2020-06-12 - A Hunting We Shall Go


Loki comes visiting

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Jun 12 21:15:56 2020
Location: Shadowcrest

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Shadowcrest resides, physically, in Westchester. Dimensionally, it sits on a Leyline Nexus. The approach from the street is via a winding through a garden - a garden that is perhaps a touch Victorian in its aspect. The mansion is protected by powerful wards that extemely few can break - and those that can break it require a lot of time and power.

Today, there's a knock on the door. Zee wasn't expecting visitors - well not explicitly but with everything going on, she's not surprised that there is.

The door is opened by Richard, the Zatara Major Domo. A very distinguished British gentlemen. "May I help you?"

Loki has known about Shadowcrest for a long whilea very long while, he's just never had occasion to drop by until now. Bonus: The current resident is a powerful mage (not uncommon!), witty (more sobut Loki's a bit of a brains snob), and attractive (bonus!). Not wanting to create a fuss he doesn't even think to test the defenses, he just teleports himself to the vicinity and walks to the gate and then through the garden enjoying the low-80s temperature as he approaches. Once at the door he knocks, and when the Major Domo answers, he bows from the waist a bit. "Loki Laufeyson, seeking audience with Mistress Zatara, if she's available." Very politely said, and the man is dressed in black, on black on black with a gold tie clip with a small emerald, and that's it. Suit, tie, shoes, shirt - all black and very stylish.

"Indeed." Comes the reply from Richard as he gives the Asgardian god a once over. Clearly he's not impressed and even more clearly, he's in careful of his mistress. "Are you expected, Sir?"

"Richard, are you going to grill every visitor I get?" Comes the laughing tones of the Mistress of Magic herself. "You know damn well he's not expected and you also know that I will admit him."

"Just doing my job, Miss Zatara." That earns a sigh from Zee "Your father would want someone to look out for you."

"You are and you do it admirably well, now please let my guest in and would you bring refreshments to the library?" beat "Hello Loki. I'm glad you dropped by. I could do with some help."

Richard moves from the door and there's Zee behind him. Dressed in leather pants and a tank top, dark hair spilling around her shoulders. "Come through, we can talk in the library."

The library, when they get there … is enormous. Floor to ceiling bookshelves and cabinets line every wall and in the middle, on what looks like a turkish rug, is a couch, two comfortable arm chairs and a low table.

Loki's grin only grows at the semi-snubbing from the Major Domo. "Nobody expects me, sir. Not often anyway." He admits with relish. When Zatanna herself makea an appearance, he offers up a hand with a magician's flourish, yes, he's mindful of his audience but hey - the Trickster /is/ a showman - and a very rare tome appears, something from Svartalfheim, in fact. Probably not too many books from Svartalfheim even in the library here, so it will /hopefully/ be a useful addition, and a suitable guest gift.

"As it happens, Lady Zatarra, I was stopping by with the intention of collaborating on some research into the recent goings on." He offers Richard a nod, an approving one actually, the man WAS just doing his job after all, as he follows Zee to the huge library. The book offered up to her once they enter. "Oh dearie me, is this a heavenly realm, or merely amazing?" He asks, after all Loki is an inveterate bibliophile.

Zee smiles at the book, running a hand over the cover. "Thank you. I shall value this." There really that many books on Svartalheim or Asgard in general. Mostly because they're hard to come by. "In the original language as well. I shall have my work cut out, interpreting it." But it sounds like a challenge she relishes.

"Zee, please. I have no title nor lay claim to one. And I'm glad you did, your son suggested you might be able to able to assist with a matter." The smile on her face says she's pleased with the response to the library "Amazing, I think. It is my … refuge though. A place I come to reflect and relax, when I'm not researching." The room certainly has the feel of a 'home' about it.

"Before I distract us, was there something specific you wanted to discuss?"

"Of course in the original language." Loki says with a grin as she clearly relishes the challenge. "Svartalf is a bit twisty as a language, the biggest hint I can offer to aid you with the research is this - punctuation is /critical/, and the exceptions to the rules make English seem monolithic and static by comparison." Oh. Dear. That's VERY twisty.

