1963-08-14 - Burning Dream Bridges
Summary: The Enchantress has been missing long enough.
Related: Mutually Assured Detonation (MAD)
Theme Song: Puscifer - The Mission
amora rogue louis 

Warning: Some mild smooch face featured later on.


The apartment had become a molten, flattened stump of a building from the fight with the Muspelheim's minions. Twisted metal limbs stretched up to the yawning sky above, the burnt husk of the building having been roped off with yellow safety tape at the bottom floor.

A sign for demolitions had been posted around the roped off area. Warning residents and passersby that in a week the rest of the building would be taken down. Structural damage a major concern, fear that what remained of the burned out remains might yet crumble. Nearby buildings that had suffered damage from the combat were in the process of being repaired with painstaking slowness and care.

Whatever magical wards had been on the apartment were as nonexistent as the upper floors themselves. Nothing had survived.


Standing outside the debris-strewn façade of the old apartment building, Louis King looks mildly taken aback. He turns his head to the side and murmurs sidelong towards Rogue quietly. "When I scried the apartment location I did not gain a scale of the damage." He steps forwards, footsteps quiet as he crosses the street, hands in the pockets of his coat.

What passersby there are seem to pay them no mind, as if their reality were obscured by a subtle spell that had been applied before they teleported to the location. He moves up towards the yellow damage tape and neatly slices it in twain with a gesture, no blade in hand. Once they fall away he sets foot upon the ash-strewn floor, his footsteps leaving a trail now as he walks amongst what has passed.

Lifting a hand to the side his fingertips get a faint glow, sensing the ambient magic and getting a feel for what tinges there may still be. It's only once he gets in the middle of the building that he pauses, frowning to himself as he shoots a glance towards Rogue.


"Police cordoned off the block for a week. Investigators crawled all over the intersection and dispatched engineers from the public works department to survey sewer damage," murmurs the redhead following in the Asgardian trickster's wake, dispensing knowledge like flowers from a basket. "Residents in the adjacent buildings went back recently but some vacated their apartments. Real estate agents will have a field day once they decide to demolish this, since unoccupied land is rarer than hen's teeth."

The soft volume of Scarlett's words intends to travel no further than her co-conspirator searching for the Enchantress, as though she would dare not risk the illusion cocooning them within its eldritch circumference. A conversational murmur might be convenient.

Louis' investigations take a different shade than hers, naturally. She leaves the ground once they pass the yellow tape, stirring no contrails or vortices of dust in her wake while hovering in the air. Echoing memories of Muspelheim's denizens still lie somewhere in her mind, something revisited without much joy evident upon the ivory contours of her focused expression. She turns her emerald gaze upwards to the ceiling and the outer rim of the room without quite approaching, trusting him to inform her where to be and where not.

Hanging suspended in space like a sunfire dewdrop aids her to close her eyes and feel with those nascent senses not properly tapped or attuned.


For a moment Louis King's smile is wry as he murmurs to her sidelong, "I may consider making a bid for the land." For some reason that appeals to him. So many possibilities on what to do. But that's neither here nor there.

Drawing a fingertip along the remains of a fireplace, the fallen brick scattered as if a giant hammer had struck it. "The magic is foreign, not of Midgard." He dusts his hands with a faint swipe of palm to palm. He shakes his head, "There is little residue, the flames destroyed much and what is still here will be deep beneath the veil."

A charred bit of wood cracks as it's trod upon by the Asgardian. He grimaces while he walks past Rogue once again but then he gestures with one hand, a small gesture that conjures a tiny friendly wind spirit to swirl its way around the debris, clearing a space in the center of the building like some ethereal broom.

"I can do this alone and you can stand sentinel. Or you can come with me and take your chances." His lip curves again.


Eyes reopen for a moment and Scarlett skims her fingers lightly through the air, touching a line of soot blasted onto the ceiling. "The faintest thread behind the darkness feels familiar." Fine lines radiate across her unsmudged brow, concentrating on the fickle cobwebs escaping her mental grasp. For all she struggles to decipher the washed-out memories through a muddy lens, a brief smile of satisfaction draws a subtle crescent out of her lips. "A trace of charred metal and crisped rock, hot basalt or sandstone."

She shakes her head and rotates midair, hovering in place whilst the reinforced toe of her leather boot has nearly a foot of clearance to the ruined floor. Whatever sylph emerges through the veil to blast away powdered wreckage receives a shred of attention, the remainder upon the professor who is not a professor, her mentor who is not her mentor, the man who is not a man.

"You had to ask?" A finger runs down the gold line of a chain almost hidden beneath her shirt, the merest lick of a sunbeam against alabaster. Peonies in her hair lend their faint fragrance, paper-fine petals floating dreamlike on an autumn river. "Where you walk, I would venture with you if you dare have me."


"Damnation only counts if you give the sinner a choice," Louis tells Rogue with that roguish smile upon his lips, explaining it to her with that casual amused tone. There's something in his eyes today, the green of them bright emerald and there is something in the pure… potential of the air, what may pass here. And it excites him. Almost as if he had come across a lovely pearl in all the wreckage.

"Then come with me, Autumn. Let us find The Enchantress, see what has passed. It could be naught." He warns the young woman, gesturing with a sweeping hand to indicate the building itself. "She could have been drive to rage by the actions of a duplicitous paramour. Or she could have had a moment of pique at a poorly phrased poem."

He pauses, looking around and then adds, "And yet it could be all the more dangerous than when we stepped upon Muspelheim's flaming lands."


