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Excalibur: Sentinels

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Excalibur". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The Champions continue to rise as now the Champions of Magic rise to take their place amongst the chosen defenders of the world. The magical users must now stand firm against the coming storm.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > General
Charmed > General
texaswookieFR18882,7451228,49815 Feb 132 Jul 14Yes


Wow its been a few weeks. Then again Jury Duty, wedding, Easter, changing the primary characters, and a few other things take up a lot of time. Dang I actually had a real life going there for a while.

Lets see the Sorcerer's Apprentice characters belong to Disney, L. Frank Baum is the creator of my villain, while Columbia Pictures and J. M. Barrie own the creative rights to some other characters that are mentioned in the story.

Dave Stutle was a thin wiry young man that had spent most of his life alone. He had a few friends here and there, but for the most part he had been alone in his life. He was regarded as one of the brightest students around by his various professors, but his lack of confidence meant that he would never get far in life. In the past few months though everything had changed for him. He now had a purpose, and there were people in his life now that he cared for and in return cared for him. It was odd and somewhat ironic that that the very thing that had started his downward spiral into becoming a nobody brainiac would be the very thing that would give him back his life. When he was 10 years old he had stepped into an old junk shop that would send him on the path of a person that was afraid to succeed. He had met two different men that were as unlike each other as possible. Balthazar Blake and Maxim Horvath. The two men had one thing in common in that they were sorcerers, even if they did fight for opposite sides. He had witnessed the pair as they battled amongst themselves only to disappear into a jar. The entire thing had been more than the young boy had been able to understand, and he had done his best to forget everything that he had seen that day. In the last few weeks though the young physics student had been forced to accept the fact that what he had seen had in fact been reality. A reality that had made him a part of it.

Since then he had discovered that he was a sorcerer as well. It turned out he was not just any sorcerer either. No, he was one that had been foretold by destiny that was supposed to stop one of the most powerful and evil magic users of time. According to his mentor, he was the Prime Merlinium, the heir to the magical power of the greatest of the magic users. He was supposed to be the next Merlin. Morgana Le Fey, had been stopped by him somehow despite all of the things that said that there should be no way for him to do so. He had beaten the spirit of one of the most powerful sorceress in time, and stopped her from raising an army of undead dark magic users that were dedicated to her. With only a few days of preparation and training the young physics prodigy who was the magical heir to Merlin had somehow managed to defeat one of the most dangerous casters known to man. Somehow he had managed to stop, Morgana, save his girlfriend, claim his potential power as the Prime Merlinium, and save his mentor Balthazar. All without being killed despite all of the powers that were arrayed against him.

Since his rather stunning and unanticipated victory, he had been forced to increase his level of training though. It seemed that the more magic users that heard of him the more of them that wanted to try their own hand against him and see if they could beat the one that had managed to defeat the infamous Morgana le Fay. With all of the various magic users, he had found himself facing off with various types of magic users. It turned out that not only was magic real even if it was hidden from the world at large but that there were several different kinds of magic as well. There was his type of magic user, which were also referred to as Sorcerer Class magic users. These were the type that required enchanted magical items like rings, necklaces, or other type of jewelry to act as a foci for their power. He had been surprised to learn of the many classes of magic users that there were out in the world. There was the Wizard Class: a group that lived in secluded conclaves that used special wands with pieces of magical animals as their foci. They were probably the most stereotypical of all of the various types of magic users since they rode brooms and had pointed hats. Witch Class: was one of the better ones as they didn’t seem interested in trying to destroy him and prove themselves. They were a type of magic user that didn’t require a foci of any sort in order to perform magic. They were also the main enemy of several different types of magical creatures and fought them with magical talents that allowed them, to perform a number of interesting skills and abilities. Wiccan Class: was very similar to the Witch Class in that they didn’t require a foci. These two types of magic users used raw magic in their spells and they only guided the magic while calling on the forces of various Gods or the Earth. It was possibly the most temperamental type of magics, and had the largest likelihood of causing a backlash that could affect the caster if the proper methods weren’t observed and followed. He’d met a powerful witch by the name of Sarah Baily who had told him of her own rise to power and how it had happened. It made him glad that he had people that could teach him about magic.

The abandoned subway station had become his home base for all things magical. It was here that he continued with his training, and prepared for whoever and whatever else came. The bad part of that was that there always seemed to be someone else out there that wanted to try their own strength against him. Word was going out about who and what he was and what he had already managed to accomplish. Already magic users from all over America had started showing up. According to Balthazar, it would only be a matter of time before people from other countries joined in on trying to beat him. Some of the magic users had left him with various other magical items. Various athames, weapons, potions, different types of foci, and magical items. Amongst these items included a scrying mirror that he was able to keep a lookout for things like surges of magic in the city and sometimes hold conversations with people. Balthazar could manage that piece of magic without even touching the mirror and could do it with regular glass if he wanted to.

