2019-05-23 - Crossing The Lethe


Into the Underworlds to seek the first part of the clues to God Killers whereabouts.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu May 23 04:07:02 2019
Location: Mephisto's Domain

Related Logs


Theme Song



The journey through the Underworlds has been long, arduous, but not overly taxing. Astryd had given strict instructions to the team not to stray from her path. It's not clear how far they've descended but it's taken hours and it's getting hotter and hotter. Not that Astryd shows the deprivation, dressed as she is in her armour with her sword and shield manifested.

That might have made some of the party boggle - the way her hair clip had transformed from pin and basket to the weapons she now bears.

Throughout, the party has been left pretty much to its own devices, though the feeling of being of watched and followed is strong. There's also something wrong with the way air feels - these are death dimensions after all - and it's possible that every now and then, they've head … whispers.

Eventually though, Astryd calls a halt. Just up ahead the terrain changes. The dull glow of fire can be seen even as the temperature starts to soar. "A few more feet and we'll be entering Hades. Take a drink and ready yourselves, once we head in, there's no turning back." Her grey eyes seek Fenris' "Roll out the map, my heart, let us refresh ourselves before we move forward."

She pauses before adding "Time in Mephisto's dimension runs differently. It's slower. If we take too long at this, years will have passed on earth. I wish to avoid this."

"Great," says Bucky. He's in insignia-less fatigues, with a pack at his back, hair tied back into a neat knot. Goggles perched on his brow, scarf around his throat. "Been there, done that, not interested in playing that game again." ….being dead? Having time pass too swiftly? All of the above, maybe. He pauses to take a long drink, make sure everything's settled, looking at the others with him.


Having said his sweet farewells — and having handed out the respective charmed (and stolen) coins to the members of the motley party — the Jackal trudges along in the line behind Astryd. For all he did his best to quip and smirk toothily and generally make a moderate conversational nuisance of himself, the master-thief has fallen into a sullen silence. He's been seen to glance up sharply and look around once or twice as if hearing something, but merely slitted his eyes and continued on. In the odd lighting of this place around them, his pupils have retained their ruddy glow almost consisently. In his veins, the Bane moves like bicarbonate in vinegar, roiling to itch under his skin and in his spine, as if he's being constantly watched.

Still, he pauses and steps to one side when Astryd calls halt. He's got an old canteen, still serviceable, and he takes a deep swig of this. With strap across his chest, a small satchel rests at his hip filled with various sundry…tools.

"Yes, it would be a ruddy shame if you left the stove on," Ambrose comments drily towards Bucky as he slips his canteen away again. He smacks his lips a few times and shudders. "Ugh." He's got something mixed into it that must taste less than palatable. "Do let's see this map and march on then. I have dinner plans and can't be late."


Kai has been uncharacteristically quiet while traversing through the underworlds. He's in charcoal grey, in loose clothing of Alfheim design, made for moving in quietly, and he's got a hood covering his gleaming golden curls. He nods to Astryd in agreement about wanting to avoid the time issue, and he takes a drink from a flask. Chances are it's not water. Ambrose's words bring a smile to his lips, but he remains silent.

Sif has followed Astryd's instructions and path precisely, wearing her full Asgardian battle garb with her sword and shield ready at hand. When the former Valkyrie calls for a brief rest before entering Mephisto's realm proper, she pulls a waterskin from her belt and takes a swallow or two despite being only marginally affected by the heat around them. Yes it's hot, yes it's unpleasant, yes she's heard whispers of voices from her past promising all manner of unpleasantries, but she will make herself tolerate it and worse. Physically, she can continue for a good little while before their surroundings start to be a detriment to her ability to fight.

While they're stopped, she glances at the others accompanying them to see how they're faring on this first step of their quest. Especially the Midgardian and the elf. The former seems to be tolerating the trek well enough thus far, the latter has been oddly taciturn, and Ambrose seems to be more affected by the underworld than the others. Or, he's less adept at concealing his unease.

Fenris' coin is best left unsaid. There's a hole in the center of it that was probably put there by a punch of some kind. But it does kind of look a bit like someone put a fang through it. And he had made a laughing noise about it being a 'bit coin'. Emphasis on 'bit'.

He's less jovial now though having been bringing up the rear and letting Astryd do the talking. This is partly because he tends to very much disturb people when he does talk and also because he thinks they're being followed and keeps checking behind them. Not that he's brought that up.

The others might have noticed, though.

