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[Quest] The Avengers: A Light in the Darkness

An ominous mist embraced the blonde heroine as she stepped through yet another portal. Clad in her spandex best, the Avenger was happy to be out of the Nexus again, and even more so to be out of that confusing bar-brawl in Coruscant. Hero work was many things, but one thing it was not was a bar-brawl. 

As she traveled the beaten path, an eerie fog blotted not only the horizon, but the space ten feet in front of Ms. Marvel. Howling sounds of the wind, or wolves, or both stalked her; just when she thought the howling was gone it would start up again. She could feel eyes watching her, piercing the veil of fog, studying her every movement. More sounds: leaves crunching and rustling, tree branches snapping. Something was out there.

Who’s there?!

That’s something a victim would say. Carol Danvers was no victim. Carol Danvers was a hero. Instead she said, “Come on out of there. I know you’re there.” When silence responded she pressed again, “Are you friend or foe? I hope its friend.” Shoulders back and chest out, she grinned, “For your sake.”
[Image: msmarvel3-by-carolgfx-d8dnbde.png]

Beneath an eternal blanket of darkness, not unlike that of Darkshire’s own namesake, and beyond the perpetual fog that blotted the horizon, deeper further into the cursed and dying lands of the Pale Moors, a nefarious would-be-queen rallies her court for conquest. Surrounded by all manner of things that go bump in the night, her voice is loud and booming, so that it may speak to a vast many, a diverse horde of fiendish ghouls that hang on her every word.

“Children of the grave, of the moon, and of all things wretched, heed my call!” the demonic queen commanded from atop her dreary palace balcony. “I’d rather fight with you than that of any army of man! Let no human ever forget how menacing we are! We are their nightmares, we are their monsters!”

The host of horrors erupted in a terrifying ruckus, approving of their wicked queen, and only silencing when she beckoned them to. The Queen of the Damned extended her arm, pointing her finger towards the general direction of Darkshire. “Do you know what lays just over there? Waiting, beyond that ridge, beyond the swamp? Its destiny!!! Take it!!! It belongs to the night!!!” 

The fiendish army cheered so menacingly in response, even the bravest of men would have felt their heart quicken. Their queen called for their silence with a motion of her hand and took a pause to revel in the moment. The ghoulish host had come along way from its inception and was now only a climax away from bringing the queen’s aspirations into fruition.

“I have not always been the Queen of the Damned and my people have not always been forsaken.” The undead sorceress surveyed the faces of her subjects, reflecting on the pilgrimage it took to recruit each and everyone of them. “Long ago this land comprised the settlements of Dalaran and Minas Tirith, ruled by the infamous King Aragorn.” The demonic queen gritted her teeth through pursed lips. “Aragorn,” she seethed, “even saying his name makes my blood boil. This false king, Aragorn, is a coward and a traitor, nothing more.”

‘Kill the traitor!’, ‘gut the traitor!’, and ‘flay him alive’ could all be discerned from the roars of the horde as their queen rallied their malevolent spirit. Putrid, vile, and psychotic, the abomination that was her army was a blight on the civilized society of the Moors.  

“After the Black Gate opened,” she continued, “Aragorn withdrew his armies, leaving Diablo to scar this land and every living creature in it. My own death came at the expense of Aragorn’s cowardice. Reborn, I will never forgive him! We, The Damned, will never forgive him!!!” 

‘Kill the human king.’, ‘Eat his children!’, and ‘Destroy ALL HUMANS!!!’ they cried. Monster, beast, and undead alike, all united in their hatred, and all under one banner: The Queen of the Damned, Hellvania Stormcaller. 

“The people who called this land their home in life,” the queen continued, “do so now in death, but the Kingdom, the Kingdom does not recognize our rights!” Hellvania was shouting as she slipped the balcony ledge and left her council behind, descending several stories to her army below. Rising from her knee and the slight crater it caused, the wicked queen addressed her forces, face to face. “Darkshire shuns us,” the queen declared as she strolled through their ranks, “and by us, I mean all of us!” She took her time, personally inspecting each enlisted horror as she went. 

“It matters not if you’re undead, lycan, or of any ghoulish nature. They shun us all the same. Their claim on this land is an attempt to invalidate our very existence! The forsaken and the damned ARE this land! Together, Darkshire’s existence is a disgrace to us all! I will not tolerate their insolence! The Pale Moors belongs to the night!! Always and FOREVER!!!"  

