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Discussion in 'Blackhaven' started by Alec Lightwood, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Middle of the ocean might have been okay, if the creature wasn’t octopus like and could probably just swim on back. Sometimes he really, really did not like Pandora. “Well, we have to immobilize it first,” he said, feeling a little more on edge with every step he took. He could see Magnus in his periphery now, coming up beside him to walk rather than behind. It was obvious now which building they were heading toward, straight ahead of them.

    His fingers twitched with the urge to reach for an arrow, but he knew it was pointless. They hadn’t worked every other time he’d been here and it would just be a waste. But they were comforting – something he was good at. Instead, he curled his fingers into his palms, scanning the windows – where faint shadows seemed to shift beyond them.

    It made something shiver up his spine and he shoved it away, not willing to show how afraid he really was. “This is it,” he said, with a frown. He put a hand out to stop Magnus, though he didn’t take his gaze away. “Can you see that? In the windows? The moving?” He nodded toward the building. “Those are the tentacles.” As far as he could see, they reached every window on the first floor, and could easily zip on up to the next levels.

    It was unsettling. ​
     
  2. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    The warlock stopped at the signal from Alec, following his gaze towards the windows along the first floor in front of them. He looked carefully, watching the shift of the light behind them in the shadows - there was certainly movement behind them, uneven and large. Just because it seemed contained to the windows along the first level didn't mean it couldn't reach higher, either. If the creature was as dangerous as Alec and his boss described, Magnus wasn't about to downplay anything he saw at first glance.

    He didn't like the feeling he got in the pit of his stomach watching the shifting movement from within the building. Could it sense them? Or was it simply restless?

    "I could portal us to the roof, and we could try and catch it off-guard by getting the drop on it from above." If the body was confined to the first floor despite the reach of the tentacles, they might get lucky if they didn't approach it from a level it could easily see.
     
  3. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Alec considered that. He’d never been able to get to the roof himself because the buildings nearby weren’t close enough and he wasn’t able to get close enough to the building itself to the room. But a portal could definitely work. He was silent for another moment or two, focused and considering, before he gave a short nod.

    “That could work,” he said. “We’ve been coming at it from below, I don’t know how intelligent it is, but it might not expect it.” At this point, anything was worth a try and as it was so different from everything they’d tried before, he had to hope that it would work.

    Otherwise, well, they’d better find a cage fast. ​
     
  4. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    "One rooftop portal, coming up." Magnus gives Alec what he hopes is a smile that projects a lot more confidence than he actually feels about getting any closer to the building than they already were, especially if all of the weapons Alec has on him are useless. The portal opens in front of them, with Magnus easily keeping the image of the roof in front of them in his mind's eye while he holds it open for Alec to step through first, followed by himself.

    It closes behind him on the ground as he steps through to the rooftop - it's windy, nothing too terrible, but much worse up here than it was on the ground. Magnus looks around them, listening carefully to the sound of movement from the building below their feet. Was it louder than before, like it was moving around more? Or was that just because they were closer now and he could tell much easier than from looking through those windows?

    Magnus can practically feel the demonic energy radiate from within the building - this was something stronger than they were used to facing back home. The signature was entirely different, it was no wonder Alec's usual weapons weren't having an effect.

    "Be careful," he started, a frown settling onto his face. "The read I'm getting off of this thing is strong. And that's with an entire building separating us."
     
  5. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Alec only took a moment before he walked through the portal, immediately on guard as he emerged onto the rooftop. He could hear the movement of the creature, louder now that they were so close, and he had to stop himself from reaching back for his arrows.

    He did activate his soundless rune, though he didn’t think it would matter very much at all. He did wonder how the creature had even gotten into the building in the first place – it was so large it seemed unlikely that it’d oozed in through a window or something, but then again, Pandora was an odd place. Maybe this was exactly where it’d first come in. Which meant it was trapped. Which was bad, because Alec found that trapped things tended to be desperate.

