2019-06-09 - Until Proven Innocent


Gods meet in Central Park to decide the fate of one of their own.

Log Info:

Storyteller: Fenris
Date: Sun Jun 9 04:45:36 2019
Location: Central Park

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Theme Song



As neutral locations go, Central Park in the early afternoon is a pretty good one. There are portions of it that are suitably far away from prying eyes and the big open space means that if things come to blows it doesn't immediately mean that buildings are going to start getting knocked down.

It's still early for the meeting but Khonsu and Anubis have both arrived, both in 'mortal' guise and looking like fit men with bronzed skin, the former with a distinguished short beard and the latter clean shaven and narrow faced. Accompanying them is a pale skinned Japanese woman with an authoritative and aristocratic bearing. Amaterasu no doubt. The meeting site itself is a large expanse of green in the southern portion called 'The Sheep Meadow.'

"They should be here soon yes?" Khonsu says, pacing.

"Patience, Khonsu." Amaterasu says serenely. "It is early yet."

It's never clear how Fenris and Astryd learn about things, but they do. They've heard about this meeting though and Fenris has sent Astryd … to observe.


It's an overly large black raven settles on a branch of a nearby tree, silently. Her dark eyes surveying the scene, not that it makes sound.

It's hard to disguise her aura, though, and the others may sense her. It's not like she's trying to hide, exactly. Just be discrete.

Loki is wearing a slick black suit, shiny black shoes, black shirt, black tie, with long, whippy black hair causing a stir about his shoulders. He approaches the time of the meeting along with the others of his kind, though he does cast his green eyes about for someone who has yet to arrive.

This is a mediated, peaceful meeting where the purpose is to end hostilities. In the spirit of the occasion, Baldur's not wearing his armor. He's still got his swords on, of course. Let's not be ridiculous about it. He's a warrior. "Remember, no killing anyone." he cautions without picking out anyone in particular. "Don't even start a friendly fight. It's not the time for it."

Hod hates everyone. Ev. Ery. One. But mostly he hates whoever it was that ratted out the location of his hovel deep in the Bronx where he's been convalescing since the recent attempted kidnapping that came closer then he's comfortable with admit, to killing him. He's pretty sure Jean's to blame, or maybe Loki, they were the only two that knew where to find him, and so /someone's/ getting ice cold knickers in their near future. It's just about the limit of his vengence these days.

Not exactly given a choice in the matter, nor a bunch of time to 'prep' for this impromptu kangaroo court, Hod is, well, not dressed to impress. Charcoal gray linen pants fall light and breezy to his feet, shapeless and wafty with the smallest breeze they look far more comfortable then they could possibly be useful. His shirt is a white linen affair in much the same style, open collar pull over with big flowy sleeves and a slightly to long length that drops at the upper thigh, it also appears to be miles more comfortable then it could possibly be protective. If one looks closely, beneath both articles of clothing, one might catch sight of an irregular bump or two, lurking hints of the bandages that cover his legs and torso. His face, half of it at least, is purple and tinged with a yellowish green of healing bruises, though this is less obvious as his beard hides a great deal, and the white linen cloth wrapped over the top half of his head hides the remainder.

His approach is slow and shuffeling, the metal 'clink'. clink. clink. clink. of his cane's metal cap a metronomic beat to his steps. "You were better as a blond." he informs the armored woman who's standing behind him and just to the side, with more the body language of a CO escourting a prisoner then say, a helpful nurse assiting a wounded patient. It's the best insult he can manage, without his meds, the pain is … distracting. "Also I hate you right now. I mean, I never much cared you for obvious reasons, but right now we're drifting into real dislike." he muttersmutters. "Coulda let me at least /dose/ before this bullshit." to long amid the mortals, his speech patterns no longer reflect his origins.

Jean told nobody anything! She keeps an entire school secret, thankyouverymuch. But all of this is very strange to her still. She managed to get the issue of the mark handled on her end, but that doesn't mean she believes all of this is over or that she's going to leave the rest of it to be handled alone.

She looks unlike anyone here has seen her before, in a simple black skirt suit with a green silk top, her hair pinned back to some semblance of order, as she makes her way to the hearing. At Hod's complaints, there's a gentle touch of her mind on his, shutting down the sense of pain…for now, at least. Grumpy Hod is unlikely to make a good case for himself.

"You may protest all you wish, Hodr, but you know that this is important, and you need to be here with all of your faculties clear. Afterwards, you may go hide under a brewery and drink yourself into oblivion if that is your desire." The former blonde 'escorting' Hod is Sif, of course. And yes, she's in full armor with her buckler in place and her sword waiting to be drawn.

She could not care less that Baldur insists that this is a peaceful meeting. She's here ready to defend the shuffling blind man to the death if need be. Unaware of Jean's merciful telepathic tinkering, she keeps her pace slow to match Hod's.

As they near the others, her eyes land on each person briefly. The trio that she does not know as well as the other two Aesir she does.

The raven nearby she hasn't noticed yet. Midgard has SO MANY BIRDS.

Kate Bishop walks alongside Hod, Jean and Sif as well on the other side. She's no guard here, though she too carries her weapons with her. The bow she favored is slung over her back along with the slim quiver toting who-knew-what type of arrows within. Even the archery bracers she wore when she had time to actually prepare for a moment are on. The rest of her attire? A purple jumpsuit that left one shoulder bare, and a pair of sunglasses helping to keep the sun out of her eyes. It also helped hide her eyes so no one could really tell who or what she was looking at.

