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Illyana’s felt a strain on her heart as she watched her teacher comfort the young girl. The way he knelt down onto one knee to get onto her level. The bemusing and whimsical chime of his voice that made any explanation regardless of how far fetched it may seem, immediately believable. The way he smiled and acted as if everything in that instance was ok. It was exactly how Strange had acted when the two of them had just met. When he had found her cold and alone, just after she had escaped from that hellscape.

His interactions with Christina made her think. Was this how he had viewed her. As a helpless child? A child in need of saving?

She stood watching in silence, her eyes glancing precariously towards the impending army every so often. She flashed her teeth angrily if any got too close, twirling the soul sword in her hands with the grace of a majorette. They growled in retaliation, their piercing eyes staring in fear at the unknown blade of blue that she held.

Then let's do some magic!

Strange’s words drew her back in. A smile escaped her lips as she watched the look of pure joy that had consumed Christina. She looked so happy at the thought of casting a spell; a childhood daydream come true. Illyana imagined it must just like in some kind of fairytale to her right now. It was sweet. It was all a load of nonsense, of course. Strange couldn’t really imbue this girl with the magic of the cosmos. No, that was too much. This was merely a ruse to lift the girl’s spirits and give her hope. It was a skill that Strange was good at, as Illyana knew well.

It wasn’t necessarily a bad skill though.

Giving her mentor a nod, she got down onto one knee and took the young girl’s hand, smiling gleefully at her. Both she and Strange rose up in unison, with the three now standing hand in hand, the butterflies around them beginning to fade, along with the whispery veil that held the creatures back.

Keep your head high, Christina.” Doctor Strange instructed, giving the girl’s hand a squeeze. “I want you to think of your happiest memories. Your mum. Your dad.

And your friends.” Illyana continued, swinging Christina’s arm slightly, leading to her to giggle cheerfully.

What if I don’t do good enough?” She asked, peering up at Illyana wantingly.

As she spoke the power of the veil faded further, with the swarms of nightmares beginning to rile themselves up. They flowed towards the gaps like sharks; bloodthirsty and relentless. Illyana could feel Christina begin to tense up slightly at the thought.

You are the most poverful person vere.” Illyana spoke calmly, speaking words she wished she could believe herself. “Fail or succeed, vou’ll alvays be good enough.

She avoided the gaze of her mentor as she spoke, focussing on Christina instead. Her ideas had widened, and a confidently childlike smile had spread across her face.

Ok then. I am ready!” She declared, beaming into the destruction ahead.

Perfect.” Strange smiled, bringing his spare hand up before him. His fingers skimmed the air, producing sparks of energy and the visage of runes before the three of them.

Now, Illyana…” He began to speak before Illyana cut him off.

I know, I know. Pronunciation.” She groaned childishly, rolling her eyes as she raised her sword arm into the air to mirror Strange.

He simply nodded, much like teachers do.

Remember to roll your tongue on the R sounds.

As Illyana released one last scoff of annoyance, the magical veil finally broke, and the two began their incantation.

Their voices flowed vibrantly as the hordes soared towards the trio, radiating words incomprehensible to the mortal mind. Their arms moved in unison, each touch against the air sparking a small wave of pure light and spirit. Yet despite the light show, the beasts grew ever closer.

Fifty feet. Then forty. The threat of what was to come lost on them.

As they spoke in tongues, Magik and Strange began to channel the energy before them.

Thirty feet. Twenty.

The energy took form. It was not a shapeless cloud of energy now, but a blinding, dazzling, silver creature.

Ten feet.

The majestic butterfly sprouted into life before them, it’s body radiating in silver light. The creatures reared back on their approach, their nightmarish screeches racketing their eardrums. But it was too late. One second the butterfly was flying before them, the next it had erupted. The whiteness that emerged engulphed everyone, rushing outwards like a tidal wave of energy.

The nightmare’s scattered, their spectral forms rocketing to get away. Yet despite their speed and determination, they were no matter. Much like the previous veil, as soon as the light hit them, they found the smoke of their forms dissipating into nothingness. Screams and shrieks echoed around the dreamscape, fading away with their bodies.

