2020-03-20 - Time To Wake Up


With the wishing gem secured, it's time to deal with Ganesh

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Mar 20 05:30:26 2020
Location: Patna

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Fenris had to come pick up Astryd and Ambrose from a pub in Bora, which is so far in the north of Scotland that there aren't many things further north. He had looked Amused at Astryd's state and taken them back to Patna without saying too much. Along the way they had retrieved Ganesh whom Fenris had knocked out and stuffed into a dimensional space he normally uses for storing things. The Indian Elephant god had seemed a bit worse for wear but he had not woken up the whole way.

Once they'd gotten back to Patna, Fenris had, still not saying anything, gone to get drinks and only when he had returned and sat down did he look over Ambrose and Snek-Raven and folded his hands.

"So… what happened?"

Ambrose appears far less…dampened in cold sweat now at the table than when they originally arrived. Scotland's few pints of stout had provided him with a warm blanketing of buzz and, at first, had staved off the worst of the effects of travel through the Ways. However, about ten minutes after? Needless to say, he's far less buzzed now and his hair is still drying from a shower. He's bundled up in a thermal long-sleeve and fatigue pants with thick woolen socks, all of this beneath a blanket, and his drink?

Ginger beer, taken with a queasy frown down at it. He knows it'll taste okay. It'll settle his stomach. But man, the Ways just suck.

"We found trouble, got away from it, and retrieved the locket," he says succinctly in his British manner. A thumb slips beneath the steel chain at his neck and pulls to draw out the tarnished golden locket. There it gleams, proof of success.

"What happened?" Astryd asks as they finely settle. She's still in the body of a naga - dusky skinned and looking just like Ambroses … love. "What didn't happen? I got changed into a naga, Ambrose was caught naked running through a temple, we had to travel to the underworlds to retrieve his locket and … then I got turned into naga again."

She's tired actually. This trip has taken its toll on her and it's starting to show.

"It was a journey and then some."

Fenris passes over a stiff drink to Astryd because it seems like she could use one. Then one to Ambrose. He nods at the gem. "Dare I ask how?" That's to Astryd. How she got turned into a Naga again. Not that it isn't amusing. It's amusing as hell. He gestures for Astryd to come close. He apparently doesn't mind her shifted form. The fact that it wasn't her idea is the thing that has him chuckling.

It may be a bit… awkward for Ambrose to see Fenris put his arm around someone who… looks like that.

"It sounds like it WAS a journey and a half. But now that you have the gem we can make some real progress. Do we have any idea what the limitations on this thing's wish granting are?" Because he sure as hell doesn't. Rachana seemed convinced it could cure Ganesh and if it can do that, could it cure Kali? Could it cure the whole city?

And… at what price?

Ambrose glances up from tentatively sipping at his glass of ginger beer and the entire process slows. That's Fenris's arm around…Astryd, not Janaya, nope. Janaya's long-dead, her face barely visible in the water-damaged sepia picture within the confines of the locket. Not looking at either of them, he slips the locket away beneath shirt and blanket both before leaning back heavily on the table. Elbows settle and forearms cross behind the glass of ginger beer.

"Whatever limitations there might be could come in the form of opposing magical forces. It was enough to override the invisibility of the ring I wore." Astryd now gets an oblique glance, given he'll no doubt never hear the end of it. "This as well as the guise of the Bane itself about my form. I hazard that it might require a sacrifice or…empowering, somehow, if we were to be as bold as to wish such a thing broad-sweeping. We would need to be delicate with the wording. I was warned by Lord Loki that given it came from a Monkey God's temple that it might be a monkey's paw in turn, with all of the possible trickery involved."

The drink is appreciated and Astryd slithers over to Fenris, her hips telling a story all of their own. With his arm about her, she settles in against him, resting her head on his shoulder. "You can ask. I drank some Naga venom so Rachana could camouflage me when we went to see her cousins." The blonde starts. "It wore off, as you would expect but then, in the Underworld, it was necessary to fight a old horror - clearly one with a similar physiology to the Naga … when his blood touched me …"

She gestures.

