STARFALL: Spellbinder #5

Andrew Perron pwerdna at
Wed Feb 1 02:57:02 PST 2012

On Tue, 24 Jan 2012 02:44:46 +0000 (UTC), William Strickland wrote:

> Loki knew bait when he saw it, but this was a friendly match - a rare
> thing which he cherished, these days - and so he didn't bother
> avoiding it. "I have, actually. Been going to parks in large cities
> where people play a lot. In addition to being instructive, it's turned
> out to be a wonderful way to pass time."

"Chess With Loki" sounds like a philosophy book, perhaps something

> "Oh, absolutely. I should be getting a message... ah, here it is," he
> said as a bronze owl flew into the window of the room, which was not
> anywhere in particular

That's a great way to describe something.

> Hermes had some time ago decided to become Hephaestus'
> friend, partly out of pity, but also because the god was one of the
> more intelligent Olympians.

He honestly seems like one of the more intelligent ones.

> As Hermes read, Loki looked over the board. He looked up briefly to
> notice the bronze owl glaring angrily at him. The owl lifted up one of
> its claws, pointing at its eyes with two talons before pointing them
> at Loki again: 'I'm watching you'. It was all Loki could do not to
> burst out with laughter, but that would've been rude.

Oh, allow me: XD XD XD

> "Athena's owls are surprising sometimes," said Hermes with a chuckle.
> "She distributed much of her far-reaching consciousness into them,
> because she couldn't handle the amount of vision she originally had.
> She saw too much, which kept her from noticing anything important."

Hmmmmmm, interesting!

> Loki nodded. "I think Father did something similar with his ravens.
> Probably for a similar reason.

And sensible.

> "Lucky," I said. "I'll bet you don't have nightmares, either."
> "About that..." he thought at me, then stopped. "No, never mind.

Oooooh.  I sense plot point.

> Suddenly I knew about a large loft apartment in New Jersey that was
> owned by someone or other. "Here. If you can bring anyone with you, do
> so."


> "Hey, thanks. I love food. That's very considerate of you."
> "I appreciate the compliment," he said, and then he ended contact.

I like him!  He's polite.

> There were no fewer than a dozen pots of the
> stuff all percolating, and it seemed to be a blend featuring vanilla
> and some sort of fragrant nuts, so the loft smelled kind of amazing.

And a good host!

> Short version: The superhuman community has an absolute need to police
> itself. Why, you ask? Simple. If the superhuman community doesn't
> police itself, someone else will. That is, if people aren't convinced
> superheroes can keep them safe from supervillains, they're going to
> get the government involved, and this will eventually end in an
> attempt to conscript and control the superhero population of a given
> country. There were even examples on hand; Russia and China had both
> already done this, which understandable made lots of people nervous.


> The thing about the phrase 'someone has to do something about this' is
> that unscrupulous people love it.  They love having an excuse to be
> the one to do 'something', and to have excuses for that 'something'
> being whatever they like.

Other, similar phrases are "Think of the children!" and "There is no other

> The sad fact is that such people will eventually get in control over
> any such power structure, because that's what they want.

Well, not *necessarily*.  But the price of freedom is eternal vigilance,
and such people are one of the things that one most needs to be vigilant

> "Okay," I said. "Okay, I'm convinced, we've got to stop this guy. And
> we're getting a lot of people together because that makes the point
> that this isn't just some dust-up between two guys with a
> disagreement, right?"

I note that this is the first time this being a shared universe really felt
like it had consequences.  Very cool.

> "Excuse me," said Lord Go, a mighty bare-fisted monk from Japan,
> "Spellbinder, you have been drinking coffee straight out of the pot.
> And you have emptied it. It is still steaming; it must be quite hot.
> Not to mention what it will do to your kidneys." He seemed concerned,
> which was nice I guess.

Oh my.  That's not a good thing to not realize you're doing.

> There was more incredulous talk around the table. Apollo, a shining,
> statuesque man, stood and said "I will not stop you from this, Athena,
> but I will have no part in it, either." He turned and immediately
> left.

Yeah, that sounds Apollonian.  I wonder what Dionysus thinks?

> The table was quiet for a while, and then Hermes said "Well, that
> sounds good to me!" All eyes turned to him, whereupon he said, "And I
> for one would like to nominate Athena. After all, there is clearly no
> better leader we could have than the goddess of wisdom, yes?"

Indeed!  This is not at all suspicious!

