10469/Sorcerer's World: The Invasion of Latveria

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Sorcerer's World: The Invasion of Latveria
Date of Scene: 14 March 2022
Location: The Doomstadt and surrounding town -- Latveria
Synopsis: Faust and his allies have invaded Latveria. And while the Justice League and their allies have come to it's defense defeating Faust's allies, the mad mage himself slips free to begin the final ritual...
Cast of Characters: Victor Von Doom, Zatanna Zatara, Hyperion, Diana Prince, Clark Kent, Meggan Puceanu

Victor Von Doom has posed:
And so it has finally come.

After months of scheming, months of gathering power both through alliances and by ceasing mystical relics Felix Faust is finally ready to enact his final plan. He is at last ready to begin the ritual that will change reality itself, to rewrite the laws of nature. To permanently diminish science to insure the supremacy of magic. And the sorcerers that wield that power.

It would also seem that the final battleground has been chosen. On the surface it would seem an unlikely one to be sure. Latveria is hardly a rich nation and what power it has in world affairs comes solely from it's ruler, Victor von Doom. But for those mystically inclined, it does sit on a convergence of ley lines, offering yet one more power source to fuel Faust's forthcoming ritual.

It may also be that the choice is an act of spite -- something that Faust is certainly familiar enough with. Afterall, Doom may very well have been the only significant sorcerer who outright refused to join the mad wizards campaign. Perhaps it is simple revenge that has brought Faust and his allies down like a plague of locusts on this small, European kingdom. Or perhaps it is not just Faust seeking revenge. Perhaps there is a more... devilish origin for the decision.

Regardless, the evening sky over Latveria abruptly darkens, the previously clear skies abruptly boiling over as thick, steely grey clouds roll in, seemingly out of nowhere, blotting out the growing twilight and the twinkle of stars with that stark, growing darkness. At first a trinkle of rain begins to fall, heavy droplets descending over the Doomstadt and the small city that surrounds it. But that drizzle swiftly becomes a downpour, great booming bellows of thunder filling the air as the first cracks of lightning briefly illuminate the sky.

Out of that stormy sky they come at last. A vanguard of such mystical might as to be rarely seen before. Felix Faust is in the lead, soaring through the air as the Red Jar of Calythos, the Green Bell of Uthool and the Silver Wheel of Nyorlath dance around his head like an unholy circlet, commanding the Demons Three that flank him. Abnegazar, Ghast and Rath. The might sword of Excalibur is gripped in one hand while the Seige Perilous is held in the other. And despite that mystical might, he still might not truly be foremost in that company.

Behind him the Lord of Chaos Mordru soars, a full fifty feet in height, dwarfing his allies as they swoop down towards the castle battlements below. There, held in his hands are Blackbriar Thorn, the ancient druid and master of the elemental powers and Amos Fortune who brings the power of luck to bear.

And if that alone were not enough might to daunt any, one more figure flies in that host. The one time Wrath of God, the Angel of Vengeance that fell to corruption. And the black diamond that allows him to spread that courruption. One half of his form, shrouded in shadow, just like the dark side of the moon. Eclipso.

Of course they will not go unopposed. Too many powers understand the consequences should Faust succeed in his mad ambitions. Already in the Hall of Justice half a world away those alarms sound, warning of this incursion, insuring that the Justice League will rise to meet the threat. They will surely not be the only ones.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
A great hall of stone sits starkly, the construction solid rather then graceful, powerful columns and arches lacking the fine, intricate touches that might be seen in more decorative halls. Banners of a dark, forest green are draped about, hanging from those arches, still now, unmoved by the faint drafts that creep in from outside. Almost as if afraid to draw the attention of the lord of this place.

He sits there at one end of the hall, atop that tiered dias. Atop that imposing throne that lets him look down over any who would approach. His subjects. His supplicants. But none of those fill this hall, not today. Outside the sky is illuminated by a crack of lightning, the light muted by the intricate stained glass windows that seemingly show off the many triumphs of Victor von Doom, unquestioned ruler of Latveria. But none sing his praises, or beg his indulgance or forgiveness. Not now.

As is so often the case, Doom stands alone.

Or sits alone at the very least. In one gauntleted fist he clutches a simple piece of parchment. Simple, except of course the fact that it glows faintly, an undeniable tinge of red seeming to radiate from the paper. Perhaps it has something to do with the odd signature at the bottom of the page. A signature that, to all appearances at least, appears to have been signed in blood.

There is no echoing boom, no blaring of trumpets or flash of some unearthly light. No portal spews open to spill out the legions of Hell. One moment Victor von Doom is alone with his thoughts and his ill-gotten prize -- taken with the unwitting help of the Justice League itself. And then next he is no longer alone.

Standing there, at the foot of those steps that lead up to the throne and the monarch who sits in it is a rare figure who might cut an even more intimidating profile then the infamous Dr. Doom. He simply appears, red all over and further wrapped in a red cape that drapes over him. Lean and muscled, with hair black as night the Devil Lord regards the ruler of Latveria with clear contempt in his gaze. Contempt and a burning rage.

"Did you really think that stealing what is mine would make it yours, insect?" Mephisto asks, clawed fingers clenched at his sides as he stares so fixedly at Dr. Doom it is a miracle that the armored figure is not set aflame. "Did you think tricking those fool heroes into aiding you would somehow tip the balance?" he asks, biting out those words. "She is mine! She will always be mine! And nothing you do can change that. The contract shall never be broken," the devil hisses.

In his throne, confronting the potential source of evil itself, Doom does not so much as shift, that iron face plate concealling any emotion away in turn. Except for those eyes. Eyes that match Mephisto hate for hate. "I know your secret Mephisto. You have no power here. Begone. You shall hold the soul of my mother no longer," he says flatly.

"Don't I? Don't I indeed, petty king," comes the soft, almost silibant answer from the Lord of Hell's Ninth Circle. "We shall see about that. Oh yes, we will," he says. And then, just as if he was never there, Mephisto, Lord of Evil vanishes.