Ambrose then tells of the wishing stone and the ring, causing Astryd to look over at him. "I wondered about that. Are you telling me, the ring turns you naked when you put it on?" She's sure it doesn't, but she's going to get some mileage out of this.

"It's a good point about the wishing stone. Whatever we decide, it behoves to remember that magic always comes at cost."

Fenris actually manages to snicker just a little bit. "Are you telling me you've developed an allergy to Naga Blood?" There are worse allergic reactions but magic allergies, well they do things like that some times. It's still quite funny to him. Astryd is Astryd it doesn't especially matter what she looks like but he gets to tease her about this… a lot.

"Wait the ring does what?" Fenris looks at Ambrose with a quirked brow.

"Well we do have a test case in any case. We need to cleanse Ganesh and that wishing stone is the only thing we have. And now that we don't need to be worried about Ambrose turning hostile on us and having his past re-written that seems like a good place to start."

Oh how casually he says that.

"Ah yes. Loki would know a thing or two about bad luck and the causes thereof…"

Airily, Ambrose replies to Astryd in particular, "The status of my person when within the bounds of the ring's powers, my lady, will remain an eternal mystery, I am certain." Small, small smirk also aimed at Fenris. "The ring does precisely as its powers enact. I am invisible when I wear it." And clothed, but two can play at the joking. Still, he tries another sip of the ginger beer and scowls at it. Ew.

"What I want to know about this wishing gem is whether or not one only has the single wish granted to them and then that is that." A snap of fingers sharply. "No other chances granted if one flubs the wording." His gaze travels between Astryd and Fenris both. "Are either of you knowing of this? I would hate to lose a chance at wiping the madness from the entire city because we chose to test on but one god alone."

"An allergy?" Astryd's eyebrows rise as Fenris teases. "I do hope not. That would be most unfortunate in some fights." And if anyone finds out about it, they could use it against her. "I'm sure it was just a response to having injested some so recently."

It was, wasn't it?

There's a smirk at Ambrose as he issues that challenge - Fenris will know that Astryd considers it such. "I can always find out …" She wiggles her fingers in the direction of the gentleman thief. "… by touch …"

"I know nothing of the gem, I'm afraid. Loki or Sigyn might be able to divine it and tell us more - but if it is just one wish each, it is fortunate there are many of us."

"The Chintamani - for that is what the gem is called - does not have that manner of limitation and will manifest at least according to the old writings whatever one desires. It can cure sickness and purify air and water. However, it is nearly always associated with Bhodistavas and while we are going to try it right now I suspect that we will require someone who has a certain level of purity and goodness to do this. Not certain though and it is definitely worth a try to see if we can just… do it."

Otherwise? Well they need to FIND someone pure enough or else take steps to purify themselves. Fortunately such steps exist. They're just onerous, and occasionally painful.

"Still Loki or Sigyn might be able to tell us more and if we really do need someone with a certain level of goodness, Sigyn is one of the few I can think of who might be able to do such a thing. Anyone else come to mind, Astryd? Or should I say Aesha?"

It's one of the names Astryd has used when travelling out this way. Which she has done more than Fenris has to be sure.

Ambrose rolls his eyes at Astryd's perfectly logical counterpoint to his argument. "Puh." A sip of his ginger beer goes down more easily now when he swallows like he means business. Blech. "That is if you can locate me, you troublesome creature." Fingers thread back through his damp hair to leave it rather bird's nest-like in the end while he considers Fenris's question.

"I have met Sigyn and yes, Fenris, I agree. She has knowledge of the healing arts, I thought, and as such, should carry the necessary core of goodness required." The slow revelation of a Cheshire Cat smile is crooked and self-effacing. "Do not think that I qualify for such a thing…though…Kent might. He has been at the art of cleansing his soul of its Karmic ash for a number of decades now. You might consider him as potentially another wish-bearer."

