2019-11-08 - The Old Ways


Thor and Gwen meet Lydia for the first time, and the three of them talk about absent friends and family.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Nov 8 08:16:25 2019
Location: Midtown

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Theme Song



The East River is the louder of the two, closest to the ocean and with the heavier traffic. When one stands upon the docks the sound of the waves breaking against the pier is a steady sound, but it's a natural one that is easily accepted in the night. But tonight whatever god of the sea might hold dominion for the moment seems filled with ire. The tide is high, the waves cascading up and over the board of the dock and beyond the railing, causing a cascade of foam and mist to wash over anyone unfortunate enough to be caught nearby.
But at this time of night there are few here. The park that the pier is connected to is empty. No one to sit upon the bench seats around the statue that marks the memorial that is held here for lost mariners. A tall statue that looks out across the water dressed in a rain coat and hauling on a line, captures the essence of those beset upon by the elements at sea.
Only one figure is there. The tall blonde man who goes by the name of Odinson, umbrella unopened and under his arm despite the misting the water casts over him. His brow is furrowed, gaze distant as he seems lost in thought. And has been there for some small time.
Until he starts to speak. Words quietly offered and likely lost in the crash of the waves as he says simply, "Lo, there do I see my father."
"Lo, there do I see my mother…"
"My brothers and cousins."
"Lo, there do I see the line of my family reaching back to the beginning."
And as he speaks subtle ghostly silhouettes begin to appear near him upon that pier.

Gwen Stacy is out and about, even on a night as grotty as this one — or perhaps, especially on a night like this. The young spider isn't so much webslinging in this area, as running along rooftops and jumping fron one to another, at speeds more appropriate for cars than people moving on foot. She's listening to some fairly current rock music on her headphones, too; but that comes to a stop when she sees glowy silhouettes coming from the pier.
Wait, what?" The Spider-Woman skids to a halt on the roof of a warehouse, leaning one hand on the edge and pulling her earbuds out with the other, as she observes what's going on. "Well, that's… that's different," she observes. She stands up, about to go and intervene when she takes a second look at the central figure. "Oh, hey, it's Thor," she muses to herself. "That's the guy who told me I could phone him but didn't give me his number."
Gwen stands a little straighter, and plants her hands on her hips. Well, no help for it; at least not this moment. Might as well just watch. Afterall, he's the God of Thunder, and an Avenger, so he can't be up to anything ridiculous — or at least, we assume he can't.

Lydia has had a good night so far. Her attendance to Beetlejuice on Broadway didn't spook too many people. In fact it was one of the few shows she could watch where people just kind of assume the glowing green girl is just part of the show. So now she's just kind of wandering, lost in her own thoughts, leaving a trail of bioluminescent green mist behind her.

That is, until it's no longer behind her, but rather in front of her and off to the right, as if a breeze is blowing it that way.


So she follows to see where her ectoplasm leads, which invariably leads her to Thor. She's not entirely sure what to make of the Asguardian, and his ritual, but she doesn't interrupt, so she stands there, waiting patiently for the God to finish, the fine mist of her ectoplasm being drawn inexorably towards him.

It is a small combination of elements that draw forth the subtle shaded and ghostly silhouettes. The consecrated ground given purpose and dominion over an aspect of lost souls. The subtle magical strength in the words uttered by the Asgardian as he stands there upon the pier. And perhaps this particular day upon which the universe aligns to allow just a brief glimpse into the past of old friends, and lost comrades.
The tall man speaks a little more, but it is a short thing, lasting only a minute… two, before those silhouettes begin to fade likely even when Lydia draws closer. Time enough for Thor to take a deep breath, to develop a small smile… and to turn.
Turning around to see that he is not exactly alone.
Gwen recognized him from afar. Lydia might as well if she is familiar with the Avengers and the efforts of those worthies. Though the Asgardian is wearing civilian clothes, jeans, work boots, a black and white flannel overshirt that's probably just a nod to the season. He espies her, the wisps of ectoplasm around her then he blinks a few times before he says.
"Shoo." A wave of one hand, "Shoo. You are free to go spirit. I released your brethren."