He was blasted from his thoughts on his past conquests as he heard a sound that didn’t belong in the abandoned subway turn station. He looked up and gaped in disbelief as he saw what looked like flying monkeys come flying down through the open door. It was like watching a cloud of bats as they erupted through the doorway. They swirled around the room making all sorts of noise as they entered the large room. Some of them would even grab onto bits and pieces of furniture or the walls. Soon the noise died down and he saw that the monkeys were everywhere. He figured there must be nearly a thousand of the creatures as his eyes scanned the intruders. He wondered who would perform this kind of magic.

There was a tapping sound and soon a short old woman that was walking with a noticeable limp was making her way towards him. She was short looking to be around five feet or so. She had green skin and gray hair which was done up in three braids. Upon her head she wore a golden aviators hat. “So you’re the Prime Merlinium.” The old woman grumbled, her eyes roaming up and down the boy as if she was judging the young man before her. “It’s hard to believe that one such as Morgana lost to whelp like you.” She sneered. “Still, perhaps there is more to you than is obvious as well. I know full well that sometimes the innocent looking are not without any power of their own.” She said knowingly

“Of that there can be no doubt.” A calm voice said, as a figure in a long leather trench coat stepped out of a shadow startling several of the winged monkeys. “Elphaba.” The sorcerer said in greeting his sharp eyes roaming around the station.

“Balthazar.” The figure said coolly, as she looked the man over. “You haven’t changed much in the last 50 years.”

“I see you managed to get your hat back.” Balthazar returned looking at the golden hat that the figure wore.

“Yes it took some doing.” The old crone grumbled glaring at some of the flying monkeys who shivered when her gaze fell onto them.

“Uh who is this?” Dave finally sputtered out.

“This is Elphaba.” Balthazar returned mildly. “You might know her better as the Wicked Witch of the West though. Then again the monkeys should have been a clue for you my apprentice.” He said teasingly.

“This is the Prime Merlinium?” The witch demanded while looking at the boy with disgust. “This child is the one that you waited millennia for?”

“You’ll have to excuse my apprentice, he can be somewhat slow on the uptake at times.” Balthazar said, while ignoring the insults that the woman was throwing at the both of them.

“Wait she’s real?” Dave asked in shock as the introduction finally penetrated his mind.

“Indeed Dave, she’s really real.” Balthazar said with a sigh.

“So what, story book characters are real now to?” Dave said as he stared at the witch.

“Yes Dave they are.” Balthazar returned his eyes never leaving the witch as he spoke.

“But isn’t she supposed to be dead? The whole water and everything?” a confused Dave asked.

“Do not mention that girl or all that she did to my world.” Elphaba hissed out angrily.

“She’s rather sensitive about that.” Balthazar said idly. “You’ll find that many of the things that you once thought as flights of fancy are based in fact Dave. Most people just don’t want to admit that they’re real though so turn them into some form of entertainment to hide the truth from themselves. The sad part is that it’s usually the children that suffer from this choice though The tale that you know so well is actually far different than the one that you know. It started out as one of the Watcher Diaries of a young Slayer that was whisked off to another dimension who then battled various dark forces.” Balthazar said as he gestured with his hand and an old and worn book floated out of a book shelf and into his hand.

“Slayer?” Dave asked.

“A female mystical warrior that is empowered by a ritual that is even older than me.” Balthazar told the boy. “They fight various creatures for reasons that are their own. They’re masters of physical combat usually and have various mystical enhancements to aide them. I’ve heard rumors since I’ve gotten back though that some of the things dealing with the Slayer have changed though. Then again I was out of touch for some ten odd years. I suppose it’s possible that things have changed.”

“Better than the 1000 years that I was out of it.” Veronica shot back at him, as she stepped out of the shadows that she had been hiding in. The sorceress had joined in the training of Dave and had in return been learning about the modern world and all that had changed since she had been imprisoned with Morgana.

“I see that the rumors are true the soul sorceress has been freed as well.” Elphaba noted as her eyes scanned the young woman over with hungry interest. “It would be interesting to examine you and see if there were any changes done to you that Morgana caused.”

“That won’t be happening.” Veronica returned.

“So does that mean characters like Peter Pan are real as well?” Dave interrupted the standoff between the two curiously. “If so, then book me a flight to Never Land.”

“You wouldn’t want to go there.” Balthazar returned. “Never Land is a far cry from the peaceful world that is described. Peter Pan is actually a faye child, who captures children for his own purposes. He turns the girls into slaves by making them act as his mother while the boys are turned into its personal army of soldiers that fight either the Indian Braves and Shamans or the Sea Pirates. It’s not all about what makes the Red Man Red or You Can Fly.”

