them. He got a little money for helping to make our masks and some stuff for the cave scene.  He told us all this fantastic story about a goblin market and then I didn't mind that I was playing a goblin instead of a fairy like the ballet girls."

"How old are you now?" asked Beety

"Sixteen."

  
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #230 on: October 10, 2015, 07:24:18 pm »

"Ah  I wonder if the market is where this poor fellow ran a fowl of Mr Green eyes. ". Celia frowned.  " If that is true then our friends in white might have a hand in things as well.  See if you can get him to calm down.  I may be able to free him but I must know more about the spell that is the root of all this. "
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #231 on: October 10, 2015, 07:58:58 pm »

Bill struggled up out of Beety's handbag. "MARLEY you bloody looby, what're you doin' 'ere?!" he said as Marley walked in. Bill Flapped over to the Knight's shoulder. "an 'ow'd ya get your body back?" he pecked at the vest and shirt, bit at the flat cap, and murmured to himself for a moment, then said, "you been magick'n your self back am' forth, I kin feel Merlin's rune o' Mummery all over ya. Where'd you learn it?"

"Is that what it is?" Marley answered. "I thought I recognized his prose style. The Commandant left a page for me to peruse while I was in his office," he replied, then realized that a rather massive gaffe hung in the balance. "It's a long story," he added hastily. "Mot what you're probably thinking."

"Milady Celia,"  he said finally, "What's going on? even the statuary in the Tower's gone all autonomous- and more than a bit cheeky, to tell the truth...
 
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #232 on: October 10, 2015, 08:36:14 pm »

"Some one has set what I think may be a principals of life spell on a rampage.  It is spreading like a plague and animating every image it can find and there is a green eyed mage at the helm.  That bastard has found some way around my protections and almost throttled the breath out of me.  We had to run in here to avoid being trampled by his painted host."  Celia wanted to pace but settled for nodding her head.

Luis cursed as the knight's trace vanished.  Where the hell had they gone?  They had to still be in the museum his eyes would have seen them leave.  Perhaps they went in to a painting.  A painting the ballast would find sanctuary in.  Well he had ways to scour the world. Chanting in a deep thunderous voice shadows started to swirl about him and form tiny creatures with emerald glowing eyes just like his. He sent them out seeking.  It did not matter where she went he would have a trap ready for her the moment she came back to earth.
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« Reply #233 on: October 10, 2015, 09:52:22 pm »

Tobias felt a cold creeping sensation approaching through the shadows surrounding him. He stood up and straightened his uniform, "Mama, would you excuse me a second, someone is playing in the Shadows."
Tobias walked towards the darkest shadows in the room and disappeared in a puff of smoke.
After a few moments he reappeared sliding across the floor as if he had been thrown.
"We are not safe here, I believe our green eyed friend has found a way to use the shadows to find us."
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #234 on: October 10, 2015, 11:07:08 pm »

"If he knows where we are then we are going to have some trouble getting back to the regular world. There are only so many paths we can take back and some of those I would hesitate to trod on in the best of times. He will have something waiting for us the trick is finding out what and how to avoid it before he can reach us here." Celia stood walking worriedly among the still displays then brightened.  "Perhaps we can turn this in our favour.  If we can flood the paths with our own creations then we may slip past him but if he has it out for me it may not be enough."  If they could just get out of the museum then Mr Green would have less sway. Celia wondered if this had been a trap all along and how they could brake free.

The oldest magic often held the best answers Luis had decided.  He had a tiny fragment of hair one of the paintings had tore from the Ballast's head that would become a decent binding and then if he could just get some of her blood well all the better.  Perhaps it would be better to let them think they won and replace her with a mirror walker until he could force all of them in to paintings. With their combined force at this command the knights would have no choice but to let him rule.  He rubbed his thumb over the ring on his right hand.  It had been so easy to bind the painter to him. A little booze here some money there and a promise to bring his painted love to life.  He smiled thinking of what he could do with the others added to the lock of hair in his ring and started to set traps to tear the others apart. 
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #235 on: October 11, 2015, 03:39:46 am »

"It would stand to reason; the fellow seemed to be drawing on my energy as I fought him," Marley said in response to Tobias' report and Celia's musings. "Perhaps the Burleigh..." He pulled a device from his vest's inside left breast pocket; a flat astrolabe-like disk about a half-inch in thickness, bearing what resembled a brass construction of one of  Oughtred's Circles of Proportion; it bore several circular rule-dials superimposed one upon the other, all of which (unseen to the observer) were mounted and meshed together by an intricate internal arrangement of clockwork such that they could interact one with another at the user's whim, controlled by three knurled knobs (silver, bronze, and brass) mounted around the circumference of the circular device. Marley spun the silver knob, and two of the inner dials spun in time, emitting a chiming buzz as they performed their functions and a pivoted bar with a window in it bearing a hairline cursor wire turned slowly in a counterclockwise fashion. Finally, the chiming stopped, and the dials and cursor arm froze in position. "Ahm!" Marley grunted, "yes..."

