1963-10-17 - Draugr and Dreams
Summary: Amora tries to track down Strange and has an interesting conversation at the front of his home.
Related: The Sorcerer and the Bride
Theme Song: None
amora strange 

(( NOTE: Scene occurs after Strange speaks with Marcus in time-line. ))

Turns out that one doesn't just walk into vampire territory.

One had better walk in loaded for bear of the blood-sucking kind.

A cup of tea and a healing spell later, the good doctor looks slightly better, but certainly nothing like his usual self. He lingers before the mirror in the downstairs bathroom off the foyer, stooping over the sink as he presses the cold rag to the clotting bite marks on his throat. They've healed, but not entirely, not like a normal wound. Somehow, they resist his magics.

Something foreign surges in his blood. Everything hurts like the flu.

Strange glances up towards the master bedroom, but the movement makes him hiss and tuck his chin in order to take strain from the wounds. No…he won't go into there, not looking like this.

He moves slowly back into the living room, holding the not-quite-white rag to his neck, and collapses into his chair by the fire. The crimson Cloak wraps itself around him tightly as he shivers. Fever is beginning to burn in him.


Amora had been quiet all things considered, taking up a mortal guise and playing at a /job/ of all things in New York as a secretary to various corporate powers that be. Yet now, now, she had plans and the problem with those plans is that it required she find Illyana—who was not so easy to track down. So it was that Amora started where she knew someone kept tabs on the young woman; her master, Doctor Strange.

Besides the fact that it would be considered rude to try to teleport beyond another magic user's door, Amora simply couldn't do it given her current state anyways. So she played polite, a gentle knock on the entryway to the Sanctum as she stepped back and folded her hands before her.

Her guise was unlike any he'd have seen her in. Her long golden hair was pulled back into a severe bun at the base of her neck, tinted glasses perched on her nose in little half-moons. Her manner of dress had changed as well subtly, now she wore a white button up shirt and green velvet blazer with black pencil skirt and matching heels. Over shoulder, she slung a purse of black leather that smelled strongly of foreign magic.

And even stranger still, was the pink butterfly charm that sat clipped to her hair; which to his eyes screamed of magic. She was an odd tanglement of other magics not her own. Her own still bound just as tightly as it had been previously.


When it rains, it pours. Strange's eyes slowly open and roll up towards the ceiling. There's a ragged whisper of some sort of prayer for sanity before he closes them once again.

The silvery wisps of wards flicker over to him and then convey his words to the closed doors of the Sanctum. They manage an exact imitation of his current voice, raspy and full of weariness:

"I'm unavailable currently, please come back another time." The wards, ever faithful to their master, linger on the other side of the door and wait to collect and report the visitor's response back to the flu-stricken Sorcerer.


If Amora could feel irritation or annoyance, perhaps that would've flashed over her features, but she could not. So she simply remained standing as she had previously, features still a blank canvas, lacking any emotion. Even as she shifted her grip on her leather purse strap and crossed her arms. "Doctor Strange, I know you are there. I would like to speak with you regarding your apprentice. I hardly have to say it, but it's me, Amora."

Her green eyes flickered over the door in question, raising a hand to run along the seams and edges, inspecting the wardings work and the magic therein without actually testing it.


The wards, after returning Amora's probing with the subtlest of static shocks — a gentle warning, as gentle as her inspecting — flit back to their master with her response. He recognizes the cadence well enough. A slow sigh escapes him followed by a cough and a grimace.

Strange's voice issues from behind the doors once more, imparted by the argent-laced sentience: "Lady Amora, forgive me, but I am — " The spell even communicates the ragged cough that interrupted him during its recording. " — not feeling well. Unless Illyana did something unusual or unfortunate, I ask that you visit another day."


A golden brow hooked upwards and Amora stepped back as she eyed the wards with a faint smirk pulling at her lips. She shifted her weight upon her toes, a hand settling on her hip. "Doctor, let me in. If you are not well, then let me tend to you so I might speak my piece and leave. Then I shall trouble you no more and you might be better for it. I admit, I am little in the ways of healings, but I may know of things you do not." She murmured softly, tilting her head to the side as she frowned faintly at the door.

"Either way, 'tis rude indeed to leave a woman outside on your porch."


A long and soft groan that Strange belatedly tells the wards not to convey after hearing her words. Dammit.

The front doors open slowly and Strange blinks blearily at the woman standing on his doorstep. He looks like he's been ridden hard and put away wet - and not in a good way. Sweat clings to his temples, slicking hair to his ears. The battle-leathers still show holes through to his skin, pin-pricked by vampiric talons. Most tellingly, the white rag is not longer white where he presses it against the left side of his neck.