Gwen swings out over the edge of the warehouse, and climbs down until she's comfortable just jumping the rest of the distance. She lands in a crouch, straightens, and walks towards the Asgardian and the… apparently a ghost that hasn't decided to go back. "If there's something weird in the neighborhood, who you gonna call?" she inquires as she approaches, ambling up to where Thor is standing, and coming to a stop a few feet away. "Quite the poem! Or… ceremony, I guess." She shrugs her shoulders lightly, as she turns to watch Lydia approaching.
"Uhm, one of your ghosts hasn't decided to go back yet," she points out, as if Thor hadn't already noticed. "So uhh… is there a…" she pauses. "Banishment ritual? Go back to sleep ritual? Something like that?"

It takes Lydia a second to recognize Thor. He's a hard guy to miss, but one doesn't exactly expect to run into an Avenger out here in the middle of the night. One also doesn't expect said Avenger to talk to her directly.

She blinks a couple of times, confused. "Oh! You mean me! You mean this," she says waving an arm to leave glowing green trails behind it, turning to Gwen. "Nonono. I'm not a spirit. I'm a mutant. It's just ectoplasm."

"Ah!" Thor says, lips parting as if he understood what Lydia had said, but clearly… not really. He gives a firm nod, however, as if to lend weight to the illusion of his understanding then he murmurs. "That would explain it then." It doesn't.
He then tilts his head to espy Gwen as she approaches and then furrows his brow, "Spider-Woman." He looks back to Lydia then and adjusts the grip on his umbrella, "It seems my presumption of solitude was ill-advised. Forgive the disruption. I did not know it would draw such attention."
That having been said he steps forward and then looks back to the pier, the waves still breaking over the end of it, white foam washing across the boards and slats then roiling right off the side of it. Not as heavy as when it storms, but not too far off.

Gwen Oooohhhhhhs, when Lydia explains that she's a mutant. "I get it." Well, at least one person gets it. "I will freely admit I don't know anything about ectoplasm. I bet Thor does, though. He knows lots of stuff." She nods her head emphatically.
"I don't think you needed to worry about solitude too much," she adds, looking back to Thor, "There's barely anyone around here. I mean, there's you, me, her," she nods to Lydia, "And… and really that's about it, there's the guy sleeping between two warehouses back that way, but he didn't even wake up."
Gwen looks Lydia up and down once more, "So, uhh, what do we call you? …I'm just going to go as Spider-Woman; sorry to be a little evasive, but, y'know, masks, secret identities, protecting the innocent people in your life… all that sort of stuff."

"Oh! Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt," Lydia says apologetically. "It's just that I've never had it react that way before, so I was curious. I mean. I can go if you want." She backs up a couple of steps to give the big guy some space, and to talk to Spider-Woman.

"You can call my Lydia," she says, holding out a hand. "Don't worry, it's harmless. I never really settled on one of those superhero names." She grins, "I'm kind of hard to miss, you know?"

A hand lifts again waving off the need for an apology as Thor looks between the two of them. "No, I am the visitor, this is your home." Home city perhaps. But Thor looks between the two of them, smiling a little. "Though it is customary when reflecting upon the passage of those that have fallen to share a drink and reflect."
He reaches a hand into the inner pocket of his overshirt, a small silver flask being produced that he twists the cap off and extends forward slightly. "If you wish you may join me, though be warned, the sting of Asgardian liquor is heady stuff."
It's clear by his body language that he is not insisting, but he makes the offer openly and fairly. "A drink and a remembrance of those that you have lost."