"Let's just get this done with. Maybe it'll turn out helpful. Maybe." So far her involvement with the gods and their curse wasn't one that had left her with a good impression of their ability to act reasonable. That's precisely why she carried her weapons with her: Just in case.

Baldur's remark earns a glance in his direction along with a shake of her head that sets her jet black ponytail swaying. "I'd be more worried that they would be the ones to start a fight, Baldur. And who fights for fun anyway?" Quieter she mumbles, "Nevermind, don't answer that."

"Where is Doctor Strange?" Anubis asks.

"Patience." Amaterasu admonishes again. "We are yet early. He will appear at the appointed time."

"Let's at least get the preliminaries out of the way." Khonsu mutters and steps forward. "Prince Baldur, Knight of Asgard. Prince Loki. Greetings. I see you have brought the accused. I believe you are all familiar with our intermediary in this matter. Anubis is present as our foremost judge."

Amaterasu bows politely to the Asgardians and Humans present. "I am honored to meet you all. I hope no one will object if I examine Lord Hodr while we wait for the Doctor to arrive."

So saying she waves a hand and murmurs. "Light of Truth, show us what truly is…"

And then light starts to shine on Hod from her hand. It's not uncomfortable physically but there's a sense of someone peering into his soul. And even though he has no eyes he can tell it's bright. Just as he can tell when the incredibly showoff starts making light shine from behind him…

Wait. That's not him. There's a hissing, crackling sound at the far end of the park as a wall of white light starts to go up at an angle to them. Then another. Then another. By the time any of them realize they're standing at the center of a pentacle, the pentacle is almost closed and a beam of pure power comes shooting down from above, aimed right at Hod and Amaterasu.

The raven has sat on that branch quietly as the others arrived. It doesn't surprise her that none have noticed her. They're preoccupied, after all. She sniffs to herself when Hodr arrives complaining and chuckles mentally when Sif remonstrates him.

Fenris has sent her here with a purpose and that becomes clear when the light starts to crackle.

The raven launches herself into the air, forming a black bolt, interposing her form between the light and it's targets.

Oh that hurts. A lot.

There's a very human cry from the bird as smoke starts rising from her feathers - but she manages to hold her position there … absorbing the majority of the blast.

Loki eyes Hod's entourage with a raised, dark brow. Jean gets a lingering look, perhaps just sensing that she has a decent amount of power on her side. Hod's apparently got protection covered. He crosses his arms and instead focuses on staring down the gods on the other side of this event. Carefully, he watches as Amaterasu starts examining Hod. The additional light though, and then the sudden presence of a pentacle…he takes action immediately. As he's running towards Baldur, his nice, black suit changes in a flash of gold to what he was actually wearing, the Asgardian style armor in green and black leather, with golden bits of armor. No helm, no cape. A deep blue dagger flashes out into one hand. He slides to a halt beside the Prince of Truth. And then…5 other Lokis appear, identical, forming a confusing and protecting ring about their own god of Light.

Baldur steps forward as well when Khonsu does. "Noble Khonsu. A pleasure to meet with you again and hopefully when we leave, it will be shared by all here today. I am honored to make your acquaintances." he tells Anubis and Amaterasu, bowing to each. As the Japanese goddess wishes to start the preliminaries, he steps aside and motions to Hod. Please do, in other words. Prepared to watch silently, as the pentacle walls begin to appear, his hand drops to his sword and he turns to look at Khonsu. The Pesedjet's reaction reassures him enough that he doesn't attack immediately. "What is this?" he demands, though it's mostly rhetorical. But when he spots the beam coming down at his brother and the goddess, he rushes forward to push them out of the way before he gets surrounded by illusionary Lokis.

Sif is none too pleased at the fact that these others insist on judging the truth of Hod's innocence, when she was there for one incident, and he is no more guilty of shedding innocent blood as the young Midgardian at his other side. As much as it irks her, she lets Amaterasu approach and start doing whatever magic this is… until things clearly do not go as the three had anticipated. She lunges forward and holds her buckler over Hod just as the giant raven swoops in and takes the brunt of the light, her other hand pulling her sword in the same motion.

Sorry, Amaterasu. You're on your own.

Her eyes then land on Jean and Kate, as they're the only true Midgardians here, and she has no idea how this will affect them. And she's honestly not sure she can protect all three simultaneously.

Hod's lip twists a bit, "Important? Helpful?" he says, the two words carrying all the scorn he can manage to cram into it's being. Turns out, it's more then a wee bit. He winces at the light as it shines down on him, say what you want, it's never a /comfortable/ feeling for him. The warmth of Baldur's summer sun has been the only comfortable light he's ever enjoyed, everything else just feels meh. Normal light anyway. This isn't normal, and it goes against his being. Like petting a Hod in the direction opposite his fur.

Then the trap is sprung and slowly, as the pentacle closes, he turns his head so that his wrapped sockets are 'STARING' right at Baldur. He doesn't say it. He doesn't say a single word. But if I TOLD YOU SO had physical weight, Baldur would currently be flattened into 2 dimentions by it's preassure. He manages this without a single eyeball. Twins, man. They be weird.