Outside in the storm that begins to rage an alarm sound. An army of robots goes to answer the call. And Felix Faust and his collected allies descend on the Doomstadt.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Days of waiting and suddenly the alarms sound in the Hall of Justice, adding their urgency to the surge of magic that every mystic in the world worth their salt must feel.

With a practiced gesture, Zatanna opens the portal onto the storm darkening Latveria; she almost laughs at the horror film opening of battlements back-lit by lightening. Magical sight allows her to see who has cast their lots against Doom.

"We will have a good fight ahead of us," she says, head-high in the face of overwhelming odds.

For this final battle, she does homage to her father and wears full stage regalia, a bright white shirt under a well-fitted tux jacket, a black corset, and the obligatory fishnet stockings. But no heels. She has never managed to run or fight well wearing heels.

Hyperion has posed:
    He may not be a member of any of the great superteams yet, but Hyperion is anything but magical. It is his one great weakness. The last time he worked with Diana, he ended up dealing with Kang. Or.. has that happened yet? It is difficult to tell whenever Kang is involved. It's complicated. But either way he can't sense magic. He doesn't get alarms and the like. He does however, have hyper-senses. And when one is cruising along high up in the atmosphere over Europe, one has a good line of sight on most of Europe.

    And that is why there is a hypersonic missile in the shape of a man dressed in black and gold.. aiming for Latveria. INCOMING!

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana had been calmly pacing when the call had come in. She joined Zatanna where the portal was being opened and saw what waited for them on the other side.

"It would seem so..." The Princess grimly notes as she removes her dark blue cloak, draping it over a piece of furniture in the room. She gathers up her golden javelin then, and starts twoard the portal... no fear.

"We will handle this, though." She says with confidence thick in her voice.

The armored form of the Themysciran warrior princess marches through the portal now, and to the kingdom of Latvaria, even giving her javelin a readying twirl at her side as she emerges on the other side of the portal...

Clark Kent has posed:
Superman is not mystically inclined.

He does know Doctor Doom, though, and the dread Mephesto. When they walked away from Doom's treachery in order to focus on saving Doctor Fate, Superman knew it would come back to bite them. There'd been little choice at the time, but here comes the consequences of compromising with Doom. It was always the Latverians who suffered the most for the dictator's arrogance. Faust, Mordu, the Demons Three, Eclipso, it's a whos who of threats who by themselves require a full JLA lineup to oppose, and now they're all working together.

Superman cracks his knuckles.

"The job's straightforward, at least." Superman says to his assembled friends and colleagues. "The ritual's priority. It must be interrupted, or all of these lives are lost. Doom has something up his tin sleeve, but I can't read minds so I'll deal with the knife at my back when he swings it. I suggest you all do the same. Keeping you overthinking it is how the old man always wins. We're the Justice League. We've got this."

Superman flies through the portal with a CRACK, flying directly towards the ritual site. He fully expects to be intercepted and has decided to use this as a way to judge who's a priority for beating the fairy dust out of first.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
It is, admittedly, pretty difficult to catch the infamous Dr. Doom unawares and even more difficult to do so when a fifty-foot tall sorcerer is part of the attacking force. Faust has not come to quietly sneak his way into Latveria, to perform his ritual in secret and try to steal even greater power. He has assembled a force designed to completely overwhelm even the considerable defenses of Victor von Doom and wipe out all opposition before triumphantly reordering reality itself.

Of course before he can do that he will have to get past the defenses of the Doomstadt. As those alarms sound that seemingly Midieval castle shows off the fact that it has more than a few modern defenses. Those thick, towering stone bulwarks might have dismayed any army seven or eight centuries ago, but that is not what truly protects the Latverian seat of power anylonger. Almost as soon as those alarms sound a shimmering field of force springs into being, both over the castle itself and around the town. Doom might not be a benevolent leader, but no one takes or harms what he lays claim to it seems.

The force field is joined by a roiling, gleaming wave of metal that bubbles out from the depths of the castle itself, battle droids in a dozen different configurations flooding up to practically cover the walls of the Doomstadt, clinging to the rock facing, weapons aimmed at the descending sorcerers.

Doom might have few allies, but fortunately for him, fortunately for all of Latveria there will always be those who leap to the defense of any, no matter how questionable it might be if they merit such protection. It is highly likely that Doom will have little gratitude for such efforts, but that too doesn't matter and as Zatanna's portal opens to discharge the Justice League, as Hyperion streaks through the sky it is obvious that Faust and his allies will not simply walk in and have their way.

Even with long time foes taking the field against him, Faust grins madly as he descends towards the defenses of the Doomstadt. Eyes are widem those magical relics gripped in his hands held aloft as he chants, words lost in the sound of thunder filling the skies. And as he finishes those chants he begins to laugh as fiery red portals begin to open, all around the Doomstadt and it's robotic defenders. In moments the source of his glee becomes obvious as demons of all sorts begin to pour forth, swarming over the robotic defences that Doom has brought to bear. "See? Even the powers of Hell itself answer my call!" the turbanned Wizard boasts with all the customary arrogance.

Somewhere Mephisto is surely laughing his own dark, cruel chuckle.

"Mordru, if you would be so kind as to bring down that insignificant shield. It is time that the foolish Victor von Doom be taught the consequences of defying us," he asks, almost with the semblance of respect as he addresses one of the Lords of Chaos. "The rest of you... stop the Leauge or it's allies from interfering," he instructs.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
Almost at once the other mystical powers arrayed against them begin to spread out, to cut off the League. The Demons Three, with their physical prowess. Blackbriar Thorn and the elemental might of the last, true druid. Amos Fortune and all the misfortune he can bring on his enemies. And of course Eclipso, whose lip curls at being commanded like a lackey. But who turns that malevolent stare towards where the portal discharges the League.

