1963-07-25 - Limbo Time!
Summary: Amora seeks out further magic from a realm she comes across in her magical research. When she arrives it's anything but what she expected.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
amora illyana 

There are worlds beyond the limitless bounds of even the perceptions of one such as Amora. The reality containing Earth and Asgard is one such limitless place, but for those who choose not to travel the endless void between worlds, there are other, 'closer' options.

Limbo is such a place. It's a realm that few chose to visit, even among the mightiest of sorcerors, for it is a realm where simple causality is often disregarded. Gravity is not relevant aside from trying to understand 'down', and time exists only in the minds of beings who can only comprehend a linear causality.

It is to this realm that Amora has been drawn, intrigued by the echoes of power her snuffling minions have reported from this land. More specifically, Amora's agents reported the existence of a demesne— a pocket universe attached to Limbo, and radiating strong enough magics to be sensed across the planes.

Unfortunately for Amora, this demesne is not unoccupied, nor is it unsecured— something the mighty sorceress will discover for herself, soon enough….


Amora had, it seemed forever, desired power and magic was more often than not her favored path. It had started as a means to never be weak. To never have to depend on others. For years, for centuries uncounted, she had tracked down the most powerful of practioners within the Nine Realms and stolen their secrets when she could not manage to gain it willingly. She had discovered dimensional rifts between realms frequently enough, and always she had managed to secure her way home just as easily. Some of these pockets had become places she could store things no other could take from her. Magical pockets that she would save for absolute need that no one, not even the All Father could prevent her from using.

While on Midgard, with no end to her exile in sight (Why couldn't Thor, for once be more like his brother?), she had been forced to delve into further research that she had long since forgotten. It had been from once such source on Midgard that she had learned of Limbo. A minor magick user she had discovered (and mind controlled) had sold her the crumbling texts that had described it.

So with the temptation of a place she had not yet explored in her long life, she had struck out. The Asgardian goddess had ripped a hole that would allow herself to teleport into the dimension (with the use of an old artifact that she had long since forgotten she had had) and arrived in all her glory.

Green armor hugged her chest and arms, glinting with every movement she made. Long splint leather armor covered her waist down to her knees in strips that mimicked a skirt. Then lastly the well worn and time test boots wrapped around her legs and over her knees. To top it all off of course, was the matching emerald green tiara that framed her face. In one had she clutched the staff that she had enchanted for the sole purpose of opening and closing the dimensional rift behind her.

With confidence, she stepped out of the portal and closed it behind her with a wave of her hand a flicker of green energy. It was time to do what she loved most: discover new magic.


There's an abrupt sense of a /presence/ around Amora— it grinds against her senses like a hurricane, vast and powerful, almost beyond belief. That level of raw power was one she'd encountered only around the likes of Odin himself at the heart of Asgard, the rightful ruler of a realm at the very heart of his power.

There's a sense that Amora might be in way, way, over her head.

That power coalesces in a snapping crackle of energy, and the projection of a man's features appears overhead, against purple-clouded skies that crackle with energy in response to his awareness.

"WHO DARES TRESPASS INTO BELASCO'S REALM?" the visage demands. Blocky featured and cruel, the fellow's face is wide and his jaw lanternlike, a stringy pointed goatee tacked on as if to emphasize just how diabolical the man behind the mask must be.


Amora, for her part, hadn't cowered before the All-Father when her powers had been halved and she had been sent in exile to Midgard. She hadn't cowered beneath the of of Thunder's Wrath, nor that of his brother's. She had stolen magic from some of the most highly revered sorcerers in existence and had not cowered. So it was, perhaps to her detriment, that she did not cower in fear now. It wasn't to say that she didn't feel a spike of in her heart beat or didn't clutch the staff a little tighter, but beyond those simple signs it did not show.

Instead Amora smiled her usual sultry smile and made an exceedingly polite bow to the floating visage above her. She rose after a brief moment and regarded Belasco with a wave of her hand.

"Amora the Enchantress, your majesty." She addressed the floating head with the highest title, if he was the ruler so much the better, if he was not…? Well, flattery always worked well for her in the past.

"I come to most humbly request to see your realm—for long have I read of its grandeur and majestic power.."


"No. You've come to steal. They ALL come to STEAL." Lightning crackles around the image, fury rising in the demesne as the lord of the manor vents his frustration to the open air. A bit melodramatic, yes, but… the way the world sings in response to his anger is quite unnerving.

"Amora the Enchantress. Amora the /thief/," the image spits, purple light flaring around her. "You've a reputation on Earth, Amora. Or should I say— 'Asgardian'?" he leers. "Did you think me some conjuror of cheap tricks, that I would not recognize you straight off?"