He lets out a long slow breath and seems to straighten a little bit, letting the pain shed away, "There's no way out." he says with a finality that only the god of find that sort of thing could offer. Then a freight train sharing his DNA slams into him and Hod becomes airborn, taking his 3 bullet holes and a couple hundred stitches with him. He sails through the air and out from under the buckler/umbrella overhead, trailing a "MOOOOOOTHERRRRRFUUUuuuccccckkkeeeerrrr!" behind him as he goes, arms pinwheeling, legs sorta flapping about.

Astryd isn't the only one who tries to get between the light and those at the center of the attack. Jean's interference is decidedly less obvious, though. She throws out a hand, putting the full force of her telekinetic abilities into pushing a shield between the light and the people on the ground. She's not sure if it's going to stop the light (she doesn't even have a clue what it is, frankly), but if it can be stopped by the sheer power of her will, she's at least going to try.

Kate Bishop was a hero. It was something she decided to be, and when she made her mind up, she followed through. Unfortunately sometimes being heroic also meant being completely stupid and putting herself in the way of danger. That's just how it went. When that second light appears her instincts cause her to yell simply, "Trap!" before she dodges forward closing the gap between herself and the Goddess Amaratsu in a single bound.

Hod was okay. Hod had like half his family here and Jean to protect him, but this Goddess? The one willing to try to help clear their name? Kate throws her arm out to tackle the Japanese goddess to push her aside, out of the way of that light, before realizing someone has it covered. She doesn't try to go down with her though as she spins free and backpedals to get as much distance as she can to reach back and unsling her bow. It's fast. She's fast. Yet if it hadn't been for Astrid blocking that light who knows what might have happened.

"Go birdie, go," she mutters beneath her breath while looking around quickly scanning the treeline with sharp eyes.

Khonsu shakes his head to Baldur. It's all he can say as he too shoves someone. Anubis in this case. Back from whatever is happening. He doesn't know either.

Amaterasu's eyes widen as Kate lunges at her and she looks like she's about to bring her arm up defensively but she isn't quick enough. It's only after Kate has pushed her out of the way that she realizes what the mortal has done for her.

Baldur's rush crashes into Hod - as planned - and Sif possibly not as planned and bowls them out of the way too. Which is a good thing because the raven is blasted clear of the beam of energy and it slams into Jean's shield, held there for three agonizing seconds before smashing through that as well. But it finds no target.

A lightning bolt from nowhere blasts one of the Lokis around Baldur. It was meant for Baldur but the Mischief Maker's defense proved too good. Another strikes the ground about thirty feet away and there's a brilliant flash. When it clears there's a giant man with a single eye, easily thirty or so feet tall. He's laughing. Around him are several dozen other smaller giants. Only twelve or so feet tall. All deformed, many with only one eye. All armed.

"You all survived. Pity. I was hoping we'd at least catch one of the mortals. So comely. Their news media will play their deaths well. Victims of the treacherous political currents between pantheons. Along with all of you."

"Balor." Anubis spits as he rises from having been pushed out of the way by Khonsu. "So it was the Tuatha's doing all along."

"The Tuatha? They don't have the imagination for this. Or the stones. No. They will perish in the wars to come, as will all you. And your death will be the spark that ignites that final conflagration. Now… if you will be so kind as to let my children slaughter you."

He raises his hand… and the fomorians surge forward.

The ravens feathers are singed, turning ragged as she absorbs the bulk of the blast. She holds that hover, wings spread wide for as long as she can before she drops to the ground, a smoking mass of feathers.

The feathers slowly recede, the figure of the bird morphing to a blonde woman. She doesn't rise immediately but all around them can feel it, the way the air stirs with something dark. "Come to me Warriors of the Fallen."

Painfully the blonde rises, taking her clip from her hair - and it transforms. Setting herself in the front line of defenders, stands Astryd. Arming sword and shield in hand. "Is this the best you could muster, Balor?"

Getting knocked like that is NEVER something Sif expects so she goes tumbling just as Hod does, but she's trained enough that she doesn't lose her sword in the process. She also scrambles back to her feet as quickly as possible. "Lady Jean, Archer Kate. Protect Hod. I'll deal with these creatures."

She hurries forward in time to stand alongside Astryd with her own sword and shield ready, and she doesn't bother to add to the Valkyr's taunts. They're quite sufficient. She does, though, cast a glance toward the two men and the woman, figuring they are likely to need someone to defend them as well.

So be it.

Hod lands. Then lands again. Then sort of skids for a few feet. Then just lays there, trying to catch his breath as cracked ribs scream in agony, Jean's ministrations having broken when she turned her will to stopping the Deathstar from obliteratin them all. "… ow …" he whispers, his voice barely registering in the air over his face. For all his pain however, there's nothing wrong with his hearing, or for that matter, his sense of smell, though suddenly he's wishing it we slightly less acute.

He rolls to all fours and by some miracle finds himself still holding his cane. "Fancy that." he mutters as his fingers grip the shaft as it begins to grow into the full spear that is it's natural shape. The action of growing pulls him up off the ground and to his feet, something he's never actually tried before. Nice to see that works. «Jean, tell Kate, whatever you do, /do not/ let that big cyclopian fucker look at you!» he takes a slow breath, then adds, «Also, for future reference, /THAT/ is a cyclopes. Tell Scott he's a doofus.»