"I can smell you and don't forget, I'm a Valkyrie - even when I look like this - and I can sense you…" Even more logical counter arguments from Astryd. Troublesome creature indeed - at least he didn't call her a 'birb'.

"In this day and age, Fenris? I'm not sure. It depends on the criteria for 'goodness' doesn't it?" beat "And Astryd, if you please. Aesha was a long time ago in another age …" She had loved India though, when she was here. "I doubt you or I would qualify, nor Sif. What about your priestess?"

"Well it's an old Hindu artifact so I imagine there's an old Hindu or Bhuddist definition in play but I am not sure. These things tend to have something of a mind of their own."

Fenris considers a little bit. "Betty? Possible. Certainly worth a shot if it becomes expedient."

"And Kent. Do you wish to risk it Ambrose? We still don't know for sure what if anything it will demand." And Fenris has seen spells that might, for example, demand that they give up something ephemeral like… love.

"In any case, let us see if we CAN make a wish before we go hunting anyone down. Shall we see to Ganesh?"

"Given you are able to do these things, it all does sound like a proper challenge then," the Jackal says back to Astryd, still wearing that toothy smirk. What is he up to…? Beware, perhaps.

Fenris's warning wipes that moue clean off the master-thief's face as efficiently as a rag across a white board. "No. I do not wish to risk it. Let Sigyn or Betty do it. I have lost Kent once…I will not conscience it again, not while I live." There's a quiet knell to his voice; it brims of a promise set to be kept through blood and tears. He tries for another few gulps of ginger beer and finally gives up after the fourth mouthful barely makes it down. There's a moment of uncomfortable sound before he swallows it and licks at his lips in disgust.

"Ruddy fucking awful stuff." The drink is ditched as he rises to walk over to the Dread Wolf and Raven, still wrapped in his blanket. "Indeed, no time like the present. Let us see if the gem can rid Ganesh of this madness. It is a start at the very least."

"As you like, Ambrose." Astryd murmurs, leaning a little more heavily against the God Wolf as Ambrose approaches. "I like a good challenge. It's why I ended up with Fenris, after all."

"I think we should see to Ganesh, yes, my heart. And from there, determine a way forward. My preference is to try Sigyn, first." As an Asgardian, Sigyn has a much stronger constitution. Betty is, after all, only human.

"Lead on, Fenris." snek-Astryd moves, to give the God Wolf room and follows along to see the the Elephant god.

"Then see if she can be contacted." They'll ask Betty if, as he said, it is expedient to do so. And then, if necessary, they'll approach Kent. That established Fenris rises and moves - a bit more slowly than he might otherwise - to where Ganesh is secured and sleeping. He takes the gem recovered in hand and holds it, eyes closed. Slowly, reluctantly, it begins to glow. The light of it suffuses Fenris' hands and then Ganesh himself. It takes nearly a full minute to do and when it is done Fenris lets it drop, panting.

"Yes…" He gasps. "We're going to need someone else for more potent wishes, I think."

He is not REALLY all that pure in either intent or nature.

Ganesh's eyes open and he starts to stir only to notice he is tied down. "I… what… is the meaning of this?" That could be angry but it comes out as more… befuddled.

Ambrose, off to one side in the area devoted to the trussed-up and elephant-headed god, remains a blanketed presence silent as the grave as he observes the gem in action. His eyes keenly observe the reaction of the Dread Wolf as the gem begins to react beyond the hands which hold it. He glances over at Astryd and Fenris both as Ganesh speaks.

His only offering for the bewildered captive is: "You were under the influence of something unfortunate and should no longer send your Daeva after me, please, your god-ship." A firm nod to follow.