As that portal opens, Green Lantern streaks forth, still wearing that blue cloak, that sword buckled at his waist -- prizes taken and still worn from the Realm of Fables. "I'll shield the city as much as I can," Hal promises, streaking off as he blazes an emerald trail.

Their other ally lingers though, floating out of that portal, golden helm gleaming. << And I shall do what I can to counter Mordru's might, >> Dr. Fate intones. A Lord of Order to counter the chaos that Felix Faust has unleashed.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Zee nods at Fate who has taken her chosen foe, "Take him then and I wish you well of it." Leaving her Eclipso of the malefic stare and the power of his dark gem.

She strides out into the Hall, a dozen spells readied to counter their attacks but does not intend for them to take the initiative. Without consulting Von Doom, Zee pulls out the stops, making an encompassing arc of her arm to cast a pall over the enemy facing them, tsac "seimene ruo lleps yreve nekaeW".(Weaken every spell our enemies cast.)

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana hears the alert inside her comm system that Hyperion's signal has been picked up. "Hyperion." Diana says in her smoky voice over the comm channel. "We are in need of your aid tonight." Which goes without saying, really. "The people of Latvaria are at grave risk from these foes..."

The Princess looks to Kal, and to Zatanna, then about the Hall that Zatanna set them within.

She raises up in to the air, with her javelin in hand, and the rest of her weaponry on her back, or the lasso on her hip.

Clark Kent has posed:
Superman flies.

He's got some steam to work off, but things are too dire for Clark to really feel comfortable cutting loose. He's here to work, and starts picking apart targets. "Hyperion! Your powers might disrupt Blackbriar Thorn's magic!" Superman suggests. Sure, nuking trees is kind of. Wrong, but needs must! Now the real question is: Eclipso or the demons? Diana has the benefit of her magic lasso, but is that going to be more useful for the shapeshifting fallen angel or the magically mighty creatures?

Probably Eclipso, Clark realizes, he's in no mood to fight the hate eater. Superman lands between the Demons Three, cracks his neck, and pulls back a fist to hit Rast hard enough to make the nearby foliage shudder and strain from the force of it.

Hyperion has posed:
    And. There you have it. Request for aid, and direction. Hyperion eyes the targets indicated by Superman. Vegetation, trees.. nature. It is sad to damage those things. But at the same time... atomic power focused.. can do a lot of damage.

    So it is that he widens his eyes and unleashes nuclear hell on a wide swath of vegetation as indicated by Superman. It's a pulse of power and heat and raw VRAAAP! before he says into his own comm, "Okay. Did what I could there, but I'm going to focus on evacuating civilians from the area. I can do it -fairly- quickly. That should free you big guns up as much as possible." he says before he puts action to his words.

    And then he is a black and gold streak, moving at hyper-speed as he descends to the street level of the city nearest (or maybe surrounding) Doomstadt.. and begins making people vanish, before they are set down a half mile or so further away. It's a process, but one that is -very- fast.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
It was not so long ago that Doom's Robotic forces held the gates of Hell itself to allow their master and his unlikely allies in the Justice League to plunder the Lords of Hell and seize the Candle of Neron to be used in the last line of defense.

And now Hell has been unleashed on Earth to return the favor. Whether those thousands of battle droids could have truly held off such a formidable host is rendered irrelevant. They certainly will not be doing so now. Demons of all sorts swarm over those metallic protectors. Huge, bulky dark shapes reaching out with limbs that resembled corded streel to slash and smash. Swift, nimble ones that move like smoke and shadow with razor sharp claws that leave destruction in their wake. Small, capering imps raining down fire. Swift, soaring demons that sweep down and pluck robotic protectors from the walls, dropping them hundreds of feet to smash on the rocks below.

Turrets fire out, blasts of lasers illuminating the sky as much as that lightning. Daylight returns to Latveria, at least in flickering, fragments of seconds, the sky alight with the battle raging below.

Increasingly, that demonic horde threatens to spread, to slink out into the city itself. To crawl along darkened streets, to seek anyone unfortunate enough to be out and about. Faust might believe he controls that demon army. But they are here for one purpose and one purpose only -- to punish Victor von Dooom for his insolence, for the insult offered to their Lord and Master. Mephisto.

The Justice League might be here, but facing down their foes and stopping Faust is no small thing. And first, they must get through his allies.

Superman is no fool. Facing Eclipso while full of fury is a sure fire way to become part of the problem as the one-time Spirit of Vengeance twists your soul to his own service. Those almost elfic features twist slightly as the Man of Steel turns away, but they quickly turn back towards Zatanna. "So. The dutiful daughter, striving so hard to live up to her dead daddy dearest. Come to me. Lets do this," Eclipso hisses, holding that black diamond up to his eye as a burst of pure, malevolent darkness streams out towards the sorceress.

While he might have avoided a fight he might not have been able to win with Eclipso, the Demons Three aren't much of a consolation prize. Of course before they can react Rast is knocked flying, plowing back through the nearby trees -- the ones still standing at least after Hyperion's assault. But that still leaves Abnegazar and Ghast to leap upon the Man of Steel, each of the ancient, purple demons seeking to grab an arm and literally tear Superman asunder.

The great druid, transformed now into a walking, talking tree falls to his knees as Hyperion's assult absolutely devastates the forest on the outskirts of the Doomstadt, a primal scream coming from him. The ground beneath them literally shakes and the rain falling grows harder, almost fierce enough to literally cut flesh as the elements themselves seem to go out of control with Blackbriar Thorn's rage.

But it does leave poor Amos Fortune alone, standing defiant against the Themysciran Princess. Those white robes soaked under the storms rage, the cubby man looking almost comical as he glares up at Diana. He does not move, or taunt, only seeking to bring those powers of misfortune to bear on Wonder Woman. What can go wrong, will go wrong.