"Hope that you may understand! What can books of men that wive in a dragon-guarded land," murmurs the copper-crowned girl, dropping onto both feet with the merest echo sounding through the floorboards on a delicate collision of sole to wood. "Paintings of the dolphin-drawn sea-nymphs in their pearly wagons do, but awake a hope to live that had gone with the dragons?"

It is an answer of a sort, one shot back across the bow with a facility originating in long hours spent at Barnard or Columbia studying. Scarlett turns to that green blaze in Louis' eyes and the mirror in her own comes out of banked eclipse, St. Elmo's fire sketched in irregular whorls. "An answer in hand is worth more than speculation? Better the attempt, I think, than playing scullery maid in an empty chambers."

Risk versus reward, the calculations come out unerringly in favour of a course of action beyond these walls and ceilings. But then, they would.


A small laugh is given to her in payment, granted freely. But he slowly draws his legs up into a lotus posture, settling down upon the ground and resting his long-fingered hands upon his knees. He gestures with the uncurling of one hand to the space in front of him, that zephyr having whirled enough of the debris clear so that she'll have enough space to let her settle without mar upon her clothes nor person.

"Then focus your mind, Autumn." He'll speak as she moves and he holds out one hand, palm up, fingertips extended. That single point of contact he has offered in the past when they have ventured into the arcane together. "Imagine the Amora that you knew, picture her in your mind."

The area around them seems to swell subtly in reality, as if the dimension was growing more real, more solid around them. Winds pick up slowly, reality quivers an instant, but it will require that single jolt of contact between them, the binding and circular devouring of power and essence between two beings who have each sought power in their own way and gone about it so differently.


A dozen small changes follow Louis settling comfortably in place. Autumn — her true name, here, replacing one nickname for the identity engraved on her soul — pulls the threaded bindings on her braids. Slim fingers pierce the centre of the overlapping plaits, drawing down to loosen the bindings. Neroli lends its citrus notes above fading soot and scorched wood, shaken free in a whisper of dark amber and exotic woods of a still forest. The loose winter streak painted through the weight of sunset emerges with her ministrations, and by the time she settles directly short of his knees, the veil is drawn around her shoulders in a curtain.

A single point of contact. The gloves must be stripped off and then the deleterious effects of daring to approach her flawed soul teased. She lays them within the diamond drawn between her folded legs, adopting the exacting posture of a meditative supplicant pondering the mysteries of the universe. Her palm outstretched echoes the ancient Hindi idols embarking on Shiva's universal wisdom, the devi force answering the deva.

Risk versus reward. Flesh brushes flesh while her thoughts open to the perfect image taken from memory of a woman in a riot, kissing the unsuspected. The sorceress laying out a handful of seidr foci in one stead, another holding the arm of an Asgardian prince with jealousy and desire stained over her in a watercolour. A rare moment of quiet, the pain of exile drawn over her, finding a chord. So many notes more from Louis will form a symphony but her spry melody plays from a feminine perspective and adds the counterbalance to the arcane Rites of Spring unleashed with similar force.

Creation in the deva, destruction in the devi. One conceives as the other devours, and in turn sweeps clean the slate as surely as the elemental washed the floor. Her fingers close around his, ever so lightly.


Amora had spent time untold in Muspelheim. While only a few weeks had passed on Midgard, time had a different flow in the realm of the Eldjotnar. At first she had tried to sway the guards at her cell as much as she could, but with her hands shackled and her mouth gagged she had had to rely on her looks and her eyes alone. It had worked enough to get her guards to fight over her several times.. And she had escaped twice, only to be caught again.

Their superiors had caught onto her tricks and blindfolded her in an attempt to keep her wiles under control. But such was the power of her arcane enchantments that it rarely did much to assuage the fights that broke out over her presence. As a result she had been moved to a solitary, dark cell, well below ground where no one visited her and the guards could no longer see into her cell.

Still, she knew it would gain another chance sooner or later. So she bided her time in the only way she had available to her now. She dreamed. She sent out projections of herself when she could, or hid her consciousness away from the terrible heat and oppressive torments of the realm around her.

Slowly, she absorbed the ambient magic around her. Muspelheim's ambient magicks was much the same as Asgard or Vanaheim, and she was able to draw it to her slowly but surely, much more than she had in Midgard. With an aching slowness she healed and recovered what magic she could.

So it was that, perhaps unconsciously, that her dreams took on more power than usual. While her body was chained, battered and broken, her mind healed away the stresses and injuries with ease. She wrapped herself in the simple magic of dreams, a fragile thing that was broken when she woke, but it was all that was left to her. Even with her mental wards in shreds, at least she could keep her sanity. Though it allowed the dream walkers to skate through with less effort than it took to open a door.

In her dreams she walked through of other times: past, present, future and what might have beens from previous lives that had long since vanished from time and memory. Once she was a Queen of men, playing at being a fairy wife to a mortal King. A king which she strangled with his own beloved necklace of gold and gems when he broke faith with her.

Another time she was in the form of a spirit of the woods. Horned and robed in leaves with woad and nymphs dancing in twilight revels in a glen upon a moonlit summer night. She danced and danced and mortals came bearing gifts to her beauty and to beg boons. Many died. One was sweet voiced and beautiful and she loved him, in her way, and he died as they all did. She made a shrine to his sun bleached bones and then forgot him.

And now she dreamed of Asgard, shining and bright in all its glory. She sat in the royal gardens, a near perfect image of Frigga's current shrubbery, with her own twist to them. Little changes that sang of years spent adding her own personal touches here and there within her dream world. A dream that she had dreamed a whole life for herself. It was old, and it was deeper within her than many others had been.

