1963-09-15 - The Wolf, The Wizard, and the Weather
Summary: In the pouring rain, both Hrimhari, Prince of Wolves, and Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme, are tracking the same fiendish little imp in Greenwich Village when they encounter each other. The Prince has a warning of storms to come…
Related: None
Theme Song: "Have You Ever Seen The Rain"
hrimhari strange 


He can hear the skittering of the damned thing - both with his own ears and with his Mystically-heightened sixth sense, though it's more like the pinging on a radar only he can hear - and as he jogs around the corner in the darkened neighborhood that marks the blending of Greenwich Village and East Village, he sees the sparkler-like tail of the loose Imp dart around the corner.

With a low 'hmph' of perceived achievement, Strange readies the banishing magics at his hands. The incoming rain, in big droplets that are beginning to drum on the metallic elements of the surroundings, catches the verdant neon-bright light that gloves his scarred wrists. It casts a sickly glow down the close-ended alleyway and the Sorcerer Supreme stands in its entrance, also the only exit, with a satisfied smirk that doesn't quite match the cold delight in his eyes.

"And there you are, little rat," he murmurs, as he sees the Imp clawing futilely at the bricked wall of the far end of the alley. Behind him, the streetlights come on with buzzes of electricity in the waning light of evening. The golden light glows through the back of Strange's Cloak that frames him with vivid color against the palled backdrop of this part of town. With the spring-leaf glow about the center of his irises and his slow, deliberate approach, it's no small wonder that the Imp is shrieking in pure terror, sounding like a combination of strangled cat and nails on a chalkboard. His eyes narrow at his helpless target and he readies his hands in the counter-signs of banishment. Next to come are the Words.


<Sire? Sire! What would you have this one do for you?>

<An orange! This one sees an orange! Look! It even has lard on it! Can I have it? Do you want it Sire?>

<Oh look, a Two-Legs chasing a — what is that?>

The trio of dogs hounding the silver-haired man as he draws closer (from an opposite direction) all fall silent when they notice the smell — and sight — of the imp cornered in the alley. Something to do with the aroma of rotten eggs (brimstone) has the canines backing away from their 'sire', tails between their legs and making whining sounds.

Only one, a tiny little terrier, stays — barking challenges at the imp.

Hrimhari, the silver-haired Asgardian, sniffs at the air and fixes his golden eyes upon the imp. "This one thought as much," says he before turning toward Strange. He stops. "Remarkable," the prince exclaims, viewing the aura of magic surrounding the man.

He stares, transfixed.


The magic roaring through Strange's person has blotted out all ambient sound…until that terrier chimes in. Its barking breaks the Sorcerer's focus like a softball through a glass window. The man frowns, withdrawing his hands closer to his person, before he turns to look back towards the alley's entrance.

Strange slowly closes his eyes and lets out a rough sigh before he shakes his head. "I will deal with you in a moment. Please, wait there." Whether he means as an everyday passerby who now needs a memory-wipe or as a magical interloper to his Midgardian realm, who knows? Either way, the silver-haired stranger will have to wait.

Turning back to the Imp, who had paused in its frantic scrabbling of the wall and now resumes it with frightened whimpers, he zeroes in his focus once again and then, with a hissed Word that is lost amidst the heavy patterings of the falling rain, gestures fluidly at the Imp.

It has time for one last shriek before the mist-like magic wraps around its form, veiling it from sight. There's a sense of the world upright itself, just within that sphere at the end of the alley, and then the bricks meld back together into quiet, water-spattered patterns once again. With a roll of his shoulders, Strange dusts off his hands and turns back to the stranger who stands on the sidewalk still. His eyes, with their Mystically-sourced glow of verdant light now fading, return to a shadowy steel-blue as they look Hari up and down. One dark brow arches up in quiet - and concerned - curiosity.

"And who might you be?" he asks, his voice echoing mutedly in the rainy atmosphere. His hair is now slicked to his head, though he doesn't seem to acknowledge it beyond taking a moment to swipe errant strands of his bangs from his eyes.