> Hermes smiled a bit wider. He gave her maybe a month before she was so
> overwhelmed with self-imposed responsibilities that she quit (she
> would, of course, be wise enough to stop before growing insane -
> otherwise the prank would be no good). The only thing that could
> prevent this was if something came up that would pry her attention
> away from the majority of godly matters.
> The messenger of the gods made a note to tell her about the current
> status of the Mystic Defender Program after, oh, about a week. He knew
> her reaction would be priceless.

Mwahahaha. <3

> If this part of my account sounds awkward or rushed, I wanna
> apologize; I spent almost twelve hours waiting, and I hate waiting,
> I'm no good at it, I can't stand it, and my frustration as I recall
> the events of the day are probably leaking over into my writing here.

Oh, Chelsea.

> It was a good plan, too. Too bad.

Just an *excellent* line.

> He was pretty big, definitely at least six
> and a half feet tall, and had the most atrocious mullet I've ever
> seen. Seriously, it was like a malevolent drain clog developed a will
> of its own and mounted an assault on a huge man's head.

Bwahahahaha! XD

> "Huh?" asked the guy in the trenchcoat. He didn't look hurt; I
> remember thinking this might be bad. I started pulling in electricity
> from the grid supplying power to the Eastern Seaboard of North
> America.

I'm imagining this anime-style, electrical arcs cracking between her hands
and around her body.

> Which is too bad, because it didn't work. Slowly, the Amazing Mullet-
> Man rose to his feet. "The name... is Tank," he said. "Remember it,
> 'cauze it means I can't be hurt!" He gave the Knight of Cydonia a
> rough shove, pushing him back. The Knight frowned; later he mentioned
> that he'd never encountered anything that could just ignore the
> sword's power before. Must've been confusing.

Innnnnnnnnnnteresting.  Man, I want to know more about this guy. (Actually,
he kind of reminds me of Continuity Champ...)

> Tank (thank God I can use his name now)

I hadn't noticed you were avoiding it before.

> I
> made a mental note to see if I could work a spell that produced eye
> lasers, because it sure looked awesome.

This is why Peacebringers are awesome.

> But I
> noticed something, an energy signature, each time someone landed a hit
> on him. The ones who were constantly pouring in attacks like Bombshell
> and the Knight produced the best signature, because it was constant,
> and I could get a look at it.
> It was the same signature the priests had had the day before when they
> were calling on the god they thought was 'Santa Muerte'.

Dun dun dunnnnnnn!

> So I think my third mistake was not seeing the brick of C4 in his
> hand, wired to a push-button detonator and covered in nails, until
> he'd pressed it up against my mask.


> He began to laugh maniacally as he stood in line, but nobody was
> really bothered by it because it's a gaming convention and acting
> weird is par for the course.

Love cons. <3

> I came to with half the world looking red because there was blood in
> my eye.

Or, considering, eye in her blood.

> "I'm amazed she's not dead," said Go as he used the setup to deliver
> an axe kick to the back of Tank's head, knocking him into the air.
> "Aren't magicians supposed to be fragile?"

The glass cannon is a stereotype that offends my people. >:/

> The Knight frowned when he saw Rocky recoil from the blow - Tank
> hadn't been that strong at the beginning of the fight. Nowhere near
> it.

Oh, man, I think I know what trope this is.

> "Hey, Maddy," said Chelsea as she teleported in, wearing her
> Spellbinder uniform and surprising Medusa with the suddenness of her
> appearance. "Ever consider being a superhero? I could use your help; I
> need you to put on a ridiculous outfit, spout some awful one-liners,
> and use your magic eyes to defeat a very bad man."
> Medusa smiled. Maybe today was salvageable after all.

Awwwww. <3 Maddy!

> As I prepared another teleport spell, I tried not to notice that
> nearly a dozen supers were on the ground now, with another limping
> away.

Jeez, most raid bosses aren't this hard.

> Especially since I was probably going to be disowned by the superhero
> community if my plan worked.

Oh, sassafrass.

> I stuck around just long enough, though, to hear Maddy give her line.
> Grinning wide, she shouted, "ONLY my EMERALD-QUARTZ VISOR can hold
> back my deadly PETRI-BEAMS!" in that way people who've never done
> acting before sometimes do, and she touched the side of the cheap
> plastic visor and turned on her gaze. Green rays shot out at Tank, and
> the rays and the 'pewpewpew' sound effect they produced both seemed
> taken right out of some cheesy '60s sci-fi show.

...<3 <3 <3 Maddy.

