1964-05-27 - Stakes and Shades
Summary: Amora's Shadow lays a trap for Thor and Amora. Loki has to come help.
Related: Asgardian/ Shadow Amora logs
Theme Song: None
amora loki thor 

A bit dazed, Donald Blake makes his way through the city of New York, clearly focused on something a million miles away. His eyes seem alternately confused or unfocused, seeing nothing around him as he struggles to process the enormity of what's been impressed upon him by his trip to the Norn pool in the company of Loki's priest.

Not his priest— Loki, Donald amends mentally, wincing and touching his skull. A massive headache had lingered behind his eyes for most of a day, as if he'd strained himself overmuch lifting something heavy. Skin tingling and fairly buzzing he was sure he was sick, but there was an energy to his steps he'd never had before. Stronger than before. Smoother. His body twitchingly becoming accustomed to a new level of … not even normal. Something superhuman was brewing in his belly, and the flashing visions crowding his mind unbidden were equally distracting.


A shadow flitted across his path. Once. Twice. One that was cast by nothing obvious, nothing apparent. A laugh sounded, echoing off the brickwork of the buildings around them. A tingle of magic, twisted in the otherwise sunny air. Something out of the ordinary, something beyond Midgard. A very familiar something that was all darkness and vile intent.

It flashed over his path teasingly, temptingly and vanished down the corner of a building that led to an alley.

A scream followed and a cry for help.


So distracted is he that Donald doesn't even notice the shadows skittering around him. He doesn't even hear the scream— not the first time. It has to echo again before it jars him from his reverie, and Donald's head whips around. He tracks the source of the seeming cry and breaks into a run down the alley, heedless of the sense of danger creaking around him. With his duffel bouncing over his shoulder, he moves with a shocking amount of speed as his boots spray gravel and dust in his wake.


Runes etched in darkness flare to life as soon as Donald rounds the bend of the alley, hidden from view to the outside world. The sight that greets him? A wealth of shadows. Odds and ends of various creatures, shadows of huge hulking beasts and of warriors from other realms. Shades that lingered in the darkness and yet were a separate part of the darkness. A trap had been sprung, and Donald would find himself in a square of runes, a prism of shadows and light that twisted to form a kind of cage to entrap the blonde.

The screams? Came from the shadows themselves, and as they fell silent, the commander of their ranks appeared in a swirl of dark green light. A mockery of Amora stood there, smirking as she approached with her hip sway that dissolved into a light consuming blankness that seemed to float foward.

"Oh darling, you're so heroic. So very, very predictable. I'm glad my pets could tempt you into a dark alley all alone." She crooned, coming up to the edge of the runes and playing her hands over the areas where the trap began.


Donald whirls in place, stunned confusion on his features. It takes him a little while to put it all together, and being honest it's not until Amora's visage appears— with that smirking, knowing grin— that doubt starts to wash across his features.

"The screams… a trap," Donald says, scowling heavily. He reaches into his duffel and grips his hammer, letting the bag drop. Electricity crawls up his arms, outlining previously invisible armor that manifests as bracers and a half-breastplate, providing a modicum of protection for his bare skin.

"You'll find me a poor quarry if you think you can trap me so easily here," he warns her, whipping his hammer in a circle.


The shade of Amora grins, and folded her hands to rest them beneath her chin. "Oh darling, please. As if I wasn't ready for your little temper tantrum. Those runes are fit to hold a dragon." She batted her eyelashes and shook her head.

"Besides, you're not the main course. You're desert." She winked his way, stepping back and looking up at the sky. "My pathetic half laced you with more sensory charms, and protection spells than a new born baby. She'll be coming as soon as she can get around the scrying block. Easy enough for her. And well.." She looked down at her amorphous figure.

"I'll deal with you when I have a body to enjoy taking your power." She winked, blew him a kiss and faded into the shadows around her.

