2019-09-22 - Some Prices Are Too High


Fenris manages to keep Astryd still long enough to talk with her

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Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Sep 22 03:24:47 2019
Location: 74-36 62nd Street

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Fenris sets dinner in front of Astryd. It's matzo ball soup, a staple of delis the city over and a very good 'sick' cure. It's checken soup, sort of, but with bready dumplings. The Old Wolf is quite fond of it. And in any case it's not very hard to make, which is good because since Astryd's return from her latest misadventure he hasn't wanted her DOING much.

This might be driving her a little stir crazy.

"There. Soup for my wayward fire gazer." Okay she'd been gazing at a book not fire. But she'd been captivated by it. And loopy as hell when he dragged her home.

Poor Fenris. Astryd hasn't been easy to keep pinned down since they returned from her adventure but tonight he'd managed to keep her at home. It might be the draw of the Old Wolfs soup, or it might be the book she's reading.

He can see the cover - myths of the Norse and such stories.

Putting the book aside, the stern blonde looks at the dark haired man and smiles "Thank you, my heart. I don't deserve you." Does he know of her incident with Sif, or the thug bashing bashing she did with 'Hilde? Does he know she found Hod the other day?

Fenris knows many things but if anyone knows how to slip his gaze, it would be the woman who has spent centuries with him. So it's a fair bet there's some of that he does not know.

The Old Wolf sits down next to the valkyr and looks at her book. Then back up at her. "You've been reading a lot of that recently. Do you find the mortal's retellings of our people entertaining?" Because SURELY she's not reading it for information. She lived much of those tales and the ones that she did not she can do better for information than fouth hand retellings by drunk norsemen.

Is he fishing? Maybe a bit.

It's possible that Astryd does know how to slip Fenris' gaze. You don't live with a person for as long as she has and not learn a thing or two.

"Have I?" It's a light question but she nods slowly. "Midgardians have an interesting view of our history, Fenris. The tales have been morphed as they've been retold they hardly reflect the truth as we know it but I'm sure that we ourselves have influenced that as well, to our own benefit, perhaps."

"Don't you find them interesting?" This is the fourth or fifth book he's seen her read, most with a focus on the Fates and their tales.

"You have, yes. Ever since I dragged you home dazed from that pit." That pit where she'd gotten herself caught and… sort of… tied down by whatever she was reading. It definitely had a mental hold on her. What it was he's still not sure. He hadn't dared to look at it himself. He needed to be able to get her out.

"I'm sure the Allfather has if nothing else. He'd want mortals telling the story a particular way. As for me? I don't much like the old sagas. They remember my role all too well. I prefer other tales of other wolves."

It's not that EVERY story about a wolf in the woods was inspired by Fenris. But, you know, he WAS around when many of them were made and he might have had a hand, or paw, or fang, in a few of them.

"Did I thank you for that?" Astryd smiles and presses a kiss to Fenris' cheek. She had of course and she might be trying to distract him. She hadn't spoken about that tablet or why she'd been there in the first place.

"Not just the allfather but others of us, Fenris. Some of the stories I can feel their hands upon the words." She scowls a little as he mentions his role in the sagas "I won't that happen again, Fenris. I promise you."

"Stories of wolves, hmmm? And did you influence Little Red Riding Hood?" If he did, it was during a time they weren't together.

"That one? No, rather not. That must have been one of my line. Not too many sources of talking wolves here on Earth. There IS a version of the story that's norse that concerns Idun. THAT I might have had something to do with. Maybe the only Asgardian I feel the tiniest bit bad about."

Because that had been sort of generally awkward and unfortunate.

Is she distracting him? It might be working.

"So, what did those captivating words say, Raven?" Or maybe not.

"Idun?" Astryd gives Fenris a look. That had to be before she joined him as his … Companion. "Did you really attack her, Fenris or just that be thought?" Because it's interesting either way and maybe she can keep slipping the conversation he so clearly wants to have.

No such luck.

"They …" the blonde considers and shakes her head, deciding to eat some of the soup instead of answering straight away. "… spoke of a story where the cycle of Ragnarok fed Those Who Sit Above In Shadows." Which is something they've mostly known. The 'feeding' is new though.