“So Captain Hook is actually a good guy that fights with Peter Pan?” Dave asked in awe forgetting the fact that the witch was standing there before them as he wrapped his head around the newest revelation that he was receiving.”

“No, Captain James Hook is a Sea Mage of the highest order and of the absolute worst kind that uses the souls of those lost at sea to man his ship and battle with Peter Pan.” Balthazar returned to his student. There are only a handful of seaman that are his match when it comes to life at sea. If either of them were to ever actually win their war the world would be the worst for it as they would likely come to this dimension and try and rule it.”

“Oh.” Dave said in shock as he realized that there appeared to be quite a bit missing from the tales if that was the truth.

“You can explain these things to him later Balthazar. If he survives that is.” Elphaba said in a disgruntled voice as she glared at the three sorcerer level magic users. “I have come to issue a challenge to the boy. We shall see just how strong he really is, and if he is really as deserving of the place that he has recently been elevated to. I have my doubts personally and will see to it that this charlatan is put on display for all to see. Meet me outside boy I think its time to see if you really are as good as the rumors are making you to be.”

“And if I were to say no?” Dave asked curiously.

“Then you’ll never see your precious little blonde again.” Elphaba returned, as a monkey flew overhead and dropped a familiar bag at their feet. “And trust me. after all of my dealings with the Gale girl I have very little liking for blondes.”

“Becky.” Dave mumbled as he knelt down and picked the bag up. He turned a scowl at the witch. “Where is she?” He asked with a glare that only made the witch smirk.

“If you wish to get her back then fight me boy. Let us see just what it is that the Prime Merlinium is capable of.” She told him mockingly. “New York shall be our battleground, consider this the opening shot of our magical battle. Balthazar this fight is between the two of us I want you to stay out of this. By the rules of magical combat you know that you cannot personally battle me now.” She said with a glare. “Or we will see how much blood I can spill. You have one day boy if you have not saved her then your pretty little girl belongs to me.”

“No.” Dave said as he fired a plasma bolt at the witch only for it to pass right through her.

“At least your heads in the game.” The witch said with a cruel smile. “Hurry boy. the clock is ticking, and soon you’ll be out of times and New York is hardly a small place to search. If not, I’m sure that I shall find a use for her. She might make good food or a nice little slave girl depending on the mood I’m in.” The image of the witch cackled as her form faded away. The monkeys took the vanishing of their mistress as their signal to leave as they rose back up into the air and dove out the door.

Dave turned to look towards his master. “Is there anything that we can do to stop her?”

“Hard to say.” Balthazar admitted. “Elphaba is one of the more powerful magic users that I’ve ever met and considering some of the magic users that I’ve met over the years that’s saying something. The fact that she uses demon magic makes her even more dangerous. If you had lost to Morgana she would have just destroyed you. If Elphaba beats you though it will likely be with your and Becky’s souls forced to endure unmentionable pain and agony for untold centuries worth of torture in the pits of some sort of demon realm. Being who you are and your potential as being one of the primary forces of good your soul is actually pretty valuable to beings that deal in things like that.” Balthazar said knowingly.

“So is there anything that might be able to stop her?” Dave questioned desperately, as his eyes began scanning the various magical objects around the room. “Surely some of this junk that we’ve been gathering around here should be able to help even the odds.” He suggested to his mentor.

“Doubtful.” Balthazar returned to his apprentice. “Elphaba has the entire winged monkey nation under her command, as long as she has that golden hat and it wouldn’t surprise me if she brought some of her other soldiers as well. You’ll be facing hundreds of creatures that won’t hesitate for a moment to try and destroy you.”

“So what do we do?” Dave asked bitterly.

“Thanks to the rules that Elphaba invoked, there is only so much we can do since we can not directly confront her until you yourself are dead. On the plus side we can fight with any troops that she decides to use.”

“We also finish with awakening your true potential. Balthazar returned to the college student. “It’s time to make you Merlin, the greatest sorcerer that there is.”

“Are you sure that’s wise? It could be dangerous for him, even with as far as he has come in recent time.” Veronica said as she stared at her lover with concern over what he was planning.

“Normally I would say your right, but we’re running out of options here thanks to everything that’s going on.” Balthazar returned to her. Since the Morganna ordeal I’ve been putting out feelers for a lot of my old contacts. It seems that over the past few years a lot of the people that were fighting the good fight have fallen or been taken out in some way or other. It’s made the world a lot darker since then though. The ones that did all of the work don’t seem to have left behind very many heirs to their duties. He said grimly. He thought back to all that he had done over the years in preparing people to watch over parts of the world. He had been the glue holding them all together it seemed and hadn’t been around to direct them things had quickly fallen

“I thought I already was showing my true potential now though?” A confused Dave questioned the ancient sorcerer. I thought that I unlocked my true potential when I started performing magic without a foci like Merlin used to.

