1963-09-23 - Mimirpedia: Sif
Summary: Lady Sif encounters Scarlett during a beer frenzy at the autumn equinox blot. Tales of love and war follow.
Related: http://marvel1963mush.wikidot.com/log:1963-09-20-o-er-the-bifrost
Theme Song: None
sif rogue 


Great fanfare awaits those Asgardians freed from their duties to participate in the festival, and they join revelers on the fields and in the streets. Roasted meat fills the air with a heavy scent, and wine or ale are delivered from pierced kegs. Enthusiasm known to long-lived people gives the entertainment a certain dangerous edge, and the drunkards settle scores by brawl or tossing objects at one another. Outside the palace, the normally rigid social hierarchy relaxes a little.

Enjoying the bucolic environment may be somewhat difficult when the liquor supplies run low, though, and one master brewer currently castigates his browbeaten assistants while they cringe.

"Where are my kegs?" He shouts loud enough to wake the dead in Hela's company. "You offloaded three from the ship this morning. I told you to have them here, you useless maggots!" Florid cheeks and an epic beard quiver in wrath. "I'll give two golden arm rings to anyone who can fetch them, and Beyla! She's got the only magic to produce honey wine quickly anyways."

Into this, enter an entourage of Thor Odinson's guards and one redheaded firebrand out to taste culture away from the ratified halls of the All-father. She holds a small pitcher — it probably holds a liter of ale, instead of two, like most others — and a heavy green cloak, speared by an ice crystal at the throat. All might be well if she was just watching the madhouse about to erupt, for honour and privilege insist everyone needs to go find the missing ale kegs. But no, everyone who isn't moving is now an obstacle to a mob.

*

The night ran long with tales of fanfare, boasting and proud bitching of who had done what and who had done it the best. Sif was among them all, not sharing a tell for once but keeping an eerily quietness of peace that caused her to be the ever watchful mother of the night. Even still well into the morrow, Sif was there, an effigy of good will and anger, kept tight against the wall dressed in now a Monday's best with off-colored grey outfit that hugs her skin and pants/boots that fit just right. And never mind that black ponytail.

Outside she was with a few swing of her swords, recanting her steps, a low swing here, and upright arch of the blade there, a turn and thrust of the shoulder into the air and a slow crouch and turn upon the ground..

..she pops upright as she sees the entourage, figuring Odinson may be in tow but.. no. It was the little red from Midgard, and from what she's heard.. Loki's favored her. Or.. she him. No matter. The approach was met and made with a casual slinging of her blade into it's sheath, her head tilted to the side, curiosity piquing as she leans back and watches with a silent interest.

"Up to the task, Scarlett?" Sif's voice calls out. She can be a right arse when needed be, but why was she there either way?

*

The night runs long and wondrous with fanfare indeed. Bonfires feast upon the bones of the slain animals sacrificed to the All-father, and prepared for the season ahead when larders thin and fields grow dormant. Smoke coils and dances into the sky. With such fortitude, like any of the participants are hauling off to bed any time soon, not when the sun rises again and the chariot pulls the glorious day star across the sky. It is likely enough that Scarlett caught a few winks, but slumber for others is almost a matter of pride. Only babies and youths should pass the night actually passed out. No? She wears her forest green attire again, given shopping sprees to tailors in Vanaheim or Alfheim are not on her list. Though Sif surely knows that Fandral made an offer not yet taken up: anything Scarlett wanted in the marketplace, he would buy.

He might want to refine that offer, especially if she feels compelled to buy the marketplace. It is a single object, after all.

For the moment, streams of eager Asgardians rushing past in a babble of Aesir, threatening one another in good humour, is enough to make the young woman anchor her feet to the ground and throw her shoulders back. Not exactly the most demure of reactions, though her hood falling back would reveal her face. As if they know a Midgardner from anyone else. Nonetheless, the two guards mutter under their breath and one hauls her by the arm back out of the way until Sif speaks up. Then he gives the woman a salute and nods to his charge. Yes, that's the human.