    He gave a short nod. “We...have to figure out if your magic works on it. Do you think we can get a little closer?” he said, nodding toward the door that would lead down into the building. It didn’t know they were up there, so it might not notice if they kept themselves up on the top floor. ​
     
  6. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    "Of course," Magnus confirmed, following Alec's gaze towards the door before heading in that direction. He was careful to walk quietly, shifting his weight and rolling his feet as he walked to avoid any too-heavy steps. His hands were at his side but they were tense - ready for him to call upon his magic at any moment.

    "I assume I'm aiming to kill?" He questioned, voice barely above a whisper, as they opened the door and started down a narrow staircase towards the top floor. "Not that I imagine it'll be that easy, but, we aren't trying to tie it up and take it back with us, right?" Magnus knew that killing demons was what Alec did, but he also knew that when it came to getting jobs like this through a government entity, sometimes just getting rid of something wasn't the job. Sometimes organizations wanted to keep things like this, to study them and learn from them.

    He just didn't want to do something that would only get himself, or Alec, into trouble later.
     
  7. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Alec nodded sharply. “Yes, it’s too risky – only leave it alive if we have no other choice,” he said, leaning a little closer so he could keep his voice down, though his gaze remained on their surroundings. He was sure there was some scientist somewhere that would want to study it, but it was too much of a danger to risk bringing it anywhere remotely public.

    The floor was empty, but the sound of the creature shuffling was even louder, the occasional sound of a heavy thump as a tentacle hit the wall. “Any ideas?” he asked him. He felt a bit useless – all he could do was stand here. He supposed if worst came to worst he could always just throw himself on any tentacle that came close to Magnus – which would be a short and probably very inefficient solution.

    But there was definitely no way he was letting anything happen to him. ​
     
  8. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    That information made Magnus feel a lot better about going into this. If it came down to it, if he had to unleash literally every last ounce of his power into this thing to take it down, that was something he could do much easier than trying to dance the fine line of hurting but not seriously injuring it. "Got it." He said, almost relishing in this whole 'working underneath Alexander' thing that was going on.

    So this was what it was like going out on patrol with him, then? Watching him take the lead down the stairwell, checking to make sure the floor in front of them was clear when they passed through the next door. Everything was efficient and procedural and so much different from the way he saw him at home. Magnus could almost see his brain calculating every option before he spoke again, listening to the same noises from below them that Magnus also heard.

    "Sure. I go somewhere I can see it, hurl some magic at it, and see if it hurts. And if it does, I throw a bit more in the hopes that I hurt it before it can hurt me." He was only half-joking, because really, that was the plan, wasn't it? To see if his magic had any effect, and try to take it down without the demon getting the upper-hand. It was pretty straight-forward in theory, even though they both knew once they made contact there was going to be nothing easy about this.

    "Down another floor, maybe? That should put me close enough."
     
  9. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    The idea of going any closer was not one Alec was especially pleased about, but he knew that they had to do whatever they could to get this demon. And if Magnus couldn’t attempt his magic up here, then they’d have to go a little further. He frowned, eyeing the stairwell that would take them down to the next floor, hoping that some last minute plan would spring to his mind that would keep them as far away from it as possible.

    But there was nothing.

    “We’ll have to be careful,” he said, which was probably a bit pointless. Of course they were going to be cautious. “I don’t know how well it can hear,” he said, voice still low as he started toward the stairs, each step as soundless as if he hadn’t taken it. “The second we figure out if your magic can hurt it or not, we retreat back to the roof. I’m not risking the building collapsing or something from it fighting back while we’re still in it.” He was sure there was a way to use Magnus’ magic without having to be basically on top of the creature.​
     
  10. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    Magnus held back, waiting for Alec to either agree with him or suggest an alternative. This was his mission, after all, and Magnus wasn't about to go running off to do whatever struck his fancy. He was smarter than that, though he also knew his own magic. If he tried something from where they were now, without really being able to see how the demon would react entirely, there would be no way of knowing if it had the effect they were hoping for, or any effect at all. He had to be closer, at least for now.

