Whitby Vandals

Whitby Vandals 34: An iron-clad cat-napping!

19th of November

Dr. Strange has Artie help him with a vastly complex ritual that Arthur isn’t entirely sure should work at all, but going by how the room reeks of magic Artie keeps out of the way of the magical eye while taking notes

Returning to the others Strange informs them that Michael and Tony are on the Isle of Lewis in the far North and he can teleport them there but cannot come with them if he does but sees no other way given that Arthur is not trained enough to perform the gate spell… yet
Darcy does not miss a beat and orders Brenda and John to ensure the safety of the guests and Troy and Arthur to grab what they need, they are going in a few minutes

Troy asks if they some way to track the two missing man and since Arthur does not Troy asks if they can’t bring Lady, prompting Darcy to realize that she nearly just walked off in her party dress, all caution thrown to the wind in worry for her husband

Grabbing Arthur she vanishes to her room with him from where he reemerges with Lady on a leash, who then grabs heavy coats for himself and Troy, who shrugs and does carry it instead of wearing it. When Strange sees Lady he looks for a moment and then nods and tells her very quietly to please bring Stark back

Once they step through the portal, ready for an ambush, Arthur notices that he stepped on something and being the only one who does not see well in the dark he lowers his lantern revealing that what he stepped on was a corpse

To Darcy’s and Troy’s eyes the scene is revealed as utter carnage. They are standing in a stone circle amidst over a dozen corpses, some of which are clearly the result of a very angry Damien, some of which bear wounds from some form of energy beam

Looking around Darcy notices a deep hole filled with water in the middle of the circle and her blood runs cold when she realizes that she would have been trapped at the bottom of a muddy pit with fifteen men surrounding her. The carnage suddenly seems like a statement of love because it shows her how angry the thought of her being trapped made Damien and she can’t help a wolf grin.

Troy and Arthur are investigating the bodies, finding that all of them are at least higher middle class, some are nobles. They grab one of the more intact cloaks in case they need to pretend to be with the cult later. The tracks indicate that Michael and Stark were retreating after having wreaked havoc on the field because two new sets of footprints appear.
Between Lady’s and Arthur’s senses of smell they can figure out that one of them has to be Jeeves (Lady totally is just playing in the mud, not writing letters).

Troy notices a sound and alerted to it Lady can smell that the heat signature Troy sees behind one of the menhirs is a very, very afraid man. Not wanting to waste any time before rushing to her husband’s rescue she and Troy move in a pincer maneuver before she pounces and drags a whimpering teenager back in front of Arthur.

After some growls from Lady who is getting impatient with the kid’s incoherent rambling and begging not to kill him it turns out that he is Scott Lister, son to the Baron of Ribblesdale, or given the state of the corpses around, the new Baron Ribblesdale. He does not know why his father insisted on him coming along or why they wanted to capture Darcy but he can confirm that Damien and Tony retreated when two new men appeared, one shooting lightning, the other darkness.

Locking the kid in the carriages, the horses long broken away and fled our Vandals set out after the two missing men but spotting lightning in the distance Lady turns into the giant bat and with Troy sighing grabs both of them to rush off towards the fight

From their high vantage point they can soon see Stark taking cover in some old farm buildings and shooting an occasional energy bolt at Jeeves and the body of Justin, who reeks demon magic to Arthur, and corruption to Troy. Given that Michael is nowhere to be seen Pretty is likely around somewhere invisibly.

For very emotional reasons, that turn out to lead to the correct decision, Arthur concentrates a devastating plasma bolt on Justin, who had blocked Stark’s projectiles with a shield of darkness, but surprised cannot parry and actually crumbles to the floor

Dropping Troy off with Stark, Darcy and Arthur circle around for a second round with Jeeves, who is getting distracted by Troy playing the hero and demanding the villain should surrender. Normally Jeeves would flee but given that Troy just absorbed a full attack with no visible damage apart from his fire aura dimming Jeeves is intrigued. Intrigued enough to stay long enough for another fireball to hit him, damaging nothing but his clothes.

To our Vandal’s relief he decides he’d rather leave now and vanishes in front of their eyes. He is undetectable even to Troy’s infrared vision and Pretty decides that is good enough going by the sudden furball in bat-Darcy’s face. Troy wants to make sure and sets the hilltop on fire but that does not produce any sign of Jeeves either.

Darcy does not want to take any chances and lands next to Justin’s body before ripping his head off, not without some glee. Agreeing with Darcy, both safety and revenge, Arthur decides to start a demon body bonfire and both to Troy’s and Arthur’s senses the demonic presence is gone.

Still cuddling the giant bat Pretty accepts a still wet Tony’s words of praise for the fighting. Troy hands his coat to Tony, who does actually freeze from being wet and on a Northern Isle. Given the circumstances all of them want to leave as soon as possible and Darcy let’s Pretty and Arthur on her back while grabbing Troy (who comments: You get used to it) and Tony

Letting them off in the stone circle she lands on the carriage with the little baron, who screams, and screams again when Arthur opens the door and Darcy sticks her head in upside down

Arthur uses the device he was given by Strange and when they hear that they should step through or wait if they want to meet Captain Britain Darcy (now back in wolf form) does a quick roll and grabs Pretty by the scruff carrying him through the portal while ignoring his protest

Once through he switches to Damien hugging Lady fiercely, and while she wants to cuddle him just as much she wants to preserve the illusion, so she mini-bats out of the room, waits for half a minute and then storms back squealing as Darcy who now can officially hug her rescued husband

With the situation stabilising the guests leave, to Darcy’s relief, and Arthur is sitting in a corner after he noticed that Strange not only left him a book but personally signed it. That made it finally sink in that he spend the evening happily chatting with the Sorcerer Supreme, and Darcy reading the dedication and joking that he made a friend is not helping his sudden panic attack. Although, when Michael points out that she charmed the entire party she realizes what she did and squishes into the corner with Arthur.

To defuse the situation Michael switches the topic, remembering that it is Artie’s birthday. Given that Darcy had made him promise Artie had asked for a horse and Darcy made her biggest cute eyes at Lionell when he told her that the best one would be a nightmare but that it would be difficult to get one in time. When Lionell had managed only yesterday to his never-ending surprise Darcy threw her arms around him and called him awesome.

Artie is somewhat astounded at the massive horse and the fact that Lionel passes him a box with meat to feed to the horse but once he is riding it he knows it is the right gift, and it gets only more awesome as the mane and tail burst into blue flame (not burning him) as he passes outside of the manor’s boundary.

To Michael’s serenades of birthday songs Arthur is enjoying his cake and both Darcy and Michael get hugs for their gifts. Darcy got him a signed copy of Treasure Island and Michael got him a copy of the healing spell book that Arthur painstakingly had to reconstruct because his father’s copy had be filled with edits to pervert the spells into damage dealing instead of healing.

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Devrat

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