It's not technically true, but Hod is Team Jean and Scott's been a wanker as far as he been able to suss out. Also the name annoys him to no end, which likely isn't fair. Barely able to stand, he leans heavily on the spear and wobbles unsteadily. He needs time to collect his thoughts, gather what power he still possesses. One does not fight Formorians while half crippled and powerless!

Baldur draws his swords. "There is a reason the Fomorians are no longer worshipped." he tells the one-eyed giant. "It is not merely that you are not worthy of the mortals' loyalty but you are incompetent and uncomely as well. It is no wonder the Tuatha were able to defeat you so easily." /Even/ the Tuatha, his tone implies. "Come, ugly one. Or are you so cowardly as to refuse to do battle yourself?"

Jean holds her shield for as long as she can, but the recoil when the light breaks through it is visible, knocking her back several steps and draining the color from her features. That's going to be one hell of a headache when this is over. And here she is not dressed for this at all.

"Totally on it," she nods to Sif, stepping over to Kate and Amaterasu. Hod gets an assist in the form of a telekinetic lift over toward the trio, though she won't stop him from going into battle himself. She's learned that much at least.

"Hod says don't let one-eye look at you," she asides to Kate. "So I'm going to put out a big old nothing to see here and try to protect us from collateral damage, but you're on offense, 'kay?" And then the suits word to action, raising a shield around the group and doing her very best invisibility thinking.

Loki winces as his intention of /stopping/ Baldur from getting in the way of the blast completely fails and the man rushes through the illusions to do it anyway. Though one of his illusions takes a blast for the other fellow, that's good at least. Loki seems frustrated for a moment, but he rallies quickly. He stands straight and waves his hand a bit. "You know…you are absolutely right and there is little I would like better than to watch Midgard and half the gods on it, twist and burn on the end of your spear. When an old, blind man can gather more friends than I, there is clearly something wrong with the entire world. " Loki stirs at the air with his fingers, all the remaining illusions doing the same thing. He's working on a spell /for sure/. He snaps them at the last moment and drops illusion over Hod, making him look like Sif…because its hilarious, and the air temperature drops as the terrain changes. There is a dramatic flash, and the pentagram appears to go away, covered in a bank of snow, while the air is dark and dotted with flakes. Those that know it, recognize the terrain of Jotunheim, those who don't find themselves faced with a harsh, unforgiving land. "What was that about escaping?" His intention is to confuse Bod(can't find the name of the big guy in the back log), and his minions, whilst simultaneously showing off for the Egyptians, because they were acting like tools.

Kate Bishop already has her arrow notched and ready to fire. There were no shortage of targets after all. That in itself could be a problem, but it doesn't stop her either. Even as Sif calls out to protect Hod she releases her arrow toward the most obvious target: The cyclops' eye. The string of her bow snaps taut as soon as it's released, and her hand reaches back to slide another arrow from her quiver to notch it all in on smooth, practiced motion.

Then Jean tells her not to let the cyclops look at her. "Oh. Well, shit."

Perhaps Jean's 'nothing' trick will help though and that arrow will just have come from nowhere? She can only hope since she's already picking out another target from the Formor rushing toward them all. Before she can the area changes to a chill, frigid wasteland that leaves her head snapping to stare at the spell caster who done did this to them. "What the hell Loki!? I should kick you in the nuts!"

Khonsu and Anubis give Loki a very, very impressed look as they step up to form a loose line with Baldur, Sif and Astryd. Impressed and also slightly put out. Snow. He took them to the cold. Lovely.

The rush of the Fomorians is briefly checked by the suddenly rather broken terrain which gives the Egyptians and Asgardians time to organize. Amaterasu hangs back. She isn't generally a front line fighter but she has magic and when the rush starts again a beam of light obliterates half a dozen Fomorians at once. But still they come, driven by hatred and a prize beyond anything they normally seek. Balor laughs above the taunts of Baldur and Astryd. "Perhaps if you can get to me, Sun of Odin, I will consider fighting you myself. But if you cannot even beat my children, that would make you somewhat beneath me…"

The wave crashes. Baldur, Sif and Astryd all find themselves attacked by multiple one eyed giants at once and Loki will as well if he moves toward the 'front' of this fight. However…

Fenris had warned a few of the Asgardian's present about something. An assassin. And that assassin was not a fomorian. It is now that this being makes his appearance. Before Hod can really get stuck in an insect winged, tentacle faced being zips in from above, right in front of Jean and Kate (and possibly Loki) and makes a bee line right for Hod's back. In one hand it has an obsidian knife. And in the other… a spear tipped with Holly…

The Pentagram interferes with Astryds calling. It hasn't failed, it's just slow. But maybe that was the intent when Astryd did this.

When the undead warriors respond - eventually - they'll form lines on either side of the crashing Formorrians, that will close behind the enemy lines. There's likely no way out for the enemies sent at the Asgardians and their allies - and that's the way it should be.

Even injured, Astryd is formidible. Her swordmanship isn't equal to Sif, of course, but she's had centuries. Centuries of roaming the Realms, often alone, and facing foes worse than ease. Her blade flashes as thrusts and parries, her shield used to bash skulls. She's not going to come out of this unharmed.