As the light died down, the magicians looked over their handiwork. Seconds ago an army had floated before them. Now there was nothing. Or so they thought.

A shout from Christina broke them from their admiration.

Oh no…” She cried, visually distressed. Her finger pointed out over to the distance within the dreamscape, where the form of two lone nightmares could be seen slithering away. They looked feeble now. Weak.

Strange simply put his hand on the girl’s shoulder to reassure her.

It’s fine” He said. “They’re just running scared.

A scowl spread across Illyana’s face. Those creature’s had terrorised this child’s dreams before they had stopped them. If they escaped, they could regrow their numbers and return. Magik wasn’t going to let that happened.

No.” She stated angrily, conjuring the glowing yellow light of a stepping disc beneath her feet as she brandished her sword. “Not on my watch.

Magik, wait!

Strange’s pleas for her to stop fell on deaf ears as she vanished from their sight. She emerged in a fury, appearing directly before the smoke of the nightmares, her sword swinging wildly above her head. The beast’s let out a shriek as their bodies moved to avoid their newfound obstacle. But the daughter of Limbo was too quick. With a swing of her sword, the nightmare to her left found itself inflamed as her blade chopped it in two.

She turned on the second as the first dissolved around her, her face filled with anger. Her body had changed slightly now, a thick row of black plated metal armour encasing both her sword arm and legs. What's more, a pair of small hellish horns had sprouted atop her head, emerging violently through the blonde bangs of her hair. Her breathing had heavied, growing brutish and angry. The nightmare seemed to squeal in fear as the demonic woman prowled towards it, her sword fixated on her prey. Her eyes burned like fire as she raised the blade above her head.

Yet before she could cut down her target, she found her arms entrapped. Thick red bands of energy had wrapped themselves around her wrists, stopping her from finishing her swing. Her head snapped to her left in anger to follow the source of the tendrils, until her eyes stopped on the shape of her teacher. Strange’s face was cold and unloving as he drifted towards her, his eyes filled with disapproval.

Illyana anger rescinded into fear, her eyes widening. Her armour faded away as the horns retreated into her hair. As he grew closer, she felt the tendrils loosen on her arms, allowing her to break free from her shackles. Embarrassed she stood still, her eyes glued to her feet. She didn’t want to see the look her mentor was giving her.

Go.” The Sorceror Supreme commanded. Illyana finally glanced upwards to see him facing the nightmare now. She felt relief wash over her, yet part of her knew this wasn’t over.

You’re done here.

The creature whimpered, being turning in haste. Its forms twisted, as it fled from the dreamscape, disappearing back to where it had come from.

Illyana couldn’t help but wonder whether that command was also directed at her.

Explosions of colour and mystical energy erupted around the Sorcerer Supreme as his astral form fought its way through the whiteness of the dreamscape. Before him, waves of creatures rocketed around, flying like smoke on the wind, their monstrous faces gleaming out of the blackness. They outnumbered him a hundred to one, yet Doctor Stephen Strange was not scared. Such festivities was a typical Tuesday for a master of the mystic arts.

Swinging the ghostly visage of the Axe of Angarruumus with his spare hand, Strange kept most of his focus on channelling blasts of magic before him. He moved swiftly. Summoning a shield of deep blue to repel the oncoming wrath of one nightmare before immediately launching the shield towards a pack of shadows. The shield shifted its form as it launched through the air, taking the shape of an orb of electricity, which hurtled forward like a bullet. It thundered loudly, entrapping the creatures it struck in an electrical storm that boomed dramatically over the battle. Their screeches were louder though, threatening to tear Strange’s eardrums asunder. As he winced in pain from the noise, the nightmares made their attack.

Their black energy snaked forward, ensnaring their shadows around him. He reacted with a swing from the axe; the blade cutting swiftly through the mass of darkness, releasing him into the light. He readied himself to take on the two that followed the first attacker. Another swing from the axe dissipated the form of the next shadow that plummeted towards him before the crack of his wrist launched a fireball towards the final of the three. He almost let out a loud taunt towards the group, before realizing that another large number of them were beginning to make their move.

