1964-06-14 - Mystics in the Singing Caves
Summary: A witch and a vodoun priest have to outmatch the denizens of Arquiloquy.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
jericho-drumm wanda 

Jericho Drumm has arrived.

Strange blue light filters through the crystalline structures that emerge naturally here, resonating with the sounds of humming water and fluctuating heat. A certain chime marks a temperature change every so often, the low note rolling in a basso curl against the living. Waterfalls crash with needle percussion forming a white hush in the background, occasionally punctuated by a high, sharp A5 chord whenever something heavier tumbles over the jutting lip of the cliff. Like, say, a canoe assembled from patches of the weird, thick spongy leaves and flat fungi growing along terraced steppes that for all the world look like myconid rice paddies, save far more dramatic in hues. Blues, aquamarine to indigo, paler greys, and white are the natural hues of the environment above, only suitable given the absence of any sun to speak of. Whatever the sky is, the huge streaked bands of blue-green clouds dripping dish curls of fog and miniature purple whirlwinds bruising their underbellies assure this is not Earth. The atmospheric mechanics may not have anything to do with suns; maybe something with the price of tea or the abundance of palm-like trees. Not that the tunnels and caves bored into the hexagonal structure have much in the way of trees.

They're more wet than anything, more indicative of the moisture from the plunging cataract falling down, down, down.

Not much comfort for the witch half falling, half running through them, the mad scramble slowed slightly by the flare of her coat. She uses the paddle to the abandoned canoe to help feel her way forward, though it's adequately lit though distorted by depth. Everything has that iridescent glow. She drives the wooden blade down into a hole and drops through it, dangling ten feet in the air. Booted feet feel for purchase.

Not too far above on the surface, a heap of very strange looking creatures stampede afterwards, clicking at one another. It might be kind to call them centaurs, in the sense of two forms put together. The lower body is a quadruped, armoured atop, their tails ending in nasty clubs like an ankylosaur. The long, stout neck supports a rather hairy head that belongs to the world's ugliest lion, naked of fur, wrinkled, and matted with crystalline formations where nose and whiskers would be. Whatever they want, it probably involves whatever she's running away with. From.

Guardian of the Eternal Crossroads. That was the duty bestowed upon Jericho Drumm when he was named Houngan Supreme, taking up the mantle as Brother Voodoo, Doctor Voodoo to some. Safeguarding the paths between realms was a duty that fell easily within Jericho's heart, the man greatly enjoying the solitude and the sense of wonder that oftentimes accompanied his trips between realms.

Outfitted in a rather primitive fashion, Jericho wears an olive green pair of breeches that are ragged and torn about his calves, his feet bare. A necklace strung with small skulls, some of Earth's natural wildlife while others are certainly from other planes of reality, hangs across his bare and well defined chest, and a thick white paint has been drawn across his face to resemble a human skull.

Jericho holds his staff, the Staff of Legba, in his left hand as he moves along a primitive sort of path between the crystalline structures, his ears twitching beneath the ragged mane of dreads at the sound of chittering and clicking of the centaur like beasts, his eyes moving to quickly note the hanging woman. For now, he does not move to intervene, but rather stands, placing the butt if his staff upon the ground and clasping it in both hands.

The creatures up top of the cliff clearly have no compunction about running down anything problematic, dangerous, or tasty. They don't "see" per se, their rheumy eyes bloodshot and small. The growths help concentrate an awareness of other things. Magic, for one. The sense for any motion on the crystal facets certainly helps them orient, too. They rush through the wilderness without fear, breaking into a wedge pattern.

Supposing that Jericho is up top, too, they're still happy to divert towards him and deliver some bellicose rumble uniquely pitched to chime loudly off the ground. It rumbles terribly loudly. In the vertical ladder of tunnels and chambers riddled behind the waterfall, the sound is positively deafening.

Wanda's canoe is pulverised by the falling water, pieces of it carried away downstream. She gives that no notice, far more concerned about finding her footing on the slippery walls. Freeing the battered end of the oar drops her and she slides and scuds through the hole, bruised by the descent. Her attempts to jam the oar in a way to catch herself before she hits the ground becomes more desperate, especially when the end scrapes and slides before catching any purchase. She hisses; it hurts. The curse echoes up the way to sky level, but there's little hesitation as she tries to figure out how to get free, but the chamber is still enclosed. Only one way to go, down.