Astryd watches Fenris as he moves, a look of concern flashing over her face. When he starts to 'wish', the snek-woman slithers closer, hand hovering over the God Wolfs shoulder - it's only once he speaks again does she let herself touch him. "That was to be expected …"

"Forgive us, Lord Ganesh. You have been afflicted by an illness and we were seeing to your safety, as well as that of others." Her head inclines towards to Ambrose. "Might I ask how you are feeling, my Lord?"

She doesn't move to remove the restraints just yet.

"I feel… foggy headed. I do not remember anything before… meeting Kali. What day is it?"

"March the Twentieth." Fenris murmus.

"Nearly two months ago. I… do not seem to have been in my right mind if what you say is true. My apologies…" That's to Ambrose whose name he definitely does not know. In fact Fenris is the only one here he recognizes.

"Where is your Raven, Fenris?"

The Old Wolf chuckles and gestures to Snek-stryd. Ganesh just stares.

Retaining the old chains of Victorian propriety yet, the Jackal inclines his head towards the god still restrained. "I hold no grudge against you, your god-ship. As the others have said, you were under quite the fog." He falls silent again as Ganesh speaks with the others, though the god's shock at Astryd's state has Ambrose smirking to himself again.

Quite the surprise to snek upon Ganesh in the end.

"I think you can release his restraints, Ambrose." The Valkyrie says as she sighs deeply. "It is I, Astryd, my Lord. A mishap with Naga venom has transformed me. Temporarily I hope …" This is taking much longer than she expected to wear off.

"Let me get you a drink, Lord Ganesh." The naga-raven moves sinuously to poor a goblet of water and return "We fear that Kali has been infected by disease that she is spreading … and you were one of the first victims. Thanks to the assistance of an … acolyte … we were able to find a cure."

Fenris and Ambrose can add more.

"Yes. Kali summoned me to discuss a matter of great importance." Ganesh says as he waits for Ambrose to release him. "I can only assume that she was in fact laying a trap. And it is important that I not be caught in it a second time. Do you know if she has met with any others?"

Fenris shakes his head. "No but I have to assume she has tried. Probably not Brahma or we would know by now. But… it's possible others are infected."

"Then it is to Bramha I must speak. Tell me. What is the situation here in the city?"

Ganesh is kind of trying not to stare at Astryd as she moves and failing and he accepts the drink from her, waiting to hear what has been going on that he can't remember.

The blanket Ambrose shrugs out of ends up hung over a nearby set of standard wooden boxes. He moves over and deftly begins to work at the bindings keeping Ganesh from his earlier maddened rampaging. Fingers fly and then the bindings simply fall loose about Ganesh like a pair of oversized pants bereft of a belt.

He slinks away at an angle from the elephant-headed god, still dubiously eyeing him, though he does elaborate once Ganesh asks about the city itself. "The madness caught by…my once-patron goddess continues to spread, my lord." The Jackal is cautious yet not to say Kali's name for all his connections remain to her. "It stems from a being who names himself Gurim. He has great ambitions that benefit no one and it begins here in this city. We work to remove the influence of the madness." A graceful gesture towards Astryd and Fenris include them.

If Astryd notices Ganesh looking she doesn't react. She does touch her fingers to Fenris' shoulder, however. "We met with Naga in our quest to release you, my Lord. They were withdrawing deeper into their domain, leaving the city and the outskirts behind. Things are … not good … and as my own Lord says, we know not who is affected."

"The city itself is affected quite badly. Those that are not yet afflicted are scared."

"Then how did you… ah. The Chintamani. I see. Yes that makes sense." Ganesh says as he spots the jewel. "Well. I owe you all a debt. Tell me, what is it I can do to help, beyond not getting caught again?"

Fenris does not answer that, leaving it to Astryd and Ambrose to think what might be helpful. He knows they have to deal with Kali, and contain the spread of the disease if at all possible. He should look into getting the local airport shut down…

And the rail lines. They like trains here.