“No, you’ve only started to unlock your true potential.” Balthazar informed him as he summoned a book to his hand. “In order to do this we need to make you the best that there is.”

“So, how do we do that?”

“We use an empowering ritual.” Balthazar explained to him. “We need to combine your power along with Merlin’s knowledge.” He waved his hand and a glowing ritual circle formed on the ground. The sorcerer nodded as he began chanting and a blast of power shot upward. When the light faded the group of sorcerer’s saw the specter of an old man.

“Master.” Balthazar and Veronica said as they knelt to the figure in respect while Dave looked on in awe.

“Balthazar, Veronica.” Merlin greeted his former protégés gesturing for them to rise up. Once they were back on their feet he looked at the two suspiciously. “Why have you summoned my spirit here? I can see that my place has been taken by my heir.” He said nodding toward a slack jawed Dave. “My time in this world is over young ones. It is his time to do things.”

“Indeed Master, however a powerful demon magic user has appeared, and we need your knowledge of magic in order to combat such a thing.” Balthazar explained to the ghost.

Merlin nodded, as he turned to look his magical heir over. “So you need the knowledge to go along with your power. Have you managed to defeat Morganna yet?”

“Yes.” Dave confirmed. “It was a close one, but we somehow managed to get it done. I managed to get your ability to cast magic without foci at the last minute.” He said, as he showed that he wasn’t wearing the dragon ring that was the mark of the Prime Merlinium. He then created a plasma ball in his hand before causing it to vanish.

“Unfortunately, he started rather late in his training and is now being forced to catch up thanks to Horvath.” Balthazar added in. “It was actually useful at that time because it allowed everyone including Morganna to underestimate him and allow him to use his magic in unorthodox ways that gave him victory.”

“But because of this, people are no longer underestimating him anymore now are they?” Merlin questioned as he saw the problem that his students and heir faced. “You’re hoping that I can transfer my knowledge into the boy and somehow give him the understanding of magic that will allow him to compete on the same level as that his opponents.”

“Yes master.” Balthazar said in agreement.

“Such spells to do this are out there.” The spirit admitted to the group carefully. “However, they are dangerous magic because they can override the original personality creating a form of possession if the ones performing the magic is not careful.” Merlin informed the group warningly.

“I’m aware of the dangers Master, but you have to consider the fact that this may truly be the only way to fight this witch though.” Balthazar returned to his mentor. “There are lives at stake, and something tell me that she won’t stop with just this one and will continue until she is satisfied.”

The specter nodded at that looking somewhat annoyed at this latest bit of information. “There are other methods of performing similar spells though. What of using the imagination empowering spell? It’s equally useful in these circumstances and doesn’t have the potential to destroy the core personality of the one that is enchanted.” Merlin suggested while looking toward his students.

Balthazar nodded after a moment of consideration. “I suppose it’s possible.” He conceded. “However, there are not that many imaginary characters that would work for something like this.”

“Uh what are you guys talking about?” Dave questioned them.

“It’s a spell that allows you to take the power of imaginary characters. It’s a powerful spell the changes are nearly permanent though so you have to be sure that you want to do it as there is no going back.” Balthazar explained to the young sorcerer. “Unfortunately I don’t know if the world of today has any of those kinds of heroes though.” The 1000 year old magic user admitted. “I’m afraid I haven’t exactly kept up with the heroes of today.”

“Maybe this will help then.” Dave said as his backpack came flying toward him. He rummaged through it and pulled out a dog eared thin booklet. “Here maybe this will do it.” He suggested while offering the brightly colored item to his mentor.

Balthazar accepted the item and then flipped the book open while Merlin looked at it with interest. “Such intricate work, a master must have worked for many years to get such detail done.”

“Something like that.” Balthazar said bemusedly, not really wanting to explain how far technology had forge ahead since his death. The idea that this was one of hundreds if not thousands would probably stun the legendary magic user into silence. “This looks like it will work my apprentice.” He congratulated as he looked at a figure of a man with a red cape. “Stand in the ritual circle.” He commanded. Dave followed the order and soon the specter of Merlin along with Veronica and Balthazar began chanting. A moment later the light shot upward and hid him from view as the magics starting changing him Dave let out a scream as parts of him were being changed irreversibly. The three figures on the outside ignored the pain filled screams though and continued to pour magic into the ritual circle. They had to get this just right. Not enough power and it could stunt his growth as a magic user. Too much though and they could overload his body with magic and cause him to explode.

When the light faded Dave could be seen on his hands and knees gasping for pain filled breath. “Did it work?” He rasped out at them weakly.

“I don’t know, can you bring to mind how the various aspects of magic work?” Balthazar asked curiously.

Dave rose to his feet and saw that his clothes had changed. He was wearing a blue silk shirt a dark red leather trench coat, black jeans and his old man shoes. “This is different.” The boy said as he examined his changed clothes. “Better than a cape or cloak as well.”

