2020-07-20 - Graffiti


Sif gets asked to investigate something for the Embassy. She calls in Fenris and Astryd

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Jul 20 07:50:13 2020
Location: New Jersey

Related Logs


Theme Song



The Embassy had received a call requesting aid in deciphering some old Norse runes. The request has made its way to Sif and she's decided to bring it to Fenris and Astryd.

The runes were written on a building wall in New Jersey, scrawled across it in bright red spray paint. Some might call it graffiti and they'd be right but it's the fact it was in Norse Runes that caught peoples attention.

Astryd is waiting at the agreed meeting place in New Jersey, eyeing the wall with something akin to distaste. This area is just awful and there's groups of … people … loitering around. None dare approach the steely eyed Valkyrie though - she's scary.

The runes … spell out "Maw of Fenrir"…

Sif arrives a bit later than planned, but that's the curse of relying Midgardian forms of transportation, namely some strange association of random civilians who convey others in their own personal vehicles. She still does not truly understand the frequent use of the term 'over'. It means nothing by itself.

Finally, though, she approaches Astryd with sword and buckler in hand and nods to the Valkyr before considering the 'graffiti'. "I thought my handwriting was illegible." Maw of Fenrir. That would seem ominous if she were not as familiar with the Great Wolf himself. That would only seem apropos when she visits their home and brings brisket and those baby back ribs… another Midgardianism she has yet to understand. From what she's gathered, the rib meat is not from an infant creature of any sort.

Why is Ambrose in New Jersey?

The world may never know.

But it's terribly convenient how he just seems to step out of the crowd gathered at a distance from Astryd. He's dressed as if he might better blend in, even with his silvered temple and that self-satisfied air he always wears to some degree, be it twinkle or smirk. His shirt is some hand-me-down from a thrift store as are his jeans, one knee sporting almost a hole, and his sneakers have seen better days. The light vest he wears overtop the t-shirt has a hood pulled up over his head as he meanders over. Both Astryd and Sif get a friendly, coy smile.

"Certainly not my handiwork," he comments as to the red graffii on the wall.

These are the questions that haunt men in the dark of night. Rather like 'how many licks does it get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?' The answer, by the way, is not three. That owl was a shyster.

Fenris had been summoned - by phone not by other means - by Astryd and arrives shortly after the other two, hands in pockets and looks at the graffiti.

"If they're going to scrawl my name on something can it at least not be a ramshackle auto repair shop?" He sighs. He jests, a bit, but this is rather serious. Beings like the Asgardians are mystical by nature even if they don't know or can't do any magic. That means that there are certain 'frequencies' that can be used to call upon them, invoke their natures and in some cases, influence them and events around them.

"Hello you two."

"Maybe they were sending a message about how they view you…" Astryd teases, pressing a kiss to Fenris' cheek after she greets the other two. She's … different again. More like the Valkyrie that Ambrose had met to begin with and the woman that Sif had known of for centuries.

"According to what Sif has told me, Fenris, this appeared last night. It was thought to be just graffiti but the fact one of the locals recognised the Norse runes, it was sent to the Embassy for comment."

Which means that no one really knows what those runes say except this group. Sort of.

Astryd looks at Ambrose and translates them, to ensure that they're all on the same page. "Question is … why write it at all?" And it's not the first time she and Fenris have seen that phrase.

Nodding a hello to Ambrose — no, she no longer wonders how he knows to be anywhere in particular, she simply accepts it — and then offering a clearly more deferential bow to Fenris, Sif turns her attention back to the graffiti as the others comment and speculate on it.

"They are not expertly rendered. Prince Loki would have a much better chance at noticing any significance to the variations in the runes. I also do not know if the location of this wall has any special connotation or not." She's suspecting not, but has no proof of any sort for that suspicion.

"Could it be an attempt to get your attention?" That seems most plausible to her while there's no other likely answers available. "Also, what response should the Embassy give to those that contacted us? That it is merely nonsense someone wrote in an attempt to resemble Aesir script?" Would that even be an acceptable lie?

