2019-11-24 - Defense, Offense, Divination


Sigyn and Loki aid Betty on her magical quest.

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: November 24th, 2019
Location: Cover Story, NYC

Related Logs


Theme Song



It has been a couple weeks since Betty's testing proved to be positive, she even showed a fair degree of potential and in a human that was something of a surprise for the Trickster. In fact the results were interesting enough that he scryed on her magical efforts as things were settling out, poor girl is likely to get creepy feelings of being watched. Which is good, it means she'll have strong motivation to learn to ward and shield! See? Loki is looking out for Betty! Not creepy or pervy at all. Nope.

After that second week he spared the poor mailroom boy and simply teleported his missive to Betty's desk, asking her to stop at her earliest convenience.

'Betty Brant,

Come you to Cover Story some evening when time permits.'

It wasn't even signed, but the fine vellum, the hand written calligraphy, the envelope sealed with wax — pretty distinctive.

He then lets Sigyn know to expect a visit from the Priestess and burgeoning magus.

With her studies still novice and time speeding forward to some pending trip to Chicago, it was in Betty's interest to visit her mentors before departing. After work, and once everything was settled in the office, Betty detours from heading to her partially-packed home to Cover Story. The invitation resting in her handbag, she slips into the bookstore below and calmly travels up toward the living quarters. With a soft knock, she stands and waits.

Sigyn smiles at the news, "Thank you for letting me know." And prepares cookies and coffee, as well as reviewing some of her older magical notes on training Midgardians. When Betty arrives, Sigyn opens the door. "Please, come in. I've been reviewing some of my old notes on teaching magic to Midgardians. How have you been doing?"

"Of course, oh Burden Bearer." One of Loki's titles - 'Burden to Sigyn's Arms'. "I am not /always/ an inconsiderate prat." A slow nod. "Only when it amuses me, or you, or both." And then he smiles sunnily and digs out some ancient ancient /ancient/ tomes from the earliest days of his first exile, he went on viking several times under several guises in the 9th century, but these tomes were items he collected while going by Sigur One-Eye, a feared raider indeed, a Wise Man, feared terribly in Russia.

When Betty arrives he slinks out of the back room and sets two /massive/ tomes on the table, and offers a nod of greeting. "Welcome to our home, Betty Brant."

Betty Brant smiles gently at the greeting and slips in. "Thank you." She's dressed more for the weather - a heavier coat, boots, pants. Once inside, she moves to remove the coat part at least, and her side bag, leaving her in a sweater dress of dark blue. "I'm doing well enough, I think. I strank some of my dishes, though. Turned them pink by accident. I also thought I could speak with animals while in the park the other day. Turns out that wasn't true - that animal could just understand everyone." She shrugs, perhaps frowning just a touch at that possibility being shot for now.

Eyeing the pair, she gives them a soft hug after a moment's hesitation. "Thank you for allowing me to do this. Really. I…never thought I'd be here."

Sigyn chuckles at Loki's teasing, and gives him a kiss. "I won't tell people you know how to be considerate. You have a reputation to maintain." She nods to Betty's comment. "Magical accidents are common early in training. That is why basic exercises are so VERY basic and boring. So that you make mistakes that are less likely to get you killed." She returns the hug gently, always careful of her strength around Midgardians. She studies Betty carefully, "Your magic still hasn't settled… it's not as chaotic as before, but it's still in flux. That's fairly normal for a beginner, until you find a channel that suits your powers it won't really settle down."

A wink to Sigyn as she promises to keep his secret, and then he mimes wiping sweat from his brow. Before he chuckles faintly.

Loki is impressed…she KNOWS he's the God of Fire, of Mischief, of Lies and /still/ Betty has the cojones to hug him? Not bad, this might be fun after all. A timid mage is soon a dead mage, in his experience. "You can best thank us by studying the seasonal rituals and applying yourself without stint to the rest of what we have to teach." Loki then looks thoughtful. "And by offering prayers and sacrifices, those are also always appropriate ways to thank gods." This said with deviltry in his eyes, and a smirk upon expressive lips.

Loki is dressed very casual, and very Asgardian, green and gold tights and tunic, some heavy gold jewelry.

"Pink dishes are far from the worst such results I've seen seen, even with the added shrinkage."

He motions for Betty to sit. "Come, I have some books to show you, and Sigyn has a test she'd like to perform."