Smugness crossed his face as Doctor Strange crossed his arms flamboyantly before him, issuing an array of inhuman sounding words as he did so. A whispered veil of grey drifted into being between the lone man and the swarm of shadowy rockets that hissed and howled towards him. They moved by the dozen, yet he stood motionless now. He was calm. He was collected. He had them right where he wanted them.

As the creatures hit the veil, their forms scattered, taking on sharp shades of blue and white. The wisps of smoke took form, as their remains fluttered around the Sorcerer, now transformed into a parade of beautiful butterflies.

He smiled triumphantly, before speaking confidently to the hordes that still waited on the periphery of the veil.

Who’s next?

A familiar laugh from his left drew his attention. Turning he watched as his apprentice drifted through the emptiness towards him, entering the field of butterflies that surrounded him.

Showing off again?” Illyana Rasputina asked with a smirk as she made her way to his side.

In one hand she held the blue flamed blade of her soul sword, which flashed with a fury of unparalleled power. Her other hand guided along someone who was just as important; Christina Weir, the young girl whose mind they were currently fighting to protect. The young girl was clutching to Magik’s hand as if her life depended on it, her eyes gawking around them like spotlights. Her breathing heavied as she stared around at the nightmare that encircled them, however, she seemed to grow calmer as she found herself amongst the butterflies.

That was good though because, at the arrival of the two girls, the creatures seemed to grow more rabid. Their growls and snarls grew louder as their spectral bodies swirled just beyond the veil impatiently.

Before Strange could offer a rebuttal to Magik’s mockery, the sorceress continued.

I found the girl.” She motioned her heard the child. “So vhats one less thing to vorry about.

And now we just need to clean up shop.” Strange finished, giving his apprentice a short smile. Things had been tense between the two of them over the past few months ever since Star City. Thankfully it would seem that things were starting to return to normal.

A shriek from behind caught their attention. The young child had finally caught sight of the waves of shadows before them.

What’s going on?” She cried, tears running down her face. Her hands trembled violently in fear as she gripped tightly onto the metal of Magik’s armoured arm. “You said this was in my head… but I don’t understand. Where’s my mum?

Illyana moved to turn and comfort her, however, Strange got there first. Getting down on one knee, the Sorcerer Supreme placed a hand on the child’s shoulder calmly, giving her an endearing look. It was a look Illyana recognised well. It was the look he’d given her when they had first met.

Hi there, you must be Christina.” She nodded meekly at his words. “My name is Doctor Strange.

Am… Am I poorly?” She asked, her voice breaking slightly.

Oh Heaven’s no. You’re perfectly fine.” He smiled reassuringly, prompting Christina to let out a brief look of relief. “But as my friend here said, you’re currently just dreaming. A big bad man named Nightmare is trying to make you have a bad dream. But we’re not going to let him do that, aren’t we?

Christina shook her head triumphantly.

Good!” Strange continued, proud that his motivational speech had worked. “Then let's do some magic!
Apologies for the delay, been a hectic few days for me!


Location: New York City, New York -- American Museum of Natural History



“Cassie? What on Earth are you doing here?”

Cassandra Sandsmark tore her eyes away from the exhibit to watch as her mother marched across the foyer towards her, the sound of her heels slapping against the marbled floor echoing around them. She’d been conversing with a small group of fellow researchers and curators, who at the sign of commotion, seemed to shift awkwardly to get a good view of what was happening. Cassie found herself in the same boat. Her face flushed with red as she racked her brain to come up with a decent excuse, but when she opened her mouth to reply, nothing but silence emerged. Dr Helena Sandsmark’s eyes peered expectantly over the rim of her glasses, her tongue clicking in her mouth.

All Cassie had wanted was a break from School; morning lessons had been tough given her gaps in knowledge as a result of her homeschooling, and in order to escape the mockery she’d fled into the streets of Manhattan during her free period. Her mother would hear nothing about that of course. In her eyes, ever since Greece, it was always Cassie that was in the wrong.

