Break the Unbreakable
The battle raged thru the night, never stopping, never slowing as humans, beasts and creatures fought for their perspective alliances. Those who were wounded beyond combative ability were pulled back to the lines, some were given first-aid and raced back to the field of battle others took longer with the few fortunate who were direly wounded making it back were kept there. The Volva remained with the healers, though the distant sound of battle tugged at her heartstrings as the memories of her own engagements from ages beyond memory came back. They were fresh in her mind, but she pushed them aside, focusing in the point of time she was living in now. Here.Now.Healing injured witches, wizards, beasts, and Anexus.
Fenrir was among those injured, the Volva was caught in shock of his condition as though he had been poisoned by magic itself. It did not endanger his life, but it caused a painful sickness until she could extract the access magic. The waters pulled from the wolf’s mouth were sealed in a vial, needed for later observation as the nature of this enchanted water was and was not natural. The others did not seen affected with the same ailment, meaning that either it was a substance that should not be ingested, or that it affected Anexus negatively. Helga briefly explained an entire pool of these waters were present under the castle and Avalon had been exposed to much more than Fenrir.
The Volva did not ask where Avalon was, but after the sorcerers apparated to the front lines she regretted having not. Avalon was not with them, yet they all apparated here together meaning either they were separated...or they left the chief behind. The wise woman could imagine Salazar doing such to save his own skin, a man she held even less trust in than Avalon, his eyes held a particular shadow to them that was not necessarily ‘evil’, but certainly ‘dark’. Though her trust in the other three were hardy more than Slytherin, she did believe in Avalon’s faith in them and that was enough. They would not leave her--especially the Gryffindor-boy--unless Avalon herself commanded it or gave them no choice.
If Avalon had forced them to leave then there was no other option or...she did not want any witnesses. The Volva’s hand stopped their continuous motion of grinding herbs in a mortar and pestle. They had discussed it--do not use the Old Blood; the presence of so many was too much of a risk, too dangerous, and there would come deadly consequences. Her refusal to absorb other people’s magic and the limited magic her father had passed to her was all, but spent in her battle with the Elder Dragon. She was running out of time. The alchemist breathed out, calming herself--she would be alright, so long as Caliburn was with her, her body would not absorb natural magic unnecessarily.
There was a tug of uncertainty, of worry. There had been neither word nor sighting of Avalon since the battle commenced from any of their own people. The fact Fenrir had been separated from Avalon was already alarming. As though on command the Dire Wolf leaped back to life and health, his tail was low, back straight and ears down as a low growl rumbled from his throat. An uncertain threat. For a wolf of his size and status, to be wary of anything was a cause of alarm for all. The Volva could not leave her patients, she walked to beside Fenrir and placed her hand on his shoulder.
The wolf darted with the given order, racing thru the trees, into the ever-lightening forest. Dawn was approaching, commencing the second day of the last battle.
The roar was suspended by the rumble of the area. The ground beneath their feet cracked and shot upward as two separate entities emerged from the depths below. Hell had come to earth--the first was Antares, who landed effortlessly in a cloud of smoke, the other was Avalon, who jumped from the created shaft and settled much harder on her feet. The Dark Lord bore a surprised face, an unmistakable shock at witnessing the change in both Avalon’s actions and changing appearance:
Her armor had been removed, leaving the linen under-shirt exposed and nearly shredded to beyond a point of use. Blood stained the under-shirt, but it was not fresh, dried from injuries that had either stopped or were healed...instantly. Steam emitted off Avalon, from all around her body, injuries no matter how small healed rapidly as though she never received them. What was the beginning of her true change had been her right arm, wielding Excalibur, that had become blackened, scaled in a plated pattern similar to dragons. The right of her face had dark magic dancing across her skin, consuming more and more of her face in black, with red under color. Her eyes, golden, acted as the only unaffected manifestation by the dark magic. Those eyes held a strength behind them now, a resolve not witnessed before.
“Do you see?” Avalon held her left arm up and clenched her fist to Antares, “See what happens to humans who go beyond the natural order--the fate that awaits you. Nothing can be gain without sacrifice and if it is not you who pays it, another must.”
Avalon took a step, magic entering and alternating her body from the inside-out.
“You dare lecture me on the natural order?” Antares hissed, “The Great Hypocrite at last reveals herself. You would accuse me of defying the natural order when you yourself have done such already!”
Avalon lifted Excalibur to her chest, both hands grasping at its handle, “I will waste no time explaining myself nor my curse to you. It is wasted upon one who willingly defies the Great Balance.”
