2020-04-17 - Panic!


Ambrose and Astryd seek out … Junior

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Apr 17 07:31:11 2020
Location: New York

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Fenris has sent Astryd and Ambrose ahead to the Canadian border to meet 'someone important.'. It's not difficult to guess that this is one of his children. He's been trying to track them down for a bit now and appears to have gotten a break. He maaaay show up later but… that depends.

The site is the St Lawrence river, one of the more rural portions. It's a wide river and a deep one and all quite pretty and green out here. Perfect terrain for a wild thing. According to Fenris the 'important person' would be passing by here and they'd be hard to miss.

Though, uh, so far nothing has happened. Hopefully they brought a book. Or snacks.

Astryd is dressed in a fur lined coat, the hood pulled over her golden hair. "I don't know what that God Wolf of mine is doing, I would feel better if he was here with us."

She's eating some crisps - home made salt and vinegars ones. They're crunchy and delicious and smell rather … divine.

"Would you like some of these, Ambrose?"

Astryd probably learned how good of a traveler Ambrose was, no matter the method of the travels as car or train — he outright refused to fly on a plane. If it was a Way, then, well…the inevitable emergence on the other side was full of mumbling about needing a moment and then something rude in Farsi about the entire process.

With a fur-lined stocking cap pulled down over his ears and his long-coat buttoned up to his chin against a lingering chill in the air, the Jackal has a pen in one gloved hand and a…traveler's crossword puzzle in the other, also gloved. He makes a small humming sound and murmurs, "Who would have thought that 'brunnmigi' was so difficult to find." Astryd's question makes him glance up and click the pen before shuffling it to the same hand holding the little flimsy book open. "Just one, please, thank you."

Plucking the crisp, he eats it with a soft crunching and nods to himself. "Well done, those are delicious. As to your Fenris, I choose to believe that he believes us fully capable of speaking as level-headed and diplomatic emissaries in his name to this offspring of his."

Astryd does get a level, almost dad-like look, Bane-glow pupils and all.

Fenris may also have a sense of humor. Up to debate whether or not it is currently on display.

The first hint that something is at hand is the woodland around them going dead quiet. Having been assuredly hunting before they know that this is what a landscape does when a big bad predator is nearby. And soon enough it reveals itself. A dark shape moving along the river bank.

That dark shape turns out to be a great black wolf. It looks a lot like Fenris. It actually might look for a moment like it IS Fenris but the movement isn't quite right. And the red of the eyes isn't quite so bright. And, most importantly, that aura of dread is entirely missing.

This must be the VIP. Making his way down the river apparently not knowing either the thief or the valkyr are there.

Of course it was a Way. Fenris had opened it for them and it didn't make sense to do anything else. Ways are just so convenient aren't they. Astryd had even bought ginger for Ambroses stomach.

The Dad level look gets a snort from the Valkyrie. "He bled me before we came. And thank you. I thought they turned out quite well and they're nicer than the things you can buy from the store."

As the dark shape appears, the blonde shift, cold grey eyes narrowing at the sight of them. "Junior." That's all she says as she glances at Ambroses, then starts moving to stand in the way of the Black wolf ahead of them.

"Greetings to you, Fenris." She calls out.

Totally the level headed and diplomatic emissary.

Thumbpad resting on the pen's plunge, Ambrose's eyes rise up from the open pages of the crossword puzzle with a deliberate speed. No more pen clicking. He scans the area as the silence becomes more pervasive and does briefly look up, something counter to standard human behavior; it's been eons since the modern human was at risk of winged predation. The pen gets clipped into placeholder status before he slips the puzzle book away into one of the outer pockets.

At least one revolver is present in his pockets. Knives? Ready to be pulled like tricks of sleight-of-hand.

The sight of the wolf is enough to make the Jackal squint. "Junior…?" he barely breathes, craning his head to better see the creature. A short sigh ghosting white in the air and he rises, hands in his pockets, lingering at Astryd's side with no input but for yet another sigh. Fenris indeed. He makes no point to conceal the Bane's presence in his eyes or beneath his skin, though he does keep it in tight check.

The big black wolf is easily the size of a Clydesdale. It turns to look at Astryd and Ambrose and growls slightly at the sight of them both. "Who are you that you speak my name? It's Fenris-Ur by the way. Fenris Wolf. Who are you and what is it you want?"