There's an ugly stab of green light behind her, and her heightened senses would instantly detect an immense amount of power aimed at sealing off the crack in reality through which she'd arrived.

"I'm coming for you, Amora. Flee, little worm!" the visage cackles, taunting her. "Flee before the might of Belasco! It's been a long year since I had fresh prey to chase!"

An explosive bolt of lightning arcs down near Amora, shattering the ground into vaguely pinkish detritus that floats away— shattering the sand and rock with so much force that it reverts back to the primal essence of Limbo itself.


Amora's expression narrowed into one of irritation and rage as he called her on her lies. How dare he! As he called her on her reputation. How rude! Even more so how he utterly refused to allow someone as beautiful as her to even attempt to flirt with him. The gall! As if anyone or anything of /her/ beauty would dare visit this wretched little worm-hole of a dimension.

So anger pulled at her face as he commanded her to run and she threw up a green tinted shield in response to the building power she thought was aimed her way. Only for her to whirl around and witness the sealing of the crack that she had come through. A curse escaped her then and she glared up at the sky. She was still an Asgardian. And they didn't typically run or give up a fight so easily.

So with a wave of her hand she was engulfed in a flicker of green light and she started to teleport. She jumped from place to place, trying to buy herself enough time to cast an invisibility spell, she would throw an illusionary version of herself.


The cackling voice somehow follows Amora, though it grows weaker and more distant. It seems her talents for illusion are buying her a bit of safety, but there's a sense of a spotlight canvassing the world around her— that incredible, raw force of will seeming to burn away reality itself to suss out the Asgardian spellcaster.

Still, after nearly an hour of evasion, Amora's at least bought herself a bit of a reprieve, enough to assess her options for strategy. The demesne is not a large one— a metaphysical 'downhill' leads her attention to a soaring, improbable structure stabbing at the bloated purple sky, all black and iron, tines elevating skywards from towers. That's the heart of the demesne, right there, there's no doubt of it, and the place where her pursuer, this 'Belasco', is surely striking out from.

The rest of the demesne looks like a patchwork of ideas and memories half formed from the purplish matter of Limbo into reality— a forest abuts a desert, which blends into the small array of houses populated by specters and nearly translucent beings nearby. Demon-kin, or something like them, monsters of Limbo that adapt to the dreams of more powerful entities.


Amora had lived an exceedingly long life compared to many, and had spent it studying alongside the most powerful of spell-casters. There was one that she knew and was loathed to attempt had more ability than her, especially in the realm of dreams and half truths, than she could ever hope to. And he was, perhaps for the first time in centuries, not at her side to aid her out of this mess while she went seeking further magical knowledge. Not for the first time, Amora cursed the Trickster God and Prince of Lies for something out of his direct control.

Exhaustion from spell casting in an unfamiliar realm had her chest heaving as she hunkered down in the shadow of a tree that was half fallen. A few muttered words and she clad herself in an invisibility spell that she hoped would buy her a reprieve.

Her gaze swung to study the landscape around her, trying to gauge how far off the iron towered fortress was from her position—and whether or not the master of the realm had bothered with something as mundane as wards to stop teleporters from entering.


"You're not gonna get out of here alive," comes a voice.

A pair of bright blue eyes peers at Amora from the shadows of a broken building nearby. The light slides over high, almost elfin features, and a scrawny, dust-covered young waif of a girl with shockingly pale blonde hair appears, hunkered down on her hands and knees. She rocks her hips over her heels, squatting, forearms resting on her knees.

"He's everywhere, you know. Belasco. You can't outrun him, not forever. Not unless you know the Tricks," she says, her voice hoarse with misuse.


Amora startled at the sound of the voice and whirled around to face the creature that spoke in such a desolate plane. She blinked and started toward the waif with a halting step, her hands held at her sides in as least a threatening manner as possible. She tilted her head to the side, long hair spill over her shoulder as watched the waif with a wary gaze.

"I've lived through and escaped worse." She murmured, "Hel has a much more demanding mistress." She murmured softly.

"Who are you? And what are these 'tricks'?"


"I don't— Bel' calls me Minion," the tiny girl tells Amora. She is /so small/, and with the baggy clothing concealing the burgeoning suggestion of female curves, one might think her a child otherwise.

"Bel's the Master here. Don't even say his name, he can hear it sometimes," she hisses, low.

"Tricks are shortcuts. Bel doesn't know 'em, but I do. You've just got to know how they work and you can hide from him. You can't get out at the high ground," she says, pointing at the area in the distance Amora had entered through. "He'll be watching that. But if you're sneaky, you can get out the Low Way." She points at the tower.