Excalibur went back with her hands as she ran forward. Antares met her halfway, conjuring a series of phantom weapons and bringing to life bones from the earth. Avalon ceased her surprise, the act of necromancy is none to far to the lengths this wench will go to achieve her goals. They were weak dummies, animated bones with no true power to them and against Avalon’s blade it was like a knife thru butter. Antares apparated behind the alchemist, her wand shooting jets of red and blue, numerous spells firing and colliding with Excalibur. Avalon pivoted to go back, but a skeleton seized her leg, jerking her to a halt. By the time she crushed the bones, Antares was in front of her sending her fist into Avalon’s core and throwing the alchemist into a nearby wall. The wall collapsed, falling on top of her.
Avalon would not fall so easily. The moment the rocks settled, she broke thru the pile and revealed herself to be unaffected by the injury, but her eyes, holding so much strength were focused on something other than the Dark Lord.
“Do not wonder your mind elsewhere Anexus.” The witch commanded, ignoring niceties now that the alchemist was by no means joining her.
Avalon would not respond, she did not need her actions to give away her caution around other people. Her form was already distorting, but it was under a small manner of control. It would be easier to explain a few mutations from her encounter with the Elder Dragon, but not her entire body becoming a monster. The alchemist collected enough magic and swung:
The crescent of magic rolled forward, but they were not in a condensed space, not in a place where magic was able to bounce back and forth and enforce its strength when released. If they were being honest, Avalon would rather take her chances near the pool than out in the open. Nonetheless, with the attack’s distinct feature, her allies knew right away Avalon was not only alive, but very serious. The Legendary Four appeared in a crack, just as the Dark Lord split Excalibur’s attack down the middle. It was not enough. The four launched their spells at the witch simultaneously, the magic collided, but rotated, spiraling around the witch in a sphere before being directed right back to them. Avalon moved in front, using Excalibur as she would Caliburn, only rather than deflect the magic she absorbed it, condensed it into Excalibur and sent it back to the Dark Lord. The dark witch moved the attack to the side of her, narrowly missing the chance to deflect it.
“Five on one? What honor is there in that?” Antares gestured to the additional four.
Rowena stepped up, “You deserve none.”
Avalon smirked at the authoritative persona that is Rowena Ravenclaw. Compared to her the alchemist is a passive diplomat. The four launched attacks again, focusing into one point the Dark Lord was able to counter collide. The Alchemist stood behind them in a moment of awe. Godric, Rowena, Helga, and Salazar...they came to her aid, they display the power and ability to counter one of the most powerful sorcerers of all time and it is out of the pursuit of a silly little dream created by two children. She watched them, a tear dropping from her eye as the emotions of their combined efforts, their combined strength tipped the scales overwhelmingly. What were the Anexus compared to these great people? What was she compared to them?
Avalon clapped her hands together, bringing her right hand over the tattoo of her left arm she brushed over their markings and transmutated:
Lightning cracked, racing in the center of the four it brightened and deafened all sound before screaming as a thousand birds. Antares felt the blow from her wand into her arm and thru her chest, shot far and hard. She regained her footing, enraged at the sudden push she received: she was being pushed back? Unacceptable! Unforgivable! The witch wore the face of furry as she drove her wand into the ground, summoning the waters of the Lazarus Pool. Rising from the pit of the collapsed tunnel, the green waters spiraled around the witch, empowering her with magic as the waters passed in and out of her body. Avalon hesitated.
“Stop!” She yelled out, running without thinking, clapping her hands together as she used the gift of her arm and held it in her palm.
The waters quickened, to the speed of which they appeared to be a solid mass around Antares. The heightened speed caused a high-pitch sound, one that disrupted the roars of battle, silencing them and filling the people with fear as the Dark Lord rose above the courtyard, shaking the castle. The castle ruptured, much of his towers and structures breaking and rising into the air as though an invisible hand was lifting them from their earthly confinement. Rumble had Avalon on the ground, her lighting shot out to the side and destroyed a large segment of wall. The people ran for their lives, fleeing as the grounds of the castle were scooped up and levitated as they rose high into the sky. The only ones who remained on this floating castle were the only ones who stood a chance against this monster.
Helga ran over, immediately tending to the ‘curse’ that she thought was destroying her body. Salazar stared at the rising Dark Lord then at his surroundings, telling the others they must leave before the castle falls and kills them all.
