2020-08-10 - Do You See What I See


An illusion nearly turns Fenris into the Destroyer

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Aug 10 06:05:23 2020
Location: RP Room 1

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I had a dream which was not at all a dream. The bright sun was extinguish'd and the stars did wander…

There was an… incident at the Asgardian Embassy. Sort of. In a way. A number of staff there have reported having the same dream. In that dream the ground shook and the sun went blood red before going black entirely. Then a great shadow fell across New York City, shrouding the embassy in darkness as a pair of enormous wolf jaws seemed to come up from the ground to swallow the Embassy and everyone in it whole. The people who did have this dream nearly always wake up in a panic with a single thought in their head - as if whispered in the last moments of the dream.

'Pray for mercy to the jaws of Fenris.'

This has of course not been taken kindly by… er… any of the actual full blooded Asgardians on staff. Not given what everyone knows about Fenris. And especially not given that he is known to be in the city.

Fenris is blissfully unaware of this and eating a pastrami sandwich in Battery Park. It is a wonderful pastrami sandwich with just the right combination of sour, salty and heat from the whole grain deli mustard as to render it an ideal candidate for food of the gods. He has a brief notion that maybe Olympus should give up that outdated ambrosia stuff and start endorsing some earth foods. Grow their brand and all.

Sif has not had this dream herself, but hearing about it from others is more than alarming enough. She (with a bit of technical help) got in touch with Fenris and Astryd, and had agreed to meet them there in Battery Park. She's brought food offerings of course, as it's only polite, but she suspects that once she relates what she's heard, appetites might make themselves scarce. Hence, only half a brisket for them to share, along with a plastic jug of some brownish beverage that the barbecue purveyor promised was ideal for this time of year.

"Many apologies for my tardiness." Sure, she could likely have just RUN here faster, but that's typically frowned upon. She arrived by taxi. The smelly, loud, rattling underground beasts known as subways are just too … disconcerting.

Astryd is dressed interestingly. A dress, straight from the 60's, square neckline, cinched waist and full skirt, a string of pearls about her neck and hair put up in a beehive do. She's sitting rather primly next to Fenris when Sif arrives.

It's …. possible … she's on a dare or lost a bet.

"That's heresy, Fenris. Tell that to Hercules though, I want to see him go to Zeus and tell him that." beat "Ah here's Sif. Hello Sif."

Very likely lost a bet. Once Fenris spent an entire week going into work with a monocle, swallow tail coat, cane and top hat because he lost a bet. His work - a financial services corporation in which Fenris himself has no small stake - was quite confused. No one could say that he wasn't meeting dress code, though.

"Hello Sif. My that smells good." He JUST finished that pastrami sandwich and he's still hungry. "Though that makes me worried. You did say this was important and now you've brought delicious beef critter. What has happened?"

Astryd gets a smile. "It's not heresy. It's only heresy if I worship them. It's just sacrilege coming from me."

Setting out the food she'd brought along and claiming a cup of the brown beverage for herself, Sif looks to the pair. She doesn't really react to Astryd unusual clothing. She's seen more than enough variety walking through Manhattan to just think that the Valkyr is trying out some form of 'fashion' that she's not seen yet.

"I wanted to inform you as quickly as possible, before you heard of this from someone else." She takes a swallow of the unsweetened iced tea, looks at the cup oddly, and sets it down on the table. "Several of the staff at the Embassy have had the same dream recently. It is unnerving them, and could be cause for concern." She goes on to relate the dream as it has been described to her. For a Midgardian, it is likely unsettling only. For her at the very least, it's positively alarming.

Probably a bet. Astryd had enjoyed the week that Fenris had to dress like that - she thought him rather dashing. As Sif lays the food out, Astryd prepares a plate for the God Wolf, handing it to him with a smirk.

"The Jaws of Fenris? Are you sure that's what they heard? Not the Maw of Fenrir?" It is alarming given what she already knows. "How recently? Days or a week and more?"

"The Jaws of Fenris…" The imagery is apocalyptic and while it is certainly interesting to Fenris, it doesn't immediately suggest anything to him. Possibly another cult or the same cult deliberately trying to provoke the Asgardians. He's about to say as much when something rolls over him. Something that's not quite magic and not quite not magic. Some kind of unseen force that echoes in his honed supernatural senses. He frowns and turns to look behind him as if to see what the hell did that. The others will have felt it too surely.