"Right. I…sometime, I'd like to talk to you about the things I've seen." She requests, following along to see said books. "A test? Sure, I'm looking forward to it. I'd really like to know more of what I should be studying, too. I'm a doer, so I like to get my hands dirty to learn." It's how she learned to shoot a gun, after all.

"I'll be going on a small trip soon, is there anything I can take with me or practice, even while away? Something to wear or things to say? I've started repeating mantras while jogging…if that helps." A pause, "Do you guys hear me when I pray or is it only when I pray to you directly? Fenris hears me, but do you or…?"

Sigyn sighs, "You'd have to do a rite to get my attention, I'll teach it to you later. And frankly, most people don't understand my domain, they think 'fidelity' in the modern sense of 'stop my boyfriend from sleeping around'. My domain isn't monogamy, it's keeping oaths and strengthening the bonds of families." She takes out an old soft leather pouch and focuses for a moment. "Reach in and draw a runestone."

"Of COURSE Fenris can hear you, you serve him directly. Thanks to the fact he's my son I too will be more likely to hear your prayers if you offer them, though a rite would tend to grab my attention more readily, so I'll also teach you such a thing to compliment Sigyn's." Seeing her interesting in the tomes, Loki turns them so Betty can inspect them. They're old, and written in a strange older tongue, a 'Russian' dialect, from more than a millenium past. "These are old booty I acquired, they contain a variety of useful things, mortal magic and some herb lore, basic alchemy."

A grin. "Of course you'll have to learn the language, or a spell to read them."

He falls silent when Sigyn offer Betty some runes…which are always true, though not always /clear/.

"No, I understand. Like how romance was meant to be adventurous first." Betty nods to Sigyn, smiling her way gently. Eyeing the books, she reaches out to touch them. Cautious, oh so gently, she brushes her hands down their covers and smiles. "Great, because that's not hard…" She smirks. Then comes the small bag. Looking to the blonde, then to Loki, and back again, she exhales and reaches in.

Pulling out a rune, setting it down, she then repeats the process. Curious, she eyes them and looks to Sigyn, hand poised to pull another if told to.

Sigyn makes a tiny amused sound, and explains, "I asked what your shape your magic took. Normally, you get vaguely symbolic answers." Sigyn touches the first rune. "This is the rune for defense." She touches the second rune. "This is the rune for Offense. Given that they responded so strongly to you, you probably have a touch of divination as well. Or else are about to run into a major fight… it could go either way." The stones aren't modern ceramic ones, but ancient stone worn with the years though the symbols are still clear.

Sigyn takes the two stones and puts them back in her bag, tucking the bag into her pocket. A thick sheet of artists paper appears before her, a fountain pen appearing in her hand. She redraws the two runes. "Defense. Offense. Meditate on those two symbols. Think about what those mean to you, what you associate with them. Colors, scents, animals. Don't look up 'what color symbolize defense' or I will swat you one. Each culture has its own symbols, it's own weight to words, and you've absorbed the usual modern mixup. What matters is not what someone on the internet says, but what rises to the top of your mind.

Loki always liked the Runes, they're usually fairly accurate, one of the more reliable methods to divine things, but often very open to interpretation. It is an art -and- a skill to read them." He looks to Sigyn. "Do you still have that old practice set we made for your?" Back when they were in Asgard. "I have a good primer but she'll need true stones as well, and they've been quiescent long enough that Betty Brant will be able to attune I should think."

He can't help but grin at her comment about hard. "Well, which lessons stay with you better, Betty Brant? The ones you found challenging, or those that were easy? We can teach you to read these books, myself I read every major dialect on Midgard. The gift of All-Speak we are given doesn't apply to written forms, so Sigyn and I had to learn." He grins. "You'll just have to choose which works better for you - a spell to read things, or the SKILL to read them." Which is far harder and slower.

"Defense. Offense. Divination?" Betty repeats and questions. Her eyes round briefly and then soften. At length, she nods. "I'm not very good at meditation but I'll do what I can." A look to the books, she sighs. "Is there a way to mix both ways of study? Understanding at the moment, does that help it register in my mind and become familiar? Like…watching a show in another language, reading, and picking up sounds?" Pause, "I want to learn, is all. As much as I can."

Sigyn looks thoughtful, "Also, please note that /divination/ does not always mean /precognition/. I have no talent for precognition, but I am excellent at reading what -is-. So I can't tell you what the weather will be next Tuesday, but if you want to know if there is silver under a particular mountain, or want know what is happening in a particular city, that I can do." She shrugs, "Less impressive than it used to be, given Midgardian technology." She smiles a little at the question, "You might be able to, but it's not easy. You need a translation spell set to the sounds of the language, not the intent of the speaker. Then you have to learn the phoentics of the language the old fashioned way, then you can read out loud, let the translation spell bounce what you are reading back to you in your native language… if you pronounce things correctly. Mispronounce, you get gibberish."