"My lady!" The obstinate glimpse of not being washed away vanishes, replaced by a respectful dip of her knees. "Someone over tipped the party and sent them rushing forth! I can only imagine what prompted such haste. A fire? Free ale?" They speak Aesir. She does not. Presumably, she does not; Amora has seen to another thing. "Whatever the case, another pair of hands, even such as mine, might be useful. Shall we?"

*

"You would do well to see that you never touch this young woman again." Lady Sif was adamant, even leaning away from the perch that she sat upon as she gives them an ill wave of her hand. Go away, out of her sight but not far, but away from the lady Scarlett. "She will be my charge for this hour. See to it that you offer hand and lend aid."

"Possibly free ale and the promise of good food and flesh to warm the bed at night.." Sif grins a little, then shakes her head. She was not going to help. Odinson guards were strong enough to carry fifteen women upon their backs. "Walk with me, Lady Scarlett."

*

Poor guard; he might only be trying to keep the redhead bohemian from being crushed by people so much stronger and denser than she apparently is. All it takes is a word from Sif to send him slouching off like a whipped cur, his head still high out of pride. He will join the masses running about to find the missing three kegs, each wide enough around to swallow up a youth, and wherever they may be. The docks are about to be awash in revelers.

Scarlett laughs at the translation, her ease restored once no sign of trouble is coming. The other guard will wander around the corner, following at a respectful distance, caught between two poles of obedience. "I believe the prospect of food and good ale can encourage all sorts of behaviour. Need to build a barn? Clear a forest? Cross an ocean? Those count as the best of incentives." The request she follows as bidden, traipsing along with Sif at a slightly speedier pace than may normally be used. "Of course, my lady, this festival is the best time to launch a drink. I'm sure that anyone who offers their ale will get many customers afterwards. Maybe it was planned?"

*

"One couldn't be -too- sure." Sif murmurs quietly. There was a modicum of appreciation as the guard hangs back, wisely watching the women's back, most notably Scarlett's, as she begins to stroll along, both hands behind her back with a slow twist of her shoulders in a proper stroll. While the crowds of those who beat their feet to the ground streak past in blinding lights, the two women, and guards there after remain untouched.

"Though, I'd like to consider it a game. The one who bears forth with all wins all." She grins, then purses her lips together. "Though I am certainly glad that I have you alone.. as much.. as alone would allow." Her eyes glance back towards the guard, and forward yet again. If allowed, the entire storm would follow the women into hell and back.

Hell being their version of shopping and sweet treats that Asgard had to offer.. that is.

"I want to ask you your relation with the younger Odinson."

*

What constitutes solitude? Likely not walking with a huntress of Asgard down a street close to the marketplace and the docks, caught among the elegant buildings designed as much for an aesthetic pleasure as functionality. How else to call the glittering facades, the ornamented lines and curves?

All this can be forgotten, admiring the dark-haired woman and listening to the cadence of her voice, measuring the way she moves. If Thor himself fears sparring with her, then Scarlett's assessment be not in vain at all. Her arms swing lightly at her sides, and she affects a certain ease to the way she walks, even if the topic could be considered a loaded ICBM pointed straight for the fruitstand of her soul.

"The Prince's brother," she confirms, nodding. "What would you wish to ask, my lady?"

*

"I believe I just asked the question." Sif confirms. Though, the way that she speaks was not with ire, but with true wonder. "It occurred to me to ask you this since you are attending the Thor Odinson's presentation to court. Presentation of the Princess Crystalia.. I might add." She clears her throat a little, her gaze soon looking away out towards the many shops that line the row. There was one that held crystals, oddly enough. Some that sing and kiss each other once the wind hits the flame just right..

