2020-03-30 - Secret Societies


Dinner back in New York and Fenris shares the latest information.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Mar 30 06:00:47 2020
Location: New York

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With Patna in hand more or less, Fenris had removed people back to New York. Ganesh had agreed to sit on Kali. There's still the question of whether Bramha or any of the others have been infected but Loki can find that out and in the mean time there's no sense sitting in Patna waiting for things to happen.

The Old Wolf is glad to be back in his old haunts or as he calls them, his hunting grounds. He has spent the last couple of days re-establishing contact with people he regularly talks to and getting the lay of the land.

Apparently he didn't like the news he got because he invited Ambrose over to dinner and also asked Astryd to make something really… savory. And then broke out the good spirits. They're going to need them.

Home sweet home. With Kent in tow, Ambrose had been very glad to see the familiarity of the city itself, much less the manor and its current occupants. Mira had about tackled him to the ground. Sterling had tackled him fully to the ground. Kent was spared by dint of being forewarned alone.

A few days of secluded privacy was enjoyed but, alas, there is no rest for the weary or wicked. Ambrose might not qualify for one, but the other? Possibly. Either way, he arrives at the Kozminski household in if not fine spirits, more relaxed spirits than he's been seen in some time. The shadow of knowing Oliver still walks has not departed, but dinner was delicious. His coat hangs by the door and he's comfortably leaned back in his chair. This visit meant a steel-blue button-down and black slacks, apparently; can't take the fancy out of the Jackal.

It's when the Serious Spirits come out that the grin melts from Ambrose's face. "…oh good ruddy lord, what on earth merits that particular bottle?" he asks of his host, nodding towards the container in question. Astryd is given a questioning glance.

Astryd had made a delicious meal, of course. This time it was a beef wellington with roast vegetables. The food had been laid out and eaten and the table cleared by the time Fenris brings out the 'strong stuff', and the blonde settles on the old wolf lap.

"You'll have to ask him. He likes to keep his secrets …" She says with a smile "… but he's been going through our correspondance and reviewing the news." Which means it's likely related to that.

"Will you put Ambrose out of his misery, Fenris?"

Fenris… doesn't. Not right away. Instead he pours three tumblers of amber spirits - mortal kind but rather old and very good - and slides one over to Ambrose. Then takes a sip of his own leaving the third for Astryd.

"As she says I've been catching up on things and I've been hearing a name pop up repeatedly. 'Oliver'. Seems he's been busy while we've been a way laying the groundwork for… mmm. Well. Not sure. However it is groundwork for something."

The Old Wolf takes another sip. "Since we've been gone a number of societies have sprung up. Generally among the well to do. They're all ostensibly charitable organizations but what I am hearing is that they're very 18th century. Very in the realm of 'secrets of the universe' and 'hidden knowledge' with ranks and degrees and… well. You get the picture."

They might. They're both old enough to remember when that kind of thing was popular among the well to do in Europe AND the US.

Ambrose is content to wait until his glass of amber liquor is poured and the glass within his hands before he does dare to give the Dread Wolf a prompting lift of eyebrows. He must have picked that tic up from Kent. These very brows slowly begin to knit. The old courtly sangfroid slips into the Jackal's mien until it's very clear he doesn't approve one bit of the news presented to him.

"I would not have thought anyone might attempt to revive any hermetic order in my lifetime again, much less within this city. He has been a busy…busy…man in our absence, Oliver." How cut-glass Ambrose's accent has gone now, bereft of delight. He lifts his glass to his lips, sips cautiously — oh, not too sharp — another sip follows. "I suppose we should approach it as Kent and I would have done a century ago: kill the snake at the head."

How easily he says this, face serenely cold.

How much it aches in his heart.

Astryd frowns. She does remember the societies that spanned Europe when she travelled there - some of them were simply not nice, others just eccentric. Rather than responding at first, she sips the drink and listens - she knows that her thinking is compromised and right now, she'd rather go out and attack those that threaten their Fate.