Loki flips through one of the grimoires, and then "Ah. Here we go." He tears the page out of the book! Or appears to, anyway, Sigyn KNOWS that Loki would NEVER casually destroy a book, he values them far too much — but Betty wouldn't know. He hands her the page. "So…translate this, and you'll have a spell that does what Sigyn suggested." Sigyn surely felt him weave a conjuration magic, because the Shop is at a ley line nexus and there's actually a decent amount of magic to work with, and being Loki he cloaked it in illusion, in fact he likely had the page already written up in another spot and just conjured it. Betty would possibly feel /something/, but it is doubtful she'd know how to really interpret it other than 'juju present'.

Loki goes on. "It is in 9th century Russian, from the region that is known today as Moscow." Ooh! He's in a good mood! He's giving a hint! "Then you just need to study the spell, which we'll help you with, of course. And we'll teach you the rites to get our attention."

Betty Brant yelps as the page rips infront of her. Even as its held out, she quickly moves to the tome to mournfully observe the damage. Her brows knit as she looks down along the spine's fold then takes the page offered to her. Looking at the characters, finding a match, she sighs and shakes her head. "Don't do that. That's cruel." Thinning her lips, she nods. "Moscow, ok, um…" She looks and gives another shake of her head. "I…don't know Russia. ASL, Spanish, sure. Russian? Sadly not." Setting the page down, she pulls out her phone and starts typing. Then she smirks. "You two would rather I do rites instead of texting, hmm?"

Sigyn explains, "There's a time and a place for everything. If you're asking when to show up for a lesson, or inviting me to coffee, send a text. If you're about to, oh, go hunt down an incubus and want strength to resist his charms, do a ritual. The ritual is magic, and I can use the path it opens to pour some of my strength of will into you. Also…" She bites her lip, old shadows behind her eyes. "Rituals are like a lever. A force multiplier. But you can strip away the ceremony and… brute force things if the situation is dire enough. Yes, the candles and incense and prayer make it easier… but a mage I trained could draw my Symbol in their blood on a cellblock wall and make themselves Heard if they poured power into it. I hope you will never be in a situation that dire. But I want you to be able to make yourself Heard if you are." And Loki knows why those shadows are in her eyes, remembers the old battles and cries for help.

Grinning that he got her, Loki laughs softly and dispels the illusory damage. "I would /never/ harm a book without a very good reason, Betty Brant. Books are the past, they are old friends, and bitter enemies, they are the truth, they are lies, they are dreams preserved and nightmare's heralds…in short - they are sacred objects to me, to my wife, and clearly to you as well." Yes, he approves. And yes, he's a shite for testing her in such fashion.

He's Loki.

Sigyn's instructions are nodded to, she speaks truly, and he too has dark memories of faithful lost to the Inquisition, to rivals, to enemy armies. So many lost. Humans are just so fragile, but so fascinating! They change so swiftly it beggars the imagination sometimes. "Blood is one of the single most powerful reagents you can work with, the blood of enemies can be used to do a variety of unpleasant things to them." Yes, said with glee. "Your own blood is best for things that require intimacy, mind speech for example, or the rites we will teach you, but you can use the blood of others as well in a pinch."

He taps at one cheek, looking off into space. "Of course the type of blood can matter too - a mother's blood from a birthing can have some very potent effects, as can a young woman's first blood as she becomes a woman, the blood from a broken hymen can fuel many interesting spells, and so on. Blood is the very essence of life distilled, and that is no small thing. Though…it can be a temptress too, it can lead you down paths you might prefer to avoid. Respect blood, and blood ties like mine to my children, they are some of the most potent magical forces in the multiverse."

Betty Brant ceases her Google-fu and looks at the pair. That darkness is something she can relate to, though not to the same degree what so ever. Slipping the phone away, she steps closer to Sigyn and cants her head to look into the woman's face directly. Frowning, apologetic, she reaches up and cups the woman's cheek before wrapping her arms around her in a tender embrace. Present, strong, she holds it until those few seconds would it might be considered awkward. A step back, she squeezes the sides of the woman's upper arms in a sign of support.

