2019-07-22 - To Remove A Geas


Into the underworlds to confront Sedna.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Jul 22 03:50:11 2019
Location: Underworlds

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The Underworlds are not a single thing in general. Some are hot, some are cold. Some are bright, some are dark. Some are endless deserts and some are terrifying jungles. And some are just… boring. Dusty places where souls flit about with little to do, neither tormented nor rewarded, just sort of… left.

Astryd is well familiar with the dark roads that connect these places, though. Areas heavy with the resonance of death. Getting into them is easy. Getting out of them…

Sif, Fenris and Astryd have all ventured into them today. Their destination? A frigid realm where rules Sedna, the goddess of death and secrets worshiped by a people from a frigid land. The reception is expected to be… icy.

Fenris is a wolf. Well, Fenris is always a wolf but Fenris looks like one at the moment. He stalks quietly along, noticing the places where the ash and dust of this path seem to be giving way to ice and snow. There is little light here, at the moment. There never is, in the far north in the dead of winter.

"This place looks like a Game of Thrones set…" He mutters.

"I think Game of Thrones made it look better. I can assure you, there's not Winterfell to break our journey at." Astryd murmurs as she leads the group on. There'd been concern that she wouldn't last the journey on foot, as exhausted and drained as she is, but she has. So far. Normally she would call Cuan and ride the huge wolf to ease her burdens but not in the Underworlds. She'd not do that to her friend.

She's carrying a latern - not a torch but an old fashioned lantern, the golden glow of it spilling out over the path. "Just ahead is a bridge. We will need to traverse that. Whilst it might look wide, remember what I said about not stepping from the path or you'll be lost …"

Sif would likely fit in on a Game of Thrones set right about now. When she'd been advised to dress warmly, she took the advice seriously. Wearing her armor strapped over woolen garments and topped with a fur cloak that could almost pass for one of Fenris' siblings, she's more than prepared for Jotunheim levels of cold.

Carrying her buckler and sword ready in her hands, she nods to Astryd. "Like the last time we ventured into an underworld. It would take much for me to consider wandering astray." As long-lived as she is, it's not like she has that constant sense of mortality hanging over her the way Midgardians do, but most certainly does not want to have to explain to Hela why she's arrived there. It would be… an uncomfortable conversation.

It is well that she DID take that advice because the temperature is dropping rapidly. Not at Jotunhiem levels but getting there. And quickly.

"Always a bridge." And Fenris is right. It is always a bridge. There's always a river at the edge of an underworld realm. It's a repeated pattern. At least there isn't a ferryman here.

That doesn't mean however that there isn't a welcome wagon. When they reach the bridge there's already a small gathering on the far side of it. Not close enough to impede the crossing, but watching. Dead souls. And three beings who are not dead souls. One is definitely an angry woman with a spear. Another is a large bear and the last looks something like an animate blizzard.

"Nanook and Negafook." Fenris whispers. "Gods of Bears and Winter. Why do I think that she got advanced warning that we were coming, somehow."

When they near the bridge, they'll see why Astryd gave that caution. The 'walking' section is extremely narrow, the sides sloping away and down. One step, one slip, and you'll be off the path.

The blonde draws her own furs around her. She's used to the cold but in her weakened state, it affects her more. She might never get warm again. Fenris will be able to call snow-bird for certain.

Eyeing the gathering on the side, Astryd sighs. "She'll have wards that alert her when I enter. The last time I was here … " She's never spoken of what befell her or why Sedna hates her so much. The blonde stops as she draws near, dropping a curtsy to the three beings gathered. "Hail Sedna, Mistress of Sea and Marine Animals and Ruler of this land. Hail Nanook and Negafook. Might I present the Lady Sif of Asgard."

It was agreed before they embarked that Sif would speak for them. At least for this bit.

"And my own Lord, Fenris." Who of course is more than well known.

When Astryd introduces her to the three beings, Sif offers them the respectful bow of an Aesir warrior, with her sword in her left hand so that her right fist can be held to her sternum. Then, she takes one careful step closer to address the three dieties across the way.

"Recently, several Midgardians were attacked by dieties from other pantheons, their purpose being to try to bring about Ragnarok prematurely. Lord Fenris, Valkyr Astryd, several other warriors, and I all banded together to prevent them from ending all existence before the appointed time.

"In the final battle to prevent Ragnarok, Balor orchestrated an attack aimed to destroy not only Hodr of Asgard, but dieties Amaterasu, Anubis, and Khonsu as well. It was through the actions of several including Valkyr Astryd that none were killed."