    And Alec agreed, starting back towards the stairs to take them down one more level. Magnus followed behind until they were at the doorway to the next floor and he put a hand on Alec's shoulder to stop him. "Let me go first," he said, not as a matter of trying to keep Alec out of harm's way, but as a matter of practicality. If the demon was close enough for them to interact with here, if it was visible, Magnus didn't want to worry about hitting Alec if he was standing in front of him. "I'll need a clear shot if it's there."

    He didn't go blindly out, though, opening the door slowly and peering through, listening closely to the much louder sounds of movement, thumps and thrashes that seemed mostly restless, and not hostile. Not yet.

    Opening the door all the way it was easy to see the damage caused by the demon in question - parts of the floor had holes broken through them, walls collapsed, and significant structural damage. "This should do," he whispered behind him, taking a cautious step forward into the hallway. As if on cue a black tentacle shot up through the floor several yards in front of them, near the middle of a long hallway. Without wasting any time Magnus brought his hands up in front of him, ruby reds and deep crimsons swirling in his palms for just a second before releasing upon the thing snaking its way towards them. When it hit the demon pulled the tentacle back immediately, the black form retreating back through the hole it came out of almost as quickly as it appeared.

    Magnus rushed forward then, looking down, trying to see the damage done. Was it seriously injured? Bleeding? Had he cut a part of it off? Or was it simply surprised, and otherwise unharmed? He couldn't tell for sure without seeing, and thankfully the hole the demon made was plenty big enough to get a good look down...
     
  11. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    For a moment, it looked like Alec might disagree – he was already not enthusiastic about having Magnus out on this mission, but letting him go first? He very much did not want to do that (not that he had no confidence in Magnus’ abilities – he definitely did – but chances were whoever went first would be the first injured, and he wouldn’t be able to handle that). But it made sense. Magnus had the magic, Alec had nothing, so he gave a short nod and stepped aside to let him pass.

    He watched as Magnus slowly peered out the door, right behind him, ready to...well, he wasn’t sure exactly what he’d do at the first sign of trouble, only that he’d do something, and he caught a glimpse of the damage over Magnus’ shoulder. He would be surprised if the building managed to remain standing after they’d taken care of the demon – actually, he’d be surprised if it managed to keep standing for the next twenty minutes, something that made a twist of anxiety flare in his stomach.

    He started, slightly, as the tentacle shot through the floor, one hand automatically reaching out for Magnus, just to touch, just in case. He watched the magic flow from Magnus’ fingertips, holding his breath as he aimed it toward the demon. It hit – but Alec couldn’t tell why the thing withdrew, there was no loud roar of pain, it could have merely been surprised by an unexpected touch.

    He hadn’t been expecting for Magnus to rush forward, so it took him a second to follow, and that second was all he needed to see the weakness in the area where the creature had burst through. Too much weight and – “Magnus!” he called, surging forward and reaching out to grab him, just before a big chunk of the floor crumbled down to the lower floor.

    “Up, roof, now,” he panted. ​
     
  12. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    Magnus heard his name and slowed - he hadn't seen anything, but he was also solely focused on trying to get a good look at the demon that retreated back through the hole in the floor, he wasn't looking anywhere else. He felt Alec's hand on his arm and stopped entirely just before he noticed the slight shift in the floor beneath him.

    A few hurried, stumbling steps backwards got him just clear of the damaged floor, which left an even larger hole where the creature's tentacle burst through. Clearly the integrity of the floor was entirely compromised, and now there were two of them standing on the edge of the newly widened hole. He could feel it start to shift again, this time already starting to move before Alec urge them back up to the roof. They started back towards the door they came in through before Magnus thought to open a portal - it would only save them about a minute, but every second counted in moments like this.

    He opened it and took them both up the two floors to the roof, giving them some time to collect themselves again. "I think the magic hurt it," Magnus said. "If it was just surprised it would've hit back again before we got out of there - I think I scared it." He couldn't pretend to know for sure, not when he never managed to get a good look at it afterward, but he had a feeling.

