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A Dark and Stormy night
June: 19th. Arjay
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#1
This was not her home.

Wanda’s dark scarlet cloak was a shock of color in the overcast world; it was clear from the moment her fingers touched the shimmering wall that she was not even in her home dimension.

Good.

Her world was better off without her; as had been pointed out again and again, more albatross than woman it seemed. Wanda stepped between worlds...and breathed deeply for the first time in decades.

Walking through the broken and twisted (her eyes told another story, fighting with her mutation and magic to show her ‘reality’) pieces of worlds Wanda simply...wandered, Latveria shifted into New York, which became a Eldric forest more reminiscent of a horror novel than a fantasy wood, which in turn shifted into a bright shining city she didn’t recognize.

All these fed into a center area; thirst more than anything led her to enter a tree proclaiming itself a tavern, the training and experience as an Avenger told her with a quick scan that the inhabitants of it were like any other bar, not likely to start a fight but perfectly willing to finish one.

Well enough. She wasn’t in the mood to fight...no that was untrue Wanda nearly vibrated with the need to express her rage at the universe, the shear unfairness of her existence. She simply wanted to have it be with good old fashioned fists, feel the crack, pull, strain, burn of muscle and bone as it strived to obey her long after her mind had gone blank with exhaustion. She was not a woman to start a fight however, and more so she didn’t necessarily trust herself not to use her powers and here? Here in this half way world that seemed...very very dangerous.

The voluminous hood of her cloak was set back, glove covered hands spread over the bar top, “What currency do you take?” she asked politely.
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#2
The elf was sitting at a table, an ivory shaft in his hand that he was slowly carving into shape as he waited for his lunch. It had been a slow day, a lazy day, and he’d foregone playing his lute (propped up against the wall near his chair) in favor of listening to the thunder rumbling and the rain pattering through the leaves of the inn’s tree and against the glass of the windows. Some people wondered out loud why, exactly, the elf who knew how to change the weather didn’t get off his rather attractive backside and do something about this weather. The answer was always the same: He liked it this way, just as much as he liked the sun.


He was more than content to keep working on this wand and let the bartender deal with the customers, but the woman who entered the tavern from the rain today caught his attention before she spoke, before he even saw her. He could feel the magic around her, so strongly that for a second he wondered if she weren’t mortal. She looked human enough… yes, he was just going to assume that for now. He glanced up, caught the bartender’s eye and gestured for him to not worry. This one, he would handle. “That would depend entirely on what you can offer,” he answered from behind her. It was, after all, true. He didn’t operate as a charity, but he’d had a few destitute and hungry travelers come through, and he always worked out some arrangement that got them fed for the day.


He stood up, not putting down the half-carved wand, but putting the carving knife away at least. “Most forms of currency are useful, some more than others. Gold can get you a better price, and we’re definitely open to trade, if you have something to barter for credit. But usually, your world’s currencies will be fine, if that’s all you have.” He tucked the powerless wand into his belt, then gave her a low, sweeping bow, a motion practiced through years at court and then kept in practice just for show. “Welcome to the Wandering Moon, milady. My name is Arjay Lo’Ran, your host in this humble establishment, and I’m afraid that I must insist that you join me by the fire, lest it become known that I let rain-soaked travelers catch a chill drinking in my tavern.” The request (because ‘insistance’ or not, that’s what it was) was delivered with a disarming smile as the elf indicated his table next to the fireplace, where the the fire warming the inn was crackling merrily.
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#3
“Are you a money changer than?” She questioned the man who charmingly insisted she come join him; rain droplets sparkled on her cloak, a few wandered down her neck unnoticed. Wanda felt her lips pull into a small smile, it felt fake yet politeness forced the expression. “As well as bar keeper?” she added once he finished his introduction, drifting over to the seat he offered.

“I admit that I had not planned for money…” And she doubted highly that her cards worked here, Wanda reached up, touching the gold hoops adoring her ears. “I have a few bits of jewelry-” she didn’t want to work magic..but needs must as always didn’t they? With the knowledge Agatha had imparted to her along with her mutation kickstarting it, Wanda was fairly certain she could summon anything from ‘home’ at will. And it wasn’t as though anyone was going to go through her rooms at the mansion for missing items. Or had her things been put in to storage? Did her brother have them?