"And you -are- a mortal.. one could only assume that the past hundred years you did not hold his eye. But lately.." She smiles towards the young woman, continuing with her stride. "And.. maybe.. there is a quiet wish that something, or someone is out there in this Midgard that would suit my own needs and wishes.." It was then, the sudden widening of her eyes is given towards Scarlett. That little hope and wish would be kept secret.. taken to the grave.

"You.. will.. not mention this to any soul, yes?"

*

The query is it, but the young woman may have her reasons for confirming. English is, after all, her native language and full of vagaries; speaking with a living goddess out of legends she studies in depth to master the ancient tongue of Iceland and Denmark, Norway and parts of Sweden can leave one slightly in awe.

"Indeed. The Prince brings home his betrothed to present to his parents, that they might find her worthy of his courtship. Such is truly a momentous occasion, one I am grateful to witness on behalf of Midgard and her highness," Scarlett says, observing the sparkling beauty of the stones. How can one not be taken by such glimmering sights? A mental note is made; something to bring to Thor's attention, later. Or someone around him.

The matter of Louis King takes her not by surprise, though she is quiet a moment to compose her thoughts. Yet only a daft fool, or one unfamiliar with women, might fail to reckon on the luminous brightening of those witchfire eyes so similar to the subject's own, or the faint softening of her mouth. Could Sif hear, she might note a change in pulse, the cadence of breathing altered. "I believe a worthy partner may be found in any realm, if one is disposed to trust, communicate, and share their life. Asgard's heir found a Midgard princess. Many an Asgardian has wed a giantess, no? Vanaheim and Alfheim looked afield for love; nothing be set in stone." Facts spoken with a way of wry insight, rather than a romantic's ramblings. The bohemian glances back to the huntress. "I know you will find your destiny, bright lady, because it shines upon you like a star such even one as I can feel its presence."

A pause will have to follow as she gazes back to the palace. "As for the younger prince, I will tell you what I told his brother: none of us know his mind fully, save himself, and I cannot speak for his intentions. My own are no secret. He has shown me his protection and guidance. Does he harbour deeper feelings, only he knows, and he is very much hidden from our view so cannot share his thoughts." Even so, her fingers lace together and rest against her stomach. "It wouldn't be right for me to speak what I want if he is not in accord because I cannot stoop to forcing an obligation or an attachment which might not be there. He holds my loyalty, for what that is worth. As does Thor Odinson; I will dishonour neither."

*

There was much apprehension when it comes to the courtship of Odinson and Crystalia. Though whatever apprehension she feels within herself wasn't spoken aloud, only kept to herself and possibly not even a trusted few. Her thoughts on this were her own.

"Yes, a worthy partner could be found in any realm, but as it seems, most could be found in Midgard. They seem the worldly sort. Innocent. Unknowing of what is out there for them. The joys and delights I could at least offer my potential mate. Tither he or she deigns it to be.."

A slight sniff was given, a hand drawing up to brush away at her nose as she slowly nods in regards to Loki. "The man is an oddity, a curiosity. There was a time when I could.. or when I do call him friend. Times. More less than often, sad to say.." But she understood, a little frown touching upon her lips as she takes a glance towards the younger, her head shaking briefly.

"If doth love him so, that is not dishonoring their name. Love is love. There is nothing ill nor bad to bespeak of. Just the heart that follows and is often.."

She swallows a little, then puts on a tight smile. "We're loyal." She makes this known. "We do not push, nor tug, nor flail our arms and offer bosom on which their kingly heads would lay. We're but mere shadows in the grand schemes of all their lives. I often wonder if that makes us the better for it."

*

"I have heard it spoken, albeit quiet, that any arrangement outside Asgard puts Asgard's interests at risk. Particularly an issue for someone who stands in line to a throne, taking a foreign woman to bride would somehow foster allegiances elsewhere. How ever would the subjects be certain their princess or queen held their welfare at heart, rather than Vanaheim or some nation in a realm they will never see?" This is a foray into politics, a deft management of diplomacy. Scarlett is young, even by terrestrial standards; a century of captivating the eye is a lark when her mortal lifespan might reach three-quarters of that. "They do not fear unreasonably. There is much to love about this realm and its people. Of course the All-father's subjects wish to be regarded highest in his eye, and they wish the same for their princes, too. Is there not a comfort knowing they will fight for the good of all that is?"