Red. Bright-red with clotting blood.

"Lady Amora, I do not have t — " The T is lost in another phlegmy cough. The vampire venom is running rampant in his system. "…time," he finally whispers, leaning heavily on the Sanctum's doorframe. "Time for you right now. Please, leave me be." He offers no invitation over the threshold of the Sanctum. The wards hover defensively behind his shoulders. If Amora is willing to talk on the doorstep, he has a little bit of time for her.


The sight of him as the door opens has her leaning a step back. Then quick as can be she is moving forward on her toes and reaching up a delicate hand toward the bloodied rag, she pauses, and halts the motion; thinking better of it. "May I?" She inhales a deep breath, exhaling it as a frown pulls at her lips.

"You reek of aptrgangr, of grave dirt and again-walkers. Did you run into one at the place where the veils between the worlds are weak or someplace else? It's mark.." Her eyes narrow faintly as she shifts without touching him to try to see better.


"Please…don't," Strange breathes, leaning away from her halted touch even as her fingers remain respectfully on the other side of the threshold. He rests his forehead against the dark wood of the door as he listens, his eyes half-lidded and staring at some point diagonally off and beyond her pencil skirt.

"Hell's Kitchen," he finally offers. "Vampires. Curiosity…didn't quite kill the cat." Another set of coughs that leaves him wincing; his pulse pounds visibly in the untouched lines of his neck above the white cloth.

"Though it hurts like hell…" And he lifts up the washcloth to check on the amount of blood soaked into it. It reveals the torn edges of the bite, clearly not a quick in-and-out like the stab of a knife. It looks more like force ripped the biter from his person - and it did, unfortunately. The blowback from his own counter-attack had taken the Bride by complete surprise, but also made her disengage in a panic. Hence, the rended edging. It's nearly clotted now; only little droplet continue to well up here and there.


Amora's brows furrow in concentration, but she lowers her hand to her side as she watches him. "Tis a foul thing, the bite of a draugr, this.. yes, I have heard of the modern mortal's word for the again-walkers, the 'vampires'. They are a dangerous creature and testy sort for those that attempt to command them. Have you a means to prevent their bite from taking root?" She tilted her head to the side, pushing the half moon glasses further up her nose to look through them better.

Magic glints in her eyes as she took the time to inspect the ragged punctures as he lifted up the rag. "I am not very skilled as the healers in Asgard, but I am very familiar with the spells that are twined around the dead and those that return for a second death. Was this one hel-blar, or nar-folr?" She paused and realized that the words hadn't translated, too old and lacking a distinct modern English variant.

"I mean, the color.. was it death-blue or maroon… or corpse-pale? It matters a good deal in the manner of what sort it was.."


"The pale sort," he murmurs, pushing the rag back against the oozing wound. Pale vampires, pale Sorcerer. He's looking rather green around the gills too now. "I think I may just need to sleep most of the initial — " Broken cough. " — initial tiredness off. I was able to wound the creature, probably to the death. It took…a lot out of me."

His eyes flutter shut as Strange continues leaning on the door. The wards remain nearby, waiting to shut out the visitor as needed. The crimson Cloak attempts to wrap closely around him as he shivers from the heat in his blood. If it weren't for the trembling of his supporting bent knee, he would almost look like he fell asleep upright.


A sigh pulls from Amora's lips as she shakes her head, "Well the goodness is that it is less likely to walk into your dreams at least. A small favor. Though I know not enough about these more modern variants if indeed it is a difference. Come, let me aid you to your bed. I swear to make no unwanted advances, nor to loot through your things like some thief in the night. I shall not take advantage of you nor your home."

She held up her hands toward him, the nails perfectly manicured and green as always. Some things never change.

"If you're unsure if the creature has met its second death, you need the runes for protection. Such things can find you again if they yet walk Midgard. Perhaps in your sleep a cat which will increase in weight upon your chest, or bid you come to its howe in the night.. They shant leave you alone if they've a taste of your life."


A palm upheld towards her. "Thank you, Lady Amora…but I will make it on my own to m — " Coughing wheeze. " — my own bed."

His eyes open and rest on her, heavy-lidded, and a tired smile curves his lips. "Have you no faith in the p — " Poor guy can't complete a sentence. " — power of the Sorcerer Supreme? If anything attempts to cross these wards, they will meet the raw power of the ley lines." It's enough wattage to fry a dragon — and that's just the initial jolt. It doesn't even take into account the enchantments interwoven with all of the dexterity and wiles of the master of the mansion.

