2020-05-05 - What's Needed


Time to regroup

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue May 5 05:57:16 2020
Location: New York

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Fenris' house is a rather eclectic place. On the one hand it is thoroughly modern. Smart appliances, good wifi, literally wired for sound, mood lighting. It also has art and artifacts from the residents various travels, a small chest of mystical doodads and a drinks cabinet of the literal gods.

And at the moment Fenris has a map spread out on the table that looks like it's from a D and D book. Its a map of the various realms and the ways that they interconnect. And he's got little bits of quake-hold and string running to various points like he's about to chart a conspiracy theory.

Ambrose and Sif may have been invited over both to share a meal and to talk about next steps but the Old Wolf is a bit engrossed in his mapping so he might have forgotten.

As is a given when Aesir are involved, visiting the home of another means bearing gifts. And as they were having a planning meeting of sorts, Sif opted to bring gifts of edibles, mostly so that Astryd would be spared from having to do the majority of the cooking. Sif even contacted the Valkyr ahead of time to arrange which food items to bring. Thus there are no less than two full briskets in a party tray already sliced and swimming in their au jus alongside four domed loaves of bread that appear to have been baked in an honest to Allfather brick oven if the excess of flour dusted over them and the slightly blackened edge on one are any indication.

Standing near the table but not close enough to disturb any of what Fenris has going on on that map, she watches the man curiously. Maps she knows quite well. This laying of threads along the map is not as familiar.

Ambrose does not knock 'shave and a haircut, two bits' on the Karensky's front door, but it's tempting. Rested on his palm this time, not a buckle, but a simple single-layer pan of brownies. Yes, they can out of a box, but he made them — not Kent. Who can go wrong with brownies though? His is a normal, perfectly polite knock instead.

Upon being let into the abode, he takes a moment to shuck his field jacket ad hang it upon one of the hooks by the door. In dark slacks and a silk button-down in a gemstone blue, he and his Oxfords travel into the kitchen to drop off the pan of brownies before joining his hosts at the table.

"I would hazard this is much more than a game, though it appears to be as such," he muses with a friendly slyness of tone. Both get a nod of greeting as the silver-haired Jackal swings around to the other side of the table, the better to see the pieces on display.

It's a good thing that Astryd hadn't forgotten and has been cooking in between looking over Fenris' shoulder and helping him. Rather than relocate the God-Wolf, the Valkyr has set food out on the low table in the living room - an informatl affair that resembles something like a working lunch or dinner.

As their guests arrive, she greets them and offers them each a drink before gesturing to the food and plates and encouraging them to "Help themselves."

Of course, she ladens up a plate for Fenris himself and slides it under his nose "You need eat, my heart, and our guests are here."

"Mmmm? I smell beef, bread and brownies I didn't before… ah. Ambrose. Sif. Good of you to both make it." Fenris straightens up and stretches a little. "Such a fine repast and thank you both for bringing things for it. Let's eat. I'll tell you what I'm up to."

And with that Fenris takes the plate he's been given, secures some drinks and then eats and makes a little small talk, asking after both Ambrose and Sif and what they've been up to. Astryd, of course, he doesn't need to ask. He knows what she's been up to.

"So…" He says after a little while and gestures to the map. "I've been trying to track my wayward son's activities and figure out what his next play is. Also I've been trying to figure why he was so interested in Ambrose's curse. And… I think I know."

There's a short pause. "Sif, when was the last time the wardings at the Embassy were refreshed?"

Plate in hand — it's only not heaping with food because she's already demolished most of what she'd originally piled onto the dish — Sif looks over the map again. "The wards? Oh, during the last equinox as usual. Do they need to be refreshed more frequently?" She hopes not, from what she's heard, doing so is rather an ordeal and an annoying one at that.

She nibbles absently on a brownie, then pauses and looks at the baked goodness in her hand. Hm. Different. Far more sugary than she's used to, the way that most Midgardian confections tend to be, but not as bad as many she's tried.

