2020-06-07 - A Shady Haze Of Winter


A touch of Winter on a summer day has Fenris and Hod responding.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Jun 7 03:29:27 2020
Location: New York

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Theme Song



New York is something of a hotspot for outcasts from Asgard. In fact it something of a hotspot for beings of a certain level of power in general. So it's not surprising to run into gods and monsters there though the specific ones CAN be somewhat surprising.

For the past two days there has been a rather unseasonable cold snap in the area - in June - that has the weather men scratching their heads. Hod Odinson knows that this isn't just any old cold snap. Someone is horning in on his schtick. Which is to say, there's a being deeply connected to Winter somewhere around here. If it were still spring it might be snowing. As it is, it's just gotten chilly. Unseasonably so but still, just chilly.

Fenris has noted the cold snap and even knows where it is located. Tonight that place is on the High Line, a two mile stretch of green and concrete that used to be elevated train and is now one of the world's more unusual parks. It's near some pretty good food. Some of which is even open though it's getting into the evening and the park is mostly deserted.

"Alright. Now. Where is…" Pulse. That was power. Magic. And it was very nearby. Felt like an… artifact. The Old Wolf's eyes narrow. Should be up ahead just a little ways.

Sif had been wandering again, and opted to stop and try a meal in a place that seems unlike ones she's tried previously. Still not really able to read any Midgardian language, she relies on Allspeak and tries out the meal suggested by the Argentinian restaurant's waiter. The short ribs were surprisingly tasty, though reminded her of something else. She's still trying to place exactly what.

Having just left the restaurant, the sudden chill does not go unnoticed and she frowns slightly. Nor does the sensation that always follows Fenris. She looks up at the odd extended platform with trees growing from it, then after a moment spent considering the foot and car traffic around while readying her sword and buckler, she jumps to try and get onto that elevated walkway.

… hopefully no one noticed her just barely catch onto the railing at the edge of the High Line and pull herself up and onto the rail-line-now-park. Because yeah. She's clearly out of practice. Or this platform is taller than she'd expected. Or both. No, definitely this platform is just strangely tall.

"If I didn't know better, Fenris…" Astryd responds "… I'd say you were just here for the food. You *do* know that I have dinner waiting for us." She's teasing as her grey eyes scan the area in front of them.

The people around them move aside unconsciously and anyone with the training will observe how they seem unnerved - even if they don't know are.

Since the War and what HYDRA did to him, Hod has made it a personal mission to Not Get Involved. His hunt for the cursed D%<225>insleif and his bitter attempts to keep it from the hands of the Studiengruppe f%<252>r germanisches Altertum lead him to one fo the worst periods of his life and taught him a valuable lesson. Let the mortals kill themselves enmass. Getting involved isn't worth the trouble, after all, they'll always make more mortals.

Sue him. It was a low point.

But with the Casket's recent reopening of Hod's connection to Winter, he's been feeling just a tiny bit like his old self, and say what you want about his father, Odin doesn't make sons content to live quiet lives as a general rule. Besides, once he regains that measure of power, The Call became louder, that bit of him that drives him from place to place, moment to moment, in history. So maybe, just maybe, he's pondering getting back in the game. In a little way. Something small. Not heroic! Fuck that noise. Just… maybe something worth doing.

And then someone started playing his song and that pretty much made his decision for him. "Wolves were always some of my favorite people." Hod's voice says from the shadows about thrity feet downwind of Fenris. "Creatures of Winter." and there's a gleam of teeth in the shade, the tiniest of smiles perhaps. "You're still growing on me." he informs Astryd as he walks up to the pair, Lightdrinker in it's cane form swinging from his hand. "Felt that too?" He doesn't trust either of them, not really, but since when did trusting ones famly ever mean you didn't come together to deal with 'issues' when the time arose. Blood, water, viscosity, everyone knows the troupe. Asgardians are so weirdly old fashioned.