Wanda sighed shucking her gloves, holding chilled hands out to the fire, well she supposed they were chilled, she hardly felt anything anymore.

She hadn’t missed the pointed ears, and while she might identify as Avenger before Mutant, Wanda had spent the majority of her life among people that were not considered ‘pure’ human. Although she did wonder if he was ‘mutant’ and ‘home’ or ‘other’ and from a whole different existence.

Seemed rude to ask though.

“Wanda. Wanda Maximoff.” she introduced herself, feeling odd at not calling herself ‘Scarlet Witch’ Maybe that identity was dead…

No.

No matter what she did or how she was hounded Wanda was always the Scarlet Witch.


“It is a lovely tavern.” she had questions, but Wanda wasn’t rude, there was time enough. Besides she had learned long ago that some people evaded direct questions for simple perverse nature.
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#4
Was he a money changer? Arjay considered it, giving a noncommittal ‘so-so’ hand wiggle at the question. “Not officially, by any means, but a man has to be paid, and when all people have is their native money, a man learns what its value is. More to the point, I need to restock the bar, and when people want to buy drinks that are familiar to them… well, it pays to have money that one can spend in their native worlds. And as far as barkeep? Yes, that’s one of the latest roles I’ve taken on. The journey of life can take one through so very many callings if one stays at it long enough.”

She hadn’t planned for money? That was an odd idea. If one came accidentally to the Hub, one would naturally not be planned for anything, but if she’d planned to come here, why wouldn’t she plan to be able to serve her needs? All the same, gold spent best, as he’d told her, but when she reached for her earrings, he felt a pang of disapproval, and he was forced to glance down at his sword, to all the world looking like it was a simple, though ornate and lovely, weapon at his hip. He looked the woman over again, registering the fact that yes she was beautiful and that yes, some (including a very knowledgeable authority on the subject) might consider it an affront to that beauty to force her to leave her ears bare of their rather fitting adornments.

“Well, milady, let’s simply say that I’m feeling inspired to let you share a bottle and a meal with me. Coming to this place, for most, is a circumstance surrounded with either tragedy or frustration, and no one should have to be forced by hunger or thirst to make hasty decisions regarding their means of supporting themselves in this place.” He made a gesture, the familiar tingle of magic rippling out slightly as he whispered something that seemed completely inaudible. On the other side of the room, the bartender went into the back to get his boss’s requested bottle of wine and a couple glasses. “Lunch should be along shortly, so you’ll do me the good turn of not forcing me to eat alone today.”

Her name had a pleasant ring to it, he decided, and she approved of his inn, which was all the better. “Ah, thank you. I was surprised to find a location that reminded me so much of my own home available for purchase, I didn’t need to alter it as much as anyone might suspect.” By now, the knife and wand were out again, and he resumed whittling the wand away, runes accented by patterns of frost appearing on the surface as he worked.

When the wine was set on the table, he picked the bottle up and smiled before he uncorked it. “You’ll forgive my assumption, but you don’t appear to be from my world, so I’ll assume that you’ve never had Saerloonian glowfire before. It’s rather good, and this was a good year, a bit drier than most, but I’ve always thought that some years are too sweet.” He poured the wine, a pale drink that, even this close to the fire, was obviously glowing. “And aside from the affectation that makes it glow, it’s not enchanted, I promise. Now… if you’ll forgive my boldness, you don’t appear to be one who’s stepped through the veil to this place by chance, and that’s not a step that many take very lightly. Might I ask what brings you here?” She didn’t seem to be a criminal, and he’d known plenty of those. Perhaps it had been world-weariness such as he’d felt before the way to the Hub had been opened to him? Either way, maybe she would tell him, maybe she wouldn’t.
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#5
Wanda’s mutation reached out as reality shifted around them; Magic, the ‘taste’ of it unfamiliar but the scent of bending the universe to one's will via sorcery was unmistakable. Wanda’s languid gaze sharpened, mentally, reflexively preparing defenses; too often she’d been caught unawares because of her trusting nature, her desire to believe the best in new acquaintances. When would she learn that when fate pushed someone into her path it was rarely for benign purposes?