Ambrose, when asked, reports of peace in the household and no interlopers attempting to breach the property. He himself is fine, thank you, his curse having nibbled on the subway's crowd on the way in — and as usual, this is reported with no compunction whatsoever. He's happy to dish up a bit of every victual and enjoys it as they all sit, himself sipping on a particularly delightful highball glass of gin over ice. Still, one can tell he's almost bracing himself for news or new information…or both.

His eyes, still a-glow at the center with the Bane, flick to Sif and then back to Fenris. A pertinent question, useful while he makes to slow down his heart-rate. Even a hint of why Gurim is so absolutely enamored with the Bane is tantalizing to consider.

"You think an attack on the Embassy forthcoming?" If so…drat — he still needs those scarabs!

Astryd watches Ambrose carefully being quite familiar with the 'injury' the man has taken. "No problems with *other* hounds or Faeries, Ambrose? I do hope Talbot didn't make your car smell like wet dog after his frolic in our pool the other night."

There's a story there, one that Sif might enjoy hearing - later.

"You think you know, my heart?" She gives the God Wolf a smile. "Maybe you two should come by more often - he barely speaks to me these days." She's teasing but Fenris has been rather engrossed in his work. Sifs answer has the blonde calculating "Vernal equinox was March 19th, less than two months ago. They should be ok but I would recommend having them checked. Fenris' get is not playing with anything nice, right now."

"He's really not. And no not an attack. But… something that you might want wards for anyway. I think a… safe location might be necessary soon, Sif."

Fenris gets up to bring over the map and starts gesturing. "Okay. Here is Midgard. There's Nilfheim. Svartalfheim. There's Asgard. And all in between that is the void where dwell nameless and very unpleasant things. Asgardians, as Sif and Astryd know, get around mostly by using the Rainbow Bridge. But…"

He points to the various strings now. "They are all connected in other ways. Or other Ways, I should say. Now…" He points to a small circle labelled 'Pangea'.

"Luna, myself and our family used to live here until Gurim, Hathis and Huzuruth tried to kill me. The fight in Pangea tore it open and left it useless as a home. It exposed it to the void. But while we were still there I had some notions of breaking back into Asgard and giving the Allfather a piece of my mind. I had the Way there mostly dug when the fight started. I never told the others about it, though Luna may have suspected. And I hadn't given any thought to it. To finish the tunnel and survive the trip through the Abyss to get to Asgard, you'd need something that could walk the balance between life and death and come out on the other end unscathed."

But… but if Gurim has found such a power, he might be able to unleash the Void, the Idigam, the Maeljin and Heimdal knows what else right into the heart of Asgard.

And… it's kind of all Fenris' fault.

Sif studies the map for a bit, then looks at Fenris as he explains. A safe location. That could well be problematic. But she will do what needs to be done to make it happen. "I will arrange the safe location as quickly as I can, then." She has a few ideas, but none are concrete. Not yet.

Hearing that there's a possible way into Asgard that could catch the Aesir unaware, that is truly distressing. "You do have a method to destroy that Way before it can be completed, yes?" Please say you do. Please.

The master-thief can't help his faint crescent of a grin towards Astryd. "Thankfully, it was not our car, but a rental. I tipped the driver heavily, more than enough to cover any cleaning expenses," he notes before sipping at his gin. "And no, no other influence from beyond in Faerie that we have noted."

Ambrose grins more broadly at the teasing flung in scholarly Fenris's direction, his dimples showing and then receding as he takes another deeper sip of gin. His plate is all but cleared save for crust he's dipping in the au jus with a goodly refinement and the brownies, two, set off to one side on a smaller plate.

All humor recedes from his face as the suspicions flow forth. When the Dread Wolf finishes speaking, Ambrose is looking incredibly solemn. Lines of tension show at the corners of his eyes. "Yes…the balance between life and death…" he sighs, reaching to scratch at his jawline with a resigned weariness. "That would indeed be the sum the curse's boon. It would behoove all that I remain as far away from this place as possible, it appears. I would not have another world compromised due to my presence."

Who installed a conscience in this guy? Maybe it's temporary.