And that's why he misses an eyeless wolf walking out from behind a tree and looking dead at Sif with a thousand yard stare before disappearing behind another impossibly thin tree. One it shouldn't be able to hide behind. Moment's after it is gone there's a sort of skittering. Something that seems to come from around or below them. A scratching at the ears as if from a hundred thousand tiny claws.

Sif nods to Astryd. "Yes. I asked multiple staff people, and they consistently said the same thing. One even questioned me the same as you, as if she noticed the phrasing as w—" Her eyebrows draw together in a frown at that strange sensation washing over them as well and stands to pull her sword and buckler. She doesn't question gut reactions, they've kept her and others alive for centuries.

The eyeless wolf makes her freeze long enough for the creature to disappear again, and then she's looking around and down for the source of the skittering.

"By the Norns, what is this?"

Astryd doesn't see the wolf, it passes behind her, but the feeling of something crawling down her spine is enough to have turning. "What is … "

That scratching sound has Astryd, moving to stand on the table. "Get up, both of you …" Whatever that is, it's below them and in her experience, the only way out for whatever that is, is UP.

Fenris comes to his feet and none too soon. Rats burst out of the ground. Dead rats. The table that Fenris was sitting at crumbles into a hole that is thirty feet wide. Below the rats, which scatter quickly, the dead are marching. The legions of Helheim and Nilfgard. The ones prophesied to come at the end of time. The end of all things. Ragnarok.

Fenris growls and draws his blade but something is off. Astryd and Sif can both hear the Valkyrie horns calling the faithful to battle but they can't feel the dread that should come with them. There's no sense of death about these undead. There's no stench of rot coming up from that hole.

Fenris strikes the first one and it crumbles to ash. He falters.

"We're being toyed with…"

Sif backs up from the table at Astryd's words, then looks both surprised and disgusted by the dead rats. Swiping at them with her sword is clearly only making room for more of them to arrive and she asides to Fenris while smacking several more into ash, "What would an eyeless wolf have to do with this? I saw one just a moment before this started."

Even though she's fully aware that Astryd is more than capable of taking care of herself, if the Valkyr's current unusual Midgardian attire prevented her from carrying a weapon, she'll offer a blade and toss over the knife she usually keeps hidden under her left vambrace.

Astryd pulls a pin from the hair-do that transforms to the arming sword she uses. When carrying swords became something the Midgardians frowned on, Fenris and she had the pin enchanted. She's missing the shield though.

The table crumbles beneath her, dropping the blonde onto the edge of the hole.

The rats little feet catch in her pantyhose as they disappear under her skirt - which makes the Valkyr a little cranky. The anger though is checked for a moment as she stares at the dead and hears the horns "I feel no pull to respond, my Lord. What eyeless wolf, Sif?" It's possibly a little hard to take her seriously as she dances trying to get the rats from under her skirt.

Any significant pressure on the rats also crumbles them to ash. Fenris lays into several more undead which similarly crumble before he's hit by one of them. It hurts but it doesn't open up a wound like it should.

"You mean like Ambrose has seen before? The eyeless wolf that I have very pointedly never ever seen?" Funny how that always happens.

"This isn't real…" Fenris is increasingly sure but Sif might not be. She's about to be swarmed. So is Astryd.

"Where did all the mortals go? The park is empty."

The ground starts to shake and suddenly at the edge of the street there are mortals. Funny how those just appeared at a distance. They fall on their knees and begin crying out for mercy to the 'Dread Wolf'.

Fenris eyes go red. That's a sure sign he's getting angry. And that is a very very bad thing. Particularly as his form starts to warp.

More and more dead creatures swarming her has Sif looking increasingly alarmed. So much so that she doesn't register what Astryd says about the horn and call to the dead. How can this NOT be real? It most certainly FEELS real.

Resorting to using her buckler for shield-bashing, she glances toward Fenris just in time to catch the red eyes. She KNOWS that's a bad thing.