"Fenris," the master-thief returns as greeting along with a nod of his head, still courtly despite his less-than-courtly garb. His shift in weight corresponds to the Dread Wolf's presence; it automatically sets the Bane to sleeking up beneath his skin in reaction to the aura. Ambrose is, however, becoming used to the little flutter of heart and simply lulls the ancient curse down a few degrees. It still flicker-flashes in his pupils as he looks between all present, his attention eventually landing on Astryd.

She explains what's going on and the Jackal sighs a thoughtful sound. His eyes trace the graffiti with a mild squint as he listens to Sif's thoughts. "If it was to get your attention, Fenris, then it worked but perhaps not as well as someone might have hoped…? It may be to beard the lion in its den, but the Lady Sif mentioned rendering. If the runes are…gramatically incorrect, if you will, it would be as naming the sea as 'wine'. Blue was not yet known as a word when 'wine-dark sea' was written."

A beat and he adds, more dryly, "Unless this is a trap and we have all stepped into it."

"It is a very bad rendering, indeed, but of a very old form. There were in times long past warriors who invoked the spirits of great beasts in order to give themselves strength and ferocity in battle. Wolf was one of those beasts and what better wolf to invoke than the one fated to kill Odin." Fenris looks rather tired recounting that, as if he prefers NOT to remember that.

"Over time invoking turned to worshipping as often happens with mortals but the last of these wolf warriors died centuries ago and I've not heard a whisper of them since. It is most certainly meant to get my attention but probably not in a very personal way."

Fenris cants a moment and then reaches out to correct one of the marks. Grammar wolf is offended.

"I'm hoping it's just some idiotic classics students thinking they're being clever because if it's more serious…"

"Do you feel anything from it, my heart?" Astryd asks Fenris. He doesn't, thankfully. "Why would classics students do anything of the sort down here?" She looks around. It's not exactly the sort of place you'd expect college kids to hang out. This is the place of down and out.

Sif, and Ambrose, can see the group of youths watching them. When Fenris touches the mark, they nudge each other. Both should recognise the movements as people who know something but don't know how to hide it well.

"Do you think that story would work, Sif? I'd be concerned if someone came forward and told them what it said - it would make it seem that the Embassy was trying to cover up something, don't you think?"

"So if it was to get Fenris' attention, they have it. What now? If it's a trap, they might have bitten more than can chew. It's not the first time, Fenris and I have seen this phrasing either." She casts a look at Fenris to get him to continue.

"I am not at all certain that story would work, Astryd. I suspect that almost anyone else could concoct a more plausible falsehood." Major understatement. Sif has NEVER been a good liar, and the more she tries the worse it gets.

She notices the group of young Midgardians nearby, but as she would handle stalking intelligent prey, she doesn't give much outward indication that she's seen them. One major limitation of Allspeak, while it sounds like Sif can speak ANY language, she really only speaks that and Aesir. Thus, she says to the two others who can speak Aesir while seemingly considering the graffiti again, "Please relay to Ambrose in a language local Midgardians are unlikely to understand that that group of peasants nearby seem oddly interested in us." She then turns to look at Ambrose, adding one last bit while looking at him like he'd just tried to steal her sword or pull her hair. "Perhaps he should venture closer and see what he can learn."

Hopefully those other Midgardians will buy that she was being bossy at the man and telling him to leave. Again, she's a terrible liar, so she can only HOPE.

Grammar Wolf fixing runic grammar has Ambrose smiling to himself as if he didn't want the entire puckish expression to show, little up-curls of the corners of his lips. While Astryd speaks to Sif, the Jackal glances over at the other clots of people nearby. He does indeed catch the poorly-hidden gesture of camaraderie in the youths and lets his subtle side-eyeing linger. If the weight of his gaze doesn't do anything, maybe the faint gleam of carmine in his pupils might, fast as a flicker off a gem's facet.