"I'm like a fungus that way." Fenris murmurs. "And yes. I did feel that." And yes he knows that Astryd has dinner ready. He'd rather be eating it right now but that feel of power, plus the winter…

"Wolves are some of your favorite people, hmm? I like you already." Comes a voice from much nearer to Sif. It's a wolf that sort of steps out of the shadows though those shadows were not nearly small enough to conceal him. He's big. Easily the size of one of those horses they ride around in Central Park. He's completely white save for the ice blue eyes. And there's a chill hanging in the air around him. Creature of Winter indeed.

"Is all of this for me, then? I don't think I've seen so many Asgardians in the same place."

Hod cannot of course see the wolf but he can feel the wintery power. And he can smell it. And there's something in that smell that is very like Fenris.

"Hello Birb."

Did it just call Astryd…

"And hello Sif. Watch your step now. There's power nearby."

"I think, Fenris, that Hod thinks I am the fungus. And I hope that I would, Brother. When have I ever meant you harm?" Hod can see, and Sif for that matter, the top of the mark she took when she took the light beam aimed at the Asgardian god of winter.

"Hello Sif." Astryd greets the other warrior as she arrives. Not mentioning the others instability. This building is … tall.

"Skolis." The blondes eyes flash as he calls her 'Birb' "As I have told your siblings, my name is Astryd. You may call me that. And don't be all you're not my real mother. For that I am eternally gratefully."

The frosty white wolf appearing seemingly out of nowhere almost the moment that Sif's feet land on the soil of High Line Park is enough to startle her, but she has long since trained her startle reaction to be far more aggressive than what a Midgardian would likely exhibit. Her sword and buckler are immediately brandished toward the wolf, but she doesn't immediately go on the attack as much as it would have been her reaction not so long ago. There's too much delicate Midgardian architecture around.

Her eyes flick toward Astryd as the Valkyr greets Skolis, though it seems less than completely friendly. So… is this or is this not an enemy? She relaxes her stance but stays on her guard, just in case.

"You guys hear that?" Hod says, "He likes me." he nods twice, "He's definately evil and going to try to kill you all." this is all said as statement of fact and completely dry. "Not me though. We're already buddies." pause. "Apparently." which honestly would just be his luck. Subtely he scents the air a bit and shakes his head, "Okay, so this is feeling like a family matter. Immediate family." he clarifies quickly. "Should I….?" he jerks a thumb back the way he came, "There's a bar like four hundred feet from here and you guys can just come tell me how it went when you're done if you like. Save some bourbon for you. A little."

He can't help but admit it's /a little/ bit nice to be able not only sense Winter, but actually feel it in something else. It's not exactly a kinship, but it's not exactly not a kinship either. Hod's lonely godsdammit. Sue him for that too.

"Oh I don't think that my father will mind all that much. I don't think we've met by the way." The wolf, apparently named Skolis, says. Hod and Sif may both recognize the language being used. It's First Tongue. The primordial language of the oldest - or close to the oldest - spirits. Winter. It means Winter.

"Well, you aren't my real mother. But since you insist, Astryd…"

He eyes Sif and backs away a bit carefully. Asgardians pack a literal punch and their swords are sharp.

"Peace, Sif, I mean you no harm. I sensed you coming and I was just putting down something I took from someone undeserving."

"Undeserving… what have you found?"

Skolis shrugs and paws at a planter. Hastily hidden under the soil is a very ornate box, and Sif can feel a faint… evil emanating from it.

Astryd on the other hand, recognizes the type of box. She got a marking on her chest from a similar one.

Once Skolis has made it clear he's not here as an enemy, Sif lowers her buckler and puts her sword away. She's about to step over toward the other three when the wolf uncovers the orange box, and she can't help but stare at it for a moment in concern. She doesn't dare touch it, but she leans closer to take a look.

"This coffer has a feeling of evil to it," she tells the others. "Where did you find this?" is her next question, and it's aimed at the white wolf.