> "Even gods, right?" said the Butler before taking a sip of his drink.
> It was big and fancy and had one of those little umbrellas in it. "And
> so you want my permission to call a Wild Hunt so you can drive
> Tezcatlipoca's influence from your world."
> I was silent for a moment. Why was I surrounded by so many damn mind-
> readers lately? "Well, yes," I managed awkwardly.

Dude, spoilers. >:/

> He was quiet for a while. He looked off to his side, where the sun was
> setting over a gorgeous ocean  just past the sandy beach he occupied.
> "I'm going to tell you something," he said. "I'm sorry, but it is
> going to hurt you a great deal, and due to your current condition, you
> won't remember it after this is all over. Not at first. But you will
> understand it, at least long enough to do what you need to protect
> your world. If, after this, you do not hate me, come back to me as
> soon as you remember and I will explain the rest. I didn't want to
> join this game," he said with a resigned sigh, "But I can't stand...
> well. Nevermind."
> He stood up, walked over to me, and put his hands on my shoulders,
> looking directly into my eyes. "Here is the truth, Chelsea." He said
> some things, and I began screaming as I vanished from the world of
> Faerie.

Mmmmmmm.  Delicious, delicious torment.

Casey: ...he's getting that look again.
Mala: Just get him some of that bacon chocolate and he'll calm down.

So salty! <3

> The Nightstalker turned and looked, seeing Spellbinder there, shining
> red and radiating tendrils of black energy that seemed to reach into
> his soul.

The Dark Chelsea Saga!?

> It was very sudden. She leapt at him, and she latched onto his face
> with both hands and stared into his eyes, and in everyone's vision
> there was a tangled mess of sharp points and edges, rusty with old
> bloodlettings, and then Spellbinder dropped off of Tank, staggered
> back, and then pitched forward onto her knees and was quiet, and it
> was Tank who was screaming now, staggering away from her.


> I couldn't form the sigil needed in my mind's eye, so I pulled out a
> knife and carved it into my left forearm, and cast it using that as a
> ritual circle. Blood would help this spell anyway so I might as well.


> Out of Tank rose the source of his power. A towering man with pitch-
> black skin, with a bestial face with two yellow stripes across it, and
> wearing the skins of leopards - Tezcatlipoca. Aztec god of awfulness,
> really, and if you believe his hype, creator of this world.
> "He's the source of the trouble here," I said. "Get him, guys."
> What followed was glorious.

Mmmmm, godpunching. A good way to let out tension, as well as existential

> And then I was sad for some reason, and it took me a moment to figure
> out why. Then I realized: I was having such a good time sitting there
> resting while watching the spectacle of seeing a godly slave-driver
> get his, I really didn't want to cast another spell.

Man, I know that feeling.

> Tezcatlipoca was severely weakened, immobilized, and his mind was
> scrambled – he would probably never be this weak again. I put my hands
> on the circle I'd drawn and said some words in Latin. This was a spell
> of banishment I'd actually picked up from an old guide for medieval
> Catholic exorcists. I remembered being surprised at how much of the
> stuff in there was genuinely worth using, and this in particular was a
> massively high-end banishment. Which is exactly what I needed.
> There was a THUMP as I finished, and the world wobbled, sinking in and
> flowing out like a wave. Tezcalipoca shone with a red light and
> bellowed in impotent, wordless fury as he vanished from Earth,
> forever.

Daaaaaaaaaaaamn.  Awesome.

> "Medusa," said the Knight, "You are Spellbinder's friend, yes? You
> care about her?"
> Maddy frowned but nodded. "Yes, she's been... why are you asking me
> this?"
> "We need to talk," said the Knight.

Dun dun dunnnnnnnnn...

> They were both silent for a while. "I'm sorry," said the coyote. "But
> she has to wake up. And the sooner the better. If she stays blind to
> what she is, she will be manipulated forever, and everyone will suffer
> because then she will be just a weapon. This way she goes free."

Coyote, you rock.

> The warrior-saints and priest-lords who filled the room murmured
> amongst themselves in response to this announcement. Father Moz Ez,
> shining god-king of Arcadia, held his hand up, calling for silence,
> and he received it.

Hmmmm. O.o Interesting.

> The Dark Lord was speaking with his lieutenants, Puzzle, Nanny Hope
> and Vyn DeKat, sitting upon his throne as was custom for such events.
> The room was lit only by a fire pit in the center, and so the Dark
> Lord himself could not be seen save for a pair of red eyes that
> menaced the room with their baleful glow.

My goodness but that's an explicit homage.

Anyway.  Good, solid battle, with good, solid twists.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, and motion on the myth arc.

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