The Lord of Lies smiles. "Zee then, I often wax formal." He quirks a brow at the mention of his son. "Fenrir, or another?" He asks, and the shrugs, waving the question off. "Doesn't matter. I'll be glad to at least hear you out of course, as to my reason to visit I was working on the recent dimensional cut…I /think/ we might be able to come up with a means to seal it faster if we can divine the nature of their implementation. In fact, I was thinking we could invert the field." His wicked glee at the damage that would do on the other side of the rift? VERY obvious.

"I know of two sons. One of which slumbers near the core of Midgard. I suppose there are others. Fenris, of course. He's taken a rather … predatorial view of the incursions in New York." That's said with a chuckle as Zee 'flops' in an arm chair, indicating that Loki should take a seat as well. Unless he wants to peruse the books.

It's about then that Richard enters with a tray of sandwiches and jugs of water and orange juice. No booze at the moment. He knows that Zee is working.

"You mean find out who and how they're doing it? You mentioned that the tear this time was deliberate and probably done from this side? I would agree but this is first of that nature we've seen, yes?" It is. The others have been tears, not deliberately made or at least not provably so. "What do you mean, invert the field?"

"Two more, yes." Beat. "That I know of." Hey! Loki's a bit of a hound, he might have more that he's unaware of, man, that could be awkward. Someday that likely WILL be awkward…pretty much the story of Loki's life, really. A feral grin at the description of how personally Fenris is taking the incursions, and a nod. "Truly, not fond of Malekith and his cronies." Like…at all.

Loki does indeed wander about, one hand in the small of his back, the other occasionally gently, even *reverently* brushing the spines of a particularly interesting tome. Goodness, the man could disappear in her for months or years and gladly. "I must say, your collection is exquisite, you should stop by Cover Story sometime, I'd love to show you mine since you've shown me yours." His expression is /pure/ innocence.

"Mmm? Oh! Yes, there was an amulet." He turns to face Zatanna as she asks her question, Loki's hands clasped behind him. He offers a nod of thanks to Richard as he sets down the refreshments and then moves to settle into a seat where they can talk, taking a bit of the juice, before he continues. "Yes. This…" He sets the spent amulet on the table between them. "…was used to cut the rift open, and there were spells to hold it steady, were the stabilizing spells inverted, and properly channeled, in theory it would we be fairly catastrophic on the other end as the rift-field collapsed."

"Ah, I see." Gods, whether they be Asgardian or otherwise, tend to be a … lusty lot, so it doesn't surprise Zee there may be other little Loki's out there. The Lady help their mothers. "Or the Celtic Gods who have taken an interest in what I might have." She adds about Malekith. That … is probably news to Loki.

"Thank you. My ancestors and I have been adding to it for years. That one is a treatise from Arkadia I believe." They are old, very old. "Sometimes the library will just deliver exactly what you're looking for - or what it thinks you need. Though at this point, it's been rather … silent … on the matter." There's a smirk "Why does that sound like 'come up and see my etchings?'"

Zee turns the amulet over in her hand as Loki produces it. "It was wielded to do so, but we don't by who." Her blue eyes meet Loki's green ones as she frowns "Do we … really want to cause harm to Otherworld?"

Gods are randy as hell, really, ESPECIALLY the Greek, the Roman knock-offs, and the Norse…probably they all are, really. Honestly? Who knows? Not Loki. The mention of the Celtic gods being interested is noteworthy, and that does explain that other elf, so perhaps he WAS one of the 'Children of Danu', the Tuatha De Danaan. Iiiiiiiiiiiiinteresting indeed. "Really? Which ones, might I ask?"

Loki smiles at Zatanna's thanks and explanation of the library. "Oh, that's novel, a *living* library, very interesting indeed." He looks about with avid interest, magical senses peeled. A snicker at the teasing comment. "Oh, I like you, Zatanna Zatara." He says with frank approval.

He frowns a bit at the question. "Well…it is meant to be a bother to the people on the other side, but…I suppose it might be a /tad/ provocative." He laughs then. "I confess, I'm a fan of conflict." And he enjoys getting out of trouble nearly as much as getting INTO it.