The assassin though. She's faced it once before - does she need to again?

|ROLL| Loki +rolls 1d20 for: 8

That's the benefit of using two swords; you get to slice twice the number of enemy at once and Baldur is probably the best two weapon wielder in Asgard, the others usually preferring to use shields or two handed weapons. As he fights the Fomorians, he doesn't bother replaying to Balor. Instead, he utters a single word: Gisl. Behind him, mist rises from the snow and there's a loud neigh of a clearly angry Asgardian warhorse, in full barding.

Loki's blanketing them ALL with an illusion of Jotunheim is truly annoying, but she's not about admonish him in front of their enemies. She'll yell at him later if the snowscape works to their enemies' favor. And then, the fomorians are on them.

Now this. This is the sort of battle that Sif has excelled in for centuries. With two of the giant-like beasts trying to accost her, it's taking every bit of her skill and speed, but she's also trying to angle them so every strike they aim at her means they run the chance of hitting each other. It gives her a little more breathing room, if LESS room to maneuver.

Buckler more than earning its keep, she's definitely going to have impressive bruises and more, but she's not lost a battle of this sort. Ever. She doesn't intend to now.

Taking the brunt of another attack on her buckler, she aims a vicious swipe at the knee of one of the two creatures doing their best to pound her into the snow.

Loki has a secret. A lot of them, really. But one in particular, he holds in his heart, in his deepest recesses…the secret that would have had HIM exiled as an old man for the last few thousand years, instead of Hod. So, naturally, he has done everything in his power to make sure that he's the only one that knows this bit of prophetic information. It helps that Odin reads what he wants to read instead of little hidden nuggets of information here and there, and doesn't investigate the deaths of old prophets once they've passed their usefulness. He approaches the front line, blue-bladed daggers flashing in his hands. He joins the fray with his full gusto, a flurry of Lokis, only one of which bites. He flips one of his daggers in the air, and sends a different throwing dagger flying towards one of the fomorians off to his left, before he catches the first one and stabs it towards the one nearest him.

One of the benefits of being 'unseen' is that assassins don't know you're there to interfere with them. "Shield's going down, have to do something important," Jean warns, her focus wavering as she tries unsuccessfully to juggle her illusion as well as the shield and another motion. The blowback from that light attack is still ringing in her ears.

She doesn't bother with the assassin itself. Or any other part of the attack. She simply reaches out to grab the obsidian and the mistletoe in her telekinetic grasp, yanking them back toward herself. And should she succeed? Well. She can't risk those things getting back into the fight. Focusing her mind on the very structure of the items, she'll do her damnedest to disintegrate them into nothing.

Hod takes a tumble. Again. Seriously, this is starting to be a habit dammit. He moves with speed… or he would actually, but twisting/turning, it's not much of an option for a man with a trio of .308 holes bored through his back muscles and a couple of cracked ribs. He grunts as he's bowled over, but the assassin has other plans, and leans into the forward momentum rolling Hod straight back up onto his feet, confusing the exiled god. Then he feels it.

The tentacles of the creature slap against his head, and with a writhing flick shred the linen wrap to ribbons. They begin to burrow instantly. The sharpened tips dig through the skin on his scalp, they burrow into his ears, they writh and dig for the empty gaping sockets of his eyes.

Hod screams.

He writhes and twists, wounds be damned, his hands reaching up to yank at the gripping limbs encirceling his face. But other hands pull, wings bat at him, delaying the attempt to free himself. And then Hod goes limp…ish. He hangs there for a moment, his hands twitching, his arms sort of swaying. The weapons of the assassin are yanked free and torn into atoms, shattering to dust and causing the creature to make an unearthly noise of protest. Hod turns, trickles of blond winding down his face from where the tentacles burrow beneath his skin, into his 'eyes', his ears, and a blank stare is offered to anyone who would glance that way. He cocks his arm, focusing in on Baldur, and takes the well practiced twisting motion that precedes the hurling of a spear.


The word whispers from Hodr's lips, a murmur, and the spear leaves his hand with all the force his still ever so slightly enhanced frame can muster. It slices the air unerringly towards Hod's twin… And takes a lock of hair from his head as it slips past him, missing by a breath. Hod's slack face twists slowly into a rictus of distilled rage, "No." this time the word comes firmer, but not loudly, and the hand that threw the spear begins a slow reach up towards his own face, the corded muscle standing out as it fights itself for the climb.

"Got it covered," Kate assures Jean as she drops the shield. Rising to her full height she draws back the string of her bow once more sending an arrow toward one of the cyclopses (cyclopsi?) that was currently surrounding Sif. She aims again for the eye, the most obvious choice for cyclops, but doesn't bother to see if it hit as she trusts in her own skill and aim. Her attention is drawn toward Hod whom she was told to protect (and intended to do so anyway) when he begins to writhe and scream. A shudder runs through her as the thing latches onto Hod's skull like some sort of Eldritch facehugger which was somehow far more disturbing that the Formor they were currently fighting.

She couldn't do anything to help with arrows though. Not when it became attached to his head.