An eruption of ghoulish cheer from their ranks boomed so loud it shook the valley they occupied. “On the eve of tomorrow,” the queen shrieked above their roars, “we march onto Darkshire, onto victory, onto immortality!!!”
[Image: msmarvel3-by-carolgfx-d8dnbde.png]

“Hello?!” A voice, veiled in the foggy distance, cried out. “Oh, god. Please! Help us!” the voice screamed. It belonged to child, a little girl’s voice, and she sounded like she was afraid. Distressed, Ms. Marvel’s eyes surveyed the fog in front of her, searching for any sign of the child’s location. 

“Help is here.” Ms. Marvel shouted into the fog. “Everything is going to be okay now,” she promised, searching this way and that, “just keep calling out to me so I can reach you.” The avenger ventured forward to get a closer look.

“Where are you?” another child’s voice called out. “Please! Oh God, I don’t see you.”

Ms. Marvel’s shoulders shifted towards the new voice’s direction, then she asked, “How many of you are there? Can any of you see me?” A bead of sweat raced down the profile of Carol’s masked face. These were children. They were lost and they needed help. This is where Ms. Marvel belonged, this was hero work. Raising a gloved hand to the air, Ms. Marvel released golden flare into the fog, and shouted. “It’s okay babies, just head towards the light. It’s all over now. You’re okay.” 

“Oh, we can see you now. Don’t worry. We’re coming for you.” a distinctly different, distinctively male, and much older voice growled from the fog, sending an ominous twinge down Ms. Marvel’s spine. 

“That’s not us!” the first voice cried out.

“They’re chasing us!” the other screamed.

“There you are you little bitches!” growled the angry voice.

“No! Please!” the girls screamed.

Time was fleeting. Throwing caution to the wind, Ms. Marvel exploded into the air and cut through the fog in a bolt of golden light. By the time she located the distress, two ravenous wolf-like monstrosities were barring down on the two defenseless little girls.

Ms. Marvel balked. Did her eyes deceive her, or were the assailants werewolves? Truly? There wasn’t time to confirm as the nightmarish beasts were closing in on the children. Bright gilded flames of violent energy enveloped Ms. Marvel’s form, as the heroine lowered her center of gravity, and unleashed two concentrated beams of photonic whoop-ass at each one individually. 

The beams lit up the night’s sky and singed the very air they tore through. Two deafening sounds followed as one beast was struck in the back and the other in the shoulder. One after the other, the giant wolves were sent tumbling to the moss covered earth, revealing two cowering, unharmed children.

“Don’t be scared,” Ms. Marvel boomed as she descended upon the children, “you’re safe now.” She ushered the children behind her and steadied her focus on the now stirring man-like wolves. 

“Be careful.” one of the children said.

“They’re ugly when they’re angry.” the other commented.

Weren’t they always? Ms. Marvel arched an eyebrow at the comment, but was under assault before she could give it much thought. The werewolf with a grey mane lunged at her, his razor sharp claws swiping at Marvel’s throat. The avenger stepped into the assault while pivoting her weight, grasped hold of the beast's extended arm in both hands, and proceeded to use his own momentum against him. Barreling over Ms. Marvel, he slammed head first into the ground. Ms. Marvel simply held an open palm over the beast’s head, amassed a large pool of photon energy into her hand, and shot the wolf, execution style, in the back of the head. Ms. Marvel had no mercy for dogs that would harm children.

 Raising to her feet, she met the remaining werewolf head on, but she had afforded his fallen companion too much time. The wolf with the black mane sank his knife sized canines into Marvel’s throat, overpowering, and tackling her to the ground. The beast then proceeded to thrash Ms. Marvel about like a rag doll, crashing her flailing, limp body into a nearby tree, mossy ground, and earthly roots alike.

Her vision distorted and nearly failed with each crash into the earth until, finally, she felt the grip of something solid: a root entrenched into the earth. Without anchor, Ms. Marvel had become this beast’s chew-toy, but now anchored, that all changed. Holding on for dear life against the bucking werewolf with one hand, she used the other to clobber the ever living shit out of the beast. Repetitively, she smashed her fist and then her elbow into the wolves skull until, gradually, the canines loosened and Ms. Marvel came away a free, bloody mess. Without missing a beat, Ms. Marvel put on another light show. She hit the werewolf with a bombardment of quick concussion blasts, littering the beast’s underbelly with holes until it slumped its lifeless body on top of her; she pushed it off to the side and stood.

After wiping herself clean with the sash around her waist, Ms. Marvel approached the children and knelt next to them. “You two alright? Let me get a look at you two.”

This was hero work.
[Image: msmarvel3-by-carolgfx-d8dnbde.png]

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