    "I could try enchanting your arrows, see if they'll have an effect then." He suggested, aware of the sounds from the building which were growing loud enough to hear clearly from the roof now.
     
  13. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Alec stumbled back through the portal, trying to catch his breath. Well. That had gone...about as well as he’d expected. His gaze raked over Magnus, looking for any sign of injury even as he tried to get a read on the rest of their surroundings – he could hear the creature moving about inside, could feel the slight tremors as its tentacles banged against a wall – though he wasn’t sure if the movements were voluntary or just the shifting it’d been doing the entire time, just a little more agitated.

    “I think so too,” he agreed. From what he’d seen of the creature, if it’d been unharmed it would have immediately come at them with a tentacle. Perhaps, if not mortally wounded, it was taking time to regroup. Or maybe it was just biding its time and was pissed.

    “Good idea,” Alec said, removing his quiver from his back to give it easier access. “We can’t risk going back down to that floor though,” he said, the floor was much too unstable. ​
     
  14. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    "Well that's a bit of good news, at least." Magnus said with a small smile, his breathing finally slowing to something closer to normal as he reached over to grab the arrows from Alec. He knew this was dangerous, and he didn't want to get overconfident or even comfortable with where they were and what they were doing, but he couldn't help but allow himself to enjoy the rush of adrenaline that came with being in the thick of danger again.

    He took the quiver from his boyfriend's hands and brought his hands over the arrows, first giving the entire lot of them a once-over with a deep crimson magic before holding each one individually, giving it a little extra of his power within the arrowheads specifically. He had no idea if this would work, or how much it would hold before they could be used, but it was better than nothing.

    He worked quickly, spending no more than a few seconds on each arrow before handing them back to Alec. "It knows we're here now - we probably can't catch it by surprise, and if I'm going to kill it with my magic I need to be able to hit something vital - a head, or a heart. I think I might need to go back to the ground floor."

    The holes in the upper floors weren't enough for him to get any sort of clear, steady amount of magic flowing. He knew even as he suggested it that Alec was going to say no and argue. And maybe he'd have a better idea. But for now it was the best thing that Magnus could think of to offer on his own.
     
  15. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    Alec half watched Magnus magick his arrows, half surveyed the roof to make sure there was nothing they missed. At least this enemy they could see, unlike the last demon they’d faced together, which had been more like a shadow than anything else. And he definitely wasn’t thinking about that right now because he could not afford to be distracted.

    He gave a nod of thanks as Magnus handed his arrows back and he wasted no time in selecting one, holding it easily just in case he needed it. “The – no, you’re not going to the ground floor Magnus,” he said, immediately, using his mission leader authority voice even though he knew it would have little to no effect on Magnus. “It’s too dangerous,” he said. They’d barely gotten down two floors without something happening.

    “We’ll think of – “

    He was cut off when a deep, rumbling sound came from beneath them, and Alec stilled, reflexively notching his arrow as he looked around. There was a stillness, all of a sudden, one that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. It didn’t take long for the stillness to break and with an almighty crash the door on the roof was shattered open, wood splintering as an angry tentacle lashed through the air.

    Shit.

    Alec let an arrow fly, but there was only a louder, more angry, roar from below and only the slightest of twitches from the demon. Shit. ​
     
  16. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    Magnus bit his lower lip at the immediate dismissal of the idea. He wasn't going to argue it though - at least not yet. If Alec could think of something else, something better, of course he would be game for it. But he knew it was coming from a place of fear - and he didn't want Alec to make this decision just because he didn't want Magnus to get hurt. Of course it was dangerous - this whole thing was dangerous. That's why he was called in in the first place.

    And he was about to argue that point when the door behind him burst open violently. Alec already had an arrow loose before Magnus spun around to see the cause: a tentacle come out through the space where the door used to be, flinging itself into the space around them on the roof.