Enemy or friend? Astryd isn't sure. Fenris' children with Luna are …. complicated. "No need, Hod. My only concern is for Fenris' safety, his children are … problematic at best." She says, watching the white wolf and inclining her head to accept that he called her appropriately.

The mark on her chest starts to throb at the sight of the coffer and the maeljin wrapped about her thrashes. "That … that is the same thing the Celts used when they tried to ambush Hod. It … wants me to open it. Take it away, Fenris."

Hod shakes his head, "I'm not much of one for the family gatherings." he responds, "Miss out on all the birthdays and what not." he responds to the white wolf easily enough. Winter. Cute. When the box is uncovered Hod has the least reaction of the lot, it's not like he can see it after all, but he can feel it and it's not a warm fuzzy. "Pfft. I thought you met my pops." he quips flatly, "Who's kids /aren't/ problematic in our family?" he asks rhetorically.

He then shakes his head at Astryd, "Yeah…. let's not open it." he offers as an alternative idea to Astryd, "Things that wanna be opened, in my experience, are rarely that great for those nearby…" he tilts his head and considers, "Well. One noteable exception." coughcoughCasketcough. "Don't wanna test my luck with magical boxes again, at least not until you find one full of darkness. Or secrets." he considers, "Yeah. Not even then. Trust me, those are boxes no one wants opened."

Fenris, despite all that, comes over next to Skolis and Sif and opens it. Sif will get a glimpse of what looks like an old and yellowed piece of parchment. There's words and images on it that she can't make out but one of them is quite clear. It's a picture of her, somehow becoming more powerful. Absorbing power and becoming a powerhouse to rival other combat focused gods. Maybe even surpass them. Astryd instead sees a glimpse of how to free herself and Fenris from Fate. Hod can see nothing but he immediately has a sense of what this is. In his long, long life he's run into it more than once.

This is a page from the Darkhold.

Fenris hisses and slams the box lid shut, but it doesn't latch and as he backs up it creaks open again on its own. Sitting there. Silently tempting.

"Fenris!!" Astryd's words sound strangled as the blonde takes a step back. She knows what this is and the Maeljin responds to that urge - the urge that she'll do just about anything to save Fenris from his Fate. It used to be that she'd do just about anything - as long as the overall cost wasn't too high. Now?

Now, the Maeljin feeds on the emotion, on that need.

Taking a step forward, the Valkyrie reaches out a hand to take the page up. She can read it. When she does, all will be well.

Sif steps aside when Fenris approaches to open the small coffer. She finds herself mesmerized by the parchment until Fenris slams the lid shut and then she flinches away, hissing in a breath and closing her eyes for a moment before beating a hasty retreat to go stand next to—

When Astryd goes to reach for the parchment, she almost doesn't stop the Valkyr in her surprise. But she catches the blonde woman's arm and yanks her back away. "Astryd, don't. You can't let that temptation take you." If she saw anything like what Sif saw…

Lightdrinker's butt comes down atop the lid of the box with an Uru ringing CLANG, Hod having covered the distance between where he was standing and the box itself in a single gliding motion. "Don't." Hodr says, his voice isn't commanding so much as asking Astryd to stop. "Just don't."

The Darkhold. He. Hates. That. Fucking. Book. He suspects the feeling is mutual. After all, what power can an evil book that wants to be read hold over an illiterate blind man? The butt of the spear, for it is a spear again, twists slightly atop the lid, as if he were grinding the spike downward a little, letting the box know that remaining shut would be best for it. He shifts his stance a bit so his foot slides over the lid as well, pinning it in place. "You should all go." he says, not 'looking' at anyone persay so much as turned to stare at nothing directly. "It has no hold on me and we've… crossed paths before."

"Old Man Winter is correct there." Skolis says. "The person I got it from was lording it over a passel of hollowed out people. He was crazed. I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. If it can tempt even you…" The Winter Wolf blows out a sigh and looks at the 'Birb'. "Do you have it under control?"

That is equally a question to Sif and to Astryd.