She holds no hope for anything Midgardian actually helping in this situation, but a sudden flash of memory strikes — a tiny Midgardian child wearing an adult's garment like a cloak and pointing at people with a stick while yelling words that did not quite parse correctly in Allspeak. The child made a point of teaching her the most important one, meant to defeat scary creatures. Perhaps there was something to the child's conviction? It's worth a try. Certainly couldn't make this situation worse.

"Riddikulus!" Yes, she just yelled a Harry Potter spell word in accented Midgardian English.

The ash left by the rats as Astryd squishes them covers her shoes and feet. "It's not real…" she agrees, eyes going wide as she sees the mortals.

"Sif you need to cover us … you saw *that* wolf, just then?" She's only seen it twice. "… I'm going to try and keep Fenris sane …"

It's a loosing battle, really, but she'll try.

Stomping on rats as they swarm her, the blonde Valkyr leaves piles of ash like footsteps as she fights her way to Fenris' side. "Stay with me, my heart … listen to my voice and think of the bread I have baked at home."

Fenris growls again and his form finally wraps enough to drive him to his knees. He can't stay balanced. He looks up at Astryd with crimson eyes and then blinks. "Riducu-what?"

He shakes himself and looks right at Astryd. Focus. Breathe. Wait. Why does the air smell like it did when… he can still smell barbecue sauce from the food Sif put down on the table. The table that is supposedly long gone.

Just like that the illusion starts to unravel. It's been questioned enough that it can't be sustained and both Astryd and Sif hear a panicked 'uh oh.' There's a buzz of insects wings as they come back to themselves - still seated at the table - as a trio of pixies try to escape in panic and run into one another with cris-crossing flight paths.

Sif immediately moves to try and keep as many of the dead things away from Astryd and Fenris as possible while the former tries to calm the latter down. She pauses when the illusion starts to unravel, then startles and snaps a hand out to try and snag one of the pixies attempting to flee.

"Are these spies from Alfheim?" she asks in true annoyance regardless of whether or not she manages to catch one of the little flying creatures.

"Ridukolous" Astryd says, touching Fenris chin as he looks up at her. The Dread Wolfs aura is horrifying but she long ago learned how to weather it. "From that book series you refuse to read." There's a number of series he refuses to read, actually.

The scent of BBQ sauce and Fenris' eyes changing from the red lets the Valkyr turn. "Oh ho, little ones…." Uh oh, indeed. The Valkyr picks up her bag and pulls out some candy - which unwraps and waves in the air. "Look what I have here …"

"Spies? I'm … not sure, Sif."

One buzzes off in a fright but two of them had gotten tangles up. Sif pinches ones wings and the other is trying to tug her free when the candy comes out and everyone just kind of… freezes. "Um… is that for us?"

Pixes are many things. Featherbrained IS sadly one of them. They have the attention span of very small children and most of them have very notorious sweet teeth.

Which is good, one of them had been going at Sif with a 'sword' that was fashioned out of a blunt toothpick. It hadn't been going especially well but she might like it if her thumb wasn't being poked all the time.

A toothpick? This tiny winged creature is trying to harm her with a toothpick? At least she stops when Astryd breaks out the candy. Since both pixies are momentarily stymied by the presence of the treat, she uses that to wrap a hand securely around each of them but leaves their arms free so they can reach the candy… IF they explain themselves.

"Why are you playing mind tricks on us, little spies? Do you realize how much trouble you could have caused?"

"It might be for you, if you answer our questions." Astryd answers. Her sword is still held in her hand as she juggles that and the candy for the pixies.

"My heart, are you well?" She asks Fenris, risking a glance in his direction. "Sif, you said the eyeless wolf had been here? It seems to appear when we need to be aware of something …" or is it more a portent?

"Now, my little friends … if you want the candy, answer Lady Sif's questions."

"I'll be. Give me a few…" Fenris will have a massive headache in a few moments. And it will probably last for most of the day.

The faeries squirm like live little dolls but can't get away. Finally they sag and look longingly at the candy. Questions are so hard to answer.

"Well, someone told us it would be a good joke. And we like good jokes. Plus he paid us in Werthers." Says one in a squeaky voice. "He said that the mean looking one needed to be scared to be less mean." Which is likely to get the pixies to do it but doubtless ISN'T the actual reason.

