2020-03-26 - To Catch A Goddess


It's time to pay a visit to Kali.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Mar 26 08:49:26 2020
Location: Patna

Related Logs


Theme Song



With Loki and Sigyn in care of the wishing stone Fenris has decided that there is one more loose end to tie up before the latter can cure the city. Accordingly he has sent Astryd to recover Sif from the New York area because this has a distinct possibility of going wrong.

The project in question is confronting and containing Kali until such time as she can be cured of her madness. Rachana had politely provided the next location of Kali's meeting with her inner circle. It's on the banks of the river near the edge of town in what in the US would be the Meatpacking district, though of course there's little such thing here. Still it's a very large district full of warehouses and other industrial storage used by the rail lines. And it's convenient for gathering large numbers of people.

Fenris is waiting outside one such warehouse, flipping a coin idly and waiting for the others to show. He'd forgive Ambrose if he noped out of this one but… somehow the Old Wolf doesn't think he will.

Nope-ing out was tempting. It truly was. Ambrose, even those nearly eighty-some years ago, knew to be wisely cautious of the Goddess who ruled the cult he slipped into as easily as a knife between ribs.

But he knows he needs to see this through, even if it makes the back of his tongue taste like pennies. As such, there he is, his pace somehow liquid and cautious — something Fenris will recognize as a smaller predator slinking about the known territory of a far larger danger. The Dread Wolf gets a silent nod after he's close enough and he leans himself against the warehouse's outer wall, clad in his dark long-coat and wrapped about his face and head with his black fringed headwrap. It grants him a certain notorious privacy. Ambrose plucks down the scarf from his face.

"I am armed to the gills, for what that is worth," he informs Fenris quietly. "The locket is with Kent rather than on my person. I thought it wiser to leave it hidden over again."

Astryd has finally returned to her own blonde self. No more serpentine coils or dusky skin. There may be hips though.

Arriving a little after Ambrose, she takes her place by Fenris' side - pressing a kiss to his cheek as she does.

"I think that sounds wise, Ambrose." Regarding the locket. "I must say, I'm looking forward to a good stoush."

Sif is here as requested, dressed in full armor though rather promptly shedding the fur-lined cloak from her shoulders. What? She'd dressed for the weather in Manhattan, not this sweltering city on the other side of Midgard.

Quite the contrast to Ambrose's subtle attire, her armor positively GLEAMS as she offers Fenris a warrior's bow in greeting. "How much time do we have to wait?" Does she possibly seem impatient? Well, even with the cloak removed, she's still wearing a full layer of wool under her armor.

"Not long. I don't want them to realize we're here." Fenris counts, kissing Astryd's cheek in return. Two, three. Four. Yes, three Asgardians and a Demi-Midgardian. There's a legitimate death goddess in there and probably several daeva. There's going to be a number of mortals but in Fenris mind they hardly count. "Well. Shall we, then?"

Fenris idea of 'knocking' involves kicking the service door in. It tears - being made of relatively thin metal and falls off its chains to lay there like a reverse doormat.

"Little Pig, little pig. Let me come in." The Old Wolf smirks.

There IS indeed a crowd of mortals, sixty or so and some faces that Ambrose will recognize. Beyond that there are several naga, a few blue skinned daeva and a woman with more arms than is standard issue. She looks unamused.

"I was wondering when your lack of tact would get the better of you, Wolf God. At least you've all gathered in one place and made this easy. I'll give you one chance. Join us willingly. Otherwise will have to… persuade you."

The mortals are already rising up and arming themselves and the immortals are gathering behind them, doing likewise.

"I'm not inclined to say yes." Fenris says more to his companions than to Kali. "Have at it, my friends."

Rising from his nonchalant lean against the wall, the Jackal can be seen to smile. The expression is full of projected sangfroid.

"I have my moments of wisdom," he replies to Astryd. If Ambrose is nervous, it shows around the corners of his eyes. Pupils gleaming as always like garnets flicker from the Raven and to Sif in her grand set of armor. "Well met as always, Lady Sif. I look forward to seeing your worst." His smile deepens toothily.

"Do let's," comes the purring agreement to Fenris's rhetorical question. In goes the door and in they enter.

Ambrose makes absolutely certain to part from the group by at least five feet in order to draw the attention of perhaps a few of the cult members, and if he's unlucky enough, possibly Kali herself. He nods to Fenris briefly before speaking in the language of the cult, "«Greetings, fellow Harbingers. It has been long and long. I look forward to seeing if the old task-masters have kept you at your keenest. If you are dulled like your blades, well…»"

On goes the invisibility ring and the Jackal can be heard to chuckle behind his teeth.