“Yes, yes boy, but can you feel the knowledge for the magic that you must command?” Merlin asked in irritation. Annoyed at the boy’s interest in his appearances. He also wondered what the boy had against cloaks. They were perfectly useable and fashionable as far as he was concerned.

Dave waved his hands and energy erupted from his hands. “Wow this is amazing.” He said he formed a plasma ball in either hand and then with a few mumbled words the ball lengthened to create a giant eagle out of the plasma. “It’s all so clear.” Dave said. “I think I’m finally starting to understand everything that you’ve been trying to teach me.” He gestured, and the eagle shifted into a dragon, and then into an X-Wing. I think that you can call me Strange now though. He told his masters.

The pair nodded their acceptance of the request. Often times a magic user would change their name to signify a change that had happened to them.

“You now have the knowledge, you still lack the control and wisdom, young Strange, hopefully this will help you young sorcerer.” Merlin said. “Now go and save those that are in need of your aide.” The specter of the most famous magic user faded away into nothing.

“Goodbye master.” The pair of older sorcerers said sadly, as they watched him leave.

“You two coming Balthazar?” Strange asked as he waved his hands and the mirror began cycling through images of the city searching for the location of the demon witch and his girlfriend.

“I’ll head for the skyscrapers and get you some backup something tells me that those monkeys aren’t going to be the only thing that she decides to bring to the fight.” Balthazar said.

“Alright.” Strange said he waved his hand and a portal opened before him. “I have a few ideas on how to counter that as well.” He said as he stepped through the portal.

Balthazar smiled it seemed his student was coming into his own with the power and knowledge that he now had he was almost ready to be out on his own. It seemed that the boy wasn’t interested in that though, and like Merlin before him would rather have a force of magic users to deal with these problems. It was that very thinking that had made it so that in the end Morgana and her followers failed while they did not. The two sorcerer class magic users rushed up to a familiar skyscraper. Slipping into the Chrysler building and getting on the outside was not easy. Each of them laid their hands upon an eagle statue and the building ornaments shifted its shoulders as they came to life. Soon a half dozen of the metallic creatures were standing at the ready.

“So what do you think that your apprentice has planned?” Veronica asked as she moved to another metallic eagle.

“Honestly, with Dave, or Strange now, it’s hard to be sure.” Balthazar admitted to her. “He’s got a head full of ideas, and one can never be sure just what to expect from him.”

“Thanks.” A voice said the two looked up to see Strange stepping out of another glowing portal. “Are they ready?” He asked, looking towards the eagles. “I’ve found where we need to be. Let’s go.” He ordered, as he leaped off the side of the building. The two ancient sorcerers watched in shock as the young man rose into the air.

“Impressive.” Veronica complimented.

“Can’t argue with that.” Balthazar said in agreement. The two of them clambered onto the eagles who then took off. A few minutes later they could see Elphaba and her force that was waiting for them. Along with the flying monkeys there was a force of green skinned soldiers with spears and some form of creature that looked like men that were bent over and standing on their toes and hands. The only difference though was that they had wheels in place of the hands and feet.

“What are they?” Veronica asked, as she looked the army over with interest.

“The flying monkeys are Elphaba’s shock troops, the soldier looking ones are Winkies, they’ve been enchanted to look like that, finally there are the Wheelers the foot soldiers of the Gnome King.” Balthazar explained to them.

“Which means she either beat him, or he’s around here as well.” Strange said. “Do either of you see Becky?” The two sorcerers shook their heads in the negative. “Fine, then I guess we’ll have to do this the hard way. He began moving forward, and stepped out from behind the brush that had hidden them. He created a plasma ball in either hand as he walked towards the assembled force. “You wanted a faceoff?” He demanded of the witch.

“Indeed little sorcerer, the only difference is that I have an army what do you have? A couple of old has beens and glorified statues.” She sneered at him as she looked at the pitiful forces that he had managed to bring against her. Hardly the result I was expecting from the Prime Merlinium.

“Call me Strange.” He returned to her. “I also have a host of new spells that you might like.” Strange shot off at the witch. “Here’s one you might like.” He then began chanting a spell out. “Treguna, Mekoides, Trecorum Satis Dee."

“And what will that do?”

“Take a look.” Strange said nodding towards the road. Everyone’s eyes followed where he gestured and they saw mannequins, various suits of armor lining up into combat positions, old bi-planes, and many other things. With the power he now wielded Strange had summoned forth his own army to counter the one that the witch had brought with her. The army Strange had summoned seemed to stretch out as far as the eye could see. There was a chance that its numbers equaled that of the horde that the witch had brought forward.