Turning her head to face Loki, her brows quirk at the selection of vitae to be used for ritual purposes. "Nice to know there's options, but I doubt I'll be using that many…uh, flavors."

Sigyn returns the hug briefly yet fiercely. Her voice is a whisper, "Midgardian lives are short. It makes it all the more bitter when they are cut shorter." Then she blinks away the mood. "Just because you may not use them is no reason not to be aware they exist. Later, if you go more into the ritual side of magic, you'll want to think about such things. Especially if you are doing a ritual that is right on the edge of what is possible for you. That's why some of the old spells will get highly specific. Not just moss, but moss that grew on a dead oak tree from a churchyard, or moss that grew on a willow on the east side of a river bank. Would any moss do? Likely, with enough magical power thrown into the spell. But the more suited the components are to the outcome, the less power is needed. That is also why Loki and I can just -do- magic. We seldom bother with even gestures or words unless we're either doing something very finicky or making a show of it. As gods we have so much raw power we can just throw magic at the problem."

"Gods are lazy creatures, Betty Brant, so many things are easy for us - often TOO easy. Makes for sloppy and slipshod spellcraft." And no, by the glower and sense of doom in the air, Loki Doth Not Approve. He looks to his wife. "Sigyn started out with hand me down spells that had been in her family for generations and used unchanged for generations. Think about that - we live roughly a hundred times longer than humans, Betty Brant. And the spells she first learned were /generations/ old, and out of date. Any wonder that they were seldom very effective? That rankled for her. So…she set out to figure out the /why/ of things, she learned, painful misstep after misstep the reasons those spells worked, or didn't and fixed them." He turns then back towards Betty, eyes still warm with his approval. "That was the third thing about her that piqued my interest, at first it was her beauty, but later I learned she also had -spririt-, so…I wooed her in the guise of another, and learned that she also had a /brain/." A shrug. "I stole her, fair and square."

His smile turns dark. "But do not ever make the mistake of not studying something because it might not be useful, the Norns are a bunch of fucking bitches." He states with profound experience ringing through the words. "They'll fuck with you once you say such things, just out of perversity." Which part he seems to understand all too well.

"I understand, I promise." She tells them both after the extensive dialogue of why things are they way their are and their importance to the craft. "I'll practice what I have and do what you've said to do." Looking back to the books, she moves to them and gives them a brush. "Am I allowed to borrow these or should I leave them here for study?" Looking their way, the woman's expression is placid. A glimmer of excitement settles in her hazel eyes.

"I know, I…I'm learning that. But what I've also learned is that sometimes, Fate is kind."

Sigyn shakes her head, "People are kind. Fate is, at best, fickle. It gives with one hand, and takes with the other. Never trust fate. Friends, loved ones, yes. But fate, never turn your back on her."

"Fate is even less reliable than my word save in one thing - she WILL fuck you if you take her for granted." Loki laughs then. "Better to just count on the ties that matter, the ties between people." He frowns then at Sigyn. "You are a VERY bad influence, you know." Harrumph. Then he turns back to Betty. "Plans for the evening or would you care to sup with us?"

"I guess I'll just keep some hope. I understand your outlook, but…from what I've seen so far, it's not untrue. Just rare." Beat. "I'd love to have dinner with you again, but I have plans this evening. I'll take care of these books." She promises, reaching for the tomes and hugging them adoringly against her chest. "Defense. Offense. Divination." She repeats back to Sigyn and bows her head in thanks.

Sigyn laughs at Loki complaining about her being a bad influence, and vanishes, reappearing in his lap. "I thought you were the bad influence in the relationship." She wiggles a little getting comfortable. "Accusing me of things, and you haven't even seen what I got on my last shopping trip." She gives Betty a warm smile, "Study, and I will have a set of runestones for you by your next visit."

The Trickster god has a lapful of Fidelity, there's a /slight/ chance of mild, perhaps even -modest- distraction. "Indeed, take care of the books, Betty Brant, they are the 'real deal', I have keyed the defense spells on them to accept your touch, but do not let others do so at their peril." Strong arms wrap around his wife, and then he looks to Betty. "Oh, one final word - sometimes the spells in those tomes have deliberate errors. They were items I found long ago, if you find that a spell is not working as intended more than thrice, likely that is the reason. We'll work together on the bad spells, once you get that far, and discuss how they are sent awry and why." He smiles then, in a generous mood - or perhaps just eager to spend quality time with wife. "Where can we send you? Pick any place on Earth, I will send you there."

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