"«I shall sow as I please.»" Air moves as he begins to strafe along one side of the room and both revolvers, aimed for the purely mortal, start to fire with sharp resounding CRACK CRACK CRACK CRACK.

Because the wise ones bring guns to a knife fight.

The quip about a little pig has Sif looking at Fenris in momentary confusion, but she dismisses it just as quickly. There are enemies to deal with now. She'll ask about it later.

As the mortals prepare to join the fray and the immortals are letting them take the brunt of the initial attack, Sif decides to mix things up a bit. With her buckler hand she scoops up the door as if it were an over-starched towel on the floor and launches it in an arc, aiming to send it past the mortal Midgardians and into the gathering of daeva and naga.

That enough of an answer, Kali? If not, Sif can offer a more direct reply via her sword.

Astryd pouts a little as Fenris takes the door out, reaching up to remove her hair pin and transform it. "He's going to blow your house down …" The blonde says, taking up a battle stance and grimacing at the Naga. It's times like this she really hopes that Fenris isn't correct. If she does have an 'allergy' she may well transform again.

Which would be inconvenient.

With a battle cry, the blonde launches in with her sword and shield flashing. The Midgardians, she knocks out of the way - hard enough to knock them out, clearing a path to the Goddess.

For Sif and Astryd the Midgardians are merely an inconvenience. Fenris too, who wades into them with a war sword but wields it like a cricket bat for the moment. For Ambrose, well they might be more than inconvenient but he has a gun and no one here who is mortal has anything more complicated than a knife. They just throw themselves at him after several are shot. There's nearly a dozen trying to tackle him now but Fenris pays it no mind, he's sure the man can handle himself.

Sif's present knocks down the immortals and a few of them stay down but by the time Sif and Astryd get there, some of the Naga and Daeva are back up again. Two Naga try to literally tangle Sif up while a Daeva with four arms and three swords attacks Astryd as another tries to spear her from behind.

Kali makes a gesture and everyone can feel a crawling sensation as spirits begin to rise up as well. Fenris has to stop to cut several away from him. Necromancy. Ghosts. They mostly go for Sif and Astryd now - and there are dozens - but some also try to grab Ambrose. One tries to cram itself down his mouth and possess him.

That's…the door, there it goes. Ambrose, invisible yet, pauses to watch it Frisbee into the crowd and lifts his eyebrows. Effective. The falling star gleam of the Raven's weaponry and shield are in his peripheral as he weaves deeper into the room, taking his shots as he goes. His aim is of great prowess and lacks all contrition as well as sense of honor: there is no honor when one's still at risk of great bodily damage in a fight — anything to level the playing field, as it were. Those who fling themselves in his direction throw themselves at empty air and land empty of eye as those revolvers crack.

The Bane crawls beneath his skin now like an electrical current now. It pricks to the sudden presence of the spirits summoned up and the Jackal immediately sheaths both revolvers in order to draw the silvery kris knife from his sleeve. Unseen under the power of his ring, he dances about in place, ducking and weaving, his own wave-edge blade slicing through the ephemeral attackers. Radiating out from him, the Bane, another shielding in defense of its host. This particular curse doesn't want to share!

"Stop killing them! No more death! She gains power from it!" Ambrose knows he's guilty in his own right for four or five strewn on the floor. Whether or not his shout is heard over the scrum is another matter entirely.

Astryd hadn't been killing the humans, at least not deliberately. She hadn't been careful though, so it's likely a few had met their end. The supernaturals though? Those were dealt with impunity and the blonde has blood and ichor all over her.

As the corpses rise, Astryd falls back to stand by Fenris - dragging the corpses away in way she can.

There's a chill in the air as she calls on her power and opens the Way to Valhalla. "Come to my soldiers … " She calls the einherjar.

Following Astryd's lead, Sif bulls through the mortal Midgardians without really bothering to be overly careful about it, and then has to deal with the pair of Naga working together to tangle her. It's not too dissimilar to the vine-beasts she's hunted on Alfheimr. Actually, it is. These Naga have no strength at all compared to the vine-beasts.

Slashing at one Naga with her sword, the other gets the pointed end of Sif's buckler stabbed right into that snakey-tail with enough force to embed the small shield in the concrete floor. This has the unintentional side effect of leaving her completely exposed to attacks from the undead that Kali has summoned to the battle.


