1963-09-10 - Who Let Frost Giants into Limbo?
Summary: Illyana discovers the scions of Jotuur in Limbo.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
rory strange illyana 

"Quick errand. Need milk from shop, and need to stop in at home."

Those had been Illyana's /exact words/ and it's possible that now, in this hellish, strange land of purple and smoke, Rory might be regretting having volunteered to 'tag along' with the little blonde Queen of Limbo. If there was any doubt about her sorcerous abilities, it'd been dismissed when Illyana had zapped them to the corner market to get a half-gallon of milk (at least she's teleporting herself to somewhere out-of-sight), but then, milk in hand, she'd brought herself and Rory to Limbo to check on 'something'.

Not five minutes later, things had erupted into a battle royale when the 'something' had turned out to be an incursion of frost giants from Jotunheim clamoring at what Illyana professed were the borders of her strange, purple-hazed home.

She was quite adamant about the border being a real thing, though it's not as if there were markers or guards posted. It all looked like the same oddly grassy expanse of decidedly non-Earthy vegetation.

Illyana's soulsword snaps around in vicious circles, leaving withered Jotuun flesh where it passes as she saps the living magic that sustains those mighty beasts from them. She's taken a few minor wounds but fights with an unbridled ferocity, against a solid score of the Jotuun— an army, despite their small numbers.

"Rory! Are you still alive?" she shouts over her shoulder, not taking her eyes off the biggun with a mace trying his best to crush her into pulp.


When Illyana had said, 'I need to stop in at home', Rory had thought that she was going to magic them to Russia, which would have been a grand adventure in the young Scotsman's mind. So, he eagerly accompanied the blonde girl on the jaunt out of the Xavier school, happy to have someone to stroll around with.

This, though…this was *not* Russia.

For the frist few moments, Rory is stiffened in fear as the words of Reverend Craig ring through his mind, describing the landscape and torments to be found in Hell, and how Rory was bound for that fate becasue he was a wicked child. Then, of course, Rory was a demon from Hell when his mutant powers manifested. Therefore, Illy must have taken Rory to Hell, where he belongs.

And then, the giants came.

The next thing Rory knew, Illyana had summoned this wicked looking sword, flinging the jug of milk at him. Surprisingly, Rory gatches the jug and gapes as Illy starts fighting the giants, like Jack of the Tales. But there's a lot of the creatures and only one of Illy. And before he realizes it, Rory has set down the jug of milk and changed into his wolf form, running into the thick of things to harry the giants with nips at their heels.


ROLL: Rosemarie +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 68


"Not a moment's peace! She can't grant me one damned moment of peace!"

This isn't entirely true - it's been a while since Dr. Strange has had to chase down his erstwhile apprentice - but with the goings-on as of late involving star-crossed Asgardians and a demonic interloper around Greenwich Village, he has little patience for shenanigans. He's checked the Institute and all that he was given was that Illyana and Rory had gone to pick up milk.

Milk. Like he was born yesterday.

He's managed to follow her trail to the corner market and startled a good number of people in the process. A man wearing evening-blue battle leathers and a grandiose crimson Cloak isn't something that stalks into the store every day demanding after a short blonde waif and a shy young man. The clerk at the counter didn't get the finish her thought - he recognizes the nearby magical signature of Illyana's opening a gateway into Limbo now, there just around the corner, and with a dismissive huff, he stomps out of the store once again.

It takes him but a moment of concentrated effort and a push of will and the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth has opened a crackling rift into Limbo. He steps through it, chest puffed and mouth ready to deliver a scathing reprimand about wasting his time and then -

- he lets it out in an exasperated sigh that turns into a groan of frustration. Limbo has been invaded /AGAIN/ by some sort of giant and there she is, wielding the Soulsword and hacking into the blue-skinned interlopers. Strange's eyes pick out a moderately-large canine-like creature harrying the heels of the giant currently sparring with his apprentice and he narrows them. Another mystery. Joy.