For Mordru, the mighty Lord of Chaos only smiles, planting his fifty-foot tall form down over the fortifications of the Castle Doom, upraised hands unleashing an assault of mystic energies that hammer down at the glowing force field that protects Doom. A field that begins to sputter and tear almost at once at the pure chaotic forces being unleashed against it. And as Dr. Fate seeks to intervene, Faust swoops in front of him, the glowing gem of the seige Perilous flaring... and discharging a seeming mirror image of the Lord of Chaos. "I think you'll find this Dr. Fate sees things from my perspective, Nelson," Faust taunts.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Not everyone with magic in the world has hidden away. Zee considers herself close to this wielder of wild fae magic who may have felt her psychic call the moment she opened the portal from the Hall. Filling her lungs with the breath of magic that wafts into the Hall with Meggan, Zatanna ignores Eclipso's taunt with a wry smile.

The attack with the Dark Gem comes as expected. The homo magi puts up a hand to stop it.

A mirror, translucent for those inside it, a perfectly reflective surface to their attackers springs into existence around themto repel the evil light.

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana takes to the skies outside of the castle now. She watches the destruction to the wildlands of Latvaria, then sweeps her gaze over toward the hordes of demonic shadows making their way toward the city.

<"Be vigilant, Hyperion. There are many incoming to the streets of the township."> She says over comms before her eyes go up to the figure trying to break through the energy shield.

Diana sighs at this, and twirls her javelin around in her right hand before she leans forward and lunges at tremendous speed toward the enemy! She'll ram them, with her left forearm up, bracer out!

Hyperion has posed:
    Whooshing down streets, Hyperion replies over comms, <"Thanks for the warning!"> he says as he turns and speeds away from the grip of demons nearby. He snatches civilians out of the grasp of demons at the last possible moment, more times than he would like to admit to.

    A large portion of the evacuation involves semi-passive ways to tie up the demons, metaphorically. A shoulder check here, a knee to shove them away from a civilian and into a wall... Hyperion is accelerated to his absolute max speed for most of the process... He's no Flash, but he is occasionally appearing to be in multiple places at once here.. he's pushing it to the limit of his cosmic energy channeling ability.

Clark Kent has posed:
Just like last time. Clark lets out a groan of pain as the demons try and pull him apart like a wishbone. It's not the best Clark's ever felt, and his body cracks a bit under the strain. The demons are strong, unfathomably so. Clark needs to get the pressure off of him, and his eyes glow.

Ghast's fingers burn, brightly, under the unkind radiance of heat vision, that Superman follows up with a blast iof Super Breath, trying to fling the demon clean off of his arm.

Meggan Puceanu has posed:
Synchronicity isn't the only thing to shove a Laughing Magician into grand events where he doesn't belong. The House of Mystery often nudges its occupants where they need to be. "She rang? That you..." A towel wrapped around her wet hair, Meggan opens a door from a questionably decorated sitting room into the midst of a titanic, unholy battle on Latverian soil. "...Zee?"

She needs a few seconds to adequate process laser blasts, burning trees, Superman, and demon hordes. Is that Wonder Woman? The door fades away behind her to seal her fight. Shouting for Zatanna won't do a whole lot of good even if anyone could hear her. Her widening eyes seek the Mistress of Prestidigitation among the chaotic darkness, zeroing in on Eclipso and Mordru like some furious Colossus of Rhodes. Her mouth opens in shocked recognition.

Infernal scouts carving their way past robotic resistance center upon her as an easy, unarmed target. One manages to grab her arm, and ends up clinging for dear life when Meggan streaks airborne. She turns transparent as her corporeal body fades away. Their scuffle doesn't last long, ending with the monster flailing its many limbs when it falls back to Earth. In the meantime, who's going to notice the wind swirling somewhere behind Eclipso?

Victor Von Doom has posed:
While some of those on the field of battle might have just about had enough of magic and the havoc it can play, it is reasy to overlook the advantages that it brings when you have it on your side. Like say with Zatanna. Those first spells wash over the field of battle, weakening the opposition, making each of their answering enchantments just a little less effective. At least at first. Amos Fortune's misfortune does not bite quite as hard as it could, the infectious rage of Eclipso's black bolts is not quite as insidious and the sheer elemental might of Blackbriar Thorn is tempered. Even Faut seems effected, a glare shot towards the mage in her Stage regalia. But then he seems to lash out with Excalibur, a sharp cutting motion and it is as if he has severed the spells hold on himself.

Those magical artifacts he has claimed are as much a problem as his allies it would seem. Perhaps moreso.

And then there is Mordru. Is he effected? Perhaps. But it is like dropping an iceburg in a volcano. It may indeed cool things a degree or two, but it seems scarcely noticable when the fires run that hot.

Eclipso finds that black beam hurled back at him and the one-time Spirit of Vengeance is hit, those energies washing over him as he vanishes entirely, seeming consumed by the darkness. But as that void is eaten away, he reappears, still standing, still smiling cruely. Rage and hate, it seems, is of little threat to this entity. "You are perhaps more formidable then you appear girl," he says dismissively, the efforts to provoke her rather obvious. And when next he lifts that black diamond to his eye it is not waves of darkness and malevolence he hurls at her but hundreds of razor sharp duplicates of that black diamonds.

In this company of powerhouses, Amos Fortune is one of the... lesser lights to be certain. And while he might have particular cause to resent Zatanna he sticks to his target and is lef equally annoyed as she simply... ignores him. He strives to bring his increased control to bear, all the lessons given to him by Faust. Tries to twist the fields of probability to his own end and... sees that Diana's lasso does wrap around her arm, tangling there though it is not enough to stop her from lunging with that javelin. Clearly Zatanna's spell has had the greatest effect on him. And while he might be the weakest of their foes, the intangible of luck is no small thing to take out of play.

The Demons Three have indeed tried this tact before and come up wanting. They can push the Kryptonian to his absolute limits it would seem, but theyhave not yet broken him. The sound that Ghast makes as he is first burned then frozen is decidedly inhuman, the shriek loud and almost deafening as it too is hurled away.

Which might be why Abengazar finally decides to try something else. The purple demon tries to simply bite Superman's head off.