"Any anticipated difficulties on the transit through Hades, Astryd?"

The map that Fenris unfurls is old beyond measure. It might make Ambroses fingers itch as he looks upon it.

It shows a river running about a keep of some sort and beyond that keep, their destination - The Caverns Of Lethe. It is there that they have a tablet or artifact to retrieve. "Always, Fenris." she answers as she points to the map. "The River Lethe, the waters of which is not meant for mortals. Just the slightest splash and you'll fall drowsy. Injest it … you'll forget your motal life." there's a pause and she adds "It is also said that shades of the dead float just beneath the surface and will try to pull you in. I haven't ever encountered that though that might have to do with my … affiliation."

There is a bridge that spans the river, and empties onto an 'island' where the Keep stands. This is where is Astryd taps next. "The Fortress of the Unsleeping Eye. Fenris, Sif and I will provide a distraction. You, Ambrose and Kai and you …" she gestures to Bucky "… will be the ones that need to slip by and retrieve our bounty."

"Then of course, there's the denizons. Lilith and Strife are usually in residence plus the normal collection of wraiths, shades, banshees and others. Nothing that should give us any particular sort of pause." Of course not.

"If you're ready then?" the blonde doesn't waste anytime, leading them to the bridge. This time she gestures for them to go ahead. They can see the landing, the bridge isn't wide, no more than seventy feet across. Beneath the surface of the water, things roil and move, causing the waters to lap at the edges of the bridge. "Across you go, carefully."

The mention of the Unsleeping Eyes makes the corner of Buck's mouth twitch, as if she'd made a joke. Surely not. A long look for the map, committing it to memory, and then he looks to Jackal and Elf. "I'll go first," he says, though his tone is not one that forbids argument. He was the Commandos's scout, back in the day. Pulling goggles down over his eyes, scarf up to hide the pallor of his face.


Have no doubt that Ambrose does crane his head to further consider the map. A thin, crescent-moon smile crosses his lips. Ooh, and hello, pretty thing — patience is schooled and the momentary elation melts away into something far more composed and, dare say it, cold. He listens and slowly, his dark brows meet. Blunt nails scratch at the line of his jaw as he shifts in place, fretting at the strap of his satchel unconsciously. This is dangerous business, even if it all sounds farcical and fanciful.

The Jackal has nothing smart to say until they reach the bridge itself. He eyes its make, crouching slightly to account for the short distance between its planks and the frothing wavelets. Bucky's suggestion is met with no resistance.

"By all means, soldier, lead on," the Jackal murmurs before giving Bucky a few second's count of space. Then, foolhardy as ever, he too steps into file behind the man. He's about twenty feet back at this point, enough that a sudden disaster won't drop him into the water as well…in theory. Pointedly, Ambrose tries very hard to not look at the river passing beneath him; his lips are thinned again.


Kai looks wistful at the water as they pass over the bridge. It'll make one forget? Still, this isn't the time nor place to do something stupid because of feelings (he has a lot, okay?). He nods to Bucky and says, "All right." He touches the pendant he wears around his neck and it unfurls into a pair of blades. He twirls them with an air of expertise and stands ready with them. So he's not just a pretty face. If he can use them.

Fenris starts to move across. Carefully. Even an immortal such as he doesn't really want to fall into those waters. They wouldn't kill him but a Fenrisulfr who has forgotten everything could be terrifying to many people, especially to himself.

As he moves one of the specters in the water rises up and makes a grab at him. The little 'coin' he has glows and the light seems to burn it. It shrieks and dives back underneath the water.

"Right well. Good thing we had these. Well played, Ambrose."

Sif also takes a look at the map, then stops with Fenris and Astryd as the other three continue on over the bridge. She watches them silently, her eyes also trying to see what's beyond the bridge that they might encounter. She almost calls after them, to wish them swift success, but she stops herself. No telling what attention that might attract.

Regardless, she looks to the pair she's with as she pulls her sword from its scabbard on her back, ready be extremely distracting as Fenris starts across the bridge. She moves to follow at about the same distance as the others maintained, which puts her too far away to help when something tries to attack Fen. Yes, thank the Norns for the coins that Ambrose handed out.

As Fenris is accosted by a shade on one side of the bridge, another shade rears its head at Kai. It seems to sense his thoughts and beckons. It would be so easy to just step off the edge and into the water.

"Keep moving …" Astryd's voice carries from behind the group. Urging them forward. Kai finds himself shepherded from the temptation. She glances to Fenris sharply, he might feel the weight of her gaze.