She pauses and looks at Astryd for a moment before continuing. "However, her sacrifice has exacted a heavy toll on her, and she is suffering the blight of the curse that Balor had intended to use upon Hodr and the others. We are here to beseech you, Sedna, to have mercy upon Valkyr Astryd and lift the curse from her."

Odin's beard, she hopes that that was enough to at least get the Mistress to listen. THIS was why she wanted to a warrior, not an orator.

"Lift the curse." Sedna snorts as she turns her spear and sticks into the ground. "Astryd IS a a curse. If you would have something from me then you shall have to prove that you are worth my time, shieldmaiden."

"Well." Fenris mutters. "That went about as well as I expected it to." Then he raises his voice. "And what would prove our worth?"

Sedna smirks. "Why don't the three of you come over here and make me kneel, God-Wolf."


Astryd is silent as Sif makes her plea. She doesn't hold out hope that Sedna would be moved to help. She'd told Fenris the Inuit Goddess wouldn't be reasoned with, even if she hadn't said why.

"No different than I expected. She won't forgive what I did." The blonde murmurs, resisting the urge to lean against the wolf.

"We have no wish to make kneel, Sedna. Despite what you may think, I respect you." The inuit goddess might be stubborn and reckless, but Astryd knows many like that, really.

What of the other two over there? That will give Sedna a slight edge, Astryd thinks. The Valkyr isn't really in fighting condition.

Sedna's dismissive comment causes Sif to frown. Heimdall will have the truth of it: she approached respectfully and asked a boon of Sedna as politely as she knows how. If things do not go well, he willhave this truth to share. But, until there is no recourse whatsoever, she will try to see this through without resorting to her blade.

"May I respectfully request the reasons for your refusal?" Let's see what this garners.

"One day you are going to have to tell me what you did to her to upset her so." Fenris mutters. He starts to advance slowly but when Sif speaks up he stops.

"I would tell you to ask Astryd." Sedna says. "But I suspect she won't tell you. There was a soul. A soul I wanted to come here very badly. A soul that was very important to me. We are immortal but my years waiting for that soul were an age unto themselves. And when his time came…"

She looks right at Astyd. "You did not bring him here, did you? Did you, Astyrd?"

"I suspect, my heart, you are about to hear her version of it." The blonde murmurs back. She knows that many can things can be true at one time.

The Valkyr sighs as the angry, angry goddess starts to her tale. "I did not, no, Sedna." There's a quiet pride to Astryd as she faces the charges. "I took the spirit to another Underworld instead. Are you going to tell them why, Sedna?"

The spirit the goddess had pined for was mixed culture - unusual but not unheard of. And one might say, the Fates had intervened.

Sif looks at Astryd, then back to Sedna. She's getting the feeling that she's missed some small but important clue here, but she's not about to reveal her ignorance, not in front of these deities who seem ready to turn a calm discussion into a battle at the slightest provocation.

Thus, she turns her eyes back to Sedna, and waits for the Mistress of this particular underworld to explain.

"Does it matter, Astryd? Sif she denied me the one thing in all the cosmos I wanted. Now he's gone, taken to another kingdom by this raven. And I shall never, ever forgive her. So if you want me to aid you… then make me."

Fenris growls and glances down at Sif. Nanook and Negafook both look at Sedna and then begin advancing toward the bridge. "You are not welcome here." The bear god says. "Depart."

Fenris bares his fangs. "As your friend says, Nanook. Make me."

"It doesn't matter to you, so no it doesn't." Astryd answers quietly as the others approach. "He renounced her, as he died. Embraced the other side of his heritage and begged me to take him to that afterlife." Even had the Raven wanted to take the spirit to Sedna, she couldn't have. The Spirit would not have been able to follow.

Sedna had not only been betrayed by Astryd, she'd been betrayed by her loved one as well.

"I hope your sword arm is good, Lady Sif, we will have need of it." The Valkyr lets her hair down, using her hair pin to call her sword and shield.

"You bring this on yourself, Sedna. I get no joy in it." She'll face the other two gods next to Fenris.

Sif steps forward as the bear and the column of frigid weather both approach, her sword and buckler ready. "Let it be known that neither Lord Fendris, Valkyr Astryd, nor I instigated this battle." Again, so that Heimdall has the truth of it.

Stepping into a battle ready stance, she stares down the polar bear as if silently daring Nanook to charge her. While she's not seen a creature of his appearance before, she suspects he'll behave in a manner very similar to, say, a bilgesnipe.


Type "+thelp" for help.

Rather like a bilgesnipe yes. Nanook comes forward at a lumbering run, changing as he does. He gets quite large though not as large as Fenris can at his full power. His bellow causes flurries of snow and ice to billow up.