Still trying to recover and yet full of rage, the ancient druid begins to straighten, those dark branches jutting from his vageuly carved, wooden features. Rage infuses him and as he slowly straightens once more, as those branches lift, the earth answers. Pillars of dirt and stone all but explode from that ground, all zeroing in on the first figure he lays eyes on. Those columns come crashing in, slamming towards Meggan -- and proceed right through her as she seems to vanish, fading out from view.

Mordru continues to batter at the energy field protecting the Doomstadt, chaotic magic tearing away the energy shield, opening gapping holes. It is through one of those holes that Faust suddenly descends, vanishing down into the courtyard, off the field for the moment. Leaving the giant Lord of Chaose to turn and brush a hand towards Wonder Woman as if trying to shrug off a bothersome gnat. The image might not be flattering to the Amazon, but size-wise it is fairly accurate. Of course, few gnats have literally been constructed by the Gods of Olympus.

<< I know of you Hector Hall. This is not your reality. You do not know of what you interfere w

Victor Von Doom has posed:
<< I know of you Hector Hall. This is not your reality. You do not know of what you interfere with, >> the Doctor Fate of this reality says to his opposite.

<< I know enough Kent Nelso, >> the other Fate says before a great glowing Ankh is hurled. A similiarly shaped portal opens, swallowing up the blast. And the two Dr. Fates go to war.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
The streets surrounding the Doomstadt are increasingly filled with demonic shapes that creep and stalk. The threaten the surpringly colorful, sharp roofed homes that seem popular in Latveria. At least until Hyperion and Green Lantern start to sweep through the surrounding city. Demons that have destruction on their mind find themselves scooped up or blasted down. They swipe at figures that move far too fast for them to see it seems, let alone be touched. Those few people still out and about find themselves flown to safety in a blink of an eye and soon the evacuation is extended to the buildings too.

<ephisto may have intended for the streets of the city to run red with blood, but aside from his own devil hordes it would seem that injuries will be few.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
With so much magical energy swirling through the Hall, Zatanna loses track of Hyperion and can only follow him and Superman through what she hears over coms. However, the magician feels the power of creeping demon feet branching out into the streets as dust clouds the air from the explosive attacks made by both sides.

The first spell may have been like a snowball in hell, but it had the intended effect - slowing down the Great Spell from being cast while the Justice League and their allies batter them.

Darts of black-hearted magic rain down on them. Shards of poison intended to subvert them into leaving the fight. The mirror becomes adamant, the darts pinging against its shield with high-pitched whines.

Satisfaction glimmers in Zee's eyes as Meggan fades before the attack, she wings a message to her, "I hope your nails were dry before you got my call."

Hyperion has posed:
    And now that the evac has gotten over the hurdle, Hyperion glances to Hal and lets him handle the rest of it. And then he turns... zooms in his vision, through the buildings present. He spots Superman's predicament, and resolves to do something about it.

    He propels himself through the air, the anti-gravitons working overtime as he rushes towards the fight going on. He is moving at a speed that he hopes most eyes cannot follow. He is sure that Superman has no problem doing so, but this is the classic two-fisted flight pose as he rushes towards Abengazar at hypersonic speeds... the plan is to impact both fists into his head with as much force as Hyperion can possibly generate... peeling the guy off of Superman and taking him into a one on one... assuming he survives the impact, which he probably will of course. And just to add insult to injury... as he follows after the target... his eyes flare with power. Not a wide beam now, but a focused stream of atomic power before he continues in and begins throwing punches as hard and fast as he can. Sometimes, it's all about hitting first, second, third, seventeenth, twenty-ninth, etc... before the enemy can adapt.

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana's initial attack was meant to get swatted at just-so.

She doesn't lash back with the javelin, no, instead she uses the lasso of TRUTH to wrap it about the tower figure's wrist. With its unbreakable twine, Diana rushes across the bicep of the monstrous man, tugging the lasso taut as she does so.

upon his shoulder, she speaks up, letting her voice carry toward his ear.

"What is your greatest weakness!?" Diana questions him, willing the lasso to force him to speak his truth! Perhaps it could be used against him in the now, to cripple him for the remainder of the fight...

Or he'll just say 'kittens' and everyone will kind of like him a little more than before...

Clark Kent has posed:
"Oh jeze-" Superman is jumped and feels the teeth dig into his flesh.

And then, Hyperion!

"Don't worry! They're not people! You'll just send them back to hell oh you're not worried." Superman says, kind of boggling. Wow.

Still, that buys them some time. Having cleared the Demons Three for a moment, Superman looks to where Faust is doing his thing, and does the most expedient thing possible to disrupt the ritual.

Clark picks up the smoking remains of what used to be a house, and sets his legs against the ground, grunting with the pressure. Superman runs forward, and shotputs the steaming ruin into the air, aiming it right at Faust's ritual site! When you need to kill a witch, use a house, that's what Ma Kent used to say.

Meggan Puceanu has posed:
Meggan is intangible as much as she is invisible as a zephyr over the battlefield. She ascends on soft curling drifts indistinguishable from Latverian weather. Earthen columns jut up from the ground beneath where Gaea's blonde daughter was, wrinkling her mother's once smooth skin. A wordless call of her emotions, calm and peace, plunges back down into the scorched soils and abundant forests around Doomstadt. An attempt to convince the earth to stay neutral rather than alive with the druid's wrath rests on the tide of compassion deep in her heart.

Zatanna's shield shines against diamonds raining down from darkness. Meggan is her echo moving higher into the heavens until the medieval battlements of Doomstadt come into greater view, the smoking buildings and battered magical armaments overshadowed by Eclipso's silhouette.

John would have something quippy to say. Curses for not being quick and clever on the draw. Zatanna gets a reply in a way, sort of. She raises her hands invisibly and sketches a shape to break the seals on her holding back a tremendous amount of magical energy, connecting her to the leylines threaded through the country.