“It would seem there’s more to you than I first thought.” Elphaba admitted grudgingly as her eyes looked back and forth at the army that was coming at her. Despite the changing in the odds her voice carried no doubt from the changes that the spell had created. “What did you do, knock over a museum?”

“More than one actually.” Strange said, his own voice echoing back at the witch as he saw a cavalry forming with George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt taking the lead with their units. Off to the side he saw several archer from various forming in the back while the foot soldiers took up their own positions. Yes this was going to be one heck of a battle he only hoped that all the people stayed away. “Last chance to hand Becky over and go back to your own dimension.” He offered her. “No one here has to die.”

Elphaba cackled at this. “Are you kidding boy, I haven’t had this sort of a challenge since I crushed the Gnome King.” She raised a gnarled finger, and pointed it at the approaching army. “Destroy everything you see.” She commanded her forces.

The flying monkeys leaped into the air or off of the various buildings while the screeching sound of the wheels of the Wheelers echoed through the streets as the moved forward and the Winkies moved as a single unit and began to march toward his own army all the while chanting in dark monotonous voices.

Strange swallowed, this was going to be tough it was going to take all of the knowledge that he had gathered over the years from various strategy games like World of Warcraft, Ages of the Empires, and D&D, to counter this force. “Eagles and archers and gunmen deal with those monkeys he commanded, cavalry handle the Wheelers the rest of you foot soldiers move forward and prepare to engage. He barked as he saw the force that was moving at them.

Each commander watched as their armies engaged. The lifeless army of the Sorcerer Supreme verses the demonic army of the Wicked Witch of the West. Guns cracked through the silent air and monkeys fell from the sky. Suits of armor and mannequins of famous people rushed at the Wheelers and Winkies and slashed through parts of their ranks. Steel eagles cried out angrily as they flew through the ranks of enemy snapping and grabbing at opponents that got in their way.

The first assault was doing good. Strange thought as he watched. He then saw that Elphaba was opening a portal and more troops were spilling out. Soon they would be outnumbered and the numbers would blow through his own ranks. He winced as he saw one of the eagles go down weighted down by hundreds of flying monkeys. It tried to raise itself, but one of its wings lay off to the side. Helicopters were also infiltrating the air space taking video of what was happening. His idea of keeping this secret was already gone. People who had no idea what was going on had come out to watch what they probably thought was an elaborate movie shooting.

“Protect the people.” He commanded the army. Half of his force switched from offense to defense as they disengaged from the enemy to protect the spectators. The three sorcerers slowly walked through the army. The two older magic wielders each carried a sword in one hand and fired plasma balls from the other as they moved through the battlefield.

“Remind me to teach you some sword basics after this is over.” Balthazar noted as he fired a plasma ball at a charging Wheeler while he blocked a spear with his sword. “If things are going to get like this, then your going to need all of the tools that you can get.”

Strange nodded in agreement as he lifted rubble that was lying around and sent it sailing at a group of incoming monkeys forcing them to divert their path and fly into a hail of arrows and bullets. “Any ideas where we might find Becky?”

“Most likely with Elphaba.” Veronica returned to him, as she sliced the wing off of a monkey. “She may want to use her as a bargaining tool or as a lure to bring you ever closer to her. The fact that she’s at the back though means that we’ll have to fight our way through an army of creatures before we can engage her though.”

Strange nodded, and raised his hands and conjured several plasma balls in his hands and released them allowing them to swirl around him. As he walked through the crowd whenever a creature got close enough he either let one of the plasma balls hit his defenses or he made a gesture and one of the plasma balls broke free from the circle and hurled at the opponent. A few times he even performed other spells such as conjuring circular saw blades and sending them flying or causing cables to wrap around the opponent only for one of his mentors or the various animated objects to finish the job. Because of so many creatures that were standing in their way the 20 minute walk too nearly an hour to get done. Strange saw that his mentors had broken away from him to assist with tight knots of opponents. He was sure that if he called that they would come, but he also knew that they were doing important work by trying to contain the battle in this area. He looked up and saw that several of the building had people looking out windows or standing at the top of buildings watching the results of the battle. The thing was, despite how jaw dropping it all seemed it was merely the opening act.

“I take it your ready then sorcerer?” Elphaba said from her place at the top of a hill.

“Last chance to stop this.” Strange returned.

“Never.” She declared as she blew a green mist out of her mouth.

Strange forced himself into the air and away from the attack. He looked at the ground where he had been standing and saw that the concrete was melting from whatever she had sent at him. He pushed his hands forward and sent all of the plasma balls that had been guarding him at her in rapid fire attack.

Elphaba jerked one arm up into a fist and a golem rose out of the ground in front of her and took the hit instead of her. The remains of the attack then came rushing at Strange.