"I really accosted her. Attacked might be a strong word but she clearly didn't enjoy the interaction." Which is probably where it started. Play a game of drunken telephone for the next several centuries and it's not hard to see how the story winds up as it has. Poor Idun. Fenris kind of liked her. She was always quiet and didn't hit him much.

Now THAT gets a brow quirk from Fenris. "Wait. You found tales of Those Who Sit Above?" Most of the cosmos believes them to be a myth. Stories about them are are in the extreme. That she found some is almost… miraculous.

"And what had you so rapt reading them?"

"There are stories, Fenris, if you know where to look and who to ask. The old ones remember if you ask the right questions. Much like us, the stories have been morphed and shifted so they're barely recognisable but they're there. In some cases, the old texts are revered artifacts."

"What has me so rapt? You have to ask that, my heart?" The blonde looks up, troubled, touching fingers to his cheek. "They want to start Ragnarok and we don't."

Fenris places his hand on Astryd's arm and watches her eyes. She looks normal. Sane. She's his Raven, the woman he's known for centuries. And yet there's something about her. A recklessness that worries him. She took wounds that have not healed, he fears. And might not if he cannot figure them out.

"So what is it exactly that you have discovered that may aid us in this effort?"

Astryds eyes are clear, the stormy grey they usually are and to Fenris' senses, there's nothing untowards about her. And yet that mark above her heart is still there, in the shape of a heart itself. At some point he might think to examine it again but she's not complained about it, so why would he?

"They do influence our Fates, have them nudge the weave to guide us all to the End. But it's not just us they do this with, it's the Olympians and the others as well. Any tool they can use, they will."

His Raven doesn't lie to Fenris. It might be impossible for her to do so. "They are said to have given gifts to aid in this. I think we could find them and destroy them."

"And how would you propose to find them?" Fenris asks gently. "If they do have such things, it would be where they live or work or what have you, and we've not found them in two millennia, only the barest whispers of their influence." Indeed those who sit above seem well named.

Always shadowed. Always hints of a greater game but never anything solid.

"Or did your unusual reading have notions of that as well." Is this sliiiiiightly too convenient?

"Hints alone, Fenris." Astryd shakes her head. She knows he's careful and sceptical. In times past, she would have been too but he can sense a fear in her. "We have to do something, my heart. Things are arrayed against us and I don't want to stand against you in the final battle. My sword is yours and I want to keep it that way."

She's not wrong. There have been several attempts recently to bring the opening of Ragnarok and Fenris' own half brother had sent him a message.

"I've nothing solid but there are those who are able to Find things when they Seek." Is it slightly too convenient, she's being nudged in these directions? Potentially.

What's a God Wolf to do with his wayward Raven.

Fenris would sigh but he doesn't want to give away how worried he is right now. He's never seen her so single minded. She is indeed in a way not wrong. But there is no denying that this could go horribly and probably will. Those Who Sit Above are very adept at deflecting attempts to find them.

"You're thinking of going to the Finder, aren't you. Or is it Hod you seek? He of secrets? It's almost sure that he's so tightly wound in fate that he's little more than their puppet at this point."

Fenris has indeed seen Astryd single minded but not like this. And it's all directed to keep him safe.

"I am." She answers the question. Both it seems. "You don't know that Hod is so tightly wound though - he's managed to avoid things that none of us should be able to and he's a talent that none of us possess."

As to the Finder, Astryd does sighs. "When I know what else we are seeking, I will ask the Finder and others. They will require a price that I will gladly pay." Will she? Will she be able to afford what they're asking?

"Are you going to tell me not to, Lord?"

"No…" Fenris murmurs. "I am not. But I am concerned. This is more direct action than we have ever taken against them. They will notice." And when they notice how will they respond? If they really are the masters of fate then they can manipulate the world around them and Fenris, Astryd and those close to them will suffer for it.

"Hod has, but Hod is nearly a slave to his prophecies. He bends his every effort to preventing them and rushes headlong toward them all the same."

"Maybe it's time for direct action, my heart." Astryd answers. "They're driving events to impact you, and others, directly. Maybe it's time, don't you think?"