Her emotional treble is the real danger. A profound sense of mercy permeates Meggan, practically brimming from her, the same appeal that moved the Presence very recently. "You should go, really," the wind whispers to Eclipso kindly.

Except it's spoken in the language of Heaven. And that itself may be very concerning, no?

Victor Von Doom has posed:
The hole opened in the force field gives him his entrance and Faust descends into the courtyard on that mighty fortress, that robotic defenses well and truly tied up, trying to hold back the unholy forces that wash over them, the walls of the Doomstadt virtually covered in a writhing mass of demonic flesh as the robotic defenders are peeled away from the castle walls, hurled down to crash against the rocks that litter the canyons below it's steep walls. Barren of any human guards, Faust stalks through the double doors leading into the heart of the fortress -- only to find Doom there, waiting.

"No further Faust," the masked monarch of Latveria says, words cold and full of threat. "This is my land and you will no longer suly it with your presence," he says, those metal gauntlets coming up, unleashing a burst of electricity that streaks and arcs towards the mad mage.

Faust simply smiles, extending Excalibur before him, letting those ripples of energy find the fames blade, to wreath it and flow around it before that energy is swallowed up as well. "You could have played a role in my new reality Victor," Faust sneers. "But you were to blinded by your own, supposed brilliance. Now you are just one more obstable in my way. I would enjoy teaching you a lesson, but I've promised that priviledge to another," he says, madness radiating from that smile as he begins to chant. And the fringes of the throne room begin to fill with a deep, redish aura that positively reeks of the flames of Hell.

There can be little doubt of that Faust's intent is to give Mephisto access to this realm, not but influence or illusion. But physical access. He might have even succeeded. But a flaming thatched house that finds its way through one of those increasingly large gaps in the force field that is rapidly heading to collapse? That lands in the courtyard just outside the throne room? The debris of which batters down the doors and begins to pelt down around Faust? That's pretty distracting. It might not have been the end ritual, but that ritual comes to an end with a rather impolite curse and Felix Faust simply darts past Doom -- saved once again by Superman's intervention -- and races towards the stairs leading down into the lower levels of the Doomstadt, throwing great gouts of fire back behind him as he flees to discourage pursuit.

Of course, the fact that Superman is free to do such a thing is thanks to Hyperion and Abengazar finds himself in a world of trouble as he is scooped up and pulled away, hurled back only to have the man follow, to pound on the purple, elder demon. Powerful as he might be, all he can do is lift arms to try to ward off those blows as he finds himself pounded into the desolation that remains on the outskirts of the Doomstadt after that earlier blast.

For his part, Eclipso growls as that barrage of black diamonds proves just as incapable of making it through Zatanna's defences as his more eldritch blasts. A pile of broken shards piles up at her feet as each of those deadly projectiles is stopped short. A hiss escapes the fallen angel and he glares malevolently through that black diamond. But before he can offer any other attack that voice sounds, misty and intangible, words in a language he has long since abandonned. He whirls, peering around, seeking the source. "No." he whispers. "No!" he screams defiantly. But while he hurls his defiance at his seeming former master, he has taken his eyes off of his more earthly foe.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
For a moment it appears that Mordru will simply laugh off Diana's efforts. He is a Lord of Chaos. He is one of the most powerful entities of magic in the universe. He need not answer questions of lesser creatures, even the creation of the gods. But that sneer suddenly vanishes from his features and words slip from his mout without intend them to. "My powers are lost when I am entombed. Only the earth can confine me and strip me of my might," he booms before eyes go wide. "No, what have you done?" That great hand grabs at Diana, magic forgotten for a moment as he simply seeks to grab her, to crush her for that offense.

Those columns of Blackbriar Thorn lose Meggan and the wooden druid peers about the field of battle, seeking her out. Seeking, and failing. But there is another foe, one still free. New columns of earth, of roots and vines lash out, stetch out into the air to try and wrap around Superman. To bind him and tug him back down. Again the sky opens up at his command and first one bolt of lightning, then a second and a third hurtle down from that dark and stormy sky, striking at the Man of Steel.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
@emit Elemental magic is her realm, child of the earth, mortal though magic sings in her blood. When the ley lines thrum in accord with Gaia's daughter, Zatanna feels some deeper magic awake.

Will all be well? She wants to believe what earth's magic whispers to her and that the anger welling up in her does not have to be answered. She had prepared to hurl the diamonds back in his face, but mercy's soft voice stayed her hand.

Now, two of their enemy falter, and Zatanna takes a chance. Diana's magic lasso wrests the truth from Modru as Faust stalks the hall.

The earth trembles as she commands rocks from the ground to build a cairn around the giant figure. She hurls the stones into a great pile about the monster, the rift spitting stones like watermelon seeds from a happy child's mouth..

Diana Prince has posed:
The hand sweeping up to try and snatch up the Princess after she garners the weakness out of him, has Diana jumping up in to the air! She unravels the lasso from his arm, and plants the javelin in to the hole of his ear canal! Using it as further leverage to avoid his grabbing hand, Diana lunges up in to the air, taking her javelin, and lasso with her as she goes.

Her arching jump has her flying out toward the armies still on the ground, landing amongst them, the Warrior woman becomes a blur of attacks and unending savagery upon the demonic foes still present on the grassy lands of the kingdom!

Golden lasso glowing, golden javelin skewing her foes, Diana fights as the magic users continue to do their trading of incantations.

Hyperion has posed:
    All out assault seems to be a specialty of Hyperion's. But his ears pick up the distinct crackling that indicates incoming lightning. He turns his head and looks to the sky for a fraction of a second. Then he grins.

    "You're gonna get a shock out of this." he mutters to the great Demon he'd been pummeling... and then he turns and flies towards the lightning that is about to strike down upon Superman.

    Just before it discharges, the demon Abendazar is thrust in the way, so that the full force of the lightning strikes -him-, not Superman. Granted, as he is holding on to the guy, Hyperion takes some backlash... and it's magical lightning, so it hurts. His hands are burned, but he does not let go. Instead, he turns and turns and makes it one of those hyper-speed spins before launching the demon at Faust like a demon-shaped hammer toss.