"It must destroyed, yes, I concur. Pull the struts to the mine shaft, as it were," he says, regard shifting about to the others.

"A safe place for whom, my heart?" Astryd asks carefully, perusing the maps she knows so well. And yes the realms are connected in other Ways, it's how she travelled for a millenium.

The blonde goes silent though as Fenris drops that bombshell. He had never told her that.

"For Asgardians to shelter in case Gurim gets through." Fenris says very quietly. It makes sense. This was before he ran into Astryd. He may have thought she was being held there. He may have thought that he could force… something from the All Father. He may have thought… well. He may have thought a lot of things.

"I do… though it depends on Astryd being able to unleash a storm of death energy there and sink it into the underworld." Fenris looks at the blonde again. "And it ALSO depends on us finding a way to survive exposure to the void, and also on us beating Gurim there. The sword that we can find with the Midgard Serpent will help greatly in the former but Gurim has a hell of a head start on us here."

CAN Astryd sink it into the underworld? Fenris seems to think that she can. What's more, Fenris seems to think that is the only way.

"In any case, we have to do what we can to slow him down here as well. Because if he GETS to the power source that's at the heart of Asgard, with access to the full power of the void… he might well be able to unmake Fate."

And that would be BAD.

This news is increasingly upsetting. And Sif proves it by setting her not-yet-empty plate aside. "I get the impression that simply relocating all Aesir to, say, Vanaheim would not be sufficient. They'll need to be further and much more securely sequestered than that." And that will make her searching for this safe place even more of a challenge.

She's sorely tempted to approach Loki about it, but she suspects that any price he'd insist upon for that sort of effort would be far too steep. Leaving her back where she started. Worrying.

Ambrose takes a moment to rub at one silvered temple before he brings his palm forwards and down over his face, then resting elbow on table and jaw on his curled knuckles. His other hand toys with his gin, tilting the glass minutely back and forth to shuttle the ice silently about within it like a miniature iceberg.

"Remember the pages given to us by the Finder, in regards to the scarabs in particular. There is additional ancient wisdom to be found there beyond what protective properties the recipe may inbue. I need but transcribe it into Middle and then to modern English. As to the other worlds, I am…"

His tongue slips over a canine tooth visibly, his gaze averted off to one side as if even HE doesn't fully like what it to leave his mouth next. "I realize there may be soured associations with certain pantheons, but the Finder mentioned very specifically the ancient Pharaohs who last dealt with the Void and its beings. This is very specifically pertaining to the Egyptians; the older civilizations did not name their monarchs as such. Perhaps…we reach out to the gods there as well for further wisdom…?" the Jackal suggests, spreading three fingers off his gin glass.

Astryd looks at Fenris as he outlines his plans. "Why are worrying about Asgard, my heart? They turned their backs on us two thousand years ago. Evacuate the people and be done with it." It's been a long time since Astryd has voiced opinions like this.

Maybe she feels that needs to be said and ticked off.

Then Fenris adds the last bit and she sighs. "You know I can do it. You know it isn't easy and the price will be great. We need the sword and I will need to gather several things. My sisters will not be happy with when I do this."

She looks at Sif and then Ambrose "We are on speaking terms with Bast, my heart."

"We are, and Anubis has proven helpful in the past. However Horus, Ra, Osiris and Isis have little love for me." They liken him to Sobek, the troublesome and ravenous crocodile god. There is probably a reason for that but if so Fenris isn't saying.

"We are worrying about Asgard, Raven, because if Gurim gets to it he might well entirely unravel the chains of causality and fate within this realm. And if he does that it will not be long before cracks begins to show. When one thing does not by natural law lead to another, it gives rise to dangerous places where things-that-cannot-be-but-are can exist safely." It would expose this universe to the Void. The full, unshaped might of the Void.

"The ring you recovered, Ambrose. Do you suppose you might learn to wield the power within it to protect us?" Between that, the scarabs and the things Astryd needs they might have a fighting chance.