Jericho watches as those few centaur beasts turn his way and send their odd sort of auditory attack at him. The man winces as the volume rises, shaking his head in an attempt to shake the attack off. Hardly thinking of the maneuver, Brother Voodoo raises his right hand, swiveling at the wrist in an intricate fashion, his index and middle finger curling just so, causing a sudden powerful gust of wind to arise just as he steps backwards off of the cliff. The wind is timed just so that as Jericho falls toward the mouth of the tunnel, the wind pushes him in, rather than allowing him to fall past. Jericho tucks his arms and legs as he touches down in the tunnel, attempting to soften the blow.

There's an advantage to four feet: moving fast. Stability aside, they have no trouble moving over the slick surface given their feet are formed for it, clinging to the slick surface without much difficulty. They run after Jericho, at least the first three do, in a show of snarling and garbling. The wind blowing up rustles their shaggy messy manes, but the first in the lead is slowed. It won't stop one from going over the edge a galumph after him, and trying to squeeze into the cavern.

Jericho needs to hurry, because his lead is small. The chamber at the top of the cliff has been worn away by water, wind, and escaping mages. Okay, maybe not the latter. The funneled cavern shrinks down to a bent chute, probably about eight feet down. Given the crystal structure of the cliff, it's possible to vaguely see through. No hidden traps, just a riddled network of caverns and holes created by who knows what. Maybe a big crystal eating worm. Arquiloquy as a dimension is famous for its singing caverns of crystal and living stone that captures light and glows….

As to Wanda, her oar is stuck and she's unceremoniously trying to haul it out when the whole cliff face starts singing when the magic comes alight.

Turning back toward the mouth of cavern and seeing that one of the beasts has already followed him makes Jericho grit his teeth. He is quick to his feet and his long legs carry him forward in running strides. He can hear the centaur gaining on him, knows that he won't be able to outrun the beast and as such he turns, focusing his mind on the mouth of the cavern and arcing his staff in a wicked downward slice. The maneuver is not meant to strike the beast, but instead a golden line follows the head of the staff, opening a sort of rend in space that is actually a doorway back outside the mouth of the tunnel, should the centaur-like beast continue through.

The cavern is neither tall or wide, forcing someone to bend over. The chutes, of course, are tunneled drops with some room to move, unless one is particularly tall, broad, or heavily burdened with large objects. He has the advantage of smaller size, at least, though not comparable to the golden-skinned brunette fumbling her oar and planting a foot on the wall. A hard yank, and the woman several caverns below finally gets free. She narrows her eyes upwards and shouts, "No magic!" The shout itself is in her melodious, accented English that marks her from somewhere between Athens and Moscow, possibly truly of neither. She makes another two or three feet, and then goes diving through a narrow spot in the cavern, squeezing and kicking her way through presumably back to the face of the cliff.

The creatures up above have the means of crawling down. It's unfair, but they aren't fast. Like mountain goats, they pick their way through. In the caverns they are at a disadvantage for their size but able to crouch low Of course, the golden flare throws one of the creatures out of the way and presumably over the edge, or at least shaking its hideous head and screaming. The whole cliff shudders.

"I'm da one trying to save you from des attackers!" Jericho yells back, his voice speaking of nothing other than natural born Haitian. He does turn tail and run though, attempting to stick to the smaller tunnels, bending where needed, to try and keep the centaurs from being able to follow him. All the while, his feet attempt to carry him in the direction of Wanda, though with the twisting tunnels it is hard to be sure where he is heading.

|ROLL| Wanda +rolls 1d100 for: 87

The witch draws in a breath through her teeth. Too many choices for this one, too many options. Her hands leave the oar, necessary to free them to move. Articulate fingers delicately describe the roll of motion, the slender fingers converging in a circle as her wrist turns. Up above, overhead behind the vodoun priest, something squeals in anticipation. It scrambles, sending dust and bits of crystal down onto him, a fine spray as it tries to squeeze through the tunnels. She is still three layers down, holding her ground. An apologetic murmur lies on her lips as she holds out her hand and an incandescent bracelet of light forms around her forearm. Its intensity sparkles a distorted shade of amaranth in the chamber, absorbing the blue-light and shifting it to purple. It builds in a hemisphere around her, a growing wave. As it spreads out in front of her, the crystal simply ceases to exist. It's not a configuration changing the wall's structure; it simply isn't, her hex warping the fabric of being.