Strange waved his hands, and the incoming rubble changed into bubbles. He then waved his hands and the ground erupted as a muddy snake the size of a tour bus rose out of the ground and lunged at the witch. Fire erupted around the snake baking it causing the dirt to harden freezing the creature. A large flying monkey the size of a gorilla then smashed into the creation shattering it. The shards then came flying at Strange who changed them into flowers.

Elphaba looking annoyed brought her index fingers and thumbs together to create a diamond shape and then twisted her arms and a tornado flew out of the diamond and rushed at Strange. The sorcerer raised a shield, but the force of the blast still sent him flying back.

“Alright, there has to be some sort of irony for a Witch from Oz using a tornado to fight with.” Strange said, as he regained control of his flight and charged back at Elphaba, He clapped his hands together, and a stream of plasma erupted from his hand and raced towards the witch. The witch did something with her feet and disappeared. “Of course she has the magic slippers as well.” Strange grumbled, as he searched for where his opponent had disappeared to. He turned and saw a giant battering ram with the metal head of a boar flying at him. He coated his hand with magic and sent a blast of magic and slice through the ram rushing at him. The ram fell apart and the broken ends rushed by on either side of him. He turned and saw Elphaba was sitting on a broom as she was casting magic.

The two then began exchanging brightly colored bolts of magic at each other as they moved through the air. The battle that had started on the land and had used the ground around them now had changed into a dogfight. Strange imagined that from a distance it probably looked very pretty, but for him it was a deadly blaze of power. Drawing more power to him he created another shield. He then used another one of the new tools that he had gotten from the spell. He felt the Eye of Agamotto warm up and send a bright bolt of energy at the witch.

Elphaba sent a stream of magic back at him and the two blasts competed with each other as they tried to overwhelm each other. With a surge of power the beam from the eye broke through and slammed into Elphaba. The witch screamed as she felt Strange’s mind rip into her.

“Get out.” She yelled. “There’s no way that you can handle what you’re going to see boy!” She declared, and with an effort she broke the connection between the two of them.

Strange smirked. “Thanks, I now know where Becky is.” He said, and spun around before disappearing into a bolt of red lighting that struck a ground in front of a gazebo. He reformed back into his human form and looked the gazebo over. With a wave of his hand he caused the area around it to shimmer, and he saw a Becky. She was beating on the air as if there was a glass wall that was surrounding her. With another wave of his hand a mist seemed to rise as various wards were destroyed. “Hey.” He said as he helped the blonde out of the gazebo.

“Took you long enough.” Becky returned, as she stepped out of gazebo. “Interesting new look.” She complimented.

“Thanks.” Dave returned, the pair turned to see Elphaba land nearby. Judging from the scowl on her face she was far from pleased with how things had turned out. The sorcerer went back to his Strange mentality.

“You may have saved her from being sacrificed, but you are all going to die.” The witch informed him. “And there is nothing that you can do to stop me and my army.”

“We’ll just have to see about that.” Strange returned, as he watched another of his eagles go crashing to the ground while another’s wings ripped through the window of a building that it flew to close to. “Time to end this.” He said, and began muttering a spell and the ground rumbled and soon the surrounding fire hydrants and sprinklers erupted as water forced their way through.

Elphaba smirked at him. “A little lesson for you boy, it wasn’t just regular water that slayer used to beat me with.” She said as she stood confidently as the water fell down around them.

“She’s right, it requires holy water.” Strange said in understanding. He began chanting and the water seemed to sparkle for a moment and Elphaba yelped as the water started to fall on her/

“How?” She demanded as she glared at him. “You are no man of god, if so you would not be a sorcerer.”

“Your right, that doesn’t mean that I can’t purify the water though.” Strange returned to her. As the water fell, it seemed to lend strength to the land and armor while the various forces kept on getting distracted by the water. The monkeys were down as their wings became soaked and the Winkies seemed to be losing strength under the water while the Wheelers were having trouble moving around in the soaked ground.

Elphaba looked at Strange murderously. “I may not have won the battle this time Prime Merlinium, but you have become known to the world now as well. She said as she gestured with her hands. If I cannot defeat you hear then I shall be sure to show the world what you are capable of. She raised her hands and mystical energy spewed out striking the various buildings causing all sorts of damage. Strange formed a protective bubble for him and Becky and the two watched as she began ripping the town apart as more and more arcane energies spewed out of her.

“I hope this work.” Strange said, as he began gesturing and a portal opened. “It’s time for you to go back to your homeland.” He said as the portal began sucking everything up first stray bolts of magic, but soon the remnants of the flying monkeys Wheelers and Winkies were lifted up and began to fly through the portal.

Elphaba screamed as she saw that her army was being forced back into Oz. Several tornadoes popped up around her and each went a different way. Strange watched as Balthazar and Veronica each moved to intercept one that left three more that had to be dealt with though. It seemed as if the tornados were trying their best to cause as much damage as possible. Strange could stop them, but if he did that the portal spell would be broken and the army would begin moving back out of it.