Hrimhari draws himself up to his full height, then tilts his head to the left just a little while regarding the sorcerer standing across from him. After observing the fate of the imp he had been tracking, he takes a couple of steps forward; each step marks a stage in the wolfman's change of appearance:

Fair skin turns into silver-grey fur, and his clothing falls away as if of its own accord. The 'wolf-fish out of water' vibe vanishes also — like a cloak falling from his shoulders — leaving only calm, simple royalty behind, and the Prince of Wolves opens his mouth to speak…

"Few, there are, in the Nine Realms who shine as brightly as thee," says he, slipping a little into a more archaic form of speech. Ah, but it feels good to be out of those clothes. "'Tis as though the Rainbow Bridge itself hath wrapped thee in its light. Thine is the essence of Creation, Sorcerer. I am Hrimhari, Prince of Wolves. Who art thou?"

This marks the first time he has truly identified himself, since coming to Midgard. It is as though the sorcerer's presence demands it of him — one authority calling to another, perhaps? He waits for Strange's reply.


Well. By Agamotto's thrice-summoned pipe-smoke. Strange watches with steadily widening eyes as the man transforms fluidly into the largest silver-furred wolf he's ever seen in his life. Rainbow Bridge?

And with that, he shuts his slack-jawed mouth and runs a hand down his wet face. Some choice grumbles are muffled behind the expanse of his knuckles before he appears from behind them and shakes his head quickly in still-apparent disbelief.

"You must mean the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, which means you are involved with the Asgardians." Another long-suffering sigh is lost to the hissing pattering of the rain. Strange glances up at the high walls, perhaps hoping to see an overhang of sorts he can step beneath (or maybe asking some unknown deity for just a little bit more patience, please-and-thank-you), but no such luck. With another fluid gesture from a hand sheathed momentarily in pale-yellow translucency, the deposited rainwater suddenly lifts from his person. It hangs in a moment of nulled gravity about him before succumbing to the Earth's pull once again and joining the surrounding deluge. Now, Strange's aura glows with the faintest light, akin to starshine in hues of butter-gold, and if one looks very closely, the raindrops fall around him rather than on him, as if repelled by his presence alone.

"Hrimhari, Prince of Wolves," he says, properly addressing the…very large talking wolf before him, "you stand before the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. Dr. Stephen Strange, but please - just Dr. Strange," this is added with the smallest of smiles tinged with a bit of apprehension.


Rain on one's coat is among the most pleasant, and grounding experiences Hrimhari can imagine. Just like sunlight. While he notices the effect of the Sorcerer Supreme upon the weather, he welcomes it himself. Rising up on his hind legs as a man would, the Prince offers Strange a solemn nod of his head.

"This one knows of you," says he as he lifts his head once more. "And is honoured." This measure of deference comes easily to him, uncharacteristic of Asgardian royalty, or nobles in general. "These eyes shall conceal what they have seen; fear not. Although…" and the wolfman turns to regard the terrier.

<Sire? Can this one bite him, Sire?> the little dog inquires.

<Forget all you have seen, heard and smelled, little one,> Hrimhari remarks. <As your prince commands.> Whether or not the little dog obeys, Hrimhari turns back to Strange.

"The leylines in this place converge upon a house," he explains, and then points with a clawed finger to demonstrate which house in particular. "This one assumes it is yours, Doctor Strange."


While he doesn't retreat a step (like he might with other Asgardians), Strange's chin does lift to follow the rise of Hrimhari into a bipedal stance. He still has to blink and shifting in place, with the feeling of his magic riffling about his aura, reminds him that he is not, in fact, dreaming.

"I…too am honored," the Sorcerer replies after a moment, the shape of his lips evolving into a one-sided smile that shows some teeth. His attention follows Hrimhari's gaze and drops to the soaked-to-the-bone terrier dog. While he doesn't get an iota of the conversation that happens, he does suspect that something was exchanged between the two canines. Mysteries upon mysteries…

"You mean the Sanctum Sanctorum?" Strange asks. "Yes, I call the mansion my home. It is a sanctuary for all in need to aid…and for myself in both quiet and trying times," he adds with a nonchalant shrug.