And just on time as it was, Amora appeared in a cloud of lime green energy. She wore her battle armor, and scanned the dark alley to immediately spot Donald. Her features pinched as she stormed toward him. "What in the Nine Realms?"


"You'll not escape me this time!" Donald thunders, swinging his hammer at the amorphous blob. He misses— wide— and stumbles forward, his hammer utterly failing to connect with anything. Donald tucks into a ball and rolls, whipping his head around with anger writ large on his rugged features.

And then Amora is rushing up behind him, shouting fury on her fine brow, and out of raw combative instinct he turns and flings his hammer at her with an overhand cast. The missile tumbles end over end, a carved rock glittering with subtle electricity in the runes as he flings it at her.


Amora stopped short as the Donald starts swinging, her hands throwing up to attempt to vanish and reappear, only.. to find she couldn't. Runes lit up the whole of the alley and glowed with.. darkness? The void of light they made was more apparent than the shadows that swarmed this way and that, and very quickly it became apparent, the manner of trap they were both in.

A shout of anger escaped The Enchantress as her magic was blocked, and she started chanting a string to undo the workings.. only to immediately be grabbed by two massive shadows and slammed back against a brick wall hard enough to leave an impact and send dust flying up around her. She grunted at the impact, and struggled against the bonds of darkness that held her there.

While Amora was Asgardian strong and seen as powerful by Midgardian standards.. she most assuredly was not when compared to like creatures from the other Nine Realms.

Another cackling laughter bounced off the walls as the shade of Amora appeared again from the shadows that blanketed the alley. "Oh tut, tut." She glanced back toward Donald, "You can swing all you want, but you'll only be hitting shadows.." She coo'ed and turned her attention toward Amora.

"Your magic won't work here, the runes are carved in deep and invoked with blood. I know your weaknesses, because I am you. A much better version, and soon to be the only version."


The hammer flies wide, deflected by the shadow woman's magics. It smacks into a wall and goes skittering away, leaving Donald balking in surprise at how effortlessly the shadow woman had stopped the weapon.

"Wench! I'll see you cast into a pit with the dogs—!" he lunges for the shadowy reflection as if to tackle her, and once again, sails right through the woman. He stumbles face first into a wall with a wet *thud* and slumps to the ground with a groan of pain, gripping his head and not noticing the sizeable dent in the brick above him.


Another string of laughter followed Donald's actions and the shade flashed him a coy grin. "You say the sweetest things." She coo'ed and winked his way and blew him a kiss.

"But wait your turn, I'll get to you in a minute. I have a body to get." She held up her hand and with a muttered word and a poof of smoke something appeared. A rather twisted, gnarled looking piece of wood sharpened to a spike. A bitter scent filled the air and she hefted it in her hands, as if testing its weight. The shadows tightened their hold on Amora, a thread slapping over her mouth as she readied a string of protective magic and was cut off. Green eyes widened as she stared at the enchanted piece of wood.

"Useful thing, a cave troll was willing to trade it for a fortune in bribes. Legend calls it the Stake of Yggdrasil. A cutting from the roots that was twisted to take the life force and magic of a being and transfer it to another. Shall we see if it works?" She mused and without further preamble, shoved it straight into Amora's chest, above the metal plates of her armor (such as it could be called that).


"NNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Donald screams, turning just in time to see the shadow stab Amora in her exposed sternum. He stares at her in shock as energy curls, coils and flows, and Amora starts to grow insubstantial… and the shadow begins to gain form and flow.

Donald moves on instinct. He pushes off the wall like a fellow in water, rotating in place and jamming a foot against it for leverage. He leaps not just aside, but /up/, putting tremendous momentum into his motion. Both hands rise up over his head as he goes to fling himself at the shadow with his bare hands if needed, at the height of her apotheosis.

And in midair, his hammer twitches, flicks over, and as if it were on a string the handle of his hammer flings itself smartly into his fist.