    Alec's arrow hit but it didn't withdraw, and the sounds below them grew louder and the movements of the tentacle more violent. Magnus braced himself before shooting another burst of crimson red magic at the tentacle that lashed out towards them - and this time it did pull back, flinging itself wildly to the right in reaction to the hit. He saw smoke coming from where his attack landed - it was definitely hurt. But not nearly enough, and it only bought them a second before the tentacle came back with just as much force towards them again. Before it'd been blindly reaching out, but after their attacks it knew exactly where they were now.
     
  17. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    He might have been convinced that it was a necessary evil – Magnus going to the ground floor. Eventually, even though he wouldn’t have wanted to, he might have been forced to stop arguing. But instead, the tentacles shot through the door and suddenly he was scrambling to come up with a new plan.

    He notched another arrow, despite his hit having done little to hurt the demon, and his gaze turned toward Magnus as he let loose magic. It definitely had more affect than his arrows – though it still wasn’t enough to get a decisive hit in and stop the demon in its track. They needed to retreat – to regroup.

    “Magnus!” he called, even though they were standing fairly close – but the rage filled noise from the creature nearly drowned him out. “We have to –“

    He didn’t get anything else out, for in the next moment the tentacle was baring right for him. And it didn’t stop. It hit him with a force that knocked the air right out of him, and kept on going, and he struggled to get another arrow in his bow – he had fired in far more compromising positions, but in the end, he couldn’t manage it.

    At least – not before he went over the side of the building.

    And plummeted. ​
     
  18. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    It all happened so fast. One second they were both focused on the demon's tentacle, launching their attacks and looking for weak spots, and the next it was flinging itself back at them so quickly Magnus barely had time to get out of the way. But that was better than Alec fared, the tentacle catching him square in the middle, taking him backwards and away from where Magnus stood, and it was all Magnus could do to watch as Alec tried, and failed, to get an arrow out in time to stop the demon's momentum.

    Without realizing it he was already moving after Alec without a second thought. Magnus used his magic twice, a shot to hurt the demon and another immediately after to try and hold it, to freeze it in place or at least slow it down a little. Both grazed the demon and he heard the cries from within the building grow in shock, or pain, or both.

    And then Alec was over the side of the building.

    "No." The word escaped his lips as a breath. Magnus ran as fast as he could to close the gap between where he was and the edge of the roof as Alec fell, disappearing from sight. His stomach felt full of rocks, weighing down each step he took, slowed by the dread that filled him more and more with every millisecond that passed before he reached the ledge. He used his magic, trying to catch Alec before he hit the ground, to slow his fall, but before he could see if he made it in time he felt something wrap around his legs and pull them out from under him.

    "ALEC!" Magnus called, not out of fear for his own safety, but wanting - no, needing - to know that he got there in time to stop the fall. But the answer he received was not the one he wanted - the noise he heard echo up to him was faint but there was no denying it was the sound of Alexander hitting the ground, almost imperceptible yet somehow ringing deafeningly in Magnus' ears as he was pulled backward into the building by the demon.
     
  19. Alec Lightwood

    Alec Lightwood The Mortal Instruments

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    The ground was rising up to meet him and Alec didn’t know what to do – he struggled to get his stele out of his pocket, but he was going so fast, the wind whistling by his ears and he could barely get in enough breath, Magnus’ name dying on his lips. And then he jerked, slowing, suddenly – not enough to stop completely, but enough so that his fingers could close around his stele, to get it out of his pocket and frantically wave it over the nearest rune, his name in Magnus’ voice tearing through the air.

    And then he hit the ground, suddenly, before he’d even realized it was there, and everything went dark for a beat, and then two, and then his eyes were opening. And closing and opening again. He groaned, the sound low, and he didn’t know what, exactly, hurt, but that a great deal of things hurt. He spared it only a second thought, instead pushing himself to his knees.