And there it is; an offer of alcohol. Gwen stares at the offered flask for a long moment, her mind at war with herself. On the one hand, she's very much under 21. (Maybe close to it, but still younger.) On the other, she's being offered a drink by the God of Thunder and even if he's not insisting, what's the etiquette in this situation? Do you just say nah bro I'm good?
"Good to meet you, Lydia," she settles on replying, mostly because it buys her more time. Like eight seconds. Alright maybe just four. "And your ectoplasm is totally cool. I know there's probably some people out there who don't get it, but they suck, and you're awesome."
Now Spider-Woman looks back to Thor, and shrugs her shoulders. "Alright, but just a sip," she concedes. What the heck, being a vigilante is illegal, so that line's been crossed, and it's not like she's planning on getting hammered. She takes the offered flask, and pulls her mask up to her nose so she can put the drink to her lips, and have… just a sip.

Share a drink with an Asguardian? That's an opportunity that one would be hard pressed to miss. But…. "What's it made of?" Lydia asks, first. "I have dietary restrictions."

She doesn't seem bothered that Spider-Woman doesn't take her hand. It happens to her a lot. She shrugs and agrees, "Yeah. It kind of freaks people out at first but they get used to it. There are weirder things than me in New York, after all."

It's strong, intense, but not without its merits. It's just difficult to discern them from the blaze at first and the rush of feeling. Though just a sip should serve to convey that taste if not the full befuddlement that might be brought along with a larger portion. But what Gwen mainly gets from it is apples. Apples on fire. Burny apples all up and down one's throat. But nice apples after a moment.
As she finishes that sip Thor takes up the flask and offers it in turn to Lydia, "Mmm. A guardsman in my father's court, his own father tends to an orchard and has distilled some of his apples. I believe the drink has…"
He looks to Gwen as if for confirmation, "Cinnamon? Cloves… sugar. A base of wine?" As if she'd be in able to discern all of that. But then he turns back to Lydia, "Though trust I will take no offense if you choose not to indulge. I know our ways are not your ways."

Gwen swallows the sip, and… and it burns. It tastes like apples on fire, alright. What can be seen of her skin swiftly flushes bright red, and she coughs once. "Tastes like apples," she confirms. "Also cinnamon. And fire." She coughs, and sputters once, but swallows again and wipes her lips with the back of one hand. "Wow."
The spider heroine tugs her mask back into position, and ahems softly. "Sorry, Lydia, I was kinda… distracted there, for a moment." She holds her hand out, extended for the handshake that Lydia offered a moment earlier that went straight over her head, somehow. You'd think danger sense would warn me when I'm in danger of embarassing myself. "If you can try Thor's drink, you should, it's pretty good," she adds. "But don't give yourself an upset stomach over it or anything."

Lydia scowls at the mention of wine. "Shoot. I can't have it then." She sounds really disappointed at the missed opportunity, though. "Grapes are off the menu for me, sorry."

She turns back to Spider-Woman, and clasps her hand, grinning. "No worries. Thor is a pretty big distraction." Lydia's grip is cool to the touch, and the ectoplasm itself make things a bit tingly and numb, like if somebody had rubbed menthol onto your skin. It fades quickly enough when the handshake is done, though, the green mist lingering for only a second.

With the decision made, Thor gives a nod and takes the flask back. He considers something for a moment, eyes distancing, then he tilts the flask back and takes several swallows. Three-four, then he pauses and lowers the flask, replacing the cap. A soft 'ah' comes form him as he looks down, then back to each of them.
"Let me tell you the tale of the twins, Svenge and Janne." He offers those words with some solemnity, as if this were part of the ritual shared.
"They were two mortals that I had met, far to the north when mine father brought us forth to face the Svartalfar when they had thought Midgard would be best under the heels of their boots. We had arrived, great battles had been fought. Some of the people of Midgard fled in terror, but others sought to stand at our side. So too did Svenge and Janne. It was their ship I first sailed upon. It was at their sides I first learned of the worth held within the people of Midgard."
He looks back to the side to the splashing waves and the foam washing over the wooden pier. Then he looks back to them, "I had e'er been taken with the gift of battle. I pursued it, excelled at it, enjoyed it. To this day I still do, but… not to the same degree as I once did. We were sailing one day and then suddenly beset by another vessel. We leapt to battle and I was lost in the conflict, enjoying myself, reveling in the pure primal intensity of life and death."
He frowns and uncurls a hand then adds levelly, "And when it was over, I looked for them. Svenge and Janne. Only to be told by another that during the battle Janne had fallen over the side, and Svenge leapt after her. I could have perhaps helped them. Saved them. But I was too lost in the rage of the berserk, too exultant in conflict, that I allowed my friends to pass unnoticed, unremarked."
He puts the flask away and he says, "Thus why I am here, to let them know that they are at the least not forgotten."
As he says that last he lets silence fall for a moment, two. Then he looks to them, "Is there anyone you would wish to remember?"