With a whispered Word, his Cloak's magic kicks into play and he begins running towards the battle. Within a handful of steps, he's flying along briskly, his mouth already forming the Word for a pyrokinetic beam of energy. He isn't certain if either Illyana or the wolf has noticed his arrival, but regardless, his attack, preceded by a roar of "PYROTRABEM!", slices into a blue-skinned giant bearing down on his apprentice with ice-spiked club held high. The creature lets out a pained cry as the beam drills a neat hole in its meaty thigh and collapses to one knee, its cudgel dropped and rolling away from its grasp.


Illyana doesn't miss a beat— Strange's spell takes the creature in the thigh, and with a shout Illyana dances sideways and snaps her blade in a vicious crescent arc. She's reinforcing the Soulsword, or Limbo is allowing her to use it more violently, because the blade neatly decapitates the Jotuun with little fanfare beyond a garish flash of amethyst light, the blade growing incrementally brighter and the faintest outline of a glowing white rune appearing near the crossguard.

She's fighting with a will to survive and while she's a bit low on style, Illyana certainly has one thing going for her— she's a scrapper. She hacks, slashes and maims with little regard for technique beyond being simply an elemental, brutal bladefighter, using only the most essential and efficient of techniques.

Needless to say, she's extremely effective.

A Jotuun tries to grab a rock to hurl at her but the Sorceress Supreme of Limbo narrows her eyes at him, and where gravity wasn't before, it suddenly is now— the Jotuun is crushed like a bug beneath a boulder that suddenly outweighs him by a factor of 10,000.

"Strange! Hoh! More of these giants— they reek of the cold!" Illyana shouts at him. She gestures curtly at the giant chasing Rory and the earth rises up to tear it like chewing, hungry teeth, and then she stomps her foot and a shockwave ripples the ground with enough force to knock the dozen or so remaining Jotuun to the ground like Skittles.


Rory yipes as the wave knocks over the Jotun that's trying to squish him, and he nimbly dances out of the way. He gives Illy a lupine stare that roughly translates to 'watch it!' before going back to harry the remaining Jotun. He growls and snaps at one of them who's trying to hit him with a club, then dances away at the last moment, causing the club to come smashing down on another Jotun's foot. A massive howl of pain issues forth, and the two Jotun start fighting each other, a fight that's stopped with Illyana's shockwave knocking them both to the ground.


Strange hovers now above Illyana, slightly back and to her right, his position stating subtly that this is her battle first and foremost, and he is there for aid, not to steal her thunder. His bare hands, with their webbing of scars and discolorations, still shimmer with an aura of heat. The same desert mirage-like distortion gloves them and the radiance is enough to send the few uncontrolled strands of hair on his forehead to wafting gently as if a breeze surrounds him.

He stares hard at the scattered and grounded giants, all of which lie stunned and upended. Some have collapsed where they fell, broken, battered, or bloodied unto death. Their ichor is blackish in the garish ambient light of Limbo. These are not of Muspulheim, no - the giant of Mulspul are of fire's ilk, reddish and bronzed and smelling of burnt meat. He remembers Illyana's shout and slowly inhales as he wills a breath of air from over the battlefield to brush past him. There are strands of much cooler temperature throughout it and these carry the flat tang of winter-night, of frozen water and shivering shadows. No fire giants, these - perhaps ice, if his sense do not lie.

"Do you…" and then he laughs with knowing and cold humor. Of course Illyana won't want to parley. He's learned well enough that his apprentice takes incursions in deep offense and no doubt the giants would up all dead in the end.

He must put some space between him and the young ones. Now, hovering higher still, he can see the entirety of the battlefield and the scattered Jotuns. Raising both hands, Strange looks up into the starless void of Limbo's sky and commits to the spell in his mind. The atmosphere of the place, reeking of sulfur, becomes charged and tastes of energized ions. Not just about his hands now, but around his entire person, the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth gathers Mystical might to him. His Cloak wreathes out, catching invisible drafts, and seeming to frame him. His eyes white-out with the conduction of the eldritch gathering. The giants have but a moment to observe how the space above them fractures in zig-zags of white-blue light. Shrieking bolts of lightning rip down into them, a blinding show of advanced magic that guarantees no survivors, and Strange's Word is drowned in the echoing sounds of the convulsion of both target and Limbo around the site. His hair is blown back by the shockwave from the spell's impact and then, hovering there, Strange slowly lowers his hands, mouth agape and gasping for air as the excess energy leaves his body. He blinks away the white of the spell and looks down at Illyana and the wolf. "That'll do…don't you think?" he asks, laughing faintly. He feels much less frustrated now.