Amora hitched an eyebrow upwards as she consider the girl's advice, her gaze moving over the bagging clothes and skinny frame. No one had ever accused Amora of being maternal. The fact that she had never once bore a child despite centuries of, ahem, various delights and pleasures; was just commonly accepted as part of her vain personality. Yet something about the wretch before her tugged at a faint memory. Something long since lost to her throughout the centuries. She frowned as she bent at her knees and leaned forward slightly.

"Well, how about I give you a name? You can have one of mine. I have dozens. No girl as pretty as you should be called 'minion' to a man that ugly." She murmured, offering a hand.

"In return, I would love for you to show me how to get through the Low Way. I'm sure you know it best." Her voice was soft, and kindly—a warm tone that begged for the listener to want to believe her to be a good, trustworthy person.


"Names are bad. Names can be tracked," the tiny blonde waif reminds Amora, her tone scathing. She doesn't shake Amora's hand. Cautious, this one, and unmoved by Amora's charms. This one, she's a survivor.

"Not gonna do it for free. Bel will skin me alive if I help you. You're strong. You gonna owe me one if I help you."

She rubs her wrist against her nose, smudging a bit of dirt over her lip.


Amora's smile was slow and sharp and all the things that warned prey off from predators. Yet it was tempered, a sort of 'ah' held her features in check as she consider the waif before her. She let her hand drop back to rest on her knee. "You're very smart, but you see, I am offering one of my names. I hold many. And if you use it, then it comes to me. Not you. No?" She paused for a long moment.

"My names are all very powerful, and a long time ago, many of them were used to trick wicked spirits and demons away from babes in arms. How would you like that?" She paused, tilting her head to the side again. She did not particularly wish to 'owe' anyone or anything a favor. Such open ended promises never ended well for the one who owed.


"Uh huh. I seen what happens with names." The tiny blonde waif starts backing up, moving towards the shadows. "He's looking for me right now. I have to go home. I can feel him looking. If you want to be on your own, go do that. Maybe you're strong enough he'll kill you instead of eating you, but…" She shivers, and not from the cold.

"He eats a lot of people. It's how he's so powerful," she whispers.


Amora's features darkened as she straightened and the waif backed away. She glanced over her shoulders, and waved another hand, layering another spell of concealment over herself and the girl. "Alright, fine." She snapped, irritation coloring her features as she turned to look back at the girl.

"I will owe you one, single, solitary favor." She muttered, hunkering down again.

"Show me or tell me more about how to get out of here. You said the Tricks? Why don't you leave too? Come with me?"


"Can't." The girl touches a pendant around her neck, a small thing made of tarnished gold that'd fetch a handsome price almost anywhere on Earth. Two ruddy, scarlet stones fill two of five empty spaces around the center.

"I can't leave yet. But I can help you." She looks around, then holds a hand up. "I'll be back in a few hours. Bel is yelling for me. Wait -here-," she says, jabbing a finger at the ground.

Then she turns into the shadows and vanishes.

A short while later, she returns, carrying a bundle of food in one hand. "Here. You need to eat. It's safe," she says, taking a big bite of the bread to show Amora. "We'll take the backroads to the Low Way, and then you can get yourself out of here. You'll only get one chance to run— if he senses you leaving, he'll lock the Low Way, too, and I don't know anywhere else you can use to leave."


Amora stared, her brows furrowing as she watched the waif and studied the golden pendant that hung about her neck. She pursed her lips together, struggling to sense if it bore any magic or even remember if she had seen its like before. Soon enough, however, her attention shifted back to consider the ground girl pointed at with a frown marring her lips.

The vanishment and return surprised her, as did the food. "I'm Asgardian. I don't need to eat for days without losing strength. I'll be fine." She murmured, and then paused.

"And I know well several realms where to eat the food is a life sentence." She added thoughtfully, "Save the food for yourself. I'll await you return.." She grumbled the last part.


It's a long few hours (as humans reckon time) until the waif returns, but she does, appearing just as silently as she departed.

"Bel's angry, but he's looking in the wrong place. C'mon. I found a Tricks to get to the Low Way— but we have to be careful. Don't get lost, and don't make any noise." Moving in that half-simian scamber, she leans around a low wall, then beckons Amora to follow her.

She opens a trapdoor under one of the abandoned buildings, which leads to a long, low tunnel that looks like it was hollowed out by some kind of crawling beast. "We'll take this Trick to the Empty Pool, then we will go to the Black Tower. That's where it'll be scariest, but he's not looking for you there." She hisses at Amora, holding her index finger aloft.

"One favor," she reminds the woman, hissing, and then scampers along fast and quiet.