Terse isn't he? Taciturn. He's got that 'I was the oldest child and it is the world's most pernicious curse' look on him. Which, well… yes. He's not wrong about that.

"Wait… you smell… familiar. Both of you…"

Deep rumbling voice too. Just like someone else they want. "And YOU smell like Death."

That is, shockingly, to Ambrose and not Astryd.

Astryd doesn't look concerned by the black wolfs size. She gives Ambrose a nod to answer the question - yes, junior.

"Fenris-Ur or I could call you Junior, if you like. I bring you greetings from my Lord and your father." That will be why she smells familiar. She doesn't say anything about Ambrose, the gentleman thief can do that himself.

"I am Astryd, Raven of Fenris. We have come to speak with you some."

We have found him, my heart. I suppose you wish us to convince to visit? She might be joking about that.

Moonsilver-light brows lift and then meet. Ambrose risks a glance over at Astryd; he's more used to the Valkyrie being addressed as such many times over. It is an unnerving thing to hear from one of the Dread Wolf's ilk.

Humor attempts to overtake nerves. "Mmm. I thought my cologne might cover the worst of that," Ambrose muses to himself drily. He speaks more formally after Astryd finishes explaining their presence.

"And I am Lieutenant Atherton, here to do the same. Pardon my scent," he adds, as if he could do something about it. The Bane coils beneath his skin and through his blood like a sea-serpent, some demi-sentient and pleased to hear the compliment. It makes Ambrose's expression twitch.

The big wolf turns a bit in place. It's a mincing, shuffling movement that lets him face the other two head on. "So my father sends his consort and her… escort? Pet? Bodyguard?" Beat. "Male jacket model?" Someone thinks he has jokes.

"Let me get it out of the way right up front. You're not my real mom. Having said that, what is so important that my father would send two people to find me after all these years."

Beat. "Why do I suspect that the jacket model has something to do with all of this?"

"He makes a good model, don't you think?" Astryd says mildly, holding Juniors gaze with her own. Consort? She may well be that. She is Fenris' Raven, sworn to his service. "If I was your real mom, you'd be better looking." There's that reckless streak … the bleeding perhaps wasn't enough.

It stings though. That reminder. Not only had Astryd not tried to imply that, she and Fenris won't have children.

"What do you know of your brother, Gurim-Ur? Had any contact with him or the others lately?" Astryd casts Ambrose a look "The cologne is quite fetching if you must know."

The attempt to insult is taken in good stride and rather as a compliment, especially in light of the agreement from the Valkyrie beside him. Ambrose allows himself a thin, smug, dimpled smile.

The expression fades somewhat at the edged retort from Astryd, but when he glances over, he can tell she's going to at least attempt to be diplomatic. The Jackal's balefire-bright eyes return to Fenris-Ur.

His crisp words follow Astryd's queries. "We have a vested interest in this information," he elaborates before giving Astryd a crooked grin. "You think so? Thank you kindly, it has long been a favored blend of mine."

"I'll be sure to mention to father some time that you don't like the way he looks." Fenris-Ur grumbles. Fenris himself speaks to Astryd. Have you found him? Oh good. Ask him when he's coming to dinner and why he never calls. Don't… actually do that, that was a joke.

"Of course I know my brother. I'm related to him. As to what I know of him, I presume you mean recently. Not much. The family hasn't spoken in some time." Clearly he has some ideas about whose fault that is but he doesn't name names.

"What's it to you?"

"I like the way your father looks just fine, Junior." The Valkyrie responds. Really Fenris. He doesn't seem to happy to see us. Disgruntled.

"I did say lately, did I not? Not much means … something. Gurim-Ur is causing trouble and we're going to stop it. We're checking in on the rest of the family. You might say we're doing a risk assessment."

Astryd glances to Ambrose. The thief can add more to the explanation of Gurim.

Of all of Fenris's pups, this one continues earning himself faint smiles from the Jackal. It might be because he's so heavily reminded of one of his own offspring: Kent's son, Sterling.

"It is partially a risk assessment, but also to ascertain whether or not you as his get are well," the master-thief explains. "Gurim-Ur has recently taken something of mine in an effort to advance plans with a truly catastrophic ending in mind. Whether or not it is entirely revenge against your father or somehow influenced by creatures from the Void — from Beyond the Veil — this, we do not know for certain. What we do know is that this is not the Fate of this world and work to halt his plans." Ambrose draws a curt line before himself to accent his point. "I assume you wish to continue to exist? I certainly do, even though I am incomplete and scented of Death. This, I will rectify."