A breeze, cool and sweet and smelling of flowers wafted through verdant leaves above. Water gurgled from a marble fountain veined in gold and gilded with an artisan's hand. And in the center of this otherworldly garden, sat Amora. Her blonde hair flowing freely down her back with twisted knots of gold work clasping braids closed. A green gown of flowing silk hugged her frame and danced in the playful breeze.

All of this was not out of place for her, or those that knew her. What was different, was the red haired child she bounced on her knee. The little girl was blue eyed, and squealed in delight, babbling up at her with all the innocent love of a child. She kissed her brow, hummed to her and showered affection down upon her in ways that would stun any that had ever seen the Enchantress. Maternal love, maternal anything, was not something Amora had ever been known for.

Yet here she was, appearing for all intents and purposes a Queen of Asgard, and a mother. More so, was the lack of the hungry predatory ice in her gaze, the dogged unhappiness that usually plagued her. The ever consuming need for more and more that was unending… It wasn't there. Rather it was a joy so achingly blatant that none who now lived would ever remember seeing it upon her features so honestly.

Amora cooed at the toddler, tickling her sides and earning a gurgling laughter that filled the gardens around her. "Who is my little treasure?" She winked down at, presumably her daughter.


For the two dreamwalkers, it is a subtle transition. Most people barely notice when they step into the dreamworld. The first steps are just a subtle hazed reality, that then shifts as the walkers move. Here in the alternate world they can touch, here Rogue can feel Louis' hand so easily touching with no hint of the monstrous urges or the dire absorption of energy and strength. Here they are but hands, but fingertips, and when their eyes meet it is but a warmth of regard, a smile shared…

And then he turns and his voice echoes softly, a touch eerie as he murmurs. "The worlds will fall before us, Autumn. All will change, all will seem impossible. And yet there is one constant. But one."

The tall Asgardian gestures to the side as he says quietly, "There is always. A road."

And there it is indeed. Oh not a yellow brick road or something glowing and proclaiming magic road. It is but the street outside the burnt out apartment. But then with her hand in his he begins to walk it, setting forth.

Then with each step reality warps and changes. At first drifting through what must have been a void of sorts, the distances from one dreamer to another seeming infinitely far… or without any distance at all. One step is the same as all combined. But with them together they reach the outskirts of those dreams. They both step through those memories of Amora's, sharing the depiction of her life experiences past and yet to come. They march through and past castles, forests, and great sweeping magnificent vistas.

Until they reach Asgard, her golden towers reaching high. They reach Asgard with its brilliance and majesty with the sapphire ocean surrounding its lands. They reach the Asgard of Amora's dreams, where she reigns as Queen with who must be her king. Oh assuredly they must know.

Loki steps into that hall, Rogue at his side and there, across the way, she is.


In the falling kingdom of Camelot cloistered in gathering shadows, one of the maidens of the court speaks a word to a god in an abducted lady's lofty tower.

In the dreaming realms brushed by an ephemeral current of power, one of the Three-Faced Weaver's prodigal daughters follows a prince over vast spaces of time. At times she walks. At times she floats.

The golden chain leads to a Norn's skein protectively nestled against her bosom, an ethereal beacon bound to her as readily as her hand fitted within Louis King's a lifetime and a breath away. However else they go, Autumn manifests wearing that singular piece of jewelry.

Asgard demands its due. A place known and unknown, an imagined vision and one so deeply illuminated as only an oneiric realm can be. Lush details she absorbs in the bat of her eyelashes and infinitely longer, drowning in the golden lines and the verdant panorama unfolding before them as Amora's mind would conjure. A glimpse to the child will follow afterwards, pulling her to regard too the disposition of the pair and the satisfaction. Echoes within echoes. She can shroud her heart, though not the vague tightening that presses her palm to Loki's and fits her to his side subtly more than a moment before.

There is a throne. In a place such as this should always be two. Instinctively she seeks it.

All roads lead to Amora.


Amora's dreamscape wrinkles around the two as they enter and emerge from the arcane plane. Though if she notes their presence immediately or not doesn't show upon her expression. Yet the dream child squirms and squeals and slips from her mother's grasp as any child would. A wriggling, chubby limbed, toddler lands at her mother and creator's feet with a squeal of laughter.

Green eyes turn toward the two observers, a flicker of recognition came to life and died as she rose and turned her back upon the dream walkers. Instead, with light, bare footed steps Amora turned to wrap her hands beneath the pixie like child's side and lift the little girl up onto her hip.

A soft song was hummed as she paced back and forth in the lush gardens, mingling with the sound of bird song in the trees above. The winds played lightly with a caress over the occupants, shifting the leaves and leaving the mother and daughter in dappled sunlight.

There were no signs of anyone else there. Not a servant. Not a guard. Not a sole observer save the Trickster and his rubied student.


"Amora," Loki's voice is soft, and at some point in their transition he had taken on the traditional garb of the royal house of Asgard. The green and black complements his form, the coat long, the boots strong and seemingly so shined as to resemble ebony. His features are clean, no stubble a'tall, and his hair is long as he steps forwards.

A small smile touches his lips and he sets foot in that garden finally, his hair brushed back from his eyes by the soft drift of the wind. Another step, taken with such formality that she might barely register it. "It pains me to see this as your desire." He looks out across the great vista of Asgard, then turns his gaze upon her.