"It would be perfectly acceptable for the Embassy to convey gratitude and nothing futher, I would think? They are not obligated to explain the details of this message unless it behooves all parties involved," he notes. There's a distancing to his poise which speaks to the Bane being let loose to slither interested tendrils towards the group — a sensing in the case of hidden magics or magical residues, not any form of nibbling…not just yet.

When Sif speaks to him as such, he glances over at her in an exaggeratedly bland manner, his face turned from the youths' line of sight. Then comes the slow spread of his toothiest smile, like blood on a white carpet. "How kind of you to volunteer me. I have such Suggestions for them." The way he subtly capitalizes the word insinuates how he does intend to get some answers…one way or another. Unless stopped, Ambrose then affects a sneer at the others and dismissive wave of his hand. His shoulders hunch in irritation as he stalks towards the youth, lips scrunched.

Fenris does relay that message in Farsi to Ambrose and chucnkles as he affects a sneer. While Ambrose is seeing to that the Old Wolf shakes his head a little as he continues to observe the badly rendered message.

"They would do it here because it is unlikely to come back on them. Unless they are watching. In which case it might well come back on them. But no one is that dumb. Surely. No one."



"It is not the first time we have seen this phrasing, no, and I am somewhat concerned that someone has resurrected the old beliefs though… I've not heard anyone invoking me." Which still isn't very comforting. The symbology by itself has power. Fortunately this one is so badly mangled that it's potency is minimal.

"It might be of some concern to the Embassy though as if there were to be an old school cult of Fenris - rather than me just encouraging worshippers to offer me power - then not only might there be violence against other Asgardians, it might affect my… mood."

"I like that idea." Astryd nods to Ambrose. "We're, well the Embassy anyway, isn't required to offer an explanation. Say thank you and express your gratitude. If they ask more, say you'll get back to them. Just don't say … when." Ah bureaucracy, Astryd sort of loves playing with it.

The youths watch Ambrose as he approaches, shuffling about and puffing themselves in the way of youths. "Yo Grandpa. You don't belong around here …" How they made that determination is anyones guess.

"Did I just hear you say, my heart, that midgardians couldn't be that dumb?" Astryd smirks now. "And that is a concern, certainly - we've kept a low profile all these centuries, we don't want the Embassy getting uppity now." Not because it will complicate their lives but because upset Fenris isn't something that anyone wants to see.

Sif nods as both Ambrose and Astryd offer the same advice, and it honestly sounds like the best option. She keeps herself from watching Ambrose walk away in the hopes that others will take it as her having dismissed the Midgardian, and then turns back to the others.

"Thank you, Fenris. Do you happen to know if there are records of the last time these old beliefs were in use?" For them, it was likely an easily remember span of time back, but for mayfly Midgardians…. could it have been before these people started reliably recording their histories? That really was an almost distressingly short time ago.

How the little ones do puff and the master-thief clears his throat. "Neither do you little shits, but nobody's askin' your opinion on this, ain't they?"

Good lord, that's a strongly-affected Joisey accent out of the Jackal now, he normally brusque and crisp in his Basra-touched British words.

Ambrose still closes the gap at his shambling, rolling pace, now wearing a snide smirk as he stops within arm's reach of them. "But you saw who did that on the wall, didn't'cha? Those pricks over there, too busy talking outta their asses 'bout it. C'mon, who did it? Youse guys?" His grin goes crooked, charming, rakish — pssht, he's SO not aligned with the others by the runic graffiti. "Suggest you tell me 'bout 'em," he adds with a touch more emphasis and glancing scan of eye contact to all as he then lets the Bane wash over the shoes of the youths. It becomes a whisper of a Very Good Idea planted in each brain now: go on, tell the silver-templed man in his ratty hooded vest and jeans blown out in one knee, tell him about what you saw.