A hand outstretched towards Fenris-Ur is brief, but a human gesture of offering. "At least speak with your father about matters?"

We lost all of their gruntles decades before I left you. Fenris is in a mood tonight clearly and it's a punning mood. It's just a thing that happens to him sometimes. Less destructive than other moods but possibly more annoying. Really, given the way we parted none of them are likely to be happy to see 'the other woman'.

At least he hasn't called her a homewrecker. Not that it would be true if he did.

"That must be quite the exercise. All of my siblings are rather risky. Some more so than others. And you have sought out the Destroyer Wolf." Which Fenris is ALSO called but apparently is Fenris-Ur's title as well.

The mention of void creatures gets a growl. "Existing is something I am partial to. But how do you know that Gurim-Ur has…" There's a short pause. "He came back didn't he. Moonshine and Earthsong. How long has he been back?" Beat. "Wait. If he is back… what of the others? Has he targeted you yet, Raven?"

There's another short pause. "Speak with him about what?" That last bit is rather flat.

"I like exercise, it keeps me fit and looking like this." Astryd responds airily. She won't mention just yet that she's met with his sister. The wolf seems to have his nose out of joint.

"Yes. He is and he is causing trouble. As for how long? Ambrose may well give more scope to that. We became aware of his presence a few weeks ago. And some of your sibs have been seen. Kamduis-Ur doesn't think highly of me." She called the Valkyr a Birb! "Skolis-Ur is hunting - though he didn't say what when we came across him. As to the others, we are not sure. Hathis-Ur and Huzuruth-Ur, we believe have aligned with your brother - but they have not been seen, along with the others."

"Your Father … believed that you and sibs did not wish to see him again and he had no wish to remind you of the pain that last … meeting … would have caused."

It takes a lot to take Astryd by surprise and the blonde blinks as she recovers. "Why on Midgard would Gurim-Ur target me?"

As to speak with Fenris … she glances at Ambrose.

I am not the other woman, my heart. And to hear him tell it, I'm not his real mom.

Ambrose nods; the lightness of the hair peeking from beyond the warm stocking cap only deepens his shift to solemnity. Lines of worry show graven at his eyes despite the Bane's insistence that its host remains youthful by appearances.

He's aware of Astryd's glance. "I was informed by a witch of great power that Gurim-Ur has been at his machinations for over a century now. His influence resides within a former comrade of mine and he wields him as a pawn." Hurt and rage spike and make the Bane screel beneath his skin, but the Jackal inhales and exhales and the insatiable wish to feed subsides. "These things, your father knows, and more. The Lady Astryd spoke truly enough. There has been pain. Now there is a chance for redemption. I have children myself. If I had a hand in losing them to the winds, I would wish to make amends if any were to be made. No true father wants his children to suffer," Ambrose explains more quietly, his eyes resting upon Fenris-Ur.

Well… I mean you're not. Fenris says. His real mom that is. Or you know, mom in any capacity.

"Kamduis does not think highly of a great many things last I heard so I am not surprised. And she probably called you a birb. She's been doing that to things with wings for a long time. Possibly because it ruffles feathers." Fenris-Ur growl mutters. "So you've been busy tracking the others down for some kind of… epically violent family dinner?"

The big black wolf sighs. "I think, Jacket Model, that you are also being used as a pawn. My father is good at that. Wheels within wheels and schemes within schemes. If so it is simply a case of whose pawn you wish to be. And I do not wish to be anyones." Beat. "But… voidspawn are very serious. So I will… consider/ talking to him."

Astryd just sniffs at Fenris through their connection.

"Not … necessarily tracking them down. Some of them found us, as for you … you aren't easy to locate. You have your fathers skill in that." the Valkyr answers. "And she did, yes. Your father is concerned that Gurim-Ur is dealing with things beyond the veil. He wishes to know where the others stand, at the very least. He is very much in mind of your last meeting and it pains him. He did not think you would speak to him, if he were to have sought you out. So you get me and …. " Astryd glances at Ambrose and smirks. "… the jacket model."

"If you were to agree, I could request his presence."