And then he tries to bull Sif right into the river.

Astryd finds a razor sharp icicle flung at her feet. The god of winter, Negafook, has floated up into the air and that was her one warning shot. Then he turns his attention to Fenris, peppering the great wolf with ice.

Fenris just glares and HOWLS loud enough that next volley shatters.

Sedna, meanwhile, is glaring at Astryd. "Shall we finish this, traitor raven?"

Astryd sweeps her swords along the icicles, severing them and sending them flying. "Fight well, my heart." She says to Fenris, stepping forward towards the Inuit goddess. "If you insist, Sedna."

This is not the best of conditions and Astryd really doesn't want to fight. She can feel the womans pain, can put herself in her shoes. "I would do this any other way if I could."

"Shall I call your loved one and you can have the truth from his spirits lips?" Still, her sword is ready and she circles the other death goddess, waiting for the lunge she knows must come.

Remembering Astryd's warning about NOT leaving the path they are on, Sif crouches a bit more than normal in her battle ready stance. On a bilgesnipe at least, they are weakest along their underbelly scales. She's going to take a risky gamble and hope that Nanook is similar. She watches him grow and does a quick bit of mental gauging, then rushes TOWARD the great white bear, using the flurries to mask her intention.

Keeping her buckler up against teeth and claws, she uses a tactic gleaned from when Darcy had insisted she watch on the television and drops into a baseball slide to go UNDER the polar bear and swipe up at his undercarriage as he lumbers past. And the instant she can, she rolls back to her feet to face Nanook again.

Sif's blade bites into Nanook's belly. The cut is deep but not enough to gut him in one swipe. Sif can tell from the bellow, though, that it hurt. And when she rolls back onto her feet the big bear is lumbering to turn around. He's slower than she is and he hasn't completed that turn when she's back up again. That leaves him - at least in theory - vulnerable.

Fenris himself grows as he snaps at the flying blizzard. Once it becomes clear ice isn't working it lands to grow into something that looks a lot like a Jotun. On Steroids. And stuck in a glacier. THAT fight shakes the earth as it progresses.

Sedna lifts her spear and begins to move toward Astryd. Then jog. Then run. By the time the two meet she's full on charging, her power all focused into the tip of her spear to pierce Astryd's shield and her with it. Or, that's the idea anyway.

It's probably one thing that Astryd has going for her. She can keep a cool head in most battles. The fight behind her fades as she faces the Inuit.

Holding until the woman is nearly upon her and then sidesteps, using her shield to bash as her back and send her tumbling. "There was a reason, Sedna, he rejected you. Did you think on that before you blamed me for doing my duty?" She's taunting now, trying to drive the goddess to more anger. The angrier she is, the more reckless she will become.

Sif considers trying to talk the Great Bear down, but changes her mind. Instead, she takes advantage of Nanook's lumbering about to dart in close and try to slice at one of his hamstrings. And, she can't help but feel bad doing this. Yes, at this point it's fight or die, but she didn't want to have to fight in the first place.

Not bothering to find out if her swipe did any good or not, she dances back again, not wanting to be in swatting range of those wide front feet any longer than she absolutely has to.

Nanook bellows again. He goes down on one leg but completes his turn anyway and tries to bring a big, heavy paw down right on top of Sif. "Get back here, Asgardian…" He curses as he tries to stand again. But it is oh so hard to do that when you're hamstrung. Which only leaves Sif with more room to maneuver and finish the fight.

"It matters not. What we had was destined to last forever! He would have seen that in time!" Sedna whips her spear around, turning her missed thrust into a sweep at Astryd's legs, but the valkyrie is right. She's getting angry and going for wild, powerful sweeps that leave her open.

The ground shakes again. Fenris has knocked down the ice giant and there's a great crunch as he presses his advantage, relieving Negafook of an icy limb.

He'll get that back later. Probably.

Astryd has trained with the best of the Asgardians even if she doesn't rank up there in terms of endurance and physicality. She's also spent over one thousand years on earth fighting with midgardians for a lot of it. She's learned some dirty tricks.

She has to finish this quickly, she's tiring even though she's not doing much.

One of Sedna's blows lands, opening a gash in the blondes side as she's too slow to dodge. But that puts her right inside the sword range and lets her …

Astryd steps close, sweeping Sedna's ankles her leg. Knocking the Goddess backwards and following through with a very satisfying sword bash. That should put the woman on the ground… if it does and she tries to rise, she'll find Astryds sword at her throat.

