1963-10-25 - Post-War Teatime
Summary: Just how do you defeat Morgan le Fay? Merlin and Wanda have some thoughts over tea on the ceiling.
Related: War Council of the Wizards
Theme Song: Gold On The Ceiling - The Black Keys
wanda merlin 

It's the day after the War Council and Merlin has slept not a wink. No sleep is something he's gotten used to over the years. He's had many sleepless nights in his over one thousand years. Today, his sleeplessness has brought him to the dining room, where he sits at the table, which he's made round, with a pot of tea and a cup, already filled.

As he sips on his tea, it's obvious that the wheels are turning in his mind. He sighs as he sets the cup down. "No, no. That shan't work. She knows my giant flying bird illusion. It's one of the first ones I taught her!" He murmurs to himself. "I must get imaginative. It can't be that hard. I used to use my imagination all the time! Dinosaurs, maybe? I could conjure some, I suppose. That would keep her distracted."


The War Council did not permit the newest addition to the Sanctum's growing membership of roommates. A fortifying tea suitable for banishing weariness in the dark hours of the night gives her reprieve. The better: no one wants a dreamer of her calibre weaving nightmares, waking up in a cold sweat while the sentient wards shriek alarm in rising voices. Her transparent terror would be a terrible thing, because her arts aren't entirely mystical or dark.

It would be suitable to wear something comfortable, a long fluffy terrycloth robe perhaps. She instead wanders through the hallways, touching nothing, knowing better than to disturb anything under the bell jars in suspended reality.

Wanda is wearing her leather coat, barefooted, which gives her an odd vulnerability. Her state is distracted, cloistered, and it fits how silent the girl who declared she wasn't a general was at the table of mighty sorts and smaller ones.


Taking off his pointy hat, which he seems to like to wear even inside the house, Merlin reaches deep inside and pulls out a crystal ball. "Hmm. Where did your little pedestal go, dear round diviner?" The crystal ball gives him a quick image of a crystal cave and he sighs. "Of course I left it there." He place his hat on the table and snaps his fingers. On the table before him appears a little pedestal with three claw feet. He places the crystal ball on it, and it fits perfectly. Smoothing his robes, he stares at the Crystal Ball.

"I suppose you should show me the Park." It shows him a small park and he frowns. "No, no, no. The one here in New York City. With the Hell…" He sighs. "Nevermind. Show me the Hidden People in Iceland. They always make me happy."


"Why do you wish to see the park?" A question that lands from her is quiet, curling around the mind like a cat rubbing up against someone's ankles in soft, accented Eastern European uplifts. Her hands are buried in the pockets of her coat, and she strives to keep back from the crystal ball rather than interrupting whatever scrying that Merlin performs. Wanda's face is drawn, expression hardened into something of a polite mask. "I can leave, if I will interrupt your work."

Her manner is polite, suggesting she might go plodding up the stairs and off to whatever room the sanctum set aside for her. Possibly one that lies deep in the cellars, hidden away around a corner past the year's supplies of weird food, for sorcerers supreme notoriously lack good or human diets.


Merlin says, "Hmm?" Merlin glances up from the ball for but a moment before he looks back at it. There's a pause before he looks back at Wanda and he waves her over. "Please, join me, child." He nods toward one of the seats at the table. "You're not interrupting a thing. And you might even get to glimpse an elusive people that almost nobody gets to see…tea?" He wavess his hand toward the table and another cup appears.

"I just wanted to see the progression of the Hellmouth. But, like all things magical that I own, the crystal ball occasionally like to toy with me. 'Tis a silly thing." He speaks softly, shaking his head. "But perhaps I've thought too much on the manner." He chuckles softly. "What brings you here at this hour? Hmm?"


Child; the term makes her bristle slightly, eyes narrowed a fraction. Like youth in every decade of every human generation, reminders from an antiquity preserved from another age doesn't always go over well. Still, she has manners enough to sit without complaint, fluffing her jacket out behind her. "The Hellmouth grew in a longer rift. Wider does not mean much. More comes out under the darkness that covers it." Her language is somewhat simpler and direct than she would prefer. Limits on her familiarity with English.

Merlin's questions are met with a solid, direct look as she rests her chin upon the bridge of her hands. Her elbows fit on the table easily. "Thank you." The tea has not been forgotten, even as she considers his question. "My mind will not be silent."


"Don't be offended, young one." Yes, Merlin can tell he's hit a sore spot. "Most everyone looks like a child to me." He explains. "But, that will happen when you're over a thousand years old…and human." He chuckles again. "Yes, the Hellmouth grew. I was hoping to keep an eye on the goings on at the park, but I think that the happenings shall have to wait for a moment. Especially since I doubt even my crystal ball could penetrate the darkness."

"My mind has decided to not be silent either. I've gotten rather accustomed to it over the generations." He pauses for a moment before asking, "Would you like to have our tea closer to the ceiling? I've found, at least for myself, that having tea closer to the ceiling can occasionally help one's mind. I do not know why."


Hands taking the cup to her lips, Wanda gives a small nod. She blows across the surface to ensure it will not melt off her tongue, then takes a small sip. "The darkness blocks divination? Maybe a glowing light set there, to be used as a focus for your ball. Or look from the ground up." Ideas offered without the asking, she tips her head down and tries to coax her dead appetite into existence once more. The flavour needs a kick to even penetrate her wearied, blasted nerves.