Amora had passed the time as she always did when she was bored. With magic. The realm seemed to be soaked in it, if not entirely made up of magic in some form or another. She spent her time studying her surroundings, taking bits of the land and tucking it away to be studied later or added to a potion of some kind. Perhaps it might be useful, perhaps not, but it was something to pass the time. And by the time the waif returned, she had at least two dozen possible spells to cast when she returned home that might be of use.

Amora listened with care and nodded, keeping silent as she followed along and stepped with more care than she usual did to mute the heels of her boots upon the terrain. She was too tall, too large by most standards to follow in the same manner the girl did and found herself ducking to slip into the trap door. She paused at the hissed reminder that she owed a favor and nodded sharply before she followed.


The tiny waif is, at least, true to her word— she brings Amora along through a series of tunnels that rapidly grows so complex that it's very unlikely Amora could have found her way at all alone, let alone located some of the entrances. A niggling suspicion teases at Amora's mind— that the girl hasn't so much memorized a route as she is simply following her instincts towards the exit.

The waif holds a hand up to stall Amora, then quietly opens a grate up, and beckons the Enchantress out.

And there they are in, the bowels of the cathedral-style fort (presumably), the stone around them all black and lit by guttural torches.

"We're in the basement," she mutters to Amora. "Bel doesn't come down here. It's old, older than him even, I think. You should be able to leave, I just need to find… there's a hole, I can /smell/ it," she hisses, padding around what proves out to be a larder. "How did you magic your way into this realm?"


Amora followed along, her features darkening further in mistrust as she trailed through the series of tunnels and turns beneath the keep. Her gaze narrowed upon the waifish girl that lead her along, a hand trailing along by her side as she attempted to memorize the various twists and turns they had taken to get to the 'Low Way', as the girl dubbed it. As they came to a halt and the girl felt around, Amora leaned against the stones settling a hand on her hip while the other continued to hold the staff in hand. The weight, the age, of the keep pressed in around her briefly at the contact—the old magic that made up the place reacting to her, or at least her staff and she was caught between it for a brief moment. She pulled away, her features somewhat paler as she glanced back at the stone wall and back. The question took a long moment for her to process. Longer than it should have anyways.

"I used a few different enchantments that were already dormant on this staff, it was forged a long, long time ago in Svartalfheim, I believe. It was a relic taken from war." Most of Asgard’s treasures were. She had been /gifted/, not stolen, it by a suitor some few thousand years ago. She couldn't even remember his name now.

"It's a universal key, more or less.. If you know where you want to go. "


"You won't have long," the waif hisses, finding a dark corner and hiding in it. "I can distract him but he'll hear you if you are too slow." She watches Amora with those shockingly intense blue eyes, visible from the shadows.

"If you can't do this, it'd be better if I killed you myself. He's very mean and very powerful." She grips shadows in her fingers, the darkness coalescing into a blade. She doesn't sound like she wants to do it, despite her chill tone. "I've seen how long he can torture people for, until they give up all their secrets."


Amora bent, her eyes narrowed as she met the girl's chilling gaze with one that remained unflinching despite the promise of endless torture. Then she smiled, a razor's edge as she shrugged and tossed her hair back. "Darling, I've no intention of getting caught. And I have lived far too long to give up my secrets to an ugly bastard like him." She paused and considered again.

"Tell me when I might start to open the portal and leave." Her voice was firm and set, determined as she stood tall and with a confidence that she perhaps didn't wholly feel.


"You'll know when. One favor," the girl says, again, and then she slips out the door on silent, dirty bare feet.

Ten minutes later, there's an explosion of noise and fury, and Belasco's voice roars in raging protest. "HOW DID SHE GET PAST YOU?" The 'presence' of the mighty ruler of this realm echoes across reality as his awareness flings itself away from the tower, the mighty wizard's focus momentarily displaced as he follows whatever trail Illyana left for him to follow. Seems she's good to her word after all.


Amora nodded again "One favor, no more, no less." She agreed, exasperated perhaps or simply exhausted and wishing to escape. When the dirty vagabond like girl left again Amora stood at the ready. She strained to listen to any sounds of guards, of Belasco's booming voice or some other devilment to appear. Yet as time passed and none did, Amora breathed only somewhat easier. She closed her eyes, projecting her mind to the halls around her to explore and learn more while she waited.

The explosion jarred her back into her own form once more and she moved with the sharp reflexes of her race. The spellwork was intricate, but she was ready and with a few hand gestures, an incantation and a flare of her own magic—the portal snapped into existence as she slashed forward with the staff.

It couldn't have taken more than a few minutes but she could feel the reaction around her immediately regardless. The thunderous pressure of magical intent that focused her way. The malevolent aura that threatened to crush her under foot… She jumped into the light of the portal without a second thought.

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