"You are not the first Guardian — ," (of life? Nature? Both?) " — that Hrimhari has encountered in this… Village." The wolfman gives a little shake of his head, his ears twitching. It is as close to a puzzled frown as he can come, in this form. When he thinks of 'Village', New York City is not what he pictures.

"But this one has not seen Light such as this, before," he adds. Then, taking a step toward the sorcerer, the wolfman holds forth a clawed hand in a manner of greeting. "This is your custom, is it not?" he asks. "For meetings between allies."

Whether Strange takes the wolfman's hand or not, Hrimhari also murmurs in a warning tone of voice: "They are coming. There will be blood upon the ice, Sorcerer Supreme. Prepare thy Sanctuary. Methinks thou shalt have need of it, for the Hunt is on."


When Strange returns Hrimhari's not-quite-human-but-close gesture by taking the wetly-furred and clawed hand, he's hit with a barrage of sensations:

The sounds of rough panting overtake the echoing rain - scents of sweat laced with fear and cold loam - prickles of heat rush along his skin - the taste of metallic victory across his tongue - the vibrations of a howl that gets caught behind his closed teeth from a throat that could never emulate the wild sound -

And beneath it all and through it all and above it all, Hrimhari's growling warning of change, of a…Hunt?

With a short gasp, he yanks back his hand. His Adam's apple bobbles as he swallows down the phantom taste of blood; it makes him grimace and lick at his lips.

"Thank you…Prince of Wolves," he manages to say, not offended in the least by the magical feedback of their handshake, but merely somewhat startled. "I will take your word for it."


The experience… is not that dissimilar for Hrimhari.

It is not touch or sound or sight that effects him the most, upon making contact with this living, walking nexus of arcane wonder that is Stephen Strange. It is smell that stands out the most. Every scent in the world — from the good to the bad, from the exquisite to the terrible — if it all could be bottled into a single moment and tasted in that moment… that is how it feels to the Prince.

Hrimhari half-staggers back from Strange — his golden eyes wide, his pointed ears directly fully forward and his tail standing on end — and he bites down on a half-growl, half-howl that comes unbidden to his lips.

"Fenris' Mane, thou art like the Odinforce… in thine own way," he hisses, cursing by his own father. It feels wrong and satisfying at the same time. Hrimhari drops into a partial crouch, three paws on the ground — one upraised in a gesture that could mean 'stay back; it's too much; don't come any closer'.

"How… dost thou contain it??"

And he stares, never blinking.


A huff of a laugh escapes Strange's lips; he's been massaging at his wrist, the same hand that grasped Hrimhari's furred palm, and realizes belatedly that perhaps the Mystical exchange went both ways.

"Without seeming trite, Prince of Wolves, I contain it with…much practice and some divine intervention." If Hrimhari notes a glitter of citrine light in the gemstone that sits caged within the necklace about the Sorcerer's neck, it might not be a trick of the eye. "My apologies if it overwhelmed you briefly. It was not my intent."

With another breath of night air, it seems that the rain begins to cease…and then ceases entirely. The muddled border of the two neighborhoods is left shining, damp, and smelling of the cleanliness of fallen cloud. Strange inhales it slowly, closing his eyes in an effort and show of savoring the fresh scent, and when he sighs, his breath fogs about his face. "And now, if you'll excuse me, I must return to my Sanctum. There are other problems of this Realm that need my attending." His eyes take in the furred semi-bipedal form of Hrimhari once again and that same short laugh echoes from the alleyway's walls, colored with faint astonishment at the wonders of the universe around him. "I hope we meet again, Prince of Wolves. I'll add that I count you as ally and perhaps you may feel the same of me."

He takes a few steps backwards into the shadows of the alley and within the darkness, one can see the lambent golden light beginning to suffuse his irises. His darkened form lights up at the points of his fingertips and with three fluid counter-gestures, he opens a gate to his side. Bordered by crackling chained lightning, the circular way shows the interior of the Sanctum, specifically the Loft and its Anomaly Rue window. With a final deep nod of respect to the Prince of Wolves, Strange steps through the rift in reality and it shuts behind him with a quiet riffle of the air and snap-crackle of energy.


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