"Brigid paid me a visit. Fenris had … met her, I suppose … tangling with the Hunt. They both came to visit me. The Tuatha want the Crown of Command back." The Crown of Command - that's a name that Loki probably has heard in a very long time. A fabled relic crafted by the Tuatha and given to the Emrys the last time Malekith tried for Otherworld.

There's some mystery about what happened - all that's really known is the Crown turned the tide but the subsequent stories, years later, is that it had become corrupted and then … disappeared.

"Brigid did say if I didn't return it, she couldn't guarantee what the others would do." Return it?

"Well it's more, I don't know that Otherworld is actually to blame for all this. Is it possible do you think that someone is trying to weaken the fabric to give the Otherworlders two fronts on which to fight a battle? And what does that mean for Midgard? Of course, that latter is of more interest to me than you, I suspect."

"Brigid can be a fiery one." Loki quips, but then at the mention of the Crown of Command, his full attention is engaged once more. "That crown turned the tide of an…escapade…featuring Malekith in the past, though I've heard that it was both corrupted and missing."

A snort about Brigid. "Yes, well, as I said, she can be rather hot headed." You know, being a goddess of fire, amongst other things. "May I ask, Zee, if perhaps she had some reason to suspect you in particular might have it?" Which is probably a fair question considering how the Zataras collect artefacts.

Her suggestion that it might be ancillary does give him pause about the gatefield inversion thought he had. "Well, then perhaps we could come up with a less violent means to seal the rifts and tears swiftly? I don't like having to improvise each time, it lacks elegance and panache."

"She was … interesting. At least she didn't threaten to set me afire but did ask nicely. And apparently one of my ancestors found it and put it away. Which is where my problem lies. My ancestor, Selim, absolutely did find it - it took Fenris and I some digging to find that out. He's hidden it and I'm close to finding it, I think. But the dilemma is what to do with it, once I have it."

Zee leans forward to take a sandwich and let the information sink in. "Selim hid it because he was worried that it would cause more harm than good. I tend to agree, given it's been corrupted - and I'm not keen to see it Dark Elves hands. However, I don't know that I want to see it back with the Otherworlders… so, Fenris suggested I consult with you about … what we might do with it when we locate it."

Zee could use it - but does she want to?

"Mending the rifts is one thing and a swifter method is likely advised, I agree. However, we want to stop the agents that are working on this side, I would think. Could your idea be used to affect the trinkets they are using?"

"Being a Fire God myself, I know how ornery we lot can be. I would highly recommend /not/ irking her too much, she has a bit of a rep." Or so Loki has heard. He definitely is attentive about the crown and her ancestor, and takes up a snack, several really considering Asgardian (Jotunian?) appetites. "So…your ancestor found and hid the corrupted crown and you're close to finding it." Settling back as he eats, one leg crosses over the other as he ponders. "Honestly, I would suggest finding it, and then studying the nature of the corruption. If it can be purified somehow, that would be the best solution, then you could use it safely and return it to Brigid when you were done. If it /cannot/ be purified, I'd suggest destroying it and returning her the fragments that remain, if any do. Either way you get her the crown, though I suspect the former would be better received than the latter."

Loki would not want to use a corrupted artefact that could save a whole realm, he's crazy but he's not suicidal!

Her last thoughts, about the rifts draws a bright gleam of interest to glacier-heart green eyes. "Oh, that's excellent. Invert the field /into/ the trinket that created it? Clever. That would actually be easier than my first idea as the item would have sympathy with the spells it wrought." He grins, clearly loving that idea. Because really - frak those guys, blow the shite up right in their faces.

"Hmmm. Do you think it could be cleansed? From the way Brigid had been speaking, I understood the Celts had tried to do that themselves. Apparently it's nature was twisted by one who used it improperly. I'm for studying it but I think the latter is more likely than the former…"

Zee has to consider that but both are quite novel.

"Invert the spell back onto those who would wield it, yes. That should localise any damage and not be a direct … declaration of war on a dimension that may well be our allie." That certainly meets with a approval and has the younger mage thinking. "There should be a sympathetic link between that amulet and who wielded it. Have you tried to track them, yet? Maybe we could ask a few pointed questions."