Sif gets swarmed by the undead. There must be eight or nine of them and they come from all sides but mostly from her exposed one. The good news is that she's dealt with the naga. So they won't be bothering her again. But these ghosts are grabby and they don't seem to be trying to hurt her so much as trying to either hold her down or possess her.

Astryd's own dead warriors come through and now comes the battle of wills to keep control over them. For now though they're in her command. They form shield wall because of course they do. They're vikings. But on her command they will roll over everything before them or at least very much try to.

This is good because already Astryd is being assailed by the dead. Fenris is off cutting a swath through them again, generally toward Sif but Ambrose's warning is heeded at least by him. He can smack things around with the flat of his blade. Of course the dead don't count. They're already dead. So he just cuts them down.

Kali already has quite a bit of power at her command though and as Ambrose is invisibly duels and radiates his curse she begins to weave some kind of death spell. THAT pulls on the Bane and it doesn't take him long to realize what she's doing.

She wants to pull the energy away from it so that it is STARVING, and let Ambrose - and Sif and Astryd and Fenris - deal with the results.

She should probably be prevented from doing that.

Good news is he should have a clear shot toward her. Whether or not he can do anything when he gets there is another question.

There's one particular spirit which must have belonged to one of the fallen Naga, for it makes for a difficult defensive spree on the Jackal's part. It ribbons around him and tempts the Bane even as the silvery kris blade falls like a star in his hand in swift sweeps and arcing cuts. Finally — finally — he manages to thread the blade through the torso of the hissing smoke-limned outline and finds himself free of hassle.

For all of 3.5 seconds.

A painted choke can be heard from his immediate area. Ambrose's mouth falls open in shock as he turns to stare at the Death Goddess; her arms and hands work in horrifying care to subvert his own sense of self. Wait, not self, the Bane!

The initial wave of the spell washes over him and another pained snarl can be heard from the immediate area of his person last seen. "NnnnggghhhhNO!" How the Bane screels now, already down a handful of meals, and he wrestles with it even as its influence begins to wash over him. Ambrose pops into view suddenly as he removes the ring from his finger and shoves it gracelessly into his coat pocket, the silver kris knife still in-hand. Astryd and Fenris, at least, will be able to sense the sunspot bursts of the Bane reaching and grabbing at any living thing nearby; the undead make no difference to it. Beneath his skin, an eerie underglow and his pupils shine from within.

"Kali! You wished me! Here I am! Your blackest sheep, returned to the fold!" Spreading his arms wide, the Jackal laughs and it's a twisted sound. "Allow me to greet your properly…"! he snarls and then makes to rush at the Goddess, kris readied and half his attention sucked into the weft of the Bane's slavering desire to feed.

Astryd's command of the einherjar is strong and the blonde gestures them to advance in front of the God Wolf. "Aid Fenris and Sif. Do not let my Lord fall." beat "And kill no more here this day, maim and knock them unconscious, or you will fight them again and again."

The blonde grimaces at the feel of the Bane, glancing at Ambrose as he taunts Kali. That … seems like a good thing to do, actually.

Her blade flashes again and again, the flat of it landing hit after hit. Scratched and bitten, blood drips to the ground as the blonde slowly builds a wall of bodies around her.

Being accosted by that many undead is NOT something Sif was expecting. The fact that they're not actually attacking so much as trying to drag her down is a combat tactic she's actually slightly less familiar with. That being said, she's yet to find many Midgardians — undead or otherwise — who are comparable to normal Aesir fitness levels, so she attempts to forcibly fling her attackers away, trying to tear her arms free from their grasping hands and kicking at them as best she can.

This is not a pleasant sensation, the feeling of being overwhelmed. Or is that feeling something worse? "Unhand me!" She's unwittlingly fallen back onto the Aesir language instead of using Allspeak.

Sif can bodily knock the undead away though she does come out with a hand still on her arm which… ew. Even if it is a ghostly hand. Either way soon more familiar eternal warriors are coming to her aid. At this point the mortals are mostly down or fled and the immortals are mostly down, freeing up both Astryd and Sif as they finish off their attackers.

Fenris launches himself at Kali at the same time Ambrose does and the many armed goddess defends herself with multiple knives. She's good. She's nearly as skilled as Fenris and she has more experience than Ambrose. Of course she's distracted, fighting two on one and trying to maintain her spell. Which she's only partly successful at. Ambrose continues to feel it's pull. It slackens a bit but neither the Jackal nor the Old Wolf can fully stop her from doing it. Which might be bad news.

Good thing Sif and Astryd are free now.