Fenris looks at Astryd but lets Sif intervene. If the blonde struggles he'll help the warrior goddess but for now it seems like Sif is resisting the temptation. Just.

"Astryd. No." He says, adding his voice to Hod's before he looks back at Skolis. "How did you know where it was?"

"I was following Gurim-Ur's trail. The place I found it had his scent all over it."

Rabid. Rabid Wolf, that means. Another of Fenris' kids?

"Do you mean to say that Gurim has been handing out pages of the Darkhold?" Sif and Astryd are both deep enough in this to know how bad that is. But even without knowing Fenris' children, Hod knows enough of the Darkhold to know that would not be a good thing.

"Seems that way, yes." Skolis answers, keeping on eye on Astryd and Sif and the other on Hod. "Nice beat-stick you've got there. Do you want to take care of that thing?" Pause. "Also… crossed paths with it before?"

Hods and Fenris voices are enough to center the blonde. Astryd lets out a shaky breath and leans against Sif, just a little. "I … do." She says to Skolis, letting the other words sink in slowly.

"Hollowed out? Like the others that Gurim has been messing with? Vessles for creatures of the void?" None of this is good. Void and the Darkhold all together. "It won't help to ask why. Your brother is quite mad and simply needs to be stopped. Where do we find him?"

No, she doesn't have it under control. But Sif is nothing if not a master of compartmentalizing and forcing her attention elsewhere. She's doing it now, and will deal with her own issues later when she has the luxury to do so.

She is actually completely okay with Astryd leaning on her, as it gives her something to focus on, and she doesn't let the Valkyr's arm go. Not yet. She's ready to leave right this moment with Astryd to confront Gurim-Ur even if the evacuation plans for Asgard aren't truly finalized yet. If they stop him NOW, those plans won't be needed.

Hod squats slowly down over the box keeping his weight on the lid, "We've crossed paths before." he says, his tone no longer dry or teasing more a mix of anger and weariness, "Eight hundred five years and 6 days ago in Zhongdu." well /that/ seems specific, "Pretty sure once again almost exactly three centuries later in Tenochititlan. Again in Treblinka, 1942." he says softly, "I will never forget Zhongdu. I was happy there. I made pottery." he doesn't actually say it but he can't help but hear a faint and very distant tinkle of joyous laughter on the breeze.

But of course he can't really hear her, his wife's been dead for eight hundred five years and six days.

"For a time I made a project out of collecting pages, trying to destroy them. Figured out you can't destroy it unless you make it whole first. You don't want to make it whole." his tone conveys the understatement that was very clearly. "Gurim, I take it, is doing this on purpose?" if anyone's paying attention they may note that the ground around Hod is um, frosty. He really isn't great at containing his emotions these days, bits of his Power tend to leak out on him. It's a struggle.

"Probably." Fenris says quietly in answer to Hod's question. "Gurim-Ur along with two of his siblings have gone… mad. Gurim specifically is trying to tear apart the machinery of interconnectedness that keeps the universe spinning. He's been drawing in creatures and allies from the Void and looking in other unsavory places for power."

There's a short pause as if Fenris isn't sure he should say the next bit. "We are pretty sure he plans to use some old, old, half forgotten power to tunnel a back door into Asgard, seize the power core and use it to break Fate. Everywhere." That would destroy Asgard. As well as pretty much everything else, though not as spectacularly or directly.

Sif and Astryd can fill him in more.

"Can you take it?" Skolis asks. "If you made a habit of collecting them you must have some way to contain them. I took it away from someone who shouldn't have had it but I didn't really know what to do with it next."

The White Wolf looks at Astryd and shakes his head. "You can find him in what's left of Pangea. But you can't get there. Not as you are. It's a ragged half of a demi-plane leaking into the nothingness. I wouldn't survive there, I doubt father would either without protection. If you want to confront him, you'll need to get to him first."

They know how to do that. Astryd needs to get a sword. Sif may need a couple of things herself.