"Do you know me, Queen of Asgard?" He touches a gloved hand to his chest and murmurs quietly. "Myself and Autumn have come to hear your voice and know what passes for you and yours." Indeed he voices her name, the name he knows Rogue by, such being demanded in such a realm.


Arresting beauty of a foreign dreamscape might halt the redhead in her steps. She forcibly pushes the urge away, siphoning the temptation to a distilled thought locked in a box at the bottom of her mind for later consideration. Calmed breaths lend a necessary clarity where wonders otherwise might distract her. A lone moment in a skein of eternity rises and dissolves.

Autumn conducts herself upon those lessons of diplomacy recalled from others, an Inhuman princess and an Asgardian heir, southern manners and the Hellfire Club's tastes. A step divides her behind Loki, acknowledgment of precedence without the slightest rancor upon her features. She dips her chin in graceful acknowledgment, her curtseying descent marking status expected by the situation. Three beats to sink, three to hold, three before she rises again elegantly.

Nine means everything in these realms.

"Joyful tidings upon you," she murmurs, adding her voice in its stead.


Amora has reconnected.


The cheerful breeze halted in time with the step that Amora took to turn round and see the two before her. A dismissive gaze swung over Autumn's person before shifting to linger upon the Trickster Prince. Green eyes narrowed at his words, and she shifted the child at her side in her arms, a hand smoothing through red curls. "This is /a/ desire of mine, one of many." Her voice was soft and her gaze dipped back to the toddler, pressing her chin against the girl's crown.

"And just as unattainable as the rest." Her eyes were softer than what was shown in life. There were no masks here to hide behind for her, and her emotions flitted about her features openly. The dream already laying bare her desires for the two to see.

"Why have you come to torment my rest? For I know you to be not of my own creation. I'm so tired.." Her voice drifted into a whisper carried on by another brush of wind. The weather taking on a warmer, humid, tinge to the air; not yet uncomfortable.


A deep breath is taken and Loki steps forward again, kneeling before Amora as well as the toddler. He smiles, a gentle thing this time, curious to see on those features as Loki meets the gaze of the dream child. He tells her quietly. "Go and play, child." A glance is given up towards Amora to see if this is perhaps something she may object to. Yet he says it all the same. Then he gains his feet.

"We seek you, Amora." A pause as he links his hands behind his back, his expression calm. "We are at your dwelling, the aftermath. We seek answers given, and in turn we seek your freedom. Do you reject such? Shall we be sent on our way?"


Amora has partially disconnected.


Autumn tips her head a fraction, the veil of her firelit hair parted and shifting in a smoothed curtain. The cadence of her voice flows in a dulcet melody unveering from its hushed volume. "Ask what you would to confirm our identities, if that is needed. Speak of something that none but you or I and he would know, and perhaps that would affirm whom we are. Could that ease your concerns?"

She holds fast as she is, not floating or betraying herself in any sense to be aught than what she appears. A watcher at the periphery holds vigil across the dreamscape, gliding forward to attest to the warmth of the sunlight and the changing cast of shadows patterned upon the ground and over her. Never much more than arm's length from Loki, she laces her fingers together rather than reach to touch anything.

"Your absence has been keenly felt. How would you bid us restore your serenity, if that may be done?"


Amora blinks in confusion at Loki's words, her expression puzzled as she drifted away from him a few feet to sink down onto the marbled bench. With a boneless movement she released her grip on the toddler, who once free, slid off her mother's lap and ran for the shadows of the bushes and was no more. Childish laughter echoed in the grove around them and slowly faded as Amora's gaze jerked toward Autumn's person when the woman spoke.

"Why seek me?" Her voice was soft as a dreamer's would be when roused from sleep. "What do you mean.. questions.. Loki?" She shifted, turning her focus back upon him. Her attention focusing with an struggling intensity. As if she were fighting off the urge to close her eyes and sleep.

"…Speak your questions.. I.." Her brow pinched, "I'm so tired.."


A knowing look is given towards Autumn, his frown growing pronounced. Loki turns back towards Amora and he extends a hand towards her, fingertips encircling her wrist to draw her up slowly if she would, a hand light upon her hip. He tries to support her, the connection of their psyches growing as the world they share grows stronger, more pronounced as he allows her to draw on his strength. He takes a deep breath, slow and steady, then releases it… a movement that's mirrored in reality.

"Take of me what you will, Amora, Enchantress, Goddess of Desire." His voice is strong, formal as they'll all feel the surrender of some of his energy, causing a faint crackle to ripple through the fabric of the world between them, the translation through the dreamscape perhaps lessening the intensity of such magic, yet still conveying to her a warmth of strength.


A child's laughter evaporates into nothingness, and leaves the hollow absence in its wake that cuts to the soul. Autumn's eyes narrow a fraction, her countenance smoothing over like one of the marble caryatids of old Athens. Her dreaming self stills to accommodate movement elsewhere, focus splintered and then realigned for another purpose.

The gift of her affliction does not permit an invariable reversal. If only it could, some way to turn the black hole back into a quasar jetting energy out instead of collapsing matter inwards to the depths of her soul. Unprepared in the flesh is one thing, but here, the rules are writ in an entirely different tongue.

Permission granted in one reflection may well be heard in the other, the gradual lowering of guards against the inevitable. Her lips form a physical phrase that might be reflected through the oneiros containing the quintessence of them: "Take it."

Then a pause, as she crystallizes anew into herself, all the brighter in contrast to before. "Amora, are you held against your will? Do you know your location, and do you wish us to bring you to Midgard?"