Thunder and lightning explodes around him with the force of a hurricane contained in the narrow alley, and with an earsplitting shout of defiance, he brings the power of Thor down on the Shadow Amora's upper back, his hammer crackling with eldritch lightning.


Shadows are always dispelled by light, be that from the sun, a fire.. or a lightning bolt aimed directly at them. A shriek escaped the shadow that had been slowly gaining substance as it, and all the others in the alley were burned away into nothing with a roar of thunder and light until nothing remained of them. Magic and shadows can only do so much against the might of the God of Thunder and his famed hammer.

Amora, now free of the shadows that bound her crumbled down to the dirt and wasted that littered the pavement. Her color, once vibration and golden in hue, was now ashy grey. Her veins had taken on a darkened tone, as crackles of magic lined up in cracks from where the stake had pierced her flesh. She heaved in panting breaths, her arms trembling to keep herself upright.

Even as she sat there, trembling, there was oddly no blood. Not a drop, as the sickly colors slowly crawled over her skin and continued to darken.


"Amora! Amora!" Donald drops to his knees next to her, and mercifully his training as a trauma nurse keeps him from doing something as foolish as lifting her in his arms. But there's no -blood-. He looks lost and baffled, unsure of what to do. "I.. I cannot help you!" he realizes, dismay on his face. "Tell me what to do! Amora! Amora, tell me what to do!"

He casts his head around, looking for someone else to step up— then lifts his face skywards and takes a tremendous breath.



Amora inhaled a shuddering breath, turning green eyes that were slowly being leeched of all color and turning grey. "It's magic." She croaked, "She's not destroyed.. it's still taking.. for her." She reached out a hand toward Donald's jawline. A strained smile reached her lips as she watched him.

"I didn't think I'd get to see you again, Thor. But I'm glad I did. Even if it's short." The grey of her skin tone continued to creep over her, slowly leeching whatever color there was to the Enchantress. From the gold in her locks to the warm tones of her skin and the green of her eyes. It was fading slowly, consumed by the gnarled stake still planted in her flesh.


Brothers. Bound by the waters of the Norn Pool, perhaps at least in the mind of his trapped sibling, if he still cannot remember Loki and he in the hunting grounds of Alfheim, or the battlefields of Vanaheim, or not even those snowy stretches of wasteland of Jotunheim. Loki can hear him. And it is not long after he calls out, that there is a flash of gold and green, and the godling teleports into the room. He does seem momentarily surprised, like he wasn't entirely sure that was going to work, but when he sees Thor and Amora, and hasn't teleported himself intoa wall…he lets out a breath of relief and composes himself.


"No, damn it, Amora, don't… you can't go!" Donald says, in frustration. He tries to grab the stake once more, but the shadow magics evade his fingers, and he punches the ground next to him in frustration.

The flash of light gets his attention, and he whirls, reaching for his hammer; but his eyes widen when Loki appears. Donald's on his feet in an eyeblink, faster than he ever was before, and in moments has gripped Loki's shirtfront.

"HELP. HER." he growls, his furious voice making the pebbles shake underfoot— and underscoring the very real worry for Amora in his voice.


"You can't hold it without magic," She whispered, her eyes fluttering closed briefly under Donald's attempt to grab the stake.

Amora's strength failed just as Loki appeared and sent Donald whirling. She collapsed on her side with a gust of a breath escaping her slowly greying lips. The very center of much of her magical strength lay in the spells put on them. Spells centuries old and worked over with more than anything else on her person. Even the rosy hues were fading inch by inch.

The shadows slowly began to creep back into existence at the edges of the alley way, a threat that as the Enchantress weakened, something else still drew that strength.


Loki knits his brows together when Thor manhandles him. "So, you at least admit you believe I can! I have not any idea what is-…" He cuts off there, observing what is happening and searching his newly wakened memories to figure out what it IS. He puts his hand over Thor's, pushing, trying to get the other man to let go. "I can see it. I need…ah…/mirror/…I need a mirror."