"Can you keep him there?" Astryd asks Skolis. "Can you distract him and make his endeavours that much more difficult? We need time and time is not what we have at this point." She's not going to say they know how to get there, but they do. And yes, she has to go find a sword.

"Can you take it, Hod? I don't want it anywhere near me or Fenris." She can feel the maeljin as it writhes at the moment. Or so she imagines.

Hod snorts, "He will fail." he says with the absolute certainty of a Seer, "But that doesn't mean the failing won't have casualties." he bends down pulls the box up, tucking it beneath an arm, "I can." he says to the wolf and Astryd with a nod, "I have places for such things, odds and ends I have collected over the centuries." They're not as secure as they would have been if he had access to his full might of course, but that old tune is a tired one and he'll not sing another verse. Besides… he has a bit of it back, would seem ingracious to complain about what he still lacks. And of course, 'less' secure doesn't mean 'not' secure by anyone's definition.

"Your kid's correct. I can get you to Pangea, but-" he makes motion with his hand that suggests it's a really bad idea ending in horrible horrible death. It's hard to make out given he's holding a very large spear in one hand and a box in the other, but maybe it was a sort of 'disintegrationy' motion? "I can't follow you, but I can show you the Way if you need a map when the time comes." he shrugs, "Or not. You guys seem to have decent enough maps of the Ways yourselves."

Still keeping her hand on Astryd's arm, Sif keeps her eyes away from the coffer that Hod is still leaning his spear and his weight on. "Astryd. When are we leaving?" She knows there are preparations to be made, and now is a good time to do them. Now, so she can put her mind on the tasks ahead instead of the contents of that coffer. Hod really needs to take it elsewhere, and very quickly.

Sorry, Fenris, her mind is not on food. She already ate, after all.

"I'd be happy to have you show me. After you take care of that thing." Fenris says.

"I can certainly try. Make it difficult for him to leave and slow down his allies." Skolis says. He turns to go and calls over his shoulder. "Come find me again later Oh Wintery One. We should probably talk." About what? Snowflakes possibly. Who knows.

Fenris nods to Astryd. "You should make plans to get that sword. We can go soon. Sif if you can help with that I'd appreciate it."

They need to get moving. "Hod, we'll talk later, yes?"

At least Skolis hasn't called her Birb again. Astryd won't have to growl at her ruffled feathers. "Soon. Sif. There's a few things Fenris and I need to put in order before we can we can get the sword."

Astryd nods as Hod takes the casket. That's one less thing she has to worry about.

"And then we put Fenris' pups back in the litter box."

Hod nods and tightens his grip on the box as if afraid it will try to worm free, "You can find me most nights at Luke's, bar in Harlem. They don't know who I am there so be discreet." he says towards the wolf, "And don't expect me sober. You'll be disappointed." and then he moves to the edge of the Line, "You guys already know where to find me." he turns so that he's facing the lot of them, "I'm not hiding from you lot anymore. You wanna talk?" he almost grins, the smallest little pull at the side of his mouth, "Come buy a drink and a rack of ribs. I'm doing a cajun thing these days, it's pretty good. If you find more of the Darkhold, let me know. I have a vested interest in it's slow and excruciating demise." and then he just steps backwards off the edge and drops out of sight in a woosh.

"I would be offended if you did not want me to help," Sif actually dares to quip at Fenris. Yeah, she's struggling mentally and doing her damnedest to hide it. She proves this still further by looking at Astryd a bit questioningly. "I thought a litter box was for cats?"

She watches Hod take his leave, and then FINALLY lets go of Astryd's arm. "I've tried this Cajun Hod spoke of. It's too … sharp on the tongue."

"Spicy? Yeah it tends to be." Fenris takes a deep breath. Dinner is going to have to wait. "Come on you two. We've got work to do. Skolis we'll talk later."

And with that Fenris opens a Way. His specialty for 'whelp, it's going to be a late night.'

He's going to demand schwarma later.

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