Maybe Hanuman might… help. If he's not too upset with Ambrose for impersonating him. Or Astryd for embarrassing his Daeva.

White teeth fret at his bottom lip as Ambrose thinks, eyes averted to one side and hands rested on his hips in a balance stance. He briefly skims attention over the others before his keen blue eyes return to Ganesh again.

"I…might have recently impersonated one of your fellow gods in order to retrieve the Chintamani. It was a…necessary thing," he says rather melodiously, circling his fingers off of his hip as if to dismiss the entire affair, " — but I doubt it enamored me to the god Hanuman. If you do speak with him, perhaps…tell him that the gem-thief meant well in his theatrics. If you please," the Jackal adds. "We could use the aid of Hanuman before the end, I think. He might know of ways to keep the expansion of this madness in check that would not necessarily harm the city itself while being effective."

"I aided Ambrose in his theft of the gem and in the process … quite embarrassed Lord Hanumans Daeva. They really are no match for a three thousand year old Valkyrie but I would like to make amends, if I may. If you would convey my regrets to him and his people and an offer to serve in their temple for a brief time, I would be grateful."

That might surprise all present.

"We need allies, Lord Ganesh, that is how you might help us. Call in markers and favours - so we may avert this crisis."

"I shall do so yes. Lord Hanuman appreciates a good joke, and may even see the humor in one at his expense. I will be sure to inform him that it was for a good cause." Ganesh rubs his wrists, drinks his drink and finally stands. He seems thoughtful. His trunk comes up to tap at one of his tusks as he considers matters.

"I will do this, yes. I will call in what favors I am owed. But tell me, who is this Gurim?"

"One of my children." Fenris says quietly. "One I thought lost to time. He has returned from the void with terrible knowledge and terrible resolve and what he intends is… beyond the scale of human belief. He must be stopped. I fear this problem here in Patna is only the after effects of a test. What he intends to do from what he has gained here… I do not know. But it cannot be allowed to come to pass."

Ganesh looks… shocked by that. Fenris has children? He looks to Astryd and Ambrose for confirmation and explanation.

"Thank you, my lord," Ambrose says quietly of the elephant-headed god's agreement to act as intermediary between them and the Monkey God. He looks aside once more as Fenris explains of the difficulty that family has brought and wrought for impossibly horrible gain. It is with a deep, possibly unusual empathy that he then glances from the Dread Wolf and to Ganesh.

"It is true. Gurim has corrupted one of my oldest friends and he threatens my own family along with my life. I know we are few against the lives of this world, but I will not allow this horror to come to pass, even if I must give my own life in the process." So solemnly he speaks even as ambient light glances carmine through his pupils. The Bane, at least, intends to keep its host alive.

"Perhaps he will, Lord Ganesh." Astryd answers, moving to lean against Fenris again - her coils wrapping around his ankles.

She snorts softly at Ganesh's shock. "They are his children with another, Lord Ganesh. Fenris has … had … many over the centuries. Where do you think some of the lines of werewolves come from?" There's a sadness she can't mask at the moment but presses on.

"As with many families, there was a falling out and Gurim, along with some of his brothers, tried to kill my Lord. They didn't succeed and got away - went missing - until now. Now, they are back …"

"I… I see. I am sorry, Destroyer." Ganesh says. Fenris simply nods and takes in a deep breath. "You should go, Lord Ganesh. And soon. Else your presence may be discovered here and that would be a problem." If he were re-infected Fenris and company might need someone else to cleanse him again.

Astryd feels Fenris' hand on her arm as she leans closer. He isn't going to speak of it now but she knows that this hurts. It is an old wound, what his children did and to have them back and doing worse tears at him.

"I shall, yes." Ganesh bows to the assembled once more, raises his hands and vanishes in a flash of light. Fenris sighs.

"Well. We have things we need to do to get this all cleaned up." People to contact. Things to set in motion. They should get started. After they rest.

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