“No, I doubt very much we are from the same world.” she answered, mentally tense, prepared to strike. The wine’s glow to her senses seemed to be what he said, simply wine no magic deeper woven. That didn’t stop tiny scarlet sparks crawling into the liquid, probably altering. How long ago had she learned this application of her mutation? To lower the intoxicating nature of liquor? Probably the first time she tried to drink Thor under the table, her brother cheering on during those first halcyon days?

“What brings anyone?” She asked rhetorically, “For all the grace and charm of this establishment, i doubt that this is your only reason for jumping through the gap in the muti-verse?” Wanda sipped the altered beverage nodding at the taste. She was a beer woman when she drank, but this was pleasantly unknown. “I am reminded of an In-human wine I sampled.” When her brother had still been married to Crystal, before Vision…

Wanda sighed, smiling at him. “Thank you for the meal. And oh? Your world is a forest than?”
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#6
“Well, it was possible,” he admitted. “However, your clothes have the look of those from all the Earth-worlds, as does your jewelry. The styles are different from what I’ve seen, but cloth, stitching, fastenings… you learn to look for these things.” Her tenseness did not escape his notice, and neither did the magic crackling over a very good wine, but he called her out on neither… not yet, at least.

Her question did have some merit, and he supposed if he was going to pry into her affairs, offering some of his own was only polite. “Quite right, milady, this establishment is simply my attempt to make myself a home here. My reason, on the other hand, would be the fact that I was simply tired. I was tired of my homes being uprooted, tired of friends, of family dying or leaving. I was tired of seeing ghosts everywhere I looked. I’m sure that some day, my path will drift back to my own world, but for now, the charm of this place has captured me, the possibilities of this place have captured me. Here, we’re surrounded by world upon world upon world… and surely, in all those worlds, there must be something we can find that perhaps we didn’t know we were searching for.”

He shook his head then. “But I’m afraid that I’m waxing philosophical again. A tiresome habit, I’m told, but one that I’m afraid I’m quite unable to break myself of. I’ll thank you for indulging me.” The wine, while as much dry as it was sweet, as he’d said, tasted faintly of pears. He himself drank his first glass down and refilled it, this second glass apparently destined to be sipped more slowly. He brushed the ivory wand off, examining the runes a moment and, finding them satisfactory, he touched his finger to the lowest rune, starting to murmur quietly before he thought better of it. “Do you mind?” he asked, before he went on. “I hate leaving a project unfinished, but I’d much rather do so than make you uncomfortable.” She had, after all, tensed when he’d sent his message to the bartender. It wasn’t unusual for someone with strange magic about them to be uneasy around other sorcerers, he’d found.
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#7
“Bar keep, Money changer...Tailor as well?” Wanda chuckled, “Tailor, Tinker, Soldier, Spy…” Her lips quirked. “A rhyme in my world.” Her guard had not dropped for all that she was engaged in casual conversation. It was a skill she for the most part neglected, letting people like Tony banter with their enemies, that however didn’t mean that the last twenty years as an Avenger had taught her nothing. And the little peeks her mutation gave her told her that perhaps that casual rhyme held more truth than she’d anticipated.

But that was how her mutation worked at its most passive, granting her insight that made her seem…odd or otherworldly.

The thought amused her. Everyone was otherworldly here weren’t they? Perhaps this is where she would finally be…’normal’.

“What a romantic notion.” Ghosts everywhere...yes, wasn’t Wanda running from her own Ghosts that lived? Her sons that weren’t, her husband that wasn’t, her loves that forgot her…

“Possibilities have ever been my particular bane.” she quipped dryly.

“I hope for once that there is nothing searching for me...that for once I can live a life with out fate or using me to twist the universe to its needs.” Was she sharing too much? Possibly.

“Please. Do not let me interrupt your work.” the fingers of her off hand twisted in the pattern Agatha had drilled into her, allowing her to see what he was doing beyond the visible. She doubted she would be able to learn what ever spell he was using, ritual spell work took time and effort for her, it went against the grain to work such precise magic; her natural instinctive magic bucking like a unbroken horse put to saddle.
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#8
When Wanda rattled off her little rhyme, Arjay just gave her an elusive smile. “I’d say more of a fashion critic than a tailor, I’d probably be absolute rubbish at sewing my own clothes,” he mused. As for the rest of it… well, if the woman was insightful, he wasn’t going to insult her insight by lying about it. There was no profit in getting on this woman’s bad side, and besides, who wanted to be on the bad side of a pretty woman?