It's possible they'll have a small margin in which they can move outside Fate.

"That might be so with Hod, Fenris. He said he would face his Fate head long. Or something to that effect." she shakes her head. "I can't let you go, Fenris. I won't let them drive you to something you're not."

"So far, I am free…" Fenris says to Astryd. "I'm not going anywhere. If they drive Fate you know I can and will fight it. But we've gotten this far by being careful."

And they could lose a lot if they were reckless now.

"Why does this worry you so now? Is it Hod and what happened with him or something else?

"You are, my heart." Astryd puts the bowl of soup aside and moves into Fenris' lap, to rest her head against his shoulder. "And I know you can and will fight it, but you aren't alone…" He has her, and others, to fight beside him.

They might lose a lot if they were reckless but they might gain a lot as well.

"They came after *us*, Fenris. Not just you, they moved other pantheons against ours in order to make us misstep. It's time we took some control on this and …"

"I worry you'll be taken from me and I'll be forced back to the Allfathers side."

"We don't know where any of these treasures are, Fenris. Locating them doesn't mean we will move without thought."

He hasn't forbidden her to do it. That's something.

He hasn't forbidden it though he does wonder at this point if she would listen to him if he did. Fenris wraps his arms around Astryd and draws her close, letting her lean.

"I won't let that happen, you know that." He'd move mountains. That hasn't been tested yet, really, but can she doubt it?

"Do not pay too high a price to find things things." That's his one condition. Hod and the Finder both trade in knowledge and there's always a price for it. Fenris is setting out right now that some prices are too high.

"I know you would try, Fenris." Astryd murmurs. "They came for your Pack and my children. They came for Hod and Baldur. All in attempt to start Ragnarok. I … we Asgardians, is one thing. Our children? They stepped over the mark." It's insidious what Balors' light had done to her.

The way the geas had been twisted to play with her loyalty. There's nothing anyone can fault except that she's more fiercely protective.

"I'll be careful of the price, my Heart. But what price is too high to see you free of your Fate?" What too would the God Wolf do to keep his Valkyrie safe?

"What good is it to save the world if we burn it down in the process?" Fenris say quietly. It's interesting that it's HIM who is saying that. The one fated to do the burning. But he thinks it's important for Astryd to hear. Yes. There is a price too high. If they win but have become what they hate, is that not worse than losing?

Fenris hugs his Raven tightly and sighs. "We've been living with this all our lives dear. Maybe it's time to be more proactive about it. But beware the costs."

"I won't burn it down, Fenris…" Astryd frowns at that. How could he think that of her? "I want a world where you and our children can thrive." Their children, their mortal children she means of course.

"Let me do this, Fenris. I'm only looking at the moment. Looking for … something." With his arms about her, Astryd manages to settle.

"Now tell me if you've heard from Aurora lately and if there's news of the Pack."

"Alright." Fenris says, finally acquiescing. "Do it." He gives her a gentle squeeze and then pulls back slightly so he can look at her. They'd decided a long time ago not to attempt to have a child between them. The risk that Odin might have had such a child hunted down as and still is too great.

"Aurora has returned to her castle. From what I understand her line has been visiting her of late. The pack is recovering though the mourn those lost." But that is the way of things. They are strong. They will endure. Fenris' blood is notably stubborn anyway.

Astryd was going to anyway but she nods, gazing up at Fenris as he draws back. There's a question in her eyes - what is he looking at, what is he thinking - but she doesn't ask that.

"Then your line is secure and I am content." They will endure. It's strange how she doesn't speak on her line much.

"I wish to swim tonight, my heart. Take us somewhere where the moon filters over a lake and we can do that?"

Fenris looks up and seemingly far away and then smiles. "I know just the place."

He pats Astryd to get her to stand. He has more than one line, of course. So does she as far as he knows. They've been around long enough that it's happened. And for the most part they keep a distant watch on their own, content not to meddle in the lives of their semi-mortal children.

Though occasionally it's nice to be reminded of family.

Fenris extends an arm and opens a way. "Come. I know of a place with some hot springs too."

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