They make across though, feet touching the springy surface on the other side. "If you're ready, Fenris,Sif? We'll start our distraction." The other three can see a path that wends it way through what looks like spectral trees, glowing pits dotted along the way - it's all very eerie really.

Something is … pulling at Ambroses mind. A voice that is whispering in his mind. For the others, the whispers are all about them but they realy don't have much time.

Buck's ghosting on ahead, moving with surprising silence for a big man in combat boots. He's got a knife in his human hand, black-coated - no betraying gleam to give them away. Keeping to the path, though. It's unpleasantly reminiscent of the war, and some whispering instinct insists those pits might be the supernatural equivalent of mines. Not dawdling, though, for all his attempts at stealth.


Ambrose lets out the rest of the air in his lungs that he didn't know he was holding when his boots cross onto that spongey ground once more. He does wipe a hand down his face and finds it slick with perspiration. Thank god none of the river's denizens had a go at him… Reaching into the pocket of his tactical coat, he feels at the Good Conduct medal almost as if it were a lucky charm; the siglos hung from his neck feels as a good and familiar weight.

He nods sharply to Astryd upon hearing that it's time to split the group. Still…words he can barely make out curl within his ear like dragon-smoke. The Jackal can't help the sideways slide of his eyes and the glance back over his shoulder towards the river.


Kai blinks a few times as he's shepherded, and he moves quickly to get over the bridge. "Sorry," he says in a low tone. The near miss has snapped him back to the here and now, and he's got his head in the game again. He falls into step with Ambrose, whose, uh, scholastic knowledge will surely be of help here. He casts his old friend a look, and there's a shadow of his usual grin there. Dimples, even. This will go well! Why wouldn't it?

"Right…" Fenris changes. He grows taller, first becoming something that is a cross between man and wolf, and then going full wolf. He becomes the size of a horse. Then larger. He stops at the size of a small car and glances back to the two asgardian women. "I swore I'd never do this you know. Alright, climb on…"

Once they're on he bolts toward the Fortress in full view, burning power like a torch. Once he's sure he's been obvious enough he slides to a halt in front of the gates, throws his head back and HOWLS…

The echoes of that will surely reach the other three.

Reaching the spongy ground past the bridge, Sif watches the others break off then openly stares as Fenris shifts to full-size sun-eater wolf. And passenging on the wolf's back? That was … definitely an experience. She's NOT accustomed to wolf-back the way Astryd no doubt is, So the whole 'look at me' charge toward the Fortress is scary in more ways than just the fact that they're in Mephisto's unpleasant mockery of Helheim.

It's the howl, though — at full volume since they're RIGHT there — that is the most disconcerting. Thank the Norns the wolf is an ally. She would NOT want to have to face him in battle, not for any reason.

The path through the trees wends and winds. The lava pits, for that's what the glows are, bubble and spit. Kai feels something brush at him, pluck at his jacket … it feels ever so familiar. Much like the fingers of a dark elf, a dark elf that's trying to drag from him the trail.

They have to be silent though, don't they? Not attract attention.

For Ambrose those whispers are more distinct now. It's an oh so familiar laugh. So and rippling, like velvet on the senses. And it's just over there, by that tree.

Bucky has his own nightmares. Though he might not remember them distinctly. What he does see is two little blonde headed children with blood running down their faces.

Their objective though - is just up ahead.

Astryd chuckles as she helps Sif up onto Fenris' back. "Don't worry, my heart, we won't tell anyone. Not even Cuan, I wouldn't want him getting jealous." As Fenris howls, the Valkyr lets out a cry. It's a challenge as well.

The response is nearly instant. Appearing in front of the threesome is a coneheaded woman dressed in purple and yellow. "Lilith" Astryd spits just as Sif is hit from the side by a figure - he's huge, dressed in armour with a spectres face. Oh, it is on.

|ROLL| Bucky +rolls 1d10 for: 8

James Barnes has an enormous catalog of nightmares. From the first German he ever killed in Morocco up through that litany of the dead accrued during his career as the Soldier….there are plenty to trouble his dreams. But those little faces he's never forgotten, all the worse for being collateral damage.

And to see them here, now - he jolts back as if he'd been struck, air sucked in through his impromptu mask in a gasp. There's a moment where it looks as if he's going to turn and bolt….but then he masters himself, and forges on.

|ROLL| Ambrose +rolls 1d10 for: 7

|ROLL| Kai +rolls 1d10 for: 8


The sudden howl is enough to make the Jackal flinch in place and wheel, his eyes gone wide as he stares at the burgeoning combat growing at the distance. His attention flickers to Bucky and the distant between them is too much — far too much.