“It’s more romantic from afar, I’m afraid,” he admitted. “In the past five years I’ve buried an estranged wife, partners, lovers, more friends than I can count… honestly, the fact that I managed to live through all of it makes me think that perhaps I was the common factor dooming everyone by some strange whim of the gods. Tragedies are often romantic, but they generally only seem so to the audiences. To them, the hero is just some amusing novelty, his life a curiosity to be enjoyed before they return to going about their own business without any further need of him.” He cast his mind back to that feeling of anger, of resentment, and felt a pulse of soothing care from his sword. He smiled faintly, running his palm over that heart-shaped golden moonstone pommel. “A toast, perhaps,” he said, lifting his wine glass again and raising it in Wanda’s direction, “To telling the realms to go to the abyss when they want us to be their playthings.”

She didn’t have an objection, so he continued casting the spell, running his finger slowly along the line of runes, each one glowing pale blue before fading out again. The magic that she could feel was the magic of ice, a rather minor spell embedded into the material of the wand itself. It lay there, ready to be called up, ready to reach out with its stinging cold for whomever could trigger its power. He studied it, running his fingers over it, verifying that it was cool to the touch, but not leaking magic, then nodded. Then, seeing her looking, he turned the base of it outward and offered it, in case she wanted to take a closer look at it.
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#9
Damn her nature. Wanda felt herself relaxing, eyes darkening with empathy. Gods knew she understood, how many had she buried? How many had died to come back twisted? How often had she tried to work with fate to twist it back into something she could live with? “The curse of Fate.” she murmured touching her glass against his, “I fear she will find us no matter where we venture...but perhaps there is time for a respite.” please let there be time. Just a few months where she could live with out having her world balanced on a knife edge.

Of course if she stayed here she’d not know what turmoil affected her home would she? Wanda sighed glancing out at the storm drenched night. “I am running.” she admitted, where he seemed to have no one to hold him to his home, Wanda had too many connections to count, too many who looked at her. For her, feared her, loved her? The last she hoped for but often doubted. “Fate has played me hard and I need...time to not be a avatar of chaos.” Wanda sighed running an absent finger around the rim of her glass.

“No,” she smiled holding up a hand at his invitation, “My mutation has the habit of…altering things, especially magical ones will i nill i, and I don’t want your effort to be twisted.” Inclining her head she smiled at him, “Thank you for the offer.”

Since he had shared she asked her questions more openly, “How long have you been here?”
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#10
Arjay paused in the lamentation of the cruelty of existence as lunch was brought out. Today, lunch was a small roasted chicken, well suited for two people, with roasted potatoes and a plate of fruit and cheese. He sliced off a piece for Wanda first, a slice from the breast, then a piece for himself. That little bit of ritual hospitality out of the way, he offered the knife to her, letting her help herself to her own choice of the food. For his part, he murmured another spell, a small ghostly hand plucking up potatoes and depositing them on his plate while he did the same himself with the fruit and cheese. His manners were particular and impeccable (if not precisely modern), the mark of someone who’d been coached again and again on the ‘proper’ way to do things. As much as he tried to be laid back, almost irreverent at times, proper etiquette seemed to rear its head whether he liked it or not.

“The gods can be fickle, but rarely do they avert their eyes altogether. I suppose it’s the sign of having such a wide area to need to watch, their eyes will have to be elsewhere from time to time, and whether we look on that as a blessing or a curse depends on which one we’ve found favor with.”

He didn’t know what she meant by ‘mutation,’ it was a word that he obviously knew the meaning of, but the context was puzzling. He could, however, make certain inferences and assumptions that he didn’t believe were incorrect. “An affinity toward wild magic?” Interesting. “We had areas like that on my world, where things could not be predicted, where magic behaved eratically, and even nature could be twisted. I think that most have been fixed at great effort, but I doubt all… one more legacy of our gods and the twisted games they play. In this case, I mean it quite literally rather than metaphorically, it was an interesting time to be alive.” He slid the wand back down to a holster in his belt, not pressing the issue. “If you reconsider, I’d not think it a wasted effort to have it accidentally altered. It might prove interesting to study afterward, but I quite understand the reluctance.”