Only after Ambrose has spoken does Astryd add her own thoughts. "Which snake are thinking to strike the head from? Oliver or … Gurim Ur?"

Ambrose closes his eyes in a betraying show of emotion when Astryd asks for clarification, truthfully as it is needed.

"I speak of Oliver. I do not believe we have the power to strike at Gurim Ur as of yet," he says, voice very quiet, as if to speak any louder were to allow something other than calm to slip into it. "Whatever Oliver is planning, it is young yet. We may easily snuff it out." Prideful and self-confident as always, Ambrose — or maybe it's a front in the face of what could be an incredibly difficult task.

"Easier said than done I'm afraid. While mortal entanglements mean less to us of all people than many - since odds are good we can simply outlive whatever trouble - Oliver's network of little clubs is well situated in New York high society which means that he is well placed to pull the levers of power and move them against us. Police, politicians, business. They're not all eating out of his hand but his rapport with them seems remarkable."

It's always the idle rich who seem to fall for this kind of thing, for some reason. Which is often amusing and sometimes problematic.

"Now what I am about to say next I have very little proof for. Merely a suspicion. But the things I have heard that these clubs are philosophizing about lead me to believe that they will be used in an attempt to call some of Gurim or Hathis' allies into this area. Allies or… more potent minions." Why those two and not Huzurth? Good question.

Astryd simply nods to Ambrose, her face grim. "I would agree with your assessment though I would wish it otherwise, Ambrose. Gurim Ur has caused Fenris pain and this is something that I am not pleased with. Would that I could strike his head from his shoulders."

"And indeed, Fenris is correct. In my time in Europe, some of the societies manipulated the areas they operated in with remarkable ease. Then again when you have the alderman or mayor in your organisation, why would you worry?"

"Which allies, Fenris?"

Despite his upbringing, Ambrose feels comfortable enough in current company to slouch more in the dinner chair. With elbow anchored on the arm of the furniture, he rests his jaw in his palm, expression unamused. The Bane absolutely winks carmine in his half-shuttered pupils. The drink remains on the table and he's not fidgeting with it in his hand…yet.

A quiet 'puh' is exhale of disgust. "Wonderful…of course Oliver would know to call in the troops, as it were," he mutters. "Indeed, which allies? I presume there could be some…hermetic summoning procedure to this entire process…? It could not be as simple as a phone call or snap of the fingers." He idly does the gesture off to one side of his glass, a sharp sound, before returning his fingers to hold it.

"Giants and werewolves, spirits of evil trees. Ghouls and Boggles and Ogres and Minotaurs. Cruels, Hags, Spectres and the People of the Toadstools." Fenris says, listing off things and on his fingers and then chuckling. It might take a lover of a particular kind of literature to realize he's quoting something. "Many kinds of spirits and beast, really but the biggest concern for me I think is that Guirm has found allies either among the Void - creatures that should not and cannot exist but do - or among the Unbidden. Spirits of an ancient and forgotten origin. Though… the Unbidden are probably more in tune with Hathis' general line of thinking."

He pauses to take another drink and give Astryd a gentle squeeze. So protective of him is she. "A summoning or an invitation. It probably won't be hermetic, Gurim or Hathis will have taught them some rite or ritual. Some of them may require sacrifice but I'm thinking that most won't. Just willingness and a bit of stupidity. I do not know how long it will take them to be ready to begin. It's possible they have started already though I have seen no signs of such as yet."

Astryd gives Ambrose a fond look as he slouches. It says something that she perched on Fenris lap and not on a chair. "Mister Lewis would be gratified to hear you quote his texts, my heart." He might be one of Astryds more favourite authors.

"A rite of any sort will send magical waves out, will they not? We should let Loki and Sigyn know so they may 'listen' for it. Such workings may upset the spirits of the Underworlds and I will feel that. But …"

The blonde falls silent for a moment as she thinks "What if … we tried to get someone into one of these societies?"