Now Ambrose smiles and it's decidedly toothy. There's even a faint curling laugh to catch up behind those gleaming teeth.

"We could debate who is pawn to whom for some time, but it would resolve nothing. That you will consider speaking with your father is good to hear." He nods his head deliberately to Fenris-Ur, still not bereft of his manners even if the Bane is still fussing at the back of his mind about feeding. Astryd's offer has him glancing over at the Raven and then to Fenris-Ur, eyebrows lifted promptingly.

"He's probably right about me not speaking to him if he had come here." Fenris-Ur growls. But he did just promise that he would consider talking to Fenris and he will do so.

"So what has he done to your friend, this brother of mine? And why do you think that Hathis and Huzurth are involved?" These names. The language sounds odd even to Astryd's All-Speak aided ears. The concepts that he's communicating are strange. Simple. Primal. Even a bit alien. It's like the language was created for and by creatures that are not and never were even remotely human. Much simpler creatures, more ruled by their natures. Ancient spirits of beast and stone and branch that have stalked the world since long before man was ever thought of, much less dominant.

"Mmmmm, but are you a pawn to more than one master?" Junior looks at Ambrose pointedly. He can sense the bane as it pushes at Ambrose. He can sense that essence of life and death swirling about the man and knows that such things do not belong in a hishu. In a human being.

"So he sent you emissaries instead. Us." Astryd answers. What she doesn't say, and it's not likely to come through is that dealing with this set of children is not her ideal. "I will tell my Lord you'll consider speaking with him. I will leave you how you may find us."

Just don't take long about it, Junior.

"Hollowed him out. Made him a vessel for something else. Something else that perhaps only exists in the void." The blonde says bluntly.

Ambrose shrugs, intent on not giving away any hint of distress or uncertainty before the younger Fenris. "Life is all one grand chess game, insofar as I can tell, and I play my own within its scale," the man decides as an answer. Still, his thin smile fades visibly as Astryd sums up the issue succinctly. By the Jackal's weary glower, he has nothing to add on this note that isn't pithy or threatening save for, "The Raven speaks truly."

Not wishing to start any altercation, he swings his gaze away towards the river rather than subject Fenris-Ur to the sudden upswing of the Bane's flare within it.

"Quoth the Raven, shit is fucked." Junior shakes his head. "Well the Birb is probably right." Apparently Kamduis isn't the only one who calls things 'birbs.'

Fenris-Ur's eyes remain on Ambrose's back as he turns around. He swears softly. "No… Gurim wouldn't dare…" Clearly, though, he would and then looks at Astryd. "Gurim may have allied himself with creatures of the void, but this is not a trick he learned from them. Damn the shartha. Hathis' hand is in this. He was always too curious about the ancient ones for his own good. Your friend may be hollowed out in more ways than one. And it is very important, VERY important, that he not be killed. If he is, reality will have a VERY serious problem."

He seems certain of that.

"I am not a Birb." The blonde sniffs at Junior and turns her nose in the air. Ruffled feathers indeed. She hasn't commented on Ambrose being a pawn. They're all pawns to Fate really, aren't they?

"We weren't entirely planning on killing him. Well, maybe not." It's blunt and Astryd wishes there was a way to speak more gently for Ambroses sake. "But why, Fenris-Ur? What is it you know that we have not yet seen?" Astryd already had inkling that Hathis at least was involved.

If Ambrose is listening, he gives no sign of it at first but for the turn of his profile against the wane lighting of their environment. His eyes do consider Fenris-Ur obliquely in a twinkling of Bane-glow, but then reorient on the river again.

"Fuck. And here I had thought that a bullet through his skull would be merciful," the Jackal bites out crisply, each word a puff of silver mist in the cold air. "I am denied by chance to challenge him to pistols at dawn." Dry, dry humor, dusty as the underside of his words and the belly of a long-silent tomb, shield against the pulsing kernel of hurt rekindled in his heart. "Perhaps we find a pit and toss him in. Or tie him up and lock him in a chest, never to be found. But yes, tell us: why spare the bloody tosser?"

So much for not showing distress! He keeps his body three-quarters turned away from proceedings yet.