"Little vampiric golemlike minions, I'd wager. Bloodrats, most likely, suck the magic off of you like bats do blood from a goat" He said absently. "I do believe our friend is a vampire, or something similar. Fellow tried to stuff me into a watercolor; I wonder why, he could have just splashed me across the Void, he's powerful enough...
« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 03:42:52 am by MWBailey » Logged
Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #236 on: October 11, 2015, 05:04:15 am »

"I don't think he wants us dead.  He could have stopped my heart instead he went for blacking me out. What if you are right and Mr Green eyes is more like his little pests.  We would be one hell of a feast if he could subdue us.  Perhaps the paintings were a trap."  Celia looked back at Abraham grimly.  "I bet that is why the veins are attacking I wonder if all that would be left of you was a portrait if they succeeded.  This is old magic and potent stuff.  He who controls the image controls the thing itself.  That is why their are no pictures of me anywhere to avoid that pitfall but it seams not to have helped."  She turned to Marley.  "This is Verity she is an artist and I think you better see who she is drawing.  We may be speaking to one of the first victims."
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #237 on: October 11, 2015, 05:55:05 am »

Really? let me see..." Marley took a peek at the visage slowly taking shape under Verity's brushes. "...The bees... That spooky old vicar made a crack about bees just before they showed up, but before that as I came into the village, a tramp, kind of person, who looked almost exactly like that, a bohemnian sort, all scruffy and road-dusty, a nondescript sort. He was drawing in a big blank book next to an old tree." He ran a hand through his hair while he fisted up his cap in the other. "Huh. I thought he was just some ne'er-do-well. If that's the same fellow..."
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #238 on: October 11, 2015, 10:39:20 am »

"If everyone was cast into the void, at least I could get you back!" Tobias commented, standing up and dusting himself off. Everyone was quite and looking at him.
"What are you looking at me like that for?"
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #239 on: October 11, 2015, 11:41:38 am »

Well, for one thing, there's 'casting' and then there's 'scattering'," Marley answered. "Are you claiming that you could gather all my atoms and dispersed lifeforce, and rebuild my body and stuff it all back in? I rather you didn't unless I'm really temporally indispensable, thanks, I've been forcibly transformed thrice already, and then a total of ten times self-transformed while I was learning to to go off all corvid and back again. And then there's re-figuring-out how to fly after you get used to having one wing trimmed; I think I hit every pub sign between Tower Road and Highgate Passage on the way here, and don't ask me about the grackles in Hyde Park!"

"Wait a sec, Marley, you clot, ' Highgate's south, and 'yde park's miles of -!"

"I KNOW it';s off-course, Bill, my attention wandered when I was trying to mind-call you and Beety!"

"Whoss iss 'Mind-call' rot - oh, I gets it, you was tryin' ta use the flock bond! No wonder I got all itchy in me skull, I thought I 'ad mange  -

"Birds don't get mange, Bill-"

"Wahtever ya corls it, I'm no Vetrinary ornith...ornitholla... Bird doc, kind a thing-ologist. Any who, looks loike yer gonna need some trainin' afore I kin let ye off flyin' solo agin...." Bill trailed off, looking between Tobias and the others and Marley "Owps. Sorry, talkin' outta turn, I was..."
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #240 on: October 11, 2015, 11:55:29 am »

"How do you think I am able to stand with you?" Tobias replied looking towards the door and not at Marley
"I told you before I could get you back to human form at a cost."
The group looked at Tobias in shock.
"In the end It depends how attacked to your atoms you really are. the important part of us is pure energy, 'Scattering' only spreads your atoms out, but they are still all connected my the threads of energy that make up your soul."
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walking stick
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« Reply #241 on: October 11, 2015, 02:06:18 pm »

Verity tried to understand  "Reality as pointillism, isn't this complicated enough."