"Da. Will do nicely," Illyana agrees, surveying the carnage and nodding once, in approval. She flicks a wrist negligently, tossing her Soulsword away— the blade vanishes into a crackling of amethyst sparkles that loiter in afterimages against the retina.

"Your timing is good," she tells Strange, looking around the battlefield— weirdly dainty, barefoot and wearing a simple pale yellow dress now scorched and stained by ichor. She pokes at corpses with her toes, finding one that's still mostly alive. "Leave this one— somone should send word to their home to stop trying to shortcut through Limbo," she orders the other two.

"So. Who are /these/ giants?" she asks of Strange, making no introductions regarding the flying man and the giant, loping brown wolf that had been such an efficient ally in the fight.


The display of magical might from Doctor Strange causes Rory to stop and stare in fear and amazement. He can't speak while a wolf, but the expresison on his face as he slowly changes back to his human form speaks volumes. He backs away quickly from the fallen giants….only to bump into Illy. Which causes him to wheel around and start backing away from Illy and Strange, looking terrified. Which brings him closer to the dead giants…After a few back and forths, Rory eventually finds a middle zone between the mages and the giants that he feels comfortable inhabiting.


The good Doctor wears an expression of tired concern as he brings himself back down to Limbo's surface. His knees buckle slightly once he wills his Cloak back to stoic semi-sentience, but he seems no worse for wear. Brushing his hands off on his vest (unnecessary but a long-standing habit), he frowns out at the expanse of dead Jotun giants. That one remains alive amazes him. It tells him that Limbo stymied his powers…and now that he considers it fully, it's left an awful taint in his aura. Like the dregs at the bottom of a wine glass, only smoky, sulfurous, and noticeably malevolent.

Striding over to Illyana and the mostly-dead Jotun, he can't help but feel a pang of pity deep within his heart. The medical professional in him would rather see the thing dead than suffering. He grimaces and groans behind his teeth as he rolls his head to one side; the lingering Limbo touch has left him with some kinks after that whopper of a spell.

"You are right in that they smell of ice, so my guess would be Ice Giants at the very least. It wouldn't stretch the imagination far that Muspulheim and its fiery denizens have an icy counterpart. It has been some time since I read up on my World Tree, but the place is called…it's called…" and he snaps his fingers while his gaze roams idly and he tries to remember. The thought is momentarily derailed when his eyes land on the wolf - wait, not wolf, young man?! - and one dark slash of a brow rises high. Then another memory catches up to the Sorcerer and he lets out a slow and thoughtful 'ah' of satisfaction.

"Mister Sinclair, if I'm remembering correctly," Strange says with a small quirk of a smile. "Of all of Illyana's compatriots, I least expected you here." No judgment value, just honest truth. "Oh, and the world would be called Jotunheim," he adds back to Illyana with a final snap of his fingers.


Illyana almost replies, but instead pauses and cocks a brow at Rory with something like bemusement on her features— it's a bizarre tableu, the slender blonde woman spattered with giant gore and a few blooming, fresh bruises, and wearing street clothes still.

"What is problem?" she demands of Rory, in a rather prefunctory manner. "Are no more giants… are you hungry? Stomach troubles?" she inquires, badly missing the mark as she tries to suss out Rory's discomfort.


For a bit, Rory looks slightly panicked as Illy adresses him. "I…ummmm…." He swallows hard and manages a smaile. "I've just….never fought a giant before, yeah?" He laughs, although a bit nervously, obvious to some that he's trying to put on a brave front. Rory turns to Doctor Strange, finding some relief in the calm tone of the mage. "Aye, sir," he says to the man with a nod. "From th' Xavier school." He manages to turn back to look at Illyana, smiling with tight lips. "So…can we pelase get back to th' School?"


"You did quite well," Strange tells the young man. "You'll have to come over for tea sometime. I'd love to know about your ability to change states. It must not be magical or I'd sense it from here." He tilts his head to one side, scanning Rory over with the coolly intellectual and utterly emotionally-disconnected look he reserves most of the time for books and the after-effects of his apprentice's…shenanigans.