As she rose her dreaming self was held up by the grip on her wrists, the hand at her hip. The offer of magic, given so freely was immediately accepted. A goddess of desire such as herself took it in the only means she could—her lips pressed against his, her free arm hooking behind his neck to level herself closer still. Her body aligned with his as she drew on the offered strength, consuming it greedily as a man in a drought would, until he offered no more.

Their minds, more intimately connected now than any physical contact they'd shared, brushed against one another. While she felt the cooling presence of the destroyed apartment in Midgard he in turn could feel the fires of Muspelheim. The oppressive heat, the searing pain of broken and healing bones and counted injuries. He could feel the suffocating fetters that held her physical body in place. Smell the sulfur and scent of unwashed bodies in torment.

Amora broke off the contact as soon as she was able, panting for breath as she drew back from him with a shudder lancing up her spine. Though she did not break away from him entirely even then, her eyes cleared with a sharpness of mind not there previously. The dreamescape they all stood in snapped into a clearer, more solid thing around them. No more the ephemeral and sleepy realm of a sleeping mind.

"I am in Surtur's realm. Muspell. Beneath the ground. They know who I am.. and my abilities." She reached out to brush a hand over Loki's cheek, into his hair as she squeezed her eyes shut.


Louis has disconnected.


Louis has connected.


%R%RIt is a draining thing, the granting of such power, the allowance of such proximity to a being such as he. The distance, the dreams, the faux reality takes its share from what he gives, drawing off so much in translation and yet it is enough to give her a new strength upon the moment, a grasp upon this shared reality. And as she slips further into his arms, her lips finding his, he gives voice to a low groan that she tears from him as she takes, that sound being lost into the kiss between them. The magic is drawn. His breath is taken. And his strength flickers from the feel of her body to his.%R%RThere is something staggering about this contact, and perhaps in this way as he holds her, this battery of power that is drawn into a ragged blur of his senses. Autumn will have to remember her words, will have to report them to her as he himself… he is lost in the moment of creating this circuit between the real and the dream. For a bare moment he'll turn as reality flickers around him. For a moment he is Loki, for another moment he is Louis King…%R%RAnother moment passes and he is a man with great black wings.%R%RAnother moment and he is a a nude wild man with the fangs of a predator.%R%RAnother moment he is a bare wisp of energy held together in the shape of lightning marked by time.


It is a draining thing, the granting of such power, the allowance of such proximity to a being such as he. The distance, the dreams, the faux reality takes its share from what he gives, drawing off so much in translation and yet it is enough to give her a new strength upon the moment, a grasp upon this shared reality. And as she slips further into his arms, her lips finding his, he gives voice to a low groan that she tears from him as she takes, that sound being lost into the kiss between them. The magic is drawn. His breath is taken. And his strength flickers from the feel of her body to his.

There is something staggering about this contact, and perhaps in this way as he holds her, this battery of power that is drawn into a ragged blur of his senses. Autumn will have to remember her words, will have to report them to her as he himself… he is lost in the moment of creating this circuit between the real and the dream. For a bare moment he'll turn as reality flickers around him. For a moment he is Loki, for another moment he is Louis King…

Another moment passes and he is a man with great black wings.

Another moment and he is a a nude wild man with the fangs of a predator.

Another moment he is a bare wisp of energy held together in the shape of lightning marked by time.


Cold, hard emeralds for eyes and alabaster for flesh give away nothing. How does one mentally nail themselves into the empyreal realms of a dream turned dark at the very edges? Autumn settles into the stony role of witness, fletched in verdant shadows and flame-ringed pupils, gold-tipped waves of her hair stirred up faintly like an aurora around her. Limber arms cross under the weight of her bust, naked fingertips curling into the hardened muscles above her elbows.

The splendour of the garden she makes a circuit through, forcing the leaves to part and the rich soil to support her as she walks a circuitous journey that cuts back upon itself at unpredictable moments. Serpentine coils within the greater orbit direct her through Amora's dream sequence, even as she perhaps spins her own thoughts behind the shattered byways of her own mind.

"Do any landmarks stand over you? The eldjotnar hold you, how many?" Words that come dispassionately, cleaved apart like so many beams of moonlight. There is no force, no presence except the distant glimmer cutting through the reinforced clarity around them. "Have you any directions, they would help."

Another orbit and Autumn sinks down to touch the ground, her fingers steepled in a tripod to support her incandescent, non-existent weight. She crouches in place, drawing a simple succession of shapes reinforced by fresh memory and idle purpose. One rune after another. A wipe of her palm clears away their evidence, a tabula rasa.

Blanked again, remade, washed away. It all has a rhythm.


As with Proteus, with Tam Lin, Amora held onto the shifting shape of the Prince before her in her arms. She didn't hold onto him tightly, merely the same press of her form against his, her arm hooked around loosely. She watched him beneath hooded eyes before her focus shifted toward the red haired woman none too far from either of them. She exhaled a breath, closing her eyes as she attempted to brush against the waking world and remain in the dreaming realm they resided in.

"No. I was blindfolded when they moved my cell. All I know is that I am deep underground. Away from anyone else. I don't even hear other prisoners. At least three guards outside my door." She opened her eyes, gazing passed Loki's changing shape toward Autumn once again.

"They're planning something. I can hear them whisper sometimes. A ritual… I think. I know not what it means.."


The garden's glow, and the glory of Asgard fall, drifting away slowly at the transferal of power. Such golden towers become little more than pillars of basalt climbing upwards towards an ashen sky even as Loki continues to reel faintly while Amora and Autumn are able to speak. It is not a fast transition, no, but it is undeniable as the subtle corruption of one concept, one dream, gives way to the intensity of another.