"You were fooled, little ones. This would have been a very bad joke. Bad enough that there would have been no more candies. Ever." Sif's eyes flick toward Astryd briefly. Werthers? But then she focuses on the pixies in her hands again. She's holding them securely, but by no means tightly enough to hurt them.

"Which of us is 'the mean one'?" She suspects either Fenris or herself, but better to get a definitive answer. She'd try to encourage Fenris to eat some of the brisket but she doesn't exactly have free hands at the moment.

"Who paid you in Werthers? Do you know their name?" Astryd is careful not to ask too many questions, Pixies really are air-heads. The question in her mind, is why the imagery of Ragnarok? They might get to ask that at some point.

"These are much, much better than Werthers and if you give us the information we need, I'll organise you more …"

"Um. He said his name was Sharon. Weird name." Says one, the one that mentally Fenris has named Pixie.

"No no. Not Sharon. Shaman. And that's just silly that isn't a name at all. Wolf Shaman. Or well. Maybe it's a last name." That one, Fenris mentally tags as 'Dixie'.

"He was wearing a bathrobe." Pixie says. "And it sounded like a good joke."

"He's the mean one." says Dixie, pointing at Fenris. "He's got a sour face and walks around all 'bleeeeeehhhh.'"

She does a comically exaggerated scowl as she attempts to mime Fenris being intimidating as best she can with most of Sif's hand around her.

"It was outside that candy palace, what was the name?"

"Walgreens." Pixie says sagely.

Sif turns both Pixie and Dixie around to face her. "This Shaman in a bathrobe lied to you. Sour faces are not mean, merely sour." She's taking their words completely seriously. "Mean ones look more like this." And then she smiles, in a manner that would seem bright and friendly… if it even approached touching her eyes. She drops the smile again just as quickly and turns the pair of little Fae to face Astryd again.

"Have these little ones been helpful, Valkyr?"

Astryd listens and breaks off a piece of candy to give each pixie. "Wolf Shaman. And he told you to use the illusion that you did? The undead and the rats?" Walgreens. That's something. A place to start at least. "One moment, Sif … I want to check something."

A minute or so later, Astryd has her phone and is conducting an Internet Search. "Do any of these images look like the Wolf Shaman you saw?"

It's Google Images … and it's a long shot they'll get a match.

"Um. No. No. No. No… not like that one. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No… oh! Candy!" Right. That's probably not going to help. It has entirely distracted them from any lesson Sif was trying to teach them though not that they were really going to learn it. They're really quite… well were they human they'd call it ADD. As it stands this is kind of just how pixies are.

They're prooobably not going to get much more from them.

Sif quickly loses patience with holding onto the candy-munching and distracted pixies and sets them to stand on the table while they look at the images on Astryd's phone. She takes up her still innocently-sitting cup of iced tea and takes another swig… and suddenly remembers why she hadn't finished it in the first place. Blegh.

"Is this individual someone you have met before?" she asks of non-candy-munching pair, trying to decide if she feels up to eating some of the brisket or not. She's leaning toward not.

Astryd sighs. She hadn't really thought she'd get any success from that but had to try. Sif is asking good questions, and Astryd hands a little more candy over to the pixies.

"Were you going to see Wolf Shaman when you had made Fenris scared?" She asks. She suspects yes and has an idea.

Quietly to Sif, the Valkyr adds "Bribe them to tell us where and then to tell us when the Wolf Shaman comes to them again…"

"Yes. Wait. No. Um. Yes. Er…. Maybe?" So helpful. "He did promise to give us more Werthers later…" So they should see him again that is if this Wolf Shaman didn't outright lie. Which is generally a bad thing to do to fae, even small, scatterbrained fae.

"We can come find you when he comes again." That will work and Fenris will agree to it. So long as he doesn't have to do anything about it right now, because that headache is coming in.

"I'm going to have some of this brisket." He announces as he tears off a large chunk and takes a big bite, eyeing the pixies.

"Um…" Dixie says. "We, um. We need to be… somewhere else. But we'll be back later when Wolf Sharon comes back." And buzzzzzz off she goes.

"WAIT! IT'S SHAMAN NOT SHARON!!!" There goes the other.

Fenris sighs, dips his meat in sauce and takes another bite.

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