“I’ve been here for a few months. Four, if you want to get specific,” he confided. “I visited a bit earlier than that, but only briefly. I had to return home to set my affairs in order before I took my leave of my world.”
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#11
Gods? Interesting, he attributed such matters to the divine. In Wanda’s experience there was no such thing as true ‘gods’ only being with more power and will to use it than normal humans. Wanda had been raised during the cold war by a band of roma, spent her next few decades in New York consorting with aliens, ‘gods’, soldiers out of time, and billionaires. She had a very lax attitude towards ‘manners’.

“Thank you.” that did however mean she recognized when others were following their own habits of politeness. “I’d prefer to be overlooked.” she commented cutting the potatoes with her fork, spearing a bite of them mixed with the roasted chicken. An delighted humm expressed her approval of the flavors.

‘Wild magic’? Yes she supposed that was close enough from the implication. “If you are curious-” Wanda held out her hand lips half quirked, “I have control most of the time. But I do find that it likes to...play.” she admitted.

How responsible. She had simply left.

“So. Is this a interesting place for you to settle?” She suspected that the transitory nature of it was part of what attracted him, considering what he had said about losing people. If he knew they were only here temporarily perhaps it would make it easier.

“The food is delicious, my thanks for the meal.”
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#12
“Perhaps you simply haven’t sought the favor of the right gods yet,” he offered with an amused smile, though he didn’t press any further than that. “But then, I know nothing really of your world’s gods, so I can’t really speak for that. Your ‘Earth’ has, from what I’ve gathered, been quite different from my world in most regards, that probably isn’t any exception.” Granted, he looked forward to finding out just what those differences were, but that was a matter for another time.

And speaking of those differences… he pulled the wand out again, handing it over to Wanda for her to examine. “Perhaps it’s only your world’s native magic that’s affected,” he said, shrugging lightly. “When magic went awry, the only thing that was found to be stable was magic laid in enchanted items. That,” he said, pointing at the wand, “Would have functioned perfectly well, having been cast during a stable time. A spell cast by hand? Not so much. The activation word is niquess.”

He mulled over an answer to her question as he cut off another piece of chicken. “It is,” he admitted. “Home is never far away, after all, one only need to find the portal or know the correct spells. And here, I get to see things that no one from my world has ever seen. I get to hear stories, music, see wonders that none there could dream of. When I’ve had my fill, I’ll be able to bring all of those back to my world. It’s a… simpler place, I suppose you could say, and while magic makes up for quite a bit of the technology that will not function there, we quite lack widespread communication. Books only spread information so quickly. For the rest, bards must travel, spreading their tales and singing their songs. This is one of my callings, though again, I admit that I follow several.”

He poured himself another glass of wine, offering her a refill if she so desired. “Also, I see no real reason to lie on the subject, a constant portal from our world to a nexus like this could be worrisome in the right circumstances. Someone needs to make sure that nothing threatening brews here that could spill through it into our world, and also that no one from our world might find their way through and cause trouble elsewhere.”
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#13
“In my experience everyone I've met who either claims the title of ‘god’ or has been worshiped as one is either simply a being of greater power than average or a ass. In general both at the same time.” Thor had his moments and she actually liked him compared to the other ‘gods’ they'd met.

“What is it meant to do?” Wanda took the wand, running her fingers over it delicately, “I do have SOME control.” She commented wryly. Part of her was tempted to send her magic out, testing and twisting the magic she could sense on the edges of her mind.

“Reminds me of when I grew up, after the Great War so much was destroyed and the country my clan traveled in did not care to have an informed population.” And few cared to associate with Gypsies.