"Because if he really is, as you say Raven, hollowed out and filled with the void that might be more literal than you know. The creatures that usually do this, spirits called Hosts, or Shartha, can spill out when the meat is killed. That's annoying when they're flesh snatching spirits. But if you spill a passel of void creatures out into the world…"

Well it might not be the end of the world but they will start warping and unmaking reality by their mere presence. And if that were not enough they are VERY likely to start actively trying to do that as well. And if even ONE gets away the threat becomes exponentially greater, because it will seek to open a hole back home - a hole that other things could come out of. Or maybe it will just try to snatch another body. Either way… bad news.

"If your friend dies, we might lose something important, like oh, say the North American continent."

Beat. "Raven you know of the tales of lost continents like Mu or Lemuria right?" Heavily implied 'that's what happened there'.

Astryd listens, noting that Fenris-Ur doesn't call her birb again. "I think mercy is a concept that Oliver passed long ago, Ambrose. I think you need to consider that is *not* your friend but a charlatan or charlatans wearing his skin. Killing the host, will not bring the spirit of your friend any solace."

"Mu. The alternative name for Atlantis. Both are said to be mythical lands by the Midgardians. Lost to the world over a millenia ago - the stories are somewhat romanticized. Were you there, Fenris-Ur?"

Ambrose reaches to scratch at his jawline in something akin to a tic. Astryd, at least, is nearby enough to potentially note the sudden roil of the Bane escaping like steam from a kettle before its host slams control hard to bring it back beneath his skin.

"I accept that he is not to be killed. However, Oliver's soul deserves revenge and this? This I may grant," murmurs the man in a chillingly even manner. Fenris-Ur gets another oblique look before the Jackal tries to pull his tattered composure about himself, stiff British upper lip and all. It means apparently observing the toes of his boots and rolling his shoulders as if to ward off some latent prickly unease.

"Actually the soul of his friend may still be in there. Or part of it anyway." Fenris-Ur mutters aside to Astryd. "It would be the easiest way to use his personality, memory and mannerisms consistently. It would be like… being a puppet. A passenger in your own body. Having voices tell you what to do and doing them because those voices are in charge." That could explain some of the personality shifts evident in Oliver.

"Also consider the possibility that killing him is part of their plan." Which means they may attempt it on their own if left to long. Or that Oliver may WANT to die. It would be hard to blame him but still disastrous.

"I was in one of the places that inspired that legend among modern hishu yes, but the legend of Mu is older than even that and was ancient even when my mother sang of it. I believe that SHE does know what happened, but she always suggested that Mu was lost to the hubris and hunger of beings that were unwilling to remain in their proper place. For the time that our family was together that was what we did. Enforced the order of things."

And then it all fell apart over two thousand years ago.

"That makes sense." Astryd agrees as she thinks on it. "It's likely to be such a small, shredded part though. Maybe there is mercy in that." The blonde fixes Ambrose with these steely grey eyes "And yes, you may have revenge, Ambrose. But not at the cost of the world. We do this carefully and when it comes, the revenge will be all the sweeter."

What was Ambrose saying about balanced and well adjusted emissaries?

"Well, I'm not sure knowing that *is* what happened in Mu will be of benefit to us. We can work with the information we have." Read into that, Astryd doesn't want to meet Luna. Her gaze falls back on the red eyed wolf. "I have asked your sister and I ask you now. What happened? Why did your brothers turn against your father and whey did you others not stand with him?"

"Of course," mutters the Jackal bitterly, his back still turned on the proceedings. He falls silent again to listen to the reasoning behind the fall-out of the pack and the dispersal of the pups to the four winds and beyond and very quietly simmers about how unfair Fate is being at the moment.

Fate has a twisted sense of humor and apparently Ambrose is a favorite victim of it. It does so now, again. As Ambrose is turning over in his head the fundamental unfairness of Fate, the eyeless wolf steps out from behind a tree about a hundred feet away, plain as day. Unlike the other times it does not glance at him and keep moving. It stops and stares. Well 'stares.' It turns those dark holes where its eyes should be on Ambrose.

"Would it have been so easy for you, Raven, to turn on your family during a fight? We all wanted it to stop. But we didn't want to kill. They were our brothers. We howled as our home was torn apart, pleading for it to end without the death of family. No matter what happened that day…"

Whatever he is going to say next is lost as he realizes they are no longer alone. "What… in the name of all the lost stars…"

The eyeless wolf cants its head slightly, then looks at Astryd, and then back at Ambrose. It isn't approaching. It's kept a fair distance. But it is definitely observing them somehow.