Weaving around shambling undead and even using the back of one straggling daeva to launch himself into the air, Ambrose comes down with the silvery kris dagger gifted to him by this very Goddess so long ago only to find it countered by a clever twist of her own blade. Her strength is beyond his own and by the swat of the back of one of her hands, he's set to rolling through twice before he gets purchase on the warehouse floor with his boots. Another snarling launch of his person at the Goddess's back ends with the Jackal needing to parry three knives brought around behind her person in impossible dexterity even as she combats Fenris from the front.

A slash of one of her own blades barely misses bisecting his body. He throws himself in a twist of spine to one side, but the blade's edge cuts through his coat with frightening ease. A pocket falls to half and plink — plink — bounce — rollllll — into one of the drains of the warehouse floor goes the golden ring, unbeknownst to its master.

Another deft parry by Kali's part doesn't disarm Ambrose, but does send him rolling a few times to regain his feet again, this time far nearer to Astryd and Sif. A drowning wave of the spell can be seen to overtake him and even as he clutches his temple, his eyes rise towards them. Pupils blown wide shine carmine at them and, entirely lost in the moment to the pull of the Bane's starvation, he throws his hand towards both Asgardians; his grimace is full of supernaturally sharpened teeth even as shadows darken beneath his eyes and his cheeks hollow.

Astryd climbs the bodies that she's piling around her, grey eyes as cold as snow. With her sword drawn, the Valkyrie throws herself at Kali's back, avoiding the daggers that are already for Ambrose.

The pommel of her sword aims from the Goddesses head - she doesn't want to kill this one this time. One lecture from Fenris was enough.

At least, for now.

As she lands, Ambrose's bane hits her and the pale blonde goes even paler as she staggers. Ambrose will feel the full force of Astryd's lifeforce as it hits him.

Ugh. Sif knocks the disembodied hand off of her arm and after seeing that most everyone but Kali is either down or gone, and the many-armed goddess is fending off both Fenris and Ambrose. She takes a quick second to plan her attack, and in that time Ambrose is thrown closer to her and Astryd. And then that draining sensation she's encountered before is there again. Granted it's only ever been to the tiniest degree before and this time is several orders of magnitude worse.

It's a guess, but she's thinking she has only moments at the rate that whatever Ambrose is doing is affecting her. So she tries to make those moments count. She charges past the Midgardian with the suddenly strange sharp teeth and straight at Kali. She's going to use a Roller Derby move she's watched Darcy employ many times to try and knock the goddess off of her feet. Hopefully it'll disrupt her concentration if nothing else.

The pommel slam from Astryd sends the goddess reeling and just in time for her to be floored by Sif. The spell cuts off but… do they now have to subdue Ambrose? Fenris brings his blade flat first down on Kali's head, repeatedly. She's durable and it takes that to make sure she won't be interfering. Already his hold on his mortal shape is growing tenuous. He turns to Ambrose, seeing that he's already draining from Astryd and Sif and growls.

"Aetherton!" It's one word but the tone is that of a pissed of Colonel or Sergeant Major. It might, he hopes, be enough to snap Ambrose back to normality. If not…

Well three Asgardians might have a chance against this 'bane' he hopes.

He hopes.

As always, the influx of Asgardian life-force is like shooting an entire gallon of champagne and ice-cold vodka spun through with a liberal pinch of starlight and pure electricity. Ambrose goes rictus at the surge of it into his system, his eyes nearly rolling up into his head, and his cheekbones stand high as his teeth grit. How contentedly does the Bane purr within his mind, very certain that this is precisely how proceedings should go: glut itself until the very city itself falls to not the Goddess, but to the Bane of Eternal Thirst.

Initial shock wears off as Ambrose feels the snapping cordline of connection between the cheerleading of Kali's spell and his curse. Rolling his neck and shoulders, he slowly turns to face the gathering and felled goddess. His eyes lid heavily, fully-blown of carmine pupil, and when Fenris snarls?

A rolling hiss of a chuckle leaves his sleek, white smile. He speaks in a long-dead language of the shifting desert sands, over three-thousand years old, to all but those with All-Speak. "«To whom do you speak, dog?»" Echoes of Ambrose's British intonation are buried beneath the empty echoes of abandoned tombs and the dry rasp of sand. With lazy deliberation does he toss the god-cutting silver blade to catch it again.

Astryd staggers and has to catch herself on Kali's body. It's going to take her a moment to recover.

Then Ambrose speaks and calls Fenris a 'Dog'. Well the Bane does. That's all the blonde needs to recover. "Take him down."