It's only a flash of thought that runs through her head which she tries to nonverbally convey to Jean along the lines of 'Going to help' as she breaks from the redhead's side toward hod. The bow she so loved is brought up… and swung like a baseball bat at the tentacled THING while interposing herself between Hod and the apparently intended target of Baldur. "Hod this is no time for calimari!"

There is no magic or number of malformed giants that could prevent Gisl from breaking through when Baldur calls. And break through she does. Ready as ever to bear him into the heart of the fight, and bear him back out again.

Sif and Astryd and Loki are holding their own. No Fomor have gotten past them yet and their ranks are thinning but coming toward them now are champions. Taller than the rest. Armored. And each equipped with a massive, spiked polearm. The terrain and the snow is rough for them. They're clearly hindered by the broken ground which gives the advantage to the smaller, nimbler Aesir and Pesedjet.

Balor laughs as Baldur is nearly speared by his twin and wades forward toward him, lifting his own spear. "Come, Sun of Odin. Let us settle this…"

"BALDUR!" Amaterasu calls out, extending her hand. A corona of magic surrounds his armor and weapons, adding her own solar strength to his.

The dead are swarming near Astryd now. Souls that answer when she calls fighting on her behalf. There's enough of them to spread them out and help Sif and Loki push the tide of giants back, but she's going to have to deal with one of those champions herself. They come in swinging. Loki finds one of his illusionary duplicates targeted, leaving his champion wide open for counter attack but Sif and Astryd have no such luck and at that time Balor finally gets close enough to Baldur to try to spit him and Gisl clean through.

Jean has the holly spear and dagger. And she CAN crumble them into dust which is probably wise. As Hod starts to fight back and Kate smacks the tentacles on them the fae being recoils and tries to grab Kate instead. Hod is pissed. And Kate is quite skilled. Still… Jean might want to add her own strength to that. She's the only one not presently under threat.

Baldur steps back, leaving a hole in the line but only for a second. Gisl steps forward to fill it, rearing, hooves striking at the enemy as Baldur leaps into his saddle. Two swords and his horse; they don't stand a chance, especially not when the goddess of the sun lends her strength to the god of the summer sun. Rising in his stirrups, Baldur extends the magical sword at Balor and channels all their combined light and power through it, aiming at the single eye.

Loki is willing and able to do his part. Hod's screams…his failed attempt to skewer Baldur…its settled back into an efficient mind intent on destroying and defeating what he can. As Astryd finishes bringing up an army of the dead, he shit-talks the champion, starting with a chorus of laughter. Another image poofs away and the slippery Asgardian takes that moment to drop to the ground and roll, then stabs upwards towards soft thighs and groin, hoping there are some bits that the giants haven't armored from below. "You will fail and you will fall. There are none in Asgard so great at defeating giants as my brother, Baldur, and the Lady Sif." He wets his lips. Not showing favoritism to his own Asgardians or anything noooo.

With the others behind her, protecting Baldur and Hod, Astryd turns her attention to the fray in front of her. "Have at them, my Warriors!" The Valkyr cries, causing the lines of undead warriors to close around the Fomorrii and wreak havoc.

As the newly arrived champion bears down on the ragged Valkyr, her stamina is failing - whatever that light was that hit took its toll before the battle was even joined - not that it stops it. Fenris aid me She sends up a silent prayer. Not to Odin, but to the God-Wolf who has been her companion for a thousand years, perhaps more.

As the Champion closes, Astryd steps in, inside the reach of the polearm. It's a risky maneouvre and depends on her being nimble enough. She is, though she takes a glancing a blow that causes her to wince in yet more pain.

Her shield pushes the polearm out as her blade flashes again, running the champion through just above the navel as she lifts her arm … to complete her work.

That's right. Nobody here but us Omega-level mutants. Jean holds the would-be murder weapons in her hands until they're nothing more than dust, then turns her attention to the assassin sticking its gross little tentacles into Hod. With Kate, who is entirely human, moving in between them.

"Oh, hell, no," she growls, striding forward in her sensible skirt suit with one hand outstretched. Bands of force wrap around the fomor as her mind reaches out to take hold of it, sinking into each inch and sucker until she can manipulate it like a puppet and draw it out of Hod. They can deal with the holes later.

Only once it's clear does she decide what to do with it. And it's really sensible. Exactly what you should do to any weird, tentacly creature that comes crawling up and tries to kill your friends.


Hod's lips slooowly pull back from his teeth, and a growl escapes from somewhere deep in his chest. The blow to the side of the head hardly seems to faze the Asgardian, though it shakes the assassin enough it starts to loose itself from it's hold on Hod. It does not get far in this.

Hod, freed of it's influence, moves quickly, his rage blanketing the pain of his injuries and blinding him to them entire. He has no weapon, his spear somewhere across the battlefield, but that's okay. Jean has this.

It's body twists in her telekinetic grip, and there's the sound of wet flesh and fluid sloshing, the soft crickle crack of bones breaking, but the creature does not die so easy and turns it's will against hers, fighting back and slowing it's demise.

Hod isn't willing to wait. He reaches out with a hand and grips the bulbous head at the front near one of it's eyes and hauls back on it, leaping up to plant a knee between it's shoulder blades to give added leverage.