And as this transition is made, Loki stands there, holding the circuit open between himself and Amora.

The Enchantress can tell what is happening, their dreamscape slipping away from Amora's… and slipping to Loki's own as unconsciousness takes hold of him in reality. No longer in a garden, but in a cave with ragged and torn furniture having been hurled about and shattered. A lightning flashes far off leaving no tremble of thunder. His shape reconciles into another form slowly…

And manifests finally into the lithe and long-limbed shape of a raven haired sorceress that looks entirely as if another form twinned to Amora. She is gold and bronze, and now Loki… she is the ice and dark. There's a moment that passes, just a moment as this new sorceress turns, smiling the heart-shaped bow of her lips in that old familiar smile and then with no hesitation she rounds back upon Amora and he /steals/ that kiss back from her.


"Could you repeat the words?" A wayward girl's plans may unfold along simple axes, seeking a serendipitous crossroads to the true path where they seek. Perhaps Amora can recount from subconscious memory the rhythm and words of the chant. Those words might correspond to bitter memories thieved from eldjotnar patrols in Limbo and Muspelheim itself. "As best you recall, how does it sound or look?"

Autumn draws another sequences of runic devices upon the ground with her fingertip, the form of the sharp angles precise and relatively even against splintered wood and cracked stone. Ozone of the lightning kiss and the serpentine passage of scales on flesh toys along her awareness at some subliminal level.

Sensation is a weapon, here. It roils. It burns. For a heartbeat and a lifetime she stares at her palms, fingertips splayed open to catch the invisible threads and direct their tangled passage. Transparent flesh reveals the stamp of what she wrote, and she rises, erasing the symbols under the crude sweep of her dainty foot. Too late: Pertho remains, Yr beside it.

Amidst that kiss, Amora might see the flickering, the momentary interruption of a dream form literally turning into the frosty moonlight of a late autumn's night. Stars bleed through sunset hair, limbs unravel into mist.

In reality, a dreamer alters her course irrevocably by breaking the lotus position of enlightenment. No more the tender Parvati to the cool trickster, she, but she embodies another role. She flanks Louis King within the line of her extended legs, kneeling above his lap, one hand still anchored against his. The other deadly touch tilts his chin upwards, and if it endangers their spell, so be it.

Then she simply manifests in tangible form anew, witchfire eyes demurely lowered beneath the icy weight of her bangs. She approaches them still, brushing aside the long tresses caught in front of her face. That old familiar smile does nothing, and perhaps some question means to pass. When Loki strikes the Enchantress, Autumn closes the triangle by every footstep. She lends no distraction from the passionate renewal of the circuit, until her slim hand coils in the dark, dark tresses and hauls him (her?) back with unrelenting force. Such a pull drags on the scalp, demands an arch to the spine, to counteract the effect. It might hurt. The mortal doesn't much care in the instant she strikes like a viper, lips to throat.

Mouth to mouth.


The shifting dreamscape around them rouses Amora's attention away from Rogue or Loki's shape. Her gaze flitting about the wrecked furniture and raggedly carved rock that made up the cave. The flashes of lightning lit up the space and she frowned delicately as she felt the pull of magic shift from her mind to that of the Trickster's— the bond between their minds playing on the fringes of her consciousness.

"They have yet to perform the ritual, merely mention of it. Surt—" Her response breaks off beneath the curve of Loki's smile as he, or she?, took hold of her and stole back a kiss.

The softness of his lips elicited a gasp of surprise from her, her frame pulled tight against the rounded curves that had previously been a flat muscled plane of his chest. Anything else beyond the brush of lips was broken when Autumn's interference pulled back on Raven locks.

Amora attempted to step back from the ring of Loki's arms then, if Loki did not hold her fast, her brows climbing higher as she watched the mortal's actions with faint interest. 'Huh'.


As Rogue pulls Loki back, her lips parting from Amora's with a gasp and a sigh, the entire world around them ripples, lightning flashing again so distantly… and yet no thunder. Her hips arch even as she's drawn, turned, and then drawn into another wild embrace. The arms around the Enchantress drop away, strength gone, as that gasp turns into a groan. The circuit completes once again but then something on the other side of reality seems to trigger, an arcane crackle and hiss as if a fail-safe was firing, sending bolts of eldritch energy around him not just there, but in the reality of that burnt out building.

Yet those flashes are not vicious, merely short shocks of sensation that cause consciousness to return to the sorceress as her body shifts and flows once more, flickering with a flash that leaves an after-image on the retinas.

And suddenly Loki there stands again, holding Autumn in his arms as they each kiss… seeking the intensity from each other.

And then with a rough /push/ he gets away from her, growling, features contorted into a scowl as he gains his presence… his self.

Shaking his head once sharply, he stands there in the dreamscape, now in control of the transition, now in control of himself, and yet maintaining Amora's presence. Now they can converse, now they can find out what has passed fully.

The smile returns, "You allowed yourself to be taken Amora, what faction holds you and shall feel the wrath of Asgard?"


The measure of Autumn's mental fortitude does not match Asgard's two esteemed mages, her lifespan thus far a mere beat of butterfly wings against theirs. Were it a test of physical strength unaugmented by their plethora of spells, however, slumbering sorceress and shapeshifter would not necessarily hold the advantage. For a brief moment in the sweep of time, the copper-haired bohemian pushes the advantage of surprise as hard as she can. To hold Loki is, as Amora demonstrated, a nigh impossible thing to conjure but her nails dig in to her palm until those silken locks vanish entirely and her fingers lie against his nape.