"I do not know, Gurim-Ur. I was exiled by my family when I diverged from their path. Thrown to the farthest corner of the nine realms. Unarmed and alone. I only seek to understand what transpired that day. Fenris was your father and yet …" She shakes her head. "Why did your sister say she stood between your mother and him?"

What she doesn't ask, is why he hadn't sought his father out. Astryd hadn't sought to return to Asgard so there's that.

"Ah, here he is again." The blonde looks at the eyeless wolf and then to Fenris-Ur. "At least you can see him. Your father always seem to miss him. It also seems to appear at … points where decisions are made, I think. Do you know him?"

The blonde watches Ambrose, simmering, touching his shoulder despite the bane, to let him know he is not alone.

Astryd will feel the flinch travel through the gentleman-thief at her touch, but he doesn't shrug her hand away. This is proof of the Jackal's weakness for touch, for the succor of it, and trust in the Valkyrie. He tightly checks the Bane as it surges for her palm and gets it in time: no nibbling. For now.

There was some grade-A glowering going on — Byronic levels of jaw-gritted grinding of teeth that even Kent would have been fain to put a stop to at one point or another — but the frowning flickers through pure surprise and into something willful at the appearance of the eyeless wolf. Finally: something else to focus upon than the misplaced guilt gnawing at his innards.

Now he rolls his shoulder to remove Astryd's hand. "Excuse me." He lifts his voice at the eyeless wolf and begins walking towards it. "Excuse me, don't ruddy fucking ghost away again, we need to speak with you."

The grey wolf - smaller than Fenris-Ur but still large - takes a few steps forward but stops far short of Ambrose. Fenris-Ur looks to Astryd as if to say 'what is the Jacket Model doing?' and then looks back.

"It's a she, actually." He says, sniffing. "But an omen of some kind? Smells real enough. I don't know her. But something is off… and… a little familiar." He sniffs again but can't place it.

The eyeless wolf opens her mouth for a moment and then closes it. Then opens it again, working her jaw. But no sound comes out.

"It smells… incomplete." Fenris-Ur finally says. "I'm… not sure why. Sorry. Can't do any better than that." Ambrose has gotten about half way now and the wolf raises it's muzzle slightly though what if ianything it is signaling is unclear.

"Ambrose…." Astryd can feel the flinch and can sense the jackals fight. She knows the risk of touching the man, and if the bane nibbles, so be it.

"So it is … " Astryd has no parallel for this, not in her experience. When the creature tries to vocalise, she frowns. "Incomplete. Like her eyes and her voice. Come closer, wolf-friend, we mean you no harm."

She's … not really sure what they'll do.

Closing the distance, Ambrose comes to a halt when the creature chooses to approach him rather than doing the aforementioned ghosting off. It's an odd behavior from a supernatural creature and while self-confidence might make him not retreat for the moment, cautionary whisperings make him pause. He can hear Astryd speaking behind him.

"Yes, it does not entirely exist," he agrees, scanning the voiceless creature over once more.

"It…your eyes are different." His words shift to address the wordless wolf almost helplessly. Ambrose can see at this closer distance that it's not eyeless sockets: it's literal pools of inky darkness, black enough that no light reflects within. Goosebumps fleet down his spine. "You are…no, it is that you are and you are not." He tilts his head slightly and squints; the Bane reports an echo of his sentiments from its own interest in the creature.

The creature seems to find its voice. There's a small squeak. Ahem. Its jaw works again and she opens her mouth to speak once more, or so it seems.

The sound that comes out of its mouth almost beggars description. Its a horrific scream of someone being brutally murdered, gunshots and the cries of soldiers, a horrid chittering as of a horde of a million overgrown cockroaches, a series of brutally loud, discordant tones like a modem or a fax machine and over it all a keening, wailing that carries with it only dread and doom. The volume of it is overwhelming. It's enough to make Fenris-Ur flinch away, laying his ears back, unable to meet the eyeless creature's gaze.

"What in the name of Sun and Moon?!"

Astryd actually covers her ears at the cacophony, moving to Ambroses side as he stands there. "Now, now, wolf-friend. We understand not what you say to us." Carefully, she takes her hands from her ears to set them on the wolfs head. "Are you a construct or a recptacle? And if a receptacle, for what? Woo, pain, suffering … "

It *hurts* the sound the creature is making. "Or … are you part of the friend that Ambrose has lost…"

|ROLL| Ambrose +rolls 1d20 for: 10

Ambrose peers more, even leaning in visibly as the thing's voice seems to squeak and sputter like an engine not quite catching. Oh, but then it catches.