A hard swallow and he looks back at the tree again. "What…?" he breathes, taking one step towards the skeletal frame drooping with silver-spade leaves, all of which look…sharp. There's a figure…no, it's the semblance of one, svelte curves and glossy hair and…beautiful dark eyes that have his heart freezing in his throat.

"No…!" His hand rises and he grips at the siglos at his neck, stomach turning over in a rise of chilled acid. The siglos digs into his palm in a rill of pain that shakes him from the miasm of terrible curiosity. "Kai — Elf — we cannot linger," he rasps, reaching back to feel around for Kai and if he can, grip up a handful of the Elf's clothing to get both of them moving. "The - the soldier, he can't — we move as a unit." God, how Ambrose schools his voice to something more solid is a miracle. Still, it's almost painful, like the tearing of precious silk, to pull his attention away from the shade whispering his name so sweetly.

"I am sorry, Janaya," the Jackal whispers roughly as he finally turns to go after Bucky, swift and low to the ground.


All the color drains from Kai's face at the wolf's howl. It's exactly the wrong thing to hear while feeling the whispery touches of dark elves shivering over his skin. He steels himself and continues forward. He grips Ambrose's arm and says softly, "Let's go, then." He moves with his friend swift and low, eerily silent. No one needs to tell him twice to run away from those nightmarish fingers.

The howl still ringing in her ears, Sif sees the woman that Astryd has addressed as Lilith, and thus is caught off guard by the attack from the side. It knocks her clear of Fenris, but that's likely for the best, as she's already shoving at her adversary with her buckler and swinging her sword at full strength and speed as she tries to regain her feet.

Whatever it was that attacked her had best be faster and stronger than Aesir steel, or they will end up in pieces quickly enough. "You fight dishonorably!" she just about yells, because at this point she WANTS to be annoying and obvious. Maybe she should channel her inner Thor. And Volstagg…simultaneously.

Fenris growls as opponents appear. This was expected. In fact getting exactly this response was the point of this stunt in the first place. Leaving Astryd to deal with the more normal sized of the opponents, Fenris lets his passengers off and turns to face the big one. The one who looks like he's literally armored in the souls of the damned. Yes. That one.

The Old Wolf has to be careful here. Too much power and he'll slip into his apocalyptic persona. That would be bad for… well, everyone.

Still when a wolf the size of the truck leaps at your throat, you DO have to do something. That'll buy Sif a moment. Astryd, for now, will have to take care of herself.

Ambrose…. That is Janaya's voice, he can be certain. Is it her or is it just a shade that's emulating her. Ambrose will never know as her eyes fade back into the trees.

Kai is grabbed and pulled and as he looks it looks like a Dark Elf leering at him. Is it? Who knows? That fades as the Elf joins the thief and the soldier. The two little moppets hold their hands out to Bucky imploringly, taking a step to follow him before dissolving.

Then … they make the little clearing where the tablet is displayed. They can see that now and it looks like they might be able to take it. Or can they? There's a ring of runic inscriptions circling the base of the pedestal - Ambrose can make out Akkadian, Kai can make out Elvish. They'll need to work together.

A wraith rears up, trying to attack the trio as they draw near. Bucky should be able to deal with that one… and let the others work.

Fenris' attack on Lilith takes the woman by surprise. But not for long a blast of green energy blossoms out at the Apocolaypse and then she's gone, only to appear at his other side, blasting again.

Blackheart, for that's who Sif is fighting is so very strong. The massive blade he's carrying swings around to parry the Asgardians swordswomans. And he's fast. Annoying certainly seems to work though. He roars and closes on Sif again and again.

Combat is a welcome counterpoise to the slow dread and the bitterness of regret. So Buck launches in on the wraith wit what's very nearly enthusiasm. He may only be armed with a tac knife and his alloy hand, but that's enough, hopefully.

Mask and goggles conceal his expression, but there's something like abandon in the way he moves, that absurd grace present in combat when nothing is held back.

With her enemy being almost frighteningly fast and strong, Sif is avoiding getting pounded by the slimmest margins at times, and intentionally taking the blow to her buckler other times. And, the goading. She keeps on being obnoxious, yelling at Blackheart tauntingly and implying his intelligence makes a bilgesnipe seem eloquent and the like. She even adds something she heard a Midgardian say to another though she has no idea what it truly means beyond that the humans seem to take great offense to their parentage being spoken of disrespectfully.