Until that danger passes, she doesn't let go, for all that it hurts to ride the storm and evoke the blackened gift scored within her veins. Her eldritch inheritance is not this, but the burning star luminous against her chest in a twisted knot of threads shaped by another's hand.

The center cannot hold.

He shoves her back and Autumn bites her lower lip, the bruised score of her teeth enough to bruise. Once more her expression shutters back to the enigmatic sphinx staring over desert sands and fertile valley carved out from death's doorstep. She opens her hand and sweeps it before her, drawing a very curt bow to them both. No words, thus.


Amora stood with a hand settling upon her hip. No longer in the form of her dreaming mind, but in the form her waking mind normally pictured herself. The typical green armor encasing her curves and her hair swinging freely down her back. None of the injuries she had suffered in the physical realm crossed over though, and she appeared more aware than she had previously as she watched the magic leap and sizzle between the two.

As Loki returned to himself she inclined her head slightly, politely as she shifted her weight again upon her heels. "I did not /allow/ myself to be taken, Loki. I tried to call for help. They came at me as a unit and took me by surprise." She frowned slightly as she spoke, green gaze flickering toward Autumn and back.

"I think… it's the Fyrst-aldrnari. The First-Flame or fire. They're…" She exhaled a breath, folding her arms over her middle and shook her head.

"I'm exiled Loki, the giant before was right. Asgard's laws? Her protections? They no longer apply to me. They can take me and it won't be an act of war.. because I no longer count in the law's eyes. You can't aid me. No one can. Not without risking war with Muspell."


Loki's gaze is level, it is a wry thing, mischief flirting with the corners of his mouth as he looks to her. "Oh Amora, you think I would leave you so? You think we would leave you so?" He steps to the side, a casual gesture lashing out to the side and causing all of the shattered and destroyed furniture to reassemble, joining together like so many discarded toys whose child owner had decided to unwind time itself. A dais assembles, a throne, several lounging couches, large chairs with so many pillows. All of it is gilded and with a green upholstery that gives it a certain regalness. "The Thunderer and I are to call upon these Aldrnari. Have you a cellmate for they hold Surtur's daughter as well as the Enchantress of Asgard."

He climbs up the dais and drops into the throne oh so lazily, "We shall set upon them, and in freeing Surtur's child we will in turn free you. Who would dare claim such a transgression to be ill received?"


Eldr. Aldrnari. Hyrr. A host of names and words slot into memory, an expanding lexicon that Autumn might tap in future days. The words can be tasted on her thoughts in a dream, concentrated on the delicate forms painted by her tongue in clandestine flicks and dabs to learn the proper contours. As always, these things need time to be perfected.

Those banked viridian eyes burnt a touch too hot, surreal behind the lowered screen of her downcast gaze. Lips blot together, stilled in the prospect of Amora's answers of seeking help and finding none. Perhaps pride shakes her scarlet hair and tightens her shoulders, lithe form coiling to retain some of its anger.

"Fortunately I am no one." She gestures easily enough, a sweep of the hand taking her in. "To them I have no identity. No existence. No presence. Muspelheim threats Midgard where I happen to live, one of the many faceless inhabitants. Tell me what war be risked by a ghost flitting across the scalding borders into their iron-washed realm, a mere shadow striking at the heart of the flame?" Soft words, pliant queries. Among the myriad pleasant furnishings revealed around her, where precisely should she end up? A glance to the chaise-longue sends her dragonfly gaze winging away at speed, seeking elsewhere. She glides to the stairs and settles there, a graceless descent arranged with casual ease, legs folded somewhat beneath her.

Her attention slides up those stairs to the enthroned god, then back to the Enchantress. "Could they protest so loudly to justify a counterattack against the borders of mighty Asgard on the basis an invisible force of no substance or name caused a reckoning against them? How would their own kind or your people respond? Could they credit any victory or willingness to follow the great wielder of the Sword of Twilight, terrible and dark, if some bauble in his kingdom were stolen by nothing and no traced cause?"

Rogue by any other name. A thief.


Amora watched the reassembling of the furniture with a mild glance, most of her attention focusing solely on the Prince before her as he climbed the dais and lounged on the throne with an easy grace. A golden brow lurched upwards, her only comment about the change he brought about on the rough-hewn cave around them. Still, as Autumn took a seat, she prowled forward after Loki, with a swing of her hips. She climbed the steps, stopping in front of him with her hands settling upon her hips.

"I have not seen, or heard a cell mate, but I am blind folded and gagged. It is possible that someone else might be there, and in a worse state than I." She murmured, tilting her head to the side as she reached out to settle a hand on the armrest of his throne.

"I did not think you, nor the Thunderer would notice my absence. He certainly didn't note it's lack from Asgard." She muttered, her lips pursing together as she spoke. She eased forward, settling a hip against his throne unless otherwise halted. Her shoulders rose and fell in a shrug, and she waved a hand up in the air in answer to Autumn's words. "I do not think that the fire giants will march to war unless they think they have the upper hand. Currently, whatever they're planning.. they believe they have it. If they can carry out whatever they're planning.." She paused and fell silent, a frown marring her features deepening.

"Loki, you once said that your father would do anything to get Thor to return…" She let the words hang, "And that there is at least one thing that would ensure that.."


The god of mischief… mayhem? He lounges there in the throne and looks down upon the two women, godlings in their own right. His jaw sets as he can feel the intensity of that tension in the real world, the pressure, the demand of another dimension drawing upon his strength. Yet with his awareness here he is able to focus, to remain strong in denying the demands of it.