"Ey! What are you doing?" Brother Voodoo yells out as he keeps running as quickly as he can through the tunnels, trying as best he can to keep the slope going downward. "I taut you said no magic!" he yells out, his Haitian accent thick on his lips.

The free breath of air means a momentary vacuum and the air rushing over her shoulders and face. Wanda inhales deeply, her eyes glittering with a halo of pomegranate light matching the fading sparks swirling around her dainty wrist. She bends down to pick up the oar as a matter of course, stepping into the void in case one of the alarmed centaur things swarming up above decides to climb down the cliff face. The waterfall thunders within reach, leaving her skin misted and damp. A passing look pierces the icy field that defines the cliff in shade, if not temperature. Her expression does not change greatly, but she nods firmly to reinforce the notion.

Jericho keeps moving and finally he makes the level where Wanda is. His eyes turn upward toward the hole that she has formed above and he shakes his head, his lips pulling back into a kind of growl. "What were you tinking, telling me and mine not ta be using da magic? You trying ta leave me as bait for dese tinks?" he says, voice a touch angry as he stares at the woman, the white skull painted on his dark skin giving a somewhat sinister appearance.

She has to sort through the narrative, the thickness of his accent an impediment to the brunette. Garnet gems glitter at her temples, the stirred flutter of her chestnut hair stirring around slim shoulders. Chin rising slightly, her eyes narrow a fraction. "It is not magic," she replies, the echoes of her Transian slicing through the lilt and fall of English. "Why are you here? Human, yes?"

Presumably, because interdimensional travelers rare speak English. The clamour from above and angry squalls warn of the unhappiness of their pursuers, who are still slithering through. "I am not to stay with that threat," she says, gesturing upwards. "Best if you go!"

"Yeah, I am human. Brother Voodoo, de Guardian of de Eternal Crossroads. Dat is what I was doin when I saw you running from dese beasts," Jericho explains, his eyes flitting from the woman only briefly to mark the noises from above. "And who do you be tinking you are?" It does not seem as though Jericho is going anywhere just yet, despite the woman's warning.

Jericho Drumm has partially disconnected.

Those beasts are still slithering through the cliffs. They can be seen, dark shadows above, blurred out. Some yowl and whine as they try to get through the confusing measure, but they can hear and see. "I?" Her mouth lifts, a faint look of warning and uneasiness lifted upwards to the threats haunting them, closing in. The scrabble above warns her that they're encroaching. Safety is an illusion. "The Scarlet Witch." He's chosen to give her that moniker, she returns one of her own. "Mistress of the Mystic Arts." That much gives him information if he knows its meaning, a direct line back. She transfers the oar to one hand and draws a series of quick yantras, slashes and diagonal cuts making triangles that nest together. "Not safe here. I am not staying with them on the hunt."

Jericho's eyes similarly move to follow the path of the encroaching beasts. Even as the woman begins her drawing and slashing, Jericho falls into a low and unhurried yammering of some language, his eyes drifting half closed as both hands reach forward to clasp the staff in his hand. He lifts the staff and at once cracks the artifact on the floor of the tunnel and a shimmering blue portal wavers open before them. "De portal leads to New York City. I am going to be closing da portal thirty seconds after I step through," he says shortly by way of invitation to the woman before he moves forward and through the portal. If Wanda follows, she will find that the portal steps out into a darkened alley within the city. If she doesn't, true to the Haitian's words, the portal disappears in only a matter of seconds.

The portal makes for an easy adjustment. She knows enough of the city to see it, and the building energies are going to dissipate as the wall starts to shake, the beings showing. Hesitation never governs the witch's actions; she steps through, pulling a shield around herself with a neat gesture of her fingertips. That it might be frightening to anyone that she simply erased a portion of crystalline cliff by hexing it apart is one thing, not a fact that dawns. Far from it, as she hovers on her toes for a moment after getting her bearings in an alley. Only New York could stink so much.

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