"Your mom!"


With the Elf moving as a nearly wraith-like shadow beside him, Ambrose tries hard to skirt around the sudden skimish erupting before him — skirting around by as much distance as he can manage, himself a matte-black taller form next to Kai. Coming up upon the pedestal within its rings, the Jackal throws on the brakes hard enough that his boots scuff upon the odd ground of the underworld-reality.

"Oh, it's — " Akkadian. He knows this tongue by heart. Kai is momentarily left to his own devices as the master-thief steps cautiously forwards, squinting as he does. A quick read-through of the inset glyphs and he clears his throat. What comes out of his mouth is a language long dead and in it, echoes of sun, sand, and an ancient gasp of the Bane itself. The ring containing Akkadian takes on a sullen red glow within each symbol.


Kai cringes as the dark elf grabs him, and his grip on his knives tightens. If only there was time to stab a few dark elves! He instead hurries along, his focus on the mission. He eyes Ambrose as he reads the Akkadian. Then his gaze goes to the Elvish writing, and, once Ambrose has read his bit, he starts to read the flowing, fluid language of the Elves, that is almost music to one's ears. The ring containing Elvish starts to thrum with silverblue symbols.

Fenris' growls when he's scorched by magic. Okay. Someone wants to play the teleportation game. Fine. Teleport this, conehead.

The Apocalypse made Flesh. The Destroyer Wolf. The Suneater. The End… rolls over.

He flops onto his side, all seventeen feet of him, tucks his paws in and rolls over onto Lilith. Maybe she'll teleport again. Or maybe he'll squish her. And if he does well… he might just wallow there for a couple of minutes. Big wolf is heavy.

Bucky's attempt at the Wraith causes it to pull back and thrust a thin bony hand in his direction. Where it touches him, it freezes him. Bone chilling … he might wonder if there's anything skin left beneath his clothing.

Kai and Ambrose's efforts yield fruit. The rings on the platform slide slowly, sluggishly, but yes, the glyphs in the Akkadian ring glow a low sullen red. The Elvish ones glow a clear blue. And then they hear it, the click … The pincers holding the tablet fall open.

Sif's insult gets the strangest of looks from Blackheart. He really doesn't know what that means. Instead that massive great sword swings at her again. Sweeping for the dark haired Asgardians legs.

Fenris' tactic is sound. Lilith is momentarily squished by the Apocalypse Wolf, he can feel her squirming trying to get free. Then … she's gone again.

In the meantime, a fine mist is settling over the area starting to obscure the combatants. Fenris … will recognise this.

Cold? He knows cold. And behind the cloth mask, he grins, a rictus grin - as if the wraith's touch conjured up a skull's smile in reply. But he resorts to one of the Asgardian blades he's brought with him, and he closes with it, stabbing it with that savage joy. The others can take care of the tablet, but he's busy killing.

That momentary confusion is all Sif needs. When Blackheart swings his sword at her legs, she leaps up high enough to not only clear the blade, but also to use the momentum to stab downward at the top of her adversary's head at the same time as landing on his shoulders none too gently. And then she twists her blade savagely.

Let's see Blackheart walk away from this.

Fenris knows where she's going to appear next. The only logical place is above him, over his exposed belly. So when she does appear on schedule, he kicks. Kicks her back into the wall of the fortress. Hard.

Then he snorts, gets up, and kicks mud in her direction.

"Do we have what we came for?" Because if they do, he's ready to leave. Helheim by any other name is still deeply unpleasant.

Kai grabs the tablet without delay and tucks it into a leather bag he's brought with him. Then he urges his fellows to head for the way out lest more wraiths and phantoms and dark elves try to do them in. The way he creeps and ducks and darts, one could get the surely mistaken impression that he's thieved before.

The mist settles over the ground around Fenris and Sif. "Come …" the Valkyr calls to her companions. "They have it and we must away." About them all, wraiths and creatures are stirring and it won't be long before Lilith and Blackheart are back on their feet.

As Bucky, Ambrose and Kai join them, Astryd the group back over the River Lethe - Sif gets terse instruction to keep Kai close.

As they depart, the mist thickens, making them hard to see and find. "We need to keep moving, away from here…"

The Valkyr will lead them out and set a grueling pace doing so. There'll be time to review the tablet, later. When it's safe.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License