Wanda nodded, “We've had that problem in the past. Conquers or even well meaning want to be dictators, from other timelines and dimensions...I've fought no few.”
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#14
“Hm, well, gods certainly are beings of greater power, and some of them are known to be petty and cruel. Mostly, though, they are… single-minded. You choose your god carefully, because if they are only going to care about their direct area of interest, you must be certain that it is in line with your own values. But I suspect that is an area that our worlds diverge once more. On my world, the gods are very active. They grant their priests and their favored ones divine magic, they oversee your afterlife, and of this we’re certain, because they also give us the power to raise the willing dead. They… are not perfect, no, not outside their particular domain, but they look after their faithful and those who advance their interests.” He smiled faintly, running his hand over the glowing pommel of his sword. “Everyone either finds it overly ironic or trite, but I follow my people’s goddess of love and beauty, and even in my misfortunes, she looks after me, and so I persevere.” He felt a pulse of warm amusement from the sword and smiled faintly. “Perhaps your world is quite different, in fact I’m willing to bet that it is, but the gods are very real on my world, and they have made themselves very knowable.”

He watched her easily as she examined the wand, not looking particularly concerned. “It is meant to project a ray of pure freezing cold. Not a particularly strong spell, but useful enough. Do try to point it at something that doesn’t look breakable when you try it.” Granted, when he cast the spell it could kill a weak monster or enemy, but he didn’t see anyone here that was particularly fragile in case the wand misfired when she used it.

If there was one thing that was universal, regardless of the universe, though, it was war. “Mm. I’ve lived in places like that. We only just finished waging a long war to drive an occupying force that expanded into a city that very much didn’t want it there. One of the best weapons we had to use were ideas. There’s nothing quite like the truth, and utter disrespect toward tyrants to remind people that their minds are free.” Those had been good days for him… simpler days, but then the war had… grown, and things had never been the same since.

“My world has a history of such things, I believe, though not quite as an invading force. My people were partly interlopers into the world, in fact, as legend tells. Oh, there were elves in the world for quite some time to be sure, but my particular race came from another, dying world, seeking out a new home with our magic before the last of us were gone. So we don’t particularly stop those inquisitives who come through to our world, but we do make sure that they’re playing fairly when they do. Some visitors could be beneficial, after all. No need to be self-defeating and bar their way.”
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#15
“And what if a God chooses you?” Wanda’s fist not holding the wand tightened; Chthon: He Who Holds the Darkness. Arguably if he'd never touched her as a baby Wanda’s life would be drastically different.

Never would have been marked as a threat, never would have been manipulated into marrying Vision, never watched her children destroyed. Never lost her mind.

No Wanda did not truck with ‘gods’.

“In mine ‘gods’, ‘celestials’, other powerful beings...they are active as well. Simply the average man never need worry about them. What I fight is often to stop them from forcing their will on the average man.”

“That is more or less how the cold war ended in my world-” with a lot other effects in play. “One of my team mates is from another dimension, we only have an issue when you start building armies of killing people Willy nilly. That's just rude.”

Wanda flicked the wand out the spell word slipped from her lips, silver/white twisted with scarlet slamming into the wall, blowing it out violently. Frost rimmed the edges. “Damn.” Wanda set down the wand shaking her head. “Sorry.” She reached out with her mutation twisting the lines of local probability, ‘feeling’ this place attempting to heal the damage already.

Surprise lit her features, nudging the power to speed it. The wall repaired itself in seconds. “Did you know this place is self healing?” She asked curiously, the red lines of her power holding the wall in place before it stabilized.
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#16
“If a god chooses you, you have their favor. If you don’t wish it, which is what I assume, based on your reaction to the idea, you petition one that isof your liking. The gods all have their opposing natures, so they all have their own divine enemies. If you are remarkable enough to draw direct attention from one, you can be sure that you will draw the attention of their opposite number. On my world, with incontrovertible evidence of the existence of the Gods and what comes after we die, to be Faithless,” he said, and from the stress he put on it, it was a VERY specific term, “Is to consign yourself to a very dark, grey afterlife. Not as horrible as it once was, we’ve seen several gods of death in my lifetime, and the latest one is less cruel to the Faithless, but still nothing one would wish for.” He considered her a moment, curiously. “Perhaps that’s what your reason for being in this place is. I could certainly take you to my world, take you to the temple of a god that would be to your liking, would require of you a life that you would enjoy, rather than whatever you’re currently consigned to.”