"Amora," Loki's features are drawn a touch, even though he crackles with power. "Such a thing could well draw Thor back to Asgard. Could allow Odin to reach his goal… but you feel I would not pay such a price?"

There's a pause as Loki's smile grows, the interplay of his lips to his teeth seeming more and more like fangs. "You think I would not drag Asgard into war if only to release you from such a bond? Am I to now believe you would let me lie broken and bound and you would not move the very pillars of the mighty for me? Shame, Amora."

But he laughs and then adds through the laughter, "Shame."


Gifts are layered in an onionskin here on the floating sea of the immortal conscience.

A wounded woman finds strength in companionship, an assertion of will when denied choice. What balm is more evocative than reinforcing the bulwark of the mind?

A mercurial sorcerer paints his own illusions upon incorporeal reality, bending truths to fit his narrative. What medium is more powerful for the deity of stories than thought?

A mere girl serves no overt purpose at all.

She quakes to the laughter thundering through the dream-realm coaxed and poisoned by Loki's own devices. It radiates through the marrow, and beckons another of those veiled looks upwards to the Asgardian duo affirming family ties on the cusp of war. She draws her knees slightly higher from her perch upon the stairs, countenance bled into a somewhat serene mask.

"No plan has ever been created immune to going awry," she points out. It may be unnecessary to draw to their attention. They aren't the ones with Muspelheim's voices locked up in their head, either.


An inhale follows Loki's laughter, the sharp intake of breath that was released in a heady sigh as she leaned forward, a hand reaching out to caress his jawline and turn his features toward her own. Her eyes glittered with the unsaid, her mind already so close to his and his magic, he could likely sense the intensity of her focus upon him more than see it expressed.

"I think you're playing an end game beyond my means of seeing and that my rescue is merely a happy after thought." She whispered, her lips hooking into an equally sharp grin as she leaned in closer still. "Tell me I'm wrong."

She shrugged back a tangle of golden hair over her shoulder, eyes flickering back toward Rogue's person as the red head spoke. "I have interrupted their plans twice already. Whatever they are. If I can do so again I will, limited as I am."


Loki turns his head towards Autumn and then points to her with a gloved fingertip, his smile still rather evident and partially held by Amora's fingers. "Not immune, no, but there are often lovely ways to compensate."

Yet his attention snaps back to Amora and lifts his hands to hers, giving her a gentle squeeze as he rises up from the throne, gaining his feet as he murmurs. "Oh Amora, you wound me. Terribly so." Another squeeze is given as he lets her hand free, now striding down the dais and away from the throne, his robes flickering through a myriad of colours as he moves, though always settling on green after the space of several heartbeats.

Turning around to walk backwards away from her. "I can do naught for you but save you, Amora. I shall step there with the Thunderer at my side, your love, the father of that lovely daughter we saw here I am sure." He offers his arm to Rogue as he draws near, though his words are still meant for the Enchantress. "I shall cast open your cell, bid you come. And if you are to stand upon your principals in that moment, I will be well…"

"And truly…"

"Surprised." As he says that he turns away, starting to move towards the edge of the flickering dreamscape that slowly begins to remanifest more as Amora's memories, her dreams, her hopes. Now beginning to lose the grasp of the trickster's control upon it.


Autumn does not argue with the trickster on the business of chaos, only tenders one of those rare smiles etched in a ghostly depth against her opaque countenance. What else she knows, she does not speak of.

She knows a summons when one calls. Loki wearing his technicolour cloak passes her and then she rises with the boneless grace of a woman lifelong practiced to the ancient asanas of ashtanga yoga. Core flexibility and strength assures a graceful, regal ascent in a single step, aided in part by the subconscious memories imbued by flight. Imperious queens of dynasties fallen to dust might proceed such after a monarch, though she hasn't the benefit of a floor-length skirt. The bohemian does that in a minidress without any disasters to speak of.

Truly divine and serendipitous.

"I await your call, my lady." Such is a farewell from vexing mortal to ageless daughter of Asgard, writ in the waters of the well of Urd in forms by Skuld. She pauses to blow a kiss over her shoulder, the rounding of her lips imparting that harmless promise as good as any oath in the goddess of desire's name.

Fingers extended reach for her guide through the amorphous void of the universal consciousness beyond the borders of Amora's own kingdom. Where there is no sovereign a girl might tumble for an eternity. The faintest pressure on Loki's wrist is surely enough to bind her to the road beyond.


The Trickster God's words, his gentle squeeze of his hand and his taunting words as he walked passed her and beyond darkened her expression further. Even as her grasp on the dream slowly returned, blurring a mixture between their landscapes and desires at the edges of the dream on a myriad of colors and shapes and scents. Her response is cut short, however as the whole scene fractures. A landscape of neither their creations, of Muspelheim's flames and burnt husks of bodies covering an ashen field. Massive claws, black and sharp gouged a line down, ringing in a cage like manner around Amora's lone figure while flames licked upwards and crisscrossed the red felted sky above.

Amora reflexively crouched, a hand falling to the ground to hold herself up as the dreamscape shuddered and started to fracture into shards. A scream peeled from her lips as her head pounded and she grasped at the sides of her skull with both hands. With an effort she ran forward, only to be caught behind the massive claw that towered up into the sky.

"Loki! They're starting the ritual. I missed it- I was wrong. I—" Her screamed out words broke off into another strangled noise. The remains of the dream realm shattered as Amora was ripped out of sleep and her side of the shared dream crumbled into nothingness.

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