"No idea." Loki answers with a bright grin as he finishes his snacks, drains his drink and then refills it. "It really can't be too big a stretch to at least /examine/ it and see what did the corruption and if it might be purged of the taint, mm? If not, no harm done most likely and we destroy it." A shrug. "Likelihood be damned, it is worth at least a look." A grin. "Mind you, I don't DIS-agree, I just like to see things first, plans for the worst in place, /then/ act. You know, when I plan at all." At least he's honest.

No question that either solution could work, but the first would certainly win more points with Brigid!

"Yes, well, I'm kind of warlike. I can't argue the point, and just think, I'm /far/ more restrained than my brother the Thunderer." He smiles. "I have not yet tried to backtrace, I thought you might like to be involved as you were there on so many occasions and only mildly accused me of wrong doing, that's truly monumental courtesy I'm seldom paid, and it deserves recompense."

"Then that's what we shall do. When I have retrieved the artifact, perhaps Fenris will agree to work with us …" the dark haired mage has a soft spot for the grumpy God Wolf. Maybe. "I didn't think you were the type for planning at all - just sort of turn up and hope for the best … or the worst." Zee's teasing again as she considers the charm.

"Your brother is brash and everyone tends to know when he's around. I would very much like to scry with this trinket. Shall we then? And if I hadn't had previous experience with the issue, I might be accusing you a little more … vehemently."

Clearing the low table, Zee gets a map of New York and lays it on the table. It's … old - but not so old, that it's not current. "Be my guest …"

"You have means to contact me, Zee." Mundane and magical in fact. Loki smiles. "My son is not much of a mage, but…having him onsite as physical security would only be a good thing, in fact a VERY good thing. He's a canny old wolf, my boy." Yes, despite being a shite father, Loki /is/ proud of his son. Truly. Not that anyone would believe him, he's just too good at the whole 'God of Lies' thing.

A grin. "Oh, I'm a planner too, I wear many hats, Mistress of Magic. I confess that I might be a -tad- impulsive." This with a smirk. "Truth be told I'm so mercurial hopefully nobody ever really knows what to expect." He likes being unpredictable.

A snort. "Brash, that's a good word for it. He does have a good heart, but…not the most subtle of men." Loki leaves it at that. He nods at the vehemence comment, and then smiles. "We shall."

Once that map is presented, he looks to Zatanna. "Ward us and I'll start a scrying spell, yes?" Once she answers, he does just that, working on tracing via sympathy and contagion, the crafter of the spells on this object - after all - they might not have made the amulet and just invested it, this way he can hopefully get a lock on the spellweaver.

They should probably do this in Zee's workroom but the danger is minimal and Shadowcrest is not without its protections and neither is the library. Zee nods, uncurling from the arm chair and moves to activate the wards that are set around the room.

The spell springs to life as Loki casts it, the amulet glowing as a column of pure golden light pours from it, bathing the map and then contracting to a location down in Harlem. How exact it is? Hard to say, but it centers on a single position in the map. A building and if Loki knows the area, he'll know that's a business.

Loki is such a fan of special effects! He loves it when magic proves a tad showy, something Zee would have no tendency to do herself, of course. She's such a stickler, hardly ever into showmanship, right? No, Loki can't even THINK that without laughing at the absurdity!

Regardless, once she wards them, he does the spell and marks the spot on the map with a short duration illusion, only a few months unless dispelled sooner of course.

"Harlem?" Yes, Loki sounds a bit surprised, but not /too/ surprised, there's a fairly active voodoo culture in the area, for example. It may not be a magical hotbed, but it is far from dead either.

And then he grins. "Shall we go and check it out?" Yup. Impulsive. He rises and offers her a hand with a flourish, ready to go to scout the area right this very instant. What could *possibly* go wrong?

"Harlem. I wonder if that's the one who used it or made it…" Zee muses, echoing Loki's earlier thoughts without realising. "I suppose we shall find out. Either way, we're likely to get some answers. Whether we like them or not."

"We should. Yes. Let me let Richard know and then we can go."

What … could possible go wrong?

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