She slips around, turning a quarter way, putting her back to the street and her front to the shop, and Sif. "Maybe, too, it applies at a personal level. You could harbour doubts about looking across realms and I would not slight you for it. Can someone cherish your own special gifts, or deeply and truly understand you if their background is so different? Will you outlive your partner? Ah, hard questions, smart questions. This bride Thor Odinson proposes comes from royalty of another line, mayhap she will not be long-lived as he, or appreciate battle or this or that. All I may say is give yourself leave to learn, and do not close the doors in advance before you have time to be sure."

She tips her head up, those arresting eyes as vivid as nebulae. They hold all the raging hues of the Arctic sky, shot by the northern lights. "In love you do not cease to be yourself. Are we not more, rather than less, bound by our hearts to a second star? I grant you at times it hurts, it seethes and slumbers in doubt, but it too brings joy and hope. That is living. And so long as the object of that is bound, I am bound. He breathes, I breathe. He is much a part of me as I am this realm, right now. That is what you may have. Him, her, any who makes you resonate with life."

*

"Yes. Which is why this particular union is somewhat troubling. But I do not see malice when I have spoken to her. It was all genuine, if not a slight flighty and reserved." Sif smiles a touch, but she does not dwell too long. Politics were not her forte and she wouldn't presume to know matters of the state, even though once when she was a child, she had the very dream of sitting upon the throne as All-Mother.

Naturally, that would not be.

"I believe.." Sif murmurs.. "..as is our custom the Queen just may offer Crystalia immortality of some sort. Or something that could provide her with the longevity to contend with her son." She shakes her head. "Questions of long-livedness and durability aside.. perhaps learning about Midgard and other realms beyond the nine and searching for one that draws the heart to sing is futile at best." She takes that slight step aside then, continuing on the strolled path, arms pressed at her side now and rigid. It was such an irritating talk, matters of the heart. If she could brandish a sword and carve to cut her own out she would have and tossed it aside.

"Nay. I shall not find such resonation within this lifetime yet. Nay. My heart belongs with the clash of the sword and the sing of metal to metal. As is my own station in the realm of gods and goddesses."

*

"Did you tell me six months ago I would be in Asgard, my lady, I would have considered the notion a colourful imagining, possibly a taunt. If you told me the Prince of Asgard would rescue me by stopping traffic, though I was not in danger, I would have laughed merrily." Yet these very things happened with no less credible a witness than Thor himself; it's on the golden-haired Thunderer's leave that she stands in the realm at all. Scarlett's mouth curves upwards in a ghostly smile, so traced by a wry awareness, the awful weight of hope, the strain of demure regard. "And yet, here we are. Never close off the possibility of what might happen. You may believe yourself to be limited to divinities; why? Is there a divine edict? I think it is not the case. You love war, you crave the battle, and there are plenty who agree. They might use different weapons than your sword, but I can name ten off the top of my head."

A smile passes, anyways, for all that she walks light upon this earth and cares much for this topic as any. Guarded, she nonetheless is no fool on the subject. The only coin of wisdom she has is hard won. "Her highness is a model, in a good way, for how I would wish any leader. Thoughtful, kind, supportive. Intelligent and mindful. Not too rigid. You must be adaptable, pliant to some degree, when faced with the burdens of ruling. It is not something I am ever likely to face, though I may seek a greater role one day to guide society and my people to reach some accord that does not end in registrations, nuclear weapons, and a civil war. Yet seeing such challenges overcome, such a plan as theirs, I believe anything is possible. Even for I, and if for myself, then certainly for you. You have far more resources than I, and beauty with skill in great spades."