Donald mostly just drags Loki over, and looks on with fretful concern as Loki surveys the scene. He looks around, trying to find a mirror, and dashes down the street a few doors, testing them. Finding one for a local pharmacy, he hauls back and kicks the door down with a massive blow from his boot and dashes inside.

Moments later he rushes back to the alley, outraged shouts in his wake and a hand mirror outstretched towards the Trickster.


Loki takes the mirror from his panicking brother, but before he can do anything, he hauls back and attempts to punch him in the stomach. "Brother, you need to calm down. You will draw too much /attention/." He gives the mirror a twist round and round in his hand and then kneels down beside Amora. His hands work, drawing gold and green wisps through the air. Its a sneaky sort of magic, not directly interferring with the stake, not until the noose on the spell is tightening. "When I say so…I will need you to act."


Donald grunts and barely moves under Loki's blow, though it would have surely folded a mortal man in half. Donald fairly shimmers with magic, electricity crawling under his skin and giving it a golden glow. "Aye, fine, speak and I will move," he says, voice testy with worry. "Work swiftly, Loki, before she bleeds her lifeforce out on these streets."


Loki notices the different in how much damage Donald can take, pleased with himself for his trip to the pool. The magic he works is linked to illusion, and the more he casts at the mirror, the more and more defined another image of Amora becomes. Imbued with a certain amount of magic, itself, there will still be something for the stake to siphon, a trick, a ruse, a way to pull the spell off her, and stop powering these shadowy spirits. Then, carefully, he lays the mirror, and her image, on the top of the stake, and pulling it with pale fingers, he energizes the illusion more and more, so that he can give it a pull from her body and transfer it to the mirror's surface. Now he's created a magical object, though, which cannot be broken thorugh normal means. Here's hoping Thor is beyond normal these days, "Shatter it, now!"


Donald holds his hand out without a second thought and Mjolnir flies to his grip. He steps once to the side, making sure his hammer blow clears them both, and twists from the hip with a massive, overhand cast. The stone hammer crackles with electricity and eldritch light just below the surface of those runes, and with a bellow of olympian effort he brings the enchanted weapon down onto the stake with all the force he can muster, shattering the wood into thousands of splintery shards.


The stake and the mirror both shatter, which cuts off the drain to Amora and stops the spell where it was, but she is still weakened…and with her amount of enemies? Thats not great. Not to mention that the half-formed shadow thing is cut loose. Loki covers his face while Thor brings the hammer down, then once the shards have settled, he turns to Amora and touches her hand. "There is still work yet to be done…but she lives…and so do you."


As the stake splintered into thousands of tiny shards, it also turned to ash and then, faded away into nothingness. The object existed on the astral plane jus as much as it had in the physical world, if not more so. Half a dozen tiny shrieks escaped the corners of the alley way, and mini-puffs of shadows vaporized into the sunlight that trickled down from above the buildings that surrounded the Asgardians.

Still, one shadow had escaped, and with a goodly amount of Amora's strength with it. A breath followed from the fallen Enchantress, stronger than the fading rise and falls of her chest, but it was more reactionary on her body's behalf. Her connection to the physical world tenuous at best, but she was no longer slipping into the realm of the shades.

Her color was still almost entirely gone, her personage in a grayscale without the usual life that colored her cheeks.


Donald stoops and gathers Amora into his arms after checking her pulse at a slender, pale wrist, and lifts her protectively. Mjolnir is slung from his wrist by the leather thong, the big man ignoring the weight and heft of the hammer.

"Aye, she lives, thanks to you, Loki," he tells the man, gravely. "I owe you my thanks— and I won't forget it," he assures the other man. He gives Amora a protective look, and holding her close, makes a straight line for the street and bellows for a taxi.


"Wait, Thor…its not over just yet. There is more to do. Once she is settled…somewhere safe, then call for me, and I will in the meantime…find where we must go."

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