Godric asserted himself, “We must end her while we still can!”
“There will not be anyone to stop her if we are crushed to death!” Salazar petitioned as he went with the others to a grounded Avalon, “What in the--”
Avalon’s body was visibly changing from her original pigment to a blackened scale, the obvious presence of dark magic the cause of it. The Lazarus Pool--she must have been exposed to far too much for her body, but that would not explain the Dark Lord’s apparent well-being at the moment with the entire pool either within or around her. No, this must have to do with the mention of the Old Blood he heard in her memories, if it is a curse, then the pool must have accelerated its progress. There was nothing he, a master of curses could do to help her and strangely enough...he wish he could.
“Helga you cannot...” Rowena touched her shoulder, but was shrugged away, “Our magic will not help this its...”
Avalon opened her golden eyes and sat up, despite her appearance she did not display any notion of being in pain. The Anexus were either exceptionally accustomed to pain...or there is something about their magic they have failed to mention. The alchemist watched the Dark Lord higher above the ground than the castle and noticed pieces of the castle were floated above the main structures and could be used as steps to the which. The castle suddenly slowed, the largest of the pieces floated just below the Dark Lord where she landed and became out of sight.
“We have to stop her.” Avalon breathed, working to get up--she felt extremely heavy, “If she absorbs anymore magic we might lose our lives before she loses hers.”
Helga strutted in front of her and put her wand to her face, “You are not going anywhere until I heal--this!”
Avalon frowned and moved the wand out of her face, “I am not injured, this is just a side effect, but I am running out of time.”
Her right hand now mutated to claws, her left ear sharpened to a point and her arm was beginning to take scales as its new surface. There was no time to explain her appearance, no time to explain what was happening or why she was running out of time. The more natural magic she absorbed the quicker this process would take over her body and she was already running out of human magic to maintain whatever was left of her form. She stood too quickly, her new weight off balance as she went face first into the ground. Helga scurried to lift Avalon, but also discovered the unexpected weight and was unable to move her.
Avalon caught an idea--if she was this heavy and had difficultly moving then she could imagine what the Dark Lord was suffering. Her movements would be sluggish. though more powerful, but if they were faster then those attacks could be avoided. Avalon thought she would be of no use to them in her current state, her added weight from absorbing too much magic would hinder her in battle. She felt a wand in her back:
The heaviness was gone instantly, the ability to move and stand without difficulty now returned as Avalon turned to see Rowena above her with a smile.
“You should have no difficultly moving now.” The Enchantress said to a speechless alchemist.
The alchemist stood, flexing her hands in and out at the return of mobility was a comforting control. She looked around and saw they were the only ones left within the castle--almost, Fenrir ran from behind a wall, plowing into Avalon and returning her to the dirt. Viciously he attacked her face with his relentless tongue allowing the others to breath thru laughter for the first time in days. Despite the situation they were faced with, the place they were standing on and the danger to their lives...still they laughed. It was a reminder, they were alive, they were not only the myth and legends people portrayed them as--living people with beyond ordinary dreams. Dreams they intend to fulfill after this day.
“Now that we have a moment to breathe care to explain yourself?” Salazar asked, though without ill tone.
Fenrir nudged himself into Avalon as she stood, helping her to her feet regardless if she needed the help or not. How to explain this? Avalon knew Salazar suspected something, his trip into her mind might have revealed more than she desired, but he was not intending on giving away what was her condition in detail. She exhaled: on rare occasions someone in their clan are born with the ability to absorb and store natural magic. Unlike their normal capacity to simply absorb and use it for transmutations, those few who are born with the ability can trap the magic within them. There are adverse effects of course, Avalon carefully worded, that too much natural magic alters the individual’s physical state and essentially converts them from human to beast--just as werewolves, they have no choice in the change.
“Is there a way to reverse the...process?” Helga questioned, analyzing in detail and realizing Avalon was not in fact injured, but her body was forcibly being changed.
Avalon became quiet, but the rumbling of the castle halted any further discussion on the subject. It did not matter anymore, her time was nearly out and unlike her father she would not use the magic, the souls of innocent sorcerers to extend her own life. She was certain...Rowena was knowing...Avalon would not survive this battle with things as they are. The six looked to the highest point of the castle, to where green light took over the blue of the sky. The sun was up now, its luminescence however, losing against the might of this dark magic. They would fight for it, they would bring back the light to their lands and dispel the evil that strengths its grasp around.
“Any ideas?” Godric asked no breaking contact with the floating islands.