Sif lifts her buckler to try and fend off that 'one paw' swipe from Nanook while hastily backing away, putting her almost at the very edge of the bridge. And now she tries to reason with the great furry being. "I did not wish this, Lord of Bears. Yield, and I will not add further injury. There is no dishonor in this."

What she'd LIKE to do is go help Astryd deal with Angry Sedna over there, but she's not leaving the giant white beast unattended even if he is already severely injured. "What say you?"

The bear roars in frustration as it is foiled once more and tries to lunge at Sif and push her into the river but his leg gives out and he stumbles right in front of her.

"I yield…" He finally growls. The same noise does not come from Negafook. What does come from his direction is crunch, crunch, crunch.

"I… I yield, Astryd." Sedna says, finding herself at sword point and her allies defeated. Well. A deal is a deal, is it not?

"As you should. One day, Sedna, you will learn to curb your temper and avoid these things. It is that that lost you your love. I'm glad though, you didn't learn it today." Astryd answers, removing her sword from the womans throat and holding her side where she's been slashed.

"You will remove the geas that has been placed upon me." The blonde spares a look for the others. A nod to Sif for a job well done and to Fenris, she adds "Don't spoil your appetite, my heart, we have Pork tonight."

When Nanook yields, Sif relaxes her stance — but not her readiness — and offers the great bear a bow. "Thank you, Lord of Bears." Still keeping half an eye on Nanook, she turns to move toward Astryd, noticing fairly quickly that the Valkyr appears to have taken an injury.

With her sword still ready, she pulls a healing stone from a pouch at her belt and wordlessly offers it to Astryd. It's her own personal stone, and when it's used up, it's gone.

Sedna sits up slowly and looks carefully. "Yes. I will. But you should know that such things come at a price. When I cut this cord it will whip and lash about and I do not know what will happen when I do."

Fenris grumps. "Do it."

Sedna's eyes narrow and she nods. Astryd can feel her magic go out. And then EVERYONE can feel the way the unseen world roils. It's like a cable has been cut and is whiping about. Will it hit Astryd? Sedna? Sif?

And what will happen if it does?

"Fenris, Sif. Step back." The Valkyr growls. She knew there was a cost, there always is but her comrades in arms aren't to be affected. She'll take the effect of this and be damned.

Even if it means loosing her God-Wolf. They spent a thousand years apart, it didn't kill her.

The Blonde stands in the maelstrom that's formed, ready to catch whatever hits her.

For the moment, Sifs healing stone is not taken.

Sif is by no means the most sensitive to magic, but THAT she feels instantly. And it does NOT bode well. Nevertheless, she lunges toward Astryd almost out of reflex, catching the Valkyrie in what Midgardians would perceive as a hug, her bucker raised to shield the back of the blonde's head.

Repercussions will land as the Fates decide. She has no regrets.

The hit that Sif takes isn't physical. It's metaphysical. It feels like that brand she received but it's not the same thing. A scar on her soul and essence. What will that do? Only time will tell but those who can see definitely will.

"SIF!" Fenris, for example, could see.

Sedna gets a glare and the goddess quickly backs up. "I did warn you, Old Wolf. Do not blame me for what you requested. Nay. Demanded."

"Sif." Astryd growls as Sif wraps herself around her. "I said step back, you maddening Aesir." Too weak to fight and certainly, there's not enough time, the Valkyr has to accept where Fate lands that blow.

Astryd knows even as Fenris calls out. Does she need to hold the fighter? If so, things are going to interesting.

"Fenris, you knew the price would be paid." she says quietly. "I can feel the pressure is off of me and now we must weather what comes." Astryd knows the debt she owes the other Asgardian.

Sif braces as if for a physical blow, but of course, what hits her is anything but. It takes her more than a couple of seconds to release Astryd, and when she does she looks … frightened. This is gods and magic and she is trained for physical combat. Taking a step back from the Valkyrie, she looks at Sedna then around at Fenris.

The unvoiced question is obvious. What now?

Fenris takes a deep breath and steps back. "Can you make it to an exit, either of you? Or do I need to open a- you know what, nevermind actually."

The God Wolf just tears open a Way. "Let's get back to the house where we can have a proper look at you." He's concerned about what's happened. But Sif isn't likely to die from it.

No. Whatever it does to her will be much. Much worse. Wounds of the spirit like that bring about strange fates. "Raven, we should be off."

Before Sedna and Nanook decide to try their luck again.

"Come Sif." Astryd leads the other Asgardian woman to the Way that Fenris opens. "My thanks to you Sedna for your service. And to you Lord of Bears, you are as always, a fearsome opponent."

It won't take long for them to be through the Way and into their home.

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