He watched with a raised eyebrow as the wand blew magic much more powerful than its nature at the wall, and for a moment he simply stared at the hole in the wall. “Well then,” he said, slowly reaching out and picking the wand up off the table. He aimed it at the hole, but all that came out of it was the normal ,blue-light ray of freezing magic that it was supposed to produce. Nothing even interesting to study later. “That was interesting, at least,” he admitted, slipping the wand away. So, he noted, was her ability to affect the latent nature of the Hub to seal up the wall. “I did know that, yes, although something that size should be taking at least an hour or two to be right again. Some days, I wish that we could know the story of this place. I tried divining its history with a spell, but it didn’t give me any information that I couldn’t have found out with some diligent exploration.”
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Marvel-616-1

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#17
The look she gave him expressed the extreme disfavor in which she viewed his suggestion; “Thank you,” She began politely, “However as I stated I have had enough encounters with ‘gods’ that i’m not in the…mood to try and sell myself to one just to try and cut the tie with Chthon.” Wanda did appreciate his offer.

Sort of.

If it didn’t sound far too much like a dozen other ‘deals’ she'd been offered in the past.

That aggression might, might have had something to do with how her power directed itself outward, blowing out the wall.

“Interesting...yes that is one way of putting it.” interesting life, yes she indeed lived one of those. And so did everyone around her. “I don’t suppose you have an idea that doesn’t involve bending a knee to a cosmic power?” She wasn’t even going to say ‘divine’ since she didn’t believe in such a thing, Wanda shook her head, if she wanted to play this game she’d would have tried to bond with the Phoenix force.

That would have been a combination, her Chaos mixed with the elemental being that was the Phoenix.

“Some places, people, don’t like to give up their secretes; men can go mad delving too deeply into that which doesn’t wish to be seen.”
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Dungeons and Dragons-Forgotten Realms

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#18
Arjay could sympathize, somewhat, with someone wanting to handle all of your problems on your own, but there came a point where the defiance, particularly in the face of offers of help, just became rude. “You know,” he said, “It does tend to be considered disrespectful to mock people’s deeply held beliefs, even if it is only with your tone of voice,” he said mildly, though his flat expression expressed his displeasure. “I suppose it’s comforting to think that because you’ve met creatures who claim to be gods and don’t deserve the name, that the backwards elf from the poor, uncivilized world that doesn’t even have electric technology can’t possibly know something you don’t. However, it might possibly be worth considering that when I speak of things on my world, possibly I know what I’m speaking of.” No, Arjay wasn’t pleased at this point. He knew the god of his world, had borne witness to their power, even had garnered the limited favor of his own. He supposed that on Wanda’s world things were different, but it didn’t invalidate his suggestion. “And they would be selling themselves to you, not the other way around. The gods need their followers as much as we need the blessings they give us… at least on my world, they do.”

He poured himself another glass of wine and picked up the lute that was resting against the wall to give himself something to focus on before he said something even more unwise than he already had. Did he have any better ideas? “Do you?” he countered. “Perhaps that’s another difference between our worlds, perhaps on yours, the answer to such a problem doesn’t come at some sort of price. I suppose that the idea of advancing the causes of justice or charity or love or responsibility in magic or some other cause for a fulfilling life might be limited to my own world. I tended to think not, but I could be wrong.”
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Marvel-616-1

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#19
An elegantly shaped eyebrow arched upwards: “Your beliefs are you own. As are mine. I’m sorry if I sounded dismissive, or mocking. However I never said anything about your level of ‘civilization’-” shaking her head Wanda sighed trying to defuse the budding argument when he started aggressively making assumptions. “Now who is making assumptions? You say you have ‘gods’-” and yes now the air qoutes was clear in her tone, “Good for you. I should try and gain favor? The ‘gods’ i know clearly cannot be as powerful as yours? That is your assumption! The God’s i’ve dealt with alter REALITY, I alter the multiverse!! How much more powerful do you say your Gods are?”

She wasn’t pleased either to be told to stop fighting and simply pick a better master, or excuse me ‘partner’. Wanda Maximoff had no desire to worship anyone outside of the bedroom and most certainly not in some quid pro quo deal to protect herself from her powers and the things that wanted to use her.

“No as a matter of fact those ARE causes that are taken up, because we as people feel the moral duty; not because some ‘god’ told us to as payment for blessings.” Wanda took a deep breath, “Perhaps we should stop talking about religion.”
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