Floating there in the air with no means of support (thanks Jean!) Hod raises his hand, a long curving bone talon jutting from his fist. He drives it down into the creatures writhing wriggling maw, again, then again, his strikes growing faster and more vicious as he uses the talon to tear at it's flesh in great furrows. It only takes a few strikes before Jean can feel it's resistence end, and her grip slams shut, an explosion of gore splattering Hod as he falls once more unsupported to the ground, purplish black vicera and fluids staining his once white linen shirt to the color of bruises.

Astryd's summoned are helping out now, and Sif spares a second to take a breath. And then there's a champion there. She's honestly DONE with this fight, so she uses the tactic that really on works on an enemy once. She leaps up right as the champion lunges at her and lands on it shoulders, balancing for just long enough to stab her sword straight down into the back of the creature's neck with every bit of strength she has left.

And STAY down.

"Oh shit oh shit oh shiiiit!" Kate doesn't stop swinging. Left, right, left right, WHACK WHACK WHACK. There were so many tentacles reaching out for her causing her to dodge back, and keep her bow between herself and it to try and offer some means of tangling it up. She was going to owe her poor bow a very good cleaning after this. Thankfully her frantic defense doesn't have to last very long as Jean steps in allowing her to stagger back several steps looking more than a little relieved even as her eyes avert from the squishing process that occurs from both Jean and Hod's efforts.

While they deal with it she whirls back around to reassess the current situation going on. Loki fighting and taunting: Check. Sif fighting: Check. Baldur being a blazing vengeful god of light? Sure why not. Reaching back for an arrow she holds her bow up only to wince at the slight bend in the arch. It wasn't much, but it would affect her aim a bit until she adjusted. The first shot she fires goes a bit to the side of one Fomor taking off his ear. The next goes where she intended causing her to nod in satisfaction.

"So does anyone know how to maybe de-summon these guys from Earth? Just a thought."

A bright white orb gathers at the tip of Baldur's sword and grows to the size of his head before shooting out into a lance of energy that strikes Balor in the eye and blows out the back of his head, toppling him. Sif manages to spike her target. Loki, well, Loki inflicts several painful injuries on the champions. Injuries that would embarrass it for the rest of its life if he did not dispatch it shortly thereafter. Yes. They're not armored down there. Seems an oversight.

Astryd hears a distant howl as she calls for help and that howl is enough to make the champion fighting her pause. That one pause proves fatal. The champion winds up gutted and topples over.

And as Hodr and Kate and Jean finish off the True Faerie in rather messy fashion the pentacle falls apart. It just… suddenly drops and leaves them no longer trapped.

The silence after the fight is deafening.

"I think…" Amaterasu says, regaining her composure. "That we can exonerate Hodr on this basis."

Khonsu glances to Anubis who nods. "As chief judge of the Pesedjet, I accept this recommendation. Our grievances against Hod are rescinded."

And that… it appears that is that. There will probably be questions. And no, the bodies aren't going anywhere by themselves. Already, the three non Aesir are looking ready to depart.

There are some troubling questions left though. Was this all Balor's idea? Or did he act on behalf of someone else?

Gisl walks over to where the body of Balor lies and Baldur dismountss to gaze down at the Fomorian. Then in one swift motion, he severs the giant's head with a single blow. "We should send this to Lugh. He should appreciate the gift. A red bow would be too much, do you think?" Kneeling, he wipes his sword on Balor's shirt then sheathes it.

Loki stands there and lets those that flee by the portal, do it. Life is intricately more fun when there are enemies lurking about down the line. He also dismisses the illusion that has made Hod look like Sif…and Midgard look like Jotunheim, such that the snow simply blows away in a swirl of gold and green. He is remarkably silent at the moment as the look of Central Park returns. His illusions also disappear, revealing merely one Loki, blood splattered on his face and chest.

Astryds eyes flash at the howl knowing her silent prayer was answered. As the Champion falls, the Valkyr falters but doesn't fall. She's done with this fight - and none to soon.

"Rest now, Warriors" She's exhausted and it sounds in her voice. The others can clean up, her task here is done.

Jean manages to hold back any commentary on exonerating Hod, instead moving to get a better look at him. "Hey there, buddy," she says, holding out a hand carefully. "Any chance you've got some magic elixir or something you can get a sip of before all your insides turn into your outsides?" This suit is so going to end up ruined. There's probably no way to remove faerie guts in the wash.

Hod simply lays on the ground and bleeds. From like. Everywhere. Still more or less concious, he currently could not collect a single fuck. He hasn't the energy. He hurts. He hurts everywhere. He hurts IN HIS BRAIN. He can feel stains of corruption on his actual soul and he needs new stitches, new bandages, new frikkin' clothes, and the longest hottest shower that he can't half cause wounds. It's enough to make a man curse the gods. "nope." he mutters, his face turned skyward as he ignores Jean's extended hand. Cause you know… he can't see it. Plus, his usual astute senses are currently full of Elder Goo and pain.

The final champions defeated and Balor beheaded, Sif looks around at the others to make sure they're all well enough before stepping over toward Astryd. "Thank you, Valkyr. I will stop by to visit when I can." And then she's moving on, nodding to Baldur and Loki and heading toward Hod and the Midgardian women. She gets close to them just in time to hear something about an elixir.