“I trust you would not approve of me throwing Anexus at her.” The elder brother answered.
“Or using Slytherin as a decoy.” Avalon retorted.
Rowena rolled her eyes, “You two are going to be the death of us.”
“Better us than her.” Both said in unison.
Antares found her feet firmly on the island she had made. This is where she would rule, in the skies, where none, but gods could reach. She had reached it, she had entered and surpass their realm using the very method the alchemists considered forbidden! Nothing was forbidden to her, nothing the Chief of the Anexus could say that would prove to her otherwise--a flash of Avalon’s appearance flashed in the Dark Lord’s mind. Whatever befell the alchemist would not happen to her, she embraced this magic, dominated it, bent it to her will. That woman rejects this magic, magic that is hers by right if only she would reach out her hand and claim it then she would have all the power she could ever dream of. Power that would make her own dream come true.
The Dark Lord waved her wand and created a mirror with the water to show her reflection. An improvement. The waters had done wonders to return her to a youth not seen in years and with it the rejuvenating strength she felt deep into her bones only grew with each passing minute. None would be able to stop her, to bring down the Dark Lord infused with her own strength and that of the Lazarus Pool. She waved her wand above her head, the dragon bone mask snapped and broke, twisting to the shape of a crown with waters of the pool streaming within it, coloring it in a green glow. A crown fit for a queen, no a goddess who shall rule all of the waking world--forever.
Antares shut her eyes, opening them shortly after to the mutilated Avalon standing at the edge of the island. The witch was across from her, in the center of a crumbled segment of the castle with an archway barely standing and yet free standing by no doubt an act of magic. Avalon felt uneasy climbing here and even more when her attention was taken by the archway. She had the strangest feeling that there was someone standing on other side of the archway. There was no one there, no one physically there and yet she not only felt someone, but heard whispers of voices unable to distinguish words from them. Avalon came closer, cautious, but curious at this archway, nonetheless forgetting of the reason she was here.
“I hear them as well.” Antares said as she turned and followed Avalon who walked more to the direction of the stone than the witch.
“Another one of your experiments?” The alchemist gave an evil eye.
The Dark Lord, seeping magic, though only the alchemist could tell, shook her head: “It is something that has been in existence long before the castle. It was brought here, but we know no more of its origins than its purpose than when it first was found.”
Avalon averted from the archway and pivoted opposite of it, the Dark Lord, slower followed this motion. Just one? Surely not, they would not under-estimate her so easily and Avalon has said it herself she cannot bring the Dark Lord down herself. Points for effort though. No, there was a plan, Avalon was most likely a distraction--a decoy for the others to get in possession or to surprise her at some point. A foolish gesture, surely Avalon knew her well enough to know such a tactic will prove no effectiveness--then again the alchemist has quite the death wish, perhaps she was planning on playing as the sacrifice than a decoy.
“Coming here alone was foolish.” The witch warned.
Avalon smirked, “If you need to summon those hooded creatures, I will wait.”
What confidence. What arrogance! The Dark Lord shot out a spell, Avalon dove forward and rolled to the left, evading a blast of red that charred the ground. The alchemist clapped her hands together--she stopped, remember the limited material that was floating high above the ground. She could not risk transmutating a large amount and compromise the battle ground. Instead, she ran her hand along the formula on her arm and lighting sparked--flashing to the Dark Lord, the witch diverted its path with her wand, but not as quickly as before. Avalon was right, she had slowed down, but she was not retaining the newly acquired magic meaning the power she possesses is not something that can be maintained for long periods of time. Still...they did not have time to find out how long that took.
Fight. Avalon darted forward, colliding with the phantom blade the witch created to combat Excalibur. Harder. She was pushed back, sliding and hitting a pillar--Antares waved another spell, but a shield went up just in time. Rowena was beside her now, holding against the Dark Lord. They went together, keeping the shield up as Avalon created more lightning; Rowena adjusted the shield, funneling the jet into the dark witch. Faster. Avalon brought her sword down, but was thrown again, she her body went into the air and descended, Godric took her place, swinging his sword, enchanted with a heavy-weight spell that made it harder for the Dark Lord to evade.