Clark Kent has posed:
Superman again has his butt saved by Hyperion.

He honestly thinks about reccomending the hothead for League membership. His heart's in the right place, for sure. "Thanks, man! Great timing! Keep Briar down!" Superman says, "I'm going after Faust!"

Superman squats down and leaps up, up and over the great walls, aiming to land roughly where 'all the rubble is', hoping to catch up to Faust before the sorcerer does something awful or, worse, he and Doom decide to team up after all.

"Don't you think this has gone far enough, Felix?!" Superman shouts, landing with a massive slam and a cloud of dust.

Meggan Puceanu has posed:
"You are welcome home." Words on the wind carry that same gentle, warm tone. "Or go where you like. It's your choice." An airy wave stirs a string of rotors, and she moves erratically against the pattern to make centering on Meggan's location that much easier. She doesn't treat Eclipso as anything less than the overwhelming threat he is.

Like the threats she tries so hard not to make, saying truths in the kindest way she can to the fallen angel. Their essence might be anything but, probably something he can comprehend in degrees that most would not. "He takes a personal interest here in the wrongs upsetting the balance."

Floating up and back leaves Eclipso a broader path to depart if he chooses to take the higher path. He won't have her in the way if he really wants to go see the Pools of Mars or holiday at Darkseid's.

Meggan smiles more inward than out when Zatanna reaches for the mana wellspring inside, yielding to the flood with complete trust in the homo magi. Seconds to spare give her a chance to follow a shout about going after Faust. She touches her heart and frames Superman against her thumb and finger as he crashes into the jumbled debris that she couldn't hope to identify the purpose of. But this? Behind the Kryptonian surges a pure magical wave tinged strongly by life energy and a drop of the primeval forces of creation. He isn't in any danger of being overtaken as long as his strong convictions make the hero stand out, a landmark on her empathic map.

Call it a vanguard to remind Faust that Superman has friends who play with magic too.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
The chase is on.

It is dififcult to say just what Doom is thinking when Superman races past him in hot pursuit of the fleeing Felix Faust. He doesn't try to stop the Kryptonian certainly, does not bluster or threaten, he simply watches in silence as he flies by before falling back into the shadows, seeming to simply disappear. It is easy to forget, given the armor, given the robotic armies, but Doom is every bit the sorcerer as anyone present and one suspects those are the gifts he is calling upon now as the shadows simply swallow him up.

While Doom might not be interested in stopping him, the same cannot be said for Faust who throws up every obstacle imaginable to stop the oncoming Man of Steel. Walls suddenly slam together only to blow apart as Superman continues on. The roof falls on him. Great stone golems rise up out of the floor to try and grapple him, to bear him down to the ground. Lightning fills hallways and stairwells. Then fire. A great beast with a maw of acid appears from nowhere to snap at him. Each time, each threat seems... blunted. Almost like Superman suddenly has a guardian angel. And still Faust runs, deeper and deeper beneath the Doomstadt until the stairs finally open up into a great cavern.

Of course Superman only has that opportunity thanks to Hyperion once again, and his well timed interjection. The columns of rock and tree roots were never going to hold the Man of Steel for long, even ones infused with magic. But those lightning bolts might have stunned him for a few moments. If they hit. Instead Abengazar proves a most effective shield, shrieking as the lightning strikes him. The ancient demon shrieks as that magical electrical discharge flows through him, scorching Hyperion's hands before he's hurled at the fortress, hurled towards the fleeing sorcerer and while he smashes into the wall, sending up a shower of stone it does not seem to slow the fleeing Faust.

It does however take the last of the Demon's Three off the battlefield for the moment.

Eclipso however is not off the field, merely distracted, whirling this way and that, seeking the source of the unseen words that promise him forgiveness, a second chance. And if Eclipso himself has no interest in them, perhaps his host does. Perhaps some part of the buried Dr. Bruce Gordon can hear them, can fight the hold that the one-time Spirit of Vengeance has on him.

It is no sweet voice that whispers to Mordru though, only the words of Zatanna, sending rock and earth crawling up those massive legs, seeking to wrap him in that embrace and still his powers. That, and the harsher sting of Wonder Woman's javelin in his ear. He gives a shout of pain at that, missing her as she leaps away to fall amongst the hordes of demons, to battle them. But it is enough to knock him off balance, to send him plunging down to the earth. The ground heaves at the impact, the nearby houses actually crumbling. But now grounded, those spells find it that much easier for the earth to start to encase him.

That leaves only Blackbriar Thorn as a threat outside the walls of the Doomstadt. Still full of pain and fury over the destruction of the nearby forest, over Meggan slipping his bonds and then Superman he reaches out with that pain and anger, reaches out into the earth like Zatanna. But where she builds a cairn, he summons up a literal tsunami of earth that rolls towards Wonder Woman, growing higher and higher as it ripples across the ground, seeking to bury her entirely.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
Flashes of light continue to fill the sky as the two Dr. Fates battle, hurling eldritch blasts at one another, flashes of power beyond the comprehension of ordinary individuals flaring between them and then are snuffed out. FInally however great golden bands seem to wrap around one of the Fates, binding him in place. The other settles on the ground. << It is done, >> Kent Nelso intones, almost gently. But as he reaches for the other man that golden helm and amulet suddenly vanishes, leaving a man with white hair and beard sitting their bound. Shock fills the true Dr. Fate's tone. << What have you done? >>

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Magic sizzles in the air as the titans clash. After putting the finishing touches on the cairn, Zatanna reinforces Von Doom's defenses around the fortress, broken in so many places by the battle. It is only at the last moment she realizes that a tide of earth rolls toward them, earth made liquid with kinetic energy.