A lot had changed since then. You could tell just by looking at her mother, who had now ditched the tanned shirts and cargo pants she’d been known for sporting during their expeditions, to now filling her wardrobe with the sleek whites and blacks of the business world. Despite how glamorous she now looked, Cassie would always miss the mess of dirty blonde hair her mother would tie up atop her head that just added to her natural beauty. Having the person you grew up with make such a sudden change was a struggle to get used to, but then, so was everything about moving to New York. So was everything that had happened with Ares.

“You can’t just keep running here everyday Cassie.” Dr Sandsmark went on to say, her tone filled with the same annoyance that she’d had last time Cassie had done this. “You need to be around people your own age. People like you.”

Oh, if only she knew the irony. Cassie let out a laugh, resulting in a glare flashed in her direction.

I don’t like people my own age Mom.” Despite how childish she knew she must sound, Cassie continued on moaning. “People there just don’t get me. It’s been weeks and I still haven’t made any friends. Everyone just thinks I'm a freak who won’t shut up about history.

The glare sunk from Dr Sandsmark’s face as Cassie spoke, turning into somewhat of a look of sympathy. She was listening. Which in truth just made this even more painful. Cassie wanted to go on. To keep talking and to tell her all about the stuff she’d been hiding since arriving in the city. About her chats with the Greek God of War. About the gifts he had given her. The bracers hidden under her leather jacket at this very moment. The shining lariat tucked away in her school bag. About the mugging she had stopped on her way home from school the day prior.

But instead, as her mother lay her hand reassuringly on her shoulder, she merely stayed quiet.

“Darling… I…” Her mother found herself at a loss for words for a moment. “Come here."

Moving forward she embraced her daughter in a warm hug, resting her chin atop her head. They stood there for several moments in silence, with Cassie feeling as if this one moment made up for all the missed out mother-daughter moments since the move. She edged closer into telling her and spilling it all in this moment. But then another shout from the lobby stopped her.

“Um, Doctor Sandsmark?” The two broke apart to see one of the curator’s whom her mother had been walking with stepping towards them. “I don’t mean to interrupt but -”

She silenced him with a nod.

“That’s fine, you all go ahead. Tell Ms Cale I’ll be along shortly.” Waving him away she turned back to her daughter and managed a smile. “I have to go, but we’ll discuss this properly tonight, Ok?”

Promise?” Cassie asked feebly.

“Promise.”

She watched as her mother hurried away after her colleagues into a side room, a slight wave of relief washing over her. Things were going to be ok. Taking one last look at the ancient antiquities before her, she drummed happily onto the metal barrier before making her own way out of the room.

All hope she had though seemed to crumble as she stepped into the cold breeze, as the cityscape around her shook abruptly. Cries of panic rang out around her, as her eyes sought out the source of the commotion, finally landing on a thick line of smoke that was beginning to rise between some of the lower roof rooftops ahead of her.

Something was happening. Something bad.

Doubt flooded over her. Sure she’d been given abilities and power by Ares, but he never taught her how to use them. Stopping muggings was one thing, but this? She wasn’t ready for this. Her heart ached for her to turn and run. For her to head back to school and pretend she’d never left. The Justice League could handle this. One of them had to be around, right?

She turned her body away, wrapping her jacket around her. As she did so though, her hand ran across the golden embroidery she’d added to her. The insignia of her idol. She stopped in her tracks.

Wonder Woman wouldn’t run.

Turning on her heel, Cassie propelled herself into the air, launching herself towards whatever chaos awaited her.

Look at all of you with your fancy header pictures. Totally not jealous.

Will try and get something up this weekend!
I think my initial idea was to have Cassie just passing through the area. However I'd love to possibly tie in with someone else if anyone's up for it.
I just want to figure out how we’re framing the opening for the characters prior to showing up to help out Kori potentially. In a previous roleplay, Aqualad, Kid Flash, and a few others were getting together for pizza when it all goes down. That may not be viable here, but its just an example.