    He was hurt, but not enough to incapacitate him. He stared up at the roof, but even as he backed up a few steps, and then more, he couldn’t see the tentacle. And he couldn’t see Magnus.

    No!.

    Alec couldn’t think, couldn’t do anything but grab his quiver off his back, notch an arrow, and run toward the building.
     
  20. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    So much for not ending up on the first floor. Magnus twisted around the best he could as the demon pulled him backwards by his legs, the tentacle wrapped around his leg several times. He was moving fast, body bouncing roughly off of walls and stairs as it dragged him down one flight, then two, before pulling him through a hole in the floor. He shot at the tentacle once, and then twice, the grip around him loosening more and more with each hit. But it wasn't enough, and by the time a third shot hit and the demon let go he was already tumbling down through a hole in the floor, landing in a pile on the ground of the first floor.

    Well, this was his plan, after all. It was just helped along a bit, no big deal.

    But he couldn't even keep himself calm with jokes, not while he was staring up at the demon as it loomed over him, tentacles thrashing wildly in the air above his head. He was torn between the obvious need to take down this demon, to fight it and kill it and finish the mission they set out to do, and his much more personal need to find the nearest exit and see if Alec was alright. He didn't know what he would do if he got out there and found--

    But he didn't get to think about what state he might find Alec in as another tentacle came crashing down at him. Magnus threw himself out of the way, barely, bruising his shoulder as it hit the ground in the least graceful roll he ever performed. That was what he got for being so entirely distracted in his current situation. With multiple tentacles flying towards him he couldn't afford to think about anything other than getting out of here alive.

    But he couldn't shake the mental image of Alec falling, of him lying on the ground, injured or unconsiouc or worse, though he wouldn't even think the word 'dead', even though he knew the chances of any mortal surviving that fall were slim. And the rage that filled him at that thought married with the focus he knew he'd need to get out of here in any condition to help Alec. He responded to the constant barrage of tentacles with rapid releases of magic, hitting each one in turn as it came towards him, weaving in barriers to block when he couldn't dodge fast enough.

    It was no longer about the mission - not as the image of Alec falling replayed over and over in his mind and refused to leave. This was about revenge now, and he felt a strong, primal instinct begin to take over as anger and his basic survival instinct overwhelmed any sense of restraint he had before. His eyes flashed a dangerous slit of golden yellow as he gave into his power entirely in a way he hadn't allowed himself to in centuries.

    The demon was able to sense the power radiating from him, suddenly bringing all of its tentacles down in Magnus's direction at once with all the force it could muster. It would probably be enough to kill him, hit by all of them at once, and he knew it. But he didn't try to run. He didn't move, rooted to the spot, staring up at the exposed underside of the demon as it raised every limb at once before bringing them all down over the warlock.

    The reds and blues of his offensive and defensive magic seemed to blend into one, and what he released next came out of not just his hands, but seemingly every inch of him, emitting a pulsing wave of purple magic up at the underside of the demon in something akin to a visible magical shockwave. It came from the very core of him and Magnus yelled as he used it, drawing out both the magic and the scream that accompanied it, hands thrust forward to channel the worst of it towards what he hoped was the demon's heart, or core, or whatever fueled this thing.

    The demon howled in pain this time, pulling back every tentacle to wrap around itself in its agony as Magnus' magic started to burn it from the inside out. He hadn't known what effect it might have when he did it, and barely took notice now, only to know that he was winning. Magnus had crossed a dangerous line but he couldn't turn back now, so he didn't. He didn't stop the magic he drew from within the deepest parts of his power he kept locked away, nor the yelling into the space in front of him as he attacked, until both his breath and his energy left him entirely.

    The demon was hurt. Badly. Mortally, perhaps, but not dead yet. Which was a shame, he realized as he collapsed onto the ground, magic and energy and breath completely spent. Magnus wondered if the demon had enough left it in to kill him now anyway, even after all of that, and as he saw it writhe against the pain of the last of his magic he knew it would only be a matter of time before he got his answer one way or the other.