And… there is one other thing. "I suppose in addition to preparing a refuge… someone should warn the All Father that something may be coming." He doesn't like it. Doesn't like involving the All Father in his family affairs and both Astryd and Sif will know that. But… is there really any choice?

"I can warn the Allfather. In fact, I will need to in order to properly plan a full evacuation of Asgard." She, again, finds that she will liekly need to require help to convince Odin of the seriousness of her warning, but if that's what it takes to keep everyone in the golden realm safe, so be it. She'll accept any consequences.

Ambrose's toying with his glass of Midgardian liquor is starting to annoy her just the tiniest bit. She's tempted to swipe his glass and drink the remaining contents to get him to stop. "Is there anything I can do to assist with closing the partial Way?"

"Then we shall call on Bast and Anubis, Fenris." Astryd answers. She's quiet and looking even paler than usual. "And prepare."

There's little more for her to say on the matter. This is not a situation she is happy with, but in her long life, she's had many of them.

Silver brows lift in silent surprise at Astryd's initial opinion. The Jackal's thoughts are kept to himself as he then looks to Fenris, those brows knitting once more. He nods to hear of at least two connections within the Egyptian pantheon and as he does so, he sends a quick missive to Kent along their private kythe — what the Hound suppositioned was plausible after all, please hold for more information.

When asked after the ring, so solemnly does Ambrose nod. "Of course. I have so very much time on my hands. What better way to spend it?" His curl of a smile is wry and rueful both. "I shall perhaps attempt to wield the ring in a controlled environment before attempting it in a lesser populated area. One must learn to walk before they run, after all." A tilt of his glass nearly sloshes the gin, but it appears a practiced motion. Not a drop leaves the highball glass. He sips at it and goes back to silently shifting it about, the ice not touching or making a sound as part of the trick. "Do let me know when you call upon both Anubis and Bast. Kent may wish to be present."

"I will. We may want to have Sif around for that as well if you're available." Fenris nods to the dark haired warrior before looking back at Astryd. She can see that he's considering something. Something that might help given what Sif has just offered but… Astryd might not like it and he knows that Odin certainly won't.

"What about your old Valkyrie regalia, Raven. If Sif were able to convince Odin to part with it, it might help you when you try to sink that Way."

Of course that had been stripped from her when she was exiled. And it's in Odin's Vaults. Sif would need to convince Odin to part with it… and THAT she might want help for. Mischievous help.

"Anyone want another drink?" He says a bit ruefully as he starts to pour for himself.

"I will do my best to be available at that time, Fenris." Astryd's armor remained on Asgard? Sif looks over at the Valkyr and mentally resolves to get that back for the woman even if the Allfather isn't willing to hand it over freely. Hell, if she has to find an excuse to enter the vaults and then wear it under her own armor to smuggle it out, she will.

"I could use another drink, thank you." The sheer scope of things that the four of them need to accomplish… she's more and more convinced that she'll need to approach Loki after all.

Astryd gives Fenris a very flat look at the question. "It is not my regalia anymore, Fenris." Is all she says. This is not a discussion she particularly wants to have. Odin had discarded her and she'd made a life for herself.

"I'll just go and tidy the kitchen and I'll be back." She wants some space to …. think.

"Please," replies Ambrose as to the offer from his host for another drink. The decanter holding gin adds another liberal splash to his glass and now it returns to near-full status. It's too risky to tip about now in fidgeting behavior, so he lays it flat upon the table, hand still wrapped about it.

"It is doable." His Bane-glow pupils flicker from person to person at the table. "The recovery of Astryd's armor is entirely doable. I believe we all know someone perfectly capable of imitations to a fine degree of accuracy, yes…?" Even as he lifts his glass to drink, his brows lift as well as if to silently imply that everyone must be thinking of the Trickster NOT in the room.

"We do yes." Fenris says as he refills drinks. "Well. It seems like we all have our tasks before us. Now… let's try to enjoy some of this food. There will be time for worrying about the fate of everything soon enough."

Fenris has a remarkable ability to push things from his mind and eat. Which… makes sense. He is at the end of it all a wolf. Or something very like it.


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