I feel a mixture of some characters already being together/happen to be in the area and hear the commotion could work, depending on if people want to discuss with each other and form character histories beforehand. A dynamic I loved within Young Justice was that the core group of Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, and Red Arrow all knew each other beforehand, and would be nice to possibly see that here, even if it's just between a character or two.

For Cassie, I personally prefer her being quite green in regards to the superhero business so connections amongst the others may not work too much for her. However, I wouldn't be opposed if she had met another member prior similar to how in the comics Ms Marvel and Nova first met before joining the avengers a few years ago; both attempted to stop the same heist/criminal and ended up butting heads.

But yeah, definitely something to discuss as a group.

Character Name


Cassie Sandsmark
Wonder Girl

Age


16

Attributes & Abilities


Empowered by the Greek god of war Ares, Cassie finds herself with immense strength and durability; the true limits of which she has yet to discover. The same can be said for both her speed and reflexes, which have been increased to superhuman rates. What more is that she finds herself with the ability of flight, much like Wonder Woman herself. While some practice is definitely needed, she is able to propel herself through the air at will.

More interestingly though, are the tools she's been gifted. Her Lasso of Lightning seemingly mirrors that of Wonder Woman's own Lasso of Truth, however, instead of willing people to tell the truth, it instead channels an electrical current stemming directly from the lighting of Zeus. The golden lariat's power seems to grow based on Cassie's rage, meaning that the angrier she becomes, the more powerful her lightning gets.

She also wields the Bracelets of Submission, the enchanted bracers of old, worn by all Amazonian warriors. Made of an indestructible metal, the cuffs are able to reflect a range of different attacks, including gunfire, blasts of energy, and other projectile weaponry.

Character Synopsis


Daughter of the Archaeologist Dr Helena Sandsmark, Cassandra's earliest memories were of exploring the world with her mother. Her job meant that they lived their lives on the road, travelling from one archaeological dig site to the next. Cassie never knew her father, however, with both her mother and the fellow archaeologists that travelled with them, she never felt the need for one. Her childhood gave her the opportunity to learn a variety of skills, from archaeology to learning a variety of foreign languages, but this came at the cost of her never attending formal education, and thus never mixing with children her own age.

It was around Cassie's 15th birthday that they travelled to a site in Greece, where Cassie was introduced to her mother's benefactor; Wonder Woman. She quickly befriended the Amazonian Princess, idolising her. Diana spent every night during the expedition telling Cassie tales of the Olympian Pantheon and her previous adventures, the young girl hanging at her every word.

Things took a turn during the expedition however when Dr Sandsmark excavated an ancient stone statue, created using the very clay that was told to have crafted Wonder Woman herself. Coming to life, the statue, now calling itself Decay, viciously attacked the group, targetting Wonder Woman. The creature was close to killing Diana before Cassie got involved and used a series of magical artefacts they'd dug up to push the creature back. Thanks to the assistance, Wonder Woman was able to defeat the creature for good, however, despite things turning out okay, Cassie's mother was horrified. It was this event that caused her to tell Cassie who her father was.

Discovering that her father was actually the Olympian God Zeus, Cassie begged him for a boon and a chance to have real powers so that she could help people just like Wonder Woman. Zeus said no.

In an attempt to help Cassie to move past everything that had happened and begin to live more of a normal life, Cassie's mother took a job as a curator of the Nation History Museum in New York City. But being in a city like New York only made Cassie want to help people more. That was when she found herself encountering none other than Ares, the Greek god of war and frequent enemy of Wonder Woman. Warning her of "the coming war", he told her he had heard her request to Zeus, and disapproved of the result. Dubbing her his champion, he gifted her with the strength and power of the Gods, along with the Lasso of Lightning and the Bracelets of Submission.

And so she began to use her new gifts for good, all the while fearing that she'd made a terrible mistake in trusting the God of War.
Personally I'd prefer a mix; There was a previous team which ended up disbanding a few years prior, with our team forming as a result of the current crisis. Could lead to some interesting dynamics with the second generation characters such as Robin or Wonder Girl and their predecessors.

I personally haven't had Cassie meet Donna yet, so I'd enjoy exploring what would happen if she were to turn up at the news of a new team forming
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