"I'm fairly certain that it's dead. I summoned sunlight and shoved the spell into her face." Another cough that leaves him momentarily doubled-over. He rises slowly and sighs with equal lack of speed. "However, if you suggest it, I will delve into my library and find a few more anti-undead charms to add to the wards."


Amora's brows shoot upwards as she lets him bow over in a coughing fit. Her lips pressed into a line of clear disbelief as she eyes the sorcerer; then she's reaching forward to clasp his hands with both of her own. "If it was a being of power before its second life, such as the sorcerer Mithothyn of Saxo Grammaticus, then you need be more wary of its power with the use of your blood in its veins. If does walk still, it can use your blood to breach such wardings if it had any training prior when it truly lived." She offered softly, her voice blank and still as empty as before.

"Come, you're in a pathetic state. Allow me to aid you in this manner. I will carve for you a charm to prevent such a thing, and keep the foul ills it pressed upon you from further harm. If you will but let me. You are chill to the touch, as a sickness of the blood."


"Lady Amora, stop." Despite the raspy consonants, Strange means business. He doesn't want the wards to attack her. He's tired, just dizzy enough that the guardian spells are in a hyper-defensive state. "Don't cross the threshold. I don't w-want — " Cooooouuuugh, wheeze. " — want to be in Asgardian Court again explaining why you were attacked by my ley lines."

He retreats a step back into the shadows of the Sanctum, but doesn't shut the door. He won't just yet, not until he's certain that she won't stand there banging on the wooden barrier insistently. "I will be fine, I assure you. Do you, or do you not, have any suggestions for me?"

Last chance for her. He's nearing the end of his patience. The feeling of cold sweat between his shoulderblades isn't comfortable either.


Amora drops her hands, and crosses them over her chest. "You are a stubborn man, you should not be alone at this time until you are certain the sickness as passed. Even if your wards hold against the return-walkers, they can slip through stone and to your dreams. They can call you from your sleep, rouse you from your bed and make you walk to their calls. What good are your wards if they sing you sweetly through your dreams to your droom?" She hitched a golden brow upwards and then pointed toward him.

"I warn thee, sorcerer supreme of Midgard or no, if they tainted your blood and walk still on the world again, you may yet dance to their tunes. I know the rune stones to carve for a safe slumber. I can sit up and keep watch if they bid you leave your bed or attack your dreams. I know not their purpose, but all return-walkers desire one thing."

Her voice drops to a whisper and she lowers her glasses, letting her empty green eyed stare meet him. "They desire life, they hold a greed unmatched by any other for what they lost. They will not stop if they think they have a hold on your blood. You should not be alone lest you wish to be their puppet."


Lady Luck may have been fickle in this last run-in with the Bride, but she shone a few days earlier.

The revelation that sleepwalking could draw him from the Sanctum is an unsettling one. It shows in how his eyes linger on her, never averting as he listens to her warnings. Strange is too exhausted to convey much else than a shrug once she's done.

Scratch that, a woozy sort of smile. "I'm not alone, Lady Amora, have no fear." There's a certain delight in telling her that. "But you bring up a good point. I'll have to search through the l-l-l-" Hack-hack-hack. So close that time. Almost finished a word. " — library for wards against sleepwalking, in case I am left to my own devices." He doubts it, but…better safe than sorry. Paranoia has kept him alive in the past.

The moonlight shining in from outside glistens on his dark hair, wetted with fever-sweat, as he grants her a nod. "Thank you for your suggestions. They are d-duuuuly noted," he grates out, suppressing the cough.


If Amora could be irritated, it would have shown on her features, but she could not though the memory that she should be flickered briefly on her expression. Instead she sighed, and dug into her purse and drew forth a tiny grey stone. "Carve in the runes: thurs, ur, reith, ur, tyr, and yr. Forward and backward. Place this under your pillow."

She held the stone out to him, "Keep someone near your bed, or in it if possible." She offered dryly. "Someone that can rouse you from a spell." She added hooking a brow upwards.

"I could do more but you are a troublesome man who cannot accept an offer of aid when truly given."


Strange takes the stone from her with a trembling hand and hold it up for the guardian spells to inspect. They swirl around it and report that there's nothing odd about it other than it's…a rock.

Those wards.

"Thurs, ur, reith, ur, tyr, yr," he repeats back to her raspily. "I will do so, Lady Amora. Thank you." A smirk and suppressed cough is his initial retort to her feelings on his personality. "I have been told that I have a s-st-stubborn streak," the good doctor murmurs. Cough successfully repressed. "I should be well in a few days. See me again and we can discuss Illyana."

With that, the Sorcerer Supreme closes the door quietly after granting her a final polite nod.

From beyond, the wards convey with some tartness, "And have no fear — she could rouse me from the dead."

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