Currency earned; now time to spend it. She smiles. "Tell me of him, if you would have a mercy upon me? Anything as you would. I'm curious, naturally, as the one court member I cannot see. I know enough of the Crown Prince's exploits!"

*

"You have a point, little woman." Sif muses. She even lifts a hand to give up the ghost on the verbal fight she had upon her own limitations, even though she knew, deep down, that she -would- do what she say. Step aside and make room for her own life that was filled with never ending battle and drink. Sure, laughter and goodbyes would be had, hugs and promises to meet again soon, but it was time to walk the path that was mostly likely untraveled, a path by herself. The possibilities.

"Ah ha." She snaps her fingers then. "Ares seems a good Mate, if not too large around the hips." That was a joke, though as she continues on there was a slight silent lilt of her head. Even when the compliment was given, Sif offers the kindness smile and then? A -heavy- roll of her eyes.

"Alright alright!" Sif exclaims loudly, then gives Scarlett a glance. "My hair was not always black as the nights sky. Your mentor can attest to that."

*

No one has asked what she would sacrifice, what she already has in this. Because any of them who know where she attached her star are fully appreciative, no doubt, of what that means. The current disgrace, the exile, the ambition, the treachery and the loyalty to Asgard. Scarlett does not have an easy path ahead of her, in part because the man she follows is the definition of difficult in the Encyclopaedia Asgardica; he has a picture in Mimirpedia for the 'hard' and 'tricky' entries respectively.

"Ares, and then you would torment Lady Amora to no end. A conquest superior to even Hercules," she murmurs, giving a glance to Sif just to see what the reaction to that will be. One and the other. Her mouth softens, smothering the smile that forms itself. "Truly, it was not? The black suits you, to be sure, and the striking contrast is lovely. You mean to say that the Prince really did steal those golden locks of yours, and contended with the dwarves?"

*

"That would be one for the books.." Oh, now Sif is ready to go. "..I could easily sway and bed Ares with a flash of a bicep and a clash of my shield. We would mate like gladiators." If the world doth quake at the revelation and the intensity within her gaze.. all would be felt and Asgard itself would crack into two.

"Yes. He did." Sif finally admits. Her fingers reach to grasp the dark locks to tug them into her viewing..

"I believe perhaps the most troubling.. no.. thoughtful part of it all was that he actually sought to make amends when he saw my tears." She frowns a little. "I believe that was a night that changed me so. That gave me an anger that rivaled no other. To say that he shaped who I am is an understatement. As if I am not proud, but aye. Aye I am. Thankful, in a way. Grateful.. somewhat. But there was compassion that the stories do not tell as he attempted to right his wrong that night." She smiles towards Scarlett.. but then frowns. "Do not tell him I have spoken of how much he has affected me. The ruse is my only chip against that fool-headed soul."

*

"And then you would bring a gasp of wonder to the world when you were done, for who could not imagine such a clash sent ripples across the realms?" Skald's daughter, her; the prodigal child of the Norns is left to consider very quietly what these futures hold, when woven at the interchange of Asgard and Olympus, Greek and Norse.

Some men rise, some men fall, and dreams are watched inside the sooty circumference of time. "Before, what do you recall yourself being? Not a fierce warrior, or had you suddenly felt your purpose kindled by the loss of your identity?" She can only imagine, her scarlet tresses bound up in frost and twisted lines. "I can understand. Sometimes we act as catalysts unexpectedly. In some ways he brought me round in a similar fashion, because someone stole from me." A pause follows and she says, "Though he thought to make restitution for the theft, and then within the hour they tried to murder me. Not by his volition, though they wanted so terribly to hurt him, thinking him weak and powerless. They were disabused of the notion somewhat, though I defended him. Dare not tell his brother that without mead or a shield at the ready, though. He allowed me the moment, though not a single one of them would have stood against him in honesty."

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