IN a last ditch effort to stop it, she yells, "!ezeerF .tsorfamreP"

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana is on the ground, mixing it up, with blood and mud all about her! The demonic bodies are piling up on the ground around Wonder Woman's form, as she's lost her javelin, but replaced it with her sword from her sheath upon her back!

Now with lasso and sword in hand, the demonic horde is encroaching upon her as she takes refuge near a stone building. She lets a whole line of them think they are advancing upon her before she lunges outward, and starts to sever heads from shoulders, legs from hips, and arms from arm sockets!

When she lands again, is when the cloud of earth comes rolling toward her, a earthy wave of debris, which is meant from sudden kinetic energy sent right back toward it, as Diana's bracers are slapped together, and the Aegis attack of Zeus' power is sent rolling across the ground, over the demonic horde, and toward the huge tidal wave of filth!

Clark Kent has posed:
Superman lands and there is an entire Riverbottom Nightmare Band of magical spells flying at him. Faust makes the mistake he always does, though, going for shock and awe when desperate. If he had thought to change Clark's shape or put him to sleep, the fight'd be done.

But fire? Superman walks right through it. Stone? The Man of Steel poses, sticking his chest out as the walls of Doomstat crumble when set against him. Even the great beast is held by its neck, Superman backhanding the monster with his spare hand and sending it flying across the room, where it can drool a hole in the floor for all Clark cares.

"I asked you a question, Felix!" The Superman commands, surprised at just how well he's doing. Usually there's more pain by now. "I'm not going to let you hurt the whole universe with your sloppy bargains and corner store scheming!"

Superman trusts in the League to watch their backs while he focuses on stopping Faust and, he fears, ultimately worse powers behind him. This may be a fatal mistake!

Meggan Puceanu has posed:
Meggan has done her best with Eclipso. Hope rests on the mortal host. Doctor Gordon has someone with faith in him, though they have not properly met.

Torn briefly on advancing into the castle to give Superman at least some backup, Meggan has the decision made for her when the earth convulses at the druid's command. Ringing endorsements clapped from Zatanna and Wonder Woman probably will stop Blackbriar.

Probably isn't good enough so she drops to the ground to block the earthen waves from reaching Zatanna as she casts. Wispy limbs reform as warm flesh. Her manicure is totally ruined, streaked lacquer that never set in the first place. Meggan's bare feet touch down on the ground as she presses both hands down a second later ahead of her. A tattoo in white eldritch light climbs up her left forearm in a Celtic eternity knot, glowing softly in an elaborate pattern far beyond what she could cast.

Return! is an empathic call as much as a shout on her lips, pushing back against the druid's outrage. She isn't angry as much as protective for everyone around her. In a bit of a hurry, too.

"Leave Mum out of this, mate!"

Victor Von Doom has posed:
The devastation around the Doomstadt is considerable and that rolling wave of earth threatens to make it even worse as it grows, building in height as it races towards where Wonder Woman battles those demon hordes at the base of the fortress. Despite the effort of taking down Mordru, encasing that giant form in earth it would appear that Zatanna has a little more in the tank. Which is a good thing. Still, Blackbriar Thorn has all the momentum on his side and with that much sheer mass it is awfully hard to counter at this point. But there are other ways of slowing that mass without pitting force against force. The cold tendrils of perma frost, usually only found far to the north begin to creep up through that mass and the wave of churned dirt and rock and slaughtered demons and robots slows.

Right before Wonder Woman directs that shattering wave of kinetic force it's way. The wall simply bursts, crashing back down to the ground, showering nearby demons in debris.

Will Dr. Gordon be able to overcome the grip that the Spirit of Vengeance has on him? The odds are not good, but Meggan's intervention has given that consciousness buried inside something that it has not had in far too long. Hope. Either way, Eclipso appears to be out of the fight for now, leaping this way and that, jumping at shadows, locked in a internal battle. Quite fitting considering the strife he brings to others.

Which only leaves Blackbriar Thorn. Again he is thwarted by Zatanna and Wonder Woman, his wall of earth shattered. He turns towards the Justice League's resident magic expert, more than ready to try to put an end to her but finds that she is not alone. Once more Meggan is solid. But this time she has beaten him to the punch. He reaches out, trying to harness the power of the earth -- only to find that it is not there to him. Instead that sentient tree that was once a man finds his thoughts growing... dimmer. His rage dissipating. And the great mother reaching for him, pulling him back into a soothing embrace. The light in those wooden eyes fades to a mere gleam and Blackbriar Thorn grows still.

The cavern beneath the Doomstadt is vast, perhaps stretching even beyond the boundaries of the fortress above. Despite that, it would appear that Faust has trapped himself at last. Perhaps he could use his powers to escape one last time, to teleport away. He still has Excalibur and the Seige Perilous afterall. Not a small haul. But it would appear that his alliances are in somewhat rough shape. And he still has to be quicker than the Man of Steel.

So Faust's headlong dash comes to an abrupt end, his retreat over. He slowly turns to face down Superman, those dark eyes filled with hate. And yet a smile rests on his face. "So predictable," he says lowly.

At that moment there is a brief flash and the Rainment of Fate suddenly reappears. On Faust. Those hate filled eyes are suddenly covered by that great golden helm, the amulet appearing around his neck as a flowing gold cape drapes behind him. A shimmering aura of an ankh appears behind him, backlighting him with it's golden glow. But almost immediately that glow, the gleam of the helmet seem to take on a far more ominous reddish hue. The newly armored faust lifts a hand, flared gloves now covering them, and he gives it a quick, twisting motion. It is as if there is a crystal between the two, a crystal that cracks. His image is refracted a dozen or more so times, each one showing a slightly different scene. It is as if Faust has slipped between those Infinitesimal moments between seconds. In one a pentegram is suddenly outlined on the floor, in another candles flare to life. In still another Faust can be seen sitting in the middle of that symbol on the cavern floor, while in another he paces around, chanting and gesturing.

The final ritual, Faust's desperate attempt to reorder reality to better suit his liking has begun.