“What a choice eh Prime Merlinium?” Elphaba asked in amusement. “Do you defeat the army or try and save the people?”

“I trust my master to do what’s needed.” Strange returned, they watched as Balthazar slammed his hands to the ground and the paths that the tornadoes were taking were suddenly blocked as the ground rose up and blocked them. “See, told you.” Strange said cockily. “Then again he’s probably the only guy that’s crazy enough to raise the street to block a tornado.” He added. The tornadoes began turning working their way into the buildings tearing and chipping away at them. Bolts of lighting slashed out of the tornado and burned and destroyed things. Strange increased the power of the portal as it began drawing more and more figures into it.

Soon all that was left was Elphaba who was somehow using all of her power to resist the power. “I will not let myself be beaten by a whelp like you.” She declared.

“Then how about I beat you.” Becky said as she came up behind the witch and hit her with a fallen tree branch. The witch stumbled from the blow and the moment of surprise was all that Strange needed. With one final surge the portal sucked the witch up. There was a clatter and they saw that the slippers had been left behind.

Balthazar knelt down and picked the shoes up. “These may come in handy.” He said calmly, despite everything that they had just been through.

“How so?” Dave asked curiously as he tiredly leaned against Becky. He had used up pretty much all of his magical power in stopping the witch from destroying New York and it would be a while before he could perform large area spells again. The Strange personae was also fading as he returned to his usual mindset.

“They enhance ones power.” Veronica explained while Balthazar nodded his head in agreement. “There’s no telling what their potential might be if used correctly.”

“Look, all of that is neat but we need to get out of here now.” Becky said nodding towards several men in cop and military uniforms making their ways towards them. Judging by the fact that they had drawn weapons they didn’t look overly friendly at the moment.

“She’s right,” Balthazar agreed, “trust me, we don’t want to find ourselves under scrutiny of governments. They get it in their heads that they should be the ones to control you. The days that magic users were kept as advisors has long since passed. Now of days they think that they can turn you into their own weapons.” Dave nodded and the army of museum pieces stepped in between them not stopping them but making it more difficult for them to get through. “You’ll have to tell me what you were doing using the spell of Astroath later.” He added. “Getting the book back after the entire house exploded wasn’t exactly easy.”

“Sorry.” Dave returned the sorcerers linked hand and the entire group seemed to vanish.

When the various people got to where the group had been standing there was nothing for them to find. “Where are they?” One man wearing a colonel’s rank demanded as he looked around suspiciously. “I know they were right here.”

“Unknown sir.” One of the accompanying soldiers said as he watched the armor start to sink to the ground as whatever force holding the armor up failed. The fact that all of it had seen battle was not going to make the various museum curators happy. The man thought bemusedly. Then again he doubted that there was a lot about this situation that was going to make anyone happy. Two armies wielding medieval weapons and some form of energy had destroyed a large part of New York and then vanished. He was just glad the Chrysler building statues had pulled themselves together and already left. Maybe if he tried really hard he could pretend that none of this had actually happened.

“I want those people that did this found at once.” The colonel barked. “That’s an order from the president himself. He said that if there are people out there with that much power then we need to insure that they’re on our side.”

“And if they’re not sir?” The soldier asked curiously.

“Then we need to make sure that we can deal with them if they ever try and do something like this again.” The colonel said. “I want this entire area gone over until you can figure out how they were doing what they were doing.”

“I’m guessing that magic isn’t the answer.” The man said glibly.

“Do I look like I’m interested in comedy routines soldier?”

“No sir.”

“Then get to it I want everything inspected.”

The group of invisible magic users shook their heads. Dave was particularly shock as he realized the danger that he was now in thanks to their battle. The government was looking for him and they wanted him under their control it seemed. “What happens now?” He asked worriedly.

“We find place to hole up for a while.” Balthazar informed him. “Fortunately I doubt that there’s anyone that can stand up to you as you are though.”

Dave nodded as he accepted the fact that he was going to have to go into hiding now instead of facing off against the military. He was glad about that though, since he wasn’t sure he would have been able to hold up against all of them. It seemed that because of magic his life had changed once again. He wondered if he would ever have the normal life that he wished for, or if he would be stuck from now on going from problem to problem. He was afraid of the answer. The group left the battle site and reappeared in their base.

“Welcome to the Inner Sanctum.” Dave said tiredly. It looked like things had just gotten more interesting with regular people looking for him now. Only time would tell what happened next. As long as he had these people with him though then he was pretty sure that he could weather whatever storm that came.

Was a real trick deciding who was going to become Strange. Dave was in competition with Nathan Ford, Indiana Jones, and Harry Dresden. Nathan will appear in another part of this if I get that far though.

I chose the name of the witch due to that being the most popular version of her name. If it’s true or not I have no idea.
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