Rubbing his temple, Ambrose closes his eyes again. When Fenris drinks, so too does his guest, in a bigger mouthful than before and with far less caution. It goes down in a sluice of warmth that rushes out to his fingers and toes comfortingly.

His eyes linger on the glass as Astryd speaks. They flick back to both Asgardians and again, ambient light gleams in them like garnet-gemstone facets. "It do not know that I can help in either case. If feeling these mystical emanations requires a sensitivity, I might not have this particular capability. I am also rather notoriously well-known in Oliver's circles, am I not? To send me in would be rather bold of our particular planning. I know not who to suggest." Fingers aligned to his temple lift off of it for a second in a little shrug before he returns to cupping his jawline once more.

"They might, Astryd but there's a lot of magical noise even in a city like this. It would not be hard to miss it if you didn't know exactly what you were listening for." Still it's a possibility. "Getting someone on the inside is always a coup. Do you have a suggestion about who? Like Ambrose I'm rather at a loss. Whomever goes in runs the risk of being wolf food if found out."

Fenris takes another drink. "I think we need to track down more of my family. Ambrose, Kamduis found you out once before. I wonder if you and Astryd might speak to her again. If you can find her. We've heard from Death Wolf and Winter Wolf, but there's more out there and I think it's important that we gather as many of them as we can."

"Let me think on it, Fenris. There is always another Valkyrie who is publicly not well disposed to Asgardians. Maybe she might do it. I have a large contact base in New York and I'm sure I can find someone." It just might take Astryd some time to do so.

The blonde stills as Fenris makes that request, calming her breath as she does. "Are you sure you want me to do that, Fenris? Your daughter is not well disposed to me and I not to her …" beat "You only have to ask and I will of course."

"Kamduis…" echoes the Jackal to himself, more a whisper to jog personal memory than to confirm the name itself. Memory comes and goes and he nods slowly, gaze upon the shifting golden surface of the liquor. Now the fidgeting has begun: he rolls the crystal highball glass on the table's surface along its bottom edge in a silent circling within the control of his fingers.

"No doubt Fenris suggested that I attend to ameliorate his daughter's disposition to us as a whole, Astryd." A wane smile appears on his lips, charming behavior twinkling in and away like sunlight on a ripple of water. "I am, after all, the consummate courtier."

More like gentleman-thief-cad, but who's mincing titles in the end.

"Let us speak to Kamduis, yes. She cannot be more terrifying than Kali, hmm?"

"I do not know. She will be in her right mind. Whether or not that is an improvement I leave to you." Fenris chuckles softly. "And yes Astryd, I would like you to speak to her again. It would not do for her to be too comfortable and I cannot be entirely sure that left to her own devices that she will not try to, say, eat Ambrose."

The Wolf takes another drink and then pats Astryd. "Now. That's enough of that. How about we have dessert now, mmm?"

Astryd just sighs. "I can not be held responsible for what I might do if she calls me a birb again, Fenris." Astryd warns. Then again, maybe she can prick the wolfess to bite anyway. That might be fun.

"Dessert yes. Chocolate cheesecake with a ganache topping. And lots of cream. I believe, my heart, you have chosen a dessert wine to go with it."

She smiles at Ambrose as she rises "I won't let her eat you, have no fear."

"I appreciate the sentiment, Milady Astryd. Kent would be displeased if another took a bite at my fair frame. Only he is allowed to do as such," Ambrose replies smoothly with a nonchalance belying the curl of the corners of his lips. He takes another deep sip of his liquor before nodding.

"However, I will gladly bite into this cheesecake. You have good taste in desserts, the both of you. I will also partake in wine as well. Why not? We have returned to New York in relative safety. To this and to comrades, I drink."

And a lift of his glass is glad salute to his hosts.

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