"The ceiling." She nods, looking up. "Looking at the ceiling sometimes clears the mind." True fact, humans often find it soothing. "You really are from Camelot? We have stories of that place. Very far away from my home, but we knew it. The knights, the betrayal, the unhappy lovers."


"Yes, perhaps a glowing light could help. It is worth a try. Unless Morgan knew I'd attempt to scry the park and set up something else to block my scrying." Merlin shakes his head. "My apprentice has always been an intelligent one. She likes to be one step ahead, so I've always attempted to be two steps ahead." He closes his eyes. "But that does not always work, either."

The ceiling! "Well, if you don't mind being sat near the ceiling…" He murmurs a few words and makes a round motion with his arms, and the table and chairs begin to float up steadily. They stop shortly before Wanda and Merlin hit their heads. "Oh, aye. I really am from Camelot. I was the court's magician. And I was Arthur's mentor. The stories you've heard, they are true."


"Intelligence does not mean all knowing." Oh English, why do you forsake Wanda knowing omniscience as a word? She taps her finger on the cup, grateful at least for warmth even as she sips it mechanically. At least it has no adulteration in flavour. "Does Arthur still sleep under the mountain with his knights? Is that, too, a lie, they will come in an hour of need?" She waits until they are fully raised to the ceiling before asking that, though she does tip her head to see how far the floor is, and whether the sanctum is offended and sent said floorboards after them to match the chairs. Either way, the day is coming along nicely.

"The apprentice wants to be ahead. She cannot be sure of all ends. Why open the Hellmouth? Why is she so interested in it?" These are important enough to understand. "The old reason, to conquer everything?"


"True, intelligence certainly does not mean all knowing. However, she does know me. Although, it means that I know her as well. However, if we both know each other and we know our tactics, we'll then both attempt to devise tactics that the other will not be expecting. But then, we'll both come to the same conclusion that we both shall be attempting something unexpected by the other. And if that's the case, the most unexpected tactic would be to do something that one would normally do." He sighs and sips his tea. "I'm probably being quite confusing. I apologize for that. I tend to over analyze situations and I end up going on tangents."

He considers Wanda's words for a moment, thinking them over. "My apprentice was trapped. Perhaps the Hellmouth was her only way out. But to conquer all would also be her desire, yes." He sighs. "Ever since she was drawn in by the darkness, her thirst for power has only grown."


"No," says the young woman quietly. "You consider the possibilities and she likely does the same. For there will always be this problem. Do you use the expected when she goes unexpectedly?"

Her thoughts wander away from that, even as the curling tips of her hair brush against her back and over her bosom, not entirely floating. "She opened the hole to get out of her prison. Now she tries to use it to her advantage." Her glittering eyes narrow slightly. "Was she trapped by Chthon?"


"When she does something unexpected, I do what I can to counteract it. Although…if she knows that I turned away from invoking Gaia and the celtic religion…" Merlin scratches his nose. "Perhaps I must use the Gaia and the Celtic religion to help defeat her!" It's a thought, anyway.

"Oh! I'm sorry. You asked me about Arthur and the knights." He chuckles. "That just shows where my mind has wandered. Aye, there may come a day when Arthur rises once more. He is, afterall, the Once and Future king. He is destined to return at a time of dire need. But that could be a dire need for Britain, and not the world. The prophecy is a fickle one." He explains. "Though, one would think that his half-sister openening a Hellmouth would be a time of dire need for everybody."

He clears his throat. "Chthon. That is a name I've not heard in many years. He does not like me. It was not, however Chthon who imprisoned her. 'Twas I. She was becoming too dangerous. I was lucky enough to imprison her once, but I do not believe she would fall for the same trick again."


"Gaea never stops listening. I pray to her," says Wanda quietly. She points down to the floor. "She never stops listening. It is worth trying. We have… people who say they are gods; maybe there is something to that. Has she angered any of the Celtic gods? Would they come help?"

The idea is so preposterous, she'll indulge it with some difficulty. More tea is sipped, and then there should be none whatsoever. Oh well. A pot to pour more would be allowed. "Maybe Arthur is meant to be like Pandora. Hope. You can name whatever you like his influence? I could insult you this way. I'm sorry if I did."

The means that. It's a quiet statement, but a present one. Sometimes it hurts to draw out more then. She has already pressed far, ripping open the vaults of memory. "Mm. No, he probably likes no one who has defended like the Sorcerer Supreme. Does she have any things you could distract her with? Children. Lover. Treasure she wants. Arthur if she believes he is back. Would she see through the illusion?"


"Sadly, I've not spoken to her in quite some time. I don't know if she'd still want to help me…though I suppose it's worth looking into!" Merling nods along. "I have…some experience, personally with some of the Celtic gods myself. I suppose I could speak with them, see if any of them have had bad experiences with her. I shall be in touch with them."

He chuckles and smiles widely. "You know, young one, you have given me much to think about. And worry not, you've not insulted me one bit. It takes a lot to truly insult me." He chuckles again. With a snap of his fingers, the table and chairs, with them in them, float back down. "Mordred and Arthur would certainly be excellent distractions. Even if it were just illusions of them. I'll have to figure out a way to make Morgan think that they're real! Thank you! You really have been of assistance to me! And I know you'll be a great help, should you choose to be with us when we attempt to close the Hellmouth! You've got much power…I know you will only become more powerful the more you study the mystical arts!"

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