And Ambrose is definitely not standing there anymore.

Adrenaline electrically rushes through him and he flies backwards, away from the eyeless wolf and Astryd both, almost falling to the ground in his haste to put space between himself and the source of the sound. The Bane goes nova about him in self-defense and he's gladdened for the distance he has around himself now. Hands clapped to his ears, he winces and doesn't dare risk removing them until he's certain the horrid sound has ceased.

The sound stops when Astryd touches the wolf. It seems confused. Maybe even dismayed. There's a pause of about thirty of forty seconds. Just long enough for Ambrose to take his hands off his ears if he decides to do so. And then wolf opens her mouth to try again.

And again the same horrid, literally dreadful sound begins at double the previous volume and interspersed with a snatch of a song that goes "I chimed in with a 'Haven't you people ever heard of closing the God damn door?!'". This time the pain is so acute it is literally blinding. All vision whites out. There's a flash of something. A woods, a fire, a bleached antlered skull with blazing eyes dripping blood onto the wet earth below it. All quick and uncertain and indistinct amid the whiteness and the pain.

And then sight comes back. And the eyeless wolf is gone.

"Ow…" Fenris Ur says.

Astryd lets out a shuddering breath when the wolf stops, just starting to relax when it starts again. This time, the blonde can't withstand the pain - and she almost passes out. "Panic at the Disco." She murmurs. "I hate that song… Ambrose, Fenris-Ur, are you with me?"

"And if so, did you see what I saw?" Fenris. Did you get any of that?

It seems safe now. His teeth aren't tingling in his skull for the cross-octave bombardment of sound. Ambrose risks lifting his palms from his ears and breathes something to himself in Farsi that can't be polite in the least.

He's then bowled over by the second rendition of the eyeless wolf's voice. The world goes white-blank but for the vision of the skull — the Bane is screeling and lashing out around it with shredded tentacles of glistening liquid garnet — and then the world returns. Ambrose falls to his knees and holds his head, uncertain of opening his eyes at all.

"I exist," he plaintively manages as he wavers in his kneel like a cattail reed.

"I saw… I'm not sure what. It was too fast for me to really get anything. Fire and… skulls and blood. Something. Not sure." Fenris-Ur shakes his head. "Ow again. What the devil are you two into?" He sighs. "Now I really AM going to have to go talk to dad."

Fenris's presence stirs in Astryd's mind. No, I was elsewhere. What is it?

"Was that an attack? Or does that thing just not know how to use her inside voice?"

"We will travel back soon, Ambrose. Bide a while. My head feels like its been split by an axe. " Astryd murmurs. The eyeless wolf showed up and 'spoke' to us. I was hoping you got some of what I saw … We're coming home, with a visitor. Open a Way please and have … something extra strong waiting for Ambrose.

"I'm … not sure. She was trying to tell us something - it's like … she absorbed a number of communications mediums and doesn't know how to use them. It might have been an attack but … I … don't think so. Come with us, Fenris-Ur. I have Asgardian ale to sooth that headache and home cooked meal."

Stumbling heavily, the Jackal does manage to make it to his feet. It's a bit of a miracle that he keeps them, but he does, rubbing just before his ears with fingertips and moving his jaw about as if it might cease the lingering peal of tinnitus.

"I do not speak any of what she spoke beyond the blip of what might have been music if granted the term kindly," grouses Ambrose as he turns to peer at both Astryd and Fenris-Ur. "I too saw the skulls along with the fire." His stomach turns over upon itself; fire, ever a deep-set fear. "Portents," he hazards with a scowl at the volume of his own voice.

Sadly for Ambrose's stomach, fate is not yet done jesting at his expense. A Way opens, no doubt courtesy of Fenris and no doubt also their ticket home. Well. Astryd had asked Fenris to do it.

"I… somehow want to be here a lot less now." Fenris-Ur scowls. "Shall we?" Without waiting for the others he steps into the tear in reality, leaving only Ambrose and Astryd in a New York forest that may or may not still contain a ghostly eyeless wolf thing with no inside voice.

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