"Whatism?" said Bill

"Pointillism making a picture out of lots of little spots of colour. My Father saw some French painters doing it last summer."
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #242 on: October 11, 2015, 03:33:49 pm »

"Shushhh." Celia signalled for silence and put her ear to the passage way they had come from.  There was a quiet sound like skittering feet in the darkness. "Damn and blast we are out of time.  I don't know how but he navigated the pitfalls of the dead and is sending something our way and fast.  I think he looks to over run is seeing how we are backed in to a corner."  She bit her lip and thought for a moment then smiled.  It was a mad idea but it may just work.  "Maybe we aren't trapped yet.  Verity can you get the painter in the picture to draw a door on where ever he is being held and then you could draw one just like it on that wall over there?"  She smiled down at the girl understanding a few things for the first time.  "Unless I have missed my mark you have a power not unlike his own to draw your way in to worlds. If I can keep old green eyes off our back we could cross over to where that poor soul is being held and free him.  With both your help I think I can unravel the black web connecting all of the art and get things back in order."
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walking stick
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« Reply #243 on: October 11, 2015, 08:16:06 pm »

Verity thought for a moment and then took out a box of pencil stubs. "One each. Yes, even you bird, if art is real in there these are weapons."  She drew matching details in her picture with the life size door taking shape on the wall.
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #244 on: October 11, 2015, 08:40:49 pm »

This joining of magic and art washed over Celia like a hot bath.  Verity must be far stronger than Celia had though to command this tide.  The door became more and more real taking over the far wall of the room with delicate carvings.  She did not notice the dark scarab until it bit her ankle. "Damn." She said shaking the thing off and crushing it under her boot.  "That smarts!"  More were rising up out of every shadow. "His first wave is here.  Everyone protect Verity.  She is our best hope of getting out of this alive."  Luis was moving slowly on the paths of the dead his footing was unsure but his speed wouldn't matter if his little army could pump them full of venom.  The sooner they were all painted over and locked away the better. 
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #245 on: October 11, 2015, 10:25:20 pm »

Getting into the spirit of the thing, Marley and Bill each drew parts of a sarcophagus; Bill the box itself, and Marley the lifelike representation of the supposed denizen of the sarcophagus; It turned out to look a bit like that Luis person. Marley drew on the various preserving and containing spells in the usual hieroglyphs and hieratic script, and then drew a set of five shovels; his drawings were not especially good, but one could tell exactly what they were, much in the way of a naive caricature. "anybody hoo'sh not cashting somefing, grapp a shoffel, and scoop up the li'l bugguhs!" Bill called out around teh pencil in his beak, as Marley did exactly that, pausing occasionally to flash-burn a batch of the bugs to be disposed of.

"Burn 'em or squash 'em!" he said, "and scoop 'em up and throw 'em in the bin- er, sarcophagus, I mean."
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walking stick
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« Reply #246 on: October 11, 2015, 11:54:39 pm »

The doors on the wall and in the painting  were opening too slowly for comfort .  Beety produced scissors and roughly  cut away part of Celia's stocking then used Verity's rag and brush cleaner on her ankle.  "I wish you'd been wearing boots, I don't know what kind of spiritual poison those things contain. This should at least slow it down."  Whilst she was still at ankle height Beety drew a hungry spider with a large web then smartly crushed a bug with the back end of the bottle and flicked away two more with the rag. Her spider got several more whilst she was getting to her feet.  She couldn't help feeling a bit smug but she was still careful to shake her skirt vigorously  to make sure no bugs came up with her.  "Istha Cancan" laughed Bill, the pencil in his beak looking like a gentleman's cigar.
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #247 on: October 12, 2015, 01:07:09 am »

Celia smiled, the spider had given her an idea.  Blowing on her finger caused a bright sliver glow like a candle to spring to life.  Drawing with the light several big fat frogs tumbled from her hands and hungrily went after the beetles. She laughed as they pushed the invaders back.  It looked like they were winning until the ambient light started to fade in one corner. Celia sent an orb of light to disperse what she thought were bugs and much to her surprise it was devoured by little faces.  "I think we better back away. The walls are getting hungry."  Celia watched the door like a hawk. It was all down to getting out before too much of the hungry darkness got in.
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #248 on: October 12, 2015, 02:07:31 am »

Marley and Bill backed away from the sarcophagus, and slammed the lid shut; diabolical scratching could be heard from within. "What we need is light, lots of it." he whipped out the pencil again, and Drew a chandelier to beat all chandeliers, a thousand aether bulbs shining amid ten thousand shimmering, reflecting, refracting prisms, powered by a small induction grid that fed off the coefficient of the growing darkness.The room brightened to an almost painful degree, then dimmed as the shadows retreated, then brightened as they advanced again, then slowly balanced out until the darkness form within the walls and the sarcophagus fed the bright ;light.

"That'll only last until the surge and ebb of power rubs away the circuit," he told the others. Perhaps we should try the door...?"
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Stella Gaslight
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« Reply #249 on: October 12, 2015, 03:19:50 am »

"Wait until the knob forms. If we try and open it before then who knows where we would end up and in how many pieces.  Almost there.". The door was nearly whole and that was good because she could hear feet not far.  " Marley are you up for a bit of caritiure work? If we can distract him with doubles of us we should be able to lock destroyed the door behind us and keep him away. "
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