Gwen waggles her fingers after the handshake, calmly making sure they still work like they did before after the strange feeling. She grins, and nods to Lydia, "Yes, that's true," she agrees. "And your ectoplasm is still cool."
Then Thor is telling his story, and she listens closely; her expression unreadable of course, under her mask, but her body language softens as he tells it. "I'm sorry to hear that happened," she murmurs, after he's finished. "They sound like they were real heroes. I'm honored to hear you tell of them."
The Spider-Woman cups her chin, and nods once. "My mother," she replies. "I lost my mother when I was two years old. Dad never told me what happened, he just took her to the hospital in a rush one night, and… and she never came back." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "Everyone thought I didn't understand, and treated me like I didn't understand, but… your Mom suddenly vanishes when you're a kid, and your Dad is never quite the same afterwards, believe me you understand well enough." She glances at Thor, one of the eyes on her mask getting bigger as she perks an eyebrow upwards. "I actually sorta envy you, if that's not presumptuous. You at least got to know your friends. All I know about my Mom is that I miss her."

Lydia shuffles her feet uncomfortably at Thor's question, sharply aware at how different their lives are. How sheltered she's been. "I… I haven't lost anybody close to me." She pauses a moment to shove her hands into her coat pockets. "Yet. I suppose it's only a matter of time."

"Then we honor her here, now. In the telling you share her with us, and as long as I live I shall remember the day the Lady of Spiders gifted me with this tale." So much of the Asgardian culture depends on the passing on of tales, and now Gwen's shall enter into the woven fabric of stories shared.
Thor then turns his attention upon Lydia and he smiles a little, sadly as she seems to look a little sheepish and he tells her. "Then cherish those you hold dear, Lady Lydia. Learn from what has marked our time and us as well in the experiencing of it. Remember our tales so that those we mourn will not be forgotten."
As he says that he extends his hands to rest them on their shoulders. Looking at them each in turn as if to cement the bond of this shared observance. He gives a sharp nod then lightly gives a small pat before he steps forward and starts to walk away.
"I am to be off. Until another time when fate chooses to bring us together once again."

Gwen suddenly finds that a man with very powerful muscles has his hand on her shoulder, in the manner of camaraderie; and this is a moment, rare since she got bitten by a spider, in which she has encountered someone markedly and decidedly stronger than her. But then, that shouldn't have come as any surprise (and didn't).
Well, thank you for sharing with us," she replies. "I won't forget your tale, either." She pauses, and her voice grows quiet, "I almost lost someone very important to me, but… but I was lucky. We were all lucky. Sometimes we're lucky every day."
She looks up, and her good cheer returns as she gives Lydia a playful punch on the shoulder (one toned down significantly, so as not to cause bruising, or… broken bones or anything). "I better get outta here too, there's probably someone being mugged somewhere who needs a spider to show up. Pleasure to meet you, Lydia!" Sne nods to Thor, "And always a pleasure to bump into you. Figuratively, of course."

Lydia nods solemnly, "Thank you, I'll write it down. I have a journal, of sorts. Of stories I come across, or make up, or…" she flails a bit, "You know. A journal. To remember things for me in case I forget."

And then Thor is *touching* her, which settles her racing mind that was trying to explain what a journal is better. "Um. Yeah," she says uncertainly. "If you see me come say 'hi'? I guess? I'm hard to miss." She turns to the spider girl. "You too. I like talking to people."

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