Glancing over at Illyana, her mentor winces again as the muscles at the base of one side of his neck seem to catch. "Perhaps we had better return back to Earth in order to discuss these events further." And by 'perhaps', he implies 'without a doubt'. Without waiting for her answer, he walks a few feet away, at a midpoint between her and Rory, and gestures open a gateway. The view it provides is of the lush green lawn of the Institute, Strange's normal arrival point, and he crosses his arms as he stands by it, clearly impatient to be gone from Limbo.


Illyana gives Strange a /look/, but Rory's plaintive request seems to spur her to action. She grips Rory's bicep, a bit possessively, and stamps a heel on the ground to summon her stepping-stone— yellow light flaring into life around them. She takes two steps, dragging Rory along by main force if necessary, and Limbo shimmers away and resolves into the emerald lawn of Xavier's Insitute for Higher Learning.

"You fight well," Illyana praises Rory. "The Jotuun are formidable and you did not fail me. I am glad you were there," she says, flashing a brilliant and wholly irrepressible bright smile at him.


Rory doesn't resist Illyana as she takes him through a Stepping Stone. He does look immensely relieved when he finds himself back on the school grounds again, though. And then, Illy congratualtes him and is smiling at him. Actually smiling. And Rory doesn't notice the gore from the battle covering her; all he sees is a cute girl smiling at him. "Ummmm…." Rory blushes and looks away. "I just…I tried to not get in th' way. You an' Doctor Strange did all the real fightin'."


Of course his apprentice deigns to use her own powers. He should have known: they were in Limbo and with one of her friends. Strange watches her and Rory seems to dissolve into the sulfurous air of Limbo before his eyes and sighs. He turns and walks through his gate with a resigned air of patience.

It takes but a twist of his wrist to close the gate behind him and he's left standing in the shade of one of the beautiful old trees on the grounds of the Institute. The sunlight of late afternoon dapples and plays across his form as he leans against the trunk and watches the distant pair of Illyana and Rory. He's not stupid, not in the least, and he does wonder to himself about the types of relationships his apprentice is developing. He was once young and impetuous, full of hormones and developing an eye for a type of curves in the female half of things. Grinding at the stiff muscles at the base of his shoulder with a tense hand, the good Doctor tries to act with only distant interest and decides not to distort the air and listen in on their conversation. He's far enough away that they shouldn't feel spied-upon.


"Are you feeling unwell? You are turning pink," Illyana informs Rory, squinting at him. She reaches up and rubs her thumb against his cheekbone without asking permission, as if trying to see if she can scrub the slow flush away.

She glances over at Strange brooding over by the gates, and oblivious as she is to Rory's blush, she doesn't seem aware that her ears are pinking a little.

"Yes, but I am great warrior in Limbo," Illyana says, forcing her attention back to Rory. "I've killed thousands with my own hands. Much practice with demons," she boasts cheerily. "You'll get the hang of it! Some magical weaponry would help, though," she says, tapping her chin. "You are strong, but giants are quite sturdy, it seems."


There's a moment when Illyana starts rubbing Rory's cheek that he looks like a rabbit cornered by a wolf. It's a look he's fmailiar with, just not on the rabbit's side. And then, he scrambles away like her touch gave him an electric shock, and he looks a bit panicked again. His heart is pounding and he's short of breath. Rory stares at Illyana for a bit, then forces himself to get back to being calm. "Well," he says, his mouth unexplicably dry. "I dinnae know how good a fighter I am. But…I like ta think that I'll fight well to help a friend." And he gives her a shy smile before looking down and finding the ground rather interesting.


"Well, did not run or lose control of bladder, so— well done," Illyana applauds Rory, clapping his arm with a brisk reassurance that's perhaps lacking a more gentle nuance he might be craving.

Ahh, youth.

"Come, I am alweays hungry after a fight, and you must be, too," Illyana says, taking some pride in her more 'experienced' role as a leader on the field. She starts to stride towards the kitchen, still slathered in gore and dust.

Then she blinks, peering at Rory.

"Where's the milk?"


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License