Her tone is icy cold with the same ring of authority that Fenris' has. The command is to her einherjar. "Do not kill him, but knock him out and hold him."

She knows the undead can't feed him.

It worked? It worked. Kali is downed and Fenris makes sure she stays there. She takes a stumbling step back toward Ambrose before sinking to her knees, already drained to the point that she feels weaker than she can ever remember before.

"You take by force," she says to the Bane using Ambrose's voice in an increasingly tired tone. "Will do the same for something offered willingly?"

Leaving her sword laying on the floor, She forces herself back to her feet and toward Bane-Ambrose. Unless someone else stops her, she's aiming to give the no-longer-Midgardian a hug.

Fenris steps forward and shifts the grip on his moonsilver sword. He eyes the man who just spoke almost sourly. "I speak to the Queen's Man, not some memory from a long ago desert and long ago gods. Go back to your dust and your bitter memories, you are not wanted here."

He is aware that Ambrose's curse has a mind of it's own but never before has he seen that played out so literally.

Is Ambrose going to come back because if not… he shifts his stance into a guard, blade pointed up, held at belt level.

"«You speak to him,»" mocks the curse via Ambrose's mouth. Devil-may-care confidence gleams in those bright eyes as he sees the Einherjar ready themselves.

"«Yes, send me your kine, I will leave them scattered as chaff…!»" hisses the Jackal even as he melts into an eerily loose-jointed readiness for the influx of Einherjar in his direction. His nose wrinkles in an inhuman silent snarl as the wall of spears and shields approaches him; the silvery dagger with impossibly sharp edge is held readied even as he curls his free hand to clawed fingers. The Bane still coruscates around him and nips again and again at the others like a wolf worrying a moose — everything bleeds out in the end.

Into the Einherjar he blurs, silvery dagger swatting aside spears to reach beyond shields. Swift spins and polecat twirls of agility keep him from injury. The silvery dagger comes out slicked in ichor as he causes one Einherjar to crumple with non-fatal wounding — and then another — and then another, darting in and out of defenses like the envisioning Kent granted him that century back: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. A lucky shove of a spear glances along the bicep of one arm and draws blood, bright red and sparkling through with gold at closer look. A rather rude expletive in ancient Mesopotamian leaves him before he kicks that particular Einherjar in the chest and back into his cohorts, granting him brief space.

"«Feckless ingrates, return to your swaddling — »" Whatever that was ends up cut short. From the side comes the swing of the shaft of one of those polearms - THUNK - dead into the Jackal's skull. He wobbles in place for a moment blearily before collapsing like a doll cut of string — smack into Sif's waiting arms.

For a split second, the Bane continues biting and drawing at life-force, but then? Puft: calmed like a candle under a jar. The crisp British accent whispers through everyone's mind quickly: I have it contained, it will not strike out. Talbot, quick on the draw and masterful at containing the curse by dint of willpower alone.

The silvery blade clatters to the warehouse floor as Ambrose hangs in the Asgardian's hold, head slumped.

Sif does indeed catch Ambrose as if it had been planned, though very much unlike her the man's comparatively negligible weight pulls them both to the floor. She ends up sitting on the warehouse floor with the unconscious Jackal all but draped over her as Kent's voice explains how this was managed.

"Fenris?" She's not even sure what she wants to ask the Old Wolf. Just… help?

"Depart, my Warriors." Astryd is stoney faced as Ambrose lays into her einhenjar. "Rest well and drink to your glory." The blonde snarls at the bane but takes her cue from Fenris.

Then Sif is hugging the man … that's different.

Stepping forward, the blond offers assistance with Ambrose. "See to him, Sif. We need to deal with Kali and then we can aid with his comfort."

Fenris deals with both Sif and Astryd's concerns it rather succinctly. He opens a way beneath Ambrose and lets him drop into it. Oh he'll be safe. There's an extradimensional space that Fenris uses when he needs to store things. He's just going to be suffering some, er, sensory deprivation until the Old Wolf fishes him out.

"There." He sighs. "Come. Let us get Kali contained properly and then I will go get Ambrose and we can see if he's okay."

They'll be alright to do that, right?

Unconscious Ambrose doesn't make a peep when he follows Sif down in her collapse. He doesn't make a peep when Astryd helps move his body to the side and on the floor. He also doesn't make a peep when he disappears into the Way like extra sandbags through a stage's trap door.

Even if he made a peep in that Extradimensional Time Out Pocket, nobody would hear it anyways.

Thank god Ambrose is unconscious for the duration of his stay there.

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