Antares moved back, a spell from Salazar hit her in the back, colliding with the water, but cutting her nonetheless. She was not the only one who was well-versed in water-elemental spells. She twisted back, colliding spells; she sensed the alchemist and moved to the left, evading the slash. Antares held her hand up and pushed Avalon thru a stone pillar, the alchemist stopped moving. Helga appeared on top of Fenrir, casting a charm of healing, she had Avalon back on her feet within two minutes. Rowena reversed the Dark Lord’s spell, having her arm thrown back in recoil; Godric caught the Enchantress and slowed her flying. Salazar launched Avalon at the Dark Lord, holding her still as Antares tried to throw her again. Lighting raced to the witch who used her wand to roll it into itself into ball then thru the force outward, throwing everyone back--Avalon hit the ground and rolled, the majority of her body slipping over the edge.
Fenrir tried to run to her aid, but the Dark Lord trapped him under chains. Godric was forced to hide behind a pillar and was to far to reach her without he himself being a victim. Salazar kept a shield up, Rowena took Helga under her protection as the younger witch recovered from being thrown from the Dire Wolf. Avalon struggled to find her footing, panicking at how high she was from the ground. An island floated nearby, coming closer as though it were debris floating in calmer waters. The Dark Lord took no chances, she sent a roaring rally of magic and destroyed the edge Avalon was trapped on.
Salazar summoned a broom and took to the skies, sending blasts of spells with each time he zoomed past the witch. Rowen and Helga shot out their own spells, Godric as well all the while the Dark Lord was absorbing the magic they were throwing away. She was becoming heavier, it was harder to move--Avalon climbed the collapsing cliff and transmutated the edge to connect to the rest of the floating island if only for a moment. She leaped, catching the new edge before the previous descended below, colliding with another segment of castle. Oh how she hated heights. She wasted not time, gripping Excalibur she and Godric ran forward together; Antares had enough, she threw out a forceful wave and threw everyone off their feet.
“I gave you a chance to join me, willing, but now you have chosen a path of pain!” Antares cast-ed again, filling everyone with unimaginable suffering, giving them the feeling of having their insides twisted and pulled.
Rowena was faster than the Dark Lord, her quick skills had her throw up a shielded and protect her from a majority of the spell. In retaliation, the Enchantress sent Inspiratione at her, The blast distracted the dark witch long enough for those affected to be released and know a manner of relief. Avalon tried to stand and found herself heavy again, now more than before because of fatigue, by the increasing magic and by her own inability to cope with the effects of the Old Blood. Godric reached out to her, just barely out of reach of their finger tips. He was scared, they both were, of dying, of losing each other, of failing those they cared about. Avalon too another hard look in her closest friend's eyes then at the others, how weary they were from this battle, how long they had been fighting; Fenrir limped to her side before dropping to his side, whining from the pain.
Avalon reached to the wolf and gripped his coat, feeling with this mutilated hand; the change of magic within herself. Fenrir lifted his head and pressed it to his companion's, licking sweat from her face. She smiled breathlessly, raising a shaking hand to the wolf's head.
"Good...boy..." She exhaled.
Rowena apparated to Avalon, pressing the tip of her wand to the alchemist's back for a moment before returning to her previous place. An unspoken: it is not over. Helga appeared to Fenrir and began healing him, Avalon stood, her ease of movement returned, but knowing how heavy her sword had become made little difference to her actions. More. Much More. Avalon returned to the heat of conflict, though they were thrown back time and time again they did not wavier in their efforts, did not falter their decision and would not give up until they either won or died.
Godric and Avalon fought in unison, one would counter the first spell the other would follow up and launch an attack. It was working. It was hard, unrelenting work, but they were wearing the Dark Lord down and the more magic she absorbed the slow she became, but also the stronger the spells. At one point her frustration at their continued fighting has react most irrationally: she physically sent her fist hard into the alchemist's face and has her off her feet into the ground. Still Avalon got back up, the five of them together launched another wave of magic at the Dark Lord who slid back at the force. She proceeded to divert the spells down and to the right, obliterating everything there and behind. The Dark Lord wore a face of furry, her rage turned against the five as she shot dividing spells--four hit the ground, one disappeared.
The Dark Lord caught the presence too late, she tried to move, but she was too slow, she tried to apparate, but a jinxed shield made that impossible. She spun, the length of time slowed as she watched the gleam of light reflect on the sword, as she heard the name of the first spell an alchemist ever used: Magic glowed as golden light, its roar so loud it deafened all sound. It held firm to the sword's blade, desperate to be released, to be unleashed upon the one who would be its target. In this confined space, in this bubbled shield whose strength was reversed to keep in than out, there would be no escape, no evasion...for anyone.
The witch bore witness to the resolve of these five, to the lengths they would go to accomplish their dream.