"I have one last healing stone. It will be no means heal everything, but perhaps it can help a bit." She pulls a smooth, round, river rock about the size of her palm from a pouch on her belt, and holds it for for Hod to accept. She doesn't just try to force it on him, knowing how he feeling about Asgard in general. He's said it more than often enough.

Kate Bishop lowers her bow down by her side though her fingers still remain curled around it, locked tight. Slowly she starts to stretch her fingers out one at a time trying to break them from the locked position they were achingly stuck in. Too much tension, it would seem. "Oh, good, we're not actually in the frigid pits of where ever the hell that was. Nearly froze the last time." Of course that was just Norway wasn't it? Still too chilly for her bones, even being a New Yorker.

A glance is cast around at the carnage, destruction, and still-standing Asgardians before she just thumps down to sit on the ground with knees drawn up to drape her arms over. "Please tell me that means I get this 'Oathbreaker' thing removed. After all of that…" The words trail off as her gaze moves over toward Jean and Hod with a wince of sympathy at the state he was in. Her hand lifts to brush her hair back out of her face with a sigh. At least Sif seems to have an idea how to help him. "I'd just give it to him before he gets stubborn and stupid again, Sif."

"He will take the stone and he will use the stone." Baldur states, walking over to Hodr. "And he will stay in the embassy until he is healed enough to escape it on his own." Keeling, he lifts Hod and cradles him in his arms. "And he will complain ceaselessly but to no avail as I am not taking no for an answer. So you might as well give in gracefully, brother."

Loki seems to quietly approve of Baldur's insistance, with a glance in his direction. His eyes finally deign to look upon Kate and he stares for a moment. "Have you been there before, mortal? You survived the fight." a pause. "Impressive."

Baldur takes Hod's choice away from him. Okay, then. Sif watches without interfering — they ARE siblings, after all — but then she reaches for whichever of the exiled brother's hand is free, settling the stone in his hand before gently resting his hand against his sternum, where the stone will be put to best use. Well, bare skin would be best, but this will do for now.

Taking a step back, she offers Baldur a brief bow with her hand fisted against her chest. "I will find Hodr's spear and return with it." With another look to the two Midgardian women, she moves to search for the spear, though she does pause near Loki. She doesn't reach out to touch the sorcerer, unsure if he'd accept the gesture of familiarity or not. But she offers him a small bow identical to the gesture given to Baldur before she moves on.

Hod also does not take the healing stone. Because he can't see it either. "I will take your stone." he says without complaint, "If it's cursed and turns me into a frog, do so knowing that I /will/ find where you sleep at night and frog-pee on your pillow." he threatens, though honestly it loses from of it's vinegar via the slight slurring of his words somewhere in there. "The Mark will fade Kate, when the sun rises tomorrow it will wash it away. Dawn's are new beginnings, it's a whole…" he sort of flops his hand about on the ground in the immitation of a rolling wave, "thing." he finishes lamely. "Could escape it now." he says without an ounce of conviction or believablilty in his tone. This is made more obvious by his attempt at swatting Baldur away when he's picked up, which is more like a floppy arm just landing on his brother's forehead and then falling away again. Plop. "See? Strong like ox."

He turns his head to the side, the one away from Baldur, and spits red and purple and globby something or other onto the Central Park grass. "Loki, do me a solid and see the kids make it back okay. I'm about to be kidnapped again. Prolly best if I play this out, figure out their evil plan." 'They' apparently being Sif and Baldur and 'kids' being the mortals. Clearly.

"You're right, he's the smart one," Jean smirks at Hod when Baldur makes his proclamation, stepping out of the way. "And the 'kids' can probably make it home safe on their own, thanks. Probably ought to worry more about the post-battle…carnage," she points out, looking over the mess they've made of Central Park.

Kate Bishop glances over toward Loki when he regards her to stare back with a eyebrow rising questioningly. Asking if she'd been 'there' before she cracks a smile with a shake of her head. "Not quite what that place looked like. Hod and Baldur said it was Norway, and reminded them of home. That was after the *last* altercation we had with the Egyptians… Which I'm glad wasn't the case this time. I've had it with hordes of bugs. You just can't fight them with arrows." A light shake of her head is given, and the compliment earns another weary chuckle. Her hands drop down to clap against her thighs only to push upward rising back to her feet.

"Thanks. Not too bad yourself. Now, I do need to get home before this adrenaline high ends and I collapse onto a park bench to sleep for like a week… So…" She glances over toward Jean shrugging toward her. "Think we should go now that Hod's okay?"

Loki glances towards Hod, then Baldur, nodding briefly. Towards Sif, he does seem a little odd, unusually quiet and introspective. "Who is intrigued by the idea of destroying the ancestral mounds of the Tuatha tomorrow?" He finally asks of everyone, before the mortals leave.

Hod makes a cooing noise, "Pick me, pick meee…." and he drifts off, entirely possible that he's just passed clean out. And there he hangs in Baldur's arms, a living (mostly) testament to what happens when Odin grows displeased with you. Mortals can bring you low with bullets, and the one time god of the silent kill is nearly made traitor by flying squid monsters and holes bored into his head with tentacles.

Perhaps an object lesson made manifest? Hod, now dead to the world metaphorically, will know nothing until he awakes in the embassy several hours later, his wounds, while not healed, well on their way to being mended.

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