"Mmmhmm. Mostly in old museums. You may have to look around to find them but the humans still remember something of that time albeit they don't really believe. And I have never wanted to remind them, really…"

Fenris smirks at Astryd and turns to look over his shoulder at what Ambrose is doing. "He's good. Has the Embassy considered using him to train staff into how to deal with Loki. Because it is really rather shockingly similar."

Not the same, of course, not by a long shot, but there are definitely broad strokes between the two of them. Loki might well fancy himself a gentleman thief.

"And of course I could tell you quite a lot. As could Astryd. Several men who fancied themselves might wolves made efforts to… secure her favor."

""Records? Museums, yes. We did a lot of work over the years to bury much of it. Some of the tales that are told today have been coloured … shall we say … with our particular bents on things." The Valkyrie smirks at Fenris. "I might have enjoyed, my heart, but they could never secure my favour. It was given to you."

The youths go bug eyed when Ambrose speaks and then puff up a little and start to close on him. It's very threatening - or at least would be for many others - but doesn't last long when the Bane washes over them. "What? Us? Don't be stupid. But we did see someone, yeah? It was about 3am last night and this group showed up. Wearing flannel and jean - and the truck they drove stank. They sounded drunk and drew … One of the girls though, she wasn't happy with them at all."

All of them can hear this, of course.

"What's it to you anyway?" That's directed as much to Ambrose as it is to Fenris.

Wait, what? Employ Ambrose to teach the Embassy staff… "Unnecessary. Prince Loki does not create excessive amounts of trouble." Though she refrains from admitting that she did once feel the need to contact Sigyn.

"So the ones that rendered these sigils could merely have been depicting something they had seen elsewh—" She stops and glances toward the young ruffians getting up in Ambrose's grill before suddenly starting to relate what they'd seen and heard the night before.

Mentally noting what the Midgardians said, she looks between Astryd and Fenris while wondering if there would be a way to find out more about this truck and its passengers. Particularly the one who seemed against the entire debacle.

"Nunya," replies the Jackal to the question from the youth, echoing something he heard so long ago from a friend lost to time and the invariable winds of life. "Sounds like some hicks from outta town thought they'd try 'nd bring some fairy tale to life. Hah. Jackasses." He sighs as if utterly pleased with the idea of such implied stupidity. "Shouldn't fuck around with that stuff. Anyways…thanks for sharing. Half'a my day made now." A jaunty two-fingered salute off his temple and Ambrose then turns to walk away. He angles to pass by the runes once more and almost — almost — shoulders into Fenris as he goes by in keep in-character.

"«A truck which runs on diesel, perhaps? And a woman who did not like the idea of the runes. I would check for nearby cameras since we now know the time frame,»" says the master-thief in Farsi as he meanders past, this language easily discernible to those present with All-Speak and as such private to them. Maybe the youths think he just cussed the others out or something.

"I mean… it's not that he does do it. It's that he COULD do it." Fenris chuckles. Because Loki does as Loki does. The man much like his son is a force of nature. It's just that Fenris force goes in straight lines whereas Loki's runs in circles.

Fenris watches Ambrose go and knows they'll circle round and get him later. He is quietly amused in a way that only a deadly predator can be.

Ambrose might now occasionally be referred to as 'The Situation'.

"We should make ourselves scarce. Ambrose just gave us something to go on so let's regroup in a little bit. With some food."

Hot dog. He's thinking hot dog.

"And we shall see who dares invoke the Dread Wolf."

That's partly to the kids as he walks away. Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

Everyone, if they've got any sense.

"Hey, at least they're not writing, Bad Wolf." Astryd says with a grin. Yes, they have something to go on which is more than they started with.

"Let's go. I need to feed the wolf at the door and Sif, we can address anymore questions." Astryd gives Ambrose a haughty look before looking at the kids as they pass.

She's tempted to say 'boo' and let her aura flare a little. But she doesn't. Maybe a Raven will find them in a dark alley.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License